News Roundup: April 24

Good Morning, today is Monday, April 24 and here are the stories that interest me.

Today, France has just finished the first round of their national elections, and currently, projections show that Far Right-Candidate Marne Le Pen and Center-Left Candidate  Emmanuel Macron will face off in the Presidential Run-off. Macron leads Le Pen in the projections 24% to 22% as the votes are starting to be tallied. François Fillon, the Center-Right Candidate has already conceeded and has backed Marcon in the runoff. Far Left Candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon has yet to concede staying that that the votes need to be counted first.

Commentary: This was the most likely result from the last few weeks. When Fillon’s support collapse about 6 weeks ago after a scandal broke out, Marcon has been in the drivers seat. Even the late surge of Mélenchon didn’t dent his support in the first round. It is likely that all of the major candidates will now back Marcon moving forward. With Le Pen and her party being anti-EU, Anti-Immigration, and other hardline positions, it would severely impact the entire continent if she were elected. Currently, polls have Marcon safely in the lead in a head-to-head matchup, and it is expect that Marcon will easily win. I feel that the Far-right tide is beginning to ebb in Europe, with the failure of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and the struggles of Le Pen, it seems there is a ceiling to the movement. Non the less, they will be significant movements throughout Europe, so they will be impacting politics for a while.
For the first time since the Industrial Revolution, Britain went 24 hours without using Coal to power the country. Britain has set a goal of no more coal usage by 2025, and this marks a watershed moment for the country. As coal plants and mines are shutting down across the country, the move to different forms of energy production is ramping up. Last year, coal only accounted for 9% of energy production in the country.

Commentary: This is a great move, as we are moving into a new age, we need to leave behind old technology and old methods of producing power. While the US still uses coal for its energy (30% of our energy came from Coal last year), the rest of the world is quickly transitioning to other methods. In the end, it will be intense international pressure, or a Democratic President that will move the needle in the US in regards to climate change.

Kenya has partially canceled their National Primaries after too many came to vote. The primaries, which choose the Governing parties nominee were flooded with voters, causing massive shortages of voting materials. This lead to chaos and some violence until President Uhuru Kenyatta cancelled the primary vote. This sparked off protests in the streets of a rigged election. The President has promised to reschedule the primaries, ahead of August’s national elections.

Commentary: Unfortunately, I am not fully up to date with Kenyan politics, but voting issues and violence has been a mainstay of the country for some time. there were over 1,000 deaths in violence in the last major election, so while this seems a bit shocking, it is also not a complete surprise. The test will come whether Kenyatta actually reschedules the primaries, especially since half of the vote has already been taken.



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