This Week in the World: November 7th 2013

U.S. drone kills Taliban leader

Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed by a United States’ drone on Nov. 1. He was killed only a day after government officials announced that they would be starting peace talks with the militants. A senior United States intelligence official confirmed the death, although the CIA and White House both declined to comment on the report. Mehsud is on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list and has also been near the top of the CIA Counterterrorism Center’s most wanted list since 2009. The Associated Press notes that drone strikes are controversial, particularly in Pakistan, with critics pointing out that innocent civilians are often killed in the attacks. Many people also believe the drone strikes infringe upon Pakistani sovereignty.


Protests in Kenya over gang rape

A sixteen-year-old girl in Kenya was gang raped, reportedly by six men, three of who have been identified. The girl, referred to as Liz to protect her identity, was thrown into a pit latrine unconscious after the raping, breaking her back. She is now in a wheelchair. The three men who have been identified as her rapists were taken in to the police, where they were not prosecuted. Instead, as a punishment, they were ordered to cut grass around a police station, spurring journalists and activists to take up her cause. An online petition has been set up by one activist, and has gained international attention. Activists have been using hashtag #Justice4Liz on social media to bring attention to the case.


One death in Los Angeles airport shooting

On Nov. 1, three Transportation Security Administration (TSA) members at the Los Angeles International Airport were injured in a shooting, one fatally. A gunman entered the airport Friday morning, pulled out an assault rifle and opened fire inside. Authorities tackled the gunman, Gerardo Hernandez, to the ground, discovering that he had over one-hundred rounds of ammunition with him. A number of people were injured trying to flee the scene of the shooting, but there was only one fatality, reportedly the first TSA officer, who died in the line of duty. The gunman reportedly approached people in the terminal and asked if they were TSA officers; if they said no, they were spared, as he moved on to the next potential victim.


EBay apologizes for Holocaust listings

Following an investigation by a UK newspaper, the Mail on Sunday, EBay has apologized and removed up to thirty items that were for sale on their website.  The removed items were Holocaust memorabilia from Nazi Germany. Among these items were pairs of shoes, a toothbrush, and Star of David armbands that were passed out among Jewish people, marking them for persecution. There was also the uniform of a Polish baker who died at Auschwitz, being sold for approximately $18,000. EBay asked the online auctioneer to take down the thirty items, and said the company has donated $40,000 to charity to express their regret.


Controversial movie being created about Princess Diana

Naomi Watts is playing the part of the late Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer, in a movie that has just come to theatres across North America. The movie focuses on the last two years of Spencer’s life, specifically on her relationship with a cardiac surgeon that ended just before her death in 1997. There are many critiques of the movie, saying that it is inaccurate. The cardiac surgeon, with whom Spencer had a relationship, Hasnat Khan, has said that the movie is a betrayal of their relationship. For the past sixteen years since her death, Spencer has been an icon around the world.


Two French journalists killed in Mali

Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont were both kidnapped and shot dead in Mali on Saturday, Nov. 2. Radio France Internationale (RFI) reports that both reporters were on their second assignment in Mali, covering the ongoing presidential election. They were leaving a candidate’s home when they were abducted and driven away in a beige truck. Their bodies were later found, after having been shot several times, on a desert track, just metres away from the locked beige truck. France’s foreign minister has said that this was an assassination. BBC reports say that there are many questions as to how the abduction could have taken place only five minutes from an international military base containing several hundred French and UN soldiers.

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