By: Sterling Hillman
ENGLAND – Tragedy strikes Manchester
Twenty-two people were killed, seven of which were children, and over 120 were injured from a bomb explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena on May 22. Manchester police have determined the suicide bomber was Manchester-native, Salman Abedi. As people left the arena, Abedi ignited a bomb near the busiest exit. Manchester police have since arrested 16 other people suspected of being connected to the bombing. News agencies reported heroic actions by citizens including Stephen Jones, a man living on the street, who tended to injured children prior to the arrival of paramedics. Following the tragedy, a vigil was held to remember those who passed.
INDONESIA – Gay men jailed in Jakarta
Nearly 150 men have been arrested in Indonesia for reportedly having a “gay sex party,” according to The New York Times. The men were arrested on suspicion of breaking Indonesia’s pornography legislation, a law used to punish a variety of sexual activities. In recent months, the Indonesian police have been targeting gay people specifically. Because of government persecution, gay people are forced to gather in undercover locations such as saunas and secret parties in order to avoid arrest. Recently, two gay men received 85 public lashings each for supposedly having sex.
With files from The New York Times.
PHILIPPINES – Martial law declared following militant attacks
Martial law has been declared for 60 days on the island of Mindanao by the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. The island sits 800km south of Manila and has been the site of warfare in recent weeks. The conflict is between the national army and several Muslim rebel groups including the Maute group and Abu Sayyaf, both of whom have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. According to the Philippine Armed Forces, the warfare has resulted in 44 deaths which include militants, soldiers, and police. Martial law allows the military the ability to search and arrest people without a court warrant.
SRI LANKA – Floods displace thousands as death toll rises
Flooding and mudslides caused by monsoons have killed at least 150 people and displaced more than 500,000 people in Sri Lanka. About 100 people are still missing due to the monsoons. Sri Lanka hasn’t seen flooding this damaging since 2003. Various countries such as the United States and Pakistan are promising to provide relief supplies and India has sent three navy ships to supply various forms of aid. Mudslides have become more common during the monsoon season throughout Sri Lanka due to the high increase of deforestation in order to grow crops for exports, such as tea and rubber.
NIGERIA – Chibok schoolgirls reunited with families
Nearly a hundred Chibok schoolgirls have been reunited with their families after being held captive by the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram for over three years. In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 Chibok schoolgirls from their dorm rooms. With the assistance of the Swiss Government, the Red Cross and several other non-governmental organizations, the Nigerian government was able to negotiate the girls’ release. Though the 82 girls have been free for more than two weeks, they are just now reuniting with family. Over 100 girls are thought to remain in the hands of Boko Haram.
With files from NPR.