And in the rest of the world…

Jan 16, 2016 11.21AM |

THIS week has been a terrible one for the world, with two terror incidents across two continents within a day of each other – and it seems there has been yet another attack in Burkina Faso today. With calls for solidarity and condolences by everyone from world leaders to social media users, the world stands united in the face of such acts of terror.

Speaking of unity, US President Barack Obama attempted to deliver a rallycall in his last State of the Union Address before finishing his full eight-year term in office, but received either fiery or chilly responses from the Republicans as usual. With the race to be the next president heating up, it doesn’t seem like the US is going to get much (political) unity soon.

For an example of a fiery response, do check out the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s speech about the recent reports of famines occurring in Syria.

Moving away from the political front, the global arts scene has lost some of its greats this week, with the passing of British cultural titans David Bowie and Alan Rickman. Both will definitely be much missed by their friends, loved ones, and fans.

The all-white nominees of this year’s Oscars have also garnered more than a few raised eyebrows from people, especially when it was previously announced that more would be done to introduce greater diversity in the awards show. Are words being eaten now, or is this part of the “doing more”?

Here’s what this week in the rest of the world looks like, on a map. Interested to know more about the world’s happenings for this week? Read on.

Ahmed Davutoğlu

“We will continue our fight against terrorism with the same resolve and will never take a step back.”

On Tuesday, suicide bombers attacked Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, Turkey, killing ten Germans tourists in the deadliest attacks on Germans abroad in more than 13 years. In its aftermath, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoğlu has pledged renewed efforts against future terrorist threats.

Joko Widodo

“We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people.”

On Thursday, a series of explosions and a gunfight broke out on Jarkarta’s Thamrin Street, a major shopping and business district which houses foreign embassies and United Nations offices. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack which killed at least seven people, five of which were the attackers.

David Bowie

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

Singer, songwriter, record producer, painter, and actor David Bowie passed away last Sunday of cancer. Widely considered an innovator in his field in the 1970s, many emotional tributes have been paid to his theatrical style of performance, and the impact he had left on the music and film industry.

Ban Ki-moon

“Let me be clear: the use of food as a weapon of war is a war crime.”

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned all parties involved in the Syrian civil war for using food as a weapon. Famines have been a common occurrence in Syria after all belligerents started withholding food from civilians. An estimated 400,000 Syrians have been denied humanitarian aid.

Barack Obama

“The future we want […] all that is within our reach. But it will only happen if we work together. […] It will only happen if we fix our politics.”

In his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama reflected on the achievements made by Americans in his past seven years, such as the robust recovery of the economy after the 2008 global financial crisis. While there was the usual heavy criticism of Obama by the right, the official Republican response acknoweledged “there was plenty of blame to go around” for the gridlocked government.

Alan Rickman

“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theatre, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.”

Most noted for his powerful character portrayals, British stage and film actor Alan Rickman passed away on Thursday, after a long battle with cancer. Tributes have poured in from many of his colleagues and contemporaries, including J. K. Rowling, and Daniel Radcliffe, who worked with him on his most famous role from the Harry Potter franchise – Professor Severus Snape.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs

“We have got to speed it up.”

When the Oscar nominations were released on Thursday, the awards show found itself at the centre of a long standing controversy over racial representation in film and cinema. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the current President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (who is also the first African American to hold the title) expressed her disappointment in the all-white Oscar nominations.


Compiled by Joshua Lim, Cindy Co and Abraham Lee.
Featured image by Flickr user Horia Varlan. CC-BY 2.0
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