1.) Top story continues to be the Algerian hostage situation. The numbers are still constantly changing. Algeria stat news claims that 100 out of 132 foreign hostages were freed. But last update claimed that at least 60 hostages were unaccounted for and presumed dead. Militants were said to have offered 2 American hostages for 2 terrorists jailed in the US. No timeline was given for this, so it is unclear if happened before or after the helicopter attack on the plant. Countries with hostages involved have had what AP is calling a “muted angry” response towards Algeria’s handling of the situation. Some of the involved countries, such as Norway, have been stirred to some kind of action so the continued development of this story should be interesting.
2.) Christians and Muslims clashed in Southern Egypt. Police had to use tear gas to disperse Muslims protesting outside a Christian church. Protestors demanded an investigation into the allegations against a Christian man for sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl. Police are already investigating the accusations against the merchant. Coptic Christians in the region have openly claimed discrimination from the government.
3.) After increased self-immolations in Tibet (setting yourself on fire) as protests against Chinese rule in the country, China has responded with a harsh crackdown. They criminalized the suicides, arresting protester’s friends, family and confiscating thousands of satellite TV dishes.