From ongoing unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and the killing of Hamas leaders in Gaza to Pope Francis’ visit to South Korea and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.
The two are the first infected people who didn’t have contact with the ill traveler
Nigeria’s health ministry confirmed Friday two new cases of Ebola in the country, the first people to come down with the disease who didn’t have direct contact with an infected traveler who brought the virus into the country from nearby Liberia.
Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu said both newly infected people are the spouses of two caregivers who contracted the virus and later died after giving treatment to Patrick Sawyer, the Liberian-American man who flew into the country infected with the virus last month.
Sawyer passed Ebola on to 11 other individuals before he died. The two new infections plus Sawyer bring the total number of Ebola patients in Nigeria during this outbreak to 14, five of whom have died while another five have recovered.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza gunmen killed 18 alleged spies for Israel on Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque and shot after midday prayers, in response to Israel’s deadly airstrikes against top Hamas leaders.
Two of those killed were women, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which called for an immediate halt to what it said were “extra-judicial executions.”
Hamas media portrayed the killings as the beginning of a new crackdown, under the rallying cry of “choking the necks of the collaborators.”
The Al Majd website, which is close to the Hamas security services, said suspects would now be dealt with “in the field” rather than in the courts in order to create deterrence.
The Hamas-run Al Rai said the same punishment would soon be imposed on others.
The killings came a day after an Israeli airstrike on a house in southern Gaza killed three senior military leaders of Hamas.
Earlier in the week, another strike killed the wife and two children of Mohammed Deif, who is in charge of the Hamas military wing. Deif’s fate remains unclear.
Friday’s events began with the shooting of 11 alleged informants at the Gaza City police headquarters in the morning. Of the 11, two were women, the Palestinian rights center said.
Later in the day, seven men were killed outside the city’s downtown al-Omari mosque as worshippers were wrapping up noon prayers. Several dozen people were near the mosque at the time, said one of the witnesses, 42-year-old Ayman Sharif.
Sharif said masked gunmen lined up seven people against a wall. A piece of paper was affixed above the head of each of them, with his initials and his alleged crime.
Sharif quoted one of the gunmen as saying the seven “had sold their souls to the enemy for a cheap price” and had caused killing and destruction.
The commander of the group then gave the order to the others to open fire form their automatic rifles. He said the bodies were collected by an ambulance and the gunmen left.
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian Health Minister Onyebuchi Chukwu says the country has confirmed two new Ebola cases, the first two to have spread beyond those who had direct contact with the ill traveler from Liberia who brought the disease to Nigeria.
Chukwu said Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, that the two new cases are spouses of patients who had direct contact with Liberian-American Patrick Sawyer, who flew into the country last month with the virus and infected 11 others before he died. The two are spouses of caregivers who treated Sawyer, both of whom later died.
These two new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections in Nigeria, including the traveler, to 14. Chukwu says five patients have died, five have recovered and four are being treated in Lagos.
But Moscow warns against interfering with the trucks' crossing
Russia sent dozens of aid trucks into eastern Ukraine on Friday without the Ukrainian government’s approval, the Associated Press reports. This show of defiance, which a Ukrainian security chief called a “a direct invasion,” has increased fears of conflict between Russian forces and the Ukrainian military.
A witness told Reuters that 70 of the 260 white trucks left a Russian convoy that had been stalled at the border for over a week. The breakaway column crossed the border and headed for the rebel-held area of Luhansk, accompanied by some Ukrainian separatist fighters.
The convoy was being held at the border while Kiev and Moscow negotiated the terms of the crossing and discussed the trucks’ contents and the role the International Committee for the Red Cross should play. Both sides had agreed the Red Cross would accompany the vehicles, but an unnamed Ukrainian official told the Interfax news agency that the 70-strong convoy traveled without ICRC escort.
Ukrainian and Western officials are worried Russia may use the convoy as an excuse for Russia to directly intervene in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Moscow, however, has dismissed this as preposterous, saying instead that Friday’s border crossing happened after it had grown impatient with Ukrainian delays.
“All excuses to delay sending aid have been exhausted,” said Russia’s foreign ministry in a statement. “The Russian side has taken the decision to act.” The ministry further warned at any attempts to disrupt the convoy. A spokesperson for the Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been told of the convoy’s advance.
Ukraine has yet to issue an official statement on the crossing.
Russia has repeatedly denied accusations that it has been sending weapons and experts to help separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. The conflict has intensified around the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk recently, with fatalities rapidly rising. All told, the struggle between Ukrainian troops and rebels loyal to Russia for control of eastern Ukraine has been raging for four months. The death toll stands at over 2,000, and many residents are stranded without food, medicine or clean water.
(URALO-KAVKAZ, Ukraine) — Russia sent dozens of aid trucks into rebel-held eastern Ukraine on Friday without Kiev’s approval, saying its patience had worn out with the Ukrainian government’s stalling tactics. Ukraine called the move a “direct invasion.”
The white-tarped semis carrying food, water, generators and sleeping bags sent from Moscow are intended for civilians in the city of Luhansk, where pro-Russian separatists are besieged by government forces. Shelling of the city has been ongoing for weeks, cutting off power, water and phone lines and leaving food supplies scarce.
In the past few days, Ukraine says its troops have recaptured significant parts of Luhansk, the second-largest rebel-held city, and suspicions are running high that Moscow’s humanitarian operation may instead be aimed at halting Kiev’s military momentum. Fierce fighting has been reported both around Luhansk and the largest rebel-held city, Donetsk, with dozens of casualties.
The International Committee of the Red Cross, which had planned to escort the Russian aid convoy to assuage fears that it was being used as a cover for a Russian invasion, said it had not received enough security guarantees to do so.
Ukrainian Security Service chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko told reporters in Kiev on Friday that the Russia move was a “direct invasion” which “happened for the first time under the cover of the Red Cross.”
Nalyvaichenko insisted the men driving the aid trucks were Russian military forces trained to drive combat vehicles and said the half-empty trucks will be used to transport weapons to the rebels and take away the bodies of Russian fighters from eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine had authorized the entrance of a few dozen trucks, but the number of Russian vehicles entering the country through a rebel-held border point was clearly substantially more than the agreed-upon amount. Ukraine has accused Russia of supporting and arming the rebels, a charge Russia denies.
An Associated Press reporter saw a priest blessing the first truck in the convoy at the rebel-held checkpoint and then climbing into the passenger seat. A rebel commander on the scene said 34 trucks had gone through. On the Russia side of the border, an Associated Press reporter saw about 90 trucks going into the border customs zone.
The vehicles’ immediate destination was not known and it was not clear whether Kiev had granted its approval.
“The Russian side has decided to act,” said a statement on the Russian foreign ministry’s website. “Our column with humanitarian aid is starting to move in the direction of Luhansk.”
The Red Cross said in a statement on Twitter that it is not escorting the convoy due to security concerns, as shelling had continued overnight.
“We’ve not received sufficient security guarantees from the fighting parties,” it said.
A rebel commander on the scene who identified himself only by the codename Kot said the trucks were headed for Luhansk.
Shortly after leaving the rebel-held border town of Izvaryne, the convoy left the main road to Luhansk and headed north onto a country road, parking in the village of Uralo-Kavkaz, possibly to avoid areas controlled by Ukrainian troops. In the early afternoon, part of the convoy proceeded further, but more trucks continued to arrive at the village.
The road on which the Russian trucks are traveling appears to be same one also being used by rebel forces. Around lunchtime, around 20 green military supply vehicles were seen traveling in the opposite direction to the convoy. Some were flatbed trucks, while others were fuel tankers.
The trucks from Moscow had been stranded in a customs zone for more than a week since reaching the border, as the two sides battled over where they should enter Ukraine. The Russian foreign ministry voiced increasing frustration at what it said were Kiev’s efforts to stall its delivery, while Ukraine demanded that the trucks enter through a government-controlled border post.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has accused the government in Kiev of shelling residential areas that the convoy would have to pass through, thereby making its onward travel impossible.
“There is increasingly a sense that the Ukrainian leaders are deliberately dragging out the delivery of the humanitarian load until there is a situation in which there will no longer be anyone left to help,” it said Friday in a statement.
In response to the Russian aid convoy, Ukraine’s government mounted its own humanitarian supply operations for those affected by fighting in the east. The rebels have said they will not allow that material to enter their territory.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine began in mid-April, a month after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Black Sea peninsula. It has killed over 2,000 people and forced 340,000 to flee, according to the United Nations.
Laura Mills in Moscow contributed to this report.
Food prices skyrocket overnight after the Monrovia slum is quarantined
A few weeks ago, West Point was merely the worst slum in war-racked Liberia. Today, it is both that and the most notorious urban center of the world’s worst Ebola outbreak.
It is also quarantined from the rest of the Liberian capital Monrovia, and its dank alleyways subject to a nightly curfew. Barricades and barbed wire have gone up, and troops posted. Ships started patrolling the waterfront on Wednesday to further restrict the movement of the 70,000 or so residents. Food prices have skyrocketed. On Thursday, hundreds of people lined up for government handouts of rice and water.
“At the moment West Point is stuck at a standstill and is in an anarchy situation,” Moses Browne of aid group Plan International told the Associated Press.
Over 1,400 people have died in the five-month Ebola outbreak, and Liberia is the country that has been worst hit. Almost a thousand people have been confirmed infected, and more than half of them have already died. Rural Lofa County is worst hit part of the country, but when it was found that Ebola had made its way into West Point, authorities became alarmed.
“There’s a higher risk of contagion for any infectious disease in an environment that is so crowded and that lacks running water and proper sanitation,” Kamalini Lokuge, a research fellow at Australian National University’s College of Medicine, Biology and Environment tells TIME.
With only four toilets, that environment would be West Point.
Adds Lokuge: “Ebola is nowhere as contagious as the flu, but you need to spread knowledge about how it is transmitted in order to control it.”
Over the past week, this has proven to be one of the gravest problems in West Point. On Saturday, a health center was looted and Ebola patients sent running, after a rumor spread that infected people were being brought in from other parts of the country. Others refused to believe the disease existed. “There is no Ebola,” some protesters attacking the clinic shouted.
“There is a high level of disbelief in the government in West Point,” Sanj Srikanthan, the International Rescue Committee’s emergency response director in Liberia, tells TIME. “The government has made a concerted effort to reach out to community leaders, youth groups and churches with the message that the only way to contain the disease is to understand it. But some people still believe Ebola is a conspiracy, and those people we need to reach.”
But even in West Point itself, conveying the gravity of the disease is a challenge. “There’s a degree of anger, people are feeling they are being neglected for others,” Srikanthan says. “This makes it harder to convince people of the seriousness of Ebola.”
Clashes erupted between West Point residents and police when the barricades were first raised and the 9 pm to 6 am curfew imposed, and the area is still tense.
On Thursday, senior United Nations officials arrived in Africa to oversee the Ebola response, including Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s pointman David Nabarro. Srikanthan, like other aid workers, believe the presence of dignitaries is of utmost importance .
“This is a forgotten corner of the world facing an unprecedented situation,” he said. “This is still a containable outbreak, but local resources are simply overwhelmed. It would be great to see some recognizable faces taking control over certain aspects of the response.”
He also believes that the situation is not entirely hopeless.
“The situation may be catastrophic, but it is one that can be turned around,” he says. “I think the risks have been overhyped, and that even humanitarians are, to an extent, affected by the fears reported by media. Being in Monrovia, you’re not necessarily going to get Ebola, it’s not airborne.”
New Delhi needs more firepower to protect its stake in the Indian Ocean, defense experts say
The Indian navy will add another warship into its rapidly expanding fleet over the weekend as it seeks to counter China’s growing supremacy on the high seas of the Indo-Pacific.
The INS Kamorta, which Indian officials are lauding as the nation’s first domestically built antisubmarine warship, will be unveiled to the public on Saturday during a ceremony at a naval dockyard in the eastern seaboard city of Visakhapatnam.
Earlier this month, newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi christened the nation’s newest naval destroyer, the INS Kolkata, which in turn followed the commissioning of India’s second aircraft carrier late last year. India’s navy is currently the only Asian maritime force in possession of two aircraft carriers and is scheduled to add a third in 2017.
According to defense experts, the commissioning of the Kamorta, the first of four such antisubmarine vessels that New Delhi is building, will provide additional muscle to protect its growing stake in the Indian Ocean.
“India wants to project power into the Indian Ocean region. It wants that to be its area of influence,” James Hardy, the Asia-Pacific editor at IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, tells TIME.
To date, approximately 70% of all petroleum products and 50% of international container traffic pass through the Indian Ocean — making the body of water one of the world’s most strategically valuable maritime zones.
The waters are also highly coveted by Beijing, which has invested heavily in a network of commercial ports in the region that some politicians on the subcontinent fear may be a sly ploy to encircle India.
“India is extremely aware of the potential threat of Chinese expansion into the Indian Ocean region,” says Hardy.
“Undoubtedly China is moving into the Indian Ocean commercially because … it needs to protect those sea lanes. It needs to protect its oil routes.”
In December, China sent a nuclear submarine to the Indian Ocean where the vessel stayed for two months conducting an antipiracy patrol.
The country has declared Aug. 22 its national day of mourning, but some are already focusing on the next step: seeking justice
Malaysia came to a standstill Friday morning as the first remains of its nationals killed on the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 were received with a minute of silence.
Relatives gathered with political dignitaries on the tarmac of Kuala Lumpur International Airport for a solemn reception of the caskets. Others waited at domestic airports across the country, to which some of the bodies would be forwarded.
They were also waiting a little over a month ago, when the ill-fated jetliner was scheduled to land, but the difference was that then their loved ones were alive, and they were expecting to be reunited with them for the Eid al-Fitr festivities.
“Although we are sad, we thank God that the government has taken care of this process in such a good way,” says Zulrusdi bin Haji Mohamad Hol, who was waiting for the remains of his cousin Ariza Ghazalee and her son in the city of Kuching. “We hope maybe the remains of the rest of the family will arrive on Sunday.”
For a long time, it was not sure whether they would get them back at all.
On July 17, when MH 17 was shot down over Ukraine, 298 people were killed. Two-thirds of the passengers were from the Netherlands, where the flight originated, and 44 were Malaysians — the second largest nationality. But the horror in Malaysia was aggravated by the fact that the incident occurred only four months after another Malaysia Airlines aircraft, MH 370, disappeared without a trace over the South China Sea.
People demanded an immediate recovery of the bodies, not least because of the Islamic requirement of prompt burials. Instead, they were shocked to hear that the crash site was being raided and international investigators obstructed, by the same pro-Russian rebels who were widely blamed for the missile strike.
“I’m very angry,” Zulrusdi said at the time. “They’re inhumane, they don’t understand. First they murder our relatives, then they keep the corpses with them.”
It therefore came as a great relief when a Malaysian delegation to Ukraine managed to negotiate with the separatists for the safe removal of bodies from the scene. And yet: “There is no feeling of closure, since people still don’t understand how two planes could be lost in only a few months,” says James Chin, professor of political science at Monash University Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.
He says that Aug. 22, declared the country’s “national day of sorrow,” will at least be an opportunity for people to pay their respects to the victims. “Now we can move on to the second stage,” he adds, referring to the criminal investigation led by a Dutch team. “Everyone is looking forward to the release of their interim report at the end of this year.”
Ten Dutch prosecutors and 200 police officers are currently piecing together the case. It’s the biggest criminal investigation ever conducted in the Netherlands, although it hasn’t been confirmed what the exact charges are.
“Of course murder, but we also have the crime of ‘wrecking an airplane’,” Wim de Bruin from the Dutch prosecution service told BBC. “And we could use international criminal law — that would mean possible charges of war crimes, torture and genocide.”
When a Pan Am plane was blown up over Lockerbie, in Scotland, in 1988, it took three years to finish the investigation and another seven for the trial. In contrast to MH 17, that incident didn’t take place over a region wrecked by war — a fact that considerably complicates the current probe.
While the recovery of the black box, photos from the scene, satellite images and information from air-traffic control have made them optimistic of publishing a preliminary report already within two weeks, the international team of 25 air-crash investigators still hasn’t been able to access the crash site. Counterterrorism experts fear that doing so might put the effort of retrieving the bodies at risk.
Meanwhile, a second aircraft carrying caskets is expected at Kuala Lumpur International Airport soon. But several Malaysian victims remain unaccounted for, since only 30 have been identified so far. Zulrusdi says he will keep praying that they will all return, and that peace and justice can be found.
“Of course justice must be done,” he says, “not only for us, but for our country and for the world.”
Analysts say Erdogan wants to install a friendly prime minister so that he can still largely control the government from behind the scenes
(ANKARA, Turkey) — Recep Tayyip Erdogan named Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as his successor as prime minister on Thursday, with expectations high that the man who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade will stay in charge once he is president.
Erdogan has indicated that he plans to maintain tight control of the government and wants to transform the largely ceremonial presidency. He has said he intends to employ its seldom-used powers, such as summoning and presiding over Cabinet meetings. As Turkey’s first popularly-elected president, Erdogan takes office Aug. 28.
Erdogan announced after a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party that party leaders had chosen Davutoglu, 55, to replace him as its new chairman and prime minister. Davutoglu, who has steered Turkish foreign policy both as foreign minister and as Erdogan’s adviser since 2003, is expected to be confirmed as party chairman at the party’s extraordinary congress next week.
“If he’s confirmed as chairman … Ahmet Davutoglu will be the candidate for prime minister for the Republic of Turkey’s 62nd government,” Erdogan told members of his party, who then stood up and cheered.
Davutoglu, a former professor of international relations, is considered a strong Erdogan loyalist and was long reported to be Erdogan’s top choice as his successor. Analysts say Erdogan wants to install a friendly prime minister so that he can still largely control the government from behind the scenes.
In an early sign that he would remain loyal to Erdogan, Davutoglu said that if his appointment as prime minister is confirmed, he would stand “like a rock” against those standing in Turkey’s way. His comment came minutes after Erdogan said he hoped that as premier, Davutoglu would press ahead with a crackdown on followers of a moderate Islamic movement led by a U.S.-based cleric. Erdogan accuses the group of attempting to topple the government by orchestrating corruption allegations against members of his inner circle.
Davutoglu is also known as an astute politician capable of leading the party to victory in parliamentary elections in June 2015, when Erdogan hopes to secure a strong majority that would allow the party to rewrite the constitution and change Turkey’s political system to a presidential one.
Davutoglu’s record as foreign minister, however, has been a mixed one.
Praised in his early years in office for efforts to befriend Turkey’s old foes and raise the country’s international profile, critics say his “zero problems with neighbors” policy has since unraveled, leavingTurkey with very few allies in the Middle East.
Thursday’s development sidelines President Abdullah Gul, who was once considered a possible candidate for prime minister in a job swap with Erdogan. He has publicly split with Erdogan, including recently over the government’s attempts to shut down Twitter and YouTube in Turkey.