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Oct 18 2016
by Diana Pope

10 World Events to Know About Going into This Week

By Diana Pope - Oct 18 2016
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This week has witnessed a series of marked disputes in international politics. Diplomatically, this has been a tumultuous week for Russia as it faces allegations from the United States about cyber intrusions and suffers criticism from France for missing an important diplomatic trip. In addition, the Chinese and Brazilian government have faced political turmoil due to upheavals with current public officials. Several countries such as Yemen and Ethiopia are facing military disasters, and citizens are trapped in a state of distress. If you're worried about keeping up with world news, Fresh U has you covered:

1. Four Soldiers and Many Others are Left Dead After Myanmar Massacre

On Thursday, four soldiers were killed by 300 armed men in the Rakhine state of Burma. The Muslim Rohingya minority is being blamed for the insidious attacks. Dozens of villagers have been forced to evacuate their homes in the Rakhine state. In total, this conflict has led to the deaths of nine police officers, four soldiers, and seven civilians. Historically, the Muslim Rohingyas have experienced an inordinate amount of conflict with the Buddhists in Myanmar. The Rohingyas believe that they are entitled to the land of Myanmar because they are descendants of Arab traders and have been in Myanmar for centuries. The Buddhist majority is currently upset with the Myanmar government because they have been denied proper citizenship in the country. 

Burma Map via VOA news

2. US Federal Government Accuses Russia of Cyber Intrusions

The Director of National Intelligence and the Department of National Security in the United States have accused Russia of trying to manipulate the Presidential election through cyber attacks. The officials also accused Russia of orchestrating attacks on state board systems. The Federal government believes that these cyber attacks are not new- Russia has conducted similar cyber intrusions in the past to influence political opinion. President Obama publicly blamed Russia for the DNC hacks this week, and the White House plans to follow up with a "proportional response". The United States may use sanctions or litigations to respond to the cyber-intrusions. 

3. Australian Same-Sex Marriage Proposal Has Been Turned Down 

Australia's same sex marriage plebiscite has been blocked by the Labour Caucus in the government. Due to this, the prospects of legalizing gay marriage in the country appear to be bleak. Attorney-General George Brandis has heavily discussed the arduous process of legalizing same-sex marriage, and has stated that the Labour Caucus has "driven a stake through the heart of marriage equality in Australia". 

4. China in Uproar After Legislative Council Meeting 

Last Friday, China expressed dissension toward two young lawmakers after they called for independence at an important legislative council meeting. 25 year-old Yau Wai-Ching and 30 year-old Baggio Leung discussed the possibility of a "Hong Kong Nation" while they took their oaths in office at the meeting. They were expressing the uprising sentiment of the younger generation to reach a greater sense of autonomy and independence in Hong Kong. This pair's oaths were ruled invalid after the meeting because legislators felt as if the lawmakers' vow for independence violated the Chinese constitution. The young pair of lawmakers will have another opportunity to swear in at a meeting this Wednesday. 

China Map via Business Bearing 

5. Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency After 6-Month Conflict

Over the past week, Ethiopia's foreign businesses have been in a constant state of turmoil after violent anti-governmental protests. The government recently declared a state of emergency because the conflicts have been harrowing to the citizens of the country. Many businesses were severely damaged by the protests, including a Dutch horticulture firm and a Turkish textile firm. Gerbru Asrat, an opposition leader, has firmly stated that the protests will continue until the citizens are guaranteed basic human rights in the country. Ethiopia has released a set of rules for the current state of emergency, and has restricted the movement of diplomats outside of Addis Adaba without permission. The government has also added strict censorship laws as well, and has outlawed rallies and public meetings. 

6. South Africa's Finance Minister Faces Removal After Charges of Fraud 

Pravin Gordon, Governor of Finances in South Africa, will appear before a court on charges of fraud. Gordon was in charge of the country's tax collection for a short period, and the charges are due to severance payments that were made to executives in the South African Revenue Service. He is also facing charges related to his role in establishing a surveillance unit at the tax department. Many opposition parties have been critical of Gordon's indictment, and believe that the charges are linked to a ploy from allies of President Jacob Zuma. Despite the ongoing controversy in the country of his charges, he will still appear in court on November 2nd to discuss the case. 

7. Hundreds of Yemenis Wounded from an Airstrike

This week, hundreds of people were severely wounded by a Saudi airstrike on a funeral in Yemen. The airstrike killed over 140 people, and left another 600 citizens with critical injuries. The Deputy Health Minister has stated that the brimming hospitals are unable to treat all of the wounded citizens, and that a mass number of people face the risk of death. The Saudi military coalition has blockaded Yemen by air and sea, and has closed the airport in the country. The UN and various humanitarian groups are calling on Saudi Arabia to remove the blockades so that the wounded Yemenis can be flown out of the country for hospitalization. 

8. Rio Public Safety Official Asked to Leave His Position

Jose Marino Beltrame, head of Rio's Safety Department, has been asked to step down by the government of Brazil. He played a key role in the Olympics and Brazil 2014's World Cup. Beltrame has resigned from his post as head of the "police pacification" program that has staged a war on drug trafficking groups. He defended his work with this program on his last day at the job, and stated that it saved more than 20,000 lives. He also noted how he was unhappy with the current economic and political situation in the country. 

9. Vladimir Putin Cancels Important Diplomatic Trip to France 

Russia has postponed a trip to France after disagreements over the current crisis in Syria. Originally, Russia had planned to attend the opening of the new Russia cultural centre in France and orthodox church during the trip. However, Putin has become dissident with the French President after he decided to attend meetings to discuss Syrian negotiations instead of going to Russian cultural events. France has been overly critical of Russia's part in the Syrian bombings, and is concerned about the mass loss of civilian lives associated with the Aleppo Crisis. Putin has not stated when he plans to make another trip to France after international disputes. 

10. Green Day's New Album Tops Billboard Charts

Green Day, a highly revered rock band, just released its new album called 'Revolution Radio'. The new album is currently #1 on Billboard charts, and sold 90,000 copies during its first week of release. The band has not been able to be #1 on the Billboard charts since 2009. This is Green Day's twelfth album. 

All in all, Green Day's new album has been the highlight to a week of political distress and turmoil.  Hopefully, the situations in Yemen, Myanmar, and Ethiopia will improve over the coming months. The international community will have to work to amend the repercussions from the violent events in these countries. 

Lead Image Credit: Mox News via Youtube

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Diana Pope - University of Tennessee Knoxville

Diana is a political science major who also enjoys journalism, history, and philosophy. She loves writing, researching, and debating about politics. In her free time, she enjoys Grey's anatomy marathons and reading detective fiction.

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