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World News | ThisWeek Middle East

Category: World News

U.N. finds torture widespread in Afghanistan

By Josh Smith KABUL, April 24 – Torture and mistreatment of detainees by Afghan security forces is as widespread as ever, according to a U.N. report released on Monday, despite promises by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and new laws enacted by the government. At least 39 percent of the conflict-related detainees interviewed by U.N. investigators “gave credible and reliable accounts” of being tortured or experiencing other mistreatment at the hands of Afghan police, intelligence, or military personnel while in custody. That compares with 35 percent of interviewees who reported such ill treatment in the last U.N. report, released in...

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Ex-president Ahmadinejad submits name for Iranian presidential election

By Bozorgmehr Sharafedin LONDON, April 12 – Iran’s hardline ex-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad submitted his name on Wednesday for registration as a candidate for May’s presidential election, defying the wishes of the country’s religious leadership. Although the move, reported by state media, was seen as an attempt by Ahmadinejad to bolster the candidacy of an ally, it was also a challenge to the authority of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had warned him not to run. Registration for the May 19 election started on Monday and will last five days, after which entrants will be screened for their...

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U.N. chief calls for restart to Western Sahara talks

UNITED NATIONS, April 11 – U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for new talks over the long-running Western Sahara dispute, saying the negotiations should include proposals from both Morocco and the Polisario independence movement, according to a U.N. document. The U.N. call for a restart to talks came after months of tensions in the disputed territory, which Morocco claims as part of its kingdom and Polisario says belongs to the Sahrawi people who fought a guerrilla war until a 1991 U.N.-backed ceasefire. U.N. attempts to broker a settlement have failed for years in the vast desert area, which has...

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Rage at abandonment by the state as Egypt’s Christians dig graves after bombing

By Amina Ismail TANTA, Egypt, April 10 – Egyptian Christians wept with rage on Monday as they recovered the bodies of loved ones killed in twin church bombings, furious at a state they believe will no longer protect them from neighbours bent on their murder. Forty-four people were killed in the attacks on Palm Sunday, a joyous festival a week before Easter when Christians celebrate the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. At Tanta University hospital morgue, desperate families were trying to get inside to search for loved ones. Security forces held them back to stop overcrowding, enraging the...

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Hamas executes three Palestinians in Gaza, says they collaborated with Israel

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA, April 6 – Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement executed three Palestinians on Thursday convicted of collaborating with Israel, hanging the men during a campaign to persuade any Israeli-recruited agents to come forward in return for more lenient punishment. Hamas leaders and officials, along with the heads of Gaza clans and local security chiefs, watched the execution in the courtyard of the enclave’s main police headquarters. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the men, aged 32, 42 and 55, were convicted of treason and spying for hostile foreign parties and had provided information that helped Israel track and...

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Assad tells paper he sees no “option except victory” in Syria

BEIRUT, April 6 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said there is no “option except victory” in the country’s civil war in an interview published on Thursday, saying the government could not reach “results” with opposition groups that attended recent peace talks. The interview with Croatian newspaper Vecernji List appeared to have been conducted before U.S. President Donald Trump accused Assad of crossing “many, many lines” with a poison gas attack on Tuesday. Assad was not asked about the chemical attack in the northwestern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, a text of the interview published by the Syrian state news...

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U.N. urges Yemen parties to keep Hodeidah port safe

DUBAI, April 5 (Reuters) – The United Nations called on Yemen‘s warring parties on Wednesday to safeguard the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeidah as a lifeline for millions of Yemenis facing potential famine. The Yemeni government and its Arab allies are preparing an assault on Hodeidah port, which has been the entry of nearly 80 percent of Yemen‘s food imports, because they say the Iran-aligned Houthis use it to smuggle weapons and ammunition. Local officials say the government and its allies have positioned two recently-trained brigades for a possible attack. One is 230 km (140 miles) north of...

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Brexit doesn’t mean tight immigration, minister tells scientists

LONDON, April 5 – Britain’s decision to quit the European Union and reassert control over its borders does not mean the country will tighten immigration for the world’s best brains, junior business minister David Prior said on Tuesday. “Be in no doubt, whatever you might have heard or read in the papers, that Brexit should not be considered synonymous with a tight immigration policy,” he told an audience of scientists at a synthetic biology conference at Imperial College London. “We absolutely know we need to attract the best in the world to come to our country.” Many scientists are...

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Fire at tower near Dubai Mall sends plumes of smoke across Downtown

A fire broke out in an under-construction tower near The Dubai Mall on Sunday morning. Emergency crews were sent to Fountain Views just after dawn and the blaze had been brought under control by 7.30am, said Dubai Media Office. Three people were reported rescued from the site. An investigation into the cause is currently under way. Dubai Civil Defence said dampening operations were continuing and ambulance crews were on site. Roads leading to MBR Boulevard from Cinema Crossroads were closed and traffic was been diverted to the flyover. Interchange 7 leading to Burj Khalifa was closed and commuters’ vehicles...

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20 killed by shrine custodian in Sargodha: police

The custodian of a shrine in Sargodha allegedly killed at least 20 people and injured four others on Saturday night, police said. Sargodha Deputy Commissioner (DC) Liaquat Ali Chatta claimed that the custodian Abdul Waheed, believed to be a resident of Lahore and a government employee, used a dagger and a club to kill his victims. The killings were reported by an injured woman who arrived at District Hospital Sargodha, he said, adding that she was one of four survivors who managed to flee from the scene of the crime. Acting on her information, a heavy contingent of police...

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