Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson.

Edward Hopper, Cape Cod Evening, 1939. Photo via National Gallery of Art

The US government is preparing to send nearly one thousand active-duty troops to the US-Mexico border in response to a ‘caravan’ of Central American migrants. In Mexico, citizens and civil society groups are coming together to provide aid and support to the migrants. A second caravan is forming in Guatemala. More than one dozen bodies have been discovered in an unmarked grave in Mexico’s Jalisco state. In El Salvador, a small town is hoping to curb high levels of violence and crime through tourism. US lawmakers are pushing the Trump administration to address ongoing intimidation and violence against human rights activists in Honduras. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez claims the US is “advancing on a course of confrontation with Cuba.” Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado was attacked and beaten by a group of pro-government thugs. Authorities busted an international drug-trafficking ring this week, prompting more than two dozen arrests in Colombia. Despite the peace accord with the FARC, politically-motivated violence continues in Colombia.

A man was arrested in Britain this week after attempting to steal the Magna Carta. The British government announced this week that it will open all military combat roles to women. The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered that 18 Catalan leaders should stand trial for their role in last year’s Catalan declaration of independence. France is set to take in 100 Yazidi women stranded in northern Iraq for more than three years. In the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s killing, Austria is pushing the EU to halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia. In a separate announcement, German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed that her country will not resume arms sales until Khashoggi’s killing is explained. The largest NATO war games since the 1980s started this week in Norway. Central European University is leaving Hungary. Trump has invited Vladimir Putin to visit the White House.

Israel is accusing Hezbollah of establishing a military outpost near the Lebanon-Israel border under the cover of an environmental NGO. A former Jordanian intelligence chief was shot outside his home on Tuesday. New Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi is moving his office outside of Baghdad’s ‘Green Zone’ in a bid to bring government closer to the people. Abdul-Mahdi is still working to form his government. As the Saudi war in Yemen continues, millions of people are facing famine. In Afghanistan, government officials claim that the country is currently facing 21 terrorist organizations with more than 50,000 combined militants. Pakistan has released a co-founder of the Taliban in a bid to bring regional power brokers to the negotiating table. India is dealing with a huge corruption scandal within the Central Bureau of Investigation. In Sri Lanka, a top police official has been arrested over a suspected plot to assassinate the president.

According to UN human rights officials, the genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar continues. In the Philippines, President Duterte has sacked all top officials at the Bureau of Customs amid ongoing failures to intercept illegal drugs coming into the country. In Indonesia, political and religious violence are complicated. Vietnam has a new president. Relations between China and Japan are warming. Officials from North and South Korea have announced plans to destroy nearly two dozen guard posts along their shared border by the end of November.

China is expanding its military presence in Africa. This man has a nearly impossible task—countering corruption across the African Union with very few resources. What does the #MeToo movement look like in Egypt? The EU is moving significant resources to Morocco in a bid to counter irregular migration. On Thursday, lawmakers in Ethiopia elected Sahle-Work Zewde, the country’s first female president. Somalia held its first tech summit this week. Burundi’s ambassador to the UN has threatened to prosecute the authors of a recent report that detailed human rights violations in his country. Efforts to contain an Ebola outbreak in the DRC continue. Opposition parties in the DRC have vowed to name a unity candidate in the run-up to December elections. Senegal is building a new city from the ground up. Liberia has announced plans to abolish tuition fees for all undergraduates at public universities. In Mozambique, the largest opposition party has walked away from peace talks with the government in protest over results from last month’s local elections.

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