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This Week in the World

This Week in the World | 10.07.19

Illustration credit: Peter Naktin

Deportation of Haitians Intensifies Racism in the Dominican Republic.

By Yoona Lee

The Dominican Republic recently ended birthright citizenship for Haitians in the country as the latest step in a long line of discrimination against immigrants. In September 2013, a Dominican court issued the judgment that reversed birthright citizenship to Dominicans of Haitian descent. Between 2015 and 2017, more than 200,000 people fled or were deported to Haiti, according to the International Organization for Migration. Since then, the lives of Haitians and their Dominican descents has deteriorated severely. They experience severe racial profiling, unjust demands of money, and violent raids of their houses by Dominican government officials. People who are targeted by the law, especially women, are vulnerable to violence by Dominican citizens as well. 

Fire Haze from Indonesian Plantations Chokes Southeast Asia

By Yoona Lee

The Air Quality Index  in Indonesia recorded 2000 this September – any number between 301 to 500 is considered ‘hazardous’. The cause is a huge fire that has burnt wildlife shelters in Indonesia, with a haze that has spread across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. People of the affected areas are reporting damage to their skin, eyes, and respiratory organs. Environmental activists are accusing palm oil and paper industries of causing this disaster. Greenpeace reported that companies responsible for such fires are rarely met with serious sanctions. The NGO also revealed last year that consumer product multinationals such as Colgate-Palmolive, Hershey, Nestle, and Unilever buy palm oil from companies that are destroying forests in Indonesia.

Greeks Protest Against Visiting Mike Pompeo, NATO

By Hal Conte

Hundreds of left-wing Greeks demonstrated against visiting U.S. Secretary of State and ex-CIA head Mike Pompeo on Saturday, torching American and NATO flags in Athens and Thessaloniki and describing the U.S. as “murderers of peoples” while throwing red paint on a statue of Harry Truman, who backed a right-wing dictatorship in the country during the 1950s. The Greek government deployed tear gas and heavily armored riot police against them. Pompeo is currently on a tour of various European countries, and was earlier confronted by an Italian journalist who handed him a piece of parmesan cheese in protest against Trump’s trade tariffs.

Turkey Set To Invade Kurdish Northern Syria With U.S. Approval

By Hal Conte

Turkish troops will be moving into Syria’s Kurdish northwest after the U.S. withdrew support for the Kurdish autonomous region, in a move outraging Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) rebels and the country’s Baathist government alike. The Kurds, who played a major role in defeating ISIS, and accused the U.S. of betraying peace. The Turkish government has branded the SDF “terrorist” under the pretext of its links with the outlawed PKK, formed from Turkey’s persecuted Kurdish minority. Some analysts are concerned that the 2,500 ISIS members in Kurdish custody could break out of jail amidst the war, which could turn into a “massacre” of civilians.

Egypt and Ethiopia At Loggerheads Over $4 Billion Dam

By Hal Conte

Egypt has called for mediation with Ethiopia as the country prepares the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a multi-billion dollar hydroelectric megaproject which would generate more than 6,000 megawatts. 90 percent of Egypt’s fresh water comes from the Nile, and leaders in Cairo fear the dam will restrict the flow of nutrients to Egyptian fields, and have proposed to Ethiopia how they should operate the it, requesting the release of 40 billion cubic meters of water per year. Talks were held in Sudan’s capital on Friday. Ethiopia has accused Egypt’s demands for a mediator of being an attempt to stall for time.


20 Killed in Burkina Faso In Attack On Gold Mine

By Hal Conte

Al-Qeada and ISIS-affiliated groups invaded a gold mine on Friday, killing 20 people including miners, according to the country’s government. More than 585 people have been killed since 2015, when an Islamist insurgency began in the country’s Sahel region. Over 2,000 schools have been closed down and 300,000 have been forced to flee. The military has been unable to stop the attacks. France, ex-imperialist ruler of Burkina Faso, set up a task force of multiple countries in the region to stop militants but the body has been hampered by a lack of finances.