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The Weekly Global Roundup

The Weekly Global Roundup: Myanmar Under The Spotlight (January 8 to 13, 2018)

This roundup covers news summaries across six regions: Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America. Wherever possible I draw links to Singapore, but I think it is more important to understand geopolitical developments around the world, to draw attention to meaningful news stories, and to highlight both positive and negative events.

Around the world, I rely primarily on the email newsletters from “The Economist“, “Foreign Policy“, “Muck Rack“, “The New York Times“, “The Wall Street Journal“, and “The World Post“. In Singapore, the weekly digests from the European Union Centre and the Middle East Institute are handy. Do send me recommendations of news outlets or articles too, to jinyao.guan.yin.miao[a]gmail.com!

Taken from https://gdb.voanews.com/D8C76F0C-3DAD-4CE4-BB92-2DEB9CDCB907_cx0_cy5_cw0_w1023_r1_s.jpg.

State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi.

January 8 to 13, 2018

For months Myanmar has been under the spotlight for its assault against more than 650,000 Rohingyas – stripped of their citizenship in 1982 – who have been forced to flee into neighbouring Bangladesh. Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised for her apparent apathy too. This week, as a Rohingya rebel group Myanmar claimed responsibility for an attack on government forces which left three people wounded, the Myanmar military also made a first public admission of its wrongdoing, when it acknowledged that “its security forces and Buddhist villagers killed 10 Rohingya Muslims whose bodies were found in a mass grave in a village in troubled Rakhine state“. And for covering the situation in the Rakhine state, two Reuters journalists were “formally charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act“, facing up to 14 years in prison.

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  • The collision of a minibus and a truck in Guinea-Bissau, one of the poorest countries in the world, left 18 people dead.
  • In Senegal, gunmen opened fire on people gathering firewood in a forest, killing at least 13 people. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, though a separatist group which operates in the region have been fighting for independence since 1982.
  • Following a government hike of the prices of staple goods and its introduction of new taxes, protests broke out in Tunisia – also the country where the Arab Spring protests started seven years ago – with police firing tear gas to disperse crowds.

The Asia-Pacific


The Middle East

North America

  • The Trump administration reversed two policies from the Obama administration: First, one which made it easier for individual states to legalise pot; second, which limited offshore drilling for oil and gas in waters surrounding the United States.
  • With concerns over the fight against terror groups, the United States froze aid and security assistance to Pakistan.
  • A group of security experts revealed two security flaws – named Meltdown and Spectre – “that affect nearly all microprocessors“. While the world’s largest tech companies have worked to fix the problems, the computer chips are not completely fixable. Last year in the “WannaCry” ransomware attack, cyber extortionists hit users with software stolen from the United States National Security Agency.
  • Extreme hurricanes and wildfires caused $306 (S$408.7) billion in total damage in 2017. The bulk of the damage came from the hurricanes: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria.
  • In Southern California, which was hit by the largest wildfires in the state’s history in December last year, heavy rain has led to mudslides which has killed at least 13 people. Dozens more were injured.

Latin America

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

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