2015 In Review
Thank you for joining us in 2015 - stay tuned for changes and continuity in 2016.
- At least 23 people were killed when a suicide bomber struck a government building in Mardan, a city in northwest Pakistan.
- Blackberry has exited Pakistan following restrictions the company viewed as excessive that had been placed by the government.
- Facebook's Internet.org plans in India are hitting a stumbling block.
Southeast & East Asia:
- China is expelling a foreign journalist who wrote about ethnic violence in the country's northwestern region.
- Japan is making more and more concessions to South Korea regarding the treatment of Korean women during WWII. The Japanese foreign minister delivered a handwritten note in Seoul apologizing, and monetary compensation could follow. (Of course, the emerging deal comes with a lot of caveats, and many survivors are strongly opposed to it, which should signal that it might not be the best decision.)
Europe & Eurasia:
- Sweden is slowly getting rid of cash.
- The British army was deployed earlier in the week to deal with catastrophic floods in northern England.
- Germany has recruited 8500 German teachers to educate upwards of 200,000 refugee children.
Middle East & North Africa:
- The Iraqi army declared victory over the Islamic State in the city of Ramadi this week.
- A Gazan man reportedly trying to escape to Egypt for medical treatment was shot and killed by Egyptian border patrolmen.
- Israel is cracking down on NGOs backed by foreign funding.
- The American National Security Agency (NSA) reportedly monitored Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.
- Iran has handed over a stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia.
- A Syrian journalist who documented Islamic State atrocities was killed in Turkey.
- Burundi's leaders are working to calm the small country, where political tension has led to fear of a genocide.
- An attack in Nigeria by Boko Haram killed dozens and left nearly a hundred people wounded.
- Guinea is Ebola-free.
- The CAR held a surprisingly peaceful election. The hope is that the outcome will finally see a peaceful transition three years after the violent ousting of the country's president.
- Brazil is experiencing tension with Israel; the country has wavered on approving a new ambassador from Israel. The nominee in question is a staunch pro-settlement leader at home, meaning his presence carries a de facto level of acceptance with the occupation of the Palestinian Territories.
- American police killed 965 people in 2015.
- American presidential race updates: George Pataki has exited the race, which comes as a surprise to few. Pataki never polled very well, and his campaign was doing very poorly.
- Winter Storm Goliath had some fun in the northeastern US this week.
- There is a massive gas leak in California that has been going since October 23, and it may not stop for quite awhile.
- The police officer responsible for the death of 12 year-old Tamir Rice (a young African American boy) will not face charges.
- Kim Dotcom (of Megaupload fame) will be extradited to the US from New Zealand.
- Bill Cosby will be charged in a sexual assault case out of Philadelphia.
- Several people died after tornadoes struck Dallas, Texas.
- RIP Ellsworth Kelly.
- The Obama administration is getting ready to mass-deport Central Americans living without papers in the US.
- A teen who claims to suffer from "affluenza" has been detained in connection with a parole violation.
- An indigenous firm, AllGrid, is providing Australia with a solar battery industry.
- Two Australian cabinet ministers were forced to resign this week - one over his behavior at a bar, and one for obtaining another politician's diary.
- The Antarctica wars are coming.
Blue Out: 2016 -- start traveling.