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Israel arrests 4 suspects in deadly stone-throwing

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JERUSALEM —

Israeli police have arrested four Palestinian youth on suspicion of the stoning of a Jewish man`s car this month that created a deadly clash and helped trigger new measures focusing on stone-hurlers.

Police said late Saturday the four suspects were aged 16 to 19 and residents of Sur Baher, the east Jerusalem Palestinian district near where the attack took place on September 13 during the Jewish Rosh Hashanah, or New Year, holiday.

The stones had hit the car of 64-year-old Alexander Levlovich, causing him to veer off the road and hit a tree. He died in the crash, and two female passengers were injured.

Shortly afterwards, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the site of the crash and vowed “war” on stone-throwers.

Netanyahu`s security cabinet last week broadened the rules under which stone-throwers can be targeted by live fire, while setting minimum sentences and authorising larger fines for stone-throwing minors and their parents.

Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary general Saeb Erekat criticised the measures, saying “the Israeli government continues to incite against Palestinian lives, with a culture of hate that dehumanises a whole nation.”
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Tensions have been high in the West Bank and Jerusalem after recent clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and with the convergence last week of the Jewish Yom Kippur and Muslim Eid al-Adha holidays.

On Sunday, masked Palestinians threw stones and fireworks at police at the flashpoint compound. Police said they dispersed the rioters, with no arrests or injuries reported.

The Jewish Sukkot holiday that begins on Sunday night is expected to lead to an increase in the number of Jewish visitors to the Al-Aqsa compound over the coming days, potentially adding to the volatility.

– AFP

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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