Hi there, ! Friday December 14th, 2012 

ruthroman
Hugo's tumor a sarcoma and likely terminal Russia flip-flops on prediction
of doom for Assad in Syrian civil war
U.S. to send troops, Patriot missiles to Turkey Propaganda video of NKor Rocket
S. Korea retrieves N. Korean rocket's debris in Yellow Sea Russian police kill three terrorists in Dagestan

Top Posted by Steve White 12/14/2012  13:29 5 Comments 34 words Link to article
Long story from WSJ. Hugo's a goner, and fairly soon.


#1: "it smells of sulfur"

pretty ironic, eh, funnyman?
Posted by: Frank G|| 2012-12-14 14:23 ||Top

#2: Poor tumor. Didn't deserve to be in Hugo.
Posted by: Rob Crawford|| 2012-12-14 15:27 ||Top

#3: J. Randolph Hecht, director of gastrointestinal oncology at the University of California at Los Angeles. "Only in Hollywood do people know how long they have." That is a curious quote. I wonder if he was referring to death at the boxoffice?
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 16:14 ||Top

#4: Dr. Demetri said the secrecy with which Mr. Chávez and Venezuelan authorities have surrounded his case may have deprived him of access to potential approaches that could have improved his care.
Posted by: Water Modem|| 2012-12-14 21:30 ||Top

#5: "Dr. Demetri said the secrecy with which Mr. Chävez and Venezuelan authorities have surrounded his case may have deprived him of access to potential approaches that could have improved his care."

He says that like it's a bad thing....
Posted by: Barbara|| 2012-12-14 21:35 ||Top


Top Posted by Dale 12/14/2012  12:00 10 Comments 0 words Link to article


#1: Do they JMTSU as they go along?

And I have a hard time believing this would 'create' 300,000 jobs. Maybe it would prevent 300,000 people from losing a job.

Assuming it would 'create' 300,000 jobs, that's $100k per job. Not exactly cheap.

Posted by: eltoroverde|| 2012-12-14 14:37 ||Top

#2: Wouldn't extending the benefits make the unemployment figures much much worse? Since the vast majority of it's so-called 'improvement' is due to people running out of benefits and no longer being counted.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2012-12-14 15:04 ||Top

#3: The underlying principle involved here relates to the well known economic fact that if you have a person dig a hole, and have another person fill in the freshly-dug hole, you've created two jobs.

I'm pretty sure Marx talked about exactly this in Das Kapital.
Posted by: Steve White|| 2012-12-14 16:06 ||Top

#4: Could anyone explain to me how this works? Is everyone in Washington insane?
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 17:00 ||Top

#5: The "hole digging fallacy" extends or is a useful corollary to the "broken glass fallacy" in economics.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 17:04 ||Top

#6: "Could anyone explain to me how this works? Is everyone in Washington insane?" -- JohnQC

No. Yes.
Posted by: Barbara|| 2012-12-14 17:13 ||Top

#7: Is everyone in Washington insane?" Ummm, yes.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 17:45 ||Top

#8: Perhaps not everyone, but Mostly.
Especially those with a "D" Gesignation, to rule, not with for justice for all, but for some.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 17:48 ||Top

#9: I was curious what might be said here on the berg. I was at a loss for words myself. This current administration will have no qualms supporting this.
Posted by: Dale|| 2012-12-14 19:57 ||Top

#10: Is everyone in Washington insane?

No. Where do you think the majority of those "jobs" will be created?
Posted by: tu3031|| 2012-12-14 20:04 ||Top


Top Posted by tipper 12/14/2012  09:38 1 Comments 220 words Link to article
Russia issued a clumsy denial Friday of a statement from its point man on Syria, who said a day earlier that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is losing control of the country. The Foreign Ministry insisted it is not changing its stance on the embattled Syrian regime.

Russia's explanation -- that the official was characterizing the opinion of the Syrian opposition rather than stating Russia's position -- did not jibe with the words of Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who was quoted by all three leading Russian news agencies as saying Thursday: "There is a trend for the government to progressively lose control over an increasing part of the territory," and adding that "an opposition victory can't be excluded."

The Foreign Ministry insisted in a statement Friday that Bogdanov was referring only to the claims of the "Syrian opposition and its foreign sponsors forecasting their quick victory over the regime in Damascus."

"In that context, Bogdanov again confirmed Russia's principled stance that a political settlement in Syria has no alternative," the ministry's spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said in the statement.
How on earth can a Russian diplomat utter the word 'principled' and keep his lips attached to his face?


#1: Someone didn't get the memo.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 11:02 ||Top


Top Posted by tipper 12/14/2012  09:35 2 Comments 0 words Link to article


#1: Didn't we see this a while back? It's datelined November 29.
Posted by: Bobby|| 2012-12-14 11:44 ||Top

#2: And Rice, not Condaleeza, goes under d'bus, much more to this. Bambi wants stringing up for duplicity, or at least a sound spanking.
Posted by: Solomon Protector of the Texans5923|| 2012-12-14 14:00 ||Top


Top Posted by tipper 12/14/2012  08:45 12 Comments 254 words Link to article
Foreign policy by The Smartest Man in the Room. Y'know, Jimmy Carter would never have done that when he was president...
The United States gave the go-ahead Friday to deploy Patriot anti-ballistic missiles to Turkey along with enough troops to operate them as the heavily embattled government in neighboring Syria again vehemently denied firing ballistic missiles at rebels.

The United States has accused Damascus of launching Scud-type artillery from the capital at rebels in the country's north. One Washington official said missiles came close to the border of Turkey, a NATO member and staunch U.S. ally.

Syria's government called the accusations "untrue rumors" Friday, according to state news agency SANA. Damascus accused Turkey and its partners of instigating rumors to make the government look bad internationally.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed the order while en route to Turkey to send two Patriot missile batteries and 400 U.S. troops to operate them. The surface-to-air interceptors will help in "dealing with threats that come out of Syria," Panetta said after landing at Incirlik Air Base, a U.S. Air Force installation about 80 miles from Syria's border.

Panetta was unconcerned about possible reactions from Damascus to the Patriot deployment. "We can't spend a lot of time worrying about whether that pisses off Syria," he said, adamant that helping Turkey was the priority.

Panetta did say he was worried what Bashar al-Assad's government may do if it feels it is near collapse.


#1: I can't help but wonder if we're stuck on stupid for the next four years.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain|| 2012-12-14 10:23 ||Top

#2: With Obumble as pres, Yup.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 10:26 ||Top

#3: #1 I can't help but wonder if we're stuck on stupid You can put your wonder aside.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 10:56 ||Top

#4: Presumably, the troops are to operate the missiles. At least we're not handing them the system and saying "Have fun! Sell them to whoever you want!"
Posted by: Muggsy Mussolini1226|| 2012-12-14 11:22 ||Top

#5: We're not 'stuck on stupid'. 'Stupid' is whizzing by as we dig ourselves deeper than stupid at a furious pace.
If we were stuck on stupid we would at least stop getting 'stupider'....
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2012-12-14 11:31 ||Top

#6: Well, at least it's not Gook weapons to Mugabe, does that happen? Fuckin half-wits.....
Posted by: Solomon Protector of the Texans5923|| 2012-12-14 16:04 ||Top

#7: Obumble is no better boosh

Both stoopid

That is why the shit has hit the fan over the last decade
Posted by: Albert 1916 or 06|| 2012-12-14 17:26 ||Top

#8: Both stoopid

It's called 'NATO'. Try to wrap your tiny minds around that. The same treaty clauses that allow the UK to call for assistance also allows the Turks to do so.

If you don't like it, demand that the treaty be ended.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2012-12-14 19:42 ||Top

#9: Ok. End the freaking treaty.
Posted by: Kelly|| 2012-12-14 19:48 ||Top

#10: Unless you can prove that Turkey really is sitting in the damn refrigerator, minding their own business, all the treaty really serves to do is to outsource our foreign policy to the really really stupid.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain|| 2012-12-14 21:24 ||Top

#11: "outsource our foreign policy to the really really stupid"

That ain't outsourcing, Thing - that our own Administration. >:-(
Posted by: Barbara|| 2012-12-14 21:26 ||Top

#12: Unless you can prove that Turkey really is sitting in the damn refrigerator, minding their own business, all the treaty really serves to do is to outsource our foreign policy to the really really stupid.

It doesn't change the facts that the treaty still exists and that a member nation can request assistance if it has been attacked or can prove that there's a threat. I'm not defending the decision - it's questionable. But I wouldn't call it "stupid".
Posted by: Pappy|| 2012-12-14 22:30 ||Top


Top Posted by tipper 12/14/2012  08:33 3 Comments 0 words Link to article


#1: But until NPR catches up, the idiots will, doglike, return to their vomit.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2012-12-14 09:12 ||Top

#2: 20 years ago some of us were saying its all about solar activity. Now even the IPCC admits it.

So much waste...
Posted by: Iblis|| 2012-12-14 12:43 ||Top

#3: We might all be doing a service to repost this as widely as possible with the hope that it gets picked up by more and more media vehicles. Dissemination of this 'alternative' POV is important.
Posted by: warthogswife|| 2012-12-14 13:26 ||Top


Top Posted by tipper 12/14/2012  08:20 0 Comments 0 words Link to article



Top Posted by tipper 12/14/2012  03:14 11 Comments 0 words Link to article


#1: "One of the problems of the crisis is that it was caused by government intervention with fiscal and monetary measures."

The Romney campaign never challenged Obama's narrative that vaguely defined 'greed' was the cause for the crisis.

An oversight, perhaps just incompetence.

But maybe they didn't wish to attack government interference per se because they never intended to forswear interference and diminish the power of the political class.
Posted by: Elmerert Hupens2660|| 2012-12-14 05:28 ||Top

#2: Arguments like this fall flat on their face from the beginning. They don't pass the giggle test. More zerohedge nonsense.
Posted by: gromky|| 2012-12-14 05:58 ||Top

#3: Arguments like this fall flat on their face from the beginning They don't pass the giggle test..
You're spot on gromky. Maybe I should have spotted his tongue in cheek in his June 2008 newsletter which had the following mock quote:

"The federal government is sending each of us a $600 rebate. If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, the money goes to China. If we spend it on gasoline it goes to the Arabs. If we buy a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Germany. If we purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and beer, since these are the only products still produced in US. I've been doing my part."
Posted by: tipper|| 2012-12-14 07:39 ||Top

#4: But maybe they didn't wish to attack government interference per se because they never intended to forswear interference and diminish the power of the political class.

Precisely, GOP is mostly Socialist Right.
Posted by: Phaith Grique4599|| 2012-12-14 10:14 ||Top

#5: Krugman could go to Cuba. It's much closer. However, North Korea would give the full effect of totalitarianism in a cold environment. I noticed the Nork leader is a bit chubby whereas most of the people are not. Some don't do so badly.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 11:32 ||Top

#6: I noticed the Nork leader is a bit chubby whereas most of the people are not. Some don't do so badly.

The problems with liberals (including Krugman) is that they are firmly convinced that they would fit in the 'not so badly' category like Kim Pugsly there.

Fools.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2012-12-14 11:35 ||Top

#7: As long as Kruggie gets to keep the big house, the seven figure salary, and the limo ride to work, I think he'd be fine with it. Weather in Cuba is nicer though...
Posted by: tu3031|| 2012-12-14 12:37 ||Top

#8: As suppposed 'elites' go, Krugman is as dangerous as they come.
Posted by: eltoroverde|| 2012-12-14 14:27 ||Top

#9: You saps don't understand the need to arm against Alien Invasion, Krugman do, and by arm I mean give money to the right people to save us from 8-armed cheep labour from Alpha Mongo, you know the ones, the crazy looking ones with the mattress strapped to the outside of their saucer, ready to do any kind of menial labor at a good price. Scabs From Beyond the Galaxy busting scale in Michigan.
Posted by: Shipman|| 2012-12-14 16:18 ||Top

#10: If Krugman went to North Korea, he would go as a guest of the NK government. He would live in a government supplied house in a Potemkin village. He would live luxuriously, then come back to report how wonderful it was.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia|| 2012-12-14 18:45 ||Top

#11: the best solution is to get him alone with starving villagers. Krugman soup. Once you get by the bitter asshole stupid taste, it might be emaciatingly nutricious
Posted by: Frank G|| 2012-12-14 21:27 ||Top


Top Posted by Water Modem 12/14/2012  00:00 5 Comments 14 words Link to article


#1: Current realtime position of the sat
Posted by: Water Modem|| 2012-12-14 00:23 ||Top

#2: Korean Kaption Kontest: Indoor Smoking Allowed
Posted by: tipper|| 2012-12-14 03:11 ||Top

#3: Obama’s Asia team caught off guard, partying when rocket launched
Posted by: tipper|| 2012-12-14 08:53 ||Top

#4: Great stuff.

Wonder of it can put a Dragon in LEO
Posted by: Kelly|| 2012-12-14 19:56 ||Top

#5: CHINA DAILY FORUM, DEFENCE.PK/FORUM > NORTH KOREAN LEADER URGES MORE ROCKET LAUNCHES, to help boost the DPRK's economy + national prestige.

* RELATED CHINA DAILY FORUM > CHINA DEFIES US SANCTIONS PRESSURE ON NORTH KOREA.

You knew they would.

* GLOBAL TIMES > DPRK TOP LEADER COMMANDS SATELLITE LAUNCH ON-SCENE.

Unlike the Bammer + Hillary, etal. vee Abbottabad raid agz Osama, Artic pics shows Jong-un all in all his macho, Why-Yes-I-Do-Rule-North-Korea glory in the launch control center, wid no one + nuthing save a single phone, PROB TO EITHER CONGRATULATE THE GENERALS-N-ADMIRALS ON THE ROCKET'S SUCCESS, OR ELSE ORDER THEIR REMOVAL OR EXECUTION IFF A FAILURE???

versus

* WORLD MILITARY FORUM > "CORE TIP" BLOG: US WARNS CHINA THAT FAILURE ON ITS PART TO RESTRAIN OR CONTROL NORTH KOREA MAY LEAD TO A US-CHINA ARMS RACE + INCREASED US MILITARY PRESENCE IN THE PACIFIC.
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2012-12-14 22:54 ||Top


Top Posted by Water Modem 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 182 words Link to article
SEOUL, Dec. 14 (Yonhap) -- The Navy has retrieved the debris of North Korea's long-range rocket launched earlier this week, the defense ministry said Friday, which would give a glimpse of the communist state's rocket technology.

Less than two hours after Wednesday's liftoff, a South Korean Aegis destroyer deployed in the Yellow Sea discovered an object, believed to be part of a fuel container from the first stage of the rocket, near the trajectory announced by the North.

"The Navy's Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle retrieved the debris of the rocket's first stage at 00:26 a.m. and was delivering it to the Second Command Fleet in Pyeongtaek," west of Seoul, a ministry official said.
On a side note Jeffrey Lewis of armscontrolwonk.com has done some analysis on the recent unconfirmed reports of Iranians in North Korea: here and here.



Top Posted by ryuge 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 91 words Link to article
Russian police gunned down three suspected terrorists militants on Thursday evening in the Dagestan province of Russia's North Caucasus region.

The Interior Affairs Ministry said terrorists militants opened fire on a police car in the provincial capital of Makhachkala, but that no law enforcement officials was injured. It said, "The shooters were trying to flee the assault site. A chase was organised. As a result three attackers were cut off in a house and killed following brief fighting."



Top Posted by ryuge 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 139 words Link to article
The plan for Thailand's army to have an eye-in-the-sky in the deep South was brought down to earth yesterday. The 350-million baht surveillance airship crash-landed in Pattani province during its first active operation.

The scandal-plagued blimp was to be used to patrol the skies during Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's visit to the area. It crash-landed at the 15th Infantry Division in Nong Chik district of Pattani. The two military pilots and two technicians who were aboard when the blimp crashed escaped with minor injuries.

Thailand's military purchased this surveillance blimp in 2010 as part of its strategy to restore peace in the three Muslim dominated provinces in the deep South, but it has yet to complete a flight amid widespread criticism it is yet another waste of government funds.



Top Posted by ryuge 12/14/2012  00:00 2 Comments 220 words Link to article
Leaflets promising to continue the terrorist insurgent war against teachers greeted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday on her visit to the deep South. The leaflets were distributed by terrorists insurgents prior to the prime minister's arrival, reading: "This war isn't over. Don't count the teachers' corpses just yet."

Ms Yingluck's visit was prompted by an increase in the number of fatal attacks against teachers in the area.

Before her arrival, the flyers were handed out in Chana, Thepha, Na Thawi, and Saba Yoi districts of Songkhla province, which border the three most violence-plagued southern provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat. The presence of the threatening leaflets came as another blow to the morale of teachers who have been shaken by the recent murders of their peers, said the chairman of the Teachers' Federation of the Three Southern Border Provinces.

Two teachers were killed in the latest attack on Tuesday, prompting the teacher's organization on Wednesday to announce that classes at 1,200 schools in the region would be suspended for two days. The two deaths brought the number of teachers killed in southern insurgency to 157.

In Pattani, Ms Yingluck held a closed-door meeting with 20 representatives of the teachers' confederation. She said she would arrange a meeting with security officials today to work on improving security measures for teachers.


#1: As a long-term resident of Thailand, I would like to comment on the situation in Southern Thailand.

What has been going on in the three southern provinces over the last ten years is very heinous form of ETHNIC CLEANSING that should be bringing strong international pressure against, and condemnation of the Muslim insurgency movement responsible for the atrocities. And - there is very good reason why the world needs to "wake up" in regards to this particular instance - because if this ETHNIC CLEANSING campaign is successful, it is likely to start appearing again and again across the world.

This particular ETHNIC CLEANSING campaign works like this:

1. In thee troubled provinces, Buddhists are a minority. Buddhist children - and some Muslim children - attend "normal" Thai schools. Many of the Muslim childdren attend Islamicc maddrasses.

2. The inusrgent Muslims wish to eliminate the Buddhist presence in their provinces - "cleanse" their "mini-Caliphate" off infidel Buddhists.

3. So - the strategy that the Muslims have pursued is as follows:

a. If a Buddhist resident has no children, that resident is left alone - beacuse once he or she dies, that Buddhist presence ceases to persist.

b. If a Buddhist family has children, the parents want thei children to be educated - so they send the children to school. The Muslims have adopted the tactic of murdering teachers, school administrators, and children - sometimes even entering classrooms and murdering a teacher in front of his/her students - so as to either force the "Buddhist" schools to close, or to cause the Buddhist parents to be afraid to send theiir children to school.

c. Buddhist parents will not accept their children not receiving an education - so the Buddhist families will haave no choice but to relocate out of the emabttled provinces.

This is ther ultimate in sinister covert ETHNIC CLEANSING. And - over the past ten years, more than 450 educators - mostly at primary and middle schools - have been slaughtered in cold blood - either at their schools, or on the way to or from their schools.

This is how Islam operates when it is not aggressively restrained. And - this approach is eventually coming to your neck of the woods, unless it is crushed here in Thailand.

Posted by: Lone Ranger|| 2012-12-14 00:58 ||Top

#2: Lone Ranger -
I visited Thailand one time in 1999 (Bangkok and Chiang Mai areas) and really loved the people I met there. Since discovering Rantburg, I've made an effort to post articles about many of the terrible incidents there, so that people could get an idea of how cruel and relentless the jihad being waged there is. This situation gets so little coverage in the mainstream press. It's good to hear from someone who lives there and to get your perspective, so thanks!
Posted by: ryuge|| 2012-12-14 16:12 ||Top


Top Posted by trailing wife 12/14/2012  00:00 2 Comments 234 words Link to article
[Breitbart] An Islamic extremist hacker group appears to have followed through on its latest threats to attack several major American banks in retaliation for what it says is "widespread and organized offenses to Islamic spirituals and holy issues." The attack is one in a series that began this fall under the banner of Operation Ababil, which the group has vowed to continue until the "Innocence of Muslims" film has been removed from the internet.

In several messages it posted to the popular Pastebin text sharing website, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters group has previously warned that it would be targeting American banks U.S. Bancorp, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Bank of America, PNC Financial Services Group, and SunTrust Banks. In October, it laid out a schedule of its planned attacks after successfully hitting Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase the prior month.

On Monday, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters posted a similar threat and announced it was launching Phase 2 of the operation.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters denied in an interview having any connection to Iran, any other government, or to Hamas (The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades is the name of the armed wing of Hamas).
Somewhat more technical stuff at the link for you technical types.


#1: Because banks can somehow change the Bill of Rights?
Posted by: Water Modem|| 2012-12-14 01:05 ||Top

#2: Arrest them as they come.(Whot Maroons).
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 06:56 ||Top


Top Posted by trailing wife 12/14/2012  00:00 2 Comments 640 words Link to article
PA officials say a confederation would only take place after the creation of a Paleostinian state within the pre-1967 lines

Paleostinian Authority officials confirmed Thursday that they were studying the possibility of establishing a confederation with Jordan, but stressed that this would take place only after the creation of an independent Paleostinian state within the pre-1967 lines.
So it's a useless intellectual exercise. I didn't realize the PA was so .. academic...
President Abbas is not the only one there with a highly specialized PhD, after all.
The officials were commenting on a report in the London-based Al-Quds al- Arabi newspaper that claimed that PA President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
had asked senior Fatah leaders to prepare for the formation of a confederation between a Paleostinian state and Jordan.

The newspaper said that Abbas has instructed his advisors to provide him with "detailed strategic reports about the best way to conduct negotiations with Jordan about reviving the confederation plan."

Abbas reportedly met with seven top Fatah and PA figures and discussed with them the idea, the report said, adding that the PA president had asked that the meeting remain confidential.

The report quoted an informed Paleostinian source as saying that Abbas told participants that the confederation plan would come soon "and we must be prepared for it."

Abbas's rapprochement with Jordan is the result of a Saudi-Qatari-Turkish alliance that backs Hamas and ignores the PA, the politicians noted
. Jordan and the PA are scheduled to launch talks on their future relations on February 21, the report revealed.

On Saturday, the Fatah Central Committee is expected to discuss the confederation plan during a meeting in Ramallah, according to the source.

Jordanian politicians quoted Abbas as saying that the Paleostinian state would not be able to survive without forging a confederation with Jordan.

Abbas hinted that he discussed the idea with Jordan's King Abdullah, when the latter visited Ramallah earlier this week.

Abbas's rapprochement with Jordan is the result of a Saudi-Qatari-Turkish alliance that backs Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, and ignores the PA, the politicians noted.

Abbas's front man, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, said in response that the confederation idea would be discussed only after the establishment of an independent Paleostinian state.

Abu Rudaineh said that the idea was first discussed in 1988 and the two sides agreed that when a Paleostinian state is established this option would be on the table.

He said that any decision taken by the PA leadership would be brought before the Paleostinians for approval through a referendum.

PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusef said that the confederation plan was just a "study" during the current phase.

Abu Yusef said that any talk about the confederation plan now would hinder efforts to establish an independent Paleostinian state within the pre-1967 lines "because Israel is hoping that a Paleostinian state would be part of Jordan."

Any confederation would be announced only after a Paleostinian state is established, he added.

"What is happening now is only a discussion and a study about future options of a Paleostinian state."

Diplomatic sources would not comment on the report.


#1: E.g. the KURDS, I have said that an outbreak of "Arab/Islamic Spring" = "Jordan Spring" + consequent destabilization or fall of the ruling Hashemite Dynasty could give the Paleos the opportunity they need to forcibly or violently create their own unique homeland via merger wid the large Paleo community already residing inside Hashemite Jordan.

As said before, the PA in Gaza-West Bank is a Govt widout any physical land or territory [sovereign]to call its own - EGYPT CLAIMS GAZA AS ITS SOVEREIGN TERRITORY, JORDAN CLAIMS DITTO PER THE WEST BANK, + NEITHER EGYPT OR JORDAN IS SEEMINGLY WILLING TO TRANSFER SAME TO THE PA + PALEO PEOPLE.

At best, the PA + Paleos are nothing more than "guests" of Egypt + Jordan until such time Israel is defeated or destroyed - EVEN THEN, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. Safe to say the Paleos are likely on their own.
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2012-12-14 23:09 ||Top

#2: Safe to say the Paleos are likely on their own.

Everyone loves the Paleos - until they want to come and visit (cue John Belushi "Thing That Would Not Leave" skit). Everyone needs the Paleos to torment the Juice, but no one wants them as neighbors and houseguests. Is there anyplace they haven't been thrown out of?
Posted by: SteveS|| 2012-12-14 23:21 ||Top


Top Posted by trailing wife 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 145 words Link to article
[Ma'an] A Paleostinian court on Monday sentenced two men from Bethlehem to 10 years hard labor for selling land to Israel.

The men are both from Husan village and were convicted of selling land in the West Bank to Israeli settlers.

The court said one of the accused, a 64-old identified by his initials F.H., brought papers from his brothers that gave him power of attorney to sell land inherited from their father, official news agency Wafa said. The land is located near the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit.

The other defendant, named only as Y.Z., 49, worked as a contractor in the settlement and arranged for F.H to sell the land to a settler for $45,000.

The court suspended their sentences as the defendants wish to appeal, a Ma'an news hound said.



Top Posted by trailing wife 12/14/2012  00:00 5 Comments 136 words Link to article
[Ma'an] Egypt has approved the entry of an Iranian aid convoy into the Gazoo Strip, a security official said Wednesday.

The Iranian government had contacted Egypt to ask that the convoy be allowed into Gazoo via the Rafah crossing, an Egyptian security official told Ma'an.

The food and medical aid will enter Gazoo in two weeks, he said.
Not that Gaza needs food and medicines. But when they sell it all in Egypt, Hamas will get their cut, giving them funds with which to pay the rocketeers.


#1: It is a long way from Iran to Gazoo. Nice convoy you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.
Posted by: SteveS|| 2012-12-14 01:10 ||Top

#2: More Fajrs?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2012-12-14 02:03 ||Top

#3: Once one convoy is let through, then another, until finally no one looks at what goes in or out of Gaza. That is the plan.
Remember these guys are on a mission from God. Actually. Really.
Posted by: Mikey Hunt|| 2012-12-14 02:41 ||Top

#4: Just have the "Convoy" Vanish, quietly.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 07:03 ||Top

#5: "Trucks full of food and medical supplies hardly ever produce secondary explosions."
Posted by: Muggsy Mussolini1226|| 2012-12-14 13:10 ||Top


Top Posted by Water Modem 12/14/2012  00:00 4 Comments 119 words Link to article
Small Wars Journal Forums:
The Pentagon released its bi-annual assessment of the war in Afghanistan, which shows security is increasing in populated areas, even if violence is up. The report also shows that only one of the 23 Afghan National Army brigades is capable of operating independently without air or other military support from U.S. or international forces. A senior defense official who briefed reporters at the Pentagon said the "fighting capability" of the Afghan forces and the fact that they carry out independent operations at many levels, even if those operations require coalition support, means they are far more capable than they were.


#1: They do this report twice a year. What are they doing papering over this war?
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 16:17 ||Top

#2: biannual = every two years.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2012-12-14 19:57 ||Top

#3: Sorry, Pappy -

Biannual = twice a year (bi: 2) (annual: year)

Biennial = every 2 years (bi: 2) (ennial: recurring at [x] years)

/pedant
Posted by: Barbara|| 2012-12-14 21:33 ||Top

#4: what? again? seems like two years ago I had to smog my truck
Posted by: Frank G|| 2012-12-14 21:35 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 4 Comments 22 words Link to article


#1: Birthday Gam Shot

Sophie Monk [ London-born Australian singer, model and actress][Filmography](age 33)



Gorb, this bicycle is "Sophie's Choice".

Also, Ginger Lynn star of Selected Short Subjects turns 50 today.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC|| 2012-12-14 04:35 ||Top

#2: A good morning indeed!
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 10:57 ||Top

#3: Given that Sophie's "film" credits include such classics as "Poolguys", "Sex and Death 101" and "Springbreak 83", I would hardly call her an actress.
Posted by: Frozen Al|| 2012-12-14 12:37 ||Top

#4: She is a showmeyourboobstress then?
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2012-12-14 18:08 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 786 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] The leader of Morocco's main opposition group al-Adl Wal Ihsane died on Thursday, raising questions over the future of an Islamist group that played a central role in Arab Spring protests last year.

Abdessalam Yassine formed the group 1981. It is banned from formal politics but is believed by analysts and diplomats to be the only opposition organization capable of mass mobilisation in the North African state.

It was a major player in protests last year that led the monarchy to institute constitutional reforms to dilute some of its extensive powers - an usual step for a group previously more focused on religion than politics and protest.

The protests petered out after Al-Adl Wal Ihsane (Justice and Spirituality) withdrew over disputes with secularists.

"With a heavy heart Al-Adl Wal Ihsane announces to its members, sympathisers, the Moroccan people and the Islamic nation the death of one of its great men, the great guide Abdessalam Yassine," a statement on its website said.

Hassan bin Najeh, front man for the group's youth section said Sheikh Yassine, born in 1928, had been suffering from influenza and his health had been frail for some time.

His funeral is set to take place in Rabat on Friday and could become a focus for anti-government protest.

It was not clear who would succeed Yassine, who served several terms in prison for opposition to the monarchy, and analysts saw conflict over the future direction of the group.

"He was one of the great opponents of the monarchy. He could have gathered hundreds of thousands of people in a city like Casablanca but never did because he wanted avoid confrontation," said political scientist Maati Monjib.

"After his death, there will be a fight between the different wings of Al-Adl Wal Ihsane that want to focus on politics and preaching, which could cause a split."

Constitutional Changes

The group stands apart from the Islamist PJD party, which was formed in the late 1990s and won elections last year that had been brought forward as part of the king's efforts to end the protest movement.

While King Mohammed allowed the PJD leader Abdelilah Benkirane to form the first Islamist-led government in Morocco, Sheikh Yassine's group remained outside the system for its refusal to recognise the king's self-styled status as "Commander of the Faithful".

That position would almost certainly have to change if the group sought to move into the political mainstream.

"People will be waiting to see who will replace him and whether that results in a new direction. Number one issue is whether they'd move to forming a political party," a Western diplomat said. "The constitution is clear that you have can't political parties that are overtly anti-monarchy."

The group also views the constitutional changes that, on the face of it, limited royal control to military, security and religious affairs, as only cosmetic.

"People are now convinced the steps taken in Morocco are more or less superficial, which is exactly how the regime responded to pressure in the past," its front man Fathallah Arsalane told Rooters last week.

"It's become clear that it is the monarchy in control."

Many Arab Sunni holy mans disapproved of the strong flavour of Sufism, or Islamic mysticism, to Yassine's group, which was not close to organizations such as the Moslem Brüderbund in Egypt or Ennahda in Tunisia that have risen to power after the uprisings there. That limits their danger for the authorities.

Yassine, who hailed from a Berber village in the south of Morocco and grew up in Marrakech, was placed in durance vile
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
for three years after he addressed a letter to King Hassan in the 1974 calling for implementation of sharia, or Islamic law.

He was held for two years again after forming his political group and spending 10 years under house arrest until King Hassan's son succeeded him in 1999.

He called on the new king too to turn to the "true Islam" and surrender the monarchy's assets to the state but while the authorities left him alone, his party remained banned.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 259 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Despoiler of Deraa...
's regime appears likely to fall within weeks, a senior minister in Iraq, whose country has avoided publicly taking sides in Syria's conflict, told AFP on Thursday.
"There is a real acceleration regarding the international community focusing on Syria... real concern about the using of chemical weapons," Finance Minister Rafa Al-Essawi said on the sidelines of a meeting with the International Monetary Fund in Amman.

"So I personally feel that the Syrian file and Syrian changes will take place shortly."

"I think, personally, it is weeks."

Essawi, a Sunni Moslem like the majority of Syria's rebels, said international efforts against Assad's regime appeared to be accelerating and noted that battles in the Damascus
...The capital of Iran's Syrian satrapy...
area indicated that change may be near.

"Now the battle is surrounding the Damascus airport. So being so close on Syria's position like the airport, it gives you the impression of an acceleration."



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 313 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] An interior ministry official announced on Thursday that the ministry had taken all necessary measures to secure the referendum set to take place Saturday.
"Ahmen, give me a holler as soon as the shipment of new truncheons comes in!"
"Right, chief!"

Ministry official Osama Ismail stated that the police forces' role would be limited to securing voting stations and providing a safe environment for voters. He stressed that no police presence would be seen inside any of the stations, unless specifically requested by judges supervising the process.

The first phase of voting is expected to take place in Cairo, Alexandria, Daqahliya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Assuit, Sohag, Aswan, North Sinai and South Sinai. The second stage to take place on 22 November will be held in Giza, Qalioubiya, Menoufiya, Beheira, Kafr El-Sheikh, Damietta, Ismailia, Port Said, Suez, Marsa Matrouh, the Red Sea, New Valley, Beni Suef, Fayoum, Minya, Luxor and Qena.

On Thursday, the military reaffirmed that it would have 'temporary arrest powers' at the request of Egypt's Supreme Electoral Commission. This would be granted only during the referendum period, official army spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali stated. He went on to assert that this power would end with the completion of the referendum, stressing that the armed forces had to interest in prolonging it.

On Sunday, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi -- who holds legislative powers because Egypt's elected parliament was dissolved this summer on court order -- issued a law granting army officers the authority to make arrests. The legislation was published in Egypt's official state gazette.

Law 107 of 2012 gives army officers the authority to make arrests from the day of issuance until the results of the constitutional poll are made public. The law gives army officers the right to arrest civilians with a view to "maintaining public order."


#1: "Secure"? as in" Vote our way"?
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 06:42 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 9 Comments 206 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's
... the worst president ever. Maybe the second worst. The votes aren't all in yet...
center says it will not deploy monitors for the referendum on draft constitution because of the government's late release of regulations for witnesses.
"Don't worry about it, Jones! I'm sure everything's fine!"
"Yes, Mr. President Carter!"

The decision reflects concerns that the rushed process leading to Saturday's vote has undermined the legitimacy of the disputed charter backed by President Mohammed Morsi and his Islamist allies.

The speedy referendum has left the country deeply polarized.

The Carter Center said Thursday that it would not be able to conduct "a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of the referendum process."

Most Egyptian judges also are boycotting the referendum, saying they will refrain from overseeing the process as stipulated by law. In response, Morsi issued a decree breaking the vote into two rounds -- one on Saturday and another on Dec. 22.


#1: A peanut farmer, remember.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 00:10 ||Top

#2:
Threater Flusoper9823, this is a family website. Modify your language and your images accordingly.

-- trailing wife for the moderators at 8:54 a.m. ET
Posted by: Threater Flusoper9823|| 2012-12-14 05:27 ||Top

#3: Let's NOT send X16s, only the Bombload.

I'm sure another few holes in their heads won't hurt, they think Holey now.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 07:00 ||Top

#4: The Carter Center is a very selective organization in who they choose to monitor.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 11:13 ||Top

#5: Nothing much good comes from downtown Atlanta.
Posted by: Besoeker on the road again|| 2012-12-14 12:18 ||Top

#6: So they Carter Center figures there will be enough Egyptian Brotherhood fraud to carry Morsi across the finish line...
Posted by: Rob Crawford|| 2012-12-14 12:20 ||Top

#7: What about the Varsity, Besoker?
Posted by: Beavis|| 2012-12-14 14:15 ||Top

#8: Nothing much good comes from downtown Atlanta.

Except I-20, I-85 and I-75, right B?
Posted by: BA|| 2012-12-14 15:07 ||Top

#9: I guess there are no Tea Party members suppressing the vote in Egypt.
Posted by: AuburnTom|| 2012-12-14 16:37 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 256 words Link to article
Damn! They've got an aluminum well! Who knew?
[Al Ahram] Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face...
on Thursday began aluminium production at its first smelter built through a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) and US giant Alcoa, a statement said.

"Today we see the first aluminium produced in Saudi Arabia, and the launch of a new industry," Ma'aden President and CEO Khalid al-Mudaifer said at the inauguration of production in Ras al-Khair in Eastern Province.

The Ma'aden Aluminium joint venture is 74.9 percent-owned by the Saudi group, with the rest held by Alcoa.

The smelter is part of a joint venture agreed in 2009 to construct a giant industrial complex costing $10.8 billion.

In addition to the smelter which will have an initial annual capacity of 740,000 metric tonnes, the complex includes a bauxite mine with an initial capacity of four million metric tonnes per year, and an alumina refinery with an annual initial capacity of 1.8 million metric tonnes.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 29 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Due to deteriorating security situation, Pakistan has withdrawn its ambassador and all diplomatic staff from Syria, says foreign minister



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 79 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Sixteen people were killed and more that 25 wounded, including women and children, in a car bomb in Qatana, a town 25 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of Damascus, Lebanon's Al-Manar television channel said Thursday. Qatana is part of a string of outlying suburbs and towns where President Bashar Al-Assad's forces have been trying to push back rebels. The attack follows three bombs that exploded at the interior ministry Wednesday evening, killing five.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 333 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Syrian Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar was maimed in a deadly kaboom targeting his ministry on Wednesday but his condition is not serious, a security source told AFP.

"He was maimed in the shoulder when the ceiling fell in his office," the source said on Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity
... for fear of being murdered...
"He was taken to hospital but his condition gives no cause for concern and he should be discharged rapidly."

The triple bombing, using a booby-trapped car and two other devices, was made possible by a betrayal within the ministry's own protection service, the source said.

"It is impossible to get near the ministry gate except in an official vehicle," he added.

The attack killed five people and maimed 23, the state SANA news agency reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said nine people were killed.

It is the second time that the interior minister has been maimed in an attack.

Shaar narrowly escaped being killed in a spectacular July 18 bombing that claimed the lives of four other top security officials, including the defence minister and the brother-in-law of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Scourge of Qusayr...
.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 231 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Guards thwarted an attempt by around 20 Fatah al-Islam
A Syrian-incubated al-Qaeda work-alike that they think can be turned off if no longer needed to keep the Leb pot stirred.
prisoners to escape from Roumieh prison, the oldest and largest of Leb's overcrowded prisons, the National News Agency reported on Thursday.

NNA said the inmates had cut iron bars at the prison's library and were seeking to dig a hole in the wall of the workshop that had been burned in previous riots when the plot was uncovered on Thursday night.

Judge Fadi Zaenni headed to Roumieh to investigate the incident.

The military tribunal charged last month a Lebanese man and two Syrians with helping three Fatah al-Islam inmates escape from the same prison,

The three men were also charged with facilitating a prison break attempt by another inmate, who was planning to wear a black Islamic veil and climb down using a rope from bloc B where the Islamist inmates are incarcerated.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 189 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Spain announced Thursday it had seized 28 million euros ($37 million) in financial products, luxury cars and buildings linked to ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
Egypt requested Spain's help under U.N. anti-corruption conventions to find and block assets owned by Mubarak, his family, top aides and their related companies, a national police statement said.

Police blocked 18.4 million euros in financial products held in three Spanish banks; two buildings in Madrid's wealthy Moraleja district worth a combined seven million euros; and seven properties in the holiday resort of Malaga worth more than three million euros.

They also seized seven luxury cars.

"The assets could be the proceeds of crimes such as the embezzlement of public funds, corruption, or the illegal enrichment committed during his mandate," police said.

The Egyptian request targeted some 130 people, they said.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 3 Comments 319 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Thousands of Paleostinians attended a rare Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, rally in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, celebrating the group's "victory" over Israel in Gazoo.
"I love the smell of smoking rubble in the morning. Smells like...victory!"
The rally is the first time that the West Bank's ruling Paleostinian Authority -- which is dominated by the Fatah faction, Hamas's bitter rival -- have allowed such a gathering since 2007.

An AFP correspondent said at least 5,000 people were taking part in the celebration, which also marks 25 years since the establishment of the Islamist group.

Despite an overcast sky, the mood was exuberant, with enthusiastic youths waving the green flag of Hamas as a procession left the city's Al-Nasser mosque.

Yussef Iqtishaat, a teenager attending the rally with his family, was among those eagerly brandishing the movement's flag.

"It's a great day thanks to the victory in Gazoo," he told AFP.

Women wearing headscarves carried banners praising the movement and its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. "Jihad is our way," and The battle (in Gazoo) is the road to liberation," some read.

"We are with Hamas, you are the gun and we are the ammunition," one banner said.

Some of those attending also carried wood models of the rockets fired by Hamas and other Gazoo groups at Israel during the eight-day conflict last month, which left more than 174 Paleostinians and six Israelis dead.


#1: which left more than 174 Paleostinians and six Israelis dead.

A Great Victory, indeed. Let's see, that's a kill ratio of roughly 30:1...if there's 7 million Juices, you're going to need about 210 million Paleostinians for a Final Solution(tm). With a population of about 4 million in Gazoo and the West Bank, we're gonna need a lot more Paleostinians!

All back of the envelope, of course. Practically speaking, if you were to assemble 210 million Paleostinians, they would immediately reach critical mass, splinter into umpteen different factions and being fighting amongst themselves. Hell, the 4 million they've got now can barely stand each other.
Posted by: SteveS|| 2012-12-14 01:36 ||Top

#2: 210M Paleos = 420M foot gunshot injuries.
Posted by: Frank G|| 2012-12-14 08:51 ||Top

#3: "We are with Hamas, you are the gun and we are the ammunition cannon fodder,"
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 11:00 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 434 words Link to article
[An Nahar] A former Syrian officer who served in a battalion specializing in surface-to-surface missiles told AFP on Thursday regime forces had fired Scuds three days ago, but the government has denied this.

First Lieutenant Aaraba Idriss said he is still in contact with officers and members of his former Battalion 57, part of Brigade 155, despite defecting 10 months ago.

He said they told him they fired five Scud missiles for the first time on Monday from their location in Nasiriyeh on the highway between Damascus
...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world...
and the central Syrian city of Homs.

Idriss, who now heads the Hassan Battalion of the rebel Free Syrian Army, said "the missiles were fired northwest at 10:45 (0845 GMT), 12:30, 13:50, 15:15 and 17:10" and may have struck in Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
or Idlib province.

A soldier, who defected on Tuesday morning, corroborated the report to AFP.

Idriss said the "Golan-1" missiles were either Russian-made or Russian modified" and have a range of up to 300 kilometers (180 miles).

The Local Coordination Committees, a network of opposition activists on the ground, said on Monday that "regime forces fired a long-range Scud missile from the Nasiriyeh area," but was unable to determine its target.

According to a source in Damascus, the army had actually fired a smaller, Syrian-made version of the Scud.

A U.S. official told AFP on Wednesday that the regime had fired Scud missiles at oppositions targets.

On Thursday, the Syrian foreign ministry said it "categorically denies rumors that the Syrian army has fired Scud missiles," state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
reported.

"Biased and conspiratorial rumors are spreading in anti-Syrian circles that the Syrian army is using Scud missiles in response to armed terrorist groups when it is known that Scuds are strategic, long-range missiles and are not suited for use against armed terrorist gangs," a statement said.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 598 words Link to article
[An Nahar] The Pakistain military and the Taliban are guilty of rights abuses with a lack of justice fueling a crisis in the tribal areas on the Afghan border, a report by Amnesia Amnesty International said Thursday.

The military is using new security laws and a colonial-era penal system to act with impunity in the northwestern, semi-autonomous region where Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked violence is concentrated, the watchdog said.

The military rejected the allegations as a "pack of lies and part of a sinister propaganda campaign" against the armed forces.

Imagine that.
A front man for the military rejected the allegations as a "pack of lies and part of a sinister propaganda campaign" against the armed forces.

The military has arbitrarily jugged
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
thousands for long periods with little or no access to due process, said the report, based on interviews with victims, witnesses, relatives, lawyers, officials and thugs.

Cases of death and torture have been documented, detainees are not brought before court and relatives have no idea of their fate, sometimes for extended periods of time, said the London-based human rights
...which are often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless...
group.

"Almost every week the bodies of those tossed in the slammer
You have the right to remain silent...
by the armed forces are being returned to their families or reportedly found dumped across the tribal areas," said Polly Truscott, Amnesty's deputy Asia-Pacific director.

"The government must immediately reform the deeply flawed legal system in the tribal areas that perpetuates the cycle of violence," she added.

Although judges have sought to investigate the fate of people who go missing, Amnesty said no military personnel had been prosecuted for alleged torture, enforced disappearance or deaths in jug.

It demanded the repeal of sweeping powers of arrest and detention given to the armed forces in 2011, and called on the jurisdiction of the courts and parliament to be extended to the tribal areas.

Pakistain says more than 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks on the United States and that its forces have for years been fighting homegrown gunnies in the northwest.

A front man for the Pakistain military refuted the allegations, calling it a "biased report based on fabricated stories twisted to serve an agenda".


#1: IIUC, everyone is guilty ergo no one can be punished - OOOOOOPPPPPSSSS???
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2012-12-14 22:56 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 452 words Link to article
[Dawn] At least three people were killed and three others injured in a series of shooting incidents on Thursday in Pakistain's restive Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
province.

Three separate shooting incidents in the span of an hour claimed two lives and injured three other people in Quetta, the picturesque provincial capital.

According to police, the first incident took place at the city's busy market Qandahari Bazar when unknown gunnies riding cycle of violences opened fire, severely injuring three people. At least two of the three injured were identified as locals belonging to the minority Hazara community.

In a similar incident, another man, said to be a public servant and also belonging to the Hazara community, was bumped off by unidentified armed assailants.

Meanwhile,
...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter awoke groggily, his hand still stuck in the Ming vase...
another man lost his life when gunnies shot up a tailor shop at Sarki Road.

In the most recent incident, unidentified gunnies rubbed out renowned local doctor Lakhmi Chand in Balochistan's Mastung district, about 25 kilometres south of Quetta.

Earlier on Thursday, a local court sentenced to life imprisonment three suspects for the murder of Baloch leader Habib Jalib Baloch. The sentence was handed down by sessions judge Rashid Mehmood.

Habib Jalib Baloch, a former senator and secretary-general of the Balochistan National Party-M, was assassinated on Quetta's Sariab Road in July 2010.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 425 words Link to article
[Dawn] A prayer leader and his wife were rubbed out by unidentified persons inside their house in Ghanian area of Oghi on Wednesday.

According to police, person or persons unknown barged into the house of Maulvi Ali Akbar and sprayed him and his wife with bullets. The assailants managed to escape after committing the crime, they added.

"The assailants entered Maulvi Akbar's house at about 11am and shot him and his wife dead," a police official told journalists. He said that
Akbar had married the woman after the death of his first wife.

Meanwhile,
...back at the wine tasting, Greasy Thumb reached for his rod!...
Balakot police claimed to have tossed in the clink
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
two outlaws involved in murder and robberies in Mansehra
...a city and an eponymous district in eastern Khyber-Pakthunwa, nestled snug up against Pak Kashmir, with Kohistan and Diamir to the north and Abbottabad to the south...
district.

SHO Sabir Khan told a presser on Wednesday that Sher Afzal and Mohammad Amir were on the run after looting three shops in
Balakot last night. A police party arrested them on a tip-off, he added.

"Both the accused were involved in murder, attempted murder and robberies. They were released on bail from jail last week," said Mr Khan.

He said that during interrogation the accused confessed to committing several robberies. The looted goods were also recovered from their possession, he added.

The SHO said that both the accused were produced in the court of local magistrate. The court handed them over to police on two-day physical remand, he added.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 500 words Link to article
[Dawn] Enough is enough. Mehsuds can no more spend life as IDPs out of their own territory. The security forces should clear the tribal areas forthwith as they can't live in camps any longer.

This was announced by a jirga of Mehsud elders here at the political compound of South Wazoo on Wednesday.

The political agent and other government functionaries were also in attendance.

Elders Malik Mehsud Ahmad, Malik Sayedur Rehman, Malik Syed Anwar, Malik Rapa Khan, Malik Haji Mohammad, Malik Mohammad Rafiq, Malik Azizullah, Malik Attaullah, Malik Ayaz and others addressed the jirga.

They said Mehsuds had vacated their houses on the directives of the security forces and political administration for great national interest.

An elder said: "Enough is enough. After passage of three long years, Mehsuds are forced to live as IDPs. The government and security forces have failed to clear our region."

He further said: "We have exhausted, now. We want to return to our homes. The life in camps and tented houses is very difficult. We want free movement and independent life in our own territory."

The other elders said the government had stated in the past that their areas would be cleared soon but after passage of three years, the situation was still unclear. They said Mehsuds won't live as IDPs anymore.

Mehsuds had migrated from Sara Rogha, Makeen, Ladha, Tiarza and Sarokai tehsils.

Until now, 20 to 25 per cent of Sara Rogha and Sarokai displaced residents have returned to their homes. The rest of the areas have yet to be cleared from gun-hung tough guys despite a lapse of three years.

The Mehsud elders said kabooms, drone attacks and other activities of terrorism had been carried out in all parts of tribal agencies but only Mehsud rustics had been stopped from entering their own area. They also demanded distribution of Annual Development
Programme funds and development schemes on the basis of centuries-old nikat system.

The elders said according to nikat system, Mehsuds had authority on three-fourth of the national resources and funds, while Ahmedzai Waziris enjoyed only one-fourth of the resources and funds.

They also regretted that Mehsud IDPs were expelled from Wana but neither the political administration nor other institutions came forward for their help.

The elders demanded that Mehsud students in Government Degree College, Ladha be provided with education facilities in Tank.

They also appealed to unidentified kidnappers to free stenographer to political agent Allah Bagh.

PA Shahidullah Khan also addressed the jirga and said all possible efforts would be made to provide facilities to Mehsuds.

He said he was in contact with the higher authorities to resolve their problems.


#1: More "Maliks" than "Mehsuds".
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2012-12-14 23:12 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 1038 words Link to article
[Dawn] A surge in number of killings in the city was witnessed on Wednesday when nearly a dozen people, including a policeman, a customs official and a Muttahida Qaumi Movement
...English: United National Movement, generally known as MQM, is the 3rd largest political party and the largest secular political party in Pakistain with particular strength in Sindh. From 1992 to 1999, the MQM was the target of the Pak Army's Operation Cleanup leaving thousands of urdu speaking civilians dead...
activist, were rubbed out in different areas, while an assistant director of the Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
Development Authority was maimed along with his driver in a gun attack.

On Tuesday, six people were bumped off in the city.

While the targeted attack on the customs official and his nephew in Landhi appeared sectarian, a police brass hat described the incident as the result of some personal enmity.

Syed Bahawal Shah, 45, and his 22-year-old nephew, Baqar Shah, were going in a car (AEE-199) when they came under attack near Labour Square in Quaidabad, said an official on Wednesday morning, police said.

Both the victims were rushed to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, where they were pronounced dead on arrival, the police added.

The officials said a 9mm pistol was used in the drive-by shooting.

According to the police, Bahawal was a sub-inspector in anti-smuggling unit of customs and his nephew was an employee of Pakistain Steel Mills.

The victims hailed from Chakwal, Punjab, the police said.

"They had enmity back home in Chakwal," said DIG (east) Shahid Hayat. "Their family is going to nominate someone in the case," he added.

Sindh Majlis Wahdat-e-Moslemeen Secretary General Allama Mukhtar Imami condemned 'the assassination of five Shias in Bloody Karachi during 72 hours'.

Policeman killed
A policeman was bumped off in Baldia Town, officials said.

They added that sub-inspector Mukhtar Jamal was passing through Sector 9-D when armed motorcyclists fired at him and sped away. He was struck down in his prime.

The police Sherlocks found spent bullet casings of 9mm pistol at the crime-scene.

He had been serving at the Saeedabad cop shoppe for the past 13 years, the police said.

Father of four, the victim belonged to Gujrat, Punjab.

MQM activist bumped off
A Muttahida Qaumi Movement activist was rubbed out in Kharadar, police said.

They added that Abid, 35, aka Nanha was targeted in Paper Market. He was rushed to the nearby Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi, where he died during treatment a few hours later.

Trader rubbed out
Later, a generator shop owner was rubbed out in the Kharadar area, police said.

They added that Mohammad Asif, 27, was shot at and maimed inside his shop, Huba Electronics, by gunnies who arrived there on a cycle of violence.

The victim died while being shifted to the Civil Hospital Bloody Karachi, the police said.

Four killed in separate incidents
A member of the Bengali Action Committee students' wing, Mohammad Zubair, 32, aka Kabir Ahmed Bengali, was rubbed out in Korangi, police said.

A young man, Tasleem, was rubbed out in Rizvia on Wednesday night, police said.

Two men were killed within the remit of the Sohrab Goth cop shoppe on Wednesday night, officials said, adding that their identity was not immediately ascertained.

KDA officer, driver attacked
An assistant director of the Bloody Karachi Development Authority, Atta Abbas Zaidi, and his driver, Rauf Siddiqui, were maimed in a gun attack on their car in Liaquatabad on Wednesday evening, police said.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 255 words Link to article
[Magharebia] Sahel instability is having a negative impact on Algeria's economy, with the tourism sector suffering the most.

December is usually a strong month for travel agencies, given the popularity of the desert as a winter holiday destination.

But fewer than 650 tourists visited Tamanrasset province this year, a 60 per cent drop since 2011. And some 80 travel agencies may have to close their doors.

"This situation is a result of the significant decline in foreign tourists during the last ten years, due to security conditions experienced by Algeria. It is also due to the further deterioration of the situation in the Sahel," the head of the Tamanrasset tourism agency association, Azzi Addi Ahmed, said on December 4th.

The closing of a number of the most attractive tourist locations in the Hoggar Mountains and Tassili exacerbates the problem. These popular destinations have been subject to stringent security measures.

The Directorate of Tourism for the province of Tamanrasset has informed all tourist agencies that the decision to close some resorts for security reasons would remain in force.

Askram, located 80 kilometres north of the town of Tamanrasset, will stay open. This region is frequented by tourists who seek to spend New Year's Eve enjoying the view of the last sunset, and contemplating the dawn of the first day of the New Year in the desert.

According to National Union of Travel Agencies (SNAV) president Bashir Djeribi, the crisis in northern Mali had a major impact on desert tourism in Algeria.


#1: They have Tourists?
With, or without bombs?
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 17:55 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 97 words Link to article
[Shabelle] Reports from the town of Jowhar, which has recently fallen under the control of Somali federal government with a help from the African union forces, say that Somali government forces are conducting security operations there.

Government forces are reported to be carrying security operations throughout all the neighbourhoods of the town.

Jowhar was a stronghold for the Al Qaeda linked group of Al Shahab for three years before they fled the city few days ago after Somali government forces backed African union troops advanced to it.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 174 words Link to article
[Shabelle] Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has repeated that the illegal checkpoints locally known as ''isbaaro'' can not be accepted again at all in government controlled areas, primarily the capital city of Mogdishu.

The president repeated his message about dismantling all illegal checkpoints after he chaired a top security meeting at the presidential palace in the presence of other senior government officials such as the Prime minister and the speaker of the Somali parliament.

Mr. Mohamud has also said that all soldiers and militias who were manning the dismantled checkpoints will be assembled in military barracks and he stressed that the government can't accept people wielding guns or weapons in its territory.

The president has also commended how government security officials and those of the armed forces executed the presidential decree to dismantle and ban the checkpoints where residents in the city used to be harassed and extorted.

It was recently when the president issued an order to dismantle all checkpoints under government controlled areas.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 3 Comments 151 words Link to article
[Shabelle] In a further sign of security improvement, one of the world's biggest brand name Coca-Cola has resumed its beverage productions in Mogadishu after six years of closure because of the insecurity which was wrecking havoc the city before the hapless Somali government with a help from African union forces fully secured and put the city under one control.

At a news conference inside the plant in Mogadishu, the manager of Coca-Cola Company in Mogadishu Mr. Mohamed Hassan Awale has told that the plant fully resumes its production and would also launch a new plant which will also produce different beverages.

Mr Awale also told that all stakeholders of the company inSomaliashould come up with new shares which they can wire to the banks of Dahabshil and Salama and that the company will have an efficient management.


#1: Give em the original 1886 Coke formula. Maybe there's enough cocaine in it to calm em down.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 11:23 ||Top

#2: Eagerly awaiting Khata-Kola.
Posted by: swksvolFF|| 2012-12-14 13:00 ||Top

#3: What about Mecca Cola? Is it a booming hit in Mogadishu? Will Coca-Cola be able to compete in that fair land?
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2012-12-14 13:51 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 302 words Link to article
[Shabelle] The semi autonomous region of 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...
in north-east Somalia is planning to launch military raids against a turban hid-out in the rugged mountains of Galgala, according to Colonel Jama Said Warsame, the regional army commander in north east Somalia who spoke to Shabelle media network.

In an execlusive interview with Shabelle, Col. Warsame told that the authorities in Puntland has prepared special forces who will conduct security operations to rout the turban fighters out of Galgala in particular and boost security in Puntland in general.

Galgala is a hide-out for snuffies led by a man called Mohamed Said Atam and they have forged unity with the other cut-thoat group of Al-Shabaab
... the successor to the Islamic Courts...
which is based in parts of southSomalia.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 4 Comments 280 words Link to article
[Magharebia] Carrying out a coup d'état is now punishable by law in Mauritania. Offenders would be subject to imprisonment, fines and other penalties such as forfeiture of civil rights.
Good idea. Make 'em against the law. That'll stop 'em in their tracks...
During a November 29th cabinet meeting chaired by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the Mauritanian government examined and approved a bill criminalising putsches and other forms of anti-constitutional changes of authority. These offenses will now be considered "crimes against the stability of the state", the final communiqué stated.

"This draft law stems from the national dialogue between the consolidated governing majority and opposition parties, and in particular the provisions of constitutional law no. 2012-015 of 20 March 2012," the statement read.

Legal expert Baba Ould Cheikh explained that on March 6th, "parliament voted to adopt a number of constitutional amendments including one making the prime minister accountable to both chambers and another outlawing coups d'état."

"Six of the seven heads of state it has had since the overthrow of Moktar Ould Daddah in 1978 have come from the military," Ould Cheikh added.

Ould Cheikh noted that the new legislation "should quell the ardour of would-be putschists as the penalties in the event of a coup d'état provide an adequate deterrent and will pose major setbacks for those who orchestrate them"

"The fact that coups d'état are being outlawed in Mauritania marks a real turning point as this is a decision which strengthens democracy and encourages changes of authority by democratic means - that is, peaceful handovers of power," remarked Professor Ball Mohamed.


#1: Didn't the League of Nations outlaw war? Didn't work too well, but maybe I'm wrong.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2012-12-14 09:21 ||Top

#2: Hey, is this a coup?
Yes.
You can't do that!
BANG!
Posted by: tu3031|| 2012-12-14 12:41 ||Top

#3: Devil's in the details and the implementation. Any bets they define "coup" to include talking about it? And that at some point, organizing a political campaign will fall under the same law?
Posted by: Rob Crawford|| 2012-12-14 15:29 ||Top

#4: You mean they were LEGAL up to this time?
Boy I really missed my chance on that one ... I couldda' been King For A Day. :-)
Posted by: Raider|| 2012-12-14 16:10 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 137 words Link to article
[Dawn] Sweden's government says an elderly Swedish woman who was shot by a gunman while working as a volunteer in Pakistain has died from her wounds.

Birgitta Almeby, who was in her 70s, died in a Stockholm hospital overnight on Thursday after having been airlifted to her homeland for medical treatment earlier this week.

In a brief statement, Swedish Aid Minister Gunilla Carlsson confirmed the death by passing on her condolences, saying the incident had touched her deeply.

Almeby had worked as a church volunteer in Pakistain's second largest city, Lahore, for almost 40 years when she was attacked by an unknown assailant on Dec 3.

The motive for the shooting remains unclear, but local media reported that Almeby had frequently received threats from a group of unknown men.


#1: Don't they have enough opportunities in Sweden for little old ladies to do volunteer church work?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2012-12-14 11:52 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 1410 words Link to article
[Dawn] "ON the one side is the army, they enter houses without any warnings and arrest people without any reason. On the other hand everyone is terrified of the Taliban; at any time they might kidnap you, or kill you. Everyone was saying that the army will come and improve the situation in Bajaur but instead people are as frightened of the army [as they were of] the Taliban."

These are the words of Rostum Khan, a villager from Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
in Pakistain's north-western tribal areas -- they reflect the harsh daily reality facing millions of people in the region.

In 2009, the Pakistain armed forces launched a series of military operations in the tribal areas to reclaim territory that was under the control of gangs. Three years later, despite a relative lull in the direct fighting between the army and the Taliban, there has been no let-up for the people there.

In an extensively researched report, released today by Amnesia Amnesty International, a disturbing pattern of violations by Pak forces -- from torture and other ill-treatment to enforced disappearance -- reveals the failure of Pakistain's authorities to address the fundamental lawlessness of the tribal areas.

Like Rostum Khan, many feel trapped between the worst of both worlds -- by threats from the Taliban on the one hand, and from the risk of arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance on the other. Many who hoped the situation would improve after 2009 are badly disillusioned.

Thousands of men and boys have been tossed in the clink
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
by the security forces for long periods with little or no access to due process safeguards.

Many of them are subjected to enforced disappearance -- they are kept without access to family, lawyers, the courts and with no information about their fate and whereabouts. On any given day, 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 is full of relatives desperately trying to find any information on their loved ones.

Others swept up by the army allege being tortured or otherwise ill-treated in jug. Former detainees we talked to described being at the receiving end of daily savage beatings for several weeks, or even months, at a time.

Some never return alive -- Amnesia Amnesty International has documented several cases of deaths in military custody. Almost every week, bodies of those detained are returned to their families, or simply found dumped across the tribal areas.

Equally disturbing is the almost complete failure of Pakistain's authorities to effectively investigate these cases as required under international law. As far as Amnesia Amnesty International is aware, no effective investigation has been conducted into any of the cases documented in the report.

The infamous case of the so-called Adiala 11 is both an illustrative and chilling example of the situation.

The 11 men were first unlawfully detained by security personnel in 2007 and 2008 in different parts of Pakistain. In May 2010, they were kidnapped from Rawalpindi's Adiala prison by gunnies -- right in front of family members waiting for their release, which had been ordered by the Lahore High Court.

It wasn't until relatives brought their case to the Supreme Court in 2011 that the armed forces admitted that the men were still in state custody. After further pressure, seven of the Adiala 11 were dramatically brought before the Supreme Court in February 2012 in visibly poor physical condition -- the other four had died in unknown circumstances that have yet to be effectively investigated. The seven survivors remain in state custody, with serious concerns for their wellbeing.

At the heart of this crisis is a legal system in the tribal areas which excludes the enforcement of human rights
...which are often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless...
protections by the courts and allows the armed forces to operate with impunity.

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) are still being governed under the draconian colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), while acts of parliament still do not apply to the region, effectively cutting off its people from national political life. A new set of laws introduced in 2011, the Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Regulations (AACPR), give the armed forces even broader powers to arrest and detain in Fata and the tribal areas in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
in a manner that violates international law.

The AACPR seeks to exclude Pakistain's high courts and parliament from jurisdiction over armed forces' actions in the tribal areas. Although the courts have nevertheless heard cases challenging the lawfulness of some detentions, there have been no prosecutions of armed forces personnel for alleged torture, enforced disappearance or deaths in jug.

Even where alleged Taliban suspected of human rights abuses have been locked away
You have the right to remain silent...
and detained, the authorities have a very poor record of prosecuting them and achieving accountability for such abuses before the courts.

The Pakistain government must urgently address the deeply flawed legal system in the tribal areas, and tackle head on the absence of rule of law exploited by state and non-state perpetrators alike. Undoubtedly, Pakistain faces major challenges in the region in confronting persistent violence by gangs, re-establishing civil authority and infrastructure after years of conflict, and addressing a continuing humanitarian crisis.

But the authorities can and must take immediate steps to institute the rule of law in the region. All detainees must be given access to families, lawyers and the courts; the AACPR must be repealed; the FCR repealed or amended in a way to be in line with international human rights standards; and the jurisdiction of the courts and parliament extended to the tribal areas.

Without urgent steps to make the armed forces accountable before the law and protect the human rights of millions living in the tribal areas, the grip of perpetual lawlessness in the region will never be loosened.


#1: Sounds like Britain.
Posted by: Solomon Protector of the Texans5923|| 2012-12-14 14:03 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 370 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Violent scuffles broke out in the Ukrainian parliament Thursday as dozens of opposition and pro-government politicians brawled for a second day in a chamber notorious for its physical confrontations.
Scrum! Scrum! Though why anyone would copy the Taiwanese legislature is beyond me.
Deputies in suits and shirtsleeves climbed on tables, shouted and grappled with opponents as a protest against the practice of politicians pressing electronic buttons to vote for absentee colleagues descended into violence.

While politicians are legally obliged to vote in person, many of them run around pressing buttons for absent colleagues.

The parliament's opening session on Wednesday also saw fighting erupt between opposition politicians and deputies whom they accused of defecting to the pro-government camp.

Pro-government politicians tried to push back the opposition politicians who blockaded the speaker's tribune, while some clambered on to the desks of the parliamentary leaders and jumped down on their opponents.

The brawls were an ugly start to a new parliament dominated by President Viktor Yanukovych's Regions Party, which claims to have won a majority in legislative elections on October 28.

The fighting postponed a vote on reinstating Yanukovych's ally Mykola Azarov as prime minister, which was due to take place Thursday.

The towering boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, whose opposition party with the acronym UDAR, or punch, has won 42 seats in the parliament, refrained from joining the skirmishes.

"You could call the fists of a world champion a nuclear weapon. I don't think we will use this weapon yet," Klitschko said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

But he added: "We do support the blockading of the tribune."



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 633 words Link to article
[An Nahar] A suicide boom-mobileer attacked a NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants...
airbase in southern Afghanistan just hours after the U.S. defense secretary left Thursday, killing two civilians, wounding 15 and injuring four foreign soldiers, police said.

There was no indication that the attack was connected with defense chief Leon Panetta
...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993....
's visit, a U.S. front man said.

"I can confirm that cut-throats detonated a vehicle-borne improvised bomb in the vicinity of Kandahar airfield.

"Currently ISAF officials are on the scene collecting facts and assessing the situation and as information becomes available we will release it as appropriate," the front man said.

"I have no information at this time that this incident was associated with the visit of the secretary of defense. The attack occurred after the secretary returned to Kabul."

Taliban cut-throats grabbed credit for the attack in an sms message to AFP, but did not link it to Panetta's visit.

Panetta was due to hold a presser with Afghanistan's Caped 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...
later Thursday.

"The jacket wallah detonated his car as an ISAF convoy was entering the Kandahar airfield," Kandahar provincial police chief General Abdul Razeq told AFP.

"As a result of this suicide kaboom two civilians have been killed, and 15 civilians and four ISAF soldiers have been injured."



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 501 words Link to article
[An Nahar] The International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
prosecutor may seek new war crimes charges against leading Sudanese officials over the Darfur conflict, she said Thursday.
That's because the old war crimes charges worked so well.
Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told the U.N. Security Council that aerial bombardments of civilians, deadly attacks on U.N. peacekeepers and humanitarian aid convoys "may constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide."

The ICC has already issued arrest warrants against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir
Head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and eventually appointed himself president-for-life. He has fallen out with his Islamic mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, tried to impose shariah on the Christian and animist south, resulting in its secessesion, and attempted to Arabize Darfur by unleashing the barbaric Janjaweed on it. Sudan's potential prosperity has been pissed away in warfare that has left as many as 400,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Omar has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court but nothing is expected to come of it.
and other top government and militia figures over the conflict, now nearing its tenth year in which the U.N. says at least 300,000 people have died.

Bensouda said her office is considering whether further charges are justified. Sudan's U.N. envoy called her comments "shameful."

The conflict has seen a new surge this year with Sudanese war planes attacking villages and at least six U.N. peacekeepers have been killed in ambushes and other incidents in the last six months.

A written report by the ICC prosecutor to the Security Council also highlighted attacks by rebel groups and their alleged use of child soldiers. But government forces are at the center of Bensouda's investigations.

"The words of the government of Sudan representatives, promising further peace initiatives, are undermined by actions on the ground that show an ongoing commitment to crimes against civilians as a solution to the government's problems in Darfur," the prosecutor said.

Bensouda urged the 15-member Security Council to take action to back efforts to carry out the existing arrest warrants.

"The question that remains to be answered is how many more civilians must be killed, injured and displaced for this Council to be spurred into doing its part?" she said.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 307 words Link to article
[An Nahar] The jihadist al-Nusra Front claimed on Thursday that two of its men were responsible for a deadly suicide kaboom on the Syrian interior ministry the day before, via its official Twitter account.

"Thank God, we targeted the interior ministry building in Kfar Sousa district in Damascus
...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world...
at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, December 12," the orc group Tweeted, adding that fighting had erupted inside the ministry.

According to its account, two jacket wallahs parked two explosives-laden vehicles outside the building, entered and clashed with security forces before detonating their explosive vests.

The two boom-mobiles were detonated remotely, it said.

One car was positioned in front of the office of the minister, Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar, who was lightly maimed in the shoulder when his office ceiling collapsed, a security source told AFP.

"He was taken to hospital but his condition gives no cause for concern and he should be discharged rapidly."

According to the same source, the attack was made possible by a "betrayal" in the security services of the ministry.

"It is impossible for a car to approach the entrance to the ministry if it is not an official vehicle," he said.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 58 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Finance ministers of the 17-nation eurozone Thursday agreed to release 34 billion euros of bailout funds to Greece which had been frozen since June, the spokesman for Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker said. "The meeting is over. The release of the financial aid has been accepted," the spokesman told AFP.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 221 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] At a Thursday meeting with the Council of Catholic Churches in Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, said that Christians in Egypt enjoyed "complete freedom" to participate in the upcoming constitutional referendum, stressing that Copts should "go and vote."
"What the hell? It'll probably be the last chance you ever have! Make a nice story to tell your grandchildren!"
Tawadros II also stressed at the meeting that the Orthodox Church would not push Christians to vote either 'yes' or 'no' in the upcoming poll.

The Orthodox Church sent a memo earlier on Thursday to the presidency regarding constitutional draft articles that it did not approve of.

Meanwhile,
...back at the palazzo, Count Guido stepped from behind the suit of armor, sword in hand. Ciccolini snarled and reached for his own weapon...
the Anglican and Catholic churches in Egypt announced their intention to take part in a third round of national dialogue -- aimed at resolving the current political impasse -- to be hosted by the presidency on Thursday.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 245 words Link to article
[Al Ahram] Members of Egypt's General Prosecution on Thursday called for the resignation of Prosecutor-General Talaat Ibrahim -- recently appointed by President Mohamed Morsi -- and the dismissal of Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki due to what they described as "threats" by the two men against General Prosecution judges.

The move comes following a recent decision by Ibrahim to transfer East Cairo District Attorney Moustafa Khater to the Upper Egyptian city of Beni Suef. Khater's transfer came after he ordered the release of scores of people tossed in the slammer during last week's festivities between Morsi's supporters and opponents outside the presidential palace in Cairo. Ibrahim later reversed the transfer decision.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website, a judicial source said that Khater's decision to release 137 of those accused of taking part in the festivities -- reportedly due to a lack of evidence -- was the reason for his transfer by the new Morsi-appointed prosecutor-general.

Members of the prosecution also called for the resignation of Zaghloul El-Balshi, head of the justice ministry's judicial inspection office. El-Balshi also heads the committee tasked with overseeing Saturday's contentious constitutional poll.

Prosecution judges further recommended that the judicial inspection office be transferred from the auspices of the justice ministry to Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 51 words Link to article
[Bloomberg] Health insurance premiums may as much as double for some small businesses and individual buyers in the U.S. when the Affordable Care Act's major provisions start in 2014, Aetna Inc. (AET)'s chief executive officer said.
... and Pandora is chuckling in her grave...


#1: "Affordable Care" is taking on the mantle of an oxymoron. I have talked with a few who voted for Obama who are quite surprised that they will not be getting free health care.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 16:25 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 11 Comments 33 words Link to article
[LA Times] In filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is seeking an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 customers. Consumer advocates say the firm should use its reserves to hold down rates.


#1: The road to hell is paved with good regulations.
Posted by: Dopey Sinatra9196|| 2012-12-14 15:23 ||Top

#2: The road to hell is paved with good regulations.

So true! Mind if I quote that?
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2012-12-14 15:26 ||Top

#3: It's your's!
:)
Posted by: Dopey Sinatra9196|| 2012-12-14 16:22 ||Top

#4: The company also expects higher costs from an influx of new customers under the federal healthcare law in 2014.

It seems that the 20-30 million uninsured could have been insured without this omnibus Obamacare abortion with all of its regulations and hidden costs. If this had to be done (and that is questionable), pre-existing conditions could have been covered for everyone. Some consideration should have been given to the notion that one size does not fit all. Health care needs are different for different age groups. When Pelosi said you have to pass it to read it should have been a tip off that something was seriously wrong. That is one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard anyone say who is supposedly sane. People should have asked for a sanity check at that point. Still can't see why SCOTUS went along with O-Care. This law is going to create more problems than it solves.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 16:47 ||Top

#5: He knows that, but we the sukers shouldn't.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 17:41 ||Top

#6: Don't worry, its going to "pay for itself" though.
Posted by: bigjim-CA|| 2012-12-14 18:05 ||Top

#7: This law is going to create more problems than it solves.

This law has already created more problems then it claims to solve, and it hasn't even been implemented yet.
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2012-12-14 19:00 ||Top

#8: This law is going to create more problems than it solves.

That was the whole idea.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2012-12-14 20:07 ||Top

#9: Consumer advocates say the firm should use its reserves to hold down rates.

Heh heh heh...shitheads.
Posted by: tu3031|| 2012-12-14 20:11 ||Top

#10: "we lose money on every citizen needing healthcare, but we make up for it in volume"
Posted by: Frank G|| 2012-12-14 21:12 ||Top

#11: Plus, all the citizens who have reached their expiration date are sent to the Soylent plant for 'reprocessing'. Anything to help the cash flow...
Posted by: SteveS|| 2012-12-14 22:14 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 1 Comments 284 words Link to article
[CNBC] Only 15 states have told the federal government they plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama
I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick...
's reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting task of creating online marketplaces for two-thirds of the country.

On the eve of a federal deadline for states to say whether they will run their own exchanges, a top health care policy official told politicians that the exchanges will start enrolling eligible families starting on Oct. 1.

"I am confident that states and the federal government will be ready in 10 months, when consumers in all states can begin to apply," Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, told a House panel.

Cohen was among federal officials who testified alongside state health authorities at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

In written testimony, Cohen said that while 15 states have told the administration they will operate exchanges, 11 others have opted for versions that will require major involvement by the federal government.

Experts say the number of states planning to operate their own exchanges could reach 18, plus the District of Columbia, by the time the deadline arrives Friday.


#1: Only 15 states have told the federal government they plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama. No matter whatever they are going to be, however they are going to operate, and whatever they are going to cost. The exchanges were like buying a "pig in a poke" for the States.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 16:58 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 9 Comments 222 words Link to article
[Guardian.Co.UK] Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba that required "corrective measures" to stanch the flow, his government said Thursday.
"Stanch the flow"? Yeah, I'll bet he's doing just great...
A tourniquet firmly tightened about the neck will do it every time.
But in the latest of a series of unusually frank reports about the president's delicate condition, information minister Ernesto Villegas also said Chavez has been making a "progressive and favourable" recovery after the complications from Tuesday's surgery.

"This recovery process, nevertheless, will require a prudent period of time as a consequence of the complexity of the surgery performed," Villegas added.

The government has begun providing regular updates on the president's recovery after the six-hour surgery in what appears to be a slight easing of the secrecy that has surrounded Chavez's medical treatment since he fell ill last year.

The latest details about Chavez's health came as supporters held church services to pray for him and as Venezuelans increasingly acknowledged that their country might be on the verge of political change if the leftist leader cannot be sworn in for his fourth term early next year.


#1: They'll announce he's dead, in a week or so, just to be sure they're off the hook.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2012-12-14 00:08 ||Top

#2: "...'E's pining for the fjords."

Mike
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski|| 2012-12-14 05:42 ||Top

#3: Generalissimo Franco is also stable.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia|| 2012-12-14 09:11 ||Top

#4: Why is Sean Penn not donating some type-c (communist) blood?
Posted by: airandee|| 2012-12-14 09:33 ||Top

#5: I was just thinking, the headline shoulda read "Generallisimo Francisco Chavez is still alive."
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain|| 2012-12-14 09:43 ||Top

#6: Grave stone is a keeper. I have never seen that before.I suggest a new line of political dolls. Fidel and Chavez life size puppets operated by puppeteers.I think they have been using them for years with Fidel. HA,Ha,Ha,SILENCE I KILL YOU. OK,OK,OK Accchmed.
Posted by: Dale|| 2012-12-14 10:26 ||Top

#7: Stable? Chavez has never been stable. Predictable maybe, but not stable.
Posted by: SteveS|| 2012-12-14 11:54 ||Top

#8: Nice try, Doc. Worth 5K, anyway.
Posted by: Muggsy Mussolini1226|| 2012-12-14 13:11 ||Top

#9: Bolivar shuffled off this mortal coil on December 17.
Posted by: Shipman|| 2012-12-14 16:10 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 453 words Link to article
[Reuters] Supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi stage final rallies on Friday before a divisive
...politicians call things divisive when when the other side sez something they don't like. Their own statements are never divisive, they're principled...
referendum on a new constitution championed by the Islamist leader as a way out of the worst crisis since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
Cairo and other cities have seen a series of often violent demonstrations over the past three weeks since Mursi assumed sweeping new powers to push through the constitution, which he sees as a vital element of Egypt's transition to democracy.

At least eight people have died and hundreds have been injured and a leading opposition figure warned of more blood on the streets during the voting this Saturday and next on a draft the opposition says is too Islamist.

The referendum asks Egyptians to accept or reject a basic law that has to be in place before national elections can be held early next year - an event many hope can steer the Arab world's most populous nation towards stability.

To bolster support for the constitution, the Islamist Moslem Brüderbund, which propelled Mursi to power in June's presidential election, will assemble at a mosque not far from the president's palace in Cairo.

A little later in the day, the liberal, secular and Christian opposition will rally in favor of a vote against the basic law outside the palace and in Tahrir Square, symbolic center of the revolt that toppled Mubarak in 2011.

"During the referendum, I believe there will be blood and a lot of antagonism, so it is not right to hold a referendum," Ahmed Said of the National Salvation Front told Rooters.

Despite the opposition push for a "no" vote, the measure is expected to pass given the well-organized Moslem Brüderbund's record of winning elections since the fall of Mubarak. Many Egyptians, tired of turmoil, may simply fall in line.



Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 8 Comments 502 words Link to article
[Washington Post] Turns out, the language one uses in speeches on the House floor is no small matter. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) today apologized for using what he terms "the m-word" during a speech the previous evening.
Oh, noze! Not the "m" word! Quick, Ethel! My pills!
What is this shocking term? Midget.
Ohmigawd! That's even worse than the "p" word or the "u" word or the "d" word! I think.
The Georgia Democrat used the word -- offensive to some, who prefer the term "little people"
They mean the vertically challenged, aka the Unheightly...
to describe those with dwarfism, he noted today --
Ummm... Midgets have always been defined as adults under something like 4'11".
Except in California, where even the Little People are bigger, as my family are fond of reminding me. That's the real reason I live elsewhere.
Dwarfs (not dwarves, who live under the earth and consort with elves and hobbits and such) have disproportional growth of parts of the body. At least that's the way the dwarfs I knew explained it to me. Maybe things have changed since then. Tom Thumb was a midget. Don Sebastian de Morra was a dwarf. Mike the Short Guy could hold more beer than me, by about a half gallon, and still play the banjo. How complicated is that?

in a metaphor about the Michigan labor situation in which he made a point about an unfair matchup. "What happens when you put a giant with a midget in a cage fight?" he asked rhetorically.
Couldn't tell you. I've never seen a cage fight and I'll gouge out my eyes before I do...
Today, he said he has since learned that the language is "no longer socially acceptable," much like the "n-word," which he said used to be widely used but is no longer.
Except by black folk among themselves, seemingly incessantly, and by white movie directors who are terribly trendè...
"It was out of ignorance, not spite or hatred," he said.
Great Goo! A congressman admitting to the "i" word!
"I will never use that term again."
I guess it's not okay for anybody to be great enough to dwarf those around him, huh?
And we all thought Hank was a one hit wonder...


#1: "What happens when you put a giant with a midget in a cage fight?"

The imbalance will make the continent capsize, obviously.
Posted by: Elmerert Hupens2660|| 2012-12-14 02:38 ||Top

#2: Dewey Cox (J C Reilly) singing "Midget Man"

Yes, that's Jenna Fisher on the tambourine.

One of my favorite moments in one of my favorite spoofs of the biopic genre.
Posted by: lord garth|| 2012-12-14 07:23 ||Top

#3: Too bad....now he has to find another word to describe his intellect.....
Posted by: Uncle Phester|| 2012-12-14 12:57 ||Top

#4: What is the "u" word? And the "d" word, for that matter. I think I know what the "p" word is, but maybe not. Could someone educate me?
Posted by: RandomJD|| 2012-12-14 15:23 ||Top

#5: Quick, Ethel! My pills!

It been way tooooooo long.
Posted by: Shipman|| 2012-12-14 16:26 ||Top

#6: Fred's comments are far better than the article--what a hoot.
Posted by: JohnQC|| 2012-12-14 16:54 ||Top

#7: We can use midgets. Since they are light, they won't cause Guam to topple over.
Posted by: ejablow@cox.net|| 2012-12-14 17:37 ||Top

#8: as long as they stay even dispersed.
Posted by: Frank G|| 2012-12-14 21:23 ||Top


Top Posted by Fred 12/14/2012  00:00 0 Comments 573 words Link to article
[Rooters] Syria's rebel leadership and the United States seized on Russian pessimism over Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Supressor of the Damascenes...
's future to urge Moscow to help push its ally into ceding power and end the battles closing in around his capital.

"We want to commend the Russian government for finally waking up to the reality and acknowledging that the regime's days are numbered," the U.S. State Department spokeswoman said after a senior Kremlin envoy conceded publicly on Thursday that Assad's opponents could win the 20-month-old civil war.

"The question now is, will the Russian government join those of us in the international community who are working with the opposition to try to have a smooth democratic transition?" U.S. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added in Washington.

In Marrakech, where his new coalition won recognition from other international powers as the legitimate leadership of Syria, rebel political leader Mouaz al-Khatib said he believed Russia, ally and arms supplier to the Assad dynasty since Soviet times, was looking for ways out of its support for a lost cause.

"I believe that the Russians have woken up and are sensing that they have implicated themselves with this regime, but they don't know how to get out," al-Khatib told Rooters. He held them "particularly responsible" for helping Assad with arms but said Moscow need not "lose everything" in Syria if it changed tack.

Under President Vladimir Putin
...Second and fourth President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he traded jobs with Dmitry Medvedev as Prime Minister, then traded back. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something resembling the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile...
, wary since last year's Libyan war of what Russia sees as a Western drive to use the United Nations
...When talk is your weapon it's hard to make yourself heard over the artillery...
to overthrow national leaders it dislikes, Russia has blocked U.N. efforts to squeeze Assad, who has also had strong support from his long-time sponsor Iran.