LIBYA POLICE SCHOOL BOMBED
At least 65 people were killed this morning after a truck bomb exploded at a police training center in Zliten, Libya, the BBC reports. Reuters reports that hundreds of recruits were gathered at the center when the explosion occurred. Martin Kobler, the UN's special representative to Libya, characterized the blast as a suicide attack. No organization has claimed responsibility yet, though various terrorist groups, including ISIS, have been fighting in Libya since the 2011 revolution.
ATTACKER TARGETS PARIS POLICE ON HEBDO ANNIVERSARY
As France marks today's one-year anniversary of theCharlie Hebdo terrorist attack that left 12 people in Paris dead, a man armed with a knife and wearing a fake suicide vest charged a Paris police station this morning yelling "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is great," France's Interior Ministry said. Police shot and killed him before he hurt anyone, and are now considering the would-be attack an act of terrorism.
Last year's deadly blitz on the satirical newsweekly was carried out by two gunmen who'd pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen. They killed eight staff members in retaliation for the publication of caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed. Here's a sample of recent Worldcrunch coverage:
- The Paris correspondent of Swiss daily Le Temps offers a troubling view of growing Islamic radicalism in France.
- Le Monde reports on the state of French comedy in the year since the attacks.
- French newspaper L'Humanité daily's front page Thursday is here on Le Blog.
IRAN ACCUSES SAUDI IN YEMEN ATTACK
Tensions between arch-enemies Iran and Saudi Arabia escalated further today after Tehran accused Saudi warplanes of attacking its embassy in Yemen's capital of Sanaa, where both countries have been fighting a cold war of sorts. Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at odds since Saturday's Saudi execution of a Shia cleric and the subsequent mob attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Sanaa experienced its heaviest attacks from the Saudi-led coalition today in the months-long war against Iran-supported Shia Houthi rebels, Reutersreports. Human Rights Watch has denounced the coalition's use of cluster bombs on residential areas, saying the "reckless use" of such weapons in populated areas "amounts to a war crime."
Photo: Damien N via Instagram
For the first time in 14 years, the popular Canal Saint-Martin in Paris is being drained for cleaning and rebuilding purposes. In the muck, cleaners found innumerable bicycles belonging to the city's popular Velib bike-sharing program, and even a motor scooter.
ISRAELI TOURIST BUS TARGETED IN CAIRO
Two masked gunmen on a motorcycle fired at a bus transporting Israeli tourists outside their hotel in Cairo,Haaretz reports. Early reports said they were no casualties.
Five centuries after Spanish conquistadors took over Mexico, Mexican billionaires are busy buying up chunks of Spain, Hebe Schmidt reports for America Economia. After four years of recession, it was the perfect match between cash-rich customers and a needy economy. "Mexican investors are sinking their pesos both in strategic sectors, and on a scale that is leaving local observers awed. Antonio Hernández, an energy and international strategy partner at the Spain offices of international consultants KPMG, says Mexico has become the sixth-largest foreign investor in Spain and No. 2 outside of the European Union. A 2013 study estimated accumulated investments valued at almost $21.5 billion."
Read the full article, Mexican Money (Big Money!) Goes Shopping in Spain.
S. KOREA TO RESUME PROPAGANDA
South Korea will resume its cross-border propaganda broadcasts against the North Korean regime in response to Pyongyang's nuclear bomb test, officials announced today. The broadcasts are expected to resume beginning tomorrow, Yonhap news agency reports, explaining that the decision could "further escalate tensions" between the two countries. North Korea had previously threatened "strong military action" against such broadcasts. The United Nations has condemned what North Korea claimed was a hydrogen bomb test conducted yesterday anddemanded the country cease all nuclear activities.
Just 20 days after its release, J.J Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens has overtaken James Cameron'sAvatar to become the highest-grossing film of all time in North America. Disney hasn't released the official figure, simply announcing that the seventh installment in the Star Wars series had passed Avatar's record of $760.5 million, established in 34 weeks. But Avatar still leads the global box office with $2.79 billion worldwide.
CHINA HALTS TRADING AFTER STOCK DROP
For the second time this week, China trading was halted this morning, this time after just 29 minutes that saw the CSI 300 index plunge by more than 7% following the biggest devaluation of the country's RMB currency since August 2015, Bloomberg reports. The much-criticized automatic "circuit breaker" was also triggered Monday, increasing worries over the state of China's economy.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
L.A. SUBURB'S METHANE EMERGENCY
California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency over a massive methane gas leak that started in a Los Angeles suburb three months ago,PBS reports. Yesterday's decision to take "all necessary and viable actions" came after numerous requests from people in the community of Porter Ranch. An estimated 80,000 metric tons of methane have leaked since late October.
VENEZUELA'S POLITICAL DRAMA CONTINUES
The newly elected, opposition-dominated Venezuelan Congress has sworn in three lawmakers that had been barred from their seats by the country's Supreme Court over allegations of electoral fraud. It's the latest development in the confrontation between the right-wing opposition and the government of President Nicolás Maduro. The new lawmakers also had all portraits of late leader Hugo Chavéz removed from the National Assembly building.
ON THIS DAY
On the first anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack, today's 57-second shot of history remembers the Paris shooting.
EBOLA TREATMENT INEFFECTIVE
An experimental treatment against the deadly Ebola virus, which consists of blood plasma transfusions from survivors and was believed to be very promising, has proved to be ineffective, scientists have announced. Read more from The New York Times.
LEMMY'S FUNERAL TO BE AIRED LIVE
Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead's late leader, will go out in röck â€˜n röll style with a Los Angeles funeral broadcast live on YouTube.