By: Akhil Kapur and Paulina Mangubat
We're not going to fault you for not staying on top of this week's news. We're only here to help.
On Sunday, Pulse, a gay nightclub in Florida, became the target of a mass shooting orchestrated by a lone gunman named Omar Mateen. Mateen, an American citizen, reportedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS while conducting the attack. The Pulse tragedy is the worst mass shooting in American history—49 people, mostly Latino, were killed, and 53 were injured. In the aftermath, mourning Americans have revived the national conversation about gun control, radical Islam and homophobia.
After the Pulse shooting, Democratic senators conducted a 15-hour filibuster to convince the U.S. Senate to vote on divisive gun-control legislation. The proposed legislation would bar suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms and explosives. The Senate is said to vote on Monday, but many believe the issue is moot since Republicans hold the majority.
Brexit voting day, June 23, is almost nigh! Experts, news analysts and media outlets alike have thrown their hats into the Brexit discourse ring. Topics of debate have ranged from how a British exit may threaten oil-price recovery to further debates about curbing immigration. Elsewhere, Ukip leader Nigel Farage has come under fire for a controversial poster his party released depicting Syrian refugees.
But the Brexit debate took a dark turn this Thursday when Jo Cox, a British Labour MP, was shot and killed. The assailant reportedly shouted, “Britain first!” before and after the murder. Cox was an outspoken advocate for Syrian refugees and civilian victims. Brexit campaigning has been put on hold in the wake of the tragedy.
The cockpit voice recorder from the missing EgyptAir flight MS 804 has been retrieved. Egypt's public prosecutor requested that the recovered device be sent to Egyptian air accident investigators for analysis.
According to a Palestinian report, Israel has been siphoning off the water supply to large areas of the West Bank. Talk about shutting off the faucet to dialogue that could lead to a two-state solution.
Like many organizations these days, the Taliban is struggling to appeal to millennials. As a result, they’ve become increasingly active on social media. Their weapon of choice? Facebook. Recently, Taliban fighters gathered at a mosque in western Afghanistan to pledge allegiance to their new commander, Maulavi Haibatullah Akhondzada and posted a video on Facebook to document the occasion. (Our word of advice: Facebook is so 2009. Might we suggest Snapchat?)
On Wednesday at the White House, President Barack Obama held a private meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing officials have dubbed an “anti-China separatist.” Obama reaffirmed the U.S.’ official stance on Tibet: while the American government certainly respects Tibet’s unique culture, it still sees it as a part of China and does not support an independent Tibetan state. Still, the Dalai Lama was all smiles.
The African migrant crisis isn’t getting any better; as a matter of fact, it seems to be getting worse. In the past few weeks, more than 1,300 Africans have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The desperation felt among migrants can be attributed to the failing job markets of countries such as Somalia, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Gambia and Eritrea.
On Tuesday, Chinese and American officials held talks to resolve their cybersecurity differences (throwback to when Chinese hackers breached the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s network last summer!) Both parties declared their steadfast commitment to resolving Sino-U.S. cyber tensions.
Just 6 months after hackers—and alleged allies of Vladimir Putin—crashed Ukraine’s power grid, Russian hackers attacked the historically neutral Finns and Swedes, presumably to discourage them from growing too close to NATO. Since NATO recently declared that cyberattacks may be treated as armed attacks in certain cases, this aggression cannot be taken lightly. The problem, however, is that Russia’s hacking technology is highly sophisticated. NATO, on the other hand, is pretty disorganized, and just isn’t capable of producing that level of hacking software.