Stories of the Week
Canadian elections! A country that doesn’t generate a lot of buzz globally had its elections this week. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives battled the New Democrats and the Liberal party, with Justin Trudeau (described broadly as “not an intellectual heavyweight”) at the helm of the latter. As of Tuesday morning, the Liberals had swept the election, and Trudeau stands set to make good on several campaign promises. Most notably, Canadian airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have ceased.
Bibi has probably never read a history book. Israeli Prime Minister (and overall questionable human) Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu made an interesting claim this week that a Palestinian mufti gave Hitler the idea for the Holocaust. That is a claim that is 1) not going over well with everyone from Palestinians to Germans to Jewish Israelis, and 2) categorically 110% untrue.
Speaker for the (unmanageable) masses. A seemingly reluctant Paul Ryan has agreed to be Speaker of the House for the American House of Representatives. But, he has conditions. Ryan has conceded bringing comprehensive immigration reform to the House floor, but is also demanding Republicans get in line behind his candidacy. The tumultuous Freedom Caucus has signaled it is willing to get behind Ryan, and Thursday night he formally announced his candidacy.
- Black churches in the US are being set on fire.
- Texas is still working hard to make Planned Parenthood not a thing.
- One woman posted ten years of messages from harassers.
- Jim Webb went from being the most conservative person barely running for the Democratic nomination for the American presidency to not running to potentially running as an independent.
- Joe Biden is not running for president.
- A terrible drought has had one cool outcome: welcome to this buried Mexican church.
- Recreational drone crackdowns.
- Couples separated by the Korean War were given a chance to reunite. (Bring tissues.)
- Apparently you should be getting breast cancer screenings LESS often.
- Discounting Arab-Jewish tables in Israel.
- Sesame Street has introduced its first character with autism.
- The Vatican decentralization debate.
- The fact-finding results of the inspection of the bombing of an MSF hospital in Kunduz are looking worse and worse for the Afghan and American governments.
- 11 people died in a bus bombing in Baluchistan, Pakistan.
- Pakistani leader Nawaz Sharif is in DC this week.
- Pakistan will not take part in the Asia Cricket Cup for the Blind in retaliation for Indian far-right wing Hindu group Shiv Sena’s recent attacks against Muslims.
- A series of killings of foreigners in Bangladesh has sparked concern in the garment industry.
Southeast & East Asia:
- China’s economy has slowed to a six-year record low.
- Malaysia’s prime minister may face a no-confidence vote.
- For the first time, a cleanup worker who worked at Fukushima in Japan has been diagnosed with cancer.
Europe & Eurasia:
- A German mayoral candidate was stabbed repeatedly in the neck while her attack yelled xenophobic slurs. As the candidate is not an immigrant and is of European ancestry, it is assumed that the attack was due to her pro-refugee views. She is in stable condition.
- Hungary has sealed off its border with Croatia, leading to a build-up of refugees in the Balkans.
- Anti-immigrant sentiment is swinging the Swiss to the right.
- A drone shot down in Turkish airspace was reportedly made in Russia.
- Syria’s leader, Bashar al-Assad, paid a visit to Russian leader Vladimir Putin this week.
Middle East & North Africa:
- Low turnout in the Egyptian parliamentary elections is hardly surprising, and a pretty big indicator of the actual popularity of President Sisi.
- The leader of the shadow Khorasan group has reportedly been killed in Syria.
- Palestinian uprisings in Jerusalem have sparked concern across the globe. UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and American Secretary of State John Kerry both traveled to Israel this week to discuss the situation.
- The fatal killing of an Eritrean asylum seeker in Israel is prompting outcry.
- Jacky Sutton, the Iraq director for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting, was found dead in a Turkish airport bathroom.
- A US Special Forces soldier was killed liberating Kurds from Daesh/ISIS.
- Amidst allegations of fraud, Guinea‘s president was re-elected.
- Ethiopia is in the midst of a terrible drought, which could bring it back to a troubling place it’s been before: that of widespread famine.
- Protests shut down three of South Africa‘s best universities, after claims that fee hikes would push lower income black students out.
- Clashes broke out in the Congo following the president’s announcement that he intends to seek a third term.
- Venezuela‘s currency is so bad that even car jackers aren’t accepting it.
- Justin Trudeau is now prime minister-designate of Canada.
- Canada has ended its airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
- The US is withholding $5 million in promised aid to Mexico. This is in retaliation for what it views as the country’s inability to properly deal with its drug war problem.
- Hillary Clinton testified before the Benghazi committee.
- WikiLeaks has published the personal emails of CIA director John Brennan.
- Some controversy surrounds the case of a Somali woman, pregnant by rape, who was flown out of Australia and back to Nauru (where many asylum seekers are detained) without receiving an abortion. The government is claiming she had chosen not to terminate the pregnancy, but her lawyer begs to differ.