HARD-LINE PAKISTANI RELIGIOUS LEADER KHADIM RIZVI DIES

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On 22 November, tens of thousands of men gathered in Lahore for the funeral of hard-line Pakistani religious leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi. No cause of death was announced for the 54-year-old Rizvi, who died on Thursday (19 November) after suffering a high fever and difficulties breathing. No Covid-19 test or autopsy was conducted. Rizvi rose…

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CEASEFIRE BETWEEN MOROCCO AND WESTERN SAHARA’S POLISARIO FRONT COLLAPSES

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Analysts have expressed concern that renewed fighting in Western Sahara between the Polisario Front and Morocco after a 29-year ceasefire threatens regional stability and renews fears for the security and future of Sahrawi refugees – most of whom have been displaced since 1975. The Sahrawi refugee situation is among the most protracted ones worldwide. Occupied…

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G20 LEADERS UNITED TO ADDRESS MAJOR GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND ECONOMIC CHALLENGES

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By Alex Pollock Discussions on how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and deal with the global economic damage it has wrought dominated the Group of 20 Summit, which began on Saturday (21 November) and was hosted virtually by Saudi Arabia. In private sessions, heads of state of the world’s 19 richest countries and the European…

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CONFLICT IN ETHIOPIA THREATENS REGIONAL STABILITY

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Tigray President Debretsion Gebremichael has confirmed his forces’ bombing of the Eritrean city of Asmara, as the conflict in the northern region of Ethiopia continues to escalate. While he did not say how many missiles were fired, he did say his troops were fighting both Eritrean and Ethiopian forces on “several fronts” along the Ethiopian…

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ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES FORM WORLD’S LARGEST TRADING BLOC

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On 15 November, 15 Asia-Pacific countries formed the world’s largest free-trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The agreement includes the 10 nations that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The agreement excludes the United States, as tensions between China…

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JOE BIDEN WINS US ELECTIONS AFTER RECORD VOTER TURNOUT

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By Alex Pollock Former Vice President Joe Biden has been elected the 46th president of the United States, narrowly emerging victorious from a contentious White House campaign that stretched days past election night, as vote tallies in several swing states were slowed by an unprecedented surge in mail-in ballots…And with his victory, his running mate,…

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CONFLICT ESCALATES IN ETHIOPIA’S RESTIVE TIGRAY REGION

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On Wednesday 4 November, Ethiopia’s federal government cut off communications in the heavily armed northern Tigray region and ordered troops to respond to an alleged deadly attack on a military base there. Clashes have escalated and there have been casualties reported on both sides. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has since issued several statements seeking…

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GEOPOLITICAL WRANGLING IN THE STRATEGIC KASHMIR REGION OF GILGIT-BALTISTAN

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On 15 November, the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan will go to the polls for their legislative assembly, which currently has minimal powers and is largely governed directly by Pakistan.  However, on 1 November, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a “Provisional Status of the Province” during a visit to the scenic northern region of…

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THE POPE SAID WHAT? CIVIL UNIONS FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES

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On 21 October, a new documentary film, Francesco, was released about the life and teachings of Pope Francis. According to the Vatican News1, the film contains numerous interviews with Pope Francis, some of his family members, Benedict XVI, and other people. The film is centred around contemporary issues and the role of the Catholic Church…

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TERROR ATTACKS IN FRANCE AND MACRON’S PLAN TO COMBAT ‘ISLAMIC SEPARATISM’

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By Donnelly McCleland French President Emmanuel Macron has said he can understand why Muslims were shocked by controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. But, in an interview with broadcaster Al Jazeera, he said he could never accept the issue justified violence. It comes after Thursday’s deadly knife attack on a church in Nice, the third…

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