In a closely watched case, a judge ruled that Harvard does not discriminate against Asian-Americans in its applications process, finding that it passes “constitutional muster”. The plaintiffs argued that Harvard’s affirmative-action policy favours black and Hispanic applicants. The matter will probably end up in the Supreme Court.
Boris Johnson, Britain’s prime minister, made a new Brexit offer to the European Union. His proposal includes customs checks, but not at the border in Northern Ireland, plus a regulatory border in the Irish Sea. Mr Johnson is determined to leave the eu on October 31st, but is hampered by Parliament’s legal stipulation that he must ask for an extension if there is no deal.
Brexit is not the only trouble for Mr Johnson. Hard on the heels of the controversy surrounding his relationship with an American businesswoman when he was mayor of London, a female journalist accused Mr Johnson of groping her thigh in 1999, when he was her boss. He denied it happened. Despite its leader’s problems the Conservative Party holds a resilient lead in the polls.
Sebastian Kurz and his People’s Party were the clear winners in Austria’s snap election, caused after his government collapsed following a scandal connecting his coalition partners, the Freedom Party, and Russian money. However, he is still short of a majority, and is casting around for an alternative to join a new government.
Some 20,000 people took to the streets in Moscow to demand the release of those arrested in earlier demonstrations over the exclusion of opposition figures from a city council election.
As many as 25 soldiers were killed and another 60 are missing after jihadists attacked two army bases in Mali. Separately al-Shabab, a jihadist group affiliated with al-Qaeda, attacked a convoy of Italian troops and an air base used by American forces in Somalia. The attacks highlight the deteriorating security across the Sahel and into the Horn of Africa.
At a pre-trial hearing lawyers for Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, argued that he should not be charged with corruption. The attorney-general will decide whether to proceed with the indictments. Meanwhile, talks between Mr Netanyahu’s Likud party and Blue and White, a centrist party, over forming a government have stalled.
Hundreds of people protested in Lebanon as the government grappled with a worsening economic crisis. Enormous debt and shrinking foreign investment have led to fears that the Lebanese pound will be devalued and prices raised. Iraqis also took to the streets to protest against unemployment and corruption. Security forces responded with live fire; at least 18 people were killed and hundreds wounded.
Software developers in Lagos, Nigeria’s main commercial city, started a campaign against harassment by the police, who single out people carrying laptops or smartphones for extortion. The arrests threaten a boom in startups.
Uganda banned people from wearing red berets, which are associated with an opposition movement led by Bobi Wine. Mr Wine was recently charged with “annoying” the president.