News Briefs from Around the World

YEMEN

According to the Washington Post, over 7.3 million Yemenis are now in need of significant humanitarian aid. Jamie McGoldrick, the top U..N humanitarian official for Yemen said that “the escalation of the conflict and militarization of Yemen’s western coast is coming at a great cost to civilians.”

Last month, a U.S. raid on an al-Qaeda controlled village resulted in the deaths of nearly 40 civilians, 15 of whom were women and children.

Airstrikes by a U.S.-backed, Saudi coalition have destroyed bridges and roads that formerly allowed access to necessities such as medical and food supplies for civilians.

McGoldrick said, “the best means to avoid famine in Yemen is for weapons to fall silent across the country.”

SOUTH AFRICA

On Feb. 24, anti-immigrant protestors led a vio- lent march into the country’s capital, Pretoria. Waves of anti-immigrant sentiment have accumulated over the past few years, as some South Africans accuse for- eign migrants of taking away jobs or undermining locals by setting up small businesses in poor townships, as reported by the New York Times.

According to CNN, the unemployment rate in South Africa surpassed 26 percent in 2016, fueling anti-immigrant sentiment, despite no statistical proof that foreign migrants are in fact contributing to this unemployment rate.

President Jacob Zuma expressed his disapproval of these riots, saying that “many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law-abiding and contribute to the economy positively.” He also spoke out against stereotyping and xenophobia, saying “it’s wrong to brand all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers.”

Russia

Thousands of Russians marched in Moscow, and other cities, to remember Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister who was murdered in February 2015. During his life, Nemtsov was an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin. At the time of his murder, Nemtsov was working on a report that revealed Russian involvement in a separatist movement in eastern Ukraine, according to Al Jazeera. The Russian government has since denied these accusations.

An organizer of the march and Russian opposition activist Ilya Yashin said the purpose of the march was to “demand bringing Nemtsov’s killers to justice, along with political reforms and release of political prisoners,” as reported by Reuters.

The march demonstrated that there are still thou- sands in Russia who are prepared to fight for a more democratic government, but they remain the minority.Those who live in more rural areas outside of major cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg are more inclined to be satisfied with the current political situation under Putin.

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