by Pier Washpon

With Restrictions Loosened and Increased US Bombings, Afghan Civilian Deaths Surge
October 12, 2017
Since January 2017, over 200 Afghan civilians were killed by airstrikes. The UN estimates 38% of the deaths to be caused by the US-led coalition. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’ plans to loosen proximity requirements when striking the Taliban is likely to increase civilian casualties.

Mogadishu truck bomb: 500 casualties in Somalia’s worst terrorist attack
October 16, 2017
Over 300 people have been confirmed dead after a truck bomb exploded in the capital of Somalia. The attack has devastated countless families, and many bodies were damaged beyond identification or even discovery. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, even though many suspect it to be al-Shabaab.

US and South Korea launch military drills despite renewed threat
October 16, 2017
The United States and South Korea are beginning their five days of drills in the waters of the Korean peninsula. A researcher at North Korea’s foreign ministry said that such military actions compel counteraction. North Korea has threatened to attack Guam multiple times.

Venezuela’s Ruling Party Wins Surprise Victory in Regional Elections
October 16, 2017
Polls projected that the opposition would win big in the elections but in a major upset, 17 of the 23 state governorships went to the ruling socialist party.

Iraq seizes Kirkuk from Kurds leaving two US allies locked in conflict and bringing end to move for independence
October 16, 2017
Iraqi military forces have captured Kurdish oilfields. This is a major setback in the movement for independence. The United States was aligned with the Kurds in Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS but strongly opposed the independence referendum.  

ISIS Leaders Killed as Philippines Vows ‘to end these terrorist’ in Marawi
October 16, 2017
ISIS leader Isnilon Hapilon was killed along with 7 other militants by Philippines armed forces. Authorities believe that an al-Qaeda trained Malaysian professor Mahmud Ahmad will be the next leader. A man was arrested on suspicion of plotting attacks on New York City.

Austria turns sharply to the right in an election shaped by immigration
October 16, 2017
Sebastian Kurz has been elected to be the next chancellor of Austria after taking a hard-line stance against immigration, including advocating for  stronger border controls and a reduction of refugees. The topics of migration and integration that dominated the campaign was migration and integration.

Malta car bomb kills Panama Papers Journalist
October 16, 2017
Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia died after an explosive device was planted in her car. She was described by Politico as a “one-woman WikiLeaks.” Her family is filing a petition to remove the magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera from the case because they do not believe he can be impartial.

U.S. judge blocks latest Trump travel restrictions
October 17, 2017
Hawaii sued Trump in federal court to block his travel ban. The judge ruled that the policy blocking people from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Chad — six major Muslim countries — violates federal immigration law.

Taliban attacks kill at least 69 across Afghanistan
October 17, 2017
Taliban militants struck government targets and killed 20 civilians on Tuesday. 110 civilians were left wounded.