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From ISIS trial to Iranian Instagram stars: non-coronavirus news you may have missed

German prosecutors say woman known as Omaima kept 13-year-old Yazidi girl as slave

Omaima A, the widow of high-ranking Islamic State member Denis Cuspert, arrives for the first day of her trial. Getty
Omaima A, the widow of high-ranking Islamic State member Denis Cuspert, arrives for the first day of her trial. Getty

German woman claimed to have kept Yazidi child as slave is on trial for ISIS membership

Omaima A on the first day of her trial in Hamburg, Germany. Getty iImages
Omaima A on the first day of her trial in Hamburg, Germany. Getty iImages

A woman who married an infamous German rapper turned ISIS fighter and who allegedly kept a Yazidi child slave in Syria went on trial in German on Monday.

Known only as Omaima M, 35, the German-Tunisian woman is accused of membership of a foreign terror group, human trafficking and crimes against humanity.

Prosecutors say Omaima held a Yazidi girl, 13, as a slave between spring and summer of 2015, raised her children under ISIS rules and received financial support from the organisation.

Iran sentences exiled Instagram couple to 16 years

An Iranian couple in Tehran. West Asia News Agency via Reuters, file 
An Iranian couple in Tehran. West Asia News Agency via Reuters, file 

Iran has sentenced an exiled husband and wife to a total of 16 years in jail over their popular Instagram accounts, where they have 1.5 million followers between them.

The couple announced late last month that a court in Iran had issued the sentence that also included 74 lashes for "propaganda against the regime", Radio Farda reported.

Ahmad Moin-Shirazi and Shabnam Shahrokhi say they left Iran last September after being summoned to the Intelligence Ministry several times, where they were accused of espionage and other crimes.

The pair say they were told not to post political views or photos in which Ms Shahrokhi appeared without a hijab.

Israeli court hears challenge to Netanyahu's proposed coalition government

Israel's Supreme Court has tackled the question of whether a political deal to form a coalition government after three inconclusive elections in less than a year is legal.

A ruling against the pact could leave Israelis facing a fourth poll.

Under the proposed three-year agreement between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and election rival Benny Gantz, each man would lead the government for 18 months.

But eight petitions have been sent to the court, urging it to declare the deal illegal.

Iranian military satellite launchers can be retooled to handle ballistic missiles, think tank warns

The head of the US Space Command said the Pentagon believes that Iran's first successful launch of a military satellite into space does not pose any intelligence threat. AFP
The head of the US Space Command said the Pentagon believes that Iran's first successful launch of a military satellite into space does not pose any intelligence threat. AFP

Iran’s satellite launchers could be “easily modified” into ballistic missiles after the first successful mission of a military orbiter, an international think tank has warned.

The chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has also claimed that the first launch of a military satellite takes the country’s spying capabilities to the "next level".

The IRGC is trying use the successful launch to boost its influence during Iran’s internal power struggle after the government suffered criticism for its handling of the coronavirus crisis.

A reconfigured Satellite Launch Vehicle, using solid-fuel motors of a Sejil medium range missile, could send a rocket armed with a 1,000-kilogram payload 2,500 kilometres, a report by the International Institute of Strategic Studies says.

That would bring much of Central Europe within range, as well as large parts of China and all of India.

Updated: May 5, 2020 03:19 AM

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