Yemen – The Yemen civil war, which currently pits Houthi rebels against the Yemeni government and its Saudi-backed coalition, has waged for over two years and the humanitarian situation in the area has become dire. “Yemen faces a famine of Biblical proportions,” says Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and advisor to the U.N. on Syrian humanitarian operations.
Egeland, who is currently in Yemen surveying the state of humanitarian efforts, argues that an immediate influx of cash and food is the only thing stopping the current flow of aid from stopping in by July. Current aid efforts have only reached 3.1 million of the 7 million people current standing on the brink of famine in Yemen. Without further international assistance or a cessation of the conflict, millions of Yemeni people will die as a second order effect of the ongoing civil war.
Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a new constitution during a government-sponsored May Day rally this week and issued a decree calling for a citizens’ assembly to write it. President Maduro, whose socialist policies have led to a 700% rise in inflation and severe shortages of food and medicine, says that the new constitution will prevent a coup by the opposition and promote peace.
Venezuela has been embroiled in almost daily protests as the economy continues its headfirst plunge into a death spiral. Opposition leaders have argued that President Maduro’s calls for a new constitution represent little more than an attempt to secure more power and weaken the National Assembly, Venezuela’s opposition-controlled legislature, according to BBC.
England – According to the director of the European Union’s police agency, Europol, ISIS is developing its own social media platform to avoid scrutiny and security crackdowns on their communications and recruiting methods. Europol Director Rob Wainwright said that the platform was discovered during an online crackdown on ISIS and al Qaeda material, which revealed over 2,000 extremists on fifty-two social media platforms.
Jihadists such as ISIS have traditionally used mainstream social media like Facebook to communicate and recruit potential members. These companies, however, have received pressure to curb extremists’ efforts to use their platforms. This pressure has caused ISIS to begin development of a social media network, making it harder to stem the online Jihadist tide.
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