Hi there, !
Today Wed 11/13/2013 Tue 11/12/2013 Mon 11/11/2013 Sun 11/10/2013 Sat 11/09/2013 Fri 11/08/2013 Thu 11/07/2013 Archives
Rantburg
473260 articles and 1671663 comments are archived on Rantburg.

Today: 55 articles and 164 comments as of 8:39.
Post a news link    Post your own article   
Area: WoT Operations    Non-WoT    Opinion        Politix    Posting Order
Imambargah attacks leave three dead, spark outrage
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 2: WoT Background
16 23:18 Thing From Snowy Mountain [6464] 
0 [6457] 
1 11:02 Frank G [6457] 
0 [6457] 
3 19:52 Omineque Glaise1236 [6459] 
0 [6457] 
2 12:47 Pappy [6470] 
0 [6460] 
3 17:00 Glenmore [6460] 
0 [6465] 
0 [6459] 
0 [6459] 
0 [6458] 
0 [6457] 
0 [6458] 
0 [6464] 
1 02:49 g(r)omgoru [6467] 
0 [6457] 
0 [6458] 
0 [6457] 
1 13:49 Alaska Paul [6458] 
0 [6457] 
13 20:08 swksvolFF [6466] 
Page 1: WoT Operations
5 22:08 Skunky Greagum5312 [6468]
4 12:37 Pappy [6458]
0 [6466]
0 [6457]
4 17:50 Shipman [6473]
1 16:52 Shipman [6457]
0 [6466]
0 [6528]
0 [6459]
0 [6459]
0 [6458]
0 [6457]
0 [6458]
0 [6460]
Page 3: Non-WoT
5 17:49 Shipman [6468]
3 12:56 Clomotch Tholuger [6465]
24 22:50 Thing From Snowy Mountain [6470]
6 11:37 Fred [6458]
4 12:44 Clomotch Tholuger [6466]
10 23:28 Redneck Jim [6463]
0 [6458]
6 15:32 swksvolFF [6457]
6 20:25 KBK [6463]
0 [6457]
0 [6464]
1 23:23 Redneck Jim [6458]
4 18:28 Bill Clinton [6461]
Page 4: Opinion
0 [6457]
0 [6457]
19 22:49 Procopius2k [6468]
Page 6: Politix
2 23:31 trailing wife [6469]
20 21:47 Pappy [6462]
Afghanistan
Presidential Priorities According to Sherzai
[Tolo News] In an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, Presidential candidate Gul Agha Sherzai
...former governor of Kandahar province. The Taliban got their start protecting people against him...
spoke about what his priorities would be if he was elected to office in April, focusing on post-2014 security, corruption, rule of law and merit-based success.

The same week as leaders from across the country converge on the capital for President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
's Loya Jirga, Sherzai emphasized his belief that the Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) under discussion at the gathering would be essential to the country's security in the coming years.

With nearly all NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
coalition troops departing as the alliance's combat mission comes to an end in December of 2014, Sherzai said a partnership with the U.S. extending past that date would be beneficial for both countries. He was particularly adamant about what the U.S. could do to prevent meddling from neighboring countries as Afghanistan continues to develop alongisde a persistent bully boy conflict.

"We face interference from abroad, and still the war continues in Afghanistan," Sherzai told TOLOnews. "We must defend our nation from external interferences and the global powers should help us."

Many in Afghanistan have expressed anxiety about what could happen if a security pact between the U.S. and Afghanistan is not signed, and Sherzai is not the first of the Presidential candidates to emphasize the importance of the accord.

NATO officials in Brussels recently indicated that the continued involvement of the alliance in Afghan security affairs post-2014 would be predicated on a pact first being settled between Washington and Kabul.

Sherzai also spoke about the Taliban grinding of the peace processor, which remains stalled despite positive signs seen lately with Afghan officials planning to meet with Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban second-in-command released by Pakistain, and recent remarks made by Mutasem Agha Jan on the part of Taliban headman Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
suggesting talks were on the horizon.

The Presidential candidate said he thought the grinding of the peace processor was important, but that he would go about things a little differently than they are being done now. For starters, he said the High Peace Council should be composed of a greater diversity of Afghan intellectuals and leaders.

Sherzai spoke about other non-security related priorities as well, including plans to fight administrative corruption, improve the rule of law and develop a culture of meritocracy in Afghanistan.

He said he and his Vice Presidents, Sayed Hussain Alimi Balkhi and Mohammad Hashim Zarea, would make a strong team. But he stressed that work performance would matter above all else, and if they did not live up to his standards, replacements would be found.

"I would have a good team with the help of Almighty God, and I swear that my vice-presidents would not last even one month if they don't perform," Sherzai said.

Sherzai is the former Governor of Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
and Kandahar provinces. He was one of the 10 Presidential candidates who made the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) preliminary list two weeks ago.

TOLOnews will be conducting interviews with each one of the Presedential candidates in the coming weeks.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:


Minister Answers to Parliament on Corruption Charges
[Tolo News] Jamahir Anwari, the Minister of Refugees and Repatriations (MoRR), was summoned by the Lower House on Saturday to answer questions regarding allegations that implicated him in corruption. He ended up leaving the chamber unscathed, with MPs satisfied by his explanations.

Anwari came to the Lower House standing accused of embezzling money designated for MoRR programs, giving away jobs and land for personal gain and signing unsanctioned agreements with foreign governments that caused Afghan migrants to be wrongfully deported.

All together the, MPs said the Minister was suspected of accepting a total of 150 million USD in exchange for distrbuting land to wealthy immigrants. He was said to have funneled significant amounts of money into family bank accounts.

"You have asked one of the donors to transfer the money to the account of one of your wives named Shazia," Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
MP Naheed Farid said to Anwari on Saturday.

"Money allocated for the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations' electricity budget was transferred to the private bank account of your son Abdullah," said Nafisa Sultani, an MP from Ghazni.

However,
some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them...
Anwari claimed that the money transferred into his family's personal accounts, which he said was significantly less than what he was suspected of, was used for legitimate purposes associated with the Ministry.

"In 2010, the amount of 1,250 USD was transferred to the private account and used to purchase electronic supplies," he claimed. "If a Minister was going to embezzle, he wouldn't embezzle 1,250 dollars."

MPs were especially heated about the possibility that Anwari had abused the power of his office in signing unapproved agreements with foreign governments that permitted the forceful, and unwarranted, deportation of Afghan migrants.

"There is evidence that you have signed agreements with western countries in return for personal favors that forced Afghan immigrants to return to Afghanistan," Kabul MP Shukria Barekzai said.

Anwari outright denied those claims, however, and said he had signed ten agreements that were all done in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). He said none of the agreements included the forceful return of Afghan immigrants.

But the number of young Afghans crowded outside the National Assembly building on Saturday begged to differ. Demonstrators claimed to have been deported by foreign governments on account of Anwari's negligence and malfeasance.

"We were forced to leave Canada, and it was all a result of agreements signed by the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations," said Hassan, one of those demonstrating outside Parliament on Saturday.

Nevertheless, despite all the complaints and apparent evidence against him, Anwari left the Lower House on Saturday still in his position as Minister, with nothing more than suspicion against him. The MPs were reportedly satisfied with the answers he gave them.

If Anwari was to be found responsible of the crimes he is alleged to have committed as Minister, it would likely be the most high-level case of corruption seen in 2013. In October, an investigation into suspected the embezzlement activities of Minister of Information and Culture Sayed Makhdoom Raheen turned up inconclusive.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


Grievances From Disqualified Candidates Persist
[Tolo News] Following weeks of uproar against election organizers, recently disqualified Presidential candidates continued their criticisms on Saturday and appealed to the international community for help in preventing the interference of Afghan officials in the election process.

Since the Independent Election Commission (IEC) released the preliminary list of candidates two weeks ago, hopefuls who were cut and civil society groups as well have accused the IEC of flawed methodology and malfeasance. All of 17 of the Presidential contenders eliminated by the IEC and around 400 Provincial Council candidates filed challenges with the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) this week in hopes of being reinstated to the final list expected to be released in mid November.

On Saturday, a number of candidates launched further accusations against the IEC as they await decisions on their appeals from the ECC. Some said they believed the IEC's disqualifications stemmed from a pre-ordained scheme cooked up with the involvement of officials inside the current government looking to influence to spring vote.

"The Independent Election Commission, without informing the 17 candidates, removed us for the preliminary, which was against the law and was a planned decision," said Daoud Sultanzoy, a disqualified Presidential election candidate.

The IEC claimed that many of the cuts made were a result of candidates filing nomination with invalid voter cards, which they were required to provide a certain number of to prove they had a minimum support base. Others, the Commission said, were a result of cases of dual-citizenship.

However,
if you can't say something nice about a person some juicy gossip will go well...
those candidates who were not approved claimed the findings of the IEC were wrong, and likely contrived.

Salman Ali Dost Zada, another Potential Presidential Candidate who didn't make the IEC's cut, called on the international community to step-in and prevent public officials from meddling in the election process.
"We want the international community to not let the special commission at the Presidential Palace use helicopters and stuffed voting boxes in the name of the elections, but forced on the people," he said referencing reports of electoral improprieties observed during the Presidential election in 2009.

With the history of fraud and other flaws in elections in Afghanistan, many anxious about the integrity of the upcoming vote, which is considered especially pivotal given President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
won't be running and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization....
coalition troops are expected to withdraw at the end of next year.

Some fear President Karzai will look to hand-pick a successor by manipulating to election process. But regardless of who may be behind the improprieties, the credibility of the spring elections is the foremost concern of officials and the public.

"The Independent Election Commission created problems for the Presidential election candidates by removing them without careful investigation, candidates could threaten the credibility of the election process," said Ahmad Dawar Nadi, another disqualified Presidential hopeful.

ECC officials have tried to gain back some lost ground on the transparency front. Just days before beginning their two-week review of complaints and challenges, the ECC Commissioners announced that they would be conducting the entire process in the presence of media, civil society groups, political parties and election monitors from the international community.

Nevertheless, many of the disqualified candidates were not happy with the ECC gave their challenges this week. And they were not alone, as the Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA) spoke out advocating the Complaints Commission allocate more time to each disqualified candidate's challenge that was originally afforded.

"The Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC) investigation is not satisfactory for the candidates and they must start investigating all the documents of the disqualified candidates," Sultanzoy said. "Otherwise, we will continue our campaigns."

The ECC has suggested changes would be made to the final list of candidates scheduled to be announced on November 16, some of which are expected to be cuts of candidates who made the preliminary list as well as maybe some reinstatements for those who did not.

"Due to problems in the database of the Independent Election Commission, some of the candidates were prevented from making the preliminary list," explained ECC front man Nader Mohseni. "Some of those candidates might make it to the final list of candidates."
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Sayyaf Talks Taliban, Women and BSA
[Tolo News] In an exclusive interview with TOLOnews, Presidential candidate Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf
...Afghan Salafist warlord, owned by Saudi Arabia. He was the guy who invited al-Qaeda to come into Afghanistan and make themselves at home...
spoke about his thoughts on fighting the Taliban, women's education in Afghanistan and the Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Pact (BSA).

Sayyaf, who has traditionally been one of the most outspoken critiques of the Taliban, told TOLOnews that the exact cause for continued conflict between the Taliban and Afghan government is unclear to him. He said that making sense of what lies at the heart of their antagonistic relationship would be a critical first step toward any possible reconciliation.

"I really don't understand what is the issue between us and the Taliban, over what issue we are fighting," he said. "If the reason is clarified, then someone can base talks on that."

Sayyaf was a jihadi leader during the Russian revolution and holds a Masters degree in religious studies from the revered Al Azhar University in Egypt. He fought against the Taliban as part of the Northern Alliance until the regime fell in 2001.

Although he has made a name for himself condemning the Taliban for misinterpreting and even corrupting the teaching of Islam, he said in the interview that the source of conflict between with the bad boy group was a mystery to him. Sayyaf said that the restoration of longstanding peace and security in Afghanistan was one of his fundamental goals.

Sayyaf, a respected Afghan religious scholar, also spoke about women's education, a subject he has often been thought to hold more conservative views on.

"I think there are misconceptions in the public about my perspective on women's education," he said. "I support honorable education opportunities for women, because women's honor and dignity are very important."

The role of women in Afghan society is frequently highlighted as one of the major points of progress in the past 12 years. Many young Afghans, in particular, are anxious to see what the results of the spring elections will mean for the future of women's issues.

Sayyaf also spoke about the pending security pact between the U.S. and Afghanistan. Like most, he said he appreciated the importance of the agreement, but said no decision should be made without full respect for Afghan illusory sovereignty and national interests.

"All aspects should be considered and a wise decision should be taken to bring the country out of crisis, but only in line with our national illusory sovereignty," Sayyaf said.

U.S. officials have pushed for Kabul to sign the agreement as soon as possible, but President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
ultimately decided to leave it up to a Loya Jirga set to convene in Kabul this week.

Sayyaf noted that there are some reservations that neighboring countries have about the BSA, but said Afghanistan's interests should first and foremost be taken into account in finalizing the agreement.

Sayyaf is one of the 10 Presidential candidates who made the Independent Election Commission's (IEC) preliminary list two weeks ago.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


Logar Security on Edge After Jamal Death, Ahead of Loya Jirga
[Tolo News] Security officials of eastern Pashtun-infested Logar province have said that despite making progress on the case of Governor Arsala Jamal's liquidation, the area remains heavily threatened by gunnies that have reportedly set their sights on disrupting the Loya Jirga being held in Kabul this week.

Last month, Pashtun-infested Logar Governor Jamal was killed during an Eid prayer by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) hidden inside a mosque in the quiet provincial capital, Pul-e-Alam.

According to Ishaq Zai, the acting Pashtun-infested Logar Police Chief who took over after his predecessor was dismissed following the liquidation, several members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and a number of civilians have been taken into custody as part of an ongoing investigation intoJamal's death.

Zai added on Thursday that krazed killers, primarily of foreign nationalities, have begun ramping-up operations in the province in the lead up to this week's Loya Jirga in the capital, which will convene 2,500 leaders from around the country to deliberate over the Kabul-Washington Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).

"Simultaneously with the arrival of the Loya Jirga, they are looking to expand their activities," Zai said.

He reported that among the gunnies that have been tracked, killed or enjugged
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
in the province recently, a large number were Chechens, Paks or from Gulf countries.

The Police Chief claimed the gunnies had altered their tactics as well, and have begun using women and kiddies as pawns in their attacks.

"The gunnies use women and kiddies as tools for their activities," he said without going into further detail.

The Taliban has been known to use pre-adolescent boys as curriers for suicide bombs, a practice that has received widespread condemnation amongst the Afghan public as well as international human rights
...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty...
advocacy groups. This fighting season saw a noticeable decline in cases of child jacket wallahs.

According to Pashtun-infested Logar officials, two Pak women were recently tossed in the calaboose
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
under suspicion of involvement with krazed killers. But the women have maintained their innocence.

"We came here for tourism, and we wanted to get jobs here in case we like the area...we would come through legal documentation," one of the arrested women named Shahnaza Begum said.

Pashtun-infested Logar province is located south of Kabul and shares a border with Pakistain's tribal belt.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Africa Horn
Somali President Resolute after Shebab Car Bombing
[An Nahar] Somalia's president vowed Saturday he would not halt efforts to restore peace and security to the country in the wake of a car kaboom in central Mogadishu by al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels.

The huge blast on Friday evening outside a top hotel in Somalia's capital killed at least four people, including a government official, and maimed 15, according to the government.

"I strongly condemn this heinous act of terrorism outside the Maka al Mukurama Hotel by Shabaab, which caused deaths and injuries to civilians," Somalia's internationally backed president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said in a statement.

"The aim of the attack was to terrorize people in order to stop the huge progress towards peace and stability in Somalia. We say out loudly to Shabaab that you will never stop us making huge progress towards peace and stability and good governance," he added.

Officials said one of the country's top diplomats -- Abdulkadir Ali Dhuub, a former acting ambassador to London -- was killed when the boom-mobile went kaboom! outside the hotel, which is popular with officials and businessmen.

The statement from the presidency said another blast was averted, with a man carrying a "laptop and explosive items" apprehended while trying to set off a bomb inside the hotel at the same time as the boom-mobile.

In northeastern Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland
...a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998. Puntland and the equally autonomous Somaliland seem to have avoided the clan rivalries and warlordism that have typified the rest of Somalia, which puts both places high on the list for Islamic subversion...
region, authorities said they had also repelled a late Friday night Shabaab raid on a prison holding Death Eaters.

"A group estimated to be 30 to 40 men armed with rocket launchers, machine-guns and hand grenades attacked Bossaso Central Prison," the regional government said in the statement, adding that its troops "bravely defended the prison and repelled the attackers".

It said no prisoners escaped during the raid, and that Shabaab rebels were being pursued into a nearby mountainous area.

Shabaab forces of Evil have been pushed out of Mogadishu but still control large parts of the countryside and have continued to strike at the heart of the capital.

In September the group also grabbed credit for a massacre at an upmarket shopping center in the Kenyan capital Nairobi that left at least 67 dead.

The latest attack comes as the African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
force in Somalia, AMISOM, is asking the U.N. Security Council to green-light a boost in its numbers as part of efforts to step up offensive operations against the Shabaab.

It also comes after a U.S. army drone strike on a Shabaab convoy last month that officials said killed the rebels' top suicide bomb-maker.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab


Africa North
Meetings continue to resolve Misrata-Suq Al-Juma crisis
[Libya Herald] In a bid to reduce tensions between Misrata and Suq Al-Juma following Thursday night's festivities in the capital between forces from the two places, detainees captured during the fighting are to be freed, according to Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
Local Council (TLC) Leader Sadat Elbadri.

"Both sides have agreed to release the people that were taken on the night of festivities," Elbadri told the Libya Herald earlier today. He did not say how many people were involved.

The decision to free detainees was made at a meeting between council officials from both Tripoli and Misrata. They also agreed to set up a committee to investigate the festivities, it had been reported.

Meanwhile,
...back at the the conspirators' cleverly concealed hideout the long-awaited message arrived. They quickly got to work with their decoder rings...
Tripoli Local Council now wants all non-Tripoli brigades out of the capital.

"We are calling to all brigades from other towns to leave the capital" Elbadri stated. Tripoli would look after its own security in future, he insisted.

"To provide immediate security to Tripoli residents, the new Tripoli police chief has assured me of heavy security presence on the streets from tomorrow (Sunday)."

Elbadri said he intended to meet Defence Minister Abdullah Al-Thini to demand that gangs be removed from the capital. He stated he wants Law No. 27 implemented immediately.

Passed by the General National Congress (GNC) earlier this year, the law ordered the removal of all gangs from the capital and was passed after armed festivities between officially-recognised gangs in Tripoli's Busleem and Salahadeen districts.

His meeting with Thini is one of many that have been taking place in the past 36 hours to resolve the situation following the fighting. These have included delegations from Ghariyan and Zawiya meeting with both sides to try and stop further violence. They called on all brigades to respect the position of Tripoli as the capital city.

The situation has forced a cancellation of one top-level security meeting that was to be attended by various brigade commanders and the new police chief of Tripoli.

Sources in the Interior Ministry and in Tripoli police directorate both confirmed the cancellation saying that officials were busy dealing with the issues between Misrata and Suq Al-Juma. "The meeting was cancelled as few commanders weren't able to attend the meeting because of their involvement in sorting out the ongoing chaos," said a source.

The TLC chairman told the Libya Herald that in his meetings with delegations from other towns and activists he had been assured of full support to seek the implementation of Law No. 27. "In all my meetings with delegations from other cities and activists from Tripoli as well as a late night meeting with a delegation from Misrata Local Council, we agreed to pressure the government to implement the resolution (Law No. 27)," he said.

A statement was issued by the TLC condemning the festivities and calling for the implementation of Law 27. A small crowd also gathered in Algeria Square last night carrying placards against the presence of brigades from other cities in Tripoli.

They also demanded the government to put on trial those responsible for the killing of two Tripoli residents during the fighting.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Libyans Protest against Extension of Congress Mandate
[An Nahar] Hundreds of Libyans erupted into the streets of the capital Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
and other cities Saturday to protest against a renewed mandate for the country's top political body, the General National Congress, next year.

The GNC is the fruit of the country's first free elections in July 2012 after the overthrow of longterm dictator Muammar Qadaffy
...Proof that a madman with money will be politely received for at least 42 years until his people get tired of him and kill him...
's regime in October 2011.

On its election the GNC was given an 18-month mandate to draft a new constitution and guide Libya towards general elections.

But political tension and chronic insecurity have cast doubts over Libya's ability to complete the transition before the GNC's mandate expires in February.

A front man for the body recently suggested it might extend the deadline for it to complete its task, sparking concern among politicians, jurists and the public.

Protesters gathered in Tripoli's central Martyrs' Square on Saturday carrying posters with messages that read: "No to an extension," and "We are fed up".

In 2011, Libyans rose up against Qadaffy and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
-backed rebels toppled and killed the dictator who had ruled from more than 40 years.

Since then, Libya has grappled with political dissent and deadly unrest, with heavily armed former rebels refusing to heed the authorities.

In October, one group of former rebel hard boyz briefly kidnapped Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from his hotel in Tripoli.

While attacks are common in the east of the country, insecurity also hit Tripoli this week when festivities between rival militias killed two people and maimed 29 others on Thursday.

Saturday's protests were organized by a group of youths from the eastern city of Benghazi -- cradle of the 2011 uprising -- who set up a Facebook page to rally support which has attracted more than 8,000 supporters.

The group calling itself the "November 9 Movement" says that power struggles in the GNC are preventing the assembly from carrying out the transition and are calling for independents to be elected to the body.

Opponents of any bid to prolong the GNC's mandate say an extension could de-legitimatize the body and push Libya into further turmoil, particularly if ex-rebels linked to some parties try to take power by force.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring


Egypt Expanding Cooperation with Russia
[An Nahar] Egypt will expand cooperation with Russia in the wake of a diplomatic spat with long-time ally the United States following president Mohammed Morsi
...the former president of Egypt. A proponent of the One Man, One Vote, One Time principle, Morsi won election after the deposal of Hosni Mubarak and jumped to the conclusion it was his turn to be dictator...
's overthrow, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said Saturday.

The foreign minister, in a interview with Agence La Belle France Presse, was speaking ahead of a visit on Wednesday by Russia's defense and foreign ministers to discuss arms sales and political relations.

Fahmy said strained relations with Washington, which suspended some of its massive military aid to Cairo after the army toppled Morsi, had improved with Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry
Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State...
's visit last Sunday.

But Egypt is taking a more "independent" tack and broadening its choices, he said.

"Independence is having choices. So the objective of this foreign policy is to provide Egypt with choices, more choices. So I'm not going to substitute. I'm going to add," he said.

"I see this as a beginning of a new phase," he said.

Kerry's visit "left better sentiments here in Egypt," Fahmy said of the visit just a day before Morsi went on trial for inciting the killings of protesters.

"It does not mean everything has been resolved. It does not mean there won't be hiccups in the relationship in the future," Fahmy said, speaking in his office on the banks of the Nile River.

Egypt had close ties with Russia until several years before president Anwar Sadat made peace with Israel in 1979, bringing in roughly $1.3 billion in yearly U.S. military aid over the subsequent decades.

Turning to domestic issues, Fahmy said the deadly tumult that swept Egypt after the Morsi's overthrow in July had decreased, but "it will take time for it to subside completely."

No success in reconciling with Brotherhood

More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have died in festivities and thousands been placed in durance vile
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
in a harsh crackdown on Morsi's Moslem Brüderbund following his overthrow.

Informal mediation attempts with the Moslem Brüderbund have failed because of the Islamists' intransigence, Fahmy said.

"There have been attempts to engage Moslem Brüderbund leaders, yes," Fahmy said, citing an attempt by intellectual Kamal Abul Magd to mediate between the government and the Islamists, which went nowhere.

"And there have been other informal attempts," he added.

"We don't yet see a clear commitment from the Moslem Brüderbund that they want to be part of a 21st century modern Egypt that is inclusive to all people, and that can be done peacefully," he said.

For now, a 50-member panel appointed by the military-installed government is preparing a new constitution, which could possibly be put to a referendum next month, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections.

The new constitution could stipulate whether groups such as the Moslem Brüderbund, whose activities have been banned, would be able to contest the parliamentary elections hopefully to be held in the spring, Fahmy said.

"If the constitution... lays down rules under which the (Moslem Brüderbund's) Freedom and Justice Party would be allowed to run, they would be allowed to run," he said.

In the past, religious parties had been banned from elections, but the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups circumvented that by registering parties with vague platforms.

The military, from which every president before Morsi has come, has signaled it wants to retain broad privileges in the new constitution.

Fahmy said he could not predict the military's powers in the new constitution

"But there is clearly a trend, there is a commitment, not only a trend, that this would be a civilian constitution. It is neither a theocratic nor a military state," he said.

In both parliamentary and the presidential elections that followed the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
in 2011, the Brotherhood emerged victorious.

But Morsi's one year in power turned many against the Islamists, who were accused of monopolizing government and mismanaging the economy. Millions erupted into the streets demanding Morsi's resignation before the military stepped in.

Fahmy also weighed in on the ongoing peace talks between Israel and the Paleostinian authority, saying he was growing "skeptical" that an Israeli-Paleostinian peace deal will be reached soon because of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.

Fahmy's comments came on the eve of Paleostinian president the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
's visit to Cairo and days after direct talks with Israel broke down over settlement construction.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the region again this week in his seventh trip to Israel and the West Bank to try to put the troubled Israeli-Paleostinian peace talks back on track.

Abbas "essentially accepted a historic compromise between the Paleostinians and the Israelis and is simply asking for a contiguous state with East Jerusalem as its capital," Fahmy said.

"We are worried, I would even add to it, to a degree skeptical, but committed to trying to help as much as we can," Fahmy said.

"Settlement activity ... is expanding and also going to the heart of the West Bank," he said.

In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab state to sign a peace deal with Israel in return for the Jewish state's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which was occupied five years before.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6467 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

#1  In 1979, Egypt became the first Arab state to sign a peace deal with Israel in return for the Jewish state's withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which was occupied five years before.

An early beneficiary of everyday math? Or just a typical juorno moron?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 11/10/2013 2:49 Comments || Top||


Bangladesh
Cops crowd outside Khaleda's residence
[Bangla Daily Star] Most of the BNP leaders have gone into hiding after Friday night's arrest of five leaders, while the police have increased their presence around BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia
Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ...
's residence and office.

Alongside a large number of plainclothes coppers, some female cops were also seen in front of the BNP chief's Gulshan-2 residence yesterday.

Explaining the deployment of additional law enforcers around the opposition leader's house since early Friday, a police official told The Daily Star that this was "for her security".

As of filing this report at 1:00am today, the BNP chairperson did not go out of her house. She usually goes to her Gulshan office in the evening.

None of the top and mid-level leaders were seen at Khaleda's Gulshan office or the party headquarters at Nayapaltan. Their mobile phones were also found switched off.

Talking to The Daily Star, some leaders said they were advised not to visit Khaleda's residence or office for now. Avoiding arrest is part of the party's strategy as the anti-government movement was nearing its peak, they added.

Early Saturday, police jugged
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
the BNP chairperson's adviser Abdul Awal Mintoo and her special assistant Shimul Biswas while the two were coming out of her residence. This followed the arrest of standing committee members Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar and Rafiqul Islam Miah on Friday night.

Throughout the day, speculations were rife that Khaleda might be under house arrest and she might be arrested soon.

Amid this all, an eight-member delegation of university teachers led by Prof AFM Yusuf Haider, former pro-VC of Dhaka University, met Khaleda Zia at her residence around 9:00pm.

Besides, pro-BNP professionals including lawyers, engineers, doctors and journalists also visited her around 11:30pm.

Emerging from the meeting, Yusuf Haider told news hounds, "We came here to exchange pleasantries and inquire about her [Khaleda] health. We have also talked about the country's political situation and expressed concern
...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended...
over the prevailing situation."

Earlier, Kaniz Fatima, wife of Khaleda's younger brother Shamim Iskander, and Ruhul Alam Chowdhury, an adviser to the BNP chief, went there to visit her. Fatima and Ruhul Alam Chowdhury stayed for about an hour.

Meanwhile,
...back at the Alamo, Davy was counting their remaining cannon balls and not liking the results...
police on Friday and Saturday night raided the houses of a number of BNP standing committee members including Mirza Abbas and Goyeshwar Chandra Roy.

Besides, they raided the houses of Chief Whip of the Opposition Zainul Abdin Farroque, Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed and politician Shahiduddin Chowdhury Anne, among others.

Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under:


Hasina lashes out at Khaleda
[Bangla Daily Star] Criticising the BNP for creating anarchy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since the Lower Paleolithic. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangla. 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. She and the head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia show such blind animosity toward each other that they are known as the Battling Begums..
yesterday said the main opposition party doesn't understand the language of democracy, it only knows how to kill and torture people.

"The BNP was born out of the pocket of a military dictator, who grabbed power through a coup and plot violating the constitution. That's why the party doesn't understand the language of democracy," she said.

Whenever the BNP comes to power, doomsday dawns in the country and people die, Hasina said at a huge rally, organised by the ruling Awami League, at Barolekha Degree College Ground in Moulvibazar.

"They cannot change the lot of people; they only know how to loot people's property," she said.

Hasina, also president of the ruling AL, came down heavily on the leader of the opposition for enforcing hartal
... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ...
during the junior school certificate (JSC) examinations.

"Before November 4, I requested Begum Zia not to call hartal, and let the children sit for exams. But she turned down my request and announced hartal from November 4, the day the JSC exams were scheduled to begin," she said.

"She is a mother . . . didn't it strike her that she should not cause trouble for the children, rather she should make arrangements so that they can sit for the exams peacefully," said Hasina.

By enforcing shutdowns, Khaleda Zia
Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ...
gave people nothing but deaths, said Hasina.

She mentioned the killing of 14-year-old Monir Hossain, who was set on fire by pro-hartal pickets during the opposition's shutdown on November 4 in Gazipur.

When Monir was burning inside a covered van, BNP-Jamaat men were laughing standing next to the vehicle, said Hasina.

"Could you imagine how cruel they are? Are they human being?"

Joining hands with the BNP, the Jamaat and the Hefajat-e-Islam
...a madrassa-based false nose and mustache of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, formed in 2010 to protest against secular education. In 2011 demonstrated violentyly against women's rights and in 2013 held large rallies demanding capital punishment of Shahbag Square protesters and banning women working outside the home...
are burning the people to death, she said.

"How those who burn people and torch the holy Koran will protect Islam?" asked the prime minister.

She urged people to vote the AL back to power, saying the country sees huge development when her party is in power.

On the other hand, she said, when the BNP assumes power, the party men amass wealth through corruption and money laundering.

Hasina claimed that Khaleda whitened black money by paying a fine, while her two sons siphoned off crores of taka abroad.

She alleged that Khaleda and her two sons also embezzled the money of an orphanage. "The opposition leader doesn't appear in court for fear of punishment."

On the trial of war criminals, the prime minister said, "We have begun the trial. The tribunals have started delivering verdicts, and Insha'Allah the judgments would be executed."

Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated and laid foundation stones of a number of development projects in Moulvibazar.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, AL Advisory Council members Amir Hossain Amu and Suranjit Sengupta, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, AL Organising Secretary Misbahuddin Siraj and Chief Whip Abdus Shahid also spoke at the rally.

Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:


Bangladesh Arrests Key Opposition Leaders
[An Nahar] Bangladesh has launched a crackdown on the main opposition, arresting big shots after their party called a nationwide strike to force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since the Lower Paleolithic. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangla. 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. She and the head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia show such blind animosity toward each other that they are known as the Battling Begums..
to resign and call elections under a caretaker government.

Police said three top Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders, including an ex-deputy prime minister, were incarcerated
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
late Friday and two key aides of main opposition leader Khaleda Zia
Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ...
including a leading businessman were taken into custody early Saturday.

"The five have been accused of inciting violence, exploding bombs and obstructing officers in keeping law and order," Dhaka deputy police commissioner Anisur Rahman told AFP.

BNP bigwig Shamsuzzaman Dudu said at least 1,000 of the party's supporters and officials in rural districts had also been arrested in a nationwide crackdown since Friday night.

Police were not immediately available to comment on the arrest in the rural areas.

The clampdown came hours after the BNP and its Islamist allies called a three-day strike -- its third three-day-long shutdown in as many weeks.

The strike, due to start Sunday, is part of a new wave of protests it launched on October 25 to force Hasina to resign and make way for a technocrat-led government to organize January polls.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Europe
Belgium Raises Palestinian Diplomatic Status
[An Nahar] Belgium said Saturday it had raised the standing of a Paleostinian diplomatic delegation to the country to "mission" status in a show of commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders confirmed the change from "general delegation" to "mission" after signing an agreement during a bilateral meeting with Paleostinian president the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
during a visit to Jordan.

"The raising (of status) reflects Belgian and European support for the two-state solution," Reynders said in a statement, adding that the head of the mission could use the title of ambassador.

Reynders signed the agreement during a bilateral meeting with Paleostinian president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in the Jordanian capital of Amman as part of a visit that included a trip to the Paleostinian territories and that will take him to Israel next week.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The Palestinians continue to refuse to recognize the sovereignty of the State of Israel, whilst the Belgi's rush to recognize the alleged sovereignty of the Palestinians. What am I missing, or am I not actually missing anything at all ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 11/10/2013 0:55 Comments || Top||

#2  What am I missing, or am I not actually missing anything at all?

The dying hate the living, Besoeker.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 11/10/2013 2:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Like, who cares, dewd.?
Posted by: Omineque Glaise1236 || 11/10/2013 19:52 Comments || Top||


Home Front: WoT
Suriname Leader's Son Faces Hizbullah-Linked Terrorism Charge in U.S.
[An Nahar] U.S. prosecutors have charged the son of the president of Suriname with terrorism offenses, saying he agreed to provide heavy weapons and a home base in his South American country to undercover operatives pretending to be with Hizbullah.

Dino Bouterse was charged with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in a grand jury indictment unsealed in New York on Friday.

Bouterse, who had been picked by his father to lead a "counterterrorism" unit in Suriname, is already in a U.S. jail and had previously been charged with cocaine trafficking. He was jugged
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
in Panama in August and quickly extradited to the U.S.

One of his lawyers in New York, Florian Miedel, declined to comment on the new charges Friday, saying he needed time to review the allegations.

Prosecutors said Bouterse agreed to accept a multimillion-dollar payoff in exchange for allowing large numbers of Hizbullah fighters to use Suriname as a base for attacking American targets.

The indictment describes a sophisticated international sting in which Bouterse was recorded meeting in Greece and Panama with people posing as Hizbullah agents and Mexican narcos. In reality, they were actually confidential sources and undercover agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the indictment said.

At one July meeting in Greece, the indictment said, Bouterse agreed to take a down payment of $2 million. In return, he said he would help Hizbullah fighters settle in Suriname, give them fake identities and arm them with surface-to-air missiles and other weapons for attacks on the U.S. and the Netherlands, Suriname's former colonial ruler.

Bouterse also told the American agents that he was interested in using Hizbullah "tough guys" for operations inside Suriname itself.

"We need a little fort that we can depend on. And we can call them at any time," he said, according to the indictment.

Bouterse's father, Desi Bouterse, led a military dictatorship in Suriname in the 1980s, then returned to power when he was elected president by the country's parliament in 2010. He has been accused of human rights
When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much...
violations, dating to the period when the country was under military rule, and was convicted in absentia in the Netherlands on drug trafficking charges in 1999.

Desi Bouterse has previously said that he was shocked by his son's arrest, but added that he was "responsible for his own actions."
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah


India-Pakistan
Pakistan mole provided info on 26/11 landing site
[The Hindu] A Pak mole in the Indian security agencies, code-named 'Honey Bee', helped his ISI handlers identify the landing site for 26/11 snuffies in Mumbai, two British journalists have claimed in their book.

The information on Badhwar Park, the landing site, was shared by ISI operatives with Pak-American Lashkar operative David Headley, who had checked it out while conducting recce of the area, the journalists say.

The book, by Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, The Siege, claims that Headley underwent a two-year course on surveillance and counter-intelligence by Pakistain's espionage agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

His handler, Major Iqbal of ISI, gave him what he described as classified Indian files -- that he said were obtained from within Indian police and army -- which revealed their training and limitations.

"The Major boasted that they had a super agent at work in New Delhi who was known as Honey Bee. The Major revealed while he would guide Headley, the Mumbai operation would be run by Lashkar," the book claimed. According to the book, before leaving Pakistain, Headley met Major Iqbal, who gave him a bundle of counterfeit Indian currency and a suggestion.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan

#1  Quite an operator, that Mr. Headley. Appears US Intelligence was burned once again.
Posted by: Besoeker || 11/10/2013 0:43 Comments || Top||

#2  The DEA isn't "US intelligence," though the latter is certainly no apex of competence.
Posted by: Pappy || 11/10/2013 12:47 Comments || Top||


Peace on LoC necessary to engage with Pakistan: India
[Pak Daily Times] India said on Saturday peace and tranquillity along the Line of Control (LoC) was must if India and Pakistain were to engage. Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told news hounds that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf...
's adviser on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, would be meeting Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the sidelines of the November 11-12 Asia-Europe Meeting. He said their talks would "take up the outcome of the last meeting -- that for India and Pakistain to engage it is important as a precondition that there should be peace and tranquillity on the Line of Control... And where to go forward based on their assessment on the situation elapsed". Aziz has also sought a meeting with the Indian prime minister during the visit, he added. An Indian news agency quoting sources in the pro-independence Jammu and Kashmire Liberation Front (JKLF) in Srinagar reported that JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik
...chairman of one of the two factions of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. JKLF is a Kashmiri nationalist organization founded in Birmingham, UK in 1977. Branches weren't actually established in Kashmir for another ten years. It has the usual demands for separation of J&K from secular India so it can become an independent Islamic rathole. It seems to have no interest in Pak Kashmir breaking away to join it. In 1994 Malik renounced violence after he was released from jail and from that point he and his organization pursued peaceful means to impose their will on the region...
has received an invitation to meet Aziz when the latter arrives in New Delhi today (Sunday). Sources said Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have also received an invitation from Pakistain Deputy High Commissioner Mansoor Ahmad Khan to meet Aziz in New Delhi. The Himalayan region of Kashmire has been the spark of two of three wars fought by nuclear-armed India and Pakistain since their independence from Britannia in 1947. A spike in fighting along the LoC in January stalled peace talks between Pakistain and India, which had recently resumed following a three-year hiatus sparked by the 2008 attacks in Mumbai that killed 166 people.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


US approves plan to beef up oversight of drone attacks
[Pak Daily Times] The US Senate Intelligence Committee has quietly approved a plan to step up both public and internal government oversight of the use of armed drones to kill suspected snuffies overseas, including American citizens.

The committee voted in closed session earlier this week to approve legislative language that would require US spy agencies to make public statistics on how many people were killed or injured in missile strikes launched from US-operated drones. The committee also approved language intended to bolster scrutiny of secret spy agency deliberations over decisions about targeting US citizens or residents for lethal drone strikes overseas.

The B.O. regime has been under heavy pressure from foreign governments, the United Nations
...the Oyster Bay money pit...
and human rights
...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you...
groups to be more transparent and rigorous in accounting for the civilian casualties caused by drone strikes.

Though the committee did not release full details of its deliberations on the measures, sources familiar with the discussions said that some committee Republicans were opposed to the drone-related clauses in the bill, which would authorise intelligence activities for the current government fiscal year which began on October 1.

Ultimately, according to a blurb issued by Senator Dianne Feinstein
...Dem Senator-for-Life from Caliphornica. She has been a politician since about the time she was weaned. Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, and tried it a second time in 2012. Feinstein has chaired the Select Committee on Intelligence since 2009. At age 80, Feinstein is the oldest currently serving United States Senator....
, the Democrat who chairs the intelligence panel, the committee approved the bill by a vote of 13-2. The two senators who voted against it were Republicans, a congressional source said. The blurb makes no mention of the language in the bill about drones. An official familiar with the matter said that this was because some Republicans argued that, since drone attacks are officially covert actions by the US government, it would be inappropriate to set rules for such operations in a public law.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  LBJ got to where he wanted to personally approve every bombing target, so I guess Zero will have to approve every drone zap. Remove plausible deniability from the equation if anything goes wrong or gets second-guessed.
Posted by: Glenmore || 11/10/2013 9:00 Comments || Top||

#2  LBJ was an experienced in aerial warfare, so it made sense to allow him to manage the target list.

Won the Silver Star he did.

Posted by: Shipman || 11/10/2013 16:57 Comments || Top||

#3  I vaguely recall his Silver Star commendation - not any better than Jawn Kerry's.
Posted by: Glenmore || 11/10/2013 17:00 Comments || Top||


International-UN-NGOs
Jordan to take Saudi Security Council seat
Western diplomats said it appeared Jordan had agreed to replace Saudi Arabia on the council, after dropping out of a race against Riyadh for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Jordan appears set to take the Arab seat on the UN Security Council after Saudi Arabia rejected the position in protest at the body’s failure to end the Syria war and act on other Middle East issues, Western diplomats said on Friday.

The 193-member UN General Assembly elected Saudi Arabia last month to the Security Council for a two-year term from Jan. 1, but in a surprise move, Riyadh declined the position a day after the vote. While Saudi Arabia has made its decision known in a Foreign Ministry statement, it has not officially notified the United Nations. Most UN diplomats believe a formal letter needs to be received from Riyadh before a new election can be held.

Western diplomats said it appeared Jordan had agreed to replace Saudi Arabia on the council, after dropping out of a race against Riyadh for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council.

Jordan’s place on the Security Council would still need two-thirds approval by the General Assembly, diplomats said. The unprecedented move by Saudi Arabia to reject the Security Council seat and the emergence of Jordan as the alternative candidate has left diplomats scratching their heads.

The Security Council is dominated by its five permanent members - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States - which have veto power over its decisions.

To ensure diversity, the council’s 10 elected members are made up of three from Africa, two from Asia-Pacific, one from Eastern Europe, two from the Latin American and Caribbean group, and two from the Western European and others group. Five are chosen each year to serve two-year terms.

Arab states are split between the Asia-Pacific and African regional blocs and there is an unofficial deal that at least one Arab nation is always represented on the Security Council. Saudi Arabia was the Arab candidate from the Asia-Pacific bloc. Kuwait had put its hand up to be the next Arab candidate from the group and to run for the 2018-2019 term on the Security Council, which has led some diplomats to speculate that the Gulf US ally could be a capable replacement.

Arab countries have been trying to persuade Saudi Arabia to take up the Security Council seat.

“Kuwait forms part of the efforts currently being carried out to convince Saudi Arabia to reverse its decision,” Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Al Jarrallah told state news agency KUNA on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador, Abdullah Al Mouallimi, called on Friday for “profound and comprehensive” reform of the UN Security Council that includes expanding its membership and “abandoning the veto system or restricting its use.”

“The Security Council has failed to address the situation in the Palestinian and Arab occupied territories, an issue under consideration by the council for more than six decades,” Al Mouallimi told a General Assembly debate on Security Council reform.

Syrian ally Russia, backed by China, has vetoed three council resolutions since October 2011 that would have condemned Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s government and threatened it with sanctions.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under:


Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Iran nuclear talks: US 'not stupid' - John Kerry
[BBC.CO.UK] US Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry
Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State...
has said that Washington continues to be sceptical about Iran's willingness to roll back its nuclear programme.

"We are not blind, and I don't think we're stupid," Mr Kerry told NBC's Meet the Press programme.
I discovered years ago that the guy who tells you "I'm not stupid, y'know" will invariably turn out to be lacking in mental horsepower.
His comments come a day after talks between Iran and six world powers on the programme ended without resolution.

The Israeli PM said he was trying to persuade leaders of the powers not to rush into a "bad agreement".

Benjamin Netanyahu said he recognised that there was a "strong desire" for a deal with Iran, but that governments should wait and "seriously consider things".

The West has long suspected Iran of aspiring to have nuclear weapons but Tehran says it is only enriching uranium for civil purposes.

Under the deal floated in Geneva, Iran could freeze expansion of its nuclear activity in return for limited relief from international sanctions which have been in place for years.

Progress was made in the talks between Iran and the US, UK, La Belle France, Russia, China and Germany (known as the P5+1) which ended on Saturday, although a hoped-for deal was not reached.

The two sides will meet again on 20 November.

Mr Kerry said the US was "absolutely determined" that the deal would be a good one.

"Some of the most serious and capable, expert people in our government, who have spent a lifetime dealing both with Iran as well as with nuclear weapon and nuclear armament and proliferation, are engaged in our negotiation," he said.

"I think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies like Israel and Gulf states and others in the region."

Earlier UK Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that a deal could be reached.

The outline of an agreement was "on the table" and it was vital to keep up momentum, he said, although he acknowledged current talks were "formidably difficult".

Asked why the negotiations had apparently stalled, Mr Hague said there were "still some gaps" between Iran and other leading members of the international community, including the US, UK and Russia.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said all sides can "build on" the dialogue in Geneva and there was "the impetus to reach an agreement".

President Hassan Rouhani, speaking to parliament, reiterated that Iran's right to use nuclear technology, including uranium enrichment, was a red line that must not be crossed.

Meanwhile,
...back at the barn, Bossy was furiously chewing her cud and thinking...
a member of Jordan's ruling family has said there is the potential for a "really serious breakthrough" at the next scheduled talks on 20 November.

Prince Hassan Bin Talal told the Dermot Murnaghan show on Sky News there were "many enemies" who stood in the way of a possible agreement but a resolution would have major implications for the security of the region.

"I think this is the first step towards a regional architecture for a conference on security and co-operation," he said.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 12:43 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Jawn,while the US in general is not stupid, I fear that the current administration (including you) is in fact stupid.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 11/10/2013 14:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Then JAwn just admitted to being destructive on purpose. He should of kept his 'stupid' excuse for later; odds are he will need several excuses in the near future.
Posted by: Airandee || 11/10/2013 14:10 Comments || Top||

#3  US'not stupid'

Agree. Compared to the current situation, stupid' is the lost golden age.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 11/10/2013 14:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Those who are stoopid often don't realize the fact.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 14:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Yes you are, and the person who put you there is stupid too.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 11/10/2013 15:27 Comments || Top||

#6  #4 Those who are stoopid often don't realize the fact.


wait....what?
Posted by: Frank G || 11/10/2013 15:35 Comments || Top||

#7  Who put the Obama administration in office?
Posted by: gorb || 11/10/2013 16:55 Comments || Top||

#8  That fact that we elected Jawn's boss doesn't say much about the average American IQ. As for Jawn himself, my impression is that he's dumber than shit.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 11/10/2013 17:00 Comments || Top||

#9  I understand JF Kerry briefs the WH every evening on his plans and program initiatives to one of these two representatives, but do not know which one it is...

Posted by: Slihemp Snoring || 11/10/2013 17:23 Comments || Top||

#10  Jahwn is not completely stupid. Evidence:

1) smart enough to marry rich. Twice.

2) smart enough to live in Massachusetts where his kooky views fit in

3) smart enough to dock his boat in Rhode Island to avoid paying taxes

4) smart enough to be deferential to the Kennedys. All of them.

5) smart enough to run for office against token opposition

6) smart enough to suck up to Champ to get the job he wanted.

He's not completely stupid. Just stupid enough.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/10/2013 17:32 Comments || Top||

#11  not stupid, then, just selfish, anti-American, a whore and a tool
Posted by: Frank G || 11/10/2013 17:37 Comments || Top||

#12  Well, it just can't be a good sign when your lead negotiator comes out of a meeting and denies being stupid. That's like waking up from an operation and having your doctor tell you that, really, he does have a medical degree.
Posted by: Matt || 11/10/2013 17:55 Comments || Top||

#13  I'm smart! I deserve respect!
Posted by: John Fredo Kerry || 11/10/2013 19:19 Comments || Top||

#14  "Some of the most serious and capable, expert people in our government, who have spent a lifetime dealing both with Iran as well as with nuclear weapon and nuclear armament and proliferation, are engaged in our negotiation"

I thought they were working on the healthkare.gov site?
Posted by: Pappy || 11/10/2013 21:18 Comments || Top||

#15  ...stupid? Maybe not - just being represented by a (hopefully) temporary manifestation of naivete in the extremis..?
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 11/10/2013 22:41 Comments || Top||

#16  I thought they were working on the healthkare.gov site?

They've got lots of Top Men.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 11/10/2013 23:18 Comments || Top||


Rifaat Eid Says Ahmed Ali's Confessions Obtained under Torture
[An Nahar] Arab Democratic Party Secretary-General Rifaat Eid
...secretary general of the Leb Arab Democratic Party, a Pencilneck regime front organization...
accused on Saturday the Internal Security Forces and the judiciary of "torturing" suspect Ahmed Ali to admit that he had smuggled a suspect with links to the twin mosque bombings in the northern city of Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
.

During a presser he held in Tripoli, pro-Assad Eid mockingly dubbed military prosecutor Saqr Saqr as a "hero," saying he transferred Ali to the ISF Intelligence Bureau after he was tortured during investigation.

But Eid said Ali, who is his father's driver, was not assaulted by the Intelligence Branch, which only used "psychological" torture against him by showing him torture equipment.

The bureau forced him to sign a document that he had smuggled Ahmed Merhi, who is the suspected driver of the explosive-laden vehicle that blew up near al-Taqwa mosque, to Syria, Eid claimed.

The twin boom-mobileings that targeted the Sunni al-Taqwa and al-Salam mosques on August 23 have left hundreds of casualties.

First Military Investigation Judge Riyad Abu Ghida issued on Thursday a subpoena against the head of the Arab Democratic Party, Ali Eid, who is from Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Light of the Alawites...
's Alawite sect.

He has been charged along with his driver Ali with helping Merhi escape justice.

Abou Ghida also issued arrest warrants against Ali and Chehade Shdoud, who was jugged
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
on Tuesday at the Abboudieh border-crossing for smuggling Sukeina Ismail to Syria.

Ismail is charged with transporting the two cars that were used in the bombings from Syria to Leb.

"Ali Eid will never go to the ISF Intelligence for questioning," his son, Rifaat said at the presser he held on Saturday.

Eid urged caretaker Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi to unveil the circumstances of the "fabrications" against his party.

"We will act only in accordance to the law," he said although he made a veiled threat that killing ISF members was permissible.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  one can only hope
Posted by: Frank G || 11/10/2013 11:02 Comments || Top||


ISF Files Complaint against Rifaat Eid
[An Nahar] Caretaker Interior Minister Marwan Charbel on Saturday slammed the Arab Democratic Party Secretary-General's statement as "terrorist," warning that Rifaat Eid's comments are "punishable by law."

"Supporting the killing of others is a criminal takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed...
act that is punishable by law," Charbel warned in a released statement.

"We strongly condemn this kind of language that expresses a violent and irresponsible attitude."

He added: "Eid's speech also puts civil peace at risk and gives way to mutual retaliations."

Earlier on Saturday, Eid slammed the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Bureau as a "spy agency working against Leb's interests," stressing also that the party's head Ali Eid will not go to the ISF's office for questioning.

"We will act only in accordance to the law," he said, making a veiled threat that killing ISF members was permissible.

Rifaat Eid's televised speech came after First Military Investigation Judge Riyad Abu Ghida issued on Thursday a subpoena against Ali Eid.

Eid has been charged along with his driver Ahmed Ali with helping Ahmed Merhi, who is the suspected driver of the explosive-laden vehicle that blew up near al-Taqwa mosque in the northern city of Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of which is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
, to escape justice.

Charbel's statement assured that "Intelligence Bureau, its head and all its members are affiliated with the ISF and the Interior Ministry and take orders from them."

"It does not, under any condition, work under any sectarian or partisan guidance," Charbel assured.

"Facts have proven that the Intelligence Bureau serves all Lebanese without exceptions and has succeeded in dismantling many spying networks and uncovering terrorist plans that aimed at targeting innocent and safe citizens."

Earlier in the evening, the ISF filed a report with judicial authorities against Rifaat Eid.

"The ISF General-Directorate filed a complained with the Public Prosecution, demanding the adoption of the necessary procedures against Eid that permitted the killing of Intelligence Bureau staff," Future TV said.

LBCI television also confirmed the news in its evening newscast.
Posted by: Fred || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6457 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


Denmark could transport Syria’s chemical weapons
Denmark says it is willing to help take chemical weapons out of Syria by sea.

Defense Minister Nikolai Wammen says the United Nations has unofficially asked whether Denmark could contribute ships to transport the weapons from Syria for destruction. Foreign Aid Minister Christian Friis Bach says there are no plans for the weapons to be destroyed in Denmark.

Wammen says it is too early to put a number of how many Danish ships and personnel would be involved. Wammen said the governing coalition received support there but a formal vote in the Danish Parliament is expected.
Posted by: Steve White || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So where will the weapons be taken to be neutralized? This is no trivial task. A well thought out plan would be a....prerequisite.....one would think.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/10/2013 13:49 Comments || Top||


French scuttle US nuke deal
France's foreign minister says marathon six-power talks with Iran have failed to reach a deal meant to cap some of Teheran's nuclear program.

Laurent Fabius says the talks, which ended early Sunday, managed to narrow differences without eliminating them.

He says there are "still questions to be dealt with" in future rounds.

The talks are focused on a deal that will start limiting Iranian nuclear programs that could be used for weapons, in exchange for suspending some sanctions on Iran's economy
Posted by: badanov || 11/10/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I never thought I'll find myself saying "Thank G*d for the French.".
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 11/10/2013 2:51 Comments || Top||

#2  Ditto.
Posted by: Phaising Speaking for Boskone4311 || 11/10/2013 7:25 Comments || Top||

#3  Le Grand Satan
Posted by: Matt || 11/10/2013 10:07 Comments || Top||

#4  You are going to hate this.
Posted by: badanov || 11/10/2013 12:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Oh geez, here we go again.

Every time our inept, incompetent, and naïve misguided, and wrong-headed foreign policy in the middle east needs adult supervision, the French step in and offer some reality.

Surprising because the Brits are normally the ones with more insight into the Arab mentality. Now we have the French stepping up to be the voice of reason as both the Brits and the US have become the sissies of foreign policy, might I add in the best traditions of Neville Chamberlain?

The Iranian issue has run on too long, it has been obvious to anyone with a rational brain cell that the Iranians were disingenuously running a rope a dope on us with their nuke program AND the UN has been so limp wristed panty-waist about doing anything meaningful.

AND what on earth are the Russians thinking? Standing in the door in support of Iran and Syria to prevent any half baked resolution or sternly worded letters to either of those countries. Why? Don't they know the Chechnya's could just as easily use an Iranian nuke on Moscow as the AQ could use the same nuke on Los Angeles?

It seems only the French have a clue about what is REALLY going on in Iran. Thank God for the French!!!! (And I never thought I would ever say that...or at least since the fall of Dien Bien Phu)
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 11/10/2013 12:28 Comments || Top||

#6  Kerry: United States not 'blind' or 'stupid' in Iran talks

uh huh
Posted by: Frank G || 11/10/2013 12:38 Comments || Top||

#7  O does not care about a nuke deal with the MMs. He just cares about something to distract us sheeple from the domestic disasters he and his cronies have heaped upon us.

The deal is going nowhere.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/10/2013 13:47 Comments || Top||

#8  meanwhile he's unilaterally knocked down the sanctions imposed by Congressional law. Idiot
Posted by: Frank G || 11/10/2013 14:19 Comments || Top||

#9  So it seems to me, Commodore Frank, that the ball is in Congress' court. Once again, O has defied Congressional law. Will Congress act on that defiance? Tell me another jest.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/10/2013 16:23 Comments || Top||

#10  "Kerry: United States not 'blind' or 'stupid' in Iran talks"

You tell 'em, Jawn. You (as the representative of the U.S.) are blind AND stupid.
Posted by: Barbara || 11/10/2013 16:34 Comments || Top||

#11  There are several theories on why the French acted as they did.

One theory is that the Saudis paid them to do it. Other theories are that they just like opposing the US, that they find JFKerry to be loathsome and couldn't help themselves or that they actually had some concern for world peace.
Posted by: lord garth || 11/10/2013 19:38 Comments || Top||

#12  ...that they find JFKerry to be loathsome and couldn't help themselves.

Then the French can't be all bad - we have something in common.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/10/2013 19:46 Comments || Top||

#13  When your desire for appeasement and surrender make the French shudder....
Posted by: swksvolFF || 11/10/2013 20:08 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
32[untagged]
5Arab Spring
3Govt of Syria
3Govt of Pakistan
2al-Qaeda in Pakistan
2al-Shabaab
1TTP
1Hezbollah
1Boko Haram
1Lashkar e-Jhangvi
1Taliban
1Thai Insurgency
1Houthis
1Govt of Iran

Bookmark
E-Mail Me

The Classics
The O Club
Rantburg Store
The Bloids
The Never-ending Story
Thugburg
Gulf War I
The Way We Were
Bio

Merry-Go-Blog











On Sale now!


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.
Click here for more information

Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
sherry
ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
Gloria
Fred
Besoeker
Glenmore
Frank G
3dc
Skidmark
Alaska Paul

Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2013-11-10
  Imambargah attacks leave three dead, spark outrage
Sat 2013-11-09
  Zawahiri Disbands Main Qaida Faction in Syria
Fri 2013-11-08
  'Mullah Radio' takes overTTP, terms talks 'waste of time'
Thu 2013-11-07
  Nigeria president seeks state of emergency extension
Wed 2013-11-06
  Mortar round hits Vatican embassy in Damascus
Tue 2013-11-05
  152 soldiers sentenced to die for mutiny in Bangladesh
Mon 2013-11-04
  Blast inside Quetta seminary leaves two injured
Sun 2013-11-03
  Gunmen kill 30 in suspected Islamist attack on Nigerian wedding convoy
Sat 2013-11-02
  Egypt army arrests head of Sinai radical militant group, dozens others
Fri 2013-11-01
  Pakistani Taliban chief killed in drone strike: sources
Thu 2013-10-31
  Israeli warplanes strike shipment of Russian missiles at Syrian port: officials
Wed 2013-10-30
  Suicide blast in Tunisian resort of Sousse
Tue 2013-10-29
  Somalia's al-Shabab commanders 'killed' in strike
Mon 2013-10-28
  Bomb blast kills 18 wedding guests in Afghanistan
Sun 2013-10-27
  Bombings in Baghdad, Mosul kill at least 49

Better than the average link...



Rantburg was assembled from recycled algorithms in the United States of America. No trees were destroyed in the production of this weblog. We did hurt some, though. Sorry.
3.239.58.199
Help keep the Burg running! Paypal:
WoT Operations (14)    Non-WoT (13)    Opinion (3)    (0)    Politix (2)