Syria de-escalation zones deal takes effect
An agreement to create de-escalation zones aimed at ending the conflict in Syria has come into force in the battle-torn country.
According to the deal, four de-escalation zones have been set up across Syria, where the most intense fighting has been underway between the Syrian government and militant groups. Under the agreement, no fighting is allowed between government forces and opposition groups in the de-escalation zones. All military aircraft are also prohibited from flying over the areas. The de-escalation zones in Syria will be enforced for the next six months. The creation of zones was agreed by Russia, Iran and Turkey during negotiations in the Kazakh capital Astana on Thursday. Meanwhile, there has been a report of clashes between foreign-backed militants and government forces in Hama province, shortly after the deal took effect.
Iraq most dangerous for journalists
Iraq is considered to be one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. Journalist Freedom Observatory, a Baghdad-based watchdog has recorded up to 357 violations against journalists in the country over the past 12 months. Press TV sat down with the family of one of the victims who was killed late April while covering the Iraqi forces’ battle against terrorists in Mosul. Here is a report.
Israel tear gas Palestinian protesters
Israeli forces fire tear gas and rubber bullets to quash protests in the occupied West Bank in support of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.
The clashes erupted after Israeli troops attacked the rally in a village near Nablus. At least 28 people were injured in the violence, including three Red Crescent workers. Several people were also injured as Israeli forces fired live rounds and tear gas at protesters at checkpoints near the city of al-Khalil. Violence also erupted across Ramallah during solidarity marches for Palestinian hunger strikers. At least eight people were injured by Israeli soldiers’ live fire and rubber bullets in the area. Similar protests were also held in Qalqiliya. Palestinians have been staging solidarity rallies since April 17 when more than 15-hundred Palestinian prisoners started a hunger strike to protest their harrowing conditions.
Hacking attack targets French Macron
The team of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron says his campaign has been the target of a massive and coordinated hacking attack, after a flood of internal documents including emails and financial data were released online.
The candidate’s staff blasted the leak, saying it clearly aimed to damage the camp and undermine French democracy. It also said genuine files were mixed up with fake ones in order to confuse people. The Macron camp compared the move to the leak of Democratic Party emails in last year's U-S presidential election. The leak came at the end of the final day of campaigning. New polls show that Macron has a support of 62-percent compared to 38-percent for his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s vote.
UK identifies 350 terror threats
British security services say they have identified 350 potential terror threats from among nationals who have fought along Daesh terrorists in Syria.
The revelations were made by government officials to British newspaper The Times. The officials said the number of the terror suspects is shocking. They noted that it is impossible for security forces to keep watch on all the returning fanatics due to the sheer scale of the arrivals. The disclosures come amid increased security operations after the recent attack outside the British parliament that left five people dead. The majority of foreigners fighting for Daesh terrorists in Iraq and Syria are believed to be European nationals. The US and European countries are also believed to be the main suppliers of arms and other assistance to the terrorists, effectively feeding terror that is returning to affect themselves.
Saudi dispatching forces into Bahrain
Saudi Arabia has dispatched military forces into neighboring Bahrain ahead of a court ruling against senior cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim.
Bahraini activists have posted videos online showing a Saudi military convoy passing a border crossing. People have held fresh rallies in solidarity with Sheikh Isa Qassim. Protesters also staged a sit-in outside the cleric’s home in Diraz calling his trial illegal. Bahraini security forces used tear gas against the protesters in Sitra region. Last year, Sheikh Isa was stripped of his nationality over charges of inciting hatred against the Manama regime. A Bahraini court was expected to issue a verdict in March but the regime was forced to postpone it under public pressure. The trial is set to be held on Sunday. Over the past year, Manama has stepped up crackdown on anti-regime activists who have been protesting inequality in the Persian Gulf Country since 20-11.
South Koreans cast vote for early election
A record number of people have cast their ballots in South Korea’s early election to replace ousted President Park Geun-hye. Pre-election surveys show liberal Moon Jaein is the leading candidate by a wide margin in the main voting scheduled for May 9th. Press TV’s correspondent Frank Smith reports from Seoul.
French election watchdog probes hacking claim
France’s election campaign watchdog launches an investigation following claims of a hacking attack against presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.
The watchdog warned that some of the leaked documents were probably fake. Macron’s team slammed what it called a massive and coordinated hacking attack against the campaign after a flood of internal documents including emails and other files were released online late Friday. The centrist candidate’s staff say the move is aimed at domestic destabilization. It also compared to measure to the leak of Democratic Party emails in last year's US presidential election. The leak came at the end of the final day of campaigning. Latest polls show that Macron has a support of 62 percent compared to 38-percent for his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in Sunday’s runoff vote.