IRAQ: Newspaper offices attacked
Gunmen suspected of being Shia militiamen burst into the offices of four independent newspapers in Baghdad, smashing equipment and beating employees, even hurling a reporter from a roof in the most brazen attack against journalists in Iraq this year, officials said Tuesday. Two editors said the raids came after their papers published stories criticizing the militia's hardline cleric-leader. "The message of the assailants was to shut mouths," said Bassam al-Sheikh, editor of one of the attacked newspapers, Al-Dustour. Some 50 assailants participated in Monday's attacks, according to one of the newspaper's websites.
GAZA: Segregated schools decreed
Starting with the new school year in September, boys and girls in middle and high school will be breaking the law if they study side by side. Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers argue that new legislation, mandating gender separation in schools from age 9, enshrines common practice. Women's activists warned Tuesday it's another step in the Hamas agenda of imposing its fundamentalist world view on Gaza's 1.7 million people. While Hamas advocates establishing an Islamic state in all the Mideast, including Israel, it has moved cautiously in spreading its ultraconservative Islam. It is requiring women to cover up in the traditional Islamic dress of long robes and headscarves. Other edicts include bans on women smoking water pipes in public, riding on the backs of motorcycles and employing male stylists.
FRANCE: TV doctor commits suicide
A TV doctor overseeing the French "Survivor" reality show has committed suicide following the sudden death of a young contestant he had treated, France's biggest TV station said. Dr. Thierry Costa killed himself on location Monday on an island in Cambodia, TF1 said. Costa, 38, blamed the media for damaging his professional reputation in a suicide note TF1 published on its website. The first tragedy for the "Koh-Lanta" show was contestant Gerald Babin, 25, who died March 22 on the first day of filming for the 2013 season. Babin went to Costa with mysterious cramps during the season's first tropical challenge. He died soon after following a heart attack, TF1 said.