New York: Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday cancelled the scheduled interview with the US journalist as she refused to wear a hijab for the interaction. This comes amid massive protests in Iran that escalated after the death of a woman in police custody for breaking hijab laws. After the journalist refused to wear the hijab, an interview with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi with CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour was abruptly canceled.
Amanpour stated on Twitter that she was asked to wear a headscarf but that after she refused, the interview was canceled. In a series of tweets, the anchor said that she planned to discuss the demonstrations, which are surging in Iran, including numerous incidents where women are burning their hijabs to protest over the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody. “This was going to be President Raisi’s first ever interview on US soil, during his visit to NY for the UNGA. After weeks of planning and eight hours of setting up translation equipment, lights, and cameras, we were ready. But no sign of President Raisi,” Amanpour said in a tweet. She waited for 40 minutes for the President to come for the interview, but it was cancelled. “40 minutes after the interview had been due to start, an aide came over.
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UK minister plans to change immigration policy
Suella Braverman, the country’s new interior minister who is of Indian descent, stated in an interview with The Sun on Sunday that the Liz Truss government in the UK hopes to keep its promise made during the 2019 election campaign to reduce net migration.
Braverman stated that Britain has a high number of low-skilled migrants and a large number of international students adding that the students more often brought dependents with them to UK thereby affecting the country’s growth.
“What we’ve got is too many low skilled workers coming into this country. We’ve also got a very high number of students coming into this country and we’ve got a really high number of dependents,” the interior minister said.
Suella Braverman continued, saying that the UK government will limit migration and reassess immigration policy because “those individuals are coming here, they’re not necessarily working or they’re working in low-skilled positions, and they’re not contributing to building our economy.”
In the year ending June 2021, net migration to the UK was 239,000, according to the UK’s office for national statistics. There have been more non-EU workers, particularly those from India, while there are fewer European Union workers in the UK as a result of Brexit. Therefore, a decrease in net migration to the UK may have an impact on Indian immigrants and students who want to study there.
In line with Suella Braverman’s remarks, the Guardian reported earlier this week that Liz Truss would alter immigration laws to address the serious labour shortage in the nation.
129 killed, over 180 injured at soccer game in Indonesia
In what appears to be one of the world’s worst stadium disasters, at least 129 people were killed and over 180 more were injured at a soccer game in Indonesia following a stampede caused by a riot, according to Indonesian police.
After the match in East Java province between Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya ended on Saturday night, supporters from the losing team invaded the pitch and police fired tear gas, triggering a stampede and cases of suffocation, East Java police chief Nico Afinta told state reporters.
People were seen rushing onto the field of the stadium in Malang in video footage from stateTV channels, along with pictures of body bags.
In Indonesia, there have been previous incidents of unrest at sporting events, with fervent rivalries between teams sometimes fueling violence among fans.
Zainudin Amali, Indonesia’s sports minister, told state media the ministry would re-evaluate safety at football matches, including considering not allowing spectators in stadiums.
The Indonesian top league, BRI Liga 1, has suspended games for a week following the match that Persebaya won 3-2,3-2, and an investigation had been launched, the Football Association of Indonesia (PSSI) said.
96 Liverpool fans were killed in Britain in April 1989 when a fenced-in, overcrowded enclosure at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield collapsed, making it one of the worst stadium tragedies.
Next year, in May and June, Indonesia will host the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. They are also one of three nations bidding to host the Asian Cup, the continent’s equivalent of the Euros, after China withdrew as the hosts.
Woman arrested for eating at restaurant without hijab in Iran
According to her family, a woman was arrested by the Iranian security forces for eating at a restaurant in public without a hijab.
Donya Rad was arrested after an image of her and another lady eating in a restaurant in Tehran without wearing headscarves went viral online, according to CNN.
The image, which surfaced on Wednesday, depicts the two ladies having breakfast at a cafe that, like the majority of cafés in Iran, is generally frequented by men.
According to Rad’s sister, security agencies contacted Donya and summoned her to explain her actions.
“After visiting the designated place she was arrested, after a few hours of no news, Donya told me in a short call that she was transferred to Ward 209 of Evin Prison,” her sister told CNN.
The dictatorship imprisons political dissidents in Tehran’s notoriously harsh Evin Prison, which is only intended for inmates under the control of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry.
According to reports, security officials have recently imprisoned a number of prominent Iranians, including the author and poet Mona Borzouei, the Iranian football star Hossein Mahini, and Faezeh Rafsanjani, the daughter of former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
According to the non-governmental organisation Iran Human Rights, Iranian artist Shervin Hajipour was also arrested this week after releasing a poignant song based on tweets shared by Iranians expressing their feelings about why people are demonstrating.
The song “For…” by Hajipour became extremely popular online, garnering millions of views and being extensively distributed among Iranians both inside and outside of their nation.
The killing of a Kurdish woman named Mahsa Amini sparked the country’s first anti-government protests.
Mahsa, 22, passed away in police custody after being arrested for reportedly wearing a “improper hijab,” in violation of Iran’s stringent laws regarding women’s attire.
The government crackdown has continued after almost two weeks of protests, with dozens dying in clashes between security forces. Iran Human Rights estimates that at least 83 people including children, are confirmed to have been killed in protests following the death of Mahsa Amini, reported CNN.
More than a thousand people connected to the protests have been detained as of last weekend. At least 28 journalists arrested were arrested as of Thursday, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
In a statement released on Thursday, Amnesty International stated that they are “investigating the authorities’ mass arrests of protesters and bystanders, as well as journalists, political activists, lawyers, and human rights defenders, including women’s rights activists and those belonging to oppressed ethnic minority groups.”
Videos circulating on social media show protesters in the cities of Qom, Rasht, and Mashhad calling for the overthrow of the clerical establishment despite the rising death toll and a stern crackdown by the police, according to CNN report.
Iran : 19 people including guard colonel killed in anti-govt protest
In one of the deadliest clashes between police and protesters since Iran’s anti-government demonstrations began, nineteen people were killed on Friday. This was in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died in police custody after being arrested for allegedly disobeying Iran’s strict dress codes for women by donning an “improper hijab.”
Iranian protesters and police had a violent confrontation in southeastern Iran. The confrontation happened as worshippers from Iran’s Sunni minority left Friday prayers at the Makki Grand Mosque in Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Balochistan province, reported Voice of America (VOA).
“Nineteen people were killed and 20 injured in the incident,” regional governor Hossein Khiabani told the state broadcaster.
“Provincial intelligence officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Colonel Ali Mousavi was also killed,” state television added.
Iranian state media earlier on Friday stated that security personnel had retaliated after armed men attacked a police station in the provincial capital of Zahedan.
The protesters were labeled as terrorists and separatists by the Iranian state media, who also charged them with shooting guns at police.
US envoy calls for serious national political dialogue in Afghanistan
US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West has called for a ‘serious’ national political dialogue in Afghanistan as the people continue to take the strain of Taliban atrocities and human rights violations in the country.
Thomas West underlined, “Without a serious national political dialogue about the future of the country among Afghans who have genuine support in their community, I really do fear…. we could see a return to civil war in time,” as he delivered his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, lambasting Taliban for their cruelty on Afghans, TOLOnews reported. “We wish to see and to support the emergence of a peaceful and stable Afghanistan that never again harbours terrorists … in which the rights of all its people, women and men, boys and girls are upheld,” the US Special envoy said.
However, the Deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi, said that there is no requirement for national dialogue in Afghanistan.
“There is peace and security in the country. All the challenges that previously existed are currently solved. The time for negotiations was when there was war in the country and there were many sides–there was an invasion–now here is a central government and the people are in a calm situation,” TOLOnews reported quoting the deputy spokesman of the Islamic Emirate, Bilal Karimi.
Recently, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a recent report, outlining the human rights situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover.
Hurricane Ian pummels US state of Florida
Following a landfall on Wednesday, Hurricane Ian has caused severe destruction across the US State of Florida, leaving more than 2.5 million homes and businesses without power, media reports said.
Quoting the local authorities, Al Jazeera reported that a 72-year-old man who fell into a canal in the city of Deltona has died as a result of the storm whereas rescuers have been looking for missing persons.
During a speech on Thursday, US President Joe Biden said, “This could be the deadliest Hurricane in Florida’s history; the numbers are still unclear but we’re hearing early reports of what may be a substantial loss of life.”
Taking to Twitter, Biden wrote, “My message to the people of Florida is that at times like these, America comes together. We put aside our differences and pull together as one team. One America.”
“However long it takes, the U.S. Government will be there,” he tweeted.
On Wednesday, Twenty-three people were found missing after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Florida due to Hurricane Ian, US Border Patrol said in a statement.
The survivors were later taken to the nearby hospital as they complained of exhaustion and dehydration.
Moreover, due to approaching Ian, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, has asked his city to shut down Friday, Al Jazeera reported.
“There will be water tomorrow in this city,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
“Take this storm seriously,” Tecklenburg added, “tomorrow, stay home and stay out of harm’s way.”
Notably, Tropical Storm Ian which has caused widespread destruction in Florida is expected to become a hurricane again before making US landfall for the second time on Friday, the US National Hurricane Center has said, issuing a hurricane warning for the entire coast of South Carolina, according to Al Jazeera.
More than one million Florida residents have lost power after the powerful and several homes have been put under evacuation orders as the dangerous storm hit the US.
Subsequently, Cuba also started restoring power on Wednesday after the powerful hurricane knocked out the island’s electricity grid and wreaked havoc.
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