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Malaysia confirmed that the debris found off the coast of Tanzania in June is in fact from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370, which disappeared in 2014 with 239 passengers and crew onboard. Investigators hope the newfound outboard flap can help their investigation and lend any insight about the missing plane.
China and Vietnam have agreed to manage differences over the South China Sea and to strengthen maritime cooperation. Chinese and Vietnamese officials hope this will strengthen their ties in the region.
Japanese voters elected the first female leader of the opposition Democratic Party. Renho Murata won in a landslide against two male competitors. She became the third woman to hold a prominent political position in Japan in just two months.
The United States and Russia introduced a ceasefire in Syria as a first step to ultimately achieving a lasting peace treaty in the war-torn country. The bilateral plan intends to create a channel for humanitarian efforts to reach besieged Syrians, and to allow the U.S. and Russia to jointly and effectively attack ISIS and Jabhat Fateh Al Sham.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced a joint U.S.-Turkish military operation, in which the United States will send 40 special operation forces to northern Syria to fight alongside Turkish forces against ISIS. This will be the second time the U.S. sends special ops to Syria, after formally sending 300 in a failed operation in 2013, which garnered much embarrassment to the Obama administration.
The Turkish Justice Ministry formally demanded the U.S. to arrest and extradite Fethullah Gulen for charges of orchestrating the failed coup in July. Turkish officials claim that Gulen supporters within the army ran a “parallel state” with orders by the U.S.-based religious leader. The United States has not made any official indications of whether it will hand Gulen over to Turkish authorities.
New report finds that leaders responsible for mass killings and rapes in the South Sudan conflict have acquired enormous wealth, some of it illegally. The report finds that leaders “benefited financially from the continuing war and have effectively ensured that there is no accountability for their human rights violations and financial crimes.”
The Ukrainian government welcomed an emergency payment of 1 billion USD from the IMF for international help aimed to stimulate the economy. The IMF had resisted giving the loan due to what they said corruption issues within the Ukrainian government.
EU leaders announced a meeting to take place in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava to calm tensions among member countries. They will discuss how Europe can move forward after ‘Brexit’. They intend to discuss migrant laws, as there have been ongoing problems with countries within the EU, including Slovakia, who refuse to meet the EU mandate for migrants.
The United States plans to increase the number of its refugee intake in 2017 to 110,000. The new plan is a 57% hike in refugee arrivals since 2015 and has not been passed in Congress.
In a historic foreign aid deal, the United States pledged to give Israel 38 billion USD in aid over a 10-year period, the largest amount of military aid the United States has ever given. The deal surprised many given Obama’s cold relationship with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Nearly a month after the Olympics, and only weeks after former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment due to allegations that she manipulated the government’s accounts in 2014 when she was seeking re-election, Brazil is forced to come to terms with another political disaster. Brazilian prosecutors have charged former President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva with corruption at the state run energy company, Petrobras.
Venezuela is in the midsts of an extreme economic, humanitarian and social crises. Opponents of the Nicolas Maduro administration flooded Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, demanding a recall referendum. Venezuela’s economy has been stagnant for nearly a decade and it continues to struggle to provide basic supplies for its citizens.
The FBI is trying to build a legal case against Russian hackers. U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Russian hackers are responsible for leaking classified information about the ongoing American presidential campaign and leaking emails from Washington's elite.