By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
North America: (United States) The USA issued a travel alert to all citizens abroad in response to alleged threat of terrorist attacks. Obama administration officials released to the press that al Qaeda have made intentions clear that they are planning attacks in the Middle East and North America. The United States closed 22 embassies last weekend, including those in Baghdad, Cairo, Tripoli, and Dubai. The alert will cease at the end of August and is largely a measure in reaction to the attack on the American embassy in Libya on September 11 of last year.
(Canada) Three Quebec women protested topless on Parliament Hill on behalf of Nathalie Morin, a Montreal ex-pat who moved to Saudi Arabia with her husband eight years ago, trapped overseas because the Saudi government refuses to issue passports to her three children. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development have claimed they are working on Morin’s case but aren’t pressuring beyond Saudi Arabia’s legal system. The women chose to protest topless to evoke the spirit of FEMEN, a European feminist collective that often counter-protests fascist rallies topless. The protesters are members of the new Quebec chapter of FEMEN.
Asia: (Afghanistan) A suicide bomber attacked the Indian embassy in Afghanistan. The attack in Jalalabad killed nine people and wounded 22 others. After the Saturday bombing there was gunfire for over an hour around the Indian consulate. Police believe that the consulate was the target of the attack, although most of those killed were in an adjacent mosque. Taliban nor al Qaeda have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Middle East: (Yemen) A two and a half minute video of an escaped child bride went viral last month. Eleven-year-old Nada Al-Ahdal accuses her parents of selling her off to marriage in exchange for money in the surfaced clip and calls for action against the dowry sale of child brides in Yemen. “What about the innocence of childhood? What have the children done wrong so that you would marry them off like that?” she exclaims in the clip. The selling off of children into marriage is an alarming cultural fixture to those unaware of the Islamic tribal country. The CIA world factbook states that Yemeni mothers bear on average four to five children.
Europe: (Italy) Suicide rates have spiked in Italy this year, largely attributed to the “precarious” economic situation of many families in the nation. The first quarter of 2013 saw 40 per cent more suicides than the first of 2012, half of those being related to the poor economy and financial burdens and 28 per cent were related to unemployment. Data from May pegs Italy’s unemployment rate at 12.2 per cent. Thirty of the 32 suicides in the first three months of this year were male.
Africa: (Zimbabwe) Leader of the ZANU-PF opposition party, Robert Mugabe, has been declared the winner of last month’s elections. Incumbent social democratic Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai rejects the results of the election, claiming them as a “farce.” Tsvangirai plans to fight the results in court. Tsvangirai won 34 per cent of the vote with opposition leader Mugabe earning 61 per cent.