Afghan women evacuated
Five Afghan women who had been “threatened by the Taliban” had been flown to Paris, where they were due to arrive yesterday, French Office for Immigration and Integration Director-General Didier Leschi said. By presidential order, “special attention is being paid to women who are primarily threatened by the Taliban, because they have held important positions in Afghan society ... or have close contacts with Westerners,” Leschi said. The women include a former university director, a former non-governmental organization consultant, a former television presenter and a teacher at a secret school in Kabul. One of the women was accompanied by three children. The women had been unable to leave Afghanistan on airlifts to Western countries when the Taliban returned to power in 2021. They fled to Pakistan where they sought temporary refuge. From there, the French authorities organized their evacuation, Leschi said.
Fukushima fishers to sue
About 100 fishers and locals living near Fukushima are to file a lawsuit on Friday seeking to stop the release of wastewater from the stricken Fukishima Da-ichi nuclear power plant, they said yesterday. The government on Aug. 24 began releasing treated cooling water from the facility into the Pacific Ocean. Many Japanese fishers have been against the release, fearing that it would undo years of efforts to improve the industry’s image in the wake of the 2011 catastrophe. More than 100 plaintiffs, including fishers in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures, are to file the lawsuit in the Fukushima District Court, said Sugie Tanji, a member of the group’s secretariat.
Mob attack had phony start
Last month’s mob attacks on churches and homes of Christians in the city of Jaranwala erupted after three Christians threw pages of the Koran outside the house of two others to falsely implicate them in a blasphemy case due to a personal dispute, police said yesterday. The three detained suspects confessed to conspiring and throwing the pages outside Raja Amir’s house on Aug. 16, three police officials said. Amir and his brother had been arrested after they were accused by Muslims of desecrating the Koran. The suspected mastermind was Pervez Kodu, who thought Amir had an affair with his wife and knew Muslims would target Amir if they thought he had desecrated the holy book, three police officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media. The three now face charges of causing violence and falsely implicating Amir and his brother in a blasphemy case.
Clashes erupt over Koran
Clashes erupted in an immigrant neighborhood in the nation’s third-largest city after an anti-Muslim protester set fire to the Koran, police in Malmo said yesterday. Officers said they were pelted with rocks and dozens of cars were set on fire, including in an underground garage, describing the events that started on Sunday and lasted overnight as “a violent riot.” The clashes started after anti-Islam activist Salwan Momika burned a copy of the Koran and an angry mob tried to stop him while police, some of them helmeted, detained several people. At least three people have been detained, police said. Early yesterday, an angry crowd of mainly young people also set fire to tires and debris, and some were seen throwing electric scooters, bikes and barriers in Malmo’s Rosengard neighborhood, which has seen similar clashes in the past.
Apps and Web sites that use artificial intelligence (AI) to undress women in photos are soaring in popularity, researchers said. In September alone, 24 million people visited undressing Web sites, the social network analysis company Graphika said. Many of these undressing, or “nudify,” services use popular social networks for marketing, Graphika said. For instance, since the beginning of this year, the number of links advertising undressing apps increased more than 2,400 percent on social media, including on X and Reddit, the researchers said. The services use AI to recreate an image so that the person is nude. Many of the services only
IN ABSOLUTE CONTROL: About 80 percent of Russians approve of Putin, a survey shows, but that might be misleading due to his intolerance to criticism Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday moved to prolong his repressive and unyielding grip on Russia for at least another six years, announcing his candidacy in the presidential election in March that he is all but certain to win. Putin still commands wide support after nearly a quarter-century in power, despite starting an immensely costly war in Ukraine that has taken thousands of his people’s lives, provoked repeated attacks inside Russia — including one on the Kremlin itself — and corroded its aura of invincibility. A short-lived rebellion in June by mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin raised widespread speculation that Putin could be
JUMPING BAIL: The democracy advocate said made the decision after ‘considering the situation in Hong Kong, my personal safety, my physical and mental health’ Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow (周庭), who was jailed over her role in massive 2019 protests, on Sunday said she had moved to Canada and would not return to meet her bail conditions. Chow was one of the best-known young faces of the 2012, 2014 and 2019 protest movements against Beijing’s increasingly authoritarian rule in Hong Kong. She spent about seven months behind bars for her role in a protest outside Hong Kong police headquarters in 2019, when huge crowds rallied week after week in the most serious challenge to China’s rule since Hong Kong’s 1997 handover. On Sunday
TAKING STOCK: It was not yet clear how damaging the espionage, dating to 1981, has been, as authorities are still assessing the situation, the State Department said A former US ambassador to Bolivia has been arrested and charged with spying for Cuba over a 40-year span, the US Department of Justice announced on Monday, detailing a shock betrayal by a suspect who called the US “the enemy.” US Attorney General Merrick Garland laid out the allegations against Victor Manuel Rocha, a onetime member of the White House’s National Security Council now accused of using his positions within the government to support Cuba’s “clandestine intelligence-gathering mission” against the US. The charges against Rocha, 73, expose “one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign