Supreme Court to rule on same-sex marriage across U.S.
On January 16th, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that they would soon rule on a definitive
decision to let same-sex couples have the right to marry under the Constitution. If passed, it
would mean that gay marriage would become fully legal in all 50 states in the United States.
The court also stated that they would take up cases from four gay and lesbian plaintiffs in
Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Tennessee before a decision on the ruling is made. Only the
District of Columbia and thirty-six other states currently issue same-sex marriage licenses to
couples, while the other states still maintain a ban. The case will be argued in April and a result
should be decided by June of this year.
Over 60 kidnapped from Cameroon by Boko Haram militants
Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped upwards of 60 people from neighbouring
Cameroon on January 18th. Police have confirmed that the suspected militants invaded two
villages in the Tourou area of the North and began to torch houses and buildings in their
invasion. As the militants left, they took with them mainly women and children, while countless
villagers were killed in the ensuing chaos. Boko Haram has been fighting a six-year insurgency
in Nigeria to create an Islamic state and was responsible for the kidnappings of 200 girls from
a school in Chibok last April. The kidnappings are key indicators in suspicions that the group
may be planning a regional campaign of violence beyond Nigeria to invade into neighbouring
200 Yazidi prisoners released from ISIS captivity
Kurdish military officials have confirmed that 200 Yazidi prisoners were released from the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) control on January 18th. Most of the prisoners were infirm
and elderly captives, who the Kurdish military have said most likely slowed down the actions
of the jihadists, spawning their release. The ISIS militants attacked the northern Iraqi town of
Sinjar near the Syrian border in August, capturing hundreds of Yazidi citizens in the invasion.
The prisoners were transported by the militants from the town of Tal Afar and dropped off at
the Khazer Bridge, near the Kurdish capital of Irbil. Officials have stated that the condition of
the prisoners are critical, as some showed signs of malnutrition, disease, physical abuse and
Kenyan children face adversity from police during protests to protect school
About 100 school children aged between eight and 13 stood alongside activists in Nairobi,
Kenya to face off against police forces while protesting to protect their school against a property
developer. On January 19th, the group pushed over a newly built wall to enter the playground
that had recently been separated from the school buildings when the police countered by firing
tear gas containers at the protesters. At least five children required medical attention due to the
gas and one police officer suffered minor injuries as well. The Independent Policing Oversight
Authority has stated that they are investigating the incident and have apologized, recognizing
that the use of tear gas on children was inexcusable. The rate of development and expansion in
Nairobi has grown exponentially over the past several years, as land prices have increased in
the city far more quickly than any other place in the continent, according to real estate experts.
EU calls upon alliance with Arab countries to fight terrorism
On January 19th, the European Union called for an anti-terrorism alliance with Arab countries in
the wake of multiple attacks in European countries over the past year. The news of the alliance
comes in the wake of the deadly massacre of 11 people in the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris
earlier this month. Foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini of the EU met with Arab League
Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby in Brussels, Belgium to discuss the terms of the alliance,
while a summit of EU leaders focused on anti-terrorism efforts is being planned for February.
Both the EU and the Arab League are hoping that the efforts of the alliance will help protect both
European and Arab countries from Al-Qaeda and ISIS invasions.