The world at a glance ...
Attack on Muslims: Britain is treating a deadly attack on worshippers from London’s Finsbury Park mosque as an act of terrorism. Darren Osborne, a 47-yearold white Briton, allegedly drove a van into a crowd of Muslims emerging in the early hours from the mosque, where they had attended prayers and broken their Ramadan fast. One person was killed and 11 were injured; witnesses said Osborne shouted, “I want to kill all Muslims.” Several men dragged Osborne from his truck and began beating him, but the mosque’s imam intervened, saying he must be kept safe until the police arrived. Osborne’s neighbors in a suburb of Cardiff, Wales, described him as “an aggressive and strange person,” often drunk, who would bark “Inbred!” at Muslim children. “Terrorism, extremism, and hatred take many forms,” said Prime Minister Theresa May. “Our determination to tackle them must be the same whoever is responsible.”
Brexit talks begin: The first talks on Britain’s exit from the European Union began this week in Brussels, and the U.K. has already been forced to concede a key point. Britain wanted talks on how to disentangle itself from the bloc to proceed at the same time as talks on its future trade deal and relationship with the EU, but Brussels said no. Negotiator Michel Barnier said the EU would not “punish” Britain but insisted the nation would have to “accept the consequences of its decisions,” adding, “My mind is not on making concessions.” Prime Minister Theresa May had wanted a “hard” Brexit, cutting most formal ties with the EU. But polls show most Britons want a “soft” Brexit, which would involve the U.K. paying for continued access to the EU’s single market.
Spying on activists: The Mexican government is using advanced Israeli spyware intended for monitoring terrorist groups or drug cartels to spy on journalists, lawyers, and activists. At least three Mexican federal agencies use the Pegasus software, which can take over a smartphone and log calls, texts, email, contacts, and calendars. It can also eavesdrop on the target using the phone’s microphone and camera. Cyberwarfare experts told The New York Times that the software was planted on phones used by top Mexican journalists and lawyers investigating government corruption, and also on devices belonging to their family members. “We are the new enemies of the state,” said anti-corruption crusader Juan E. Pardinas, one of those whose phone was compromised.
Biggest Pride: Some 3 million people flocked to São Paulo this week to attend what may have been the world’ s largest gay pride parade. The focus of the massive rally was supposed to be the threat of religious fundamentalism and attempts by religious conservatives in Brazil’s congress to roll back LGBT rights. The parade’s official motto was “Whatever our beliefs, no religion is law.” But O Globo reported that many revelers carried signs protesting against the government of President Michel Temer, who is under investigation for corruption and bribery.
Killing Putin foes? At least 14 critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin—some British, some Russian—have died in suspicious circumstances in the U.K. over the past 14 years, and U.S. intelligence agencies believe they were all killed by Russian agents, according to an extensive BuzzFeed.com investigation. British authorities have refused to arrest anyone even though, BuzzFeed says, U.S. intelligence handed over evidence implicating Russian security services or mafia groups in some of the deaths. U.K. authorities attributed the deaths to suicide or natural causes, quickly closing inquiries. Current and former U.S. and British intelligence officials said the deaths were hushed up because authorities feared retaliation from Moscow and wanted Russian money to keep flowing into British banks.
Nazi hoard: A huge stash of Third Reich artifacts, some possibly once owned by Adolf Hitler, has been discovered in a Buenos Aires suburb. The cache, hidden behind a sliding bookcase in the home of a collector, included guns, uniforms, medals, statues of Hitler, toys, a Ouija board, and even a head-measuring device that was intended to help assess a person’s racial purity. A few items had accompanying photos showing Hitler holding them. Many Nazis, including torture doctor Josef Mengele and Holocaust mastermind Adolf Eichmann, fled to Argentina to escape trial after World War II, and the house is located in an area where both men are known to have lived.
Face the nation: President Vladimir Putin fielded questions from ordinary Russians this week during his 15th annual call-in show on state TV—but the carefully choreographed event didn’t go according to plan. Callers are always thoroughly vetted, but this year, unedited texts from viewers popped up on the bottom of the screen. “All of Russia thinks that you’ve been too long on your throne,” read one. “You really think people believe this circus, with planted questions?” another asked. Putin answered only questions from callers, and promised to solve everyone’s problems—from getting piles of garbage cleaned up to boosting the country’s ailing economy. When one caller asked about former FBI boss James Comey’s recent testimony to Congress on Russian interference in the U.S. election, Putin joked that he’d happily offer Comey “political asylum” should he face legal problems.
Pedrógão Grande, Portugal
Devastating wildfire: Dozens of people trying to flee a forest fire burned to death in their cars last week when a Portuguese road was engulfed by flames. At least 64 people were killed in the massive fire in central Portugal, 47 of them on the N236, which is being called “road of death” and “road of hell” by the local media. “The road was completely destroyed, melted,” said photographer Patrícia De Melo Moreira. Climate change, which has brought Portugal longer and hotter summers, is partly to blame for the massive blaze, as are poor forest management and invasive eucalyptus trees, introduced from Australia as a paper and pulp crop. Eucalyptus bark ignites and flies off when the tree burns, sparking new fires where it lands. A quarter of all forested land in Portugal is eucalyptus.
Jihadist attack fails: A Tunisian-French man on France’s terrorist watch list died this week after he rammed his explosives-laden car into a police convoy on Paris’ Champs-Élysées boulevard. The car burst into flames, but no police were injured. Authorities said that the attacker, 31-year-old Adam Djaziri, had skipped two interviews with police, citing bad health, yet still had a gun permit and had amassed a stockpile of weapons at his home. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said Djaziri got the permit before being flagged as a suspected terrorist, and added that authorities were right not to revoke the license, because that would have alerted Djaziri that officers were onto him. Meanwhile, police in neighboring Belgium shot and killed a Moroccan man in Brussels Central train station after a nail bomb he’d transported in his suitcase misfired.
Pyongyang, North Korea
Kim terrified: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is so frightened of being killed by a U.S. missile or special forces raid that he will only travel at dawn and frequently switches cars to confuse his enemies, according to a South Korean lawmaker. Lee Cheolwoo, chairman of the South Korean parliament’s intelligence committee, said that Kim has become obsessed by rumors of a U.S.–South Korean “decapitation plan” to take him out. So rather than tool around Pyongyang in his Mercedes-Benz 600, Kim now travels in unmarked cars and has limited his public appearances. Getting to him would be to ugh. “While the corpulent Kim presents a large and sluggish target, he’s kept on the move,” ex–Special Forces officer Mark Sauter told Fox News. Kim also often hides in underground bunkers.
U.S. sailors die in collision: Navy investigators are seeking to determine the cause of a deadly collision between the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a larger, Philippine-flagged merchant ship in a busy waterway off the coast of Japan. Most of the Fitzgerald’s 300 crew members were asleep at the time of the crash. Seven U.S. sailors died when their berths were smashed and flooded, and the ship lost all communications because the communications room was inundated with water. Nobody was hurt on the container ship, the Crystal. Navigation tracking records show that the Crystal made a sudden turn just before the crash.
New heir: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ousted his nephew as crown prince this week and named his 31-year-old son as the next in line to his throne. The replacement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, 57, with Mohammed bin Salman represents a huge change for a country long led by elderly monarchs. The new heir is a rising star in the kingdom, where his image appears on billboards and placards, and he’s popular among young people. He is known as a hard-liner on relations with Iran, pushing for an Arab alliance and hinting at war. Associates say he is hardworking and detail-oriented, but can be impulsive: He once bought a $550 million yacht on a whim while on vacation, and he publicly offered Kanye West $10 million for a night with Kim Kardashian. King Salman is 81 and, Saudi watchers say, not in the best health.