General el-Sisi sworn in as Egypt’s president. After a lackluster voter turnout prompted an extension in voting hours, Gen. Abdel el-Sisi has been elected and inaugurated as president. The win was expected, as el-Sisi became the interim leader of Egypt following the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi. El-Sisi is seen as the leader of what some have described as a military coup, and his win is not expected to bring about reforms.
President Obama takes on student loan debt. On Tuesday, Obama announced an executive order expanding the number of borrowers able to reduce monthly payments to 10 percent of discretionary income. Obama also called on Congress to support Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill allowing students to refinance loans. With many students struggling under large debt burdens, the move could provide relief to millions.
World Cup set to begin. This week marks the beginning of the FIFA World Cup, the largest sporting event on Earth for all countries besides the United States. The event has been marred, however, by protests in Brazil over corruption, evictions, and the high cost of hosting. It drew further criticism when a monorail built for the World Cup collapsed and killed a worker. This week also saw concern raised about Qatar, host to the 2022 game.
Boko Haram abducts 20 more women. The militant group took the women from a nomadic settlement in northern Nigeria. The practice of kidnapping women and girls came to international attention earlier this year, when Boko Haram attacked and took 300 girls from a boarding school. Those hostages continue to be held, despite efforts by the Nigerian government and international forces.
Reuven Rivlin to replace Shimon Peres as Israeli president. The parliamentary vote came on the heels of Peres’s visit to the Vatican with Palestinian President Abbas. The Israeli presidency is largely a symbolic role, having no formal hand in the peace process. Despite Rivlin being a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own Likud party, the PM did his best to subvert the campaign. One tactic used was trying to get rid of the presidency entirely.
Ebola deaths double in Sierra Leone. The deadly virus continues to spread in Western Africa, with Sierra Leone’s toll now reaching 12. Neighboring Guinea is where the outbreak began, while difficulty in keeping people from moving has spread the incurable disease.
Iran’s Rouhani visits Turkey. The first visit by President Rouhani is intended to boost trade between Iran and one of the country’s key partners, although Syria is also on the table for discussion. Turkey has taken a hard stance on Bashar al-Assad from the outset of the conflict, while Iran remains closely allied with the al-Assad government. Turkey has seen large protests in recent months, and this week saw a rise in Kurdish protests in the south.
Iraqi prime minister declares state of emergency. PM Maliki made the declaration after militants took the city of Mosul and claimed control of the northern Nineveh province. The fighters, who freed prisoners and have carried out attacks in four other provinces in recent days, are believed to be part of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaeda affiliate.
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