Al-Qaida in Yemen has officially claimed responsibility for attacking the Paris offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
In a video, a man identified as the leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula said his group planned and paid for the attack. He called the raid an “act of vengeance” for the Prophet Muhammed. The video appeared Wednesday on the Internet.
Twelve people were killed in the attack last week. French police killed the attackers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, last Friday. That same day, another gunman, Ahmed Coulibaly, killed four people at a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris. He also killed a French policewoman one day earlier.
The al-Qaida leader said Ahmed Coulibaly was not operating as part of the same group.
Copies of the latest Charlie Hebdo sell out quickly
Parisians waited in long lines Wednesday morning to buy the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo. All across the French capital, copies of the magazine were sold out within minutes. Charlie Hebdo often publishes anti-religious pieces and cartoons of famous people. On Wednesday, the magazine had an illustration of the Prophet Mumammed holding a sign that reads, “I am Charlie.” Next to the picture, a sentence says, in French, “All is forgiven.”
The magazine’s publishers planned to produce three million copies of the latest issue. That compares to the normal print run of about 60,000. A spokesman for Charlie Hebdo’s distributor says another two million copies will be ordered because of the high demand.
Fuselage of AirAsia jet found
Singapore’s defense minister says a Singaporean navy ship has found the fuselage of AirAsia Flight 8501. The official said in a Facebook post that a remotely operated vehicle took images that showed lettering on the fuselage, the main part of the airplane. He said the pictures also showed part of the plane’s wing.
He said Indonesian officials have been informed so they can begin recovery operations.
The plane crashed into the Java Sea on December 28. Indonesian divers found the plane's flight recorders earlier this week. So far, 48 bodies of the 162 people on the plane have been recovered.
Japan greatly increases defense budget
Japan has announced its biggest defense budget ever.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet approved a $42 billion budget Wednesday. It is Japan’s third defense budget increase in three years. The budget must be approved by Japan’s legislators, but Mr. Abe has majority support in both houses.
Japan is seeking to answer China’s increasing military influence in East Asia, especially in the East China Sea.
The Japanese government is in a territorial dispute with China’s government over a group of islands called the Diaoyus in China and the Senkakus in Japan.
Japan's military spending is still much less than China’s. China spent $132 billion on its military last year.
I'm Ashley Thompson.
Words in the News
vengeance - n. the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you or someone else
illustration - n. a picture or drawing in a book, magazine, etc.
distributor - n. a person or company that supplies stores or businesses with goods
fuselage - n. the main part of an airplane; the part of an airplane that holds the crew, passengers, and cargo
remotely – adv. from a distance