By Patrick Pierson.
The US and Mexico are hoping to find common ground on the basics of a new NAFTA agreement in the coming days. Armed self-defense groups are popping up in Guatemala to fight against drug gangs. Doctors at a public hospital in Nicaragua have been fired for treating wounded anti-government protesters. This piece provides a fascinating look at the plight of migrants—from India, Somalia, Yemen, and elsewhere—traveling through Panama on their way to the US. Check out this primer on the plans for Cuba’s new constitution. A Colombian drug gang has placed a $70k bounty on the head of a famous drug-sniffing dog. In Venezuela, inflation has a chance of reaching 1 million percent this year. Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno is taking steps to get Julian Assange out of his country’s London embassy. Argentines are taking to the streets over a controversial reform that would allow the military to assist with domestic peacekeeping duties.
The UN has a major cashflow problem. Spain is dealing with a massive influx of migrants. Italian police cleared a camp of nearly 400 Roma people despite an EU court’s halting of the demolition. The German government is stepping in to limit Chinese investment in key industries. Protests concerning the Polish judiciary continue. Denmark has launched a new intelligence agency specifically designed to counter threats posed by dangerous prison inmates. Are Serbia and Kosovo preparing to trade land? Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited President Trump to Russia. Former Armenian president Robert Kocharyan is under arrest.
Israeli police stormed the Temple Mount/al-Aqsa mosque during Friday prayers. Officials in Saudi Arabia sent more than $80 million to the Palestinian Authority. Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Druze sect in Lebanon, criticized the Syrian government for failing to stop an ISIS attack on Druze in Syria. Yemen’s Houthis are stepping up attacks on Saudi and UAE economic interests; Saudi Arabia was forced to temporarily halt oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandeb strait. The UAE is looking to play a larger military role in the Middle East. The UN is calling on Bahrain to release a number of detained activists. Iraq’s top Shia cleric is calling on the government to pick up the pace in the fight against corruption. Meet Pakistan’s new PM, Imran Khan.
India has plans to open 18 new embassies across Africa. A bomb went off outside the US embassy in Beijing on Thursday. Cambodians go to the polls today. In the Philippines, President Duterte has signed into law a bill that moves toward autonomy and self-rule for the country’s restive southern provinces. Fighting between the Myanmar army and Naga rebels continues. ISIS supporters in Indonesia are exploiting social media to organize and gain recruits. A new law in New Zealand provides paid leave for victims of domestic violence. As part of the ongoing rapprochement between the US and North Korea, the Koreans have returned the remains of 55 US servicemembers killed during the Korean War. A pair of Vietnamese soldiers died this week when their fighter jet crashed during a routine training mission.
The US is sending nearly $200 million in military aid to Egypt. Nearly 800 migrants stormed the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco this week. Boko Haram attacks continue to spread outside of Nigeria to neighboring Chad and Niger. Khalifa Sall—the former mayor of Dakar currently imprisoned for fraud—announced his bid to run in Senegal’s 2019 elections. In Ethiopia, the manager of a controversial dam project along the Nile river was shot and killed this week. Somalia’s attorney general announced the country’s first ever prosecution of female genital mutilation following the death of a young girl. A court in Uganda has signed off on a constitutional amendment that would allow current President Yoweri Museveni to serve for life. Elections are scheduled for the DRC in the coming months, but President Kabila—in power since 2001—doesn’t look ready to leave his post. A video has emerged of Cameroonian soldiers killing women and children. The Islamist threat in northern Mozambique is picking up steam. Zimbabweans head to the polls tomorrow for the first elections since long-time strongman Robert Mugabe was removed from power last November.