Weekly News Round-Up 7/13/15-7/17/15: Reign of the Dwarf Planet

Stories of the Week

#IranDeal. Between Monday and Tuesday, world powers and Iran reached an historic deal to both curb Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and restore billions to the struggling economy the country has faced. The task now falls to American President Obama to sell the deal. Much of this will rely on Congress.

Pluto flyover. The dwarf planet (to whom so many children of the 90s and earlier are fiercely loyal) got its close-up this week. A nearly decade-long voyage by the New Horizons space craft flew past the distant sphere, taking around 150 high-resolution photographs. Though it will be up to 16 months before NASA receives all of the data (transmission time from Pluto to Earth is QUITE slow), the successful flyover has been heralded as unprecedented. (A sweet aside note: the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto, were aboard the aircraft.)

Planned Parenthood problems. An undercover video recorded by anti-choice activists went viral this week. The video reveals a top Planned Parenthood executive discussing methods of aborting fetuses that enable the organs to remain intact; they can then be sold for scientific research. While the video has led to outcry from conservatives, pro-choice advocates argue that the procedure provides those seeking abortions to channel their choice into a good cause, while also noting that there is nothing illegal regarding the process the executive was referring to.

Get us to the Greek. The IMF has come out demanding that any bailout plan for Greece involve debt relief. This runs directly counter to much of what Germany and other European nations have lobbied for, but speaks to the severity of Greece’s situation. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tsipras is struggling to sell the new bailout plan at home, where it is wildly unpopular.

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman briefs foreign press correspondents on the Iran deal at the Daily Press Briefing in Washington, D.C., on July 16, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman briefs foreign press correspondents on the Iran deal at the Daily Press Briefing in Washington, D.C., on July 16, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Blues Buzz

Regional Updates

South Asia:

Southeast & East Asia:

  • Despite being barred from the presidency, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will seek the office.
  • China is cracking down on more than 100 human rights lawyers.
  • A major typhoon hit China this weekend, forcing a million people to evacuate.

Europe & Eurasia:

  • Greece put forward a plan with consent from Eurozone leaders regarding a bailout early this week. The deals involves concessions that are even harsher than those initially proposed. The prime minister, meanwhile, is struggling to keep his job AND save his country.
  • The IMF has said that any bailout plan must involve debt relief. The Eurozone approved a bridge loan to help the struggling country.
  • Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponza has been charged with fraud and tax evasion.
  • Macedonia’s prime minister will step down by next year following a corruption scandal.

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:

Americas:

Blue Out: The women of the Pluto mission. | Meet the coolest 15 year-old around.

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