Three women among dozen publicly flogged in Afghanistan – Taliban official

Twelve people, including three women, have been flogged in front of thousands of onlookers at a football stadium in Afghanistan. The group were guilty of “moral crimes” including adultery, robbery and gay sex, a Taliban official told the BBC. This is thought to be the second time in a month the Islamist group has carried out public lashings. The move could signal a return to the hard-line practices seen in the previous Taliban rule in the 1990s. Omar Mansoor Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman for Logar region in eastern Afghanistan, where the lashings happened, said that all three women were freed … Continue reading Three women among dozen publicly flogged in Afghanistan – Taliban official

One killed and 14 wounded in twin bus stop blasts in Jerusalem

One person has been killed and 14 others wounded by two separate explosions that targeted busy bus stops in Jerusalem, Israeli medics say. The first blast was reportedly caused by a device left at a bus station on the city’s outskirts. It wounded 11 people, one of whom died in hospital. The second blast came close to a bus stop in another part of the city. It left three people with minor injuries. Israeli police said the explosions were suspected Palestinian attacks. This year has seen a spate of deadly gun and knife attacks targeting Israelis, triggering waves of Israeli … Continue reading One killed and 14 wounded in twin bus stop blasts in Jerusalem

Two prominent Iranian actresses arrested according to state media

Two prominent Iranian actresses have been arrested for publicly supporting mass anti-government protests, the country’s state-run media reports. Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi are accused of collusion and acting against Iran’s authorities, Irna news agency says. Both women earlier appeared in public without their headscarves – a gesture of solidarity with demonstrators. The protests erupted in September after the death of a woman in police custody. Mahsa Amini, 22, was detained by morality police in the capital, Tehran, for allegedly breaking the strict hijab rules. She died on 16 September, three days later. There were reports that officers beat her … Continue reading Two prominent Iranian actresses arrested according to state media

Tragic: 21 people killed in refugee camp fire in Gaza

In what can be described as a tragic occurence, 21 people, including 10 children have been killed by a fire in a building in a densely populated refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, according to news reports. The number of deaths at Jabalia refugee camp following the fire, which is now under control is likely to rise, Dr Salah Abu Laila added. A local security official said an initial investigation suggested there was a gas leak from a kitchen. Jabalia is one of eight camps in Gaza. Dr Abu Laila, director of emergency services at the Indonesian Hospital in north … Continue reading Tragic: 21 people killed in refugee camp fire in Gaza

Huge fire races up 35-storey Dubai tower near Burj Khalifa

A massive fire blazed through a 35-storey high-rise building in dubai next to the Burj Khalifa on Monday morning. Social media videos showed flames engulfing the high-rise, located next to the world’s tallest building. While the fire had been extinguished by dawn, the outer façade of the building could be seen covered with black char marks. The building is a part of a series of towers called 8 Boulevard Walk by Emaar, the state-backed developer in the emirate, The National newspaper reported. There has been no information yet on whether anyone was injured in the blaze. Dubai police and civil defense did not immediately acknowledge the … Continue reading Huge fire races up 35-storey Dubai tower near Burj Khalifa

#ComeBackKid: Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on course to victory

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on course for victory in Tuesday’s elections, according to exit polls. The polls, which forecast the outcome before official results, give his right-wing bloc a slim majority of seats over his opponents. Such a result would mark a dramatic comeback for Mr Netanyahu, toppled last year after 12 straight years in power. “We are close to a big victory,” he told his supporters in Jerusalem. The election was widely seen as a vote for or against Mr Netanyahu’s return. Official results, which could still produce a different outcome, are expected in the coming … Continue reading #ComeBackKid: Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on course to victory

Fifteen killed in attack on Shia mausoleum in southern Iran

Fifteen people have been shot dead and dozens wounded in an attack at the Shah Cheragh mausoleum in the Iranian city of Shiraz, state news agency Irna says. Initial reports said three assailants had fired at pilgrims and staff at the entrance Shia Muslim shrine, and that two had been arrested by police. But the local judiciary chief said “only one terrorist was involved”. State TV also reported one arrest. The Islamic State militant group (IS) said it had carried out the attack. State media also alleged that “takfiri terrorists” – a label Tehran uses for Sunni Muslim militants like … Continue reading Fifteen killed in attack on Shia mausoleum in southern Iran

Instagram couple ‘relieved’ after leaving Iran

A New Zealand couple who went silent after entering Iran almost four months ago say they are “extremely relieved” to have finally returned home. Topher Richwhite and Bridget Thackwray arrived there in July as part of a tour they were documenting for their social media page, Expedition Earth. But fears were raised after they abruptly stopped posting on their Instagram account. It is unclear what happened after they entered Iran. In a video since deleted from their page, Mr Richwhite – the son of one of New Zealand’s richest men – said the couple had been stopped at the Iranian … Continue reading Instagram couple ‘relieved’ after leaving Iran

Several Palestinians killed in major Israel raid in West Bank city of Nablus

Five Palestinians, including several gunmen, have been killed in a major Israeli raid against a militant group in the occupied West Bank. A sixth Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli troops who were attacked with stones in a protest against the raid, Palestinian medical sources say. The operation in the northern city of Nablus targeted the recently formed Lion’s Den group. The group killed an Israeli soldier in a shooting earlier this month. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had locked down Nablus for the past two weeks amid an intensive search for the killer of 21-year-old Staff Sergeant Ido Baruch, … Continue reading Several Palestinians killed in major Israel raid in West Bank city of Nablus

Fears for Iranian female climber who competed without hijab abroad

Fears are growing for a female Iranian athlete who competed without a hijab at a climbing competition in South Korea in defiance of Iran’s strict rules. Elnaz Rekabi was hailed by Iranians protesting against the dress code after she climbed with her hair uncovered at the IFSC Asian Championships in Seoul. Ms Rekabi’s family and friends lost contact with her on Monday, after she said she was with an Iranian official. On Tuesday, the Iranian embassy said she had flown back to Tehran. “Ms Elnaz Rekabi left Seoul for Iran on Tuesday morning, after the Asian Championships rock climbing competition … Continue reading Fears for Iranian female climber who competed without hijab abroad

Several dead after fire at Iran’s notorious detention centre

Four prisoners have died and 61 have been injured following a major fire at Iran’s notorious Evin prison, according to an Iranian state news agency. Sources inside the prison, which is known for housing political prisoners – have claimed the number of casualties is higher. Videos shared online showed flames and smoke at the site in Tehran, and gunshots and explosions could be heard. The fire followed weeks of anti-government protests across Iran. Hundreds of those taking part in protests have been sent to Evin prison. It is not known whether the situation at the jail is linked to the … Continue reading Several dead after fire at Iran’s notorious detention centre

Germany calls for sanctions over violent crackdown in Iran

Germany’s foreign minister has called for action against those responsible for the violent crackdown on protests in Iran. Annalena Baerbock said Germany would ensure the European Union froze assets and imposed entry bans. EU foreign ministers are expected to decide on sanctions on 17 October, according to Reuters news agency. She described those “who beat up women and girls on the street” as standing on “the wrong side of history”. Speaking to a German newspaper, Baerbock also criticised those who “condemn to death people who want nothing other than to live free”. She told Iranians: “We stand by you, and … Continue reading Germany calls for sanctions over violent crackdown in Iran