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For the first time in over four decades, the United States abstained from a United Nations vote on a resolution calling for an end to a U.S. economic embargo on Cuba, after opposing such measures every year for 24 years. This marks another important step in normalizing relations with Cuba since both countries reopened embassies in their respective capitals.
Hacked Hillary Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks indicate that her top aides were skeptical about her 2016 presidential bid, worried about the foreign donations directly to the Clinton Foundation. Top aides expressed concern as they believed it could have negative ramifications.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Islamic State terrorists are using hostages as human shields in Mosul, according to United Nations, taking thousands hostage and carrying out mass executions as Kurdish and Iraqi forces close in on the city. Kurdish Peshmerga forces this week pushed within five miles of Mosul as coalition forces continued to gain important ground to drive ISIS out of Iraq’s second largest city.
Fighters linked to ISIS occupies a coastal town in Somalia where a group of gunmen killed 23 civilian hostages in Afghanistan after claiming allegiance to radical group.
South Africa notified the UN Secretary General that it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court. After the notification, South Africa will remain in the court for 12 months before officially being removed. The decision came a few days after Burundi also announced it will be leaving the ICC.
Here’s an in-depth analysis from The Economist about the ICC exit.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans flooded the streets to protest what they call the authoritarian regime of President Nicolas Maduro. The electoral commission in Venezuela recently blocked a referendum to recall the unpopular president. After launching a political trial against Maduro on Tuesday in the National Assembly, the opposition planned major protests for the remainder of the week.
Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, continues to stir up controversy amid a week or public attacks on the United States. Duterte visited both China and Japan this past week and announced his ‘split’ with the U.S., choosing instead to better relations with China and Russia in the future. Furthermore, Duterte called for U.S. troops to exit the Philippines within two years.
A migrant camp at Calais, France, nicknamed ‘Calais Jungle’, was dismantled, forcing those seeking asylum to go to processing centers in Britain. French officials began the process of registering thousands of migrants living in the camp after shutting it down; more than 4,400 migrants have lived in Calais since the beginning of the crisis.
Harold T. Martin III, the intelligence contractor accused in the largest-ever breach of classified information, had his day in court. Mr. Martin has been charged with theft of government property and unauthorized removal of classified materials. If convicted, Martin would face a maximum of 11 years in prison.