News In Focus:
From An African Lion To A British Hogg

News In Focus: A Look At This Week’s Most Interesting Stories

Zimbabwe: A lion’s death in a remote Africa savannah attracted worldwide attention last week.

Cecil, the most beloved lion in Hwange National Park, was lured out of his sanctuary and shot with an arrow, and, later on, a bullet.

The hunter was later identified to be an American tourist, who reportedly paid tens of thousands for his big-game kill.

For more, we go to the BBC:


UK: Over 125,000 Brits have signed a petition in support of legalizing marijuana in the United Kingdom.

James Owen, an economics student at Aberystwyth University, posted the petition on Parliament’s official e-petitions website on July 21, calling for Parliament to “make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal.”

Naming many benefits of marijuana, Owen claimed that legalizing cannabis could raise £900 million (US$1.4 billion) in taxes every year; save £400 million (US$625 million) on policing cannabis; and create over 10,000 new jobs.

The petition might have been inspired by an earlier decision by Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg who relaxed his department’s grip on small-scale cannabis smoking and growing as a budget trimming measure.

Below is a Channel 4 News interview with Hogg:


Kenya: With a mission to foster co-operation against Islamist extremism, while promoting America’s stance on democracy and gay rights, U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to his late father’s home country as part of a four-day official tour through East Africa.

While in Kenya, the president was not shy to speak out against tribalism, corruption and “bad traditions,” such as those that treat women as second-class citizens.

Pundits believe that Obama’s visit was motivated by “a desire to bolster America’s influence in Africa at a time when growing populism, Islamic extremism and Chinese economic might are undermining it,” according to the Economist.

During his trip, President Obama spoke to members of the African Union in Ethiopia. This is his speech, in full:


Turkey: For the first time, Turkish aircrafts bombed three Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria last Friday to pre-empt the terrorist group’s attack on the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the strikes began after ISIS claimed responsibility for a bombing that killed 32 in the southern Turkish city of Suruc.

Acting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, said the ISIS targets included the group’s headquarters and an “assembly point”.

Besides striking ISIS, the Turkish government also allowed US-led coalition warplanes to use its air bases to launch attacks against the group.

Turkey’s entrance in the fight against ISIS might also be connected to its intentions to quash a long-standing Kurdish insurgency.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has pointed out to his NATO allies that Kurdish separatists were “at least as big a threat to Turkey’s part of the world as the fighters of the Islamic State,” according to the New York Times.

CNN reports more on Turkey’s involvement:


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Lead-In Image of Cecil The Lion Courtesy of Paula French /