[Jpost] Egypt's armed forces deployed troops on the ground in the city of Suez early on Saturday after seven protesters and a soldier were rubbed out in festivities on the second anniversary of the uprising against Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... "We have asked the third armed forces to send reinforcements on the ground until we pass this difficult period," Adel Refaat, head of state security in Suez told state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
[An Nahar] French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault insisted on Friday that the French-led operation against Islamists in Mali was making clear progress and in no danger of getting bogged down. How can they be "bogged down?" They just got there!
"There's no risk of a stalemate. La Belle France has met and respected the goals it set itself," Ayrault told news hounds during a visit to Buenos Aires. "Quagmire! Another Dien Bien Phu!" La Belle France has deployed troops to its former West African colony to prevent beturbanned fascisti from advancing on the capital and to buy time for the Malian government and a West African regional force to organize a counterattack.
This has led to fears in some quarters that French soldiers will be drawn into a long-term engagement in the unstable region, an idea rejected by Gay Paree.
"The inter-African international mission is getting into place bit by bit. Its role is to take over from French troops," Ayrault said.
He said the French intervention force's first goal had been to stop "the terrorist group from penetrating as far as Bamako and installing itself in the very heart of Africa.
"These terrorist troops have been stopped and are retreating. The goal is to continue to make them retreat and to fight them," he said.
[FRANCE24] La Belle France is to deploy special forces to protect uranium mines belonging to French nuclear energy giant Areva in Niger, according to a report in a news magazine this week.
According to weekly Le Point, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has given the go-ahead for an elite team from La Belle France's armed forces to reinforce local security at the company's two sites in Niger, a former French colony.
The move comes amid a heightened security threat following a French-led offensive to drive Islamist separatists out of northern Mali, and the deadly hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria, which bully boyz said was in Dire Revenge™ for the French military intervention.
The decision to deploy troops, however, was taken earlier in January, after a botched operation to rescue a captured French intelligence agent Denis Allex in southern Somalia, according to Le Point. Allex had been held hostage by bully boyz there since 2009.
It is the first time government troops will be sent overseas to protect a facility owned by a private French company, according to Le Point, although French marines are already deployed on cargo ships travelling through the pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea.
Niger's uranium a strategic French asset
The special forces team will be sent to the Imouraren and Arlit sites operated by Areva, according to the report.
Seven workers, including five Frenchies, were kidnapped in Arlit by bully boyz linked to al Qaeda's North African Branch, in 2010. Three of those hostages were later released, but four French citizens are still being held.
Areva, which relies on mines in Niger to supply La Belle France's nuclear power stations with uranium, confirmed it was beefing up its security on Thursday.
"We are obliged to reinforce our security ... in the light of the current situation [La Belle France's intervention in Mali]," Areva Chief Executive Officer Luc Oursel told BFM TV, although he refused to comment on the report that this would involve French special forces.
Officials in Niger, while acknowledging that the security threat was heightened, said that no agreement had been reached - for the moment - for special forces to be deployed.
Areva has been mining uranium in Niger for more than fifty years and the company is the country's single biggest investor.
According to a 2008 report by a French parliamentary committee, about 18 per cent of the raw material used to power La Belle France's 58 nuclear reactors came from Niger in 2008.
In the eyes of the French, there is very little distinction between private enterprise and the gov't. The uranium is a strategic asset that keeps French nuke plants going. The French sell the nuke power so the they are merely protecting l'oie d'or - le golden goose.
Posted by: Bangkok Billy ||
Does "No Blood for Uranium!" sound better in French than it does in English?
Oh noes. Nice pic at the link. Took a 90 degree list at dock...
Argentina's defense chief says he's ashamed over the sinking of a mothballed Navy destroyer, an incident that critics say reflects the abandonment of a once-proud fleet. Christina: "somehow this is the fault of those bastard colonialist Brits.We will have our revenge!" The Argies had been using the ship as a source of spare parts. That'll be easier now as long as they don't mind a little salt corrosion. Or perhaps they could teach damage control to their sailors.
[Dawn] Senator John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, the Senate's current foreign policy expert, filling the vacated wingtips of Joe Biden... , President Barack Obama The campaign's over, John... 's nominee for secretary of state, said during his confirmation hearing on Thursday that cutting US aid to Pakistain, would be a "dramatic, draconian and sledge-hammer" measure.
Continued on Page 49
Does anyone remember this guy negotiating with the North Vietnamese in Paris, without official sanction? That should have been brought up in any Senate Hearings - of course, McCain offers unqualified support for this douche bag - that's why Mcshame is pathetic sellout.
This guy as SoS will put an end to American power, and no amount of conservatism following this POS administration will be able to get it back. This administration is is presiding over the castration of America.
The Senate prides itself on being collegial, unlike that rabble in the House. And at the moment, Senator Kerry remains a colleague, one with whom they would have to deal with daily did they not send him on to the green fields of the State Department. This was a foregone conclusion from the moment his name was put forward.
[Dawn] Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain has said that to secure lasting peace, talks with the Taliban are necessary, DawnNews reported.
While addressing a function in Mardan, Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that invitation for talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban, has been given with open arms.
He said that building a team for negotiations will be completed within the next twenty days.
Iftikhar also said that Talibs were not released but had been exchanged in a prisoner swap with the Afghan government.
During the function, Federal Minister for railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, said that Taliban capos should come out in front themselves, rather then sending hired killers. Hey, Ghulam! Anybody claim that $100,000 reward yet?
[Dawn] India's president told Pakistain on Friday that its hand of friendship should "not be taken for granted" following a string of deadly border festivities between the two sides in the disputed Kashmire region.
That's an awfully sheer and lacy symbolic veil, extending as far down as the eyebrows, it seems to me, rather than one of those solid blue Afghan burkas with a mesh screen over the eyes, so the moving blue object can see where she is placing her feet.
President Pranab Mukherjee's warning comes amid a ceasefire which took hold last week in Kashmire after the Indian and Pak armies agreed to halt cross-border firing that has threatened to unravel a fragile grinding of the peace processor.
"We believe in peace on the border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship," Mukherjee said in a televised address on the eve of the country's Republic Day celebrations.
Continued on Page 49
[Dawn] Polio cases will increase in North Wazoo Agency if officials concerned don't pay immediate attention to it as government hasn't conducted anti-polio ...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set... campaign in the region since June 2012, says chief organiser of Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... for Fata Dr Bashir Ahmad Khan.
Continued on Page 49
NEW DELHI - India said on Friday that it would continue to press for the extradition of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative David Headley, sentenced by a US court to 35 years in prison for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, and would have sought more punishment had he been tried here.
Works for me. Let him serve 35 years in an Indian prison, so long as he gets the death penalty afterwards...
Ministers, the ruling Congress as well as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the government should keep trying for the extradition of the Pakistani American who played a key role in the 26/11 attack.
A day after the Chicago court ruling, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said: "Had we tried him, we would have sought much more. "We are a little disappointed as we wanted that he should have been brought here and tried as the real loss has been of India. It would have been appropriate if he would have been tried here," Khurshid told reporters here.
Jordanian King Abdullah II says the two-state solution will only be viable while Obama is still in office.
Or until Hamas gets the upper hand...
"The time to take action in the Middle East is now," was the resounding message of Abdullah's speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday. "If we're not too late... the two-state solution will only last as long as [US President Barack] Obama's term," he warned. "If it doesn't happen by then I don't think it will happen.
The Palestinians must be granted their rights to their own future, Abdullah said, as he called upon the international community to "end this conflict once and for all."
"For decades, Jordan has taken risks for peace, because the risk of continued conflict is much worse," he stressed. Following this week's elections in Israel, he said that peace and security must be the deepest wish of all Israelis.
Abdullah posited that Obama's position as a second term president was a "tremendous advantage." He added that in the next couple of months, Jordan would be marching toward Washington alongside it's international partners in the peace process, and saying "Mr. President, it's time to engage in the the Palestinian-Israeli peace process."
"Global leaders have a unique ability to make a difference, to negotiate different paths," he emphasized. Abdullah pointed to the the Arab Peace Initiative as a proposal that could create "an independent Palestine... and a secure Israel with normal relations with the Arab nations."
When questioned on Hamas's position, the Jordanian king expressed belief that the Islamic movement was now "being a bit more realistic, because this really is their last chance."
Hamas. Realistic. Uh-huh. Have they backed down from their charter? Do they no longer call for one Palestine from the Jordan to the Med? Let me know when they do and then we can discuss 'peace'...
He weighed up what he said were the only two possible solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict: the two-state solution or the one state solution. Abdullah said the latter option "scares Israelis more." In an apparent reference to what Israelis call the "demographic threat" - which sees a Palestinian majority outnumbering the Jewish population - Abdullah added that one state would present Israel with a dilemma between a democratic state or an apartheid state. "The two-state solution is the only solution," he concluded.
Just as long as the Palestinian state isn't Jordan, right your Highness?
An Iranian-flagged cargo ship that fled Sri Lankan waters after weeks of detention by the island nation's navy has arrived back in Iran, according to ship-tracking data published by Reuters.
The Sri Lankan navy fired warning shots in early January to prevent the MV Amina from leaving its waters, acting on a court order obtained by Germany's DVB Bank in pursuit of debts it said were unpaid.
Days later, however, the vessel sailed away from the island in rough seas, the navy said.
Next time an Iranian-flagged vessel won't get the benefit of warning shots.
The Amina, formerly called Shere, is managed by Tehran-based Rahbaran Omid Darya Ship Management, which the European Union and United States have said is a front for Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), Iran's biggest cargo carrier.
IRISL has faced Western sanctions for years based on accusations of transporting weapons, a charge it denies.
After sailing out of Sri Lankan waters the Amina vanished from ship-tracking systems off the southwest coast of India. It arrived back in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on Friday where it has dropped anchor near two other ships which DVB Bank has previously tried to seize, tracking data shows.
The Amina was seized in December after DVB obtained an order on Dec. 12 from the Colombo High Court to hold the vessel. Court documents showed that DVB Bank sought to recover millions of dollars in unpaid debts.
Amina is one of four Iranian bulk ships DVB has been trying to seize. An Iranian-owned dry bulk ship called Uppercourt has been held in in the northern Chinese cargo port of Qinhuangdao since November.
Two other vessels that DVB Bank has previously tried to seize, the Tongham and Artin, are also anchored off Bandar Abbas, a key Iranian port near the Strait of Hormuz.
Sounds like a job for Seal Team Four...
The Artin, previously called Vobster, sailed away from Qinhuangdao in early November, arriving back in Iran in mid-December.
IRISL has tried to dodge sanctions by changing its flags, ship names, and setting up front companies, the US Treasury and the EU have said.
[Times of Israel] Anisa Makhlouf reportedly reunites with her daughter, Bushra Assad, in the United Arab Emirates
Anisa Makhlouf, the mother of Syria's Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Despoiler of Deraa... , has fled the country, and is currently residing in the United Arab Emirates, a former American envoy to the civil war-torn country confirmed Thursday.
"Members of the regime, little by little, are flaking off," said Robert Ford, who is still officially the US ambassador to Syria, even though relations between the two countries have been in a hiatus.
"They themselves know they are losing," he told CNN.
Makhlouf, the widow of former president Bashir al-Assad, is considered a powerful figure in Syria, despite her advanced aged -- she was born in 1934 -- and the scarcity of her public appearances.
According to recent reports, Makhlouf joined her daughter, Bashir al-Assad's eldest sister, Bushra, in the UAE.
Bushra Assad escaped Syria with her five children in July 2012, after her husband, Bashar's close confidant Assef Shawkat, was killed in a bombing in Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... that also claimed the lives of Syria's defense minister and a top general.
According to Ford, the Assad regime is crumbling bit by bit.
"You can see little by little the inner core is weakening," he said. "But again, it's a gradual process."
When the UN envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, met with Assad in December, Ford said, it was clear that the war was closing in on the embattled president.
"He told us that you could hear artillery outside the president's office," he said. "The fighting is getting that close now to the inner circle itself. And so you can imagine what that does to their own spirits, their own morale."
Assad has grown increasingly entrenched in the 22 months since the start of a popular uprising that has called for his ouster and claimed the lives of over 60,000 Syrians, according to UN figures.
According to a recent report in the Saudi daily al-Watan, the Syrian president has moved with his family and a select cadre of associates to a warship off Syria's coast, where he is being guarded by Russian naval forces.
Russia has remained the regime's staunchest ally, vetoing international intervention at the UN Security Council.
Intelligence sources told the paper that Assad's fear of opposition advances in the capital was among the reasons for his retreat to sea, which would allow for quick evacuation to Moscow if need be.
Assad now travels by helicopter to mainland Syria for official meetings in his presidential palace in Damascus, having lost faith in his security detail, the report said.
But despite the mounting pressure on Assad, on Thursday the French foreign minister told news hounds that the regime's fall was not imminent -- a stark admission by La Belle France, one of the most ardent supporters of the Syrian rebels.
"The solution that we hoped for -- that is to say, Bashar's fall, the rise of the opposition to power -- there are no recent signs that are as positive as that," Laurent Fabius said.
The regime can hear the opposition artillery from the President's Office ? I know that must hurt. But praise Allah, Asassa Wad bin Hadit is safe aboard a Russian cruiser offshore. No bayonet in the rectum and a 9mm to the head like Kadaffy got for him.
Moslem politics is ..well, is entertaining too strong a word?
If it isn't the sand flies its what the Camels left in the courtyard.
And the Prophet ( PBUH) was talking to an Angel for sure Amiskeen amiskeen mafeesh faloos.
What a Lovely war...the Iranians are right behind Assad and his thousand years reich...Bashir Bozo is gonna bury us all, along with zillions of sand monkeys. This time next year, mushroom clouds will be flowering all over ay-rabya!
* WAFF > [Defencenet. GR] TEHRAN THREATENS DIRECTLY ANYONE THAT ATTACKS SYRIA.
Ali Akbar Velayati, Advisor to Iran El Supremo Ayatollah Khamenei, whom told the news agency Mehr that Syria is an important front for Iran agz Israel, + that as such any attack on Syria by outside powers is considered by Iran as an attack on Iran itself + its allies.
Yoohoo, ERDOGAN = TURKEY, methinks Iran is looking at you???
[Ynet] The al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper reported that Ali Rafik Yari who was tossed in the slammer I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece! in Leb this week for collaboration with Israel is a top Hezbollah operative.
...which could mean all sorts of interesting things.
Earlier this week, Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV reported that Yari began collaborating with the Mossad in 1990, and provided Israel with information on centers belonging to Hezbollah and the Lebanese army.
Over twenty years of information. No wonder the Hizb'allahniks were getting autodialed calls on their cell phones during Israel's last little excitement in Shiite Lebanon.
[An Nahar] Exiled former Iranian politicians on Thursday proposed a compromise to avert conflict over Tehran's nuclear program, calling for an end to sensitive uranium enrichment and an easing of U.S.-led sanctions.
In a letter sent to U.S. President Barack Obama On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes -- and I see many of them in the audience here today... , Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini and the European Union
Continued on Page 49
[An Nahar] A large number of Syrians on Friday heeded a call by the authorities to join weekly Moslem prayers for security and gathered in mosques across the country, the state news agency SANA said.
"Popular participation was broad in the prayer in mosques across Syria for the return of safety and security to the homeland," SANA said, a day after a Moslem feast in which the authorities called for a "million-man prayer."
State television broadcast footage of prayers at the Umayyad mosque in central Damascus ...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy... , showing hundreds of people, as Sheikh Mohammed Said Ramadan al-Bouti, a top holy man frequently featured on television, led the prayer.
"O God, we implore you... in our distress. We beg you not to forget us. We ask for your kindness, and for peace and safety across our Syria. We ask for a miracle of your many miracles, to cleanse our country from oppression and of those rogues who commit injustice, murder and slaughter," he said.
The sheikh also recited a prayer for Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Supressor of the Damascenes... "Give your servant (Assad) success on his good path," he said, and called for national unity in the strife-torn country.
"Neither religious differences nor the enemies of religion will separate us," he said.
Elsewhere on Friday, protesters in flashpoints across Syria held demonstrations calling for the fall of Assad under the slogan: "Our leader for ever, the Prophet Mohammed."
Persistent violence and the moribund peace plan offered by President Bashar Assad, now backed up by the appeal to refugees and his political opponents to return, has underlined the intractable nature of the 22-month civil war that has killed more than 60,000 people and left the international community at a loss to find a way to end the bloodshed.
More than half million Syrians have fled to neighbuoring countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey during the 22-month civil war. They include opposition activists and defectors, including army officers, who have switched to the rebel side, fighting to topple Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for more than four decades.
The state-run SANA news agency said the government will help hundreds of thousands of citizens return whether they left "legally or illegally." Syrian opposition figures abroad who want to take part in reconciliation talks will also be allowed back, SANA reported on Thursday.
If they "have the desire to participate in the national dialogue, they would be allowed to enter Syria," SANA said, citing an Interior Ministry statement.
The proposed talks are part of Assad's initiative to end the conflict that started as peaceful protests in March 2011 but turned into civil war. Tens of thousands of activists, their family members and opposition supporters remain jailed, according to international activist groups. The opposition could not immediately be reached to comment the appeal. Its representatives have repeatedly rejected any talks that include Assad.