Stories of the Week
Tragedy across the globe. Last week ended on a horrifying note, after bombs hit a Shia-dominated neighborhood in Beirut. A day later, a series of deadly attacks killed over 120 people in Paris, less than a year after the Charlie Hebdo killings. A bombing also struck Baghdad, while Japan was hit with an earthquake. As numerous people have noted, mourning over the incident in Paris seemed to take over social media, leaving many wondering why terrible attacks so often go ignored in non-Western nations.
Spotlight on Paris. In Lebanon, authorities have been seeking the culprits behind the Beirut bombings, with some success. Most eyes have been focused on France, however, where media covered the week-long hunt for the perpetrators of the attacks in Paris. In the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis, which was one of the areas hit late last Friday night, a series of raids unfolded on Wednesday, as police hunted various suspects (as of the publication of this round-up, the leader of the attacks is presumed dead, after DNA testing indicated he had been killed.) A state of emergency has been declared in France; the debate now is how long it will extend for — the country’s president is pushing for three more months. (Of note: in France, states of emergency target public gatherings and the media. This rightfully has many members of the press concerned.)
Boko Haram strikes again. Lest we forget, the world’s deadliest terror group is actually based in Nigeria, and carrying out attacks in Chad, Niger, and Cameroon. Mid-week they struck again, carrying out numerous suicide bombings that killed dozens of people and injured over 100. Another bombing the day after also caused multiple casualties.
- The word of the year is an emoji.
- In a move that has women’s rights advocates on edge, the US Supreme Court will hear a case out of Texas regarding limitations on abortion clinics.
- Bobby Jindal has quit the American presidential race.
- Hacktivist collective Anonymous has declared war on Daesh/ISIS following the attacks in Paris.
- American actor Charlie Sheen has disclosed that he is HIV-positive.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates won the National Book Award for nonfiction in the US for his book, Between the World and Me. The fiction winner was Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson.
- Bernie Sanders gave a speech about democratic socialism. It’s essentially just a hardcore version of the Democratic party’s platform.
- Reports indicate that over 1300 fighters from many countries participated in September’s Kunduz battle in Afghanistan.
- India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement designed to promote coastal shipping.
- Heavy rains are flooding the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
- Pakistan will not accept any citizens deported from Europe, according to recent comments from officials.
Southeast & East Asia:
- Burma‘s military regime, which was overwhelmingly outvoted in the country’s recent election, has said there will be a peaceful transfer of power.
- North Korea may experience an historic visit from UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon this week.
- The Chinese slowdown has also hindered Japan‘s economy.
- Daesh/ISIS claims it has executed both a Chinese national and a Norwegian national.
- An arrest warrant has been issued for a Cambodian opposition leader.
- Protesters in the Philippines who were lobbying against the APEC summit clashed with police.
Europe & Eurasia:
- After a horrifying series of coordinated attacks that killed over 120 people in France, the country has declared war on Daesh/ISIS. French bombs began pummeling Syria early this week, in attacks that killed numerous civilians.
- The Paris attacks shaped the G20 summit, where world leaders were consumed by the tragedy and spent much of their time devoted to putting heads together over potential joint-military movements in the MENA region.
- The Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels, Belgium, has come under particular scrutiny as France’s manhunt expanded this week.
- A Jewish teacher was stabbed by three men professing their loyalty to Daesh/ISIS in the city of Marseilles mid-week. The teacher is expected to recover.
- Next year, Finland will debate whether or not to leave the Eurozone.
- Catalonia is charging ahead with plans to secede from Spain.
- Spain has issued an arrest warrant for Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu.
- Russia has concluded that a Russian flight, which crashed in Egypt’s Sinai desert, was indeed brought down by a bomb.
- A football/soccer match in Germany was called off after authorities were tipped off that a terrorist attack could take place.
- A series of protests broke out in Kosovo regarding the attempted arrests of several MPs.
Middle East & North Africa:
- The UN has cautioned that all factions in Libya may be committing war crimes.
- Lebanon has detained numerous individuals in the hunt for those behind last week’s deadly bombings in Beirut, the worst the country has seen since its civil war.
- The Kurds now control the Iraqi town of Sinjar, following a retreat by Daesh/ISIS.
- Burundi has continued to spiral, and more and more are cautioning that the country’s political dispute could turn into a genocide.
- A former national security adviser for Nigeria is wanted for laundering around $2 billion in funds intended for the purchase of weaponry meant to counter Boko Haram.
- Rwandan President Paul Kegame will be seeking a third term in office.
- Burqas have been banned in Senegal.
- Boko Haram struck in Yola, Nigeria, killing numerous people and injuring scores more.
- Deadly mining floods in Brazil could potentially do long-reaching damage to the country’s economy.
- A ‘mosque of peace’ was set on fire in Canada.
- Honduran police detained five men, presumed to be Syrians, who were traveling on Greek passports.
- Many members of the Mormon Church in the US have resigned over what they see as anti-LGBTQ steps by the church.
- Numerous state governors in the US are attempting to halt the resettlement of refugees.
- Australia‘s new prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has argued that his country will not suffer an attack similar to that in Paris because it is a ‘multicultural’ country. Meanwhile, Australia remains set to take in the refugees it has agreed to accept, with no sign of pushback as of yet.
Blue Out: English is evolving.