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Turkish court frees jailed German-Kurdish singer Hozan Cane

A Turkish court has released a German-Turkish singer after nearly two and half years in prison for membership of a terrorist organization, her lawyer told AFP on Thursday.

Saide Inac, 52, who performs under the stage name Hozan Cane, was arrested in the western province of Edirne in June 2018 while attending a campaign event for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

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In November 2018, she was convicted of membership of a terror group and sentenced to six years and three months in prison.

“Cane was released on Wednesday night,” her lawyer Newroz Akalan told AFP, adding that the ruling came as a “surprise.”

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“She was not expecting it,” Akalan said.

But the court imposed an overseas travel ban on the singer, who lives in Cologne, the lawyer added.

“She is currently in Istanbul and plans to visit her family in Manisa” in western Turkey, Akalan said.

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The trial of her daughter Gonul Ors, who is also accused of terror charges, was due to resume on Thursday.

According to her family, the prosecution relied on photographs of Inac with fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers to be a “terrorist offshoot” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Inac was convicted of being a member of the PKK, which is blacklisted as a terror organization by Turkey and its Western allies.

But Inac’s relatives say the pictures were taken from a documentary she made about the persecution of the Yazidi religious minority by the ISIS State group in Iraq.

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 14:06 – GMT 11:06

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India plans launch of own app store as alternative to Google, Apple

India is planning to launch its own app store as an alternate to the ones offered by Apple and Alphabet-owned Google, in a bid to make the country more self-reliant, ET Now reported on Thursday, citing government sources.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government may ramp up its Mobile Seva App Store for this purpose, the television channel reported, without providing further details.

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Two French journalists in Armenia injured by Azeri shelling: Source

Two French journalists working for newspaper Le Monde are in grave condition after being shelled by Azeri forces in the Armenian town of Martuni, an Armenian government source told Reuters.

The journalists were born in 1989 and 1991, and had been filming civilians with a group of journalists in Martuni west of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the source said.

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 14:08 – GMT 11:08

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UAE reports 1,158 Covid-19 cases, 1,179 recoveries, 2 deaths

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Thursday reported 1,158 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,179 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported.

More than 91,000 new Covid-19 tests were carried out, the ministry added, taking the total to over 9.7 million tests so far.

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Coronavirus: UAE reports 1,158 Covid-19 cases, 1,179 recoveries

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Thursday reported 1158 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1179 recoveries.

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Coronavirus: UAE confirms 1,158 new COVID-19 cases, highest count since outbreak

The United Arab Emirates has confirmed 1,158 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, the health ministry has announced, marking its highest daily count since the outbreak began.

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A further 91,234 tests were conducted as part of the country’s efforts to expand its testing capacity. Meanwhile, an additional 1,179 recoveries and two deaths were also confirmed.

Infections in the UAE have surged over the past two months after having reached a low of 164 on August 3, according to Reuters. Authorities have blamed the increase on people not adhering to social distancing requirements and preventative measures.

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 13:49 – GMT 10:49

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Coronavirus: England’s weekly COVID-19 cases up 61 pct

There was a 61 percent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in England’s latest weekly data, with more than four times the number of cases recorded as there were at the end of August, the health service’s test and trace scheme said on Thursday.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

“31,373 people tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) for the first time in England between 17 September and 23 September, a 61 percent increase compared to the previous week,” NHS Test and Trace said.

“Positive cases have been rising steeply over the last 4 weeks with over 4 times as many positive cases identified in the most recent week compared to the end of August.”

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 13:28 – GMT 10:28

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Saudi Arabian delegation arrives in Kuwait to offer condolences for Emir Sheikh Sabah

An official Saudi Arabian delegation arrived in Kuwait on Thursday to offer condolences for the late Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who passed away on Tuesday.

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The Kingdom’s delegation was headed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s royal adviser and Minister of State Prince Mansour Bin Mutaib Bin Abdulaziz.

Delegations from other countries including Iraq, headed by President Barham Salih, and Egypt, headed by President Abdelfatah al-Sisi, also arrived in Kuwait and met with the new Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah to pay their respects.

Iraq's President Barham Salih offers condolences to Kuwait's new Emir Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah on the death of late Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, in Kuwait. (Reuters)

Iraq’s President Barham Salih offers condolences to Kuwait’s new Emir Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah on the death of late Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, in Kuwait. (Reuters)

Sheikh Nawaf officially became the new emir of the country after taking the constitutional oath before the Kuwaiti National Assembly on Wednesday.

Sheikh Sabah, who had been described as the “father of humaneness,” died at the age of 91 after having traveled to the US in July for medical treatment following surgery.

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Last Update: Thursday, 01 October 2020 KSA 13:19 – GMT 10:19

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UAE leaders congratulate Cypriot President on Independence Day

ABU DHABI, 1st October, 2020 (WAM) — President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a message of congratulations to Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus, on the occasion of his country's Independence Day, which is observed on 1st October.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also sent similar congratulatory messages to the Cypriot President, on the occasion.

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UAE leaders congratulate Nigeria on Independence Day

ABU DHABI, 1st October, 2020 (WAM) — President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has sent a congratulatory message to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria on the occasion of his country's Independence Day, which is observed on October 1st.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, also dispatched similar congratulatory messages to the Nigerian President.