NATO criticises Putin for 'dangerous and irresponsible' nuclear rhetoric:
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with members of the Security Council via a video link in Moscow, Russia, March 24, 2023. Sputnik/Alexei Babushkin/Kremlin via REUTERS
On Sunday, NATO criticized Vladimir Putin for what it called his "dangerous and irresponsible" nuclear rhetoric. This comes a day after the Russian president announced his intention to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. Putin likened the move to the US stationing weapons in Europe, and maintains that Russia will not violate its nuclear non-proliferation promises. Experts consider Russia's move significant since it has not deployed nuclear weapons outside its borders since the mid-1990s. NATO finds this move concerning as it follows Russia suspending its participation in the New START Treaty, which limited the number of nuclear warheads it could deploy.
Israeli PM fires defense minister for urging halt to overhaul:
Israeli police use a water cannon to disperse demonstrators blocking the freeway during a protest against plans by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to overhaul the judicial system March 25, 2023.Ariel Schalit/AP
On Saturday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant became the first senior member of the ruling Likud party to speak out against the country’s judicial overhaul plan. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promptly fired him for this. The dismissal signaled that the overhaul plan will move ahead this week despite it sparking mass protests, angering military and business leaders, and raising concerns among allied nations. The upcoming parliamentary vote will be on a centerpiece of the overhaul — a law giving the governing coalition the final say over all judicial appointments. It also seeks to pass laws granting parliament the authority to override Supreme Court decisions with a basic majority and limiting judicial review.
Honduras Establishes Ties with China After Taiwan Break:
Honduras Foreign Minister Eduardo Enrique Reina Garcia, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang shake hands at a ceremony in the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing Sunday, March 26, 2023. (Greg Baker/Pool Photo via AP)
On Sunday, Honduras established diplomatic ties with the People’s Republic of China. This comes shortly after the country announced the breaking of relations with Taiwan. The diplomatic victory for China signals growing Chinese influence in Latin America and across the world as there are now only 13 states which recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty. China’s victory is built on decades of it funneling billions of dollars into investment and infrastructure projects across Latin America. In Honduras, this has come in the form of funding for the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the center of the country. However, experts warn over the implications of the newly formed ties with China. Political analyst Graco Pérez in Honduras said Beijing's narrative would highlight the benefits, including investment and job creation, “but that is all going to be illusory."