www.bbc.com

Nick Conrad #racist #psycho

Nick Conrad #racist #psycho bbc.com

A French rapper who was on trial over an online music video entitled Hang White People has been found guilty of incitement to violence and given a suspended €5,000 (£4,280) fine.

Nick Conrad, who is self-produced, was virtually unknown to the French public before he released the video last year calling for white babies to be killed.

The video showing the rapper acting out the kidnap, torture and hanging of a white man sparked outrage.

Conrad has said he will appeal.

The rapper, who denies any racism towards white people, had argued the song was a comment on racism, and that the video was a fictional depiction of racism, designed to shock by inverting roles, and therefore not to be taken at face value.

"The court had a reading of freedom of expression that does not satisfy us," his lawyer said after the hearing.

The court said in its judgement that if "the permissible limits of freedom of expression are assessed with greater flexibility" when it comes to rap, "the freedom of artistic creation is, however, not absolute", the AFP news agency reports.

The nine-minute video, first published on YouTube in September, was quickly suspended for violating the company's terms of service.

It depicts a white man being shot and tortured by the rapper and an accomplice. He is forced to bite the pavement and is kicked in the head before being hanged.

One section of the lyrics reads: "I go to the nurseries, I kill the white babies. Catch them quick and hang their parents!"

Anti-racism groups had called the clip an incitement to violence and racial hatred.

The charge against Conrad could have resulted in up to five years in prison and €45,000 in fines, but prosecutors requested a suspended fine of €5,000, saying he had "already to a certain extent paid the consequences" after he lost his job as a hotel receptionist.

He was ordered to pay €1,000 in damages to each of the two anti-racism associations which brought the case.

Edwin Tamasese #quack #conspiracy

Edwin Tamasese #quack #conspiracy bbc.com

Edwin Tamasese was charged with incitement against a government order after he was detained on Thursday.

The outbreak - which has killed at least 63 people, mostly young children, since October - is in part blamed on people spreading false information, claiming vaccinations are dangerous.

Samoa declared a state of emergency, and made vaccinations compulsory.

[...]

Mr Tamasese had spoken out against vaccines on Facebook, instead promoting using ineffective remedies such as papaya leaf extract to treat the deadly illness.

Before his arrest, he had described the government's mass vaccination programme as "the greatest crime against our people", and falsely claimed vitamin C could cure the infected children.

Samoa's low vaccination rates are in part due to the deaths in 2018 of two children wrongly being attributed to vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella.

However, their deaths were due to nurses mixing the vaccine with a muscle relaxant instead of water, and not the vaccine itself.

The cases had nonetheless raised local fears, and were exploited by people seeking false proof that vaccines are harmful.

The current crisis in Samoa has also triggered many foreign anti-vaccination campaigners to weigh in and criticising the country's drive to immunise its children, which is trying to lift the level of measles vaccination coverage to more than 90%.

Gazeta Polska and Tomasz Sakiewicz #homophobia

Gazeta Polska and Tomasz Sakiewicz #homophobia bbc.com

The Polish conservative newspaper, Gazeta Polska, has said it will distribute "LGBT-free zone" stickers with its next issue.

The stickers show a black cross superimposed on a rainbow flag.

The weekly publication - which has a circulation of around 110,000 - openly supports the conservative governing Law and Justice party (PiS).

The move was criticised by the US ambassador to Poland, who said the stickers promoted hatred.

The newspaper's editor said his own views and those of the ambassador should both be respected.

A preview of the sticker was posted on Gazeta Polska's Twitter feed on Wednesday and it is due to be included in next week's edition.

US ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher expressed concern.

"I am disappointed and concerned that some groups use stickers to promote hatred and intolerance. We respect freedom of speech, but we must stand together on the side of values such as diversity and tolerance," Ms Mosbacher tweeted.

In response, the newspaper's editor, Tomasz Sakiewicz, tweeted that "being an activist in the gay movement does not make anyone more tolerant".

"Poles love freedom and have known the word tolerance for centuries. That's why they supported the rise of the USA," he added.

Paweł Rabiej, the deputy mayor of Warsaw, said he would file a complaint about the stickers to the prosecutor's office.

"German fascists created Jew-free zones," he tweeted.

Below is the sticker:

image

Unidentified vegan activist #fundie

Unidentified vegan activist #fundie bbc.com

A vegan activist in France who posted a Facebook message saying the killing of a butcher by an Islamist militant was "justice" has received a suspended prison sentence, court sources say.

She reportedly wrote that she had "zero compassion" for the victim of the supermarket attack in Trèbes last week.

Her seven-month sentence was issued as punishment for condoning terrorism.

The victim, butcher Christian Medvès, was one of four people killed by gunman Radouane Lakdim on 23 March.

The animal rights activist was prosecuted under France's tough anti-terror laws by a judge at a court in Saint-Gaudens, not far from Toulouse, in the south-west of the country.

Condoning terrorism carries a maximum seven-year jail sentence and a fine of up to €100,000 (£88,000).

Police said they were alerted to her Facebook post on Monday evening.

"So does it shock you that a murderer gets killed by a terrorist? Not me, I have zero compassion for him, there is justice in it," she is said to have posted, according to a judicial source quoted by the French news agency AFP.

France's butchers federation said it had filed a legal complaint over the post, which has since been removed.

The woman's appearance in court came two days after a left-wing activist received a one-year suspended sentence for celebrating the death of another victim of the same attack, gendarme Arnaud Beltrame.

Lt-Col Beltrame, 44, was killed after offering himself in exchange for a hostage being held by Lakdim after he attacked the Super U grocery in Trèbes on Friday.

Col Beltrame was honoured as a national hero at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.

Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in what was the worst jihadist attack under Mr Macron's presidency. The gunman was shot dead by police.

Stéphane Poussier #moonbat

Stéphane Poussier #moonbat bbc.com

A former French left-wing parliamentary candidate has been arrested over his tweets about a policeman killed during a jihadist siege in southern France last week.

Stéphane Poussier appeared to celebrate the death of Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, saying it was great.

He added that the death in the town of Trèbes meant one less voter for President Emmanuel Macron.

Kathy Dettwyler #fundie

Kathy Dettwyler #fundie bbc.com

A Delaware college has severed ties with a professor who said a student who was held by North Korea and later died "got exactly what he deserved".

Kathy Dettwyler sparked a backlash on Facebook when she wrote Otto Warmbier was "typical of a mindset of a lot of young, white, rich, clueless males".

Mr Warmbier, 22, died a week after he was freed by North Korea, where he was serving 15 years hard labour.

He was medically evacuated earlier this month and died in a coma.

Ms Dettwyler, an anthropology professor at the University of Delaware, criticised Mr Warmbier in a post on her Facebook page, blaming his parents for what happened to him.

"These are the same kids who cry about their grades because they didn't think they'd really have to read and study the material to get a good grade," she wrote.

"His parents ultimately are to blame for his growing up thinking he could get away with whatever he wanted."

"Maybe in the US, where young, white, rich, clueless white males routinely get away with raping women," she continued.

"Not so much in North Korea. And of course, it's Otto's parents who will pay the price for the rest of their lives."

Michael Gibbens #sexist

Michael Gibbens #sexist bbc.com

A US judge has found that two girls, aged 13 and 14, were partly to blame in a sex abuse case involving a 67-year-old man - and reduced his sentence.

County District Judge Michael Gibbens said "the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct".

He reduced the sentence of Raymond Soden, who was convicted last year.

Prosecutors are considering an appeal. A child rights group said the girls were the victims, not the aggressors.

Soden was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison, less than the minimum of 13 years called for by Kansas sentencing guidelines.

The judge said the girls went to Soden's house voluntarily and had taken money for sexual favours.

"They were certainly selling things monetarily that it's against the law for even an adult to sell."

Nabih al-Wahsh #racist #sexist #psycho

Nabih al-Wahsh #racist #sexist #psycho bbc.com

An Egyptian lawyer has been sentenced to three years in prison for saying that women who wear ripped jeans should be raped in punishment.

Nabih al-Wahsh, a prominent conservative, was also fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds (£839; $1,130).

The lawyer made the remarks on a TV panel show in October, during a debate on a draft law on prostitution.

"Are you happy when you see a girl walking down the street with half of her behind showing?" he said.

He added: "I say that when a girl walks about like that, it is a patriotic duty to sexually harass her and a national duty to rape her."

Mr Wahsh said that women who wore revealing clothing were "inviting men to harass them", and said "protecting morals is more important than protecting borders".

The prosecutor brought charges against Mr Wahsh after a public outcry.

The National Council for Women's Rights condemned the remarks, saying they were a "flagrant call" for rape, in violation of "everything in the Egyptian constitution".

The council has now filed a complaint about the statement to the Supreme Council for Media Regulation about the broadcast which aired on 19 October.

Mr Wahsh has previously called the Holocaust "imaginary" and declared himself a proud anti-Semite.

"If I see any Israeli, I will kill him," he said during a separate TV panel show.

In October last year, Mr Wahsh was involved in a TV studio brawl with a cleric, after the cleric suggested women should not necessarily have to wear a headscarf.

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger #fundie

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger #fundie bbc.com

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a letter which blames clerical sex abuse on the "all-out sexual freedom" of the 1960s.

He said that cultural and historical change had led to a "dissolution" of morality in Catholicism.

The sexual revolution in the 1960s had led to homosexuality and paedophilia in Catholic establishments, he claimed.

The letter sparked fierce criticism from theologians who claim it is "deeply flawed".

Vatican expert Joshua McElwee said in the National Catholic Reporter: "It does not address structural issues that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict's own contested 24-year role as head of the Vatican's powerful doctrinal office."

Some allegations of child sex abuse by priests that have emerged date back to decades before the 1960s, the decade that Pope Benedict claims sparked the abuse crisis.

Julie Rubio, a Catholic theologian, said in a tweet that the letter was "profoundly troubling".

[..]

Published in the German Catholic magazine Klerusblatt, the 5,500-word letter is divided into three parts.

The first part presents the "wider social context of the question", lamenting the 1960s as a time when "previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely".

He blames sexual films, images of nudity and "the clothing of that time" leading to "mental collapse" and "violence".

At the time of the sexual revolution, "Catholic moral theology suffered a collapse that rendered the Church defenceless against these changes in society", he said.

The sexual revolution led to paedophilia being "diagnosed as allowed and appropriate".

Next, the letter examines how this period affected the "dissolution of the Christian concept of morality", particularly in Catholic educational institutions.

In some cases, bishops "sought to bring about a kind of new, modern" Catholicism and the sexual revolution led to "homosexual cliques" in seminaries.

[..]

"Why did paedophilia reach such proportions?" he questions. "Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God."

He says "the death of God in a society" means "the end of freedom" and the solution is to "live by God and unto Him".

Andrew Dymock, Oskar Koczorowski and other Sonnenkrieg Division members #racist

Andrew Dymock, Oskar Koczorowski and other Sonnenkrieg Division members #racist bbc.com

A university student from Bath and a London teenager are among those involved with a UK version of a violent American neo-Nazi group linked to five murders, a BBC investigation has found.

A propaganda image placed online by the British group suggests Prince Harry is a "race traitor" and should be shot.

Private messages between members show the leader stating that police officers should be raped and killed.

Evidence suggests the leader is Andrew Dymock, 21. He denies wrongdoing.

The BBC has seen evidence he set up the new British group known as the Sonnenkrieg Division.

Mr Dymock, who is originally from Bath and whose father is a dentistry professor, has been studying at university in Wales.

A key propagandist - responsible for designing extremist material - is said to be Oskar Koczorowski from west London, who is only 17 years old.

He did not respond to a request for comment.

[...]

The chat logs include senior members of the Atomwaffen Division, a nihilistic American organisation that encourages terrorism and says civilisation needs to be smashed in order to build a national socialist state.

The group promotes a dystopian ideology it calls "universal order" which lionises Adolf Hitler, the murderous cult leader Charles Manson, and the veteran neo-Nazi ideologue James Mason, who provides regular diatribes for a website run by Atomwaffen members.

[...]

Messages from the gaming server include correspondence about the creation of the Sonnenkrieg Division.

"Blitzy" described Sonnenkrieg as "full on Universal Order" and "atomwaffen with less guns".

He also discussed his plans to travel to the US to meet Atomwaffen members in person.

In one exchange, he stated "kill all police officers" and said they should be "raped to death".

The BBC has obtained evidence that "Blitzy" is Mr Dymock, and that he and Mr Koczorowski, who uses a separate pseudonym, both placed Sonnenkrieg propaganda into the chats.

Violent images posted by the group on social media state "fill your heart with hate" and glorify the Norwegian terrorist and mass murderer Anders Breivik.

One image suggests that Prince Harry should be shot for marrying someone of mixed race and exclaims "see ya later race traitor".

A further image, showing a female hanging from a noose, states that white women who date non-white men should be killed.

Mr Koczorowski posted images of himself wearing an Atomwaffen top near Parliament and a video of a British flag being burnt.

It is thought Sonnenkrieg has no more than 10-15 members in the UK and some European countries.

[...]

Other private messages show some neo-Nazis claiming they have encouraged young women to engage in acts of self-harm along with pictures of the mutilation and criticism of the women concerned.

It is understood that Mr Dymock has been questioned by police over alleged sexual offences against a teenage girl.

Images, allegedly shared by Mr Dymock with his associates and later placed online, show a swastika and runic symbols cut into a girl's naked body and - in another image - Mr Dymock appears to brandish a book by James Mason in the air as she lies on the floor.

The bed seen in the images is consistent with the background in a picture posted by "Blitzy" and another of Mr Dymock himself.

It is understood that both Mr Dymock and Mr Koczorowski were previously involved with the neo-Nazi group System Resistance Network, which can be linked to acts of racist vandalism in as many as 10 UK cities.

The BBC has been told that Mr Koczorowski was a pre-ban member of National Action, which became the first extreme-right organisation to be outlawed in the UK since the war when it was proscribed under terrorism legislation in December 2016.

Josef Stalin #fundie

Josef Stalin #fundie bbc.com

[NSFW: Gross subject matter]

Stalin 'used secret laboratory to analyse Mao's excrement'
by Steven Rosenburg

[...]

It is former Soviet agent Igor Atamanenko who claims to have uncovered this unusual project, while doing research in the archives of the Russian secret services.

"In those days the Soviets didn't have the kind of listening devices which secret services do today," he told the paper.

"That's why our specialists came up with the most extravagant ways of extracting information about a person."

Mr Atamanenko says it was Stalin's henchman Lavrenti Beria who was put in charge of the secret laboratory.

When I contacted Mr Atamanenko, he told me what the Soviet scientists had been looking for in fæces.

"For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan," he explained, "they concluded that person was calm and approachable. But a lack of potassium in poo was seen as a sign of a nervous disposition and someone with insomnia."

Mr Atamanenko claims that in December 1949, Soviet spies used this system to evaluate the Chinese leader Mao Zedong who was on a visit to Moscow. They had allegedly installed special toilets for Mao, which were connected not to sewers, but to secret boxes.

For 10 days Mao was plied with food and drink and his waste products whisked off for analysis. Once Mao's stools had been scrutinised and studied, Stalin reportedly poo poo-ed the idea of signing an agreement with him.

[...]

Extract from The Coldest Winter by journalist and historian David Halberstam:

When Mao first arrived in Moscow, he announced that China looked forward to a partnership with Russia, but he emphasised as well that he wanted to be treated as an equal.

Instead he was being taught a lesson each day. He had become, in Ulam's words, ''as much captive as guest".

As such, he shouted at the walls, convinced that Stalin had bugged the house: "I am here to do more than eat and shit."

Transroots Toronto, Pride Toronto #fundie

Transroots Toronto, Pride Toronto #fundie bbc.com

A Canadian transgender job fair organised by a former Kenyan refugee has been criticised for inviting military recruiters.

Biko Beauttah said she asked the army to the event to honour her grandfather, who was a Kenyan major general.

But other transgender-rights activists say having the military there is an "affront" to their community.

Despite the criticism, Ms Beauttah said the fair will go ahead in Toronto on Trans Remembrance Day on Monday.

Ms Beauttah moved to Canada in 2006 from Kenya, where she said transgender people face discrimination and violence.

She said she spent her first three days in Canada in immigration detention, followed by six months in a refugee shelter.

But finding work in Canada has proved difficult because of transphobia, she says.

Currently, she is an activist and board member at Pride Toronto.

"I decided to throw myself a job fair and my community will benefit well," she told the BBC.

"All you need is an idea and you can literally change the world."

The fair will feature 15 employers, including bookstore chain Indigo and Toronto-Dominion Bank.

The Canadian Armed Forces is sending two personnel to find possible transgender recruits.

The presence of the military has irked some members of the transgender community.

Transroots Toronto, a group for transgender people of colour, says the job fair is a "racist act".

"Given the ongoing history of military and police violence against trans people, and of police indifference to anti-trans violence generally, having military or police present at an event specifically for TPOC (Trans People of Color) is an inherently violent act," Transroots Toronto wrote on Facebook.

The group also criticised Ms Beauttah for hosting the event on Trans Remembrance Day, which it said was a "day of mourning".

It is organising a protest outside the job fair.

But Ms Beauttah remains undeterred.

"All those systemic things they complain about, they affect me too," she said.

Toronto is no stranger to debates over police and military involvement at LGBT events.

Earlier this year, Pride Toronto voted in favour of banning uniformed police officers from the annual parade after Black Lives Matter activists said the police presence made LGBT people of colour feel unsafe.

Myanmar government #fundie

Myanmar government #fundie bbc.com

The government's purpose in bringing us was to balance the overwhelmingly negative narrative coming from the Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh, who have almost all spoken of a deliberate campaign of destruction by the Myanmar military and Rakhine mobs, and appalling human rights abuses.

But right away these efforts faltered.

We were first taken to a small school in Maungdaw, now crowded with displaced Hindu families. They all had the same story to tell of Muslims attacking, of fleeing in fear. Oddly, Hindus who have fled to Bangladesh all say they were attacked by local Rakhine Buddhists, because they resemble Rohingyas.

In the school we were accompanied by armed police and officials. Could they speak freely? One man started to tell me how soldiers had been firing at his village, and he was quickly corrected by a neighbour.

A woman in an orange, lacy blouse and distinctive grey and mauve longyi was especially animated about the abuses by Muslims.

We were then taken to a Buddhist temple, where a monk described Muslims burning down their own homes, nearby. We were given photographs catching them in the act. They looked strange.

Men in white haji caps posed as they set light to the palm-thatch roof. Women wearing what appeared to be lacy tablecloths on their heads melodramatically waved swords and machetes. Later I found that one of the women was in fact the animated Hindu woman from the school, and I saw that one of the men had also been present in among the displaced Hindu.

They had faked the photos to make it look as though Muslims were doing the burning.

[...]

We spotted black smoke billowing out of some trees, over the rice fields. It was another village going up, right by the road. And the fires had only just started. We all shouted at our police escort to stop the van. When they did, we just ran, leaving our bewildered government minder behind. The police came with us, but then declared it was unsafe to enter the village. So we went ahead of them.

The sound of burning and crackling was everywhere. Women's clothing, clearly Muslim, was strewn on the muddy path. And there were muscular young men, holding swords and machetes, standing on the path, baffled by the sight of 18 sweaty journalists rushing towards them. They tried to avoid being filmed, and two of them dashed further into the village, bringing out the last of their group and making a hasty exit.

They said they were Rakhine Buddhists. One of my colleagues managed a quick conversation with one of them, who admitted they had set the houses on fire, with the help of the police.

As we walked in, we could see the roof of the madrassa has just been set alight. School texts with Arabic script had been thrown outside. An empty plastic jug, reeking of petrol, had been left on the path.

The village was called Gawdu Thar Ya. It was a Muslim village. There was no sign of the inhabitants. The Rakhine men who had torched the village walked out, past our police escort, some carrying household items they had looted.

The burning took place close to a number of large police barracks. No-one did anything to stop it.

David King #fundie

David King #fundie bbc.com

Scientists have, for the first time, successfully freed embryos of a piece of faulty DNA that causes deadly heart disease to run in families.

It potentially opens the door to preventing 10,000 disorders that are passed down the generations.

The US and South Korean team allowed the embryos to develop for five days before stopping the experiment.

The study hints at the future of medicine, but also provokes deep questions about what is morally right.

Science is going through a golden age in editing DNA thanks to a new technology called Crispr, named breakthrough of the year in just 2015.

Its applications in medicine are vast and include the idea of wiping out genetic faults that cause diseases from cystic fibrosis to breast cancer.

[...]

Darren Griffin, a professor of genetics at the University of Kent, said: "Perhaps the biggest question, and probably the one that will be debated the most, is whether we should be physically altering the genes of an IVF embryo at all.

"This is not a straightforward question... equally, the debate on how morally acceptable it is not to act when we have the technology to prevent these life-threatening diseases must also come into play."

The study has already been condemned by Dr David King, from the campaign group Human Genetics Alert, which described the research as "irresponsible" and a "race for first genetically modified baby".

Supreme Court of India #fundie

Supreme Court of India #fundie bbc.com

A 10-year-old girl who is pregnant and has been refused an abortion is at the centre of a media storm in India. The BBC's Geeta Pandey travelled to the northern city of Chandigarh to piece together her story.

[...]

But on 28 July, India's Supreme Court rejected a petition - filed on her behalf - to allow her to abort, on the grounds that at 32 weeks, she is too far into her pregnancy. A doctors' panel had advised the court that a termination at this stage would be "too risky" for the girl, and that the foetus was "doing well".

The court order was a huge disappointment for the girl's family.

[...]

Medical tests so far show that her health is "good" though she suffers from "mild anaemia".

But there are other concerns. The girl was born with a hole in her heart, which was plugged in 2013. Although doctors say it's unlikely to interfere with her pregnancy, the fact remains that she is way too young to give birth.

Every year, 45,000 adult women die during childbirth in India. The risk of pregnant girls under the age of 15 years dying is two-and-a-half times higher than that for women above 20. Doctors say the risk is even higher for someone who is only 10.

It's a concern the Supreme Court took on board, but the judges still ruled that the pregnancy could continue.

various saudis #fundie

various saudis #fundie bbc.com

Saudi Arabia investigates video of woman in miniskirt

17 July 2017

The authorities in Saudi Arabia are investigating a young woman who posted a video of herself wearing a miniskirt and crop-top in public.

The woman, a model called "Khulood", shared the clip of her walking around a historic fort in Ushayqir.

The footage sparked a heated debate on social media, with some calling for her arrest for breaking the conservative Muslim country's strict dress code.

Other Saudis came to the woman's defence, praising her "bravery".

Women in Saudi Arabia must wear loose-fitting, full-length robes known as "abayas" in public, as well as a headscarf if they are Muslim. They are also banned from driving and are separated from unrelated men.

In the video initially shared on Snapchat over the weekend, Khulood is seen walking along an empty street in a fort at Ushayqir Heritage Village, about 155km (96 miles) north of the capital Riyadh, in Najd province.

Najd is one of the most conservative regions in Saudi Arabia. It was where the founder of Wahhabism - the austere form of Sunni Islam that is practised by the Saudi royal family and religious establishment - was born in the late 18th Century.

The video was quickly picked up by Saudis on Twitter, where opinion was divided between those who believe Khulood should be punished and others who insisted she should be allowed to wear what she wanted.

Journalist Khaled Zidan wrote: "The return of the Haia [religious police] here is a must."

Another user argued: "We should respect the laws of the country. In France, the niqab [face-covering veil] is banned and women are fined if they wear it. In Saudi Arabia, wearing abayas and modest clothing is part of the kingdom's laws."

The writer and philosopher, Wael al-Gassim, said he was "shocked to see those angry, scary tweets".

"I thought she had bombed or killed somebody. The story turned out to be about her skirt, which they did not like. I am wondering how Vision 2030 can succeed if she is arrested," he added, referring to the reform programme unveiled last year by Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed 31-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Media captionIn April, Saudi women's rights campaigners filmed themselves walking silently in protest against driving restrictions

Some defended Khulood by noting that US President Donald Trump's wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, had chosen not to wear abayas or headscarves during a visit to Saudi Arabia in May.

Fatima al-Issa wrote: "If she was a foreigner, they would sing about the beauty of her waist and the enchantment of her eyes... But because she is Saudi they are calling for her arrest."

On Monday, the Okaz newspaper reported that officials in Ushayqir had called on the provincial governor and police to take action against the woman.

The religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, meanwhile wrote on Twitter that it had been made aware of the video and was in contact with the relevant authorities.

Catholic Church #fundie

Catholic Church #fundie bbc.com

Bread used to celebrate the Eucharist during Roman Catholic Mass must not be gluten-free - although it may be made from genetically modified organisms, the Vatican has ruled.

In a letter to bishops, Cardinal Robert Sarah said the bread can be low-gluten.

But he said there must be enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives.

The new rules are needed because the bread is now sold in supermarkets and on the internet, the cardinal said.

Roman Catholics believe bread and wine served at the Eucharist are converted into the body and blood of Christ through a process known as transubstantiation.

The wine used must also be "natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances", said Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The ruling was issued at the request of Pope Francis, the letter said.

There are about 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world.

Adel Salman, Islamic Council of Victoria #fundie

Adel Salman, Islamic Council of Victoria #fundie bbc.com

A proposal by an Australian Islamic group to allow "safe spaces" for young Muslims to discuss "inflammatory" issues has sparked a row.

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) said such forums enabled young people's opinions to be "respectfully and intelligently debated and challenged".

But State Premier Daniel Andrews said he was "very troubled" by the idea of a space where people "could be radical".

Victoria was rocked by a suspected terror attack earlier this week.

[...]

The ICV, which says it represents some 200,000 Muslims in Victoria, says the community is suffering mental health and other problems because of the widespread suspicion it faces.

It recommends, to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion, funding a number of community-led initiatives - saying financial resources at the moment are concentrated mainly on national efforts to counter violent extremism.

ICV spokesman Adel Salman said they did not consider the "safe space" proposal controversial, because it is a practice that is already used to help young people in countries around the world.

"This is about good practice because the youth require an avenue to express their views in a safe environment... where they feel their views are valued, where they can be respectfully challenged and counter views presented," he said.

He said such spaces would be "conducted with experts who are familiar with the methodology, and understand the way the conversation can be guided".

And he criticised headlines which called the proposal "rage space" and "hate space", saying the media had misconstrued what they were asking for.

But Premier Andrews ruled out any possibility of funding such an initiative.

"I am very troubled by the suggestion that we might have a space where people could be radical as part of a de-radicalisation programme. That makes no sense to me whatsoever".

The Malaysian Government #fundie

The Malaysian Government #fundie bbc.com

A competition launched on the health ministry's website offers up to $1,000 (£780) for the best videos tackling "gender confusion".

Responding to an outcry from LGBT activists, the health ministry said that its aim was to promote creativity, not to discriminate.

The contest is for 13- to 24-year-olds.

Their entries should explore prevention and control; issues and consequences; and how to get help, said the ministry's website.

In a statement, Deputy Director-General of Health Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said: "This creative video competition is purely to tap knowledge and creativity of adolescents on sexual and reproductive health related matters and does not intend to create discrimination to any particular group."

The competition, which closes at the end of August, has three main categories: gender confusion, sex, and sex and the internet.

The guidelines cited gay and lesbian people, transgender people and tomboys as examples of people who suffered from "gender confusion".

"The very fact that they lump LGBT people under a category called 'gender confusion' shows that the authorities are very much confused themselves," activist Pang Khee Teik told AFP news agency.

"It is mind-blowing that a government agency wants the whole country to be sucked into its confluence of confusion," he said.

"I was shocked. This is encouraging discrimination, hatred and even violence towards the minorities," transgender activist Nisha Ayub told Reuters.

Homosexual activity is illegal in Malaysia under both secular and religious laws.

It is punishable by a prison sentence or corporal punishment.

In March, the release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast was postponed in the country, because it contained a "gay moment".

Despite demands from the Malaysian censorship board, Disney refused to remove the scene, featuring LeFou, their first openly gay character.

The Malaysian board eventually conceded and it was shown uncut.

A prominent Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was jailed for sodomy in 2014, after a court overturned his earlier acquittal. In elections in 2013, he led a three-party alliance which posed the strongest-ever challenge to the coalition which has governed Malaysia for more than half a century.

Rizieq Shihab, Islamic Defenders Front, Indonesia #fundie

Rizieq Shihab, Islamic Defenders Front, Indonesia #fundie bbc.com

Indonesian police have named a controversial hardline Muslim preacher as a suspect in a pornography case.

Rizieq Shihab is accused of exchanging graphic messages and nude pictures in text conversations with a woman.

The cleric, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, has denied the accusations.

Mr Rizieq heads the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which led mass protests against Jakarta's former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama who was jailed for blasphemy last month.

Known for his fiery rhetoric, Mr Rizieq has been jailed twice for violence and disrupting public order.

In this latest case, Mr Rizieq is accused of violating Indonesia's strict anti-pornography laws by transmitting pornography to activist Firza Husein, who has also been named as a suspect.

Screenshots of what appeared to be text and picture messages between the two of them began circulating online earlier this year.

[...]

Mr Rizieq's lawyer has also said the allegations were fabricated by supporters of Mr Purnama, also known as Ahok.

Mr Rizieq is known to be a vocal opponent of Mr Purnama.

He and the FPI campaigned for months last year against Mr Purnama, a Christian and ethnic Chinese, claiming that he could not lead Muslims.

When Mr Purnama addressed these claims in a speech while campaigning for Jakarta's mayoral election, he was accused of insulting Islam, prompting even larger protests.

He was subsequently tried and found guilty of blasphemy.

Lee James, Stephen Norley #fundie

Lee James, Stephen Norley #fundie bbc.com

A man has been jailed for life after admitting he murdered his disabled neighbour who had been wrongly branded a paedophile.

Lee James, 24, killed Bijan Ebrahimi and set fire to his body in the Brislington area of Bristol in July.

Mr Justice Simon ordered that James must serve a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Bristol Crown Court heard Mr Ebrahimi, who was an Iranian national and in his 40s, died from head injuries.

Stephen Norley, 25, who had admitted assisting an offender, was given a four-year jail term.

He helped James drag Mr Ebrahimi's body from the scene of the attack and obtained white spirit to burn the body. His remains were found 100m from his maisonette in Capgrave Crescent.

Mr Ebrahimi was murdered on 14 July, three days after he was arrested by police following complaints that he had been taking pictures of children near his home.

Officers examined his camera, videos and computer but found nothing suspicious and he was released without charge.

The night before the killing Mr Ebrahimi recorded video of James holding a beer can and shouting at him after realising he was being filmed. Jurors were shown the video.

In sentencing the pair, who both lived near the victim, the judge described the murder as "deeply shocking".

He said it was "a vigilante crime" and "an act of murderous injustice", adding that claims that Mr Ebrahimi was a paedophile were baseless.

He said: "Lee James was shouting at Mr Ebrahimi, telling him in abusive terms to stop taking pictures, to give him the camera, to delete the photographs.

"Mr James himself told one of the witnesses that Mr Ebrahimi had taken pictures of him with a can of beer in his hand.

"Mr Powell remembers Mr James saying 'I am going to burn his house down'.

"At one point Mr James entered Mr Ebrahimi's home uninvited and remonstrated with him and threatened him."

The court heard that during the fatal attack James repeatedly stamped on Mr Ebrahimi's head, shouting "have some of that".

Mr Langdon said that after murdering Mr Ebrahimi and burning his body, James told his girlfriend: "We sorted him out. We took care of things."

James, also of Capgrave Crescent, told police he had kicked Mr Ebrahimi "like a football... I had so much anger in me".

The court heard Mr Ebrahimi, who moved to the UK in 2001, made several calls to police in the 48 hours before his murder, but "those calls were not responded to".

Irish officials and unidentified man #fundie

Irish officials and unidentified man #fundie bbc.com

Police in the Republic of Ireland have launched an investigation after a viewer claimed comments made by Stephen Fry on a TV show were blasphemous.

Officers are understood to be examining whether the British comedian committed a criminal offence under the Defamation Act when he appeared on RTE in 2015.

Fry had asked why he should "respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world.... full of injustice".

He later said he was not "offensive towards any particular religion".
According to a report in the Irish Independent newspaper, no publicised cases of blasphemy have been brought before the courts since the law was introduced in 2009 and a source said it was "highly unlikely" that a prosecution against Fry would take place.

25,000 euros fine

Appearing on The Meaning of Life, hosted by Gay Byrne, in February 2015, Fry had been asked what he might say to God at the gates of heaven.
Fry said: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It's not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

He went on to say that Greek gods "didn't present themselves as being all seeing, all wise, all beneficent", adding "the god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish".

The Irish Independent reported a member of the public made a complaint to police in Ennis in the same month the programme was broadcast. He was recently contacted by a detective to say they were looking into his complaint.

The viewer was not said to be offended himself but believed Fry's comments qualified as blasphemy under the law, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 25,000 euros (£22,000).

The law prohibits people from publishing or uttering "matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion".

The government said at the time it was needed because the republic's 1937 constitution only gives Christians legal protection of their beliefs.

'Absolutely astonished'

Fry's representatives have been contacted for a comment.

Speaking to the BBC in 2015, Fry said he had been "absolutely astonished" by some of the reaction on social media to what he had said on the show.

He said: "I don't think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn't intend, and in fact I know I didn't say anything offensive towards any particular religion."

A police spokeswoman told the BBC: "We are not commenting on an ongoing investigation."

Nawaz Sharif, Abdul Wali Khan University students #fundie

Nawaz Sharif, Abdul Wali Khan University students #fundie bbc.com

A university student in Pakistan accused of blasphemy against Islam has been killed by a mob of fellow students on campus, police say.

Many students have been arrested after the brutal attack in the northern city of Mardan, and the campus has been closed.

Reports suggest that two young men were accused of posting offensive content on Facebook. One survived with injuries.

[...]

The murdered student has been identified as Mashal Khan, who studied journalism. Some reports say he was shot, while others say he was beaten to death with planks.

"He was badly tortured after being shot at a close range... He was beaten with sticks, bricks and hands," senior police official Niaz Saeed told the AFP news agency.

Hundreds of people were involved, the officer said. Graphic video footage of the incident has emerged online.

Police had not been investigating the two accused men, nor had any case been filed against them, and the mob appeared to have acted on rumours, the Dawn newspaper reports.

Last month Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced his support for a wide-ranging crackdown on blasphemous content on social media.

In a statement on his party's official Twitter account, he described blasphemy as an "unpardonable offence".

An official at Abdul Wali Khan University who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mr Khan was disliked by other students for his liberal and secular views.

At least 65 people have been murdered in Pakistan after being accused of blasphemy since 1990, a recent think tank report said.

Mnaouar Ouertani #fundie

Mnaouar Ouertani #fundie bbc.com

A nightclub in Tunisia has been shut down after footage emerged of a DJ playing a dance remix of the Muslim call to prayer, officials say.

Video shared on Sunday from the Orbit Festival in the north-eastern town of Nabeul sparked outrage on social media sites.

The governor of Nabeul, Mnaouar Ouertani, said that the club would "remain closed" until further notice.

An investigation has begun into the incident.

The footage shows clubbers at a party on Friday dancing to music played by two European DJs near the popular seaside resort of Hammamet.

The music included a dance version of the call to prayer, the religious act that Muslims perform five times a day.

"After confirming the facts, we decided to close this nightclub," Mr Ouertani said.

He said that the club's manager had been detained "for violation against good morals and public outrage against modesty," adding that an investigation was under way.

"We will not allow attacks against religious feelings and the sacred," Mr Ouertani said.

James Harris Jackson #racist

James Harris Jackson #racist bbc.com

A white US Army veteran with a hatred for black people travelled to New York City and confronted a black man before killing him with a sword, police say.

James Harris Jackson, 28, is said to have taken a bus from Baltimore to New York with the intention of targeting black men.

When he came across Timothy Caughman, 66, he allegedly stabbed him in the chest and back.

Mr Caughman was pronounced dead in hospital.

His alleged assailant walked into a Times Square police station about 24 hours later and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He is said to have told officers that he had harboured feelings of hatred towards black men for at least 10 years.

The ex-serviceman is believed to have travelled to New York on 17 March, and booked himself into a Manhattan hotel.

Assistant Chief of Police William Aubry said he had walked the streets in a long coat, which hid the 26in (66cm) sword, and came across Mr Caughman while the victim was collecting bottles for recycling from rubbish bins.

"The reason he picked New York is because it's the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement," Mr Aubry said.

Investigators said they believed the suspect was considering other attacks, but surrendered after noticing his photo in media reports. He had been captured on CCTV footage near the crime scene.

[...]

James Harris Jackson served in the US Army from March 2009 to August 2012 and worked as a military intelligence analyst, the army said. He was deployed in Afghanistan from December 2010 to November 2011.

Conan Zamolo #sexist

Conan Zamolo #sexist bbc.com

A former guard at an Australian youth detention centre has admitted filming himself asking teenage inmates for oral sex.

Conan Zamolo's testimony came during a royal commission inquiry into youth detention in the Northern Territory.

The commission was launched last year after photos showing inmates being strip-searched and placed in a spit hood drew widespread condemnation.

Mr Zamolo said his requests for oral sex were "a joke".

"I was actually just going to say goodnight to them because I was leaving shift," Mr Zamolo said on Monday.

"I knew they'd take it as a joke, or I just assumed they would take it as a joke."

Mr Zamolo also admitted to urging another inmate to eat faeces, and to filming a boy urinating.

"At the time I didn't think it was inappropriate, but now I see how inappropriate it is," he said.

He claimed he had a good relationship with the detainees.

The incidents happened at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, where Mr Zamolo worked from 2012 to 2014.

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory follows widespread condemnation of the treatment of detainees at Don Dale in 2014 and 2015.

In 2015, Amnesty International described the regime at the centre as "institutionalised brutality", with teenagers being held in solitary confinement with no access to light or water for long periods.

Grotius College students #fundie

Grotius College students #fundie bbc.com

Police in the Netherlands have stepped up security at a school after staff and students received threats following the suicide of a 15-year-old boy, allegedly due to bullying.

Tharukshan Selvam, from Sri Lanka, left a note saying he was being harassed by other students at Grotius College, in the city of Heerlen, and online.

His family says the school was alerted but did not act.

The death will be investigated by school and city officials.

He took his own life on Sunday, on the last day of the school holiday. His family said he was the victim of racial abuse by other students and was being harassed by anonymous social media accounts, believed to be run by schoolmates.

They also say pupils forced him to spend money on them, only to not pay him back as promised.

The posts included unwanted photos of him and messages such as "Tharukshan die, you're not fit to live. We don't want you. Go jump in front of a train, commit suicide", his sister Saranya said on Facebook.

The family learned of the bullying after his first suicide attempt, in December, according to his sister. He then told police how he was being harassed and that he had tried to talk to his teacher about it, she added.

His family tried to alert the school but they failed to act, the sister said. The student refused to open up at home, she added, because he "didn't want to hurt his family".

"Tharukshan was not the first pupil to go through this at Grotius College. There were many other students who were bullied like this, yet the school made very little effort to prevent such issues," she said.

Robin Camp #sexist

Robin Camp #sexist bbc.com

A Canadian judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she could not "keep your knees together" is resigning.

Alberta Federal Court Justice Robin Camp's decision came after a scathing Canadian Judicial Council review called for his removal.

The review concluded he acted in a manner that seriously undermined public confidence in the judiciary.

The federal justice minister has accepted his resignation.

Mr Camp's comments made during a 2014 rape trial sparked outrage and drew sharp criticism from sexual assault victims and their advocates.

The judge had tried to hold on to his position and told the Council he had undergone education and had apologised for his comments.

The Council, which oversees the judiciary, found that Mr Camp's actions during the trial were "so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the Judge incapable of executing the judicial office".

It also found he spoke to the complainant in a manner "that was at times condescending, humiliating and disrespectful".

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said on Thursday she is confident Mr Camp received due process in his disciplinary review and accepts his decision to step down as of 10 March.

"Sexual assault and gender-based violence is in no form acceptable and we will continue to stand up for victims," she said.

In the 2014 case, he asked a 19-year-old woman: "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

He also said, "pain and sex sometimes go together" and had referred to the complainant as "the accused," court records show.

Juan Rocha #fundie

Juan Rocha #fundie bbc.com

A young woman in an isolated part of Nicaragua has died a week after being tied up and allegedly thrown on a fire in an exorcism ritual.

Family members told local media that Vilma Trujillo had been attacked by four people led by a man who said he was an evangelical pastor.

Juan Rocha denied burning Mrs Trujillo, saying evil spirits had suspended her above the fire and then dropped her.

The woman, 25, was found by relatives hours later with severe burns.

The police have arrested Mr Rocha and a number of other people allegedly involved in the attack.

The victim's husband, Reynaldo Peralta Rodriguez, said the mother-of-two was taken inside a church last week when members thought she was possessed after allegedly trying to attack people with a machete, the Associated Press reports.

"It's unforgiveable what they did to us," he was quoted as saying.

"They killed my wife, the mother of my two little ones. Now what am I going to tell them?"

Pablo Cuevas, a spokesman for Nicaragua's Human Rights Commission, called on the government for firmer control over religious sects in the country.

"It is incredible that these things can happen today, there has to be a review by the authorities into all the different denominations and religions," he said. "We can't have things like this happening."

Women's Rights groups said the case was an example of fanaticism and misogyny.

Juanita Jimenez of the Autonomous Women's Movement (MAM) told local media that it was also the product of a lack of state presence in isolated parts of the country and an act of barbarity.

"Apart from the religious aspect, nothing justifies an act that is as cruel as burning a woman, putting her on a fire with the help of other people who you have used religion to manipulate," the activist said.

Tanveer Ahmed, Khadim Rizvi, Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah #fundie

Tanveer Ahmed, Khadim Rizvi, Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah #fundie bbc.com

When Tanveer Ahmed was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in jail for murder last August, Judge Lady Rae said he had committed a "brutal, barbaric and horrific crime".

Ahmed stabbed to death Glasgow shopkeeper Asad Shah - who belonged to the persecuted Ahmadi sect - because he believed he was committing blasphemy by uploading online videos in which he claimed to be a prophet.

But in Pakistan, Ahmed is developing a growing number of supporters who see him as a "defender of Islam" for having killed someone they believed to be disrespecting the Prophet Muhammad.

On Monday evening, about 400 gathered outside his family's home in the city of Mirpur, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir for a rally in his honour. The crowd chanted slogans praising Ahmed as "brave" and "courageous".

One man attending said: "Because of what he did, the whole of Pakistan knows who he is."

Another speaker told supporters Ahmed could help mediate their prayers.

"You should close your eyes, raise your hand towards the sky and pray, making Ghazi [warrior] Tanveer your representative," he said.

The event was organised by the anti-blasphemy religious lobby group Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah (Here I am present, o Prophet of Allah).

The same group has championed another killer - Mumtaz Qadri - who in 2011 shot dead a high profile Pakistani politician for trying to reform the country's blasphemy laws.

Blasphemy is an emotive issue in Pakistan, where it is legally punishable by death.

After Qadri was executed last year, tens of thousands of his supporters attended his funeral, and a shrine housing his tomb has been built in Rawalpindi.

Hardline cleric Khadim Rizvi is one of the leading figures in Labaik Ya Rasool Ullah, and is the most prominent supporter of Tanveer Ahmed.

As well as images of Mumtaz Qadri, Rizvi now uses images of Ahmed to promote his rallies and talks.

Ahmed had cited Qadri as his inspiration for killing his victim, and their supporters often compare the two killers.

In a BBC interview Rizvi said support for Ahmed was not as widespread as that for Qadri - but that Ahmed was held in particularly high esteem for having killed someone accused of blasphemy in a non-Muslim country.

[...]

Rizvi, Ahmed and Qadri all come from the Sufi Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, one normally associated with more spiritual interpretations of the religion.

Complete Monster Award

Your life is of no value.

Gaurav #fundie

Gaurav #fundie bbc.com

[Bolding mine]

One of the men I interviewed, Gaurav, had raped a five-year-old girl. I spent three hours filming his interview as he recounted in explicit detail how he had muffled her screams with his big hand.

He was sitting throughout the interview and had a half-smile playing on his lips throughout - his nervousness in the presence of a camera, perhaps. At one point I asked him to tell me how tall she was. He stood up, and with his eerie half-smile indicated a height around his knees.

When I asked him how he could cross the line from imagining what he wanted to do, to actually doing it - given her height, her eyes, her screams - he looked at me as though I was crazy for even asking the question and said: "She was beggar girl. Her life was of no value."

Conatel (Venezuela) #conspiracy

Conatel (Venezuela) #conspiracy bbc.com

Venezuelan authorities have ordered that US broadcaster CNN's Spanish-language channel be taken off air, accusing it of spreading propaganda.

The accusation relates to a report on the channel on alleged passport fraud at the Venezuelan embassy in Iraq.

Venezuela's National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) ordered "the immediate suspension of broadcasts".

Conatel accused the channel of attempting to "undermine the peace and the democratic stability" of Venezuela.

It did not specifically mention the passport story, but government officials had earlier in the day disputed it at a press conference.

The story was the product of a year-long investigation into allegations that Venezuelan passports and visas were being sold to people in Iraq, including some with terrorism links.

The report alleged that Venezuelan Vice-President Tareck El Aissami was directly linked to the granting of 173 passports, including to members of the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which is designated a terrorist group by the US and other Western powers.

According to Venezuelan media, Conatel urged publishers and journalists to "provide timely and truthful information to our people, adjusted to the values of Venezuelan society".

Pegida #fundie

Pegida #fundie bbc.com

Right wing protesters in the German city of Dresden have taken to the streets against an anti-war sculpture consisting of three passenger buses placed vertically in the air.

The upturned vehicles are meant to resemble a sniper barricade in the Syrian city of Aleppo.

They are being put into place ahead of the annual memorial of the allied bombing of Dresden in World War Two.

Dresden mayor Dirk Hilbert was booed as he formally inaugurated the sculpture.

Police are investigating anonymous death threats against supporters of the scheme, including Mr Hilbert who has been allocated a police guard.

The inspiration for the imposing monument came from barricades used by rebels in besieged eastern Aleppo, made out of upturned buses which shielded people against the snipers of President Bashar al-Assad.

Thirty-two-year-old Syrian-German artist Manaf Halbouni told the DPA news agency that the monument is intended to represent "peace, freedom and humanity".

"There is no other political message," he said. "It's a peace memorial, a modern Statue of Liberty."

He said the point of the sculpture was to inspire hope - in Dresden and Aleppo - while making the point that "life goes on, despite all the destruction".

But Dresden's far-right anti-Islamic Pegida movement has described the project as idiotic, an abuse of artistic freedom and an attack on their identity.

Protesters from the group jeered and booed Mayor Hilbert, branding him a "traitor" while yelling "shame, shame" during the ceremony. They called for the sculpture to be melted down into scrap metal.

Turkish nationalists, Melih Gokcek #fundie

Turkish nationalists, Melih Gokcek #fundie bbc.com

A fashion designer has been charged with inciting hatred on social media and imprisoned - a day after he came under attack at Istanbul's main airport.

Barbaros Sansal is an outspoken critic of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party.

On New Year's Eve, he posted a video on his Twitter account angrily denouncing those out celebrating "while there is so much filth, vileness and poverty" in the country.

He also spoke of "scores of journalists" jailed in Turkey as well as abused children, corruption and bribery.

[...]

As he was leaving the plane in Istanbul, he was attacked by passengers on the same Turkish Airlines flight along with baggage handlers shouting "traitor!"

Mr Sansal was rushed away from the scene by what are believed to have been plainclothes policemen, who had come to arrest him as he landed.

Video footage of the attack on Mr Sansal was shared thousands of times on social media.

How such an attack took place at an international airport has prompted concerns about security failure.

There are also questions about whether it was an organised attack.

Local reports suggested that 20 people identified as airport employees were questioned by police.

"We could not resist our national feelings. We shouted. But due to a police cordon we could not do anything," one of them reportedly said. However, other workers acknowledged that the fashion designer was subjected to physical violence.

And it is Barbaros Sansal who has been detained, in one of the biggest prisons in Turkey, where many imprisoned journalists are being held.

He is accused of "inciting hatred among the public" for his outspoken comments.

Some have praised the treatment he was given. Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek posted footage of the incident calling it "the nation's response".

One tweet read: "The man swears at the country and they defend him. Whoever defends him is also a traitor."

"Whoever you are, if you are not happy about being a Turk or living in this country, no-one forces you to stay here. Just go," read another.

Turkey has a poor record on free speech, with at least 81 journalists behind bars, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and more than 130 media outlets have been shut since the failed coup last July.

Benjamin Netanyahu #conspiracy

Benjamin Netanyahu #conspiracy bbc.com

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a UN call to end illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land is "shameful".

He stressed that Israel would not abide by Friday's vote at the 15-member UN Security Council.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said the resolution was a "big blow to Israeli policy".

The document was passed after the US refused to veto it, breaking with long-standing American practice.

Washington has traditionally sheltered Israel from condemnatory resolutions.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution had been withdrawn after Israel has asked US President-elect Donald Trump to intervene, but it was proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

It was adopted by 14 votes to zero, with one abstention.

The issue of Jewish settlements is one of the most contentious between Israel and the Palestinians, who see them as an obstacle to peace.

About 500,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms.

"At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half-a-million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall 'occupied territory'."

Mr Netanyahu said the administration of US President Barack Obama "not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes", and added that he looked forward to working with Mr Trump.

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili #fundie

Yevgeny Dzhugashvili #fundie bbc.com

One of the grandsons of Soviet leader Josef Stalin has been found dead in the Russian capital Moscow, ambulance officials say.

The body of Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, 80, was found close to his home in the city. The cause of death is unclear.

Mr Dzhugashvili was an outspoken defender of his grandfather's legacy, frequently using the courts to do so.

In 2015 he lost a case relating to the 1940 Katyn massacre of Polish prisoners at the European Court of Human Rights.

The court rejected a complaint brought by Mr Dzhugashvili over an article accusing the Soviet leader of being a "bloodthirsty cannibal".

Published in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, the article said Soviet leaders including Stalin were "bound by much blood" by ordering the execution of about 20,000 Polish prisoners of war at Katyn.

Mr Dzhugashvili argued that the article blackened his grandfather's reputation and was defamatory. He took his case to the European court after various courts in Russia threw it out.

Micah Johnson #racist

Micah Johnson #racist bbc.com

Micah Xavier Johnson, who was involved in the killing of five US police officers in Dallas before himself being killed by police, was a US army veteran who had served in Afghanistan.

[...]

During negotiations with police, Johnson said he was upset about the recent police shootings of black people, Police Chief David Brown said.

"The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers," Mr Brown told a news conference.

Johnson's Facebook profile photograph showed him giving a raised fist "black power" salute associated with the Black Panther Party movement, a radical political organisation that emerged during the 1960s in response to police brutality in California.

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy bbc.com

About 500 Venezuelan women in search of food have broken through border controls separating the western state of Tachira from neighbouring Colombia.

The women said their families were going hungry because of severe food shortages in Venezuela.

Hours later, they crossed back into Venezuela carrying basic goods and singing the Venezuelan anthem.

Venezuela is going through an economic crisis and many Venezuelans say they struggle to feed their families.

[...]

Venezuela closed large parts of its border with Colombia in August 2015 to prevent subsidised good from being smuggled from Venezuela into Colombia.

Venezuelans who want to cross into Colombia in states where the border has been closed need a special permit to do so.

But as the scarcity of food gets worse in Venezuela, many have crossed the porous border illegally.

Colombian officials said a similar incident had happened in Puerto Santander, 60km north of Cucuta, in June, when 400 Venezuelans crossed into Colombia to buy essential goods.

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin is due to travel to Cucuta on Wednesday to speak to the local authorities about a possible plan of action, officials said.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blamed the shortages on an "economic war" being waged against his government.

At a military parade to mark independence day on Tuesday, he said that Venezuela's military power had to keep growing to counter the "unconventional war" he was facing.

Nurettin Canikli #conspiracy

Nurettin Canikli #conspiracy bbc.com

Turkey says Pope Francis' description of the WW1 mass killing of Armenians as genocide shows "the mentality of the Crusades".

The pontiff's remarks have "no relation to reality", Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said.

Armenia and many historians say up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed by Ottoman Turkish forces in 1915.

But Turkey disputes the figure and denies the deaths constituted genocide.

It says the deaths were part of a civil conflict triggered by WW1.

The row continues to sour Turkish-Armenian relations, drawing in other countries such as Germany, whose parliament recently declared the killings to be genocide

Pope Francis made the comments on Friday during a visit to he Armenian capital, Yerevan.

"This tragedy, this genocide, has unfortunately marked the start of a sad series of great catastrophes of the last century," he said.

But Mr Canikli hit back late on Saturday, describing the remarks as "unfortunate".

"It is possible to see all the hallmarks or reflections of the mentality of the Crusades in the Pope's activities," he said, quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency, referring to military campaigns in Medieval times promoted by the papacy against Muslims in the Middle East.

Pope Francis also used the phrase last year, prompting Turkey to recall its envoy to the Vatican for 10 months.

Michael Steven Sandford #fundie

Michael Steven Sandford #fundie bbc.com

A man who tried to grab a gun at a Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas at the weekend said he wanted to shoot the candidate, court papers say.

Michael Steven Sandford, 19, who is believed to be British, is expected to appear in a Nevada court shortly.

According to the court papers, he went to a Trump rally on Saturday at the Treasure Island Casino.

He reportedly approached a Las Vegas police officer to say he wanted an autograph from the candidate.

He has a UK driving license and told police he had been in the US for one and a half years, the court papers say.

The detainee reportedly told police he had been planning to try and shoot Mr Trump for about a year but had decided to act now because he finally felt confident enough to do so.

[...]

He told police if he had not tried to kill Mr Trump at this rally he would have tried again at a rally in Phoenix, for which he had already booked tickets, the papers say.

Mathew Emukule #fundie

Mathew Emukule #fundie bbc.com

A Kenyan High Court has dismissed a case challenging the legality of anal tests as proof of homosexuality.

Two men who say Kenyan police forced them to undergo the procedure to prove they had had gay sex launched the case, calling for the tests to be declared unconstitutional.

Judge Mathew Emukule in the coastal city Mombasa, said there were grounds in Kenyan law for the testing.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Marlene Malahoo Forte #fundie

Marlene Malahoo Forte #fundie bbc.com

Jamaica's attorney general has sparked criticism after saying it was "disrespectful" to Jamaican law for the US embassy to fly a rainbow flag following the Orlando shooting.

In response, the US embassy in the capital Kingston asked Marlene Malahoo Forte to explain her legal reasoning.

Forty-nine people died when a gunman opened fire in a gay club in Florida.

Jamaica has laws criminalising gay sex and rights groups have warned LGBT face frequent discrimination.

[...]

In a post that now appears to have been deleted, Ms Malahoo Forte said: "I strongly condemn #OrlandoNightClubShooting but find it disrespectful of Jamaica's laws to have #RainbowFlag flown here. #MyPersonalView."

The US embassy replied: "We're listening. Explain the legal reasoning? It was an attack of terror !!and!! hate, targeting the LGBT community".

She faced a backlash on social media where she was accused of ignorance and bigotry.

Others though defended her right to speak out. "This is her country, not America," said one comment on Facebook.

Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi #fundie

Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi #fundie bbc.com

At least 24 people have been killed and 40 others injured during clashes between police and squatters in the northern Indian town of Mathura.

Clashes broke out on Thursday as police tried to evict several thousand former members of a religious sect who had occupied a public park for two years.

Two senior police officers were among those killed overnight.

[...]

Members of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi (Free India Legal Ideas Revolutionary Protesters) have been occupying Mathura's largest public park Jawahar Bagh for two years.

Reports say the group is headed by Ramvriksha Singh Yadav, but very little is known about him.

Members of the group earlier followed religious guru Baba Jai Gurudev, but since his death in 2012 some had started calling themselves "revolutionaries" and claimed to be followers of Indian independence hero Subhas Chandra Bose.

The group has been making radical demands such as declaring the Indian parliament and the posts of prime minister and president unconstitutional.

They also want the authorities to sell fuel at dirt-cheap prices. In their view 40 litres of petrol or 60 litres of diesel should cost just 1 rupee (about 1.5 cents; one penny).

Ryamizard Ryacudu, Burhanaddin ZR #fundie

Ryamizard Ryacudu, Burhanaddin ZR #fundie bbc.com

Indonesia has decided to investigate one of the darkest chapters of its own history. In 1965 at least 500,000 people died in organised killings of suspected communist sympathisers. But, as BBC Indonesian's Rebecca Henschke reports, the new investigation into that bloody time is re-opening old wounds.

[...]

In central Java where most of the killings took place anti-communist banners have been erected. Vigilante groups have shut down discussions about Marxism at universities. Soldiers even briefly detained some students for wearing red T-shirts with a picture of a hammer and sickle inside a coffee cup.

It's also creating divisions in the government.

Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has met with Islamic vigilante groups and resists these moves to dig up the past.

"I am responsible for security in this country. I need to make sure there are no more conflicts. ...if we keep looking back we are not going to go forward," he told the BBC.

He is worried that those responsible for the massacre could be indicted for crimes against humanity.

[...]

It is easy to find someone who will proudly tell you how many they killed in 1965 and how they did it.

Burhanaddin ZR says he killed more people than he could count and shows no remorse.

"There is no need for reconciliation."

"The only path is they need to let go of their angry feelings," he says of those that lost relatives. "They just want revenge because their family members were victims in our raids."

In the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing a group of men acted out the murders in horrific detail. In many areas killers live close to the families of the dead. Land and property that was illegally confiscated has never been returned.

Until recently they have always thought of themselves as heroes because they were supported by the government and mainstream media. Many of the executions were directly committed by the security forces. The largest Muslim organisations are also accused of taking part.

Donald Trump #fundie

Donald Trump #fundie bbc.com

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he would "cancel" the Paris climate deal in his first major speech on energy policy.

More than 195 countries pledged to reduce carbon emissions in a landmark agreement last year.

The billionaire businessman has said before there is no evidence that humans are responsible for climate change.

He called for more drilling, fewer regulations and the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Mr Trump said.

"We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."

Donald Trump's desire to see the end of US participation in the Paris climate agreement is increasing the pressure for a rapid ratification around the world.

But that's not easy as the process can often get bogged down in national parliaments. The Obama administration and others believe they are well on the way to securing that level of support which they feel would then make a US withdrawal, in the face of global condemnation, much less likely. But they could be dead wrong about that.

Mr Trump though doesn't have to go to such lengths to end US involvement. He could choose to ignore or reverse or delay Obama's initiatives on climate including the Clean Power Plan. The real strength of the Paris agreement is that it comes from the bottom up, countries decide for themselves what their emissions cutting commitments will be. But this could also be a huge weakness.

If a President Trump doesn't put emissions cutting regulations into place, no one could force him to. Would China or India and others continue to cut their carbon while the US did not? Unlikely.

Before this speech, he had said he would "renegotiate" the global agreement involving nearly all countries, but this time he went further and said the US would pull out.

The climate change deal is "bad for US business" and said the pact allows "foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use".

Under the deal, countries set emission limits themselves, not an outside panel.

Mr Trump has called climate change "a hoax" devised by the Chinese government.

It is uncertain whether Mr Trump, if elected, could actually make any changes to the deal.

The accord will have legal force once it is ratified by 55 countries that contribute 55% of global emissions.

If the deal is ratified by January, a new American president would have to wait four years to withdraw from the deal.

While the US is the second-largest greenhouse gas polluter, it has been instrumental in helping other countries such as India reduce emissions.

Mr Trump said on Friday that the US would stop funding these efforts.

Environmental advocates called Mr Trump's proposals "frightening".

"Trump's energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health," Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist, told Reuters.

On Thursday, he officially became the presidential nominee for his party, surpassing the 1,238 delegates required.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan #fundie

Recep Tayyip Erdogan #fundie bbc.com

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslims to reject contraception and have more children.

In a speech broadcast live on TV, he said "no Muslim family" should consider birth control or family planning.

"We will multiply our descendants," said Mr Erdogan, who became president in August 2014 after serving as prime minister for 12 years.

His AK Party has its roots in Islamism and many of its supporters are conservative Muslims.

In Monday's speech in Istanbul, the Turkish leader placed the onus on women, particularly on "well-educated future mothers", to not use birth control and to ensure the continued growth of Turkey's population.

Mr Erdogan himself is a father of four. He has previously spoken out against contraception, describing it as "treason" when speaking at a wedding ceremony in 2014.

He has also urged women to have at least three children, and has said women cannot be treated as equal to men.

Venezuelan government #conspiracy

Venezuelan government #conspiracy bbc.com

Gunmen have killed 11 people, including three teenagers and a Colombian national, in Venezuela, officials say.

They say the unidentified attackers ordered the victims out of their homes before shooting them dead in the western Trujillo state on Saturday.

The gunmen then fled the scene in cars and motorcycles.

Non-governmental organisations say Venezuela's crime rates are increasing, as the country's economy is in recession due to falling oil prices.

Last year, the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence group released its report for 2014, recording 24,980 violent deaths. That equated to 82 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, up from 79 in 2013.

The NGO says those are figures for a country at war.

The government disputes the group's findings, saying the rates are much lower.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority #fundie

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority #fundie bbc.com

Pakistani authorities have banned all broadcast advertisements for contraceptives.

The regulator, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), said there had been public complaints that they prompted curiosity in "innocent children".

Pakistan is a socially conservative country and such commercials were already rare.

Last year a specific advert for Josh condoms was banned as "immoral".

Pakistan, the world's sixth most populous nation, has a lower rate of access to birth control than the average for the region, according to the World Health Organization.

Nicolas Maduro, Aristobulo Isturiz, Delcy Rodriguez #conspiracy

Nicolas Maduro, Aristobulo Isturiz, Delcy Rodriguez #conspiracy bbc.com

The head of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, has accused the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of being "a traitor".

In a series of Twitter posts addressed directly to Mr Maduro, Mr Almagro also called him a "petty dictator".

Mr Maduro accused the OAS chief earlier this week of being a CIA agent and a traitor himself.

The Venezuelan president has blamed his country's economic crisis on an axis of enemy forces co-ordinated from the US.

During a three-hour long news conference on Tuesday, Mr Maduro had justified his declaration of a state of emergency by saying Venezuela was under attack from imperialist forces led by the CIA.

He then told journalists: "Almagro, just give up. He has been a traitor for a long time... At some point I will tell his story, I know his secrets. The Americans, the CIA, have played a master move using Almagro as their agent."

[...]

Opposition politicians have handed in a petition with 1.85 million signatures to the electoral authorities requesting a referendum be held to recall Mr Maduro from office.

But Mr Maduro's deputy, Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz, on Sunday ruled out such a referendum, saying the signatures were "fraudulent".

Mr Almagro said that not letting the referendum go ahead made Mr Maduro "another petty dictator".

While President Maduro did not answer Mr Almagro's tweets directly, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez did.

She wrote, "Mr Almagro, every time you make a statement you express your hatred against Venezuela and its legitimate authorities. You are part of the imperialist detritus."

"You only repeat the scripted words which your imperialist masters dictate to you".

"You will never give orders to Venezuela!"

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy bbc.com

The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has threatened the seizure of factories that have stopped production and the jailing of their owners.

In a speech to supporters in the capital Caracas, he said the country had to recover the means of production, to counter its deep economic crisis.

On Friday, he introduced a new, nationwide state of emergency.

Opposition protesters have been rallying in Caracas to push for a recall vote to eject him from power.

Mr Maduro said the state of emergency was needed to combat foreign aggression, which he blamed for Venezuela's problems.

And he said military exercises would take place next weekend to counter "foreign threats".

[...]

There are severe shortages of food, medicines and basic goods which Mr Maduro argues are due to business leaders and the US waging an economic war against his government.

[...]

The threat to seize closed factories came after Venezuela's largest food and beverage company, the Polar Group, halted production of beer, blaming government mismanagement for stopping it importing barley.

The group's billionaire owner, Lorenzo Mendoza, is a fierce critic of President Maduro.

"We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralysed by the bourgeoisie," Mr Maduro told a rally in Caracas.

"Anyone who wants to halt [production] to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV [Venezuelan General Penitentiary]," he said.

"We're going to tell imperialism and the international right that the people are present, with their farm instruments in one hand and a gun in the other... to defend this sacred land," he added.

Sheikh Hasina #fundie

Sheikh Hasina #fundie bbc.com

A university professor has been hacked to death in Bangladesh, in an attack police say is similar to killings of secular bloggers and atheists by suspected Islamist extremists.

AFM Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, was a professor of English at Rajshahi University in the country's north-west.

[...]

Siddique is the fourth professor at the university to be have been killed in the past 12 years. It is not clear why they have been targeted and no culprits have been punished.

Earlier this month, a Bangladeshi law student who had expressed secular views online died when he was hacked with machetes and then shot in Dhaka.

The four bloggers killed last year had all appeared on a list of 84 "atheist bloggers" drawn up by Islamic groups in 2013 and widely circulated.

There have also been attacks on members of religious minorities including Shia, Sufi and Ahmadi Muslims, Christians and Hindus.

Several men are under arrest for last year's killings, including some attached to a hardline group called the Ansarullah Bangla Team.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government has failed to properly address the attacks.

Last week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued a stern warning to anyone who criticised religion: "I don't consider such writings as freethinking but filthy words. Why would anyone write such words? It's not at all acceptable if anyone writes against our prophet or other religions."

Brian Bates #fundie

Brian Bates #fundie bbc.com

A woman in Oklahoma has pleaded guilty to a lewdness charge after being caught on camera by a local "drone vigilante".

Brian Bates used a drone to film Amanda Zolicoffer during a liaison with a man last August.

Mr Bates says this was the only occasion on which he has used a drone to film such an encounter.

A civil liberties campaigner pointed out that filming with drones could raise privacy concerns.

According to court documents seen by the BBC, Zolicoffer was sentenced to a year in state prison for the misdemeanour.

[...]

"I'm sort of known in the Oklahoma City area," Mr Bates told the BBC.

"For the last 20 years I've used a video camera to document street-level and forced prostitution, and human trafficking."

Mr Bates added that on this occasion he felt safer filming the incident via drone and said that it was able to get "very good footage".

Mr Bates runs a website where he publishes videos of alleged sex workers and their clients.

"I am openly referred to as a video vigilante, I don't really shy away from that," he said.

However, Mr Bates also said that he was reluctant to use his drone in many cases because of safety concerns.

In this instance, said Mr Bates, the two individuals were inside a vehicle and the incident occurred away from other members of the public.

Maulana Habib Ur Rehman #fundie

Maulana Habib Ur Rehman #fundie bbc.com

The religious leader at Scotland's biggest mosque has praised an extremist who was executed for committing murder in Pakistan, the BBC can reveal.

Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used the messaging platform WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

Qadri was hanged in February after murdering a local politician who opposed strict blasphemy laws.

In a statement the imam said the messages had been taken out of context.

He said that he was expressing his opposition to capital punishment.

In messages seen by the BBC, Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman says that he is "disturbed" and "upset" at the news of Qadri's execution, before writing "rahmatullahi alai", a religious blessing usually given to devout Muslims and meaning may God's mercy be upon him.

In another, he says: "I cannot hide my pain today. A true Muslim was punished for doing which [sic] the collective will of the nation failed to carry out."

[...]

The BBC has confirmed with members of the group that the messages come from the imam.

Sergey Andreyev #conspiracy

Sergey Andreyev #conspiracy bbc.com

Poland is to summon the Russian ambassador over remarks which appeared to suggest he said Poland was partly to blame for the start of World War Two.

Sergey Andreyev said Poland had blocked a coalition against Nazi Germany several times in the run-up to war.

He also said the USSR's invasion of Poland in 1939 was not an aggression.

[...]

In an interview with a private Polish TV station aired on Friday evening, Mr Andreyev said that Poland had stood in the way of an alliance against the Nazis.

"Therefore Poland partly bears responsibility for the catastrophe that ensued in September 1939," he said, referring to the Nazi invasion of Poland.

He appeared to be referring to Poland's refusal to allow the transit of Soviet troops through its territory.

Mr Andreyev also said that the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland later that month was not an aggression but "to ensure the safety of the USSR" when the outcome of the German invasion of Poland was already clear.

The ambassador added that relations between Poland and Russia were at their lowest ebb since 1945, because Poland had frozen political, cultural and humanitarian contacts.

Yahya Jammeh #fundie

Yahya Jammeh #fundie bbc.com

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has declared his Muslim-majority country an Islamic republic, saying the move marks a break with the colonial past.

Mr Jammeh told state TV the proclamation was in line with Gambia's "religious identity and values".

He added that no dress code would be imposed and citizens of other faiths would be allowed to practise freely.

Some 90% of Gambians are Muslim. The former British colony's economy relies heavily on tourism.

However, relations with the West have soured recently.

The European Union temporarily withheld aid money to Gambia last year over its poor human rights record.

Mr Jammeh has been president of the tiny West African country for 21 years.

"As Muslims are the majority in the country, the Gambia cannot afford to continue the colonial legacy," Mr Jammeh told state TV, explaining his decision to proclaim an Islamic republic.

Other Islamic republics include Iran, Pakistan and - in Africa, Mauritania.

Mr Jammeh withdrew Gambia from the Commonwealth in 2013, describing the organisation as neo-colonial.

In 2007, he claimed to have found a herbal cure for Aids.

Diosdado Cabello #conspiracy

Diosdado Cabello #conspiracy bbc.com

The leader of Venezuela's National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, on Monday accused the United States of kidnapping two nephews of first lady Cilia Flores.

The two were arrested in Haiti last week and taken by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to New York and charged with drug trafficking.

Mr Cabello said the arrests were "irregular" and had been carried out to damage the governing party ahead of legislative elections on 6 December.

[...]

Mr Cabello, a powerful figure in the governing United Socialist Party (PSUV), was the first official to speak out about the arrest of the two men last Tuesday.

In an interview with Venezuelan TV, he said that he did not consider it an arrest.

"A plane went to Haiti with six people and they kidnapped two," he said referring to the fact that the four other people on board had not been charged.

"It's the DEA's normal procedure to kidnap lots of people," he alleged.

The aim of the arrests, he added, was "to hurt the Bolivarian revolution" in the midst of an election.

[...]

Mr Cabello said they had acted independently: "These are grown men who can do what they want in life."

Their indictment accuses the men of conspiring to import "five kilograms [11 lb] and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine" to the US.

But Reuters said a US law enforcement source had told the news agency that the two men had allegedly planned to smuggle a much larger amount, 800kg, to the US.

Scott Johansen #fundie

Scott Johansen #fundie bbc.com

A judge in the US state of Utah has ordered that a foster child be removed from the care of a lesbian couple and placed with a heterosexual family.

The Utah Division of Child and Family Services is searching for ways to challenge Tuesday's decision.

[...]

The decision, made by Judge Scott Johansen in the town of Price, has been criticised by gay rights groups.

In an interview with a local television news station, the couple said that the judge referred to research that children are better off when they are raised by heterosexual parents.

[...]

This is not the first time that Judge Johansen's decision have come under scrutiny.

In 1997, he was reprimanded for slapping a 16-year-old in the face at a courthouse in Price.

And in 2012, he drew attention for ordering a 13-year-old girl's hair cut in exchange for a lighter sentence. The girl was being prosecuted for cutting the hair of another, younger girl.

That same year, he was criticised for sending a teenage boy on probation to jail after he received a poor school report. The boy was on probation for shoplifting a pack of gum.

Benjamin Netanyahu #conspiracy

Benjamin Netanyahu #conspiracy bbc.com

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticised for saying a Palestinian leader persuaded the Nazis to carry out the Holocaust.

Mr Netanyahu insisted Adolf Hitler had only wanted to expel Jews from Europe, but that Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini told him: "Burn them."

However, the chief historian at Israel's memorial to the Holocaust said this account was factually incorrect.

[...]

Speaking alongside Mrs Merkel in Berlin, Mr Netanyahu said "no one should deny that Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust".

But Mr Netanyahu insisted the Mufti of Jerusalem "told the Nazis to prevent Jews fleeing from Europe and supported the Final Solution".

Dadri lynch mob #fundie

Dadri lynch mob #fundie bbc.com

A 50-year-old man in northern India has been killed in a mob lynching allegedly over rumours that his family had been storing and consuming beef at home.

Mohammad Akhlaq was kicked and beaten with stones by a group of men in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh state on Monday night.

Mr Akhlaq's 22-year-old son was also seriously injured in the attack, and has been admitted to a hospital.

Six people have been arrested in connection with the incident. Police are probing who spread the rumour.

Slaughter of cows is a sensitive issue in India as the animal is considered sacred by Hindus, who comprise 80% of the country's 1.2bn people.

Uttar Pradesh is among a number of Indian states who have tightened laws banning cow slaughter and the sale and consumption of beef.

The beef ban has also provoked outrage with many questioning how the government decides what is on their plate.

Mr Akhlaq's family said the family had stored mutton, and not beef in their fridge. The police have taken the meat and sent it for testing, reports said.

[...]

His 18-year-old daughter Sajida told the newspaper that a "group of more than 100 people from the village" reached the house on Monday night.

"They accused us of keeping cow meat, broke down our doors and started beating my father and brother. My father was dragged outside the house and beaten with bricks," she said.

"We had come to know later that an announcement had been made from the temple about us eating beef...There was some mutton in the fridge...The police have taken it for examination."

Olga and Anatoly Makarenko #fundie

Olga and Anatoly Makarenko #fundie bbc.com

Concerns that the virus could cut a deadly swathe through the country has mobilised officials to launch a national immunisation campaign that would embrace all children up to 10 years old.

The threat has also mobilised international organizations, as well as Bill Gates, whose foundation promotes increased vaccinations worldwide and who spoke to President Petro Poroshenko about the polio danger last week.

Olga and Anatoly Makarenko demonstrate the potential obstacles the campaign could face. They have decided not to vaccinate any of their children - Dima, seven, Ksenia, five, and Varvara, one.

And despite knowing something of polio's effects and reading reports that the virus may have already reached Kiev, they won't change their minds.

Dima, Olga points out, has already suffered a bout of whooping cough. But it was just a bit longer-lasting than a regular cough - showing, she claimed, there were no negative consequences.

"The vaccinations are much more dangerous than the illnesses that they treat," said Olga on a late summer day, as her children joyously romped in a nearby playground.

"Nobody knows how the vaccines were stored," she continued. "No-one knows if the expiration dates were changed. Vaccines are a serious thing. There are conditions for transporting, storing and producing them."

Russian government #fundie

Russian government #fundie bbc.com

Russia has listed transsexual and transgender people among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences.

Fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as "mental disorders" now barring people from driving.

The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents.

"Pathological" gambling and compulsive stealing are also on the list. Russian psychiatrists and human rights lawyers have condemned the move.

The announcement follows international complaints about Russian harassment of gay-rights activists.

In 2013 Russia made "promoting non-traditional lifestyles" illegal.

Luigi Brugnaro #fundie

Luigi Brugnaro #fundie bbc.com

[Hyperlink removed.]

The mayor of Venice has been quoted as saying that he will try to ban Gay Pride parades in the city, provoking fury from gay rights activists.

"There will be no gay pride in my Venice," Luigi Brugnaro told La Repubblica newspaper, describing the event as farcical and kitsch.

However, he said he was not homophobic, insisting he had friends who were gay.

[...]

In the interview with La Repubblica newspaper (in Italian), Mr Brugnaro said he firmly opposed hosting the parade in Venice.

"Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes," he was quoted as saying.

Mr Brugnaro earlier provoked controversy by withdrawing books that depicted same-sex families from Venice's nurseries and primary schools.

God's Will #fundie

God's Will #fundie bbc.com

Top art gallery directors in Russia have denounced vandalism by Orthodox Christian activists who attacked a Moscow art exhibition last week.

In an open letter the gallery chiefs condemned the God's Will group, who damaged sculptures by Soviet-era artist Vadim Sidur on 14 August.

[...]

The God's Will protest at Moscow's Manezh exhibition hall near the Kremlin, was led by Dmitry Tsorionov, also known as Enteo. The activists said the artworks were offensive to Christian worshippers.

A Manezh official, Yelena Karneyeva, said four of Sidur's works were damaged by the group - some of them severely.

Sidur was a non-conformist, avant-garde artist in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 60s. He was a disabled World War Two veteran and died in 1986.

The Manezh exhibition was called "Sculptures we cannot see" - referring to the fact that Sidur's works were censored by the Soviet authorities.

[...]

The God's Will website says the group stands for "the resurrection and development of Russia as an Orthodox Empire, worshipping God the Creator" and "for a Russia without homosexuals, abortions, drug addiction or alcoholism".

Yishai Schlissel #fundie

Yishai Schlissel #fundie bbc.com

A teenage girl who was stabbed at a Gay Pride march in Jerusalem has died from her wounds, doctors say.

Shira Banki, 16, was one of six people attacked at the event on Thursday.

Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, who carried out a similar attack in 2005, was arrested at the scene.

[...]

Dramatic images of Thursday's attack in Jerusalem showed the suspect reaching inside his coat and raising a knife above his head.

He then began stabbing marchers while screaming, before being tackled by a police officer.

[...]

Schlissel was released from prison just three weeks ago after serving 10 years for the 2005 attack

Nicolas Maduro, Eduardo Saman #conspiracy

Nicolas Maduro, Eduardo Saman #conspiracy bbc.com

In 2003, then-President Hugo Chavez introduced price controls for some 40 food and hygiene products to guarantee the poor had access to staple goods.

But lately, in the midst of a cash crisis, price controls seem to have become a headache.

For the first time in years, shortages and inflation have replaced security as the biggest worry for Venezuelans, according to a recent poll by Caracas-based Datanalisis.

[...]

President Nicolas Maduro says shortages are caused by US-backed, far-right groups who smuggle and hoard products in an economic war to destabilise his socialist government.

"Venezuela currently has the necessary goods to feed the people, but there is a problem with distribution," says Eduardo Saman, a former commerce minister in the government of the late Hugo Chavez.

"And distribution is in the hands of companies who operate as a cartel and seek to affect the government," he tells the BBC.

Alexei Mozgovoi #fundie

Alexei Mozgovoi #fundie bbc.com

One of the top rebel commanders in eastern Ukraine, Alexei Mozgovoi, has been killed in an attack on his car, Russian and Ukrainian media report.

[...]

Last November Mozgovoi was seen at the head of a summary court system.

He is heard issuing a warning to residents: "Too many women go to restaurants. What kind of example do they show to their children? From now on, we will arrest all women we find in restaurants and cafes."

Nantwich Education Partnership #fundie

Nantwich Education Partnership #fundie bbc.com

Head teachers in Cheshire have warned parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

The letter was sent by the Nantwich Education Partnership group to parents from 16 schools in the county.

The heads claim games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty contain unsuitable levels of violence.

They warn parents they could be reported for neglect in some cases.

The heads state that playing such games or accessing certain social media sites can increase early sexualised behaviour in youngsters and leave them vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation.

Abdurasul Juraboev, Abror Habibov, Akhror Saidakhmetov #fundie

Abdurasul Juraboev, Abror Habibov, Akhror Saidakhmetov #fundie bbc.com

The FBI has arrested three foreign nationals living in Brooklyn who agents say sought to join the Islamic State.

Two of the men had threatened to kill police officers and FBI agents in the US if they were unable to travel to Syria, the FBI said.

The men came to the authorities' attention after they posted to Uzbek-language websites in recent months.

In one post, they pledged to kill US President Barack Obama, the FBI said.

Abdurasul Juraboev, 24, and Abror Habibov, 30, both of Uzbekistan; and Akhror Saidakhmetov, 19, of Kazakhstan, were charged with conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation.

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy bbc.com

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the owners of an unnamed chain of shops have been arrested for artificially creating long queues.

Mr Maduro said the owners had reduced the number of employees working on cash tills in order to create queues and "annoy the Venezuelan people".

He has accused Venezuela's business elite of boycotting his government.

The opposition blames the socialist policies of the past 16 years for the worsening economic crisis.

"Yesterday we detected that a famous chain of stores was conspiring, irritating the people," said Mr Maduro.

"We came, we normalized sales, we summoned the owners, we arrested them and they're prisoners for having provoked the people," he said.

Nonhuman Rights Project #fundie

Nonhuman Rights Project #fundie bbc.com

A chimpanzee is not entitled to the same rights as people and does not have be freed from captivity by its owner, a US court has ruled.

The appeals court in New York state said caged chimpanzee Tommy could not be recognised as a "legal person" as it "cannot bear any legal duties".

The Nonhuman Rights Project had argued that chimps who had such similar characteristics to the humans deserved basic rights, including freedom.

The rights group said it would appeal.

Faraz Naveed #fundie

Faraz Naveed #fundie bbc.com

A Pakistani policeman has been arrested after allegedly killing a man with an axe because he suspected him of committing blasphemy.

Police say Faraz Naveed struck the victim, Tufail Naqvi, on the neck and head after the latter was arrested during a street fight on Wednesday.

The victim is reported to have had a history of mental instability.
[...]
Mohammad Amir, head of Gujrat city's Civil Lines police station, told BBC Urdu that Mr Naveed had been arrested for the killing.

He added that Mr Naqvi, a Shia Muslim, "was not of a sound mind and would hurl abuses at any one". There was some evidence, Mr Amir said, that he had spent time in a mental asylum.

Unnamed Sudanese judge #fundie

Unnamed Sudanese judge #fundie bbc.com

"We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death," the judge told the woman, AFP reports.

Amnesty International condemned the sentence, handed down by a judge in Khartoum, as "appalling and abhorrent".

Local media report the sentence would not be carried out for two years after she has given birth.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law. It rules that apostasy - the abandonment of one's religious faith - is a crime.

[...]

The judge also sentenced the woman to 100 lashes after convicting her of adultery - because her marriage to a Christian man was not valid under Islamic law.

[...]

Amnesty International said the woman, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother's religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood.

In court, the judge addressed her by her Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

[...]

There were small groups of protesters outside the court - both her supporters and those who back the punishment.

[Bolding mine]

Abubakar Shekau #fundie

Abubakar Shekau #fundie bbc.com

Abubakar Shekau, militant leader of Boko Haram in a video about young girls he abducted:

In a video, he states that the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married

"God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions," he said.