TIME India

India Says Four Nationals Have Been Kidnapped in Libya

The kidnappers are suspected to be ISIS militants

Four Indians were reportedly kidnapped in Libya on Friday, with Islamic militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) allegedly thought responsible.

The Indians were kidnapped from the town of Sirte near the Middle Eastern nation’s capital city Tripoli, the BBC reported.

They had been working as teachers at the University of Sirte, in the hometown of the country’s late former dictator Muammar Gaddafi where ISIS has a strong presence.

“We are in regular touch with their families,” Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said in a statement to the ANI news agency, adding that they were ascertaining further details through the Indian mission in Tripoli. Three of the abductees are faculty at the University of Sirte while the fourth works at the university, Swarup said. All four hail from the south of India: two from Hyderabad and two from Karnataka.

“No ransom demand has been made yet. We are trying to ascertain their whereabouts,” local news channel NDTV quoted Indian foreign ministry officials as saying.

TIME Israel

Palestinian Child Killed in Suspected Jewish Settler Attack

Palestinian Baby Dies In Arson Attack
Oren Ziv—Getty Images Family members and relatives of 18 month old baby, Ali Saad-Dawabsheh, view the remains of their house after a fire which was suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists on July 31, in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank.

Jewish extremists have for years attacked Palestinian property

(DUMA, West Bank) — Suspected Jewish assailants attacked a Palestinian village in the West Bank early Friday and torched two homes, killing a young child and critically wounding at least three people, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. The Israeli prime minister called the incident a “terror attack.”

According to the military, the suspects entered the village of Duma, near the city of Nablus, where they set the homes ablaze and scrawled graffiti, including “Long live the Messiah,” ”revenge” and “price tag.”

The attackers threw Molotov cocktails, or fire bombs, at the houses, the military said.

The slain child was identified as one-and-a-half year old Ali Dawabsheh. His four-year-old brother and parents were among the wounded, according to Gassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official from the Nablus area.

Daghlas said Jewish settlers broke the window of a house and flung a burning object inside, “causing a quick and huge fire.” He added that three people were wounded aside from the child. The Israeli military said three people were critically wounded and one was slightly injured. The critically wounded were taken to Israeli hospitals for treatment, the military said.

“Setters in the Nablus area are very aggressive. They never stop attacking Palestinians in their villages and the Israeli government needs to put an end to these aggressions,” Daghlas said.

The Israeli military said it sent troop reinforcements to the West Bank, fearing the incident could trigger unrest.

Jewish extremists have for years attacked Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches and even Israeli military bases in opposition to what they see as the Israeli government’s favorable policies toward the Palestinians, although it is rare for anyone to be killed in such attacks.

Critics say police have been slow to apprehend the assailants and Palestinians say the military has failed to protect them from attacks by militant Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

The attacks, known as “price tag,” have been condemned across the Israeli political spectrum and condemnations came swiftly Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issuing a stern statement against the violence.

“I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is an act of terrorism in every respect. The State of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are,” he said.

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner called the incident “nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism.”

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel would not allow “Jewish terrorists” to carry out such acts.

“We will not allow Jewish terrorists to harm the lives of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria,” he said in a statement, referring to the West Bank by its biblical name. “We will fight against them firmly and with all means and tools at our disposal.”

Meanwhile, Israeli police said they would restrict entrance to Friday prayers at a Jerusalem mosque to male worshippers over the age of 50. Police said the decision was not necessarily related to the West Bank incident and comes as police received word that Palestinian youth at the mosque planned to cause disturbances.

___

Daraghmeh reported from Ramallah. Associated Press writer Tia Goldenberg contributed to this report from Tel Aviv, Israel.

TIME Nigeria

Nigerian Army Frees More than 50 People From Boko Haram

59 prisoners were freed, including women, children, and elderly men

Nigeria’s army announced Thursday that it had freed 59 women and children who had been captured by the extremist group Boko Haram.

The military raided two jihadist camps in Borno Wednesday as part of an ongoing offensive against the group, rescuing 29 women, 25 children and five elderly men from the camps, the AFP reports. A spokesperson for the Nigerian army also said that some Boko Haram members were killed in the process.

Boko Haram is responsible for the abductions and deaths of thousands in the region. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced in July that he would create a multinational African force to redouble efforts to fight the Islamic extremist group.

[AFP]

TIME Israel

Jewish Man Stabs 6 People at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade

Ultra Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel is detained by plain-clothes police officers after he stabbed people during a gay pride parade in Jerusalem on July 30, 2015.
Sebastian Scheiner—AP Ultra Orthodox Jew Yishai Schlissel is detained by plain-clothes police officers after he stabbed people during a gay pride parade in Jerusalem on July 30, 2015.

The alleged attacker was jailed for stabbing people at a 2005 pride parade

(JERUSALEM) — An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man lunged into a group of revelers leading Jerusalem’s annual gay pride parade and stabbed six of them Thursday evening as they marched in the holy city, Israeli police and witnesses said.

The alleged attacker, Yishai Schlissel, had recently been released from prison after serving a term for stabbing several people at a gay pride parade in 2005, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said, adding that he was arrested at the scene of Thursday’s attack.

Eli Bin of Israel’s emergency service said six young people were wounded in the attack, two of them seriously.

The annual parade was proceeding as planned when the crowd’s joyful chants gave way to screams. Panic ensued, and a bloody woman fell to the ground, an Associated Press photographer at the scene said.

A man with blood seeping from his back wandered around with a dazed look before collapsing. Another man with his shirt off also had blood dripping down his back. Medics quickly surrounded them both and applied pressure to stop the bleeding.

Shocked revelers, some in tears, gathered along the sidewalk as ambulances and police on horses quickly arrived on the scene.

Schlissel was convicted of a similar attack that wounded several people at a gay pride parade in Jerusalem a decade ago. Media reports said that on Thursday he hid in a nearby supermarket and jumped out to attack the march when it passed nearby.

Jerusalem police spokesman Asi Ahroni said there was a “massive presence” of police securing the parade but “unfortunately the man managed to pull out a knife and attack.”

A medic that treated the wounded at the scene, Hanoch Zelinger, said one woman was stabbed in the back, chest and neck, and was lying unconscious on the ground.

Shaarei Tzedek hospital said it was treating a man with stab wounds who was in serious condition and a woman in critical condition, both in their 20s.

The parade continued after the wounded were taken for treatment, but in a more somber atmosphere. Media reported that thousands of Jerusalem residents who had not participated in the parade joined in after the attack in solidarity.

“I do think that homophobia is rooted in the city, but that’s the point of the parade,” said Benny Zupick, 21, shortly after the attack. “We are trying to change that. And hopefully we will change that. It takes one man to create a scene like this. Hopefully he’s a minority.”

A majority of Jerusalem’s residents are either observant Jews or Muslim or Christian Palestinians, conservative communities that oppose homosexuality. Previous parades have drawn opposition.

The heads of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox parties, along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and others across the Israeli political spectrum condemned the attack.

“People celebrating their freedom and expressing their identity were viciously stabbed. We must not be deluded, a lack of tolerance will lead us to disaster. We cannot allow such crimes, and we must condemn those who commit and support them,” President Reuven Rivlin said.

Jerusalem’s annual parade is smaller and more restrained than the annual gay pride march in Tel Aviv, which was attended by some 100,000 revelers last month.

Tel Aviv has emerged as one of the world’s most gay-friendly travel destinations recently, in sharp contrast to most of the rest of the Middle East, where gays are persecuted or even killed.

Gays serve openly in Israel’s military and parliament, and many popular artists and entertainers are gay, but gays still face hostility among religious Jews.

TIME Iran

Iran Bans U.S. From U.N. Nuclear Inspections

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi holds a press conference at Iran's Foreign Ministry in Tehran on July 22, 2015.
Fatemeh Bahrami—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi holds a press conference at Iran's Foreign Ministry in Tehran on July 22, 2015.

"Inspectors should be from countries that have diplomatic relations with Islamic republic of Iran"

(TEHRAN, Iran) — Iran will not allow American or Canadian inspectors working for the U.N. nuclear watchdog to visit its nuclear facilities, an official said in remarks broadcast by state TV on Thursday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said Iran will only allow inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with it. The previously undisclosed remarks were made during a Sunday meeting with parliamentarians.

“American and Canadian inspectors cannot be sent to Iran,” said Araghchi. “It is mentioned in the deal that inspectors should be from countries that have diplomatic relations with Islamic republic of Iran.”

He also said inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency will not have access to “sensitive and military documents.”

Iran and world powers reached a historical deal earlier this month aimed at curbing Tehran’s disputed nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions. Western nations have long suspected Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons alongside its civilian atomic program, allegations denied by Tehran, which insists its nuclear activities are entirely peaceful.

The U.S. and Iran severed diplomatic relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution and the hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Canada closed its embassy in Tehran and suspended diplomatic relations in 2012.

TIME animals

Petition to Extradite Cecil the Lion’s Killer Signed By 100,000

Petition to White House urges Obama administration to send Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe to face justice

A petition to the White House calling for the American dentist who killed Zimbabwe’s beloved lion Cecil has attracted over 100,000 signatures in just one day.

The petition urges Secretary of State John Kerry and Attorney General Loretta Lynch to extradite U.S. citizen Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe for him to “face justice” for illegally killing the country’s “national icon.”

According to Whitehouse.gov, any petition that reaches over 100,000 signatures within 30 days requires a response from the government. The Cecil petition had 137,648 signatures at the time of publication.

Palmer, a dentist from the Minnesota area, has become a figure of global outrage when it was revealed he killed a beloved, 13-year-old lion in Zimbabwe. Palmer has since apologized and said he will cooperate with authorities, and said he did not know the hunt was illegal.

“To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted,” he wrote in an apology letter to his dental patients. “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt.”

TIME MH370

This Is the Piece of Debris Suspected to Be Part of Missing Jet

An Australian official has warned not to jump to conclusions about a 9-by-3-ft. piece of flotsam that washed up on the French island of Reunion - but experts say it's likely to be a section of a Boeing 777 of the type that disappeared over 500 days ago

Read next: What to Know About the New Malaysia Airlines Clue

TIME Afghanistan

Taliban Acknowledges Death of Leader Mullah Omar

Supposed family statement claims he died of an "unspecified illness"

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — The Afghan Taliban have released a statement purportedly from the family of Mullah Omar saying he has died of an unspecified illness.

The statement, emailed to The Associated Press on Thursday, didn’t say when he died.

It followed an announcement from the Kabul government the day before. Senior Taliban figures have also told the AP that Mullah Omar died.

The statement says it’s being issued in the name of Mullah Omar’s brother, Mullah Abdul Manan, and his son, Mohammad Yaqub. It apologizes for “any mistakes Mullah Omar (made) during his rule of Afghanistan.” It also asks all Afghans and Muslims to forgive any mistakes Mullah Omar made as leader of the Taliban.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until they were overthrown in a U.S-led invasion in 2001.

Read next: How the Death of Mullah Omar Could Disrupt Progress in Afghanistan

TIME France

France Sends Extra Police to Port City as Migrant Crisis Worsens

France Migrants calais
Thibault Camus—AP Police officers block migrants along a road to prevent their access to train tracks which lead to the Channel Tunnel, in Calais, northern France on July 29, 2015.

More than 2,000 migrants tried to rush the Eurotunnel which leads to Britain in just one night

CALAIS, France — Police beefed up security in this port city at the center of Europe’s escalating migrant crisis, seeking to stem a flood of illegal border crossings from France into the U.K.

France dispatched 120 extra police to Calais after officials said Wednesday that more than 2,000 migrants tried to rush the Eurotunnel which leads to Britain in just one night. One migrant was killed — the ninth since June. Around 37,000 have been blocked at the Channel Tunnel this year.

When night fell on Wednesday, flashing police lights dotted the horizon. Officers patrolled on foot and formed lines near the fences…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME

Possible Malaysia Airline Plane Debris is Being Sent to France

This may be the first trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 since it vanished nearly a year and a half ago

Malaysia’s prime minister says debris from an aircraft found on the French island of Reunion will be sent to France for investigation.

Prime Minister Najib Razak said on his personal blog Thursday that a Malaysian team is on its way to the southwestern French city of Toulouse.

The sea-crusted wing part that washed up on the island in the western Indian Ocean may be the first trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 since it vanished nearly a year and a half ago.

Najib promised to make any new information public quickly.

Air safety investigators — one of them a Boeing investigator — have identified the component found on the French island of Reunion as a “flaperon” from the trailing edge of a Boeing 777 wing, a U.S. official said.

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