TIME

Heavy Security as Israel Reopens Jerusalem Site

The Temple Mount compound with The Dome of the Rock seen in Jerusalem, Oct. 30, 2014.
The Temple Mount compound with The Dome of the Rock seen in Jerusalem, Oct. 30, 2014. Abir Sultan—EPA

(JERUSALEM) — Israel has reopened a contested Jerusalem holy site and deployed hundreds of security personnel amid rising tensions in the city.

Muslim worshippers on Friday made their way through a welter of Israeli checkpoints to the site, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

Police said that Muslim men over the age of 50 and women of all ages could attend the weekly prayers.

Israel closed the site after security forces shot and killed a Palestinian man suspected of attempting to assassinate a hard-line Jewish activist who advocates giving Jews greater access to the site.

Israeli-American rabbi Yehuda Glick was shot three times late Wednesday but his condition is now said to be improving.

Palestinians had condemned the closure as a “declaration of war.”

TIME India

Unwed Indian Moms Applying for Child’s Passport Are Asked if They Were Raped

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Visage—Getty Images

They also need to file an affidavit detailing how the child was conceived, a lawyer for the Indian government said

Unwed mothers in India applying for a passport for their child will have to reveal how the child was conceived and specify whether they were raped, a lawyer representing the Indian government told the Bombay High Court on Thursday.

The revelation came during a petition hearing by a 21-year-old woman who was denied a passport that had her stepfather’s name on it, the Times of India reported. The regional passport officer refused to accept the name of her mother instead, saying she needed a court order appointing the stepfather as her legal guardian.

According to the Times, one of the two judges hearing the case asked as an aside: “We were wondering what happens in the case of an unwed mother?”

Advocate Purnima Bhatia, representing the government, responded by saying mothers without husbands must file an affidavit that mentions how the child was conceived, whether the mother was raped, and why she does not wish to reveal the father’s name.

According to Mumbai-based women’s-rights lawyer Flavia Agnes, only the third of those conditions would be in any way justifiable. “These are ridiculous rules the government is making,” Agnes tells TIME. “Why should she say whether she was raped or whether she had consensual sex?”

According to the Times, Bhatia told the bench that the rules were detailed in the passport manual, which could not be shown to the court as it was a classified document. The judges reportedly responded by saying that the manual came under internal instructions and so could not be classified, and also did not have the force of the law.

Agnes says she has clashed with passport authorities in the past, over issues like divorced women prevented from continuing to use their former spouse’s name or married women not being allowed to continue using their maiden names. She plans to take this issue up as well, whether it escalates or not.

Sunitha Krishnan, founder of women-and-children’s-advocacy organization Prajwala, says the Foreign Ministry’s response is “deeply disturbing” and speaks to a larger malaise in Indian society.

“It’s so painful that a woman has to keep justifying and defending her position,” she says, citing her long battle to get children of prostitutes admitted into schools that insisted on a father’s name.

“When an unwed mother is asked dehumanizing questions like have you been raped, I don’t know which era we’re living in,” adds Krishnan. “I don’t think a man would ever be asked such questions.”

TIME North Korea

Paranoid North Korea Handles Ebola Threat by Quarantining All Foreigners

North Korea Ebola Fears
This Oct. 28, 2014, photo shows foreigners and North Koreans riding a shuttle bus to a plane bound for Beijing at the Sunan International Airport, in Pyongyang Wong Maye-E—AP

North Korea, not a friend to much of anything coming through its borders (or out of them), is certainly not keen to let Ebola in either

The U.S. media may be chock-full of news and analysis about the impending threat of Ebola, but America’s response still pales in comparison with the most hysterical of nations — North Korea.

Officials in Pyongyang have announced plans to quarantine all foreigners for 21 days over worries that the deadly virus will ravage the Hermit Nation, reports the Associated Press.

There have so far been no reported Ebola cases anywhere in Asia. North Korea is about 6,800 miles from the nearest Ebola case — in Dallas, Texas — and it has no direct flights to any country that has seen Ebola on its soil.

North Korea as a rule does not welcome lots of tourists, and those few tourists do not get to fraternize — much less exchange bodily fluids, as would be necessary for transmission of Ebola — with North Korea’s beleaguered population.

These days, the nation is accepting no tourists at all, since Pyongyang officials last week put all tourist visas on hold in a bid to keep the virus out, the Associated Press earlier reported.

Yet the announcement distributed Thursday about the quarantine indicates that Pyongyang is still very worried indeed about Ebola, says the Associated Press, which has a bureau in the North Korean capital. The U.S. does not have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

The staff of diplomatic missions and international organizations will apparently be permitted to stay in their homes for the mandated bout of agoraphobia. The fate of other foreigners is less clear: visitors from countries affected by the virus will be quarantined “at one set of locations,” while travelers from unaffected countries will be sent to “other locations, including hotels.”

It is also unclear if people in North Korea on short stays, like on brief business trips, will be forced to remain in the country for a full 21 days.

North Korea’s apparent distance from the disease also did not stop Pyongyang from earlier this week outfitting the two people it sent to meet a visiting high-level delegation from Japan in full hazmat gear.

Almost 5,000 people have died worldwide in the current Ebola outbreak, almost all in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

[AP]

TIME indonesia

New Indonesian President Jokowi Talks Tough With Fading Power Australia

Indonesia's new President Widodo shouts "Merdeka" or Freedom at the end of his speech, during his inauguration in Jakarta
Indonesia's new President Joko Widodo shouts "Merdeka," meaning freedom, at the end of his speech, during his inauguration at the parliament's building in Jakarta on Oct. 20, 2014 Darren Whiteside—Reuters

Indonesia's newfound chest-thumping may simply be a fledgling administration's efforts to win domestic approval, but is nonetheless indicative of shifting powers in the region

Two days before his Oct. 20 inauguration, new Indonesian President Joko Widodo, gave Australia a stern warning not to test the territorial sovereignty of the world’s largest archipelago.

“We will give a warning that this is not acceptable,” Jokowi, as he is widely known, told Fairfax Media in reference to half a dozen incursions into Indonesian waters last year by Australian navy ships turning back boats full of predominantly Middle Eastern asylum seekers. “We have international law, you must respect international law.”

Bolstering Jokowi’s message, Indonesia’s new Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi — the first ever female in the role — confirmed on Wednesday a departure from former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s principle of “thousand friends, zero enemies” to national interests first.

“To uphold our political sovereignty, what we must do is preserve the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” Retno said at her first press conference. “We’ll do this firmly and clearly.”

The interception one day earlier of a Singaporean passenger aircraft over a well-traveled flight path that cuts through Indonesian airspace may be indicative of Jakarta’s new hard-line stance. Indonesian fighter jets forced the aircraft to land and pay a $4,900 fine — despite protestation from the Singaporean owner, ST Aerospace, that it had been using the route for a number of years without the need for prior clearance from Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

However, these messages must be read within the context of Indonesia’s time-honored political melodrama, where tough talk against meddling foreign powers is par for the course. It’s also an easy and predictable way for new administration to score political points on the home front. “I think Jokowi’s warning to Australia was made for domestic consumption rather that advocating a nationalistic tone in foreign policy,” says Philips Vermonte, head of international relations at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta.

Indeed, Jokowi’s apparent double standards when dealing with Chinese incursions in the fish- and gas-rich waters of the Natuna Islands, on the northwest coast of Indonesian Borneo, seems to demonstrate diplomatic nuance rather than a new era of nationalistic fervor.

As recently as March 2013, armed Chinese ships bullied Indonesian patrol boats into releasing Chinese fisherman caught trawling illegally near Natuna. China has also included parts of the waters around Natuna within its so-called nine-dash line — its vague southern maritime boundary, adding Indonesia to the long list of countries it’s dueling with over aggressive claims to some 90% of the South China Sea.

In April, Indonesia’s armed-forces chief General Moeldoko penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal promising to strengthen Indonesian forces on Natuna and prepare fighter jets to meet “any eventuality.”

But two months later, during a presidential-election debate in June, Jokowi claimed Indonesia had no beef with China. In later interviews he adroitly turned the burning strategic problem with China on its head, suggesting Indonesia could serve as an “honest broker” vis-a-vis the Middle Kingdom’s disputes with other countries in the South China Sea.

This should not, however, be understood to mean the new Indonesian administration will be pushovers. Its soft stance on overlapping territorial claims with China is obviously linked to the fact that China is Indonesia’s second largest export trading partner. Australia, meanwhile, barely makes the top 10.

The lesson, it seems, more concerns shifting regional power than newfound Indonesian belligerence. “Australia needs to understand that Indonesia’s place in the world is growing, while it is not,”
 adds Professor Tim Lindsey, director of the Centre for Indonesian Law, Islam and Society at the Melbourne Law School. By current estimates, he adds, Indonesia will have world’s seventh largest economy in around a decade and the fifth largest by 2050. “Australia’s current policies of turning back the boats doesn’t seem to factor in any of that at all,” says Lindsey.

“I think Australia would be advised to take [Jokowi’s latest about naval incursions] warning very seriously, and that it would be unwise to look at it in narrow terms by saying, ‘Their navy is very small so it’s not a valid threat,’” opines Antje Missbach, a research fellow at Monash University’s School of Social Sciences in Melbourne. “There are many ways Indonesia could make a point without involving its navy.”

Moreover, she adds, “Look what happened last time Australia offended them,” referring to when Indonesia recalled its ambassador to Australia for six months following revelations by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden that Australia had spied on Yudhoyono and his wife.

Speaking to TIME, Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says, “It is not the government’s policy to incur Indonesia’s waters” and blames past incursions on the opposition government it replaced following the September 2013 general elections. “[We're] working closely with the new government of Indonesia on people-smuggling issues and we are optimistic about initial responses,” Morrison says.

Optimism is one thing; keeping out of your neighbor’s backyard is another altogether.

— With reporting by Yenni Kwok

TIME Gas

Ukraine, Moscow Clinch Deal on Russian Gas Supply

"There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter"

(BRUSSELS) — Moscow and Kiev on Thursday clinched a multi-billion dollar deal that will guarantee that Russian gas exports flow into Ukraine and beyond to the European Union throughout the winter despite their intense rivalry over the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, whose offices mediated the talks for months, said the EU will also help cash-strapped Ukraine with the payments through aid and guarantees.

“There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,” he said. Barroso added that he was “hopeful that the agreement can contribute to increase trust between Russia and Ukraine.”

EU energy chief Guenther Oettinger said that “we can guarantee a security of supply over the winter,” not only for Ukraine but also for the EU nations closest to the region that stood to suffer should the gas standoff have worsened.

A similar standoff in 2009 had caused serious disruptions in gas flowing from Russia into the EU and it was a prospect the bloc sought to avoid.

The agreement long hinged on the question whether Ukraine was in a position to come up with the necessary cash to pay for the gas. “Yes, they are,” a confident Oettinger said. Oettinger said the $4.6 billion deal should extend through March.

“We can claim and pay for amounts that we need. That question has been totally settled,” said Yuriy Prodan, Ukrainian Minister for Energy. “There will be no problems.”

Under the deal, Ukraine would pay for its outstanding debt by making a $1.45 billion deposit without delay, and $1.65 billion by year’s end. The final sum of debt would be determined through arbitration.

For new gas, Russia will only deliver after pre-payment and Ukraine intends to buy some $1.5 billion by the end of December.

The EU said in a statement it had been “working intensively” with international institutions and Ukraine to secure funds to pay for gas delivery in the coming winter.

“Unprecedented levels of EU aid will be disbursed in a timely manner,” it said.

The deal only stretches through March and the difficulties of the talks were immediately evident when the Russians and Ukrainians started disagreeing on terms and prices of gas for next summer.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, agreed earlier this month on the broad outline of a deal, but financial issues, centering on payment guarantees for Moscow, had long bogged down talks.

But with each week, the need for a resolution becomes more pressing, since winter is fast approaching in Ukraine, where temperatures often sink below freezing for days.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in June after disputes over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March. Ukraine since then has been relying on gas transfers from other European countries and its own reserves.

TIME Middle East

Israel Closes Jerusalem Holy Site After Shooting

A masked Palestinian youth throws a rock during clashes with Israeli security forces in east Jerusalem on Oct. 30, 2014.
A masked Palestinian youth throws a rock during clashes with Israeli security forces in east Jerusalem on Oct. 30, 2014. Ahmad Gharabli—AFP/Getty Images

The Palestinians said temporary closure of the Al Aqsa mosque was a "declaration of war"

Israel closed all access to Jerusalem’s most sensitive religious site on Thursday, a rare move that ratcheted up already heightened tensions following the attempted assassination of a prominent Jewish religious activist and the killing of his suspected Palestinian assailant by police.

The Palestinians accused Israel of a “declaration of war,” deepening a crisis fueled by failed peace efforts, continued Israeli settlement construction and months of simmering violence in the holy city. While Israel said it would reopen the site on Friday, the increasingly religious nature of the unrest risked igniting further violence.

Both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders blamed each other for the tensions. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has called for banning Jews from the hilltop holy site, of inciting the violence.

“The international community must stop its hypocrisy and act against the inciters,” Netanyahu said.

Abbas, meanwhile, said Jerusalem is a “red line that must not be touched.” The decision to close access to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound was “a declaration of war” that “will lead to further escalation and instability,” his spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said. Abbas made no mention of the attempted killing of the Jewish activist.

East Jerusalem, the section of the city captured by Israel in 1967 and claimed by the Palestinians, has experienced unrest since the summer, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at motorists and clashing frequently with Israeli police. The violence gained steam last week, when a Palestinian motorist rammed his car into a crowded train station, killing a 3-month-old Israeli-American baby girl.

Much of the unrest has centered on the holy site, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The violence reached a new high late Wednesday when a gunman on a motorcycle shot and seriously wounded Yehuda Glick, a U.S.-born activist who often leads groups of Jews on visits to the site.

Glick is a leading voice in efforts to allow Jews to pray on the mosque compound — something that Israeli authorities ban because they fear it would prompt violence. Muslim worshippers view Jewish prayer there as a provocation, fearing that Jewish extremists are plotting to take over the area.

In an interview this week with The Associated Press, Glick warned of the growing violence in Jerusalem and said Jews were increasingly being attacked by Muslims.

“The more extreme Islamist organizations are taking over and if we don’t stop them early enough, they will take over the entire Jerusalem,” he said. “We’re calling upon the Israeli government: Stop the violence.”

He remained hospitalized Thursday in serious condition.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki condemned the shooting and said the U.S. was “extremely concerned by escalating tensions” in Jerusalem. “It is critical that all sides exercise restraint, refrain from provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the status quo,” she said, adding the U.S. had been in touch with Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian officials to calm the situation. Under a longstanding arrangement, Jordan holds custodial authority over the mosque compound.

Early Thursday, police forces surrounded the suspected gunman at his home in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Tor. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the man, identified as Moataz Hijazi, opened fire and was killed by the Israeli forces.

Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said Hijazi had served 12 years in Israeli prison for a number of crimes before he was released in 2012. It described him as a sympathizer of the Islamic Jihad militant group, but said he appeared to have acted alone in Wednesday night’s attack.

Shortly after Hijazi was shot dead, clashes broke out in Abu Tor, with Palestinians hurling stones at riot police, who responded with rubber bullets to suppress the demonstration. A funeral was planned late Thursday.

The decision to close access to the holy site for the first time in more than 14 years underscored the incendiary nature of the current tensions.

The Palestinian uprising against Israel began after then-Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Jerusalem site in what many saw as a provocative gesture. That visit — in September 2000 — resulted in a temporary closure of the site.

Late Thursday, police said the site would be reopened on Friday to male Muslim worshippers over the age of 50 and female worshippers of all ages. Younger men would be barred, they said, because of the risk of renewed violence.

The Jerusalem tensions come at a sensitive time. U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed last April, and Israel battled Hamas militants in Gaza during a 50-day war over the summer.

More recently, Israel has announced plans to press forward with housing construction in east Jerusalem, drawing condemnation from the U.S. and other key allies.

This week, anonymous senior U.S. officials were quoted as criticizing Netanyahu as cowardly and indecisive in an interview with The Atlantic, and on Thursday, Sweden formally recognized a state of Palestine, a symbolic show of displeasure with Israeli policies.

In Washington, Secretary of State John Kerry criticized the derisive language used to describe Netanyahu in The Atlantic interview, and said he was still hopeful to forge peace.

“We still believe it is doable, but it takes courage, it takes strength,” he said.

TIME

Pictures of the Week: Oct. 24 – Oct. 31

From the encroaching lava of the Hawaii volcano to the U.S. Marines withdrawal from Helmand Province, Afghanistan and the World Series victory for the San Francisco Giants to a terrifying Tokyo Halloween, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

 

TIME Israel

Sen. Ted Cruz: Obama’s Unprecedented Attack on Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem, Oct. 13, 2014.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem, Oct. 13, 2014. Menahem Kahana—EPA

Cruz is the junior U.S. Senator from Texas.

Voters should challenge the administration's views on Election Day

This week, the world was treated to yet another embarrassing display of the Obama administration’s incompetent foreign policy.

According to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, various anonymous officials referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as both “a chicken****” and “a coward.” While these indefensible comments have received the lion’s share of media attention, the substantive remarks about Iran were even more troubling. Goldberg wrote that another senior official claimed that due to their pressure on Netanyahu, it is now “too late” for Israel to stop Iran from amassing an “atomic arsenal.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told the White House press corps on Tuesday that the President likely does not know who did this, and there is no effort underway to find out. Other officials have signaled that these persons may be disciplined in ways that are have not been disclosed. But, regardless, they will continue to serve at the pleasure of the President because, as Earnest said, such things happen almost every day in this administration.

In other words, this is no big deal.

With all due respect, this is a very big deal. This is an unprecedented attack on a critical ally of the United States at a moment of international crisis. It is a de facto admission to the mullahs in Tehran that the Obama administration thinks it is too late to prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons. It is an inexcusable betrayal of the national security of the American people.

Do the Democrats agree with what Obama administration officials are saying about Israel and its leaders? Do they also concede that a nuclear Iran is inevitable? If not, will they call on the President to identify and fire the persons making these assertions? These questions should be asked—and answered—before Americans head to the polls next Tuesday.

It is my hope that Congress can unite to reverse this administration’s approach by defending our allies and standing up to hostile actors in the world. When the White House acts recklessly, Congress should swiftly act to defend our nation. We will not be able to do so if the Senate is led by Harry Reid acting as a rubber stamp for President Obama. Either the Democrats should denounce the Obama Administration’s dangerous policies or the voters should send them home in November.

As disgraceful as these comments were, at least they bring crystal clarity to the choice we face as a nation on November 4th. Choose wisely.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Burkina Faso

Unrest Shakes Burkina Faso

Tens of thousands of demonstrators called for President Blaise Compaore to step aside Thursday after protesters ransacked the parliament and state television.

TIME Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso President Declares State of Emergency

It was not immediately clear where President Blaise Compaore was following the announcement

Burkina Faso’s leader of nearly three decades declared a state of emergency Thursday, hours after protesters who oppose his bid for another term stormed the parliament and set part of it on fire, marking the greatest threat to his rule since he himself seized power in a coup.

It was not immediately clear where President Blaise Compaore was following the announcement that also called for an end to the demonstrations. At least one person was killed and several others were wounded earlier in the day amid the melee, authorities said.

Army Gen. Honore Traore, the joint chief of staff, later announced that a curfew would be in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. The government and parliament also have been dissolved, he said.

In a concession to the opposition, Compaore agreed Thursday to withdraw a bill from consideration in the parliament that would have allowed him to extend his 27-rule through a fifth term in office.

While demonstrators managed to block the highly controversial parliamentary vote, the violent opposition unleashed Thursday underscored the threat Compaore now faces as frustrations mount in one of the world’s poorest countries. In a sign of the growing unrest, crowds also attacked the homes of government ministers and looted shops in the country’s second-largest city, Bobo Dioulasso, witnesses said.

“It is over for the regime!” and “We do not want him again!” shouted demonstrators when they heard that the vote on term limits had been stopped.

Flames enveloped the main building in the parliament complex, and many lawmakers fled to a nearby hotel.

“It is difficult to say what happens next, but things are out of control because the demonstrators do not listen to anyone,” said Ablasse Ouedraogo, an opposition lawmaker.

The images of cars on fire and plumes of black smoke in the capital of Ouagadougou prompted alarm from the international community. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General, said he “deplores the deterioration of the security situation,” according to a statement.

In a bid to restore calm, military leaders met Thursday afternoon with the influential traditional chief of the country’s largest ethnic group, the Mossi, according to Jonathan Yameogo, a spokesman for the ruling party.

Burkina Faso has long been known for its relative stability in volatile West Africa, though tensions have been mounting over Compaore’s plans to extend his rule.

He first came to power following the October 1987 coup against then-President Thomas Sankara, Compaore’s longtime friend and political ally who ultimately was killed in the power grab.

Compaore has been elected four times since, though the opposition has disputed the results.

Earlier, police in the capital had pushed the crowds back with tear gas, but they regrouped in larger numbers, surged past police lines and broke into the parliament building.

Since coming to power in a coup, Compaore, 63, has refashioned himself as an elder statesman who brokered electoral disputes and hostage releases throughout the region.

He made no secret of his support for Charles Taylor, the Liberian warlord turned president now serving a 50-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone. The leader of Burkina Faso also has been accused of supporting rebel groups in Ivory Coast and Angola, though he later played the role as a peacemaker in Ivory Coast and elsewhere.

More recently, his government was involved in negotiating the release of several European hostages held by al-Qaida-linked militants in northern Mali. He also hosted the talks between Mali’s government and separatist Tuareg rebels, leading to the agreement which made the July 2013 presidential election possible.

In 2011, Compaore encountered another crisis when multiple waves of protests washed over the country. The unrest began with students torching government buildings in several cities after a young man died in the custody of security forces, allegedly as a result of mistreatment.

Ordinary citizens took to the streets over rising food prices, and soldiers looted shops and stole cars to express their discontent over low pay. At one point in mid-April of that year, mutinous soldiers occupied the palace, forcing Compaore to flee.

But what would have spelled the end for many presidents was a mere temporary problem for Compaore, one he could maneuver his way out of by removing his security chiefs and appointing himself defense minister before returning to Ouagadougou.

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