24 July 2018   Leave a comment

Pakistan will hold a national election tomorrow and the polls suggest that the race will be very close between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by Imran Khan.  The leader of the PML-N, Nawaz Sharif, who has been Prime Minister three times, was convicted of corruption charges earlier this month and had been forced to resign as Prime Minister last July because of concerns over his family’s holdings of overseas properties.  He had been in Great Britain but returned to Pakistan in order to bolster his party’s chances in the elections.  Prior to his conviction, many thought that the PML-N would win the election, but the race has tightened and many suspect that the Pakistani army has been interfering in the process in hopes of an election that would result in a weak coalition government.   Imran Khan is a former cricket star with little political experience who has been running on an anti-corruption platform.  No matter what happens in the election, it is unlikely to resolve the tensions within the country.


Japan has declared a national emergency as an unusual heat wave has led to 65 deaths in the last week.  According to the BBC: “On Monday, the city of Kumagaya reported a temperature of 41.1C (106F), the highest ever recorded in Japan.”  In Greece, 74 people have died in wildfires that caught many people off guard and are the result of a dry winter and a very hot summer.  Heavy rains caused the collapse of a dam under construction in southern Laos, leading to the deaths of hundreds and leading almost 7,000 people homeless.  High temperature records have been set in Sweden, Norway, and Finland and Sweden has experienced serious wildfire outbreaks.  There have been 70 heat-rlated deaths in Montreal Canada, and in the US, Dallas has experienced “four consecutive days with record highs, hitting 108 or 109 F each day (42 to 43 C).”  And Great Britain is going through an extended and serious heatwave,  The World Meteorological Organization is blaming climate change for these heat anomalies.  But Natalie Meade points out in the New Yorker: “In its 2019 budget plan, the Trump White House cut U.S.A.I.D. spending on initiatives related to the environment to roughly two hundred million dollars, a reduction of about seventy per cent from typical Obama-era spending.”

Fires in Greece

Posted July 24, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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