IRAQ: ‘ Minister Slams Islamic State for turning Jonahs Tomb into a Park ‘

#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:June.20: An Iraqi minister on Saturday slammed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plans to turn the site of the tomb of the Prophet Younis (Jonah) in Mosul – which it destroyed last year – into a park as a “crime” perpetrated against the country’s heritage, a local news outlet reported.

Qais Hussain, the deputy minister of Antiquities and Tourism told the local al-Sumaria News that “there are reports about ISIS’s intention of transforming the tomb into a park and fun city which is another crime against Iraqi heritage.”

Hussain also said the ministry has “a plan after liberating conquered cities from ISIS,” adding that there is “a committee that is currently working to minimize damages being done to heritage sites.”

The site of the tomb is located in the northern city of Mosul, which ISIS seized in June last year. So far the Iraqi government, already backed with Shiite volunteer fighters known as the Popular Mobilization units, has not been able to recapture the city, which has become the group’s stronghold in the country.

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IRAQ: ‘ Suicide Bombers in Vehicles hit Security forces & their HQ ‘

#AceNewsReport – IRAQ:#BreakingUpdate June.13: Four suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives hit security forces and the local headquarters of the Shi’ite militias killing 11 people.

Islamic State militants attacked government forces and their Shi’ite militia allies on Saturday near the city of Baiji, Iraq.

Four suicide bombers in vehicles packed with explosives hit security forces and the local headquarters of the Shi’ite militias killing 11 people. The attack comes as the battle for control of Iraq’s biggest refinery continues.

Iraq has been struggling for stability since the last US troops pulled out in 2011, as the battle against Islamic State and extensive sectarian disputes obstruct efforts to rebuild the economy.

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#BREAKING: ‘ US to send more troops to Iraq for expanded training mission’

#AceBreakingNews – Washington:June.10: More troops going to Iraq:

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JERUSALEM (AP) – An expected White House decision to send several hundred more troops to Iraq to expand training of Iraqi forces in Anbar province is not a shift in U.S. strategy but is aimed at helping Iraq retake the provincial capital, Ramadi, and eventually blunt the Islamic State’s battlefield momentum.

The decision, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, would increase the n…

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#AceNewsDesk : “World News – Today – 20 January 2014 – Good Afternoon”

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15 journalists hurt in Kiev clashes

Fifteen journalists, mostly Ukrainian, have been hurt over two days of clashes between protesters and police in downtown Kiev. They include a news photographer for Russia’s Novaya Gazeta newspaper, Yevgeny Feldman, Interfax said. On Monday, a photographer for Ukraine’s LB.ua, Maks Levin, was beaten up, media reports say. Police also reportedly detained TV operator Vladimir Karagyaur.

14:36

Woman suspected of torturing her Indonesian maid arrested in Hong Kong

Police in Hong Kong have arrested a woman suspected of torturing her Indonesian maid, the BBC reported. Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, 23, who is currently in hospital in Indonesia, said she suffered months of abuse from the 44-year-old woman in Hong Kong. Several thousand domestic staff rallied in Hong Kong to demand justice for Sulistyaningsih on Sunday. She was reportedly badly beaten and was in a critical condition when she arrived in Indonesia last week.

14:21

14 companies bid to destroy Syrian stockpile – watchdog

The global chemical weapons watchdog said Monday it had received tenders from 14 commercial companies, offering to destroy part of Syria’s toxic stockpile, Reuters reported. The companies include those from America, Europe and China, the Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said. It is tasked with overseeing the destruction process, and has earmarked up to $54 million for the commercial processing of 500 metric tons of industrial chemicals and millions of liters of toxic waste.

13:27

600 people evacuated in Italy flooding

A Syrian-born doctor out visiting a patient died and hundreds of people were forced from their homes by flooding in Italy, AFP reported. The doctor, Elias Kassabij, 66, was carried away by the flood waters from a swollen stream near the port of Genoa in northwest Italy. The father of the young patient he had visited was rescued. Emergency workers near the city of Modena were looking for a man who took to a dinghy on a canal amid heavy rain to help some stranded people and fell into the water. Some 600 people were evacuated from their homes around Modena.

EU ministers approve the military mission in Central African Republic

EU foreign ministers on Monday approved sending up to 1,000 soldiers to the Central African Republic, Reuters reported. The forces will back up French and African soldiers trying to restore order after bloody clashes. Diplomats earlier said the mission would be limited to four to six months, and soldiers would take over security at Bangui Airport to free up French troops.

12:05

RussiaUS-UN meeting ahead of Geneva 2 possible on Jan. 21 – Moscow

A trilateral Russia-US-UN meeting on preparing the Geneva 2 international conference on Syria could be held on Tuesday, Interfax quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov as saying. It is possible that a trilateral meeting with the participation of US representatives and UN Special Representative on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi “could take place tomorrow,” Gatilov said Monday.

11:53

Workers to strike at top platinum firms in S. Africa

The AMCU union on Monday served notice to strike for higher wages within 48 hours at top global platinum mines in South Africa, AFP reported. Anglo-American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin confirmed members of the dominant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union will start their strike at morning shift from Thursday. Earlier talks failed to provide a solution. Over 80,000 workers will strike at the firms, just over half their combined workforce. Workers demand a basic salary of 12,500 rand ($1,150) – more than double the 5,000-rand entry-level pay, according to the union.

11:19

Militants attack NATO base in Afghanistan, ISAF service member killed

An assault by suicide bombers and gunmen against a NATO base in southern Afghanistan on Monday killed one service member, according to the coalition. All nine insurgents wearing coalition uniforms were killed during the attack on the base in southern Kandahar’s Zhari district, AP reported, citing officials. Two civilian bystanders also died. As foreign troops withdraw this year, the Taliban have intensified a campaign against Afghan and international forces.

10:32

Al-Qaeda has enough arms to ‘take Baghdad’ – official

Al-Qaeda fighters entrenched in a city they seized late last month west of Baghdad have enough heavy weapons allegedly to take the country’s capital, Iraq’s Senior Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Asadi said Monday. Iraqi forces are fighting “fierce battles” against heavily armed militants to recapture parts of Ramadi, the capital of the western Anbar province, and also the nearby city of Fallujah, he said. The weapons in Fallujah that are in the hands of Iraq’s Al-Qaeda branch and other Sunni militant groups are “advanced and huge and enough to occupy Baghdad,” AP quoted the official as saying. Iraq announced on Sunday an all-out military operation to push Al-Qaeda out of Ramadi.

 

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