This week around the world Jan. 22–28

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Jan. 22 Liberia: New president promises crackdown on corruption

Former international soccer star George Weah has been sworn in as president in Liberia’s first peaceful transition of power since 1944. In his speech, he vowed to combat poverty by working to eliminate corruption among government officials. Some have interpreted these promises as a response to criticisms of Weah’s predecessor, Africa’s first elected female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was accused of promoting corruption and nepotism during her 12 years in office.

Jan. 23 Pakistan: Police arrest suspect in Zainab Ansari case

Police have arrested a suspect involved in the rape and murder of Zainab Ansari, the young victim who became the subject of protests across her hometown of Kasur earlier this month. The suspect, accused of serial murder, has reportedly confessed after his DNA was found to match samples from the crime scene.

Jan. 24 Saudi Arabia: Camels disqualified from beauty pageant over Botox injections

A dozen camels have been disqualified from the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Rumah. Offering almost $32 million to the winning humps, the prizes are nothing to spit at. In addition to Botox injections on their lips, noses and jaws, the camels reportedly underwent surgical procedures to reduce the size of their ears.

Jan. 25 India: Film release triggers protests

Protesters vandalized shops, vehicles and cinema halls following the release of controversial Bollywood epic Padmaavat. Controversy surrounds the film’s portrayal of a relationship between 14th-century Hindu Queen Padmavati and Muslim Emperor Alauddin Khilji. Right-wing Hindu groups have called for the film to be banned.

Jan. 26 South Africa: Crisis threatens Cape Town water supply

Officials have significantly tightened water use restrictions following the announcement that ‘Day Zero,’ the date when Cape Town’s water supply is expected to run dry, has been moved up nine days, from April 22 to April 12. The city’s water crisis has developed gradually over the course of three consecutive years of drought, exacerbated by climatic shifts and a rapidly growing population. If Day Zero arrives, Cape Town would become the first metropolis in the world to run out of water.

Jan. 28 Afghanistan: Taliban claims responsibility for Kabul ambulance blast

Attackers detonated an ambulance packed with explosives on a busy street in the capital city, killing at least 95 people and wounding 158 in what Afghan officials are calling a massacre. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came in the wake of a violent siege on Kabul’s Intercontinental hotel that resulted in 18 deaths.

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