Stories of the Week
War crime in Afghanistan. The US military bombed an MSF (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Kunduz, which has recently been overtaken by the Taliban. The hospital was given no warning, as is required by international law. The military has insisted they bombed the hospital due to a request from Afghan forces. MSF has is demanding an inquiry into the bombing, however, and is accusing the US of committing a war crime. President Obama called MSF’s head mid-week to apologize for the incident.
Oregon trauma. Following a shooting in Oregon at a community college last week, America’s gun debate has begun anew. There seems to be little indication that real change will come from the shooting, but politicians on both right and left have exchanged heated remarks. Notable fact: There have been more mass shootings in the US than days in the 2015 calendar year so far.
More Putin more problems. Russia’s sudden involvement in Syria’s war has been unpopular across the board. The country has repeatedly crossed into Turkish airspace, an infringement on NATO’s turf–meaning Russia is to an extent pitting itself against the US. This is mean even more real by Russian strikes targeting US-backed rebel groups in the country. It’s unclear just how the situation will unfold, but scholars across the board argue Vladimir Putin is making, well, a relatively stupid move here. Update: Russian missiles aimed at Syria crashed in Iran on Thursday. Oops.
- Kickstarter for Syrian refugees.
- Abrupt turn around for all: Kevin McCarthy, presumed to be elected Speaker of the House, suddenly dropped out of the race.
- Numerous nations appear to have reached a breakthrough on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but environmental groups and unions are about to throw a fit over the deal.
- The Nobel in medicine has been awarded, as have numerous other Nobel prizes. The winners are a diverse and eclectic group — Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel for literature, the first time in over 50 years that a writer who deals predominately in nonfiction has won the award. Alexievich is a Belarusian writer, and works under a dictatorship.
- American Apparel files for bankruptcy.
- Extreme poverty is falling.
- DC may be THE place to live for parents soon.
- An 8 year-old girl was shot by an 11 year-old boy in the US over a puppy.
- Fantasy Football is something I just learned about.
- A group of inmates beat the Harvard debate team.
- US forces hit an MSF hospital in Kunduz province, Afghanistan this weekend. The organization is calling the attack a war crime, and over two dozen people have been reported dead or injured.
- Protests over Nepal’s new constitution have led to numerous deaths. Ethnic Madhesis are angered because the constitution divides the country into seven new states, the lines of which cut through their ancestral homelands.
- In Delhi, a clean air space plan is being demanded as hazardous environmental conditions threaten the city’s inhabitants.
- Two aides have been arrested for explosions last month that seemed to target the Maldivian president.
- Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard who killed Punjabi (Pakistan) governor Salman Taseer several years ago, has had his death sentence upheld.
Southeast & East Asia:
- A Chinese activist discovered bugging devices in his apartment.
- The US is set to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea.
- North Korea released a South Korean student it had detained.
- An attempt to overturn a Malaysian ban on cross-dressing has failed.
Europe & Eurasia:
- Portugal’s center-right coalition government has won re-election.
- A gay priest came out and was promptly fired by the Vatican.
- Turkey lodged a formal complaint after Russian planes entered its airspace a first time this week.
- NATO has accused Russian jets of entering Turkish airspace a second time.
- AirFrance strikers literally cut the shirts off of several executives after a plan to cut thousands of jobs was announced.
- Greece’s prime minister will face a confidence vote following his re-election.
- Moldovans sought to sell nuclear material to extremists in the Middle East, according to an AP investigation.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Clashes in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians have tensions running high. Numerous stabbings led Prime Minister Netanyahu to cancel his trip to Germany in an effort to quell the violence.
- Iran’s Supreme Leader has vetoed further negotiations with the US.
- ISIS/Daesh militants have destroyed yet another ancient monument in the Syrian city of Palmyra.
- The US is considering a no-fly zone in Syria.
- Baghdad’s Green Zone will be opened to the public for the first time in 12 years.
- An Algerian jihadi leader has been confirmed dead.
- ISIS/Daesh has executed as many as 70 members of an Iraqi Sunni tribe.
- Houthi rebels in Yemen have reportedly agreed to withdraw from several cities as part of a UN agreement.
- South Africa wants more time before it explains why it allowed Sudanese leader Omar to avoid arrest for war crimes in June.
- Seven of Ghana’s high court judges have been summoned over bribery allegations.
- Despite unrest, the UN says the peace process in Mali is back on track.
- Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea all recorded an Ebola-free week.
- Hoping to avoid impeachment, Brazil’s president has reorganized her cabinet.
- The Olympics budget for Rio de Janeiro has been cut by 30%.
- A US cargo ship appears to have sunk in last weekend’s hurricane.
- South Carolina has been hit with historic flooding this week.
- California has legalized assisted suicide.
- The US Justice Department is set to release 6,000 prisoners.
- Hillary Clinton has come out against Obama’s trade deal, siding with progressives.
- A 15 year-old who shot and killed a police worker in Parramatta, Australia, has been identified as a young Muslim man from the area. He was killed by police following the initial shooting, and there is some concern that the situation could further isolate Australia’s Muslim community.
- Australian asylum seekers on the island of Nauru now have freedom of movement around the area.
- Antarcticans have a drinking problem.