Israel's infrastructure and electricity stations "need only a few rockets" to leave the country paralyzed, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Saturday in a televised speech.
Hamas tried it, without causing much paralysis. Come to think of it, Hizb'allah tried it some years back, and got a lot of bouncing rubble by return fire. Fortunately, Hizb'allah has restocked their rocket supply. Unfortunately, Israel knows exactly where they are. Somehow this has resulted in the occasional spontaneous explosion of this or that pile o'rockets in Hizb'allahland.
I do have the funny feeling that if Nastie and the Hezbies try to break Israel's infrastructure, Israel will in return break southern Lebanon all the way to central Beirut, and they won't care who in the outside world says what. After all, Pencilneck won't be able to do anything about it, and practically, the Mad Mullahs won't be able to do very much without exposing themselves. So the Hezbies ought to be careful what they wish for because they just might get it. In the neck...
Speaking to hundreds of supporters via video link, Nasrallah warned Israel not to attack Lebanon, saying Hezbollah's response will be harsh.
"The Islamic Resistance won't keep mum on any Israeli attack on Lebanon," he warned, adding that Hezbollah would not need to transfer any weapons from Syria to retaliate.
The screening of Nasrallah's speech was preceded by an address given by the son of Imad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah terror chief whose February 2008 death was attributed to Israel.
Also during his speech, Nasrallah denied allegations that Hezbollah was responsible for the July 2012 bombing of a tour bus in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver.
The leader of Hezbollah refused to comment on a Bulgarian report that said members of the Lebanese terrorist group carried out the attack, saying the "issue is being followed calmly and carefully."
Afghan security forces are to be banned from calling for foreign air strikes in residential areas, President Hamid Karzai has said.
Mr Karzai said he would issue a decree on Sunday, less than a week after 10 civilians were killed in a night raid in the eastern province of Kunar.
Nato-led forces in Afghanistan are not expected to make a formal response until the full decree has been issued.
Civilian casualties are a source of tension between Afghan and Nato forces.
"I will issue a decree [on Sunday] that no Afghan security forces, in any circumstances can ask for the foreigners' planes for carrying out operations on our homes and villages,'' Mr Karzai said in a speech at the Afghan National Military Academy in Kabul.
A bomb killed at least 20 people in a Shi'ite Muslim area of the Pakistani city of Quetta on Saturday, Feb 16, in what a police official said was part of an escalation of sectarian attacks by hardline Sunni extremists, Reuters reported.
Officials said most of the dead were from Pakistan's Shi'ite minority, which has been demanding protection from the government after attacks by militant groups led by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
"The explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device fitted to a motorcycle," said Wazir Khan Nasir, deputy inspector general of police in Quetta. He said 50 people were wounded."This is a continuation of terrorism against Shi'ites."
More than 400 Shi'ite were killed in Pakistan last year, many by hitmen or bombs, and the perpetrators are almost never caught.
Last month, LeJ claimed responsibility for a bombing in Quetta that killed nearly 100 people, one of Pakistan's worst sectarian attacks.
Aren't WE supposed to be the reason they kill people?
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
Aren't WE supposed to be the reason they kill people?
Speaking generically, Moslems hate Jews, infidels and Crusaders. Jews and Crusaders are obvious and specific categories, but infidels also includes Moslems of the wrong flavor. Simply put, the Shias hate the Sunnis and vice versa. And if that's not reason enough to commit mass murder, then I don't know what.
Oh, the protestants hate the catholics,
And the catholics hate the protestants,
And the hindus hate the moslems,
And everybody hates the jews!
But during national brotherhood week, national brotherhood week,
It's national everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It's only for a week, so have no fear.
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!
(National Brotherhood Week by Tom Lehrer)
(Yeah, yeah - I'm so going to Hell. ;-p )
Posted by: Barbara ||
(Yeah, yeah - I'm so going to Hell. ;-p )
I'll have a pot of tea and something to nibble ready when you join me, dear Barbara.
A senior Iranian official has vowed Saturday to take Dire Revenge revenge on Israel for its alleged involvement in the killing of a commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday.
"We shall have Dire Revenge!!"
The Guard has accused "mercenaries and supporters" of Israel being responsible for Wednesday's killing of Gen. Hassan Shateri on the road linking Damascus to Beirut.
Ali Shirazi, representative of Iran's supreme leader to the Guard, said Israel would soon pay the price for Shateri's killing.
Israel has not commented on the killing.
Nor do they need to...
An Iranian independent news website reported early Thursday morning that Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed by "mercenaries of the Zionist regime," but provided no details about his death. The semi-official Fars news agency confirmed the report a few hours later.
Shateri led Guard forces in Lebanon and oversaw Iranian-financed reconstruction projects there,
Such as bunkers and rocket silos...
aiding Hezbollah both financially and by training its members. It is unclear what he was doing in Syria.
A second senior Iranian official was reported killed Wednesday in an attack on his car after he crossed from Syria into Lebanon. The man, Hossam Khosh Newes, was killed by "armed terrorist groups" -- a blanket term that Syria and Iran use to designate opposition forces -- the Iranian Embassy was quoted in The New York Times as saying.
It wasn't immediately clear whether Newes was traveling with Shateri at the time of the attack, and whether the two incidents were related.
Hamas and Fatah officials on Saturday criticized Bulgaria's decision to expel a Hamas delegation visiting the country, demanding an apology from the East European country.
Bulgarian security forces on Friday raided the hotel rooms of a visiting Hamas delegation, ordering them to leave the country, the Islamist group said.
Hamas leader Salah al-Bardawil said the decision by Bulgaria violates diplomatic norms and should be condemned by all Arab and Palestinian leaders.
"We entered the country with an official visa, so we should have left willingly, rather than being expelled. The delegates represent the Palestinian people, not Hamas, though they are affiliated to Hamas," al-Bardawil told a press conference on Saturday.
The delegation was invited by Bulgaria's Center for Middle East Studies, the Hamas official said, adding that the group's expulsion shows how the EU is subservient to Israel.
Sufian Abu Zaida, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council called the expulsion of the Hamas delegation an assault on Palestinian dignity.
"This was humiliating to all Palestinians, and should be condemned at all levels, both official and popular," he told Ma'an.
"What happened reiterates that disagreement between the Palestinians must come to an end as it is a curse chasing us everywhere," he added.
Three officials from Hamas' parliamentary party the Change and Reform Bloc -- Ismail al-Ashqar, Salah al-Bardawil and Mushir al-Masri -- arrived in Bulgaria on Wednesday.
Hamas said the delegates' hotel rooms were raided early Friday by Bulgarian security forces, who ordered them to leave the country.
Bulgaria's National Security Service said Friday's move was a "preventive measure".
"During their stay in Bulgaria we obtained information that their presence was creating a serious threat to national security," it said in a statement, without elaborating.
The European Union, like the United States, has branded Hamas a terrorist group for suicide bombings and other attacks on Israelis since the mid-1990s.
The tribal territories of Pakistan have been home to Islamic terrorists for over 30 years now. Over that time the ethnic composition of these religious zealots has changed. Back in the 1980s, when the holy way (jihad) against Russian troops in Afghanistan was at its height there were nearly 5,000 foreign Islamic radicals in Pakistan to support the Afghan and Pakistani tribesmen fighting the Russians. Since then the number of foreigners has declined by at least half. But there are still about a thousand Arab Islamic terrorists up in the hills and even more from Central Asia. Despite all the Pakistani and American efforts in the last decade, new Islamic terrorists keep coming to Pakistan. Many die (not always violently, the tribal territories are an unhealthy place) and some move on to other countries. But Pakistan remains relatively hospitable to Islamic terrorists. For those Islamic radicals without a police record, there are hundreds of Islamic schools and Mosques where they can legally find shelter and support. For those terrorists who are known, and wanted for crimes, there are places in the tribal territories where one can find some shelter and sanctuary from the Pakistani police. North Waziristan is an official terrorist sanctuary, which Pakistan refuses to assert authority over. There are plenty of other places in the tribal territories, including rural areas on the other side of the border (in Afghanistan) where Islamic radicals can find refuge (if not much else.)
The U.S. UAV operations and use of missiles to kill Islamic terrorists, has been deadly mainly for known Islamic terrorists and any unknown followers unlucky enough to be in the vicinity when the missile arrives. This has had a striking impact on the number of Western recruits for Islamic terrorism. A few years ago there were several hundred of these in Pakistan. But then their home countries publicized that they knew who many of these men were. That caused some 90 percent of these Western terrorists to leave. Many Islamic terrorist leaders have fled also, but for those who remain in Pakistan the threat of American missiles is less frightening than going home or to another questionable terrorist sanctuary. Most of these places, like Somalia, Yemen and northern Mali, have lately become more dangerous for Islamic radicals. At least in North Waziristan you don't have to worry about the local security forces and American missiles
The meteor that streaked across the skies over Russia in a blinding fireball on Friday exploded with a force about 30 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb, NASA scientists have said.
The 55-foot rock, said by Nasa to have a mass of 10,000 tonnes, plunged to Earth in the Urals region on Friday morning, causing shockwaves that injured 1,200 people and damaged thousands of homes in an event unprecedented in modern times.
In recent decades, at any rate. The Tunguska meteor was in 1908, which counts as modern times, even if they were Edwardian.
Nasa estimated that the energy released by the meteor's impact with the atmosphere was 500 kilotonnes, around 30 times the force of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. It entered the atmosphere and broke up at an altitude of around 32 miles, causing a shockwave that blew out windows and set of car alarms in Chelyabinsk two and a half minutes later.
Divers were this morning searching the Chelyabinsk region's frozen Lake Chebarkul for a fragment of the meteorite. No fragments have been found in the region so far - despite some 20,000 rescuers and recovery workers being dispatched to help the hundreds of people injured.
An army of glaziers were also being transported to Chelyabinsk to urgently repair the thousands of broken windows in homes as night time temperatures fall below -15C.
Scientists from Nasa, the US space agency, estimated that the amount of energy released from impact with the atmosphere was about 30 times greater than the nuclear bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima during World War II.
If the Meteor was that powerful, it didn't show it, I watched the tapes, one BOOM and it's over, maybe distance mitigated it?
No nuke simply blows out widows. It flattens the area, this didn't.
I think the reporters exaggerated, greatly.
Sorta like the reports it was shot down, also Lies.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
It entered the atmosphere and broke up at an altitude of around 32 miles, causing a shockwave that blew out windows and set of car alarms in Chelyabinsk two and a half minutes later.
That's when the big flash happened. That's the point when air resistance became greater than the mass of the meteor resulting in the release of energy and the disintegration of the object. The vids distort the perception because they're all 2 dimensional and can't provide the perspective of true altitude.
James, your head, open it up a tad, it indeed had that force. Distance is a long ways, it's like say, ummmm..... 300 football fields stood on end, like 570 times higher than the PressBox (PIBT) at BearBryant Stadium.... it's way, way the fuck up there.
Lots of Vids out there - my favorite is the one that depicts the rock in all its big, wide smokey glory heading at an angle toward the video taker, + those that depict a "bright light" suddenly occurring all around different Personages like a potent Sun-exploding Solar Storm.
[NICHOLAS CAGE'S "KNOWING" here].
As per the former, iff it had been a Texas-sized asteroid + an [unlikely] very "slow-mover", it would had been sudden darkness, not sudden light. The rock would had covered the sky + the far horizon.
h/t gates of Vienna
Earlier this month NGO Monitor released its report on foreign government funding of radical political Israeli NGOs which work to undermine Israel's international standing and subvert Israeli society. Along with the usual European suspects who give millions of shekels (or Euros or pounds) to Israeli groups like this, it works out that the US government is also funding extremely radical organizations, courtesy of American taxpayers. Notably, the three groups that reported receiving funding from the US are all in the business of waging political warfare campaigns directed at the Israeli public.
Nice presidency you have there. Anyone you'd like to thank? Anyone at all? Does any group of people spring to mind? Sizable, stressed, jobless? Heavily in debt? Well-educated? Ring any bells?
Hint: a lot of us volunteered for you, and not because we were excessively employed to begin with. The State of the Union may be improving. But the state of the Millennials is -- still pretty dire, actually.
I know we are noted, as a generation, for our ability to complain. We have complained before. We are Generation Always Says We'll Quit Facebook But Still Hasn't. We complain on Twitter, on Facebook, via text, in person, on Tumblr. We are squeaky wheels. But where's our grease? We could stand a little grease right about now. And none is forthcoming.
And this is really a problem.
We are grotesquely unemployed. We waded bravely into the workforce waving extremely expensive sheets of paper that turned out to be almost meaningless. Nearly half of college graduates are working jobs that don't require four-year degrees. And those are the ones who are working at all! Don't worry - The One will save the middle class!
The rest of us still paid too much money for educations at universities that did nothing much to improve our critical thinking skills, and several of whom turned out to be falsifying their test scores to appear more exclusive. The only thing college trained us to do was to drink lots of inexpensive beer quickly and uncomplainingly, which is useful given the likely state of our beer budgets in years to come. But we had hoped for more. Some things never change, but I still can't drink Miller High Life.
We need him to be there for us. We were there for him. Who do you think got him this nice election? We are the ones who received all those creepy fundraising e-mails. And yes, we like the social issues. But we are hurting. We are lying awake at night stressed, staring up at the glow-in-the-dark stars that we put on our bedroom ceilings when we were eight and thought that the world was going to be our oyster. It needs to start looking more like an oyster and less like our parents' basement.
And we were so good. Legends in their own minds.
We never messed around. We never embraced 1970s fashion, or burned any draft cards or bras or -- anything but CDs of illegally downloaded music, really. We had nothing that could be remotely likened to a Woodstock. We have been carefully trained by our loving helicopter mothers and fathers to supply correct answers on any standardized test you can hand us, talk in complete sentences and maintain a firm grip on our social media presences. But the past few years have been a test of a totally non-standard kind. What do we do now? Grow up?
And what has our hard work gotten us? Try the global warming industry. You helped build it.
A lot of student loan debt. Stress. And -- that's about it. Not jobs. (I write this as someone with job-market survivor's guilt, but then again what I have is a job in the newspaper industry, which is a nicer way of saying that ten years from now I am certain to be unemployed.) Too bad you didn't believe Willard about creating jobs. Dopes.
Last State of the Union, the President suggested the need to control the cost of college and deal with the more than a trillion dollars of student loan debt facing the country. And it's still not fixed? Imagine that!
But it's not just the student loans. And staying on our parents' insurance was nice -- but what happens next? Hitting the snooze button on these bills won't fix the larger problem of what we are going to do with ourselves. The fact that we can't afford to pay them back now is a symptom of the problem, not the problem. Is that a light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps?
We have no idea how to handle this. We have tried listening to music. But Beyonce is not as reassuring as we would like.
We understand your twenties are never easy. They are the point when all your confident When's start melting into If's. Sure, it's the economy. But for how much longer?
We thought we would have more options than to be depressed because we do not have jobs or depressed because all our friends are getting married. According to the stress survey, the percentage of people who use unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking away their stress and eating away their stress is lower than it used to be. But it ain't zero, either.
We should have known that Hope was the most dangerous thing in Pandora's box. What are we going to do with the rest of our lives? Grow up?
They want to keep it a secret, so don't tell anyone, okay?
On Thursday, Valentines Day, WaPo officially discussed the circumstances surrounding the layoffs of employees, FishbowlDC sources have learned. Internal sources appropriately place the number at 54, though a publicist hasnt confirmed the exact number. Every department facing cuts was asked to keep the news to their department only, as to not make it look like a mass layoff. Were told those given pink slips include Beth Jacobs, General Manager of Mobile, and Ken Dodelin, Director of Mobile Products. Sources say the entire Mobile Product Management and IT Project Management staffs have been eliminated.
President Barack Obamas top counterterrorism adviser John Brennan has listed convicted key Mumbai terror attack plotter David Coleman Headley among five high-value targets that had been captured with US intelligence support.
Brennan, Obamas nominee to be the next chief of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), listed Pakistani-American Headley, who was last month sentenced to 35 years of imprisonment by a Chicago court for his role in the Lashkar-e-Taiba staged November 2008 Mumbai attack, in response to questions from a Senate panel.
Since January 2009 when he became Obamas terrorism adviser, dozens of individuals have been arrested, detained, interrogated, and convicted of terrorism-related offences in federal court, he told the Senate Intelligence Committee in written answers Friday.
Individuals arrested here in the United States include David Headley, Mansoor Arbabsiar, Najibullah Zazi, Faisal Shahzad, and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Individuals initially taken into US custody overseas include Ahmed Ghailani, Jesse Curtis Morton, Mohamed Ibrahim Ahmed, and Betim Kaziu, and subsequently brought to the United States for interrogation and prosecution, Brennan said.
In response to other questions, Brennan said setting up a special court to oversee deadly drone strikes against American citizens is worth considering but raises difficult questions over how much authority it would have in decisions currently made by the president.
It would raise some novel, and potentially difficult, questions and furthermore would grant courts authority over decisions that have traditionally been exercised principally, if not exclusively, by the executive branch, he said.
The designation of HVT's, detention [POW's], and targeting should be the business of the military commander engaged in combat operations on the ground, not the White House or the Central Intelligence Agency.
Unity of effort is destroyed and success is impaired when you have politically disparate elements running around the battlespace, conducting their own private wars, failing to share information and intelligence.
But I'm not sure I agree with you Besoeker. There's a good argument to be made that it was precisely a military response to non-state actors that has tied us in knots. A much more aggressive paramilitary response in Afghan, Iraq, Yemen etc. while maintaining public silence on what would trigger larger scale intervention might well have gone a long way to creating more helpful attitudes around the world. Muslim authorities insist that jihadi terrorism isn't their policy? Fine. Then a lot of people will end up having unfortunate and sometimes quite dramatic accidents while State takes heavily sweetened tea with their counterparts.
In addition, mixing military and intel issues so pervasively is exactly what has brought us to the point of having to ask whether this president thinks he can drone zap US citizens on US soil.
"having to ask whether this president thinks he can drone zap US citizens on US soil"
No need to ask.
He does. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara ||
An over-simplification, but if you don't own [control] the terrain and fail to control the border and eliminate border insurgent sanctuaries you lose, simple as that. Thousands of madrassas and mosques in Quetta and Chaman are incubators and armories for the Afghan insurgency. It is my view that all terrorism or counterinsurgencies are "state sponsored". The challenge is what "state" is doing the sponsoring.
If you stick your finger in a stock tack you'll be able to see the ripples. If you pull your finger out and come back 5 minutes later, no ripples are visible. It will be as though you were never there. Trying to introduce these people [tribal Afghans or Paks] to western democracy is a fool's errand. It has been from the start.
Death by drone is simply an expansion of CIA market share. They've been at war with DoD (less special mission units) for decades and are now winning. The appointment of John Brennan as the Director CIA should be given very, very close scrutiny. I fear this man and the trouble he may bring us.
John Brennan will lead us back to the "good old days" of Allen Dulles and the crazy crap nonsense that was the CIA with secret wars over half the globe.
When my career as a military guy ended, I asked my OPO officer why and he said, well officially its a RIF, unofficially the Army hierarchy is purging the officer ranks of anyone who was doing the CIA dirty work. Too many rogue operations and too many officers with compromised senses of moral/ethical duties and responsiblities vis a vis the Geneva Convention.
So we'll have another generation of military officers flung into crazy situations doing heroic things and getting the shaft when a new DCI and CJCOS take over.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
Based on US policy of targeting anyone in terrorist areas US citizens included. If Isreal had a similar policy I conclude they could target anyone visiting Palestine.
Following allegations that Hezbollah was behind a deadly bus bombing in Bulgaria, Canadian diplomats have been actively lobbying European Union countries to "send a strong message" by blacklisting the Lebanese group as a terrorist organization.
"We believe there is overwhelming evidence to suggest Hezbollah has been not just complicit, but actively carrying out terrorist attacks around the world in support of Iran," a government official said Friday. "We hope that the European Union will follow Canada's lead."
While Canada outlawed Hezbollah in 2002, most European countries have not yet done so. But the EU is under renewed pressure to proscribe the Iranian-backed Islamist group after it was linked to last July's bombing of a bus full of Israeli tourists visiting the Black Sea coast.
On Monday, European foreign ministers will meet for the first time since Bulgaria went public with the results of its investigation. At the meeting, Nikolay Mladenov, the Bulgarian Foreign Minister, will brief them on the probe into the attack at Sarafovo Airport in Burgas.
Malaysia is set to expel an Australian lawmaker after he landed in Kuala Lumpur today to hold meetings with politicians including opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as the country gears up for elections.
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is being detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport under Malaysia's national security laws, with Australian High Commissioner Miles Kupa on- site and seeking his release, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in an e-mailed statement today.
"Senator Xenophon's detention is a surprising and disappointing act from a country with which Australia routinely maintains strong diplomatic relations," Carr said. Australia urged Malaysia to secure his swift release from custody.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who must call elections by April 28, is fighting to retain power for a coalition that has governed the Southeast Asian nation since independence in 1957. Xenophon, who has criticized Malaysia, landed in Kuala Lumpur ahead of a delegation of Australian lawmakers, who canceled their planned visit following his detention.
The visit had been planned for two months and was to include the ruling Labor Party's Steve Georganas, the Liberal Party's Mal Washer and the National Party's John Williams. Williams told ABC television about the cancellation.
[Bangla Daily Star] In desperation, 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... and Islami Chhatra Shibir ... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh... are applying various strategies to occupy Paltan or any other important intersections of the capital to offset the Shahbagh movement.
Their techniques include not wearing their traditional outfit -- pyjama and punjabi -- during their "operations," police and Jamaat sources say.
"Apart from this strategy, Jamaat-Shibir has recently decided to mobilise activists and intellectuals from other Islamic organizations, especially those patronised by Jamaat," a top detective told The Daily Star on Wednesday.
Law enforcement agencies say Jamaat was already in a crisis following the start of war crimes trial against its six top leaders. The crisis deepened when protesters at Shahbagh movement called for death sentence to all war criminals, including its leader Abdul Quader Mollah.
Against such a backdrop, Jamaat has also been planning to interchange its "trained cadres" between districts to carry out attacks and vandalism, law enforcers said.
"These tactics sometimes help avert arrest as those activists are unknown to locals and law enforcers," a top police official said, requesting to remain unidentified.
Also speaking anonymously, a top leader of Jamaat from Chittagong division admitted this without giving any details.
Sources say Jamaat is also planning to engage its low-profile leaders and think-tank of less known like-minded organizations to get hold of an important intersection under the banner of olama-mashaek organizations.
Several Jamaat leaders themselves have told this paper that the party has never before faced such a political crisis since 1979, when it re-entered politics Bangladesh.
After the war crimes trial started in 2010, nine of its top leaders were placed in durance vile I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece! on war crimes charges. Six of them are facing trial and cases against the three others are under investigation.
The latest blow came on February 5, when a group of online activists erupted into the streets rejecting the verdict against Quader Mollah, an assistant secretary general of the party, who was given a life sentence.
Protesters want death sentence for Mollah and all other war criminals, and a ban on Jamaat-Shibir politics.
In the changed situation, Jamaat-Shibir on Wednesday moved to seize the city's Paltan intersection, south gate of Baitul Mukarram, Dainik Bangla intersection or Motijheel Shapla Chattar. But police foiled the move.
"We are determined to stage the same type of demonstration again until our demands are met," said a divisional-level Jamaat leader.
The party demand includes scrapping of the two tribunals formed to try the war criminals, and releasing all the Jamaat leaders detained on war crimes charges.
Since the start of its violent attacks on law enforcers in November 2012, Jamaat and Shibir have been applying various strategies to carry out attacks and vandalism across the country.
In some cases, it was a hit-and-run strategy. In other cases, Jamaat-Shibir men chanted "Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu," a slogan used by the Awami League, before attacking police, detectives say, adding: "This is just to create confusion."
The party is also patronising anti-Ahmadiyya organizations including Tehrik-e-Khatme Nabuwwat to wage anti-Ahmadiyya movement afresh.
Jamaat is also patronising anti-Ahmadiyya elements to bring so-called Islamic leaders from Pakistain and India to wage a hate campaign in different discussions in Bangladesh.
In a surprising move, the newly formed Islamist party Tehrik-e-Khatme Nabuwwat on January 3 held a rally against Ahmadiyyas, a Mohammedan minority community, in the capital.
Well-placed sources say Jamaat was patronising Tehrik-e-Khatme Nabuwwat to create unrest in the country in the name of an anti-Ahmadiyya movement and keep the administration busy.
Under the banner of Khatme Nabuwwat Preservation Committee, a meeting was held in Gazipur on February 3 demanding that Ahmadiyyas be declared non-Mohammedan. Three anti-Ahmadiyya Islamic scholars, including Hanif Jalandari from Pakistain, spoke at the meeting.
Earlier in 2010, Jamaat and its associate organizations adopted a strategy of using Bangabandhu's name to continue with their activities among the children of different districts.
In doing so, Jamaat on March 18, 2010, opened a stall under the banner of Shishu Kantha Sangsad at a children's fair at Rajshahi Shishu Academy marking the 90th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu and the National Children's Day.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami
A RAB colonel, an assistant superintendent of police and a constable walk into a bar...
The constable politely asks for and receives lemonade.
The Assistant Superintendent of Police asks for and receives a chilled tea.
The RAB Colonel has an ugly Flashback to the War of Liberation and kills everyone in the bar except the Assistant Superintendent of Police and The Constable, who then nod and say Purpa Bangla, 12 Systems, Upazila, Dr. Quincy.
Manolo, order up a literary medal to be awarded to Mr. Shipman! Gold washed, on a red and blue ribbon, so that it clashes with whatever he is wearing. And an iced Perrier with lime for me -- I find myself parched.
I never fail to smile at stories that have happy endings, but sometimes, a little twist would be nice. Along the lines of the Red Shirted Trek crewman who somehow manages to not be dead.
But for now, the lack of employment of the Shutter Gun in this episode will have to suffice.
[Chicago Tribune] Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife Sandi intend to plead guilty to federal charges alleging the former congressman misused $750,000 in campaign funds while she understated their income on tax returns for six years, their lawyers say.
Jackson Jr., 47, a Democrat from Chicago, was charged in a criminal information today with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements. He faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and other penalties.
Sandi Jackson was charged with one count of filing false tax returns. She faces up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 and other penalties.
Jackson Jr. is accused of diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.
Federal authorities allege that Jackson Jr. used campaign funds to purchase a $43,350 men's gold-plated Rolex watch, $5,150 worth of fur capes and parkas, and $9,588 in children's furniture. The purchases were made between 2007 and 2009, according to the criminal information, which authorities noted is not evidence of guilt.
Other expenditures listed by prosecutors include $10,105 on Bruce Lee memorabilia, $11,130 on Martin Luther King memorabilia and $22,700 on Michael Jackson items, including $4,600 for a "Michael Jackson fedora."
The government also alleged that Jackson Jr. made false statements to the House of Representatives because he did not report approximately $28,500 in loans and gifts he received.
"He has claimed the credit for his actions and I can confirm that he intends to plead guilty to the charge in the information," Jackson Jr.'s attorney Brian Heberlig said.
Sandi Jackson is accused of filing incorrect joint tax returns with her husband for calendar years 2006 through 2011, reporting income "substantially less than the amount of income she and her husband received in each of the calendar years," with a substantial additional tax due.
Her attorneys released a statement saying she has "reached an agreement with the U.S. attorney's office to plead guilty to one count of tax fraud."
Bangladeshi police on Friday gunned down three Islamist activists who were protesting against two of their leaders convictions for war crimes, while even larger demonstrations calling for the men to be executed continued for an 11th day.
A tribunal sentenced Abdul Quader Mollah to life in prison on February 5 for war crimes including murder, rape and torture. Most Bangladeshis had expected a death sentence to be handed to Mollah, assistant secretary-general of Jamaat-e-Islami the countrys biggest Islamist party.
Tens of thousands have protested every day in more than a dozen cities since the sentencing, demanding the execution of Mollah and others convicted of war crimes. In Dhaka, demonstrations have attracted crowds of more than 100,000.
However the judgment which followed the conviction of another former Jamaat leader on similar charges last month also led to smaller counter-protests around the country, involving around 5,000 Jamaat activists in total.
The deaths on Friday took place in the southeastern town of Coxs Bazar town, a popular tourist resort, during battles between police and Jamaat activists. Police said they opened fire after teargas failed to disperse the activists.
The towns police chief Mohammad Azad Mia said his officers had used guns after Islamists had first opened fire, set off dozens of crude bombs and hurled stones and bricks. He said, We had to open fire in self defence, as the Islamist militants turned on law enforcers."
At least 30 activists were wounded in Coxs Bazar and more than 150 arrested on Friday, while eight police were injured.
Jamaat has called for a two-day strike in Coxs Bazar over the weekend and a day-long national strike on Monday to protest the killings. Local reports said hundreds of tourists, including some foreigners, were fleeing the town, anticipating more violence.
Officials in the Russian republic of Tatarstan say they have arrested two leaders of a banned Islamic group.
The Interior Ministry said that two underground Islamic madrasahs, propagating ideas of a group called Nurcular were found during raids in Tatarstan's second-largest city of Naberezhnye Chelny. Some 30 members of the group have been questioned by police.
Nurcular has been banned in Russia since 2007. Officials say Nurcular promotes the idea of creating an Islamic state on lands where indigenous peoples speak Turkic languages. Nurcular denies the charge.
Tatarstan's authorities began checking all religious groups in the republic after police in August last year found an Islamic sect of 27 children and 38 adults living in catacomb-like cells underground.
[Dawn] The Pak Taliban have rejected an offer of peace talks coming out of an all parties conference called by the Awami National Party (ANP), the ruling party in militancy-hit Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... province.
"This ANP-sponsored offer of talks is just the party's election agenda," said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a front man for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP), told Dawn.com on Friday from some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location.
Two weeks after the banned bad boy outfit had initially made a conditional offer for peace talks with the government, the country's major political parties huddled together on Thursday at an ANP-led all parties conference, and announced they had all agreed on the need for peace through dialogue with the bad boys.
"Attaining peace through dialogue should be the first priority," said a joint declaration read out by ANP chief Asfandyr Wali Khan.
However, some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go... the Pak Taliban dismissed the contents of the declaration as "old wine in a new bottle."
"The Taliban are still waiting for a serious and meaningful response to peace talks offer from the Pak government and the military," said Ehsan, reading out what he said was a statement issued after a key meeting of the Taliban shura (council).
"The non-participation of the Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... in the APC is also a clear indication that it was a failure," he added.
[REUTERS] North Korea has told its key ally, China, that it is prepared to stage one or even two more nuclear tests this year in an effort to force the United States into diplomatic talks, said a source with direct knowledge of the message.
Further tests could also be accompanied this year by another rocket launch, said the source, who has direct access to the top levels of government in both Beijing and Pyongyang.
North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday, drawing global condemnation and a stern warning from the United States that it was a threat and a provocation.
"It's all ready. A fourth and fifth nuclear test and a rocket launch could be conducted soon, possibly this year," the source said, adding that the fourth nuclear test would be much larger than the third, at an equivalent of 10 kilotons of TNT.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Commies
A troubled young man plans to go on a shooting rampage at a local mall. A devoted fan of other mass murderers, he gets pleasure watching videos of cruel and graphic violence: actual beheadings, disembowelments, maimings. He hates his neighbors and wishes for their deaths. He's been taught to hate by religious extremists who dominate his community while intimidating their opponents into silence. The FBI catches him before he can go through with his plan to machine gun shoppers at the mall, though the Bureau ignores the people who indoctrinated him. The extremists, meanwhile, are demanding that the would-be murderer be released. They teach their children that he is a hero, and that those who stopped him from slaughtering innocent people are the true villains. A local newspaper journalist knows all this but for motives unknown, she refuses to report this story.
The progressive professional press covers up the jihad industry in America, a documented case.
[CNSNEWS] Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said on Thursday that U.S. government does not have a spending problem, but America suffers from "a misallocation of wealth."
"I look at it this way," Harkin said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Budget Control Act of 2011 (the law that includes the automatic spending cuts referred to as "sequestration"). "We're the richest nation in the history of the world. That kind of begs the question doesn't it? If we're so rich, why are we so broke?"
"Is it a spending problem? Harkin said. "No, it's because we have a misallocation of capital, a misallocation of wealth."
"All of this wealth that's been built up by hard-working Americans has been accumulated into fewer and fewer and fewer hands all the time," Harkin said.
But enough about Nancy Pelosi and her husband. And John Kerry and his wife...
Harkin, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, criticized a U.S. tax code he said benefits wealthy people.
"I tell you we've got to get back to a better, rationale system of revenues and spending in this country and back to our obligations," Harkin said. "I just feel very strongly, that it's not just appropriations that's causing this problem.
"It's the lack of the revenue that we should be taking in to meet our obligations as a country," Harkin said.
The good senator himself is estimated (by the Wapo) to be worth $16 mil, despite (or because of) having been a public servant for the last 30 years, so I think we can safely assume that he's talking about reallocating OPM.
The federal gummint spent something like $3.8 trillion last year as near as anyone can tell. If that's not a spending problem, what would a spending problem look like? $38 trillion?
What did the Government do FOR facebook that would justify them paying any (direct) tax?
That's an awfully considerate thought to have about a corporation that did so much to help this government retain power. Simply put, Facebook Corp. and its owners and mangement deserve to suffer because they've been acting to keep the Asshole in power and making _me_ suffer.
[Egypt Independent] Opposition activist Ibrahim Hanafy, who disappeared a few days ago during a protest outside the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace, was found by police Thursday evening naked, bound and injured in the desert outside of Asher Men Ramadan City. Marks indicating torture covered his body.
Hanafy is the media coordinator for the Free Front for Peaceful Change. The group's general coordinator, Maher Zayed, told Al-Masry al-Youm that the front filed a missing persons report with the police after Hanafy's disappearance, and accused four Brotherhood members of abducting him.
A warning letter to opposition activists in Asher Men Ramadan City was found next to Hanafy, Zayed claimed.
The activist has been transferred to a hospital in the city.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[An Nahar] Syria's Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Badreddine Hassoun on Friday said it was fueled by "callers for jihad that long for strife in the country", adding that they are "responsible for every ounce of blood shed during the conflict".
He noted: "People do not want President Bashar Assad to step down".
The Mufti urged Christians to refrain from leaving the country, explaining that this would give a reason for the establishment of a religious state.
"Syria will not be divided and it will continue to exist with all its sects and factions," he confirmed.
Hassoun revealed that he was asked by official, Islamic and financial figures to leave Syria and announce his defection at the beginning of the last holy month of Ramadan.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[REUTERS] Venezuela published the first photos of cancer-stricken Hugo Chavez since his surgery in Havana more than two months ago and said the socialist president was breathing through a tracheal tube and struggling to speak.
It is indeed hard to speak with a tracheostomy tube in place. That bit with the tube suggests that he's been intubated and ventilator dependent for a while. Generally a tracheostomy isn't done unless one realizes that the patient won't be liberated from the ventilator for a while; the average time from initial intubation to trach being 2 to 3 weeks. Reuters tells us more than they perhaps wanted to tell us...
The pictures showed the 58-year-old, smiling but with his face looking swollen, lying down in a hospital bed and flanked by his two daughters. In one, they were reading Thursday's edition of the Cuban state newspaper, Granma.
The photos were shown by Chavez's son-in-law, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, who has been traveling between Havana and Caracas to be at the Venezuelan president's bedside.
He said Chavez - whose political identity is built around long-winded speeches, meandering talk shows and casual chatter with supporters - was having trouble talking.
"He doesn't have his usual voice," Arreaza told Venezuelan state television ... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
. "He has difficulty communicating verbally, but he makes himself understood. He communicates his decisions perfectly. He writes them down."
Tie his hands and he'll shut up...
You'll notice Son-in-Law did not say the handwriting was legible. If the face is swollen, so are the fingers, which interferes with manual dexterity.
WASHINGTON - As the Senate edged toward a divisive filibuster vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination to be defense secretary, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, sat silent and satisfied in the corner of the chamber - his voice lost to laryngitis - as he absorbed what he had wrought in his mere seven weeks of Senate service.
Mr. Hagel, a former senator from Mr. Cruz's own party, was about to be the victim of the first filibuster of a nominee to lead the Pentagon. The blockade was due in no small part to the very junior senator's relentless pursuit of speeches, financial records or any other documents with Mr. Hagel's name on them going back at least five years. Some Republicans praised the work of the brash newcomer, but others joined Democrats in saying that Mr. Cruz had gone too far.
Without naming names, Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, offered a biting label for the Texan's accusatory crusade: McCarthyism.
"It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, 'I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,' and, of course, nothing was in the pocket," she said, a reference to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's pursuit of Communists in the 1950s. "It was reminiscent of some bad times."
In just two months, Mr. Cruz, 42, has made his presence felt in an institution where new arrivals are usually not heard from for months, if not years. Besides suggesting that Mr. Hagel might have received compensation from foreign enemies, he has tangled with the mayor of Chicago, challenged the Senate's third-ranking Democrat on national television, voted against virtually everything before him - including the confirmation of John Kerry as secretary of state - and raised the hackles of colleagues from both parties.
He could not be more pleased. Washington's new bad boy feels good.
"I made promises to the people of Texas that I would come to Washington to shake up the status quo," he said in e-mailed answers to questions, in lieu of speaking. "That is what I intend to do, and it is what I have done in every way possible in the responsibilities that have been granted to me."
In a body known for comity, Mr. Cruz is taking confrontational Tea Party sensibilities to new heights - or lows, depending on one's perspective. Wowed conservatives hail him as a hero, but even some Republican colleagues are growing publicly frustrated with a man who has taken the zeal of the prosecutor and applied it to the decorous quarters of the Senate. Barack Obama on down can throw lies and false accusations and then leave it up to opposition to prove the lies false. Ted Cruz is just playing the game by THEIR playbook. But his grey accusations MAY ACTUALLY BE TRUE. What is disgusting is that the Republicans like McCain don't get it.
Wowed conservatives hail him as a hero, but even some Republican colleagues are growing publicly frustrated with a man who has taken the zeal of the prosecutor and applied it to the decorous quarters of the Senate.
There is a new way of looking at the dichotomy in politics. Where once there was left & right it is now more apt to look at above the line and below the line.
Above the line is the self described and self empowered elite. Herein reside most of the pols, lobbyists and sychophantic media.
Ted Cruz is standing up for the below the line populace and the 'pubs who think he "goes to far" are the perfect example of the above the line cartel. Rhinocrats and Demopublicans need to be ridden out on a rail.
There is a great need for elected representatives of the people to occasionally break glass in Washington rather than preserve their cherished institutions, lobbying and other cozy relationships, and jobs. The country suffers from too much of the latter. They forget there power comes from the electorate not the other way around. So Sen. Cruze, continue with what you are doing; it serves the people and plays well out here.
It was really reminiscent of a different time and place, when you said, I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such and such a date,' and, of course, nothing was in the pocket So the words out that he hasnt paid any taxes for ten years let him prove that he has paid taxes because he hasnt.
[Egypt Independent] The soldier who fatally shot a 13-year-old street vendor during festivities in downtown Cairo earlier this month will be locked away ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... for 15 days pending investigations into the incident, said the military prosecution on Friday.
The military prosecutor's office and the Forensic Medicine Department are conducting ongoing investigations into the killing, a military source told Al-Masry al-Youm.
The victim, Omar Salah, was reportedly killed on 3 February near the US Embassy in Cairo after being shot by security forces during festivities sparked by the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution.
Ahmed Mohamed Ali, a spokesperson for the Armed Forces, on Thursday offered a rare public apology for the incident, which he said was an accient.
Ali claimed that the soldier fired his weapon by mistake during a routine inspection. Ali alleged that the boy's family waived their right to seek justice through the courts.
Hundreds in Tahrir Square staged a symbolic funeral for the teenager. They raised the Egyptian flag and a banner with a photograph of Salah.
At the same time, hundreds of Ultras Ahlawy members and other revolutionary groups staged a protest at Ramses Square, demanding accountability for members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who were in power during the Port Said massacre in February 2012.
The protesters rolled their eyes, jumped up and down, and hollered poorly rhymed slogans real loud against SCAF and Interior Ministry. They said they would stage a march on the Ministry of Defense.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Dawn] Members of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain's Darra Adamkhel faction told Dawn.com on Friday that the organization's chief of Darra Adamkhel area, Tariq Afridi, had died of wounds suffered a few months back.
The TTP Darra Adamkhel faction said that Tariq 'Gidar' was replaced by his close associate, Muhammad Arif 'Kaka' who belonged to the one of Darra Adamkhel's tribes.
TTP front man Ehsanullah Ehsan while talking to Dawn.com declined to confirm or deny the incident at the moment. When questioned about Tariq Afridi's front man, Mohammad, Ehsan said that he was 'no more' indicating that he had died a few days earlier.
Intelligence sources also confirmed that Tariq Afridi, the leader of the TTP's Tariq Afridi group, had died but added that there were two versions regarding his death.
According to one version there were reports that Tariq Afridi was killed by a relative a few months earlier and according to another version he had died in infighting between different myrmidon factions in Tirah valley's Dua Toi area near the border of Orakzai Agency ... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers... Earlier on Thursday reports were received of one of Tariq's very close associated was killed in a sniper attack in KHyber tribal region.
[WASHINGTONTIMES] Republicans succeeded Thursday in blocking a vote on Chuck Hagel, President B.O.'s defense secretary nominee, by launching the first filibuster in history against a president's choice to fill the Pentagon's top civilian post.
GOP senators said they are delaying the confirmation in order to have more time to study Mr. Hagel's record and to obtain more information on the White House's handling of the September attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, a matter on which they accuse the administration of stonewalling or providing wrong information. Republicans expect they will green-light him later this month after the chamber returns from a weeklong vacation.
Still, the filibuster is a stark move against a man who just four years ago was a Republican senator from Nebraska -- meaning the senators are blocking one of their former colleagues.
The vote drew a furious response from the White House, which said Republicans were "playing politics" with the Defense Department and with Mr. Hagel, who was maimed serving as an enlisted combat soldier in Vietnam.
"Allow this war hero an up-or-down vote, and let our troops have the secretary of defense they deserve," press secretary Jay Carney said after the vote.
4. Any person who, prior to the effective date of this law, was legally in possession of an assault weapon or large capacity magazine shall have ninety days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:
(1) Remove the assault weapon or large capacity magazine from the state of Missouri;
(2) Render the assault weapon permanently inoperable; or
(3) Surrender the assault weapon or large capacity magazine to the appropriate law enforcement agency for destruction, subject to specific agency regulations.
5. Unlawful manufacture, import, possession, purchase, sale, or transfer of an assault weapon or a large capacity magazine is a class C felony.
I believe the Donks have solidified their image as 'gun grabbers'.
Try and send the Sheriff by the house to pick up the guns...see what happens.
Look how panic they were with just one man in LA. Imagine their state when every house, car and prol could be packing when they try to do the grab. Their kill ratio wasn't that good in LA. Once they do a Ruby Ridge or Waco on a few, their family members will also become vulnerable. They don't live in fortified cantonments, but among the community. They have to go home every night or end of shift. As amply demonstrated with the police in Iraq and Afghanistan, that renders them very ineffective in 'enforcement'.
The numbering in the original article was botched. Journalists and the govmint aren't good at counting. I'll take license and add #6 and #7.
(6) The American people can take up arms, exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, defend the country and its Constitution against all enemies domestic and foreign, and then
(7) Throw the rascals out of office if they are still available.
Plus a long discussion on Guam's importance to our Pacific plan...
Two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam this week in the latest sign of Moscows growing strategic assertiveness toward the United States. The Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers were equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and were followed by U.S. jets as they circumnavigated Guam on Feb. 12 local timehours before President Barack Obamas state of the union address.
Air Force Capt. Kim Bender, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Air Force in Hawaii, confirmed the incident to the Washington Free Beacon and said Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, scrambled and responded to the aircraft.
The Tu-95s were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction. No further actions occurred, she said. Bender said no other details would be released for operational security reasons.
The bomber incident was considered highly unusual. Russian strategic bombers are not known to have conducted such operations in the past into the south Pacific from bomber bases in the Russian Far East, which is thousands of miles away and over water.
John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and former State Department international security undersecretary, said the Russian bomber flights appear to be part of an increasingly threatening strategic posture in response to Obama administration anti-nuclear policies.
Every day brings new evidence that Obamas ideological obsession with dismantling our nuclear deterrent is dangerous, Bolton said. Our national security is in danger of slipping off the national agenda even as the threats grow.
Defense officials said the bombers tracked over Guam were likely equipped with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away with either a high-explosive warhead or a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead.
The F-15s that intercepted the bombers were based at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and were deployed to Guam for the ongoing annual Exercise Guahan Shield 2013.
Two U.S. B-2 strategic bombers were deployed to Guam in late January and last fall advanced F-22 fighter bombers were temporarily stationed on the island. Three nuclear-powered attack submarines and the Global Hawk long-range drone also are based in Guam.
About 200 Marines currently are training on the island. Earlier news reports stated that Japanese and Australian military jets joined U.S. jets in the Guam exercises.
Guam is one of the key strategic U.S. military bases under the Obama administrations new pivot to Asia policy. As a result, it is a target of China and North Korea. Both have missiles capable of hitting the island, located about 1,700 miles east of the Philippines in the Mariana island chain. This weeks bomber flights are a sign the Russians are targeting the island as well, one defense official said.
Guam also plays a key role in the Pentagons semi-secret strategy called the Air-Sea Battle Concept designed to counter what the Pentagon calls Chinas anti-access and area denial weaponsprecision guided missiles, submarines, anti-satellite weapons, and other special warfighting capabilities designed to prevent the U.S. military from defending allies or keeping sea lanes open in the region.
Defense officials said the Russian bomber flights appeared to be a strategic message from Moscow timed to the presidents state of the union speech.
They were sending a message to Washington during the state of the union speech, one official said.
It shows that the Russians, like the Chinese, are not just going to sit idly by and watch the United States pivot or rebalance its forces toward Asia, said former State Department security official Mark Groombridge.
One could argue the Russians were poking a bit of fun at the Obama Administration, seeing how they flew these long-range bombers close to Guam on the same day as the state of the union address, he said.
But the broader implications are more profound, said Groombridge, now with the private strategic intelligence firm LIGNET. The Russians are clearly sending a signal that they consider the Pacific an area of vital national strategic interest and that they still have at least some power projection capabilities to counterbalance against any possible increase in U.S. military assets in the region.
The Russian air incursion around Guam was the third threatening strategic bomber incident since June. On July 4th, two Bear Hs operated at the closest point to the United States that a Russian bomber has flown since the Soviet Union routinely conducted such flights.
The July bomber flights near California followed an earlier incident in June when two Bear Hs ran up against the air defense zone near Alaska as part of large-scale strategic exercises that Moscow said involved simulated attacks on U.S. missile defense bases. The Pentagon operates missile defense bases in Alaska and California. Those flights triggered the scrambling of U.S. and Canadian interceptor jets as well.
The bomber flights near Alaska violated a provision of the 2010 New START arms treaty that requires advance notification of exercises involving strategic nuclear bombers.
Military spokesmen sought to play down the June and July incidents as non-threatening, apparently reflecting the Obama administrations conciliatory reset policy toward Russia that seeks better relations by tamping down criticism of Moscow, despite growing anti-U.S. sentiments and policies from the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The latest Russian nuclear saber rattling through bomber flights comes as the Obama administration is planning a new round of strategic arms reduction talks with Russia. State Department arms official Rose Gottemoeller was recently in Moscow for arms discussions.
The president was expected to announce plans to cut U.S. nuclear forces by an additional one-third in a new round of arms reduction efforts with Moscow. However, the president did not announce the plans and said only during his state of the union speech that he plans further arms cuts.
Building Guam as a strategic hub has played a critical role in balancing U.S. security interests in responding to and cooperating with China as well as in shaping Chinas perceptions and conduct, wrote Government Accountability Office analyst Shirley A. Kan in a September 2012 report.
Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam to increase U.S. presence, deterrence, and power projection for potential responses to crises and disasters, counterterrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia.
[MAGHAREBIA] Senegalese soldiers arrested a Mauritanian national on charges of recruiting for al-Qaeda, PANA reported on Thursday (February 14th). Mohamed Ahmed Aidara, 34, was intercepted in Pakour, near the border with Guinea Bissau. He is accused of recruiting young people to join terrorist groups in northern Mali.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
[Egypt Independent] Next week's national dialogue between President Mohamed Morsy's administration and opposition political forces is not likely to succeed, predicted former Jama'a al-Islamiya leader Nageh Ibrahim.
"Each party wants to impose its conditions before engaging in dialogue, and the administration can no longer guarantee the success of the dialogue. There are alternative institutions that enjoy neutrality, like Al-Azhar," he said on Friday.
"Al-Azhar had an active role in uniting the dispersed opposition during the transition period," Ibrahim pointed out.
Ibrahim told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Gareeda that he hoped the Armed Forces would remain out of the national dialogue.
"I prefer that the Armed Forces keep away from the political game, so as not to be involved in taking one side against the other, and to be dedicated to their fundamental role -- defending national security," he said.
"I predicted this violent situation," Ibrahim continued, "as the situation in general was not reassuring after the Arab Spring revolutions, especially with the spread of the phenomenon of political violence and weapons, as well as the emergence of groups that adopt violence like the Black Bloc, in addition to the culture of non-acceptance of [differences].The Arab Spring countries have become flaccid and weak, and cannot apply the law."
When asked about the possibility of armed festivities between secular and Islamist forces, Ibrahim responded, "This is possible, and there are harbingers of that, though I do not wish this to occur. The continuation of violence and carrying weapons in the street will not end except by the division of Egypt. Weapons are widespread now, with the appearance of groups from both sides that explicitly adopt violence," he said.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
There are alternative institutions that enjoy neutrality, like Al-Azhar," he said on Friday.
Thousands of Islamists rallied in Cairo on Friday in support of Mohamed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood president who has been the target of protester rage in weeks of violent demonstrations, Reuters reported.
Repeating the pattern of recent weeks, Mursi's opponents rallied again on Friday, this time gathering outside El-Quba, one of the presidential palaces in the northern suburbs of Cairo. The activists dubbed it "Checkmate Friday".
The protest, which drew several hundred people by afternoon descended into violence as night fell. State media reported that "troublemakers" had thrown rocks and petrol bombs. Security forces unleashed tear gas and water cannon, it said.
The pro-Mursi rally was called by a hardline Salafi Islamist group, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiya, in what it described as a protest under the banner "Together Against Violence".
The Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party said it backed Friday's rally in a symbolic way but did not mobilize supporters for the event, meaning the numbers were smaller than at previous Islamist protests.
Trouble also flared outside of Cairo on Friday. In al-Mahalla al-Kubra, an industrial town, protesters set fire to a local government building, state TV reported. In Alexandria, the security forces briefly fought protesters when they tried to force their way into a police station, witnesses said.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[NATION.TIME] As Maureen O'Connor stood in court Thursday somberly admitting over the course of years that she had bet a total of more than $1 billion in casinos due to her compulsive gambling, it was the sad culmination of an addiction that dismantled a vast fortune and left her broke and in failing health.
The former mayor of San Diego -- and widow of millionaire Jack-in-the-Box restaurant chain founder Robert Peterson, who died in 1994 -- lost a total of $13 million to casinos, and confessed to taking $2.1 million from her husband's charitable foundation only to blow it on video poker. But it didn't end there. Court records show O'Connor liquidated her savings, sold a number of properties, auctioned her valuables and took out second and third mortgages on her home in La Jolla, Calif. -- all of it to only rack up extensive gambling debts.
O'Connor, who served as mayor of Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party,'s second-largest city in the 1980s and '90s, pleaded not guilty "Wudn't me." on Thursday to a charge of money laundering, striking a deal that allows her to try to pay the money back to the foundation and get treatment for gambling addiction. "I always intended to pay it back," she said of the money at a news conference following her hearing. "And I still intend to pay it back. In that period of time I lost my husband, three siblings, best friends."
O'Connor, 66, suffered a stroke and had a brain tumor removed in 2011; she now lives with her twin sister, Mavourneen, and says she suffers memory loss and sometimes has trouble reading. She blames her gambling compulsion on the tumor. "There are two Maureens -- Maureen No. 1 and Maureen No. 2," O'Connor said at her presser. "Maureen No. 2 is the Maureen who did not know she had a tumor growing in her brain."
The 'bet more than $1 Billion' is, I think, somewhat deceptive.
Suppose you have $15 Million in assets. For two years, you bet $1.5 Million per day, almost every day, and lose a net of $17k on average per day. After 700 days, you would have bet about $1,000,000,000. Your loss would be about $12,000,000.
Posted by: lord garth ||
correct. She won more than $1 billion. She lost more. I guess she'll make up for it in volume
Posted by: Frank G ||
I'll be she comps a lot of buffet prime rib and lobster.
Posted by: ryuge ||
Top|| File under: Muslim Brotherhood
Tamim Ansary talks about the three responses of the Muslim world to being conquered by Christendom: retreat to the legendary pure faith of the founding generation (the Salafists), adopt the ways of the conquerers in the hope of eventually doing unto them what they'd done unto the Muslims (the secularists and the Arab nationalists like the Ba'ath party and the military rulers of Egypt through Hosni Mubarak), or the third way, which comes down to the religious fascism of the Muslim Brotherhood -- using the tools of modernity to buttress the eventual expansion of the MB caliphate. This article addresses the Muslim Brotherhood's view of their strand of Egyptian history. Because what happened to Egypt wasn't colonialism, despite MB claims -- it was not colonized by British people pushing the natives to the periphery of their own society, but straightforward conquest, or so it seems to me.
[An Nahar] More than 100,000 troops and civilians staged a mass rally in Pyongyang to celebrate North Korea's nuclear test and praise the "matchless" bravery of leader Kim Jong-Un, state media said Friday.
The rally in the capital's sprawling Kim Il-Sung square on Thursday was attended by top party and military officials, as well as police workers and students, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
A number of speakers addressed the rally, praising Tuesday's test as the "brilliant fruition of the extraordinary decision and matchless gut of the dear respected Kim Jong-Un", KCNA said, in reference to the leader's courage.
The young leader, who took over after the death of his father Kim Dear Leader Jong-Il ... hereditary dictator of North Korea. His definition of reunification isn't the same as the definition in Seoul... in December 2011, did not attend the rally.
It was the North's third test, following previous detonations in 2006 and 2009, and seismic data suggested it was significantly more powerful.
"It serves as a striking demonstration of the might of a scientific and technological power and a military power capable of manufacturing any strike," KCNA said.
North Korea said the test -- widely condemned by the international community -- was a direct response to U.N. sanctions imposed on Pyongyang after its long-range rocket launch in December.
Pyongyang accused the United States of leading the sanctions charge in the U.N. Security Council, and speakers at Thursday's rally threatened "merciless retaliatory blows" if the U.S. pushed tougher sanctions after the nuclear test.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Commies
Crap like the picture, and they wonder why we don't like them?
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
[Guardian Ng] TRAGEDY struck Friday in Kaduna following the murder of a legislative aide to a National Assembly member, representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Mallam Mohammed Ibrahim Matazu by his wife.
Matazu, who was set ablaze by his wife, died at the Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika.
The deceased, an aide to Senator Mohammed Saleh, was said to be preparing to travel to Kaduna to represent his boss at a function organized by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) when his second wife sprayed him with petrol and set him ablaze at his residence in Gwarinpa, Abuja.
His death threw several people in Kaduna metropolis into mourning. Matazu was a former staff of the Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN) and Nagata Radio.
According to the deceased's younger brother, Alhaji Magaji Ibrahim, neighbours confirmed the incident, saying they were the ones that called the police to arrest the Matazu's wife.
"It happened in Gwarinpa, Abuja. He was later rushed to Zone 3, Wuse hospital. But according to the doctor's report, 77 percent of his body was severely burnt. He later died at Ahmadu Bello Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria."
Narrating the ordeal that befell Mallam Mutazu, Alhaji Ibrahim said, Mutazu's offence, according to the wife, seem to be due to his penchant for "over-staying with the first wife in Kaduna."
This, my dears, is why monogamy is a much better idea for the husband than polygamy, despite all the stories of sexy harem girls in see-through pantaloons.
"But my brother was always in Kaduna because of the assignment the Senator gave him to do, that is, digging of boreholes. So he used to spend 10 days before going back to Abuja. He was going round the seven local governments to supervise the boreholes being sunk by the Senator.
[An Nahar] Syria's army and rebels were preparing Friday for a major battle for control of strategic airports in Aleppo, a watchdog said, four days after bully boyz launched assaults on airbases in the northern province.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said intermittent festivities were reported around Aleppo international airport, Nayrab airbase and another military complex as the two sides readied for a major fight.
"The army shelled the area around Aleppo international airport and Nayrab air base on Friday morning, while rebels used homemade rockets to shell Nayrab," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
"The army is preparing a large-scale operation to take back control of Base 80," Abdel Rahman added, referring to a military complex tasked with managing both Nayrab and Aleppo airports.
Rebels seized the base on Wednesday after a battle that left at least 150 dead from both sides, among them senior army officers, said the Observatory.
Insurgents fighting Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... 's regime "are trying to take control of Nayrab and to destroy the runways at Aleppo international airport, which the army is using for military purposes," said Abdel Rahman.
Activists in Aleppo have said the rebel Free Syrian Army shifted its focus weeks ago from the city to airbases in the province.
Insurgents see the capture of airports such as al-Jarrah, also in Aleppo province, on Tuesday as a way to seize large amounts of ammunition and to put out of action warplanes used by the regime air force to bombard rebel-held areas.
Regime tanks, meanwhile, shelled the town of Khan Sheykhun in the province of Idlib, killing at least 11 civilians, said the Observatory.
In Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... , the army shelled the eastern district of Jobar, where rebels have set up enclaves, the Britannia-based group said.
Friday's violence came a day after at least 155 people were killed across Syria, it said.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[MAGHAREBIA] Two Tunisian salafists died in fighting at Syria's Aleppo airport, Ansa reported on Friday (February 15th). Both men were from Regueb.
Maghreb fighters in Syria have linked up with groups seeking to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad, including al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb fighters are reportedly among the latest arrivals to the Syria battle.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Salafists
[An Nahar] Thousands of people in Sunni-majority areas of Iraq called on Friday for the government's fall amid a spike in violence that has accompanied a political stalemate two months before provincial polls.
The demonstrations, which have been ongoing for nearly two months, have steadfastly urged for the ouster of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ... Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party.... while decrying the alleged targeting of minority Sunnis by the Shiite-led authorities.
On Friday, the protests began after weekly Moslem prayers in djinn-infested Mosul, Samarra, Kirkuk, ... a thick stew of Arabs, Turkmen, Kurds, and probably Antarcticans, all of them mutually hostile most of the time... Baquba, Ramadi and Fallujah -- all predominantly Sunni -- as well as Sunni-majority areas of Storied Baghdad ...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate... under heavy security as the central government has voiced fears the rallies had been infiltrated by bully boys.
"There is no meaning to freedom in a country where criminals are free," read one banner in Samarra, while another warned central government officials, "Storied Baghdad, we are coming".
"The rulers must look at the conditions of the people who, in spite of their poverty and pain, continue to live," said Sheikh Abu Ala al-Hassani, in a speech to protesters in djinn-infested Mosul.
"Now, we have passed 50 days on strike, and we are still demanding ... that officials be held responsible."
The demonstrations were initially sparked in December by the arrest of several guards of Finance Minister Rafa al-Essawi, a leading Sunni, and the longest-running of them have blocked off a key trade route linking Storied Baghdad to Jordan and Syria.
But they have since expanded markedly, and the government has sought to curtail them by claiming to have released thousands of detainees and raising the salaries of Sunni beturbanned goons fighting al-Qaeda myrmidons.
It has also restricted movements in major cities on Fridays, when the largest of these protests are held.
Maliki, meanwhile, has been grappling with a political crisis that has pitted him against many of his government partners barely two months before provincial elections, Iraq's first since March 2010 parliamentary polls.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will unveil the governments Office of Religious Freedom and name Canadas first religious freedom ambassador at a Toronto-area Ahmadiyya Muslim community center on Tuesday. The announcement will fulfil a two-year-old pledge that has generated its fair share of controversy since it was first proposed during the 2011 federal election.
The government has pointed to a growing body of information linking religious freedom with democratic rights and societal well-being to justify making the safeguarding of religious minorities abroad an important tenet of Canadian foreign policy. But critics have worried about the government picking and choosing which religions the $20-million office defends, and using the institution as a tool for domestic political advantage.
The fact the office has taken so long to take shape, and that the details remain largely unknown, provides some reason to temper expectations. Gerald Filson of the Bahai Community of Canada said, We will have to see what happens with the office and what the mandate is. We havent seen the mandate and we dont know who the ambassador is.
The ambassadors identity could indicate how the Harper government sees the office functioning, which may explain reports it had a hard time finding someone to take the position. Filson said, Its probably a difficult appointment, a delicate appointment. Anything to do with religion is delicate. Its a very tough appointment.
Similarly, it remains unclear exactly what the office will do, or how it will fit into Canadas dealings with the rest of the world. Kathryn White, executive director of the United Nations Association of Canada said, The potential (for the office) is great. But there remain lots of potential pitfalls in terms of how the office actually conducts its mandate.
The Conservative government plans to spend $5 million a year on the initiative over the next four years. Documents show $500,000 will go to the office; where the rest will go is unclear.
[An Nahar] Turkish artillery struck back after a shell fired from neighboring Syria ploughed into Turkish territory without causing any casualties, the state-run news agency ...and if you can't believe the state-run news agency who can you believe?... reported.
The shell fell near the town of Yayladag in Hatay province near the border with Syria and Turkish forces retaliated immediately, Anatolia said.
Since Syrian fire killed five Turks on October 3, Turkey has systematically retaliated to every cross-border shelling.
On Monday, 14 people were killed when a minibus packed with explosives blew up in a buffer zone between Syria's and Turkey's border.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
Are the Ottomans on the rise again?
Seems that they could make some significant hay in the current environment. Have they gotten rid of all those uppity generals?
[An Nahar] Finnish customs said Friday they had seized military equipment en route from Russia to Syria on board a Finnish ship docked at Helsinki's Vuosaari port in January.
During an inspection of the ship, customs officials discovered spare parts for tanks in a container on board the M/S Finnsun, Finnish Customs said in a statement.
According to preliminary information from the agency, the container was en route from Russia to Syria.
The customs authority's crime division has opened an investigation into the illegal export of military equipment. Four crew members have been questioned as suspects, the statement said.
M/S Finnsun is owned by Finnlines, one of the biggest shipping operators in the Baltic region, which is owned by the Grimaldi Group.
The European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing... has banned all sales, delivery, transfers and exports of weapons to Syria.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Guardian Ng] TWO people were killed Friday by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeted at the Joint Task Force (JTF) patrol vehicles at Gambaru Market General area of Maiduguri, just about 1000 meters from the main market on the road to Gambaru-Gala.
JTF spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement, said the explosion, which involved acid and highly flammable substances that propagate blast and thermal effects, occurred around 4.30pm and set houses shops around the vicinity on fire.
The victims were suspected to be the bombers.
Although no civilian was killed or wounded in the incident, a JTF vehicle was damaged and a soldier wounded.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Boko Haram
[MAGHAREBIA] Mauritania will host international military exercises next week for 19 European, Arab and African countries.
The initiative, which includes members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all.... ), is part of the enhanced security strategy implemented in response to the crisis in neighbouring Mali.
"The exercises that begin Monday (February 18th) will benefit the Mauritanian state by improving the performance of the army," Colonel Tayeb Ould Ibrahim said Monday in Assaba.
Another move included the opening last weekend of National Gendarmerie commands in eastern and central Mauritania. Battalions and command centres will cover Brakna, Tagant, Gorgol and Guidimaka, Hodh Ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi and Assaba.
This heavy military presence covers inland areas that in recent years witnessed serious terrorist incidents, including the abduction and murders of both Mauritanian security officers and westerners.
The new security measures encompass more than two-thirds of the Mauritanian territory, especially high-risk zones adjacent to armed terrorist groups.
"This step comes in the wake of years where hard boyz managed to hit targets in the heart of Mauritanian territory, by taking advantage of the lack of security outside the capital," journalist Mohamed Ould Zein told Magharebia.
"Today, the Mauritanian government realised the need to change that policy and enhanced security presence in the remote provinces that are the target of terrorists," he said.
The move coincides with international efforts to consolidate stability in Mali.
The Mali intervention by African and French forces comes at a time when "the world is calling for combating Islamist snuffies who are threatening the Sahel", Malian journalist Moussa Mega told Magharebia.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa
Malaysian officials arrested more than 100 armed Filipino guerrillas, who were wearing military fatigues. Malaysia said that the Filipinos were surrounded near Lahad Datu, Sabah, by Malaysian security forces and ordered to surrender.
Malaysian police Inspector-General Tan Sri Ismail Omar said, the "situation is under control and the people have nothing to worry." He said the armed Filipinos, thought to be members of "a militant group" from Mindanao, arrived on the shore of Lahad Datu by boat.
Filipino terrorists militants have demanded official recognition as members of the Sultanate of Sulu along with an assurance from Malaysia that their members who enter Borneo wouldn't be forcibly returned to the Philippines.
The standoff triggered one of the biggest security scares in recent years in Sabah, which is less than an hour by speedboat from Philippine provinces that have a Muslim separatist insurgency.
The intruders landed in Sabah's coastal district of Lahad Datu, Omar said, in the aftermath of "troubles in the southern Philippines."
Border security issues have increased problems for the Malay Sabah province, to where tens of thousands of Filipinos have tried to immigrate over the past several decades. Not all of the immigrants are seeking a better life; a decade ago, gunmen from Mindanao slipped twice into Sabah and abducted people, including tourists from a diving resort, for a ransom. Last November two Malaysians were seized from a plantation in Lahad Datu and Malay officials say they were subsequently transferred to Mindanao.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who had been visiting Sabah when the incident occurred, said "The government is choosing to handle the issue through negotiation and to get the group to leave peacefully to prevent bloodshed."
The identity of the Filipino militants has not yet been determined, with some reports speculating that they belong to various Filipino Muslim guerrilla factions fleeing from recent violence there but some Malay officials have speculated that they might in fact be personal security guards for a Muslim royal family in the southern Philippines who apparently failed to inform Malay authorities that they intended to travel to Sabah.
JERUSALEM -- Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers on Friday at several demonstrations in the West Bank held to support a prisoner observing an intermittent hunger strike to protest his incarceration.
The Israeli military said about 500 Palestinians threw rocks and rolled burning tires at soldiers who responded with tear gas during the main rally outside Ofer prison in the West Bank. The protesters called for the release of Samer Issawi, who has been on an on-again, off-again hunger strike for several months as he serves time for alleged terror activity.
Protests spread to several other West Bank flashpoints which turned violent as well. Palestinian medics said they treated dozens of people for tear gas inhalation and minor wounds sustained from rubber bullets. Two Israeli soldiers were lightly injured, the military said.
The prisoner issue is an emotional one for Palestinians after decades of conflict with Israel. Palestinians generally view them as heroes, regardless of the reason for their imprisonment even when their crimes have involved killing civilians. Last year hundreds of Palestinian prisoners used hunger strikes to seek concessions from Israel.
Issawi, 35, was initially released in 2011 in a prisoner exchange. One Israeli soldier was freed from captivity in Gaza in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of whom were convicted of being involved in suicide bombings and other deadly attacks.
Some prisoners, like Issawi, were released on condition of travel limits. Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said he was arrested after he violated the terms of his release. She said he was arrested for terror activity and sentenced to 26 years, but released in the 2011 prisoner swap after serving only six years.
Issawi is under medical supervision and eats periodically, she said.
[Dawn] Two leaders of the Shershah scrap market association were bumped off in the SITE area on Thursday night.
Police said the attack took place on State Avenue near the Siemens intersection, where two armed assailants riding a cycle of violence targeted the two men -- vice president of the association Shakeel Malik and general sectary Mohammad Iftikhar -- who were travelling in a hi-roof vehicle.
"Both men were sitting in the front seats of the vehicle. They suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the head causing their instant death," SITE SP Ali Asif told Dawn.
A third person, sitting in the back seat of the vehicle, survived the attack, the SP said.
"The survivor is the younger brother of one of the two men. However, the hip bone's connected to the leg bone... he is in a state of shock and has not yet given us any statement," the SP said. The assailants used a .30-bore pistol in the killing, the SP added.
It's not the first time that people from the Shershah scrap market have been targeted.
On Oct 19, 2010 a group of assailants riding cycle of violences stormed the Shershah scrap market and killed 12 men, mostly shopkeepers.
Following the carnage, the scrap market had remained closed for weeks and was only reopened after new police kiosks and Rangers pickets were set up there.
However, the hip bone's connected to the leg bone... gradually security was reduced and now only a few coppers and Rangers were performing duty in the market, said a shopkeeper.
The latest killings have once again heightened the sense of insecurity among the shopkeepers of the market.
The scrap market association has announced that the market will be closed on Friday in protest over the killings.
Some law-enforcement officials noted that the killing took place on the day when there were reports of withdrawal of criminal cases against some prominent gangsters belonging to Lyari.
[Egypt Independent] The Moslem Brüderbund's political party aims to win an outright majority in the forthcoming parliamentary elections without making alliances with other more hardline Islamist groups, its leader said on Thursday.
One man, one vote... two times?
Saad al-Katatny, 61, became the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) leader in October, replacing Mohamed Morsy who had become the first elected president of Egypt since the overthrow of veteran authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak ...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011... in 2011.
"The Freedom and Justice Party will aim to get a majority [in Parliament]. We expect more popular support and an increase in our number of seats beyond what we held in the previous Parliament," Katatny told a news conference.
The FJP won about 40 percent of the vote in a parliamentary election last year, short of an absolute majority, although Islamist groups won a total of about 70 percent of the seats.
The assembly was dissolved by a court order months later because the electoral rules were deemed unconstitutional. Katatny was the speaker of that short-lived Parliament.
Since the fall of Mubarak, Islamists have moved to the forefront of politics with organizational skills and finances unmatched by liberal and leftist rivals.
But the Brotherhood-led government has faced growing hostility from opponents who accuse it of striving to monopolize power rather than seek consensus on political rights and economic reform, sparking protests that have turned violent.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[An Nahar] Besma Khalfaoui, Chokri Belaid's widow, has become a symbol of Tunisia's secular opposition and scourge of the ruling Islamists, waving her fingers in a victory sign just hours after her husband was killed.
On February 6, Tunisians saw the mother-of-two, her face lined with grief and her trousers still covered in blood, urging people not to react to her husband's liquidation with violence, as she joined outraged protesters in central Tunis.
Those televised images transformed the discreet 42-year-old lawyer into an instant icon.
Moved by the presence of so many people at Belaid's funeral, which became a mass opposition rally thought to be the largest since the revolution, she cried out: "How beautiful Tunisia is!" before launching into the national anthem.
On Saturday, she will take part in another memorial ceremony in the northern town of Jendouba, birthplace of her husband who was bumped off beside her outside their Tunis home in an attack that sparked a major political crisis.
Belaid was a prominent leftist politician and scathing critic of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, and Khalfaoui seems to determined take up the torch.
"It is from Chokri that I draw my strength. I will continue his struggle," she said, while not hesitating to accuse Ennahda, elected 14 months ago in Tunisia's first post-uprising poll, of orchestrating her husband's liquidation.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[USA Today] The insurgents who have fled from invading French troops in Mali have been taking with them some of their most important possessions -- slaves.
The Tuareg tribes that overran Mali's military with the help of Arab extremist groups aligned with al-Qaeda have long held slaves and many of the captives are from families that have been enslaved for generations.
Though slavery was outlawed in 1960, Mali is one of the countries in the world where the practice of human servitude flourishes, with as many as 200,000 Bella ("slave" in the Tuareg language) living a life of hereditary enslavement.
The people who voluntarily live on welfare for generations instead of doing something to get themselves out of there have sold themselves into slavery to whatever politician makes the latest promises they don't intend to keep. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara ||
[FUELFIX] An international manufacturing company with operations around the globe said Friday it will build a $1.5 billion plant in Matagorda County to produce piping to be used in shale drilling operations throughout the United States.
Germán Curá, president of North American operations for Tenaris, said the company was convinced by the incentives offered by Gov. Rick Perry and local economic development officials including a $6 million grant from Perrys Texas Enterprise Fund and by the workforce and infrastructure in Matagorda County, about 90 miles southeast of Houston.
The plant will be a boost to the Matagorda County economy, where unemployment routinely tops the state average and was 9.4 percent in December, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The announcement Friday morning drew Perry and an auditorium filled with local politicians and economic development officials, who stood to applaud Curás promise to open an office in Bay City Monday morning.
The plant will have an annual production capacity of 600,000 tons of seamless pipe used in drilling, producing or transporting gas and oil.
It is expected to be completed in 2016 and will employ 600 people, with an average annual salary of $66,000, according to the company.
The countys proximity to the bustling Eagle Ford Shale was a plus, Curá said.
It is one of the most promising fields in the industry. The Eagle Ford has a lot to produce.
But pipe milled in Bay City will also be used in the Bakken, the Marcellus and in shale plays across the country, he said, making the new plant a complement to Tenaris operations already in place in the United States.
ick industry. The Man renting soul's at 66K per year, to work for Satan Oil. I for one am glad Florida has stuck with our good hospitality industry jobs. Our jobs don't pay well and they're not steady, but it least you can look into our cracked mirror in the morning and say.... WTF $66k? Hello, Grayhound? WTF is Matagorda County? Is it in the United States?
[Yemen Post] Unknown gunnies detonated two bombs at the political security building and governor's residence in Yemen's Baidha province on Thursday, a day after two kabooms hit the political security office and a military camp in Dhamar province, local security sources said by telephone.
One of the bombs was thrown at the gate of governor Al-Dhahiry Al-Shaday and several adjacent homes were damaged, the sources said, adding that the second bomb exploded at the political security office at dawn. There have been no reports of casualties from both attacks.
The Yemeni army has recently launched an offensive against Al-Qaeda in Baidha that was ceased under a tribal mediation by elders who told the government they can convince the beturbanned goons to leave the Rada city. The army is also seeking to release three Europeans who were kidnapped in Sanaa in December and handed to Al-Qaeda in Baidha.
Lately, leader of the Rada beturbanned goons visited the capital Sanaa and met with bigwigs on the battles and the release of the two Finns and Austrian.
The outcomes of the talks have not been announced.
However, a woman is only as old as she admits... unconfirmed reports have emerged that President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi had told the leader Abdul Ra'ouf Al-Dhahab that he and his relatives with links with Al-Qaeda should surrender to the authorities and release the three Europeans in exchange for stopping the fight against the bully boys.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan conducted a successful test of the North Korean designed short ranged nuclear-capable Hatf II (Abdali) missile, according to a statement issued by the Inter Services Public relations (ISPR) on Friday.
The statement stated: Pakistan today successfully test fired the Short Range Surface-to-Surface Ballistic Missile Hatf II (Abdali), as part of the process of validation of land-based ballistic missile systems. Hatf II (Abdali) with a range of 180km, carries nuclear as well as conventional warheads with high accuracy. The weapon system with its varied manoeuvrability options provides an operational level capability to Pakistans Strategic Forces.
[Dawn] Chief Minister Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... Ameer Haider Khan Hoti remained unhurt in a suicide kaboom that targeted his convoy in Mardan on Friday, DawnNews reported.
All other members of the chief minister's convoy also remained unhurt in the blast that took place outside the Abdul Wali Khan University in Mardan.
The attack occurred when the provincial chief minister was on its way to attend a political rally.
The attacker threw a grenade at the chief minister's car before blowing himself up, Zakaullah, a senior local official, told AFP.
Danishwar Khan, police chief for Mardan, where the attack took place, confirmed it was a suicide kaboom.
"The target of the attack was chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He and other associates remained safe in the attack," he told AFP.
Mardan lies around 50 kilometres northeast of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. , which is on the edge of Pakistain's lawless tribal belt, known as a haunt of Taliban and Al Qaeda linked myrmidons.
The attack on the senior Awami National Party (ANP) leader comes nearly two months after the killing of Bashir Ahmed Bilour in a suicide bomb kaboom in Peshawar.
The attack that killed Bilour was claimed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP).
The ANP, which has been a continual target of myrmidon groups operating in northwest Pakistain, also recently convened an all parties' conference for developing a consensus on countering militancy in the country.
However, some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go... today the Pak Taliban rejected the offer of peace talks that had come out of the ANP-led conference.
"The Taliban are still waiting for a serious and meaningful response to peace talks offer from the Pak government and the military," TTP front man Ehsanullah Ehsan told Dawn.com.
[An Nahar] Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Despoiler of Deraa... 's regime has sent a letter to the United Nations ...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society... blasting Turkey's "destructive" role in the conflict that has ravaged Syria for the past 23 months, state media reported Friday.
The Syrian foreign ministry's letter accuses Turkey of harboring "faceless myrmidons from al-Qaeda's network", the SANA news agency said.
The ministry also accused Ankara of taking "increasingly hostile stances towards Syria, by blocking... measures taken by Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... for a political solution to the crisis" that the U.N. says has left some 70,000 people dead.
The letter, published by SANA, also criticizes Turkey for "pressuring Syrian opposition members to refuse a political plan" proposed in a speech by Assad on January 9.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Bangla Daily Star] at a Glance:
- Rajib's janaza at Shahbagh intersection today after Asr prayers
- Call made to resist Jamaat's hartal on Monday
- Hoisting of National Flag and singing of National Anthem at all educational institutions Sunday at 10:00am
- Gathering in one hour's notice in case of any untoward incident, violence or compromise over trial
- Grand rally on February 21
- Mass gathering on February 26 marking 10th forming anniversary of People's Court
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami
The Moslem neighbors in BanglaDesh helped to kill THREE MILLION Hindus ( give or take a few ) in just eight months back in 1971.
Do YOU have any Moslem neighbors?
Naturally the Hindus are a bit touchy about the matter ( and it has been a long time waiting for trials for War Criminals, after all, wouldn't you say?) Moslems raped about a quarter million women as well while they were at it.
And then along comes Jamaat with the Koran and the swastikas and ....well, you know how that is.
People remember their moslem "neighbors".
You got any Moslem neighbors? You don't borrow a cup of sugar there often, now do you?
I do have Muslim neighbors, as it happens. Two familes. One is a bit more conservative - the wife and 12 year old daughter wear headscarves. The husband has built up a small business over two decades in the US and the oldest son is in the Air Force. They are unfailingly polite to everyone in the neighborhood, the younger teen son shovelled my sidewalks after last year's blizzard (and wouldn't accept money in return) and the wife brought me some of the chicken biranyi she made for their dinner at the end of Ramadan.
The other family lives a few doors on. Their young daughter comes by to bake cookies with me occasionally and joined in decorating pumpkins for Halloween last year. The mother was nervous when I had my dog living here, because she'd never been around one, but beamed when her 4 year old girl got up the courage to pet him and asked to hold his leash.
I haven't had to borrow sugar from them lately, though.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
Not all Moslems are illiterate and brainwashed by the delusional ravings of their local Iman.
Also more westernized Moslems, well at least those that don't go on jihad, seem to recognize that large pieces of the Quran are just hopeless drivel, the ravings of a madman, most likely schiezophrenic.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
I have learned to listen to deh dawgs... what do they say about your neighbors?
OT: Silky is currently in love with the UPS man. It's unseemly.
[ETURBONEWS] This week the government -- led by Mohamed Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party, which has strong links to the Islamist Moslem Brüderbund -- said it will no longer issue licenses to sell alcohol in some urban areas, including newly-built "satellite cities" on the outskirts of major population centres.
No worries -- it's a couple more steps before the ghetto walls are built.
Announcing the move, Nabil Abbas, vice-president of the New Urban Communities Authority, said: "We cannot allow stores spreading debauchery in our society."
Although the ban is unlikely to affect any key holiday destinations -- particularly Red Sea resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh -- it has raised fears that growing conservatism could soon affect those travellers wishing to visit the country and enjoy a drink. One Cairo-based news website described the move as "the end of alcohol in Egypt".
But Peter Lilley, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa Travel Association, which promotes the region, argued that "financial realities" would discourage the Egyptian government from restricting the sale of alcohol further.
"Egypt is very volatile so it's impossible to give cast-iron guarantees, but tourism is absolutely vital to the country's economy," he said. "Even those in government who dislike some of the 'negative' aspects of tourism which offend Mohammedans -- such as alcohol -- know it would be madness to effectively close the door to tourists.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Dawn] The Pakistain Army on Friday condemned what it described as the "inhuman and brutal killing" of one of its soldiers by Indian troops near the de facto Kashmire border -- the first deadly exchange since a truce was agreed a month ago.
The Pak military condemned the killing, saying the soldier had become lost and crossed the LoC "inadvertently", and civilians had seen him being questioned by Indians troops.
"We condemn such an inhuman and brutal act of killing of our soldier after he had identified himself and explained his position," a front man of the military's public relations wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said.
The ISPR front man said that soldier Sepoy Ikhlaq had lost his way between two border posts earlier on Thursday and inadvertently crossed over the LoC in Khoi Ratta sector.
A few civilians at the scene saw the soldier being questioned by the Indians, he said.
"This is not the first such event. We have returned Indian soldiers in the past, who had similarly strayed," said the front man.
He added that the Directors General Military Operations of the two countries spoke on the hotline this morning when the Indian DGMO revealed that the Pak soldier had been killed by their troops.
Sepoy Ikhlaq is a resident of Kallar Saydan, 22 years old, and had four years of service, he said.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth ordered the space pirate fleet to attack Zemblonia... the body of the soldier has been handed over to the Pak authorities during a flag meeting in Laam Sector on Friday.
The dear departed will be laid to rest with full military honour in his native town on Saturday, ISPR sources told the media.
The Pak foreign office also condemned the killing, saying that it "goes against the understanding reached between Pakistain and India on speedy return of inadvertent line crossers," and that the incident had "the potential to further vitiate the atmosphere."
"Pakistain calls upon the Government of India to carry out a thorough investigation into this unfortunate incident and to ensure that such incidents do not recur," it said in a statement released Friday evening.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth ordered the entire 614th quadrant searched. The Green Lensman must be found!... an Indian army front man claimed the Pak soldier had been killed in a firefight in which one Indian soldier was also maimed.
"We detected some suspicious movement yesterday near the LoC (Line of Control) inside our territory and the challengers from our side fired and in the ensuing firefight he was killed," said Lieutenant Colonel Rajesh Kalia, a front man for the Indian army's northern command.
"At that time we did not know he was a Pak soldier. We killed an infiltrator," the front man added.
Kalia said India expected to return the body to Pak authorities later in the day.
The incident is the first fatal exchange between troops in the region since the two armies agreed a ceasefire on January 16.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
did they behead him? Then they're not even....yet
Posted by: Frank G ||
The U.N. Security Council warned on Friday against attempts to destabilize Yemen with weapons shipments as the country tries to rebuild after two years of upheaval and expressed concern that former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was undermining the process, Reuters reported.
No, really? Whoever heard of such a thing!
The 15-member council said it was ready to consider further measures, including sanctions, "if actions aimed at undermining the Government of National Unity and the political transition continue."
Yemen said its coast guard seized missiles and rockets on January 23 believed to have been sent by Iran. Iran has denied any connection to the weapons, which were found aboard a vessel off the coast in an operation coordinated with the U.S. Navy.
The Security Council has asked its group of experts that monitors compliance with the Iran sanctions, which includes a ban on arms exports, to investigate the incident after Yemen officially complained, Britain's U.N. Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told reporters.
"The Security Council expresses concern over reports of money and weapons being brought into Yemen from outside for the purpose of undermining the transition," the Security Council said in a statement.
The council also expressed concern over reports of interference "by individuals in Yemen representing the former regime ... including former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and former vice president Ali Salim Al-Beidh."
Under the U.S.-backed power transfer deal, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is overseeing reforms for a two-year interim period to ensure a transition to democracy. Presidential and parliamentary elections are expected in 2014.
After which Yemen will have true peace and democracy, yewbetcha...
Saleh stepped down in February 2012 after 33 years in office as part of the power-transfer deal, but he remains influential. His continuing sway in Yemen worries Gulf neighbors and Western nations fearful that the transition could descend into chaos.
Council envoys visited Yemen last month to show support for the power transfer. Yemen is struggling with several conflicts, including an al Qaeda insurgency, a Shi'ite Muslim rebellion and separatist forces.
Iran's U.N. mission wrote to the Security Council regarding the allegations about the ship containing arms bound for Yemen to deny responsibility.
"It has been further claimed that the items seized on board ... the ship were produced in Iran," Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee wrote. "Even if some of these items were made in Iran, this does not provide any evidence that Iran was involved in the shipment of arms to Yemen."
[Dawn] The Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. High Court has directed the provincial police officer to trace within one month the culprits involved in the recent targeted sectarian killings by entrusting investigation to senior experts, headed by a senior superintendent of police.A two-member bench comprising PHC Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth issued wide-ranging directives here on Thursday to PPO Akber Khan Hoti, Peshawar capital city police officer (CCPO) Imtiaz Altaf and other officials that included creation of a quick response elite force with the sole task of tracing suspects involved in such activities.
The bench ordered that the said force should be provided universal telephone numbers on which general public could convey any suspicious activity to it. This force should be directed not to disclose the name of the informant to anyone except the bigwigs including PPO and CCPO, it was observed.
The bench also directed that registration of all cycle of violences brought from other provinces should be cancelled within 15 days and the owners should be directed to re-register their bikes.
It was added that owners of all motorbikes and vehicles including cars and jeeps registered outside the province should be directed by the excise department to re-register their vehicles in the province.
It was ordered that in that public notice should be published in the press by the director general of excise and taxation department for information of owners of such vehicles and bikes. After expiry of a fixed date, a massive campaign should be launched and all such vehicles and bikes should be impounded, the bench directed.
The bench ordered that an impounded vehicle should not be released by any court unless it was re-registered in the province and fresh registration book was produced to the court. The court fixed March 14 for next hearing.
When the bench took up for hearing the case notice of which was taken suo moto by PHC chief justice after the recent killing of prominent lawyer Malik Jarar, the courtroom was full to the capacity with scores of police officials, lawyers and members belonging to Shia sect. Most of those present in courtroom turned emotional when the members from the said sect started narrating their ordeal.
One of them stated that it was difficult for them to take their children to schools, go out to buy daily use items and attend their offices. He said that their female family members remained in a state of agony whenever they went out of their houses.
The people said that law enforcement agencies remained unmoved over the incidents of targeted attacks on members of their sect during the last few weeks and so far not a single culprit was traced.
They added that Shia and Sunni people were peacefully living with each other but some elements were trying to create bad blood between them.
The bench directed the PPO and CCPO to sensitise general public including members from Shia sect to keep eye on suspects visiting their areas and inform the quick response force on the universal numbers if any suspicious activity was observed.
The PPO and CCPO stated that they had held several suspects but until they had ample proofs about their involvement they could not say anything with certainty.
They regretted that people were not cooperating with police in such incidents.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[An Nahar] The opposition National Coalition said on Friday it refuses to accept Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... in any talks on ending Syria's war, as part of a "framework" it has drawn up for solutions to the conflict.
The Coalition issued the framework after a meeting in Cairo to discuss a proposal by its chief, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, to hold peace talks with regime representatives, a move that ruffled feathers in the umbrella opposition group.
"Bashir al-Assad and security leadership who are responsible for the current destruction of the country are outside the political process and must be held accountable for their crimes," it said in a statement issued in English.
The eight-point framework was drawn up at a meeting of the National Coalition's interim advisory political committee in the Egyptian capital on Thursday.
It singled out the Assad regime's most powerful backers, Russia and Iran, calling on the former to ensure there are "adequate safeguards" to make the grinding of the peace processor possible, together with the United States.
The statement urged Iran's leaders to recognize that the Islamic republic's support for Assad "is pushing the region towards sectarian conflict" and realize that "Assad and his regime have no chance to stay in power."
It said the "friends of the Syrian people" should understand that a solution would only take place though "changing the balance of power," meaning support for the Coalition and the rebellion by "all possible means."
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
support for Assad "is pushing the region towards sectarian conflict
Boy Howdy shit will really hit the fan if this all ends up with...gasp.. sectarian conflict.
But I thought we all bought new appliances with government help a few years ago in order to fix that. Did we not thusly cool the sun's passion?
[CNSNEWS] Representative Henry Waxman ...the funny-looking Democrat Representative-for-Life from Caliphornia. First elected in 1975, his estimated retirement date is 2075 or maybe later... (D-Calif.) said the B.O. regime should regulate oil refineries, household appliances, and even renegotiate climate treaties if Congress does not pass legislation dealing with global warming.
"The president will be taking action by executive order through his administration," Waxman said at a presser on Friday unveiling his Safe Climate Caucus, which will work to pressure House Republicans to take up a climate change initiative.
Waxman, who said that Obama's executive actions would also pressure the GOP, explained that there were several things the administration might do to address global warming.
"We've asked the White House to coordinate their activities throughout the various departments and the various areas within the administration," Waxman explained. "The EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] can do a lot more. They've proposed regulating new power plants to control emissions, they can go forward and complete that rule."
[Bangla Daily Star] They are the biggest rallies in Bangladesh for at least two decades. Hundreds of thousands of protesters gather peacefully each day in Dhaka, demanding vengeance against a bearded political figure, Abdul Quader Mollah. Their numbers swell daily: ordinary people furious that, despite his conviction for dreadful crimes during the Liberation War in 1971, Mollah faces only a life sentence.
The rallies began on February 5 after online activists called for protests at Shahbagh, a busy intersection in central Dhaka. They want Mollah and others on trial to face the death penalty. He was convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal, a local court set up by the government of 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... to prosecute men, largely from an Islamic opposition party, accused of murder, torture, rape and other wartime atrocities. When, somewhat unexpectedly, Mollah was spared a death sentence, he was seen flicking supporters a V-for-victory sign. That smug gesture may have helped to provoke the outrage. Shahbagh has given its name to the protests, though some now dub it "new generation roundabout", hinting at broad aspirations for political change. Families attend, with toddlers sporting bandannas bearing slogans that call for the death penalty. Television coverage helps to draw the crowds. The sight of young, otherwise progressive Bangladeshis seeking capital punishment, through music, street theatre, chants and recitals, is both moving and unsettling. Almost no one pays heed to known flaws in the trial.
Both the ruling Awami League and, belatedly, the main opposition BNP have fallen in with the protests. Senior politicians from the ruling party have attempted to co-opt the demonstrations, but their efforts to speak to the crowd were firmly rebuffed. Still, the League could get a boost. Sheikh Hasina honoured her promise to hold war-crimes trials. In parliament this week she also spoke up for the death penalty, saying that even impartial judges must listen to public opinion. Next, the parliament is expected today to amend the act behind the war-crimes court so that the government can appeal against verdicts. Mollah's reprieve may be short-lived.
Matters are trickier for the BNP, which dallied for eight days before joining the protesters. It had more to lose, in particular a useful electoral alliance with the biggest Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami ...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores... , whose leaders comprise most of those on trial. In the end, so many BNP supporters went off to join the Shahbagh protests that the party had no choice. Protesters say that their movement is a narrow one against political Islam: in favour of secular government, they want Jamaat banned. A rampage by Jamaat's violent youth wing has done nothing to damp down such calls. The government, which has already brought back an explicitly secular constitution from 1972, may soon feel ready to move.
Yet, as with any big protests, further political demands may emerge. The protests could become a plea for broad change. Few like a political system dominated by a long, bitter fight between a pair of self-serving dynasties, those of Sheikh Hasina and the BNP's Khaleda Zia Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ... , and their stave-wielding followers. If that duopoly were broken up, many at Shahbagh would celebrate.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami
[Egypt Independent] Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets across the country on Friday, protesting against the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, and decrying police brutality.
In Beheira Governorate, dozens of protesters blocked the railways late Friday afternoon, chanting angrily. They pelted residents who attempted to open the way with rocks. Security forces were completely absent from the scene.
Hundreds of Beni Suef residents blocked the railways in the governorate's capital city on Friday afternoon, in protest against Prime Minister Hesham Qandil's comments on women from the area.
Qandil made the controversial statements during a televised meeting with state TV leaders and media professionals on Monday 4 February. He criticized traditional ways of practicing personal hygiene in Beni Suef, claiming that ignorant women nurse their infants without cleaning themselves first, causing diarrhea in the infants.
He also claimed that women Beni Suef head to agricultural fields and get raped, which sparked an outcry from political forces and lawyers, who declared the statements were humiliating to all women from the governorate.
Eyewitness told Al-Masry Al-Youm that hundreds took to the streets in mass protest, stopping all trains running to and from Cairo. They chanted, "Leave ... leave," and demanded Qandil put on trial for his statements. They also chanted, "Down with the guide's rule," referring to the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Suez, dozens of activists protested in Arbaaen Square in the capital's downtown district, demanding the completion of the goals of the revolution.
"We call for the release of detained revolutionaries," Ali Amin, a leading Wafd Party figure in the governorate, told state-run MENA news agency. He claimed that in Suez, there are ongoing attempts to terrorize the opposition into silence.
In Alexandria, hundreds participated in a march from Al-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque after Friday prayers, rejecting the Muslim Brotherhood and denouncing the Interior Ministry's policies on suppressing demonstrations since last month's protests marking the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution.
Protesters also marched in the funeral of Hassan Shaaban, an activist who reportedly died early Thursday morning in Borg Al-Arab Prison after allegedly being denied medicine and health care, despite known health conditions. The 35 year-old was arrested after participating in demonstrations near the Alexandria Security Directorate on Friday 8 February.
In Monufiya Governorate, dozens of members of the April 6 Youth Movement and Kefaya protested in the capital city Shibin al-Kom to demand the completion of the goals of the revolution. Security was tightened in front of the governorate building, the prison and the courts to secure them against any acts of sabotage.
In Kafr al-Sheikh Governorate, dozens of members of the Popular Current, the Dostour Party and the Karama Party also took to the streets to demand that the goals of the revolution be fulfilled. The demonstrators also denounced the Muslim Brotherhood's rule.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[An Nahar] Bulgaria on Friday expelled a visiting delegation from the Palestinian group Hamas, the head of the organisation that invited the lawmakers to the EU-member state told Agence France Presse.
Bulgarian security service agents "entered the hotel rooms of the three deputies early on Friday morning and drove them to the airport," said Mohd Abuasi of the Center for Middle East Studies.
"The agents explained to them that they had to leave because of strong political pressure on Bulgaria from Israel," he said, adding that they had departed for Istanbul.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said in televised remarks that the lawmakers had left Bulgaria, without specifying if they had been expelled.
The European Union, like the United States, considers Hamas a terror group and deals only with its rival, the Palestinian Authority.
The trip comes in the wake of a February 5 announcement by Sofia Hizbullah -- like Hamas an enemy of Israel with strong ties to Iran -- was behind a July bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver.
On Thursday, Sofia distanced itself from the visit, with the foreign ministry saying the delegation would not be meeting government representatives.
"Our contacts with the Palestinian Authority are direct and pass through the government in Ramallah and the Palestinian embassy in Sofia," the ministry said.
The ministry said a representative had met the Palestinian envoy to Sofia, Ahmed Mohamed al-Madbuh, and underlined that Bulgaria "maintains no contact with Hamas, which is on the EU's list of terrorist organizations".
The three Hamas lawmakers had arrived on Wednesday and were due to participate on Friday in a conference organized by the center.
[An Nahar] Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced on Friday that talks on the formation of a new government of technocrats had been rescheduled for Monday, after he met the leaders of the main political parties.
"There has been some progress on all the points raised... That is why we have decided to continue the discussions on Monday," Jebali told news hounds.
He said a previous Saturday deadline for the announcement of his planned new cabinet, intended to extricate the country from its worst political crisis since the revolution, had been canceled and no new date set.
Jebali, number two in the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, said on Thursday he would resign if he failed to win enough support for his plan, first announced last week amid public outrage over the killing of leftist leader Chokri Belaid.
"The delay is important, but more important are the interests of Tunisia and finding a solution for the people," the Islamist premier said, in justifying the latest postponement of his initiative.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Arab Spring
[Dawn] The Beautiful Downtown Peshawar ...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire. High Court on Thursday put on notice the attorney general for Pakistain in a writ petition challenging the military operation in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency directing him to clarify several questions related to the action, including legality of the prolonged curfew.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth directed the respondents, including the defence and state and frontier region (Safron) ministries, to file written replies within 20 days.
The petition is filed by a resident of Bara Bazaar, Gul Afridi, requesting the court to order lifting of the indefinite curfew and conducting of a judicial inquiry into killings of innocent persons and demolishing of their properties.
The bench asked several questions like whether curfew could be clamped by the security forces for an indefinite period in an area without the authority of the respective political agent; whether governor of the province was informed about the curfew in writing; whether any compensation was paid in cases of collateral damages; and whether the violation of fundamental rights of people had been checked.
The bench also asked under which notification the security forces were called in aid of civil administration in Bara and for how long it would be applicable.
It observed that the security forces had been operating under the Action (in aid of civil power) Regulation 2011 and the said law also provided certain mechanism which had to be followed by the security forces.
It added that under Section 4 of the Regulation, the forces had to protect the lives and properties of non-combatants in the conflict zone.
The bench observed that under Article 5 of the Regulation, action had to be taken against the officials found involved in violation of fundamental rights.
It directed the attorney general to inform whether action had so far been taken against any of the officials under the said regulation for violation of the people's rights.
Samiullah Afridi, lawyer for the petitioner, contended that curfew had been imposed in most part of Bara tehsil for the last four years and as a result, Bara Bazaar was closed, commercial activities were banned, and the people could not move freely and therefore, continuation of curfew would bring more devastation and frustration to the area.
He said on one hand, local residents were targeted by cut-throats and on the other, they were tossed in the clink Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! and killed by security forces, while indiscriminate artillery shelling had become order of the day resulting in killing of innocent women and kiddies.
The lawyer said the recent killings of 19 people by security forces in Bara had gone unnoticed and ironically, instead of taking action against the responsible officials, the government had tried to cover it up.
The petitioner prayed the court that formation of a judicial commission be ordered to see how many innocent people had been killed and injured and how many houses or properties had been demolished since Sept 2008 when security forces were called to the tehsil, and suggest compensation for the affected families.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
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.