In a flip-flop from its oppressive dress code on Syrian and Iraqi women, which requires them to be covered head-to-toe in black burkas, the Islamic State terror group has now outlawed the burka at its security centers in northern Iraq.
The reversal comes after several IS commanders were killed at security centers in Mosul by women clad in burkas, according to the Daily Mail. Women in the rest of Mosul and in all other IS-controlled areas, however, are still being forced to abide by the strict dress code. Many women have been beaten and even killed at the hands of the jihadists' "morality police" for not wearing the body and eye-concealing garb.
But the oppression of a burka has been a relatively minor worry for many Syrian and Iraqi women who've witnessed the massacre of family members and friends at the hands of the terrorists. more >>
President Barack Obama's administration admitted on Tuesday that it paid as much as $1.7 billion to Iran earlier this year, but has continued denying the charge that at least part of that money was used to ransom hostages held by the Islamic Republic.
A Treasury spokeswoman told the Associated Press that an initial payment of $400 million was sent to Iran on January 17, while the remaining $1.3 billion was delivered over two more installments on Jan. 22 and Feb. 5.
Several Republicans, such as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., have accused the White House of using that initial $400 million to secure the release of four American prisoners that had been held hostage by Iran, including pastor Saeed Abedini, who had been imprisoned for his Christian faith. more >>
European Council President Donald Tusk has warned that Europe is close to its limits when it comes to the ongoing refugee crisis, with new waves of migrants fleeing war and terrorism in Iraq and Syria continuing to come onto the continent.
"The practical capability of Europe to host new waves of refugees, not to mention irregular economic migrants, is close to limits," Tusk said at the end of the G20 summit in China, AFP reported.
He added that there are close to 65 million displaced people around the world, and urged economic leaders as part of the G20 summit to take responsibility and help those who are most in need. more >>
Four former hostages who were held by the Islamic State terror group at an abandoned oil refinery in Syria in 2014 have revealed that Kayla Mueller, the Christian aid worker who was slain in IS captivity last year, refused to deny Jesus Christ despite being repeatedly raped and tortured.
Frida Saide of Sweden and Patricia Chavez of Peru and Belgium, who were held alongside 26-year-old Mueller in the oil refinery, said that despite what Mueller was forced to suffer through, she remained steadfast in her Christian faith, The Associated Press reports.
Chavez noted that Mueller acted like a big sister to the other captured girls, looking to keep up their spirits despite the grim situation they were in. more >>
After intense scrutiny and a wide debate across Europe on the increasing number of refugees coming to the continent, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted that she made some mistakes in the open door policy that welcomed record numbers of migrants.
"We didn't embrace the problem in an appropriate way. That goes as well for protecting the external border of the Schengen area," Merkel said in an interview, according to Breitbart News, on Thursday.
"In Germany we ignored the problem for too long and blocked out the need to find a pan-European solution," she added. more >>
Militants with the Islamic State terror group in Mosul, one of the captured cities in Iraq, reportedly executed nine youths by slicing them in half with chainsaws as punishment for joining an anti-ISIS faction.
Iraqi News reported on Wednesday of a "well placed source" inside Mosul that recalled the graphic execution, which was apparently sanctioned by one of the terror group's courts.
"The death sentence pronounced by ISIS sharia court stated that the men should be tied to an iron pole in the center of Tal Afar Square in Mosul and then sliced into two with an electric chainsaw," the anonymous source said. more >>