Al-Shabaab attacks Kenyan military base - The terrorist group al-Shabaab targeted a Kenyan military base in Somalia. According to al-Shabaab, the group killed more than 50 soldiers. However, a spokesman for the Kenyan military said the base was not overrun. The deaths of the soldiers.
Gambia’s new President - President Adama Barrow has returned to Gambia to take his role as leader of the country. As Barrow’s plane reached the country, huge crowds cheered him on. After the election Gambia’s transition of power was chaotic. Former President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave office. Jammeh left for exile after a threat of military intervention. Barrow said his priority was to appoint his cabinet members.
Hong Kong returns troop carriers Hong Kong has agreed to return armored troop carriers to Singapore. The troop carriers were seized in November by custom officials while they were on the way back from training exercises. Hong Kong officials said the troop carriers were seized because of a “suspected breach of the Hong Kong law.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she hopes Singapore will cooperate with Hong Kong and “learn a lesson from the case.”
New otter species discovered in China Remains of wolf-like otters were discovered in Southwestern China. The species is believed to have lived 6.6 million years ago. The remains of the creatures were discovered in Yunnan and are twice the size of modern otters. The newly discovered species also has similarities with badgers. Scientists in China are ecstatic about the discovery and determined to uncover why the otters were so big.
Russia lightens domestic violence stance - Russia is awaiting the approval of President Vladimir Putin for a new bill that would soften the country’s stance on domestic violence. The proposed bill would allow for first-time offenders who did not cause serious injury to face a maximum of 15 days under custody. Currently, if charged with domestic violence in Russia one would face up to two years in jail. During July 2016, Russia passed a bill that decriminalized violence against strangers. The bill made battery against family a criminal charge.
Teenager connected to ISIS jailedProsecutors in Germany have jailed a 16-year-old girl for her role in an attack that was ordered by the Islamic State. The teenage girl, Safia S, stabbed and wounded a police officer in the neck. Safia S was convicted of attempted murder and helping a terrorist organization. She was also found guilty of bodily harm. Prosecutors said the teenager stabbed the officer following her visit to Istanbul, Turkey where she joined the Islamic State. Text messages were presented to a jury in which Safia S praised the attacks on Paris that took place in November of 2015.
Tension grows over U.S./Mexico wall Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled his visit with U.S. President Trump as tension over a border wall continues. Pena Nieto released a video statement in which he reaffirmed that Mexico will not pay for a border wall. Trump has proposed a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports to pay for the wall. However, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said the tax would make U.S. consumers pay for the wall. The wall is estimated to cost anywhere between $10-12 billion. The Washington Post estimates a new wall would cost nearly $25 billion.
Brazil fights yellow fever outbreakFaced with a large outbreak of yellow fever, the Brazilian health ministry has ordered 11.5 million doses of yellow fever vaccine. The country is facing its largest outbreak of the disease since 2000. In the state of Minas Gerais, 70 cases of yellow fever have been confirmed. There have been at least 40 people that have died from the recent outbreak of the disease while 300 other cases are being investigated.
U.S./UK press conference - In a joint press conference U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that they are committed to NATO. Trump was previously noncommittal to the NATO alliance. Trump said he expects a “quick deal” between the two countries after the United Kingdom leaves the EU. President Trump also stated that he hopes for relations with China and Russia to be as strong.
Numerous U.S. diplomats leave positions - With President Trump’s first week coming to an end, multiple U.S. diplomats in the State Department are leaving their jobs. Amongst those leaving include assistant secretaries Joyce Barr and Michele Bond. Gentry Smith, the director of the office of foreign missions, will also leave his position. Former chief of staff David Wade who served for John Kerry, called the diplomats’ decision “the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember.”