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Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Iraq’s Mosul ‘blown up’ by ISIL

Grand al-Nuri Mosque in Iraq’s Mosul ‘blown up’ by ISIL

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The landmark Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its leaning minaret have been blown up, with the Iraqi army blaming ISIL for its destruction and the armed group accusing a US-led coalition air raid. In recent days Iraqi forces have pushed deeper into the last remaining areas held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in the centre of Iraq's second-largest city.  "Our forces were advancing toward their targets deep in the Old City and when they got to within 50 metres of the Nuri mosque, Daesh committed another historical crime by blowing up the Nuri mosque," Staff Lieutenant General Abdulamir Yarallah, the overall commander of the Mosul offensive, said in a statement late Wednesday. Grand al-Nuri mosque is where ISIL's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ma
Sudanese scientist battles climate change in Africa

Sudanese scientist battles climate change in Africa

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Khartoum, Sudan - She's seen it before. The images of dry cracked-lands, dead trees, animal corpses, hungry children, and lines of people waiting for food assistance are not new to her. The current drought and resulting food crisis affecting millions across the Horn of Africa are painful reminders of the importance of her work. But that's not all that bothers her. Across the Atlantic, the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and proposed polices to reverse the United States' contribution to the fight against climate change dishearten her. They add insult to injury. "This is the problem with climate change: it's caused by the large emissions of industrialised countries, so they are more responsible for the climate change phenomenon," said Balgis Osman-Elasha,...
Egypt sends fuel tankers to Gaza to ease power crisis

Egypt sends fuel tankers to Gaza to ease power crisis

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Egypt has begun to deliver one million litres of fuel to the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to ease the Palestinian enclave's desperate electricity crisis. The fuel, trucked in through the otherwise besieged Rafah border between Egypt and Gaza, will be routed on Wednesday to the territory's only power station - closed for several months due to fuel shortages. But Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said that sources from inside the power company told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which operates in the occupied West Bank but contracts the power company in Gaza, has instructed the company not to accept the Egyptian fuel. READ MORE: Gaza power cuts - 'This is the worst it's ever been' The PA is dominated by the Fatah party, which has been in a dispute with
PM Sorin Grindeanu ousted after no-confidence vote

PM Sorin Grindeanu ousted after no-confidence vote

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Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has been ousted after a vote of no confidence organised by the chairman of his own ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD). Liviu Dragnea, the PSD chairman, managed to muster 241 out of 251 votes in favour of his motion in parliament on Wednesday. There were 233 votes needed to force a new government in Bucharest. Speaking to the press after the no-confidence vote, Grindeanu said he would "carry on with his duties as caretaker prime minister in accordance to Romanian law until a new cabinet will be sworn in". "I will also remain a member of the PSD because I do not change my mind overnight," Grindeanu added, even though the party's ruling body had already decided to cancel his membership. Liviu Dragnea: After six months in office the government is fa
Gunmen storm Pigcawayan school, take hostages: police

Gunmen storm Pigcawayan school, take hostages: police

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Gunmen have stormed and occupied a school in a village close to Pigcawayan town, southern Philippines, according to police.   Suspected members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) group were engaged in a gun battle with security forces at the scene, Chief Inspector Realan Mamon said in a radio interview on Wednesday.  "We can confirm that they occupied a school and there were civilians trapped. We are in the process of determining how many were trapped and their identities," Mamon said, according to a Reuters news agency report. Eliseo Garcesa, mayor of Pigcawayan town, told Philippine radio that there were about 200 armed men. He said he was still seeking information about possible casualties. He said  Pigcawayan is in North Cotabato province in the centre of Mindanao island
Brussels Central station: Blast suspect shot dead

Brussels Central station: Blast suspect shot dead

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Belgian police say a man suspected of setting off a small explosion at the Central train station in the capital, Brussels, has died after being shot by soldiers. There were no other casualties and the situation was under control, police said on Tuesday. Prosecutors said the suspect was carrying a backpack and an explosive belt, before he was shot by one of the routine military patrols active in Brussels since attacks more than a year ago. Only hours later, after bomb disposal teams had cleared the area, was the man confirmed dead. There was no information on his identity. "We consider this a terrorist attack," prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt told reporters by the nearby Grand Place. A policeman stands guard over a deserted street near Central station [Francois Lenoir/Reuters] Police had
Who is Ali Abdullah Saleh?

Who is Ali Abdullah Saleh?

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Yemen's former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh took over North Yemen in 1978, and became president of the whole republic after its two halves were united in 1990. The only man to ever serve as president of a unified Yemen, he proved to be a wily political operator, manipulating the country's tribal system and fending off sustained insurrections in the north and south. He often portrayed himself as the only man who could hold Yemen together. In February, in the early days of the months-long popular campaign to drive him from office, Saleh portrayed the opposition as a conspiracy to destroy the country - a theme he has struck often during his decades in power. "There is a conspiracy against Yemen's unity and territorial integrity," he told a group of senior military officers. "We have served t
‘He killed my daughter because she is Muslim’

‘He killed my daughter because she is Muslim’

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When Nabra Hassanen's father was asked about her murder, he told The Guardian that he did not buy the "road rage" explanation: "I don't believe this story. I tell [sic] the detective the same thing … He killed my daughter because she is Muslim. That's what I believe. That's what I told him." When Muslims or people of colour are victims of crimes, investigators caution the public and media to be level-headed and unbiased until all the facts are verified. Commentators rush to caution viewers and social media followers that they shouldn't rush to judgment about the motive of the murderer, instead focusing on blaming the victim, explaining away the hate or just plain dismissing that Muslims are increasingly a targeted group in the US and other Western nations. It would be fine to ask the publi
Muslims ‘targeted’ in attack near Finsbury Park mosque

Muslims ‘targeted’ in attack near Finsbury Park mosque

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Witnesses at London's Finsbury Park mosque say a man who crashed a van into a crowd of pedestrians on Monday deliberately targeted Muslims. The attack early on Monday morning left one man dead and at least 10 others wounded. The crash occurred at a time when the multi-ethnic neighbourhood was crowded with Muslim worshippers leaving the Finsbury Park mosque after Ramadan prayers. British Muslim leaders have linked the vehicle attack to Islamophobia and urged Theresa May, UK prime minister, to do more to tackle anti-Muslim rhetoric.  READ MORE: Finsbury Park mosque - Man dies as van hits worshippers Saeed Hashi, a local resident, told Al Jazeera he saw a white van "speeding" towards pedestrians soon after he left the mosque, and ran over at least eight people.  "A van speeding very fast came
Finsbury Park mosque: Man dies as van hits worshippers

Finsbury Park mosque: Man dies as van hits worshippers

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Fast Facts One person has died, 10 others injured, two in critical condition All victims are from the Muslim community Sole suspect arrested on suspicion of murder  London police deploy extra resources around the city Mayor of London labels incident 'a horrible terrorist attack'  At least one person has died and 10 others have been injured after a vehicle ran over pedestrians close to two mosques in a north London neighbourhood, UK police have said. The 48-year-old driver of the van has been detained by bystanders and later arrested by police after the incident in Finsbury Park. The UK's Counter Terrorism Command is investigating the attack, which occurred just after midnight on Monday. Witnesses said the van veered off the road into worshippers leaving Ramadan prayers on Seven Sisters R
Tourist resort in Malian capital Bamako under attack

Tourist resort in Malian capital Bamako under attack

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At least two people have been killed after gunmen stormed a popular tourist resort on the outskirts of Mali's capital, Bamako, according to officials. Malian troops and soldiers from France's Bakhane counter-terrorist force headed to the scene after the luxury Campement de Kangaba resort in Dougourakoro, which is frequented by top officials and foreigners, came under attack on Sunday. Security forces said 32 guests have been rescued so far.  Local residents earlier reported hearing shots fired while smoke billowed into the air. "Unfortunately for the moment there are two dead, including a Franco-Gabonese," Security Minister Salif Traore told the AFP news agency. READ MORE: Mali's Keita vows to keep fighting 'terrorist groups' A security ministry official said government troops "have sealed
Cricket: Pakistan defeat India to win Champions Trophy

Cricket: Pakistan defeat India to win Champions Trophy

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Pakistan have won the Champions Trophy cricket final after beating their arch-rivals India by 180 runs at the Oval ground in Britain's capital, London. Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed after Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Amir removed the top three batsmen - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and captian Virat Kohli. They were eventually dismissed for 158, with 19.3 overs to spare. Al Jazeera’s Lee Wellings, reporting from South London, said that only few people saw this result coming. "This is absolutely remarkable. Pakistan fans cannot believe the journey their team has taken," he said. "Pakistan is celebrating their biggest victory against their archrival." Amir finished with three for 16 in six overs and Hasan Ali, who kick-started Pakistan's revival in their group-win over top
Iraqi forces launch assault to take Mosul Old City

Iraqi forces launch assault to take Mosul Old City

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Iraqi forces have begun their assault on Mosul's Old City as they press their battle to retake the the rest of the northern city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. State TV has aired live footage showing thick black smoke rising from the Old City and gunfire echoing from inside. It said leaflets were distributed urging civilians to leave through five "safe corridors". "The army, counterterrorism forces and federal police launched an attack on the Old City," Staff Lieutenant-General Abdulamir Yarallah, who commands operations in Iraq's Ninevah province, said in a statement. Iraq: Thousands of children at risk in Mosul conflict Staff Lieutenant-General Abdulwahab al-Saadi, a senior commander with the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service, told state TV he expects ISI...
Forest fire kills at least 43 in central Portugal

Forest fire kills at least 43 in central Portugal

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At least 43 people have been killed and 59 more injured in central Portugal in a forest fire that has yet to be controlled, according to the government. Jorge Gomes, Portugal's secretary of state for the internal affairs, said on Sunday that most of the people burned to death in their cars when they found themselves trapped by flames on the road between the cities of Figueiro dos Vinhos and Castanheira de Pera. About 1,700 firefighters and 160 vehicles were dispatched late on Saturday to tackle about 60 forest fires, which started in the afternoon in the municipality of Pedrogao Grande before spreading fast across several fronts. Dry thunderstorms could have been the cause of the fatal blaze, Antonio Costa, Portugal's prime minister, said. Portugal was coping with a severe heatwave on Satu
UK police: 58 presumed dead in Grenfell Tower blaze

UK police: 58 presumed dead in Grenfell Tower blaze

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Fifty-eight people who were in London's Grenfell Tower are still missing and are presumed to be dead, UK police announced on Saturday, raising the death toll in an inferno earlier this week that turned the public housing block into a charred ruin. Police Commander Stuart Cundy said the latest number, which was based on reports from the public, may rise and includes the 30 deaths that have already been confirmed after Wednesday's blaze at the west London 24-storey building. He said it will take weeks or longer to recover and identify all the dead. London fire: Kensington residents say government ignored them "Sadly, at this time there are 58 people who we have been told were in the Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing, and therefore sadly, I have to assume that they are dead,"...
Infographic: Qatar diplomatic crisis

Infographic: Qatar diplomatic crisis

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Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain - along with Egypt - severed ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of fomenting regional unrest, supporting "terrorism" and getting too close to Iran - allegations which Qatar strongly denies. Several other countries also cut or downgraded their ties with Qatar in the following days. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain also imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar, halting Qatar Airways operations. Overall, 18 destinations in the region are now out of bounds for Qatar Airways, which has also been forced to close its offices in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Saudi Arabia's closure of Qatar's only land border means more of the country's food has to be brought in by air. Qatar imported the vast majority of its food from
In Congo, artists rely on the patronage of the wealthy

In Congo, artists rely on the patronage of the wealthy

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Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo - JC Kibombo, aka Professa Zikfull, a 32-year-old rumba singer and songwriter, was paying tribute to Congolese music legend Papa Wemba at a bar in this eastern city last year when he noticed a familiar, and powerful, figure watching him. Josue Mufula, a politician who plans to run when, and if, parliamentary elections are held in Congo, was feeling nostalgic about the passing of Papa Wemba and drawn to the young musician's talent. He grabbed a microphone and told the surprised patrons that he was so impressed with Kibombo that he would promote his music in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa. In our country, artists and musicians are badly paid. Even if they have nice voices, they don't make money out of it Hubert Furuguta, local activist and artist Muf...
Saudis and allies working on list of Qatar ‘grievances’

Saudis and allies working on list of Qatar ‘grievances’

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Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says a list of "grievances" involving Qatar is being drawn up and will be presented to the Arab Gulf country shortly. Speaking in London, on Friday, Adel al-Jubeir called on Qatar to respond to what he claimed were international and regional calls for it to halt its support for "extremism and terrorism". "I would not call them demands. I would say it is a list of grievances that need to be addressed and that the Qataris need to fix," he said. Jubeir did not detail what complaints could be made, but added that they will be presented "very soon". Amnesty International slams embargo for rights violations Four Arab states - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt - severed diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "ext
Afghanistan: Deaths as suicide bombers hit Shia mosque

Afghanistan: Deaths as suicide bombers hit Shia mosque

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An attack at a Shia mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul killed at least four people and wounded eight more on Thursday, security officials said. Two suspected attackers tried to enter the city's Al Zahra mosque but were blocked by police, setting off a gun battle, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. The attackers then took refuge in the mosque's kitchen before detonating a bomb. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the deadly attack via its news agency Amaq. Among the dead were at least three civilians and one police officer, while four civilians and four police officers were wounded. The attack happened as mosques around the city were crowded for a night of religious observances as part of the Islamic holy month of Ram
Activists fear UK censorship of Palestine Expo event

Activists fear UK censorship of Palestine Expo event

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Activists in the UK have said they fear one of the largest Palestinian cultural events in Europe is at risk of being censored by the government. Officials have given event organisers Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA) until Monday to respond to a letter warning that the two-day Palestine Expo 2017 event at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference centre (QE2) in London could be cancelled by the Department for Communities and Local Government, which manages the venue. Palestine Expo 2017 bills itself as a celebration of Palestinian history, culture, food, and entertainment, and an FOA spokesperson said preparations for the event would continue regardless. "We look forward to welcoming over 10,000 people to the biggest Palestine event in Europe to celebrate Palestine culture and heritage," said FOA's Shamiul