Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853 - 1890 ), Farmhouse in Provence, 1888, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection 1970.17.34
Vincent van Gogh, “Farmhouse in Provence,” 1888. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration placed sanctions on Kim Jong-un and a handful of other North Korean officials. In response, North Korea called the move a “declaration of war.” This comes as the United States and South Korea released a joint statement declaring the deployment of a new anti-missile system designed to thwart any potential North Korean offensive.

Unrest in Zimbabwe reached a new high this week when a work boycott brought the capital to a screeching halt. The government is hoping for financial support from the International Monetary Fund to ease its monetary woes. ZANU-PF Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, when asked about the post-Mugabe succession plan, declared that the party “will not be dictated to” when it comes to who runs the country. Chinamasa also found himself trapped in a London cab for more than an hour this week when Zimbabwean protesters, angry over the economic woes of the country, blocked the taxi from leaving a conference venue.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made headlines this week when he became the first Israeli leader to visit Africa in three decades. The trip was not without incident, however, especially when Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni repeatedly referred to Israel as Palestine during a key speech. While in Ethiopia, Netanyahu promised a prompt repatriation of Ethiopian Jews waiting to reconnect with their families in Israel. Some suggest the trip represents Israel’s efforts to win over much needed UN votes from African countries.

In South America, Bolivian President Evo Morales suggested a return to the “ancestral calendar” which is currently in the year 5,524. In neighboring Brazil, authorities have joined forces with US officials in the search for a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was released to Uruguay but now appears to have gone missing.

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