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Independence Day of America: a Muslim reflection

By. Imam Shamsi Ali* 

 

Today, July 4th, is a very important and memorable day for all Americans. It is the day of Independence. I wish all Americans at the outset a very happy and blessed Independence Day! 

Since its Independence from England, the United States has been struggling to grow, mature, and become ever better. 

France sentences ex-PM Fillon, his wife to prison in fraud trial

KONFRONTASI-A Paris court has sentenced former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to five years in prison, with three suspended, for having used public funds to pay his wife and children for work they never performed.

His wife, Penelope Fillon, was handed a three-year suspended sentence on Monday for being an accomplice in the fraud that brought the family more than one million euros ($1.13m) since 1998.

The court also fined each of them 375,000 euros ($423,100) and barred Francois from standing in any election for the next 10 years.

Civilians killed in rocket attack on Afghanistan cattle market

KONFRONTASI-At least 23 civilians were killed and dozens injured after rockets hit a cattle market in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, the Afghan government and Taliban officials said.

The warring sides blamed each other for Monday's attack on the open-air weekly cattle market in Sangin district where hundreds of villagers from neighbouring districts had gathered to trade sheep and goats.

Trump wrongly diverted billions to build wall: Appeals court

KONFRONTASI-A federal appeals court on Friday ruled against the administration of United States President Donald Trump in its transfer of $2.5bn from military construction projects to build sections of the US border wall with Mexico, ruling it illegally sidestepped Congress, which gets to decide how to use the funds.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a coalition of border states and environmental groups that contended the money transfer was unlawful and that building the wall would pose environmental threats.

Russia votes: Amendments could keep Putin in power til 2036

KONFRONTASI-Russians have begun voting in a seven-day referendum on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to run for re-election twice more and potentially remain in the top job for the next 16 years.

Election officials said they were opening polls on Thursday across the country before the official July 1 vote to avoid overcrowding that could spread coronavirus infections.

North Korea promises 'retaliatory punishment' for the South

KONFRONTASI-North Korea said on Monday that it had readied thousands of balloons and millions of leaflets in preparation for "retaliatory punishment" against South Korea.

The detail, in a state media report, came a day after North Korea said it was preparing to begin an anti-South Korea leaflet campaign following a series of vitriolic condemnations of Seoul because of anti-North Korea leaflets floated across the border.

Syrian doctor arrested in Germany for 'crimes against humanity'

KONFRONTASI-A Syrian doctor living in Germany has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out crimes against humanity at a prison in his war-torn country of origin, prosecutors said on Monday.

The suspect, identified as Alaa M, is accused of having "tortured a detainee ... in at least two cases" at a prison run by Syrian intelligence services in the city of Homs in 2011, said German federal prosecutors in a statement.

Dr. Rizal Ramli : “Authoritarian’s Ghosts”

“Authoritarian’s Ghosts”
by Dr. Rizal Ramli
Oct 30, 2019

KONFRONTASI--- Back in the early 1970s, when I was a university student in the city of Bandung, my classmates and I had come to the realization that we needed to take action if our country was to have any chance of freeing itself from the grip of authoritarian rule.  

Turkey sends special forces into northern Iraq

KONFRONTASI-Turkey deployed special forces in northern Iraq on Wednesday in an operation against Kurdish rebels backed by air and artillery support as the conflict continues to escalate.

Warplanes struck more than 150 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq's Haftanin region, 15km (9 miles) from the Turkish border, the defence ministry said. It was the second such operation launched against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in recent days.

Trump says will pull US troops from 'delinquent' Germany

KONFRONTASI-President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would cut the number of US troops in Germany to 25,000, claiming the country had failed to meet NATO's defence spending target and accusing it of taking advantage of the United States on trade.

The reduction of about 9,500 troops would be a remarkable rebuke to one of the US's closest allies and trading partners and undermine a pillar of post-war European security: that US forces would help defend alliance members against Russian aggression.

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