Highlights of the week of June 26 — July 2

Last time updated
Highlights of the week of June 26 — July 2

There are riots in France, the Orkney Islands want to secede from Britain and Australia has legalised the use of hard drugs. In short, it's all here.

Unrest in France grows

No sooner had the French recovered from the prolonged strikes in response to Macron's pension reform than society was rocked by another upheaval.

On Tuesday morning, Nahuel M. was the victim of a gunshot during a police check. The young man was 17 years old. He was on his way to work. The policeman stopped to inspect his car and shot through the window as Nahel tried to flee. He did not yet have a driving licence, according to the law.

The police officer who fired the shot has been arrested and charged with murder. But it is clear that an angry public is demanding more. The Algerian teenager's death has been the spark for an almost full-scale riot in his home of Nanterre. By the end of the week, more than 2,000 arson attacks had been recorded. More than 1,000 demonstrators had been arrested.

Emmanuel Macron has already sent his condolences to the mother and grandmother of the deceased. The president has also called for the truth to be established as soon as possible — whether the police officer was really out of line or whether it was a case of defensive action.

Britain could lose part of its territory

The Orkney Islands are not satisfied with their current situation. According to the Islands Council, the territory is not receiving sufficient funding from the UK.

Similar discussions have already taken place in 2017. At that time, the islands voted for more autonomy. But a full-blown secession was never out of the question. But time has passed. And the situation has not improved. According to representatives, the dividends the region receives from North Sea oil production are so small that there is no incentive for further extraction.

In addition, the Orkney Islands face the challenge of an ageing fleet and there has been no in-depth economic review for several years.

There is now a debate about whether the islands should become self-governing, as the Faroe Islands have done, or whether they should become an autonomous part of Norway. Councillors cite historical documents that show the land was once part of the Norwegian and Danish kingdoms.

Australia approves drugs for mental health

From July 1, the use of Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression will be allowed on the continent.

A psychiatrist makes the decision to prescribe medication containing these substances. The treatment itself must always be carried out under the strict supervision of a specialist in the field. It is expected that the concentration of narcotic substances will also be reduced to a minimum threshold.

At the same time, there is an experiment in Canada on the reduction of the negative effects of hard drugs. In particular, one province is allowing people to have no more than 2.5 grams of heroin, cocaine and other dangerous substances in their possession. To be more specific, people who are caught with this amount of drugs will not be prosecuted. Instead, they will be interviewed. Assistance will be offered if the detainee asks for it.

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We took photos from these sources: France, Eiffel Tower, Paris

Authors: Kadriia, Aleksandr

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