Outside Iona

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

Taliban discusses peace with President Trump.

United States talks with the Taliban regarding peace are finally back in session after being cancelled by Trump in September. The talks were cancelled after the Taliban claimed an attack that killed a dozen people including an American soldier in Kabul, Afghanistan, according to CNN. Before the cancellation, the discussion centered on getting American troops out of Afghanistan and both nations were preparing to sign a draft agreement calling for a decrease in violence. Afghanistan is willing to negotiate further but still holds the same stance as before, which is to get American troops out of the country. Once the troops begin to leave, the nation will begin to uphold their end of the agreement, according to the Washington Post. Trump has changed the goals for the talk and is now calling for a total cease-fire. Discussions of a cease-fire were dismissed for future discussions only after the U.S. has pledged and begun removing troops, according to the New York Times.

Information from The Washington Post, CNN and The New York Times.


Singapore declares law to combat the rising of fake news.

Singapore has signed a new law that allows the government to monitor media content on the internet. The new law allows any government minister to order any company or social media platform to remove or correct content that the government disagrees with, filtering and reshaping what people see online so that it conforms to the official state, according to The Atlantic. Big companies such as Facebook or Google were given exemptions in order to give them time to adapt. However, once the exemptions are over and if the government finds something to be “false,” that could mean a large fine for the guilty party, according to The Guardian. Large platforms such as Facebook have been fighting back against the law by urging the government to respect free expression after being legally required to tell users ‘the Singapore government says this post is false information,’ according to SCMP.

Information from The Atlantic, The Guardian and SCMP.


Thousands of protestors vote in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong protests started in June over a bill allowing the extradition of criminals to the Chinese mainland. Protestors believed that the bill could undermine judicial independence and endanger dissidents. The bill was withdrawn in September, but protests still continue and now demand a full democracy and reform in police actions. The protestors have a motto: “Five demands, not one less!” They are calling for the protests not to be characterized as a riot, amnesty for arrested protesters,an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, implementation of complete universal suffrage and the withdrawal of the bill, which has already been given, according to BCC News. The protestors have been making some progress and have successfully voted and achieved over 300 seats for the pro-democracy camp. The record number is being called a “democratic tsunami,” according to NBC News.

Information from NBC News and BBC News.