By: Andrey Prigov
We're not going to fault you for not staying on top of this week's news. We're only here to help.
- In Somalia’s semiautonomous state of Puntland, heavily armed al-Shabab soldiers attacked a military base killing more than 70 people and wounding dozens more. The attack, the region’s worst in years, reflects the difficulty that Somalian security forces have had with dealing with both the al Qaeda-affiliated al-Shabab and the emergence of ISIL-affiliated groups.
- At least eight people have been killed and more than 10,000 evacuated after devastating fires fueled by the worst winter storm in more than 30 years laid siege on a coastal town in South Africa.
- North Korea tested several cruise missiles on Thursday—the fourth test of its kind in the past month. It occurred just one day after South Korea’s new president Moon Jae-in announced that he was suspending further deployment of the American-sponsored THAAD anti-missile system and less than a week after the UN Security Council voted to expand sanctions against the DPRK. Experts have voiced concerns over Moon’s new conciliatory foreign policy towards Pyongyang, but they say it is too early to judge what the outcome of the suspension of the THAAD will be.
- India successfully launched its most powerful rocket in order to place what is now the country’s heaviest satellite in orbit.
- Challenging Russian influence in the Balkans, Montenegro officially joined NATO this Monday as its 29th member. Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, in his speech, underscored that his country was grateful for the opportunity to enter into the bloc as an equal partner. Such sentiment, though, has shown strain lately, particularly in part due to Trump’s adoption of an America First policy.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May suffers a stunning electoral defeat in an election she called three years early in the hopes of securing a stronger mandate for Brexit negotiations. Her miscalculation has cost her Conservative Party its parliamentary majority, but she maintained on Friday morning that she would stay in power by forming a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland. Meanwhile Labour, the oppositionparty, made significant electoral gains that are likely to only further complicate the already tenuous Brexit negotiations.
- Several countries across the Islamic world cut diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar out of its alleged support for Islamist groups, warm relations with Iran, and interference in the internal affairs of other nations. Analysts say that this Saudi-led effort might have been emboldened by Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East, during which the U.S. president endorsed Saudi Arabia’s counter-extremist policy.
- A pair of terrorist attacks struck Iran’s parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary leader on Wednesday morning. Over 16 people were killed and many more reported injured in what was Iran’s first major attack since 2010. ISIS claimed responsibility for the violence—something which, if confirmed, would make this the group’s first encroachment into Iran. Recently reelected President Hassan Rouhani pressed for national unity and strength in the face of the instability.
- Dismissed FBI chief, James Comey, gave a blistering testimony on Thursday revealing how President Donald Trump put pressure on him to drop an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn over the general’s undeclared ties to Russia. Comey’s sworn statements look to become the basis for an investigation into whether Trump’s behavior would constitute an obstruction of justice—a charge for which he could be impeached.
- With many state governors and city mayors in the United States already pledging to uphold the environmental goals laid out in the Paris Climate Accords, the state of Hawaii, on Thursday, enacted a law mandating the implementation of parts of the internationally agreed-upon resolution. Analysts say that President Trump’s decision to quit the climate deal has only emboldened the fight against climate change in some places.
- On Tuesday, Brazil’s highest electoral court reopened a case against President Michel Temer for his potential use of illegal campaign funds during the 2014 election. Temer, who became president after the impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff, has been controversial from the outset. Analysts say that his unwillingness to resign has negatively affected both Brazilian political climate and its economic stability.
- After fifty years of war, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (FARC), under an agreement reached last year with the Colombian government, handed over 30% of their arms to UN representatives. Under the conditions that they have signed off on, FARC has pledged to give up the rest of their weapons by June 20. Many of the rebel fighters are now looking forward to rejoining civilian life and launching their own political party by the end of the year.
News To Restore Your Faith in Humanity
- Ariana Grande’s One Love benefit concert has reportedly raised more than 2 million USD for the victims of the Manchester terror attack that struck at the end of the singer’s May 22 show.
- A man from Thunder Bay, Ontario donated $7,400 to the homeless shelter that had previously took him in. Although the man is not wealthy now, he wanted to make sure that the shelter had enough funding to continue its daily operations.