Hottest News Picks for August 16, 2019

1 Iraq Mystery Fires Destroying Crucial Crops

Iraqi farmers are facing tough times with an “unprecedented” number of fires destroying their crops. Even the size of recent crop burnings is larger than usual. Farming regions enjoyed a brief stint of stability after ISIS lost territorial control. Earlier in August, the country was able to obtain a wheat stockpile large enough to make Iraq self-sustainable in some crops.

That self-sustainability is in danger with massive fires like this one.

Blazing farmlands are not a new sight for Iraqi farmers, but the cause of them remains in question. The government is downplaying the true devastation caused by these fires and claiming most of them are natural in cause. It’s not far-fetched to believe there’s a significant amount of vandalism involved given the consistent instability in the Middle East.

2 North Korea Retaliates Against South Korea’s “War Drills”

Kim Jong-un claims that he’s no longer open to any peace talks with South Korea. He labels their routine military training sessions as “war drills” and uses them as an excuse to snub South Korea’s leader Moon Jae-in. Of course, Kim is blowing the situation out of proportion while North Korea continues testing low-flying missiles that could bypass their neighbor’s anti-missile systems.

Kim is most likely playing hardball for political expediency. Hopefully, Trump can reconcile this misunderstanding with Kim during their next meeting.

3 Truck Drives Into ICE Protest Crowd

Protestors blocking the parking lot of a private prison in Rhode Island that contracts with ICE to hold illegal immigrants had a rude awakening during their gathering. A pickup truck owner drove into the crowd after they attempted to block him from entering the facility. Afterward, police pepper sprayed the crowd, which resulted in one person requiring a hospital trip to treat minor injuries..

Thankfully no one was significantly injured during this incident. The driver was not an ICE or prison employee and claimed he was within his rights with his counter-protesting methods. Although it’s difficult to sympathize with ICE protestors, there’s no place for potentially violent actions in public demonstrations.

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