By: Akhil Kapur
We're not going to fault you for not staying on top of this week's news. We're only here to help.
Russia launched a fleet of bombers toward Syria on Tuesday. What’s especially notable about this is that they did so from a military base in Iran, becoming the first foreign power to launch a military attack from the Islamic country since World War 2. This newfound alliance is damaging to the already deteriorating relationship between the U.S and Russia. The two countries have been trying to work together to end the conflict in Syria. This recent development has taken the U.S. State Department by surprise, mostly because they do not understand what Russia’s intentions are. Don’t you just hate it when you think things are getting better in a bad relationship and then they go launch an airstrike from a country you hate.
Jesús Alfredo Guzmán Salazar, son of the drug cartel leader Joaquín Guzmán Loera (more infamously known as El Chapo), was kidnapped at gunpoint while attending a birthday party in Mexico City this week. According to the attorney general for Jalisco State, Eduardo Almaguer, the gunmen took Jesús and the others into sport utility vehicles but not a single bullet was fired. His father’s escape last year from a maximum-security prison through a mile-long tunnel, dug under his cell, embarrassed the Mexican government. He was however recaptured in January and is currently fighting extradition to the United States. Mr. Almaguer did not name the group behind the abduction, except to describe it as an organization that has been active in Jalisco.
The Nigerian military is currently in an ongoing battle with the ISIS-affiliated terror group Boko Haram, detaining hundreds of civilians including children. Many activists report that some of these people are never heard from again. According to figures gathered by Amnesty International, the prison held 1,200 people, at least 120 of whom are children. While the Nigerian government denies these reports, it is not the only country in the region called out on its extreme measures in the fight against Boko Haram. Cameroon has been accused of detaining 1,000 people suspected of supporting Boko Haram. Many of these arrests are without just cause and the prisoners are kept in horrible conditions that have led to many dying of disease and malnutrition.
One of the U.K’s most prolific Islamic preachers and activist Anjem Choudary has been found guilty of supporting the Islamic State. He could face up to 10 years in prison. Together with an associate, they were charged with using online lectures and messages to rally supporters for ISIS. Through social media they both pledged allegiance to the head of the caliphate Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, stating that Muslims had a duty to support him. While this arrest took place two years ago, they were tried at the Old Bailey in London, the central criminal court. The jury delivered its verdict on July 28, and sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 6. The sentencing is a warning to many that if you must pledge allegiance to bloodthirsty evil monsters, maybe you shouldn’t put it up on Youtube.
Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi visited Beijing on Wednesday, the first step in an attempt to mend relations from previous visits of her government. Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was the Nobel Peace Prize winner credited with transforming Myanmar from a military dictatorship to a democracy. Her foreign policy is increasingly pro China, a choice that risks unsettling Washington. China welcomes the relationship as it now seeks to be the strongest foreign power in Myanmar. It is working on investment projects to suit the developing country and assuming an influential position as mediator in peace talks between rival ethnic groups and the government this month.