The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Romanians numbering in the tens of thousands protest government reforms in Bucharest:  Approximately 50,000 people took the streets of Romania’s capital city on Saturday to express displeasure with laws recently passed by parliament which legitimize some political corruption and politicize the judicial system.

Demonstrations were also held in other Romanian cities which attracted thousands, including Timisoara, Iasi and Cluj.

The unrest caps a busy week in Bucharest, which saw the resignation of Prime Minister Mihai Tudose following a vote of no-confidence by members of his Social Democrat Party after a public spat with party leader Liviu Dragnea.

On Wednesday, President Klaus Iohannis designated European Parliament member Viorica Dancila as Romania’s next prime minister, the country’s third since 2017.

Turkish forces begin offensive on “terrorist” outfits in northern Syria:  Turkey announced Saturday that it has launched a coordinated air and ground attack against the town of Afrin, part of the Aleppo Governorate in northeastern Syria.

The campaign, operation “Olive Branch”, targets U.S.-supported Kurdish militant groups Turkey regards as “terror” organizations.

Following intense bombing by Turkish fighter jets, the allied Free Syrian Army, an anti-Assad force, made its move on Afrin to free it from Kurdish control.  Russia, which controls Syrian airspace, announced it will remove previously deployed soldiers from the city and relocate them to a “de-escalation zone”.

President Recep Erdogan said Turkey’s next move will be to capture the Kurdish city of Manbij, approximately 80 miles east of Afrin.

Severe drought conditions in Cape Town could result in total water shortage:  Authorities in South Africa’s second largest city say residents must cut their water usage in half or risk reservoirs running dry by April 21.

According to international conservationist group, WWF, Cape Town’s dams are now at less than one-third of total capacity. If water continues to be consumed at the current rate of over 152 million gallons per day, the commercial and residential supply will have to be turned off in three months time.

Mayor Patricia de Lille says most have ignored the daily consumption limit of 23 gallons put in place in October.  Starting Feb. 1, each resident is advised to use only 13 gallons of water per day.

“We have reached a point of no return,” a statement by Cape Town’s mayor read. “The new targets will remain in place for 150 days before the city reassesses the situation.”

More than 1,000 charged for sharing videos of Danish teens having sex:  Law enforcement officials in Denmark announced Monday that a total of 1,004 teenagers and young adults are being charged for distributing child pornography via Facebook Messenger in the fall of 2017.

According to Danish police, a pair of videos depicting two 15-year-olds engaged in sexual activity were shared on the social media platform thousands of times.

Facebook initially alerted U.S. authorities after the videos were “flagged” by users. Interpol then passed the information on to local police, which subsequently conducted a criminal investigation.

Head of Denmark’s cybercrime police unit, Flemming Kjaerside, said if convicted, those charged may be listed on a child misconduct registry for over a decade, face jail time and be barred from entering the United States.


[Euronews] [Reuters] [Al Jazeera] [BBC] [News24] [Deutsche Welle] [Bloomberg]