KW 41: Interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 leaves Afghanistan, Germany probes far-right incidents in military guard unit, Antisemitic attack on former Israeli soldier in Berlin

NEWS

Interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 leaves Afghanistan: An Afghan interpreter who helped rescue then- Sen. Joe Biden in 2008 when his helicopter made an emergency landing in Afghanistan has escaped from the country. After weeks in hiding, Aman Khalili said he and his family left Afghanistan last week, crossing the border into Pakistan, part of a slow exodus of Afghans trying to avoid living under Taliban rule. Since August, he had been appealing for help overcoming visa issues to leave. He now joins thousands of Afghans who have fled the country to escape living under Taliban rule.
wsj.com, bbc.com

Germany probes far-right incidents in military guard unit: A company of the German military’s honor guard battalion has been suspended from official duty amid an investigation of initiation rituals, suspected sexual abuse and far-right incidents, the German Defense Ministry said Friday. The company has been suspended from official events “until further notice” while the allegations are being investigated, ministry spokesman Arne Collatz told reporters in Berlin. He stressed that the ministry is pursuing a “no-tolerance” policy. The group reportedly refers to itself as the „wolf pack“ (Wolfsrudel) and is also being scrutinized for its initiation rituals and sexual abuse.
washingtonpost.com, dw.com

Antisemitic attack on former Israeli soldier in Berlin: An ex-Israeli soldier was assaulted outside a train station in Berlin by unknown assailants, police said Saturday, calling it an antisemitic attack. The 29-year-old man, a resident of Berlin, was wearing a pullover with the Israel Defense Forces logo when the incident took place on Friday evening. He was approached by someone in the east of the German capital and was asked about his faith, the police said in a statement. „Suddenly, (the attacker) sprayed irritant in his face and pushed him to the ground,“ they said. Authorities have opened an investigation into the incident on suspicion of „politically motivated bodily harm.“
dw.com

Turkey changes its refugee policy – „If the border guards catch us, they beat us with sticks“: Turkey is making a U-turn in its refugee policy and starting illegal deportations, as a reaction to growing resentment among the population. „If the Turkish border guards catch us, they beat us with sticks and send us back to Iran,“ an Afghan said recently. The illegal pushbacks mark a radical turn in Turkey’s refugee policy. The country is building walls, watchtowers and surveillance facilities at its border with Iran. The aim is to keep out Afghans, thousands of whom have fled to Turkey via Iran since the Taliban took power. Hundreds of thousands of Afghans already live in Turkey, along with almost four million refugees from Syria. In an address to the nation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was aware that there was resentment among the population. However, riots against refugees would not be tolerated. Erdogan also insisted on the EU’s responsibility.
tagesspiegel.de

Ethiopian army starts ground attack on rebellious Tigray forces: Ethiopia’s national army launched a ground offensive against forces from the northern region of Tigray on Monday, the region’s ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) said. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office did not explicitly confirm the news, which follows widespread speculation that a major military push is imminent, but said the government had an obligation to protect citizens from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
reuters.com, france24.com

Merkel honors Holocaust victims, vows German commitment to Israel reuters.com
Counter-insurgency with German weapons: „Tribunal“ against Heckler & Koch heise.de
Ethiopia is deliberately starving its own citizens economist.com
Iraq captures ISIS finance chief and former deputy leader Sami Jasim al-Jaburi cbsnews.com
Protests in Myanmar: When monks take up arms faz.net

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

An estimated 200,000 firearms are illegally trafficked in from the United States every year, according to the US government. Between 70% and 90% of firearms found at crime scenes in Mexico are traced back to the US.
npr.org

BACKGROUND

China’s President Xi Jinping calls for „reunification“ with Taiwan: Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed on Saturday to realize peaceful “reunification” with Taiwan, though did not directly mention the use of force after a week of tensions with the Chinese-claimed island that sparked international concern. Taiwan responded shortly after by calling on Beijing to abandon its coercion, reiterating that only Taiwan’s people could decide their future. Democratically ruled Taiwan has come under increased military and political pressure from Beijing to accept its sovereignty, but Taipei has pledged to defend their freedom.
nbcnews.com

Poison gas attacks at schools in Zambia – over 100 students injured: A series of mysterious poison gas attacks that began several years ago seems to be continuing in Zambia. An unknown person had thrown a bottle into a classroom at Buyantashi Technical School in Chingola in northern Zambia. The students first thought it was a perfume bottle. However, after opening it, they complained of headaches, coughing, chest pains and eventually shortness of breath. 136 students went to hospital and the police started an investigation. The attack at the end of September shows that the series of gas attacks that already hit Zambia in 2019 and 2020 is apparently not over yet. More than 600 attacks were recorded then. Mostly, unknown persons rendered their victims unconscious with a poisonous spray and then attacked them. Over 50 deaths have been recorded so far, some of them the attackers themselves, killed by angry vigilante groups. The new president had promised to reunite and reconcile Zambia. Now the government has to show that it can act more successfully than the previous government. The president is „shaken“, said Elisha Matambo, minister for the Copperbelt region, and announced intensive investigations. Education experts and church leaders are now also pushing for the government to do something about the incidents.
taz.de

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service uses controversial cyberweapon: German security agencies are apparently using the controversial Israeli spy software Pegasus more extensively than previously known. According to information from ZEIT, SZ, WDR and NDR, the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) also uses Pegasus to spy abroad. The Chancellor’s Office is reportedly in the loop and has authorized the use. Redditors had revealed in mid-September that the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) had acquired Pegasus and has been using it to spy on suspects‘ mobile phones since the beginning of the year. With the BND, a second NSO customer is now becoming known in Germany. The spying software has fallen into disrepute since it was proven that it is used to track not only criminals but also innocent people on a large scale. In July, an international consortium of journalists, led by the media organization Forbidden Stories, revealed how Pegasus is systematically misused by several intelligence and police agencies to monitor women journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and politicians. The Israeli company NSO, which developed Pegasus, denies the allegations of abuse. According to ZEIT research, a delegation from Israel had traveled to Wiesbaden in autumn 2017 to demonstrate the software to the BKA. The German criminologists were enthusiastic about the capabilities of the program, which is classified as a cyberweapon. However, lawyers raised objections, saying that the software was too powerful. Moreover, it was unclear what would happen to the data in Israel. After discussions between the interior ministry and the BKA, officials decided at the time not to acquire the cyberweapon. Both Green and FDP politicians have spoken out against the use of the cyberweapon several times. Pegasus is „a nightmare for the rule of law“, said Konstantin von Notz, deputy leader of the Green parliamentary group.
zeit.de

QUOTE

„Afghanistan is a country that triggers debates and emotions in Germany.“
said German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.
rnd.de

SECURE?

Impatient man fakes a murder: That back pain must have been „murderous“. A 50-year-old man called the police and said that he had stabbed his uncle. As a result, several patrol cars, an emergency doctor and an ambulance immediately drove to Steinheim an der Murr, north of Stuttgart, where the emergency services didn’t find a corpse, but two impatient men. The man who had called didn’t want to spend a long time waiting for an ambulance for his uncle and decided to pose as a murderer. After the two men had waited for an hour for a doctor on Saturday evening, the nephew had made up the murder out of impatience. According to the police, the 50-year-old now has to answer for pretending to commit a crime, and investigators are also checking whether he has to pay for the police operation.
spiegel.de

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