UN chief, Security Council condemn terrorist attack in Kenya

22 Sep 2013


Print 22 September 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have condemned the terrorist attack at a shopping mall in Kenya‘s capital, Nairobi, which killed scores of people and wounded many more..
UN chief, Security Council condemn terrorist attack in Kenya








Iraq’s Kurds focus on autonomy

Full ArticleBBC News 

21 Sep 2013


Iraq‘s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region is holding parliamentary elections on Saturday at a critical moment in the history of the Kurds – not only in Iraq but also in the whole Middle East. When it comes to security and safety,Kurdistan is a world apart from the rest of Iraq. Irbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, is growing an
File - Masud Barzani President of Kurdistan and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party  (KDP) delivers a speech.







President Rouhani says Iran won’t develop nuclear weapons

September 19, 2013 —
Hassan Rouhani, a moderate Iranian presidential candidate and former top nuclear negotiator, was elected president earlier this year.
Hassan Rouhani, a moderate Iranian presidential candidate and former top nuclear negotiator, was elected president earlier this year.

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani talks to NBC News about his nation’s nuclear program
  • Rouhani says his government “has complete authority” to reach a deal with the U.S., others
  • He calls a recent exchange of letters with U.S. President Obama as “positive and constructive”
  • Considered a moderate, Rouhani was elected president earlier this year

(CNN) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed Wednesday that his country will never develop nuclear weapons, telling NBC News that he is open to diplomatically resolving issues surrounding his country’s controversial nuclear program.

“We have never pursued or sought a nuclear bomb and we are not going to do so,” Rouhani said.

Later, he added, “We have time and again said that, under no circumstances, would we seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. Nor will we ever.”

In an interview with NBC’s Ann Curry, Rouhani said that — even with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a looming presence in Iranian society — he has “full power and has complete authority” to make a deal with others on nuclear matters.

“The problem won’t be from our side,” the Iranian president said. “We have sufficient political latitude to solve this problem.”

Opposition to Iran‘s atomic program, coupled with what critics see as Tehran’s intransigence in failing to cooperate with international officials, had led to harsh sanctions and stirred concerns that the dispute could devolve into a military conflict.

Yet Rouhani appeared relatively optimistic Wednesday. He spoke about getting a letter from U.S. President Barack Obama after hisrecent election and inauguration, saying the U.S. president congratulated him and raised certain issues. Rouhani said he wrote back offering Iran’s viewpoint, describing the tone of the exchange as “positive and constructive.”

“It could be subtle and tiny steps for a very important future,” the Iranian leader told NBC, according to video on the network’s website. “I believe the leaders in all countries could think in their national interests and that they should not be under the influence of (interest) groups.”


Even as it has resisted attempts to international regulators to assess its development, Iran has long insisted its nuclear program’s aim is to produce power, not weapons. Last month, Rouhani said the United States and other nations “need to recognize that our activities are totally peaceful and legal.”

If they do and there are “negotiations without threats,” Rouhani added, then “the way for interaction is open.”

The 64-year-old cleric, who is considered moderate, won the June elections with reformist backing after a campaign in which he stressed “hope and prudence.”

A former nuclear negotiator himself, he vowed to reduce the high tension between Iran and the outside world.

Rouhani has military experience as well, having once commanded Iranian air defenses and led three war and defense councils. He was national security adviser for 13 years before his presidential predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took office in 2005.








Assad says destroying chemical arms to take a year

19 Sep 2013


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Wednesday that he was committed to handing over his country’s stockpiles of… 
Assad says destroying chemical arms to take a year.
photo: AP / Ibrahim Usta







Gaddafi’s son, intelligence chief and PM among defendants in crucial trial

19 Sep 2013


Most important trial in Libya‘s post-Gaddafi era switched to maximum security prison in Tripoli over fears of violence Abdullah al-Senussi, the Gaddafi regime‘s former intelligence chief, arrives at a high security prison facility inTripoli, LibyaPhotographLibyan National Guard/EPA Libya embarks on its most important trial in the post-Gaddafi… 
File - A portion of the Khalida Ferjan warehouse in Tripoli, Libya, where over one hundred revolution sympathizers were detained by the Qadhafi regime, reportedly tortured and many summarily executed on 23 August 2011, after which the warehouse was set on fire.







Kerry-Lavrov rapport smoothed path to Syria deal

15 Sep 2013


By Warren Strobel GENEVA (Reuters) – The deal between the United Statesand Russia on Syrian chemical weapons was due in no small part to the labors of foreign policy veterans with contrasting styles: Secretary of StateJohn Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. While their bosses, presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, get on… 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a news conference held after the two finalized a framework for the elimination for Syrian chemical weapons in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 14, 2013






Tense U.S-Russia talks on Syria begin

13 Sep 2013


GENEVA — U.S.-Russian talks over eliminating Syria‘s chemical weapons began here Thursday on a wary and stilted note, as Secretary of State John Kerry said U.S. military forces remained poised to attack Syria if a credible agreement is not rapidly reached and implemented. Syrian President Bashar Assad added to the tension by saying that he is… 
 Mr. Lavrov made a point of saying that the discussions should "move this situation from this current stage of military confrontation."



Afghans caught between terror and graft

12 Sep 2013


By Giuliano Battiston HERAT, Afghanistan – The threat to the stability of theHamid Karzai government in Afghanistan arises not so much from outside as from within. And the one thing that is eating into its edifice is the malaise called corruption. “Corruption is undermining what little legitimacy the government has left,” Qader Rahimi, head of the… 
File - A poor man asks passersby for money on a snowy day in Afghanistan, 8 February, 2008. Poverty still drives people out of their homes, even on a snowy day, to earn a living.














A Diplomatic Proposal for Syria

10 Sep 2013


Secretary of State John Kerry may not have expected his casual suggestion that Syria avert American military action by giving up its chemical weapons to be taken seriously. But it may have created a diplomatic way out forPresident Obama, who has insisted that a military strike is the only way to respond after concluding that the Syrian government… 
Secretary Kerry Tours Red Square





NATO Accused Of Killing Afghan Civilians

08 Sep 2013


KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials accused NATO of killing civilians in an airstrike that left at least 10 dead in the country’s remote east, while the Taliban on Sunday staged a car bomb and gun attack outside an Afghan intelligence office, killing four soldiers and wounding more than 80 people.Meanwhile, the Afghan government reacted angrily… 
NATO's new Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, addresses a media conference as Afghan President Hamid Karzai listens in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday Aug. 5, 2009
photo: AP / Musadeq Sadeq





Spy Agency Can ‘Access Smartphone Data’

The US National Security Agency is able to access smartphone data such as contacts and text messages, according to reports.






Apple's New iPhone 4s Goes On Sale

The German news magazine Der Spiegel cites internal documents from the intelligence agency and its British counterpart GCHQ in which the agencies describe setting up dedicated teams to crack protective measures on iPhones, BlackBerry and Android devices.

This data includes contacts, call lists, SMS traffic, notes and location data about where a user has been.

A 2009 NSA document states that it can “see and read SMS traffic”.

It also notes there was a period in 2009 when the NSA was temporarily unable to access BlackBerry devices when it changed the way it compresses its data.

But in March 2010, an NSA department regained access to BlackBerry data and celebrated with the word, “champagne!”.

Der Spiegel says the documents do not indicate that the NSA is conducting mass surveillance of phone users but rather that these techniques are used to eavesdrop on specific individuals.

The article published on Sunday does not say how the magazine obtained the documents.

But one of its authors is Laura Poitras, an American filmmaker with close contacts to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The latest revelations come after documents handed to The Guardian by Snowden showed the NSA had developed the capability of breaking encryption codes protecting millions of websites.






G20 and Syria: a forlorn display

07 Sep 2013


Friday marked the G20 forum’s first big test on a major non-financial crisis. Its performance can only be described as a failure. Not because the St Petersburg summit failed to agree on a solution to the catastrophe in Syria. To expect 20 powerful states (and assorted representatives of multilateral institutions) to shake hands on some kind of a… 
G20 and Syria: a forlorn display







Radiation level spikes further near toxic water tanks at Japan’s Fukushima plant

From Junko Ogura, CNN
September 2013 –
Watch this video

Fukushima: Was the response too slow?

  • TEPCO says it measured radiation of 2,200 millisieverts at the plant
  • The reading came from near a tank holding contaminated water
  • The previous highest reading around that tank was 1,800 millisieverts on Saturday
  • Those levels are strong enough to kill an unprotected person within hours

Tokyo (CNN) — Radiation readings near tanks holding toxic water at Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant have jumped to a new high, the plant operator said Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, which has been struggling to deal with a series of leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, said it detected a radiation level of 2,200 millisieverts near the tanks on Tuesday. That’s up from a previous high of 1,800 millisieverts on Saturday.

Those levels, detected around the same tank, are strong enough to kill an unprotected person within hours. But TEPCO said the type of radiation is easy to shield against.

How did we get to this point?







Brahimi says UN must authorize Syria strikes

06 Sep 2013


Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League joint envoy to Syria, has said that no state can “take the law into their own hands” and conduct military action against Syria without prior UN Security Council approval. Brahimi was speaking on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St Petersburg on Friday, after meetings with foreign ministers… 
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.






U.S. drone kills 6 in Pakistan, fueling anger

06 Sep 2013


Facebook Follow @washtimes Should President Obama meet one-on-one with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit? Login to Vote View results AnAmerican drone killed at least six people in Pakistan early Friday morning, in a northwestern region… 
File - The MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle.






Al-Qaida hopes to sabotage, destroy drones

05 Sep 2013


WASHINGTON — Al-Qaida’s leadership has assigned cells of engineers to find ways to shoot down, jam or remotely hijack U.S. drones, hoping to exploit the technological vulnerabilities of a weapons system that has inflicted huge losses against the terrorist network, according to top-secret U.S. intelligence documents. Although there is no… 
File - A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier waits as a MQ-1 Predator lands Nov. 7, 2008, at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.






UN refugee agency says more than 2m have fled Syria

03 Sep 2013


More than two million Syrians are now refugees, with the total going up by half a million in the past three months, the UN refugee agency has said. More than 700,000 have fled to Lebanon, and more Syrians are now displaced than any other nationality, the UNHCR says. France and the US are continuing to push for military action over alleged chemical… 
Syrian refugees gather on a street lined by makeshift shops, during a strike at Zaatari refugee camp, in Mafraq, Jordan, Thursday, April 25, 2013.








An RIM-7P NATO ‘Sea Sparrow’ missile fires off the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt during training exercises June 20, 2001 off the coast of Puerto Rico

File photo by Angela Virnig/US Navy/Getty Images

In what looked an awful lot like show of military force, Israel and the United States conducted a joint missile test over the Mediterranean this morning, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry. The ministry said a medium-range Sparrow missile was launched shortly after 9 a.m. local time and was successfully detected and tracked by the Arrow missile defense system.

The test itself wouldn’t have normally been major news, but these aren’t exactly normal times in the Middle East, as the world waits to see if the United States launches its own missile strikes at Syria. Making matters that much more intense was the fact that this morning’s test was unannounced ahead of time. Reuters with the details:

The morning launch was first reported by Moscow media that quoted Russian defense officials as saying two ballistic “objects” had been fired eastward from the center of the sea—roughly in the direction of Syria.

The news ruffled financial markets until Israel’s Defence Ministry said that it, along with a Pentagon team, had carried out a test-launch of a Sparrow missile. The Sparrow, which simulates the long-range missiles of Syria and Iran, is used for target practice by Israel’s U.S.-backed ballistic shield Arrow.







Mursi to stand trial for ‘inciting murder’

02 Sep 2013


Ousted Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi is to stand trial in a criminal court for ‘incitement to murder’, state television reported on Sunday, without giving a date for the trial. It said the former leader would stand trial along with 14 other suspects in his Brotherhood movement on charges of “incitement to murder and violence” in… 
In this Saturday, June 16, 2012 file photo, Egyptian presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi waves after he casts his vote at a polling station in Zagazig, 63 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Cairo, Egypt.








Egypt braces for protests despite crackdown

30 Aug 2013
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has called for nationwide protests against military-backed interim government despite severe crackdown on its leadership. The Brotherhood‘s call for mass protests and sit-ins on Friday will test how much the security crackdown has crippled the group and if they can still mobilise their base. Egypt’s security forces…
Supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, seen in poster, protest in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, July 9, 2013.






It’s time for a UN-imposed ceasefire in Syria

30 Aug 2013


Could the United States have chosen a worse piece of “evidence” than an intercepted phone call as its main justification for blaming the Assad government for last week’s chemical weapons attack in the Damascussuburbs? In case you don’t recall, then Secretary of State Colin Powell trotted out the same type of information in his infamous UN speech… 
In this citizen journalism image provided by Edlib News Network, ENN, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Syrians search under rubble to rescue people from houses that were destroyed by a Syrian government warplane, in Idlib province, northern Syria, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013.








NSA spying row deepens after UN and EU hacking allegations

27 Aug 2013


The UN has not commented directly on allegations that the US National Security Agency had hacked into the internal communications of both it and the EU. Related Articles The German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that documents it obtained from Edward Snowden show the NSAsecretly monitored the UN’s internal video conferencing system by… 
File - As part of its day-long thematic debate on social inequality, the General Assembly held a panel discussion on “Reducing inequality: Perspectives from Civil Society”, 9 July, 2013.










US and Britain to launch missile strikes against Syria ‘in days

BRITAIN and the US are set to launch missile strikes against the Syrian regime in retaliation for its barbaric chemical attack on civilians.

David Cameron and Barack Obama discussed the plan in a 40-minute phone call at the weekend and will finalise the details within 48 hours. The two leaders want to send a clear warning to dictator Bashar Al-Assad over the deaths of as many as 1,300 people, many of them children.

William Hague said ‘all the evidence’ suggested Assad’s henchmen carried out last week’s horrific nerve gas atrocity. ‘We cannot, in the 21st century, allow the idea that chemical weapons can be used with impunity – that people can be killed in this way and that there are no consequences,’ insisted the Foreign Secretary.

‘It is very important there is a very strong response so that dictators know that using chemical weapons is to cross a line, and that the world will respond.’

US President Barack Obama with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: AFP

US President Barack Obama with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Photo: AFP Source: AFP

Royal Navy commanders in the region are preparing to take part in the assault, which is likely to be unleashed within ten days.

Government sources indicate the cruise missile blitz will be short and will not signal any wider involvement in Syria’s bloody civil war.

But it will inevitably lead to fears that Britain could get sucked into another Iraq-style nightmare. MPs last night demanded the recall of Parliament for the Commons to have a say before any action goes ahead. Planners in strikes rather than an airborne bombing campaign, in order to avoid the dangers posed by the sophisticated air defences supplied to Syria by Russia.

A British source said ‘naval assets in the region’ were likely to be involved, suggesting the possible use of submarine-borne Tomahawk cruise missiles.


citizen journalism image

A Syrian man mourns over a dead body after an alleged poisonous gas attack fired by regime forces, according to activists. Photo: AP Source: AP


In an ominous development Damascus last night warned US president Obama that any intervention would not be a ‘walk in the park’, adding: ‘It will bring chaos and the region will burn.’ Iran warned the West it would face ‘severe consequences’ if it intervened in Syria.

And Russia, which has blocked UN action against Syria, said unilateral action by the West would undermine efforts for peace and have a ‘devastating impact’ on the security situation in the Middle East.

The Syrian regime last night attempted to head off a military intervention by the West by announcing it would finally allow United Nations experts to visit the gas atrocity site in Damascus. Inspectors are expected to begin their work today.

But Washington and London dismissed the move, saying it was ‘too late to be credible’, and followed almost a week of shelling of the area during which much of the evidence may have been destroyed.

Britain, the United States and France have all blamed the Assad regime for the attack because the rebel fighters are not thought to have the capability to carry out an atrocity on that scale.

President Francois Hollande, who spoke to Mr Cameron yesterday, is also pushing for swift military retaliation and could authorise the use of French forces in the attack.


Black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighbourhood, east of Damascus, Syria. Photo: AP

Black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighbourhood, east of Damascus, Syria. Photo: AP Source: AP

In a statement following the talks, Downing Street said the two men ‘agreed that a chemical weapons attack against the Syrian people on the scale that was emerging demanded a firm response from the international community. This crime must not be swept under the carpet.’ Mr Hollande’s office said: ‘France is determined that this act does not go unpunished.’ A Government source said the Prime Minister had not abandoned hope of achieving tougher UN action against Syria in the future. But with Russia frustrating progress, the source said Mr Cameron believed any short-term military response would have to be taken outside the UN process.

‘This looks like one of the worst chemical weapons attacks of modern times,’ another Government source said.

‘If you are responding to an attack on this scale you have to do it quickly. If you let it go for two, three, four weeks there is a danger you send a message that it doesn’t matter.’ Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has discussed the crisis several times with Mr Cameron in recent days and a senior Lib Dem source said there would be an agreed Coalition response. ‘The Government is working as one on this,’ the source said.


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Source: AFP


A government source said it was ‘possible’ that Parliament could be recalled early from its summer recess this week to discuss the crisis. But the source stressed that Mr Cameron had always reserved the ‘flexibility’ to order a military strike in response to fast-moving events without recourse to Parliament.

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown yesterday warned against rushing to military action on Syria. But Lord Ashdown, who remains close to Mr Clegg, acknowledged that the UN would be ‘greatly diminished’ if the world failed to respond to Assad’s ‘terrible breach’ of international law.

Bob Corker, the ranking Republican on the US Senate foreign affairs committee, said he had spoken to the Obama administration about its plans for Syria and believed the president would seek authorisation from Congress.

‘I think we will respond in a surgical way and I hope the president as soon as we get back to Washington will ask for authorisation from Congress to do something in a very surgical and proportional way,’ he told Fox News.

A Downing Street spokesman said: ‘No decisions have been taken on military action and the timetable for a serious response from the international community is not yet clear.

‘We are very conscious of when MPs are due to return and haven’t ruled out recalling them earlier.’











Mubarak Back In Court After Prison Release

26 Aug 2013


Egypt‘s former president Hosni Mubarak has appeared in court to answer charges in connection with the killing of protesters in 2011. It was the 85-year-old’s first court appearance since he was released from prison last week and transferred to a military hospital. Mubarak appeared at a heavily fortified courtroom in eastern Cairo in a… 
Mubarak Back In Court After Prison Release






US, Philippines vow freedom of navigation amid Asia sea rows

24 Aug 2013


WASHINGTON: The United States and the Philippines have vowed to maintain freedom of navigation in a Southeast Asia increasingly beset by maritime territorial rows, the two military allies said. The military chiefs of the two countries made the pledge in the United States on Thursday as their governments held talks on expanding the American military… 
US, Philippines vow freedom of navigation amid Asia sea rows







China makes big show of Bo trial, but it’s still just theatre

23 Aug 2013


BEIJING: With detailed online transcripts carried by China’s version of Twitter,Beijing is making an unprecedented effort to show its people that the trial of ousted politician Bo Xilai is fair and above board, but the court case is little more than theatre. Never before has the stability and unity-obsessed rulingCommunist Party allowed the… 
File - In this March 11, 2012 photo, Bo Xilai, former Chongqing party secretary wipes his glasses during a plenary session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.


Russia tells Syria to allow UN investigation of chemical attacks

Ban Ki Moon

Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

Russia wants Syrian government and opposition to guarantee safety of UN investigators of alleged attacks




Pakistan ex-head Musharraf charged in Bhutto death

20 Aug 2013


ZARAR KHAN Associated Press= RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (AP) â?? APakistani court Tuesday indicted former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf on murder charges in connection with the 2007 assassination of iconic Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, deepening the fall of a once-powerful figure who returned to the country this year in an effort… 
Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf addresses the committee on foreign affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels (tmg1)

Egypt: at least 25 policemen executed in northern Sinai, as ex-dictator Mubarak set to be freed

19 Aug 2013


Bloody violence has continued today as Egyptian security officials say suspected militants have ambushed two police minibuses in northern Sinai, firing rocket-propelled grenades at the vehicles. The attack is believed to have been carried out as the two vehicles were driving through a village near the border town of Rafah in the volatile Sinai… 
In this Monday, April 15, 2013 file photo, Egypt's deposed President Hosni Mubarak attends a hearing session in his retrial on appeal in Cairo, Egypt. Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was back in court Saturday, May 11, 2013, to hear prosecutors say they are presenting new evidence in his retrial.

Egypt in turmoil: At least 24 police officers killed in ambush

19 Aug 2013


CAIRO – At least 24 police officers were killed Monday when militants ambushed two mini-buses in the latest bloodshed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where security forces have been battling emboldened Islamist extremists for months. Egyptian state TV reported that militants forced the off-duty police officers from the buses and shot them… 
Egyptian soldiers keep guard on the border between Egypt and Rafah in southern Gaza Strip, on July 8, 2013. A series of attacks on security checkpoints in the North Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and El Arish close to Egypt's border with Israel and Gaza, where one soldier was killed. The Rafah border crossing with Egypt and Gaza remained closed since Friday. Photo by Ahmed Deeb / WN









Syria warns of new advances by al-Qaida

18 Aug 2013


Editor’s NoteThe following report is excerpted from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin, the premium online newsletter published by the founder of WND. Subscriptions are $99 a year or, for monthly trials, just $9.95 per month for credit card users, and provide instant access for the complete reports. WASHINGTON – The United Nations says… 
File - A Free Syrian Army fighter fires at Syrian Army positions during a clash in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012.





Egypt’s Government Thugs Beat Me Up at the Rabaa Sit-In

Scores of protesters are feared dead after a day of violence in Cairo. Mike Giglio was among the foreign reporters arrested and beaten by security forces














































The clouds of teargas were so thick that from behind police lines it was hard to see what happened in the protestors’ makeshift camp. But the Egyptian security forces lowered the barrels of their assault rifles and fired staccato bursts again and again in their direction. So began Egypt’s latest, and potentially its worst, day of rage. Already the most conservative estimates number about 60 people dead. Sky News has reported that one of its cameramen, the veteran Mick Deane, is among those killed.














































Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters















































We’d known this moment was coming. The Egyptian government installed by the military after the overthrow of the elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3 warned repeatedly that the thousands of his backers staging sit-ins these last six weeks would be cleared from the streets. Efforts to mediate a peaceful end, including attempts by the American senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, came to nothing last week. The government said it would wait out the end of the holiday at the end of Ramadan, which passed over the weekend. But no longer.

Just after dawn this morning, I was inside the encampment around the Rabaa al-Adaweyah mosque in the Nasr City district of Cairo. At about 7 a.m., I saw the security forces moving down the road. The black armored cars of the police took the lead, followed by the army’s desert-brown personnel carriers. The protestors panicked. They had built barricades of sandbags and paving stones around the tents that housed perhaps 5,000 Morsi supporters, maybe more. But these were no match for the bulldozers brought in by the security forces.

I positioned myself behind the police lines and, at first, they tolerated me. I was taking photos with my Blackberry and shared my water with one of the commanders. But they wouldn’t let me go back into Rabaa. I tried going around a different street, and cops on an armored personnel carrier waved me back.

There were several cops punching and slapping me in the head so I said okay and typed in the password.

Behind the police front lines was a large group of more senior officers, many of them in plainclothes–polo shirts and flak jackets. I saw that they had arrested someone, so I walked over to see what was happening. I also wanted to ask if there was a way into Rabaa, so when I got to the group, I asked if anyone spoke English. Instantly security personnel surrounded me; forceful but not violent at first. They took my phone, my ID. Then they opened my bag and took out my laptop. They opened it, and the friendly password screen appeared. An officer kept asking for my password and I politely refused. This went on for about five minutes intermittently, as I dealt with other officers inquiring about my job and ID. Finally the man I took to be the one in charge—stout older guy in a black beret–asked  for the password. I apologized again and declined. So he slapped me hard. Asked for the password again, I declined again, he slapped me again. Not sure how many times we had that exchange but at one point there were several cops punching and slapping me in the head so I said okay and typed in the password. They took a special interest in the file labeled Sisi, with basic reporting on the head of the armed forces, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and then they took the laptop away.

I was okay, but a little shaky.  I stayed in the crowd a bit longer. An angry cop walked up and punched me in the jaw. Eventually another cop grabbed me by the shirt and started perp-walking me over to a waiting blue paddy wagon. He was proudly announcing to the crowd of cops that I was an American, and a couple of times he jabbed me in the face with the hand holding my shirt as he said that.

They put on the zip-tie plastic handcuffs extra tight, then it was up into the vehicle, where there were a bunch of arrested demonstrators. I saw the cops beat a few of them; one guy got stomped and lay on the ground moaning for a while. Eventually when the count inside the wagon reached about 35 they took off. I had to kneel on the floor in the middle like a lot of others to keep from falling, all the benches that lined the walls were full. It was hot as hell, everyone including me sweating through their shirts and dripping. At one point someone with a free hand was nice enough to use a rag to wipe the sweat off my face.

One man sitting just across from me got caught with a phone. A cop came back and leaned over me as he beat the hell out of the guy. After about 20 minutes we pulled up somewhere and stopped. Some people around me started muttering prayers. We walked out into the bright sun and saw ourselves at the steps of an arena–someone said later it was Cairo Arena, but I don’t know. We walked up the stairs and into the arena through the VIP entrance.

We were the second group in. The people in the first group were on their knees in the arena. Riot cops surrounded them. It was clear those under the arrest they were expecting a lot more abuse to come. We were all told to kneel, too, in rows. And then finally someone realized it wasn’t a good idea to arrest an American journalist and pulled me out of the group. He started asking for my name and job, etc. They moved me off to the side with two other reporters. It was another hour or so though before they finally took off the painful zip ties; one of my fingers is still numb. I was initially detained at around 8 a.m. and finally released around noon, after some apologies from the man in charge. On the way out, one man from a group of cops asked what had happened, then said as I was walking away, “Please don’t be angry.”

Many others, including other journalists, were not so lucky. I was arrested along with an Egyptian freelance photographer, Mahmoud Abou Zeid, and a French freelance photographer, Louis Jammes. They were in the same area and also got rounded up. Both were also beaten after identifying themselves as journalists. Also, in detention, I ran into the award-winning French photo and video journalist Mani. (He doesn’t use his real name.) He shoots mainly for Britain’s Channel 4. Mani had been on the Rabaa side of the demonstration, trying to film. For what it’s worth, he says he saw no weapons on the pro-Morsi side, just rocks and sticks. This was my impression, too. I was on the Rabaa front line just before the fighting started and saw no arms; only sticks, and then fireworks that were launched at the police from the side streets.

Mani speaks Arabic and had his Egyptian press credentials on him. This is important professionally, since many foreigners, including myself, have not been given full accreditation. He had all his paperwork in order. When Mani explained he was a journalist, the cops dragged him behind a truck, threw him on the ground, kicked and beat him. He’s not seriously injured, he said, but he was hurting.

While I was in the arena, a demonstrator who’d been shot in the shoulder lay on his side for about an hour on the arena floor, just a woman tending to him. Finally the doctors came and as they brought him up the stairs, he turned around and shouted, “May God let Muslims win.” The crowd on the floor responded with a half-hearted murmur of assent.

In Rabaa, in the streets of Cairo and in Upper Egypt, meanwhile, the violence spread. My Egyptian colleague Maged Atef was inside the Rabaa camp as the tear gas canisters rained down. Police loudspeakers promised the Egyptian interior ministry would give safe conduct to anyone who went out peacefully. But Brotherhood leaders shouted, “No! Don’t leave! It’s a trap and they will arrest you!” Women and children were, in fact, moved out of the camp. The gas continued to explode, and then the police themselves started throwing Molotov cocktails at the tents.  Armored cars rolled in closer to the crowd. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood started to deploy in front of them. The gas was unbearable now, and Atef decided to try to get out when he saw two men – what looked like two protestors – carrying guns and shooting at the armored cars. Now Atef was sprinting.

The police loudspeakers grew louder. The Brotherhood supporters were silenced, then the leaders on their makeshift stage started speaking again. “For God we lose our life,” they cried. “Do not leave! Do not leave!” Atef heard shooting but could not tell where it came from. He did not see anyone dead at that point. The police had not yet entered. He heard shooting and screaming. He saw the military vehicles pushing down the barricades, behind which the protestors had put butane gas cylinders, the kind used for cooking throughout Egypt, ready to explode. One of those canisters blew up, apparently killing one person.

Finally Atef got out. Some time later, when he was able to approach the area again, the police were inside, and he saw what he says was “real war with guns.” A group of protestors were holed up inside a hall beside the mosque. High-ranking officers demanded they go out. Then the police opened fire. Atef is not ashamed to admit that at that point he panicked and ran away.

Across the Nile, protestors near Cairo University had been routed as well, but quickly moved to try to stage a new sit-in in the upscale neighborhood known as Mohandeseen. Sophia Jones, reporting for The Daily Beast, saw a police van engulfed in flames and a single police boot lying on the ground covered with blood.

Jones did not see any weapons on the side of the pro-Morsi protesters, but that gory shoe and burning van suggested the instigation for what happened next. Three armored police vans came barreling down the road firing shotgun pellets out of the turrets normally used to launch teargas. Jones was with two foreign photographers and they were in the middle of the road – easily identifiable as foreign journalists. They heard the sirens blaring and started to run. The gunshots began as they turned the corner to run to safety. The police van – which must have recognized them as foreigners – fired with no warning.

Jones and her companions joined a group of locals and bystanders who were running down the street desperately trying to find open shops where they could shelter. Women shrieked. An old man tripped and fell as he was running. A few young men stopped to help him up. Gunshots echoed down the street, followed by waves of teargas. People hiding in entryways and enclosed spaces choked as the teargas wafted in.

On Cairo’s skyline, huge plumes of smoke were billowing into the air. Police stations were reportedly under attack, and being torched by Muslim Brotherhood supporters. In numerous cities outside of Cairo, reports and photos were emerging of Coptic churches set ablaze. Pro-Morsi supporters have been blamed for the attacks as sectarian violence against the religious minority skyrockets.

Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised to bring order and to his country. Well, today was the beginning of something — but certainly not the beginning of the end to Egypt’s troubles.








How to End the War in Syria


The conflict, now in its third year, has cost the lives of more than 100,000 people and displaced millions. Irena L. Sargsyan on what the West should do



















































Syria has become the world’s endless nightmare. The war has entered its third year, causing more than 100,000 deaths and displacing millions. Short of a full-scale foreign military intervention that enables one side to achieve a decisive victory, the combatants in Syria are likely to remain locked in a war of attrition, which has transformed into a theater of proxy confrontations between Arab states and Iran; Russia and the West; Sunnis and Shias. Against the backdrop of tepid negotiation attempts, the debate in Washington has focused on whether to continue to arm the Syrian opposition or to mount airstrikes if Bashar al-Assad’s regime violates certain “red lines.” But the nature of the Syrian war has changed: the international community is now a party to the conflict. Because of this, the time has come for the United States to shift its focus to launching a robust, consistent diplomatic operation.

Mideast Syria Children In Conflict




















































Ahmed, center, mourns his father Abdulaziz Abu Ahmed Khrer, who was killed by a Syrian Army sniper, in Idlib, north Syria. (Rodrigo Abd/AP)



















































Civil wars end when one opponent wins; when combatants negotiate an agreement or when the parties reach (or perceive to reach) a stalemate. The latter often plays out as a scenario in which neither of the sides is able to attain a military victory and, because of massive fatalities, depleted ammunition, and/or loss of external support, seeks to break out of the painful deadlock.

In Syria, the rebels’ support from Sunni extremists as well as the Gulf states, and the West and Assad’s backing by Iran, Russia, and the Shia militant movement Hezbollah makes a definitive military victory by either side unlikely in the short run. A political solution—the most desirable outcome—has thus far proven elusive, not least due to the cleavages in the international community. As it stands, Syria’s war is unlikely to end until the adversaries arrive at the kind of stalemate described above. The problem is it may take years—even decades—until they reach a deadlock too painful to endure.

Consider the civil war in Lebanon from 1975 to 1990 or the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh during the late 1980s and early 1990s. One of the reasons these conflicts became so protracted and brutal was the unconditional support that the different sides received from outside powers in the form of materiel, manpower, training, logistics, financing, and sanctuary. The Israeli, Iranian, Syrian, and Western interference in the Lebanese civil war, and Turkish and Russian involvement in theNagorno-Karabakh conflict persuaded combatants on both sides that they could prevail, thus discouraging them from coming to the negotiating table.

When the war in Syria broke out in March 2011, the United States and its allies had the opportunity to preclude the conflict from morphing into a regional sectarian war. A no-fly zone, coupled with timely and substantial Western military assistance to the Syrian opposition, could have assuaged the conflict in its early days.

But two years later—after we have seen the war engender shockwaves in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, becoming a standoff between regional and international heavyweights—a military intervention will likely freeze the conflict rather than resolve it. (In 1974, the intervention of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Cyprus—in the wake of ethnic cleansing, a military coup against the Greek Cypriot government, and Turkey’s invasion—only congealed the de facto partition of the island without achieving a settlement between its Greek and Turkish communities, backed respectively by the governments of Greece and Turkey. After 39 years, the peacekeeping force is still there.)

Mideast Syria





















































Bodies of Syrian rebels lie on ground where they were killed during an ambush by Syrian forces near the Damascus suburb of Adra, Syria, August 7, 2013, according to the Syrian official news agency SANA. (SANA/AP)



















































The time has come for the United States to shift its focus.

Providing military support to the Syrian regime and its opposition—without simultaneously exerting tangible pressure on both sides to make steps toward a political solution—portends a longer and bloodier war. The Syrian conflict has long passed the point where the opponents are willing or able to reach a solution by themselves. The Assad regime will not accept a political transition while receiving active support from Iran, Russia, and Hezbollah (and tacit backing from Iraq). The rebels, for their part, are unlikely to give up as long as they are backed by Arab Sunni states and anticipating reinforcement from the West. Syria’s civilians, who have suffered displacement and atrocities, have grown polarized and fearful of rival sectarian and ethnic groups. And the spoilers—such as al Qaeda affiliates al-Nusra Front—will continue to exploit the Syrian war and promote their agendas by conflagrating sectarian violence in the region.

As long as the warring sides receive unconditional support from their patrons, they will have no incentive to lay down arms. And so, to begin with, the Western governments and their regional counterparts should reevaluate the conflict, identify common end goals, and find a zone of agreement. They should employ strategically—by attaching stringent conditions to it—the security assistance that they provide to the combatants, so as to compel the Syrian regime and its opposition to come to a negotiating table. They have the stakes to strike a consensus among themselves and the leverage to urge their Syrian clients to make the concessions required for peace. Indeed, international leaders should heed to the lessons of history to avoid the deleterious effects of the continued fight in Syria.

The current stalemate may not be costly enough to force the warring sides to negotiate peace. But it is hurting millions of innocent civilians. It is also hurting Washington’s interests, by destabilizing its regional allies, boosting Iran’s influence, perpetuating sectarian violence, jeopardizing Syria’s chemical arsenal, and spreading Islamist extremism across the Arab world and beyond.







Why Yemen’s al-Qaeda branch is so feared by the West

07 Aug 2013


The closing of embassies in the Middle East and North Africa by the U.S. and other Western countries “due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks” has once again focused attention on the Yemen-based group, al-Qaeda in theArabian Peninsula. In May, U.S. President Barack Obama identified AQAP as the al-Qaeda branch “most active in plotting… 
Police in an armored vehicle secure a road leading to the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. The State Department on Tuesday ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country.






Goodbye, Ahmadinejad: Rouhani takes over as Iran’s president

By CNN Staff
August 5, 2013
Watch this video

Rouhani sworn in as Iran’s new president

  • NEW: U.S. and Israel react to the swearing-in of Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani
  • He officially ends Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s presidency
  • Rouhani is a former military leader
  • He will be a “far more powerful president,” says one analyst

(CNN) — Iran’s new President Hassan Rouhani took the oath of office Sunday, replacing controversial President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani, 65, a cleric considered moderate, won the June elections with reformist backing. He campaigned on a “hope and prudence” platform in which he appealed to traditional conservatives and reform-minded voters alike.

He pledged to improve the economy and unemployment. And as a former nuclear negotiator, he vowed to reduce the high tension between Iran and the outside world by addressing sanctions related to Iran’s nuclear program.

The White House congratulated Rouhani, and in a statement called his inauguration “an opportunity” for Iran to “resolve the international community’s deep concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.” Should Iran decide to engage on the nuclear issue, the statement read “it will find a willing partner in the United States.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking at his weekly cabinet meeting, said the president of Iran may have changed, “but the goal of the regime has not been replaced.”

“Iran’s intention is to develop a nuclear capacity and nuclear weapons in order to destroy the State of Israel,” he added.


On GPS: Who is Hassan Rouhani?


Iranian insider on country’s new leader

Iran insists its nuclear program is purely for civilian nuclear energy.

Fast Facts: Hassan Rouhani

A former commander of the Iranian air defenses, Rouhani led three war and defense councils. He was national security adviser to the president for 13 years before Ahmadinejad took office.

He has three law degrees, including a doctorate from a university in Scotland. As president of Iran’s strategic research center, he regularly publishes essays.

The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is Iran’s supreme leader.

Rouhani will be a “far more powerful president than Ahmadinejad would have ever dreamt — or even, before him, anybody else,” says Hamid Dabashi, a professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University.

“Because his revolutionary credentials are absolutely impeccable. He’s very close to Khamenei” and to the “security and military establishment,” Dabashi told CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

Still, he won’t have the power to make a deal with the West on his own, says Dabashi. “Iran is a very complicated regime consisting of security, intelligence, military and clerical establishments and a network.”

Nazila Fathi, who was a New York Times correspondent in Tehran for 10 years, says Rouhani “is not a reformist, even according to Iranian standards. He had backed the violent crackdown against the pro-democracy student movement in 1999 and never formally aligned himself with the reformist camp.”

Also, it’s not clear whether Khamenei’s “hard-line allies will allow Rouhani to introduce real change,” Fathi, now with Harvard’s Belfer Center, wrote in a column for CNN.com.

“The president sets the tone for domestic and foreign policy and can make room for more moderate voices in politics. But he holds little power compared with the authority that the constitution gives Khamenei. If Khamenei is willing to end international pressure over Iran’s nuclear program, Rouhani provides the perfect opportunity.”

Rouhani: Hawk or dove?

Embracing a hard-liner label

When Ahmadinejad won the presidency of Iran in June 2005, he was a little-known mayor of Tehran.

The son of a blacksmith assumed office billed as a hard-liner — a label he embraced with rhetorical gusto.

Two months into his term, in October, Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped” off the map, repeating a remark from a former ayatollah. Years later, he told CNN, “When we say ‘to be wiped,’ we say for occupation to be wiped off from this world.”

Ahmadinejad speaks to CNN’s Piers Morgan

Also in 2005, he declared the Holocaust a “myth,” promptingcondemnation by the U.N. Security Council.

Then, in April 2006, to a crowd of dignitaries, Ahmadinejad announced that “Iran has joined countries with nuclear technology” — sparking the conflict that continues to this day.

Economy sours

Ahmadinejad created a furor when he flew to New York to address the U.N. General Assembly on its opening day in September 2006.

He took to the podium, defending his own nation’s nuclear ambitions and decrying the nuclear records of other nations. The performance and the headlines that followed set a pattern that would repeat several times over the next seven years.

Back home, Ahmadinejad’s time in office was marked by crackdowns and a economic malaise.

In 2009, he stood for re-election. Officially, he came out on top, but the result was disputed.

Protesters filled the streets, and the Basij, a feared paramilitary group, cracked down. With thousands jailed and scores injured, Ahmadinejad pressed forward. But political protests weren’t his only concerns.

From Iranian rooftops, a view of protest and violence

Fast Facts: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Analyst: Ahmadinejad seeks to remain ‘political force’

Later, as the price of bread and other staples rose, people again people took to the streets. Ahmadinejad responded with riot police and finger pointing, putting the blame for the economic woes on international sanctions.

While he was prevented from seeking a third term, he’s unlikely to willingly give up being a “political force” in the country, says Geneive Abdo, an analyst with the Stimson Center and the Brookings Institution.

While “the odds seem stacked against” him in that effort, Abdo wrote in a column for the CNN GPS blog, “no one seems likely to convince the president to go quietly into the political wilderness.”

CNN’s Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, Shirzad Bozorgmehr, Michael Martinez, Ben Brumfield and Josh Levs contributed to this report.






Turkey: 21 Suspects Acquitted In Coup Trial

05 Aug 2013


August 2013, 12:25 Turkey: 21 Suspects Acquitted In Coup Trial Tweet ATurkish court has acquitted 21 suspects in the trial of 275 people accused of plotting to overthrow the country’s Islamic-rooted government. Nearly 300people, among them military officers, politicians and journalists, are hearing verdicts in the long-running trial. While 21… 
A man, holding a national flag with a poster of Turkey's founder Kemal Ataturk, watches as thousands of Turks clash with security as they try to break through barricades mounted around the prison and courthouse complex in Silivri, in the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, April 8, 2013.

Egypt protesters defy cabinet threat to end sit-ins

01 Aug 2013


Thousands of supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi have defied a new warning from the military-backed cabinet and are continuing their sit-ins in the capital, CairoThe country‘s interim leaders have ordered police to end ongoing protests at two sites in the city. But Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood said they had no option… 
An Egyptian child stands next to poster of the Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where supporters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 31, 2013.


The Ironies of  America`s cold war with Russia come full circle…

Watch this video

Edward Snowden has left Moscow airport

  • U.S. says it isn’t shocked, as Russia had signaled about temporary asylum
  • Lawyer says application for asylum has been approved, he’s left Moscow airport
  • WikiLeaks tweets: “We have won the battle — now the war”
  • Edward Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year

 July 31

Girl, 11: 'I ran away from marriage'

A young Yemeni girl made a YouTube video accusing her parents of trying to marry her off in exchange for money. Her parents dispute the allegation, but the video went viral and has put a spotlight once more on Yemen’s child marriages.FULL STORY | VIDEO  Video | CHILD BRIDE HORRORS LAST A LIFETIME



Israeli-Palestinian peace talks to resume after three years

29 Jul 2013


WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the Palestinians plan to resume peace negotiations this week for the first time in nearly three years after an intense effort by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to bring them back to the table. The talks are scheduled to resume in Washington on Monday evening and Tuesday and will be conducted by senior… 
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas attends the opening session of the Arab league Summit in Sirte, Libya









Rights group slams Egypt over protest deaths

28 Jul 2013


CAIRO: Human Rights Watch on Sunday condemned the deaths of more than 70 people in violence that erupted at protests in Egypt, accusing authorities of a “criminal disregard for people’s lives”. At least 72 people were killed in Cairoalone on Saturday morning, according to the health ministry, at a rally of… 
Egyptians mourn supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi after they were killed in clashes with security forces at Nasr City, where pro-Morsi protesters have held a weeks-long sit-in, in a field hospital in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, July 27, 2013.







Muslim Brotherhood says at least 31 killed in Cairo attack

27 Jul 2013


CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood said at least 31 people were killed on Saturday when security forces opened fire on a protest by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. “They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said. “The bullet wounds are in the head and chest.” The… 
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi throw stones at riot police during clashes at Nasr City, where protesters have installed their camp and hold their daily rally, in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 26, 2013.







China charges ex-politician Bo Xilai with corruption, abuse of power

25 Jul 2013


Published July 25, 2013Associated Press In this March 13, 2012 photo, thenChongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai attends the closing session of the Chinese People‘s Political Consultative Conference held at Beijing‘s Great Hall of the People (AP Photo) BEIJING – Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai was indicted Thursday on… 
Bo Xilai, Chongqing party secretary attends the closing session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, China, Tuesday, March 13, 2012.








Islamism after the Coup in Egypt

23 Jul 2013


In October 1992Cairo was struck by a devastating earthquake, in which nearly 600 people were killed and several thousand injured. Within hours, members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups were out on the streets, clearing the rubble and providing food, blankets and tents to the thousands who had lost their homes. The government of… 
An Egyptian woman runs past a burning scooter that was set on fire during clashes between opponents and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 22, 2013.





Portuguese President Says Coelho Government Will Stay in Office

22 Jul 2013


Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva said the government of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho will stay in office until its term ends in 2015and reaffirmed he doesn’t want to call early elections. “The government has the support of an unequivocal majority in parliament,” Cavaco Silva said in a speech in Lisbon last night. The government will… 
Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, right, and Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva arrive for a swearing in ceremony of new members of the Portuguese government at the Belem presidential palace in Lisbon





Syria’s war children will grow up illiterate: UN

18 Jul 2013


BEIRUTSyria‘s devastating civil war will force a generation of children to grow up illiterate and filled with hate, a UN envoy warned on Thursday as fighting raged on around the country. Leila Zerrougui, the special representative for children and armed conflict, said both sides in the Syrian conflict, now in its third year, continue to commit… 
File - Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, speaks to the press at UN Headquarters. Ms. Zerrougui briefed reporters on her recent visit to Yemen.







20 children die after eating school lunch in India

17 Jul 2013


PATNA, India — At least 20 children died and many others were sick after eating a free school lunch that was tainted by a heavy dose of insecticide,Indian officials said Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how chemicals ended up in the food in a school in the eastern state of Bihar, though one official said the food may not have been… 
In this Tuesday, July 16, 2013 photo, schoolchildren receive treatment at a hospital after falling ill soon after eating a free meal at a primary school in Chhapra district, in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.






Remembering Srebrenica

11 Jul 2013


– The youngest victim only lived for a few hours. Her name was going to beFatima, but she was killed on July 11, 1995, in the Srebrenica “safe area”, where over just a few days, thousands of Bosnian Muslims were killed, most of them men. Among the victims buried today are the bodies of 44 boys, exhumed from mass graves. At the time of death,… 
Over six-hundred coffins lie displayed at the Potocari memorial cemetery near Srebrenica, some 160 kilometers east of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sunday, July 10, 2011.






Apparent car bomb blast rocks Beirut

09 Jul 2013


BEIRUT — A huge explosion rocked southern Beirut early Tuesday in the latest apparent instance of violence from the war in neighboring Syria spilling over into Lebanon. Some media outlets reported at least one dead and more than a dozen people injured, but there was no immediate independent confirmation of the casualty toll. Material damage… 
Security forces and civilians stand at the scene of a bombing in the Beir el-Abed, a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, July 9, 2013.









Egyptian reformers have fallen short

08 Jul 2013


The Arab Spring has come full circle. Two years ago, huge crowds in Tahrir Square called for the removal of a military-backed dictator and for democratic elections. Today, opposition crowds in the same square are cheering the military’s ouster of an elected government. So much for the popular appeal of electoral democracy! Opposition groups… 
Supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi chant slogans during a rally near Cairo University in Giza, Egypt, Sunday, July 7, 2013.







Egypt’s and U.S.’s Hidden Ghost

06 Jul 2013


Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas DarlingThe Egyptian military overthrew their president, not the people. Dave R. Palmer, a U.S. ArmyLieutenant General of the American Revolution, warned about this dangerous precedent back in 1794. Reflecting upon the Declaration of Independence andAmerica‘s new form of government, which eventually… 
Egyptian soldiers stand guard outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, July 5, 2013. Egyptian troops opened fire on mostly Islamist protesters marching on a Republican Guard headquarters Friday to demand the restoration of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, killing at least one.







Egypt army ousts, detains, president Morsi

04 Jul 2013


By Samer Al-AtrushPublished July 03, 2013AFP An Egyptian family celebrates in Cairo on July 3, 2013. Egypt‘s army ousted and detained Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday after a week of deadly clashes and mass protests calling for him to go after a year in office.AFPGraphic with photos explaining the role of Egypt’s army in the country’s… 
Opponents of Egypt's Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi celebrate outside the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, July 3, 2013.







Egypt army ousts Morsi, who decries ‘coup’





























































































 The armed forces ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president Wednesday after just a year in power, installing a temporary civilian government, suspending the constitution and calling for new elections. Islamist President Mohammed Morsi denounced it as a “full coup” by the military.

After the televised announcement by the army chief, millions of anti-Morsi protesters in cities around the country erupted in delirious scenes of joy, with shouts of “God is great” and “Long live Egypt.”








Snowden rumors temporarily ground Bolivian president’s plane in Europe

By Catherine E. Shoichet. Holly Yan and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
July 3, 2013 — Updated 1930 GMT (0330 HKT)
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Austria: Snowden not on Bolivian plane

  • NEW: Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane leaves Europe, heads toward Brazil
  • The plane leaves Austria after officials check it and say Edward Snowden isn’t on board
  • Spain allows the Bolivian plane to make a technical stop in the Canary Islands
  • Bolivia says France denied the plane entry into its airspace, but France says it did not

Bolivian President’s Plane Rerouted Under Suspicion That Edward Snowden Was Aboard

President Evo Morales flew out of Russia Tuesday after expressing sympathy for the former National Security Agency contractor. Bolivian officials said Snowden did not get on the plane with him.


























































































Bolivia’s Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca in La Paz on July 2, Choquehuanca, denying a rumour that Edward Snowden was travelling from Russia to Bolivia.

Image by Gaston Brito / Reuters

Bolivian President Evo Morales’ plane was rerouted Tuesday under suspicion that it was carrying U.S. fugitive and former government contractor Edward Snowden.

During his Russia trip this week, Morales expressed sympathy for the source of the NSA leaks and his search for political asylum. “If there were a request, of course we would be willing to debate and consider the idea,” Morales said during an interview with RT. Snowden has been living in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, waiting for responses on more than 20 asylum applications.

On Tuesday, the plane carrying Morales back to Bolivia from Russia was rerouted to Austria after France and Portugal reportedly banned it from their airspace, suspecting Snowden had snuck on board.

In an earlier press conference, Bolivia’s foreign minister firmly denied the rumor,saying “we don’t know who invented this lie, but we want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales.”

After making the unplanned stop in Austria, Bolivian officials reiterated that Snowden was not on board.

It’s worth noting that Austria, like many other European countries, received a political asylum request from Snowden, but rejected it.

“An application for asylum must be made in Austria. We state under the rule of law and must follow the same procedure in all cases,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said. But Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said Snowden wouldn’t be deported if he came to Austria as “there is no international arrest warrant” for him.

Meanwhile, a tweet from WikiLeaks condemning the countries that forced the plane to land has only increased speculation that Snowden is — or was — on board.









Egypt on edge as President Morsi rebuffs army 48-hour coup ultimatum

02 Jul 2013


In a statement issued at 2am by President Morsi’s office, Egypt‘s leader rebuffed the army’s 48-hour deadline to meet the demands of the people, despite warnings that they would mount a military coup. Nine hours afterGeneral Abdel Fattah al-Sisi delighted Morsi’s opponents by effectively ordering the president to heed the demands of demonstrators,… 
Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohammed Morsi wave national flags and his posters during a rally in Nasser City, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 1, 2013.








Croatia Joins European Union As 28th Member

01 Jul 2013


Croatia on Sunday became the 28th member of the European Union.Fireworks were set off at midnight, when the membership became effective, as President Ivo Josipovic called the event historic. But despite the festivities, not all Croatians are excited to be joining the EU. While the country has come far since the collapse of the former… 
A street scene is reflected in the window of a library with an EU flag on display in downtown Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday, June 30, 2013.






Syria Death Toll: 100,000 Killed In War, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Says

27 Jun 2013


BEIRUT — More than 100,000 people have been killed since the start ofSyria‘s conflict over two years ago, an activist group said Wednesday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking the death toll in the conflict through a network of activists in Syria, released its death toll at a time when hopes for a… 
This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Revolution Against Assad's Regime which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows dead bodies on a street in Aleppo, Syria Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.






Western, Wailing Wall or Bloody Wall?

27 Jun 2013


Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas Darling Walls and temples were the first bureaucratic structures and institutional monuments in the ancient world.Along with housing deities and promising protection, they were built by the poor and oppressed, the hungry and starving, and sometimes with slaves captured during wars of conquest. There many… 
The Western Wall, or Wailing Wall is what is left of the Temple Mount where Jewish come to mourn the destruction of their Holy Temple by the Romans under Titus, in the year 70. It is Judaism most sacred site




Over 7 million refugees in 2012: UN

19 Jun 2013
Zee Media Bureau United Nations: At least 7.6 million people were forced to become refugees in 2012 reportedly highest since 1994. Syria crisis played an…
Newly arrived Syrian refugees wait as Turkish soldiers walk by in a camp, in Boynuyogun, Turkey, Tuesday, June 14, 2011.








Iranians revel as new president hails ‘victory of moderation’

Supporters of moderate cleric Hassan Rohani hold a picture of him as they celebrate his victory in Iran's presidential election on a pedestrian bridge in Tehran June 15, 2013. REUTERS/Fars News/Sina Shiri




Hassan Rouhani leads Iran presidential election vote count

15 Jun 2013
Early results from Iran‘s presidential election put the reformist-backed candidate, Hassan Rouhani, in the lead. With 2.9m ballots counted, the cleric had 1.46m votes, or 49.87%, well ahead of Tehran mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, with 488,000 votes, or 16.65%. If no candidate wins more than 50%, a run-off will be held next Friday. Electoral…
Iranian women line up to vote in the presidential and municipal council elections at a polling station in Qom, 78 miles (125 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 14, 2013.





‘We Face a Very Serious Chinese Military Threat’

Japan’s former defense minister talks to FP about cyberattacks, the East China Sea face-off, and whether North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is a puppet dictator.








Turkish leaders at odds over protests

04 Jun 2013
ANKARA, TurkeyTurkish riot police launched round after round of tear gas against protesters Monday, the fourth day of violent demonstrations, as the president and the prime minister staked competing positions on the unrest. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the protesters’ demands that he resign and dismissed the demonstrations…
Protesters run for cover during clashes with riot police near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Monday, June 3, 2013. Turkish riot police launched round after round of tear gas against protesters on Monday, the fourth day of violent demonstrations.






Syria President Bashar al-Assad says Golan will be new war front



SYRIA’S President Bashar al-Assad has threatened to open “a new front” against Israel in the Golan Heights, as his country’s civil war worsens.

He also blamed “Israeli escalation” for the growing role of the militant Shia group Hezbollah in trying to shore up his regime.

In an interview on the Hezbollah-owned TV station al-Manar, Assad said Hezbollah was now in Syria because Israel was involved.

“There is pressure by the people to open a new front in the Golan,” he said. “Even among the Arab world there is a clear readiness to join the fight against Israel.”

Assad also insisted that Russia would deliver all the weapons his regime had purchased, which would include the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles Israel has called on Russia not to provide to Syria.





Russia: Iran must join Syria peace conference

29 May 2013
Russia has said that it is imperative for Iran to join a proposed peace conference on Syria despite reservations from some Western nations. “The issue of Iran is key for us,” said Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, while on a visit to Paris on Tuesday. “Iran, without question, is one of the most important nations.” Russia has argued that…
In this Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012 photo, a Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria.






Russia’s Soyuz Spacecraft Docks with ISS

29 May 2013
MOSCOW / BAIKONUR, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – The Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft, carrying three new crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), docked with the station on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos said. “The spacecraft…
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz TMA-09M space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, May 29, 2013.






Sweden Sill  Hunts Suspects After A Week Of Violent Riots

















Frontier Fire







NBA Star Rodman Asks N. Korea to Release Jailed American

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game, Pyongyang, Feb. 28, 2013.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and former NBA star Dennis Rodman watch North
Korean and U.S. players in an exhibition basketball game, Pyongyang, Feb. 28, 2013.




U.S. Federal Government Hunkers Down For Massive Cyber Attack Tuesday


“On 7 May 2013, a group of mostly Middle East- and North Africa-based criminal hackers are preparing to launch a cyber attack campaign known as ‘OpUSA’ against websites of high-profile US Government agencies, financial institutions, and commercial entities,” reads a warning sent across federal agencies earlier this month. “The attacks likely will result in limited disruptions and mostly consist of nuisance-level attacks against publicly accessible webpages and possibly data exploitation. Independent of the success of the attacks, the criminal hackers likely will leverage press coverage and social media to propagate an anti-US message.”








China’s Military Moves Into Large-Scale Deployment Of Drones






Greek parliament approves 15000 civil service job cuts

29 Apr 2013
The Greek parliament passed a bill on Sunday which will see up to 15,500 public-sector workers laid off by 2015. The job cuts are among conditions set by the EU and IMF in return for €8.8 billion in emergency loans. By News Wires (text) Greece’s Parliament approved an emergency bill Sunday to pave the way for thousands of public sector…
A protester burns an effigy depicting a Greek worker, watched by photographers and others, during a protest in front of the Parliament in Athens, Sunday April 28, 2013.














Former Pakistani President Detained After Dramatic Escape From Court








Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuelan Presidential Election.. Chavez’s Heir Earns 50.7 Percent Of Votes To Challenger’s 49.1 Percent.. Margin Of Victory Just 235,000 Ballots.. Capriles: ‘The People Don’t Love You’.. Expert: ‘Official Winner Appears As The Biggest Loser’







U.S., China agree on North Korea denuclearization push

13 Apr 2013
BEIJING (Reuters) – The United States and China agreed on Saturday to make a joint effort to push for the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, following weeks of bellicose rhetoric from North Korea and rising tensions in northeast Asia. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks to U.S. embassy staff at a “Meet and…
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on April 13, 2013.





Obama Urges Pyongyang To End Belligerent Rhetoric




Amnesty: Progress in Ending Global Death Penalty

10 Apr 2013
LONDON (AP) — Iraq executed almost twice as many people last year compared to the year before, while India and Pakistan resumed executions after abandoning the practice for years, global human rights group Amnesty International said Tuesday. Connect With Us on Twitter Follow @nytimesworld for international breaking news and headlines. Twitter…
The gurney used to restrain condemned prisoners during the lethal injection process is shown in the Texas death house Tuesday, May 27, 2008 in Huntsville, Texas. For decades, the Supreme Court declined to address execution methods and whether such punishment should apply to child rapists. In its latest term, the court addressed both, but neither ruling solves capital punishment arguments. Instead, there will be even more litigation claiming lethal injection causes extreme suffering, say death penalty oppo







U.S. government, business leaders push China on cyberattacks, Internet censorship



















NKorea’s ‘Treasure’ Will Not Be Traded For ‘Billions Of Dollars’






Bersani Fails To Form Government In Italy



Pope Francis celebrates inauguration mass before huge crowd

19 Mar 2013
Pope Francis celebrated his inauguration mass on Tuesday before an estimated crowd of two lakh people, as well as the president of his home country of Argentina and other world leaders. The 76-year-old was elected the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church — the first from the Americas — on Wednesday, following the surprise resignation…
Pope Francis blesses the faithful in St. Peter's Square during his inauguration Mass at the Vatican, Tuesday, March 19, 2013.











Iran steps up weapons lifeline to Assad

By Louis Charbonneau

  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili in Damascus February 3, 2013, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA. REUTERS/Sana

    View PhotoReuters/Reuters – Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili in Damascus February 3, 2013, in this handout photograph released by Syria..



Black Plumes At Vatican Mean There’s No New Pope Yet








Nicolas Maduro sworn in as acting Venezuelan President

09 Mar 2013
Nicolas Maduro raises his fist after he was sworn in as Venezuela's acting president by the President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, right, at the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, March 8, 2013.















Mexico’s President Sends Warning Shot To Party… But Critics Say These Are The Same Old Tactics





Kenya’s Upcoming Election Haunted By ’07 Violence




U.S. To Send $60 Million In Nonlethal Aid To Syrian Rebels.. Direct Support Marks Washington Policy Shift.. ‘No Nation, No People Should Live In Fear Of Their So-Called Leaders’.. U.S. Aid To Up Pressure On Assad To Step Down



The cult of Silvio Berlusconi: Why Italians keep voting for ‘Il Cavaliere’

By Bill Emmott, Special to CNN
February 27, 2013

Back in contention: Silvio Berlusconi delivers a speech at a rally in Rome on February 7, 2013.

  • Scandal-plagued three time ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi finished second in Italy’s election
  • Italians and non-Italians have very different views of Berlusconi, argues journalist Bill Emmott
  • For all his faults, Emmott says Berlusconi did better than most at listening to his voters






Everything You Need To Know About Italy’s Upcoming Elections









New IAEA Report Reveals Iran’s Nuclear Advances.. Israel: ‘Iran Is Closer Than Ever To Achieving Enrichment For A Nuclear Bomb’.. U.S. Calls Move ‘Yet Another Provocative Step’








…But What Does That Mean For Venezuela?








Iran’s Supreme Leader Accosts Ahmadinejad For Attacking Political Rivals.. Mudslinging Reveals High Stakes In Upcoming Presidential Election.. Ahmadinejad Shows No Signs Of Going Quietly Into Retirement









Ayatollah Says Iran Will Control Nuclear Aims

17 Feb 2013
TEHRAN — Iran’s supreme leader said Saturday that his country was not seeking nuclear weapons but added that if Iran ever decided to build them, no “global power” could stop it. Related Nuclear Watchdog Says No Deal Reached With Iran
In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, waves to the crowd at the conclusion of his speech in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.

‘We Will Be Judged Against The Tragedy That Has Unfolded Before Our Eyes’








Ahmadinejad Vs. Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran’s President, Supreme Leader Clash Over Political Authority

Reuters  |  Posted: 02/08/2013

Ahmadinejad Ayatollah Khamenei








Iran’s Supreme Leader Rejects U.S. Offer Of Direct Negotiations.. Washington Tightens Sanctions To Target Censorship





Pakistani Ambassador Gives U.S. Stern Warning Over Drone Strikes









Egyptian Opposition Claims Police Kill Activist Through Beating, Electrocution And Choking.. 60 Dead In Two Weeks Of Protests.. Brutal Crackdown Caught On Video







Human Rights Watch: Authoritarianism in Russia Reaches Level ‘Unknown In Recent History’.. Political Crackdown Under Putin Worst Since Soviet Era..







Israeli jets strike convoy along Syrian border

January 31, 2013
Watch this video

Syria: Israel bombed research facility

  • Damascus said the strike had instead targeted a research facility near the Syrian capital
  • Israelis believe the convoy was carrying SA-17 missile parts, a source says
  • Official: The United States does not believe the airstrike was linked to chemical weapons
  • There are concerns about the security of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal





Peace envoy says Syria is ‘being destroyed’

30 Jan 2013
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The international envoy to Syria told the Security Council on Tuesday that “Syria is being destroyed bit by bit” and his mediation effort cannot go forward unless the council unites to push the Syrian governmentand opposition forces toward some compromise. The Security Council has been divided over Syria for months, with the…
Syrians clear the rubble of a house which was destroyed in a government airstrike on Saturday, in Kal Jubrin, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012.




South Korea launches rocket carrying satellite in battle for space supremacy

 30 Jan 2013
Launch of 140-tonne rocket likely to anger North Korea, which incurred tougher UN sanctions after December launch The rocket takes off from its launchpad at Naro, south of Seoul: South Korea has twice before failed to put a satellite into space. Photograph: Kari/AFP/Getty Images
In this photo released by Korea Aerospace Research Institute, South Korea's rocket lifts off from its launch pad at the Naro Space Center in Goheung, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.
















North Korea’s Leader Vows Strong Action Following New UN Sanctions







Former prime minister is elected president of Czech Republic

27 Jan 2013
PRAGUE — Milos Zeman, a former leftist prime minister and economist known for his outspoken populism, was elected president of the Czech Republic on Saturday, becoming the country’s first popularly elected president. The election of Zeman, 68, an avowed supporter of European integration, signals the end of the era of Vaclav Klaus, the president for…
Presidential candidate Milos Zeman smiles while addressing the media after announcement of the preliminary results of the presidential elections in Prague, Czech Republic, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013.



Fears grow that lawless Libya is incubator for region’s turmoil

27 Jan 2013
Libya‘s upheaval the past two years helped lead to the conflict in Mali, and now Mali’s war threatens to wash back and further hike Libya’s instability. Fears are growing that post-Moammar Khadafy Libya is becoming an incubator of turmoil, with an overflow of weapons and Islamic jihadi militants operating freely, ready for battlefields at home or…
File - A crowd of demonstrators protest the ongoing use of weapons by rebel militias inside of Tripoli and the accompanying atmosphere of lawlessness. Some wave banners demanding disarmament of the militias and the creation of a national army, 7 Dec, 2011.







Chavez Undergoes New Medical Treatment in Cuba

27 Jan 2013
A Venezuelan government spokesman says President Hugo Chavez has begun a new round of medical treatment in Cuba, after battling complications from cancer surgery performed more than a month ago. Information Minister Ernesto Villegas, speaking…
In this photo provided by Miraflores Presidential Press Office, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks during a cabinet meeting at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.
photo: AP / Miraflores Presidential Press Office









China’s mass annual New Year migration begins

Chinese travellers arrive to board trains as the annual Lunar New Year exodus begins at Beijing train station on January 26, 2013. The holiday also known as the Spring Festival sees tens of millions of migrant workers who provide the labour in the country's prosperous cities return to their villages and towns to spend time with the famillies left behind.
Chinese travellers arrive to board trains as the annual Lunar New Year exodus begins at Beijing train station on January 26, 2013. The holiday also known as the Spring Festival sees tens of millions of migrant workers who provide the labour in the country’s prosperous cities return to their villages and towns to spend time with the famillies left behind.
Chinese travellers arrive to board trains as the annual Lunar New Year exodus begins at Beijing train station on January 26, 2013. Passengers will log 220 million train rides during the 40-day travel season, the Ministry of Railways estimates, as they criss-cross the country to celebrate with their families on February 10.
Chinese travellers arrive to board trains as the annual Lunar New Year exodus begins at Beijing train station on January 26, 2013. Passengers will log 220 million train rides during the 40-day travel season, the Ministry of Railways estimates, as they criss-cross the country to celebrate with their families on February 10.

AFP – The world’s largest annual migration began Saturday in China with tens of thousands in the capital boarding trains to journey home for next month’s Lunar New Year celebrations.

Passengers will log 220 million train rides during the 40-day travel season, the Ministry of Railways estimates, as they criss-cross the country to celebrate with their families on February 10.

Many spend weeks at home for the most important holiday of the Chinese calendar, with the travel period spanning about two weeks before and after the Lunar New Year, also known as Spring Festival.

Travellers streamed into Beijing Railway Station on Saturday afternoon carrying heavy bags and boxes, while one man had strapped to his back a sack twice as thick and nearly as tall as him.

Just as making the trip home can be laborious — often lasting one or two days — so can simply acquiring a seat on the train, and every year complaints arise about the inefficiency or unfairness of the system.

For the second year in a row, New Year’s travellers have been able to purchase tickets online and avoid long queues.

But those without Internet access were shut out while tech-savvy buyers used plug-ins and other software to facilitate purchases, leading some trips to sell out in minutes and prompting complaints.

One traveller heading home from Beijing to eastern Zhejiang province told AFP it took him seven days to book a ticket online, while a migrant worker said he did not even know how to use a computer.

But the thick queues at station counters commonplace in previous years were not seen on Saturday, and people mostly appeared to be picking up tickets before heading home.

Police, some armed with machine guns, kept watch over the massive flows of people. About 70,000 officers were deployed to train stations nationwide on Saturday, the Xinhua state news agency reported.








Protests in Cairo  Commemorate 2 Years of Revolution



Thousands of protesters remained in Cairo’s Tahrir Square late Friday despite thick clouds of tear gas, after a day of nationwide demonstrations on the second anniversary of the revolution that toppled President Hosni Mubarak.












N Korea threatens nuclear expansion

23 Jan 2013
United Nations – On Tuesday the UN Security Council unanimously condemned North Korea‘s December rocket launch and expanded existing UN sanctions, eliciting a vow from Pyongyang to boost the North‘s military and nuclear capabilities. While the resolution approved by the 15-nation council does not impose new sanctions on Pyongyang, diplomats said…
A wide view of the Security Council as they discuss adopting resolution 2087 (2013), condemning the 12 December 2012 launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), using ballistic missile technology, 22 January, 2013.
photo: UN / JC McIlwaine







Cameron Promises UK Vote On Exiting The EU







UN Report Reveals Ongoing Afghanistan Prisoner Abuse




Oxfam says world’s rich could end poverty

20 Jan 2013
The world‘s 100 richest people earned enough money last year to end world extreme poverty four times over, according to released by international rights group and charity Oxfam. The $240 billion net income of the world’s 100 richest billionaires would have ended poverty four times over, according to the London-based group’s report released on…
File - A beggar woman shielding her children from the sun in Srinagar, India, on July 09 2012.
photo: WN / Imran Nissar




Algeria Hostage Crisis Enters 4th Day; Foreigners Still Trapped

Reuters  |  Posted: 01/19/2013

Algeria Hostages
Roadblocks prevent the access of the Tigentourine gas plant where hostages have been kidnapped by Islamic militants, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013. The hostage crisis in the remote desert of Algeria is not over, Britain said Friday, after an Algerian raid on the gas plant to wipe out Islamist militants and free their captives from at least 10 countries unleashed bloody chaos. (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)








Al-Qaeda in the Heart of Africa

18 Jan 2013
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” is Newton’s third law of physics. Its counterpart in geopolitics is “blowback,” when military action in one sphere produces an unintended and undesirable consequence in another. September 11, 2001, was blowback. George H.W. Bush had sent an army of half a…
File - Senegalese and Malian soldiers train with U.S. special forces in Mali during a military training engagement, May 11, 2010 in Bamako, Mali as part of Exercise Flintlock 10.
photo: US Army / Staff Sgt. Michael R. Noggle

Hostage crisis fails to stop French move in Mali

18 Jan 2013
BAMAKO — A hostage crisis in Algeria on Thursday did not stop French forces in Mali as a ground assault intensified, European Union (EU) foreign ministers pledged support for Mali and the first African forces from Nigeria were expected in Bamako. EU foreign ministers agreed at an emergency meeting in Brussels, attended by Mali’s Foreign Minister,…
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech at the beginning of a social conference with unions and employers, at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council of France (CESE) headquarters in Paris, Monday July 9, 2012.
photo: AP / Thibault Camus








Siege awakens ghosts of Algeria’s ‘dirty war’

18 Jan 2013
The twin crises unfolding either side of the Sahara Desert in Mali and Algeria are closely interlinked – the Islamist groups in Mali have their roots in Algeria, while the kidnappers who have just struck in Algeria say they are acting in revenge for France‘s intervention against their allies to the south. While some analysts have said it would…
In this undated image released Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013, by BP petroleum company, showing the Amenas natural gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013.
photo: AP / BP








Algerian Military Allegedly Kills 34 Hostages, Including Americans, in Botched Helicopter Strike (Updates)
Jan 17, 2012

Algerian Military Allegedly Kills 34 Hostages, Including Americans, in Botched Helicopter Strike (Updates)


Algerian militants are claiming that as many as 34 hostages, including at least six foreigners, and 15 of their kidnappers were killed on Thursday in a helicopter attack undertaken by the Algerian military as the hostages were being moved to another location. A day earlier, 41 foreigners — including Norwegian, Japanese, British and American citizens — and more than 100 Algerians had been kidnapped at a natural gas complex in the southern part of the country. According to the Algerian military, the operation is “ongoing.”

UPDATE:  According to the Algerian APS news agency, four foreign hostages have been freed by the Algerian army, though no other details have been provided. BBC News security correspondent Frank Gardner reports the following:

A UK Government official has confirmed to me that a “proactive Algerian military operation to free the hostages is under way”. They cannot confirm if there is any truth in militant claims of a helicopter strike killing kidnappers and captives in a bus.

BP is withdrawing non-essential workers from Algeria, says CNBC. They have since released a press release, which you can read here.





Obama, Netanyahu seem headed for US-Israel clash

17 Jan 2013
AMY TEIBEL Associated Press= JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel‘s premier on Wednesday dismissed President Barack Obama‘s reported displeasure with his hard-line policies toward the Palestinians, a sisgn that the two could be headed for a showdown….
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden talk with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel prior to his departure from the White House, July 6, 2010.
photo: White House / Pete Souza








India-Pakistan truce takes hold in Kashmir

17 Jan 2013
A ceasefire took hold on Thursday in disputed Kashmir after the Indian and Pakistani armies agreed to halt deadly cross-border firing that had threatened to unravel a fragile peace process. As the foreign minister of Pakistan appealed for talks with her Indian counterpart to help defuse tensions, senior officers reported that calm had returned to…
Indian soldiers patrol through about five feet snow in Churunda village on January 13, 2013, northwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Administered Kashshmir, India. The village with a population of a little over 12,000 people has been bearing the brunt of cross-fire between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan.
photo: WN / Imran Nissar














Syria conflict causing ‘staggering’ humanitarian crisis

14 Jan 2013
The Middle East faces a “staggering” humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in Syria, an aid agency says. With more then 600,000 Syrians having fled the…
Men help a wounded civilian after a mortar attack in the Saif al-Dawlah neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013.








Australian Wildfires Devastate Hundreds.. ‘People Have Lost Everything’.. Mind-Blowing Photos Capture Destruction.. Incredible Survivor Stories.. Record-Breaking Heat Due To Climate Change?..






UN Chief Rejects Assad’s ‘Peace Offer’










 Point of View: The British and their bizarre view of Americans

Fan in stars and stripes sunglasses at the London Olympics

We lap up their culture, adopt their economics and are obsessed with the “special relationship”. So why do British people have such a confused – even negative – view of Americans, asks writer Will Self.

In 1976 my American mother took me to see Tom Stoppard’s two short plays, Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land. The former was a rather prescient – or possibly only perennial – farce about libidinous politicos and a prurient press.