Pakistani Girls’ Education Advocate Back in School Following Failed Assassination Attempt

Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani girls’ education advocate, is back in school following an assassination attempt. In October Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman; she was flown to a hospital in England for treatment immediately after the bullet was removed. The Taliban have threatened to continue attacks on Malala and her family following the failed assassination. Yousafazi will continue her education at Edgbaston, a private girls’ high school. Continue reading

Egyptian Court Cancels Paliamentary Elections

An Egyptian court ruled to cancel upcoming parliamentary elections. The court cites failure by Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian President, to acquire formal approval from his cabinet and the Prime Minister. The case was referred to Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, however a spokesman for Morsi stated the court’s decision will be respected. Continue reading

Lead Defender for Yulia Tymoshenko Stripped of Parliamentary Seat

Sergey Vlasenko, member of the Ukrainian Parliament and lead defender for Yulia Tymoshenko, was stripped of his seat on Wednesday. The act, condemned as political retribution by western officials, deprives Vlasenko of immunity from prosecution – he fears the ruling will make him vulnerable to politically motivated prosecution. Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister and Vlasenko’s only legal client, has been jailed since 2011 following a series of trials – United States and European Union officials termed the trials selective prosecution of political opponents, while the United Nations expressed serious concern. Continue reading

Serian Rebels take 21 UN Observers Hostage

A Syrian rebel group has taken 21 UN observers hostage in southern Syria, hoping to discourage attacks by government forces. The observers were ambushed while monitoring the ceasefire line separating Syria and Israel. All 21 observers are Filipino – The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs reports they are being treated well and talks are under way to secure a release. Officials from the largest rebel force, Free Syrian Army, condemned the attack. Continue reading

Legal Limitations Barring Support from Most Impoverished Syrian Regions

International aid is failing to reach the most impoverished regions of Syria. Legal limitations require the UN, and affiliated humanitarian groups, to acquire government authorization prior to the distribution of aid. Strict restrictions by the Syrian government bar the distribution of aid to the main opposition force, the Free Syrian Army (FSA). FSA leaders warn that their inability to provide relief to liberated areas drives support to extremist groups including Jabhat al-Nusra, which has been blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States. Continue reading

Malaysian Military Attacks Filipino Insurgents

13 Filipino militants – attempting to enact a claim over Sabah, Malaysia – are dead following an assault by the Malaysian military. A month long standoff, commencing in February when the 200 militants landed in a remote region of Sabah, led up to the assault. Numerous attempts, by Filipino and Malaysian negotiators, have been made to bring about a peaceful resolution to the situation. The remaining militants are reported to have scattered throughout the region, posing a significant security threat to Malaysia. Continue reading

Hugo Chavez is Dead

Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, died Tuesday afternoon following a prolonged battle with cancer. Chavez had several operations since his diagnosis in 2011, the most recent being in December – he has been removed from the public since. Aides eventually announced that he had been intubated. Chavez was reelected President in 2012, having held the role since 1999, with Nicolas Maduro as Vice President. The Venezuelan constitution calls for elections to be held in 30 days – Maduro, Chavez’ handpicked successor, will face Henrique Capriles Radonski, who lost the 2012 election be 11 points. Continue reading

Protests Result in Razing of Egyptian Security Building

Protests escalated overnight in Port Said, an Egyptian city north of the Suez Canal, as a government security building was set ablaze. Port Said has been host to continuous protests since January, when 21 Egyptians were sentenced to death over the Soccer Riots of 2012. The Egyptian Interior Ministry reports that three policemen have died as a result of the clashes. Continue reading