Top News Stories for Today – October 13, 2016
UN set to appoint new Secretary-General
The United Nations is expected to appoint former Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as Secretary-General Thursday. UN General Assembly President Peter Thompson said in a statement he hopes the 193-member body will unanimously approve Guterres’s nomination after the Security Council recommended the former prime minister last week.
Should Guterres be confirmed, he will replace current Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon of South Korea at the end of 2016. Ban has held the post since being appointed in 2006. Guterres, 67, was Portugal’s prime minister from 1992 to 2002. He led the UN refugee agency from 2005 to 2015. VOA
21 Girls kidnapped by Boko Haram released
After two years in captivity, 21 of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014 have been released, the Nigerian government confirmed Thursday. The girls, who have not been named, are in the custody of the national security agency.
A spokesperson for the Nigerian president said the girls’ release is “the outcome of negotiations between the administration and the Boko Haram brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss government.” Few details were offered on the specifics of the deal, but the presidency did say that “negotiations will continue.” Boko Haram kidnapped 270 girls from their school in April 2014. While some of the girls escaped, more than 200 remain missing. Reuters, BBC, The Week
Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize in Literature
The Swedish Academy awarded singer-songwriter Bob Dylan the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. In a statement, the Academy wrote that Dylan was awarded the honors “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
An American hasn’t won the prize since Toni Morrison in 1993. Dylan had been rumored to be a candidate for the Literature Nobel since at least 2013, although the announcement is still something of a shock for the literary community as he is the first musician to ever win. In addition to a catalog that includes songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin,” and “Desolation Row,” Dylan has also written a memoir, Chronicles. The Nobel Prize
Germany bomb plot suspect kills himself
A Syrian man under arrest in Germany for allegedly planning a bomb attack killed himself Wednesday evening in a detention center in Leipzig, officials said. Saxony’s state justice ministry announced the death of Jaber Albakr, 22. One unconfirmed report said Albakr hanged himself; further details were expected Thursday.
Authorities said Albakr, who arrived in Germany last year, was close to staging an attack comparable to those that killed 130 people in Paris 11 months ago and 32 in Belgium in March of this year. Albakr had been under surveillance by German domestic intelligence since last month. Authorities said they thought he had links to the Islamic State group and was thought to be planning to attack a Berlin airport, possibly as soon as this week. VOA
US Presidential election
Several women accuse Donald Trump of unwanted groping, kissing: In reports that emerged late Wednesday, three women told The New York Times and Palm Beach Post that Donald Trump had groped them sexually or kissed them without consent. A video has also emerged, appearing to show Trump making questionable comments about a young girl. Two of the assault allegations — one on an airplane 30 years ago, another at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in 2003 — involved Trump grabbing at the women’s breasts and genitals, while a receptionist in Trump Tower says the GOP presidential nominee kissed her at an elevator bank in 2005. None of the women reported the alleged assaults, but all of them told family or friends. Later Wednesday, People writer Natasha Stoynoff told of allegedly being assaulted by Trump at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 while interviewing him for an article. Trump denied the allegations of assault to The New York Times and has threatened to sue the publication for defamation, saying “none of this ever took place.” Also on Wednesday, a video emerged from 1992, in which Trump sees a young girl at Trump Tower and says, “I’m going to be dating her in 10 years.” Palm Beach Post, The New York Times, The Week
Clinton campaign emails slam Catholics: Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is facing more controversy stemming from thousands of hacked emails written by campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri and published by WikiLeaks. Palmieri was exchanging emails with John Halpin, who is with the Center for American Progress — a liberal think tank with close ties to the Clinton campaign. Halpin wrote that the country’s most powerful conservatives are all Catholic and called their politics “an amazing bastardization of the faith.”
“They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy,” Halpin said. Palmieri replied by writing, “Catholicism is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.” Another 2011 email sent to current Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta from the head of a progressive group called for a “Catholic Spring,” adapting the pro-democracy “Arab Spring” in the Middle East. VOA
Trump reportedly planning ‘all-out war’ on media, female accusers: At least four women came forward on Wednesday to accuse Donald Trump of unwanted sexual groping or kissing, and the Trump campaign early Thursday formally threatened to sue The New York Times for defamation and libel for reporting on two of the cases. Trump and his team have denied all four accusations, and on MSNBC Wednesday night, Washington Post reporter Robert Costa said the Trump campaign is preparing for “all-out war against the accusers and especially against the media organizations that are running the stories.” There is active talk about litigation against media outlets and Trump’s accusers, he added, describing the core campaign leaders as “furious” and “fiercely anti-Clinton,” and saying he believes “you’re going to see more talk about former President Bill Clinton’s past, some accusations that have been made of him in the past, and this is a campaign at war.” A source inside the Trump campaign reportedly told CNNMoney that “NYT editors, reporters, politically motivated accusers better lawyer up.” The Washington Post, The Week
Once ‘America’s mayor,’ Giuliani is now Trump’s staunchest defender: Fifteen years ago, Americans watched as Giuliani, cool and courageous in the dust of the World Trade Center, consoled the bereaved and encouraged the frightened. On Saturday, Giuliani said that Republicans who want Trump to resign from the ticket were against him from the start, and that “If you want change in Washington, you vote for Donald Trump.’’ USA Today
LeBron James calls Trump remarks ‘trash talk’ not ‘locker room talk’: LeBron James, who’s been in a few locker rooms, blasted Donald Trump’s explanation of his controversial 2005 comments on women, calling them “trash talk.” “What is locker room talk to me? It’s not what that guy said,” James told reporters, without using the GOP nominee’s name. “We don’t disrespect women.” “That never comes up,” the four-time NBA MVP added. “In our locker room,” James said, they talk about sports highlights from the previous night, family and game strategy. USA Today
- 9 year old ISIS Sex Slaves Reveal Brutal Ritualistic Rapes
- A Perilous Ride to a Remote Valley
- Actually, things are getting better
- Ancient fossils in African cave are tantalizing glimpse of early man