Discuss what matters to youTalk
Curated top stories
- Syrian forces advance in eastern Ghouta – Syrian government forces are in control of a quarter of eastern Ghouta, a rebel enclave near Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On Saturday government troops led a further ground assault there, in an effort to defeat the last major rebel enclave near the capital. Read more about the crisis here. The BBC reports that 393,000 people are trapped in the eastern Ghouta, which has been besieged by the government since 2013.
- At least 36 pro-Syrian government troops were also killed by a Turkish air strike in the region of Afrin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. The pro-government troops entered Afrin two weeks ago to back Kurdish forces against a Turkish military offensive.
- Germany’s coalition decided – Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) voted to form a new coalition under Chancellor Angela Merkel, more than four months after an election. Two thirds of the SPD’s membership voted “yes” to the deal in a ballot. It gives some stability to the government after months of talks on potential coalition partners for Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany party. Read WikiTribune’s report explaining the vote here.
- Trump tweets “trade wars are good” for United States – U.S. President Donald J. Trump dug his heels in on Friday morning after rattling Asian markets with Thursday’s announcement that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum. Trump tweeted that “trade wars are good, and easy to win” when the United States is “losing many billions of dollars on trade.” Earlier, Australia’s trade minister said the move to raise tariffs would distort global trade and cost jobs. Trump said duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum would be formally announced next week, sparking concerns from major U.S. trade partners. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped by 1.1 percent, led by a fall in South Korean shares. Meanwhile Japan’s Nikkei stock index dropped by 2.9 percent.
- European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU would retaliate with trade measures of their own if the U.S. goes through with the tariffs.
When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!
- PNG quake toll rises – A state of emergency has only just been announced by Papua New Guinea, nearly five days after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck isolated parts of the South Pacific nation. Worst-hit regions remained cut off on Friday, with aid only just starting to arrive in some areas. The Red Cross estimated an initial 2000 people were in urgent need of emergency supplies, while Reuters reported that the death toll had climbed to 31 and would probably rise further.
- EU sets deadline for social media giants – The European Union (EU) set a three-month deadline for social media companies to dramatically speed up how quickly they remove extremist content (The Guardian). Google, Facebook, and Twitter have until June to comply with a guideline to remove content within an hour of being notified or face punitive legislation. The move, announced by European Commission digital leader Andrus Ansip, is the latest step in a crack down on internet extremist content.
- UK PM talks “hard facts” on Brexit – In a speech laying out what she called the “hard facts,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said her government is close to agreeing an implementation period with Brussels to help the country’s exit from the EU. May said the implementation period cannot be a permanent solution and must be time-limited, but is vital to help businesses navigate Brexit. She also rejected claims that the UK was “cherrypicking” trade deals (The Guardian) in negotiations and said “life is going to be different” when the country leaves the European single market, the arrangement that allows the free movement of goods between EU member states.
- Ethnic conflict reignited in Congo – At least forty people were killed in fighting between Lendu and Herma ethnic groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The civilian-on-civilian clashes hearken back to the sectarian violence of 20 years ago. The origins of the conflict are unclear.
You can edit and add moreEdit
New on WikiTribune – or go to all stories
- China’s refusal to import paper and plastic waste is turning a global trade on its head, forcing waste recyclers in the United Kingdom and the United States to bury, store, or incinerate material and triggering a collapse in global prices for recyclable waste, outside China. Help WikiTribune report on this growing problem
Say what people need to knowTalk
WikiProjects – or go to all projects
- Here’s a selection of our Big Reads. WikiTribune aims to bring readers and contributors under-reported stories they may not find elsewhere as well as stories that matter to you in greater depth. Most right now are from our staff members or commissioned by us but some are from the community of contributors and we’d like more of those.
What we’re reading
- Automated cars won’t save cities, they might make them worse, argues this interactive opinion piece in the New York Times. The multimedia feature traces the history of city planning around various transportation options, coming to the conclusion that infrastructure needs to focus around pedestrians to make a city truly efficient. – Charles Anderson
Add your own must readsEdit
The good, the bad and the uglyTalk