India’s Supreme Court puts sedition law on hold

India’s Supreme Court has put a controversial colonial-era sedition law on hold that critics say is used to stifle dissent. The judges asked the government to refrain from registering any new cases which invoke sedition until it finishes hearing petitions challenging it. The court also asked the authorities to pause all existing sedition trials. The government has been accused of using the law against critics, such as politicians, journalists and activists. On Tuesday, the government said that they would review the law after earlier defending it. While pausing the court hearing on Wednesday, the judges said that those already charged … Continue reading India’s Supreme Court puts sedition law on hold

Update: Sri Lanka suffers second night of property burnings

Sri Lanka witnessed a second night of arson attacks on Tuesday, with properties damaged in the town of Negombo, near the capital, Colombo. A mob torched a luxury holiday resort owned by the son of the former Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa. On Monday, frustration at the country’s economic crisis spilled over, after government supporters attacked protesters who want President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to quit. Eight people have since died, more than 200 are believed to have been injured in the clashes. Sri Lanka had already seen weeks of protests over its dire financial situation, which has caused the Sri Lankan rupee … Continue reading Update: Sri Lanka suffers second night of property burnings

Sri Lankan protesters attack homes of leaders in night of unrest

Angry mobs in Sri Lanka have burned down several homes belonging to the ruling Rajapaksas and MPs, after they were attacked by government supporters. The violence capped a day of unrest that saw PM Mahinda Rajapaksa quit amid mass protests at his government’s handling of the economic crisis. But it failed to calm demonstrators, who attempted to storm his official residence while he was still inside. Seven people have died and more than 190 have been injured since Monday. An island-wide curfew has been extended to Wednesday morning as authorities seek to quell the violence. Many protesters are still calling … Continue reading Sri Lankan protesters attack homes of leaders in night of unrest

Turkish court gives philanthropist Kavala life in prison

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a prominent Turkish civil rights activist and philanthropist to life in prison without parole. Osman Kavala was found guilty of attempting to overthrow the government in connection with the 2013 mass anti-government protests.Osman Kavala The court in Istanbul also sentenced seven other defendants, including 71-year-old architect Mucella Yapici, to 18 years in prison each for “aiding” the attempt. It ordered that the activists, who were not in custody, be immediately arrested, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The verdict, which is likely to harm Turkey’s ties with Western nations, comes as Europe’s top human rights body, the Council … Continue reading Turkish court gives philanthropist Kavala life in prison

Update: One killed after police fire live bullets at protesters in Sri Lanka

Police in Sri Lanka opened fire on crowds protesting at fuel shortages during the economic crisis, leaving one man dead and 11 others wounded. The casualties in the central town of Rambukkana came after live ammunition was used by police for the first time since protests erupted in early April. Tens of thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets since Sri Lanka ran out of money for vital imports. They want President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign but he is refusing to quit. His appointment of a new cabinet on Monday angered many Sri Lankans. There were protests in a … Continue reading Update: One killed after police fire live bullets at protesters in Sri Lanka

Spain’s High Court jails man who threatened to kill PM Sanchez for seven years

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez Spain’s High Court has sentenced a 65-year-old security guard to a seven-and-half-year prison term for discussing assassinating Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on a far-right WhatsApp chat in 2018 and possessing illegal guns. Manuel Murillo Sanchez was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for attempted murder and five years for possession of war weapons, a court document released on Tuesday said. He was also prohibited from owning firearms for the next eight years. He can appeal the sentence. In August 2018, Murillo offered to “hunt down” Sanchez “like a deer and put his head on a chimney” after … Continue reading Spain’s High Court jails man who threatened to kill PM Sanchez for seven years

India probes accidental missile fire into Pakistan

India has ordered a high-level probe after it accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, saying it was taking the matter “very seriously”. The incident happened on 9 March, but India acknowledged it two days later, blaming a “technical malfunction” during maintenance. India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament on Tuesday that the incident was “regrettable”, expressing relief that no-one was killed. Both countries have nuclear weapons. Pakistan’s military had said that the “high-speed flying object” had crashed near the eastern city of Mian Channu and its flight path had endangered passenger flights. It had criticised India’s “callousness and ineptitude” in … Continue reading India probes accidental missile fire into Pakistan

Taliban sniper becomes Afghan mayor

Damullah Mohibullah Mowaffaq Strolling through the town of Maymana, the new mayor appears to inspire goodwill from war-weary constituents in the Afghan provincial capital. But Damullah Mohibullah Mowaffaq has a reputation as one of the top snipers in the ranks of the Taliban, until last summer waging war to take control of the country. Mowaffaq was made mayor of Maymana, capital of Faryab province in the far reaches of northwest Afghanistan, in November, three months after the Taliban ousted the Western-backed government and seized power. He rose to prominence as a fighter, but now his schedule is packed with the … Continue reading Taliban sniper becomes Afghan mayor

Libyan PM survives assassination attempt, source close to him says

Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah Assailants struck Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid al-Dbeibah’s car with bullets early on Thursday but he escaped unharmed, a source close to him said, amid intense factional wrangling over control of the government. The source said the incident happened as Dbeibah was returning home, describing it as a clear assassination attempt, but the attackers fled and the incident has been referred for investigation. Reuters has seen no immediate photographs or footage of the incident or its aftermath, or spoken to other witnesses to the incident. If confirmed, an attempt to assassinate Dbeibah could aggravate the crisis … Continue reading Libyan PM survives assassination attempt, source close to him says

Great: Indonesia names new capital, to be called ‘Nusantara’

Traffic jams are notorious in the current capital of Jakarta Indonesia has announced that its new capital will be called Nusantara, meaning “archipelago” in Javanese. The country’s parliament approved a bill to relocate the capital from Jakarta, which is rapidly sinking. The idea of building a new capital 1,300km (800 miles) away on the island of Borneo was first proposed in 2019. But critics have said the new name could be confusing and that the move itself fails to take environmental factors into consideration. Jakarta has become crowded, polluted and is sinking at an alarming rate due to the over-extraction of groundwater. Home … Continue reading Great: Indonesia names new capital, to be called ‘Nusantara’

Ireland marks 100 years since British handover of power

A ceremony has been held to mark 100 years since Dublin Castle, the then headquarters of the British in Ireland, was handed over to Irish authorities. Irish President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin attended. In 1922, the handover took place a week after the Dáil (Irish parliament) voted to ratify the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The treaty allowed for the creation of an independent Irish Free State within the British Empire and confirmed the partition of the island of Ireland. Speaking at the event the taoiseach (Irish PM) said: “As we honour the achievements of the revolutionary generation, we do … Continue reading Ireland marks 100 years since British handover of power

Ukraine’s government and embassy websites targeted in cyber attack

More than a dozen Ukrainian government websites went down on Friday, in a cyber-attack that also targeted embassies. The foreign and education ministries were among those hit, along with embassies in the UK, US and Sweden. Before the sites went down a message appeared warning Ukrainians to “prepare for the worst”. It was unclear who was behind the attack but a spokesman said previous cyber-attacks had come from Russia. Russia has not yet commented. However, Ukraine’s government has come under intense pressure from its neighbour, with a build-up of some 100,000 Russian troops near its borders. Ukraine’s SBU security service … Continue reading Ukraine’s government and embassy websites targeted in cyber attack