Some schools re-opened in Indian-administered Kashmir this week but few students turned up amid ongoing tensions over the Indian government's shock decision to strip the region of its special status two weeks ago. A lockdown remains largely in place in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley but authorities said they were re-opening nearly 200 primary schools in Srinagar, the largest city.
However, classrooms at schools visited by reporters mostly appeared empty. Parents said that they were worried about safety. Despite the security clampdown in Kashmir, there have been frequent protests against the loss of special status and some have turned violent. The government began partially restoring landline connectivity over the weekend, but mobile networks and the internet remained switched off as more protests were reported.
Sudan’s main opposition coalition and the ruling military council have signed a final power-sharing agreement, paving the way for a transitional government after the overthrow of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir. The Transitional Military Council (TMC) has ruled Sudan since April, when the military ousted Bashir after months of protests against his rule during which dozens of demonstrators were killed.
The council and the main opposition alliance, known as the Forces of Freedom and Change (FFC), have been negotiating the power-sharing deal for months. The declaration builds on a landmark power-sharing deal signed in July and provides for a joint civilian-military ruling body to oversee the formation of a transitional civilian government and parliament to govern for a three-year transition period.
An Iranian supertanker with $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects is tied to a sanctioned organization left Gibraltar and was heading east into the Mediterranean Sea on Monday, with its next destination reported to be Greece. The Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, set course for Kalamata, Greece, with an estimated arrival on Aug 25. It wasn’t immediately clear why the tanker would be heading there or whether the destination could change.
The vessel left Gibraltar late Sunday after having been detained for a month in the British overseas territory for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria. Gibraltar authorities rejected attempts by the U.S. to seize the oil tanker again, arguing that EU regulations are less strict than U.S. sanctions on Iran.
With poetry, moments of silence and political speeches about the urgent need to fight climate change, Icelandic officials, activists and others bade goodbye to what once was a glacier. Icelandic geologist Oddur Sigurðsson pronounced the Okjokull glacier extinct about a decade ago. But on Sunday he brought a death certificate to the made-for-media memorial.
After about 100 people made a two-hour hike up a volcano, children installed a memorial plaque to the glacier, now called just “Ok,” minus the Icelandic word for glacier. The glacier used to stretch six square miles (15 square kilometers), Sigurdsson said. Residents reminisced about drinking pure water thousands of years old from Ok. This was Iceland’s first glacier to disappear. Sigurdsson said all of the nation’s ice masses will be gone in 200 years.