The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Kenyan opposition leader quits second presidential ballot:  In a surprising announcement on Tuesday, Raila Odinga, the leader of Kenya’s National Super Alliance (NASA), announced he would not stand in the presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26.

Odinga lost the Aug. 8 election to incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta by nine percentage points.  However Kenya’s supreme court invalidated the results over procedural failures and lack of transparency and ordered a new poll.  Mr. Odinga had charged the election was riddled with fraud.

Following his declaration to withdraw from the election, Odinga told reporters there was no prospect for a fair election and encouraged NASA supporters to boycott the new poll.

Pakistani troops liberate U.S.-Canadian hostages:  Following a gun battle with Taliban-linked Haqqani network militants, a Canadian-American family of five were rescued by Pakistani troops after five years in captivity on Wednesday.

Canadian Joshua Boyle, his American wife Caitlan Coleman, and their three children are reportedly in good health. Speaking with reporters in Toronto, Boyle said the captors killed his youngest daughter and had raped Coleman.

The rescue comes at a moment of difficulty between Islamabad and Washington amid charges by the U.S. of Pakistan’s ties to militant groups.

Germany’s Merkel will cap refugee flow from Middle East:  Bowing to pressure from conservatives in her Christian Democrat party, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to curtail the intake of refugees at 200,000.

Over 850,000 refugees entered Germany in 2015, and another 280,000 arrived in 2016.

Merkel reportedly reached an agreement with the Christian Social Union (CSU) after previously rejecting limits, but relented to form a ruling coalition with the CSU party.

Ms. Merkel won re-election in September, but polls saw Alternative für Deutschland take a larger share of seats in the Bundestag.

Thai military junta sets election date:  After repeated delays since seizing power in a 2014 coup, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has announced general elections will be held in Thailand in November 2018.

Prayuth had vowed to hold free elections within 18 months after becoming prime minister.

Speaking to reporters earlier this week, Prayuth also broadcast his intent to set a more specific date in June 2018, along with conditions for political parties to participate.

Political parties and political assembly have been banned in Thailand since Prayuth’s military junta took control on Bangkok.

Madrid seeks clarification from Catalonia over independence:  Facing mounting pressure from Madrid to shed light on its intentions after regional president, Carles Puigdemont, signed a parliamentary approved independence document, Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy has given the Catalan regional government until October 16 to clarify its aims.

Immediately after signing the independence document, Puigdemont suspended the validity of the declaration and asked the Catalan parliament for a period to open dialogue with Madrid.

Madrid has warned a declaration of independence will result in the immediate suspension of the region’s autonomy and Catalan officials will be arrested.


[BBC News] [AP] [Euro News] [Channel NewsAsia] [RT News]