In today’s digest:
- Captured Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko defies Russian judge as her trial ends
- Balkan nations closing borders to transiting refugees
- Twelve Iranian men on hunger strike to prevent Calais refugee camp demolition
- American tourist stabbed and killed in Israel
- Egyptian lawyer representing cases of forced disappearances reported missing
- Venezuela authorities ID persons of interest in investigation on missing miners
- Women in Brazil shut down mining operations at company operating collapsed dam
- Iraqi sources report chlorine attacks by ISIS
- Houthi rebels start talks in Southern Saudi Arabia for Yemen ceasefire
The trial of captured Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko ended Wednesday, as she entered her seventh day of hunger strike in a Russian jail. Savchenko, 34, was imprisoned in 2014 and charged with killing two Russian TV journalists. She claims she was kidnapped by rebel fighters before their deaths even occurred. On Wednesday, Savchenko defied the judge and prosecution by giving them the middle finger from her glass cage. Meanwhile, Russian police detained up to 35 people Tuesday at a small protest in Moscow demanding her release. Sentencing is expected on March 21.
Slovenia and Croatia closed their borders to transiting refugees Tuesday night, a day after a controversial deal to stem refugee flows was announced between the EU and Turkey. Slovenia now only allows entry to visa holders, those seeking asylum in Slovenia itself, and special humanitarian cases. Macedonia followed suit, completely closing its borders to refugees. They had been practically closed to most refugees for almost a week.
Twelve Iranian men are on a hunger strike in Calais, France, demanding that the demolition of the refugee camp stop as court appeals run their course.
An American tourist was stabbed and killed in Israel on Tuesday. Taylor Force, 29, was a student at the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, and an army veteran. At least 10 other people, including Force’s wife were injured when a Palestinian attacker stabbed multiple people in Jaffa.
Ismail Salama, an Egyptian lawyer who represents cases of forced disappearances, has been reported missing. Other human rights lawyers are investigating his whereabouts after his father reported he was arrested in a security raid on his residence in the Nile Delta early Tuesday. Hundreds of people have been reported missing in Egypt in the last few months. A new protest for the disappeared was held in Cairo on Tuesday.
Venezuelan authorities say they have identified persons of interest in the investigation on the missing miners of Tumeremo. The 28 miners went missing last week and their families are protesting, demanding answers. The ombudsman for Venezuela says 11 interviews have been conducted with the families, and some people in connection with the disappearance have been identified. Our story.
Women in Brazil have shut down mining operations at the company that operated a dam that collapsed in 2015. The collapse near Mariana killed 17 people and several executives of Samarco have been indicted on charges of homicide. The women have blocked rail lines and protested outside of Samarco offices and those of BHP Billiton and Vale, which own Samarco.
Iraqi sources reported chlorine attacks by ISIS in Southern Kirkuk. The group has been making inroads in the governorate, clashing with Shiite militias in the town of Taza, where the attacks were reported on Wednesday.
A Houthi rebel delegation visited Saudi Arabia to discuss a potential ceasefire in Yemen. The visit was accompanied by a prisoner exchange, the first of its kind in the almost year-long conflict. Despite the reported breakthrough, heavy Houthi shelling was reported in Taiz on Wednesday, which has been under siege for months.
In Uganda, the offices of lawyers challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in last month’s election have been broken into and raided. Laptops, computers and documents were taken. The lawyers represent Uganda’s former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, who wants the election results annulled.
Three women will become India’s first female fighter pilots. The women are the first to take on the role after India’s government approved women in combat roles in October.
The family of slain Honduran environmental activist Berta Carceres released a statement. The family said they hold responsible the financial backers of the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam and the government of Honduras.
Oregon investigators declare the police shooting of Malheur occupier LaVoy Finicum justified. The three shots that killed Finicum were completely justified, said Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris. The FBI continues to investigate the incident.