Somalia’s Shafi Hotel under Islamist militant attack
Last Sunday, Islamist miliant group Al-Shabaab Islamist attacked the Sahafi hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. Al-Shabaab is considered to be one of the most dangerous adjunct groups of Al-Qaeda, standing as one of Somalia’s most dominant militant groups. The group entered the premises by blowing up the gate with a car bomb, then shot at staff and customers. Witnesses reported that approximately 10 people were killed in the attack. Al-Shabaab laid claim to the hotel after the attack, taking control for several hours. The group was also responsible for a mass murder at a Kenyan university which killed 142 individuals earlier this April.

Legal action against Taylor Swift over alleged plagiarism
Legal action is being taken against Taylor Swift by R&B singer Jesse Braham over the alleged theft of lyrics from his song “Haters Gone Hate.” Braham claims that the lyrics to Swift’s “Shake It Off” were plagiarized from his 2013 release. The singer claims he should have copyright ownership over the lyrics “haters gone hate, players gone play.” Braham and representatives from Swift’s record label, Big Machine, have spoken four times about the alleged theft. Braham originally requested a selfie with Swift and monetary compensation; however, this claim was repeatedly dismissed.

224 lives lost in plane crash over Egypt’s Sinai state
A passenger jet crash in Egypt this Saturday killed 224 individuals. The majority of the passengers were Russian tourists from St. Petersburg travelling back from Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort on the Red Sea. The crash occurred over the Sinai Peninsula, in an area where Egyptian forces have clashed with local Islamic militants. The cause of the crash is currently unknown, however the flights recorders are being examined by a team of Egyptian and Russian specialists. The pattern of wreckage dispersal indicates the the plane disintegrated mid-flight. The Russian government has committed to assisting families of the deceased with funeral costs.

Turkey’s AKP party gains single-party rule
Turkey’s ruling party regained single-party rule this past Sunday in a snap election. The election followed one in June that saw the AKP lose their one-party rule. The previous vote saw a strong outcome for the opposing Kurdish party. In recent months, there has been substantial tension between Turkey’s security forces and Kurdish rebels. Approximately 130 individuals have been killed as a result of suicide bombings at Kurdish gatherings. Kurdish leaders have blamed the three-per-cent loss in preliminary vote results to recent violence and unfair election conditions. Voter turnout was roughly 87 per cent.

7.5-magnitude earthquake hits Afghanistan, Pakistan, India
Last Monday, Oct. 26, an Earthquake reaching a 7.5 magnitude hit Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Delhi. An estimated 370 people have died. Many of the affected areas are geographically isolated, making rescue efforts challenging. Pakistan’s army has been instrumental in rescue efforts. Pakistan has supplied tents, blankets and meals to areas hardest-hit by the earthquake. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced this past Wednesday that the government would be giving out grants of 200,000 rupees (approximately $2,500 CAD) as compensation to assist in the rebuilding of damaged homes. Medical assistance and supplies are most pressing needs, as well as shelter for individuals left without suitable homes.

China alters one-child policy
Due to an aging population, the Chinese government will soon allow two children per family. The announcement of the dissolvement of the one-child policy came after a four-day communist party summit in Beijing where top leaders in China discussed financial reforms and ways to maintain growth with mounting concerns about the economy. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, wrote: “The change of policy is intended to balance population development and address the challenge of an ageing population.” Some celebrated this as a step toward greater freedom but William Nee, an Amnesty International activist, said “the state has no business regulating how many children people have.”

First world indigenous games held in Brazil
The games, deemed the Indigenous Olympics, included 2,000 indigenous athletes from over 20 countries. Participants competed in sports such as soccer, running, wrestling and swimming, as well as games that are more traditionally indigenous such as spear throwing and running with heavy logs. The games ran from Oct. 23 until Nov. 1.

South Sudan rebels release kidnapped UN workers
13 UN workers who were abducted in South Sudan were released unharmed on Nov. 1. Last week rebel fighters who have been battling the South Sudan government for nearly two years captured 31 members of the peacekeeping mission in the country. Eighteen Bangladeshi peacekeepers were freed quickly after their capture while the remaining 13 UN workers, all South Sudanese nations, were held until Sunday. Rebels captures the UN workers after capturing a UN barge which was carrying fuel across the Nile River. The barge was also returned but the rebels did steal the 55,000 L of fuel it was carrying.

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