Lebanon to put taxi driver on trial in murder of British woman

In this file photo, an image of the British embassy worker, Rebecca Dykes, is seen during a candlelight sit-in.(Reuters)
Updated 08 February 2018

Lebanon to put taxi driver on trial in murder of British woman

BEIRUT: A Lebanese judge has ordered the trial of a man suspected of the December murder of Rebecca Dykes, a British woman who worked at the British embassy in Beirut, court documents showed on Thursday.
Hanna Braidi, investigative judge for the Mount Lebanon district where the crime occurred, released a charge sheet for Tariq Houshieh, an Uber driver accused of raping and killing Dykes in the early hours of Dec. 16.
The charge sheet said Houshieh had confessed to raping and strangling Dykes, who was 30 and worked at the embassy for Britain’s Department for International Development.
Braidi called for Houshieh to face the death penalty. Lebanese investigative judges routinely call for death sentences in cases of murder, but the country has an unofficial moratorium and has not carried one out since 2004, according to the monitoring group Human Rights Watch.
A memorial service for Dykes was held in Beirut on Wednesday. Britain will award a scholarship under Dykes’ name each year to a Lebanese or Palestinian woman for a masters degree in Britain, the British embassy said.
Her family has set up a charitable foundation to help refugees, with a particular focus on preventing violence against women.


Turkey quake death toll rises to 31

Updated 26 January 2020

Turkey quake death toll rises to 31

  • The magnitude 6.8 quake hit on Friday evening, with its epicenter in the small lakeside town of Sivrice in Elazig province
  • Nearly 80 buildings collapsed while 645 were heavily damaged in Elazig and Malatya

ELAZIG, Turkey: The death toll from a powerful earthquake which struck eastern Turkey rose to 31, officials said Sunday, as rescue efforts continued.
The magnitude 6.8 quake hit on Friday evening, with its epicenter in the small lakeside town of Sivrice in Elazig province but also affected neighboring cities and countries.
The Turkish government’s disaster and emergency management agency (AFAD) said 31 people died, the majority in Elazig but at least four in nearby Malatya, and 1,607 were injured.
Rescuers scrambled all of Saturday and searched Sunday to rescue people alive from under the rubble. The latest number of individuals rescued was 45, according to AFAD.
Nearly 80 buildings collapsed while 645 were heavily damaged in Elazig and Malatya, the agency said in a statement.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised Saturday that Turkey’s housing agency TOKI would “do whatever is necessary and make sure no one is left without a home.”
He attended the funeral of a woman and her son in Elazig Saturday, later visiting Malatya after canceling a speech in Istanbul.