Weekly Links

Paul Cézanne, “At the Water’s Edge,” c. 1890.  Photo via National Gallery of Art.

By Patrick Pierson.

An Irish gangster was detained after stealing a prize greyhound earlier this week. Also in Ireland, a former chief of staff for the Real IRA was shot and killed while walking down the street. German Chancellor Angela Merkel launched her reelection campaign with a tougher line on immigration, including calls for the banning of burkas “wherever it is legally possible.” Dutch politician Geert Wilders was convicted this week of discrimination against Moroccans, but the ruling will not include any form of substantive punishment. A terror suspect in possession of a cache of weapons was arrested in Rotterdam on Friday, while Belgian authorities remain concerned about future terror attacks.

Hundreds of migrants in Morocco managed to force their way into the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. This story documents the drastic measures taken by some Somali parents to encourage their children not to embark on the risky journey to Europe. On Tuesday, Islamist militants freed nearly 100 prisoners during an attack on a Malian jail. Peace and reconciliation processes in Mali remain tenuous. Libyan forces made significant progress in the fight against Islamic State this week, but renewed fighting in the country’s oil region poses problems for the days ahead. Will increasing pressure on ISIS in Libya present new threats to neighboring countries? Will the Catholic Church be able to play the role of peacemaker amid increasing political tension in the DRC?

The Venezuelan opposition skipped a meeting with government officials this week, citing the government’s unwillingness to grant concessions or compromise. In the face of the country’s worsening economic crisis, Venezuelan women are now selling their hair in a Colombian border town. There is good news in El Salvador – homicide numbers are down nearly 20% from 2015 totals. Unfortunately, the opposite is true in Rio, where crime numbers are on the rise. Mob killings are also up across the country, with at least 173 so far this year. In remote parts of Brazil, justice is carried out aboard riverboats that serve as mobile courthouses.

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