Police in London say they have foiled a second active terror plot in 24 hours, after arresting six people in raids across the British capital and southeast England.
A woman shot by police in the latest counterterrorism investigation remains in a serious but stable condition. The investigation is ongoing but the threat is “contained,” London’s Metropolitan Police said Friday.
Police said the operation late Thursday night was not related to an earlier arrest near the British parliament, where officers detained a man armed with knives on suspicion of planning a terror attack, in what Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu described as “an extraordinary day” in London.
Syrian and rebel officials blamed Israel for several explosions on Thursday morning at warehouses near the Damascus airport that the Israeli news media said were housing weapons bound for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.
Israel, which has carried out attacks on precision missiles and other forms of advanced weaponry in the past, did not directly confirm or deny the attack, in keeping with its policy.
Yahoo News (AFP): Syria accuses Israel of strike near Damascus airport
Aljazeera: ‘Israeli strikes’ hit arms depot in Damascus
The US military has started installing a controversial missile defence system at a site in South Korea, amid high tensions over neighbouring North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions.
The Thaad system is designed to protect against threats from North Korea.
Yonhap News (Korea): (4th LD) THAAD equipment installation underway amid residents’ protests
“Employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center have been put on a U.S. blacklist,” NPR’s Michele Kelemen reports, “which means any assets they might have in the U.S. will be frozen and Americans are barred from doing any business with them.”
In a statement, the Treasury Department called the spate of sanctions one of the largest the Office of Foreign Assets Control has ever imposed.
The department says in a statement that the SSRC is “responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them.”
Washington Post: Trump administration sanctions 271 in Syrian chemical attack
New York Times: US Imposes Sanctions on Syrian Government Workers After Sarin Attack
[New York Times]
In France’s most consequential election in recent history, voters on Sunday chose Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to go to a runoff to determine the next president, official returns showed. One is a political novice, the other a far-right firebrand — both outsiders, but with starkly different visions for the country.
It is the first time in the nearly 59-year history of France’s Fifth Republic that both of the final candidates are from outside the traditional left-right party structure. Together, they drew less than half the total votes cast in a highly fractured election.
France24: French Presidential Election 2017
An attacker opened fire on police in Paris’ iconic Champs-Elysees shopping district Thursday night, killing one officer and wounding another before police shot and killed him.
Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists. She said he appeared to be acting alone.
Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into their hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene. The Paris prosecutor’s office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe.
French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a car and opened fire on a police vehicle. He said officers were “deliberately” targeted. (AP)
(Photos: Christian Hartmann/Reuters, Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images, Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images, Benoit Tessier/Reuters, Christian Hartmann/Reuters)
See more from Paris on Yahoo News.
One police officer was killed and two others wounded Thursday in a shooting on Paris’s famed Champs Elysees, just days ahead of France’s presidential election, police said.
France’s interior ministry said the gunman was killed after opening fire on the officers at around 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) on the boulevard. Anti-terror prosecutors have opened an investigation.
“The attacker arrived by car and got out. He opened fire on a police car with an automatic weapon, killing one of the police officers and trying to attack others while running,” a police source told AFP, asking not be named.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday ruled there was insufficient evidence to order Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s removal from office over corruption allegations levelled by the opposition, but it ordered further investigations.
Two of five judges on the court bench recommended Sharif should step down, saying he was dishonest “to the nation as well as to the parliament”, but they were out voted.
Presenting its 549-page judgment amid tight security in the capital Islamabad, the court ordered a joint investigation team be formed to look into allegations around three of Sharif’s four children using offshore companies to buy properties in London.
Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest for and against the government of Pres. Nicolás Maduro, as the country marked the 207th anniversary of the revolution that led to its independence from Spain.
Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted in Venezuela during marches taking place Wednesday in at least 12 cities across the country. https://nbcnews.to/2pgLpW6
Protesters thronged the main avenues of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities, braving bullets, tear gas and militant supporters of President Nicolas Maduro in the biggest show of opposition to his rule in months.
The miles-long Caracas demonstration was called “the mother of all marches” by organizers, who rallied demonstrators from 26 points in Caracas. Opponents also took to the streets of cities including Barquisimeto, Porlamar and Maracaibo, where they were met by national guard and local police. At least two protesters were shot dead in the capital and the western city of San Cristobal.
teleSUR (English): Venezuelan Opposition Announces Plans for More Street Actions
The Trump administration is weighing whether to effectively break the terms of a landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said late Tuesday.
Tillerson notified Congress that despite finding that Iran is in compliance with the agreement, the White House is looking at whether the U.S. should break with the deal because of Iran’s continued support of terrorism.
Syrian state TV says the military is destroying a tunnel network that linked rebel-controlled towns which are being evacuated as part of a population transfer.
Government media said the area between Madaya and Zabadani came under military control Wednesday after gunmen and opposition activists were evacuated.
Wikipedia:2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing
Yahoo News (AFP): Syria evacuations resume after deadly bombing
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June.
She said Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum.
Explaining the decision, Mrs May said: “The country is coming together but Westminster is not.”
The Guardian: Theresa May calls UK general election on 8 June
“Just in the past two weeks, the world witnessed the strength and resolve of our new president in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan,” Pence said in a joint appearance with Hwang.
“North Korea would do well not to test his resolve or the strength of the armed forces of the United States in this region,” Pence said.
Wasington Post: What Erdogan’s narrow referendum victory means for Turkey
[The New York Times]
South Korea’s recently impeached and ousted president, Park Geun-hye, was formally indicted on Monday on charges of collecting or demanding $52 million in bribes, becoming the first leader put on criminal trial since the mid-1990s, when two former military-backed presidents were imprisoned for corruption and mutiny.
Prosecutors arrested Ms. Park on 13 criminal charges in March. They have questioned her five times in her jail cell outside Seoul. In the indictment on Monday, the number of criminal charges against Ms. Park increased to 18, including bribery, coercion, abuse of office and illegal leaking of government secrets.
Democrats say they will make funding for a key Obamacare program a top priority in the next spending bill after President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to stop it, raising the possibility of a government shutdown threat over the health care law.
Trump said he hasn’t decided whether to fund the Obamacare cost-sharing program, which helps low-income Americans pay their health care co-pays and deductibles. In a Wall Street Journal interview Wednesday, he suggested that the funding for the program — called cost-sharing reductions — should be used as leverage to bring Democrats to the table on health care.
The current government spending bill expires April 28 and will need at least some Democratic support to get to Trump’s desk.
“Given the threat,” a Senate Democratic aide said of Trump’s comments, “we’ll be pushing for a robust cost-sharing reduction appropriation.”
Read more here
[The New York Times]
“The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering,” China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said in Beijing, according to Xinhua, the state news agency.
“We urge all sides to no longer engage in mutual provocation and threats, whether through words or deeds, and don’t push the situation to the point where it can’t be turned around and gets out of hand,” Mr. Wang said after meeting with his visiting French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault, according to Xinhua.
“No matter who it is, if they let war break out on the peninsula, they must shoulder that historical culpability and pay the corresponding price for this,” Mr. Wang said.
An airstrike by the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State killed 18 Syrian fighters allied with the United States, the military said on Thursday.
The strike, on Tuesday in Tabqah, Syria, was the third time in a month that American-led airstrikes may have killed civilians or allies, and it comes even as the Pentagon is investigating two previous airstrikes that killed or wounded scores of civilians in a mosque complex in Syria and in a building in the west of Mosul, Iraq.
The Washington Times: U.S. fighters mistakenly bomb Syrian allies in Raqqa offensive
U.S. forces dropped one of the biggest non-nuclear weapons in its arsenal in a large-scale strike against ISIS in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, according to Pentagon officials.
The U.S. dropped a GBU-43 bomb on ISIS fighters and facilities in the country’s Nangarhar province, officials said. Military officials believe it is the first time the weapon was used on the battlefield.
Wikipedia: GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast
Los Angeles Times: Air Force drops non-nuclear ‘mother of all bombs’ in Afghanistan
The U.S. Thursday used its largest non-nuclear weapon for the first time ever in combat against Islamic State targets in Afghanistan, the Defense Department said.
The strike dropped a GBU-43 bomb from an aircraft at 7:32 p.m. local time to destroy an Islamic State tunnel network in Nangarhar province, said Adam Stump, a Defense Department spokesman. The targeted group is known as the Islamic State in the Khorasan Province.
The strike was intended to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. troops in the area conducting clearing operations, according to a release from U.S. Forces Afghanistan. It said all precautions were taken to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage.
“As ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense,” said Gen. John Nicholson, the commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan. “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against ISIS-K.”
WASHINGTON—Nearly three weeks after Republican infighting sank an overhaul of the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump dug back into the battle on Wednesday, threatening to withhold payments to insurers to force Democrats to the negotiating table.
In an interview in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump said he was still considering what to do about the payments approved by his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama, which some Republicans contend are unconstitutional. Their abrupt disappearance could trigger an insurance meltdown that causes the collapse of the 2010 health law, forcing lawmakers to return to a bruising debate over its future.
The Hill: Trump faces risky ObamaCare choice