This week in news: July 17-23 rundown

Published 2016 | Categories: News



A former Marine went on a shooting spree in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, targeting local police. "A gunman fatally shot three law enforcement officers and wounded three others ... before being killed in a shootout with the police." (NYT)

The Republican National Convention seems to have gone smoothly overall. Donald Trump officially became the Republican candidate for president, as many expected. Some politicians attempted to collude to block his nomination, but they weren't able to gain any real traction.

There was more news about the Trumps and Clintons, as usual, plus stories about various other politicians. (In my personal opinion, most of this news was unimportant. It will be forgotten within months, if not days or weeks. A couple of the so-called controversies were likely manufactured for publicity, and thus will have no long-lasting relevance. Some points are also contentious. For example, Ted Cruz's little speech. Depending on who you talk to, he's brave/principled and setting himself up for a presidential run in 2020 - or he's a liar who committed political suicide.)

Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails from DNC officials ahead of the Democrat's convention in Philadelphia. Because of the sheer amount of emails, they're still being analyzed, but much of the information discovered so far is interesting. The DNC is supposed to be a neutral organization that provides support to democratic candidates equally. However, DNC members colluded to attack Bernie Sanders while supporting Hillary Clinton. They also sent interns to events to artificially inflate attendance. More serious allegations rest in the emails, including accusations of money laundering and media manipulation.

Hillary Clinton had her own share of woes about emails. "Hillary Clinton exchanged nearly two-dozen top secret emails from her unsecured, private server with three senior aides, the State Department revealed in documents..." (Vice) This comes after FBI Director Comey said over 100 emails contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. This is all despite statements from Hillary saying she never sent or received classified information.


On Monday, a teenage Afghan migrant with an axe and knife attacked several people on a train near Wurzburg. He fled the train, only to be chased by local police. The attacker was shot and killed soon after. 4-5 people were injured, with 2-3 in serious condition, but luckily no innocent lives were lost. Over a dozen other people were treated for shock. ISIS has claimed partial responsibility. A hand-drawn flag was found in the refugee's room along with a letter to his father. The letter said “Now pray for me that I can take revenge on these infidels, and that I go to heaven.”

Then on Friday, a manhunt began after a shooting at a Munich mall. 9-10 people are dead and 20-30 have been wounded. The number of shooters was initially unknown and the police estimated 2-3 shooters. It's now confirmed to be one shooter, who was found dead in an apparent suicide. He was an 18 year old German-Iranian student allegedly obsessed with mass shootings. Some suspected the attack was politically motivated, or related to ISIS, but this was ruled out. Munich Police Chief Hubertus Andrae said " there are no indications whatsoever that there is a connection to Islamic State." The shooting coincided with the 5th anniversary of a terrorist attack in Norway, where one man killed 77 people.


More people were fired/detained and offices have been raided. (Also see: my post "Erdogan's Purge")

Wikileaks releases almost 300,000 emails from the Turkish ruling party, AKP, including attachments.

Turkey will temporarily suspend the European Convention on Human Rights after the coup attempt. A 3 month State of Emergency has been declared.

"The decree issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is his first since the state of emergency was declared on Wednesday. He has ordered the closure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 medical institutions, state news agency Anadolu reported on Saturday." (RT) (Reuters) Parliament has to approve the decree before it's put into action, and most believe they will.


Tuesday brought airstrikes from coalition forces in Syria, killing at least 50. Since the area is inaccessible to independent media, numbers and events are difficult to verify. Reports on what happened vary slightly, but every source agrees that there were deadly airstrikes.

"The death toll from the airstrikes, which coincided with a wide ground offensive by the extremists against Syria democratic fighters, ranged between 56 and 200. If it is confirmed that 200 people were killed, it would be the deadliest strike by the U.S.-led coalition since it began its military campaign against Islamic State in Syria almost two years ago." (LA Times)


A suicide bomber killed at least 80 people and wounded over 200 more. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.


"Although the feat has yet to be certified by Guinness World Records, Indian officials have reported that volunteers planted a whopping 49.3 million tree saplings on July 11, blowing past the previous record for most trees planted in a single day. That record, a mere 847,275 trees, was set by Pakistan in 2013." (National Geographic)

India had agreed to reforest 12% of its land, pledging $6 billion USD to the cause. A number of countries, companies, and individuals have made a goal to end deforestation by 2030.


New trailers revealed for some upcoming movies and shows, from San Diego Comic-Con and more:


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