Phil Hogan Resigns
This week in Irish and European news Phil Hogan announced that he has resigned from his position as EU Commissioner for Trade following his attendance at an Oireachtas Golf Society event in Clifden last week. Mr Hogan said that he “deeply regrets” the recent upset that his time in Ireland has caused but also noted that he broke no laws or regulations whilst in Ireland but could have adhered to the public guidelines better. With Hogan’s resignation a new Commissioner will have to be chosen and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has requested that Ireland nominate two individuals to the position. Potential candidates at the moment include current Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney and former Fine Gael Minister Richard Bruton.
Japan PM Resigns over health issues
Japans longest consecutive premier, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has recently announced that he will be resigning as the Prime Minister of Japan. This announcement comes after months of speculation around the Prime Ministers health were confirmed when Mr Abe outlined that he had been suffering from a recurrence of ulcerative colitis. This resignation has triggered a leadership contest in the worlds third largest economy which should see a new party leader and Prime Minister determined in 2-3 weeks.
Christchurch shooter sentenced to life in prison
Following the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 51 Muslim men, women and children in New Zealand last year the 29-year-old Australian white supremacist shooter was sentenced to life in prison. Judge Cameron Mander described the shooters actions as “brutal and beyond callous” and that they “were inhuman”. The case in question had prompted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to tighten the sale and use of firearms in the country.
Putin announces military support for Belarus
Following on from our story last week Russian President Vladimir Putin has again vowed to offer military support should tensions continue to escalate in Belarus. In a statement Mr Putin said “"It won't be used unless the situation starts to get out of control," Mr Putin said, unless "extremist elements ... begin setting fire to cars, houses and banks, begin seizing administrative buildings". This comes after the European Union and ambassadors from member states called from the immediate resignation of current President Alexander Lukashenko. Mr Putin acknowledged that there were problems in Belarus “otherwise people wouldn’t take to the streets” and hoped that the country could on its own “find a way out” peacefully.
Police name the officer who shot Jacob Blake
A new wave of protests in the US have emerged this week following the killing of Jacob Blake by a white police officer. These protests come after the seven-year police officer shot Mr Blake seven times at point blank range while his three children watched. During the protests several armed vigilantes clashed with protestors and shot and killed two people. One of the vigilantes a 17-year-old white teenager was arrested on murder charges following the incident. President Donald Trump announced that he would be deploying the national guard “to restore law and order” while his Democratic rival Joe Biden said he had been in contact with Blake’s family and promised them “justice” also adding that “what I saw on that video makes me sick".