Briefing: Vote buoys New Zealand's Labour Party, Bangladesh continues Rohingya support

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  • New Zealand’s Labour Party gained a seat in parliament and the incumbent National Party lost two seats, after the final vote count of the country’s general election. The Green Party also gained a seat meaning Golriz Ghahraman, a former Iranian refugee turned war crimes prosecutor, will enter parliament. The vote shift gives the NZ First Party, led by long-serving maverick MP Winston Peters, the balance of power. He can choose who he wants to back – a right leaning government with National or a left leaning one with Labour and the Greens. He is expected to make a decision next week after negotiations.
  • Bangladesh will continue to support nearly 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled neighboring Myanmar to escape persecution. The country’s prime minster, Sheikh Hasina, was planning on building temporary shelters for the Rohingya on an island with the help of international aid agencies. The U.N. has described the violence in Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing.”
  • North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile which it believes can reach the west coast of the United States, Reuters reports. Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, and two other Russian lawmakers visited Pyongyang on Oct. 2-6, Russia’s RIA news agency reported. “They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the west coast of the United States,” RIA quoted Morozov as saying.

What we are reading

  • United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been in the headlines this past week for referring to his Commander-in-Chief in less than flattering terms. In a richly-sourced piece for the New Yorker, reporter Dexter Filkins makes the case that the former Exxon Mobil chief executive is simply out of his depth, frustrated, and won’t last much longer. Filkins writes: “With Trump, he appears content to manage the decline of the State Department and of America’s influence abroad, in the hope of keeping his boss’s tendency toward entropy and conflict from producing catastrophic results.”


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