We're not going to fault you for not staying on top of this week's news. We're only here to help.
By: Akhil Kapur and Paulina Mangubat
● History was made this Thursday as the referendum for the U.K. to leave the EU ended with a decision to exit, sending shockwaves throughout Europe. Since this is the first time a country has left the European Union no one truly knows the exact way this will affect the world economy. What we do know so far is that British Prime Minister David Cameron will be stepping down, the poundhas crashed to its lowest point in three decades and Scotland which voted overwhelmingly to stay with the Union is heavily considering holding another referendum to leave the UK.
○ Speaking of Brexit, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is now advocating for a Brexit-style referendum on Turkish efforts to enter the EU. Can he transform Brexit into a Turkentrance?
● On Wednesday morning, various Democrats from the House of Representatives staged a 25-hour sit-in over gun control legislation. Last week, House Republicans effectively stonewalled votes on the Democratic “no fly, no buy” legislation that would have barred suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. Democratic Representative John Lewis (the only living “Big Six” leader of the Civil Rights Movement) led the sit-in. But House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, is sticking to his guns. Literally.
● Elsewhere in Washington, D.C., the Supreme Court was droppin’ some decisions. Obama’s beloved immigration plan was blocked and the University of Texas’ affirmative action program was upheld. Still on the docket? Abortion rights, government corruption and domestic violence. Looks like the Supreme Court has its work cut out for it, especially given the death of Judge Antonin Scalia earlier this year.
● The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has more to deal with than the Zika virus. Kuwait has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the IOC for its suspension of the Kuwaiti Olympic committee. If the suspension isn’t lifted, there’s a chance we won’t be seeing Kuwaiti athletes in Rio de Janeiro this year. Sad!
● The logistics of an oil deal between Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government have been outlined. But Kurdish officials haven’t quite signed on the dotted line just yet. The political and commercial implications, they say, still need to be examined.
● More than 1,200 people have died of starvation and illness at a Nigerian aid camp housing people fleeing the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. While Boko Haram has lost much of the territory it occupied,, the group remains a powerful force in the region.
● The Panama Canal, widely regarded as an international trade game changer, will soon undergo a $5.25 billion USD expansion project that could transform the way Asia trades with the Americas. The canal itself is a 48-mile-long man-made waterway constructed over a century ago that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. However, critics believe that building a third, wider lane will not be as profitable as promised.
● Venezuela is suffering the worst economic crisis in its history. Starving and frustrated people ransack stores every day. The crisis poses a threat to the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, just three years after he was given the position by the dying Hugo Chávez.
● On Sunday, the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported that ISIS released a list of potential terrorist targets. The locations of 77 Air Force installations belonging to the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization were included in the list. While security officials remain vigilant and do recognize ISIS as a threat, regional security experts say that the Islamic State would find it incredibly difficult to attack Northeast Asia.
● Cooperation between government and private sector in cyber issues is happening. Executives from Google, Facebook, Dropbox and other major tech companies met with the president’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity at UC Berkeley this Wednesday. The gathering was organized for the purpose of bettering relationships between private tech companies and the government, the FBI’s legal feud with Apple over unlocking an iPhone connected to the San Bernardino shootingis a large reason for the recent strained relationship between tech companies and the government .