Sudan's former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi was released from custody on Sunday, one month after state security agents detained him in a case that sparked concern from Western governments. An AFP reporter saw a smiling Mahdi, chief of the opposition Umma party, greeting about 200 noisy supporters at his headquarters in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. Minutes earlier State Minister of Information Yassir Yousef told AFP that Mahdi "has been released". The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested Mahdi on May 17 after he reportedly accused the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) of rape and other abuses of civilians in western Sudan's Darfur region.
Young Syrian opposition activists living with the constant dangers of more than three years at war are braving bombardment by government forces and jihadists' threats to watch their favourite World Cup teams. In Raqa province, controlled by powerful jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), one young activist and avid football fan risked the extremists' anger to sneak out to watch Spain play the Netherlands. "Members of ISIL raided the cafeterias on the first day of the World Cup, and forced the young people to go pray," said the activist who identified himself as Abu Ibrahim. So I watched Friday evening's match, Spain-Netherlands, at a friend's house.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is facing calls to resign over reports published Sunday that his interior minister cut a deal with the head of the central bank to stay in power. The secret recording allegedly features a conversation in which Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz tries to convince central bank chief Marek Belka to support government financial policy in return for the resignation of then finance minister Jacek Rostowski. "In this situation, excuse me, the decommission of the minister of finance is essential," Belka is quoted as saying in the recording posted on Wprost magazine's website. "Next there will come a new minister -- I don't have to tell you who that will be... We will do whatever is necessary to prevent" the opposition winning the next election, says the recording, allegedly taken in a restaurant in Warsaw mid last year.
US President Barack Obama came under fire Sunday from Republican lawmakers and others who warned that a debacle in Iraq will give Islamist extremists a staging area for "the next 9/11." Senator Lindsey Graham, a proponent of US air strikes, also called for the resignation of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and direct US engagement with Iran on the crisis set off this week by a lightning offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist group. Retired military officers questioned whether air strikes were a viable near-term option with no US forces on the ground to provide precise targeting data. But they and a former US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, stressed the urgent need for high-level US diplomacy to drive Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds toward a political solution.
The German economy ministry said Sunday it has launched a probe into power giant RWE's planned 5.1-billion-euro sale of its Dea unit to a Russian-controlled investment fund. A ministry spokeswoman confirmed a report in news weekly Der Spiegel that it was looking into RWE's plans to sell Dea, which specialises in oil and gas exploration and production, to a Luxembourg-based fund called LetterOne controlled by Russia's Alfa Group. Alfa Group belongs to billionaire entrepreneur Mikhail Fridman. The spokeswoman told AFP that the investigation would examine whether the deal violated Germany's strategic interests as laid out in its export laws, including the security of its energy supply.
House Homeland Security Committee Chair Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, criticized the Obama administration for its deliberate response to the escalating crisis in Iraq, while calling the threat from the extremist group ISIS overrunning the country “one of the biggest threats” to the United States. “This...
Extremism is flourishing in Britain because the country has been too bashful in promoting its values, Prime Minister David Cameron said Sunday. Schools should not just respect British values but actively promote them, Cameron said in an article in The Mail on Sunday newspaper. Those allegations renewed fears about the risk to young people in Britain of Islamic extremism, and exposed a rift at the heart of the government about how to tackle religious radicalism. Writing about a "muscular" new defence of "British values", Cameron said he was talking about "a belief in freedom, tolerance of others, accepting personal and social responsibility, respecting and upholding the rule of law.
Colombians went to the polls Sunday in a cliffhanger presidential election that has become a referendum on peace talks with FARC guerrillas. Voters will choose between President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking a second term, and Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, a vehement critic of the president's peace talks with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Zuluaga, 55, has long been opposed to the peace talks and campaigned under the slogan "No to impunity." But he now says that he would negotiate with the rebels under stricter conditions.
A Kuwaiti human rights organisation on Sunday urged the Gulf state to fulfil pledges to abolish the sponsorship system for foreign labour and to end the arbitrary deportation of expatriates. In a report on human rights in the oil-rich emirate, the Kuwait Society for Human Rights also called for measures to end abuse of thousands of domestic workers and for a final resolution to the plight of more than 100,000 stateless people. The group said that Kuwait pledged several years ago to end the sponsor system which is likened to slavery and common in Gulf states, but so far nothing has been done.
House Republican Majority leader Eric Cantor, 51, comes to “This Week” for his first interview following his defeat in Virginia’s 7th district Republican primary to David Brat, a tea-party backed college professor at Randolph-Macon College. To help you better understand Sunday’s interview with Cantor...
Syria has freed after 21 years in jail an ex-horse rider known to have been an equestrian rival of one of President Bashar al-Assad's late brothers, reports said Sunday. The release of Adnan Qassar is part of a wide-reaching amnesty that Assad decreed last week, and has seen some 1,500 people freed from the war-ravaged country's prisons, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "In 1993, Adnan Qassar was one of the top horse riders in Syria and the Arab world. He won a horse race against Bassel al-Assad," who at the time was being groomed for the presidency, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
Four US lawmakers visiting Nigeria called on Sunday for a special fund for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and seen the abduction of dozens of schoolgirls. "Today we call upon the government of Nigeria to establish a national victim fund for all the victims who are suffering at the hands of Boko Haram," delegation co-chair Sheila Jackson Lee told reporters in the capital Abuja. The delegation was in Nigeria as part of global efforts to drum up support for the rescue of the teenage girls kidnapped on April 14 from their school in the northeastern town of Chibok. Lee said the special fund should provide help "for the girls who are still missing, for the girls who escaped, for their families, for the father who came and spoke to us about his missing daughter," adding that "they need compensation."
The wife of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has been treated in an Israeli hospital, media reported Sunday, as Israel searched for teenagers believed to be held captive in Palestinian territory. Israeli news site Ynet said Amina Abbas was admitted to the private Assuta hospital in Tel Aviv on Thursday. The hospital refused to comment on the report, Ynet said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Saturday held Abbas responsible for the safe return of three youths Israel said were abducted by the Islamist Hamas movement.
Sudan's former prime minister Sadiq al-Mahdi was released from custody on Sunday, one month after state security agents detained him in a case that sparked concern from Western governments. An AFP reporter saw a smiling Mahdi, chief of the opposition Umma party, greeting about 200 noisy supporters at his headquarters in Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman. Minutes earlier State Minister of Information Yassir Yousef told AFP that Mahdi "has been released". The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrested Mahdi on May 17 after he reportedly accused a counter-insurgency unit of abuses against civilians in the Darfur region.
By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. congressional leader Eric Cantor took to the airwaves on Sunday to try to rebuild his political reputation after a stunning primary election loss that has shaken the Republican Party, and refused to rule out a future run for public office. But on two Sunday television talk shows, Cantor left open the door to rekindling his political career sometime in the future and defended his work as majority leader.
Thousands of people marched in the Niger capital Niamey on Sunday to protest against the regime of President Mahamadou Issoufou over the detention of six opposition figures. The six, including a former government minister, were charged on June 4 with threatening state security in the poor west African country. Opposition leader and former premier Seini Oumarou, former president Mahamane Ousmane and Hama Amadou, the current speaker of parliament, took part in the protest. "Nothing will discourage us in our fight against the unjust government of Mahamadou Issoufou," Amadou said.