Two men were arrested in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh for offering free hugs. After observing the “free-hug” movements in other countries, Saudi citizen Bandr al-Swed was inspired to start his own. He attempted to brighten people’s day by offering strangers free hugs, believing that it could make the country a happier place. The religious police stated that the practice was “exotic and offending public order.” After the arrest, the two men were obligated to sign a pledge stating that they would not offer free hugs again.
A suicidal gunman murdered an Iranian rock band. Gunman Ali Rafie charged through a Brooklyn apartment complex, murdering the three members of the indie rock band Yellow Dogs. Reports say that Rafie went through five magazines in his rifle before killing himself on the apartment roof. Friends of Rafie stated that he was kicked out of a different band, the Free Keys, which had close ties to the Yellow Dogs.
Last Tuesday, India's Mars Orbiter Mission (coined MOM) took off with no foreseen complications. The primary goal of this mission is to prove to the international community that India has the capability to reach space and perform experiments, as told by representatives of India's space agency. If the 300 day mission is successful, India will become the 4th country to have successfully sent a probe to the Red Planet.
Shortly after releasing 26 Palestinian convicts, Israeli officials declared plans to build a new settlement in the East Jerusalem sector. Plans include building over 1500 housing units, fully furnished with public works and relaxing garden areas. This expansion could house thousands of displaced people in the region. Palestinian authorities responded with outrage at the news.
Ten cars rigged with explosives blew up in areas around Baghdad on Sunday, and a suicide bomber attacked soldiers queuing up to receive their pay. The attacks killed a total of 49 people and injured many more. The deadliest attack took place in Mosul when a man driving a car blew himself up outside a government bank where soldiers were waiting to collect their salaries. Twelve people were killed in that attack. 37 more people were killed in what seems to have been coordinated blasts around Baghdad. In the worst of those, two car bombs exploded near a market in Nahrawan, killing seven.