World Watching Politics Archived # 9

 

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Afghan Taliban kill 19 soldiers, suspend prisoner swap attempt

23 Feb 2014

 

Reuters February 23, 2014 – 09:57 By Mohammed Anwar ASADABAD, Afghanistan(Reuters) – The Afghan Taliban killed 19 soldiers in an assault on Sunday in a remote mountainous region, the Afghan government said, and six soldiers were missing after the militants’ most deadly assault on the security forces in months. Also on Sunday, in a possible… 


File - U.S. Army soldiers from the B Troop, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Duke moving towards a mission objective during Operation Tofan 2, which took place in Suri Khel, Afghanistan

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.N. council orders both sides in Syria to stop blocking aid

23 Feb 2014

 

The resolution, which is legally binding, addresses a conflict that has gone on for nearly three years, killing more than 100,000 people and creating more than 6 million refugees. It calls on the Syrian government to allow relief agencies to enter the country, including from across national borders; decries the dropping of barrel bombs by… 
In response to the severely deteriorating conditions in Syria and the continued impediments to delivering aid to civilians in need, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2139, 22 February, 2014.
photo: UN / Evan Schneider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UKRAINE PRESIDENT OUT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schism between Sunni and Shia has been poisoning Islam for 1,400 years – and it’s getting worse

Editors Choice
 Feb 2014

 

The war in Syria began much earlier than is generally recognised. The conflict actually began in the year 632 with the death of the Prophet Mohamed. The same is true of the violence, tension or oppression currently gripping the Muslim worldfrom Iraq and Iran, though EgyptBahrain and Saudi Arabia to YemenPakistan andAfghanistan. A single… 
Kashmiri Muslims offer prayers on the Friday following Eid -e-Milad marking the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad, at the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 17 January, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukraine Agreement Signed By President Viktor Yanukovych And Opposition For Early Election

Posted: Updated: 


Main Entry Image
An anti-government protester moves past burning car tires as he carries flowers to be laid at the spot where some of his comrades were killed the previous day, at a barricade in central Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

 

 

EU ministers agree to impose sanctions against Ukraine

21 Feb 2014

 

The European Union (EU) foreign ministers on Thursday agreed to adopt sanctions against Ukraine, including asset freezes, visa bans and ban on exporting anti-riot equipments, EU… 
An activist looks for a sniper through a burning tire barricade close to Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Somali Islamist militants claim deadly palace attack

21 Feb 2014

 

Reuters February 21, 2014 – 12:15 MOGADISHU (Reuters) – The Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab said they carried out Friday’s car bomb and gun attack against the presidential palace in central Mogadishu that left several people dead. “We targetted the so-called presidential palace. Our fighters are fighting inside the palace… 

File - Somali soldiers walk near the car wreckage of a suicide bomber in Mogadishu, Somalia, Thursday Feb,13 2014.

 

Ukraine Is On the Verge Of War And Putin Is To Blame

 

Corpses littered the streets of Kiev today and the man to blame for Ukraine’s crisis is none other than the king of Sochi himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicolás Maduro Orders 3 US Officials To Leave Venezuela Amid Anti-Government Protests, Alleges Conspiracy Plot

Maduro speaks on Sunday.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a national broadcast at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, February 16, 2014. Reuters/Miraflores Palace

 

 

TRUCE GOES UP IN FLAMES

Medic: At Least 70 Activists Killed In Clashes… REPORT: Government Snipers Shoot At Protesters… CLAIM: 67 Police Captured By Protesters…Olympic Team Leaves Games In Support Of Protesters… What The Army Does Now Is Crucial… Deepening Clash Between East And West… Russia Warns Ukraine President: ‘Don’t Be A Doormat’..

 

 

 

 

UN warns of ‘grave’ food shortage in Somalia

20 Feb 2014

 

More than 850,000 people in Somalia are in desperate need of food and are living “in crisis and emergency conditions”, the director of UN humanitarian operations has said. John Ging, who just returned from a three-day visit to Somalia, said on Wednesday that… 
In this Saturday, Aug.13, 2011 photo released by the UNHCR severely malnourished children look on at the Al Adala internally displaced peoples settlement in Mogadishu, Somalia.

 

 

 

THE WORLD IS WORRIED ABOUT UKRAINE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 convicts in former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination case to be freed

19 Feb 2014

 

NEW DELHI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) — Three assassins of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, along with four of their associates involved in the case, will be set free soon, the Chief Minister of the southern state of Tamil NaduJ. Jayalalithaa, announced Wednesday. “The cabinet has taken a decision to release the three convicts, Perarivalan,… 
Supporters of congress party hold  a  photograph former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his birth anniversary in srinagar on Thursday. Rajiv Gandhi was killed in a suicide bomb blast Tamilnadu.

 

 

 

 

 

KIEV ON FIRE

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9 Dead… 7 Protesters, 2 Policemen… Protester Camp Engulfed In Flames…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah vows to keep fighters in Syria

17 Feb 2014

 

The leader of the Lebanese Shia militant Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah, says his members will continue to fight alongside government forces in Syria‘s civil war. In a televised address on Sunday, he called on “political forces in the Arab world” to “stop the war on Syria”. He said if this happened, then “of… 
File - Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, speaks to the crowd in a rare public appearance during Ashura, that marks the death of Shiite Islam's Imam Hussein, in the suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syrian Peace Process Pretense

16 Feb 2014

 

Syrians genuinely want peace. Washington wants regime change. SNC stooges represent US interests. In January, talks convened in Geneva. Round one failed. So did round two. On February 14, UN/Arab League Syrian envoy Lakhdar Brahimisaid: “Failure is always staring us in the face. As far as the United Nations is concerned, we will certainly not… 
Syrian Peace Process Pretense

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crimes against humanity in N. Korea, U.N. panel finds

15 Feb 2014

 

Washington • A U.N. Commission of Inquiry has found that crimes against humanity have been committed in North Korea and recommends that its findings be referred to the International Criminal Court, two people familiar with the commission’s report have told The Associated Press. The commission, which conducted a yearlong investigation, has found… 


Korean People's Army soldiers observing the South Korean side of the DMZ. The Korean People's Army (KPA) is the name for the collective armed personnel of the North Korean military.
photo: US Army / Edward N. Johnson

 

 

 

 

PUTIN’S ‘KIND OF LEADER?’
Russia Backs Egyptian Military Ruler In Attempt To Eclipse U.S. Influence

 

 

 

 

 

PM Enrico Letta steps down: Plagued by uncertainty, Italy set for its third government in …

14 Feb 2014

 

The Italian Prime MinisterEnrico Letta, has said he will tender his resignation, opening the way for centre-left leader Matteo Renzi to take the helm of Italy’s third government in less than a year. His decision to resign, which will be formally announced on Friday, came after the Democratic Party (PD), the largest party in the ruling coalition,… 


PM Enrico Letta steps down: Plagued by uncertainty, Italy set for its third government..

 

 

 

Kerry pushes China on North Korea nukes

14 Feb 2014

 

BEIJING — Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he had held a very constructive meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday as he sought Beijing’s help in deterring North Korea from pursuing nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, experts said Kerry faced an uphill battle over the issue, with China unlikely to push its long-time… 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, is greeted by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.

 

Security fears threaten US future in Afghanistan

12 Feb 2014

 

LARA JAKES AP National Security Writer= WASHINGTON (AP) â?? Warily watching to see how many U.S. troops might remain in Afghanistan next year, Americandiplomats and aid workers are facing a drawdown of their own as security threats and dwindling resources limit their 12-year push to develop the mostly primitive nation. Nearly $100 billion has been…..
A Soldier assigned to Delta Company, 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducts a presence patrol around the U.S. Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, Jan. 5, 2014.

 

 

North, South Korea hold rare high-level talks

12 Feb 2014

 

North and South Korean officials sat down for their highest level talks for years on Wednesday, marking a potential upswing in cooperation ahead of a reunion for families divided by the Korean War. The discussions in the border truce village ofPanmunjom had no fixed agenda, but were to cover a range of “major” issues, including the planned… 


 North Korean soldiers watch a repatriation ceremony from a tower on the North Korean side Military Demarkation Line (MDL). During the ceremony the remains of what is believed to be five U.S. soldiers that served in the Korean war were returned to the Sou

 

 

 

 

PURGING BIN LADEN

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Email Reveals Effort To Shield Al Qaeda Leader’s Death Photos

 

 

 

 

Iraqi suicide bombing instructor accidentally kills himself and pupils

Over 20 trainee suicide bombers and their teacher were killed in Iraq when the tutor mistakenly detonated the bomb

An al-Qaeda instructor killed himself and 20 of his pupils when he accidentally set off a car bomb during a bungled training session in Iraq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

By  and 97
Featured photo - The NSA’s Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

 

 

 

 

 

Latest posturing of Americans

Homeland Security Chair: ‘High Degree Of Probability’ For Explosion During Olympics

February 9, 2014
The Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said Sunday that there is a “high degree of probability” of an explosion during the Sochi Olympic games.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said Sunday that there is a “high degree of probability” of an explosion during the Sochi Olympic games. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AGHANISTAN’S AWFUL REALITY
Number Of Children Killed And Wounded Jumps As Taliban Steps Up Attacks

 

 

 

Syria crisis: Homs awaits food and medicine deliveries

08 Feb 2014

 

The UN and aid agencies are hoping to deliver food and medicine to civilians trapped in the Syrian city of Homs. The aid convoys are due to enter on Saturday on the second day of a three-day ceasefire in Homs between government forces and rebels. On Friday more than 80 people were evacuated from rebel-held areas which have been under siege for 18… 
Syrian Arab Red Crescent members in red uniforms provide some food and drink to a man before he gets on a bus to evacuate the battleground city of Homs, Syria, Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Turkey Moves To Crack Down On Internet Freedom

Turkey’s parliament approved a new law on Wednesday that critics say will drastically reduce web freedom in the country — and let the government further clamp down on the press. “Turkey is moving very quickly in the wrong direction on Internet freedom,” says a watchdog.posted on 

Protesters shout slogans against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a demonstration in Ankara Thursday. Umit Bektas / Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

 

DENIAL

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Russia Says It Didn’t Leak ‘F*** The EU’ Call

 

 

‘NO ONE IS SAFE’

Stephane Victor via Getty Images

HRW: Thousands Of Women Tortured And Raped In Iraqi Prisons

 

 

SOCHI SILENT

Foreign Fans Conspicuously Absent From Olympic Games…
AND THEY’RE OFF! Competition Officially Begins… What To Expect 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposed Afghan law protects women’s abusers: Rights group

05 Feb 2014

 

KABUL: An international rights group said on Tuesday that Afghan President Hamid Karzai should refuse to sign a law passed by parliament that would deny women protection from domestic violence and forced marriage. Afghanistan‘s parliament, a two-chamber house dominated by conservative clerics and former Islamist warlords, passed a “criminal… 
File - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Guy Cooper walks by two Afghan women while performing a presence patrol through the snow-covered streets of Gardez, Paktia province, Afghanistan, Feb. 16, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

CLANDESTINE KARZAI
Afghan President In Secret Talks With Taliban, Report Says

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will the Ukraine Ever Shake-Off Its Russification?

04 Feb 2014

 

Article by Wn.com Correspondent Dallas Darling As hard as the European Union,United States, and NATO‘s military complex tries to wrestle the Ukraine away fromRussian influence, they will probably never succeed. Like the Dnieper River that runs deep through the Ukraine, originating just west of MoscowUkrainian and Russian physical, economical,… 
Opposition activists talk to each other, standing near a wall covered in graffiti with the writing "Revolution" close to barricades in central Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014.

 

 

 

 

World facing cancer ‘tidal wave’

04 Feb 2014

 

The World Health Organisation has warned of a “tidal wave” of cancer and has called for the introduction of restrictions on sugar and alcohol. The agency predicted the number of cases worldwide is expected to rise by 75 per cent over the next 20 years. In 2012 there were 14.1 million new cases of cancer around the globe but experts from the World… 
A lab officer prepares blood samples from a cancer patient for further DNA testing, Thursday April 19, 2007 at a medical lab at the National University Hospital in Singapore, a country well known for its advanced medical treatment and research facilities. The number of cancer cases in Asia is set to rise dramatically by 2020 due largely to longer life spans and changing lifestyles, threatening a health crisis as poorer countries in the region struggle to keep up.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

 

 

 

 

 

 Kerry Admits Obama’s Syria Policy Is Failing

In a closed-door meeting, two senators say, the Secretary of State admitted to them that he no longer believes the administration’s approach to the crisis in Syria is working. Peace talks have failed, he conceded, and now it’s time to arm the moderate opposition—before local al Qaeda fighters try to attack the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Clinton warns new Iran sanctions could upend talks

03 Feb 2014
Clinton said the intelligence community has said new sanctions could undercut the chances for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning Congress that new unilateral sanctions against Iran could upend sensitive international negotiations over its nuclear development, imploring lawmakers…
File - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks at a Search for Common Ground Dinner Reward Ceremony in honor of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens in Washington, D.C. on November 8, 2012.

 

 

 

 

THE WILD CARD

 

 

 

 

 

Afghan vote campaign begins amid violence

02 Feb 2014

 

– Campaigning for the presidential elections in Afghanistan has begun, stained by the deaths of two aides for the front-runner in a gun attack. The men, working for for Doctor Abdullah Abdullah, were killed in the Western province of Herat. The attack follows an attempted assassination last month on Mohammad Ismail Khan, a vice… 
File - A Special Forces Operation Detachment-Alpha (SFODA) Soldier scans the area as Afghan National Army (ANA) Commandos, 2nd Company, 3rd Special Operations Kandak (SOK) conduct clearance of Mandozai village, Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, Dec. 27, 2013.

 

 

Protesters Disrupt Thailand Election

02 Feb 2014

 

Although voting is under way in Thailand&aposs tense national elections, anti-government protesters have forced the closure of hundreds of polling stations in the capital, Bangkok. The main opposition Democrat Party is boycotting the elections, and protesters were reported to still be in the streets of Bangkok as polls… 
Unused ballot boxes sit at a closed polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014.

 

 

 

 

Trial of Mohammad Morsi to resume in Cairo

01 Feb 2014

 

One of the trials putting ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi in the dock is due to resume in Cairo. Mr Morsi and 14 other figures from the Muslim Brotherhoodare charged with inciting the killing of protesters near the presidential palace in2012. At a hearing in another trial four days… 
In this Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 photo, Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi speaks from a glassed-in defendant's cage during his trial on charges of over charges related to the prison breaks at the height of the 18-day 2011 uprising against his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukraine opposition lobbies West for help against Yanukovich

01 Feb 2014

 

MUNICH: The Ukrainian opposition urged Europe and the United States on Friday to go beyond vocal support for their fight for more democracy and demand a halt to violence they blame on President Viktor YanukovichOpposition leaders met inMunich on Friday with German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier andEuropean Union foreign policy chief… 
An anti-government activist armed with chainsticks smokes a cigarette at a barricade in central Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014.





China and the world in the Year of the Horse

Worshippers burn incense and pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the Chinese New Year of the horse in Hong Kong on January 30, 2014. (AFP Photo / Philippe Lopez)

Worshippers burn incense and pray at the Wong Tai Sin Temple to welcome the Chinese New Year of the horse in Hong Kong on January 31, 2014. (AFP Photo / Philippe Lopez)

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘EVERYTHING HAS TURNED COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Syrian Refugee Describes How She Has ‘Given Up All Hope’ Of Returning Home

 

 

 

 

On constitutions, Sharia and Muslim political thought

31 Jan 2014

 

In the Arab Spring‘s aftermath, and the catastrophic divisions and violence inEgyptLibya and Tunisia – not to forget ongoing debates in almost every Muslim majority country concerning citizenship, rights, responsibilities of citizens and the constitutional contestations in the modern nation state – Muslim political parties across the region are… 
Kashmiri Muslim offer prayers  during Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the prophet, at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar Tuesday on January 14, 2014.

 

 

Ukraine protesters defy terms of new amnesty law

30 Jan 2014

 

Protesters in Ukraine have rejected the terms of a new amnesty law aimed at ending the country’s recent unrest. Parliament backed the amnesty for arrested protesters on condition they vacate occupied government buildings. Oppositionleaders said this was “unacceptable” and protesters remain camped out in centralKiev and still occupy… 


Riot police stand opposite barricades in central Kiev, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five years on Gaza’s children remain targets

30 Jan 2014

 

Hala Ahmad Salman Abu Sabikha, 2, was killed in her yard when an Israeli tank targeted her home in Al-Mughazi refugee camp, central Gaza, on December 24, 2013. Israeli soldiers shot Adnan Abu Khater, 16, in the leg with live ammunition on January 2, 2014, and he died the following day. Mohammad Rafiq Shinbari, 17, was shot and… 


A Palestinian boy transports water filled from a public tap at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) headquarters in the southern Gaza Strip refugee camp  on September 23, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assad troops deliberately destroy Syria homes

30 Jan 2014

 

The Syrian government has been deliberately and systematically razing homes, buildings and entire rebel-held neighbourhoods to the ground with bulldozers and explosives, according to a rights group. A new report, released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Thursday, accused the regime troops of entering opposition strongholds… 


Assad troops deliberately destroy Syria homes

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCHI 2014

16 Eye-Popping Examples Of Alleged Corruption At The Sochi Olympics

A leading anti-corruption campaigner points fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony Abbott attacks ABC for ‘taking everyone’s side but Australia’s’

29 Jan 2014

 

Prime minister takes issue with national broadcaster’s reporting on asylum seeker claims and ‘traitor’ Edward Snowden Tony Abbott wants the ABC to show some ‘basic affection for the home team’. PhotographLucas Coch/AAP The prime minister, Tony Abbott, has mounted a fresh attack on the national broadcaster, suggesting the ABC instinctively took… 
Tony Abbott attacks ABC for ‘taking everyone's side but Australia's’

 

 

 

 

Obama urges Guantanamo closure this year

29 Jan 2014

 

President Barack Obama told Americans that 2014 should be the year to finally close the US prison at Guantanamo Bay as the United States winds down its military role in Afghanistan and shifts away from a “permanent war footing”. In his annual State of the Union address on Wednesday, Obama renewed his old vow – dating back to the start of his… 
File - Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Jan. 10, 2002 -- Marine security teams take up positions during a rehearsal for handling incoming detainees at Camp X-Ray, one of the holding facilities for Taliban and Al Qaida detainees.

 

 

 

 

 

GET THE BOOT
AMERICANS WANT THEIR OWN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS GONE

 

 

 

 

 

NOT GIVING UP ON DEMOCRACY

Sophia Jones

Egyptian Activist: ‘Revolutionaries Say They Want Freedom And Dignity…But Normal People Say They Want Stability And Good Development’

 

 

 

‘WE BELIEVE IN WHAT WE ARE DOING’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Putin’s Biggest Opponent Tackles Corruption In Sochi Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowden accuses NSA of conducting industrial espionage

27 Jan 2014

 

Former NSA contractor tells a German broadcaster that the US agency would collect intelligence from foreign companies that had no national defense value. byThe National Security Agency‘s headquarters in Ft. Meade, Maryland, in an undated file photo. (Credit: NSA) The National Security Agency engages in industrial espionage, grabbing… 
File - Aerial view of NSA headquarters building in Fort Meade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ukraine opposition turns down president’s power-sharing offer

26 Jan 2014

 

Published January 26, 2014FoxNews.com January 26, 2014: Protesters attack theUkrainian House in central Kiev, UkraineEarly Sunday, demonstrators were throwing firebombs into the building and setting off fireworks, and police responded with tear gas. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) The leader of Ukraine‘s opposition has said that protests will continue… 
Protesters create a corridor at a building's entrance presumably for police to leave after an attack in central Kiev, Ukraine, Saturday Jan. 25, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

CASHING IN
How Corporations Are Profiting From The Worldwide Immigration Crackdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace talks on Syria stuck over Assad’s future

23 Jan 2014

 

MATTHEW LEE Associated Press= MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) â?? Furiously divided from the start, representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the rebellion against him threatened Wednesday to collapse a peace conference intended to lead them out of civil war. Assad’s future in the country devastated by three years of bloodshed was at the… 
Free Syrian Army fighter carry the body of their comrade away from the front line during clashes against Syrian Army in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

Three Reported Dead in Ukraine Clashes

22 Jan 2014

 

Officials in Ukraine say three anti-government protesters have died in the capital,Kyiv, in new clashes with police. Two protesters were reported to have gunshot wounds. A medical official said another activist fell to his death at the site of the clashes. Reports say the police were trying to dismantle a protest camp in Kyiv Wednesday and fired… 
A Molotov cocktail thrown by protesters flies over police during their clash in central Kiev, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘INDUSTRIAL’ KILLING

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Report Details Holocaust-Like Conditions In Syrian Jails

 

 

 

 

Thailand declares state of emergency for protests

21 Jan 2014

 

BANGKOK – Thailand‘s government has declared a state of emergency in Bangkokand surrounding areas to cope with protests that have stirred up violent attacks.Labor Minister Chalerm Yubumrung announced that the measure will take effect Wednesday. The emergency decree greatly expands the power of security forces to issue orders and search, arrest… 
Anti-government protesters wave Thai national flags during a protest rally in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Swindlers Use Telephones, With Internet’s Tactics

By NICK WINGFIELD  

Ralph
Colorado Bureau of Investigation traced money in a swindle from Colorado to Florida to Nigeria. Kevin Moloney for The New York Times

SEATTLE — Phone swindles are practically as old as the telephone itself. But new technology has led to an onslaught of Internet-inspired fraud tactics that try to use telephone calls to dupe millions of people or to overwhelm switchboards for essential public services, causing deep concern among law enforcement and other groups.

People, businesses and government agencies across the country are combating the new schemes, in which scammers use the Internet to send huge volumes of calls at the same time. Many of the attacks bombard individuals with automated requests for personal data, in a variation of their email-scam cousins. But others are more vicious, flooding entire phone systems when demands are not met, similar to some attacks against websites.

 

 

 

UN invite to Iran sparks Syria peace talks storm

20 Jan 2014

 

The United Nations invited Iran to attend this week’s Syria peace conference, provoking a pull-out threat from the opposition and a warning from the United States. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Iran had pledged in talks to play a “positive and constructive role” in efforts to end Syria’s civil war. But the Syrian National Coalition threatened to… 


In this Monday, Dec. 10, 2012 file photo, Free Syrian Army fighters cover two dead bodies they found between rubble during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syria’s Assad ‘Not Ready To Give Up Power’

The remarks are reported ahead of the first talks involving opposition leaders and the government since war broke out

People search for survivors amid damage caused by what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's President Assad in the Al-Sakhour neighbourhood of Aleppo
The scene of what activists say was a government airstrike in Aleppo

Syrian President Bashar al Assad has reportedly said he is not ready to give up power and the issue is not up for discussion.

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Mr Assad said: “If we wanted to surrender, we would have surrendered from the start (of the nation’s civil war).”

He reportedly added: “We are on guard for our country. This issue is not up for discussion.”

The president apparently made the comments to Russian MPs ahead of an internationally backed peace conference on Syria.

The main opposition group has voted in favour of attending the talks next week aimed at ending the conflict.

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) confirmed it will participate in the discussions after 58 of its 73 delegates voted in favour of attending.

Western and Arab sponsors of the opposition group have pressured the SNC to attend the talks, which are due to begin on Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia

Mr Assad’s language continues to be defiant

The Syrian government had already committed to attending the talks, which are backed by the United Nations.

Sky correspondent Robert Nisbet in Damascus says security has been increased in the capital ahead of the conference.

He said: “There are roadblocks everywhere around the city. Our local producer says he has never seen security as tight as it is today.

“It would suggest the Assad government is nervous that perhaps an armed opposition group may want to stage some kind of event in the capital to show that the president hasn’t regained control of the biggest city in Syria.”

The conference will be the first face-to-face meeting between representatives of Mr Assad’s government and the opposition since war broke out in March 2011.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the conflict began and millions have been displaced.

The US and Russia have been trying to hold the peace conference since last year, and it has been repeatedly delayed.

Both sides finally agreed to sit together at the negotiation table after dropping some of their conditions.

The aim of the conference, which has been dubbed Geneva 2, is to agree on a roadmap for Syria’s future based on one adopted by the US, Russia and other major powers in June 2012.

The plan includes the creation of a transitional government and eventual elections.

 

 

 

 

 

China’s closure of labor camps gets qualified applause

Inmates at a labor camp in Bajing, China, sing during a 2012 event celebrating the Communist Party's 18th National Congress.

 

BY JULIE MAKINEN

BEIJING — In August, Ma Liangfu and the more than 100 other inmates at the Tumuji Reeducation Through Labor Camp in Inner Mongolia received good news: China was abolishing…

 

 

A United Korea’s ‘Peninsular’ Place in the Sun

19 Jan 2014

 

Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas Darling Since peninsulas serve as focal points for the critical mass of peoples, ideas, innovations, and commerce, they share an ideal geographical world. Connected to larger land masses yet mostly surrounded by a myriad of water highways, their very geological nature beckons destiny to transform them into… 


File - North Korean delegates, left, shake hands with South Korean counterparts during the minister-lever talks in Seoul on Thursday, July 10, 2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan to Test Space Junk Cleanup Tether Soon: Report

18 Jan 2014

 

Japanese scientists are getting ready to launch a test of a space junk-cleaning tether, according to press reports. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) researchers are developing an electrodynamic tether designed to generate electricity that will slow down space-based debris, according to a report fromAgence France Presse. The slowed-down… 
This is a computer generated image provided by the European Space Agency which shows an artist impression of catalogued objects in low-Earth orbit viewed over the Equator. Scientists are keeping a close eye on orbital debris created when two communications satellites one American, the other Russian _ smashed into each other hundreds of miles above Siberia Tuesday Feb. 10, 2009. Think of it as a galactic garbage dump.

 

 

 

 

 

PUTIN’S OLYMPIC DREAM**

ASSOCIATED PRESS

**Built On Ruined Homes, Illegal Landfills And Broken Promises

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt: New Constitution Backed In Public Vote

16 Jan 2014

 

Egyptians have overwhelmingly backed a new constitution for the country which could pave the way for army chief General Abdel Fattah al Sisi to declare his candidacy for president. According to official sources, 90% of voters supported the move… 
An Egyptian voter holds a card with the photo of Defense Minister, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi with Arabic that reads, "Sissi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE NSA, PLAYING ALL YOUR COMPUTER’S FAVORITE HITS

Shutterstock

Report: NSA Carved Path Into Offline Computers Using Radio Waves

 

 

 

 

 

 

EGYPTIANS ARE VOTING, BUT THAT MIGHT NOT BE SO DEMOCRATIC AFTER ALL

 

 

 

 

 

A REAL-LIFE MEXICAN STANDOFF

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mexico Dispatches Federal Forces To Quell Clashes Between Vigilantes And Drug Cartels

 

U.S. and Russia say Syria aid access and local ceasefire possible

14 Jan 2014

 

By Warren Strobel PARIS (Reuters) – Syria‘s government and some rebels may be willing to permit humanitarian aid to flow, enforce local ceasefires and take other confidence-building measures in the nearly three-year-old civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday. Kerry said that he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov… 
File - In this Thursday, April 25, 2013 file photo citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows members of the free Syrian Army preparing their weapons, in the neighborhood of al-Amerieh in Aleppo, Syria.

 

Thailand crisis: Protesters begin Bangkok ‘shutdown’

13 Jan 2014

 

13 January 2014 Last updated at 05:02 GMT Protesters have begun blocking roads in parts of the Thai capital, Bangkok, in a bid to oust the government before snap elections on 2 February. The protesters are building barricades and occupying key road junctions. The BBC‘s Jonathan Head, who is in Bangkok, has been outlining the strength of… 


Thai anti-government protesters gather during a rally at the Democracy Monument, Bangkok, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iran and world powers reach N-deal

13 Jan 2014

 

Iran has agreed to limit uranium enrichment and to open its nuclear programme to daily inspection by international experts starting next Monday. It sets the clock running on a six-month deadline for a final nuclear agreement, officials said yesterday. In exchange, the Islamic Republic will get a relaxation of the financial sanctions that have been… 


File - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry addresses reporters and takes some of their questions during a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 24, 2013, after the P5+1 member nations concluded negotiations with Iran about its nuclear capabilities.

 

Thailand braces for new set of mass protests

12 Jan 2014

 

Thailand‘s main international airport was at a standstill because of swarms of anti-government protesters. For weeks, the crucial southeast Asian travel hub and its economy, the region’s second-largest, had been held hostage by tens of thousands of chanting, clapping demonstrators. That was the scene in November 2008; a culmination of… 
Anti-government protesters make their way across the Pin Klao Bridge over the Chao Phraya River during a warm-up rally to paralyze the capital Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

 

Why the Biggest Threat in the World Still Needs al Qaeda

12 Jan 2014

 

Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas Darling Long before al Qaeda there was the threat of Native Americans. During the Guilded Age and at the start of World War I, Anarchists and immigrants were wanting to wreak havoc and overthrow the government. After World War II, the menace was socialists and godless communists. Even though the United States… 
In this undated file picture released on Friday Nov. 29, 2013, and posted on the Facebook page of a militant group, members of Ahrar al-Sham brigade, one of the Syrian rebels groups, exercise in a train camp at unknown place in Syria. With a new label - the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant - the global terror network al-Qaida is positioning itself as a vanguard defending a persecuted Sunni community

 

 

 

 

ARIEL SHARON
1928 – 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fallujah pact in the making to keep army out

11 Jan 2014

 

Negotiators are working on a deal to evade an Iraqi military intervention in the city of Fallujah, under which al-Qaeda-linked armed groups who seized the city would cede control to Sunni Muslim tribal leaders. Military and local officials said on Friday that tanks, artillery and troops around the city 70 km (44 miles) west ofBaghdad would not… 
This undated image posted on a militant website on Jan. 4, 2014, which is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Shakir Waheib, a senior member of the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), left, next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq's Anbar Province. With al-Qaida linked fighters and allied tribal gunmen camped on the outskirts, a tentative calm took hold over Fallujah on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 and residents started to return to the besieged city west of Baghdad. Government forces were stationed nearby as sporadic street fighting breaks out in other cities. The picture painted by residents, officials and international groups suggests that both the militants and government forces are preparing for a long standoff with civilians caught in the middle.

 

 

 

 

 

Iran voices: Hassan Rouhani’s first 100 days in office

Hassan Rouhani

The moderate conservative cleric Hassan Rouhani is marking his first 100 days in office as Iran’s president.

Mr Rouhani succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, after winning just over 50% of the vote in Iran’s presidential election, avoiding the need for a run-off.

Unity was a big theme in Mr Rouhani’s inauguration speech to parliament on 4 August, in which he said he would represent all Iranians.

Here, people in Iran reflect on his first 100 days in charge and give their verdict on his achievements so far.

Leila (female), 32, management consultant, Tehran

“Start Quote

He needs to reverse the brain drain and invite educated Iranians to return to Iran to help build the economy”

I’m happy with this president. He doesn’t embarrass me as an Iranian. In fact, he gives me some hope. He is politically savvy and smart.

He may not have done anything ground breaking yet, but he has not contradicted himself, nor has anyone higher up contradicted him.

Bread and meat is still expensive, but two things have changed. Firstly, hope has given a boost to investor confidence. Secondly, social pressures are less. You can finally breathe in Tehran.

To some extent he has started to deliver on his domestic political reforms – such as freeing some political prisoners and on foreign policy, with his charm offensive in his UN speech and telephone conversation with President Obama.

He’s on the right track – especially on foreign policy. He now needs to engage intimately and openly with Saudi Arabia.

He also needs to reverse the brain drain and invite educated Iranians to return to Iran to help build the economy.

He needs to reverse the deep corruption and moral decline that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad planted in Iranian ethos.

Iran has seen a disgusting moral decay in the past eight years and it will take generations to fix it. But, so far, so good.

 

 

 

ESCAPE FROM SOUTH SUDAN’S WARZONES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDGING CLOSER TO DEMOCRACY
3 Years After Arab Spring Uprising, Tunisia’s Islamist PM Set To Resign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al-Qaida-linked group ramps up regional violence

09 Jan 2014

 

BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida is positioning itself as a vanguard defending the Sunnicommunity against what it sees as persecution by Shiite-dominated governments across SyriaLebanon and Iraq. As a result, a Syrian rebellion whose aim was the removal of President Bashar Assad is evolving into something both bigger and more ambiguous: a fight… 
In this Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, file photo, gunmen patrol during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, Iraq.

 

 

 

 

Palestinian nationhood: End the politics of compromise now

09 Jan 2014

 

if Palestine is to become a genuine nation state, Palestinians and their supporters must replace the politics of compliance and compromise with a politics of unity and assertiveness. This was the conclusion drawn from discussions with academics and politicians from Arab countries including significant Palestinian leaders from Hamas and Fatah, plus… 
File - Palestinians Carrying flags, during a rally marking the 13 th anniversary of the Al-Aqsa uprising or 'Second Intifada', in the refugee camp of Nusairat, central Gaza Strip, 27 September 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS

 

 

 

 

Panama Canal authority proposes end to dispute

08 Jan 2014

 

PANAMA CITY — The Panama Canal Authority said Tuesday that it wants to end a standoff over the expansion of the canal by splitting construction costs with an international consortium that has threatened to halt work unless the authority comes up with $1.6 billion in extra funding. The authority said Tuesday that it would pay $183 million and… 
The Panama Canal. A ship canal is a canal especially constructed to carry ocean-going ships, as opposed to barges. Ship canals can be enlarged barge canals, canalized or channelized rivers, or canals especially constructed from the start to accommodate ships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syria crisis: Islamist rebels urge attacks on opposition rivals

08 Jan 2014

 

A hardline Islamist rebel group in Syria has called on its supporters to attack rival opposition factions that do not support its cause. The call by the al-Qaeda-linkedIslamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) follows days of rebel infighting that has left scores dead. It came hours after another rebel group called on ISIS to observe a… 
In this Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 file photo, a Shiite fighter clashes with members of the Sunni-dominated Free Syrian Army rebel in the town of Hatita, in the countryside of Damascus, Syria.
photo: AP / Jaber al-Helo

 

 

 

 

 

PROTECTING THE SHIELD?
Turkey Dismisses 350 Police Amid Widening Corruption Scandal

 

 

 

 

 

Iraq calls on Fallujah residents to expel al-Qaida

07 Jan 2014

 

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s prime minister urged Fallujah residents on Monday to expel al-Qaida militants to avoid an all-out battle in the besieged city, a sign that the government could be paving the way for an imminent military push in an attempt to rout hard-line Sunni insurgents challenging its territorial control over the western approaches to… 
In this Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 picture, gunmen patrol during clashes with Iraqi security forces in Fallujah, Iraq. Clashes continued late Sunday and early morning Monday between al-Qaida and Iraqi troops on the main highway that links the capital, Baghdad, to neighboring Syria and Jordan. Al-Qaida fighters and allied tribes are still controlling the center of the city where they are deployed in streets and around government buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can the U.S. Stop China’s Korean Broadband Deal?

Fears within the Obama administration and Congress are mounting about Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s plan to build a wireless network in South Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REBEL VS. REBEL
Syrian Opposition Fighters Battle Al Qaeda-Linked Militants

 

 

 

Iraqi police: Fallujah fully in hands of al-Qaeda group

05 Jan 2014

 

Mourners carry the coffin of a man killed when clashes erupted between al-Qaida gunmen and Iraqi army soldiers on Friday, his family said, during his funeral inFallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.Provincial spokesman Dhari al-Rishawi said Iraqi security forces and allied tribesmen are pressing their… 

Mourners and Sunni gunmen chant slogans against Iraq's Shiite-led government during the funeral of a man killed when clashes erupted between al-Qaida gunmen and Iraqi army soldiers on Friday, his family said, in Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

At least 13 killed in Bangladesh election violence

05 Jan 2014

 

Uneven contest: a soldier keeps watch on polling day in DhakaPhoto: Reuters Thousands of protesters firebombed polling stations and stole ballot papers as deadly violence flared across Bangladesh Sunday during an election boycotted by the opposition. Police said at least 13 people had been killed and more than 200 polling stations were set on… 


Bangladeshi army soldiers patrol on a street during the election, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014.

January 4th…

Secretary of State John F. Kerry, left, and top Palestinian negotiator Saeeb Arekat address the media after a meeting Saturday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Kerry presses ahead with Middle East talks, plans new visit to region

BY MAHER ABUKHATER

RAMALLAH, West Bank –- Secretary of State John F. Kerry pressed forward Saturday with his Middle East peace mission, returning to Jerusalem for fresh meetings with Israeli…


 

 

Dozens of polling stations ablaze on eve of disputed Bangladesh poll

04 Jan 2014

 

Reuters January 4, 2014 – 11:39 By Ruma Paul and Tony Munroe DHAKA (Reuters) –Nearly 60 polling stations in Bangladesh were set on fire and three people were killed on the eve of Sunday’s election in which the ruling Awami League looks certain to prevail in a walkover as the main opposition party boycotts the poll. The Bangladesh… 
A young Bangladeshi boy runs at the main ferry terminal under campaign leaflets in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

 

 

 

UN: CAR violence displaces nearly one million

04 Jan 2014

 

Violence in the Central African Republic has uprooted nearly a million people – a fifth of the population – and hampered aid efforts in the capital Bangui, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). A flare-up in violence between Muslim fighters and Christian militias has displaced more than 200,000 people in the past few… 


Displaced people cross over the runway to get access to water, at a makeshift camp for people displaced by violence, at Mpoko Airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Syria rebels take on Islamist jihadists in fierce fighting

04 Jan 2014

 

Syrian rebels in opposition-held areas engaged in fierce battles with al-Qaeda-linked elements on Friday in what activists say is growing resistance to the jihadists’ brutal grip in many places. Elsewhere in northern Syria, an unidentified group seized five people… 


File - A Free Syrian Army fighter fires at Syrian Army positions during a clash in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

IS A SAFE STILL SAFE IF IT’S 
BOOBY-TRAPPED WITH EXPLOSIVES?

Chip Forelli via Getty Images

Palestinian Envoy’s Mysterious Death Raises Numerous Questions

 

 

 

South Sudan government, rebels set for New Year’s Day talks

01 Jan 2014

 

South Sudan‘s government and rebels are set for New Year‘s Day peace talks inEthiopia‘s capital, Addis Ababa, to thrash out a ceasefire to end weeks of ethnic bloodletting in the world’s newest state. Both sides agreed to a ceasefire on Tuesday, mediators said, but fighting between government troops and militias loyal to former… 

A displaced family stand by their makeshift shelter at a United Nations compound which has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, in the Jebel area on the outskirts of Juba, South Sudan Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
photo: AP / Ben Curtis

 

 

 

Syria misses deadline to remove chemical arms

01 Jan 2014

 

Ships waiting to remove Syria‘s chemical weapons have returned to port in Cyprusbecause the country has missed a December 31 deadline. Syria was supposed to have removed part of its chemical weapons arsenal for destruction on Tuesday, but Wael Nader Al Halqi, Syria’s prime minister, said security concerns and bureaucracy had caused delays in… 


In this photo provided by Norwegian Armed Forces and taken Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, a security forces member stands guard aboard the Norwegian frigate Helge Ingstad, in Limassol, Cyprus.

 

 

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says purge was a cleansing of ‘filth’

01 Jan 2014

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made his first reference to the execution of his powerful uncle in a New Year‘s address, saying the reclusive state’s ruling party had become stronger after it was purged of “factional filth.” And he called for better relations with South Korea, warning that another war on the Korean peninsulawould… 


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says purge was a cleansing of 'filth'

 

 

 

 

Fresh fighting in South Sudan as peace deadline nears

31 Dec 2013

 

Government troops on Tuesday morning fought renegade forces loyal to formerVice President Riek Machar as well as a pro-Machar tribal militia. Fresh fighting erupted in the contested capital of Jonglei state as rebels in South Sudan moved to retake control of Bor from government troops, a military official said Tuesday, signaling both sides were… 
A young displaced girl starts crying after the relative she was with disappears into a row of latrines, at a United Nations compound which has become home to thousands of people displaced by the recent fighting, in the capital Juba, South Sudan Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.

 

 

 

 

December 30

December 29,  2013

 

SUICIDE BOMBING ROCKS RUSSIA

At Least 16 Dead… 6 Weeks ‘Til Winter Olympics…

 

 

 

 

 

 

29 Dec 2013

 

BANGUI (Reuters) – Hundreds of people tried to flee inter-religious violence inCentral African Republic on Saturday aboard emergency flights to neighboringChad, while nearby countries appealed for help to rescue their citizens from the mounting humanitarian crisis. Tit-for-tat violence between Muslim Seleka rebels, who seized power in March, and… 


Displaced people camp out on a church ground in the Castor neighborhood of Bangui, Central African Republic, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013.

 

 

 

 

‘A TOOL OF REVENGE AND RETALIATION’

ASSOCIATED PRESS

China Votes To Abolish Much-Criticized Penal System

 

 

China formally eases one-child policy, abolishes labor camps

28 Dec 2013

 

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China formally approved on Saturday easing its decades-long one-child policy and the abolition of a controversial labor camp system, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Both were among a… 


China formally eases one-child policy, abolishes labor camps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt arrests dozens under anti-terror law, one killed in Cairo

27 Dec 2013

 

Egypt stepped up pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood a day after declaring it a terrorist group, using the new classification to detain dozens of its supporters on Thursday, while one person died in street clashes ignited by political tension. A bomb blast in a Cairo suburb wounded five people – the second attack this week after a suicide bomber… 
Egyptian activists shout anti-terrorism slogans as they hold posters showing Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, right, with Arabic slogans read, "Egypt is entrusted to us.

 

 

 

 

 

African leaders seek peace talks in South Sudan

27 Dec 2013

 

JUBASouth SudanAfrican leaders tried Thursday to advance peace talks between South Sudan’s president and political rivals he accuses of attempting a coup to topple the government of the world’s newest country. As fighting persisted in parts of South Sudan’s oil-producing region, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta andEthiopian… 
In this photo released by the Kenyan Presidential Press Service, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, middle, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, right, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta before their meeting at State House in Juba, South Sudan, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013.

 

 

 

Chinese media attacks Japan’s Shinzo Abe for visit to Yasukuni shrine

27 Dec 2013

 

Abe accused of undermining stability by ‘paying homage to devils’ and ‘failing to understand the evils of the fascist war’ Japan‘s ambassador to ChinaMasatoKitera, walks to a meeting with China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, in Beijing after being summoned to hear China’s protest about Shinzo Abe‘s Yasukuni shrine visit.Photograph: China… 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from right, follows a Shinto priest to pay respect for the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

December 26th

SCANDAL NEARS TURKEY’S STRONGMAN

 

 

 

 

SA helicopters assist in battle against Ugandan rebels in Congo

26 Dec 2013

 

KINSHASA — A special United Nations force in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo used helicopters on Wednesday to fire on Ugandan rebels and help government troops retake the town of Kamango after an attack that killed civilians. “South African helicopters in the UN intervention force were asked byFARDC (the Congolese army) to give them… 
SA helicopters assist in battle against Ugandan rebels in Congo

 

 

 

 

 

25 December 25th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khodorkovsky vows to help Russian political prisoners

22 Dec 2013

 

Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has said he will do all he can to ensure the release of other Russian political… 
Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrives for his first news conference after his release in Berlin, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

US sends envoy to violence-plagued South Sudan

21 Dec 2013

 

JUBAThe United States and other foreign powers stepped up pressure on South Sudan‘s feuding ethnic factions to settle their differences, as Washingtondispatched an envoy to the violence-wracked region. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he was sending a special envoy to encourage talks between opposing factions in the world’s newest… 
Civilians arriving at the UN House compound in the southwestern outskirts of Juba, South Sudan, seeking protection from recent fighting in the capital, 16 December, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2013

Euro holds steady after EU downgrade

Gold on track for the biggest annual loss in more than three decades

The European Central Bank  building in Frankfurt. The euro pared earlier losses after Standard & Poor’s stripped the European Union of its triple-A credit rating. Photograph: EPA/Boris Roessler The European Central Bank building in Frankfurt. The euro pared earlier losses after Standard & Poor’s stripped the European Union of its triple-A credit rating. Photograph: EPA/Boris Roessler

 

 

December 20,2013

A FREE MAN
Putin Pardons Jailed Tycoon In Highly Visible Pre-Olympics PR Move

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 19, 2013

‘I WAS NOT SORRY THEY ENDED UP BEHIND BARS’

Russia To Free Pussy Riot Under New Amnesty.. 
Oil Tycoon To Walk After Decade In Prison, Too

 

 

 

Improving US economy leads Fed to ease stimulus

19 Dec 2013

 

The Federal Reserve has sent its strongest signal of confidence in the U.S. economysince the Great Recession, deciding that the nation’s economic prospects are finally bright enough to withstand a slight pullback in stimulus spending. Yet the Fed also made clear Wednesday that it will keep supporting an economy that remains less than fully… 
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, July 22, 2010. Mr. Bernanke is discussing the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

 

 

 

 

 

THE BIGGEST MOMENTS OF 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN told up to 500 killed in South Sudan clashes

18 Dec 2013

 

The United Nations received reports from local sources in South Sudan on Tuesday that between 400 and 500 people had been killed and up to 800 wounded in the latest violence, and the government said it had arrested 10 politicians in connection with a “foiled coup”. “Two hospitals have recorded between 400 and 500 dead and (up to) 800… 
In this handout image from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan taken on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 a United Nations soldier stands guard as civilians arrive at UNMISS compound adjacent to the Juba International Airport to take refuge.

 

 

 

 

 December 18,

Ousted Egypt president to be tried over conspiracy

Maya Alleruzzo, File/Associated Press – FILE – In this Friday, July 13, 2012 photo, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi holds a joint news conference with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, unseen, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt state media is reporting that the top prosecutor has referred Morsi to trial for conspiring with foreign groups with the intention of carrying out terrorist operations in the country

By Associated Press, Updated: Wednesday, December 18, 6:29 AM

CAIRO — Egypt’s top prosecutor referred toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to trial Wednesday for conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and others to carry out a campaign of violence in the Sinai Peninsula and beyond to destabilize the country following his ouster.

 

 

 

 

Japan invests in new military kit as China row simmers

17 Dec 2013

 

TOKYOJapan announced Tuesday it will buy stealth fighters, drones and submarines as part of a splurge on military hardware that will beef up defence of far-flung islands amid a simmering territorial row with ChinaThe cabinet of hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to spend 24.7 trillion yen (US$240billion) between 2014 and 2019 in a… 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives a statement to the media after a meeting with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, unseen, at the Istana in Singapore on Friday July 26, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOLD YA

AP

FEDERAL JUDGE: NSA Spying Program Likely Unconstitutional…

 

 

 

 

 

Not Only ‘Neocolonialsm’ – Why African States Keep Failing

As France embarks on its third military intervention in Africa in the past three years, in the Central African Republic, a search for the sources of a continent’s perennial instability.

Jean-Loup Amselle
Article illustrative image


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bachelet has big win in Chile presidential vote

16 Dec 2013

 

SANTIAGO, Chile – Michelle Bachelet‘s landslide presidential victory was the biggest in eight decades, yet turnout was the lowest since Chile’s return to democracy, suggesting she’ll lack a clear mandate to push for radical change when she begins her second turn in the office next year. Bachelet, a moderate socialist, ended her 2006-10 presidency… 
Presidential candidate Michelle Bachelet waves during a victory rally in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 15th

 

 

 

 

 

Thai premier to hold reform talks

15 Dec 2013

 

Thailand‘s prime minister is set to hold talks in a bid to resolve the political crisis which has already forced the dissolution of parliament and early elections.Yingluck Shinawatra is due to meet “representatives of all sectors of society” on Sunday to try to formulate proposals for reforming Thailand after the national elections…. 
Anti-government protesters camp outside Government house, which houses Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's office, in Bangkok, Thailand , Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013.

 

 

OBAMA’S NSA PANEL: KEEP SPYING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guantanamo’s secretive review boards

Seventy-one Guantanamo prisoners are undergoing a slow and uncertain review process [AP]

There are 162 prisoners still held at Guantanamo. They fall into three categories: 84 were cleared for release in January 2010 by the high-level, inter-agency Guantanamo Review Task Force that US President Barack Obama established shortly after taking office in 2009, but they are still held because of obstruction by Congress and the president’s unwillingness to spend political capital overcoming those obstacles. Seven others are currently facing trials, and one other is serving a life sentence after a trial by military commission in 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

UN inspectors indicate chemical weapons were used in Syria

By John Aglionby in London….December 13…..

Medics attend to a man at a hospital in Khan al-Assal in the northern Aleppo province in March, after Syria’s government accused rebel forces of using chemical weapons for the first time©AFPSyria attacks: Medics attend to a man at a hospital in Khan al-Assal in the northern Aleppo province in March, after Syria’s government accused rebel forces of using chemical weapons for the first time

Chemical weapons were probably used in five of seven attacks UN inspectorsinvestigated in Syria, according to the team’s final report.

 

 

 

 

 

Typhoon survivors need shelter

12 Dec 2013

 

PALO, 6 décembre 2013 (IRIN) – Shelter for displaced people is fast emerging as a key priority after more than one million homes were damaged or destroyed whenTyphoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines a month ago. With sustained winds of 235 km/h and gusts of 275 km/h, the storm, locally known as Yolanda, was among the strongest storms ever… 
Typhoon survivors need shelter

 

 

 

 

 

Uruguay approves world’s first national marketplace for legal marijuana

Tuesday’s vote by Uruguay’s Senate gave final congressional approval to create the world’s first national marketplace for legal marijuana. The audacious experiment will have the government oversee production, sales and consumption of a drug that’s illegal almost everywhere else.


People attend a demonstration in support of the legalization of marijuana outside the Congress in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Uruguay's Senate was finishing its final debate Tuesday before voting on a plan to create the world's first national marijuana market, with the state regulating the entire process of growing, selling and using a drug that is illegal almost everywhere else. (AP Photo/Matilde Campodonico)

MATILDE CAMPODONICO/AP

A demonstration in support of the legalization of marijuana outside the Congress in Montevideo, Uruguay, is seen Tuesday where the Senate voted to create the world’s first national marijuana market,.

 

 

 

 

The World Gathers for Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service

10 Dec 2013

 

Dozens of heads of state from around the world are arriving in South Africa early this week to commemorate Nelson Mandela, the country’s former president and anti-apartheid hero,… 


An image of former South African president Nelson Mandela is projected on a screen at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, ahead of his memorial service Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 December 9th

‘I NEVER WANT HER TO FEEL THAT PAIN’

Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Egyptian Mother Speaks Out On Genital Mutilation: 
‘I Wake Up At Night Screaming, Just Remembering’

 

 

 

 

Thai PM dissolves Parliament, calls elections

09 Dec 2013

 

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Monday she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament and call elections in an attempt to calm the country’s deepening political crisis. Yingluck‘s announcement came as thousands of anti-government protesters began marching through Bangkok in a… 
Anti-government protesters stand beside a giant national flag while camping at Government complex in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
photo: AP / Wason Wanichakorn

 

 

 

Mandela death: ‘Day of prayer’ in South Africa

08 Dec 2013

 

Thousands of South Africans are expected to take part in a day of “prayer and reflection” for late President Nelson Mandela. President Jacob Zuma will attend a service in a Methodist church in Johannesburg, with other multi-faith services planned throughout the day. A national memorial service will be held on Tuesday, ahead of a state… 
A picture of South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela is seen placed in a pile of flowers outside his home in Johannesburg, South Africa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

GRIPPED BY CHAOS

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Muslim-Christian Killings Rock The Central African Republic .. French And African Troops Patrol The Streets.. Nearly 300 Civilians Killed In 2 Days

 

 

 

World mourns Mandela, will bury him on December 15

07 Dec 2013

 

President Jacob Zuma said Mandela would be buried on December 15 at his ancestral home in the… 


Floral tributes to former president Nelson Mandela, pile up beneath a statue of Mandela on Mandela Square at Sandton City, in Johannesburg Friday, Dec. 6, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

December 6, 2013

THE WORLD GRIEVES

 

 

 

 

 

YOU TOO, SWEDEN?
Stockholm Reportedly Key Partner For U.S. Spying On Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

December4, 2013

 

CHEATING BANKS DINGED $2.3 BIL

Getty

The $300 Trillion Libor Lie

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studies warn of abrupt environmental effects of warming

04 Dec 2013

 

Scientists sounded alarms Tuesday with a pair of studies challenging the idea that climate change is occurring gradually over the century and that its worst effects can be avoided by keeping emissions below a critical threshold. A National Research Council report says the planet is warming so quickly that the world should expect abrupt and… 
File -  Island Nation of Kiribati Affected by Climate Change in this low-lying land. Locals in Tebikenikora, a village in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘THE FIGHT ISN’T OVER, BUT WE’RE WINNING’ 
Jubilant Scenes As Thai Police Step Aside In Clash With Protesters

 

 

 

 

 

‘A FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF THE NATION’
Thai Conflict Is A Battle About Power, And Who Ought To Have It

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2, 2013

ONE IN FIVE AFRICAN ELEPHANTS FACE DEATH

 

 

 

 

December 1st,

FORCED APOLOGY

 

 

 

 

 

November 30,2013

NEW LAW, SAME OLD EGYPT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra rules out early election

29 Nov 2013

Full ArticleBBC News  

Thai Prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has ruled out an early election, following six days of protests aimed at removing her from office. She told the BBC the situation in Thailand was not calm enough for… 


Anti-government protesters shout slogans outside the headquarters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's ruling Pheu Thai Party in Bangkok, Thailand, Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UN urges support for Syrian refugee children

29 Nov 2013

 

The UN has given warning that hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugee children are vulnerable in their new homes, exposed to dangerous exploitation and at risk of missing out on an education. A report published by the UN refugee agencyUNHCR says children as young as seven have to work to provide for their families….
Syrian children, who fled their home with their family due to fighting between the Syrian army and the rebels, lie on the ground, while they and others take refuge at the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing, in hopes of entering one of the refugee camps in Turkey, near the Syrian town of Azaz, Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012.

 

 

 

 

‘IRAN WILL CONTINUE TO BLEED FINANCIALLY’

BEHROUZ MEHRI via Getty Images

Ease In Sanctions Won’t Alleviate Cost Of Daily Life For Majority Of Iranians

 

 

 

 

 

PORN:

Denis Chapoullie via Getty Images

The Best Way To Discredit Your Enemies

 

 

 

 

Italian parliament poised to expel Berlusconi

27 Nov 2013

 

Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi prepared for likely expulsion from parliament on Wednesday via a momentous vote that will rattle but not bring down the government and leave the billionaire tycoon more at risk of arrest. Berlusconi has asked fellow senators to delay the vote because he claims to have new evidence warranting a judicial review of the… 
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a press conference with Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti, not in picture, following a cabinet meeting in Rome, Thursday, June 30, 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

POPE SLAMS UNFETTERED CAPITALISM: ‘A NEW TYRANNY’

 

 

 

 

 

UN: Central African Republic Needs Peacekeeping Operation

26 Nov 2013

 

AFP via Getty Images This picture taken on November 9, 2013 shows Internally Displaced Persons (IDP‘s) standing in a camp next to the Cathedral in Bossangoa, 380 km north of Bangui. (MATTHIEU ALEXANDRE/AFP/Getty Images) UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. peacekeeping operation will be needed in the Central African Republic, which is descending into… 
 ** FILE ** Central African Republic troops stand guard at an airstrip on the outskirts of Birao, the small sun-blasted capital of the Vakaga region of Central African Republic, in this Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007 file photo. Rebels in Central African Republic

 

 

 

 

 

THE THAW BEGINS

Iran Sanctions Could Ease As Soon As December… ‘A Major Seismic Shift In The Region’… WH, UN, EU Tout Major Step Forward… Bibi Ballistic: ‘Historic Mistake’… Lawmakers Skeptical, Eyeing Plan B… Cantor: ‘Since When Do We Trust Iran?’… Iranians Chant: ‘No War, No Sanctions, No Insults And No Submission’… Kerry: U.S. Negotiating ‘With Eyes Absolutely Wide Open’…

 

 

 

 

 

November  24 th..

 

 

 

 

MASSOUD HOSSAINI via Getty Images

STILL NOT A DONE DEAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philippines struggles to keep typhoon aid, donations graft-free

21 Nov 2013

 

MANILA (Reuters) – As millions of dollars pour in for more than four million left homeless by a typhoon in the central Philippines, authorities are grappling with a familiar problem – how to stop fraudulent claims and prevent greedy politicians taking advantage. Typhoon Haiyan smashed through the country on November 8, laying waste to just about… 
Filipino civilians walk out of what remains of the Guiuan East Central Elementary School after Super Typhoon Haiyan, Eastern Samar Province, 17 November, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

‘IF IT WAS EASY TO DO
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE A LONG TIME AGO’

FABRICE COFFRINI via Getty Images

Negotiators Hope For Breakthrough As Nuclear Talks With Iran Resume

 

 

 

 

Video Highlights From the Medal of Freedom Ceremony

What a group: Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, and Loretta Lynn were among the 16 recipients of the prestigious Medal of Freedom. Watch highlights of the White House ceremony.

On Wednesday, President Obama bestowed America’s highest civilian honor to 16 exceptional men and women, from scientists to activists, athletes to musicians, politicians to journalists. In a presentation that combined heartfelt sincerity with playful humor, the president paid personal tribute to each medal winner, extolling their accomplishments and sharing humanizing vignettes. Here are the highlights: the speeches about President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Loretta Lynn, and Ben Bradlee

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Gett

The Dance of Bubba and Obama—and How It Helps Hillary

 

 

 

 

NORWEGIANS WOULD
Norway Admits To Spying On Millions Of Phone Calls Outside Country

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide blasts near Iran Embassy in Beirut kill 23

19 Nov 2013

 

BEIRUT (AP) — Two suicide bombings struck Tuesday near the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing 23 people, including the Iranian cultural attaché. The mid-morning blasts hit Beirut’s upscale neighborhood of Janah, a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group. One explosion blew out the large black main gate… 
A Lebanese man runs in front of a burned car, at the scene where two explosions have struck near the Iranian Embassy killing many, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday Nov. 19, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Libya Protest Turns Deadly as Militias Open Fire

16 Nov 2013

 

CAIRO — Dozens of people were killed in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on Friday after militiamen opened fire on unarmed protesters, setting off some of the worst violence in the capital since the revolt against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi almost three years ago. Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and… 
File photo: Libyan protesters chant slogans against Moammar Gadhafi during a demonstration after Friday prayers in Misrata, Libya, Friday, June 17, 2011.

 

 

 

 

November 15, 2013

 

‘THIS IS PROGRESS’
China To Launch Unprecedented Reforms

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis Could Be Target Of Mafia Hit, Italian Prosecutor Claims

Fox News Latino
  • Pope Mafia Hit.jpg

    Pope Francis is welcomed by Italian president Giorgio Napolitano as he arrives for an official visit at Quirinale Presidential palace in Rome, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis is making the Italian mafia “very nervous” – and there are concerns they could come after him.

A leading Italian anti-mob prosecutor warned this week that Pope Francis could get whacked by one of the European country’s notorious mafias as the reforms in the Catholic Church he’s proposed have made the gangsters uneasy.

Nicola Gratteri, a state prosecutor in the southern Italian region of Calabria, said that the ‘Ndrangheta is not happy with Pope Francis’ proposed reforms to combat corruption in the Church, which for decades has faced allegations of collusion with the southern Italian crime family.

SUMMARY

The ‘Nhdrangheta is an organized crime family similar to the Sicilian mafia and based out of the Calabria region of Italy.  It is estimated that the ‘Ndrangheta earns between $30 billion and $50 billion annually, mostly from drug trafficking and pirated merchandise.

“I cannot say if the organization is in a position to do something like this, but they are dangerous and it is worth reflecting on,”Gratteri said, according to the Washington Post. “If the godfathers can find a way to stop him, they will seriously consider it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Dept. Calls Group in Nigeria Terrorists

14 Nov 2013

 

WASHINGTON — The State Department on Wednesday branded Boko Haram, the homegrown Islamist insurgent movement in Nigeria that has ties to Al Qaeda’s regional affiliate in North and West Africa, as a foreign terrorist organization. Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. Twitter List: Reporters… 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Nigerian Foreign Minister Olugbenga Ashiru at the U.S. Department of State in Washington

 

 

 

 

 

DESPERATE TIMES, 
DESPERATE MEASURES

NOEL CELIS via Getty Images

Typhoon Survivors Resort To Looting.. 8 Crushed To Death In Scramble For Food.. ‘The Looting Is Not Criminality. It Is Self-Preservation’.. Reports Of Gunfire Between Gov’t And Armed Men.. Death Toll Reaches 2,275

 

Philippine Typhoon Haiyan survivors ‘desperate’ for aid

13 Nov 2013

 

People are growing increasingly desperate for food, water and medical supplies in typhoon-hit parts of the Philippines, a congressman has warned. MartinRomualdez, from badly-hit Leyte, said a greater sense of urgency was needed to get aid to those in need. The UN says more than 11 million people may have been affected and some 673,000 displaced by… 


Typhoon survivors board a U.S. military transport plane Wednesday Nov. 13, 2013 from the damaged Tacloban airport at Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines.

 

 

 

 

 

‘WE NEED HELP.
NOTHING IS HAPPENING.’

Philippines Typhoon Aid Not Reaching Those Who Need It.. Disaster Reveals Weak Infrastructure.. Lack Of Roads, Ports And Power Lines Stymie Relief Efforts.. Snapshots From The Disaster Zone.. Death Toll At 1,744 And Rising

 

 

 

 

 

WIPED OUT
10,000 Feared Dead In Wake Of Super Typhoon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘THE DROP THAT MAKES THE GLASS OVERFLOW’

AP

In Mexico, Locals Take Fight Directly To Drug Cartel.. And Win

 

 

 

 

 

MAD AS HELL
AMERICANS STILL ANGRY AT CONGRESS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. official: We think Iran wants a nuclear deal — and fast

07 Nov 2013

 

November 7, 2013 — Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKTGeneva, Switzerland (CNN) —Iran appears keen to progress swiftly toward a deal reining back its nuclear program in return for relief from international sanctions that have crippled its economy, a senior U.S. administration official said Wednesday. She was speaking on the eve of a fresh round of… 
Iranian technician walks through the Borzuyrh petrochemical complex in Assaluyeh in the Persian gulf, Iran, Monday July 2, 2007. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez broke ground Monday on a joint petrochemical complex south of Tehran .(AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)hg3

 

 

 

 

 

General strike against cuts brings Greece to a halt

06 Nov 2013

 

Workers in Greece are holding a 24-hour general strike over continuing cuts as international lenders decide whether to unlock further bailout money. Flights and other transport are being disrupted by action in both the public and private sectors, and schools and hospitals are also affected. Greece has held more than 30 general strikes since early… 
Members of pro-communist union PAME take part in an protest during a general strike in Athens, on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mehsud killing leaves Pakistan on high alert

06 Nov 2013

 

The killing of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike this week has not exactly handed officials the rare success they may have hoped for. In fact, it appears mostly to have muddied the waters of Pakistan’s already somewhat incoherent anti-militancy strategy, with the government terming the strike the “murder” of a… 
A supporter of the Pakistani religious party Jamaat-u-Dawa holds up a banner during a rally to condemn U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

M23 rebels announce ‘end of rebellion’ in DR Congo

05 Nov 2013

 

M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo said Tuesday they would end their 18-month-long insurgency, hours after the country’s communications minister declared “total victory” over the rebellion following a final government offensive on their remaining strongholds. The M23 movement said in a statement that it had “decided from… 
A contingent of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on patrol in Rutshuru Territory, North Kivu, near the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s border with Uganda, 31 October, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohamed Mursi goes on trial as Egypt struggles for democracy

Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans one holding a picture of Morsi with Arabic writing that reads: "Morsi is my president," at Nasr City, where protesters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 29, 2013.

Egypt‘s first freely elected president, Mohamed Mursi, goes on trial on Monday under a security crackdown that has devastated his Muslim Brotherhoodmovement and raised concerns that the army-backed government is reimposing a police state. A…
photo: AP / Khalil Hamra

Jordan king says he will press ahead with reforms

King Abdullah II of Jordan gives a speech during the opening session of parliament in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013.

AMMAN, Jordan Jordan’s King Abdullah II says he will press ahead with a wide-ranging package of reforms, amending elections laws…
photo: AP / Mohammad Hannon

Kosovo vote key test for EU-backed deal with Serbia

A woman votes near a no-weapons sign at a polling station in the northern Serb-dominated part of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Sunday, Nov 3, 2013.

Polls opened on Sunday in key local elections in Kosovo that are being closely watched by the European Union amid fears of a boycott by minority Serbs, voting for the first time since independence in 2008. The election of deputies and mayors in 36…
photo: AP / Darko Vojinovic

John Kerry to begin Mid East tour amid regional tension

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to board his aircraft at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, Nov. 2, 2013.

US Secretary of State John Kerry begins a tour of countries in the Middle East and North Africa on Sunday. Saudi ArabiaIsraelJordan and Morocco are among the countries listed on the itinerary. Although it is not on the official agenda, there are…
photo: AP / Jason Reed

Tense Pakistan awaits Taliban move after drone killing

File - Pakistani men from tribal forces hold their weapons as others chant slogans against the Taliban in Raghagan, near Khar, in the troubled Bajaur agency, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 26, 2008.

A tense Pakistan is awaiting the announcement of a new Taliban leader, afterHakimullah Mehsud was killed in a drone strike on Friday. Few details are known about Mehsud’s funeral, which is expected to take place on Saturday. Local media say…
photo: AP / Aamir Qureshi

 

 

 

 

Peace is war: Israeli settler-colonialism and the Palestinians

01 Nov 2013

 

Ever since its colonial project was set in motion, Zionism has insisted that it seeks to colonise Palestine “peacefully”, indeed that its colonisation of the country will not only not harm the native population, but that it would be of benefit to them. The movement’s founder, Theodor Herzl himself, provided two visions of this future: A… 
File - A Palestinian woman grieves during the funeral of 13-year-old Hmeid Abu Daqqa, who was killed after being hit by bullets fired from an Israeli helicopter, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on November 9, 2012.

Billionaire Eike Batista’s dreams crumble

November 1 2013

 

Related Stories ,Batista oil firm in bankruptcy Brazil‘s fallen billionaire Brazilian billionaire sells up Once listed as one of the top 10 wealthiest people in the world,Eike Batista boasted he would one day become the richest person on the planet. In little over a year, he is thought to have lost almost his entire fortune. OGX, the huge oil… 


Eike Batista

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syria meets deadline to destroy chemical production facilities

31 Oct 2013

 

Strife in Syria Arab Spring Reuters October 31, 2013 – 10:28 By Dominic EvansBEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria has destroyed all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities, meeting a major deadline in an ambitious disarmament programme, the international chemical weapons watchdog said in a document seen by Reuters. The Organisation… 
In this file image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, members of a chemical weapons investigation team take samples from the ground in the Damascus countryside of Zamalka, Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unconditional release of Marwan Barghouti is positive step forward

30 Oct 2013

 

Marwan Barghouti, a leading Palestinian political prisoner being held for life inIsrael, has spent nearly two decades of his life in Israeli jails, including the past 11 years. Approximately 30 others, who later this month are expected to exchange prison cells for larger prisons in occupied Palestine, are returning to a very different world -… 
File - Senior Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti makes the victory sign in front the media during his arrival to testify in a trial at a Jerusalem court, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012.

 

 

 

 

Obama may ban spying on friendly foreign leaders

29 Oct 2013

 

Washington • President Barack Obama is poised to order the National Security Agency (NSA) to stop eavesdropping on the leaders of American allies, administration and congressional officials said Monday, responding to a deepening diplomatic crisis over reports that the agency had for years targeted the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel…. 
Obama may ban spying on friendly foreign leaders

 

 

 

 

Report: US spied on Merkel since 2002

27 Oct 2013

 

The United States may have bugged German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s phone for more than 10 years, according to a news report by the German magazine Der Spiegel. The report, released on Saturday, said that Merkel‘s mobile telephone had been listed by the NSA‘s Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002, marked as “GEChancellor Merkel“, and was… 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, speaks with Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta during a round table meeting at an EU summit on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.
photo: AP / Michel Euler

 

Afghan soldier killed after row with Nato troops

26 Oct 2013

 

An Afghan soldier has been killed at a military base in the capital Kabul, after shooting at international troops. The incident, which injured at least one foreign soldier, began after an argument, Nato officials said. It is the fourth such attack in a month. Last year, attacks… 
File - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class John Haidu, United States Army Marksmanship Unit member from Phenix City, Ala., listens as ANA student-instructors explain why their target grouping is off and how to correct it during the Basic Rifle Marksmanship Instructor Course at Kabul Military Training Center, Afghanistan, Nov. 06, 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US spying has shattered allies’ trust: Merkel

25 Oct 2013

 

European leaders united in anger as they attended a summit overshadowed by reports of widespread US spying on its allies… 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel gestures during her speech at the German Federal Parliament in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, May 5, 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORT: NSA MONITORED CALLS OF 35 WORLD LEADERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syria chemical disarmament on track but peace talks in doubt

24 Oct 2013

 

Syria is set to hand over a detailed plan for the destruction of its chemical arsenal by Thursday, days ahead of a UN deadline, the international watchdog said. But prospects for a peace conference, which the world body is trying to convene in parallel with the disarmament process, looked dim after key opposition leaders spurned efforts by Western… 
In this photo provided by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian security agents carry a body following a huge explosion that shook central Damascus, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

 

 

 

 

French fury over US spy claims

22 Oct 2013

 

22 October 2013 Last updated at 04:51 BST French President Francois Hollande has expressed “deep disapproval” over claims the US National Security Agency secretly tapped phone calls in France. In a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, he said this was “unacceptable between friends and allies”, demanding an explanation. Catharina Moh… 
 President Francois Hollande has expressed "deep disapproval" over claims the US National Security Agency secretly tapped phone calls in France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LISTENING IN ON FRANCE
New NSA Bombshell Reveals U.S. Spying On French Phones

Peace envoy pushes for Syria talks as bomb strikes Damascus

20 Oct 2013

 

UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi on Sunday kept up his regional push for peace talks on Syria, where a suicide car bombing and assault on a keyDamascus checkpoint killed 16 Syrian soldiers. cmet with Egypt’s foreign minister on Saturday, saying “intense efforts” were under way to convene a Syrian peace conference in Geneva… 


File - Lakhdar Brahimi, Joint Special Representative of the UN and the League of Arab States for Syria, met with Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mikhail Bogdanov, and United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, to assess the requirements for an international conference to find a political solution to the Syria crisis, 25 June, 2013.

 

 

 

 

Pakistan tells UN at least 400 civilians killed by drone strikes

19 Oct 2013

 

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has confirmed that of some 2,200 people killed by drone strikes in the past decade, at least 400 were civilians and an additional 200 victims were deemed “probable non-combatants,” a UN human rights investigator said on Friday. Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, also urged the United… 
Supporters of Pakistani religious party Jamat-i-Islami listen to their leaders during a rally to condemn U.S. drone attacks on alleged militants and Talibans hideouts in Pakistani border areas along Afghanistan, in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, April 24, 2009.

 

 

Suicide bomber kills 13 at restaurant in Somalia

African Union peacekeepers take position outside the main U.N. compound, following an attack on it in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

A suicide bomber strapped with explosives around his chest killed at least 13 people on Saturday outside a restaurant popular with Ethiopian and Somali troops in the town of…
photo: AP / Farah Abdi Warsameh

Berlusconi banned from parliament for two years

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi gestures during a news conference at Rome's Chigi Palace premier office, Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Italian court has banned former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi from parliament for two years following his conviction for tax fraud, Italian media reported Saturday. Berlusconi can appeal the ruling, which must be approved by the Senate. By News
photo: AP / Riccardo De Luca

 

Former Mexican drug lord killed: Report

Mexican soldiers take part in a shootout during which Eduardo Arellano Felix, leader of Tijuana-based drug cartel, was captured together with his daughter in Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008. Soldiers arrested the leader of the Tijuana-based Arellano Felix cartel after a shootout in a middle-class neighborhood of the border city across from San Diego, Mexico's Defense Department announcedSunday, Oct. 26

MEXICO CITY: The former head of a major Mexican drug cartel was shot dead by an unknown gunman at a family party on Friday night, newspapers said. Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix, 63, the former head of the Tijuana cartel, was killed in a hotel in…
photo: AP / Guillermo Arias

China criticises Dalai Lama over Tibet autonomy

CUHP holds first convocation, confers honorary DPhil degree on the 14th Dalai Lama

A senior Chinese official has denounced the Dalai Lama‘s long-standing pursuit of autonomy for Tibet. He described it as equivalent to advocating Tibetan independence, state media reported. The comments signal that China is unlikely to seek any…
photo: WN / Yeshe Choesang

 

Ex-Pentagon lawyer nominated as homeland security secretary

General Counsel Jeh Johnson delivers the keynote address for the Pentagon Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender Pride Month event at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., June 26, 2012. (DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley)

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama has nominated ex-Pentagon lawyerJeh Johnson as the homeland security secretary. If confirmed by the Senate,Johnson will replace Janet Napolitano as the homeland security secretary, aCabinet position equivalent…
photo: US Navy / Chad J. McNeeley

Saudi Arabia rejects Security Council seat, lashes U.N. as failure

In a June 4, 2012 photo provided by the United Nations,United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, left, meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, right, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

A day after the United Nations elected Saudi Arabia to a prestigious seat on theSecurity Council, the Saudi leadership refused to accept the position and lashed out at the world body for “double standards” and failure to protect peace. It was a…
photo: AP / Evan Schneider

Maldives Police Block Attempt at Presidential Vote

Supporters of Maldives' president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, participate in an election campaign in Male, Maldives, Monday, Oct. 6, 2008. Longtime President Gayoom will face five opponents in the Maldives' first democratic presidential election next month, election officials said.

MALE, Maldives — Maldives sank further into political disarray Saturday when police blocked officials from conducting a presidential revote, saying that holding the election would violate a Supreme Court order. Connect With Us on TwitterFollow
photo: AP / Eranga Jayawardena

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Snowden: I didn’t take classified documents to Russia

18 Oct 2013

 

WASHINGTON — Former National Security Agency systems analyst EdwardSnowden says that he did not take any secret NSA documents to Russia and that intelligence officials in China as well as Russia could not get access to the documents he had obtained before leaving the United States. In… 
In this image provided by Human Rights Watch, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, center, attends a news conference at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks, left, Friday, July 12, 2013.

 

 

 

Syria: date set for Geneva talks to end conflict

17 Oct 2013

 

Related Articles The damage done to ‘Syria‘s oldest church’ seen first hand 16 Oct 2013 Inside Syria’s model town: Peace, until al-Qaeda arrived 05 Oct 2013 Eat cats and dogs, imam tells starving Syrians 15 Oct 2013 Asma al-Assad denies leaving Syria 15 Oct 2013 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonsaid Wednesday that efforts are intensifying to try… 
Free Syrian Army fighters look at a Syrian Army jet, not pictured, in Fafeen village, north of Aleppo province, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt ‘illegally detaining Syrian refugees’

17 Oct 2013

 

Syrian refugees in Egypt often face illegal detention or deportation, Amnesty International says. The authorities are holding hundreds of Syrian refugees in deplorable conditions, among them children as young as one, the rights group says. Some of them are accused of being Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and being complicit in the recent political… 
In this Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013 file photo, a body is lowered down from a Maltese Navy ship at the Valletta harbor, Malta after a Maltese ship brought 143 survivors from a capsized smugglers' boat after 34 people drowned when the boat capsized. Most of the migrants in the latest tragedy were fleeing civil war in Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

US House plan crumbles on budget, debt

16 Oct 2013

 

The efforts of Republican leadership to pass legislation averting a US debtdefault and ending a partial government shutdown collapsed on Tuesday night, and a top ratings firm warned of a possible downgrade in the country’s creditworthiness. Just hours after unveiling it, Republican leaders apparently lacking votes from their own rank and… 
A U.S. Marine Corps helicopter carrying 43rd President George W. Bush departs the U.S. Capitol Building at the conclusion of inaugural ceremonies for 44th President Barack Obama, Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Is the Horn of Africa facing another collapsing state?

15 Oct 2013

 

Just as the Horn of Africa is witnessing the slow restoration of one collapsed state – after more than two decades of anarchic conditions in Somalia – it may be facing the collapse of another. The small country of Eritrea, only 20 years after gaining independence from Ethiopia, has emerged as one of the largest sources of… 
File - A young child looks on as older boys play football next to a camp for internally displaced persons (IDP) in Mogadishu, Somalia, 19 August, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 14th

Nations gear up for Iran nuclear talks

Iran seeks approval to enrich uranium but also relief from sanctions. The U.S. and European allies want Iran to dial down its nuclear program right away

Wendy Sherman is head of the U.S. negotiating teamWendy Sherman, who will head the U.S. negotiating team in nuclear talks with Iran, recently told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “we will know in the next short period of time whether there is anything serious and real here or not.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

US ‘partially resolves’ long-term security deal with Afghanistan post-2014 pullout

13 Oct 2013

 

LondonOctober 13The United States and Afghanistan have said they have resolved disagreements on a bilateral security deal after lengthy talks inKabul, although differences remain. President Hamid Karzai said they were still divided over immunity for US soldiers who stay in Afghanistan after NATOwithdrawal in 2014. US Secretary of State John… 
US ‘partially resolves’ long-term security deal with Afghanistan post-2014 pullout

 

 

 

 

 

 

US confirms the capture top Pakistani Taliban leader

12 Oct 2013

 

October 11American troops have captured second in command of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Latif Mehsud, officials here have confirmed . However, officials did not confirm the place and date where the top TTP leader was captured. “I can confirm that US forces did capture TTP terrorist leader Latif Mehsud in a military operation. I don’t have… 
US confirms the capture top Pakistani Taliban leader

 

 

 

 

 

Fire fell ‘like rain’ in Syria

By Bharati Naik and Atika Shubert, CNN
October 10, 2013 —
Watch this video

Incendiary bombs part of Syrian conflict

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Eyewitnesses of the attack: Incendiary like devices dropped from a government fighter
  • These are “any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects”
  • Rola Hallam treated victims, some of whom suffered burns over 80% of their bodies
 

(CNN) — It started with a baby.

Within minutes, dozens of teenagers and children staggered into an emergency room on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria.

Rola Hallam, a British Syrian doctor, describes what she saw there in late August.

“We had had, you know, over 30 who had arrived, all within about 10 or 15 minutes, all with just heartbreaking, extensive burns,” she said.

The patients were victims of an August 26 attack in Awram al-Koubra, outside Aleppo, where eyewitnesses described incendiary like devices being dropped from a government fighter jet onto a private residence, and then a school.

Syria said to be ‘cooperative’

Syria begins to destroy chemical weapons

Syrian refugees haunted by shelling

Syrian civil war in photosSyrian civil war in photos

Incendiary bombs are not chemical weapons, but their effects can be just as devastating.

Syria: Chemical weapons team faces many dangers, says U.N. chief Ban

They are identified as “any weapon or munition which is primarily designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injury to persons through the action of flame, heat, or combination thereof, produced by a chemical reaction of a substance delivered on the target,” according to the United Nations.

British emergency doctor Saleyha Ahsan describes them in less clinical terms, in the terms of her patients.

“The descriptions were fire falling like rain, just falling like rain, plumes of flames and then balls of flames falling out of the sky,” she said.

“Their clothes had just been stripped off them from the power of heat and the incendiary device, covered in burns and some of them very shocked and quiet, and not sure where they were and what was going on.”

Read more: Refugees inside their own war-torn country

The day of the attack, she, Hallam and others treated about 40 victims, some of whom suffered burns over 80% of their bodies.

By chance, the doctors were filming with the BBC’s Panorama program to highlight medical conditions in Syria. The cameras kept rolling as patients poured in.

‘I wanted their faces seen’

The video is disturbing to watch. It shows people sitting on the floor, their skin peeled and hanging like ripped clothes.

‘I felt like I was in a horror show or something on a movie set. It was so surreal,” said Hallam.

“All walking in, with a really bewildered look on their face, an absolutely awful smell of burning flesh mixed with a very weird synthetic smell that I’ve never smelled before.”

WMD: From A-bombs to pressure cookers

Eights students died in the attack and 50 other people suffered burns, according to the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry, which investigates alleged violations of human rights law in Syria. It will issue a report next month.

The United Nations says more than 100,000 people, including civilians, have been killed since the start of the country’s two-year-old civil war. Conventional, not chemical weapons, are believed to be responsible for the vast majority of those deaths.

Both Hallam and Ahsan said they would expect very few of their patients to survive for any amount of time.

“I wanted their faces seen,” Hallam said.

“I wanted the whole world to know that what is happening in Syria is happening, and I don’t want anyone to say I never knew because you all know. And the world needs to act.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mohamed Morsy gets trial date as Egypt turmoil continues

By Saad Abedine and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
October 9, 2013 — 
A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood holds a poster of deposed president Mohamed Morsy in July.
A supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood holds a poster of deposed president Mohamed Morsy in July.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mohamed Morsy and 14 other Muslim Brotherhood members will stand trial next month
  • Morsy faces charges related to his alleged involvement in violence, state media reports
  • He has been kept in detention since the military removed him from office in July
  • The U.S. may announce it is cutting some military aid to Egypt, U.S. officials say

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Has a Shutdown Message Problem — Here’s How to Fix IT

I am Gotham’s reckon … er, I mean, why won’t Batman sit down and discuss our differences?

A week into the federal government shutdown, the standoff has devolved into a grinding trench warfare. House Republicans remain fundamentally paralyzed. John Boehner insists he won’t reopen the government because the votes aren’t there, which is not true. Accounts of his thought process continue to emphasize his fundamental terror at antagonizing ultrarightists, leaving him unable to compromise with Democrats. The ultrarightists won’t vote foranything — they even blocked the original, implement-Romney’s-entire-agenda-or-we-kill-the-economy crazy-plan because it was too modest — leaving Boehner also unable to pass a bill without compromising with Democrats.

As everybody to the left of Ted Cruz predicted, House Republicans are losing the fight to shape public opinion over the shutdown. But they are not losing it in a total rout. Sam Wang notes that the “generic ballot,” which asks which party voters would support in House races, shows Democrats currently in the range they need to be to take back the House, but also points out that anger at the shutdown is likely to dissipate by next year. Nate Cohn notes that the public blames Republicans more than it blames President Obama, but the imbalance of blame is not (yet) as heavy as it was during the Newt Gingrich shutdown. Republicans have wounded themselves, but not mortally.

 

 

Chemical experts begin destroying Syria’s chemical arsenal

07 Oct 2013

 

DamascusOctober 07: The joint team of the Organisation for the Prohibitionof Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN said here that the process of destroying Syria‘s chemical weapons programme began Sunday. Under the supervision of experts from the OPCW and the UN, Syrian personnel used cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range… 
Kurdish members of the FSA are seen on a tank stolen from the Syrian Army in Fafeen village, north of Aleppo province, Syria, Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012.

 

 

 

 

Italy panel set to decide on Berlusconi fate

04 Oct 2013

 

The political career of Italy‘s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi may reach the end of the line as a Senate panel could recommend stripping him of his seat following his tax fraud conviction and four-year prison sentence. The Senate committee is likely to start the process to expel Berlusconi from parliament on Friday, meaning his fate could… 
Italy panel set to decide on Berlusconi fate

 

 

 

For Israel, attack on Iran seems off the table

02 Oct 2013

 

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Barack Obama‘s decision to open a dialogue with Iran‘s new president appears to have robbed Israel of a key asset in its campaign to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon: the threat of unilaterally attacking Iranian nuclear facilities. Despite some tough rhetoric in a speech to the U.N. by Israeli… 
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora of Israel, addresses the general debate of the sixty-eighth session of the General Assembly, 1 October, 2013.

 

 

 

 

OUT OF SERVICE: Federal government enters first shutdown in 17 years; lawmakers remain divided over Obamacare

The US government has shut down as Democrats and Republicans refuse to negotiate on Capitol Hill. GOP leaders remain determined that key aspects of Obamacare must be delayed, while President Obama insists that the demand ‘is the height of irresponsibility.’

 TUESDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2013, 6:10 AM

<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 	The US Capitol dome is seen at sunrise over Washington, DC, September 25, 2013. The US Senate faces a Sunday showdown over whether to keep government running, but bickering over US President Barack Obama's signature health care law is bringing federal agencies dangerously close to a shutdown. A fractured Congress is struggling to approve a stopgap spending bill that keeps government doors open after the current fiscal year ends next Monday. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEBSAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />

SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The mood was grim at the Capitol Monday as Democrats and Republicans couldn’t get it together for the good of the nation.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/federal-government-appears-headed-shutdown-divided-lawmakers-reach-last-minute-deal

India PM Singh in ‘terror’ warning to Pakistan ahead of talks

29 Sep 2013

 

Indian PM Manmohan Singh has said Pakistan must stop being “the epicentre of terrorism”, ahead of talks with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Mr Singh also stressed that he shared Mr Sharif‘s hopes for better relations between the two Asian rivals. Ahead of their meeting in New York, Mr Sharif called for a “new… 


India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks about the anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks at a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2009.

 

 

Russia Applauds Syria Resolution on Chemical Arms

PLAY VIDEO
 

A Century of Chemical Weapons: Nations have fought for a century to stop the scourge of chemical weapons. But their use continues, as evidenced by the recent sarin gas attack in Syria.

<nyt_byline>

By 
Published: September 27, 20

Fresh from victory in a compromise Security Council resolution to strip Syria of its chemical weapons, Russia’s foreign minister said Friday that the breakthrough was possible partly because the West has realized the threat of military force to solve conflicts is “ineffective, meaningless and destructive.”

 
Multimedia

The foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, whose collaboration with Secretary of State John Kerry laid the groundwork for the resolution, also said in a General Assembly speech that he hoped the resolution would provide momentum to convene a conference aimed at purging the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction.

The Security Council resolution, finalized Thursday night by the five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — is aimed at coercing the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad to comply with a pledge to relinquish its chemical weapons.

Although the resolution does not automatically threaten the use of force if Syria reneges — a Western concession granted to Russia — the measure nonetheless represents the Security Council’s most significant action to date on the Syria conflict.

The full 15-member council unanimously approved the measure Friday night.

Agreement on the resolution also reflected a dizzying rush of diplomacy that seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago, when the Obama administration was threatening Mr. Assad with missile strikes in response to an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus that left more than 1,400 people dead including more than 400 children.

Mr. Obama, who contended that the use of such weapons had crossed a threshhold of tolerance that could not go unaddressed, scrubbed the military strikes amid a crescendo of criticism at home and abroad that he risked entangling the United States in another war. His reversal was aided by Russia, which devised a diplomatic alternative under which Syria agreed to voluntarily relinquish its chemical weapons under the agreement negotiated by Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry.

Mr. Lavrov’s speech on Friday, as Russia’s representative during the annual General Assembly session in New York, seemed partly framed as a criticism of Mr. Obama, whose speech to the organization three days earlier had asserted that the United States would remain heavily engaged in the Middle East and leave all options open, including the use of force, to protect its interests.

“It is alarming to hear the statements on the right to use military force to ensure one’s own interest in the Middle East region under the pretext of the ‘remaining demand for leadership’ in international affairs,” Mr. Lavrov said according to the English translation of his speech, posted on the United Nations Web site. “All the recent history testifies that no State — no matter how big or powerful — can cope alone with the challenges of that scope faced by mankind today.”

Mr. Lavrov, whose country has supported Mr. Assad, also suggested in his speech that Western countries opposed to Mr. Assad because of his repression of the democratic opposition were increasingly coming around to Russia’s view that the greater danger in Syria lay in its growing attraction to jihadists.

“The desire to portray in a simplified way the developments in the Arab worlds as the struggle of democracies against tyrannies or the good against the evil has long obscured the problems associated with the rising wave of extremism which spills over to other regions today as well,” he said.

“The terrorist attacks in Kenya have demonstrated all the gravity of this threat,” he said, referring to the shopping mall siege in Nairobi this week by fighters from the Shabab, a militant Islamist group in neighboring Somalia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubin: It’s too early to trust Hassan Rowhani

Published: September 27, 2013 
By TRUDY RUBIN, The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT)

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani attends a session of

Photo credit: Getty Images | Iranian President Hassan Rowhani attends a session of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran. Iran’s Assembly of Experts is a body that selects the supreme leader and supervises his activities. (Sept. 3, 2013)

 

 

 

 

 

US, Iran hold high-level meeting. ‘Substantive’ nuclear talks ahead?

27 Sep 2013

 

The new cooperative tone set by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at theUnited Nations this week delivered its first concrete result Thursday as world powers and Iran agreed to hold what all sides predicted would be “substantive” and “ambitious” talks on Iran’s nuclear program. Underscoring the breadth of the new climate, US Secretary of State John… 


Javad Zarif, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, met with his counterparts of the five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United Sates), plus Germany – the so-called “E3+3”. Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, also attended the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

Russia ready to help guard Syria chemical sites

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria's national news agency SANA on September 18, 2013. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in Damascus, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency SANA on September 26, 2013.

MOSCOW | Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:00am EDT

(Reuters) – Russia is ready to help guard Syrian chemical weapons sites and destroy President Bashar al-Assad’s stockpiles but will not ship any of the chemical arms to Russia for destruction, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday.

 

 

Iran seeks resolution to nuclear programme dispute

26 Sep 2013

 

Iran‘s new government has said it wants to speed up talks with world powers to resolve a decade-long dispute over its nuclear program. It said it hopes for a deal in three to six months. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is set to hold talks on the nuclear issue today with US Secretary of StateJohn… 
A worker rides a bike in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010.

 

 

Nairobi attack: Game-changer for East Africa?

25 Sep 2013

 

– As Kenyan commandos fought pitched battles against the remaining few gunmen inside Nairobi‘s burned and blood-splattered shopping mall, questions began arising about what blowback the sensational siege would have upon a turbulent region. The Westgate raid is likely to impact Nairobi’s war in neighbouring Somalia, and offer insights into the… 
Mary Italo, center, grieves with other relatives for her son Thomas Abayo Italo, 33, who was killed in the Westgate Mall attack, as they wait to receive his body at the mortuary in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Kenya forces claim to control most of mall

23 Sep 2013

 

Videos Gun battles at Kenya mall; hostages still held Galleries Web links NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan officials said security forces controlled nearly all of an upscale mall on Monday, two days after it was seized by members of aSomali terrorist group who invaded with guns blazing, killing at least 62 people. Four thunderous explosions reverberated… 
Kenyan security personnel and journalists duck behind a vehicle as heavy gunfire erupts from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi Kenya Monday Sept. 23 2013.

 

 

 

 

Al-Shabab claims Nairobi attack

22 Sep 2013

 

Share Twitter Ghana News Share View Comments Eyewitnesses saw armed men in black, their heads covered in scarves, entering the Westgate shopping centre on Saturday afternoonA senior figure in the Somali militant group al-Shabab has told the BBC it carried out a deadly attack on a shopping centre in neighbouring Kenya. The gunmen have been cornered… 


Share Twitter Ghana News Share View Comments President Mahama was welcomed at the airport by the new Malian leader, Ibrahim Keita.The President, MrJohn Dramani Mahama, last Thursday joined other heads of state in Bamako, Malifor the investiture of…
photo: UN / Marco Dormino

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