The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Coalition talks in Germany fall apart:  German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s attempt to form a coalition between her Christian Democrats (CDU) and the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) broke down one week ago.

Ms. Merkel had been negotiating with FDP in the attempt to marginalize the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which scored a stunning victory in the Bundestag in September, making it the third-largest party in the country.

Merkel is expected to begin negotiations with the Greens party after the Social Democrats (SPD) ruled out a coalition government with Merkel’s FDP.

White House to end military aid to Syrian Kurds:  In a blow to a close ally in the war against the Islamic State (ISIS), the White House is expected to stop arming Kurdish groups in northern Syria.

The U.S. began arming Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in 2014.

A move which is seen as a result of Turkish influence, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long opposed U.S. arms shipments to the group, which it declares a terror organ.  Turkey has long accused the YPG of affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which it accuses of directing insurgency inside Turkey.

U.S. classifies violence against Rohingya Muslims as ethnic cleansing:  Describing the Myanmar government’s campaign to drive ethnic Rohingya people from the country as ethnic cleansing, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Tuesday the Trump administration was considering sanctions against Rangoon.

The Rohingya are ethnic Muslims, largely found in the Rakhine State in Myanmar.

map of Myanmar showing Rakhine region and neighbouring Bangladesh

Over 620,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee Myanmar for neighboring Bangladesh since August.

The crisis began with a band of Rohingya attacking a Myanmar police outpost in August.  Myanmar troops and police responded by burning Rohingya villages, forcing inhabitants to seek asylum in Bangladesh.

Ireland opposition party files no confidence motion against deputy prime minister:  The Republic of Ireland is confronting the possibility of a general election after the country’s largest opposition party, Fianna Fáil, filed a no-confidence motion against Deputy Prime Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald has been embroiled in a controversy in which she is accused of refusing to defend a whistleblower who exposed police corruption.  Sinn Féin, the third largest party in the country, filed its own no-confidence motion against Fitzgerald earlier in the week.

The call for Fitzgerald’s resignation prompted an angry reaction from Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who has declined to ask for Fitzgerald to step down.  The no-confidence motion is scheduled to be debated this week in the Dáil Éireann this week.

If needed, snap elections would be set for December.

Islamic State withdraws from final stronghold in Syria:  Following a short siege, troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have liberated Boukamal in the Deir Ezzor Governorate.  The town, which rests on the Syrian border with Iran, is the last bastion held by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.

Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces militias, and Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards provided support to Syrian troops in re-taking the city.

Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state SANA announced ISIS’ defeat no November 9.


[Deutche Welle] [The Telegraph] [BBC] [CBC] [AP via Fox News]