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International news: This week’s top stories


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By Sophia Simeone

Staff Writer

1. Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, tendered his resignation on Monday after Italian voters rejected a referendum that would have overhauled the country’s constitution. Renzi’s resignation, and the victory of the opposing Five Star Movement, is another instance of a successful populist uprising in Europe.

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Matteo Renzi stands in the Palazzo Chigi in Rome this past June. Following the rejected referendum, Renzi resigned his position. Source: Filippo Monteforte/Agence France-Presse

2. President-elect Donald J. Trump broke with 40 years of diplomatic tradition on Friday by speaking with Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-Wen. He is the first American President (or President-elect) to confer with a Taiwanese leader since the U.S. acknowledged the People’s Republic of China in 1979. The call, reportedly orchestrated by former-Senator-turned-lobbyist Bob Dole, has angered Chinese leaders. 

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President-elect Donald Trump and President Tsai Ing-Wen spoke via telephone last Friday in a move that angered Chinese leaders. Source: Tsai Ing-Wen

3. The president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, was voted out of office on Friday after two decades of uninterrupted rule.

Jammeh seized power in a coup in 1994. In his 22 year tenure, Jammeh has been criticized by human rights organizations for prosecuting, jailing, and exiling critics of his government. The election of his opponent, Adama Barrow, represents a new era of change for the West African nation.

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Gambians celebrate Adama Barrow’s victory against President Yahya Jammeh. Source: Associated Press

4. OPEC agreed on a new set of oil production cuts this Wednesday, sending oil prices soaring. It will be the first cut the organization has made in eight years. Production will be reduced by 4.5 percent, or about 1.2 million barrels a day. Optimism about a market rebound is tempered by an upswing in production by private national companies.

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Oil prices soared after OPEC agreed on a new set of oil production cuts this Wednesday. Source: Associated Press

5. Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani says he will not allow Donald Trump to “tear up” last year’s P5 +1 nuclear deal.   

Iran’s leadership was angered last week by Congress’ vote to extend economic sanctions against the country for another ten years. “America is our enemy; we have no doubt about this. The Americans want to put as much pressure on us as they can,” Rouhani said in a speech on Tuesday.

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President Hassan Rouhani says that the extension of economic sanctions against Iran may be in violation of last year’s P5 +1 nuclear deal. Source: EPA

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International news: This week’s top stories