Prime Minister missteps, ongoing conflict between the U.S. and Iran, and climate change strikes around the world are big news stories this week.
2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record, according to a report released this week by NASA and NOAA.
In the short term, scientists expect the world to get hotter. This year, a simmering El Niño cycle threatens to bring more scorching weather. “We do anticipate the next El Niño will bring record or near-record temperatures,” said NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt during a conference call with reporters.
Already, Australia was baked in its hottest January on record, followed by massive flooding. So another record-setting year will likely lead to more heat waves around the world, along with drought and drying vegetation, contributing to massive wildfires. That in turn will cost jobs, homes, and lives.
During the State of the Union this week (during which climate change did not come up), President Donald Trump announced that there would be a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, to be held in Vietnam at the end of February.
That left some observers wondering what such a meeting could accomplish.
Pope Francis visited the United Arab Emirates this week, and during the trip, he acknowledged reports of sexual and physical abuse of nuns by priests. Through an interpreter, Francis said “there are priests and even bishops who have done that. And I believe it still happens because something doesn’t stop just because you have become aware of it.”
NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli reports:
For years, cases of abuse of women in the church have long been known. The problem persists particularly in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Italy. And yet church authorities have rarely addressed the issue publicly. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a #NunsToo movement has emerged, and the issue has been more widely reported. Last week, even the women’s magazine of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reported on nuns having abortions or giving birth to children fathered by priests or bishops.
And we also learned this week that rapper 21 Savage was born in the U.K. We know we’re not alone in thinking he was from Atlanta.
Here’s how critic Jon Caramanica described him:
His success, however, is especially American. Growing up in some of Atlanta’s poorest communities, 21 Savage had a troubled childhood. He’s said that he dropped out of school to sell drugs, and has spoken in interviews of a youth marked by violence and crime. But after losing a close friend and a brother to gun violence, he turned to rapping. And within a year, he was one of Atlanta’s most promising prospects.
This is the American promise, no? To start from nothing and turn it into a bounty. To receive a cruel hand and still emerge victorious.
And yet there is this other American promise, or threat, which is that all that comfort can be easily ripped away if it isn’t achieved in the correct fashion.
In the case of 21 Savage, whose public image was built on a kind of impenetrable toughness mixed with weary resilience, this moment of vulnerability was destabilizing. Even in his most intimate music, he never presents as anything other than an agent of control.
The rapper, whose name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, is being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement due to an expired visa. He has three children who were born in the United States.
Jay-Z has reportedly hired a lawyer to defend Abraham-Joseph, according to the BBC.
This week, more nations recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guido as president of his country, while President Nicolas Maduro has withheld food and medicine and other humanitarian aid from coming into Venezuela.
We’re recapping the week in global news headlines.
Text by Gabrielle Healy.
- Shane Harris Intelligence and national security reporter, The Washington Post; Future of War fellow, New America; author, 'At War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex' and 'The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State'; @shaneharris
- Peter Bergen CNN's national security analyst; vice president and director of the international security program at New America; author of "United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists"; @peterbergencnn
- Dorothy Parvaz Global politics reporter, ThinkProgress; @dparvaz
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