TL;DR – TOP 10 STORIES FOR THE WEEK

  1. Barack Obama commuted sentences for hundreds of inmates, including Chelsea Manning
  2. Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States
  3. Women’s march
  4. “El Chapo” extradited
  5. Brazilian prisons remain unstable
  6. Three shootings in Mexico
  7. Bus crashes in Italy
  8. U.S. performs air strikes in Syria and Libya, some of Obama’s final actions
  9. Nigerian air force mistakenly bombs aid camp
  10. Turkish plane crashes into a village

Further information and more stories:

UNITED STATES

“President Obama on Thursday commuted the sentences of 330 inmates on his final full day in office, the White House announced. Obama has set a record with his aggressive use of clemency power. The 1,715 commutations granted during his eight years in office are more than any president in the nation’s history. Of those, 568 were sentenced to life in prison.” (TH)

“…Barack Obama has commuted Chelsea Manning’s sentence for leaking documents to Wikileaks in 2010. The 29-year-old transgender US Army private, born Bradley Manning, will be freed on 17 May instead of her scheduled 2045 release.” (BBC)

Donald Trump was officially sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. (Trump’s full speech.) Various protests occurred. Some turned violent, with protesters destroying property. The day after the inauguration, women around the world held a millions-strong march, congregating on every continent.

“Federal regulators have sued Navient, accusing the biggest U.S. student loan company of making it harder for borrowers to repay loans by giving them bad information, processing payments incorrectly and failing to act on complaints. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau filed the federal lawsuit… seeking restitution for affected borrowers and money penalties.” (NBC)

“FBI agents arrested the wife of the Orlando nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, at her home outside of San Francisco.” (NPR)

“Friday, the Justice Department announced charges against Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman following his extradition from Mexico to the United States. He landed Thursday evening on Long Island, N.Y., and Friday afternoon entered a plea of not guilty at a federal court in Brooklyn.” (NPR)

central & south america

“Brazilian authorities scrambled to secure the country’s overcrowded jails on Tuesday, while inmates took over one prison after a series of mass-killings by imprisoned gang members.” (AFP)

“A student at an American school in the north-eastern Mexican city of Monterrey has died after opening fire on classmates before fatally shooting himself, officials say. The 15-year-old, who injured a teacher and three other students in the attack, was said to have been suffering from depression.” (BBC)

Two other shootings in Mexico were thought to be linked to organized crime. Gunmen disrupted locations in popular tourist destinations Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

europe

“Some 300 U.S. Marines landed in Norway on Monday for a six-month deployment, the first time since World War Two that foreign troops have been allowed to be stationed there, in a deployment which has irked Norway’s Arctic neighbor Russia.” (Reuters)

“Rescuers in central Italy have found 10 survivors after an avalanche buried a mountain hotel – and six have been pulled out so far…. The avalanche struck the Rigopiano hotel, in the Abruzzo region, on Wednesday after several earthquakes. At least four people died and about 20 are still missing. Deep snow blocking the access road hampered the rescue.” (BBC)

“A bus carrying schoolchildren has crashed and caught fire in northern Italy, killing at least 16 people, emergency officials say… another 39 people had been injured.” (BBC)

“A top London university has admitted to spying on its staff and students as part of government efforts to prevent radicalisation on campus. A notice on the King’s College London (KCL) email login page warns members that emails can be ‘monitored and recorded’ under the Government’s controversial anti-terror strategy Prevent.” (TI)

MIDDLE EAST

“A US military air strike in north-western Syria has killed more than 100 al-Qaeda militants at a training camp, the Pentagon says…. the camp in Idlib province had been in operation since 2013. The attack involved a B-52 bomber and an undisclosed number of drones, officials said. The strike on Thursday was the second major US military attack in the final hours of Barack Obama’s presidency.” (BBC)

“Netanyahu says in video message that his country is a ‘friend’ of the Iranian people, who are ‘shackled by a theocratic tyranny'” (TIS)

Africa

“More than 80 Islamic State militants, some of whom were believed to be plotting attacks in Europe, died in U.S. air strikes on camps outside the group’s former North African stronghold of Sirte in Libya, the United States said on Thursday.” (Reuters)

“A suicide bomber in an explosives-laden vehicle penetrated a camp in northern Mali on Wednesday, killing at least 60 people and wounding 115 soldiers and former fighters who are trying to stabilize the region.” (AP)

“A Nigerian air force jet has mistakenly bombed a camp for displaced people near Rann in the north-east, killing up to 100 people and injuring dozens more. Aid workers are among the dead, with the Red Cross saying six of its employees were killed.” (BBC)

“Forces loyal to Marshal Khalifa Haftar on Monday retook a district in Libya’s Benghazi from jihadists after fighting that killed nine soldiers in two days, a military source said.” (AFP)

“After weeks of uncertainty and political tension, the longtime ruler of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has boarded a plane to fly into exile. On Dec. 1, [he] lost an election…. Initially, Jammeh accepted the result — then, a week later, he changed his mind. He issued a state of emergency, and later Parliament extended his term in hopes of easing tensions. Troops from regional powers gathered at the border, prepared to take military action if Jammeh did not step down, and international pressure against him mounted.” (NPR)

Asia

“After nearly three years, the fruitless search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has ended” (AP) Families of the victims called the decision “irresponsible.”

“A Turkish cargo plane flying from Hong Kong has crashed into a village in Kyrgyzstan, killing all four crew and at least 33 people on the ground.” (BBC) An official said “pilot error” was the cause of the crash.

“South Korea’s culture minister was arrested Saturday for allegedly creating a ‘blacklist’ of nearly 10,000 artists who voiced criticism of impeached President Park Geun-Hye, the Yonhap news agency said. Cho Yoon-Sun is accused of creating the vast catalogue to starve the artists of government subsidies and private investments and place them under state surveillance.” (AFP)