[Tolo News] The Taliban lashed out at suggestions they are behind the rash of recent school poisonings in Afghanistan, as officials reported the fourth such incident in as many weeks.
At least 40 school girls from Bibi Hajera school in the northern Takhar province's capital city Taluqan were poisoned and hospitalised on Sunday, local officials said.
The all-female school already had a poisoning last week which saw as many as 100 schoolgirls hospitalised.
The Taliban released a statement Sunday rejecting allegations that they were responsible for the incidents, saying it was the work of pro-Westerners and enemies of Islam in the country.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid blamed Afghan media for tying the cases to them and said that the Americans together with their Afghan colleagues have started media propaganda against them.
"Our aim is clear - our purpose is to fight the invaders and their fellow Afghan supporters. The comments made by these stooges and the pro-invader media are baseless and not true," he said.
The statement carried a warning that the Taliban - which calls itself the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan - will punish anyone found poisoning students.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns these actions and if anyone committing such actions is captured by Taliban, they will be severely punished."
On May 9, local officials in northern Balkh province told TOLOnews that as many as 100 schoolgirls and eight school teachers were taken to hospital after a suspected poisoning of the school's water source.
While in mid April, as many as 150 schoolgirls, also in Takhar, fell ill from a suspected water-source contamination at their school.
Deputy Minister of Education Asef Nang told TOLOnews on Thursday that the Afghan government had not blamed the cases on anyone. "We can't specifically pin this on either the Taliban or Hezb-e-Islami unless they claim the responsibility, but I say it's the job of the enemies of Afghanistan and education," he said.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Hardline Islamists, who have been running rampage in Tunisian towns, torching cop shoppes and attacking bars, have sparked an outcry against the authorities for their lax attitude in stemming the violence.
The ultra-conservative Salafists ...Salafists are ostentatiously devout Moslems who figure the ostentation of their piety gives them the right to tell others how to do it and to kill those who don't listen to them... , some armed with clubs and swords, have been intensifying their attacks in the last 10 days, even burning down shops of alcohol vendors who refuse to close.
On Sunday, the interior ministry said it had tossed in the calaboose You have the right to remain silent... about 15 people who torched cop shoppes and attacked bars in the northwestern towns of Jendouba and Ghardimaou a day ago.
The TAP news agency said national army units had been deployed after the violence to protect public buildings.
"The law will be applied. These incidents are dangerous and will be dealt with in the appropriate manner," secretary of state for the interior Said Mechichi told TAP.
Last week Tunisia's Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri threatened to punish those who use violence to impose their views on others after Salafists forced a number of bars to close.
But the violence has sparked criticism against the Islamist authorities elected after the revolution that toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, with complaints they have done too little to stop the Salafists.
"Will the government be disarmed by the Salafists?" asked Le Temps, pointing to the "yawning gap between the speeches and the actions."
Another newspaper, La Presse, headlined its Sunday edition "the state challenged", referring to the "laxness of the authorities."
More moderate Tunisians have also voiced deep concern over the rising power of the Salafists. "Violent groups which are outside the law propagate terror," said the head of the Tunisian League of Human Rights, Abdessatar Ben Moussa.
They "physically and morally attack women, intellectuals, journalists, designers, unionists, politicians as well as human rights ...which often include carefully measured allowances of freedom at the convenience of the state... activists," he said.
Tourism Minister Elies Fakhfakh meanwhile warned last week of the "wrong and aggressive image" generated by the Salafists. Salafism as an organised political movement emerged in Tunisia in the late 1980s.
But with just over 10,000 followers, the Islamists remain a minority in the north African state of over 10 million inhabitants. Only a few thousand showed up for their annual meeting last Sunday.
However, it's easy to be generous with someone else's money... their ability to wreak havoc, as well as the jihadist past of some of their leaders, are sources of concern.
Among them is Seif Allah Ben Hassine, who fought in Afghanistan and was in 2002 added to a UN list of people linked to Al-Qaeda.
Sentenced to over 60 years in prison by the Ben Ali regime, the man who also goes by the alias Abu Yiadh has benefited from amnesty after the revolution that toppled the former president.
[Al Ahram] Cairo's criminal court has sentenced ousted President Hosni Mubarak's ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... former chief of staff to 7 years in jail on corruption charges.
Zakaria Azmy was fined LE36.5 million ($6.05m) after being found guilty of making illicit profits of some LE44 million, Ahram's Arabic-language portal said on Sunday.
A pivotal figure in Mubarak's inner circle, Azmy was jugged You have the right to remain silent... in April 2011 on charges of abusing his political power to accumulate profits.
The court imposed the same fine on Azmy's wife, Bahia Halawa, found guilty on the same charges. His brother-in-law, Gamal Halawa, was sentenced in absentia to a year in prison.
[Al Ahram] Tens of thousands of Moroccans erupted into the streets of Casablanca on Sunday in the largest opposition protest since an Islamist-led government took office in January. The protest was organised by trade unions which accuse Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane of failing to deliver on the pledges of social justice that brought his party to power in the wake of the Arab Spring.
[VOA News] BAMAKO - Tuareg rebels and Islamist cut-throats have joined forces in northern Mali and say they will create an independent Islamist state. The groups took advantage of a military coup in Bamako to seize control of the territory in early April. Did I miss something? I thought the coup was in response to the turbans taking control of Timbuktoo and installing a member of AQIM as governor?
Resistance is growing in the north to the efforts to introduce Islamic law. Islamic law sez that if you resist they have to chop your head off, so I doubt much will come of it...
In the northern Malian town of Gao, court is in session. Commissioner Abdoulaye Maiga begins by reading from the Koran in the roadside courtyard outside the former cop shoppe. Once an area businessman, Maiga is a member of the jihad boy Islamist sect Ansar Dine that residents say dominates the town. This morning, Maiga hears the case of a man accused of letting his animals graze in his neighbors' fields. The accused confesses, says he has settled previous infractions by bribing authorities. This time, he promises to compensate his neighbors for damages to their crops. The deal is accepted.
The commissioner hears other cases, including those of two men, one accused of adultery and the other of drunkenness. No witnesses were called. A VOA news hound watched as the sentences, 80 lashes each, were carried out on the spot.
Gao is one of three northern strongholds that fell to Tuareg separatists and Islamist cut-throats during the chaos that followed a March 22 military coup in Bamako. The two groups joined forces in late May and say they will create an independent Islamic state in what is now nearly two-thirds of Mali's national territory. Ansar Dine is already imposing its brand of Islamic law in the north.
A jihad boy who identified himself as Ibrahim says they do not force anyone to practice Islam. He says it is Allah that has ordered Islam be practiced and that cannot be done without Sharia and an army to defend it.
Although Islam has long been practiced in the north, residents of Gao are finding the hardline approach tough to accept. Women must be veiled in public. Persons of opposite sexes cannot walk together or touch in public. Militants have closed the city's once lively bars and nightclubs.
Violent protests erupted in Gao in mid-May, as frustrated youth tore down jihad boys' flags and marched on the groups' separate headquarters. Youth leader Idrissa Seydou Toure says they grabbed rocks and hunks of wood and marched. He says the occupiers are squeezing them tighter and tighter. He says now they cannot even have any fun. They cannot watch TV or listen to music in the street like before. He says the south has abandoned them and it is up to northerners to push out the occupiers.
Ansar Dine has ties to al-Qaeda's North Africa franchise, al-Qaeda of the Islamic Magreb, known as AQIM, whose cut-throats and leaders have been spotted in Gao and other towns since the occupation.
In Gao, Ansar Dine is trying to win over the population. Militants have given out their phone numbers and come to the aid of residents against attacks by bandidos and other gangs.
Ansar Dine has posted guards outside the reopened hospital in Gao. Midwife Zemila Isiyaku says they work in difficult conditions, but the people need them. Everyday, she says, they hear gunshots. She says it is thanks to Ansar Dine that they are able to work, it keeps them safe.
International human-rights groups say Ansar Dine's crackdown in the north has included summary executions and amputations. In Gao, town leaders formed an elders' committee to serve as intermediary between the population and occupying forces. Committee member and teacher Mohammed Ikeratane says they have reached a certain level of stability by taking up problems with jihad boy leaders. But he says daily conditions are difficult. He says the town water pump is not working properly. He also says they only have electricity for five hours a day, and there is not enough gas for the generator.
The United Nations ...boodling on the grand scale... says more than 200,000 Malians have fled the north this year.
In mid-May, Ansar Dine escorted the first convoy of humanitarian aid to reach the occupied territory. The cut-throats manned machine guns mounted on pickup trucks. The sect's black flag flapped in the wind as the convoy rolled north. "Embark on jihad for the sake of God," one jihad boy said in Arabic.
Ansar Dine set the following conditions: all aid must come from Malian Mohammedans and no international products or agencies are allowed.
Mali's High Islamic Council organized the convoy. The High Islamic Council's regional secretary in Gao, Ibrahim Ag Mohamed, says aid is reassuring, but the real problem of insecurity remains. West African bloc ECOWAS has offered to deploy regional peacekeepers to Mali. The nation's military, unable to halt the rebellion in the north earlier this year, is in shambles following the coup. Analysts say the situation in the north is unlikely to change in the near future.
A jihad boy who identified himself as Ibrahim says they do not force anyone to practice Islam. He says it is Allah that has ordered Islam be practiced and that cannot be done without Sharia and an army to defend it
It wasn't us, it's Allan that's beheading you
Posted by: Frank G ||
[Yemen Post] Yemen President Abdurabu Mansour Hadi ...the second and possibly the last president of Yemen, successor to former President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh... said that there are obstacles in the way of the transitional process based on the GCC-brokered accord which was signed in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. However, women are made to be loved, not understood... Hadi did not mention who is responsible for these obstacles, the official Saba news agency reported on Sunday.
His comments came in his meeting with the German ambassador to Sana'a Hollinger Green.
Hadi showed his determination and resolve to go on with the GCC-deal until it's completely implemented in the reality.
Hadi reviewed with Green the ongoing developments in the process of implementing the power transfer deal and its timed mechanism, and how to translate the terms of the deal into the ground.
They also discussed the German's and the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... 's efforts to help Yemen achieve a successful transition.
[Bangla Daily Star] BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman ...the elder son of former President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman Bir Uttam, and Khaleda Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh. He is the Senior Vice Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). His nickname is Pino. There are allegations that Pino took a rakeoff from every foreign investment into the country while Mom was in office... assured HuJI Founded in 1984 by Fazlur Rehman Khalil and Qari Saifullah Aktar. The Bangla branch was established in 1992 with assistance from Osama bin Laden. Recruits come mostly from Deobandi madrassahs. HuJI and Fazlur Rehman Khalil are signators of bin Laden's declaration of war on the west. chief Mufti Abdul Hannan and his associates that he would arrange a safe passage out of the scene once they carried out the grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004, a witness told a Dhaka court yesterday.
Abu Hena Md Yusuf, inspector of Criminal Investigation Department, said this in his deposition to the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 as a prosecution witness in the August 21 grenade attack cases.
He claimed that Hannan, while on remand in Ramna Batamul blast cases, told him about Tarique's assurance.
After recording Abu Hena's deposition, Judge Shahed Nuruddin fixed June 3 for the next hearing. Defence lawyers will cross-examine the witness on that day.
Twenty-four AL leaders and workers, including Ivy Rahman, were killed and 300 others were maimed in the grenade attack on the AL rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the capital on August 21, 2004.
The attack was aimed at assassinating AL President Sheikh Hasina ...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide... , then leader of the opposition. Hasina narrowly escaped death.
Two cases -- one under the explosive substances act and the other for murder -- were filed after the incident.
Abu Hena told the court that he had earlier investigated the Ramna Batamul blast cases and submitted charge sheets against HuJI chief Hannan and 13 others on November 29, 2008.
During investigation of the Ramna Batamul blast cases in 2005, Abu Hena interrogated Hannan about the grenade and kabooms that took place at different places in the country.
Hannan admitted that he along with his accomplices in 2000 had planted a 76-kg bomb at Kotalipara where Hasina was to address a rally.
They also carried out attacks on Hazrat Shahjalal's shrine in Sylhet, the then Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Badaruddin Kamran, AL leader Suranjit Sengupta and former British High Commissioner Anwar Hossain Choudhury.
The HuJI chief told the CID official that he along with Moulana Tajuddin, brother of former deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu, held a meeting at Pintu's Dhanmondi residence to plot the August 21 grenade attack.
Hannan told his accomplices that during a meeting at Hawa Bhaban, Tarique assured him that all the attackers would be provided safe passage out of the scene after the attack, and that Tarique communicated the matter to the then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar.
On assurance from Tarique, elder son of the then prime minister Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... , Hannan collected grenades from Tajuddin and gave those to his accomplices to stage the attack.
The CID official recorded Hannan's statements in writing during the investigation.
Abu Hena submitted the written statement to his superiors -- the then additional Inspector General of Police Khoda Baksh Chowdhury, CID Special Superintendent of Police Ruhul Amin and ASP Munshi Atiqur Rahman.
He also told them that Hannan would make a confessional statement before a Dhaka court.
The high-ups got upset with the CID official, as he included information on the August 21 grenade attack in his written statement. They directed him to drop the information and record a confessional statement only on the Ramna blasts.
The CID official complied with the instructions of his superiors.
Hannan later made a confessional statement to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court but he did not mention anything about the August 21 grenade attack, Hena said.
Of the 52 accused in the grenade attack cases, Babar, 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... Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and 24 others, who are now in jug, were produced before the court yesterday.
Seven other accused, including former Dhaka City Corporation ward councillor Ariful Islam Arif, now out on bail, were present at the court.
Tarique and 18 other accused have been shown absconding in the cases.
The CID on July 3, 2011, included Abu Hena as a prosecution witness in the charge sheets of the cases since he was present at the AL rally during the grenade attack.
Jewish community leaders condemn question for 'justifying' anti-semitism in schools
Education Secretary Michael Gove brands question 'bizarre' and 'insensitive'
One former examiner defends question as 'legitimate'
Britannia's leading examining board has been accused of 'justifying' antisemitism in schools after GCSE pupils were asked in an exam to explain 'why some people are prejudiced against Jews'.
More than a thousand religious studies students sat the test last Thursday, which was set by one of the three major English exam boards, AQA.
The bizarre question has sparked fury among teachers, parents, ministers and members of the Jewish community who have blamed the body for 'justifying' anti-semitism in schools.
The question has caused such outrage that it has been carried to the very top of Government.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: 'To suggest that anti-semitism can ever be explained, rather than condemned, is insensitive and, frankly, bizarre. AQA needs to explain how and why this question was included in an exam paper.'
He said that it was 'the duty of politicians to fight prejudice, and with antisemitism on the rise we need to be especially vigilant'.
However, if you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning... one examiner leapt to the board's defence, saying it was a 'legitimate' question that pupils needed to be asked.
Educator Clive Lawton, formerly an A-level chief examiner for religious studies for another board, said: 'I do understand why people might react negatively to the question, but it is a legitimate one.
'Part of the syllabus is that children must study the causes and origins of prejudice against Jews.'
A spokesperson for AQA said that the question was part of a paper focusing on Judaism and the 'relevant part of the syllabus covers prejudice and discrimination with reference to race, religion and the Jewish experience of persecution.
'We would expect [students to refer] to the Holocaust to illustrate prejudice based on irrational fear, ignorance and scapegoating.'
She added: 'The board is obviously concerned that this question may have caused offence, as this was absolutely not our intention'.
'[The question] acknowledges that some people hold prejudices; it does not imply in any way that prejudice is justified'.
Ofqual, which regulates exams, said that it was in discussion with AQA: 'We will take appropriate follow-up action if necessary.'
Approximately six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in the build up to and during the Second World War.
The US Department of State annual Human Rights report for 2011 on Mexico criticizes Mexican security forces for human right abuses in several areas, but also points out improvements made by those forces regarding human rights, according to the reported published on the agency's website late last week. Did the report mention the terrible human rights abuses committed by the drug cartels? No? Didn't think so...
The report refers to three high profile deaths at the hand of Mexican security forces, one of which occurred this year in Veracruz state, where Joaquin Figueroa Vasquez was killed in a high speed pursuit. The Mexican government said that Figueroa Vasquez was a drug trafficking suspect who was killed in the course of events, while the victim's family and their human rights activists said he was executed.
The second case, the April 2010 deaths of two children ages five and nine in Nuevo Leon, remains under investigation. The Mexican Comision Nacional Derecha Humanos (CNDH) or human rights commission claims the children were killed by army troops, while the Secretaria de Defensa Nacional (SEDENA), the controlling agency for the Mexican Army, maintains they were killed by grenade shrapnel from drug cartel operatives. The last case, involving Monterrey university students killed by Mexican Army troops, also remains unresolved.
The report does make mention of security forces' positive activities in the realm of human rights. SEDENA reported that since 2006, 16 soldiers have been convicted of human rights crimes, while 168 soldiers were under active investigation and another 65 were undergoing military trials for their alleged crimes.
According to the report, the CNDH provided human rights training to 30,108 military personnel during the year. Additionally, SEDENA reported that during the year 207,829 soldiers participated in courses dedicated to human rights.
A bit of an error took place in compiling the document. The report refers to an order issued by Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa in December, 2010 for SEDENA to write down rules on the use of force in the conduct their duties in the drug war.
SEDENA compiled those rules and published them just last month. You can read the Rantburg report on those newly published guidelines in the next story below, entitled: SEDENA outlines Mexican Army use of force guidelines
Another concern in the report was how the Mexican Army treats its detainees. In the section concerning detentions, SEDENA was accused of needlessly detaining suspects for too long without the involvement of federal or state authorities.
How this represents a problem in the report is unclear. SEDENA apparently does send out patrols and those patrol sometimes encounter armed suspects with connections to the drug cartels. The issue in the report appears to be delay between detentions or shootings, and the subsequent and legally required reporting of the incident to the Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) or attorney general, but it may be a tacit criticism of how army patrols are ordered and executed which lead to those encounters.
Another problem detailed in the report is the Mexican legal system's use of a process colloquially known as "rooting", or arraignment. Under the process a suspect can be detained incommunicado without charge or trial for up to 80 days with the approval of a judge. In practice, in fighting drug cartels prosecutors generally request 40 days to investigate a criminal. Rooting requests are for suspects who represent an extreme danger of more violence and when detention is the only way to prevent outside influences being involved in the investigation.
The rooting is a tool which helps prosecutors investigate serious crimes. For example, it was used in the case of the multiple murder perpetrated by prison inmates in Durango's Centro Readaptacion Social Number 2 (CERESO), where prison administrators as well as guards commissioned hits against Los Zetas facilities such as bars in the La Laguna region of Mexico in the summer of 2010.
The issue in the report is that rooting invites torture. While the anecdotal evidence suggests that torture may have occurred in some cases, the practice of torture while in preventative detention does not appear to be widespread..
Perhaps one of the most startling sections in the report was the reference to the case of disgraced Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) president Humberto Moreira Valdes, who suffered weeks of negative press last year because of the huge run-up of Coahuila state public debt and the subsequent crimes committed to hide the debt and steal the proceeds. That sorry case has taken down at least 12 former Coahuila state officials, but oddly not Moreira, who presided over the debt run-up as governor of Coahuila.
According to the report of Mexican Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico de Mexico or Finance Ministry filed a criminal charge against the state for failing to properly disclose the tremendous amount of debt, the highest per capita in Mexico. The matter is still under investigation.
It is a pretty good bet that if PRI wins in July, that investigation will quietly go away.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
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One of the reasons I missed this is because of the Article 41 clamp on Mexican government propaganda during the run-up to national elections.
By Chris Covert
The Mexican Secretaria de Defensa Nacional, the controlling agency for the Mexican Army and Mexican Air Force last month released guidelines governing the use of forces in its counternarcotics operations, according to data posted on the Mexican government's Diario de Federacion website.
The new guidelines are the completion of an order of Mexican President Felipe Calderon Hinjosa December, 2010 who ordered SEDENA to come up with written rules on the use of force in dealing with drug crime in Mexico.
The preamble of the entry states without equivocation, that the use of force guidelines are under the rubric of control by civilian authorities, presumably also local civilian authorities, and the Firearms and Explosives Act.
That federal law proscribes weapons of any kind outside an individual's domicile, and expressly forbids use of modern rifles such as the AR-15 and the AK-47, or weapons with a bore larger than .22 caliber, except for shotguns.
How much of a change in the relationship of the armed forces with civilian authorities the entry represents is unknown, in that the relationship is simply not talked about. From reading press reports and official reports in the past by SEDENA and the Secretaria de Marina (SEMAR) or Mexican Navy, which controls Mexican Naval Infantry, armed contact involving the nation's armed forces are supposed to be under civilian control. Human rights groups have publicly complained in the past that this relationship is not always in force, that military authorities have control of their forces, and of their mission as well.
The divergent view, however, probably comes from a deeply ingrained lack of understanding by human rights professionals of the general laws of war that military commanders train under, wherein a field commander is obligated to first command. It is therefore not surprising that when Mexican Army troops are sent out on patrol, and not necessarily responding the a civilian complaint or prior intelligence, field commanders' rules are in effect and civilian authority does not enter into army patrol operations unless an incident occurs.
The guidelines defines three increasingly hostile levels of observed behavior for criminal suspects along with differing conduct expected from soldiers and airmen in the conduct of their duties.
The observed behavior includes
Resistencia no Agresiva or nonaggressive resistance. According to the entry, Resistencia no Agresiva means passive, or non-violent resistance to authorities and their directives, which means ignoring, disregarding or attempting to flee authorities without attempting to exchange gunfire, or any other violent act.
Resistencia Agresiva or aggressive resistance. This means an individual who poses a threat of damage to persons or property either under the control of the individual or of another individual, or the threat of serious injury and death, but which does not involve serious threat of death or injury against established authorities.
Resistencia Agresiva Grave or grave aggressive resistance means the same as Resistencia Agresiva, except the threat of serious injury or death is posed to authorities by a suspect. That authority includes Mexico's armed forces.
The guidelines go on to define use of force as "strictly unavoidable or necessary for the fulfilment of the mission as assigned, in support of civil authorities under the Federal Firearms and Explosives," according to a translation of the entry. Use of force by military personnel, under the new guidelines, must be timely, proportional, rational and legal.
According to the entry, proportional use of force must be scaled in intensity and duration under the defined threat levels.
Under broad guidelines outlined in Article Seven, the directive defines five instances which may trigger use of force:
Fulfill a duty to act in support of civil authorities or the application of the Federal Firearms and Explosives Act.
Counteract all levels of resistance.
Prevent imminent or actual commission of crime.
Legally protect from aggression.
Legitimate or self defense.
Article Nine of the directive goes on to define four levels of use of force, including
Deterrence, which means the physical, visible presence of army units.
Persuasion, which means verbal warnings to desist from criminal conduct.
Use of non-lethal force: used to control a person or persons in cases of aggressive or nonaggressive resistance.
Lethal use of force: used only in cases of grave or aggressive resistance in which the offender threatens military personnel with a firearm or other life threatening object.
The directive adds that deterrence and persuasion are preferred means of use of forces over the other two, also adding that life-threatening circumstances for army personnel and for civilians are a legitimate means in escalating use of force.
Not surprisingly, the directive has been mischaracterized as guidelines which makes a very clear echelon of responses, which the guidelines do not.
A news story by the far left La Jornada said last month in its report on the new directive, the report ordered Mexican Army personnel that use of force is required only when all other means have failed. But in fact the report does not say that at all.
The report itself makes very clear that the number one priority in considering the use of force is support of civilian law enforcement and the mission.
The directive itself says, "Fulfill a duty to act in support of civil authorities or the application of the Federal Firearms and Explosives Act."
Under those conditions, when forces observe a suspect with a weapon, it is unlikely detail commanders beyond indicating their very presence will order anything other than to open fire on those individuals who are armed.
However, one specific instance in which use of lethal use of force is proscribed is firing into civilian vehicles. Several instances of that act have resulted in the deaths of civilians. One involved a passenger bus which had run an army checkpoint. Another involved a road pursuit and an attempt by the army detail commander to end the pursuit by shooting out the vehicles tires, which ended tragically.
The translation reads: [Soldiers] will not trigger firearms against persons when they try to evade, flee or to escape, unless they make serious aggressive acts of resistance, or the order to stop or prevent their escape, if they resist authority and represent an imminent danger death or serious injury, and less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives.
The translation goes on: Only if the driver of a vehicle or crew of a vessel does not obey the indication to stop running or navigation, and this action involves a real and imminent threat that will cause grave harm, is use of force as provided in this Directive authorized.
Under those rules, a suspect either firing a weapon, or showing a weapon would be sufficient reason to open fire on a civilian vehicle.
One example is of a bus running an army checkpoint in Guerrero state in 2009. Versions of the shooting diverge. Human rights activists have said the victim, Bonfilio Rubio Villegas, was shot as he slept in the back of a bus that had just left a military checkpoint following a heated exchange between the driver and the checkpoint commander. The victim had been noted, according to human rights activists, by the site commander because he was wearing military boots, which is an indicator the suspect was involved with drug running or with radical armed groups which still operate in Guerrero.
SEDENA's version is that the bus attempted to flee the checkpoint and soldiers opened fired on the vehicle. Although as many as 40 other individuals were aboard the bus at the time, only Rubio Villegas was killed. Soldiers also found several packages of marijuana near where Rubio Villegas was killed. Human rights activists say the drugs were planted there to justify the shooting, a charge which SEDENA obviously denies.
Under the new rules, a passenger bus attempting to flee would not come under gunfire, but would pursued and ordered to a halt. If sufficient warning was disregarded and the detail or site commander determined the situation was at risk for further harm, soldiers would be ordered to open fire.
As matters stand, even though it was not strictly against the law to open fire on the bus, the order to fire on a passenger bus was questionable. The new rules will temper those orders for subsequent similar incidents. The good news for soldiers in the field is that the new rules will probably not further endanger them if their targets return fire.
The second incident took place in 2010 in Nuevo Leon. In that incident, a Mexican Army road patrol attempted pursuit of a family in a sedan speeding along a highway near Monterrey, refusing to halt after being signalled by the detail commander. In that incident, the detail commander ordered to driver to maneuver his truck to an angle where the commander could get a shot of the vehicle's tires.
When the commander opened fire on the vehicle, so did four other riflemen, killing two and wounding four others. The site commander subsequently attempted to falsify his report, claiming that the vehicle had run a military checkpoint, a fact which this writer originally reported.
Under the new rules, the detail commander has to make the call whether attempting to disable the vehicle by gunfire is a sufficient means of ending the pursuit. In this instance, opening fire on a vehicle in which no gunfire has originated, nor where any weapons were observed, would be a bad shoot and subject the commander and anyone else who fires on the vehicle to murder charges.
The final part of the directive deals with what commanders are expected to do in the event of a shooting. The orders are what commanders are under whenever they encounter violent suspects in the field. They must secure the scene and any evidence for civilian authorities as well as military prosecutors. The last item specifically says that military prosecutors, in the event they determine a bad shooting, must denounce the suspects to a competent authority. That final requirement fulfills a long standing demand that shootings involving civilians must be prosecuted by civilian authorities, even if they involve military personnel.
That may also change, if Mexican legislators change the Mexican Code of Military Justice, which would make murder one of the crimes against civilians solely prosecutable by military prosecutors.
Chris Covert writes Mexican Drug War and national political news for Rantburg.com
Has to be a disinformation exercise. Cover for a real source? Or turning on the light to see where the roaches run?
US and South Korean special forces have been parachuting into North Korea to gather intelligence about underground military installations, a US officer has said in comments carried in US media.
Army Brigadier General Neil Tolley, commander of US special forces in South Korea, told a conference held in Florida last week that Pyongyang had built thousands of tunnels since the Korean war, The Diplomat reported.
"The entire tunnel infrastructure is hidden from our satellites," Tolley said, according to The Diplomat, a current affairs magazine. "So we send (South Korean) soldiers and US soldiers to the North to do special reconnaissance."
"After 50 years, we still don't know much about the capability and full extent" of the underground facilities," he said, in comments reported by the National Defense Industrial Association's magazine on its website.
Tolley said the commandos were sent in with minimal equipment to facilitate their movements and minimize the risk of detection by North Korean forces.
I once had a cousin who was nearly full-blooded native American. After he joined the Army (decades ago), he somehow learned to speak fluent Korean. He did mention parachuting out of a C-47 during his service, but it was on fire. He was a bit on the tall side for his time. Another cousin's wife, this one 100% Korean, said he could have passed.
Thirty officials of the North Korean regime who were involved in talks with South Korea have been executed or died in "staged traffic accidents," according to a human rights report.
This isn't the Nork version of 'Operation Lemony Snickett', but the outcome is much the same...
In its annual study, Amnesty International claimed that in addition to the 30 who died in purges last year, a further 200 were rounded up in January this year by the State Security Agency as Pyongyang carried out the transfer of power from Kim Jong-il, who died of an apparent heart attack in December, and his 29-year-old son, Suet Face Kim Jong-un.
Of those 200, Amnesty said, some were apparently executed and the remainder were sent to political prison camps. The 30 men executed for failing to improve Pyongyang's ties with Seoul are considered scapegoats for the new low point in inter-Korean ties. Their task would have been made immeasurably more difficult given North Korea's insistence with pushing ahead with its development of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
North Korea has a habit of executing bureaucrats who are perceived to have failed the regime, even though they are often merely carrying out the orders of higher-ranking officials or members of the ruling family. In 2010, Pak Nam-gi, the former head of the finance department of the Workers' Party, was reportedly executed by firing squad for the catastrophic attempt to reform the impoverished nation's currency. The result was rampant inflation and food shortages became even more acute.
SEOUL -- North Korea's western coast region is experiencing severe drought that could seriously affect food production this year, a report by the communist country's state-run media said Saturday.
Fresh appeals from the usual do-gooder western agencies will begin shortly...
The (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), picked up in Seoul, said that if there is no rainfall by the end of the month, the drought will be recorded as the worst since 1962.
It said from April 26 onwards, the capital city of Pyongyang received 2 millimeters of rain, while 5 millimeters fell in Haeju of South Hwanghae Province. The KCNA added that Sinuiju, just across from the Chinese border city of Dandong, reported getting just 1 millimeter of rain in the past month.
The wire service said advanced weather forecasts indicate that little rainfall is expected in June, which can pose challenges for farmers in the region.
As per TOPIX, looks like the region's farmers are acknowledging the severe drought, but also aren't optimistic about their country getting food aid from the US-Allies in the wake of NOKOR's recent failed "space rocket" test???
SEOUL -- North Korea on Tuesday (May 21) ruled out an imminent nuclear weapon test, but vowed to expand and bolster its nuclear deterrence as well as its sovereign right to launch satellites, while slamming the Group of Eight nations' condemnation of its failed long-range rocket launch in April.
In a remark given to Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency, a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry said that the North didn't have a plan for a nuclear test from the beginning, because it sought to launch a scientific and technical satellite.
"From the beginning, we did not envisage such a military measure as a nuclear test as we planned to launch a scientific and technical satellite for peaceful purposes," said the official. "Several weeks ago, we informed the U.S. side of the fact that we are restraining ourselves in real actions though we are no longer bound to the February 29 DPRK-U.S. agreement, taking the concerns voiced by the U.S. into consideration for the purpose of ensuring the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula necessary for focusing every effort on the peaceful development."
There has been speculation that the communist country may carry out a nuclear test to try to compensate for last month's botched rocket launch. The North has a track record of carrying out a nuclear test following a long-range missile test. In 2006, the North conducted its first nuclear test, three months after the test-firing of its long-range Taepodong-2 rocket. The second nuclear test in 2009 came just one month after a long-range rocket launch.
The North Korean official went on to strongly hit back at a statement issued at a G8 summit in the U.S. last week. "Absolutely intolerable is G8's reckless political provocation to violate the sacred sovereignty of the DPRK (North Korea) steeped in the bad habit of supporting the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK in disregard of justice and truth. We will bravely frustrate all the obstructions of the hostile forces and continue legitimately exercising our sovereign right to launch satellites to meet the indispensable requirements for building an economic power," said the official.
"We had access to nuclear deterrence for self-defense because of the hostile policy of the U.S. to stifle the DPRK by force and we will expand and bolster it nonstop as long as this hostile policy goes on. If the U.S. persists in its moves to ratchet up sanctions and pressure upon us despite our peace-loving efforts, we will be left with no option but to take counter-measures for self-defense."
Posted by: Recneck Jim ||
No $$$ is quite possible, but IMO the greater reason is Jong-un + Pyongyang Boyz want to see the outcome between China + PHIL ala Scarborough Shoal - at last check, in the aftermath of the Sino-PHIL mutual fishing ban China has begun flooding the Shoal wid Fishing Boats + more armed Fishery Cutters, which has caused/led the PHIL to protest anew.
A US-CHINA-PHIL MIL CONFRONTATION IS STILL POSSIBLE - IMO Jong-un = NOKOR wants to see how China will act agz his country NOKOR in defense of its East Asia security.
TOPIX > CHINA CONFIRMS MORE SHIPS' DEPLOYED TO SHOAL.
* SAME > CHINA BLAMES PHILIPPINES FOR MORE SHIPS IN SOUTH CHINA SEA.
* SAME >PHILIPPINE GOVT: CHINESE SHIPS IN NAVAL STANDOFF OUTNUMBER US 100 TO 2.
* SAME > REPORT: CHINESE [Military] AIRSTRIP NEAR DISPUTED ISLANDS NEARLY COMPLETE. PLAAF can allegedly reach both Taiwan + South China Sea.
* REAL CLEAR POLITICS > CHINA'S EXPANDING "CORE" ["Core Interests"].
ARTIC = No longer just limited to TIBET + TAIWAN + XINJIANG only, but Beijing has now also expanded its definition to the Japanese Senkakus [ China = Daoyus/Daoyutai], + nearly all of South China Sea.
* SAME > CHINA'S POWER RISES IN STANDOFF WID PHILIPPINES.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > TAIWAN: DAOYUS ISLANDS BELONGS TO JAPAN | TAIWANESE PRESIDENT REAFFIRMS DAOYUS iSLANDS IS JAPANESE TERRITORY.
* DEFENCE FORUM INDIA > VIETNAMESE INTELLECTUALS BACK PHILIPPINES' PANATAG CLAIM.
* SAME > BUGTLAT: CLAIMS THAT US WILL AID PHILIPPINES [militarily intervene] AGZ CHINA JUST [Philippines'] FANTASY | RELIANCE ON PAST TREATY OBLIGATIONS WID US HAS NOT HELPED PHILIPPINES IMPROVE ITS MILITARY CAPABILITIES, + SHOULD BE EXPECTED TO HELP IN ENGAGING CHINA'S MILITARY.
* TOPIX > CHINA HAILS UN REJECTION OF JAPAN SEA CLAIMS, as per Okinotori Reef-Atoll = "continental shelf", which would epxand Japan's geographical area by nearly twice,, + allow Japan to claim up to 740,000 kms of UW Seafloor around Okinotori.
Up to 200,000 prisoners are being held "in horrific conditions" in six concentration camps in North Korea, Amnesty International said at a press conference in Seoul Thursday to publicize its annual report.
Almost certainly an under-estimate both in numbers and in the conditions...
The report said men, women and children are tortured, ill-treated, and forced to work in dangerous conditions in the camps. "The combination of hazardous forced labor, inadequate food, beatings, totally inadequate medical care and unhygienic living conditions, resulted in prisoners falling ill, and a large number died in custody or soon after release," it adds.
Amnesty made even gloomier forecasts for the human rights situation in the North after the transfer of power to new leader Fat Boy Kim Jong-un. "In apparent preparation for a succession of power, unconfirmed reports suggested that, in January, the State Security Agency detained over 200 officials, some of whom were feared executed, while others were sent to political prison camps," the report says.
"Thousands were imprisoned in at least 180 other detention facilities. Most were imprisoned without trial or following grossly unfair trials and on the basis of forced confessions."
According to the report, 30 officials who had led or participated in dialogue with South Korea were either executed or killed in masked traffic accidents, and 37 officials were executed between 2007 and 2010 on economy-related charges.
[Dawn] Jamaat Ulema-e-Islam ...Assembly of Islamic Clergy, or JUI, is a Pak Deobandi (Hanafi) political party. There are two main branches, one led by Maulana Fazlur Rahman, and one led by Maulana Samiul Haq. Fazl is active in Pak politix and Sami spends more time running his madrassah. Both branches sponsor branches of the Taliban, though with plausible deniability... (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Deobandi holy man, known as Mullah Diesel during the war against the Soviets, his sympathies for the Taliban have never been tempered by honesty ... said on Sunday that their party will not allow Pakistain's slavery to the United States. Kashmire and Afghanistan issues are denting the country, DawnNews reported.
The JUI-F chief said that Pakistain's military will have to distance itself from politics and governance of the country.
Addressing a public meeting in Kalat, Fazl said that Pakistain will have to cut down its defence budget.
He said 'In the illusion of a free society, our youth is being led towards moral degradation. But we will not allow Pakistain's submission towards the west, he added.
Reiterating the JUI-F's stance, he said "those in government will have to make sure that Sharia laws are followed in the country."
[Dawn] US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.... vowed Sunday not to let the United States be "gouged" by Pakistain on the price it charges for overland deliveries of American military supplies to Afghanistan.
Pakistain closed the land route to US supplies in November as punishment for a botched US air strike that mistakenly killed 24 Pak soldiers, but have been in negotiations to reopen the border crossing.
US defense officials have said the Paks are demanding several thousand dollars for every truck crossing its border with the supplies, up from $250 per truck before the closure.
"We're not about to get gouged in the price. We want a fair price," Panetta said on ABC's "This Week."Without the Pak supply lines, the United States has had to rely on a much longer, more expensive northern route to resupply its forces in Afghanistan.
"It is so difficult to understand and it's so disturbing that they would sentence this doctor to 33 years for helping in the search for the most notorious terrorist in our times," Panetta said.
Difficult for some possibly. A very effective strategy actually. The more attention the US places on the release of Dr. Afridi, the more likely it is the Pakistani masses (aka feckless little people who vote and sometimes riot), will divert their attention from their own Pakistani government's complicity in the Bid Laden affair. Obviously the money strapped Taliban who were not part of the original scheme, now want their cut...via the ISAF transport system. It's the way business is done in that part of the world.
Let's end the theater shall we? Source operations can be very difficult and comlex. US Intelligence paid for access and source reporting. They did not pay for source protection.
Next time, let's not use high profile medical professionals and Doctors with placement and access like Dr. Alfidi and MAJ Nidal Hasan as intelligence sources. A pattern is being developed and things can obviously go dreadfully wrong.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has decided not to appeal his conviction by the Supreme Court on contempt charges against the backdrop of National Assembly speaker's ruling that the conviction does not disqualify him as an MP and to become primer minister.
Gilani was found guilty by the Supreme Court last month over his refusal to ask Swiss authorities to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari. The court briefly -- but symbolically -- held the prime minister in the courtroom for his sentence, which ended as soon as the judges arose for the day after announcing the verdict.
Under the constitution, anyone convicted of defaming or ridiculing the judiciary is barred from being an MP. The speaker has to refer any disqualification process to the election commission.
Gilani weighed the risk of possible confirmation and an adverse ruling further elaborating the original verdict of 7-member bench on April 26 and instead preferred to go down in history as the first ever prime minister to be convicted.
"He may be a convicted premier but the speaker's ruling has determined that his conviction does not entail disqualification," prime minister's lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan told reporters in Lahore after filing a statement in the Supreme Court that the premier has opted not to content his conviction.
Ahsan told the advocate on record of the court that he 'can go home' as an appeal would not be filed. The decision was taken as the deadline for filing the plea was about to expire.
Later talking to reporters, Ahsan said the decision not to file an appeal was of political nature and taken by the premier and the PPP leadership who believe that the speaker's ruling is final, has closed any further disqualification proceeding in the Election Commission and that the ruling cannot be challenged.
Ahsan said: "The decision not to file the appeal (against conviction) has been taken after consultations by the party leadership."
Ahsan said that he had prepared the appeal and was ready to file it in the Supreme Court when Gilani called him late on Friday and told him not to do so after the speaker's ruling a day before.
"The prime minister has served his sentence, but he has not been disqualified," Ahsan said. Ahsan like many other leading jurists, however, said a writ petition can be filed in the high court against the speaker's ruling.
Eminent jurist and former law minister Senator S. M. Zafar said that Prime Minister Gilani had committed contempt and brought the judiciary under ridicule according to court's verdict and had apparently been advised that this judgment has least possibility of reversal in an intra-court appeal before a larger bench of the Supreme Court.
He said the speaker had misinterpreted her authority to overrule the court's unambiguous judgment that he had put it under ridicule which entails disqualification from becoming an MP or the prime minister. "He chose a safer course while continuing to cast doubts on whether the court's judgment means disqualifying him to hold the office,"
Another leading jurist Salman Raja who is also counsel for Gilani's son in the drug scam has expressed surprise that the prime minister did not file appeal and accept to live with the stigma of being a convicted person. He said the speaker's ruling can be challenged in either a high court or the Supreme Court.
A report from Karachi said a writ petition against the speaker's ruling has already been filed in Sindh High Court.
Ahsan insisted that the court's reference to ridiculing the judiciary was illegal as this charge was not levelled during the contempt case. He said he had raised 146 objections against conviction on a charge which was not part of the indictment. He regretted that his hard work had gone waste as he had counted 146 flaws in the court judgment.
[Dawn] Pakistain's federal and provincial governments should bring to justice those responsible for the May 2010 attacks on Ahmadiyya places of worship that killed 94 people, Human Rights Watch ... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world... said today.
On May 28, 2010, faceless myrmidons attacked two Ahmadiyya places of worship in the city of Lahore with guns, grenades, and suicide bombs, killing 94 people and wounding well over 100. The Punjabi Taliban, a local affiliate of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (the Pak Taliban or TTP), grabbed credit. Two men were captured during the attack, but the government has failed to make progress on their trial, seeking repeated adjournments from the court as has the defense.
"It's obscene that two years after the worst massacre in Lahore since the partition of India, the government has still not brought the suspects apprehended at the scene to trial," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "By pandering to Islamic fascistiwho foment violence against the Ahmadis, the government emboldens faceless myrmidons who target the beleaguered community, and reinforces fear and insecurity for all religious minorities."
The May 2010 attacks killed 27 people in Lahore's Model Town area and 67 people in the suburb of Garhi Shahu. Worshipers overpowered two attackers, Asmatullah, alias Muaaz and Abdullah Muhammad, and turned them over to police. Each was charged under the Anti-Terrorism Act and remains in jug, but there has been no progress in the case and proceedings have been repeatedly adjourned.
Since the May 2010 attacks, there has been an intensification of the hate campaign against Ahmadis, Human Rights Watch said. In June 2011, a pamphlet named some 50 prominent Ahmadis in the city of Faisalabad in Punjab province and declared them "liable to be killed" under Islamic law, along with all members of the community. No action has been taken by the government against those who disseminated the pamphlet. In September 2011, one of those named in the pamphlet, Naseem Butt, was rubbed out. At least another five Ahmadis were killed during 2011, apparently because of their religious beliefs. In December, unknown assailants vandalized 29 graves in an Ahmadiyya graveyard in the Punjab town of Lodhran.
During 2012, Death Eater groups in Lahore have used discriminatory provisions of Pak law that target Ahmadis and prevent them from "posing as Mohammedans" to force the demolition of sections of an Ahmadiyya place of worship on the grounds that its dome made it look like a mosque. In the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the authorities barred Ahmadis from using their place of worship at the insistence of local Death Eater groups. In both instances, Punjab provincial administration and police officials supported the Death Eaters' demands instead of protecting the Ahmadis.
"The Punjab provincial government should be providing extra security to Ahmadiyya places of worship instead of siding with those terrorizing worshipers and attacking their places of worship," Adams said. "Pakistain's anti-Ahmadi laws need to be repealed, not enforced."
Human Rights Watch urged the government of Punjab province, controlled by former Prime Minister 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... 's Pakistain Mohammedan League (Nawaz) party, to investigate and prosecute those responsible for intimidation, threats, and violence against the Ahmadiyya community.
Militant groups that have publicly been involved in such efforts include the Sunni Tehrik ...formed in Karachi in 1992 under by Muhammad Saleem Qadri. It quickly fell to trading fisticuffs and liquidations with the MQM and the Sipah-e-Sahaba, with at least a half dozen of its major leaders rubbed out. Sunni Tehreek arose to become the primary opposition to the Deobandi Binori Mosque, headed by Nizamuddin Shamzai, who was eventually bumped off by person or persons unknown. ST's current leadership has heavily criticized the Deobandi Jihadi leaders, accusing them of being sponsored by Indian Intelligence agencies as well as involvement in terrorist activities... , Tehrik-e-Tahafaz-e-Naomoos-e-Risalat, Khatm-e-Nabuwat, Difa-e-Pakistain Council, and others acting under the Pak Taliban's umbrella. Leaders of these groups have frequently threatened to kill Ahmadis and attack the places of worship where killings have taken place as well as other Ahmadi places of worship.
Ahmadi community leaders told Human Rights Watch that they had repeatedly brought threats against them to the notice of the Punjab chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, the provincial government, and the police controlled by the provincial authorities, and that they had asked for enhanced security for vulnerable Ahmadiyya places of worship. However, the hip bone's connected to the leg bone... the provincial government failed to act on the evidence or to ensure meaningful security.
Human Rights Watch called on Pakistain's government to introduce legislation in parliament without delay to repeal laws that discriminate against Ahmadis and other religious minorities, including sections 295 (blasphemy) and 298 (Ahmadi specific law that prevents them from "posing" as Mohammedans) of the Pakistain Penal Code.
Human Rights Watch also urged concerned governments and inter-governmental bodies to press the Pak government to:
Repeal sections 295 and 298 of the Pakistain Penal Code;
Prosecute those responsible for planning and executing attacks and committing other offenses against the Ahmadiyya and other religious minorities; and
Take steps to encourage religious tolerance within Pak society.
"The government's continued use of discriminatory criminal laws against Ahmadis and other religious minorities is indefensible," Adams said. "As long as such laws remain on the books, the Pak state will be seen as a persecutor of minorities and an enabler of abuses."
[Tolo News] Top Pak government officials said the 33-year prison sentence for the doctor who helped the CIA track down the late Osama bin Laden ... who knows that it's like to live in the belly of a whale only he's not living... is payback for how the US went about getting the Al Qaeda leader, and they shrugged off criticism of the verdict by telling America to stop "over-reacting" and "take a deep breath". "You got Osama bin Laden. We're happy he got killed. But the way it was done we're not happy with. We didn't like that," a Pak official told FOX News Channel on Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to what he described as the fragile state of US-Pak relations.
Sunday Times quotes Taliban sources as saying al-Qaeda leader was moved between safehouses in box hidden under cargoes of cement, flour, rice or livestock
The late Osama bin Laden ... who was laid out deader than a mackerel, right next to the mackerel... managed to dodge American security forces by moving undetected between safe houses around Pakistain in a large box hidden in a brightly colored truck filled with chickens, the Sunday Times reported, citing Taliban sources.
According to the British newspaper's report, the box was designed by Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, bin Laden's trusted aide, who also set up the house in Abbottabad ... A pleasant city located only 30 convenient miles from Islamabad. The city is noted for its nice weather and good schools. It is the site of Pakistain's military academy, which was within comfortable walking distance of the residence of the late Osama bin Laden.... where the al-Qaeda leader lived for five years until he was killed last May by US Navy Seals.
Kuwaiti moved bin Laden by fitting the box to the floor of one of the elaborately decorated trucks that are a common sight on Pakistain's roads, the report said. The box would be hidden under cargoes of cement, flour or rice -- or even beneath livestock such as goats, sheep or chickens.
According to Newsweek magazine, the scam was disclosed at a meeting held near Miranshah ... headquarters of al-Qaeda in Pakistain and likely location of Ayman al-Zawahiri. The Haqqani network has established a ministate in centered on the town with courts, tax offices and lots of madrassas... , the Taliban heart of Pakistain's North Wazoo region, in the autumn. During the meeting, al-Qaeda and Taliban beturbanned goons discussed ways to protect 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... , bin Laden's successor.
Despite Kuwaiti's ingenious method of transport, they blamed his carelessness for bin Laden's death, the Sunday Times said. According to the report, an Al-Qaeda investigation concluded that Kuwaiti made basic security mistakes which led the CIA to Bin Laden: he drove the same car every time he visited the Abbottabad compound and used a mobile phone that could be monitored.
To protect Zawahiri from a similar fate, the beturbanned goons suggested, his handlers had advised him to "move to a new place" and stop using any electronic devices.
"We are hoping he can avoid being captured by the US for at least 10 more years," a Taliban source was quoted by Newsweek as saying. One of the beturbanned goons at the meeting asked a member of the Afghan Taliban if they would consider harboring Zawahiri. The answer was noncommittal.
The Sunday Times further reported that Pak officials strongly denied No, no! Certainly not! claims this month by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Woman to Call at 3 a.m. and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another William Jennings Bryan ... that Zawahiri had found refuge on their soil.
As for OBL hiding in trucks among cargoes of chickens + goats, cement, etc. I doubt it - the man I remember from the anti-Soviet War deeply believed his faith would protect him, + liked to ride openly.
I'll believe it iff Ayman or Mullah Omar, + certain others, say its true, i.e. that OBL changed + grew cautious in his age or his ways.
the man I remember from the anti-Soviet War deeply believed his faith would protect him, + liked to ride openly.
In those days the Americans weren't hunting him, JosephM. Remember that when he was caught he'd stayed inside and away from windows for years, not even allowing his children to leave the compound to go to school, or his wives to go it to go shopping.
[Asharq al-Awsat] Iran's President Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad urged the country's newly-elected parliament on Sunday to stand with him against "evil ones" who he says have encircled the nation.
The president's address to the opening session of the parliament was seen as an appeal to conservative opponents who crushed Ahmadinejad's allies in voting that ended earlier this month.
"Today, evils have been mobilized from all directions to put the Medes and the Persians under pressure. Removing and resisting the pressures, and cooperation, are the main priority today," Ahmadinejad told politicians without elaboration. State TV broadcast the speech live.
Iran faces sanctions from Western nations who accuse it of trying to developing nuclear weapons technology. Iran denies the charges.
Long-stalled negotiations between Tehran and six world powers on Iran's nuclear program have recently revived, with the countries agreeing to talks in Moscow in June after earlier discussions last week in Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... Ahmadinejad and the conservatives share similar views on foreign policy, but disagree on economic issues. The president lost their support when he was perceived to challenge the supremacy of the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last year.
Ahmadinejad also asked politicians not to intervene in his areas of authority. "Any effort to intervene in other's affairs will not serve the country. This is only devastating," said Ahmadinejad.
Over the past months, both the president and the parliament have blamed each other for exceeding their respective mandates.
Lawmakers say the president ignores bills passed by the parliament. Ahmadinejad says the parliament totally changes government-proposed bills.
[VOA News] The Syrian government has denied its troops massacred at least 92 people, about one-third of them children, Friday in the town of Houla.
Foreign Ministry front man Jihad Makdissi called accusations against the Syrian government a "tsunami of lies." Instead, he blamed heavily armed "terrorists" who he claimed attacked soldiers.
U.N. observers said artillery and tanks were used to pound Houla, located northwest of the central city of Homs.
Makdissi said Syrian soldiers retaliated to defend their positions, but he denied they had used artillery and tanks.
The Houla massacre marked the deadliest single attack since Syria's anti-government uprising began about 15 months ago.
Arab and western governments have issued statements expressing outrage and hinting that Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad's One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators... government is to blame.
The latest violence has further raised questions about the effectiveness of an April cease-fire agreement between anti-government rebels and the Syrian government.
The rebel Free Syrian Army warned that it will not adhere to the U.N.-mediated peace plan if the international community does not take concrete actions to protect citizens.
Makdissi called the Houla assault "brutal" and said the Syrian government has launched an investigation.
Syrian troops shelled residential areas Sunday in the central city of Hama, and the rebel-held town of Rastan.
The Syrian government says U.N.-Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... envoy 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... , who mediated the peace plan, is expected in Syria on Monday.
Facts: Bashir al-Assad is Alawite,the Syrian army is run by Alawites, al-Houla municipality (in western Syria) is inhabited by ... Alawites.
In such clannish society it is rather impossible to kill their own.
Looks like the carnage was all staged by political and religious opponents...
Tribalism or ethnocentrism, was the first of man's attempts at socialization. Some hold that tribalism is a form of early communism, but few would deny it is the source of a great deal of social conflict. Our United States of America is one of the only functioning and successful counter-theses of ethnocentrism. As urbanization continues to alter politics and power, how long we will continue to function as a non-ethonocentric free society is anyone's guess.
In such clannish society it is rather impossible to kill their own
I would never go with "impossible". Too many variables.
What's "odd" is how the media so easily forwards these unlikely allegations without doubts....
Blame it on too few (and reliable) reporting assets on scene, too little time to verify and too much pressure to "get it to press", and the intent of the media to establish a narrative rather than simply report.
"Blame it on too few (and reliable) reporting assets on scene, too little time to verify and too much pressure to "get it to press", and the intent of the media to establish a narrative rather than simply report."
Posted by: Barbara ||
"layers of editors and fact checkers" overridden by a lastline editor with an agenda
Posted by: Frank G ||
They don't teach non-Aristotelian logic in journalist schools?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.