Soldiers ordered arrested
Authorities have ordered the detention of 191 military personnel over suspected links to a network Ankara says orchestrated a failed coup in July 2016, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported yesterday. Authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown on alleged followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen since the coup attempt, when 250 people were killed. Gulen has denied any involvement. The former ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999. The police operation was coordinated from the western city of Izmir and targeted people in 22 provinces, Anadolu said. Police have already detained 145 of the suspects, it said.
General Lee statue to remain
A judge in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday issued a 10-day injunction against Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from the city, the Washington Post reported. Northam last week said that the statue should be taken down from its pedestal “as soon as possible” amid nationwide protests demanding racial equality following the death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
KKK leader charged
An “admitted” Ku Klux Klan (KKK) leader who drove a vehicle into a peaceful crowd of George Floyd protesters in Virginia is being investigated for possible hate crimes, a county attorney said on Monday. The man has been charged with several offenses after he “recklessly” drove into the crowd on Sunday, Henrico County Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor said on Twitter. Local media reported that one protester was injured in the incident near Richmond. The person was checked at the scene by emergency responders and refused further treatment.
Healer’s killing condemned
The killing of an indigenous Maya healer, who was set ablaze by a mob in a rural region after he was accused of being a witch, was strongly condemned on Monday by the country’s president and human rights organizations. Domingo Choc, a 56-year-old practitioner of traditional Maya medicine, died on Saturday after several members of his own Q’eqchi’ community accused him of using witchcraft to kill a man who had died in a local hospital several days earlier, the national police said in a statement. President Alejandro Giammattei, a medical doctor, wrote on Twitter that he was asking prosecutors to bring those responsible for Choc’s “murder” to justice.
Officer, protesters scuffle
A police officer in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina, who has met with and walked with demonstrators a number of times, was on Monday involved in a scuffle with protesters a day after he had another tense interaction. Video showed Captain Brad Koch surrounded by chanting protesters in front of the local government center before a white male protester approaches and shoves him. After being pushed, Koch takes the man to the ground as more protesters are seen piling on. He was the only officer in the immediate vicinity. No injuries were reported, but in a tweet, the police department said that Koch was “assaulted in broad daylight” and it was asking for the public’s help to identify those involved.
CIA agent to be executed
An Iranian citizen who provided information to US and Israeli intelligence services on the whereabouts of slain Iranian top commander Qassem Soleimani is to executed soon, the judiciary said yesterday. A US drone strike in Iraq on Jan. 3 killed Soleimani, the head of Tehran’s elite Quds Force. Washington blamed Soleimani for masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias on US forces in the region. “Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, one of the spies for CIA and Mossad has been sentenced to death. He gave the whereabouts of martyr Soleimani to our enemies,” judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said in a televised news conference.
Asian peace prize canceled
The Ramon Magsaysay Awards have been canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking only the third disruption in six decades for the annual prize regarded as an Asian Nobel. The Manila-based foundation that hands out the annual awards yesterday said that it has no choice “with the COVID-19 pandemic practically immobilizing the world.” The awards were also canceled due to a financial crisis in 1970 and a disastrous earthquake in 1990. They are named after a popular Philippine president who died in a 1957 plane crash and honor “greatness of spirit in selfless service to the peoples of Asia.” The five recipients of last year’s awards included a South Korean who helped fight suicide and bullying; a Thai woman who became a human rights defender after losing her husband to violence in southern Thailand; journalists from India and Myanmar; and a musician credited with helping to shape modern Philippine musical culture.
Opposition leader attacked
Chadema Chairman Freeman Mbowe was attacked by unidentified people as he entered his home late at night, his party said yesterday, the latest misfortune to befall the opposition ahead of a general election in October. “Unknown people surrounded him and assaulted him before he started taking the stairs. Though these people had carried firearms, they didn’t use them,” Chadema Secretary-General John Mnyika said. Mbowe, who along with other opposition lawmakers was found guilty of sedition in March, was rushed to a hospital in Dodoma, where he was receiving treatment, Mnyika said, without giving more details. Dodoma’s police commander Gilesi Muroto was not immediately available for comment. There was also no immediate comment from the government.
Family urges rally for justice
The family of a black Frenchman who died in police custody in circumstances similar to the killing of George Floyd in the US said they had spurned an offer of talks with the justice minister and called for a nationwide protest instead. Adama Traore was celebrating his 24th birthday on July 19, 2016, when three police officers used their weight to restrain him. By the time he arrived at the police station, he was unconscious and could not be revived. Medical experts differ on whether Traore died because of the restraint or because of an underlying medical condition. His family and their supporters have demanded that the officers involved be held to account. No one has been charged. They called for a mass protest in central Paris on Saturday. It said the offer of talks with the minister was received through its lawyer.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
COVID-19 UNDER CONTROL: The two prime ministers agreed to ease entry bans, and allow short-term business visits and reopen flights between Vietnam and Japan Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, in his first overseas summit since taking office last month, yesterday agreed with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step up defense and security cooperation in the face of China’s expanding influence in the region. In talks in Hanoi, Suga and Phuc set up a basic agreement allowing Japan to export defense equipment and technology to Vietnam. Japan has been pursuing such agreements to bolster ties with Southeast Asian nations and sustain its own defense industry. Suga said that his four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia would be key to pursuing the “free and open Indo-Pacific” vision
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since