5 Things to Know (25th – 29th September)

Earlier this week, the German Elections took place and the results turned out to be a little unexpected. On the other hand, PM of India is working on developing an electricity scheme that will ensure that the entire population of the country has access to electricity by 2018. In addition to that, Saudi Arabia became the last country in this world to allow women driving. These are just the highlights! Continue reading if you want to know more about the different events that took place this week.

German Elections

On Sunday, 24th September, approximately 60 million Germans voted for the new government in the parliamentary elections. Angela Merkel, who has been a long-time Chancellor of the country has won her fourth term. Her Christian Democratic Union party secured 33 percent of the notes which is nine percent less compared to the last elections that took place in 2013. The predominant rival and current coalition partner of CDU, the Social Democrats, which is led by Martin Schulz, received 20.5 percent of the votes. There has been a significant shift of power in the German government because Alternative for Germany (AfD) party received 12.6 percent of the votes. They are known to have 94 seats in the parliament. AfD is known for denouncing the “Islamification” of Germany and for using the Nazi terminology. Moreover, after the election took place, they exclaimed that they would “hunt” Merkel and reclaim the country and the citizens.

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End of driving ban in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Area, campaigners have hailed King Salman’s edict of permitting women to drive for the first time in the country. The US ambassador of the country thought that a right decision was made at the right time. Moreover, the Gulf Kingdom is the only country that bans women from driving and the fact that they are also subjected to dress codes and gender discrimination. Until now, women who drove in public were fined and arrested. Following this, women will no longer need authorization from a legal guardian in order to get a licence or while driving, said the new Saudi ambassador. Feminists of the country were extremely indulged and felt victorious. One of them said, “I’m going to buy my dream car, a convertible Mustang, and it’s going to be black and yellow,” which showed how excited she was about driving for the first time in her life.

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UK ranked 35th in top destinations for expats

Even though Britain isn’t leaving the European Union for another year and a half, expats fear that there might be fluctuations in the economy of UK which will cause interference in its political stability. According to the 10th annual Expat Explorer survey, Britain was ranked 35th out of 46 for the best destinations in the world to live as an expat. Last year, the country’s position was 22nd, which is a difference of 13 spots. In the UK, an average expert earns $84,000 in a year. Expat Insider 2017, a comprehensive report, found out that the country is sinking due to the fact that Brexit is bring down the level of confidence in terms of immigration, economics, and the political landscape. Surprisingly, one of the major winners of the survey was India which was ranked 14th.  71% of the expats in India declared that they were confident about the economy of the country which is pretty high compared to 53%, which is the global mean average.

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Narendra Modi launches a  $2.5 billion electricity scheme

The Prime Minster of India aims to provide free electricity to all households, specifically the poor families, by December 2018. The scheme is worth $2.5 billion and covers over 40 families in rural and urban areas of the country, which is a quarter of the population of the country. The scheme is called “Saubhagya” and it will be funded by the federal government. The PM has declared that the scheme is said to bring monumental changes in the lives of the poor. Currently, 300 million people in the country do not have access to electricity, out of the 1.3 billion people. Majority of the Indians living in rural areas rely on lamps that are fueled by kerosene. Since kerosene is an environmental hazard that contributes to global warming, the scheme aims to cut down its usage and work on accomplishing the goal of reducing emissions. Since 2014, India’s economic growth rate has fallen to 5.7 percent and that was the time when Mr. Modi was elected. Modi pushed several demonetisation and complex new sales tax which caused wobbling of the economy. To respond to this, Mr. Modi exclaimed that in the last three years, the renewable energy capacity of the country has doubled to 27,000 megawatts. Additionally, more than 3.5 million streetlights have also been installed in the country. Therefore, Mr. Modi has high expectations from this scheme regarding the electrification of households in India.

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2022 Mars city plan

SpaceX, which is a rocket company, aims to land two cargo ships on Mars in 2022 in order to place mining, power, and life support systems in the planet. Elon Musk, the chief of the company, discussed his plans at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia. The intention of Space X is to ensure that there are settlers on the planet by 2024.  They plan on building the first BFR ship within the next 6-9 months and they are confident that the mission will be carried out successfully. Further missions after 2024 include four ships, inclusive of two cargo vessels and two crewed ships. This will be when a propellant plant will be built and people will be taken to mars in order to prepare for their future. Though this plan seems to be pretty expensive, the company believes that the BFR will be efficient as it’d be able to take people from the moon to Mars within 40 minutes.

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