Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Martin Johnson Heade, “Giant Magnolias on a Blue Velvet Cloth,” c. 1890. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

The Indian government has shut down social media sites in Indian Kashmir in a bid to stifle protests. Human trafficking is on the rise in the wake of Nepal’s devastating earthquakes. China launched its first domestically constructed aircraft carrier earlier this week. A Chinese court sentenced a US citizen to a years-long jail term for espionage but then decided to deport the woman. Building on a visit earlier this month to Mar-a-Lago by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the US and China are preparing to launch the US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue. The Philippine army is scaling back the scope of its annual war games with the United States, instead choosing to focus exclusively on humanitarian exercises. Unrest regarding North Korea continues.

A man was arrested in London on Thursday on suspicion of terrorism. Five more individuals were arrested in an unconnected raid by counterterrorism officers later in the day. Authorities in Catalonia arrested eight members of a terror cell with connections to the 2016 attacks in Brussels. Police in Belgium detained a pair of individuals on suspicions of ties to a terrorist group. Hungarian PM Viktor Orban announced the completion of a second border fence meant to deter potential migrants. Thousands took to the streets of Belgrade this week to protest a mysterious real estate development along the Belgrade water front. Lawmakers in Montenegro have voted to ratify an accession treaty to join NATO. Conflict erupted in Macedonia’s parliament when supporters of the opposition Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity stormed the building. Denmark has accused Russia of a sustained cyberattack against the Danish Defense and Foreign Ministries. A US general confirmed that Russia is supplying weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan. An American and a Brit, allegedly members of ISIS, were arrested in Turkey this week.

Here are some key African elections to take note of in 2017. Some observers are concerned that jihadist groups are setting up shop in Burkina Faso. The UN continues to call for a negotiated settlement to the ongoing violence in the DRC’s Kasai region. Poachers have killed two wildlife rangers in the DRC’s Garamba National Park. Large-scale displacement continues amidst violence in South Sudan. Fighting has grown so intense in some areas that Doctors Without Borders evacuated international staff from two towns. Amidst the violence, Uganda and South Sudan have agreed on tentative plans to redraw a long-standing disputed border between the two countries. South Sudanese banks are out of cash. Three suicide bombings were carried out on the same day in the Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Wednesday. Child marriage has been officially outlawed in Malawi. Rights groups are condemning the sentencing of a Cameroon journalist to a decade-long prison term at the hands of a military tribunal. Tanzanian President John Magufuli is sacking nearly 10,000 civil servants in possession of fake education certificates. Earlier this week, South Africa’s Gift Ngoepe became the first African to play in Major League Baseball.

A legislator in California is proposing that a tax be imposed on companies contracted to work with the state’s prison system in order to raise money for education programs. Guy Philippe, a Haitian politician, has pleaded guilty in a US court to conspiring to launder drug money. A huge amount of explosives were found in a home in Connecticut earlier this week. Drug gang violence has pushed murder rates in Mexico to their highest level since 2011. Colombia’s National Liberation Army freed two hostages this week, an encouraging sign amidst ongoing peace talks between the rebel group and the government. Colombian officials have arrested a key middleman in the exchange of illegal firearms between Venezuela and Colombia. This article addresses an important question – where will demobilized FARC guerrillas go? The unrest continues in Venezuela as the government announced this week that it will leave the Organization of American States. A prison riot in eastern Venezuela left a dozen people dead and several others wounded. This article profiles the questionable past of the chief justice of Venezuela’s supreme court.

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