Grasswire Digest: March 18

A round-up of news from Grasswire and elsewhere.

On Grasswire

VTM raid Molenbeek2Belgium

The man accused of planning the Paris attacks has been captured in Brussels, officials said on Friday.

Police arrested Salah Abdeslam and an accomplice during a series of raids in the capital. Theo Francken, Belgium’s Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, confirmed Abdeslam was captured. A third suspect was arrested on Friday evening.


Migrant Crisis

Turkey and the European Union struck a deal Friday aimed at preventing migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea, declaring that those arriving on Greek shores will be returning to Turkey beginning on Sunday.

The deal hinges on a provision where up to 72,000 Syrian asylum seekers who traveled to Greece will be returned to Turkey. In exchange, the EU has agreed to resettle up to 72,000 Syrian asylum seekers directly from Turkey.


North Korea

North Korea fired two missiles into the Sea of Japan early Friday morning, South Korean military and U.S. defense officials have said.

The medium-range missiles were fired around 5:55 a.m. from South Pyongan province. One of the missiles flew about 700 kilometers (435 miles) overland toward the sea off the country’s east coast, the second was detected by radar but disappeared at an altitude of about 17 kilometers (11 miles), the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

Snyder and McCarthy testify: Saul Loeb/Getty Images


Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy continued to disagree where the most blame lies during their Congressional hearings on the Flint water crisis.

Lawmakers interrogated Snyder and McCarthy about their involvement in city’s water crisis on Thursday.

In case you missed it

Kurdish militant group TAK (Kurdistan Freedom Falcons) claimed responsibility for Sunday’s Ankara car bomb that killed 37 people in the Turkish capital.

A Kurd-led conference on Thursday voted to accept draft terms for the establishment of an autonomous federation in northern Syria, a further step towards a final declaration of a federal state within the country.

University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor by North Korea’s Supreme Court on Wednesday for trying to steal a propaganda sign.

Singer Frank Sinatra Jr. passed away Wednesday at the age of 72 due to cardiac arrest prior to a performance at Daytona Beach’s Peabody Auditorium.

SeaWorld Entertainment announced Thursday that it will end its long-running orca breeding program.

General interestingness

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The Last Word


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