Donald Trump may be a world of chaos all by himself, but the world beyond Trump is changing in dramatic ways, often with little notice. We’d like to tell you about it and we’re keeping track of these global changes, from the incremental to the monumental, so that you don’t have to.This week: Politics loom over the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics; Assad ratchets up brutal campaign on rebel-held territory; Duterte gets a careful look from the Hague, and the #MeToo movement grows in France.
The Syrian regime kept up a brutal campaign against the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta, killing over 200 civilians by Friday. The onslaught of airstrikes, with support from Russia, continued despite a desperate plea from the UN for a break in the fighting to allow for humanitarian aid, and days after the U.S. condemned the regime for its repeated use of chemical weapons.
“There is nowhere for them to escape”: Assad’s latest offensive is killing hundreds of civilians in Syria / Alexa Liautaud
South Korea: Pyeongchang's politics
North and South Korea staged a remarkable show of unity as the 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off in Pyeongchang, South Korea, marching in the opening ceremony together under the same flag. You’d almost forget that a week before, U.S. President Donald Trump used a good chunk of his first State of the Union to blast Pyongyang as “depraved” amid reports that the White House is still mulling its “bloody nose” plan to launch a limited strike on the Hermit Kingdom.Trump’s words were not lost amid the Olympic cheer. “It’s a forewarning of how the Trump administration will handle the North Korean nuclear and missile issue in the future,” said Yoo Seung-min, chairperson of the center-right Bareun Party, at a recent parliamentary meeting. “War on the peninsula could be started by both North Korea and the United States.” Trump's "bloody nose" plan for North Korea could make a mess of the Olympics / Max S. KimU.S. officials didn’t seem to share in the Games’ glow either. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife were reportedly the only ones in their VIP box who didn’t stand up when the unified Korean squad entered the stadium. Mike Pence and “Mother” score VIP seats next to Kim's little sister / David Gilbert
Honduras: U.S. wades into a disputed election
President Juan Orlando Hernández’s controversial re-election in Honduras has thrown the fragile nation into crisis, and the U.S. has its fingerprints all over the situation. Despite widespread corruption scandals and political assassinations, the U.S. has stuck by Honduras’s military and police time and again. The result, critics say, is a government that now operates above the law.
VICE News visited the capital, Tegucigalpa, as protests were sweeping through the country. The U.S. is propping up a dictatorship in Honduras /David Noriega
That’s the share of terror attacks between 2011 and 2017 that were conducted by ISIS fighters returning to the U.S., according to a new report, which concluded that the threat from returning travelers appears to be highly “limited.” Threat of ISIS fighters returning to the U.S. is “miniscule compared to other countries,” experts say/Alexa Liautaud
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That’s how long it takes high-tech sunglasses being worn by Chinese police to recognize a suspect’s face in a crowd of 10,000 people. China just rolled out police glasses that track its citizens/ David Gilbert
That’s the level below which bitcoin fell at the lowest point of its volatile roller coaster ride last week, marking a stunning loss of over two-thirds of its value from a peak of more than $19,000 in December. Bitcoin just slid below $6000/ David Gilbert