We're not going to fault you for not staying on top of this week's news. We're only here to help.
By: Tony Hotland and April Elizabeth Curtis
- Terror attacks early this week tore through Turkey, killing 37 people, and Ivory Coast, claiming 22 lives.
- Some 16 BILLION dollars have gone missing in Nigeria — the most populous African country that is so rich in oil, yet so corrupt that the poverty rate is over 30 percent. The state-owned oil company has failed to pay the government that amount in a suspected fraud, according to an official audit. Imagine if the Nigerian government had used a portion of that money instead to try bring back their girls.
- South China Sea is always bumping. On Friday the U.S. spotted increased Chinese ship activity in the Sea near some islands they took from the Philippians four years ago. This could be a sign that China will try to claim more land in the area.
- On Friday, Kim Jung-un launched two ballistic missiles into the sea. This was an instance of Kim Jung-un flexing his not-so-well-defined muscles in the face of almost universal condemnation and sanctions.
- On Thursday the UN released 15 commandments, "five more than the almighty," on how to deal with Kim Jung-un. The bitterest pill for the world, and especially us at The Catchup, to swallow is Commandment Number Two: Kim Jung-un is "no joke."
- On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party (CDU) was hit hard in three regional polls. The CDU's stance on welcoming refugees is believed to be the reason why so many voted for Alternative for Germany (AfD), a party that runs on the platform of being anti-immigration.
- It has been an eventful week in the French speaking world. On Tuesday, Belgian police raided an apartment in a suburb of Brussels where the fingerprints of Salah Abdeslam, a suspect believed to be involved in the deadly Paris attacks, were found. During the raid one man who was linked to the attacks was shot and killed. On Wednesday, French police arrested four people believed to also have been linked to the attacks. Finally on Friday, Abdeslam was caught and arrested.
- On Wednesday, the authorities in the Ukrainian separatist region of Donetsk issued its own passports. The self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic is currently only recognized by Russia, South Ossetia, Narnia and Atlantis. Separatist leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko was quoted saying "This document is a proof of what we were able to do, what we protected, and achieved." However, it could be argued issuing passports is proof that you have access to blank passports and a printer.
- On Friday, Vladimir Putin, the personification of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, awarded medals to tank and artillery commanders for their service in Syria. Interestingly enough, Putin claims only the Russian air force was fighting in Syria. So he either isn't telling the truth, or the tank and artillery commanders just went to Syria and it was too awkward to tell them they weren't invited so everyone just pretended it was cool.
- On Friday, the European Union sealed a deal with Turkey aimed at halting illegal migration flows to Europe in return for financial and political rewards. Under the agreement, Turkey would take back all migrants and refugees who cross to Greece illegally across the sea. In return, the EU would take in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and reward that country with more money, easy visa-free travel and faster progress in EU membership talks. Now everybody can have a wonderful weekend. Some details can be found here.
This past week, Russia pulled out the majority of its troops out of Syria as the world marked the fifth anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict. It has been a very lengthy bloody war involving too many parties and it was impossible to summarize in a brief passage. Instead, here are some features as a constant reminder of the horrendous impacts of armed conflicts especially on civilians.
- Eight stories to read if you want to understand the Syrian conflict
- What Syrians want you to know: 55 stories of lost homes, lost lives and hope
- How do Syrian children explain the war?
- One-third of Syrian children were born during war: UNICEF
- Signs of hope, five years after start of Syria's war
- If the Syrian war happened in the U.S., there would be 68 million refugees
- This has definitely been the most gripping election season in the U.S. in recent history. Businessman/reality TV personality/violence instigator Donald Trump is by far leading the Republican pack, meanwhile two over-65-yo white senators are courting Democrat voters to succeed America's first black and fifth youngest commander-in-chief Barack Obama. America is also in the middle of a drama to fill a Supreme Court vacancy following the death of uber conservative Antonin Scalia. Obama this week nominated 63-year-old Merrick Garland, whose name sounds like either a pretentious Upper East Side brunch spot where an order of Eggs Benedict is 35 dollars or a prisoner at Azkaban. Republicans, who control the Senate, are not willing at all to process his nomination because they want the next president to nominate a replacement. Democrats came together and fought back by going on Twitter to hashtag DoYourJob. The New York Times explains about why this Supreme Court battle could reshape American life.
- America could soon have its first ever female combatant chief after Pentagon recently opened all combat roles in the U.S. military to women. Who run the world?
- This week Brasil was a real life episode of House of Cards, and frankly, it has been hard to keep up. On Thursday, the former Brazilian President, known as Lula, was sworn in as chief of staff to current President Dilma Rousseff. The problem is Lula is being investigated for corruption in Brasil's state oil company, and Rousseff has been accused of knowing about the bid-rigging and bribery. As chief of staff, Lula can now only be tried by the Supreme Court, which would put him out of the grasp of the judge that is currently responsible for the inquiry into Lula's past. The Supreme Court was also mostly appointed by Lula and Rousseff and so it is believed they will not rule against Lula. The main prosecutor of the inquiry was not happy about Lula's potential appointment and so on Wednesday he released 50 juicy audio recordings between Lula and Rosseff (was it legal? Who knows, but know we know Lula has a potty mouth). These recording sparked protests across the country. What will happen next? Stay tuned.
- Cybersecurity Training, Military Style
- U.S. Election: How the candidates view cybersecurity
- In the Apple Case, a debate over data hits home
- FCC proposal would let consumers determine value of Internet privacy
- Top U.S. cybersecurity salaries rise