Connect with us

Global News

Three Women Among Dozen Publicly Flogged in Afghanistan – Taliban Official

Cassandra Sherman

Published

on

Image source, Reuters

Twelve people, including three women, have been flogged in front of thousands of onlookers at a football stadium in Afghanistan.

The group were guilty of “moral crimes” including adultery, robbery and gay sex, a Taliban official told the BBC.

This is thought to be the second time in a month the Islamist group has carried out public lashings.

The move could signal a return to the hard-line practices seen in the previous Taliban rule in the 1990s.

Omar Mansoor Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman for Logar region in eastern Afghanistan, where the lashings happened, said that all three women were freed after they were punished. Some of the men were jailed, he said, but it is not clear how many.

The men and women received between 21 and 39 lashes each. The maximum number a person can receive is 39, another Taliban official said.

Nineteen people were also punished last week in a similar flogging in Takhar province in northern Afghanistan, reports say.

The flogging in Logar province comes a week after the Taliban’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, ordered judges to enforce punishments for certain crimes in line with the group’s strict reading of Islamic Sharia law.

This interpretation of Islamic law includes public executions, public amputations and stoning – although exact crimes and corresponding punishments have not been officially defined by the Taliban.

The supreme leader’s order is the latest sign that the Taliban is taking a tougher stance on rights and freedoms; after promising to rule more moderately when they took power last year.

During their rule from 1996-2001, the Taliban were condemned for regularly carrying out punishments in public, including floggings and executions at the national stadium in Kabul.

The government also vowed that they would not repeat the brutal repression of women; but since the group’s return to rule women’s freedoms have been severely curbed and a number of women have been beaten for demanding rights.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Read More

Source: bbc.co.uk

Global News

Ukraine War: Zelensky Denounces Russian ‘terror’ in UN Address

Cassandra Sherman

Published

on

Image source, Getty Images

President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of “crimes against humanity” after a bombardment caused blackouts across Ukraine.

At least six civilians were killed in the barrage, and officials were forced to shut down three nuclear reactors due to power outages.

Neighbouring Moldova also experienced blackouts, but it was not directly hit.

With winter setting in, Moscow has stepped up strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

Officials say Russia’s missile strikes on energy stations has caused “colossal” damage and left more than half of the country’s power grid in need of repair.

Addressing an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council in New York, Mr Zelensky said the latest strikes had forced “millions of people to stay without energy supplies, without heating, without water” as temperatures started to drop below zero.

“That’s the Russian formula of terror,” he told delegates in New York via video link.

On Wednesday, an air-raid alert was issued across Ukraine, followed by reports of explosions in a number of locations – including in the capital Kyiv and in the Western city Lviv.

In the southern Zaporizhzhia region, a newborn baby was killed when a missile hit a maternity unit, emergency services said.

General Valeriy Zaluzhniy – the commander of Ukraine’s armed forces – said 67 cruise missiles were launched by Moscow, with air defences successfully intercepting 51 projectiles.

But the attack has caused significant damage to infrastructure across the country.

In Kyiv, parts of the city were left without water and completely without power. By nightfall Mayor Vitali Klitschko said at least 80% of residents remained without power or water.

Most thermal and hydro-electric power plants were forced to shut down as well, Ukraine’s energy ministry said.

Shortly before the fresh reports from Kyiv and Lviv, officials said southern Ukraine had come under renewed assault.

The governor of the Mykolaiv region warned of “many rockets” arriving from the south and east.

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov did not comment on the attacks during a visit to the Armenian capital Yerevan, but he pledged that the “future and the success of the special operation (Moscow’s term for its war in Ukraine) are beyond doubt”.

Moscow has said that attacking Ukraine’s power grid could weaken its ability to fight and drive its leaders to the negotiating table.

But French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter that such strikes against “civilian infrastructure” constituted a war crime, following similar comments from the US.

Blackouts in Moldova

More than half of Moldova was left without electricity, deputy prime minister Andrei Spinu wrote on Twitter. He said the attack on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has caused a “massive blackout”.

Within a few hours power was restored in much of the capital, Chisinau, where a third of the Moldovan population lives.

Moldova also experienced widespread power cuts as a result of strikes on Ukraine on 15 November, Mr Spinu said. Mobile networks were also badly affected.

Energy policy analyst Sergiu Tofilat said that because Moldova and Ukraine were connected to the European grid in March, one of the connection points on the power line between Moldova and neighbouring Romania shut down automatically if Ukraine was hit to protect the system: “We reconnect once Ukraine has assessed the damage.”

In response to the outages, Moldovan President Maia Sandu said Russia had “left Moldova in the dark”.

“Russia’s war in Ukraine kills people, destroys residential blocks and energy infrastructure with missiles…” she wrote on Facebook. “But the electricity supply can be restored. We will solve the technical problems and we will have light again. All state institutions are working in this direction.”

Read More

Source: bbc.co.uk

Continue Reading

Global News

G20: Xi Accuses Trudeau of Leaks to Media About China-Canada Relations

Cassandra Sherman

Published

on

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

China’s Xi Jinping has been filmed accusing Justin Trudeau of leaking meeting details, days after they held talks at the G20 summit in Bali.

President Xi told the Canadian PM, via a translator, this was inappropriate and accused him of lacking “sincerity”.

He was likely referring to reports that Mr Trudeau discussed alleged Chinese espionage and interference in Canadian elections at the sit down.

The talks, which happened behind closed doors, were the pair’s first in years.

In the footage, filmed by journalists at the now finished gathering of world leaders, President Xi and Mr Trudeau can be seen standing close to each other and conversing via a translator.

“Everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers and that is not appropriate,” the Chinese leader told Mr Trudeau in Mandarin.

It captures a rare candid moment of President Xi, whose image is normally carefully curated by Chinese state media.

After smiling and nodding his head, the Canadian PM responded by saying “in Canada we believe in free and open and frank dialogue and that is what we will continue to have”.

“We will continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we disagree on,” he added.

Before Mr Trudeau could finish, President Xi cut his counterpart off and asked that he first “create the conditions” – eventually shaking Trudeau’s hand and walking away.

The short but revealing exchange highlighted tensions between China and Canada, running high since the detention of Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou in 2018 and Beijing’s subsequent arrest of two Canadians on spying charges. All three were later released.

But tensions recently resurged following the arrest of Yuesheng Wang, a public utility worker at Hydro-Quebec, who was charged with espionage.

Mr Wang “obtained trade secrets to benefit the People’s Republic of China, to the detriment of Canada’s economic interests,” Canadian police said in a statement.

At the time, Mr Trudeau and President Xi were at the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Read More

Source: bbc.co.uk

Continue Reading

Global News

Ukraine War: Nato Says Poland Probably Hit by Ukrainian Missile

Cassandra Sherman

Published

on

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has told the BBC that a missile which killed two people in Poland on Tuesday was probably Ukrainian.

“Most likely this is a Ukrainian air defence missile,” he said as investigations continued into the blast near the Ukrainian border.

But he stressed that Russia was ultimately to blame because of its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine itself continues to say that Russia actually fired the missile.

“I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said in televised remarks. “I believe that this was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.”

He said it was imperative for Ukraine to be allowed to join the investigation into the blast on the farm in Przewodow, 6km (4 miles) from the border.

Ukrainian air defence systems were activated on Tuesday when Russia launched what is believed to be its biggest wave of missile strikes in the nine months since the invasion on 24 February.

Dozens of Russian missiles targeted the country but Ukraine says it managed to shoot most of them down.

The mass attack, which occurred during the G20 summit in Indonesia, caused an international outcry, while news of a missile blast inside Nato member Poland’s territory raised fears that the war might be escalating dangerously.

Mr Stoltenberg said Nato had pledged in response to supply a “more advanced air defence system” to Ukraine which is not a member of the alliance but receives extensive military aid.

“Today I attended a meeting of a support group for Ukraine where Nato allies and partners made new pledges for more advanced air defence systems so we can help to shoot down Russian missiles,” the Nato chief said.

“But the best way to prevent any instances like this in the future is for Russia to stop war.”

“We have no indication that this is a deliberate attack from Russia,” he said, speaking from Nato’s headquarters in Brussels..

He added, however, that there was “no doubt that Russia is responsible because this would not have happened if Russia had not launched a barrage of missile attacks against Ukrainian cities yesterday, as they have done many times before during this war”.

Polish President Andrzej Duda said earlier that although a Russian-made S-300 missile was most likely to blame, there was no evidence it had been fired by the Russian side.

When asked about the possibility of peace negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, Mr Stoltenberg said previous attempts had shown that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin had “no willingness to compromise and negotiate”.

“We have to understand if Putin and Russia stop fighting we will have peace but if Zelensky and Ukraine stop fighting, then Ukraine will cease to exist as an independent sovereign nation,” he said.

The top US general also commented on the war on Wednesday, saying there might be a “political solution where, politically, the Russians withdraw” from Ukraine.

But Army Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that an early military victory for Ukraine was unlikely despite its recent successes on the battlefield.

“The probability of a Ukrainian military victory – defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine to include what they claim as Crimea – the probability of that happening any time soon is not high, militarily,” he told reporters at the Pentagon.

Read More

Article: bbc.co.uk

Continue Reading

Trending

BracNews.com