Since Saudi Arabia executed 47 people in one day, exasperation has poured in from human rights activists and sectarian anger has spread in the Middle East — over the death of one man.
Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr was a fervent dissident against the Sunni Muslim Saudi royal family and called for their deposal during the Arab spring uprisings in 2011. He died on Saturday alongside 46 terrorism convicts. Later that night, in predominantly Shia Iran, Molotov cocktails smashed into the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Protesters shouted as it caught fire. Some went inside and ransacked offices.
Police donned riot gear and arrested 40 people. Embassy staff was not present during the fire attack. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned al-Nimr’s execution in Saudi Arabia, and he also blasted the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and on a Saudi consulate in another Iranian city. CNN
President Barack Obama declared an emergency Saturday in the flood-ravaged state of Missouri, a move that allows federal aid to help the state recover from massive flooding that has killed at least two dozen people, forced thousands of others to evacuate and submerged huge swaths of farmland.
Saturday’s declaration also permits the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts. The help comes as state officials in Missouri and nearby Illinois toured the hardest-hit areas to survey the wreckage of homes and entire towns in the American heartland.
The flooding was fueled by more than 25 centimeters of rain over three days in the past week, bursting banks on the Mississippi, Meramec and Missouri rivers. VOA
Israel on Sunday indicted four Jewish extremists suspected in a July arson attack on a Palestinian home that killed a toddler and his parents — a case that has been unsolved for months and helped fuel the current wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence.
The long-awaited indictment follows months of investigations into a web of Jewish extremists operating in the West Bank. The indictment named Amiram Ben-Uliel, 21, as the main suspect in the attack. A minor was charged as an accessory. Yinon Reuveni, 20, and another minor were charged for other violence against Palestinians.
The arson attack in the West Bank village of Duma killed 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, while his mother, Riham, and father, Saad, later died of their wounds. Ali’s 4-year-old brother Ahmad survived. USA Today
The mayor of a city south of Mexico’s capital was shot to death on Saturday, less than a day after taking office, officials said.
Gunmen opened fire on Mayor Gisela Mota at her house in the city of Temixco, said the government of Morelos state, where Temixco is located. Two presumed assailants were killed and three others detained following a pursuit, said Morelos security commissioner Jesus Alberto Capella. He said the suspects fired on federal police and soldiers from a vehicle.
On his Twitter account, Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez attributed Mota’s killing to organized crime, without citing a particular drug cartel or gang. Cartels seeking to control communities and towns have often targeted local officials and mayors in Mexico.
Mota’s leftist Democratic Revolution Party released a statement describing her as “a strong and brave woman who on taking office as mayor, declared that her fight against crime would be frontal and direct.”
Temixco is a city of about 100,000 people neighboring Cuernavaca, a resort and industrial city which has been suffering kidnappings and extortion linked to organized crime groups. Though Cuernavaca is the capital of Morelos, Temixco is the seat of several state institutions including the Public Security Commission, which coordinates state and local police forces. Morelos also neighbors drug cartel-plagued Guerrero state. CBS News
In his weekly address, President Obama said he will meet with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to “discuss our options” when it comes to “new actions” he can take to “help reduce gun violence.”
The White House released the address on Friday, one day earlier than usual, and sources familiar with his plan said the president will expand new background-check requirements for people who buy weapons from high-volume gun dealers, The Washington Post reports. “I get too many letters from parents, and teachers, and kids, to sit around and do nothing,” Obama said in his address. The Washington Post via The Week
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