21 February 2017

Le Pen refuses headscarf, nixes talks with Lebanon cleric

An aide of Lebanon's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, right, holds a head scarf as he tries to convince French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, center, to wear it during her meeting with the Mufti but she refused, at Dar al-Fatwa the headquarters of the Sunni Mufti, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Le Pen refused to go into a meeting with Lebanon's Grand mufti after his aides asked her to wear a head scarf. Le Pen said she met in the past with the Grand mufti of Egypt's Al-Azhar, one of the world's top Sunni clerics, without wearing a veil. Once she was told it is different here, Le Pen walked toward her car and left.
France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen refused to don a headscarf for a meeting with Lebanon's top Sunni Muslim cleric on Tuesday and walked away from the scheduled appointment after a brief squabble at the entrance.
The debacle topped Le Pen's three-day visit to Lebanon, where she held her first campaign meeting with a head of state. It drew the focus to her strong support for secularism and a proposal in her presidential platform that promotes banishing headscarves and other obvious religious symbols in all public spaces.

Azerbaijan's leader names his wife as 1st vice president

In this Sunday, June 19, 2016 file photo, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva watch the last minutes of the Formula One Grand Prix of Europe at the Baku Circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan. Aliyev appointed his wife to the post of the ex-Soviet nation's first vice president on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, a new position created after last year's constitutional referendum.
Azerbaijan's president on Tuesday appointed his wife as the first vice president of the ex-Soviet nation — the person next in line in the nation's power hierarchy.
Ilham Aliyev, 55 named his wife Mehriban, 52, to the position created after a constitutional referendum in September. Mehriban, who married her husband when she was 19, graduated from a medical university. She has served previously as a lawmaker and headed a charity.

Malaysian diplomat says Kim death investigation impartial

Malaysian Ambassador to North Korea Mohamad Nizan Mohamad speaks to journalists as he arrives at the Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, from Pyongyang after being recalled by Malaysian government, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. Mohamad says at the airport while in transit to Malaysia the investigation into the death of the exiled half-brother of North Korea's ruler at Kuala Lumpur's international airport in Malaysia is being conducted in an impartial manner. Kim appeared to have been poisoned at Kuala Lumpur’s airport last week.
The investigation into the death of the exiled half-brother of North Korea's ruler is being conducted in an impartial manner, Malaysia's ambassador to Pyongyang said Tuesday, rejecting accusations from the North that the probe was politically tinged.
Mohamad Nizan Mohamad spoke in China's capital, Beijing, while in transit to Malaysia to where he had been recalled following the death last week in the Southeast Asian nation of Kim Jong Nam.