Three foreigners, two Jordanians killed in attack on training facility near Amman
- Two Americans and one South African were killed along with three Jordanians at a U.S.-funded police training facility on the outskirts of Amman, Jordan.
- The Americans and South African were security contractors, while one Jordanian was reportedly a translator.
- The shooting comes as Jordan commemorates the 10-year anniversary of the 2005 Amman bombings, coordinated hotel attacks that left 60 dead.
“Jordan says death toll rises to six in training facility attack” (Reuters)
“Jordanian officer fatally shoots two Americans, South African at security training site” (Reuters)
“What we know so far about the Jordanian police shooting” (Al Bawaba)
Washington Post reporter convicted of espionage in Iran
- Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian faces up to 20 years in prison after the ruling, though the Post and Rezaian’s legal counsel are now working to appeal the verdict.
- Iranian state media alleged that Rezaian had come to Iran to expose Iranian businesses and individuals who were circumventing U.S. sanctions.
- Rezain was detained by Iranian authorities in July 2014, held without charge for months, and subjected to a legal process criticized by supporters and human rights groups as opaque and inhumane.
“Iran says Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian convicted” (AP)
“Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian Convicted In Iran” (BuzzFeed News)
“What you need to know about the Jason Rezaian trial” (Washington Post)
(Image Credit: Twitter photo, via BuzzFeed News)
U.S. embassy in South Africa issues threat alert
- The embassy issued an alert to U.S. citizens in the country about a possible attack by “extremists.”
- The alert is a rare one in the African democracy, which to date has had none of the embedded radical groups that have historically targeted the U.S.
- No specific details such as time or place were available, with the alert serving as a precaution for Americans to review personal security plans.
Read the full story at Reuters.
Three Americans and one Briton receive France’s highest honor for role in subduing train attacker
- French President François Hollande awarded the four men the Legion d’Honneur at a reception at the Elysée Palace.
- The men were a part of a group that subdued the gunman on a train bound for Paris with more than 550 passengers reported on board.
- A French-American, who was shot and remains hospitalized, and an additional unnamed man also assisted and will receive their honors at a later date.
Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.
(Image Credit: Pool New/Reuters, via BuzzFeed News)
Thai surrogate attempts to block departure of gay couple with infant
- A U.S.-Spanish binational couple has retreated to a secret location with their infant daughter after the surrogate they contracted through a Thai surrogacy agency refused to sign the papers for the child’s passport.
- The woman alleges she was unaware the child was going to a gay couple and is not obligated to turn over her rights to the couple, despite contracts regulating the process and her lack of biological connection to the child.
- After the present situation’s process had already begun, surrogacy was banned in Thailand following high-profile scandals that drew attention to the largely unregulated industry.
“She said she thought she was doing this for an ‘ordinary family’ and when she found out that it wasn’t an ordinary family she was worried for Carmen’s wellbeing.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.
(Image Credit: Gordon Lake/Facebook, via the Guardian)
Black hotel visitors receive apology from five-star hotel in Dubai after being asked to leave
- A Nigerian event manager and her friend had been out for the evening at the lounge in the Mövenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach, where a waitress reportedly refused to serve them and a security guard told them to leave.
- The hotel issued an apology for the “misunderstanding” and claimed that such measures were not standard practice at the beachfront hotel.
- Black women in Dubai face targeting under suspicion of prostitution–particularly at hotels–leading to racial profiling.
“A female staff came out and tried to hush up the matter saying ‘Obama is the President of US’ as if that had anything to do with us. I want the management of the hotel to realise that this isn’t 1930. This is 2015. You cannot walk up to random black women and tell them you will not serve them because they are black.”
Read the full story at Gulf News.
(Image Credit: Wanderforth.com)
Kazakhstan extends visa-free travel to 19 countries
- Following a successful pilot program over the past year, the Kazakh government has extended visa-free travel for up to 15 days to residents of Australia, Hungary, Italy, Monaco, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland and Japan.
- Should residents desire to stay longer than 15 days, they will be required to reenter or obtain a visa.
- The program will last through the end of 2017 and has been implemented as Kazakhstan plans to host two major international sporting and cultural events–Winter Universiade and Expo 2017–in the next two years.
Read the full story at Tengrinews.
(Image Credit: Infopass.ru, via Tengrinews)