As riots continued to grip London four days after a peaceful demonstration over the shooting of a 29-year-old man by police quickly turned into violence and looting, Prime Minister David Cameron vowed in a television address that his government would “do whatever is necessary to restore law and order onto our streets.”
The riots turned deadly overnight in Birmingham after three men were reportedly killed in a hit-and-run when they took to the streets to deter potential rioters. As many as 16,000 police officers have been trying to quell bands of rioters, who have set buildings and cars ablaze, vandalized businesses and in some cases targeted individuals. More than 1,200 people have been arrested.
GlobalPost reporter Michael Goldfarb spoke to the NewsHour from London about the chaos.
Cameron said “a fightback is under way” and authorized the use of water cannons, if necessary, to help disperse rioters. In addition to beefed-up police presence, courts also operated throughout the night to deal with the glut of people arrested in connection with the violence.
Syria Crackdown Draws Sharp International Criticism
The intensified military siege on restive cities in the past week has strengthened international condemnation of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The military has reportedly retaken the eastern city of Deir el-Zour after days of bloody battles. One witness told the Associated Press that troops “are shooting anything that moves.”
A State Department spokesperson said Tuesday that the U.S. government “can’t have any kind of partnership with a regime that does this kind of thing to innocents,” in contrast to the more cooperative relationship of the past couple of years. The Arab League, neighboring Turkey, and a spate of other nations have condemned Assad’s brutal crackdown.
Assad, who spent six hours meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister, rejected calls to end the crackdown. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said his government has “run out of patience” with the Syrian government’s harsh measures.
Hear Syrian activists’ recollections of the brutal crackdown.
Shelling Exchanged Near Contested Korean Border
Reminiscent of the shelling of Yeonpyeong island last November that killed four South Koreans, North Korea shelled disputed waters in the Yellow Sea on Wednesday, setting off a round of retaliatory shelling from South Korea. No casualties were reported.
The shelling took place in an area known as the Northern Limit Line, a boundary which North Korea has rejected.
Tensions between the two Koreas, who never formally signed a treaty to end the Korean War, have been high after the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan and the Yenpyeong island incident last year.
File photo of Yeonpyeong island on Nov. 23, 2010. Getty Images.