The World in a Flash
The week’s RoundUp is short and sweet, with just enough room for some of the key stories from the week. First up is the Manchester bombing and how the United States has annoyed one of its closest allies. Second, we discuss the attacks in Jakarta. Third, a quick look at the martial law in the Philippines. Finally, a quick look at what you need to know about the NATO summit.
This past Monday, Salman Abedi detonated a homemade bomb at the Manchester Arena during a concert by Ariana Grande. 22 people have been killed and 116 people are injured as a result. Many of the victims are children making the tragedy even worse. In response, the UK has implemented strict security measures and there is a manhunt ongoing to search for the 22 year-old’s accomplices. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack and there is speculation that Abedi received training while in Libya. In another twist, images of the explosive device was leaked by the American media. The images were shared by British Intelligence with their American counterparts, but it was leaked by American agencies. In response, UK authorities have decided to halt the sharing of any further information. Not to draw away from the tragedy, but this is another setback for the new US Administration. President Trump has condemned the leaks.
There was an bombing in the Indonesian capital which killed three police officers and injured an additional 10 people. Wednesday’s attack was carried out by a suicide bomber and carries a lot of the ‘hallmarks’ of Islamist extremists. The Jakarta Post writes that the attack may be retaliation against Police. “[T]he police had been seen as protectors of a thogut state that rejects application of Islamic law. In Islamic theology, thogut refers to those who worship anything other than Allah.” Authorities in Indonesia are worried about the rise of radicalism spurred on by groups such as ISIS.
Duterte Considers Expanding Martial Law
This past week President Duterte of the Philippines declared martial law in the city of Marawi and the wider island of Mindanao following clashes between militants and government troops. Duterte believes that ISIS has taken a foothold in the country and is determined to continue his strongman tactics used in his brutal crackdown on drug crimes and shift it to chasing out ‘islamic militants.’ Duterte is considering expanding martial law to cover the entire country to ‘protect the people.’ A presidential spokesperson confirmed that militants had taken control of government buildings in the city of Marawi and had torched others, including churches. The outbreak of violence caused Duterte to cut short a trip in Moscow where he was asking Russia for weapons.
What to Know About the NATO Summit
The story going into NATO is of course surrounding United States President Donald Trump. During his presidential campaign he lambasted NATO as being obsolete, before flipping his position after taking office. However, he has been steadfast in his belief that NATO allies, some of America’s closest allies, must increase their defence spending which runs concurrent with his ‘America first’ stance to international diplomacy. The summit will likely be a ‘get to know’ each other summit has both Donald Trump and the newly elected French President Macron attend their first summits. The hot topic will likely be how NATO can assist and direct resources to tackle terrorism, which is likely due to allies keeping Russia off the agenda to keep Trump happy. A few notable moments as of writing include Trump and Macron having a ‘firm’ handshake and Trump pushing aside Montenegro Prime Minister Markovic.