tl;dr

  • US presidential candidate controversies continue
  • US sells military weapons and equipment
  • PG&E conviction
  • Floods in Mexico, USA
  • Wildfires in France, Portugal
  • Rio Olympics 2016
  • Chinese explosion, satellite launch
  • Attacks in Syria, Pakistan, Thailand
  • And more

USA & MEXICO

More emails were added to the continuing Clinton email scandal. “Clinton’s top aides’ favors for and interactions with the Clinton Foundation seem in violation of the ethics agreements that Hillary Clinton agreed to in order to be appointed and confirmed as Secretary of State.” (NPR)

Donald Trump made a statement at a North Carolina rally which triggered controversy. Republicans say Trump was asking supporters of the Second Amendment to get out and vote in November. Democrats say Trump was calling for the assassination of Hillary Clinton. The Trump campaign released a statement within 24 hours clarifying Trump’s statements and denying the Democrats’ accusations. However, the controversy still rages. Later in the week, Trump claimed that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were “the founders of ISIS,” and another controversy emerged from those statements.

The US State Department approved a military equipment deal with Saudi Arabia for over a billion dollars. Some groups criticized the deal because of Saudi Arabia’s military actions in Yemen. (Example: On Saturday, Saudi coalition airstrikes hit a school, killing or wounding at least 30 children.) Israel has also ordered a large number of F-35 fighter jets (at least 33, with an option to purchase 17 more). The planes were declared combat-ready earlier this month. The F-35 is considered the most expensive military weapons system in history, since the program will cost more than $1.5 trillion. Some critics argue that the plane has too many design flaws to be effective, despite being in development since 2001.

“After deliberating for nearly two weeks, a federal jury in San Francisco convicted PG&E on Tuesday of violating pipeline safety law and obstructing a probe into a fatal 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno.” (SFE) Pacific Gas and Electric Co. are considered California’s largest utility.

Massive flooding broke out in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Over a thousand people were rescued and 3 people died. And outside of the country: “Heavy rains in southern Mexico caused multiple mudslides in the states of Puebla and Veracruz, reportedly killing at least 39 people.” (NPR)

Europe

Large wildfires broke out in France, Portugal, and the island of Madeira. “A total of 186 wildfires were counted on Wednesday on Portugal’s mainland alone and on Thursday, 12 were burning out of control.” (Guardian)

“The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has warned that wildfires could become more frequent and more destructive as global temperatures rise and drought conditions plague many regions of the world.” (UNNC)

“Ukraine has put its troops near Crimea and the eastern border with Russia on combat alert” (TIS)

Brazil & olympics

Rio Olympics day 2: the US and China have the most medals (12 and 8, respectively).

Rio Olympics day 5: the US and China have the most medals (32 and 23, respectively).

“Simone Manuel becomes the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming, while Michael Phelps became the first swimmer to win the same event at four straight Olympics.” (AP)

Michael Phelps won more than 20 gold medals to become the most decorated Olympian of all time. Apparently he also beat a 2000 year old Olympic record set by Leonidas of Rhodes in 152 BCE for the most Olympic wins ever. Phelps stated that he will retire after 2016’s Olympics.

Katie Ledecky delivered another dominating performance at the Rio Olympic Games Friday night, handily breaking her own world record in the 800-meter freestyle. […] Ledecky also became only the third American woman to win four gold medals in a single Olympics…” (FOX)

“The Pacific nation of Fiji has erupted with wild celebrations and announced a nationwide public holiday after winning its first Olympic medal – a gold – in the men’s rugby sevens.” (Telegraph)

“The Brazilian Senate has voted to hold an impeachment trial of suspended President Dilma Rousseff…. The Senate suspended Ms Rousseff in May over alleged illegal accounting practices. She says they were common practice under previous administrations.” (BBC)

Pakistan

On Monday a suicide bomber attacked a hospital in the city of Quetta. Over 70 people were killed, and an unknown number were injured.  It’s thought that the bomber deliberately targeted lawyers and intellectuals, rather than the hospital itself. Earlier in the day, Lawyer Bilal Anwar Kasi had been shot to death by motorcyclists on his way to court. The body was taken to Civil Hospital for an autopsy. Dozens of lawyers went to the hospital to protest and mourn the murder. The suicide bomber made his way into the center of the crowd before detonating his explosives. Branches of ISIS and the Taliban (Jamaat-ul-Ahrar) both claimed responsibility.

Another explosion rocked Quetta on Thursday near Al-Khair Hospital. A roadside bomb went off as a police vehicle passed by, injuring at least a dozen people. The bomb may have been meant for a judge the police were escorting, although he was unharmed.

China

A high pressure steam tube broke at a power station in Danyang. The resulting explosion killed over 20 people and injured at least 4.

“A high-tech satellite launched by China on Wednesday (10 August) will help the country protect its maritime interests, especially amid rising tensions in the South China Sea. Experts have said that the Gaofen 3 high-resolution Earth observation satellite will also improve the nation’s ability to forecast natural calamities.” (IBT)

Syria

“30 Syrians killed in Russian airstrikes on Raqqa and surrounding areas of northern Syria” (TIS)

“The UN is investigating evidence of a toxic gas attack on a rebel-held area of the Syrian city of Aleppo.” (BBC) “Casualties in chemical attack on hospital in Eastern Aleppo has risen to above 50, including many toddlers and elderly.” (TIS)

Other things

“Japanese Emperor Akihito’s video message this week, though subtle, suggested that he wishes to abdicate, and the attention now goes to his elder son, the first in line to Japan’s Chrysanthemum throne.” (AP)

Wal-Mart buys Jet.com for $3.3 billion dollars. (Forbes)

“A new weapon against Zika in Florida: genetically engineered mosquitoes” (Forbes)

“Five provinces in Thailand have been hit by 11 bombings in less than a day…. At least four Thai nationals have been killed and about 36 others were injured, including 10 foreigners, according to Anurak Amornpetchsathaporn with the Ministry of Public Health. No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts, and it’s not clear if the bombings are connected.” (CNN)

Turkey’s government is still purging the system. More arrests, and some shootings, have occurred.