Dec. 9–14 West Bank, Palestinian Territories: A manhunt ensued in the West Bank following a drive-by shooting which left seven wounded including a young pregnant woman, who was evacuated to a hospital in Jerusalem where she delivered the baby prematurely. The shooting occurred near the settlement of Ofra from a vehicle with Palestinian license plates, and the driver fled the scene following fire from the Israeli Defense Force. The IDF closed the city of Ramallah while conducting searches for the attacker, detaining 100 Palestinians by Dec. 14. The Washington Post reported the suspect was shot Dec. 12 while attempting to escape arrest.
Dec. 10 Oslo, Norway: The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in Oslo to Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege for their work fighting for human rights and combating sexual violence. Murad, who is part of a Kurdish religious minority from Iraq known as Yazidi, was kidnapped from her village by ISIS in 2014 and forced into sexual slavery in which she was raped and beaten daily. Following her escape, she became an advocate for human rights including those of the 3,000 Yazidi women who are still captive. Mukwege is a gynecologist from Congo who has spent his life treating victims of rape and systemic sexual violence used against women as a weapon of war. As quoted by Al Jazeera, Mukwege said, “If there is a war to be waged, it is the war against the indifference which is eating away at our societies.”
Dec. 11 Strasbourg, France: Three people were killed and around a dozen wounded after a gunman opened fire at a Christmas market in a busy street in Strasbourg. Secretary of State for the Interior Ministry Laurent Nunez reported to Al Jazeera eight people injured were in serious condition, and five were detained as police searched for the attacker, identified as Cherif Chekatt, who escaped after exchanging fire with police. In an effort to find Chekatt, counterterrorism units were deployed including 350 security agents, and checkpoints were set up along the German-French border.
Dec. 12 UK: Spurred by issues concerning Brexit and Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement, conservative lawmakers triggered a no-confidence vote to challenge May’s authority. The vote would have caused May to resign early from her position, but because a majority of Parliament voted in her favor—200-117—May will be able to remain in office for another 12 months.
Dec. 12 Congo: A baby girl was discharged from a hospital in Beni on Dec. 12, making her the youngest survivor of the Ebola virus. The infant, whose mother died in labor and was also infected, was admitted only six days after her birth. She was given around-the-clock care at an Ebola treatment center, where she was successfully cured. Since August, Congo has been battling an Ebola outbreak, the largest since the outbreak of 2014 in West Africa.
Dec. 13 Washington, D.C.: Russian national Maria Butina, known for her staunch support of gun rights, plead guilty to conspiring with a senior Russian official, who Vice has reported as the now former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Russia Alexander Torshin. Butina, who in an exchange for less prison time agreed to cooperate with the investigation, admitted in court to establishing connections with conservative groups and leaders such as the National Rifle Association in order to gain influence in the Republican Party and the 2016 elections. Butina’s maximum sentence as outlined in the plea deal would include five years in prison and deportation.
Dec. 13 New Mexico; Texas, U.S.: The Department of Homeland Security confirmed Dec. 13 the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died Dec. 7 of dehydration and shock. As reported by the Daily Beast, the girl and her father had been held in a detention center in New Mexico for just eight hours when the girl developed a fever, later found to be 105.7 degrees Fahrenheit, and began having seizures. She was transported via helicopter to El Paso, Texas where she died. While the Department of Homeland Security has opened an investigation, the incident has sparked outrage on social media.
Dec. 13 Turkey: At least nine people died and 86 more were injured after a passenger train traveling at high speeds collided with a locomotive conducting train inspections, causing the train to derail and collide with an overpass. The train had recently left Ankara on its way to the province of Konya, carrying 206 passengers when the incident occurred. Rescue teams were dispatched to find survivors. Three of the train drivers died in the crash. An investigation has been launched by Ankara Governor Vasip Sahin.
Dec. 15 Australia: Announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia has now recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as reported by Al Jazeera. However, Morrison stipulated an embassy shift would not occur until a peace deal was struck. “We look forward to moving our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of and after final status of determination,” he said. Morrison also acknowledged Australia’s continued support for a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and asserted his commitment to establishing East Jerusalem as the capital for the Palestinian Territories.