April 2023 global news roundup: Political waves of change; Popular demonstrations and tragedies; Geopolitical and US developments

The Nile in Sudan (Photo by Abdulaziz Mohammed on Unsplash)

This roundup summarises the most important news stories around the world in the last month (April 2023).

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Sudan is in crisis. Hundreds of people died in clashes between the country’s two rival military leaders who are battling for control. The World Food Programme also halted its operations following the death of three employees. Later, officials of the United States (US) embassy and other foreign diplomats were also evacuated.

Finland officially joined the military alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in the same month the prime minister lost a very close election to a centre-right party focused on economic concerns. She later resigned as party leader. Montenegro’s president, Europe’s longest-serving elected leader, lost his re-election bid. And a conservative economist won Paraguay’s presidential election.

Popular demonstrations and tragedies

Canadian federal workers went on strike over wages and return-to-office rules. The French government’s unpopular plans to raise the retirement age to 54 was approved by the top court, prompting further nationwide protests. Junior doctors in the United Kingdom (UK) went on a four-day strike for better pay. In the UK too, following an investigation that he had bullied subordinates, deputy prime minister Dominic Raab resigned.

Separately, in Burkina Faso, about 150 civilians were killed by government forces during operations targeting jihadist groups. In Kenya, the death toll from a starvation cult hit 89 victims. And in Yemen, a stampede left at least 78 people dead, when residents gathered to receive merchants’ cash donations during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Geopolitical and US developments

In a deal brokered by China, Iran and Saudi Arabia formally re-established diplomatic relations. Honduras cut ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China. Israeli airstrikes targeted Palestinian militant groups in Gaza and Lebanon, following dozens of rockets fired into Israel. And Saudi Arabia will cut oil production by half a million barrels per day from May until December 2023, a move which would likely raise oil prices.

India is set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country.

Finally, in the US:

  • President Donald Trump became the first former president to face criminal charges, in relation to a hush-money payment to an adult star during the 2016 presidential election.
  • A 21-year-old air national guardsman was arrested over leaked classified military intelligence documents, the country’s most extensive intelligence breach in a decade.
  • First Republic Bank was seized by regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase, becoming the second-largest US bank to fail.

In other news…

There were infrastructure collapse, sectarian clashes, and mass heatstroke in India, stampedes and a bomb attack (Pakistan), slashing and violent attacks (Brazil, Myanmar, Nigeria), a tornado and explosion (Myanmar), building collapse (France), fire (China, Dubai, the Philippines), mass shooting (US), a capsized boat (Indonesia), and a bus crash (Mexico).

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