Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Bernardo Bellotto and Workshop, “View of Munich,”  c. 1761. Photo via National Gallery of Art


Starting in 2014, new gasoline and diesel cars will be banned in the United Kingdom. Four men were convicted in a London court for plotting an attack on troops and/or police. Residents of Barcelona are getting fed up with tourists – protesters slashed tires of a tour bus and, in a separate event, flattened tires of tourist bicycles. Later in the week, protests spread to Mallorca. In a bid toward improved security, authorities in Germany launched a pilot test of facial recognition technology at a rail station in Berlin. Germany has accused Vietnam of kidnapping a former Vietnamese oil executive who was seeking asylum in Germany.

An Army veteran from the Vietnam War received the Medal of Honor this week. The head of the US Coast Guard announced he will not honor President Trump’s ban on transgender personnel. President Trump signed into law another round of sanctions against Russia. More videos have surfaced of Baltimore police allegedly planting drugs. An American woman was detained in Honduras on accusations of cocaine possession and drug trafficking. Lenin Moreno, President of Ecuador, has removed his Vice President from service over corruption allegations. The UK’s Philip Hammond visited Argentina this week for trade talks – the trip by Hammond is the first time a British cabinet minister has visited Argentina since 2001. Peru has threatened to sever diplomatic ties with Venezuela over the controversial election of a constituent assembly last week. The United States announced sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro over the move. Even the Vatican weighed in.

On Friday, Ethiopia lifted the state of emergency that had been in place for nearly a year. Somaliland has struck a $442 million investing deal with a Dubai-based firm. The National University in Somalia is reopening its journalism school for the first time since 1991. In the run-up to Kenyan elections, the country’s leading election official was found dead last weekend. Mahamadou Issoufou, the President of Niger, has warned of the development changes presented by the country’s high birth rate. The US has approved a sale of $600 million in fighter planes to the Nigerian government. Officials in Sierra Leone have banned running in groups. After six years of detention in Mali, a British-South African man has been freed by al-Qaeda militants. Malawi issued an arrest warrant for former President Joyce Banda over corruption allegations. Banda has claimed her innocence and says she will return to Malawi to prove her lack of wrongdoing. South African police disrupted a criminal gang’s attempt to smuggle a stolen car into Zimbabwe – donkeys were towing the car across the Limpopo River when authorities intervened.

This piece provides a look into the underlying dynamics of ongoing conflict in Yemen. Islamic State claimed responsibility for a siege attack on the Iraqi embassy in Afghanistan. A suicide bomber in Afghanistan killed two American troops who were riding in a NATO convoy. Controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called North Korea’s Kim Jong Un a ‘fool’ for ‘playing with dangerous toys’ – the comments came in reference to North Korea’s continued nuclear ambitions. Starting September 1st, the US government will not allow US passport holders to travel to North Korea. Relations between South Korea and Japan continue to strain over disputed rights to islands. China joined forces with the US in the South China Sea to help search for a missing US sailor. Police in Indonesia are under scrutiny after a number of protesters were shot and killed. In Australia, more details have emerged over the recent detention of a number of individuals planning a terror attack.

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