World Wrap

Israel announces Palestinian prisoners to be freed, new settlement plans

Israel announces plans ahead of peace talks, violence roils Iraq, and desperation grows among Myanmar’s Muslims. Today is Monday, August 12, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @clarerrrr.

Construction controversy.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat gestures during his interview with Reuters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, August 11, 2013. Erekat said on Sunday Israel’s plans for new homes in Jewish settlements on occupied land were aimed to scupper peace talks that resume on Wednesday. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Plans portend peace talk problems. Palestinians’ enthusiasm over Israel’s decision to release 26 Palestinian prisoners was tempered by new plans to expand Israeli settlements:

The 26 prisoners are the first of a total of 104 Israel has decided in principle to free as part of an agreement reached after intensive shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to renew talks for Palestinian statehood. Israel sweetened the deal for far-right members of its governing coalition on Sunday by announcing plans to build 1,187 new dwellings for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and parts of the territory it annexed to Jerusalem after the 1967 Middle East war.

Disagreement over settlement construction brought peace talks to a halt three years ago, and few have hopes that this year’s talks will resolve long-standing tensions. However, the U.S. is pushing for a deal within nine months.

U.S. evacuates consulate in Pakistan

Washington pulls staff from Lahore consulate, Taiwan radioactive leak rattles faith in nuclear safety, and U.S. officials try to fry fish with Russia. Today is Friday, August 9, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @clarerrrr.

A happier scene in the city.

People great each other after attending Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, August 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

Holiday horrors in Pakistan. Two days after evacuating diplomats from Yemen, Washington ordered non-essential staff to leave the U.S. consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, due to “specific threats.”

Assad appears on TV after rebels report attack

Syria’s Assad shown unscathed after alleged rebel attack, Obama cancels meeting with Putin, and U.S. drones kill 8 in Yemen. Today is Thursday, August 8, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @clarerrrr.

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (C) attends Eid al-Fitr prayers at Anas bin Malek mosque in Damascus, August 8, 2013, in this handout photograph released by Syria’s national news agency SANA.  REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Assad attack. Syrian rebels on Thursday claimed to have hit President Bashar Assad’s motorcade in Damascus, however the government denied the attack and state television showed the embattled president uninjured during Eid al-Fitr celebrations:

Fukushima’s radioactive water leak raises government concerns

Japan’s Abe calls Fukushima leak an “urgent issue,” fire cripples Kenya’s main airport, and Tunisia’s anti-government protests gather force. Today is Wednesday, August 7, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Members of a Fukushima prefecture panel, which monitors the safe decommissioning of the nuclear plant, inspect the construction site of the shore barrier, which is meant to stop radioactive water from leaking into the sea, near the No.1 and No.2 reactor building of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima in this photo released by Kyodo, August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Kyodo

Worse than we thought. Japanese officials said highly radioactive water is seeping from the Fukushima nuclear plant at a rate of 300 metric tons a day, reaching the ocean and prompting the government to finally step in:

U.S. tells American citizens to evacuate Yemen immediately

The U.S. State Department evacuates non-essential government employees and warns citizens to get out of Yemen, a border attack threatens India-Pakistan peace talks, and Syria’s Assad attempts to tap frozen assets to buy food for his people. On this Tuesday, August 6, we mark 68 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. This is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

A police trooper checks a car at a checkpoint on the road leading to Sanaa International Airport, August 6, 2013. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Evacuate immediately. The U.S. State Department today told American citizens to leave Yemen immediately and ordered the evacuation of non-essential government staff from the country, responding to threats of a possible terrorist attack by al Qaeda in that country:

Official calls radioactive water at Fukushima an ‘emergency’

Fukushima leaks contaminated water, flash flooding kills dozens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the U.S. State Department extends embassy closures over al Qaeda threat. Today is Monday, August 5, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Debris is seen in front of the crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant No. 6 reactor building in Fukushima prefecture, February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool

“We have an emergency.” An official from Japan’s nuclear Regulatory Authority revealed to Reuters that highly radioactive water leaking into the ocean from the compromised Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an emergency situation:

Italy court upholds Berlusconi’s tax fraud conviction

Italy’s supreme court rebuffs Berlusconi’s appeal, Kerry praises the Egyptian military, and Snowden asylum strains U.S., Russia relations. Today is Friday, August 2, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a vote session at the Senate in Rome, July 19, 2013. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Guilty as charged. Italy’s supreme court upheld a conviction of tax fraud against disgraced leader Silvio Berlusconi,  further stressing Italy’s fragile government:

Snowden leaves Moscow airport

Russia grants Snowden temporary asylum, sources say Mugabe sweeps election, and Bulgarians take to the streets for peaceful demonstrations. Today is Thursday, August 1, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Edward Snowden is seen in this still image taken from video during an interview by the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong, June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras/Courtesy of the Guardian/Handout via Reuters

Snowden calls a cab. Wanted NSA leaker Edward Snowden finally left Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport upon receiving temporary asylum from Russia. Snowden made a lackluster exit from the airport’s transit area, where he has spent more than a month in limbo:

Mugabe vies to continue 33-year presidency as Zimbabwe voters take to the polls

Zimbabweans vote in presidential election, U.N. report reveals significant increase in Afghanistan casualties this year, and Iraqi government admits a state of open war. Today is Wednesday, July 31, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

A police officer casts his vote in Mbare outside Harare, July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Zimbabwe voting underway. Zimbabweans came out in droves on Wednesday to vote in the country’s presidential election, deciding for the third time between incumbent President Robert Mugabe, 89, and his opponent, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai:

Members of the Pakistani Taliban storm prison, set loose 250 inmates

Pakistani Taliban operatives break 250 inmates out of prison, Mugabe hopes to extend 33-year presidential tenure, and two trains collide head-on in Switzerland. Today is Tuesday, July 30, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Policemen (R) and Ranger soldiers (L) stand outside a prison following a Taliban attack in Dera Ismail Khan, July 30, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Pakistani prison break. Pakistani Taliban operatives, armed with bombs and dressed as police, freed 250 inmates – including 30 top militants and six prisoners on death row – from a Pakistani jail:

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