Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 17th 2014 Contents A31
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Japan's largest dance festival held in Tokushima Prefecture attracts more than a million tourists, who go to enjoy traditional
Japanese folk dances. Now there's a new kind of festival: "Awa," which is the former name of Tokushima, can also mean "foam" in
Japanese, and the Awa Fes is a bubble-filled dance festival. The festival debuted in Japan in 2012 and is more akin to those held in
clubs in Ibiza during the 1990s. Visitors enjoy club music while dancing on a foam-covered ground. As the day wears on, bubbles are
constantly replenished by a foam machine. People covered in soap bubbles cheer yesterday at this year's Awa or bubble/foam
festival at Toyosu Magic Beach in Tokyo. AP PHOTO
BERLIN---Thousands of people in
Germany have protested against the
persecution of the Yazidi minority in
Police say at least 10,000 people
attended a demonstration in the north
German city of Hannover yesterday.
Protesters carried banners
demanding that the international
community protect the Yazidi people
and other minorities from the Islamist
Smaller demonstrations were also
scheduled in other cities across
Germany, which has one of the biggest
Yazidi diasporas worldwide.
The Yazidis are a centuries-old
religious minority viewed as apostates
by the extremist Islamic State group in
Germany: Thousands protest Yazidi persecution in Iraq
Kurdish forces supported by US air
strikes are battling to retake Mosul dam
from Islamic State (IS) fighters in northern
Iraq. The operation to recapture the coun-
try s largest dam began early yesterday
with raids by F-18 fighters and drones, US
US military officials told NBC News the
decision to try to retake the dam came after
intelligence showed IS militants "were not
yet at a point where they could blow up
The dam, captured by IS on August 7, is
of huge strategic significance in terms of
water and power resources.
Located on the River Tigris about 50 km
(30 miles) upstream from the city of Mosul,
it controls the water and power supply to
a large surrounding area in northern Iraq.
The BBC s Jim Muir in Irbil says there are
fears the dam is structurally dubious and
many have warned that it could unleash a
catastrophic flood if it was breached.
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have shelled
militants positions, and there is an uncon-
firmed report of a ground attack.
At least 11 IS fighters have been killed,
sources in Mosul told BBC News.
A Kurdish commander, Maj Gen Abdel-
rahman Korini, told AFP that the Peshmerga
had captured the eastern side of the dam
and were "still advancing."
Rudaw, a Kurdish news Web site, said the
air strikes appeared to be the "heaviest US
bombing of militant positions since the start
of air strikes" against IS last week.
The Islamic State, which overran Mosul
this summer, has been accused of a new
massacre of non-Muslims.
At least 80 men from the Yazidi faith
were killed, and scores of women and chil-
dren abducted, in the village of Kawju (also
spelt Kocho) on Friday. Reports say the men
were killed after refusing to convert to Islam.
The Yazidis, one of Iraq s smallest and
oldest religious minorities, are among
400,000 people that the United Nations
estimates have been driven from their homes
since June, when IS swept across the border
from Syria into Iraq. Of those displaced,
more than 200,000 have poured into Iraq s
northern Dohuk province in recent weeks.
(BBC and CNN sources)
Kurds battle to
retake Mosul dam
The Islamic State militant group has executed
700 members of a tribe it has been battling in
eastern Syria during the past two weeks, the
majority of them civilians, a human rights mon-
itoring group said yesterday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,
which has tracked violence on all sides of the
three-year-old conflict, said that reliable sources
reported beheadings were used to execute many
of the al-Sheitaat tribe, which is from Deir al-
The conflict between Islamic State and the al-
Sheitaat tribe, who number about 70,000, flared
after Islamic State took over two oil fields in July.
Reuters cannot independently verify reports
from Syria due to security conditions and report-
ing restrictions. (Reuters)
tribe in Syria
FOAM DANCE FESTIVAL
Kenyan officials say the country is closing
its borders to travellers from Guinea, Liberia
and Sierra Leone in response to the deadly Ebola
outbreak. Kenya s health secretary said Kenyans
and medical workers flying in from those states
would still be allowed in.
Kenyan Airways says it will stop flights to
Liberia and Sierra Leone when the ban comes
in on Wednesday.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says
Kenya is at "high risk" from Ebola because it is
a major transport hub.
The epidemic began in Guinea in February and
has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and
On Friday, the death toll rose to 1,145 after the
WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in
the two days to 13 August. There have been 2,127
cases reported in total.
Earlier, Kenya s health ministry said four sus-
pected cases of Ebola in the country had tested
negative for the virus.
The cases had involved a Liberian national and
two Nigerians who had recently travelled to Kenya
as well as a Zimbabwean.
Kenyan Airways said it had decided to cancel
flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone s capitals after
advice from Kenya s government. It said all pas-
sengers booked on the suspended flights would
get a full refund. (BBC)
Kenya to close
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