Local Islamic center’s board president denounces Egypt terrorist attack

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 12:55 PM


            Muslim worshipers stand outside the al-Rawdah mosque after it came under attack by militants in Bir al-Abd, 40 km from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish, Egypt, on Nov. 24, 2017. At least 235 people died in a bombing and subsequent shooting at the mosque. (DPA via Zuma Press/TNS)
Muslim worshipers stand outside the al-Rawdah mosque after it came under attack by militants in Bir al-Abd, 40 km from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish, Egypt, on Nov. 24, 2017. At least 235 people died in a bombing and subsequent shooting at the mosque. (DPA via Zuma Press/TNS)

At least 235 people were killed when gunmen opened fire and bombed a mosque in Egypt’s volatile Sinai Peninsula on Friday. Government officials said 109 more had been injured in the attack — among the deadliest in Egypt’s history.

Images from inside the building showed dozens of bodies wrapped in blood-soaked cloth lined up on the carpeted floor.

Police sources told the Associated Press that men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers in the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Al Rawdah.

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Shakila Ahmad, president of the board of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati in West Chester Twp., condemned those who carried it out the attack when she was reached for comment this morning by this media outlet.

“… it’s important for people to know that these heinous individuals who commit these atrocities are proving themselves to be …. not Muslim, not adhering to Islamic principles, and not adhering to any sense of humanity,” she said. “Whoever is any part of such … is an evil plague upon all of us and should never ever be associated with Islam or Muslims.”

Ahmad said she was not immediately aware of anyone directly affected by the tragedy.

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Two eyewitnesses and a security source told Reuters that the suspected militants targeted supporters of the security forces attending prayers. Citing official sources, the state-run MENA news agency reported that the mosque is largely attended by Sufi Muslims — a form of Islam considered heretical by some conservatives and extremists like the Islamic State group.

Around 50 ambulances were transferring victims to hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health. A statement issued by Egypt’s General Prosecutor Nabil Sadiq put the death toll at 235, with at least 109 others wounded.

A Health Ministry official told Al Jazeera TV that “there were many people inside the mosque — it’s only a small mosque.”

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Gunmen shot worshippers fleeing the initial attack, he added.

There has been a wave of attacks on the country’s Coptic Christian minority, but strikes on mosques are rare and Friday’s onslaught shocked many throughout Egypt.

While Egypt’s security forces have been battling Islamist militants in northern Sinai for years, violence picked up after the 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi. A new group called Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for a bloody October attack on Egyptian police.

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The conflict has killed hundreds of soldiers and militants over the years, although journalists are banned from the area and exact numbers are unclear.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi declared three days of mourning and called a meeting of security officials after the attack.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, “Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!”

The Associated Press contributed to this report with Charlene Gubash reporting from Cairo and F. Brinley Bruton reporting from London.

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Burger King sorry for Russian ad offering free Whoppers to women impregnated by World Cup players

Published: Thursday, June 21, 2018 @ 2:41 PM

FILE- This Feb. 1, 2018, file photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in the United States. Burger King says it's sorry for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant from World Cup players. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Gene J. Puskar/AP
FILE- This Feb. 1, 2018, file photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in the United States. Burger King says it's sorry for offering a lifetime supply of Whoppers to Russian women who get pregnant from World Cup players. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)(Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Several corporations have launched campaigns for the World Cup, but Burger King is being criticized for one many have called offensive and sexist.

On Tuesday, the Russian division of the fast-food chain announced a new promotion online that offered women $47,000 and a lifetime supply of Whoppers if they got impregnated by athletes competing in the series. 

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“It is a reward for the girls who would get pregnant from the international football superstars,” read the campaign, which was posted on the Russian social media platform Vkontakte

Soon after it was uploaded, the company received backlash on Twitter.

Burger King later removed the advertisement, but it was still being posted by Russian social network users.

“We are sorry about the clearly offensive promotion that the team in Russia launched online,” Burger King said in a statement to The Associated Press, adding that the offer “does not reflect our brand or our values and we are taking steps to ensure this type of activity does not happen again.”

This isn’t the first time the Russian division of the company has been condemned. Last year, it depicted a 17-year-old rape victim in a “buy one burger get one free” ad. It was also taken down. 

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WATCH: Baby elephants get exercise by playing soccer

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 11:35 AM

Baby elephants play soccer

Two young elephants had fun with a soccer ball at an elephant rescue center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as video obtained from Reuters shows.

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The two elephants, a male named Dok Geaw, and a female named Thong Ae, are both two years old. They were orphaned when they were young, according to Saengduean Lek Chailert, founder of the Save Elephant Foundation. 

Both elephants live in the sanctuary about 60 kilometers from Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, where it currently houses 35 elephants rescued from Thailand's tourism and logging industries since the 1990s, according to their website. 

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There are about 3,700 wild elephants and up to 4,000 domesticated elephants in Thailand, according to British conservation organisation EleAid.

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Birdie traffic selfie: Cockatoo inspects traffic camera, wins the web

Published: Friday, June 01, 2018 @ 8:46 AM

VIDEO: Bird Inspects Highway Cam, Goes Viral

A cockatoo is winning the animal internet contest Friday, if there really was such a thing.

Traffic on a road in Cairns, Australia was going smoothly so there was nothing to see, except for the curious cockatoo that was checking out a traffic camera, 9 News reported.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads posted the video to Facebook where it is closing in on a million views within nine hours of being uploaded. 

It may not have been the camera itself that piqued the interest of the cockatoo. 

A bird expert said that it could have actually been looking at itself.

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“If it’s seeing its reflection it may be communicating in some way. They are very social creatures, and they recognize individuals. A lot of them have friendship groups like we do,” Dr. Adrian Gallagher told ABC.net.

And the bird knows where to look for his reflection. Officials told ABC that this specific bird has visited the camera before. 

“Our traffic management operators sometimes have to give the camera a jiggle to make him fly away when he chews on the camera and cables,” a spokesperson told ABC.

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Parking fail: Valet drives Porsche under SUV

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2018 @ 7:47 AM

Valet Crashes Porsche In Front of Hotel

No normal bad day of work will compare to a valet’s bad day in Sydney, Australia.

Imagine being in charge of parking a Porsche Carrera and ending up with this:

The Porsche is the crushed car, wedged under the orange SUV. 

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An eyewitness described what happened, CNN reported

“I saw the valet hit the car in from of a parked position,” Jonathan Bouzaid said. “He must have panicked and hit the accelerator causing the Porsche to go further under the orange car and pushing the white car in to the bollards.”

Bouzaid surmised that the valet didn’t realize how powerful a Porsche can be.

CNN reported that the car can go from 0 to 62 in less than five seconds.

The valet had to be cut from the soft-top luxury sports car, Time reported.

He was physically OK, but the Hyatt hotel’s sales and marketing director said the driver was embarrassed and in shock.

The Porsche had damage to the hood and front bumper and was towed from the scene, Time reported.

Some witnesses said they thought the crash was part of a stunt, 9 News in Australia reported.

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