July 6, 2012


North America

Romney first to out-fundraise a Presidential incumbent

President Obama has been the first President in US history to be outspent in a re-election campaign. This comes as the incumbent’s rival Republican, Mitt Romney, has announced that his campaign raised over $100 million last month. The Obama campaign has not fully released their figures. Analysts say that the Supreme Court’s ruling which upheld Obama-Care has largely determined the figures. Although the President hasn’t released figures related to the ruling, the Romney campaign announced that it received an accumulated $4.6 million in donations in the 24 hours after the ruling. The campaigns’ and Super PACs’ will announce their June figures officially on July 20th.

Public antipathy for Whitehouse race

The race to the Whitehouse has been overshadowed by public antipathy. According to a survey carried out by Pew Research Centre for the People and Press, more Republicans are ‘bored’ with the campaign. The results of the poll conducted over June, illustrate that although despite US citizens acknowledging the importance of the elections, they find it ‘exhausting, annoying, too negative, too long and dull’.


Latin America

Mexican déjà-vu as Nieto wins Presidency

A recount of the Mexican presidential elections as reaffirmed the original result, that Enrique Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has won the Presidential race. The electoral commission called the recount after inconsistencies were shown in votes and Andres Obrador, Nieto’s closest rival, accused the PRI of vote buying. Obrador has yet to concede the election. The result confirms the return of the PRI after twelve years out of the Presidential office. The PRI held the office for most of the twentieth century through clientelism, intimidation and vote rigging. Unlike the previous emphasis on stability, the reformed PRI won this presidential campaign on promises to address the country’s underlying poverty and drug trafficking issues.

 Argentina extends military leaders’ jail sentences for baby thefts

Two former leaders of Argentina’s military rule, Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, have been found guilty of facilitating and overseeing the theft of babies from political prisoners. The verdict has given them a combined 75 years that will extend the current sentences they are serving for crimes committed between 1976 and 1983. It is believed that they conducted the systemic theft of over 400 babies. Non-Government Organizations claim that during this period, known colloquially as the “dirty war”, 30,000 people were killed by the Argentinean military.



Russia debates: NGOs faced with possible “foreign agent” label

The Russian Parliament is to debate on a bill that would require Non-government Organisations (NGOs) to register as “foreign agents”, if they receive foreign funding. The label would only be applicable to those engaged in political activity. As “foreign agents”, NGOs would be required to have financial audits and issue two reports a year on their activities. The official line of the Kremlin argues that the bill is needed to protect Russia from external influences on its politics. However, the bill has faced heavy criticism from NGOs and the international community who argue that it is a means for authorities to crush dissent. The decision has followed significant amounts of unrest since the Presidential elections earlier this year.


Middle East and Africa

Syria crisis: International community meets for further talks

The international community has met again today in Paris for talks on the heightening Syria crisis. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has called on the talk’s members to put pressure on Russia and China to end their support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling their actions “intolerable”. Russia and China are not attending the Paris talks. The amounted pressure surrounding the talks has been compounded with news that one of al-Assad’s senior members has fled to Turkey. It has not yet been confirmed whether or not he has defected.

Arson attack illustrates Libyan tensions ahead of election

As Libya prepares for its first election since rebels and Nato forces killed Gaddafi last year, election materials have been destroyed. A fire that broke out near Ajdabiya is being treated as a suspected arson attack, according to Reuters. The attack follows only days after the electoral commission offices in Benghazi were ransacked.



About the Author

Tom Dunbar
Tom works as a research assistant in the House of Lords as well as the communications associate for an All Party Parliamentary group. In June he graduated from The University of Sussex, where his studies included UK, European and Latin American politics. Tom has spent time travelling across North America, Oceania, India and Nepal.


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