Story by Yashowanto Ghosh, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of The Washington Post
GERMANY – Chancellor Angela Merkel is undergoing the most difficult weeks of her time in office, report Süddeutsche Zeitung. Criticism of her policy toward refugees has risen rapidly since the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults in Cologne and other large German cities, while the number of new refugees in Europe this month has already crossed 24 times the number of refugees in January 2015. At least 44 people, including 20 children, drowned on the way from Turkey to Greece on Friday, January 22. Meanwhile, the refugees are suing Merkel over how long her government is taking to process their asylum papers, according to Daily Mail.
SOMALIA – Terrorists carried out simultaneous attacks on two popular restaurants on the waterfront in the capital city Mogadishu on Thursday, January 21, reports Wall Street Journal. The terrorists set off a car bomb that killed 14 civilians, then entered the restaurants and took more people hostage; Somali forces ended the siege on Friday, killing six of the terrorists and capturing two. The week before, the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility, had carried out an attack against a Kenyan military base in Somalia, and claims to have killed over 100 Kenyan soldiers in that attack.
TUNISIA – Tunisia is experiencing its worst protests since the Arab Spring, reports Die Zeit. Most of the demonstrators are young people, and they are protesting against the country’s high rate of unemployment. Unemployment was one of the issues which sparked the Arab Spring in Tunisia five years ago; today, over 15 percent of the workforce is unemployed, including over 30 percent of Tunisia’s academicians.
The protests turned violent, with two dead and several injured, in a town near the Algerian border, reports tagesschau.de. The government has imposed a nationwide curfew. Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi has warned that IS could use the protests to infiltrate the country, according to Washington Post.
UNITED KINGDOM – The official report on the 10-year-old murder of former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko suggests Russian president Vladimir Putin may have personally ordered the poisoning, according to The Guardian.
Litvinenko had taken asylum in London in 2000. In 2002, he wrote a book in which he accused the KGB of drug trafficking and other organized crime. He also co-authored a second book which claimed the KGB had itself conducted the apartment bombings in Moscow and other Russian cities to jump-start the second Chechen war in 1999. In July 2006, he wrote an article where he accused Putin of being a pedophile; in November that year, Litvinenko died of poisoning by polonium-210 after meeting two Russian visitors in a hotel.
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