International Headlines

Jan 16: Football Crazy

Unaccompanied women are allowed to attend football matches in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Sarah Alkashgari, 18, made history when she watched Al-Ahli play Al-Batin in Jeddah. She said she has received much “love and support”, and "In the future, we will be able to drive. It's so amazing to see all this empowerment for girls. We're finally showing the world what true Islam means”.

Jan 16: Internet Controls

Freedom on the net 2017: Manipulating Social Media to Undermine Democracy, a report published by Freedom House, has ranked China as the “world’s worst abuser of internet freedom”and one of a number of governments who restrict mobile internet service for “political or security reasons”. Chinese state media Xinhua has reported that China has blocked 128,000 “harmful” websites and confiscated 30.9 million “illegal” publications in its effort to maintain “social stability”.

Jan 15: False Alarm

A false alarm of imminent nuclear attack rocked the United States island of Hawaii over the weekend. The alarm was sent to residents’ mobile phones as well as broadcast on TV and radio when a “member of staff pressed the wrong button”. There was a 38-minute delay before a correction was issued. The alert system is in place because of Hawaii’s proximity to North Korea.

Jan 12: Loot Recovered

Jewellery stolen by armed robbers from a shop at the five star Ritz Hotel in Paris on Wednesday has been recovered – when the thieves dropped the bag while escaping on a scooter. Three have been arrested, two others are still on the run; the jewellery stolen was worth around €4.5m (£4m; $5.4m).

Jan 11: Adoptions Banned

Ethiopia has banned foreigners from adopting Ethiopian children because of concerns that they face abuse and neglect abroad. Around 20% of all international adoptions by United States citizens come from Ethiopia and include celebrities Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. In 2013 a US couple were convicted of killing an adopted Ethiopian girl and this triggered major concerns. There are also concerns about trafficking.

Jan 10: Hope for Korea?

North and South Korea have agreed to hold military talks to try and defuse border tension. And the North is sending a delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games which will take place in South Korea in February.The South's Yonhap news agency also reported “exchanges in other, unspecified areas and other high-level talks to improve relations”.

Jan 9: Shipping Tragedy

An Iranian tanker, the Sanchi, which collided with a cargo ship in the East China Sea three days ago is in imminent danger of exploding. The ship has been on fire since the collision and all 32 crew are feared dead. The oil it is carrying is particularly toxic and an explosion could have far reaching environmental and health consequences. The cargo ship crew have been picked up.

Jan 8: Equal Pay Storm

Carrie Gracie, the China editor for the BBC, has sparked a media storm following her resignation in protest against the pay disparity between men and women. She said she does not want more money but she does want equality and that the support she is receiving from colleagues, MPs and the public has been "very moving". The BBC has said there is "no systemic discrimination against women".

Jan 6: Snow!

Thousands of people are marooned in snow-bound Italy and Switzerland. Alpine ski resorts are cut off as Storm Eleanor’s heavy snow and stormy weather continues unabated. 10,000 tourists are stuck in Cervinia in the Aosta Valley which is under two metres (six feet) of fresh snow. Many ski resorts are reporting the avalanche risk at four (our of a maximum of five).

Jan 5: Stock Market Boom

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the United States Wall Street stock market index, has rocketed to cross a record 25,000. The 1,000-point gain yesterday was the fastest in history. Wall Street has surged by around 25% over the last year amid growth in the US and global economies and it is estimated that 250,000 new jobs were created in December.

Jan 3: Israel Evicts Migrants

Thousands of African migrants have been ordered to leave Israel or face imprisonment. They will each be given up to $3,500 (£2,600) if they leave within the next 90 days and will be given the option of going to their home country or to a third country. The migrants say they are seeking asylum from persecution, while Israel sees them as economic migrants.

Jan 1: Ivory Ban

China, the world’s biggest market for ivory, has enforced a ban on all trade in ivory and ivory products from today. The ban was announced last year and is being hailed as a major step forward in protecting the world’s elephant population. Chinese state media Xinhua says that "one of the largest ever public awareness campaigns" had been carried out.

Dec 28: Spy Arrested

The Indian military has arrested a Chinese national who is suspected of being a spy. The Times of India reported that the man, Qin Min Xiv Xiang, 55, was apprehended in Manipur, the north eastern border state. He was carrying various Chinese, Vietnamese and Myanmarese documents, foreign currencies, a pen drive and a compass and was arrested following a tip-off.

Dec 26: Tiananmen Square

Newly released British documents put the number of people killed by the Chinese army during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests as at least 10,000. A secret diplomatic cable from the British ambassador to China at the time has come to light giving these updated figures. China’s statement at the time was that “several dozen” had died, other estimates ranged from several hundred to 1,000.

Dec 22: Trump Thwarted

The United Nations General Assembly has voted to call on the United States to withdraw its recent decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – thus effectively recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – and igniting Palestine-Israel hostilities. 128 states voted for the resolution, 35 abstained, nine voted against; this despite US threats to withdraw funding from countries backing the resolution.

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