Friday News Roundup - International

Jun 14, 2019

Military forces continued to attack protesters in Sudan this week, as activists called for the end of autocratic rule.

The government in Khartoum has not only violently cracked down on protesters but has also cut off access to the internet.

The State Department appointed a special envoy to Sudan to meet in Khartoum with both sides of the conflict.

We’re also following the protests in Hong Kong. Political activists there are concerned about the implications of a proposed law that would effectively allow extraditions to mainland China. The territory’s chief executive says the measure is necessary to prosecute a Hong Kong man wanted by Taiwanese authorities for the alleged murder of his girlfriend.

NPR’s Anthony Kuhn told us earlier this week that “since Hong Kong reverted back to Chinese rule, they’re supposed to keep their own system, but China has been ramping things up.”

Tourism is one of the Dominican Republic’s main industries. But the recent shooting of former Red Sox player David Ortiz and at least six deaths of American tourists at resorts in the Caribbean nation have caused some to revisit their vacation plans.

Ortiz is in stable condition after being flown to the United States, and The Washington Post reports that U.S. Embassy officials said: “more Americans have visited the tropical island nation — with its pearl-white coastline and value travel packages to all-inclusive resorts — in recent years than France.”

Dominican officials also insist the country is safe.

Here’s more from CBS:

CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg said people shouldn’t worry about the “fear factor” but instead about the “common sense factor.” He said people should ask several questions of a resort before traveling to the Dominican Republic, including what kind of chemicals are used to clean rooms, how often are the mini bars inspected and restocked and how can staff ensure the drink labels at the minibar match what’s inside.

A presidential election in Guatemala has some observers wondering about the future of the country’s anti-corruption agency CICIG. The United Nations oversees CICIG and it’s supported by the United States. The current president, Jimmy Morales, expelled the CICIG commissioner in 2017, and anti-corruption candidates have come under attack.

Here’s Jonathan Blitzer, writing for The New Yorker:

American politicians are not in the habit of paying much attention to what happens in Guatemala, but the recent developments should be cause for concern. For one thing, the United States bears some responsibility for the cicig’s precarious standing and for the latest bout of impunity that has resulted. For the first decade of the CICIG’s existence, from 2006 to 2016, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress saw political corruption in Central America as a major driver of drug trafficking and migration to the southern U.S. border. During those years, the United States gave close to forty-five million dollars to CICIG, and the State Department defended its mandate against the opposition to it that arose in Guatemala.

Voters in Guatemala will go to the polls on June 16.

And in Oman, two oil tankers were apparently attacked. This elevated tensions in the Gulf of Oman, and followed other attacks on oil tankers in May.

From The New York Times

It was not immediately clear how the most recent incidents unfolded or who was involved, just as the circumstances of last month’s attacks remain murky. The two ships that were struck on Thursday appeared to have been more seriously damaged than those hit in May.

We wrap up a busy week in global news.


Frank Langfitt, Correspondent, NPR’s London bureau; author, “The Shanghai Free Taxi: Journeys with the Hustlers and Rebels of the New China;” @franklangfitt

Nancy Youssef, National security reporter, The Wall Street Journal; @nancyayoussef

Nick Schifrin, Foreign affairs and defense correspondent, PBS NewsHour; @nickschifrin

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