UK Parliament Warns of Cyberattack on Lawmakers’ Accounts

Peter Nicholls

A cyberattack on the British Parliament has caused panic among lawmakers and triggered an investigation. A spokeswoman for the House of Commons said Saturday that “unauthorized attempts to access parliamentary user accounts” had been detected, the Associated Press reported. The National Cyber Security Center is working to secure the computer network, and remote access for lawmakers has been disabled as a precaution, she said. “We have systems in place to protect member and staff accounts and are taking the necessary steps to protect our systems,” she said. Lawmakers had earlier taken to Twitter to sound the alarm over the cyberattack, warning that they would not be able to reply to emails from constituents. No further details were given on the scale of the breach. The incident comes after the country’s National Health Service was hit by an unprecedented ransomware attack in May that forced some hospitals to turn away patients.


Report: U.S. to Remove Iraq, Myanmar From Child Soldiers List

Kevin Lamarque

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to remove Iraq and Myanmar from a list of countries known for using child soldiers after overruling diplomats’ assessments of the situation, Reuters reported. Citing three U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the report said Tillerson’s decision goes against the advice of high-ranking diplomats in Asia and the Middle East who said Myanmar and Iraq should remain on the list of the world’s worst offenders in exploiting child soldiers. Tillerson also shot down an internal proposal to add Afghanistan to the list, the officials said. One official said the decision appeared to have been at least partly motivated by the Pentagon’s desire to not risk jeopardizing assistance for the Iraqi and Afghan militaries in the fight against Islamist groups. The move, to be made public on Tuesday, is expected to bring further scrutiny to how President Trump’s White House is handling human rights issues.


Saudis Thwart Attack on Mecca’s Grand Mosque

Saudi News Agency

Saudi authorities say they foiled a suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca after the bomber blew himself up in a nearby apartment. The Interior Ministry said in a statement read out on state television that an attack had been planned on worshippers and security forces at the mosque during the holy month of Ramadan. But after security forces trapped the attacker on Friday, surrounding him in the center of the city, he detonated his explosives, killing himself and injuring six foreigners and five members of the security forces. Authorities said three cells were involved in the bomb plot, and security forces fatally shot a man earlier in the day at a separate site suspected of serving as an Islamist hideout. Five suspected militants have been arrested in connection with the planned attack.

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Schwarzenegger Targets Trump in Video with Macron

Charles Platiau/Reuters

Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a video with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday targeting President Trump's stance on environmental issues. In the selfie video, which garnered 1 million views in 18 hours, Macron pointedly declares, “We will deliver together to make the planet great again.”

On June 1, Trump announced he will withdrawal the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord, a deal with 145 countries to combat climate change.


Amnesty Granted to 83 ISIS Militants in Raqqa

Goran Tomasevic

Dozens of militants from the so-called Islamic State were pardoned in Raqqa on Saturday, a move described as a goodwill gesture by the civil council that made the decision. The amnesty, which coincides with the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of Ramadan, saw 83 ISIS prisoners transported to the Raqqa City Council, where they were told they'd have a chance to rejoin society. Members of the council handed out sweets and read a speech as the militants—some of them teenagers—stepped out of buses to be reunited with their families. “We would never release senior Daesh officials or anyone who has blood on their hands. We are giving these men a second chance,” Omar Aloush, a senior council member, told Reuters. The council, which is expected to rule Raqqa once ISIS is driven out, says the pardon will promote stability after years of war.


Yemen to Investigate Claims of Abuse at Secret Prisons

Faisal Al Nasser

The Yemeni government said Saturday it would investigate allegations that secret prisons in the south of the country were used to torture and abuse prisoners. The allegations were made in a report last week that said forces backed by the United Arab Emirates were using secret prisons inside military bases, private villas and even a nightclub to operate what was described by Amnesty International as a “network of torture” in the quest to root out al-Qaeda militants. Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr said a six-member committee headed by the justice minister will investigate “human rights allegations in liberated areas.” U.S. defense officials have confirmed that American forces were involved in interrogations at facilities in Yemen but said there was never any evidence of abuse when they were present. Several U.S. senators have called on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to ensure the allegations are investigated on the American side.


Taekwondo Federation Drops 'WTF' Acronym as Name

Stoyan Nenov

The World Taekwondo Federation has rebranded itself to avoid the “negative connotations” of the “WTF” acronym. The organization, which will now be called World Taekwondo, has been known as the World Taekwondo Federation since 1973 but said the rise of social media and the popular “WTF” abbreviation complicated matters. “In the digital age, the acronym of our federation has developed negative connotations unrelated to our organization and so it was important that we rebranded to better engage with our fans,” president Chungwon Choue wrote on the organization’s website. In today’s world, he said, “we must always evolve and adapt to stay relevant and appeal to young and modern audiences.” The new name was announced just in time for the World Taekwondo Championships, which kicked off in South Korea on Saturday.


Turkey Bans Istanbul Gay Pride Parade

Murad Sezer

Turkish authorities have banned the annual Gay Pride parade set to take place in Istanbul on Sunday over “safety concerns.” “There will be no permission for a demonstration or a march on the said date considering the safety of tourists in the area... and public order,” the Istanbul governor’s office said Saturday. Organizers of the event had sought permission to hold it in the city’s Taksim Square at 5 p.m. on Sunday, and there have been calls to hold the event in spite of the ban. But authorities on Saturday cautioned against this. Permission for last year’s march was also denied, and those who defied the city’s order were met with tear gas and rubber bullets.


Six Dead, Over 100 Feared Buried in China Landslide

At least six people were killed and more than 100 reported missing after a landslide in China’s Sichuan province swallowed up homes on Saturday. Sixty-two homes were buried by rocks and boulders after the morning landslide, which is thought to have been caused by heavy rains. Local authorities said at least 112 people remain missing, as rescue workers use bulldozers and sniffer dogs to search for trapped residents. A couple and a baby were among those rescued after being pulled from the rubble and taken to a hospital for treatment earlier on Saturday. With weather forecasters predicting more rain in the area, President Xi Jinping urged rescuers to “spare no effort” in saving survivors. The disaster has been described as the biggest landslide to hit the area since the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.