ISIS CLAIMS DEADLY JAKARTA ATTACKS
Photo: Veri Sanovri/Xinhua/ZUMA
Indonesia's capital of Jakarta was rocked by a series of fatal explosions and gunfire this morning in attacks that local police spokesman Anton Charliyan said were meant to imitate November's deadly terror in Paris, The Guardian reports. At least seven people were killed, including five gunmen, around Thamrin Street, a major shopping and business district near foreign embassies and the United Nations offices. A source linked to ISIS said the terror group was behind the violence.
- "We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed security and peace and spread terror among our people," Indonesian President Joko Widodo said.
- Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, was aware of a credible threat from terrorists and has often been targeted in the past, AP reports.
TURKISH POLICE BUILDING TARGETED
At least six people were killed and 39 wounded in the Turkish town of Cinar after a car bomb explosion outside a police station Wednesday night that Turkish authorities are blaming on the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). According to Today's Zaman, there was no official claim for the attack, which caused "extensive damage." The DiyarbakÄ±r province, where it happened, is home to a Kurdish majority, and tensions between the Turkish government and the PKK have escalated since a two-year ceasefire ended in July. The bombing came less than two days after an ISIS attack in Istanbul that killed 10 German tourists. Seven people have now been arrested in connection with the suicide blast.
AID CONVOY FOR MADAYA
A second convoy of trucks transporting flour, medicine and hygiene products left Damascus today for the besieged Syrian town of Madaya, three days after an initial delivery of humanitarian aid, the BBC reports. The UN believes that up to 40,000 people have been trapped in rebel-held Madaya since October, with reports of mass starvation.
"The Jews' great concern," today's headline in French daily Aujourd'hui en France reads above an image of a man wearing a skullcap. It comes after a teenager attacked and wounded a Jewish teacher who was wearing the traditional headgear Monday in the French city of Marseille. France is debating whether it's still safe for members of the Jewish community to wear the traditional accessory — also known as a kippah or yarmulke. Read more from Le Blog.
4, 8, 19, 27, 34, 10
At least three lucky players — in California, Tennessee and Florida — have picked the winning Powerball numbers in what is the biggest single lottery jackpot in history, worth an estimated $1.6 billion.
ECUADOR TO ALLOW ASSANGE INTERROGATION
Ecuador has agreed to cooperate with Swedish prosecutors who want to interrogate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over a rape allegation made during Assange's stay in Sweden in 2010, Sydsvenskan reports. But Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the agreement to let Assange be questioned comes with certain conditions, namely that it will be conducted in accordance with Ecuadorian law and by Ecuadorian prosecutors, though Swedish authorities can be present. Patino said that Assange was granted asylum in Ecuador due to suspicion of persecution, and is therefore "under our country's jurisdiction," Business Insider UK reports. The interrogation will be held at Ecuador's embassy in London, where Assange has taken refuge since 2012.
Snoop Dogg doesn't like it when gaming goes wrong. "What the f*** are you doing, Bill Gates? Fix your s*** man," he said of the Microsoft magnate in a profanity laced tirade.
ASIAN, EUROPEAN SHARES FALL
Shares across Asia fell significantly today after a massive sell-off on Wall Street Wednesday, and European stock markets were also down this morning, the Financial Times reports. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed down 2.7%, partly recovering from a 4% fall earlier in the day. This comes as oil prices continue to drop and even briefly fell below $30 per barrel yesterday, a level unseen since 2004. According to a high-profile strategist in London, the world could face a 2008-like financial crash this year that would provoke the collapse of the eurozone.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
EBOLA OUTBREAK OVER AFTER TWO YEARS
Liberia has been officially declared Ebola-free, the World Health Organization announced today. The news effectively marks an end to the virus outbreak in West Africa, though the WHO warned that "the job is not over" and that "more flare-ups are expected." Ebola killed more than 11,000 people since the outbreak started in December 2013.
Just how much homework help should parents offer their children? Like anything, it's a delicate balance, but a word with the school may be required when children are being assigned work that hasn't been covered in class, Matthias Kohlmaier writes for Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung. "A long-serving primary school principal in Bavaria says that students have to learn and study quite a lot, especially when the switch to a secondary school is on the horizon. â€˜But,' she says, â€˜if teachers claim that they are not able to do this or that during lessons and that children should study these topics at home, I would say that something has gone horribly wrong at this school!'"
Read the full article, Help? That Homework Question For Parents Everywhere.
CHINESE WEALTH GAP WIDENS
The top 1% in China hold one-third of the nation's total wealth, a sign that the gap between rich and poor is rising at a faster pace, a new report from the China Family Panel Studies shows. By contrast, the poorest 25% of the population hold only 1% of their country's wealth. According to Les Échos, this inequality is causing growing disparities in education and health care access.
ON THIS DAY
Happy birthday to actress Faye Dunaway and NBC's The Today Show. That and more in today's shot of history.
When it comes to polluted cities, your first thought probably wouldn't be London. And yet, it only took seven days for the British capital to exceed pollution limits for the whole of 2016.