Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Richard Parkes Bonington, “Five Studies of a French Pointer,” 1825/1826. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

US infrastructure is woefully ill-equipped to deal with cyber threats. George W. Bush is not a fan of the current rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate. President Trump sent a high-level delegation—lead by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—to meet with Mexico’s President-elect Andres Obrador. Protests continue against Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega. Tensions continue in Haiti amid government efforts to roll back oil subsidies – Jack Guy Lafontant, the country’s PM, resigned yesterday. Mexico, Panama, the US, and Colombia are teaming up to combat corruption in Venezuela. Ecuador’s highest court has upheld a $9.5 billion ruling against the oil giant Chevron for years of environmental degradation. Peruvians are taking to the streets as allegations of corruption have surfaced among the country’s judiciary. Why did Paraguay choose to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem?

Here’s a recap on this week’s NATO meeting in Brussels. NATO has officially invited Macedonia to become a member. German authorities have agreed to the extradition of former Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont. Germany has deported a Tunisian man alleged to have once served as the personal bodyguard to Osama Bin Laden. Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement is working hard to fulfill its campaign pledge of curtailing special privileges given to members of parliament…starting with rolling back the pensions of former lawmakers. Prison violence is on the rise in Sweden. Greece expelled a pair of Russian diplomats accused of funding protest groups in the country. Archaeologists in Greece may have just discovered what may be the oldest fragment of Homer’s Odyssey.

The US State Department has praised Taiwan for its humanitarian efforts in areas previously controlled by ISIS. Syrian government forces have retaken Dara’a, a city often cited as the launching point for the country’s seven year civil war. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly criticized a EU ambassador for the diplomat’s critique of legislation currently making its way through the Israeli parliament. Amnesty International is calling for an investigation into allegations of torture conducted by UAE forces in southern Yemen. Qatar is hoping to take out a $4 billion loan to purchase fighter jets. A key US military logistics hub is set to open in Kuwait. Iraqis are protesting the government’s lack of service provision. A US soldier was killed in Afghanistan this week—this marks the fourth death of a US service member in Afghanistan this year. On Wednesday, Pakistan hosted a meeting of leading intelligence officials from China, Iran, and Russia. The Bangladeshi government’s recent drug war has left dozens of men dead in its first two months of operation.

The US government has placed visa restrictions on both Myanmar and Laos after the countries refused to accept immigrants the US wants to deport. Human Rights Watch alleges that Cambodian security officials are actively campaigning for the country’s ruling CPP party. Check out this interesting form of protest in the Philippines. A gay couple was publicly whipped in Indonesia this week. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is keeping the pedal to the metal when it comes to North Korean denuclearization.

After an international outcry, Algeria has ceased its controversial policy of expelling refugees to the Sahara. More than 70% of Kenya’s external debt is held by China. The thaw in relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea is momentous…and has profound implications for even the most mundane daily activities. A number of Senegalese teachers have been sentenced to prison terms after selling copies of exams to students. Gabonese oil workers are on strike against French oil company Total. Tanzanian officials have threatened a polling company for publishing results of an opinion poll showing the president’s popularity slipping. Cameroon’s Paul Biya has announced plans to run for a seventh term. Rwanda is taking steps to clamp down on the country’s religious leaders. eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) is finding it difficult to rebrand a country. Saudi Arabia is preparing to invest billions of dollar in South Africa. South Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of attacks on security vans that transport cash.

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