This week around the world: April 8–15

April 8, Brazil: Former president jailed for 12 years following corruption conviction

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was imprisoned after seeking refuge with the S‏ão Bernardo do Campo workers union. Lula da Silva was recently barred from applying for re-election after an appeals court upheld corruption charges against him. In his absence, Brazilian oligarchs, military and the extreme right are finding legitimacy.

Israel-Palestine: Gaza protests continue

Protests along Gaza’s border with Israel continue for the third week. Thirty-six protesters were killed, and more than 3,000 have been injured. The protests will continue through May 15 to commemorate the Nakba, or the 1948 exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes during the Palestinian War.

April 14, Syria: U.S., UK, France strike Syria over chemical attacks

American, French and British forces carried out airstrikes over alleged chemical attacks by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad toward civilians. The airstrikes struck a research center in Damascus, a chemical weapons facility and a command post near Homs.

April 14: China plans to seek cooperation with Japan against U.S. tariffs:

Amid a potential U.S.-China trade war and threats of a $100 billion tariff on imported goods, China seeks cooperation with Japan. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Japan next month for a trilateral summit.

April 14 South Africa: Winnie Mandela laid to rest

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the recently-deceased ex-wife of the late Nelson Mandela, was laid to rest in Soweto. Her funeral ceremony had 40,000 attendees Saturday morning. Mandela was known for her fighting spirit at a time when South Africa was still entrenched in apartheid.

April 15, India: Second rape-murder case comes to light

Outrage ensues nationwide after the body of an 11-year-old girl was found by a passerby in Surat earlier this month. The autopsy revealed she was tortured, raped and kept confined for eight to 10 days before being murdered. The news comes in the wake of protests for an 8-year-old Kashmiri girl who was kidnapped and held in a Hindu temple before being gang raped and brutally murdered in January 2017. Four police officers and a member of the Uttar Pradesh state legislature have been arrested in connection to the Kashmiri rape.

When I first came to PSU, I was a Chinese major, having studied three years prior in high school alongside French and Japanese. After the first year, I took a hiatus. I don't believe in going to college straight out of high school, but it's what was expected. I returned a few years later to study Japanese at PCC and Arabic at PSU. I am now a junior majoring in International Studies: Middle East and Arabic. In the future, I would like to work as a journalist or humanitarian aid worker in the region, helping people who lack economic and political backing and media exposure.