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Russia Supreme Court bans Jehovah’s Witnesses

Russia’s Supreme Court has ruled to recognize Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organization and liquidate it.

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Russian Supreme Court

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/Russia’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Jehovah’s Witnesses was an “extremist” organisation and must hand over all its property to the state, Russian news agencies reported.

Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Cherepanov, a Jehovah’s Witnesses representative, as saying that the group will appeal the decision in the European Court of Human Rights.

“We will do everything possible,” he said.

Russian authorities have put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature and prosecutors have long cast it as an organisation that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives.

The group, a United States-based nonsectarian Christian denomination known for its door-to-door preaching and rejection of military service and blood transfusions, says this description is false.

The religious organisation has expanded around the world and has about eight million active followers. It has faced court proceedings in several countries, mostly over its pacifism and rejection of blood transfusions, but has Russia has been most outspoken in portraying it as an extremist cult.

Its Russian branch, based near St Petersburg, has regularly rejected this allegation. It has said a ban would directly affect around 400 of its groups and have an impact on all of its 2,277 religious groups in Russia, where it says it has 175,000 followers.

America

US to revoke visas of Saudi officials implicated in death of Jamal Khashoggi

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journalist Jamal Khashoggi

BREAKING: The United State to revoke visas of some Saudi officials implicated in death of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo also said during a press conference that the State and Treasury departments are looking at the possibility of sanctions meant to target those responsible for human rights violations.

The announcement comes after President Trump called the kingdom’s efforts to hide Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul the “worst cover-up ever,” stepping up his rhetoric as frustrations directed at Riyadh grow.

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World

US slaps sanctions on Taliban, Iranian supporters

Washington has intensified its sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals after President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community.

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Donald Trump
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Washington, Oct 24 : The US Treasury announced on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on eight individuals, including two associated with Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — Qods Force (IRGC-QF), in an effort to hit Afghanistan’s Taliban militants.

The Treasury accused the designated Taliban members of engaging in suicide attacks and other activities in Afghanistan and blamed the Iranians for providing financial and material support for the Taliban, Xinhau reported.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed in a statement that Iran was “exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilizing behaviour”.

Mnuchin is on a week-long trip to the Middle East with talks on combating terrorist financing and looming Iran sanctions.

Also on Tuesday, the other member nations of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC), all US Gulf allies, also imposed Taliban-related sanctions.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced Tuesday to add Iran’s IRGC to the list of terror-related individuals and organisations, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Washington has intensified its sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals after President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community.

New US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are set to kick in on November 4.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country will manage to abort anti-Iran sanctions by the United States, Press TV reported on Monday.

The TFTC, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, was formed in May 2017 and inaugurated by the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Trump on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit last year.

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Sports

Sindhu in second round of French Open

In the next round, Sindhu will now take on the winner of the first-round match between Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Japan’s Sayaka Sato.

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PV Sindhu
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Paris, Oct 24 (IANS) Ace India shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the second round of ongoing French Open after thrashing Beiwen Zhang in straight games here on Tuesday.

Sindhu took just 34 minutes to outclass Zhang 21-17, 21-8. With this win, the Rio Olympic silver medalist avenged her loss at the hands of Zhang in the opening round of the Denmark Open, last week.

In the next round, Sindhu will now take on the winner of the first-round match between Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong and Japan’s Sayaka Sato.

Meanwhile, the Indian men’s doubles pair comprising Arjun MR and Shlok Ramachandran crashed out of the tournament after going down 14-21, 17-21 to Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yunchen in the first round.

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