1) Norway has issued a security alert for a credible threat of attack from Syria-linked terrorists.
2) Iraq has elected a new President, Kurdish politician, Fuad Masum. Reports of a female genitalia mutilation edict by ISIS in Mosul have been denied by the organization, and many experts believe the reports to be false.
Tragic downing of Flight MH17 – Dutch have been angry about it – the bodies, the time it has taken. An investigation is on-going. The current facts are disputed by Moscow and the West, much blame from Americans. In the Ukraine conflict there continues to be planes shot down and a move towards Donetsk. Pressures have shown up in the Ukraine parliament with a fist fight breaking out today.
1) The trial of Venezuelan opposition leader, Leopoldo Lopez, began today. Protests in Venezuela earlier this year left 43 dead and 900 wounded. More than 80 people are still under arrest. No serious agreement between the government and the opposition has ever happened despite the 3 months of intense protests.
Discussion: The fault, how this will change the role in Europe and the UN, how this affects Ukraine, quelling the WWIII discussion, US role, What is Putin’s plan,
1) A U.S. compound was hit in a suicide bombing in Kabul. At least 3 “foreigners” are reported dead, and 8 are dead in total, including 4 militants. The bombing comes a day after a Taliban attack on the Kabul airport. Afghanistan is still under political upheaval during the vote audit.
1) China sent a spy ship to monitor international RIMPAC exercises off the coast of Hawaii—depite haveing 4 ships and 1000 troops participating. 22 countries including China participated in the US-led exercise.
1) Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down near the Russian-Ukrainian border. An investigation is going on now, but it looks as if either Russians on the border or pro-Russian separatists brought down the civilian plane. At least one separatist group claimed shooting the plane on social media, but the tweets have since been deleted. Nearly 300 people were on the plane, over 181 bodies have been recovered so far. 23 Americans were on the flight and many Europeans. At least 100 of the passengers were medical researchers on their way to an international conference on AIDS.
1) Israel and Palestine agreed to a 5 hour ceasefire for Gaza today. Despite an assault from Palestinian militants on an Israeli community before the temporary truce, it does not appear that the ceasefire has been violated by either side.
1) Iraq has finally named a speaker for its parliament, in a step towards breaking political deadlock in the country. Salim al-Jabouri, a moderate Sunni became speaker of the parliament though the selection of his deputy brought new arguments. Iraq had managed to retake the city of Tikrit earlier this week, from ISIS forces, but today Iraqi military was forced to retreat from their position, after a heavy bombardment and sniper fire. After 2 and a half weeks, Iraq’s forces have not been able to stabilize the city.