Two suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed in Yemen drone strike

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Updated 02 July 2017
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Two suspected Al-Qaeda militants killed in Yemen drone strike

YEMEN: Two suspected Al-Qaeda militants were killed in a drone strike while traveling on a motorbike in southern Yemen late on Saturday, residents said.
The men died on the outskirts of Al-Wadei town in Abyan province, said residents who identified one of them as a local leader for the militant group called Ibrahim Al-Adani.
There was no immediate statement from the militants or from US forces who have repeatedly launched drone and air strikes on Yemen’s Al-Qaeda branch, known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
US officials say they are trying to wear down the group’s ability to coordinate attacks abroad.
Another suspected US drone strike killed two men believed to be Al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen late on Friday, residents and local sources said.
In June, a drone strike killed two suspected Al-Qaeda militants traveling in a vehicle in Al-Naqba area of Shabwa province.
AQAP operates in several provinces in south and eastern Yemen, including in Abyan, Shabwa and Al-Bayda.


Warning to Turkish artists as singer is jailed for ‘insulting’ Erdogan

Updated 53 min 31 sec ago
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Warning to Turkish artists as singer is jailed for ‘insulting’ Erdogan

  • Actress and singer Zuhal Olcay was charged with insulting Erdogan using hand gestures at a concert in Istanbul in 2016
  • Turkey’s appeals court has upheld an 11-month sentence, originally imposed last year but suspended

ANKARA: Accusations of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may lead to a jail sentence — even if the “insult” is in private, analysts told Arab News on Saturday.

Turkey’s appeals court has upheld an 11-month sentence on actress and singer Zuhal Olcay, 61, after a complaint that she had changed lyrics of songs and used hand gestures to insult the president at a concert in Istanbul in 2016.

The revised lyrics said: “Recep Tayyip Erdogan, it’s all empty, it’s all a lie. Life will end one day and you’ll say ‘I had a dream’.” Olcay said she had changed the lyrics only because the president’s name fitted the rhyme.

The court confirmed a sentence originally imposed last year, which had been suspended. The singer is expected to spend up to three days in prison, before being released on probation.

“This case highlights the blurring of the public and private spheres.”

Louis Fishman Academic

“Zuhal Olcay is an artist with great stature, and this case shows that no one is out of reach of a judiciary that increasingly has little independence from the government,” Louis Fishman, an assistant professor at City University of New York, told Arab News.

“The message is clear; artists in Turkey should be silent or face legal consequences that can be drawn out for years and eventually lead to prison,” said Fishman, an expert on Turkey.

He said it was significant that the hand gesture at the center of the case had happened at a private concert, and the prosecution began only after it was reported to police by someone in the audience.

“Therefore, this case also highlights the blurring of the public and private spheres,” he said. 

“In other words, there is a growing fear in Turkey of criticizing, or ‘defaming’ Erdogan, not only in public, but also in private. In both cases, vigilant citizens can report such alleged cases to the police.”