Parents Charged With Torture And Neglect Of Their 10 Children

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

3:20 PM EDT

(FAIRFIELD, Calif.) — Police say they have removed 10 children from a squalid Northern California home and charged their parents with neglect and torture.

Police in Fairfield north of San Francisco said Monday that the children range in age from 4 months to 12 years.

Lt. Greg Hurlbut says an investigation revealed a lengthy period of “severe physical and emotional abuse.”

He says 29-year-old father Jonathan Allen faces nine counts of felony torture and 30-year-old mother Ina Rogers faces child neglect charges.

The investigation began after police responded in March to a report of a missing 12-year-old.

Nine other children were found living in what Hurlbut says were “squalid and unsafe conditions.”

Court records do not indicate whether the parents have lawyers.

 

Zimbabwe Couple Weds Days After Crocodile Bites Off Bride’s Arm

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

In this photo taken on May, 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu walks down the aisle on her wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
In this photo taken on May, 5, 2018, Zenele Ndlovu walks down the aisle on her wedding day at a hospital Chapel in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
AP Photo
By FARAI MUTSAKA / AP

9:48 PM EDT

(HARARE) — A couple attacked by a crocodile wedded days later in a Zimbabwean hospital, where the bride was recovering after losing an arm.

“In one week we went from shock and agony to a truly amazing experience,” 27-year-old Jamie Fox told The Associated Press Monday.

Fox and his then fiancée, Zanele Ndlovu, were canoeing on the Zambezi, one of Africa’s longest rivers when a crocodile attacked them on Apr. 30. Zenele lost her right arm and suffered injuries to her left hand. Five days later, they married in a hospital chapel.

“We were glad we still had our lives and managed to keep our wedding date, although we had to do with a much smaller venue. The celebrations went ahead at the original venue but Zenele and I had to remain at the hospital,” Fox said.

He described the wedding as “incredible.”

Victoria Falls Guide, a travel website, describes canoeing on the Zambezi above the Victoria Falls “the perfect activity for those who not only want to see the abundant bird and animal life but also want to experience the peace, tranquility and beauty of the Zambezi River.”

For the couple, the experience turned into a terrifying incident.

“I was shouting, trying to save her. She was not complaining of pain when we managed to pull her out of the water, maybe because of the shock. We were hoping the doctors would save her arm but that was not to be,” said Fox, adding that the couple had dated for about 18 months.

“I proposed in February. We are hoping to settle in the U.K. so we are sorting out her visa and then we will think of the honeymoon,” he said.

Zanele was discharged from the hospital on Monday.

Giraffe Kills South African Filmmaker at Wildlife Facility

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

May 6, 2018

(JOHANNESBURG) — A giraffe has killed a South African filmmaker who was on assignment at a wildlife facility northwest of Johannesburg.

Filming agency CallaCrew says Carlos Carvalho was filming a feature on Wednesday at the Glen Afric farm in Broederstroom when he “had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set.”

The agency says Carvalho was flown to a Johannesburg hospital and died there of injuries that night.

South African media say Carvalho was near the giraffe when it swung its neck and knocked him over.

The Glen Afric website promises tourists that “you can get up close and personal to a number of our resident wildlife.”

The British television series “Wild at Heart” was filmed at Glen Afric, which invites visitors to tour the area where filming occurred.

Egypt Says There Are No Hidden Rooms in King Tut’s Tomb After All

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Experts scan King Tut's burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.
Experts scan King Tut’s burial chamber in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.
Amr Nabil—AP
By MOHAMMED WAGDY / AP

May 6, 2018

(CAIRO) — New radar scans have provided conclusive evidence that there are no hidden rooms inside King Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, Egypt’s antiquities ministry said Sunday, bringing a disappointing end to years of excitement over the prospect.

Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said an Italian team conducted extensive studies with ground-penetrating radar that showed the tomb did not contain any hidden, man-made blocking walls as was earlier suspected. Francesco Porcelli of the Polytechnic University of Turin presented the findings at an international conference in Cairo.

“Our work shows in a conclusive manner that there are no hidden chambers, no corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb,” Porcelli said, “As you know there was a theory that argued the possible existence of these chambers but unfortunately our work is not supporting this theory.”

In 2015, British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves proposed, after analysis of high-definition laser scans, that queen Nefertiti’s tomb could be concealed behind wall paintings in the famed boy king’s burial chamber. The discovery ignited massive interest, with officials first rushing to support the theory but then later distancing themselves and ultimately rejecting it.

The ministry says two previous scans by Japanese and American scientists had proved inconclusive, but insists this latest ground-penetrating radar data closes the lid on the tomb having such hidden secrets.

“It is concluded, with a very high degree of confidence, said Dr. Porcelli, the hypothesis concerning the existence of hidden chambers or corridors adjacent to Tutankhamun’s tomb is not supported by the GPR data,” it said in its statement.

The ministry has been gradually moving King Tut’s belongings to a new museum outside Cairo near the Giza Pyramids to undergo restoration before they are put on display. The transfer of the priceless belongings has become a particularly sensitive issue; In 2014 the beard attached to the ancient Egyptian monarch’s golden mask was accidentally knocked off and hastily reattached with an epoxy glue compound, sparking uproar among archaeologists.

The fourth International Tutankhamun Conference in Cairo where Porcelli presented the findings, the most extensive radar survey of the site to date, was attended by a wide range of Egyptologists and archaeologists from the world over.

During the conference, Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said that the first phase of the new museum, including King Tut’s halls, will be completed by the end of this year but the date for the museum’s “soft opening” has yet to be decided. The museum currently hosts more than 43,200 artifacts of which over 4,500 belong to King Tut alone, and its grand opening is planned for 2022.

California Now Has a Bigger Economy Than the United Kingdom

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By JONATHAN J. COOPER / AP

May 5, 2018

(SACRAMENTO) — California’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth largest, according to new federal data made public Friday.

California’s gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion, the data said. Meanwhile, the UK’s economic output slightly shrunk over that time when measured in U.S. dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations.

The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California’s economy, home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world’s entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation’s salad bowl in the Central Valley agricultural heartland. It also reflects a substantial turnaround since the Great Recession.

“We have the entrepreneurial spirit in the state, and that attracts a lot of talent and money,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands. “And that’s why, despite high taxes and cumbersome government regulations, more people are coming into the state to join the parade.”

All economic sectors except agriculture contributed to California’s higher GDP, said Irena Asmundson, chief economist at the California Department of Finance. Financial services and real estate led the pack at $26 billion in growth, followed by the information sector, which includes many technology companies, at $20 billion. Manufacturing was up $10 billion.

California last had the world’s fifth largest economy in 2002 but fell as low as 10th in 2012 following the Great Recession. Since then, the largest U.S. state has added 2 million jobs and grown its GDP by $700 billion.

California’s economic output is now surpassed only by the total GDP of the United States, China, Japan and Germany. The state has 12 percent of the U.S. population but contributed 16 percent of the country’s job growth between 2012 and 2017. Its share of the national economy also grew from 12.8 percent to 14.2 percent over that five-year period, according to state economists.

California’s strong economic performance relative to other industrialized economies is driven by worker productivity, said Lee Ohanian, an economics professor at University of California, Los Angeles and director of UCLA’s Ettinger Family Program in Macroeconomic Research. The United Kingdom has 25 million more people than California but now has a smaller GDP, he said.

California’s economic juggernaut is concentrated in coastal metropolises around San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

“The non-coastal areas of CA have not generated nearly as much economic growth as the coastal areas,” Ohanian said in an email.

The state calculates California’s economic ranking as if it were a country by comparing state-level GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce with global data from the International Monetary Fund.

 

Palestinian President Abbas Shows The World Again That He Is A Hate Filled Ass

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council at his headquarters in Ramallah on Apr. 30, 2018
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council at his headquarters in Ramallah on Apr. 30, 2018
Majdi Mohammed—AP

By IAN DEITCH / AP

May 2, 2018

(JERUSALEM) — Remarks by the Palestinian president about the causes of 20th century anti-Semitism in Europe were sharply condemned as anti-Semitic and drew widespread condemnations from Israel and around the world on Wednesday.

In rambling remarks that were part of a lengthy speech to the Palestine Liberation Organization parliament on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it was the Jews’ “social function,” including money lending, that caused animosity toward them in Europe. He also portrayed the creation of Israel as a European colonial project, saying “history tells us there is no basis for the Jewish homeland.”

The comments drew criticism that Abbas perpetuated anti-Semitic stereotypes and ignored the deep Jewish historical connections to the Holy Land.

The Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial said in a statement that Abbas’ speech was “replete with antisemitic tropes and distortions of historical facts” and accused the Palestinian president of “blatantly falsifying history to the point of accusing the Jewish victims as being responsible for their own murder.”

The U.N.’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, said in a statement that “leaders have an obligation to confront anti-Semitism everywhere and always, not perpetuate the conspiracy theories that fuel it.”

“Denying the historic and religious connection of the Jewish people to the land and their holy sites in Jerusalem stands in contrast to reality,” he said.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel lashed out at Abbas over his remarks.

“Abu Mazen has reached a new low,” Ambassador David Friedman tweeted, referring to Abbas by his nickname. “To all those who think Israel is the reason that we don’t have peace, think again.”

The rhetoric reflects the escalating tensions between the Palestinians and the Trump administration. Ties have been strained since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year, prompting the Palestinians to suspend contacts with the administration.

Friedman and Abbas have sparred before. In March, Abbas called Friedman a “son of a dog” in an angry rant.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas’ remarks were “the pinnacle of ignorance” and that the Palestinian leader was “again reciting the most disgraceful anti-Semitic slogans.”

The European Union said in a statement that the Palestinian president’s speech “contained unacceptable remarks concerning the origins of the Holocaust and Israel’s legitimacy.”

Abbas’ office declined to comment.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council demanding condemnation of Abbas’ remarks and accusing the Palestinian president of trying to rewrite history with conspiracy theories.

Possible Eruption at Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano as Earthquakes Continue

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

This May 1, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano near Honolulu, Hawaii.
This May 1, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Geological Survey shows the eruption at the summit of Kilauea Volcano near Honolulu, Hawaii.
U.S. Geological Survey—AP/Shutterstock
By KATIE REILLY

9:30 PM EDT

Dozens of earthquakes shook Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Wednesday, as scientists warnedof a possible eruption following the collapse of the crater floor at the Puu Oo vent.

“An eruption is possible because magma is clearly moving through the East Rift Zone and it could come to the surface. The possibility is definitely there, I can’t give you a probability,” U.S. Geological Survey geologist Janet Babb told the Associated Press.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a “high rate” of earthquakes in the area of the rift zone Wednesday. As the magma continues to flow underground, the observatory warned that an outbreak of lava — which is magma that reaches Earth’s surface — was possible.

The Hawaii County Civil Defense advised residents in certain areas to prepare an emergency plan in case an evacuation becomes necessary. Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said county, state and federal agencies were preparing for a possible eruption, identifying shelters, mobilizing police and road crews, and warning residents in the lower area of the district of Puna to prepare to evacuate.

“Should an eruption occur, residents along the East Rift Zone may have little warning. Residents in that area should be prepared to evacuate,” Civil Defense Administrator Talmadge Magno said in a statement.

Canadian Man Lynched in the Amazon After Being Accused of Murdering a Shaman

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

By CASEY QUACKENBUSH

5:16 AM EDT

A Canadian man was reportedly killed in the Peruvian Amazon after indigenous community members blamed him for the death of a spiritual leader.

According to Peruvian prosecutors, the body of Sebastian Woodroffe, 41, was found by police after a video of his lynching surfaced on social media Friday, Reuters reports. Video footage reportedly shows a man in a puddle before another man wraps a rope around his neck and dragged him as onlookers watched.

Woodroffe’s body was found 0.6 miles away from the home of Olivia Arévalo, the spiritual leader of the Shipibo-Conibo tribe and an indigenous rights activist. The 81-year-old died Thursday after being shot twice, and some members of the outraged community blamed her apparent murder on Woodroffe, who was believed to have been one of her clients.

Canada’s foreign affairs department offered its “deepest condolences following the reported assassination of Olivia Arévalo Lomas, an indigenous elder and human rights defender,” Reuters reports.

Arévalo’s death follows a slew of unresolved murders of indigenous activists who were threatened for opposing illegal loggers and palm oil growers, according to Reuters. There is little oversight in the Peruvian Amazon where local communities often punish suspected criminals according to local customs without official state involvement.

“We will not rest until both murders, of the indigenous woman as well as the Canadian man, are solved,” Ricardo Palma Jimenez, the head prosecutor in Ucayali, told Reuters.

Naked Gunman Still at Large: The Latest on Nashville Waffle House Mass Shooting

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Naked Gunman Still at Large: The Latest on the Nashville Waffle House Mass Shooting

Updated: 11:56 AM ET | Originally published: 11:08 AM ET

Four people were killed and two others wounded in a mass shooting at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee early Sunday.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said that the gunman opened fire at 3:25 a.m. A heroic 29-year-old patron at the diner was able to stop the gunman and wrestle the gun away from him. However, the shooter – believed to be Travis Reinking, 29, of Illinois – escaped before police arrived.

Authorities say the gunman was nude as he fled the scene. Authorities were still searching for him through late morning Sunday, though murder warrants are now being drafted against Reinking, the police said via Twitter.

Police posted a photo of what appears to be an AR-15-style assault rifle that the gunman used.

Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said in a local TV interview, “If you see a nude guy walking around, call the police immediately. We believe he may be the suspect in this,” according to USA Today.

What happened?

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

BREAKING: 3 persons fatally shot & 4 others wounded at the Waffle House, 3571 Murfreesboro Pike. Gunman opened fire @ 3:25 a.m. A patron wrestled away the gunman’s rifle. He was nude & fled on foot. He is a white man with short hair.

A gunman shot six people, four fatally, when he opened fire in a Waffle House located at 3571 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville.

A restaurant patron, whom police said is a 29-year-old man, stepped in and disarmed the gunman.

“No doubt he saved many lives by wrestling the gun away and tossing it over the counter and prompting the man to leave,” Nashville police spokesman Aaron told the Associated Press.

The gunman was wearing only a green coat when he opened fire. During the struggle over the gun, the shooter left his coat and fled the scene naked, police said.

The investigation is still on-going and the crime scene is being processed, Nashville police said.

Who is the gunman?

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

BREAKING: Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, IL, is person of interest in Waffle House shooting. Vehicle the gunman arrived in is registered to him. Gunman last seen walking south on Murfreesboro Pike. He shed is coat and is nude. See Reinking? Pls call 615-862-8600 immediately.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

Investigation on going at the Waffle House. Scene being processed by MNPD experts. This is the rifle used by the gunman.

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

Waffle House Update: Murder warrants are now being drafted against Travis Reinking.

Police have named 29-year-old Travis Reinking, originally of Morton, Illinois, as a person of interest in the shooting after identifying his truck in the parking lot of the Waffle House.

Reinking is described as a white man with short hair. Law enforcement in Illinois and federal authorities were aware of Reinking prior to the shooting, police told Nashville’s News Channel 5.

Police also tweeted that Reinking shed his clothes and is either naked or wearing pants but no shirt, and is still at large, and Reinking “was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apartments on Mountain Springs Drive near the Waffle House.” Channel 5 also reported that “police dogs have been tracking him.”

Anyone with information about Reinking is urged to call the Nashville Police Department at (615) 862-8600.

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

A man believed to be Travis Reinking was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apts. on Mountain Springs Dr. near the Waffle House. The man was seen wearing black pants and no shirt.

What was the motive for the shooting?

Police are still trying to determine why the gunman opened fire, but at this time, they believe the shooting was random. They also do not know why the alleged suspect, Reinking, came to Nashville from his hometown in Morton, Illinois, 450 miles away, but according to The Tennessean, police believe he lives at the Mountain View Apartments near the Waffle House where the shooting took place. ”

Who are the victims?

Metro Nashville PD

@MNPDNashville

Waffle House: 6 persons shot, 4 fatally (3 died at the scene, 1 at the hospital). The 2 others are being treated at Vanderbilt. Search continuing for Travis Reinking.

The names of the victims have not yet been released.

A total of six people were shot. Three died at the scene and a fourth victim died at the hospital.

Two others were wounded and are being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

What is the reaction to the shooting?

Waffle House, a 24/7 diner chain that is popular throughout the South, issued a statement after the shooting saying, “This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.”

Waffle House News@WaffleHouseNews

This is a very sad day for the Waffle House family. We ask for everyone to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.

Nasvhille’s Mayor David Briley also issued a statement, saying: “It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families and friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.”

Mayor David Briley

@MayorBriley

It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families & friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.

Mayor David Briley

@MayorBriley

It’s a tragic day for our city anytime people lose their lives at the hands of a gunman. My heart goes out to the families & friends of every person who was killed or wounded in this morning’s shooting. I know all of their lives will be forever changed by this devastating crime.

Mayor David Briley

@MayorBriley

There’s clearly more to be said about these circumstances, but for now I ask Nashville to pray for and rally around these victims and join me in thanking @MNPDNashville as it works to find and apprehend the shooter.

If Saudi Arabia Is Honest About Reform They Must Free Raif Badawi!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Ensaf Haidar, wife of the jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, shows a portrait of her husband as he is awarded with the Sakharov Prize, on Dec. 16, 2015 in Strasbourg, France.
Ensaf Haidar, wife of the jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi, shows a portrait of her husband as he is awarded with the Sakharov Prize, on Dec. 16, 2015 in Strasbourg, France.
Christian Lutz—AP/REX/Shutterstock
IDEAS
Silver is a member of Raif Badawi’s international legal team; Abitbol is cofounder of the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom.

“We want to lead normal lives, lives where our religion and our traditions translate into tolerance.”

“For me, liberalism simply means, live and let live. This is a splendid slogan.”

Who could have imagined that these equally conciliatory concepts would result in such conflicting consequences?

Yet in Saudi Arabia, the advocate of one is heralded as a reformer, while the other is harassed for being a radical.

Indeed, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohamed bin Salman said the former; imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, the latter.

Born one year apart, these millennials have given expression to the vision and values of a younger generation, one that is empowered by the digital age, implicated in a globalizing world and impervious to the religious orthodoxy of some clerical elite.

However, while the Crown Prince travels the world touting a transformed Kingdom, Badawi has languished in a Saudi prison for almost six years now, for professing his vision for remaking the region.

Using a blog to exercise his right to freedom of expression, Badawi unmasked a culture of corruption and criminality, as well as the impunity that underpinned them; he challenged religious intolerance and extremism, and sparked a discussion on modernization. In short, Badawi paved the way for today’s discourse and developments in Saudi Arabia concerning what the Crown Prince himself has called a “moderate Islam” and combating the “cancer of corruption.”

But will these commendable principles and policies have permanence, or were they simply a prelude to the Crown Prince’s Western ties–building tour and PR campaign? The litmus test for legitimacy is the freeing of Raif Badawi — the champion of these changes.

Indeed, releasing Raif would be in the kingdom’s own self-interest.

As the Crown Prince looks to raise foreign direct investment to 5.7% of GDP, he is seeking to “create an environment attractive to… foreign investors, and earn their confidence in the resilience and potential of [the Saudi] national economy.” Building this investor confidence will require increasing trust in Saudi legal norms, including those of constitutions and contracts — a crucial assurance for investors against arbitrary treatment.

Yet the treatment of Raif Badawi is in standing violation of domestic Saudi law and further obligations that Saudi Arabia has assumed under international law. The Court that convicted Badawi lacked jurisdiction. The witnesses in his case were inadmissible. He was denied his right to counsel — his lawyer and brother-in-law Waleed Abu Al-Khair was himself imprisoned — and he was not informed of the charges against him, nor given the necessary time and means to prepare his defense. His sentence of lashings was itself illegal — as physical torture is prohibited under the Arab Charter on Human Rightsratified by Saudi Arabia in 2009, and the U.N.’s Convention Against Torture, which the nation ratified in 1997. The criminalization of Badawi was ultimately the criminalization of the protected rights he sought to exercise and of freedom itself.

In the face of these standing violations of their own sacred laws and treaty agreements, why should investors trust that Saudi Arabia would respect their business commitments? Investors could just as easily be treated with the same arbitrariness. However, it is not too late for Saudi Arabia to make an important statement to the international investor community about rule of law and remedy these standing violations by releasing Badawi and his lawyer.

To release Badawi would also be a stroke of geostrategic genius.

Faced with the regional resurgence of violence emanating from the Iranian Regime — such as the recent firing of rockets at Riyadh by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen — the Saudi Crown Prince has been encouraging the international community to increase economic and political pressure against Iran. Similarly, the Crown Prince spearheaded a regional move to sever ties with Qatar to protect “national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.” The collective action aimed to pressure Qatar to end its support for terror groups, including elements of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

But when the Saudi ambassador to Canada tried to host a major press conference on Qatar with his Egyptian and Emirati counterparts in July 2017, his message was lost. Journalists asked about Badawi at the Conference — and the ambassadors were forced to abandon their advocacy on Qatar to defend the unjust imprisonment.

Indeed, Raif Badawi may be the most celebrated prisoner of conscience in the world today. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, he is a recipient of scores of prestigious human rights awards and honorifics, including the Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament, the PEN Pinter Prize and the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Prize. Foreign Policy named him as one of 2015’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers, and he received the Courage Award from a coalition of 20 human rights groups from around the world at the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. His case and cause have been championed by a broad and inclusive cross-section of leaders from both civil service and civil society.

Rather than distract from Saudi efforts, releasing Badawi would help advance their campaign. Indeed, Badawi would be an articulate ally and spokesperson for shining a spotlight on Iran and Qatar, which are among the most regressive and repressive regimes in the world — and as a human rights activist Badawi has been a forceful critic of each. Living in liberty, Badawi — with his established and influential global network — can play a transformative role in growing a grassroots campaign and cultivating a collective coalition against the state-sanctioning and support of extremism of the Regimes in Iran and Qatar.

With such a critical mass of reasons to release Raif, any claims to the contrary are certainly surmountable.

The slippery slope argument — that the Saudi state would face an emboldened movement to release other prisoners, some of whom may pose a risk to national security — is mitigated by the exceptional nature of Badawi — an international icon, whose views now largely parallel those of the new Saudi leadership. His release would have a positive worldwide resonance, and attest to the genuine authenticity of reforms to this global audience.

Ultimately, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has full authority to grant clemency. When he releases the list of pardons in advance of Ramadan next month, the Crown Prince should take the opportunity to propel his agenda forward — both within Saudi Arabia and across the globe — by freeing Raif Badawi, and allowing him to join in Canada his wife Ensaf, and children Najwa, Terad and Miriyam.