5 Minute International Update 02/16/2014

Syria: The second round of Geneva II talks ended without any progress. The US and France blamed the Syrian government for the failure but the Syrian government blamed to US. The negotiator, Brahimi apologized to the people. The Syrian opposition want a transitional government away from Assad, and now Saudi Arabia is pressuring the US to support this. Evacuation of Homs, city previously under siege finally halted. The local government blames “armed groups”. 1400 people were evacuated but 400 men and boys were held by the government.

Unrest in an ethnic minority city in China have led to the death of 11 terrorists, suicide boming, 100 people have died in Xinjiang in the past year

In Montonegro, police have tear-gassed anti-government protestors throwing stones. They protested the current PM Milo Djukanovic and government corruption, blaming him for economic issues.

UNHCR issued a non-return advisory for South Sudan, saying it is unsafe for the 130,000 people who have fled to go home. An additional 730,000 are displaced inside the country due to continued violence.

Boko Haram massacres 106 people after going door-to-door and shooting people in a Northern Nigeria village

Presidential candidates in Afghanistan have finished their 2nd day of debates, President Karzai’s brother, Qayum Karzai withdrew from the debate, elections are April 5th. Earlier this week Afghanistan released 65 prisoners the US calls “dangerous”.

Uganda has proposed anti-gay legislation that would punish anyone even discussing homosexuality and President Obama has warned Uganda that this law would affect relations with the US

Turkey passed a law giving the government more of the judiciary systems, such as the appointment of judges but it was hotly contested, debated overnight and apparently turned into a fist fight.

After 3 months, Ukrainian pro-EU protestors have left Kiev’s city hall building they were occupying in exchange for the release of all protestors held by the government, but tensions are still high.

In Pakistan, a bombing killed the guard of polio vaccination campaign workers, who have been targets of Islamic extremists. A separate bombing took out a train, killing 5 and injuring 3, could be Taliban.

Russian President Vladamir Putin voiced his support for Egypt’s military Commander, General al-Sisi to run for president, a man who said he wouldn’t but is increasingly looking like he will be the next leader.

Georgia will become part of NATO’s Rapid Response Force from 2015 and the US will be its sponsor

Belgium has voted to allow child euthanasia in certain circumstances.

Switzerland just barely passed a referendum to curb EU immigration this weekend (passed by 50.3%). Switzerland is “neutral” and not a part of the EU.

Anti-government protests which brought out thousands in Venezuela began Wednesday and led to 3 deaths on Thursday. The Venezuelan government is blaming opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez for the deaths. He has been hiding out but promises to join another protest tomorrow.

International Valentine’s Day Update: Not every country wanted to celebrate the joys of romance today like us sappy heathens Russian Democratic leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said everyone should only kiss on the forehead, like you do at funerals, because love is death. Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan public officials and religious leaders have urged their citizens not to participate. In Pakistan, those in favor of and against the holiday actually came to blows.

Olympics Update: Germany with most gold then a tie between The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Then the US is in 4th! Behind Russia and Canada.

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