Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most mind-blowing stories each week. And this was a big week for big stories.
There were so many over the last seven days that we’ve had to let a couple go by the wayside—such as the UK election, which we’ll cover next week when the dust has settled and the final results are in. In the meantime, here are the 10 stories that rocked the world since our last roundup.
10A Crisis In Qatar Threatened The Entire Persian Gulf
If you’re concerned about Russian hacking in the US, be glad you don’t live in Qatar. Last week, the tiny Arab monarchy’s state news channel put out a string of pro-Iran stories. Qatar is surrounded by Sunni Muslim states that consider Iran in the same terms we used to consider Stalin’s USSR. The backlash was immediate. Five countries (later revised up to nine) cut all ties with Qatar and instituted a devastating economic blockade.
This alone would be newsworthy. But the truly scary twist came when the FBI looked into it. They concluded that the offensive news stories had been planted by Russian hackers.
The hackers were freelancers, working without Moscow’s knowledge at the behest of one of the states doing the blockading (likely Saudi Arabia or the UAE). The stories were a pretext for the Saudis and others to take on their pro-Iran neighbor, and it worked like a dream. The Gulf is now facing its worst crisis in decades.
As an added complication, the US is allied with both states and desperately needs Qatar in the fight against ISIS. Driving a wedge between the US, Qatar, and the Saudis would be the caliphate’s dream come true.