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Articles Posted by DeaconBenjamin

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  • Missing Norwegian girls in Turkey found after 4 days – with black-dyed hair

    08/12/2015 5:25:26 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 29 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | August/12/2015
    Two Norwegian teenage girls missing for four days in the Mediterranean province of Antalya have been found in neighboring Mersin province - with their hair dyed black. Mia Emilie Haugen, 15, arrived in Turkey to visit her mother who lives in Antalya’s Alanya district. Mia and her friend Ida Marie Norland, 15, who was also vacationing in Alanya, went missing after arranging to meet on Aug. 8. Four days after the girls went missing, police received a call around 5 a.m. from a coffee shop employee who thought the behavior of two teenage customers was suspicious. Policemen arrived at the...
  • Germany, Iran pledge to revive economic ties after long freeze

    07/20/2015 9:10:11 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | 2 hours 8 minutes ago | By Gernot Heller
    TEHRAN, July 20 (Reuters) - Germany and Iran moved tentatively on Monday towards reviving a once close trade relationship, anticipating the lifting of western economic sanctions against Tehran following a landmark nuclear deal. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, making the first top level German government visit to Tehran in 13 years, indicated that a ministerial-level meeting of a long dormant German-Iran economic commission would take place early next year in Tehran. Gabriel signalled the move at a meeting with Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh during the visit, which is also the first to the country by a senior member of...
  • Turkey fails to prosecute two Chechens for beheading three priests in Syria

    07/15/2015 8:51:43 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/15/2015 | Ali Dağlar
    Two Chechens who were accused of beheading three priests in Syria avoided sentencing on murder charges, though they were sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for being a member of a terror organization by an Istanbul court. Magomet Abdurakmanov and Ahmad Ramzanov, two Chechens who were captured in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district on July 4, 2013, along with three Turkish nationals, were accused of murdering three priests in Syria two years ago. However, the court did not hand down a murder sentence on the ground that “the crime was not committed against Turkey and the lack of an agreement on extraditions.”...
  • Farmers must help clean up air, European Parliament Committee says

    07/15/2015 8:47:26 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 19 replies
    EUobserver ^ | 15. Jul, 16:17 | By Peter Teffer
    The European Parliament's environment committee on Wednesday (15 July) refused to exclude the agricultural sector from efforts to reduce air pollution, saying farmers should also contribute to lowering the number of premature deaths due to dirty air. A majority in the committee voted to include limits on methane and ammonia in a revision of a directive on air quality. The move came despite an attempt by centre-right MEPs to remove the two farming-related pollutants from the legislation. The new rules are an update of current rules limiting the level of pollutants that EU member states are allowed to have in...
  • Medics 'pumped patient with air instead of blood'

    06/27/2015 10:01:57 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 17 replies
    the local (Italy) ^ | 26 Jun 2015 14:51 GMT+02:00
    A patient at a hospital in Genoa, north-west Italy, died after hospital staff allegedly pumped air into her veins instead of blood, Italian media has reported. Laura Marangoni, 50, died two years ago when a machine used to replace the functions of the heart and lungs during surgery pumped air into her veins instead of blood at the San Martino hospital. As a result, Marangoni suffered tearing of the right ventricle and died, Tgcom24 reported. According to reports, the problems started as soon as the heart-lung machine was switched on. Investigators say the death was caused by the failure of...
  • Italian girl, 12, beaten by classmate, for wearing crucifix

    05/15/2015 12:48:27 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 54 replies
    (ANSA) Terni, May 15 - A schoolboy of African origin attacked a 12-year-old-girl at a school in central Italy because she was wearing a crucifix on a neck chain, police said Friday. The boy punched the girl violently in the back at the entrance to a middle school in the town of Terni on Thursday and the girl's mother caught the boy, who subsequently told Carabinieri paramilitary police he attacked the girl because she was wearing a crucifix, police sources said. The boy, who first attended the school some three weeks ago, had bullied the girl over the past four...
  • Yemen Huthi rebels say they shot down coalition warplane

    05/11/2015 9:24:03 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    business recorder ^ | Monday, 11 May 2015 19:10
    Yemen's Shia Huthi rebels said Monday that they shot down a warplane of the Saudi-led coalition, shortly after Morocco said one of its fighter jets had gone missing on a sortie. "The air defence of the tribes shot down a warplane over Wadi Nushur, in Saada," the rebels' northern stronghold, Huthi news channel Al-Masirah said, broadcasting images of tribesmen celebrating around the wreckage of a plane.
  • EU’s Mogherini urges UN to back migrant military options

    05/11/2015 9:22:17 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    business recorder ^ | Monday, 11 May 2015 19:12
    EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini will call on the UN Security Council Monday to approve military action against people smugglers as the bloc splits over a new migrant quota plan. "I am ashamed that Europe only wakes up when it is confronted by the dead," Mogherini, the former Italian foreign minister, said recently. EU leaders tasked Mogherini with drawing up a list of military options, including action "to capture and destroy the smugglers' vessels," on the key condition it should be in accordance with international law. Normally that would require an agreement with the government concerned, but Libya is...
  • First mass in 93 years held in İzmir’s historic Greek Church

    05/11/2015 8:57:21 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | May/11/2015
    The Agios Konstantinos Greek Church in the western province of İzmir has reopened following renovations and held a mass for first time in 93 years, with the participation of the Fener Greek Patriarchate. The historic church, dating back to the 19th century, located on Mermerli Street in the Menemen district in İzmir, was renovated by the Menemen municipality. Fener Greek Patriarchate Bartholomew and Menemen Mayor Tahir Şahin reopened the church with a ceremony where they threw white doves and planted an olive tree in the garden as symbols of peace. ‘Right to worship indispensable for religion’ Bartholomew, who performed the...
  • Dutch UN commanders not liable for Srebrenica: court

    04/29/2015 5:42:57 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | April/29/2015
    A Dutch appeals court ruled April 29 that three former UN commanders will not be prosecuted for the deaths of three Muslim men who were murdered after leaving a UN compound in Srebrenica in 1995. Relatives of the three victims took UN Dutch Battalion commanders to court five years ago, saying the three were expelled into the hands of Bosnian Serb forces during the darkest episode of the country's 1991-95 civil war. Almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered and buried in mass graves in mid-July 1995 at Srebrenica by Serb forces commanded by Ratko Mladic in the worst...
  • ‘Come on blonde,’ Ankara Mayor challenges US State Department spokesperson

    04/29/2015 5:40:33 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 16 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | April/29/2015
    The mayor of Turkey’s capital has challenged a U.S. State Department spokesperson by referring to a pro-government media report that slammed her as “stupid blonde.” “Come on blonde, answer now,” Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek said in a tweet early April 29. The tweet also included an image from the recent riots in Baltimore, as well as the photo of Marie Harf and a caption that reads: “Where are you stupid blonde, who accused Turkish police of using disproportionate force?” Gökçek was referring to a report on, a staunchly pro-government online news website. “U.S. police displayed a harsh attitude against...
  • Vatican climate change summit to highlight moral duty for action

    04/28/2015 5:27:43 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 13 replies ^ | 28 April 2015 04.06 EDT | Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome
    The Vatican is hosting a climate change summit that will focus on the need for decisive action to combat global warming as a moral imperative and Christian duty, especially given its impact on poor people. The Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity meeting in Rome on Tuesday is a precursor to the release of Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment, which is due out in June or July and is expected to centre on the duty of the faithful to address climate change, whatever its causes. Pope Francis is not scheduled to speak at the summit but was due to have...
  • 2 killed in terrorist attack in Bosnia and Herzegovina

    04/28/2015 4:17:36 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin
    xinhua ^ | 2015-04-28 17:39:42
    SARAJEVO, April 28 (Xinhua) -- One policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a terrorist attack on a local police station Monday evening in the city of Zvornik, 120 km away from Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnian Muslim Nerdin Ibric, 24, who committed the attack in the eastern Bosnian city in entity Republic of Srpska (RS), was also killed by police in the exchange of fire. Both of the wounded policemen were hospitalized and their condition was stable. Chief Prosecutor of Bosnia and Herzegovina formed a special team which will cooperate with State Investigation and Protection...
  • Most Britons have no idea about Waterloo

    04/25/2015 9:39:10 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 99 replies
    The Local (France) ^ | 20 Apr 2015 08:51 GMT+02:00
    With the 200th anniversary of the famous Battle of Waterloo just two months away a survey in Britain has revealed that most ofthe public know little about it and some even think it's just an Abba song, while many thought the French actually won. A survey of Britons published in the build-up to the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo found three-quarters knew little or nothing about it -- while many thought France won. The poll of 2,070 people for the National Army Museum found 73 percent either knew nothing or next to nothing about the battle, one of...
  • French may be enforced on all flights to Canada

    04/25/2015 9:35:13 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 75 replies
    What started as a row over lemonade could end up with international airlines being forced to employ French speakers on all flights that serve Canada, a country where French and English are classed as official languages. An MP in Canada, Stephane Dion, has lodged a bill with parliament that if passed would oblige all flights to and from Canada to have a French speaker on board and for all passenger announcements to be made in both English and French. The inspiration for his bill lies in an argument over a lemonade on an AirCanada flight between Toronto and North Carolina...
  • DNC Chairwoman Speaking at [Little Rock] Arkansas Dinner

    04/23/2015 4:05:12 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    AP ^ | Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015 6:50 am
    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was scheduled to speak Thursday night at a dinner in downtown Little Rock honoring former U.S. Sen. David Pryor and his wife, Barbara, for their service to the state Democratic Party. The dinner marks Wasserman-Schultz's first trip to the state as DNC chairwoman.
  • Erdoğan, Obama to open mosque in US

    04/20/2015 4:48:06 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 31 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | April/20/2015
    The presidents of Turkey and the U.S. will open the Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center in Maryland, Turkey’s foreign minister said April 19. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who was on a three-day visit to Washington, visited the center that also has a medium-sized mosque, and lunched with representatives from the American Muslim community. “During a phone call, President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan asked President [Barack] Obama to accompany him in opening the center together and President Obama accepted his offer in principle,’” Çavuşoğlu told the representatives. If Obama’s schedule allows at the time of the opening, he will accompany Erdoğan. The...
  • Foreigners fear for safety after attacks in South Africa

    04/16/2015 5:04:29 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    <p>JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The fear among some foreigners and South Africans that anti-immigrant attacks will escalate reached such a peak Thursday that foreigners sought refuge in camps and a police station, a peace march was planned and the president was to address the nation.</p>
  • Pope’s remarks ‘to accelerate Hagia Sophia’s conversion into mosque’

    04/16/2015 4:55:45 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 16 replies
    Pope Francis’ labeling of the mass killings of the Ottoman Armenians as “the first genocide of the 20th century” will only accelerate the reopening of Hagia Sophia to Muslim worship, the top Islamic official in Ankara has suggested. “Frankly, I believe that the pope’s remarks will only accelerate the process for Hagia Sophia to be re-opened for [Muslim] worship,” Professor Mefail Hızlı, the mufti of Ankara, said in a written statement released late April 15. According to Hızlı, the pope’s statement “has reflected a modern color of the crusader wars launched in these lands for centuries.” These lands have long...
  • European foreign ministers back Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid

    04/14/2015 5:11:44 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 25 replies
    The foreign ministers of Germany and France appear to publicly back Hillary Clinton’s bid for the US presidency. Laurent Fabius of France and Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany offered unusual praise for Clinton, who on Sunday revealed she was joining the race to replace Barack Obama at the helm of US government. They were joined by Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president. Fabius described Clinton as “an exceptional woman for a job that requires exceptional qualities”, a comment Reuters called a “rare show of support from a French official to a candidate for a crucial foreign election”. It came after Steinmeier...
  • Houthi troops hit by Al Qaeda bomb in southern Yemen, 15 killed

    04/13/2015 10:02:46 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    xinhua ^ | 2015-04-14 04:17:25
    ADEN, Yemen, April 13 (Xinhua) -- At least 15 were killed and 10 others wounded as army troops loyal to the Shiite Houthi group were hit by bombs in Yemen's southern province of Lahj on Monday evening, a government official told Xinhua. "Suspected al-Qaida terrorists planted explosive device on a bicycle and the device exploded at a military site manned by pro-Houthi forces in Houta city, Lahj's provincial capital, killing 15 soldiers and injuring 10 others including five civilians," the local government official based in Lahj said on condition of anonymity. A military intelligence source in Lahj confirmed to Xinhua...
  • Hagia Sophia sees first Koran reading in 85 years

    04/11/2015 5:51:31 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 14 replies
    A Muslim cleric has for the first time in 85 years recited the Koran in the Hagia Sophia, the world famous landmark of Istanbul which is now a museum after serving as a church and a mosque, reports said Saturday. The Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum accessible to all by the secular founders of modern Turkey in the 1930s and secular Turks are wary of any moves to re-Islamise the building. A passage from the Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, was recited late Friday at a ceremony in the Hagia Sophia to mark the opening of a...
  • VIDEO: Ottoman-inspired 'New Turkey' anthem praises Erdo&#287;an

    President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was welcomed during a ceremony on April 10 with the "New Turkey Anthem" performed by an Ottoman military band, which praised him as "Our Leader." During the inauguration ceremony for New Turkey Strategic Research Center in the Gölbaşı neighborhood of Ankara, Erdoğan listened to the anthem, composed by writer and former politician Hasan Celal Güzel. The Mehter band of Ankara Municipality performed the anthem. "The struggle for New Turkey is our Red Apple," Erdoğan said in reference to the lyrics in his speech. Denoting the mythical Turkish land in Central Asia, "Red Apple" is a symbol...
  • California bill banning child vaccine exemptions moves ahead

    04/09/2015 4:51:29 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 12 replies
    California lawmakers on Wednesday pushed forward a bill that would ban parents from citing their personal beliefs as a reason to let their school-going children remain unvaccinated. The measure passed the state Senate health committee by a vote of 6-2, the bill's co-author, Democrat Richard Pan, said in a statement. "I've personally witnessed the suffering caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, and all children deserve to be safe at school," said Pan, who is also a pediatrician. "The personal belief exemption is now putting other school children and people in our community in danger." Pan proposed the bill, which would leave in...
  • Turkey’s top religious body allows use of toilet paper

    04/07/2015 5:01:44 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 24 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | April/07/2015
    Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has released a fatwa stating that usage of toilet paper is permissible within Islam, though it emphasized that water should be the primary source of cleansing. Reminding that for a prayer to be religiously legitimate, one’s body, clothes and the place where the prayer is to be performed should be free of items defined as “unclean” by Islam, the fatwa said the cleaning should be conducted with water. “If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used. Even though some sources deem paper to be unsuitable as a cleaning material,...
  • ‘Nude’ snowwoman gets Turkish teacher into trouble

    04/07/2015 4:59:16 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 18 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | April/07/2015
    Turkish officials have launched a probe after a teacher posed for a photo with her students who made a snowwoman that “violates social values,” Turkish media reported April 7. Çilem Sakine Coşkun, a physical education teacher at Nurhak Anadolu High School in the southern Turkish province of Kahramanmaraş, was recently photographed with a group of students who had made a snowwoman in the schoolyard. But local Education Ministry officials launched a probe into Coşkun for “appearing in a photograph that violates social values,” according to an April 7 report by daily Vatan. Although officials did not clarify what exactly “violates...
  • US receives more than 5,600 refugees from Turkey

    04/06/2015 9:23:18 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    The United States has taken more than 5,600 refugees from Turkey, including 664 Syrian refugees, and expects to see those numbers rise in the coming months, a U.S. State Department official said April 3. “The U.S. took a total of 5,624 refugees out of Turkey last year, including 664 Syrian refugees, as well as significant numbers of Iraqis, Iranians and Afghans,” U.S. Assistant Secretary Anne C. Richard of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration said at a press roundtable at Ankara’s U.S. embassy on April 3. The event discussed the number of Syrian refugees taken in...
  • Paris subway firm under fire over Christian ad censorship

    04/05/2015 3:00:32 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    The firm operating the Paris subway has come under fire for apparently pushing France's beloved secularity too far with its refusal to display an ad with the mention "Christians of the East." French music group "The Priests" had planned to advertise their upcoming June concert in Paris with a poster sporting a banner that said proceeds would go towards the cause of Christians persecuted in places such as Iraq and Syria.But the state-owned RATP firm that operates the subway and its advertising agency Metrobus ordered the group's producers to take off the banner, pointing in a statement issued last week...
  • One Kenya university attacker identified as son of local official

    04/05/2015 6:17:30 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 15 replies
    xinhua ^ | 2015-04-05 20:17:32
    NAIROBI, April 5 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities on Sunday revealed the identity of one of the terrorists who attacked Garisa University college on Thursday. The spokesman in the Ministry of Interior Mwenda Njoka named Abdirahim Abdullahi, the son of a Mandera chief, as one of the four terrorist. He was also a law graduate from the University of Nairobi. Abdullahi was positively identified by family and friends. He disappeared from Kenya in 2013 and his family and security officials suspected he had joined the Al-Shabaab.
  • Renovated Turkish synagogue empty after reopening as it lacks community

    03/29/2015 12:55:07 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    Members of Turkey’s Jewish community attend the reopening ceremony of the Great Synagogue in Edirne on March 26 after a five-year government restoration project. REUTERS Photo Just a week before Passover, Turkish Jews woke up to a morning full of excitement and hope. They got on the buses waiting to take them to Edirne, to the city that their families once had to leave following the Thrace pogroms in 1934. It was the reopening day of the Great Synagogue, which had been left in ruins for decades. “I was the last rabbi that had served in the synagogue,” said David...
  • Tunisian town once ‘Star Wars’ backdrop now a stop for ISIL

    03/25/2015 5:47:07 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    The town that inspired the name of Luke Skywalker's home planet in the movie "Star Wars" has become a backdrop in Tunisia's struggle to prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from gaining a foothold there, CNN reported March 24. This struggling town on the fringes of the Sahara still draws a few fans of the movie but now finds itself part of a real conflict, as a way-station for jihadists crossing the Libyan border 60 miles to the east, according to the report. Earlier this month, before the gun attack on the Bardo Museum in Tunis,...
  • Russia and Jordan sign agreement on nuclear plant construction

    03/24/2015 5:17:53 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    AMMAN, March 24. /TASS/. Jordan and Russia on Tuesday signed an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the construction of a nuclear power plant in Jordan. According to a TASS correspondent, the document was signed by chief of Russia’s state-run corporation Rosatom Sergey Kiriyenko and Jordan Atomic Energy Commission Chariman Khaled Toukan. "I would like to stress that Rosatom and the entire Russian nuclear sector take Jordan’s invitation to build its first nuclear plant as big trust," Kiriyenko said. He pledged that the Russian side would use "its entire experience to build the most state-of-the-art and safest nuclear plant." Apart from...
  • U.S. Supreme Court leaves intact Wisconsin voter identification law

    03/23/2015 6:45:35 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 50 replies
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact a new Republican-backed law in Wisconsin that requires voters to present photo identification when they cast ballots. The court declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law.
  • Iran general in Iraq 'whenever we need', says militia chief

    03/22/2015 6:25:06 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    Qassem Soleimani, Iran's top officer responsible for foreign operations, provides assistance in Iraq "whenever we need him," Hadi al-Ameri, the commander of the Badr militia, said on Sunday. "He was giving very good advice. The battle ended now, and he returned to his operations headquarters," Ameri told journalists close to the Al-Alam area north of Baghdad. He was apparently referring to the battle to retake the nearby city of Tikrit from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, which began earlier this month and has since become a siege. "Qassem Soleimani is here whenever we need him," said Ameri, whose Badr...
  • India police red-faced after raid on brothels finds colleagues

    03/22/2015 6:20:01 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 12 replies
    Economic Times ^ | 03/22/2015 3:59 PM
    NEW DELHI, India - Police in eastern India were left red-faced when a raid on a sex district discovered four of their own along with a convicted murderer whom they were supposed to be guarding, a report said Sunday. The four constables had been tasked with transporting the murderer from a jail in Jharkhand to hospital for a check-up, the Hindustan Times reported. But the officers decided to make a 206-kilometer (128-mile) detour to visit the red-light area in the town of Asansol across the border in West Bengal state, the newspaper said. West Bengal police rounded up the four...
  • Toyota set to approve Mexico plant within weeks

    03/22/2015 6:16:43 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 21 replies
    Economic Times ^ | 22 Mar, 2015, 12.00PM IST
    Toyota Motor is finalising plans for its first passenger car assembly plant in Mexico that could be approved by its board as early as next month, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The plant would make the popular Corolla compact sedan and begin production in 2019. Based on recent investments by rivals, including Volkswagen, a new assembly plant would represent an investment of over $1 billion for Toyota. A green light for the plant would signal an end to a 3-year expansion freeze imposed by the Japanese automaker's president Akio Toyoda, who has blamed aggressive expansion a...
  • Would YOU wear cologne that smells like fast food? Burger King to launch Flame-Grilled, a fragrance

    Vegetarians look away. If you've ever craved the smell of fast food all day long, Burger King has come up with the ultimate solution with the launch of a new burger-scented cologne. The cologne will supposedly imitate the signature aroma of the Whopper Burger, which consists of 100 per cent flame-grilled beef, freshly sliced onions, lettuce and mayonnaise. The scent, which has been named Flame-Grilled, is set to be launched by Burger King Japan on 1 April 2015. There will also supposedly be a one day promotion, whereby every customer will receive a free Whopper Burger with their purchased perfume...
  • Get ready for Erdogan’s caliphate, Turkey’s ruling party official says

    03/20/2015 8:11:16 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 46 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | March/19/2015
    The head of a provincial branch of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has stirred the pot by tweeting that the country should “get ready for the caliphate” of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Fuat Özgür Çalapkulu, the head of the AKP in the eastern province of Siirt, sent the controversial tweet on March 17, hours after Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-leader of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said his party “will never let you be president [in a presidential system].” In his tweet, Çalapkulu said Erdoğan’s opponents had in the past claimed that Erdoğan could not even be a village...
  • Oregon governor signs sweeping automatic voter registration into law

    03/16/2015 9:03:47 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 27 replies
    maktoob news ^ | By Shelby Sebens
    PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Sweeping first-in-the nation legislation making voter registration automatic in Oregon was signed into law on Monday by Governor Kate Brown, potentially adding 300,000 new voters to state rolls. The so-called Motor Voter legislation will use state Department of Motor Vehicles data to automatically register eligible voters whose information is contained in the DMV system, with a 21-day opt-out period for those who wish to be taken off the registry. Supporters say the legislation's goal is to keep young voters, students and working families who move often from losing their right to vote. Republican lawmakers, who unanimously...
  • Turkish teacher convicted for cutting schoolgirl’s throat

    03/16/2015 8:56:45 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 12 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | March/16/2015
    A teacher in Ankara has been convicted to five months in prison for cutting a 12-year-old schoolgirl’s throat with a box cutter, Turkish media reported March 16 in the latest episode of violence against women in Turkey. Onur Özbek, a 35-year-old science class teacher at Ülkü Ahmet Durusoy Secondary School in the Turkish capital, received a five-month sentence for “deliberately injuring a person.” The school’s principal received the same sentence for “not reporting a crime committed by a public servant,” daily Habertürk added. The lightly injured school girl reportedly told the court that she had no previous disagreement with the...
  • Hamas warns to retaliate any Egyptian attack on Gaza

    03/15/2015 11:30:42 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    GAZA, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Hamas militants will retaliate if the Egyptian army wages attacks against the Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip, a senior Hamas official warned on Sunday. Mahmoud al-Zahar, Hamas strongman, told a political seminar that he rules out any Egyptian war on Gaza, but said "under the current situation, everything is possible, and Hamas will respond to any Egyptian attack on Gaza." Ties between Hamas and Egypt deteriorated since the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, which was followed by security crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters leaving hundreds of them dead while thousands...
  • Turkish and Greek Cypriot groups oppose proposed nuclear plant in southern Turkey

    03/12/2015 5:04:29 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin
    Hürriyet ^ | March/11/2015
    Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots have banded together to oppose plans to build a nuclear power station on nearby Turkey’s southern coast. The Cyprus Anti-Nuclear Platform brings together dozens of Greek and Turkish Cypriot groups opposed to the planned Akkuyu station some 80 kilometers from the island’s northern coastline. The opponents say completion of the Akkuyu plant carries huge risks because of the potential for an earthquake in the region. In a declaration on Wednesday’s fourth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, the platform said it also opposes any nuclear plants in other neighboring countries that may cause “a...
  • You deserve rape, Quran teacher tells children in Turkish school

    03/12/2015 5:00:53 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    Parents are demanding that a teacher of religion classes in northern Turkey be fired after he told some of his female students that they “deserve rape” for not wearing an Islamic headscarf. “You don’t cover your head anyway, so raping you or doing evil to you is permissible [in Islam],” the female teacher, identified by the initials L.Y.İ., told students at the Halil Rıfat Paşa Middle School in the province of Tokat on March 9, according to parents who spoke to Doğan News Agency. The teacher was reportedly angered by noise caused by mixed male and female students in an...
  • German Prof rejects Indian intern over 'rape problem'

    03/12/2015 4:49:14 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    The Local (Germany ^ | 09 Mar 2015 14:48 GMT+01:00
    Germany's ambassador to India stepped into a university admissions row after a professor said she wouldn't accept a male Indian student for an internship because of the country's “rape problem”. “We hear a lot about the rape problem in India, which I cannot support. I have many female students in my group,” Professor of Biochemistry at Leipzig University Annette Beck-Sickinger wrote in an email to the applicant. She continued defending her position when a friend of his wrote to her in support. “Reports reach Germany on a weekly base [sic], and especially these 'multi-rape crimes' are threatening, but for me...
  • Danish Home Guard to disarm after terror attack

    03/11/2015 7:01:53 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 34 replies
    the Local (Denmark) ^ | 10 Mar 2015 08:20 GMT+01:00
    Some 4,300 volunteer members of the Danish Home Guard are being told to disassemble their rifles in light of the fact that one of the weapons used in February's shootings in Copenhagen was a stolen military rifle.One of the weapons used in February’s terror attack in Copenhagen was an M95 rifle that had previously been stolen from the home of a Danish Home Guard (Hjemmeværnet) member. As a result, the Home Guard has now decided that it will temporarily require all Home Guard members to turn in the bolts to their rifles, making them unable to be fired.Over 4,300 volunteer...
  • Ancient tomb of Celtic prince found in France

    03/05/2015 6:35:29 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 19 replies
    The Local (France) ^ | 05 Mar 2015 08:21 GMT+01:00
    An "exceptional" tomb from the fifth century BC, likely that of a Celtic prince, has been unearthed in a small French town, shedding light on Iron Age European trade, researchers said Wednesday. The grave, crammed with Greek and possibly Etruscan artefacts, was discovered in a business zone on the outskirts of Lavau in France's Champagne region, said the National Archaeological Research Institute, Inrap. A team from the institute has been excavating the site since October last year, and have dated it to the end of the First Iron Age -- a period characterised by the widespread use of the metal....
  • Turkey’s Ziraat to launch Islamic bank on anniversary of Ottoman’s Istanbul conquest

    03/05/2015 5:21:25 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | March/05/2015
    Turkey’s Ziraat Bankasi General Manager Hüseyin Aydin has told reporters that the state-run lender plans to launch its off-shoot, Ziraat Katilim Bankasi, an Islamic participation bank, on May, 29, which is the anniversary of the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. “The 300 million dollar-equivalent Turkish Lira capital has been provided by the Treasury,” Aydin said March 5 while speaking to reporters in Istanbul on the sidelines of a joint meeting of the Union of Arab Banks (UAB) and the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB), which he personally chairs. The participation bank will open 20 branches this year and will operate as...
  • New Austrian law 'combats Islamization'

    02/28/2015 3:08:21 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 17 replies
    the Local (Austria) ^ | 25 Feb 2015 18:10 GMT+01:00
    Austria's parliament has passed a law banning foreign sources of financing to Muslim organisations and requiring imams to be able to speak German, in a move closely watched by other European nations facing growing problems with radical Islam. The text aims to promote what conservative Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz calls an "Islam of European character" by muting the influence of foreign Muslim nations and organizations, and offering Austrian Muslims a mix of increased rights and obligations in practising their faith in the central European country. But the law has generated opposition from several quarters, including Austrian Muslim groups that call...
  • Syrian minister blames Turkey for looted antiquities

    02/25/2015 5:27:40 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | February/24/2015
    The world will have to cooperate with Syria to halt the trade in looted antiquities that helps fund jihadist groups, Syria’s culture minister has said, putting the onus on Turkey to stop the smuggling across their shared frontier. Syrian Culture Minister Issam Khalil said a U.N. Security Council resolution aiming to stop groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), from benefiting from the illicit antiquities trade would not be effective without the help of Damascus, a pariah to many Arab and Western states since Syria’s war erupted in 2011. “We have the conclusive documents and evidence...
  • Bishop accuses Turkey over Syrian Christians

    02/25/2015 5:24:36 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    A prominent bishop on Feb. 25 accused Turkey of preventing Christians from fleeing Syria while allowing jihadists responsible for their persecution to cross its border unchecked. Jacques Behnan Hindo, the Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Hasakeh-Nisibi, made the claim on Vatican Radio, a day after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group abducted at least 90 Assyrian Christians from villages which had been under the control of Kurdish forces. "Every day, families are emigrating from Damascus by plane because of the blockade we have around us," the bishop said. "In the north, Turkey allows through lorries, Daesh (ISIL)...