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This Week in the World

This Week in the World 3.30.2020

Hal Conte March 30, 2020

Outrage Among AntiNetanyahu Israelis As Rival Gantz Pushes Unity

by Hal Conte

Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz moved towards a “government of national unity” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he was elected speaker of the Knesset with support from Netanyahu’s Likud Party, angering the hundreds of thousands of people who chose to vote for Gantz as the only alternative to the longtime premier. Gadeer Mreeh, a parliamentarian from Blue and White, was so outraged that she refused to serve under her party leader “A leader does not betray his principles and his electorate … I will not sit one day under the corrupt (premier),” she tweeted.

Image source: Reuters

 

North Korea Continues Missile Tests On East Coast

by Hal Conte

South Korean military officials reported that the DPRK launched two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Sunday at around 6:10 a.m. local time. The fourth test this month, the missile launch, officially considered defensive by the North Korean government, was declared a success by North Korean state media. Unlike previous tests, directed by Supreme Leader Kim Jung-Un, this one was run by a member of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea, Ri Pyong Chol, who is also a relative of Kim’s wife.

Image source: KCNA

 

Van Goh Stolen In Midnight Raid On Dutch Museum

by Hal Conte

An 1884 painting by Vincent Van Goh titled “Spring Garden,” stored at the Singer Laren museum in the Netherlands, was swiped by thieves on Monday, which is also the painter’s birthday. The painting was on loan from the Groninger Museum, located in the country’s north. No suspect has been identified, although art history experts view the heist as similar to ones carried out in recent decades of Van Goh canvases linked to Italian mafiosos, which attempted to use some of them as collateral upon being captured.

5.8 Magnitude Earthquake Slams Indonesia

by Hal Conte

Indonesia’s Sulawesi island was rocked by a strong earthquake on Friday, resulting in at least two injuries caused by fallen debris and a panic by residents, who fled to higher ground fearing a repeat of a 2017 earthquake which killed 4,000 and caused soil to liquify as a result of the earthquake’s strength. This time, however, the damage was far less pronounced, as Agus Wibowo, the country’s spokesperson on national disasters, said this earthquake wasn’t powerful enough to cause a tsunami.

Image source: Danil Melekhin

 

U.S. Justice Department Charges Venezuela’s Maduro With Drug Trafficking

by Hal Conte

In an unusual move, U.S. Attorney General William Barr charged a head of state – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro – with drug trafficking, placing a $15 million bounty on the head of the socialist leader on Thursday. Barr claimed that by allowing members of the Columbian FARC guerilla safe passage through Venezuela, Maduro was allowing tons of cocaine into the U.S., which Barr alleged was being done deliberately  in order to addict U.S. citizens and hand Venezuela a powerful weapon. Maduro called the charges “extravagantly extremist” and “vulgar,” and branded U.S. President Trump a “racist cowboy” in response.

Image source: AP