March 17th, 2017: The biggest news stories from the past week
• Syrian Civil War extends into 7th year
• Trump proposes 2018 US Budget
• Change candidate Geert Wilders comes close in Dutch election
• Brexit bill passes in UK parliament
• Sierra Leonean pastor unearths 706-carat diamond
On this day
Today marks the Christian feast of St. Patrick, who was a 5th-Century Romano-British missionary to Ireland. Patrick almost single-handedly converted the pagan Irish to Christianity. Although the feast was primarily celebrated by the Irish diaspora in the United States in the past, the feast has grown in popularity around the world with each passing year. As part of festivities to mark this global cultural phenomenon, many famous landmarks are illuminated with green lights, and revelers around the world consume alcoholic beverages that have been colored green to mark the occasion.
1. Syrian Civil War extends into seventh year
Six years have come and gone since the Syrian Civil War broke out. It has claimed almost half a million lives to date, as well as seen millions of Syrians leave their homeland in droves.
2. President Trump proposes 2018 US Federal Budget
The US President has proposed an increase in defense spending, but slashed the Environmental Protection Agency’s and State Department’s budgets by almost a third.
3. Insurgent candidate Geert Wilders comes close in Dutch election
Wilders’ party, the PVV, won 20 seats in the Dutch parliament. Liberal Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, was elected for an historic third term in office, with his VVD party winning 33 seats.
4. Brexit bill passes in UK parliament
Prime Minister Theresa May now has the go-ahead to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will start the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
5. Sierra Leonean pastor unearths 706-carat diamond
The largest diamond to be found in the country in over four decades is said to be worth some $60 million. It was discovered by the pastor in the small village of Yakudu.