May 27 Brasilia, Brazil
Brazil’s litany of corruption scandals expanded further as federal authorities announced a massive, ongoing investigation into several companies, including Brazil’s two largest meat producers, implicated in bribing government officials into approving the sale and export of tainted meat. Agricultural inspectors were bribed with prime cuts of beef, while other contaminated meat was adulterated with ingredients such as pig heads and treated with acid before being sold to schools and retail chains such as Wal-Mart. Executives have dodged jail time by offering testimony that implicates the already scandal-riddled President Michel Temer, while Brazilians have called for boycotts of the companies’ products.
May 28 Sri Lanka
Torrential rains brought flooding and mudslides that displaced over 600,000 inhabitants and left over 200 dead. The government and military was assisted by foreign aid and supplies as they responded to the worst flooding in more than a decade. Cleared forests to make way for export crops have led to increased mudslides during Sri Lanka’s summer monsoon season.
May 30 Panama City, Panama
Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela announced the death of Panama’s former dictator and long-time CIA informant, Manuel Noriega. Noriega became Panama’s de facto leader in 1983 but was deposed following a U.S. invasion of Panama in December 1989 amid concerns over Noriega’s ties to global drug cartels and Noriega’s role in assisting Contra rebels in Nicaragua. He then spent the rest of his life serving various prison sentences in the U.S., France, and Panama.
June 1 Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump announced the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, calling the 195-nation pact to combat climate change unfair to American workers and businesses. One of Trump’s closest advisers in favor of the withdrawal was head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scot Pruitt, while former Exxon Mobil CEO and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined a chorus of business leaders and heads of state who attempted unsuccessfully to lobby Trump against the decision.
June 2 Yemen
Cases of cholera in Yemen are suspected to reach 130,000 in the next two weeks, according to estimates from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The agency said at least 10,000 cases were reported in the last 72 hours. According to reports, one in three air raids by a Saudi-led coalition targeting Houthi rebels have have hit civilian sites, as the ongoing conflict puts malnourished and displaced citizens at greater risk of contracting the disease.