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Mummified body of the Shah of Iran 'found in Tehran' construction site

24.04.2018 18:12


A construction worker in southern Tehran may have stumbled across the mummified body of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Iranian ruler whose son was overthrown in the revolution of 1979.  Builders were carrying out construction work at a Shia shrine in Tehran when they found the body amid a pile of rubble.  Pahlavi was buried in a mausoleum nearby after his death in 1944 but the tomb was blown up by Iranian revolutionaries as they tried to erase all traces of the previous regime.  The shah’s body was never found in the ruins and has been missing for nearly 40 years.  Hassan Khalilabadi, the head of Tehran’s heritage committee, said it was “a possibility” that the corpse may be that of the former Iranian leader. “This will be examined by responsible bodies," he said. The body was reportedly found by construction workers Pahlavi was a military officer who overthrew the ruling Persian dynasty in 1921 and seized power for himself, first becoming the country’s prime minister and then its monarch.   He introduced widespread reforms and is credited by some as the founder of modern Iran. But he was forced from power in 1941 by British and Russian troops and abdicated in favour of his son.  Pahlavi went into exile and died in South Africa in 1944. His son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was overthrown during the Iranian revolution in 1979.  Reza Shah's body as it was buried in 1944 Pahlavi’s legacy is a taboo subject for Iran’s government. While his son is still deeply controversial, some Iranians think fondly of the older Pahlavi because of his modernisation programme and his expansion of some freedoms for women.    During the widespread protests in Iran in late 2017 and early 2018, many protesters shouted out Pahlavi’s name as a way of defying Iran’s revolutionary regime. “Reza Shah, bless your soul,” people cried. If the body found in Tehran is indeed that of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Iran’s current rulers may have a delicate task figuring out what to do with it.  Islamic custom demands that all bodies be treated with respect but Iranian authorities will also be wary of allowing it to become a rallying point for opposition groups.  A spokesman for the Shah Abdol Azim shrine said the body was not Pahlavi’s. "All the rumours on the social media that claim this mummified body belongs to Reza Shah are false and void of any truth,” he said.    Reza Shah Pahlavi took power in 1921 but was forced to abdicate in 1941 by the UK and the Soviet Union Pahlavi’s grandson, Reza Pahlavi, said in a statement that he was “closely following” the reports that his grandfather’s body had been found.  He warned Iran’s government “against any secrecy or lack of transparency” in its handling of the body.   Iranian authorities said the body had been reburied. It was not immediately clear what steps Iran planned to take to verify if the body did belong to Pahlavi.  A widely-shared photograph on social media appeared to show an Iranian construction work taking a selfie with the body after discovering it at the foot of his bulldozer.

Canadian lynched by villagers in Peruvian Amazon after death of elderly healer

24.04.2018 18:12


Police in Peru were last night preparing a series of arrests over the lynching of a Canadian man accused by villagers of murdering an 81-year-old medicine woman. Sebastian Woodruffe’s body was found in a shallow grave on Saturday in a remote village in the Amazonian region of Ucayali. The 41-year-old had been accused by locals of the murder of Olivia Arevalo, a traditional healer of the Shipibo-Conibo tribe. She was shot twice and died on Thursday near her home, said Ricardo Palma Jimenez, the head of a group of prosecutors in Ucayali. Arevalo had been working with traditional plant medicine since the age of 15, and came from a long line of healers, according to the Temple of the Way of Light centre, where she worked. The centre published a YouTube video that shows her singing one of her curing songs. Ricardo Franco, Arevalo’s nephew, described her to a Peruvian TV station as “the mother that protects the Earth in the jungle”. He said she was “the most beloved woman” in the tribe. Woodruffe was believed to have been one of her clients, and some reports on social media suggested that she was killed for refusing to perform an ayahuasca ceremony – a hallucinogenic spiritual ritual increasingly popular with Westerners. Other reports indicated a row over debts. Arevalo’s sons disputed both versions, however, saying that she had stopped performing ayahuasca ceremonies due to her health. Sebastian Woodroffe was found buried. Villagers in remote parts of Peru often punish suspects according to local customs and without the involvement of authorities Locals told an indigenous news outlet that witnesses saw Woodroffe shoot Arevalo multiple times after she sang an ikaro, or curing song. He then fled, local residents alleged, prompting Arevalo’s family members to post a “wanted” bulletin online and on Facebook, showing Woodroffe’s photo, identifying him by name and nationality, and offering a reward. Distressing mobile phone footage, shared on social media, showed the attack on Woodruffe. He is seen in the film groaning in a puddle near a thatched-roof structure, as another man puts a rope around his neck and drags him, with others looking on. Mr Jimenez said the footage was being studied, and Peru’s ministry of the interior said in a statement issued on Monday that they were close to making arrests in the case. “The prosecutor is concluding his file soliciting the preliminary arrest of the person seen in the video,” a ministry source told Peruvian newspaper El Comercio. Canada's foreign ministry said they were investigating. "Canada extends its deepest condolences following the reported assassination of‎ Olivia Arévalo Lomas, an Indigenous elder and human rights defender," said Global Affairs Canada, which manages Canadian foreign relations, in a statement. "We are also aware that a Canadian ‎was killed in a related incident. Consular services are being provided to the family of the Canadian." Woodruffe, who is the father of a nine-year-old boy, grew up in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. His friend Yarrow Willard told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that Woodroffe worked odd jobs in recent years and did some professional diving. Woodroffe said in a YouTube video in 2013 that he decided to leave his job and leave his home in Canada to study plant medicine in Peru. A relative’s battle with alcoholism had inspired him to “fix the family’s spirit” and pursue a career as an addictions counsellor, he said. Woodroffe began raising money for an apprenticeship with traditional healers in the Amazon, writing on his fundraising page that he felt a responsibility to “support this culture and retain some of their treasure in me and my family, and share it with those that wish to learn.” But Mr Willard said Woodroffe had become more distant after trying ayahuasca in Peru in 2016, and came back “troubled” from his retreats there. He described Woodroffe as a person “who likes to poke, and likes to test the boundaries of people’s beliefs, but is very much a gentle person underneath all that.” He found it hard to believe that his friend would ever be involved in a violent crime. “He had a beautiful spark to him that people respected and loved.” He added: “This man has never had a gun or talked about anything along that line,” suggesting that Woodroffe may have become a scapegoat for Arevalo’s murder. Arevalo's murder prompted outrage in Peru following other unsolved murders of indigenous activists who had repeatedly faced death threats related to efforts to keep illegal loggers and oil palm growers off native lands. Policing is scant over much of the Peruvian Andes and Amazon and villagers in far-flung provinces often punish suspected criminals according to local customs and without the involvement of state police and prosecutors. “We’ve just been in shock,” said Mr Willard. “It just felt like a scam because there is no way this person is capable of that.” Woodroffe becomes the second Westerner to die at a Peruvian retreat. In December 2015 Joshua Andrew Freeman Stevens, 29, killed 25-year-old Briton Unais Gomes after Gomes tried to stab him at a ceremony involving the hallucinogens. Mr Freeman Stevens' actions were ruled self defence and he returned home to Canada. Mr Jimenez said that an autopsy showed Woodroffe died of strangulation, after receiving several blows to his body. "We will not rest until both murders, of the indigenous woman as well as the Canadian man, are solved," he said. “We want the people of the Amazon to know that there is justice, but not justice by their own hands.” A Peruvian vice minister visited the community at the weekend to reassure locals that they would find the truth behind both murders. But the villagers were sceptical. “There is justice for those with money,” one local resident, Alder Rengifo Torres, told TV Peru. Another local woman was captured on Peruvian television telling the minister: “A foreigner can come and kill us, day after day, like dogs or cats, and nothing happens. The state does nothing.” A Peruvian ombudsman wrote tweets condemning the killing of Arevalo, “a promoter of the cultural rights of the Shipibo-Conibo indigenous people.” He urged the government to protect indigenous people “in the face of an increase in illicit activities that put their lives at risk.” But the ombudsman’s office also expressed its “resounding rejection of the lynching and murder of the alleged perpetrator” of Arevalo’s killing, adding: “We ask the authorities for an in-depth investigation."

Nikol Pashinyan: from fugitive to victorious protest leader

24.04.2018 18:12


Armenia's opposition lawmaker Nikol Pashinyan led mass anti-government protests that culminated in the resignation of newly appointed Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian and has declared he is ready to lead the country. A fortnight ago, few in Armenia would have believed that the 42-year-old could bring tens of thousands of people out onto the streets of Yerevan and other cities, eventually forcing the veteran leader to resign. Before these protests, Pashinyan was mostly associated with the tragic events following the 2008 presidential vote that first brought Sarkisian to power, when 10 people died in clashes between police and supporters of the defeated opposition candidate.

White House condemns violence, repression in Nicaragua

24.04.2018 17:46

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says the United States “condemns the violence and repression propagated by the Government of Nicaragua.” Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says in statement that the administration “joins the international community in calls for broad-based dialogue and support for the people of Nicaragua, who yearn for the political freedom of expression [...]

From: www.seattletimes.com

People are throwing out romaine lettuce, but why hasn't there been a recall?

24.04.2018 16:32

The E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce has the government telling us to toss any from Yuma, Arizona, but why hasn't there been a recall?

From: rssfeeds.usatoday.com

Senate leaders try to get spending bills back on track

24.04.2018 16:22

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s GOP and Democratic leaders can’t agree on much, but they both say they want to dedicate weeks to passing legislation to fund the government next year — and avoid the annual take-it-or-leave-it vote on a foot-tall, $1 trillion-plus catchall spending bill. For now, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and top Senate [...]

From: www.seattletimes.com

Allison Mack to Be Released on $5 Million Bond for Sex Trafficking Charges

24.04.2018 15:56

Allison Mack will be released on a $5 million bond for her recent arrest and sex traffic charges in connection with Nxivm, a purported self-help organization. Both the government and the...

From: uk.eonline.com

Government: Wild red wolf population could soon be wiped out

24.04.2018 14:46

Federal wildlife officials say the only wild population of endangered red wolves is unsustainable and could be wiped out within years.

From: feeds.foxnews.com

French Billionaire Vincent Bollore Arrested For Alleged Corruption In Africa

24.04.2018 14:36

French billionaire Vincent Bollore was arrested and detained on Tuesday near Paris over allegations that he indirectly influenced election outcomes for governments in West Africa and secured lucrative port contracts for his company in return.

From: www.forbes.com

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