The Boston Globe - 08.08.2019

(Joyce) #1

THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2019 The Boston Globe A

The World

MOSCOW — The city’s om-
budsman for children’s rights
and members of a presiden-
tial council have expressed
outrage over Russian prosecu-
tors trying to take a 1-year-old
boy from his parents because
they allegedly brought him to
an unauthorized protest.
The ombudsman, Yevgeny
Bunimovich, denounced the
custody removal request pros-
ecutors filed Tuesday as ‘‘po-
litical blackmail involving
children’’ and said he wrote
Moscow’s chief prosecutor to
urge dropping a criminal case
against the parents.
Prosecutors alleged in a
court petition seeking the
withdrawal of parental rights
that Olga and Dmitri Proka-
zov endangered their son by
taking him to a July 27 pro-
test rally and handing the

child to a man who is now be-
ing sought on charges of orga-
nizing mass riots.
Speaking Tuesday on
independent Dozhd TV, Dmi-
tri Prokazov said his family
was on a walk in central Mos-
cow at the time of the rally
but did not participate in the
Members of the presiden-
tial human rights council also
criticized the custody peti-
tion, which is part of a slew of
criminal cases launched in
the wake of protests challeng-
ing the Kremlin.
Police aggressively cracked
down on the July 27 rally pro-
testing the exclusion of oppo-
sition candidates from Mos-
cow’s city council election and
on another demonstration a
week later.


NAIROBI — A Kenyan law-
maker was kicked out of the
parliamentary chamber on
Wednesday for bringing her
infant daughter in with her, in
a move that drew outrage from
some fellow politicians and the
The lawmaker, Zuleikha
Hassan, said she took her baby
with her to work at the Nation-
al Assembly in Nairobi, the
Kenyan capital, after an emer-
gency had left her without
child care.
“I said, ‘Why should I stay
at home and not go to work,
just because of the baby?’ ” she
said. “Why should they crimi-
nalize having a baby? So, I
said, ‘I’m going to Parliament
with a baby.’ ”

She also lamented the lack
of child care facilities at the
government buildings, and
said that with more young
women getting into the work-
force, “the spaces have to be
more sensitive, especially for
younger women who are in
childbearing age.”
In video from inside the
chamber, a baby’s soft bab-
bling can be heard in the back-
ground as the speaker of Par-
liament demands that Hassan
Those who demanded Has-
san’s removal cited a rule that
bans “strangers” — people oth-
er than elected members — in-
side the chamber, saying the
regulation applies to children.


BEIJING — China said
Wednesday that it is banning
Chinese movies and actors
from participating in Taiwan’s
Golden Horse Awards, one of
the Asian film industry’s most
prestigious honors, as Beijing
ramps up economic and politi-
cal pressure on the island it
claims as its own territory.
The announcement on the
microblog of China Film News,
a newspaper affiliated with the
government film regulator,
gave no reason for the suspen-
sion, but it comes amid rising
tensions over Taiwan’s refusal
to recognize being part of Chi-
nese territory to eventually be

brought under Beijing’s rule.
Even without the ban, Chi-
nese artists might have found
it difficult to make it to the
Nov. 23 ceremony. Beijing re-
cently issued a ban on solo
travel to the island beginning
Sept. 1 as part of measures to
inflict an economic cost.
Chinese participation was
already in doubt following last
year’s ceremony, which was
marked by Chinese displea-
sure over remarks in an accep-
tance speech by documentary
director Fu Yue calling on the
world to recognize Taiwan as
an independent country.


ROME — Gregory Peck and
Audrey Hepburn perched
there without a care in the
1953 film ‘‘Roman Holiday.’’
But the Spanish Steps in
Rome are no longer a place
for sitting.
Enforcing an ordinance
that took effect last month,
police officers patrolled the
famed stone staircase
Wednesday to tell locals and
visitors ‘‘please, no sitting’’ on
one of the Eternal City’s
most recognizable land-
The 137 steps built in the
1720s have long been a popu-
lar spot to people-watch, hang
out, and pause for a breath.
Rome’s official tourism web-
site describes the steps as a

passageway ‘‘but even more so
a place for meeting and a
pleasant rest.’’
But as of July 8, sitting,
eating, and drinking on them
is illegal and can result in a
fine of up to $450.
The ordinance also applies
to other photogenic sites
in Rome, like the Trevi Foun-
Watching officers motion
for seated visitors to get up,
Italian tourist Tommaso Gal-
letta said he disagreed with
the sitting ban.
‘‘This monument is so
beautiful. There was a child
sitting who was tired, sitting
down with his father a few
minutes ago, and the traffic
officer asked them to stand

up,’’ Galletta said.
Others took no issue with
the ban.
‘‘If we have to follow the

regulation, we have to follow
it,’’ said Jurgen Meier, a Ger-
man tourist.


PARIS — Health officials in
Paris said Wednesday that a
young boy needs medical moni-
toring because tests conducted
after the Notre Dame Cathedral
fire showed that he was at risk
of lead poisoning.
The child doesn’t need treat-
ment yet, the Regional Health
Authority said in a statement
Tuesday. Checks are being con-
ducted to determine whether
the lead came from the April 15
fire or another source.
The child’s school, near the
cathedral, was closed in July
due to high lead levels found on
its grounds.
A total of 162 children have
been tested for lead in Paris af-
ter hundreds of tons of lead in
Notre Dame’s spire and roof
melted in the blaze. Sixteen of
those were deemed to be just
short of being ‘‘at risk.’’.
The results ‘‘show, on the
one hand, the need to keep
cleaning to limit the risk of ex-
posure of the children to lead
and, on the other hand, the im-
portance of extending blood
tests,’’ the health authority said.
Authorities in June recom-
mended blood tests for chil-
dren under 7 and pregnant
women who live near Notre



Daily Briefing

The Canadian police said
Wednesday that they believe
they have located the bodies of
two teenagers suspected of
killing three people in an iso-
lated stretch of British Colum-
Kam McLeod, 19, and Bry-
er Schmegelsky, 18, had been
the subject of an intense two-
week manhunt that riveted the
country. An autopsy was un-
derway to confirm their identi-
ties, Assistant Commissioner
Jane MacLatchy, the com-
manding officer of the Manito-
ba Royal Canadian Mounted
Police, said at a news confer-
ence. But she said the police
were confident the bodies
were the teenagers.
The bodies were found in

northern Manitoba, the police
said. MacLatchy said the in-
vestigation had a break-
through Friday after police of-
ficers discovered personal
items belonging to the sus-
pects on the shorelines of the
Nelson River.
The discovery of the per-
sonal items led the police into
a dense area of brush, where
they found the bodies, the as-
sistant commissioner said.
The teenagers were sus-
pects in the deaths of Leonard
Dyck, a 64-year-old University
of British Columbia lecturer,
and a young couple: Lucas
Fowler, 23, an Australian, and
Chynna Deese, 24, an Ameri-


By Fahim Abed, Fatima
Faizi, and Mujib Mashal
KABUL — A powerful Tali-
ban truck bomb exploded
Wednesday outside a police sta-
tion in Kabul, the Afghan capi-
tal, killing 14 people and injur-
ing at least 145 others as peace
negotiations between the mili-
tants and US diplomats were
The explosion, following re-
peated warnings from the Unit-
ed Nations about rising civilian
casualties, was the latest to
strike a heavily populated area
during the morning rush hour.
The blast sent plumes of thick
smoke into the sky, wrecked the

police station and a nearby ar-
my recruitment center, and
shattered windows within a ra-
dius of about a mile.
Violence has intensified in
recent months across Afghani-
stan as the opposing sides in
the peace talks try to turn bat-
tlefield blows into gains in ne-
gotiations over the country’s
political future. Often, even
heavily populated urban cen-
ters like Kabul feel like battle-
grounds in a war that lost clear
front lines long ago.
An agreement between the
Taliban and the United States is
expected to be finalized soon
and result in a schedule for the
conditional withdrawal of the
remaining 14,000 US troops
and their NATO partners from
Afghanistan. In return, the Tali-
ban have pledged to prevent
terrorist attacks against the
United States and its allies from

Afghan soil.
But as the talks continue,
the violence worsens. The Unit-
ed Nations said July was the
deadliest month in Afghanistan
in the last few years, with 1,
civilians killed or wounded.
While theUnited Nations
blamed last month’s increase
on large Taliban explosions, it
said in an earlier report that Af-
ghan forces and their US allies
were responsible for more civil-
ian deaths than the Taliban
during the first six months of
the year.
In a sign of how widespread
the violence is, Afghan security
forces conducted nearly 100
large military operations, small
commando raids, and airstrikes
across about a dozen of the
country’s 34 provinces in the
last 24 hours, the defense min-
istry said, adding that it had
killed at least 84 Taliban fight-

ers and wounded dozens of oth-
Both sides often exaggerate
casualty tolls, which are diffi-
cult to verify independently.
Most of the operations by Af-
ghan forces, which are heavily
reliant on US air power, happen
in the countryside. On a daily
basis, Afghan and American
planes strike Taliban targets,
which are often mixed in with
The Taliban use a different
deadly tactic: truck bombs and
suicide attacks, often in urban
In a city like Kabul, which
has ballooned into a metropolis
of about 5 million people, even
a truck bomb rammed into a
military target often leaves
enormous civilian casualties.
Afghan officials said civilians
accounted for more than two-
thirds of the casualties in

Wednesday’s attack.
It was the second time over
the past two years that the same
area in western Kabul — home
to a police station and a recruit-
ment center for the Afghan ar-
my — has been targeted in huge
bombings. The offices, as well
as the civilian areas around
them, had only recently been
rebuilt after the prior bombing.
The attack came after a
tense night across Kabul, with
explosions heard in several
parts of the city past midnight.
The Afghan intelligence agency
said Wednesday morning in a
statement that it had raided
three cells of the Islamic State
group in different parts of the
suspected bomb-makers.
Although the Taliban are re-
sponsible for much of the war’s
insurgent violence, a small affil-
iate of the Islamic State has

gained a stubborn foothold in
the country’s east and has as-
serted that it carried out repeat-
ed suicide attacks in urban cen-
The violence is intensifying
as US diplomats are working
out the final details of a prelimi-
nary agreement with the Tali-
ban in the Qatari capital, Doha.
A deal would pave the way for
immediate direct negotiations
between the Taliban and other
Afghans over the political fu-
ture of the country.
While the United States
seems to have assured that ele-
ment of its peace plan — direct
negotiations between the Tali-
ban and other Afghans, includ-
ing the government, after the
announcement of a schedule
for troop withdrawals — there
is little clarity on the US de-
mand for a comprehensive

Taliban suicide blast in Kabul kills 14, hurts 145

Attack occurs as

militants sit with

US to talk peace


READY FOR THE HAJJ —Muslim pilgrims prayed on Wednesday around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi
Arabia’s holy city of Mecca before the start of the annual pilgrimage. More than 1.8 million Muslims are taking part.

Police kept people on their toes Wednesday on Rome’s
Spanish Steps. The city says it’s protecting its history.
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