Weekly Links

Vincent van Gogh, “Girl in White,” 1890. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

By Patrick Pierson.

A man was arrested in Germany this week on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. An Austrian teenager with connections to the German suspect was also arrested for planning an attack in Vienna. Authorities in each country executed a number of raids this week, with German officials targeting far-right extremists and Austrian authorities arresting fourteen people with connections to Islamic State. The hunt continues for dozens of far-right extremists in Germany, with outstanding warrants for 27 individuals. Italian police busted a drug ring that was planning a shipment of eight tons of cocaine from Colombia to Europe.

Officials in Morocco announced the detention of seven militants with suspected links to Islamic State. The US has reached a deal with the Kenyan military to sell a host new aircraft to be used in the fight against al-Shabaab. This comes as dozens of Kenyan troops based in Somalia were killed in clashes. A recent report from Human Rights Watch suggests that rights’ protection remains tenuous in Kenya.

Earlier this week, Burundi initiated a mass presidential pardon for prisoners, with up to a quarter of the country’s jail population set for release. The DRC is planning the extradition of nearly 200 Burundians who were detained in 2015 and 2016 at the height of the unrest in Burundi surrounding President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term. In 2016, Uganda welcomed nearly 500,000 refugees from neighboring South Sudan – for some perspective, Europe received 362,000 migrants during the same period. The Zimbabwean government, currently dealing with an extreme cash shortage, has offered residential land to government employees in lieu of bonuses.

Saudi Arabia unveiled plans for its next-generation fighter aircraft. The roll-out of a large-scale cash aid program for refugees has begun in Turkey. A former finance official from Indonesia has been detained on suspicion of links to Islamic State. The Philippines is concerned about growing IS influence in the region. China and the US continue to bicker over claims to the South China Sea.

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