Compiled by Nathan Whiteman
Feb. 19, 2016
MALAYSIA: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining a fund set up by Goldman Sacks suspected of funneling over $600 million into the bank account of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The official explanation—that the money was gifted by Saudi Arabia as a reward for helping the country fight against the Islamic State—has been met with skepticism.
CUBA: President Barack Obama has approved the construction of a tractor factory in Cuba by American entrepreneurs. It is the first American factory in Cuba in more than half a century.
SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudi foreign minister has threatened to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by force if peace talks in Syria are not successful. Saudi Arabia has moved military aircraft to bases in Turkey in recent weeks, and have stated that they would be willing to contribute troops to a U.S. led ground invasion of Syria.
CUBA: Pope Francis met with the Patriarch Kiril of the Russian Orthodox Church in Havana, marking the first time the heads of these two Christian branches have met since the Great Schism in the year 1054.
MIDDLE EAST: According to the Associated Press, the Islamic State is now facing a major cash shortage. Salaries of fighters have been halved in important cities such as Raqqa, and resources such as electricity are being rationed.