Weekly Digest: December 2

Politics

Georgia Elects Salome Zurabishvili as First Woman President

A nominal victory for gender equality in Georgia with the election of Salome Zurabishvili has been overshadowed with controversy on various counts: opposition leaders cried foul at supposed voting irregularities, while many voters distrusted her over pro-Russian comments regarding Georgia’s war with Russia. However, the move is a certain victory for the country’s ruling party, the Georgia Dream party led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, which recently changed the constitution to make the presidency a ceremonial position.

Sam Gyimah Resigns over Theresa May's Brexit Deal

The Brexit deal has certainly produced a lot of controversy, and with so many factions within Britain on this subject, none of them were bound to be happy with Theresa May’s negotiated deal with the European Union. Gyimah, the Universities and Science minister in May’s cabinet, argued that the deal conceded too much to the EU and gave too little benefits to British voters. As Gyimah is the seventh minister to resign from May’s cabinet, her reign as Prime Minister looks increasingly shaky.

Economics

Violent protests against a new diesel tax in France

Protesters in Paris torched cars, looted stores, and vandalized the Arc de Triomphe as a sign of discontent with the new diesel tax introduced by President Macron. The tax increase of 7.6 euro cents ($0.09) a liter is part of the government’s bigger plan to curb the small-particle pollution caused by diesel engines. The government was planning to implement a further increase of 6.5 euro cents in January 2019 but the plan seems more uncertain now as recent polls show 66% of the French population support the protesters’ claims.

Culture/Society

Catholic Nuns Denounce ‘Culture of Silence and Secrecy’ Surrounding Sex Abuse in Church

The International Union of Superiors General has promised to aid nuns who have been abused to find the courage to report their abuse. After it was revealed earlier in the year that the Vatican has known for decades about the Catholic Church’s problem of priests and bishops sexually abusing nuns, the Pope has condemned sexual abuse and cover-ups by the clergy in a letter to Catholics.

Beauty or Safety? Europe Seeks to Protect Heritage from Disasters

With the rising impact of climate change, Europe’s cultural heritage is increasingly susceptible to natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. Italy, France, and Germany are some of the top 10 countries worldwide subject to economic losses caused by disasters, and Europe’s major and local cultural landmarks are at risk, such as the Renaissance castles in the Loire Valley, which are increasingly subject to flood damage.

Back to the 1980s? Inside Europe’s Biggest Football Hooliganism Forum

Football (Soccer to Americans) hooliganism has come to international attention with the throwing of a Molotov Cocktail at supporters of supporter of Ajax Amsterdam. The uglier side of football has been increasingly hidden, yet it continues to cause problems for the sport.