28 July 2016
Week in Brief: International
FRANCE: Two knife-wielding jihadists murdered an 85 year old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, at the altar of a church at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy, where he had just begun morning mass. Two other people were injured. The two jihadists were shot dead by police as they left the church using three hostages as shields. One of the jihadists had twice attempted to join Isis in Syria; he had been released from prison four months ago and was under house arrest.
Police have arrested five people accused of helping the Tunisian lorry driver to plan and execute last week’s attack on the Bastille Day crowds in Nice which killed 84 people.
Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is to go on trial charged with negligence for allowing a fraud claim against a state-owned bank to be decided by arbitration rather than by more usual court procedures, when she was French finance minister.
GERMANY: A German-Iranian teenager shot nine people dead and wounded thirty others in a shopping centre in Munich. He killed himself when challenged by the police. He had a history of psychiatric problems.
A Syrian refugee armed with a machete killed a woman and injured two other people in Reutlingen. A man has been arrested.
A Syrian refugee who had been refused asylum killed himself with a bomb after he was turned away from a music festival in Ansbach, Bavaria. He had a history of petty crime and mental problems and had pledged himself to Isis.
GREECE: The eight Turkish officers who fled to Greece in a helicopter following the failed Turkish coup have been sentenced to two months in jail for entering the country illegally.
ITALY: 22 people died in an inflatable dingy packed with more than 100 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe.
RUSSIA: The International Olympic Committee turned down the World Anti-Doping Agency’s recommendation, in its report on state-sponsored cheating, to ban all Russians from participating in next month’s Olympic games. The IOC said it would leave the decision to the bodies governing individual sports.
SPAIN: A baby was born in Barcelona with microcephaly caused by zika, the first in Europe. The mother contracted zika in Latin America.
UKRAINE: A journalist, Pavel Sheremet, was killed by a bomb exploding in his car in Kiev. Mr Sheremet was a Russian citizen from Belarus who worked at the independent Ukrainian news website Ukrainskaya Pravda.
Middle East and Africa
ABU DHABI: The solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 landed after a two day flight from Cairo, to complete a record-breaking first ever solar-powered flight around the world. During 500 hours in the air, it flew 24,000 miles over 16 months in a number of stages, piloted alternately by Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, each sleeping for 20 minutes every couple of hours.
AFHANISTAN: 80 people were killed by an Isis suicide bomber in Kabul. Three bombers attacked a mainly Shia protest march, but only one bomb went off.
IRAN: Revolutionary Guards are investigating corruption allegations against associates of the moderate president Hassan Rouhani. Ali Rastegar, managing director of Bank Mellat, was arrested last week; and there are claims that the president’s brother Hossein Fereydoun, a diplomat and former intelligence vice-minister, is seeking to leave the country.
LIBYA: Three French soldiers were killed when their helicopter crashed near Benghazi. An extremist militia coalition, the Benghazi Defence Brigade, claims to have shot the helicopter down.
REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO: The opposition leader Paulin Makaya has been sentenced to two years in prison for protesting last year against the referendum which changed the constitution to allow the president a third term.
SOMALIA: At least 13 people were killed when al-Shabaab suicide bombers attacked an African Union military base in Mogadishu.
SOUTH SUDAN: President Kiir has removed Riek Machar as his vice-president. Mr Machar’s appointment earlier this year brought an end to two years of civil war between followers of the two men.
SYRIA: The Syrian rebel group the Nusra Front, or factions within it, is ready to cut ties with al-Qaeda, according to reports. The USA and Russia are said to be close to an agreement for joint action against Isis and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.
Four hospitals were hit during a 24 hour air attack by Russian and Assad-regime forces on rebel-held areas of Aleppo.
TURKEY: President Erdogan declared a three month state of emergency in the wake of last week’s failed military coup. The purge of the army, judiciary, civil service, police and universities continues, with 60,000 arrested or dismissed. The government announced that the leaders of the coup would be denied religious burials. Mr Erdogan has urged his supporters to continue their rallies on the streets.
ZIMBABWE: The Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association, once among President Mugabe’s staunchest supporters, are demanding his resignation as the country’s economy deteriorates.
Far East, Asia and Pacific
CAMBODIA: Kem Ley, pro-democrasy activist and critic of the government, was murdered by a gunman in Phnom Penh. Thousands of people joined his funeral procession.
CHINA: 164 people have died and 125 are missing as floods hit north east province of Hebei.
INDIA: At least seven people have died and over a million have been forced from their homes by heavy rains and floods in Assam.
JAPAN: A man armed with a knife killed nineteen people and wounded at least forty in an attack on the residents of a care home in Sagamihara. A man claiming to be a former worker at the care home and to be responsible for the attack handed himself in to the police.
MALAYSIA: The US justice department has begun action to seize assets in the US which it claims were acquired as part of a huge money-laundering operation originating in Malaysia. They allege that the money belonged to the Malaysian state but was appropriated by high-ranking officials including the prime minister Najib Razak.
NEPAL: Prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli resigned – his government lost its majority when the Maoist party pulled out of the coalition.
PHILIPPINES: President Duterte announced a ceasefire in the 47 year old fight against Communist insurgents.
ARGENTINA: Four nuns and Jose Lopez, who was former president Cristina Kirchner’s secretary of public works, are under investigation following allegations that Mr Lopez used the Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima convent to hide plastic bags filled with £7 million in foreign currency.
BRAZIL: Police arrested ten men allegedly attempting to buy arms and planning an Isis-inspired terror attack during the Olympics.
USA: An Afghan man held for 14 years in the Guantanamo Bay centre is to be released, following the conclusion that his detention was the result of mistaken identity. 76 prisoners remain in the centre; 31 are due to be released.
Police shot a therapist who was working with an autistic patient on a street in Miami. The therapist, a man of colour, lay on the ground and put his hands in the air when he was surrounded by the police, and one officer then shot him in the leg.
Ted Cruz, in a speech at the Republican Party congress in Cleveland, refused to endorse Donald Trump as the leader.
The chairwoman of the Democrat Party has stepped down after leaked emails suggested that she was not neutral in the primaries but used her position to encourage party officials to favour Hilary Clinton and undermine Sanders. Democrat officials have claimed that the emails were stolen by Russian hackers and leaked to destabilise the elections.
Hilary Clinton chose the Virgina senator Tim Kaine, a conservative democrat, as her vice-presidential running-mate. At the Democrat party convention in Philadelphia, she officially secured her party’s nomination as their candidate for the presidency, but there were divisive protests by Sander’s supporters, who even booed Sanders when he urged them to support Hilary Clinton. Sanders said he would return to the Senate as an Independent, not a Democrat.
Two teenagers were shot dead and 18 people injured at a party in a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida.
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