A summary of today's impactful news stories from around the world hand-picked by our staff at TRT World.
October 21, 2021
2:10*) Drone attack targets US military base in Syria A drone attack has targeted a US military base near Syria's border with Iraq, US officials and a war monitor said. A US official confirmed the attack on Al Tanf military base in Syria's southwestern Rif Dimashq governorate where US forces are deployed. There were no casualties among American forces, the official told Anadolu Agency. *) Russia, China, Iran agree to work with Taliban for 'regional stability' Russia and Central Asia power brokers have agreed to work with the Taliban to promote security in the region. They called on Afghanistan's new leaders to implement "moderate" policies and Moscow said official recognition would only come when the Taliban meets expectations on human rights and inclusive governance. Russia hosted the Taliban for talks in Moscow, seeking to assert its influence in the region and push for action against Daesh fighters in Afghanistan. *) Turkey signs energy, defence deals with Nigeria Turkey and Nigeria have signed multiple bilateral agreements, extending from energy to defence. Nigeria's President Buhari and Turkey's President Erdogan announced the signing of seven deals after a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in the capital Abuja. The two sides signed agreements on defence, energy, mining and hydrocarbon as well as youth and foreign affairs cooperation. *) Ethiopia govt claims strikes hit 'weapons site' in Tigray region At least 9 people have been badly wounded in air strikes that hit Ethiopia's Tigray region. Ethiopia's government said it targeted facilities to make and repair weapons, which a spokesman for the rival Tigray forces denied. Ethiopian authorities said air force jets conducted air strikes on a Tigray rebel military training centre 80 kilometres outside Tigrayan capital Mekele. And finally… *) Trump to launch new social media network 'TRUTH Social' Former US president Donald Trump has announced plans to launch his own social network platform called "TRUTH Social". The platform is expected to beta launch for "invited guests" next month. The platform will be owned by Trump Media & Technology Group, which also intends to launch a video-on-demand service that will feature "non-woke" entertainment programming.
October 20, 2021
2:24*) Brazil's president accused of homicide in Covid response probe The senator leading a probe into Brazil's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with homicide over government errors that led to the deaths of thousands. Bolsonaro has dismissed the probe as politically motivated. The document accuses Bolsonaro of turning down early offers to purchase vaccines, delaying Brazil's inoculation drive and costing an estimated 95,000 lives. *) US says Taliban won't get access to Afghan central bank reserves The Taliban will not be allowed to access Afghanistan's central bank reserves, which are largely held in the US. US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Senate it was "essential to maintain sanctions against the Taliban" but at the same time find ways for humanitarian assistance to get to the Afghan people. The Taliban has called for the US to allow access to more than $9 billion of Afghan central bank reserves as the government struggles to contain a deepening economic crisis. *) At least 46 dead after heavy rains, landslides in northern India At least 46 people have died and several are missing after floods triggered by heavy rains hit northern India. Uttarakhand state has seen incessant rains for the past three days, flooding roads, destroying bridges and causing landslides. India's Met Department says rains are likely to recede in Uttarakhand on Wednesday but warns of heavy downpours in the northeast and south. *) Turkey criticises EU report on its membership process Turkey has criticised a European Commission report on Ankara's EU membership process, saying it once again reflects double standards towards the country. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said the report overlooked the EU's responsibilities towards Turkey at a time when Ankara has revived high-level dialogue with the bloc. Turkey also rejected the inclusion of "inconsistent and biased" Greek and Greek Cypriot arguments in the report. The EU report said Ankara's bid to join the bloc had "come to a standstill". And finally… *) Facebook plans to change its name Social media giant Facebook Inc is planning to rebrand the company with a new name that focuses on the metaverse. The name change will be announced next week, The Verge reported, citing a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Facebook did not immediately respond to the report.
October 18, 2021
2:33🇺🇸 Trial for Ahmaud Arbery's murder case set to begin in the US 🇮🇳 Flash floods in southern India kill at least 25 people 🇹🇷 Turkey's president begins his four-day tour of three African countries 🕋 Muslim worshippers are back to shoulder-to-shoulder prayers in Mecca And that’s your daily news brief from TRT World. For more, head to trtworld.com
October 15, 2021
2:10*) Deadly clashes erupt during Lebanon protest Gunfire has killed at least six people and wounded 30 at a Beirut rally organised by Shia Hezbollah and Amal movements. That’s according to Lebanon's interior minister who said the "exchange started with sniper fire, with the first casualty shot to the head". Demonstrators were calling for the removal of a popular judge, who's leading the investigation into last year's port explosion that killed more than 200 people. *) Turkey reiterates importance of inclusive government in Afghanistan Turkey has reiterated the importance of government inclusiveness for Afghanistan's unity, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. This comes following a meeting in Ankara with a high-level delegation from Afghanistan's acting Taliban government. Ankara encouraged other countries to engage with the Taliban who ousted Afghanistan's government in August, saying "engaging was not the same as recognising". *) WHO: Only one in 7 Covid-19 cases in Africa being detected Only one in seven Covid-19 infections in Africa are detected, meaning an estimated 59 million people may be infected in the continent, the World Health Organization says. “With limited testing, we’re still flying blind in far too many communities in Africa,” said Matshidiso Moeti, regional director for the WHO. The UN plans to increase rapid diagnostic testing in eight African countries with the goal of testing 7 million people in the next year. *) At least 46 people killed in Taiwan building fire At least 46 people were killed and dozens more injured in a massive fire in a 13-storey building in southern Taiwan. Officials say the "extremely fierce" blaze was hard to control and destroyed several floors. An investigation is under way and officials set up an independent commission to investigate the conditions at the run-down building which was home to many poor, older and disabled people. And finally… *) Adele makes music comeback with new single British vocal powerhouse Adele made her highly-anticipated music comeback, releasing her first new record since her 2015 Grammy award-winning album "25". The 33-year-old, known for her ballads about break-ups and regrets, teased new single "Easy On Me" last week with a short video clip. The song is the first to be released from her upcoming fourth album "30", out in November.
October 14, 2021
2:17*) Israel and UAE ministers meet in US We begin in the US where Secretary of State Antony Blinken held three-way talks with his Israeli and the United Arab Emirates counterparts. The trio discussed the progress made since the signing of last year's Abraham Accords and relations with Iran. Blinken says Iran's responses to US willingness to return to nuclear talks have not been “encouraging” despite "time running short" for Tehran. *) Turkish intelligence thwarts attempt to abduct Iranian soldier Turkey's National Intelligence Organization and police have busted an Iranian espionage network in eastern Turkey. An Iranian and a Turk were detained on charges of spying and are accused of plotting to kidnap and forcibly repatriate a former Iranian military official. The eight-member network that included two Iranian agents were caught in a joint operation on September 24, security sources said. *) Five killed in Norway bow-and-arrow attack In Norway, at least five people were killed in a bow-and-arrow attack in the town of Kongsberg. The Kongsberg police chief said there was "a confrontation" between officers and the assailant, a 37-year-old Danish suspect, but he did not elaborate. The motive for the attack is not yet known but police say they haven't ruled out terrorism. *) Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel begin hunger strike At least 250 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel have begun a hunger strike to protest their relocation to isolation, officials said. The hunger strike, led by the Islamic Jihad group, comes amid heightened tensions in Israeli detention facilities following the escape of six prisoners from a high-security prison. All six were recaptured within a couple of weeks, but the escape embarrassed Israeli authorities and was hailed as a stroke of defiance by Palestinians. And finally… *) Star Trek's Shatner becomes world's oldest space traveler Beam me up Bezos! 90-year-old actor William Shatner has officially become the oldest person ever to fly to space on a rocket. The launch took place in Texas aboard Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' 'Blue Origin' ship and saw Shatner and three others cross briefly over the official boundary of space. "It was unbelievable," said Shatner, known to Star Trek fans as the daring Captain James Tiberius Kirk, a role he first played more than half a century ago.
Friday, October 08, 2021
2:01TRT World’s Daily News Brief for Friday, October 8th. *) Taliban warn against isolating Afghanistan The Taliban has warned against isolating Afghanistan, saying that similar policies failed in the past and “no one” wants that to repeat. The Taliban’s UN nominee said the group is ready to engage with the international community and resolve issues through talks. The UN has warned of a looming “humanitarian catastrophe” as the country requires urgent funding to meet basic needs after the Taliban takeover. *) Greece ratifies controversial defence deal with France Greek lawmakers have ratified a defence deal with France that includes a "mutual assistance clause" in case of an armed attack against either. The five-year agreement was announced in Paris last week by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and French President Emmanuel Macron. The pact seems to overlook the idea of collective defence which is a principal tenet of NATO, of which both Greece and France are members. *) US official says special forces quietly training Taiwanese troops US special operations forces have been quietly training Taiwanese troops for months, risking the ire of China. A contingent of around 20 special operations and conventional forces has been conducting training for less than a year, a Pentagon official, who declined to be identified, said. The official largely confirmed a Wall Street Journal report which said the training has been going on for at least a year, amid China's rising verbal threats against the US ally. *) Israel judge's approval of 'quiet' Jewish prayer at Al Aqsa stirs outrage An Israeli judge's conclusion this week that "quiet" Jewish prayer should be allowed at Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque compound has stirred outrage. The Waqf Islamic Affairs Council called the ruling by Jerusalem Magistrates' Court judge Bilhha Yahalom an illegitimate "provocation”. Even Israeli police have appealed the decision, which came in response to a petition by rabbi Aryeh Lippo, who last month was slapped with a two-week ban from the plaza after praying there. And finally… *) Tanzanian-born novelist Gurnah wins Nobel Literature Prize Tanzanian-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the Nobel Literature Prize for his portrayal of the effects of colonialism and the trauma of the refugee experience. Gurnah, who grew up on the island of Zanzibar but arrived in England as a refugee in the 1960s to escape the revolution, is the fifth African to win the coveted prize. "I am absolutely overwhelmed and proud. It was completely unexpected," Gurnah said.
Thursday, October 7, 2021
2:22TRT World’s Daily News Brief for Thursday, October 7th: *) UN warns that Afghanistan's economy is on the verge of collapse Afghanistan’s health system is failing and the economy is on the brink of collapse, the country’s director for the World Food Progamme has warned. Mary-Ellen McGroarty said donor pledges and commitments “must urgently be turned into reality” before it is too late. Nearly half the population, more than 18 million people, require aid assistance to survive, while conflict and insecurity have displaced more than 3.5 million, with nearly 700,000 uprooted this year alone, UN figures say. In mid-August, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in parallel with a US troop withdrawal from the country. *) Earthquake in southern Pakistan kills more than a dozen people A magnitude 5.7 quake strikes Pakistan’s southern Balochistan province, killing at least 20 people and wounding 200 others, officials say, warning death toll could rise. The worst-affected area has been the remote mountainous city of Harnai, where a lack of paved roads and electricity has hampered the rescue effort. Pakistan straddles the boundary where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, making the country susceptible to earthquakes. *) Probe finds refugees face illegal pushback at Greece, Croatia borders Migrants and refugees are suffering sometimes violent illegal pushback carried out by special police units at the EU's borders, especially Greece and Croatia, says Germany's Der Spiegel. Videos of 11 pushbacks described by Der Spiegel allegedly show men beating refugees before bringing them back across the border into Bosnia-Herzegovina. "Asylum-seekers' testimony is piling up in Greece, Romania, and Croatia, gathered by aid groups, lawyers, and journalists," the paper added. *) Armed bandits kill more than a dozen in northwest Nigeria Armed men have killed at least 18 people and set ablaze cars and shops in Nigeria's Zamfara state, two residents have said. The attack comes as the government imposed a telecoms blackout as part of a security operation against groups of kidnappers. Northwest Nigeria has been engulfed in crisis since late 2020 when groups of armed men began a spate of mass abductions from schools and other violent attacks on villages. And finally… *) Daniel Craig gets Hollywood Walk of Fame star next to former James Bond Roger Moore Daniel Craig finally has got a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, days before his last movie as James Bond opens in the United States. The actor's pink and terrazzo star has been placed next to that of the late Roger Moore, who played Bond in seven movies from 1973 to 1985. "It's an absolute honour to be walked all over in Hollywood," said Craig.
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
2:27TRT World’s Daily News Brief for Wednesday, October 6th: *) British PM's envoy meets Taliban in Afghanistan British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's special envoy met Taliban leaders in Afghanistan to discuss the humanitarian crisis and battling terrorism. Simon Gass, Johnson's high representative for Afghanistan, met Taliban leaders including Amir Khan Muttaqi and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Foreign Office said. The Taliban have been courting foreign powers to help restart cash flows to the country, where civil servants and healthcare workers have not been paid for months. *) 330,000 children victims of church sex abuse in France Victims of abuse within France’s Catholic Church welcomed a historic turning point after a new report estimated that 330,000 children were sexually abused over the past 70 years. The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests and an unknown number of other people involved in the church according to the report. The study’s authors estimate 80 percent of the church’s victims were boys, while the broader study of sexual abuse found that 75 percent of the overall victims were girls. *) Whistleblower urges regulation to tackle Facebook 'crisis' A Facebook whistleblower told US lawmakers that the social media giant fuels division, harms children and urgently needs to be regulated. Frances Haugen, testifying to the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, accused the company of failing to make changes to Instagram after internal research showed apparent harm to some teens. Haugen’s accusations were buttressed by tens of thousands of pages of internal research documents she secretly copied before leaving her job. *) Third tanker carrying Iranian fuel to Lebanon reaches Syria A third tanker carrying Iranian fuel for distribution in Lebanon has reached the Syrian port city of Baniyas, TankerTrackers.com reported on Twitter. The Iran-aligned Hezbollah movement says the imports should ease a crippling energy crisis in Lebanon. Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said last month the Iranian fuel shipments constitute a breach of Lebanon's sovereignty. And finally… *) Ancient Indonesian woman reshapes views on spread of early humans Genetic traces in the body of a young woman who died 7,000 years ago indicate that mixing between early humans in Indonesia and those from faraway Siberia took place much earlier than previously thought. Theories about early human migration in Asia could be transformed by the research published in the scientific journal Nature in August, after analysis of the DNA of the woman who was given a ritual burial in an Indonesian cave. Scientists have until recently thought North Asian people such as the Denisovans only arrived in Southeast Asia about 3,500 years ago.
Tuesday, October 5, 2021
2:33*) US resumes Afghan refugee flights after measles shots Afghan refugees will soon be arriving again in the US after a massive campaign to vaccinate them against measles. The measles outbreak, detected in 24 people, caused a three-week pause in evacuations. Authorities have administered the vaccination to about 49,000 evacuees staying temporarily on American military bases and also others at transit points. *) French clergy molested '216,000 victims' in 70 years A report on sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergymen in France is set to say there have been an estimated 216,000 victims since 1950, a survivor who contributed to the dossier has said ahead of its publication. An independent commission spent more than 2-1/2 years investigating sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the country over the past seven decades. In the run-up to the release of its findings, Commission head Jean-Marc Sauve said about 3,000 paedophile priests and clerics abused minors over the period. *) Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp back online after massive outage Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp services have returned online after a massive and lengthy outage that added to the social network's woes. Facebook cited faulty configuration changes on its routers as the root cause of the nearly six-hour outage. Security experts said the disruption could be the result of an internal mistake, though sabotage by an insider would be theoretically possible. *) 'Pandora Papers' bring renewed calls for tax haven scrutiny Calls grow for an end to the financial secrecy that has allowed many of the world’s richest and most powerful people to hide their wealth from tax collectors. The outcry came after a report revealed the way that world leaders, billionaires and others have used shell companies and offshore accounts to keep trillions of dollars out of government treasuries over the past quarter-century. The investigation, dubbed the Pandora Papers, was published on Sunday and involved 600 journalists from 150 media outlets in 117 countries. And finally… *) Global heating kills 14% of world's corals in decade Global heating and also dynamite fishing and pollution have wiped out 14 percent of the world's coral reefs from 2009 to 2018, according to the largest ever survey of coral health. The hardest hit were corals in South Asia and the Pacific, around the Arabian Peninsula, and off the coast of Australia, the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network reported. The value of goods and services from coral reefs is about $2.7 trillion per year, including $36 billion in tourism, the report said.
Monday, October 4, 2021
2:16*) Blast targets memorial service at Kabul mosque We begin in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul where a fatal attack rocked the city’s second-largest mosque during a funeral. At least five people lost their lives at the Eid Gah Mosque where a memorial service was being held for the mother of a Taliban spokesman. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban government blames Daesh. *) North and South restore inter-Korea hotline Seoul’s Unification Ministry said that officials from North and South Korea have exchanged messages over a cross-border communication channel. The hotline was restored on Monday after Pyongyang severed it in early August in protest against Seoul’s joint military drill with the US. Cross-border communication is expected to improve relations between the two rivals, despite the end of conflict in the early 1950’s. *) ‘Pandora Papers’ expose hidden assets of politicians, govts, celebs The largest international collaboration of journalists has produced a report called “The Pandora Papers”, based on an immense collection of leaked offshore data. Some of the leaked documents have revealed the secret wealth of politicians and billionaires around the world. Around 35 world leaders are named in the documents, including more than 300 public officials like judges, mayors, and generals in more than 90 countries. *) Inquiry finds thousands of peadophiles operates in French churhes A new research by the Catholic church in France has revealed more than 3,000 pedophiles have been operating in French churches since 1950. The commission investigating the scandal is set to officially release its report in the next few days, after taking around two years to finalise. The report attempted to quantify the number of offenders and victims, and also looked into institutional and cultural issues within the church which allowed pedophiles to work in the system. And finally… *) Banksy’s famous balloon girl piece goes on auction A version of British graffiti artist Banksy’s famous “Girl and Balloon” artwork by Christie’s, as the highlight of the London auction house’s upcoming sale. The two-part or diptych canvas depicts a small child letting go of a heart-shaped red balloon and was painted by the elusive wall dauber in 2005. It is expected to fetch up to 4.7 million dollars when it goes on sale on October 15.