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Yemeni airstrikes kill 43 al-Qaida militants
Today's Headlines
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Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Russian Destroyer Smetlivy Passed Through Bosphorus
Pics of the Smetlivy on its way to Tarsus, Syria. Worth a look if you're an old naval salt.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 10:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [207 views] Top||

#1  Puts out a lotta smoke.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 04/04/2012 12:07 Comments || Top||

#2  I think they have some woodchips down in the boiler room, trying to smoke some BBQ while under way. Either that, or its engines are being maintained by JS The Ragman.
Posted by: OldSpook || 04/04/2012 16:05 Comments || Top||

#3  That thing looks like one leaking oil fire away from a watery grave.
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/04/2012 16:23 Comments || Top||

#4  JS the Ragman! And you wonder why a lot of us refused to fly in anything the Russians maintained or taught the maintainers, or really even built, excpet maybe vintage AN-2 Colts amaintained in the west. That was a tough old bird.
Posted by: NoMoreBS || 04/04/2012 16:42 Comments || Top||

#5  Couldn't they get some seasoned wood for the thing?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 04/04/2012 17:21 Comments || Top||

#6  Washington Freebeacon: Chicoms and Russians to
Join Forces For Wargames + Spotted 2 Chinese Stealth J-20 fighters
Posted by: Omoluque Hapsburg8162 || 04/04/2012 17:22 Comments || Top||

#7  Whoa - the Russkis named a DD after PENELOPE PITSTOP'S "CORPORAL SMEDLEY", the WW1 Flying German Toon Dog???

DO PENELOPE + THE BARON + TOM SLICK KNOW???

lol.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 19:48 Comments || Top||

#8  STOP THAT PIGEON, STOP THAT PIGEON, D *** NG IT, STOP THAT PIGEON NOW!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 19:49 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Japan and Britain 'set to agree arms deal'
Japan and Britain are set to agree to begin joint development of arms following Tokyo's easing of its ban on exports of military equipment late last year, the Mainichi daily reported on Wednesday.
Perhaps Japan is figuring out what Canada and other allies are figuring out -- that it's not a good idea to tie yourself exclusively to the U.S. these days.
It will mark the first time that Japan has worked with a country other than the United States on military equipment after making an exception for the US missile defence programme.

The newspaper quoted an unidentified senior defence ministry official as saying that it could take the two countries about a year to decide on specific items for joint development as even with the relaxation of rules, Japan still imposes restrictions on sales to third parties.

The two countries may gradually start joint development with small military equipment, rather than big machines like fighters, it said, quoting an unidentified senior foreign ministry official.
That might change if we continue to refuse to allow Japan to buy the F-22.
Japan in December decided to relax its self-imposed decades-old ban to allow it to take part in the joint development and production of arms with other countries and to supply military equipment for humanitarian missions, opening new markets to its defence contractors.
Posted by: || 04/04/2012 10:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [199 views] Top||

#1  Yeah, the good old F-22. I miss those days.
Posted by: newc || 04/04/2012 23:33 Comments || Top||


Britain
US intelligence agencies are holding back evidence from Britain over fears of open courts
American intelligence has begun "cutting back" on material provided to British agencies over fears information could be compromised in UK courts, Kenneth Clarke has said.

US security services had become "extremely cautious" when dealing with Britain on the basis that shared national secrets risked being made public in open hearings.
The Justice Secretary revealed US security services had become "extremely cautious" when dealing with Britain on the basis that shared national secrets risked being made public in open hearings.

Mr Clarke made his comments following continued criticism over controversial plans by the Coalition government to hold court cases and inquests behind closed doors.

A cross-party group of peers and MPs has today attacked his proposals for so-called secret justice claiming the system would be "inherently unfair" and was based on "spurious assertions".

Speaking this morning on the BBC's Today programme, Mr Clarke refuted the suggestion that plans to allow spies to give evidence in camera to protect national security was the result of "immense American pressure" being exerted.

However, he agreed that a decision to disclose US intelligence during the case of UK resident Binyam Mohamed had led to a lessening of cooperation between the two countries. In 2008 Mr Mohamed took the British government to court to secure the release of documents relating to his detention in Guantanamo Bay prison between 2004 and 2009.

Posted by: || 04/04/2012 09:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [199 views] Top||

#1  And foreign intelligence agencies are holding back on information shared with the US over fears information could be compromised in some future issue of Foreign Policy magazine.

Posted by: crosspatch || 04/04/2012 15:47 Comments || Top||

#2  Read, TOO MANY POLITICAL-LEGAL PROTECTIONS = EMPOWERMENT OF SHARIA IN BRITAIN.

Muslims in Germany are using the regular/normal democratic electoral process to formally rename their areas of German Cities into Arabic; while pro-Islamist Brit Muslims are forming their own "Moral Police" + Muslim-only "Courts" as iff Sharia was already in place, AKA IGNORING WHITEHALL.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 19:59 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
German Nobel laureate Guenter GraSS' new poem: Israel is a threat to world peace
German Nobel literature laureate Guenter Grass published a poem Wednesday in which he accused Israel of being a threat to world peace.

In his poem, the 85-year-old author claims that Israel's nuclear reactor -- and not Iran's -- presents a threat to world peace. Grass' poem calls for Germany to cease supplying Israel with submarines, and warns against an Israeli strike on Iran.

The poem, entitled "What must be said," will be published on Wednesday in the New York Times, the Deutsche Zeitung, and La Republica. In the poem, Grass writes that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has a "big mouth," and that the intentions of the Iranian nuclear program are not proven.

"If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world"

-- Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani December 2001


Read Grass' poem in German.

Grass also claims that "Israel's nuclear potential has been stealthily growing for years," without being under any kind of international supervision. Grass believes that Israel is planning to arm submarines recently purchased from Germany with nuclear warheads.

"Germany could be responsible for a crime that can be foreseen," Grass said.
That crime would be Israel's survival.
Grass achieved fame with his first novel "The Tin Drum." Many of his stories have been translated into Hebrew and English. In 2006, Grass admitted for the first time to serving in the SS during the Second World War. Today, Grass is an active member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
Posted by: Sputh Glinegum5011 || 04/04/2012 08:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [219 views] Top||

#1  The New York Times will be publishing an anti-semitic poem by a Nazi? Well color me surprised...strange bedfellows indeed.
Posted by: gromky || 04/04/2012 10:22 Comments || Top||

#2  Funny how Israel has all these nuclear weapons but doesn't actually blow people up or threaten to use them on a daily basis. Some folks project a lot.

Discussions on war and peace from a German are humorous. The lesson the World learned from WW2 is dictatorships are bad. The lesson the Germans learned is War is bad. As if war suddenly just happened to the 3rd Reik out of the blue.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/04/2012 10:25 Comments || Top||

#3  GraSS.... GrASS

fixed....
Posted by: Pliny Chuck8245 || 04/04/2012 14:08 Comments || Top||

#4  The Tin Drum trilogy are some of favourite novels of all time, but Grass always was a socialist. Firstly a National Socialist, then the post war kind.

The Left's real problem with Israel is that Israel shows how their their Tranzi vision could turn into an apocalyptic hell.
Posted by: phil_b || 04/04/2012 15:46 Comments || Top||

#5  Unfortunately there are no minimum standards as to what qualifies as a poem... or literature... or common sense
Posted by: European Conservative || 04/04/2012 17:50 Comments || Top||

#6  I'm a little surprised the EU *doesn't* have standards for poems. They seem to have their EUcratic fingers in pretty much every other pie.
Posted by: SteveS || 04/04/2012 19:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Don't give them any ideas...
Posted by: European Conservative || 04/04/2012 21:00 Comments || Top||


Arabia
S. Arabia Aims Cash Laundering Law At 'terror' Groups
RIYADH - Soddy Arabia has passed an anti-money laundering law aimed at stopping cash getting to violent beturbanned goon groups - a move sought by Washington after the 9/11 attacks - a local newspaper quoted the government as saying on Tuesday.

Saudi Information Minister Abdul-Aziz Khoja said the law contained "rules related to the crimes of financing terrorism, terrorist acts and terror organizations," according to the Arab News daily.

A further law is planned that specifically focuses on beturbanned goon financing, the paper said, a probable reference to an anti-terrorism bill now before the advisory Shoura Council.

Soddy Arabia began to crack down on beturbanned goons' financing after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and a subsequent series of bombings on its own territory.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [196 views] Top||

#1  only took them 10 years to act.
Posted by: Gruth McGurque5303 || 04/04/2012 9:16 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Un Peacekeeping Advance Team Due In Syria Within 2 Days
An advance team from the UN peacekeeping department is expected in Damascus
...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti...
within 48 hours to discuss deployment of observers to monitor a ceasefire in Syria, the front man for international mediator Kofi Annan
...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo...
said on Tuesday.
┬ 
"A DPKO (Department of Peacekeeping Operations) planning mission should be arriving in Damascus within 48 hours," Annan front man Ahmad Fawzi said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [246 views] Top||

#1  "A DPKO (Department of Peacekeeping Operations) planning mission should be arriving in Damascus within 48 hours"

Depends on #hookers in the airport loading zone and the line at the Starbux.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 04/04/2012 12:30 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Israeli Court Convicts Nazareth Imam Of Incitement
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM -- An Israeli court on Sunday found the imam of a mosque in the northern city of Nazareth guilty of incitement and supporting "terrorism", the verdict read.

Nazem Abu Slim -- the outspoken imam of the Shihab Al Din Mosque -- was placed in long-term storage in October 2010 on suspicion of having ties with resistance groups.

He is known for preaching a radical version of Islam hostile to Israel's Jewish majority as well as to Christians and moderate Mohammedans.

"Nazem Abu Slim of Nazareth, born in 1965... was convicted of inciting to violence and terror, and supporting a terror group," a statement from the court spokesperson's office read.

"He did this by preaching in the mosque, distributing pamphlets... and spreading his messages via the Internet."

The court said that Abu Slim distributed booklets and brochures that support the global jihadist ideology and the ideology of Al Qaeda group, "which does not allow its followers to remain dormant".

Sentencing will begin on April 23.

In Sunday's ruling, the court said that Abu Slim's sentiment could have no other interpretation than being a call for violence and bloodshed, "whether against other Mohammedans or against the State of Israel and its residents".

The court also noted that "members of his congregation who were convicted of severe deeds testified they were directly influenced by Abu Slim's preachings and his inspiration on jihad, in their decision to commit their deeds."

In June 2010, police and the Shin Bet domestic security agency placed in long-term storage seven Israeli Arabs from the Nazareth area, who media said took part in prayers in the Shihab Al Din Mosque, on suspicion of planning to attack Jews and Christians.

Nazareth has the largest concentration of Christian Arabs in Israel.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [192 views] Top||


Terror Networks
Hafiz Saeed Rejects Us Terror Accusations, $10mil Bounty
Jamaat-ud-Dawa
...the front organization of Lashkar-e-Taiba...
chief blamed for Mumbai attacks tells Al Jizz his opposition to NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
supply lines led to $10m bounty.


Hafiz Saeed
...founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba and its false-mustache offshoot Jamaat-ud-Dawa. The United Nations declared the JuD a terrorist organization in 2008 and Hafiz Saeed a terrorist as its leader. Hafiz, JuD and LeT are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the Pak intel apparatus, so that amounted to squat...
, the leader of a Pakistain-based group blamed for the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, has demanded proof after the US announced a $10m bounty on his head.

In an exclusive interview┬ with Al Jizz, Saeed said the US move was prompted by the fact that he had been organising rallies against the re-opening of supply lines through Pakistain to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"We are not hiding in caves for bounties to be set on finding us," Saeed said. "I think the US is frustrated because we are taking out countrywide protests against the resumption of NATO supplies and drone strikes.┬ 

"I believe either the US has very little knowledge and is basing its decisions on wrong information being provided by India, or they are just frustrated".

US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, on a visit to India, said a $2m bounty had also been announced for Abdul Rahman Makki,┬ Saeed's brother-in-law and the group's second-in-command.

Rewards for Justice, a programme sponsored by the US State Department, announced the cash reward for the 62-year-old Saeed on its website.

"Saeed is suspected of criminal masterminding numerous terrorist attacks, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which resulted in the deaths of 166 people, including six American citizens," the page said.

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), designated as a terrorist organization by the US in December 2001, is accused by India of carrying out several attacks besides┬ the one on Mumbai.

LeT┬ is the military wing of┬ Saeed's larger organization,┬ Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which is also blacklisted by the US.

Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving gunman involved in the three-day rampage in November 2008, has been sentenced to death by an Indian court.

Kasab accused Saeed of organising the attack, which involved 10 gunnies,┬ nine of whom were killed during the shootout.

'Popular man'

India welcomed the move as a reflection of the commitment by India and the US "to bring perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attacks" to justice.

"[The bounty] sends a strong signal to Lashkar-e-Taiba as also its members and patrons that the international community remains united in combating terrorism," Syed Akbaruddin, front man for India's ministry of external affairs said on Twitter.

Al Jizz's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Lahore, where Saeed is believed to be based, said Pakistain was pressured to ban Saeed's organizations after the US invasion of Afghanistan. .

"He started a foundation, and his men played a key role in aid efforts after earthquake in Kashmire, and the floods in Pakistain. They still are the main frontline in any calamity. He has denied that he has any links to militancy," our correspondent said.

"A man who is popular across the country -┬ it's not going to go down very well. It is also symbolic that the annoucment came in India, by a high-ranking US diplomat. That will be an irritant."

Sreeram Chaulia, a professor at India's Jindal School of International Affairs, said Saeed was "intrinsically linked" to Pakistain's spy agency.

"The Pakistain establishment will not hand him over for the bounty, and any private citizen who tries to make cash through tipping off the Americans will be targeted," Chaulia told the AFP news agency.

"I don't think extradition is any possibility,"┬ Ayesha Siddiqa, an Islamabad-based┬ defence analyst, told Al Jizz. "Basically, the watch list doesn't mean anything.┬ [Saeed] is┬ just one of many people being watched."

The announcement comes as Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari
... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ...
, Pakistain's president, is due to visit India for the first time since the attacks in Mumbai.

The bounty on Saeed, equivalent to that on Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
, is second only to the┬ $25m bounty on┬ Ayman al Zawahiri
... Formerly second in command of al-Qaeda, now the head cheese, occasionally described as the real brains of the outfit. Formerly the Mister Big of Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Bumped off Abdullah Azzam with a car boom in the course of one of their little disputes. Is thought to have composed bin Laden's fatwa entitled World Islamic Front Against Jews and Crusaders. Currently residing in the North Wazoo area. That is not a horn growing from the middle of his forehead, but a prayer bump, attesting to how devout he is...
, who succeeded the late Osama bin Laden
... who was laid out deader than a mackerel...
as the al-Qaeda chief.

Saeed is the fifth Pak national on the list.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [194 views] Top||


Afghanistan
Leading Afghans cast doubt on election schedule
Influential Afghans have questioned whether the country's next presidential election can go ahead on schedule in 2014, raising doubts about a vote the west is counting on to lay the foundations of a stable government after foreign combat troops leave.

There has been talk in Kabul of either delaying the vote or bringing it forward by a year, even though both options would strain or break conditions laid out in the constitution. The independent election commission has said it will not move the date, and no one else has the authority to do so. The last presidential election was delayed for several months in 2009 due to issues with the weather, logistics and security.

The questioning of a schedule fixed by the constitution is a reminder of how vulnerable the framework of Afghanistan's fledgling democracy remains, despite a decade of western military and political support and millions of dollars of aid.
$52 billion you mean, most of it now in western banks...
There is growing anxiety among many Afghans about the changes 2014 will bring, even as powerbrokers start manoeuvring to take advantage. The last foreign combat troops are due to return home that year, leaving Afghan police and soldiers to fight the Taliban, and there will be huge pressure for a smooth transition.

But violence is spreading in much of the country. Omar Daudzai, a former presidential chief of staff and one of Hamid Karzai's confidants, said security problems could render a poll impossible unless efforts to bring the Taliban into peace talks bear fruit soon.

"We have no choice but to make progress on the peace effort," said Daudzai, now ambassador to Islamabad and a key player in the Afghan government's efforts to pursue negotiations. "Under the current circumstances, or even under a worse situation if the Taliban's presence becomes more dominant, they will intimidate people from coming out to vote. If a significant proportion of the population can't come out to vote, you can't have an election. No election commission will take the risk."

Daudzai said it was possible some Taliban fighters might participate in the elections as candidates for the presidency or for provincial councils. "If we make progress on the peace front quite a sizeable number of them will stand for election," he said. "If we manage to bring some Taliban leaders into electioneering, that will mean that instead of preventing people to vote they will actually encourage them."

Some Afghan politicians have proposed bringing the vote forward, arguing that an election in 2014 could bring too much turmoil in an already turbulent year. An earlier date could mean more western security support.

William Patey, the outgoing British ambassador to Kabul, said: "I've heard people talk about that, we wouldn't have any objections to it ... all we want is a free and fair election."

He said an election in 2013 was "doable" but had not been formally discussed by western diplomats. "There are perfectly good arguments why 2013 would be a good time ... [but] by holding it in 2013 you risk an argument that foreigners brought it forward so they can control it," he said.

It is hard to see what Karzai would gain from cutting short his mandate, when the constitution forbids him from running again. He has repeatedly said he will not seek another term in office, but both Afghan rivals and western diplomats in Kabul are concerned he may use worries about security and stability to extend his rule. According to an influential member of the Kabul establishment, Karzai believes that if elections cannot take place in 2014, "he will hang in there for a couple more years".

A failure to hold elections could create a constitutional crisis and perhaps spur unrest among powerful leaders who for much of the last decade have respected at least the broad outlines of Afghanistan's post-Taliban democracy.

Karzai's spokesman said suggestions he wanted to stay in power after 2014 were baseless. "We strongly reject allegations that the president wants to delay the elections. The Afghan government will try its best to make sure the elections happen on time according to the constitution," the spokesman said.

Even if the poll is held on time, the government will struggle with concerns about its legitimacy, after accusations of widespread fraud marred the 2009 presidential poll and the 2010 parliamentary elections.

The election commission is drafting a list of changes to the polling system, including a more transparent arbitration system and improvements to voter registration, which will eventually be presented to parliament as the basis of a new electoral law. There are concerns it is already too late to sort voter lists in time for the presidential election, given the challenges of widespread illiteracy, a huge population without formal identity documents, and worsening security problems.

Civil society activists warn that the election commission itself needs reforms to the systems for appointing its members, if the credibility of polls is to improve. Currently Karzai appoints its members directly. Members of parliament are discussing a draft law governing the duties and structure of the commission that would give other groups a say in its makeup.

The presidential poll is just one part of Afghanistan's election headaches. A system of staggered elections should see the country hold polls for provincial councils in 2013, the presidency in 2014 and parliament in 2015.

In a country where votes are expensive and hugely disruptive, there will be a temptation to defy the constitution and reschedule at least one of those. If the provincial council elections are held on schedule, it could add weight to any attempt to delay the presidential election to 2015 to coincide with the parliamentary vote.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [198 views] Top||


Europe
French Court Charges 'Jihadist' Group
Members of Forsane Alizza, or Knights of Pride, are charged with "criminal association linked to terrorist network".

Preliminary charges have been filed against 13 suspects┬ in La Belle France, a prosecutor has announced, saying some had been calling for Sharia law in the country, stashing weapons and hatching plots, one to kidnap a judge.

Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference on Tuesday that members of the Forsane Alizza, or Knights of Pride, received physical training in parks and forests around Gay Paree and religious indoctrination "in order to take part in a jihad", or holy war.

The group preached hate and violence on their internet site which "called for an Islamic caliphate in La Belle France, the
application of the Sharia and incited Moslems to unite to prepare for civil war", Molins said.

The site, which also showed clips of late al-Qaeda leader the late Osama bin Laden
... who is now beyond all cares and woe...
was shut down after authorities banned Forsane Alizza in March.

The charges handed down against some members of Forsane Alizza come amid a crackdown on hard-liners following the March killing spree in southern La Belle France by a 23-year-old claiming links to al-Qaeda. The suspected gunman, Mohammed Merah, was killed after a 32-hour standoff with police.

President Nicolas Sarkozy
...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit...
said Tuesday on Canal Plus TV that there is now "zero tolerance" for hate speech and ideologies which do not conform┬ to the values of La Belle France.

"You will see that in the weeks to come we will continue this absolutely systematic work of assuring the protection of the French by not tolerating such activities,"┬ Sarkozy said of the Forsane Alizza group.

The 13, among 17 suspects jugged in police raids last week, faced preliminary charges of criminal association linked to a terrorist network, a sweeping charge with a maximum 10-year prison term that is used in La Belle France to ensure a full investigation of terror suspects.

Nine of the 13 are being tossed in the slammer, Molins said. The other four must report regularly to police. Charges of acquiring, transporting and detention of arms also were issued. The remaining four of the 17 who had been jugged were being released.

The prosecutor said several terror plans appeared to be in the works, including the kidnapping of a judge in Lyon, in southeast La Belle France. An official close to the investigation said the targeted judge is Jewish.

Molins said the investigation, which formally opened in late October, showed the network was organized around Forsane Alizza leader Mohammed Achamlane, who is┬ from the Nantes region in western La Belle France.

"All the suspects confirmed Mohammed Achamlane's role of leader, coordinator and emir and his constant concern about acquiring weapons," Molins said.

Molins said the alleged plan to kidnap a magistrate who dealt with a child abuse case on a member of the Lyon cell was hatched at a September meeting.

The magistrate in question has been placed under police protection.

Other potential targets included people from groups that have spoken out against the Moslem community, the prosecutor said without elaboration.

It was not known whether this was a reference to groups actively seeking to protect French identity and decrying what they claim is the Islamicisation of La Belle France.

Such groups are gaining strength around La Belle France, and have been joined by far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Achamlane's lawyer later denied his client was involved in preparing terrorist acts, saying "there is no material act, no material incident constituting preparation of an act of terrorism, or even kidnapping".
┬ 
Attorney Philippe Missamou claimed the reference to kidnapping of a judge was made at a public meeting of the group and others protesting an investigating magistrate's handling of the child abuse case, and blaming it on "injustice" because the group member was Moslem.

The prosecutor said police found stashes of weapons during their raids last Friday in the Gay Paree region and the cities of Nantes, Marseille, Nice, and Toulouse, as well as documents and computer equipment. The probe so far has shown that members had consulted internet sites showing how to make explosives, Molins said.

The prosecutor stressed the group had no link to the three attacks last month around Toulouse that left seven people dead, three paratroopers, a rabbi and three Jewish school children.
This article starring:
Mohammed Achamlane
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [205 views] Top||


Afghanistan
NATO chief denies accelerating Afghan troop withdrawal
BRUSSELS: NATO┬'s chief denied on Monday that the alliance was speeding up the withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan as he sought to clear up ┬'confusion┬' over the pullout planned for the end of 2014. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted that NATO was sticking to the timeline agreed at the Lisbon summit in November 2010 after recent comments from Western and Afghan officials indicated that 2013 was a new target.

┬"There is nothing new in all this but maybe it is necessary to clarify these timelines because sometimes they are mixed up in a way that creates some confusion,┬" Rasmussen told a news conference.

Rasmussen explained that control of the last provinces must be handed over in the middle or the second half of 2013.

┬"That┬'s why the year 2013 has suddenly been mentioned,┬" he said. ┬"It┬'s not about accelerating the transition process, but it┬'s actually in order to stick to the Lisbon roadmap that we have to take 2013 into account."

It takes 12 to 18 months to complete the transition of provinces to Afghan forces, he noted. Afghan security forces are in the lead in provinces representing half the country┬'s population, including the capital Kabul.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [198 views] Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
ICRC chief asks for access to Syria prisons
DAMASCUS - International Committee of the Red Thingy Cross chief Jakob Kellenberger on Tuesday requested access to Syria┬'s prisons, in a meeting with Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar, official media reported. The meeting focused on how the ministry can facilitate the ICRC┬'s work in Syria ┬"regarding the inspection of penal facilities and meeting inmates in them,┬" particularly in Aleppo, Syria┬'s second city, the SANA news agency said.

Kellenberger said he hoped to visit prisons in Syria as he had done on a previous trip, ┬"in coordination with the Syrian Red Moon Shaped Thingy Crescent, to guarantee the best possible conditions of detention┬" for inmates, the report said.

The Syrian authorities allowed the ICRC to visit the central prison in Damascus for the first time last year, which the organisation said at the time was an ┬"important step┬" for its humanitarian activities in Syria.

Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the visiting Red Thingy Cross chief that Syria would do its utmost to ensure the success of the ICRC mission to the strife-torn country. The ICRC has been pushing for a daily humanitarian truce in the year-long conflict in Syria.

┬"Mr Muallem... reiterated Syria┬'s willingness to provide the ICRC with all that is needed to ensure the success of its humanitarian mission,┬" his office said in a statement.

It added that the two sides had agreed on a ┬"cooperation mechanism┬" between the ICRC, the Syrian Arab Red Moon Shaped Thingy Crescent and the foreign ministry to overcome any obstacles, without giving details.

┬"Kellenberger for his part expressed his appreciation to Syrian authorities for allowing the ICRC access to areas affected by the unrest in order to provide assistance to those in need,┬" said the statement.

Ahead of his third trip to Syria since 2011, Kellenberger said he was ┬"determined to see the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Moon Shaped Thingy Crescent expand their presence, range and scope of activities to address the needs of vulnerable people.

┬"This will be a key element of my talks with the Syrian officials,┬" he said in a statement.

Beyond discussing aid issues, Kellenberger would also seek access to detention centres as well as examining ┬"practical measures for implementing our initiative for a daily two-hour cessation of fighting,┬" the statement said.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [197 views] Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
N. Korea 'Has 10,000 Missile Experts'
There are about 10,000 people working on missiles in North Korea, three times more than in the South, a high-ranking South Korean military officer said Monday. He added they have "considerable research skills."
I'm betting they're among the few who get three meals a day...
North Korea started developing ballistic missiles in the mid-1970s. It produced Scud-Bs with a range of 300 km and Scud-Cs with a range of 500 km and deployed them along the frontline in the 1980s.

The South Korean military estimates that North Korea has spent US$3.1 billion on developing and testing long-range ballistic missiles so far. The rocket North Korea plans to launch this month is likely to cost $850 million which, according to a South Korean official, is equivalent to a year┬'s food supply for 19 million people in the impoverished country. The South Korean military believes that even more money was spent on training missile specialists.

In contrast, South Korea has about 2,000 rocket propulsion experts in the civilian and public sectors excluding the military, some 200 of them at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. A defense industry insider said, "Even counting the military workforce, the total capacity for missile research is far behind from North Korea's with a mere 3,000 experts."
All of whom are better fed, better paid, and have better lives. Perhaps we should be getting that message out to the Nork missile techs?
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [213 views] Top||

#1  "10,000 Missle Experts ... considerable resarch skills" > which, of course, explains the failures???
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 0:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Ten K who THINK they're expert is nore like it.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/04/2012 0:37 Comments || Top||

#3  Any country, even the US, has to make investment decisions since you cannot fund everything. So the Norks are investing in missiles. Conclusion: Someone is paying them to invest in missiles. So who is (are) the customers, besides Iran?

PS. I kinda liked the auto-generated name: Shirong Turkeyneck1340

:-)
Posted by: Mike Ramsey || 04/04/2012 3:52 Comments || Top||

#4  When I visited Communist countries, I noted that when presented with a simple question, it took 5 sovietskis to talk about it, before one would answer it. A country with antique communication systems is an open book. A lot of SK talk is purely tactical.
Posted by: Black Charlie Mussolini6055 || 04/04/2012 4:08 Comments || Top||

#5  I think they meant ex-spurts.
Posted by: crosspatch || 04/04/2012 4:13 Comments || Top||

#6  An Army mortarman counts as a missile expert, doesn't he?
Posted by: Glenmore || 04/04/2012 11:19 Comments || Top||

#7  The whole squad, Glenmore. They're surely cross trained, aren't they?
Posted by: Halliburton - Mysterious Conspiracy Division || 04/04/2012 11:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Other countries call them "archers"...
Posted by: Thereque Ebbeper5747 || 04/04/2012 14:07 Comments || Top||

#9  DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > SOUTH KOREA THREATENS TO STRIKE JIM JEOUNG-UN 'S PALACE IFF SEOUL ATTACKED.

BLOGGER/POSTER = the ROK has changed its Policies toward one of Pro-Invasion, + Immediate or Unlimited Mil Retaliation, agz the North for any future North-led mil provocations, ala THE "Chonan" + "Yeongpyeong" Incidents.

IMO, the ROK "Offensive/Aggressive" retaliatory Policy Changes shows that Seoul does recognize, iff only quietly or covertly, the DPRK's increasing vulnerability to DE FACTO CHINESE TAKEOVER, BE IT UNILATERAL BEIJING-ORDERED "REGIME CHANGE" AGZ KIMS, OR FORMAL ANNEXATION AS A CHINESE STATE PROVINCE.

and

* SAME > MORE THAN 40 NORTH KOREAN SOLDIERS DURING YEONGPYEONG BATTLE: YONHAP NEWS.

Looks like the NOKORS feared Artillery = Battery, Counter-Battery fire doesn't rule the DMZ roost after all???

* SAME > DEFECTORS: "SUNSHINE" POLICY PREVENTED NORTH KOREA COLLAPSE. The DPRK = NoKor was on the verge of complete State collapse until "the Policy" came along out from Hell.

versus

* SAME [old] > GOLDMAN-SACHS: UNIFIED KOREA COULD HAVE LARGER ECONOMY THAN FRANCE, GERMANY, + [possibly] JAPAN BY 2050.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 22:30 Comments || Top||


10 N. Korean Defectors' Odyssey Ends
Ten North Korean defectors who had been hiding in South Korean diplomatic missions in China arrived discreetly in South Korea on Sunday. They consisted of five who had been hiding in the Consulate in Beijing for three years, three of them family members of a South Korean prisoner of war, as well as defectors who were living at the Consulate in Shenyang.

It was the first time in the five-year tenure of President Lee Myung-bak that the Chinese government has allowed North Korean defectors hiding in South Korean diplomatic missions to come to South Korea. Remarks by Chinese President Hu Jintao in a meeting with Lee on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on March 26 appear to have played a role in their release.

Hu told Lee that China "is taking a lot of interest and giving consideration to the issue of North Korean defectors and respects [South Korea's] position. It will strive to ensure that the issue is resolved smoothly."

Some say China┬'s decision is a kind of warning to Pyongyang. China urged North Korea through diplomatic channels to halt the launch of what Pyongyang says is a space rocket but was rebuffed, and some experts believe that prompted Beijing to let the defectors go.

But China apparently stressed that their release was an exception. China's official stance regarding North Korean defectors remains the same, placing more importance on its pact with Pyongyang to repatriate them than the UN treaty on the treatment of refugees.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [199 views] Top||

#1  CHINA WARNING ...

versus

* TOPIX > NORTH KOREA ON ITS "LAST LEGS", BUT COULD STILL THREATEN US, SAYS FORMER BUSH [POTUS Dubya] ADVISOR.

Victor Cha, now Senior Adviser for the CSIS.

Again, all things equal, IMO the DPRK's greatest single fear is not war wid the ROK = South Korea, BUT ITS TAKEOVER = ANNEXATION BY MAINLAND CHINA. Not even the ROK wants that to happen.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 0:33 Comments || Top||


Africa North
Egypt Liberals Spurn Islamist Offer, Threaten Protest
Egyptian liberals have refused to sit on a body drafting a new constitution dominated by Islamists, despite an offer by the Moslem Br├╝derbund to give them more seats, in a sign of growing political polarization after the fall of Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
The new constitution is due to be written by a 100-member assembly of politicians and public figures over the next six month. However,
if you can't say something nice about a person some juicy gossip will go well...
the body is dominated by Islamists, reflecting their resounding victory in parliamentary elections, and dozens of non-Islamist representatives have already walked out complaining that their voices are being drowned out. That has put the assembly's legitimacy in doubt.

Around 30 members of the assembly have so far withdrawn including the state's top Islamic authority Al-Azhar, the Coptic Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches and a Constitutional Court representative.

Late on Monday, a group of liberal parties who hold around a dozen seats in the Constitutional Assembly refused an offer by the Moslem Br├╝derbund's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) stay on the understanding they could take 10 seats vacated by FJP members. Instead they vowed to take their protest to the street.

"It isn't enough, there must be rules set for the selection criteria based on proficiency and the non-religious stream's representation should be higher," said Basel Adel, an MP from the Free Egyptians party - one of those to withdraw.

It is unclear whether the assembly will be able to operate with less than its full complement of members.

The Brotherhood has repeatedly been saying it does not want to monopolize political institutions in the new Egypt but earlier this week it reversed a pledge not to contest the presidential election in May and June. It is set to form a government after that vote.

It also disputes accusations that Islamists dominate the assembly, saying it contains only 48 Islamists, 36 from parliament and 12 from outside. Efforts by Brotherhood leaders to bring back those who have withdrawn have failed amid accusations from their opponents that many more members have Islamist leanings and that candidates' selection was based on loyalty, not expertise.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [200 views] Top||


The Grand Turk
Turkey Generals Go On Trial, 32 Years After Coup
[AFP] Turkey's 94-year-old former president Kenan Evren is due to go on trial on Wednesday to answer for his leading role in the country's last coup, more than three decades after he seized power.

Evren and his co-conspirator Tahsin Sahinkaya, 86, will try to justify their decision to oust the civilian government on September 12, 1980, and establish a brutal military regime which was accused of widespread human rights
...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you...
abuses.

The pair are in poor health and they could end up being cross-examined in their hospital beds rather than appearing in the dock at an Ankara high court.

The military, which has long seen itself as the guarantor of secularism in Turkey, has staged three coups -- in 1960, 1971 and 1980 -- as well pressuring an Islamist-rooted government to relinquish power in 1997.

But the 1980 coup was the bloodiest of them all. Hundreds of thousands of people were tossed in the calaboose, about 250,000 were charged, 50 were executed, dozens more died of torture and tens of thousands were exiled.

Evren and Sahinkaya are the only members of the military junta that seized power in 1980 who are still alive and their trial is seen as another episode in the current government's campaign against the once untouchable top brass
.Evren and Sahinkaya are the only members of the military junta that seized power in 1980 who are still alive and their trial is seen as another episode in the current government's campaign against the once untouchable top brass.

The Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is a party to the prosecution as one of the alleged victims of the 1980 coup, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told parliament Tuesday.

The pair face life imprisonment if they are convicted of committing crimes against the state -- the heaviest punishment available since Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2002.

Evren, who served as Turkey's seventh president from 1982 to 1989, is currently in hospital and both defendants have told the court through their lawyers that they will probably be unable to physically stand trial.

Plans are being made to enable the two defendants to join the trial through a video-conference from their hospital beds.

"He will appear before the court if he is able to do so but his health is not good," a member of Evren's family told AFP.

Dozens of victims of the military junta are set to stage a demonstration outside the courthouse while the generals put their case.

The constitution had exempted the generals from any trial but that prevision was removed as part of a package of amendments adopted in a referendum exactly 30 years after the coup.
The junta has always justified its intervention with the argument that daily festivities between jihad boy right and left-wing groups were bringing Turkey to the edge of a civil war.

After two years of military rule, the junta brought in a new constitution in 1982 which formalised Evren's position as president.

The charter has been heavily amended since Evren retired in 1989 and the military's political influence has declined sharply since the AKP came to power in 2002.

The constitution had exempted the generals from any trial but that prevision was removed as part of a package of amendments adopted in a referendum exactly 30 years after the coup.

The decision to put Evren and Sahinkaya on trial was announced in January. Evren had opted out of public life since his retirement, spending much of his time painting by the sea.

Tensions between the fiercely secularist military and Erdogan's AKP have been building for years with dozens of army officers, including a number of other retired generals, landing up in court over alleged coup plots.

Turkey's former army chief Ilker Basbug went on trial this month for an alleged bid to topple the government.

Basbug, who headed the armed forces from 2008 to 2010, is the most senior officer to be implicated in a massive investigation into the so-called Ergenekon network, a hardline nationalist group accused of overthrowing the government.

Critics accuse Erdogan's government of launching Ergenekon probes as a tool to silence its opponents and impose authoritarianism --charges it denies.
Al Jazeera adds historical perspective:
Evren's trial, unimaginable only a few years ago, will be watched closely by hundreds of military, including top serving and retired commanders, as well as by civilians being tried now as members of the alleged "Ergenekon" and "Sledgehammer" coup conspiracies against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

It was a recent constitutional amendment that ended Evren's immunity from prosecution over the coup.

'Coup house cleaning'

On Tuesday, Erdogan's government, the opposition and parliament joined at least 350 individuals and groups applying to be co-plaintiffs in the trial as aggrieved parties, meaning their grievances will be taken into account during the prosecution and possible sentencing phase.

Erdogan said the government had decided it should join the long list of those wronged.

"We need to erase the names of coup plotters from public institutions and from the names of places," Celik said. "They've already been struck from people's hearts."
"The first and most important injured party of the coups in Turkey have been the government legitimately representing the nation," Erdogan said in his weekly speech to his parliamentary party on Tuesday. "We will follow the case closely."

The 1980 coup leaders argue they were forced to intervene to restore order after years of chaos.

The generals, known widely by their Ottoman title of "Pasha", traditionally saw themselves as the guardians of a secular order set up by soldier-statesman Mustafa Kemal Ataturk from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

They mounted a coup in 1960, which saw the hanging of the prime minister and two other senior ministers, and then again in 1971 and 1980 to oust governments they saw as a threat to that order.

Each time the coups restored a revised form of democracy, and as recently as 1997 the army forced Turkey's first Islamist-led government to resign.

The country remains haunted by those traumatic times, when virtually the entire political class was rounded up and interned.

Citing the ruling AK Party's spokesman Huseyin Celik, Turkish newspaper Radikal said the authorities were removing the names of key figures in the 1980 and previous military coups from schools, streets, stadiums and military barracks "in a coup house cleaning".

"We need to erase the names of coup plotters from public institutions and from the names of places," Celik said. "They've already been struck from people's hearts."
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [201 views] Top||

#1  Well thats a quickie invesigation iff there ever was one.

FYI in past World Histoire', it has occurred where the skeletons of dead Leaders have been dis-interred + put on official State/Public Trial, replete wid formal "punishment" afterward, for alleged high crimes.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 0:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Bush blame on steroids.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/04/2012 1:24 Comments || Top||


Europe
Greek refiner stops Iran oil purchases
Greece┬'s top refiner Hellenic Petroleum has suspended purchases of Iranian crude in April as approaching sanctions on Tehran have made banking payments virtually impossible, a senior source at the firm said.

Greece┬'s financial difficulties have made Athens reluctant to reduce its purchases of Iranian crude, which is cheap, ahead of a EU-wide embargo that is due to come into force on July 1. But the source at the refiner said no European Union banks were willing to handle the business any more, forcing it to suspend buying this month.

┬"We were using a Turkish bank all the time but we have to use an EU corresponding bank to make the payment from our Greek bank to the Turkish one and the EU banks are refusing that,┬" the source told Reuters.

┬"It is very unlikely we will lift (Iranian oil) in May. We can┬'t pay. If we can later, we will respect our contract but only lift the minimum,┬" he added.

Greece┬'s debt problems mean it has struggled to purchase oil from other suppliers as banks have pulled the plug on financing exports, although a second bailout deal between Greece and international lenders in March has helped improve the country┬'s debt profile. The United States has exempted Japan and 10 EU nations, including Greece, from financial sanctions because they have significantly cut purchases of Iranian oil.

The Hellenic source said the refiner had hoped the US decision would ease the situation.

┬"(But) in practice it is not applied. The banks are not clear on what they can do, so for them it is safer to do nothing,┬" the source said.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [201 views] Top||

#1  As reported yesterday, No pay, No oil, you can't pay for it so you get none.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 04/04/2012 0:34 Comments || Top||


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Lebanon Frees Ex-General Convicted Of Spying For Israel
Lebanese judicial officials say a former army general who was sentenced to two years in prison for giving information to Israel has been sprung.
┬ 
Tuesday's release of former Brig. Gen. Fayez Karam came days after parliament reduced his sentence to nine months. He was sent to prison in mid-2010, said the officials on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [204 views] Top||


Europe
Swedish Activists Plan New Gaza Convoy This Year
Looking toward Failure #3.
Swedish activists say they are planning another aid convoy to Gazoo before the end of this year to protest Israel's blockade of the Paleostinian territory.
┬ 
The group Ship to Gazoo Sweden said Tuesday it has bought a sailboat that would leave from the Nordic region and that ships from other groups may join along the way.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [195 views] Top||

#1  Lutefisk overdose, the downside.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/04/2012 1:17 Comments || Top||

#2 
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/04/2012 3:13 Comments || Top||

#3  ...and that ships from other groups may join along the way.

We got ourselves a convoy!
Posted by: C.W. McCall || 04/04/2012 9:27 Comments || Top||

#4 

;-)
Posted by: lotp || 04/04/2012 10:00 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Dupe URL: ICC won't investigate Gaza war because Palestine is 'not a state'
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The International Criminal Court will not investigate Israel's conduct during its December 2008 offensive on Gaza because Palestine is not a state, the world prosecutor said Tuesday.

In a statement, the ICC prosecutor acknowledged that over 130 countries and some UN bodies recognize Palestine as a state.

But, Palestine still holds observer status in the UN, and so the ICC cannot at this time investigate allegations of war crimes committed on Palestinian territory, the prosecutor said.

President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full UN membership in September at the UN Security Council. The US vowed to use its veto to block the bid and the council has not yet made any recommendation to admit Palestine.

The ICC said it could in the future consider allegations of crimes committed in Palestine if the Security Council determines that Palestine is a state.

Israel 'worked quietly' against bid

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that diplomats had worked against the Palestinian request for an ICC investigation into Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 3-week offensive on the Gaza Strip that left nearly 1,400 Palestinians dead, including 300 children.

Commenting on the ICC's rejection of the bid for a tribunal, Lieberman said: "Not many understand how much work has been put into this issue," the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

"We have kept it out of the media," Lieberman said. "The Foreign Minister worked very professionally, discreetly and quietly."

ICC 'open to accusations of political bias'

Amnesty International said the ICC's decision meant victims of Israel's war on Gaza were likely to be denied justice. The prosecutor's decision opened the ICC to accusations of political bias, it added.

The rights group said ICC judges should decide on the court's jurisdiction. It said the prosecutor had "dodged the question," after considering it for three years.

"For the past three years, the prosecutor has been considering the question of whether the Palestinian Authority is a "state" that comes under the jurisdiction of the ICC and whether the ICC can investigate crimes committed during the 2008-9 conflict in Gaza and southern Israel," said Marek Marczynski, head of Amnesty International┬'s International Justice campaign.

"Now, despite Amnesty International┬'s calls and a very clear requirement in the ICC┬'s statute that the judges should decide on such matters, the Prosecutor has erroneously dodged the question, passing it to other political bodies," he added.

Most of the 1,400 Palestinians killed in Operation Cast Lead were civilians.

According to UN figures, Israel's military destroyed over 3,500 residential homes and made 20,000 people homeless during the 22-day assault.

A UN fact-finding mission tasked with investigating allegations of war crimes found that Israel committed "grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of willful killings and willfully causing great suffering to protected persons."
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [189 views] Top||


ICC won't investigate Gaza war because Palestine is 'not a state'
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
will not investigate Israel's conduct during its December 2008 offensive on Gazoo because Paleostine is not a state, the world prosecutor said Tuesday.

In a statement, the ICC prosecutor acknowledged that over 130 countries and some UN bodies recognize Paleostine as a state.

But, Paleostine still holds observer status in the UN, and so the ICC cannot at this time investigate allegations of war crimes committed on Paleostinian territory, the prosecutor said.

President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
applied for full UN membership in September at the UN Security Council. The US vowed to use its veto to block the bid and the council has not yet made any recommendation to admit Paleostine.

The ICC said it could in the future consider allegations of crimes committed in Paleostine if the Security Council determines that Paleostine is a state.

Israel 'worked quietly' against bid

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that diplomats had worked against the Paleostinian request for an ICC investigation into Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 3-week offensive on the Gazoo Strip that left nearly 1,400 Paleostinians dead, including 300 children.

Commenting on the ICC's rejection of the bid for a tribunal, Lieberman said: "Not many understand how much work has been put into this issue," the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

"We have kept it out of the media," Lieberman said. "The Foreign Minister worked very professionally, discreetly and quietly."

ICC 'open to accusations of political bias'

Amnesia Amnesty International said the ICC's decision meant victims of Israel's war on Gazoo were likely to be denied justice. The prosecutor's decision opened the ICC to accusations of political bias, it added.

The rights group said ICC judges should decide on the court's jurisdiction. It said the prosecutor had "dodged the question," after considering it for three years.

"For the past three years, the prosecutor has been considering the question of whether the Paleostinian Authority is a "state" that comes under the jurisdiction of the ICC and whether the ICC can investigate crimes committed during the 2008-9 conflict in Gazoo and southern Israel," said Marek Marczynski, head of Amnesia Amnesty International's International Justice campaign.

"Now, despite Amnesia Amnesty International's calls and a very clear requirement in the ICC's statute that the judges should decide on such matters, the Prosecutor has erroneously dodged the question, passing it to other political bodies," he added.

Most of the 1,400 Paleostinians killed in Operation Cast Lead were civilians.

According to UN figures, Israel's military destroyed over 3,500 residential homes and made 20,000 people homeless during the 22-day assault.

A UN fact-finding mission tasked with investigating allegations of war crimes found that Israel committed "grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention in respect of willful killings and willfully causing great suffering to protected persons."
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [202 views] Top||


Europe
Arrested French Islamists 'planned kidnappings'
Gay Paree - Some of the 16 suspected Islamic Islamic fascisti jugged in La Belle France allegedly planned to kidnap a Jewish magistrate and other people, a source close to the investigation said on Tuesday.

"It looks like some of them planned to carry out kidnappings including that of a magistrate who has a Jewish-sounding name," the source said.

Another source confirmed that a Jewish magistrate from Lyon in central La Belle France was to be targeted.

The head of La Belle France's Central Directorate for Domestic Intelligence (DCRI), Bernard Squarcini, said on Saturday that those placed in durance vile the previous day were Frenchies involved in "collective war-like training, linked to a violent, religious indoctrination".

Some of those placed in durance vile belonged to a suspected orc group called Forsane Alizza, he said, and had been involved in paintball gun games.

Forsane Alizza chief Mohamed Achamlane was on Monday transferred to Gay Paree where he was to appear before anti-terror magistrates who already extended the custody of 15 other suspected Islamists placed in durance vile on Friday.

French anti-terrorism legislation allows for suspects to be held for four days, or until Tuesday.

Three of the 19 people placed in durance vile on Friday have already been released, and those still in jug could be charged later on Tuesday. Gay Paree prosecutor Francois Molins was to hold a presser at about midday on Tuesday.

The alleged Islamic fascisti were netted in anti-terrorist swoops in different French cities a week after self-confessed al-Qaeda bad boy Mohamed Merah was rubbed out following his killing spree in which he killed seven people.

The French opposition has criticised the presence of television news cameras during the arrests as the images could be seen to bolster the chances of right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy's
...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit...
re-election later this month.
Does anybody think the Socialist candidate would have done anything more than hold a beer summit, had he been in charge when the Toulouse jihadi ran amok?

This article starring:
Forsane Alizza
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top||

#1  "a...Jewish-sounding...name..."?

Like Abraham Lincoln?

Posted by: Gabby Cussworth || 04/04/2012 20:06 Comments || Top||


Israel-Palestine-Jordan
Report: Cabinet Hears 300 Would Die In Iran Strike
Security cabinet briefed on worst-case scenario in potential war with Iran, Channel 10 reports.
Ah, the Jerusalem Post, the Guardian of Israel...
In the event of an Iranian attack on Israel, less than 300 people would be killed during three weeks of non-stop fighting on multiple fronts, according to estimates delivered to the security cabinet in a briefing, Channel 10 reported on Monday.

According to the estimates, described as a worst-case scenario, thousands of missiles would be launched toward Israel from Leb, Syria and Gazoo as part of the Iranian attack. The scenario took into account Israel's defenses as of 2012, with the Iron Dome rocket-defense system not yet at its full deployment.

Missiles would also be launched at Israel from Iran, according to defense experts briefing the ministers, however, they added, Tehran's conventional missile capabilities are limited.

The estimates echoed comments Defense Minister Ehud Barak made last year about a potential war with Iran. Jerusalem does not want war, he said in an interview with Israel Radio in November, but even if it is drawn into a war against its will, fears of mass casualties are unfounded. "There's no chance in such a situation for 500,000 killed, not 5,000 or even 500 killed."

Despite Barak's assurances of relatively low casualties in a war with Iran, Kadima MK Ze'ev Bielski warned in February that Israel's civil defenses are not ready to protect the population in a missile war.

Almost one in four Israelis lack access to bomb shelters, whether communal or reinforced rooms in private homes, Bielski, chairman of a parliamentary panel on┬  home defense preparations stated.

"Are we prepared for a war? No," he said. "Things are moving too slowly and we are wasting very precious time."

Such shelters could be vital if Israel were to attack Iran's nuclear facilities and Tehran struck back, either directly or through its allies on Israel's borders.

Israel says 100,000 rockets and missiles are pointed at it, many of these held by Syria, Leb's Hezbullies and Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,, although they may decide to sit out any war between Israel and Iran.

The Civil Defense Ministry, which was set up after Israel suffered thousands of rocket strikes in the 2006 Leb war, confirmed Bielski's data while seeking to play down his alarm.

"Our position remains that if everyone does what they are expected to do during an emergency, the situation will be tenable," one ministry official said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top||

#1  Whoa - THERMOPYLAE is in IRAN???

Who knew?

Actually, as per NOSTRADAMUS + GUAM TAOTAMONAS + TEXAS-SIZED ASTEROIDS, its indirectly quite appropriate.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/04/2012 0:22 Comments || Top||

#2  BS. The IDF lost 29 Mareva tanks to IEDs. After 2006, an infantry response is not in the plans. If an attack on Iran didn't lead to immediate regime change, "Hezblebanon" (the south) would be carpet bombed. Escalation to non-conventional means would be inevitable. Some of us would like islamist Iran and saudi arabia to be nothing but bad memories. Mecca, Medina, Qom? Yep.
Posted by: Black Charlie Mussolini6055 || 04/04/2012 4:03 Comments || Top||

#3  I'll give em a thermal pile.
Posted by: crosspatch || 04/04/2012 16:40 Comments || Top||

#4  ┬ BS. The IDF lost 29 Mareva tanks to IEDs. After 2006, an infantry response is not in the plans

I think the discussion was around civilian deaths rather than military, Black Charlie Mussolini6055. Not being privy to the details, I have no idea how Iron Dome is going to handle the claimed 100,000 missiles and rockets currentky aimed at Israel from Iran,s dependents Syris, Hizb'allah-land/Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip....although I think it was last year when they showed the UN the satellite photo of Hiszb'allah territory with the launch sites marked,
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/04/2012 19:18 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2012-04-04
  Yemeni airstrikes kill 43 al-Qaida militants
Tue 2012-04-03
  Oil Pipeline Blown Up In Southeast Yemen, Flows Halted
Mon 2012-04-02
  Twin explosions rocked Mombasa Saturday
Sun 2012-04-01
  Paris: Scientist accused of plotting to blow up 'city size of London'
Sat 2012-03-31
  Us Drone Strike Kills Four In Miranshah
Fri 2012-03-30
  France nabs at least 17 Islamists in raids across the country
Thu 2012-03-29
  Gunmen kidnap Saudi diplomat in Yemen
Wed 2012-03-28
  Syrian Troops Kill 57 amid Clashes near Lebanese Border
Tue 2012-03-27
  Terror plot uncovered when 11 suicide vests found at Afghan military HQ
Mon 2012-03-26
  Toulouse killings: Mohamed Merah brother charged
Sun 2012-03-25
  Syrian Rebel Chiefs Form Military Council to Unify Ranks
Sat 2012-03-24
  At Least 26 Dead as Tens of Thousands Rally in Syria
Fri 2012-03-23
  German court gives online terror recruiter five year sentence
Thu 2012-03-22
  Gunman dead as French siege ends
Wed 2012-03-21
  French police in standoff with Jewish school killing suspect

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