By Patrick Pierson.
Talks for a new NAFTA deal continue. The UN human rights council has criticized Mexico in light of ongoing attacks against journalists. Federal prosecutors in the US have filed charges against a Honduran congressman for alleged involvement in drug trafficking. In El Salvador, corruption is stalling supreme court selections. Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega has instituted a new anti-terrorism law to help quell anti-government protests. Thousands of Nicaraguans are seeking asylum in Costa Rica. Gang violence in Venezuela is pouring over into neighboring Guyana. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos recently extended temporary residence permits to nearly 500,000 Venezuelans fleeing violence in their home country. Ecuador is preparing to purchase significant amounts of military hardware from the United States.
In Britain, an 18 year old has been sentenced to life in prison for planning to launch an attack on the British Museum. Catcalling is officially illegal in France. A Tunisian man detained in Germany is suspected of attempting to build a biological weapon using ricin. Denmark is the latest country to ban the burqa and niqab in public. A Chinese man—on the run since 2011 on suspicion of large-scale embezzling—has been detained in Sweden. Sweden’s royal jewels were stolen this week. Latvia is set to purchase four Black Hawk helicopters from the US in a bid to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. Mafia murders are on the rise in Serbia. The border debate between Kosovo and Serbia continues. Russia is attempting to interfere in the US’s upcoming midterm elections.
Protests for women’s rights continue in Iran. A pair of suicide bombers killed dozens in Afghanistan after targeting a Shia mosque. Should we be optimistic about peace talks with the Taliban? Dozens of ISIS fighters turned themselves in to Afghan security forces amid ongoing clashes with the Taliban. Lebanon is struggling to form a cabinet after Hezbollah won a majority of parliamentary seats. Human Rights Watch has accused Kurds in Syria of recruiting children from refugee camps to join in the fight against the Syrian government. Saudi Arabia is cracking down on women’s rights activists. Is Qatar preventing its citizens from participating in the Hajj? A new report claims that Rex Tillerson talked Saudi Arabia and the UAE out of a planned military operation against Qatar. A dozen schools were burned to the ground in Pakistan this week, presumably by Taliban-linked fighters opposed to girls’ education.
High school students brought Dhaka to a standstill during protests over road safety. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Malaysia this week to visit Mahathir Mohamad, the 93 new year-old prime minister. Protests continue over the lack of ‘free and fair’ elections in Cambodia. The Philippines’ President Duterte has announced that he may send naval ships to Libya in an effort to rescue three Filipinos kidnapped in the country last month. A California man has been detained by the Vietnamese government. The trade war between China and the US may be picking up steam. A Chinese activist was detained this week during the middle of an interview with journalists. What is going on with denuclearization in North Korea?
In Egypt, a zookeeper is under investigation after allegedly painting stripes on a donkey to make it look like a zebra. Check out this update on Egypt’s new capital city. Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s new prime minister, spent the week in the US. Moroccan officials have launched an internal investigation to determine why government-funded projects are running behind schedule. In Mauritania, a former slave is now running for parliament. Mali’s presidential election is heading to a run-off. ‘Uber for Poop’ is attempting to upset the toilet cartel in Senegal. Presidential elections in the DRC are scheduled for December and things just got a lot more complicated; Jean-Pierre Bemba, recently acquitted of a war crime conviction in the Hauge, is officially a candidate, while opposition leader Moise Katumbi has been barred from entering the country. Three Russian journalists have been killed in Central African Republic while investigating the activities of a private Russian military contractor. A US court is hearing a case against Germany over 20th century genocide in Namibia. Emmerson Mnangagwa has been declared the winner of Zimbabwe’s election, but the opposition is decrying the election as a sham. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is vowing to push on with land reform, leaving some investors wary. Women in South Africa are taking to the streets to denounce gender-based violence.