Dhaka Courier

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi , the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group

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Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi , the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group who presided over its global jihad and became arguably the world’s most wanted man, died after U.S. special operators cornered him during a raid in Syria, President Donald Trump announced. In a national address, Trump described the nighttime airborne raid in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, with American special operations forces flying over heavily militarized territory controlled by multiple nations and forces. No U.S. troops were killed in the operation, Trump said.

The death of al-Baghdadi was a milestone in the fight against IS, which brutalised swathes of Syria and Iraq and sought to direct a global campaign from a self-declared “caliphate.” A yearslong campaign by American and allied forces led to the recapture of the group’s territorial holding, but its violent ideology has continued to inspire attacks.

 

The European Union agreed a 3-month flexible delay to Britain’s departure from the bloc as Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed for an election after opponents forced him to request an extension he had vowed never to ask for. Just days before the United Kingdom was formally due to leave the EU on October 31, Brexit was hanging in the balance as British politicians were no closer to reaching a consensus on how, when or even if the divorce should take place.

Johnson, who became prime minister in July by pledging, ‘do or die’, to deliver Brexit on October 31, was compelled to request a postponement after he was defeated in parliament over the sequencing of the ratification of his divorce deal. The 27 countries that will remain in the EU after Brexit agreed on October 28 to put off Brexit until the end of January with an earlier departure possible should the faction-ridden UK parliament ratify their separation deal.

 

Scientists say they've pinpointed the homeland of all humans alive today to a region south of the Zambezi River. The area is now dominated by salt pans, but was once home to an enormous lake, which may have been our ancestral heartland 200,000 years ago. Our ancestors settled for 70,000 years, until the local climate changed, researchers propose.

They began to move on as fertile green corridors opened up, paving the way for future migrations out of Africa. "It has been clear for some time that anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago," said Prof Vanessa Hayes, a geneticist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia. The area in question is south of the Zambezi basin, in northern Botswana. The researchers think our ancestors settled near Africa's huge lake system, known as Lake Makgadikgadi, which is now an area of sprawling salt flats.

 

Lured by a long-looming stock offering of Saudi Arabia’s massive state-run oil company, investors and business leaders have returned to the kingdom’s capital for an investment forum that was overshadowed last year by the assassination of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Yet drawing big names to the Future Investment Initiative alone does not mean Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s dream of having Saudi Aramco offer a sliver of itself at a $2 trillion valuation will become a reality.

King Salman’s son needs to raise $100 billion required to fund his ambitious development plans for a kingdom desperate to offer jobs to its 34 million people as unemployment remains above 10%. Stagnant global energy prices and a Sept. 14 attack on the heart of Aramco already spooked some. One ratings company downgraded the oil giant, and questions persist over how the IPO will be handled.

  • DhakaCourier
  • World this week
  • Issue 17
  • Vol 36

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