Paris experiences multiple deadly attacks
A myriad of deadly organized attacks hit Paris this past Friday evening. They were executed by three coordinated groups who worked in teams to hit several parts of the city around the same time. The first incidence was the detonation of two suicide bombs at the Stade de France, where roughly 80,000 people had gathered to watch a France versus Germany European football game. One bomb was set off just outside of the stadium’s main entrance, while the other was located at a nearby fast-food shop. President François Hollande, who was present at the game, had to be evacuated from the stadium. Minutes later, shootings at several restaurants killed around 20 people. The first occurred at Le Carillon and Le Petite Cambodge with another shooting immediately following these at the Casa Nostra restaurant. Only minutes after these assaults, the Belle Equip bar was likewise under fire, and a third suicide bomber hit the Boulevard Voltaire. The final and most deadly of the night’s attacks occurred at the Bataclan Concert Hall, where an American rock band named Eagles of Death Metal was performing. Three men armed with assault rifles stormed the theater, opening fire and taking hostages. Seven of the attackers that night are dead and one has been identified. The known attacker is Omar Ismaïl Mostefai. He was a French national with a history of petty crime, but the French authorities had suspected that he had been radicalized since 2010. Law enforcement suspects that others might have escaped. Meanwhile, Belgium has detained seven people suspected of involvement. As of Sunday, The Telegraph reports at least 132 deaths and 352 injuries, with 96 individuals in serious condition.
Beirut attacked in two suicide bombings
This past Thursday, two suicide bombs were detonated in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut. They were placed in a crowded shopping area located in the Burj al-Barajneh suburb, where predominantly Hezbollah-supporting families live. Hezbollah, a Shi’a Islamist group and political party based in Lebanon, is currently fighting against ISIS in Syria. The events, which were the deadliest in Beirut since the conclusion of a civil war in 1990, left around 40 people dead and 200 wounded. Politicians and reporters with starkly different views have come forward encouraging unity within the country to cope with what is being called a massacre motivated by “blind terrorism.” Several countries have stepped forward to denounce the attacks. U.S. President Barack Obama came forward with a statement of support, announcing that this tragedy “would only serve to reinforce our commitment to support the institutions of the Lebanese state, including the security services, to ensure a stable, sovereign and secure Lebanon.” In the days following this attack, Hezbollah also insisted that it would not be deterred from its efforts against terrorism and is prepared for a “long war” if necessary.
ISIS is a main topic at U.S. Democratic Primary Debate
The three presidential hopefuls, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ’69, Governor Martin O’Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders, faced an updated plan of discussion while meeting for the Democratic Debate. Hours after the attacks on Paris, CBS changed the script for questioning to focus more on the recent attacks, as well as ISIS, which claimed responsibility for them. After pausing for a moment of silence, the night went on, with the main point of discussion centering on ISIS itself and how it should be contained. Divides here were quickly illustrated. Clinton insisted that ISIS could not be contained and rather must be destroyed, but asserted that “it cannot be an American fight.” O’Malley disagreed, encouraging the U.S. to be the leader in this fight against “evil.” Bernie questioned Hillary due to her initial support of the Iraq War, claiming that it was the United States’ entrance to the country that gave birth to ISIS in the first place. Hillary posed that the instability of the region was not the responsibility of the United States and that rather the blame falls more on Syrian President Bashir al-Assad and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki. When the candidates moved on from the discussion on terrorism, several other domestic topics were covered, including higher education, the minimum wage, the possibility of accepting Syrian migrants and refugees as well as some criticism of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
Civil rights protests occur on American college campuses
On Monday, the college president of Mizzou, the nickname for the University of Missouri, resigned. He had been frowned upon before for his consistent disregard for the consideration of students of color, but the tipping point came when students of color garbed with t-shirts bearing the phrase “1839 Was Built On My B(l)ack,” were ignored by the driver of a car bringing the then college president Tim Wolfe through a parade celebrating the anniversary of the University of Missouri’s establishment. As the car pushed through the line of protesting students, some were apparently clipped by the car. What followed in the week sparked outrage and protests around the country. On Tuesday, a Mizzou student who we now know to be 19 year-old Hunter Park submitted several threatening statements to the African-American community via the anonymous posting app Yik Yak. He later told police threats were inspired by the actions of a shooter in Oregon who took lives only last month. Park’s actions spurred those of another student at Northwest Missouri State University. He also posted overly violent messages to Yik Yak. Both have since been arrested. Throughout the country, further threats against students and people of color have been made alongside the resulting protests against them. U.S. Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted “I’m listening to the #blackoncampus conversation. It’s time to address structural racism on college campuses.” These recent events have incurred the democratic runner’s pointed attention.