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Wednesday January 7, 2015 World News

France: in the middle of Paris, masked gunmen force their way into Charlie Hebdo's offices and kill 10 employees / cartoonists, 2 policemen, and flee in stolen car, shouting that they've avenged the Prophet Muhammad; the weekly satirical newspaper had published cartoons depicting Prophet, but always spewing an equal-opportunity irreverence (live updates). Hashtag #JeSuisCharlie now internationally top-trending on Twitter. France: fact sheet about Charlie Hebdo, and threats it faced in the past. In pictures: Charlie Hebdo, soldiers deployed throughout Paris, manhunt for attackers. Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, which published Prophet Muhammad cartoons in 2005, several times target of unsuccessful terrorist attacks, now on high alert. Yemen: suicide bomber kills 33 at police enrollment center, possibly some civilians. Somalia: al-Shabab kills 4 suspected informants for US, Ethiopia, or gov. France: new book depicting hypothetical France in 2022 under Islamic law causes a stir, viewed as provocative by some. Iraq: justice inside ISIS-occupied towns; video released of amputation (thief), whipping (for watching porn), etc. Booming trade of endangered species as amusement for mega-rich Russians - in this case, baby orangutans at ~$36,000 apiece. China deal with Russia to build the world's longest high-speed train, connecting Beijing to Moscow (48 hours, down from 7 days). Turkey: suicide bomber blows herself up in police station; one dead, one wounded. South Korea: defense ministry claims North doubled its offensive hackers team to 6k. Turkey detains freelance female Dutch reporter on suspicion of "terror". US to possibly start training Syrian rebels (moderate opposition) as early as spring. Sri Lanka presidential elections close high-intensity campaign; fears of possible post-election violence, whoever wins. Cambodia: former Khmer Rouge officers behind "killing fields" still occupying positions of power in country's politics. Bangladesh authorities threaten to bring murder charges against opposition leader, already confined to her Dhaka office by police; her supporters started violent clashes (4 dead, 3 injured). Quick news briefs:
Spain: police seize 1.5 tons of cocaine on ship coming from South America.
Nicaragua: US embassy voices concern over secretive, Chinese-backed canal project.
Syria: Kurdish fighters kill 24 jihadists in Kobani, near Turkish border.
India (Raigarh) elects first transgender mayor, who -weeks earlier- was a street performer living on scraps.
Syria's UN ambassador claims John McCain, US Senator, entered the country illegally in 2013.

Tuesday January 6, 2015 World News

Bangladesh: main opposition leader arrested, charged with arson, bombings & vandalism.Belgium: serial rapist denied right to die (assisted suicide, 1st case for a prisoner).Syria: US airstrikes at ISIS, as Kurds slowly taking back border town of Kobani.Nigeria: multinational military force HQ on Chad border now in Islamist hands.Bulgaria, poorest EU country, agrees to take back ~3,000 asylum seekers from Germany, Austria and Hungary, mostly Syrians.After series of gang rape stories that made intl news, India to set up 150 special police units dedicated to crimes against women.Egypt: two police officers guarding Coptic Christian church in Cairo shot dead.Turkish airlines last foreign carrier to halt flights to Libya, where civil war worsens.France: Hollande lectures that nations should stop threatening Russia with new sanctions, removing existing ones instead.Saudi Arabia: 4 heavily armed men coming from Iraq, with suicide vests, attack border patrols; all attackers and 3 guards dead.Syria: Western-backed opposition not sure it will attend Russia's peace talks after all.Germany: large, anti-Islamization protests in Berlin, flanked by counter-protest marches.Bangladesh: 4 Nationalist Party supporters shot during clashes w/ ruling party activists.Obama admin mulls cutting $440 million aid to Palestinians after slick move at ICC.Burundi: fight between troops & rebels kills 97 mostly rebels, who entered from Congo.New Zealand shaken by 6.4 magnitude earth quake, no report of damage so far.Russia: house-arrested opposition leader cuts ankle monitor bracelet as sign of protest.Indian airports on alert for Islamist threats (ISIS & Taliban) of hijacking airplanes.

Monday January 5, 2015 World News

Germany: anti-Islamization protests spread to Berlin, with counter-demonstrations.Israel: archeologists may have found the site of Jesus' trial, in Jerusalem's Old City.France: 13.5% of 2014 weddings in Paris are same-sex; was legalized in June 2013.Mali: Islamists kill at least 7 soldiers near Mauritanian border; fighting for north.Gambia coup: DOJ charges to men with conspiracy to overthrow foreign gov.France: Perpignan removes benches to fight the nuisance of people sleeping on them.Eastern Ukraine: look at life in city of Donetsk; hundreds killed despite ceasefire.India: second endangered rhino in a month killed for horn in Kaziranga National Park.Look at the all-female battalion in Syria; also runs police station and 2 field hospitals.Venezuela: broke country's president Maduro to visit China (to get upfront cash for future oil deliveries) and OPEC states to bring crude prices back up (government's lifeblood).Italy: tax reform talks on hold after discovery that the new laws could annul former leader Berlusconi's tax fraud conviction.North Korean deserter detained after killing four Chinese at border town of Helong.Yemen: bomb damages Shi'ite Muslim Houthi militia's compound in Sanaa.Somalia: massive car bomb near Mogadishu airport, days after senior al-Shabab killed.Australia: race against time to control bushfires raging since last Friday (12,500 hectares of land burnt since then).Afghanistan: president Ashraf Ghani, on CBS "60 Minutes", suggests that US should revise its withdrawal deadline.Japan: 1st time since 2011 nuclear accident, Fukushima rice test negative for radiations (2012 & 2013 crops had to be destroyed).Vatican City: Pope Francis picks diversity-reflecting group of new cardinals.Indonesia: ice-damage to engines was likely cause of AirAsia Flight 8501 crash into sea.

Sunday December 4, 2015 World News

Tunisia: in one of the Arab world's most secular countries, suspected Islamists murder an off-duty police officer near El Fahes, southwest of Tunis; 9 arrested. Authorities increasingly concerned about spillover from Libya, also a remote border region easily used as base for jihadis, along with mountainous region near Algerian border.Iran: to improve economy, president Hassan Rouhani to curb state involvement in business, and end country's isolation.Somalia: car bomb detonates in Mogadishu, followed by shooting targeting officials.Nigeria: Boko Haram Islamists take over military base near Baga, near Chad border.New Zealand: search called off for missing Mount Cook climbers, 1 Australian and 2 Germans, by now presumed dead.India: student finds green way to build low-cost housing - don't burn rice husks and straw, use it as building material.Brazil: inside look at a lawless favela on the outskirts of Rio, left alone by police as too dangerous - unlike others, earmarked for "pacification" ahead of 2016 olympics.China: TV drama pulled off the air; returns to screen, but without actress cleavage; part of a wider, increasing, censorship crackdown.Italian police estimate that smugglers made about $3 million from the illegal immigrants left on the latest "ghost cargo ship".France: activists outraged that Roma (gipsy) infant is denied burial. Mayor explains: the small town's running out of burial ground.Germany: mainstream parties worried about growing anti-Islamization sentiment and protests (latest, Monday, of ~20k).France: 7 injured during clashes between ~200 illegal Afghan and Eritrean immigrants trying to get to UK from port city Calais.Turkey: Musa Kart, author of critical political cartoons, taken to court on charges of insulting president (then PM) Erdogan.Hampshire, UK: 8 feared dead as Cypriot-registered, cement-ferrying cargo ship capsizes off the Scottish coast.

Saturday January 3, 2015 World News

South Australia: thousands flee their home as worst bushfire in decades rages out of control, despite efforts by 2k firefighters.Guyana issues brand new passports with more sophisticated security features, after increasing counterfeits in recent months.Prince Andrew's lawyer denies claims that either of have had sexual relations with then-underage woman, who's already made similar claims about other high-profile men.Kenya: marula oil, newcomer to luxury skincare, promises economic boost; sole, serious competitor is Namibia. Already used in over 140 products from the Body Shop.Lebanon: the 4-million-population country starts imposing visa requirements, as more than a million Syrian refugees fled to it.UK: 39-year-old British nurse with Ebola now in critical condition; she worked as volunteer nurse in Sierra Leone.Canada: Phu Lam, who killed 8 people plus himself in Edmonton, Alberta, spared two babies which he dropped off at relatives.Canada's $477 million (US) agricultural exports seriously affected by Russia's ailing economy and crippling western sanctions.DR Congo ready to attack Rwandan Hutu rebels, as six-month ultimatum expires (to disarm and go home, or to exile).UK: lawyers for former imam Abu Hamza argue that given his health, he should spend his sentence in a medical facility.Egypt: border troops shoot & kill Palestinian youth trying to cross the border with 3 others; worried, Cairo tightens Sinai border out of security concerns for Islamist Hamas.US/Iran nuke talks: tentative agreement that Iran will ship much of its enriched uranium to Russia (it's needed for weapons, but also used for peaceful purposes, like reactor fuel).India: 3 suspects apprehended in the three-week kidnapping and gang rape of 22-year-old Japanese research academic.Sweden: hundreds, in 3 major cities, march in support of the country's mosques, 3 of which were attacked by arson last month.India: police searching for two Budaun, Uttar Pradesh officers accused of raping a 14-year-old girl they kidnapped in the street.Italian PM Matteo Renzi furious about 83% of police officers having called-in sick on New Year's Eve; read article for excuses.Tunisia: Libya fighting spillover is greatest threat, says outgoing PM Mehdi Jomaa.Hungary: thousands protest against poverty and the government's abuses of power.Quick news briefs:
China: warehouse collapse kills 5 firefighters in northeast city of Harbin.
Yemen arrests three (Bulgarian, Belgian and Somali) for alleged al Qaeda links.
Saudi Arabia reopens its embassy in Baghdad after 25-year hiatus.
Indonesia: US embassy issues security warning to Americans in the region; threats vs. hotels & banks.
Northern Iraq: ISIS fighters abducted 170 men from villages, as retaliation for burning ISIS flag.
Greece: Christodoulos Xiros, left-wing extremist from militant group November 17, recaptured.
Israel temporarily freezes fund transfers to Palestinians after their president stunts with intl organizations.
Iran denies having reached a deal with the US in nuclear talks.
Kashmir: Pakistani and Indian border guards exchange fire; 4 dead.
Spain: over a dozen dromedary camels crammed into containers for Epiphany parades, freed by police.
Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah of hospitalized for pneumonia.
Southern Libya: 17 soldiers and 1 civilian killed amid militia violence.
Northeast Nigeria: Boko Haram Islamists abduct 40 villagers (boys and young men).
Indonesia: 30 bodies recovered from AirAsia jet in the Java Sea - weather hampers efforts.
Philippines: 2 soldiers killed, 4 injured, by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

Friday January 2, 2015 World News

In depth look at China's security and counter-terrorism policies in the Uyghur autonomous region of Xinjiang (where 45% of the population is Turkic Muslims ethnic minority).Quick news briefs:
Harper Collins atlas sold to Middle-East schools omits Israel on world map.
Greece: former PM George Papandreou to form new party.
Yemen: anti-Shi'ite tribesmen seize army tanks.
Gambia: dozens arrested, weapons cache uncovered, after failed coup attempt.
Venezuela economy: president's approval rating down to 22%, lowest since his term started.
North Korea: Kim Jong-un sister marries son of one of the country's most powerful officials.
Turkey: leftist groups take credit for anti-police attack in Istambul.
Spain: Madrid train status evacuated after false bomb threat.
India: Pakistani boat filled with explosives blows up off the coast; the country's long coastline makes it hard to defend.In 2014, Syrian civil war saw 76,000 people killed, half of them civilians; UN estimates place total deaths at 200,000 since 2011.Thousands of Ukraine nationalists march in Kiev, honoring 1940s anti-soviet figure, which Moscow calls Nazi collaborator.French new year: 940 cars set ablaze across the country, compared to 1,067 last year.Italy needs to rescue yet another cargo ship abandoned smugglers, filled with as many as 450 migrants, only days after the first.Syria: video of two Italian women kidnapped last summer; both were volunteers for non-profit health and water-related projects.Japan: 4th year in a row, birth rate drops to record low; at this rate, country's population will fall from 127m to 97m by 2050.Bahrain: US state dept. publicly expresses concern over arrest of opposition leader leading a protest against country's elections.Quick news briefs:
Brazil president Dilma Rousseff sworn into second term.
Kenya: three soldiers injured by -presumably- al Shabaab Islamists at Somalia border.
Libya progresses, trying to extinguish week-long oil storage tanks fire at its biggest port.

Thursday January 1, 2015 World News

Sweden: third mosque bombing in a week, this time in 4th largest city Uppsala.Germany poll: 1 in 8 (12.5%) would join anti-Islamization marches, growing trend.India scraps its Planning Commission, relic of communist era, relegating some decision making to individual regions w/ new body.Kashmir: four Pakistani troops killed in India/Pakistan clashes at disputed region's border; official 2003 ceasefire still in place.Guam: descendant of Spanish Jesuit missionary, killed there in 1684, brings his ancestor's possessions back for conference.Nigeria: suicide bomber blows himself up at church; stopped by guards at entrance, only manages to injure 8; no dead.Afghans now in charge of security; foreign troops left the country, amid violence, to respect self-imposed withdrawal deadline.Egypt's high court grants retrial to three Al Jazeera journalists, convicted of supporting Muslim Brotherhood (7/10-year sentences).China: stampede kills over 35 people trying to grab (fake) money thrown from building.Philippines: firecracker-started fire destroys hundreds of homes in Manila slums.Canada: so far, 176 turned away amid new travel ban from Ebola-affected countries.Israel: current PM Benjamin Netanyahu wins Likud party primary from ~75% electorate.North Korea proposes high-level talks with South Korea, with conditions; good news, since latest exchange was 10 months ago.Italy: bad weather halts search operations for victims of ferry fire in Adriatic; 11 killed, 98 people still unaccounted for.Vatican City - Pope Francis' homily stresses life's fleetingness: "How we like to be surrounded by so many fireworks, seemingly beautiful, but which in reality last only a few minutes". As humans, there is a time to be born and a time to die and the new year is a time to reflect on our mortality.Italy: 89-year-old president Giorgio Napolitano announces upcoming retirement, citing old age; reluctantly accepted 2nd term to break electorate deadlock, said he wouldn't serve full 7 years.Quick news briefs:
Afghanistan: stray rocket (Taliban vs. gov forces) kills 26 attending a wedding; up to 50 wounded.
Gambia: after failed coup attempt, president returns at his home in Banjul.
Nigeria: at least 6 killed, more injured, from suicide bomb attack on bus (Islamist militant).

Last month's international news summaries: December 2014 World News Summary ›

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