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World News Beat

Bite-size news from around the world

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Canada/USA

Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump met face-to-face for the first time when Trudeau visited the White House this Monday. While it is often customary for the incoming US president’s first state visit to be with the Canadian PM, Trudeau will be the third world leader to meet with President Trump. This is following prime ministers from the UK and Japan. While Trudeau is a strong supporter of multiculturalism and takes a different stance on immigration compared to President Trump’s recent actions, their first encounter was cordial. Both Trump and Trudeau emphasized the importance of the CAN-US trade relationship.

With files from The Globe and Mail and CBC News.

Australia

Australia underwent a momentous development this week as the government’s cabinet welcomed the country’s very first Aboriginal minister. Ken Wyatt previously became Australia’s first Aboriginal member of the House of Representatives in 2010. Long dedicated to the improvement of Aboriginal health and education, Mr. Wyatt’s new mantle will allow him to continue to focus on Indigenous well-being by putting him in charge of health care for Australia’s elderly and Aboriginal populations. There is hope that Mr. Wyatt will be able to improve the circumstances of an Indigenous population which has historically suffered from state negligence, discrimination, and mistreatment.   

With files from The Economist.

 

Romania

Last week, large-scale protests arose in Bucharest and elsewhere in response to a government decree that would soften state corruption charges, exempting some already charged and possibly encouraging future graft. According to CBC News, the decree, composed without parliamentary input, would “decriminalize cases of official misconduct if the funds involved are less than 200,000 lei (about $62,000 Canadian).” Facing pressure from the public and Romanian politicians, including those within their own cabinet, the Social Democrat-led government repealed the decree last Sunday. Then this past Thursday, the country’s justice minister resigned. The protests have continued and are the largest Romania has seen since the overthrow of the Communist regime in 1989.

With files from CBC News, al-Jazeera and BBC News .

 

Zimbabwe

In news that is sure to bolster conservationist spirits, the rare “cave squeaker” frog was spotted in a mountainous region known as Chimanimani for the first time in 55 years. Found on December 3, the miniature, light-brown frog, formally titled the Artholeptis troglodytes, had not been spotted since it was discovered in 1962. Local researchers now plan to breed the creature, but there are concerns that the rare specimen could be the target of illegal seizure and exportation as is common when a once-thought extinct animal is rediscovered.

With files from The Guardian.

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