Watch: Hero crewman jumps off ship's deck, saves whale trapped in fishing net

A sailor has been hailed a hero for leaping off the deck of a cargo ship to free a whale trapped in a fishing net.

In video posted on YouTube, the crew of the Bahamas-registered Cheikh El Mokrani can be heard urging their crew mate to jump as he hesitates at the ship's railing.

He then leaps 12 metres into the ocean, resurfaces and swims over to the giant whale which is clearly struggling in the net at the surface.

Another man joins him and they both push the whale free, to cheers and clapping from the crewmen watching the rescue effort from the ship.

The video has been watched nearly 250,000 times on YouTube where one viewer wrote "I salute you" and another commented, "Fantastic humanitarian act of kindness, I applaud them."

Another posted: "Bravo to that dude for being totally fearless and saving a whale."

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Watch: Defendant lunges for US officer’s gun in bizarre courtroom altercation

Officials with the Lincoln County Sheriff's office say a man tried to grab a police officer's gun in a Newport courtroom this week and that a year-old federal appeals decision contributed to the near-disaster.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a judge had denied a request by deputies to restrain 27-year-old Scott Lemmon in court Wednesday.

In a scuffle caught on courtroom video, a man identified by authorities as Lemmon stands up and lunges for a gun worn by a Newport police officer sitting at the counsel table nearby.

The officer turned away and a courthouse deputy tackled Lemmon to the floor.

Authorities say this is the first case of a Lincoln County defendant grabbing for a gun since the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2017 to allow judges to decide if defendants are restrained when escorted into the courtroom.

Scott Lemmon tried to grab the firearm before being restrained by nearby officials. Source: Associated Press


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Four people arrested in Indonesia after attempting to sell babies on Instagram

Indonesian police say they have broken up a child-trafficking operation that was allegedly buying and selling babies on Instagram.

Four people have been arrested including a 22-year-old mother and a 29-year-old suspected broker in Indonesia’s second largest city of Surabaya.

A midwife and a suspected buyer have also been arrested in Bali, police said in a press conference.

Authorities were alerted to an account on Instagram with the handle "Konsultasi Hati Privat" or Private Heart Consultation. It presented itself as offering adoption services and pregnancy consultations.

But, according to CNN police found evidence that monetary transactions were being carried out.

AKPB Sudamiran, head of criminal investigation unit in Surabaya’s police force, said that his team stopped an attempt by a 22-year-old mother to sell her 11-month-old baby to a buyer in Bali using messaging service Whatsapp.

The baby was allegedly being offered for just over NZ$1500.

The account had more than 700 followers and had been running for a year, but has since been taken down.

The head of Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection, Sustano, said social media has changed the way traffickers conduct business.

"In the old days, the transaction happened in person and it was usually arranged through a middleman," he said.

"But now, they are using new and more advance methods, through social media like Instagram and Facebook. The cyber world has become a tool for promotion and transaction."

Sustano says traffickers are drawn to social media because, "it is considered more effective, the deal happens directly between seller and buyer, and it is not easy to be detected by law enforcement."

Indonesia is a major transit, source and destination country for human trafficking.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates that 100,000 children are trafficked each year in Indonesia, with the majority being forced into the sex trade.

All four of those arrested face up to 15 years in prison for violating child protection laws.

Berlin, Germany - 05 21 2016:  Apple iPhone 6s screen with social media applications Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp etc.
Instagram (file picture). Source: istock.com

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Trump vows to uncover truth around missing journalist as report emerges Turkish government has proof of murder

President Donald Trump declared this morning the US will uncover the truth about what happened to journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi, whose possible murder at Saudi hands after disappearing in Istanbul has captured worldwide attention.

Trump promised to personally call Saudi Arabia's King Salman soon about "the terrible situation in Turkey."

"We're going to find out what happened," Trump pledged when questioned by reporters in Cincinnati where he was headlining a political rally.

Khashoggi, a forceful critic of the Saudi government, went missing more than a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and Turkish officials have said they believe he was murdered there.

It comes as Turkey's government has told US officials it has audio and video proof that missing Saudi Arabian writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Washington Post reported overnight.

The newspaper, for which Khashoggi is a columnist, cited anonymous officials as saying the recordings show a Saudi security team detained the writer when he went to the consulate on October 2 to pick up a document for his upcoming wedding.

The Associated Press was not immediately able to confirm the report and Turkish officials would not comment.

Meanwhile, a delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey this morning as part of an investigation into the writer's disappearance, a Foreign Ministry official said.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegation it abducted or harmed Khashoggi "baseless." However, it has offered no evidence to support its claim he left the consulate and vanished, despite his fiancee waiting outside.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said the delegation would hold talks with Turkish officials over the weekend. It did not provide further details.

On Friday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey and Saudi Arabia would form a "joint working group" to look into Khashoggi's disappearance.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Saudi Arabia welcomed Turkey's approval of the joint working group. The Saudi statement said the kingdom is keen "to sustain the security and safety of its citizenry, wherever they might happen to be."

Amid growing concern over Khashoggi's fate, French President Emmanuel Macron said country wanted to know "the whole truth" about the writer's disappearance, calling the early details about the case "very worrying."

Macron said "I'm waiting for the truth and complete clarity to be made" since the matter is "very serious." He spoke Friday in Yerevan, Armenia, to French broadcasters RFI and France 24.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Berlin was also "very concerned" about the writer's disappearance and called on Saudi Arabia to "participate fully" in clearing up reports that he may have been killed.

Turkish officials have released footage of a squad of Saudi men arriving in Istanbul the day Jamal Khashoggi vanished. Source: BBC


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UN Human Rights Council criticised after electing controversial nations - 'It's a tremendous setback'

Human rights groups and the United States said UN Human Rights Council elections Friday gave abusive countries a seat at a table where they should be called out, as nations including the Philippines and Eritrea won an uncontested election.

Eighteen countries, ranging from India to the Bahamas to Denmark, were chosen in a UN General Assembly vote.

With no competition, each candidate got well over the 97 needed votes, including the Philippines, widely condemned internationally for a deadly drug crackdown, and Eritrea, which has faced criticism from a commission set up by the council itself.

"Elevating states with records of gross human rights violations and abuses is a tremendous setback," said Amnesty International USA's advocacy director, Daniel Balson. "It puts them on the world stage, and moreover, it empowers them to fundamentally undermine notions of human rights that are accepted internationally."

US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the "lack of standards continues to undermine the organization and demonstrates again why the United States was right to withdraw from it" in June.

The UN missions for Eritrea and the Philippines didn't immediately respond to inquiries about the vote and the criticism. Eritrea's mission tweeted that the Horn of Africa nation "will work for enhanced dialogue and (an) effective" Human Rights Council.

UN officials, meanwhile, declined to opine on the vote results but suggested all council members should be open to scrutiny of their own handling of human rights.

"It's clear that the world expects the members of international bodies to abide by a certain set of standards of behavior consistent with the bodies they have been elected to," said Monica Grayley, a spokeswoman for General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces.

The 47-member Human Rights Council can spotlight abuses and has special monitors watching certain countries and issues. It also periodically reviews human rights in every UN member country.

Created in 2006 to replace a commission discredited because of some members' sorry rights records, the new council soon came to face similar criticism. The US left partly because it saw the group as a forum for hypocrisy about human rights, though also because Washington says the council is anti-Israel.

The Philippines will join at a time when President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs has left more than 4,800 mostly poor suspects dead in clashes with police, by the government's account; rights groups say the toll is much higher. Over 155,000 other people have been arrested in the two-year-old campaign, which has alarmed Western governments, UN groups and rights organizations.

Duterte has denied condoning unlawful police killings in the drug war, though he has repeatedly threatened death to drug dealers.

Eritrea hasn't held a presidential election since independence in 1993, and rights groups have long accused the country of having a harsh system of military conscription that has spurred many citizens to flee. A UN commission of inquiry in recent years found widespread human rights abuses, including forced labor. The government said the allegations were unfounded and one-sided.

Eritrea recently reached a peace agreement with neighboring Ethiopia after decades of war and unease, but it remains to be seen whether the conscription system will change.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other rights groups also raised red flags about some other countries elected to the council Friday, including Bahrain and Cameroon.

Bahrain has been cracking down on dissent. In Cameroon, rights activists say civilians have been subjected to abuses amid fighting between English-speaking separatists and government security forces, and it is thought that thousands of people who fled the violence were unable to vote in Sunday's presidential election.

Bahrain's and Cameroon's U.N. missions didn't immediately respond to inquiries Friday.

The new members of the Geneva-based council also include Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Italy, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay.

Flags of the 193 member countries of the United Nations flying from a row of flag poles at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
Flags of the 193 member countries of the United Nations flying from a row of flag poles at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland Source: istock.com


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