Iran jails Iranian-American, wife: The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI) announced Tehran has jailed an Iranian-American Karan Vafadari and his wife Afarin Niasari.
Vafadari, who holds dual American citizenship, owns and operates an art gallery in Tehran and has been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison since July.
Although neither has been charged with a crime, ICHRI states the couple were arrested following a function in which alcohol was discovered by Iranian security forces.
Iran has not commented on the couple’s detainment.
Denmark withdraws aircraft from Middle East: On Friday, the Danish government announced it will remove its contingent of fighter aircraft from both Iraq and Syria.
Sent to the region in June as part of a coalition targeting ISIS, Copenhagen committed seven aircraft with the understanding the stay would not exceed six months.
Danish military operations were largely limited, with most air sorties concentrated in northern Iraq.
In place of the fighter aircraft, Danish military officials pledged an additional 20 troops to assist Iraqi forces in training programs.
Hollande will not seek reelection: During a nationally-televised address, Francois Hollande announced he would not seek a second term as president of France.
Dogged by low approval ratings, a failure to stem high unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, mass immigration, and a string of terror attacks perpetrated by ISIS, Hollande conceded he would be unable to galvanize the needed support to earn a second term.
An October poll revealed 70 percent of French citizens say they are unsatisfied with Hollande’s leadership.
Moscow, Syrian opposition in secret talks: After months of punishing fighting and a row of broken ceasefires, representatives of the Syrian opposition forces battling to oust Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad have met with Russian officials in Ankara, Turkey, to negotiate a permanent halt in fighting in Aleppo.
No breakthrough has been reported yet and the United States is not among the negotiating partners.
The talks come as Syrian ground troops have liberated quarters of Aleppo previously held by opposition forces.
Slovak National Council passes new religious law: By a two-thirds majority, the Slovakian National Council adopted a measure which will raise the requirements for Islam to qualify as a national religion.
Previously 20,000 members, the bill passed raised the benchmark to 50,000 members to qualify for recognition, state assistance and the right to operate religious schools.
Although numbers vary among government and Islamic groups, estimates place Muslims in Solvakia between 2,000 and 5,000.
[Reuters] [RT News]