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Al-Qaeda In Iraq, Madoff Fine, "Voldemort" Feud

Tens of thousands of African migrants demonstrate in Tel Aviv over asylum requests
Tens of thousands of African migrants demonstrate in Tel Aviv over asylum requests

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called on "the people of Fallujah and its tribes to expel the terrorists" so that "their areas are not subjected to the danger of armed clashes," the BBC reports state television channel Iraqiya as saying. Last week, al-Qaeda-linked fighters took control of Fallujah and the nearby city of Ramadi, where army air strikes killed at least 34 people yesterday. Read more from The Guardian.

The Awami League, Bangladesh’s governing party, easily won yesterday’s parliamentary elections after the opposition party, the BNP, boycotted the vote and called for a 48-hour general strike to protest what it sees as “one-sided and farcical” polls, BDnews24 reports. According to the website, at least 21 people were killed in clashes, while RT reports that the police shot at protesters, who torched polling stations and beat to death two people who tried to defend the sites.

Syria’s main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, re-elected its leader Ahmad Jarba, a man thought to be close to Saudi Arabia, AFP reports. Following yesterday’s vote, the coalition is expected to discuss whether to attend the peace conference in Geneva, scheduled to take place at the end of the month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel fractured a pelvic bone during in a cross country ski accident in Switzerland, the BBC reports.

Large parts of the North American continent are braced for what could turn out to be record-low temperatures, brought by a “polar vortex,” a jet stream from the North Pole. Areas in Canada and the northeastern U.S. are expected to be crippled by a snowstorm. The cold weather is expected to last, and even the Southern states of Alabama and Georgia are preparing for record-low temperatures Tuesday. Read more from NPR.

Prosecutors are expected to announce that JPMorgan will pay more than $2 billion in penalties in the Bernie Madoff case, The Wall Street Journalreports.

Tens of thousands of African migrants demonstrated in Tel Aviv Sunday as part of a national three-day strike, demanding the government recognize their asylum requests.

In China, a gang has been accused of injecting dirty pond water into lamb meat to increase its weight and price, Reuters reports.

The diplomatic stand-off between Japan and China reaches a new level of tension as both countries compare the other to "Voldemort."

Rescuers use olive oil to extract a naked man from washing machine.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

Palestinian Olive Trees Are Also Under Israeli Occupation — And That's Not A Joke

In the West Bank, a quieter form of oppression has been plaguing Palestinians for a long time. Their olive groves are surrounded by soldiers, and it's forbidden to harvest the olives – this economic and social violence has gotten far worse since Oct. 7.

A Palestinian woman holds olives in her hands

In a file photo, Um Ahmed, 74, collects olives in the village of Sarra on the southwest of the West Bank city of Nablus.

Mohammed Turabi/ZUMA
Francesca Mannocchi

HEBRON – It was after Friday prayers on October 13th of last year, and Zakaria al-Arda was walking along the road that crosses his property's hillside to return home – but he never made it.

A settler from Havat Ma'on — an outpost bordering Al-Tuwani that the United Nations International Law and Israeli law considers illegal — descended from the hill with his rifle in hand.

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After kicking al-Arda, who tried to defend himself, the settler shot him in the abdomen. The bullet pierced through his stomach, a few centimeters below the lungs. Since then, al-Arda has been in the hospital in intensive care. A video of those moments clearly shows that neither al-Arda nor the other worshippers leaving the mosque were carrying any weapons.

The victim's cousin, Hafez Hureini, still lives in the town of Al-Tuwani. He is a farmer, and their house on the slope of the town is surrounded by olive trees — and Israeli soldiers. On the pine tree at the edge of his property, settlers have planted an Israeli flag. Today, Hafez lives, like everyone else, as an occupied individual.

He cannot work in his greenhouse, cannot sow his fields, and cannot harvest the olives from his precious olive trees.

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