Al-Shabaab kills 56 in two days of attacks in Kenya. The Somali militant group is reportedly targeting non-Muslims and those who cannot speak Somali. Gunmen attacked coastal towns near Lamu and Mpeketoni, going door-to-door shooting those who did not identify as Muslim. The group has taken responsibility for the attacks, citing persecution of Muslims in Kenya.
U.S. weighs options in Iraq. President Obama stated that all options are on the table, including airstrikes, as 275 troops began preparing to go to Iraq. Secretary of State Kerry said cooperation with Iran is being considered, and may be discussed in the sidelines of the upcoming nuclear talks. Meanwhile, ISIS fighters are now within 37 miles of Baghdad. The group released a video allegedly showing the mass execution of 1,700 Iraqi troops over the weekend.
Egyptian authorities release Al Jazeera journalist. After 306 days of being held without charges and 147 days of hunger striking, Abdullah Elshamy is being released on medical grounds. The journalist was arrested while covering a pro-Morsi protest during last August’s controversial coup. Four other Al Jazeera journalists are being held, with a verdict expected in their case on June 23.
Fierce competition in the World Cup. It’s been an exciting competition so far, with host country Brazil winning their opener by a two-point margin. Reigning champions Spain lost 5–1 against the Netherlands Friday, a major upset. Over the weekend, Germany trounced Portugal with a 4–0 win. On Monday, the U.S. team pulled a victory against Ghana with a rapid-fire goal that broke a 1–1 draw.
Russia cuts gas to Ukraine. Gazprom, a huge supplier of Russian gas to Europe, cut the supply to Ukraine after the Ukrainian government missed a payment deadline Monday. The payment of $2 billion was requested on past deliveries, but it is believed to be politically motivated as separatist movements continue to clash with Ukrainian forces.
Supreme Court upholds ban on “straw purchases” of guns. The 5–4 ruling upholds strict enforcement of a federal ban on third-party sales, a tactic that can bypass background checks. The ban makes it illegal to buy a gun for someone else, although it is extremely difficult for law enforcement to monitor these kinds of transactions unless another crime brings it to light.
Executive order being drafted to ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors. Once signed, the ban will impact any company holding federal contracts.
The plight of child migrants comes to light. This week images and stories flooded the media, bringing attention to the high number of children sent across the border into the United States. Most children come from Central American countries, fleeing unrest and economic hardship. Once here, children caught are placed in packed housing to await possible deportation. With immigration reform a hot button issue, the young people sent here by their parents have become a symbol for both sides of the debate and an important display of why reform is necessary.
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