Global Briefs: Hitting Iran’s Hamas-funding scheme
U.S. Treasury Department issues new sanctions Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
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The U.S. Treasury Department issued new sanctions Oct. 27 against members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, saying Iran has played a significant role in financing the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Treasury said it also targeted a Gaza-based entity that has transferred Iranian funds to Hamas. The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 25 that hundreds of Hamas fighters have received specialized combat training in Iran, according to regional intelligence sources. But U.S. intelligence officials said they did not have information linking Iranian training to the Oct. 7 Hamas assault on Israel. —Jenny Lind Schmitt
Voters chose María Corina Machado, a critic of the country’s socialist government, to run against current President Nicolás Maduro in the 2024 presidential election. Results released Oct. 26 showed over 2.4 million voters participated in the opposition party’s election, with roughly 93 percent supporting Machado. Maduro’s government has agreed, in principle, to allow the opposition party to choose a candidate—but it banned Machado from officially running for office in June and has opened criminal investigations against the party’s organizers. Machado accused the government of violating its agreement, saying her party ran the election in a “rigorous and absolutely legal manner.” Washington has threatened to renew sanctions against Venezuela, including in the oil sector, if the government does not reinstate the rights of opposition candidates by the end of November. —Elizabeth Russell
The constitutional court on Oct. 26 upheld a law that bans gay sex in the military. It ruled in a 5-4 vote that article 92-6 of the Military Criminal Act, which prohibits homosexual activity or “any other indecent act” during service, was constitutional. The court said same-sex relations could undermine discipline and harm combat readiness. It was the fourth time since 2002 that the court upheld the law that carries a prison term of up to two years. Military service is mandatory for all able-bodied men aged 18 to 28, who must serve between 18 and 21 months. Gay rights activists condemned the ruling. —Joyce Wu
Bobi, the world’s oldest dog, died Oct. 21 at 31 years and 165 days old. His owner, Leonel Costa, was 8 years old when Bobi was born. The purebred rafeiro do Alentejo lived his entire life on the Costa family farm near Portugal’s West Coast. Costa attributed Bobi’s long life to good food, fresh air, lots of love, and “a calm, peaceful environment,” adding the dog ate the same food as the family and was never put on a leash. An Australian dog named Bluey set the previous world record for oldest dog at 29 years old in 1939. Bobi’s veterinarian wrote on social media, “Despite outliving every dog in history, his 11,478 days on earth would never be enough, for those who loved him.” Bobi’s successor as the world’s oldest living dog is not yet known. —Jenny Lind Schmitt
On Oct. 26, the country’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) seized control of Sudan’s second-largest city, Nyala. The group’s second-in-command, Abdelrahim Dagalo, reportedly led the Nyala invasion, ousting the military and gaining access to possible supply routes. In September, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Dagalo for his role in civilian massacres, ethnic killings, and sexual violence. At least 5.7 million Sudanese have fled their homes and 9,000 civilians have been killed since the conflict began in April. The Nyala invasion coincided with the resumption of cease-fire talks in Saudi Arabia. Attempts at nine temporary cease-fires between the military and RSF have failed since the war began. —Amy Lewis
Dozens of people died when Hurricane Otis battered cities on the country’s Pacific Coast. Most of the victims lived in the resort city of Acapulco, where about 80 percent of hotels flooded and deadly mudslides killed entire families in their homes. Otis intensified from a tropical storm in just 12 hours, making landfall early on Oct. 25 as a Category 5 hurricane, with winds over 165 miles per hour. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador dispatched about 15,000 troops to the Acapulco area to keep order and help clear debris. López Obrador said Oct. 28 that his opponents are trying to inflate the death toll in order to damage him politically—but it is likely to rise as authorities continue search and recovery efforts. —Elizabeth Russell
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