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This Week in the World

This Week In The World | 1.28.19

Alice Hakvaag January 28, 2019

Afghanistan

By Alice Hakvaag

United Stages envoy Zalmay Khalilzad made a series of tweets on Saturday saying that talks between the United States and the Afghan Taliban had been “more productive than they have been in the past.” The Taliban had refused to speak to the Afghan government to negotiate a ceasefire until the US decided on a date for troops to withdraw. While nothing has been finalized, talks have entered their sixth day, and agreements on smaller points, like travel bans and exchanging prisoners, have been reached.

Photo credit: Ghulamullah Habibi/EPA

France

By Alice Hakvaag

A piece of artwork by the English artist Banksy was stolen in Paris last Saturday. It was painted on an emergency exit door of the Bataclan music hall, where 90 people were killed in a terror attack in 2019. The piece depicted a young girl in black and white, and the door it was painted on was apparently removed by several people “armed with angle grinders.” The Bataclan tweeted in response, “We are… filled with a deep sense of indignation.”

Photo credit: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty

Iraq

By Alice Hakvaag

In the Kurdish region of Iraq, protests at a Turkish military camp turned violent, leaving at least one person dead and ten injured. The protests were in response to frequent Turkish airstrikes, which have killed several people. The airstrikes are against the Kurdistan Workers Party, also known as the PKK, which is an insurgent Turkish group that has bases on the Iraqi side of the two country’s borders. The Turkish defence ministry blamed the PKK, saing  the attack was a “provocation by the PKK terrorist organization.”

Photo source: Sertac Kayar/Reuters

Brazil

By Alice Hakvaag

Jean Wyllys, an openly gay Brazilian congressman, has announced that he will not be returning to Brazil after threats on him and his family’s lives. He did not blame the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, for the attacks, but said it was due to “the level of violence that has increased since he was elected.” Bolsonaro has a record of homophobic remarks, whereas Wyllys is an LGBT advocate and critic of the current administration. Last March Marielle Franco, a member of the PSOL political party, a left-leaning party that Wyllys is also a member of, was shot in Rio de Janeiro, something that Wyllys also cited as a reason for him leaving the country. “For the future of this cause, I need to be alive. I do not want to be a martyr.”

Photo source: Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images

Iran

By Alice Hakvaag

Amnesty International released a new report on Thursday saying the Iranian government arrested 7,000 people in a crackdown on protesters, journalists, activists, unionists, and students. Some of those arrested were sentenced to flogging, others to prison time, and at least 37 of those arrested have died. 112 were female activists protesting the compulsory hijab law, and 467 were protesters of Iran’s economic crisis. More than 200 arrested were members of the religious minority Sufi Muslims, after mass arrests following peaceful protests in February. Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and Africa, said that “those who have dared to demand their rights in Iran today have paid a heavy price.”