International update: What you missed this week

While you were waiting in line for Macklemore tickets or slaving away in O'Neill, the rest of the world was stirring with news. Here's what you missed in the global sphere this week.

Americas

Obama renews push for closing Guantanamo

On Tuesday, April 30, President Obama made a fresh attempt to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp, appealing once again to Congress. This was in response to more doctors being sent to deal with a hunger strike that has spread to more than two-thirds of detainees in the camp.

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US president edges closer to action over use of chemical weapons

In a recent press briefing, Obama reiterated that chemical weapons use by Syria would be a “game changer,” and warned that the U.S. may have to “rethink” options. Obama said that evidence for such horrific usage of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war has been confirmed, although the government has yet to identify who is responsible.

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Africa

Displaced Malians return home

Northern Mali has now been declared safe enough for France to plan gradual troop withdrawal from the area.

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Middle East

Deadly blast hits central Damascus

A blast near Syria’s interior ministry has rocked the central Damascus district of Marjeh, killing 13 people and injuring over 70 others, just a day after the country’s prime minister survived a series of car bomb attacks.

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Asia

Arrests over Bangladesh building collapse

Bangladeshi police say they have made three arrests after a garment factory outside of Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 300 people. The building’s owners and the engineer who was responsible for maintenance were arrested on Saturday after the death toll rose to 324 people.

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 Muslim homes torched in Myanmar

Local police say hundreds of angry Buddhists participated in mobs that set fire to hundreds of homes, overran two mosques and injured 10 people in central Myanmar. This recent sectarian flare-up has been the latest anti-Muslim violence to shake the Southeast Asian nation. Human rights officials have accused authorities, including Buddhist monks, local politicians and state security forces, of instigating an organized campaign of ethnic cleansing against a Muslim minority.

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Europe

Europeans mark May Day with worker’s protests

Workers facing lower living standards and record high unemployment rates staged May Day protests across Europe on Wednesday, May 1, hoping to persuade Euro zone governments to ease austerity measures and boost growth.

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