20 rockets fired into southern Israel, Hamas claims responsibility
At least 20 rockets have been fired on Israel according to the Israeli Defense Forces’ Twitter page. Four of them were intercepted and 16 of them landed on open ground near Be'er Sheva. Hamas has taken the responsibility for the attack, Al Arabiya reported. Hamas has vowed revenge on Israel after seven of its members were killed in an airstrike on Monday over a tunnel used by the armed group. Israel has also said it will escalate air strikes on Gaza, after experiencing daily rocket fire in the past few days.
Two cylinders seized by Syrian troops contained sarin - UN
Deadly chemical sarin was discovered in two cylinders reportedly seized by Syrian government troops in August 2013 in an area claimed to be controlled by armed opposition groups, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a letter to the UN Security Council published Monday, Reuters reported. The cylinders were declared "abandoned chemical weapons" by the government. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitoring the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile analyzed the contents of the cylinders on June 14 and “confirmed that these contained sarin," Ban Ki-moon's letter said. Syrian government pledged in September to destroy its entire chemical stockpile under a US-Russia brokered deal following a deadly sarin gas attack on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus on August 21, 2013.
Prominent Kuwaiti opposition figure freed on bail
Musallam al-Barrak, who had been detained for questioning after allegedly insulting Kuwait's judiciary, was freed on bail of around $18,000 on Monday and his case was delayed until September, his lawyer said. The former lawmaker, who draws support from some of Kuwait's powerful tribes, was sentenced to jail for insulting the ruling emir in 2013. He and other opposition politicians then said that changes earlier made to an election law in Kuwait were intended to prevent them from taking power. Barrak's arrest and conviction triggered a series of street protests and he was later acquitted.
Israel denies killing six Hamas militants
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, a senior Israeli military officer, denied Monday that his forces had killed six Hamas militants in an air strike, claiming the men had died when explosives went off in a tunnel they had dug. Lieutenant Lerner also told reporters Israel was preparing for a possible escalation of hostilities along the Gaza frontier and had called up several hundred reservists, after experiencing daily rocket fire from Gaza militants in the past few days. Hamas has vowed revenge on Israel after seven of its members were killed in an airstrike on Monday morning over a tunnel used by the militant group. Hamas said “the enemy will pay a tremendous price” for the attack.
London 7/7 memorial defaced with graffiti hours before 9th memorial service
The Hyde Park monument to the victims of the 7/7 terror attack in London in 2005, which consists of 52 stainless steel columns, one for each of the 52 people killed, was defaced with slogans written in red and black. The columns were vandalized with messages that said “4 innocent Muslims,” “Blair Lied Thousands Died” and “J7 truth.” Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, vowed Monday that the city will “never give in” to terrorists. The memorial was defaced just hours before Monday’s ninth memorial service to the terrorist attacks, which was held at the monument in Hyde Park.
Afghanistan’s Ghani wins presidential election – preliminary results
Former World Bank economist Ashraf Ghani has emerged as the winner of the second round of the Afghan presidential race, gaining 56.4 percent of the vote, the election commission chief said Monday. His rival, Abdullah Abdullah, picked up 43.4 percent, but according to local TV he is not accepting his loss. Ghani’s campaign said earlier in the day they were going to audit 7,100 polling stations to make sure the vote was clean. Both rounds of the vote to replace President Hamid Karzai have been plagued by accusations of fraud and other violations. The US has also been watching the process, as outgoing President Hamid Karzai refused to sign a military cooperation pact with Washington, leaving this decision to the country’s next leader.
Italian navy saves over 2,600 migrants in the Mediterranean
Italian rescue vessels and helicopters have saved more than 2,600 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean over the weekend, Reuters reports, citing the Italian navy. The search and rescue mission picked up predominantly male migrants, along with some minors and a pregnant woman in the Strait of Sicily. The number of migrants reaching Italy from Africa this year has surged to a record with calm weather in recent months encouraging more people, many fleeing war, forced conscription and poverty at home, to make the crossing. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, had counted 63,600 arrivals on July 4, before this weekend's influx, surpassing the previous record of around 62,000 set in the whole of 2011.
3 suspects confess to killing of Palestinian teenager – official
Three suspects in the killing of a Palestinian teenager have confessed to the crime, an Israeli official said. He added that the three were re-enacting the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir for authorities on Monday. The confession comes the day after six Jewish male suspects were arrested in connection with Abu Khdeir's death. The identities of the suspects have not been released.
Passengers evacuated from Channel Tunnel as train failure results in long delays
Hundreds of passengers were evacuated from the Channel Tunnel between the UK and France on Monday after a train failure. The train got stuck at about 0630 GMT due to a problem with the overhead power line, a spokesman for operator Eurotunnel said. Customers were transferred through the service tunnel and onto an empty train. The failure in the 50 kilometer (30 mile) tunnel resulted in long delays on the crossing between Britain and France, with several Eurostar train services canceled.
Hamas pledges revenge on Israel after 7 members die in airstrike
Hamas has vowed revenge on Israel after seven of its members were killed in an airstrike on Monday morning over a tunnel used by the militant group. Hamas said “the enemy will pay a tremendous price” for the attack. Two militants from a different group, who had been firing rockets at southern Israeli communities, were also killed in a separate airstrike. The Israeli military has said it carried out airstrikes on at least “14 terror sites” in Gaza overnight in retaliation for a recent increase in rocket attacks from Gaza. About a dozen rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza last night injuring a soldier and another 25 during the day on Sunday.
Afghanistan presidential hopefuls fail to agree on election outcome
Rival Afghan presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah, a former anti-Taliban fighter, and Ashraf Ghani, an ex-World Bank official, held a meeting on Monday, but failed to resolve differences over the outcome of the election, Reuters reports. The announcement of preliminary results of the election’s second round has once again been postponed. Abdullah and Ghani could reportedly be discussing additional checks at polling stations that would establish if the vote was fair. Both rounds of the presidential election were marked by accusations of mass fraud.
Greenpeace anti-fracking protesters block access to Chevron shale gas exploration
Greenpeace activists have chained themselves to the gates of a Chevron shale gas exploration well in eastern Romania to protest fracking there. Activists from Romania, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Germany came to the Pungesti site, wearing bright yellow jackets and holding banners reading"Pungesti-anti-Chevron quarantine area" and "Stop fracking." US energy major Chevron began work on the exploration well in the village of Pungesti in eastern Romania in December. Exploration start was postponed several times because of protests.
Moscow concerned about Kiev troops shelling civilian territories
Moscow is concerned with reports of eastern Ukrainian towns abandoned by self-defense forces, including Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, still being shelled by Ukrainian troops, according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov. He described the shelling as a way for the Ukrainian government “to exert pressure” on those who are “dissatisfied, and do not want to reconcile themselves with the plans the authorities in Kiev are imposing on them.” Dolgov has called for an immediate termination of the military operation by Kiev.
Afghan rocket attack kills at least 5 children
A grenade attack in northern Afghanistan has left at leave five children dead and a further six injured, officials have said. Taliban militants reportedly launched the grenade that struck a house in the Kunduz province. The six injured were all from the same family and included the parents of the deceased
Vietnam helicopter crash kills 16
A Russian-made, Vietnamese military helicopter has crashed shortly after takeoff, killing 16 people and injuring five, officials told AP. The helicopter was on a parachute mission and crashed close to the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi. Doctors said the injured are now being treated for burns in a Hanoi hospital.
Israeli fighter jets strike targets in Gaza
The Israeli Air Force has launched a series of airstrikes on Palestinian territory in response to Hamas firing 25 rockets at southern Israel on Sunday. Altogether nine targets in Gaza sustained direct hits as a result. Hamas has acknowledged seven of its fighters were killed and four wounded, thus making it the worst day in casualties for the armed wing of the organization since its cross-border war with the Israeli Defense Forces in 2012.
US spying allegations are serious - Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said allegations of a German working as a double agent for the US intelligence are “serious” and if proven correct contradict the spirit of bilateral cooperation, Reuters reports. The German government demanded an explanation from Washington over the US’ apparent contact with a German man arrested last week, the interior minister said. Washington has yet to comment on the arrest of a 31-year-old employee of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency.