Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Winslow Homer, “Shooting the Rapids, Saguenay River”, c. 1905-10. Photo via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Authorities in California used Doritos to capture a wild pig this week. The DEA’s drug war in Mexico continues. Thousands of Hondurans are taking part in a ‘migrant caravan’ on its way to the US border. Amnesty International claims to have documented a number of extrajudicial killings in Nicaragua during the government’s recent crackdown on anti-regime protests. Authorities in Nicaragua have released dozens of individuals who were arrested during protests last weekend. Officials from the US and Cuba had a bit of a showdown this week during a meeting at UN headquarters in New York. Thousands of citizens took to the streets in Haiti to protest against ongoing government corruption. Haitian President Jovenel Moise has promised to investigate allegations and hold responsible parties accountable. Coca production is on the rise in Colombia. Mexico’s chief prosecutor, Israel Lira, has uncovered corruption embedded within Venezuela’s food aid programs. Ecuador has expelled the Venezuelan ambassador after officials in Venezuela called Ecuador’s president “a liar.” Drug trafficking is evolving in Peru. Brazilian President Michel Temer’s ongoing fight against corruption allegations continues.

Spain has reached an agreement with Britain regarding the post-Brexit status of Gibraltar. French President Emmanuel Macron reshuffled his cabinet this week as his approval rating continues to suffer. Belgium has its first black mayor, Pierre Kompany, who happens to be the father of famous Belgian soccer player Vincent Kompany. Why is Germany beefing up its military? The economic showdown between EU and Italian officials continues. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker quipped that “Italy is Italy.” The European Court of Justice struck down a controversial Polish law that would lower the retirement age for Supreme Court judges. Poland is developing a 50,000 strong Territorial Defence Force comprised of volunteers. Politicians in Macedonia continue to push for a name change that would settle a decades-long argument with Greece. A shooting on a college campus in Crimea killed 20 people and injured dozens more. Lawmakers in Kosovo voted to establish a national army.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Turkey this week as part of ongoing investigations into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Iranian forces launched missiles against IS forces in Syria this week in retaliation for a recent attack on a military parade in Iran. Five months after elections, Lebanon still hasn’t formed a government. Are Israeli tech companies propping up authoritarian regimes? UN officials are now calling the situation in Yemen “the worst man-made humanitarian crisis of our time.” Islamic State may have lost most of its territory, but the group still remains a potent threat. This story documents the unbelievable challenge facing the children of ISIS fighters in Iraq. Elections have been delayed by one week in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the wake of a Taliban attack that killed senior security officials days before voters were set to head to the polls. A woman is on death row in Pakistan for being a Christian.

A government minister in India has resigned amid nearly two dozen accusations of sexual misconduct. A massive real estate project in Indonesia has stalled amid allegations of corruption. The EU is threatening Cambodia with trade sanctions over concerns about the country’s human rights record. Well-known Vietnamese activist “Mother Mushroom” has been released and sent into exile in the US. Chinese scientists have announced plans to launch an artificial moon into orbit. The whereabouts of Interpol chief Meng Hongwei remain unknown after he was abducted by police after returning to his native China in September. China is actively detaining millions of Muslims. US officials have some concerns about the thawing relations between North and South Korea. The US and South Korea have suspended upcoming joint military drills in a bid to strengthen ongoing diplomacy efforts with North Korea. Is Pope Francis going to visit North Korea?

Officials in Algeria have banned women from wearing the niqab at work. US airstrikes in Somalia killed dozens of al Qaeda-linked fighters in Somalia. In South Sudan, the lack of roads means that 40% of aid funding is spent on transportation. Is Kenya really going to privatize its prisons? Russia is strengthening its military ties with Central African Republic. The Ghanaian government has announced plans to establish a new military base in the western half of the country to better protect Ghana’s oil resources. In Ivory Coast, the ruling coalition has secured its mandate after winning municipal elections. Human Rights Watch has published a worrying report about the sexual abuse of girls in Senegalese high schools. In Burundi, a prominent opposition MP has been accused of planning to assassinate President Nkurunziza. Zimbabwe’s economy is reeling.

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