Bono, U2 play their first-ever concert in India

Mumbai is the last leg on The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 — named after the Irish band U2’s seminal album. (AFP)
Updated 16 December 2019

Bono, U2 play their first-ever concert in India

  • U2 are the latest in a series of major international acts to tour the South Asian country
  • Mumbai is the last leg on The Joshua Tree Tour 2019, named after the band’s seminal album

MUMBAI: Irish rockers U2 played their first-ever concert in India Sunday, with top celebrities and mega-fans converging from across the vast nation to the coastal city of Mumbai.
U2 are the latest in a series of major international acts to tour the South Asian country, with Beyonce, Shakira, Coldplay, Demi Lovato and Bryan Adams among the superstars who have played to packed venues.
Some 35,000 tickets were estimated to have been sold for the concert at the D.Y. Patil Sports Stadium, local media reported, with top Bollywood stars posing for photos before entering the venue.
Ahead of the concert, the band posted on their social media accounts a photo of the words “Ahimsa is the highest ideal.”
“We were shaped and formed by Martin Luther King Jr who was a student of Mahatma Gandhi,” frontman Bono told the NDTV news television channel in September.
“So we come as students to the source of inspiration that is ‘Ahimsa’ — non-violence. Indians gave us this. It is the greatest gift to the world.”
Mumbai is the last leg on The Joshua Tree Tour 2019 — named after the band’s seminal album — which kicked off on November 8 in Auckland.
The Asia Pacific tour, which first started with stadium concerts in North America and Europe in 2017, marks three decades since the Irish group’s “The Joshua Tree” was released.
Released in March 1987, “The Joshua Tree” reached into the roots of Irish and American music and produced classic hits “With or Without You,” “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”


EU condemns execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari

Updated 14 September 2020

EU condemns execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari

  • Iranian state media reported Afkari’s execution on Saturday
  • Afkari, a champion Greco-Roman wrestler, had been convicted of stabbing a security guard to death during anti-government protests in 2018

BRUSSELS: The European Union on Monday added its voice to an international outcry over the execution of Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari, saying the death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment which the EU opposes in all cases.
Iranian state media reported Afkari’s execution on Saturday. Afkari, a champion Greco-Roman wrestler, had been convicted of stabbing a security guard to death during anti-government protests in 2018.
Afkari’s family has maintained that his conviction depended on a confession that was extracted through torture, which Afkari later recanted. The Iranian judiciary rejected his appeals.
“The European Union is opposed to the death penalty under all circumstances and cases with no exception,” a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
“Human rights remain a central feature of our engagement with Iran. We will continue to engage with Iranian authorities on this issue including through the local EU representation in Teheran and also on individual cases such as this recent execution,” he said.
The United States, which unlike the EU practices the death penalty, has also condemned Afkari’s execution. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it “an outrageous assault on human dignity, even by the despicable standards of this regime.”