Firebrand South African lawmaker Julius Malema was ejected from parliament on Thursday after refusing to retract controversial comments in which he accused the government of murdering miners. "When police reduce crime, you come here and say the ANC has reduced crime. And when police kill people, you don't want us to come here and say the ANC government has killed people. That is inconsistent," Malema had said in his maiden speech to parliament on Wednesday.
At least 17 journalists in Brazil for the World Cup have been attacked since the event began, the Inter American Press Association said Thursday, urging authorities to investigate the incidents. The Miami-based group said officials must remain vigilant to acts of violence that diminish attempts to gather information and report on protest demonstrations by people opposed to playing the matches in Brazil while millions of people still struggle with poverty in the country. "We condemn and are concerned at the fact that while carrying out their work, dozens of journalists have been beaten and restricted from doing their job, in most cases by security forces," said Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the IAPA committee on press freedom. The Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association said that since protests began in May 2013, more than 190 cases of violence against journalists have been reported, with 15 of the most recent 17 involving military police using excessive force against reporters.
Conservative Republicans ousted Majority Leader Eric Cantor from Congress, but they couldn’t prevent his establishment heir apparent from taking over his leadership position. On Thursday, the House Republican conference voted to promote Kevin McCarthy of California, who had been the chamber's No. 3 Republican, to majority leader. McCarthy beat a conservative challenger, Raul Labrador of Idaho, whose bid had been viewed as largely symbolic. Labrador had only entered the race after several other prominent conservative lawmakers dropped out of the race, so that McCarthy would not run unopposed.
Americans overwhelmingly oppose U.S. intervention in Iraq in the face of an advance by radical Sunni Islamists that routed the Iraqi army, a Reuters-IPSOS Poll showed on Thursday. Among those who supported some form of intervention, the most popular action was humanitarian aid for refugees from the conflict, and the second most popular was air strikes to support Iraqi government forces. When presented with President Barack Obama's position that there would be no U.S. military intervention unless the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government took steps toward power-sharing with Sunni and Kurdish leaders, most still opposed U.S. engagement. The poll reflected predictable splits between Republicans and Democrats on ascribing blame for the Iraq crisis, in particular on the decision by Democrat Obama to pull all U.S. forces out of the country in 2011, eight years after they were sent in by Republish President George W. Bush.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Edging back into a military role in Iraq, President Barack Obama on Thursday said he was dispatching up to 300 military advisers to help quell the rising insurgency in the crumbling nation. He called on Iraqi leaders to govern with a more "inclusive agenda" to ensure the country does not descend into civil war.
Israeli troops have arrested some 30 Palestinians in the West Bank as they ramped up a search for three teenagers believed kidnapped by Hamas, the army said on Thursday. The teenagers, two of them minors, disappeared from a popular hitchhiking spot in the sprawling southern West Bank Gush Etzion settlement bloc late on June 12. Israel accuses Hamas of the abductions and has launched a far-reaching military operation aimed at finding the teenagers and crushing the movement's infrastructure in the West Bank. It's absolutely certain," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Thursday briefing at a West Bank army base near Hebron.
Police in Nigeria on Thursday threw a security cordon around southwestern Ekiti state, restricting movement and deploying riot squads to curb election-linked violence. A vote takes place on Saturday to elect a new governor, with incumbent John Kayode Fayemi, of the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), looking for re-election. The state has a history of election violence and last week, a party supporter was killed after an APC political rally in the state while dozens of others were injured. Nigeria's police chief Mohammed Abubakar has placed "an order banning movements in and out of Ekiti State with effect from 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) today (Thursday)," the force said in a statement.
Nigeria said on Thursday that it had dropped a case against a son of Sani Abacha after the late military dictator's family withdrew a legal challenge in Europe. Liechtenstein said on Wednesday that it would return $227 million (167 million euros) to Nigeria, ending a protracted legal battle in the tiny European principality by four companies linked to Abacha's family. General Abacha, who died in office, is suspected of having looted Nigeria's central bank to the tune of $2.2 billion and the companies were ordered to pay back the cash in 2008. "As part of the negotiations to expedite the recovery of the funds, the Abachas agreed to discontinue their suit before the ECHR," Nigeria's finance ministry said in a statement.
The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on Uganda including cancelling a military air exercise, visa bans and freezing some aid after Ugandan leaders brought in tough anti-gay laws. The new legislation signed into law in February "runs counter to universal human rights and complicates our bilateral relationship," the White House said, as it announced the new steps. Ugandan officials involved in "human rights abuses" including against the gay community will be barred entry to the United States, national security council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. The US was also "cancelling plans to hold a US military-sponsored aviation exercise in Uganda," Hayden said in a statement.
Tunisia's main Islamist party on Thursday urged politicians to agree on a "consensual" presidential candidate, to assuage tensions that have plagued the country since the 2011 revolution. "We call on political parties to find a consensual candidate for the presidency, someone independent or who belongs to a political party," said Ali Larayedh, a former premier and senior Ennahda member. Tunisia has been rocked by Islamist violence and political crises since the uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, culminating with the assassination of two opposition politicians last year.
Kosovo's prime minister called on Thursday for the removal of a blockade of flower pots on a bridge linking ethnic Albanians and Serbs in the flashpoint town of Mitrovica. That barricade, erected by Serbs in 2011, came to symbolise the community's angry refusal to merge with the rest of Kosovo following its declaration of independence in 2008. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned what he called a "dangerous and illegal game" and said that "sooner or later" those responsible would face justice. Early on Wednesday, a bulldozer was brought in to shift the unsightly pile of earth and concrete blocks that lay across the main bridge over the Ibar river in Mitrovica.
Denmark's largest purpose-built mosque, including the country's first minaret, opens on Thursday in Copenhagen's gritty northwest district after receiving a 150 million kroner (20.1 million euros, $27.2 million) endowment from Qatar. The longstanding political influence of the anti-immigrant Danish People's Party (DPP), as well as the row over Prophet Mohammed cartoons that led to deadly protests in Muslim countries have strained relations between Denmark's largest religious minority and the majority population. After years of political wrangling and "not in my backyard" protests, Copenhagen's Muslim community is cheering the opening of the 6,700 square metre (72,118 square feet) complex that will house a mosque, a cultural centre, a television studio and a fitness centre. But sandwiched between a car dealership and a self storage firm in a low income district, it is not quite the symbol of mainstream acceptance that many of Denmark's 200,000 Muslims had hoped for.