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SPOTLIGHT: LONE WOLVES OF ISIS

The Islamic State terror group (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for two terrorist attacks in the past two days: a mass shooting at a gay nightclub early Sunday in Orlando, Florida, and a targeted stabbing of a police officer and his wife near Paris late last night. But while the attacks are in no way linked, and almost certainly not coordinated by ISIS leaders, they are nonetheless connected. Both cases highlight the new security challenge of our time, as ISIS uses the Internet to radicalize potential followers, and encourages them to strike when and where they want. With lone wolves aiming at soft targets, day-to-day prevention becomes an almost impossible task. Here are the latest details.


FRANCE ATTACK

  • The 25 year-old attacker, identified as Larossi Abbala, stabbed to death a police captain and his wife, also a police department employee, in their home in a Paris suburb, before being killed by a SWAT unit. The couple's three-year-old son was rescued in the operation.
  • Abbala, from nearby Mantes-La-Jolie, was already convicted in 2013 for "criminal association with the aim of preparing terrorist acts."
  • Within hours, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. Abbala reportedly has ties with jihadist groups in Pakistan, and swore allegiance to ISIS in a live Facebook video, according to RFI journalist David Thomson.
  • The attack was "undeniably a terrorist act," French President Francois Hollande was quoted as saying in a speech in Paris today.

ORLANDO ATTACK

  • An employee at the Pulse nightclub told CNN that the gunman, Omar Mateen, had visited the club twice a month over a period of three years. Conflicting portraits of the killer of 49 are emerging, with Mateen being described as "friendly" by some, while other customers remember him as drinking alone and being "loud and belligerent," the Orlando Sentinel reports.
  • According to the Los Angeles Times, Mateen had also been using a gay dating and chat app.
  • The FBI is investigating why a 10-month probe of Mateen three years ago was closed, and what signs may have been missed of his potential for violence, the Washington Postreports.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY


BAHRAIN CRACKDOWN

Bahrain has suspended Al-Wefaq, the country's largest Shiite political group, and frozen its assets, as part of a large crackdown on activists, AP reports.


BREXIT BEGETS BAD BONDS

Brexit fears and concerns over the state of the global economy have led interest rate on 10-year bonds issued by the German government to turn turned negative for the first time, Germany's Tagesschau TV news service reports.


PTSD PISTORIUS

Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius attended the first day of his sentencing hearing at the High Court in Pretoria yesterday. See how South African daily The Star featured his "broken spirit" on its front page today.


TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE

A third of the world's population are either undernourished or overweight, the 2016 Global Nutrition Report finds. According to this annual independent overview, at least 57 countries suffer from serious levels of both undernutrition and obesity.


VERBATIM

"I don't see anything wrong with the fans fighting. Quite the opposite, well done boys, keep it up!," Igor Lebedev, a member of the Russian soccer union's executive committee wrote yesterday on Twitter Dozens of violent Russian hooligans are being escorted to the airport and deported from France after repeated scenes of violence before and after Euro 2016 games, BBC reports. The clashes with England supporters in Marseille on Friday led UEFA to issue Russia a suspended disqualification today, meaning that the country would be disqualified from the competition in case of "incidents of a similar nature."


— ON THIS DAY

Che Guevara, Munich, Stars and Stripes — all are in today's 57-second shot of History.


BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD

Osteria Francescana, a restaurant in Modena run by chef Massimo Bottura, has earned the top spot on this year's list of the World's 50 Best Restaurants announced last night in New York, Italian daily La Repubblica reports. It's the first time in the 14 years of the prize's existence that an Italian restaurant arrives first.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Other cities ban prostitution from residential areas with schools and playgrounds. Not Berlin. Here, it's just part of the city's "poor, but sexy" image: "Residents and business executives ask for an exclusion zone, or at least a closing time — a hopeless fantasy. Politicians in Berlin pride themselves on their liberal attitudes toward sexuality," Die Welt's Michael Behrendt writes. "Bald pimps in Adidas sweatpants step out of cars with Bulgarian or Romanian license plates. They stand, legs apart, watching over ‘their' girls, rebuking them if necessary. Sex is a round-the-clock business. Girls who dance on tables by night are found on the streets at any time of the day. Drugs are part of the daily business. There are about 2,000 prostitutes working in Berlin, according to police estimates. Other cities at least rely on restricted zones to keep the industry away from schools and residential areas, but not so the German capital."

Read the full article, City As Brothel, How Berlin Let Prostitution Spread Near Schools.


ALF ACTOR DIES

Michu Meszaros, the 2-ft 9-in tall Hungarian actor in the costume of everybody's favorite alien ALF, has died at age 76. Cats everywhere can now rest easy.


MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Hanging On — Xuankong Temple, 1995


— MORE STORIES, BROUGHT TO YOU BY WORLDCRUNCH

CLOSING THE FRIDGE DOOR

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj's tweet, in response to a disgruntled refrigerator user, is pretty cool.

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Geopolitics

The West Must Face Reality: Iran's Nuclear Program Can't Be Stopped

The West is insisting on reviving a nuclear pact with Iran. However, this will only postpone the inevitable moment when the regime declares it has a nuclear bomb. The only solution is regime change.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have lasted for 16 months but some crucial sticking points remain.

Hamed Mohammadi

-OpEd-

Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear inspectorate, declared on Sept. 7 that Iran already had more than enough uranium for an atomic bomb. He said the IAEA could no longer confirm that the Islamic Republic has a strictly peaceful nuclear program as it has always claimed because the agency could not properly inspect sites inside Iran.

The Islamic Republic may have shown flexibility in some of its demands in the talks to renew the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers, a preliminary framework reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the U.S., the U.K., China, Russia, France and Germany). For example, it no longer insists that the West delist its Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. But it has kept its crucial promise that unless Western powers lift all economic sanctions, the regime will boost its uranium reserves and their level of enrichment, as well as restrict the IAEA's access to installations.

Talks to renew the 2015 pact have been going on for 16 months. European diplomacy has resolved most differences between the sides, but some crucial sticking points remain.

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