Argentina: The prosecutor Alberto Nisman, that had accused President Cristina Kirchner of obstructing justice in the investigation of a terrorist attack in 1994, died on January 18th in his apartment. An investigation is being carried out to decide whether the death was a suicide or murder, but the investigation is starting to point toward the latter. For more information on the investigation, see a previous post on the issue.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz died January 23rd, 2015. Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was crowned King. The heir apparent is Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, the youngest son of Saudi Arabia’s first king, Abdulaziz ibn Saud. To read more about how the crown is passed in Saudi Arabia, see a previous post on the issue.
Yemen: Houthi fighters invaded Yemen’s presidential palace on January 20th, 2015. President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi resigned on January 22nd with the country’s prime minister and Cabinet. The conflict between the Shiite rebels and the Sunni government has been going on for a long period but the instability caused by recent events worry the international community because it will most likely serve as a complication in order to combat al Qaeda’s strong presence in the region.
Global: According to an analysis published by NASA and NOAA researchers, 2014 was the warmest year on record, with temperatures 0.68 Celsius above the long-term average, calculated from data collected between 1951 and 1980.
Argentina: President Cristina Kirchner was accused on January 14th, 2015 of obstructing justice in the investigation of a terrorist attack in 1994, when a van exploded in a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, killing 86 and injuring 300. Many, such as Israel and Interpol, accused Iran of orchestrating the attack and Hezbollah of executing it. Kirchner is accused of covering up Iran’s involvement in exchange that Iran import more Argentine grain while exporting oil to Argentina.
Egypt: On January 13th a Cairo court overturned former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s sentence for embezzlement. A retrial was also ordered. Mubarak was ousted during the Arab Spring, nearly four years ago, and was convicted in May of 2014 of billing the state for $17.5 million of his personal expenses.
United Kingdom: The remains of the UK’s only Mars probe, Beagle 2, was found on January 16th. The robot disappeared shortly after entering the Martian atmosphere on Christmas Day in 2003.
Saudi Arabia: 90 year-old King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was recently hospitalized due to breathing difficulties. Although reports say that the King was improving, he will most likely not be around for long. In Saudi Arabia, the crown is traditionally passed down from brother to brother, all sons of Abdel bin Saud, founder of the nation. 78 year-old Prince Salman is therefore considered next in line. However, the majority of the brothers are either dead or old; the youngest brother, for example, is already 69 years old. The dilema of who will lead the nation possessing one of the world’s largest oil reserves after the current generation of rulers therefore arises.
Indonesia: Indonesia’s new president, Joko Widodo, has ended petroleum subsides in his nation, freeing an estimated 200 trillion rupiah (USD 15.98 billion) a year. The government is now investing in three social programs, expanding public health care and education as well as giving financial support of around USD 15.75 per month to needy citizens.
Syria: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees published a report on January 7th regarding the refugee situation in Syria. It is now the largest source of refugees in the world (followed by Afghanistan). Between 3 and 4 million Syrians (about 1/8th of Syria’s 22.85 million citizens) have fled the country.