News·3 min read

Daily Skimm: Unrest in Bolivia, Hong Kong, and a World War II Submarine

Evo Morales
Getty Images
Nov 12, 2019



The Story

So...Bolivia doesn't have a leader right now.

Catch me up.

Last month, the country voted on whether to re-elect socialist President Evo Morales for a fourth term. But a 24-hour pause in vote counting caused many to suspect foul play. Morales still declared himself the winner and imposed a state of emergency. For weeks there've been protests, and recently police and military officers started to turn on him. Over the weekend, everything fell apart for Morales.

What do you mean?

Election monitors released a report finding "clear manipulation" of the voting system. And the military called on Morales to step down. So that's exactly what he did. But he claims he's the victim of a coup. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) think he's onto something. He's left for Mexico – where he's been granted asylum. In the meantime, no one is currently running a country of 11 million people.

How is that possible?

There've been a series of resignations – including the vice president and head of the senate, who were next in line. One opposition lawmaker says she's willing to assume power until new elections. But she'd likely need approval from Morales's supporters in Congress. Meanwhile, the country is in chaos with protesters looting and carrying out acts of violence and arson.


Morales had been in power since 2006, part of a wave of left-leaning Latin American governments known as the "pink tide." But recently, the continent has been moving toward the right (see: BrazilChile). And Morales's exit is seen by some as the end of an era.


The Story

The situation in Hong Kong has gone from bad to worse.


Pro-democracy protesters have been demonstrating since June over the territory's relationship with China. Some of those protests have gotten violent, with demonstrators throwing bricks and petrol bombs, and police responding with tear gas and rubber bullets. But yesterday was one of the bloodiest days so far. Police shot an apparently unarmed protester at close range. And another man was set on fire after arguing with protesters. Both were left critically injured.


The relationship between police and protesters in Hong Kong has been hostile for months. But yesterday, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam referred to the protesters as "the people's enemy." Which has many worried that the government might use this as a way to crack down harder on dissent.


What's dealing with catastrophic fires…

Australia. Dozens of wildfires have broken out in eastern Australia. A "catastrophic" threat level – the highest level – has been issued for Sydney as the worst fires in years continue to rage. Millions of people are under a state of emergency. Three people have died and thousands of people are reportedly in the fires' path. Hundreds of schools are closed. All of this is coming as the region is experiencing a major drought, with hot, dry weather and strong winds fanning the flames.

  • "Thoughts and prayers": Prime Minister Scott Morrison has offered condolences to the victims. But some are pointing out that conditions for out-of-control fires are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, and are urging more action.

What the Supreme Court is weighing in on…

DACA. Today, SCOTUS will hear arguments about the program that protects hundreds of thousands of people brought to the US illegally as kids from being deported. In 2017, the Trump admin tried to end the program, saying it should have gone through Congress, not passed through executive order (how the Obama admin did it). But defenders of the program say the Trump admin still needed to provide a detailed explanation for ending the program instead of dismissing it as illegal. Now, SCOTUS is hearing them out, but we might not get a ruling on the case until next year.

What is maxed out at this point...

Sexism. Last week, a male tech entrepreneur called out Apple Card, saying that it gave him 20 times the credit limit as his wife. Now, New York investigators are looking into the card over potential gender discrimination.

Who's getting answers after 75 years...

Military families.

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