This week around the world Feb. 18–24

Feb. 18
Pyongyang, North Korea
China announced the suspension of all coal imports from North Korea over reports that the reclusive nation is continuing its nuclear program apace. The announcement is made in respect to North Korea’s reliance on Chinese trade, with 90 percent of exports going to this neighbor.

Feb. 20
New York, NY
Russian ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin died of heart failure in New York City. His death sparked numerous conspiracy theories regarding the potential for assassination or other sabotage. Toxicology is still pending.

Feb. 23
al-Bab, Syria
Turkish forces succeeded in suppressing rebel forces in the center of al-Bab, Syria. The multi-month battle began in early November and did not reach a conclusion until just this week.

Feb. 23
Pyongyang, North Korea
North Korean state media blasted Chinese leaders over suspension of coal imports, their admonishment of North Korean ballistic missile testing, and nuclear ambitions. The fiery tirades reasserted a push toward nuclear ambitions and weapon growth, further straining ties with the neighboring superpower.

Feb. 24

Pretoria, South Africa
South Africans rioted against Nigerian and Somalian immigrants in the latest of a series of anti-immigrant protests. Much of the violence has seemingly been whipped up by President Jacob Zuma, who has in recent weeks called such people criminals, and labeled the protests as anti-drug and anti-crime.