Grasswire Digest: March 19

A round-up of news from Grasswire and elsewhere.

On Grasswire

Istiklal Stree


At least five people were killed in a suicide bombing in a major shopping and tourist district in central Istanbul, according to Turkish officials.

The bomb struck Istikal Street, one of the busiest shopping areas in the city, at around 10:55 a.m.



FlyDubai flight 981 from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don crashed while attempting to land on Saturday. All 62 aboard the flight are presumed dead, and the cause of the crash is not yet known.

A statement by FlyDubai CEO Ghaith al Ghaith said the flight crashed at 00:50 GMT, and was carrying 55 passengers and 7 crew members. Emergency crews have been working at the site and have successfully recovered the plane’s two black boxes. The flight was operated by a Boeing 737-800 (tail number A6-FDN) which is approximately five years old.


Saudi Arabia

At least 19 people have died and 25 others were injured after a bus carrying 43 Egyptians crashed in Saudi Arabia, according to Egyptian media.



At least 30 refugees and migrants drowned close to the western shores of Libya after the boats they were in capsized, according to Libyan and Italian media.

Four bodies were recovered while others are still missing, the Libya Observer reports. Libya’s coast guard reported that over 500 people were rescued from three boats, and that three other boats sank.



Paris attack suspect Salah Abdeslam has been charged with participation in terrorist murder and the activities of a terrorist group in Belgium a day after he was seized in a Brussels raid.

Abdeslam will fight his potential extradition to France, but he has been cooperating with police, according to his lawyer.


In other news

In case you missed it

Saleh Abdeslam and accomplice Monir Ahmed Alaaj, who are accused of planning the Paris attacks, were captured in Brussels on Friday.

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.

North Korea fired two missiles into the Sea of Japan early Friday.

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

General interestingness

In lieu of text

The Last Word


Join us in the newsroom?

Grasswire is an open newsroom. We collaborate online in an open Slack channel where we pitch, source, verify, write and edit stories.

0 / 1857