Palestinians have said 25 people were hurt during a clash with police on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, including one seriously, according to the Haaretz daily. Clashes continued for several hours on Wednesday between Israeli police officers and dozens of young Palestinians. One officer was slightly wounded amid stone-throwing by the protesters. Police allowed some Jews onto the Temple Mount after the clashes subsided, but hundreds of visitors were turned away. Tensions have increased recently, and most incidents involve Jews attempting to access the area in order to pray or demonstrate a Jewish presence.
The Russian currency started to strengthen against the dollar on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin said claims that Russian forces were present in eastern Ukraine were “rubbish.” The ruble is 35.86 against the dollar, 13 kopecks less than previous closing, Interfax reported. The euro stood at 49.69 rubles, losing 3.5 kopecks. The bi-currency price ($0.55 and euro 0.45) decreased by 8.5 kopecks to 42.08 rubles.
India kicked off the biggest day of its marathon general election on Thursday, with a quarter of its 815 million voters set to head to the polls, Reuters reported. Narendra Modi, the prime-ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has promised voters to rescue India from its slowest economic growth in a decade and create new jobs. The latest opinion poll shows that the BJP and its allies were forecast to win a narrow majority in the 543-seat lower house of parliament. Previous surveys predicted they would fall short.
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has jolted a sparsely populated district in the south of Iran, state TV said. The quake struck in Shonbeh on Thursday morning, at 04:01am local time (Wednesday 23:31 GMT), AP reported. No injuries were reported after the moderate quake.