Several nations have recently done the same in halting dollar deals with Afghanistan due to the nations lack of strong policy over money-laundering and terrorist financing. Afghanistan’s failure to pass such measures could have it blacklisted by Financial Action Task Force, which would severely damage the commercial capabilities of the nation.
Fuad Mohamed Khalaf, senior official of the Somali terrorist group Al Shabaab, has announced that the group has moved its holy war to Kenya’s capital. The group has been fighting in Somalia for the last seven years to establish sharia law and has recently retaliated in Kenya over Kenya’s deployment of troops in Somalia to aid the government in the civil war. Al Shabaab’s movement into Kenya took worldwide attention when they held the Westgate Mall and their risky moves have been very strategic and represent Al Shabaab’s waning influence and power.
Malawian president Joyce Banda has demanded a manual audit for the votes cast in the recent presidential election over allegations of widespread fraud. Allegations have been made against an unnamed party for tampering with the results, allowing some citizens to vote up to three times, and cases of certain candidates receiving more votes than their constituent population.
A court has ruled Portillo guilty of taking bribes from Taiwan while in the presidency. He has plead guilty to attempting to launder the money through American banks and the judge has yet to decide whether his sentence will be served in the US or Guatemala. The money was taken in exchange for Guatemala’s recognition of the state of Taiwan during Portillo’s term.
The two countries vetoed the move against the intentions of 65 other countries and the rest of the Security Council. Syria is not a party to the statute that established the ICC, so the only way it can be referred to the tribunal at The Hague is by the UN Security Council.
Thailand’s military has announced it is taking control of the government and has suspended the constitution. Martial law was instituted Tuesday by the military and the coup was announced on Thursday on national television. The statement said Gen Prayuth would head a ruling military body – the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council – but that the upper house of parliament and courts would continue to function. The unrest began late last year when the Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra dissolved the lower house of parliament.
The UN Security Council has approved sanctions against the Nigerian Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram in reaction to the international uproar over the recent kidnapping of 260 Nigerian schoolgirls. The group is linked to Al-Qaeda and has been listed under the same sanctions. Though the group has been operating for over 5 years and murdered 1,500 people this year alone, attention has only come recently because of the kidnappings.
The state run and owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. has received $2 billion from private American energy firms such as Halliburton and Schlumberger. President Nicolas Maduro, currently facing mass protests over crime rates and inflation, has recently opened up the country to foreign investments to combat internal issues, despite his fierce anti-American rhetoric, inherited from his predecessor Hugo Chavez. Venezuela is the fourth largest supplier of American oil and generates 95% of its revenue from oil exports.
As Ethiopia has grown economically over the past few decades, the growth of their capital city has been expanding horizontally rather than vertically, with new skyscrapers and buildings associated with a middle and upper income nation. This expansion has brutally swallowed nearby towns. Students of one such town, Oromia, have protested since last month over this takeover and government forces have murdered numerous students in an effort to quell the protests.
The collapse of a large part of the Antarctic ice sheet could threaten food supply in the coming years. Warmer temperatures and changing rainfall could reduce American corn belt productivity by up to 25%. Two independent studies have recently claimed that the ice melt is irreversible.