International stories to focus on

Condemnations of Roy Moore Continue

On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan joined the ranks of congressional Republicans calling on Roy Moore, Alabama’s Republican Senate Nominee, to end his candidacy. This comes on the heels of revelations that Moore had pursued sexual relationships with multiple teenagers, while in his thirties These allegations come from The Washington Post, which last week published a report citing a woman named Leigh Corfman, who said that Moore had initiated sexual contact with the then 14-year-old, an act characterised under Alabama law as sexual abuse in the second degree.

Ryan’s condemnation of Moore called for the candidate to step aside, declaring that the allegations “are credible” and that if Moore “cares about the values that he claims to care about, then he should step aside.” Ryan’s call for the end of Moore’s candidacy joins Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many congressional Republicans calling for Moore to drop out of the race. Moore has categorically denied the allegations of sexual misconduct against him and characterized the Republicans in Washington as  “forces of evil” trying to keep him out of the Senate.

However, even formly friendly Washington Republicans like Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a former senator from Alabama who has friends on the Moore campaign, have dropped their support. Sessions has stated publically that while he will not actually comment on Moore’s candidacy because he believes a conflict of interest exists, he has “no reason to doubt [the] young women.”


Theresa May Accuses Russia of Election Meddling

In a speech on Monday, British Prime Minister Theresa May contradicted President Donald Trump’s weekend comments about the trustworthiness of Russian President Vladimir Putin and issued a strong rebuke of Russian involvement in foreign elections, calling the actions of the world’s largest country a threat to “the international order on which we all depend.“ Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London, May accused Russia of meddling in elections and creating fake news stories in order to “weaponize information” in order to destabilize the West.  May claimed that since the Russian invasion of Crimea, the state has “fomented conflict in the Donbass [eastern Ukraine], repeatedly violated the national airspace of several European countries, and mounted a sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption.” May also faulted Russia for its attacks on the Danish defense ministry and the German parliament.

The Prime Minister said she hoped that in the future Russia could become a productive, rule-following member of the global community. However, she warned of dire consequences if Russia continued on its current path. Despite the U.K.’s desire to avoid a “return to the Cold War, or to be in a state of perpetual confrontation,” it would have no choice but to act to protect its own and its allies’ interests.


Myanmar military falsely clears itself of wrongdoing in Rohingya crisis

Myanmar’s military has issued a report clearing itself of allegations that its soldiers raped and murdered innocent Rohingya Muslims during the still ongoing Rohingya crisis. Amnesty International immediately criticised the release, calling it a blatant attempt to “sweep serious violations against the Rohingya under the carpet.”

The military says the report, which comes on the heels of over 600,000 Rohingya fleeing Myanmar fearing for their personal safety and in some cases their lives, was conducted by interviewing 2,817 Rohingya, as well as other ethnic groups, between Oct. 13 and Nov. 7.

Amnesty and other international watchdog groups say that the military is lying. “There is overwhelming evidence that the military has murdered and raped Rohingya and burned their villages to the ground.”

The statement continues: “After recording countless stories of horror and using satellite analysis to track the growing devastation we can only reach one conclusion: these attacks amount to crimes against humanity.”

The Rohingya are not recognized as citizens in Myanmar, who view them as illegal immigrants from the former East Bengal (now Bangladesh). They are not even recognized as an official ethnic group in the country, despite the fact that before the crisis of the last year there were over a million Rohingya living in Myanmar.

For many Rohingya, Myanmar is the only country they’ve ever lived in. Despite this, the Rohingya have restrictions on owning property in Myanmar and are subject to having the land they are given removed at any time. They also had limited travel rights and educational options within Myanmar. Over the last year the oppression of the Rohingya turned into outright violence, as the military in Myanmar have killed and raped innocent civilians and burned their villages down in what the international community is now recognizing as an ethnic cleansing.