- The Guardian
- Issue #2067
SPAIN: Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s candidate for the speaker of the Congress of Deputies won the vote for the position in Sanchez’s first trial in the newly elected house and raises the possibility of a new government headed by the Socialist Party leader. Francina Armengol won with the support of 14 votes from two pro-Catalonia independence parties, including seven from Junts (Together) which is led by fugitive politician Carles Puigdemont, who resides in Brussels after fleeing Spain following his unsuccessful 2017 secession bid.
WEST BANK: A Palestinian man was fatally shot in the head, chest and abdomen by the Israeli military in Jenin on 17th August after the forces stormed the city with bulldozers. Israeli forces raided a home above a bakery where 32-year-old Mustafa al-Kastouni was after claiming he was a militant who shot at the soldiers. Clashes also broke out in the streets.
SLOVAKIA: Former and current heads of the Slovak spy agency and five other police and intelligence officers have been accused of abuse of power and criminal conspiracy. The seven are accused of conspiring as a criminal group led by a businessman to obstruct investigations in corruption cases, including by manipulating testimonies and attempting to get rid of other officers.
WILDFIRES: Huge swathes of Spain’s Tenerife island have been burned by an out-of-control fire, forcing some 7600 people to evacuate or be confined, with some 250 firefighters and soldiers tackling the blaze. In Canada, air evacuations began today to move residents in Yellowknife out of the path of the fires near the city of 20,000 people as more than 1067 wildfires burn across the country.
LIBYA: One of Libya’s rival prime ministers warned last week that his government would not tolerate any further militia fighting, days after the year’s bloodiest bout of clashes rocked the capital. At least 45 people died in Tripoli after violence broke out between militiamen from the 444 brigade and its rival, the Special Deterrence Force. The warning came from Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, who heads the Tripoli-based government. “We are used to the sound of clashes, but (coming near) civilians is forbidden,” Dbeibah said in a televised speech accompanied by tribal elders from eastern Tripoli, a district where both militias have a strong presence. During his 45-minute speech, he also threatened to introduce “other measures” against the two militia groups if the fighting escalated but provided no further detail. The Tripoli-based Interior Ministry said that it has upped the presence of security forces in the neighbourhoods that witnessed the most intense fighting. Since 2014, Libya has been divided between two rival administrations, one in Tripoli and one operating in Sirte.
BRITAIN: More than a third of Londoners face a “mortgage bomb” as monthly payments soar. London Mayor Sadiq Khan cited new polling from YouGov, which found that 34 per cent of mortgaged homeowners across the capital will struggle to meet costs by early 2024, up from about a fifth earlier this year. The Labour mayor urged Downing Street to take a number of measures, including reinstating mortgage payment holidays and reversing cuts to interest rate support.