Weekly Links

Winslow Homer, “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)”, 1873-1876. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

By Patrick Pierson.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI pardoned more than 1100 people over the weekend. Spanish police detained a knife-wielding man who threatened authorities at the border crossing between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. A militia leader accused of crimes against humanity surrendered to UN peacekeepers in Congo. A score of Nigerian governors traveled to London to meet with President Buhari – the president has been receiving medical treatment in London for nearly three months. Authorities in Cameroon denied accusations from an Amnesty International report alleging the government tortured Boko Haram detainees. Joint operations between US Special Forces and Somali National Security Forces continue. Al-Shabaab ambushed African Union forces on Sunday and claim to have killed dozens of soldiers. Tempers flared after Tanzania’s President Magufuli urged Burundian refugees to return to their country, explaining, “I have been assured, the place is now calm.” China is threatening Botswana over an upcoming visit by the Dalai Lama. The constitution in Zimbabwe has been amended to allow President Mugabe to personally pick the country’s top judges.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen rages on. US officials claim that 60-70,000 ISIS militants have been killed. An outbreak of dengue fever in Sri Lanka has killed hundreds. Oil workers launched a massive strike in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. A controversial insecticide has been blamed for the deaths of thirteen children in Bangladesh. The Philippines controversial President Rodrigo Duterte held a State of the Union address this week, in which he promised to, “…hound you [criminals] to the very gates of hell.” A US surveillance plane was intercepted by a pair of Chinese fighter jets this week. China is not too happy with a British announcement to send a warship to the South China Sea. China threatened Vietnam to stop oil drilling in the disputed sea. Counterterrorism raids in Australia disrupted a planned bomb attack on an aircraft.

Controversy is swirling in Sweden as details emerge of an IT breach that exposed personal records of Swedish citizens. A US BlackHawk helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing in Austria this week. An attack in Hamburg, Germany, left one dead and multiple wounded on Saturday. The US is considering sending arms to Ukrainian government forces. Police in Turkey arrested dozens of individuals for wearing t-shirts with alleged links to the Gulen movement. Italy is seeking to implement a controversial ‘code of conduct’ for NGOs that rescue migrants at sea. Massive fires in France forced the evacuation of thousands from their homes. Emmanuel Macron announced plans to set up ‘hot spots’ for migrant vetting in Libya.

An aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was arrested this week on charges of bank fraud and attempting to flee the country. A fuller picture has begun to emerge surrounding the disappearance of six Burundian teenagers from a robotics competition in Washington, DC. Thousands took to the streets in Barbados this week to protest a tax increase. The first wave of Central American refugees will soon be relocated to Australia under a ‘refugee swap’ program between the US and Australia. On Wednesday, a former Honduran politician pleaded guilty in US federal court to money laundering charges in connection with criminal gangs. The US government imposed sanctions on thirteen Venezuelan officials amidst ongoing protests against President Maduro’s regime.

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