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The United States is slowly removing troops from Afghanistan despite not having reached a peace deal with the Taliban. According to the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin S. Miller, the US has removed about 2,000 troops from Afghanistan in the past year. US negotiators had used removing troops from the area as a bargaining tactic with the Taliban, however, President Donald Trump abruptly ended peace talks in August and it appears that troops will be removed from the area with or without a deal with the Taliban.

Original article by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Mujib Mashal, Oct. 21, 2019. The New York Times.

Jakarta, Indonesia

Indonesia swore in President Joko Widido for a second term Sunday Oct. 20, in the midst of protests against him. Many Indonesian citizens have been protesting against Widido since his election victory in April due to his willingness to limit personal freedoms and his opposition to anti-corruption efforts. While Widido wished to keep the inauguration event low key, at least 31,000 police officers and military personnel were present.

Original article by Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono, Oct. 21, 2019. The New York Times.


The World Health Organization (WHO) is continuing the emergency status for the Ebola outbreak in Congo. The amount of new cases has declined from 128 per week in April down to just 15 per week but WHO said that getting the cases down to zero will still be difficult. Despite the introduction of two effective treatments, the fatality rate in the area is still 67%. WHO anticipates that the emergency status will stay in effect for between one and three months.

Original article by Donald G. McNeil Jr., Oct. 18, 2019. The New York Times.

Shchetinkino, Russia

A dam at a Russian gold mine collapsed this week killing at least 15 people. Two workers dormitories were flooded after the small dam collapsed at around 6 a.m. due to heavy rains. In addition to the 15 workers who were killed, seven are still unaccounted for and 16 were injured. According to Russia’s agency for technological and ecological oversight the dam was not registered or approved for use.

Original article by Associated Press, Oct. 19, 2019. The New York Times.