Welcome to the Digest for the week of August 12th. I’m James Adams, moderator of Global News Watch on Discord. On our server we offer news content, including sharing open intelligence information, we have conversations about it, and we even have fun along the way.
But our main goal at GNW is to provide every piece of accurate information that’s not available anywhere else. So if you want to join GNW on Discord, click on our invite link.
Now to the news of the week.
We start with Asia and Afghanistan
BBC News: Burials are taking place in the Afghan capital, Kabul after a bomb exploded at a wedding hall killing 63 people and wounding more than 180. The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind for the attack. The blast happened on Saturday during a wedding ceremony at around 22:40 local time (18.10 GMT). President Ashraf Ghani has condemned the attack, describing it as “barbaric”. He blamed the Taliban for “providing a platform to terrorists.” The Taliban has denied involvement and condemned the attack.
An IS statement said that one of its fighters blew himself up at a “large gathering” while others “detonated a parked explosives-laden vehicle” when emergency services arrived. The Afghan interior ministry confirmed the death toll hours later. Pictures on social media showed bodies strewn across the wedding hall amid overturned chairs and tables. Afghan weddings often include hundreds of guests who gather in large halls where the men are usually segregated from the women and children.
What’s the background?
The latest blast comes just 10 days after a huge bomb outside a Kabul police station killed at least 14 people and injured nearly 150. The Taliban said they carried out that attack. On Friday a brother of Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada was killed by a bomb planted in a mosque near the Pakistani city of Quetta. No group has so far claimed that attack.
Now we move to the U.S.
A New State?
For example, it could be because Greenland is a continent of North America, or it could be for historic reasons like how the U.S. worked with Denmark’s ambassador to Washington to established a temporary protectorate over Greenland. Does this matter for the U.S. buying Greenland? Maybe not. But you never know.
Here’s how people reacted to the President’s thought of buying Greenland:
“I hope it’s a joke, because it’s a terrible and grotesque thought,” said Martin Lidegaard, chairman of Denmark’s Foreign Policy Committee.
“It must be an April Fool’s Day joke … but totally out of season,” Lars Lokke Rasmussen, a former prime minister of Denmark and the leader of the opposition, posted on Twitter.
The New York Times: The idea first sprang up last year, when Mr. Trump was said to have joked about buying Greenland for its natural wealth during a meeting in the Oval Office.
He is said to have repeatedly returned to the possibility, since the country, which is part of the kingdom of Denmark, appeals to him because its location in the North Atlantic has security value, according to people familiar with his thinking.
James Adams: But Greenland wanted to make clear that the President’s idea of buying the biggest island would never come to past.
“Greenland is not for sale and cannot be sold, but Greenland is open for trade and cooperation with other countries — including the United States,” Kim Kielsen, Greenland’s premier, said in a statement, according to the Ritzau news agency.
We’ll find out if the President wants to push through with his idea or accept Greenland’s message very soon.
A Plaque Of Shootings
Mass shootings keeps occurring in our country. The latest example of that is in Pennsylvania with two shootings in two days, at the same time, and at the same neighborhood. The good thing about both situations is that no one died.
This fiasco started Wednesday when police tried to serve an arrest warrant when gunshots were heard. The armed suspect wounded six officers causing chaos and panic in the area. And even as police protected the public, some people threw anything they could throw at the officers.
A witness who lives close to the shooting told NBC Philadelphia that she heard a series of shots, what she said felt like 100, and could smell what seemed to be gunpowder as the shootout unfolded. The unidentified woman told NBC Philadelphia that it felt “like a war.”
“It’s nothing short of a miracle that we don’t have multiple officers killed today,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. said Wednesday night.
The suspect “should never have been allowed to be on the streets” because of his “very dangerous criminal record,” President Donald Trump said in a tweet Thursday morning.
“Looked like he was having a good time after his capture, and after wounding so many police.” “Long sentence — must get much tougher on street crime!” the president wrote.
“These problems are going to persist unless we collectively get our arms around it and stop pointing the finger at each other. That’s never going to solve any problem,” said Commissioner Ross.
It’s official: Epstein killed himself
NBC News: Jeffrey Epstein’s death has been ruled a suicide by hanging, the medical examiner’s office said Friday.
The determination capped days of speculation and conspiracy theories after the wealthy financier and accused sex trafficker was found unresponsive in his federal jail cell in lower Manhattan last Saturday.
The ruling wasn’t unexpected: multiple law enforcement officials had previously told NBC News that Epstein’s death was presumed to be a suicide.
The medical examiner’s office completed an autopsy on Sunday but indicated it was waiting for more information from investigators before releasing its final determination. The autopsy revealed that Epstein had broken a bone in his neck, a source told NBC News Thursday, an injury that can occur in a suicide by hanging.
The death sparked harsh criticism of the federal prison system and led former wardens and U.S. lawmakers to question how a high-profile inmate could get the opportunity to take his own life, especially after carrying out what was believed to be a previous attempt.
“We are not satisfied with the conclusions of the medical examiner’s office,” Epstein’s attorneys said Friday in a statement. “We will have a more complete response in the coming days.”
Finally from the U.S., A stock market dance
This week, Wall Street was dancing around with the Dow Jones with daring movements of Jives. For four days, they danced their way up and down with more than 300 points.
On one day, the Dow made a big belly dance by dropping more than 800 points. Sadly, I give that dance score a 3.1. Who was the Dow Jones’ partner? President Trump and his trade war.
On Friday, the S&P 500 rose 1.4%. The Dow climbed 1.2% and the Nasdaq picked up 1.7%. But each index still finished with a third-straight weekly decline.
Now to North Korea and their missile testing
In what appears to be a weekly thing for the North, they have yet again launched two more projectiles in its east coast, as South Korean analysts said President Trump’s repeated downplaying of the North’s weapons tests had given it a free hand to conduct them.
NY Times: The two projectiles, launched from Tongchon in the southeast of North Korea, flew 143 miles, the South Korean military said in a statement. The launching on Friday was the sixth time North Korea has tested short-range ballistic missiles or other projectiles since late last month.
James: I’m just very curious why North Korea is still doing projectile test every week now. Is it because they’re playing President Trump for a sucker? Are they trying to tease him so he can do nuclear talks with Jong-Un again? Are they just trying to protect themselves from harms way? We’ll never know, for now.
“Rather than denouncing these tests as violations of U.N. resolutions and as a threat to the American allies, President Trump has sounded as if he didn’t care, describing them as not a threat to the mainland United States,” said Kim Sung-han, a former vice foreign minister of South Korea who teaches at Korea University in Seoul. “His comments make the allies and American troops in the region more vulnerable to North Korean missile threats.”
Finally from Asia we go to Hong Kong and their continuous protesting
BBC News: More than 100,000 people are holding another day of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, amid increasingly severe warnings from the Beijing authorities.
The protests were sparked by an extradition bill, which has since been suspended by the Hong Kong government.
China, which has built up security forces in nearby Shenzhen, has likened the protests to terrorist activity.
The protest organisers, the Civil Rights Human Front, were denied authorisation for a march through the city, but police allowed Sunday’s demonstration in Victoria Park.
The South China Morning Post newspaper tweeted a time lapse video of the park filling up.
One of the marchers, named as Mr Wong, told the BBC’s Lam Cho Wai at the scene: “We have been fighting for more than two months, but our government has no response at all. We could just come out again and again.”
Large crowds also marched in the nearby areas of Admiralty, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai in defiance of the police ban.
We don’t want to end this edition of the Digest without recommending great articles that’s out there online.
I don’t know why but, lately, Frontline has been fascinating me with some great articles. So here another one, this time it’s, about how migrant children are suffering at the border, including about how a little girl was touched inappropriately by a boy.
That’s it for the Digest! Thanks for joining us!