Press group blasts Israeli attack on photographers

Updated 14 December 2012
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Press group blasts Israeli attack on photographers

JERUSALEM: The Foreign Press Association in Israel is condemning an assault by Israeli soldiers on two cameramen in the West Bank.
The Reuters news agency reported its Palestinian cameramen were on their way to cover the Israeli army shooting of a Palestinian teenager in Hebron on Wednesday when soldiers forced them out of their car, punched them, then made them strip and kneel on the ground.
The military said it is investigating.
The cameramen told Reuters the soldiers accused them of working with an Israeli organization that documents human rights violations.
According to the Reuters report, one cameraman was taken to a hospital for tear gas inhalation. He was later released.
The FPA issued a statement Friday condemning the attack, saying it “expects that the soldiers involved (will) face severe consequences.”


Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

Updated 43 min 32 sec ago
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Iraqi PM Abadi says election fraud allegations to be investigated

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi said on Thursday that allegations of fraud in national elections held last week will be investigated, according to a statement from his office.
The electoral list of Moqtada Al-Sadr, a populist Shiite cleric, unexpectedly won the biggest number of seats in the May 12 ballot.
The fraud claims have centered on the city of Kirkuk — although there have been reports of irregularities in multiple provinces — and focused on the tabulation system in electronic voting machines that were used for the first time during the election.
A special committee appointed by the cabinet will investigate the allegations, Abadi’s office said.
Some candidates have also expressed concerns about voter intimidation and reports of chaotic distribution of ID cards, which they claim disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people.
Following several days of complaints — including a call for an investigation by the UN’s senior envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis — the country’s electoral commission said on Monday it had invalidated ballots from 103 polling stations in five provinces.
The investigatory committee, which will include advisers from the security and intelligence sectors, will have access to all documents pertaining to the electoral process, including from the electoral commission.
The commission could not immediately be reached for comment.