Myanmar Military Vows to ‘Annihilate’ Resistance

Myanmar’s military vowed to crack down on opposition forces as the nation celebrated its Armed Forces Day, reports Al Jazeera. The leader of Myanmar, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, claimed that his forces would ‘annihilate’ civilian opposition groups and urged ethnic minorities away from supporting militia groups that oppose the Tatmadaw, the country’s military-led government. However, one civilian resistance group, the National Unity Government, prompted people to take part in a ‘Power Strike’, turning off their lights and TVs during the parade broadcast ABC News reports. 

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Ex-Honduran President Could Face Extradition to U.S.

A Honduran judge authorized the extradition of ex-president Juan Orlando Hernandez,  a month after police arrested him at his house per the request of the United States government, reports The Washington Post. The Associated Press notes that allegations against Hernandez were revealed in the trials of both Juan Antonio “Tony” Hernandez, a former Honduran congressman, and the president’s brother, and Geovanny Fuentes Ramirez. Hernandez will face charges of manufacturing, trafficking, and distribution of drugs and firearms in southern New York. 

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Somalia Elections Again Delayed, Drawing Western Warnings

Somalia’s federal parliamentary elections have been postponed with no planned makeup date, drawing the ire of Western backers that have condemned the delay. 

March 15 was the deadline for each of Somalia’s five states to separately hold elections for the country’s lower house of parliament. By the end of the day, however, the central government failed to announce the completion of the vote nationwide. While voting was completed in the states of South West and Galmudug, the states of Jubaland, Hirshabelle, and Puntland cumulatively still had 40 vacant seats to fill as of the date of the deadline, according to Africanews.

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With the World Watching, Could Taiwan be at Risk?

Considering the strategic and symbolic significance of Taiwan to the People’s Republic of China, several experts have argued that China’s invasion of the island is a matter of when and not if. Many have questioned Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, given that Russia’s actions are in direct contradiction to China’s century-long foreign policy tenet of non-interference.

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Killer of Noor Muqaddam Sentenced in Pakistan

On February 24,  Zahir Jaffer was sentenced to death by hanging for the 2021 high-profile rape and murder of Noor Muqaddam in Pakistan, reports The Guardian. The killing of Muqaddam has been front page news in Pakistan since its occurrence, due to the upper-class status of both individuals. Muqaddam, the daughter of former Pakistan diplomat Shakaut Ali Muqaddam, and Jaffer, the son of one of the wealthiest industrial families in Pakistan, had known each other for most of their lives, as they had grown up in high society with the same circle of friends, reports BBC News. 

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UK Ends COVID-19 Restrictions in “Living With COVID” Plan

For the first time in two years, England has lifted all government-sponsored COVID-19 restrictions in what has been dubbed the “living with COVID” plan. According to ABC News, England will no longer require mask wearing, mandatory isolation for those who test positive for COVID-19, or financial aid for people who have lost part of their income due to isolation. Beginning on April 1, free testing will also be scaled back. Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are all following suit in reopening, however with slightly more cautious policies.

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Global Reactions to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

Across the globe, the world is shunning Russia in a multitude of ways to protest President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. As The New York Times examines, from culture to commerce and sports to travel, many doors have been closed on Russia and its people, in a capacity not seen since the days of the Cold War. Such a worldwide rejection of Russia has been intended to show solidarity with the beleaguered  Ukrainians, while also attempting to force President Putin to pull back Russian forces.

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Colombia Decriminalizes Abortion, Highlighting a Departure from Stigma

On February 21, 2022, Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled 5-4 to decriminalize abortions, making the procedure legal up to 24 weeks of gestation, reports The Guardian. The historic ruling will change the lives of women and young girls who often resorted to clandestine abortions and were penalized under the healthcare system, says Al Jazeera. Many pro-choice individuals and feminists in Colombia welcomed the decision as a reaffirmation of women’s bodily autonomy, hoping the ruling will inspire other countries to push for legislation protecting women’s rights. 

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U.S. Launches Sanctions Against Houthi Financers

On February 23, the United States took a major step in supporting allies Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by announcing sanctions against key members of an international financing network accused of diverting funds for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, reports The Independent. The sanctions were launched in response to recent conflict escalation by the Houthis, who have launched an increasing number of missile and drone strikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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Hong Kong Maintains Zero-Tolerance Policy as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Amidst the ease of pandemic restrictions around the globe, Hong Kong is facing a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases, reports The Guardian. Hong Kong, following in the footsteps of mainland China, has maintained a zero-tolerance COVID-19 restriction policy over the course of the pandemic. This approach proved to be largely effective up until the recent emergence of the Omicron variant.

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