S. Korea mall rampage injures 14 people
SEOUL, South Korea -- A man rammed a car onto a sidewalk Thursday in the South Korean city of Seongnam, then stepped out of the vehicle and began stabbing people at a shopping mall, leaving at least 14 people wounded.
Just hours after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol today called for "ultra-strong" law enforcement measures in response to that attack, police found themselves chasing the suspect in another stabbing at a high school in Daejeon city.
Cho Byeong-tae, an official at the Daejeon metropolitan police department, said the attack at Songchon High School left at least one teacher hurt. He did not identify the victim or provide details about the victim's health.
At least five people were hurt by the car and nine others were stabbed during Thursday's attack in Seongnam that occurred in a crowded leisure district near a subway, according to Yoon Sung-hyun, an official from the southern Gyeonggi provincial police department.
Authorities arrested a 22-year-old suspect at the scene and were questioning him. Police did not identify the man or offer any immediate information about a potential motive.
According to Park Gyeong-won, an official at Gyeonggi's Bundang district police station, the suspect during police interviews talked incoherently and said he was being stalked by an unspecified source.
Islamic State announces leader's death
BEIRUT -- The Islamic State group announced on Thursday the death in Syria of its little-known leader, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi, who headed the extremist organization since November, and named his successor.
The group did not say when al-Qurayshi was killed but added that he died in fighting with an al-Qaida-linked group. IS spokesman Abu Huthaifa al-Ansari said that Abu Hafs al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi was named as the group's new leader.
Al-Qurayshi was the fourth IS leader to be killed since the group was founded by Iraqi militant Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and declared a caliphate in large parts of Syria and Iraq in June 2014 before its defeat years later.
The spokesman, al-Ansari, said in an audio message that al-Qurayshi "was martyred" in rebel-held northwestern Syria by members of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham when they tried to detain him in the province of Idlib.
"He fought them until he succumbed to his wounds," al-Ansari said of al-Qurayshi, adding that the al-Qaida-linked group detained some IS members who were with the late leader, including Abu Omar al-Muhajir, another spokesman, and that they are still being held.
In April, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish intelligence agents had killed al-Qurayshi in northern Syria -- a statement that IS denied.
Justice appointment slammed in Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO -- The former personal lawyer of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took a seat on the country's Supreme Court on Thursday amid criticism that their relationship poses a conflict of interest.
Lula appointed Cristiano Zanin in June, drawing accusations from the opposition that he is jeopardizing the impartiality of Brazil's highest court by making a friend one of its justices. The president denies having a friendship with the lawyer.
Zanin, who holds a law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paulo, specializes in procedural and business law.
He helped Lula overturn convictions stemming from Brazil's sprawling "Car Wash" corruption investigation, getting him freed after 580 days of incarceration. The Supreme Court annulled all convictions of Lula, and ruled in 2021 that the judge overseeing the case had been biased. That allowed Lula to run successfully for his third, nonconsecutive presidential term.
A large majority of senators went on to vote in favor of his nomination, making the 47-year-old the youngest justice on the 11-member court.
Colombia, rebels initiate cease-fire
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia and the National Liberation Army, or ELN, formally began a six-month cease-fire Thursday as part of a process to forge a permanent peace between the government and the country's last remaining rebel group.
The cease-fire agreement, announced June 9 during talks in Havana, comes amid skepticism among some Colombians that the peace process can fully end an insurgency dating back to the 1960s or halt the alleged involvement of the group's estimated 5,000 remaining members in drug trafficking. The ELN leadership denies involvement in the drug trade.
The agreement also called for the creation of a broadly representative national committee to discuss a lasting solution to the conflict. The first meeting of the National Participation Committee was scheduled for later Thursday.
The cease-fire is supposed to suspend attacks between the guerrillas and the Colombian police and military throughout the country, and can be extended next January if progress is made during peace negotiations.
The U.N. announced Wednesday it will deploy a contingent of 68 observers to monitor the cease-fire. Farhan Haq, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, said Thursday that Colombia's peace efforts "are advancing."