By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Iraq has lifted a 17-day social media ban imposed to disrupt the communications of armed militants who have seized much of its west and north, although about 20 news websites remain blocked, industry sources said on Tuesday. One source said that Iraq had come under pressure from foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to end the ban but the state telecoms company did not explain why it had done so. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which on Sunday declared its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi caliph of the Muslim world, is the driving force behind the rebellion by Sunni Muslim groups and has used social media to publicise its agenda. The revolt, which began with the June 10 capture of Mosul, prompted state-run Iraq Telecommunications and Post Company (ITPC) to block some social media platforms on June 13, Reuters reported last month.
MARIAM BEK, Iraq (AP) — As Islamic extremists seek to sweep away borders in their advance across the Middle East, Kurds in northern Iraq appear to be in the process of digging a new one, asserting their claim to hotly disputed territory and expanding their semi-autonomous region in a bid for greater autonomy or outright independence.
The murder trial of South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius turned its focus on Tuesday to whether neighbours could have heard his model girlfriend screaming on the night he shot her dead. Prosecutors are trying to prove that Reeva Steenkamp screamed and that this showed the star athlete known as the "Blade Runner" knowingly gunned her down in a fit of anger after a row in the early hours of Valentine's Day last year. The defence claims Pistorius shot the 29-year-old model and law graduate four times through a locked toilet door after mistaking her for an intruder and that any screams came from him. State prosecutor Gerrie Nel attempted to show that tests conducted by engineer and acoustics expert Ivan Lin backed up the premeditated murder charge, arguing that neighbours who lived 177 metres (580 feet) from Pistorius could have been able to differentiate between a male and a female screaming.