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This Week Around the World

June 21–22 Tataouine, Tunisia: Authorities threw tear gas into crowds of protesters who were demanding the government create the jobs in oil and infrastructure it promised in 2017. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the streets of Tataouine on June 21–22 to demand the government assist in lowering the region’s 30% unemployment rate. The protesters reportedly threw rocks at authorities and blocked streets, according to Al Jazeera. “The situation is dangerous in our area,” local resident Ismail Smida told Reuters. “From the window of my home I see police forces randomly launching [tear] gas and chasing young men.” Tataouine has one of the highest rates of unemployment in Tunisia. 


June 23 Oaxaca, Mexico: A 7.4 magnitude earthquake centered in the Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Huatulco, Oaxaca left at least six dead. Buildings in Mexico City, 435 miles away from the epicenter, swayed during the earthquake, but did not collapse. Most of the damage was confined to the coast of Oaxaca, where several buildings collapsed and rockfalls blocked main roads between Oaxaca City and the coastal area. “Fortunately there was no major damage,” Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a statement on Twitter following the earthquake. “I hope and I wish with all my soul there will be no more damaging aftershocks.”


June 24 Badghis, Afghanistan: Taliban forces carried out a 4-hour raid on a military outpost, killing at least seven Afghan military personnel and injuring five. It is unknown how many Taliban fighters were killed or injured in the conflict, and the group has not yet issued a statement. Al Jazeera reported the Afghan military repelled the Taliban’s attack, which comes just days after officials in Kabul claimed the Taliban had been increasing the frequency and escalating the violence of their attacks against national security forces. 


June 25 India: At least 83 people in the state of Bihar and an additional 24 people in the Uttar Pradesh state died after being struck by lighting on June 25. Dozens more throughout the country were injured the same day. Lightning strikes are commonly seen during India’s monsoon season, which lasts from June–September. In 2018, over 2,300 people were killed by lightning strikes during the country’s monsoon season. The 83 people who died on June 25 make up one of the highest daily tolls Bihar has seen in recent years according to Disaster Management Minister Lakshmeshwar Rai. Most of the deaths in the state of Uttar Pradesh were near the Nepal border in the Deoria district. 


June 26 Parchin, Iran: A gas storage facility near a sensitive military site in Parchin exploded on June 26. There were no casualties. “A gas tank exploded in the Parchin public area,” Defense Ministry Spokesperson Davoud Abdi said in a statement. “Thank God there were no casualties.” Authorities said they would immediately open an investigation into the cause of the explosion, but no further information has been released. The incident occurred near a military site where several countries alleged Iranian scientists have been developing and testing nuclear warheads since the early 2000s. Iran denied the accusation and said the military base was not related to the explosion. 

June 27 Malawi: After a rerun of the presidential election that was annulled by a constitutional court in May 2019 for irregularities, opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera was elected as Malawi’s president. He won the majority with 58.57% of the vote. “My victory is a win for democracy and justice,” Chakwera said in a statement after his victory was announced. “My heart is bubbling with joy.” People gathered in the streets of Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, to celebrate Chakwera’s victory.