Turkey summons Austria charge d’affaires over ‘indecent’ report

Turkey summoned Austria’s charge d’affaires in Ankara late on Saturday over what it said was “indecent report” about Turkey on a news ticker at Vienna airport, a foreign ministry official said.

“Turkey allows sex with children under the age of 15,” read a headline on an electronic news ticker at the airport, images circulated on social media showed.

“Our disturbance and reaction over this display which tarnishes Turkey’s image and deliberately misinforms the public have been strongly conveyed to the charge d’affaires,” the ministry official said, adding that the headline was removed following the ministry’s intervention.

Turkey’s constitutional court last month ruled in favour of removing a provision in the penal code which identifies all sexual acts against children under the age of 15 as “sexual abuse” following an application made by a local court.

Tensions between Turkey and Europe have risen following Ankara’s crackdown in the wake of last month’s failed coup in Turkey.

Turkish authorities have detained, sacked or suspended tens of thousands of people over their alleged links with Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric whom the government blames for orchestrating the coup attempt.

Last week Turkey’s foreign minister called Austria the “capital of radical racism” after Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern suggested ending EU accession talks with Turkey which have made minimal progress since they began in 2005.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and many Turks accuse the West of focusing more on the rights of the coup plotters and their supporters than on the coup itself, in which more than 240 people were killed after rogue soldiers bombed parliament and seized bridges with tanks and helicopters.

Halting Turkey’s EU accession process could scupper a landmark migration deal between Brussels and Ankara designed to stop illegal migration to Europe via Turkey in return for financial aid, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the bloc and accelerated talks on membership.

Turkey has lived up to its side of the deal with Brussels but visa-free access has been subject to delays due to a dispute over Turkish anti-terrorism legislation, which some in Europe see as too broad, and to its post-coup crackdown.

 

 

[Source: Reauters]

Thousands return to Manbij after IS militants flee city

Thousands of displaced residents streamed back into the northern Syrian town of Manbij on Saturday after U.S.-backed fighters ousted the last Islamic State militants from their former stronghold, residents and U.S. allies said.

The U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Friday they had seized full control of the city near the Turkish border after the departure of the last of the militants, who had been using civilians as human shields.

Hundreds of cars and vehicles carrying families and their belongings flocked into the city from makeshift camps and villages in the countryside, where many of the city’s residents took shelter during the two-month campaign, according to an SDF official and relatives who were in contact with residents.

“Thousands are coming back and shops are opening. Today is the first day life is returning to normal,” said Sharfan Darwish, spokesman for the SDF-allied Manbij Military Council told Reuters from the city, adding they were working to restore basic services.

Pro-SDF news sites showed jubilant families who had been trapped in the city during the fighting talking about how harsh life was under Islamic State and its imposition of strict dress codes in public.

Their footage showed men shaving their beards and veiled women setting fire to niqabs they were forced to wear in public that covered their entire face apart from the eyes.

The militants were finally ousted after a deal was reached on Friday that secured their departure together with some 2,000 civilians, believed to have been their relatives, toward their stronghold of Jarablus near the border with Turkey, a Syrian from Manbij who is in touch with relatives there said.

It was not clear whether those leaving were hostages or had left voluntarily, a Kurdish source said.

The SDF, formed last year by recruiting Arabs to join forces with the powerful YPG Kurdish militia, launched an offensive with the support of U.S.-led strikes at the end of May to remove Islamic State from areas it controls along the Turkish border.

BLOW TO MILITANTS

The loss of Manbij, occupied by Islamic State since early 2014, is a big blow to the militants as it is of strategic importance, serving as a conduit for the transit of foreign jihadists and provisions from the Turkish border.

The operation, in which U.S. special forces played a significant role on the ground, marks the most ambitious advance by a group allied to Washington in Syria since the United States launched its military campaign against Islamic State two years ago.

Darwish attributed the speedy return to life in the city to a military and aerial campaign that he said spared many neighborhoods where thousands of civilians had remained even at the height of fighting.

Despite intensive U.S. bombing of bridges, several hospitals and a large silo in the course of the campaign, the city appears to have been spared the devastation of other cities in the Syrian conflict.

The SDF, which had already cleared over 13,000 mines, was sweeping some neighborhoods in search of militant sleeper cells suspected to still be operating.

A former resident of the city said he had reports from family members that the Kurdish YPG, who are the dominant group within the SDF, had rounded up dozens of young men before screening them because of concerns that some of them belonged to sleeper cells.

The capture of Manbij bolsters the position of Kurds who already control an uninterrupted 400 km (250 mile) stretch of Syria’s northern border with Turkey.

Washington has long lacked capable proxies on the ground, but has found its first strong allies in SDF.

Their gains have alarmed rebel forces battling President Bashar al-Assad, who say they will respond with force to any attempt to break up Syria.

 

[Source: Reauters]

Thai police find more unexploded bombs following coordinated blasts

Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) official inspects the site of a bomb blast in Hua Hin, south of Bangkok, Thailand, in this still image taken from video August 12, 2016. REUTERS/REUTERS TV

Thai police over the weekend found and defused five explosive devices that had failed to detonate when an as yet unidentified group carried out a series of deadly bomb attacks on popular tourist spots late last week.

Police said they had arrested one suspect following the bomb and arson attacks on Thursday and Friday that killed four people and wounded dozens more in some of Thailand’s best-known southern resorts and islands.

The attacks came just days after Thais voted to accept a military-backed constitution that the ruling junta, which seized power in 2014, has said will lead to an election by the end next year.

“These acts were undertaken by a group in many areas simultaneously, following orders from one individual,” Pongsapat Pongcharoen, a deputy national police chief, told reporters on Sunday, without elaborating.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Analysts say suspicion would inevitably fall on enemies of the ruling junta aggrieved by the referendum results, or insurgents from Muslim-majority provinces in the south of the mostly Buddhist country.

Two incendiary devices in mobile telephone power packs were found in a market in the upscale resort of Hua Hin on Sunday, the interior ministry said in a statement. A bomb disposal team defused both, and local police said the devices had been there since Wednesday.

The resort was the scene of the most devastating of the wave of bombs when a blast ripped through an alley in a bar area on Thursday evening. There were two more blasts in the town less than 12 hours later.

Another fire bomb was found on the island of Phuket on Sunday and defused, local police said. It had been set to detonate at 3 a.m. on Friday (2000 GMT on Thursday), local police said.

In Phang Nga, two devices were found on Saturday near a market that was torched in an attack early on Friday.

“One worked and the other two didn’t,” Phakaphong Tavipatana, the governor of Phang Nga, told Reuters, adding that police hoped to find fingerprints on the defused devices.

Phuket and Phang Nga were both hit in the attacks on Thursday and Friday, as was Surat Thani, a city that is the gateway to the popular islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

Attackers struck targets in seven southern Thai provinces, using bombs as well as incendiary devices that set shops and markets ablaze.

A man has been arrested and was being questioned in connection to an arson attack on a supermarket in the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, Pongsapat said. Police believe more than one individual was involved in that attack, he said.

The movements of other suspects were being monitored, he added.

NO SCAPEGOATS

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the coup two years ago, has instructed the police to be thorough and cautious in their investigation, said Pongsapat, adding that police were “not catching scapegoats.”

No evidence has been found yet to connect southern insurgents to the attacks, Pongsapat said, but DNA samples collected at the blast sites were being compared with databases in the southern Muslim provinces.

Fears that followers of former prime ministers Thaksin Shinawatra and his sister Yingluck Shinawatra could be blamed prompted a senior figure in their Puea Thai Party to issue a sharp denial on Saturday.

Thaksin’s government was toppled by the military in 2006, while Yingluck’s was ovethrown two years ago.

The anti-government United Front For Democracy Against Dictatorship (UDD), known as the “red shirt” group and sympathetic to the Shinawatras, condemned the attacks in a statement on Sunday.

[Source: Reauters]

Muslim cleric and associate shot to death on New York street

Buddhist pageant lights up streets in Kandy, Sri Lanka

A Muslim cleric and an associate were fatally shot by a lone gunman on Saturday while walking together following afternoon prayers at a mosque in the New York City borough of Queens, authorities said.

The gunman approached the men from behind and shot both in the head at close range at about 1:50 p.m. EDT on a blistering hot afternoon in the Ozone Park neighborhood, police said in a statement, adding that no arrests had been made.

The motive for the shooting was not immediately known and no evidence has been uncovered that the two men were targeted because of their faith, said Tiffany Phillips, a spokeswoman for the New York City Police Department. Even so, police were not ruling out any possibility, she added.

The victims, identified as Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were both wearing religious garb at the time of shooting, police said. Police had initially identified Uddin as Tharam.

The men were transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where they died, hospital spokesman Andrew Rubin said.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group known by the acronym CAIR, said Uddin was an associate of the imam.

“These were two very beloved people,” Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of CAIR, told Reuters. “These were community leaders.

“There is a deep sense of mourning and an overwhelming cry for justice to be served,” Nasher said. “There is a very loud cry, too, for the NYPD to investigate fully, with the total amount of their resources, the incident that happened today.”

The organization held a news conference on Saturday evening in front of the mosque, the Al-Furqan Jame Masjid, where the two men had prayed.

“We are calling for all people, of all faiths, to rally with compassion and with a sense of vigilance so that justice can be served,” Nasher said. ““You can’t go up to a person and shoot them in the head and not be motivated by hatred.”

The suspect was seen by witnesses fleeing the scene with a gun in his hand, police said.

“We are currently conducting an extensive canvass of the area for video and additional witnesses,” Deputy Inspector Henry Sautner said in a statement.

Eric Phillips, a press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, said the mayor was closely monitoring the police investigation into the shootings.

“While it is too early to tell what led to these murders, it is certain that the NYPD will stop at nothing to ensure justice is served,” Phillips said in a statement.

“He would not hurt a fly,” his nephew Rahi Majid, 26, told the New York Daily News. “You would watch him come down the street and watch the peace he brings.”

Video footage posted on YouTube showed dozens of men gathered near the site of the shooting, with one of them telling the crowd that it appeared to be a hate crime, even as police said the motive was still unknown.

“We feel really insecure and unsafe in a moment like this,” Millat Uddin, an Ozone Park resident told CBS television in New York. “It’s really threatening to us, threatening to our future, threatening to our mobility in our neighborhood, and we’re looking for the justice.”

In June, CAIR issued a statement calling for Muslim community leaders to consider increasing security after the Orlando massacre and incidents that it said had targeted Muslims and Islamic houses of worship.

A gunman who called himself an “Islamic soldier” killed 49 people in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub on June 12.

 

 

[Source: Reauters]

Assailant gets life for Jerusalem gay delight stabbing spree

An extremely-Orthodox Jewish guy become sentenced to life imprisonment on Sunday for murdering a teenage female at a homosexual delight parade in Jerusalem ultimate 12 months, an assault he executed simply weeks after serving a jail time period for a similar attack a decade earlier.

Yishai Schlissel said at some stage in his trial in a Jerusalem court that he were doing God’s will by way of killing a 16yearvintage lady and wounding 5 other individuals at the July 2015 occasion.

At a homosexual delight parade in Jerusalem in 2005, Schlissel stabbed three people, all of whom survived. In 2007, he became sentenced to twelve years and ultimately released early, in June 2015, with the normal day without work for good behaviour.

Following his launch from prison earlier than remaining year‘s march, police have been informed to be looking for Schlissel and bar him from the occasion. Seven police officers have been reassigned and 4 formally reprimanded for failing to achieve this.

in addition to his life sentence, the court docket tagged an extra 30 years onto his term for tried murder, a Justice Ministry declaration said.

The Jerusalem parade has lengthy been a focus of hysteria among Israel’s predominantly secular majority and the extremely-Orthodox Jewish minority, who item to public shows of homosexuality.

Germany’s Merkel alerts sober separation from ecu ‘accomplice’ Britain

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Saturday for clear-headed negotiations with “near companion” Britain over its departure from the eu Union.

overseas ministers of the european‘s six founding participants had earlier stated Britain should leave the bloc as soon as viable after Britons voted on Thursday to stop the 28-member bloc.

however, Merkel struck a greater conciliatory tone.

“The negotiations should take place in a businesslike, precise climate,” Merkel stated after a assembly of her conservative party in Hermannswerder, out of doors Potsdam, to the west of Berlin.

“Britain will remain a near companion, with which we are related economically,” she stated, including that there was no hurry for Britain to invoke Article 50 of the eu treaty – step one it need to take to set in motion the exit process.

“It have to no longer take a long time, this is genuine, but i might no longer fight now for a quick time body,” Merkel stated, in contrast with the greater urgent call by way of the overseas ministers of Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, who have been meeting to the north of the German capital.

They pressed for Britain to cause the technique for exiting the bloc after Britons voted by 5248 percentage to exit the eu, which it joined extra than forty years ago.

“We now expect the United Kingdom government to offer readability and provide impact to this choice as quickly as feasible,” they stated in a joint assertion.

The president of the european Parliament, Martin Schulz, also piled pressure on Britain, calling for it to cause the leave process at a summit of ecu leaders next Tuesday.

“We count on the British government to supply now,” Schulz informed Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “The summit on Tuesday is the precise moment to achieve this.”
U.N. Secretary preferred Ban Ki-moon, who met with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Saturday, called for “pragmatic negotiations” as soon as Article 50 is invoked.

“My message is obvious: when we work together we are stronger. i’m hoping the British human beings may be in a position to triumph over the challenges that await them,” France’s journal du Dimanche quoted Ban as announcing in an interview.

european officers stated there was no real trouble if it took a few months to begin the system for Britain to go away, although waiting till the end of the 12 months may want to get in the manner of the subsequent spherical of ecu price range talks and eu election campaigning.

The officers stated they were worried that British high Minister David Cameron, who resigned on Friday, could give up to a person with a method to tug out the united states‘s departure.

Matthew Elliott, leader govt of the Vote go away campaign, said Britain need to start casual negotiations on a complete settlement governing its put up-Brexit courting with the eu before invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

FRENCH stress

France additionally pressed for a quick begin to the exit manner, with foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault pronouncing negotiations have to pass fast and that the remaining european member states additionally needed to supply clean impetus to the eu challenge.

“We must provide a new feel to Europe, in any other case populism will fill the space,” he said, including that the ecu couldn’t anticipate Cameron to depart in October before the exit method starts offevolved.

Ayrault said different european leaders would positionedlots of pressure” on Cameron at Tuesday’s summit to act quick.
A spokesman for the ecu Council, which runs meetings of ecu participants‘ leaders, said that Britain ought to trigger Article 50, placing a year closing date for a deal, by using making a proper declaration to such a assembly instead of through sending a diplomatic letter to its chairman.

Hollande said the separation “could be painful for Britain however … as in all divorces, it is going to be painful for individuals who stay at the back of, too”.

France and Germany have drafted a tenpage paper mapping out 3 areas of immediately subject for the last european participants: safety, migration and refugees, and jobs and increase which diplomatic resources say they need to apply as a basis to shore up the eu, at the same time as constructing a more bendy union.

global stock markets plunged on Friday, and sterling noticed its biggest one-day drop in more than 30 years, while scores employer Moody’s downgraded Britain’s credit score outlook.

The six foreign ministers said the european turned into droppingno longer just a member state but history, lifestyle and enjoy“.

Luxembourg overseas Minister Jean Asselborn informed Reuters: “I agree with you can wreck the eu Union with referenda. We have to speak higher what the european has performed, and we ought to work tougher on problems which include migration where we have failed.”

each Ayrault and Asselborn warned Britain not to play video games by way of drawing out the go out technique.

it’s in Britain’s hobby and within the hobby of Europeans no longer to have a period of uncertainty that might have economic effects, and that might have financial and political consequences,” he told a information convention after the assembly.

Russian teenager born with no fingers becomes celebrated piano playe

Alexey Romanov tells Russia Behind the Headlines about winning the heart of the nation with a Twilight performance on TV

Alexey Romanov plays for the nation
Alexey Romanov plays for the nation Photograph: Screengrab: YouTube

Teenager Alexey Romanov has become a promising piano player despite a debilitating illness that has deprived him of his fingers since birth.

Sixteen-year-old prodigy Romanov from Zelenodolsk, a village in the Republic of Tatarstan, first took up music two years ago after being inspired by the works of Mozart and Vivaldi.

In the short time since he has performed for the republic’s orchestra and has found fame on national TV.

Romanov’s music teacher at a specialist school for children with disabilities helped him get started, beginning with the melodies from films including vampire series Twilight and 1990s Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, both popular in Russia.

He credits two friends for teaching him the basics of music and how to read notes. “They still help me. They send me sheet music, which I study and if I like something, I let it settle inside me,” he said.

Romanov, who is at boarding school in Tatarstan’s capital Kazan, was adopted two years ago.

Watch Alexey Romanov perform

His adoptive parents, Vladimir and Luisa Levachkovye, noticed his predisposition for art and bought him a synthesizer. With time and a lot of practice, Romanov began participating in competitions – and winning them.

In February he performed with Kazan’s respected La Primavera chamber orchestra, which led to an invitation to join a music school in the capital.

The orchestra’s chief conductor also invited Romanov to participate in the television programme Guests from Tomorrow, where he performed River Flows in You, a composition written by South Korean pianist Lee Ru-ma for Twilight.

The young musician’s performance, seen across Russia, attracted admiration from the public and attention from the media.

One Facebook user said: “Alexey is a hero, he deserves respect and praise! [I] wish you health and happiness in life.”

“We all are constantly complaining about life. One can only admire such people. The guy is fantastic,” added another.

“During the [TV] concert I was shaking from the tension. I can’t even remember what was happening,” reflected Romanov.

“I walked on to the stage, sat down and started playing. I felt my knees shaking. Then I realised that I was doing well, it’s as if the melody started flowing by itself.”

He explained how hard it was for him to learn the music early on, and how worried he was about trembling when he had to speak in front of a large audience.

Romanov, modest to the point of being shy, seemed embarrassed when it was suggested that his story provides inspiration for young musicians and the wider public.

Last week he travelled to Moscow for the first time to take part in the reality show Let Them Talk and met Australian motivational speaker Nick Vujicic, which he said was a lifelong dream.

As for who inspires him, he said: “Sometimes it seems that there is an invisible, endless spiritual source out of which I can draw strength.”

[Source:- Gurdian]

Student Taken Off Plane After Arabic Call

201015 USA Southwest Airlines plane on the ground in Baltimore

A California university student has claimed he was removed from a flight at Los Angeles International Airport because a fellow passenger overheard him talking on the phone in Arabic.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement that the passenger, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was removed from a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland on 9 April for questioning and the aircraft took off while that was happening.

Mr Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old senior at University of California, Berkeley, said he had been calling his uncle before the flight to tell him about a speech he had attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

He told the New York Times: “I was very excited about the event, so I called my uncle to tell him about it.”

The student said he was talking to his uncle about asking a question on the Islamic State group at the event, and used the phrase “inshallah” – which means god willing – at the end of the conversation.

A woman on the aircraft sitting in front of him then turned around and began staring at him, he said.

“That is when I thought, ‘oh, I hope she is not reporting me’,” he said.

Mr Makhzoomi said an Arabic-speaking Southwest employee escorted him off the plane and asked him why he had been speaking in the language.

He said he told the employee “this is what Islamophobia got this country into”, and he was then told he could not get back on the plane.

The FBI in Los Angeles said in a statement it had investigated the situation and found no further action was necessary.

Southwest Airlines said it could not comment until he has spoken to Mr Makhzoomi. It added that it regrets any less-than-positive experience by a customer, but said its primary focus is on safety and its crew members followed protocol.

It added the company “neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind”.

Mr Makhzoomi was able to book a flight on another airline and arrived home eight hours later than planned.

He told the New York Times: “Human dignity is the most valuable thing in the world, not money.

“If they apologised, maybe it would teach them to treat people equally.”

 
[Source:- Skynews]

IS Files Reveal Danish Recruiters’ Links To UK

IS files

Sky News can reveal that a group of men arrested in Denmark two weeks ago were all named in Islamic State recruitment files leaked to us in March.

The link between the arrests and the files also exposes a connection between Danish IS recruiters and British extremists.

On 7 April, Danish police raided properties in several parts of Copenhagen. A number of arrests were made.

Two days earlier, a 20-year-old man was arrested at the city’s airport. It is understood he was trying to board a plane with a large quantity of cash.

In total, five people were detained and a further four “detained in absentia”. Their whereabouts are not known.

Belgium And Belgians Referenced In Cache Of IS Documents

However, authorities refused to give many further details. In a so-called “double-locked door” legal hearing, the media were prevented from publishing the names of the men.

But Sky News has seen their names and those of the men still being sought. All appear in files leaked to Sky by a disillusioned IS member in March.

Filled out by IS gate keepers when recruits entered the self-proclaimed caliphate, the files are now exposing fighters who have slipped back into their home countries.

One by one authorities are picking them up and piecing together a terror franchise that spans the continent.

We rang the doorbell at the address of one of the detained men.

His entry form lists him as married. He lists his occupation as “childcare” and it states that he entered IS territory on 1 July 2013. It is not clear when he returned to Denmark.

A neighbour told us she knew the man well.

Iraqi security forces work on lowering the Islamic State flag, west of Ramadi

“I would say hello to him every time I walk in or out of the door. A really nice guy, very helpful. He offers to drive me so I don’t have to take a cab,” Lise-Lotte Christensen said.

We showed her the man’s file. “It really surprises me. I had no idea he was that kind of guy, he was just really nice. A lovely, warm person,” she said.

She confirmed to us that he has two young children and a Danish wife, all information which tallies with the associated file.

As with all the files, it lists the person who recommended the man’s entry to IS. In his case it was an individual called Abu Hifs al Pakistani, one of two names which crops up frequently in the files.

Across town, we visit another neighbourhood and the scene of another raid.

One man was taken from a second floor apartment in a block. The name on the doorbell is the same as that on the file which lists further details.

Born 1990, married, entered IS – 9 September 2013, recruiter – Abu Khatab al Pakstani. His name is the other which appears in a number of the files.

Stuart Ramsay

The form of the man arrested at the airport details him as a 20-year-old former mobile phone technician who travelled to Syria on 10 July 2013 when he’d have been just seventeen.

A well-known Copenhagen mosque is listed as his home address.

We know the man was close to the mosque’s imam. We were told the imam was away in Mecca and our calls to his mobile phone didn’t connect.

The recruit’s sponsor is, once again, Abu Hifs al Pakistani.

Between them, Abu Hifs and Abu Khatab are named as the recruiters in all but three of the Danish files.

We have obtained footage of Abu Khatab at a rally in Copenhagen in late 2012. The IS files show us that he would have been recruiting people for jihad at this time.

In the footage, he is seen plugging a mobile phone into a loudspeaker.

A still image from video shows documents identifying supporters of Islamic State

On the other end of the line is the radical cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who was once based in Britain and whose connections to radical groups in the UK remain strong.

YouTube footage shows Abu Khatab alongside Abu Hifs in Syria in 2013.

Both men are now dead, but both had contact with known British extremists like Bakri Mohammed and another who can’t currently be named for legal reasons.

The two men’s exposure as high profile recruiters helps European intelligence agencies join up the dots.

A former analyst at the Danish Intelligence Service says that highlighting patterns in the forms is crucial in helping to understand IS.

“One of the most interesting things in the files is who recommended the recruits,” Anja Dalgaard-Neilsen said.

Ms Dalgaard-Neilsen is now the director of the Institute for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College. She says the files help not only to apprehend suspects but to prosecute them.

“It has now been criminalised to join a terrorist organisation and that’s the reason why these files are potentially very interesting to the authorities, because they could support the argument of the authorities of the prosecution that these people joined a terrorist organisation,” she said.

“It is, for obvious reasons, difficult to gather evidence in a war zone.

“Until recently it wasn’t a crime in and of itself to travel to Syria so you couldn’t know if people were doing humanitarian work or whether they had actually joined a terrorist organisation.”

The challenge for the authorities is identifying all those in the files.

There are many more Europeans named in files than there have been arrests. Some individuals may have died in Syria. But others could have travelled back to their home countries.

After the atrocities in Paris and Brussels, and IS’ pledge to attack again, there is an urgency to find them.

 
[Source:- Skynews]

Pearl Jam join Springsteen in cancelling North Carolina show over anti-LGBT law

Band follow Ringo Starr and Bryan Adams in calling off concert, calling new law ‘a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination’

Pearl Jam Perform
No Carolina … Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder. Photograph: Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns via Getty Images

Pearl Jam have cancelled their concert in North Carolina on 20 April because of the state’s new law on LGBT rights.

In a statement issued Monday on the band’s website, Pearl Jam called the new law “a despicable piece of legislation that encourages discrimination against an entire group of American citizens”.

The Seattle rock group, who were scheduled to perform at PNC Arena in Raleigh, join the likes of Ringo Starr, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil in boycotting the southeastern state due to the law.

Pearl Jam’s statement says the band has communicated with local groups and will give them money to oppose the law.

The law, known as HB2, prevents transgender people from using the public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity, stating that public institutions must post signs saying that bathrooms and locker rooms are to be used only based on biological sex. It also prevents municipal governments from passing anti-discrimination laws.

The anti-discrimination ordinance approved in February in Charlotte led to a special legislative session. Legislators overturned the ordinance and blocked all cities and counties in North Carolina from passing similar anti-discrimination rules.

Read Pearl Jam’s full statement below.

Pearl Jam statement
Pearl Jam statement Photograph: Pearl Jam Facebook

[Source:- Gurdian]