Taliban welcomes India’s diplomatic representation ‘upgrade’ in Kabul

Sun, 2022-08-14 19:40

KABUL: Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry has welcomed the “upgrade” of India’s diplomatic representation in Kabul, as the Taliban administration continued to struggle for recognition by the international community a year after it took over Afghanistan.

India had closed its embassy and consulates in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover last August, but New Delhi deployed a technical team earlier this year in June to coordinate their humanitarian efforts and assess the security situation in the country. 

Afghanistan's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi meets with Indian MEA Joint Secretary J.P. Singh in Kabul. (Afghan Foreign Ministry)
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Salman Rushdie ‘On The Road To Recovery,’ Agent Says

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie is “on the road to recovery,” his agent confirmed Sunday, two days after the author of “The Satanic Verses” suffered serious injuries in a stabbing at a lecture in New York.

The announcement followed news that the lauded writer was removed from a ventilator Saturday and able to talk. Literary agent Andrew Wylie cautioned that although Rushdie’s “condition is headed in the right direction,” his recovery would be long. Rushdie, 75, suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and in an eye that he was likely to lose, Wylie had previously said.

“Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humour remains intact,” Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie said in a Sunday statement that stressed the author remained in critical condition. The family statement also expressed gratitude for the “audience members who bravely leapt to his defence,” as well as police, doctors and “the outpouring of love and support.”

Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty Saturday to attempted murder and assault charges in what a prosecutor called “a targeted, unprovoked, preplanned attack” at western New York’s Chautauqua Institution, a nonprofit education and retreat center.

Hadi Matar, 24, arrives for an arraignment in the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, NY., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Matar, accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie has entered a not guilty plea in a New York court on charges of attempted murder and assault. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Hadi Matar, 24, arrives for an arraignment in the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, NY., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022. Matar, accused of carrying out a stabbing attack against “Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie has entered a not guilty plea in a New York court on charges of attempted murder and assault. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The attack was met with global shock and outrage, along with praise for the man who, for more than three decades — including nine years in hiding under the protection of the British government — has weathered death threats and a $3 million bounty on his head over “The Satanic Verses.”

“It’s an attack against his body, his life and against every value that he stood for,” Henry Reese, 73, told The Associated Press. The cofounder of Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum was on stage with Rushdie and suffered a gash to his forehead, bruising and other minor injuries. They had planned to discuss the need for writers’ safety and freedom of expression.

Authors, activists and government officials cited Rushdie’s bravery and longtime championing of free speech in the face of intimidation. Writer and longtime friend Ian McEwan labeled Rushdie “an inspirational defender of persecuted writers and journalists” and actor-author Kal Penn called him a role model, “especially many of us in the South Asian diaspora.”

“Salman Rushdie — with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced — stands for essential, universal ideals,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in a Saturday statement. “Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear.”

Rushdie, who was born in India to a Muslim family and has lived in Britain and the U.S., is known for his surreal and satirical prose, beginning with his Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children,” in which he sharply criticized then-Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Infused with magical realism, 1988′s “The Satanic Verses” drew ire from some Muslims who regarded elements of the novel as blasphemy.

They believed Rushdie insulted the Prophet Muhammad by naming a character Mahound, a medieval corruption of “Muhammad.” The character was a prophet in a city called Jahilia, which in Arabic refers to the time before the advent of Islam on the Arabian Peninsula. Another sequence includes prostitutes that share names with some of Muhammad’s nine wives. The novel also implies that Muhammad, not Allah, may have been the Quran’s real author.

The book had already been banned and burned in India, Pakistan and elsewhere when Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989. Khomeini died that same year, but the fatwa remains in effect — though Iran, in recent years, hadn’t focused on Rushdie.

Iran’s state-run newspaper, Iran Daily, praised the attack as an “implementation of divine decree” Sunday. Another hardline newspaper, Kayhan, termed it “divine revenge” that would partially calm the anger of Muslims.

Author Salman Rushdie is tended to after he was attacked during a lecture, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., about 75 miles south of Buffalo. (AP Photo/Joshua Goodman)
Author Salman Rushdie is tended to after he was attacked during a lecture, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., about 75 miles south of Buffalo. (AP Photo/Joshua Goodman)

Investigators were trying to determine whether the suspect, born nearly a decade after the novel’s publication, acted alone. A prosecutor alluded to the standing fatwa as a potential motive in arguing against bail.

“His resources don’t matter to me. We understand that the agenda that was carried out yesterday is something that was adopted and it’s sanctioned by larger groups and organizations well beyond the jurisdictional borders of Chautauqua County,” District Attorney Jason Schmidt said.

Schmidt said Matar got an advance pass to the event where the author was speaking and arrived a day early bearing a fake ID. The judge ordered Matar held without bail.

Public defender Nathaniel Barone complained that authorities had taken too long to get Matar in front of a judge, leaving him “hooked up to a bench at the state police barracks,” and stressed that Matar had the right to presumed innocence.

Barone said after the hearing that Matar has been communicating openly with him and that he would try to learn whether his clinet has psychological or addiction issues.

Matar was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon, village mayor Ali Tehfe told the AP. Flags of the Iran-backed Shia militant group Hezbollah, along with portraits of Hezbollah and Iranian leaders, were visible across Yaroun before journalists visiting Saturday were asked to leave.

Hezbollah spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment. Lebanon’s top Shiite Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kabalan vilified Rushdie in a speech Sunday without directly endorsing the attack, saying the author was “the cheapest and worst personality to deal with history and heritage by fabricating lies and hypocrisies.”

In Tehran, some Iranians interviewed by the AP praised the attack on an author they believe tarnished the Islamic faith, while others worried it would further isolate their country.

A state trooper and a county sheriff’s deputy were assigned to Rushdie’s lecture, and police said the trooper made the arrest. But afterward, some longtime visitors to the bucolic vacation colony questioned why there wasn’t tighter security given the history of threats against Rushdie.

On Friday, an AP reporter witnessed the attacker stab or punch Rushdie about 10 or 15 times. Reese, the moderator, told CNN he initially thought the attack was a prank.

News about the stabbing has led to renewed interest in “The Satanic Verses,” which topped bestseller lists after the fatwa was issued in 1989. As of Sunday morning, the novel ranked No. 11 on Amazon.com’s list.

One of Rushdie’s ex-wives, the author and television host Padma Lakshmi, tweeted Sunday that she was “relieved” by Rushdie’s prognosis.

“Worried and wordless, can finally exhale,” she wrote. “Now hoping for swift healing.”

Italie reported from New York. Associated Press journalists Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Kareem Chehayeb and Bassem Mroue in Beirut; Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jill Lawless in London and Julie Walker in New York contributed to this report.


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Nearly half of Canadians pay more attention to the weather than payday

For many Canadians, the best day of the week is when that paycheque hits the bank account, but according to a recent study, people aren’t bothering to check their cheques.

In an online study conducted by Ketchum on behalf of Payments Canada, from June 30 to July 6, 2022, 1,503 full-time and part-time employed Canadians were questioned about their pay statements.

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The results included:

  • 46% of working Canadians pay more attention to the weather than their pay statements
  • 38% are unlikely to spot an employer’s pay discrepancy
  • 35% find reviewing their pay information daunting
  • 34% only focus on pay details when it’s time to file their taxes
  • 23% would feel uncomfortable asking their employer to explain income deduction details on their pay statement

“With around $971 billion paid in annual wages and benefits to Canadians and a complex and evolving array of deductions, it’s inevitable that on occasion mistakes and discrepancies happen,” a press release from Payments Canada states.

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According to new research commissioned by Payments Canada, many working Canadians do not feel well-equipped in understanding their pay statements with 38% who think it’s “unlikely they would catch any discrepancies.”


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CRA says it has $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques dating back to 1998


CRA says it has $1.4 billion in uncashed cheques dating back to 1998

According to Kristina Logue, the CFO of Payments Canada, the survey was really about understanding how Canadians handle their paycheque.

“The intention behind the study was really to explore working-Canadians’ sentiments and their level of understanding about their paycheque and how the modernization of payments can improve that understanding and experience,” Logue said.

Loque said the move to digital has made it easier to see if you’ve been paid, rather than checking the fine details of your payment.

“Our bank accounts now a direct deposit, which really safe, really fast, really efficient,” she explained. “There’s no need to go and check your pay stub because you just look at your bank account and see it’s there.”

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Moving forward, she said research and information on pay statements is the best way for people to make sure their payments are done correctly.

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“Working Canadians (often) don’t know what they’re supposed to be looking for on their pay stub. So that lack of understanding is really driving, in my opinion, why we’re not taking the time to review these paystubs.”

Logue argues it is up to the employer to be transparent and help Canadians understand what goes into their paycheque.

“I think there’s a really huge opportunity here as our payment systems modernize and evolve to offer solutions to help employees and employers work together so that the data travels more seamlessly with the payment,” Logue said.


Click to play video: 'Tips for teaching kids to be money conscious'







Tips for teaching kids to be money conscious


Tips for teaching kids to be money conscious – Aug 4, 2022

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Afghan medical student starts over in France

Issued on: Modified:

The 15th of August marks the one-year anniversary of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. FRANCE 24 has been talking to refugees who have fled the country. In episode four of our series of special reports, we meet Fatemeh Abdali, whose medical studies were interrupted when the Taliban took over Kabul. She is now starting over by learning French so that she can one day return to medical school. 

When the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, 2021, 23-year old medical student Fatemeh Abdali’s studies came to a sudden halt. She had arrived at her university to take an exam that day, but was sent home. She was able to get out of Afghanistan within days with help from her sister, who was already living in France. Fatemeh is now taking classes with the French immigration and integration office, getting her French up to scratch so that she can continue her studies.

Many other female students also fled to France. One of them is Soraya Karimi, who represented her country in handball. After the capital fell, she and her teammates received a letter warning that they would face harsh punishment in accordance with Sharia law if they continued to play, so she left. 

Soraya appears to speak for Fatemeh as well as the rest of their friends when she tells FRANCE 24: “I hope that by being here, we can speak up for the women who stayed in Afghanistan under Taliban rule and make their voices heard all over the world.”

Fatemeh concludes by saying that she hopes to return to her country some day when it is free of Taliban rule as a qualified doctor, fluent in French. 

Click on the player above to watch our special report.

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Police probe ‘online threat’ to JK Rowling over Rushdie tweet

The 57-year-old writer tweeted on Friday that she was “feeling very sick right now” as news broke of the attack on Rushdie in New York state. In response, a user tweeted “Don’t worry you are next”.

JK Rowling. Twitter/@jk_rowling

LONDON – Scottish police said on Sunday they were investigating an apparent “online threat” made to Harry Potter author JK Rowling in response to her tweet supporting Salman Rushdie following his stabbing.

“We have received a report of an online threat being made and officers are carrying out enquiries,” said a Police Scotland spokeswoman.

The 57-year-old writer tweeted on Friday that she was “feeling very sick right now” as news broke of the attack on Rushdie in New York state.

In response, a user tweeted “Don’t worry you are next”.

Rowling shared a screenshot of the reply, asking Twitter moderators “any chance of some support?”

“These are your guidelines, right? ‘Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people’,” she added.

The tweet appeared to have been taken down on Sunday.

The author also tweeted that police had been informed.

The same Twitter account, believed to be based in Pakistan, also posted messages praising Rushdie’s attacker.

Hadi Matar, 24, was arraigned in court in New York state on Saturday, with prosecutors outlining how Rushdie had been stabbed approximately 10 times in what they described as a planned, premeditated assault.

Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wylie had said the writer was on a ventilator and in danger of losing an eye, but in an update on Saturday he told the New York Times that Rushdie had started to talk again, suggesting his condition had improved.


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Bangladesh calls on UN to ensure Rohingya repatriation

Bangladesh called on the United Nations to effectively engage with Myanmar to facilitate the sustainable repatriation of the displaced Rohingya people to their homes in Rakhine state.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen made the appeal while meeting with the visiting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in the capital Dhaka on Sunday evening, said a Foreign Ministry statement.

“Protracted stay of the displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh bears the risk of the spread of radicalism, transnational crimes, etc., and thus may hamper regional stability,” the statement quoted Momen as saying.

Claiming that the Bangladesh government has been taking good care of the persecuted Rohingya since the very beginning and even during the pandemic by providing vaccines, Momen urged the U.N. system, including UNDP, “to undertake projects in Rakhine to create a conducive environment for the return of the Rohingya.”

Bachelet assured the host country of the “U.N.’s continued efforts to realize the safe and voluntary return of the Rohingya to Myanmar.”

But for a better and conducive life in Bangladesh until the peaceful repatriation, she underscored the need for their (Rohingya) “education through fully operationalizing the learning centers in the camps,” the statement added.

Bachelet had a busy day on her first day, also meeting Law Minister Anisul Huq, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, and Education Minister Dr. Dipu Moni.

The issues discussed during her meetings with the high officials include Bangladesh’s controversial Digital Security Act (DSA), which the critics have marked as “a draconian law” enacted before the 2018 general election to politically harass the opposition voices.

Huq, however, told the U.N. rights chief that the act was enacted to combat cybercrimes.

Four-day tour to assess rights situation

The U.N. human rights chief arrived in Bangladesh in the morning on a four-day official visit to assess the state of human rights in the South Asian nation and monitor the plight of the persecuted Rohingya community.

This is the first-ever official tour of any U.N. rights chief to Bangladesh, a country of more than 165 million people.

During her tour, Bachelet will meet Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Cabinet and members of the civil society.

She will also interact with the National Human Rights Commission in Bangladesh and youth representatives.

Also on the agenda are meetings with Rohingya refugees in the border district of Cox’s Bazar.

Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.2 million Rohingya, most of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in the home country of Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017.

Bachelet’s visit on the eve of the 5th anniversary of the Rohingya exodus in Bangladesh is considered to be significant.

Nine international rights bodies have requested Bachelet to put pressure on the Bangladeshi government to improve the human rights situation in the country amid the rising incidence of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture in police custody, and harassment of government critics under controversial digital security law.

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India’s ‘Warren Buffett’ Rakesh Jhunjhunwala dies at 62

“Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable,” Modi tweeted following reports of Jhunjhunwala’s death. “Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world.”

“He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” Modi added.

His cause of death has not been publicly released. CNN affiliate CNN News 18 reported that Jhunjhunwala had been dealing with health issues.

He was seen in a wheelchair on August 7 at the launch for Akasa Airlines, a company he backed, as it made its maiden flight from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

An investor who began stock trading while still in college, Jhunjhunwala’s early investments paid off, with his net worth standing at $5.8 billion at the time of his death, according to Forbes.

He was a chartered accountant by profession, and went on to manage a stock trading firm, RARE Enterprises. His growing prominence in the market also made him a popular TV celebrity.

His investments include a number of companies run by Tata Group, one of India’s largest conglomerates. These include Tata Motors, watch maker Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels Co, which runs the Taj hotels.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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Saudi Aramco profit surges 90% in second quarter amid energy price boom

An employee looks on at Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia October 12, 2019.

Maxim Shemetov | Reuters

Saudi oil giant Aramco reported a stunning 90% surge in second quarter net income and record half year results on Sunday, as high oil prices continue to drive historic windfalls for “Big Oil.” 

Aramco said strong market conditions helped to push its second quarter net income to $48.4 billion, up from $25.5 billion a year earlier. The result easily beat analysts estimates of $46.2 billion.

“Our record second-quarter results reflect increasing demand for our products — particularly as a low-cost producer with one of the lowest upstream carbon intensities in the industry,” Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser said. 

Aramco said half year net income soared to $87.9 billion, easily outpacing the largest listed oil majors, including Exxonmobil, Chevron and BP and other “Big Oil” companies, which are all benefiting from a commodity price boom.

Oil prices surged above $130 dollars a barrel earlier this year, as the global energy crisis, made worse by supply disruptions stemming from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, roiled global markets and contributed to decades high inflation.

“While global market volatility and economic uncertainty remain, events during the first half of this year support our view that ongoing investment in our industry is essential — both to help ensure markets remain well supplied and to facilitate an orderly energy transition,” Nasser added.

Aramco said it expects the post-pandemic recovery in oil demand to continue for the rest of the decade, despite what it called “downward economic pressures on short-term global forecasts.”

The blowout results are also a major windfall for the Saudi Arabian government, which relies heavily on its Aramco dividend to fund government expenditure. The Kingdom reported a $21 billion budget surplus in the second quarter. 

Aramco said it would maintain its dividend payout of $18.8 billion in the third quarter, covered by a 53% increase in free cash flow to $34.6 billion. 

Major gains

Aramco is using its major gains to invest in its own production capabilities in both hydrocarbons and renewables, while also paying down debt. 

“We are progressing the largest capital program in our history, and our approach is to invest in the reliable energy and petrochemicals that the world needs, while developing lower-carbon solutions that can contribute to the broader energy transition,” the company said.

Saudi Arabia, alongside its OPEC+ counterparts, has been under increasing pressure to boost oil output to ease high prices. Company executives said limited global spare production capacity was a major concern for the global pricing outlook.

Aramco said it achieved total hydrocarbon production of 13.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter, and was working to boost capacity from 12 million barrels of oil per day to 13 million barrels of oil per day by 2027.

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Salman Rushdie “on the road to recovery” after stabbing attack, agent says

Salman Rushdie is “on the road to recovery,” his agent confirmed Sunday, two days after the author of “The Satanic Verses” suffered serious injuries in a stabbing at a lecture in upstate New York.

The announcement followed news that the lauded writer was removed from a ventilator Saturday and able to talk and joke. Literary agent Andrew Wylie cautioned that although Rushdie’s “condition is headed in the right direction,” his recovery would be a long process. Rushdie, 75, suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, Wylie had previously said, and was likely to lose the injured eye.

“Though his life changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humour remains intact,” Rushdie’s son Zafar Rushdie said in a Sunday statement that stressed the author remained in critical condition. The statement on behalf of the family also expressed gratitude for the “audience members who bravely leapt to his defence,” as well as police, doctors and “the outpouring of love and support from around the world.”

Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty Saturday to attempted murder and assault charges in what a prosecutor called “a targeted, unprovoked, preplanned attack” at the Chautauqua Institution, a nonprofit education and retreat center.

The attack was met with global shock and outrage, along with praise for the man who, for more than three decades, has weathered death threats and a $3 million bounty on his head for “The Satanic Verses.” Rushdie even spent nine years in hiding under a British government protection program.

Authors, activists and government officials cited Rushdie’s bravery and longtime championing of free speech in the face of such intimidation. Writer and longtime friend Ian McEwan labeled Rushdie “an inspirational defender of persecuted writers and journalists” and actor-author Kal Penn called him a role model “for an entire generation of artists, especially many of us in the South Asian diaspora.”

“Salman Rushdie — with his insight into humanity, with his unmatched sense for story, with his refusal to be intimidated or silenced — stands for essential, universal ideals,” President Biden said in a Saturday statement. “Truth. Courage. Resilience. The ability to share ideas without fear.”

Rushdie, who was born in India to a Muslim family and has lived in Britain and the U.S., is known for his surreal and satirical prose, beginning with his Booker Prize-winning 1981 novel “Midnight’s Children,” in which he sharply criticized India’s then-prime minister, Indira Gandhi.

Infused with magical realism, 1988’s “The Satanic Verses” drew ire from some Muslims who regarded elements of the novel as blasphemy.

Salman Rushdie
Author Salman Rushdie at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Oct. 12, 2017, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 

Hannelore Foerster / Getty Images


They believed Rushdie insulted the Prophet Muhammad by naming a character Mahound, a medieval corruption of “Muhammad.” The character was a prophet in a city called Jahilia, which in Arabic refers to the time before the advent of Islam on the Arabian Peninsula. Another sequence has prostitutes that share names with some of Muhammad’s nine wives. The novel also implies that Muhammad, not Allah, may have been the Quran’s real author.

The book had already been banned and burned in India, Pakistan and elsewhere when Iran’s Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie’s death in 1989. Khomeini died that same year, but the fatwa remains in effect — though Iran, in recent years, hadn’t focused on Rushdie.

Iran’s state-run newspaper, Iran Daily, praised the attack as an “implementation of divine decree” Sunday. Another hardline newspaper, Kayhan, termed it “divine revenge” that would partially calm the anger of Muslims.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the suspect, born nearly a decade after the novel’s publication, acted alone. A prosecutor alluded to the standing fatwa as a potential motive in arguing against bail.

“His resources don’t matter to me. We understand that the agenda that was carried out yesterday is something that was adopted and it’s sanctioned by larger groups and organizations well beyond the jurisdictional borders of Chautauqua County,” District Attorney Jason Schmidt said.

Schmidt said Matar got an advance pass to the event where the author was speaking and arrived a day early bearing a fake ID. The judge ordered Matar held without bail.

Public defender Nathaniel Barone complained that authorities had taken too long to get Matar in front of a judge while leaving him “hooked up to a bench at the state police barracks” and stressed that Matar had the right to presumed innocence.

Barone said after the hearing that Matar has been communicating openly with him and that he would spend the coming weeks trying to learn about his client, including whether he has psychological or addiction issues.

Jail booking photos of Salman Rushdie stabbing suspect Hadi Matar in Mayville
Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, who pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault of acclaimed author Salman Rushdie, appears in booking photographs at Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville, New York, on Aug. 12, 2022.

Chautauqua County Jail/Handout via REUTERS


Matar was born in the United States to parents who emigrated from Yaroun in southern Lebanon, village mayor Ali Tehfe told The Associated Press. Flags of the Iran-backed Shia militant group Hezbollah, along with portraits of Hezbollah and Iranian leaders, were visible across Yaroun before journalists visiting Saturday were asked to leave.

Hezbollah spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment.

In Tehran, some Iranians interviewed by the AP praised the attack on an author they believe tarnished the Islamic faith, while others worried it would further isolate their country.

Event moderator Henry Reese, 73, suffered a facial injury and was released from a hospital, police said. He and Rushdie had planned to discuss the United States as a refuge for artists in exile.

A state trooper and a county sheriff’s deputy were assigned to Rushdie’s lecture, and police said the trooper made the arrest. But afterward, some longtime visitors to the bucolic vacation colony questioned why there wasn’t tighter security given the history of threats against Rushdie.

On Friday, an AP reporter witnessed the attacker stab or punch Rushdie about 10 or 15 times.

News about the stabbing has led to renewed interest in “The Satanic Verses,” which topped bestseller lists after the fatwa was issued in 1989. As of Sunday morning, the novel ranked No. 11 on Amazon.com’s list.

One of Rushdie’s ex-wives, the author and television host Padma Lakshmi, tweeted Sunday that she was “relieved” by Rushdie’s prognosis.

“Worried and wordless, can finally exhale,” she wrote. “Now hoping for swift healing.”


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Salman Rushdie off ventilator and condition improving: Agent

Salman Rushdie, the acclaimed author who was hospitalised on Friday (Aug 12) with serious injuries after being repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in New York state, is off a ventilator and his condition is improving, his agent said on Sunday.

“He’s off the ventilator, so the road to recovery has begun,” his agent, Andrew Wylie, wrote in an email to Reuters. “It will be long; the injuries are severe, but his condition is headed in the right direction.” 

Rushdie, 75, was set to deliver a lecture on artistic freedom at Chautauqua Institution in western New York when police say a 24-year-old man rushed the stage and stabbed the Indian-born writer, who has lived with a bounty on his head since his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses prompted Iran to urge Muslims to kill him.

The suspect, Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault at a court appearance on Saturday, his court-appointed lawyer, Nathaniel Barone, told Reuters.

Following hours of surgery, Rushdie had been put on a ventilator and was unable to speak as of Friday evening, Wylie said in a prior update on the novelist’s condition, adding that he was likely to lose an eye and had nerve damage in his arm and wounds to his liver.

Wylie did not provide further details on Rushdie’s health in his email on Sunday.

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