Tuesday, tribal leaders from Montana and Alberta agreed to a pact while gathered on Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation. The treaty is the first between the dozen or so tribes since hunting restrictions were enforced in the 1800s. The agreement ensures that buffalo, whose species was nearly wiped out in the 1880’s, will enjoy more protected land. The summit marked a restoration of spiritual and cultural ties between the signatories of the treaty.
The German Ethics Council has deemed incest a “fundamental right”. The government-backed group indicated the potential scraping of a law that allocates 3 years of prison to citizens who engage in incest. The statement follows a landmark case in which a guilty verdict was overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. The court declared that since genetically affected people are permitted to procreate, the ruling was unfair. Incest remains illegal in the UK and most European countries.
Gourdel, aged 55, was a mountain guide trekking through the Alergian terrain when he was seized by members of the extremist group Jund al-Khilafa. In the video posted as a “warning for the French government”, the victim expressed his love for his family before his execution. French President Francois Hollande declared that French airstrikes, which began last week in Iraq, would continue. He noted, “It is not weakness that should be the response to terrorism but force.”
Wednesday, leaders from the two countries announced plans to send F-16 fighters to aid the conflict in Northern Iraq. Each country will send six jets, which will be based out of Jordan. While Belgium’s contributions are awaiting Parliament’s approval, the Dutch will be sending 130 military tutors along with the planes. These tutors will train Kurdish and Iraqi soldiers, part of the Arab Coalition led by the United States.
Ümit Yaşar Toprak, also known as Abu Yusef al-Turki, was a senior operative in Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch. Syrian newspaper Al-Watan described the 47-year old Turkish man as “the most famous sniper in the world”. The militant had trained roughly 400 other snipers during his time in Aleppo, one of the country’s northern provinces. He left behind five children.
According to a recent report from the Wildlife Conservation Society, between 1,500 and 1,800 elephants are being killed yearly by organized crime groups in African nation. The under-funded government’s responses have been either ineffective or nonexistent. Poachers use automatic weapons, killing the animals not just frequently but inhumanely.
The Climate Summit in New York suffered a setback when the Brazilian delegation negated the motion combat deforestation, as they felt “excluded from the drafting process”. Brazilian participation is critical, as the country hosts the largest rainforest on the planet. The Amazon has been coined as “The Earth’s Lungs”. While the country’s deforestation rates have been on a steady decline in recent years, 2013 saw a spike in logging activity. UN officials denied any exclusion, claiming to be “surprised” by the decision.
In an act never before seen from the north-eastern Nigerian militants, 260 fighters surrendered after Abubakar Shekau was killed by national forces. Abubakar Shekau was said to have died in 2009, and the man killed Tuesday could have been an imposter, Mohammed Bashir. Boko Haram, the group guilty of kidnapping 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, sources largely outside the country. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan recently urged the UN Security Council to “find more ways to combat the threat”.
In a country where protests are illegal, nearly 500 villagers gathered in Luoyuan Bay, shutting down a shipyard guilty of polluting it. The takeover was a forceful one; the farmers broke into the building, defacing much of the property. The residents of the Fujian Province, which sits on the coast facing Taiwan) assert that the shipyard’s waste is responsible for the death of many shellfish abalone. Environmental protests in China have risen in frequency by 30 percent in the past 15 years.
On Wednesday, Germany’s highest employment court ruled against a Muslim nurse protesting a Christian hospital. Her employer, supported by the Evangelical church, demanded that she not wear headscarves upon her return from maternity and illness leave. While the woman, a 36-year old resident of Bochum, claimed discrimination, the hospital’s desire to “exclude symbols of Islamic faith” from “a Christian institution” won out.