Death Toll In Iran Twin Quakes Passes 300



TEHRAN - Iran has raised the death toll from Saturday's twin quakes in the north east of the country to 306, a day after calling off the search for survivors and stepping up the relief effort.

The official toll, presented by Health Minister Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi in a report to politicians and published on the parliament's website, was a big jump over the last count given on Sunday by Interior Minister Moustafa Mohammad-Najjar, who spoke of 227 dead and 1,380 injured, Al Jazeera reports.

"We have now finished search and rescue operations and we are working to provide shelter and food to the survivors," Mohammad-Najjar told state television.

Iran’s Interior Minister told Iran Daily that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had given orders on Sunday for home reconstruction to begin immediately because of the harsh winter the region will experience at the end of the year.

Iran's Red Crescent has taken over a sports stadium and provided 6,000 tents to some 16,000 people left homeless.

According to the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Tehran, a 6.2 quake on the Richter scale hit the city of Ahar at 4:53 p.m. local time on Saturday, and a 6 magnitude quake struck the city of Varzaqan only 11 minutes later -- followed by multiple aftershocks.

The Tehran Times reports that of the 538 villages in the the northwestern Iranian province of East Azerbaijan, 110 sustained about 40 to 100 percent damage; about 5000 buildings have been damaged.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

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 child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

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

La Voz de Galicia

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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