Compiled by Stephanie Meyer
On Monday, Jan. 16, two suicide bombings occurred in Baghdad. No group has claimed responsibility yet, however it is suspected that the Islamic State is behind this. Witnesses report that the bombers appeared at the Tayran Square, a busy, densely populated open air market in the Iraq capital, around 6 a.m. Minutes after the first bomb detonated and after people rushed to help the wounded, the second bomb exploded. The General of Interior Ministry, Saad Maan, released a statement in which he named 27 people who were murdered by the bombings, while another 90 people were injured. A spokesperson for the Health Ministry stated, however, that the number wounded was 102. Most of those who were killed and injured were street vendors and day laborers. This attack occurred almost a month after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi asserted victory over ISIS, which controlled large territories of the country in 2014.
On Sunday, Jan. 14, a major earthquake struck off the southern coast of Peru. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake was responsible for two deaths and wounded at least 65 people. Several major roads have also been damaged. According to the National Defense Institute, the earthquake was strongest in the cities of Arequipa, Ica and Ayacucho. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stated that the Peruvian Government has sent reinforcements to the cities where the earthquake hit to verify the magnitude of the damages and send humanitarian assistance.
On Monday, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed the United States for destabilizing the world during the opening of his annual press conference. Lavrov argued that the United States had “further destabilized” the world by issuing stern threats and directing aggressive and childish tweets to North Korea. Earlier this year President Trump called the North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un, “little rocket man.” Lavrov also criticized the United States for conducting military exercises near the North Korean peninsula, which Lavrov claims “provoked a new escalation of tensions.”
According to the Ethiopian News Agency, Ethiopia has banned the adoption of Ethiopian children by foreign families, due to concerns of abuse. This measure follows the Ethiopian government’s November suspension of adoptions. The Ethiopian News Agency states that Ethiopian children adopted by foreign families are vulnerable to “identity crisis, psychological problems and violation of rights.” The ban will reportedly “enable children to grow up in Ethiopian culture, custom, social values and practices of their birthplace.” According to the United States Department of State, Ethiopia was in the top 10 countries that Americans adopted from in 2016. Since 1999, more than 15,000 adoptions from Ethiopia to the United States have occurred. In 2005, Angelina Jolie famously adopted her daughter from Ethiopia. It is still unclear how the decision to bar foreign adoption will impact ongoing adoption cases.