1. Indonesian teens publicly flogged for cuddling
(CNN) Two 18-year-olds were publicly flogged Thursday in the conservative Indonesian state of Aceh for displaying affection.
The college student and her boyfriend each received 17 lashes for publicly cuddling, which is a violation of the state's strict interpretation of Sharia law, according to a government spokesman.
The punishments were administered in front of a mosque in the provincial capital Banda Aceh.
Video of the event shows a masked individual striking the two teenagers, one after the other, across the upper back in front of a crowd, members of which were taking cellphone videos.
Teens publicly caned for hugging in Indonesia’s Aceh province
The two teens were caught hugging in public. Hundred of spectators watched as they got 17 lashes each for the offence.
2. Venezuela: Anti-Maduro protest fills streets of Caracas
Supporters of Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido filled the streets of Caracas on Saturday in protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president on January 23 after declaring Maduro's January 10 inauguration illegitimate.
Maduro has condemned the decision of a number of countries to recognise Guaido as Venezuela’s acting president.
3. Civil servant suspected of arranging marriages to keep migrants in France
A city project manager in Villepinte has been accused of arranging so-called “white marriages” to help migrants remain in France and is said to have been involved in over a dozen cases.
The 50-year-old female civil servant, who has not been identified, is accused of helping at least a dozen or more migrants gain residency permits through the organisation of “white marriages” over the last two years with reports being forwarded to the prosecutor of Bobigny, Le Parisien reports.
A source close to the investigation claimed the woman had appeared alongside several couples at various cities in the area to help facilitate marriages in which the man involved had no papers to remain in France. The source added that the woman would sometimes shop around to different cities if met with resistance by a local official who questioned the sincerity of the marriage.
4. GERMANY: Berliners stage “Line of Horrors” event to commemorate victims of violent crime committed by migrants since 2015
5. Mariah Carey threats come after months of ISIS supporters urging concert attacks
ISIS supporters online have been urging followers to attack Mariah Carey's upcoming concert Thursday night in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The threats come as women's rights activists have been urging the pop singer to cancel the event in protest over the Saudi regime jailing human rights advocates and oppressing women.
According to the Arab News, Carey's first performance in the kingdom at King Abdullah Economic City is linked to the inaugural Saudi International golf tournament.
She'll be joining performers Dutch DJ Tiesto, Yemeni-Emirati singer Balqees Fathi and Jamaican rapper Sean Paul.
6. Ottawa: Transit chair accuses colleague of creating climate of fear over commissioner comments
Coun. Shawn Menard says he regrets questioning the appointment and personal beliefs of a citizen transit commissioner in public this week, but he wouldn’t back down after the head of the transit commission demanded an apology.
Council on Wednesday appointed Michael Olsen to the transit commission in a vote that saw seven councillors oppose his selection.
Menard first broached the subject at the council meeting, referring to Olsen’s “significant advocacy on behalf of pro-life groups,” before the city’s top lawyer said religion and expression are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and shouldn’t be something involved in selecting a transit commissioner.
(Olsen was listed as “supportable” by the Campaign Life Coalition, an anti-abortion group, when he was running for Catholic school board trustee last fall).
The discussion then turned to Olsen’s alleged views on climate change, which some councillors have assumed based on a complaint filed by Olsen against the Citizen regarding a climate change article published in 2017. The National NewsMedia Council, in a decision posted online, dismissed the complaint in 2018.
7. Man arrested over video praising Quebec City mosque shooter pleads not guilty
A Terrebonne man, facing charges of inciting hate over a video posted to Facebook in which he praised the man behind the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting, pleaded not guilty on Friday.
Pierre Dion was arrested on Thursday night and was charged with two counts of inciting hatred. He was released from the Laval courthouse after paying a $500 bail and agreeing to comply with several conditions.
The video was published on the second anniversary of the shooting that left six people dead.
Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six counts of first-degree murder and another six of attempted murder in March.
A judge is expected to issue a ruling on Feb. 8 on Bissonnette’s sentence. He faces up to 150 years in prison.
In another video posted to YouTube in April, Dion calls Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “a traitor” because of his policies regarding immigration.
8. Legault nixes anti-Islamophobia Day, saying it isn't a problem in Quebec
Premier Francois Legault says there will not be a day against Islamophobia in Quebec because according to him, it isn’t an issue.
“I don't think there's any Islamophobia in Quebec, so I don't see why there would be a day devoted to Islamophobia,” he said at a closing news conference Thursday for the CAQ’s caucus meeting in Gatineau.
Tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of the attack at a mosque in Quebec City that left six people dead and 19 others injured. [...]
Within 48 hours, the premier shut down any possibility of an anti-Islamophobia day in this province.
It's not the first time the idea has come up.
NCCM (formerly CAIR Canada) responds: Quebec Premier’s comments denying Islamophobia in province are offensive and inexcusable
9. Gatineau mayor denounces city councillor's comments about Muslims, asks for apology
Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin is asking city councillor and deputy mayor Nathalie Lemieux to retract statements she made about Muslims on Friday and issue a formal apology.
In an interview with Le Droit, Lemieux applauded Quebec Premier François Legault’s opposition to designating an anti-Islamophobia day in Quebec and said fear of Islam is a problem invented by Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals.
“This word doesn’t even exist for me,” Lemieux said of the term “Islamophobia”. “Quebecers aren’t as racist as people would have you believe. When a group of people wants to integrate, they do. And this group doesn’t.
“These people do a lot of bad things, with their trucks and things. It’s normal to be scared of them,” Lemieux told Le Droit.
10. UK: London Yellow Vests chant “We’re not far right, we’re just RIGHT!”