Ghoncheh Ghavami Sentenced Over Bolleyball Game

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A British-Iranian woman, Ghoncheh Ghavami, was arrested and detained in Iran after trying to watch men’s volleyball match; she has been sentenced to a year in prison, reports say. Ghoncheh Ghavami is a 25 year old woman who was found guilty of spreading anti-regime propaganda, the lawyer Alizadeh Tabatabaie had said in a report. The report has also stated that Iran banned women from volleyball games in 2012, extending a long-standing ban on football matches. The Iranian authorities have argued that women need protection from the lewd behaviour of male fans. Britain’s Foreign Office said it was concerned about the sentence. “We have concerns about the grounds for this prosecution’s due process during the trial, and Ghavami’s treatment while in custody,” It said in a statement. Amnesty International has described Ghavami, who is from Shepherd’s Bush in west London, as a prisoner of conscience, and called for her immediate release. More than 700,000 people have signed an online petition urging the authorities to free her.  Also a graduate of the University of London’s school of Africa and Oriental Studies was part of a group of women who tried to watch Iran play Italy in a match on 20 June. The women were arrested and allegedly beaten before being freed. Ghavami was said to be rearrested later and put on trial. Reports have confirmed that she launched a hunger strike in October after being held in isolation cells.

 

Poppy Seller Burned in Aerosol Attack in Manchester

Report have stated that a 15-year-old Army cadet who was selling poppies for Remembrance Day suffered burns to his face in an attack with a lit aerosol can. The attack took place at the bus stop near Manchester Art Gallery. The boy, who was wearing his uniform, was at a bus stop near the Manchester Art Gallery when he was attacked. Police have reported that a man lifted an aerosol can and a lighter and sprayed him with lit fumes. The cadet suffered burns to his face and singed hairs, the police confirmed. Greater Manchester Police said the offender, described as black or Asian, 5ft 8in tall and wearing a dark hooded top, walked off without saying a word.

 

Army Promises ‘Transition Body’ on Burkina Faso Crisis

Burkina Faso’s military has said it will install a transitional government days after it seized power as President Blaise Compaore resigned. The move came after soldiers had fired shots at the state TV station and barricaded the capital’s main square as thousands of protesters demanded the military to give up power.  Not less than one demonstrator was killed in the clashes. The UN has condemned the military takeover and threatened sanctions. Long-time leader, Mr Compaore has resigned following days of anti-government protests. The army named Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Zida as the leader of a transitional government taking over as the acting head of state. However, thousands of protesters gathered in the capital, demonstrating against the army. There were chaotic scenes at the state broadcaster’s headquarters, as both opposition leader, Saran Sereme and former Defence Minister, Kwame Lougue turned up to a rally. It is believed that both had gone there separately to announce that they could head the transition government.

 

Singapore Imposes a Visa Rule for West Africa’s Ebola Countries

The West African countries where Ebola is prevalent will require a visa for its citizen before entering Singapore. The Singaporean health ministry said the visa requirement for those from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would allow for better oversight and tracing.Report said that they have been cautious of a possible outbreak in the city state and major transport hub, which was hit by the Sars virus in 2003.Ebola however, has claimed more than 4,900 lives in West Africa.Although the Singaporean media have reported at least two suspected cases of Ebola, which both later tested negative.One, a Nigerian woman, was later found to not have had any contact with Ebola patients and was discharged. The other person had a fever after travelling to an affected area but was diagnosed with tonsillitis.Singapore’s visa move follows Australia’s announcement which said that it was suspending entry visas for Ebola-affected countries, prompting condemnation from Sierra Leone and human rights group, Amnesty International.

 

Egyptians Barred From Entering Libya

Dozens of Egyptians have been barred from entering Libya through the airport in the capital, Tripoli. Report stated that they have been ordered by immigration officials not to allow any Egyptians into the country until further notice, and dozens remain stranded at the airport. The Islamist-affiliated militias in control of Tripoli have accused Egypt of bombing their allies who hold power in the eastern city of Benghazi. The report on BBC says that the decision to introduce visa restrictions is likely to be a politically motivated move to put pressure on Cairo. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians live and work in Libya, and in recent weeks, some have alleged that they have been intimidated by armed groups. Nearly 800 Egyptians arriving in Libya have been sent back, reports also said. Several passengers still stranded at Maitiga airport said they had valid visas but airport staff had told them they could not enter because Cairo was bombing Libya. Since the uprising in 2011, Libya has been gripped by a power struggle between the militias who drove out Muammar Gaddafi. The interim government, recognised internationally, has fled to the city of Tobruk because of unrest in Tripoli. However, Islamist-affiliated militias who control Tripoli and Benghazi have already announced the formation of their own government.

 

US Marine Jailed in Mexico Released

A US marine imprisoned in Mexico for driving a vehicle loaded with firearms across the border has been released. The family of retired Marine Sgt Andrew Tahmooressi expressed their overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief. A judge in Tijuana ordered his immediate release eight months after he was jailed. The 26-year-old from Florida had said he got lost on a California motorway and accidentally crossed the border. The Mexican customs inspectors had found 400 rounds of ammunition and three loaded firearms in his car and had since then imprisoned him. Efforts to get him released took many forms, calls from politicians, demonstrations and a social media campaign. The Family spokesman, Jonathan Franks, confirmed that the judge had released him without taking a view of the charge against him.

 

Canada Visa Ban Hits West Africa’s Ebola Countries

Canada is to suspend visa applications from residents and passport-holders from West African countries in the grip of the Ebola outbreak. The decision follows a similar decision by Australia, which drew criticism from the World Health Organization (WHO). The ban would apply to countries with “widespread and persistent-intense transmission”, Canada said. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are battling to contain Ebola, which has killed almost 5,000 people. The WHO has said that 4,951 people have died during the current outbreak, with 13,567 reported cases up to 29 October. Although Canada currently has no cases of Ebola, the country’s federal citizenship ministry said “the introduction or spread of the disease would pose an imminent and severe risk to public health”. A government spokesman said the move was less restrictive than Australia’s plan, with the ability to grant visas on a case-by-case basis retained. The ban would also not apply to Canadians travelling from the Ebola zone – allowing health workers and volunteers to return home. There are no direct flights to Canada from the three worst-affected countries, and the number of annual visitors from those states is understood to be small. The World Health Organization opposes travel bans as a method of containing Ebola.  A professor, David Fidler, at Indiana University in the US, told Canadian media that the government’s move undermined international regulations which were drawn up after the Sars outbreak of 2003.

 

Ann Maguire murderer jailed for life

A teenager, 16-year-old boy has been given a life sentence after he admitted murdering his teacher, Ann Maguire. The Spanish teacher, Mrs Maguire, a 61 year old woman, was attacked at Corpus Christi Catholic College in April. The boy was said to have stabbed her in the neck and chased her from the room before sitting at his desk and saying, “good times”. After the boy was told he must serve a minimum of 20 years, he looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as he admitted murdering Mrs Maguire. The judge, Mr Justice Coulson at Leeds Crown Court said it was “quite possible” that the boy would never be released. He said the killer had shown a “total and chilling lack of remorse”. Prosecutor Paul Greaney told the court the boy had “psychopathic tendencies” and had derived pleasure from the public nature of the killing. It was gathered that the boy had told other children that he hated Mrs Maguire and wanted her dead, writing in a message on Facebook that she “deserves more than death, more than pain and more than anything that we can understand”. The prosecutor said: “Late on the night of Christmas Eve 2013, and into the early hours of Christmas Day, the defendant exchanged messages with a friend on Facebook.” In those messages he spoke of ‘brutally killing’ Mrs Maguire and spending the rest of his life in jail so as not to have to worry about life or money.” The court heard that Mrs Maguire had been leaning over her desk helping a girl with her work when the boy attacked her from behind. It was said that he approached his teacher and began to stab her in the neck and back.

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