The death toll from Sunday's major bombing of a popular market in the city of Doma, Syria, carried out by government warplanes, has reached close to 100 people.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP on Monday that more than 250 people have also been injured.
"The people gathered after the first strike and then the other strikes followed one after another," he said, adding that those who were injured "are in a critical condition." more >>
A 19-year-old Sudanese Christian woman has been sentenced to endure 20 painful lashes for the crime of "indecent dress" for wearing trousers on the way home from a church service.
Fardos al-Toum, who is one of 12 Christian women who were arrested on June 25 for wearing trousers and skirts while on their way home from a Baptist church function in Khartoum, was the first of the young women to be tried on July 6 on charges of indecent dress. Along with a 500-pound fine, which was paid for by rights activists, CNN reports that her lawyer says she has also been ordered to receive a torturous punishment of 20 lashes.
After they were arrested, the young women, who are thought to range in age from 17 to 23, were brought to the police station where two of them were freed — the other 10 were forced to strip out of their clothes. They remained detained for over 24 hours and were charged with indecent dress. more >>
GOP presidential candidate and ordained Baptist minister Mike Huckabee has defended the government of Paraguay's decision not to perform a late-term abortion on an 11-year-old girl who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather. Huckabee described the case as a "terrible tragedy," but argued that an abortion would not solve the problem.
"Let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible. But does it solve the problem by taking the life of an innocent child — that's really the issue," Huckabee said in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
The case in question concerns an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly repeatedly raped by her stepfather when she was 10 (she turned 11 in May). The traditionally Roman Catholic South American country ruled that she would not be granted the late-term abortion her mother was seeking, with Health Minister Antonio Barrios declaring in May that "the pregnancy will not be interrupted." more >>
The Islamic State terror group has distributed online photos of three women believed to be kidnapped Assyrian Christians, warning that if a ransom is not paid for their freedom, the women will be turned into sex slaves.
MailOnline reported that the three women who appear in the photos, holding pieces of paper which reveal their names and the date July 27, are likely part of the over 200 Assyrians kidnapped by IS in February in Syria.
The Assyrian Federation of Sweden cautioned that it cannot yet be confirmed whether the women in the photos are indeed those kidnapped from the Assyrian village of Tel Shamiram, but said that their surnames suggest that it is so. more >>
American pastor Saeed Abedini, who is serving eight years in prison in Iran, has reportedly been subjected to an aggressive raid by guards at his prison cell, a human rights agency has said, adding that Abedini's condition is "very worrisome."
The American Center for Law and Justice noted that very little information has been available on Abedini's well being over the last month, noting that his relatives in Iran who visit him are presently out of the country, while the government has rejected all requests for the pastor to talk on the phone with his wife, Naghmeh, and the couple's two children in the U.S.
The Human Right Activists News Agency Iran reported last week that Abedini's prison cell was raided by guards in what it called "dishonorable and harsh" actions. It added that the pastor's condition at Rajai Shahr prison is very worrisome. more >>
Women living in Saudi Arabia will make history later this year when for the first time they'll be allowed to vote.
"My message during my campaign is simple: Change the system. Change is life. The government has given us this tool and I intend to use it," said Haifa Al-Hababi, one of the 21 female candidates who is preparing to stand in the Dec. 12 municipal election as reported by Asia News.
Saudi Arabia's discriminatory male guardianship system continues to dominate the lives of women, despite government pledges to abolish it. According to Human Rights Watch, the system forbids women from obtaining a passport, marrying, traveling, driving, or accessing higher education without the approval of a male guardian, usually a husband, father, brother, or son. more >>