fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east

The organizers of the protests that drove Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir from power are delaying their announcement of a transitional civilian government as they hold new negotiations with the ruling military council.

The protesters suspended talks with the military last weekend, saying key figures in the council were too close to al-Bashir. But on Wednesday they resumed negotiations, and three members of the council resigned from their posts, apparently in response the protesters’ demands.

The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded the protests, had planned to announce a transitional civilian government at a mass rally on Thursday. But Ahmed Rabie, a senior member of the group, says it will delay the announcement and instead focus on forming different committees to hold talks with the military.

Source: Fox News World

Australia’s prime minister on Thursday played down any potential link between the arrest of a suspected Islamic State group member in Turkey and a World War I battle commemoration attended by hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders at the Gallipoli peninsula.

A Syrian national was detained in Tekirdag province before the annual gathering for a dawn service at ANZAC Cove to mark the April 25, 1915, landing of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops in an ill-fated campaign to take the Dardanelles Straits, according to media reports.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the arrest took place three driving hours from of the Gallipoli service and no changes to security had been made as a result.

“The reports that we are receiving are inconclusive about any link between that arrest and any possible planned event at Gallipoli itself,” Morrison told reporters. “In fact, to make that assumption would be, I think, making a very big assumption.”

Morrison said Australian Defense Force Chief Gen. Angus Campbell was representing Australia at the service and had nothing but praise for the work of Turkish police and military to provide security.

“I’d simply say this: It’s fairly routine for Turkish authorities to arrest people with suspected terrorist links,” Morrison said.

Concerns about Australians and New Zealanders’ safety at Gallipoli escalated last month when a diplomatic row flared between Turkey and Australia after an Australian was arrested in the killings of 50 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand on March 15.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Australians and New Zealanders going to Turkey with anti-Muslim views would return home in coffins, like their ancestors who fought at Gallipoli.

Morrison slammed the comments as “highly offensive,” but later said tensions had eased after Erdogan’s office explained the president’s words were “taken out of context.”

ANZAC Day services were held throughout Australia and New Zealand on Thursday, with Britain’s Prince William laying a wreath in the New Zealand city of Auckland.

The Duke of Cambridge will on Friday visit the mosques in Christchurch where 50 Muslims were killed and another 50 wounded.

Source: Fox News World

Italy’s government has written to the European Union asking it to prepare a plan of action to address the risk of a new wave of migrants escaping from the armed conflict in Libya.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero spoke on Wednesday at a joint news conference in Rome after meeting with the United Nation envoy to Libya, Ghassan Salame. Moavero didn’t provide additional details on Italy’s request.

Italy’s anti-immigration Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered that migrant rescue boats cannot enter Italian ports.

Salame downplayed Italy’s fears that a huge number of African refugees could leave Libya trying to reach Europe.

“We know that about 700,000 migrants are in our country now, but not even a minority of them wants to cross the Mediterranean,” Salame told journalists.

Source: Fox News World

The State Department has said that Iran should release all “innocent U.S. persons” held in that country “immediately” after Iran’s foreign minister claimed Wednesday to have offered a prisoner swap to the Trump administration six months ago.

Javad Zarif told an audience at the Asia Society in New York City that Tehran had not yet received a response from Washington, adding: “If they tell you anything else, they’re lying.”

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES NEW IRAN CRACKDOWN TARGETING OIL REVENUE

In response, a State Department spokesperson noted that the U.S. “repeatedly” had called for a “humanitarian resolution of these cases.”

“The Iranian regime can demonstrate its seriousness regarding consular issues, including Iranians who have been indicted or convicted of criminal violations of US [sic] sanctions laws, by releasing innocent U.S. persons immediately,” the spokesperson said. “We call on Iran to free all unjustly detained and missing U.S. persons, including Xiyue Wang, Robert Levinson, Siamak Namazi, and Nizar Zakka, among others.”

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Asia Society in New York, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at the Asia Society in New York, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Zarif didn’t specify whom Iran might trade, though he mentioned the case of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman detained in Iran for nearly three years. On the other side, he cited U.S. extradition warrants against an Iranian man with a heart condition held in Germany for trying to buy spare parts for civilian airplanes, and against an Iranian woman imprisoned in Australia for three years who was the translator in a purchase of equipment for Iranian broadcasting. He did not name either of them.

As foreign minister, Zarif said, he could involve himself only on humanitarian grounds and where there is a possibility of a prisoner exchange, which he did once with the United States in January 2016.

WIFE OF US SCHOLAR IMPRISONED IN IRAN SPEAKS OUT: ‘HIS ONLY CRIME IS HE’S AMERICAN’

“We believe their charges are phony,” he said of Iranians held in the U.S. “The United States believes the charges against these people in Iran are phony.”

“And I put this offer on the table publicly now: Exchange them,” he said. “Let’s discuss them. Let’s have an exchange. I’m ready to do it, and I have authority to do it.”

Four Americans are known to be held in Iran. Wang, a Chinese-American graduate student, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in July 2017 for allegedly “infiltrating” the country while doing doctoral research on Iran’s Qajar dynasty.

Namazi and his octogenarian father, Baquer, a former representative for the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF who served as governor of Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province under the U.S.-backed shah, were detained in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and have been serving 10-year sentences on espionage charges.

Zakka, a U.S. permanent resident from Lebanon who advocated for Internet freedom and has done work for the U.S. government, was detained in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years on espionage-related charges.

Levinson, a former FBI agent who vanished in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission in Iran, remains missing. Iran has said Levinson is not in the country and it had no further information about him, though his family has held Tehran responsible for his disappearance.

Others held by Iran include Iranian-American art dealer Karan Vafadari and his Iranian wife, Afarin Neyssari, who were arrested in July 2016 and received 27-year and 16-year prison sentences, respectively.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Last month, former U.S. Navy cook Michael R. White from Imperial Beach, Calif., was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran, becoming the first American known to be imprisoned there since Trump took office. Washington-based lawyer Mark Zaid told The Associated Press that White was convicted of insulting Iran’s supreme leader and posting private information online, but information surrounding the case remained vague.

Iranian-American Robin Shahini was released on bail in 2017 after staging a hunger strike while serving an 18-year prison sentence for “collaboration with a hostile government.” Shahini has since returned to America and is now suing Iran in U.S. federal court.

Fox News’ Rich Edson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News World

An Egyptian court has sentenced two monks to death for killing an abbot in a desert monastery north of Cairo last year.

The Damanhur Criminal Court, north of Cairo, announced the verdict Wednesday for two defrocked monks identified as Isaiah and Faltaous. They can appeal.

The two were convicted of killing of Bishop Epiphanius, an abbot at St. Macarius Monastery built in the 4th century, in July.

The abbot’s shocking death shook Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the oldest in the world and the one that gave monasticism to the faith.

Following Epiphanius’ death, the church took measures aimed at instilling discipline into monastic life. Among them was a halt in admitting novices to monasteries nationwide for a year.

Source: Fox News World

The story of a woman in the United Arab Emirates who woke up from a 27-year-long coma has grabbed international headlines.

The story of Munira Abdulla first ran in Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper on Monday.

The newspaper says in 1991, Abdulla was with her son when a school bus collided with their car. Her son, cradled by his mother before the crash, escaped with a bruise to the head.

Abdulla was 32 at the time. That same son, himself now 32, was quoted saying his mother regained consciousness in a German hospital last year.

A photo shows her in a wheelchair visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where she now resides.

During her time in hospitals, she was tube-fed and underwent physiotherapy to prevent her muscles deteriorating.

Source: Fox News World

The fighting in Libya’s capital has reached a detention center holding hundreds of detained migrants and refugees, the U.N. said Tuesday.

Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, said the U.N. aid agency has received reports that the Qasr Ben Ghashir detention center, holding some 890 refugees and migrants, was “breached by armed actors.” The facility is 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) south of central Tripoli.

The U.N. says some 3,600 refugees and migrants are held in facilities near the front lines of fighting between the self-styled Libyan National Army and other heavily-armed militias. Five detention centers are in areas already engulfed by fighting, while six more are in close proximity to the clashes.

“The situation in these detention centres is increasingly desperate, with reports of guards abandoning their posts and leaving people trapped inside,” Dujarric said, adding that one facility has been without drinking water for days.

Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the uprising that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Thousands have been detained by armed groups and smugglers.

The latest fighting in Libya pits the LNA, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter, against rival militias allied with a weak, U.N.-supported government. The World Health Organization says the fighting has killed more than 270 people, including civilians, and wounded nearly 1,300. It says more than 30,000 people have been displaced.

Source: Fox News World

Syrian state-run media say a bomb has killed a civilian and wounded five other people in a Damascus neighborhood.

The official SANA news agency says the bomb had been placed in a car in the Nahr Aysheh district in southern Damascus and killed the driver when it detonated. The agency says an investigation is underway.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Bombings in the Syrian capital have been relatively rare in the past few years, particularly since President Bashar Assad’s government last year secured areas around Damascus that had been held for years by rebels.

The country’s civil war is now in its ninth year. The conflict has killed more than 450,000 people and displaced millions of others.

Source: Fox News World

The Israeli military says its forces have demolished the home of a Palestinian who killed two Israelis in a shooting and stabbing attack last month.

Israel says 19-year-old Omar Abu Layla fatally stabbed a soldier and shot and killed another while wounding others near the settlement of Ariel in March. He was killed by Israeli troops after a massive three-day manhunt.

Israeli forces demolished his family home in the northern West Bank village of Al-Zawyeh early on Wednesday. Residents of the neighborhood were evacuated to a nearby school as the explosives were detonated.

Israel often demolishes homes of alleged Palestinian assailants or their families, saying it deters future attacks. Rights groups say the demolitions amount to collective punishment.

Source: Fox News World

When Ahmed Khalil ran out of work as a van driver in the Iraqi city of Mosul three years ago, he signed up with the Islamic State group’s police force, believing the salary would help keep his struggling family afloat.

But what he wound up providing was a legacy that would outlast his job, and his life.

In Mosul and elsewhere across Iraq, thousands of families — including Khalil’s widow and children — face crushing discrimination because their male relatives were seen as affiliated with or supporting IS when the extremists held large swaths of the country.

The wives, widows and children have been disowned by their relatives and abandoned by the state. Registrars refuse to register births to women with suspected IS husbands, and schools will not enroll their children. Mothers are turned away from welfare, and mukhtars — community mayors — won’t let the families move into their neighborhoods.

The Islamic State group’s “caliphate” that once spanned a third of both Iraq and Syria is now gone but as Iraq struggles to rebuilt after the militants’ final defeat and loss of their last sliver of territory in Syria earlier this year, the atrocities and the devastation they wreaked has left deep scars.

“They say my father was Daesh,” said Safa Ahmed, Khalil’s 11-year old daughter, referring to IS by its Arabic name. “It hurts me.”

Iraq has done little to probe the actions of the tens of thousands of men such as Khalil who, willingly or by force joined, worked and possibly fought for IS during its 2013-2017 rule. Instead, bureaucrats and communities punish families for the deeds of their relatives in a time of war.

Khalil was killed in an airstrike in Mosul, in February 2017, during the U.S.-backed campaign to retake the city that IS seized in 2014. It was liberated in July 2017, at a tremendous cost — around 10,000 residents were believed to have been killed in the assault, and its historic districts now lie in ruins.

His widow, Um Yusuf, and their seven children were left to bear the stigma of his IS affiliation. She cannot get social assistance, and her teenage son Omar is being turned away from jobs.

They live in an abandoned schoolhouse, living on what they can make selling bread on the streets of the devastated city. Just three of the children are in school — the oldest two dropped out because of bullying about their father, and the youngest two cannot enroll because the civil registrar’s office won’t issue their IDs.

“It’s true their father made a mistake,” Um Yusuf said. “But why are these children being punished for his sin?”

Under Iraq’s patrimonial family laws, a child needs a named father to receive a birth certificate and an identity card, to enroll in school and to claim citizenship, welfare benefits and an inheritance.

But in post-IS Iraq, virtually every bureaucratic procedure now includes a security check on a woman’s male relatives, further frustrating mothers and children.

A U.N. report this year estimates there are 45,000 undocumented children in Iraq. Judges and human rights groups say an urgent resolution is needed or the country risks rearing a generation of children without papers or schooling.

“By punishing entire families, you marginalize them and you seriously undermine reconciliation efforts in Iraq,” said Tom Peyre-Costa, a spokesman for the Norwegian Refugee Council, which provides legal aid to Mosul mothers struggling to get their children ID papers.

At al-Iraqiya school in western Mosul, one of the city’s first to reopen in 2017, principal Khalid Mohammad said he faces pressure from the community to deny enrollment to children whose fathers are in jail or missing — an absence many interpret as proof of IS affiliation.

“If anyone complains and someone is sent to investigate, I could lose my job,” he said.

At a legal office and clinic supported by the Norwegian Refugee Council, Nour Ahmed was looking for a way to claim legal custody of her undocumented younger son, in order to collect food and fuel aid for the family.

Her husband, she said, was abducted two years ago in Mosul by a group of pro-government militiamen who likely thought he was an IS member. Ahmed insists he wasn’t. He has been missing to this day.

Born in 2016 at a hospital run by IS, their son was given a birth certificate notarized by the Islamic State group. As Iraq doesn’t recognize IS documents, the 3-year-old has no legal mother or father.

Ahmed was told she would need to find her husband to re-register her son’s birth. If she submitted a missing person’s report, it would raise questions about the child’s parentage, jeopardizing his right to citizenship.

“I just want to find him,” said Nour.

Adnan Chalabi, an appeals court judge, said he sees more than a dozen cases each day related to civilian documentation, brought largely by the wives, widows or divorcees of IS suspects. There is little he can do to help, he said, without a change to the law first.

“Daesh held the city for three years. Did people stop getting married, divorced, and having children during those three years?” he said. “We need a legislative solution.”

There is little appetite to change the country’s family and patrimony laws, said Iraq’s parliament speaker, Mohamad Halbousi, though there is a proposal to open civil registries for a limited period, to register undocumented children.

“These families need to be cared for. They cannot be left to melt away into society,” he said.

Outside a mosque in Mosul, where Um Yusuf was selling bread with her children, the widowed mother of seven said she was losing the strength to look after her family.

“We are deprived of everything,” she says. “The whole family is destroyed.”

Source: Fox News World


Current track

Title

Artist