Weekly News Round-Up 9/27/15-10/2/15: Microbial Martians

Stories of the Week

Putin party. The Russian premier dominated headlines this week, first for his appearance at the UN General Assembly (where he shared uncomfortable moments with American president, Barack Obama), then for Russia’s intelligence-sharing partnership with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, and finally for Russia’s less than subtle bombing of targets within Syria — which the country claims were terrorist strongholds and which the US says were American-backed rebel groups.

Palestine rising. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas spoke to the UN this week and essentially renounced the Oslo Accords. His speech has been critiqued by all sides as either going too far or not going far enough. Regardless, the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN, an historic moment.

Water on Mars? We’ve actually long known about the latest Martian aquatic information — just not the extent that we do now. NASA researchers excitedly spilled the news that water is indeed in existence on the cold red planet, and a panel addressed questions early in the week. Optimists think this will of course lead to the Earthling occupation of Mars, skeptics think the water is too salty to provide much of anything sustainable for life. Apparently there’s probably already life on Mars, brought by Earth’s space materials, so there’s that to ponder as well.


Blues Buzz

Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • The Taliban invaded Kunduz city in Afghanistan at 3 AM Monday morning. They overran the city in a harsh blow to the government and to US forces.
  • Those US forces, however, retaliated and began striking at the Taliban mid-week. The city remains firmly under Taliban control, however, which bodes ill for Western forces.
  • Nepal’s government is imposing new restrictions on who it allows to climb Mount Everest.
  • A man in India was beaten to death following rumors that he had eaten beef.

Southeast & East Asia:

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

  • Air strikes inside of Syria were launched by France for the first time.
  • US-trained rebels did indeed hand over their weapons to Jabhat al-Nusra, an Al Qaeda affiliate, when they crossed back into Syria.
  • The US has briefly stopped the training program while weighing its effectiveness.
  • France wants Syrian president Assad tried for crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, Russia has begun strikes inside the country, targeting Daesh/ISIS.
  • Palestine is raising its flag at the UN for the first time.
  • Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has also stated that Palestine is no longer bound to the Oslo Accords, news that has Israel concerned.
  • Saudi objections have halted an independent human rights investigation into the war in Yemen.

Sub-Saharan Africa:



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