This Week Around the World – May 5–10:

May 5 Khimki, Russia: At least 41 people, including two children, were killed while another six were hospitalized after a passenger jet caught fire while making a crash landing. According to Deutsche Welle, the Aeroflot Sukhoi Superjet 100 was en route to the city of Murmansk but was forced to return to the Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow shortly after takeoff due to technical difficulties. After failing a first attempt at an emergency landing, officials told Deutsche Welle that pilots made a hard landing, at which point the plane’s landing gear and nose hit the runway and caught fire. Footage of the blaze was captured from inside the plane by one of the passengers and was circulated by various news outlets including Euronews. From the 78 passengers and crew members on board, 37 survived.

May 6 Israel; Gaza, Palestinian Territories: A ceasefire between Israel and Gaza was declared in the early morning of May 6 following an escalation between the two sides which began on May 3, Al Jazeera reported. During the three days of fighting, almost 700 rockets were launched by Hamas—a militant organization and the governing political body of Gaza—into Israel, while the Israeli Defense Force conducted some 350 airstrikes over the strip, reported The Guardian. Four Israelis and 25 Palestinians were killed during the fighting.

May 8 Iran: The Islamic Republic informed the remaining signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—commonly referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal—it would resume high-level uranium enrichment within 60 days if the associated governments failed to protect Iran from U.S.–imposed sanctions, as reported by Deutsche Welle. “If the five countries join negotiations and help Iran to reach its benefits in the field of oil and banking, Iran will return to its commitments according to the nuclear deal,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address. The decision to cease implementing certain key provisions of the agreement came amid the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf as a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran, according to National Security Adviser John Bolton.

May 8 Pakistan: A bomb exploded outside a shrine in the eastern city of Lahore on the morning of May 8, killing at least 10 people while injuring more than 20. As reported by Al Jazeera, the Sufi shrine of Data Darbar is one of the most prominent in the country and is visited by thousands daily, with numbers increasing during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan. Provincial Police Chief Arif Nawaz claimed police were the main target of the attack. At least five of the 10 killed were policemen, while another five of the wounded are in critical condition. While it’s not yet known if the attack was administered by a suicide bomber or an improvised explosive device (IED), Deutsche Welle reported Pakistan Taliban have claimed responsibility.

May 8 South Africa: Following 25 years since the country transitioned from apartheid to democracy, the nation headed to the polls to vote in the country’s general elections. The Guardian reported 48 parties vied for representation in the National Assembly, with the frontrunners being Cyril Ramaphosa of the ruling African National Congress, Mmusi Maimane of the centre-left Democratic Alliance and Julius Malema of the populist far-left Economic Freedom Fighters. South African news outlets News 24 and The South African reported the ANC, leading in every province except Western Cape, won with 57.5% of the votes, giving them 230 of the 400 seats available. The DA secured 20.76%, giving them 84 seats while the EFF received 10.8% and a subsequent 44 seats. Voter turnout dropped this year from about 73.48% in 2014 to 65.99% despite an increase of 1.3 million more eligible voters than in 2014.

May 10 U.S.; China: Despite hosting trade talks in Washington D.C. with Vice Premier Liu He, President Donald Trump went ahead with his decision to more than double existing tariffs on Chinese-made products. Vox reports the decision went into effect as of 12:01 a.m. on May 10, increasing tariffs from 10% up to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods. The escalation comes after weeks of progress between the two countries to reach a negotiation. The New York Times reports the decision has caused fear of a renewed trade war as China’s Ministry of Commerce declared in a statement they would respond with countermeasures.

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.