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HeadlinesAugust 24, 2015

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Global Stocks Falling as China’s Markets Plummet on “Black Monday”

Aug 24, 2015

China is calling it “Black Monday.” Global stocks are falling as China’s markets saw their sharpest daily fall since the global financial crisis in 2007. The Shanghai Stock Exchange plunged 8.5 percent Monday, sending shock waves throughout Asian and European markets. Today’s fall comes after weeks of decline in the Chinese markets, which led the Dow Jones to plummet by more than 500 points on Friday. The decline also caused oil prices to plunge to their lowest levels in almost six years.

4 Honored for Thwarting Train Attack; Gunman Denies Terrorism Motives

Aug 24, 2015

French President François Hollande has awarded the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award, to three Americans and one British citizen on Monday for their role in thwarting an attack in a high-speed train traveling to Paris from Amsterdam on Friday. No one died. The three Americans, two of them servicemembers, tackled and disarmed the suspected gunman, a 26-year-old Moroccan man, Ayoub el-Khazzani, whom police say European authorities suspected of being an Islamist militant, although he was not being tracked. The lawyer for the suspected gunman says her client denies that the attack was motivated by terrorism, and that he was only a poor man intending to rob train travelers because he was hungry.

Sophie David: “I asked him whether he knows what he is being accused of. It is the first thing we do to see if they understand what their rights are. He replied, 'Yes.' But when I reminded him of why he was there, he was stunned by the terrorist nature which is being given to his actions.”

Judge Declares Mistrial for Officer Who Killed Black College Student

Aug 24, 2015

In news from North Carolina, protests erupted at the Charlotte courthouse after a judge declared a mistrial in the case of a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed African-American college student who was seeking help after a car crash in 2013. Randall Kerrick, the police officer, faced charges of voluntary manslaughter for shooting 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell. According to prosecutors, the college student had sought help from a homeowner after a car crash, but the woman had called the police because she believed she was being robbed. When officers arrived, one pointed the laser of his taser at Ferrell’s chest. Ferrell fled in fear and attempted to hide between the two police cars. This brought Ferrell close to Officer Kerrick, who then opened fire, striking Ferrell 12 times. On Friday, the jury said it was deadlocked on whether to convict the officer.

Ohio: Legislation to Ban Abortions in Cases of Down Syndrome

Aug 24, 2015

In Ohio, anti-choice activists are pushing for a new law that would make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion if a woman is terminating the pregnancy because the fetus has tested positive for Down syndrome. The bill is being pushed by the National Right to Life Committee. The Legislature is expected to approve the measure. Ohio Republican Governor John Kasich, who is running for president, has not said whether he supports the bill, although he has signed a slew of anti-choice legislation since taking office in 2010.

Right-Wing Activists Clash with Police Outside German Migrant Shelter

Aug 24, 2015

In Germany, right-wing protesters clashed with police over the weekend during demonstrations against a newly opened migrant shelter in a small town outside of Dresden. Pro-immigration activists staged a counter-protest, holding signs that read “Refugees Welcome.” The demonstrations followed the interior minister’s announcement that Germany could receive as many as 800,000 asylum seekers this year, the biggest influx since the Second World War.

Italian Coast Guard Rescues 4,440 Migrants at Sea in Single Day

Aug 24, 2015

Meanwhile, the Italian Coast Guard says it rescued 4,400 migrants at sea in over 22 operations on Saturday alone. This comes as thousands of other migrants resume their journeys north through Macedonia after the country reopened its border with Greece after declaring a state of emergency and sealing the border last week.

Guatemala: President Rejects Calls to Resign amid Growing Scandal

Aug 24, 2015

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina rejected calls to step down Sunday night, following the resignation of the majority of his Cabinet over the weekend. The president has faced months of massive protests amid a growing corruption scandal, which has led to arrests of top officials, including the former vice president. The government is accused of running a multimillion-dollar scheme in which importers paid bribes to Tax Authority officials to obtain discounts. On Sunday, the Roman Catholic Church called for the president’s resignation, but Pérez Molina rejected those calls.

Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina: “I declare categorically that I reject any link to the scandal or having received money from that money-defrauding operation. My conscience, in that sense, is at peace. … I reaffirm that I will not resign, and will fully submit myself to the legal process. Good night, and may God bless you.”

Lebanon: One Protester Dies During Anti-Government Demonstrations

Aug 24, 2015

Meanwhile, in Lebanon, at least one protester has died as massive demonstrations against government ineptitude rocked the capital Beirut. Riot police fired water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas at the thousands of protesters. The Red Cross says at least 40 people have been hospitalized. The growing campaign, which is dubbed “You Stink,” began as a protest against the massive piles of garbage that the government has failed to collect. It has now become a cry for the government’s fall.

Yemen: Two U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 7; U.S.-Backed Strikes Kill Dozens

Aug 24, 2015

In Yemen, tribal sources and local officials say two apparent U.S. drone strikes killed seven people over the weekend. In both attacks, the dead are being described by officials as suspected al-Qaeda militants. Meanwhile, dozens of people have died following U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes on Friday on the southwestern city of Taiz.

Afghanistan: 3 American Contractors and 9 Others Killed in IED Attack

Aug 24, 2015

In news from Afghanistan, at least 12 people have died following a suicide car bomb in the capital Kabul on Saturday. Officials say the target of the attack was a NATO convoy. Three Americans working for private contractors were killed, along with nine others.

Syria: 50 Die in Gov’t Airstrikes; ISIL Destroys Ancient Temple

Aug 24, 2015

At least 50 people have died in Syria following government airstrikes Saturday on a residential area of Douma, a city northeast of Damascus. Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed Islamic State has destroyed the ancient Baalshamin Temple in the Syrian city of Palmyra. News agencies reported the destruction occurred Sunday, although the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the temple was destroyed by ISIL last month.

Somalia: 21 Killed in Two Suicide Car Bomb Attacks

Aug 24, 2015

At least 21 people have died in Somalia following two suicide car bomb attacks on Saturday. The first attack struck a training base for government troops, killing 16 soldiers. The second attack struck an intersection on the capital Mogadishu, killing five. The militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack on the training base.

Malaysia: Police Unearth Mass Graves of Human Trafficking Victims

Aug 24, 2015

In Malaysia, police say they have unearthed the mass graves of more than 20 people who are believed to be human trafficking victims. The graves were found along the border with Thailand in a region known as a transit point for human smuggling. The site was close to where authorities found a mass grave containing the remains of 26 bodies in May.

Bernie Sanders Holds First Campaign Rally in South Carolina

Aug 24, 2015

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held his first campaign rally in South Carolina Friday night. The move was seen as an attempt by Sanders to court black voters, who still overwhelmingly support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At the event, Sanders invoked the names of men and women who have been killed in police or jail custody in recent years.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “We must be clear that when we’re talking about racism, we are talking about Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd. We are talking about Eric Garner. We’re talking about Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and many others, many, many others over the years whose names we do not know. And these people died unnecessarily and wrongly at the hands of police officers or in police custody. That must change.”

VP Joe Biden Increasingly Expected to Join Presidential Race

Aug 24, 2015

In more news from the campaign trail, Vice President Joe Biden is increasingly expected to join the race as a Democratic candidate. Biden met with Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Saturday to discuss economic policy.

Donald Trump Responds to Anti-Immigrant Attack in Boston

Aug 24, 2015

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has responded to the case of two brothers in Boston accused of attacking a 58-year-old Hispanic man with a metal pole and urinating on his face. Police say that when the brothers were arrested, he told them, “Donald Trump was right — all these illegals need to be deported.” On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence.” Trump drew 20,000 people at his speech on Friday night in Mobile, Alabama, although campaign organizers had expected as many as 35,000. Bernie Sanders still holds the record for audience size at campaign rallies in the 2016 race.

Saudi Arabia: Women Registering to Vote for First Time

Aug 24, 2015

And women in Saudi Arabia are registering to vote for the first time in the nation’s history ahead of upcoming municipal elections in December. Women will also be permitted to register as candidates and run for office in the December elections. The shift implements the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz’s 2011 decision to grant women the right to vote and run for office.

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