While one attack in the region was thought to have eliminated an Islamic State leader, another by the organization wreaks havoc. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib faces increasing domestic challenges to his rule. Plus an update on trying to reduce the region’s haze.
ISIS doles out a hit as it takes one
Hopes were high, if only for a moment, when it was announced that Iraq’s military struck a convoy that included ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The Iraqi air force carried out the attack while al-Baghdadi’s convoy was en route to attend a senior ISIS leader meeting. While Iraq says several ISIS leaders were killed in attacks on the convoy and the meeting site, al-Baghdadi doesn’t appear to be one of the victims.
Then, in what was a protest against the Turkish government this past Sunday, thousands gathered in Ankara. It was a peaceful rally it was disrupted by two bombs that killed at least 95 people.
Analysts suspect either the Islamic State militant group or Turkish nationalists opposed to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were behind the attack. No group has claimed responsibility — but the government is zeroing in on the Islamic State as the culprit.
Malaysia’s Najib finds himself in more trouble at home
Things continue to go from bad to worse for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The beleaguered prime minister who is facing tough questions over his involvement with the 1MDB fund, a skating rebuke from the nations nine state sultans.
Even with that lack of support, Najib’s government has charged two critics for sabotaging its banking and financial systems. Khairuddin Abu Hassan (the former ruling party United Malays National Organisation division chief) and Mathias Chang (a close aid of former prime minister Mahathir) are being detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA).
Commitment to haze removal called into question
In an effort to try and previous a reoccurrence of this massive problem, the Singapore Environment Council and its Consumers Association of Singapore state they’ve asked more than 3,000 companies to commit to procure wood, paper and pulp material only from sustainable sources, but with lackluster results.