The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post
Newsletter

Global Headlines (January 2024)

Gabriel Attal becomes France’s youngest and first openly gay prime minister

French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a speech to Congress about the relations between France and the United States in 2018. Macron chose Gabriel Attal as France’s new Prime Minister on Jan. 9. (Provided by house.gov)

34-year-old Gabriel Attal made history as France’s youngest and first openly gay prime minister on Jan. 9. Appointed by President Emmanuel Macron, Attal succeeds former Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who resigned on Jan. 8 amid recent political unrest over immigration. He initially earned recognition as France’s government spokesperson in 2020 and later secured a more prominent role as the education minister during the 2023 French government reshuffle. He quickly garnered support from conservatives by initiating a ban on the wearing of long robes, predominantly worn by Muslim students, in state schools. Despite facing a deluge of homophobic responses to his appointment, he has consistently ranked as one of France’s most popular politicians in recent polls. Attal will collaborate with Macron to appoint a new government and continue Macron’s pro-business agenda for the transformation of the French economy. French media speculate that Attal will succeed Macron as he concludes his second and final term in 2027. 

Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo’s inaugurated following delay

United States Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power greets Guatemalan President Bernardo Arevalo to aid democracy in Guatemala in January. Due to many obstacles and challenges to his presidency, Arevalo was inaugurated a day later than expected on Jan. 15. (Provided by voa.gov)

Political tensions escalated as the inauguration of Guatemalan President-elect Bernardo Arévalo faced delays on Jan. 14, as lawmaking opponents obstructed his scheduled swearing-in ceremony. Despite his landslide victory in the August presidential election, Arévalo’s inauguration faced prolonged legal attacks from prosecutors seeking to impede his assumption of office because of his commitment to combat entrenched corruption in Guatemala. Overcoming the 10-hour delay the night before, Arévalo ultimately took the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony on Jan. 15. Uncertainty arose in the power transition as Guatemala’s highest court allowed conservative members of Congress, who opposed Arévalo, to retain leadership of the chamber. Enraged by months of obstruction attempts, demonstrators stormed the Congress, demanding that legislators and the administration of former President Alejandro Giammattei proceed with the inauguration. The Office of Attorney General Consuelo Porras, allied with Giammattei, refuted allegations of attempting a coup, defending the office’s actions as in accordance with Guatemala’s legal framework. Porras has actively sought to revoke legal immunity from both Arévalo and his Vice President-elect Karin Herrera, suspend his Semilla party and nullify the election. 

Gang attacks broadcast team on live TV in Ecuador

A group of armed men forcefully invaded a television studio during a live broadcast in Guayaquil on Jan. 9, heightening national fear amidst the surge of gang violence in Ecuador. Armed with guns and explosives, the assailants stormed TC Television’s offices and studio, subjecting journalists and employees to at least 15 minutes of threats on air. The televised footage showed masked gang members aiming guns at the station employees, along with the sounds of screams and gunfire, before the broadcast ended. No casualties were reported, and police arrested 13 people involved in the incident. On the day of the attack, President of Ecuador Daniel Noboa issued a decree announcing the nation’s entry into an ‘internal armed conflict’ against 20 drug-trafficking gangs, officially labeled as terrorist groups by the government. The day before the incident, Noboa had declared a national state of emergency in response to a notable spike in fatalities following the alleged escape of Adolfo Macías, leader of the Los Choneros gang. Macías was suspected to escape his cell before his scheduled relocation to a high-security prison for isolation, with circumstances surrounding the incident still under investigation. Noboa’s declaration empowers authorities to temporarily suspend individual rights and send the military into prisons. 

Terrorist group al-Shabab captures U.N. helicopter in Somalia

Militants associated with the terrorist group al-Shabab ambushed a U.N. helicopter which performed an emergency landing in an area run by Somali extremists on Jan. 10. The group killed one person and captured five others when the helicopter landed due to the engine failing. The state’s Minister of Internal Security Mohamed Abdi Aden Gaboobe said that among the six foreigners and one Somali citizen on the helicopter, the terrorists killed one and captured five, including another who was reported missing, also noting that the extremists set fire to the helicopter after collecting valuable items. An aviation officer said that the people captured were medical workers and fighters. In recent months, there have been an increased amount of sieges on the Somali military because al-Shahab has been losing land to the military soldiers after the Somali president announced war. The group controls parts of Somalia and still attacks the capital with the goal of creating an Islamic state. The U.N. Security Council voted to remove the arms embargo on Somalia last month so that it can oppose the militants’ threats to its safety.

South Africa denounces Israel in U.N’s highest court

Former United States Secretary Michael Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet together to discuss the state of Israel in 2020. Netanyahu declared that he would fight Hamas after the court case about South Africa’s accusations of genocide in January. (Provided by usembassy.gov)

Following South Africa’s allegations against Israel, the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel must attempt to limit genocide in Gaza on Jan. 26. South Africa condemned Israel for committing genocide against Palestine on Jan. 11 and asked the International Court of Justice, the top court of the United Nations, to stop Israeli operations in Gaza. Israel disputed South Africa’s claims, and Israeli leaders have been involved with the court to resolve the situation. The lawyers representing South Africa commented in their opening statements that the war in Gaza has been a result of decades of built up injustice. They also added that evidence of Israel’s intentions to commit genocide, including the destruction in Gaza, was collected in the past few weeks. The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu promised to fight Hamas, while saying that Israel is currently battling genocide, not committing it. Usually, Israel does not take part in inspections by the U.N. because it believes that the organization is biased. This is a notable case presented in an international court, and a decision for South Africa’s appeal is estimated to take a few weeks. It is not certain whether Israel will follow the ruling of the court, and it will possibly face U.N penalizations.

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About the Contributors
Aryana Bharali, Humans of Harker Profiler
Aryana Bharali (11) is a Humans of Harker profiler for Harker Aquila and the Winged Post, and this is her third year on staff. This year, she hopes to shoot more events and interview more people on campus. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and spending time with friends and family.
Ella Guo, Reporter
Ella Guo (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Ella wishes to improve her photography skills and write more news. In her free time, she enjoys reading and drinking boba.

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  • W

    Will GonsiorFeb 8, 2024 at 7:00 pm

    WAIT MACRON IS IN OFFICE UNTIL 2027

    oh NAAAAAAH

    *chuckles* I’m in danger

    Reply