In Case You Missed It: UK Election, Comey, Paris, South Africa.

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South Africa

Welcome to the first edition of “In Case You Missed It,” a weekly news roundup that focuses on some of the biggest news stories from around the globe every week. So, in case you missed it, here’s your week in review:

Conservatives Lose Ground in UK Election

The Conservative Party in the United Kingdom lost their parliamentary majority on Thursday, while the Labour Party gained ground. With 649 of the 650 seats decided at the time of this article’s publishing, the Conservative Party lost 12 seats, while the Labour Party gained 29. The Scottish National Party took the biggest hit in this election, losing 21 seats.

Sitting at 318 seats, the Conservative Party fell well short of the 326 seats necessary to win a parliamentary majority. While the party increased its vote share by 5.5% since 2015, their opponents in the Labour Party gained much more ground, increasing their vote share by 9.5%.

Calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to step down have been rampant since election night, and a lot of uncertainty is building about the future of Brexit. May has asserted that she will stay the course on Brexit, and that she will “now form a government […] that can provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time for our country.”

May’s decision to hold a snap election was to strengthen her hand in negotiating with the European Union, but what resulted was the opposite.

Messy James Comey Hearing

Former FBI director James Comey partook in a testimony during a nearly-three hour Senate Intelligence Committee meeting on Thursday that revealed little to nothing of substance has been dubbed “reality TV for elites.”

Among the notable happenings, Comey admitted that he had his memo on Trump anonymously leaked to the press, McCain showed his age and made a great case for term limits during his questioning of Comey, and the press can’t seem to agree on what consequences the hearing will have, both politically and legally.

In his Friday press conference, Trump stated that he’s willing to testify that he didn’t ask Comey to let the Flynn investigation go, and that he didn’t ask for Comey’s loyalty. He also declined to state whether White House recordings exist of his conversation with Comey, saying that he’ll touch on that “sometime in the very near future.”

Paris Accord Pushback

After Trump announced that the United States was leaving the Paris accord with intent to renegotiate their stake in the deal, many states have joined to fight back, vowing to defy Trump and uphold the accord. California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, New York, Virginia, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont (all states that voted for former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton) have all joined forces in forming the United State Climate Alliance.

Liberals have embraced federalism whilst attempting to urge Trump to reenter the deal.

South African Recession

South Africa fell into their second recession in eight years after the economy shrunk 0.7% between January and March, subsequent to the GDP falling 0.3% in the final quarter of 2016. The value of the South African rand also dropped 1% in currency markets. Economic analysts had expected the GDP to grow 0.9% during the first quarter of 2017.

Three credit agencies — Standard and Poor’s (S&P), Fitch, and Moody’s — downgraded the country’s credit worthiness. S&P and Fitch recently downgraded South Africa to junk status, while Moody’s downgraded the country’s status to one level above junk. This has furthered the calls for Zuma to step down ahead of the the next election in 2019. Speculation is mounting that a successor for head of the African National Congress is expected to be chosen in December or early 2018, but Zuma could stay in power until the next election.

That’s all for this week. Make sure to check back in every Friday for your weekly roundup of news, in case you missed it.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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Nicholas Amato

Nicholas Amato is the News Editor at Being Libertarian. He’s an undergraduate student at San Jose State University, majoring in political science and minoring in journalism.

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