1. Suicide attackers strike people quitting Islamic State's last Syria zone
DEIR AL-ZOR PROVINCE, Syria (Reuters) - Three suicide attackers in women’s clothing killed six people leaving the last Islamic State enclave in eastern Syria on Friday in simultaneous blasts, the U.S.-backed forces besieging the area said.
The attack appears to be the first to target the many thousands of people who have poured out of the enclave at Baghouz over the five weeks since the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began an offensive there.
People fleeing the area have included surrendering Islamic State fighters, their family members, other supporters of the group, civilians caught up in the conflict and captives of the jihadists.
The SDF and the U.S.-led coalition that supports it have described the remaining Islamic State fighters holed up in Baghouz as being the group’s most hardened foreign militants.
2. On the frontline of the final days of Islamic State's “caliphate”
Five years after Islamic State rose in Syria, its territory has been reduced to one small area in Baghouz, near the Iraqi border. It's there that a final assault is being carried out on what remains of its promised “caliphate”. Adam Harvey joined coalition forces on the frontline.
3. Turkey: Protesters want Hagia Sophia turned into mosque in response to Christchurch attack
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) – A few hundred demonstrators have protested the New Zealand mosque shootings outside Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia – a Byzantine-era cathedral that was turned into a mosque and now serves as a museum.
The demonstrators – mostly members of Islamic civil society groups – on Saturday called for the symbolic edifice to be reconverted into a mosque. The demand was in response to a taunt by the gunman in Friday’s shooting rampage in a 74-page manifesto in which he reportedly said “Hagia Sophia will be free of minarets.”
The former Byzantine cathedral was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, now Istanbul, in 1453. Turkey’s secular founder turned the structure into a museum in 1935 that attracts millions of tourists each year.
4. Two seriously hurt in Ashdod building collapse
A building in Ashdod partially collapsed after several gas balloons exploded Thursday evening. Two people were seriously injured in the collapse.
Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah paramedics arrived on the scene to treat the injured.
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Amar said: "When I arrived at the scene together with an ambulance team from United Hatzalah we saw a massive amount of debris due to a partial building collapse. Firefighters pulled out two people from the wreckage whom we treated at the scene before they were transported to the hospital. They were in serious and moderate to serious condition."
MDA emergency medic Eliyahu Edri added, "This is a very complex event, the one-story structure collapsed completely and there was a lot of destruction. Together with the firefighting forces, we worked quickly to rescue the two men who were trapped and suffered very serious injuries all over their bodies. We quickly took them to ambulances and they were evacuated while continuing life-saving medical treatment to Assuta Hospital in the city.
5. Denmark in a state of unreported collapse
The media portrayal of Denmark as a country hostile and inhumane to migrants is misleading, if not completely false.
One reason for the inaccurate picture is that it is painted by journalists' political bias. Another is that trustworthy official Danish statistics on the country's immigration problem are both difficult to find and even harder to interpret. A further problem is a lack of reliable research, at best; and purposely distorted data, at worst.
The following breakdown illustrates that rather than being more relatively free of the consequences of mass migration than other European countries in general, and Scandinavian countries in particular, Denmark is in a state of societal collapse. In spite of Copenhagen's many laws that govern migration and affect immigrants, the Danish people have been experiencing a major cultural and political shift in their life as they have traditionally known it.
6. Sweden: 100 per cent rise in fatal and attempted fatal shootings since 2012
Sweden continues to see a rise in the number of fatal shootings and attempted murders, with illegal weapons becoming more common throughout the country.
According to the Swedish National Forensic Centre, the number of shooting murders and attempted murders have doubled since 2012, leading to an increased demand for weapons investigations, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
Mikael Högfors, group manager at National Forensic Centre, commented on the rise saying, “The availability of weapons in Sweden is relatively good. We see that due to the number of shootings. But we also make several efforts within the police authority when we have investigations underway, where we actually hunt down the weapons.”
7. France: European Parliament votes to suspend Turkey accession talks
Dutch Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Kati Piri held a press conference in Strasbourg on Wednesday, as the parliament's voted to formally suspend the accession talks with Turkey.
A total of 370 MEPs voted in favour of suspending Turkey's EU accession talks. From them, 109 voted against, while 143 abstained from voting.
In the lead up to the vote, Piri said things had gone "from bad to worse" for Turkey in recent years. She cited the post-coup crackdown on journalists and opposition members in 2016, the 2017 constitutional reforms, as well as the police's use of rubber bullets against women during the 2019 International Women's Day protests in the country. [...]
8. Nigerian migrant arrested after allegedly molesting 8-year-old
A 37-year-old Nigerian migrant was arrested in the Italian city of Parma after allegedly sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl in the bathroom of his shop.
The Nigerian has been placed under house arrest following his initial arrest by Italian Carabinieri in response to allegations levelled by the child’s mother, a close friend of the man accused, Il Giornale reports.
According to investigators, the woman was well acquainted with the Nigerian for professional reasons and had previously allowed her daughter in the shop with the man without problems in the past.
9. ISIS leader KILLED: Terror chief slaughtered by Philippine forces
Abu Dar, head of the Maute terror group, was reportedly killed in a clash with Philippine Army soldiers at Lanao del Sur on Thursday which left four troops dead. Troops battled more than 20 members of the ISIS-backed Maute group, said Colonel Romeo Brawner, 103rd Infantry Brigade Commander. Col Brawner said."We have four body count.
“We believe that one of them is Abu Dar based on accounts of our informants. One of them was identified as Abu Dar but we are validating this from other sources.”
Philippine National Police's Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) collected a DNA sample to confirm if it is Abu Dar’s body.
The process of identification could take up to a month.
Abu Dar is thought to be one of the Maute leaders recorded on video plotting a terrorist attack on Marawi City in May, 2017.
10. Syrian scholar Firas Al-Sawwah: Al-Aqsa mentioned in Quran is not in Jerusalem
Syrian scholar Firas Al-Sawwah said in a March 3, 2019 interview on Al-Hurra TV (U.S.) that the Al-Aqsa Mosque that was mentioned in the Quran was not in Jerusalem, and that the caliph Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan had decided to build a holy place in Jerusalem and call it Al-Aqsa. He said that a general Arab-Muslim cultural revival that would include a critical review of Arab and Muslim history is necessary. Al-Sawwah also said that the hadiths should be critically examined to determine which ones a true and false, and he recalled having laughed in eighth grade when the teacher taught the class the hadith about the trees and rocks calling Muslims to kill Jews hiding behind them. He explained that the class laughed because they had been “raised on modern thought” and it made no sense to them that trees or rocks would speak.