News across globe
24 01 2015
Russia bans 5 Ukrainian radical groups, including Right Sector
Russia’s Supreme Court ruled to ban the activities of five Ukrainian radical organizations on Russia’s territory, according to a Ministry of Justice published on Friday. Among them are Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) , UNA-UNSO, Bratstvo, as well as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the Stepan Bandera union Tryzub. In July last year the International Criminal Police Organization put Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh on its wanted list. Right Sector was formed as a coalition of nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations during the Maidan protests in Kiev at the end of 2013.
French charity worker kidnapped in CAR released
A French charity worker who was abducted in the Central African Republic (CAR) has been released and is in good health, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in statement Friday, Reuters reports. The 67-year old woman had been working for a charity providing health and education support to villages in the country.
Activists claim at least 32 killed by Syrian air strike near Damascus
Activists say a Syrian government air strike in a suburb of the capital has killed at least 32 people and wounded many others, AP reported, citing the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The air raid occurred after Friday prayers in the Damascus suburb of Hamouriyeh, striking an area near a popular market, according to one witness. The Local Coordination Committees said the air strike hit people leaving a mosque, killing 35.
NATO’s Stoltenberg ready to meet Russian FM Lavrov in February
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said he is ready to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next month in Munich. He cited a “substantial increase in Russian heavy equipment” in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported. Moscow denies sending troops to Ukraine. Stoltenberg also said the alliance was considering a request from Iraq to help “enhance their defense capacity” to fight the Islamic State.
Egyptian student killed in clash
An Egyptian student was killed on Friday during clashes between Muslim Brotherhood protesters and local residents in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, Reuters reported. The Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the outlawed Brotherhood, identified the dead woman as 17-year-old Sondos Rida Abu Bakr. The student was shot dead by security forces during a demonstration, according to the party. Several people were wounded on Friday in clashes between protesters and local residents in the city, a security official said, who denied that security forces had opened fire to disperse demonstrators.
Leader of Libya’s Ansar al-Sharia dies of wounds – reports
Mohamed al-Zahawi, leader of the Libyan Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia, has died from wounds suffered when fighting pro-government troops several months ago, Reuters said. Zahawi founded an Ansar al-Sharia brigade in Benghazi after helping with his fighters to oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. He had been in hospital for treatment since he was seriously wounded in battle, his family said.
Miss Lebanon won’t be stripped of title over Israel selfie
Saly Greige, Miss Lebanon, won’t be stripped of her title or be punished over a selfie with Miss Israel during a Miss Universe event in Miami, the Daily Star quoted Tourism Minister Michel Pharaon as saying on Friday. “According to the information we obtained, Miss Lebanon didn’t have bad intentions,” Pharaon said. “Miss Lebanon has been the subject of a racist and random campaign,” Pharaon added. Greige said that Miss Israel photobombed a picture she was taking with Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan, and later posted it on social media.
Mubarak sons free by Egypt court order
Two sons of Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak were freed from prison early on Friday pending a graft retrial, AFP said. Alaa and Gamal Mubarak left jail after a court ordered their release because they had served the maximum pretrial detention. The charges included embezzling at least $16 million earmarked for the maintenance of presidential palaces. The retrial of the former leader and his two sons was ordered this month. Media reports said there had been no signs of the former president himself leaving the hospital.
Thailand bans ousted PM Yingluck from politics
Thai authorities have banned ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from politics for five years and are proceeding with criminal charges for negligence, Reuters said. The attorney general’s Office said on Friday that Yingluck will face criminal charges in the Supreme Court and if found guilty faces up to 10 years in jail. Yingluck vowed to fight the charges.
Sierra Leone authorities lift Ebola quarantines
Sierra Leone on Friday lifted nationwide restrictions on movement put in place over the Ebola crisis amid signs that the epidemic was retreating, AFP said. “Restrictions on movement will be eased to support economic activity,” President Ernest Bai Koroma said. Travel in the West African nation has been restricted for around half its population since announcing a state of emergency in July. The outbreak has killed more than 3,000 Sierra Leoneans.
France’s highest court rules to denaturalize ‘jihadist’ Franco-Moroccan
France’s Constitutional Council, the highest court, approved a request by prosecutors on Friday to denaturalize a Franco-Moroccan over ‘jihadist’ activities. The man was stripped of his French nationality after he was convicted in 2010 for being part of a network recruiting people to go to Iraq. The move could set a precedent and likely affect the situation for dual-national ‘foreign fighters,’ KUNA news agency said.
Israeli minister warns Hezbollah, Syria not to launch attacks
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Hezbollah and Damascus on Friday not to launch any attack on the Jewish state, Naharnet website reported. “Israel will consider governments, regimes and organizations beyond its northern border responsible for any attack from their territories,” the minister said in a statement. Yaalon also reportedly expressed hope that the region avoids reprisals for an alleged Israeli air strike that killed a high-ranking Iranian commander and six Hezbollah fighters.
Saudi Arabia’s new king:
Saudi Arabia’s new king, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, has promised to continue to the policies of his predecessors. He made the comments in a televised speech on Friday. “We will continue adhering to the correct policies which Saudi Arabia has followed since its establishment,” the Daily Star quoted King Salman as saying. He took power in the Sunni kingdom following King Abdullah’s death on Friday at the age of 90, after nearly two decades in power.
3 gunmen killed in attack on Lebanese army near Syria border
At least three gunmen were killed in clashes with Lebanese soldiers close to the border with Syria on Friday, Reuters quoted a Lebanese security source as saying. The gunmen attacked soldiers outside the village of Ras Baalbek near the eastern frontier. The army responded with artillery, according to the source. It was not immediately clear to which group the attackers belonged. In recent months, Syria-based jihadist groups, including Al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and the Islamic State have attacked Lebanon.
121 arrested after foreign-owned shops looted in S. Africa
South African police have arrested 121 people after mobs went on a looting spree of grocery stores owned by foreign nationals in Johannesburg’s Soweto township, AFP said. The violence erupted after a foreign shopkeeper shot dead a teenager who allegedly tried to rob him on Monday night. At least 80 shops, most of them owned by Somalis, have been looted over the past few days.
UNSC condemns killing of civilians in Donetsk shelling
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has “condemned in the strongest terms” the shelling of civilians at a trolleybus stop in Donetsk, Ukraine, which killed up to 15 people and injured over 20 others on Thursday, according to the statement. The UNSC has also called for an independent investigation into the incident. “The members of the Security Council underlined the need to conduct an objective investigation and bring perpetrators of this reprehensible act to justice,” the statement said. The trolleybus stop was hit by two shells, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine said on Thursday. The Security Council also stressed the importance of adhering to the Minsk agreements on the ceasefire amid intensified military operations in eastern Ukraine.
US pulls staff at Yemeni embassy
The United States has removed more staff from its embassy in Yemen following news that the country’s government has collapsed and its president has resigned, Reuters reported. Yemen has been a key ally of America in terms of combating terrorism, and the US said it intends to keep the embassy open to signal resolve in the face of uncertainty, though counter-terror operations would be limited. This week, Shia Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, stormed the capitol and surrounded the president’s residence, sparking denunciations from Gulf states who described the event as a “coup.”