TEHRAN (AP) — Iranian state TV reported that the country’s authorities executed a wrestler for allegedly murdering a man, after President Donald Trump asked for the 27-year-old condemned man’s life to be spared.
State TV quoted the chief justice of Fars province, Kazem Mousavi, as saying: “The retaliation sentence against Navid Afkari, the killer of Hassan Torkaman, was carried out this morning in Adelabad prison in Shiraz.”
Afkari’s case had drawn the attention of a social media campaign that portrayed him and his brothers as victims targeted over participating in protests against Iran’s Shiite theocracy in 2018. Authorities accused Afkari of stabbing a water supply company employee in the southern city of Shiraz amid the unrest.
Iran broadcast the wrestler’s televised confession last week. The segment resembled hundreds of other suspected coerced confessions aired over the last decade in the Islamic Republic.
The International Olympic Committee in a statement said it was shocked and saddened by the news of the wrestler’s execution, and that the committee’s president, Thomas Bach, “had made direct personal appeals to the Supreme Leader and to the President of Iran this week and asked for mercy for Navid Afkari.”
California (AP) – Smoke from massive wildfires that painted California skies orange was also helping crews corral the deadliest blaze of the year, but despite the progress there was concern that the death toll could mount as crews reach devastated areas.
Nine people, including a 16-year-old boy, have been confirmed dead since lightning-caused fires that started weeks ago fused into a monster that largely destroyed Berry Creek, a tiny hamlet in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of San Francisco.
Crews made some progression in chopping or bulldozing brush-free lines to control the North Complex fire. In addition, gusting winds that whipped up the flames days earlier eased while smoke blocked out the sun and lowered previously scorching temperatures. Monday’s high temperature was expected to top out at 80 degrees or less.
Nearly 15,000 firefighters were battling 28 major wildfires across California, although 24 were sparked last week and quickly contained.
The North Complex remained the deadliest this year, with nine confirmed deaths. Officials said 10 bodies were found but Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea lowered the figure. Honea said remains found in a burned storage shed turned out to be from a resin model of a human skeleton that was used by an anthropology student.
A search continued for 19 people who remained unaccounted for.
NEW YORK (AP) — Toots Hibbert, one of reggae’s founders and most beloved stars who gave the music its name and later helped make it an international movement through such classics as “Pressure Drop,” “Monkey Man” and “Funky Kingston,” has died. He was 77.
Hibbert, frontman of Toots & the Maytals, had been in a medically-induced coma at a hospital in Kingston since earlier this month. He was admitted in intensive care after complaints of having breathing difficulties according to his publicist. It was revealed in local media that the singer was awaiting results from a COVID-19 test after showing symptoms.
News of the five-time Grammy nominee’s ill-health came just weeks after his last known performance, on a national live-stream during Jamaica’s Emancipation and Independence celebrations in August.
A family statement said Hibbert died Friday at University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, surrounded by family.