Defector Embarrasses Iran — President Ahmadinejad’s videographer defected while filming the Iranian president’s visit to New York and the U.N. General Assembly, Foreign Policy reports. A longtime staff of the Iranian News Agency, Hassan Gol Khanban sent his wife and two young children to a third country before declaring his intention to defect. Foreign Policy describes the incident as an embarrassing ending to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the U.N.
Pussy Riot‘s Appeal — The appeal hearing of the Russian protest band will resume on October 10 after one of the members requested to have a new lawyer, citing differences in views, International Herald Tribune reports. In August, three members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for hooliganism. The band’s sentence has stirred international outcry against Russia’s oppression of freedom of speech. The band mocked President Vladimir V. Putin and the Orthodox Church in its songs.
London Assassination Attempt — A 78-year-old Indian army general was stabbed and wounded Sunday night while traveling in London with his wife. Kuldeep Singh Brar, who is well-known for his 1984 raid on Sikh militants in India’s Golden Temple, said the attack was an assassination attempt, the BBC writes. Brar described his attackers as four men dressed in black with long beards. After the attack, he told Indian TV channels that he’s had numerous threats since the 1984 raid, known as Operation Bluestar, that left 1,000 people dead. The general was released from hospital on Monday.
Georgia’s Dream Team — Early results from Monday’s Georgian parliamentary elections suggest that billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili has crept ahead of current president, Mikheil Saakashvili in the bid to be Prime Minister of the former Soviet republic. Despite Saakashvili also claiming success in areas outside the capital, Tbilisi, supporters of Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream Party have already taken to the streets to celebrate the results of two polls showing them to have won a majority over the governing United National Movement (UNM). According to the Guardian, Ivanishvili is confident of victory, although the official results are not expected until later on Tuesday.
U.S. Hostage Video — A video of missing American journalist Austin Tice has emerged, showing him to be alive and apparently in the hands of Islamist militants, reports The New York Times. The former Marine, 31, a freelance journalist, was last heard from on August 13th while travelling in Syria. The footage shows a blindfolded Mr. Tice being jostled by masked gunmen in hillside surroundings. He is forced to recite a Muslim prayer in Arabic, which he does breathlessly before ending with “Oh Jesus, oh Jesus.” Questions have been raised about the film’s authenticity, with the U.S. State Department suggesting that Mr. Tice is in fact in the hands of the Syrian government.
Newspapers, A Human Right — A court ruling in Malaysia has stated newspaper publishing to be a basic human right in a move that hugely advances the country’s previously stringent confines on print publishing. According to The New York Times, the verdict stated that “the right to freedom of expression includes the right to publish and is a fundamental liberty.” This comes after Malaysiakini, a thriving news and views website, had their application for a print license rejected by the government. Despite the court hearing that this decision should not have been made, it remains to be seen whether the government will appeal the judgement.