Monday, July 7, 2014
THREE SUSPECTS CONFESS MURDER OF PALESTINIAN TEEN
Israeli news sources report that three of the six suspected Jewish extremists arrested by the Israeli police yesterday have since confessed to murdering Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the 16 year-old Palestinian abducted and believed to have been burned alive last week. Israel's daily Haaretz also quotes Israeli police as saying that they are investigating whether the six suspects are involved in the attempted abduction of a 9 year-old before they allegedly kidnapped Khdeir. The Jerusalem Post meanwhile quotes Israeli Prime Minister as saying he called the family of the teenager to “express my shock, and the shock of all Israeli citizens, at the heinous murder of your son,” before adding that the “murderers … will be brought to justice”.
Nine Palestinians, including seven Hamas militants, were killed overnight in air strikes over the Gaza Strip that Israel said were in response to rockets fired into southern Israel. Recent events are also causing political turmoil inside the Israeli government, as Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is also leader of far-right party Yisrael Beiteinu, announced the end of his partnership with Netanyahu’s Likud party, pointing at “fundamental disagreements.” The move comes after the two leaders “exchanged verbal blows” over Israel’s response to rocket fire from Gaza, Haaretz explains.
A 15-year-old American boy and cousin to Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was filmed being beaten up by Israeli police officers after a protest has meanwhile been released from custody and placed under house arrest for nine days.
UKRAINE FORCES RETAKE EASTERN CITIES
Separatist rebel fighters in Eastern Ukraine are regrouping in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk ahead of an offensive from the government forces, who this weekend regained control of Sloviansk and smaller towns, France 24 reports. A senior journalist at the network warned that the battle will be a tougher challenge for the Ukrainian army, as Donetsk’s “larger population makes it difficult to use air power and artillery without causing civilian casualties and "handing a propaganda victory to the other side".”
Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, a key figure in the collapse of the Soviet Union, has died at age 86.
From a refugee camp near Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, La Stampa’s Francesco Semprini takes a snapshot of the lives of people displaced by the jihadist offensive that began on June 5: “Ahmed is wearing a Barcelona soccer jersey with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi’s name on the back. Rasheed has Rodrigo Palacio's from Inter Milan, while Samad is sporting the Chelsea shirt of Brazil midfielder Oscar dos Santos Emboaba Junior. While their heroes compete in the World Cup on the other side of the world, these Iraqi children are refugees in their own country after the latest jihadist offensive. Holding onto these players' dreams is a way to try and cling to the very innocence of youth threatened by the upheaval around them.”
Read the full article, World Cup Dreaming For Iraqi Children Fleeing Jihadists.
63 ABDUCTED NIGERIAN WOMEN AND GIRLS ESCAPE
63 women and girls who were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria managed to escape their captors while they were carrying out another attack during which they killed more than 50 people, AFP reports. Some of the more than 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped in northeastern Nigeria on April 14 are believed to be among those who escaped, and a local vigilante said they had “made it back home” on Friday.
CHARGES OF UK PARLIAMENT PEDOPHILE RING
A new child abuse scandal is threatening the British establishment, after allegations were made that a pedophile ring may have been operating at the heart of the British Parliament between the 1960s and the 1980s, with a whistleblower claiming that up to 40 members of Parliament either knew or took part in child abuse, The Daily Telegraph reports. In an interview Lord Tebbit, a former Margaret Thatcher cabinet minister, said he believed there may have been a cover-up at the time, as more than 100 files related to such allegations were lost or destroyed.
MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD
GERMAN DOUBLE-AGENT SOLD FILES TO CIA
Germany’s “already troubled relationship” with the United States, following last year’s revelations that Angela Merkel’s phone had been monitored by the NSA, is “at risk of deteriorating to a new low,” The New York Times writes, amid accusations that an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence agency arrested last week has been selling documents to the CIA for the past two years.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi expressed regrets Sunday over the June 23 sentencing of three Al-Jazeera journalists to between 7 and 10 years in prison. Check what he said here.
Meet the world’s fastest talking woman, who can pronounce up to 11 words per second — meaning that she can recite “Three Little Pigs” in just 15 seconds.