As protests wane, Iran lifts ban on messaging app Telegram

Telegram, which has some 40 million users in Iran, is now accessible once again through both Wi-Fi and mobile networks.
Updated 13 January 2018
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As protests wane, Iran lifts ban on messaging app Telegram

TEHRAN: Iran’s semi-official ILNA news agency is reporting that the ban on a popular messaging app has been lifted, two weeks after waning anti-government protests in which more than 21 people were killed.
The Saturday report says Telegram, which has some 40 million users in Iran, is now accessible once again through both Wi-Fi and mobile networks.
The Associated Press spoke on Saturday with residents from several cities across the country, including Shiraz, Isfahan, Bandar Abbas, Rasht and Oroumieh, who all confirmed that they now have access to the app.
Iran shut down Telegram and the picture-sharing app Instagram during the protests in early January, saying rioters were using them to spread unrest. Soon afterward authorities restored access to Instagram but Telegram remained banned.


Israel gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave

Updated 8 min 30 sec ago
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Israel gives Bedouin villagers until end of month to leave

  • Israel’s supreme court on September 5 rejected appeals against demolition, allowing authorities to move ahead
  • ‘No one will leave. We will have to be expelled by force’

JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities issued a notice to residents of a Bedouin village in a strategic spot in the occupied West Bank on Sunday informing them they have until the end of the month to leave.
The fate of Khan Al-Ahmar has drawn international concern, with European countries calling on Israel not to move ahead with plans to demolish it.
Israel’s supreme court on September 5 rejected appeals against demolition, allowing authorities to move ahead.
Israel says the village was built without the proper permits, though it is extremely difficult for Palestinians to receive such permission in that part of the West Bank.
The notice given to the some 200 residents of Khan Al-Ahmar on Sunday says they have until the end of the month to demolish the village themselves.
“Pursuant to a supreme court ruling, residents of Khan Al-Ahmar received a notice today requiring them to demolish all the structures on the site by October 1st, 2018,” a statement from the Israeli defense ministry unit that oversees civilian affairs in the West Bank said.
It did not say what will happen if they refuse to do so. Village residents vowed not to leave despite the notice.
“No one will leave. We will have to be expelled by force,” said village spokesman Eid Abu Khamis, adding that a residents’ meeting would be held later on the issue.
“If the Israeli army comes to demolish, it will only be by force.”
The village is located in a strategic spot east of Jerusalem, near Israeli settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.
There have been warnings that continued settlement building in the area would eventually divide the West Bank in two, dealing a death blow to any remaining hopes of a two-state solution.
Israeli authorities have offered alternative sites for Khan Al-Ahmar residents, but villagers say the first was near a rubbish dump and the latest close to a sewage treatment plant.