By Haddon Libby

Most news services in the United States do very little international news reporting.  This week, let’s look at a few of the more interesting stories that have had little to no reporting here in the United States.

Starting in Iran, Payvand News reported that more than thirty graduating college students received 99 lashes each for violating the country’s morality code.  Their offense?  Drinking alcohol, dancing with members of the opposite sex, and women not wearing veils.  Worth noting, homosexuality is illegal in Iran with the maximum penalty being execution.

Looking at our neighbors to the south in Mexico, more than 35,000 child refugees have escaped Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala this year and fled to Mexico to avoid violent street gangs.  With no plan on how to deal with this influx of children, Mexico is using immigration facilities as long-term holding stations.  As for the countries that the children have fled from, civil rights activists say that those governments are unable to protect these children due to a stifling mix of incompetence and corruption.

While El Salvador cannot protect its children, it was able to sentence Maria Rivera to forty years in jail for having a miscarriage.  In El Salvador, an abortion is considered murder and illegal under all circumstances.

Picking through the garbage is a way of life for many in Guatemala City.  It came as no surprise when three people died and ten were injured as a pile of trash in a garbage dump collapsed under a torrent of rains.

In Senegal on the continent of Africa, 25-year-old Ali Fall is recovering from a near death experience.  Fall is not a police officer or garbage picker but a fisherman. Last week, Fall was attacked by a marauding group of hippos.  Senegal is attempting to address this increasing problem by outfitting fishing boats with state-purchased motors in order to help fisherman evade these marauding herbivores.

A world away in Greenland, the Ice News reported that Wassam Azaqeer of Nuuk, the country’s only Muslim, “incredibly” completed 21 hours of fasting for Ramadan.

The Local of Sweden, reported that the 23,000 residents of Kiruna are the country’s “sexiest municipality.”  Until this recognition, Kiruna was best known for having been knocked down and moved in 2015 due to safety concerns caused by a large iron ore quarry in town.  What made Kiruna so sexy was that they bought sex toys at more than twice the rate as the rest of the country with handcuffs, whips and blindfolds being the top three sellers.

In Spain, the Catholic Bishop of Lleida has ordered 80 priests, 100 monks and 400 volunteers to get Anti-Pedophile Certificates.  The certificates can be procured very easily through a government website.  The Catholic Church of Spain, like much of the world, has been rocked by pedophilia scandals in recent years.

Lastly, the RT in Russia reported that their Parliament is considering a bill that would require the divorcees of politicians to report their holdings of assets abroad.  This is being done as the Communist Party believes that many politicians are hiding illegal offshore accounts via fake divorces.  In 2013, it was made illegal for politicians to own any offshore assets other than property.  No mention has been made of Putin’s “illegal” offshore accounts discovered in the hack of Mossack Fonseca files…or his divorce.

Another bill before their Parliament bans the children of elected officials from engaging in entrepreneurship.  At the same time, the RT reported that Vladimir Putin holds an 80% approval rating, down 9% from last year yet he was still the country’s ‘most trusted’ politician at 53%.

Haddon Libby is an Investment Advisor at Winslow Drake and can be reached at 760.449.6349 or HLibby@WinslowDrake.com.

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