Ilhan Omar endangered?
Since she took office, US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has faced a barrage of criticism from President Donald Trump, his supporters and the right wing media. Now, many are asking: Have these attacks put her in danger?
Trump last week tweeted a video of Omar that was taken out of context to imply she was trivialising the September, 2011 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. He followed that with another tweet calling Omar “out of control” and alleging that she had made anti-Semitic and anti-US comments. The White House press secretary has defended the president and Trump said he did not regret his comments, doubling down on them.
After this latest round of attacks Omar released a statement: “Since the president’s tweet …I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life – many directly referencing or replying to the president’s video.”
This isn’t the first time she’s come under fire. In February, controversy swirled around comments she made about the influence of the pro-Israel lobby in the US and she was accused of spreading anti-Semitic tropes.
Trump has repeatedly used the events of 9/11 to start conversations about Ilhan Omar and Islam in the US to the alarm of many in the Muslim community. We’ll take a look at the potential impact of such comments and ask what the debates mean for the Democratic Party as the 2020 election approaches.
Mongolian democracy threatened?
A slow-burn corruption scandal has led to a political crisis in Mongolia that has caused many in the country to slowly lose faith in government.
Demonstrations began in November against former parliamentary speaker Miyegombyn Enkhbold for his alleged involvement in corruption. He was eventually voted out of his job in January after more than half of Mongolia’s MP’s boycotted parliamentary sessions and stalled legislative action.
In a vote on March 27, however, parliament voted to amend the the existing prosecutorial system and in favor of a Law on Anti-Corruption – changes that effectively give Battulga free rein to bend Mongolia’s courts in his favour.
We’ll take a look at what impact the scandal is having and ask whether Mongolia is moving towards strongman rule.
In December 2012, Eritrean officials detained US citizen Ciham Ali Abdu when she attempted to leave the country without a mandatory exit visa. She was just 15 years-old and she hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Now, on the occasion of her 22nd birthday, a fresh campaign to raise awareness about her case – and to put pressure on the Eritrean government – is running all month.
US Congresswoman Karen Bass, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, has called for Ciham’s release in social media posts. The US State Department has not officially confirmed her imprisonment, but has said it is aware that she was detained.
We’ll find out more about Ciham – and other prisoners in Eritrea – from campaigner Vanessa Tsehaye.
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