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israel shuts down al-aqsa mosque after shooting | israel news

israeli police closed and cancelled friday noon prayers in the al-aqsa mosque and briefly detained jerusalem's top muslim cleric after three palestinians and two israeli police officers were killed in a shootout in the mosque compound.sheikh mohammad ahmed hussein, who decried the mosque closure, was taken into custody from the bab al-asbat area (lion's gate) after leading an open-air prayer nearby.fight for jerusalem continues 50 years after the war"israeli police detained my father in a violent manner and took him to unknown destination," said omar, the grand mufti's son.hussein was later released on $2,800 bail.al jazeera's harry fawcett, reporting from jerusalem's old city, said it was the first time in decades that the compound closed for prayers on friday."of course this has the potential to increase tensions among the about 10,000 palestinians who normally come here for worship," fawcett said.sheikh omar keswani, a religious official at al-aqsa, decried the closure and cancellation of friday prayers."forbidding the friday prayer is an unfair procedure," keswani told al jazeera. "what happened earlier is now being taken advantage of by the israeli right to impose a new reality in al-aqsa mosque."haj khalil abu elsheikh, 77, travelled 100km from beer-sheva to attend friday prayers at al-aqsa mosque."no religion allows this," he told al jazeera, referring to praying on the side of the road. "no belief accepts this."the rare attack from within the conteste...





the atlantic to kinshasa: a journey on the river congo | dr congo

democratic republic of congo - the river congo has always inspired reverence."our river congo spills violently into the ocean, which is unable to stop its passage," engeye nbondwange, an aging naval officer and amateur historian, says as he vigorously gesticulates on the beach at banana point, a spit of land where the land, river and ocean collide."our river congo discharges 50,000 cubic metres of water per second into the atlantic ocean," he says, as he marvels at the 160km-long gorge the powerful river has bored into the seafloor over thousands of years.aided by a homemade map and wooden stick, nbondwange has become a semi-permanent fixture at banana peninsula, a sandy piece of land that juts into the mouth of the river congo at the southern tip of the country's tiny slither of coastline. he energetically dispenses lessons about the river, which ejects more water into the ocean than any other in the world other than the amazon.engeye nbondwange gives a geography lesson to motorcycle taxi driver ferdinand on the beach at banana point [william clowes/al jazeera]banana penisula has been a naval base since congo was a belgian colony. today, there is little sign of any operational military hardware but hundreds of impoverished soldiers are still stationed here. anyone wishing to reach the beach has to hand over a couple of dollars to a bored recruit to pass through the roadblock at the camp's entrance.while nbondwange fizzes with enthusiasm as he tells the river's storie...





turkey marks one year since failed coup attempt | turkey news

turkey will hold a series of events on saturday to celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of last year's failed coup attempt, as it sacked thousands of officials in the latest crackdown.ankara has declared july 15 - the day of the failed coup attempt - an annual national holiday of "democracy and unity", billing the foiling of the putsch as a historic victory of turkish democracy.at least 249 people, not including the plotters, were killed when a faction in the army sent tanks into the streets and war planes into the sky in a violent bid to overthrow president recep tayyip erdogan.from now on, nothing will be as it was before july 15recep tayyip erdogan, turkish president but they were thwarted within hours as the authorities regrouped and people poured into the streets in support of erdogan, who blamed followers of his former ally, the us-based preacher fethullah gulen, who denies involvement.a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the failed coup still remains in place.at least 50,000 people have been arrested and more than 100,000 have been dismissed from services over the past year.the scale of saturday's nationwide commemorations is aimed at etching july 15, 2016 into the minds of turks as a key date in the history of the modern state founded in 1923 out of the ruins of the ottoman empire."from now on, nothing will be as it was before july 15," erdogan, whose powers have since expanded in an april referendum, said in a speech on thursday.he compared the...





two tourists stabbed to death, four wounded in egypt | egypt news

two german tourists have been killed and four other foreigners were wounded when an assailant stabbed them at an egyptian red sea beach resort, officials said.germany's foreign ministry confirmed on saturday that the two women killed in the attack in hurghada were german nationals.egypt's interior ministry said the assailant was arrested immediately on friday and that a motive was still under investigation. the attacker had swum from a nearby public beach to access the holiday resort, the ministry said. a security official said the attacker, a man in his 20s who was dressed in a black t-shirt and blue jeans, wielded a knife and intentionally sought to attack foreigners. read more: gunmen kill five egyptian policemen near cairo he shouted in arabic during the attack: "stay away, i don't want egyptians."he stabbed the tourists in the face, neck and feet.according to afp news agency, the attack happened at sunny days el palacio hotel.all of the victims were reported to be women.an armenian foreign ministry spokesman said two armenian women had been wounded in the attack, and the czech foreign ministry tweeted that one of its nationals had been lighty injured.hurghada is one of egypt's most popular beach resorts, especially with ukrainians and european tourists.a similar attack took place in hurghada in january 2016 when two attackers armed with a gun, a knife and a suicide belt landed on the beach of a hotel, wounding two foreign tourists, according to security sources....





body of china's nobel laureate liu xiaobo cremated | china news

the body of china's nobel laureate liu xiaobo has been cremated after a private ceremony attended by his wife and friends.liu's body was cremated "in accordance with the will of his family members and local customs" in the northeastern city of shenyang, said zhang qingyang, an official from the municipal office.officials released photos showing his wife, liu xia, with her brother, liu xiaobo's brother and friends in front of the body surrounded by white flowers at a funeral home.china's nobel laureate liu xiaobo diesmozart's requiem was played at the funeral, zhang said. liu, a prominent dissident since the 1989 tiananmen square pro-democracy protests, died from multiple organ failure at a shenyang hospital on thursday at age 61, more than a month after he was transferred from prison due to late-stage liver cancer. china's government has come under international criticism after it ignored pleas to let liu get treatment abroad as he had wished.it now faces calls to free liu's wife from the strict house arrest she has lived under for years even though she has not been convicted of any crime."as far as i know, liu xia is in a free condition," zhang said, though it was unclear whether she was released."she has just lost her husband, so she is currently emotionally grieving," he said, adding that it was best for "her not to recieve too much outside interference during this period".  however, jared genser, a us lawyer who represented liu xiaobo, said liu xia has be...





turkey marks one year since failed coup attempt | turkey news

turkey will hold a series of events on saturday to celebrate the first anniversary of the defeat of last year's failed coup attempt, as it sacked thousands of officials in the latest crackdown.ankara has declared july 15 - the day of the failed coup attempt - an annual national holiday of "democracy and unity", billing the foiling of the putsch as a historic victory of turkish democracy.at least 249 people, not including the plotters, were killed when a faction in the army sent tanks into the streets and war planes into the sky in a violent bid to overthrow president recep tayyip erdogan.from now on, nothing will be as it was before july 15recep tayyip erdogan, turkish president but they were thwarted within hours as the authorities regrouped and people poured into the streets in support of erdogan, who blamed followers of his former ally, the us-based preacher fethullah gulen, who denies involvement.at least 50,000 people have been arrested and more than 100,000 have been dismissed from services over the past year.the scale of saturday's nationwide commemorations is aimed at etching july 15, 2016 into the minds of turks as a key date in the history of the modern state founded in 1923 out of the ruins of the ottoman empire."from now on, nothing will be as it was before july 15," erdogan said in a speech on thursday.he compared the defeat of the coup to the world war i 1915 battle of gallipoli where ottoman troops famously withstood an onslaught by invading allied soldi...





israel shuts down al-aqsa mosque after shooting | israel news

israeli police closed and cancelled friday noon prayers in the al-aqsa mosque and briefly detained jerusalem's top muslim cleric after three palestinians and two israeli police officers were killed in a shootout in the mosque compound.sheikh mohammad ahmed hussein, who decried the mosque closure, was taken into custody from the bab al-asbat area (lion's gate) after leading an open-air prayer nearby.fight for jerusalem continues 50 years after the war"israeli police detained my father in a violent manner and took him to unknown destination," said omar, the grand mufti's son.hussein was later released on $2,800 bail.al jazeera's harry fawcett, reporting from jerusalem's old city, said it was the first time in years that the compound closed for prayers on friday."of course this has the potential to increase tensions among the about 10,000 palestinians who normally come here for worship," fawcett said.sheikh omar keswani, a religious official at al-aqsa, decried the closure and cancellation of friday prayers."forbidding the friday prayer is an unfair procedure," keswani told al jazeera. "what happened earlier is now being taken advantage of by the israeli right to impose a new reality in al-aqsa mosque."haj khalil abu elsheikh, 77, travelled 100km from beer-sheva to attend friday prayers at al-aqsa mosque."no religion allows this," he told al jazeera, referring to praying on the side of the road. "no belief accepts this."the rare attack from within the contested ...





trump: we will maintain good relations with qatar | news

the us will maintain good relations with qatar, president donald trump has told an american news channel, adding that the us airbase won't be moved out of the middle eastern country despite the diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on doha by the saudi-led group.saudi arabia, the united arab emirates, bahrain and egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on qatar on june 5.qatar is home to the al-udeid airbase that holds the forward headquarters of central command and hosts around 10,000 american troops. qatar-gulf crisis lingers on as tillerson heads homebut while saying there are "10 countries willing to build us another base", trump said "we will not have a problem with the military base"."we are going to have a good relationship with qatar and not going to have a problem with the military base," trump said in an interview with cbn news aired on wednesday."if we ever had to leave, we'd have 10 countries willing to build us another one. and they'll pay for it. the days of us paying for things are largely over."following the arab countries' decision to impose the blockade on qatar last month, trump, in a series of tweets, seemed to back the move, saying his trip to the middle east is "already paying off" after he "stated there can no longer be funding of radical ideology"."i made a speech in saudi. i said we got to stop funding of terrorism. they [qatar] were known as funders of terrorism. we can't have wealthy countries funding terrorism," trump sa...





israel shuts down al aqsa mosque after shooting | israel news

israeli police closed and cancelled friday noon prayers in al aqsa mosque and briefly detained jerusalem's top muslim cleric after three palestinians and two israeli police officers were killed in a shootout in al aqsa compound.sheikh mohammad ahmed hussein, who decried the mosque closure, was taken into custody from the bab al-asbat area (lion's gate) after leading an open-air prayer nearby.fight for jerusalem continues 50 years after the war"israeli police detained my father in a violent manner and took him to unknown destination," said omar, the grand mufti's son.hussein was later released on $2,800 bail.al jazeera's harry fawcett, reporting from jerusalem's old city, said it was the first time in years that the compound closed for prayers on friday."of course this has the potential to increase tensions among the about 10,000 palestinians who normally come here for worship," fawcett said.sheikh omar keswani, a religious official at al aqsa, decried the closure and cancellation of friday prayers."forbidding the friday prayer is an unfair procedure," keswani told al jazeera. "what happened earlier is now being taken advantage of by the israeli right to impose a new reality in al aqsa mosque."haj khalil abu elsheikh, 77, travelled 100km from beer-sheva to attend friday prayers at al aqsa mosque."no religion allows this," he told al jazeera, referring to praying on the side of the road. "no belief accepts this."the rare attack from within the contested al aqsa...





castro blames trump for 'setback' in us-cuba relations | cuba news

donald trump's hardline stance towards cuba marks "a setback" in its relations with the united states after ties were gradually restored in 2015, president raul castro said.castro criticised trump's partial rollback of his predecessor barack obama's rapprochement with the communist island in comments made less than a week before the second anniversary of havana embassy's reopening in washington on july 20."the announcements made by the current president... mean a setback in bilateral relations," castro said in remarks, broadcast on state television, at the closing of the first session of cuba's parliament on friday. disappointment in cuba over us policy reversalcastro's remarks came after trump in june - standing before a crowd of anti-castro activists in miami's little havana - announced tightened rules for americans traveling to cuba, banned ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirmed the existing us trade embargo.the cuban president called the new measures a toughening of the us embargo against the island, imposed since 1962, saying they evoked "an old and hostile rhetoric that characterized the cold war".in his first public riposte to trump since the latter unveiled his new cuba policy last month, castro told the national assembly that any attempt to topple the revolution would fail, as it had under 11 previous us presidents."we reject the manipulation of the topic of human rights against cuba, that can be proud of much in this area, and does not ...





body of china's nobel laureate liu xiaobo cremated | china news

the body of china's nobel laureate and dissident liu xiaobo has been cremated after a "simple ceremony" attended by his wife and friends, the xinhua state news agency said on saturday.liu's body was cremated "in accordance with the will of his family members and local customs" in the northeastern city of shenyang, xinhua said, citing the local justice bureau.the government of the city of shenyang in northeastern china, where liu was treated, said in a briefing that the cremation took place in a ceremony attended by family and friends. china's nobel laureate liu xiaobo diesofficials released photos showing his wife xia, with her brother, liu xiaobo's brother and friends in front of the body surrounded by white flowers at a funeral home.the wife and other family members of china's best-known political prisoner have been closely guarded by chinese authorities and largely out of contact with the outside world.liu, a prominent dissident since the 1989 tiananmen square pro-democracy protests, died from multiple organ failure on thursday, having not been allowed to leave the country for treatment for late-stage liver cancer.already seriously ill, liu was moved last month from prison to a hospital in the northeastern city of shenyang to be treated.liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for "inciting subversion of state power" after he helped write a petition known as charter 08, calling for sweeping political reforms. obituary: liu xiaobo he was awarded the nobel prize ...





supreme court asked to overturn muslim ban ruling | usa news

the us justice department has asked the supreme court to block a judge's ruling that prevented president donald trump's muslim ban from being applied to grandparents of us citizens and refugees already being processed by resettlement agencies.in a court filing on friday, the administration asked the justices to overturn thursday's decision by a us district judge in hawaii, which limited the scope of the administration's temporary ban on refugees and travelers from six muslim countries. inside story: will trump's travel ban make us safer?the latest round in the fight over trump's march 6 executive order, which he says is needed for national security reasons, came after the supreme court intervened last month to partially revive the two bans, which were blocked by lower courts.the supreme court said then that the ban could take effect, but that people with a "bona fide relationship" to a us person or entity could not be barred.the administration had narrowly interpreted that language, saying the ban would apply to grandparents and other family members, prompting the state of hawaii to ask hawaii-based us district judge derrick watson to expand the definition of who could be admitted.he ruled for the state late on thursday."common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents," us district judge derrick watson said in his ruling."indeed grandparents are the epitome of close family members." read more: us judge rules gran...





trump: we will maintain good relations with qatar | news

us president donald trump is confident of maintaining good relations with qatar and has ruled out moving the us airbase away from the country despite the political and economic blockade its facing by the saudi-led group.saudi arabia, the united arab emirates, bahrain and egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on qatar on june 5.qatar is home to the al-udeid airbase that holds the forward headquarters of central command and hosts around 10,000 american troops. qatar-gulf crisis lingers on as tillerson heads homebut while saying there are "10 countries willing to build us another base", trump said "we will not have a problem with the military base"."we are going to have a good relationship with qatar and not going to have a problem with the military base," trump said in an interview with cbn news aired on wednesday."if we ever had to leave, we'd have 10 countries willing to build us another one. and they'll pay for it. the days of us paying for things are largely over."following the arab countries' decision to impose the blockade on qatar last month, trump, in a series of tweets, seemed to back the move, saying his trip to the middle east is "already paying off" after he "stated there can no longer be funding of radical ideology"."i made a speech in saudi. i said we got to stop funding of terrorism. they [qatar] were known as funders of terrorism. we can't have wealthy countries funding terrorism," trump said in wednesday's interview.he visited saudi a...





no direct talks in sight between syria's warring sides | syria news

the head of syrian government delegation has said his team has not been asked to meet face-to-face with the opposition in the seventh round of un-mediated indirect talks held in the swiss city of geneva.speaking to reporters on friday, bashar al-jaafari, syria's ambassador to the un and the delegation chief, said the issue of direct talks was something "that has not been raised with us - not directly or indirectly". "we have given sufficient explanations to the special envoy about our vision and the way we see this," jaafari said on friday after his final meeting with staffan de mistura, the un special envoy for syria. toy guns and mental health: syrian children play out war traumas"the most important thing is for us to have a national partner and not a client for a foreign agenda," he said alluding to foreign backers of the main opposition, like saudi arabia and turkey, as well as smaller opposition factions.al jazeera's sue turton, reporting from geneva, said the syrian opposition and the syrian regime were close to actual direct talks, but jaafari said mistura was not even entertaining that idea."it seems like there was on counterterrorism and how the international community was not doing well when there were coalition strikes on the ground," she said."we are also hearing that the high negotiations committee (hnc) is not really happy as they see these talks a bit of a sham because at no point has the regime sit around the table with them and discuss anything...





week in pictures: from battle for mosul to liu's death |

a bosnian woman prays during a funeral ceremony for the dozens of newly identified victims of the 1995 massacre, at the memorial centre of potocari near srebrenica. bosnia marked the 22nd anniversary of srebrenica massacre on july 11. [amel emric/ap photo]opposition supporters affected by tear gas recover on the road as members of the security forces drive past during a rally against venezuelan president nicolas maduro's government in caracas, venezuela. [andres martinez casares/reuters]a girl looks out of a bullet-riddled car in a rebel-held part of the southern city of deraa, syria. [alaa al-faqir/reuters]riders of nomad stunts group perform the kyz kuu - catch the girl - national riding game, during a show in almaty, kazakhstan. [shamil zhumatov/reuters]members of iraqi federal police carry suicide belts used by isil in the old city of mosul, iraq. [alaa al-marjani/reuters]a protester mourns the death of chinese nobel laureate liu xiaobo during a demonstration outside the chinese liaison office in hong kong. china's most prominent political prisoner, nobel peace prize laureate died aged 61. [kin cheung/ap photo]iraqi civilians wait to be taken out of the old city during fighting between government forces and isil fighters in mosul, iraq. [felipe dana/ap photo]rohingya refugee children enjoy the rain at the kutupalang makeshift refugee camp in cox's bazar, bangladesh. [mohammad ponir hossain/reuters]relatives mourn at the funeral of palestinian mohammad jebril in tekoa v...





what's behind the demand to shut down al jazeera? | qatar

the saudi-led group that has imposed a political and economic blockade on qatar appears to be backing down from its demand to shut down al jazeera media network.it has been more than 40 days since saudi arabia, the united arab emirates, bahrain and egypt cut off ties with qatar.noura al-kaabi, the uae minister for the federal national council, said the emirates sought "fundamental change and restructuring" of al jazeera rather than to shut it.al jazeera calls it another attempt to "throttle" its independence and rejects any external intervention in its work.but what does this apparent concession mean for the larger dispute that has entered its second month?presenter: richelle careyguests:catherine philp - diplomatic correspondent of the times of londonandreas krieg - assistant professor at defence studies department of king's college londonbarbara trionfi - executive director of international press institutesource: al jazeera news





attackers kill saudi soldier in qatif | saudi arabia news

a saudi soldier has been killed and another injured in a shooting attack on their patrol vehicle in the kingdom's eastern province of qatif.saudi arabia's official news agency on friday quoted the saudi interior ministry as saying that the attack took place late on thursday. it gave no further details, but said that authorities were investigating.in recent months, qatif, a shia-majority province, has seen a series of attacks targeting security forces.last week, two security personnel were injured when a roadside bomb hit their car in qatif.thursday's attack came days after saudi arabia executed four shias convicted on terrorism charges for attacks on the police and their role in violent protests.the interior ministry said the four were executed for incidents that took place in qatif.source: news agencies





un calls for release of bahraini rights campaigner | bahrain news

the un human rights office has called on bahrain to "unconditionally and immediately" release rights campaigner nabeel rajab, who was sentenced to two years in jail this week.rajab, a leading figure in a 2011 pro-democracy uprising that was crushed by the government, was sentenced on monday, supporters said, for allegedly making "false or malicious" statements about authorities."human rights defenders in bahrain must be able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals and should not face detention or prosecution for exercising their right to freedom of expression. criticising the government should not be a crime," un human rights spokeswoman liz throssell told a geneva news briefing on friday."we note that mr rajab has been detention since june 2016. we call on the bahraini authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him," she said.sentenced in absentiarajab, 52, was sentenced in absentia as he has been hospitalised since april, said the bahrain institute for rights and democracy earlier this week.it denounced the verdict, saying rajab had been sentenced "for speaking to journalists" and that he had "spent over a year in pre-trial detention, largely in solitary confinement"."his lawyers state he was denied basic fair trial guarantees," the group said in a statement.amnesty international also denounced the decision, saying it exposes a "relentless campaign" by authorities in bahrain "to wipe out dissent"."imprisoning nabeel rajab simply for...





turkey dismisses thousands of police and civil servants | turkey news

turkey's government has issued a new executive decree under the ongoing state of emergency imposed after last year's failed coup, dismissing more than 7,000 police, civil servants and academics.a total of 7,563 people -- including police -- have been dismissed in the latest purge, the anadolu news agency reported.turkish authorities also stripped 342 retired army personnel of their rank, anadolu said.the new decree came a day before turkey marks the first anniversary of the failed coup, which ankara says was organised by us-based cleric fethullah gulen, a former ally of president tayyip erdogan. gulen denies the accusations.more than 240 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the failed coup attempt.in all, turkey has sacked or suspended more than 150,000 officials, and arrested some 50,000 people from the military, police, judiciary, academia and other sectors.turkey's government is looking to extend the ongoing state of emergency by another three months, with president erdogan saying the sweeping powers will only be lifted when "unrest ends"."given the current outlook, we still need state of emergency," erdogan said on friday, as he addressed a human rights seminar ahead of the anniversary of the failed coup.the state of emergency, put in place days after the july 15, 2016 coup attempt, grants the government wide-ranging powers, allowing it to rule by decree, including carrying out mass arrests and purges.parliament, which is dominated by erdogan's rul...





isil leader in afghanistan 'killed in us raid' | afghanistan news

the head of isil in afghanistan, abu sayed, was killed in an attack on his headquarters in kunar province earlier this week, the pentagon said on friday.spokeswoman dana white said in a statement on friday that other members of the islamic state of iraq and the levant were killed in the strike on tuesday."us forces killed abu sayed, the emir of islamic state of iraq and syria - khorasan province (isis-k) - in a strike on the group's headquarters in kunar province, afghanistan, july 11," white said in the statement, referring to isil's other acronym."the raid also killed other isis-k members and will significantly disrupt the terror group's plans to expand its presence in afghanistan."sayed is the third islamic state leader in afghanistan to be killed since july 2016.sayed had led the group since late april after the previous leader, abdul hasib, had been killed by us forces. hasib's predecessor hafiz sayed khan was also killed by us forces. see more: is the military strategy in afghanistan flawed? the us military had said hasib's death would "help reach our goal of destroying them in 2017."the compound used by hasib in nangarhar province was not far from the spot where on april 13, the us military dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb it has ever used in combat, hitting isil positions. the deployment of the so-called mother of all bombs (moab) killed at least 95 fighters, according to the afghan defence ministry, but fighting in the area has continued.isil establish...