October 2014 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of October 2014.
U.S. Launches Airstrikes on Kobani (Oct. 14): The U.S. launches airstrikes on Kobani, Syria, in an effort to prevent ISIS from taking over the strategically located town and gaining additional smuggling routes to arm fighters. Rather than assist the U.S. in its fight against ISIS, Turkey in October attacks installations of the Syrian wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the southeast, near the border with Iraq. The move outrages Kurds and also frustrates U.S. officials who are counting on the NATO ally for support. (Oct. 21): The Turkish government shifts its policy and starts to allow a limited number of Iraqi Kurdish members of the pesh merga to cross from Turkey into Kobani to fight ISIS. (Oct. 27): ISIS maintains its hold on many cities in the largely Sunni Anbar Province, as U.S.-led airstrikes prove largely ineffectual without the support of Iraqi troops on the ground. U.S. and Iraqi officials are concerned that if ISIS takes over Anbar, it can then close in on Baghdad and the international airport there. Despite making conciliatory gestures toward Sunnis, Prime Minister Abadi fails to encourage Sunnis to join the fight against ISIS. The Iraqi military remains weakened by desertions, diminished morale, and mistrust of the new government.
Morales Wins Third Consecutive Term in Bolivia (Oct. 12): President Evo Morales wins a third consecutive term, taking 61% of the vote. His closest opponent in the election is the Democratic Unity Party's Samuel Doria Medina who receives 24.5%. During his victory speech, Morales says, "This victory is the victory of the anti-colonialists and the anti-imperialists." Morales dedicates his third term re-election to Hugo Chvez. Critics express fear that Morales will follow Chvez's lead and attempt to stay in office past 2020. The Constitution currently bars him from seeking a fourth term, but last year Bolivia's Constitutional Court ruled that Morales could run for a third term in the 2014 elections. Many suspect his party will seek another change to the Constitution, allowing him to run again like Chvez did in Venezuela.
Britain Votes to Recognize Palestine (Oct. 13): Britain's Parliament votes 274-12 to give diplomatic recognition to Palestine. The symbolic nonbinding vote is an indication of the British government's shift since the recent conflict in Gaza, the latest round of failed peace negotiations, and Israel continuing to build settlements.
The Houthis and President Hadi Agree on New Prime Minister (Oct. 13): Khaled Bahah, Yemen's former ambassador to the UN, is named the country's new prime minister. Bahah is chosen after the Houthis reject President Hadi's first choice.
Gunman Attacks Canada's Parliament (Oct. 22): A Canadian soldier is shot and killed while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada's capital. Nearby, gunfire erupts inside the Parliament building. A gunman, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, is killed as police rush to evacuate and secure the building. Police are searching for at least two more possible gunmen. It is the second assault in three days. On Oct. 20, a car strikes two people. One is a uniformed member of Canada's armed forces. Police chase Martin Rouleau-Coulture, the driver of the car, who is shot and killed after a confrontation. Authorities suspect that the two incidents may be linked to Canada's support of the campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS). (Oct. 23): While initial reports stated that there were multiple shooters, authorities now believe that Zehaf-Bibeau, age 32, acted alone. Canadian resident Zehaf-Bibeau had a criminal record and had been recently designated a high-risk traveler by the Canadian government.
Blackwater Guards Convicted (Oct. 22): Four security guards for the private security company Blackwater Worldwide are convicted by a jury in a Washington Federal District Court of manslaughter, murder, and weapons charges for their involvement in the September 2007 shooting deaths of 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians. Nicholas Slatten is convicted of murder, and Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, and Paul Slough are convicted of voluntary manslaughter and weapons violations. The killings sparked furious protests in Iraq.