/Around the World: 10-18-16

Around the World: 10-18-16

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Ujjwala Rai

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ASIA

1. Thailand: Thailand mourns as it prepares for the funeral preparations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a revered figure who helped unify the nation in his 70 year reign. He breathed his last breath at 3:52 p.m. on October 3 in the Siriraj Hospital he had been admitted to in the morning. Bhumibol ascended to the throne 70 years ago, making him the world’s longest- reigning monarch before his death. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn is the king’s appointed successor. Civil servants are ordered to wear black clothes for one year in mourning from Friday.

2. Myanmar: The Rakhine State of Myanmar was under violent attack since October 7, 2016, which forced the United Nations to call for “Maximum Restraint” in the region. More than a dozen soldiers and police have been killed since Friday, state media reported, with troops in the city of Maungtaw attacked by about 300 men armed with knives, pistols and swords.

3. Hong Kong, China: At least 22 people were killed in eastern China when residential buildings collapsed early Monday morning local time, state media reported. It’s not clear what caused the collapse in Wenzhou, 285 miles (460 km) south of Shanghai and located in the Zhejiang province. Xinhua news agency reported that the buildings that fell apart were constructed by villagers. The cause of the collapse, according to the agency, is still being investigated.

EUROPE

1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has canceled a planned visit to France next week, the Kremlin stated on Tuesday, in an apparent snub to French President François Hollande, who suggested Moscow was guilty of war crimes in Syria. Tensions have been rumbling between the two leaders since the weekend, when Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution proposed by France and Spain aimed at ending Syrian regime airstrikes on Aleppo and allowing humanitarian aid into the city.

AFRICA

1. Johannesburg, South Africa: University students in Johannesburg continue to protest peacefully against the fee rise in the higher education in South Africa. Students wear bandanas and march with sticks in their hands but the protests are peacefully and no harm to any public or private property has been brought to notice. The police are still deployed at the campuses where students are protesting, just in case things go out of control. The students have stopped attending classes as a sign of protest.

2. Nigeria: Boko Haram’s embattled leader, Abubakar Shekau, appeared in a new video that has gone viral, to deny reports of his death and to taunt the parents of the nearly 300 school girls the group kidnapped from their boarding school in 2014.
“To the despot Nigerian government: Die with envy. I’m not dead,” Shekau says in the video.
An ISIS flag is visible in the background.

3. Somalia: The Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed four people Saturday in the Somali capital. A vehicle packed with explosives detonated near a prison run by the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency in Mogadishu, Col. Hamza Ali, a senior police officer, told CNN. The car had been parked at the Blue Sky restaurant near Godka Jili’ow prison, a heavily protected facility where Al-Shabaab suspects are being questioned.