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Chaos Reigns, From Impeachment to Latin America: Weekend Reads

Ruth Pollard
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Chaos Reigns, From Impeachment to Latin America: Weekend Reads

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While some in the U.K. debated the union’s very staying power as a December election crept closer, in Washington the House impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump went into overdrive.  One career diplomat warned that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was poised to interfere in the 2020 election.

Across Latin America there were parallels with the Arab Spring, which began in 2010, and the collapse of the Soviet Union two decades earlier. Countries from Chile to Ecuador and Bolivia are burning with a down-with-the-system rage.

Even Germany, once a bastion of stability in a fractious European Union, is coming undone as Chancellor Angela Merkel withdraws further from day-to-day politics.

Dig deeper into these and other topics and take a look at some of Bloomberg’s most compelling political photos from the past week.  

The End of the United Kingdom May Be NearingNext month’s election was supposed to settle existential questions over Brexit — instead, it’s raising bigger ones over the nature of the union. While England is split over Brexit, the political dynamics in the other parts of the U.K. seem more about whether the country should exist at all, Rodney Jefferson, Dara Doyle and Alex Morales write.Unequal and Irate, Latin America Is Coming Apart at the SeamsIn Chile, it was sparked by a minor increase in the capital’s subway fare. In Ecuador, it was the end of fuel subsidies. And in Bolivia, a stolen election. The region’s competing models of government — leftist populism and market-oriented liberalism — are both under threat, Daniel Cancel reports.

Everything the Candidates Discussed at the Atlanta DebateWith impeachment proceedings lighting up Capitol Hill this week, Trump continued to cast a long shadow over the Democratic presidential debate Wednesday, where issues of foreign policy and democracy took center stage. Track what was said in this detailed interactive from Allison McCartney, Jackie Gu, Chloe Whiteaker and Mira Rojanasakul.

Trump Pledged to Help Small Farms. Aid Is Going to Big OnesTrump promised he would help embattled small farmers caught in the crossfire of his trade war with China. But big farms so far have been the main beneficiaries of the billions of dollars being distributed in aid payments, Mike Dorning reports.

China Risks Hurting Itself by Hitting U.S. Over Hong Kong BillChina had a swift and forceful response after the U.S. Senate passed legislation supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, with multiple government agencies threatening unspecified retaliation. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” said a statement by the foreign ministry. But President Xi Jinping has a problem: Any strong measures against the U.S. also risk backfiring on China.

Israel’s Mossad Is Recruiting More Ultra-Orthodox MenAfter decades of relative isolation, Israeli’s Haredim are being drawn into the workforce via programs aimed at tapping their analytical skills for security agencies, Ivan Levingston reports. With an average of seven children, the ultra-Orthodox are the country’s fastest-growing demographic.

Iran Unrest Raises a Question: Is ‘Maximum Pressure’ Working?Anti-government protests in Iran have left buses and banks burned, hundreds under arrest, the Internet blocked and an unconfirmed number of people dead. That raises the question of whether the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure’’ campaign is starting to deliver, Marc Champion reports.

South Africa’s Epidemic of HateFrom the highest level of government to the grassroots, the country is blaming foreigners for economic woes, Antony Sguazzin writes. This latest bout of xenophobic violence — its frequency and brutality — is worrying political leaders across the continent.

Angela Merkel’s Wounded Party Doesn’t Know Where to Lead GermanyFor the longest time, Angela Merkel was Germany and under her the center-right Christian Democrats were the dominant political force in the European Union, Arne Delfs writes. Today the party is a shambles and its new leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, can’t seem to straighten it out.

Abe’s Record-Setting Tenure Leaves Japan Asking What’s NextJust over seven years ago, Shinzo Abe was a political has-been purveying eccentric monetary policy, Isabel Reynolds writes. Now he’s Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, breaking a record that had stood for more than a century, just as the country’s seven-year stretch of economic growth may be coming to an end.

Pacific Island Referendum Could Give the World a Tiny New CountryBougainville seems an unlikely candidate for independence, but it has one resource that could change its fortune — a massive copper deposit. But as Jason Scott reports, the mine that’s the country’s blessing and curse will remain central after the results of today's independence referendum are revealed.

And finally ... As haze blanketed large tracts of Southeast Asia last month, experts in Jakarta were investigating the source of the choking smoke. As Anuradha Raghu reports, images collected from drones flying up to 400 meters above oil palm plantations helped spot the fires — part of a technology drive catapulting palm oil to one of the fastest-growing markets for commercial unmanned aircraft.


To contact the author of this story: Ruth Pollard in New Delhi at rpollard2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kathleen Hunter at khunter9@bloomberg.net

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