TUNISIA DECLARES WAR ON TERRORISM
Tunisia is in a state of shock today after the terror attack on the National Bardo Museum in the capital yesterday left 19 people dead and 44 wounded, most of them foreign tourists. In Paris-based Libération, Algerian writer Kamel Daoud says that yesterday's "sniper attack" targeted the "true heart of the Arab world" and the "one country that proves that there's life on Allah's planet and that democracy is possible and not incompatible with Arabity."
Read more about the attack in Tunis here.
SWEDISH SHOOTING LEAVES TWO DEAD
Two people were killed and at least eight wounded when two men opened fire in a bar in the Swedish city of Gothenburg late yesterday, the daily Dagens Nyheter reports. Police say the attack was likely gang-related, and there is no indication it was an act of terrorism. Authorities have launched a manhunt for the attackers, who allegedly fled by car. The shooting took place in the area of Biskopsgarden, which is known for gang-related crime. A police spokesperson said the attack didn’t “come as a surprise.”
An average of 240 Saudi Arabians change their first names every month, the Saudi Gazette reports. “The majority of the approvals for name changes are for women who look for more appealing names, believing that they will make them more beautiful,” a Interior Ministry source says.
LIBERIA ALMOST EBOLA-FREE
The last Ebola patient in Liberia was released Thursday from a treatment center in Monrovia, the capital city, allowing the country to begin its countdown to being declared Ebola-free. “I am one of the happiest human beings today on earth because it was not easy going through this situation and coming out alive,” 58-year-old teacher Beatrice Yardolo told Sierra Leone Times. At least 10,179 people, including 4,264 in Liberia, have died in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the largest in history.
U.S. DELAYS AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL
In a sign that Washington is considering slowing down its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official quoted by Reuters said the U.S. military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad are likely to remain open beyond 2015. The move aims to support the new government’s battle against the Taliban.
As Le Temps’ Antoine Duplan writes, a brother and sister have set Lausanne alight for the past two years with a celebration of “positive sex” and “alternative porn,” and the Swiss city has been surprisingly submissive. “The Internet, same-sex marriage, the highly publicized chronic mischief of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former chief of the IMF. Sex is everywhere,” the journalist writes. “A multidisciplinary festival centered on sexual issues, the Fête de Slip neither advocates nor condemns sex. It simply explores and questions it. In not-so-ancient times, events such as this one would have led to a major outcry. Times are changing. ‘We’re almost disappointed,’ co-founder Viviane says before her brother and co-founder Stéphane adds, ‘It’s surprising. We were expecting virulent protests.’”
Read the full article, The “Fete Du Slip:” Switzerland's High-Brow Porn Festival.
YEMEN AIRPORT FORCED TO CLOSE
Heavy fighting between forces loyal to former Yemen President Ali Saleh and militiamen backing the current president today led to the closure of the airport in Aden, a large seaport in the country’s southwest, Al Jazeera reports. At least five people were killed and 13 wounded in the clashes.
- Meanwhile, French hostage Isabelle Prime and her Yemeni interpreter Chérine Makkaoui, who were abducted Feb. 24 in the capital city Sanaa by men disguised as policemen, have been released, RTL reports.
UN RAISES ISIS GENOCIDE QUESTION
A report published today by the United Nations human rights office claims ISIS “may have committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.” It added that the UN Security Council should “consider referring the situation in Iraq to the International Criminal Court.” The report is based on interviews with more than 100 people, including members of the Yazidi minority, who witnessed or survived attacks in Iraq between June 2014 and February 2015. The UN human rights office also highlights alleged war crimes committed by Iraqi government forces while battling the insurgency.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
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AL-SHABAAB LEADER KILLED
Adan Garar, a leader of the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab closely linked to the 2013 Kenyan shopping center massacre that left 67 dead, has been killed by a U.S. drone strike, the Pentagon confirmed yesterday. The U.S. Department of Defense has described him as “a key operative responsible for coordinating the Somali militant group's external operations.”
FRANCE TO LIMIT CASH WITHDRAWALS
French Finance Minister Michel Sapin announced that the government will reduce the upper limit of cash withdrawals from 3,000 to 1,000 euros “to fight terrorism,” Les Echos reports. And starting in 2016, any bank withdrawal over 10,000 euros will be the subject of a report by the authorities.
ON THIS DAY
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On March 19, 1931, Nevada legalized gambling. Time for your 57-second shot of history.