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World Peace Update

World Peace Update

It's not gonna happen while Vitali Klitschko is walking the streets firing tear gas at cops.

Sorry for that whole not-keeping-you-in-the-loop-about-the-quest-for-global-serenity thing last week. I was a little too busy fighting Spanish police with a gang of miners armed with homemade bazookas. But that's cool, right? I mean, everyone deserves to wander from the righteous path every now and again, and it's not like we're suddenly skipping hand in hand through sunlit meadows with the Russians and the Chinese.

Annoncering

Speaking of the Chinese:

CHINA

Migrant workers and police set about fucking each other up in Shaxi, Guangdong Province on June 27th, when a teenage immigrant got into a fight with a local student. The migrant kid was then arrested and beaten in front of his relatives, who took umbrage at this and began throwing stones at the police, who were then joined by gangs of more migrant workers. In the end, up to 300 of them (mainly from the province of Sichuan) battled with police, set fire to buildings and trashed local businesses.

Migrant workers in China are generally treated like shit and so these riots aren't uncommon. What is slightly out of the ordinary, though, is getting this kind of evidence, as China's strict media censorship laws prevent journalists from travelling to hotspots. According to The Guardian such incidents are becoming increasingly regular as China's economy laws are getting weirder, with the number of "outbreaks of unrest" rising from 8,700 in 1993 to about 90,000 in 2010. Is China soon to see its own Arab Spring? Probably not, to be honest, I'm surprised that BBC journalist isn't getting water tortured in a prison somewhere.

UKRAINE

The post-Euro 2012 hangover hit Ukraine hard last Wednesday, when a bunch of guys who hate the government started tearing into riot police in Kiev. Why? Apparently some idiot was trying to rush a bill through parliament that would have made Russian an official language in the country. I don't know what your history is like, but the Russians and the Ukrainians don't get on too well, so cue more clashes between MPs inside the parliament building. These then spread into the streets, where riot police fought opposition supporters who had brought their own tear gas along. Among them was Vitali Klitschko, leader of one of the opposition parties and heavyweight-boxing champion. CHILE

Annoncering

On June 28th, 100,000 Chilean students took to the streets of their capital, Santiago, to protest against a hike in tuition fees and the lack of public universities. Apparently, the students are now accusing the police of attacking the march after promising not to intervene. But then again, this is not the first time these protests, which have been going on for over a year, have turned violent, with over 500 students and police injured and 1800 students arrested so far.

PERU

Staying in the region, three indigenous protesters were killed in fighting with police in northern Peru as protests against the Conga mine project, financed by US company Newmont, erupted into violence. The protesters are demanding that the mining project close, as they fear it will destroy the scarce local water sources in the region.

The protesters attacked local government buildings in the town of Celedin after the mayor expressed his support for the mine. Police then fired at protesters, killing three of them, before declaring a state of emergency to quash any future protests. However, the plan has backfired, as the funerals of the three men turned into more protests. The government are trapped in a tough situation, not wanting to alienate the indigenous community while at the same time keeping the Congo project open (it is, after all, Peru's biggest foreign investment).

Syria

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Annoncering

Let's end this week's update by honing in on the Syrian civil war, shall we? Last time we did that, trouble was brewing with Turkey after Syria shot down one of its jets and Turkish PM, Tayyip Erdogan, declared that the rules of engagement had changed. Since then, Turkey has moved a number of artillery and infantry units and tanks closer to the border and has scrambled its jets several times to ward off Syrian helicopters that have strayed too close.

With the war intensifying, refugees and Free Syrian Army rebels are flowing into Lebanon in their thousands, as are a tonne of weapons, much to the chagrin of the Syrian regime. In an effort to stem the flow, the Syrian army first laid down minefields, but that wasn't that effective, so on Saturday they ramped up the pressure; firing shells at the Lebanese border town of Wadi Khaled. The attack, which occurred in the middle of the night, claimed the lives of five local civilians and drew a pathetic response from the Lebanese government, who promised an "investigation" but barely condemned an attack that could constitute an act of war.

Kofi Annan, the UN peace envoy to Syria, travelled to Damascus this week to meet once more with President Assad. He confirmed that previous top-level talks with the Syrian leadership had failed and concluded that a more "creative" approach was needed. No "creative" alternative was offered, though. Still, Russia's announcement that it would halt weapon sales to Syria can't hurt, right?

Will we ever give peace a chance? Probz not m8, but if you'd like to check back in a week to find out for sure, please do.

Follow Henry on Twitter: @Henry_Langston