A month after poll, Israeli PM struggles to form govt

Updated 23 February 2013
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A month after poll, Israeli PM struggles to form govt

JERUSALEM: A month after his rightwing Likud-Beitenu alliance narrowly won an election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still striving to build a coalition, as talk emerges about the possibility of going to the polls again.
Although the small, centrist HaTnuah party agreed on Tuesday to come on board, its six parliamentary seats added to Likud-Beitenu’s 31 still leave Netanyahu a long way from a majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
“Political tangle,” was top-selling Yediot Aharonot daily’s front-page headline yesterday. The media say that prospective coalition partners, Yesh Atid, Jewish Home and Kadima — with a combined total of 33 seats — were working together to exert the maximum political price for cooperating with Netanyahu.
They said Naftali Bennett, leader of the far-right Jewish Home, was demanding that Netanyahu renege on a pledge to centrist HaTnuah’s head Tzipi Livni to put her in charge of peace negotiations with the Palestinians.


Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

Updated 19 April 2018
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Iran arrests culture ministry official over public dance

  • Iran arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad
  • The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd

TEHRAN: Iran on Thursday arrested a senior official after a video posted online showed young boys and girls dancing in public in the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, the judiciary said.
“The head of the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance in Mashhad was arrested for undermining public decency and disrespecting the laws,” the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency said quoting a deputy prosecutor.
Islamic law in Iran prohibits public dancing.
The video shared on social networks showed young boys and girls dancing in a shopping mall, where a singer was performing for a huge crowd. The event took place on Tuesday.
Mohsen Afshar, a spokesman for the shopping center, told the ISNA news agency that a monthly draw is organized and a car given away to the lucky winner to attract customers.
According to Afshar the singer had the necessary “official permits to perform.”
The performance can attract 10,000-12,000 people, he said, including “some individuals whose behavior is contrary to the norms of the Islamic republic.”
But Heydari told Tasnim news agency that the mall was not authorized to organize such events.
Mashhad is a holy and conservative city where in 2016 concerts were banned by the Friday prayer leader, Ayatollah Ahmad Allamolhoda, who also told music-lovers to “Go somewhere else.”
Thursday’s arrest comes days after Tehran’s reformist mayor, Mohammad Ali Najafi, resigned after claims he was threatened with arrest.
Najafi had attracted criticism from hard-liners last month after attending in March a show at City Hall for Iranian Women’s Day in which schoolgirls performed a traditional dance.