News in brief: Week of 4/24/15

Costa Rica

Dr. Brian Kubicki, a Minnesotan scientist in Costa Rica, has found a new species of frog that looks remarkably like The Muppet’s host, Kermit the Frog, according to CBC. The frog, which is a species of glass frogs, has large, white eyes and a translucent belly, through which its organs can be seen. It has been named Hyalinobatrachium dianae. It has a distinctive call and coloring that separates it from the other 14 varieties of glass frog native to Costa Rica.


For the first time in six years, the Russian economy has shrunk, according to the BBC. Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev announced that in the first three months of 2015, the Russian economy had shrunk 2 percent. The downturn has been largely due to international sanctions following the annexation of Crimea by Russia last year and the falling price of oil. Sanctions alone, according to Medvedev, have cost the country $26 billion in foreign exports, and may be several times that by the end of the year.


Mohamed Morsi, the deposed Egyptian president, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the killing of protesters, according to The Guardian. He, along with 14 other co-defendants from the Muslim Brotherhood, was also acquitted of a murder charge that might have earned them the death penalty.  Morsi was ousted by the military in 2013, after a year in office. “This verdict shatters any remaining illusion of independence and impartiality in Egypt’s criminal justice,” said Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

United States

Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, is resigning following a report that DEA agents attended cartel-funded sex parties in Columbia, according to Vice news. The Department of Justice, who conducted the report, said that the DEA was aware of the parties, was not co-operative with the investigation, and redacted some details from the report. There is some concern that the parties may have been arranged by cartels, who paid for the prostitutes, in order to obtain information.  A congressional investigation will be forthcoming.