A snap election in Greenland has dealt a potentially fatal blow to a mining project that had been expected to produce around 10% of the world's rare-earth materials.
Why it matters: Rare-earths are key ingredients in batteries and magnets for everything from cell phones to electric cars. China dominates the industry — a source of concern in Washington because of the economic leverage it provides Beijing.
The simmering conflict in Eastern Ukraine has threatened to boil over the past few days, with Russia massing troops near the border and pro-Kremlin media raising the specter of war.
Why it matters: U.S. European Command went into high alert in light of the Russian movements, which some experts speculated could presage an active Russian military intervention in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine, where Ukraine has been fighting pro-Russian separatists for seven years.
Venezuela has launched an unexpected assault near its border with Colombia, presumably to attack armed groups and dissident guerrillas that push drugs and contraband in the area, but civilians have been forced to flee and some have reportedly been killed.
The big picture: The sudden military strikes in Apure state come after years of President Nicolás Maduro’s regime being hands-off in the border region
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and ranking member Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) on Thursday announced their finished bipartisan proposal to counter China's rising political and financial power.
Why it matters, via Axios' China reporter Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: This bill marks a culmination of years of growing bipartisan concern, and the rise of an increasingly authoritarian China. If it passes, it will send a strong signal to Beijing that both parties are unified in defending democratic values from authoritarian encroachment.
A trio of students at a school in Basel, Switzerland, got more than they bargained for when they faked positive COVID-19 tests in a bid to get out of school, Reuters reports.
Why it matters: The episode highlights the tenuous loopholes in remote schooling students as well as possible issues with Switzerland’s COVID-19 contact tracing app, as the trio falsified SMS messages from the app.
The result: The prank resulted in 25 classmates — plus several teachers — at Basel’s Kirschgarten High School being quarantined for 10 days.
What's next: Although the school won't expel the students for their prank, it is planning to pursue criminal charges for falsifying “health-relevant documents,” reports Reuters.
U.S. authorities picked up a record number of unaccompanied children —nearly 19,000— at the southern border in March, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement on Thursday.
Why it matters: Crossings of unaccompanied minors are on the rise and are expected to continue for months, possibly reaching as many as 26,000 by September, Axios previously reported.
Amid a rise in online anti-Semitism, Holocaust survivors are sharing their experiences on social media in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day Thursday.
Why it matters: The #ItStartedWithWords campaign is aimed at educating people on the Nazi genocide — and how hate speech paved the way for mass murder.
Leaders in Northern Ireland Thursday called for calm and an end to the unrest that has rocked the country for nearly a week, AP reports.
Why it matters: Tensions between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland have been rising since Brexit upset the political balance between the two, culminating in the violence the nation has seen in the last week.
Myanmar's former ambassador to the United Kingdom says he was pushed out of the embassy after Myanmar's military attaché overtook the building, BBC reports.
Why it matters: "There was a coup in Myanmar in February. Now there is the same situation in central London," Kyaw Zwar Minn said through a spokesperson Thursday.
Nathan Law, a former lawmaker and prominent pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong, announced Wednesday that he has been granted asylum in the U.K.
Why it matters: Britain's decision to grant Law asylum, and to offer incentives to other Hong Kong residents to resettle in the U.K., will likely increase tensions between the U.K. and China, Reuters reports.
Politicians and judges in Australia will no longer be exempt from rules barring workplace sexual harassment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Thursday.
Why it matters: Morrison has faced backlash for his government's management of sexual abuse scandals.
New Zealand has announced a temporary entry ban on all travelers from India, including NZ citizens, after a spike in COVID-19 cases at the border from the South Asian nation — which set another pandemic record on Thursday.
Driving the news: NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a briefing the 17-day suspension after 17 of the 23 new coronavirus infections confirmed Thursday in returned travelers in managed hotel quarantine were from India.