World: Barber shop owner 'sent COVID grant money to IS fighters'

Syria – Turkey begins new bombing campaign in northern Syria in response to the Istanbul attack

  Syria – Turkey begins new bombing campaign in northern Syria in response to the Istanbul attack At least eleven civilians have been killed and some 50 Kurdish militiamen and elements of pro-Syrian government forces have been killed or wounded in recent hours in at least 25 bombings unleashed by Turkey on the so-called Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria, the semi-autonomous entity under the control of the Kurdish militias of […]The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced late on Saturday the start of operation "Sword Claw" in northern Iraq and Syria against the Kurdish groups which Ankara blamed for last Sunday's explosion on Istiklal Avenue, which left at least six dead and 81 wounded.

A barber shop owner sent £25,000 to Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria after claiming thousands of pounds in COVID grants, a court has heard.

Tarek Namouz lived in the third-floor flat above his business, Boss Crew Barbers, in Olympia, west London © Other Tarek Namouz lived in the third-floor flat above his business, Boss Crew Barbers, in Olympia, west London

Tarek Namouz, 43, from west London, had received money from the government to assist his business, Boss Crew Barbers, during the coronavirus pandemic, and lived in a third-floor flat above the shop.

He is accused of sending money on at least seven separate dates between November 2020 and April 2021, which was intended to fund a militia in Syria, Kingston Crown Court heard.

Will America continue to turn away from vaccines?

  Will America continue to turn away from vaccines? Covid-19 vaccines helped stem the pandemic, but public skepticism about them could doom future vaccines.Yet, tens of millions of Americans in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century took a look at the greatest scientific achievement of the modern age and said, in effect, “Thanks but no thanks.” While 68 percent of Americans got both initial doses of the vaccine, fewer than 50 percent went on to be boosted once, according to the CDC; an even smaller share has received a second booster. The failure to convince enough of the public to take up a tool developed specifically to prevent severe disease and death has blunted its ability to do just that.

When police raided the barber's shop in Blythe Road, Olympia, prosecutors say they found cash and a hidden mobile phone containing messages to a contact in Syria, an IS bomb-making video and a video showing how to kill with a knife.

In the months leading up to his arrest, he is said to have transferred money using Trust Money Transfers on Edgware Road, sending it to Syria, where he had lived until he was aged 14.

John McGuinness KC, prosecuting, told the jury he would give cash to the bureau where it would be converted into Syrian pounds and sent overseas to a man called Yahya Ahmed Alia.

Officers identified seven transfers between November 2020 and April 2021, for a total of about £11,280.

"The prosecution say the seven sums set out were not the only money sent out, there was other money sent for which the prosecution does not have any records," Mr McGuinness said.

Jennifer Aniston’s New Balance Sneakers Are on Sale Now at Amazon

  Jennifer Aniston’s New Balance Sneakers Are on Sale Now at Amazon Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. The One With All the Sneakers! We love matching with our Friends — especially when that friend is none other than Jennifer Aniston. ‘Tis the season to binge-watch the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends and then recreate the actress’ […]The One With All the Sneakers! We love matching with our Friends — especially when that friend is none other than Jennifer Aniston. ‘Tis the season to binge-watch the Thanksgiving episodes of Friends and then recreate the actress’ outfits in real life.

During a bugged conversation in August 2021 with a friend who was visiting him in prison after his arrest, Namouz allegedly said police knew about some of the transfers but did not know he had transferred more and referred to sending £25,000 to the same man in Syria.

A hidden phone containing IS propaganda

When Namouz's barber shop was raided by police, on 25 May last year, a Samsung Galaxy 10 mobile phone was found underneath a bottom drawer, the court heard.

On the phone, officers found encrypted Whatsapp messages that showed Namouz and Alia were "both committed to the Islamic extremist culture of Islamic State and the reason he sent money to Ahmed was for terrorism, to further terrorism in Syria," Mr McGuinness said.

The messages included references to plots of land and using the money to buy a building or construct a building that would be used to sell food as well as for "terrorist purposes", Mr McGuinness said.

Cloud over Victoria’s long COVID clinics as federal funding dries up

  Cloud over Victoria’s long COVID clinics as federal funding dries up Long COVID patients will face worsening waits for support as one of Victoria’s limited number of hospital clinics prepares to close its doors after losing Commonwealth funding.The Victorian Health Department has estimated that more than one in 200 Victorians, or roughly 40,000 people, have suffered from severe long COVID this year, but GP and hospital services for those living with the debilitating chronic condition are not being adequately funded.

There was "talk of people occupying the building that the prosecution say were Islamic State fighters, and of storing weapons," he added.

The court heard the phone also had the encrypted Telegram app which had been used to receive IS propaganda and instructional material including a video showing how to make explosive substances, and another showing an IS fighter demonstrating assassination techniques using a knife.

WhatsApp about striking the necks of non-believers

Namouz does not dispute he made the transfers but initially claimed he had sent money out to help those who were "poor and needy" in Syria, the jury was told.

On the hidden phone, police discovered a series of WhatsApp messages between Namouz and his Syrian contact in which he spoke of striking at the necks of non-believers and causing chaos, the court heard.

On 15 May he received a message from Alia saying they had three Kalashnikov assault rifles and another gun, adding: "We're in an excellent situation now."

In a message on 21 May, Namouz said: "Just stay calm and be patient, we will take control of all people by force and by the ruling of the shariah law and whoever is not happy can get lost."

Alia responded: "Whoever is not happy - a bullet in their head."

"Striking the necks," Namouz said. "Slaughtering with the knife. I swear to Allah, we will cause chaos."

The trial continues.

The latest COVID-19 news and case numbers from around the states and territories .
Here's a quick wrap of the COVID-19 news and case numbers from each Australian jurisdiction from the past week.The states and territories are now reporting their COVID-19 statistics weekly instead of through the daily updates that were provided from the early days of the pandemic.

See also