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Musings From Abroad

Haiti Prime Minister quits and what IMF has to do with it

The embattled prime minister of Haiti, Jack Guy Lafontant, has announced his resignation following days of violent protests sparked by a now-abandoned plan to raise fuel prices

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The embattled prime minister of Haiti, Jack Guy Lafontant, has announced his resignation following days of violent protests sparked by a now-abandoned plan to raise fuel prices.

The decision comes on the heels of attempts by Lafontant to implement an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in which Haiti had signed an agreement committing to carrying out economic and structural reforms to promote growth.

“I submitted my resignation to the president of the republic”, who has “accepted my resignation”, Lafontant said on Saturday in the lower house of Haiti’s legislature.

Lafontant had faced a potential vote of no confidence had he not stepped down.

The unrest started after the government unveiled an IMF-inspired proposal to eliminate fuel subsidies which in turn would have hiked fuel prices: 38 percent for gasoline, 47 percent for diesel and 51 percent for kerosene.

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The announcement sparked mass protests, with streets in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other cities blocked with barricades of debris and burning tires.

At least seven people were killed and dozens of businesses looted or destroyed during three days of demonstrations.

Lafontant, who took office in February 2017, later announced the plan would not go ahead, but protesters still demanded his resignation.

Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Port-au-Prince, said the parliament had been debating whether to give or not Lafontant a vote of confidence for more than three hours.

Following the prime minister’s resignation, Haiti was essentially left with no functioning government, added our correspondent.

Around 60 percent of Haiti’s population lives on less than $2 a day and are extremely vulnerable to increases in the price of goods and services.

Musings From Abroad

US Supreme Court abolishes abortion right after almost 50-year precedence

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The US Supreme Court on Friday reversed a nearly half century old constitutional right to abortion.

Justice Samuel Alito who wrote for the Majority argued that the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling which had favoured abortion right “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority.”

The ruling comes after leaked draft of Roe vs Wade ruling which guaranteed abortion rights across the country has caused outrage last month.

The Roe vs Wade, ruling was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.

Although the supreme court declined comment at the time of the leak in May, the Friday ruling perhaps confirmed the fears of many.

Elizabeth Warren, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, in a series of tweets while reacting to the leak stressed that “an extremist Supreme Court is poised to overturn #RoeVWade and impose its far-right, unpopular views on the entire country. It’s time for the millions who support the Constitution and abortion rights to stand up and make their voices heard. We’re not going back—not ever

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has drawn reactions from top politicians in the US. One of such is veteran congressman and Democrat, Benie Sanders who tweeted that “overturning Roe v. Wade and denying women the right to control their own bodies is an outrage and in defiance of what the American people want. Democrats must now end the filibuster in the Senate, codify Roe v. Wade, and once again make abortion legal and safe.”

American singer, Taylor Swift, also reacted against the overturning of Roe v. Wade. “I’m absolutely terrified that this is where we are – that after so many decades of people fighting for women’s rights to their own bodies, today’s decision has stripped us of that.” The singer said on twitter.

Also reacting to the ruling is US former president, Barrack Obama, who said “today, the Supreme Court not only reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, it relegated the most intensely personal decision someone can make to the whims of politicians and ideologues—attacking the essential freedoms of millions of Americans.”

Meanwhile, there have also been reactions in support of the abolishing of the nearly 50 years of precedent, notably Americans with ideological sentiment with Republicans.

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Musings From Abroad

Elon Musk’s transgender child sever ties with father, seeks name change

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The 18-year-old transgender daughter of billionaire owner of electric car manufacturing company, Tesla, Elon Musk, has severed ties with her rich father and has filed a request to change her name in accordance with her new gender identity.

The petition for both a name change and a new birth certificate reflecting her new gender identity was filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Santa Monica in April.

Christened Xavier Alexander Musk at birth, the billionaire’s child who recently turned 18 which is the age of consent in California, has asked the court to legal authority to change her gender recognition from male to female and to register her new name.

While filing the petition, Xavier said he took the decision because “I no longer live with or wish to be related to my biological father in any way, shape or form.”

Xavier’s name, according to media reports, was redacted in documents to reflect his mother’s name which is Justine Wilson, who divorced Musk in 2008.

However, there was no further explanation of the rift between Musk’s daughter and her father, as lawyers for both parties refused to make further comments.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has been a vocal opponent of sex change and had spoken about the practice in the past.

In 2020, Musk weighed in on the issue of transgender people choosing their preferred pronouns in a tweet by saying, “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic (sic) nightmare.”

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