By Patrick Pierson.
In Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales is at odds with his military over the authority of a recent ruling by the Constitutional Court. Nicaraguan authorities have deported a journalist who spent the last few months covering anti-regime protests. Homicides are on the decline in El Salvador, but it might not be all good news. Authorities in Costa Rica have detained two Romanian fugitives—one formerly served as Romania’s chief prosecutor, while the other once ran to become Romania’s first female president. A new report indicates that, since 1999, 79% percent of Haitian prisoners were detained without being sentenced. The US’s DEA office in Colombia is embroiled in controversy. The Venezuelan government’s attempts to counter runaway inflation are not lacking in creativity. Peru’s Supreme Court has overturned a medical pardon for former President Alberto Fujimori. Brazilians are headed to the polls today.
Denmark has refused to take in the UN quota of refugees for 2018. An eight-year-old Swedish girl discovered a 1500-year old sword while swimming in a lake. A Norwegian court has extended the detention of a Russian man accused of spying on the Norwegian parliament. German Chancellor Angela Merkel feels that her country has an “everlasting responsibility” to combat anti-Semitism. The drama in Macedonia continues. French and US officials have accused Iran of planning a bomb attack in Paris targeted at an Iranian opposition group. Russia is running a global hacking campaign. Russia says that such accusations lack proof.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkish troops will not leave Syria until the latter holds a general election. Kurdish fighters killed seven Turkish soldiers this week via a roadside bomb. Is Lebanon finally going to form a new government? A Saudi journalist critical of Riyadh has gone missing while at the country’s consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials summoned the Saudi ambassador over the reported disappearance. A UN official has accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of interfering in his team’s investigation into human rights abuses in Yemen. The UAE has signed off on an extensive economic assistance package to Jordan. Regional neighbors have pledged $10 billion to assist Bahrain’s struggling economy. Iraq finally has a prime minister. Officials in Pakistan have ordered the closure of more than a dozen international aid organizations. Pakistan’s leading opposition figure, Shahbaz Sharif, has been jailed on corruption charges.
The Indian government has come under fire for deporting seven Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. India has signed a $5 billion weapons deal with Russia. In an attempt to curb sexual violence, Nepal is banning more than 24,000 pornography websites. Is Bangladesh sliding down the slippery authoritarian slope? The EU is considering trade sanctions on Myanmar over the country’s ongoing abuse of Rohingya Muslims. A court in Cambodia has sentenced a 70-year old barber to seven months in prison for insulting the king. Vietnam has sentenced five people to prison terms on charges of attempting to overthrow the state. Japan and South Korea’s long history of tension continues. Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has been sentenced to 15 years in prison on corruption charges. Meng Hongwei, the president of Interpol, has gone missing in China. China is accused of spying on US tech companies by putting secret microchips on motherboards during the manufacturing process.
Melania Trump visited a number of African countries this week. Liberia’s Central Bank is now claiming that it has not lost $100 million in cash. Islamist militants attacked a police convoy in Burkina Faso this week. The French military responded to the attack with airstrikes. Cameroonians are heading to the polls today, but the outcome is already decided. PM Abiy Ahmed has been re-elected as the chair of Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF coalition. A high level al-Shabaab defector sought to run for a political post in Somalia…the government isn’t having it. A new law in Tanzania makes it illegal to question the accuracy of official government statistics. A leading opposition activist in Rwanda has been released on bail. Burundian authorities have suspended nearly all international NGOs in the country. In Mozambique, nearly 200 suspected Islamist militants are on trial.