Over 800 police officers in Australia arrested 15 people on Thursday allegedly connected to terror group ISIS, who are believed to have planned to kidnap and behead people on camera. The counter-terrorism raids on houses and vehicles in Sydney and Brisbane were the largest ever in the country's history.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the raids occurred just before dawn on Thursday, and took into custody Mohammad Ali Baryalei, identified as Australia's most senior Islamic State member.
Authorities believe Baryalei delivered instructions to Islamic extremists to kidnap people in Brisbane and Sydney and have them executed on camera. more >>
City Harvest Church's financial manager has admitted that board members were told to keep quiet about the relationship between the church and the music production company that pastor Kong Hee and five other church members are alleged to have funneled millions to finance his wife, Sun Ho's popstar career.
Sharon Tan, who is one of the CHC members on trial for misusing more than $19.2 million, told the court on Monday of the discreet relationship between the church and Xtron Productions, Channel News Asia reported.
Kong has been denying the allegations, claiming that Xtron is a legitimate company that was not directed by CHC. more >>
Pastor Kong Hee of City Harvest Church tried to wipe out links tying his church to Xtron Productions, the management firm behind his wife Sun Ho's pop career, the prosecution argued on Monday. Kong and five other church members are being accused of misusing $19.2 million to fund Ho's career.
"The reason why you were trying to sweep the transactions with Xtron under the carpet is because that's what you do if your house is dirty and a visitor might be turning up unexpectedly," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong.
International Christian Concern has warned that Sangh Parivar, an umbrella Hindu nationalist group, is inflicting suffering and looking to cleanse the minority Christian population in India, much like terror group ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria.
The watchdog group said in a press release that the nationalist group and its associate organizations have been directing hate speech toward Christians and leading attacks on pastors and churches in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Believers are reportedly worried that radical Hindu nationalism and persecution of minorities will escalate.
John Dayal, a member of the Indian government's National Integration Council, said: "There has been a sharp rise in hate campaigns against Christians by political organizations. This threat of purging Christians from villages extends from Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh to now Uttar Pradesh, and to the borders of the national capital of New Delhi." more >>
North Korea on Monday allowed The Associated Press and CNN to speak to three detained Americans, including Christians Kenneth Bae and Jeffery Fowle. All three said there's hope only if a high-ranking U.S. representative visits for negotiations. Bae complained of deteriorating health.
"The only hope that I have is to have someone from the U.S. comes," Bae was quoted as saying in the interview that was conducted in the presence of regime officials. "But so far, the latest I've heard is that there has been no response yet. So I believe that officials here are waiting for that."
Fowle, 56, and the other prisoner, Mathew Miller, who is 24 years old, said their trial is expected within a month. Both were arrested in April. more >>
North Korea's government has called American society "a graveyard of human rights" over the race riots in Ferguson, Missouri, resulting from the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the police response.
"The U.S. is indeed a country wantonly violating human rights where people are subject to discrimination and humiliation due to their race, and are in constant fear that they may get shot at any moment. ... It should not seek solutions to its problems in suppressing demonstrators, but bring to light the real picture of the American society, a graveyard of human rights, and have a correct understanding of what genuine human rights are like and how they should be guaranteed," North Korea's foreign ministry told AFP.
"The U.S. had better ... mind its own business, instead of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries." more >>