Deir al-zour, Syria Am­bae, Van­u­atu

The Week - - The World At A Glance -

Leader speaks: Is­lamic State has re­leased an au­dio record­ing of its leader, Abu Bakr al-bagh­dadi, that ap­pears to have been made af­ter his re­ported death in an air strike on east­ern Syria in May. In the tape, the first to be re­leased for ten months, Bagh­dadi (pic­tured) refers to the bat­tles for Mo­sul and Hama, and to North Korea’s nu­clear threats against the US. He gives lit­tle guid­ance to his fol­low­ers in the dwin­dling caliphate, but urges them to “in­ten­sify one at­tack af­ter another against the in­fi­dels’ in­for­ma­tion cen­tres”.

Mass evac­u­a­tion: The tiny Pa­cific na­tion of Van­u­atu launched a “Dunkirk-style” evac­u­a­tion of one of its 83 con­stituent is­lands this week, in re­sponse to in­di­ca­tions that the vol­cano at the is­land’s cen­tre was about to erupt. The Ma­naro Voui vol­cano, Van­u­atu’s largest, be­gan hurl­ing steam and rocks into the air on Satur­day. By Sun­day, a flotilla of ves­sels, in­clud­ing fer­ries, ca­noes and fish­ing boats, had been mus­tered – and had evac­u­ated 1,000 peo­ple from Am­bae; the rest of the is­land’s 11,000 res­i­dents were ex­pected to have evac­u­ated by Fri­day.

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