Monday Briefing | March 21
Stories to Follow
France Expects Immediate Extradition of Abdeslam
On Friday, Belgian authorities captured Paris Attack suspect Salah Abdeslam in a manhunt that has gone cold since last November’s killings which left 130 people dead. Since the attack, the 26-year-old French-born Belgian, whose DNA was found on an unused suicide belt, fled to Belgium where he had been hiding in his hometown of Molenbeek – a suburb outside of Brussels.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and French President François Hollande held a joint press conference on Abdeslam’s detainment. They expressed the importance of mutual cooperation as Europe seeks to bring down jihadist networks. “The battle against terrorism does not end tonight, even though this is a victory,” Hollande said.
French prosecutor François Molins has already requested Abdeslam’s extradition, on a fast-track process. The suspect appears in a pretrial hearing this coming Wednesday, but his attorney, Barrister Sven Mary, intends to block the extradition due to violation of his defendant’s privacy.
The EU and Turkey Confirm Migrant Deal
The European Union and Turkey have confirmed a deal to cease the flow of illegal migrants into Europe. The mutual agreement specifically addresses Syrian migrants pouring into Greece via the Aegean Sea. Since 2015, 1 million Syrian refugees have made the trek from Turkey to Greece.
According to the new pact, the EU can send illegal migrants to Turkey where they can then apply for resettlement in Europe. In exchange, Turkey receives: 3 billion euros in financial aid, restriction ease for Turkish nationals to visit Schengen passport-free countries and another attempt to become an EU member.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, “We today realised that Turkey and the EU have the same destiny, the same challenges and the same future.”
Human rights activists oppose the migrant deal. Groups such as Amnesty International fear that it adversely brands Syrian refugees and asylum seekers. Moreover, activists note the abysmal human rights records in Turkey.
Brazilians React to Ousted Leader’s Return to Politics
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff faces deep criticism for appointing former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to her cabinet. He has been named Chief of Staff to the 12-member body.
The decision has elicited outrage by anti-government protestors, who believe da Silva is evading prosecution for corruption and money laundering charges. Known as Lava jato (car wash), the 2-year investigation has led to convicting dozens of Brazilian business executives and politicians including da Silva.
Brazilians disapproving da Silva Rouseff also urge Rouseff to resign. Anti-government protestors have taken to the streets, which they have done since da Silva left office and Rouseff appointed president in 2011. Moreover, the country’s economy has taken a fall including a devaluing of Brazilian currency and a drop in investments.
Happening This Week:
Global/Local 1960–2015: Six Artists from Iran
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 | NYU Abby Weed Grey Gallery, all day
“. . . illuminates how these artists have participated in international discourses, merging global with local over a 55-year span that was punctuated by the 1979 Iranian Revolution and subsequent eight-year war with Iraq.”
International Careers: the United Nations and Multilateral Organizations
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 | NYU SPS, 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm
Looking for an international career (and free food)? Check out this event. Register here!
2016 Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival
Sunday, March 27, 2016 – Fifth Avenue, between 49th & 57th, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
This coming Sunday marks Easter and an outdoor celebration. Behold a sea of flower bonnets and historic costumes as New Yorkers celebrate this annual 100+ year old event!
In Your Free Time:
Baby Bald Eagles
Two baby bald eagles have hatched at the National Arboretum in Washington DC. Look at these GIFs from National Geographic!
The pope has joined Instagram!
This Monday Briefing brought to you by Edward Ablang.