Air Strikes In Raqqa Kills Dozens

According to on-site activists with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in London, at least 36 civilians were killed during the air strikes ...

Saudi Arabia Reminds Women to “Stay...

Female drivers in Saudi Arabia will be “strictly” deal with, according to authorities on Thursday. Meanwhile activists are planning a “right-to-dri...

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FIFA MEMBER: “World Cup Will Not Ta...

It is the belief of German Fifa Member Theo Zwanziger that the 2022 World Cup will NOT take place at Qatar. This is mainly because of the extreme temp...

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Iran’s Nuclear Talks Resume A...

New York is playing host to the latest round of negotiations aimed at limiting Iran's controversial nuclear program, but getting agreement around the ...

Air Strikes In Raqqa Kills Dozens

According to on-site activists with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights based in London, at least 36 civilians were killed during the air strikes of the Syrian government against the Islamic State in Raqqa.

The opposition activist network said that around 36 to 80 people had died from two successive bombing runs. They also confirm that the bombings had killed a majority of civilians.

The Observatory said that the Syrian government air strikes had targeted a popular market in Raqqa and industrial areas where large explosions had caused great casualties.

According to Observatory Director Rami Abdel Rahman, “The first strike came, residents rushed to rescue the wounded, and then the second raid took place.”

A pro-Islamic State media group, Amaq, showed firemen dousing several burning cars with water and medics placing several bodies into the back of an ambulance. While the video cannot be verified, the bodies were believed to have been civilians.

“This is one of the ugliest regime massacres in Raqqa to date,” Abu Ibrahim al-Raqqawi, a Moscow-based activist who oversees the group Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, said.

The US and Arabian allies had been conducting air strikes on IS positions in Raqqa and elsewhere in northern and eastern Syria since September. They have downed several IS targets with none to minimal civilian casualties.

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Saudi Arabia Reminds Women to “Stay Off The Cars”

Female drivers in Saudi Arabia will be “strictly” deal with, according to authorities on Thursday.

Meanwhile activists are planning a “right-to-drive” campaign against the government.

It is only in Saudi Arabia where women cannot drive. In early October, activists said they will step up their campaign against Saudi Arabia’s backwards policies.

Using social media, they will encourage women drivers to post pictures of themselves on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #IWillDriveMyself. Videos on YouTube and WhatsApp will also use the same hashtag for the campaign.

However, the Saudi Interior Ministry said they will strictly implement measures against anybody who “contributes in any manner or by any acts, towards providing violaters with the opportunity to undermine the social cohesion.”

The official Saudi Press had published the statement.

More than 2700 people have signed an online petition against the Saudi Arabian kingdom’s decision regarding women’s driving. Activists have also told the AFP that two or three women are sharing their driving posts daily on social media.

In Saudi Arabia, women are fined for using vehicles even with their husband’s consent. In Saudi Arabia, women also need a male guardian’s approval to work and marry. Single men have areas of their own in restaurants.

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FIFA MEMBER: “World Cup Will Not Take Place in Qatar”

It is the belief of German Fifa Member Theo Zwanziger that the 2022 World Cup will NOT take place at Qatar. This is mainly because of the extreme temperatures during the summer when the World Cup will be held, which ultimately, will put the world’s best players at serious risk of things like heat exhaustion and sun stroke.

It is also thought the threat of legal action by representatives of the players could be the straw that breaks the camels back, which will see FIFA move the World Cup away from Qatar to a new country.

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One compromise that has been talked about in recent months is moving the World Cup to the winter months in order to avoid the heat of the summer.

However, this idea has been met with outrage by many of the leading teams of England, Spain, Italy, and Germany as it would bring major disruption to the domestic season.

Theo Zwanziger said, “I just don’t see how it is possible to have the World Cup in Qatar in 2022.”

If the World Cup does get moved to another country, then it would be a major blow to the economy of Qatar as they would lose out on millions of dollars of investment.

Qatar, the largest importer of phytoceramides and other health supplements, are relying heavily on World Cup cash to build new football stadiums and other facilities. If the money falls through, then football in Qatar will take a massive nosedive, and it could even spell the end of the game, as well as millions of dollars in tourism.

“We must have the World Cup,” said a sports representative for Qatar. “Anything else would be a disaster.”

Reports are surfacing that high profile clubs such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea will be joining forces to launch legal action against Fifa Members, including the head honcho Sepp Blatter.

“Once Fifa feels the force of these European super powers and their legal teams it might have no other choice but to move the World Cup elsewhere in 2022,” commented a Premier League insider.

There is also an English investigation into reports of corruption and bribery within the FIFA ranks, of which the findings will soon be made available to the public.

If there is any hard evidence of illegal activities or foul play, then Fifa may be forced to take the World Cup away from Qatar and give it to England instead, who are more than equipped to host the finals in 2022.

Iran’s Nuclear Talks Resume Ahead of Deadline

New York is playing host to the latest round of negotiations aimed at limiting Iran’s controversial nuclear program, but getting agreement around the table is proving difficult with the current slew of world crises distracting the nations involved.

The last set of talks, based in Vienna in July, stalled and achieved only an agreement to try and reach a consensus on giving Iran relief from the sanctions currently levied against it, in return for strict limits designed to hinder any attempts to acquire a nuclear weapon.

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The high profile setting of these new talks, timed to take place when world leaders are gathered for the UN General Assembly meeting have raised expectations of a final resolution to talks. The non-stop procession of crisis events this summer however – from the Ukraine conflict and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to the Islamic State violence in Syria and Iraq – threaten to weaken resolve to dedicate time to the discussions.

Commentators are wary of how Iran will feel emboldened by the current unrest, noting how historically the country has tended to see conflicts such as those in Iraq as an opportunity to increase their leverage in negotiations. There are fears that both sides will get bogged down in increased demands rather than seeking a solution that would then free them up to deal with bigger issues of national security.

The looming deadline of November 24th is unlikely to be extended, so this round of negotiations is going to essential if both sides are going to be able to find solutions to the current road blocks.

Saudi Arabia Arrested Dozens of Christians at a Private Home

Saudi Arabian authorities had raided a private home in the Kingdom where a Christian prayer meeting was held. They had arrested the 27 attendees of the meeting and had confiscated their bibles.

The operation was the latest in the series of raids against religious minorities in Saudi Arabia the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, a hardline commission in the country.

The Christians held their prayer meeting at the home of an Indian national in Khafji. Police had entered the building and arrested the members. No news regarding the prisoners have been shared to the public.

According to Human Rights groups and free thinking organisations, Saudi Arabia continues its religious cleansing, which is part of its government’s policy. Saudi Arabia is the only country that has an official policy to ban other churches in its country.

Human rights activists are calling on the United States to take action on releasing the prisoners

Most people victimised in Saudi Arabia are foreign workers coming from Asian and African countries, who practice Christianity and Catholicism, whose governments are unable to do anything as Saudi Arabia provides them with a steady stream of profit.

According to a Saudi government spokesperson, the government had no knowledge of the arrests. But newspapers such as The Saudi Gazette had reported about the arrests locally.

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Israel Destroys Homes of Suspected Killers of Three Teenagers

The Israeli military had destroyed the house of three Palestinian Hamas fighters accused of kidnapping and killing the three teenagers in the West bank. The military had destroyed the homes of the suspects, Hassam Qawasmeh and Amar Ebu Eisha, through demolition.

At least 250 policemen and dozens of Israeli soldiers had participated in destroying the properties.

The house of Marwan Qawasmeh had been sealed off and is being readied to be demolished.

The Israel government said that the demolitions of the properties were in accordance with the procedures for dealing with militants with war crimes.

On June 12, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, who has a dual US-Israeli citizenship, had gone missing. Soldiers discovered their bodies beneath piles of rocks on June 30. Public outcry from Israel held Hamas responsible, but they had denied any involvement.

Meanwhile, Israel and Gaza had ceased fire the previous week. It is to conclude a deal before the ceasefire expires at morning today.

Israel said that it will not be open to any deals until conditions permit that the Hamas become disarmed. Hamas had also stiffened their position that they will not conclude any deal not until the Gaza blockade is lifted.

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Saudi Fortifies Aran Borders Against Possible Iraq Conflict Spread

As ISIS’ influence and activities continue to spread in Iraq, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defence had stepped up its border defence on the northern side of Aran. The MoD had sent more than 2,000 troops armed with the latest military technology and intelligence-gathering equipment to defend the possible incursion of ISIS militants once the Iraqi conflict is resolved.

Saudi Border Guards Commander General Faleh al-Subai’i said that three helicopter units and lorries mounted with machine guns have mobilised to survey the land and ensure the safety of the border. The border is also guarded by radar and infrared video cameras, which is monitored 24 hours in a control room.

The MoD is reported to have sent more troops, but they and the media have not yet said the exact number of soldiers added.

The border is also guarded by high earth berms and fences. Sandbags have been spread thoroughly all around the border.

In the previous week, a Saudi border guard’s housing complex were hit by three rockets. The military has yet to identify who launched the rockets, but General Faleh al-Subai’I said that these groups are looking to start a conflict between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

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Al-Maliki Blames Saudi, Qatar for ISIS Strength

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blames Saudi Arabia and Qatar for indirectly funding the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants as it pushed to aid the rebels in the Syrian civil war. Part of the Syrian rebel forces were al-Qaeda splinter groups aiming to overthrow the Syrian regime and ISIS is one of these groups.

However, Saudi and Qatar had blamed al-Maliki for his “sectarian” policies, leading under a Shiite majority government.

According to local Qatar news agency The Peninsula Qatar, some of the ISIS members had supporters of the deposed dictator Saddam Hussein joining their ranks.

ISIS had overtaken the northern areas of Iraq, including Mosul and Tikrit. They have also invaded nearby towns as they progress further towards Baghdad, Iraq’s capital.

The ISIS had also uploaded photos of executions online, showing the “before and after” appearances of unarmed Iraqi soldiers in mass execution. The UN and the US had condemned the photographs, saying the terrorist group had committed war crimes for killing “in cold blood.”

Meanwhile, the United States had confirmed the deployment of 275 military personnel to grant safe passage to Iraqi US Embassy personnel. The Iraqi government had also stepped up the capital’s security.

The US is also considering a security cooperative with Iran to safeguard the two countries’ interest in Iraq’s stability.

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More MERS Deaths Recorded in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Health Authorities report three more had died from MERS, which takes the country’s total death toll to 163 individuals.

In total, Saudi Arabia had recorded 698 cases of MERS in the country. According to Health Authorities, 30% of those infected with the virus survive the symptoms.

Three women, a 48 year old from Riyadh, a 67 year old from Taif and an undisclosed-aged woman from Jeddah had died due to the virus.

More cases of MERS in the King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah had induced public panic, which led to the dismissal of its Health Minister

The World Health Organization had warned governments to stay vigilant and ensure proper health protocol to avoid the spread of the virus to vulnerable countries in Southeast Asia and Africa. It had come short of considering MERS as a global health issue.

Aside from Saudi Arabia, governments have reported few cases from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, the UAE and the United States.

Health experts and researchers note that MERS is a cousin of the SARS virus from Asia and is a deadlier version of the virus. It appears as a lung infection, with patients coughing, having breathing difficulties and high temperatures. However, MERS could also trigger rapid kidney failure.

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MERS Prevention and Containment Campaigns Helps Saudi Nerves

The MERS incident and the death toll of 66 people in Saudi Arabia had parents nationwide keep their children off their schools and everybody in the country wearing face –masks. The coronavirus is feared to have spread everywhere, but Makkah Governor Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah and health authorities have made efforts to control and prevent the spread of the disease in the kingdom.

Online rumors in social media had scared Jeddah’s residents and the misconceptions had the Ministry of Health and the governor raise awareness among people in the city, particularly in malls and public spaces.

A ministry that will oversee the prevention of the virus had calmed down the people of Jeddah.

According to Awareness Campaign Supervisor Yusuf Al-Otaibi, the number of people visiting their information stalls surprised them. People were asking about preventative measures against the virus and how to keep it from spreading.

Observers have noticed that the campaigns have been helpful in informing residents. Students said the local authorities had successfully debunked the online myths about MERS, especially those who thought they had symptoms of infection.

After the campaign, pharmaceutical stores had seen a rise in the number of purchases for medical masks.

Yemen had recorded its first death from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus this month.

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