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.
The 2016 Summer Olympics, hosted in beautiful (but no less controversial) Rio de Janeiro are well underway, and the Internet has been abuzz with gossip about green swimming pools, man buns and, well, admiring men’s buns. But have no fear—there’s more to this Olympics than a couple of chartreuse-colored pools and broad-shouldered men:
American gymnast Simone Biles, described as “unbeatable” by The New York Times, took home both the women’s individual all-around gold medal and the unofficial title of “world’s best gymnast.”
Another Simone—this one with the surname Manuel—made history as the first African-American woman to win an individual event in Olympic swimming.
Olympic old-timer Michael Phelps took home his 13th individual Olympic gold medal, breaking the previous record set by Leonidas in 152 B.C. Phelps has also been making headlines for engaging in another kind of premodern activity—the ancient Chinese medical practice of cupping.
Once again, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump found himself embroiled in controversy this week. Trump accused President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton of being “the founders of ISIS” during a rally last Friday. He reiterated this line of thought throughout the week and refused to back down on his clearly unsubstantiated claims. On Friday, in an early morning Twitter post, Trump stated that he was just being sarcastic.
In fairness, who hasn’t accused their rivals of founding the human embodiment of evil every now and then?
Four people were killed last Wednesday as barrels containing chlorine gas were dropped on a rebel-held neighborhood in eastern Aleppo. The bombing was just one of many chlorine gas attacks that have killed scores during Syria’s civil war, the recent string of attacks has brought into investigation the use of chlorine gas as a makeshift chemical weapon to replace the actual chemical weapons caches that were destroyed. On Thursday, the United Nations’ special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, stated that if chlorine gas was indeed used in the attack on Aleppo then it would be a war crime.
As local elections take place in South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC)’s losses are continuing to mount in Pretoria, the South African capital. The trend, which breaks a two-decade-long pattern, is indicative of South Africans’ growing dissatisfaction with the ANC, popularly recognized as the party of Nelson Mandela that helped free South Africa from white-minority rule. Twenty-two years after the end of apartheid, South African voters appear to be more interested in the promises of good governance offered by the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, than the ANC’s noble past.
Earlier this week, best frenemies Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met up with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria, mutual enemies and July’s failed Turkish military. There’s nothing that makes a friendship blossom more than troubled diplomatic relations.
A suicide bombing in a hospital Pakistan’s southwestern city of Quetta led to the deaths of 70 people. Experts state that the bombing was an attack on the city's legal community, since the bomb exploded at a time when dozens of lawyers had gathered at the hospital to condemn the murder of a prominent colleague. The bombing was claimed by two terrorist organizations: Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, and a regional branch of the Islamic State.