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Hunger striker put back in coma as court lifts detention

Ruling says Mohammed Allaan to remain in hospital; doctors report deterioration in condition, but say he’s stable

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

  • Maazouze, the mother of Mohammed Allaan, a Palestinian prisoner who was on a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on August 9, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
    Maazouze, the mother of Mohammed Allaan, a Palestinian prisoner who was on a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on August 9, 2015. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
  • This 2004 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 km (about 19 miles) southeast of Tehran. (photo credit: AP Photo/DigitalGlobe - Institute for Science and International Security)
    This 2004 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 km (about 19 miles) southeast of Tehran. (photo credit: AP Photo/DigitalGlobe - Institute for Science and International Security)
  • File: Congressman Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives (screen capture: C-SPAN)
    File: Congressman Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee, speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives (screen capture: C-SPAN)
  • Matisyahu performs onstage at Park City Live Day 1 on January 16, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Park City Live/AP Images)
    Matisyahu performs onstage at Park City Live Day 1 on January 16, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Park City Live/AP Images)
  • In this undated photo released Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars, Khaled al-Asaad, speaks in Syria. Islamic State militants beheaded al-Asaad in the ancient town of Palmyra, Syria, then strapped his body to one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and Iraq. (SANA via AP)
    In this undated photo released Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars, Khaled al-Asaad, speaks in Syria. Islamic State militants beheaded al-Asaad in the ancient town of Palmyra, Syria, then strapped his body to one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and Iraq. (SANA via AP)
  • Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee fields questions at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, on July 18, 2015. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP)
    Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee fields questions at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, on July 18, 2015. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Wednesday’s developments as they unfolded.

Erdan nixes release of hunger striker

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan says Israel won’t free Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed Allaan, who has been fasting for two months in protest of his detention.

“I forcefully oppose all the proposals for freeing the terrorist,” Erdan says of Allaan, who Israel maintains is a member of the Islamic Jihad terror group. His release would be “a prize for his hunger strike, and will likely cause mass hunger strikes.”

Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan seen during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday, July 31, 2015. Erdan visited the area amid tensions following the murder of a Palestinian baby in an arson attack at the village of Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan seen during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, July 31, 2015. Erdan visited the area amid tensions following the murder of a Palestinian baby in an arson attack at the village of Duma village near the West Bank city of Nablus. (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Thai police release sketch of bomber, offer reward

Police in Thailand release a sketch of the man they believe carried out this week’s deadly Bangkok bombing, and offer a 1 million baht ($28,000) reward for help leading to his arrest. But apart from a rough portrait, authorities have few solid leads — they don’t know the bomber’s motive, where he’s from or if he’s still in the country.

The sketch was released after grainy security video footage showed the man leaving behind a backpack just 15 minutes before the blast at a popular downtown shrine. Police said the picture was also partly based on a description provided by a motorcycle taxi driver believed to have given him a ride on the night of the Monday blast.

Two days after the attack, which authorities have called the worst in Thai history, the open-air Erawan Shrine reopened to the public. But little is known about who carried out the blast that left 20 people dead and more than 120 injured, and no one has claimed responsibility.

AP

This image released by the Royal Thai Police on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, shows a detailed sketch of the main suspect in a bombing that killed a number of people at the Erawan shrine in downtown Bangkok, on Monday.  (Royal Thai Police via AP)

This image released by the Royal Thai Police on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, shows a detailed sketch of the main suspect in a bombing that killed a number of people at the Erawan shrine in downtown Bangkok, on Monday. (Royal Thai Police via AP)

Russia, Iran said to agree on S-300 delivery

Russia reaches an agreement with Iran on the delivery of the S-300 missile system to the Islamic Republic, Russia Today reports.

“As things stand now, this topic is closed. We have reached full understanding on the matter together with our Iranian partners. The question has been fundamentally solved. The rest is just technical details,” says Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

According to the report, the air defense missile system, which Israel fears will protect Iran from a military strike on its nuclear facilities, will be delivered at the end of the year.

Bogdanov would not specify how many would be sent to Iran, saying only: “There will be as many as mentioned in the contract.”

A Russian air defense missile system Antey 2500, or S-300 VM, is on display at the opening of the MAKS Air Show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, August 27, 2013. (AP/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

A Russian air defense missile system Antey 2500, or S-300 VM, is on display at the opening of the MAKS Air Show in Zhukovsky outside Moscow, August 27, 2013. (AP/Ivan Sekretarev, File)

Birthright sets record for summer participants

Birthright, the free 10-day trip to Israel, has brought a record 30,000 young Jewish people on its trips this summer.

The number of summer participants, coming one year after Israel endured a 50-day war last summer, is Birthright’s highest in its 15 years of existence. The participants came from 32 countries on six continents, and were joined by 5,000 Israeli soldiers and students, according to a Wednesday press release.

Birthright brings Jews aged 18 to 26 on a free trip that takes them to a range of historical, religious and outdoor sites across Israel. Overall, half a million people have gone on Birthright’s trips.

JTA

Illustrative photo of Birthright participants visiting Masada, summer 2012. (photo credit: Taglit-Birthright/JTA)

Illustrative photo of Birthright participants visiting Masada, summer 2012. (photo credit: Taglit-Birthright/JTA)

Iran MPs pick nuclear deal review panel

Iran’s parliament announces the final composition of a 15-member panel largely composed of conservative lawmakers to review the country’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The nuclear deal review panel, comprising 13 conservatives and two reformists, will analyze the text of the agreement.

Iran’s parliament may then vote on approving or rejecting the accord, likely in October after a similar review by US lawmakers in Washington.

A strong majority of MPs in Tehran — 201 of 290 — requested such a measure.

But formal oversight of the accord rests with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), a powerful committee headed by President Hassan Rouhani and of which Zarif is also a member.

The SNSC reports to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who on Monday said the fate of the nuclear deal “is not clear as no one knows if it will be approved here or in America.”

AFP

Iranian MPs listen to the speech of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the parliament in Tehran on July 21, 2015 to defend last week's Vienna accord.(AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI)

Iranian MPs listen to the speech of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the parliament in Tehran on July 21, 2015 to defend last week’s Vienna accord.(AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI)

Portugal skeletons may be Jewish victims of Inquisition

Portuguese researchers suspect that a dozen skeletons found in an ancient garbage dump were Jewish victims of the Inquisition more than 400 years ago.

The excavation team find the remains at what was called the Jail Cleaning Yard of the Inquisition Court in Evora, 135 kilometers (84 miles) east of the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. The dump was in use roughly between 1568 and 1634.

The three male and nine female bodies “were discarded into the dump like household garbage,” with no funeral structures nor grave goods, and the skeletons were lying skewed on the ground, the researchers say in the September edition of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The Portuguese Inquisition was established in 1536. Its most common accusation was maintaining outlawed Jewish practices in secret. Hundreds of Jews were burned at the stake, and living conditions in Inquisition jails often caused prisoners’ deaths. A proper burial was denied to Jews.

The researchers say it is impossible to know for certain if the skeletons were Jews.

The excavations were carried out in 2007 and 2008 during the renovation of the former Inquisition court building. Only 12 percent of the yard was excavated, researchers from the Portuguese universities of Evora and Coimbra said.

AP

Turkey ‘swiftly’ heading to early elections — Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey was “swiftly” heading towards early elections, after efforts to form a coalition government failed.

“We are once again swiftly heading towards an election,” Erdogan says in a televised speech in Ankara, adding that the only solution in the current political impasse was turning to the “will of nation.”

AFP

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to journalists during a press conference at the presidential palace in Jakarta, July 31, 2015. (AFP/ADEK BERRY)

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to journalists during a press conference at the presidential palace in Jakarta, July 31, 2015. (AFP/ADEK BERRY)

Egypt invites expert behind new theory on Nefertiti’s tomb

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry says it’s inviting an Egyptologist behind a theory that the tomb of Queen Nefertiti may be located behind King Tutankhamun’s 3,300-year-old tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings.

Wednesday’s statement says British-educated expert Nicholas Reeves has been invited to Cairo in September to debate his theory with Egyptian colleagues.

It says there could also be a joint expedition to Luxor, where the 18th Dynasty King Tut’s tomb is located.

Reeves argues that Tut, who died suddenly at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of Nefertiti’s original tomb. He says high resolution images show Tut’s tomb might have two unexplored doorways.

Some archeologists believe the mummy of Nefertiti, fabled for her beauty, has already been found in a different tomb.

AP

The 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, discovered in Egypt in 1912 (YouTube screen capture)

The 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti, discovered in Egypt in 1912 (YouTube screen capture)

9 Palestinian refugees drown en route to Turkey

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency says a boat carrying about 40 Palestinians from a refugee camp in Syria capsized en route to Turkey and at least nine migrants drowned.

Wednesday’s report says the vessel left the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli on Monday and capsized after entering Turkish territorial waters. It says those on board were Palestinians from the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.

NNA says women and children were among the dead. It says survivors were taken to hospitals in Turkey.

The UN says about 264,500 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, trying to reach Europe. That compares to 219,000 for all of 2014, according to the International Organization for Migration.

IOM estimates almost 2,350 people have died this year on those sea journeys.

AP

PM a ‘Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains’ — Huckabee

After meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee says the Israeli leader is “a Churchill in a world full of Chamberlains.”

Shots fired near Istanbul palace; no injuries

A Turkish news agency says assailants have fired shots at the police who guard Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace, an Ottoman-era palace that is a major tourist attraction.

The Dogan news agency says no one was hurt in the attack and the two assailants were quickly caught. It did not cite its source for the information. Dogan video footage on Wednesday showed that a road leading to palace had been sealed off by police.

Police in Istanbul have no immediate comment on the report.

AP

Spanish fest apologizes, reinvites Matisyahu to perform

A Spanish music festival that disinvited Jewish American reggae singer Matisyahu over his refusal to endorse a Palestinian state, apologizes and extends another invitation to the singer to perform, Spanish media report.

The Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival says it rejects any form of discrimination and anti-Semitism, and says it’s sorry for canceling Matisyahu’s August 22 show.

Matisyahu performs onstage at Park City Live Day 1 on January 16, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Park City Live/AP Images)

Matisyahu performs onstage at Park City Live Day 1 on January 16, 2014 in Park City, Utah. (Barry Brecheisen/Invision for Park City Live/AP Images)

Israel willing to free hunger striker if he is brain damaged

Israel is willing to free Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed Allaan if he suffered irreversible brain damage, the state prosecutor says in a High Court hearing.

“If the examination shows that this is a [case of] irreversible, permanent cognitive damage, the state will announce that his administrative detention will be canceled,” the attorney says.

Syrian antiquities scholar had refused to lead IS to artifacts

The Syrian antiquities scholar in the ancient town of Palmyra who was beheaded by the Islamic State Tuesday had refused to lead his captors to hidden artifacts, the Guardian reports.

Khaled al-Asaad, 81, reportedly refused to divulge to the jihadists where artifacts removed by Syrian officials before the city was overrun by the Islamic State had been stored.

In this undated photo released Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars, Khaled al-Asaad, speaks in Syria. Islamic State militants beheaded al-Asaad in the ancient town of Palmyra, Syria, then strapped his body to one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and Iraq. (SANA via AP)

In this undated photo released Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, one of Syria’s most prominent antiquities scholars, Khaled al-Asaad, speaks in Syria. Islamic State militants beheaded al-Asaad in the ancient town of Palmyra, Syria, then strapped his body to one of the town’s Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday. The killing of 81-year-old al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and Iraq. (SANA via AP)

Ukraine minister to head to Iran

Ukraine’s economy minister says he will follow his European colleagues to Iran seeking business opportunities from the anticipated easing of sanctions on the isolated Islamic Republic.

Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius says his three-day trip starting September 14 will include a “large group of industrial leaders” as well the war-torn state’s agriculture minister.

Abromavicius tells a Ukrainian cabinet meeting that the former Soviet nation wanted to “improve relations with (Iran) after what we hope will be the lifting of sanctions by the US Congress.”

A range of European countries — including economic powerhouse Germany — have already either sent business delegations to Tehran or lifted some of their unilateral trade restrictions on Iran.

Kiev’s state statistics service says trade between the two countries only reached $756 million last year. Ukrainian exports accounted for more than 90 percent of that amount.

AFP

Full statement from Rototom Sunsplash festival

Below is the full statement from the Rototom Sunsplash festival on Matisyahu, which blames its decision on pressure by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement:

“1. Rototom Sunsplash rejects anti-Semitism and any form of discrimination towards the Jewish community; we respect both their culture as religious beliefs and we sincerely apologize for what has occurred, thereby rectifying point 4* in the previous release regarding this controversy.

“2. Rototom Sunsplash would like to publicly apologize to Matisyahu for having cancelled his concert and invite him to perform at the festival next Saturday 22 August, as was initially programmed in the lineup.

3. Rototom Sunplash admits that it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià because it was perceived that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened. All of which prevented the organization from reasoning clearly as to how to deal with the situation properly.

“4. After 22 years of history, Rototom Sunsplash reaffirms its commitment to a Culture of Peace and respect between cultures, including the freedom of belief as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Spanish Constitution.

* “Rototom Sunsplash, after having repeatedly sought dialogue given the unavailability of the artist for comment, in order to clearly declare himself regarding the war and in particular the right of the Palestinian people to have their own State, has decided to cancel the performance of Matisyahu scheduled for August 22”

WJC welcomes Rototom Sunsplash apology

The World Jewish Congress and Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain welcome the Rototom Sunsplash apology.

“This is a very significant and welcome decision, and we thank the organizers for realizing their mistake and for taking the necessary steps to remedy it. However, lessons must be learned from this affair,” say WJC President Ronald S. Lauder and FCJE President Isaac Querub Caro in a joint statement.

Lauder says the whole affair leaves “a sour taste” in his mouth, and slams the “rotten” and “vicious” BDS movement.

“The organizers have done the honorable thing and apologized. However, this affair leaves us with a sour taste in our mouths. It was yet another example of how anti-Jewish attitudes, dressed up as vicious and unfair criticism of Israel, are still widespread, and are especially prevalent in a number of far-left global political parties,” Lauder says.

“This affair also showed that the BDS movement is rotten at its core: Although pretending to fight racism, it is fuelled by anti-Semitism. It’s time people realize that and stop listening to this vicious form of propaganda.”

Justice minister, A-G vow to fight polygamy

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein say they will hold a meeting on polygamy, in a bid to crack down on the practice in Israel.

Shaked encourages “criminal enforcement as the first stage of the campaign” to end polygamy, according to the Walla news website.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the annual Bar Association Conference in Eilat, May 18, 2015. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked speaks at the annual Bar Association Conference in Eilat, May 18, 2015. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

UNRWA schools to open despite cash crisis

The United Nations says the academic year for Palestinian refugee children will start as scheduled despite a funding crisis which had threatened the schooling program.

“I am pleased to declare the 2015/16 UNRWA school year open. Students will return to school according to plan in Palestine on 24 August, in Jordan on 1 September, in Lebanon on 7 September and in Syria on 13 September,” says Pierre Krahenbuhl, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees in the Middle East.

“Education is a fundamental right for children everywhere in the world, and it should never have come to the point where the UNRWA school year risked being delayed because of a funding shortfall for our core budget. But it almost did,” he says in a statement.

On August 5, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that a $100 million shortfall in funding for the agency had placed the new school year in jeopardy.

AFP

Palestinian children at a school in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Palestinian children at a school in the Gaza Strip city of Rafah. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hunger striker’s health deteriorates

Allaan’s health has taken a turn for the worse, the Barzilai Medical Center says.

The hunger striker is conscious, the hospital says, but is confused and is not responding to his surroundings.

Iran prosecutor said acquitted in ’09 protester killings

Iranian state television is reporting a former prosecutor in Tehran has been acquitted of murder charges over the 2009 killing of three detained protesters.

Wednesday’s report on the website of state television quoted Mojtaba Nazari, the lawyer for Iran’s social security fund, as announcing the court’s decision in the case involving Saeed Mortazavi. The report says while Mortazavi was acquitted of murder charges, he will serve six months in prison over receiving “illegal money” during his time as the head of the social security fund.

Mortazavi could not be immediately reached for comment.

Mortazavi was an ally of former hard-line president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. A parliamentary probe in 2010 found Mortazavi responsible for torturing to death the three anti-government protesters in the wake of Ahmadinejad’s disputed re-election in 2009.

AP

Allaan’s MRI shows vitamin deficiency, no brain damage

The MRI of Mohammed Allaan shows that he has not suffered brain damage as a result of his two-month fast, Channel 2 reports.

He is, however, shown to have extreme vitamin deficiencies, the report says.

8 Turkish soldiers killed in blast blamed on PKK

Eight Turkish soldiers were killed on Wednesday in a bomb attack on their vehicle in the southeast blamed on the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the army says.

The attack is the single most deadly strike to be blamed on the PKK since the government began waging a major “anti-terror” campaign against the Kurdish militants last month.

The soldiers were killed when a remote-controlled explosive device laid by militants on a road in the Silvan district of the province of Siirt was detonated, the official Anatolia news agency says.

The army confirms the toll in a statement, blaming the “Separatist Terror Organization,” its customary phrase for the PKK which it never refers to by name.

AFP

Humans of New York travels to Iran

Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton visits Iran, for the second time in three years.

“Iran holds a special place in my heart because it was the first international trip that I ever made with HONY. But that was three years ago, and I’ve always looked back at the collection with a tinge of regret, because HONY was still quite new and the work was pretty uncooked,” he writes on Facebook.

Allaan did suffer brain damage from vitamin deficiencies

Contradicting earlier reports that indicated Allaan did not suffer brain damage as a result of his hunger strike, the Barzilai Medical Center says he did sustain some cognitive damage, but it was unclear whether it was reversible.

The brain damage was a result of severe vitamin deficiencies, the hospital says.

There are conflicting reports on the extent of the damage, with Haaretz maintaining it’s irreversible, Channel 10 saying it’s partially reversible, and other Hebrew reports noting that it is not permanent.

Israel demolishes 40 illegally built Palestinian buildings

In the largest string of home demolitions in more than three years, Israel demolishes nearly 40 Palestinian structures in the West Bank.

The demolitions took place, according to Haaretz, because the structures were built without the necessary permits. More than 120 people were left homeless from the demolitions, which took place Monday and Tuesday.

The structures were located in four Bedouin villages near the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, outside of Jerusalem, as well as in village of Fasa’il in the Jordan Valley. According to United Nations figures quoted by Haaretz, it was the largest string of demolitions since October 2012.

“These are illegal structures that were built without permits in violation of the law, some of which have been built in recent years,” says a statement from the Israel Defense Forces’ coordinator of government activities in the territories, according to Haaretz. “The structures were demolished after the enforcement process was completed and the appropriate orders were issued.”

JTA

No decision as High Court hearing ends

The High Court hearing on Allaan ends without a decision, Channel 2 reports.

Policeman lightly hurt in firebombing

A policeman is lightly hurt by a firebomb in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya.

Border Police disperse Palestinian rioters at the scene.

Rep. Steve Cohen announces support for Iran deal

Congressman Steve Cohen, a Jewish Democrat representative from Tennessee, announces his support for the Iran deal.

“Through my intense study of this agreement, I am convinced that it is the most effective way to ensure Iran cannot build a nuclear weapon,” he says in a statement. “The agreement represents global consensus on that point as well, and its long term success relies on the ongoing support and hard work of all involved nations, who I am convinced will continue to work together to guarantee compliance.”

“This agreement will make the world safer from nuclear attack, and it is a far better option than simply doing nothing,” he adds.

Click here for the full tally of how Jewish lawmakers are voting on the deal.

Rep. Steve Cohen (photo credit: United States Congress/Facebook/via JTA)

Rep. Steve Cohen (photo credit: United States Congress/Facebook/via JTA)

‘Subway Guy’ to plead guilty in child sex case

The longtime pitchman for the Subway fast food chain agrees to plead guilty to engaging in sex acts with minors and receiving child pornography.

Jared Fogle, 37, was famous in the United States as “the Subway Guy” after claiming he lost 200 pounds (90 kilograms) in college by eating healthily at Subway sandwich shops.

Court documents released Wednesday indicate that Fogle, who is Jewish, is to plead guilty to one count of traveling to engage in illicit sex with girls under the age of 18.

Fogle — due to appear later Wednesday in US District Court in Indianapolis, Indiana — is also to plead guilty to one count of receiving child pornography.

In addition, Fogle would pay $100,000 to each of his 14 under-aged victims, register as a sex offender and accept a prison sentence of no less than five years.

Federal prosecutors in return will not ask for a prison term in excess of 12-and-a-half years.

AFP

In this May 28, 2014 photo, Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle arrives at the world premiere of "Maleficent" at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

In this May 28, 2014 photo, Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle arrives at the world premiere of “Maleficent” at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Reform movement on the fence over Iran deal

The Reform movement releases a statement maintaining “there is simply no clarity that would support taking a position ‘for’ or ‘against’ the JCPOA itself.”

The statement stresses that the US-Israel relationship “the day after” the Iran deal vote in Congress is of the utmost importance.

“Whether the JCPOA is approved or defeated, there will be a day after. It is essential that this debate not be allowed to create a lasting rift between Israel and the US, between North American Jews and Israelis, or among American Jews.”

“We call upon the Israeli leadership, the US Administration and members of Congress, and those on all sides of this debate to tamp down their rhetoric. If the debate is allowed to weaken the US-Israel alliance, or further sharpen partisan divides over what it means to be ‘pro-Israel,’ Israel will be less secure.”

In Berlin, Dore Gold sounds alarm on Iran

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold visits Berlin, meeting with his German counterpart and other officials on the Iran nuclear deal.

In the meetings, he stresses that “there is no indication Iran is undergoing a process of moderation with regard to its regional actions, rather the opposite,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry says.

“Moreover, he expressed concern that the immense financial resources Iran is set to have at its disposal as a result of the deal will be directed to fund terror and will contribute to the regional instability,” the statement says.

Dore Gold (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

Dore Gold (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

UN to let Iran inspect own nuclear site

An unusual secret agreement with the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency will allow Iran to use its own experts to inspect a site allegedly used to develop nuclear arms, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.

The revelation is sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the US, Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the deal is built on trust of the Iranians, a claim the US has denied.

The investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the IAEA is linked to a broader probe of allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. That investigation is part of the overarching nuclear deal reached earlier this month between Iran and six world powers.

AP

This 2004 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 km (about 19 miles) southeast of Tehran. (photo credit: AP Photo/DigitalGlobe - Institute for Science and International Security)

This 2004 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security shows the military complex at Parchin, Iran, 30 km (about 19 miles) southeast of Tehran. (photo credit: AP Photo/DigitalGlobe – Institute for Science and International Security)

Iran to do own sampling at Parchin, provide photos

The agreement between the UN nuclear body and Tehran diverges from normal inspection procedures between the IAEA and a member country by essentially ceding the agency’s investigative authority to Iran. It allows Tehran to employ its own experts and equipment in the search for evidence for activities that it has consistently denied — trying to develop nuclear weapons.

The White House has denied claims by critics that a secret “side deal” favorable to Tehran exists.

Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010 ,said he can think of no instance where a country being probed was allowed to do its own investigation.

The document seen by the AP is a draft that one official familiar with its contents said doesn’t differ substantially from the final version. He demanded anonymity because he isn’t authorized to discuss the issue.

It is labeled “separate arrangement II,” indicating there is another confidential agreement between Iran and the IAEA governing the agency’s probe of the nuclear weapons allegations.

The document suggests that instead of carrying out their own probe, IAEA staff will be reduced to monitoring Iranian personnel as these inspect the Parchin site.

Iran will provide agency experts with photos and videos of locations the IAEA says are linked to the alleged weapons work, “taking into account military concerns.”

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano of Japan, during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2015. (AP/Ronald Zak)

Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano of Japan, during a news conference after a meeting of the IAEA board of governors at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, June 8, 2015. (AP/Ronald Zak)

That wording suggests that — beyond being barred from physically visiting the site — the agency won’t even get photo or video information from areas Iran says are off-limits because they have military significance.

IAEA experts would normally take environmental samples for evidence of any weapons development work, but the agreement stipulates that Iranian technicians will do the sampling.

The sampling is also limited to only seven samples inside the building where the experiments allegedly took place. Additional ones will be allowed only outside of the Parchin site, in an area still to be determined.

“Activities will be carried out using Iran’s authenticated equipment consistent with technical specifications provided by the agency,” the agreement says. While the document says that the IAEA “will ensure the technical authenticity” of Iran’s inspection, it does not say how.

The draft is unsigned but the signatory for Iran is listed as Ali Hoseini Tash, deputy secretary of the Supreme National Security Council for Strategic Affairs instead of an official of Iran’s nuclear agency. That reflects the significance Tehran attaches to the agreement.

AP

‘My goal is to be martyred,’ says Turkish minister

A senior Turkish cabinet minister declares Wednesday he wished to become a “martyr” as the government fights an unprecedented offensive against Kurdish rebels, prompting astonishment and mockery on social media.

“My goal is to be martyred, if Allah desires, for my religion, my nation and my country,” Energy Minister Taner Yildiz tells reporters at a conference in Ankara.

Turkey is currently waging an “anti-terror war” against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, who have hit back by killing members of the security forces on a daily basis.

Each of the slain troops is buried with full honors and described as a “martyr” (“sehit” in Turkish) for the fatherland.

Like all prominent members of the Islamic-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Yildiz is a pious Muslim.

AFP

Toddler hurt in West Bank stone-throwing attack

A two-year-old Israeli girl is lightly injured after Palestinians hurl rocks at a car on highway 443 in the West Bank, Channel 2 reports.

High Court annuls detention for hunger striker

The High Court cancels the detention of hunger striker Mohammed Allaan, and says he will remain hospitalized at the Barzilai Medical Center.

There will be no restrictions on relative visits to the hospital, it rules.

“What this means is that at this stage, in light of the medical condition of the hunger striker, the administrative [detention] order is no longer in effect,” it says.

Hunger striker stops fast after court ruling

The family of Mohammed Allaan says he has stopped his hunger strike, Channel 2 reports.

White House says it briefed Congress on IAEA-Iran deals

The White House’s official Twitter account responds to the AP report on Parchin inspections, saying: “While we cannot publicly comment on the IAEA draft document, we have explained this arrangement to Congress in classified briefings.”

Kerry, however, on July 29, defended the arrangements between Iran and the IAEA, arguing that such agreements are typical of the interaction between the IAEA and all of the states it oversees – and that all of those agreements are kept private between the states in question and the international nuclear oversight body.

At the time, Kerry acknowledged that neither he nor any members of the administration had actually had access to the agreement itself.

“We are aware of what the basics of it are,” he asserted, adding that the agreement “is not shared with the world, but we do get briefed on it.”

Rebecca Shimoni-Stoil contributed

Hunger striker’s health declines, is put back in coma

As the High Court announces its decision, Allaan’s condition deteriorates further.

Doctors say they have put him back in a medically induced coma and he is said to be stable.

US senator announces backing for Iran deal

US Senator Joe Donnelly, a Democrat from Indiana, announces support for the Iran nuclear deal.

“A nuclear-armed Iran would pose an unacceptable threat to the security of the United States and our allies. Only one thing can truly guarantee Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon – the steadfast resolve of the US and our allies to stop them. That is and must remain our nation’s policy, and we must be prepared to follow through on it,” he says.

Donnelly does not rule out a future military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

“With or without this deal, the day may come when we are left with no alternative but to take military action to prevent Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold,” he says. “Taking that path would be a difficult and costly choice. Nobody knows that cost better than those who have put their lives on the line for our country. If that day does come, and I am faced with a vote to authorize military force against Iran, I owe it to the men and women of our Armed Forces and to the people of Indiana to have exhausted every other option to stop Iran before we would consider putting any of our service members in harm’s way.”

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Full statement from Rototom Sunsplash festival

Below is the full statement from the Rototom Sunsplash festival on Matisyahu, which blames its decision on pressure by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement:

“1. Rototom Sunsplash rejects anti-Semitism and any form of discrimination towards the Jewish community; we respect both their culture as religious beliefs and we sincerely apologize for what has occurred, thereby rectifying point 4* in the previous release regarding this controversy.

“2. Rototom Sunsplash would like to publicly apologize to Matisyahu for having cancelled his concert and invite him to perform at the festival next Saturday 22 August, as was initially programmed in the lineup.

3. Rototom Sunplash admits that it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià because it was perceived that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened. All of which prevented the organization from reasoning clearly as to how to deal with the situation properly.

“4. After 22 years of history, Rototom Sunsplash reaffirms its commitment to a Culture of Peace and respect between cultures, including the freedom of belief as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Spanish Constitution.

* “Rototom Sunsplash, after having repeatedly sought dialogue given the unavailability of the artist for comment, in order to clearly declare himself regarding the war and in particular the right of the Palestinian people to have their own State, has decided to cancel the performance of Matisyahu scheduled for August 22”