U.S. forces capture key Islamic State chemical expert
Sulayman al-Bakkar, known also as Abu Daoud, was a biological and chemical weapons expert for Saddam Hussein. Until his capture last month, he served the same job, for the terrorist organization ISIS. The Pentagon is quoted saying that U.S. forces “removed a key IS leader from the battlefield.” This occurred in February, but the events and any confirmation of the suspected milestone were kept from the public until further information came to light via interrogations. Late last week, the media verified Daoud’s detainment and released general information permitted by the Pentagon. Among such announcements were the Abu Daoud’s full name, and a confirmation that it was indeed him, that he gave up information about ISIS’s weapons production, facilities, as well as more names of people involved in the organization. The result of these details explains the increase in aggressive operations against IS in recent weeks. Peter Cook, the Pentagon spokesman has indirectly backed up this supposition, mentioning that the information secured led to several air strikes that inhibited ISIS’s weapons production. Abu Daoud has since been handed over to Iraqi military authorities.
U.S. president cautions campaigns against insults and divisiveness
Last week, Donald Trump had to cancel his Chicago rally because interactions between protesters and supporters of his campaign escalated to violence. The clash began about an hour before the rally was scheduled to begin, and did not end until after the cancellation, when law enforcement was forced to administer pepper spray on some of the crowd in order to break up the fight. There was also an incident in which reporter Michelle Fields might have been manhandled by Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Many of Donald Trump’s opponents, both democratic and republican, have criticized him for his use of “inflammatory rhetoric” on the subjects of immigration and religion. Commenting on the events in Chicago, Marco Rubio has labeled the events as “sad,” while Senator Ted Cruz continued that Trump has fostered “an environment that only encourages this sort of nasty discourse.” Finally, just this weekend President Barack Obama has come forward urging candidates not to use “insults… certainly not violence against other Americans.” He continued to another more pointed comment on Trump “what the folks who are running for office should be focused on is how we can make it even better – not insults and schoolyard taunts and manufacturing facts, not divisiveness along the lines of race and faith.”
North Korea threatens war against U.S. and South Korea
after submarine goes missing
One of North Korea’s estimated seventy submarines has gone missing in the midst of what is the largest South Korean and U.S. joint military drill to date. These exercises have elicited threats of war and attack from North Korea, which has also announced that it has successfully developed nuclear weapons small enough to be attached to ballistic missiles. However, analysts and the South Korean and U.S. navies are not terribly concerned with the realization that the submarine had suddenly vanished. They believe that the vessel has sunk because members of the U.S. Navy were already tracking this particular sub. Furthermore, they have noticed North Korea’s own Navy searching for their missing member. Experts have concluded that North Korea was likely still several years away from being able to develop warheads as small as they have claimed, giving further reason for South Korea and our Navies to feel, for the moment, unthreatened.
President of Sierra Leone refuses to sign bill legalizing abortion
The World Health Organization ranks Sierra Leone as the country with the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. This is due not only to the roughly 1,400 deaths that occur per 100,000 live births, but also because unsafe, covert abortions are performed because abortion is illegal under all circumstances, contribute significantly enough to maternal deaths for five different human rights groups to list them as the main contributing factor. This letter was addressed to the nation’s President Ernest Bai Koroma. This past week was the second time that he has not signed a bill pushing for the legalization of abortions. The bill would allow women to terminate a pregnancy for any reason by a deadline of twelve weeks along. Women impregnated as a result of circumstances involving rape, incest, or if there are defects found with the fetus would have up until 24 weeks. This bill was passed along to President Koroma by MPs who voted unanimously in favor of it not once, but both times. Frustrated with the President’s stubbornness, they even sent the bill to him a second time around, having made no changes to the document. In lieu of signing the bill into law himself, Koroma has put it to a referendum to be read over by the Constitutional Review Committee. Said committee will then decide if the constitution should be altered to incorporate the new law on abortion.