After Dozens Killed In Stampede At Funeral Of Iranian General’s Burial Delayed

Dozens of individuals were killed during a stampede as huge crowds of mourners gathered for the funeral of a slain military commander within the southeastern Iranian city of Kerman on Tuesday, forcing his burial to be postponed, state-affiliated media reported.
Tens of thousands of individuals had poured onto the streets of Kerman to pay tribute to General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed during a U.S. drone strike in Iraq on Friday. Many chanted “Death to America”.

The Young Journalists Club, which is affiliated to state television, said on its website that a stampede had broken out and 35 people were killed and 48 wounded.

ISNA press agency said the burial had been postponed as result.

Soleimani’s body had been taken to Iraqi and other Iranian cities before arriving in his hometown Kerman for burial, prompting mass outpourings of grief nationwide because the coffin was carried through streets.

In other developments on Tuesday, a senior Iranian official said Tehran was considering 13 scenarios to avenge his killing.

In Washington, the U.S. defence secretary denied reports the U.S. military was preparing to withdraw from Iraq, where Tehran has vied with Washington for influence over nearly 20 years of war and unrest.

Soleimani was liable for build up Tehran’s network of proxy armies across the center East and he was a key figure in orchestrating Iran’s long-standing campaign to drive U.S. forces out of its neighbour Iraq.

U.S. and Iranian warnings of latest strikes and retaliation have also stoked concerns a few broader Middle East conflict and led to calls within the U.S. Congress for legislation to prevent U.S. President Donald Trump getting to war with Iran
“We will take revenge, a tough and definitive revenge,” the top of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Hossein Salami, told the crowds of mourners in Kerman before the stampede.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and military commanders have said Iranian retaliation for the U.S. action on Friday would match the size of Soleimani’s killing but that it might be at a time and place of Tehran’s choosing.

Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council , said 13 “revenge scenarios” were being considered, Fars press agency reported. Even the weakest option would prove “a historic nightmare for the Americans,” he said.

Iran, whose southern coast stretches along a Gulf oil shipping route that has the narrow Strait of Hormuz, has allied forces across the center East through which it could act. Representatives from those groups, including the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, attended the funeral events in Tehran.

Despite its strident rhetoric, analysts say Iran will seek to avoid any conventional conflict with the us but asymmetric strikes, like sabotage or other more limited military actions, are more likely.

Trump has promised strikes on 52 Iranian targets, including cultural sites, if Iran retaliates, although U.S. officials sought to downplay his regard to cultural targets.

Reuters and other media reported on Monday that the U.S. military had sent a letter to Iraqi officials informing them that U.S. troops were preparing to go away .

“In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to require certain measures to make sure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted during a safe and efficient manner,” it said.

However, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said there had been no decision whatsoever to go away Iraq. “I do not know what that letter is,” he said.

U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Staff, said the letter was a “poorly worded” draft document meant only to underscore increased movement by U.S. forces.

About 5,000 U.S. troops are still in Iraq, where there has been a U.S. military presence since Hussein was toppled during a 2003 invasion.

On Sunday, Iraq’s parliament, dominated by lawmakers representing Muslim Shi’ite groups, passed a resolution calling for all foreign troops to go away the country.

Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi told the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad on Monday that each side needed to figure together to implement the resolution.

Friction between Iran and therefore the us has risen since Washington withdrew in 2018 from a nuclear deal between Tehran and other world powers. The us has imposed economic sanctions on Iran and Tehran said on Sunday it had been dropping all limitations on uranium enrichment, its latest step back from commitments under the deal.

The U.S. administration denied a visa to permit Iranian secretary of state Mohammad Javad Zarif to attend a U.N. Security Council meeting in ny on Thursday, a U.S. official said.

Trump’s U.S. political rivals have challenged his decision to order the killing of Soleimani and its timing during a U.S. election year. His administration said Soleimani was planning new attacks on U.S. interests but has offered no evidence.

U.S. general Milley said the threat from Soleimani was imminent. “We would are culpably negligent to the American people had we not made the choice we made,” he said.

Trump administration officials will provide a classified briefing for U.S. senators on Wednesday on events in Iraq after some lawmakers accused the White House of risking a broad conflict without a technique .

To Mourn Iran General Killed In US Airstrike Thousands Gather In Iraq

Thousands of Iraqis chanting “Death to America” joined the funeral procession Saturday for Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi paramilitary chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed during a US air strike.
The cortege depart around Kadhimiya, a Shiite pilgrimage district of Baghdad, before heading to the Green Zone government and diplomatic district where a state funeral was to be held attended by top dignitaries.

In all, 10 people — five Iraqis and five Iranians — were killed in Friday morning’s US strike on their motorcade just outside Baghdad airport.
The dead were delivered to Kadhimiya on the rear of pick-up trucks in coffins shrouded in their national flags.

The convoy snaked its way though a sea of black-clad mourners, a number of whom carried portraits of Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The bodies of the Iranians will then be flown on Saturday evening to Iran, which has declared three days of mourning for Soleimani.

His funeral is to be persisted Tuesday in his hometown of Kerman in central Iran.

Over 1 Lakh Displaced, 60 People Dead In Indonesia Floods

Indonesian rescue teams flew helicopters full of food to remote flood-hit communities on Saturday because the price from the disaster jumped to 60 and fears grew about the likelihood of more torrential rain.
Tens of thousands in Jakarta were still unable to return to their waterlogged homes after a number of the deadliest flooding in years hit the big capital region, home to about 30 million.

In neighbouring Lebak, where half a dozen people died, police and military personnel dropped boxes of instant noodles and other supplies into remote communities inaccessible by road after bridges were destroyed.

“It’s tough to urge supplies in there… and there are a few dozen places hit by landslides,” Banten captain Tomsi Tohir told AFP.

“That is why we’re using helicopters although there are not any landing spots.”

Local health centre chief Suripto, who goes by one name, said injured residents were flowing into his clinic.

“Some of them were wounded after they were caught in a frenzy by floods and hit with wood and rocks,” he said.

Around Jakarta, quite 170,000 people took refuge in shelters across the huge urban conglomeration after whole neighbourhoods were submerged.

Torrential rains that started on New Year’s Day Eve unleashed flash floods and landslides.

Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said on Saturday that two people were also killed after flash floods and landslides hit a village in North Sulawesi on Friday.

The agency said Saturday the entire price had climbed to 60 with two people still missing.

“We’ve discovered more dead bodies,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo.

‘Trauma healing’

Jakarta shelters filled up with refugees, including infants, resting on thin mats as food and beverage ran low.

Some had been reduced to using floodwater for cleaning.

“We’re cleaning ourselves during a nearby church but the time has been limited since it uses an electrical generator for power,” said Trima Kanti, 39, from one refuge in Jakarta’s western edges.

In hard-hit Bekasi, on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, swamped streets were suffering from debris and crushed cars lying on top of every other — with waterline marks reaching as high because the second floors of buildings.

On Friday, the govt said it might start cloud seeding to the west of the capital — inducing rain using chemicals sprayed from planes — within the hope of preventing more rain reaching the town region.

Water has receded in many areas and power was being restored in many districts.

The health ministry has said it had deployed some 11,000 doctors and soldiers to distribute medicine, disinfectant hygiene kits and food during a bid to debar outbreaks of hepatitis A , mosquito-borne dengue and other illnesses, including infections linked to contact with dead animals.

Visiting hard-hit Lebak, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said the govt would help rebuild destroyed schools and construct temporary bridges, while offering assistance to victims.

“We’re also posing for NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to assist with trauma healing,” Muhadjir told reporters on Saturday.

Electrocution, drowning

Around Jakarta, a family — including a four- and nine-year-old — died of suspected gas poisoning from a transportable power generator, while an eight-year-old boy was killed during a landslide.

Others died from drowning or hypothermia, while one 16-year-old boy was electrocuted by an influence line.

Jakarta is often hit by floods during the season , which started in late November. But this weeks marked Jakarta’s deadliest flooding since 2013 when dozens were killed after the town was inundated by monsoon rains.

Urban planning experts said the disaster was partly thanks to record rainfall.

But Jakarta’s myriad infrastructure problems, including poor drainage and rampant overdevelopment, have worsened things , they said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced an idea to maneuver the country’s capital to Borneo island to require pressure off Jakarta, which suffers from a number of the world’s worst traffic jams and is fast sinking thanks to excessive groundwater extraction.

US President Trump On Killing Iran Commander: “Action To Stop War, Not Start War”

President Donald Trump on Friday said top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was “terminated” when he was on the verge of attacking US diplomats but he insisted that Washington isn’t seeking to topple Iran’s government.
“Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him within the act and terminated him,” Trump said during a statement before television cameras in Florida.

While pertaining to the Iranian military mastermind, killed during a US air raid earlier Friday in Baghdad, as “sick,” Trump attempted to lower tensions by insisting that he doesn’t want war with Iran.

“We took action last night to prevent a war. We didn’t take action to start out a war,” he said, adding: “We don’t seek regime change.”

New York City Security Officials Went On Heightened Alert

New York City security officials went on heightened alert for possible Iranian retaliation in response to a US air strike in Baghdad on Friday that killed Qassem Soleimani, Tehran’s most prominent military commander, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The city is consistently vigilant against possible terrorist attacks given its history but the mayor said the threat has changed significantly given the resources that a state like Iran has compared to non-state organizations like al Qaeda or ISIS.

“It’s just a world of difference,” de Blasio told a press conference .

“We need to assume this action puts us during a de facto state of war,” the mayor said.

De Blasio and senior police officials called the press conference as Iran promised vengeance in response to a US air strike in Baghdad on Friday that killed Soleimani, the architect of Iranian influence within the Middle East .

The ny local department has intelligence and counter-terrorism divisions and officers stationed at 14 foreign posts, all of which are well-funded since the attacks of Sept 11, 2001, that destroyed the dual Towers of the planet Trade Center.

New York officials consider the town the foremost enticing target for a surprise attack within the US and police continue heightened alert whenever there’s political violence against civilians within the us or abroad.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said officers were already on “heightened vigilance” which New Yorkers could expect to ascertain more uniformed officers, some heavily armed with long guns, at sensitive areas.

He didn’t specify what those were but an important police presence is usually seen on the subway, other mass transit, and tourist attractions when police continue heightened alert.

After Top Iranian General Qasem Soleiman’s Killing US Deploying approx 3,500 Troops In Middle East

The US is deploying up to three ,500 more troops to the center East during a show of force, a Pentagon official said Friday, after an American drone killed a top Iranian general.
The reinforcements will come from the 82nd Airborne Division’s Global Response Force, which already supplied several hundred extra troops to the region earlier in the week as tensions grew over an attack on the US embassy in Baghdad.

A Department of Defense spokesperson said that the 82nd Airborne’s Immediate Response Force brigade had already been notified earlier in the week that they might be sent to the region.

“The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against US personnel and facilities, and can assist in reconstituting the reserve,” the official said.

The move came as tensions soared following the US killing of Qasem Soleimani, the top of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ operations arm, whom Washington said was behind attacks on US facilities in Iraq in recent months.

Trump On Top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani -“Should Have Been Killed Years Ago”

President Donald Trump said Friday that Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani — who was assassinated during a US strike — should are killed long before.
In his first substantial comments on the operation, administered earlier Friday at Baghdad’s international airport, Trump tweeted that Soleimani “should are taken out a few years ago!”

Soleimani “has killed or badly wounded thousands of usa citizens over an extended period of your time , and was plotting to kill more …but got caught!” Trump said.

His only earlier comments on the dramatic news included a tweet featuring an image of a US flag and another, cryptic tweet stating that “Iran never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”

After US Air Strike Kills Top General Iranian Ambassador Says “We Have Right To Retaliate”

A country that has been attacked has every right to defend itself, the Iranian ambassador to India told NDTV on Friday evening, because the Middle East simmers following the death of General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, during a US air strike on the Iraqi capital. Describing General Soleimani as a “champion against terrorism”, Dr Ali Chegeni refused to rule out the likelihood of retaliatory strikes against the us which the escalation of action within the region could lead on to yet more conflict within the war-torn region.
“My government has mentioned we are getting to retaliate… yes, it’s the legitimate right of each country that has been attacked to defend itself. it’s normal,” Dr Chegeni said, remarking that US claims that his country was behind strikes on Saudi oil facilities late last year were never proven.

“Iran never attacked Saudi or the other country within the region… (untrue) that Iran attacked Aramco or petrol facility of Saudi. UN report said no document was there… no proof,” he added.

Last month, press agency Reuters reported that a US investigation of the Aramco attack indicated the strike originated from the north and identified similarities between drones utilized in the attack and people produced and designed by an Iranian firm.

However, during a report by Bloomberg, United Nations investigators said they were “unable to independently corroborate” an equivalent finding.

General Qasem Soleimani was killed in Baghdad within the early hours of Friday morning after a volley of missiles were fired near the city’s international airport. The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary and a minimum of six people .

Iran has vowed “severe revenge (for) criminals who bloodied their foul hands together with his blood”. during a statement the country’s Foreign Ministry said the US would “answer for this clear atrocity”.

“Iran may be a country that has never attacked the other in its history… whatever has been done by America against General Soleimani, who was champion against terrorism and beloved by Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian governments… he has been attacked and assassinated by,” Dr Chegeni told NDTV.

The ambassador also mentioned the us as a “state terrorist”, saying that by this act it had shown itself to be a “supporter of terrorism”.

United States President Donald Trump welcomed the death of General Soleimani during a tweet posted on Friday, claiming that the overall had “killed or badly wounded thousands of usa citizens … and was plotting to kill many more”.

However, consistent with Democrat Eliot Engel, who heads the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, the airstrike “went forward with no notification or consultation with Congress”.

India has involved restraint, saying it’s “vital that things doesn’t escalate further”.

According to a report by press agency AFP, General Soleimani was one among the foremost popular figures in Iran and seen as a deadly adversary by America and its allies.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has named the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm – brigadier Esmail Qaani – because the new commander.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Faced Enraged Hecklers

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced enraged hecklers and an angry firefighter during a town ravaged by bushfires, piling pressure on the leader amid an unprecedented crisis that has killed a minimum of 18 people.
A firefighter refused to shake Morrison’s hand when he visited the town of Cobargo in New South Wales state on Thursday.

Video footage showed Mr Morrison tried to grab the man’s hand, who then got up and walked away, sparking an apology from the prime minister.

A local fire official explained that the person had lost his house while defending others’ homes.

Another man blasted Mr Morrison for watching fireworks over Sydney Harbour from his official waterfront mansion, Kirribilli House, while fires raged further south on New Year’s Day Eve.

“You won’t be getting any votes down here, buddy. You’re an idiot,” the person shouted.

“I don’t see Kirribilli burning after the fireworks,” he screamed.

Mr Morrison said on Friday he didn’t take the attacks personally.

“I just see it as a way of frustration and hurt and loss and anger that’s out there about what’s the ferocity of those natural disasters,” he told reporters in Bairnsdale in eastern Victoria state.

“And I understand that, and that we will seek to supply that comfort and support in whatever way we will ,” he said.
Mr Morrison had walked faraway from a Cobargo woman who urged him to supply more funding to the town and state firefighters.

“This isn’t fair. We’re totally forgotten about down here. Every single time this area features a flood or a fireplace , we get nothing,” another woman shouted as Morrison drove away.

Even a state politician from his own Liberal Party whose seat is within the region took a swipe at the prime minister.

“To be honest, the locals probably gave him the welcome he probably deserved,” said New South Wales transport minister Andrew Constance.

The prime minister, who won a surprise election victory last May, ended 2019 on a sour note with fires raging across five states while he took off on a family holiday to Hawaii. Facing criticism, he cut the vacation short and apologised for creating an error .

He is now considering cancelling a politician trip to India scheduled for January 13 to 16, thanks to the hearth emergency.

“I’m inclined to not proceed thereon visit,” Morrison said on Friday.

Australia’s coal and gas exports, blamed for adding to global global climate change and therefore the conditions stoking bushfires, were expected to be high on the agenda for talks in India. Mr Morrison’s government has long supported a controversial coalpit planned by the Adani Group in Australia.

In Sexual Harassment Cases Harvey Weinstein’s Trial Begin On January 6

Harvey Weinstein’s high-profile sex crimes trial opens on Monday, quite two years after the scandal triggered the #MeToo movement that led to the downfall of dozens of powerful men.
The disgraced movie mogul faces life in prison if convicted of predatory sexual abuse charges by a replacement York state court, in what’s expected to be a six-week trial.

Almost 90 women, including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, have accused the 67-year-old of sexual misconduct since The ny Times detailed allegations against him in October 2017.

But Weinstein, once one among Hollywood’s powerful people, is being tried on charges associated with just two women, highlighting the problem of building cases around incidents going back years.

Former production assistant Mimi Haleyi alleges that the “Pulp Fiction” producer forcibly performed head on her in his ny apartment in July 2006.

The second alleged victim is anonymous. She says Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax Films, raped her during a ny bedroom in March 2013.
The indictment was amended in August to incorporate testimony from “The Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra because the prosecution seeks to convince the jury that Weinstein engaged during a pattern of predatory sexual behavior.

A conviction would signal a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement within the fight against harassment and abuse of power in Hollywood and beyond.

Since the movement emerged from a deluge of allegations against Weinstein, most men felled from their positions, be it within the world of entertainment or business, have escaped prosecution.

The only other trial on the horizon is that of R&B singer R. Kelly, who was charged last year with several assaults on young women, but allegations of sexual impropriety have dogged him for years.

American comedian Bill Cosby was sentenced to a minimum of three years in prison in September 2018, although proceedings had started in late 2015, two years before the post-Weinstein surge of allegations.

“It’s a case which will be covered all (over) the planet ,” lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents Haleyi and Sciorra, told AFP.

Justice James Burke dismissed attempts by the defense to dam Sciorra, who says Weinstein raped her within the winter of 1993-94, from giving evidence as a corroborating witness.

The prosecution will summon three other alleged victims, including one who says she was raped by Weinstein in California in 2013. the opposite two allegations are unknown at this stage.

Weinstein himself is unlikely to testify.

His defense has been trying to undermine the allegations of the 2 accusers on the blotter since long before the beginning of the trial.

They have produced emails and text messages which they assert show that both remained in friendly contact with the accused for several months after the alleged events.

Known for his impatience and irascibility , Weinstein changed lawyers several times before deciding on Donna Rotunno, a Chicago attorney who has successfully defended dozens of men accused of sexual abuse and harassment.

She has said that her client are going to be exonerated.

Weinstein has always maintained that his sexual relationships were consensual but has apologized for behavior that he concedes “has caused tons of pain.”

He sparked an outcry just weeks before the trial by appearing indignant in an interview with the ny Post tabloid when he moaned that he should be recognized for “pioneering” women-led films.

“The jurors and therefore the judge are alleged to ignore this. But we all know alright that it’s impossible,” Joseph Cabosky, a strategic communications professor at the University of North Carolina, told AFP.