AL-QAEDA HAS â€œCOLLAPSEDâ€
The al-Qaeda terror group has been â€œcut off and ripped apart by ISIS,â€ two of its most important spiritual leaders told The Guardian. Abu Qatada and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi said that al-Qaeda has been drained of recruits and money because of territorial and influential losses to rival ISIS. Al-Maqdisi said its organizational structure in particular had â€œcollapsed.â€ Divisions between the two organizations have grown in recent years. â€œISIS doesnâ€™t respect anyone,â€ Abu Qatada said. â€œThey are ruining the wider jihadi movement and are against the whole ummah Muslim nationâ€
â€œResorting to microphone diplomacy, or pointing fingers at each other, will not solve any problems,â€ Chinese embassy official Wu Xi said on Capitol Hill yesterday during a gathering to mark the 10th anniversary of the Congressional U.S.-China Working Group, Reuters reports. Referring to disagreements over Beijingâ€™s aggressive pursuit of territorial claims in the South China Sea, Wu insisted the countries needed to address their differences â€œin a proper way.â€
Refugees from Somalia protested on a boat Wednesday in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, against EU policies dealing with boat migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
NUSRA FRONT KILLS 20 SYRIAN VILLAGERS
Fighters from the al-Nusra Front, a group linked to al-Qaeda, have killed 20 members of Syriaâ€™s Druze community, a branch of Islam viewed as heretical by the organizationâ€™s Sunni members, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports. The mass killing reportedly followed a confrontation that began when al-Nusra Front members tried to confiscate the house of a villager fighting with Syrian government forces.
ON THIS DAY
Alexander the Great died in Babylon on this day in 323 BC. Time now for your 57-second shot of history.
SAUDI BLOGGERâ€™S FLOGGING SENTENCE UPHELD
Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, whose sentence last year to 1,000 lashes for â€œinsulting Islam,â€ may receive the rest of his flogging this week after the countryâ€™s supreme court upheld the punishment despite international criticism. His sentence also includes 10 years in prison, a 10-year travel ban following his release, an Internet ban and a 230,000-euro fine, Amnesty International reports. Badawi was prosecuted last year after creating a website called Free Saudi Liberals discuss religious and political issues.
Studies show that pesticides such as glyphosate sprayed on crops are poisonous and that we are ingesting these toxins with our food. Perfect examples are the corn and soybeans Colombia imports from Argentina, El Espectadorâ€™s Alejandra Vanegas Cabrera reports. â€œIn Argentina, where glyphosate is used copiously in farming corn, soy and other products, the debate has been intense and worrying,â€ the journalist writes. â€œEvery year, Argentina exports thousands of tons of various foodstuffs to other countries, including Colombia. ... Colombia recently decided to stop the aerial spraying of glyphosate on illegal coca plantations, but many wonder now about other foods sprayed with chemical pesticides. It's not an easy debate, and arguments abound on both sides.
Read the full article, From Coca To Corn, Latin America's Pesticide Problem.
CHINA OFFICIAL SENTENCED TO LIFE
Chinaâ€™s former security chief Zhou Yongkang, at one time one of the countryâ€™s most powerful men, has been sentenced to life in prison, the BBC reports. He was found guilty of bribery, abuse of power and â€œintentionally disclosing national secrets.â€
MERS A â€œNATIONAL SECURITY PRIORITYâ€
The outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) entered its third week in South Korea, with nine people dead, 122 declared cases of infection and growing concerns about the consequences of the virus on the economy. South Korean President Park Geun-hye canceled her planned Sunday trip to Washington to oversee efforts to tackle the outbreak. South Korean daily Dong-A Ilbo called it a "national security priority" on the front page of todayâ€™s edition, accompanied by a photo of medical staff outside the Seoul Medical Center. Read more in our Extra! feature.
HUNDREDS OF SYRIANS CROSS TURKISH BORDER
Turkish authorities have allowed hundreds of Syrian refugees to cross into Turkey, as moderate fighters and Kurdish forces clash with ISIS around the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad, Al Jazeera reports. Thousands of people in the region have fled their homes in the past week due to the violent clashes. On June 4, Turkish authorities allowed hundreds of Syrians past the border.
MY GRAND-PÈREâ€™S WORLD
SWISS AUTHORITIES SEIZE FIFA MATERIAL
Investigators from the Swiss attorney generalâ€™s office have seized data and IT equipment at FIFA headquarters in Zurich as part of an agreed exchange of evidence. According to The Guardian, the haul includes material from the offices of former FIFA president Sepp Blatter and secretary general Jérôme Valcke. Meanwhile, FIFA has suspended host bidding for the 2026 World Cup, as criminal investigations continue into the awarding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, in Russia and Qatar, respectively.
DAVID CAMERON â€œALMOST ILL-MANNEREDâ€
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner described British Prime Minister David Cameron as â€œalmost ill-manneredâ€ following his comments to Argentinian Foreign Minister Hector Timerman in a heated exchange about the Falkland Islands in Brussels yesterday, El Periodico reports. â€œThe prime ministerâ€™s response was irate, almost ill-mannered,â€ Fernandez said. Timerman had apparently criticized Britain for clinging to â€œcolonialistâ€ policies. But a spokesperson for the British government said Cameron simply â€œrobustly defended the Falklands and the islanders' right to self-determination in response to the Argentine foreign minister raising the issue.â€
DONâ€™T BELIEVE THE HYPE
A rumor that Marge and Homer Simpson would divorce in the 27th season of the television show spread like wildfire this morning. But it was almost immediately denied on the seriesâ€™ Twitter account.
A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.
A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."
The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.
Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021
Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?
The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.
The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.
The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."
The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."
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