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Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Joseph Decker, “Green Plums,” c. 1885. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

French prisons struggle to combat the spread of extremism behind bars. Cyprus peace talks continue. A car bomb in Kiev, Ukraine, killed a leading military intelligence officer on Tuesday. A cyberattack this week hit a number of Ukrainian firms and government ministries particularly hard; Ukraine is blaming Russia for the attack. The UN General Assembly has agreed to reduce the budget for peacekeeping missions.

The cholera crisis in Yemen is overwhelming – more than 200,000 people have been infected. NATO is sending more troops to Afghanistan. Canada has announced an extension of its mission in Iraq for another two years. The US finalized plans to sell 22 Guardian drones to India. China and India are trading accusations relating to recent border incursions along the Nathu La pass. Anti-India protests in Kashmir killed a number of civilians on Saturday. Myanmar announced that it will not allow UN experts to enter the country on a fact-finding investigation regarding violence against Muslims in the country. US and Philippines forces held a joint naval patrol to confront piracy and threats of Islamic extremism in the region. China has also voiced its willingness to help the Philippines in the fight against extremism. A blogger in Vietnam has been sentenced to a decade in prison for “conducting propaganda.” Laos is facing criticism for jailing government opponents. Australia is set to open a new intelligence unit dedicated to combatting cyberwarfare.

Over the next 30 years, half of the world’s population growth is expected to take place in Africa. Press censorship continues to increase amidst South Sudan’s civil war. The South Sudanese government is threatening to withhold aid workers’ access to rebel-held areas. Fake news is on the rise in the run-up to Kenya’s August elections. As the Somali military prepares to protect a potential al-Shabaab defector, the old adage rings true: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” A Red Cross volunteer was killed in a deadly militia attack in Central African Republic. Emmanuel Macron is in Mali today in an effort to support a new counterterrorism force in the region. After 13 years, the UN peacekeeping mission in Cote d’Ivoire has come to a close. Nine people were killed by suicide bombers in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri this week. Authorities are now digging a 17-mile trench around the city’s university in an effort to stem Boko Haram attacks. Austin Okwor, a Nigerian anti-corruption investigator, survived an assassination attempt this week.

Colombia’s FARC have officially completed the disarmament process. A former finance minister in Brazil has been sentenced to a 12-year prison term on charges of corruption and money laundering. Amidst the political crisis, Venezuela is facing a deadly increase in AIDS cases. A rogue helicopter dropped grenades on the country’s Supreme Court this week. Luisa Ortega Diaz, Venezuela’s chief prosecutor, is seeking protection from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights amidst ongoing tensions with President Maduro. A fugitive Mexican governor has accepted extradition from Guatemala. As the United States faces an opioid epidemic, reliable data is lacking.

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