By Patrick Pierson.
Two oil tankers were seized in a Houthi-controlled port in Yemen this week. The Houthis are currently considering a truce proposal put forth by the United States. Meanwhile, the targeting of civilian sites by Saudi forces continues. Data indicates that a third of strikes hit civilian sites, such as this attack on a house or the recent UN report of thirty individuals killed at a water well.
Signs of greater Russian involvement in Nicaragua has caught the attention of some US lawmakers. Central American migrants are increasingly turning to sea-based routes in efforts to reach US soil. Meanwhile, gang violence continues to result in high levels of internal displacement. A mayor in Honduras was recently arrested on suspicion of directing a group of local assassins. A proliferation of assault rifles in El Salvador is a bad sign for the country’s efforts to reel in gang violence. Colombian officials are on alert in response to the killing of five human rights activists in recent weeks.
In a development success story, Sri Lanka was declared free of malaria this week. Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte called for the withdrawal of US special forces from the country. Long-range drills were carried out by the Chinese air force earlier this week. The crisis in Venezuela has China rethinking some of its strategic ties to the country. Internally, the recent arrest of a Chinese Catholic bishop appointed by the Vatican reveals an ongoing tension between the state and religious institutions.