TIME Saudi Arabia

So This Saudi Prince Didn’t Actually Graduate From Lewis & Clark College

BAHRAIN-GCC-INTERIOR MINISTER
Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in the Bahraini capital Manama on April 23, 2013. Mohammed Al-Shaikh—AFP/Getty Images

The college corrected a statement by the Saudi Embassy

Saudi Arabia’s new deputy crown prince didn’t get a degree from Lewis & Clark College, the college said Friday, contradicting a statement last week by the Saudi Embassy.

The Saudi Embassy said this month that Prince Mohammed bin Nayef graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 1981, the Associated Press reports.

The college said in a statement that the prince completed coursework in the late 1970s but didn’t get a degree. The prince is “remembered fondly by our alumni, faculty, and staff,” the college said, adding it’s proud Nayef studied there.

The Saudi embassy said the error resulted from a mistranslation.

[AP]

TIME Israel

Israeli Critics Sees Netanyahu Putting His Personal Interests First in Addressing Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks during a Likud party election campaign meeting in Tel Aviv on Jan. 25, 2015 ahead of the March 17 general elections.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talks during a Likud party election campaign meeting in Tel Aviv on Jan. 25, 2015 ahead of the March 17 general elections. Menahem Kahana—AFP/Getty Images

Israeli PM's proposed trip to Washington has caused controversy in the U.S. and at home

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long found a large welcome mat at the doors of the U.S. Congress, particularly when it comes to his interest in talking about Iran and its nuclear program, When he gave a speech to Congress on the subject in 2011, he was given 29 standing ovations – four more, many noted, than President Barack Obama received in his State of the Union address that year.

The reaction in Israel to Netanyahu’s next visit has been quite different. The Prime Minister was invited by Republican Speaker John Boehner to speak before Congress on Mar. 3, two weeks before the Israeli premier is up for re-election. The focus of the address would be the Iranian nuclear issue, in particular, Netanyahu’s call to Congress to impose further sanctions on Iran. As the Obama administration is pursuing negotiations with Iran, Netanyahu’s intervention is seen as antagonistic.

Obama made clear this week that he would not be seeing Netanyahu during his visit to Washington, telling CNN’s Fareed Zakaria he would never meet with a visiting leader two weeks before their country goes to the polls because he considers it “inappropriate.”

Critics in Israel have attacked Netanyahu for putting his personal political interests above the interests of his country and for jeopardising the U.S.-Israel special relationship by getting involved in U.S. politics.

“Israel’s leaders have always cherished and protected its relations with the United States, understanding that they are of utmost importance for our country’s security,” says Stav Shaffir, a member of Israel’s parliament from the opposition Labor Party, which recent polls show having a slight lead over Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. “The fact that Netanyahu is willing to jeopardize Israel’s strategic interests for petty electoral gains casts serious doubt on his judgment and suitability to lead the country.”

Amos Yadlin, the former military intelligence chief who has joined the opposition — now running as the “Zionist Camp” as a joint slate of Labor and Tzippi Livni’s Hatnua party — has accused Netanyahu of turning Israel’s relationship with the U.S. into one of allegiance with the Republicans. “When we manage our relationship with the U.S., we have to manage it simultaneously with the President and Congress. The Prime Minister has made it into a partisan issue in the U.S., and we cannot let Israel become a problem for one party or the other,” Yadlin told Ynet, the news website of the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

Haaretz, Israel’s broadsheet newspaper, carried a front-page article on Friday saying that as far as the Obama administration is concerned, Netanyahu is “toast.” In other words, even if he does win the Mar. 17 election, he can stop expecting automatic U.S. diplomatic support. Just a month ago, the U.S. used its power at the U.N. Security Council to block a vote for Palestinian state.

“You do not want to be ‘toast’ in the eyes of the American administration,” says Gadi Wolfsfeld, an expert in politics and communications who teaches at IDC Herzliya, a university in the Tel Aviv area. “America could turn away when the E.U. puts pressure on Israel. There’s lot of things Obama can do without directly confronting Netanyahu — there are subtle ways of punishing him and punishing Israel for this move, which are not going to be pleasant.”

According to reports, Netanyahu is working to convince Democrats of the importance of his speech, and they are trying to get him to reconsider. That might be wise, Wolfsfeld says.

“Some people have suggested that he should cancel. People would have to spend a few hours thinking of a creative way to do it, but that may be best, because I think both sides already realize that this was not their finest hour,” says Wolfsfeld. “Of course, when Netanyahu is standing there in front of Congress and receiving applause, it’s possible that he’ll once again be received as a powerful speaker and a great diplomat. But right now, considering the amount of backlash, if he had to do it over again, I’d be surprised if he’d do it at all.”

TIME Behind the Photos

The Story Behind the Photo of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh’s Dying Moments

Egyptian photographer Islam Osama captured the moment Shaimaa al-Sabbagh was killed during peaceful protests in Cairo on Jan. 24

In the week since her death, Shaimaa al-Sabbagh has become a symbol against Egypt’s military rule.

The leading member of the Socialist Popular Alliance Party died on Jan. 24 after suffering shotgun pellet injuries while peacefully marching to commemorate the hundreds of demonstrators killed during the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

Egyptian photographer Islam Osama, 23, captured her dying moments. His powerful portrait of Sayyed Abu el-Ela holding the severely injured protestor has drawn international attention, taking on an iconic status similar to the footage of Neda Agha-Soltan’s dying breath during the 2009 Iranian protests.

Osama, a photojournalist with the Egyptian Youm El Sabea newspaper, was covering a press conference in Cairo when he heard about the Socialist Popular Alliance Party’s march, and headed over to cover it. “It was an ordinary day,” Osama told TIME. “We didn’t expect any clashes or violence from the police. The streets were almost empty.”

The march was on one side of a street leading to the iconic Tahrir Square, and the police stood on the other side. “[There were] only 25 people, and the demonstration only lasted two minutes,” Osama said. “Suddenly, without any warning, the dispersal began with the shooting of teargas and birdshot [pellets].”

Osama believes the police didn’t purposefully target Al-Sabbagh. “[They] fired in the general direction of the march.” The photographer, who was behind Al-Sabbagh when she was hit, saw her fall to the ground. He took six photos in a sequence.

At first, Osama didn’t realize he had captured such a powerful image. “The most important thing in that moment was Shaimaa herself,” he said. “I realized immediately that I had to leave. I had to send the photos to the newspaper, fast. If I waited a moment too long there was a chance that my camera could be taken and the memory card erased by the police.”

Using a USB data dongle and his laptop, he uploaded the photographs to his editor at Youm El Sabea. “From a human perspective, [my editor] had a strong emotional reaction to the image,” which has dominated the paper’s coverage since the incident.

Osama never expected to see his photograph make international headlines. “It was a big surprise,” he said. “I didn’t expect this kind of reaction. When I see this, of course I feel proud. But the most important thing is that I was able to bring Shaimaa’s message to the world… As a photographer, it’s my job to transmit this reality to the world.”

And, the current political situation in Egypt hasn’t made his job easy. “Photojournalists [here] are not safe. If you carry a camera in the street, you’re a target. People consider anyone with a camera [to be] with Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood, or a traitor to the nation.”

For Osama, his job is not to take sides, he said. “I’m not against the police. I’ve photographed policemen who [were] injured and killed, who [were] targeted by terrorism. My photos show reality.”

Interview by Jared Malsin in Cairo

TIME conflict

Kurds Repel Major ISIS Offensive in Northern Iraq

Members of the Kurdish security forces inspect the site of bomb attack in Kirkuk on Jan. 30, 2015.
Members of the Kurdish security forces inspect the site of bomb attack in Kirkuk on Jan. 30, 2015. Ako Rasheed—Reuters

At least 36 people were killed in a series of attacks

(KIRKUK, Iraq) — Clashes with Islamic State militants killed a senior Kurdish military commander and eight of his fighters just outside the disputed northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Friday, officials said.

Attacks elsewhere killed 27 people, with twin bombs hitting a crowded market in Baghdad and a suicide bomber targeting pro-government Shiite militiamen who were manning a checkpoint outside a city north of the Iraqi capital.

The casualties near the oil-rich Kirkuk were a heavy setback for the Iraqi Kurds, who have been at the forefront of the battle against the Islamic State group, which has captured a third of both Iraq and Syria in its blitz last year.

Also Friday, a car bomb exploded outside an empty, closed hotel near Kirkuk’s police headquarters, wounding two people. Both the Kurdish troops and the city’s security force have been trying to rout the IS group from Kirkuk, about 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Baghdad.

After the car bombing, three gunmen took positions inside the hotel, located in the city center, triggering a firefight with the Kurds and the police.

Associated Press footage from the scene showed members of the Kurdish troops and the local police firing at the Qassir Hotel in Kirkuk and then storming it. Officials later said the gunmen were all killed.

The Kurdish Brig. Gen. Shirko Fatih and eight Kurdish fighters died in clashes south of the city earlier in the day, after the IS militants attacked the peshmerga fighters’ positions, said Brig. Khatab Omar.

The U.N. assistance mission in Iraq said Friday it was evacuating its foreign staff from Kirkuk to Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, due to “a rapid deterioration in security in Kirkuk city.”

A UNAMI statement said the mission was also forced to halt its activities and bar employees from moving around freely within the Kurdish region, except for the cities if Irbil, Suleimaniya and Dahuk.

Kirkuk is home to a mix of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, who all have competing claims to the oil-rich area. The Kurds want to incorporate it into their self-ruled region in Iraq’s north, a proposition strongly opposed by Arabs and Turkmen.

After the IS group’s blitz last summer and the quick collapse of the Iraqi army, Kurdish forces took control of the city. Since then, Kirkuk has often come under Islamic State attacks, with the militants likely hoping to seize the oil fields near the city.

Iraq has been facing its worst crisis since the 2011 withdrawal of U.S. troops, with Islamic State militants now in control of about a third of the country.

In the Baghdad market attack, a bomb first exploded near carts selling used clothes in the central Bab al-Sharqi area, followed by a second bomb as people rushed to help victims from the first blast. Police and hospital officials said 19 people were killed and 28 were wounded. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Also in Baghdad, mortar shells landed on a residential area in the Shula neighborhood, killing four people and wounding seven others, said police and hospital officials.

Police officials also that said a suicide bomber drove his-explosive-laden car into a security checkpoint manned by Shiite militiamen near the city of Samarra, 95 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad, killing four militiamen and wounding 10.

TIME Behind the Photos

The Best Pictures of the Week: Jan. 23 – Jan. 30

From Kurdish fighters recapturing the ISIS held town of Kobani, Syria to the deadly attacks on Israeli forces by Hezbollah militants on the Israel-Lebanon border and life returns to normal with Ebola cases down to single digits in Liberia to blizzard Juno hitting the U.S. East Coast, TIME presents the best pictures of the week.

TIME South Africa

South Africa Grants Parole to Apartheid Death Squad Leader

Former police colonel and apartheid arch-assasin Eugene de Kock on June 6, 2000 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Former police colonel and apartheid arch-assasin Eugene de Kock on June 6, 2000 in Pretoria, South Africa. Leon Botha—Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Eugene de Kock was freed "In the interest of nation building and reconciliation"

JOHANNESBURG — The South African government Friday granted parole to Eugene de Kock, the head of a covert unit for the apartheid state responsible for dozens of deaths, saying it is in the interest of national reconciliation. But those who knew de Kock’s victims are struggling to accept his release.

Eddie Makue, who worked for the South African Council of Churches when de Kock bombed its headquarters in 1988 injuring 19 people, is ambivalent about the announcement that de Kock has been granted parole.

“It’s mixed feelings, which is something we’ve gotten used to as South Africans,” Makue told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

Makue, now a member of South Africa’s parliament, said he accepted Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s reasons for granting de Kock parole but struggled to accept the harm de Kock and his unit had inflicted on their prisoners.

“We have seen what devastation it has caused to them and we find it difficult to understand that he got off,” he said, adding that his faith compelled him to believe that de Kock had changed.

De Kock was arrested in 1994, when apartheid ended, and in 1996 was sentenced to two life terms and an additional 212 years in prison.

During his testimony to the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which recommended amnesty to those who admitted to wrongdoing during apartheid, de Kock recalled how he and the C10 police unit tortured and killed anti-apartheid activists at Vlakplaas, a farm outside Pretoria, South Africa’s capital. He was pardoned for some crimes, but was convicted on murder and other charges.

“In the interest of nation building and reconciliation, I have decided to place Mr. de Kock on parole,” said Masutha, who said the time and place of de Kock’s release would not be made public.

In the same announcement Masutha declined to grant medical parole to Clive Derby-Lewis, the man who planned the assassination of anti-apartheid activist and leader of the South African Communist Party, Chris Hani. Derby-Lewis, who has cancer, was sentenced to life in prison, along with Polish immigrant Janusz Walus, for the 1993 shooting. Masutha said Derby-Lewis has not shown remorse.

Last year, Masutha declined de Kock’s parole appeal, saying that the families of de Kock’s victims had not been consulted.

During his time in prison, de Kock made contact with some of his victims’ families, asking for forgiveness. Masutha said de Kock had assisted authorities to trace activists who went missing during apartheid.

Makue, who helped some of the young activists targeted by de Kock, believes that the former police colonel “has not told the whole truth, yet.”

TIME Ukraine

Artillery Fire Kills At Least 12 Civilians in Ukraine

A body of a civilian killed in shelling is covered by a blanket in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Jan. 30, 2015.
A body of a civilian killed in shelling is covered by a blanket in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Jan. 30, 2015. Vadim Braydov—AP

There has been a recent surge in fighting between government forces and separatist rebels

KIEV, Ukraine — Artillery fire in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk has killed at least 12 civilians as the fighting between pro-Russia separatists and government troops intensifies.

Donetsk city hall says five people were killed early Friday afternoon as they were waiting for humanitarian aid outside a community center and two people were killed when a mortar shell landed near a bust stop. Five other people died Friday in sporadic artillery fire in the west of Donetsk.

Full-blown fighting between the rebels and government forces erupted anew earlier this month following a period of relative tranquility. Hostilities now seem to be focused around Debaltseve, a railway hub which could prove a crucial link between the rebels in Donetsk and in Luhansk northeast to it.

TIME China

Chinese Families Demand Malaysians Retract Statement That MH370 Passengers Are Dead

A relative of passengers of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 gives a statement to the media while waiting for other relatives in efforts to reach the Yonghegong Lama temple in Beijing, Jan. 30, 2015.
A relative of passengers of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 gives a statement to the media while waiting for other relatives in efforts to reach the Yonghegong Lama temple in Beijing, Jan. 30, 2015. Rolex Dela Pena—EPA

Relatives were unmoved by the argument that the declaration paves the way for compensation claims

BEIJING — About 100 Chinese families of passengers on the missing Malaysian airliner demanded Friday that Malaysian officials retract their statement that all aboard died, saying that without hard evidence they don’t want to start compensation claims.

Malaysia’s government formally declared still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 an accident on Thursday and said all those 239 people on board were presumed dead, paving the way for claims to begin. Most of the victims’ families in China — where the majority of the passengers were from — still hold onto hope that their loved ones are alive.

“We don’t accept it. As a matter of fact, we are demanding the statement to be retracted,” Zhang Qian, whose husband was on the plane, said on Friday.

The relatives’ continued refusal to accept the authorities’ conclusion is understandable because they are going through “ambiguous loss,” where there has been no body or wreckage to confirm death, said Therese Rando, a clinical psychologist in Warwick, Rhodes Island, who has worked extensively in grief counseling.

“For any family member to make the move to presume death in the absence of confirmation is a huge step,” Rando explained in an email. “They need to have eliminated other possibilities; to do otherwise would be tantamount to prematurely abandoning their loved one.”

Earlier this week, in anticipation of the Malaysian statement, 110 members in a group of 115 relatives of passengers voted during a mobile phone group chat to demand that Malaysia refrain from making any announcement.

Jiang Hui, whose mother was a passenger aboard the flight, said the new announcement was based on no new facts.

“We not only demand the Malaysian government retract the statement, but also issue an apology,” Jiang said. “That’s the wish of the majority of family members.”

Relatives were unmoved by the argument that the declaration paves the way for compensation claims.

“I feel like I am giving it all up if we start talking about compensation,” Zhang said. “We don’t need compensation, and we would be more than glad not to ask for a dime if my husband comes back to me.”

Malaysia’s civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said Thursday that the search for the jet “remains a priority.” The Boeing 777 disappeared on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

TIME Pakistan

Bomb Blast in Southern Pakistan Kills 56 at Shi’ite Mosque

Rescue workers and a policeman stand at the site of an explosion in a Shi'ite mosque in Shikarpur, located in Pakistan's Sindh province, Jan. 30, 2015.
Rescue workers and a policeman stand at the site of an explosion in a Shi'ite mosque in Shikarpur, located in Pakistan's Sindh province, Jan. 30, 2015. Amir Hussain—Reuters

Hospitals are appealing to residents to donate blood for the wounded

KARACHI, Pakistan — A bomb blast ripped through a mosque in Pakistan belonging to members of the Shiite minority sect of Islam just as worshippers were gathering for Friday prayers, killing 56 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.

Dr. Shaukat Ali Memon, who heads the hospital in Shikarpur where the dead and wounded were brought, gave the death toll to Pakistan’s state television. He said that 50 people, many severely wounded, were also brought to the hospital. Patients have also been shifted to nearby hospitals in the cities of Larkana and Sukkur, he said.

In a sign of how serious the explosion was, Memon appealed to residents to donate blood for the wounded.

Pakistani television showed area residents and worshippers frantically ferrying the dead and wounded to the hospital.

Initial reports suggest that it was a bomb planted in the area, Sain Rakhio Mirani, the top police official in the district told Pakistan’s Geo TV.

Shikarpur is in Sindh province, roughly 500 kilometers (310 miles) north of the port city of Karachi.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Sunni Muslim extremists have often targeted religious institutions of Shiites, whom they do not consider to be true Muslims.

While Karachi has been the site of repeated bombings blamed on militant groups such as the Pakistani Taliban, the northern part of Sindh province has generally been much more peaceful.

But recent years have seen a trend of extremist organizations increasingly active in the central and northern part of the province, according to a new report by the United States Institute of Peace.

TIME Bowe Bergdahl

Guantanamo Detainee Exchanged for American POW Attempts a Return to Battle

Guantanamo Future
A U.S. flag flies above buildings used for military tribunals for suspected terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base on Nov. 19, 2013. Charles Dharapak—AP

A Taliban commander exchanged for the release of a POW attempts to return to the battlefield, raising questions about closing Guantanamo

When U.S. President Barack Obama agreed in May to exchange five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay for Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who had been held captive for five years, his political opponents had a field day. They warned that the detainees risked returning to Afghanistan, and to militancy. Obama, with the backing of the government of Qatar that had agreed to host the men, promised that they would be kept far from the battlefield. Seems that the men may have had other ideas. According to CNN, U.S. military and intelligence officials now suspect that at least one of the detainees has made contact with Taliban associates in Afghanistan, suggesting that he, and perhaps the others, may be planning a return.

Considering that 29 percent of all U.S. detainees who were held in the Guantanamo detention center are either suspected of or confirmed to have returned to the fight, according to a March 2015 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, it shouldn’t be all that surprising. TIME’s Massimo Calabresi predicted as much back in June, just after Bergdahl was released. The recidivism rate, he wrote, “suggests that statistically at least one of the Taliban leaders will return to the field to fight Americans in Afghanistan, or elsewhere.”

At the time of the exchange, Taliban commanders who had been involved in Bergdahl’s capture, captivity and release, told TIME that the exchange — five of theirs for one of America’s — would encourage them to seek out more P.O.W.s. So far, that hasn’t happened. It’s not clear which of the five former detainees was reaching out to associates in Afghanistan, but as high-ranking commanders and former comrades-in-arms of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, any one of them could galvanize a movement that is slowly making gains in the wake of the U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan. Even if those plans have now been foiled, the incident may have one other far reaching consequence: as Obama attempts to close down Guantanamo for good, his opponents now have more ammunition for why he should not.

Read More: Behind the Scenes of Bowe Bergdahl’s Release

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