The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

Barcelona terror attack kills 14:  A van driven by an Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist killed 14 people in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday.  Authorities say in addition to the 14 dead, over 100 were injured.

Spanish police say a rented van careened down La Rambla Street in central Barcelona, ramming into pedestrians and bikers on the crowded avenue.  The van came to a halt and the driver fled on foot.

Amaq News Agency, the propaganda engine of the ISIS terror group, claimed responsibility for the attack.

(courtesy Daily Mail)

Sierra Leone mudslides claim over 450 lives:  Officials in Sierra Leone fear the death toll related to a series of mudslides could climb to over 1,000.  Heavy rains early in the week caused part of a mountain outside the nation’s capital, Freetown, to collapse and overwhelm residential areas near the capital.

Heavy rains are expected to continue and rescue workers have issued warnings to residents to leave the area.

Health experts have expressed concern over a potential cholera outbreak and humanitarian groups have provided fresh water, soap, food and hygiene material.  The government has sent aid workers and the military to provide temporary housing.

Ukraine rejects claim it assisted North Korean missile program:  Angrily dismissing assertions it assisted North Korea develop a ballistic missile program, the government of Ukraine said claims it sold advanced missile parts and engines used in Pyongyang’s arsenal are false.

Kyiv declared the story appearing in The New York Times was a fabrication born in Russia.

According to the report, a study conducted by the International Institute of Strategic Studies claimed two missiles unveiled by North Korea featured modified engines originally produced in the Soviet Union and shared with former Soviet satellite states.

Taliban tells Trump to leave Afghanistan:  In its second open letter to President Trump, militant group, the Taliban, advised the U.S. to withdraw its contingent of troops and leave the country.

Accusing the U.S. of “warmongering,” in the letter to Trump, the group specifically cited the presence of American troops as the catalyst which drives violence in the Asian nation plagued by a 16-year-old war.

The Taliban originally issued an appeal to Trump to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan shortly after his inauguration.

Maduro-backed constituent assembly strips opposition of power; Venezuelan congress rejects:  Reeling from internal strife and under increasing pressure from foreign sanctions, the constituent assembly installed through referendum backed by President Nicolas Maduro has stripped Venezuela’s congress, known as the National Assembly, of its legislative powers.

On Friday, the newly-created 545-member constituent assembly granted itself the power to write and pass legislation, effectively rendering the National Assembly ineffective.

The U.S. condemned the move as a “power grab,” and the National Assembly rejected Maduro’s new governmental body in a statement during a special legislative session on Saturday.

“This is a congress in resistance of an armed military dictatorship that took over its authority and gained militarily what it could not gain at the ballot box,” said the Assembly’s vice president, Freddy Guevara.

 

[BBC News] [CBC News] [The Telegraph] [RT News] [The Guardian] [Reuters]