Trump announces U.S. Withdrawal, Turkey Invades
On Oct. 6, Trump unilaterally announced the United States would move out of their positions on Syria’s northern border in anticipation of an assault by Turkish forces. This move essentially abandoned the Kurdish fighters who have been the most loyal American allies in the multi-year campaign to deplete ISIS forces. The White House announcement of this decision came directly after Trump’s phone call with Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan and was likely a move made on the right-wing leader’s request since Erdogan has long angled for a way to eradicate the Kurds who occupy land in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Erdogan’s military campaign began on Wednesday, Oct. 9, and no estimations for a death toll have been calculated as of writing. Over two million people live in the region claimed by the Kurdish fighters, and the leaders there warn of a “humanitarian disaster” if Turkey is not stopped. U.S. politicians, including Republican Lindsey Graham, have lambasted the president for the decision, but those within the White House and Pentagon have claimed that the U.S. has “not abandoned the Kurds.” Despite this bickering, Turkey’s warpath, complete with American rubber-stamp, has continued and shows no signs of stopping.
Japan begins rescue efforts as typhoon results in deadly flooding
A typhoon that hit Japan on Saturday is forecasted to be the worst to hit the country in six decades. The storm, named Typhoon Hagibis, was on course to drop record setting amounts of rainfall on Tokyo, Gunma, Saitama and Kanagawa and the Japanese Meteorological Agency told residents to “be ready for rainfall of the kind that you have never experienced.” The storm made landfall late Saturday evening as a 5.7 magnitude earthquake made landfall in the storm’s path.
Japan’s national broadcasting agency is reporting that two people have been killed by the storm, while 10 are reported missing, and 90 have been injured. Evacuation orders are still in effect for more than four million people as landslides and catastrophic flooding continue in the wake of what might be the worst storm since the 1958 Kanogawa Typhoon that killed 1,200 people.
US companies face backlash following crackdown against Hong Kong support
In the wake of the Hong Kong protests, American companies such as Blizzard Entertainment and the NBA have faced significant criticism due to a variety of incidents. Following his expression of support for the Hong Kong protestors, Blizzard Entertainment punished a prolific Hearthstone player, Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung, by confiscating his winnings and banning him for a year. Blizzard Entertainment even went so far as to suspend the commentators that were present on the stream, despite being unaware that Ng planned to make a political statement. Since the public outcry, Blizzard has scaled back the disciplinary measures to a simple six-month suspension to all involved.
A similar situation played out in the NBA; Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey prompted action from the NBA after tweeting support for Hong Kong. The resulting fallout across the league led to overall condemnation from players, management and owners across the league. It is unclear whether or not this crackdown will continue as the Hong Kong protests continue.