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Irish PM to intervene in case of woman held in Dubai

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By Matt FoxBBC News NI

Detained in Dubai Tori ToweyDetained in Dubai

Irish woman Tori Towey is in “the most appalling circumstances” in the United Arab Emirates, the Dáil heard

An Irish woman is facing criminal charges – including attempted suicide and the abuse of alcohol – in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in what the taoiseach (Irish prime minister) has called “the most appalling circumstances”

Simon Harris said he was ready to intervene in the case in response to a question from Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald in the Dáil (Irish lower house of parliament) on Tuesday.

Ms McDonald told TDs (MPs) that Tori Towey from County Roscommon had had her passport destroyed.

The BBC has approached the UAE government for comment on the case.

Mr Harris said that he was not aware of the 28-year-old’s case, but thanked Sinn Féin for raising it with him and the minister for foreign affairs and said he would work to see how Ms Towey could be helped.

‘Most gross domestic violence’

It is understood Ms Towey has been working as an air hostess and is based in Dubai – the largest city in the UAE.

Addressing the Dáil, Ms McDonald said she had spoken to Ms Towey on Tuesday.

She said Ms Towey’s mother had travelled to Dubai to be with her and that she “wants to come home”.

“She has been the victim of the most gross domestic violence,” Ms McDonald said.

“Her passport has been destroyed. There was a travel ban imposed on her.”

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The Irish government should make it “absolutely plain to the authorities of Dubai that no woman should be treated in this way”, Ms McDonald told the Dáil, and that “an Irish citizen, an Irish woman, will not be treated in this way”.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware of the case and was providing consular assistance.

‘Government is rightly behind us’

Ms Towey is receiving assistance from human rights advocate and lawyer Radha Stirling, who runs the Detained in Dubai group.

“Tori is facing court next week. She has been charged with consumption of alcohol and also attempting suicide, both of which have been historically illegal in the country,” Ms Stirling told BBC News NI.

She explained Ms Towey was subject to a travel ban and could not leave the UAE.

“The Irish government is rightly behind us in having the UAE police drop the case against her,” Ms Stirling said.

Reuters Simon HarrisReuters

Taoiseach Simon Harris pledged to intervene on behalf of Tori Towey

She said Ms Towey was unable to afford a lawyer, “so it’s even more difficult and confusing for her”.

Even if found not guilty, the legal process could take “months and months”, she explained, but the family were feeling optimistic that international pressure would help.

“If the Irish government backs her case and does everything that they can diplomatically… it’s highly likely that she will be home in Ireland next week,” she added.

“With all of the support [Tori and her mother] are just over the moon and very, very positive that things will go well next week.”

  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this story you can visit BBC Action Line.



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Philadelphia shooting at big block party leaves 3 dead, 7 injured

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A mass shooting of 10 people in West Philadelphia early Sunday morning has resulted in three deaths, according to local reports.

The shooting, possibly at a block party with more than 100 people, happened in the 1200 block of North Alden Street, FOX 29’s Steve Keeley posted to X. 

Some of the shooting victims were taken by police to the hospital, while others were driven away by neighbors.

Images from the scene show the shooting happened on a residential street.

PHILADELPHIA DEM DA SLAMMED OVER SUSPECTED OFFICER KILLER’S PUNISHMENT

Investigators at Philly mass shooting on residential street

A mass shooting of 10 people was reported in the 1200 block of North Alden Street in west Philadelphia. (WTXF)

The people killed were in their 20s and 30s, according to FOX 29. Their identities have not been released. 

Conditions of the at least seven injured range from stable to serious, but their ages and identities are not yet known. 

SUSPECT CHARGED IN SHOOTING OF PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICER WHO REMAINS ‘ON LIFE SUPPORT’

Philly PD Crime Scene Unit

Crime scene unit investigators with Philadelphia Police Department at the scene of a mass shooting early Sunday, July 21, 2024.  (WTXF)

Several shell casings and one weapon were found at the scene, FOX 29 reports. 

Whoever is responsible for the shooting is still on the loose. It is possible there is more than one gunman, police told FOX 29. 

Philly PD at mass shooting scene

Philadelphia police on the scene of a mass shooting in the 200 block of North Alden Street in West Philadelphia.  (WTXF)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Fox News Digital is waiting to hear back from the police with more information. 

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.



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Eluned Morgan considering running as Vaughan Gething;s successor

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Health Secretary Eluned Morgan is “giving serious consideration” to standing to replace Vaughan Gething as Wales’ first minister.

Welsh Labour has confirmed it will elect Mr Gething’s successor by mid September after the first minister quit on Tuesday when three ministers and his chief legal adviser all resigned following months of interparty disputes.

Ms Morgan said she was looking at “unity ticket” with fellow Senedd cabinet member Huw Irranca-Davies running as her deputy.

She told BBC Politics Wales she had “a considerable amount of support” across Labour but would not be drawn on whether she has the required six nominations to get on the ballot paper.

The party’s politicians in the Senedd have until noon on Wednesday to decide who they are backing in the leadership contest.

One of the ministers who quit on Tuesday – former Economy Secretary Jeremy Miles – is expected to run.

BBC Wales was told he already had the support of enough of his colleagues to secure his place on the ballot paper.

Supporters of Mr Gething claimed Mr Miles – whom he narrowly defeated in the last leadership race – would not be able to unite the Labour party in the Senedd .

Ms Morgan said she hoped to confirm her bid in “the next few hours or days”.

She said she had “considerable amount of support… from the different sections of the Labour party,” adding “you don’t need to belong to any particular faction” to support her.

“If I were to stand, then I would be standing on a ticket along with Huw Irranca-Davies, who was a Jeremy Miles supporter, so it would be a unity ticket.

“This is something that we are testing. There’s been a huge groundswell of support within the party for that idea.

“People want to look to the future. They want to look to the next election and they want us to refocus of delivering for the people of Wales.”



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Monterey Park teen missing after taking her bike to visit a relative

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Police are searching for a 15-year-old Monterey Park girl who disappeared Tuesday after leaving home on her bicycle.

Alison Jillian Chao left her residence in the 200 block of North Ynez Avenue in Monterey Park around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to visit a relative’s house in the nearby city of San Gabriel, but never arrived, according to the Monterey Park Police Department. A search was initiated within hours, police said.

Signs affixed to street lights and utility poles in her neighborhood and in nearby Alhambra say Alison was wearing a blue T-shirt and black shorts and carrying a black backpack when she departed on a blue mountain bike. The posters include an image of Alison peddling away from home with her hair in a ponytail.

Police described the teen as Asian with black hair and brown eyes. She is about 5 feet 2 and weighs around 96 pounds.

According to a website dedicated to finding her, the last confirmed sighting of Alison was on Main Street in Alhambra soon after she left home Tuesday.

“The more time that goes on, the scarier it gets,” the teen’s mother, Annie Chao, told KTLA on Friday. “I haven’t slept in days, and it’s just every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Those with information should call the Monterey Park Police Department at 626-573-1311.

Times staff writer Karen Kaplan contributed to this report.





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