Kidnapped U.S. and Canadian Citizens Freed in Nigeria
Police say two Canadian and two American citizens who had been kidnapped in Nigeria were freed last week. The citizens were kidnapped last Wednesday as they tried to travel to the capital Abuja from the town of Kafanchan. A joint police and military operation ambushed the kidnappers in a forest north of Abuja. The freed citizens were in good health, officials say, but two police escorts were killed during the firefight. In Nigeria, kidnapping for ransom is a common occurrence. In February 2017, two German archaeologists were abducted before later being freed. Last October, four Britons were abducted in the Niger Delta region. One of the four was killed before negotiations led to the release of the remaining three.
North Korea to send athletes to Winter Olympics 2018
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced Saturday that athletes from North Korea will participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics. Following negotiations between North Korea, South Korea and Olympic officials in Lausanne, Switzerland, North Korea will send 22 athletes to compete in ice hockey, skating and skiing. At the opening ceremony, both Korean teams will march together in Pyeongchang before the games begin February 9. “This team will enter the Olympic Stadium under the Korean unification flag,” Bach said. “I’m sure that this will be a very emotional moment not only for all Koreans but also for the entire world.” Some skeptics have voiced fears that South Korea has fallen for a North Korean “charm offensive,” but Bach defended the decision. He praised the cooperation of North and South Korea with the IOC’s leadership, saying, “Let us not forget that such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago.” Both nations’ skiing teams will train together in a North Korean resort, and a joint cultural event will be performed at Mount Kumgang.
Women’s Marches take place in United States
Last Saturday, demonstrators gathered across the United States to participate in the Women’s Marches, largely a rebuke of President Trump and his administration’s policies. The recent revelations of the #MeToo movement inspired many activists to fight for more social and political change. It was estimated that over 120,000 attended the rallies in New York. Ralliers gathered in cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and Rome. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) praised the rallies in Washington. “We want women to know their power in so many respects — by showing up not only on the day of the march, but in airports, in town halls,” she said. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, “It’s women who are holding our democracy together in these dangerous times … To change the system, we need to change the players and have women at the table.”