News in Brief

Khanaqin, Iraq: Suicide attacks shook Iraq on April 28, killing 50 people days before the national elections. The worst attack occurred in Khanaqin, north of Baghdad, when a bomber killed 30 and wounded 50 others at a Kurdish rally, Al Jazeera reports. Other attacks were tied to Sunni militants, who bombed polling places while disguised as police and military personnel. April 30 marks the first national election in Iraq since the withdrawal of American troops.

Manila, Philippines: President Barack Obama concluded his trip through Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines with a press conference on April 28. During the conference, he announced increased sanctions on Russia, defended his decision not to send military aid to Ukraine and advocated for diplomacy in Asia. “Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force after we’ve just gone through a decade of war?” said Obama according to The New York Times. On his trip, the president also met with families of the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and sunken South Korean ferry Sewol.

Chibok, Nigeria: Armed with knives and machetes, parents of 230 schoolgirls kidnapped almost two weeks ago marched towards the camps of the Islamist militants responsible for the crimes. After two days of trekking through forests, the parents turned back when locals warned them that the militants heavily outgunned them. On April 14, the insurgents kidnapped the girls, ages 16–18, after overpowering government guards outside their school. “We pinned our hopes on the government, but all that hope is turning to frustration,” Danuma Mpur, chairman of the local parent-teacher association, told The Guardian.

Arkansas, USA: Tornadoes ripped through the South, with the largest carving a 30-mile-long path through Arkansas on April 27. It was just one of 30 tornadoes in seven states that were spawned by a massive storm system, according to The Christian Science Monitor. In Arkansas, the storm killed at least 14, left over 10,000 without power and destroyed the headquarters of the state’s Game and Fish Commission. According to meteorologists, more storms and tornadoes are brewing and may wreak havoc later this week.