I’m going to be playing catch-up with my blog this week. I’ve been on a few great adventures since the last time I’ve posted and can’t wait to tell you guys all about them. There will be four new posts this week to make up for my extended absence. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the articles used in this post and have provided links to them below. All images were found through WordPress’s free image library. A bit of additional research has gone into this post, but a majority of this is my own personal interpretation, opinions, and rants.
Title: Nigeria attacks: Blasts and rockets ‘kill 31’ in Borno state
Source: BBC Africa
Two suicide bombers attacked Damboa, a town located in the north-eastern Nigerian state Borno. It is suspected that jihadist group, Boko Haram is behind the attack. The terrorist group often uses young girls as suicide bombers to target civilians and soldiers.
The Nigerian military started a military operation in May to expel Boko Haram from the region. The attack occurred mere hours after military officials told displaced residents to return to their homes. Over 40 individuals were injured in the attack and there were 31 casualties according to local residents. According to the UN, 1.7 million individuals have been forced out of their homes due to the current Boko Haram conflict.
Why Should We Care?
It think the most important takeaway from this article is not that this area of Nigeria was attacked by a terrorist group. Unfortunately, that’s a reoccurring event in this particular part of the world. The article even states that the Nigerian government and military are currently trying to eradicate it.
What’s stuck with me from this article was this: citizens who had evacuated the area previously were told it was safe to return to their homes the very day this attack happened. It makes sense that the government would want to get misplaced citizens back into their homes, but at what cost?
Is it fair to haphazardly tell people, “You guys should be fine” when it isn’t 100% true? I find it a bit ridiculous the Nigerian military even thought it would be plausible for these people to go home at this point. Their military operation to remove the jihadist group, Boko Haram, only started in May. It’s just not logical to think you have successfully removed an entire terrorist group in a month and a half, when the area in question is heavily populated by people in that terrorist group.
I hope the citizens of Damboa are able to return home soon, but I also hope the government doesn’t jump to conclusions again, for safety’s sake.
BBC News. “Nigeria attacks: Blasts and rockets ‘kill 31’ in Borno state,” BBC, June 17, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-44512912
Title: Congress proposes suspending bilateral cooperation with US
Source: Mexico News Daily
Mexico’s Congress presented a proposal to suspend cooperation with the US. This proposal was made after more than 2,000 Mexican children were separated from their parents after the families entered the United States without going through an authorized port.
Congress’s proposal will suspend cooperations regarding migration, counter-terrorism, and the fight against organized crime.
On the same day, President Trump succumbed to domestic pressures and signed an executive order aimed to end the separation of families at the border. The order would bring children and their parents back together, but does not mean they would not still be subject to inhumane conditions in US detention centers.
Outside of Congress’s proposal, Mexico’s Permanent Commission has also reached out to international organizations to condemn US’s immigration policy.
Why Should We Care?
As a U.S. citizen, my social media accounts have been flooded with articles about the separation of children from their parents at the Mexican border. However, the only perspective I was going was from U.S. media, so I decided to do some digging and see what Mexico had to say about the situation at hand.
I think it’s important to see that there were pressures coming from our neighbors in Mexico as well as a national uproar here in the States when it came to reuniting separated families at the U.S. border. Now that President Trump has signed an executive order, that anger has seemed to die down in the U.S., which I personally find concerning. Yes, families are being reunited now, thanks to the order passed by the president, but– as this particular article points out– the living arrangements established for people caught at the U.S. border are far from ideal. It feels very reminiscent of the Japanese internment camps put into place here in the States during World War II.
It doesn’t seem right to treat people with such little humanity when they’re already desperate enough to try and cross the U.S. border illegally. Legal immigration to the U.S. has turned into an absolute nightmare. It’s time U.S. citizens and leaders take a step back and see how we can make America a land of opportunity again.
Mexico News Daily. “Congress proposes suspending bilateral cooperation with US,” El Universal, Milenio, and The New York Times, June 22, 2018, https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/congress-wants-action-against-trump-administration/
Title: If J&K comes under governor rule, it will be for the 8th time in 4 decades
Source: The Times of India
The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Domestic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance collapsed Tuesday, June 19. The BJP ended the alliance because of the growing radicalism and terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The state will be placed under governor rule, which means the governor of J&K will be in direct rule of the state. This will be the fourth time governor rule has been put into place during the current governor’s term. It will be the 8th time in the last 40 years that governor rule has been put into place in J&K.
Governor rule is put into place under consent of the president when there is a conflict between the political parties in J&K. If governor rule is not revoked in six months time, president rule is put into place. This means that the central government will directly rule the state of J&K if the governor rule does not help fix local government matters.
Why Should We Care?
I’m going to be completely honest, I find government extremely confusing. I don’t know if I’ve completely grasped my own nation’s government let alone the governments of foreign nations. However, the concept of withdrawing power from political parties for a time being and allowing the governor of a state to make the overarching decisions seems pretty interesting to me.
According to the brief research I did on the subject, J&K is the only state that has governor rule in India. I can see the possible positives and negatives of this approach. Taking the power away from political parties doesn’t sound like a horrible idea to me, especially when I think about the polarizing effects our political parties have had on the United States government. However, I don’t think it’s completely smart to give complete power over to one individual in a government either.
I’m not completely positive that this is what happens in governor rule but it seems that J&K’s current governor has taken advantage of this strategy without much success. In the last 40 years, governor rule has been put into place eight times; four of which have taken place during his rule. With the tensions occurring in J&K, maybe it’s time he hands the reigns over to the central government.
India News. “If J&K comes under governor rule, it will be for the 8th time in 4 decades,” The Times of India, June 19, 2018, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/if-jk-comes-under-governor-rule-it-will-be-for-the-8th-time-in-4-decades/articleshow/64649295.cms
Title: CO2 shortage threatens World Cup beer supply
Source: CNN Travel
Due to the shutting down of ammonia plants throughout Northern Europe, Europe is experiencing a shortage in food grade CO2 which is used to carbonate canned or bottled carbonated beverages like beer and soda.
Due to the summer heat and the World Cup, the shortage is occurring during the most lucrative time of year for beer sales.
The shutdown of these plants was originally do to standard maintenance work, but the increasing cost of natural gas has certain factories debating if they will bother reopening.
Why Should We Care?
First of all let’s share our sympathies with our fellow European sports fans. As a U.S. citizen, I can hardly imagine experiencing the March Madness without a cold beer, which is the closest thing I can come up with to compare to this month-long sporting event that only occurs every four years.
Secondly, this CO2 shortage isn’t going to simply effect the World Cup beer supply. It will influence all CO2 needs throughout Europe. This will be sure to impact the tourist and hospitality industry throughout Europe seeing as beer is a big seller around the continent, not just at the World Cup.
In all seriousness, this shortage has a major impact on a lot of necessary items used in everyday life. They include lasers used for cutting, welding, and 3-D printing, fire extinguishers, refrigerant (aka dry ice), pain killers, and aviation fuels.
Smith, Rory. “CO2 shortage threatens World Cup beer supply,” CNN, June 20, 2018, https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/c02-shortage-beer-supplies-intl/index.html
Title: Burned rice killer gets 20 years
Source: Pacific Daily News
Back in 2013, Clifford San Nicolas– a citizen of Guam– plead guilty to manslaughter after shooting his girlfriend after an argument about burned rice.
Five years later, San Nicolas was officially sentenced to 20 years in prison. Fifteen years of that sentence were for manslaughter and the other five were for possession of a deadly weapon.
Valene Borja, San Nicolas’s girlfriend, was shot in the neck and suffered from a fractured spinal cord which caused paralysis from the neck down. She died a year after the attack due to complications.
San Nicolas will be eligible for parole after serving 80 percent of his sentence (16 years).
Why Should We Care?
I think I might be listening to too much of the podcast My Favorite Murder, but this article really intrigued me and infuriated me. This guy shot his girlfriend over burned rice. Burned. Rice. Take a second to take that in. I for one think I burn rice every time I make it. The fact that this man ended up shooting his girlfriend because of it is outrageous.
This extreme reaction deserved an equally extreme and outrageous sentence, but Mr. San Nicolas didn’t get what he deserved. He got off easy. He’ll only have to spend twenty years in prison (potentially 16 if he gets off on good behavior).
San Nicolas deserved a life sentence, plain and simple. He took an innocent life. I don’t know how old Valene Borja was. I don’t know what she did for a living, or if she had dreams or aspirations. I do know that her life was worth more than 20 years with parole.
This article truly illustrates how domestic violence is often treated with apathy and indifference. We need to open our eyes and start charging the villains who commit domestic violence as harshly as they treat their significant others. The men and women that lost their lives to the monsters they loved deserve that much.
Oh, and may Mr. San Nicolas eat burned rice for the rest of his life.
Stole Weiss, Jasmine. “Burned rice killer gets 20 years,” Pacific Daily News, June 21, 2018, https://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2018/06/21/burned-rice-killer-gets-20-years/720602002/