CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of the digest said the conflict between FARC and Colombia has left more than 220,000 dead. We’ve clarified to indicate that number is for all civil conflict in Colombia.
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In today’s digest:
- Historic peace deal between Colombia and FARC
- Attack on American University in Kabul kills at least 13
- Doctors Without Borders refused to help free Kayla Mueller
- Syrian rebels and Turkish tanks capture Jarablus from ISIS
- North Carolina trooper investigated for killing of deaf motorist
- Celebrities join Native Americans protesting Dakota Access Pipeline
- Students in Austin, TX carry sex toys to protest gun carry laws
- Anti-Mugabe protests in Zimbabwe met with teargas and beatings
An historic peace accord was announced between Colombia and FARC on Wednesday. Negotiators for the government and the leftist guerrilla group, who have been in peace talks for the past four years, signed the agreement in a ceremony in Havana, Cuba. President Juan Manuel Santos announced citizens will vote on the accord October 2, which will then move to Congress. If approved, Santos will sign it into law. The peace agreement was not well received by all; former president Alvaro Uribe Velez is leading a campaign against it, condemning it as a “coup against democracy” that would lead the country into the hands of terrorists. Civil conflict* in Colombia has lasted more than 50 years, left 220,000 dead, 25,000 disappeared and 5.7 million people displaced.
An attack on the American University in Kabul, Afghanistan killed at least 13 people. The attack took place over several hours, with the last attackers routed out and students freed from hiding places in the early morning hours on Thursday. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack as of yet. At least two attackers were killed in the standoff with security forces that left many students and teachers hiding in classrooms for hours.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) refused to help free Kayla Mueller from ISIS. Mueller’s parents told ABC News that the charity withheld information needed to negotiate their daughter’s release. MSF published a lengthy account of events surrounding Mueller’s captivity and death, apologizing for their conduct towards the family, but defending the refusal to help negotiate her release. The aid worker was not contracted with the group, and had arrived independently in Aleppo in August 2013, despite a prohibition in place. She was abducted after helping install MSF communication equipment, and killed 18 months later.
Syrian rebel groups and Turkish tanks backed by US airstrikes captured Jarablus in Northern Syria from ISIS on Wednesday. Turkey sent additional tanks into Syria on Thursday, after announcing that the town is under control. Syrian Kurdish militias left Manbij to withdrew east of the Euphrates river in preparation for an offensive on ISIS’ main stronghold of Raqqa, after threats by Turkey, and a warning by US Vice President Joe Biden that they would lose US support.
A North Carolina trooper is now under investigation over the killing of a deaf motorist. Daniel K. Harris was shot and killed by trooper Germaine Saunders last week during a traffic stop near Charlotte. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal inquiry into his death.
Susan Sarandon and other celebrities joined Native American activists in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. A injunction from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe was in federal court in Washington, DC. Supporters rallied outside the courthouse, but a judge declined to make a ruling for another two weeks.
Students in Austin, Texas protested the state’s new gun carry laws by carrying sex toys around campus. Wednesday was the first day of classes for the University of Texas – Austin and the first day of campus carry. Students took part in a protest that’s been planned for more than a year, carrying sex toys instead of firearms.
Anti-Mugabe protests by students in Harare, Zimbabwe were once again met with teargas and beatings Wednesday. A journalist was harassed by police and some turned the protest into a street battle for several hours in the afternoon.
Egyptian human rights lawyer Malek Adly was ordered released without bail Thursday, his lawyer said. Malek Adly was arrested during a massive crackdown on protests over two Egyptian islands gifted to Saudi Arabia last May, his pre-trial detention renewed eight times since. Lawyers from several European countries had just launched a petition to demand his release. The prosecution has already announced it will appeal his release.
A UN investigation determined the Syrian government used chemical weapons at least twice. The yearlong investigation found two separate gas attacks attributable to Syrian government forces and one mustard gas attack attributable to ISIS.
The death toll in central Italy’s earthquake has reached 247. Hundreds more are feared trapped under the rubble and dozens are being pulled out alive as of this writing. Several aftershocks as strong as 4.5 on the Richter Scale are making rescues more difficult.
Surviving South Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan’s military in World War II will receive compensation. They will be eligible to receive around 100 million won each (about $90,000) from a foundation created by the Japanese government.
For the first time in 12 years, Indian Border Forces have occupied schools in the Kashmir region of India. More than 2,500 troops are in the disputed area near Pakistan in India. Hundreds of people have been injured as police use pellet guns and live ammunition against protesters.
Black Lives Matter protesters rallied on the one-month anniversary of Abdirahman Abdi’s death in Ottawa. Protesters stood outside the city hall and the hospital where Abdi was declared dead.