Erdogan’s party loses elections in both Ankara and Istanbul
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party (in English: Justice and Development) lost control of both Istanbul and Ankara on Sunday, as elections resulted in the opposition winning both cities’ mayoral positions. Though the nationwide elections bolstered the conservative Islamic party’s control in many regions, those two cities are the commercial and political centers of the country. Adding to the loss, Ankara has been AK’s stronghold for decades.
AK has announced that they are challenging election results in a cumulative 64 districts between the two cities. If overturned, the results would keep control of both cities in AK’s hands. Erdogan has been consolidating power in the last three years, sparking concern that he may intend to assert dictatorial powers if confronted with an election loss like the ones in Ankara and Istanbul.
Julian Assange set to be expelled from Ecuadorian embassy in the UK
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is set to be expelled from his refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. According to Ecuadorian officials, Assange has repeatedly violated the terms put in place to continue his asylum under their protection. Specifically, officials allege that Assange worked to hack devices illegally, distributed the material from these actions and interfered in foreign politics, all of which infringe on the previously agreed-upon stipulations of the embassy.
Assange first sought asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 to prevent being extradited to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning as part of a sexual assault investigation. Although the danger of extradition to Sweden has passed, Assange now fears he could be deported to face charges in the United States related to the actions of WikiLeaks. It is currently unknown if British officials will seek to hand him over for trial in the United States.
Canadian provinces impose carbon tax
The Canadian federal government began its final step in implementing a nationwide carbon tax on April 2, as it was enacted in its final four provinces. Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick had attempted to hold out against this policy, as opponents claim it could potentially slow economic growth and place an economic burden on consumers.
In accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement, Canada will apply a carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions, beginning this year at 20 Canadian dollars per ton. The policy will also enact hikes of this tax for the next three years, ultimately capping out at a total of CA$50 per ton in April 2022. The goal of this policy is to encourage companies to seek out alternative fuel sources while also incentivizing the scaling back of carbon emissions; ultimately, the Canadian government plans to utilize the revenue as a tax deduction for Canadian citizens.