This week around the world April 1–7

April 1


As part of a preliminary effort to establish a new international coalition dedicated to peace and mutual aid, leaders from every nation on the planet have agreed to redirect 90 percent of their defense budgets toward battling global warming.

April 2


Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy saw its party gain 9 of 19 contested seats during by-elections, while losing several seats in areas representing ethnic minorities. The former political prisoner and Nobel Laureate has faced challenges with charges of ethnic cleansing occurring in the Muslim-majority Rakhine region, as well as a controversial dam project involving China.

April 2


A regional Mexican newspaper closed its doors in response to continued violence and intimidation facing journalists in the country. In the front page article of its last issue, the paper cited the recent murder of a reporter who had covered organized crime, corruption, and drug trafficking, and explained its decision to shut down as “a gesture of dissent toward a government that refuses to protect its journalists.”

April 4

Khan Sheikhun, Syria

A deadly chemical attack targeting the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in Syria left scores dead and many more gravely ill. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denied responsibility for the attacks, which would be a violation of international law as well as a 2013 agreement by Assad to turn over his chemical weapon stockpile for destruction. As a result of the attack, two days later President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike on a military airfield thought to be the origin of the earlier attack.

April 6–7

Palm Beach, Florida

President Donald Trump’s announcement of escalating U.S. military involvement in Syria overshadowed an otherwise uneventful two-day summit between Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. In contrast to the last time Trump hosted a foreign head of state at his Mar-a-Lago estate, the pressing issue of North Korea was not a major point of discussion. Neither was much else, as the leaders of the two largest economies and armies in the world concluded their meeting without so much as a joint statement.