Spain issues arrest for Puigdemont, CIA releases bin Laden files, U.S. authorities identify Russian officials in hack

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  • The CIA released 470,000 files that were recovered during the May 2011 raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. They include an unseen video of bin Laden’s son, Hamza bin Laden. Others show Bin Laden’s notes on topics including the 2011 Arab uprisings. CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement the agency released the information “for the American people to gain further insights into the plans and workings of this terrorist organization.”
  • The U.S. Justice Department identified more than six Russian officials in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal said prosecutors have amassed enough evidence to charge the officials and bring a case next year. The 2016 DNC hack was a collection of email leaks, and included some involving Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton, which were subsequently published by WikiLeaks.
  • Spain’s state prosecutor requested an arrest warrant for Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four others for failing to return from Belgium to testify in court. Puigdemont, who is currently in Brussels, was called to attend Spain’s court on accusations of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds over the Catalan’s decision to declare regional independence from Spain last week. WikiTribune journalist George Engels reported from Catalan on the toll the crisis is having on people.


  • President Donald J. Trump said Sayfullo Saipov, who’s been charged with killing eight and injuring 12 using a truck in New York, should face the death penalty or go to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay. New York state has banned the death penalty, but the charges against Saipov are federal. Reuters reported that the FBI said it has located a second Uzbek man, 32-year-old Mukhammadzoir Kadirov, who was wanted for questioning. The BBC reported that the attack was planned for a year.

Trump tweeted: “NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”

  • Catalan separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont failed to turn up to Spain’s high court to face rebellion, sedition and breach of trust charges. Puigdemont, who is now in Belgium but has denied seeking refuge, said: “This is a political trial.” Other officials of the former Catalonian regional government who were suspended and replaced by central control from Madrid were in court for questioning. If found guilty of committing rebellion, they could face maximum 30-year jail sentences. Prosecutors could order the arrest of those who don’t go to today’s trial, including Puigdemont. WikiTribune reporter George Engels has been in Barcelona to report on the human impact of the crisis.
  • Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi was in Rakhine province for the first time since violence broke out in the region in late August. As of October 23, about 600,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 25, according to the UN. The refugees say Myanmar’s military is targeting Muslim civilians, while the government says its operations are aimed at rooting out militants, including the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army. WikiTribune reporter Charles Turner has written an analysis of why the Rohingya are described by aid agencies and humanitarian groups as the “world’s most-persecuted minority.”

What we’re reading

  • British historian Simon Schama, writing in the Financial Times, has a personal account of his family’s experience of the 100-years since the Balfour Declaration which led to modern Israel as a Jewish homeland. “Jews have not been the only people to have suffered uprooting. But they have been the only people in the world eternally unable to find a place where shelter would not be given on sufferance,” he writes. (Story may be behind a paywall). – Peter Bale
  • He has an aura of glamour, a meteoric rise to the political heights, but Emmanuel Macron is attracting more criticism as he moves to reform tax and labour laws in France. In this New York Times piece, it’s not clear to whom Macron is referring when he described “people who are nothing,” describing those “one passes” in train stations. But famed economist Thomas Piketty is direct: he wrote that Macron is “guilty of a heavy moral, economic, and historical sin”. – Angela-Long

What the WikiTribune community’s up to

  • At least 10 members of the WikiTribune community contributed to this analysis of cryptocurrency initial coin offerings by reporter Linh Nguyen.


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