Following the pro-democracy protests that began over the weekend in Hong Kong, officials in China are scrambling to control the spread of reports on the demonstrations. This included deletion of mentions of the uprising by websites, shop owners being instructed not to put up posters showing images of Hong Kong, and Internet censorship officials entirely blocking Instagram.
It’s been reported that ISIS militants are fighting just one mile west of Baghdad, attempting to gain control of the capital. Western airstrikes have been ongoing on the terrorist group. The militants allegedly killed up to 1,000 soldiers on Monday, while government troops try to hold them off.
The National News Bureau of Thailand reported on Monday that its own Siriraj Hospital has developed a vaccine for the Ebola virus. A formula was allegedly created that triggers antibodies that will fight the virus. There in no known cure for Ebola, and the UN has estimated that it would require US$1 billion to fight it effectively.
Following the signing of a decree on Saturday, an independence referendum for the Spanish region of Catalonia was planned for November 9. The region accounts for a fifth of Spain’s economy and has long fought for more independence. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy challenged this act, on television, as unconstitutional. The vote on the referendum will be suspended indefinitely as soon as the constitutional court takes on the case, as it could take years for the court to reach a final decision.
Minister of Justice Ivo Opstelten said that 49 passports were confiscated from people suspected of being jihadists. 41 of the suspects were believed to be scheming to fight in Syria or Iraq. The Dutch government also froze the assets of twelve suspects, something that can only be done when there is a large body of evidence linking a suspect to being a terrorist.
26-year-old Rayhaneh Jabbari has spent seven years in prison after being convicted of murdering a man that attempted to rape her. She was transferred to Rajai-Shahr prison on Monday and was told to say her final goodbyes, as her hanging could take place as soon as Tuesday.
The Ministry of Unification in South Korea approved a NGO’s request to deliver aid to North Korea worth almost US$200,000. The initiative, headed by staff of Ace Gyeongam and six South Korean officials, involves crossing the border to the North on Tuesday and delivering agricultural materials before returning to the South by Saturday.
In an attempt to form a counter-argument against the Islamic State, a comedies series has been created by Iraqi state television that will mock the group.
A branch of KFC in Leicester, England is one about 100 stores around the UK taking part in a trial of offering halal chicken in attempts to see the demand for it. However, a “misunderstanding” arose as staff were instructed to not hand out hand-wipes as to not cause offense. Muslim leaders are confused by this instruction and warn that decisions, even if they are well-meaning, can be harmful if they give the impression that the community is making ridiculous demands.
The European Court of Human Rights made a ruling that urged Turkey to take action to do away with mandatory courses in religion. However, at a drug abuse and public health conference in Istanbul, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harped that if these classes are done away with, there will be a rise in violence, racism, and drug use.