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Jewish artifacts disappear from Damascus in fog of Syria war

Jewish artifacts disappear from Damascus in fog of Syria war

World
Jewish artifacts, including ancient parchment torahs from one of the world's oldest synagogues, have gone missing from the Syrian capital amid the tumult of ongoing civil war, with some precious items reportedly surfacing abroad. Activists say the artifacts, moved from the now-destroyed Jobar Synagogue in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb when it was taken by rebels, were allegedly put into safe keeping to avoid theft and damage in 2013, but twice since then local officials have discovered some are missing. The main missing cache, they say, contained torahs written on gazelle leather as well as tapestries and chandeliers, and was given to a militia by a local council for safekeeping when rebels surrendered the neighborhood to government forces earlier this year. That group, the Islamist-in...
British lawmaker blocks 'upskirting' bill

British lawmaker blocks 'upskirting' bill

World
June 16 (UPI) -- A British lawmaker has blocked a bill that would make it a criminal offense to take a picture up a woman's skirt without her consent. Sir Christopher Chope, 71, a conservative lawmaker, objected to the bill to make the non-consensual practice called upskirting illegal Friday as it was being read in the House of Commons, TIME reported. The upskirting bill would make the offense punishable by two years in prison if it becomes law. In Scotland, upskirting is already illegal. Chope did not give a reason for objecting. The bill is expected to be up for debate again on July 6. British Prime Minister Theresa May supported the bill and was "disappointed" in Sir Chope's actions blocking the upskirting bill as the only lawmaker objecting to it advancing. "Upskirting is an invasio...
US child migrants: 2,000 separated from families in six weeks

US child migrants: 2,000 separated from families in six weeks

World
Almost 2,000 migrant children were separated from their families at the US border over six weeks, officials say.Following a Trump administration crackdown on illegal border crossings from Mexico, adults are being detained, meaning the children with them are removed from their care.The issue is causing a growing political storm in the US.On Thursday Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible to defend the "zero tolerance" approach.It means that those entering the US irregularly are criminally prosecuted, a change to a long-standing policy of charging most of those crossing for the first time with a misdemeanour offence.As the adults are being charged with a crime and detained, the children that travel with them are being separ...
China retaliates immediately after US announces tariffs

China retaliates immediately after US announces tariffs

World
China said Friday it is retaliating against U.S. tariffs by imposing penalties on the same scale against the United States. China's commerce ministry announced the tariffs after President Donald Trump said earlier Friday the United will hit $ 50 billion of goods from China with a 25 percent tariff. The ministry did not detail specifically what goods China will penalize. China had warned the White House earlier Friday that it would respond “in the first instance” to protect its economy if Trump moved forward with any tariffs on $ 50 billion worth of Chinese goods. At the daily briefing here, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “If the U.S. side adopts unilateralism and protectionism and damages China’s interests, we will respond in the first i...
Donkeys stolen, skinned in Africa to feed Chinese demand

Donkeys stolen, skinned in Africa to feed Chinese demand

World
Dawn was just beginning to break when Joseph Kamonjo Kariuki woke to find his donkeys missing. The villager searched the bush frantically for the animals he depends on to deliver water for a living, but they were nowhere to be found. It was the village's children who led Kariuki to the ghastly remains: three bloody, severed donkey heads lying on the ground. "I was in shock," said Kariuki, 37, who is known in his Kenyan village of Naivasha as "Jose wa Mapunda" — "Joseph of the Donkeys" in Swahili. Kariuki believes his donkeys were the latest victims of a black market for donkey skins, the key ingredient in a Chinese health fad that's threatening the beasts of burden many Africans rely on for farm work and transporting heavy loads. From Kenya to Burkina Faso, Egypt to Nigeria, animal...