The world at a glance ...
Migrant camp destroyed: French authorities have begun tearing down the Jungle, the massive migrant camp on the outskirts of Calais. The tent city houses up to 8,000 migrants, mostly from Africa but also from Afghanistan and Syria, who were trying to get to the U.K. by sneaking onto trucks at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. The U.K. accepted 200 children, and some 3,100 migrants—including 500 children—were relocated to refugee camps elsewhere in France, but thousands more were still there when the demolition began. “We are deeply concerned for the fate of hundreds of children who remain and who do not know where they will sleep,” said Carolyn Miles of the Save the Children. The Jungle has been a fixture in Calais for 16 years, and its residents have created their own economy, with restaurants, hairdressers, and clothing shops.
Outrage at EU: One small region of Belgium is threatening to kill a massive EU trade deal with Canada, and the Canadians are not pleased. Canada’s trade minister, Chrystia Freeland, said this week that she was giving up trying to negotiate with the EU over the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, which would eliminate nearly all tariffs between the EU and Canada. All EU member nations have agreed to the draft except Belgium, which can’t sign until French-speaking Wallonia is on board; the region wants more protections for its farmers. “It’s become evident for me, for Canada,” Freeland said, “that the European Union isn’t capable now to have an international treaty,” not even “with a country so nice, with a lot of patience like Canada.”
Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
El Chapo fears for sanity: Attorneys for Mexican drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán appear to be preparing a health challenge to his extradition to the U.S. Guzmán’s lawyers said this week that the Sinaloa cartel boss fears for his mental health because he is getting headaches and suffering memory loss and prison guards aren’t giving him his anti-depressants. Emma Coronel, El Chapo’s commonlaw wife and mother of his twin daughters, has filed an official complaint over the conditions of his solitary confinement. Guzmán had a major legal setback last week, when a Mexican judge ruled against his appeals to avoid extradition. His last resort will be the country’s Supreme Court. Guzmán is wanted in the U.S. on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.
President regrets Trump chat: Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto says he regrets his “very rushed decision” to meet this summer with Republican nominee Donald Trump. The August meeting was widely condemned in Mexico, with critics accusing Peña Nieto of lending gravitas to a man who has called Mexicans rapists and criminals. Peña Nieto’s finance minister and close ally, Luis Videgaray, was forced to resign last month after several media reports said he pushed for the meeting over the objections of other ministers. “Could we have done things better? Maybe yes, admittedly,” Peña Nieto told Mexican daily La Razón. Still, he added, “ultimately Mexico will have to build a relationship with whoever is elected president.”
Dylan snubs Nobel: The Swedish Academy says Bob Dylan is being rude by failing to RSVP for the December ceremony to present him with the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The singer has not returned multiple calls from the academy or made any public statements on the prize. A brief note on his website mentioning that he’d been awarded the honor was quickly taken down. “We were aware that he can be difficult,” said Per Wastberg, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, but Dylan’s silence is “impolite and arrogant.” Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin said he thinks the singer will attend the ceremony. “Dylan has accepted the Légion d’Honneur, an honorary doctorate from Princeton, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe,” he said. “I’d be very surprised if he were to refuse the Nobel Prize.”
Impeachment attempt: Venezuela’s opposition-controlled National Assembly has launched a political trial against President Nicolás Maduro, accusing him of violating the constitution and subverting democracy. But at this point, the Assembly’s actions are purely symbolic, because the Maduropacked Supreme Court has ruled that the legislature has no validity until it removes three lawmakers who have been accused of electoral fraud. “Legally,” said Vice President Aristóbulo Istúriz, “the National Assembly does not exist.” The opposition has accused Maduro of embracing dictatorship by sidelining the legislature, detaining opponents, and blocking a plebiscite on his rule. Polls show that most Venezuelans want a referendum on Maduro’s recall, which the president would likely lose. Electoral authorities last week halted the opposition’s attempt to gather signatures to enable a referendum, citing allegations of fraud.
ISIS digs in: As Iraqi forces closed in on the ISIS stronghold of Mosul this week, hundreds of jihadist fighters from neighboring Syria arrived in the city, many wearing suicide vests. Witnesses said the new arrivals were foreign fighters, and reported that other jihadists were rigging explosives on bridges. Militants retreating to Mosul from nearby villages rounded up hundreds of families and forced them into the city for use as human shields. More than 280 villagers, men and boys, were executed. The roughly 90,000 Iraqi troops and paramilitary fighters advancing on Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, have so far liberated some 80 villages and killed more than 800 ISIS fighters. But the U.S.-backed offensive has encountered fierce resistance, with ISIS driving dozens of explosives-laden suicide trucks at coalition forces.
Pretoria, South Africa
Quitting the ICC: South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia have announced that they are pulling out of the International Criminal Court, potentially signaling the start of an African exodus from the tribunal. The court, set up in 2002 to try the world’s most heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity, has long been dogged by allegations that it is biased against Africans. All 32 people indicted so far have been African. South Africa ran afoul of the court last year when it refused to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir at an African Union meeting it was hosting. Bashir is wanted by the ICC on charges of committing genocide in Sudan’s western Darfur region, but South Africa said state leaders should have diplomatic immunity. Uganda and Kenya have said they are now considering whether to quit the institution.
Cadets slain in sleep: An overnight assault by three Islamic terrorists on a police training school killed at least 61 people this week and wounded 170 more—most of them young cadets. The jihadists scaled a wall around the school, snuck into the barracks, and lobbed grenades at sleeping cadets, then pursued and shot at them for five hours. “They just barged in and started firing point-blank,” said one survivor. “We started screaming and running around in the barracks.” Two attackers blew themselves up, while the other was shot in the head. ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre in an online post that included photos of the three jihadists. Pakistani officials said the attackers were from the banned Taliban-linked group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and had been directed by extremists in Afghanistan.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
State of emergency: Ethiopia’s authoritarian government has arrested more than 1,600 people and shut down social media and mobile internet services since the announcement of a state of emergency in early October. The country’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo, which makes up nearly a third of Ethiopia’s 95 million people, has been staging protests for nearly a year, accusing the government of systematically marginalizing them and seizing their land. The authorities have responded brutally, using live ammunition and killing some 500 demonstrators. Now the next-largest ethnic group, the Amhara, has also begun to protest against the government. The Tigray minority dominates the ruling party, which came to power 25 years ago.
Amusement park horror: Four people were killed on a Queensland water ride this week when their circular raft smashed into another raft and flipped over. Two of the victims were thrown off and killed by the fall, while the other two were trapped in the conveyer belt of Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride. The dead were all in their 30s or 40s and included a gay couple, the sister of one of the men, and another woman. A 10-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl who were also on the flipped raft survived but lost their mothers. “My whole family has been wiped out,” said Kim Dorsett, who lost two of her three adult children in the accident. Some parkgoers said the ride had malfunctioned several times earlier that day; an investigation is ongoing.
Terrorists strike hotel: The Somali terrorist group al-Shabab attacked a Kenyan hotel near the border with Somalia this week, killing 12 people. Witnesses said the jihadists bombed their way into the guesthouse at 2:30 a.m. and began shooting. Some of the dead were members of a theater troupe that performs works of literature in English and Swahili to help students prepare for exams; the troupe said al-Shabab had threatened its members multiple times during their tour of the regions’ schools. Daud Otieno, the group’s producer, who survived the attack, said the gunmen shouted “Actors, actors!” as they fired. Al-Shabab controls much of Somalia, and Kenyan forces have been fighting them there for five years.