"EXTERNAL FORCES" BLAMED FOR PLANE CRASH
Photo: Grigoryev Maxim/TASS/ZUMA
Russian airline Kogalymavia said that "external forces" were the only possible explanation for Saturday's crash of an Airbus A321 in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula that killed all 224 people on board, Sputnik News reports. The company confirmed that the aircraft had suffered damage before the accident but said it had been fully repaired and was in normal technical condition before it took off. An investigation in underway and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has warned it could "go on for months," CNN quotes him as saying.
- The Kremlin, meanwhile, insisted that no hypothesis should be ruled out, including terrorism. ISIS, which has an active offshoot in the Sinai, was quick to claim responsibility for the crash, as retaliation for the Russian airstrikes campaign in Syria. The terror group posted a video purportedly showing the aircraft being hit by a missile. But the Russian transport minister dismissed the claim and experts called it "laughable."
- Bodies of some of the victims were repatriated to St. Petersburg early today after a national day of mourning yesterday.
- ISIS, meanwhile, has captured a new town in central Syria, Mahin, which is located near a strategic highway connecting the Damascus to the cities of Homs and Aleppo.
ERDOGAN'S PARTY SWEEPS TURKISH ELECTION
In a defeat for political moderates, secularists and Kurds, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) will return to governing the country alone after winning 49.4% of the vote yesterday, enough to secure an outright parliamentary majority, Hürriyet reports. But the AKP will still need the support of representatives from other parties to execute Erdogan's power-grabbing plans for a new constitution, which would replace the country's parliamentary system with a presidential one.
- According to Today's Zaman, local media are reporting some allegations of vote rigging.
- The voting process was marred by clashes between police and supporters of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), whose surprising rise in June's election had prevented the AKP from obtaining a majority. The campaign itself was also marked by widespread violence and terrorist attacks, as well as police raids on opposition TV stations days before the vote. Read more in Le Blog.
A ROYAL VICTORY
The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series in 30 years, defeating the New York Mets 7-2 in a game that lasted until early this morning and winning the series 4-1.
CYCLONE HITS YEMEN AND OMAN
Thousands of people have been ordered to evacuate their homes in Oman and war-torn Yemen as an enormous rare cyclone in the Arabian Peninsula threatens to drop eight years' worth of rain in just two days, website Emirates 24/7 reports. At least one person has died on the Yemeni island of Socotra since the cyclone made landfall, with many more injured and many homes destroyed, Al Jazeera reports.
ON THIS DAY
An emperor, an assassination and a maiden voyage. Find them all in today's shot of history.
CHINA UNVEILS FIRST PASSENGER JET
The first passenger jet developed in China, the C919, was unveiled today. Made by the state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, the aircraft is expected to make its maiden flight next year before beginning test flights for three years, ahead of its commercial use, the People's Daily reports. The move is a crucial one for China, as Airbus' 2015 Global Market Forecast said that the country's domestic traffic will become the world's largest within 10 years.
In Brazil, law enforcement officers boast on social network sites about committing violence against suspects, and show off the results for all to see, Folha de S. Paulo reports. "Some feature photos of detained boys with whipped backs, while others show young offenders severely beaten at the hands of cops," the newspaper writes. "Two videos even show police officers torturing young adults who have clown tattoos — a symbol known to be associated with the murder of police officers. One of them is being forced to scratch his tattoo off with sandpaper and alcohol if he doesn't want to be shot in the foot. The other video shows a youth having his tattoo scratched off of his back with a knife."
Read the full article, Instagram Savagery, Courtesy Of Violent Brazilian Police.
ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET GROWING
The Antarctic ice sheet is still growing, though at a slower pace that in the past, a NASA study shows. But that could change in the next decades.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
AUSTRALIA DROPS KNIGHTS AND DAMES
New Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that the "anachronistic" Knight and Dame titles, reintroduced amid controversy just over a year ago by his predecessor Tony Abbott, would be dropped, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"I know he'll appreciate it and when he gets older he'll be telling his kids — that's more special than it just hanging on a wall," New Zealand rugby star Sonny Bill Williams told reporters after giving his world champion medal to a teenager who was heavily tackled by security as he ran onto the field to celebrate Saturday's All Blacks' victory over Australia. But according to The New Zealand Herald, the child is much older than Williams thought.
SWEDEN WELCOMES BACK IKEA "SKATT"
Billionaire IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad has paid income tax ("skatt" in Swedish) in his home country for the first time since he left in 1973, newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports. His income for the year was 17.7 million Swedish kronor ($2 million).