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Human rights group Amnesty International said Sunday it had "credible evidence" of the abuse and torture of people detained in sweeping arrests since Turkey's July 15 coup attempt.

The London-based group claimed some of those being held were being "subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, in official and unofficial detention centres in the country".

In Turkey, a senior official denied Amnesty's claims and vowed that Turkey would uphold human rights.

"The idea that Turkey, a country seeking European Union membership, would not respect the law is absurd," the official said.

"We categorically deny the allegations and encourage advocacy groups to provide an unbiased account of the legal steps that are being taken against people who murdered nearly 250 civilians in cold blood."

Since the failed coup, a total of 13,165 people have been detained, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Saturday.

 

 

 

EgyptAir said wreckage from its passenger plane that crashed into the Mediterranean on Thursday with 66 people on board has been found.

"The Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation has just received an official letter from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that confirms the finding of wreckage of the missing aircraft No. MS 804," it said in English on its Twitter account.

 

 

Six suicide attacks in eight months and a spat with Russia have added to concerns for the Turkish economy as tourists flee, taking billions of dollars in spending elsewhere, and foreign investors skirt the troubled country.

Days after a suspected Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadist blew himself up on a top shopping street in Istanbul, hotels, restaurants and retailers in the city are counting their losses.

Shops and restaurants on Istiklal Street, the usually bustling two-kilometer-long pedestrian artery targeted in the March 19 attack, complain of a sharp drop in business since the bombing, which killed four foreigners and injured dozens.

The attack on Istiklal — the beating heart of Turkey’s biggest city — emphasized the security threat after three deadly suicide attacks in Ankara.

While financial markets have so far reacted with relative sangfroid to the terrorist wave, analysts say the bloodshed is putting strain on Turkey, which is already battling high inflation and mid-term economic uncertainty.

“There could be large economic costs from these attacks, particularly in terms of long investment and the tourism sector,” William Jackson, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics in London, told AFP.

 

 

 

Japan's top court will rule this week on a pair of 19th century family laws that critics blast as sexist and out of touch.

The Supreme Court will weigh in on the legality of a six-month ban on women remarrying after divorce and another law that requires spouses to have the same surname, in a highly anticipated decision set for Wednesday.

The court will decide whether to uphold, amend or strike down the controversial legislation, which dates back to an era of starkly different social mores.

The half-year remarriage ban is linked to complex rules over the timing of a child's birth after divorce -- designed to determine whether a child belonged to the ex-husband or the new spouse's family in an era before DNA testing.

The surname rule is a throwback to Japan's feudal family system, in which all women and children came under the control of the head of household -- traditionally a man.

 

 

"Even if the feudal family system is long gone, many people still have the image of a woman marrying into the husband's household," said Waseda University law professor Masayuki Tanamura.

That system was abolished in 1948, part of broad reforms pushed by the post-World War II US occupation, but Japan's civil code maintained the two articles -- which will go before the court this week.

Activists say the laws are a continued reflection of the country's male-dominated society more than a century after they came into effect.

- Judicial tango -

Mother and activist Masae Ido knows firsthand the implications of the half-year ban on remarriage.

"These laws mean a woman remains under a man's sexual control even after divorce," Ido, 50, told AFP.

 

She vividly recalls her frustration after the birth of a child with her second husband.

A municipal official said her ex-husband must be registered as the father of her baby -- who, under the rules, was born too soon after they divorced -- even though he was not biologically related to the child.

 

 

 

The East Asia Pacific region is ageing at a faster rate than any other place in history, the World Bank warned Wednesday, a demographic shift likely to cramp public services and economic growth.

The region, which spans from Myanmar and China's western borders as far east as Japan, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific islands, is now home to a third of the world's over 65s -- some 211 million people.

That lurch towards older populations will have a significant impact on economic growth in a area of the globe that has been financially booming for much of the last two decades, according to the study.

The report is titled "Live Long and Prosper: Aging in East Asia and Pacific" -- a reference to the so-called Vulcan salute from the Star Trek sci-fi series.

Sharp falls in birthrates and a rise in life expectancy will likely heap pressure on public services while economies will struggle to fill the shortfall of working-age employees.

 

The region "has undergone the most dramatic demographic transition we have ever seen", said Axel van Trotsenburg, regional vice president of the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific Region.

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg has grown from a Harvard dropout who changed what it means to be social into a billionaire philanthropist bent on shaping a better world for his daughter.

Zuckerberg and his doctor wife, Priscilla Chan, set the Internet abuzz this week with news of the birth of their first child, a girl named Maxima.

Zuckerberg and Chan also pledged to give away their Facebook fortune to make the world a "better place" for baby daughter Maxima and others.

In a letter to Maxima posted on his Facebook page, the couple said they were going to give away 99 percent of their company shares -- estimated value $45 billion -- during their lives in an effort to make a happy and healthy world.

 

Zuckerberg cemented his fortune, and a place in Silicon Valley history, by leading Facebook to a historic Wall Street debut in 2012. Facebook shares on Wednesday were trading at nearly triple the initial public offering price of $38.

The $16 billion IPO was structured to keep control of Facebook in the hands of Zuckerberg, who has been Time's "Person of the Year" and cracked the Forbes list of 20 richest people in the world.

The hoodie-wearing 31-year-old, depicted in the Hollywood drama "The Social Network" as a socially challenged computer geek, has evolved into a confident chief executive presiding over an online community boasting more than 1.5 billion users monthly as of September.

Despite his massive wealth, Zuckerberg still favors t-shirts, jeans and sneakers, topped off by his trademark hooded sweatshirt and a mop of brown, curly hair.

 

 

 

He has donned suits, though, while meeting with high-profile figures such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama.

Zuckerberg is known for setting annual goals, which have included wearing ties every day; only eating meat of animals he kills himself; and learning to speak Chinese to be able to chat with members of his wife's family who speak that language.

He has grown more outspoken socially and politically. Zuckerberg has marched with hundreds of Facebook employees in San Francisco's grand Gay Pride Parade and publicly backed US immigration reform.

Quotes credited to Zuckerberg included "What would you do if you weren't afraid" and "Move fast and break things."

Zuckerberg is known for advocating a "hacker way" of boldly twisting software or systems in promising directions.

 

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Syria could be weeks away from a "big transition", following on from international talks in Vienna at the weekend.