Iceland – Pirate party falls short of poll predictions in general election
The results of Iceland’s October 29 general election reveal that the Pirate party, positioned pre-election to become the country’s biggest party, won just shy of 15 percent of the vote. The Pirate party was formed by Internet activists, who value government transparency and pure democracy. More voters opted for the Independence party, which won 29 percent of the vote and ran on a platform of lowering taxes and further economic recovery. The election was spurred by the resignation of former prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson after the Panama papers scandal in April, which brought to light the existence of offshore accounts held by Icelandic officials.
Italy – Country’s worst earthquake in over 30 years leaves 15,000 homeless
On October 30, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 hit Italy’s central region, the highest magnitude recorded in the country since 1980. The region had been experiencing tremors for the past two months. The earthquake, the epicentre of which was near Norcia, affected several towns, non-critically injuring 20 people. The civil protection agency said it was providing assistance to 15,000 people forced from their homes, and providing shelter to 10,000 of those. Norcia residents mourned the collapse of the 13th century Basilica of St. Benedict, described as the cultural and historic heart of the town.
Morocco – Death of fishmonger sparks protest
Protests were held October 30 in several Moroccan cities in response to the death of a fishmonger. Mouhcine Fikri was crushed in a garbage truck while trying to recover the fish he had bought at a port. Following this, many took to social media to denounce “hogra” a term for injustice, while the fish were confiscated by the police. These rallies are being compared to demonstrations during the Arab unrest in 2011, which were organized by the same activist group responsible for the current protests.