In northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram has maintained a vast stronghold, famine has taken over, causing the UN to determine that as many as 75,000 children may die. The influence of Islamic extremist group in the area has caused many farms to close and has subsequently dried up trade in the area. Although Nigeria’s president has taken steps toward reclaiming the region from the group, it has still put the citizens still living in the area at great risk. You can read more about the reasons behind why the UN is calling for greater humanitarian aid:
In Nigeria, 75,000 children risk dying in “a few months” as hunger grips the country’s ravaged north-east in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency, the United Nations warned on Tuesday. Boko Haram jihadists have laid waste to the impoverished region since taking up arms against the government in 2009, displacing millions and disrupting farming and trade.
An Egyptian court has overturned the death sentence for former President, Mohamed Morsi. Morsi, and some of the other leaders of his Muslim-Brotherhood led government, have been in jail since April 2015 when they were convicted of the mistreatment, torture and murder of protesters. Morsi was also charged himself on counts of espionage and attempt to escape prison. Morsi will be appealing some of his other charges but is not expected to leave prison any time soon. Read more about Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, here:
THE Egyptian state has taken several steps lately that have defied expectations. In October the government instituted a value-added tax, after years of consideration, and passed reforms to the civil service. Then, in November, its central bank floated the Egyptian pound, which had been overvalued for months, and allowed the price of subsidised fuel to rise.
There is more upsetting news out of Aleppo after 20-plus Syrian airstrikes destroyed the last remaining children’s hospital. So far 87 people have been killed. The strikes trapped hospital personnel and also hit the nearby blood bank. The government’s relentless attacks on the city are a means of trying to suppress the rebels that have retained their stronghold. However, the UN announced that aid organizations in the area have officially run out of humanitarian supplies. To learn more about the latest attacks in Syria, read here:
Doctors in the Syrian city of Aleppo said a children’s hospital was bombed Wednesday as government forces launched fresh airstrikes across the rebel-held eastern suburbs. Staff at the facility in al-Shaar, a neighborhood where activists reported heavy bombardment, said they were hiding in the basement, counting the bombs landing on the ground above their heads.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a directive on Wednesday formally withdrawing Russia from the International Criminal Court (ICC), due to “failing to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal.” CNN reported that the decision to withdraw comes two days after the ICC published a hard verdict on Russian actions in Crimea, calling the annexation an “ongoing state of occupation”. The withdrawal is timely considering the remarks made by French President Hollande last month, where he told a French TV station that the actors behind the bombardment of Aleppo (re: recent Russian actions in Syria) were guilty of committing war crimes and should be put on trial through the ICC. Read more about the global geopolitical implications of a Russian withdrawal, here:
MOSCOW – President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia instructed his government on Wednesday to withdraw from the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, while his government assailed the tribunal as “ineffective and one-sided.” The action was largely symbolic, because Russia – like the United States – has not ratified the treaty and is not under the court’s jurisdiction.
New Zealand was hit by a massive 7.8 earthquake Monday morning, leaving thousands stranded in the city of Kaikoura near the earthquake’s epicenter. Landslides caused by the quake have destroyed the main entry and exit roads, cutting off the city from the rest of the country. The region of Canterbury was hit the hardest by the disaster has been issued a local state of emergency. Kaikoura is a prime tourist destination – reportedly 40 Chinese tourists have been evacuated to the Chinese Consulate in Christchurch. Local Maori communities will be opening up their ceremonial gathering places for people to use as a shelter. Monday night the tribe hosted 500 people alone. GeoNet, New Zealand’s official source for geological hazards is sure there will be more earthquakes to come. Read more about the earthquake, here:
A local state of emergency has been declared for the region of Canterbury, which is home to the areas hardest hit by the quake. Helicopters are being sent to airlift trapped tourists and locals from cut-off communities in the Hurunui and Kaikoura districts, according to the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.