Friday, March 6, 2015

GRAPHIC CONTENT: Alleged rapist dragged through streets and beaten to death by angry mob in India

SHOCKING pictures show a crowd of thousands storming a prison and dragging a man accused of rape naked through the streets before beating him to death.

BRUTAL: The alleged rapist was beaten by the angry mob who took photos of the attack on mobile phones [AFP/GETTY]

The violent mob overpowered security at Dimapur Central Prison in Nagaland, north eastern India and seized the rape suspect.

They pelted him with stones and beat him to death, according to police constable Sunep Aier.

The man had been arrested on suspicion of raping a local woman on February 24.

ANGER: The man was dragged naked through the streets amid rising anger over sexual violence in India [AFP/GETTY]

VIOLENT: The man had been arrested on suspicion of raping a local woman on February 24 [AFP/GETTY]

His naked and bloody body was dragged through the streets where many of the crowd took photos on mobile phones.

The attack comes after mounting anger across India over the levels of sexual violence against women.

On Wednesday, a vicious rapist provoked fury when he blamed his victim for the brutal rape that led to her death.

FURY: Protesters have taken to the streets in outrage over high levels of sex attacks on women [GETTY]

Unrepentant Mukesh Singh said his 23-year-old victim Jyoti Singh would still be alive today if she hadn't resisted the horrific sex attack.

But police said the killing on Thursday was also likely linked to tensions in Nagaland over an influx of migrants from Bangladesh.

Several local groups blame the migrants for taking away their land and jobs and have been protesting in recent weeks.

Source:UK Daily Star

 Man calls cops on wife for stealing his cocaine and gets JAILED

A MAN called police to report his wife for stealing his cocaine - but HE was arrested instead.

OOPS: Robert D. Collins was charged with two counts of improper use of the 911 system and possession of drug paraphernalia [HANDOUT]

Officers responding to the call in found the US man had a marijuana pipe and a warrant for his arrest.

He had previously failed to cough up hundreds of dollars in court costs in an earlier case.

Robert D. Collins, 39, of Ohio, was charged with two counts alleging improper use of the 911 system and possession of drug paraphernalia.

It is unknown if police located the reportedly stolen cocaine or his wife.

Collins faces up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines if convicted.

Source:UK Daily Star

Turkish boy on trial for allegedly insulting Erdogan

Altunses was arrested in December after he accused Erdogan of being the "chief of theft, corruption and bribery" [AP]

The trial of a 16-year-old boy charged with insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been delayed shortly after it began, following his lawyer's request for new judges.

An attorney defending the teen, Mehmet Emin Altunses, disagreed with the court's decision to try the case behind closed doors and asked for the justices to be replaced, Dogan news agency reported.

The judges halted the trial about 15 minutes after it started on Friday and adjourned the case until April 3.

Altunses was arrested in December in the middle of lessons at school after he accused Erdogan of being the "chief of theft, bribery and corruption" in comments at a student protest in the central Konya province.

A court released the boy pending trial amid accusations his detention was the latest sign of a lurch to authoritarianism under Erdogan. Altunses faces up to four years in jail if convicted.

A small group of supporters, including classmates, opposition lawmakers and activists, staged a protest in support of the boy outside the court on Friday in Konya, Dogan said.

The authorities are hugely sensitive to allegations of corruption following claims against key government members and Erdogan's inner circle that broke in December 2013.

The opposition accuses the authorities of setting up a cult of personality around Erdogan, who became president in August after over a decade as prime minister.

The government has recently stepped up arrests of people accused of personally insulting Erdogan, detaining an increasing number of Turks from students to celebrities.

Former Miss Turkey beauty queen Merve Buyuksarac faces up to four and a half years in jail over an Instagram feed that prosecutors deem to be insulting to Erdogan - the latest of such cases.

Source: Agencies

France tries man for trying to help girl join ISIL

France has stepped up its crackdown on supporters of ISIL and al-Qaeda since a number of attacks shook country in January [AP]

A Frenchman accused of helping a 14-year-old runaway girl try to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant  (ISIL) by arranging her travel is on trial on terrorism charges.

Friday's trial of Riad Ben Cheikh sheds light on the shadowy networks that recruit European adolescent girls to join fighters in Syria.

The girl made Facebook contact with an ISIL recruiter who persuaded her to join him in Syria, where he promised to marry her and teach her to fight.

Ben Cheikh reportedly booked a hotel and paid her fare to the airport, where she was detained in line to board a flight to Istanbul.

France has stepped up its crackdown on supporters of armed groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda since a number of attacks, including the deadly shooting at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, rocked the country in January.

European countries have been struggling to deal with a wave of residents who have either travelled to the Middle East to join armed groups or attempted to. 

Source: Agencies

Driver rams car into pedestrians in Jerusalem

The incident took place outside an Israeli border police station on the line separating West and occupied East Jerusalem.

A driver has rammed his car into pedestrians in Jerusalem injuring several people in an attack mirroring similar incidents last year, Israeli police have said.

The incident took place outside an Israeli border police station on the line separating West and occupied East Jerusalem.

"A young man rammed his car [into pedestrians], and then got out and tried to stab people" before being shot and wounded by an armed security guard, Luba Samri, a police spokeswoman, said in a statement.

"Four people were injured," she added, describing the incident as a "terrorist attack".

Paramedics said they were treating five people for injuries after the attack.

Four of the five who were hurt were Israeli border police women.

Friday's incident comes ahead of an Israeli snap general election to be held on March 17 and a day after the Palestinian leadership said it would end security cooperation with Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The incident is reminiscent of a spate of attacks in Jerusalem in October and November last year, where Palestinians ploughed vehicles into groups of pedestrians, killing several people.

The attackers were shot dead at the scene on those occasions.

Those incidents followed growing tensions over right-wing Jewish demands to be able to pray inside Jerusalem's holiest compound and the expansion of Israeli settlement building in East Jerusalem.

Israel has occupied East Jerusalem since 1967 when it illegally annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.

Source: AFP

Buhari returns to Nigeria, says he’s physically, mentally fit

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.), on Friday returned to Nigeria after a two-week trip to the United Kingdom.

Buhari, who arrived at about 5.40am aboard a British Airways flight, was received by a large crowd, which included journalists, who had been at the airport since 4 a.m.

He later addressed the waiting crowd, and spoke about rumours of his ill-health, describing such reports as unfounded, saying he was physically and mentally fit.

The APC candidate said he merely took some time off his campaign ahead of the March 28 polls to get some rest.

“I just went off for a couple of weeks to rest. That’s all I did,” he said.

When prodded by newsmen on whether he visited any hospital and give details of his visit with prominent politicians while in the United Kingdom, Buhari said, “What is wrong for me to go the hospital?

“Am I not here now? Aren’t you seeing me? Are you seeing a sick man?

“I went to Chatham House. I read an address and there was a question and answer session, that’s all.”

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the APC presidential hopeful left the country on Thursday, February 19 for London.

He appeared at the Royal Institute of Internal Affairs, popularly known as Chatham House, to deliver a lecture.

Buhari delivered a lecture on what he would do to salvage Nigeria should he emerge winner of the March 28 presidential election.

He also met a host of prominent politicians during his visit.


We will occupy Aso villa,major towns if elections are shifted again - APC Youth

National Youths Wing of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has threatened to mobilize Nigerian youths and indeed all APC’s supporters to occupy the Aso Presidential Villa and major cities in Nigeria should the general elections be postponed for the second time.

The youth warned that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the presidency must respect the new dates for the general elections.

It added that though the leadership of the party accepted the previous changes to show recourse to rule of law, it however would do everything necessary within the ambit of the law to ensure that the authorities do not contemplate any further postponement of the election.

At a meeting organized in Abuja yesterday by the National Youth Leader of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Jalo Dasuki, State and zonal youth leaders of the youth wing gathered to take the decision.

Speaking at the meeting, Dasuki, expressed confident that his party will be victorious in the coming elections.

He said: “Even though we know that what they have done was based on political reasons because they truely know that if election would be held that time they will definitely lose, and we want to tell them that no matter the number of times they shift the election we will definitely win these elections.

“We want to tell them that we have accepted it has our leaders have accepted but election will be held on the 28 of March and that 28 remain sacrosanct because we will not tolerate any other shift in election dates. As law abiding citizens we have accepted it but if it come to a point that the government and INEC does not want to conduct election we will definitely have to take the necessary steps legally possible.

“Why this meeting is special is because elections are around the corner in less than four weeks, therefore we have to sit down, strategise and come up with a workable program that all of us will key in and also to set a time line on how we go about campaigning to ensure that we get victory.”

Jalo who also reacted to the speculations that the INEC chairman, Prof. Jega may be show the way out of office before the rescheduled elections however said that the party was not interested in who stays on as the chairman of the electoral management body.

What mattered most, according to him, was who would conduct a free, free and credible elections.

He however said that Jega has shown a lot of finesses and readiness to do a good job “therefore, he should be allow to continue his good job because if they remove him that will take us back and everything has to start afresh from the beginning, even though they have no reason whatsoever to do that.”

He described the party presidential candidate, General Mohammadu Buahri as a credible candidate and choice of Nigerians in the elections given his incorruptible stance.

Also speaking, the APC Northwest zonal youth leader, Barr. Sheu Marshal, said: “Our position is that the March 28 and April election dates are sacrosanct otherwise we will occupy Aso Rock and other major cities in Nigeria.”

The meeting brought together all the youths leaders from the six geo political zones and the 36 states of the federation.

Source:Vanguard Newspaper

Ankara Festival Texas press release cc @mercyflawless

The 5th Annual Ankara Festival will be taking place at Peoples Convention Center located at 2710 W. Irving Blvd, Irving,Texas  Friday April 24th. The event is produced and powered by Victory Ents. and Miles Mgt Intl.

Launched in 2011, Ankara Festival has become a major phenomenon promoting African Fashion to a global audience.

Founder, Olawale Ogundeyi popularly known as " Lawale Victory" envisioned the possibility of embracing African prints in Dallas and by this created " Ankara Festival". However Olawale is fashion icon with a flare for promoting African fashion especially the likes of Ankara. He thought it would be creative to organize  a fashion show  celebrating African prints fused with multicultural entertainmnent. Marking its 5th Anniversary promises to be a night of elegance filled with surprises.

Some of the artists set to perform this year is  Congolese superstar "Fadecour Fadelove", Reggea star " D'Ras'  and Nigerian Superstar " King Rokan" along with ace comedian " Wamilele"

Ankara Festival 2015 is hosted by  Nollywood Producer, OAP, and Celebrity Blogger "Olufunke MercyFlawless"
Tickets are on sale now. For more information visit : www.ankarafestivaltexas.com

Olufunke Mercy Tanimola
CEO, Mercyflawless Media


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Facebook rant lands US man in United Arab Emirate jail

An expat American has been arrested in the United Arab Emirates for comments he posted on Facebook while in the US.

Helicopter mechanic Ryan Pate wrote the Facebook post while in Florida after arguing with employer Global Aerospace Logistics (Gal) over sick leave.

On returning to Abu Dhabi from Florida, he was arrested for breaking the country's strict cyber-slander laws.

His trial is due to start on 17 March and he could face up to five years in jail and a large fine if found guilty.

Legal fee

Mr Pate's dispute with his employer began in December last year when he sought to extend his holiday to see a doctor about a long-standing back injury. After being told he could not extend his leave, Mr Pate posted a rant about the Abu Dhabi-based firm on his Facebook page.

In the post, Mr Pate called Gal "backstabbers" and warned other contractors about working for the firm. He also complained about life in the UAE and used a racial slur against the region's people.

He returned to Abu Dhabi in order to resign but soon after arriving he was called by police who told him to report to a nearby police station. On attending he was shown screenshots of the Facebook message and told his employer had filed charges accusing him of breaking wide-ranging Emirates laws that ban slander.

The laws were introduced in late 2012 and make it an offence to use the net to mock or deride organisations and individuals.

Source: BBC News

'PLAYER OF THE MONTH' :Former President Olusegun Obasanjo scored two goals at his 78th birthday anniversary novelty match

Obasanjo, Amosun Win Golden boots at Birthday novelty match

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday commenced activities marking his 78th birthday celebration with an evening novelty football match at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta.

The match played between a squad of players from the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) led by Obasanjo himself battled a team of Ogun State government officials captained by Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

The former president scored two goals against their opponent during the second half of the 90 minutes game.

Obasanjo in spite of his age, displayed some skills on the ball while the match lasted which would have seen him score more goals.

As the match progressed, the special assistant to the governor on special duties scored the lone goal from the government team.

In the squad of OOPL players, are the 88 years old Prof. Akin Mabogunje who served as the goal keeper, Dr. Femi Olopade, and an aide of Obasanjo and whose combination presented a formidable team against the Amosun-led side.

Manning the defence for the opposition was the secretary to the state government, Barr Adeoluwa Taiwo, and the state’s chief of staff, Prof. Ganiu Olatunde.

The Five-A-Side match ended with Obasanjo, Amosun and Mabogunje winning golden boots, most valuable player and golden gloves respectively.

Source:Leadership Newspaper

ABSURD: An arrogant armed robber posted the knife he used for robbery on his FACEBOOK

A COCKY robber was caught by police after boasting about his crime on Facebook.

FACEBOOK ADDICT: Andrew Hennells couldn't resist putting up a status about the armed robbery he committed [Archant]

Andrew Hennells, 31, raided a Tesco store in Norfolk last month and threatened terrified staff with a knife.

The thug posted a photo of the deadly weapon on the social media site along with a comment boasting: "Doing. Tesco. Over."

“It was a bizarre and unusual set of circumstances”

Det Sgt Pete Jessop

Police dashed to the supermarket after a member of the public tipped them off.

However they got there minutes too late – but eventually found the thief drinking in a nearby pub.

Hennells admitted carrying out the robbery when he appeared in court yesterday.

But it is still unclear why he wrote about it online.

Det Sgt Pete Jessop said: "We have not got to the bottom of why he posted the pictures and words on Facebook or why he did the job in the first place.

"It was a bizarre and unusual set of circumstances.

CHILLING: Andrew Hennells put up a photo of the knife he used to hold up the Tesco [Archant]

CHILLING: Andrew Hennells' Facebook comment [Archant]

"While the message and pictures on Facebook did not solve the case, it did confirm what we already knew."

The case has been adjourned until next month so that officials can see a full medical report.

Source:UK Daily Star

Adam Johnson's girlfriend forced to quit Twitter as vile online abuse escalates

ADAM Johnson's girlfriend has quit Twitter after getting vile abuse from trolls since he was arrested on suspicion of sex with a teenage fan.

ABUSE: Adam Johnson's partner Stacey Flounders has been forced to quit Twitter [EAMONN & JAMES CLARKE]

Stacey Flounders, 25, who gave birth to the couple’s first child Ayla just seven weeks ago, locked her account after the scandal broke.

She has not tweeted since Johnson, 27, was detained by police on Monday.

The model has been blitzed with messages from trolls, some of which have blamed her for the Sunderland and former England winger’s alleged indiscretions.

Others have sent her x-rated filth and asked if she is now “back on the market”.

“Stacey’s Twitter profile had been open but the minute news broke that Adam had been arrested the abuse began to pour in.”


She has also been bombarded with hate messages sent to her by supporters of rival clubs.

Johnson has been suspended by Sunderland while detectives probe claims he indulged in sexual activity with the 15-year-old supporter who had asked him for a signed team shirt.

He has been bailed until March 18. According to Stacey’s mum Debra, 53, she is standing by the footballer whom the family believes is “100% innocent”.

A source said: “Stacey’s Twitter profile had been open but the minute news broke that Adam had been ar

Source:UK Daily Star

OUTRAGE:An Italian teacher to keep job despite 'porn' pics of her emerging online

A SCHOOL teacher has been told she can keep her job despite nude photos of her emerging online.

NAUGHTY NAUGHTY: These images of Anita emerged online causing outrage among parents [CEN]

The busty brunette, , only known as Anita, appears in the tantalising photos pulling seductive poses and showing off her tattooed assets.

Yet since the racy pics surfaced, the Italian beauty has been handed a lifeline when an Italian school board ruled the photos were "very old".

It is believed the snaps were taken 15 years ago and the headteacher of the secondary school where Anita teaches believes they do not reflect her ability to do her job.

Antonia Piva, head of the school in Treviso, northern Italy, said: "This was an old episode and the photos are very old.

"She is a great teacher and all her pupils have all been very well-educated by her.

"There is no reason why she shouldn’t continue her good work."

RAUNCHY: The teacher has been told she will be keeping her job [CEN]

“I’m not happy that a woman who gets her breasts out for porn photos is teaching my son.”

Clelia Cocci, outraged mum

But some angry parents have blasted the school over their decision, saying their children shouldn't be taught by a "porn" model.

Outraged mum Clelia Cocci, 35, said: "I’m not happy that a woman who gets her breasts out for porn photos is teaching my son.

"It is disgusting and she should be fired."

While another dad Arrigo Dellucci, 45, said: "It’s not really porn, but it is titillating.

"It doesn’t set a good role model for young people."

So far Anita is yet to comment but the school have continued to defend the teacher and their decision to save her job.

School head Piva added: "It wasn’t her who spread the photos and she shouldn’t be punished for the actions of others.

"She is staying."

Source:UK Daily Star

Shekau has not killed Chibok girls –Jonathan

Abducted Chibok girls

President Goodluck Jonathan has said on Thursday that the more than 200 female pupils kidnapped by Boko Haram from their hostel at the Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, are still alive.

Jonathan revealed this in an interview with the African Independent Television during a current affairs programme, Kaakaki.

The schoolgirls have spent more than 300 days in captivity since they were abducted in April 14 last year during their West African Examination Council final papers.

The President’s claim that the girls were still being kept by Boko Haram contradicted Abubakar Shekau’s statement in a video released in October 2014 to the media that he had married off the pupils. In a previous statement, the group’s leader had threatened to sell the girls as slave brides.

Jonathan argued that if the schoolgirls had been killed, the Boko Haram insurgents’ commander, Shekau, would have released a video showing how they the girls were murdered.

According to the President, the Nigerian security forces are also wary of storming the main stronghold of the terrorists because they fear the insurgents may use the girls as shields.

He said, “Because they may use them as shields so we are working with the global best practices. We can’t just move in with artillery and clear the place. The good story is that they’ve not been killed. They are still alive because when terrorists kill they display.”

The President however contradicted his assertion, during his Monday interview with the cable TV news channel, Al Jazeera that the Federal Government did not mishandle the Boko Haram insurgency, claiming that the insecurity problem did not start during his tenure.

Jonathan said, “At the beginning, we did not really estimate the capacity of Boko Haram. But over the years they continued to build their capacity with links with other terrorist groups. I believe we’ve got up to 65 per cent of what is needed to prosecute this war.”

He added that the military force was winning the war against the insurgents, noting that only Madagali still remains under the control of the terrorist group in Adamawa State.

“People will want to go back when they no longer hear stories of Boko Haram invasion. We launched the Victims’ Support Fund to aid in rehabilitating them. The Victims’ Support Fund is not managed directly by government but by the private sector,” the President stated.

Speaking on the alleged plot by the Peoples Democratic Party and his administration to foist an interim government on the nation, Jonathan pointed out that there was no provision for interim government in the country’s Constitution.

“There’s no provision for interim government in our constitution. The only interim government is military government. Talking about interim government to me is treasonable. There are some Nigerians that are bent on creating crisis in this country. There was no reason to doubt the May 29 handover,” the PDP presidential candidate said.

Although Jonathan expressed confidence that he was going to win the March 28 election under the platform of the PDP, he admitted that his chances were slimmer than they were in 2011.

“Globally, a sitting president wins with fewer votes than during his first attempt. PDP still has better chances of winning a national election. PDP is still the dominant party; there’s no polling unit where you don’t have PDP members.

“If you remove the PDP elements in the opposition, it would just collapse like a pack of cards. PDP still has an edge over every other party; I am not worried about the outcome of the presidential election,” the President said.

Source:Punch Newspaper

Liberia releases last Ebola patient

Of 45 samples tested in Liberia last week, none were positive, WHO reported [AP]

Liberia has released its last Ebola patient and begun its countdown to being declared Ebola free.

"I am one of the happiest human beings today on earth because it was not easy going through this situation and coming out alive," 58-year old English teacher Beatrice Yardolo told the AP news agency after her release.

She kept thanking God and the health workers at the Chinese-run Ebola treatment centre in the Paynesville district of Monrovia, where she was admitted to the on February 18.

Her release came as the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that Liberia had gone a week without reporting any new cases of Ebola - for the first time since last May.

Liberia "reported no new confirmed cases" during the week to March 1, the UN health agency said in a report late on Wednesday.

Since the outbreak began in December 2013, 23,969 people in nine countries have been infected with the virus, and 9,807 of them have died, according to the latest figures.

Of those, 9,249 cases, including 4,117 deaths, were in Liberia, which six months ago was reporting more than 300 new cases each week.

At the height of the epidemic in a country whose health infrastructure had been ravaged by two back-to-back civil wars, overflowing health clinics had to turn away people, often to die on the streets.

But a huge national and international response helped stem the spread.

Of 45 samples tested nationwide last week, none were positive, WHO said, adding that it was first time there had been no new confirmed cases since May 26, 2014.

The outlook was less positive in Guinea and Sierra Leone, the other countries affected by the outbreak, which jointly reported 132 new confirmed cases last week.

Source: Agencies

Indonesia rejects Australia's offer to save smugglers

Indonesian authorities have said Australia's offer is "not balanced and relevant to what we are going to do" [AFP]

Indonesia has rejected Australia's proposal for a prisoner swap intended to save the lives of two Australian drug smugglers who are expected to face a firing squad within days.

The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have sparked diplomatic tension between the two nations after Australia's repeated pleas for mercy on their behalf.

The two men, who were convicted in 2005, are part of a group of up to 11 convicts, mostly foreigners, due to be executed on the prison island of Nusakambangan.

Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno, the security minister, said on Thursday the executions would be carried out as planned.

"In accordance with the president's order, the death penalty handed to the convicts will still be conducted," Purdijatno told reporters in the capital Jakarta. 

Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo was also cited in local media rejecting the offer. "The offer is not balanced and relevant to what we are going to do," he told the Tempo news website. 

Indonesia's foreign ministry said there was no legal basis for Indonesia to act on the proposal that had been made by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. 

"Basically Indonesia does not have any regulation or legal framework regarding a prisoner swap," said Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir. 

Also facing execution are citizens of France, Brazil, the Philippines, Ghana and Nigeria, as well as Indonesia.

Candlelight vigil 

Australian politicians held a candlelight dawn vigil outside parliament house in support of the men early on Thursday, when Bishop said she had spoken to Indonesia's foreign minister earlier this week. 

"I raised the fact that there were Indonesian prisoners in Australian jails and whether there was an opportunity for us to consider a prisoner swap, a prisoner transfer or a clemency plea in exchange for a return of prisoners," Bishop said.  

"I just asked for a pause in their preparations for the execution of Mr Sukumaran and Mr Chan so that we could have officials explore these ideas," she told Sky News Australia. 

Australia does not have the death penalty and a recent survey by the Sydney-based Lowy Institute think tank showed nearly two-thirds of the public disapproved of the executions. 

Sukumaran and Chan were transferred from Bali's Kerobokan Prison on Wednesday to Nusakambangan, which lies off Java. 

Tony Abbott, Australia's prime minister, said he had asked to speak again with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday. 

Widodo told Al Jazeera the men would be executed soon, but not this week. 

"I am still convinced that the justice system in Indonesia, if you look at drug crime, is valid and based on facts and evidence," he said. 

"That's why when I rejected their clemency, I looked at their cases, how many drugs they were carrying." 

Source: Agencies

Tripoli airport bombed ahead of UN-backed peace talks

Warplanes from Libya's internationally recognised parliament in Tobruk have carried out air strikes on a Tripoli airport, a security official said, just hours before United Nations-backed peace talks were due to start in Morocco.

The jets hit an open area near the runway at Maitiga airport on Thursday but caused no major damage and the airport was operating normally, a security source at the airport told the Reuters news agency.

Libya's legislators are split between the UN-recognised government in the eastern city of Tobruk and rival, legally installed government in the capital, Tripoli.

The political turmoil fuelled rival militias and allowed fighters claiming association with ISIL to gain control of the cities of Sirte and Darna.

The UN is brokering the Morocco talks among the various factions and the two governments, with two other sessions planned in Algeria and Brussels next week.

A source from the Tripoli-based government told Al Jazeera that they had been given a mandate to push for a peace deal during the talks.

UN envoy Bernardino Leon told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that ending the conflict in Libya was "possible" but that the situation on the ground was "deteriorating rapidly".

Urgent strategy needed

The international community, he said, must "move quickly to present a clearly articulated strategy in support of the Libyan state and the efforts of a national unity government in combating the growing threat of terrorism".

The UN Security Council meeting came as Libya's state-run National Oil declared itself inoperable at 11 oil fields after a series of attacks by rebels purportedly linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

The force majeure - a legal step shielding the company from liability if it cannot fulfil contracts for reasons beyond its control - was announced on Wednesday shortly after gunmen attacked the Dahra oil field near Libya's central coast.

The attack on the oil field prompted a counterattack by government forces that included air strikes, said Mashallah al-Zewi, oil minister of the country's Tripoli-based government.

Source: Al Jazeera

US ambassador attacked in South Korea

Lippert was attending a breakfast meeting at the Sejong Art Centre when he was stabbed [Reuters]

The US ambassador to South Korea has been attacked by a knife-wielding man shouting anti-war slogans during a public event at an arts centre in Seoul.

The ambassador, Mark Lippert, was assaulted during a breakfast conference on Thursday as he was preparing to give a lecture about prospects for peace on the divided Korean Peninsula.

The US embassy said Lippert was in stable condition after surgery at a Seoul hospital. Hours after the attack Lippert tweeted that he was "doing well and in great spirits". 

The suspect, identified by police as Kim Ki-jong, 55, was immediately apprehended at the scene. Police said he slashed Lippert on the face and wrist with a knife. Kim had a previous conviction for hurling a stone at the then Japanese ambassador to Seoul in 2010, police said.

"We have detained him and are investigating the cause of the attack and other circumstances," said district police chief Yoon Myung-soon.

Sources told Al Jazeera that Kim is the head of a relatively small civic organisation that has been calling for peace and reconciliation with North Korea.

According to witnesses, he repeatedly shouted "No drills for war." He was apparently referring to the ongoing large-scale South Korea-US military exercise, which occurs every year around this time.

Anti-US protesters in Seoul have recently demonstrated against the drills that North Korea says are preparation for an invasion. Seoul and Washington say the exercises, which will run until the end of April, are defensive and routine.

On Monday, the first day of this year's drills, North Korea test-fired short range missiles in reaction to the exercises.

'Attack on alliance'

Korean President Park Geun-hye condemned the attack, saying it was an attempt to strike at the military alliance between Seoul and Washington.

"The incident is intolerable because it is not only a physical attack on Ambassador Lippert, but also on the South Korea-US alliance," she said in a statement.

Lippert, 42, became ambassador in October 2014 and has been a regular presence on social media and in speeches and presentations during his time in Seoul.

He is a former Pentagon official who served as a foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama when he was a senator from Illinois.

A US official said Obama called Lippert after the attack.

"The president called US ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Mark Lippert, to tell him that he and his wife Robyn are in his thoughts and prayers, and to wish him the very best for a speedy recovery," National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also expressed his sympathies on Twitter.

Source: Al Jazeera

Singapore to cane 2 Germans for graffiti on train

Von Knorre, left, and Hinz, right, both expressed remorse while being sentenced [Reuters]

Two Germans have been sentenced to nine months in prison and three strokes of the cane in Singapore for breaking into a depot and spray-painting graffiti on a commuter train.

Andreas Von Knorre, 22, and Elton Hinz, 21, who had pleaded guilty, expressed remorse while being sentenced on Thursday as rights groups criticised the country's judicial system.

"The Singapore judicial system's shameful recourse to using torture - in the form of caning - to punish crimes that should be misdemeanours is indicative of a blatant disregard for international human rights standards," said Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch.

Von Knorre and Hinz were accused of vandalism and trespass after they broke into one of Singapore's train depots last November to spray-paint a carriage.

The men then fled Singapore, only to be tracked down in neighbouring Malaysia in an international manhunt and then brought back to the city-state to face trial.

'Darkest episode'

Singapore, well known for its cleanliness and its zero tolerance for crime, uses the rattan cane to carry out the sentence.

Prisoners are stripped and strapped to a wooden trestle with a medical officer on hand to intervene if necessary.

People who have been caned have called the pain excruciating.

"This is the darkest episode of my entire life," said Von Knorre while being sentenced. "I want to apologise to the state of Singapore for the stupid act ... I've learned my lesson and will never do it again."

Hinz said: "I promise I will never do it again. I want to apologise to you, and my family for the shame and situation I've put them into."

In recent years, Singapore has poured funds into nurturing and promoting its arts scene, including opening some public space for graffiti, as it works to change its image beyond just an efficient business hub.

But its artists remain hindered by strict censorship and a tight government grip on the media.

In 2012, local artist Samantha Lo was arrested for placing humorous stickers on traffic light poles and spray-painting road signs, triggering an outcry and heated debates on the vandalism laws.

Source: Reuters

Man accused of raping neighbour’s pregnant wife

Tinubu Magistrate’s Court. | credits: Afeez Hanafi

Twenty-five-year-old Monday Maule has been accused of raping one Mrs. Chinyere Samuel, his neighbour’s wife, who is eight months pregnant and has four children.

Maule was said to have committed the act on Monday, February 23, 2015.

It was gathered that Mr. Samuel, Chinyere’s husband, was not always at home due to the nature of his job. Samuel, a Ghanaian by nationality works with a Chinese construction company and hardly returns home to his family.

Our correspondent learnt that Maule allegedly committed the act by sneaking into the couple’s apartment during the early hours of the day (5am) at Friends Colony Agungi, Lekki, Lagos.

It was learnt that Chinyere and her children were fast asleep and Maule seized the opportunity to overpower her.

Chinyere was said to have woken up to find Maule on her. She quickly raised the alarm and attracted other neighbours. The incident was said to have caused her emotional and physical damage.

Maule was on Wednesday arraigned before Mrs. O. M. Sanyo of the Lagos Magistrates’ Court, Tinubu, Lagos Island on one count of rape. The charge read, “That you, Monday Maule, on February 23, 2015, at Friends Colony, Agungi, Lekki, Lagos did unlawfully and forcefully have carnal knowledge of one Chinyere Samuel without her consent and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 259 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011.”

Maule pleaded not guilty and was admitted to bail in the sum of N250, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

The magistrate said the sureties must show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government and one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the defendant.

The matter was adjourned till Monday March 23, 2015, pending legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions.

Source:Punch Newspaper