WORLD POLITICAL NEWS DAILY BRIEF: 12 August 2017

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By Politicoscope August 12, 2017 19:00

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WORLD BRIEF: Government forces reportedly killed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters and destroyed their weapons. The town is located some 50km from Deir al-Zor province, a major IS foothold in Syria. Damascus troops have already crossed the western borders of Deir al-Zor province.

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WORLD POLITICAL NEWS DAILY BRIEF: 12 August 2017

Syrian troops seize control of ISIS-held town in Homs province – state media

The Syrian Army has seized full control of the town of al-Sukhna, some 50km northeast of Palmyra in Homs province, Syrian state media reported, as cited by Reuters. Government forces reportedly killed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters and destroyed their weapons. The town is located some 50km from Deir al-Zor province, a major IS foothold in Syria. Damascus troops have already crossed the western borders of Deir al-Zor province, Reuters said.

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7 White Helmets killed in Syria’s Idlib province

Seven members of the controversial Syrian Civil Defense group, better known as the White Helmets were killed by “unknown armed men” in the group’s office in the town of Sarmin, Idlib province, on Saturday morning, the group said on Twitter. According to the organization, this was “single most deadly attack” against its members. It was allegedly carried out by “a criminal gang,” it added. “Two minibuses, some white helmets and walkie-talkies were stolen,” the White Helmets said, as cited by AFP. An opposition activist told AP on condition of anonymity that the attack might have been carried out by an Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS/ISIL) cell in the town to show that Idlib province is not safe. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

At least 11 dead as post-election riots rip through Kenya

At least 11 people have been killed by Kenyan police, most of them during anti-looting operations, as protests against the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta rage on across the country, Reuters reported on Saturday citing officials and witnesses. In one case, a young girl in Nairobi was killed by police firing “sporadic shots,” a witness said, according to AP. The riots broke out following after Kenyatta, 55, was re-elected for a second five-year term, though the opposition called the result a fraud. Security authorities say the unrest is being dealt with, blaming it on “criminal elements.”

Advocates stage first big Texas protest against border wall

Hundreds of people are marching in South Texas toward the Rio Grande to oppose the wall the US government wants to build on the river separating Texas and Mexico. Led by an altar boy carrying an incense holder, the procession set out after dawn Saturday toward La Lomita chapel in Mission. The border town would be the target of new barrier construction under the Trump administration’s current plan. The march is the first major protest against the border wall to be staged in the Rio Grande Valley. The section of farms and border cities is at Texas’ southernmost point. The Trump administration has proposed building 60 miles (97 kilometers) of wall there. It’s part of a $1.6 billion proposal to begin the president’s signature immigration priority. (The Associated Press)

Palestinian woman stabs Israeli man in Jerusalem – police

A Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli man in the shoulder near a flashpoint in East Jerusalem, police said, as cited by local media. “Terrorist attack in Jerusalem: a man was stabbed and lightly wounded near the Damascus Gate. Police arrested the assailant,” police tweeted. Police later told AFP that the “female Arab terrorist” in her 30s was from Jerusalem.

Turkey’s Erdogan says Berlin relations to improve after German election

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that tension with Europe was due to European domestic politics and relations with Berlin would improve after Germany’s parliamentary election in September. Relations between Europe and Turkey, a NATO member and a candidate for European Union membership, have been strained by the crackdown that followed last year’s failed coup, with some European countries voicing alarm at the scale of the purges. “Criticism from Europe is about their internal politics,” Erdogan said in a speech in the western city of Isparta that was broadcast live on television.”France and Austria did this before, we see that Germany follows the same strategy. I believe that this situation will improve after elections,” he said, referring to the Sept. 24 polls where Chancellor Angela Merkel is running for a fourth term. (Reuters)

Japan GPS satellite launch postponed due to glitch

Japan on Saturday postponed the planned launch of an H-2A rocket tasked to put a geo-positioning satellite into orbit due to possible helium gas leakage, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) said. MHI, commissioned by the government to carry the satellite into space, postponed Saturday’s launch after detecting a decline in pressure levels inside a tank containing helium gas, which is used to operate valves for cooling rocket engines. The company is looking into what specifically caused the pressure decline, and the rocket is now likely to be launched as early as Aug. 17, a MHI spokesman said. (Reuters)

Venezuela declares Peru’s president ‘enemy of the country,’ expels charge d’affaires

Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry has designated Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski an enemy of Venezuela for “continually interfering” in its internal affairs, it said in a statement on Friday, issued hours after Peru announced that Venezuela’s ambassador to the country is not more welcome and should leave within five days. Denouncing the move, the ministry said it is expelling Peruvian charge d’affaires in response. Peru has not recognized the legitimacy of the newly elected Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, accusing Nicholas Maduro’s government of infringing on democracy.


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Politicoscope
By Politicoscope August 12, 2017 19:00

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