Woman (30s) dies following kayaking incident in Co Kerry

A woman has died following a kayaking incident in Co Kerry.

The woman in her 30s drowned after she got into difficulty kayaking in the Roughty River, Kilgarvan shortly after 12pm today.

It’s believed the woman was one of a party of up to six from Cork who were kayaking at the popular spot.

The group had been kayaking between the Loop Bridge and Kilgarvan village when the alarm was raised that the woman got into difficulty.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and her remains were taken to University Hospital Kerry.

Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene and said that enquiries are ongoing.

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Saudi Arabia denies involvement in death of sisters in New York

Bodies of Tala and Rotana Farea were found taped together at a riverbank in New York without obvious signs of trauma.

    Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in the death of two Saudi sisters studying in the United States, a spokesperson for the kingdom’s embassy in Washington, DC, said.

    The two young women, identified as Rotana Farea, 22, and her sister Tala, 16, were found on the banks of the Hudson River on October 24 with no visible signs of trauma.

    The women were dressed all in black and bound together at the ankles and waist by duct tape.

    According to local media reports, the sisters’ mother told US detectives that she had received a phone call from the Saudi embassy in Washington ordering the family to leave the US.

    The sisters had reportedly applied for political asylum in the US.

    However, the Saudi embassy spokesperson denied the women were ordered to come back to Saudi Arabia.

    “Reports that we ordered anyone related to the Saudi sisters to leave the US for seeking asylum are absolutely false,” Fatimah Baeshen said on Twitter on Saturday.

    “Details are still under investigation and will be shared in due course.”

    The sisters had a history of running away from their family’s home in Virginia where they had not lived since the end of 2017.

    Investigators said they had not determined the circumstances surrounding their fate, but were “puzzled” as to how they came to be found dead on a riverbank more than 400km from their family’s home.

    They had been placed in a shelter but left Fairfax County in August and set out for New York.

    They stayed in several different upscale hotels in the city and maxed out a credit card, according to an New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesman quoted by US media.

    A witness reportedly saw the two girls early on October 24 on a playground near the Hudson, where they appeared to be praying.

    The NYPD said the two sisters were alive when they entered the river that separates New York from New Jersey.

    On Friday, the police said they had no evidence indicating that two sisters had been killed.

    “There is nothing pointing to a crime as of yet,” said an NYPD spokesperson, adding that “it is still very much a live investigation” without providing details of any probable cause of death.

    Suicide is among the hypotheses as to the cause of their deaths.

    The case has received considerable media exposure in the aftermath of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul.

    The New York Police Department sent a detective to Virginia to learn more about the sisters.

    Chief of detectives Dermot Shea said they were interested in finding out what happened since they were reported missing, and what led them to New York City.

    “We are looking at all clues in their past life,” Shea was quoted as saying.

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    Indigenous people worry Saskatchewan trespassing plan may stoke racial tensions

    A Saskatchewan grandmother who was confronted by a farmer with a gun says changing trespassing laws probably won’t stop crime but could increase racial tension.

    Angela Bishop, a Metis lawyer, was driving on a rural road in Alberta in September with her two grandchildren who are visibly Indigenous. They were looking for a place to get out, stretch and go for a short walk during a long drive to Edmonton.

    She noticed a vehicle driving up behind her, so she stopped.

    A man got out and started to yell at her to get off his road, she said, despite her attempts to explain why she was there. She said she spotted a gun inside his vehicle.

    Terrified for her grandchildren, Bishop said she tried to drive away, but the man pursued her.

    She eventually pulled over, called law enforcement and requested a police escort. Officers told her that, in fact, it was a public road and she could be there.

    As a rural landowner in Saskatchewan, Bishop said she can sympathize with frustration about property crime, but a life is more important.

    “My concern would be that they believe they are legally entitled to take the law into their own hands,” she said from Quintana Roo state in Mexico.

    The Saskatchewan throne speech last month included a reference to changing trespassing laws to “better address the appropriate balance between the rights of rural landowners and members of the public.”

    The government said in an emailed statement that Justice Minister Don Morgan is prepared to meet with Indigenous people to discuss their concerns.

    The province has already sought public input on whether access to rural property should require prior permission from a landowner, regardless of the activity, and if not doing so should be illegal.

    A lawyer representing the family of Colten Boushie, an Indigenous man fatally shot by farmer Gerald Stanley in August 2016, said she is worried the Saskatchewan Party government is engaged in political posturing which could stoke racial fear.

    “Indigenous people aren’t feeling safe that the authorities or the police are going to protect them or that they are not going to be shot at,” Eleanore Sunchild said from Battleford, Sask.

    “It seems like there’s more of an approval to take vigilante justice in your hands, and if you are an Indigenous victim, nothing is going to happen to the non-native that shot you.”

    Stanley was acquitted of second-degree murder after testifying that his gun went off accidentally. He said he was trying to scare away young people he thought were stealing from him. The Crown decided not to appeal.

    Sunchild said the throne speech sends the message that the farmer was right to shoot the Indigenous man and that trespassing fears are justified.

    Sunchild wonders what advice she would give her own children if they have car trouble or need help on a rural road.

    “Do I tell them to go ask a farmer? I don’t think so.”

    Heather Bear, vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, said the Boushie trial and provincial response have many Indigenous people feeling afraid.

    Saskatchewan recently put out a request for proposals to buy 147 semi-automatic carbines for conservation officers. They currently carry sidearms as well as shotguns to deal with wildlife.

     

    Bear, who called the move disturbing and unnecessary, said it could mean more lives lost. Many conservation officers have negative views of Indigenous people and don’t understand treaty rights, so arming them could be disastrous, she said.

    Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said the move is in response to a 2014 shooting in New Brunswick that killed three RCMP officers.

    “For anybody to suggest that any member of any community … is at greater risk because our conservation officers are now being deployed with the appropriate level of firearm … I just don’t think we need that type of commentary in the province,” he said.

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    UN chief demands Yemen peace, warns of humanitarian 'precipice'

    Without resolution to ongoing conflict, Yemen could face world’s ‘worst famine’ for decades, Antonio Guterres says.

      UN chief Antonio Guterres has demanded an “immediate” halt to fighting in Yemen, as he warned that the country stands on a “precipice” and could face the world’s “worst famine” for decades if violence continues unabated.

      Addressing reporters at the world body’s headquarters in New York on Friday, the secretary-general said the warring parties must seize on the “opportunity for peace” presented by UN-brokered talks scheduled to be held in Sweden later this month.

      “First, violence must stop everywhere – with an immediate halt around critical infrastructure and densely populated areas,” Guterres said, echoing a similar ceasefire call issued by the United States earlier this week.

      We must do all we can now to end human suffering and avoid the worst humanitarian crisis in the world from getting even worse,” he added.

      The conflict in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country and home to an estimated 28 million people, began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Houthi rebels, who toppled the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

      Concerned by the rise of the Houthis, believed to be backed by Iran, a US-backed Saudi-UAE military coalition launched an intervention in 2015 in the form of a massive air campaign aimed at reinstalling Hadi’s government. 

      According to the UN, at least 10,000 people have been killed since the coalition entered the conflict. The death toll has not been updated in years, however, and is likely to be far higher. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), an independent watchdog, recently said around 56,000 Yemenis had been killed in the violence.

      In his comments to the media, Guterres also called for an increase in foreign aid and for “food, fuel and other essentials” to be allowed to enter Yemen “without restrictions” in order to alleviate the suffering endured by the 22 million Yemenis deemed by the UN to be in need of humanitarian assistance.

      On Thursday, Yemen’s internationally recognised government said it was ready to restart peace talks with the Houthis after recent efforts to meet ended in failure.

      Discussions between the warring factions were planned for September in the Swiss city of Geneva but fell apart after Houthi representatives refused to attend, saying the UN had failed to meet the group’s pre-summit demands.

      Following the collapse of the talks, which would have been the first of their kind in nearly two years, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Houthi-held Hodeidah, a strategically important Red Sea port city.

      Possible war crimes

      On Friday, the AFP news agency reported that a fierce battle between forces loyal to Hadi and Houthi fighters near Hodeidah resulted in the death of at least 34 rebels and six pro-government troops. 

      The clashes came hours after the Saudi-UAE alliance said it had bombed Sanaa International Airport and an adjoining airbase.

      Earlier this week, the coalition sent more than 10,000 new troops towards Hodeidah before a new offensive aimed at securing “areas liberated” from the Houthis, according to Yemeni government officials.

      Hodeidah is the only port held by the Houthis and serves as the entry point for the bulk of Yemen’s commercial imports and aid supplies.

      The coalition has imposed a blockade on the port, however, allegedly as part of efforts to prevent the Houthis from using it as a landing point for weapons supplied by Iran.

      Both Tehran and the rebels deny the port is being used to smuggle arms from Iran into Yemen.

      A UN report published in August said the blockade, part of wider coalition-enforced restrictions on access to Yemen’s other ports and the country’s airspace, may have violated international humanitarian law.

      The report was critical of all parties to the conflict, however, and concluded there were “reasonable grounds” to believe “a substantial number of violations of international humanitarian law” had been committed by pro-government forces, the coalition and the Houthis.

      Possible violations included deadly air raids, rampant sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers, it said.


      Inside Story

      Can the UN revive talks to end the Yemen war?

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      Man in early 20s stabbed to death in London

      Officers were called to Samos Road in Anerley at 12.30pm on Sunday, along with an ambulance and London’s air ambulance.

      The victim, believed to be 22, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 1pm. A post mortem is due to take place.

      Cordons were put up and police say an “urgent” investigation is under way.

      Efforts are being made to establish the victim’s identity and inform his next of kin.

      There are no arrests as yet.

      :: Anyone with information should call 101, quoting CAD 3251/04 Nov. Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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      RCMP investigating after overnight crash in Surrey kills 1, injures 3 others

      A fatal crash in Surrey has left one person dead.

      Just after midnight on Nov. 4, RCMP responded to an incident in the 13-400 block of 88th Avenue.

      Four people were reportedly in the vehicle. The driver was pronounced dead on scene, while three others are in hospital with injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening.

      The Surrey RCMP Criminal Collision team is investigating the cause of the crash.


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      Italy and neighbours hit by damaging weather

      Destructive storm spreads damage far and wide around the western Mediterranean.

        Shortly after the Argens River burst its banks, the French weather service issued a statement on Thursday warning that “extensive flooding is possible” in the Var department of Provence.

        It was not the only one.

        Heavy-rain warnings were also issued for already-soaked areas in Italy, Slovenia, Austria and Switzerland, while winds of more than 120 kilometres per hour were forecast in the Bavarian Alps, in southern Germany.

        A huge area of low pressure created near-hurricane conditions in parts of the western Mediterranean, during Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, causing damage in many countries.

        For over 11 hours on Monday, winds exceeding 100km/h blew over the island of Corsica. Peak gusts of over 180km/h smashed yachts into the rocks.

        The wind roared eastwards to the coast of Italy and focussed on the Bay of Genoa. In Rapallo harbour, yachts were destroyed – dashed against the rocks or sea wall by the wind – amid five-metre high waves.

        Throughout Italy, violent winds and heavy rain, with the consequent landslides, caused at least 11 deaths. At least 300 trees were blown in the centre of the capital, Rome.

        In Switzerland, the rain persisted for three days, during which twice the October average was dropped: 404mm fell in Mosgno, near Lake Maggiore – the lake itself rose by one metre.

        Austria and Slovenia had similar amounts of rain. Up in the mountains, over half a metre of snow was recorded in Curaglia, an amount typifying what appeared throughout the southern Alps.

        Having churned for three days, Storm Adrian – as it was named – moved quickly north across Europe and appeared in the North Sea, inducing a strong and cold northeast wind, with rain, to eastern England and Northern France – an unusual lifeline for an unusually damaging storm.

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        Jordan: King Abdullah II accepts resignations over deadly floods

        Tourism and education ministers quit after flooding kills 21 people, most of whom were school children and teachers.

          Jordan’s King Abdullah II has accepted the resignations of two ministers in the aftermath of the deadly floods that struck the country’s Dead Sea region last month.

          In a decree, the king accepted the resignations of Tourism Minister Lena Annab and Education Minister Azmi Mahafzeh, according to a statement issued by the Jordanian Royal Court on Sunday.

          On Thursday, Annab announced that she would leave her post via Twitter.  

          “In light of the current political and general climate, and the painful time our beloved country is going through, I have handed in my resignation today as Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, and I will be leaving it to the Prime Minister to do what he deems fit. May God bless Jordan and its great people under the honorable Hashemite leadership,” the minister said.

          In another decree, the Jordanian monarch appointed Justice Minister Bassam Samir Talhouni as acting education minister and Minister of State Majd Shwekeh as acting tourism minister.

          The resignation of the two ministers came as a result of popular and parliamentary pressure on the government after the floods disaster, which killed at least 21 people and injured dozens.

          Most of those killed were students and teachers whose bus was swept away by the floodwaters during a school trip.

          Late last month, the Jordanian government admitted responsibility for failure to deal with the flash floods.


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          Iranians rally to mark anniversary of 1979 US embassy takeover

          Demonstration marking the anniversary of the 1979 hostage-taking incident comes as US sanctions against Iran return.

            Thousands of Iranians have rallied in Tehran to mark the 39th anniversary of the US embassy takeover, as Washington prepares to reimpose all sanctions lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.

            The crowd chanted “Down with US” and “Death to Israel” during the rally in the Iranian capital on Sunday, and state TV said similar demonstrations were held in other cities and towns.

            Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi, reporting from Tehran, said the crowd is “bigger” and “angrier” during this year’s commemoration.

            “It has to do with the fact that the anniversary coincides with the deadline by the United States to reimpose sanctions that were lifted by the 2015 nuclear deal,” he said.

            “But many Iranians that we spoke to said that this deadline is meaningless and that foreign investment has already been scared off…and that any economic damage has already been done.”    

            Shortly after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iranian students stormed the American embassy, taking 52 hostages for 444 days. The US cut off diplomatic relations in response to the hostage-taking.

            In Iran, November 4 is also known as Student Day and the National Day of the Fight against Global Arrogance.

            Iran’s government celebrates the embassy takeover every year as a decisive blow against the United States, which had supported the autocratic rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

            ‘Den of spies’

            The embassy compound, widely known as the “den of spies,” is now a cultural centre.

            Anger and distrust of the US are surging again following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers despite Tehran’s compliance with the agreement, which was negotiated under the Obama administration.

            In May, the Trump administration announced the restoration of sanctions against Iran. The first round took effect in August, while the second round targeting Iran’s oil and gas, as well as its shipping and banking industries, will take effect on Monday, November 5.

            Iran is already in the grip of an economic crisis and has seen sporadic protests in recent months, as Iranian officials tried to downplay the sanctions and their effects.

            The US said the sanctions are not aimed at toppling the government, but at persuading it to radically change its policies, including its support for regional armed groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles.

            Iranian leaders said the sanctions are aimed at toppling the government and have ruled out negotiations with the Trump administration.

            At a gathering on Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, portrayed the sanctions as part of a long tradition of American hostility towards the Islamic Republic, which he said had nevertheless prevailed.

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            Khashoggi case: Trump pressed to take action against Saudi Arabia

            A bipartisan group of Senators is calling for an investigation to be carried out as soon as possible into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

              US President Donald Trump is facing increasing pressure from across the US political spectrum to take action against Saudi Arabia.

              A bipartisan group of Senators is calling for an investigation to be carried out as soon as possible.

              Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports from Washington.

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