Keeping up to date with developments in global politics and headlines can be time consuming and overwhelming. But yet, in our increasingly fast-paced world, knowing what’s happening is crucial. In this feature, The Yorker summarises some of the major political stories of the past month, helping to keep you feeling more informed. These stories are far from everything that happened in September, and many of them are yet to reach their conclusion. However, these are some of the most notable political developments from the past month.
Well, September has certainly been a month of developments Brexit-wise. Sadiq Khan made public his approval for a people’s vote, May’s Chequers plan was rejected at Salzburg, and at the Labour Party Conference it was confirmed that the party would support a second referendum subject to approval from members. The biggest Brexit story of the month is undoubtedly Theresa May’s humiliation at Salzburg. Attempting to get her preferred plan for Brexit (the Chequers deal) approved by the EU27, she was met by an outright rejection, with the EU stating that her plan simply would not work. Leaders such as Macron accused the British government of lying to its people, as tensions increase between the EU and the UK. May’s plan had already faced huge criticism from her party, and many have cited Salzburg as her attempt to address friction within her party. Instead, she was left empty-handed, with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit becoming more possible by the minute. EU-UK negotiations regarding Brexit now seem to be at a deadlock. But with growing calls for a People’s Vote on the final deal agreed with the EU, and the deadline for ending negotiations fast approaching, May’s future is unclear.
Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee, this month faced a hearing based on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony regarding sexual assault allegations, after others such as Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick also came forward accusing him of sexual misconduct and assault. The hearing (although Kavanaugh has not yet been confirmed many are certain that it is an inevitability) has prompted wide discussions regarding America’s views on women, abuse, and the current administration. The fact that Ford, serious, helpful, 100% certain that Kavanaugh perpatrated her assualt, may still see Kavanaugh placed on the Supreme Court, demonstrates the fact that sexual assualt and women’s testimonies are far from taken seriously enough in modern day America.
Earlier in September, Britain publicly named the two Russian’s suspected to have carried out the novichok nerve agent attack against the Skripal’s earlier this year. According to British prosecutors, there is enough evidence to charge the pair with conspiracy to murder. Russia has denied any knowledge of the pair, and it is unlikely that the UK will be able to bring them to justice in the near future.
Swedish election deadlock
An election early in September left Sweden’s two major political parties deadlocked after both failed to gain a majority. The far-right Sweden Democrats gained 17.6% of the vote, making it likely that they will be able to play a heavy role in deciding the next government of the country. Although initial reports formed a narrative of Swedish nationalism and anti-immigration sentiment, this is not entirely the case. Yes, the far-right won huge gains, but plenty of opportunities remain to form a government that does not involve them. More broadly, the case of Sweden points to a growing right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment across Europe and the world.
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