Sunday, October 30, 2016

‘Why? Why? Why?’ Man Asks, Stabbing U.S. Embassy Guard in Kenya

Thursday afternoon in Nairobi, Kenya a man was shot outside of the United States Embassy after stabbing an on duty guard in the face. This part of Kenya isn't known as the safest place, but this was in the middle of the day outside one of the most protected buildings in East Africa. Authorities are not sure about the motives of this incident. Witnesses saw the man go up to the officer shouting “why? why? why?” before stabbing him in the face. There was a struggle before shots were fired from the officer under attack and other officers rushed over. Americans inside the embassy were told to duck and cover under their desks and to stay away from windows. The attacker was shot multiple times and pronounced dead on the scene. Investigators are still trying to figure out if the man acted alone against one of the officers, or if this was an attack on the embassy. 

Lauren Whelan

Seeking Clues to ISIS Strategy in Corpses and Cellphones Left in Kirkuk

Eighty-four deaths of the ISIS militants occurred in Kirkuk, Iraq during an attack initiated by the Islamic State. The Kurdish counterterrorism forces led by Polad Talabani are now responsible for gathering intel from the fallen terrorists' cellphones and belongings. So far there has not been any key information that has been released to the press. The initial outcome of the attack showed the Islamic State's political motives to rally its followers. A video was posted on YouTube showing the ISIS militants celebrating their supposed victory in Kirkuk. Kurdish forces retaliated with helicopter reign and gunfire on ISIS militants. One of ISIS's goals was to continue the ongoing tension between the Kurds and Arabs living in Kirkuk. Sheltered Arabs had to evacuate Kirkuk and the Kurds even believed that some of the refugees were terrorists. This claim was later announced as false. Governor of Kirkuk, Najmiddin Karim, gave a resonating quote regarding the war on terrorism. "If there is no solution to the political problems, they will just go back and become Al Qaeda, or Ansar al-Sunna or Naqshbandi... I don’t think it is going to end. There has to be political reconciliation, and it has not happened.”


-Drew Truckenmiller

Humanitarian workers suspend operations in Central African Republic amid violence

Renewed fighting in the Central African Republic has forced humanitarian workers to suspend their relief work in the northern part of the country, as the violence there has made it too dangerous for humanitarian agencies to serve people in the area. The country has been in a near-constant state of instability and violence since its government was overthrown in 2003 by Seleka, a Muslim armed rebel group. A civil war broke out between Seleka and a Christian vigilante group called anti-Balaka. Each government in the CAR since 2003 has held very little authority over the country, leaving its starving, war-torn civilians with no higher authority to turn to in order to receive vital survival assistance including food, water, and medical care. A United Nations peacekeeping agency, MINUSCA, as well as the French military, are currently serving in the CAR to help reinforce stability. However, many civilians have accused both the UN peacekeepers and the French military of sexual abuse to civilians, particularly to minors. As a result of the violence and the accusations, the French Defense Minister is expected to announce an upcoming end to French military intervention in the CAR. The election of President Faustin Touadera in February has eased rebel group violence in the country over the past eight months. However, attacks have severely spiked in the last four weeks throughout the CAR, with 65 people killed in that timespan in the western, central, and eastern parts of the country. The town of Kaga Bandero was brutally attacked this month, with 40 civilian deaths in that city alone.

Justin Wysocke

Australia Might Not Let Refugees In

Refugees may not be able to settle in Australia if a new bill becomes law. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has introduced a new bill that states refugees be denied entry if they came by boat. The move has been three years in the making and has been regarded as completely unnecessary by humanitarian groups. However, in the eyes of the prime minister, if refugees were to be smuggled into Australia by boat, they would never settle in the country. However, despite the Prime Minister's stance on the issue, he continues to receive plenty of backlash from the international community.

Sudan's FM: 'ICC is a court built to indict Africans'
Robert Tomaszewski
 Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir was the first person to be charged by the International Criminal Court for the crime of genocide. The Foreign Minister  Ibrahim Ghandour maintains that peaceful dialogue is going on despite claims from critics that the government is keeping participants in that dialogue in check. Ghandour also deflected questions about the genocide by calling the ICC "a political organ of the E.U." He also accused the court of being built to indict Africans. Bashir will not appear in court because Sudan is not party to the Rome treaty, according to Ghandour. The ICC has said it is suspending its work on Darfur cases because of frustrating investigations.

This article has impeccable timing with class discussion about how world leaders ignore the international criminal court. The significance here is that Sudan is not a world power but has legal autonomy in the matter described because they are not part of an agreement.

S Korean scandal: President Park's friend Choi returns to Seoul

Choi Soon-sil, a long time-friend of South Korean President Park Gun-hye, has returned to the country to face the accusations of receiving a number of government classified documents and involvement in state affairs. President Park has admitted she had shown political speeches and documents to Ms Choi. While the prosecutors continue to investigate, a growing number of protesters are demanding the president's resignation.

-Mirina Uchida-

A Little-Noticed Fact About Trade: It’s No Longer Rising

Global trade is no longer rising, this article explores a few contributing factors that are causing people to reduce consumption and investing instead. Some of those reasons being politics, India and china reaching premature deindustrialization, and over producing more then they can consume.

-Maria Dementieva

Lithuania issues manual on what to do if Russia invades

European powerhouse Lithuania is showing Russia they are ready for a fight by issuing an updated version of their public manual on how to resist an invasion. The previous entry was titled: "Prepare to survive emergencies and war: a cheerful take on serious recommendations." The handbook features pictures of Russian vehicles and weapons, as well as information on first aid and survival skills. Russia has a history of invading its smaller neighbors (in other words, all of its neighbors), so Lithuanian fears are very much justified. While public awareness and information is important, the work is just as much a reminder to our good friend Vladimir that Lithuania will not just accept a Soviet Russian invasion. Lithuania is a member of NATO. While the treaty ensures its independence in theory, a popular fight by Lithuanians against Russian invaders could help to motivate a strong NATO response for a nation that many people could not find on a map. You can view the previous version of the handbook in its native Lithuanian on the CNN website. It has enough pictures to give you a good feel for what it's all about.

-Clayton Bailey

Italy Struck With Powerful Earthquake

On October 30th, Italy suffered a 6.6 magnitude earthquake strike. According to an article written by Gretel Kauffman for The Christian Science Monitor, the earthquake struck throughout central Italy at just before 8am in the local time. This earthquake has come at an inopportune time for Italy. Struggling already with internal upkeep, resources to rebuild will be hard for Italy to come by, and may cause significant actions to occur in order to acquire the supplies needed. The magnitude of the quake is the largest Italy has experienced in three decades, and caused damage to towns and historical structures. So far, there are no reported deaths, but at least twenty people have been listed as injured. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has reportedly made a promise to find a way to acquire the funds to begin rebuilding, but the method of where money will be diverted from has yet to be decided.

Benjamin Ubert

Russia Sending 3 Submarines towards Syria

It has been reported that Russia is now sending three submarines armed with cryise missiles to Syria. Nato and the British Royal Navy report that the submarines consist of two akula class and one kilo class. Tensions are rising, as naval powers fear that the submarines may use the cruise missiles to break through the siege and potentually attack civillians.

-Mohammed Khan

Australia asylum: Arrivals by boat face lifetime visa ban

Some Americans want to build a wall to keep immigrants out, but Australia has already topped us by building an Ocean around their entire country. Even with this monumental barrier, Australia still has a problem with immigrants, and has for decades taking aggressive measures against them. Australia has recently unveiled a new plan to ban anyone found attempting to make landfall by boat from ever returning to Australia. Even tourist and business visas would be denied to these individuals. Australia has been greatly criticized for some of its immigration policies, especially the treatment of individuals who are caught. We will have to see how this new plan is received by Australians and the wider world. 

Human shields: The new ISIS strategy in Mosul

ISIS has started using a new strategy to protect themselves in Mosul, Iraq. In attempt to retain the city, they have forced tens of thousands of innocent civilians into the city center in an attempt to take advantage of the ethics of those trying to drive ISIS out of the city. The city's population has increased from its previous 23,000 to over 65,000. The civilians that have been essentially held captive in the city do not have very many options on what they can do. They can either sit in the city and risk dying from the attacks on ISIS in the city, or they can attempt to escape in which they would be punished by death from the ISIS members. The United Nations has labeled the ISIS strategy as completely cowardly but this method of fighting is the only way this group has a fighting chance.

Mitch Reid

Siege of Aleppo

A UN convoy was 'appalled' when arriving in Aleppo. Rebel troops have been accused of intentionally bombing civilians in the portions of the city controlled by the state. Members of Assad's camp have claimed that while trying to siege the city. rebels have used chemical weapons. The rebel forces deny the claim. The forces trying to siege the city are splinter groups of Al Qaeda linked Nusra front. So far the rebel's bombs have killed dozens of civilians and state military.

 Rodney Ross

Morocco protests: Death of fish seller triggers rare demonstrations

Thousands of Moroccans have held protests throughout the country after a fish seller was crushed to death in a refuse lorry trying to retrieve fish confiscated by police. The death of the fish seller Mouhcine Fikri, on Friday drew "widespread anger" on social media. Police had confiscated and destroyed Mr Fikri's swordfish because it is not allowed to be fished at this time of the year, according to Moroccan media. Video circulating on social media appears to show Mr. Fikri jumping into the back of the refuse lorry to retrieve his fish, before being crushed to death by its compactor. Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad vowed to hold a speedy investigation into exactly what had happened. Mr. Fikri's death drew parallels to that of a Tunisian fruit seller in 2010 which helped spark the Arab Spring uprisings. To prevent uprising and unrest Morocco's King Mohamed has ordered officials to visit Mr Fikri's family, along with the interior and justice ministries have also pledged to hold an investigation.

-AC Christopherson

Thousands Flood Mosul as ISIS loses ground

ISIS retreats from towns surrounding Mosul, causing civilians to seek shelter in the center of the town. The men, women, and children are said to be in poor condition. The intentions of the group are unknown, but UN officials are concerned that it may be related to ISIS using human sheilds. 232 people were killed for not following orders, 42 of them being civilians.

Jackie Diaz

Suicide Bombers in Maiduguri

              Two suicide bombings are responsible for the deaths of seven individuals in Maiduguri, a north-eastern city within Nigeria; more than twenty other people were also seriously injured, as a result of the explosions.  The suicide bombers, according to authorities, were most likely affiliated with the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram.  The Boko Haram have terrorized and killed tens of thousands of people, displacing them from their homes and instilling fear throughout Nigeria.  While the group's influence has recently been countered by government resistance, their violent attacks are still somewhat frequent.  Nigerian authorities believe the suicide bombers intended to kill many more victims, but varying factors led to a hurried execution of the plan.  Regardless of the intentions, the results were, nonetheless, ruthless and devastating. We can only hope that the government authorities continues to push back against this group and, eventually, lead to their defeat.

-Jaedyn Krebs-Carr

Global Trade no Longer Rising

Although it has received little attention, global trade is actually declining.  Through the first 3 months of 2016 global trade was steady, but since then it has fallen by .8 percent.  The united states has been hit hard because of this.  In 2015 the total value of American imports fell by 200 billion dollars and an additional 470 billion so far in 2016.  This is also the first time since WWII that there has been a decrease in global trade during a time of global economic growth.  This may be the reason why the decrease in global trade has mainly gone unnoticed.

-Andres Terronez

Manure dumped in parking lot of Democratic headquarters

In Warren County, Ohio, a truckload of manure was dumped and left outside the Democratic Headquarters for that district. The event is believed to have taken place late Saturday night and according to the security footage, at 12:03 a.m, a truck was spotted dumping the load of manure near the front door of the building. The Warren sheriff's office has begun an investigation to look into the incident.

-Chase Gozdziak

Corruption Arrest in El Salvador

Corruption in the world of politics comes with no surprise.  When officials get caught, they're in for a surprise. Tony Saca and two of his friends,were arrested at one of his childen's wedding on Saturday.  Saca, a former president of El Salvador and a radio sports announcer, was arrested for money laundering, illicit enrichment, and unlawful association. Elmer Charlaix was Saca's former private secretary and also accused of stealing money. He turned himself in. Charlaix and Saca both have millions of dollars that they cannot explain where it comes from. What's surprising and not surprising at the same time is that why would a country trust a former radio sports announcer to run for president in the first place? But I guess in countries like El Salvador, where resources are scarce and the crime and violence is high, people don't care about whether or not the candidate is qualified. They just want to survive. The fact that they arrested him at one of his children's wedding also sounds like it would be a good scene in a telenovela. Also, the article states that when  Charlaix turned himself in, he said "I have come to face the accusations against me". That's a little dramatic. It kind of makes me wonder if officials decided to arrest him at that time and place for publicity.

--Jazmin Galindo

Ceta: EU and Canada sign long-delayed free trade deal

Canada and the EU have signed a much anticipated trade agreement over the weekend that has been riddled with delays. The trade deal will be known as CETA or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade agreement. The negotiation process required all 28 members of the EU to sign and cut 99% of tariffs between the two countries and is expected to generate nearly 12 billion dollars a year. The EU is happy to open new relations and trade deals in the aftermath of Brexit and the consequences brought on by that loss of trade.

Tanner James

Russia Fails To Win Re-election To U.N. Human Rights Council

Russia is no longer on the board for U.N.'s Human Rights Council. After getting beaten out by Hungary and Croatia, the U.N. abassasador for Russia stated that they faced a good competition. This comes after several rights groups lobbying against Moscow for their military support of the Syrian government. Hungary beat Russia by 32 votes, while Croatia won by two. Russia's term will end on the 31st of December. However, Russia wasn't the only one getting beat out. It seems as though Cuba and Brazil beat Guatemala.

Alexa Ortiz

China and Saudi Arabia hold joint Anti-terrorism drills to strengthen security ties.

China makes effort to strengthen security ties with the middle east. China and Saudi Arabia’s special forces held first anti-terrorism drills. The two-week training was held in china’s southwest city, Chongqing from October 10.  People's Liberation Army Daily said, 25 people from each side participated in the drill. China’s president Xi Jinping had visited Saudi Arabia early this year, promising to expand security cooperation and oppose terrorism.  China's western region of Xinjiang, home to the Muslim Uighur people has been a point of concern to Chinese officials which is threatened by Afghanistan’s instability spilling into this region. A suicide bomb attack this August on the Chinese embassy in the Kyrgyz capital was ordered by Uighur fighters active in Syria was reported by authorities in bordering Kyrgyzstan.  Such treats called for china to set up an anti-terrorism alliance with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, which all border Xinjiang, in August.

 Anisha Venkatesh Babu

Friday, October 28, 2016

Duterte: God Told Me to Stop Swearing

According to the Philippines's President, Duterte, he was on a plane when he heard a voice telling him to stop swearing, otherwise the plane would crash. This divine encounter comes after a wake of Duterte's blunt and offensive speech, often directed towards the West. He has called Obama the son of a whore and, when compared to Hitler, said he would gladly kill three million drug addicts. Roman Catholic Duterte was abused by an American priest, which he says influenced his political views. He is calling for a separation from the US and the withdrawal of US troops within two years.

-Hannah Friedle

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Food crisis in Yemen

Yemen's civil war is leading millions of people to starve in the country. According to a report made in June, about 14.1 million people in Yemen are what's known as "food insecure," and almost half of them are "severely food insecure".The UN World Food Programme was providing supplies to more than 3 million people, and the program has split this rations to reach 6 million people, but they are running out of resources. Without it "An entire generation could be crippled by hunger," says the program's director 

Ana Maria Gentil

Russian Ships Refueling off Africa

Russia made NATO go up in arms against their lans to refuel its warships in a Spanish Port.  This made Russia change their plans and make them choose a port of the Northern Coast of Africa.  This fleet includes the Admiral Kuznetsov, Russia's only aircraft carrier.  This ship in particular worries NATO and many other countries because they worry that the aircraft on the ship will be used to continue the bombing of Aleppo and other rebel held areas.  The Russian Embassy in Madrid sent a request to Spain to let multiple ships to dock in Spanish ports from October 28 to November 2.  Then the fleet was confirmed to have two tankers accompanying it to the Syrian coast.  So, it is unclear what ships the Russian Navy is refueling in the sea off Africa.  It will be very interesting to see what these ships are there to do, and if they do affect the bombing of Aleppo.  

John Carmody

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"ISIS Sent Four Car Bombs. The Last One Hit Me."

Bryan Denton, a photographer for the New York Times was with Iraqi counterterrorism forces as they began pushing toward Mosul last week. While in Bartella, Iraq, their convoy had already been targeted by suicide car bombs three times in one day. After the incident Iraqi forces had brought up a tank and kept its main gun scanning the road ahead toward Mosul. While on their way to Mosul car bomb no. 4 was about 70 feet away by the time anyone noticed it. Denton recalls his experience traveling with the Iraqi counterterrorism forces and explains how nerve-racking and scary it was at times.

-Taylor Sikora

Airstrikes In Syria Kill 22 People, Mostly Children.

Airstrikes in Syria killed up to 22 people, mostly children, on Wednesday, October 19th,  when warplanes struck a residential area housing a school complex in the northern rebel-held province of Idlib.The activist-operated Idlib News network, which gave a lower toll of 17 people killed, said the strikes hit as the children were gathered outside the school complex. It said the death toll could rise as some of the wounded were reported to be in critical condition, the network added.
Idlib is the main Syrian opposition stronghold, though radical groups also have a large presence there. It has regularly been hit by Syrian and Russian warplanes as well as the U.S.-led coalition targeting Islamic State militants.
David Soto

Monday, October 24, 2016

Growing Deserts in China

Almost 20% of China is desert and this percentage is only increasing. China's deserts are expanding at alarming rates, and the Chinese government is scrambling to find a way to halt this process. The spread of desert land in China is making areas uninhabitable and causing issues of drought. People living on the edge of desert land are being relocated, and farmers living on the edge of deserts are having to sell their livestock to survive. The government is encouraging farmers to sell their livestock and move for fear that grazing has contributed to the desertification of the land. China's desert, the Tengger desert, is expanding so fast that it is close to merging with 2 other deserts nearby. This could lead to even more problems for China. The desert issue in China makes a very strong argument for the existence of climate change and the devastating effects it could have on the rest of the world.

Fugitive Police Chief in Mexico Arrested in Case of Missing Students

After being on the lam for nearly two years, one of the masterminds behind the disappearance of 43 students has been arrested. Felipe Flores, a former Iguala police chief was arrested after being on the run, and helping as one of the masterminds behind the disappearance of the students. He was visiting his spouse in Guerrero, the state where the students had gone missing in 2014. The students went missing on the order of local mayor, Jose Luis Abarca, so that they would not disturb an event that he was having with his wife the night they went missing. The mayor turned the students over to a group of people who killed them and burned their bodies, tossing the remains into a nearby river. The gang who killed the students thought they were a rival group, and claimed it was a case of mistaken identity. Flores was the individual that helped protect the city's police officers who were involved with the case.

-Allie Downer

Somali pirates free 26 hostages after nearly 5 years

A ship that was hijacked in March of 2012 by Somali pirates held 29 men from China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Just recently 26 of the men were released after being held in captivity that long. Three of the men died, one during the initial invasion and then two while in captivity.

Mitch Reid

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Calais migrants: France prepares to demolish 'Jungle' camp

The French government says it will demolish a migrant camp in the northern port town facing Britain, Calais. The camp has been referred to as "Jungle," due to the increasing population and a number of reports of violence. Also, many migrants have attempted to hide themselves in cargo vehicles entering the Channel Tunnel and some have been hit and killed by vehicles. Although the authorities say the migrants will be offered placements in refugee centers across France, they are refusing to move because they want to get to Britain. A number of protests from locals and truck operators have been seen.

-Mirina Uchida

Kurdish Forces Push Toward Mosul, Liberate Several Nearby Local Villages

Kurdish forces operating under the name "Peshmerga" are fighting 5 miles out from the city of Mosul in Iraq. Mosul was seized in 2014 by ISIS militants; Mosul is considered an ideal location for the capital of the envisioned Muslim caliphate, whose establishment is the organizational goal of ISIS. Kurdish forces in the region number 100,000 soldiers, while there are likely only 5,000 ISIS militants present in Mosul. Peshmerga has seized eight villages that were formerly ISIS-controlled, in addition to blocking a large stretch of the Bashiqa-Mosul highway that links Mosul with the city of Bashiqa, which will limit ISIS's ability to move. The Turkish military has lent support to Peshmerga in their battle against ISIS. A tragic side note was reported this weekend, however: ISIS executed 40 people who were celebrating their villages' liberation from the organization. This indicates the need for Iraq and Peshmerga to secure these villages after their liberation, in order to prevent a return by ISIS militants. The Iraqi town of Hamdaniya was also freed from ISIS by Iraqi forces, after ISIS had conquered the town in 2014. Church bells rang out in Hamdaniya in celebration, ringing for the first time since ISIS's siege. 200 ISIS militants were killed in the fighting during that town's retaking.

Justin Wysocke

Refugee Burning in France

France has become a very important topic in the world today in terms of the way Islamic Refugees are interacting with the French Culture.  What we have been seeing over the is very similar to the Clash of Civil Civilizations by Samuel Huntington.  There have been a few cases in France such has the Paris terror attack and the Charlie Hebdo attacks.  This article focuses on the closing of a camp in Calais.  This camp is home to migrants and refugees, and is known for having living conditions that are well bellow human and being over crowded.  There are about between 6,400 and 8,100 people living in this small camp.  So, France is putting an end to the camp and that the people who live there will get on buses and be transported to multiple different areas in France and some people are even going to England for relocation.  There are many complaints that the French plan saying that it was to quickly done and it is not done well.  So, it will be very interesting to see how the moving people out of the camp has an effect of France and if we see more or less violence from it.

John Carmody

Cyber warfare: The new international warfront
Robert Tomaszewski
In the article the U.S. is seen as lagging behind in its recruitment of U.S. hackers. Brett Scott the cofounder of the Arizona Cyber Warfare Range said "The US has a very backwards idea towards hackers. Russia, China, and even ... countries like Iran are offering them huge amounts of money, luxurious cars, and nice flats." The U.S. government is still seeking to jail these individuals instead of hiring them.
The government still wants to discourage cyber militias from attacking its adversaries in order to prevent retaliatory hacking. On the international scale hacking presents a delicate problem because there are a larger number of dangerous individuals than say, nations with nukes. The article also details how the FBI bust of the Playpen dark web site might be a blow to the fourth ammendment, because of the cyber equivilancy of search and seizure which was used. Overall the article's main theme is summed up in a quote it uses from a hacker. "World War III is already here, and it's happening on the internet,"

Venezuela opposition puts pressure on President Maduro

Venezuelan congressmen put President Nicolas Maduro under more pressure by voting to put him on trial for violating democracy. Congressmen said Maduro had "broken constitutional law and carried out a coup d'etat", in a special session. This occurred days after officials blocked a popular vote on removing President Maduro from power. Ruling party officials accuse the opposition of fraud while collecting signatures needed for the referendum. The problem in Venezuela is a split government making it hard for any action to take place since the Congress is dominated by opposition parties, and the government and the Supreme Court have "systematically undermined the legislature". Political tensions are high in part because of  "an unprecedented economic crisis which has led to shortages of basic goods and medicines", which it's oil wealth can't seem to save. Maduro realizes, "the revolution will continue to win despite the constant pretentions of the right which is trying to take over power by unconstitutional means". This will create social unrest soon since the opposition has called for a peaceful mass protest across Venezuela on Wednesday in which they say they will "retake Venezuela step by step".

-AC Christopherson 


China Considers Launching a "Citizen Scoring" program

     The Chinese government is planning to incorporate a "Citizen Scoring" system to control the decisions of its its people. While the exact details of the program are unknown, the government says that it is trying to use this program to keep citizens from committing fraud like selling poisoned food, doctors taking bribes, and conning other people. This plan will assign a "score" to activities that are considered as "bad" or "good" behaviors, with the government's categorizations being an item of mystery at this point. Citizens with a "bad" score might be denied rights such as borrowing loans or traveling outside the country. China seems to be calling this program "Internet Plus", but many critics are likening this move to a shift in a more totalitarian society, Also, cyber-security analysts say that this move can open up a new avenue for cybercriminals to exploit or modify the system for their own needs.

-Mohammed Khan

Britain To Make Controversial Legal Sanctions

Described in article by David Ianconangelo for the Christian Science Monitor, coming up soon in December, Britain will be instituting heavy new legislation that will affect foreign-born citizens as well as immigrants within. The policies implemented are intended to give negative consequences for not going through citizenship steps if one has immigrated. Being an undocumented person within Britain after the new legislation begins will result in not being able to have access to banks, employment, or housing. Companies that advertise across the world for employees will also have to first advertise domestically for 28 days before extending offers globally. One of the most driving factors for the British exit of the European Union was the growing distaste and discontentment for the status of immigrants flooding the United Kingdom, and this legislation is intended to give native British citizens and immigrants who have gone through proper processing the benefits many there believe they deserve. There has been backlash against the new legislation, as businesses and liberal party advocates claim it treats certain citizens as second-class based upon factors that they cannot control, and hurts businesses because it will make them feel like hiring a global workforce is frowned upon. The effects of this new legislation will start to be seen this winter, and will follow after for months, even years to come.


Benjamin Ubert

Aleppo: Mortar attack marks end of ceasefire

Mortar fire from regime forces ended a three-day ceasefire in Aleppo.  The Russian-backed ceasefire was initiated to allow for civilians, medical cases, and rebels could evacuate safely.  It is uncertain if any of the intended beneficiaries actually took advantage of the temporary peace.  Most people were wary of the situation and were too afraid to flee and those who did were blocked by rebel forces.

Chris Buechner

Tensions over Mosul between Turkey and Iraq

The President of Turkey insists to be involved in the recapture of Mosul, Iraq's second largest city. Currently, Mosul is controlled by ISIS. Turkey claims it has a historical responsibility for this area, which displeases the Iraqi government. Turkey has stationed troops in both Iraq and Syria, which represents the dissolving sovereignty of countries in the area. Iraq is not the only country concerned about Turkey's actions. For almost a year, the United States has urged Turkey to respect Iraq's sovereignty. Turkey has undermined the United States's support of Kurdish forces in the Syrian conflict. Some even argue that tensions could lead to a war between Turkey and Iraq.

-Hannah Friedle

Mosul offensive: Turkish and Kurdish forces launch attacks on IS

The Turkish and Kurdish joint military effort in Iraq has been cranked up a notch in recent days with multiple attacks made on ISIS forces throughout the region. These attacks included the securing of a major highway that will limit the IS movement in the area. Turkish officials maintain that they "cannot remain idle" when it comes to military action against the Islamic State even though Iraqi leaders have insisted that Turkish intervention "is not necessary yet." The increasingly inevitable confrontation is looking grim when it comes to displaced civilians as well. Aid agencies are preparing for as many as 1,000,000 people to need shelter as a result of the battles.

- Tanner James

Poland and Abortion

                 Protesters took to the streets of Poland over the weekend, in order to demonstrate their opposition toward new efforts to further regulate abortion laws.  Already recognized for having some of the strictest abortion laws in Europe, Poland plans to, more strictly enforce, regulations on abortions; more specifically, Poland plans to outlaw abortions for fetuses that have been deemed "unviable" or "badly damaged".  Women's rights activists throughout the country are, undoubtedly, outraged and protested accordingly; many argue that harsher restrictions on abortion, will only continue to drive the practice "underground".  According to the article, illegal abortions are far more common in Poland than legal abortions, and the concern is that this trend will continue to rise.  Protests are expected to continue into this upcoming week until these issues are truly discussed.

-Jaedyn Krebs-Carr

Congress suddenly has buyer's remorse for overriding Obama's veto

Congressional leaders from both parties, including the Senator who sponsored the bill, expressed doubts over the wisdom of a new bill which allows 9/11 victims' families to sue foreign nations over their involvement with the attack. The leaders are worried about a possible situation where foreign citizens could sue the United States over possible wrongdoing, especially relating to the US Military presence overseas. President Obama vetoed the bill, citing these same objections, but the veto was overruled, a rare occurrence.

-Clayton Bailey

Indian Bollywood director: No more Pakistani talent

A popular director in the Indian movie industry has called for a suspension of Pakistani and Indian cooperation in film-making, following recent boarder conflicts between the two nations. While the director says that his nation comes before his movies, there have also been reports that he has been threatened with violence because of the upcoming release of a new movie that features a Pakistani actor. Movies like his are very popular in both countries, with an estimated two-thirds of Pakistani Cinema revenue being generated by Bollywood movies.

-Clayton Bailey

26 Asian Sailors Released After Ransom, Somali Pirate Says

A total of 26 Asian sailors were held hostage for more that four years. Recently, the last of a ransom was paid that was keeping these sailors captive. The captive sailors were from numerous countries including: Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, and the Philippines. All of them were held by Somalis pirates. The ransom was for a total of $1.5 million, however, the claim couldn't be verified. The sailors were taken back to their homeland by U.N. humanitarian flights. although, not everyone seemed to make it out alive. One sailor died during the hijacking while two others had passed away from illnesses in captivity. Now, the remaining sailors are undergoing treatment and spending quality time with their loved ones.

Alexa Ortiz

Haiti Authorities Nab Some 1 Dozen of 172 Escaped Inmates

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew's devastating effects on Haiti, local police have been searching for escaped prisoners and criminals who escaped by overpowering guards in central Haiti. The prison break occurred in Arcahaie, located 30 miles north of the capital. During the prison break, one guard was reported to have been killed, several others injured. One escapee was also reported to have been killed when attempting to scale over a wall. The prison was housing 266 inmates, 172 of which escaped the compound.

-Chase Gozdziak

El Chapo: Coming to a City Near You

It has been a while since I last heard about the notorious Mexican drug king-pin, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Recently, a Mexican federal judge agreed to extradite El Chapo to the United States, although this will not happen over night. Joaquin Guzman is among several drug smugglers that were indicted in 2009 in Brooklyn, NY. Between 1990 and 2005, they imported more than 260,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States. I’m fascinated with the drug-dealing mentality that people like El Chapo or Pablo Escobar have. They are smart business people and it’s cool to see it unravel on shows like Narcos.  It’s captivating and interesting. Besides New York, El Chapo also faces charges in Arizona, California, Texas, New Hampshire, Florida, and even Illinois. I also think it’s funny how he has managed to escape from jail multiple times, specifically the Altiplano jail that’s supposed to be “top security”. El Chapo is quite the character. Lucky for him, and for the spectators awaiting his next big move, if he is convicted, he will not receive the death penalty as Mexico does not favor death sentences. 

--Jazmin Galindo

No Easy Mold to Fill to Become a Latino Texas Politician

Texas has the most Latino elected politicians in all of America. Even though most are Democrats it causes an electorate split along racial, ethnic, party and socioeconomically. Manny Fernandez writes about the Five Unwritten rules that is takes part in being a Latino politician in Texas.

-Maria Dementieva

Afghan Opium Production Rises

Estimated opium production in Afghanistan has risen by 43 percent to 4,800 metric tonnes in 2016 compared with 2015 levels, according to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey figures released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Rodney Ross

Police Investigating Deadly Explosions North of Tokyo

80 miles north of Tokyo, explosions went off in a parking lot and a nearby park this morning. The explosions killed one man and injured three others. The police were able to identify the deceased man as  Toshikatsu Kurihara. He was 72 years old. He was found in the park. Mr. Kurihara was a former officer in Japan's military and the police had found what appeared to be a suicide note on his clothes. The police would not immediately confirm those details. If this was a suicide, at this point, the police cannot say whether this was meant to harm other people. Aside form injuring three others, the bombs also destroyed 3 cars as well as damaging a building nearby. Mr. Kurihara's home also burned down 30 minutes before the explosion in the parking lot went off. Police haven't released any information if there is a connection, but it appears that there most certainly could be on there.

Lauren Whelan

South Africa Wants to Withdraw From the Int'l Criminal Court

South Africa is going to submit a bill to parliament to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. This decision follows a dispute from last year when Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, who is wanted by the ICC for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity (genocide in Darfur) visited the country.  AL-Bashir was allowed to leave the country even though local courts ordered his prevention from leaving because of the international order for his arrest. South Africa is the second country to leave the ICC, following Burundi after they had a bitter dispute over human rights in their country. Some have argued that the ICC has unfairly targeted Africa, however many of recent genocides and major human rights violations have occurred in this area.

Alex Khatcherian

The Dangers of Hillary Clinton: As the Election Draws Near

As the U.S election has indeed captivated not only the United States attention, but the world's, it seemed apt to post about an interesting article concerning the outcome of the election, just weeks before it actually takes place.

The New York Times published an article Friday by Ross Douthat entitled "The Dangers of Hillary Clinton." Although it sounds like a run of the mill article bashing the would-be Clinton administration, Douthat makes an intriguing point: although Trump is a terrifying selection, Clinton is a true byproduct of elitist groupthink, traditionally following the common (or accepted) train of thought on foreign and domestic policy. Some points the article brings up are her stances over the years on the Iraq war, and Russian conflict. With each swing of popular thought, her own platform has shifted incredibly. 

Douthat points out that although Trump supporters are almost admitting as much as "we've tried sane, now let's try crazy," Clinton really may be- more of the same. 

Please see the link below to read the full article! It goes further in depth, and is a quick read.
-Nicole Simos

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Muslims pray near Rome's Colosseum in protest

Hundreds of Muslims offered prayers near the Rome’s Colosseum as a protest for closing mosques and other Islamic religious centers in Italy. The protest was held because Muslims felt they had unfair restrictions on freedom to practice faith, the organizers called for the protest after the recent closure of many mosques on administrative grounds.  The worshippers knelt to pray on prayer mats and held placards reading “peace” and “open the mosques”. A Bangladeshi group, Dhuumcatu, had organized the protests and complained that Muslim places of worship had been illegally banned by authorities on bases of building violation. The group wants city hall to intervene and address the issue. Politician Barbara Saltamartini said the protest was an “unacceptable provocation” and should have never happened in Rome. In Italy, Islam is not recognized as an official religion, unlike Judaism or the Mormon faith, and many Muslims from North Africa and South Asia feel discriminated against on the grounds of both race and religion.

Anisha Venkatesh Babu

Thursday, October 20, 2016

5 Days After Failed Missile Test by North Korea, Another Failure

On Thursday in Seoul, South Korea, launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile which the United States military confirmed was a failure. This was North Korea's second failed attempt to flight-test an intermediate-range ballistic missile in five days. The missile test took place near the northwestern city of Kusong, known to the outside world as the Musudan. The news release said that the launch posed no threat to North America.

-Taylor Sikora

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ecuador Restricts Internet Access

Ecuador has restricted internet access for Julian Assange, the creator of WikiLeaks. Assange lives in Ecuador's London embassy which is the cause for Ecuador's concern. WikiLeaks has been releasing important, secret information that could effect the current U.S election and Ecuador does not want to be associated with this. This is a great example of states wanting to respect the rules of sovereignty. Ecuador does not want to interfere with or harbor anyone who may interfere with the political affairs of the U.S for the sake of respecting its right to govern its people how it sees fit.

-Mynk R.C.

Eduardo Cunha, the Brazilian read of the congress, got arrested

A anti-corruption operation has been led in Brazil the last months. The operation is been successful and the judge Sergio Moro is arresting many powerful politicians in the country. Today Eduardo Cunha, the read of the Brazilian congress, got arrested in the capital, Brasilia. The accusations were that Mr. Cunha took over 5 million dollars in bribes from the biggest oil company in the country, Petrobras, and was keeping the money in a secret account in Switzerland.

Ana Maria Gentil

Saudi Arabia Executes Prince

On Tuesday October 18, Saudi Arabia executed a member of their royal family.  Prince Turki bin Saud Al-Kabeer was executed after being convicted of murdering a man.  Supposedly during a 'group quarrel' a shot was fired killing a man.  The family of the victim refused a pay-off and demanded justice.  No details were released regarding how the prince was executed.

-Andres Terronez

Ecuador Cuts Internet of WikiLeaks' Founder, Julian Assagne

Julian Assange exiled himself to the Ecuador Embassy seeking asylum from rape charges. The founder of WikiLeaks has immunity in this embassy and has been hiding for just over four years now. Ecuador announced that while Assange has not been evicted from the embassy, he has been disconnected from the internet, in order for the embassy to distance itself from the source of leaks. WikiLeaks has been targeting Hilary Clinton and her campaign in its most recent leaks, and Ecuador wants nothing to do with the attempts to sway the election.

Jackie Diaz

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Hours after Russian airstrikes killed 20 members of one family, including nine children, in Aleppo, Russia says that it will halt airstrikes on the rebel held section of the city. Airstrikes are to stop for 8 hours on Thursday, starting at 8 am according to General Sergey Rudskoy, also urging rebels to leave the city. Six corridors are to be opened to move civilians out of the city. Two corridors are opened for rebels to leave. According to the article, since Sunday, at least 45 people have been killed in two neighborhoods in Aleppo.

-Allie Downer

Monday, October 17, 2016

Assault on Aleppo Will Halt for 8 Hours, Russia Says

Russia is Ceasing fire in Aleppo for 8 hours a day. Russia says its a humanitarian pause, so that humanitarian organizations can evaluate the sick and wounded. But Pavel E. Fengelhauer, a military analyst thinks its a military tactic to trick jihadist fighters into a mind field


-Maria Dementieva

Rise of Saudi Prince Shatters Decades of Royal Tradition

The rise of Prince bin Salman has shattered decades of tradition in the royal family, where respect for seniority and power-sharing among branches are time-honored traditions. Never before in Saudi history has so much power been wielded by the deputy crown prince, who is second in line to the throne. That centralization of authority has angered many of his relatives. Because of his actions last week of buying a $550 million dollar yacht on sight when on vacation in France proves that he still firmly believes in royal privilege while he still is a paradox. 31-year-old Prince bin Salman: a man who is trying to overturn tradition, reinvent the economy and consolidate power — while holding tight to his royal privilege

David Soto

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Japan seeks return of US Military Land in Okinawa by Year's End.

The Japanese government wants the U.S to return a large portion of land used by the U.S Military to train its soldiers. This is due to the high burden of hosting these bases on the the islands of Okinawa, where most of these bases are located. The U.S had agreed to the return half of the training area in 1996, but the Okinawa government has been at odds with the central government , saying that Okinawa itself bears most of the burden of hosting U.S military facilities and that most of them should be relocated out of the prefecture. The Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, plans to reach an agreement over the relocation of these bases by the end of the year.

-Mohammed Khan

ISIS in the crosshairs: Battle for Mosul begins

The final push to force ISIS out of Iraq is beginning soon. The force which is comprised of Iraqi security forces and military, and Kurdish fighters. The coalition is supported by 30 US and British advisors as well as an artillery unit. This fight is important because the city of Mosul is the last major stronghold that ISIS controls in Iraq, as well as being a port which they use to sell goods and bring in fighters and money. This battle is expected to take months because even if the initial battle is successful it is believed that ISIS will leave behind sleeper sells to continue attacking weeks after the major combat has ceased. This battle will determine the future of ISIS thats why it is so significant.
-Sean Raleigh
Trump is claiming that the voting System is rigged to make him lose, and that there is wide spread fraud in the election. Many republicans are appalled at trumps claims. Republicans are once again having a hard time not making loyal republican voters angry.

-Maria Dementieva

Philippine President attacks United States and President Obama amid military cooperation

The militaries of the United States and the Philippines are currently working together on "amphibious military drills." In spite of this, the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, made statements this week viciously attacking the United States, one the closest allies of the Philippines. Duterte has become well-known as a controversial world leader since his election in June, and fosters a public image as a "politically incorrect" straight talker who unreservedly says what is on his mind. In the United States, he has been widely compared to presidential candidate Donald Trump. Duterte is best known for his war on drugs, in which drug dealers are not merely stopped and arrested, but rather, killed and executed. 3000 suspected drug dealers have been killed as a result of Duterte's campaign. Duterte attacked the United States for criticizing him rather than funding his war on drugs, in spite of China's and Russia's aid to this war, saying that Obama can "go to hell" and that the European Union is almost as bad as the United States, and that the EU "better choose purgatory, hell is filled up." The Philippines' enhanced diplomatic relations with China is undermining U.S. power in the Philippines, which is manifested through the use of Philippine military bases. The author ends by suggesting that the United States ought to seek other allies in Southeast Asia in their standoff with China.

Justin Wysocke

China drops one-child policy, but ‘exhausted’ tiger moms say one is plenty

As stated in the title, China's government has uplifted the law on having one child. Due to a rapidly aging population, the country hopes to encourage Chinese families to have bigger families to ensure the success of future generations. However this time around, Chinese families have since become acclimated to the one child system. Having just one child is not only tradition, but the only economically feasible option. The immense pressure of education in China has led to many families investing heavily in their child's education from the time their child starts grade school. In this article, a middle class family is spending $10,000 per year just on after-school classes for their one son. With these issues in mind, it would be difficult to expect Chinese families to grow accustomed to having more than one child in the near future despite the change in law.

-Drew Truckenmiller


‘Get lost’: Moscow to keep counter sanctions & other highlights from Putin's BRICS presser
Robert Tomaszewski
RT interviewed Russian President Vladimir Putin on putting counter sanctions on western policies. The reason for this being that according to Putin The U.S. does not accept compromises "Apparently, they don't want to compromise, they only want to dictate. Such a style has formed over the past 15-20 years in the US, and they still can't deviate from it," Putin said. Putin has no inclinations to stop counter sanctions and told RT in reference to the west "...they can get lost". It is a powerful statement on the deteriorating relations between the west and Russia and a need for economic balance. Putin blamed France for backing out of attending a cultural art exhibit with Putin, which is why he says he did not go to France to attend talks on Syria. The president also commented on Kiev, noting the lack of political commitments in Ukraine.

Boris Johnson makes light of 'semi-parodic' pro-EU column (Boris Johnson wrote a Pro-EU Article in February)

Boris Johnson, a leading figure in the 'Brexit' campaign, wrote an article in favor of the UK's EU membership in February of this year. The article was recently published by 'The Sunday Times'. Mr Johnson publicly backed the 'Brexit' movement only a few days after the piece was written. When questioned by reporters, he claimed that the piece was in part to help him to understand both sides of the issue, and in part to help him come to the correct decision. He expressed surprise that the article had surfaced. Opponents have used this opportunity to demonstrate that the 'Brexit' leadership deceived the public with regard to the level of thought and consideration they utilized in their campaign over such an important decision.

-Clayton Bailey

How Thais mourned the death of their King

Since the death of their King last week, Thais have been mourning his death in many different ways. They treat the death of their King as if a member of their own family has died. All around the country the citizens wear black, the party city of Bangkok has stopped selling alcohol at many bars, and they cancel many sporting events. The impact that this has had on the country of Thailand could prove to be detrimental for their future.

Mitch Reid

SAS soldier 'investigated for Iraq War mercy killing'

Former UK Special Air Service Sergeant Colin Maclachlan is being investigated over claims a made in a recent book about his service in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. He described killing at least 2 mortally wounded soldiers his unit had ambushed. The men posed no threat, but he said he chose to kill them because one of them asked him to, and because it was the humane thing to do. Since he received word of the investigation, he has appeared publicly, reiterating his story and defending his actions. He claimed that he would gladly go to prison and challenged the investigators and critics to walk in his shoes. If what he said he did was true, it would be in violation of UK Military Law and the Geneva Convention, according to BBC.

-Clayton Bailey

Syria conflict: IS 'ousted from symbolic town of Dabiq'

Syrian Rebel forces have recently captured the Syrian town of Dabiq from IS control with the help of Turkish military aid. The small town holds heavy symbolic value in the eyes of ISIS and is used very often in IS propaganda. According to the news source, Dabiq is supposed to host an "apocalyptic battle where a final battle between muslims and non-muslims takes place. Dabiq was defended by over 1,200 Islamic State soldiers which was overtaken by nearly 2,000 Syrian rebels as well as Turkish tanks and artillery.

Tanner James

US Navy Investigates Possible Missile Fire From Yemen

The U.S began in investigation looking into an overnight missile attack from Yemen on a group of warships stationed in the Red Sea. What exactly caused the missile attack is yet to be known. The attacks are believed to have been sent from rebel-held territory Bab el-Mandeb. In retaliation to the two missile attacks, the U.S shot back with Tomahawk missiles. The U.S was informed by the attack because the missile strike was caught on radar. The USS Mason was the destroyer that was attacked.

-Chase Gozdziak

China set to free last Tiananmen prisoner

China has just released the final prisoner from the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident.  Miao Deshun, a 24 year old factory worker at the time, was charged with arson for throwing a basket into a burning tank.  Initially Deshun faced a delayed death sentence for his actions but over time it was reduced to life imprisonment and finally a 20 year sentence which came to a close on the 15th of this month.  Deshun will be living with limited rights for 7 years, which take away his right to vote, run for public office, and free speech.

Chris Buechner

UK Letting in Ethiopian Children Refugees

The Calais camp in the UK has officials wanting to let in children under the age of 18 into the camp.  The camp is a safe place for children wanting to escape the Ethiopian government.  However, the camp will be closing at the end of the year and no other refugees will be allowed in.  Also, it has become increasingly difficult to determine the true age of refugees.  There is a lot of controversy over whether or not refugees should not be allowed into the camp anymore.  It will be interesting to see how the situation plays out over the next few weeks.

-Andres Terronez

Battle for Mosul: Operation to retake Iraqi city from IS 'begins'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the start of an offensive to recapture the northern city of Mosul from ISIS. Mosul has been ISIS's largest stronghold in Iraq since June 2014. Ahead of the start of the operations, the Iraqi military dropped thousands of leaflets over Mosul, calling on residents to stay away from militant hideouts and not to trust false information. The UN is building refugee camps in northern Iraq as it estimates 700,000 people in the area will need support and assistance. It is said that if Iraqi troops, with the US-led coalition backing, recapture the city, it will be a major blow to so-called Islamic State.

-Mirina Uchida

Kuwait’s Ruler Dissolves Parliament, Citing Security and Oil Prices

In his decree, Kuwait’s ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah al­Ahmed al­Sabah, said “regional circumstances” and “security challenges” had prompted the dissolution of Parliament. However, this is questionable given the fact that this decree came a few hours after government officials held an emergency meeting. They had planned to question numerous government officials in the coming weeks about subsidy cuts. The security challenges are ambiguous but the regional circumstances are more of economic ones it seems. Kuwait is a petro-state where price of oil is consistently dropping which has lead to growing dissent since, "government ­subsidized gasoline prices have been raised, and other benefits have been cut". The dissolution has also caused the elections to occur earlier. The dissolution of parliament keeps democracy at bay since the questioning of government officials can't take place. To me this situation speaks perfectly to the first law of petropolitics, where the pace of democracy and the cost of oil move in two opposite directions.

-AC Christopherson

European-led Mars lander starts descent to red planet

After traveling for seven months, a mothership from Europe left its mothership on Sunday. Europe's first Mars rover will be looking for sign of current and past life on the planet. Paolo Ferri, the head of the missions operation claimed the separation to be a success. This mission has only been the second attempt to settle on the planet of Mars. Their first, was a mission in 2003 that had failed. Not only is landing on Mars a difficult task for this nation, but for others as well, including NASA. The total cost for this operation is approximately $1.4 billion. According to President Obama, he has high hopes of sending people to the planet by the year 2030.

Alexa Ortiz

China Space Mission

             China is in the midst of preparation for their, two-manned space mission; set to take place on Monday.  This mission is, only one of several, that has been launched by the Chinese within the past few years.  The astronauts are planning to dock on their space station, and test the sustainability and atmosphere for the following month.  Although not confirmed by China, many believe these missions' aim to, eventually send manned units to the Moon, and even Mars.  China's space program is growing rapidly, only behind Russia and the United States; it is expected that advances in technology will continue to aid in the growth of China's space exploration endeavors.

-Jaedyn Krebs-Carr

Greek Migrants Riot Over Death of Mother & Son

Greek police reports are stating that a group of migrants living outside the city of Thessaloniki are rioting over the death of a 35 years old mother and her 10 year old child. Migrants claim that the woman and child were struck by a car and the ambulance was late to arrive to the scene. The group of civilians pleaded that the officer take the woman and child to the hospital in a patrol car but they refused. The group of migrants took to rioting by blocking off the road to their camp, throwing rocks at police and setting fire to two patrol cars. The police responded with tear gas and stun grenades, but the migrants set fire to trash cans as a defense to the tear gas. The situation has defused, as of now, in the camp.

Obama, Cementing New Ties With Cuba, Lifts Limits on Cigars and Rum

On Friday President Obama set forth a new policy to “lift the Cold War trade embargo and end a half-century of clandestine plotting against Cuba’s government” (New York Times). This opens the ties with Cuba even more. Obama was the first president to reconcile the differences between Cuba and the US since the Cold War. President Obama also lifted a $100 limit on being able to bring Cuban rum and cigars into the US. I am sure that some are very thrilled about this lifted restriction. This set of policy is on the track to reshape the way Americans travel to and do business with Cuba. New milestones have been reached with Cuba as a result of the Obama administration. Within the last month, he has nominated the first United States ambassador to Cuba in more than 50 years, and has help to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana. 

-Lauren Whelan

India: Stampede kills 24 people and dozens injured during hindu ceremony near Varanasi

Dozens of people injured and 24 people were killed during a Hindu religious ceremony in northern India. The incident occurred on the outskirts of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. Police officer SK Bhagat informed that the organizers were expecting 3000 devotees but instead 70000 devotees filled the ashram of a Hindu religious leader, Jai Baba Gurudev, on the banks of the Ganges river. It is an annual tradition for millions of Hindus to visit Varanasi and cleanse their sins by dipping in the river water. A spokesman for the organizers said the stampede occurred as police started turning back people from the overcrowded Rajgahard bridge. This triggered a rumor that the bridge had collapsed and people ran for safety. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his deep sadness on the tragedy.  A hundred police officers were deployed to control the panicked crowd, said police officials.

Anisha Venkatesh Babu

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hurricane Matthew and Cholera in Haiti

Haiti is struggling right now. A week ago, it was struck by Hurricane Matthew, which killed many and left others without shelter. Now, there is a cholera outbreak, although this really isn’t new news. Cholera is an infectious and also fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine. People get cholera from infected water supplies and causes severe vomiting and diarrhea. Cholera has been around Haiti and is not showing signs it’s going anywhere. About 90% of Haiti’s previous habitats have fleeted or have died from the hurricane or Cholera. People are laying in buildings and just left to die. This is super sad and it makes me realize how we take clean water for granted. The part of the article that really got to me was the part where it describes a young girl in a purple dress with a pink sweater clutching  a live chicken in her arms as her and her family brace themselves to cross a river. I feel so bad for the kids and the parents. In another instance, a father was running with his daughter draped over his shoulder with fear in his eyes, as the article described it. I guess what amazes me the most the hope people still have, even in the worst of situations. No matter how bad things are, Haitians are still fighting to survive and I wish there was more we could do. A citizen named Joseph Kenso said, “when you look around you, it’s like the end of the world. Look around you. The disaster speaks for itself”.

--Jazmin Galindo

CIA Prepping for Possible Cyber Attack Against Russia

According to U.S. intelligence officials, the Obama administration is prepping for a covert cyber attack on Russia, in reaction to their interference in the American presidential election. The CIA will be delivering options to the White House for a cyber investigation meant to "embarrass" the Kremlin leadership. Former intelligence officers told NBC News that the agency had gathered reams of documents that could expose unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Apparently, there is a long history of U.S officials searching for retaliation on the Russian government- including cyber options, only to abandon the idea later on.
Right now, the question lies within the scope of a secondary attack. If our government launches this attack, where will Russia hit us next?
-Nicole Simos

Friday, October 14, 2016

IS Militants Attack on Egypt

Egypt is a less talked about place in terms of Islamic State and its attacks to try and make its own state.  This attack came from fifteen militants attacked a security bases in the Sinai Peninsula.  This region has been problematic for the Egyptian Government in the past.   The area has seen many different groups in its history.  Before the Islamic State group took power there was a group that supported Israel, and fought with that.  Then the new group came into power and they pledged their allegiance to ISIS.  They then started to fire small arms and bombs into Israel.  Most recently they have started to attack Egyptian security forces in the area.  This recent attack was done against a security force by fifteen militants with small arms and heavy machine gun fire.  These attacks are happening because the group has vowed to make an Islamic State Province in the area of Egypt.  This just shows how although the Islamic State in Syria is decreasing due to bombing and fighting, they are still a powerful movement.  

John Carmody 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Saudi Arabia, Where Even Milk Depends on Oil, Struggles to Remake Its Economy

In AL KHARJ, Saudi Arabia, the Saudi king's favored son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has held up the dairy farm, Almari, as a model for Saudi Arabia which is trying to wean itself from oil dependence. Many companies like Almari rely on the cheap energy provided by crude oil. Because of low oil prices and an increasingly costly war in Yemen has caused cuts in pubic spending in the Saudi budget, and reductions in take-home pay and benefits for the government workers. Saudi Arabia burns barrel after barrel of crude oil for electricity in large quantities. Prince Mohammed has a plan to transform the economy, his future as king relies on the success of this plan. He announced this year that he plans to sell off a small piece of the country's economic crown jewel, Saudi Aramco to free up money for investment.

-Taylor Sikora

German Terror Suspect's Death in Jail a Scandal

A terrorist suspect in Germany committed suicide in his jail cell. The suspect, Jaber al-Bakr, was caught after a manhunt following a raid on his flat. He was suspected of plotting to bomb an airport in Berlin. Three Syrian asylum seekers turned al-Bakr in after he came to them for help. The suspect implicated the three Syrians in his bomb plot. Al-Bakr's death is a judicial embarrassment for Germany. He was on suicide watch, but prison officials neglected to ensure his safety.

-Hannah Friedle