What’s Happening Around the World, May 25th

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United Kingdom – This week, climate protesters in the U.K. caused significant disruption in London by blocking traffic, resulting in commuters becoming increasingly frustrated to the point of attacking the protesters.

The demonstrations, organized by the group “Just Stop Oil,” involved multiple marches across the city, strategically targeting various bridges such as Tower Bridge and London Bridge, as reported by TMX News.

The protesters aimed to emphasize their demand for an immediate halt to all new oil and gas production in Britain. They often employ provocative tactics, including the destruction of famous artwork or private property, in order to draw attention and generate public outrage.


China – This week, Western intelligence agencies and Microsoft made a joint announcement stating that a Chinese hacking group, believed to be state-sponsored, has been conducting extensive espionage on various critical infrastructure organizations in the United States. The targeted sectors range from telecommunications to transportation hubs.

In addition, Microsoft’s report disclosed that the U.S. island territory of Guam, which houses strategically important American military bases, has also been subject to hacking attempts. The report highlighted the challenges involved in mitigating this attack. While it is common for China and the United States to engage in mutual espionage, analysts note that this represents one of the largest known Chinese cyber-espionage campaigns targeting American critical infrastructure.

In response to the allegations, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning dismissed them as a “collective disinformation campaign” orchestrated by the Five Eyes countries. The term “Five Eyes” refers to an intelligence-sharing alliance comprising the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom.


Australia – Late on Wednesday, a tragic incident occurred in Australia where a 95-year-old great-grandmother passed away after reportedly being tasered by police. Kristian White, a 33-year-old senior constable with 12 years of experience in the New South Wales police force, is set to appear in court on July 5 in Cooma, located approximately 200 miles southwest of Sydney. The charges against White include assault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault, and recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, as reported by The Guardian Australia.

The incident involved the tasing of Clare Nowland, who was a resident of a nursing home and suffered from dementia. White had allegedly deployed the taser against Nowland, whom he believed to be armed with a steak knife on May 19. Following the incident, White was suspended without pay.

This incident has raised concerns and sparked a discussion about the use of force by law enforcement officers, particularly when dealing with vulnerable individuals. The case will proceed to court, where more details and evidence will likely be presented to ascertain the facts surrounding the incident and determine any legal consequences.


Germany – The German economy experienced a technical recession in the first quarter of this year, primarily driven by tightened household spending. Data released by the German statistics office on Thursday revealed a downward revision of gross domestic product (GDP) from zero to -0.3% for the first three months of the year.

This follows a contraction of 0.5% in the previous quarter of 2022. According to the standard definition, a technical recession is characterized by two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth.

The downward trend in GDP reflects the impact of reduced household spending, which has contributed to the overall contraction in the German economy.


South Korea – On Thursday, the South Korean and U.S. militaries conducted large-scale live-fire drills near the border with North Korea, despite warnings from North Korea regarding what it perceives as an invasion rehearsal. These drills, which are part of a series of five rounds of live-fire exercises scheduled until mid-June, commemorate the 70th anniversary of the military alliance between Seoul and Washington. It is common for North Korea to respond to major South Korean-U.S. exercises with missile tests and other weapons demonstrations.

Since the beginning of 2022, North Korea has conducted over 100 missile launches, although it has not conducted any since mid-April when it fired a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea claims that these tests are in response to the expanded military exercises conducted by the U.S. and South Korea. However, analysts believe that North Korea’s primary objective is to advance its weapons development and use this progress as leverage in future diplomatic negotiations to secure greater concessions from its rivals.



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