January 17: World NEWS IN BRIEF



Unknown assailants kidnap Yemeni President’s chief of staff

Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak is a close associate of the Yemeni president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi

Unidentified attackers have kidnapped the chief of staff of Yemeni President Ahmad Awad bin Mubarak’s administration, Tass news agency is reporting. Further details are still to come, but the early Saturday abduction in the Arab world’s poorest country is seen as connected to the fierce fighting between different sides, among them the Shiite Houthi rebels and the local branch of Al-Qaida, considered widely to be the most dangerous of all.


Pakistan executes another militant in wake of school massacre

A 19th sectarian militant has been executed in Pakistan, as the country continues to deal out justice inpakistan_militants.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox the aftermath of the tragic school massacre last month, after lifting a moratorium on death penalties. The Saturday hanging comes after first being cancelled, but with court later rejecting a pardon offered by the victim’s family, according to officials.




​Japan pledges $200mn support for battling ISIS

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged about $200 million in non-military support for countries who are fighting Islamic State extremists. “Should we leave terrorism or weapons of mass destruction to spread in this region, the loss imparted upon the international community would be immeasurable,” he said. He added that the money will “help build their [the countries’] human capacities, infrastructure, and so on.”


​Malawi flood kills 176, devastates farmlands

Two weeks of heavy rainfalls ravaged Malawi, southwestern Africa, with the latest death toll reported at 176. The disaster has swept away many homes and damaged thousands of hectares of agricultural crops and killed livestock, prompting the country’s government to appeal for an international relief effort. “The situation on the ground is terrible,” Vice-President Saulos Chilima said Friday. “The military has started to rescue people, but we need more support.” The country is lacking boats and helicopters for evacuation, tents to accommodate tens of thousands of displaced people and many other supplies.


​Russian teen suspected in Istanbul suicide blast

A teenager from Russia’s turbulent southern Dagestan Republic is suspected of carrying out a suicide bombing at a police station in Istanbul’s tourist Sultanahmet Square, which killed one officer and seriously injured another one. Forensic experts in Russia are to compare blood samples from the bomber, believed to be Diana Ramazanova, 18, with those of her mother, to confirm her ID. Ramazanova is believed to have been radicalized after meeting radical Islamists through social networks. According to Turkish media, she married a Norwegian jihadist of Russian origin and traveled with him through Turkey to Syria, where he joined one of the local militant groups and was killed in December.


​21 confirmed dead after tugboat capsizes in Chinachina-tugboat

The death toll in a capsizing Thursday of a tug boat on the Yangtze River near Zhangjiagang, in Jiangsu province, was confirmed at 21, Xinhua news agency reported. Three people were rescued while another person remains missing. The tugboat, Wanshenzhou 67, was undergoing a trial voyage when it turned over, with cockpit being flooded in a matter of seconds, according to a survivor’s account. Six foreigners from Singapore, Malaysia, India and Japan were among the victims of the disaster.


​US condemns ICC for hearing Palestinian war crimes case against Israel

The US has condemned a decision Friday by the International Criminal Court to open a preliminary probeinto alleged war crimes committed by Israeli Defense Forces against Palestinians, including during last year’s hostilities in Gaza. The US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke called ICC’s decision “a tragic irony”considering that Israel “withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians” from Gaza territory.


​Moroccan man killed in ‘Islamophobic attack’ in France

Prosecutors in the French city of Avignon confirmed charging a 28-year-old man with “murder, attempted murder and possession of drugs” after he stabbed a Moroccan man, Mohamed El Makouli, to death inside his house. The assailant rushed into the house of El Makouli in the village of Beaucet on Wednesday shouting “I am your god, I am your Islam” before stabbing the man 17 times, the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said Friday. The attacker has been committed to a psychiatric hospital in Montfavet. More than 50 anti-Muslim incidents have been recorded by the Central Council of Muslims in France since the Charlie Hebdo incident.



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