Recap: November 16 – 22



Blast in Nigeria, Brussels shuts down for manhunt, Minneapolis police shooting spurs protest, governors block refugees and more in this week’s recap.

Sophie Feinberg, Editor

International Affairs

“A blast struck a market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Yola on Tuesday evening, killing 32 people and wounding 80 others, both the Red Cross and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said. The explosion occurred at a fruit and vegetable market beside a main road in the Jimeta area of Adamawa’s state capital around 8pm (1900 GMT). There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the blast bore the hallmarks of militant Islamist group Boko Haram which has killed thousands over the last six years in its bid to create a state adhering to strict Sharia law in the northeast.”

President Obama called on China on Wednesday to halt its construction on reclaimed islands in the South China Sea, raising the contentious issue at the start of a two-day economic summit meeting at which he and other Pacific Rim leaders also discussed trade and climate change. […] He urged the Chinese to stop military activities there and endorsed a process of arbitration to settle differences between Beijing and its Southeast Asian neighbors.”

“Soldiers in Mali’s capital shot their way into a Radisson Blu hotel and liberated dozens of captives after a 10-hour siege by Islamist gunmen that left 27 people dead, including five attackers, ending one of the biggest hostage standoffs in recent years. Troops from France—the former colonial power—and United Nations peacekeepers blocked roads while Malian soldiers with Kalashnikov rifles fought their way to the top floor of the seven-story hotel in Bamako. Inside, five gunmen had been holding 170 hostages, according to officials and witnesses.”

“Five people have been killed in two attacks in Israel and the occupied West Bank, officials say. In the first attack, two Israelis were stabbed to death by a Palestinian man at the entrance of a shop that serves as a synagogue in the city of Tel Aviv. Later, a third Israeli, a Jewish American and a Palestinian were killed in an attack near a Jewish settlement. A  wave of violence over the past two months has claimed the lives of 15 Israelis and dozens of Palestinians.”

Brussels remains on lockdown on Saturday night, with the metro system, shopping centres and public buildings closed. The city’s mayor has ordered all restaurants and cafes to close tonight.  The government raised the terror alert level to level four – “very serious” – for the Brussels region. “Analysis shows a serious and imminent threat that requires taking specific security measures as well as specific recommendations for the public,” an official statement said.”

Domestic Affairs

“A man is on life support after he was allegedly shot, witnesses say while handcuffed, by Minneapolis police early Sunday morning. Police said their preliminary investigation shows the man was not handcuffed, but the investigation is ongoing. After a large, agitated crowd gathered at the scene and demonstrations endured throughout the day, Minneapolis Mayor Besty Hodges announced Monday that she had asked the Justice Department to “review” the shooting and open a civil rights investigation.”

“A fast-growing group of Republican governors have revolted against President Barack Obama’s existing plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, saying the Paris terrorist attacks show that it’s too risky to provide a safe haven for those displaced by Syria’s bloody civil war. In a sign of how quickly the fear of another major attack on U.S. soil has grown, more than two dozen GOP governors said the refugees are not welcome in their states, and two Democratic ones voiced some opposition.”

“Three days after saying Republicans were “scared of widows and orphans” seeking refuge in the U.S., President Barack Obama visited a refugee center in Malaysia to drive home his call for more compassion in response to a global migrant crisis. “They’re just like our kids and they deserve support,” Obama said Saturday after touring the Dignity for Children Foundation in Kuala Lumpur. “The notion that somehow we would be fearful of them, that our politics would somehow leave them to turn our sights away from their plight, is not representative of the best of who we are.””

“More Mexicans are leaving than moving into the United States, reversing the flow of a half-century of mass migration, according to a study published Thursday. The Pew Research Center found that slightly more than 1 million Mexicans and their families, including American-born children, left the U.S. for Mexico from 2009 to 2014. During the same five years, 870,000 Mexicans came to the U.S., resulting in a net flow to Mexico of 140,000.”