Bombs exploded across the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing at least 38 people. A surge of violence has killed more than 6,000 people across Iraq in 2013.
Residents walk through the site of a bomb attack in eastern Baghdad on October 7, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad
World Wrap: August 28, 2013
Britain seeks U.N. authorization for Syria strike, North Korea acts like a better neighbor, and deadly violence sweeps Iraq and Afghanistan. Today is Wednesday, August 28 – 50 years since Martin Luther King made his famous “I have a dream” speech – and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @clarerrrr.
Britain asks U.N. approval for military action in Syria
Free Syrian Army fighters escort a convoy of U.N. vehicles carrying a team of United Nations chemical weapons experts during their visit at one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus’ suburbs of Zamalka, August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh
Security Council showdown. Britain plans to propose a resolution at the U.N. asking permission to take “necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians after a reported chemical attack. After two years of deadlock in the Security Council thanks to Russia and China’s veto powers, the move seemed aimed at isolating Russia. The U.S. appears ready to strike Syria with or without U.N. approval, although it remains unclear when a strike would take place.
That has set Western leaders on a collision course with Moscow, Assad’s main arms supplier, as well as with China, which also has a veto in the Security Council and disapproves of what it sees as a push for Iraq-style “regime change” – despite U.S. denials that President Barack Obama aims to overthrow Assad.
The UK’s National Security Council today agreed unanimously to back action against Syria, and residents in the Syrian capital said the government had evacuated most army buildings in preparation for a military strike. A report released by French newspaper Le Monde shares witness accounts from two correspondents who witnessed a chemical attack in Jobar:
Searching for words to describe the incongruous sound, he said it was like ‘a Pepsi can that falls to the ground.’ No odor, no smoke, not even a whistle to indicate the release of a toxic gas. And then the symptoms appear. The men cough violently. Their eyes burn, their pupils shrink, their vision blurs. Soon they experience difficulty breathing, sometimes in the extreme; they begin to vomit or lose consciousness. The fighters worst affected need to be evacuated before they suffocate.
The war in Syria has killed over 100,000 people, created millions of refugees, and stoked sectarian violence across the region.
Youths look at the site of a car bomb attack in Baghdad’s al-Shaab district, August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Saad Shalash
Status check after U.S. wars. The Taliban and al Qaeda affiliates were at work today in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively, wreaking havoc and further tarnishing the outlook in the countries emerging from U.S.-led wars. In Afghanistan, the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on a Polish base after two earlier attacks targeting NATO convoys killed 10 civilians and wounded over 20.
The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for that attack, but they are keen to keep pressure on the NATO mission here ahead of its planned end next year.
In Iraq, where the worst wave of sectarian violence in five years has been exacerbated by civil war in neighboring Syria, a series of bomb attacks in the capital killed dozens and wounded over 200 people.
It was not immediately clear who carried out the attacks, which appeared coordinated, but Sunni Muslim insurgents including the al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq have significantly stepped up bombings this year.
Iraq saw its deadliest month since 2008 this July, raising fears that the country is slipping back into widespread bloodshed after the U.S. troops left the country 18 months ago. The U.S. is set to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014.
The Korean People’s Army Song and Dance Ensemble take part in a music and dance performance called “May the Day of Songun Shine Forever” at the April 25 House of Culture in Pyongyang on the 53rd Day of Songun, August 25, 2013, in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). REUTERS/KCNA
Back from the brink. Remember when North Korea threatened war with the South earlier this year? Thanks in part to new directives from South Korea’s recently-instated President Park Geun-hye, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has initiated dialogue with Seoul, agreeing to reopen a joint industrial zone. It’s not all a bed of roses, but the progress appears to have validated Park’s policies.
To be sure, experts are not predicting lasting peace between the two Koreas since Kim has shown no sign of giving up his banned nuclear weapons program… Park sketched out her vision of engagement with North Korea before taking office in a policy she dubbed “trustpolitik”, an echo of West Germany’s approach to East Germany before German reunification in 1990. She pledged to respond strongly to any military action by the North but said she was willing to commit to better commercial ties in return for a dialing down of tensions.
The thaw has extended all the way to Washington; the U.S. is sending its human rights envoy to seek the release of jailed American Kenneth Bae at the invitation of North Korea.
Nota Bene: China’s official news agency warns the world to remember bogus U.S. excuses for war in Iraq before attacking Syria.
Culpability questions - U.S. spies say intercepted calls prove Syrian army used nerve gas. (Foreign Policy)
Hurricane Rick Perry? - Activists push to name hurricanes after climate change deniers. (Christian Science Monitor)
Secret spying - The NYPD has designated entire mosques as terrorism organizations. (Associated Press)
The ‘Cat Period’ - A hacker obtains paintings by former President George W. Bush. (Gawker)
Sue for the coup - Iran’s parliament approves bill to sue U.S. over its involvement in 1953 coup. (Washington Post)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
World Wrap: July 31, 2013
Zimbabweans vote in presidential election, U.N. report reveals significant increase in Afghanistan casualties this year, and Iraqi government admits a state of open war. Today is Wednesday, July 31, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
Mugabe vies to continue 33-year presidency as Zimbabwe voters take to the polls
A police officer casts his vote in Mbare outside Harare, July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Zimbabwe voting underway. Zimbabweans came out in droves on Wednesday to vote in the country’s presidential election, deciding for the third time between incumbent President Robert Mugabe, 89, and his opponent, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai:
In Harare, the epicenter of Tsvangirai support, the mood was excited and upbeat. A large turnout, especially in cities, is likely to benefit the 61-year-old [Tsvangirai] and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, analysts say… Around 6.4 million people, or half the population, are registered to vote. Results are expected well within a five-day deadline intended to prevent a repeat of problems seen in the last election in 2008, when big delays led to serious violence. The threat of unrest remains at the back of people’s minds but the atmosphere was markedly lighter than five years ago, with both party leaders preaching peace and tolerance.
Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai are confident of victory, raising fears of violence if the loser does not respect the results – especially given allegations of vote-fixing and other crooked practices. Polls opened on time at 0500 GMT and will remain open until 1700 GMT. Voting is overseen by 500 regional and 7,000 domestic monitors. Though the U.S. fears unfair elections, it may consider lifting sanctions against the country if Zimbabweans are pleased with the voting process. The EU and IMF have already taken steps towards integrating Zimbabwe into the greater economy, easing sanctions and agreeing to monitor Mugabe’s programs through year end, respectively. To win, the candidate must receive 50 percent plus one vote. A run-off vote will take place on September 11 if necessary.
Georgette Gagnon, director of human rights for the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), speaks during a news conference in Kabul, July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan women, children deaths on the rise. A United Nations report said the number of dead and injured civilians has increased by 23 percent in the first half of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, as international forces transfer security responsibilities back to Afghan forces:
Women and children are increasingly the victims of the 12-year-old war, the report said, noting a 30 percent leap in the number of children killed. The total civilian death toll stood at more than 1,300, with 2,533 reported injuries… The U.N. report said bombs, or improvised explosive devices (IEDs), remained the single greatest killer, claiming 53 percent more victims than last year, most of them children. Fighting between security forces and insurgents had emerged as the second most significant cause of civilian deaths, with the report putting the death toll in crossfire at 207.
The increase in violence supports fear that Afghan troops, which face a lack of medical and logistical support and suffer one of the world’s highest desertion rates, will have difficulty containing the Taliban on their own. According to the report, a NATO-led force in Afghanistan said it was not responsible for the killing of ten children in an aerial strike, but the U.S. army will investigate allegations of war crimes committed in the strategic Wardak province. Fallout from the accusations, as well as the postponement of Afghan-U.S. peace talks over the Taliban’s new offices in Qatar, have raised tension between Kabul and Washington.
Blood stains are seen as a boy inspects the site of a bomb attack in Husseiniya district in Baghdad, July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Wissm al-Okili
Open war. Iraq’s interior ministry acknowledged this week that the severely increased violence of recent months, coupled with a major jailbreak orchestrated by al Qaeda, signifies widespread sectarian war in the country:
Three years after U.S. troops pulled out, declaring the mission of restoring peace more or less complete, Iraq is no longer a post-conflict nation dealing with residual violence. It is now, once again, a full-blown sectarian war zone, with armed factions that hold territory and kill civilians at will… In a statement this week, the Interior Ministry at last acknowledged what most Iraqis have long since understood: “The country is currently facing an open war launched by bloodthirsty sectarian forces that aims to plunge the country into chaos.” The jailbreak has revealed that Iraq’s own security forces – trained and equipped by Washington with nearly $25 billion and numbering more than a million strong – are outmatched against foes who once took on the full might of the United States.
Iraq’s government had long claimed that militant attacks were isolated, and that the state was economically and politically stable. But insurgents are hurting oil production by killing repair crews and destroying infrastructure, and the past few months have been the deadliest in years. Civil war in Syria has also bolstered al Qaeda in Iraq, which has joined forces with one of Syria’s most powerful Sunni Islamist rebel group. Read more on why Iraq’s security officers are no match for sectarian bloodshed.
Nota Bene: Egypt’s interim leaders call pro-Mursi vigils a threat to national security.
International cronut craze - Dunkin’ Donuts now sells cronuts, or New York pie donuts, in South Korea. (Quartz)
Assad filter - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has joined Instagram. (The Washington Post)
#DumpStoli - Gay bars throughout the world are boycotting Russian vodka over the country’s anti-gay laws. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Such great heights - A Chinese acrobat breaks a world record as he walks a tightrope between two hot air balloons. (The Guardian)
Weather-proof recyclables - An Indian research center in the antarctic is built from shipping containers. (Gizmag)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
World Wrap: July 29, 2013
Middle East peace talks begin, Iraqi Shi’ites killed in coordinated attacks, and EU’s foreign policy chief urges Egyptian leaders to compromise. Today is Monday, July 29, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.
Israeli, Palestinian leaders to restart peace negotiations
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) heads a cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 28, 2013. REUTERS/Issam Rimawi/Pool
Pathway to peace? Top Israeli and Palestinian officials will meet at the U.S. State Department tonight and tomorrow to resume peace talks between the nations for the first time in nearly three years. Secretary of State John Kerry has been working ceaselessly to bring both sides to the negotiating table, visiting the region six times in four months in an attempt to move the peace process forward. Kerry has not outline the topics to be discussed, but announced on July 19 that both sides were prepared to discuss “final status” issues, such as Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the status of East Jerusalem, and Israel’s disputed border:
This time “all of the issues that are at the core of a permanent accord will be negotiated simultaneously,” Silvan Shalom, a member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu’s cabinet and rightist Likud party, told Israel’s Army Radio. The Palestinians, with international backing, want their future state to have borders approximating the boundaries of the West Bank, adjacent East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip before Israel captured them in the 1967 Middle East war… [Israeli President Benjamin] Netanyahu had resisted Abbas’s calls to accept the 1967 border formula before talks resumed. Shalom said that the Israeli position would help keep the talks, which are slated to last nine months, comprehensive.
The Israeli government voted on Sunday to release 104 Arab prisoners, paving the way for this week’s talks. Kerry spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the meetings will “serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months.”
Street cleaners remove debris on the road at the site of a car bomb attack in Basra, 260 miles southeast of Baghdad, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
Iraqi violence spikes. Coordinated blasts in predominantly Shi’ite neighborhoods in Iraq killed at least 60 people in one of the deadliest sectarian attacks this year:
The 17 blasts, which appeared to be coordinated, were concentrated on towns and cities in Iraq’s mainly Shi’ite south, and districts of the capital where Shi’ites live… In Baghdad’s Shi’ite stronghold of Sadr city, police and witnesses said a minivan drew up to a group of men waiting by the side of the road for day work, and the driver told them to get in before detonating an explosive device in the vehicle. “The driver asked laborers to get into the van, then he disappeared and minutes later the truck exploded, flinging the laborers’ bodies back,” said Yahya Ali, a worker who was standing nearby.
Militant groups in Iraq, including al Qaeda, have embarked on a campaign of violence in the face of Iraq’s Shi’ite-led government, raising fears that the politically unstable region will devolve into full-on sectarian conflict. Last week, al Qaeda militants freed hundreds of inmates from Abu Ghraib, further exacerbating security concerns. Violence monitoring group Iraq Body Count reports a death toll of nearly 4,000 people since the beginning of the year, 810 of them killed in July.
Supporters of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans as they gather outside the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa to show solidarity with his supporters in Egypt, July 28, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
EU responds to Egypt killings. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called on Egypt’s interim rulers to defuse tension with the Muslim Brotherhood after a weekend of violence left 80 Mursi supporters dead:
The bloodshed has raised global anxiety that the army may move to crush the Brotherhood, a movement which emerged from decades in the shadows to win power in elections after Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Hosni Mubarak. Ashton, on her second trip to Egypt since Mursi’s fall, met General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the army and the man behind the overthrow of Egypt’s first freely-elected president. She also held talks with deputy interim president and prominent liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei and interim Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.
The slain protesters were gunned down by Egyptian security forces, prompting criticism by the United Nations and the U.S. The Muslim Brotherhood plans to march towards a military intelligence headquarters on Monday evening, raising the possibility of more violence.
Tax threat - In Mogadishu, tax collecting is a new, dangerous job. (The Associated Press)
“Burka avenger” - A Pakistani comic book stars a veiled female who battles enemies with books and pens. (The New York Times)
Paris 2.0 - France’s capital is planning a massive expansion. (The Atlantic Cities)
Fishy claims - Putin says he caught a 46-pound fish, but Russians aren’t biting. (The Independent)
Mob goes green - The Italian mafia is taking advantage of the country’s green energy push. (Al Jazeera)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
Car bombs ripped through streets and markets in Iraq on Monday, killing at least 60 people in predominantly Shi’ite neighborhoods. It is some of the deadliest violence since Sunni insurgents increased attacks this year.
Read more: http://reut.rs/150R7uT
Photo: the site of a car bomb attack in Kut, 93 miles southeast of Baghdad, July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Jaafer Abed
World Wrap: July 23, 2013
Old habits die hard for Brazilian politicians, U.S. to start sending arms to Syria’s rebels, and al Qaeda takes credit for massive prison break. Today is Tuesday, July 23, a day of respite for world media after an exhausting royal baby watch. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.
Brazil dawdles on reform one month after protests
Pope Francis sits with President Dilma Rousseff after a welcoming ceremony for the Pope in Guanabara Palace in Rio de Janeiro, in this July 22, 2013, handout from Beth Santos-Rio City Hall. REUTERS/Beth Santos-Rio City Hall/Handout via Reuters
ProcrastiNation. Though Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and members of her government responded to last month’s massive anti-government protests with promises of change, it seems Brazil’s lawmakers are dragging their feet on actual reform:
In an initial flurry of activity, rattled congressmen abandoned a constitutional amendment that would have made it harder to prosecute corrupt politicians, senators voted to stiffen penalties for corruption, and Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the arrest of a lawmaker convicted of embezzlement. Last week, the Air Force started posting information on who uses its planes and why after outrage at politicians jetting off to private events such as soccer games on the public dime. But other reform proposals that would reduce privileges that politicians enjoy and make government more transparent have been shunted into committees for review or put off until lawmakers return from a mid-year recess.
According to a poll conducted by Transparency International last week, 81 percent of Brazilians say political parties are corrupt and 72 percent agree that Congress is corrupt. Amid the tension, large crowds turned out to greet Pope Francis as he drove into Rio de Janeiro on his debut trip to his home continent. The mood was largely celebratory despite minor protests by rights groups and a small bomb that was planted near a Catholic sanctuary and safely detonated by officials.
A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon as he takes a defensive position in Aleppo’s Karm al-Jabal district, July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib
Weapons from Washington. The U.S. will begin sending arms to vetted groups of Syrian rebels, according to White House officials, after easing some congressional concerns over the matter. The White House announced the decision to offer military assistance to some rebel factions in June, but follow-up talks were slow-going:
Part of the logjam was broken on July 12 when members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who had questioned the wisdom of arming the insurgents decided behind closed doors to tentatively agree that the administration could go ahead with its plans, but sought updates as the covert effort proceeded… The timeline was unclear, but supporters of the rebels hope the deliveries of U.S.-provided arms will start in August. They hope for “a large number of small weapons” such as rifles and basic anti-tank weapons, said Louay Sakka, a co-founder of the Syrian Support Group, which backs the Free Syrian Army fighting Assad.
Army General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey released a letter on Monday outlining the possible military options for the U.S. in Syria, where the conflict has become increasingly sectarian and spilled across regional borders.
Mourners pray at the coffin of a victim killed during an attack on a prison in Taji, during a funeral at the Imam Ali shrine in Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, July 22, 2013. REUTERS/Haider Ala
Prison break. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility today for freeing more than 500 inmates from the infamous Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq:
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, formed earlier this year through a merger of al Qaeda’s affiliates in Syria and Iraq, said it had stormed the high-security jails after months of preparation. Monday’s attacks came exactly a year after the leader of al Qaeda’s Iraqi branch, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, launched a “Breaking the Walls” campaign that made freeing its imprisoned members a top priority, the group said in a statement… The group said it had deployed suicide attackers, rockets, and 12 car bombs, killing 120 Iraqi guards and SWAT forces in the attacks in Taji and Abu Ghraib, the prison made notorious a decade ago by photographs showing abuse of prisoners by U.S. soldiers.
The militants also attacked another prison, Taji, but were blocked by guards and did not successfully free inmates. Nearly 700 people have been killed in militant attacks throughout Iraq in July, according to a violence monitoring group, contributing to fears that the country will return to a state of sectarian war.
Nota Bene: At least nine people died in clashes between Mursi supporters and their opponents in Cairo, marking continuing unrest in the volatile county.
Crossing the checkpoint - Reuters photographer Ammar Awad chronicles the daily difficulties of commuting from the West Bank to Israel. (Reuters)
Super civilians - Heroic Japanese commuters move 66,000 lbs to free a woman trapped under a train. (The Independent)
Rubble-rouser - London’s mayor wants to destroy Heathrow airport. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Beer for the DPRK - Even Pyongyang wants a Bavarian beer garden. (The Atlantic Cities)
Trial and error - The botched trial of a popular opposition leader in Russia could be costly for the Kremlin. (Foreign Policy)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.
Warning: video contains graphic content.
A car bomb near Kirkuk killed at least one person and wounded 6 others on Monday, and twenty-four people were killed on Sunday as a number of blasts hit mainly Shi’ite provinces, including in Kut, where five people died.
In the southern oil hub of Basra, three bombs exploded near the headquarters of a Shi’ite party, killing at least 8 people:
"I ran to the scene looking for my youngest brother. I ran and I found him lying dead on the ground. I saw dead children. Three children of this house have been killed and a four-year old child of that one was killed too. Does God or Mohammed approve such an act? Why? And until when we will continue to suffer?" - Karrar Faiz, whose brother was killed
Iraq’s sectarian tensions have been inflamed by the civil war in neighboring Syria. More than 300 people have reportedly been killed so far in July - though that figure has yet to match the sectarian carnage of six years ago when monthly death tolls sometimes topped 3000.
World Wrap: July 2, 2013
Egyptian army gives Mursi two days or else, Reuters reporter injured in U.S. invasion returns to Baghdad, and Snowden breaks his silence. Today is Tuesday, July 2, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.
Egypt’s Mursi rejects 48-hour ultimatum
Military helicopters fly above Tahrir Square while protesters opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi shout slogans against him and Brotherhood members during a protest in Cairo, July 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Mursi’s final countdown? Egypt’s military essentially issued President Mohamed Mursi an ultimatum on Monday, responding to days of massive anti-government protests by demanding that Mursi compromise with the liberal opposition within 48 hours or abide by a military road map for the country:
The confrontation has pushed the most populous Arab nation closer to the brink amid a deepening economic crisis two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, raising concern in Washington, Europe and neighboring Israel… Describing civilian rule as a great gain from the revolution of 2011, Mursi said he would not let the clock be turned back. Egypt’s first freely elected leader, he has been in office for just a year. But many Egyptians are impatient with his economic management and inability to win the trust of non-Islamists.
The army said it was prepared to begin deploying troops in cities as necessary. Clinging to office, Mursi said today that he would pursue his own path to resolving the crisis. He is meeting with armed forces chief, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and the prime minister today. President Obama encouraged Mursi to enact a democratic transition via political process, and the U.N. urged Egypt to engage in “serious national dialogue.” Protesters, delighted by the military’s intervention, remain camped out in Tahrir Square and plan to rally again on Tuesday evening, hoping to force Mursi to resign.
Iraqis examine damage inflicted on their house by a car bomb attack in Al-Mashtal district in Baghdad, March 19, 2013. Car bombs and a suicide blast hit Shi’ite districts of Baghdad and south of Iraq’s capital on Tuesday, killing at least 50 people on the 10th anniversary of the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen
“The last time I left Baghdad I was on a stretcher.” Reuters journalist Samia Nakhoul returns to the Iraqi capital for the first time after she was seriously injured by a U.S. tank shell in 2003, and describes the sectarian strife that has engulfed the Shi’ite-led country since:
Iraq is broken, its society splintered. Sunni and Shi’ite Iraqis have resumed the gruesome sectarian violence touched off by the invasion. The U.S. occupation, sold as a way to end Saddam’s brutal dictatorship, end the threat of weapons of mass destruction, and usher in peace and democracy, instead fuelled longstanding hatreds between the two rival branches of Islam – first in Iraq and now across the region… In retrospect, the invasion of Iraq proved a pivotal moment in the centuries-old balance of power between the two sects that emerged from a schism in Islam 1,300 years ago.
Click through for her first-hand account.
Snowden speaks at last. NSA surveillance leaker Edward Snowden, wanted in the U.S. for espionage, is running out of options as more countries reject his asylum requests:
On Monday, [Snowden] broke a nine-day silence since arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong, challenging Washington by saying he was free to publish more about its programs and that he was being illegally persecuted. That ruled out a prolonged stay in Russia, where a spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Snowden had withdrawn his request for asylum after the Russian leader said he should give up his “anti-American activity.” But while country after country denied his asylum requests on technical grounds, Venezuela, part of an alliance of leftist governments in Latin America, said it was time to stop berating a man who has “done something very important for humanity.”
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa told the Guardian that he could not consider Snowden’s asylum request, adding that he regrets giving Snowden a temporary travel pass to fly to Moscow. Snowden remains in Russia’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he will be stuck until he obtains travel documents to fly to another country or a Russian visa to leave the airport.
Nota Bene: President Obama is greeted by both admirers in Obama gear and marching critics on his long-awaited trip to Africa.
After-school soldier - Sudan encourages young students to take a break from school to fight rebel militias. (Al Jazeera)
Impunity fury - Protesters storm local police station in Ukraine over officer is implicated in brutal gang-rape of a young woman. (The Associated Press)
Corrupt cigarettes? - Hungary’s new tobacco laws stink. (BBC)
Red alert - A Syrian hacktivist wants to set up a SCUD missile alert system. (The Atlantic)
You say you want a revolution - Massive public protests may not be the most effective way to revolt. (Foreign Policy)
Check out more from World Wrap at Reuters dot com.