Global Discussions – Feb. 17, 2015

From Global Discussions:

Here is your weekly news update!

Courtesy of the New York Times: Deah with, from left, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in a Facebook image.

Courtesy of The New York Times: Deah with, from left, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in a Facebook image.

UNC:

On February 11th, UNC Dental student Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), his wife (also a future UNC dental student) Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha (21), and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu Salha (19) were murdered by Craig Stephen Hicks (46), their neighbor, over what police claim to be a “ongoing dispute over a parking space.”

The murders of the three Muslim students sent shock waves throughout many social media networks and platforms due to the uproar that the students’ story was underrepresented. Furthermore, the murders set off a series of arguments over whether or not the students were targeted due to their religious beliefs, due to the anti-theist nature of Hicks’ Facebook. The two aftershocks following the shootings birthed the phrase #muslimlivesmatter.

On February 16th, Hicks was indicted in front of a Durham county grand jury on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. Hicks is expected to make his first appearance after his indictment on March 2 in front of a Superior Court. 

For more information click here and here.
Alabama: 
Last Monday, action taken by the Supreme Court paved the way for legalizing same sex marriages in Alabama. However, 47 of the 62 counties in the state refused to issue licenses, backed by the conservative chief justice of the state. Then on Thursday, a federal judge ordered Mobile County to resume issuing licenses for same sex unions, setting a precedent for the other 46 counties follow. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is set to rule on the legality of same sex marriage across the country this summer, a decision which would provide much needed clarity for cases such as this one in Alabama.
Read more here.
America and Cuba:
With the renewal of a relationship between Cuba and the United States on December 16, 2014, Cubans are becoming optimistic for conditions of 2015. They are hopeful that with this new relationship there will be economic benefits and better living conditions without the embargo that has been in place since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1960. There are still problems, though, and at the beginning of January there were rumors spreading around to the Cubans that the “wet foot, dry foot” policy would end January 15. These rumors led to a large number of Cubans coming to the U.S. by sea compared to the amount that came to Florida before Obama began to have these “normalizing” talks with Cuba. One of the small steps in the new relations has been a decrease in travel restrictions for U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba. There are still restrictions, but now citizens do not need to obtain a special license from the Treasury Department to go there. Most recently, on Friday February 13th, the U.S. decreased import restrictions from Cuba. While tobacco and rum are still banned, the trade will still benefit Cuba’s economy. Also, in the future, the U.S. plans to make it easier to U.S. companies to provide business in Cuba. Major companies like Netflix, JetBlue, Twitter, and American Express are especially interested in expanding to Cuba in the future. Click here for more information.
Copenhagen: 
During a free speech conference in a small cafe in Copenhagen, a gunman shot and killed one civilian and injured three police officers. This act of violence is thought to be a “politically motivated act of terrorism”. There were several people attending this conference, including French Ambassador Francois Zimeray and Sweedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has received death threats for years. Members of the conference were discussing whether or not limits should be placed on artistic expression or freedom of speech. The event highlighted recent issues of artistic oppression, specifically the terrorist attack in Paris against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. While Vilks was not injured at the conference, he has a history of sparking controversy with his comics.
For more click here and for more on the suspected shooter click here.

About the author

Kyra has been writing for The Match for four years and is co-editor this year with Emily and Gabi. When she isn't reading The Match, she enjoys chocolate, professional wrestling, and long walks on the beach.