1. German spies targeting halal shops to root out islamists
Spies in the German state of Hesse are keeping close watch on shops which sell halal products in fear that they may be hotbeds of islamist, the head of the regional intelligence agency has said.
Robert Schafer told DPA that intelligence services are closely monitoring the ultra-conservative Salafist scene and this includes places that they may meet, like halal shops.
Salafism is an ultra-conservative reform movement within Sunni Islam, which was first developed in the Arabian Peninsula.
Schafer was quoted by The Local as saying: “In such cases, scene meeting points could emerge, which we would consider as possible radicalisation spaces.”
2. Melbourne man could become first person in Australia convicted under child bride laws
A Melbourne man is set to become the first person convicted of breaking federal child marriage laws.
It comes as a record number of Victorian schoolgirls are forced into arranged marriages, with daughters from that state making up one-third of investigations.
The Melbourne man is likely to become the first person to be convicted under federal forced-marriage laws which came into effect in 2013, the Herald-Sun reports. […] In a separate case in Melbourne last month, Mohammad Shakir, 34, pleaded guilty to entering a marriage with a 14-year-old bride.
3. Maldives police arrest two in blogger's murder
Maldives police said Wednesday they have arrested two suspects in the murder of a prominent blogger and human rights advocate.
Yameen Rasheed died last week after being found with multiple stab wounds in a house in the capital, Male. […] Rasheed had criticized politicians and rising radical Islamic views in Maldives. He also spoke out on issues such as health, migrant workers' rights and policing. […] Rasheed's family said last week that he had received death threats for months from local gangs who appeared to hold radical religious views.
Maldives is a predominantly Sunni Muslim state where practicing other faiths and atheism are banned.
4. Katie Hopkins and Tucker Carlson: Studies show multiculturalism doesn't work
5. Japan refuses more than 99 per cent of refugee applications
One of the world's wealthiest countries, Japan accepted just 28 refugees in 2016 - one more than the previous year - out of the 8,193 applications reviewed by the Immigration Bureau.
Officials defend the low number, saying applicants are mainly from Asian countries seeking access to Japan solely for economic reasons.
"The number of applications from regions which generate lots of refugees, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, is small," said Yasuhiro Hishida, spokesman for the Immigration Bureau.