Slatest PM: The Mall Standoff in Kenya Isn't Over Yet

Slatest PM: Kenya's Mall Standoff Enters Third Night

Slatest PM: Kenya's Mall Standoff Enters Third Night

The Slatest has moved! You can find new stories here.
The Slatest
Your News Companion
Sept. 23 2013 5:07 PM

Slatest PM: Kenya's Mall Standoff Enters Third Night

An image grab taken from AFP TV shows a Kenyan soldier on September 21, 2013 inside the Westgate mall in Nairobi

Photo by Nichole Sobecki/AFP/Getty Images

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.

Mall Standoff Enters Third Night: Associated Press: "Kenyan security forces were in the final stages of flushing out Islamic extremist terrorists from a besieged shopping mall, the vice president said late Monday, two days after the upscale mall was seized by members of a Somali group linked to al-Qaida. It is unlikely that any more hostages remained inside Westgate Mall, said another official. But similar claims of a quick resolution were made by Kenyan officials on Sunday and the siege has continued for another day. It is not possible to independently verify their assertions."

Not Over Yet: Washington Post: "But late Monday night, al-Shabab on Twitter disputed the government’s assertion that it had seized back all the floors in the mall. 'Our Mujahideen are in full control of #westgate. May Allah bless them,' said the militia. Attached to the tweet was a photo showing armed fighters wearing black headscarves patrolling the top floor of the mall, but it was not clear when the photo was taken. Gen. Julius Karangi, the chief of the Kenyan Defense Forces, said the jihadists inside the mall are 'clearly a multinational collection from all over the world' — though he did not offer details. Added Karangi: 'We are fighting global terrorism here.'"


It's Monday, September 23th—aka Slate Redesign Day—welcome to the Slatest PM. Follow your afternoon host on Twitter at @JoshVoorhees, and the whole team at @Slatest.

Kerry to Sit Down With Iranian Counterpart: Wall Street Journal: "Iran's foreign minister will meet this week with the U.S. Secretary of State and their counterparts from the five other major powers who are negotiating to contain Iran's nuclear program, the European Union's foreign-policy chief said Monday. The meeting between Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Secretary of State John Kerry, expected Thursday, would be the highest-level face-to-face contact between the U.S. and Iran since the 1979 Iranian revolution. ... [Iranian President Hasan] Rouhani, who was elected in June, has pledged to pursue high-level talks with the U.S. and other world powers to resolve the nuclear dispute."

BlackBerry Sale in the Works: USA Today: "BlackBerry said Monday that it is working on a $4.7 billion deal to be acquired by a group of investors led by Prem Watsa, who is sometimes known as Canada's Warren Buffett. The deal, which is subject to due diligence, further negotiation and regulatory approval, would pay BlackBerry shareholders $9 per share in cash for a total value of about $4.7 billion, the company added. ... BlackBerry has lost about 95% of its market value in recent years as the Canadian company fell behind Apple and Google's Android in the fast-growing smartphone market."


IRS's Lerner Retiring: Politico: "Embattled IRS official Lois Lerner is retiring from the agency effective Monday, two congressional aides told Politico. Lerner sparked the IRS scandal in May when she acknowledged that the agency wrongly targeted tea party groups applying for a tax exemption. She was placed on administrative leave later that month and is under a subpoena to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A Democratic congressional aide said the IRS was moving toward terminating Lerner after completing an investigation into her role in the targeting controversy."

Egypt's Brotherhood Crackdown:  Reuters:  "An Egyptian court on Monday banned the Muslim Brotherhood from carrying out any activities in the country and ordered the seizure of the group's funds, widening a campaign to debilitate the Islamist movement of deposed President Mohamed Mursi. ... The court ordered the government to seize the Brotherhood's funds and administer its frozen assets. The army-backed government is waging the toughest crackdown in decades on the Islamist group, which says it has a million members. ... The Brotherhood won parliamentary and presidential elections after veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011."

Murder-Suicide in Texas: NBC News: "Police suspect the deaths of five members of one family -- including children ages 10, 8 and 4 -- found in their north Texas home are the result of a murder-suicide. Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner told a Monday morning news conference that the bodies of Israel Alvarez, his wife, Guadalupe Ronquillo-Ovalle, and their three sons were discovered Sunday evening by Alvarez's father at the family's home in Rice, Texas, about 45 miles southeast of Dallas. Each of the five victims sustained gunshot wounds to their upper torso, the sheriff said. A .22 caliber semi-automatic long rifle was recovered at the scene. Tanner declined to provide a time or cause of death. He said the last outside contact with any of the victims was Thursday. The children were not in school Friday. The sheriff declined to identify the suspected shooter."

A Few More Quick Hits From Slate


That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.