Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for activist murders
Early on Monday morning, Tanay Mojumdar and Xulhaz Mannan were hacked to death as they left home for work. Mannan was an editor of an LGBTQ magazine, and a prominent gay rights activist in Bangladesh. Mojumdar was an actor and close friend of Mannan’s. Yesterday, a Bangladeshi subgroup of al-Qaeda, known as Ansar al-Islam, claimed the murders, stating that their killings were due to their efforts “to promote homosexuality… with the help of their masters the U.S. crusaders and their Indian allies.” These men’s deaths follows another killing: a university English professor was cut down on Saturday. Over the past couple of years, there has been a trend of Ansar al-Islam committing assaults in Bangladesh, twenty of whom died. Those targeted include professors, writers, foreigners, as well as minorities. However, the Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has been vocal in his accusations of opposition parties, claiming that they are responsible for the men’s’ deaths.
Doctors go on strike in U.K.
A new contract between the government and the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) would lead to a reduction in overtime pay for the nations Junior Doctors, a title similar in rank to a medical resident in the U.S. There has also been a decrease in the premiums given to those who have to work early morning and late night shifts. The caveat, however, is that their baseline salary will increase slightly. This decision has met resistance from Junior Doctors, and the continued progress of the bill has resulted in a massive, all-out strike on their part. At 8 a.m. local time, Tuesday morning, thousands of doctors did not go into work. In anticipation of the walk-out, hospitals were forced to alter schedules and staffing drastically. The NHS postponed over ten thousand routine surgeries and countless non-critical appointments. They canceled holidays for staff, as well as some study leaves for those studying for their MD. In addition they redistributed the doctors and nurses that remained to accommodate any emergencies that might arise in the Junior Doctors’ absence. No calls have been made to force the protests to an end, although hospitals can insist that the Junior Doctors resume work.
U.S. Special Forces sent to Syria
One day after ruling out U.S. ground troops as a viable option for progress in Syria, U.S. President Barack Obama has announced that 250 special forces troops will be added to the existing 50 operating in the country against the Islamic State. This is not to be confused with active ground troops, as the intent of their deployment is to train, not to fight. Although, Obama does not “anticipate that in the next nine months it will be finished,” he stands by his decision, arguing that, “the commitment of additional U.S. special forces can play a critical role.” That role, according to National Security Association officials, is to motivate Syrians to join the Kurdish fighters, which are backed by the U.S. and several other western nations. For some time now, Mr. Obama has been asked to send combat troops in for intervention. In his speech on Sunday, the President stated that he does not, “think there are any simple solutions,” for Syria, a “heart-breaking situation of enormous complexity… It would be a mistake for the United States, or Great Britain… to send in ground troops and overthrow the Assad regime.”
North Carolina protests occur over bathroom bill
Weeks after the controversial House Bill Number 2, also known as the Bathroom Bill, passed in North Carolina, people are still objecting daily. On Monday, another organized protest took place on the steps of the Raleigh statehouse. Many people went so far as to enter the building without permission. Out of those who refused to vacate the property by closing time, 50 were arrested. A growing list of celebrities are now boycotting the state, with both Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas following the lead of Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen, canceling their concerts with short notice. In addition to Bank of America and Apple, both of which have vocally denounced N.C.’s newest law, are now joined by other notable institutions. PayPal and Deutsche Bank have cancelled their plans to expand their workforce in the state. While the people have spoken, these companies have actions have spoken louder. The businesses actions have cost the state money. The Democratic lawmakers of North Carolina now have the argument of economic damage from the bill to encourage the Republican majority to consider repealing the bill. Sessions discussing the bill are to continue throughout the week.