The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Suicide bombers kill 18 in Iraq:  Five gunmen armed with automatic weapons, explosives and hand grenades attacked a residential neighborhood in the Iraqi oasis of Ain al-Tamer outside Karbala to the southwest of Baghdad.

18 have been reported killed and another 26 injured.

Iraqi authorities say there was no apparent target, but a wedding party suffered several casualties.  One suicide bomber detonated himself, Iraqi security killed several attackers and it is believed one escaped.

Japan to re-fit banking system to spur economy:  Japan’s Financial Services Agency is scheduled for an overhaul as Tokyo seeks to boost oversight of its regional banks in an attempt to spur the economy and encourage borrowing.

Although the plan has not been officially announced, details include a re-organization of regional banks into two groups, one of which would service small businesses to focus on generating revenue.  The other will serve primarily to boost lending.

Indian official cautions foreign visitors:  Concerned with a recent spike in violent crimes against foreign women and declining tourism, the Indian Ministry of Tourism has begun issuing “dos and don’ts kits” to foreign travelers arriving in India.

Designed as user manual with recommendation on behavior for foreigners, the kit suggests female tourists avoid wearing skirts, tourists capture the license plate number of autos on photos and counsels foreign travelers to avoid traveling alone after dark.

Russian doping whistleblowers fear for their lives:  Fearing for their lives, Russian couple, Vitaly Stepanov and Yuliya Stepanova, have sought refuge in the United States over fears they are the target of retribution for exposing the doping practices of Russian athletes.

Vitaly Stepanov was a doping officer in Russia before fleeing, first to Germany and then to the U.S.

Finding refuge in the U.S., the couple discovered Russian hackers had breached their social media accounts; the hack exposed their location.

An American security firm, FireEye, has linked the hack to the same source as the recent breach into the Democratic National Committee.

Iraq plans on oils sales through Iran:  Anxious to resume a position in the global petroleum market, the Iraqi government has determined to sell its petroleum through Iran should negotiations on a revenue-sharing program with the Kurdish Regional Government collapse.

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is the ruling body over the predominately Kurdish region of northern Iraq in which over 500,000 barrels of oil are produced daily.

Without an agreement with the KRG, Iraq is weighing the option of 150,000 barrels sold to Iran for foreign sale.


[Al Jazeera] [Reuters] [The Guardian] [Daily Times] [NBC News]