Liberal Democrat Spokesman has created pressure for this investigation. (Image courtesy of the Guardian)

Liberal Democrat Spokesman has created pressure for this investigation. (Image courtesy of the Guardian)

Investigation regarding funding for jihadi and extremist groups located in the UK.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,  has taken a great step in eradicating the jihadi threat in his country. Under pressure from the Liberal Democrats, he has authorized an investigation into funding outside of the country for such terrorist groups, led by a new extremism analysis unit, directed by Downing Street. States around the Peruvian Gulf are suspected. However, this may lead to a standoff between countries. The Liberal Democrats spokesman for home affairs has stated, “External funding of extremist organisations from states like Saudi Arabia needs to be investigated and cracked down on if we’re to be successful in countering this poisonous ideology.”

Source and more information can be found here. 

Expansion of global air pollution has become an increasing cause of fatalities.


Increasing cloud of Smog in Central London (2011) (Image Courtesy of the Guardian)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new data which heavily implies the rising issue of global air pollution. With data taken from 2 000 cities, large clouds of toxic fumes from power generation, transportation, and construction, have been found to be sources of air pollution. Images have been procured from the International Space Station, which show places such as London’s excessive emission of nitrogen dioxide. There are many development issues trying to address the problem at hand, such as UK’s ideas of expanding Heathrow airport, which would create more emissions from international travel. As a direct result of data from the United Nations, there about 3.3 million premature deaths due to air pollution related fatalities, such as strokes, heart attacks and even dementia. Due to the continuously rising phenomenon of air pollution, it has been labelled as a health emergency.

Source and more information can be found here. 

Rumours regarding ban on tobacco by Turkmenistan president.

Turkmenistan is a highly closed country, with media being reported as the country with the third-worst press freedom in the entire world. However, there is word leaked out of the country regarding the latest regulation enforced by the president – a ban on all tobacco sales. This was enforced by the president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow. Furthermore, Atadurd Odmanov, head of the state service for protecting the health of society, was stripped of his rank due to his failures in enforcing the strict rule. It’s rumored that shops may face a fine of up to £1,200 if cigarette sales are conducted. Being an authoritarian ruler, all political opposition is banned and many policies are being strictly regulated, along with abuse of many minority groups.

Source and more information can be found here. 

Taiwan elects its first female president.


Ms. Tsai, 59, won the Taiwan elections over the KMT who ruled for seventy years (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Tsai Ing-Wen, leader of the Democratic Progressive Party which hopes to achieve independence from China, won the elections with a commanding lead over her opponent, Eric Chu of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), who stepped down shortly after.  Mr. Chu was the mayor of New Taipei City and stepped up to become the chairman of the party. The KMT has been in power for the last 70 years, and has improved its relations with Beijing. Taiwan is seen as a “breakaway province” by China and has been threatened to be taken back by force if necessary. The election reflected not only the dissatisfaction of the KMT over the lacklustre economy, but also the worries that Taiwan may become too economically dependent on China, preventing them from countering pressures to reunify with China. Basically, the voters wanted good relations with other countries, but more importantly sovereignty, democracy and self rule. Ms. Tsai believes that this is a “new era” for Taiwan, and promises to work with other political parties to achieve their goals. In her speech, she also thanked the US and Japan for their support, and vowed to keep peace and stability.

Source and more information can be found here.

Four US prisoners released by Iran.

In this January 18, 2016 handout photo provided by the Washington Post former Iranian prisoner Jason Rezaian(L) poses with his wife Yeganeh Salehi(2nd-L), mother Mary Rezaian and brother Ali Rezaian(R). Jason Rezaian, was freed January 16 after almost 18 months of incarceration in an Iranian prison. / AFP / The Washington Post / MARTIN BARON / == NO SALES / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE / MANDATORY CREDIT: "AFP PHOTO / HANDOUT / MARTIN BARON / THE WASHINGTON POST "/ NO MARKETING / NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS / DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS == MARTIN BARON/AFP/Getty Images

Former Iranian prisoner Jason Rezaian reunites with his family after more than a year in prison (Image courtesy of Getty Images)

Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmati, and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, dual US-Iran citizens, were released from prison this Saturday, and the former three flew to Switzerland, then Germany on Sunday. International sanctions on Iran were lifted as part of the nuclear deal accepted last year. As part of the deal, the US offered clemency to seven Iranian prisoners for sanctions violation. Rezaian was a news reporter who was detained for more than a year for charges including espionage. After his arrest in 2014, there were doubts and uncertainty regarding his accusations, including vigorous denials from his newspaper. President Obama said that he would not rest until Rezaian was freed. Iran called it a “prisoner swap”, indicating that he might have been used as a bargaining chip.

Source and more information can be found here