News in English

Protests continue in Hong Kong / IS sites attacked in Syria / Militant suspects go on trial in Belgium / European commission hearings begin / Violence continues in Eastern Ukraine / New Afghan President takes office / Karadzic war crimes trial winds down / The weather


Protests continue in Hong Kong

Pro-democracy protests are continuing in Hong Kong. The Chinese government in Beijing calls the demonstrations illegal. Riot police and protesters clashed over the weekend. Human rights activist Martin Lee says that military intervention by Beijing is a possibility, but that it would also trigger major resistance from the people of Hong Kong : “If they want to clear the streets of Hong Kong like they cleared Tiananmen Square in 1989, of course they can do it. If I see a tank from the Chinese troops in Hong Kong I will get myself a bicycle and stand right in front of it.”

IS sites attacked in Syria

US-led coalition warplanes have attacked Islamic State targets in Syria. Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has said the United States and others underestimated the events which led to the creation of the Islamic State: “Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where you have huge swathes of the country which are essentially ungoverned they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos.”

Militant suspects go on trial in Belgium

In Belgium, 46 people have gone on trial accused of recruiting volunteers for militant groups fighting in Syria. Few of the accused were in court because they are believed to be fighting in Syria or have been killed in the country’s civil war.

European commission hearings begin

Hearings begin today at the European Parliament in Brussels for the nominees to the next European Commission to be led by Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker. Many of the new MEPs were elected in May’s election on a wave of anti-Brussels sentiment. Journalist Vanessa Mock says the hearings are expected to be intense: “A great deal rests on these hearings and how the individual commissioners will perform. They will be grilled for three-and-a-half hours at least, and at the end of the day the Parliament has to give the thumbs up or thumbs down.”

Violence continues in Eastern Ukraine

In eastern Ukraine, the latest fighting between Russian separatists and government troops has killed 12 people and wounded 32 others. The violence has continued despite a ceasefire declared by Kiev and the rebels over three weeks ago.

New Afghan President takes office

Ashraf Ghani has been sworn in as the president of Afghanistan. Today’s ceremony in Kabul follows the outcome of a disputed election after which the presidency was also claimed by former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. The US helped mediate a power-sharing deal to end the dispute. Ghani takes over from Hamid Karzai who has led Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

Karadzic war crimes trial winds down

The war crimes trial of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic is winding down. Today prosecutors begin making their final statements. Karadzic is acting as his own lawyer and will address the court Wednesday. Prosecutors say he should be given a life sentence for the 1995 Srebernica massacre and for the siege of Sarajevo between 1992 and 1995.

The weather

The afternoon will be mostly sunny with high temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees.