News in English

Russia-Turkey tensions / Schools and metro reopen in Brussels / German troops to go to Mali / Suicide bomber blamed for Tunis attack / Tensions running high in Chicago / Union cancels strikes at Lufthansa / The weather


Russia-Turkey tensions

The Kremlin is sending an advanced air defence system to Syria after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane. Ankara says the plane was shot down in its airspace, while Russia insists the aircraft was over Syrian territory. Today President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for calm: “We don`t have any intention to escalate the situation. We are trying to protect our kin, our brethren.” Today President Vladimir Putin confirmed that the pilot of the Russian warplane was killed by Syrian rebels, while the other was rescued and is now at a Russian base in Syria: “The navigator has been rescued. The doomed captain of the aircraft will be awarded with the star of a Hero of Russia.”

Schools and metro reopen in Brussels

In Brussels today, schools and public transportation have reopened after a four day lockdown as the search continues for a prime suspect and 10 possible accomplices in the Paris attacks. Belgium remains on high alert and security across the country is tight. Annemie Maas is a Green party member of the Belgian parliament: “I have to say that I’m very glad that this city is going slowly back to normal. The main thing is we need to have safety and security, but also going back to normal life.”

German troops to go to Mali

Germany is to send 650 troops to Mali to help a peacekeeping force led by France. Mali has seen a recent upsurge in violence by Islamist militants. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Berlin will support France following the attacks in Paris at all levels, including militarily. In a related story, Merkel today again defended her open door policy on refugees in a speech to the Bundestag.

Suicide bomber blamed for Tunis attack

Officials in Tunisia say a suicide bomber carried out yesterday’s attack on a presidential guard bus in the capital Tunis. 13 people were killed. The violence also prompted the government to declare a national state of emergency.

Tensions running high in Chicago

Protests have been held in Chicago after year-old video footage became public which showed a white policeman shooting dead a black teenager.Journalist Yolanda Kardomo says the policeman now faces murder charges: “This march started after the release the release of the videotape which shows Laquan McDonald being gunned down by a Chicago police officer. That officer, Jason Van Dyke, was charged with first-degree murder.”

Union cancels strikes at Lufthansa

A strike at Lufthansa has been averted after the union representing cabin crews cancelled a walkout tomorrow, Friday and Monday to hold further talks with the management at the German airline. A week-long strike earlier this month affected more than half a million passengers.

The weather

The weather this afternoon will be partly cloudy, but dry, in the east and south. From Vorarlberg to East Tyrol and Upper Austria it will be mostly cloudy with scattered snowfall. Highs today are ranging from minus 2 to plus 6 degrees.