Weekly Recap – November 11th to 17th
CIA Director, David Petraeus, resigned last week after it was revealed he was having an affair with his biographer. The FBI uncovered the story, working off the original claims of ‘jealousy’ that led them to the woman. Petraeus was a four-starred General with extensive experience in Libya and Afghanistan when he was made Director. He has also come under scrutiny for the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, and whether or not it was a terrorist act. The case raises several questions such as: what does it say about the state of American espionage when the Director of the CIA cannot keep an affair secret? Why did the FBI delve so deeply into a case of a simple affair? And was the affair the real reason for his resignation?
Based on new Shale gas projections in the US, a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) this week expects American oil production is be highest in the world by 2020. This would revolutionize American foreign policy and economic strategy, as the report indicates energy dependence for the country within two decades. This is mainly attributed to greater efficiency and greater exploration into Shale gas production.
Upset in the Desert
The calm on the Arab-Israeli front erupted in a surge of violence in Gaza this last week. An Israeli air strike struck Gaza and killed Ajmad Jabar, the head of the military wing of Hamas, under the justification of stemming terrorist actions coming out of Gaza and the West Bank in recent years. This kicked off a tit-for-tat string of violence, including a slew of rockets launched from Gaza killing three Israelis. In addition, hacker group Anonymous took down Israeli government websites for hours, posted contact information online and wiped clean records in the Bank of Jerusalem This action is expected to escalate with Palestine formal application in the UN for Enhanced Observer Status on the 29th.
From Hu to Xi
After many months of speculation and expectation, Xi Jinping took the mantle of the Chinese Communist Party from Hu Jintao, as Secretary General of the party, leading a new Politburo. All eyes are on them now to see if the necessary economic reforms for the world economy will be undertaken. With some degree of more centralized power already seen, the strength and actions of the new leadership will be carefully watched in the coming months.
The end of Mumbai’s savior
This past Saturday, Bal Thackeray, leader of the Hindu fundamentalist group the Shiv Sena based out of Bombay, passed away. His legacy includes changing ‘Bombay’ to ‘Mumbai,’ calling for extremists to protect Hindus and India in an inherently xenophobic manner, and pushing a pro-Hindu political agenda for 50 years. His funeral was attended by over 2 million followers, though his death leaves questions on the future of the movement.