This Week in the World: October 3rd, 2013

Al-Shabab continues attack on Kenya

Al-Shabab, Somali Islamic extremist group that has taken responsibility for the mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, has participated in numerous attacks around Kenya. Two small towns in Kenya, near the Somali border, have recently been attacked. The leader of Al-Shabab released an online statement, saying that these terrorist attacks on Kenya will continue until the Kenyan troops located in Somalia are withdrawn. Al-Shabab has also commented on the mall attack, saying that it was not only an attack on Kenya, but on the Western countries that were supporting Kenya’s military troops being in Somalia.

17 dead after bus bombed in Pakistan

A bus carrying government workers was bombed on September 27 in Pakistan. The province of Peshawar has been targeted for many bombings and gun attacks in recent years, which have been blamed on the Taliban. No group has taken responsibility for the bus bombing, where the bomb was planted on the back of the bus, and in which seventeen people have been confirmed dead. Police have said that the bomb was planted in the bus specifically to kill government employees.  The BBC reported that more than seventy government workers were on board, of which at least thirty-four have been injured.

Teacher who raped teen released after 30 days

Stacey Rambold, a fifty-four year old teacher from Montana, was released after completing his 30 day sentence for the rape of a fourteen-year-old girl in 2007, who later killed herself. The girl’s mother has stated that Rambold’s actions and the fact that her daughter was raped by him was a major factor in her suicide. The AP reports that Rambold has been registered as a level one sex offender, meaning that he is considered to be low risk to re-offend. The judge responsible for the case, Todd Baugh, has been widely criticized for letting Rambold off with such a short sentence. He also prompted much public outrage for what many people, including the girl’s mother, are calling “victim-blaming,” after he described the victim as “older than her chronological age.”

UN strikes deal about Syria chemical weapons

The five permanent powers of the United Nations Security Council: Britain, France, Russia, China, and the United States, have finally come to a decision about how to deal with Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Reuters reported the council have drafted an agreement that would require Syria to hand over their chemical weapons, although they would not impose severe consequences if it does not comply. Since the conflict in Syria has begun, there was a deadlock within the Security Council, with Russia and China blocking Western-backed action. This changed once Syria began to use their chemical weapons, with the common interest now being securing and destroying Syria’s stock of chemical weapons. To ensure Russia’s support on this, the Western powers agreed to a resolution that was legally binding, but does not contain recourse that includes military force or sanctions if Syria does not comply.

92 abducted children rescued in China

Chinese police have rescued ninety-two abducted children, as well as two abducted women, from what is believed to be a huge trafficking ring. These children were believed by Chinese police to have been abducted from two specific provinces in China, but were sold throughout the country for adoption purposes, or forced into prostitution. BBC correspondents have reported that child-trafficking has been a serious and growing problem in China. Critics blame the country’s one child policy and lax adoption laws for the influx in child trafficking. This has created an underground market for buying children, who will either be sold for adoption or forced into prostitution.

Golden Dawn leader arrested in Greece

The Associated Press has reported that Greek police officers arrested the leader and sixteen members of an extreme right-wing political party on charges of forming a criminal organization. Golden Dawn holds eighteen seats of the 300 in Greece’s parliament, winning almost seven per cent of the popular vote last year. These arrests took place only eleven days after a left-wing activist was killed in Greece by an alleged Golden Dawn member. Golden Dawn has neo-Nazi roots, and has been suspected by government officials in Greece to have taken part in many violent attacks in Greece, particularly towards immigrants. This political party has had growing support, despite its reputation for violence. It is the first time since 1974 that a party leader and sitting members of parliament have been arrested.

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