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In the latest slew of profane remarks, Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, told U.S. President Barack Obama to “go to hell,” for refusing to sell his country weapons. In early September, Duterte also spewed slurs towards Obama ahead of a scheduled bilateral meeting, which was subsequently cancelled.
Tensions rise between India and Pakistan, two nuclear-rich neighboring countries, as India alleges that Pakistani troops are firing in three locations on the border of Jammu and Kashmir. Following India’s allegation, the Pakistani parliament passed a resolution rejecting India’s claim to Kashmir.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed 20 people at the rebel-controlled Atmeh crossing on the Syria-Turkey border. The Islamic State claimed that it hit the Syrian side of the crossing with an explosive suicide car bomb which targeted a rebel convoy.
The United States has publicly condemned Israel for approving plans for new settlements in the occupied West Bank. There are plans to construct up to 300 homes and an industrial zone which would only weaken the prospects of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Syrian regime forces have gained control of a key neighborhood on Aleppo’s front line in a new advance against rebels. Additionally, the UN’s envoy to Syria has told reporters that Aleppo may face “total destruction” in two months if there is no ceasefire agreement in the near future.
Morocco is holding its 10th parliamentary elections since its independence in 1956. Initial voter turnout was as low as 10%. Of the country’s 34 million people, 16 million are registered to vote.
The European Union hosted a conference in Brussels on the future of Afghanistan. Over 70 countries attended the talks. International donors pledged 15.2 billion USD in aid to help Afghanistan until 2020. Afghanistan is tasked with tackling corruption and and taking back thousands of refugees and asylum seekers.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has threatened to shut Serbian borders to migrants if the EU continues to allow Hungary to fence itself off, causing migrants to be stuck in Serbia. Many refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants rely on Serbia to reach Germany and to other EU members that are accepting migrants.
According to a comprehensive report released by the Federal Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the U.S. Pentagon paid a British firm $500 million USD to make fake videos of Al Qaeda for propaganda purposes. Bell Pottinger made fake TV segments in the style of Arabic media networks with fake actors posing as Al Qaeda members. The U.S. government allegedly used the videos to track viewers and sympathizers.
The F.B.I. is investigating whether former National Security Agency contractor, Harold T. Martin III, stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed to hack into the network of foreign governments. Martin was secretly arrested in August and charged with the theft of government property and the unauthorized removal of classified documents.
Russia issued a decree earlier this week to end an agreement with the United States about disposing surplus weapons-grade plutonium. Under the agreement, which was accepted in 2000, each side was required to get rid of 34 tonnes of plutonium by burning it in reactors. The decree came after Washington officially ended talks with Moscow over Syria.
Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 200 people in Haiti as it is the most powerful Caribbean storm in over a decade. Most of the casualties were in towns and fishing villages caused by flying debris, falling trees and swollen rivers. The storms top sustained winds were as high as 145 miles per hour when it hit southwest Haiti.
Colombians unexpectedly rejected the peace deal reached between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia’s (FARC) to end 52 years of war. The rejection came through a referendum, in which 50.2 percent of voters against it. Despite so, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
Reuters reported earlier this week that Yahoo secretly assisted U.S. intelligence officials by creating a software program to scan its customers incoming emails. A court order request Yahoo to search for a specific digital “signature” that allegedly had ties to a state-sponsored terrorist organization. The surveillance program ended, however, it raised major concerns about court-approved surveillance programs on users who are unaware of the surveillance.