This week in news: November 20-26 rundown

Published 2016 | Categories: News


  1. Protests over Dakota Access Pipeline continue
  2. Fidel Castro dies
  3. Bolivia declares a national emergency over severe drought
  4. Norwegian police charge 51 over pedophilia ring
  5. Bombing in Iraq kills 77
  6. Syrian civil war continues
  7. Train derailment in India kills and injures 250+
  8. Scandal-ridden South Korean president formally accused of wrongdoing
  9. Construction accident in China kills 67
  10. Advanced weather satellite launched


Demonstrators protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline were allegedly attacked with tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets, and concussion grenades. Accounts of recent events have varied, although dozens of protesters were hospitalized, giving their accounts additional weight. One woman may be at risk of losing an arm. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers later said a camp of protesters must be vacated by early December. A Corps letter said "this decision is necessary to protect the general public."

"A former top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is among eight men who have been indicted in a bribery and fraud case tied to efforts to spur the upstate economy, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday." (Reuters)

"The dollar surged to its highest since March 2003 on Wednesday, bolstered by upbeat U.S. economic reports that showed the economy on track for steady growth as they reinforced expectations of rate increases by the Federal Reserve next month and in 2017." (Reuters)

"US shoppers using mobile phones to snap up bargains pushed online sales towards a record breaking $3.05bn on Black Friday — the annual retail bonanza after the Thanksgiving holiday. This adds to the nearly $2bn in online sales on Thanksgiving Day." (FT)

A Chattanooga school bus driver was arrested after an accident which killed five children. The man was speeding when he lost control of the bus and wrapped it around a tree. 37 elementary school students were aboard, and 12 were hospitalized after the crash.

Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein began fundraising for possible election recounts in three states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Her campaign cited unspecified "voting anomalies" and did not elaborate further. (There is no evidence of tampering or fraud, as admitted by Stein herself. The Clinton campaign has also failed to discover any problems.) Within 24 hours, Stein raised more money than she had gotten during her 2016 campaign for President. She met the deadline for Wisconsin, where a petition for a recount was received and acknowledged by state officials.


"Fidel Castro, Cuba's former president and leader of the Communist revolution, has died aged 90, state TV has announced. It provided no further details." (BBC) "Cuba will observe nine days of mourning for Fidel Castro, including a three-day journey by his ashes along the route taken by the rebel army he led on a victorious march across the island in 1959." (AP)

south america

"[Bolivian] President Evo Morales declared a national emergency, after the combined impact of the El Niño weather cycle, poor water management and climate change helped cause the country’s worst drought in 25 years. Water rationing is in effect for the first time ever in La Paz, where the three main reservoirs that provide the city’s water are almost dry." (TG)

"Colombian government officials and leftist rebels are expected to sign a revised peace deal Thursday before its submission to Congress for approval, provoking outrage from critics who want a nationwide referendum on any proposed agreement." (LAT)

"Police in Rio launched a vast operation Sunday in the City of God slum, where seven youths were found killed a day after four police officers died.... The security chief for the state of Rio, Roberto Sa, described the huge public safety operation, which includes an armored vehicle, as being open-ended." (AFP)

"Many of Brazil’s most powerful politicians – including its Foreign Minister, a majority of members of the lower House, and installed President Michel Temer himself – are implicated in [corruption] and are thus threatened with the possibility of prosecution." (TI)


"The European Parliament overwhelmingly called for a temporary freeze in talks on Turkey’s bid to join the European Union on Thursday, citing what it said were deteriorating human rights and democratic standards under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule." (WSJ)

"Police in Norway have filed charges against 51 men suspected of involvement in a massive paedophile ring. [...] Those arrested include two elected officials, one teacher and a lawyer. Norwegian police reportedly began their investigation after a tip-off from the FBI. The 51 facing charges can receive a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison." (TI)

"...civil liberty and human rights advocates oppose new rules that essentially allow authorities to spy and hack into communications of ordinary citizens [in the UK]." (LAT)

middle east

"...77 people, most of them Shia pilgrims from Iran and Afghanistan, have been killed in a truck bomb attack in Iraq, officials say." (BBC) At least 40 were wounded, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

"Wildfires near Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank have forced hundreds to flee their homes, after mass evacuations in Israel and more than a dozen arrests, police said Saturday." (AFP)

"A Syrian monitoring group alleged Tuesday that rebels are preventing dozens of families from fleeing eastern Aleppo as Russian-backed government forces intensify their bombardment of the besieged quarter." (NYT)


"The death toll following the derailment of a train in India's northern Uttar Pradesh state has reached at least 115, with more than 150 injured, police say." (BBC) India's railways are reportedly unusually dangerous, with 25,000 people dead in 2014 from accidents.

east asia

"South Korea’s president helped a longtime friend extort money from corporations and allowed her to receive classified documents, prosecutors said Sunday. The claims are the first formal accusations of wrongdoing by Park Geun-hye, who becomes the only South Korean president to face a criminal investigation while in office. The scandal has paralyzed her government and triggered the nation’s largest-ever street demonstrations calling for her ouster." (WSJ)

A platform collapsed at an under-construction power plant in China. Of the 70 workers on site, the accident killed 67 of them.

"South Korea and Japan have agreed to directly share military information such as satellite tracking of North Korea’s missiles, reflecting increasing concerns about the threat from Pyongyang’s accelerating weapons program. The pact, signed in Seoul on Wednesday, removes the need for the U.S. to be a go-between with intelligence from its allies..." (WSJ)

science and technology

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman admitted to editing posts made about him. The website's users near-universally condemned the editing, which was done without their knowledge or consent. Many were especially outraged because no evidence was left behind. No one would've known that the CEO edited their posts if he didn't admit to it.

Israeli researchers discovered a way to use malware to convert your headphones into microphones. This could enable determined hackers to spy on people who've removed or disabled microphones.

"The most advanced weather satellite ever built rocketed into space... part of an $11 billion effort to revolutionize forecasting and save lives." (AP)


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