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The Maastricht Diplomat

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Weekly Review

Just over halfway through the second month of 2024, the past week has brought us major political upheaval all over the world. And with Carnival break officially at its end, student’s are now brought back down to the harsh reality of uni work and deadlines. Here at the Maastricht Diplomat, we hope your time off school was stress-free and filled with fun. And now to turn to the recent events of the world.  

Arrest

On February 16, Alexei Navalyn, a Russian opposition leader, anti-corruption advocate, and one of Putin’s major critics inside of Russia, died in prison. His work fighting against Russia’s autocratic government made him a well known figure, as well as a massive threat to the Kremlin. He was arrested in February of 2021 after being detained in a Russian airport following a flight from Germany. In an interview that was conducted for a documentary that followed Navalny after surviving a poisoning attempt, he stated that “his message, for the situation when I am killed is very simple, not give up.” Currently, hundred of people in Russia have been arrested in response to his death, as they mourn his passing while simultaneously protesting the government and continuing Navalny’s legacy 

Trump fine

Following a civil fraud case, former President Donald Trump was issued a fine of 450 million dollars. Such an amount poses risk to Trump’s finances, business, and could potentially “freeze the ability to make legitimate business decisions”.  Even more, the former President has been banned for three years from serving any top positions in his company. Trump has 30 days to either pay the fine or secure a bond from another company. 

Rafah 

The city of Rafah in Gaza, one of the last safe havens for Palestinian people fleeing violence from the IDF, is now being forced to flee. Some 1.4 million Palestinians have been sheltering in the southern Gazan city and have little option of places to turn to. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu plans for an invasion of Rafah and to deploy ground troops following unconcluded negotiations with Hamas. However, international bodies have warned Israel that such a move would pose disastrous humanitarian consequences. As ceasefire talks are close to hitting a deadend, Rafah is potentially the last strike Israel can hit on Palestine. 

Same Sex Marriage Legalized in Greece

A major victory for the gay community in Greece as it becomes the first Orthodox country to legalize same sex marriage. Not only is gay marriage now legal, but the Greek parliament extended parental rights to same-sex couples, allowing them to adopt children. This change makes Greece the 16th country in the European Union to allows same sex marriage. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had states following his reelection that same-sex marriage was a matter of equal rights and that there should be no “second-class citizens” or “children of a lesser God.” Ms. Emmanouilidou, a Greek gay woman who has been living in Athens with her partner, has spoken that the bill is a “step in the right direction” and how most Greeks accepted same sex couples. While a solid portion of the Greek population is not in favor of the bill, in Ms. Emmanouilidou words, “society is much more ready than we think it is.”

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