Recap: February 22 – 28



Siamak Namazi’s, Iranian-American detained in Iran, father arrested, Ramon Castro dies, Hillary Clinton wins South Carolina and KKK clashes in California.

Sophie Feinberg, Editor

International Affairs

“A bloody spasm of violence was reported to have killed almost 130 people Sunday in Syria as the United States announced that it and Russia had reached a “provisional agreement” on a cease-fire in the civil war-torn country. The official Syrian news agency SANA said 83 people were killed and 178 others were wounded in three bombings near a Shiite shrine in Damascus.”

“Six weeks after freeing U.S. citizens in a prisoner swap with the United States, Iran appears to have arrested yet another man whom Washington may take an interest in seeing freed. Baquer Namazi, 80, is the father of American businessman Siamak Namazi, who was detained in October and was not part of last month’s exchange. Before his father’s arrest, he was the last confirmed U.S. prisoner still being held in Iran.”

“In the wake of North Korea’s nuclear weapons test last month and its long-range missile test in early February, the U.S. and China have agreed on a draft U.N. resolution imposing new sanctions on Pyongyang. North Korea is already under a raft of international sanctions, but the new proposal would tighten them and impose new bans.

“Ramon Castro, a lifelong rancher and farmer who bore a strong physical resemblance to younger brother Fidel Castro, died Feb. 23 in Havana. He was 91. Cuban state media announced the death but did not provide further details.”

Domestic Affairs

“Some victims of the San Bernardino attack will file a legal brief in support of the U.S. government’s attempt to force Apple Inc to unlock the encrypted iPhone belonging to one of the shooters, a lawyer representing the victims said on Sunday.”

“The Uber driver arrested for the deadly Kalamazoo, Michigan, killing spree was charged Monday with six counts of murder and ordered held without bail. Prosecuting attorney Jeff Getting said Jason Brian Dalton “admitted his involvement” in the killings and was found with what appears to be the murder weapon. But the 45-year-old suspect kept quiet during his brief hearing.”

“Senate Republicans on Tuesday united behind an official position on how to deal with President Obama’s expected nominee to replace the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia: no hearings, no votes and no new justice until Obama is out of office. “Presidents have a right to nominate, just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a morning floor speech. ”

Hillary Clinton finally got her landslide — and it could redefine the Democratic race for the White House. Her crushing defeat of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary Saturday restored Clinton as the undisputed front-runner, as her southern firewall of minority voters held rock solid and her opponent fared poorly among African-American voters.”

“Violence broke out Saturday when Ku Klux Klan demonstrators and counterprotesters fought in Anaheim, California, leaving five people injured and 13 people arrested, authorities said. Anaheim police spokesman Sgt. Daron Wyatt said the KKK planned a “walking protest” at Pearson Park. The counterprotesters arrived beforehand and attacked when the KKK got out of their vehicles around noon, he said.”