Latest blog articles
Pro-Assad Syrian mufti rejects terrorism claims on Ireland visit
Dublin (AFP) - Syria's pro-regime Grand Mufti Ahmed Badreddin Hassoun on Thursday rejected claims he had encouraged terrorism in Europe, during a rare visit outside Syria that has triggered outrage from rights groups.
"They say that I said I will send terrorists to Europe to kill themselves. I don't know why they lie in their translations," the top Sunni cleric said, speaking in Arabic through an interpreter.
"I said, don't bombard Syria or Lebanon. If fire gets burning in Syria or Lebanon there are dormant cells in the world that will be awakened. I feared for Europe," he said in comments before an Irish parliamentary committee.
However, a 2011 speech of his available on YouTube suggests otherwise.
Hassoun issued a clear warning against intervention in Syria, saying: "From the first round fired, the sons of Syria and Lebanon will become fighters who will carry out suicide attacks on the land of Europe and Palestine.
"I say to Europe and the United States: we will prepare the fedayeen (fighters) if you strike Syria, because now it's an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," he said at the time.
Hassoun often appears alongside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for religious occasions.
In 2012, a US group promoting peace in the Middle East rescinded an invitation for him to speak saying that it had not properly researched his background.
Hassoun arrived in Ireland on Tuesday as part of a religious delegation of Syrian religious leaders and visited Trinity College Dublin on Wednesday.
The Irish Syria Solidarity Movement has called for Hassoun to be arrested for hate crimes.
It said his support for Assad made him "repugnant" and called him a "horrible prop of a vile dictator".
Ali Salim, a senior member of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, was quoted by The New Arab as calling him a "war criminal" and adding: "He's not welcome."
Novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab, who also addressed the parliamentary committee on Thursday, called Hassoun a "propagandist for genocide" in a tweet.
How to watch Tigres vs. Club America online: Liga MX final Live stream, TV ...
Read on the original site chat_bubble_outline Read More...
S.Africa union federation backs Ramaphosa for power
Johannesburg (AFP) - South African deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday won the support of Cosatu, the biggest union federation, to be the ANC party's next leader, boosting his chances of taking national power.The African National Congress (ANC), which is currently headed by scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma, is due to choose its new leader in December next year.The party leader becomes its automatic presidential candidate in the next general elections, with the ANC still the strong… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
US jobless claims fall, in line with low trend
Washington (AFP) - US claims for unemployment fell slightly in the third week of October, in keeping with a steady trend of low levels, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday.Seasonally adjusted claims for jobless benefits stood at 258,000 for the week ending October 22, down 3,000 from the prior week and close to analyst expectations.A volatile economic indicator, unemployment insurance claims are used to measure the prevalence of layoffs and the health of labor markets.The… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Investigative journalist Phillip Knightley dies at 87
LONDON (AP) — Phillip Knightley, an investigative journalist who helped win compensation for victims of thalidomide, has died at the age of 87.Knightley's literary agent, Rachel Calder, said Friday that he died Wednesday in London.Born in Sydney in 1929, Knightley worked for publications in Australia, Fiji and India before joining London's Sunday Times in the 1960s. Under editor Harold Evans, the paper became renowned for its investigations, and Knightley was a key part of the team that exposed… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
UK urged to stop locking up stateless 'ghost people'
By Emma BathaLONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Britain is locking up stateless people for long periods even though there is nowhere they can be deported to, campaigners, lawyers and academics said on Thursday as they called for a strict time limit on detention.Stateless people, sometimes referred to as "legal ghosts", are not recognized as nationals by any country. As such they are deprived of the basic rights most people take for granted.The European Network on Statelessness (ENS)… chat_bubble_outline Read More...