The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Terrorist attack in Sweden kills four:  A hijacked truck driven by a terror suspect into a crowded street in Stockholm, Sweden, killed four and injured 15 on Friday.

Authorities say a 39-year-old man from Uzbekistan, a father of four, drove a truck into pedestrians outside a Stockholm department store on the city’s crowded Queen Street.  Police apprehended the suspect, who later confessed, outside the city.

Witnesses say the truck swerved back and forth along the street intentionally targeting shoppers on the street and walkway.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced his government considers the attack an act of terror.

Stockholm incident map

Iraqi Kurds set stage for independence plebiscite:  Pressing their case for the “best deal” in a post-ISIS Iraq, Iraqi Kurds have pledged to hold a referendum for self-determination.

Officials with the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Iraq’s largest Kurdish groups, agreed to mutually advance a referendum on wider autonomy.  Although rivals, the two groups revealed the referendum’s outcome did not expressly mean a declaration of independence would follow.

Encompassing five countries, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Azerbaijan, the Kurdish people have long sought self-rule, but remain largely restricted to limited autonomy within the national boundaries of the five countries in the region.

Kurdish Empire

Airstrikes resume in Syria, on Khan Sheikhoun:  Three days following an alleged chemical attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, Syrian warplanes dropped bombs on the city, reportedly killing two, including a woman and her son.

Elsewhere, unknown aircraft attacked a rebel-held town in northern Idlib Governorate killing 18; and another strike in Homs, Homs Governorate, hit city center, killing 20, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In northern Syria, near the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, American-led airstrikes killed 21, including a woman and her six children as they attempted to flee across the Euphrates River.  Other occupants of the boat remain unaccounted for.

Russia bans parody image of Putin:  The Russian Ministry of Justice has taken the step to add images of Russian President Vladimir Putin depicted as a homosexual to its list of banned extremist material.

Images of Putin portrayed wearing women’s makeup first emerged after the Russia’s 2013 “gay propaganda” law prohibited promoting homosexuality to minors.

Homosexuality is not outlawed in Russia.

Images of Putin’s likeness as a homosexual now join over 4,000 other banned images, including Nazi symbols, white power mantra and jihadist websites encouraging terrorism.


Indian state eliminates debt burden for 21 million:  In the fulfillment of a campaign promise to assist struggling farmers in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, the state’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, has erased up to ₹1 lakh ($1,500) in debt owed by the region’s small and marginal farmers.

Defined as owning less than five acres, small and marginal farmers make up 92.5 percent of farmers in the state.  The move affects over 21 million debt-ridden farmers in Uttar Pradesh.

With the approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Adityanath issued two waivers in the form of relief bonds to eliminate debt Wednesday.  One of the two waivers stamped out debt to 700,000 holding over ₹5,630 crore in unmanageable debt.

The cost of the debt relief is expected to exceed ₹36,359 crore ($5.6 billion).


[RT News] [Dagbladet] [Indian Express] [AP] [The Telegraph] [Hindustan Times]