Catch all for any events happening outside the United States

Finland & Sweden announce intent to join NATO; Russia responds
Finland and Sweden have announced their intention to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), signaling a historic policy shift - one which was reportedly influenced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that while the two nations' NATO membership would be "no direct threat" to Russia, the territories' military infrastructure expansion would "certainly provoke" a response from Moscow.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un slams officials’ COVID-19 response
On Monday, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un "strongly criticized" Cabinet and public health sector officials for their COVID-19 response, singling out their "irresponsible work attitude." The North Korean leader also condemned lapses in legal oversight that resulted in "several negative phenomena in the nationwide handling and sale of medicines."
Biden administration to ease Trump-era sanctions on Cuba
On Monday, the Biden administration announced it would be reinstating a program allowing US citizens and permanent residents to apply for their families in Cuba to enter the US. The Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program will allow citizens and permanent residents to do so without waiting for immigrant visas.
Elisabeth Borne to be France’s first female PM in 30 years
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron appointed Elisabeth Borne as the new Prime Minister. Borne is the former Labor Minister of France.
Biden to deploy troops to Somalia to counter al-Shabab
The President has approved the deployment of troops to Somalia, acting in response to a request from the Department of Defense. A Department of Defense news release stated, "The president has authorized the Department of Defense to return a small, persistent U.S. military presence to Somalia."
Japan’s Okinawa marks 50th anniversary of end of US occupation
Sunday marked 50 years since the end of the US occupation of Okinawa. The chain of islands, located between Taiwan and Japan in the East China Sea, was returned to Tokyo on May 15th, 1972. Several US bases still stand on Okinawa. Citizens have long opposed the presence of military bases in the prefecture, expressing concerns that it could invite military aggression, especially given the rising tensions between China and Taiwan.
Lebanon conducts parliamentary elections on Sunday
On Sunday, Lebanon held its first parliamentary election since both the 2020 Beirut blast and the country's economic collapse, a collapse which plunged the majority of its population into poverty. A total of 718 candidates from 15 electoral districts are contesting the elections for a seat in Lebanon's 128-member parliament.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra wins Eurovision Song Contest 2022
On Sunday, Kalush Orchestra, a Ukrainian band, won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest held in Italy. UK's Sam Ryder came in second, while Chanel of Spain finished third. The winning song, "Stefania", was penned by the band's frontman, Oleh Psiuk, as a tribute to his mother. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, "Stefania" has begun to be considered an "anthem to the motherland."
Covid cases surge in North Korea
North Korea has reported 50 Covid-19 related deaths, 8 of which occurred between the 14th and 15th of May. Kim Jong-un has ordered his military to stabilize the supply of medicines in the country's capital, Pyongyang.
Indonesia’s Jokowi meets Tesla’s Musk to discuss investments
On Saturday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo met Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk in Texas to discuss potential investments and technology. According to Indonesian officials, the meeting between Musk and Widodo came after a round of working-level discussions on a potential investment in Indonesia's nickel (of which they have the largest reserves in the world) industry and supply of batteries for electric vehicles.