Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

James Bulwer, “Landscape with Trees and Water.” Photo via National Gallery of Art.

On Tuesday, Austria became the latest European country to enact legislation banning the full-face veil. The German parliament passed a number of new measures in a bid to make it easier to deport migrants as well as monitor those deemed dangerous. Tensions are on the rise between Germany and Turkey as the latter refuses to allow German MPs to visit their troops stationed in Turkey. Peace talks aimed at the reunification of Cyprus have stalled. A Danish teenager has been found guilty of terrorism charges after she planned to use explosives in attacks against schools. Italy is working with the Libyan coast guard in an effort to boost the country’s ability to deter migrant smugglers. Authorities in Italy have arrested dozens of individuals for their involvement in a Mafia-led scam that stole millions of dollars intended to be spent on a migrant welcome center. A famous Picasso painting once stolen by the Nazis has sold at auction for $45 million. Major League Baseball has plans to play regular season games in Europe in the next few years.

The US embassy in Tajikistan has vocalized its frustration with the country’s cumbersome bureaucracy. A group of schoolgirls in India launched a hunger strike in protest against sexual harassment. Dubai is planning to spend nearly $2 billion on a tourist resort constructed on two man-made islands. ISIS claimed responsibility for a deadly suicide attack on the offices of an Afghan television station on Wednesday. A public execution orchestrated by ISIS in Syria was disrupted by an RAF drone strike last week. UAE forces fighting in Yemen are largely composed of contracted foreign nationals. Yemen is now dealing with a substantial outbreak of cholera. On Friday, Yemen’s Houthi movement claimed it fired a missile toward Riyadh, shortly before the arrival of President Trump in Saudi Arabia.

Authorities in Indonesia arrested a Japanese man believed to be a key player in the illegal wildlife trade. China has unveiled a new, internally developed attack helicopter. A pair of Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American surveillance plane in the East China Sea this week. The Philippine’s Rodrigo Duterte claims he is “open to exploring the South China Sea’s natural resources with rival claimants China and Vietnam.” Just a few days later, however, Duterte asserted that Xi Jinping threatened war should Manila attempt to drill for oil in the Sea.

Promising developments in Libya were upset this week when scores were killed in a clash over an airbase. This article provides a nice overview of the threat Burkina Faso faces in addressing the rise of violent extremism. New French President Emmanuel Macron’s first trip outside of Europe featured a stop in Mali amidst continued efforts to combat terrorism in the region. A recently released UN report documents the killing of 114 South Sudanese civilians in a single attack at the hands of pro-government forces last year. A public outcry has surfaced in Uganda after it was made public that police officers tortured a number of murder suspects. A recent Human Rights Watch report asserts that Ugandan soldiers stationed in the CAR sexually abused over a dozen women since 2015. Thousands of prisoners escaped from detention in the DRC this week. Officials from a banned opposition party in Rwanda claim that one of their members was assassinated. Is authoritarianism on the rise in Zambia? A dispute between Malawi and Tanzania over Lake Malawi appears to be headed to the International Court of Justice. Authorities in Zimbabwe have unveiled plans to launch Robert Mugabe University.

Nearly one dozen people were injured in Washington, DC, this week when bodyguards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked protesters outside the residence of the Turkish ambassador. Javier Valdez, an award-winning Mexican journalist primarily covering the drug trade, was shot and killed on Monday. In a separate attack, a magazine executive was shot and wounded in Jalisco state. A new report from Doctors Without Borders chronicles the dangerous journey migrants face when fleeing the Northern Triangle. As anti-government protests continue in Venezuela, the death toll has now reached at least 42. The US has sanctioned eight members of the Supreme Court in Venezuela. An ongoing political corruption inquiry in Brazil seems to get messier by the minute.

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