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
This week marked the two-year anniversary of the abduction of 276 schoolgirls—from their beds in a school dormitory— in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Two years after #BringBackOurGirls went viral, a video surfaced showing some of these girls sent to negotiators as a "proof of life." Obtained by CNN, the video is the first footage of the remaining girls since May 2014. Hundreds marched on Thursday in capital Abuja to demand the government step up efforts to rescue the girls. Amnesty International says about 2,000 children have been abducted by the Islamist terrorists since 2014—many are used as sex slaves, fighters and increasingly as suicide bombers. Click here to read a UNICEF report on this case.
The Land of the Morning Calm wasn't so calm this week after South Korea's ruling conservatives lost in the parliamentary election. The loss, which could serve as an indication ahead of the presidential elections next year, means this is the first time in 16 years the conservative party will not control the parliament. It's not a bad thing to take turns, though.
Early this week, U.S. State Secretary John Kerry became the highest-ranking American official to visit the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan, since the atomic bombing there at the end of the World War II. There were rumors the top American diplomat would apologize for the destructive act of war—and another one in Nagasaki three days later— that killed over 200,000 people, but that didn't happen.
On Sunday, the Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatseniuk announced he would resign. In his speech he referenced the political in-fighting that has been plaguing the Ukrainian government. Drastic reforms need to be made in order for Ukraine to receive $17.5 billion in economic aid from the International Monetary Fund, however political disagreements have been freezing any reform. Volodymyr Hroysman, Speaker of the Parliament, was voted in as the new PM. Hroysman is a strong ally of the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko.
On Tuesday, the EU discussed whether it should end visa-free travel for U.S. and Canadian citizens. The problem stems from the fact that the U.S. and Canada do not allow all EU citizens visa-free travel (for examples Bulgarians still need visas). However, the final discussion was delayed until July. The EU does love extensive and unnecessary paperwork, so there is a chance they could make the million U.S. and Canadian tourist who visit Europe file for visas.
On Tuesday, Russian warplanes flew so close to a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the Baltic Sea that the action is being called a "simulated attack." Russia later defended its actions saying that its jets respected all safety rules.
THE MIDDLE EAST
On Wednesday, Syrians voted in elections in government-held areas of the country. Unsurprisingly, Assad won. Also unsurprisingly, the elections have been called a "flimsy-facade" and "sham" by France and Britain.
Former U.S. First Lady/Senator/State Secretary/Wall Street speech giver Hillary Clinton had to swipe five times at the turnstile to get into the New York City subway, proving that she can relate to the horror the majority of New Yorkers face with everyday. At least she knew we used Metro cards to ride the subway, Unlike Bernie Sanders, who thought we still used subway tokens. Solely for this reason, we believe she will win the New York Democratic primary on April 19 and carry the state in the general election come November especially after seeing Donald Trump and John Kasich eat pizza with a knife and fork. Disqualified!
President Barack Obama on Tuesday designated the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum as a national monument for women’s equality, declaring the three-story structure a symbol of the American fight for civil rights. The dedication coincided with this year's Equal Pay Day to underscore the fact that women remain underpaid compared to men for the same work. On average, a woman makes 75 cents for every man’s dollar. Deplorable--a national disgrace! April 12 was selected this year to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. This week also brought us National Napping Day, Sibling Day, Cheese Fondue Day, Walk On Your Wild Side Day, Dolphin Day, Licorice Day, Thomas Jefferson Day and Day of Silence. No wonder it felt like a loooooong week.
On Wednesday the ex-President of Argentina Cristina Fernández, who held office from 2007-2015, refused to answer questions regarding a fraud inquiry. She is accused of selling dollars on the future market at an artificially low level, ensuring those involved in the sale earned a pretty penny. She somehow turned the event into a support rally, when thousands of her supporters arrived at the courthouse.
Speaking of fraud.... BRAZIL! On Thursday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's attorney asked Brazil's top court to delay a vote on her impeachment, which is set to happen on Sunday. To add more drama to the situation, of the 513 deputies who will vote on Sunday, 153 are either under investigation or have already been charged with crimes. The leader of the impeachment campaign himself has been accused of lying to Congress about his secret bank accounts and for taking $5 million in kickbacks. What could possibly go wrong???
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