Compiled from various mainstream news outlets.
Last Sunday, Sri Lanka endured a brutal terrorist attack, leaving over 320 dead and over 500 wounded in churches and hotels across the country. The attack was one of the worst in the nation’s history, and the gross action was claimed by the small militant group named National Thowheed Jamath, a jihadist group left over from a civil war the country underwent a decade ago. However, possibly the worst part of this attack was that according to security agencies in the country, officials had been warned ten days previously of an impending attack. This enormous security breach has been described as a “colossal intelligence failure.” Thankfully, the authorities have taken some steps to restore peace with 24 suspects arrested, a curfew put in place and explosives from other locations neutralized. Hopefully the last of the attacks have passed and the families of the victims can begin to recover.(NPR)
Tripoli, the capital of Libya, has seen brutal clashes between the country’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Serra and General Khalifa Haftar. The General’s soldiers have recently advanced into the capital in the aims of taking the capital and deposing the prime minister. So far, the clashes have resulted in Haftar launching airstrikes that shut down the city’s airport, and fighting has caused the deaths of 220 people. The United Nations has condemned the use of airstrikes and the attempt to depose a legally elected government. Most sinister of all, Donald Trump has had several meetings with General Haftar, suggesting the U.S. backs the General. What happens from here is totally unknown, but so far, the violence has no signs of stopping. (BBC)
A 6.1 magnitude earthquake on the Island of Luzon in the Philippines has left 12 dead so far. Several buildings and roads, along with the airport have been damaged or destroyed and a second earthquake, measuring 6.4 in magnitude, also struck the island further south. Casualties from the second tremor are unknown. The damage, while not critical, has been broad. One of the strangest reports is that a skyscraper had water cascading down its sides from a rooftop pool. The island nation sits on the Pacific ring of fire, which is one of the seismically active fault lines in the world. (BBC)
Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, recently held a presidential election that resulted in both the country’s parties’ candidates declaring themselves the winner. The current president, Joko Widodo, was ahead by almost ten points in pre-election polling, and yet, his opponent Prabowo Subianto said that he had also won and declared that Widodo has used widespread cheating. However, according to Widodo, “We all know that the QC [quick count] calculation is a scientific calculation method. From the country’s experiences of past elections, the known accuracy is 99.9 percent, almost the same as real count results.” The official results will not be released until May, but until then, hopefully the loser will not instigate any instability in the country. (Al Jazeera)
The country of Venezuela has been in the midst of a humanitarian crisis for months now following the president’s push of reforms that have caused massive food shortages across the nation. For this entire time, President Maduro has prevented any sort of international aid, even though some estimates put the number people in dire need of aid at over seven million, or about 25 percent of the nation’s population. This number includes 22 percent of children suffering from malnutrition. Yet, Maduro repeatedly denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, stating that it was “an imperialist plot” conducted by the United States. However, through all of the suffering, hope is starting to emerge as the Red Cross has promised over 24 million dollars in aid to the nation. With this aid and anti-Maduro sentiment rising, the nation might be ready to turn over a new leaf in the near future. (BBC)