Global Recap: Afghanistan aftermath, German elections, Iran’s nuclear stockpile


Michael Crimmins, News reporter

There is no shortage of newsworthy topics here in the United States. At times it is easy to get lost in it all, but equally crucial news happens all over the world. They can shed light on political relationships, on humanitarian issues and can keep you up to date on the other side of the world.

Here is a quick look at some global events that made the news last week.

Biden continues to receive criticisms for evacuation 

Though the United States officially left Afghanistan on Aug. 31 of this year, President Biden continues to receive criticism for his decisions, according to a CNN article

Despite other world leaders urging Biden to extend the deadline, the last plane out of Kabul airport left on Aug. 31, ending the United States 20 year involvement in the country.

According to the CNN article, Biden began a meeting in the Situation Room by praising those in attendance for their performance. 

Many, both Republicans and Democrats, have criticized his exit from the country. The negative attention he is receiving has effectively stalled his economic agenda, according to the article.

The administration did acknowledge the collapse of the Afghan government happened quicker than they expected, according to CNN

According to an NPR article, Biden’s approval rating is down six points because of the evacuation. He now stands around 43%, an all time low for Biden. 

Iran violates 2015 nuclear deal

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran is increasing its uranium stockpile despite the 2015 agreement made by the world powers, according to an AP news article.

The IAEA said in the article that their knowledge of Iran’s stockpile since the government has not allowed IAEA agents to monitor the enrichment processes. The agency reports the stockpile has increased by 7.6 kg, though obtaining an exact figure is challenging due to Iran’s lack of cooperation.

According to an article done by the BBC, Iran possesses almost 12 times more enriched uranium than was allowed by the 2015 agreement signed by the world powers. WIth a purity level of 4.5%, as opposed to the 3.67% allowed under the same deal.

According to the same article, Iran had begun publicly violating the deal signed by Germany, China, Russia, France and the UK ever since Trump left the Nuclear Accords and reinstated sanctions on the country.

President Biden said that he is open to rejoining the pact, though the ending left on an uncertain tone as of June, AP News reports. He hoped if the U.S. rejoined the pact it would offer “a credible path back to democracy” to the country. 

On Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country will take “any opportunity” to ease these sanctions, according to the BBC.

Long time German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not seek re-election

According to an article by Reuters, after leading the German state for 16 years, Chancellor Merkel will not seek re-election following a national election in September. She said that in spite of this she will continue with the demands of the country till her last days.

Early this year, Merkel went to the United States and parts of Britain, according to Reuters. 

AP News reports that recently Merkel has put her support behind the center-right Union bloc candidate Armin Laschet, who hopes to succeed her as Germany’s chancellor in this month’s election.

Laschet has fallen behind in the polls to the social democrat candidate, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, who served as Vice-Chancellor under Merkels’ coalition government, according to AP.

“There are a lot of things we need to do at the same time: there’s the coronavirus, the floods and then there is also the election,” Merkel said in the article, “I think that together we will do it well — and Armin Laschet knows he has my support.”

Superfoods grown in the Dubai deserts

Intense weather, climate change and increasing scarcity of resources coupled with the ever increasing global population has put the farming industry in a tough position. Farmers in the Dubai deserts are growing new superfoods adapted to growing in harsh conditions, according to a CNN article.

The International Center for Biosaline Agriculture is a not-for-profit organization founded by the United Arab Emerance in 1999 with the mission of finding highly nutritious foods able to grow in harsh conditions

“As freshwater becomes scarce it is important to grow foods that are adapted to saline solutions,” Dionysia Angeliki Lyra, an agronomist at ICBA, said.

According to a United Nations report, as of June, it is estimated that nearly 41 million people are on the brink of famine, and the ICBA estimates the global food demand to increase by 59% to 98% by 2050. 

According to the article, the ICBA is looking to further this technique in other saline saturated environments, including parts of Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. 

Duchess appointed patron of sexual abuse referral center in Nigeria

According to CNN, the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, has been appointed as patron to Nigeria’s first sexual assault referral center in Lagos.

Camilla has long campaigned against domestic abuse and says she is delighted to be part of such an organization.

“It is a truly trailblazing organization, supporting survivors of rape and sexual assault as they seek healing and justice,” she told CNN. 

According to the article, the sexual assault referral center was founded in 2013, and it is estimated that in eight year the center has helped 6,000 cases. According to the same article, the youngest person they have helped is a four month-old infant, and the oldest is an 80 year old woman.

According to a UN report conducted in 2020, 30% of women aged 15-49 experience some form of assault in Nigeria. 

“Their vital work means that women need no longer suffer in silence and I am deeply grateful to all Mirabel’s wonderful staff and volunteers,” Camilla told CNN.

News reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @michael_crimm