Hundreds of migrants storm through security fence - Nearly 700 migrants stormed a security fence that separated Morocco from the Spanish territory Ceuta. Police said that some of the migrants were carrying shears and clubs. Ceuta is one of two Spanish territories in North Africa and is one of the EU’s only land borders with Africa. Ceuta is one of the popular crossing points for migrants who are hoping to reach Europe. The Ceuta government said that two migrants and 11 Spanish police officers were injured during the storming of the fence.
Reports of violence against civilians in Central African Republic - The Humans Rights Watch said that 32 civilians in the Central African Republic were killed by rebels in December. The rebels were a part of the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (UPC). The rebels allegedly gathered victims and executed them. The Humans Rights Watch said it is concerned that UN peacekeepers could not control the violence. The Seleka movement is known to carry out attacks against the Muslim community.
Pakistan government seeks retribution for shrine attack - The Pakistani government announced that it killed over 100 militants during a security crackdown in response to an attack on a shrine. The shrine was targeted by a suicide bomber that left at least 80 people dead and 250 injured. The Pakistani government accused Afghanistan of tolerating militant sanctuaries. The Islamic State group said it was responsible for the attack on the shrine. Pakistan’s army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said “each drop of the nation’s blood shall be avenged” in a statement following the shrine attack.
Russia spy ship spotted near Connecticut - U.S. government officials said that a Russian spy ship was spotted 30 miles off the coast of Connecticut. According to a U.S. defense official, this is the farthest north a Russian spy ship has traveled. The spy ship contains advanced spying equipment and is designed to intercept signals. The U.S. Navy said that it will be “keeping a close eye on it.” The spy ship was discovered after a Russian warplane conducted a mock attack against a U.S. ship recently.
Brazilian judge rules in favor of newspapers over censorship - After two newspapers were forced to remove messages between Brazil President Michel Temer’s wife and a blackmailer, a judge in Brazil overturned the ruling. Brazilian judge Arnoldo Camanho said the news blackout violated freedom of speech. The Brazil newspapers O Globo and Folha de Sao Paulo argued that forbidding the publication of the messages was censorship. The blackmailer, Silvonei Jose de Jesus Souza was a hacker who was sentenced to prison in October for extortion and larceny.
Brazil to allow foreigners to buy farmland - Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles announced that the country will move forward with its plan to change the law and allow foreigners to buy farmland. Agriculture has been one of the bright spots for Brazil’s economy. Meirelles said that in order for the agriculture business to remain successful, more investment into it would be needed. In his announcement Meirelles did not go into detail about what kind of legal changes would be implemented. The government put restrictions on foreign land ownership in 2010 due to concerns that investors from Asia and the Middle East were buying too much land.
Pruitt confirmed to run EPA - Scott Pruitt has been confirmed by Senate to guide the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt was highly critical of the agency before President Donald Trump nominated him to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Democrats boycotted an earlier vote due to fears that Pruitt was too close to energy companies. Pruitt was ordered by a judge in Oklahoma to release emails between him and oil and gas executives. The senate voted 52 to 46 in favor of Pruitt’s confirmation.
Day without immigrants protest Numerous businesses and schools across the United States were forced to close due to The Day Without Immigrants protest. The protest encouraged foreign-born workers to not participate in the U.S. economy for a day. Immigrants participated in rallies across the country including in the cities of New Orleans, Philadelphia, Chicago and Detroit. Wellesley’s College’s art museum, located in Massachusetts, removed all artworks created, or donated by immigrants as a form of protest. The hashtag #DayWithoutImmigrants was used nearly 200,000 times on Twitter on the day of the protest.