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Sunday February 14th, 2016

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Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Israel pessimistic on Syria ceasefire, eyes sectarian partition
Posted by g(r)omgoru 02/14/2016  12:02 2 Comments 216 words Read the whole thing on page 2

JERUSALEM - Israel voiced doubt on Sunday that an international ceasefire plan for Syria would work, with one senior official suggesting a sectarian partition of the country might be preferable.

While formally neutral on the five-year civil war wracking its neighbor, Israel has some sway among the world powers that have mounted armed interventions and which on Friday agreed on a "cessation of hostilities" to begin within a week.

The deal, clinched at a Munich security conference, is already beset by recriminations between Russia, which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad militarily and wants to see his rule restored, and Western powers that have called for change in Damascus involving some opposition groups.

"The situation in Syria is very complex, and it is hard to see how the war and mass killing there are stopped," Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, in Munich to meet European counterparts and Jordan's King Abdullah, said in statement.

"Syria as we have known it will not be united anew in the foreseeable future, and at some point I reckon that we will see enclaves, whether organized or not, formed by the various sectors that live and are fighting there."

Ram Ben-Barak, director general of Israel's Intelligence Ministry, described partition as "the only possible solution."
#1: Crazy Uncle "Slow Joe" got one right -- just the wrong country...
Posted by: Steve White|| 2016-02-14 14:59 ||Comments

#2: Am I the only one who cringes on reading the phrase " Munich security conference"?
Posted by: SteveS|| 2016-02-14 15:24 ||Comments



Caribbean-Latin America: Tijuana's Back In Play for Narcos
Posted by Frank G 02/14/2016  09:53 0 Comments 245 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Menacing, crudely written signs hung from highway bridges or left with mutilated corpses have delivered the message: Mexico's fastest-growing drug trafficking group, Cartel Jalisco Nueva GeneraciĂłn, is now in Tijuana ‐ and fighting to expand its influence.

The group's growing presence coincides with a surge in homicides in Tijuana that started last spring, authorities said, and have continued in these first weeks of the new year, with many of the perpetrators and victims described as low-ranking members of the city's neighborhood drug trade.

Drug-related killings accounted for more than 80 percent of Tijuana's 670 homicides in 2015, the highest number in five years, according to the Baja California Attorney General's Office. A total of 71 homicides last month marked the most violent January in the city since 2010.

With the participation of Nueva GeneraciĂłn, the battle for control of Tijuana's neighborhood drug trade and lucrative smuggling routes to the United States has entered a new phase, one that has left the Sinaloa cartel increasingly on the defensive and led to the defections of some of its members, according to law-enforcement officials.

Nueva GeneraciĂłn "is the new player in town that is trying to gain control of the Tijuana plaza," said Gary Hill, assistant special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's San Diego office.


Government: Obama Breaks Tradition, Will Nominate Supreme Court Successor to Scalia
Posted by g(r)omgoru 02/14/2016  08:32 16 Comments 204 words Read the whole thing on page 6
Responding to the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, President Barack Obama declared that he will nominate a successor, breaking a nearly 100-year tradition. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican presidential candidates have encouraged him to wait for the next president, who will be elected this November.

"I plan to fulfill one of my constitutional responsibilities to nominate a successor, in due time," Obama declared in a statement Saturday evening. "There will be plenty of time for me to do so and for the Senate to fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote." Obama emphasized, "These are responsibilities that I take seriously and so should everyone-- they are bigger than any one party, they are about our democracy."

No lame duck president has nominated a Supreme Court justice in an election year for eighty years, a fact which both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Texas Senator Ted Cruz mentioned in the Republican presidential debate Saturday evening.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) said that "it's been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year."
#1: Once again Obama will transform America and unfortunately the do nothing senate will break their do nothing tradition and support Obama. I have zero confidence in anyone in DC.

Posted by: Airandee|| 2016-02-14 08:52 ||Comments

#2: It is more than just zero confidence in anyone in DC, Airandee. It is the infinite confidence that anyone in DC will perpetuate the status quo and contribute to the destruction of our constitutional republic.

A District of Traitors, and I do not say it lightly.
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2016-02-14 09:54 ||Comments

#3: simply stay in session (no recess appointments) and refuse to take up his nominee. The Dems can caterwaul and whine, but can't force a vote
Posted by: Frank G|| 2016-02-14 09:58 ||Comments

#4: Obama knows his nominee doesn't have a chance. He'll nominate some one he can beat the Republicans over the head with.
Posted by: Deacon Blues|| 2016-02-14 10:15 ||Comments

#5: The GOP is called the 'Stupid Party' for a reason: I suspect there are at least a few Pub Senators who won't take the threat of "electoral annihilation" seriously and will consider voting in favor of whoever Champ sends forward. They'll then be "dismayed" and "surprised" and "disappointed" in the Pub rank and file come election day. Then they'll cut a deal with the Dems to preserve their own seats once the GOP falls apart.

Save the nomination for the new President and Senate, and work like hell to ensure we're not dealing with a new President Clinton. Any other play by the GOP puts an end to that party.
Posted by: Steve White|| 2016-02-14 10:27 ||Comments

#6: As chief executive can he recuse himself from the presidency and take an interim appointment leaving Biden to be the lame duck? Or worse, give Biden a candidate role when he abdicates.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2016-02-14 10:30 ||Comments

#7: Any other play by the GOP puts an end to that party.

As you said they aren't called the Stupid Party for nothing.

And of course if Trump or Cruze look like they will get the nomination all hands are off. The GOP leadershit would rather see a socialist advocate on the bench than a true conservative.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2016-02-14 12:38 ||Comments

#8: Elizabeth Price Foley laid out that McDinglberry doesn't need to vote. Obama has the power for 8 more days to put in a recess appointment:



COULD OBAMA MAKE A RECESS APPOINTMENT TO REPLACE SCALIA?: The answer appears to be “yes,” because (once again), the GOP-controlled Senate voluntarily has left itself vulnerable to the exercise of such presidential power. Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill vacancies “during the recess of the Senate”:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there. For example, a report by Fox News mistakenly focuses on the Adjournment Clause of Article I, section 5, which merely states that neither House of Congress may adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other. The Fox News reporter wrongly concludes:

[S]o long as both the House and Senate haven’t jointly agreed to “adjourn” for a stretch longer than three days, then there appears to be no way the president could make a recess appointment.

But the House and Senate are not operating under those circumstances right now. Both bodies of have adjourned until later this month for the President’s Day recess.

The Senate last met on Thursday. When doing so, it approved a “conditional adjournment resolution” for the Senate not to meet again until Monday, Feb. 22. The House met on Friday and at the close of business adopted the same adjournment resolution to get in sync with the Senate. The House is out until Tuesday, Feb. 23.

So, the House and Senate will not be meeting in the coming days. This is an adjournment and is not challengeable in court the way the NLRB recess appointments were because both bodies have agreed with each other to adjourn.


Whether the House of Representatives is in adjournment is irrelevant to the Recess Appointments Clause power. The only salience of the Adjournment Clause is that, in NLRB v. Noel Canning (2014), the Supreme Court looked to the Adjournment Clause as relevant evidence in its quest to ascertain a minimum period of time for determining the meaning of a “Recess of the Senate” in the Recess Appointments Clause. Specifically, the Court concluded:

The Adjournments Clause reflects the fact that a 3-day break is not a significant interruption of legislative business. As the Solicitor General says, it is constitutionally de minimis. A Senate recess that is so short that it does not require the consent of the House is not long enough to trigger the President’s recess-appointment power. . . .

If a Senate recess is so short that it does not require the consent of the House, it is too short to trigger the Recess Appointments Clause. And a recess lasting less than 10 days is presumptively too short as well.


Thus, a Senate recess of fewer than 3 days is not enough to trigger the President’s recess appointment power; the Senate’s recess must be at least ten days in duration.

So how long is the Senate’s present recess? It began on Friday, February 12, with the passage of S. Con. Res. 31 which states:

That when the Senate recesses or adjourns on any day from Thursday, February 11, 2016, through Saturday, February 20, 2016, on a motion offered pursuant to this concurrent resolution by its Majority Leader or his designee, it stand recessed or adjourned until 12:00 noon on Monday, February 22, 2016, or such other time on that day as may be specified by its Majority Leader or his designee in the motion to recess or adjourn, or until the time of any reassembly pursuant to section 2 of this concurrent resolution, whichever occurs first; . . .

Sec. 2. (A) The Majority Leader of the Senate or his designee, after concurrence with the Minority Leader of the Senate, shall notify the Members of the Senate to reassemble at such place and time as he may designate if, in his opinion, the public interest shall warrant it.


A Senate recess from February 12 (at noon) until February 22 (at noon) is a recess of exactly 10 days. Thus, under Noel Canning, the Senate is potentially in recess, and President Obama’s recess appointments power may be exercised.

Under S. Con. Res. 31, the only way to recall the Senate back into business before February 22 is with the “concurrence [of] the Minority Leader of the Senate,” Harry Reid (D-NV). Somehow I doubt Sen. Reid will grant such concurrence to reconvene, should President Obama decide to use this 10-day recess to make a recess appointment and replace Justice Scalia. But should President Obama try use this particular 10-day recess to replace Justice Scalia, the replacement would only be constitutionally permitted to serve until the end of the next session– i.e., until the end of the 114th Congress, which occurs on January 3, 2017.

But there is another potential wrinkle. Specifically, the Congressional Record of February 12 shows that Senate declared that it would be in pro forma session (where a member of the Senate gavels in and gavels out every few days), declaring:

A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that when the Senate completes its business on Friday, February 12, 2016, it adjourn, to then convene for pro forma sessions only, with no business being conducted on the following dates and times, and that following each pro forma session, the Senate adjourn until the next pro forma session: Monday, February 15, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., and Thursday, February 18, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.; and that when the Senate adjourns on Thursday, February 18, 2016, it next convene at 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 22, 2016, unless the Senate receives a message from the House of Representatives that it has adopted S. Con. Res. 31; and that if the Senate receives such a message, it stand adjourned until 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 22, 2016.

Notice, however, that the pro forma status of the Senate’s recess is made conditional: “unless the Senate receives a message from the House of Representatives that it has adopted S. Con. Res. 31; and that if the Senate receives such a message, it stand [sic] adjourned until 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 22, 2016.”

This matters because if the Senate is in pro forma session, the Noel Canning majority agreed that such pro forma sessions will block the president’s recess appointment power:

We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is, provided that, under its own rules, it retains the capacity to transact Senate business.

Unfortunately for the GOP Senate, however, the GOP-controlled House agreed to S. Con. Res. 31 on February 12 without objection. This means that under the plain language of S. Con. Res 31, the Senate is “in recess”–and not in pro forma session.

If this is indeed the case, the Senate is presently in the midst of a 10-day recess (not a pro forma session), and under Noel Canning, President Obama currently possesses the power to make a recess appointment to the Supreme Court until noon on February 22, when the Senate comes back in session.

So basically the fix is in for a ultra-statist, gun grabbing fuck to be put in for the year and tons of our freedoms can be permanently rolled back. Again I question the timing of the judge's death and you can bet the establishment will do everything it can to fuck our country over.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2016-02-14 14:03 ||Comments

#9: Let's not get too wound up on the recess appointment idea: suppose Obama makes a recess appointment on the 21st? Ms. Foley's analysis appears sound and so it would likely be constitutional.

What would the new justice DO? In the next year, not much. Most of the current cases before the Court have been argued. There's no big 2A or 1A case sitting there. The new justice would (I would have to think) recuse her/himself on any case in which the justice was not present for the oral arguments, so those cases are still going to be decided by 8 votes. Yes, there are a few cases remaining for oral argument; one can parse those and see how bad the damage might be.

Likewise, the new justice is gone in January 2017. So even as the Court opens its next session in October, the new justice won't be there long enough to make much of an impact. The new justice, likely a rabid Democratic progressive, is certainly gone if a Pub is president, and might even be gone if Hilarity wins -- she'll want her own justice.

The new justice is an 11-month recess justice. She/he can't do much. There would be harm there to be sure but it's limited. Chief Justice Roberts still decides the agenda, and it still takes four justices to want to hear a case. Justice Kennedy would like slide some to the right since he understands that if he doesn't he's no longer in the sweet spot of being a 'swing' vote.

And a further point to ponder: if you're worried about the Pub base coming out in the fall, just install a Recess Justice Holder and see what happens.
Posted by: Steve White|| 2016-02-14 15:01 ||Comments

#10: I'm not sure where Obama gets the most bang for his buck:

1) Make a symbolic (for reasons mentioned above) appointment just to flip off Congress and a big chunk of America
vs
2) Nominate an actual candidate who will never ever get approved. A far-Left Vagino-American of color would do nicely and keep all the Progressive anti-Republican memes in play.

A tough choice for Barry.
Posted by: SteveS|| 2016-02-14 15:16 ||Comments

#11: And if he does appoint one - it may mean a long wait until Hillary can appoint him (assuming she wins of course).

Better to squash the FBI Investigation until after the election - the media will provide all the 'cover' if necessary and/or 'pardon' her (for her 'excellent' service to her country - note no mention of which country.). And then if she wins she can appoint him.

We can play these what-if games all day.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2016-02-14 15:28 ||Comments

#12: An inconvenient walk down memory lane for "The 0ne.": [LINK]
Posted by: Blossom Unains5562|| 2016-02-14 15:31 ||Comments

#13: This man sat in a tub full of fuitloops.
Think about it...
Posted by: newc|| 2016-02-14 15:31 ||Comments

#14: We can play these what-if games all day.

Now that football is done, it's either this or piling on the "how long would it take Russia to defeat Estonia" game
Posted by: SteveS|| 2016-02-14 15:36 ||Comments

#15: Barack Obama “Thrilled” Over Justice Scalia’s Death…
Posted by: Blossom Unains5562|| 2016-02-14 15:40 ||Comments

#16: Likewise, the new justice is gone in January 2017.

Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

From a comment by Casey M at Insty:

A recess appointment now would last until January 4, 2018. NOT 2017.

From the Congressional Research Service whitepaper:


"A recess appointment expires at the sine die adjournment of the Senates next session. In practice, this has meant that a recess appointment could last for almost two years. Where the President has made a recess appointment between sessions of the same or successive Congresses, this appointment has expired at the end of the session that next convened. Where he has made the appointment during an intrasession recess, however, the duration of the appointment has included the rest of the session in progress plus the full length of the session that followed. At any point in a year, as a result, by making a recess appointment during an intrasession recess, a President could fill a position not just for the rest of that year, but until near the end of the following year."

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21308.pdf (page 7)
Posted by: charger|| 2016-02-14 16:28 ||Comments



Government: McConnell: No vote on Scalia replacement under Obama
Posted by Besoeker 02/14/2016  00:00 10 Comments 128 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Wash Examiner] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Saturday signaled there would be no vote on any appointment picked by President Obama to replace deceased Justice Antonin Scalia -- setting the stage for a dramatic political showdown in Washington that will likely result in gridlock for the remainder of the year.

McConnell said a new appointment should wait until a new president takes office.

"The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president," McConnell said in a statement.

McConnell's statement indicates he is not planning on bringing to the floor for a vote any nominee Obama selects to succeed Obama, according to a Senate GOP aide.
#1: Riiiiiight....

At least until his check clears.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2016-02-14 00:08 ||Comments

#2: Excuse me, but what an idiot? You don't announce that you won't approve any of Obama's proposals, you wait for his candidates and... well, one more thing before we can vote...
Posted by: European Conservative|| 2016-02-14 05:44 ||Comments

#3: Blindling flash, but Scalia's passing highlights the danger of an activist Supreme Court. McConnell's statement was ill advised and may simply hasten the Champ taking a unilateral or recess action.

By the way, everything that Scalia has been working on at the court must now be pitched into the rubbish bin. A poor replacement has the potential of retroactive damage as well.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 06:55 ||Comments

#4: Way to lead with your chin Mitch. Moron.
Posted by: NCMike|| 2016-02-14 08:04 ||Comments

#5: Nice p0ker face, Mitch. Did you notice the way you held your cards, face out? Watta frickin moroon!
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2016-02-14 09:46 ||Comments

#6: OTOH, my biggest fear on hearing of Scalia's death was that the uber-rino McConnel would help push through an Obama "compromise". This would seem to preclude that.

I agree that this would be a huge mistake, see #2,3,4,5, if I had any confidence in MM, but I don't think it will matter too much given the current circumstances.

It will be interesting to see what the GOP candidates have to say.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2016-02-14 10:09 ||Comments

#7: No, Mitch has to say that -- if he doesn't there's instant rebellion in the GOP. He has to say that there will be no vote on a Scalia replacement this year. Then has to mean it, and then he has to be on guard for all the usual Dem tricks.
Posted by: Steve White|| 2016-02-14 10:28 ||Comments

#8: I expect Mitch to fold when the nominee is described by the press/Prez as a 'moderate'.
Posted by: Mugsy Glink|| 2016-02-14 10:43 ||Comments

#9: I disagree Darth - Mitch probably can't wait to fold for free. I think he gets off on folding to the democrats myself.

Either that or they will pass a bill that it will require 2/3rds vote to block a confirmation. That way they can safely vote against it later. Isn't that how they usually abrogate their duties? It's been done before.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2016-02-14 12:33 ||Comments

#10: Elizabeth Price Foley laid out that McDinglberry doesn't need to vote. Obama has the power for 8 more days to put in a recess appointment:



COULD OBAMA MAKE A RECESS APPOINTMENT TO REPLACE SCALIA?: The answer appears to be “yes,” because (once again), the GOP-controlled Senate voluntarily has left itself vulnerable to the exercise of such presidential power. Article II, section 2 of the Constitution gives the President power to fill vacancies “during the recess of the Senate”:

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there. For example, a report by Fox News mistakenly focuses on the Adjournment Clause of Article I, section 5, which merely states that neither House of Congress may adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other. The Fox News reporter wrongly concludes:

[S]o long as both the House and Senate haven’t jointly agreed to “adjourn” for a stretch longer than three days, then there appears to be no way the president could make a recess appointment.

But the House and Senate are not operating under those circumstances right now. Both bodies of have adjourned until later this month for the President’s Day recess.

The Senate last met on Thursday. When doing so, it approved a “conditional adjournment resolution” for the Senate not to meet again until Monday, Feb. 22. The House met on Friday and at the close of business adopted the same adjournment resolution to get in sync with the Senate. The House is out until Tuesday, Feb. 23.

So, the House and Senate will not be meeting in the coming days. This is an adjournment and is not challengeable in court the way the NLRB recess appointments were because both bodies have agreed with each other to adjourn.


Whether the House of Representatives is in adjournment is irrelevant to the Recess Appointments Clause power. The only salience of the Adjournment Clause is that, in NLRB v. Noel Canning (2014), the Supreme Court looked to the Adjournment Clause as relevant evidence in its quest to ascertain a minimum period of time for determining the meaning of a “Recess of the Senate” in the Recess Appointments Clause. Specifically, the Court concluded:

The Adjournments Clause reflects the fact that a 3-day break is not a significant interruption of legislative business. As the Solicitor General says, it is constitutionally de minimis. A Senate recess that is so short that it does not require the consent of the House is not long enough to trigger the President’s recess-appointment power. . . .

If a Senate recess is so short that it does not require the consent of the House, it is too short to trigger the Recess Appointments Clause. And a recess lasting less than 10 days is presumptively too short as well.


Thus, a Senate recess of fewer than 3 days is not enough to trigger the President’s recess appointment power; the Senate’s recess must be at least ten days in duration.

So how long is the Senate’s present recess? It began on Friday, February 12, with the passage of S. Con. Res. 31 which states:

That when the Senate recesses or adjourns on any day from Thursday, February 11, 2016, through Saturday, February 20, 2016, on a motion offered pursuant to this concurrent resolution by its Majority Leader or his designee, it stand recessed or adjourned until 12:00 noon on Monday, February 22, 2016, or such other time on that day as may be specified by its Majority Leader or his designee in the motion to recess or adjourn, or until the time of any reassembly pursuant to section 2 of this concurrent resolution, whichever occurs first; . . .

Sec. 2. (A) The Majority Leader of the Senate or his designee, after concurrence with the Minority Leader of the Senate, shall notify the Members of the Senate to reassemble at such place and time as he may designate if, in his opinion, the public interest shall warrant it.


A Senate recess from February 12 (at noon) until February 22 (at noon) is a recess of exactly 10 days. Thus, under Noel Canning, the Senate is potentially in recess, and President Obama’s recess appointments power may be exercised.

Under S. Con. Res. 31, the only way to recall the Senate back into business before February 22 is with the “concurrence [of] the Minority Leader of the Senate,” Harry Reid (D-NV). Somehow I doubt Sen. Reid will grant such concurrence to reconvene, should President Obama decide to use this 10-day recess to make a recess appointment and replace Justice Scalia. But should President Obama try use this particular 10-day recess to replace Justice Scalia, the replacement would only be constitutionally permitted to serve until the end of the next session– i.e., until the end of the 114th Congress, which occurs on January 3, 2017.

But there is another potential wrinkle. Specifically, the Congressional Record of February 12 shows that Senate declared that it would be in pro forma session (where a member of the Senate gavels in and gavels out every few days), declaring:

A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing that when the Senate completes its business on Friday, February 12, 2016, it adjourn, to then convene for pro forma sessions only, with no business being conducted on the following dates and times, and that following each pro forma session, the Senate adjourn until the next pro forma session: Monday, February 15, 2016, at 11:00 a.m., and Thursday, February 18, 2016, at 9:00 a.m.; and that when the Senate adjourns on Thursday, February 18, 2016, it next convene at 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 22, 2016, unless the Senate receives a message from the House of Representatives that it has adopted S. Con. Res. 31; and that if the Senate receives such a message, it stand adjourned until 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 22, 2016.

Notice, however, that the pro forma status of the Senate’s recess is made conditional: “unless the Senate receives a message from the House of Representatives that it has adopted S. Con. Res. 31; and that if the Senate receives such a message, it stand [sic] adjourned until 3:00 p.m., on Monday, February 22, 2016.”

This matters because if the Senate is in pro forma session, the Noel Canning majority agreed that such pro forma sessions will block the president’s recess appointment power:

We hold that, for purposes of the Recess Appointments Clause, the Senate is in session when it says it is, provided that, under its own rules, it retains the capacity to transact Senate business.

Unfortunately for the GOP Senate, however, the GOP-controlled House agreed to S. Con. Res. 31 on February 12 without objection. This means that under the plain language of S. Con. Res 31, the Senate is “in recess”–and not in pro forma session.

If this is indeed the case, the Senate is presently in the midst of a 10-day recess (not a pro forma session), and under Noel Canning, President Obama currently possesses the power to make a recess appointment to the Supreme Court until noon on February 22, when the Senate comes back in session.

So basically the fix is in for a ultra-statist, gun grabbing fuck to be put in for the year and tons of our freedoms can be permanently rolled back. Again I question the timing of the judge's death and you can bet the establishment will do everything it can to fuck our country over.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2016-02-14 14:03 ||Comments



India-Pakistan: Forces kill 10 suspected militants in Sibi
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 215 words Read the whole thing on page 1
QUETTA: The security forces claimed on Sunday to have killed 10 suspected militants during a targeted operation in Balochistan's Sibi district.

The security personnel reportedly conducted an operation in Sangaan area of Sibi district and apprehended 12 suspected militants following an exchange of fire in which 10 suspects were killed.

An official informed DawnNews that security forces also demolished three sanctuaries being operated by militants in Sangaan.

"A key militant commander was also killed during the operation," he said.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for Balochistan government, Anwar ul Haq Kakar, told DawnNews that a key commander of the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) Aslam Acho was reportedly killed by security forces in Sibi.

Kakar said “the dead commander was allegedly involved in the attack in Quaid’s residency in Ziarat”.

Moreover, the security forces also claimed to have recovered huge cache of weapons including rockets, improvised explosive devices and bombs from the possession of these suspected militants.

All the dead and apprehended militants belonged to an outlawed militant organisation operating in the area, the security official said.

The arrested suspects were shifted to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

The suspected militants were reportedly involved in a series of attacks on security forces and blowing up of gas pipelines and other vital installations in the area, the security official said.


Arabia: Houthis Kill Saleh’s Officers and War Prisoners
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 269 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Jeddah- Informed military sources revealed that Houthi rebels were in a state of tension with pro-government forces approaching the outskirts of Sanaa. The sources added that in the past two days, Houthi rebels have killed tens of pro-government officers who were captured earlier, and others from Yemen’s Republican Guards, forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah who refused any military confrontation and supported peaceful solutions for the crisis.

Brigadier Abdullah Subaihi, commander of the north-eastern sector in Aden and commander “Brigade 15-Mika”, told Asharq Al-Awsat that, “according to the information provided during the past two days, the militias have started taking random decisions proving their inability to persist, like killing the military officers who are war prisoners incapable of defending themselves.”

Brigadier Subaihi described these actions as inhumane and opposing to all international regulations.

He confirmed that Houthis are perpetrating these criminal actions to ensure security for the leaders of the so-called Ansar Allah with the imminent entry of the national army to Sanaa and the military movement of resistance inside.

Moreover, Asharq Al-Awsat learned about calls made between pro-government forces and some of the leaderships hiding in Sanaa, after being moved away from their military bases for refusing to join the militias’ and Saleh’s army.

In the same context, the national army took control over “Brigade 63”, which is affiliated with the Republican Guard, and seized the commander of the Brigade along with around 200 members, who were sent to the liberated areas.

Moreover, the military sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the army forces in Bani Hushaysh District moved forward and are closer to the outskirts of Sanaa.


Arabia: Cross-border Yemeni shelling kills two in Saudi
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 116 words Read the whole thing on page 1
The southwestern city of Najran was struck, leaving dead a foreign resident.
A Saudi soldier and a civilian have been killed in cross-border shelling from rebel-controlled northern Yemen, authorities said late on Saturday.

A Saudi patrol was hit on Saturday morning in the southwestern region of Assir, killing the soldier, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Later in the day, the southwestern city of Najran was struck, leaving dead a foreign resident, a civil defence spokesman said in a statement on SPA.

About 90 civilians and soldiers have died from shelling and skirmishes along the border since March, when a Saudi-led military coalition began air and ground action in Yemen.


Arabia: Yemeni Army Controls Strategic Mountain in Taiz
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 141 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Yemeni army and the popular committees took control of strategic mountain in Thubab governorate in Taiz.

Military source in Taiz reported that the allied forces managed to take control of Jabal al-Shabakah following fierce clashes with Saudi-led forces who are waging brutal aggression against the Arab impoverished country.

The source told al-Massirah Yemeni channel that a number of Saudi-led forces and mercenaries were killed during the clashes that also destroyed two Saudi vehicles in the coastal governorate.

Earlier, Al-Manar correspondent in Yemen reported that the allied forces have also managed to fully secure Fardat Naham military base, east of the capital, Sanaa.

Meanwhile, the army and the committees have also cleansed Wadi Baran, a valley which lies south of Fardat Naham.

Media reports mentioned that 120 mercenaries, that were arrested by the Yemeni army and popular committees in Maareb, arrived in Sanaa.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Turkey artillery hits Kurd positions in northern Syria
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 1 Comments 543 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ARA News] ALEPPO – Turkey’s army troops shelled positions for the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, military sources reported on Saturday.

The bombardment by the Turkish military was aimed at impeding the Kurdish progress against Islamist rebels in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

This comes after the Kurdish YPG forces drove Syrian Islamist rebels from a former military airport south of Azaz town in Aleppo province, near the Turkish border.

Kurdish fighters of the YPG and allied rebels of Jaish al-Thuwar –both are members of the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)– seized control of the Menagh air base subsequent to fierce clashes with Islamist rebel groups.

“The Turkish offensive against our forces in northern Syria is an apparent attempt by the government of Erdogan to support terrorist groups,” a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG told ARA News in Aleppo on Saturday midnight.

It was not immediately clear how many fighters were killed in the Turkish offensive.

“Our message to the Turkish authorities is that we will continue our struggle until cleansing the region from those radical groups, and such strikes by the Turkish army won’t impede our progress,” he said.

In the meantime, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Today retaliation was taken under the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area.”

U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds to step back, stressing that they should focus instead “on tackling a common threat” of ISIS militants.

“We have urged Syrian Kurds and other forces affiliated with the YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory,” Kirby said in a statement. “We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires.”

Davutoglu, who considered the Syrian Kurds as a threat to the Turkish state, demanded the Kurdish forces to withdraw from the Menagh air base and evacuate all areas near Azaz.

“We will retaliate against every step (by the YPG),” he said. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding areas and will not go close to it again.”

The Turkish army has earlier launched more than 20 attacks on Kurdish positions in northern Syria, especially near Raqqa province where Kurds drove militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) from strategic border areas.
Iran PressTV adds:
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish bombs hit areas of Aleppo, including Minnigh, which was recently recaptured by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) forces from Daesh [Islamic State] Takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
terrorists.

According to YPG sources, the shelling struck the strategic Minnigh military airport.
#1: Other reports sez the Syrian Army have cut off Aleppo from Turkey severing supply lines to the Sunnis (ISIS). This being the reason Turkey and Saudi airfarce are escalating. Just a matter of time till an 'accident' happens and they walk into a Russian smack down. Good time to verify popcorn supplies in the shelter.
Posted by: BrerRabbit|| 2016-02-14 10:46 ||Comments



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: ISIS troops shoot down 2 Rooshun drones
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 159 words Read the whole thing on page 1
HOMS – Radical group of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Saturday claimed its fighters have shot down two Russian drones over the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria’s central province of Homs.

The Russian drones were reportedly downed near the Duwwah district in western Palmyra on Saturday. ISIS claimed responsibility for shooting down the drones in a statement published by the Islamist Amaq media center.

ARA News could not verify the report from independent sources in Homs.

This is not the first time that ISIS militants claim responsibility for shooting down drones for forces attacking its positions in Syria.

On February 1, the group said its fighters shot down a French drone over Manbij city in northern Syria. The ISIS-linked Amaq media center released images for remnants of a French drone, saying it was downed by the jihadis.

ISIS threatened to target more aircrafts for the international powers in case their airstrikes on its headquarters continued in Syria and Iraq.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Gunmen kill ISIS Emir in Deir ez-Zor
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 189 words Read the whole thing on page 1
DEIR EZZOR – A group of gunmen attacked on Saturday a convoy for militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zor province.

“An ISIS convoy, consisting of two cars and seven militants, was carrying an ISIS Emir (prince) in Deir ez-Zor, before being attacked by an anonymous group of gunmen,” a member of the “Deir ez-Zor Is Being Slaughtered Silently” campaign told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Five ISIS militants were killed in the attack, including the jihadi Emir, while two others were injured before the gunmen escaped the Ghassan Aboud square, where the incident took place on Saturday evening.

“The gunmen, who have crossed the ISIS security checkpoints and infiltrated into the city of Deir ez-Zor, are most likely members of the local Arab al-Sheitaat tribe,” the source reported.

Al-Sheitaat tribe has been exposed to mass executions at the hands of ISIS militants since the radical group took over large areas in Deir ez-Zor nearly one year and a half ago. More than 700 members of the tribe were killed for refusing the ISIS’s alleged Caliphate and they were buried in mass graves.


Iraq: 16 ISIS Bad Guys die in air strikes in Salahuddin
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 137 words Read the whole thing on page 1
(IraqiNews.com) Salahuddin – The leadership of the Federal Police announced on Friday, that 16 members of the so-called ISIS were killed in an aerial Iraqi bombardment targeted their headquarters in Salahuddin Province, while emphasized the cleansing of the liberated areas in Ramadi of the IEDs.

The Federal Police Captain Raed Shakir Jawdat said in a statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “A force from the Federal Police’s 10th brigade backed by Iraqi aircrafts carried out military operations on ISIS headquarters and gatherings in Layn area west of Samarra (40 km south of Tikrit) and Makhoul Mountains north of Beiji, killing 16 members belonging to ISIS, destructing four vehicles, as well as three defense sites.”

Jawdat also emphasized, “The Federal Police forces managed to cleanse the areas of Husaybah and Juwibah in the city of Ramadi of the improvised explosive devices.”


Iraq: 5 ISIS Top Dawgs die in Tikrit air strike
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 2 Comments 94 words Read the whole thing on page 1
(IraqiNews.com) Salahuddin – A security source announced on Saturday, that five leaders of the so-called ISIS, including an Arab leader were killed in an aerial bombardment targeted their gathering east of Tikrit (170 km north of Baghdad).

The source said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The Iraqi Army Aviation, based on the information of the National Security Intelligence, carried out an air strike on a gathering of ISIS leaders at the house of one of its members called Khalid al-Hayes in Shiha Village east of Tikrit, killing five leaders, including an Arab leader.”
#1: They have to be wondering where the Iraquis or US are getting the information. Got to be a handicap in communications, planning, and coordination.
Posted by: raubrey@sbcglobal.net|| 2016-02-14 08:00 ||Comments

#2: Maybe a well-paid handicap. Though we're talking Arabs, so it's probably more like well-bruised.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2016-02-14 09:55 ||Comments



Home Front: Culture Wars: This Week in Books 2/14/2016
Posted by swksvolFF 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 220 words Read the whole thing on page 4
...is a punt. Day started at 8:00 and am just sitting down at 20:30 and guests just arrived. In addition, the book I was going to review I am re-reading. It is a good book, but has been a while and should honor the book instead of rushing a review.

Next week will be hectic as well, likely a recipe for chili with follow up on Sunday after judging.

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy.
Ian W. Toll
W. W. Norton and Company, reprint 2008

Another author who easily writes a story with a lot of information, and the time period fits well with previous reviews.

Mr. Toll begins with a makeup of the world, with a focus on the British who were ruling the waves. Mr. Toll does well to honor the composition of the British fleet, and then feeds into the reasoning for the fledgling Americans to consider building warships.

If I remember correctly, my favorite section covers how the ships were built but only after the why is addressed.

The action scenes, if you will, are surreal, with one account of an American ship which was becalmed (h/t trailing wife) and figured out an ingenious way to escape its British pursuers.

Link is to Amazon.


Iraq: Anbar Antics: 24 die
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 705 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Iraqi forces mass for attack on Heet and Kabisa

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The leadership of Anbar police announced on Saturday, that the security forces will storm Heet and Kabisa Districts west of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad) to cleanse them from the so-called ISIS, while emphasized that the security forces is working to create safe corridors for the civilians to exit the areas.

The spokesman of the 14th Emergency Regiment in Anbar police Lt. Saud Harb al-Obeidi said in a statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “The security forces mobilized its troops including the army, police and emergency regiments backed by the tribal fighters in the axes of Heet and Kabisa (70 km west of Anbar) in preparation to storm the districts and cleanse them from ISIS fighters.”

Obeidi added, “The security forces deployed its military equipment in Heet and Kabisa including armors and tanks in preparation to destruct ISIS defense lines and their headquarters,” pointing out that, “The security forces will work to create safe corridors for the exit of civilians to keep them away from the combat zones.

300 IEDs dismantled in a-Anbar

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The commander of Anbar Operations Ismail Mahalawi announced on Saturday the dismantling of 300 improvised explosive devices east of Ramadi.

Mahalawi said in a brief statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “The engineering security forces managed to dismantle 300 improvised explosive devices in al-Sijariya, al-Juwaiba, Husaibah and the main road between al-Khalidiya and Ramadi.”

Mahalawi added, “The engineering security forces continue to dismantle the IEDs and bombs emplaced by ISIS in houses and roads.”

Iraqi militia kill 8 ISIS Bad Guys

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The leadership of al-Hashed al-shaabi in Anbar Province announced on Friday the killing of eight fighters belonging to the so-called ISIS in an attack launched by the tribal fighters on ISIS gathering in central Fallujah (62 km west of Baghdad.

The commander of the 1st regiment in Karmat Fallujah brigade of al-Hashed al-shaabi Colonel Mahmoud Mardi Jumaili said in a brief statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The intelligence information revealed that an armed attack was carried out by the tribal fighters in the city of Fallujah on a gathering of ISIS in the industrial area in Golan neighbourhood in central Fallujah, killing eight members of ISIS.”

Jumaili added, “The tribal fighters launched a number of armed attacks against ISIS over the 6 past few days,” noting that, “ISIS prevented its elements from roaming in the residential neighborhoods.”

ISIS troops die in airstrikes

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The commander of Anbar Operations Ismail al-Mahalawi announced on Saturday, that 16 members of the so-called ISIS were killed in an aerial bombardment carried out by the international coalition aviation north of Ramadi.

Mahalawi said in a press statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The international coalition aviation in cooperation with Anbar Operations managed to launch three air strikes on three ISIS headquarters in Albu Ziab area north of Ramadi.”

“The bombardment was carried out based on accurate intelligence information and resulted in the killing of 16 militants of ISIS, as well as destructing their headquarters,” Mahalawi added.

ISIS troops prepare new attack on Haditha

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The leadership of al-Hashed al-Shaabi in Anbar Province announced on Saturday, that the so-called ISIS is preparing its fighters to attack Barwana area in Haditha District west of Ramadi (110 km west of Baghdad) from two axes, while emphasized that the security forces reinforced its presence in the vicinity and entrances of Haditha District.

The commander of Haditha tribal fighters in Anbar Shaalan Namrawi said in a press statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “The intelligence information revealed that ISIS is preparing its fighters to attack Barwana area in Haditha District (170 km west of Anbar),” pointing out that, “ISIS fighters were gathered in al-Wataa area west of Haditha District.”

Namrawi added, “The security forces reinforced its presence in Barwana defense lines, Haditha District entrances and other areas to repel any terrorist attack launched by ISIS guerrilla,” indicating that, “ISIS tried to open several fronts in the western regions.”


Caribbean-Latin America: U.S. regains Hellfire air-to-ground missile from Cuba
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 02/14/2016  00:00 3 Comments 19 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Follow-up to a story that was posted a few weeks back. Box'o parts retrieved?
#1: Did it get walked across the border with the refugees?
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839|| 2016-02-14 11:01 ||Comments

#2: Alright, here's a serious question. Why are we still using Hellfires and not developing the next generation. Hellfires are OLD...Harpoons are old, have we even introduced a new missile in the past two decades? One of any kind?
Posted by: Silentbrick|| 2016-02-14 11:40 ||Comments

#3: Why are we still using Hellfires and not developing the next generation.

Perhaps they've been concentrating on little drone missiles? I have to admit, I'm not clear on what the characteristics of a Hellfire are, but as the drones have gotten smaller, so have their missiles, which I think may also be fire-and-forget.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2016-02-14 15:34 ||Comments



Iraq: Baghdad bomb and Bullet Bulletin: 3 die
Posted by badanov 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 412 words Read the whole thing on page 1
2 die in Baghdad bomb attack

(IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – A source in the Iraqi Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday, that nine people had been either killed or wounded in a bomb blast south of Baghdad.

The source said in a press statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “A bomb exploded, this morning, near a popular market in Mahmudiya District south of Baghdad, killing two people and wounding seven others.”

The source, who requested anonymity, added, “A security force rushed to the area and transferred the wounded to a nearby hospital for treatment and the dead bodies to the forensic medicine department, while cordoned off the area and prevented approaching it.”

1 dead in double bomb attack

(IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – A source in the Ministry of Interior announced on Saturday, that 10 people including police members had been either killed or wounded in a double bombing north of Baghdad.

The source said in a press statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “A bomb exploded, this evening, in Tarmiya Village north of Baghdad, killing one person and injuring five others.”

The source, who asked anonymity, added, “Another explosive device exploded when the security forces arrived in the area of the first blast, killing four police members, including a captain.”

5 detained in Baghdad security sweep

were arrested on charges of terrorism during raids carried out by the security forces in different areas in Baghdad.

The source said in a statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “This morning the security forces carried out a number of raids and search operations in al-Azamiya, al-Dawra and al-Fadl areas in Bagdad, arresting five people on charges of terrorism.”

The source added, “The arrest operations were carried out based on judicial orders,” pointing out that, “The detainees were transferred to the security center for interrogation.”

Robbers hit residence

(IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – A police source revealed, that gunmen wearing military uniform robbed a house and stole 40 million dinars, in addition to gold jewelry in eastern Baghdad.

The source told reporters, “This morning, gunmen wearing military uniform robbed a house in al-Amin area in eastern Baghdad, while managed to steal 40 million dinars and gold jewelry of 50 million dinars.”

“A security force rushed to the robbed house and opened an investigation to reveal the circumstances of the incident,” he added.


India-Pakistan: Arms, explosives haul in Banihal
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 256 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Daily Excelsior] Army troops of Delta Force along with Jammu and Kashmire Police today busted a terrorist hideout in dense forests of Bajpathri area of Banihal tehsil in Ramban district and seized huge quantity of arms and ammunition.

"The troops of Rashtriya Rifles battalion along with J&K Police busted a murderous Moslem hideout in the dense forest of Bajpathri area in Ramban district," official sources said, adding the hideout was busted after two days long search operation in the dense and remote forest area of Bajpathri, where the Death Eaters once used to have their stay.

They seized huge quantity of arms, ammunition and other war like stores from the hideout.

The arms and ammunition seized from the hideout include three pistols with magazines, 2042 rounds of AK 47, 25 rounds of sniper rifle, five hand grenades, five magazines of AK-47, two radio sets, one weapon sight and other sustenance stores, sources said.

The hideout was believed to be of Death Eaters who have been killed in the past by security forces.

General Officer Comm-anding (GOC) Delta Force has complimented the troops, who took part in the operation and commented that the recovery of this huge cache is in continuation with the sustained efforts of Delta Force.



India-Pakistan: LeT comdr among 5 militants, 2 Army men killed in Kupwara
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 303 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Daily Excelsior] Five bully boyz of Lashkar-e-Taiba
...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI...
(LeT) including their commander and two Army men were killed and two Army personnel including an officer were maimed during a fierce shootout in Chowkibal forest area of North Kashmire's Kupwara district today.

The shootout that started last evening continued throughout the night and in the morning, troops killed five bully boyz who were holed up in the house of Ghulam Mohammad Wani son of Abdullah Wani in Marasi village of Chowkibal. Two Army jawans were killed and two were maimed in the shootout.


India-Pakistan: Avoiding love on Valentine's Day and other Pakistani stories
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 749 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] The caged bird was banned by the Taliban back in the day because its chirps would probably awaken life and the desire of life among men who should be only thinking of the fire of hell in the afterlife.

Now, President Mamnoon Hussain, in what can be termed a very Talibanesque move, has urged Pakistain to not celebrate Valentine's Day.

"It should be avoided," he said.

In 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.
, the district council passed a resolution on Friday pressing the local government to ban the day for being anti-Sharia.

Seemingly, in retribution from the skies, an outpouring of snow capped the Margallas on Wednesday afternoon, making young and old flock to the hills, possibly hand in hand to enjoy chai and parathas, while love warmed the air.

There is no surety that this attitude against Valentine's Day will significantly plummet the number of young Pak men and women celebrating Feb 14, but our government's hopes are stacked towards it.

According to one account of its history, Valentine's Day is said to have originated from the time a jolly old fellow called St. Valentine, who secretly wed soldiers who were not otherwise allowed to wed because of the idea that being married would make them bad warriors.

Thanks to its dark and pagan origins of commemorating February for the uncanny thing called love, 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...
has been more afraid of the month than it has been of dancing girls or the ouija board.

Considering it to be a direct threat to its political order, they have often come out on the streets in protest and cried out every first week of this month.

In their ideal world, love would not exist. Candies too are clearly the work of the devil and well, flowers are soul-destroying.

Most Pak governments over the years have cowed down to the Jamatis but never so absurdly before as to ban a benign a day as Valentines in a district. What's next -- Cyanide fed to birds that chirp?

And exactly how is this to be ensured?

A policing of the web for e-cards; a rounding up of those who sell flowers and heart-shaped helium balloons; a choking of romantic songs on FM radio stations; an executive order to TV shows that the only love dedications will be from sons to their mothers and vice versa?

How about focusing on governance? Improving maternal mortality; inoculating children better; improving disaster response and managing abject poverty across the country?

How about managing the perversion of love better?
The rising rate of rape cases; honour killings and acid burnings, on all these counts, we don't do any better than the top five worst countries in the world.

There is no cure for incompetence, there is also no cure for control freak-ery; the two often dwell together uncomfortably in smaller hearts.

As for love or the expression of it, we need more of it as a nation and not less.

We are marred by way too many forced marriages and stove burnings. The only thing wrong with celebrating Valentine's Day in Pakistain is that it isn't celebrated often enough.


India-Pakistan: Valentine's Day
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 403 words Read the whole thing on page 4
The Islamic world just can't stand the thought of a holiday devoted to love. Let them sit and mail out their "I hate you" cards. God knows their holy men tell us that often enough, and the nitwits trying to run our lives describe it as a "religion of peace." Bite my ass, Islamic world.
[DAWN] IT is not the hammer all through. There are practices discouraged and prevented by law and official decree and then there are acts which those who find them offensive must counter by setting a personal example. With all its 'outrageous' and 'unwanted' public manifestations, Valentine's Day, ultimately, is about too personal a sentiment to be open to a legal, official or societal intervention or censure. Whatever plausible or implausible reasons those opposed to the occasion may have, if the truth according to their own values is what they are out to prove, they must try and convince people by debate instead of taking the easy option of browbeating the vulnerable, in the process betraying their own weaknesses.

But then, this is not what the 'powerful' in this land are inclined to do, their urge to control is reflected in a series of bans and other acts meant to control popular freedoms. It is not just about a government stopping people from flying kites or a student organization barring interaction on campus. The attitude that encourages a ban as the final solution is there to be contended with in many everyday situations. It is an attitude steeped dangerously, and conveniently, in self-righteousness. In a country where a large number of people quietly submit to restrictions on wedding feasts, many of those in positions of authority show off their influence when violations propel them to stop the proceedings forcibly. There are district governments and administrations in the country that have barred Valentine's Day in their areas and these authorities have since been joined by a functionary of state no less than the president of Pakistain. President Mamnoon Hussain didn't say he did not celebrate the day -- for this would have amounted to an attempt at setting an example, something that those in power here are reluctant to do. He chose to take sides where he could easily have been neutral. He urged Paks to not observe Valentine's Day. Perhaps he should have been quiet on that point.


India-Pakistan: Military 'justice'
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 418 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] IT is a strange pattern: the army chief endorses death sentences handed down by military courts operating under the 21st Amendment and the Supreme Court suspends the executions pending a decision on the judicial appeals. This week has seen 12 more individuals accused by the military of terrorism being condemned to death, and the death sentences of four earlier terrorism convicts suspended by the Supreme Court. As noted by the Supreme Court judges hearing the appeals, the endorsement by the court of military courts in the 21st Amendment judgement has left a narrow window for appeal by those convicted by military courts. What is troubling is that neither is there any light emerging from the military court trials nor is the Supreme Court moving swiftly enough to examine if justice is indeed being carried out. This newspaper stands against the death penalty in all its manifestations -- but the conveyor-belt manner in which military courts are handing down death sentences is especially troubling.

The approach so far by the military has been to give no details to the public or the media about ongoing trials and then revealing the sentences and the crimes the terror suspects are accused of at the time of endorsement by the army chief. No evidence is provided -- often to even the family members -- and the trial record is withheld. This in trials of individuals the state has accused of being 'jet-black terrorists' -- how can evidence be so lacking and the willingness to produce it so low when it comes to terrorist acts that are some of the worst in the country's history? There are few answers. More than halfway through the life of the 21st Amendment, the state's approach has only seemed to worsen. Perhaps the only hope is the Supreme Court. Some of the justices have shown a willingness to examine military court convictions and, at least in verbal remarks, acknowledged the heavy burden on them when it comes to ensuring justice is done. While the 21st Amendment judgement left only relatively narrow grounds on which military court convictions can be overturned, there are two things that the court can still do. One, it can expedite the appeals process, prioritising them over normal court work. Two, the Supreme Court can act to set aside death sentences in cases where basic doubts still exist and the trial is deemed patently unfair. The death penalty is fundamentally and morally wrong -- the court must act to curb it where it can.


India-Pakistan: Deep-rooted sectarianism
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 1050 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] AS opposed to much more recent problems with 'jihadi' militancy, the state has been battling the monster of sectarian terrorism since at least the 1980s.
They're making the false distinction. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is merely an arm of al-Qaeda in Pakistain.
Regrettably, it is also true that both the military and civilian leaderships have played ball with the political controllers of sectarian turbans whenever the need has emerged. But the scenario may finally be changing, especially in the aftermath of the APS tragedy in 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.
, as the state has begun to take visible action against sectarian myrmidons. For example, in his media briefing 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...
on Friday, DG ISPR Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa announced that amongst 97 nabbed
Please don't kill me!
turbans were three 'most-wanted' leaders of banned outfits. This included Naeem Bukhari, a dreaded Karachi-based myrmidon associated with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
. On the same day, the Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

Counter-Terrorism Department said it had apprehended nine turbans in Lahore, again associated with various myrmidon outfits. And 2015 was marked by the killings of Malik Ishaq and Usman Saifullah Kurd, in separate 'encounters'; both men were associated with LJ and were notorious for perpetrating sectarian violence.

For there to be effective and long-lasting action in Pakistain against sectarian myrmidon groups, two things must be considered. Firstly, it appears as if the establishment is continuing with its 'good myrmidon, bad myrmidon' policy. For instance, while the 'bad' turbans are being pounded in Fata and rounded up in the cities, the 'good' ones -- especially Kashmire-centric fighters -- are hardly being touched. The authorities must know that sectarian outfits and jihadi groups have a symbiotic relationship. In many cases, they share ideologies, while also providing each other with manpower. For example, Naeem Bukhari, the LJ leader, has been described as being instrumental in bringing his concern closer to Al Qaeda. The criteria must be simple: any group espousing or condoning violence against innocent people -- whether in the name of religion, sect or ethnicity -- must be dismantled. Unless action is taken against all myrmidon groups, efforts against sectarian concerns will not prove effective.

Secondly, while the state pursues counterterrorism activities, there is a lack of movement on countering extremism and sectarian tendencies within society, which are arguably high. Taking out sectarian killers will not be helpful in the long run unless the factors contributing to sectarian intolerance in society are addressed. Of course, communal violence in the Middle East has done much to fuel sectarian feelings in Pakistain. And while there is little the state can do to shield the country from what is happening in Syria or Iraq, or the effects of the Saudi-Iranian spat, it is entirely possible to at least mitigate the effects of these situations. A credible counter-narrative is needed which stresses that while doctrinal differences and various interpretations of Muslim history have always existed, in today's Pakistain such differences must be tolerated and accepted. This message must particularly resonate within the mosque, madressah and curriculum.


India-Pakistan: Tableeghi Jamaat on campuses
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 98 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] A NOTIFICATION issued by the Punjab
1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots....

government has banned preaching activities on university campuses. However,


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-: 150K penguins killed by iceberg in Antarctica
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 3 Comments 75 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Iran Press TV] Around 150,000 Adelie penguins have been killed by a giant iceberg that got stuck near their colony in Antarctica and cut off their food source.
If you guessed that "global warming" was the cause, as opposed to just one of those things that nature has been doing the last couple bajillion years, then you're ready to become an MSM commentator...
#1: Nice penguin pics at the link, however, when I read According to research carried out by the Climate Change Research Center I questioned the story. But read a few of the comments!
Posted by: Bobby|| 2016-02-14 08:14 ||Comments

#2: Hopefully, the European countries will do their humanitarian duty and accept a flood of penguin refugees.
Posted by: SteveS|| 2016-02-14 15:27 ||Comments

#3: True story, tangentially related to penguin refugees.

Right after the USSR fell some western scientists went to Russia to observe efforts there to test whether offering food and shelter would allow ostriches to survive on the southern steppes. So there they were in a rickety flatbed truck, ostrich young'uns sticking their scrawny necks out of crates as they drove to a local quonset hut to take vitals etc.

Along the muddy road they passed an old Baba who started crossing herself furiously as they drove by. Shaking her fist she shouted, "So THAT'S what you godless Bulsheviks have done with our chickens!!"
Posted by: Wheagum the Rasher of Bacon8442|| 2016-02-14 16:49 ||Comments



Arabia: US lawmakers skeptical of Saudi commitment to fight Daesh
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 2 Comments 382 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Iran Press TV] Some members of the US Congress have expressed skepticism over 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...
's commitment to escalate its air campaign and send ground troops to Syria to fight the Daesh [Islamic State] Takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
terrorist group.

The politicians made remarks this week regarding Saudi Arabia's readiness to expand its air campaign against the Daesh [Islamic State] Lions of Islam and to send special forces to Syria only when the US-led coalition battling the terror group initiates the ground operations.

"I hear a lot of talk," US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker was quoted as saying on Friday when asked about Riyadh's promise to commit troops in Syria.

Another US Congress member questioned the Saudis' reasoning regarding their demand for Washington to initiate ground forces first, considering that Saudi Arabia is closer to Syria.

"I don't know why the United States has to make the first move on the chessboard," Senator Tim Kaine said. "Whose region is this? And who has the principal responsibility with it?"
#1: The Saudis cannot even get things squared away in Yemen. Another project? Surely you jest. The Saudis are not our friends, except for our politicians, who can be bought at a bargain.
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2016-02-14 09:32 ||Comments

#2: I'm skeptical of our president fighting daesh.
Posted by: chris|| 2016-02-14 15:23 ||Comments



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: US calls on Turkey to halt military strikes in Syria
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 529 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Iran Press TV] The United States has called on The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
to halt military strikes on the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Syrian Army in the northern province of Aleppo.

"We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides," State Department front man John Kirby said in a statement on Saturday.

Turkish media outlets, quoting military sources, reported that the Turkish Army shelled PYD targets near the town of Azaz, and also targeted Syrian Army positions.

"W‎e have urged Syrian Kurdish and other forces affiliated with the YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory," Kirby said.

‎"We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires,‎" he added.

Kirby said Turkey and the Syrian Kurdish fighters must work together as they both share the serious threat of Daesh [Islamic State] in northern Syria.

He had earlier said that Washington does not consider the Syrian Kurds as terrorists. The comment prompted Turkey to summon the US ambassador in Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him...
also warned the US that it has to choose between Ankara and the Syrian Kurds.

The US and some regional players, including 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...
and Turkey, have been financing and arming various Death Eater groups, including Daesh [Islamic State] and al-Qaeda, in Syria.

The foreign-sponsored conflict, which flared up in March 2011, has reportedly killed some 470,000 people and displaced nearly half of the population, according to the Syrian Center for Policy Research.


Caribbean-Latin America: Venezuela opposition MPs vow legal bid to hasten Maduro's ouster
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 130 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Iran Press TV] Venezuela's newly-empowered opposition politicians in the National Assembly have announced plans to accelerate efforts to develop a legal mechanism to depose President Nicolas Maduro within weeks.

The development comes as the head of the opposition coalition Jesus Torrealba confirmed that opposition politicians will begin talks on Sunday to move forward the process of ousting Maduro, who the US-backed opposition blames for the persisting economic crisis in the oil-rich country amid the unprecedented crash of oil prices in global markets.

Torrealba added that the opposition will announce its "agenda for change" within the next few days, and the speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, further vowed to hasten efforts to force Maduro's ouster.


Africa Subsaharan: Boko Haram kills at least 30 people in northeastern Nigeria
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 396 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Iran Press TV] 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...
Takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
forces of Evil have killed at least 30 people in raids on two villages in the crisis-stricken northeast of Nigeria.

According to local sources, the holy warriors, on bikes and in vans, first attacked Kachifa village in the country's northeastern Borno province on Friday night and killed eight villagers then launched their second raid on Saturday morning against the nearby Yakshari village, where they slaughtered 22 others.

Reports say that they claimed the lives of villagers by "slitting their throats before emptying food stores and taking away all the cattle."

In their recent wave of terror acts in the volatile state, Boko Haram killed at least 85 people in a single village on January 30 and 58 more in a camp made for displaced people on February 9.

According to an AFP count, Boko Haram forces of Evil have killed more than 1,650 people since the inauguration of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2015. and claimed the lives of over 17,000 people since the start of their insurgency in Nigeria in 2009. They also forced over 2.6 million others to flee their homes since then.

The terror group has pledged allegiance to the Daesh [Islamic State] Takfiri group, which is wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.


India-Pakistan: Taliban peace negotiators visit Islamabad
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 786 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] Two senior members of Taliban's political office in Qatar
...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates...
have made a visit to Islamabad ahead the resumption of face-to-face peace talks with Afghan government.

The delegation reportedly visited Islamabad on February 6, on the eve of third round of the quadrilateral talks for finalizing the three-step roadmap for restarting the halted process.

The two peace negotiators were Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikza, who heads the Qatar political office, and Qari Din Mohammad, who is another peace negotiator at Qatar office.

A source privy to the development has said that the Taliban peace negotiators brought with them a list of their representatives who are authorized to talk on the behalf of the group.

The direct talks are expected to be sometimes this month with efforts made by a four-nation committee formed by Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai from Afghanistan, Pakistain's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Ambassador Richard G. Olson from the United States and Ambassador Deng Xijun from China.

The agreement to revive stalled peace talks with Taliban was reached during a meeting between President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
...former chancellor of Kabul University, now president of Afghanistan. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002 he was a scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery until the Karzais stole all the money. ..
and Pak Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
on the sideline of the "Heart of Asia" conference in Islamabad.

For bringing Afghan krazed killer groups to the negotiation table, Islamabad wants Kabul
...the capital of Afghanistan. Home to continuous fighting from 1992 to 1996 between the forces of would-be strongman and Pak ISI/Jamaat-e-Islami sock puppet Gulbuddin Hekmayar and the Northern Alliance, a period which won Hek the title Most Evil Man in the World and didn't do much for the reputations of the Northern Alliance guys either....
to act against Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) Chief Mullah Fazlullah
...son-in-law of holy man Sufi Mohammad. Known as Mullah FM, Fazlullah had the habit of grabbing his FM mike when the mood struck him and bellowing forth sermons. Sufi suckered the Pak govt into imposing Shariah on the Swat Valley and then stepped aside whilst Fazlullah and his Talibs imposed a reign of terror on the populace like they hadn't seen before, at least not for a thousand years or so. For some reason the Pak intel services were never able to locate his transmitter, much less bomb it. After ruling the place like a conquered province for a year or so, Fazlullah's Talibs began gobbling up more territory as they pushed toward Islamabad, at which point as a matter of self-preservation the Mighty Pak Army threw them out and chased them into Afghanistan...
who is responsible for some deadly attacks in Pakistain.

Islamabad claims that Mullah Fazlullah is hiding in Afghanistan.



Afghanistan: Five security personnel martyred in Helmand suicide attack
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 249 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] Five security personnel have embraced martyrdom in a suicide kaboom in southern Afghanistan.

The attack took place near a military installation in Sangin District of Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province this morning.

Officials say the jacket wallah who was driving a vehicle laden with explosives targeted a military installation leaving four coppers and an army soldier martyred.

Public Relations Officer of 215th Maiwand Military Corps in the country's south said that three other gunnies were trying to enter into the battalion compound following the kaboom but security forces gunned them down.

Mohammad Rasoul Zazai said an army soldier has also sustained injuries in the attack.

Taliban have grabbed credit for the attack.



Afghanistan: Kabul urges Islamabad to take immediate actions for releasing Wahidi
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 356 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] Afghanistan has urged Pakistain to take immediate actions for releasing the Afghan diplomat and former governor Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi who was kidnapped by unidentified gunnies in Islamabad on Friday.

"The Islamic Theocratic Republic of Afghanistan expresses its grave concern in connection with the kidnapping of Mr. Sayed Fazalullah Wahidi former governor of Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
Province, which took place yesterday afternoon in Islamabad, Pakistain," states a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday.

"Given the fact that Mr. Wahidi was kidnapped in Pakistain, the Islamic Theocratic Republic of Afghanistan wants the Islamic Theocratic Republic of Pakistain to take immediate and serious action through its security agencies using all possibilities in identifying the kidnappers and to release of Mr. Wahidi."

Afghanistan's Ambassador to Pakistain Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal has said that has been given assurance by Pak officials that the issue would be followed with utmost seriousness.

Wahidi was with his grandson at a busy market place when gunnies kidnapped him.

He had arrived in Islamabad along with his family for acquiring visas to UK from the British Embassy.

Wahidi has served as the governor for eastern Kunar and western Herat provinces of Afghanistan.

So far no group has grabbed credit for the kidnapping.



Afghanistan: Taliban confirm losing 13 fighters in Paktika drone strikes
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 258 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] Taliban have confirmed losing 13 fighters in two drone strikes in Barmal District of Paktika
...which coincidentally borders South Wazoo...
province.

A statement released by the group's spokesperson on Saturday states that their fighters came under drone attacks while they were in fighting with faceless myrmidons belonging to Daesh [Islamic State] group in Warmama area.

According to the statement, five faceless myrmidons were killed in one strike and eight others in another one.

The statement does not contain exact date of the strikes.

Local officials and residents of Gomal District of Pakitika province have also reported severe festivities between Taliban and fighters loyal to Daesh [Islamic State].

According to local residents, festivities between the two rival groups left dozens of faceless myrmidons killed in Khand and Dinarkhil areas last week.



Terror Networks: Daesh can make chemical arms: CIA
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 526 words Read the whole thing on page 2
CIA director John Brennan has said that Daesh fighters have used chemical weapons and have the capability to make small quantities of chlorine and mustard gas, CBS News reported on Thursday.

"We have a number of instances where Daesh has used chemical munitions on the battlefield," Brennan told CBS News, which released excerpts of an interview to air in full on the "60 Minutes" news programme on Sunday.

The network added that he told "60 Minutes" the CIA believes that the Daesh group has the ability to make small amounts of mustard or chlorine gas for weapons.

"There are reports that Daesh has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use," Brennan said.

Brennan also warned of the possibility that the Daesh group could seek to export the weapons to the West for financial gain.

"I think there's always the potential for that. This is why it's so important to cut off the various transportation routes and smuggling routes that they have used," he said.

When asked if there were "American assets on the ground" searching for possible chemical weapons caches or labs, Brennan replied: "US intelligence is actively involved in being a part of the efforts to destroy Daesh and to get as much insight into what they have on the ground inside of Syria and Iraq."

The release of the interview excerpts comes two days after similar comments from spy chief James Clapper before a congressional committee.

"Daesh has also used toxic chemicals in Iraq and Syria, including the blister agent sulfur mustard," Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told lawmakers on Tuesday.

He said it was the first time an extremist group had produced and used a chemical warfare agent in an attack since Japan's Aum Supreme Truth cult carried out a deadly sarin attack during rush hour in the Tokyo subway in 1995.

President Bashar Al Assad's regime and rebel forces have accused each other of using chemical agents in the nearly five-year war that has killed more than 250,000 people. After an August 2013 sarin attack outside Damascus that much of the international community blamed on Assad's government, the regime agreed to turn over its chemical arsenal.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - which oversaw the dangerous removal and elimination of Syria's avowed stockpile - now says that declared arsenal has been completely destroyed.
Nothing about the undeclared arsenal, however...
But the global arms watchdog has still warned of the continued use of mustard, sarin and chlorine gas in the conflict, without blaming the regime, the rebels or the Daesh group for use of the weapons, which are banned under international law.

Last year, officials in the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan said blood tests had shown that Daesh fighters used mustard agent in an attack on Kurdish peshmerga forces in August. Thirty-five peshmerga fighters were exposed and some taken abroad for treatment, officials said.

At the time of the attack, The Wall Street Journal cited US officials as saying they believed Daesh had used mustard agent.


Iraq: Abadi: we'll rid Iraq of Daesh this year, yewbetcha...
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 245 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi vowed on Friday that Iraqi security forces would clear terrorists of the Daesh militants in his country this year. Addressing audience at the Munich Security Conference, Al Abadi said Iraqi forces liberated "more than half" of areas occupied by the terrorists.

"We intend this year to make it the final year and the last year for the existence of Daesh in Iraq," he was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

Anti-terrorism is one of the key issues discussed at the annual security forum which started on Friday and lasts until Sunday. Other topics include Syrian conflicts, refugees, climate change and transatlantic relations.

Al Abadi said reforms that his government had undertaken improved efficiency of Iraqi forces.

"Daesh is losing ground. They are not only losing militarily in combating our forces, but they are losing ground among Iraqi population," he said.

The minister added that terrorism is not only an Iraqi problem, but also an international one. Conflicts in Syria could also cause terrorists to flee into Iraq.

He said an agreement of "cessation of hostilities" that top diplomats reached early Friday morning "must be successful".

Al Abadi also warned that Turkish combat troops' presence inside Iraq without his government's permission was "unacceptable" and "very dangerous".

"If you wish to help Iraq, it is up to us to decide in what way you are to help us," he said.


Europe: Europe's Convinced U.S. Won't Solve Its Problems
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 10 Comments 538 words Read the whole thing on page 4
As Daffy Duck would say, "Ah-ha! Pronoun trouble!": the U.S. will work on solving its problems, but we're not as keenly interested in helping Europe to solve its problems...
In Europe they speak British English, where group nouns refer to a group of individuals, and therefore take the plural. Since Europe is exactly a group of individual countries, rather than a singular country made up of subsidiary parts, the writer should have said Europe is Convinced U.S. Won't Solve Their Problems.
Europe is facing a convergence of the worst crises since World War II, and the overwhelming consensus among officials and experts here is that the U.S. no longer has the will or the ability to play an influential role in solving them.

At the Munich Security Conference, the prime topics are the refugee crisis, the Syrian conflict, Russian aggression and the potential dissolution of the European Union's very structure. Top European leaders repeatedly lamented that 2015 saw all of Europe’s problems deepen, and unanimously predicted that in 2016 they would get even worse.

“The question of war and peace has returned to the continent,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the audience, indirectly referring to Russian military interventions. “We had thought that peace had returned to Europe for good."

What was missing from the conference speeches and even the many private discussions in the hallways, compared to previous years, was the discussion of what Europe wanted or even expected the U.S. to do.

Several European officials told me that there was little expectation that President Barack Obama, in his last year in office, would make any significant policy changes to address what European governments see an existential set of crises that can’t wait for a new administration in Washington.

“There’s a shared assessment that the European security architecture is falling apart in many ways,” said Camille Grand, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. “There is a growing sense that this U.S. administration is focused on establishing a legacy on what has already been achieved rather than trying to achieve anything more. Yet the problems can get much worse.”

During the first day of the conference, the U.S. role in Europe was hardly mentioned in the public sessions. In the private sessions, many participants told me that European governments are not only resigned to a lack of American assertiveness, they also are now reluctantly accepting a Russia that is more present than ever in European affairs, and not for the better.

“There’s not a lot of talk about how the United States can be part of the solution. We seem to be disappearing from their calculations,” said Walter Russell Mead, a historian with the Hudson Institute. “From the European standpoint, Putin has become somebody that like it or not that they have to deal with.”
Much, much more hand-wringing about the failure of the U.S. to step in and solve Europe's problems at the link.
#1: Smart bunch of motherfuckers aren't ya?
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2016-02-14 02:47 ||Comments

#2: ....We've flat out rescued them twice from their own homicidal stupidity, and then we've provided the muscle twice more because they have reduced their own military abilities to irrelevance. Apparently they think we're inclined to do it again...and boy, are they in for a surprise.

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski|| 2016-02-14 06:29 ||Comments

#3: Difficult to stop a suicide, if the someone is bent on it. The current muslim immigrant invasion certainly appears to be indicative of Europe suicidal intent.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 06:44 ||Comments

#4: They can always call upon the old Axis of Weasels.
Posted by: P2Kontheroad|| 2016-02-14 09:40 ||Comments

#5: Europe has have shat in her its their whatever own mess kit. We are not going to clean it up. You cannot help people that don't want to save themselves. Tahwee......
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2016-02-14 09:50 ||Comments

#6: We say Europe as if continental boundaries and global distances isolate US from the scourge of cultural clustering but the same behaviors manifest in the massive city states. As goes Europe so does New York.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2016-02-14 10:21 ||Comments

#7: European security architecture...AKA the US military.

Time to start re-constituting the Triple Entente? (/sarc)
Posted by: AlanC|| 2016-02-14 10:25 ||Comments

#8: That's step one. Step two is convince yourselves to fix your problem.
Posted by: regular joe|| 2016-02-14 10:28 ||Comments

#9: Amazing. These limp dick Lefty Euros are whining that we won't come solve intractable problems of their own creation!?
Posted by: Spats Clunk3212|| 2016-02-14 13:10 ||Comments

#10: We show little sign of any interest in solving our problems. Why would anyone of sound mind expect us to solve theirs?
Posted by: idontknowbut@gmail.com||http://idontknowbut.blogspot.com|| 2016-02-14 18:13 ||Comments



The Grand Turk: Turkey's deepening entanglement in Middle East chaos
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 2 Comments 99 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Jpost] Regional events have conspired to leave The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....

with little choice but to pursue rapprochement with Israel.

The Turks have no hours to mark the time, and no milestones to mark distances," reported an amused Austrian ambassador from the court of Suleiman the Magnificent in 1554.
#1: Please, someone come to your senses and et them out of NATO before the United States gets drug into a full-blown disaster.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 07:01 ||Comments

#2: Well, because Turkey has opened the curtain and let everyone know they are part of the Islamist movement, i.e., ISIS, they have pretty much been left to their own devices.

Putin has decided that Erdogan's head would look great in his trophy case. So don't expect any sort of reproachment.

Worse, what is going to happen when Russian/Syrian aircraft go after the Turkish artillery providing fire support for ISIS?
Posted by: Bill Clinton|| 2016-02-14 11:53 ||Comments



Europe: Breitbart's Migrant Crisis Live Wire for 2/13/2016
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 470 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Go to link and scroll down to see what happened on previous days. A zucchini was at one point involved.
13/02/2016 – Paderborn, Germany – British military families attacked by migrants
Military police have confirmed that a number of attacks by migrants have been reported by military personnel and their families stationed at Paderborn in Germany, the Express has reported. One woman living at the barracks has told Forces TV: “If we are going out on a night out we need to plan ahead and not consume as much alcohol.”

13/02/2016 – Hannover, Germany – Rapist shouted ‘Inshallah!’
A 25 year old student has been brutally raped and beaten in a dark alley after leaving a nightclub in Hannover. According to the victim, her attacker spoke broken German and repeatedly shouted “Inshallah” – God willing – as he carried out his attack, oe24 has reported. A 39 year old Algerian migrant has appeared in court after DNA testing identified him as the rapist.

13/02/2016 – Helsinki, Finland – Migrants returning home citing bad weather, unfriendly locals
More than 4,100 asylum seekers in Finland have cancelled their applications and are opting to return home. 80 percent of those leaving are Iraqi, prompting Finnish officials to charter return flights to Baghdad.

Travel agent Muhiadin Hassan told Reuters: “Some say they don’t like the food here, it’s too cold or they don’t feel welcome in Finland. There are many reasons.” He said he is now selling 15 to 20 tickets to Baghdad each day.

13/02/2016 – Islington, London – Illegal immigrant accused of attempted kidnap
Illegal immigrant Abdi Waise appeared at court yesterday accused of impersonating a police officer and attempting to kidnap school children in North London. He has been charged with six counts of attempted kidnap, five counts of impersonating a police officer, false imprisonment, stalking and one count of inciting a 15-year-old boy to engage in sexual activity, the Evening Standard has reported.

Mr Waise already has a criminal record: he was jailed in 2009 for the brutal strangulation and rape of a woman in North London.

13/02/2016 –BONN, Germany – Newly arrived migrant is already repeat offender
An Algerian migrant who has been in Germany just two months has already been caught stealing three times, and has been now sentenced to six months in jail.

Sentencing, the judge called the man a “basket case”, wondered why he couldn’t get along on his €320 montly allowance like the other migrants and told the man “you have greatly abused our hospitality”.

13/02/2016 –STEINFURT, Germany – 13 year year old girls abused
Three 13 year old girls were touched “immorally” repeatedly in a public swimming pool on Tuesday evening after they were approached by a gang of four or five “probably African” men.

Aged between 18 and 25, the men approached the girls while they were using the water slide. Police are appealing for witnesses.


Iraq: Six Kurdish policemen, presidential guards abducted by Shiite militia
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 436 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Rudaw] In two separate incidents six Kurdish coppers and presidential guards were kidnapped since Friday by Shiite gunnies near the town of Amirli in Diyala province, local officials said.

A Kurdish police official in Kirkuk told Rudaw that three coppers traveling to Baghdad were kidnapped at a security checkpoint in Amirli.

"On their way to Baghdad, three coppers from Erbil were [stopped] at a checkpoint of the [Shiite militiamen] Hashd al-Shaabi and they are still missing," he said.

Nasradin Ahmed, the brother of one of the kidnapped coppers confirmed the news to Rudaw saying "the three coppers were guards at the Erbil Customs department."

Ahmed said the reason the missing coppers were visiting Baghdad was because their "manager had earlier flown to Baghdad," and they wanted to join him there.

In another incident on Friday three Kurdish guards of the Iraqi President Fuad Masum were kidnapped on their way home from Baghdad by gunnies near Amirli. Relatives of the missing Kurdish guards accuse the Shiite gunnies of abducting their sons, calling on the Iraqi president to conduct immediate investigations.

"We are calling on the president to show his stance since it is not the first time such kind of incidents take place," said Anjam Ismail, a relative of one of the guards.

"They are not ISIS Lion of Islams, they are guards and part of this government, why should they kidnap their partners!" the cousin of another missing guard said.

Nine months ago, another four Kurdish guards of the Iraqi president were kidnapped on the same road and that their fate is still unknown.


Home Front: Politix: Thanks to Big Data, U.S. Parties Know all about Voters
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 754 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[AnNahar] If you're an American voter and have provided personal information to a company, chances are data groups have shared it with political parties to help them target potential supporters.

One of the main players is NGP VAN, which manages the Democratic National Committee's database. Its name recently surfaced in connection with a data breach blamed on a technical glitch that enabled the campaign of presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders
...The only openly Socialist member of the U.S. Senate. Sanders was Representative-for-Life from Vermont until moving to the Senate for the rest of his life in 2006, assuming the seat vacated by Jim Jeffords...
to access voter data belonging to rival Hillary Clinton
... sometimes described as The Liberatress of Libya and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another James Baker ...
The incident raises questions about the reach of the database.

"Everyone" is in there, Kevin Thurman, who served as Clinton's deputy Internet director during her last campaign in 2008, said with a laugh. "Every voter in America, since 2004, dead or alive."

NGP VAN estimates the number at about 195 million people, far more than the 146 million currently registered as voters. Voter registration is not mandatory in the United States. The database even includes adults who don't vote but who the campaigns hope to convince to turn out ahead of the November presidential election.

All Democratic candidates -- be they involved in local elections or a major presidential campaign -- use NGP VAN's data. The group helps candidates better target potential voters by avoiding those who will probably never cast a ballot for them, thereby reducing campaign expenses.

Other companies provide similar services, including for Republicans.

"If you're Trump, you're not going to lose time targeting the Clinton list," explained Brandi Travis, spokeswoman for NGP VAN competitor Aristotle.

The Democratic Party has been collecting information on American voters since 2004. The data -- which includes a registered voter's age, address and history of election participation -- is based on publicly available information. Through brokers, the party then buys information that private companies own on their clients. CVS pharmacies, for example, sell this information.

The National Rifle Association, America's leading gun lobby, also shares data on its members.

"They buy information from corporate databases... or newspaper subscriptions," Thurman explained.

Clients may not necessarily be aware of this practice, which is legal.

"They want to know what type of product you bought," said Sasha Issenberg, a journalist who has published a book, "The Victory Lab," on the issue.

These groups also sell their clients' email address.

With NGP VAN's information, the Democratic Party can also learn about someone's educational history and, often, his or her ethnic background. Then comes the analysis. A 30-year-old woman living in a major city and subscribed to a literary magazine, for example, has more chances of voting for Clinton than a 60-year-old man living in a southern rural area and subscribed to a magazine for weapons enthusiasts. When they go knocking on doors, volunteers can then further refine the data by asking whether the targeted voter cares more, say, about climate change or ending unemployment.

Among NGP VAN's dozens of competitors, some, like Aristotle, build their own databases.

NationBuilder told AFP that French political parties have sought its services ahead of next year's presidential election in La Belle France.

The Republicans have a similar database.

Data collectors stress that all information is obtained legally, even if Americans are often unaware of the extent of parties' knowledge of details of their personal lives.

"When you click the 'I agree' button online, you don't read the text, but you accept that your information can be sold," said Joe Curran, founder of Filpac, which works with the Republicans. "It's public, but people just don't know it."

Thurman agreed -- people simply don't realize what they've signed up for when they register on a website.

"There is no way our information can compete with the information the private companies have on Americans," Thurman added. "Compared to them, we are weak."


The Grand Turk: Turkey sells tourist facilities due to terror threat and Russian boycott
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 350 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Rudaw] Ankara MP of The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
's Republican Peoples Party (CHP) Akin Ustundag revealed on Thursday that 908 tourist facilities along Turkey's Aegean coastline are now being put up for sale thanks to the increased threat of terrorist attacks against tourists and the Russian boycott of these facilities following the recent breakdown in ties between those countries.

"The [tourism] sector has contracted by 35 percent over this year ... European tourists have turned towards Greece, Portugal and Spain. Besides, many Western countries have issued security warnings about Turkey amid terror attacks," Ustundag explained to Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News."

"When we have added our deteriorating ties with Russia to this equation, we have seen a sharp rise in reservation cancellations," he added.

Ten German tourists were killed in a suicide kaboom in Istanbul last January 12 in an incident which has seen many tourists avoid holidaying to Turkey.

Russia placed economic sanctions on Turkey following Turkey's shooting down of a Russian warplane over the Syria-Turkey border last November 24. Russia has also banned its citizens from holidaying in Turkey which has affected Turkey's tourist sector since many Russians used to holiday there.

Russian sanctions are also had adverse affects on the agricultural sector in Turkey's Aegean region. Ustundag singled out the Aegean province of Mugla which "exported around 150,000 tons of fresh fruits to Russia last year, but their exports have now been about to stop. Only the district of Fethiye sent more than 30 trucks of fresh fruit and vegetables to Russia each day until the crisis erupted between Turkey and Russia last November."

"Russia has closed the doors to our exporters. Our daily loss is around 1 million liras. We all hope the issues will be resolved as soon as possible."


India-Pakistan: Seven Killed in Gun Battle in Indian Kashmir
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 391 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AnNahar] A fierce shootout killed two soldiers and five suspected murderous Moslems Saturday in Indian-administered Kashmire near the de facto border with Pakistain, army officials said.

The seven died during a heavy exchange of fire in the border village of Marsari, 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the main city of Srinagar, defense front man N. N. Joshi said.

The 16-hour shootout began on Friday when government forces zeroed in on an abandoned house after receiving information about the presence of suspected rebels.

"One more Lion of Islam was killed in the operations, bringing their number up to five," Joshi told AFP.

Another defence front man, S. D. Goswami, earlier said that two soldiers had been killed.

Two other soldiers were maimed and have been taken to a military hospital, according to police.

Kashmire has been divided between India and Pakistain by a heavily militarized Line of Control since the end of British colonial rule in 1947.

Both countries administer parts of the restive Himalayan territory separately but claim it in full.

Since 1989 several rebel groups have been fighting an estimated half a million Indian forces deployed in the region, for independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistain.

Overall violence in the disputed territory has declined sharply during the last decade, but armed encounters between rebels and government forces occur regularly.

Last week eight suspected rebels were killed in different shootouts with Indian government forces in the Kashmire valley, according to the army.

The fighting has left tens of thousands dead, mostly civilians.


Home Front: WoT: U.S. Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime after Threatening Mosques
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 7 Comments 554 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AnNahar] Florida man has admitted he threatened to Molotov cocktail two mosques and shoot worshipers in the wake of the November Gay Paree attacks.
Idiot.
Martin Alan Schnitzler pleaded guilty in the state of Florida to obstructing persons in the free exercise of religious beliefs, a hate crime, the U.S. Justice Department said Friday.
Say, there's a useful law -- might be good at protecting Joooz and Hindoooz as well...
Hours after the November 13 attacks in Gay Paree left 130 people dead and hundreds maimed, Schnitzler called and left messages threatening a massacre at two mosques in Florida's Pinellas County.

Schnitzler later said his messages were prompted by the Gay Paree attacks.

In one message, he said that he would have a militia go to the mosque and "Molotov cocktail you, shoot whoever is there on sight in the head."

"I don't care if they're fucking two years old or a hundred," he added.

Schnitzler left his name in the messages and police had no trouble tracing the cell phone from which he made the call.

"Yes, I'm a red-blooded American watching the news in La Belle France. I'm over this shit. I'm calling all mosques in Pinellas County. I'm bringing it to you, baby," he said in a voicemail message left for the Islamic Society of Pinellas County.

"Guard your children. I don't care if you're bully boyz or not. I'm tired of your shit. Get out of my fucking country. And I'm gonna bomb your fucking location.

In another voicemail, to the Islamic Society of St. Petersburg, Schnitzler vowed to "personally have a militia that's going to come down to your Islamic Society of Pinellas County, Molotov cocktail you, shoot whoever is there on sight in the head."

Schnitzler faces up to 20 years in prison.

"The right to worship as one chooses, free from threats and intimidation, is one of the core principles upon which our great nation was founded," said U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley.

A wave of attacks and threats against Muslims took place across the United States after the tragedy in Gay Paree and a shooting in San Bernardino, Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, that killed 14 people.
Really? Somehow we missed that here at Rantburg, though we keep an eye out for such things.
#1: St. Pete, aka Gawds Waiting Room, my other hometown.
Posted by: Shipman|| 2016-02-14 07:15 ||Comments

#2: Schnitzler left his name in the messages and police had no trouble tracing the cell phone from which he made the call.

Very, very poor delivery. Perhaps a few years in the jug will produce some enlightenment and calm.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 07:21 ||Comments

#3: Like Ship said: St Petersburg
Posted by: Pappy|| 2016-02-14 09:53 ||Comments

#4:
A wave of attacks and threats against Muslims took place across the United States...


This guy and....?
Posted by: Rob Crawford|| 2016-02-14 13:55 ||Comments

#5: Didn't you get the memo Rob?

Merely being Christian or Jew is an attack and threat against Muslims according to the DOJ...
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2016-02-14 14:20 ||Comments

#6: Idiot. Floridiot. - fify
Posted by: Blossom Unains5562|| 2016-02-14 15:33 ||Comments

#7: "We Muslims are scared in Pinellas."
The source of this terror -- do tell us!
"Joo butchers who threaten
To cut up and flatten
The mosque with their make-believe fellas."
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2016-02-14 17:10 ||Comments



Africa North: Improvised bomb kills army officer, soldier in North Sinai
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 137 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AlAhram] An army officer and a soldier were killed on Saturday morning during attempts by army personnel an improvised bomb (IED) in North Sinai's Karm Al-Kwadis area, Egypt's army said in a statement.

A non-commissioned officer was also injured.

The army front man Colonel Mohammed Samir said on his Facebook page that an IED, which was planted by ' terrorist elements', was discovered by the army during a a routine combing of the area. The device went kaboom! as experts attempted to defuse it, the spokesperson said.


Terror Networks: US, allies say target Islamic State with 20 strikes in Iraq, Syria
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 237 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Ynet] The United States and its allies conducted 20 strikes against 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....
in Iraq and Syria on Friday, the Combined Joint Task Force leading the operations said in a statement on Saturday.

In Iraq, there were 17 strikes near eight cities, with five strikes near djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
and four near Ramadi hitting Islamic State tactical units, equipment and fighting positions, the statement said.

In Syria, a vehicle, a road and a crane used by the bad boy group were destroyed in three strikes.


Government: Greens faced with nightmare scenario at the Supreme Court
Posted by Fred 02/14/2016  00:00 8 Comments 262 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[THEHILL] The Supreme Court's decision this week to halt President B.O.'s sweeping climate change regulation for power plants is causing environmentalists and experts to wonder whether they need a backup plan.

The B.O. regime has repeatedly said, both before and after the judicial stay was ordered, that it does not have a Plan B if the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan gets overturned.

Officials insist that a backup plan isn't necessary because once the high court hears the case, it will find that the rule is well within the boundaries of the Clean Air Act and the Constitution.
"We remain confident that when this is given its day in court, it's going to be upheld on the merits," White House front man Eric Schultz told news hounds.

"Plan A's a good one, and I don't want anyone to think it isn't," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in January.

But the unexpected move by the Supreme Court nonetheless caused a jolt among environmentalists, reminding them that the nine justices at the Supreme Court might interpret the law differently than they do.

"The Supreme Court took unprecedented action, so of course it makes everyone pause and reevaluate," said John Coequyt, global climate policy director for the Sierra Club.
#1: What happens if the Supreme Court votes 4-4?
Posted by: Bobby|| 2016-02-14 08:20 ||Comments

#2: They go into overtime.
Posted by: Alaska Paul in the Big Easy|| 2016-02-14 09:55 ||Comments

#3: In the macro view, now that thousands of million$ have been lost to green power initiatives can the Cronys bring back a cheap oil infrastructure?
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2016-02-14 10:39 ||Comments

#4: On a tie the lower court ruling stands.
Posted by: Sven the pelter|| 2016-02-14 11:16 ||Comments

#5: True, but I like the overtime idea much better. Enjoying the weather, AP?
Posted by: Matt|| 2016-02-14 11:43 ||Comments

#6: Cagematch! 8 Justices enter... 1 Justice leaves!
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2016-02-14 12:42 ||Comments

#7: Sorry... please fix... hair trigger mousebutton.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2016-02-14 12:43 ||Comments

#8: Fixed, CrazyFool. These thngs happen.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2016-02-14 15:38 ||Comments



Israel-Palestine-Jordan: West Bank Village Defiant after Israeli Crackdown
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 1 Comments 123 words Read the whole thing on page 2
In which the source of this An Nahar article, Agence France Presse, fondly believes it maintains an air of neutrality throughout.
[AnNahar] With a four-day lockdown and economic sanctions, Israel cracked down hard on the West Bank village of Qabatiya after three of its sons killed a policewoman in a Jerusalem attack.

But residents of the hilltop village of 25,000 pledge to keep up their long history of struggle against foreign masters, come what may.

"Here we have resisted every occupation," mayor Mahmoud Kamel told AFP, citing centuries of Ottoman imperial rule, followed by nearly 30 years of British control and Israel's capture of the territory from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War.
#1: The policy of taking down the houses of families of perps is reasonable, but the criminal PA government subsidizes the families to rebuild.
A more effective policy would be to take down the houses of the immediate neighbors of perps, leaving the perp families alone.
This might cause the neighbors to put local pressure on the perps not to be perps. Or take down houses of more distant relatives of perps rather than immediate families.
Again this might discourage evil acts.
Posted by: Grins Snese4215|| 2016-02-14 04:20 ||Comments



Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Palestinians trying to evade border cops hurt 3 near Jerusalem
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 649 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] Troops lightly injured when hit by vehicle outside military base near Ma'ale Adumim; 3 Paleostinians in car shot and injured

Three border coppers were lightly maimed on Saturday evening while attempting to stop a vehicle carrying suspected Paleostinian illegals outside a military base near Ma'ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.

Initial reports had indicated that the Paleostinians had intended to attack the border coppers. However,
Caliphornia hasn't yet slid into the ocean, no matter how hard it's tried...
police later said the incident was the result of the vehicle's occupants apparently attempting to escape arrest.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said security forces had observed two people breach the security fence and enter an Israeli vehicle on a road leading to Jerusalem.

"The report was passed on to vehicular teams who began driving towards the car with the suspects," she said. When the vehicle ran into traffic, coppers approached it on foot. When the car's occupants noticed this, they quickly backed up in an attempted to flee "while trying to run over the coppers. The coppers who were in immediate danger shot at the vehicle" while a second border police car blocked its escape route. The suspects' car then hit the border police vehicle, injuring the troops inside.

Two of the suspects inside the car were shot and suffered light-to-moderate injuries, while another was bruised. The three were enjugged
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
Police and medical teams rushed to the scene of the incident. The three coppers, aged 21, 29 and 43, were taken to Jerusalem hospitals.

Meanwhile a soldier in northern Israel claimed several Arabs tried to coax him into their car at Hamovil junction, north of Nazareth. He said the told him several times to get into the vehicle, and fled after he cocked his weapon at them. Police said they were investigating the report.

Earlier. a 17-year-old Paleostinian teen was shot and killed by Israeli army forces when she pulled out a knife and attempted to stab a soldier at a military post in the West Bank city of Hebron, the IDF said.

The soldier sustained very minor injuries and did not require medical assistance.

A 30-year-old Paleostinian man was also moderately injured in the incident, apparently after the woman stabbed him by mistake. The Paleostinian man, who had attempted to stop the woman assailant from attacking the soldier, was given medical aid at the scene and then rushed to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for further treatment.

According to an initial investigation by the army, the woman hid the knife in a plastic bag before approaching soldiers deployed near the Cave of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city.

Hebron, where Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, is widely supported, has been one of the centers of Paleostinian terrorism and violence against Israeli troops and civilians in an upsurge of attacks since October 2015.


Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Gaza - a [different kind of] human time bomb
Posted by trailing wife 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 215 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Ynet] Analysis: We have more to worry about than just Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,' terror tunnels. In 2015, 140 Gazooks were caught trying to climb over the border fence into Israel, a number that could vastly increase in light of the political, economic and social crisis in the Strip.

Israel is preparing to combat the threat of terror tunnels, out of which dozens of armed Hamas Lions of Islam threaten to emerge simultaneously, but it seems not to devote enough attention to the threat already coming from the Gazoo Strip - the border fence, through which not hundreds but thousands of Gazooks will infiltrate Israel. And they are already coming.

2015 was a record year. The IDF Southern Command recorded 140 infiltration attempts last year - in other words, every third night, there was an attempt to infiltrate Israeli territory from Gazoo. Security forces placed in durance vile


-Obits-: Scalia dies of natural causes
Posted by Airandee 02/14/2016  00:00 9 Comments 29 words Read the whole thing on page 3
The Times of Israel remembers Justice Scalia here.
#1: attended a private party with about 40 people that night

Sure, booze, weed, some toot,...its all natural.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2016-02-14 00:41 ||Comments

#2: These Are The Times That Try Men's Souls -

- Thomas Paine


Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski|| 2016-02-14 06:43 ||Comments

#3: Once again, the dangers of an inept, do-nothing congress and an activist supreme court.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 07:14 ||Comments

#4: A giant among trolls
Posted by: regular joe|| 2016-02-14 10:02 ||Comments

#5: Suspicions are running high around here that Scalia was poisoned.

Al
Posted by: Frozen Al|| 2016-02-14 12:37 ||Comments

#6: Vince Foster was unavailable for comment.



I've never been a conspiracy devotee but our current regime..........................
Posted by: AlanC|| 2016-02-14 14:40 ||Comments

#7: These are the times that try the souls of US Senators anyway.
Posted by: Abu Uluque|| 2016-02-14 16:07 ||Comments

#8: Presuming they all have souls, Abu.

I'm thinking at least half of them don't.
Posted by: Barbara|| 2016-02-14 17:15 ||Comments

#9: The bad news is the Senate is in recess until Feb. 22 and will have been in recess for 10 days. According to Glen Reynolds this means Obama can make a recess appointment.
Posted by: Deacon Blues|| 2016-02-14 17:47 ||Comments



China-Japan-Koreas: China unhappy with potential ROK deployment of THAAD system
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 2 Comments 274 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed "serious concern" over a decision by South Korea to begin formal talks with the United States to adopt an advanced U.S. missile defense system, according to China's foreign ministry on Friday.

Wang conveyed the concern to South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se during their meeting in Munich on the sidelines of international talks on Syria on Thursday, the Chinese ministry said in a statement.

"Minister Wang Yi expresses serious concern," the statement said.

Wang also told Yun that the possible deployment of the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea is "not conducive to taking the proper response to the current situation and is not conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the region."

China has long voiced opposition to the possible deployment of the THAAD battery in South Korea, claiming that it could also target China. Wang said the THAAD battery in South Korea would "significantly undermine the strategic security interest of China."

Earlier this week, South Korea decided to begin talks with the U.S. about the deployment of the THAAD battery after North Korea defiantly launch a long-range rocket following its fourth nuclear test last month. With North Korea continuing to develop its nuclear and missile arsenals, analysts in Seoul say South Korea has no choice but to adopt the THAAD battery, which would be deployed at a U.S. base in South Korea, home to about 28,500 American troops.
Once again, the solution is simple: China, curb your dog...
#1: Well, what do you want me to tell you? We have DPRK and their shenanigans, Your Chinese "Space weapons" the Russian interest, and our own Security to asses.

So, China....

Ask yourself if you would not do the same?
Posted by: newc|| 2016-02-14 03:09 ||Comments

#2: With China, I follow the airlines creed -"we're not happy till you're not happy"
Posted by: Grunter|| 2016-02-14 05:08 ||Comments



Africa North: Thousands of Egyptian doctors protest police abuse
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 381 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Thousands of Egypt’s doctors protested police abuses on Friday following an alleged attack on two doctors by policemen in a Cairo hospital. It was a rare instance of public protest, almost unheard of since the takeover of power by Egyptian military strongman Abdel Fatah al-Sissi in 2013.
Really doesn't seem to matter who's in charge in a thugocracy, does it...
As many as 4,000 doctors flocked to their union’s office to attend an emergency meeting called for by the Egyptian Medical Syndicate to condemn police violence. On Jan. 28, the union said, two police officers attacked two doctors and other hospital staff for “belittling” the injury of one of the officers in Matariya Public Hospital.

“Leave! Leave!” yelled the doctors in unison on Friday, calling for the resignation of the health minister, while many carried signs, one reading “The doctors of Egypt will not pay the price for the failure of your system.”

The union decided to begin a strike if the policemen who allegedly assaulted the doctors were not held accountable, and if their other demands, such as the closure of any hospital in which doctors are assaulted, were not met. They also decided to provide free services to all citizens for two weeks.

The doctors who were allegedly assaulted had filed a judicial complaint against the police officers. But after they issued a counter complaint, the doctors withdrew theirs for fear of being detained and abused at the Matariya police station.
So the thugs in charge don't like being held accountable...
The station, according to a report by the Egyptian initiative for personal rights, is where 14 people have died in custody in the past two years, and where other instances of torture and ill treatment have allegedly occurred.

After the Jan. 28 incident, Matariya hospital staff went on a strike, demanding an investigation by the authorities. A few days later, public prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered the doctors to reopen the hospital and end their strike.

In a statement, on Friday, the chairman of the doctor’s union, Hussein Khairy, called the turnout “historic,” hailing it as a “turning point in our union’s history” and demanding “rule of law.”


Iraq: Mosul dam could collapse, take Iraq with it
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 3 Comments 177 words Read the whole thing on page 2
The collapse of Mosul Dam would be catastrophic for Iraq. If breached, it could unleash a 180-foot-high wave down the Tigris River basin and drown more than half a million people, with floodwaters reaching as far as the Iraqi capital, about 280 miles to the south.
Bad combination of a shaky foundation, fly ash, shoddy maintenance, and war...
The dam has been called the most dangerous in the world for the past decade. But recent assessments by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say it is at “significantly higher risk” of failing than previously thought.

The dam’s structural problems became evident as soon as the reservoir behind it was filled in 1985. It is built on layers of clay and gypsum, a soft mineral that dissolves when it comes into contact with water, and the dam immediately began seeping. Since then, about 100,000 tons of grouting have been poured into the structure to prevent it from collapsing.
#1: Ich kann nicht ander

My Life and Hard Times

3. The Day the Dam Broke

My memories of what my family and I went through during the 1913 flood in Ohio I would gladly forget. And yet neither the hardships we endured nor the turmoil and confusion we experienced can alter my feeling toward my native state and city. I am having a fine time now and wish Columbus were here, but if anyone ever wished a city was in hell it was during that frightful and perilous afternoon in 1913 when the dam broke, or, to be more exact, when everybody in town thought that the dam broke. We were both ennobled and demoralized by the experience. Grandfather especially rose to magnificent heights which can never lose their splendor for me, even though his reactions to the flood were based upon a profound misconception; namely, that Nathan Bedford Forrest's cavalry was the menace we were called upon to face. The only possible means of escape for us was to flee the house, a step which grandfather sternly forbade, brandishing his old army sabre in his hand. "Let the sons -- ------- come!" he roared. Meanwhile hundreds of people were streaming by our house in wild panic, screaming "Go east! Go east!" We had to stun grandfather with the ironing board. Impeded as we were by the inert form of the old gentleman -- he was taller than six feet and weighed almost a hundred and seventy pounds -- we were passed, in the first half-mile, by practically everybody else in the city. Had grandfather not come to, at the corner of Parsons Avenue and Town Street, we would unquestionably have been overtaken and engulfed by the roaring waters -- that is, if there had been any roaring waters. Later, when the panic had died down and people had gone rather sheepishly back to their homes and their offices, minimizing the distances they had run and offering various reasons for running, city engineers pointed out that even if the dam had broken, the water level would not have risen more than two additional inches in the West Side. The West Side was, at the time of the dam scare, under thirty feetof water -- as, indeed, were all Ohio river towns during the great spring floods of twenty years ago. The East Side (where we lived and where all the running occurred) had never been in any danger at all. Only a rise of some ninety-five feet could have caused the flood waters to flow over High Street -- the thoroughfare that divided the east side of town from the west -- and engulf the East Side.

The fact that we were all as safe as kittens under a cookstove did not, however, assuage in the least the fine despair and the grotesque desperation which seized upon the residents of the East Side when the cry spread like a grass fire that the dam had given way. Some of the most dignified, staid, cynical, and clear-thinking men in town abandoned their wives, stenographers, homes, and oflices and ran east. There are few alarms in the world more terrifying than "The dam has broken!" There are few persons capable of stopping to reason when that clarion cry strikes upon their ears, even persons who live in towns no nearer than five hundred miles to a dam.
- See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.nl/2011/01/thurber-tonight-my-life-and-hard-times_09.html#sthash.092422vc.dpuf
Posted by: Shipman|| 2016-02-14 08:08 ||Comments

#2: Where's Noah when you need him?
Posted by: Deacon Blues|| 2016-02-14 10:06 ||Comments

#3: Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources has played down the threat but was persuaded to reopen the lower gates of the dam to relieve some pressure, even though it meant power was restored to the militant-held city farther south.

yet, the Taliban can down a couple pylons and disrupt the Afghan grid on a daily basis
Posted by: Frank G|| 2016-02-14 10:35 ||Comments



Afghanistan: Campbell leaving, U.S. staying in Afghanistan
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 3 Comments 588 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Gen. John. F. Campbell, commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, arrived here 18 months ago expecting to be the U.S. military leader who would bring the war to a close. On Saturday, as he prepares to hand-off command to his successor, Campbell was instead promising that coalition forces “are here to stay.”

“Not only the U.S., but the whole international community, are now starting to talk about long-term commitment,” Campbell told reporters. “It ought to give confidence to the Afghan people and also send a message to the Taliban too: What they thought in 2015 — everyone is leaving, and they could wait us out, that is no longer the case here.”

Campbell’s remarks reflect just how much the Obama administration’s posture toward Afghanistan has changed over the past two years. When Campbell began his tour in August 2014, Obama had already announced plans to reduce U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan to 9,800 by the start of last year. The president then hoped to cut that number in half by the start of this year, paving the way for him to fulfill his 2008 campaign promise of withdrawing all U.S. troops before he leaves office in January.

But with the Taliban insurgency showing little sign of weakening and the Islamic State attempting to gain a foothold here, Obama abandoned those plans last year.

Obama is now keeping 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of this year. Administration officials say Obama still plans to cut that number in half before his presidency ends, but many analysts believe he may leave that decision up to the next administration.

For now, however, the scope of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan is once again broadening. Obama gave Campbell, who also oversees U.S. counterterrorism efforts in Afghanistan, new authority last month to aggressively target Islamic State militants near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border through airstrikes and Special Forces operations.

Campbell said that authority was needed because the Islamic State hopes to use Afghanistan to plan and coordinate attacks on Europe and the United States.
Thus copying what al-Queda did two decades back...
The Pentagon estimates there are only 1,000 to 3,000 Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan, but Campbell warned “they have the ability to recruit quite well, not only around the world, but inside Afghanistan.”

“How much is coming from Syria and Iraq? Hard to tell,” Campbell said. “But we do believe the senior leadership here in Afghanistan does communicate with [Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi] in Iraq and Syria.”

But Campbell said coalition forces’ biggest task over the next year will be the mission to train the Afghan army for its continued battle against the Taliban. Despite more than $35 billion in U.S. support over the past 15 years, the Afghan army struggled to repel a major Taliban offensive this past fall into Kunduz, a commercial hub in northern Afghanistan, taking days to regain control. The Taliban also made gains in several eastern and southern provinces last year.

To prepare for another “tough year,” Campbell said the coalition is sending several hundred additional advisers to Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province, where some of the bloodiest battles of the 14-year war have been waged.

U.S. military officials say the challenge facing the Afghan army is compounded by still being 25,000 soldiers short of its targeted strength of 195,000. Recruitment is especially poor in Pashtun communities in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, raising concerns about a potentially destabilizing geographic imbalance within the military, officials said.
#1: Recruitment is especially poor in Pashtun communities in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, raising concerns about a potentially destabilizing geographic imbalance within the military, officials said.

Yes General, and we've seen the long-term dangers involved when military enlistments from poor and rural communities [read that, U.S. Southern States] are over-subscribed, have we not ?

Delicate political balance eh ?
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 07:07 ||Comments

#2: Not worried so much about the ranks; it's the leaders.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2016-02-14 10:02 ||Comments

#3: Roger that, Pappy.
Posted by: Wheagum the Rasher of Bacon8442|| 2016-02-14 16:36 ||Comments



Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia: Peacekeeping: NATO Outmaneuvers Russia In Ukraine
Posted by Sven the pelter 02/14/2016  00:00 1 Comments 183 words Read the whole thing on page 3
In early 2016 Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine agreed to form a joint peacekeeping brigade. It was no secret that this was an effort by two NATO nations to form military links with Ukraine without really involving NATO. This gives Russia less incentive to violently oppose the deal and enables two NATO nations to train with their new peacekeeping partner. The new brigade would have 4,000 troops from Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine and, presumably, most of the equipment would come from Lithuania and Poland. That's because, in order to join NATO, nations have to standardize a lot of their military equipment and procedures so that cooperation with other NATO allies is automatic. Poland has also asked for a small number of American and other NATO troops to be permanently stationed in Poland, to further dissuade Russia.
Smart. But through history the Poles always were.
Perhaps not: who truly thinks America will ride to the rescue for the Baltic states?
#1: Wow, 4000! That's sure to scare Ivan!
Posted by: Crutle the Rasher of Bacon6552|| 2016-02-14 10:11 ||Comments



Arabia: Sultan of Oman to return to Germany for health checkup
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 172 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Sultan Qaboos of Oman is to fly to Germany on Sunday for a medical checkup on his progress after eight months of treatment there in 2014-15, his government announced.
Poor Sultan Caboose!
The 75-year-old monarch will undergo a "routine medical examination" during a stay that will be of "limited duration, God willing", a statement carried by the official ONA news agency on Saturday said.
He's gonna be pushing up crocuses real soon...
Qaboos, who has ruled Oman since overthrowing his father in a bloodless 1970 coup, has made only short public appearances since his return from treatment in Germany last March. There has never been any official statement on the nature of his illness.

State television reported at the time that his treatment was a "total success". But he has since returned to Germany at least twice, a diplomatic source said.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Saudis sending jets to Turkey base to fight Daesh
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 5 Comments 461 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Turkey and Saudi Arabia could launch a ground operation against Daesh militants in Syria, the Turkish foreign minister said Saturday, adding the kingdom was already sending jets to a Turkish base to attack the extremists. The coordinated plans by Riyadh and Ankara, who are pursuing an increasingly tight alliance, add a new element to the explosive situation in Syria where Russia has been backing a successful regime offensive against rebels.

"If there is a strategy (against Daesh) then Turkey and Saudi Arabia could enter into a ground operation," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the Yeni Safak and Haberturk newspapers after taking part in the Munich Security Conference.

"Some say 'Turkey is reluctant to take part in the fight against Daesh'. But it is Turkey that is making the most concrete proposals," he said.

Cavusoglu added that Saudi Arabia is also sending planes to the Turkish base of Incirlik, a key hub for US-led coalition operations against Daesh, already used by Britain, France and the United States carrying for cross-border air raids.

"They (Saudi officials) came, did a reconnaissance of the base. At the moment it is not clear how many planes will come," Cavusoglu said.

Asked if Saudi Arabia could send troops to the Turkish border to enter Syria, Cavusoglu said: "This is something that could be desired but there is no plan. Saudi Arabia is sending planes and they said 'If the necessary time comes for a ground operation then we could send soldiers'."

His comments come after Assad defiantly told AFP in an exclusive interview published on Friday that he would recapture the whole of Syria and keep "fighting terrorism".

Assad also said he "doesn't rule out" that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would intervene militarily in Syria but said that his armed forces "will certainly confront it".

Saudi Arabia had already said earlier this month that it was ready to join any ground operation against Daesh. But this is the first time a top Turkish official has publicly raised the prospect, long the subject of speculation, of a joint ground incursion with the kingdom.

Turkey's relations with Saudi Arabia have warmed considerably in recent months. Saudi Arabia and Turkey both see the ousting of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad as essential for ending Syria's five-year civil war and are bitterly critical of Iran and Russia's support of the Syrian regime. Turkey and Saudi back rebels who are seeking to oust Assad and both fear the West is losing its appetite to topple Assad on the assumption he is "the lesser of two evils" compared to Daesh militants.

Both are outraged by the Russian military intervention in Syria, which analysts believe has given Assad a new lease of life and has also deeply alarmed the West.
#1: "Daesh", is that how you spell Kurds in Arabic?
Posted by: AlanC|| 2016-02-14 10:01 ||Comments

#2: Daesh is the insulting Arabic acronym for ISIS, AlanC. That is, in Arabic it's an acronym, though of what I couldn't say.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2016-02-14 12:49 ||Comments

#3: Sorry TW, I kow all that, forgot to put on the sarc tag.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2016-02-14 12:52 ||Comments

#4: It is for people like me that one must, AlanC. It would be nice were I more subtle, but I'm not.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2016-02-14 15:57 ||Comments

#5: in Arabic it's an acronym, though of what I couldn't say.

/me guesses: Yo Mamma Keeps Kosher
Posted by: SteveS|| 2016-02-14 16:18 ||Comments



Africa Horn: Kenyan police detain two ‘most wanted’ Shaboobs in Mombasa
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 183 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Kenya’s security officers have arrested two most wanted terror suspects in the coastal city of Mombasa.

Mohammed Kombo and Mohammed Salim Mohammed were part of youth who escaped from a house in majengo residential estate where cage of weapons were seized last month. Regional police commander Francis Wanjohi said the suspects were also in possession of materials for making explosive materials.

“The suspects knowingly supported to have weapons and components of making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) with intention of planning terrorism act,” Wanjohi said.

Police said the two were among six wanted terror suspects who had sneaked into the country from Somalia to plot terrorist attacks in the coastal city. Intelligence reports indicate that the two suspects were planning a terrorist attack in Mombasa and are part of a gang believed to be behind past terror attacks in Lamu and Mombasa.

Last Tuesday four Al-Shabaab were killed in joint operation led by Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers in Lamu.

Kenya has warned that attacks as threatened by the Somali-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab could affect the country’s image, hindering investment and tourism.


Africa Horn: Shaboobs claim Daallo airbus explosion
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 71 words Read the whole thing on page 2
We knew that...
The militant group of Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab militants has claimed responsibility for an explosion that tore inside of Daallo airline shortly after taking off from Mogadishu’s airport.
The 'boobs claim that a number of 'Western' and 'Turkish' intel agents were on the plane.


Europe: The Death of the Most Generous Nation on Earth
Posted by Steve White 02/14/2016  00:00 1 Comments 158 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Little Sweden has taken in far more refugees per capita than any country in Europe. But in doing so, it’s tearing itself apart.

BY James Traub
Long piece in Foreign Policy that is surprisingly clear-voiced in explaining how Sweden intends to commit national suicide. The Swedish people do not want this but the Swedish government does. These officials point to the successful integration, in the past from WWII to recently, of Norwegians, Balts, and Bosnians, and assume that today they will similarly integrate Syrians, Afghanis, Iraqis and Libyans. The numbers of refugees are far larger than what the Swedes managed in the past; the refugees are poorly educated and culturally very different (even from the Bosnians), and the Swedish economy can't handle it. No matter; as the progressives like to say, "Forward!"
#1: As bolshevik biddies roared, "Forward!"
And bored border guards beckoned shoreward,
And blonde maidens, braiding,
Made ready for raiding,
The horde of new Norsemen oared nor'ward.
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2016-02-14 17:28 ||Comments



China-Japan-Koreas: U.S. deploys more Patriot missiles in South Korea
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 02/14/2016  00:00 0 Comments 127 words Read the whole thing on page 2
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- The United States temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea in response to North Korea's nuclear test and a long-range rocket launch, ahead of talks next week to set up an even more sophisticated U.S. missile defense in a move that has worried China and Russia.

The new tough stance follows South Korea's decision to shut down an inter-Korean factory park that had been the rival Koreas' last major symbol of cooperation, but that Seoul said had been used by North Korea to fund its nuclear and missile programs. North Korea responded by deporting South Korean citizens, seizing South Korean assets and vowing to militarize the park."


Home Front: Culture Wars: US Dept of Education urges schools to teach Islam to 'create anti-bias learning environment'
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 02/14/2016  00:00 7 Comments 1142 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Muslim students, and those perceived to be Muslim, could be bullied, and the government wants teachers to know how to "create an anti-bias learning environment" by focusing specifically on those students and their faith.
Perhaps this photo will help.
'This means incorporating the experiences, perspective and words of Muslim people into the curriculum through social studies and current events instruction, children's literature, in order to learn about different cultures,' the blog reads.

'When you teach about world religions,
Huh?
be sure to include Islam. ... It's also important to be aware that some Muslim students may feel relieved and comfortable discussing these issues in class and others may feel nervous, scared or angry to be talking about a topic so close to home.'"
One of the better core classes I took in college was a survey of world religions. No proselytizing, a true survey: here's what various religions believe, here's why they believe it, here's how it influenced the culture of the people. Quite useful in understanding the world.

If that's what the DoE was proposing I'd be 100% in favor. But it isn't, and so we should be suspicious.
#1: Hey that's NASA's job, that and long range weather forecasting.

The future:
Capcom: Chimperoo please throw breaker 4532B, we want to realign the SCOG.
Chimperoo: cheep, cheep!
Capcom: Thanks Chimp, we're coasting for awhile.
Capcom: Belay the coasting Chimperoo, sorry. Initiate Auto-Mecca sequencer for the Astronaut.
Chimperoo: mofo mofo mofo!
Posted by: Shipman|| 2016-02-14 07:41 ||Comments

#2: Thanks, Ship.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2016-02-14 10:11 ||Comments

#3: Fine. Make sure they read the whole Crayon, not just the PC parts of it, and that they understand the idea that the later parts trump conflicting earlier parts.
Posted by: gorb|| 2016-02-14 14:11 ||Comments

#4: Read the Koran side by side with the matching Biblical sections, and discuss the archeological evidence that supports or contradicts what was written.

Granted, pious Muslims are unlikely to feel comfortable with this, as their tradition forbids that kind of approach, and also unbelievers in any way questioning or contraditing Muslim claims about their faith. Some pious Christians and Jews are also likely to feel uncomfortable about contradictory external evidence.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2016-02-14 15:52 ||Comments

#5: Separation of church and state, anyone?
Posted by: Tom|| 2016-02-14 16:07 ||Comments

#6: Look up the definition of that, Tom.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2016-02-14 16:38 ||Comments

#7: Okay, that's first stage separation.
Our faiths formed a useful foundation,
But now that we're smarter,
Let's fire Muslim ardor
For burn of uncertain duration.
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2016-02-14 17:57 ||Comments



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Russia Has Destroyed the CIA's Arms Smuggling Operation in Syria
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 02/14/2016  00:00 3 Comments 18 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Russian Insider

#1: The only moderate Muslims are the ones pushing up daisies.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2016-02-14 04:34 ||Comments

#2: Were the Russians responsible for 'destroying an Arms Smuggling Operation' in Benghazi as well ?
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2016-02-14 06:46 ||Comments

#3: It was among the possiblities.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2016-02-14 10:16 ||Comments



Science & Technology: The US Navy's 'ghost hunter' to set sail:
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 02/14/2016  00:00 2 Comments 37 words Read the whole thing on page 3
132 foot long robo-boat will scour seas for silent enemy submarines for months at a time - without a single person on board
Would be interesting to see the anti-boarding tech.


#1: Makes me curious what type of offensive configurations are being deployed.
Posted by: BrerRabbit|| 2016-02-14 02:38 ||Comments

#2: Wikipedia says the ship will undergo tests over the next two years.
Posted by: badanov||http://www.chriscovert.net|| 2016-02-14 10:27 ||Comments