In case you haven’t heard, Donald Trump served college football players some fast food. But, you may not have known while these players were eating Big Macs and fries, the Chechen government was abusing, torturing and killing members of the region’s LGBT community. In today’s 24-hour news-media, Donald Trump dominates every headline and creates controversy. To remind you that Trump, the government shutdown and possible Russian collusion aren’t the only stories you need to know about here are three stories that are just as, if not more important, than what Trump is up to. This is the first issue of a weekly update on the non-Trump stories you need to know. To get Three Stories every Friday by email, join our mailing list below!
Two Dead, Over F
orty Imprisoned in Chechen “Gay Purge”
Russian activists claim that forty gay men have been detained and two killed in the Chechen government’s latest attempt to suppress the regions’ LGBT community. The Chechen government denies these allegations despite evidence presented by the Russian LGBT Network. In addition to arrests, police have been ordering families of LGBT citizens to commit “honor killings” of their homosexual relatives, according to Amnesty International.
LGBT activists claim that the arrests are a direct result of the detention of an administrator of a website that allows homosexual men in Chechnya to communicate. The police allegedly got access to the sites users list and has begun targeting and arresting users.
Chechnya, led by Ramzan Kadyrov, has more authority over its own affairs than other Russian subjects because of its status as an autonomous region, have committed numerous human rights violations in the past 20 years. The predominantly Muslim region already had a similar controversy surrounding the alleged detention of over 100 gay and lesbian individuals in 2017. The Russian government has been urged to look into the human rights violations of the Chechen government but has been hesitant to do so.
Witness Claims Former Mexican President Took $100 Million Bribe to P
rotect “El Chapo”
Earlier last week a witness detailed how former Mexican president Peña Nieto received $100 million in exchange for calling off the search for Guzman at the trial of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in New York.
The witness was a former colleague of Guzman named Alex Cifuentes. In his testimony, Cifuentes described how Nieto offered Guzman $250 million to call off the search for him but Guzman could only offer $100 million, which Nieto accepted. Cifuentes also noted that another previous Mexican president, Felipe Calderon, also took a bribe but this time from one of Guzman’s main rivals, the Beltran-Leyva brothers.
Additionally, Cifuentes described how Guzman paid between $10-12 million to have the Mexican military raid conduct operations against the Beltran-Leyva brothers, noting that the Mexican police took an active part in the drug trade and even sold cocaine.
Theresa May Survives Another No-Confidence Vote Amid Brexit D
After having a potential deal to leave the European Union resoundingly rejected, British Prime Minister Theresa May barely survived another vote of no confidence 325-306 on Jan. 16. May will have to present her revised plan by Monday.
May’s government has been heavily criticized for its handling of the country’s decision to leave the European Union. Much of the controversy, even within May’s conservative party, relates to the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit. This policy would mean the United Kingdom would leave the EU but with no sort of bridge to make the adjustment smoother.
Supporters claim a no-deal solution could hurt the economy, but would be better than remaining in the EU. Opponents believe that the British pound will decrease in value, and there will be a crisis at the UK border. Furthermore, the citizenship rights of three million inside the UK and one million British citizens living in EU member states may be called into question. (For more on what a no-deal Brexit would mean)
Little is clear about when or if a Brexit will actually happen. It’s unlikely a no-deal scenario will be approved by the House of Commons but it is possible.