By Patrick Pierson.
A corruption scandal continues to plague former Honduran President Porfirio Lobo. China has pledged $150 million in economic aid to El Salvador. Authorities in Haiti are offering a monetary reward for information on the whereabouts of alleged gang leader Arnel Joseph. A new report from the UN estimates that more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015. Rafael Correa, the former president of Ecuador, will stand trial for his alleged role in an attempted kidnapping of a political opponent in 2012. In Peru, 14 people have been arrested—including a former national police chief—for involvement in a gang that trafficked infants. In Chile, former commander General Juan Emilio Cheyre has been sentenced to three years in prison for complicity in the deaths of 15 people during the country’s 1973 military coup.
In France, anti-semitic acts are up 69% in the first nine months of 2018. Officials in Denmark have arrested a trio of individuals on allegations of having praised a recent terrorist attack in Iran. The Norwegian government has suspended new licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The mayor of Warsaw banned a far-right rally planned this week to mark the centenary of Polish independence. Authorities in Greece have arrested a pair of migrant traffickers operating from Turkey. Former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski is facing two years in prison on corruption charges. Serbia held military drills this week to mark 100 years since the end of World War I, but the move may have also been intended to send a message to Kosovo. A 70-year-old Austrian colonel is under investigation on allegations that he has been spying on behalf of Russia since the 1990s. The EU is condemning elections scheduled for today in a separatist-controlled region of Ukraine.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that recordings pertaining to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been released to Saudi Arabia, the US, Britain, Germany, and France. An attack by Syrian government forces killed 22 rebels this week in a truce-zone. Meanwhile, an airstrike by US-led coalition forces killed more than two dozen civilians in eastern Syria. Israel and Qatar have agreed on a sea lane between Cyprus and Gaza. Observers are condemning upcoming elections in Bahrain in the wake of a ban on opposition parties. Taliban officials have attended historic peace talks in Russia.
Political unrest continues in Sri Lanka. Elections are scheduled for December 23 in Bangladesh, but the leader of the main opposition party remains imprisoned. The EU may soon remove all trade preferences for goods from Myanmar in response to ongoing attacks on Rohingya Muslims. Camodian PM Hun Sen is defending the recent promotion of his three sons to senior positions in the government and military. The US and China remain at odds over the South China Sea. South Korean President Moon Jae-in has replaced top economic officials amidst ongoing pressure to energize the economy. A terrorist attack occurred in the central business district of Melbourne on Friday.
Morocco and Algeria look to be making headway on their decades-long dispute. Chadian President Idriss Deby has appointed new security and defense ministers amidst ongoing rebel attacks in the north of the country. There are now more than 30,000 Cameroonian refugees in Nigeria. Questions are swirling around the health of Gabonese President Ali Bongo, who was hospitalized in Saudi Arabia more than two weeks ago. A cybersecurity school has been launched in Senegal. Officials in Ethiopia have uncovered a mass grave with more than 200 bodies in the east of the country. Suicide bombers killed dozens this week during an attack on the Somali capital. A Kenyan Red Cross vehicle was attacked this week along the border with Somalia. The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the DRC is now the worst in the country’s history. Malawian President Peter Mutharika has dismissed VP Saulos Chilima—many considered Chilima the greatest potential challenger to Mutharika in next year’s presidential elections. In South Africa, the ANC continues to struggle in efforts to root out corruption. South Africa’s parliament erupted in a brawl this week during a question-and-answer session with President Cyril Ramaphosa.