ISIS declares caliphate. The Sunni extremist group announced the creation of the Islamic state spanning the territories now held in Iraq and Syria. The statement also announced that leader al-Baghdadi will serve as caliph of all Muslims. “Caliphate” refers to the system of religious government that once ruled in the Muslim world, although at that time the region was a great center of learning, and something tells me ISIS won’t live up to the legacy. Meanwhile, the U.S. will be sending 200 more troops to Iraq, bringing the total up to 500.
Bodies found in search for missing Israeli teens. The boys went missing on June 12, 2014, and the bodies were found near Hebron in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu placed blame on Hamas, the militant group currently ruling Gaza, and vowed to take revenge. Israeli forces have already arrested hundreds and killed at least eight Palestinians in a crackdown following the disappearance of the teens.
Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby. The Supremes have once again upheld the individual rights of corporations, this time setting precedent for religious exemptions from federal laws. In the challenge to the ACA’s birth control mandate, the court ruled that Hobby Lobby is not required to fully enforce the mandate due to religious objections.
Protests in Hong Kong. Thousands poured into the streets for a pro-democracy march intended to challenge Beijing’s rule. Hong Kong, which was once under British mandate and remains in many ways separate from the rest of China, also saw some 800,000 vote for a more democratic selection process for the city’s leading official.
Japan rewrites military clause in constitution. By lifting the longstanding ban on collective self-defense and easing restrictions on military operations abroad, Japan will be moving away from the pacifism that has defined the country’s foreign policy since World War II. The move could increase tension in the already volatile east Asian region, where U.S.-allied Japan and China find themselves often at odds.
Nicolas Sarkozy detained. OK, this is kind of complicated. The former French president was brought in by authorities for questioning in regards to an ongoing investigation into possibly using his influence to get information on another investigation looking into the possibility that former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi donated to his 2007 presidential campaign. He is the first modern French head of state to be brought in during an investigation, and boy-oh-boy, what a charge to make history with!