Protests were held nationwide this weekend urging President Obama to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Thousands of people marched in at least 62 cities. Some activists marked Saturday as the date when the Obama administration likely reached its two millionth deportation. According to The New York Times, two-thirds of those deported under Obama had committed minor infractions, such as traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.
Yemen has issued a temporary ban on U.S. military drone strikes following an attack that killed scores of civilians late last year. The New York Times reports the Joint Special Operations Command is no longer allowed to wage drone warfare in Yemen after the December strike that killed around 12 people attending a wedding. Despite the ban on the U.S. military, the CIA continues to carry out strikes in Yemen. Next month will mark one year since President Obama delivered a speech calling for scaling back the U.S. drone war, including phasing out the role of the CIA.
Hundreds of pro-Russian demonstrators have seized government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities. Some are calling for a referendum to break off from Ukraine and join with Russia like the one in Crimea last month. The Ukraine government says the demonstrators are trying to spark new military incursions from Russian forces amassed on the border.
Millions of people turned out in Afghanistan this weekend to cast their votes in a national election. Eight candidates are vying to replace outgoing President Hamid Karzai. The high turnout came despite threats of violence from the Taliban. Full results are expected later this week.
Israel is threatening “unilateral” action if Palestinians press ahead with statehood moves at the United Nations. The Palestinian Authority applied for membership in 15 international conventions and treaties last week after Israel reneged on a pledge to free Palestinian prisoners. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Palestinian efforts to obtain international recognition “will be answered by unilateral moves [on] our end.” The Obama administration is backing Israel’s opposition to Palestinian statehood efforts. Testifying before a House panel last week, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said trying to “deter Palestinian action … is what we do all the time, and that is what we will continue to do.”