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NEWSFLASH: Need-to-Know Stories 5/26 – 6/1


Turkey was unexpectedly launched into chaos this week following a protest that started as a peaceful demonstration against a government plan to demolish a park, but which quickly escalated into a riot that saw police violently put down protestors. In Pakistan, reports that a powerful Taliban commander was killed by a C.I.A. drone strike surfaced mid-week following much discussion and debate about U.S. drone policy. But amidst all the drama, the most bizarre news story of the week sprang from China, where a baby boy was found lodged in a toilet pipe after an accident.

This week was a busy one for international news indeed. Welcome back to NEWSFLASH, where we break down the biggest world news for you!

Protests Erupt in Turkey, Spread to Other Parts of Country Amidst Police Brutality

What began as a protest in Istanbul’s Taksim Square has now spread to other parts of Turkey, including the country’s capital Ankara. As of Saturday, Turkish officials reported that approximately 90 separate protests had taken place all around the country.

The major protests began on Friday near Istanbul’s Gezi Park, spawning what many are calling an Occupy Gezi movement. A few demonstrators had organized a sit-in earlier on in the week to oppose official plans to construct a shopping center in place of the park, one of Istanbul’s few remaining green spaces.

While the initial motivation of the protests was the potential demolishment of Gezi Park, it quickly turned into opposition against Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan brought about much of Turkey’s economic rise during these last few years, but his administration is often regarded as quite authoritarian.

939 arrests had been made by Saturday, according to the Interior Ministry. Medics reported that more than 1,000 have been injured in Istanbul alone as police violently attacked protestors, with eyewitnesses recounting tear gas and water cannons being used, along with a handful of protestors who had been run over by a police riot vehicle. After shortly removing themselves from Taksim Square, hundreds of demonstrators have returned as of this morning. So far no violence has been reported, but reports of police violence against civilians are still gradually surfacing from Ankara.

Baby Boy Rescued from Toilet Pipe in China

A newborn baby boy was rescued from a hospital toilet pipe on Thursday in east China’s Zhejiang province. 

The baby, now known as Baby 59, was saved by rescuers and doctors at the scene, who had to precariously pry away bits of metal to finally expose the baby’s face.

While the news has revived discussions about family planning in China, namely the One Child Policy that leads so many parents to get rid of newborn babies, the real story reportedly has nothing to do with the subject. The boy’s mother recounted how she went to the bathroom upon feeling some stomach pain, only to have the baby “slip out.” The mother apparently decided to flush the toilet simply to get rid of the blood surrounding the baby, but accidentally flushed the baby down as well.

Baby 59 is now with his maternal grandparents. However, the boy’s mother is still his legal guardian and is due to face the boy’s father, with whom she was previously romantically involved, to determine child custody conditions.

C.I.A Drone Strike in Pakistan Reportedly Kills Taliban Commander

Pakistani intelligence officials and a Taliban commander reported that a Wednesday drone strike along Pakistan’s border region had killed Wali ur-Rehman, the Taliban’s No. 2 commander. 

Yet despite the news, there are still doubts surrounding ur-Rehman’s confirmed death, as previous Taliban leaders have resurfaced following reports announcing that they had been killed.

The report came following a security address by President Obama last week that promised more targeted attacks and more transparency regarding the use of drones.

However, it is also reported that the President’s new drone warfare rules will not be applied to the C.I.A., meaning that the C.I.A. can continue working under the old, controversial drone attack policies.

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Annie Pei

U Chicago

Annie is a Political Science major at the University of Chicago who not only writes for Her Campus, but is also one of Her Campus UChicago's Campus Correspondents. She also acts as Editor-In-Chief of Diskord, an online op-ed publication based on campus, and as an Arts and Culture Co-Editor for the university's new Undergraduate Political Review. When she's not busy researching, writing, and editing articles, Annie can be found pounding out jazz choreography in a dance room, furiously cheering on the Vancouver Canucks, or around town on the lookout for new places, people, and things. This year, Annie is back in DC interning with Voice of America once again!
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