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Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyers attempt to suppress strip club tape of son bragging about gas deal

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Lawyers representing Israel‘s Prime Minister have tried to stop audio of his son drunkenly bragging about a controversial gas deal from going public.

In the recording, broadcast by the Israel Television Channel, Benjamin Netanyahu‘s son tells the son of an Israeli gas tycoon the Prime Minister helped advance a $20bn (£15bn) deal in parliament which benefited his father. 

Yair Netanyahu and Ori Maimon, son of the Israeli gas tycoon Kobi Maimon, can apparently be heard talking about strippers and how much money they spent.

“Bro, you have to spot me. My dad made an awesome deal for your dad, bro,” Yair reportedly said in Hebrew in the recording made in 2015. “He fought, fought in the Knesset for this, bro. “

He added: “Bro, my dad now arranged for you a $20bn deal and you can’t spot me 400 shekels?”

Yair allegedly later said the money was for a prostitute, according to Haaretz.

Mr Netanyahu’s son and his friends were accompanied by a state-funded bodyguard responsible for providing security as they drove from one strip club to another, the report said.

One of Yair’s entourage jokes the guard who accompanied them, who was privy to some of the banter, would have to be killed if he left his job. 

Benjamin Netanyahu calls the UN the ‘house of lies’ before Jerusalem vote

The audio was released amid a police investigation into corruption allegations surrounding Mr Netanyahu.

Yossi Cohen, a lawyer for Mr Netanyahu, sent a letter to the channel demanding it withhold the recording.

The Netanyahu family told the channel the recordings were part of a “witch hunt” aimed to bring down the Prime Minister.

Yair later issued an apology, in which he said the remarks did not represent the values he was raised on, adding they were made under the influence of alcohol.

Independent

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Middle East

Iraq sentences German woman to death for joining Isis, reports say

- 1516551522 mosul - Iraq sentences German woman to death for joining Isis, reports say


An Iraqi court has sentenced a German woman to death after she ran away to join Isis.

The court in Baghdad convicted the unnamed German woman of “providing logistical support and assistance to the terrorist group to commit crimes” and has ordered her execution.

The spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, says the woman acknowledged joining Isis after travelling from Germany to Syria and then to Iraq along with her two daughters. Both daughters later married militants. 

She is believed to have been living in the Mannheim region of Germany when she travelled to Syria but is reportedly of Moroccan descent. 

The woman is believed to have been among a number of women in July 2017 who were captured after the Battle of Mosul when Iraqi forces pushed Isis out of Iraq’s second city.

She now faces hanging but can still appeal her sentence, Mr Bayrkdar said.

Iraqi forces have detained a number of foreign women after they drove Isis from its former territory in northern and central Iraq. 

It is estimated that over 27,000 foreign fighters, including 6,000 Europeans, have travelled to Iraq and Syria since the start of the Arab Spring in 2011 but not all of them have joined Isis, according to data published by the Soufran Group.

A Russian Isis fighter was sentenced to death in Iraq last year for joining the hardline group.

Meanwhile one of those in prison awaiting trial is German teenager Linda Wenzel who ran away to Syria when she was just 15 years old. 

Wenzel also faces the death penalty if convicted of aiding Isis. Iraqi authorities say she admitted to working as a sniper during the battle but Wenzel claims she was mostly kept as a domestic servant.

Iraq declared victory last month over Isis, which had seized control of nearly a third of the country in 2014. However, the terror group continues to carry out bombings and other attacks in the country.

Additional reporting by agencies​

Independent

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Middle East

France Calls for Urgent UNSC Meeting Over the Turkish Attack on Afrin

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ERBIL — French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed that his country has called for an urgent United Nations Security Council meeting to discuss the ongoing Turkish military incursion into the Kurdish-held Syrian Canton of Afrin.

“France has requested an urgent meeting of UN Security Council,” Le Drian said on his Twitter account.

He urged those involved in the conflict to stop the fire immediately and open the path for humanitarian aid to reach the affected area.

French foreign minister talked to his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier, following which he said in an official statement that Ankara is urged to restraint and end any action which could further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“France is attentive to the security of Turkey, its territory and borders. Paris calls on the Turkish authorities to exercise restraint in the complicated context of a humanitarian situation in several Syrian regions in view of military activities of Damascus and its allies,” reads the statement.

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Middle East

YPG Repels Turkish Ground Attack Near Afrin

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ERBIL — The US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Sunday repelled the first Turkish ground offensive on Bulbul district of Afrin Canton.

The Turkish troops, accompanied by heavy arms and tanks, were marching towards the territories of  Balia village when faced fierce resistance from the YPG fighters, said Hawar news agency (ANHA).

Many Turkish artillery and heavy arms are said to have been forced to retreat while there remains some attacking troops, according to the same source.

 

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