August 25, 2016

Colombia Ends A War, Turkey Invades Syria


 Scientists discovered a rocky, Earth-like planet orbiting the star next door. The new planet is only 4.2 lightyears away, meaning we might be able to escape to it one day if we destroy this one. 


Colombia And FARC Reach An Actual Agreement

Latin America’s longest running conflict may finally be coming to an end. After nearly four years of negotiating, the Colombian government and the FARC rebels reached a historic peace accord. While both sides signed a bilateral ceasefire in June, the terms of peace deal still needed to be finalized. Under the new agreement, FARC will give up its armed struggle and join Colombia’s legal political process. The left-wing rebels have been fighting the Colombian government since 1964, which has resulted in the deaths of over 220,000 people and the displacement of millions.

Turkey Raises The Stakes And Invades Syria

When Turkey decided to evacuate the town of Karkamis, we knew they were planning an operation for nearby Jarablus. But we had no idea Turkey planned on invading. Turkish army tanks are now rolling into Syria, where they have launched a ground offensive in Jarablus called Euphrates Shield. US Vice President Joe Biden is also in Turkey getting in on the action. Biden said the US had been flying air cover for the operation, which the US hopes will reset the countries’ strained relations after last month’s failed coup attempt.

So, why Jarablus?

Before ISIS took over Jarablus in July 2013, it was traditionally a Kurdish border town, and now the Kurds warn that the presence of Turkish troops could create a quagmire. It’s a fair warning, considering the Turkish government has made it clear that they will be targeting both ISIS and the Kurdish fighters who are fighting ISIS. In pro-wrestling, that’s called a Triple Threat. But in war, that’s called a really bad idea.


France Really Hates The Burkini

The only thing worse than forcing a woman to wear certain clothing is forcing a woman to take off her clothing. Disturbing photographs emerged this week, showing armed French police forcing a woman to remove some of her clothing while on a beach. Several French towns implemented bans on the burkini this summer, targeting a line of activewear made for women who don the Hijab. The burkini is essentially a hooded wetsuit, similar to what women surfers have been wearing for years. However, surfers need not worry as this controversial ban targets Muslim women exclusively. The now viral images of a woman forced to publicly strip have angered feminists and Muslim communities alike, but local mayor Ange-Pierre Vivoni described the measure as necessary to “protect the population.”

Opinion: “Why I Created The Burkini”

Earthquakes Rattle Italy And Myanmar

A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the mountainous stretch of central Italy, killing at least 159 people and injuring hundreds more who may still be trapped under debris. Towns in Umbria, Lazio and Marche were devastated by the quake, but tremors were felt even in Rome, nearly 100 miles to the southwest. Since the initial earthquake struck, there have been over 200 aftershocks, including a 5.5-magnitude tremor. Authorities are already comparing the quake to the 2009 banger in the Abruzzo region that killed more than 300 people. The government vowed to rebuild as soon as possible but for now, search and rescue teams are still needed throughout the region.

Not long after Italy’s quake, an earthquake of 6.8-magnitude struck central Myanmar. There has been one reported casualty from the quake, which damaged scores of ancient Buddhist pagodas in the former capital of Bagan.

Good Read: Are The Earthquakes In Italy And Myanmar Related?

Academics Continue To Suffer In Kabul

At least one person is dead and 24 others are wounded after militants attacked the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. Witnesses described a horrific scene in which attackers trapped students and staff in their classrooms before using explosions and automatic gunfire. So far, no group has claimed responsibility, but academia has become a more frequent target. This attack comes just weeks after two university professors were kidnapped at gunpoint nearby. Their whereabouts are still unknown.


Pipelines: In North Dakota and Washington, DC, Native American tribes staged protests against the construction of one of the country’s biggest pipelines, fearing damage to their land and water supplies. Pro-pipeline groups say the pipeline will wean the US off foreign oil.

DPRK: North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine 500 miles in the direction of Japan as part of an ongoing effort to boost Kim Jong-un’s ego. The launch irked Japan and South Korea who are building an anti-missile system that isn’t equipped to deal with submarines.

Ryan Lochte: The recently shamed Olympic medalist apparently feels no shame at all. USA Today reports that he will be joining the next season of Dancing with the Stars.


Philippines Bans Cops From Nose-picking

Image is everything in the Philippines. Sure, the fact that President Duterte has killed 1,900 in one summer doesn’t look good, but that doesn’t mean their police force can risk looking less than fabulous. The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) issued a memorandum reminding officers not to do anything that might create a negative impression among members of the public. The big offender they warn against: nose-picking. Police officers across the country should never indulge in a little gold digging even if they’re alone, lest they get caught on camera.

Yes, I want to sound marginally more intelligent: