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This Week In World: New Zealand, Iraq, and More

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New Zealand Christchurch Mosque Massacre

In an event that shocked the world, an attack on two New Zealand mosques left 50 dead last Friday. Most of the victims died to a self-titled white supremacist. The same man also hated immigrants, specifically targeting Muslims due to his belief that they were responsible for many attacks across Europe. He also released a sloppily written 74-page manifesto on Facebook.

The man, named Brenton Harrison Tarrant, live-streamed the attack from a camera mounted onto a helmet. Tarrant and two other suspects appeared in court for the massacre. However, one of the other suspects was released without charge, and the other given a charge unrelated to the massacre. As a result, New Zealand recently voted to ban all assault weapons, a mere 6 days after the event.

Iraq Ferry Accident Kills 80

More than 80 died after a ferry sank in the Iraqi city Mosul. Out of nearly 200 people on board, reports say most of them couldn’t swim. The ferry was heading towards a tourist island for a new years celebration. The ferry had overturned, and the current of the river prevented many people from swimming effectively.

Many people are blaming the ferry driver for ignoring advice warning the rising tide of the river. In addition, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi ordered an investigation “to determine responsibilities”. He called the event a “tragedy” and ordered a countrywide three day mourning period.

US Announces New North Korean Sanctions

The US sanctioned two China-based shipping companies claimed to have helped North Korea evade international sanctions over their nuclear weapons program. These are the first steps since US’s and North Koreas summit meeting collapsed last month. In addition, the US Treasury released an updated advisory containing a list of 67 ships suspected of engaging in illicit practices.

“The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related U.N. Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

Trump Says Its Time To Recognize Golan Heights As Israeli Territory

US President Trump announced that it was finally time to recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory. Israeli forces captured the territory from Syria in 1967. However, Syria and the rest of the world refused to acknowledge the annexation, which occurred in ’81. As a response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his thanks to President Trump. Syria has yet to respond but has consistently attempted to regain control of the area since ’67.

May Urges British Lawmakers To Reconsider Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she “deeply regrets” asking for an extension for her Brexit deal. The plan, which has been rejected by the European Union twice now, is set to be finally settled on June 30th. May recently urged MP’s to back her plan. “I passionately hope that (MPs) will find a way to back the deal I have negotiated with the EU, a deal that delivers on the referendum and is the very best deal negotiable, and I will continue to work night and day to secure the support,” she said in a statement.