Home-made bombs target mosque and conference centre in Dresden ‘xenophobic’ hate crime
Japanese ad showing girl turning into an eel gets pulled
A Japanese advertisement showing a teenage girl in a swimsuit turning into an eel has been pulled after complaints it was sexist and “perverted”.
The two-minute video was produced by Shibushi city, who said it was meant to highlight their commitment to sustainable eel fishing.
But it was widely accused of sexism, with one social media user calling it the “delusions of a pervert”. It is not the first Japanese ad to feature women turning into animals. The advert, narrated by a man, opens with a teenage girl in a black swimsuit floating in a pool asking the narrator to feed her.
“I decided I would do everything I could for her. I gave her delicious food until she was full and made sure she could sleep well at night,” the narrator says.
Scenes of the idyllic Japanese countryside are also shown in-between shots.
The audience sees her transformation slowly begin when she is unable to pick up an object because her hands have become slimy.
She is later seen diving into the pool, transforming into an eel, saying “goodbye” as she swims away.
The video then ends with the words “we’re farming [eels] with care” appearing on-screen. Viewers on social media were quick to respond to the ad. “Of all the bizarre sexist ads, this one from Japan takes the eel,” said one user on Twitter.
“This makes me think of a girl who is being kidnapped and locked up... It’s the delusions of a pervert,” another commented.
City officials later pulled the ad, saying they were “aware that some people were offended”.
“We just wanted to make a video that simply explains the city is known for eel farming” a local official told news agency AFP. Earlier this year, a Japanese company found itself in similar trouble. It produced an advert comparing high school students to cows being bred for meat or dairy farming. One teenage girl is singled out for her ability to produce milk.
Users described that video as “udderly weird”.
Mali Islamist jailed for shrine attacks
An Islamist who destroyed ancient shrines in Timbuktu has been jailed by the International Criminal Court for nine years.
Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi admitted to leading rebel forces who destroyed historic mausoleums at the world heritage site in Mali in 2012.
Judges at the court in The Hague found he had shown “remorse and empathy” for the crime.
It is the first sentence based on cultural destruction as a war crime. Far-right extremists are suspected of being behind attempted bombings targeting a mosque and conference centre in Germany, hours after a march by the anti-Islam Pegida movement.
The door of a mosque in Dresden was blown inside by the force of the blast at around 10pm local time on Monday.
The family living inside, the mosque’s imam, his wife and two sons, were unhurt but found six bottles filled with fuel outside their scorched and blackened door.
Ibrahim Ismail Turan, the imam’s 10-year-old son, told the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper: “They attacked us because they hate us, because we’re Muslims.”
Around 25 minutes later, another explosion was reported to police outside the city’s International Congress Centre, lying near the state parliament on the River Elbe.
The blast shattered glass on the building’s terrace but injured noone, with investigators finding remnants of an improvised explosive device at the scene.
Police evacuated a nearby bar over fears of further blast and told guests staying in the hotel above the terrace to stay away from windows.
Officers have been dispatched to guard two mosques in Dresden, as well as an Islamic centre, with further protections under consideration as the investigation continues.
Horst Kretzschmar, the chief of Dresden police, said the attempted attacks were believed to be connected.
“Although we have not yet seen any claim of responsibility, we must work on the basis of a xenophobic motive,” he said. “At the same time, we see a connection to celebrations for the Day of German Unity this coming weekend.”
The public holiday, which falls on 3 October, marks the reunification of Germany in 1990 and is marked with festivals officially hosted by a different city each year, with the task for 2016 falling to Dresden.
The city is home to the Pegida movement, which stands for “Patriotic Europeans against Islamisation of the West”, and holds weekly marches sometimes drawing tens of thousands of supporters.
Described by one politician as “Nazis in pinstripes”, the group is regularly met by counterdemonstrations accusing members of racism, fascism, xenophobia and inciting .