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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Ten Things of Take and Break

Turkish court convicts former UK soldier/Joe Robinson
  1. An ex-British Army soldier who fought for Kurdish forces against the so-called Islamic State (Isis) in Syria has been given a prison sentence in Turkey, his mother says.
  2. A leading Kurdish politician has been jailed for making and "spreading terrorist propaganda" for militants fighting the Turkish state. Selahattin Demirtas, a former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), will serve four years and eight months in jail, state media say.
  3. Radio Alwan is a small, independent and politically neutral radio station set up in Syria in 2014 and now broadcasting in exile from Istanbul. But like many non-profit organisations - NGOs - in north-west Syria, Radio Alwan has fallen victim to the Trump administration's decision last Easter to pull $200m of funding for Syria's stabilisation projects.
  4. A Turkish intelligence agency has captured in Syria the chief suspect in the 2013 twin bomb attack in the border town of Reyhanli, Turkish media report, while human rights group Amnesty International has protested over Moldova's arrest and deportation of seven Turkish school staff over their alleged links to the 2016 attempted coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.
  5. The Turkish lira has risen against the dollar after Turkey's central bank hiked interest rates to 24% on Thursday - the biggest increase in President Erdogan's 15-year rule - and going against the president's wishes.
  6. Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected Turkey's calls for a truce to prevent a "bloodbath" in north Syria, while Turkey is reportedly reinforcing its military observation posts inside rebel-held north-western Syria ahead of an expected government offensive.
  7. The Russian Orthodox Church has effectively cut diplomatic relations with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has authority over the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, over its recognition of Ukraine.
  8. The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has met four victims of alleged sexual abuse in the Netherlands. The group had requested the meeting to discuss abuse reportedly carried out by former or current Buddhist teachers in several countries.
  9. Weather forecasters warn of the risk of life-threatening flash flooding in parts of North and South Carolina, and Virginia, from storm Florence. It has been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm but continues to soak the East Coast area with rain, downing trees and damaging homes.
  10. Some 14 people have been killed in a massive storm which brought destruction to the northern Philippines, a presidential adviser says. Typhoon Mangkhut ripped through the Philippines' main island of Luzon, and is now moving west towards China.

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