Holy Week in Egypt started with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declaring three days of nationwide mourning on Palm Sunday after two separate bombings targeting Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria and Tanta left almost 30 dead and dozens more injured. In response, el-Sisi has announced a three-month state of emergency in the works, including the establishment of “supreme council to counter terrorism and extremism.”
Friendly fire from a U.S. drone resulted in the deaths of at least 18 members of an allied Syrian force. The Syrian Democratic Forces to which the slain soldiers belonged characterized them as martyrs, while U.S. officials argued such incidents are unavoidable in a conflict that has seen more than 20,000 airstrikes from the U.S. and other coalition forces.
April 13 Ottawa, Canada
Aiming to deliver on one of his campaign promises, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s administration presented a plan to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide by 2018. If Canada can successfully implement a regulatory and legal system controlling the production, distribution, sale, and consumption of marijuana, it will join Uruguay and become the only other nation in the world to establish a legal marijuana market.
New York City, U.S.
In a rare moment of consensus, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to end its peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The election and inauguration of President Jovenel Moise and U.S. pressure to reduce expenditures on peacekeeping missions contributed to the decision to replace the controversy-plagued mission with a smaller police force by October.
Pyongyang, North Korea
As a U.S. carrier unit continued on its way to waters off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared in a ceremony to cut the ribbon on a huge new housing project in Pyongyang. Foreign journalists invited to the event weren’t allowed to enter any of the buildings or confirm if there was actually anything inside the new 3,600 housing flats and 70-story high-rises.