Since October 17, 2019, unprecedented popular protests have erupted in Lebanon motivated by demands for socio-economic rights and the reform of a highly corrupted and sectarian political system. The deterioration of economic and social conditions in Lebanon has also affected the 1.5 million Syrian refugees as well as the Palestinians and other communities of displaced people living in the country.
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Mourad Ayyash, a Lebanese citizen living in the Northern city of Tripoli, entered his bank on March 6, spilled gasoline over himself and threatened to self-immolate. A video of Mourad at the bank went viral across different social media platforms, but more importantly on WhatsApp – Lebanon’s most popular messaging app and the straw that broke the camel’s back. Apparently, Mr. Ayyash had been visiting the bank for 2 weeks straight, demanding to withdraw money from his own savings account.
In her inaugural speech, the new President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen set up a new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a fair and prosperous society, with a resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050. Under these circumstances, in order to make the so-called “European green deal” effective, the terrestrial transport sector is among those that are set to undergo major changes.
The European Commission in December 2019 declared that “an ambitious 5G introduction is essential for Europe to have a leading position and to take early advantage of the new market opportunities”. 5G will be a physical overhaul of essential networks that will have decades-long impact: it will entail the conversion to a mostly all-software network and future upgrades will be software updates much like the current upgrades to smartphones.
On Wednesday the 5th of February the European Commission proposed a revised methodology for the accession process for candidate and potential candidate countries. This methodology will be applied to Albania and North Macedonia, although for Montenegro and Serbia there has also been foreseen an opt-in in case they want to join.
After two generations successively and successfully fought against French and American forces, Vietnam formally became a unified country in mid-1976 under the rule of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). The next decade saw the communist party-state running a Soviet-style command economy and a police-controlled society. By the mid-1980s, the country fell into a virtually “comprehensive socio-economic crisis” with the inflation rate standing at nearly 700%. Peasant protests took place across the nation, and public trust in the regime was eroded.
As we all know, urbanisation is a crucial ingredient of our century and of globalisation. In this perspective, examining the features of European cities can be very useful. As a region of ancient city-dwelling, the Old Continent can provide a paradigm that, far from having to be reproduced as it is, can be the source of precious starting points for those areas of the world that deal with this challenge today, and in a much stronger way. Moreover, this issue is particularly significant today, just a few months after the European election round.
During his state visit to Russia in June 2019, Chinese leader Xi Jinping together with president Vladimir Putin oversaw several signings of investment cooperation agreements between Chinese and Russian companies. These documents promised over a billion dollars worth of Chinese foreign direct investments (FDI) in Russia in the years to come.
The digital economy is massive and still growing.
Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993 after a thirty-year long independence struggle that forced about one million people to flee the country. After only five years of peace, Eritrea and Ethiopia fought a bitter border war that resulted in the death of up to 100,000 people, which also marked the end of all hopes for a sound development of the young State of Eritrea. The Algiers Peace Agreement of December 2000 ended the military conflict but did not solve the underlying problems between the ruling elites of Ethiopia and Eritrea.