President Trump is to meet with Egyptian President General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi at the White House today, even as el-Sisi faces widespread criticism for human rights abuses in Egypt. Human rights organizations say Sisi and his security forces have arrested tens of thousands of Egyptians and have committed torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. The Trump administration has indicated it will not bring up the human rights abuses during today’s meeting. For more, we go to Cairo, Egypt, to speak with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous.
Russian authorities are reportedly investigating the blast as a possible terrorist attack, although President Vladimir Putin was careful not to call it one.
At least nine people were killed and 47 more injured in a bomb blast Monday afternoon in St. Petersburg’s subway, according to Russia’s health minister. Russian authorities are investigating the explosion as a possible terrorist attack.
The attack happened between two of the busiest metro stations in Russia’s second biggest city, with images and video posted to social media showing a mangled carriage with its doors blown off. Russia’s Anti-Terrorist Committee said a second device was found in a nearby metro station but authorities were able to diffuse it before it went off, according to the Associated Press.
While Russian President Vladimir Putin was careful not to label the attack a terrorist incident earlier in the day, his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev didn’t hold back. He said on Facebook: “All those who were injured in the terrorist attack in St Petersburg metro will receive all the medical help they need.”
US President Donald Trump on Monday put concerns about Egypt’s human rights abuses aside as he welcomed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to the White House.
Ahead of the meeting, senior US officials had said the issue of human rights violations in Egypt would not be addressed publicly, drawing condemnation by rights groups and campaigners protesting against Sisi’s visit.
Speaking to reporters after their meeting, Trump said he strongly backed Sisi’s leadership and that they would work together to fight against “terrorism”.
“I just want to let everybody know that we are very much behind President Sisi; he has done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation,” Trump said.
WAR WITH SPAIN was not on the ballot paper when Britons went to the polls in last year’s referendum and voted to withdraw from the European Union.
But Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to rule out the prospect of military action to defend the British enclave of Gibraltar on Monday, after a former leader of her Conservative Party seemed to suggest that might be necessary to keep Spain from demanding the territory’s return as part of the deal to allow the United Kingdom to trade freely with remaining E.U. members.
Speaking on Sunday, Michael Howard, who is now a member of the House of Lords, suggested that if Spain tried to assert sovereignty over the outpost, the British prime minister could emulate her predecessor, Margaret Thatcher, who used force to keep control of another Spanish-speaking nation, Argentina, from seizing another British enclave, the Falklands.
Russian authorities are hunting for two people suspected of organising and carrying out a bomb blast on a St Petersburg metro train, which killed 10 people and wounded dozens more, and leaving a second explosive device at a metro station.
The explosion occurred at around 2.30pm local time on Monday, after the train had left Sennaya Ploshchad station in the centre of St Petersburg. The driver made the decision to continue to the next station, Tekhnologicheskii Institut, in order to make evacuation easier.
The explosive device had been left inside the carriage, according to law enforcement sources. Those on the train spoke of a blast that was mainly felt in the carriage where it occurred, three from the front of the train.
“I don’t think it was that loud, but then I was wearing headphones,” said Andrei Shurshev, who was in the next carriage along. He told the Russian news site Meduza that after the blast, there were some sparks and dust in his carriage, and a smell of smoke.
“We went to the end of the carriage and got out at the station. In the next carriage there were no lights, and a lot of smoke. People were smashing the windows to get out. I saw a metro employee pulling out an injured person.”