Worldwide News – October 26, 2015 – Graphic pictures
More than 260 people have died, mostly in Pakistan, after a magnitude-7.5 earthquake hit north-eastern Afghanistan.
Tremors from the quake were also felt in northern India and Tajikistan.
At least 12 of the victims were Afghan schoolgirls killed in a crush as they tried to get out of their building.
The earthquake was centred in the mountainous Hindu Kush region, 76km (45 miles) south of Faizabad, the US Geological Survey reported.
The death toll is set to rise as the most severely affected areas are very remote and communications have been cut off.
Image copyrightEPAImage captionThis girl was among those being treated at a hospital in Peshawar, in PakistanImage copyrightAFPImage captionThe shoes of Afghan girls involved in a deadly stampede at their school in Takhar Province were left outside their building
In Pakistan, the death toll has risen to at least 214, in the northern mountainous areas.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province alone, authorities said at least 179 people were known to have died, and more than 1,800 were injured.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is cutting short a visit abroad and returning home.
Sunnatullah Timour, a spokesman for the governor of the Afghan province of Takhar, told the BBC that as well as the fatalities at the girls’ school, another 25 students were injured in the stampede.
Deaths and injuries have also been reported in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Kunar, with at least 52 killed in total.
Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah tweeted that the government had asked aid agencies to work with it to help those in need.
Image copyrightReutersImage captionInjured people were brought to a hospital in Jalalabad, AfghanistanImage copyrightEPAImage captionThese buildings in Afghanistan’s Badakshan province, near the epicentre, were damaged
However as the earthquake originated more than 200km (125 miles) below the earth’s surface, the damage is less than that which a similarly powerful but shallow tremor might cause.
In the city of Karimabad, in Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan, a witness who gave his name as Anas told the BBC that the quake had sent a landslide crashing into the Hunza river.
“At first it was as if someone was shaking us. There were about 20 of us and we just held on to each other,” he said.
“Right after that we saw a major landslide. Some people say it was a glacier that came down, some people say it was a hill. It fell right in front of our eyes.”
Pakistan Geological Survey head Imran Khan told the BBC there were reports of landslides disrupting the Karakoram highway between Gilgit and Baltistan. However, he said it was too early to say if any glaciers were destabilised by the quake.
Image copyrightAFPImage captionThe earthquake triggered a landslide in Pakistan’s northern Hunza valley
Analysis by Jonathan Webb, BBC News science reporter
Even at its revised magnitude of 7.5, this was a powerful tremor. Around the world only about 20 quakes each year, on average, measure greater than 7.0.
But its focus was deep – much further below the surface than the 7.8 quake which brought widespread destruction to eastern Nepal in April. That event was only 8km deep and was followed in early May by an aftershock with magnitude 7.3.
Similarly, the devastating 2005 Kashmir earthquake was magnitude 7.6 and just 26km deep. Today’s quake, at a depth of more than 200km, appears to have caused widespread but less severe ground shaking.
People in the Indian capital Delhi ran into the streets after the tremor struck, and schools and offices were evacuated. The Delhi metro was also briefly halted.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had ordered an urgent assessment of any damage.
“We stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.
Catherine Bhatti, from Durham in the UK, was visiting relatives in Sarghoda, Pakistan, when the quake struck.
“It came out of the blue, everything started to move slightly then it became stronger. We made our way downstairs and gathered outside on the lawn,” she told the BBC.
“My in-laws, who have lived here all their lives, say they have never experienced anything like this before.”
Image copyrightAPImage captionThis home in Peshawar was destroyed by the earthquakeImage copyrightBBC AfghanImage captionPictures from Ghazni, south-west of Kabul, showed damage to buildingsImage copyrightAPImage captionThese patients were evacuated from their hospital in Jammu, India after the quake was felt
Buildings in the Tajik capital Dushanbe were damaged by the tremors.
Local media report that a staircase at a school in Tajikistan’s Yavan district collapsed, injuring 14 children.
There are also reports of injuries in a stampede at Khorog state university in Tajikistan, as a building was evacuated.
The region has a history of powerful earthquakes caused by the northward collision of India with Eurasia. The two plates are moving towards each other at a rate of 4-5cm per year.
In 2005, a magnitude 7.6 quake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir left more than 75,000 people dead.
In April this year, Nepal suffered its worst earthquake on record with 9,000 people killed and about 900,000 homes damaged or destroyed.
A 19-year-old Syrian was brutally executed by ISIS militants who crushed him to death with a tank, according to a new video released by the jihadist group.
The video depicts a young Syrian solider, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, being driven over by the vehicle. Before his execution, he is forced to confess to driving over the bodies of jihadis himself with a tank, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
An ISIS fighter dressed in white explains that the execution was a punishment.
“This apostate dirty Nusayri ran over our brothers who were dead in a tank so it was decided that he will be run over by the tank while he is alive,” said the ISIS fighter.
The captive then reveals that his name is Fadi Ammar Zidan.
Fadi Ammar Zidan was handcuffed and placed in the middle of the road before being run over by a tank
Horrific screenshots showing the crushed and disfigured remains of the soldier after his execution were shown by AhlulBayt News Agency. Islamic State militants can be seen cheering in the background.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British based organisation which monitors the conflict in Syria through a network of sources, said it received information last month that ISIS would start to execute soldiers in this manner. However this is the first of its kind to be known to have taken place.
The execution follows the beheading of a Sudanese Christian by ISIS in Libya earlier this month.
The video’s release also comes soon after a major raid by US and Kurdish forces on a prison in Iraq freed 70 hostages held by ISIS. Helmet footage released yesterday showed the raid on the ISIS controlled prison 9 miles west of the city of Kirkuk.
One US soldier was killed in the operation. US army master sergeant Joshua Wheeler, 39, was the first American to die in combat as part of the US Operation Inherent Resolve.
An Iraqi Yazidi woman who was kidnapped and sold to an ISIS fighter says she was “owned” by an American Muslim convert.
The woman, known as Nada, age 19, escaped the clutches of her American Muslim captor and is now in the U.S. telling her story.
According to Christian Today, Nada says she was enslaved by an American known as Abu Abdullah al-Amriki who is a convert to Islam and a leader among the Islamic State.
Nada says she had seen him given instructions to other militants on how to fight and how to conduct an ambush.
Nada is currently giving her testimony to the FBI to help track the American ISIS militant. She reported that al-Amriki always carries an AK47 rifle, a pistol, a policeman’s stick he used to beat her and others in his custody, and carried a vial of poison to kill himself if he was caught.
Nada was reportedly kidnapped along with eight other woman and one boy. All of them were sold at a slave market, but Nada, one other woman, and the boy were kept together and taken to the same place. Eventually, the three of them were able to escape when al-Amriki was away fighting. They stole his cell phone and trekked north until they reached Kurdish police.
Nada said that al-Amriki would tell her about his family who lived in the U.S. and said he frequently traveled to see them.
Authorities have yet to identify the American.
Tens of thousands of migrants living in German tents face woes as winter nears.
Tens of thousands of refugees in Germany face gloomy and shivering days ahead as winter approaches with them still having no fixed accommodation.
Authorities are reportedly scrambling to find warm shelters for the refugees streaming into Germany every day as temperatures continue to drop, reaching near-freezing during the past week. Snow has already started falling in some parts of the country, according to Reuters.
Citing a survey by the German newspaper Die Welt, Reuters said some of the asylum seekers have been allowed to stay inside sports halls, youth hostels and empty office buildings. But the majority—at least 42, 000—are still living in tents, which are not winter-proof and heated.
“The weather is so cold that I can’t even leave the tent,” said Taher, a 25-year-old Syrian farmer.
Others who are housed at the camp on the outskirts of Celle, an old town in northern Germany that survived World War II, are also struggling to keep themselves warm despite having a diesel-heater pumping warm air into the tents, said the report.
Bernd Mesovic, deputy director of Pro Asyl, a group that campaigns for refugee rights, lamented the decline in the standard of accommodation provided in Germany, Europe’s richest economy.
“In summer, the official policy was to make sure refugees are out of makeshift shelters, especially tents but also sports halls, before winter. But now you just have to be happy there’s space in any kind of accommodation at all,” he noted.
In many regions, Mesovic said people who have been granted refugee status are still living in buildings intended for new arrivals due to a lack of social housing for them to move to.
In the face of rising public scepticism, German authorities assured it can manage the influx of migrants and provide the necessary housing for the expected asylum seekers, whose number is expected to rise up to 800,000 by next year.
Last week, Reuters said at least 380 refugees were evacuated from a tent city and taken to fixed accommodation in the state of Hasse.
In Berlin, authorities vowed to take down tents once three big new accommodation centres open. “They’re also planning to put people up in Tempelhof airport, a Nazi-built structure that served as a lifeline for West Berlin during the post-war Soviet blockade, and in the former ICC Congress Centre.”
After a street protest action by 100 refugees last week over their unheated tents, Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz also assured to make the tents winter-proof or find alternatives, but stressed that the city’s top priority is to avoid homelessness.
In Celle, the first huts are expected to arrive this week unless delivery is delayed again. If this happens, refugees will have to stay in tents, the town’s mayor, Dirk-Ulrich Mende, told Reuters.
Moreover, authorities said they are also monitoring the possible health consequences of overcrowding and the cold weather in the camps.
In Celle’s tent city, about two-third of refugees are suffering from cold, said Herbert Hessler, a doctor at the city. He also noted that refugees sometimes wore damp clothes because the washing hung around the camp cannot dry properly.
Earlier, there were reports of increasing violence and abuses inside refugee camps, which makes living even more depressing particularly to women and children who have been subjected to different kinds of abuses, Reuters said.
Some political observers argue there are now more questions than answers after Hillary Clinton’s 11 hour testimony to the House Benghazi committee.
The hearing looked into the details surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, attack in Libya that killed four Americans, including the ambassador to the country.
The committee pressed Clinton for answers to many questions, such as why was the United States in Libya? Why were security requests denied? And why was she willing to tell everyone but the American people that this was a terrorist attack?
One of the most revealing moments came when Republican Rep. Jim Jordan questioned Hillary about the explanations she gave in the first 24 hours following the attack.
“At 10:08, on the night of the attack, you released this statement, ‘Some have sought to justify the vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,’ Jordan said.
Yet even though she led the American people to believe an anti-Islamic video was the motivation for the attack, she told her family, the president of Libya, and the prime minister of Egypt a different story.
“The next day, within 24 hours, you had a conversation with the Egyptian prime minister. You told him this: ‘We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest,” Jordan charged.
“Why didn’t you tell the American people exactly what you told the Egyptian prime minister?” he asked.
Clinton defended her statements, saying she was careful with her wording to the American people about what happened at Benghazi, saying, “some have sought to justify” that the video, not terrorism, was the reason for the attack.
“I was very careful in saying that ‘some have sought to justify,'” Clinton said. “None of us can speak to the individual motivations of those terrorists who overran our compound and who attacked our CIA annex. There were probably a number of different motivations.”
But analysts like Terry Jeffrey, editor of Cybercast News Service, questions whether Clinton intentionally misled America into thinking it was a protest over a video and not a terror attack.
If it were an attack, that could have hurt President Barack Obama’s claims about his successful fight against terrorism shortly before the 2012 elections.
“I think that’s the question. Was this a calculated deception of the American people because they had had this foreign policy disaster leading into the 2012 elections?” Jeffrey told CBN News. “And I think that communication, which came out in the hearing today, makes that question very relevant.”
Clinton stayed relatively calm during the hearing, even as Reps. Jordan and Elijah Cummings, D-Md., got into a fiery exchange over whether a full transcript of a trusted Clinton adviser’s private testimony should be released.
The hearing comes at a crucial point in the Hillary campaign as she rides the momentum of her debate performance. She also no longer faces pressure that Vice President Joe Biden will rival her for the Democratic nomination.
But can she win in 2016 with poll numbers that suggest so many Americans really don’t trust her?
Worldwide News – October 26, 2015 – View the pictures