This week around the world Oct. 31–Nov. 7

Oct. 31
Nov. 11 has been set as the official date for a “national dialogue” to begin between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties. The agenda for the November meeting was set during the first face-to-face meeting between the government and opposition parties this year. Opposition parties have been trying to oust President Nicolas Maduro through a recall referendum. Allegations of fraud caused the suspension of a signature drive to demand a recall referendum. The opposition has criticized President Maduro for his handling of oil export revenues, which make up 95 percent of Venezuela’s export income. Tensions between the Venezuelan government and opposition parties is in part a product of the current state of the economy. The International Monetary Fund expects the inflation rate in Venezuela to rise 1,660 percent next year.

Nov. 2
A mine blast occurred at Jinshangou mine in China’s Chongqing region. Two miners survived and were rescued early on Monday. The 33 miners trapped in the gas explosion all perished and their bodies were recovered. Gas explosions are often caused when a flame or spark ignites gas leaking from a coal seam where there is inadequate ventilation. China’s mining industry has been criticized as being one of the world’s deadliest. In the aftermath of the blast, the State Administration for Work Safety ordered and investigation, and officials in the region temporarily ordered all smaller mines to be shut down. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal, but in an effort to curb overproduction has announced plans to close over 1,000 outdated mines.

Nov. 3
United Kingdom
Judges in London ruled that the U.K. government must consult Parliament before exiting the European Union. Formal exit negotiations could only take place after triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May stated that success of the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, or Brexit as it is more commonly known, means that members of Parliament do not need to vote on EU exit proceedings. The government is appealing the court’s decision, saying that the referendum was held only after a successful vote in the House of Commons to give the decision to the British people. Another hearing is scheduled for December.

Nov. 3
Leïla Slimani was awarded the Goncourt literary prize for Chanson Douce (Sweet Song), a thriller that follows the story of a nanny who murders the two children in her care. Moroccan-born Slimani is the 12th woman to win the Goncourt in its 100-year history. The Goncourt is a top literary award in the Francophone world. The honor does not come with a sizeable monetary prize. Slimani will only receive 10 euros ($11), but the title comes with a tacit assurance of the book making it onto the year’s best-sellers list. The tale is loosely based on the circumstances surrounding a Dominican nanny accused of killing two children in New York in 2012.