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    A human rights group has written to FIFA president Gianni Infantino calling for Iran to be kicked out of the World Cup in Qatar later this year because of the country's oppression of women. Widespread protests have erupted across Iran and now in countries all over the world in response to the death of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini in police custody, after she was arrested earlier in September for loosely wearing her veil. The Iranian regime has responded, as it usually does, with force and an internet blackout to make it harder for people to plan protests. At least 83 people have been killed since the protests broke out. Now as reported by Front Office Sports, the organization Open Stadiums, which campaigns for Iranian women's rights, wrote to Infantino saying: 'For over four decades, Iranian women have been denied their most basic liberties. 'We have been banned from enjoying sports, watching games in stadiums, and cheering for our favorite football teams. You repeatedly made a public commitment that FIFA would solve these gross human rights violations but we have, sadly, come to...
    Unfortunately, the world is not a very peaceful or safe place for many individuals. From conflict to abuse to exploitation, there is so much cruelty inflicted on both humans and animals. While this can get disheartening and difficult to hear about, petitions are a great way to use your voice for good. Just by signing one, you are a part of helping those who are not treated fairly. You can even share them with your friends and acquaintances to increase your impact. Through petitions, we can reach those in power and demand justice for others. They are valuable tools for making positive changes in the world. If you are looking for a way to help animals and humans, here are 10 petitions you should sign this week, including Tell Biden to Investigate Iran for Crimes Against Women, Protect Indigenous Lands in Brazil, and Demand Justice For Llama That Was Beaten to Death! Raise awareness through activism apparel by wearing sustainable brands like Tiny Rescue. Check out the Climate Change Collection! We want to thank you for being the change you...
    Iranian Americans are staging demonstrations across the United States this weekend in solidarity with ongoing protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman who collapsed while in custody of morality police. “Join us in solidarity and be the voice of the Iranian people who are getting brutally suppressed for fighting for basic human rights while their access to internet is cut off,” read a flyer for an event on Saturday in Boston. Similar events are being held in California, Rhode Island and Florida, among other states. Protests erupted in the Islamic Republic earlier this week, following the death of Mahsa Amini last Friday. Days before her death, she was arrested by morality police in Tehran and taken to a “re-education” center to receive guidance on her attire. Iran’s morality police is a dedicated unit enforcing strict dress codes for women, such as wearing the compulsory headscarf. While in custody, Amini fell into a coma and died shortly thereafter. Police have called Amini’s death an “unfortunate incident” and denied she was physically harmed in custody, semiofficial news agency Fars...
    (CNN)Iranian Americans are staging demonstrations across the United States this weekend in solidarity with ongoing protests in Iran over the death of a 22-year-old woman who collapsed while in custody of morality police."Join us in solidarity and be the voice of the Iranian people who are getting brutally suppressed for fighting for basic human rights while their access to internet is cut off," read a flyer for an event on Saturday in Boston. Similar events are being held in California, Rhode Island and Florida, among other states.Young Iranians are rising up against decades of repression -- arguably bolder than everProtests erupted in the Islamic Republic earlier this week, following the death of Mahsa Amini last Friday. Days before her death, she was arrested by morality police in Tehran and taken to a "re-education" center to receive guidance on her attire. Iran's morality police is a dedicated unit enforcing strict dress codes for women, such as wearing the compulsory headscarf.While in custody, Amini fell into a coma and died shortly thereafter. Police have called Amini's death an "unfortunate incident" and denied...
    CHAOTIC scenes have erupted across Iran as protesters fight back against cops while others turn buildings and cars into fireballs. The country's Revolutionary Guard has chillingly vowed to unleash a "decisive" crackdown on rioters as protests flare up nationwide over strict hijab laws. 10Footage shows protesters forcing back a police truck in the city of AmolCredit: Twitter 10Rioters have been torching the streetsCredit: Reuters 10At least 11 people have died as protesters clash with copsCredit: AFP 10Thousands are protesting the death of Mahsa AminiCredit: AP One dramatic clip shows hundreds of rioters forcing back an armoured police truck in the city of Amol. It comes as public outrage over the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of the country's morality police turns into a bloodbath with around 26 people killed in violent riots. Masha, 22, was was beaten to death by the morality police after being arrested in the capital Tehran for not complying with the harsh rules. She was allegedly detained for having some hair visible under her headscarf - which Iranian women are legally required to wear. More world newsON...
    (CNN)Five people have been killed by Iranian security forces during protests that were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who was being held in police custody, according to a human rights monitor.Hengaw Organization for Human Rights, a Norwegian-registered organization monitoring rights violations in Iran, said five people were fatally shot during demonstrations in Iran's Kurdish region on Monday. It said 75 others were injured in other cities over the weekend. CNN was unable to independently verify the reports of the deaths and injuries. The protests erupted after the death of Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman who died in Tehran after being arrested by Iran's morality police last week. Iranian officials said that Amini died on Friday after suffering a "heart attack" and falling into a coma following her arrest last Tuesday. However, her family said she did not have a pre-existing heart condition, Emtedad news, an Iranian pro-reform media outlet which claimed to have spoken to Amini's father, said.Read MoreIranian police say death of Mahsa Amini unfortunate as protestors take to the streetsEdited security camera footage released by Iran's...
    London (CNN)A dramatic series of events unfolded on a bustling street in Beirut on Thursday when an armed man barged into a bank and held employees and customers hostage. He wasn't trying to rob the bank -- he was demanding his own money back. The gunman, named by authorities as Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, is one of the millions in Lebanon whose lifesavings dissipated in the country's devastating economic crisis that began in October 2019. Videos posted to social media showed Hussein nervously pacing around the bank in denim shorts and sandals, his hostages trying to reason with him. "Give me my money back," Hussein yelled, wielding a gun. "I'm running out of time." He threatened to torch the bank and kill everyone in it. Details about the gunman began to emerge as the tense standoff carried on. Hussein's deposit amounted to $210,000, according to security sources. He needed money -- around $10,000 -- to pay for an operation for his father. It was money he was unable to obtain because, like the vast majority of Lebanese, his bank account was...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Flash floods triggered by heavy rains killed seven Iraqi tourists in northeastern Iran on Saturday, Iranian state media reported, the latest in rising casualty tolls as the downpours continue to lash the country. The official IRNA news agency said the tourists were part of a 13-member group of Iraqis visiting Iran. They were traveling in a crammed station wagon on a road near the city of Mashhad, some 900 kilometers (560 miles), north of the capital Tehran, when a flash flood swept their car away. Among the fatalities were five women and the group’s Iranian driver. Three Iraqis were missing while the other passengers managed to get to safety. About 2 million Iraqis visit Iran every year. Also Saturday, Iranian authorities raised the death toll from landslides and flash floods that engulfed the country since Thursday to 61 as eight more bodied were retrieved. It said at least 32 people are still missing. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited a rescue operation center in one of the stricken villages northeast of Tehran, promising...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A landslide triggered by heavy rains in Iran’s capital killed at least four people Thursday, Iranian state TV reported. The report said heavy rains in the early hours of Thursday caused flash floods and then landslides in the northwestern part of Tehran, and caused damage to Imamzadeh Davood, a religious shrine in the city. Rescue teams were deployed at the scene, and nine people were injured in the incident, the report said, adding that others may be buried under the mud and search efforts were underway. The landslide occurred in a valley in the foothills of Tehran’s Alborz mountains. In 2015, a flash flood in the area killed at least 14 people. Ahead of the landslide, officials warned residents of Tehran’s mountainous areas about heavy rains and possible floods. They also warned that heavier rains were expected later Thursday. On Saturday, flash floods in Iran’s drought-stricken southern Fars province killed at least 21 people and hit more than 10 villages in the province. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Flash floods in Iran’s drought-stricken southern Fars province have killed at least 17 people, state television said Saturday. Heavy rains swelled the Roudbal river by the city of Estahban, according to the city’s governor Yousef Karegar. Karegar said rescue teams had saved 55 people who were trapped by the flash flooding, but at least six people were still missing. Iran’s metrology department had warned about possibly heavy seasonal rainfall across the country that is facing a decades-long drought blamed on climate change. The dangers of flash flooding have also been exacerbated by the widespread construction of buildings and roads near riverbeds. In March 2018, a flash flood in Fars province caused the death of 44 people. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Five people were killed and 44 others injured in a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in southern Iran on Saturday, state television reported. Rescue teams were deployed near the epicenter, Sayeh Khosh village, which is home to around 300 people in Hormozgan province, some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of the capital, Tehran, the report said. People went into the streets as aftershocks continued to jolt the area after the early morning quake, which also damaged buildings and infrastructure. The earthquake was felt in many neighboring countries, the report said. The area has seen several moderate earthquakes in recent weeks. In November, one man died following two magnitude 6.4 and 6.3 earthquakes. Iran lies on major seismic faults and experiences one earthquake a day on average. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people. A magnitude 7 earthquake that struck western Iran in 2017 killed more than 600 people and injured more than 9,000. Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,...
    Former Vice President Mike Pence was in Albania Thursday to speak with Iranian dissidents, part of a busy travel itinerary to discuss key domestic and international issues as the Republican gears up for a possible 2024 White House bid. Pence was scheduled to address a “Free Iran” conference hosted by the Organization of Iranian and American Communities and the Iranian American Community of Northern California. The former vice president’s visit to Ashraf-3, a base of operations for the Iranian resistance movement was to include prepared remarks and a question-and-answer session moderated by Marc Short, his former chief of staff in the West Wing. According to excerpts of Pence’s upcoming speech shared with the Washington Examiner, the former vice president plans to tout American foreign policy under the “Trump-Pence administration” and the hardline with which he and former President Donald Trump approached the authoritarian regime in Tehran. TRUMP 2024 LAUNCH BEFORE NOVEMBER MIDTERM ELECTIONS COULD BECOME A PROBLEM FOR THE GOP “Under the Trump-Pence administration, I am proud that America did not turn a deaf ear to the pleas of the...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The death toll in a catastrophic tower collapse in southwestern Iran rose to at least 38 on Sunday, state TV reported, as emergency workers pulled another body from the rubble amid fears still more could be trapped in the destruction. It’s unclear how many more people remain unaccounted for in the collapse of the still under-construction tower at the Metropol Building in Abadan nearly two weeks ago. R escuers were still working and families still waiting for word of their loved ones despite promises the search operation would be finished by now. The structural building failure in the oil-rich but impoverished Khuzestan province has focused public attention on shoddy construction practices and prompted mass allegations of government corruption and negligence. Authorities have arrested 13 people as part of a broad probe into the disaster, including Abadan’s mayor, Hossein Hamidpour, who resigned last Friday. Protesters have gathered in mourning at the collapse site, denouncing top officials and demanding accountability, according to videos widely shared on social media and analyzed by The Associated Press. However,...
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian riot police clashed with angry protesters in the southwestern city of Abadan, according to online videos, and state-run media reported that the death toll from a building collapse there reached 31 on Monday. The official IRNA news agency said two more bodies were pulled from the rubble of an under-construction tower that collapsed a week ago. Rescue workers were continuing to clear the debris Monday and search for more victims under the toppled part of the Metropol Building. Out of 37 injured people, two remain hospitalized. The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects. The collapse reminded many of the 2017 fire and collapse of the iconic Plasco building in Tehran that killed 26 people. It also drew angry protesters to the streets of Abadan over the past week, leading to eruptions of unrest and clashes with riot police on several occasions. The semiofficial Fars news agency said mourners gathered at the site of the...
    SHOCKING classified records reveal Iran has sentenced 51 people to death by stoning for adultery with the victims set to have rocks hurled at their heads while trapped in sand. A leaked trove of documents smuggled from inside the country's notorious prisons lay bare the barbaric reality of Iran's justice system as 23 women and 28 men as young as 25 await their brutal executions. 6Those sentenced to death by stoning are wrapped and bound in a white sheet 6Victims are buried up to their neck or waist in the ground before stones are hurled at them 6They are stuck in the ground as they await to be killed by the hail of rocks 6It can sometimes take several hours for the victim to die through the barbaric method The records, obtained by The Sun Online from sources of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), include the names, ages, sentencing body, and location of imprisonment of the accused. It is the first time an official list of individuals sentenced to stoning by the Iranian Judiciary has been acquired...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Rescue teams at the site of a 10-story collapsed building in southwestern Iran pulled five more bodies from the rubble on Friday, bringing the death toll in the disaster to 24, Iranian state TV reported Friday. A tower at the Metropol Building that was under-construction in the city of Abadan, collapsed on Monday. Thirty-seven people were rescued, three of them are still being treated in hospital. It remains unclear how many more people are buried beneath the rubble. Iran’s senior vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, traveled to Abadan and visited the site of the incident on Friday. Authorities have arrested 11 suspects in a widening probe, including the city’s mayor. The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects that has seen other disasters in this earthquake-prone nation. Abadan provincial officials have cited “disregard for technical standards” and “”overbuilding” during construction, saying negligence caused the collapse. The building was legally permitted to be only a six-story tower, but four floors had been...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Rescuers at the site of a collapsed building in southwestern Iran recovered five more bodies on Thursday, bringing the death toll from the disaster this week to 19, state-run media reported. It remains unclear how many more people are buried beneath the rubble after the collapse on Monday of the under-construction 10-story tower of the Metropol Building in the city of Abadan. Emergency workers have rescued 37 people so far. The deadly collapse has raised questions about the safety of similar buildings in the country and underscored an ongoing crisis in Iranian construction projects that has seen other disasters in this earthquake-prone nation. Authorities have arrested the city’s mayor and several other suspects in a widening probe. The governor of the southwestern Khuzestan province, Sadegh Khalilian, said that “disregard for technical standards” during construction of the Metropol Building caused the collapse. Authorities specifically blamed overbuilding, saying it was only legally permitted to be a six-story tower but that four floors had been added during construction. Critics also have drawn attention to corruption in the building...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The death toll from the collapse of a commercial building still under construction in southwestern Iran reached 10 on Tuesday, after more bodies were retrieved from the rubble in the city of Abadan, Iranian media reported. Dozens were trapped when the 10-story Metropol building toppled on Monday, burying shops and even some cars in the surrounding streets. Initially, five were reported killed but the death toll doubled a day later. At least 39 people were injured, most of them lightly. State TV said rescue efforts were still underway Tuesday and that dozens had been pulled to safety. An investigation was launched as to why the building on Amir Kabir Street collapsed during a sandstorm. The owner of the building as well as the project manager of the construction company that built it were arrested Monday. On Tuesday, state TV said six more people had been arrested, linked to the building’s construction or from the local authorities. The semiofficial Tasnim news agency said a total of 10 people were arrested, including the city’s mayor, Hossein...
    (CNN)At least five people were killed and 27 people injured when a 10-story building collapsed in the southwest city of Abadan in the Iranian province of Khuzestan on Monday, the Iranian Red Crescent said. At least 80 people remain trapped under the rubble, the Red Crescent said. Videos and pictures shared by the organization showed rescue teams at the site removing rubble and debris from a destroyed building. One helicopter, 12 teams, and sniffer dogs were dispatched as the rescue operation continues, the Red Crescent said. "Adjacent buildings nearby also have unstable conditions and are at risk of collapse," it added. The owner of the building and the contractor were both arrested, the Abadan special prosecutor said according to Iranian media. The cause of the collapse is under investigation, Iran state media said. Iranians gather at the site of the incident.
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — At least five people were killed when a 10-story commercial building still under construction collapsed Monday in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan, state TV reported. There were fears the casualty toll could be much higher as more than 80 people were still believed trapped under the rubble after the Metropol building toppled, burying shops and even some cars in the surrounding streets, the report said. ٍEhsun Abbaspour, the Abadan regional governor, told state TV that there were 27 injured in the collapse on Amir Kabir Street, some in critical condition. The report gave no reason for the collapse, which happened during a sandstorm, but the owner of the building as well as the project manager of the construction company that built it have been arrested. People lined up at the local blood transfusion center to donate blood for the injured. “I thought it was an earthquake at first,” said Ahmad, a shop owner in the neighborhood who gave only one name because he was not authorized to talk to the media. He...
    In an unusual twist, Iranians were filmed chanting “Death to Palestine” in protests in the southern Iranian city of Sirjan in recent days, the Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday. “Iranian people in Sirjan chanting: Death to Palestine! It shows the absurd ideology of the theocratic regime & terrorist Shia mullahs in Tehran which supports the #Terrorists against Israel! Iranian people are supporting #Peace & have no problem with #Israel or the #USA at all,” Erfan Fard, a counter-terrorism expert focused on Iran, tweeted. Iranian people in Sirjan chanting: Death to Palestine! It shows the absurd ideology of the theocratic regime & terrorist shia mullahs in Tehran which supports the #Terrorists against Israel! Iranian people are supporting #Peace & have no problem with #Israel or the #USA at all. pic.twitter.com/SjNgBklM2Q — Erfan Fard (@EQfard) May 1, 2022 Iranian-American journalist, Karmel Melamed, said the video was likely an old one, but added it “still accurately portrays the sentiments of many people in Iran today.” According to Israeli analyst Meir Javedanfar, who grew up in Iran, the chants expressed people’s dissatisfaction with the Iranian leadership’s “expensive...
    The last Empress of Iran has recalled her shock over her country's 1979 Islamic Revolution - and labelled it 'unbelievable' following her 43 years in exile. In an interview for Town&Country, Farah Pahlavi, 83, who was dubbed the Jackie Kennedy of the Middle East during her heyday, opened up about the overthrowing of her late husband Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In 1979 the Shah, whose family had already fled to Egypt, was deposed and replaced with the hardline Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - a shift that would have long-lasting and far-reaching implications. With his liberalising reforms and harsh treatment of his political opponents, the Shah made an enemy of traditionalists in the country, and Khomeini, who had been living in exile in France, successfully returned and announced the creation of an Islamic republic. The women's rights movement quickly regressed. Wearing the hijab was enforced, many of the liberties they had been granted were withdrawn and the female minister of education in Iran, Farrokhroo Parsa, was executed by firing squad. Recalling the revolution, Farah admitted: 'It was very sad, and very hard, and we couldn't...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — During its 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran embraced the protest cry of “neither East nor West,” rejecting both the U.S. and the Soviet Union, then locked in the Cold War. The phrase to this day hangs over the doors of Iran’s Foreign Ministry. Russia’s war on Ukraine, however, has exposed just how much Tehran has tilted toward Moscow in recent years as the collapse of its nuclear deal with world powers stoked decades-old, hard-line anger at America. Members of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard train on Russian surface-to-air missile systems and aircraft. Hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi visited Russian President Vladimir Putin on one of his first trips abroad. The war also exposes deeper fault lines even within Iran’s domestic politics. Among ordinary Iranians, there is a great deal of sympathy for Ukraine, a nation that staged a pro-democracy “Orange Revolution” similar to the “Green Revolution” that shook Iran more than a decade ago but was forcefully put down. Iran’s historic enmity with Russia has combined with a wider feeling among some that backing Moscow betrays the...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s judiciary said Wednesday that the country’s intelligence units have arrested the No. 2 leader of a little-known militant Iranian opposition group based in California. The man — identified only as “Masmatus,” which appears to be a pseudonym — is believed to be the second in command in the group known as “Tondar,” according to the judiciary’s media outlet Mizanonline. The arrest took place last month, it said, without providing more details. The suspect was allegedly involved in the planning of an attack on a mosque in Iran in 2008 that killed 14 worshippers and wounded over 200 people. Iran has also accused the group of being behind a 2010 bombing at Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in Tehran that wounded several people. In 2020, Iran’s intelligence service detained Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-American and the No. 1 leader of Tondar, or “Thunder” in Farsi, over the same 2008 bombing that targeted the Hosseynieh Seyed al-Shohada Mosque in the city of Shiraz. At the time, Iran alleged that Sharmahd was planning other attacks around the Islamic...
    Two gay men in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal, have been executed after spending six years on death row. Mehrdad Karimpour and Farid Mohammadi were hanged in a prison in the northwestern city of Maragheh, some 310 miles away from the capital, Tehran, where they had been convicted on charges of sodomy.  They were sentenced to death for 'forced sexual intercourse between two men'. The two men were sentenced to death for 'forced sexual intercourse between two men' and died in the northwestern city of Maragheh Iran is considered one of the most repressive places in the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The men's identities were confirmed in a report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) on Sunday. It added state-run outlets in Iran had yet to announce the deaths. Sheina Vojoudi, who fled Iran and escaped to Germany, told The Jerusalem Post that the country's prisons are 'full of people who have committed no crime'.  RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Iranian cleric says Covid-19 vaccine turns people gay  Gay Iranian,...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A road accident in southwestern Iran killed at least 10 people on Saturday, Iranian media reported. The official IRNA news agency said the accident happened as a truck hit a minibus that was carrying laborers on the road linking the city of Khorramshahr with the city of Ahvaz in Khuzestan province. The fatalities include the truck driver and nine workers from the minibus. Three other cars rear-ended the bus and each other. Thirteen injured were taken to local hospitals. Roads in Iran regularly see such chain-reaction accidents and pileups. Fourteen people, including eight children, were killed in a road accident in March. Iran has one of the world’s worst traffic safety records, with some 17,000 deaths annually. The grave toll is blamed on wide disregard for traffic laws, unsafe vehicles and inadequate emergency services. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    The Israeli Mossad spy agency foiled an attack against Israeli tourists and businesspeople on behalf of Iran, resulting in the arrest of several people in African nations, an Israeli TV network reported Sunday. According to Israel’s Channel 12, five people with African passports were by recruited by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps elite Quds Force to target visiting Israelis in Senegal, Tanzania, and Ghana. The news comes a month after Israel accused Iran of plotting attacks against Israeli businessmen in Cyprus, as Breitbart News reported. The five people who were arrested underwent special training in Lebanon before being sent back to Africa to attack Jewish and Israeli targets under the guise of being religious students, the report said. Israeli tourists on safari in Tanzania were chief among the targets, the channel said. Iran denounced the allegations as “baseless,” the report outlined further. This is not the first time Iran has planned attacks in Africa. In February, The New York Times reported a cell of Iranian operatives in Ethiopia had been recruited for an attack against the United Arab Emirates’ embassy over the Gulf nation’s...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran executed over 250 people, including at least four child offenders, in 2020 and so far this year has carried out 230 executions that included nine women and one child who was executed in secret, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights in Iran said Monday. Javaid Rehman told the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee that Iran continues to implement the death penalty “at an alarming rate” and said “the absence of official statistics and lack of transparency around executions means that this practice escapes scrutiny resulting in serious abuses preventing accountability.” According to Amnesty International, Iran was the top executioner in the Middle East last year, accounting for more than half the region’s 493 executions, followed by Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Amnesty’s annual figures exclude China, where executions believed to number in the thousands are classified as a state secret, and omit executions from some countries marred by conflict like Syria. Rehman said his latest report highlights serious concerns over the grounds Iran uses for imposing the death penalty, such as “vague national...
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Iran executed over 250 people, including at least four child offenders, in 2020 and so far this year has carried out 230 executions that included nine women and one child who was executed in secret, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights in Iran said Monday. Javaid Rehman told the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee that Iran continues to implement the death penalty “at an alarming rate” and said “the absence of official statistics and lack of transparency around executions means that this practice escapes scrutiny resulting in serious abuses preventing accountability.” According to Amnesty International, Iran was the top executioner in the Middle East last year, accounting for more than half the region’s 493 executions, followed by Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Amnesty’s annual figures exclude China, where executions believed to number in the thousands are classified as a state secret, and omit executions from some countries marred by conflict like Syria. Rehman said his latest report highlights serious concerns over the grounds Iran uses for imposing the death penalty, such as “vague national...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Iranian capital Tehran has held its main public Friday prayer service for the first time in 20 months, after it was halted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said beforehand that all health protocols would be followed to protect the expected hundreds of worshippers during the ceremony at Tehran University. Iran’s National Coronavirus Taskforce, which had ordered a halt to the prayers, authorized its resumption. Public Friday prayers have been underway in other cities, especially in smaller towns across the country since the summer. Individual mosques have been free to hold normal services since early October. The move comes as Tehran hosts over 400 Muslim scholars and religious leaders for a meeting known as the International Islamic Unity Conference. Tehran’s communal Friday prayer was halted for 20 months over the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 124,700 people and left some 4,400 in critical conditions in hospitals since the February 2019. The statistics show Iran as having the worst COVID-19 fatality rate in the Middle East. Iran has accelerated vaccination programs for its 80 million...
    Dean Cain, who played Superman in the 90s, reacted Tuesday to the newest Superman in DC Comics coming out as bisexual. This is not Clark Kent Superman, but rather Jon Kent Superman — the son of Lois & Clark. He shares a kiss in an upcoming issue with a male love interest. There have been some wild Republican reactions to this news, including Josh Mandel linking it to the destruction of America and one Arizona Republican declaring “Superman loves Louis Lane.” Cain appeared on Fox & Friends First Tuesday and said DC is “bandwagoning.” He pointed to other LGBTQ heroes DC has introduced — including in the CW Arrowverse, where Cain played Jeremiah Danvers on Supergirl. “I don’t think it’s bold or brave or some crazy new direction,” he said. “If they had done this 20 years ago, perhaps that would have been bold and brave.” Cain then threw out some suggestions: Brave would be having him fighting for the rights of gay people in Iran, where they’ll throw you off a building for the offense of being gay. They’re...
     FBI Director Chris Wray says investigators have more than doubled the number of potential domestic terrorism cases, even while countering threats to the homeland from abroad.  'Since the spring of 2020 ... we’ve more than doubled our domestic terrorism caseload, from about 1,000 to around 2,700 investigations,” Wray told the Senate Homeland Security Committee. 'We’ve surged personnel to match, more than doubling the amount of people working that threat from the year before,' he said  Wray said in prepared testimony the bureau had 'surged' resources to domestic terrorism cases. There are currently more than 600 active cases involving those who took part in the Jan. 6th Capitol riot. Personnel have gone up 260 per cent, he said.     FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing to discuss security threats 20 years after the 9/11 attacks, in Washington, D.C., U.S. September 21, 2021. Wray said the bureau's domestic terror caseload has more than doubled 'Importantly, however, our increased focus on domestic terrorism is not at the expense of our work on other terrorism threats. We...
    The Associated Press TEHRAN — Iran’s president is calling for elections in Afghanistan to determine the future of the country, where he hopes peace will return after Western troops have left and the Taliban have seized control. Speaking on state TV on Saturday, Ebrahim Raisi said that the Afghan people should vote to determine their own government “as soon as possible.” “A government should be established there which is elected by the votes and the will of the people,” he said. “The Islamic Republic has always sought peace and calm in Afghanistan, and an end to bloodshed and fratricide, and the sovereignty of the people’s will. We support a government elected by the Afghan people,” he added. ___ MORE ON AFGHANISTAN: — US expects to admit more than 50,000 evacuated Afghans — Afghan women demand rights as Taliban seek recognition — US defends strike that Afghan family says killed innocents — Qatar says it’s not clear when Kabul airport will reopen — Those left in Afghanistan complain of broken US promises ___ — Find more AP coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan ___...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV says 16 people were killed and 12 injured in the country’s west when a mini-bus plunged off a road into a valley. The report says the accident happened in Kurdish province of the Kordestan region on Thursday around noon. According to the report, 12 injured people were taken to hospital in Sanandaj city. The country’s emergency organization deployed a rescue helicopter and an ambulance bus, as well as six ambulances to the scene. Authorities did not report the cause of the accident, saying only that it was under investigation. With some 17,000 deaths annually, Iran has one of the world’s worst traffic safety records, blamed on disregard of traffic laws, unsafe vehicles and inadequate emergency services. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    Republicans tore into President Biden on Wednesday, claiming that the commander-in-chief’s pledge to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by August 31 could lead to a bigger hostage situation than Iran in 1979. "We’re on the cusp of having the biggest mass hostage situation in American history," said Florida Congressman Michael Waltz. "It’s gonna make 1979 in Tehran look like a sleepover." Waltz, the first Green Beret elected to Congress, asserted that the Taliban would likely keep U.S. citizens who missed the evacuation timeline to gain economic and political "leverage."  "They’ve got a gun to the head of American citizens because Joe Biden left them."  MCCARTHY SAYS BIDEN IS LEAVING US HOSTAGES FOR THE TALIBAN: 'HE TURNED HIS BACK ON OUR OWN CITIZENS' Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, placed the blame directly on President Biden for the "horrific" instances of violence against Afghans attempting to enter the Kabul International Airport.   "We heard horror stories of Afghan interpreters and their families being sent back home and being decapitated in front of the interpreter and then the interpreter himself being decapitated." Rep. Nicole Malliotakis...
    Sen. Cotton, R-Ark., argued the dire situation in Afghanistan, as a result of Biden’s "catastrophic miscalculation," could resemble Tehran in 1979. Cotton joined "The Faulkner Focus," Thursday, and added "it would be a catastrophe" if the Taliban gathered "effective hostage control of thousands of Americans."  JOURNALIST WHO WITNESSED FALL OF SAIGON: ‘HEARTBREAKING FOR ME TO SEE THIS ALL OCCUR AGAIN’ IN AFGHANISTAN TOM COTTON: President Biden is confronting the consequences of his catastrophic miscalculation, of his horrific execution, of the decision to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan. And he is spinning that relentlessly to try to convince the American people that everything is OK, the Taliban's cooperating, they're acting like a civilized government when nothing could be further from the truth. In that ABC interview, he even had to be pressed to acknowledge that, yes, perhaps we'll stay on the ground past August 31st. But if our government can't even say how many American citizens we have, what's going to stop Joe Biden from rolling up things and flying out on August 31st with thousands of American citizens left behind?...
    The State Department on Wednesday said it was monitoring reports of internet outages and slowdowns in Iran amid ongoing anti-government protests spurred by a water shortage in the country.  State spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement issued by his office that the U.S. supports the “right” of the Iranian people “to voice their frustrations and hold their government accountable.” “The Iranian people are now putting a spotlight not only on their unmet needs but also their unfulfilled aspirations for respect for human rights — rights to which individuals the world over are entitled,” Price explained.  The protests first erupted nearly two weeks ago in the Khuzestan province, and have now spread across various cities, including Tehran, Karaj and Tabriz, due to a water shortage that Price said was the result of “drought and governmental mismanagement and neglect.”  Price went on to say that the State Department has seen “disturbing reports that security forces fired on protesters, resulting in multiple deaths.”  “We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protestors,” he added. “We support the rights of Iranians to peacefully assemble and express...
    Tehran, Iran (CNN)At least three people have been killed during violent protests over water shortages in Iran, according to state media. The protests started in southwest Khuzestan province and spread to the nearby city of Aligoodarz in western Lorestan province.Authorities are blaming the deaths in Aligoordarz on "suspicious bullets shot by some unknown people who penetrated among peaceful protesters," state media said.People have been demonstrating for more than a week over water shortages during Iran's worst drought in over half a century that has affected households, agriculture, livestock farming, and led to power blackouts.According to two independent sources in the oil-rich Khuzestan province, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity, the actual number of people killed in over a week of protests is higher than officially reported. Read MoreOne witness, who was at a protest in Khuzestan province, told CNN that people were shot dead by anti-riot police and security agents, and that a continued heavy security presence remained in Khuzestan on Saturday.The dissident Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) on Saturday reported that at least 10 people died...
    Tehran — Ibrahim Raisi, Iran's conservative judiciary chief, won last Friday's election in a landslide. But Iran's official media don't mention a couple of embarrassing facts. For instance, 3 million voters spoiled their ballots, and more than half of Iran's eligible voters didn't even show up at the polls.  Turnout was the lowest in the Islamic Republic's history. It's not clear how much that fact will weaken Raisi's legitimacy, but it is a sensitive subject.  At his first press conference on Monday, Raisi implied that it was the coronavirus pandemic that had kept people away.  "Whether people voted for me or another candidate," he said, "or for some reason like COVID didn't go to a polling station — I still serve the Iranian nation."  COVID-19 may indeed have been a factor. Iran is struggling with a serious outbreak, and a lack of vaccine doses.  But apathy and disillusionment played a bigger role.    Talks to revive Iran nuclear deal after elect... 08:58 Millions of Iranians have watched their standard of living collapse over the past four years under the...
    (AP) — Iranians voted Friday in a presidential election that a hard-line protege of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei seemed likely to win, leading to low turnout fueled by apathy and calls for a boycott. Opinion polling by state-linked organizations and analysts indicated that judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi — who is already under U.S. sanctions — was the dominant front-runner in a field of just four candidates. Former Central Bank chief, Abdolnasser Hemmati, is running as the race’s moderate candidate but hasn’t inspired the same support as outgoing President Hassan Rouhani, who is term limited from seeking the office again. By mid-day, turnout appeared far lower than Iran’s last presidential election in 2017. State television offered tight shots of polling places, several of which seemed to have only a handful of voters in the election’s early hours. Those passing by several polling places in Tehran said they similarly saw few voters. In some images on state TV, poll workers wore gloves and masks due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some wiping down ballot boxes with disinfectants. If elected, Raisi would...
    Tehran, Iran (CNN)Iranians have begun voting in a controversial presidential election that will likely deliver a hardline president who lost the 2017 election and has headed the country's judiciary for the last two years.Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei cast the first vote in Iran, signaling the opening of the country's presidential election."Each vote counts ... come and vote and choose your president ... this is important for the future of your country," Khamenei said after casting his vote. "Low turnout will increase the pressure of the enemies."The practically uncontested frontrunner is judicial chief Ebrahim Raisi, a close associate of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He emerged as the frontrunner after an election supervisory body known as the Guardian Council barred almost all the other serious contenders from the race. The move was widely criticized, even by Khamenei, who called some of the disqualifications "unjust." Raisi's expected win would come at a pivotal moment for Iran. The next government will have to confront an economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, calls for constitutional reform and growing questions around the...
    The flag of Iran is seen in front of the building of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Headquarters ahead of a press conference by Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA, about the agency's monitoring of Iran's nuclear energy program on May 24, 2021 in Vienna, Austria.Michael Gruber | Getty Images News | Getty Images As Iran prepares to head to the polls on Friday, the country's former president has called out the U.S. for meddling in the Middle East. In a wide ranging interview with CNBC ahead of the vote, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the 2015 nuclear deal caused "more problems than it resolved" and cast doubt on the legitimacy of his country's election. "Any decision that prevents the people from influencing the outcome is against the spirit of the revolution and the constitution," Iran's former President Ahmadinejad told CNBC. The comments come after the former president's candidacy was rejected by Iran's Guardian Council, the vetting body of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The move essentially barred him from running in the 2021 election.   "I made it clear on the...
    By The Associated Press TORONTO — Canada’s most populous province reported a new single-day high for new infections with nearly 4,460 cases across Ontario. The latest figures released Sunday also show a sharp rise of new confirmed cases in Toronto, which jumped by nearly 400 to over 1,350. More than 3.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario so far. The province has a population of 14.5 million. ___ THE VIRUS OUTBREAK: — Ecuador, Peru head to polls under strict virus measures — COVID-19 produces division in the European Union — Thailand hits new daily record with nearly 1,000 virus cases — Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING: HONOLULU — The governor of Hawaii issued another emergency proclamation in response to the coronavirus pandemic that extends the statewide eviction moratorium for another two months and details plans for vaccinated travelers. Democratic Gov. David Ige signed the proclamation Friday extending the statewide moratorium on residential evictions until June 8. It was set to expire Tuesday. Under the moratorium, landlords are prohibited from...
    The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) effort to rebut allegations of abuse and genocide against the Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang province included wining and dining a delegation of “more than 30 diplomats from some 21 countries” who visited the province from March 20 to April 2. The bon vivants included representatives from such noted experts on freedom and human rights as Iran. According to a report in China’s state-run Global Times on Sunday, the VIPs gushed over the marvelous naan created by the happy residents of Xinjiang, a homegrown agricultural and baking industry that supposedly demonstrates the “social and economic development in Xinjiang in recent years.” The Global Times claimed the visitors “talked with locals from various sectors of society, visited local schools and enterprises, and debunked rumors about Xinjiang, a region whose image is frequently distorted by some Western politicians, organizations, and media.” Iran’s ambassador to China, Mohammad Keshavarz-Zadeh, was especially taken with the quality of the mosques in Xinjiang: Responding to rumors fabricated by some Western media that Xinjiang “restricts freedom of religious belief,” the ambassador said that,...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Persian New Year, Nowruz, begins on the first day of spring and celebrates all things new. But as families across Iran hurried to greet the fresh start — eating copious crisp herbs, scrubbing their homes and buying new clothes — it was clear just how little the country had changed. A year into the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated Iran, killing over 61,500 people — the highest death toll in the Middle East — the nation is far from out of the woods. And although Iranians had welcomed the election of President Joe Biden with a profound sigh of relief after the Trump administration’s economic pressure campaign, the sanctions that have throttled the country for three years remain in place. “I was counting down the seconds to see the end of this year,” said Hashem Sanjar, a 33-year-old food delivery worker with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. “But I worry about next year.” Once again, Nowruz, a joyous two-week celebration rooted in gatherings — at homes, in parks and squares — will be stifled by...
    BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Emergency services in Spain’s Canary Islands said Wednesday that 10 people suffering from hypothermia have been hospitalized after a migrant boat was rescued. A total of 52 sub-Saharans including 29 women and nine minors were found onboard the vessel south of the island of Gran Canaria on Tuesday evening and brought to the port of Arguineguin, Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service said. Among those admitted to hospital were a 25-year-old woman and a 2-year-old child in serious condition, emergency services said. A Spanish search and rescue plane was still looking for about 200 people on four migrant boats, which had sent alerts the day before, the service said. They couldn't confirm if the boat rescued Tuesday evening was among those they were searching for. The Spanish archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean has become the main route for West African and Moroccan migrants and asylum-seekers trying to reach Europe. Around 2,600 people have survived the dangerous crossing and reached the Canaries by boat so far this year. In 2020, around 23,000 people successfully crossed while more than 600...
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Mishaps during an annual fire festival in Iran have left at least 10 people dead and hundreds more injured around the country, state TV reported Wednesday. State TV reported the casualties Wednesday but news outlets including the semiofficial ISNA said the deaths happened over a period of several weeks. Many of the deaths and injuries occurred during the production and preparation of firecrackers, according to reports. Officials said the casualties were the result of disregarding safety measures. The annual festival begins on the Tuesday before Nowruz, the Iranian New Year, which will be celebrated on Saturday this year. The ritual dates to at least 1700 B.C. and is linked to Zoroastrianism, which was the predominant religion of the nation before Islam. Traditionally, people light bonfires, set off fireworks and send wish lanterns floating into the night sky as part of festivities. Many use powerful, substandard firecrackers. More than 200 of the nearly 1,900 injured were hospitalized, according to the reports. Several ambulances and rescue cars were damaged Tuesday night and police arrested dozens for disregarding...
    DUBAI (Reuters) - The trial of British-Iranian aid worker Zaghari-Ratcliffe at Iran's Revolutionary court was held on Sunday, her lawyer Hojjat Kermani told the Iranian Emtedad website. "Her trial was held at branch 15 of the Revolutionary court. Her charge is propaganda against the system," he said. Iran had released Zaghari-Ratcliffe from house arrest last Sunday at the end of her five-year prison sentence, but she had been summoned to court again on the other charge. (Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Bernadette Baum) Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters. Tags: Iran, Middle East, United Kingdom, EuropeGalleriesNewsCartoons on President Donald TrumpPhotosPhotos You Should See - March 2021PhotosPhotos: America's Pandemic TollNewsThe Week in Cartoons: March 8-12RecommendedPoliticsBiden to Tout Win on Relief PackageNational NewsMinneapolis to Pay $27M in Floyd SettlementHealth NewsWHO Lists J&J Vaccine for Emergency UseEducation NewsHow Trump’s Failure Kept Schools ClosedHealth NewsLGBT People Say They’ve Lost Jobs, Suffered Mental Health Impacts During Pandemic Coronavirus Bulletin Stay informed daily on the latest news and advice on COVID-19 from the editors at U.S. News & World Report.Sign UpSign in to manage your newsletters »You...
    (Reuters) - Several coast guards were injured in southern Iran when a crowd angered by the shooting death of an alleged fuel smuggler attacked their post, an Iranian news agency said on Saturday. The victim was killed on Friday in clashes with coast guards pursuing smugglers in the Gulf waters of Sirik, the semi-official Fars agency said. It quoted Hossein Dehaki, head of the southern Hormozgan province coast guard, as saying that a crowd later attacked a coast guard post in the Kouhestak district, injuring several guards. The incident took place about two weeks after the shooting death of at least two people carrying fuel across the Iranian border into Pakistan, triggering protests that spread from the border city of Saravan to other areas in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. According to the United Nations, up to 23 people may have been killed during the protests by Revolutionary Guards and security forces. Iran has some of the lowest fuel prices in the world and has been fighting smuggling to neighbouring countries. (Editing by Angus MacSwan) Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters. Tags:...
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