The world has seemingly taken a turn for the worse in the last few weeks, with a full out war breaking out, the potential for air strikes in Iraq, the death of Robin Williams and rioting in the city of Ferguson. And with so much happening, it can be a bit overwhelming to keep up with the times. In order to keep up, we’ve come up with a little cheat sheet for you to help you stay informed and in the now.
Here’s what you to need about this week’s current events:
Michael Brown – Tensions in St. Louis boiled over on Sunday after Michael Brown, 17, was shot and killed by police in the city of Ferguson last Saturday. He was unarmed and surrendering at the time of his death.
“He was funny, silly. He would make you laugh. Any problems that were going on or any situation, there wasn’t nothing he couldn’t solve. He’d bring people back together,” his father, Michael Brown Sr., told reporters. “He was a leader. He knew what he wanted out of life,” his father said. “He was a good kid.”
Officials say that Brown, who was shot 10 times following a struggle with the officer in question, was running from the police after he was caught shoplifting at a local store. The killing led to uproar from people from all around the city, stating that the killing was racially charged and that this isn’t the first time something like this has taken place at the hands of the local police department. Rioting and looting ensued after a peace memorial for the fallen teen was met with police armed in crowd control gear.
In the latest on the case, Ferguson PD has refused to identify the officer connected with the shooting, with spokesman for the police department saying the name won’t be released because of threats made against Ferguson police officers on social media sites. The officer in question has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Meanwhile, tensions continued to escalate while war waged on between protesters and police forces. President Obama spoke on the situation in Ferguson on Thursday via press conference in Martha’s Vineyard. “There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.” he said. “And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”
The case is just the latest in several police brutality stories, coming just days after an NYPD police office used excessive force, resulting in the death of Eric Garner in Staten Island. The incidents raises concern of the training of many police departments on a national level, with civil rights leaders calling to investigate and overhaul police department protocol and training.
via Washington Post/CNN/The Source
The War In Gaza – After a 72 hour cease fire in the severely battered war zone reached day two in Palestine Tuesday, Israeli officials have said that peace talks have seen little progress this week. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were expected to reconvene Tuesday later in Cairo to try reach a settlement with Palestinian rebel group ,Hamas, on removing the blockade Israeli/Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Life in the Gaza Strip has become increasingly tense, as the impoverished Palestine has lost more than 1,900 civilians and have over 400,000 people displaced as the Israeli airstrikes have left nearly 12,000 homes severely damaged or destroyed while Israel is reporting that since fighting began in July, they have lost 64 soldiers and three civilians. Some are calling on the UN to sanction war crimes on Israel, citing that the fighting is in direct violation of several basic human rights in their militant actions towards Palestine.
For decades, the unrest between Palestine and Israel has been prevalent, stemming from years of territorily conflict between the neighboring countries. Fighting between the two countries began again in July 2012, when Israel launched “Operation Protective Edge” after militant group, Hamas, launched rockets over at Israel. Both sides are stubborn in their efforts to break each other down, with Hamas stating “they will not stop until Israel destruction is certain” and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu saying “Israel will not stop the operation in Gaza until all of the tunnels constructed by Hamas leading from Gaza to Israel have been destroyed.”
via ABC/BBC/Huffington Post
US Airstrikes and unrest in Iraq – Political drama ensues in Baghdad as current displaced Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is refusing to give up his office, sending military forces out to block his removal. The move comes after Iraqi President Fuad Masum appointed fellow shiite Haider al-Abidi to lead the post and bring the country’s regime in a new direction of democracy.
The U.S. has put its support behind Abadi, with President Obama saying last night that Iraq had taken a “promising step forward” with the nomination.
“The only lasting solution is for Iraqis to come together and form an inclusive government,” Obama said.
In conjunction with this, The White House authorized military airstrikes and drone use in Baghdad in an effort to protect US interests in the unstable country. Airstrikes were reported to have landed in Islamic state militants, destroying a mortar position Tuesday that had been “firing on Kurdish forces defending internally displaced Yazidi civilians who were attempting to evacuate,” according the US reports. Kurdish forces have joined in the military struggle as well, with the United States providing support to their army as well.