Here are the Top Five Stories that caught our eyes this week:
- Explosion in Pakistan
- What You Need to Know: On Easter evening, a suicide bomb detonated in a public park in the city of Lahore. The park was very crowded, with some of the individuals celebrating Easter. The attack was focused on those individuals celebrating Easter; the group that took responsibility for the attack was the Taliban group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and said that they claimed “responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter”. At this time, the death toll remains at 69 people, and the deputy commissioner, Mohammad Usman, said that 193 individuals have been injured. Many of the dead and injured are women and children. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-35908512.
- Why You Need to Know This: With three days of mourning in place across the region, the blast in Lahore is the latest in a string of terrorist attacks that have rocked the world. Instead of targeting anybody and everybody, this terrorist group decided that they would focus on Christians instead. This shocking terror attack leaves the area of Lahore in shock. As a relatively wealthy portion of Pakistan, this attack was completely unexpected in a country that has been marred by Taliban attacks and gang violence.
- Office Top Tip: This story isn’t meant to scare anyone; we do not, and will not, send anyone to Pakistan under the current circumstances. This story is so that you are informed about what is happening in the region.
- EgyptAir Hijack
- What You Need to Know: In the early hours of Tuesday morning, EgyptAir Flight MS181 was traveling from Borg El Arab Airport, near Alexandria, to Cairo when it was taken over by a man claiming to be wearing a suicide explosive. The plane was forced to divert and land in Cyprus, where many of the passengers were soon released. However, the man, identified as Seif Eldin Mustafa, kept seven individuals on the airplane with him. Despite the claims that Mustafa had an explosive on him, the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, said that the incident is not terrorist related. Several hours after the incident began, Cyprus’ foreign ministry tweeted “It’s over. The hijacker arrested.” Although no reports have been confirmed as to why the man hijacked the airplane, there were rumors that the man was seeking contact with his estranged wife who was in Cyprus. A woman did arrive just before the man came out of the plane. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35915139.
- Why You Need to Know This: This hijacking was not a terrorist attack. It ended swiftly and without casualties thanks to the Cyprus government. There is still neither rhyme nor reason as to why this occurred. As the days progress, I am sure that we will find out more. But for now, it is important to note that everyone is safe and the suspect is in custody.
- Office Top Tip: This story dominated the news on Tuesday morning. For reasons like this, it is important to notify the Study Abroad Office every time that you travel away from your host school. We want to keep you safe and knowing where you are will help.
- S. Capitol Near-Catastrophe
- What You Need to Know: Monday afternoon, the U.S. Capitol building was shut down when an armed man attempted to gain entry into the complex’s visitor center. The police called the shooting an isolated incident, and are identifying 66-year-old Larry Dawson as the suspect. Dawson also interrupted a Congress Session in October. This time, however, U.S. Congress was not in session due to Easter recess. Some members were on site along with some staff members. Dawson pulled the gun before the metal detectors and officers disarmed him. Dawson remains in critical, but stable condition in a hospital in DC. For more information about this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35911754.
- Why You Need to Know This: This isolated incident is shedding new light on to security in Washington D.C. this week. Even though Congress wasn’t in session, it was still a scary moment. The White House was also shut down on Monday, but it was due to another incident that has not been disclosed. There is tighter security throughout most of the government buildings today and there probably will be for the rest of the week.
- Office Top Tip: If you are spending time in D.C. this week, be prepared for more security and, in result, longer lines. But these are both worth it for the sake of national security.
- Brazil Government Turmoil
- What You Need to Know: When news broke of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s potential corruption charges early this month, it wasn’t long until the current President stepped into the fray. Dilma Rousseff is 14 months into her second term in office, but the whole term has been marred by accusations of corruption. The investigation into contracts with state oil company Petrobras has made things worse; Rousseff attempted to make Silva her Chief of Staff, which many saw as an attempt to save him from the money-laundering case against him. The appointment was blocked by a judge earlier this month and has caused the downward spiral of Rousseff to spin wildly out of control. Rousseff’s tourism minister, Henrique Eduardo Alves, resigned on Monday, leaving Rousseff losing allies left and right. One of the biggest loses to Rousseff could be to her coalition, when the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) will leave the coalition, following Alves out. Impeachment proceedings against Rousseff have been open since December 2015, however, the loss of the PMDB and a February performance poll of only 11% satisfaction in Rousseff means that their might be a regime change in Brazil sooner rather than later. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-35914461.
- Why You Need to Know This: Silva was Brazil’s golden president. He changed the entire structure of the South American country and much of the continent followed suit. Now with more news of corruption, not only with Silva, but with current president Rousseff as well, this is rocking South America to the core. The impeachment of Rousseff seems practically inevitable now, so there is nothing to do but wait. What is going to be the biggest part of the whole issue is what will happen after Rousseff is gone.
- Office Top Tip: If you are planning on being in South America over the next few months, this will be something that everyone is talking about. Be sure to keep up to date with what is happening there, as it will affect most of the continent.
- Top Chinese Editor Resigns
- What You Need to Know: In a shocking move, a top journalist and editor, Yu Shaolei, resigned his post at Southern Metropolis Daily, claiming that he could no longer work under the Communist Party. He wrote “Unable to bear your surname”, in the space left for reason for resignation. This is a direct reference to words that Chinese President Xi Jinping said to reporters in February, stating that journalists must be loyal to the Communist party and “bear the surname of the party”. He followed his resignation note with one wishing well those who are responsible for censoring his social media account. The Southern Metropolis Daily has been roughed up by the Chinese Government over the past few months. One columnist, Li Xin, had to flee to Thailand claiming that he was forced to inform on fellow journalists; he is now back in police custody. Last month, one editor was fired after one of the front pages headlines combined to possibly criticize the government’s “bear the surname of the party” speech. 20 individuals have also been detained over the past few weeks after a letter surfaced calling President Xi to resign. For more information on this story, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-35915056.
- Why You Need to Know This: China has been known for censoring the media when they begin to sway a bit far from the Communist party. But this resignation and the “Unable to bear your surname” is one of the first times that a top editor of a paper has taken a shot at the Communist party. Southern Metropolis Daily is being the most vocal about its disapproval with the government. There have, as of now, been no repercussions for Shaolei or the paper, but only time will tell.
- Office Top Tip: If you are planning on being in China, be wary about voicing your opinion. Whether it is for or against the government, it is better to say nothing at all in most cases.
Check back next week for more news so you can Know Before You Go!
All stories are based off of information gather from CNN, the New York Times, The Guardian, The BBC, and the Telegraph.