WORLD NEWS TODAY

KIM KARDASHIAN  MEETING WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP ON PRISON REFORM
Reality television star Kim Kardashian West, who successfully pushed President Donald Trump to grant a pardon for a drug offender earlier this year, returned to the White House on Wednesday for a meeting with senior aides as part of the administration's efforts on criminal justice reform.

Kardashian, who may have felt right at home with the drama-infused atmosphere in the West Wing as it grapples with the fallout from Bob Woodward's new book, participated in a listening session on clemency and prison reform with several staffers, including the president's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

"The discussion is mainly focused on ways to improve that process to ensure deserving cases receive a fair review," according to Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary.

Among the others in attendance were CNN commentator Van Jones, Shon Hopwood, a lawyer who served time in prison for bank robbery and Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, who has been instrumental in steering Trump's Supreme Court picks, including Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation hearings have begun on Capitol Hill.







JAPAN ROCKED BY MAG-6.7 EARTHQUAKE, LANDSLIDE TRAPS PEOPLE IN HOMES
A powerful earthquake has rocked the city of Sapporo in northern Japan just hours after large parts of the south of the country were battered by the biggest typhoon to hit in 25 years. The Magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). Local government officials are reporting that an 82-year-old man has died after falling down the stairs in his home during the earthquake.

The tremor triggered a landslide which covered homes in the rural town of Atsumi trapping residents inside. People in Sapporo were woken up by strong shaking shortly after 7 pm BST (3 am Thursday local time) as the earth moved for around 20 seconds. Japanese TV showed damaged buildings and quoted police as saying some people had been trapped in collapsed structures.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said officials have set up a command centre to coordinate rescue efforts. At least 10 people have been taken to hospital after being injured in the quake. There was also a 5.4 magnitude aftershock which hit Hokkaido island shortly after the main earthquake. The tremor struck at an approximate depth of 20 miles, USGS data said. No tsunami warning has been issued following the earthquake, which was initially reported as a Magnitude 7.0.

GAY SEX IS NOT A CRIME: SUPREME COURT IN HISTORIC JUDGEMENT
In a historic judgement, the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday said that consensual adult gay sex is not a crime. The judgement, by a Constitution bench of the country's top court, has defanged the British-era Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which criminalised sex which deems that gay sex is a punishable offence.

Thursday's judgement heralds a new dawn for personal liberty and is a major victory for the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community that has been fighting hard and persistently to legalise gay sex. The five-judge Constitution bench - comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra - was unanimous in its decision.

"Section 377 is irrational, arbitrary and incomprehensible as it fetters the right to equality for the LGBT community...LGBT community possesses same equality as other citizens," said CJI Dipak Misra. What society thinks, the judges said, has no place when it comes to people's freedoms. "Social morality cannot violate the rights of even one single individual," said CJI Misra and Justice Khanwilkar. "The right to privacy as part of the right to life applies fully to LGBT community," said CJI Misra.

Prior to reserving the verdict, the bench had, in what was yet another indication of which way it could go, also disapproved arguments that a majority of the population in India is against legalising gay sex. "We decide questions of law on the basis of the Constitution, constitutional principles and its ethos and not based on a referendum," said the SC's Constitution bench at the time.

CHINA'S XI OFFERS ANOTHER $60 BILLION TO AFRICA,BUT SAYS NO TO 'VANITY' PROJECTS
Chinese President Xi Jinping offered another $60 billion in financing for Africa on Monday and wrote off some debt for poorer African nations while warning against funds going toward “vanity projects”. Speaking at the opening of a major summit with African leaders, Xi promised development that people on the continent could see and touch, but that would also be green and sustainable.

China has denied engaging in “debt trap” diplomacy, and Xi’s offer of more money comes after a pledge of another $60 billion at the previous summit in South Africa three years ago. Chinese companies will be encouraged to invest no less than $10 billion in the continent in the next three years, he said. Government debt from China’s interest-free loans due by the end of 2018 will be written off for indebted poor African countries, as well as for developing nations in the continent’s interior and small island nations, Xi said.

China will carry out 50 projects on green development and environmental protection in Africa, focusing on fighting climate change, desertification and wildlife protection, Xi said. He pledged, without giving details, that China would set up a peace and security fund and a related forum while continuing to provide free military assistance to the African Union.

ISRAEL COURT OKAYS DEMOLITION OF WEST BANK VILLAGE
Israel's top court on Wednesday upheld an order to raze a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank, after debating petitions challenging the decision. There has been strong international pressure on Israel to reverse its plans to raze Khan al-Ahmar, which the Israeli authorities say was built illegally.

"We reject the petitions" against the directive to demolish Khan al-Ahmar, the supreme court panel said in its ruling, adding that a temporary order preventing the razing of the village during court hearings "will be cancelled within seven days from today." It will now be down to the authorities to decide when to carry out the demolition after the restriction order ends.

The present village consists mainly of makeshift structures of tin and wood, as is generally the case with Bedouin sites. In May, the Supreme Court rejected a final appeal against its demolition after nine years of hearings before various tribunals. The court said Khan al-Ahmar residents had rejected proposals by the state regarding the site of their relocation, and expressed hope "the dialogue" would continue.

Activists say the villagers had little alternative but to build without Israeli construction permits that are almost never issued to Palestinians in the large parts of the West Bank where Israel has full control over civil affairs. Tawfiq Jabareen, one of the lawyers representing Khan al-Ahmar residents in the petitions, said the court "was following Israel's rightwing government" in its ruling, which he said was "legally wrong".

AMSTERDAM ATTACK : JIHADIST KNIFEMAN SHOT IN 9 SECONDS
A 19-year-old Afghan who stabbed two American tourists in Amsterdam was shot just nine seconds after he launched his attack, the city's police chief has revealed.

Commissioner Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg said a special "spotter" had been watching the suspect when he pulled out a knife at Amsterdam's central station. Moments later teenager Jawed S was shot in the hip, he said. The suspect's lawyer has revealed the man had expected to die in the attack.

Jawed S, an asylum seeker who arrived in Germany in 2015, had travelled by train to Amsterdam on Friday. The German authorities say they were tipped off in February that he had become radicalised while living at a youth facility. "My client appears to have made the assumption that he wasn't going to survive his attack because a will was found at his home in Germany," said lawyer Simon van der Woude.

He believed the teenager had been acting in response to a cartoon competition proposed by anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, as well as an earlier video involving the prophet Muhammad.

SAUDI 'SEEKS DEATH PENALTY' FOR MUSLIM SCHOLAR SALMAN AL-AWDAH
Public prosecutors in Saudi Arabia are seeking the death penalty against prominent Muslim scholar Salman al-Awdah, local media, activists and his family members have said. Awdah, who UN experts have described as a "reformist," was imprisoned a year ago, shortly after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a crackdown on dissent and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the kingdom's Gulf neighbour, Qatar.

Awdah, who has 14 million followers on social media, posted a message on September 9, saying: "May God harmonise between their hearts for the good of their people" - an apparent call for reconciliation between the Gulf countries. Local daily reported that the public prosecution, which represents the Saudi government, had levelled 37 counts against Awdah and called for the death penalty.

Amnesty International's Saudi Arabia campaigner Dana Ahmed called the reports "a disturbing trend in the Kingdom [that] sends a horrifying message that peaceful dissent and expression may be met with the death penalty".

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