Mall security measures reassessed in wake of Kenya terrorist attack; Bo Xilai sentenced to life in prison; typhoon kills 25 in China; dozens dead in attack on Pakistani church; Obama calls for new action on gun violence; and more
Top of the Agenda: Kenya's Mall Standoff Continues
Terrorists from Somalia's al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab stormed an upscale mall in Nairobi this weekend, killing nearly seventy people and taking an unknown number of hostages in what appears to be their final standoff with Kenyan military forces (AP). Al-Shabaab has been routed in Somalia after Kenyan forces entered the troubled country, but the group's cross-border attack demonstrated a resiliency that alarmed Washington (NYT). The deadly attack on the high-end shopping mall has raised new questions on safety at malls around the world, and changes to security procedures are being considered (Reuters).
"Time has come for ensuring that our intelligence gathering systems factor in the Kenyan realities of corruption, tribalism, and the manual nature of our criminals. In other words, our security systems must be designed to anticipate and address the ailments that haunt our national way of doing things," John Walubengo writes in the Daily Nation.
"Since 2011, Kenyan forces allied with Uganda and a handful of other African countries have fought to re-establish Somalia as a bona fide country, ruled by a functioning central government providing a modicum of social services and security to its people. To a surprising degree it has succeeded. It has driven Al Shabab's warlords out of the capital and major cities," Michael Meyer writes in the New York Times.
"[A]s the Westgate atrocity suggests, the radicalization of al-Shabaab under its new hardline leadership may make the final push towards normalization in Somalia the toughest challenge of all. The terrorists are divided and losing ground. But they seem determined to go down fighting," Simon Tisdall writes in the Guardian.
InfoGuide: China's Maritime Disputes
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new interactive series called "InfoGuides." The first guide examines the escalating maritime disputes in the South China and East China Seas, pairing expert analysis with maps, timelines, infographics, and videos. Take a look.
Bo Xilai Sentenced to Life in Prison
Former Communist Party Politburo member Bo Xilai was found guilty of corruption, embezzlement, and abuse of power, and was sentenced to life in prison (WaPo). Bo was a rising star in the party, but his influence unraveled after his wife was connected to the murder of a British businessman.
This Backgrounder explains the history and challenges of China's Communist Party.
CHINA: At least twenty-five people were killed in Guangdong province after typhoon Usagi made landfall (Xinhua). The typhoon damaged 7,100 homes and caused at least $500 million in economic losses.
Attack on Pakistani church leaves dozens dead
Obama calls for new action on gun violence