By Mary Berg
The Crown (Wilmette, Illinois)
Islamic State carries out attack in Brussels, Belgium. On Tuesday, March 22, two explosions occurred in the Brussels airport, and one occurred in a crowded subway station in downtown Brussels. The Islamic State claimed this terror attack which killed 34 and injured over 200. Belgian authorities have released a shot of security footage showing the three men they believe were responsible for the attacks. Two are said to have suicide bombers, and authories are currently pursuing the more at-large suspects.
Clinton and Trump lead in the primaries. On Tuesday, March 15, Clinton and Trump surged ahead in the primaries. In the GOP, Rubio suspended his campaign, and Kasich had an important win in Ohio. Again on March 22, Trump and Clinton won in Arizona, but Cruz won Utah, and Sanders prevailed in Utah and Idaho. Currently, Clinton has 1,214 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 901, and Trump has 738 to Cruz’s 463 and Kasich’s 143.
President Obama goes to Cuba. On Monday, March 21, President Obama arrived in Havana alongside his wife and two daughters. He is the first American president to visit the country in 88 years. Nearly 1,000 various U.S. ambassadors joined him on the trip. This visit signifies one of Obama’s greatest diplomatic triumphs—restoring economic, social, and political ties with Cuba.
Pope Francis gets an Instagram. On Saturday, March 19, Pope Francis expanded his social media profile and joined Instagram. His handle is @franciscus, and his first post was a picture of himself (though not a selfie) captioned ‘Pray for me,’ translated into several different languages. His bio reads, “I want to walk with you along the way of God’s mercy and tenderness.”
The Kurdish declare an independent federal system in Syria. In late March, the Kurdish government group, which currently controls most of northern Syria, declared that they will establish an independent federal state. This proclamation was dismissed by the Assad regime in Syria, saying that it had no legal basis for establishing a new state. However, many other Arab nations approve.
The European Union strikes refugee deal with Turkey. On March 18, Turkey and the EU struck a landmark migrant deal which agrees that migrants arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey if they do not request asylum or if their application is rejected. In return, Turkey will receive political and monetary concessions. The deal is an attempt to dissuade migrants from coming to Greece and other European nations by way of the Mediterranean Sea. The agreement has proven very controversial—humanitarian groups have vocally spoken out against it, whereas Turkish and EU political leaders call it a ‘breakthrough.’
Two bombings occur in Turkey this month. On Sunday, March 13, a car bomb exploded in a crowded square in the middle of the country’s capital, Ankara, killing 34 and injuring 125. Less than a week later, on Saturday, March 19, a suicide bomber linked to the Islamic State struck a crowded tourist area in Istanbul, killing five, including two Americans, and injuring 36.
Last Paris suspect apprehended in Brussels. On Friday, March 18, Belgian officials captured Salah Abdeslam, the last suspect in the Paris attacks in November. Abdeslam was wounded in a firefight, and has was arrested alongside four others who fired on police when they attempted to arrest him.
American student sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korean prison camp. Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student from Cincinnati, was sentenced to 15 years’ hard labor on Friday, March 18. Warmbier was convicted for ‘hostile acts against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.’ Earlier this year, he attempted to steal a propaganda sign from a North Korean hotel. Several American politicians have called for his immediate release.
Photo Credit: The Crown