United States Midterm Elections
New Brunswick government falls 5 weeks after election
Five weeks after New Brunswick, Canada residents went to the polls, Premier Brian Gallant’s Liberal government has fallen and been replaced by the Conservatives. In the September election, the Tories won twenty-two seats, one more than the governing Liberals, with the People’s Alliance and Greens both clinching three seats. Gallant believed he could continue with a minority government by including several of the opposition's campaign promises to his Throne Speech last week, but both the Conservatives and People's Alliance voted against it, comprising a majority of the legislature, and the government failed a confidence vote.
Conservative party Leader Blaine Higgs has become the Premier-designate and will be forming government with agreement from People's Alliance Leader, Kris Austin, who stated his party’s support to the Tories to provide some stability in the legislature. After meeting with Lieutenant Governor Jocelyne Roy Vienneau late Friday, Higgs said, "People of the province should feel comfortable that the system worked, it just took a little longer," and stated he wants the transition to occur as quickly as possible, with cabinet announced next week and a Throne Speech in the coming weeks.
Type 1 diabetics may develop fatal complications when they use cannabis
As cannabis has become legalized across Canada, is legal in several U.S. states, and discussion around the healthcare benefits of cannabis use increases, a recent study by researchers in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests people with type 1 diabetes should avoid cannabis.
JAMA researchers surveyed 450 patients with type 1 diabetes, thirty percent of whom use cannabis, in Colorado, where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use. Compared to nonusers, the cannabis users had about twice the risk of experiencing a serious complication known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which develops when blood sugar is elevated for too long and the body produces high levels of acids known as ketones. Left untreated, ketoacidosis can lead to severe dehydration, swelling in the brain, coma and death.
Previous research has suggested that for people with type 2 diabetes, cannabis may make it easier to use insulin to convert foods into energy and maintain lower blood sugar levels, however, less is known about the impact of cannabis on people with type 1 diabetes, the less common form that typically develops in childhood and is caused by a breakdown in the body's immune system. The study’s participants who used cannabis had an average A1c reading of 8.4 percent, representing dangerously elevated blood sugar that can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, amputations, and death. The non-cannabis users had an average A1c reading of 7.6 percent.
Iran’s President warns of ‘war situation’ as U.S. sanctions resume
The United States re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran yesterday, which were met with inflammatory rhetoric from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. Comparing the current situation with that of the 1980s war against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, he said, “We are in the war situation. We are in the economic war situation. We are confronting a bullying enemy. We have to stand to win,” and “Yesterday, Saddam was in front us, today Trump is front of us. There is no difference. We must resist and win.” Within the past several months, Iranian officials have made a point to warn that uranium enrichment could resume at any time, faster than before.
Iran is currently in the middle of an economic crisis. Its national currency has plummeted over the last year, presently trading at 150,000 to $1 USD, down from when it traded around 40,500 to $1 USD a year ago, causing prices for everything to skyrocket. The economic chaos sparked mass anti-government protests at the end of last year, which resulted in nearly five thousand reported arrests and at least twenty-five people were killed. The sanctions end all economic benefits America had granted Tehran for its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, and particularly hit Iran’s oil industry, which is a crucial source of hard currency for its ailing economy.
President Xi announces China opening its growing consumer market
At the China International Import Expo, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “It is our sincere commitment to open the Chinese market,” to a VIP audience, which included Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The exhibition, intended to defuse complaints Beijing abuses the global trading system, featured 3,600 exhibitors from 152 countries including U.S. automakers and technology suppliers, European pharmaceutical and clothing brands, African tea exporters, and Japanese electronics manufacturers.
China has a $12 USD trillion-a-year economy, and this year cut tariffs and announced other measures intended to boost imports, which rose nearly sixteen percent in 2017 to $1.8 USD trillion. Unmentioned in President Xi’s speech were U.S. President Trump’s imposition of penalty tariffs up to twenty-five percent on $250 USD billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing’s response of tariff hikes on $110 USD billion of American goods.
China’s government, the ruling Communist Party, is attempting to restore public confidence after economic growth sank to a post-global crisis low of 6.5 percent over a year earlier in the last quarter. China’s stock market dropped 25 percent this year, becoming the world’s worst performer. President Xi acknowledged some Chinese industries face “growing risks” but said efforts to shore up growth are already paying off.
The expo is an effort to develop China-centered trading networks while resisting pressure to roll back industry plans that Washington, Europe, Japan and other governments say violate its market-opening obligations. President Xi’s government is emphasizing the promise of a growing consumer market of 1.4 billion people to help deflect complaints that it subsidizes fledgling technology suppliers and shields them from competition. Business groups say China continues to hamper access to industries, including finance and logistics, and say regulators are trying to squeeze foreign competitors out of promising fields such as information security.