....Lavrov to RT: Americans are 'running the show' in Ukraine.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The conclusion drawn by those in the know, seem to indicate that it did.
Raffaello Pantucci writing at JamestownFoundation:
.....Kenyan authorities in the coastal city of Mombasa arrested two individuals on March 17 as they drove a vehicle laden with explosives into the city. Authorities believed that the two men were part of a larger cell of 11 who were planning a campaign of terror that would have culminated in the deployment of a “massive” VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) against “shopping malls, beaches or tourist hotels” (Capital FM [Nairobi], March 17; Standard [Nairobi], March 17; March 20). A day later, Ugandan authorities announced they had heightened their security in response to a threat from al-Shabaab aimed at fuel plants in the country (Africa Report, March 19).
The VBIED was built into the car, with ball bearings and other shrapnel welded into its sides and a mobile phone detonator wired to the device (Standard [Nairobi], March 20). The men were also caught with an AK-47, 270 rounds of ammunition, six grenades and five detonators (Capital FM [Nairobi], March 18). The suspects, Abdiaziz Abdillahi Abdi and Isaak Noor Ibrahim, were both born in 1988, with Abdiaziz allegedly “a cattle trader and renowned navigator of old caravan trade routes based in Garissa town,” while Noor was described as “a long distance truck driver or conductor who often travelled to South Sudan through Uganda” (Standard [Nairobi], March 23). Their ethnicity was unclear with conflicting reports in the press, though the names suggest a Somali heritage, with Abdiaziz in particular being identified as a member of the Degodia, a sub-clan of the Hawiye of Somalia (Standard [Nairobi], March 23).
Later leaked reports indicated that another possible target was the Mombasa International Airport (Standard [Nairobi], March 23). On January 16, a bomb went off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. Initially dismissed as a light bulb blowing up, authorities later admitted an IED had caused the explosion in a bin in the airport and reported capturing a car with further explosives onboard after a shootout near the airport. One man was killed in the gunfire and four others were subsequently charged in connection to the plot. One of those charged, Ilyas Yusuf Warsame, was identified by his lawyers as being accredited as a third secretary at the Somali Embassy in Nairobi (AP, February 4). ......
and burned to a cindery nothing. The country is a cancerous tumor. We remove tumors from our bodies, don't we? So ... why the reluctance to remove this stinking tumor from Mother Earth's body?
.....Two young children in Pakistan were mourning their Christian father Saturday, April 19, after he was reportedly shot dead by a Muslim guard for refusing to convert to Islam.
Sunny Masih, 24, was attacked while working as a cleaner at a branch of Bank Islami in Lahore, Pakistan's second largest city, police said.
Family members disputed claims by bank security guard Omar Farooq that the young man had shot "himself in the forehead" on Wednesday, April 16.
Farooq, of Khushab District in central Punjab Province, reportedly told police that Masih “looked depressed” when he arrived at the bank at 8 a.m.
Soon after he allegedly killed himself with a pump-action shotgun that the guard had left unattended before going to the washroom.
However Haider Masih, father of the deceased, disagreed saying his son "was a lively young man" who had shown no signs of depression. He said his son got a job at the bank a few days ago.........
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Simon Ostrovsky is the reporter many of us have been following. Guess the Pro-Russia militia didn't like something he reported on.
Is anybody getting the same kind of feeling many of us got when the "rebels" in Syria started doing their thing? I got a very nasty feeling about the entire Ukrainian fiasco because it has all the markings and the makings of the West-created fiasco in Syria. The added ingredient here is the Bear... awake, growling and tearing apart the West-engineered coup and intentions in Ukraine.
Things are not looking good, not in the least.
....According to several reports, Simon Ostrovsky, an American video journalist working for Vice in Ukraine, has been "taken" by a pro-Russia militia in the eastern town of Slavyansk. Russian news outlet Gazeta says that the situation was first announced by Slavyansk's self-appointed "people's mayor," Vyacheslav Ponomarev, during a press conference. Somewhat confusingly, Ponomarev went on to say that, "Nobody abducted [Ostrovsky], nobody is holding him hostage, he's with us now in at the SBU, preparing material and working," but statements from Vice and reporters in Slavyansk seem to indicate that he's being held against his will.
Here's Vice's statement:
VICE News is aware of the situation and is in contact with the US State Department and other appropriate government authorities to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague, Simon Ostrovsky.
Meanwhile, Telegraph correspondent Roland Oliphant tweeted, "The mayor of Slavyansk & his press sec have confirmed @SimonOstrovsky is in custody in Slavyansk. I was at the presser." He added, "But very little further information so far."
Ostrovsky's last tweets, sent on Monday, were about Ponomarev arguing with journalists at a press conference where Irma Krat, a reporter who participated in a Euromaidan demonstration in Kiev and was later taken captive in Slavyansk, was put on display:......
From GazetaRussia (Google translation)
...."People's Mayor" town Sloviansk Vyacheslav Ponomarev said that the militia took hostage American journalist Simon Ostrovsky, reports "Gazety.Ru".
Ponomarev said this during a press conference at the House of Culture of Slavic.
According to him, Ostrovsky dual citizenship U.S. and Israel, he is an employee of the American edition of Vice.
It is noted that the press conference was briefly interrupted Ponomarev called parents journalist militia leader Sloviansk assured that their son is well.
"Nobody stole, nobody holds hostage, he is now with us, the SBU, prepares materials, works," - said Ponomarev.....
Ron Paul: "History shows us that authoritarian systems, whether fascist, communist, or Keynesian, will inevitably fail."
Dr. Paul opines on the Bundy issue. The Nevada event has woken up other ranchers all over the country and ranchers are arming themselves and defying the government to dare make a move against them and see what happens. This movement is gonna grow in leaps and bounds. Americans are beginning to see how corrupt are the people they have elected to power ... in both the Democrat and the Republican parties.
....The nation’s attention has for the past few weeks been riveted by a standoff in Nevada between armed federal agents and the Bundys, a ranching family who believe the federal government is exceeding its authority by assessing “fees” against ranchers who graze cattle on government lands. Outrage over the government's use of armed agents to forcibly remove the Bundys’ cattle led many Americans to travel to Nevada to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience in support of the family.
The protests seem to have worked, at least for now, as the government appears to have backed off from direct confrontation. Sadly, some elected officials have inflamed the situation by labeling the Bundys and their supporters “domestic terrorists,” thus justifying any future use of force by the government. That means there is always the possibility of another deadly Waco-style raid on the Bundys or a similar group in the future.
In a state like Nevada, where 84 percent of the land is owned by the federal government, these types of conflicts are inevitable. Government ownership of land means that land is in theory owned by everyone, but in practice owned by no one. Thus, those who use the land lack the incentives to preserve it for the long term. As a result, land-use rules are set by politicians and bureaucrats. Oftentimes, the so-called “public” land is used in ways that benefit politically-powerful special interests.
Politicians and bureaucrats can, and will, arbitrarily change the rules governing the land. In the 19th century, some Americans moved to Nevada because the government promised them that they, and their descendants, would always be able to use the federally-owned land. The Nevada ranchers believed they had an implied contract with the government allowing them to use the land for grazing. When government bureaucrats decided they needed to restrict grazing to protect the desert tortoise, they used force to drive most ranchers away.
By contrast, if the Nevada land in question was privately owned, the dispute over whether to allow the ranchers to continue to use the land would have likely been resolved without sending in federal armed agents to remove the Bundys’ cattle from the land. This is one more reason why the federal government should rid itself of all federal land holdings. Selling federal lands would also help reduce the federal deficit.
It is unlikely that Congress will divest the federal government’s land holdings, as most in government are more interested in increasing government power than in protecting and restoring private property rights............
Monday, April 21, 2014
The best news I have read today.
Isn't it better to have people follow in the true peaceful steps of Jesus Christ than to follow in the violent footsteps of any other religion?
Two of the world's communist countries, Russia and China, turning to a mild, peaceful, loving, anti-war religion like Christianity is such a beautiful thing.
The governments of both China and Russia should encourage the spread of Christianity.
Tom Phillips writing at TelegraphUk:
China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years
The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America
It is said to be China's biggest church and on Easter Sunday thousands of worshippers will flock to this Asian mega-temple to pledge their allegiance – not to the Communist Party, but to the Cross.
The 5,000-capacity Liushi church, which boasts more than twice as many seats as Westminster Abbey and a 206ft crucifix that can be seen for miles around, opened last year with one theologian declaring it a "miracle that such a small town was able to build such a grand church".
The £8 million building is also one of the most visible symbols of Communist China's breakneck conversion as it evolves into one of the largest Christian congregations on earth.
"It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It gives us great confidence," beamed Jin Hongxin, a 40-year-old visitor who was admiring the golden cross above Liushi's altar in the lead up to Holy Week.
"If everyone in China believed in Jesus then we would have no more need for police stations. There would be no more bad people and therefore no more crime," she added.
Officially, the People's Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.
Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution.
Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world's number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation.
"By my calculations China is destined to become the largest Christian country in the world very soon," said Fenggang Yang, a professor of sociology at Purdue University and author of Religion in China: Survival and Revival under Communist Rule.......
America believes in lifting up citizens of countries that hate her instead of first lifting up those Americans suffering from desolate poverty
What an upside down view of the world if you look at it from the USA's point of view! A view point that the mightiest nation has imposed on other supposedly "prosperous" Western countries. The right thing to do is to look after your own citizens first before shoveling those billions of dollars into Muslim countries and into useless wars. Charity begins at home ... but nobody's told that to the Americans. Sheesh!!
Trip Gabriel writing at NYTimes
...50 Years Into the War on Poverty, Hardship Hits Back.
When people visit with friends and neighbors in southern West Virginia, where paved roads give way to dirt before winding steeply up wooded hollows, the talk is often of lives that never got off the ground.
“How’s John boy?” Sabrina Shrader, 30, a former neighbor, asked Marie Bolden one cold winter day at what Ms. Bolden calls her “little shanty by the tracks.”
“He had another seizure the other night,” Ms. Bolden, 50, said of her son, John McCall, a former classmate of Ms. Shrader’s. John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County, almost died of an overdose in 2007, and now lives on disability payments. His brother, Donald, recently released from prison, is unemployed and essentially homeless.
“It’s like he’s in a hole with no way out,” Ms. Bolden said of Donald as she drizzled honey on a homemade biscuit in her tidy kitchen. “The other day he came in and said, ‘Ain’t that a shame: I’m 30 years old and carrying my life around in a backpack.’ It broke my heart.”
McDowell County, the poorest in West Virginia, has been emblematic of entrenched American poverty for more than a half-century. John F. Kennedy campaigned here in 1960 and was so appalled that he promised to send help if elected president. His first executive order created the modern food stamp program, whose first recipients were McDowell County residents. When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared “unconditional war on poverty” in 1964, it was the squalor of Appalachia he had in mind. The federal programs that followed — Medicare, Medicaid, free school lunches and others — lifted tens of thousands above a subsistence standard of living.
But a half-century later, with the poverty rate again on the rise, hardship seems merely to have taken on a new face in McDowell County. The economy is declining along with the coal industry, towns are hollowed out as people flee, and communities are scarred by family dissolution, prescription drug abuse and a high rate of imprisonment.
Fifty years after the war on poverty began, its anniversary is being observed with academic conferences and ideological sparring — often focused, explicitly or implicitly, on the “culture” of poor urban residents. Almost forgotten is how many ways poverty plays out in America, and how much long-term poverty is a rural problem...........
The VICE videos showing up on YouTube are outdated by about 3/4 days. This one was posted yesterday, but is related to events of April 16.
The late postings tell me that VICE is being gagged and censored by the powers-that-be that are funding VICE because the delay in the posting could only be due to the material going through several approvals before the posting.
*sigh* Yet another herebefore factual journalistic arena going down the drain. Expect propaganda-like stuff being spewed from VICE from now on.
to follow the good example he has set for himself. Many of the bishops have got so used to living in grand mansions and having numerous people at their beck and call doing all the kind of work one would expect people working in millionaires' mansions doing for millionaires... I suppose it must be hard to give up the luxuries just because the Pope is doing without them.
Andrea Tornielli writing at VaticanInsider:
....Bishops follow Francis’ example, renouncing mansions for parsonages
A bishop in Scotland and another in the US have renounced lavish living in exchange for simpler lifestyles.
Clerics have been changing their ways since the scandal involving the Bishop of Limburg, Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who was forced to leave his German diocese after faithful protested against the exorbitant sum he spent on his new residence complex, a whopping thirty million Euros. In recent weeks, Atlanta’s archbishop, Wilton Gregory admitted that he authorized an excessively expensive restructuring project for his residence, a mansion that was donated to him. The project cost two million dollars. Now, the newly appointed bishop of Paisley, John Keenan, has announced he wants to live in a parsonage in a low-income housing estate.
The Francis effect is taking root it seems. The Pope has not asked any bishop to copy him: it is a well-known fact that Francis never lived in the apartment reserved for him as archbishop and cardinal, preferring instead to take a simple room in the Curia building. In the Vatican he chooses to reside at St. Martha’s House instead of the Apostolic Palace, “for psychological reasons”, because he likes having people around him. He has spoken about the poverty and sobriety of men of the Church on many occasions but his example is not becoming contagious.
In an interview with The Herald, the prelate said Francis and himself dreamt of a Church that went out into the street and got dirty instead of clinging onto safety. “When people see a church not just giving to the poor and the excluded but being among them and living with them joyfully, then they will really begin to believe there is a way out of the vicious cycle of living for yourself in your own little bubble."
The Archbishop of Atlanta’s case caused an uproar with faithful writing letters to the diocesan newspaper criticizing the excessive amount of money spent on his new home - a donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, a nephew of "Gone With The Wind" author, Margaret Mitchell – when so many people barely have anything to live on. Many of these messages referred to the Pope’s words and the example he is setting: "We are disturbed and disappointed to see our church leaders not setting the example of a simple life as Pope Francis calls for. How can we instil this in our children when they see their archdiocesan leadership living extravagantly?" one parishioner wrote..........
but will instead be given an important role to play in the Canadian spying industry. What a talented young man! Okay, he made a mistake going into the CRA's database without their knowledge .... the right thing to do should have been to tell the CRA beforehand that he would like to test the system to make it failsafe from the "heartbleed" virus. I don't think this smart guy would have wanted to bleed the CRA data for any other purpose then to show that he could do it... and right now it's not even clear that he did more than access the system via the virus. The extraction of the 900 SIN numbers could have been done by somebody else.
Zoe McKnight and Alyshah Hasham writing at TorontoStar:
....Alleged Heartbleed hacker known for finding flaws.
London, Ont. computer prodigy challenges ‘liked to challenge’ decisions, even in spelling bee.
The young man who stands accused as the Heartbleed hacker has a penchant for pointing out weakness.
As a teenage spelling bee champion, he challenged the judges.
When he was 14, the computer science prodigy tried to warn his high school administrators the computer system was vulnerable to hacking. They didn’t believe him, so he went in and proved it by finding confidential information, his lawyer is quoted as saying.
In university, he was known to send computer science assignments back to his professors with a note saying he’d found an error in the question.
And when the so-called Heartbleed bug — a flaw in computer code that was supposed to encrypt private data, but didn’t — made headlines, Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, 19, allegedly tested the security breach and got himself arrested.
On Tuesday, the second-year computer science student at Western University turned himself in to authorities in London, Ont., where police are helping the RCMP investigation. A statement that said police believe Solis-Reyes extracted “private information” came two days after the Canada Revenue Agency announced the social insurance numbers of 900 Canadians had been extracted from its database. The two have not been directly linked by law enforcement and police have not clarified exactly what Solis-Reyes is accused of accessing.
The flaw in the software, known as OpenSSL and used by major websites like Google and Facebook, had the potential to leave hundreds of millions of online passwords and other sensitive information like credit card numbers exposed. That prompted the CRA to shut down its website for five days in April at the height of tax season.
Solis-Reyes was charged with one count of unauthorized use of a computer and one count of mischief. He was later released. It’s not known how he will plead.
“Maybe he was just testing his skill, and maybe the Canada Revenue Agency is not a good idea to test with,” said Ayan Chaudhury, a PhD candidate who was Solis-Reyes’s teaching assistant for Computer Fundamentals II in winter 2013.
Solis-Reyes received a perfect grade on all four of his assignments and never missed a lab, Chaudhury said. The young man’s work was often used as a benchmark against other students......
Sunday, April 20, 2014
but it was still not able to prevent UK from being Caliphated because the only thing the Israeli lobby and the billionaire Jews are concerned about is the health and well being of Israel and not the health and well being of their benefactors. The Western countries that give Israel deep support in any and every way possible, are useful as long as they can be used for Israel's benefit, nothing more, nothing less. In fact, Israel must be deliciously happy that millions of Muslims from their neighboring countries (most of whom migrate here based on their qualifying on merit points) are leaving for the West ... that means less brain power in those countries which equals to less enemies for Israel.
West has been taken for a ride. Trust the smartest people in the world to hoodwink the less smart of the world. And, why not? Isn't it their privilege for being the smartest on this our good Earth? Would I have done the same if I was Jewish and ultra rich and powerful? Short answer: Yes! But only if I held one passport and that passport said I was a citizen of Israel. You cannot serve two masters at the same time because the screw up can be gigantic and irreversible.
Everything disgusting, dangerous and harmful to the world's well-being comes from Saudi Arabia.
....Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.
The ministry said five more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the western city, including two foreign medics aged 54.
The latest deaths of a 64-year-old and 44-year-old, whose nationalities were undisclosed, bring to 76 the overall number of people to have died of MERS in Saudi Arabia, from a total of 231 infections.
Panic over the spread of MERS among medical staff in Jeddah this month forced the temporary closure of a hospital emergency room, prompting Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabiah to visit the facility in a bid to calm the public.
On Wednesday, at least four doctors at the King Fahd hospital reportedly resigned after refusing to treat MERS patients, apparently out of fear of infection.
MERS was initially concentrated in eastern Saudi Arabia but it now affects other areas.....
Some of the islands are claimed to belong to China .... according to China and some as belonging to South Korea ... according to South Korea. Gonna be fun to see how this develops.
Nobuhiro Kubo writing at Reuters:
....Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China.
Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan.
The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan's main islands.
"This is the first deployment since the U.S. returned Okinawa (1972) and calls for us to be more on guard are growing," Onodera told reporters. "I want to build an operation able to properly defend islands that are part of Japan's territory."......
but the question is: Would the Republicans ever want that to happen when they themselves are the instigators to get Obama to supply arms to the rebels? We are at a time in history when the West is doing the ultimate harm to nations that have no power to effectively handle our bullying of them..... and sad to say many of us are not ashamed of that disgusting fact but are actually proud of it.
James McMichael writing at SyriaComment:
President Obama is considering supplying Syrian rebels with Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (Manpads). These antiaircraft missiles are small enough to be carried and fired by a single person; they can destroy jet fighters and civilian airliners alike. If President Obama gives his approval for their supply to Syrian rebels, he will violate several international antiterrorism agreements that prohibit the supply of Manpads to non-state actors. This will negate a decade of U.S. anti-terrorism diplomacy, put air travelers at risk, and destroy the growing international anti-terrorism norm against supplying Manpads to non-state actors.
Reuters reports that on February 18 a senior Obama administration official said that the administration “remains opposed to any provision of MANPADS to the Syrian opposition” and Reuters reports further that: “The United States has long opposed supplying rebels with anti-aircraft missiles due to concern they may fall into the hands of forces that may use the weapons against Western targets or commercial airlines.” On March 28, one of President Obama’s national security advisers said: “We have made clear that there are certain types of weapons, including Manpads, that could pose a proliferation risk if introduced into Syria.”
Those concerns that Manpads supplied to “moderate” rebels will find their way into the hands of terrorists are extremely well founded. Saudi Arabia purchased Croatian antitank weapons and grenade launchers that were then provided to the “moderate” Free Syrian Army. As documented with video evidence by the Brown Moses Blog, some of those weapons wound up in the hands of the extremist jihadi group Ahrar al-Sham, and McClatchy Newspapers confirmed that the FSA shared their new weapons with Ahrar al-Sham. Even worse, as documented with photographic evidence by the Brown Moses Blog, those Saudi-purchased Croatian weapons are now being used in Iraq against the Iraqi Army by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a group so savage that it has been expelled from al-Qaeda.
Manpads can be hidden in a car trunk, some even in a golf bag, and are a threat to civilian airliners all over the world. A 2011 U.S. State Department factsheet states that: “Since 1975, 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by Manpads, causing about 28 crashes and more than 800 deaths around the world.” Former CIA Director David Petraeus recently said: “As you know, that was always our worst nightmare, that a civilian airliner would be shot down by one [Manpad].” Then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told the Wall Street Journal: “There is no question when you start passing Manpads around, that becomes a threat, not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft.” Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “No threat is more serious to [civil] aviation” than Manpads.
The State Department factsheet describes a decade of U.S. diplomatic efforts to stop the supply of Manpads to “non-state actors”, which includes the Syrian rebels, and three international agreements resulting from that U.S. diplomacy and to which the U.S. is a party:
First, in 2003 the G-8 adopted a “G-8 Action Plan” titled “Enhance Transport Security and Control of Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (Manpads)” which provides:
[W]e agree to implement the following steps to prevent the acquisition of Manpads by terrorists: . . .
To ban transfers of Manpads to non-state end-users; Manpads should only be exported to foreign governments or to agents authorised by a government.
The State Department factsheet boasts that this G-8 agreement was “U.S.-initiated.”
Second, a 2003 agreement pursuant to the Wassenaar Arrangement, which regulates exports of conventional arms, provides:
Decisions to permit Manpads exports will be made by the exporting government by competent authorities at senior policy level and only to foreign governments or to agents specifically authorised to act on behalf of a government.
The State Department factsheet says that the U.S. “participates in the [Wassenaar Agreement] . . . to encourage international adherence to and effective implementation of these rigorous Manpads guidelines.”
Third, the Organization of American States adopted a 2005 resolution titled “Denying Manpads to Terrorists: Control and Security of Man-Portable Air Defense Weapons” which resolves:
To urge member states to ban all transfers of Manpads and their essential components to non-state end users because Manpads should be exported only to foreign governments or to agents authorized by a government.
Note that all three of these U.S.-sought international agreements ban supplying Manpads to any non-state users and permit supplying them only to governments. There is no exception for “good” non-state actors, and in fact the State Department fact-sheet says that the........
Lebanon's Muslims are weary of Syrian refugees, the refugees are mostly Sunni Muslim as Syria is approx.70% Sunni. Please try to remember that the West is responsible for the plight of these human beings ...these human beings who are now displaced, homeless, inducted into slave labor and prostitution, driven to daily suicides, mental illness on the increase .... and let's not even think of the physical diseases and sickness in the refugee camps.
I have posted below only a handful of paragraphs from the long article but these few go to prove the utter misery and helplessness the refugees in Lebanon are going through. I put myself in the shoes of the Syrian refugees going through this hell and I could see myself turn into a raging animal with hatred towards either the West or Assad or Iran or Israel and the Sunni nations or against all named. The world is going to have tonnes more hatred swirling all around because of the Syrian conflict.
Moe Ali Nayel writing at Jadaliyya:
.... Lebanon is now home to approximately one million Syrians, displaced from their war-ravaged cities and towns in Syria. Amid unfettered exploitations, Syrian families, forced to seek refuge in Lebanon, have fought a hostile season in a hostile environment that they mistook as neighborly....
....According to Arsal’s municipality, over 74,000 Syrian refugees have fled Syria in the last three years and settled in the village. It was only at the end of last summer that the Lebanese government allowed Syrians to establish camp sites. ....
....The increasing numbers of Syrian refugees in Arsal has created tensions with local Lebanese residents of the border village. On 12 January 2014 Syrians sheltering in Arsal woke up to read a statement calling for their eviction. The eviction notice said Syrians have forty-eight hours to return to where they came from. The municipality of Arsal dismissed the eviction threat and called it the work of agents provocateurs. Following the last wave of Syrian refugees fleeing Yabrud to Arsal the municipality issued a curfew for Syrians. They are now not allowed on the streets from seven in the evening until nine nine in the morning and again from one until three in the afternoon......
.........Outside, Syrian elders continued to plea extensively about conditions they were suffering from, again interrupted by the arrival of one municipal guard snarling, “Journalists are not allowed to go to any of the camps and must stop talking to refugees, orders of the chief.” The testosterone-hyped guard then turned to the Syrians and dismissed them in a shout, “Go away, leave, no tents today.”....
......In central Beq‘a sits the city of Zahle. Syrian refugees have setup a few camps down in its agricultural lands. Below the road al-Jura (pit) camp is located, next to the site of a previously torched refugee camp. Syrian refugees of al-Jura camp witnessed the arson with terror and worried they might be next....
....To prevent unexpected brutal evictions in the absence of any legal or communal protection, Abu Said struck a deal with the Lebanese landowner: they provide the labor-force (from the camp) for a nearby agricultural plot and pay a rental fee of one hundred dollars per month per tent-area and they can keep their tents on the land. Al-Jura camp demonstrates the sheer negligence displaced Syrians suffer from. The corruption of NGOs as well as aid cuts by UNHCR was the main story that Syrians inhabiting al-Jura complained of. “Come look inside our tents and see how we live,” one mother shouted. The smell of damp in the tent mixed with plastic fumes emanating from the heating stove that burnt blue plastic bags and red nylon child-size flip-flops was noxious. “The nations [UNHCR] came and inspected our tent. After the inspection they said we are not a priority for aid. They told me we should look for jobs, that my husband and I are still young.” Tents in al-Jura mushroom side-by-side and form a narrow maze filled with running sewers and toddlers. Fatima, thirteen, sat on a limestone rock giving a reading lesson to children from the camp. ..
......One NGO employee, a field officer in charge of distributing aid vouchers, said “seven months ago UNHCR made arbitrary aid cuts effecting over forty percent of beneficiaries”. The aid cuts struck the most basic form of aid: the food voucher program that provided twenty-seven dollars per month worth of food for an adult in each family. The NGO employee continued saying “we were told by the UNHCR that cuts were measures in order to shake off unwanted beneficiaries that did not fit the criteria. Many donor countries, mainly in the gulf, have not fulfilled their promises of financial aid.” Refugees denied aid protested at UNHCR’s conduct and as a result a form for appeal was granted with a forty-five day deadline. Those who were not able to organize their appeals within the forty-five day deadline were thrown out of the aid-system; only ten percent who managed to appeal were back to receiving aid. “The brutal aid cuts made many Syrian refugees victims of impoverished conditions and circumstances that made a target for exploitation; prostitution and organized beggary reaped their bodies” the NGO employee lamented. Recognizing the repercussions of their move, the UNHCR implemented an evaluation program. The program cost millions of dollars and employed an army of short contracted staff (for fifty dollars per-day plus three dollars for phone calls) and fleets of rental cars to conduct the survey. Inspection units surveyed and inspected the living conditions of Syrian refugees cut from aid in order for UNHCR to re-determine who would be included again in the aid system. The field officer, who is in direct contact with the distressed Syrians stressed that, “when UNHCR decided to cut aid they did it randomly and ended up harming the most vulnerable beneficiaries. The sudden cuts prompted refugees to think it is a conspiracy meant to drive them back to their war torn country. People complained to us that it was systematic conduct to make them leave Lebanon.” Two weeks ago, I was speaking with a UNHCR employee who confided, off the record, that Lebanon is going to start taking “harsh” measures to close its borders in the face of incoming refugees from Syria and start the expulsion of those in the country. A week later Lebanon shut down eighteen “unofficial crossings” along the Lebanese Syrian borders.........
Why is it that we don't hear of "Shiite" terror groups besides the one and only Hezbollah that our governments in the West have designated as one? How come there are so many of the "Sunni" terrorists who suicide bomb at every chance, behead all and sundry at the slightest pretext and go on all sort of rampages whenever and whenever.... but are still funded and armed by the West? Are we that far gone that we believe our government's propaganda all the time, every time? What's wrong with us? Why are we not looking at things in their proper perspective? Can one be brainwashed to this extent that we are blindly pointing fingers at certain segments of the Muslim groups only because our media, gagged and controlled by the govt, wants us to? Is Iran really the big threat to Middle East peace that it's painted out to be? Really? Really?
....The Egyptian militant group, Ajnad Misr, claimed responsibility on Saturday for a blast that killed one police officer in Cairo.
The bomb exploded in Cairo's Lebanon Square on Friday night, killing the officer and wounding another.
Ajnad Misr, or Soldiers of Egypt, said in a statement on an Islamist website that its militants had monitored a police checkpoint in the square before detonating the bomb.
The group formally announced itself in January saying it would target "criminal elements" in the military-backed government.
It has claimed at least six attacks since then, including explosions outside Cairo University which killed a police brigadier-general and one other person earlier this month.
In a separate attack, early on Sunday, a police officer was killed on the Suez-Cairo road after being fired at by unknown assailants, the state news agency reported.........
Saturday, April 19, 2014
A bit too late wouldn't you say! IMO, it's far, far, far too late. Not just for the UK but also for many of the Judeo-Christian nations. We are fighting a war that's already been lost to demographics... if you know what I mean. They don't murder their kids by abortion like the Judeo-Christian bitches ... that means their population will grow and keep growing. And, why not more power to them? At least they believe in traditional marriage and don't abort their kids.
The second vid below is the Muslim point of view on the issue.
Andrew Gilligan writing at TelegraphUK:
.....Schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”, an official report leaked to The Telegraph discloses.
Department for Education inspectors said that girls in a school at the centre of the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot were forced to sit at the back of the class, some Christian pupils were left to “teach themselves” and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.
The report, into three schools in the city, follows weeks of controversy over the alleged plot to “Islamise” secular schools in Birmingham and will lead to calls for intervention. The report focuses on Park View School and its sister schools, Golden Hillock and Nansen, the only primary of the three. Inspectors found that Park View practised forced and discriminatory sex segregation and has “restricted” GCSE subjects “to comply with conservative Islamic teaching”.
Core elements of the GCSE syllabus were missed out as “un-Islamic” and an extremist preacher with known al-Qaeda sympathies and anti-Semitic views was invited to speak with children. At Golden Hillock, there was discrimination against non-Muslims, the report found. Its handful of Christian students “have to teach themselves” in one GCSE subject after the teacher “concentrated on the students who were doing the Islamic course”.
At Nansen, Year 6 children, aged 10 and 11, received no teaching at all in the arts, humanities or music.
The document, classified “official-sensitive”, describes the results of inspections of the schools last month by officials from the DfE. All three are supposedly non-faith schools run by the Park View Educational Trust.
Allegations that radical Muslims were seeking to “Islamise” secular schools in Birmingham first emerged publicly last month in a leaked letter, describing an operation purportedly named “Trojan Horse”.
The letter supposedly described how activists could stir up Muslim parents to oust secular headteachers. Park View and its chairman of governors, Tahir Alam, were named in the letter as being at the centre of the plot. Mr Alam and the school have furiously denied the claims as “fictitious”, “Islamophobic” and a “witch-hunt”.
However, the leaked report substantiates many of the claims made against the school. It accuses Park View of 20 separate breaches of the law, the schools’ funding agreement with the DfE, and the Academy Schools Handbook.......
Friday, April 18, 2014
British comedy used to be fun to watch before they got too politically correct. "The Thin Blue Line" a TV series with Rowan Atkinson is from the mid 1990s.
the country that the "first" nation on Earth invaded and destroyed for no reason at all.
Ned Parker writing at NYReviewofBooks:
Baghdad’s version of Tahrir Square is far shabbier than Cairo’s. It consists of a yellowed park, frequented by vagrants, and sits next to a crowded market, where second-hand appliances, sex videos, and penis enlargement pumps are sold. It was here that Iraq experienced its own Arab Spring in the first half of 2011. Almost every Friday, a few thousand people gathered at Baghdad’s Tahrir and in other public squares around the country, from the Shiite-dominated south to the Sunni regions of the north and west. Like their counterparts in Cairo, Tunis, Tripoli, and Damascus, the demonstrators had grievances about the existing political order—complaints about human rights abuses, corruption, and the misuse of oil wealth; but also the lack of jobs, reliable electricity, clean water, and adequate healthcare.
Yet in another respect, the very fact that these peaceful protests were taking place seemed to show how much progress Baghdad had made since the end of the violent civil war in 2008; the protesters included both Shiites and Sunnis, and they were facing off against Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who, though a former political exile with a long history of involvement in Shiite political parties, had sought to appear as a non-sectarian figure running a new national government.
Now, as Iraq prepares for its first national election in four years on April 30, it is hard to imagine democracy activists rallying weekly in Iraqi streets. For months, suicide bombers have been dynamiting themselves in crowded Shiite markets, coffee shops, and funeral tents, while Shiite militias and government security forces have terrorized Sunni communities. The Iraqi state is breaking apart again: from the west in Anbar province, where after weeks of anarchic violence more than 380,000 people have fled their homes; to the east in Diyala province, where tit-for-tat sectarian killings are rampant; to the north in Mosul, where al-Qaeda-linked militants control large swathes of territory; to the south in Basra, home to Iraq’s oil riches, where Shiite militias are once more ascendant; to Iraq’s Kurds, who warn that the country is disintegrating and contemplate full independence from Baghdad.
More than 2,500 Iraqis have been killed since the start of the year, including nearly three hundred in the first ten days of April; in the capital itself, which has become a showcase for the country’s multiplying conflicts and uncontrolled violence, there have been several brazen attacks on government buildings, and a terrifying string of car bombings, including eight on April 9 alone.
In theory, this month’s parliamentary elections, which are being contested .......
Disgraceful! The owners of each and every mishandled bag as shown in this video should sue Air Canada. Is it any wonder that passengers have such a low opinion of this airline?
CBC via YahooNews:
...Air Canada says it is investigating after a video that appears to show its baggage handlers dropping items from a tall, moving staircase began circulating on the internet.
The short video was shot by Dwayne Stewart of Vancouver at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. It appeared on YouTube Thursday and circulated via his Twitter account, and that of his friend and seatmate, on Friday.
The video runs a little over a minute and shows two baggage handlers unloading luggage from a plane. One drops five items of luggage from the top of a staircase into a bin, which the second handler then moves into a nearby vehicle. The staircase looks to be about six metres high......
Wonder what the ineffectual Portuguese who have long lost their sea legs leave alone an appetite for any kind of combat have done now to get the Libyan jihadis gunning for them.
....A security officer was wounded in an attack by four gunmen at the Portugese embassy in Tripoli overnight Thursday, news agency Lusa said.
The men fled when other security officers arrived on site, the Portuguese agency said, adding that the wounded officer's life was not in danger.
A string of attacks targeting diplomats and Libyan politicians have hit Tripoli. Earlier this week, Tunisian and Jordanian diplomats in Libya were kidnapped....
So many on the Right are proud to call Saudi Arabia our "ally" .... without thinking twice about the kind of human right abuses rampant in that country. Not only is this activist going to spend the next 15 years in jail, after he's released (if he's still alive by then) he won't be able to leave the Saudi Arabian hellhole for the next 15 years.
....A judge on Thursday sentenced a Saudi blogger and activist to 15 years in jail for taking part in protests and defaming the kingdom by communicating with foreigners and through publishing articles on the Internet, his lawyer said.
Fadhel al-Manasef, 26, is the latest activist to be convicted this week on charges which international human rights groups and activists in the kingdom say are part of a new drive to curb political, religious and social dissent. The government denies there is any crackdown.
The Special Criminal Court in the capital Riyadh also fined Manasef 100,000 riyals ($26,700) and barred him from travelling abroad for 15 years after he completes his sentence, the lawyer, Waleed Sulais, told Reuters by email........
This is one of the many, many reasons Stephen Harper and his Conservative govt. will lose the next election. The Conservative govt. of Stephen Harper is heading towards that political limbo land which might be its abode for decades to come.
The utter stupid naivety of the Harper Cons is reflected in the parts I have highlighted in the article below. Harper and his advisers actually think there are non-religious groups fighting against Assad? Yeah ... that should tell you how far gone our PM has become and how much out of the loop his entire gang has gotten.
We had high hopes for the Harper Conservatives, didn't we?Live and learn, folks. Live and learn. Politicians are all alike.
Lee Berthiaume writing at OttawaCitizen:
...Canadian Defence And Diplomatic Officials Working On Plans For Military Mission in Syria.
Canadian defence and diplomatic officials have been quietly working on plans for possible Canadian military missions — as well as shoring up non-religious groups on the ground — in Syria as its three-year civil war continues.
The federal government has so far said it has no plans for Canada to be dragged into the conflict, which has killed an estimated 150,000 and driven hundreds of thousands more from their homes and their country.
But internal documents obtained by the Citizen show National Defence has drawn up at least five scenarios in which it could become involved in Syria’s ongoing civil war, as well as potential Canadian Forces missions for each situation.
The documents have been censored to remove specifics, but allude to “the rapidly deteriorating conditions in Syria, its impact on neighbouring countries and … the importance of Middle East stability.”
The scenarios also include several assumptions such as the Syrian government remaining “defiant,” as well as “most likely” and “worst case” outcomes, such as extremist groups getting hold of advanced or chemical weapons, or the conflict spilling beyond Syria’s borders.
At least one possible Canadian military intervention “assumes that a legitimate armed opposition group has been recognized” by Canada, although details about the rest of this scenario have been blacked out......
.....Meanwhile, separate documents show Canada has been helping train anti-sectarian activists, journalists and others so they can provide a political alternative to Islamic extremist groups if the fighting stops......