Weekly News Highlights: Top 7 stories from May 22 to 28
Here's a recap of the most important world events of last week.
1. Iraq vs ISIS
Iraq's army urged residents Sunday, May 22, to leave the city of Fallujah, which was the first Iraqi city to fall to ISIS and has since 2013 been under its control, in order to launch an operation to retake it, which was carried out the next day along with Shia militias and U.S. airstrikes.
By Saturday morning, dozens of ISIS fighters were killed.
Iraq is in a political crisis because of the government’s lack of progress in dealing with the terror group.
2. Syria vs ISIS
More than 120 Syrians were killed in a series of blasts in Syria's coastal cities, which, until this happened, had not been as much affected by the Syrian conflict as other cities like Aleppo and Damascus, the capital.
ISIS claimed responsibility, saying it was targeting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s Alawite minority.
In related news, a U.S.-backed offensive by Kurdish forces was launched Wednesday in coordination with Russia against ISIS in their Syrian capital of Raqqa.
3. Greece vs refugees
About 8,000 stranded refugees in Europe’s largest informal refugee camp, located in Greece just south of the border with Macedonia, were faced with the only option to leave after hundreds of riot police Tuesday ordered them out.
Refugees had been staying in the makeshift camp since last November, when Macedonia began shutting its border.
4. Austrian presidentials vs migrants
A former Green party leader and independent, Alexander Van der Bellen, won the presidential elections by a very tight margin, defeating far-right candidate, Norbert Hofer, who came very close to making Austria the first EU country to elect a far-right president.
Migrants in Austria were relieved that anti-immigration Hofer was defeated. Europe has been witnessing a rise in right-wing parties in the face of the migrant crisis.
5. Obama vs Vietnam
U.S. President Barack Obama became Monday the third U.S. leader to visit Vietnam since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. The three-day visit aimed to turn the former foes into trade partners, boost security cooperation and check China's growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.
As the Obama administration tries to expand U.S. foreign relations in its final year, it considers Vietnam a necessary ally because of its place within East and South Asia. At the same time, Vietnam hopes to strengthen its ties with the world's most powerful government as it struggles with China's influence in the region.
6. G7 vs fossil fuel
World leaders from the U.K., U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the EU urged Friday all countries to join them in eliminating support for coal, oil and gas in a decade from now, in annual G7 summit.
The G7 nations, the world's major advanced economies, have agreed for the first time on a deadline to end most fossil fuel subsidies, saying the government's support for coal, oil and gas should end by 2025.
A G7 declaration said Friday that a U.K. vote to leave the EU would be a "serious risk to global growth."
7. Trump vs Clinton
Business mogul and U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump secured this week enough delegates to make him the only eligible candidate to clinch the Republican party presidential nomination at the convention in July.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who's on her way to become the Democratic party's nominee, and Trump have been in a war of words and personal attacks for the past week.
Also in the news:
- Resignations: Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, officially resigned Sunday, May 22. His successor and the new leader of the ruling AK Party is Transport Minister Binali Yildirim. Israel's defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, also officially stepped down Sunday. He is going to be replaced by Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman, an inexperienced hardliner.
- The movie "I, Daniel Blake" by British filmmaker Ken Loach won the 2016 Palme d'Or, the highest honor at the Cannes Film Festival.
- Pope Francis met Monday with the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, at the Vatican, in sign of renewed relations.
- Hundreds of world leaders gathered May 23 and 24 in Turkey on the occasion of the first World Humanitarian Summit, to reform the global humanitarian system, since more now are in need of humanitarian aid than ever before, according to the U.N.
- British singer Adele has signed a £90 million (about $131 million) multi-album contract with record label Sony, the biggest ever record deal for a British musician, and, if paid out in full, the biggest record deal in history.
- Italy's coastguards have recovered 45 drowned bodies in the Mediterranean Friday, while more than 300 others are yet to be found in the third major tragedy in the sea this week. Germany plans on diverting 10 percent of EU funds to deal with the worsening refugee crisis. About 700 migrants in total died in shipwrecks in the Mediterranean this week.