Can the U.K. Find a Reliable Leader That Lasts More Than 45 Days?

by Shannon Kelly '26
News Staff

National and Global News

With Boris Johnson’s resignation that left the nation in shambles and Liz Truss’s departure after just 45 days as Prime Minister, the United Kingdom is looking for a stable leader for the third time in two months. Former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak was named Prime Minister on Tuesday, Oct. 25. A member of the Conservative party, Sunak has a great deal of experience in finance and knows a lot about British politics. Considering Truss left due to a failed tax-cutting budget, Sunak’s experience as Finance Minister is even more important. However, he only has seven years of experience in national politics, and many fear this will make the U.K. appear weakened. Sunak has a lot on his plate: the Conservative Party is currently divided and it is his responsibility to unite them, while also focusing on stabilizing the economy. 

Sunak is the U.K.’s first elected Prime Minister of color. He is the first Prime Minister of South Asian descent, the first practicing Hindu to take office, and the youngest Prime Minister in modern political history. Thus, Sunak is breaking barriers and making history. Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, have an estimated net worth of $1 billion. Sunak has received a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University and an MBA from Stanford University. Under Boris Johnson, Sunak was the Chief Treasurer but eventually resigned. Their relationship became hostile toward the end, and they ceased all communication. The U.K., though on shaky grounds, has the potential for a bright future if Sunak is able to unify the people, stabilize the economy, and be the leader that the nation deserves. 

South Korea: Halloween Crowd Crush Kills at Least 150

by Natasha Allen '25
News Staff

National and Global News

On Oct. 30, a popular nightlife district of Seoul, South Korea called Itaewon was packed for the first Halloween celebration since the COVID-19 pandemic. The area was expecting around 100 thousand individuals in the neighborhood, but the police were reportedly understaffed. What happened next was a tragedy that not many could have predicted. The streets of Itaewon are slimmer than most, and the large number of people led to a crowd crush in which many people were either trampled or suffocated. One alleyway was the scene where most of the tragedy occurred. 

Perhaps the saddest part about the tragedy is that most of those who passed were college-aged students who were just about to start living their adult lives. Crowd crushes and stampedes can be fatal, and the lack of preparation for what to do in one can more often lead to this. South Korea has called a period of national mourning to honor the lives of those who were killed. Many families are still looking for their children, as many of the bodies and individuals in the hospital are unidentified.

One common theory about the lack of preparation in Itaewon relates to the fact that President Yoon Suk-yeol does not live and work out of the Blue House like all other presidents have, which is due to the “bad omens” his shaman said were there. He has extra police escorts with him due to his choice to operate outside of the state house. It is thought that the president’s need for extra police escorts and various protests around Seoul led to the understaffing. It is reported that only 137 cops were assigned to the area as opposed to the approximate 800 cops present before COVID-19. 

Frustratingly enough, weeks earlier, popular K-pop boy group BTS had a concert in Busan that had 2,700 security officers present for a crowd half the size. Korean citizens are angry, but many are taking the time to grieve as collective trauma has begun to take over the nation, calling citizens back to the Sewol Ferry tragedy. During that time, 300 mostly high school children were killed due to mismanagement and greed of the ferry company that overcrowded the boat, causing it to sink and capsize. Many of the youth in Korea felt like the government had failed them then, and this sentiment is sadly returning.