Compiled by Stephanie Meyer
On Friday, Sept. 15, a bomb was detonated on a London Underground train, injuring at least 29 people. The explosion is being treated as a terrorist attack by the London Metropolitan Police. The Islamic State’s news agency, Amaq News, reported that the militant group was responsible for the attack, however, this claim has not been verified. Since 2014, the Islamic State (IS) has inspired or executed at least 144 attacks in 29 countries. The United Kingdom alone has now survived five IS terror attacks since March. While the London Underground bombing is still an ongoing investigation, two young men, 18 and 21 years old, were arrested separately on September 16 under Section 41 of the Terrorism Act. Both men had been fostered by the same elderly couple who, in 2010, had been honored by Queen Elizabeth II for their work with fostering children. The 18 year old was living with the couple at the time of the attack. After the bombing, London’s threat level raised to “critical.”
On Sept. 17, four Boston College students on study abroad were attacked with acid at a train station in Marseille, France. The perpetrator was a French woman, who sprayed acid onto the students’ faces. Luckily, the students avoided any serious injuries. Of the injuries, the most severe was mild eye irritation. The police described the perpetrator as “mentally ill.” The victims extended forgiveness to their perpetrator, noting that “mental illness is not a choice, and should not be villainized.” The students expressed that they hope their perpetrator gets the help that she needs.
In September, the Rohingya people fled Myanmar, desperately escaping what human rights groups call an ethnic cleansing catastrophe. The United Nations named the Rohingya people one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. In Myanmar, Rohingyas do not have the ability to gain nationality, despite being able to trace their history in Myanmar to the 8th century. The Rohingyas are barred from benefiting from the freedom of movement, state education, and civil jobs. For years there have been threats of the genocide of the Rohingya people, and recently the risk has become greater, with Rohingya villages being raided and their residents being brutally murdered. The UN estimates that almost 20,000 Rohingya people are fleeing every day, hoping to find refuge in Bangladesh.
On Sept. 7, Mexico suffered a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake, the largest of which they have encountered in 100 years. The earthquake hit hardest the Chiapas and Oaxaca states, two of the most impoverished areas of Mexico, killing 61 people and injuring hundreds. The victims of the natural disaster are in desperate need of basic medical supplies for wound and other trauma care. The earthquake hit at the same time Hurricane Katia battered Mexico’s east coast. 1.85 million people lost electricity and water service.
The United Nations has instituted a new round of sanctions on North Korea, which were approved on Sept. 11. The sanctions seek to deprive North Korea of fuel and income for its weapons program by restricting oil imports and textile exports. The sanctions were put in place in response to North Korea’s nuclear test on Sept. 15. The nuclear missile shot flew over Japan. North Korea’s looming threat may ultimately push Japan to reassess their pacifist war state. Currently, Japan is only allowed to use military action in self-defense. This means that Japan may not have the legal ability to shoot down a nuclear weapon in the name of protecting their ally, the United States. The UN Security Council unanimously condemned the sanctions, calling them “highly provocative.” Once the sanctions were approved, North Korea announced that the sanctions would only provide motivation for the country to accelerate their nuclear program.