Global Beat: Harvey’s Destruction, ISIL in Iraq, and More
September 1, 2017

Global Beat is your weekly stop for news from around the world. Join us every Friday morning for important stories you should know about. 

This week, Mexico offers assistance to the United States in dealing with the destructive aftermath of Hurricane Harvey; Iraqi forces announce the liberation of ISIL-stronghold Tal Afar; the Somali government grants al Shabaab defectors amnesty for completing a rehabilitation program; and more.

____________________

Americas

As Hurricane Harvey devastates swaths of Texas, leaving entire cities underwater and emergency responders overwhelmed, the Trump administration has not yet decided whether to accept Mexico’s offer for "help and cooperation" to deal with the natural disaster. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised Mexico’s generosity in a meeting with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray Caso, aiming to defuse a potential sore point between two neighbors already sharply at odds over NAFTA and President Trump’s proposed border wall. The official statement from the White House said, "If a need for assistance does arise, we will work with our partners, including Mexico, to determine the best way forward."

Also check out:

Central & South Asia

Over 1,200 people have been killed and millions more left homeless following devastating monsoon rains that hit India, Bangladesh, and Nepal in one of the worst flooding disasters to have affected the region in years. Flooding brought activity in India’s financial capital of Mumbai to a halt as the streets turned into rivers and people waded through waist-deep waters. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent said that more than 8 million Bangladeshis have been affected by the flooding, the worst in 40 years. In Nepal, thousands of homes have been destroyed and dozens of people swept away. Elephants were put to work, wading through rushing waters to rescue people, while aid workers built rafts from bamboo and banana leaves. Rescue missions launched by the National Disaster Response Force have been thwarted by the continuous rain.

Also check out:

China & East Asia

The North Korean government escalated tensions with the United States and its allies once again by launching a missile over Japan early Tuesday morning. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe denounced the launch as an "unprecedented and grave threat" to the country’s security. In a phone call with President Trump, the leaders agreed to call for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation. Trump appeared to rule out contact with the North Korean regime in the wake of its missile test over Japan on Wednesday, declaring on Twitter that "talking is not the answer." The statement was contradicted minutes later by U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who told reporters, "We’re never out of diplomatic solutions." Meanwhile, Russia and China said U.S. military activity in the region was partly to blame for the increase in tensions and urged negotiations.

Also check out:

Europe & Russia

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a meeting with six other European and African leaders in Paris this week aimed at cutting migration into Europe from northern Africa in return for aid. The migration crisis in the EU has strained relations between member states who have struggled to agree upon a coherent strategy to deal with the influx of people fleeing war, poverty, and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa. Macron announced that the mini-summit had resulted in a "short-term plan of action" that would address as a matter of urgency the people-smugglers who he said had turned the Mediterranean into a "cemetery." European leaders are also beginning to address the root causes of the crisis. Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti met 14 Libyan mayors for a second time on Saturday to talk about their needs, including funds to ensure there were economic alternatives to human trafficking.

Also check out:

Middle East & North Africa

Iraqi forces have announced the liberation of Tal Afar, ISIL’s stronghold in the northwest of the country, according to military officials. The battle to retake the city was fierce, involving some 50,000 personnel from the army, air force, federal police, special forces, and the Shia-led paramilitary Popular Mobilization force. Iraqi troops are still fighting to oust ISIL from the nearby town of Ayadiya, where hundreds of ISIL fighters have taken sniper positions from inside almost every home. The battle is being described by Iraqi army officers as "multiple times worse" than last month’s vicious battle for Mosul’s Old City. Meanwhile, the provisional council of Iraq’s oil-producing Kirkuk region has announced that a vote will take place in September to decide on Kurdish independence. The ethnically-mixed region is claimed by both the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq.

Also check out:

Southeast Asia & Oceania

As ISIL loses ground in Syria and Iraq, the terror group is attempting to expand its presence into Southeast Asia. The Philippine city of Marawi, where government security forces have been fighting for three months to rout out militants suspected of ties to ISIL, has been placed under martial rule until the end of the year. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced Tuesday that Australia has offered to help train the Philippine military in its fight against extremists. Bishop said she had outlined the offer to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, but that he has not yet responded. The United States, Malaysia, and Indonesia have also offered to help.

Also check out:

Sub-Saharan Africa

As the Somali military and allied forces continue their air assault against al Shabaab in East Africa, 70 al Shabaab defectors have just been granted amnesty by the Somali government after completing a program aimed at rehabilitating low-level foot soldiers and reintegrating them into Somali society. Defectors are sent to rehabilitation facilities in Mogadishu, Baidoa, and Beledweyne, where they undergo vocational training and get religious lessons aimed at guiding them away from al Shabaab’s radical interpretation of Islam. The Somali government says thousands of former militants have passed through the rehabilitation center since the program was launched in 2009.

Also check out:

 

Stay informed. We’ll see you here again next week.

Find a Member

Find a Member

Link

Get Involved

Get Involved

Link