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The Weekly Global Roundup

The Weekly Global Roundup: Of Natural And Man-Made Disasters (August 22 to 27, 2016)

This roundup covers news summaries across six regions: Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America. Wherever possible I draw links to Singapore, but I think it is more important to understand geopolitical developments around the world, to draw attention to meaningful news stories, and to highlight both positive and negative events.

Around the world, I rely primarily on the email newsletters from “The Economist“, “Foreign Policy“, “Muck Rack“, “The New York Times“, “The Wall Street Journal“, and “The World Post“. In Singapore, the weekly digests from the European Union Centre and the Middle East Institute are handy. Do send me recommendations of news outlets or articles too, to jinyao.guan.yin.miao[a]gmail.com!

Oliver Morin / AFP / Getty Images.

Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms in the air as he neared a silver-medal finish to the men’s marathon, to protest his government’s crackdown on the Oromo tribe (Oliver Morin / AFP / Getty Images).

August 22 to 27, 2016

Natural disasters struck Italy, Japan, and Myanmar, but the man-made ones continue to dominate headlines. At the recently concluded Rio Olympics, Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms in the air as he neared a silver-medal finish to the men’s marathon, to protest his government’s crackdown on the Oromo tribe. It is a reminder of the global atrocities and persistent fears over extremism, with the peace deal between the Colombian government and guerrilla movement FARC a rare bright spot in the past week.

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The Asia-Pacific

  • Typhoon Mindulle caused flooding and disrupted transportation in Japan.
  • A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Myanmar, damaging ancient pagodas. Tremors were felt as far away as Thailand.
  • North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile, ahead of a summit meeting between China, Japan, and South Korea.
  • Nearly 1,800 have been killed in police operations and by vigilantes in President Rodrigo Duterte’s first seven weeks in office. He also threatened to withdraw the Philippines from the United Nations, following calls to stop these killings, but later said it was a “joke”.


  • The ban on “burkini” swimsuits by French town Villeneuve-Loubet has been overturned by France’s highest administrative court, though divisions within the government mean the controversy is likely to persist.
  • A poll in Germany showed that “81 per cent of Germans support banning the most conservative types of Islamic veils from schools and government institutions”. France banned full-face veils in public five years ago.
  • Leaders of Italy, Germany, and France met at a mini-summit to discuss issues such as Brexit and terrorism. In Germany in particular, various “civil defence measures” – which could re-install compulsory military service – was approved by the cabinet.
  • A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy, and much in the small city of Amatrice has been destroyed. At least 267 are dead.

The Middle East

Two longer commentaries in “The New York Times“: first, eight big reasons – according to experts on civil wars – on why the war in Syria is intractable; and second, Saudi Arabia’s export of Wahhabism and its links to extremism.

North America

Latin America


About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

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