News items from readers for Aug. 2 – 2015

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

47 Replies to “News items from readers for Aug. 2 – 2015”

  1. Turkish troops ‘hit by suicide bomber’ in Dogubayezit (BBC, Aug 2, 2015)

    “Two Turkish security troops have died and 24 wounded in a suicide attack by Kurdish PKK militants, according to the regional governor’s office. A tractor laden with explosives was driven at a military police station, reports by Turkish media say. The attack happened near the town of Dogubayazit in Agri province, close to Turkey’s border with Iran.

    Since 24 July, Turkey has carried out hundreds of air raids on PKK bases on both sides of the Iraq-Turkey border. The Turkish state news agency, Anadolu, said that the attack happened at around 03:00 local time (00:00 GMT). It said that the tractor was carrying two tons of explosives that were detonated by a suicide bomber.”

  2. UAE arrests: 41 accused of trying to establish caliphate (BBC, Aug 2, 2015)

    “Authorities in the United Arab Emirates say 41 people will go on trial for trying to “seize power and establish a caliphate” in the Gulf nation.

    The state news agency said the group comprised foreigners and UAE nationals.

    Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish said the suspects planned to “carry out terrorist acts on UAE territories”.

    It is the latest in a series of trials against Islamists in the UAE. Rights groups have attacked the fairness of the hearings.

    The group had a “takfiri” ideology, Mr Kubaish said – referring to an extremist Sunni Muslim belief pursued by the so-called Islamic State.

    “Takfir” is the practice of one Muslim declaring another an apostate – and one which IS has used to carry out punishments.

    In July 2013, 68 Islamists were jailed without right of appeal after being accused of a plot to overthrow the UAE’s government.

    One human rights observer said the verdict “cemented the UAE’s reputation as a serious abuser of basic human rights”.

    And in January last year, a court in the capital Abu Dhabi convicted 30 people over links to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party.

    The defendants were said to be linked to an Emirati Islamist political society, al-Islah, which prosecutors asserted was a branch of the Egypt-based Brotherhood. But al-Islah says it favours peaceful reform and denies ties to the Islamist movement.”

  3. As Chinese shares fall, the real fear is that the economy itself is grinding to a halt

    If the programs to prevent another major crash and depression are being used correctly I haven’t seen it, the governments are still trying to use big government programs to prevent things that should be left to the private sector. I know it is heresy to most but the Great Depression wasn’t caused by the massive speculation of people gambling in the market it was caused,deepened and extended by the big government programs that were suppose to revive the economy. And from a technical view point the Great Depression wasn’t over until after WWII when there was a tax cut that allowed the private sector to keep enough money to increase consumer spending.

      • I haven’t taken the time to study his time in control of Argentina, I do know that during the early days of WWII he was in Germany studying their socialized medical system. He used this as the wedge issue to keep the little people on his side after he held a coup. I also know that most of the officers in the Argentine military and Naval services didn’t want a civil war like the Spanish civil war and thus remained quiet during the various coups of that time period. W.E.B. Griffin has done a fictionalized series on that period from the point of view of an OSS officer in Argentina during WWII. As I said previously I haven’t studied that period in that nation so I don’t know how close to reality his books are. Even if they aren’t real good on history (Griffins books on the US military are very close to reality and his Brotherhood of War books contain so much truth you sometimes wonder how he had the nerve to tell the stories) they are a good read, as are all of his books. The books on the OSS in Argentina are the Honor Bound series.

        • Sorry you were talking about the Pope, a bad headache is making me to misunderstand at times. Yes he had to compromise but I understand that the seminary he went to teaches liberation theology more Marx then Christ so he is pretty much a Marxist of some flavor. I think I am going to take a pain pill and vegetate with Louis Lamour for a while.

          • So hot here today, everybody’s got headache and I’m dealing pain-killers. Must be more than heat – not thermal inversion, but other envirmental weirdness.

            Not this bad, though:

            Massive sand storm swallows Amman, flights diverted to Ben Gurion
            Extreme weather patterns and strong winds whipped the Jordanian desert sands across the country, causing near blackout conditions in the nation’s capital.


  4. IITALY – 3 Egyptian refugees (16 -17 y o ) rape woman and almost kill the manager of the center they were housed in

    ( in Italian ) :
    Frosinone, immigrati violentano operatrice in un centro d’accoglienza
    [ Muslim ]Man arrested for raping, attempting to kill ex-wife

    – Verona, July 29 – Carabinieri military police on Wednesday arrested a man after he raped, beat, and attempted to kill his estranged wife.
    The Tunisian national named as Abdelkader Cheriff was arrested in the northern town of Villafranca di Verona after he dragged his Moroccan ex-wife into a garage where he beat her, stabbed her in the throat, and raped her while she was unconscious.

    A neighbor alerted police after hearing the commotion.

    The couple had split a year ago and had met to talk but the meeting degenerated, police said.

  5. Syria Qaeda posts video of ‘capture’ of US-trained rebels

    Al-Qaeda’s Syria branch has posted a video purportedly showing its capture last week of members of a US-trained rebel force it accuses of aiding US-led air strikes against its fighters.

    The Pentagon denied on Thursday that any graduates of its training programme for moderate rebels had been captured in Syria.

    But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that eight members of the 54-strong Division 30 unit inserted into Aleppo province in mid-July were being held by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

    The video released by Al-Nusra on its YouTube account on Saturday appears to show at least some of the captured rebel fighters.

    It depicts five men walking through a field in a straight line, hands behind their heads, supervised by one hooded man and one armed man.

    One of the apparently detained men tells the camera he was recruited by the US, through intermediaries, to receive training in Turkey for a month and a half.

    He said the trainees were each given an M16 assault rifle and some cash to “fight Al-Nusra” in Syria.

    A hooded man identifying himself as an Al-Nusra member said the jihadist group had “cut the hand of the West and the Americans in Syria” by capturing the men.

    “Their collaboration with the West is clear,” he said, accusing the detained men of helping US-led air strikes against Al-Nusra positions.

    While the Islamic State group has been the main focus of the coalition bombing campaign, Al-Nusra too has been targeted despite its fierce hostility to its jihadist rival.

    In an online statement it published on Friday, Al-Nusra called Division 30 “agents of American interests and projects in the region.”

    The same day, it launched an offensive against Division 30’s headquarters.

    In a statement on Facebook, the US-trained rebel group said five of its fighters had been killed and 18 wounded in the battle for the base.

    Under the cover of US-led air strikes, the remaining forces withdrew to the Afrin area of Aleppo province, which is held by Kurdish militia.

    At least 25 Al-Nusra fighters were killed, the Observatory said.

  6. Russian security forces kill 8 suspected Islamic State militants in Russia’s North Caucasus

    MOSCOW – Russia’s counterterrorism agency says its forces in North Caucasus have killed eight militants who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State group.

    The Anti-Terrorist Committee said Sunday that the militants killed in combat in the province of Ingushetia west of Chechnya were involved in a series of attacks on police. It added that they had recently swore an oath of allegiance to IS.

    The agency said those killed included the group’s leader, Adam Tagilov, who was accused of staging December’s attack in Chechnya’s provincial capital, Grozny, which left 25 people dead. The raid dented the carefully nurtured image of stability under Chechnya’s strongman.

    Russian officials said more than 1,000 Russian nationals have joined the Islamic State group and voiced fears they could pose a major threat when they return.

  7. Iran wants to buy 90 planes a year to renovate fleet

    Iran plans on buying 80 to 90 Airbus and Boeing passenger planes per year until 300 are in place to replace its ageing fleet, media reported Sunday quoting a civil aviation official.

    Civil Aviation Organisation (CAO) deputy chief Mohammad Khodakarami said the July 14 nuclear deal struck with Western powers lifts a ban preventing Iran from purchasing new planes and spare parts.

    “We must add 80 to 90 planes to our fleet each year in order to have 300 new and operational ones,” Khodakarami was quoted as saying.

    He said the CAO would renovate the national fleet by purchasing an equal number of Airbus and Boeing planes at an estimated cost of $20 billion (18.2 billion euros).

    An embargo dating from 1995 prevents Western manufacturers from selling equipment and spare parts to Iranian companies.

    The restrictions, which have been blamed for crippling the industry, were partially lifted by an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme that came into force in January 2014.

    This allowed for the sale of spare parts, though direct sales of planes remained banned.

    Khodakarami said the historic deal struck in July “stipulates clearly that the ban on buying or leasing planes as well as the transfer of engines or spare parts has been lifted”.

    In May, Transport Minister Abbas Akhoundi said that Iranian airlines had obtained 15 used planes since February as part of efforts to renovate the country’s ageing fleet.

    And Iranian aviation officials said in April that the country would need 400 to 500 passenger planes in the next decade.

    The Iranian fleet has around 140 aircraft, most 20 years old and in desperate need of replacement.–planes-a-year-to-renovate-fleet.aspx

  8. Prison for Afghan mullah who raped a 10-year-old girl inside his mosque

    Extraordinary events have taken place inside a Kabul courtroom this week. Back in May, a 10-year-old girl was raped inside a mosque in a remote Afghan village. The mullah responsible – Mohammad Amin – had asked three young girls to clean for him when he started behaving inappropriately. The girls made a run for it, only one of them tripped and fell in a stream. Amin dragged her back inside the mosque, where she was raped and left with serious injuries.

    According to Sharia Law, which the Mullah tried to rely on in court, rape is considered a form of adultery for which both parties are responsible. Amin’s defence lawyers argued that he should be sentenced to 100 lashes and then released – but that would have meant the girl also receiving the same punishment.

    However, Judge Mohammad Suliman Rasuli slammed Amin’s defence, pointing out that the victim “cannot commit adultery; she is a child. This is rape.” Instead, the judge sentenced Amin to 20 years in prison.

    Human rights campaigners have welcomed the judge’s stance on the case, especially after reports came to light alleging that the girl’s family had considered killing her because of the shame that had been brought upon the family. This practice – known as an ‘honour killing’ – is relatively common against rape victims in Afghanistan, where rape was not even a crime until a landmark law was brought in to eliminate violence against women and girls in 2009.

    The girl’s life was saved after the group Women for Afghan Women stepped in and urged the family to support their daughter. They sheltered the girl and paid for her family’s travel expenses to attend the trial in Kabul.

    During the trial, the girl kept her face covered but wept uncontrollably as the prosecutor read out the Mullah’s confession and the report detailing her injuries. However, at the point where Amin tried to claim she had seduced him, she pulled aside her veil and spoke to him directly: “Hey liar, hey liar,” she said. “God hate you, you are dirt, you are dirt, you are a vampire.”

    The girl, who was not called upon to speak, insisted she be heard, and also said, “You shamed me, liar, you destroyed my life, you brought shame to my father.” Addressing the judge, she said, “Please, director, hang him.”

    However, it has been reported that after the trial, the girl’s father did not look at or speak to his daughter. The girl reportedly tried to follow her father after he turned his back and walked out of the courtroom but she stopped when she saw that he was not going to speak to her. Heartbreakingly, she just gazed at him until his back was gone.

  9. Referendum on temporary refugee camp held in Slovak city of Gabcikovo

    A referendum on setting up a temporary refugee camp is being held in Gabcikovo in Southern Slovakia on Sunday.

    “People want to live in peace and security. The referendum was announced following a petition that was signed by 3,148 people,” announced Mayor Ivan Fenes on Sunday. Gabcikovo has 4,300 voters.

    The Slovak Government has recently made an agreement with Austria on placing 500 refugees seeking asylum in Austria on a temporary basis at the Gabcikovo facility, which in the past also served as a refugee camp. Slovakia will provide food and shelter to the migrants while their asylum procedures are being dealt with in Austria.

    Many people in Gabcikovo appeared to be afraid that their security may be endangered by the presence of the asylum seekers. Fenes conceded that there were refugees in Gabcikovo in the past, but “times were different back then”.

    “Times are far more tumultuous now, especially abroad. Problems emerged when there were more than 800 refugees; we also registered pretty serious problems then. Even 100 refugees would be too many for a village with 5,000 inhabitants,” said Fenes, adding that the locals were happy when the facility was shut down for refugees six years ago.

    Nevertheless, the Slovak Interior Ministry cited Slovak Constitution, declaring that results of the local referendum won’t by binding for the state. Slovak Police Corps president Tibor Gaspar has announced that the police will boost its presence in Gabcikovo, with additional ten officers set to be allocated to the local police station.


    Un village slovaque s’oppose par référendum à l’accueil de migrants

    Les habitants du village de Gabcikovo, dans le sud de la Slovaquie, ont massivement refusé par référendum dimanche l’accueil de 500 migrants qui doivent arriver chez eux d’Autriche en vertu d’un accord entre Bratislava et Vienne. Le taux de rejet a atteint 97%.

    Quelque 2600 habitants de Gabcikovo sur 4300 ont participé au vote. Seuls 102 d’entre eux se sont prononcés en faveur de l’accueil de migrants, a indiqué le chef de la commission électorale.

    Les autorités locales ont organisé la consultation à la suite d’une pétition signée par 3150 habitants du village. Le ministère slovaque de l’intérieur a prévenu que le résultat de la consultation n’était pas contraignant pour lui.

    Payer ses dettes
    La Slovaquie s’est engagée à loger 500 migrants ayant déposé une demande d’asile en Autriche, au terme d’un accord bilatéral conclu le 21 juillet à Vienne et destiné à réduire la pression sur les capacités de premier accueil du pays voisin.

    En vertu de cette entente, saluée comme “un grand signe de solidarité de la part de la Slovaquie” par la ministre autrichienne de l’intérieur Johanna Mikl-Leitner, la Slovaquie prendra à sa charge les frais d’hébergement et de nourriture des migrants, l’Autriche assumant les frais de personnel.

    L’homologue slovaque de Mme Mikl-Leitner, Robert Kalinak, a justifié le geste de Bratislava par une volonté de “payer (ses) dettes” envers l’Autriche voisine. Cette dernière a notamment accueilli des réfugiés à l’époque du rideau de fer, et a soutenu l’adhésion du pays à l’UE et à l’espace Schengen.

  10. DAILY MAIL – How Bulgaria keeps migrants out – with 50 miles of razor wire: Fence along Turkish border that is 15ft tall and 5ft wide said to have kept out 500 people in a month

    Fence sealing Bulgaria’s entire border with Turkey appears impregnable
    Country’s authorities want to block people smugglers coming via Bulgaria
    Fence is monitored 24/7 by armed guards stationed at strategic points

  11. DAILY MAIL – Open the border – we’re going to the UK! Chanting mob of 200 storm tunnel entrance and pledge they won’t be stopped

    Yesterday’s incident saw migrants tear down fences and charge past police, before being beaten back with tear gas
    The crowd then regrouped and formed a human barricade and set up camp – blocking the road to the tunnel
    Many were heard chanting: ‘Why do you kill us? Why did you kill my sister? We are coming to save our lives’

  12. Nigerian army says has freed nearly 180 hostages held by Boko Haram

    LAGOS: The Nigerian army has freed 178 people being held hostage by Boko Haram militants including more than 100 children, it said late Sunday (Aug 2), as it carries out a regional offensive aimed at rooting out the insurgency.

    “During the offensive operations, 178 people held captives by the terrorists were rescued, they include 101 children, 67 women and 10 men respectively,” army spokesman Colonel Tukur Gusau said in a statement.

    The rescue took place near Aulari about 70km south of Maiduguri, the biggest town in northeast Nigeria, he said, without specifying when the operation was conducted.

    “In addition, one Boko Haram terrorist commander was captured alive and is presently undergoing investigation,” he said.

    The Nigerian military has announced the release of hundreds of people held captive by Boko Haram in recent months, especially in the notorious Sambisa forest, a longtime militant stronghold now affiliated with the Islamic State group.

    Last week, the army said it had released 30 hostages including 21 children about 90 kilometres east of Maiduguri, and 59 captives in another operation near the town of Konduga in the same area.

    Earlier Sunday the Nigerian military said it had conducted air strikes on the village of Bita, not far from the Sambisa forest, where Boko Haram was preparing to launch an offensive. “Many” militants were killed, the military said, without elaborating.

    Boko Haram’s bloody insurgency in Nigeria alone has left more than 15,000 people dead since 2009. In recent months, the group has increasingly expanded its operations into neighbouring countries.

  13. Czech President to migrants ‘No-one invited you’

    Czech President Milos Zeman lashed out at illegal immigrants on Sunday after dozens tried to flee a detention centre, prompting police to use tear gas against the demonstrators.

    “No one invited you here. But now you are here, you must respect our rules, as we respect the rules when we go to your country,” he said in an interview published on the website of popular newspaper Blesk.

    “If you don’t like it, then leave.”

    About 100 people who were awaiting deportation, mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, tried to flee a detention centre in the northeast of the country on Friday.

    Police were called in and used tear gas against the migrants, some of whom caused damage to the centre, the authorities said.

    Interior Minister Milan Chovanec had said the migrants were probably trying to reach Germany.

    “We can better assist these people on their own territory,” said Zeman, a former Social Democrat prime minister.

    “We should work to bring down these terrorist regimes, ISIL in particular, to eliminate the main reason they leave (their own countries),” he said.

    According to a survey published Friday by the Centre for Analysis and Empirical Studies, over 70 percent of Czechs are reluctant to welcome migrants from Africa and the Middle East into their country.

    An EU member state since 2004, the Czech Republic has agreed to host 1,500 refugees by 2017.

    During the first six months of the year, Czech police intercepted 3,018 illegal migrants, up almost 50 percent on the same period in 2014, according to police.

  14. U.S. to defend Syrian rebels with airpower, including from Assad

    The United States has decided to allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

    The decision by President Barack Obama, which could deepen the U.S. role in Syria’s conflict, aims to shield a still-fledging group of Syrian fighters armed and trained by the United States to battle Islamic State militants — not forces loyal to Assad.

    But in Syria’s messy civil war, Islamic State is only one of the threats to the U.S. recruits. The first batch of U.S.-trained forces deployed to northern Syria came under fire on Friday from other militants, triggering the first known U.S. airstrikes to support them.

    U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to confirm details of the decision, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, said the United States would provide offensive strikes to support advances against Islamic State targets.

    The United States would also provide defensive support to repel any attackers.

    U.S. officials have long played down the idea that Assad’s forces – which have not fired on U.S.-led coalition aircraft bombing Islamic State targets in Syria – would turn their sights on the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels. But they cannot rule out the possibility, perhaps in an unintentional clash.

    The Pentagon and the White House declined to discuss the decision on rules of engagement or confirm comments by the unnamed U.S. officials.

    White House National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said only the U.S.-trained forces were being provided a wide range of support, including “defensive fires support to protect them” and pointed to Friday’s U.S. airstrikes as proof.

    “We won’t get into the specifics of our rules of engagement, but have said all along that we would take the steps necessary to ensure that these forces could successfully carry out their mission,” Baskey said.

    Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Elissa Smith also declined comment on the rules of engagement, saying only that the U.S. military’s program focuses “first and foremost” on combating Islamic State militants.

    “We recognize, though, that many of these groups now fight on multiple fronts, including against the Assad regime, (Islamic State) and other terrorists,” Smith said.

    The U.S. military launched its program in May to train up to 5,400 fighters a year in what was seen as a test of Obama’s strategy of getting local partners to combat extremists and keep U.S. troops off the front lines.

    The training program has been challenged from the start, with many candidates being declared ineligible and some even dropping out.

    Obama’s requirement that they target militants from Islamic State has sidelined huge segments of the Syrian opposition focused instead on battling Syrian government forces. The United States has sought to avoid a direct confrontation with Assad.

    Once the Syrian rebels have returned to the battlefield, the U.S. recruits and other fighters aligned with them have turned into targets of rival militants.

    Al Qaeda’s Syria wing is suspected of being behind the attack on Friday against them at a compound in Syria, which was also being used by members of a Western-aligned insurgent group, known as Division 30.

    U.S. recruits have hailed from Division 30. Nusra Front last week claimed to have abducted Division 30’s leader but U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he had not undergone U.S. training

    One of the most powerful insurgent groups in northern Syria, Nusra Front has a record of crushing rebel groups that have received support from Western states, including the Hazzm movement that collapsed earlier this year.

  15. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wins award for ‘global statesmanship’

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been awarded a prize for “global statesmanship” by an Indonesian institute, his first accolade from an institute outside of the hermit communist state.

    The award was given on the basis of Kim’s fight against “neocolonialism and imperialism,” by the Bali-based Suharno Center, which takes its name from Indonesia’s founding president. Previous recipients of the award include Aung San Suu Kyi and Mahatma Gandhi.

    “We will give the award to President Kim Jong Un because he has been consistent in carrying out the ideals of the great leader, Kim Il Sung, which is to fight imperialism,” the Jakarta Globe local paper reported Rachmawati Soekarnoputri, one of Suharno’s daughters, saying in the award’s announcement.

    […]Kim Jong-un is ranked 49th on the U.S.-based Forbes magazine’s list of most powerful people, two places ahead of Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi, and five places ahead of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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