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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
JIMMY LOVAAS, HOST:
Welcome to the Factal Forecast, a look at the week’s biggest stories and what they mean from the editors at Factal. I’m Jimmy Lovaas.
Today is July 22nd.
In this week’s forecast we’ll talk about the funeral for Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Lebanon’s efforts to pick a new prime minister, the end of the trial for deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Peru swearing in a new president, and the Bootleg Fire burning in Oregon.
You can read about these stories and more in our weekly newsletter, which you can find a link to in the show notes.
Speaking of the show notes, be sure to check out the transcripts for our Forecasts. We always include links to many of the articles and sources our editors used when compiling the stories.
This week, for example, we’ve got 25 different links, featuring at least 28 bylines - from sources like Pittsburgh ABC-affiliate WTAE to The New York Times to the Assistance Association of Political Prisoners, we try to get a broad range of information into our Forecasts and we want to make it easy for you, our listeners, to dig deeper into the stories.
Haitian president’s funeral
Information compiled by Jeff Landset
JIMMY: On Friday, Haitian President Jovenel Moïse will be laid to rest in Cap-Haïtien after being assassinated earlier this month.
Moïse -- who was a controversial figure in Haitian politics -- was shot to death overnight on July 7th. His wife was also injured in the attack.
Investigators said a Haitian-American named Christian Emmanuel Sanon orchestrated the operation as a way to put himself in power.
Sanon, who is a doctor and a preacher, denied the allegation even after police found ammunition, holsters, foreign license plates and a cap labeled "DEA” in the building where he was arrested.
The head of security at Haiti’s Presidential Palace has also been detained.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Claude Joseph announced he would step down and hand power to Ariel Henry, who Moïse announced as his pick for prime minister just days before the assassination.
Now, as far as the president’s funeral goes, Moïse’s widow will be in attendance, so security will be tight and emotions will be running high.
And if more protests occur throughout the country, the strength of Haiti's democracy may be immediately put to the test.
Lebanon consultations on new government begin
Information compiled by Alex Moore
JIMMY: On Monday, Lebanon’s parliament will begin new consultations with the hopes of choosing a new prime minister.
This comes after Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri resigned from his post last week, nearly 10 months after being tasked with forming a government after President Michel Aoun rejected his latest proposal.
Lebanon has been governed by a caretaker administration for nearly a year after the resignation of former Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet in the wake of the deadly Beirut port explosion.
And under Lebanon’s sectarian power sharing system, the prime minister must be a Sunni Muslim.
Now, the political crisis gripping Lebanon could not come at a worse time given the country’s economic woes.
And considering the aftermath of the Beirut blast, Lebanon’s continued role in the struggle between Iran and Israel, and the efforts to accommodate the massive influx of Syrian refugees, there will be no shortage of crises for the new government to address.
Expected end of trial for deposed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi
Information compiled by Alex Moore
JIMMY: Also on Monday, the trial of Myanmar’s deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi is expected to wrap up.
Suu Kyi was initially deposed and arrested on Feb. 1st by Myanmar’s military council. She’s charged with multiple offenses, including corruption charges as well as offenses under the colonial era state secrets law -- both of which carry the possibility of roughly 15 year sentences.
She is also facing a variety of lesser charges, such as breaking coronavirus protocols.
Critics allege the charges are trumped up and an effort to indefinitely weaken Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy.
That’s her popular political party that swept elections last November, prompting allegations of fraud by the military.
Still, Suu Kyi remains a central symbol of the protest movement that has arisen following the military coup. Protests that continue, despite a sustained brutal crackdown by the military that has seen about 1,000 citizens killed.
While Suu Kyi will likely face a guilty verdict, the political unrest in Myanmar appears likely to continue.
Pedro Castillo to be sworn in as president of Peru
Information compiled by Irene Villora
JIMMY: On Wednesday, Pedro Castillo will be sworn in as the new president of Peru.
Election officials declared the socialist Free Peru candidate president this week -- more than a month after the vote -- after rejecting fraud claims by Castillo’s right-wing opponent Keiko Fujimori.
Although the National Electoral Jury announced in June that Castillo had won more than 50 percent of the vote, the ratification of the results had to be postponed until all the accusations of electoral fraud were reviewed and dismissed.
Fujimori agreed to recognize the results this week, despite maintaining that Castillo’s victory was “illegitimate.”
Now, the new administration will start this term with one vice president instead of two because Free Peru party founder and vice presidential candidate Vladimir Cerrón was banned from taking office over a corruption conviction.
Still, Castillo’s administration is expected to attempt broad reforms, including a reform of the constitution, to tackle the severe socioeconomic inequalities that have sparked civil unrest in recent years.
Bootleg Fire in Oregon
Information compiled by Jeff Landset
JIMMY: Our last item for this forecast is on the huge wildfire burning in Oregon. For more on that I recently spoke with Factal editor Jeff Landset.
JIMMY: Hi, Jeff.
JEFF: Hi, Jimmy. How are you?
JIMMY: I'm good. But how's Oregon? What's happening down there with that huge fire? I think it's the Bootleg Fire, is that right?
JEFF: So yeah, it is the Bootleg Fire burning in Southern Oregon right now. It is already one of the largest in state history.
JIMMY: And do we know why it's called the Bootleg Fire?
JEFF: There is a spring nearby called the Bootleg Spring. That is where the name comes from.
JIMMY: How big is this thing?
JIMMY: Have there been any deaths or injuries with this fire? Or any evacuations?
JEFF: So far there have been no deaths or injuries involved with this fire. It is in a pretty remote part of the state. And as for evacuations, there have been some, yes.
JIMMY: Do we know about property damage, other than of course the burned acres?
JEFF: So the fire has destroyed at least 70 homes and 117 other buildings; several thousand structures are also threatened.
JIMMY: Do we know what started the fire?
JEFF: At this point we believe that lightning started the fire. And, officials blamed the drought and also this month's heatwave. They say the combination made things much worse. And this fire is also working in such a way that it's creating its own weather. It's creating what are called pyrocumulus clouds. They form when a wildfire forces air to rise quickly that condenses moisture on smoke particles that the fire is producing. So basically, this fire is creating its own weather system, which is generating clouds that can make their own lightning and wind, which is hampering the firefighting effort.
JIMMY: Fires creating their own whether that makes fighting them more difficult. That's incredible. Hard to wrap my head around that. What's the fire situation like in the rest of the US?
JEFF: So as of this fire season, more than a million acres have burned across the United States. And these fires are actually affecting the country on the East Coast as well. They are sending smoke thousands of miles away, so states like Pennsylvania and New York have issued air quality alerts.
JIMMY: I'm almost afraid to ask, but besides air quality what should people be watching for more as summer continues along here?
JEFF: So, right, as the drought continues across the west coast, more of these large fires may pop up. And the conditions may lead to these fires growing exponentially.
JIMMY: Well, I guess let's hope for some rain and for some slightly better luck.
JIMMY: Hey, thanks for catching us up to speed Jeff. And thanks for the info about the pyrocumulus clouds. Interesting stuff.
JEFF: No problem.
JIMMY: Take care.
JIMMY: Today’s episode was produced with work from Factal editors Jeff Landset, Alex Moore and Irene Villora. Our interview featured editor Jeff Landset and our music comes courtesy of Andrew Gospe.
Until next time, thanks for listening to the Factal Forecast. We publish our forward-looking podcast each Thursday to help you get a jump-start on the week ahead. You can, of course, subscribe for free. And if you have feedback, suggestions or events we’ve missed, drop us a note by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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