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Oct 07 2016
by Diana Pope

Weekly World News Round-Up

By Diana Pope - Oct 07 2016

From the death of Israeli peacemaker Shimon Peres to a groundbreaking woman's rights petition in Saudi Arabia, so much has happened in politics, finance and medicine over the past week. The Syrian airstrikes have caused a massive crisis in the country, and Pakistan is facing heightened tension with India due to military conflicts on the border of Kashmir. Fortunately, we've been able to summarize the highlights of the past week in global news for you:  

1. Dutch investigation finds cause of the Malaysia Airlines crash which sparks debate over safety rules.

On Wednesday, A Dutch investigation released a report detailing the supposed cause of the Malaysia Airlines crash. Purportedly, the missile that was the source of the airplane crash came from Russia and was sent out by Pro-Moscow separatists. Russian authorities and Ukrainian rebels deny that they held any part in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Still, the findings from this investigation will be used in a public trial. Christina Negroni, a respected aviation journalist, has claimed that MH370 breached safety rules and couldn't properly track the airplane flight. This airline was carrying 298 people and was flying from the Netherlands to Malaysia when it crashed into a Ukrainian field. 

2. Colombia signs peace agreement with FARC and citizens reject the proposal.

This past week, the Colombian government signed a peace agreement with FARC guerrilla groups, which comprise the largest rebel forces in the country. The ceremony brought an end to the 52 year-old with the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the proposal signifies that, "what we sign today is a declaration from the Colombian people before the world that we are tired of war." However, Colombian citizens voted against the measure by a thin margin of 50.21 to 49.78 percent, showing citizens' anger towards rebel groups.

3. Thousands of Saudi women sign a petition against male guardianship.

Nearly 15,000 women across Saudi Arabia have signed a petition to put an end to the restrictions regarding male guardianship. Traditional law in the country mandates that all women must have a male guardian (ex. father, brother, husband) who gives them permission to fulfill life duties such as marriage. A Human Rights Watch Report found in July that a Saudi woman's life is controlled by a man from "birth until death" in the country. 

4. India commands air strikes on Pakistan's territory.

On Thursday, Indian officials admitted that its elite troops had crossed into Kashmir and killed suspected militants. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the crossfire, but Pakistan's government denies that India had made any targeted strikes along the Himalayan borders. These strikes raised the possibility of subsequent conflicts between the two countries because India violated the 2003 ceasefire accords after this incident.  The White House is urging Pakistan and India to revisit the ceasefire measures and avoid future conflict due to the recent air strikes. 

5. The United States criticizes Chinese companies for alliance to North Korea.

The United States announced that it would issue criminal charges and economic sanctions against four Chinese individuals and a Chinese company. Federal authorities believe that the Chinese company Dandong Hongxiang is responsible for supporting North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The United States Treasury has also moved on to seize 25 bank accounts that are associated with the Chinese company. China's public security department has also placed the company under serious investigation. 

6. Jeremy Corbyn seizes leadership role in UK's Labour Party.

This past week, Jeremy Corbyn won re-election as the leader of the Labour Party in Great Britain. He won 61.8% of the votes, and defeated his challenger Owen Smith. The governing Conservative Party believes that his win will eliminate some of the division within the party itself. After the results, Corbyn promised to restore unity after conflicts this summer in the Parliament. His outspoken views have made him a champion of the grassroots leftist movement that is emerging in Great Britain. 

7. Intensive air strikes paralyze the city of Aleppo.

Aleppo, Syria is facing continuous air strikes, and more reports reveal that Russian and Syrian forces are using phosphorous munitions in a new bombing campaign. The largest hospital in the northern portion of the city was struck by barrel bombs this past week.  Many homes have been set on fire due to the diffusion of the phosphorous weapons in the city. Schools have finally re-opened in the city, despite the mass destruction of public facilities. The health system is about to virtually collapse in the city because patients are being turned away with the lack of available medicine. 

8. HIV researchers on brink of finding a cure.

British scientists at Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and King's College London have stumbled upon a potential cure to AIDS. The new therapy will the HIV reservoir in dormant cells, boost the patient's immune system, use a drug to activate the dormant T-cells. Laboratory tests have proved to be enormously successful, and scientists have used their treatment on their first patient. Further research needs to be conducted on whether this therapy can actually eliminate the progression of this disease. 

9. Brazilian ex-minister arrested after massive oil scandal.

Antonio Palocci, the former Brazilian finance minister, has been arrested after ties to the corruption of the oil company Petrobras. Dozens of politicians and executives have been arrested after a two-year anti-corruption investigation. Prosecutors alleged that Palocci had been involved in dealings with Petrobras while he was working as a government official. Last week, police temporarily detained another former finance minister, Guido Mantega, due to the same corruption charges. 

10. Shimon Peres, influential Israeli peacemaker, passes away.

On Friday, world leaders gathered on Mount Herzl to mourn the death of Shimon Peres. Peres was responsible for negotiating the famous Oslo Accords, guaranteeing peace between Israel and Palestine. The funeral was able to bring together Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. President Obama attended the funeral as well. 

With tensions only escalating in Syria and affecting the rest of the world, it is clear that this bombing is not the end of this conflict. Hope for a HIV cure seems as strong as ever, and Brazil continues to struggle against corruption.

Lead Image Credit: Bip America via Flickr Creative Commons

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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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