I ask this question because scientists with apparently nothing better to do are attempting to bring back the beast, which went extinct some 4,000 years ago, and thank God for that. The woolly creature's DNA has been sequenced, and things appear ripe for what is called "mammoth de-extinction." The Post's story about all this calls it a "small but ambitious field." I hope it is more the former than the latter.
Why these scientists are not working in the larger and even more ambitious field of, say, cancer research is beyond me. Why anyone could choose to fund "mammoth de-extinction" instead of, say, a Little League team, is also beyond me. (Many things are beyond me.)
I fear, though, that mammoths will be coming back. When that happens, a whole lot of very nice people will say that the creatures were here first and we should make way for them. They will be likened to wolves and bears and, of course, deer and they will be pronounced indigenous -- which is another word for virtuous. So, for instance, if a wolf kills a sheep, it is the sheep's fault for being a sheep and not native to the region. We all know this.
In due course, we will be overrun by woolly mammoths. Like deer, they will be protected. They will tromp across our lawns and into our shrubbery, eating huge amounts of stuff -- whole trees and automobiles (even Cadillac Escalades) and maybe the occasional cottage. Anti-mammoth sprays will be developed, but they, of course, will not work. Eccentric people will appear on daytime TV shows with all sorts of smelly concoctions to ward off woolly mammoths. They will be cheered on by Oprah and interviewed on the "Today" show, maybe out on the plaza. This, too, is beyond me.
Home Depot and others will sell mammoth fences. These will truly be mammoth and will be based on the fence that separates the United States from Mexico. Of course, the mammoth fence will work no better than the other fence, but that will be discovered only after several billion dollars are spent.
Then someone will get the bright idea to de-extinct the Neanderthal as the only way to control the woolly mammoth population. These rather hairy and well-muscled individuals will be provided with spears (also Club for Growth memberships) and sent out at night to hunt the woolly mammoth. (A "60 Minutes" crew will accompany them, and Bill O'Reilly will lie about accompanying the "60 Minutes" crew.)
None of this is necessary. If scientists with time on their hands want to de-extinct something, why not bring back the unicorn -- surely it once existed -- or the fire-breathing dragon, which would delight kids? Or, better yet, why don't they develop a single remote control for the TV?
No, he has it all wrong.
Humans evolved in parallel with the mammoth, and found them very tasty. Probably the most tasty food ever. I say "Get of your lazy tails you scientists, and bring me a Mammoth burger, with all the trimmin's".
[McClatchy] The 430-foot-long North Korean freighter Mu Du Bong was riding high in the water when the vessel crashed into a coral reef in Mexican waters in the Gulf of Mexico last July 14. The freighter did more than destroy coral, it also smashed into UN sanctions that have kept it in the hands of the Mexican government.
Salvage vessels brought the freighter to port in Tuxpan, where it has been for nine months. North Korea has declined to repatriate the 33 crew members, and they occasionally can be seen fishing off the ship's deck.
Earlier this month, North Korea's deputy representative to the UN made somewhat menacing remarks demanding that Mexico terminate what he called a "complete abnormal situation," adding, "We will take necessary measures to make the ship leave immediately."
[AnNahar] Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... has allegedly constructed a runway that consists of a single unpaved strip with a length of 670 meter and width of 20 meter in the Bekaa town of Hermel to operate its drones.
IHS Jane's Defense Weekly said in a report that the area is remote and unpopulated.
The magazine said that it obtained the information from satellite images that recently became publicly available on Google Earth.
The report suggests that the airstrip, 18 km west of the Syrian border, was established between 27 February 2013 and 19 June 2014.
It pointed out that the runway was "built over a shorter strip that had been in existence since at least 2010."
"The short length of the runway suggests the facility is not intended to smuggle in weapons shipments from Syria or Iran as it is too short for nearly all the transport aircraft used by the air forces of those countries," the report said.
It estimates that the runway was constructed to operate Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including Ababil-3 and Shahed-129.
Hizbullah sources confirmed to the magazine that the party is using the drones to aid the forces of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... against rebels.
In 2014, the Saudi al-Watan daily reported that Hizbullah had established a small military airport in the Bekaa city of Baalbek to operate Iranian-made drones.
The Iranian drones were identified as Mirsad-1 and Mirsad-2.
Senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh had said that Hizbullah has dramatically improved its missile capabilities and can now pinpoint targets anywhere in Israel.
In 2012, Hizbullah chief His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah The satrap of the Medes and the Persians in Leb... acknowledged that a drone which Israel shot down by Israel was launched by his party.
The drone was "believed to be the new Shahed-129, which was unveiled by Tehran, with a range of up to 1,200 miles and a flight duration of 24 hours."
In July 2006, the Israeli military shot down an unarmed drone operated by Hizbullah over the Jewish state's territorial waters.
On April 12, 2005, another pilotless Hizbullah aircraft succeeded in overflying part of northern Israel without being downed.
Some of President Barack Obama's email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year, in a breach of the White House's unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, senior American officials told The New York Times on Saturday.
The hackers, who also got deeply into the State Department's unclassified system, do not appear to have penetrated closely guarded servers that control the message traffic from Obama's BlackBerry, which he or an aide carries constantly, the officials said.
Hey NYT - when Obama is using e-mail to coordinate his surrender to Iran with Vladimir Putin (perhaps standing in for Frank Marshall Davis), tht's not "hacking".
[DAWN] RAWALPINDI: An independent candidate for the cantonment board elections has threatened self-immolation after he was not allotted an election symbol of his choice.
Mohammad Afzal Khan was associated with the PPP but decided to contest the elections as an independent candidate from Ward 3, Namak Mandi. He plunged into distress after his appeal for the election symbol of "zebra" was dismissed and he was allotted "tubelight".
Khan had filed a petition with a local court for the allocation of "zebra" as the election symbol and launched his election campaign. However, those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things... the court directed him to approach the Election Commission of Pakistain (ECP) which has already decided not to allot "zebra" as an election symbol to anyone because of its similarity with "lion", the symbol of the ruling PML-N.
When the candidate approached the ECP, he was allotted the symbol of "tubelight".
After the decision of the commission, Khan reportedly started sending text massages to his supporters that he would kill himself within the next 24 hours.
Sources said the local police and the administration had been intimated about the text messages being sent by the candidate.
Despite repeated attempts, Khan could not be contacted as his mobile phone remained switched off.
[DAWN] IN the aftermath of the APS Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. carnage, concern has rightly been raised about the state's all too eager use of the death penalty. Since December 2014, around 100 executions have taken place in this country. While the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty was originally justified to tackle cases of terrorism, now convicts are being executed for all capital offences. And perhaps one of the most controversial cases in which the death sentence has been passed is that of Shafqat Hussain. On Friday, an antiterrorism court in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... issued a black warrant for Hussain's execution on May 6 for the killing of a minor boy in 2004. His execution had earlier been stayed to determine the convict's age at the time the crime was committed. There are clearly far too many doubts in this case that make us question the use of capital punishment -- while this newspaper opposes the death penalty under all circumstances. For one thing, human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... groups say the convict was a minor when he allegedly committed the crime. Secondly, Shafqat Hussain has said his confession -- apparently the only 'evidence' in the case -- was obtained through torture. There are also procedural questions about the case; in light of all these lingering concerns, the argument that the convict should be given the benefit of the doubt and should not be hanged is strengthened.
As we cross the grim 100-executions mark, we must ask the state: is Pakistain a safer place now that capital punishment has been resumed? The answer would hardly be in the affirmative. Along with the death penalty's questionable efficacy in deterring crime and terrorism, we must realise that our criminal justice system is broken, which means there are far too many gaping holes in it to allow the state to take an individual's life. In such a system, which can be easily manipulated and where justice is both delayed and denied, can executions ever be justified? And while the investigation and prosecution of cases in the civilian justice system is poor, the military courts are opaque and not open for scrutiny. With reportedly the largest death-row population in the world, Pakistain must rethink its approach to criminal justice. While criminals and holy warriors must by all means be punished and justice must be served, executions are hardly the ideal method of dispensing it, especially in a system as flawed as ours.
[DAWN] THE liquidation of Sabeen Mahmud, director of T2F, a self-described community space for open dialogue in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... , is a desperate, tragic confirmation that Pakistain's long slide towards intolerance and violence is continuing, and even quickening. Profoundly troubling too are the circumstances surrounding Ms Mahmud's murder. On Friday, T2F hosted the Baloch missing-persons activist Mama Qadeer, after the Lahore University of Management Sciences cancelled an event with Mr Qadeer earlier this month under pressure from the intelligence agencies. Mr Qadeer's activism has been consistently opposed by the security establishment, to the point where few in the media or the activist community choose to interact with him now. Those who do engage with him often report threats. But clearly, in the tumultuous city of Karachi and given the variety of causes Ms Mahmud championed, the security agencies are not the only ones perceived as suspects in her liquidation. Ms Mahmud's work had attracted criticism and threats in the past, particularly from sections of the religious right, which viewed her promotion of the arts, music and culture with great hostility.
While only a thorough investigation can get to the root of the matter, what is clear is that there is not so much a war between ideas in Pakistain as a war on ideas. Free speech, robust debate, academic inquiry, the promotion of individual rights -- anything that promotes a healthy, inclusive and vibrant society is seemingly under attack. Before Sabeen Mahmud there was Rashid Rehman, the lawyer and rights activist who was murdered for defending a college lecturer accused of blasphemy. Before Rashid Rehman there was Perween Rahman, director of the Orangi Pilot Project Research and Training Institute, murdered in Karachi apparently for her work on behalf of poor people against the city's land mafia. Before Perween Rehman there was Malala Yousafzai ...a Pashtun blogger and advocate for girls' education from Mingora, in Swat. She started blogging at age 11-12. She was 15 when a Talib boarded her school bus and shot her in the head in 2012. She was evacuated to a hospital in Britain and the Pak Taliban vowed to kill her and her father. Among other awards, she received the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, which she deserved more than Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Yasser Arafat, or Rigoberta Menchu... , shot in the head as a young teenager by the Taliban for championing the cause of female education. Before Malala, there were Shahbaz Bhatti and Salmaan Taseer, murdered for daring to question the misuse of the blasphemy laws. Each one of those victims may have been attacked for different reasons and by different groups, but all of them have one thing in common: they were fighting for a better, kinder, gentler Pakistain. And all of them used words and ideas, never weapons, to champion their causes. Pakistain is a poorer place for being without them -- and in Malala's case, for her being unable to return home.
Tragically, the state seems to have all but surrendered to the forces of darkness -- that is when sections of the state themselves are not seen as complicit. Dialogue, ideas, debate, nothing practised and promoted peacefully is safe anymore. Instead, it is those with weapons and hateful ideologies who seem to be the safest now. Sabeen Mahmud is dead because she chose the right side in the wrong times.
[DAWN] SINCE the public movement, some years ago, to reinstate former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, there has been much talk about judicial independence in Pakistain. The Supreme Court too has often emphasised the importance of an independent judiciary. In a 2012 judgement, it held: "...there could be no democracy without basic human rights ...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you... and fundamental freedoms as its foundation, and there could be no protection and enforcement of human rights and fundamental freedoms without the existence of an independent judiciary."
The right to an independent judiciary, however, is often reduced to rhetoric in cases where the accused is alleged to have committed blasphemy. In such cases, not only are doubts expressed about the independence of courts, but the impartiality of individual judges also, at times, is questioned.
In Pakistain, independence of the judiciary is often understood narrowly to only mean absence of political interference. But international standards provide a much broader meaning: judicial independence also encompasses protection of judges, in law and in practice, from threats, harassment, reprisals or attacks, both from state and non-state actors.
“Reclaim Australia” rallies were held in 16 different locations across Australia Saturday. Billed as a call for “patriotic Australians” to “stand together to stop tax, Sharia law and Islamization,”. the rallies provoked violent encounters with counter protesters who billed the events as racist and anti-Muslim.
Reclaim Australia, a community organization, denied the accusations. "We're not against any particular race or any particular religion," John Oliver, an activist with the organization, said. "We're against the extremists of one particular religion. I know in Sydney and Melbourne they've got Muslims already signed on to attend because they can see what's happening and they don't like what's happening."
Most Reclaim Australia protesters interviewed seemed to agree that the group was opposed to Islamic extremism and not Muslims who follow Australian law and whose intentions were not to change Australian culture.
Typical at the rallies were the sentiments of protester John Bolton who told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, "What I'm not against is ordinary Australian people who happen to be Muslims who follow their faith, they don't need anybody's permission, provided they comply with the Australian civil and criminal law and want to comply with our constitution."
"Most here are happy to have immigrants who want to come and fit in," Reclaim Australia protester Rhonda Cashmore said. "We're protesting against immigrants who don't want to follow our laws."
Reclaim Australia spokeswoman Catherine Brennan concurred. "We are pro-Australian values and anti-extreme Islam, but we're not anti-Muslim," she stated. “Since when is it being racist to love your country and to love the values and culture that you've been brought up with?"
Australia has been hit with a spate of Islamic extremist crime. Last September, Australian police embarked on a major counter-terrorism operation in response to intelligence reports that the Islamic State was planning an imminent attack. In the largest terror raid in Australia’s history, close to 800 federal and state police officers were dispatched to more than 12 locations across Sydney, with more raids coordinated in Brisbane and Logan as well.
Australia contributes the highest number of foreign fighters per capita to the ranks of the Islamic State. A number of Australian citizens have made the news for joining the Islamic State as well as the vast majority of the estimated 200 fighters who remain anonymous.
[AnNahar] At least 92 people have been killed in Saudi-led coalition air strikes and fighting between supporters of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his opponents in southern Yemen, sources said Saturday.
In the key port city of Aden and in the adjacent restive Lahj ... a Yemeni governate located in the southwestern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It is the stomping grounds on the southern secessionist al-Harak movement province alone, 46 rebels died in ongoing festivities and 12 hours of intense air strikes that lasted until early Saturday, a military source close to them said.
A medic in Aden said that eight pro-Hadi turbans were killed and 32 were maimed.
The military source and pro-Hadi turbans told AFP that coalition warships were also taking part in the shelling.
Warplanes' targets included the rebel-held presidential palace which was Hadi's last refuge before he fled to neighboring Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... last month, military officials said.
Air strikes also hit the rebel-held Al-Anad air base in Lahj north of Aden, which housed U.S. troops supporting a long-running drone war against al-Qaeda before the fighting forced them to withdraw.
Residents in Lahj said that the rebels have captured "dozens" of civilians they accused of aiding the coalition by giving them information on rebel targets.
Of course they did. What's the point of having a Muslim jihad if there aren't plenty of hostages for the variou amusements they provide?
Government officials earlier gave a toll of 38 killed in festivities in the southern towns of Daleh and Loder.
[AnNahar] Fierce fighting raged Saturday in south Yemen ...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic... between Iran-backed rebels and loyalists of exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, as pressure mounted for the warring factions to hold political talks.
The Houthis, who have overrun large parts of the country and forced Hadi to flee overseas, have demanded a complete end to a month of Saudi-led air strikes against them as a condition for U.N.-sponsored talks.
[DAWN] Losing a seat in an election is not something that surprises the Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... (JI), its leaders and ideology-driven loyal workers. But after the NA-246 by-election results, what probably shocked the country's oldest political party the most is the number of votes it managed to poll. (The JI candidate was among those who forfeited their security deposit in the by-election.)
Hardly any political quarter in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... doubts the JI's organizational strength -- a trained and well-informed cadre of workers -- as well as its decades-long presence in Karachi which was known as a stronghold of the right-wing party before the Muttahida Qaumi Movement ...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead... (MQM) emerged to change the political demography and set a new electoral history in the city.
[FREEBEACON] Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Gina McCarthy will attend an "environmental justice" Broccoli festival that features performances by Willow and Jaden Smith, who do not believe in school or the concept of time.
"On Saturday, April 25, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will give remarks at the Third Annual Broccoli City Festival's Earth Day celebration," an EPA blurb stated. "Administrator McCarthy will speak about EPA's efforts to implement President B.O.'s Climate Action Plan by building more resilient communities and curbing the carbon pollution fueling climate change through its proposed Clean Power Plan."
The EPA said the third annual festival, which will take place in Southeast Washington from noon to 9 P.M., has a "tradition of bringing together policy makers, business leaders, acclaimed musicians and community stakeholders to highlight solutions to environmental challenges."
"At the core of EPA's mission is an unwavering pursuit of environmental justice," the EPA added. "Too often, America's low-income and minority communities bear the brunt of our country's pollution, so EPA is taking historic action to fight the economic and public health risks of a changing climate by cutting carbon pollution from power plants because pollution and climate impacts are a barrier to economic opportunity, blocking the path to middle-class security."
[NEWS.INVESTORS] Another Obama amnesty program is well underway -- at Guantanamo, where three dangerous al-Qaeda operatives have quietly been OK'd for release in three months. And now a close aide to the 9/11 criminal mastermind is also on tap for release.
After already freeing an al-Qaeda bomb maker last month -- over the objections of U.S. intelligence, which warned, "He would be capable of re-engaging as an explosives expert or trainer" -- the parole board that Obama set up to clear out Gitmo is now poised to rubber-stamp for release a close associate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Gitmo's so-called Periodic Review Board, made up of State Department and Justice Department officials, is hearing from defense lawyers for Abdul Shalabi, a former bodyguard to the late Osama bin Laden ... who doesn't live anywhere anymore... also connected to Mohammed while he was in Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... , Pakistain, plotting the 9/11 attacks.
They argue that their client is now harmless and wants only to "take care of his ailing mother" in Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... while joining the family "real estate and construction business."
Military intelligence notes that Shalabi was trained "for participation in a suicide kaboom or deployment to the West" and warns that his family in Saudi Arabia didn't stop him from becoming radicalized before 9/11.
[CNSNEWS] Citing the Declaration of Independence, House Democratic Whip the mealy-mouthed Steny StinkyHoyer ... Nancy San Fran Nan Pelosi's second banana, or plaintain, or mango, or whatever he is... (Md.) argued on the House floor yesterday that same-sex couples are endowed by "their Creator--by God" with a right to marry.
"Our Declaration of Independence, as all of us quote so often, says: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men'--of course, if Jefferson were writing today, it would be either all people or all humankind--'are created equal, that they are endowed by'--not a Congress, not by a Constitution, not by a will of the majority--'their Creator'--by God--'with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'
I couldn't care less, except---knowing our educational establishment (Israeli models itself on American)---it's just a question of time until "same-sex experience" becomes an obligatory part of K-12.
[AnNahar] The Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group claimed an attack Saturday by French, Belgian and Senegal ... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees... ese jacket wallahs on the Iraq-Jordan border that officials said killed at least four Iraqi security personnel.
The bombers detonated explosives-rigged vehicles, one of them a lorry, at checkpoints on the Iraqi side of the Turaibil crossing, said Sabah Karhout, the head of the Anbar province council.
He put the toll at four dead and eight maimed.
The deputy head of the crossing, Khaled Alwan, and army Colonel Jabr Khailan, both confirmed the attack but gave higher tolls.
The Islamic State (IS) jihadist group claimed the assault in a statement posted online, saying the bombers were from La Belle France, Belgium and Senegal. It said the bombers targeted the main checkpoint at the crossing, a mess hall and sleeping quarters for security personnel, and an army patrol.
Iraqi security forces control pockets of territory in Anbar, a vast desert province that stretches from the borders with Syria, Jordan and Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... to the western approaches to Baghdad.
But much of the province is held by IS, which spearheaded an offensive last June that overran swathes of territory north and west of the Iraqi capital. Some areas have been out of government control for longer than that. Anti-government fighters seized parts of Ramadi and all of Fallujah, ... the City of Mosques, which might have somthing to do with why it's not called Center of Prosperity or a really nice place to raise your kids... to its east, in early 2014.
[AnNahar] A former Turkish prosecutor on Saturday claimed that he was facing a life sentence on terror charges for retweeting a leaked tape that implicated President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him... and his son in corruption.
If he and his government are corrupt, they cannot attain the favour of Allah. Therefore all must understand them not to be corrupt, however corrupt the means of attaining that.
His case is the latest in a string of recent incidents in European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... hopeful The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... , where high-profile figures have found themselves facing criminal lawsuits or jail time after criticising Erdogan and other Turkish officials on Twitter.
Gultekin Avci said on his Twitter account that he had been charged with "establishing a terrorist organization" and "attempting to overthrow the government".
Prosecutors told him that if found guilty he could face a life sentence.
He claimed that the charges were brought solely because he retweeted a link to the leaked tape.
"I told the prosecutors that if governments fell with tweets and retweets, I would not leave Twitter for a second," Avci defiantly wrote on Twitter, saying he had been released pending trial.
The authorities are hugely sensitive to allegations of corruption following sensational claims against key government members and Erdogan's inner circle that broke in December 2013.
In the course of the scandal, apparently incriminating wiretap recordings of Erdogan, then-prime minister, and other bigwigs as well as businessmen were leaked onto the Internet.
Among them were audio recordings that emerged in February 2014 of Erdogan allegedly telling his son Bilal to dispose of some 30 million euros ($37 million) in cash. Erdogan has dismissed the recordings as a "vile montage".
Erdogan accused his ally-turned-foe, U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and his supporters of setting up a "parallel state" to concoct the graft scandal and spread leaks in social media to topple his government.
The president has vowed no mercy in the fight against Gulen and the authorities have over the last year effectively purged the police force and judiciary to rid them of pro-Gulenist elements.
Avci is also a lawyer for journalist Hidayet Karaca, who has been under arrest for more than four months since he was detained in December as part of a major crackdown against pro-Gulen media.
[UTSANDIEGO] A San Diego man who returned from Syria a few weeks ago was incarcerated Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit! in Rancho Bernardo Wednesday, accused of hiding from the FBI his participation in gunbattles alongside al-Qaeda-backed fighters, his role on a Sharia court and several other alleged connections to terrorist activity during his time overseas, according to a complaint filed Thursday.
Mohamad Saeed Kodaimati, 24, was arrested by the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force officers at his home near Caminito de la Gallarda and Pomerado Road and charged with making false statements involving international terrorism. He pleaded not guilty "Wudn't me." in a brief hearing in San Diego federal court Thursday afternoon and is set to appear again Tuesday, when the prospect of bail will be discussed.
The arrest adds to a growing number of San Diegans accused of connecting with radical Islamic groups overseas. Prosecutors said the case is unrelated to a pair of arrests here Sunday that involved Somali-American men from Minnesota accused of preparing to cross into Mexico from San Diego and join the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... .
Saeed, born in Syria, came to the U.S. around 2001 and became a U.S. citizen through his father's naturalization, according to court records. He lived in Charlotte, N.C., as a teenager and came to San Diego, where he has extended family, about six years ago.
Saeed left San Diego in 2012 for Istanbul, The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... -- apparently in an unsuccessful attempt to fetch his mother and bring her to the United States. He was later deported from Turkey, where his family opened a sandwich shop, to Syria, a friend said outside court.
Saeed tried to fly back to San Diego on March 5 but was turned away and told to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, the complaint states. Five days later, Saeed spoke with an FBI agent and Diplomatic Security Services special agent there.
Authorities allege Saeed lied when he was asked several questions about his activities in Syria, denying that he was a member of the Sharia court or had any affiliation with the Islamic State or al-Nusra ...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli sh-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ... -- both terrorist organizations fighting the Syrian regime.
He claimed that while he owned an AK-47, he was never involved in any fighting and had only shot it in the air a few times, the complaint states.
Federal court documents say an investigation into Saeed's Facebook communications, as well as statements he eventually made to FBI agents, revealed there was much more to the time spent in his war-torn homeland.
In a September 2013 Facebook email to a friend, he wrote he was working for the Sharia Authority at Hanano, describing the official body as "a government in the liberated area -- being set up upon the Islamic religion -- and governed by the Koran," according to the complaint.
[AnNahar] At least five members of a family have been killed after an murderous Moslem mortar hit their house in eastern Afghanistan, Afghan provincial authorities said Saturday.
"Five Afghan civilians, four women and a man were killed in an enemy mortar attack in Alingar district of Laghman province late Friday evening," provincial police chief, Daud Amin, told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Amin said eleven other members of the family were maimed in the mortar attack.
Laghman provincial governor front man, Sarhadi Zwak, confirmed the mortar attack and gave the same corpse count.
Zwak said women and kiddies were among the maimed in the attack.
No group immediately grabbed credit for the attack.
It comes as the Taliban holy warriors have announced their annual spring offensive -- vowing to target Afghan police, army and intelligence officials.
[KSTP] A Minneapolis man is accused of threatening federal agents, the U.S. Attorney in Minnesota, and a criminal informant who assisted in the arrest of six men accused of trying to join the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... terrorist group in Syria.
Mahamed Abukar Said was charged in federal court Friday after posting a series threats on his Twitter page, according to an FBI affidavit.
The tweets have since been deleted but Sherlocks used screen grabs to capture the threatening messages. They claim to have linked the Twitter account to Said using past tweets, a phone number and information from the Division of Vehicle Services.
One tweet said, "Ima whack that US attorney general."
One tweet said, "Ima whack that US attorney general." Investigators believe he meant either U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, who held a presser about the arrests earlier in the week, or the assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case.
Another tweet said, "The feds are getting two choices. Either they gon free my bros or they gon have a massacre happen then they gon take me too."
Said is also accused of trying to retaliate against an informant who aided the federal investigation.
Said's attorney did not return a call for comment Friday night. Said will be detained until a hearing next Wednesday.
The arrests of the six men, all of Somali descent, created tension in Minnesota's Somali community, the largest in the United States. Since 2007, more than 22 young Somali men have traveled from Minnesota to Somalia to join the Death Eater group al-Shabaab ... Somalia's version of the Taliban, functioning as an arm of al-Qaeda... . Authorities have also said a handful of Minnesota residents have traveled to Syria to fight with bandidosbully boyz in the past year.
The six men were charged after a 10-month investigation that was aided by recordings made by a man who once planned to travel to Syria himself, but then decided to cooperate. Court testimony about the use of an informant, along with the judge's decision to detain the men, prompted angry reaction from some of the roughly 200 local Somalis who attended Thursday's hearing.
Meanwhile, ...back at the saw mill, Scarface Al had tied Little Nell to the log and was about to turn on the buzz saw... a man accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group will be sent from Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, to Minnesota to face charges.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen S. Crawford in San Diego signed a warrant for the removal of Mohamad Farah.
The FBI tossed in the slammer Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please! Farah and Abdurahman Daud last weekend in San Diego. They are among the six men charged in a criminal complaint unsealed Monday with conspiracy to support a foreign terrorist organization. The four others were arrested in Minnesota and authorities say the six are friends.
The complaint says the men planned to reach Syria by going to nearby countries from Minneapolis, San Diego or New York City.
I have no idea what the ins and outs of the case are. I was under the weather when it happened and didn't notice. I understand the dear departed was a vicious career criminal. I also understand that Baltimore city's been under Dem machine rule since the sixties, if I recall correctly. The city has to scramble to find people to train as cops. They're underpaid and overworked (until the OT budget's burned, at which point crime spikes.) My daughter-in-law was caught up in it driving to our house yesterday and she said it was ugly. The direct route from Symphony Center is down Martin Luther King Boulevard, which is dotted almost every street corner with pan-handlers and hoboes in all but the very worst weather. Given all that, my first suspicion is "another cop lynching." Let me know if I'm wrong.
[HOSTED.AP.ORG] Thousands of protesters erupted into the streets Saturday to demand answers in the case of Freddie Gray, the largest rally since the 25-year-old black man died in police custody.
Following a few hours of peaceful demonstrations, scores of rowdy protesters crowded outside of Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles were set to play the Boston Red Sox.
One protester threw something at a police car, and kicked the windshield, cracking it, while others threw cans and plastic bottles in the direction of coppers. At least one protester jumped on a police car. Another car's front windshield was also shattered.
From inside the stadium, fans watched the protesters gather.
Before the protest turned tense, demonstrators held signs with slogans such as `'Jail Killer Police!" and "Unite Here!" They filled two city blocks and marched 2 miles to City Hall, where the crowd overtook the grassy plaza adjacent from the building.
Tanya Peacher, a 36-year-old Baltimore resident, said she'd never attended a protest in the city before, but watching a video of Gray's arrest motivated her.
"I looked at my son," she said, "and thought `that is my son.'"
Late Friday, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis said Gray should have received medical attention at the spot where he was jugged before he was put inside a police transport van handcuffed and without a seat belt, a violation of the department's policy.
Gray died April 19 after suffering a fatal spinal injury while in jug. Authorities have not explained how or when Gray's spine was injured. Video showed him being dragged into a police van and police have said he rode in it for about 30 minutes before paramedics were called.
[AnNahar] Suspected Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality... hard boyz have forced hundreds of soldiers to flee Marte, a border town along the shores of the Lake Chad, a local official and witnesses said Friday.
"The terrorists, numbering over 2,000, appeared from various directions on Thursday and engaged the soldiers in Kirenowa town and adjoining communities in Marte," said Imamu Habeeb, a local community leader.
"They fought with soldiers over the night and the fight continued today (Friday), forcing hundreds of soldiers to flee," he added from Borno state capital Maiduguri.
Local fighter Shehu Dan Baiwa said the more than 2,000 fighters had been armed with bombs and tanks. "They used the weapons without restraint and succeeded in killing several people," he said.
This is the third time Boko Haram has seized control of Marte in restive Borno state, a key battleground of their six-year insurgency, which has killed more than 13,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.
The city is among several retaken in recent weeks by Nigeria's military, which has launched an offensive against the Islamists as part of a regional operation supported by Chad, Cameroon ...a long, narrow country that fills the space between Nigeria and Chad on the northeast, CAR to the southeast. Prior to incursions by Boko Haram nothing ever happened there... and Niger.
But Boko Haram have been fighting back, and Nigerian troops were also forced to retreat from Boko Haram's Sambisa Forest stronghold this week after a landmine blast killed one soldier and three vigilantes.
A senior local politician confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that the hard boyz had retaken Marte.
"We lost many (people) because some of our people that fled to Chad and Cameroon have return after Nigerian troops recovered the town recently," he added.
A senior military official confirmed the attack on Marte, but refused to say whether Boko Haram had retaken the town, describing the army's retreat as "strategic".
[IraqiNews.com] On Thursday, a local source in Kirkuk province said, that an ISIS big shot has been killed in a krazed killer attack in central al-Hawija, located southwest of the province.
The source told IraqiNews, "Today, unidentified gunnies opened fire on a top leader of the ISIS group, known as Abu Khattab al-Jawali, in central Hawija; which led to his death immediately," noting that, "The group's elements lifted the body and began inspecting to find the krazed killers."
[Rudaw] BAGHDAD -- Fierce festivities erupted northeast of Fallujah on Saturday between the Iraqi army and Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... bandidosholy warriors following an ambush the day before that killed a general and staff officers.
Militants launched a complex attack Friday involving a bulldozer packed with explosives against a convoy as it approached an army camp, killing 1st Division commander Brig. Gen. Hassan Abbas Toufan and three staff officers in the Nadhem al-Taqseem region south of Lake Tharthar.
Ten soldiers also were killed and a dozen maimed in the attack which was against the nearby battalion headquarters as well, said Lieutenant general Mohammed Khalaf al-Dulaimi of the Anbar operations command.
Residents of Fallujah said that Islamic State bandidosholy warriors paraded an officer and three soldiers allegedly captured in the fighting through the streets in a pickup truck on Saturday. They spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Troops, including tanks, have been rushed to the area and were fighting Saturday in this rural region dotted with small villages.
Last year, the Islamic State overran large sections of the north and west of the country. In recent months, the Iraqi army, backed by the Popular Mobilizations Units of Shiite and Sunni militia fighters, has been gradually retaking territory.
After prying the city of Tikrit in the northern Salahuddin province away from the Islamic State group, Iraqi forces have turned their attention to Anbar province, particularly the regional capital of Ramadi that has been besieged by the hard boys.
Security forces had been reporting incremental progress this past week, including seizing a key bridge the bandidosholy warriors had been using to supply their forces. Some of the 100,000 residents that had fled Ramadi have started to return.
Fallujah has been firmly under control of the bandidosholy warriors since it was overrun in January 2014 and there has been little progress in efforts to retake it.
[IraqiNews.com] on Saturday the Iraqi Shia militia, the al-Hashd al-Sha'bi, demanded the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense summon Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi and open an urgent investigation about the "Thar Thar massacre" blaming him for exclusive responsibility.
Local Iraqi News media and Arab media reported on Saturday that ISIS executed dozens of Iraqi soldiers and elements of al-Hashd al-Sha'bi after surrounding them in the Thar Thar area north of Fallujah.
The information office of the al-Hashd al-Sha'bi said in a brief statement received by IraqiNews.com that "We demand the Parliamentary Commission on Security and Defense to call Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi and open an urgent investigation about the Thar Thar massacre."
The statement added that "The Minister of Defense is responsible for the massacre exclusively."
[Rudaw] Fighters from the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group ambushed an Iraqi army convoy on Friday with a bulldozer packed with explosives, killing the commander of the Iraqi 1st Division and three of his staff officers north of Fallujah, ... the City of Mosques, which might have somthing to do with why it's not called Center of Prosperity or a really nice place to raise your kids... said military officials.
The jacket wallah attacked the convoy of Humvees and then holy warriors opened fire, killing Brig. Gen. Hassan Abbas Toufan, a colonel and two lieutenant colonels in the Nadhem al-Taqseem region, said a member of the division and an intelligence officer. There was no initial count on the number of soldiers killed in the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The attack represents a setback for the Iraqi army which is embroiled in a fierce battle to reconquer western Anbar province, which has been under the control of the myrmidon Islamic State group for the past year. Fighting has been focused on the historic provincial capital of Ramadi, where the government had been making slow progress.
Earlier on Friday, the army had recaptured the important al-Houz bridge over the Euphrates in western Ramadi, which had served as a primary supply route for the krazed killers, according to police Col. Mahdi Abbas.
The security situation in Ramadi sharply deteriorated after the ISIS group seized three villages around the city, forcing an estimated 100,000 to flee their homes. Many had just started to return in the past few days as Iraqi soldiers and police have been able to secure the center of Ramadi and push the holy warriors back from some areas of the city.
During the weekly Friday prayer, Iraq's most revered Shiite holy man, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged the country's politicians to end all disputes in order to confront the political, economic and security challenges facing the country.
"It is important that the brothers (the politicians) should come out with final and drastic solutions for the problems," said al-Sistani's representative during a sermon Friday in the holy Shiite city of Karbala.
Many Iraqis blame the rivalries among the country's politicianship for the humiliating defeat suffered by government forces in the past year at the hands of the Islamic State holy warriors that control large sections of the north and west of the country.
In Friday's violence, police officials said a bomb went kaboom! near an outdoor market in the Sunni town of Tarmiyah, north of Baghdad, killing four people and wounding eight.
A bomb near a courthouse killed three people and maimed nine in the town of Mahmoudiyah, south of Baghdad.
Medical officials confirmed the corpse count. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
No group immediately grabbed credit for the attacks.
The commander of Anbar Operations, Major Geneneral Mohammed Khalaf, announced on Friday that the Iraqi Air Force had repelled ISIS attacks on Nazim Thar Thar area, indicating that ISIS did not dominate Nazim, while confirming that festivities are still ongoing.
[Rudaw] BEIRUT -- Activists and opposition media are reporting that several hard-line Syrian rebel groups have pushed their way into a strategic town in northwestern Syria following intense festivities that lasted only days.
Opposition television station Orient News reported Saturday from inside the town of Jisr al-Shughour in Idlib province. Rebel fighters from Islamic factions, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, appeared to be milling in the town's central square, raising their black flag. The Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said the rebels are in control of large parts of the town.
Syrian state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
quoted a military official saying the army is still in intense festivities there.
Jisr al-Shughour is a strategic town west of the city of Idlib, the thriving provincial capital which fell to rebels less than a month ago.
[Rudaw] Kurdish forces defeated a large band of ISIS fighters who attacked Peshmerga positions on Mount Shingal early on Friday, officials told Rudaw.
"About 50 Daesh gunnies attacked Peshmerga bases west of Shingal Mountain. Our forces repelled the gunnies after hours of fighting," said Ibrahim Murad, a Peshmerga officer in the area, using Arabic acronym for ISIS.
No causalities were reported on Peshmerga side but, according to Murad, dozens of Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... fighters were killed during the battle.
Shingal police chief Qassim Sumo confirmed that Kurdish forces with air support from the US-led coalition had forced ISIS to retreat in a counter-attack.
In other developments, a bombing attack struck police during a search for ISIS fighters in the Kurdish town of Khanaqin early on Friday, leaving at least four Kurdish officers maimed.
Such martial prowess on the part of little Belgium -- which I think once again has an actual, as opposed to caretaker, government -- should be appreciated and applauded, that they might be encouraged to take on more such responsibilites.
[Rudaw] The Belgium Ministry of Defense has released details of its role in the international coalition formed to battle the Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... , or ISIS, and has pledged to continue to train Iraqi troops.
"Since the beginning of the US-led coalition Arclight airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Belgian warplanes have constituted five percent of the Arclight airstrikes, but we have not taken part in Arclight airstrikes in Syria," the defense ministry announced on Saturday.
Lieutenant General Claude Van de Voorde, commander of the Belgian Air Force, issued specific details of the Arclight airstrikes at a presser in Brussels.
"Upon the request of the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga, we managed to destroy 107 ISIS arsenals and positions in Iraq," Van de Voorde said.
"Belgian military advisers will continue to train Iraqi security forces."
The Belgian government became part of the anti-ISIS coalition last year, and has sent at least 35 military trainers and advisers to work with Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga.
On March 23, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) requested heavy weapons from Belgium during a session of the country's parliament attended by the KRG's representative to the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing....
[CommentaryMagazine] ISIS isn’t a terrorist organization. It’s a transnational army of terror. The CIA claims it has as many as 31,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq, and Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government, thinks the number may be as high as 200,000. When ISIS fighters conquered the Iraqi city of Mosul last year, they stole enough materiel to supply three fighting divisions, including up-armored American Humvees, T-55 tanks, mobile Chinese artillery pieces, Soviet anti-aircraft guns, and American-made Stinger missile systems. ISIS controls a swath of territory the size of Great Britain and is expanding into Libya and Yemen.
ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, paints a gripping and disturbing picture of this new “caliphate” in the Levant and Mesopotamia. In the most comprehensive account to date, the authors chronicle ISIS’s roots as the Iraqi franchise of al-Qaeda under its founding father, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, its near defeat at the hands of Americans and Iraqi militias in Anbar Province, its rebirth during the Syrian civil war, and its catastrophic return to Iraq as a conquering army last summer.
The book is personal for both authors. Hassan was born and raised in the Syrian border town Al-Bukamal, right in the center of ISIS-held territory. Weiss is an American journalist who reported from the Aleppo suburb of al-Bab, back when it had a burgeoning democratic civil-society movement and wasn’t the “dismal fief ruled by Sharia law” it is today. Anger and disgust are at times palpable on the page, but emotion never distracts from the richly detailed narrative—based in part on interviews with ISIS commanders and fighters—that forms the backbone of their book.
[Rudaw] The hall for the Erbil Oil and Gas Exhibition this week was crowded with company displays, executives and investors. But conspicuously absent were international oil giants like Shell, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron that only a year ago were eager to exploit the promising reserves of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
The threat of Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... group krazed killers, who have swept across much of northern Iraq and are battling Kurdish forces only miles away from the Kurdish capital, Erbil, has dampened international interest. The security threat only increases oil companies' doubts, on top of falling oil prices and disputes between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.
The video shows three modifications for old style steel pots used for helmet by the Russian Army since 1940, to include improved ballistic protection modifications for the wearer that is rated to stop the VOG-25 launched grenade at close range.
The video shows the three types of modifications being tested in Donetsk.
All in Russian. Sorry.
The text follows, followed by the presentation video:
Center for Strategic Initiatives of New Russia is developing new and modernization of old samples gear and equipment soldiers of the army of New Russia. According to the video - we want to draw attention to the rear services of the Armed Forces of New Russia, as well as all those who are engaged in the supply of equipment for the BCH.
CSI has developed, manufactured and conducted field tests of its modifications steel helmets sample 40 and 68 years. Please explore the hidden potentials of steel helmets and obr.40 obr.68 years.
In the first modification of the steel helmet sample '40, has been replaced chin strap and added a cross-chin lock. In this video presented steel helmet without cover. In addition, with the left side of the chin strap, is visible we added polyamide fasteksy. In general, this is not great and cheap steel helmet design change - improves ergonomics and speeds up and simplifies the process of this type of fighter Gearing body armor.
This option modification steel helmet consists of three parts: Ballistic balaclava, mask antifragmentation and, in fact, most of the steel helmet. Ballistic liner made: in the lower part - of two layers of ballistic fabric; - at the top of the three layers of ballistic fabric. From a distance of 5 meters - balaclava withstand rupture VOG-25. Ballistic mask is made of 6 layers of ballistic fabric, and also protection of the person - also provides protection cheeks. By balaclava - mask mounted double Velcro fastening and metal buttons. Gap VOG-25 mask stands at close range. Steel helmet SS-40 or SS-68 6-reinforced layers of ballistic fabric, which are mounted to the inside thereof using epoxy resin. By the very balaclava, steel helmet fastened with two polyamide fasteksy. In general, a most difficult and the most expensive of all the options presented the change in the steel helmet - allows for the release of this version of the armor on the territory of New Russia, and the use of fragment protective glasses - allows for full Ballistic protection of the head.
In the third modification of the steel helmet sample '40, has been replaced chin strap with two point four point, and added a cross-chin lock and rear occipital lock. In this video presented steel helmet without cover. In addition, with the left side of the chin strap, is visible we added polyamide fasteksy. In general, such a design change of the steel helmet - is optimal in terms of labor costs and increased thereafter, the ergonomics of this type of body armor.
WASHINGTON -- North Korea appears to have missed an important lesson from the breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program: that the United States is committed to negotiations even with long-time foes, the U.S. envoy for nuclear talks with Pyongyang said Tuesday.
Sydney Seiler, special envoy for the six-party talks on the North's nuclear program, made the remark during a seminar in Washington, stressing that the Iran deal clearly demonstrated "the flexibility, the creativity, the commitment to negotiations" that the U.S. maintains.
"They (the North Koreans) may not have learned any lesson (from the Iran nuclear deal). If they had learned any lesson, then we would have perhaps seen it earlier," he said during the seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Iranian deal "clearly demonstrates our willingness to engage countries with whom the United States has had long-standing differences," Seiler said, adding that there should be no doubt the U.S. remains committed to a negotiated resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.
"See? If you guys were more like the Iranians we could surrender to you. Even Castro figured that out!"
"It is the DPRK, however, that has not yet decided to embark on this path. It has repeatedly rejected offers for dialogue. It has repeatedly and openly violated commitments ... to abandon its nuclear program. It continues to ignore international obligations," Seiler said.
Iran ignored international obligations and look how we're kowtowing to them...
The six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean standoff have been stalled since late 2008. North Korea demands the unconditional resumption of negotiations, while the U.S. says that Pyongyang must first take concrete steps demonstrating its denuclearization commitments.
As the six-party talks have been idled, the North has bolstered its nuclear capabilities and stockpile, conducting its second and third nuclear tests, in 2009 and 2013. Some experts now warn that the communist nation's nuclear arsenal could expand to 100 bombs by 2020.
Seiler stressed that the U.S. is not opposed to surrendering talking to North Korea, but that negotiations must focus on denuclearization. The communist regime should also halt its nuclear activity and refrain from nuclear and missile tests before talks resume.
"We seek negotiations ... And indeed the entire international community is looking for this type of policy shift in Pyongyang and that policy shift would be positively responded to," he said.
"Serious guys! You give an inch and we'll give you the mile!"
"The Israeli Government is trying by all means to hide their atrocities against the Palestinian people, and minimize the number of people who can actually see what is happening on the ground," Nzimande told Independent Media on Thursday.
Nzimande was invited to Palestine by his Palestinian counterpart from 25-29 April 2015 in order to discuss the implementation of an agreement on academic collaboration that they signed when the ineffectual Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited South Africa in November 2014.
Palestine has academics?
Lots and lots of academics, and a number of higher education facilities, courtesy of the 1967- Intifada period of direct Israeli rule.
Birzeit University and the University of Johannesburg have been identified as possible academic partners, and Minister Nzimande was scheduled to participate in the launch of the Centre for African Studies at Birzeit University, for which South Africa would be the anchor. A Centre for Middle East Studies was also due to be launched at the University of Johannesburg, for which the University of Birzeit would have been the anchor.
Nzimande and his delegation of three officials had followed normal procedures to apply for a visa through the Embassy of Israel, but the application was returned with no explanation. The Israeli Embassy has now confirmed that they declined to issue the visa, and are adamant they will not be issuing the visas.
Nzimande is convinced that the Israelis want to punish him and the South African Communist Party for being so vocal in the past on their support for the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and a viable independent state.
Minister Nzimande is incensed at this blatant discrimination, and plans to request that all South African universities and colleges that have academic relations with Israeli institutions sever their ties. This academic boycott will only be called off once Israel fulfils its obligations under international law recognising Palestine along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Nzimande is also calling on the Palestinian Solidarity Forum to call for a general academic boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. "What Israel is also doing is trying to subvert academic freedom, which cannot be tolerated," Nzimande said. The Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk was unavailable for comment.
UN -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named a Mauritanian diplomat on Saturday as his envoy to Yemen, charged with trying to broker peace in the country.
I didn't realize Mauritania had diplomats...
Everyone has diplomats. It gives the over-educated, underemployed first sons of the ruling class -- not to mention the unemployed second through nth sons and ambitious daughters of ditto -- something to do that keeps them out from underfoot of those running the famijly business back home. That young Bhutto was not kitted out as a diplomat after he failed as a politician suggests he is seriously missing something in the upper story.
So okay, it could be work: Ahmed could have stayed in Mauritania...
Ban notified the UN Security Council on Thursday of his intention to appoint Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace Jamal Benomar, a Moroccan diplomat who brokered a 2011 transition aimed at quelling political turmoil in Yemen. The Security Council approved the selection on Saturday.
“Ould Cheikh Ahmed will work closely with the members of the United Nations Security Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Governments in the region and other partners, as well as the United Nations Country Team for Yemen,” Ban said in a statement.
Since December Ould Cheikh Ahmed has been heading the United Nations Ebola response mission, UNMEER.
So he's well experienced with managing disasters...
He has almost three decades of development and aid experience with the United Nations.
As I was just sayin'...
More recently, he was UN resident humanitarian and development coordinator in Syria between 2008 and 2012, and in Yemen from 2012 to 2014.
Baghdad -- Three suicide car bombs exploded at a border crossing between Iraq and Jordan on Saturday, killing four soldiers, a witness and an Iraqi border police source said, in an attack claimed shortly afterwards by Daesh.
The militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a video, saying it had targeted a government complex, control point for the border crossing, and army patrol, according to monitoring group SITE.
A Jordanian official said his government had responded by stepping up security measures at the Tureibil crossing, while an Iraqi defence ministry spokesman said Baghdad would investigate the assault.
The Iraqi government announced a new offensive this month to recapture parts of Anbar from Daesh, but the militants struck back by attacking Ramadi, the Baiji refinery, and Al Thirthar dam.
Jerusalem -- Israeli security forces killed two knife-wielding Palestinians in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Saturday, police said.
Brought knives to a gun-fight...
In the West Bank city of Hebron, a Palestinian was shot dead by a paramilitary Israeli border police patrol after stabbing one of its men in the head and chest, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. The injured policeman was taken to hospital.
Naturally the Israeli soldier is blamed for defending himself...
Samri described the dead Palestinian as being around 20 years old. No further details on his identity were immediately available.
Earlier, 17-year-old Palestinian Ali Abu Ghannam attacked Israeli border police with a cleaver at a checkpoint in East Jerusalem and then ran away fled, with troops giving chase and firing warning shots in the air, Samri said.
Reaching a second checkpoint, Abu Ghannam drew another knife and ran toward security guards there. They shot him dead when he ignored their warnings to stop, Samri said.
Apparently the yout didn't understand Hebrew...
Abu Ghannam’s family rejected the Israeli account of the incident. One relative, Mohammed Abu Ghannam, said he did not believe the boy had been armed and that he had been on his way back from a friend’s party when he was killed.
He was at a Boy Scout meeting...
The family were refusing to receive the body, Mohammed Abu Ghannam said, because Israeli authorities had ordered a limit on the number of people allowed at the burial — a measure often imposed by Israel at the funerals of Palestinian militants in Jerusalem.
So toss him into an unmarked grave somewhere in the Sinai...
Stone-throwing Palestinian youts protesters faced off with Israeli riot police in East Jerusalem later on Saturday, Samri said, adding that one policeman had been lightly injured.
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted President Mahmoud Abbas’s office saying Abu Ghannam’s killing emphasised “the ugliness of the occupation and its crimes against the defenceless Palestinian people under baseless and incorrect pretexts”.
Clashes broke out in Ghannam's home neighborhood on Saturday as young Palestinians in Al-Tur protested against the killing of the teenager.
Around 50 protesters threw stones and rolled burning tyres at Israeli security forces, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported. Five protesters were wounded.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said one officer had suffered minor injuries from a stone to the face and police had used "riot dispersal means" to quell the protest.
She said there were no immediate arrests.
Palestinians in east Jerusalem declared a general strike.
Cairo -- Egypt said on Saturday it had extended by three months a state of emergency imposed on parts of northern Sinai in October after terrorists militants stepped up attacks in the peninsula bordering Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal.
Terrorists Insurgents have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in Sinai since mid-2013, lashing out after then-army chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi ousted President Mohammed Mursi following protests. Sisi went on to be elected president last year.
The decision, announced in a statement from the presidency, will be implemented in Rafah, Al Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and surrounding areas starting on Sunday. It also extends a night-time curfew in place in the same areas.
The measure was first introduced after 33 security personnel were killed in an attack by terrorists in late October at a checkpoint in northern Sinai. It was extended for another three months in January.
The attack was claimed by terrorists Sinai Province, an affiliate of Daesh, which earlier changed its name from Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis. The terrorist group, which aims to topple the government in Cairo, has mainly focused on targets in Sinai.
The destruction of tunnels into the Gaza Strip and the creation of a security buffer zone in northern Sinai last year has stoked resentment among terrorist camp followers residents, who say they rely on the smuggling trade through the tunnels and complain of neglect by the state.
EL BUR, Somalia -- Somali government forces aided by Ethiopian-AMISOM forces clashed with Al Shabaab militants near Galgadud region town, El Bur of central Somalia on Friday night according to officials, Garowe Online reports. The ambush by militants triggered heavy gun-battle that inflicted heavy losses on Al Shabaab attackers, said commander with Somali National Army (SNA) Mohamed Kariye.
“The confrontation happened after anti-peace militants ambushed allied forces, we dealt severe losses to them and we seized Land Cruisers pick-up trucks, “Kariye said on Mogadishu-based radio station without unveiling the exact number of casualty figures on their side.
Somali militant group didn’t comment on the deadly clashes.
Running away too quickly to answer the reporter's questions?
Garissa, Kenya -- The Garissa campus of the Kenya Medical Training College ( KMTC) has been closed for what was termed as security concerns. The closure comes weeks after the indefinite closure of Garissa University College in the same town following a terrorist attack that killed 148 people.
Pretty much an admission by the Kenyan government that it can't protect its citizens...
More than 300 students who were pursuing various diploma and certificate courses at the medical institution have been ordered to leave. The college’s administration had given students two days to fill up transfer forms and travel to other KMTC campuses around the country
Some students expressed their relief by the action saying they had been worried of their security since no visible improvements had been made since the university’s attack. Others, mostly from Northern Eastern, expressed their disappointment by the closure saying they have been forced to continue with their education in campuses far away from their locality.
By Saturday afternoon it was not yet clear the fate of two other institutions of higher learning within Garissa.
GAROWE, Somalia -- A police commander in Somalia’s northeastern state of Puntland confirmed that security forces have arrested over a dozen in sporadic sweeps since UN bus bombing, Garowe Online reports.
Col. Ahmed Abdullahi Samatar, Nugal regional police commander Saturday told the media that suspects arrested in connection with the rare terror attack that left four UNICEF staff dead are being interrogated at police headquarters.
How'd the Land Cruiser fare?
“The security situation is really good, and the findings of police have been handed over to the oversight committee,” said Col. Samatar, referring to the executive-level body named by Puntland Vice President Abdihakin Abdullahi Haji Omar in reaction at UN bus bombing.
Nugal regional police commander further noted that plans to establish community policing centers have got underway.
Last Monday, Al Shabaab suicide bomber killed four UNICEF workers-two Kenyans, Ugandan and Afghan- and two Somali body guards in bus in front of UN compound in the state capital of Garowe.