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Abu Hakim

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WEST BANK (Palestine) – At least three Israelis have been stabbed to death and a fourth was wounded in a knife attack in the occupied West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf.

The Israeli army said in a statement on Friday that the four victims were Israeli civilians and that the assailant was also shot. It was not known whether he was killed or wounded.

Israel Radio identified the attacker as a 19-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank village of Khobar near Ramallah.

The attack came after a day of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces over new security measures at al-Aqsa mosque compound – the third holiest site in Islam. Three Palestinians were killed and hundreds wounded in the clashes.

Israeli police fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinians protesting against the new measures, including the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the holy site and the installation of metal detectors.

In one incident, an Israeli soldier, who was carrying a firearm, kicked an unarmed worshipper while he was praying.

The protests come a week after a deadly shoot-out at the occupied East Jerusalem compound, which triggered tensions.

Tensions have risen since police installed the metal detectors in a move Palestinians and other Muslims perceive as a means for Israel to boost its control over the compound containing the al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock.

The controversy has resonated beyond Israel and the Palestinian territories, with the US and the UN Middle East envoy expressing concern.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with US counterpart Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, urging the White House to intervene, the Palestinians’ official Wafa news agency reported. – Al-Jazeera

 

WEST BANK (Palestine) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has announced that the Palestinian leadership will freeze all contact with Israel, as mass protests over new Israeli security measures at the al-Aqsa compound turned deadly.

In a brief televised speech on Friday, Abbas said all official contact would be suspended until Israel removed metal detectors installed there last week.

“I declare the suspension of all contacts with the Israeli side on all levels until it cancels its measures at Al-Aqsa mosque and preserves the status quo,” Abbas said.

The announcement follows the killing of at least three Palestinians in clashes in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday after Israeli police fired live ammunition, tear gas, and rubber coated bullets to disperse protesters.

Hundreds more were wounded.

Three Israelis have also been killed in a knife attack in the occupied West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf.

“It’s a major move by Mahmoud Abbas,” Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcet, reporting from occupied East Jersusalem, said. “It means ending security cooperation, that is something a vast majority of Palestinians have been calling for.”

“It’s a way of trying to increase the pressure on Israel to remove the metal detectors that have sparked the protests,” he said.

Muslim leaders allege the metal detectors are part of a purported Israeli attempt to expand control over the site. Israel has denied such allegations.

The ancient marble-and-stone compound is revered by both Muslims and Jews.

It houses the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site, and the western wall of the compound, also known as the Wailing Wall, is considered the holiest site in Judaism.

Israel installed the metal detectors after Palestinian gunmen launched a deadly attack from there last week.

Israel said the devices were needed to prevent more attacks. But Palestinians view the measures as collective punishment and an infringement on the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the compound and Jews the right to visit, but not pray there.

The UN has called for de-escalation of violence and tensions in Jerusalem.

Farhan Haq, the UN spokesman, told reporters on Friday that “ultimately, what is important is for all of the people at the holy sites, including all the worshippers at the holy sites, to feel that their religious liberties are being respected”.

He said the issue was complex and “we do understand legitimate security concerns, but on the other hand it is important that the status quo at the site by retained”. – Al-Jazeera

 

NEW YORK – Lana Del Rey emerged on the music scene as a haunting figure. She was “Born to Die,” in the words of her breakthrough album, and darkness permeated her sound and worldview.

Five years after “Born to Die,” the prolific singer on Friday put out her fourth major-label album, whose title – “Lust for Life” – would appear to show the inverse mindset.

Yet for the 32-year-old singer, sorrow and joy are intricately interconnected. On “Lust for Life,” she enjoys the world’s pleasures all the while feeling cursed by their ephemerality.

Del Rey carries the album through her quickly recognizable voice, breathy and coquettish yet sauntering with echoes of Nancy Sinatra.

“Lust for Life” builds on Del Rey’s signature cinematic style, melancholic with an aura of classic Hollywood, yet the album also shows touches of hip-hop swagger – most apparent in seamless appearances by rapper A$AP Rocky.

The title track – no relation to punk icon Iggy Pop’s classic “Lust for Life” – brings in emerging R&B superstar The Weeknd, who in his mellifluous falsetto at times reaches a higher range than Del Rey.

Even if the song celebrates life, it opens with a dark allusion to a Hollywood suicide before finding joy in the here and now.

“Take off / Take off all your clothes,” Del Rey intones, as The Weeknd sings, “They say only the good die young / That just ain’t right.”

Del Rey teams up with other major names on the album. Stevie Nicks, her sandy voice smoothly complementing Del Rey’s, joins for “Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems,” while Sean Lennon brings a gentle beauty to “Tomorrow Never Came.”

Activism through melancholy

If “Lust for Life” largely stays true to the sound honed by Del Rey, the New York-born singer reaches into new territory as she speaks out, in her own way, on politics.

Del Rey has hardly become a protest singer. But she becomes a uniquely effective voice in turning her forlorn sound into a reflection on the America of Donald Trump.

On “God Bless America – And All Beautiful Women In It,” Del Rey’s gloominess gives way to uplift as she finds solidarity in the masses of women who took to the streets after the shock of Trump’s election.

“May you stand proud and strong / Like Lady Liberty, shining all night long,” Del Rey sings.

The often dour Del Rey is again startling optimistic as she reaches into history on “When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing.”

“Is it the end of an era? Is it the end of America? No, it’s only the beginning. If we hold on to hope, we will have a happy ending,” she sings.

In a recent interview with Elle UK, Del Rey said it was impossible in the current moment to escape politics: “It would be weird to be making a record during the past 18 months and not comment.”

Yet her lyricism more often takes up loneliness than community.

The singer who scored an early hit with “Summertime Sadness” returns to similar territory on “Summer Bummer,” while “13 Beaches” relates her struggles to find a quiet place in the sand away from paparazzi.

Del Rey closes the album with “Get Free,” a reflection on the clash between gloom and her outreach to the world.

“Sometimes it feels like I’ve got a war in my mind,” she sings. “I want to get off, but I keep riding the ride.” — AFP

 

SAN DIEGO – Hit zombie series The Walking Dead thrilled fans Friday with a preview of the all-out war to come between Rick’s people and the malevolent Saviors in the hotly-anticipated eighth season.

US network AMC debuted a five-minute trailer at San Diego Comic-Con showing Saviors leader Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in full swagger before cutting to all the major characters readying their weapons and troops to take him down once and for all.

There was the usual feast of explosions, guns, hand-to-hand combat and zombies with axes in their heads – and a thrilling cameo by King Ezekiel’s CGI tiger.

Intriguingly, the teaser ended with an older, grayer version of Rick waking up in a hospital bed with a walking stick by his side, implying a huge leap forward in the narrative – or perhaps just a dramatic dream sequence.

There were rousing speeches from Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Ezekiel (Khary Payton), perhaps presaging a brighter future for the embattled apocalypse survivors.

“With everything we’ve beat, everything we’ve endured, everything we’ve risen above, everything we’ve become – no matter what comes next – we’ve won. We’ve already won,” says Rick.

Series co-creator Robert Kirkman, the man behind the comics on which the show is based, said he’d counted six explosions in the trailer alone.

“We have all kinds of great stuff planned. Our next season will be very action-packed and very fast-paced,” he told a packed 6,500-capacity Hall H at the San Diego Convention Center.

Kirkman and his fellow executive producers were joined on stage by numerous cast members, including Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Chandler Riggs, Danai Gurira, Morgan, Cohan and Payton.

“Every night is karaoke night for Negan. He’s having fun,” said Morgan of his swaggering, evil antagonist.

Bolder, bloodier

Before the panel got going, showrunner Scott M. Gimple paid tribute to stuntman John Bernecker, who died after falling more than 20 feet (seven meters) on the set in Georgia earlier this month.

Earlier, Hall H had observed a moment’s silence for Bernecker during a Q&A for AMC’s spin-off series, “Fear the Walking Dead.”

“Fear” is due to return from its mid-season break on Sept 10, finishing its third season on Oct 15, a week before the return of the main show.

Co-created by Kirkman, the spin-off show takes place in California and Mexico from the very start of the zombie apocalypse whereas the main show started out at an unspecified later date, in Georgia.

Kirkman hinted at a possible crossover between the two shows while admitting the time gap between them would be a problem.

“It’s really a question of timeline because ‘Walking Dead’ season eight is so far ahead in the timeline compared to Fear the Walking Dead season three,” he said.

Fans have been speculating online since the spin-off show started that Daryl Dixon, a lead character in the main show played by Norman Reedus, is related to Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) from “Fear.”

Kirkman joked that the pair might be able to communicate via a “magical telephone.”

Fans were treated to a trailer previewing the next eight episodes, which will be “bolder, bloodier and more zombie” than ever before, according to showrunner Dave Erickson.

Greg Nicotero, an executive producer on both series and a renowned special effects guru, described their “tremendous debt of gratitude” to zombie legend George Romero, who died on July 16 at age 77. — AFP

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today reminded all parties not to politicise cooperatives as they were operating to generate income for their members and share holders.

The deputy prime minister said, at present, there were many people, including politicians, who were interested to head cooperatives which they see as having a bright future.

“Any cooperative, including those of banks, which are run by professionals, should not be politicised.

“Even if there are politicians who run cooperatives but do not bring politics into it, I am confident the cooperatives will be smooth and will generate bigger profits for its members,he said in his speech at the Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd’s (Angkasa) Aidilfitri do here tonight.

He said the interests of the members and share holders of a cooperative must be given priority, over and above the political ambitions and personality of any one person.

Ahmad Zahid added that he hoped another cooperative bank could be set up to provide banking services to the cooperative members and public.

He added that other than Bank Rakyat which had been successful as a bank, there was another cooperative which huge assets and could be made into a bank.

“I am hoping for the cooperative to be given a licence soon as another cooperative bank in the country,? he said.

Ahmad Zahid also said Angkasa was an example of a cooperative which had grown into the best cooperative in the Asian region.

With dividends amounting to RM14 billion, assets worth RM131 billion and procurement of almost RM40 billion, Angkasa was an outstanding cooperative, he said.

“With a total of more than 13,000 cooperatives under Angkasa and more than seven million members, Angkasa is the best example of a cooperative in ASEAN,”he said.

At the event tonight, Ahmad Zahid launched the model of the Angkasa Integrated Building, a proposed Angkasa Complex on a 1.45-hectare land in Kelana Jaya.

The project includes a 30-foot tower and two 40-storey tower blocks that will be Angkasa’s headquarters, a commercial centre and a five-star hotel.

The estimated cost of the project was RM 220 million and it is expected to be completed in 2020.

— BERNAMA

 

PUTRAJAYA – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, received a courtesy call from Sarawak cabinet ministers and Sarawak-born federal ministers at Seri Perdana here last night.

The ministers, led by Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, were also feted to a dinner hosted by Najib and Rosmah.

Also present were Sarawak Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing and Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan; Minister of International Trade and E-Commerce Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh; Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Micheal Manyin; Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah.

Also Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian; Minister of Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom; Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; and Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datuk Talib Zulpilip.

Among the Sarawak-born federal ministers present were Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof; Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar; Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot; and Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri and Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun.

— BERNAMA

 

KOTA BHARU – The extra-ordinary presence of the Kelantan people at programmes organised by UMNO lately should be translated into votes for Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 14th general election, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday.

He said the people’s mandate was crucial for BN to form a government and rule the state as the coalition was determined to develop Kelantan.

“The Kelantan people not only want development, but also the contents. True that there should be a balance between worldly needs and the hereafter, physically and spiritually, but efforts to develop the people are also important,” he said when speaking at the Leader With The People programme at the Kelantan Poverty Foundation Complex in Melor, here today.

The event drew a crowd of about 20,000 people and among those present were UMNO Information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who is also Ketereh Member of Parliament, Kelantan UMNO Liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and his deputy, Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub.

Ahmad Zahid said the BN federal government always gave priority to the well-being of the Kelantan people, although the state was under opposition rule.

“The federal government allocates RM12.7 billion under the 11th Malaysia Plan for Kelantan’s development,” he said.

He said the federal government also gave priority to development of the various sectors in Kelantan, such as education, religion, security and social-economy.

— BERNAMA

 

KUALA LUMPUR – Terengganu (Turtles)  go the top of the Premier League after displacing Kuala Lumpur (City Boys) whom they beat 2-1 at Selayang Municipal Council Stadium tonight.

The Turtles opened the score via  Tchetche  Kipre only for the City Boys to equalise via Guilherme de Paula ( 63  min).

Terengganu  confirmed three points when Gabriel Davis converted a penalty ( 89 min) to  put them on 37 points from 17 matches. Kuala Lumpur are third with 35 points.

Negeri Sembilan (Deer), who were third, moved up to second with 36 points after beating Kuantan  FA 3-0 at Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium, Paroi, Seremban.

The Deer scored via Lee Andrew Tuck (16 min), Jonathan Behe (39, 72 min).

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II beat UiTM FC 1-0 at Pasir Gudang Municipal Council Stadium, courtesy of a goal from Shafiq Shaharudin (16 min).

Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) thrashed Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM)  4-0 at Proton Stadium, Tanjung Malim.

The goals were scored by Muhammad Shahrel Fikri Md Fauz (18,  28 min), Mohamad Hafiz Ramdan (24  min)  and Kim Hyeon Woo (55 min).

Perlis beat Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) 3-1 in a match at Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium, Kangar.

The goals were scored by Makeche Ndumba (23, ,90 min) and Mohd Saiful Basir (80min). The PDRM goal was scored by Muhammad Yasir Hanapi (45 min).

Sabah beat MISC-MIFA 2-1 in another match at Likas Stadium, Kota Kinabalu.

Sabah’s goals were scored by Sabri Sahar (15, 27 min) while MISC-MIFA replied via a goal from Kpah Sean Sherman (55 min).

–BERNAMA

 

PUTRAJAYA – DAP will abide by the Registrar of Societies (RoS)’ order to hold fresh elections for its central executive committee (CEC).

Its national Vice President Teresa Kok said the party would also comply with RoS’ order to use its list of 2,576 delegates which it had used in the party election on Dec 15, 2012, and to appoint an independent auditor to monitor and manage the re-election.

She said the CEC re-election would be conducted in a special congress which is provided for in DAP’s constitution.

 

JERUSALEM – The Palestinian group Hamas has warned Israel against crossing a “red line” at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, as residents of the Gaza Strip demonstrate for a second day in solidarity with Muslim worshippers protesting against the new security measures at the holy site.

“To the Zionist enemy I say openly and clearly: al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem are red lines. Truly they are red lines,” Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, said on Thursday.

“To the enemy I say, your policy of closure and imposition of collective punishments against the residents of Jerusalem and our places of sanctity will not be tolerated. ”

Marches have been organised throughout the day by Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and other groups, demanding that Israeli remove the metal detectors installed at the entrance of al-Aqsa.

The groups are calling them “Israeli aggression” and are warning of consquences if they are not rolled back.

Thursday’s protests in Gaza and outside al-Aqsa follow days of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem over the new security measures.

Also on Thursday, Muslim worshippers continue to pray outside the al-Aqsa compound defying warning by Israeli authorities.

As tensions mounted on Thursday evening, 22 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces, two of them seriously after being hit by rubber bullets, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Metal detectors and turnstiles were installed at the holy site after a deadly shoot-out there on Friday.

In that incident, two Israeli security officers were killed in an alleged attack by three Palestinians, who were killed by Israeli police following the violence.

Ahead of the Friday prayers, the Israeli government is considering what to do next with the new security measures.

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone from Hungary with Israel’s security chiefs to hear their assessments and recommendations, according to a statement by his office.

Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet, has recommended that the metal detectors be removed, but Jerusalem police have said that the barriers should stay in place.

Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said Palestinians are “incredibly worried” about the police stance.

“They see this as an escalation of Israeli sovereignty over al-Aqsa compound,” Khan said. “Palestinians are asking what happens next.”

Netanyahu said on Friday that he did not want to alter the status quo, which gives Muslims religious control over the compound and Jews the right to visit, but not pray there.

But Palestinians fear Israel is trying to retake the site by stealth.

“This by no means is just about physical detectors. It is about who controls the al-Aqsa Mosque compound,” our correspondent said.

The site houses al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine, Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina, as well as the ruins of the Biblical Jewish Temple.

Muslims know the site as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, while Jews refer to the place of worship as Temple Mount.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cut short his trip to China on Wednesday to return to Palestine to deal with the mounting tensions.

His office said he had been touch with Arab and international leaders to try to “prevent a deterioration of the situation”.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Jerusalem’s top Muslim leader called on all of the city’s mosques to close on Friday in protest against the new security measures.

Grand Mufti Muhammad Hussein said Palestinian Muslims should instead gather outside the gates of al-Aqsa Mosque for the weekly Friday prayers.

Questions about control of the site frequently lead to outbursts of fighting.

After last Friday’s alleged attack, Israel closed off the area, preventing Friday prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque for the first time in decades. – Al -Jazeera