2 April 2018   Leave a comment

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi won re-election with 97% of the votes cast.  But turnout was only 41% of registered voters and voided ballots accounted for 7% of the total–more than the percentage of votes garnered by Sisi’s oppnent, Moussa Moustafa Moussa.  With the victory, Sisi’s control over Egypt is complete and he has successfully repressed all opposition to his authority.  ABC News described Sisi’s attitude toward human rights earlier this month:

“The Egyptian government is cracking down on journalists who report critically on the country’s security forces, saying it considered such “‘false'” journalism an act of “‘high treason.'”

 “‘If someone defames the army or the police, he is defaming all Egyptians,'” warned President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi last week. “‘This is not freedom of expression.'”

US President Trump called Sisi to congratulate him on the victory. 

 

Boko Haram (“Western Education is Evil”) is a radical extremist group in northeastern Nigeria that has terrorized the people of Nigeria for several years. It has claimed allegiance to ISIS and has declared the territory under its control as part of the caliphate.  Yesterday the group attacked two villages near the city of Maiduguri and killed 15 people and wounded more than 80 before the Nigerian army was able to intervene (local news puts the death toll at 29).  The central government of Nigeria has not been effective in restoring control over the northeastern part of the country.

 

China released a statement today justifying the imposition of tariffs on 128 items imported from the US in retaliation for the US tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel from China.  Global Times quoted from the statement from the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM):

“‘As a WTO member, China has the right to suspend tariff concessions on some US goods, and China hopes that the US would repeal all trade measures that go against WTO rules,'” the MOFCOM said.

“Cooperation is the only right choice for China and the US, and the two largest economies should discuss their concerns in negotiations, it added.

“MOFCOM spokesperson Gao Feng stressed on Thursday that ‘We do not want a trade war… but we definitely are not afraid of a trade war,’ adding that China will not abandon its legitimate rights and interests and will adopt all necessary measures to firmly defend them.”

The prospect of a trade war with China spooked investors in the US stock market as the Dow Jones Average fell by 459 points on Monday.

Posted April 2, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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