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A Russian opposition journalist was in a medically induced coma on Monday after a man claiming a "telepathic" connection broke into a liberal radio station and stabbed her in the neck. The stabbing of Tatiana Felgenhauer follows state television smear pieces against the radio station and a series of attacks that forced another Echo of Moscow host to flee the country. Ms Felgenhauer, the well-known deputy editor of the station and an outspoken Kremlin critic, was in the Echo of Moscow offices when an unknown attacker stabbed her in the neck. He had blinded a guard with pepper spray, before barging into the offices and running down the corridor to where she was, editor Alexei Venediktov told Novaya Gazeta newspaper. Ms Felgenhauer was hospitalised in stable condition, he said. Photographs published by a staff member of Echo of Moscow showed blood splattered across the floor and what appeared to be a switchblade knife. A middle-aged man was being detained by police in the photographs. “The attacker didn't yell anything, everything was calm and silent. He came up, hugged her and inflicted the injury,” deputy editor Sergei Buntman told the news outlet Meduza. An ambulance leaves the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station office in Moscow, Russia Credit: AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko Russia's investigative committee has opened an attempted murder case, identifying the attacker only as a 48-year-old man with dual Israeli and Russian citizenship. The interior ministry said his motive was “personal hatred”. News agency Interfax quoted a law enforcement source as saying that the crime was not connected with Ms Felgenhauer's journalistic activities and that it was likely a case of “hooliganism”. Echo of Moscow staff rejected this explanation, however. “A personal conflict between Tanya and the attacker is complete nonsense. Tanya doesn't know him. A thuggish attack on an editorial employee,” tweeted correspondent Tonia Samsonova. Echo of Moscow published a video of law enforcement interrogating the attacker, whom it identified as Boris Grits. In it, he claimed Ms Felgenhauer had sexually harassed him through "telepathic contact". A Wordpress blog under the name Boris Grits contained posts in which the author, who also complains about being unable to find work as a programmer in Israel, said he wasn't sure why Ms Felgenhauer was "following" him but suspected it was because he "wrote for Russia". "In a few weeks I'll come to Moscow and, if this doesn't stop, the consequences could be very unpleasant," said a post dated to September. Earlier this month, state television channel Rossiya 24 ran a smear piece on Echo of Moscow that claimed Ms Felgenhauer and other employees had discussed the “strengthening of critical media with foreign money” during a meeting with the France-based organisation Reporters Without Borders and the Germany-based Robert Bosch Foundation. Before that, state television Channel One ran a piece claiming that Echo of Moscow was financed by the Broadcasting Board of Governors in the United States. Gazprom-Media, the arm of the state gas giant Gazprom that owns Echo of Moscow, denied that the radio station had any financial or other ties to the US agency. Echo of Moscow's reporting has irked many officials, and employees have reported death threats. Yulia Latynina, a Kremlin critic who hosted a show on Echo of Moscow, fled Russia in September after a series of attacks - unknown assailants released a noxious gas into her family home, set her car on fire and threw feces on her in the street. She had previously complained of being followed and was given a state security detail. Novaya Gazeta political editor Kirill Martynov wrote on Monday that the Kremlin's inaction was partly responsible for the growing number of attacks on journalists and activists. "Propaganda has done too much to put independent journalism and opposition politicians outside the law, morally sanctioning the hunt for them," he said.
Catalan separatists Monday threatened "mass civil disobedience" if Madrid carries out threats to depose their leaders, as tensions mounted over a bid to sever the region from Spain. Madrid stood firm on its plans to replace the government of the semi-autonomous region whose inhabitants voted "Yes" in a banned independence referendum on October 1. Catalonia's separatist parties, in turn, called a special session of the regional parliament for Thursday to devise a response.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Riyadh Saturday in a visit aimed at upgrading strategic ties, amid warming relations between the Arab neighbours. The tour coincides with Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh's high profile visit to Baghdad where he called for the strengthening of economic relations to boost oil prices. It also comes after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, his second visit to the region in recent months to launch a fresh bid Sunday to ease a crisis between Riyadh and Doha.
By Julien Toyer and Sam Edwards MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) - Catalonia's leaders said on Saturday they would not accept direct rule imposed on the region by the Spanish government, as a political crisis that has rattled the economy and raised fears of prolonged unrest showed no signs of easing. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced earlier on Saturday he would invoke special constitutional powers to fire the regional government and force a new election to counter the region's move towards independence. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who made a symbolic declaration of independence on Oct. 10 after a referendum to secede, called Rajoy's moves the "worst attacks against the people of Catalonia" since Spain's military dictatorship.
Had the U.S. built the Montanas, they likely would have had similar post-war careers to those of the South Dakotas. Because of their speed, the Iowas were more useful at every job except fighting other battleships. Having built the ships in the late 1940s, the USN would have sold them for scrap in the early 1960s. In the early 1940s, the U.S. Navy still expected to need huge, first rate battleships to fight the best that Japan and Germany had to offer.
When Xi Jinping warned against "pleasure seeking" in a stern message to the Communist Party congress last week, the audience included few women and some notable absentees -- officials ousted by graft scandals involving illicit affairs. The scene was a reminder that China's leadership remains a man's world, where women have been excluded from the highest echelons of power and men have abused their positions in sex-for-favours scandals. Since the Communists took power in 1949, under Mao Zedong who famously declared that "women hold up half the sky", no woman has ever risen to the top ruling council.
The notion of the three retired generals surrounding Donald Trump―National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Chief of Staff John Kelly―protecting Americans from an unstable, impulsive demagogue who might create global catastrophe has been around almost as long as the Trump presidency.
Russia has accused the US-led coalition in Syria of wiping the city of Raqqa “off the face of the Earth” with carpet-bombing, in the same way America and Britain bombed Germany’s Dresden during World War Two. The Russian Defence Ministry, which has repeatedly been forced to deny accusations from activists and western politicians of indiscriminately bombing Syrian civilians, said it looked like the West was now rushing to provide financial aid to Raqqa to cover up evidence of its own crimes. Major-General Igor Konashenkov, chief spokesman for the Defence Ministry, said around 200,000 people had lived in Raqqa before the conflict in Syria but no more than 45,000 people remained.
By Robert Muller PRAGUE (Reuters) - The Czech Republic must seek partners beyond the central European Visegrad Group to find common ground on issues including migration and food quality, Czech parliamentary election winner Andrej Babis told Reuters. The billionaire businessman, who won 29.6 percent of the vote in this weekend's election, is against deeper EU integration and adoption of the euro, and has raised concerns he may join Poland or Hungary on a collision course with the EU. Double food quality, solution to migration, the fight against migration and other issues," Babis told Reuters in a brief interview at ANO headquarters after the election results were counted.
In 1930, the Glorious was converted into an aircraft carrier, just as the U.S. Navy did with the Lexington and Saratoga. Battlecruisers had proven fragile in World War I, but they could travel thirty knots and had large hulls suitable for planting a flight deck on. The Glorious was committed to the Norwegian campaign, perhaps the rock bottom of the Royal Navy’s performance in World War II. On April 9, 1940, the Germans launched an amphibious invasion of Norway.
An Australian teenager has survived a terrifying encounter with a great white shark, with her harrowing screams alerting her father who was certain it was about to "eat her". Sarah Williams, 15, was fishing for squid from a kayak off the South Australian coast near Normanville on Sunday when the shark struck. "This shark has just rolled and all I saw was the dark side and the white belly and just huge fins and just white water everywhere," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
A British man has been sentenced to three months in prison in Dubai for touching a man's hip in a bar, according to campaigners. Jamie Harron, from Stirling, was arrested in July over the incident in which he said he put his hand on a man's hip to avoid spilling a drink in a crowded bar. The 27-year-old electrician had been working in Afghanistan and was on a two-day stopover in the United Arab Emirates at the time. After his arrest for public indecency he lost his job and was told he could have faced up to three years in jail. Campaign group Detained in Dubai (DiD) said he was sentenced to three months imprisonment at court on Sunday but lawyers plan to appeal. The group said Mr Harron is "angry, disappointed, and dreads what may happen next". He is not currently in custody while the appeal is considered, DiD chief executive Radha Stirling said. Mr Harron has already been sentenced in absentia to 30 days in prison for failing to appear at a court hearing for making a rude gesture and drinking alcohol during the same July incident. Unusual laws that tourists should be wary of DiD said the 27-year-old was not told about the court date in advance and that sentence is also being appealed against. In relation to the alleged public indecency charge, Mr Harron is said to have been holding a drink, moving through a crowded bar and held a hand in front of him to avoid spilling it on himself or others. He then "touched a man on his hip to avoid impact". He was initially jailed for five days and then released on bail with his passport confiscated. Ms Stirling said: "Now Jamie has been sentenced to three months; there is no telling whether a judgement on appeal will be better or worse. "He has already suffered tremendously as a result of these allegations, and now faces the likelihood of incarceration. "His family was unable to visit him during this critical time because they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE's cyber crime laws which forbid criticism of the government. "At this point, Jamie will definitely be pursuing civil action against his accusers when he does eventually return home, as it appears that he will not be able to find justice in the UAE." She added: "He feels betrayed and exploited by the system, which did not investigate the reports of key witnesses in his defence and led him to believe that the case would be dropped." A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: "We have been in contact with a British man following his arrest in Dubai in July. We are providing consular assistance."
Wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with swastikas, Randy Furniss, hands in his pockets, walked slowly through a crowd Thursday that had largely gathered to protest white nationalist Richard Spencer, who was delivering a speech at the University of Florida. Days before Florida Gov. Rick Scott, R, had warned in an executive order that a "threat of a potential emergency is imminent" in Alachua County, where the University of Florida is located, noting that prior speaking engagements involving Spencer have sparked protest and violence. The event was Spencer's first public speech on a college campus since he led hundreds of torch-bearing white supremacists, white nationalists and others through the University of Virginia in a far-right rally in August that preceded a weekend of violent protests in Charlottesville.
An Iranian vessel with 19 sailors on board has been seized near a Yemeni island by local fishermen, Yemen's prime minister said on Saturday. There was no immediate official Iranian reaction to the comments made by Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr on his Twitter account in which he said the ship was detained off the coast of Socotra, the largest island in an archipelago south of Yemen. Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said that the Yemeni government, which Tehran does not recognize, had "claimed" that an Iranian vessel with a crew of 19 had been seized on Friday.
Dutch electronics giant Philips said Monday it will increasingly rely on emerging markets as a buffer against the possible negative effects of Brexit, warning of a revenue drop and possible job losses in Britain. "I don't think we've seen a big impact yet (from Brexit)," said the Amsterdam-based group's chief executive Frans van Houten. "But I am certainly concerned about the situation," Van Houten told AFP by telephone.
The 5th Earl of Balfour first realised the significance of the Balfour Declaration when he was a 14-year-old schoolboy at Eton, hailing a taxi while on holiday in London. A copy of the Declaration – made a century ago by Arthur Balfour, the former prime minister who later became foreign secretary, backing the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine – hung on the wall of his loo at home, where the young Balfour read it without really appreciating its importance. The iconic document was never discussed at home or school. So it was a crucial moment in Lord Balfour’s life when a Jewish London cabbie spotted his school trunk with his surname painted on it. “Is this yours, mate? Are you anything to do with the prime minister?” (His ancestor, the 1st Earl of Balfour, served as Conservative Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905.) “Yes,” he said, explaining he was his great-great nephew. “I don’t believe this!” said the taxi driver. “Wait till I get home and tell my family. What he did for us! Tonight, it’s Passover and you’re my last fare before I knock off to go off to the East End for Passover dinner.” The driver then pulled off the road and started singing Jewish songs to the teenage boy. Arthur James Balfour who served as Prime Minister of the Conservative government of 1902-1905 Credit: Print Collector/Hulton Archive “I was so bowled over by this that I was late, and I dashed out of the cab, leaving a family picture in the back of the cab,” says Lord Balfour, 68, a banker. “I thought it was now in the East End. Instead, he went to the lost property office, all the way up in north London, deposited it, stuck a label saying Balfour on it. I was able to find it the next day. “That was my first time I realised the importance of the declaration to Jewish people.” Today, a fine Philip de László portrait of Arthur Balfour presides over Lord Balfour’s drawing room in his handsome Sussex house, where he lives with his wife, Lady Tessa, a daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. They have four daughters, all interested in their ancestor’s 100-year-old Declaration. The Declaration was sent by Arthur Balfour to Lord Rothschild, the de facto secular head of British Jewry, on November 2, 1917. It was then passed on to the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland. The short, single-page document declared: “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” Lord Balfour standing beside a portrait of his ancestor Credit: Christopher Pledger for The Telegraph The Declaration was absolutely vital in the long build-up to the eventual creation of the state of Israel in 1948 – which also happens to be the year the current Lord Balfour was born. Despite that teenage meeting with the taxi driver, the Balfour Declaration played little part in young Roderick Balfour’s life. “It was never mentioned by anybody at school, or very much as I grew up,” he says. “At school, everyone said: ‘Are you related to that loser Balfour?’, because he lost the 1906 election. They didn’t know about the Declaration. “But you go to Canada, Argentina, France or anywhere in the [Jewish] diaspora, and they all know about it. This country has less knowledge than anywhere else.” Lord Balfour listens to an address during his 1925 visit to Palestine. Credit: Hulton Deutsch/Corbis Historical In fact, Lord and Lady Balfour have just returned from a seminar – “From Balfour to Brexit” – in Jerusalem. Whenever he goes to Israel, he is reminded of the affection in which his great-great uncle is held. “People come running up to you and just say: ‘Thank you,’” he says. “I started going to Israel on bank business in the 90s and saw Balfour Streets in every town. The Prime Minister lives today on Balfour Street.” However, Lord Balfour sees imperfections in the modern state of Israel. “I have major reservations,” he says. “There is this sentence in the declaration, ‘Nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.’ That’s pretty clear. Well, that’s not being adhered to. That has somehow got to be rectified. Talking to the more liberal elements of Jewry, they would acknowledge there has to be a greater economic role for the Palestinians.” It was only in the 1990s that Lord Balfour really began to appreciate the magnitude of his ancestor’s Declaration. In 1990, he started working at NM Rothschild, the merchant bank run by Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, a cousin of the Lord Rothschild to whom Arthur Balfour addressed his Declaration. Lord Arthur Balfour points out a feature of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to Governor Sir Ronald Storrs during a visit to Jerusalem, 9th April 1925 Credit: Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archive When Lord Balfour joined the bank, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild asked him: “What sort of a Balfour are you? Are you Balfour Beatty [the construction company]?” (“I said I’m one of the poor, government Balfours,” Lord Balfour replied.) And then, in 1992, on the 75th anniversary of the Declaration, Lord Balfour saw in the papers the list of attendees at the anniversary dinner; there wasn’t a Balfour among them. He got in touch with the Anglo-Israel Association and asked if he could get involved with future events. This year, he and Jacob Rothschild – the current Lord Rothschild, whose forebear Walter Rothschild received the Declaration – will host a dinner on the anniversary in a government venue in London. “There are a huge number of events going on on the same day,” says Lord Balfour. “Jacob Rothschild is very kindly organising a dinner, which he and I are nominally joint hosts of, although it’s very much his initiative.” Royal Albert Hall where the celebrations will take place Credit: Mo Peerbacus / Alamy Stock Photo Lord Rothschild’s team have located descendants of those involved in the Declaration from around the world. Among them will be a Lloyd George, in honour of David Lloyd George, prime minister at the time of the Declaration; and a member of the Sykes family: Sir Mark Sykes, Bt, devised the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, which laid out national boundaries in the Middle East. Next month, there will also be an event at the Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the Declaration, which Lord Balfour will attend with his family. The event will include a 500-voice massed Christian choir, a Klezmer band, the Israeli Dance Institute and the Israeli singer Tally Koren. Lord Balfour never met his famous ancestor – he died in 1930, aged 81. But he speaks of him with great affection. “We all knew about Arthur James because he had been prime minister, and the family were immensely proud of him,” he said. “We all knew him as Nunkie, although I never met him. My father was nine when he died, so he knew him well. He was very much loved.” "We all knew about Arthur James because he had been prime minister, and the family were immensely proud of him.” Credit: Christopher Pledger for The Telegraph Arthur Balfour was an intellectual – “primarily a Bible-reading philosopher”, says Lord Balfour – but a well-connected one, too. He was a leading member of the Souls, an elite salon of Victorian upper-class intellectuals. Balfour’s uncle, the Marquess of Salisbury, who was known to the family as Bob, had been prime minister before him: “That’s where the expression ‘Bob’s your uncle’ comes from. In other words, it’s quite easy to get on if ‘Bob’s your uncle’.” But rather than a popular turn of phrase, it is for his Declaration that his family would like him to be remembered. “It was a great humanitarian gesture,” says Lord Balfour. “Humanity should be extremely grateful.” • Harry Mount is editor of The Oldie Magazine