AFP/File | Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue is the city's best known shopping street
AFP/File | Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue is the city's best known shopping street
AFP/File / by Fanny Carrier | American Michael Ellis (R) and Filipino Jesus Bascal (L) hold hands during a "Rite of Holy Union" ceremony for the Lesbians Gays Bisexual and Transgenders (LGBT) community in Manila on June 28, 2015
AFP / by Bryan McManus | Refugees and migrants arrive at the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on October 2, 2015
NO fewer than seventy-seven , (77) people have been injured, five of them seriously, after a gas cylinder exploded on Saturday in a restaurant at about 1:00 p.m during a festival
The incident reportedly occurred in the Spanish town of Velez-Malaga which is 40 km east of the popular tourist destination of Malaga on the southern coast, a spokesman for the Andalucia region's emergency unit said.
Video footage posted on social media showed people fleeing a fire inside a small restaurant called "La Bohemia" close to the center of Velez-Malaga, with the street outside covered in debris.
None of those seriously injured were at risk of death, a spokesman for the local hospital said. The majority of injuries were cuts and bruises.
El Pais newspaper said a cook at the restaurant was able to alert customers to a fire in the kitchen, which gave most enough time to escape serious injury.
Militants showed no mercy in their latest attacks as none other than eleven armed soldiers were brutally killed and a village guardsman in two separate attacks on Friday in the eastern province of Van, Turkey, state media told AFP.
Eight Turkish soldiers were killed during clashes with rebels in the eastern province of Van on Friday, the governor’s office said, quoted by state-run news agency Anadolu.
Eight soldiers were also injured in the same operation against the “separatist terror organisation”, the name Turkey gives to the PKK, Anadolu reported.
Late on Friday, two soldiers and a village guard were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in Mardin in the restive southeast blamed on the PKK, the agency reported.
The guard killed was part of a group of local residents who cooperate with Turkish security forces against the PKK, listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies. Three security guards were also wounded.
In a statement, the Van governor’s office said the condition of those in hospital was “good”, although their treatment continued.
Thirteen PKK fighters were killed by Turkish jets around Tendurek mountains in Van province, the office said, while Anadolu reported that the operation supported by the air force continued.
Since the collapse of a two-year ceasefire in July, Anadolu reported over 600 Turkish security force members have been killed by the PKK in renewed fighting.
The government has responded with military operations against the group, killing more than 7,000 militants in Turkey and northern Iraq, the agency said. It is not possible to independently verify the toll.
Activists claim innocent civilians have also been killed in the offensives.
More than 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK first took up arms in 1984.
Residents in the British capital London will go to the polls Thursday to elect a new mayor, in a bitterly fought election that has exposed tensions and divisions within UK party politics.
Surveys show the Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan, a former government minister, poised to defeat Conservative Party candidate Zac Goldsmith, the environmentalist scion of a billionaire businessman.
Khan’s predicted victory over Goldsmith comes after a campaign marred by accusations of smears related to Khan’s Muslim faith and now, a worsening feud in the Labour Party over anti-Semitism.
Ken Livingstone, Labour’s last mayor of London, was suspended from the party last week after defending a Member of Parliament(MP) who shared an anti-Semitic meme on her Facebook page.
In lending support to Naz Shah, Livingstone claimed that Hitler had been a Zionist before he “went mad,” and then repeatedly refused to retract or apologize for his remarks.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn — like Livingstone, a product of Labour’s far Left — was accused of failing to take a strong enough stand against anti-Semitism.
Among his critics was Khan, who moved to distance himself from Corbyn and his party over the weekend. “I am an advocate of the Labour leadership … actually receiving some training on this stuff as clearly they don’t understand what racism is, and there is no hierarchy when it comes to racism,” he told The Observer. “There are too many examples in our party of people having these views, and action does not appear to have been taken quickly enough.”
The affair threatens to widen the rift between the party’s establishment and its left wing, already yawning in the wake of Corbyn’s elevation from the party’s margins to its leader last year. - Press TV
PARIS, MAY 4, 2017: (DGW) Whatsapp, the world's most popular chatting app is down across the world. The reason for it is yet unknown as messages sent from it refuse to go across the net.
However, a worker and spokesperson in the employ of the networking company say the engineers are working to fix the problem and restore services to its clients and users worldwide.
We will bring the details of this unfolding story. Stay connected.
Spanish authorities said Tuesday they had broken up a "terrorist cell" linked to the Islamic State jihadist group with the arrest of three Moroccan men who aimed to carry out attacks in Madrid.
Police arrested the trio, legal residents of Spain between the ages of 26 and 29, in pre-dawn raids in two neighbourhoods of the capital Madrid, the interior ministry said in a statement.
"National police broke up in Madrid an active jihadist terrorist cell," it said.
It added that authorities acted quickly to detain the men because "their reactions were very unpredictable" and they had "manifested their clear willingness to carry out an attack in Madrid".
Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that, unlike in other recent cases of suspected jihadists arrested in Spain, the men were "not devoted to attracting, indoctrinating, radicalising, recruiting" people to travel to Syria or Iraq to join IS.
"Their goal was to act in Spain," he said on Cadena Ser radio.
The suspects "were ready to conduct indiscriminate attacks", including knife attacks like those recently conducted by Palestinian militants in Israel or deadly assaults with rifles, he added.
The cell's leader recruited others by spreading IS doctrine while the other two detained men were "operatives" in charge of carrying out potential attacks, the interior ministry said.
One of the suspects was detained in a large shantytown in southern Madrid and "had easy access to an illegal market for all types of weapons".
No weapons were seized during the operation. The investigation remains open, the ministry said.
Fears of attacks on home soil
Like other European nations, Spain has been grappling with a growing number of jihadist cells on its territory and radicalised Muslims leaving to fight for IS or other Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria.
More than 100 people from Spain are suspected of having joined jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria and authorities fear they may return to launch attacks.
Some 171 suspected jihadists have been detained in Spain since December 2011, according to the interior minister, most of them accused of recruiting for IS rather than actually planning attacks themselves.
But in April, police arrested 11 people in the northeast region of Catalonia, suspected of links to IS and accused of planning local attacks.
In January, police arrested four men in Spain's tiny north African territory Ceuta, accusing them of belonging to a group "prepared" to launch possible attacks in Spain.
Spain raised its terror alert to four on a scale of five on June 26 following deadly attacks in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.
It is the highest alert level since Al-Qaeda-inspired bombers blew up four packed commuter trains and killed 191 people in Madrid on March 11, 2004.
The heightened alert calls for an increasing police presence on the streets of Spanish cities as well as at airports, railway and bus terminals, nuclear power plants and electrical installations.
Conservative MP Stephen Phillips has quit over "irreconcilable policy differences" with the government.
The MP, who has held the Lincolnshire seat of Sleaford and North Hykeham since 2010, backed leaving the EU but has accused ministers of ignoring Parliament since the Brexit vote.
He said he was "unable properly to represent the people who elected me".
It comes as Theresa May said she was confident she would win a legal battle over her approach to Brexit talks.
On Thursday, three High Court judges ruled the government cannot officially notify the EU of its intention to leave, thus beginning formal talks, without Parliament's support.
In a series of phone calls, the prime minister told European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Germany's Angela Merkel that the government believed it would win its Supreme Court appeal against the ruling and she was committed to triggering Article 50 by March 2017.
Although Mr Phillips represents a safe Conservative seat, his surprise departure increases the pressure on Mrs May's government - which has a working majority of 17.
It is not yet clear whether Mr Phillips, who won the seat last year with a majority of more than 24,000, will stand as an independent in a future by-election although this is thought to be unlikely.
Analysis by Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent
The government's values were no longer his values. On child refugees, on the use of aid money, on the handling of Brexit, he dissented from a party he thought was heading inexorably to the right.
That is the view from sources close to Stephen Phillips. One said he twice rejected a meeting with the prime minister.
Will other Tories follow? Some on the party's left tell me they'd rather stay and fight. Others reflect ruefully that unlike him they have no well-paid alternative career as a barrister.
A by-election in a safe seat won't much trouble party bosses. But while Downing Street doesn't want one, the departure of - yet another - Tory MP means the voices calling for a swift general election will grow a little louder.
The politician and barrister is the second Conservative MP to stand down in as many weeks - Zac Goldsmith last week forced a by-election over his opposition to expanding Heathrow airport.
Sources say Mr Phillips informed party whips earlier this week that he would resign as an MP because he felt his values were not the values of the government.
He has been critical of the government's approach to Brexit since June's Leave vote, accusing Theresa May of trying to "ignore the views" of Parliament and avoiding scrutiny of the government's negotiating position.
In a recent newspaper article, he suggested the government was "lurching to the right" and that its attempt to start negotiations with the EU without the explicit approval of Parliament was "divisive and plain wrong".
In a statement, he did not spell out the specific reasons for his resignation but said: "It has become clear to me over the last few months that my growing and very significant policy differences with the current government mean that I am unable properly to represent the people who elected me.
"This decision has been a difficult one and I hope that everyone will respect the fact that I have tried to act in the best interests of all of my constituents."
In last year's election, Mr Phillips won a majority of 24,115, with 56% of the vote. Labour finished second, closely followed by UKIP.
Labour said the impending by-election would be "more about Tory failure and in-fighting than what is in the best interests of the country".
"It's clear that even Theresa May's own MPs realise that she has failed to lay out a convincing plan to deliver for Britain," said national campaign co-ordinator Jon Trickett.
UKIP leadership contender Suzanne Evans has said she would like to be considered to be the party's candidate in the by-election.
Asked about the resignation during a visit to Berlin, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested it was part of the prevailing "sturm und drang" (storm and stress) over Brexit - a reference to the movement of 18th Century German writers who gave free expression to emotions and ideas which sought to break with tradition.
He told reporters he did not believe that the legal battle over Parliament's role would "interfere" with the UK's Brexit timetable - insisting that the High Court ruling was "one stage" in the legal process and the British people had made their views clear.
Mrs May has also been seeking to reassure EU leaders about the UK's commitment to Brexit following Thursday's legal setback.
No 10 said she had explained the government was "disappointed" by the ruling but felt it "had strong legal arguments ahead of the case moving to the Supreme Court".
The European Commission said the timetable for beginning talks was in the UK's hands.
"The president explicitly said the legal order and the constitutional order of the UK will be respected and we won't speculate on a possible delay," a spokeswoman said.
The UK voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union in a referendum on 23 June.
The EU's other 27 member states have said negotiations about the terms of the UK's exit - due to last two years - cannot begin until Article 50 has been invoked. - BBC