Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci Resigns as he Faces War Crimes Charges

resident Hashim Thaci of Kosovo stepped down on November 5 in response to charges of murder, torture, and persecution related to his involvement in Kosovo’s war for independence in 1998. NPR reports that Thaci stepped down in order “to protect the integrity of the state” of Kosovo. He also reportedly urged Kosovars to maintain “political and civic unity.” Thaci is scheduled to appear in court on November 9. He was flown to The Hague, along with Kadrim Veseli, leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, and Rexhep Selimi, a Kosovo Member of Parliament, reports the BBC.

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Spain Declares State of Emergency Over COVID Spike

In response to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the Spanish government has declared a national state of emergency. As of October 30, the total number of cases in Spain reached 1,264,517 with 35,878 deaths reported. Among the new measures instituted to prevent another near-collapse of the country’s hospital capacity is an overnight curfew that will be in place for the next six months, reports the Associated Press.

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Gruesome Beheading of French Teacher

A total of nine people in France were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the brutal beheading of a teacher on Friday, October 16. The victim was 47-year-old Samuel Paty, a geography and history teacher at a school in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a suburb of Paris. According to the Washington Post, the assailant was shot dead by French police and later identified as Abdoulakh A., an 18-year-old Moscow-born immigrant of Chechen descent.

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U.S. Court Orders Iran to Pay $1.4 billion in Reparations Over Missing ex-FBI Agent

In early October, a federal court in the United States ordered Iran to pay $1.45 billion in punitive and compensatory damages over missing ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson. His family, as reported in Time Magazine, has called this decision “the first step in the pursuit of justice.”

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Armenia and Azerbaijan clash violently over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, leaving many dead

On September 27, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region of Nagorno-Karabakh reached its highest level of violence since 2016. Reuters reports that the clashes have reignited concerns over stability in the South Caucasus, a popular corridor for oil and gas pipelines that supply the world market. The pipeline runs from the Shah Deniz gas field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea to Turkey.

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Fires Devastate Greek Refugee Camps

On Tuesday, September 8, the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos was the site of a massive fire that displaced thousands of its residents. As The New York Times reports, the fire on September 8 displaced a vast majority of the 12,000 residents, and a smaller fire that broke out the following night displaced another 1,000.

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