With the end of the election, the pandemic and civil unrest across the country dominating the news, it’s hard to remember there are things happening in the rest of the world too.
The militant group Boko Haram has allegedly abducted 330 school boys from a middle school in Kankara, northern Nigeria on Friday night. The leader of the militant group says his gunmen abducting school children is justified due to their rejection of western education. Contact with the boys has not been allowed so their wellbeing is unknown. The likelihood of Boko Haram being the responsible party is low however, and it is believed by locals that Boko Haram is only piggybacking on the notoriety of the kidnapping. Local bandits seem to be the more likely culprits.
Relations between China and Australia appear to be going downhill as they edge towards a trade war. Targeting Australia’s largest export, coal, most recently, China has already slapped high tariffs on Australian barley and wine. Australia has pushed for an outside investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 virus in Wuhan and the tariffs are considered by top economists to be retribution for the investigation request.
The Taiwanese military is preparing for an oceanic invasion by China in the near future. The democratically governed Taiwan is viewed as a Chinese territory by the People’s Republic of China, which has stated it will not renounce the use of force to reclaim the territory. Joseph Wu, the Taiwanese Foreign Minister says China is looking to expand outward at any cost which is alarming to the Taiwanese government, seeing the clashes in Hong Kong. James Fanell, the former Intelligence Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet says that this will be the most dangerous time dealing with China while they are engaging in these territorial disputes that could become hostile and drag allied countries in.
A new investigation has shown that a team of Russian agents from the FSB specializing in nerve poisons were following Russian presidential candidate Alexei Navalny for 3 years before his poisoning in August. Navalny, who was taken to Germany for medical treatment, survived the poisoning — the second he has survived in his political career. His wife has also survived an attempted poisoning. From Germany, Navalny has kept up his opposition to the Kremlin parties, going so far as to accuse president Vladimir Putin directly for his assassination attempts, citing the death of Alexander Litvinenko, who was a former officer of the Russian Federal Security Service and KGB. After speaking critically on corruption within the Russian government, he fled retribution to the UK, where he remained a vocal critic of the Russian state until his death by polonium poisoning in 2006. The investigation into Navalny’s most recent poisoning is still ongoing.