Here is a round-up of the top developments around the world today.
1. Gunbattles erupt during protest of Beirut blast probe; 6 die
Heavy gunfire broke out Thursday in Beirut during a protest organised by the Hezbollah group against the judge leading the probe into last year’s blast in the city’s port. At least six people were killed and dozens wounded in the most violent street fighting in the Lebanese capital in years. The chaos raised the specter of a return to sectarian violence in a country already embroiled in multiple crises, including one of the world’s worst economic crises of the past 150 years.
2. Bill Clinton hospitalised
Former US President Bill Clinton was hospitalised on Tuesday in California with a suspected blood infection, CNN reported on Thursday. CNN said Clinton, 75, was in the intensive care unit, primarily to give him privacy, and he was not on a breathing machine, according to doctors treating the former president at University of California Irvine Medical Center, California. His condition is not related to his previous heart problems or COVID-19, CNN said.
3. Microsoft shutting down LinkedIn app in China amid scrutiny
Microsoft is shutting down its main LinkedIn service in China later this year as Beijing tightens its internet rules. The company said in a blog post Thursday it has faced a “significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.” Microsoft is the latest American tech giant to lessen its ties to the country after years of trying to tailor its services to the demands of government censors.
4. Pakistan Airlines suspends Afghan operations, citing Taliban interference
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) suspended flights to Kabul on Thursday after what it called heavy-handed interference by Taliban authorities. The suspension took place as the Taliban government ordered the airline, the only international carrier operating regularly out of the Afghan capital, to cut ticket prices to the levels of before the fall of the Western-backed Afghan government in August.
“We are suspending our flight operations to Kabul from today because of the heavy-handedness of the authorities,” a PIA spokesman said. Earlier, the Taliban warned PIA and Afghan carrier Kam Air that their Afghan operations risked being blocked unless they agreed to cut prices that have spiralled out of the reach of most Afghans.
5. Norway bow-and-arrow attack appears to be ‘act of terror’, say police
A bow-and-arrow attack in which a Danish convert to Islam is suspected of killing five people in a Norwegian town appears to have been an “act of terror”, police said on Thursday. Investigators named the suspect as Espen Andersen Braathen, a 37-year-old living in the Kongsberg municipality where the attacks took place on Wednesday evening. A police attorney told Reuters that Braathen had acknowledged killing the victims. His lawyer confirmed only that Braathen was cooperating with police and giving a detailed statement. Police had been concerned about signs of radicalisation in the suspect before the attacks, carried out with a bow and arrow and other weapons, a senior officer said.