Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Albert Pinkham Ryder, “Under a Cloud”, c. 1900. Image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Toronto’s black residents are twenty times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. On Friday, a young Guatemalan girl died while in US immigration custody along the US-Mexico border. Nicaraguan lawmakers have banned a number of NGOs that recently criticized President Ortega. Populist candidate Nayib Bukele has a strong lead in the polls in the run-up to El Salvador’s presidential elections in February. Former rebels are fueling unrest in the Colombian port city of Tumaco. The UN is predicting that more than 5 million Venezuelans will have fled the country by the end of 2019. El Nacional, the last remaining anti-Maduro paper, published its last print edition on Friday. A German journalist is being held on espionage and rebellion charges in Venezuela. In Brazil, a supreme court judge has ordered the arrest of Cesare Battisti, a former leftwing guerrilla in Italy in the 1970s.

A number of people were killed during an attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg, and the suspect was eventually killed days later in a standoff with police. Spain’s minimum wage will increase by more than 20% in 2019. Gang violence is on the rise in Spain’s Costa del Sol. Andrej Babis, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, has been formally censured by the European parliament. In Hungary, Viktor Orban is tightening his grip on power. Meanwhile, Hungarians are taking to the streets to protest new labor laws. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia remain high in the wake of last week’s naval confrontation. Lawmakers in Kosovo have voted to create an army. A planned amnesty is running into roadblocks in Macedonia. Authorities in Greece seized more than $113 million worth of drugs this week on a ship bound for Libya.

In Syria, US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters have captured the last Islamic State stronghold. Meanwhile, Turkey has threatened to attack US-backed forces in Syria. The Iraqi government is protesting Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish positions in northern Iraq. A Palestinian protester was killed this week by IDF forces during protests in the West Bank. Two Israeli soldiers were killed during the clashes. Residents of Amman took to the streets this week to protest a new income tax law. November was the deadliest month in Yemen in more than two years. The US Senate voted to end US military support for the war in Yemen. The warring factions have agreed to a ceasefire. In a first, Bahrain’s parliament has elected a woman as speaker. An Iranian political activist has died after a 60-day hunger strike.

Is the political stand-off in Sri Lanka finally coming to an end? In Bangladesh, political violence is ratcheting up ahead of elections at the end of the month. The US House has approved a resolution declaring Myanmar’s actions against the Rohingya as genocide. Is Cambodia’s one-party state opening up to political competitors? Fighting between soldiers and rebels continues on the Indonesian island of Papua. A judge in the Philippines found 66 members of the Abu Sayyaf militant group guilty of kidnapping in an attack in 2000 that targeted students at a Catholic school. Local residents of Okinawa are protesting work at a US military airbase on the island. A South Korean business is stirring controversy with a Kim Jong-un inspired “unification moisture nuclear mask.” The Chinese government detained more than 100 Christians this week in the most recent crackdown on religious groups.

The US has a new Africa policy. Violence erupted in Somalia this week after the government arrested a former al-Shabaab commander set to run in regional elections next week. Check out these young photographers capturing political change in Ethiopia. For the first time in decades, there are no journalists in Ethiopia’s prisons. Dozens were killed this week during jihadist attacks in northern Mali. Terrorist activity is spreading to Burkina Faso. A number of protesters were killed this week during an opposition rally in the DRC. A fire destroyed thousands of voting machines just 10 days before the country’s scheduled presidential elections. A controversial statue of Gandhi has been removed at the University of Ghana. Togolese citizens are protesting and fighting for presidential term limits. Rebel fighters crossed from the DRC into Rwanda this week, killing two Rwandan soldiers. In Mozambique, three former Renamo officials have been appointed to high-ranking command roles in the state army.

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