7 Aug 2019

Wednesday's world news: What's making the headlines

7:21 pm on 7 August 2019

Here's what's making news headlines around the world today.

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Photo: 123RF

Scores injured in Kabul blast as historic peace deal nears

A car bomb exploded outside a police station in the Afghan capital of Kabul, injuring at least 95 people.

The Interior Ministry says the bomb went off when a vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint, sending a cloud of grey smoke billowing into the sky.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

It comes as the Taliban and the US appear close to a historic peace agreement for US troops to withdraw in exchange for a Taliban promise the country would not be used to plot terrorist attacks.

- Reuters

8chan asked to appear before US lawmakers

A US Congressional committee has called the online message board 8chan to testify before it.

The Homeland Security Committee has sent a letter to 8chan owner Jim Watkins asking him to provide answers on how the company has responded in the wake of three mass shootings this year which have been promoted on the site.

The committee says the letter comes after the weekend shooting in El Paso Texas where the gunman is believed to have posted a four-page white nationalist manifesto on 8chan.

It also references the shooting at a California synagogue in April and the March mosque attacks in Christchurch.

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Pakistan anger over Indian Kashmir move

Pakistani PM Imran Khan has vowed to fight India's decision to revoke Indian-administered Kashmir's autonomy, including at the UN Security Council.

He said the move was in breach of international law, adding that he feared ethnic cleansing by India.

The region remains locked down, a day after India announced the move.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, but each country controls only part of it and there has been 70 years of tension and conflict.

- Reuters

Photo of black man being led by mounted police sparks outrage

A photo of a handcuffed black man being led with a rope by two white officers on horseback in the Texan city of Galveston is causing outrage online and among black communities.

The police say the man had been arrested for trespass.

They have issued an apology, saying the officers showed poor judgement and department policy has changed to prevent the use of such technique again.

But the man's family and their lawyer have indicated they may take legal action.

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North Korean missile test a warning

State media in North Korea is reporting that the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, intended the latest missile test to be a warning to the United States and South Korea.

Reports said Mr Kim oversaw the launch of tactical guided missiles on Tuesday - the fourth test in two weeks.

He is quoted as saying it was an occasion to warn Washington and Seoul, whose forces are holding joint military exercises on the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang has described the drills as a flagrant violation of efforts to achieve peace.


Hong Kong facing biggest crisis since 1997

The head of China's Hong Kong office says Hong Kong is facing its biggest crisis since it returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Hong Kong has been rocked by weeks of large scale anti-government protests which have often turned violent.

Zhang Xiaoming is holding a high level forum of Hong Kong delegates to China's parliament and the National People's Congress to discuss the political crisis.

In China's sharpest rebuke yet of the protesters, Beijing has warned protestors not to "play with fire", saying they were pushing Hong Kong into a "dangerous abyss".

- Reuters

Zimbabweans "marching towards starvation"

The UN has stepped up its emergency appeal for Zimbabwe, warning that more than 5 million people - a third of the population - are in need of aid.

The country is battling the effects of drought, a cyclone and an economic crisis.

The head of the World Food Programme David Beasley said many were "in crisis emergency mode... marching towards starvation".


Tributes for US literary treasure

Barack Obama has led tributes to the US novelist, Toni Morrison, who's died at the age of 88.

The former president said she was a national treasure, whose prose was "a beautiful, meaningful challenge to our conscience."

Morrison was the first black woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature.

She wrote 11 novels and was best known for Beloved - a story of an escaped slave - which also won a Pulitzer and was made into a film starring Oprah Winfrey.

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