Group: Sri Lanka Abusing UN Law to Arrest Muslim Men and Women Since the Easter
A 22-Year-Old Blogger Killed, He Had Criticised the Army and the Islamic World
Talaq, Nikal Halala in President Kovind’s Address in Parliament
Families Are Forced To Bury Their Departed in Their Homes in UP Village As Plot
Allotted For a Graveyard Some Years Ago Falls Right In The Middle of a Pond
Muslim Group Slaps Fatwa on Popular Combat Game PUBG
'Secularism Police' Bill Unites Muslim, Christians, And More
Leadership Rivals Back Islamophobia Inquiry
Arabia Says UN Khashoggi Report Contains ‘Baseless Allegations’ And
Infuriated As International Atomic Energy Agency Recognizes Palestinian State
Must Not Turn A Blind Eye To Plight Of Rohingya'
militants killed as Taliban offensive to capture N. Afghan district repulsed
children prepare to tackle life’s challenges via education
singer receives Nazrul Award, which is named after Muslim Bengali poet
Taliban militants killed, 5 detained in Wardak and Logar operations
in Jalalabad city leaves 1 dead, 17 wounded
airstrike targets vehicles convoy of important Taliban group members in Farah
Anti-Terror Goals Not Met, Pak Faces FATF Black List
in Pakistan face persecution, flee to Nepal
calls for ‘concrete steps’ to combat Islamophobia
more time to ‘selected PM’ can be disastrous, Fazl says
Assembly offers Fateha for Egypt’s Morsi
report sees credible evidence linking Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi murder
Diplomacy: India Responds Positively To Pakistan's Offer for Talks
Imam In UK Debate Show Sparks Row Over Past Tweets
Students Question Relevance of Yoga Day Celebration on Campus
Court Tells Zakir Naik to Appear On July 31 In Case Of Money Laundering
cautions against hasty peace deal between US and Taliban
police claim to have foiled major terror attack
Christian Activist, Muslim Convert Evangelist Honoured By PAS Youth For
Contribution To Interracial Hamony
Naik’s Pupil Zamri Vinoth Says Willing to Give up Citizenship If Mentor
Extradited to India
militants kidnap 10 fishermen off Borneo
with Umno OK, but PAS must be on top, says Kedah division chief
PAS ‘unafraid’ to reject immoral leaders
Should Reveal Who Was Behind 9/11 Terror Attacks: Scholar
Shares Security Info with Muslim, Jewish and Christian Leaders
Navy SEAL called dead prisoner an 'ISIS dirtbag'
US aircraft operated over Iran, US military says
Russia square up to US sanctions with 12 accords
Senate to vote on blocking Trump’s $8bn arms sales to Saudi, UAE over rights
official confirms Iran shot down US drone in Gulf
reviewing UN's Khashoggi report 'closely'
fiancee urges Washington to act on murder
British Teens Convicted For Promoting Far-Right Terrorism Online
Nearly 71 million now displaced by war, violence at home
aid chief says ‘humanitarian disaster’ unfolding in Idlib
calls for entertainment venues to plan for terror attack
Arrests 10 Syrians Suspected of Financing al-Qaida
sends top diplomat to Iran for talks to reduce tensions
Rocket Hits Second US Iraqi Base As Trump Calls Iran 'Nation Of Terror'
Beirut stress need to confront Islamic extremism
suffering for the children of the ISIS caliphate as hunger and sickness spread
condemns UN call for independent probe into Morsi’s death
hits site of foreign oil firms in Iraq's Basra, three hurt
warns Lebanon, Hezbollah against launching attack on Iran’s behalf
attacks kill 25 in Syria’s Idlib: Monitor
evidence' linking Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi murder: UN expert
Was Murdered, Says Turkish President
Trump’s plan cannot deprive Palestine of al-Quds
of attack on tankers remains key evidence against Iran
Who Criticised Israel Suspended By Muslim School
says Europe not cooperating in buying Iranian oil: Fars news
Coalition intercepts drone carrying explosives in Yemeni airspace
says Morsi 'murdured,' calls for action against Egypt government
forces strike Saudi power plant with cruise missile
'Children Used' As Suicide Bombers in Borno Attack
army ruler calls on protest leaders to hold unconditional talks
'kill dozens' in attack on two villages in central Mali
U.S. Airstrike Kills 2 Al-Shabab Militants in Southern Somalia
Boko Haram attacks four army bases in one week
air raid destroys warehouse, wounds three, says oil firm
fight to preserve cultural heritage
Muslim convert finds inner peace in Senegal
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Group: Sri Lanka Abusing UN Law to Arrest Muslim Men and Women Since The Easter
leftist People's Liberation Front (JVP) party said police have arbitrarily
detained several Muslim men and women since the Easter Sunday attacks
activists on Monday accused Sri Lankan police of using a UN convention on hate
speech to crack down on media freedom and the country's Muslim minority.
Free Media Movement rights group said the police Special Task Force (STF)
attempted to arrest a respected journalist for his writing on anti-Muslim riots
and Buddhist extremists using the UN-backed law.
STF told a magistrate on Friday they were pursuing freelance writer Kusal
Perera under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
Free Media Movement strongly condemns the attempts to pursue legal action under
the provisions of the ICCPR Act and urges all responsible stakeholders to draw
their attention to avoid using the law unfairly," the group said.
have also drawn criticism over the detention of a Muslim woman during
anti-Muslim riots last month. She was wearing a T-shirt with a print of a
ship's steering wheel which police mistook for the Dharma Chakra, a Buddhist
woman was held in remand custody for three weeks before a senior police officer
intervened to press for her release.
winning author and poet Shakthika Sathkumara has been held since April under
the ICCPR act for his work hinting at homosexuality among the Buddhist clergy.
senior police source told AFP separate investigations had been launched into
the three cases.
feel that police exceeded their authority in using the ICCPR and we will take
action against those responsible," the officer said, asking not to be
leftist People's Liberation Front (JVP) party said police have arbitrarily
detained several Muslim men and women since the Easter Sunday attacks that
killed 258 people.
suicide bombings on three churches and three hotels were blamed on local Muslim
riots after the April 21 bombings left one Muslim man dead and hundreds of Muslim-owned
businesses, homes, vehicles and mosques wrecked.
Lankan authorities are very sensitive to perceived insults to Buddhism, the
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court in 2017 awarded $5,000 in damages to a woman who
police detained for four days for having a Buddha tattooed on her arm.
a 22-year-old blogger killed, he had criticised the army and the Islamic world
(AsiaNews) – Muhammad Bilal Khan, a famous 22-year-old Pakistani blogger, was
stabbed to death last Sunday in Islamabad, sparking sparked outrage among
his young age, he was known for his critical views on many sensitive issues,
like the religious divide between Shias and Sunnis, and the disappearance of
people, allegedly abducted by the military or intelligence services.
final post on the day of his death he made a sarcastic comment about the new head
of the Pakistani secret services, hard-line General Faiz Hameed.
death is the latest in a series of incidents in which intellectuals have been
reduced to silence, either by threats or physical elimination.
stated that the popular blogger was left dying in a wooded area in Islamabad’s
G-9/4 sector. He had had received a phone call and had gone to meet someone
accompanied by an uncle. The latter was injured in the attack, but managed to
sound the alarm. Bilal's father said that his son’s body showed several wounds
inflicted with a sharp tool.
the news of his death was all over social media, where the blogger-journalist
had a loyal following: 19,000 followers
on Twitter, more than 53,000 subscribers on YouTube, and some 30,000 followers
on Facebook, plus more than 25,000 likes.
activists want justice for Bilal. Marvi Sirmed, a member of the executive
council of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, wrote on Twitter: "Mr.
Khan and I disagreed strongly. He was against everything that I ever stood for.
But he didn't deserve to die like this. I strongly condemn his brutal murder
and demand justice for him. My heart-felt condolences to his family and
friends. May he rest in peace. Amen.”
Bukhari, a journalist abducted last year in Lahore and then released, twitted
back: "Very well said. The murder is highly condemnable. Snuffing out a
young life like this is unacceptable.”
Rights Minister Shireen Mazari reacted to the murder saying that the government
will investigate the incident.
“Strongly condemn the murder of Bilal Khan. Disagreement and opposition to
someone’s views simply cannot be translated into killing the person. Government
must and it will investigate and punish the killers — it is our responsibility
to keep all our citizens secure under rule of law,” she tweeted.
Talaq, Nikal Halala in President Kovind’s Address in Parliament
Ram Nath Kovind today asserted that there is need to do away with practices
like instant triple talaq and nikah halala in his address to the joint session
said, To ensure equal rights to every sister and daughter in the country, it is
necessary to eliminate bad practices like instant triple talaq and nikah
halala. I appeal to all members to contribute towards making the lives of our
sisters and daughters honourable and better.
BJP has been pushing for passing a law against instant triple talaq and nikah
halala calling these as oppressive practices against Muslim women. Prime
Minister Narendra Modi has spoken about it in several of his public rallies.
its poll manifesto, the BJP promised to bring a law to put an end to these
practices. The Supreme Court has ruled instant triple talaq as unconstitutional
following which the previous Modi government had introduced a Bill to make
instant triple talaq by Muslim men a criminal offence.
the Bill could not be passed in Parliament in the wake of stiff resistance from
the Opposition. The government later brought an ordinance to implement the
Supreme Court order.
triple talaq is an old practice among Muslims under which a Muslim man
pronounces divorces on his wife by uttering talaq three times in one go. Many
scholars of Islam have viewed this form of divorce unislamic.
halala, on the other hand, is an Islamic dictum requiring a divorced woman to
marry and consummate the marriage with another man before she can return to her
first husband. There have been reports suggesting that this practice has been
grossly misused to the disadvantage of Muslim women.
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sitting on my grand mother's grave," Salim Shah told this correspondent.
She has been buried, he said, in his living room.
clutch of houses in Chah Pokhar in Achnera block of Agra have turned into
graveyards as families are forced to bury their departed in their homes due to
lack of a burial ground. As a result, the dead here are a constant part of
day-to-day life. TOI found women cooking next to where their children were
buried while the elderly rested on cots in a backyard full of graves.
one of the houses, Rinki Begum told TOI that five bodies were buried in her
backyard, including that of her 10-month-old son who had died of an untreated
fever. Another resident, Guddi, said, "For poor people like us, there is
no dignity in death. Due to lack of space in houses, people have to sit and
walk over graves. It is so disrespectful."
of the Muslim families here are poor and landless and men scout for work as
contract labourers. They said their demand for a graveyard has been ignored for
apathy of the administration can be gauged from the fact that a plot allotted
for a graveyard some years ago falls right in the middle of a pond. Repeated
complaints have fallen on deaf ears and residents are running out of space. The
fresh graves are no more cemented to ensure they occupy less space and stones
of different sizes kept over them are the only way to tell them apart.
have erupted in the past over the issue. In 2017, after the death of resident
Mangal Khan, his family refused to bury his body until land for a graveyard was
provided in the village. After assurances by the authorities, they buried Khan
near the pond.
the promises came to nothing.
we are asking for is some land for our ancestors. There is a cremation ground
for the Hindus in the periphery of the village, but we are living with our
dead," said Munim Khan, a factory worker.
residents even tried reaching out to nearby Sanan village and Achnera town that
have burial grounds. But they were not willing to part with precious space.
"These two villages have a larger Muslim population than Chah Pokhar. Their
burial grounds are filled to capacity," said Nizam Khan, a mechanic.
pradhan Sundar Kumar said that he had asked officials several times for a
burial ground for Muslim families, but no action was taken.
Kumar NG, the district magistrate, said that he was not aware of the issue.
"I will send an official team to the village and get details of the burial
Muslim group slaps fatwa on popular combat game PUBG
A hugely popular but brutal online game was slapped with a fatwa Wednesday by
an Indonesian Muslim group who say it insults Islam and makes addicted players
religious edict, issued in conservative Aceh province, comes after officials in
Iraq, Nepal and the Indian state of Gujarat banned PlayerUnknown's
Battlegrounds (PUBG) over fears it incited real-world violence.
likened to the blockbuster book and film series "The Hunger Games",
PUBG pits marooned characters against each another in a virtual fight to the
death, and has become one of the world's most popular mobile games.
Wednesday, the Aceh chapter of Muslim-majority Indonesia's powerful Ulema
Council called on local residents to ditch PUBG, and said the local government
should consider an outright ban.
the fatwa would not result in sanctions, it said, but the group's national
chapter has also been mulling a similar call to ditch violent games.
edict in Aceh would apply to other violent games, but the Council did not say
fatwa says that PUBG and other similar games are haram (forbidden) because they
can trigger violence and change people's behaviour," said Faisal Ali,
deputy chairman of the Aceh Ulema Council.
also insults Islam," he told AFP, without elaborating.
officials were alarmed at PUBG's soaring popularity among Aceh's mostly Muslim
seen that children and even adults in Aceh are starting to get addicted to the
game and they're playing it everywhere on their mobile phones," Ali said.
"It's getting worrying."
the tip of Sumatra island, Aceh is the only region in Indonesia with Islamic
law and where public flogging is a common punishment for a range of offences,
including selling alcohol, adultery, and gay sex.
'secularism police' bill unites Muslim, Christians, and more
Sunday, Quebec's legislature passed a bill prohibiting government employees,
including teachers and police officers, from wearing religious clothing or
accessories. The bill passed with an overwhelming 73 to 35 vote and a court
challenge has already been filed.
legislation, Bill 21, was introduced by Quebec’s Minister of Immigration,
Diversity of Inclusion, Simon Jolin-Barrette. While speaking before the Quebec
Assembly, Jolin-Barrette the “an important step forward” because “[s]ecularism
is a value that is dear and fundamental to Quebeckers.”
Hélène David replied to Jolin-Barrette with a very different opinion. “In a few
hours, we will be voting on legislation that will disregard the most
fundamental rights of Quebeckers ... Through his gag procedure,
[Jolin-Barrette] tells all Quebeckers who do not agree with him that their
opinion does not matter,” she argued before the Assembly.
21 does not apply to government employees in their current jobs. However, all
new government employees will be subject to this new regulation, and if a
current government employee accepts a different government job or a promotion,
that employee will no longer be exempt.
late in the legislative process, Jolin-Barrette added two amendments to “verify
the application” of the law and to enforce unspecified “disciplinary measures”
against those who violate the law, prompting Quebec Liberal member Marc Tanguay
to shout “secularism police!” before the Assembly.
National Council of Canadian Muslims and the Canadian Civil Liberties
Association quickly filed a legal challenge to the bill on Monday and issued a
and freedom of religion are universally recognized human rights, and
foundational principles in the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms,”
says Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, Equality Director at the Canadian Civil Liberties
Association. “A law that picks on the most visible of minority groups (many of
them racialized and newcomers); that harms women in particular; and that
fosters an environment of intolerance and division has no place in a society
that values equality and freedom.”
Farooq, the Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, has
also condemned the bill. “As of last night, the Quebec government has legalized
religious discrimination — and we won’t stand for it ... It will upend people’s
lives and livelihoods, pushing many Muslims, Jews and Sikhs to the margins of
society in an already-tense time when Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and other
forms of racism are on the rise. That is why we will be taking immediate legal
action to prevent state-sanctioned second class citizenship.”
Quebec Assembly of Catholic Bishops criticized the bill as well, saying it
“will nourish fear and intolerance, rather than contribute to social
its strong support in the legislature, Bill 21 has quite a variety of
opponents. Unusual alliances will be forged as Christians, Muslims,
libertarians, and more begin the legal battle against this aggressive act of
leadership rivals back Islamophobia inquiry
five Conservative leadership candidates have said they will support an
independent inquiry into allegations of Islamophobia within their party.
Javid challenged the other candidates on Tuesday's BBC TV debate to commit to
an external investigation and the others appeared to agree to it.
Hunt said racism was "not restricted to any one political party".
chairwoman Baroness Warsi said it was "important" the promise was
kept by whoever becomes prime minister.
has been calling for an independent inquiry into "institutional"
Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.
the BBC TV debate, the candidates were pressed by an imam to accept that
"words have consequences" amid claims that the Conservatives have
failed to tackle Islamophobia in the party.
to Donald Trump's string of attacks on London's Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, the
home secretary said politicians should be "brave enough" to call out
Islamophobia wherever it came from.
Secretary Mr Hunt told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I think we should
have an independent inquiry because the cancer of racism and prejudice is not
restricted to any one political party.
have been very vociferous calling out Jeremy Corbyn and anti-Semitism and if we
are going to do that, and I think we are right to do that, then we have to be
whiter than white ourselves."
Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC that there were people who need to be
"rooted out" of the Conservative Party over Islamophobia.
need to be absolutely resolute in tackling racism and prejudice of all
kinds," he said.
there are people in the Conservative Party who we need to make sure appreciate
the consequences of their actions - there are people who need to be rooted out
of the party."
response to the question from Abdullah Patel on the TV debate, leadership
frontrunner Boris Johnson said he was "sorry for the offence" his
comments about veiled Muslim women looking like "letter boxes" and
"bank robbers" had caused, and mentioned his great-grandfather was a
Warsi, who was the UK's first female Muslim cabinet minister, said: "It's
really important that whoever becomes PM keeps this promise.
was made on national TV, so I hope they will.
[I hope] that they genuinely appoint someone who is independent and who is
concerns have been raised about allegedly anti-Semitic social media posts from
Mr Patel's now-deleted Twitter account.
Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell, who interviewed Mr Patel on his
breakfast show, apologised on Twitter, saying the imam's social media comments
were "extremely disturbing" and they "should have checked".
BBC defended its vetting process, saying in a statement that "one
individual reactivated a public twitter account he had previously
deactivated" following the debate, resulting in the tweets not being
visible during the background research process.
we been aware of the views he expressed there he would not have been
selected," the statement said.
Arabia says UN Khashoggi report contains ‘baseless allegations’ and
Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that a report by a UN expert on the murder of Jamal
Khashoggi contains “baseless allegations” and “contradictions.”
of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the report contained “nothing
said the judicial authorities in the Kingdom are the only ones competent to
investigate the case and that a number of suspects have already been arrested.
report “contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge
its credibility,” he said on Twitter.
strongly reject any attempt to prejudice the Kingdom’s leadership or to remove
the case from the course of justice in the Kingdom or influencing it in any
report released Wednesday by UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said the murder of Khashoggi was the
responsibility of the state of Saudi Arabia.
Arabia late last year indicted 11 people for the killing and prosecutors are
seeking the death penalty against five of them.
prosecutors said Khashoggi was killed by a “rogue operation” in a botched
attempt to repatriate him.
said the trials are being attended by representatives from the embassies of the
five permanent members of the UN Security Council in addition to Turkey and
Saudi human rights organizations.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recognized Palestine as a state
by allowing it to join the body as an observing member, a move that drew fire
from the Israeli regime.
Director General Yukiya Amano and Palestinian Ambassador to Vienna Salah Abdul
Shafi signed an agreement on Tuesday that lets IAEA inspectors carry out safety
checks on radioactive materials and fissile nuclear materials, such as uranium,
that are stored in Palestine.
has no nuclear reactors, but there are medical equipment components of nuclear
materials in physics departments in some hospitals and universities, according
to reports by Israeli media.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the move by the IAEA amounted
to a "violation of international conventions."
is another attempt by the Palestinian Authority to join international
organizations in order to exploit them for political purposes," he said.
"Israel does not recognize the attempts of the Palestinian Authority to
join such organizations and such institutions as a state, and Israel views this
as a violation of international agreements."
agreement is expected to stir tensions between Israel and the Palestinian
Authority, because in Tel Aviv's view the territory and borders of a
Palestinian state is unclear.
has never signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), an international
treaty which has been endorsed by most governments in the world with the goal
of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
has not revealed the size of its nuclear arsenal, even though a new report by
the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) the Israeli regime
is in possession of approximately 100 atomic warheads.
a result, Israel only allows the IAEA inspectors to visit a limited number of
designated areas across the occupied Palestinian lands with full supervision.
has been operating a nuclear facility outside the southern city of Dimona.
Reports suggest that Israel produces fissile materials - highly enriched
uranium and plutonium- for nuclear weapons using the reactor, which is off-limits
media have compared the situation to the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization's 2011 recognition of Palestine as a member.
then, the US pulled its annual funding of the UN organization. The US
government is required by a 1990's law to refrain from funding any UN
organization that gives full membership to entities that don't have
“internationally recognized attributes” of statehood, according to Reuters.
IAEA is an autonomous organization but it still reports to the UN. Data by the
Congressional Research Service shows that the US contributed $200 million
annually in assessed and voluntary contributions to the IAEA as of 2016.
IAEA spokesperson told Israeli media that the agreement "does not in any
way imply an expression of a position regarding the legal status of any state
or territory or its powers or demarcation of its borders."
move comes as the administration of US President Donald Trump is preparing to
unveil its so-called "Deal of the Century" to resolve the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the coming weeks.
deal, which has already been rejected by Palestinians and many governments in
the region and around the world, seeks to do away with Palestine's right to
statehood in exchange for some economic initiatives as well as limited
must not turn a blind eye to plight of Rohingya'
than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017, according to UN agencies
rights groups on Wednesday called on Southeast Asian leaders to rethink their
approach to the Rohingya refugee crisis ahead of a regional summit in Bangkok
regards Rohingya Muslims as illegal migrants from the Indian subcontinent and
has confined tens of thousands to camps in its western Rakhine State since
violence swept the area in 2012.
than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017, according to UN
agencies, after a crackdown by Myanmar's military sparked by Rohingya insurgent
attacks on the security forces.
Rohingya issue, especially their repatriation from Bangladesh, is expected to
be a major topic during four days of meetings among leaders of the 10-member
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Thailand from Thursday.
rights activists say the bloc should not rush to get involved in the
repatriation without addressing the root causes of their displacement.
needs to stop turning a blind eye to Myanmar's atrocities against the Rohingya,
and cease lending legitimacy to the repatriation process," Eva Sundari, an
Indonesian lawmaker and a board member of the Asean Parliamentarians for Human
Rights, said in a statement.
investigators have said the 2017 Myanmar military operation that drove more
than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh was executed with "genocidal
intent" and included mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson.
denies widespread wrongdoing and says the military campaign across hundreds of
villages in the north of Rakhine State was in response to the attacks by
rights groups say conditions in Rakhine State are not conducive to the safe
return of refugees.
seems intent on discussing the future of the Rohingya without condemning – or
even acknowledging – the Myanmar military's ethnic cleansing campaign against
them," said Brad Adams, the Asia director of the Human Rights Watch.
preposterous for Asean leaders to be discussing the repatriation of a
traumatized population into the hands of the security forces who killed, raped,
and robbed them."
Buddhist Myanmar is a member of Asean. The grouping includes Muslim-majority
Malaysia and Indonesia, where the plight of the Rohingya is of particular
Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai rejected any suggestion the grouping, which is
under Thailand's chairmanship this year, would gloss over Myanmar's action, but
at the same time, said Asean would not be apportioning blame.
is not about whitewashing anyone," he told Reuters.
is not here to point to who is right or wrong, our concern is the hundreds of
thousands of Rohingya in refugee camps who should begin to take their first
step to making a return."
would only take place on a voluntarily basis, and with the consent of both
Myanmar and Bangladesh, he said.
of Rohingya have fled Myanmar by sea in an exodus that peaked in 2015, crossing
the Andaman Sea to Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
week, a boat carrying 65 Rohingya arrived at a southern Thai island, raising
concern that there could be a new wave of people smuggling by sea after a 2015
regional crackdown on trafficking.
June 19 (Xinhua) -- Taliban militants' offensive to overrun Shuhada district in
the northern Badakhshan province has been repulsed and the militants fled away
after leaving seven bodies behind, an army spokesman in the northern region
Abdul Hadi Jamal said Wednesday.
to the official, Taliban outfit launched massive offensive early Wednesday to
capture the headquarters of Shuhada district, but the security forces stationed
there offered stiff resistance, forcing the militants to flee after leaving
seven bodies behind and five more injured.
security personnel were also killed in the firefight which lasted for a while,
the official further said.
is estimated that there are about 500,000 children under the age of 18 living
in the camps, with about 300,000 aged three to 14
a hot and sunny day with the mercury levels likely around 35˚C in the
Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp area, a group of restless children aged eight
to 14 – forcefully displaced from their own land – are enjoying a game of
football with their classmates.
scenario was hitherto unfamiliar in Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar where more
than 1.1 million Rohingya people took shelter after their dreams were crushed
under the boots of Myanmar Army.
the scenario has changed now, and Rohingya children are reviving their lost
dreams with basic education, sports, life skills, music, and arts in hundreds
of learning centres.
an 11-year old boy, lives at Kutupalong refugee camp with his mother. Like
Ayub, around 145,000 Rohingya children can enjoy their childhood under early
learning centres as a new school year begins, according to Unicef.
by the UN as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” the brutal offensive
forced 750,000 Rohingyas over the border into Bangladesh. They arrived directly
into the border areas where aid agencies have been working, providing education
to thousands of Rohingya refugee children, for eight years.
is estimated that there are about 500,000 children under the age of 18 living
in the camps, with about 300,000 aged three to 14.
50% of the refugee community in Kutupalong camp are children, and despite a
wealth of agencies investing in education, only 45% have access to education,
this according to a statement of Unicef.
said that he wants every child to be able to receive an education like him.
the aid agencies, Brac is the largest provider of education in the Cox’s Bazar
camps ever since the Rohingya crisis unfolded in August 2017.
more than 58,000 children are learning, and playing in more than 700 learning
centres across the camps.
than 65,000 children aged 3-14 still need access to a classroom.
Brac, other aid agencies are also targeting adolescents with educational
training to develop their knowledge, and vocational skills.
the majority of adolescents, aged 15 to 18, do not receive any kind of
education in the refugee camps. This group is extremely vulnerable to child
marriage, child labour, human trafficking, abuse, and exploitation, according
Unicef report last year warned that without urgent action, these teenagers are
at risk of becoming a lost generation.
is through these targeted interventions that Unicef is striving to provide
education for the hardest-to-reach children, many of whom have severe vulnerabilities,”
Edouard Beigbeder, Unicef Representative to Bangladesh said in a statement.
aim is to ensure they can be equipped with the knowledge, and skills they
require to navigate their future,” said Beigbeder.
people also hope that early learning classrooms will help to create a sense of
normalcy, and prepare the children for whatever lies ahead.
Nazrul Islam, program head of Brac Education Program, told Dhaka Tribune that
there are so many children, but they do not have sufficient space to open
learning centres for all of them.
teachers from within the Rohingya community is also a tough job, as there are
very few men and women who can work as teachers, and the ones that we find have
limited educational qualifications, added Nazrul.
said: “Now Brac is operating learning centres at the pre-primary, and primary
levels where students get learning materials such as slates, notebooks, paper,
and pencils free of cost, along with snacks.”
claimed that learning centres have changed the lives of the children in the
camps, where they have a safe and secure space to enjoy, opportunities to play,
and socialize with other children.
(AsiaNews) – Joseph Kamal Rodrigues, a Bengali Catholic singer, received the
2018 Nazrul Award for his "outstanding contribution" to Nazrul
Sangeet, Nazrul’s music, named after Kazi Nazrul Islam, a famous writer,
composer and anti-colonial revolutionary, and Bangladesh’s national poet.
67-year-old singer is member of the Catholic parish in Nagori, Archdiocese of
Dhaka. In receiving the award, he told AsiaNews: "I am pleased with this
award. Every honour pushes one to work more sincerely. I will do so."
award ceremony was held last Friday at the Nazrul Institute, a government
cultural organisation. Cultural Affairs Minister KM Khalid presented the
winners with a crest, money (100,000 taka, US$ 1,180) and a certificate.
is a famous singer of Narzul Sangeet, a musical genre inspired by the works of
the late Bengali intellectual, widely used in the independence struggle against
the British Empire and the Liberation war with West Pakistan.
style mixes romantic themes and revolutionary notions, philosophical
reflections and spiritual meditations.
security forces killed 4 Taliban militants and detained 5 others during the
operations in Wardak and Logar provinces.
informed military officials said Wednesday that airstrikes in Sayyidabad
district of Wardak killed 3 Taliban fighters.
officials further added that the Special Forces conducted an operation in Chak
district of Wardak and destroyed a weapons cache containing ammunition, a
rocket and 2 mortars.
Special Forces also killed 1 Taliban fighter and detained 5 others during an
operation in Pul-e-Alam district of Logar.
security situation in some districts of Wardak and Logar provinces has
deteriorated during the recent months.
militants are active in some districts of the two provinces and often conduct
terrorist related activities.
the Afghan forces routinely counter-terrorism operations against the
anti-government armed groups in the two province.
explosion in Jalalabad city of Nangarhar province killed one person and injured
at least 17 others.
incident took place earlier today after a magnetic bomb planted in a vehicle
officials confirmed that the bomb was planted in a Toyota Hilux type vehicle.
reports indicate the blast killed one person and wounded at least 20 others.
U.S. airstrike targeted a vehicles convoy of important Taliban figures in
western Farah province.
Police Headquarters of Farah in a statement said the U.S. forces conducted an
airstrike against the vehicles convoy of Taliban in Farah Rod area.
statement further added that the U.S. forces conducted the airstrike based on
credible intelligence tip off.
Police Headquarters of Farah also added that airstrike killed four important
group members of Taliban.
to reports, the airstrike killed four Taliban members belonging to Mullah
Mohammad Mustaghfir, the shadow district chief of Taliban for Farah Rod and
Highway#1 of Farah.
airstrike also destroyed three vehicles which were moving in a convoy, the
Police Headquarters of Farah added.
anti-terror goals not met, Pak faces FATF black list
faces the onerous task of defending its actions to curb terror financing at the
plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the US against the
backdrop of reports that the country has failed to deliver on a 27-point action
plan framed by the multilateral watchdog.
FATF plenary at Orlando, Florida, which is ending on June 21, is crucial as its
findings will determine whether Pakistan will remain on the watchdog’s “grey
list” or be downgraded to the “black list”, which would lead to harsher
the meeting, FATF members will assess the implementation of the action plan by
a final announcement on Pakistan’s status is expected only after the FATF’s
next plenary in Paris during October 18-23, people familiar with developments
Orlando plenary will specifically look at developments in the financing of
Islamic State, al-Qaeda and affiliates and “countries’ disruption strategies,
including prosecution of terrorist financing”, a statement issue by the FATF
has aligned its domestic counter-terror and money laundering legislations and
regulatory mechanisms with international obligations, especially the need to
crack down on individuals and groups listed by the United Nation’s 1267
Sanctions Committee. It has also taken some steps to detain operatives of
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and their affiliates such as
Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Falah-e-Insaniyat Foundation and to restrain the activities
of these groups.
several reports have suggested that evaluations by the Asia Pacific Group, a
regional affiliate of the FATF, have concluded Pakistan hasn’t done enough on
the ground to disrupt fund-raising by eight terror groups, including LeT and
JeM, and to completely freeze their assets.
was placed on the grey list in June last year after a majority of FATF members
concluded that the nation wasn’t doing enough to curb terror financing.
plenary meeting of the watchdog in Paris in February concluded it had made
“limited progress” in countering terror financing and failed to show proper
understanding of risks posed by eight groups, including LeT, JeM, JuD, FIF,
Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Haqqani Network and the Taliban.
findings of the watchdog’s latest assessment will be known when FATF president
Marshall Billingslea, also the US treasury department’s assistant secretary,
briefs the media on June 21.
in Pakistan face persecution, flee to Nepal
DELHI: Pakistan’s Ahmadi community, which is facing severe persecution by the Pakistani
government, are fleeing in large numbers to the Himalayan state of Nepal.
Ahmadiyya community has accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of stirring religious
hatred against them and several have taken refuge in Nepal in recent months, ET
in the lead-up to the July 2018 elections that brought him to power, backed
antiblasphemy laws that included death penalty and a discriminatory oath which
specifically targeted the Ahmadi Muslims. Saleem-ud-Din, spokesperson for the
Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Pakistan, recently said about 400 Ahmadis had
been killed since the introduction of the anti-Ahmadiyya laws.
many years now, the basic human rights of Ahmadis in Pakistan have been denied and
this discrimination continued throughout 2018, indeed by various determining measures
-- it was worse than ever before,” Saleem-ud-Din alleged.
Pakistan, Ahmadis are not allowed to read the Quran, perform namaz or call
azaan but in Nepal they can practice religion without any fear, a member of the
community told ET on the condition of anonymity.
YORK: Pakistan on Wednesday underscored the need for concrete steps to combat
Islamophobia and hate speeches.
was stated by Pakistan’s permanent representative Maleeha Lodhi while
addressing in a special meeting of the UN in New York.
said an inevitable consequence is to fan the flames of bigotry, intolerance,
anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia.
said Prime Minister Imran Khan, has recently called for urgent action to
counter Islamophobia, which is today the most prevalent expression of racism
and hatred against ‘the other’.
the occasion, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN Strategy and
Plan of Action provides a system-wide programme with the overriding objective
of identifying, preventing and confronting hate speech.
April 3, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution titled
“Countering terrorism and other acts of violence based on religious and
belief”, against the backdrop of a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques in
strongly condemned continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting
individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, based on
religion or belief.
resolution came during a meeting convened in the wake of the horrific mosques
attack, in which 50 people were killed and 50 others injured in March.
resolution proposed by Turkey and co-sponsored by Pakistan urged all countries
to protect and promote freedom of religion and belief and to foster a domestic
environment of religious tolerance, peace and respect.
also said the attack "came in response to the continuing crimes and
blockade of the Saudi-led coalition," and vowed more attacks against
"vital facilities in Saudi Arabia."
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday said
that allowing more time to the “selected prime minister” to govern Pakistan
could prove fatal.
asked oppositions parties to devise a collective plan to oust the government of
Prime Minister Imran Khan.
might not be able to achieve our goals if we are divided or try to devise a
strategy for personal or party interests,” he said while talking to reporters.
added that his war is for Pakistan and to save it from the ‘incompetent
Members of the National Assembly on Wednesday offered Fateha for former
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi who died on Sunday.
prayers were led by Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali on the request of a lawmaker
in the National Assembly.
leader Shehbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari were also present during the
session during which the prayers were offered.
first elected president of Egypt died at a hospital after he collapsed in a
court. Morsi died years after being ousted by his defense minister and now
president of the country, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials should be
investigated over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi since there is
credible evidence they are liable for his death, a UN rights investigator said
Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, rejected the
investigator’s report as “nothing new”. He added in a tweet: “The report of the
rapporteur in the human rights council contains clear contradictions and
baseless allegations which challenge its credibility.”
death stirred widespread disgust and hurt the image of crown prince, previously
admired in the West for pushing to end the kingdom’s oil dependence and easing
social restrictions including by allowing women to drive.
the killing some Western executives pulled out of a major investment forum in
Riyadh, but big investors have been pushing ahead with deals this year in a
sign that an effort by the kingdom to return to business as usual is making
Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, called on
countries to invoke universal jurisdiction for what she called the international
crime and make arrests if individuals’ responsibility is proven.
report, based on a six-month investigation, also calls on the United States to
“open an FBI investigation, if one is not already open, and pursue criminal
prosecutions within the United States as appropriate.”
FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
urged states to widen sanctions to include the crown prince and his assets
abroad, unless the man seen by many as the de facto Saudi ruler can prove he has
a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the
Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 where he was to receive papers ahead of
body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has
said, and his remains have not been found. “What needs to be investigated is
the extent to which the crown prince knew or should have known of what would
have happened to Mr. Khashoggi, whether he directly or indirectly incited the
killing…whether he could have prevented the execution when the mission started
and failed to do so,” Callamard told reporters.
is the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that Mr. Khashoggi has been the
victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for
which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights
law,” her report said.
Saudi public prosecutor indicted 11 unnamed suspects in November, including
five who could face the death penalty on charges of ordering and committing the
said the Saudi trial should be suspended, citing concerns over secret hearings
and a potential miscarriage of justice. Instead, a follow-up international
criminal probe should be launched, she said.
CIA and some Western countries believe the crown prince ordered the killing,
which Saudi officials deny. Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, who had waited outside
the consulate while he was killed inside, called on the United States to do
more to bring his killers to justice.
has chosen not to use its strong ties and leverage with Riyadh to get the
Saudis to reveal the truth about Jamal’s murder and to ensure those responsible
are held accountable,” Hatice Cengiz wrote in a New York Times op-ed. Critics
have accused President Donald Trump of letting the Saudis off the hook after
Khashoggi’s death, but a senior administration official told Reuters this month
the message to the kingdom is that it remains a “very hot issue”. The UN report
publishes excerpts of what it calls conversations inside the consulate shortly
before Khashoggi arrived there and during his final moments.
few minutes before Khashoggi arrived, Salah al-Tubaigy, an Interior Ministry
forensics doctor who would dismember the body, said he hoped his job would “be
easy”, according to the report.
diplomacy: India responds positively to Pakistan's offer for talks
has expressed readiness for dialogue with Pakistan, a source in the Foreign
Office (FO) said on Thursday. This was communicated in letters by Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to
their Pakistani counterparts.
this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a letter written to felicitate Modi
on assuming office for a second term, had renewed Pakistan's offer to hold
dialogue with India to resolve contentious issues, including the Jammu and
Kashmir dispute and terrorism, to restore peace in the region, and address the
problems confronting the people of the two countries.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had also written a letter to the newly appointed
Jaishankar and congratulated him on assuming office.
to the Foreign Office source on Thursday, the letters were received by Pakistan
through diplomatic channels on Tuesday. India has positively responded to
Pakistan's offer for talks about peace in the region, expressing readiness for
dialogue, they added.
their response, Modi and Jaishankar wrote about comprehensive and fresh talks
between India and Pakistan. They said that India desires normal and cooperative
relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan, adding that it has always
preferred progress and peace of the people, said the source.
sentiments from Pakistan "were also appreciated in the letters".
Indian premier and minister said that India was ready for comprehensive talks
with Pakistan and all other countries for the peace and progress of the entire
region. They also spoke of having a special focus on terrorism in the talks.
to a statement by the Indian External Affairs Ministry, shared by the source,
Modi said "it is important to build an environment of trust, free of
terror, violence and hostility". The minister also emphasised the need for
an "atmosphere free from the shadow of terror and violence".
face to face meeting
letters come on the heels of the first face-to-face interaction between the
prime ministers last week, which Qureshi described as a "courtesy"
meeting. The foreign minister said Imran and Modi shook hands and exchanged
pleasantries during their interaction on the sidelines of the 19th Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek.
after coming to power last year, Prime Minister Imran had expressed the hope
that sour relations between the nuclear neighbours would become normal.
a war-like situation emerged between Pakistan and India in February after a
suicide bombing in India-occupied Kashmir’s Pulwama district killed more than
40 Indian security forces personnel. India immediately hurled allegations of
Pakistan’s involvement, whereas Islamabad strongly rejected the claim and asked
for “actionable evidence”.
situation aggravated on Feb 25 when Indian fighter jets conducted an airstrike
on Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in retaliation of the Pulwama attack. The next
day, two Indian Air Force MiG 21 aircraft were shot down by the Pakistan Air
Force in Kashmir and an Indian pilot named Abhinandan Varthaman was captured.
However, as a goodwill gesture announced by PM Imran, the pilot was later
handed over to Indian authorities.
premier on a number of occasions had expressed the view that Indian leaders
were using anti-Pakistan sentiments to gain people’s support in the polls.
Modi's election win in May, the premier telephoned his newly elected Indian
counterpart to congratulate him.
month, Foreign Minister Qureshi had a chance meeting with the then Indian
external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, on the sidelines of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
was the first face-to-face meeting between the two ministers and the
highest-level interaction since the post-Pulwama standoff.
Pakistan had closed its airspace for flights to and from India on Feb 26 after
the Balakot standoff, Islamabad reportedly made a rare exception for Swaraj to
fly directly through Pakistani airspace to attend the SCO meeting.
Imam in UK debate show sparks row over past tweets
Indian-origin imam chosen by the BBC for a select panel of members of the
British public to put their questions to the UK’s prime ministerial hopefuls
during a live television debate has triggered controversy over some of his past
anti-Jewish remarks on social media.
Abdullah Patel challenged frontrunner Boris Johnson and the four others
remaining in the Conservative Party leadership race over tackling Islamophobia
in Britain during the debate telecast by the BBC Tuesday night.
said he was “sorry for the offence” his comments about veiled Muslim women
looking like “letter boxes” and “bank robbers” had caused, while
Pakistani-origin minister Sajid Javid urged all his fellow candidates to commit
to an external investigation into the issue of Islamophobia within the Tory
party. However, by Wednesday morning the narrative had shifted against Patel
himself as some of his past messages from Twitter were unearthed.
political figure on the Zionist’s payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn.
They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them,” read one of his past
tweets, seen as antisemitic. He also tweeted a map of the US, suggesting Israel
should be moved from the Middle East to North America as a solution to the
BBC statement said Patel seemed to have deactivated and then reactivated his
Twitter account and if the corporation knew of the views he had expressed in
the past, he would not have been invited on to the programme.
we been aware of the views he expressed there he would not have been selected,”
said a BBC spokesperson.
the mounting controversy, Patel was also suspended as Deputy Head of a girls’
school at Gloucester in the west of England. Al-Ashraf Primary School said in a
statement that he had been suspended “from all school duties” while it
investigated comments attributed to him in the media.
Trust has decided to suspend him from all school duties with immediate effect
until a full investigation is carried out. The school and trust do not share
the views attributed to him,” said Yakub Patel, Chair of the Al-Madani
Educational Trust, which runs the primary school.
himself denied his past Twitter statements were against the Jewish community,
but directed at “Israel’s policy”.
criticism was not of the Jewish community because if you go through my tweets,
you’d see support for the Jewish community. They’re our brothers and sisters,
and the Jewish community and I – especially in Gloucester – work very closely
together. We actually visited a synagogue just a while ago,” he said.
emerged as the one of the most commented-upon members of the public during the
live TV debate, which saw Johnson go head to head with foreign secretary Jeremy
Hunt, environment secretary Michael Gove, home secretary Javid and
international development secretary Rory Stewart on a range of issues.
Questioners from around the UK appeared on a big screen to quiz the candidates
from a regional BBC television studio. The debate followed the second round of
voting in the Tory leadership race, which knocked out former Brexit secretary
Dominic Raab from the running after failing to secure the minimum 33-vote
threshold. Johnson once again emerged as the winner of the round, with the race
for second place set for another round of voting during the course of the week.
Students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) have objected to the holding of
Yoga Day on the campus. While a common arrangement has been made for men and
women, raising the students’ hackles, the latter have also said that such a
celebration is just a waste of time and that no one becomes healthier by
practising yoga just for a day, said a leading daily on Thursday.
president of Students’ Union, Faizul Hassan told the daily that Islam
emphasises decency during an interaction between the sexes so the
administration should have made separate arrangements for men and women. “In
Islam, we offer namaz five times a day and it’s like performing yoga,” he
said that such celebrations are meaningless and if the administration really
cared, it should hold yoga classes round the year. AMU court member,
Shafikurhman Khan from Theology department, told the daily, “We welcome yoga if
it is a part of the curriculum but not if it is forced under a particular
also added that it was unfortunate that yoga was being given a communal colour.
Former students’ union vice-president Hamza Sufyan said the university should
spend the amount on its budget which had steadily been dipping.
varsity spokesperson Shafey Kidwai called the allegations baseless. He said, if
students can study together, they could very well do yoga together. On the
issue of Yoga Day celebration, he said week-long celebrations had been planned
for International Yoga Day.
court tells Zakir Naik to appear on July 31 in case of money laundering
Mumbai court on Wednesday ordered controversial preacher Zakir Naik, who is
being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, to
physically appear before it on July 31.
special court also took cognisance of the latest complaint filed against
Dubai-based jeweller Abdul Kadir Najmudin Sathak, booked for helping Naik raise
and divert funds.
ED had filed a complaint against Sathak and others on May 2. The court asked
all the accused — Sathak, Aamir Gazdar and Naik — to appear before it on July
31. If Naik fails to turn up, the agency may seek a non-bailabale warrant
against him. Naik is absconding at present and is a permanent resident of
was booked by the ED in 2016, after the National Investigation Agency (NIA)
registered a case against him. He has since been charged with promoting enmity
between different groups, delivering hate speeches and money laundering.
month, the agency had filed a charge sheet against Naik on charges of
laundering criminal money to the tune of Rs 193 crore and creating illegal real
estate assets in India and abroad.
a new round of negotiations between the US and the Taliban is to start in
Qatar, India has cautioned against a hasty deal with the terror group that is
dictated by a Washington timeline rather than the best interests of
at the Security Council on Wednesday, India’s Permanent Representative Syed
Akbaruddin also said that shutting down terrorist safe havens in Pakistan must
be a precondition for a peace agreement to go forward.
welcoming the international efforts for ending the Afghanistan civil war, he
said: “We see that some may be driven by a sense of an urgency with timelines
which are, perhaps, not intrinsic to the needs of the Afghan people.”
also warned that terrorist organisations cannot be allowed to negotiate from a
position strength that is guaranteed to them by the sanctuaries given to them
however, diplomatically did not name the US or Pakistan, but his message to
them was clear.
the way forward is chalked out, we cannot ignore that groups enjoying support
and safe havens carry out violent and terrorist activities from across
borders,” he said. “They cannot be allowed to negotiate from a place of
sanctuaries and safe havens provided to terror networks have to be addressed
for genuine and sustainable peace. The terrorist activities of the Taliban,
Haqqani Network, Islamic State (IS), as well as Al Qaeda and its proscribed
affiliates, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, need to end.”
has been trying to forge a peace deal with the Taliban so that US President
Donald Trump can keep his election promise of ending American involvement in
Afghanistan and bringing the troops home as the campaign for next year’s
election heats up.
pace of negotiations have accelerated recently and a key round of negotiations
between the Taliban leaders and Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Special Representative
for Afghanistan Reconciliation, is scheduled to start this week in Doha.
two sides appeared to dispute the interpretations of what they have agreed so
far on US troop withdrawal. The Taliban negotiators’ spokesperson was reported
to have tweeted on Tuesday that the US had agreed to pull out its troops.
Khalilzad clarified in a tweet that the US sought “a comprehensive peace
agreement, not a withdrawal agreement”.
withdrawal is only one part of a comprehensive peace agreement, which would
inlcude counter-terrorism assurances, intra-Afghan negotiations that lead to a
political settlement, and a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire, he explained
in another tweet.
visited India last month for consultations with Indian officials on the
at the Security Council, Rodney Hunter, the political coordinator at the US
Mission, said: “The US has made clear to the Taliban that we are prepared to
reduce our forces; however, we have not agreed to numbers or a timeline with
any peace agreement to go into force, despite the US need for speed, the
Afghanistan government has to directly negotiate with the Taliban. This was
emphasised at the Security Council by Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Special
Representative for Afghanistan.
common message to the Taliban is clear: come to the table and negotiate
directly with the Afghan Government,” he said.
days after a car bomb attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Jammu and Kashmir
police on Wednesday claimed to have foiled a major “terror” attack plan by
recovering a sophisticated improvised explosive device (IED) in Shopian
said the IED was recovered after five youths were arrested in Shopian. J&K
Police said in an official release that the arrested youths, who have been
identified as “associates” of militants, had said during questioning that with
a help of a Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM) militant, they were planning to plant an IED
to target security forces.
Christian activist, Muslim convert evangelist honoured by PAS Youth for
contribution to interracial hamony
June 19 — In recognition of their contribution to their respective fields, PAS
Youth has named Christian activist Jason Leong and independent preacher Firdaus
Wong Wai Hung as exemplary icons during its 60th muktamar or annual congress
the adviser to a group called NextGen Christians of Malaysia (Ancom) was
awarded the Unity Icon Award while Firdaus was awarded the Dakwah Icon Award
for his missionary work. For both men, this is their first time attending the
Islamist party’s event.
to Malay Mail on the side of the Congress, Leong, who is also known for his vocal
support for Palestine and the Rohingyas in recent years, said he was humbled by
the award, explaining that his association has maintained good relations with
various Muslim organisations and even political parties, to foster better
understanding and cooperation among one another.
have done a lot of engagement with Muslims across the board and we do not
believe in profiling people, we do not believe in labelling people. Calling
them ultra, extremist, left, right centrist. So long as you are Malaysians we
will work with you.
we don’t come with preconceived prejudices," he said, stating that he has
also worked with other parties such as Umno, Pakatan Harapan, and even hardline
Islamist and Malay rights groups such as Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and
Perkasa, among others.
said Ancom was born from the “Allah” controversy in 2013 since it is pertinent
to constantly engage with various groups from the two faiths to ensure the
matter was dealt rationally.
added it is important for members of different faiths to continue to talk to
one another, and build a relationship of trust and understanding.
is also a founder and adviser of Christians For Peace and Harmony Malaysia, a
pro-Barisan Nasional group formed to provide a counterpoint to established
Christian groups such as the Christian Federation of Malaysia and the National
Evangelical Christian Fellowship.
the founder of convert support group Multiracial Reverted Muslims (MRM), on the
other hand, expressed shock on receiving his award, stating his work or
evangelism was based purely on the principle of spreading Islam.
is up to them to decide what my contribution is as I am perplexed as to what my
contribution really is. What I do is only for the sake of Islam,’’ he said.
then explained he remains apolitical, and only came this year out of an
invitation from PAS Youth.
echoed Leong’s sentiment that members of different faiths should continue to
converse with one another. However, he is mainly concerned with religious extremists
who tend to be more vocal.
is these select few who tend to overtake rational religious discussions, which
is a shame,’’ he said.
has in the past defended fugitive televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, who received
support during the PAS Youth event today, and has expressed anti-Shiah and
Naik’s pupil Zamri Vinoth says willing to give up citizenship if mentor
extradited to India
June 19 — Independent preacher Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu said today he is
willing to give up his Malaysian citizenship if his mentor, Dr Zakir Naik is
extradited to India.
the government wants to send back Zakir Naik or extradite him, I will not
hesitate to hand over my IC,” he said at the PAS Youth 60th muktamar or annual
congress at the Bukit Gambang Resort City here today.
also claims that Islam is being “bullied” at the international and even
at the Congress as a special guest, Zamri also lamented the current political
landscape where he claimed even elected Muslims representatives will not speak
up when Islam is supposedly being attacked in Parliament.
also said that his mentor will be in Kelantan on the 7, 8 and 9 August and
plans to conduct a ceramah there and invited the entire PAS Youth delegate to
join Dr Zakir there.
June 10, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stated that Malaysia has the
right to refuse to extradite fugitive Indian national Dr Zakir, since the
latter alleges he will not be accorded justice back home.
Mahathir compared Dr Zakir’s status to that of Sirul Azhar Umar’s, the former
police commando sentenced to death for murdering Mongolian Altantuya
Shaariibuu, currently seeking refuge in Australia.
February, an Australian court had rejected Sirul’s application for political
asylum there after concluding his conviction for killing Mongolian Altantuya
Shaariibuu was not political in nature.
Islamic State-linked militants kidnapped 10 fishermen off Borneo island Tuesday
and took them to the southern Philippines, police said, the latest abductions
in the strife-torn waters.
heavily armed assailants snatched the group of nomadic sea gypsies in the early
hours as they sailed in two boats off eastern Sabah state, in the Malaysian
part of Borneo.
police chief Omar Mammah confirmed to AFP that the fishermen had been
kidnap-for-ransom gang Abu Sayyaf is thought to be responsible, and the
fishermen were taken to islands in the south of the country, reported
Malaysia's official news agency Bernama, citing police.
southern Philippines is home to numerous armed groups, and Abu Sayyaf is
notorious for kidnappings of foreigners.
militants, who demand large ransoms and have beheaded several hostages, have
pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group.
has been a spate of kidnappings in the waters between the southern Philippines
and the Malaysian part of Borneo in recent years. Borneo is shared between
Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
June 20 — Kedah PAS Youth today backed its party central leadership’s endeavour
for cooperation with age-old nemesis Umno as long as it is for Islam.
state wing chief Nasrun Othman also said PAS must ensure it takes pole position
in the cooperation — indicating the Islamist party’s grassroots are not fully
comfortable with joining forces with their political foe, even for the sake of
must unite our leadership on the state and central levels, for it is a
necessity to the unity of the ummah. All parties, including Umno, should ensure
the governance of Malaysia is led by Islam,” he said in his speech during
debates at the wing’s annual congress, held at Bukit Gambang Resort here.
acknowledged that cooperation between both Malay political parties pursuing a
common goal to protect Muslim interests would bring mutual benefits, but added
the caveat for PAS.
of the ummah brings benefits, on the condition that PAS must be the leader on
top, so as to ensure the Constitution, the Quran, and the Sunnah of the Prophet
can be defended.
is also pivotal that we make it clear to our friends in Umno for them to
understand that our principle is to defend God’s religion, not merely for the
sake of race, the Malay language, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. But above all else
the defence of Islam, for Islam is the highest and none other is higher than
Islam,” he said.
suggested a possible current of unease may run through his party’s veteran
members who still recall and hold onto the differences and grudges that
prompted PAS to break away from Umno in the past.
from understanding our friends in Umno, we must understand the veterans. They
may not understand, since they might still view Umno through old habits.
us and be together with us, to ensure Islam remains to lead. We are willing to
forget past history for the sake of Islam, since that has always been the basis
of our struggle all this while,” he said.
also referring to Youth chief Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi’s speech yesterday and
urged delegates to avoid becoming greedy and to chase after positions and ranks
of power within PAS.
June 20 — PAS will not hesitate to eject any of its leaders if their morals are
found lacking, its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today.
Marang MP who turned up unexpectedly at the party’s Youth wing congress here
said other political parties may consider morality to be trivial, but not PAS
which regards virtue as sacred and places great emphasis on education.
are unafraid of rejecting such leaders, unlike some others whose activities are
based on videos,” he said in his speech to PAS Youth delegates at the Bukit Gambang Resort.
did not name anyone in his speech, but was likely referring to political foe
ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition’s biggest component is embroiled in a sex
video scandal after a Youth leader claimed to have had several trysts with a senior
police are investigating the case under Section 377B of the Penal Code for
“carnal intercourse against the order of nature” which carries the penalty of a
maximum 20-year jail term and caning; Section 292 of the same law for distribution
of pornographic materials that carries a punishment of maximum three years’
jail or fine, or both; and Section 504 for “intentional insult with intent to
provoke a breach of the peace” that is punishable by jail up to two years, or
fine, or both.
Malaysian Communications Multimedia Commission is also investigating the
“improper use of network facilities or network service” under Section 2033 of
the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 for the posting of several video
clips showing the sexual acts that have been widely shared through WhatsApp.
insisted that good morals is the Islamist party’s core strength, and that it is
it was my subordinate who was involved in immoral activities, I would resign
from my post, and disband the party,” Hadi said.
his speech, Hadi also denounced those who viewed politics to be “filthy” and
“disgusting” as being un-Islamic in their thinking.
claims are not Islamic, as politics is taught to be separate from religion.
Indeed Islam teaches this is the purpose of man to uphold the faith.
13 centuries the powers of the world respected Islam. But now the ummah is weak
not because of the religion but because of themselves. Yet there will always be
those who will defend the faith, especially when it comes to politics,” he
said upholding Islam is a greater challenge than anything else, not just
physically but also spiritually and mentally.
Muslims are willing to face this challenge, it is then that Islam will take
power and rule.
do not wish to do so, for fear of challenges from certain quarters. But those
ready to defend Islam should expect these challenges to begin with,” he said.
should reveal who was behind 9/11 terror attacks: Scholar
President Donald Trump should reveal that US and Israeli intelligence agencies,
along with the Pentagon and Zionist neoconservatives, were behind the terror
attacks on the US in September 2001, says an American academic and analyst.
says he may know who is responsible (for 9/11), but I doubt very much that he’s
going to acknowledge that it was the CIA, in collaboration with the neocons and
the Department of Defense, most of whom were dual US- Israeli citizens, and the
Mossad,” said James Fetzer, a retired professor of philosophy at the University
and other students of 9/11 have been hopeful that Trump might actually dig in
to 9/11 and reveal the truth,” Fetzer told Press TV on Friday.
this is unlikely, “given the extent to which the foreign policy of the Trump
administration is under the control of the Zionist [lobby],” he added.
an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos broadcast on
Sunday, Trump categorically said that “Iraq did not knock down the World Trade
was not Iraq,” he told the American broadcaster. “It were other people. And I
think I know who the other people were. And you might also.”
also criticized Washington’s military intervention in the Middle East, which he
said was ”the worst decision made in the history of our country.”
described the Middle East region as “like quicksand.”
was a terrible decision to go into the Middle East. Terrible. We’re now up to almost $8t trillion
(£6.4trn). And when we want to build a roadway, a highway, a school, or
something, everyone’s always fighting over money. It’s ridiculous. So that was
a bad decision,” he added.
September, 11, 2001 attacks, also known as the 9/11 attacks, were a series of
strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion
worth of property and infrastructure damage.
officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists
but many experts have raised questions about the official account.
believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice
President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in
order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.
Shares Security Info With Muslim, Jewish And Christian Leaders
FBI convened a round table meeting of leaders of Muslim, Jewish and Christian
groups to discuss means of preventing bias-based attacks on religious
event Tuesday at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., appeared to be the first
of its kind; the FBI has in the past convened similar forums for Jewish groups.
There has been broader awareness of the danger facing faith groups with the
deadly attacks over the last year on synagogues in the United States, mosques
in New Zealand and churches in Sri Lanka.
session was dedicated to identifying potential attackers in one’s midst. A
special agent broke down data analyzing 63 recent active shooting incidents.
There was no single warning sign, although a number of factors were shared by a
majority of the attackers, including being male (94 percent), single (57
percent) and having mental health issues (62 percent).
the session where participants shared tips, differences of approach emerged.
Michael Masters, who heads the Secure Community Network, the security umbrella
for national and regional Jewish groups, emphasized the benefits of information
sharing with police, while Salam Al-Marayati, the president of the Muslim
Public Affairs Council, said Muslims tended to still be wary of law enforcement
because of perceptions that police profiled Muslims after the 9/11 terrorist
attacks in 2001.
DIEGO: A Navy SEAL charged with killing a captive militant boy in his care had
told fellow troops that if they encountered a wounded enemy, he wanted medics
to know how "to nurse him to death,'' a former comrade testified
a radio call announced an Islamic State prisoner was wounded on May 3, 2017,
Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher replied: "Don't touch him, he's
all mine,'' Dylan Dille told jurors in a military courtroom.
captive was on the hood of a Humvee fading in an out of consciousness with only
a minor leg wound visible when Iraqi forces delivered him to a SEAL compound in
said he was not the grizzled warrior he expected to find.
looked about 12 years old,'' Dille said. "He had a wrist watch around his
bicep. He was rail thin.''
a trained medic, began treating the boy's injuries. When he applied pressure to
his leg wound, the boy shot up in pain.
Warfare Operator 1st Class Craig Miller, who has since been promoted to chief,
said he put his foot on the boy's chest to keep him down.
briefly stepped away and said when he returned he saw Gallagher unexpectedly
plunge a knife twice into the boy's neck "right here on the right side in
the jugular vein,'' he said tapping the spot above the collar of his dress
spurted out and another SEAL jumped back and grabbed his medical bag, Miller
has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder charges, along with other
lawyers say Gallagher treated the prisoner for a collapsed lung suffered in a
blast from an air strike. He made an incision in his throat to insert a tube to
clear the airway.
claim that disgruntled sailors fabricated the murder accusations because he was
a demanding platoon leader and they didn't want him promoted.
said he immediately reported the stabbing to an officer, but didn't pursue a
more formal complaint until months after returning from deployment.
acknowledged he never took photos of the enemy's wounds or tried to document
corpse was ever recovered, no autopsy was performed and no forensic evidence
struggled with recalling details from that day. He didn't remember the platoon
flying a drone over the dead body, not even after seeing video in court that
showed him smiling nearby.
the boy died, Gallagher's re-enlistment ceremony was conducted next to the
corpse. Miller and other troops were in photos of the event.
that day, Dille said Gallagher confronted him and other senior enlisted men and
said he knew they were upset with what happened.
was just an ISIS dirtbag,'' Dille said Gallagher told the group.
said the next time he did something similar, it would be out of their sight,
testimony came on the second day of Gallagher's court-martial in a case that
has drawn the attention of President Donald Trump and revealed a rare rift in
the typically tightknit elite special forces.
lawyer Tim Parlatore questioned why Dille never confronted Gallagher or
reported him to superiors until after deployment.
said the allegations were serious and he wanted to ``be prepared for the angry
mob to come knocking,'' referring to conservative news media and older SEALs
who maintain their silence.
and Miller admitted participating in a group text they called ``the sewing
circle'' in which they discussed concerns about Gallagher.
accused them of using the chat group to coordinate a campaign to oust Gallagher
based on lies.
truth is watertight, Mr. Parlatore,'' Dille said.
also said that he also believed Gallagher had fired at Iraqi civilians from a
sniper's position several times, including an instance on Father's Day 2017
when an old man was shot by the Tigris River.
was also a sniper and was near Gallagher during the shootings but didn't see
him pull the trigger.
hearing a gunshot coming from Gallagher's position and seeing the old man fall,
Dille said he looked through his scope and saw the man bleeding through his
white clothing. He said Gallagher then radioed that he thought he had missed
the old man.
lawyer Marc Mukasey objected to the testimony, saying descriptions of the
alleged shootings were "wildly vague.''
who served eight tours of duty and earned two Bronze Stars for valor, was in
the courtroom in his dress uniform with a chest full of medals. His wife,
parents and brother also attended.
family has lobbied intensely for his freedom, claiming he was being treated
Republicans took up his cause and prevailed on Trump to release Gallagher from
the brig into better conditions in a military hospital. Trump also is
reportedly considering a pardon for Gallagher.
US military did not fly over Iranian airspace on Wednesday, the US military
said, after a news website run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said a US drone
was shot down over the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan.
U.S. aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today,” Navy Captain Bill
Urban, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command, said shortly before
midnight on Wednesday.
declined further comment.
relationship between Tehran and Washington has been particularly strained since
the US last year quit the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed
sanctions on Iran.
and Russia have signed a dozen cooperation agreements covering energy, railway,
agriculture, pharmaceuticals and tourism, with senior officials stressing the
political will of the two countries to reinforce ties in the face of US
agreements were signed as Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak visited Iran
with a delegation of 120 businesspeople, including representatives of private
and public companies.
two sides held their 15th meeting of the joint commission for economic and
trade cooperation in Isfahan Tuesday, which was also attended by governors of
several Iranian provinces and ministers of several Russian republics.
Iran and Russia are affected by illegal sanctions. It is hoped that the
sanctions can be used as an opportunity to expand ties and increase
cooperation,” Iranian energy minister Reza Ardekanian said, stressing that
there is “political will” on both sides to do that.
described Iran and Russia as “good neighbors”, saying both are determined to
strengthen their cooperation.
Iranian Ministry of Petroleum’s Shana news agency said the two countries signed
a memorandum of understanding covering oil, gas, petrochemicals, electricity
and nuclear power.
news agencies cited Novak as saying that Moscow and Tehran have been discussing
joint development of Caspian Sea hydrocarbon projects.
Esmaeili Shahmirzadi, the director general of the department for America,
Europe and Caspian States at Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum, told Shana the MoU
includes cooperation on exploration, recovery and production of oil, and
investment in oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
two governments stepped up talks on allowing Russian oil and gas companies to
develop fields in Iran, in place of Western companies that withdrew under
pressure from Washington when President Donald Trump withdrew the US from a
2015 nuclear deal with Tehran last May.
officials said then as many as 12 projects in the petroleum sector had been
presented to Russia’s Gazprom, Rosneft, Gazprom Neft, Zarubezhneft, Taftneft
and Lukoil for development.
Vladimir Putin also said Russia was prepared to continue its oil investment in
Iran to the tune of $50 billion in the face of US plans to reimpose sanctions
on the Iranian oil and gas sector. But there is yet no concrete deal that has
been firmed up.
news agency on Tuesday quoted Novak as saying that in their new talks, Iran
spoke of its interest in working with Russian gas giant Gazprom to develop oil
fields and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.
are interested in Gazprom taking part in the projects such as oil fields and
LNG projects and swap deals,” Novak said.
and Russia have yet to implement an oil-for-goods scheme originally signed in
2014 and extended for five more years, which calls for Iranian crude exports of
up to 500,000 barrels per day in return for Russian goods.
scheme includes Iran’s use of Russian machinery, equipment and installations
Iran needs in its strategic petroleum, mining, construction and transportation
tentative arrangement calls for swapping around 300,000 barrels per day of
Iranian crude oil via the Caspian Sea and the rest from the Persian Gulf.
of the agreements signed on Tuesday includes the revamp of the Ramin thermal
power station in Ahvaz and building four 1,400-megawatt thermal power plants in
the southern Hormozgan province, Ardekanian said.
further agreed to work jointly on several railway projects, fish farming, drug
manufacturing, and establishing cruise trips in the Caspian Sea.
also doubled down on the need to implement previous agreements on implementing
the second and third units of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, Ardekanian
told TASS news agency Russia could also resume wheat exports to Iran soon.
was one of the largest markets for Russian wheat until it reduced purchases in
2016 because of its self-sufficiency in the strategic product.
Iranian millers who are not allowed to use domestic wheat for flour exports,
however, still need imported wheat.
senators will vote later on Thursday on legislation that seeks to block
President Donald Trump’s plan to complete an $8 billion arms sales to Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates using a
loophole, citing concerns about the two Arab regimes' human rights
White House announced last month that it was making an emergency provision
within the country’s arms control law to enable the major arms sale to
America’s two main allies in the Persian Gulf region.
Trump administration had cited “alleged threats from Iran” to justify resorting
to the emergency provision.
lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have made it clear they want Washington to
take a harder line against what the human rights abuses by the two countries.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the vote on Wednesday, after opposing
lawmakers filed 22 separate resolutions of disapproval against the deals.
were confident that the measures would pass both the Senate and House of
Representatives but they may fail to garner the two-thirds majority support
needed to override a possible veto by Trump.
bipartisan support for the deals is considered a serious rebuke to Trump
specially since many of his close Republican allies, who generally have
provided overwhelming support for his policies, are among the opposition this
US Congress has grown increasingly with Saudi Arabia and the UAE over their
devastating war against Yemen, which has killed thousands of people and caused
a humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country.
US lawmakers have also called on the Turmp administration to hold Saudi rulers,
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in particular, accountable for the murder of
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey last
UN rights expert said Wednesday that bin Salman and other senior Saudi
officials should be investigated over the gruesome murder of the US-based
Washington Post columnist.
has pushed back against efforts to halt the weapons sales, arguing that
Washington needs Saudis and Emiratis as important strategic partners against
even Republicans who had in the past opposed legislation to end US involvement
in the Yemen conflict -- which passed Congress but was vetoed by Trump – think
Washington needs to send a strong message to Riyadh.
don’t think there’s anyone on this (Senate) floor that is averse to the idea
that action needs to be taken,” said Republican Senator Jim Risch, chairman of
the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said
lawmakers were also preparing legislation “to hold Saudi Arabia accountable”
for human rights abuses and Khashoggi’s murder.
American official who spoke on condition of anonymity told ABC News Thursday
that Iran shot down a U.S. military drone over the Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile while
the reconnaissance drone was flying in international airspace over the Strait
of Hormuz on Thursday, the official told ABC News.
confirmation comes amid growing hostility in the Gulf region between Washington
state-run Press TV as well as its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)
announced earlier that the U.S.-made RQ-4 Global Hawk "spy drone" was
shot down in the country's coastal province of Hormozgan, near the Strait of
IRGC said in an online statement it shot down the aircraft after it entered
Iranian airspace in the country's south.
U.S. military initially denied the report.
U.S. aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today," said Navy Captain
Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command.
have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since last year, when Washington
unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five
permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany.
Trump administration said Monday it would send 1,000 additional troops to the
Gulf region in the wake of escalating tensions.
U.S. said Wednesday it is "closely" appraising a UN report that said
the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was an extrajudicial
killing for which Saudi Arabia is responsible.
are reviewing the report closely," a State Department spokesman told
Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity. "The United States supports UN
Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard’s global mission to investigate
extra-judicial, summary, or arbitrary executions."
from the State Department met with Callamard "at her request" to
discuss matters that included Khashoggi's killing, the spokesman said.
are determined to press for accountability for every person who was
responsible," he added.
the report, Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or
arbitrary executions, said she found "credible evidence" to further
probe Saudi officials’ individual liability in the Khashoggi killing at the
Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, including Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Donald Trump and his top officials, however, have sought to shield bin Salman
from responsibility for Khashoggi's grisly murder last October, insisting Saudi
Arabia is a critical ally.
he did and maybe he didn't!" Trump said in a statement.
we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a terrible mistake," he added.
its other recommendations, the UN's report calls for the FBI and UN secretary
general to launch criminal investigations into the murder of Khashoggi, who was
a U.S. resident.
was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he
entered the country's consulate in Istanbul last Oct. 2.
U.S. must act decisively to not only achieve justice for slain Washington Post
journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but to rein in Saudi Arabia's crackdown on dissent,
Khashoggi's fiancee said Wednesday.
Cengiz said in a New York Times op-ed piece that to this point Washington
"has chosen not to use its strong ties and leverage with Riyadh to get the
Saudis to reveal the truth about Jamal’s murder and to ensure those responsible
are held accountable."
[Donald] Trump has tried to look the other way," she wrote.
Cengiz pointed to the detention of three men, whom she said are "reformist
scholars" -- Salman al-Awda, Awad al-Qarni and Ali al-Omari --, arguing
Trump "has the power to save the lives of the three men" as they
await execution in the Kingdom.
always said they were reformists, contrary to allegations made against them by
Saudi Arabia," she said. "And Riyadh’s lax attitude to the legal
proceedings of Jamal’s case cannot be accepted."
op-ed comes on the same day the Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said she found “credible
evidence” to further probe Saudi officials’ individual liability in Khashoggi's
killing, including Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
sanctions against the individuals and/or entities in Saudi Arabia that were
likely involved in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi must continue," the report
in view of the credible evidence into the responsibilities of the Crown Prince
for his murder, such sanctions ought also to include the Crown Prince and his
personal assets abroad, until and unless evidence is provided and corroborated
that he carries no responsibilities for this execution," it added.
report also prompted further investigations by UN Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres and the FBI.
urged the UN to heed the call.
British teens convicted for promoting far-right terrorism online
British teenagers who reportedly posted an image of Prince Harry and accused
him of being a “race traitor” last year were convicted Tuesday of promoting
terrorism and neo-Nazi propaganda online, according to news reports.
outcome of the trial comes after the United Kingdom strengthened its laws to
prosecute terrorism activity online, and the judge called the picture
“abhorrent” and “criminal.”
said Michael Szewczuk, 19, and Oskar Dunn-Koczorowski, 18, used pseudonyms for
personal accounts on Gab, a social media site primarily used by far-right
activists. They also shared control of the official page for the Sonnenkrieg
Division, a British neo-Nazi organization, where they frequently created and
shared racist and violent propaganda online. On the site, the two teens posted
an image of Prince Harry with a gun to his head and the caption “See Ya Later
Race Traitor” months after his marriage to Meghan Markle in May 2018, according
to U.K. news reports.
detectives arrested Szewczuk after a BBC report last year exposed his online
activity, they discovered in his residence bombmaking instructions, a
“white-resistance” manual and instructional propaganda on conducting Islamist
and Szewczuk, both Polish nationals, pleaded guilty to encouraging terrorism.
Dunn-Koczorowski was sentenced to an 18-month detention and training order,
while Szewczuk, the older, was given a sentence of over four years.
the court hearing, Dunn-Koczorowski’s lawyer, David Kitson, said his client’s
mind-set had not changed and he had a “lack of remorse” for his views and a
“deeply entrenched ideology,” according to news reports.
Chief Superintendent Martin Snowden, head of a counter terrorism unit, said
Dunn-Koczorowski and Szewczuk saw themselves as superior to others and represented
a “significant risk.” He told the BBC that it “only takes one individual to be
encouraged or be inspired by that propaganda to take that further step.”
U.K. has a much stricter legal framework than the United States for prosecuting
individuals for acts of terrorism propaganda. For example, under the U.K.'s
updated 2019 Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act, it is illegal to click
on terrorist propaganda and recklessly express support for banned groups.
Interest in updating the U.K.’s treason and terror law increased after two
alleged members of an Islamic State cell were not prosecuted, according to the
Rebecca Poulet said the pair were responsible for promoting a violent ideology
from right-wing and neo-Nazi groups, according to the Guardian. “The posts I
have seen and read are abhorrent as well as criminal by reason of their clear
intention to encourage terrorist acts,” she said.
the United States, their actions might not rise to a criminal prosecution
partly because there is no statutory crime of domestic terrorism and because of
strong First Amendment speech protections, according to Simon Clark, a senior
fellow at the Center for American Progress, who has written on the domestic
right-wing terrorism threat.
who has lived in the United Kingdom and United States, said he has seen an
increase in a similar rise in far-right extremism throughout Europe and
America. “When I moved over here, I was concerned to see the same types of
patterns emerge here,” he said. But in the past few years, he has also seen an
increased interest in tackling the rise of far-right groups from the House of
Representatives, numerous nonprofits and the online community.
to Snowden, the amount of material the police uncovered on the British teens’
social media channels “not only reflects their extremist beliefs but was
intended to encourage others to carry out despicable acts.”
(AP) — A record 71 million people have been displaced worldwide by war,
persecution and other violence, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, an
increase of more than 2 million from a year earlier — and an overall total that
would amount to the world’s 20th most populous country.
annual “Global Trends” report released by the U.N. High Commissioner for
Refugees counts the number of the world’s refugees, asylum-seekers and
internally displaced people at the end of 2018.
figures, coming on the eve of World Refugee Day on Thursday, are bound to add
fuel to a debate at the intersection of international law, human rights and
domestic politics, especially the movement in some countries, including the
U.S., against immigrants and refugees.
the report, the high commissioner, Filippo Grandi, had a message for U.S.
President Donald Trump and other world leaders, calling it “damaging” to depict
migrants and refugees as threats to jobs and security in host countries. Often,
they are fleeing insecurity and danger themselves, he said.
report also puts a statistical skeleton onto often-poignant individual stories
of people struggling to survive by crossing rivers, deserts, seas, fences and
other barriers, natural and man-made, to escape government oppression, gang
killings, sexual abuse, militia murders and other such violence at home.
said 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of last year, up
from about 68.5 million in 2017 — and nearly a 65% increase from a decade ago.
Among them, nearly three in five people — or more than 41 million — are
displaced within their home countries.
global trends, once again unfortunately, go in what I would say is the wrong
direction,” Grandi told reporters in Geneva. “There are new conflicts, new
situations, producing refugees, adding themselves to the old ones. The old ones
never get resolved.”
phenomenon is growing in both size and duration. Some four-fifths of the
“displacement situations” have lasted more than five years. After eight years
of war in Syria, for instance, its people continue to make up the largest
population of forcibly displaced people, at some 13 million.
runaway inflation and political turmoil at home, Venezuelans for the first time
accounted for the largest number of new asylum-seekers in 2018, totaling more
than 340,000 — or more than one in five worldwide last year. Asylum-seekers
receive international protection as they await acceptance or rejection of their
requests for refugee status.
said that its figures are “conservative” and that Venezuela masks a potentially
4 million people are known to have left the South American country in recent
years. Many of those have traveled freely to Peru, Colombia and Brazil, but
only about one-eighth have sought formal international protection, and the
outflow continues, suggesting the strains on the welcoming countries could
predicted a continued “exodus” from Venezuela and appealed for donors to
provide more development assistance to the region.
these countries will not bear the pressure anymore and then they have to resort
to measures that will damage refugees,” he said. “We are in a very dangerous
United States, meanwhile, remains the “largest supporter of refugees” in the
world, Grandi said in an interview. The U.S. is the biggest single donor to UNHCR.
He also credited local communities and advocacy groups in the United States for
helping refugees and asylum-seekers in the country.
the refugee agency chief noted long-term administrative shortcomings that have
given the United States the world’s biggest backlog of asylum claims, at nearly
719,000. More than a quarter-million claims were added last year.
also decried recent rhetoric that has been hostile to migrants and refugees.
America, just like in Europe actually and in other parts of the world, what we
are witnessing is an identification of refugees — but not just refugees,
migrants as well — with people that take away jobs, that threaten our security,
our values,” Grandi said. “And I want to say to the U.S. administration — to
the president — but also to the leaders around the world: This is damaging.”
said many people leaving Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador through Mexico
have faced violence by gangs and suffered from “the inability of these
governments to protect their own citizens.”
more than 1.5 million, Ethiopians comprised the largest population of newly
displaced people — nearly all internally — last year, prompting the head of the
Norwegian Refugee Council to decry a “forgotten crisis” in the east African
need a 180-degree shift in attitudes,” said NRC Secretary-General Jan Egeland.”
Wealthier nations must share the heavy-lifting, dig deep and support generous
countries like Ethiopia to ease the human suffering of millions fleeing from
UNHCR report noted that, by far, the most refugees are taken in the developing
world, not wealthy countries.
figures marked the seventh consecutive year in which the numbers of forcibly
Edith M. Lederer
18 at 7:06 PM
NATIONS — The U.N. humanitarian chief declared Tuesday that “a humanitarian
disaster” is unfolding in Syria’s last rebel-held territory where Bashar
Assad’s forces have launched an offensive, ending a cease-fire negotiated by
Turkey and Russia in September.
Lowcock told the Security Council that since Syrian troops began pushing into
Idlib on April 30 an estimated 330,000 people have been forced to flee their
homes and more than 230 civilians have died.
Antonio Guterres appealed to Russia and Turkey to stabilize the situation in
Idlib, home to over three million people, “without delay.” He called the
situation “especially dangerous given the involvement of an increased number of
actors,” and said civilians are again “paying a horrific price.”
political chief Rosemary DiCarlo told that council that for Syria’s close ally
Russia, the presence in Idlib of radicals from the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir
al-Sham, or HTS, “is not tolerable” and “for Turkey, time is required to
effectively isolate and address HTS’ most hardline fighters.”
U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said the September memorandum with Turkey “is
being fully implemented,” telling council members it “doesn’t ban but rather
encourages the fight against terrorism.”
stressed that all military activities are in response “to provocations from
terrorists,” saying HTS controls 99 percent of the Idlib de-escalation zone.
think that the issue is not that it’s a humanitarian catastrophe,” Nebenzia
said. “It’s clear that the issue is the desire to keep the territories that are
not under Damascus’ control for as long as possible regardless of who prevails
said Idlib should ultimately return to Syrian government control “and the
terrorists there ... will have to be liquidated.” And he added that fighting
the spread of terrorists “is much more important than artificial stoking of
tensions in the region, in the Persian Gulf.”
Belgium and Kuwait asked for the humanitarian briefing on Idlib by Lowcock, and
the United States asked for DiCarlo’s political briefing.
said the World Health Organization has confirmed that 26 health care facilities
in northwestern Syria have been attacked since late April and stressed that
attacking civilians and civilian installations like hospitals and schools is a
violation of international law.
number of partners now feel that supplying geographical coordinates to be given
to the warring parties effectively paints a target on their backs,” he said.
“Some have drawn the conclusion that hospital bombings are a deliberate tactic
aimed to terrorize.”
U.S., Britain and many Western ambassadors echoed his concern.
U.N. Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu told the council that the “fight against
terrorism can in no way justify these indiscriminate attacks.”
Nebenzia said “we decisively reject any accusation of indiscriminate strikes”
and told the council “we’re not carrying out attacks against civilians.” He
added that terrorist fighters are using civilian infrastructure and civilians
as human shielings.
the political front, DiCarlo said political efforts “cannot move forward in an
environment of open conflict” and U.N. efforts “will stall if Russia and Turkey
cannot uphold the cease-fire agreement.”
Sinirlioglu said the HTS problem needs to be addressed “with a more
sophisticated and comprehensive long-term strategy, targeting its ideology and
in the political process will be one of the key elements to this end,” he said.
over a year, the U.N. has been trying to form a committee to draft a new
constitution for Syria, and Sinirlioglu said finalizing an agreement is at a
the committee “will be the first essential step of the international
community’s efforts towards a democratic Syria,” he said.
Sinirlioglu said the Syrian regime’s attacks in Idlib are clearly aimed “at the
collapse of the political process.”
group representing terrorism survivors will call on the Home Office to require
all venues and public spaces – from arenas to pubs – to prepare a dedicated
security plan in case of an attack.
Martyn’s law, the proposal is named after Martyn Hett, who was killed in the
Manchester arena attack two years ago, and is supported by his mother, other
terror survivors and former counter-terror police officers.
the Home Office has so far resisted the idea, prompting campaigners to go
public and lobby the remaining contenders in the Conservative leadership
contest for their support.
Murray, Hett’s mother, said that she “never set out to be an activist or stir
things up” but, a year after her son was one of 22 killed in the Manchester
attack, she felt she had to act after visiting a theatre where no security
checks were performed.
had wrongly assumed that since the attack in May 2017, venues would have
learned their lessons and would have put stringent security checks in place. I
was devastated to see that this was not the case,” Murray said.
felt as if what happened in Manchester on that fateful night had been
will hold a press conference on Wednesday, where she and other campaigners will
appear alongside Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, and a retired
counter-terror officer who says he has been arguing for reform for years.
Aldworth, a former chief superintendent with the Metropolitan police, said he
and other senior officers wanted the Home Office to legislate on “commonsense”
security steps. He added: “Ministers mustn’t delay action on this any further.”
have been raised by the Home Office that for all venues to have a
counter-terror plan would impose extra costs on business, although Survivors
Against Terror says that venues already have to comply with fire safety and
from the campaign group say they are confident that the Home Office’s initial
reluctance can be overcome. “I think that this has been one of those issues
that has been lost in Brexit,” one campaigner said.
group argues that large venues, such as the MEN Arena, should be required to
have a more detailed plan, while pubs and bars should be allowed to produce
something simpler because a one-size-fits-all model won’t work.
idea is that venues could be held to account over their plan if a location was
attacked, and that most of the measures required, such as security staff, CCTV
or metal detectors, are already likely to be in place.
report produced by Aldworth for Survivors Against Terror says that “there are
no laws in the UK aimed at providing counter-terrorism protective security”.
Councils should be required to produce their own counter-terror plan, Aldworth
police Tuesday arrested 10 Syrian nationals suspected of financing al-Qaida
militants in Syria.
carried out raids in Madrid, Toledo and Valencia province.
organization was led by a family clan that for years allegedly used a legal
business structure to hide illicit operations with which they evaded tax
authorities and laundered large amounts of money," Spain's Interior
accuses the suspects of funneling money to "give support and backing to
the terrorist militia" in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province.
President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic advisor traveled to Iran on
Wednesday to hold talks with local officials as part of European efforts to
reduce tensions in the Gulf region, a presidency official said.
diplomatic advisor did indeed travel to Iran on June 19...to hold high-level
talks with the objective of contributing to a de-escalation of tensions in the
region,” the official said, confirming information from two diplomatic sources.
diplomat, Emmanuel Bonne, has been based in Iran in the past and is a Middle
United States sought on Wednesday to bolster its case for isolating Iran over
its nuclear and regional activities by displaying limpet mine fragments it said
came from a damaged oil tanker and saying the ordinance looked Iranian in
rocket hits second US Iraqi base as Trump calls Iran 'nation of terror'
Katyusha rocket was fired at a US-Iraqi training base in the city of Mosul late
on Tuesday, in the second such attack in almost 24 hours.
11.15pm, the rocket was fired at the Presidential Palaces Compound in the east
of the city, where US trainees are stationed alongside Iraqi forces, Sky News
attack is the second this week, after three Katyusha rockets were fired at the
Taji joint US-Iraqi base north of Baghdad.
attacks come despite US pressure on Baghdad to rein in pro-Iranian proxies and
other militias in the country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Iraqi
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi last Friday and discussed Iranian threats.
Pompeo “appreciated Prime Minister Al Mahdi’s commitment to protect US
personnel in Iraq, supporting the Iraqi people and continue the defeat ISIS
campaign, and his continued efforts to counter threats to Iraq’s sovereignty
from Iran-backed militias", a statement read.
Wednesday, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah is expected to make a rare visit to
Baghdad to discuss co-operation and regional tension.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his government was "very
prepared" for Iran, which he called “a nation of terror".
said that when his predecessor Barack Obama signed the nuclear deal with world
powers and Tehran, Iran’s leaders were screaming 'Death to America'.
haven't been hearing that lately,” Mr Trump said.
last February, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisted that the
Iranian people "will not stop saying 'Death to America' as long as the US
acts maliciously" towards Tehran.
Heras, a senior fellow at the Centre for New American Security, said the US was
being challenged by the rising tension in Iraq.
US military is being put on notice that it is vulnerable in Iraq and that it
best remember that if it chooses to escalate its presence in the region,” Mr
Heras told The National.
US is sending another 1,000 troops to the Middle East.
challenge in Iraq, where the US has about 5,000 troops, is that the attacks
“put the burden on the United States to show force to deter its
opponents", he said.
are neither expensive nor difficult to launch, Mr Heras said.
non-state actors in Iraq could have access to the rockets, he said, but
Iran-backed groups have an advantage because they they are mostly incorporated
into Iraq's security forces.
means they have the ability to store and launch Katyushas.
A delegation from the Saudi Shoura Council, headed by Saleh bin Manea
Al-Khalewi, began an official visit to Lebanon on Tuesday, meeting President
Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
is the first visit of the council to Lebanon, to convene the first meeting of
the Saudi-Lebanese Parliamentary Friendship Committee, headed by Tammam Salam.
praised “the fraternal relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia,” and
reaffirmed “the paramount importance of restoring peace and harmony among all
Arab countries, for the benefit of all,” wishing to establish “peace on solid
foundations based on the principle of respect for the vital interests of every
underlined that political differences should not allow deviation from the
principles of the Arab League charter, and hailed Saudi Arabia’s recent
decision to lift the ban on its citizens traveling to Lebanon in time for the
summer season, hoping that the “Kingdom witnesses further success and growth.
is more than ready to cooperate in all areas to achieve this end, especially in
the presence of an important Lebanese community in the Kingdom that contributed
to its prosperity,” he added.
underscored the “historic relations between the two countries and the two
brotherly peoples,” emphasizing the importance of the ongoing support provided
by the Kingdom to Lebanon. He also praised Aoun’s keenness to build Arab
solidarity and consensus.
Syria — At a makeshift clinic on the
edge of this desolate camp, several dozen of the last and smallest inhabitants
of the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate bawled and whimpered as they
waited to see the only doctor on duty.
of food, clean water and medicine combined with the early arrival of the
scorching summer heat have contributed to worsening conditions in the camp,
which houses more than 73,000 family members of the Islamic State fighters who
in March made their last stand in the Syrian village of Baghouz, the final
sliver of the caliphate’s territory.
vast majority of those family members — 49,000 — are children, and 95 percent
of them are under the age of 12, according to Kurdish and U.N. officials.
is the children who are suffering the most. They are falling ill by the
hundreds, mostly with diarrhea, according to Ramadan Zaher, who manages the
clinic for the Kurdish Red Crescent. Medical staff are also detecting a small
but rising number of cases of severe malnutrition, he said, as the children pay
the price for the choices their parents made.
endured months or years of relentless U.S.-led airstrikes, were hustled from
place to place under fire by their families as the Islamic State’s territory
dwindled, and now face an uncertain future living indefinitely in what amounts
to an internment camp, stuck in the desert, surrounded by barbed wire and armed
by their former communities and in many cases missing at least one parent, they
are scarred by the terrors they have experienced. There are no schools in the
camp, and the children remain vulnerable to the teachings of their surviving
parents or guardians, who were among the staunchest holdouts of the Islamic
Sino Antar examines Marwa, who is severely malnourished. (Alice Martins for The
holds her little sister's foot while she waits to be seen by a pediatrician at
al-Hol camp. (Alice Martins for The Washington Post)
mother and sister wait for a stamp on a document she needs for her to be
transferred to a hospital in Hasaka city. (Alice Martins for The Washington
of the children arrived hungry, after months of living under siege. More than
300 died in the first weeks after the influx began in March, of hunger and
injuries received in the fighting. Their bodies are buried on a bare hillside
outside the camp, the tiny space they occupied in life marked by a only pair of
cement bricks and little mounds of mud.
were born hungry. Marwa, 2 months old, was lying immobile on an examination
table, too weak to cry, her ribs jutting from her tiny frame. The clinic’s
pediatrician, Antar Sino, gently raised her stick-thin arm to fit a color-coded
tape measure around it. It slid to red, indicating, he said, that she was
said the clinic, a dingy concrete structure with few facilities, sees about
four such children a day, mostly babies whose mothers don’t eat enough to
produce milk. Marwa’s mother said she hadn’t produced milk since the baby was
born, within days of her arrival from Baghouz, her five other children in tow.
Their father was killed in the airstrikes.
aid effort is beginning to ramp up. The International Committee of the Red
Cross is in the process of opening a well-equipped field hospital. The World
Health Organization is preparing to supply chlorine to improve the quality of
cases such as Marwa are whisked by ambulance to a Syrian government-run
hospital in the city of Hasakah. There, she recovered her strength, and is now
back with her mother. But it is highly unusual for children to become so
severely malnourished in a camp that is overseen by the international aid
community, aid workers said.
there isn’t enough aid is a function of the unexpectedly large number of
civilians who had been hiding out with the Islamic State fighters in Baghouz.
Aid workers had been told to prepare for an influx of about 10,000 civilians;
instead, more than 60,000 came, joining about 9,000 mostly Iraqi citizens who
were already living in Al-Hol after fleeing fighting just across the border in
Iraq, said Amjad Yamin of the Save the Children Fund.
woman cleans the clinic at al-Hol camp. (Alice Martins for The Washington Post)
and children sit at the waiting area in a clinic at al-Hol camp. (Alice Martins
for The Washington Post)
stand at a registration office at al-Hol camp, looking for documents in their
phones they need to print to apply for permission to leave the camp. (Alice
Martins for The Washington Post)
8,000 of the children now living in the camp are foreigners — from dozens of
countries around the world — who were either born in the caliphate or relocated
there by their parents. Several hundred of those appear to have no surviving
parents at all. But even camp officials aren’t sure who all the children are —
orphans have been taken in by parents who lost their children, and some are
either too young to know where they’re from or speak no languages understood by
local staff, Yamin said.
governments have begun, reluctantly, to repatriate some of the orphans —
including Norway, Uzbekistan and Sweden. The United States flew six children
and two women back to America this month. But for the most part, foreign
governments are refusing to countenance the return of the vast majority of the
children and their mothers, said Abdulkarim Omar, head of the foreign relations
department in the self-proclaimed Kurdish administration that governs the area
of northeast Syria where the camp is located.
additional 20,000 children are Iraqi, and the administration was hoping that
the Iraqi government would take them back, Omar said. But only 5,000 Iraqis
have volunteered to return to their home country, and the administration won’t
force them to go back, he said.
all of the adult residents are women who escaped with the children earlier this
year. Their husbands are either dead or among more than 6,000 Islamic State
fighters who are being detained in prisons by the Kurds.
mothers of the sick children seem unrepentant, however. A German convert to
Islam who had brought her 18-month-old daughter to the clinic because she had
been suffering from diarrhea for weeks lamented the poor conditions, and
especially the lack of medicines to help the children. Most are just given
dehydration salts and sent on their way, she said. “There’s no family without
sick children,” she said.
woman, who declined to give her name, said she does not regret traveling to
Syria to join the Islamic State. “In Germany you see drinking everywhere, drugs
everywhere, television that destroys your mind, and I don’t want my children to
grow up with this,” she said.
4-year-old daughter, who was born in Germany, sucked her thumb at her mother’s
knee, her face and hair caked with dust. The sick baby fretted and fussed in
the woman’s arms.
has rejected a call by the United Nations for an “independent” investigation
into the death in court of the country’s first democratically-elected President
Mohamed Morsi, saying the world body is “politicizing” the death.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on
Tuesday called for an “independent and thorough” investigation into the sudden
death of Morsi during a trial court session on Monday.
was buried at dawn a day later in the presence of his family members only, said
his son Ahmed Morsi, in a burial that analysts believe fuels suspicions surrounding
OHCHR’s call angered Egypt, with the North African country’s Foreign Ministry
spokesman Ahmed Hafez condemning it “in the strongest terms” on Wednesday.
described the call as a “deliberate attempt to politicize a case of natural
Colville, spokesman for the OHCHR, had said “Any sudden death in custody must
be followed by a prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation
carried out by an independent body to clarify the cause of death.”
a senior figure in Egypt’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization, was
elected as Egypt’s president after the 2011 revolution, which ousted former
dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi was deposed through a bloody military coup led by his then-army chief and
now President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013.
67, had been serving prison terms on several charges, including passing
intelligence to Qatar.
suffered from medical neglect during his imprisonment as well as poor
conditions in prison.
year, a report by a panel of UK legislators and attorneys warned that the lack
of medical treatment could result in Morsi’s “premature death.”
Muslim Brotherhood has labeled Morsi’s death as a full-fledged murder.
organization said Egyptian authorities were responsible for his deliberate slow
rocket landed at the headquarters of several global oil companies in Iraq's
southern city of Basra on Wednesday, wounding three Iraqi workers and raising
alarm amid rising tensions between the US and Iran in the region.
rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of Basra,
Iraqi police said. The site is home to a number of international oil giants,
including US firm ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and Italian Eni SpA.
Jazeera's Charles Stratford, reporting from Basra, said a local security official
confirmed Exxon evacuated 21 foreign staff in the immediate aftermath of the
oil ministry is saying that oil production in the area has not been affected by
this attack," Stratford said, adding the security official described the
rocket used as a Katyusha.
we are seeing what can only be described as an increase in the frequency of
such incidents, over the last month and a half there has been a number
involving rockets fired at what has been interpreted to be foreign interests here,"
to security official Mahdi Raykan, the Katyusha rocket landed at dawn in the
Zubair and Rumeila oil fields camp, operated by the Iraqi Drilling company,
where Exxon Mobil and other foreign oil companies have tents.
said the rocket was fired from a distance of up to 5km.
of the foreign companies were not on site at the time but still in their
sleeping quarters, said another Iraqi official, speaking on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorised to address the media.
incident was the latest in a spate of attacks on oil infrastructure in the
region and came after the United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff
from its embassy in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, last month, citing unspecified
threats from Iran.
Thursday, two explosions occurred on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Four oil
vessels were targeted in May, also near the Strait of Hormuz - a key transit
route for oil and gas from the Middle East.
remains unclear who was responsible for the blasts. US officials have pointed a
finger at Iran, which has denied all accusations.
Tuesday, a rocket landed near an Iraqi military base hosting US forces in the
northern city of Mosul, an Iraqi military statement said.
rockets hit another base hosting US troops north of Baghdad on Monday. There
was no immediate claim of responsibility.
series of incidents take place as tensions continue to ramp up between the US
and Iran, with Iraq seen as a possible site for any violent flare-up between
the two rivals.
foreign troops in Iraq should use its territory to attack another "foreign
presence" or a country in the region, Iraq's Prime Minister Adel
Abdul-Mahdi told a news conference on Tuesday, adding no local group should
work outside of the supervision of the Iraqi armed forces.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's
administration did not want war with the Islamic Republic.
Pompeo vowed Washington would continue to pursue a "maximum pressure"
campaign against Tehran - which it accuses of being a destabilising actor in
the Middle East - that was rolled out after Trump's decision in May 2018 to
withdraw from a landmark nuclear deal brokered between Iran and several other
Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday warned Lebanon and Hezbollah against launching an
attack on Israel at the behest of Iran.
warn Hezbollah not to impose Iran’s agenda on Lebanon, and we warn Lebanon not
to be a base for attacks on Israel,” Rivlin said during a memorial ceremony in
Jerusalem for Israeli soldiers killed in the First Lebanon War.
warning came as he remarked on Operation Northern Shield, an Israel Defense
Forces operation to locate and destroy Hezbollah tunnels dug under the border
that the army believes were intended to be used to ferry the terror group’s
fighters into Israel as the opening salvo in a future war.
Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which Israel fought in the 2006 Second Lebanon War,
is part of the Lebanese government. Some Israeli politicians have called for
the IDF to treat Lebanon and Hezbollah as a single entity in any future
conflict, with a top general warning earlier this month that the country would
“pay a heavy price” for allowing the terror group to take root there.
Israeli military considers Hezbollah to be one of its most significant foes,
with a rocket arsenal larger than many countries’ and ample combat experience
from its years fighting in the Syrian civil war on behalf of dictator Bashar
his comments, Rivlin said Israelis “have never had anything against the
Lebanese people” and that the First Lebanon War, which was launched in 1982 to
stop Palestinian Liberation Organization attacks from southern Lebanon, “was
not a war of choice.”
as now, it was the terrorist organizations that exploited the weakness of
Lebanon, the Lebanese state, to attack the State of Israel and its citizens,”
president also vowed Israel would continue working to recover the missing
remains of Israeli troops killed in the war, after the body of Brooklyn-born
tank commander Zachary Baumel was returned to Israel earlier this year after 37
State of Israel kept its promise to our soldiers, our sons and daughters, to
bring home those who do not return from the battle… We remain committed to do
everything possible to find every shred of information about Zachary’s
comrades, Yehuda Katz and [Zvi] Feldman, and bring them home for burial in
Israel,” Rivlin said.
attacks killed 16 civilians and nine combatants in Syria’s northwest on
Wednesday, a war monitor said, the latest violence to rattle a region housing
three million people.
civilians were killed in regime air strikes on a village in the Jabal al-Zawiya
region of southeastern Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
bombardment destroyed shops and ripped apart bodies, according to an AFP
photographer, who found human remains more than a hundred meters away from the
site of the strike.
workers were seen pulling bodies from under the rubble.
other civilians were killed in air raids on nearby towns and villages in
southern Idlib, while one civilian died in air strikes on the edges of Idlib’s
eponymous provincial capital, the Britain-based Observatory said.
independent United Nations rights expert says there is “credible evidence”
suggesting Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior
Saudi officials are liable for the murder of prominent journalist Jamal
Khashoggi last October.
is the conclusion of the Special Rapporteur that Mr. Khashoggi has been the victim
of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the
state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law,” UN
special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes
Callamard said in her report on Wednesday based on a six-month investigation.
is credible evidence, warranting further investigation of high-level Saudi
officials' individual liability, including the crown prince's,” she said.
this human rights inquiry has shown that there is sufficient credible evidence
regarding the responsibility of the crown prince demanding further
investigation," Callamard added, urging UN Secretary-General António
Guterres to establish an international probe.
probes conducted so far by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, she noted, have “failed to
meet international standards regarding the investigation into unlawful deaths.”
further highlighted that an official international criminal investigation into
Khashoggi’s murder would make it possible to “build up strong files on each of
the alleged perpetrators and identify mechanisms for formal accountability,
such as an ad hoc or hybrid tribunal.”
also called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States,
where Khashoggi was a resident, to probe the case, if it has not already done
so, “and pursue criminal prosecutions within the United States, as
went on to say that she had viewed CCTV footage from inside the consulate for
report also found that there was evidence that “Saudi Arabia deliberately used
consular immunity to stall Turkey's investigations until the crime scene could
be thoroughly cleaned.”
view of my concerns regarding the fairness of the trial of the 11 suspects in
Saudi Arabia, I call for the suspension of the trial,” Callamard said in the
the report identified by name the 15 people who were part of the mission to
kill Khashoggi. It also suggested that many of them were not on the list of 11
unnamed suspects facing a closed-door trial over the murder.
a Washington Post contributor and critic of the Saudi crown prince, was
murdered at the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul on October
was murdered, says Turkish president
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday vowed to try to ensure the
Egyptian government is tried in international courts for the death of former
president Mohamed Morsi, who suffered a fatal heart attack in a Cairo court
earlier this week.
Morsi flailed on the courtroom floor for 20 minutes and the authorities did not
help him. This is why I say Morsi did not die, he was murdered,” Erdogan told
supporters at an election rally in Istanbul.
as Turkey, will follow this issue and do everything possible for Egypt to be
tried in international courts for Morsi’s death,” he said, calling on the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take action towards this end.
spoke a day after he called Morsi a martyr and said he did not believe the
former president died due to natural causes.
a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist group which is now banned
in Egypt, died on Monday after collapsing in a Cairo court while on trial on
67-year-old — the first democratically elected head of state in Egypt’s modern
history — had been in jail since the army commanded by Egypt’s current
president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled him in 2013 after barely a year in power
following mass protests against his rule.
Islamist-rooted AK Party supported Morsi’s short-lived Egyptian government, and
many Brotherhood members and supporters have fled to Turkey since its
activities were banned in Egypt.
added he would raise the issue at the G20 summit in Japan at the end of the
groups have called for an investigation into Morsi’s death and raised questions
about his treatment in prison. Egypt’s government has dismissed accusations
that he was badly treated.
Hamas resistance movement says US President Donald Trump’s upcoming plan meant
to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot deprive the Palestinian nation
of Tel Aviv-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
in Gaza on Wednesday, Head of Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh said
Jerusalem al-Quds cannot be divided into eastern and western sectors as the
whole city is “Islamic” and belongs to the Palestinians.
stressed that Trump and his conspiracies against Palestine could not change the
holy Israeli-occupied city, adding that the US president’s plan — which is
called the “deal of the century” — would not have the power to take away
al-Quds or the al-Aqsa Mosque from the Palestinians.
city of al-Quds is neither eastern or western but Islamic, and not Trump, the
American administration, the Zionist-American alliance, the international
silence, the conspiracy, normalization or the transfer of the embassy to
al-Quds can change the facts,” he said.
December 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel.
He also moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli-occupied city
in May 2018.
little is known about Washington’s upcoming proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, leaks have suggested that under the initiative the Palestinians would
only get some neighborhoods on the outskirts of Jerusalem al-Quds rather than
the original city.
Erakat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).,
“Trump and [Israeli prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu are planning to
terminate the Palestinian cause by removing Jerusalem [al-Quds] from any
solution, annexing major settlements and finding a capital for us on the
outskirts of Jerusalem [al-Quds).”
while the Palestinians view the eastern part of Jerusalem al-Quds as the
capital of their future state.
Trump administration is set to unveil the economic portion of its plan on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a conference in Manama, Bahrain, on June
sophistication of the attacks on two shipping tankers in the Gulf of Oman last
week had already led most independent analysts to conclude Iran was responsible
for the high-profile explosions.
there has been scepticism from some key countries, including Germany and Japan,
after the US initially released a grainy black and white video it said showed
Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from one of the two targeted ships.
Iran has denied involvement.
fresh set of colour images released by the US Department of Defense overnight
add a little more visual clarity to the diplomatic debate, including an image
of an armed speedboat with troops in red life-jackets on board, and
life-jacketed personnel by the side of the Japanese vessel that was struck last
the principal evidence used to justify Iranian involvement has been the method
employed. The two tankers were mined above the waterline – damaging them, but
not sinking them – prompting the conclusion the actions were designed to make a
point. There were no fatalities in either case, with both crews rescued.
Watling, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute thinktank,
said the attacks were “very precise, to avoid the risk of an oil spill”, to
make the point that “Iran can impose a cost on the United States, and that the
US can’t police the waterway around the strait of Hormuz”.
ships hit last Thursday were operating 19 and 21 nautical miles off Iran – just
beyond the 12-mile territorial limit – in the crowded waterways through which
40% of the world’s internationally traded crude passes. Oil prices rose 4.5% on
mines used were small. Another photo released by the US shows a limpet mine
attached to the Japanese vessel, the Kokuka Courageous, which did explode,
creating a hole 1.5 metres high and 1.1 metres wide; dramatic enough when
pictured, but again not enough to threaten the ship.
wider argument used to justify Iran’s involvement is that it would make sense
as a response by the country to what it perceives as the economic warfare waged
by the US in withdrawing from the nuclear deal and imposing sanctions. “The
status quo for Iran is unacceptable,” Watling said.
Wearing, a teaching fellow at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, cautions
that the US and its regional allies are “not reliable narrators”, partly
because it is in Washington’s interest “to narrow debate to the question of
whether or not Iran is guilty of these attacks to present their own aggression
he acknowledged the evidence so far suggested it was probable Iran was directly
involved. “They would likely be attempting to strengthen their hand in this
standoff by demonstrating their ability to impose costs on their opponents,”
the analyst added. The release of the images was followed by the announcement that
the US was sending another 1,000 troops to the Middle East, a modest show of
strength designed to reinforce Washington’s argument about culpability.
British assessment has also concluded Iranian forces were responsible for the
tanker attacks, but there is not understood to be any immediate plans for the
UK to step up its military commitment to the region.
who criticised Israel suspended by Muslim school
imam who questioned the Tory leadership candidates during a televised debate
has been suspended from all duties at the primary school where he is deputy
head amid controversy about his past comments on Israel.
Patel, who asked the contenders about Islamophobia during a BBC debate on
Tuesday evening, has been criticised for past tweets in which he said
"every political figure on the Zionist's payroll is scaring the world
also shared an image endorsing the relocation of Israel to the US as a way of
solving the Israel/Palestine conflict.
BBC said Mr Patel would not have been selected for the programme if it had been
aware of his previous comments, and said his Twitter account had been
deactivated ahead of his appearance - meaning the old tweets could not be read.
Primary School in Gloucester said in a statement posted on its website that it
had suspended Mr Patel from all school duties.
Patel, chairman of Al-Madani Educational Trust, said: "Following some of
the comments attributed to Mr Patel in the media this morning, the Trust has
decided to suspend him from all school duties with immediate effect until a
full investigation is carried out.
'school' and 'Trust' do not share the views attributed to him."
Burley, who edited the programme, tweeted: "It was AFTER the show that Mr
Patel reactivated his account revealing his tweets.
wouldn't have put him on the programme if these were public before broadcast, but
they were not. We also carried out a number of other routine checks which
didn't uncover anything untoward."
Patel has taken down his Twitter account again after the past tweets came to
BBC has also faced criticism after it emerged that another member of the public
- Aman Thakar - who questioned the Tory leadership candidates was the Labour
Party candidate in Borough and Bankside in the Southwark local election last
BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell, who had Mr Patel on his breakfast
show, apologised and said the imam had made "extremely disturbing"
remarks on Twitter and that he was "sorry" the broadcaster had not
tweeted: "I would like to apologise. We had the Imam from the BBC Tory
leadership debate on our programme this morning.
social media comments have been extremely disturbing. We should have checked.
We didn't. I'm sorry."
the debate, Mr Patel asked the five candidates whether they believed words had
consequences, and said he had seen first hand the impact of Islamophobic
rhetoric on his community.
Johnson said he was "sorry for the offence" his comments about veiled
Muslim women looking like "letter boxes" and "bank robbers"
had caused, while Michael Gove condemned Islamophobia as "repugnant"
and attacked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for comments he claimed were
"disgusting" and anti-Semitic.
Secretary Sajid Javid urged all the candidates to commit to an external
investigation into the issue within the Tory Party, and his rivals nodded in
on Twitter after the debate, Mr Patel said he had asked the question because he
wanted the candidates to promise that "things would change", adding:
"The hate is real."
an Imam, I'm exposed to many incidents which happen in my community, and of
course, as a visible Muslim, I also witness it first hand. I have received
numerous incident reports of blatant racism against members of my community,
from spitting and swearing at Muslim women ... to asking students coming to my
mosque if they had bombs in their bags," he wrote.
added: "What I got as a response was nothing short of disappointing and
deluded: @BorisJohnson forgot my name, spoke about his G(reat) grandfather and
about Iran. Gove used the opportunity to have a dig at @jeremycorbyn.
used the chance to speak about how he can't be racist because he has an
immigrant wife, and @RoryStewartUK forgot that this is also OUR country. The
only positive from the debate was @sajidjavid making them all commit to an
independent investigation into Islamophobia in the @Conservatives."
his response to the question, Mr Johnson said he believed his Muslim
great-grandfather would have been "very proud" to have seen him
become foreign secretary.
added that, when his great-grandfather came to the UK in 1912, "he did so
because he knew it was a beacon of generosity and openness and a willingness to
welcome people from around the world", adding: "If I am prime
minister, I will ensure that that is the way our country acts and
(Reuters) - Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that Europe
was not cooperating with Tehran to buy its oil in the face of U.S. sanctions
against Iran’s energy sector.
Europeans are not cooperating to buy oil,” Zanganeh was quoted as saying by
Fars news agency.
Arab Coalition says it destroyed a drone carrying explosives heading toward
Yemen's Hajjah Governorate on Wednesday.
unmanned drone was shot down in Yemeni airspace after the Iran-aligned rebels
launched it from Hodeidah province, the Arab coalition spokesman Turki
al-Maliki said in comments carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
called it another violation of an already fragile ceasefire in a key Red Sea
did not report any casualties but said the operation was a breach of the Hodeidah
ceasefire deal reached in Sweden last December between the rebels and Yemen’s
is the main entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s imports and humanitarian aid.
the rebels denied carrying out the attack, with the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV
quoting a spokesman as saying “no such operation has been conducted in the past
Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent
weeks, warning that its airports are legitimate targets.
Wednesday, the coalition said a rebel missile attack on Abha airport left 26
civilians wounded, vowing “stern action” in response.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for the prosecution of Egyptian
government officials who "murdered" the country's first democratically-elected
president Mohamed Morsi.
told an election rally on Wednesday that Morsi "did not die, he was
murdered," days after the former Egyptian president suffered a fatal heart
attack in a Cairo court.
said he will push to ensure the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah
el-Sisi is held into account by international courts for Morsi's death.
also called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take action.
The Turkish head of state said he would raise the issue at the G-20 summit in
Japan which is set to kick off later this month.
after his death on Monday, Morsi was buried at dawn in the presence of some of
his family members in a burial that analysts believe fuels suspicions
surrounding his death.
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on
Tuesday called for an “independent and thorough” investigation into the issue.
call angered Egypt, with the North African country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman
Ahmed Hafez condemning it “in the strongest terms” on Wednesday.
have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr. Morsi's detention, including
access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers
and family," Colville added.
Morsi's death not 'normal'
a key supporter of Morsi, has dismissed Cairo's account that he died of natural
a prayer service in Istanbul on Tuesday, he said that the former Egyptian president's
death was not "normal."
don't believe that this was a normal death," Erdogan said.
also lashed out at Egyptian officials for inviting only a small number of
Morsi's family members to his secret funeral.
are so cowardly that they could not even deliver his body to his family,"
forces have targeted a power plant in Jizan province southwest of Saudi Arabia
using a cruise missile in retaliation for the Riyadh regime's deadly war on
missile hit the power plant in al-Shuqaiq area on Wednesday night, al-Masirah
TV quoted spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree as
another development on Wednesday, the Yemeni forces managed to intercept and
shoot down a Saudi spy drone in Najran region.
this month, another Saudi drone had been shot down over Yemen. The drone was a
US-made MQ-9 Reaper.
Saudi air force launched a series of airstrikes on the wreckage of the drone to
destroy it before it fell to the hands of the Yemeni fighters.
forces seem to have developed a sophisticated air defense network to fight off
Riyadh's drone raids.
downed an MQ-1 Predator last month, another US-made drone, using a
on Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition carried out deadly airstrikes on the
war-ravaged country, killing at least two people.
were used as suicide bombers in a triple attack in Nigeria on Monday, Unicef
girls and a boy carried out the bombing outside a video hall in Konduga village
in north-eastern Borno State, the UN children's charity said. Their ages are
not yet known.
say at least 30 people were killed and 40 injured in the attack.
bombing is believed to have been carried out by the Boko Haram jihadist group.
It has not yet commented.
to Unicef, five children have been used in suicide attacks since the beginning
of the year.
2018, 48 children were used as human bombs in Nigeria, including 38 girls.
appeals to all those involved in this terrible conflict to protect children at
all times and to keep them out of harm's way," the organisation said.
in Borno State, Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency across the north-east
for a decade.
part of the ongoing armed conflict, thousands of children have been recruited
and used by armed groups as combatants and non-combatants.
said girls are raped and forced to marry, with some becoming pregnant in
captivity and giving birth without medical care.
happened in the attack?
blast took place outside a hall as a group of people gathered to watch
Hassan, leader of a self-defence group in Konduga, told AFP news agency that
the owner of the hall had prevented one bomber from entering.
was a heated argument between the operator and the bomber who blew himself
up," he said.
other attackers who were nearby then set off their devices.
number of casualties was high because emergency services arrived late at the
site of the blast. They were not adequately equipped to deal with such a large
number of wounded people, Usman Kachalla, head of operations at the State
Emergency Management Agency (Sema) told AFP.
halls are common across northern Nigeria. They are usually rudimentary
buildings where people pay a small fee to watch football matches or films.
Haram has targeted them on several occasions, saying they are un-Islamic.
has been targeted before. In July 2018, eight people were killed after a
suicide bomber detonated explosives in a mosque.
Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the families of the victims and promised
to bring the perpetrators to justice.
least 27,000 lives have been lost and about two million people forced to flee
their homes in the conflict with Boko Haram.
latest attack came at the end of a bloody weekend in northern Nigeria. There is
rising concern of insecurity in other parts of the country.
Friday night an armed gang killed at least 34 people in the north-western state
of Zamfara, which has been at the centre of a wave of attacks by bandits since
the beginning of the year.
Boko Haram insurgency has been terrorising people in the north-east for the
past decade, and has been the main area of focus for Nigeria's armed forces.
the triple suicide bombings in Borno on Sunday reflect just how complex the
security challenges are.
government has said that Boko Haram and the rival Islamic State of West Africa
Province (Iswap) group are on their last legs. But both the military and
population of the north-east continue to suffer regular attacks.
Boko Haram has lost a lot of the territory it held in the north-east in the
last four years, it is still attacking soft targets in mosques, markets and
this with the ongoing banditry attacks in the north-west, and kidnappings
across the country's highways, and the scale of the security challenge is
army ruler on Wednesday called on protest leaders to resume talks on the
transfer of power without any conditions, as the tension between the two sides
persists after the dispersal of demonstrators.
are calling on the Alliance for Freedom and Change and all political powers to
come and sit without any conditions... we need a solution that satisfies all
people,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told a gathering of medics in a speech
broadcast on state television.
remarks came just over two weeks since armed men in military fatigues broke up
a weeks-long sit-in outside army headquarters.
ruling generals had vowed on several occasions not to disperse the sit-in.
dispersal came after multiple rounds of talks between the military council and
protest leaders faltered.
country has been without a government for three months... the Sudanese people
and foreign policy have been affected by the lack of government,” Burhan said.
don’t want the situation to get out of control. We don’t want to see another
coup,” he said.
ruling generals said last week that “more than one coup attempt had been
planned” against the military council, but had been thwarted, with “two groups
of officers” taken into custody.
of people are reported killed after a new attack on two villages in central
Mali, a part of the country experiencing a dire security situation amid an
increase in tit-for-tat ethnic violence.
local mayor told Reuters News Agency on Tuesday that unidentified gunmen on
motorbikes attacked the villages of Yoro and Gangafani 2 the previous evening,
killing at least 41 civilians.
victims of the raids were mostly ethnic Dogons, according to Issiaka Ganame,
the mayor of Yoro, where 24 people were killed. Another 17 died in Gangafani 2.
100 unidentified armed men circulating on motos all of a sudden invaded Yoro
and fired on the population," Ganame said.
they descended on the village of Gangafani 2, which is about 15km away."
local judicial official Boubacar Sidiki Samake told the AFP news agency that
Monday's attacks in the two villages near the border with Burkina Faso had left
"14 people dead according to a provisional toll".
Malian military source said as many as 40 people may have been killed.
other information was immediately available.
attack on the two villages compounds a desperate security situation in central
Mali, where ethnic militias regularly slaughter civilians from rival groups.
tit-for-tat violence in recent months has largely pitted Dogon hunters against
Fulani herders. Attackers believed to be Fulani raided a Dogon village last
week, killing at least 35 people.
March, suspected Dogon militiamen killed more than 150 Fulani in two villages
in central Mali, one of the worst acts of bloodshed in the country's recent
least 488 Fulani civilians died in attacks carried out in the central regions
of Mopti and Segou between January 1, 2018, and May 16, 2019, according to the
United Nations mission in Mali (MINUSMA). In the same period, armed Fulanis had
"caused 63 deaths" among civilians in the Mopti region.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's government has vowed to disarm the militias but has
struggled to do so.
Tuesday, two labour unions representing civil servants called on state
administrators in the Mopti region, where most of the attacks have occurred, to
leave their posts and decamp to the regional capital due to death threats.
Keita said he was going to disarm all the militias. We take note and await the
disarmament of the militias and implementation of protection measures,"
said Ousmane Christian Diarra, secretary-general of the National Syndicate of
Mali has in the past few years been overrun by fighters with links to al-Qaeda.
by fighter groups has worsened almost every year since it first started in Mali
in 2012 when rebel fighters and allied Tuareg rebels took over the north and
advanced towards the capital, Bamako, until a French-led intervention pushed
them back the following year.
United States military said Monday its special forces killed two al-Shabab
militants in an airstrike in southern Somalia on Sunday.
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said the strike was conducted in cooperation with
Somali government near Jilib, Middle Juba Region.
2017, the U.S. military has stepped up air raids against al-Shabab. The
al-Shabab group still controls large parts of rural southern and central
Somalia and continues to carry out high-profile attacks in the capital
Haram fighters backed by the Islamic State West African Province have attacked
at least four Nigerian Army bases between last Wednesday and Tuesday.
has already been raising concerns among the troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole
in the North-East.
army has lost a yet-to-be-ascertained number of soldiers when Boko Haram
fighters attacked its bases in the Mobbar, Damasak, Monguno and Gajiram areas
of Borno State.
the acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, has yet to
confirm the number of casualties in any of the attacks.
the attacks on army bases by the insurgents within the last one week,
ammunition worth at least N20m was carted away by the fighters.
June 12, while the Democracy Day celebration was ongoing nationwide, Boko Haram
insurgents attacked a military location at Kareto village in the Mobbar Local
Government Area of Borno State.
terrorists reportedly killed the Commanding Officer of 158 Battalion and an
undisclosed number of soldiers.
Saturday, June 15, Boko Haram terrorists attacked another troops’ location in
Damasak, Borno State, during which an unconfirmed number of soldiers were
Monday, the Boko Haram fighters attacked another military base in Monguno,
Borno State, killing at least five soldiers.
terrorists reportedly invaded the location in many utility vehicles in an
attack, which occurred on Monday around 6pm.
said before reinforcements came to Monguno, the terrorists had made away with
the military’s ammunition and set a section of the base on fire.
the same Monday, the terrorists in armoured trucks attacked another army base
in Gajiram in the Nganzai LGA of the state.
Libya’s National Oil Company deplored an air raid that on Tuesday evening
destroyed a warehouse operated by a subsidiary and wounded three personnel near
warehouse owned by subsidiary Mellitah Oil & Gas Company (MOG) was
destroyed by aerial bombardment,” the NOC said in a statement on its website.
attack and resulting fire destroyed valuable equipment and materials in
addition to the warehouse itself,” it said, adding that three MOG employees had
been lightly wounded and taken to hospital.
is controlled by forces loyal to the internationally recognized Government of
National Accord (GNA), but eastern commander Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National
Army (LNA) launched an offensive against the capital in early April. Images
published by the NOC show a building devastated by fire, which was extinguished
by fire fighters.
is another tragic loss caused by this unnecessary conflict,” said NOC chairman
infrastructure is being destroyed before our eyes. The lives of oil sector
workers are continually being put at risk,” he added. The air raid poses a risk
to oil production, Sanalla said, vowing to work with local authorities to
“ascertain the origin of this unprovoked attack.”
raid is the fourth attack against installations supported by the NOC since
Haftar launched his offensive.
against the LNA by forces loyal to the GNA have resulted in stalemate on the
capital’s southern outskirts.
side has yet claimed responsibility for the attack against the warehouse owned
by MOG, a joint venture between the NOC and Italian energy firm ENI.
forces loyal to the GNA have blamed Haftar’s forces.
Standing near the shrine of the Sufi scholar Sidi Boughanem in western Tunisia,
Karim points to the earth below his feet.
are stairs under the ground,” he said. “We started digging, but we had to stop
because someone called the police.”
the foot of a mountain covered with Roman villas and antique olive oil
factories, the shrine sits atop buried structures and catacombs that date back
to the Roman and Byzantine periods.
sites such as this one in the region of Kasserine are often looted or damaged
during illegal nighttime excavations by people looking for goods to sell, said
Karim, a local historian from the nearby town of Foussana.
there are farmers who stumble across antiques by accident while planting crops,
he added, and other people who go digging on their own land in the hope of
finding artifacts they can sell.
takes part in these digs out of curiosity. But his colleagues are hunting for
treasures, he said.
are multiple groups (that do this),” said Karim, whose name has been changed
for his safety.
looting of archaeological sites is a longstanding problem in Tunisia, said
Yasser Jrad, head of the seized objects department at the National Heritage
of significant historical and cultural value often end up on the European
market and in the homes of Tunisia’s rich and powerful, he explained.
issue was brought into the spotlight in 2011, when Tunisia’s ousted Zine
El-Abidine Ben Ali was sentenced to 35 years in prison in the first of several
trials for a range of crimes, including possession of archaeological artifacts.
2017, the Tunisian authorities seized a rare 15th-century Torah scroll that
they thought was being smuggled to Europe.
recently, in March customs seized 600 antique coins dating from the 2nd century
from a car in the coastal town of Sfax.
from the INP, which is tasked with protecting and recording the country’s
artifacts, show that the team has received more than 25,000 recovered
archaeological items since the 2011 uprising.
the INP gets more than double the number of reports for Kasserine than it did
before the uprising, said Mohamed Ben Nejma, head of the region for the
institute, adding that the instability and chaos of conflict often provides a
window for archaeological looting.
he also attributed the increase in recovered objects to the fact that the
authorities are getting more serious about tackling the illicit antiquities
might have been partly to do with state interests,” said Jrad.
since we discovered pieces stolen from our (national) sites in the houses of
Ben Ali and his family.”
western region of Kasserine, where the shrine of Sidi Boughanem is located, is
one of the most marginalized parts of the country — with government figures
showing about one in four people unemployed, far higher than the 15 percent
unemployment rate for the country as a whole. It is also one of the most
archaeologically rich. There are four major sites located in an area of 8,000
sq. km, and the land is peppered with architectural ruins and antique stones.
sites are guarded around the clock, according to the INP, while less
significant sites have security guards during the day. But the sheer number of
small sites makes it impossible to keep an eye on all of them, said Nejma.
Shili, an expert in national heritage promotion with the University of Tunis,
said it is the lack of proper excavation projects and cultural investment in general
that leaves the Kasserine region open to looting.
is kind of a virgin region,” said Shili, pointing out that his hometown of
Thala alone has about 350 archaeological sites.
state prefers for (these sites) to remain hidden because we don’t have the
means to protect them,” he said.
a new site is discovered, instead of guarding it or moving the artefacts to
somewhere secure, “the state documents it, they take photos and then they put
the earth back over it,” Shili added.
she surveys sites around Foussana for her research, Wafa Mouelhi, an
archaeology masters student at the University of Tunis, takes pictures whenever
she sees that someone has been digging.
see holes, you notice with the placement of stones that someone has been there,”
she said. “People are looking for statues or gold and jewelry.”
and other residents inform the local authorities about illegal excavations. In
January, she caught someone from the town attempting to dig up a mosaic and
ceramics from a Roman site that contains a church.
is stolen from us’
Hobson of the UK-based Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North
Africa project, said multiple factors need to be taken into account when it
comes to protecting heritage sites from theft, which is often driven by poverty
and political instability.
are economic reasons (for looting),” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in
Tunis. “The blame should not be put on the people who are trying to get by
day-to-day, but the persons who are furnishing these collections.”
in Libya or Egypt, the antiquities trade in Tunisia is fairly small and
disorganized, according to a local policeman, who asked to remain anonymous to
protect his job.
just pocket money, people sell things for less than they are worth,” he said.
Idoudi, a civil servant from Foussena, said the country’s unprotected artefacts
are fair game and that citizens have the right to benefit from rogue
state left of all of (the artefacts) and doesn’t look after them,” he said.
“I’m for the practice because people can profit, it can help people get some
money from their (heritage).”
such as Ayoub Sayhi, a 22-year-old amateur filmmaker from Thala, called on the
government to do more to care for the country’s ancient objects.
Sayhi, the looting of Kasserine’s antiquities was just another symptom of what
he saw as the state’s neglect of the region.
search of a peaceful and spiritual life, a Muslim convert find what he was
seeking in the West African nation of Senegal, moving away from the material,
conformist life he was living in Germany.
Pachurka, a German Muslim convert known as Hadim Ndiguel, had traveled around
the world in search of inner peace, before living in Senegal for nearly 20
Pachurka found inner and spiritual peace in Senegal, which made him forget
about the material comfort life he had in Germany and adopt the Muslim religion
and lifestyle in the West African country.
was a solar energy technician in Germany, passionate about hip-hop music and
the story of the African American community's fight for civil rights.
by the life of Malcolm X, Ndiguel began a quest that took him far from his
converted to Islam in Senegal about 20 years ago where he joined the Mouride
Brotherhood, he told Anadolu Agency.
Mouride Brotherhood is a Sufi Muslim fraternal organization that encourages
self-help and hard work. It is very popular in Senegal and Gambia with
headquarters in the city of Touba, Senegal, which is a holy city for the order.
transition from hip-hop to mystical Mourisdism
grew up as a Protestant Christian.
part of the hip-hop generation. I loved reggae and hip-hop music. That's how I
knew African-Americans. Then I read the story of Malcolm X and his conversion
to Islam. After that, I decided to move to Africa," he told Anadolu
who first settled in Egypt, recounted his adventures with religious members of
Rastafarianism, of which the late Bob Marley was also a member.
later pursued his quest in some Sub-Saharan African countries, including
Zambia, Malawi and finally settled in Senegal.
Senegal, Ndiguel was introduced to the Sufi tradition of Mouridism and was
influenced by the lifestyle and peaceful teachings of Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba
(1853-1927), founder of the brotherhood.
Ahmadou Bamba, founder of the city of Tuba, was an exceptional man and he
showed peaceful and non-violent resistance against French people of the
colonial era, " Ndiguel said.
Bamba Mourisdism to Baye Fall Mysticism
his adventure in the heart of the Senegalese Sufi brotherhood, Ndiguel met the
Baye Fall movement, which was similar to Rastafarianism.
movement was established by Sheikh Ibrahima Fall -- one of the first students
of Sheikh Bamba.
teachings focused on hard work, goodness, and helping others.
who married a Senegalese woman, is now the father of eight children and lives
with Baye Fall members in a remote village in the West African country.
live in our village according to a collective way of life and we do all the
work required by our Sheikhs. Our lives conform to the strict rules of the
community. Here, we work hard to find inner peace," he said.
Mouride, a Sunni brotherhood followed by the majority of Muslims in Senegal,
was founded by the Senegalese Muslim scholar Sheikh Bamba (1853-1927) in 1887.
was exiled to Gabon and Mauritania because he resisted -- with a non-violent
rhetoric -- the French colonial and missionary activities in Senegal.
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