This week around the world: May 20–26

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May 20 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

An arms deal between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. worth $110 billion was signed during President Trump’s first trip abroad since being elected. Previous accusations by Trump of Saudi Arabia’s complicity in 9/11 was water under the bridge as he justified the deal as necessary to enable Saudi Arabia to fight against terrorism in the region.

May 22 Manchester, England

A suicide bombing following an Ariana Grande concert resulted in the deaths of at least 23 adults and children, with dozens more injured. The attacker, 22-year-old British citizen Salman Ramadan Abedi, is suspected of acting in concert with a terrorist network, although definite proof of such a connection has yet to emerge. Grande has announced that she will be returning to Manchester for a benefit concert to raise funds for the victims of the attacker.

May 23 Adali, Kuwait

Officers in Kuwait discovered 178 ketamine pills in a tiny backpack after apprehending a drug-smuggling pigeon near the Iraqi border. Officials were already aware of pigeons being used to smuggle drugs, but this is the first time a bird has been captured. Kuwait, which is 14 times smaller than Oregon with roughly the same population, has experienced increases in cases of illegal drug use.

May 24 Marawi, Philippines

The Philippine army conducted several air strikes against fighters linked to the Islamic State who attacked the city earlier in the week and remain in hiding. Several police officers, soldiers, and civilians have been killed since the fighting began on Tuesday. President Rodrigo Duterte has declared martial law in the southern Mindanao region where the fighting is taking place, and most of the 200,000 citizens of Marawi have fled the city.

May 24 Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan took the next step toward being the first nation in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage after its Constitutional Court ruled that only allowing a man and woman to marry violated constitutional guarantees. Lawmakers now have two years to amend the island’s Civil Code, and LGBT activists are hopeful that the legislature will not cave to pressure from anti-gay rights campaigners and make a separate category for same sex unions.

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