1. Brussels police officer stabbed in knife attack
A Brussels police officer was injured in a knife attack in front of the city's main police station this morning, a spokeswoman has said.
The attack took place on the second day of a state visit to Belgium by French President Emmanuel Macron.
An assailant stabbed the officer outside the central police station at 5:30am (local time), police spokeswoman Ilse van de Keere told AFP.
"A police officer was stabbed and slightly wounded" and taken to hospital, she said.
"His colleagues retaliated by firing shots at the attacker who was subdued" but whose life is not in danger.
A local newspaper reported that it was an apparent Islamist militant attack. The spokeswoman refused to confirm the report, which said that the attacker had cried "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) during the incident.
Belgium: Brussels knife attack investigated as potential militant attack
“Drop the knife!”: Eyewitness describes moment of Brussels stabbing
2. Calgary cab driver convicted of sexual assault fails to show for sentencing
A Canada-wide warrant has been issued for a Calgary cab driver who failed to show for sentencing after being convicted of sexual assault on a passed-out fare.
Muhammad Nadeem Irshad, 37, was convicted June 25 and was due in court Friday for sentencing.
He is described as being five feet 10 inches and 195 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
Irshad was convicted of sexual assault after forcing a passed-out fare to perform oral sex on him in the back of his cab in 2014.
3. Australia joins US in rejecting UN migration pact
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia's conservative government announced Wednesday it would reject a UN migration pact already denounced by the United States and several European countries.
Adopting the pact “would risk encouraging illegal entry to Australia and reverse... hard-won successes in combating the people-smuggling trade,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a joint statement with his home and foreign ministers.
Morrison was an architect of Australia's hardline policy of detaining asylum-seekers trying to reach the country by boat on remote Pacific islands.
The policy choked off what had been an active people-smuggling trade that saw hundreds of people die at sea trying to reach Australia.
But hundreds of people have since been held for years in Papua New Guinea and Nauru under the program, which has been harshly criticised as inhumane by the United Nations and human-rights groups.
4. Austria: Kurz blames Muslim migration for rising anti-Semitism in Europe
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz spoke at the “Europe beyond anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism - securing Jewish life in Europe” conference in Vienna on Wednesday.
"You should only let as many people immigrate in a country as you are able to integrate. So, I think that a not-registered, and not-organised flow of immigrants can always be a problem for a country," said Kurz.
"And especially a strong flow of immigrants coming from Muslim countries can cause troubles like a different understanding about Israel or anti-Semitic ideas, which we would not like to have in our societies," he added.
Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee David Harris stated, "I'd like to see European countries angrier, angrier about the treatment of Israel in the International community."
"Instead of going along too often, European governments need to stand up more and show backbone, exactly as Sebastian Kurz is now doing and demonstrating that it can be done," he added.
5. France: “Yellow vests” set toll booths on fire as fuel protests continue
The “yellow vests” protests against fuel prices in France continued as demonstrators set alight toll booths on the A10 Highway in Virsac, close to Bordeaux, on Tuesday night.
Toll booths, gates and lights were heavily damaged during Tuesday's action, with the A10 currently blocked.
The “Yellow vests” are protesting against diesel and petrol price rises, which are due to come into force in January, and are part of French President Macron’s bid to wean France off fossil fuels.
6. Italy arrests Egyptian accused of backing Islamic State
ROME (AP) — Italian authorities have arrested an Egyptian man accused of supporting the Islamic State and planning go to fight himself, saying he used social media chats to spread jihadist propaganda.
Police said Wednesday that another Egyptian was ordered expelled from Italy, the latest in the more than 300 suspected jihadist sympathizers kicked out as national security threats since 2015. A third Egyptian was being sought.
From Matteo Salvini’s YouTube channel:
7. 2015 Paris Attacks: "Terrorist landlord" Jawad Bendaoud in court for housing attacks' perpetrators
Related: Prosecution appeals release
8. Syrian Cleric: A Muslim who doesn't believe Jews and Christians are infidels is an infidel himself
9. Four Finns held in Malaysia for distributing religious material
Malaysian police said Wednesday that four tourists from Finland have been arrested for distributing Christian materials at public places on a resort island.
The police chief of Langkawi island, Mohamad Iqbal Ibrahim, said the two women and two men were detained Tuesday at their hotel after police received complaints about them. He said police seized 47 pens with Bible verses and 336 notebooks containing texts from the Bible.
Police obtained a court order Wednesday to hold the four, including a married couple, for seven days while they investigated.
Mohamad Iqbal said the Finns, aged between 27 and 60, arrived in Langkawi on Sunday and planned to leave Thursday. He said they are being investigated for allegedly causing disharmony and violating their visa status.
Proselytizing of Muslims by members of other religions is forbidden in Malaysia, although the reverse is allowed. Muslims, who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 31 million people, are also not legally permitted to change religion.
10. Report: 80 percent of Venezuelans short of food
Around 80 percent of Venezuelans are now short of food, according to the new data compiled by NGO Human Rights Watch on Tuesday.
Following a trip to the Venezuelan border with Brazil by a team of health experts from John Hopkins University, researchers found that malnutrition continues to rise aggressively, with 80 percent of households unable to access enough food and rates of malnutrition among five years now over the World Health Organization’s crisis limit. In 2017, the average person lost around 11 kilos (24 pounds). In 2016, that number was 19 pounds; it is expected to have risen in 2018.
Combined with chronic malnutrition, the report also points to the scale of the collapse of the country’s health system, with practically every major health condition ranging from tuberculosis to malaria reaching crisis levels. For example, the number of malaria cases has risen from 36,000 in 2009 to 406,000 in 2017, while 87 percent of HIV patients now do not receive their necessary drugs.