The world at a glance ...
Protests at G-20: German authorities are questioning what they could have done differently to prevent the violent demonstrations at last week’s G-20 summit. Thousands of leftist extremists and “Black Bloc” anarchists rioted for three days during meetings of world leaders in the city— burning barricades, throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks, and looting businesses. Nearly 500 police were injured, out of some 20,000 officers deployed for the summit, and hundreds of protesters were arrested. Some officials said the key error was in allowing, at the last minute, a “Welcome to Hell” demonstration to take place near the summit venue. Others said there was no way to prevent clashes given that the protesters were bent on violence. Protest organizer Nico Berg, meanwhile, accused the police of brutality in attacking demonstrators.
Opposition leader home: Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López is out of jail after three years but still under house arrest. The Supreme Court, which President Nicolás Maduro effectively controls, said it was moving López to house arrest on “humanitarian grounds.” In 2014, López was found guilty of instigating violence at demonstrations against the Maduro regime in which a brutal police crackdown left 43 people dead and hundreds injured. But the trial was a sham: A month later the prosecutor admitted as much and fled to the U.S. seeking asylum. Police have come down hard on the near-daily mass protests against Maduro over the past three months. At least 92 demonstrators have been killed and 1,500 injured since April.
Border wall spat: Ecuador has built a half-mile-long wall along part of its border with Peru, and a furious Peru has recalled its ambassador in protest. Ecuador’s government said the wall is a flood-prevention measure, but Peru says it will make flooding worse on the Peruvian side. Both countries fear that heavy flooding in their border region will become more extreme as climate change worsens. In March, more than 150 people died in northwestern Peru in the worst floods in decades. The two countries have a history of border disputes: In 1995, they briefly went to war over a contested stretch of land.
March for justice: More than 1 million protesters braved 104-degree heat for an enormous rally in Istanbul this week, cheering the leader of the opposition as he concluded a 250-mile march on foot from Ankara. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the Republican People’s Party, called for the return of an independent judiciary and a free press, and for an end to the mass dismissals and arrests that began in the aftermath of last summer’s failed coup. Hundreds of thousands of people have been purged from their jobs or arrested. Marchers wore shirts and carried signs reading “Adalet,” or justice. “We walked for the rights of the oppressed, for the imprisoned lawmakers, the jailed journalists,” Kilicdaroglu said. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Istanbul on the day of the march but made no public reference to it.
Tillerson bolsters Ukraine: Officials in Ukraine are thrilled that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is taking a tougher stance against Russian interference. In Kiev this week, Tillerson said the war in eastern Ukraine, which began in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea, was “planned and launched in Moscow.” He said U.S. sanctions against Russia will remain until Moscow takes steps to end the violence, and he appointed a noted Russia hawk, Kurt Volker, as special envoy to Ukraine. “We’re extremely satisfied with the level of cooperation with our American partners,” said President Petro Poroshenko. As a candidate, President Trump horrified Ukrainians by saying he would consider recognizing Crimea as part of Russia.
Rio de Janeiro
Lula going to jail: In a ruling that shocked Brazil, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was found guilty of corruption and money laundering this week and sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. Da Silva, 71, was accused of taking more than $1 million in bribes—including improvements on his beach house from construction company OAS, in exchange for giving contracts to OAS with the state oil company Petrobras. The case was part of the massive “Operation Car Wash” corruption scandal that has implicated most of the political and business elite, including current President Michel Temer. The immensely popular da Silva governed from 2003 to 2010; his handpicked successor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached last year on dubious corruption charges unrelated to Car Wash. He will remain free while he appeals his case.
Shattered, but liberated: After nine months of brutal, street-by-street fighting, Iraq declared victory this week over ISIS militants in Mosul, where the Islamist group proclaimed the caliphate three years ago. “I announce from here the end and the failure and the collapse of the terrorist state of falsehood and terrorism,” said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. While isolated pockets of ISIS resistance remain, Iraq’s second-largest city is now under Iraqi government control. But it has been bombed nearly to rubble, with most of its buildings, including the historic Great Mosque of al-Nuri, completely demolished. The offensive involved a 100,000-strong coalition of Iraqi government units, Kurdish fighters, and Shiite militias, backed by U.S. airstrikes and intelligence. At least 1,000 soldiers and unknown thousands of civilians were killed. An Amnesty International report released this week blamed ISIS for using civilians as human shields, but also said the U.S.-backed coalition had not done enough to prevent civilian deaths during the siege.
The population is now severely traumatized. More than 900,000 people fled the city of 2.5 million and have been living in packed tent camps in sweltering 110-degree heat. Those who remained suffered under ISIS’s rule, as militants took women as sex slaves and enforced a brutally rigid form of sharia law. Public beheadings were common. “The fighting may be over, but the humanitarian crisis is not,” said U.N. humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande. “What people have experienced is nearly unimaginable.” The government said restoring basic services, like water and electricity, could take months.
Djibouti City, Djibouti
Here comes China: China is setting up its first overseas military base in the tiny East African nation of Djibouti, where the U.S. also has a base. Two Chinese warships carrying an unknown number of personnel set out this week for the port. An editorial in China’s state-run Global Times newspaper said the goal was to allow China to conduct humanitarian operations and combat piracy in the region. “It’s not about seeking to control the world,” said the editorial. Djibouti sits on a strategic strait that connects the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean via the Suez Canal, the Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden. France and Japan also have bases there.
ISIS leader dead? The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said this week it had confirmed through “toptier” ISIS commanders that the militant group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is dead. The monitoring group did not say when or how Baghdadi, 46, was killed. Iraq’s Alsumaria News network reported that ISIS announced the death this week in Tal Afar, a town west of Mosul that ISIS still controls. It said infighting immediately broke out over the succession to lead ISIS’s caliphate, and militants put the town under a curfew. Last month, Russia said it had killed the ISIS leader in an airstrike on the outskirts of Raqqa, but offered no proof. Baghdadi, rarely seen in public, has been reported killed several times since he declared himself caliph in 2014.
Hindu pilgrims killed: Gunmen opened fire on Hindu pilgrims on their way to a holy site in Indian-held Kashmir this week, killing six women and one man and injuring dozens. “I saw the other people in a pool of blood in the bus,” said injured survivor Pushpa Gosawi, “and I was in utter shock.” No group has yet claimed responsibility, but police blamed Lashkare- Taiba, the Pakistani terrorist group behind the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. The disputed territory of Kashmir sees frequent skirmishes between Muslim separatists and Indian troops, but militants usually leave Hindu pilgrims alone. Muslim separatist groups condemned the attack.
Hebron, West Bank
Jewish history erased: Israel is angry at the U.N. culture organization UNESCO for designating as Palestinian heritage sites both the old city of Hebron, in the West Bank, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs located there. The tomb, believed to be where the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs are buried, is an ancient holy site that is also sacred to Muslims and Christians. Many Israelis called the decision anti-Semitic, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded by cutting Israeli funding to UNESCO. “It’s not a Jewish site? Who is buried there?” he said. “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah. The Patriarchs and the Matriarchs” of the Jewish faith.