The Mall of America was directly threatened in a recent video from the Somali-based group al-Shabab that is linked to al-Qaeda. The militants threatened various western shopping centers in the United States and the United Kingdom, but they specifically named the major American shopping center as a target. While the Mall is claiming that they know of no credible threats, the Department of Homeland security is urging people to be vigilant as they visit major shopping centers. Analysts in Washington have suggested that this threat is the result of the rivalry between extremist groups al-Qaeda and Islamic State, or ISIS.
The United Nations Commission for Inquiry on Syria is possibly about to release the names of nearly 200 individuals they believe have perpetuated war crimes in the violence-ridden country. The announcement is meant to counter the rise in “atrocities” committed by various groups in Syria in the past several years as civil war has raged on. This goes against their previously stated policy of not revealing the identities of war criminals involved in the conflict. More than 220,000 people have been killed, and nine million Syrians have been displaced as a result of the four year civil conflict.
A total of 2800 prisoners at a south Texas facility are being relocated after a riot left the prison uninhabitable. Inmates in the facility brandished pipes as weapons and set fire to the housing units. Tear gas and nonlethal force were utilized by correctional officers to bring the inmates under control. The prison held mostly low-security offenders and illegal immigrants. No staff members or contract workers were injured and neither of the outside two security fences was breached. A report released last year by the American Civil Liberties Union found that the inmates lived in “squalor” and “crowded living conditions.”
Pyongyang, North Korea
Kim Jong-Un’s government has banned foreigners from participating in the annual marathon in the capital out of fears of the possible spread of Ebola. An estimated 500 travelers were sent to come into the country with one tourism agency alone. The communist nation also cancelled their annual Mass Games, a gymnastics festival, without providing an explanation. While there is little understanding as to why the country is concerned about the spread of the virus as no cases have thus been reported in Asia, North Korea’s healthcare system would be severely underprepared to handle any kind of outbreak should it occur.