By Patrick Pierson.
A suspected gang leader – and his tiger – have been arrested in Mexico. Nearly 100 small-town politicians have been killed in Mexico since September. A Honduran Jesuit priest is on a public relations tour across the US. Following in US steps, Guatemala has opened its own embassy in Jerusalem. Antonio Saca, formerly the president of El Salvador, will stand trial for money laundering. HIV infections are on the rise in Panama. Elections take place in Venezuela today, but analysts have a hunch that they already know the outcome. Ecuador has removed extra security for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in their London embassy. Eleven people have been detained for attempting to establish an Islamic State cell in Brazil. Hundreds of individuals were detained in Brazil this week during a massive operation designed to tackle child pornography. Paraguay is also planning to relocate its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.
Dozens of people were killed in Somalia this week as fighting broke out over disputed territory between Somaliland and Puntland. The Pentagon praised Morocco as a strong US partner in the fight against Islamic extremism. The US government accused Cameroon of carrying out targeted killings against the country’s Anglophone minority. Officials at the WHO are concerned as Ebola spreads to a major port city in the DRC. In the past week, nearly 7000 refugees from CAR made their way to Congo amidst ongoing unrest. Protests rocked universities across Senegal this week as protesters took to the streets after a student was killed during a peaceful demonstration. A new law in Kenya imposes heavy sentences for spreading ‘fake news’, but critics complain that the move is meant to aid government efforts to limit freedom of speech. A referendum took place in Burundi this week that would allow President Nkurunziza to stay in power until 2034. According to Human Rights Watch, more than a dozen people were killed amidst unrest surrounding the referendum. Three Ugandans have been detained in Mozambique over suspected links to an Islamic terrorist organization.
President Trump praised a number of NATO members for their financial contributions to the alliance. Authorities in Spain busted a gang suspected of kidnapping migrants and holding them for ransom. French officials thwarted a possible acid attack. Italy looks set for a new government, comprised of the surprising coalition of the populist Five Star Movement and far-right Lega party. A member of Croatia’s ruling party is being held in Austria for allegedly doing a Nazi salute during a WWII commemoration. Romania and Croatia have signed a cooperative defense agreement. Greece and Macedonia are coming to terms over a decades-long dispute. Check out this story on Russia, Ukraine, and dolphins.
A number of female activists in Saudi Arabia have been arrested for illegally driving. The UAE is removing troops from Yemen’s Socotra island. Did the British government financially support human rights abuses in Bahrain? The US military helped to repel a major Taliban offensive in Afghanistan this week. Eradicating polio in Pakistan is proving difficult. Cambodia extended the detention of two Radio Free Asia reporters. The French leader of a cybercrime gang has been detained in Thailand. Dozens of Ugandan women have been rescued from a human trafficking operation in Thailand. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has lifted a ban on Filipinos working in Kuwait. Japan is going to the WTO over US steel tariffs.