Taliban offer ceasefire in bid to restart talks with US

The Taliban will implement a 10-day ceasefire with US troops, a reduction in violence with Afghan forces and discussions with Afghan government officials if it reaches a deal with US negotiators in talks in Doha, two sources have said. If an agreement…

Russia says Iran shot down plane after US jets sent to its borders

Iran shot down a commercial plane, killing all 176 crew and passengers, because it was spooked by “six F-35 US fighter jets” near its borders, Russia’s top diplomat told The Independent on Friday.  “This information needs verification, but I’d like to emphasise the…

Antisemitic ‘Jew-pig’ sculpture on church at centre of legal battle

High on the wall of a German church where Martin Luther once preached, an ugly remnant of centuries of antisemitism is now at the centre of a court battle. The so-called “Judensau,” or “Jew pig,” sculpture on the Town Church in…

Walmart apologises for ‘poorly judged’ tweet about late Paul Walker

Walmart has deleted a tweet and apologised for a tweet about the late Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker which some found offensive. A shopper posted a tweet saying they were excited about a new product in stock at the…

China’s birth rate falls to lowest in communist era

China’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest since the founding of the communist People’s Republic 70 years ago. Last year there were 14.6 million births, a drop of 580,000 from the year before, according to a report from the National…

Iran doubles down on anti-US defiance: ‘Trump’s a clown’

Facing unprecedented international and domestic pressure following turbulent months that nearly brought the country to war with the world’s largest superpower, Iran is doubling down on its strategy of defiance, giving little ground to opponents at home or rivals abroad.…

Meet the British Orthodox Jew standing up for China’s Uighur Muslims

Standing by the side of the road, a lone protester pivots backwards and forwards to display his sign to every passing car. It reads “3 Million Muslims in Chinese Concentration Camps.” Andrew pitches up at the Chinese Embassy office in…

Two men jailed for helping Iran spy on dissidents in US

Two men have been sentenced to prison on charges in connection with working on behalf of the government of Iran to monitor a Jewish centre in Chicago and Americans who are members of an exiled Iranian opposition group. Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar,…

Belgian parliament nearly expels US nuclear weapons in close-run vote

American nuclear weapons were almost sent packing out of Belgium on Thursday after a debate in the country’s parliament put their future in doubt. Belgian MPs narrowly voted to let the weapons stay, but the decision could have gone the…

Hezbollah supporters say revenge for Soleimani has only just begun

Qassem Soleimani was often described as a “shadowy” figure; an elusive commander who criss-crossed the Middle East in secret on his mission to sustain a regional military alliance loyal to Iran.  But in the days after he was killed by a…