Explosions Rock Southern Afghan City, Killing Nine
Officials said nine people were killed and more than 20 wounded by a car bomb and a second, smaller blast.
Afghan police were among those wounded.
On October 4, three explosions killed four Afghan police officers in Kandahar and a former district chief, Habibullah Aghonzada, was gunned down by assailants as he prayed at a packed mosque.
Control of Kandahar, the Taliban movement's birthplace, is seen as a key to the Afghan conflict.
Afghan and NATO forces are engaged in a major operation to push militants out of strongholds there.
compiled from agency reports
All Of The Latest News
Ukraine Added To Spain-Portugal 2030 World Cup Bid In Sign Of European Solidarity
Based on reporting by AP and AFP
Media Watchdog Condemns Tajik Journalist's Imprisonment, Demands His Immediate Release
Ghurbati pleaded not guilty to all charges and called the case against him groundless.
Belgian Court Backs Treaty That Paves Way For Prisoner Swap With Iran
Prime Minister Alexander de Croo's government has said that the treaty is the only solution for the release of Olivier Vandecasteele, a Belgian aid worker jailed in Tehran.
Vandecasteele, 41, was detained by Iranian authorities in February, apparently without charge.
The Belgian opposition has alleged that the agreement with Tehran was tailor-made to permit Assadi's release, while Iranian exiles have also mounted a fierce campaign against the deal, leading a group of 11 human rights organizations to appeal to Brussels to cancel the agreement.
The groups said the treaty could result in the release of a convicted terrorist and “legitimize Iran’s hostage-taking.”
They also warned that the agreement violates the commitment of Belgium and the European Union to hold perpetrators of terrorist acts accountable.
Western countries have repeatedly charged that Iran is trying to take advantage of foreign countries by taking dual and foreign nationals hostage and then using them in prisoner swaps.
Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Crew Of Four, Including Russian Cosmonaut, Launches From U.S. On Mission To ISS
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
Ukrainian Supreme Court Judge Sacked Over Russian Citizenship Following Journalistic Investigation
Lvov made no immediate comment following the announcement of his dismissal.
Elizabeth Owen contributed to this report
Kazakh Online Newspaper Says It Received Pig's Head With Editor's Photo In Its Mouth
Kazakhstan is holding an early presidential election on November 20.
EU Approves Eighth Round Of Sanctions Against Russia
With reporting by Reuters
Kazakh Court Extends Pretrial Detention For Opposition Politician Mamai
Russia Expels Lithuania's Charge d'Affaires In Tit-For-Tat Move
Iran Charges Former Bayern Munich Player Ali Karimi Over Support For Protests
Karimi, widely regarded as one of the greatest Iranian players of all time, has condemned Amini’s death while lending his support to the protesters, particularly women. He has also urged security forces not to allow “innocent blood to be shed.”
Karimi was one of the first celebrities to condemn the death of Mahsa Amini, who died three days after being detained by Iran's morality police on September 13 for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly.
Videos posted on social media showed demonstrations taking place in several cities across the country on the evening of October 4 and in the morning of October 5.
In one of the videos, protesters in the Iranian capital, Tehran, are seen gathering on Shariati Street with many women blocking it completely.
In a video from Ferdowsi University in the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad, students can be heard chanting "Referendum, referendum," a reference to their demand to hold a vote to change the how Iran is run.
In another video, a girl's school brought a member of the IRGC-run Basij paramilitary, to talk to the students. The girls then welcomed the speaker by removing their hijabs and shouting "Get lost, Basiji!"
News of Amini's death struck a nerve in a country already wracked by social unrest over poor living conditions and economic hardships exacerbated by crippling U.S. economic sanctions in response to Iran's nuclear program.
Iran Human Rights, an Oslo-based rights organization, says at least 154 people, including 9 children, have been killed during the 18 days of protest.
Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda
Office Of Golos Voters' Rights Movement, Activists' Homes Across Russia Searched
According to Melkonyants, police said the searches were conducted because the Golos members were "witnesses" in a probe launched against Mikhail Gusev, a member of the movement from the city of Ivanovo, who was charged with discrediting Russia's armed forces.
Police also searched the homes of leading Golos members Arkady Lyubarev and Vitaly Kovin in Perm, Irina Matlseva in Ivanovo, Natalya Guseva in the Chelyabinsk region, as well as journalist Denis Kamalyagin and two members of the Yabloko opposition party -- Nikolai Kuzmin and Katerina Novikova -- in the city of Pskov.
Golos member Vitaly Averin said the searches were held over the organization's "fight for fair and free elections, and for a humane state governed by the rule of law."
Earlier in the day, police in Moscow searched the home of noted mathematician and elections analyst Sergei Shpilkin.
Officially established in 2013, Golos has monitored elections in Russia and other countries since the early 2000s. Last year, the Justice Ministry declared the movement and its 20 regional coordinators "foreign agents," a tool critics say the government uses to harass and restrict dissenting voices.
Last Native Speaker Of Aleut Language In Russia Dies
The chairwoman of the regional council of the Aleut district of the Kamchatka region, Galina Korolyova, said on October 5 that Yakovlev died in his native village of Nikolskoye on Bering Island.
Until recently there were only two known native speakers of the Aleut language in Russia -- Yakovlev and Vera Timoshenko. Timoshenko, who spoke the so-called Bering dialect of the Aleut language, died in March 2021 at the age of 93.
Yakovlev and Timoshenko were experts on the Aleut language, culture, and history who actively consulted Russian and foreign researchers and linguists.
Aleut, the sole language in the Aleut branch of the Eskimo-Aleut linguistic stem, used to be widely spoken by indigenous people of the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof Islands, Commander Islands, and the Alaskan Peninsula.
According to experts, there are fewer than 100 to 150 remaining active Aleut speakers.
With reporting by Kam24
Kazakhstan Summons Russian Ambassador Over Demand To Expel Ukrainian Ambassador
Smadyarov also said that Russian Ambassador to Kazakhstan Aleksei Borodavkin was summoned to the Foreign Ministry later in the day over the situation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on October 4 that Moscow was "outraged" by the fact that Vrublevskiy remained in Kazakhstan, adding that Kazakh Ambassador to Russia Ermek Kosherbaev had been summoned over the issue.
Smadyarov said that Astana and Kyiv had a "full understanding" of the situation and that a decision on the diplomat leaving Kazakhstan would be made solely by Kyiv.
Vrublevskiy found himself at the center of a scandal in August, after he said in an interview with noted Kazakh blogger Dias Kuzairov that "the more Russians we kill now, the fewer of them our children will have to kill in the future."
Moscow and Russian organizations in Kazakhstan demanded Astana expel the diplomat for his controversial statement, but Kazakh authorities refused, though they did ask Kyiv to replace him.
On October 4, a court in the northern city of Pavlodar sentenced Kuzairov to five days in jail on hooliganism charges after he asked Russian citizens who fled to Kazakhstan to evade a mobilization to fight for Russia in the war it launched against Ukraine if they supported the conflict.
Kazakhstan, which has aligned itself as Russia's economic ally, has not officially condemned Moscow's military aggression against Ukraine since it was launched in late February.
Binoche, Cotillard, Other French Film Stars Cut Hair In Support Of Iranian Women
"For freedom!" Binoche says while shaking a fist full of hair at the camera.
Amini died on September 16, three days after Iran's notorious morality police detained her because of how she was wearing the hijab, a headscarf that is mandatory for women in Iran to wear while in public.
Officials have said the 22-year-old died of a heart attack, but that claim has been rejected by her family amid reports from eyewitnesses that Amini was beaten while in custody.
"She died for letting a few strands of hair show," a note accompanying the videos on Instagram says.
Since Amini's death, protests have erupted across Iran, with some women showing up at the demonstrations, removing their hijabs, and cutting their hair.
"Since Mahsa's death, the Iranian people, women in the lead, have been demonstrating at the risk of their lives. These people only hope for access to the most essential freedoms," the note says.
The Instagram post comes a day after more than 1,000 people involved in the French film industry signed a petition "supporting the revolt by women in Iran."
Iranian-American Baquer Namazi, 85, Leaves Iran
Oman on October 4 thanked Iran for handing over U.S. citizen Namazi, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on its website.
Namazi, a former UNICEF official, holds both U.S. and Iranian citizenship and is one of four Iranian-Americans, including his son, Siamak, who had been detained in Iran or barred from leaving the country.
The United Nations said in a statement on October 1 that following appeals by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to the Iranian president, Tehran had agreed to allow Namazi to leave the country for medical treatment and that his son had been granted a furlough.
Baquer Namazi suffers from a heart condition and was hospitalized several times while in prison.
Washington also rejected the allegations and called for their immediate release.
Siamak Namazi was based in Dubai with Crescent Petroleum Co. and was detained while visiting family in Tehran in 2015.
Baquer Namazi was arrested at the Tehran airport. He served two years of his sentence before being placed on a medical furlough but was forced to remain in Iran until the latest announcement.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP
Iran Summons British Envoy As Tehran Blames Foreign 'Enemies' For Unrest
The Foreign Ministry in Tehran said in a statement that British officials were interfering in Iran's internal affairs and had made comments showing it is one of the countries involved in "anti-Iranian activities."
There was no immediate comment from the British ambassador or government officials in London on the matter.
After a summer of sporadic protests over poor living conditions, water shortages, and economic hardships, a new wave of unrest was unleashed in Iran following Amini's death on September 16.
Three days before she died, Amini was taken into custody by Iran's morality police for the alleged "improper wearing" of a hijab.
Officials say the 22-year-old died of a heart attack, but relatives said Amini had no history of illness and was healthy when detained.
Eyewitness accounts of the arrest say she was beaten by security officials.
Since then, anti-government protests have gained strength and broadened to include many parts of the country.
But he also echoed other officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in blaming the United States, Israel, and the West for inciting the unrest.
Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant Declared Russian 'Federal Property' After Putin Signs Annexation Decrees
Live Briefing: Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine
In the northeastern Kharkiv region, the maps indicated that Russian forces had almost entirely abandoned the east bank of the Oskil River, where British intelligence said Ukraine has now "consolidated" a substantial area.
With reporting by Reuters, AFP, and RFE/RL's Russian Service
Nord Stream Operators Await End Of Investigation To Inspect Damage Caused By Suspected Sabotage
Nord Stream AG, based in Switzerland, said it could not inspect the underwater Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea site due to a lack of permits, and Danish authorities say the process can take over 20 working days.
According to the statement, Nord Stream AG has contracted a company from Norway to investigate the leaks. The company's vessel also needs a permit from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to be deployed.
The company said that according to the Swedish authorities, a ban on shipping, anchoring, diving, using underwater vehicles, and geophysical mapping has been introduced to allow the authorities to conduct a state investigation around the damage sites.
Nord Stream AG will do its examination once a police investigation of the "crime scene" is completed and the cordon is lifted, the company said.
Europe is investigating what caused the pipelines designed to deliver Russian natural gas to Germany to burst last week in an act of suspected sabotage.
Neither pipeline was in use at the time of the suspected blasts, but they were filled with gas that began spewing out and bubbling to the surface of the Baltic Sea. Pressure in the pipelines has since stabilized, their operators say.
The operators of Nord Stream 2, also based in Switzerland, said Copenhagen police were handling the investigation of the crime scene at the Nord Stream 2 leak in the Danish exclusive economic zone.
Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
U.S. Officials See No Indication Russia Preparing Nuclear Test
She added that the U.S. military had not seen anything to change its own nuclear posture.
Live Briefing: Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine
But she added, "We have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have any indication that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons."
Russian President Vladimir Putin has escalated the seven-month war in Ukraine by ordering a "partial" military mobilization, pushing through an illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine, and promising to defend Russian territory "with any means at our disposal," including nuclear weapons.
The U.S. officials' comments came after The Times newspaper reported on October 3 that Putin was set to carry out a nuclear test on Ukraine's border. The London-based newspaper said NATO had warned its members about the test.
NATO said it also had not observed changes in Russia's nuclear posture, according to an alliance official quoted by Reuters.
Asked about the reports, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Western media and politicians were "engaging in a lot of exercises in nuclear rhetoric right now," and Russia declined take part in it.
Cooper also said the Pentagon closely monitored Russia's nuclear forces, a core part of its mission since the Cold War, and was also closely monitoring the rate of munitions spent by Ukrainian forces.
"We're watching their ammunition consumption rates very closely to make sure they have what it takes to counterattack," she said.
Cooper expressed confidence that the additional HIMARS systems provided by Washington in a new aid package announced on October 4 will strengthen Ukraine's capabilities on the battlefield.
Commenting on whether Washington is considering providing long-range missiles to Ukraine, Cooper said the HIMARS currently allowed the Ukrainian forces to hit most targets on the battlefield.
"We think that [the HIMARS] can achieve most goals, including in Crimea," Cooper said.
With reporting by Reuters and RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service
World Bank Now Projects Return To Weak Growth In 2023 In Europe, Central Asia
The bank noted that the 0.2 percent contraction forecast for 2022 was a marked improvement over the bank's forecast in June of a contraction of 2.9 percent.
Live Briefing: Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine
The report said the bank now expects the economy of Ukraine to shrink 35 percent this year, an improvement over the 45 percent contraction forecast earlier this year.
Ukraine's economy has been "scarred by the destruction of productive capacity, damage to agricultural land, and reduced labor supply," the report said. It also estimates more than 14 million people have been displaced by the war.
Recovery and reconstruction will require at least $349 billion, or more than 1 1/2 times the size of Ukraine's prewar economy, the report said.
The World Bank also said the ongoing war dampens prospects of a post-pandemic recovery for emerging and developing economies in the region.
"The overlapping crises of the war in Ukraine, the ongoing pandemic and the surge in food and fuel prices are painful reminders that governments need to be prepared to manage massive, unexpected shocks that unravel very quickly," Anna Bjerde, the World Bank's vice president for Europe and Central Asia, said in a statement.
"Ukraine continues to need enormous financial support as the war needlessly rages on as well as for recovery and reconstruction projects that could be quickly initiated," Bjerde added.
The World Bank said Russia's economy was now forecast to contract by 4.5 percent in 2022, compared with an 8.9 percent contraction estimated in June. Russia's economy is forecast to shrink by 3.6 percent in 2023, it said.
In a separate note on the impact of the global energy crisis, the World Bank said an extended cutoff of energy supplies to the European Union could trigger a recession for the European and Central Asian countries.
The impact will be greater on countries more dependent on Russian natural gas and less on countries with access to alternate gas supplies or more domestic energy production.
The report notes that global prices for oil, gas, and coal had been picking up since early 2021 but they "skyrocketed" after Russia's invasion and that helped inflation climb "to levels not seen for decades in the region."
This is especially painful for countries that rely on imported energy and "countries closely connected with EU energy markets," and the bank said countries should prepare for shortages.
The regional grouping includes Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
With reporting by Reuters and AFP
Head Of Ukraine's National Bank Resigns, Citing Health
The 49-year-old added that he had asked President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to accept his resignation.
Shevchenko said that he came to work at the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) primarily as an anti-crisis manager, and he is leaving with the bank "stronger than ever in its ability to meet challenges and overcome crises."
His successor will find that he is "handing over a strong, capitalized, sustainable banking system" that he believes "will remain so in the future," he said.
Until a successor is named, the board of the NBU will continue to perform its functions and manage the activities of the regulator with its current composition.
With reporting by Reuters
Ukraine Blasts Billionaire Musk's Plan To End War For Rewarding Russia
Musk also suggested that four regions Russia moved to illegally annex following Kremlin-orchestrated referendums denounced by the West as "sham" votes should repeat them under UN supervision.
As part of his proposal Musk launched a Twitter poll asking whether "the will of the people" should decide if seized regions remain part of Ukraine or become part of Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who has pledged to recover all the territory captured by Russia in the war and reclaim Crimea, responded by posting a Twitter poll of his own asking users to vote for "which @elonmusk do you like more?" "One who supports Ukraine" or "One who supports Russia."
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba denounced Musk's proposal as rewarding Russia for its invasion.
"Those who propose Ukraine to give up on its people and land -- presumably not to hurt [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's bruised ego or to save Ukraine from suffering -- must stop using word 'peace' as an euphemism to 'let Russians murder and rape thousands more innocent Ukrainians, and grab more land,'" Kuleba tweeted.
Musk replied to Zelenskiy that he still "very much" supported Ukraine, but said he was "convinced that massive escalation of the war will cause great harm to Ukraine and possibly the world."
The billionaire businessman said in another tweet that Russia would "go to full war mobilization if Crimea is at risk" and the "death on both sides will be devastating," noting that Russia has a population more than three times that of Ukraine, making victory for Ukraine unlikely.
"If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace," he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded by saying it was "very positive that somebody like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of this situation" but warned that Russia will not backtrack on its move to absorb the Ukrainian regions.
Ukraine and the West have said that the hastily organized votes in four occupied or partially occupied regions last month were rigged and have condemned them as illegal.
"This is moral idiocy, repetition of Kremlin propaganda, a betrayal of Ukrainian courage and sacrifice, and puts a few minutes browsing Crimea on Wikipedia over the current horrific reality of Putin's bloody war," Kasparov tweeted.
With reporting by AP and Reuters
Iranian Protests Broaden As Raisi Calls For National Unity
Videos posted on social media showed unrest in the cities of Tehran, Karaj, Shiraz, and Isfahan, with demonstrators shouting slogans such as "Death to the dictator."
During a session of parliament, Raisi acknowledged "weaknesses and shortcomings" in the country.
At the same time he echoed other officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in blaming the United States and Israel for inciting the unrest.
Iran has also blamed the unrest on Kurdish opposition groups in the country's northwest that operate along the border with Iraq.
The scope of the ongoing unrest, the most sustained in over a decade, has been difficult to verify as the government blocks access to social media and the Internet.
Medical students at Gilan University on October 4 protested the use of ambulances by the security forces to suppress demonstrations.
Videos released on October 4 also the shops on Taleghani Street in the central Iranian city of Isfahan closed as part of a strike.
Reports from Amini's hometown of Saghez in Kurdistan Province indicate that teachers are on strike in schools as well as female students protesting in the street.
Schoolgirls in Saghez were shown chanting "Don't be afraid, we are all together" in the street.
Foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc was considering "all the options at our disposal, including restrictive measures, to address the killing of Mahsa Amini and the way Iranian security forces have been responding to the demonstrations."
Borrell's comment came after France said it was pushing the bloc to target senior officials with punitive measures, including "freezing their assets and their right to travel."
U.S. President Joe Biden said earlier this week that the United States would impose "further costs" this week on "perpetrators of violence against peaceful protesters" in Iran.
Officials say she died of a heart attack, while her relatives and supporters say eyewitness reports indicated she was beaten while being arrested.
Hundreds of people including artists, activists, and journalists have been arrested since the protests erupted.
Former U.S. Marine Sentenced To 4 1/2 Years In Prison For Attacking Russian Police Officer
Police pulled Gilman off a train in Voronezh in January after complaints from fellow passengers about his behavior, according to the prosecution.
While in custody, Gilman was accused of kicking a police officer, leaving him with bruises.
"This man, who disagreed with lawful actions taken by the authorities, used violence against a police officer who was on duty, kicking him several times," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.
Gilman, who went to Russia to study and obtain citizenship, told the court in Voronezh that he did not remember the incident but "apologized to Russia" and to the police officer.
Russia has sentenced several U.S. citizens to lengthy prison terms in recent years. American basketball star Brittney Griner was sentenced in August to nine years in prison after being found in possession of cannabis oil in vape cartridges.
Paul Whelan, another former U.S. Marine, is serving 16 years in prison on espionage charges that he denies.
Russian officials have said they are in talks with Washington about possible prisoner exchanges. Media reports say they could involve convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States.
In April, Russia and the United States swapped Trevor Reed for a Russian pilot convicted of drug smuggling. Reed, also a former U.S. Marine, was sentenced to nine years in prison after allegedly attacking police officers while drunk.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Interfax
IAEA Chief Says Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Chief Will Not Return To Job After Russian Abduction
It is not yet clear who will replace him, Grossi said in the statement, which added that the absence of Murashov "had an immediate and serious impact on decision-making in ensuring the safety and security of the plant."
Grossi on October 3 welcomed the release of Murashov, who, according to Enerhoatom, the Ukrainian state company that oversees the plant, was taken out of a car on October 1, blindfolded, and driven in an unknown direction.
The IAEA said his detention had a "very significant impact" on him.
Grossi also said in his statement on October 4 that he plans to travel to Kyiv and then to Moscow later this week to continue his consultations aimed at agreeing and implementing a safety and security protection zone around the plant.
The IAEA has called for the creation of a the zone, but Russia has rejected the proposal.
"If you have low temperature, you will just freeze everything inside. The safety equipment will be damaged," he said in his office at the company's Kyiv headquarters.
"So you need heating and the only heating is going to come from the working reactor," he added.
The last of the plant's six reactors was shut down on September 11 because Russian military activity had cut reliable external power supplies for cooling and other safety systems, threatening a potentially catastrophic meltdown that raised concern across the globe.
Russian troops occupy the plant and the surrounding area, including the nearby town of Enerhodar, where thousands of Ukrainian workers continue to maintain the facility.
The plant is also the only source of heat for the town, Kotin said, adding that a decision on a restart could be made as early as October 5.
"We at the moment are evaluating all the risks. And this depends on the weather. And actually, we don't have much time to do that," Kotin said.
With reporting by AP and Reuters
Anger Over Russia's Battlefield Defeats Bursts Into The Open, Posing A Challenge For Putin2
Dead Russian Soldiers Litter Roads Around Liberated Lyman3
Ukrainian Forces Continue Advances, Zelenskiy Says As U.S. To Announce Plan To Send More HIMARS4
Ukrainian Forces Advance In South, Repel Russian Attacks In Donbas5
Bulgarian President Didn't Sign Document Backing Ukraine Because Of Wording On NATO Membership6
Ukrainians Prepare For Possible Russian Nuclear Attack With Iodine Tablets And Humor7
Russia's 'Sham' Referendums In Ukraine Met With Silence From Central Asia8
Top Official At Hermitage Museum In St. Petersburg Leaves Russia In Protest At The War In Ukraine9
Ukrainian Forces Prepare For Potential Attack By Belarus10
China Builds A New Symbol In The Balkans -- At The Site Of A NATO Bombing