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, a truck bomb planted by ISIS exploded in Baghdad and killed 292 civilians. ISIS has made headlines this month for calling its members to strike during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. This has resulted in a string of deadly ISIS-linked attacks in the U.S., Turkey, Bangladesh and France.
- On the other hand, ISIS has been losing some territory, recently in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.
- Changing his mind yet again, U.S. President Barack Obama stated on Wednesday that he plans to leave 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan until the end of his term, further slowing the drawdown of a 14-year war that he had pledged to end at the beginning of his presidency. According to Obama, Afghanistan is not yet at a position to protect itself from the Taliban. After all that America has invested in Afghanistan’s safety, Obama says he will not let it become a safe haven for terrorists once more.
- On Tuesday, a 37-year-old black man named Alton Sterling was shot several times while on his back after being pushed to the ground by two Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers. The incident further fueled the nation-wide debate about the pervasive, systemic racism within America’s law enforcement. Two days later, Philando Castile, also a black man, was killed by a Minnesota cop while his car was at a traffic stop.
- Both deaths were recorded, and in both cases, cellphone video footage quickly circulated on social media.
- A unit within the Colombian Cold War-era Marxist organization, FARC, stated on Wednesday that it will not demobilize in accordance with a peace deal with the government, thus ending a two-week-long ceasefire and setting back efforts to resolve over five decades of war. President Juan Manuel Santos has stated that the conflict has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.
- Following the Brexit referendum and subsequent resignation of David Cameron, members of the ruling Conservative Party of the UK selected Home Secretary Theresa May and Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom as the final two candidates for British prime minister. Now that Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage are out of the picture, it looks like the next British prime minister will be a woman.
- We’re already planning a Clinton-Merkel-May/Leadsom girl-power party.
- Natalina Yaqoub, a Sudanese beauty queen, is putting her visibility and influence to good use. Yaqoub has continually urged the Sudanese government to end bombing in the Nuba mountains, which have been the site of a violent counter-insurgency campaign since 2011. Yaqoub is one of many Sudanese women who have become key stakeholders in the conversation about Sudanese national identity and politics.
- At least three people were killed on Wednesday when bomb-carrying gunmen tried to attack the country's biggest gathering for Eid, the Muslim holiday.
- There’s more tragedy: Bangladesh was targeted by Islamic terrorists affiliated with ISIS. A terrorist shot up a popular bakery in Dhaka last week; killing 20 people. Among the victims, police said, were nine Italians, seven Japanese, two Bangladeshis, one American and one Indian. The attack suggests that Bangladesh’s militant networks are globalizing. This notion of an ever-globalizing ISIS clashes with the United States’ ultimate goal of containing the growth of the Islamic State.
- On July 6, the European Union approved its first cybersecurity rules...ever. The rules, which include imposing reporting and security protocol on industry service operators, are already whipping big companies like Google and Amazon into shape.