Link Roundups

Weekly Links

By Patrick Pierson. 

Paul Cézanne, Montagne Sainte-Victoire, from near Gardanne, c. 1887. Photo via National Gallery of Art.

In Haiti, protesters continue to call for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise. The US State Department is urging citizens to avoid travel to the country. Indigenous activists in Guatemala are mobilizing against a bill that would set war criminals free. A former Nicaraguan official claims that the Ortega regime is directing ‘parapolice’ to attack anti-government protesters. Nine different women have accused former Costa Rica president Oscar Arias of rape and sexual harassment. Cuban migrants are pouring into Panama. Cuba has accused the US of moving special forces closer to Venezuela. The health crisis in Venezuela is spilling over the country’s borders. President Maduro claims that representatives from his administration recently met with the US envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. The list of US sanctions on the Maduro regime is growing. Ecuador has officially initiated talks with the IMF about a potential bailout. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Argentina this week to protest against austerity measures undertaken as part of a deal with the IMF. In Brazil, activists are concerned about the government’s aggressive, and deadly, new anti-gang policy.

Antisemitic attacks are on the rise in Europe. Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez has called for snap elections to be held on April 28th.  Dozens of con artists posing as police scammed elderly Germans out of hundreds of thousands of euros. Austria is introducing tougher sentences for crimes against women. Hungary is facing a huge shorter of workers, but Hungarian PM Viktor Orban refuses to allow immigrants to fill the positions. He is now enacting policies to encourage families to have more children to fill the massive shortage of workers. Sweden’s ambassador to China is in some hot water.

Leaders from Russia, Iran, and Turkey met this week to discuss the future of Syria. British intelligence warns that al Qaeda is making a comeback. For the 47th Friday in a row, Palestinians clashed with Israeli security officers along the Gaza border. A farmer and three military personnel were killed in Jordan this week when old landmines from the Arab-Israeli wars exploded. Lebanon’s parliament has finally approved a new government. Saudi Arabia continues to detain female activists without cause. The country even has an app—launched by the Saudi government—that lets men track and restrict the movements of women under the country’s “guardianship laws.” Yemen’s foreign minister, Khaled al-Yamani, came under fire this week for sitting next to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at a conference. More than 3000 cases of crimes against humanity have been filed over the ongoing conflict. Pakistan is set to receive a $20-billion investment package from Saudi Arabia. A bombing in Kashmir this week killed more than 40 Indian police officers. Sri Lanka recently announced its intentions to revive the death penalty—the government is now taking out advertisements in local newspapers to recruit hangmen.

A court in Myanmar has sentenced two men to death for the killing of U Ko Ni, a lauded democracy activist and long-time adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi. Myanmar’s army chief denies any systematic persecution of the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority. Protesters took to the streets in the Philippines this week after prominent journalist and government critic Maria Ressa was detained by officials. President Rodrigo Duterte has suggested renaming the country Maharlika, an idea last advocated by Ferdinand Marcos. A leaked phone call details Cambodian PM Hun Sen’s efforts to completely destroy opposition parties. A new app produced by the Chinese government is suddenly the country’s most popular. The Japanese government has introduced a bill to recognize the country’s Ainu minority as an indigenous people. According to a South Korean official, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is open to the idea of allowing inspections of his country’s nuclear plants.

The Egyptian parliament voted this week to approve a number of constitutional amendments that would allow President Sisi to remain in office until 2034. Tens of thousands of Malians took to the streets this week to protest the government’s inability to curtail jihadist attacks. French airstrikes in Chad are targeting more than terrorist groups, as political rebels increasingly fall into the line of fire. A police officer was killed in Sudan this week during anti-government protests. The struggle for peace continues in South Sudan. The government of Central African Republic signed a peace deal with militia groups, the eight such agreement since 2013. Nearly 200 former Boko Haram militants have surrendered to authorities in Cameroon. The crackdown on political opposition in Cameroon continues—the country’s leading opposition leader, Maurice Kamto, has now been charged with ‘rebellion.’ Senegal is dealing with a wave of pre-election violence. Arrests continue in the wake of Mozambique’s massive debt scandal—this week five officials were detained, including the former head of the country’s intelligence services. South Africa’s efforts to curtail rhino poaching appear to be working.

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