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DGI Brief - July 20, 2016

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Today's top 5 global issues news are about the #UK #Uganda #Israel #Turkey and #Venezuela

- UK: PM May is on her first foreign trip meeting with EU’s leaders. She stressed that Britain will not invoke Article 50 of the EU constitution (formal exit request) this year. Understandably everyone needs to prepare. There is no point criticizing both Remain & Leave sides for not having ‘clear objectives’ before they called such a paramount referendum. The key points of this divorce from the EU will likely be Britain’s access to the European single market & EU’s principle of free movement of people – which doesn’t bode well w/ UK’s anti-immigration fears.

- UGANDA announced, some months ago, it wants to withdraw its troops from the African Union force deployed in the Central African Republic (CAR) because the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is no longer a threat to Uganda. Watchdog groups report that just this year, LRA abducted 498 civilians including 65 children & killed dozens of civilians. LRA is notorious for the use of children as soldiers & sex slaves, as well as poaching in national parks. At what point will the growing numbers show the government that LRA is not only still a threat, but the instability in the region may create an environment ripe for a full-blown resurgence?

- ISRAEL’s Knesset passed a new law (62-45) allowing the expulsion of those lawmakers who incite racism or support violence against the Israeli state. That seems to target the Arab lawmakers as well as anyone who might be critical of Israel’s policies towards Palestinians. Not a good law to foster open dialogue, difference of opinions & overall cohesion.

- Instead of swiftly punishing only the coup perpetrators within the military & police ranks, TURKEY is targeting anyone sympathetic to the organization of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen who Turkey claims is responsible for the attempted coup & leads a terrorist organization. 1,577 university deans were ordered to resign, tens of thousands of teachers suspended. In fact, Turkey temporarily banned all academics from traveling abroad today. Like the black lists during the Cold War. A purge. The greatest danger to a country is controlling & forcing one ideology in the education system. Still considering Turkey for EU membership?

- VENEZUELA has been offered an international aid package to address the severe food & medicine shortages. But will the government put people first? Or continue to insist that the economic crisis is the result of an “economic war” incited by the US. In such case, accepting an aid package would be …well unacceptable. Meanwhile, neighboring Colombia insists that borders between the two countries must remain open. Last weekend, over 130,000 Venezuelans rushed into Colombia to purchase food & supplies.

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