The world in brief
South African armed forces are working to quell unrest
JOHANNESBURG – South African police and soldiers fought Wednesday to tame the unrest in impoverished areas of South Africa, shaken by weeks of protests and days of looting sparked by the imprisonment of ex-President Jacob Zuma last week.
More than 200 violent incidents occurred overnight in poor areas of Kwa-Zulu-Natal and Gauteng provinces, the government said on Wednesday, a week after the protests began.
After days of unrest in which, according to police, more than 72 people were killed and 1,234 arrested, the government doubled the number of soldiers deployed to support the police to 5,000. Many of the deaths were caused by chaotic storms as thousands of people ransacked stores, stole food, electrical appliances, alcohol and clothing, Police Major Mathapelo Peters said.
Gallery: Riots in South Africa
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The violence flared up last week after Zuma served a 15-month jail sentence for disobeying the court for refusing to comply with a court order to testify in a government-sponsored investigation into corruption allegations while he was in 2009-2018 Was president.
The protests in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu-Natal provinces escalated into a rampage of thefts in the township areas, although they have not spread to the seven other South African provinces where police are on alert.
In Gauteng, the most populous province in South Africa, to which the largest city Johannesburg belongs, a tense order of security forces appears to have been reached on Wednesday.
“I can confirm that it is quiet in Gauteng at the moment,” said Army Colonel Mmathapelo Maine as soldiers with rifles stood by to protect the large Maponya shopping center in Soweto.
Mexico robbers release drug gang suspects
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico – Men in military clothing and rifles stormed into a detention center in the Mexican border town of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, and rescued the leader of the Gulf cartel.
Prosecutors in Tamaulipas state said Wednesday that the raid took place around 7 p.m. Tuesday after the man was arrested by police near Reynosa.
He was held before a judge pending his first appearance. The attackers overwhelmed the guards and took the suspect away.
The prosecutor identified the released suspect by his nickname “Calamardo”. That is the name of Jose Alfredo Hernandez Campos.
The police who were looking for the attackers and the refugee were shot at by people in a vehicle, the prosecutor said. They returned fire, killing one person in the vehicle and arresting another.
One of these suspects had ID that was supposed to be from the Mexican Defense Department, although it was not clear whether it was real.
Two other suspects were later arrested.
Iranians warn of 90% uranium content
TEHERAN, Iran – The outgoing President of Iran warned on Wednesday that his country could enrich uranium to 90% weapons levels if it wanted, although it still wanted to save its shattered nuclear deal with world powers.
President Hassan Rouhani’s comments, broadcast by state news agency IRNA, were made when he also criticized Iran’s broader theocracy for not allowing his government to reach an agreement on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal anytime soon.
Rouhani’s power weakened when the public turned angry about his government while the economy suffered from US sanctions. But what he said does signal that Iran may take a more bellicose approach to the West as hardline-designate Ebrahim Raisi will take office next month.
In a cabinet meeting, Rouhani made the 90% comment, a rare moment for him, to propose that Tehran take this approach.
The 2015 nuclear deal, which exempted Iran from the devastating sanctions, limited Tehran’s program to an enrichment rate of up to 3.67% – enough to power a civilian nuclear reactor. It now enriches a small amount of uranium up to 60%, a small step up from weapon grade.
For months, the negotiators have been trying to find a way how Iran can return to the borders of the agreement and how the US can re-join the agreement from which then-President Donald Trump previously unilaterally withdrew.
Seal connections, embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Israel opened open
JERUSALEM – The United Arab Emirates officially opened their embassy in Israel on Wednesday and inaugurated their diplomatic offices in Tel Aviv less than a year after the two countries announced they would forge open relations.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog said at the ceremony that the opening of the embassy was “an important milestone on our common path towards a future of peace, prosperity and security for the Middle East.” The inauguration of the embassy of the United Arab Emirates takes place two weeks after Israel cut the ribbon at its embassy in Abu Dhabi during the visit of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in June.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates officially established diplomatic relations last year after decades of secret ties. The two countries signed the US-brokered normalization agreement on the White House lawn in September and a number of bilateral economic and cooperation agreements in the months since.