Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson. 

Vincent van Gogh, “The Olive Orchard”, 1889. Via the National Gallery of Art.

Another round of NAFTA talks are underway in Mexico. Roberta S. Jacobson, the US ambassador to Mexico, has announced plans to resign in the coming months. The former first lady of Honduras has been arrested amidst ongoing corruption allegations. The saga at a Trump Hotel in Panama continues. As unrest persists in Venezuela, refugees continue pouring into neighboring countries. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced an increase to the minimum wage this week, but the hike is unable to keep up with the country’s runaway inflation. Officials in Peru are struggling to protect the country’s oil pipeline from vandals.

Recently declassified documents reveal a 1981 assassination plot against Queen Elizabeth II. France’s controversial Marine Le Pen has been charged for posting violent Islamic State images on Twitter. Italians head to the polls on Sunday to vote for parliamentary seats. Are there similarities between the current political climates in Italy and Germany? The German government’s intranet was seriously hacked this week. Norway looks prepared to ban semi-automatic weapons.

Jordanian security forces foiled an ISIS plot to bomb a number of targets in Amman. Turkey is donating $5 million to support the international fight against terrorism in the Sahel, joining a host of Western nations supporting the G5 force. Iran detained nearly three dozen women for attending a soccer match. Bahrain has sentenced a human rights activist to five years in prison for criticizing Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. A pair of suicide bombs went off in Aden, Yemen, this week as the country’s civil war continues. Unrest persists in Afghanistan as a car bomb killed a young girl and injured dozens this week.

Troops continue to amass on Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh, with observers worried that the move represents Myanmar’s ongoing attempt to force Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh. Yet another member of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family has been appointed to a senior post, this time in the Cambodian military. What should we read into Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s visit to India this week? In the wake of North Korea’s successful involvement in the Winter Olympics, a South Korean envoy is expected to visit Pyongyang in the coming months. The abolishment of term limits in China sets the stage for President Xi Jinping to remain in power indefinitely.

Will AMISOM forces in Somalia actually leave the country by 2020? Controversy around Tanzanian President John Magufuli continues, this time in response to the government’s banning of a number of local pop songs for contradicting ‘the country’s norms and values’. According to the UN, a full third of Burundi’s population is now in need of humanitarian aid. Hundreds of Rwandan churches have been shut down for failing to meet required building regulations and other ordinances. Largely overlooked, refugees fleeing violence in the DRC are pouring into Uganda. Botswana called out Congolose President Joseph Kabila, saying he is to blame for the DRC’s humanitarian crisis. General elections are set to take place in Sierra Leone on March 7th. Dozens of individuals are on trial in Burkina Faso for involvement in the failed 2015 coup. On Friday, armed assailants attacked both the French embassy and army headquarters in Ouagadougou. Is Zambia really going to ban foreigners from owning land?

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