27 August 2015
Week in Brief:INTERNATIONAL NEWS
BANGLADESH: Counter-terrorism police have arrested three supreme court lawyers accused of financing a militant Islamic group.
BRAZIL: Eduardo Cunha, the Speaker of the Lower House of Congress, has been charged with receiving bribes of £3 million in the scandal engulfing Petrobas, the state-owned oil company.
Scientific tests in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, have shown it to be too polluted for the sailing events planned to take place there in next summer’s Olympics.
BURUNDI: Police opened fire on protesters, killing at least 80, as President Nkurunziza was sworn in for a controversial third term. Captive protesters have been tortured by the security forces, according to Amnesty International.
CANADA: Six people (including four Britons) died when a sea-plane crashed in remote woodland north of Quebec.
CHINA: China and Russia have embarked on a joint nine-day naval exercise in the Sea of Japan, the biggest the two countries have carried out together.
Uncertainty about China’s economic performance, stock market and currency triggered panic in financial centres around the world.
FRANCE: A number of people were injured on a train from Amsterdam to Paris when a Moroccan man opened fire with automatic weapons. He was overpowered by five fellow passengers, three Americans, a Frenchman and a Briton. All five have been awarded the Légion d’honneur. The gunman, Ayoub El Khazzani, a known Islamic extremist with a criminal background in drug-dealing, is in police custody.
M.Le Pen was expelled from the National Front, the party he founded. The party’s leader, his daughter Marine Le Pen, is planning to win the presidency of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region.
GAZA: Hamas, the militant Palestinian group who govern Gaza, have arrested a dolphin which they claim is a Mossad-trained spy for Israel.
GERMANY: Chancellor Merkel is insisting that all EU countries take a proportion of the immigrants now entering Europe. Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, has demanded a quota system to be applied throughout the EU. In the past, both the UK and Denmark have opted out of compulsory EU quotas.
GREECE: The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras announced his resignation and called a snap election for next month. Members from the left of Syriza have broken away to form a new party, Popular Unity, calling for Grexit and the drachma.
HUNGARY: 2000 migrants – a record number – crossed into Hungary from Serbia in one day, eager to enter the EU before Hungary completes its border fence this week.
IRAN: Iran and Britain reopened their embassies in London and Tehran.
IRAQ: US National Security claim that the Isis second-in-command, Fadhil al-Hayali (also known as Haji Mutazz) was killed in an airstrike near Mosul.
KOREA: North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire as North Korea demands South Korea stops broadcasting propaganda across the border via loudspeakers, an activity resumed after 11 years in retaliation for the injury of two South soldiers by mines laid by the North in the border zone. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, ordered his troops to “enter a wartime state”. However, talks to relieve the tension have resulted in a joint statement with North Korea expressing regret over the land-mine injuries and South Korea agreeing to stop the broadcasts.
MACEDONIA: Riot police used tear gas and stun grenades on refugees and migrants as they tried to enter across the border with Greece. They are racing to enter Hungary before its border fence is completed this week.
PACIFIC OCEAN: A month-long expedition of 30 ships, organised by Ocean Cleanup, has found that the floating mass of plastic rubbish known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is even bigger than previously thought.
PHILIPPINES: Typhoon Goni triggered landslides and flooding which have killed at least 15 people, damaged 1000 houses and displaced 32,000 people.
RUSSIA: An Estonian security services officer, Eston Kohver, was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Estonia, a member of NATO and the EU, insists that he was kidnapped on Estonian soil by Russian agents and smuggled across the border into Russia.
SYRIA: Isis has destroyed the Mar Elian monastery, a Christian site where Muslims and Christians worshipped in harmony, and kidnapped its (mainly Christian) community of 200.
Isis has murdered Palmyra’s retired chief archaeologist and destroyed Palmyra’s ancient temple of Baal Shamin.
TURKEY: Gunmen fired on police guarding Dolmabahce Palace, a tourist attraction housing the prime minister’s office, in Istanbul. Two men were arrested and one policeman injured.
Efforts to form a coalition government following last June’s elections have failed. Snap elections in November are now likely.
USA: About 4000 homes have been evacuated, three firefighters killed and four others injured as wildfires rage through Washington state.
YEMEN: Bob Semple, a British petroleum engineer kidnapped by al-Quaeda operatives 18 months ago, was freed by United Arab Emirates forces.
The Red Cross has closed its office in Aden after it was attacked and robbed by gunmen for the eleventh time in two weeks.