Global News June 19, 2017

  1. BBC
  2. Global News June 19, 2017

“Theresa May condemns ‘sickening’ attack on Finsbury Park Muslims”

A man died and 10 people were injured after a van was rammed into a crowd of worshippers near a mosque in north London, in the latest terror attack to hit the UK this year.
Eyewitnesses reported chaotic scenes as the incident unfolded just after midnight, when evening Ramadan prayers had finished. A 48-year-old white man was wrestled to the ground by members of the public and then arrested at the scene on suspicion of attempted murder, authorities said.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said the attack was directed at Muslims and condemned it as «every bit as sickening» as deadly Islamist attacks that hit the country in recent months.
Neil Basu, senior national coordinator for terrorism at the Metropolitan Police, confirmed witness accounts that the man found dead at the scene was already receiving first aid when the attack happened. He said it was unclear whether he died as a result of the attack.
Eight other people were taken to hospital, two of whom were seriously injured, he said. Two people were treated at the scene. Police believed that the attacker acted alone, despite earlier reports from witnesses, who had said they saw two other people flee the scene.
Muslim Welfare House CEO Toufik Kacimi said the attacker shouted «I did my bit, you deserve it.» An imam prevented people from taking revenge on the man, he said.


Zero Hedge
“Russia Halts Cooperation with US in Syria, will «Intercept Any Aircraft» in Russian Areas of Operation”

Shortly after Russia’s deputy foreign minister slammed the US downing of a Syrian Su-22 jet as an «act of aggression» and «support for terrorists», Russia announced that starting June 19 it was halting all interactions with the US under the framework on the «memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies», the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday, thereby assuring the probability of even more deadly escalations between Russia and the US-led coalition.
In retaliation, the ministry warned that Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, «In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying ojects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets,» the Russian Defense Ministry announced, quoted by Sputnik. Contrary to the earlier statement by the US according to which, it «contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established «de-confliction line» to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing», Russia claims the US-led coalition command didn’t use the deconfliction channel with Russia to avoid an incident during an operation in Raqqa.


The Economist
“Three South American countries hold over half the world’s lithium”

Lithium is a coveted commodity. Lithium-ion batteries store energy that powers mobile phones, electric cars and electricity grids (when attached to wind turbines and photovoltaic cells). Demand is expected nearly to triple by 2025. Annual contract prices for lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide for this year have doubled, according to Industrial Minerals, a journal. That is attracting investors to the “lithium triangle” that spreads into Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. This region holds 54% of the world’s “lithium resources”, an initial indication of potential supply before assessing proven reserves. Such differences are emblematic of how the South American trio treat enterprise and investment more generally. Market-friendly Chile is far ahead in rankings for ease of doing business, levels of corruption, and the quality of its bureaucracy and courts. Even so, production growth has flattened, allowing Australia to threaten its position as the world’s top producer. In the battle for lithium-triangle supremacy, it has a very long way to go.


The Guardian
“Barclays to learn if SFO will press charges over Qatari cash injections”

Barclays and many its former executives are expected to learn this week whether the Serious Fraud Office intends to bring criminal charges in relation to emergency fundraising at the height of the financial crisis. The five-year SFO investigation has focused on the events surrounding cash injections from an arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Speculation is growing that the SFO will press ahead with charges, and there have been reports that an announcement could come as soon as Tuesday. Decisions have been delayed on several occasions. The deadline was initially the end of March, then the end of May and then the end of June. The SFO has confirmed that the latest timetable is on track. The investigation was announced in August 2012. The stakes are high, not only for the individuals involved and the bank itself, which has been trying to restore its reputation after a series of scandals, but also for the SFO and its head, David Green. The Conservatives’ election manifesto pledged to fold the SFO into the National Crime Agency.
No bankers have faced criminal charges in the UK for events that took place during the financial crisis, and UK authorities have not pursued criminal charges against a high street bank.
There are two other cases connected to the SFO investigation. Amanda Stavely, an adviser to the UAE’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who put more than £3bn into the October 2008 financing, has brought a civil action claiming fees for her PCP advisory vehicle.


“Portugal forest fire: 12 survive by hiding in a water tank”

Twelve people survived one of Portugal’s deadliest fires by seeking refuge in a water tank after access to their village was cut off by the blaze. The residents, including a disabled 95-year-old woman, spent more than six hours in the tank as the fire prevented them from being rescued.
«If it wasn’t for this, we would all have died,» one of the survivors said.
The fires in central Portugal left 62 dead, many of them inside their cars as they tried to flee.
Numerous fires were still raging on several fronts, stretching Portugal’s civil protection force to its limits. Outbreaks were reported in two more central regions, Castelo Branco and Coimbra.
Maria do Céu Silva was hailed as a hero after using her house’s water tank to rescue the residents of Nodeirinho, next to the IC8 motorway, which was badly hit by the fire.