Eight prisoners in Indonesia reformed by Christianity sang and prayed as they walked to their executions Wednesday morning, witnesses said.
The eight prisoners included two Australians (Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan); four Africans (Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze, and Martin Anderson); and one each from Brazil (Rodrigo Gularte); and Indonesia (Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin), who were convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia, a country with harsh penalties for smuggling, including life in prison and the death penalty.
"When they were being put on the cross for execution, they were singing on the crosses and we were in a tent not too far away from the execution place trying to support them," Father Charlie Burrows told News Corp Australia more >>
An expert on human rights activism in the Communist state of North Korea believes progress is being made in the push to reform the Asian nation.
Jared Genser, a human rights attorney who serves as managing director of Perseus Strategies and founder of Freedom Now, said while part of a panel that human rights activism has come "a very long way."
At an event sponsored by the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday afternoon, Genser noted that there were improvements in the situation, stemming in part because of the growth in information over the past 15 years. more >>
The Nigerian army has reported that it rescued 200 girls and 93 women from the Sambia Forest on Tuesday as it continues driving out terror group Boko Haram from its territory. It added, however, that the girls are not the ones from Chibok kidnapped by the jihadists in April 2014.
Nigerian Army spokesman Sani Usman said, according to CNN, that the army has raided a number of Boko Haram's camps in the forest, which has served as a stronghold for the Islamic militants. The region is not far from Chibok, where close to 200 girls were kidnapped last year, sparking a major international campaign calling for their release.
Usman confirmed, however, that the rescued captives are not the schoolgirls taken by Boko Haram in that particular raid. more >>
Terror group Boko Haram, which has been carrying out deadly attacks across Nigeria for almost six years now, has changed its name to "Islamic State's West Africa Province," or ISWAP. The militants have previously pledged allegiance to ISIS, and are continuing their attacks on Nigerian towns with an aim to establish an African Caliphate.
The Independent reported on Sunday that new propaganda materials released by Boko Haram leadership have been distributed through ISIS' social media accounts, where they refer to the group by its new adopted name.
Boko Haram itself is a nickname which means "Western education is forbidden." Its previous official name was Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, Arabic for "People committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and jihad." more >>
Tens of thousands of Ethiopians marched on Thursday in the capital of Addis Ababa in solidarity with the 28 murdered Christians at the hands of terror group ISIS. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn described the terror group at the rally as "Satanic."
"This week's cruel act, which was committed against our citizens in Libya, not only gives a glimpse into terrorism, but also shows the Satanic acts and objectives of those who committed the act," Desalegn told the mass rally in Addis Ababa's Meskel Square, according to BBC News.
The response comes to a video released by ISIS on Sunday depicting the execution of two groups of Ethiopian Christians, one where the hostages were shot, and the other where they were beheaded. The militants directed their message to "the nation of the cross," referencing a previous video they released in February that showed the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. more >>
Update: The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 passed the Senate Wednesday on a vote of 99 to 0.
Senate Democrats will no longer block anti-human trafficking legislation after a compromise was reached over abortion funding language.
Under the compromise, funds to aid human trafficking victims will be separated into two separate pots of money. One pot, coming directly from the federal government and used for health-related services, will have the "Hyde Amendment" language saying that the money cannot be used for abortion services. more >>