Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Annibale Carracci, “River Landscape,” c. 1590. Image via National Gallery of Art

Poland continues to reject EU pressure to take in more migrants. A South Korean woman is set to be extradited from Denmark to face questioning regarding potential connections to corruption in South Korea. The entire Swedish countryside is now listed on Airbnb. Lucas Papademos, the former PM of Greece, was injured this week when a bomb planted in his car exploded. The former president of football club FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell, has been arrested for suspected involvement in a money laundering scheme. A mafia boss what shot and killed in Sicily this week while riding a bicycle down the street. On Monday, Turkey put 200 suspected coup plotters on trial. An NBA player, Enes Kanter, whose passport was recently revoked by his home country of Turkey, called President Erdogan “the Hitler of our century” in a press conference. The prospects for continued Cyprus peace talks are looking bleak.

The posting of a contested news story has Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE at each other’s throats this week. American Special Forces killed a number of suspected al-Qaeda militants in a recent raid in Yemen. More than two dozen Afghani security officers were killed this week in a number of clashes with Taliban insurgents. A German aid worker and her personal security guard were killed in Kabul this week – the attackers then proceeded to kidnap a Finnish aid worker.

Two gay men have been publicly caned inside a mosque by authorities in Indonesia. In the Philippines, Muslim extremists took a Catholic priest and a number of churchgoers hostage – the government has now imposed martial law in the area. A bomb exploded at an army-run hospital in Bangkok on Monday, injuring nearly two dozen individuals .A second round of peace talks have commenced in Myanmar. US officials have called for the release of an NGO worker from Taiwan detained in China. Things heated up in the South China Sea this week when a US naval ship sailed to within a few miles of an artificial island constructed by the Chinese government. A pair of Chinese fighter jets intercepted a US surveillance plane in international airspace over the South China Sea on Wednesday.

Boda Boda has now made its way into the Oxford dictionary. A report released by Le Monde documents an extensive British spy network with tentacles reaching across the African continent.Ethiopia has sentenced another opposition figure to prison, this time for allegedly “inciting unrest via social media.” Gunmen stormed a bus in southern Egypt, killing over two dozen Coptic Christians who were on a pilgrimage to the Monastery of the Prophet Samuel. France has deployed a number of drones in the Central African Republic in an effort to assist the UN contingency operating in the country. Kenyan police officers were killed by a roadside bomb near the border with Somalia – this was only one of three attacks on security officials in the country’s northeast this week. In the midst of President Buhari’s medical absence, coup rumors are beginning to swirl in Nigeria. Members of the Biafran Independence Movement were arrested this week during secession protests. Nigeria’s large defense budget – largely a result of the continued fight against Boko Haram – provides prime opportunities for corruption and money laundering. The DRC has more IDPs than anywhere else in the world. Is Zambia about to move its capital from Lusaka to the middle of nowhere? Mmusi Maimane, leader of the South African opposition party Democratic Alliance, had plans to attend the treason trial of imprisoned Zambian opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema; the Zambian government had other ideas, however, and deported Maimane as soon as he arrived at the Lusaka airport. The South African Council of Churches issued a stern warning this week, suggesting that the country is turning into a “mafia state.”

Earlier this week, over 100 inmates launched an attack on prison guards in California. A weapons buyback program sponsored by the LAPD netted nearly 800 guns, but some question the efficacy of the policy initiative. Over half a million US visitors overstayed their visas in 2016. US Senator Rand Paul hopes to force a vote on the recent $110 billion arms deal struck between the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia. An indictment unsealed this week represents “one of the largest sex-trafficking prosecutions in the US”. Venezuelans are now the top asylum seekers to the US. Football players in Venezuela are nonviolently protesting against the current regime. A woman from Mexico’s Tarahumara indigenous community, renowned for their running prowess, recently won an ultramarathon wearing sandals reportedly constructed from salvaged tire rubber.

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