PHN Rewind (18 – 24 April)

On this week’s rewind, Ukraine tries to evacuate civilians from Mariupol, rise in inflation rate in the eurozone, deadly floods in South Africa show the emergency of taking action against climate change, the results of the French presidential elections, and other topics.

China and Salomon Islands Sign Security Pact

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China confirmed last Tuesday that it had signed a security cooperation agreement with the Solomon Islands.

The pact allows Chine military deployment to take place in the islands. In return, the Solomon Islands can request assistance from China to “send police, armed police, military personnel and other law enforcement and armed forces.”

The announcement came as a surprise for Canberra, Wellington, and Washington. Considering the pact a threat to the area’s stability, Australia and the US attempted to stop the agreement by sending delegations to the Pacific island.

Inflation Rate Likely to Get Higher in Eurozone

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused an increase in the inflation rate, reaching a record level in the eurozone.

Following the decision to apply economic sanctions against Russia, repercussions are felt by the eurozone, taking inflation even higher.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said that “three main factors are likely to take inflation higher: energy prices are expected to stay higher for longer, pressure on food inflation is likely to increase, and “global manufacturing bottlenecks are likely to persist in certain sectors.”

According to a city official, after previous failed attempts to evacuate people from the city, Russian troops have “disrupted the evacuation” again.

Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on the Telegram app that Ukraine would evacuate other civilians last Saturday from Mariupol, the city that Russian forces have besieged.

The Deputy PM asked people to assemble nearby the Port City shopping center,  “If everything happens as planned, we will start the evacuation around noon.”

Mariupol city official Petro Andryushchenko said on Telegram that “the evacuation thwarted,” and Russian forces dispersed the crowd that had gathered there.

South Africa Sounds Alarm on Climate Change Emergency After Deadly Floods

South Africa warns the world about climate change as it witnessed deadly floods following an entire year’s worth of rainfall, killing over 440 people and destroying hundreds of houses.

Rescue teams are still trying to find victims, as many are still missing. The authorities are unveiling the consequences of the disaster. These include potential infectious diseases and material damage.

Survivors of the floods recounted the loss of family members and their homes.

President Cyril Ramaphosa sounded the alarm on climate change and described the floods as “a catastrophe of enormous proportions.”

Russia Successfully Test-launches Intercontinental Missile

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement on Wednesday, Russia has test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The weapon holds the capacity of a large nuclear payload. Still, Washington does not consider it an essential threat to the United States.

Putin stated that “This truly unique weapon will strengthen the combat potential of our armed forces, reliably ensure Russia’s security in the face of external threats, and will provide food for thought to those who in the heat of frenzied aggressive rhetoric try to threaten our country.”

Emmanuel Macron Wins French Presidential Elections

The final round of the French presidential elections took place on Sunday, 24 April, with the re-election of Emmanuel Macron.

Macron defeated his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, winning more than 58 percent of the run-off.

The results came as good news to France’s NATO allies: Marine Le Pen would have pulled France out of the NATO alliance.

Leaders from around the world congratulated Macron on his re-election, including European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, Mario Draghi, Italy’s prime minister, Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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