Midday Roundup: Australian police thwart ISIS attack just in time
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 9/18/14, 11:58 am
Homegrown threat. A raid by 800 police officers stopped ISIS supporters in Australia from launching a terror operation that would have involved beheading a random person. Authorities said the six people arrested today had clear intent to follow the orders of a senior ISIS official from Australia—so much so that they continued planning the attack even after they knew they were under police surveillance, the Christian Science Monitor reported. Australian Attorney General George Brandis told reporters, “If the ... police had not acted today, there is a likelihood that this would have happened.”
ISIS advancing. While ISIS has to contend with U.S. and allied airstrikes in northern Iraq, across the border in Syria it has succeeded in capturing 16 Kurdish villages in the past 24 hours. The Kurdish militias contending with ISIS in northern Syria are the same forces that last month crossed the border into Iraq and opened a safe passage for members of the ancient Yazidi minority who were under siege. The forces, known locally as YPK, have been the most successful at combating ISIS in the region, so taking over the villages in that area marks a significant ISIS victory.
Bowing out. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will be leaving office at the end of his term, but not because of the drug-use scandals that have plagued his tenure. Doctors reported Wednesday that Ford has a rare form of aggressive cancer spreading through his abdomen. Ford has been hospitalized for a week and is planning to undergo chemotherapy during the next 40 days at Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital. Ford’s brother, Doug Ford, is taking his place in the mayoral campaign. Rob Ford plans to run for city council in his hometown of Etobicoke.
Out of control. Another NFL player was arrested Wednesday on domestic violence accusations, adding yet another chapter to the pro-football league’s saga over player discipline. Arizona Cardinals backup running back Jonathan Dwyer is charged with “aggravated assault causing a fracture” to the mother of his 18-month-old son, Fox News reported. The Cardinals deactivated Dwyer from team activities. Such immediate action is becoming more common against players who are suspected of domestic violence since the league’s PR nightmare over the leaked video of Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice hitting his fiancée. But in ongoing cases that started before the Rice video came out, the NFL continues to be inconsistent. Another Cardinals player, Daryl Washington, is serving probation right now for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Washington has not been punished by the league for the offense, though he is suspended for this season for substance abuse.
Election day. The polls are open in Scotland, and record turnout is expected in the referendum over whether to secede from the United Kingdom. The only two choices on the ballot are “Yes,” for independence, and “No,” for unity with Britain. Anyone 16 and older who is a resident of Scotland and citizen of either Britain, the European Union, or a qualifying British commonwealth can vote. The results of each of the 32 districts will be posted on www.scotlandreferendum.info.
WORLD has published a list of aid agencies assisting displaced Christians in Iraq.