Tag Archives: world news

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Ukraine Roundup #2: Nov-Dec


This is the second update for the ongoing Ukraine War, in hopes that it will help inform and educate members of our CVU community on global affairs and events. By informing our local communities, we can stay informed on the affairs of other countries and the actions taken by our countries leaders in response. 

Ahead of the coming G7 summit; hosted by Germany, questions have been raised over the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The conflict is one of many that the nation’s leaders have said to be discussing, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenski to attend the summit virtually. The summit has been called due to a recent call that occurred between Zelenski and President Biden in early December.

According to NBC News, Putin has recently conducted a visit to Belarus where Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the country was Russia’s “number one ally” and the Kremlin hinted at its potential plan to conduct a “special military operation” with Belarus. 

CNBC has also reported that multiple Russian drones have struck key infrastructure points in Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, with Ukrainian forces claiming to have shot down over 30 “kamikaze” drones within the city. This event demonstrates how drone warfare may be a precursor to how future wars will be fought not with boots on the ground, but with machines programmed to kill.

Although the war is still ongoing, hopefully developments at the upcoming G7 summit can pave the road for a swift end to the almost year long conflict that has claimed thousands of lives in the process. 





Ukraine War UPDATES: September Roundup


Although the ongoing Ukraine conflict is thousands of miles away, it is important for our CVU community to stay informed of real world events even when we are not directly affected.

Since the beginning of the conflict in late February, the Ukrainian forces have steadily begun to push back against the Russians, although it is still an uphill climb. Steady advances have been made against the Russians in the Ukrainian city of Kyiv, and other areas of Ukraine’s Eastern front.

According to NPR, on September 19th, a Russian missile has also reportedly detonated within just 900 feet of a Ukrainian nuclear reactor, which would be the second strike against a nuclear facility since the start of the war. This event has elevated previous concerns of safety, and potential nuclear disasters that could occur from these strikes.

As of September 10th, Ukraine has recaptured the Russian held territory of Izium, discovering mass graves of hundreds of people, soldiers and civilians, although the full extent of the potential massacre is unknown, sparking the call for more investigation into possible war crimes.

On September 20th, President Putin ordered the partial militarization of an additional 300,000 reserve troops, as a message that the Ukraine conflict is far from over. In the same address, Putin again hinted at a possible nuclear threat, further escalating tensions with the West.

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Murder, journalism, and justice: everything you need to know about Jamal Khashoggi’s death

By Ian Dunkley

Journalism and freedom of press are integral to the foundation of the free world. As such it is vital to protect our freedom of speech and the right to report on the events of the world. Journalism has become so important to modern society that DC officials have renamed a street name in honor of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in protest against his murder on October 2nd, 2018. 

Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist, specifically known for his criticism of the Saudi Arabian government. Mr. Khashoggi was best known for his work covering the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of Osama Bin Laden, the late leader of al-Qaeda. He wasn’t always in opposition with the Saudi Arabian government, in fact, for years he worked as an advisor to the government. He was also close with the royal family, until his self-inflicted exile to the United States in 2017. 

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Once in the States, Mr. Khashoggi worked as a writer for the Washington Post. Through this platform, he began to voice his criticism of the Saudi government and the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salma. Although he frequently wrote about his fears of being arrested, he was forced to visit a Saudi consulate located in Istanbul, Turkey, to pick up divorce paperwork. He visited the consulate on September 28th, 2018, and he was instructed to return on October 2nd to receive the paperwork. He returned to the consulate with his finance Ms Cengiz and told her to wait for him. “He did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil,” Ms Cengiz wrote. Mr. Khashoggi was last seen entering the building on CCTV footage.

Using this footage as evidence, the Saudi government denied any involvement in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. Prince Mohammed of the royal family even went as far as to say that he had left the consulate. “after a few minutes or one hour [...] We have nothing to hide”. This official sequence of events was propagated for more than two weeks. Then on October 20th investigations revealed that Mr. Khashoggi had in fact died of an overdose. It was speculated that this occurred during a struggle where he was injected with a large dose of drugs. A local collaborator then was brought in to dispose of his corpse.


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 In the end, five people admitted to the murder while another 21 were arrested. Those involved denied the prince’s involvement with the murder, “[The crown prince] did not have any knowledge about it”. Five senior government officials were removed in response to the controversy. Punishment was harsh. Five people were sentenced to death and another 3 were given 24-year prison sentences. Only 3 of the accused were found to be innocent. These sentences have been controversial, with several arguments about the severity of the punishments, and others claiming the operation goes higher than a rogue group. 

Ms Callamard , a human rights advocate, said the trial represented “the antithesis of justice”, where the “masterminds” were never caught. Unfortunately, no definite answers can be provided as the case continues to evolve. 

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Recently, yet another suspect has been apprehended in Paris. The suspect’s name is Khaled Aedh Alotaibi and he was a member of the Royal Guard. The reason for his arrest came from his proximity to the location of Mr. Khashoggi’s murder. Mr. Khaled arrived at the consulate on October 2nd and was staying in the consulate’s general residential area. The importance of his arrest was that he may have answers to questions that the other convicted offenders do not. Being a member of the Royal Guard puts the suspect in connection with higher government officials. As the story is still evolving, perhaps this breakthrough will finally solve the level of involvement of the Saudi Arabian government.

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