Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Week in Review: March 7th

Attempts at Ceasefire in Syria Fall Short—

Last week, the United Nations Security Council made the decision to have a 30-day cease fire on Syria, specifically the suburb Eastern Ghouta of the capital city Damascus. Celebrations of this seemingly unanimous decision were short- lived, as the region continued to be bombed following the cease re agreement. The intention of the cease fire was to create a space for civilians to get medical help and to evacuate the country. Currently, many Syrian civilians are living underground, which has caused breathing and respiratory problems due to the inhalation of dust and grime. Residents of the region are angry and unconvinced of the sincerity of a cease fire. Area doctors and social activists have expressed frustrations and fears regarding the continued bombing of their neighborhoods to major news outlets. The Syrian government and their ally, Russia, claim they are bombing Eastern Ghouta because it is “rebel controlled.” Over 500 civilians have died as a result of the bombings in the last few weeks.

Conflict with Qatar Continues—

The nations of Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Egypt put a land, air and sea blockade on Qatar after a series of conflicts on June 5, 2017. Qatar has not been affected long- term by this crisis according to reports, meaning resolutions have yet to be reached. On March 1, the four countries enacting this blockade made a joint statement that this issue is small and should be resolved locally. Despite these countries’ appearance of nonchalance regarding the issue, there have been many questions as to the state of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which includes both Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The relations of the GCC are potentially very damaged by these arguments. Some reports have said the U.S. Special Counsel was investigating possible connections between Jared Kushner’s international business and President Donald Trump’s foreign policies.

China’s President Aims to Dismantle Term Limits—

Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed abolishing laws regarding presidential terms lengths which are currently set for two terms. Jinping, who has been president since 2013, is in his fifth term. There is an upcoming two-week legislative session set to finalize this decision, though it appears that legislators aren’t likely to oppose according to reports. The National People’s Congress will be making the decision and they have never voted down a proposal by a party leader. The influence of China’s Communist Party on the National People’s Congress was made clear when a spokesperson for the Congress stated that the Constitution shouldn’t enforce term limits because the Communist Party doesn’t. The legislative session began Monday, March 5 and Congress applauded President Xi in his proposal for an indefinite rule. This is a strong indicator of what the results of this session will be. If this proposal successfully passes, Jinping may remain president for the remainder of his life. This proposal is facing many international criticisms.

Trumps Tariffs on Metals affects International Relations— 

Trump announced that he plans to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel on Thursday March 1, which he had promised to do while on the campaign trail in 2016. The tariffs imposed would be 10 percent on aluminum and 25 percent on steel. This would place a tax on virtually every foreign shipment of the metals into the U.S. Planning to formerly sign these long-term trade measures next week, Trump has made it clear since the announcement that these tariffs will be strict and leave no room for exceptions for U.S. allies. The announcement has sparked international reactions. Leaders around the world have made statements in opposition to Trump’s plan. Canada, China and the European Union would be highly impacted by the tariffs and had strong reactions to the announcement. They said they intended to retaliate by imposing tariffs of their own and boycotting American products like denim jeans and motorcycles. If they were to act on these threats, billion-dollar losses would hit the American export industry.

Dalit Woman Elected to Pakistani Senate for the First Time in History— 

Krishna Kumari Kohli made history on Saturday, March 3 when she was elected a senator of Pakistan. Kohli—who is a member of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP)—is a part of the lowest class in the Hindu caste system, the Dalit, often referred to as “the untouchables.” Pakistan and India both take this caste hierarchy very seriously so to elect a woman from the Dalit to senate is incredibly significant. Pakistani people are celebrating by posting on social media about her electoral success. In a country that is majority-Muslim, Kohli stands out as a Hindu. Only two percent of Pakistan’s population are Hindu. In her mid- twenties, she joined the PPP and worked her way up the ranks. Although she told reporters that she never expected to reach the senate, Kohli intends to use her political power to improve women’s health and education in Pakistan.


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