WikiTribune’s tracking these stories and more. To collaborate on the Briefing, please SIGN UP or SIGN IN
Curated top stories
- A potential “imminent eruption” at Bali’s Mount Agung forced roughly 100,000 people within the 10 kilometer danger zone of the volcano to evacuate and the international airport to close, as ash streamed above the Indonesian island. The island’s state of alert was raised to its highest level earlier today. Airport spokesman Air Ahsanurrohim said 445 flights were canceled, leaving roughly 59,000 travelers stranded. The 3,031-meter-high Agung, which started rumbling in August, last erupted in 1963, killing more than 1,000 people.
- Pope Francis arrived in Myanmar, where he was greeted by tens of thousands of Myanmarese Catholics and held talks with the country’s top military leaders. The pontiff’s three-day visit comes at sensitive time, just days after Myanmar signed a deal with neighboring Bangladesh to repatriate hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees displaced by a military crackdown. The United Nations and the U.S. have said the action amounts to ethnic cleansing. In a statement earlier this month, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon, advised the pope not to mention the word ‘Rohingya’ because “this word is very much contested and not acceptable by the military, nor the government, nor the people in Myanmar.” Earlier this month, the pope denounced “the persecution of our Rohingya brothers and sisters.” Pope Francis is scheduled to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, national leader and Nobel peace laureate.
- Election officials in Honduras stopped releasing results of the presidential election after the main challenger to President Juan Orlando Hernandez took an unexpected lead. The president claimed early that exit polls showed he had a clear path to victory, but challenger Salvador Nasralla, a TV host, also predicted a win. The potential upset raised concerns about instability in a Central American country already bedeviled by gang crime and drug wars. More results were expected on Thursday.
- An Associated Press investigation into cyber attacks by Russian hackers found the FBI had failed to notify scores of U.S. officials that their personal email accounts were threatened. The FBI knew for more than a year that a Russian government-aligned group, nicknamed Fancy Bear, had been trying to break into accounts, the AP reported. The news agency had previously investigated the hacking campaign, which disrupted the 2016 U.S. election.
- The U.S. military announced that one person was killed after they launched air strikes in Northeast Somalia, where the Islamic State has reportedly been recruiting militants. This move comes one week after another U.S. bombing campaign in Somalia which targeted al Shabaab militants, the larger rival militant faction within the country.
- Two militants shot and killed at least 17 people in the neighborhood of Nawaraz, in southeast Baghdad. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
What we’re reading
- In February 2016, President Trump disavowed the support of former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke. “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay?” Trump said. However, in 1990, Trump predicted that Duke, who had performed well in the race for a Louisiana senate seat, would do well if he decided to run for president. “Whether that be good or bad, David Duke is going to get a lot of votes,” Trump told Larry King. In this Atlantic piece, writer Adam Serwer challenges the theory that Trump won the presidency because of an economic backlash. He posits, citing extensive data and studies, that Trump really won because he knew what to tap into — an underlying racism that exists within white Americans of all economic statures. — Charles Anderson
- CO2 could soon reach levels that, it’s widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe. In this article, New Yorker staff writer Elizabeth Kolbert outlines the efforts to remove the gas from our air. “Carbon-dioxide removal is, potentially, a trillion-dollar enterprise because it offers a way not just to slow the rise in CO2 but to reverse it,” Kolbert writes. — Charles Anderson