Iran on Sunday hanged a man said to be affiliated to an exiled opposition group, state media reported, despite international pressure on the Islamic republic to halt the execution. According to the official IRNA news agency, Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani was convicted of "waging war against God" (moharebeh) by helping the People's Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran (PMOI). The announcement of the hanging came just hours after Amnesty International said Khosravi Savadjani's trial in 2010 had been unfair. Khosravi Savadjani was until then being held in solitary confinement at Evin Prison in the capital.
The release of five senior Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl bodes well for the resumption of peace talks, a senior member of Afghanistan's High Peace Council said Sunday. But despite the Taliban's "great happiness" over the prisoners' release, a spokesman for the militant group cautioned the exchange was "not political". The five prisoners were named as Mohammad Fazl, Norullah Noori, Mohammed Nabi, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Abdul Haq Wasiq, all influential former officials of the Taliban regime driven out of power in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.
Israel has denied three future Palestinian ministers from the Gaza Strip entry to the West Bank ahead of the unveiling of a new unity government, public radio said on Sunday. The head of Israel's military administration in the Palestinian territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, had informed the Palestinians that the three would not be permitted to cross from Gaza to the West Bank, the radio said. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Saturday that the line-up of a unity government would be announced Monday, following a delay over who would head the foreign ministry. He also said Israel had informed the Palestinians that it would "boycott the government".
By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama heads to Warsaw, Brussels, Paris and Normandy this week where he is expected to elaborate on the U.S. commitment to counter Russian moves against Ukraine and reassure nervous allies the United States has their backs. In Poland, Ukraine's western neighbor, Obama meets with Eastern European leaders - including Ukraine's president-elect, Petro Poroshenko, on Wednesday - and is expected to address criticism he has not done enough to push back against Moscow after it annexed Crimea in March.
By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrats in Republican-leaning states have a simple strategy for dealing with President Barack Obama's upcoming power plant restrictions before the mid-term elections: Fight them, with the White House's blessing. The new rules, popular with the Democratic Party's base, are one of Obama's highest domestic priorities for his second term. But they are complicating the lives of Democrats in coal and oil-rich states such as West Virginia, Louisiana and Alaska, where candidates are piling on the president and the Environmental Protection Agency for proposing restrictions that could cost jobs locally. So, the White House is turning a blind eye to attacks from within the party, despite the importance of the regulations to Obama's agenda and post-presidential legacy.
Tanzania's mining revenues are touted as a key way to reduce reliance on foreign aid and pull people out of poverty, but experts argue companies are swindling the government out of at least $248 million a year. The East African nation topped the worst of a list of nations across the continent examined by the watchdog group Global Financial Integrity (GFI), with nearly $19 billion (14 billion euros) in illicit flows over the past decade, the equivalent to over seven percent of the country's total government revenue. There are a lot of illegal reasons to do this, including tax evasion and money laundering.
GRAYS (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Feeling "surrounded" by ethnic minorities, retired factory worker Peter Harvey voted for anti-immigration UK Independence Party (UKIP) in last month's European and local polls and plans to do so again in next year's national election. "I'm the only white British person in my area," the 66-year-old said, explaining his voting preference in Grays, a town in southeast England, where UKIP did particularly well amid spectacular gains across the country. Ostensibly fuelled by antipathy to immigration and Europe, UKIP's rise has nonetheless helped bring the issue of race to the fore ahead of the May 2015 general election. At the same time, there is a growing realisation of the importance of the ethnic minority vote, as studies show the numbers of black and Asian Britons growing at a faster rate than whites.