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- French President Emannuel Macron traveled to Mali to reaffirm his commitment to helping the West African country fight Islamic extremism. Mali, one of the many countries in West Africa where France retains huge influence, celebrated the election of the centrist candidate as they are hopeful that it will usher a radical change in France’s African policy.
- An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where three people have been confirmed dead and another six are suspected to be infected with the virus, the World Health Organization has said.
- Tensions continue to rise over U.S. activity near the international waters off China’s coast as two Chinese jets conducted an intercept of a U.S. aircraft that was on a mission to detect radiation in international airspace over the East China Sea. China has not commented on the incident, despite them regularly calling on the U.S. to reduce patrols in the area.
- Malaysia has launched an investigation into allegations of “torture-like” conditions inside immigration detention centers after the Guardian reported at least two dozen refugees and asylum seekers had died since 2015. The country’s immigration department said it has taken “immediate action” in response to claims by rights groups and former detainees that inmates were physically abused and deprived of food, water and medical care.
Swedish prosecutors have dropped the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid extradition to the U.S. where he is wanted for his role in the release of U.S. government secrets. The rape allegation followed a Wikileaks conference in Stockholm in 2010 which was forcefully denied by Assange, claiming the case was politically motivated and that the sex was consensual.
- Iranians went to the polls on Friday in the country’s first presidential vote since the historic nuclear deal with the West was signed and endorsed by incumbent President and moderate cleric, Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani, 68, is standing against three challengers, but his main opponent was hardliner cleric and former prosecutor, Ebrahim Raisi, 56. Although no Iranian president has lost a re-election bid since 1981, Raisi’s religious conservative coalition makes him a serious contender.
- Al-Qaeda is attempting to recruit new members in Yemen by holding a quiz, with an AK-47 assault rifle as top prize, according to local residents and media. Militants have been touring the south-west city of Taiz in the build-up to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, putting up posters advertising the contest, residents reported.
- President Donald Trump is set to make his first foreign trip as President after 10 tumultuous days which included the firing of FBI Director James Comey and a report that Trump shared classified information with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office. Trump’s eight-day trip will include stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium where he plans to attend the NATO and G7 summits — a White House official described Trump’s foreign tour as a “do-or-die” trip.
- President Donald Trump held his first face-to-face meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House, praising Turkey as an ally in the fight against terrorism. The meeting came at a time of elevated tensions between both governments over a U.S. plan to arm the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia group that is fighting IS, despite claims that the group is linked to Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
Brazilian President Michel Temer has denied approving ‘hush money payment’ to a potential witness in what has become the biggest corruption investigation in the country’s history. Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported that it had obtained a recording in which Temer discussed a payment of 143,000 USD to politician Eduardo Cunha, whom was jailed in March for corruption, money laundering and tax evasion.
President Donald Trump signed a long-awaited executive order to keep America’s cyberspace safe. The order outlines three priorities for the administration’s efforts in cyberspace: Protecting federal networks, updating outdated systems, and directing all department and agency heads to work together in order to view the federal I.T. as one enterprise network.