October 2017 photo shows Rohingya refugee Fatema, who was living in Kutapalong refugee camp. Photo: Flickr/DFID
The main news headlines for 28 August 2018
UN issues damning report saying Myanmar military acted with "genocidal intent", anti-migrant mobs in German town after death, snow in Austria and frisky Flipper frightens tourists in France. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
Myanmar military’s genocidal intent
UN investigators have called for Myanmar military leaders to be prosecuted for the mass killings and gang rapes of Muslim Rohingya with “genocidal intent”. Reuters cited a damning report which called for the commander-in-chief and five generals to be charged. The UN Security Council, meanwhile, called for an arms embargo on Myanmar, targeted sanctions and the creation of an ad hoc tribunal. The Guardian said that after the report was published Facebook immediately removed 18 accounts and 52 pages associated with the Myanmar military. The social media was criticised for providing a platform for posts which stirred up and spread hatred against the Muslim Rohingya population, of which some 25,000 have been killed and 700,000 forced to flee to Bangladesh in the last year.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned violence in which marauding far-right mobs have reportedly been hunting down foreigners in the eastern city of Chemnitz. The Guardian reports that the violence began after a Syrian and Iraqi were accused of killing a German man on the sidelines of a festival on Sunday. The two were arrested. Rival protests which broke out in the town on Sunday ended with several injuries, the BBC reported. Euronews cited the police as saying some 800 protestors took part.
Heatwave then snow
After a heatwave in which record temperature highs were reported around the world, winter has come somewhat early to Italy and Austria. A dramatic weather shift brought close to 40 centimetres of snow in the Obertauern ski resort in Austria, euronews reports. A local told reporters that snow in August was not “uncommon” but the quantity was high. Experts forecast temperatures would rise to 30°C in Austria later this week.
Leaders of Kosovo and Serbia want to redraw the borders between the countries, they announced over the weekend, triggering fears that ethnic violence could be sparked again. Four municipalities in the north of Kosovo housing mostly Serbs form part of the debate, euronews reports. The area has not officially been under Kosovan rule since the country declared its independence, an academic told euronews. Hashim Thaci, of Kosovo, and Aleksandar Vucic, of Serbia, appealed for support from the international community on Saturday. Thaci said there was a “short window of opportunity” to redraw the borders.
Toyota-Uber join forces
Toyota has injected $500m into Uber for the development of self-driving cars, a deal which puts the value of the ride-hailing service in the region of $72b, according to the BBC. Reuters says that the two are seen as “lagging the competition”, in the form of Google and Waymo, which are expected to launch their own hail-riding service in Arizona later this year. But it suggests the deal will breathe “new life into” Uber’s self-driving business, on hiatus since an autonomous SUV killed a pedestrian in Arizona and March. The Washington Post reports self-driving cars will be picking up Uber customers as early as 2021.
A frisky bottlenose dolphin prompted a halt to swimming on the north-west coast of France over safety concerns, the BBC reports. Officials were worried that the dolphin, dubbed Zafar, was seeking close contact with swimmers and said a number of bathers had been frightened. Last week, the dolphin reportedly tossed a woman bather into the air with its nose and several bathers said it had prevented them from reaching the shore. Mayor of Landévennec Roger Lars said he issued the bathing ban to “protect people’s security”. The Guardian reported the ban had been lifted on Monday after Zafar had left the area.