Malaysia Canes Two Women for Same-Sex Relations Amid Growing Concerns Over LGBT Discrimination

Two women were publicly caned by a Malaysian Shariah court on Monday for allegedly having sex, a punishment that drew international rebuke as both cruel and indicative of growing concerns about LGBT discrimination in the country.

The two unnamed women, ages 22 and 32, were arrested in April after Islamic enforcement officers spotted them in a car together in northeast Terengganu state, according to Agence France-Presse. Earlier this month, they pleaded guilty to charges of lesbian sex, and were sentenced to six strokes and a RM 3,300 (U.S.$800) fine in a verdict the judge called a lesson for society.

After a week-long delay due to “technical difficulties,” the whippings reportedly occurred Monday in front of over 100 onlookers at the Sharia High Court in the state capital.

Amnesty International called the sentence “a dreadful reminder of the depth of discrimination #LGBTI people face in the country and a sign that the new government condones the use of inhuman and degrading punishme..

U.S. Forces Say They Have Killed the Leader of ISIS in Afghanistan

U.S. forces have killed the self-proclaimed leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) branch in Afghanistan, according to a statement posted Sunday by the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.

During an Aug. 25 strike on Nangarhar province near the Pakistan border, U.S. forces said they targeted and killed Abu Saad Orakzai. He is the third leader of the Islamic State–Khorasan group to have been killed by U.S. forces since July 2016, according to the statement.

“America and her allies are in Afghanistan to maintain pressure on the networked, trans-regional terrorists attempting to plot, resource and direct attacks from here,” said U.S. Army Gen.Scott Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. “This is only part of the coalition’s work towards and Afghan security solution, but it is a vital part.” Miller took over the post from Army Gen. John Nicholson on Sunday.

Orakzai, also known as Abu Saad Erhabi, was the emir of the Islamic State–Khorasan, the ISIS affiliate ..

Firefighters Battle Huge Fire at 200-Year-Old National Museum in Rio De Janeiro

(RIO DE JANEIRO) — A massive fire tore through a 200-year-old museum in Rio de Janeiro late Sunday, lighting up the night and sending large plumes of smoke into the air.

Firefighters worked to put out the blaze at the esteemed National Museum in northern Rio, which houses artefacts from Egypt, Greco-Roman art and some of the first fossils found in Brazil.

In a statement, the museum said the blaze began around 7:30 p.m. There were no reported injuries and the fire began after it had closed to the public, said the statement. It wasn’t immediately clear how the fire began.

In a statement, President Michel Temer said it was “a sad day for all Brazilians.”

“Two hundred years of work, investigation and knowledge have been lost,” said Temer.

According to the museum’s website, it has more than 20,000 items related to the history of Brazil and other countries, and that many of its collections came from members of Brazil’s royal family.

Connected to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro..

The Vatican Is Pushing Back Against Archbishop Vigano’s Allegations Against Pope Francis

(VATICAN CITY) — The Vatican is starting to push back against Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, author of the bombshell accusation of sex abuse cover-up against Pope Francis, with a statement Sunday from its former spokesman about a controversial 2015 meeting Vigano organized.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi and his English-language assistant, the Rev. Thomas Rosica, issued a joint statement disputing Vigano’s claims about the encounter he organized with American anti-gay marriage campaigner, Kim Davis, during Francis’ September 2015 visit to the United States.

News of the Davis audience made headlines at the time and was viewed by conservatives as a papal stamp of approval for Davis, the Kentucky clerk at the center of the U.S. gay marriage debate. The Vatican furiously sought to downplay it, with Lombardi saying the meeting by no means indicated papal support for Davis and insisting that the only private audience Francis held in Washington was with his former student: a gay man and his par..

U2 Concert Cut Short After Bono Suffers ‘a Complete Loss of Voice’

Concertgoers in Berlin were disappointed on Saturday when iconic rock band U2 abruptly cancelled a concert in the middle of a song, citing lead singer Bono’s “complete loss of voice.”

The concert, which was the band’s second performance of the weekend and the beginning of its European summer tour, came to a halt while Bono was signing “Beautiful Day.” Fans reported the singer’s voice sounding audibly strained before he stopped performing completely.

U2 playing in Berlin, Bono has lost his voice after just a couple of songs – show paused, but likely to be cancelled pic.twitter.com/CdcJE9FIqg

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U2 released a statement apologizing to its fans, saying it’s still unclear what happened to Bono’s vocal chords, but he’s being advised by medical professionals.

“Bono was in great form and great voice prior to the show and we were all looking forward to the second night in Berlin, but after a few songs, he suffered a complete loss of voice,” the sta..

2 Americans Stabbed on Train in Amsterdam in Alleged Terrorist Attack

(AMSTERDAM) — A 19-year-old Afghan citizen had a “terrorist motive” for allegedly stabbing two Americans at the main train station in Amsterdam, city authorities in the Dutch capital said Saturday.

Amsterdam police shot and wounded the suspect after the double stabbing Friday at Central Station. The local government said hours later that it appeared the victims weren’t targeted for a specific reason, but added that investigators were not excluding any possibilities.

After the U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands on Saturday identified the people injured as American tourists, Amsterdam City Hall gave an update.

“Based on the suspect’s first statements, he had a terrorist motive,” the city administration said in a statement that did not elaborate on what the statements were or how they showed intent.

The wounded Americans were recovering in a hospital from what police termed serious but not life-threatening injuries. Their identities have not been released. The suspect, who was identif..

President Trump Slams Canada’s`Decades of Abuse’ After NAFTA Talks Stall

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump slammed what he termed “decades of abuse” by Canada with a new threat to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, a day after talks with the U.S.’s northern neighbor stalled hours before a deadline.

“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal. If we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out,” Trump said on Twitter on Saturday. “Congress should not interfere w/these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely & we will be far better off.”

The president’s tweet was sent shortly after he left the White House in a motorcade bound for his golf course in Virginia.

Trump’s move on Friday to notify Congress that he planned to sign a deal with Mexico in 90 days and would include Canada “if it is willing” appeared to avoided what many in the U.S. business community and Congress had seen as a worst-case scenario. But Saturday’s tweets opened the door again to that outcome.

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Ugandan Pop Star-Turned-Politician Bobi Wine Stopped From Seeking Treatment in U.S. After Alleged Torture

(KAMPALA, Uganda) — Protests erupted in Uganda’s capital on Friday after police blocked a pop star-turned-opposition lawmaker from leaving for the United States for treatment after alleged torture.

The action by security forces has escalated a political dispute between the government of longtime President Yoweri Museveni and a youthful generation that fears he intends to rule for life after 32 years in power.

Bobi Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, was stopped Thursday night while trying to board a flight at the Entebbe airport, lawyer Asuman Basalirwa told The Associated Press. He was checked into a hospital in the capital, Kampala, in a “worrying condition,” the lawyer said.

The 36-year-old had been freed on bail on Monday but faced no travel restrictions after he and several other lawmakers were arrested and charged with treason over an incident in which the president’s motorcade was pelted with stones and Ssentamu’s driver was shot dead. A lawyer for the singer has ca..

These Five Leaders Had the Worst Summers of Their Political Lives

Another August gone by too quickly. But for some political leaders, summer can’t end soon enough. Here are five leaders who have suffered true summers of discontent.

Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela
Spencer Platt—Getty ImagesVenezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks to the media following a meeting with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York on July 28, 2015 in New York City. When the failed assassination attempt on your life qualifies as the highlight of your summer, it’s not looking good. On August 4, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was giving a speech at a military parade in Caracas when a pack of drones armed with explosives went off near the stage. Maduro survived the attempt and promptly blamed the far-right, neighboring Colombia, and plotters in the US. for staging the attack. Given that Venezuela is currently gripped by staggering medicine and food shortages (in 2017, the average Venezuelan lost 24 pounds or 11 kilograms), there’s no shortage..

Facebook Investigated Myanmar’s Military-Linked Accounts. It Found a Covert Propaganda Campaign

Facebook says it has identified a covert Myanmar military propaganda campaign hosted on its platform, the first evidence that the country’s armed forces were behind social media posts targeting the ethnic Rohingya Muslim minority.

In a series of emails to TIME, a representative from Facebook confirmed that an internal investigation launched earlier this year identified dozens of accounts intended to mislead users into thinking that they were independent sources of news while disseminating pro-military propaganda and sometimes false, incendiary content about the Rohingya.

Facebook linked the content to Myanmar’s military, known locally as the Tatmadaw, by examining public data on website registration, shared IP addresses and admins with access to multiple accounts, the representative confirmed.

The company announced Monday that it had banned 18 accounts and 52 pages in Myanmar, including those of senior military figures such as Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing. It came the ..