In this episode of The Stream, we look at three developing stories in different parts of the world.

Ethiopia – a new region awaits?
Counting and verification is underway in a referendum expected to approve the formation of a new regional state in southern Ethiopia. People living in six parts of the existing Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNPPR) were asked on September 30 if they supported forming a South West regional state. Observers expect a result in favour of the new region.

People across southern Ethiopia have long contended that it needs greater investment and development. We’ll look at what a new South West region could mean for people living there.

Resetting Venezuela’s currency
People in Venezuela are getting used to a new currency – one with six fewer zeros than its predecessor. The introduction of the new bolivar is part of an effort by Venezuela’s central bank to address runaway inflation.

The central bank says the updated currency – the third such reconversion since 2008 – will make everyday transactions easier. Prior to the relaunch, residents often used US dollars rather than wads of bolivar notes that carried little value. But Venezuela continues to faces other major economic hurdles. We’ll look at what the new currency means for residents in Venezuela and examine the economic challenges they are facing.

Tension in Tunisia
The gulf between supporters and opponents of Tunisia’s president appears to be widening, with rival rallies suggesting the country faces continued political uncertainty.Thousands of people rallied in support of Kais Saied in the capital Tunis on October 3, an apparent riposte to demonstrations against Saied throughout the two preceding weekends.

Saied sacked the country’s government and dissolved parliament in late July, assuming near total control in a move opposition parties call a coup. The political crisis intensified after he granted himself powers to rule by decree on September 22. Saied’s opponents say he is making a thinly-disguised power grab, but they are themselves divided. We’ll look at the public mood in Tunisia as the political stand-off continues.

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