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Articles Posted by DeaconBenjamin

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  • New Austrian law 'combats Islamization'

    02/28/2015 3:08:21 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 17 replies
    the Local (Austria) ^ | 25 Feb 2015 18:10 GMT+01:00
    Austria's parliament has passed a law banning foreign sources of financing to Muslim organisations and requiring imams to be able to speak German, in a move closely watched by other European nations facing growing problems with radical Islam. The text aims to promote what conservative Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz calls an "Islam of European character" by muting the influence of foreign Muslim nations and organizations, and offering Austrian Muslims a mix of increased rights and obligations in practising their faith in the central European country. But the law has generated opposition from several quarters, including Austrian Muslim groups that call...
  • Syrian minister blames Turkey for looted antiquities

    02/25/2015 5:27:40 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin
    Hürriyet ^ | February/24/2015
    The world will have to cooperate with Syria to halt the trade in looted antiquities that helps fund jihadist groups, Syria’s culture minister has said, putting the onus on Turkey to stop the smuggling across their shared frontier. Syrian Culture Minister Issam Khalil said a U.N. Security Council resolution aiming to stop groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), from benefiting from the illicit antiquities trade would not be effective without the help of Damascus, a pariah to many Arab and Western states since Syria’s war erupted in 2011. “We have the conclusive documents and evidence...
  • Bishop accuses Turkey over Syrian Christians

    02/25/2015 5:24:36 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    A prominent bishop on Feb. 25 accused Turkey of preventing Christians from fleeing Syria while allowing jihadists responsible for their persecution to cross its border unchecked. Jacques Behnan Hindo, the Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Hasakeh-Nisibi, made the claim on Vatican Radio, a day after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group abducted at least 90 Assyrian Christians from villages which had been under the control of Kurdish forces. "Every day, families are emigrating from Damascus by plane because of the blockade we have around us," the bishop said. "In the north, Turkey allows through lorries, Daesh (ISIL)...
  • Turkey to go ahead with non-NATO-integrated Chinese missile defence

    02/19/2015 5:23:48 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 15 replies
    <p>ANKARA, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Turkey will go ahead with plans to order a $3.4-billion missile defence system from China, Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz said, despite U.S. and NATO concerns over security and compatibility of weaponry.</p>
  • Qatar recalls ambassador to Egypt over terror accusation

    02/19/2015 5:18:51 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    Doha, Feb 19 (IANS) Qatar said Thursday it has recalled its ambassador to Cairo for consultations following an Egyptian official's statement accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. "The state of Qatar recalled its ambassador to Cairo for talks following the statements made by Egypt's envoy at the Arab League," the official Qatar News Agency reported, citing a Qatari foreign ministry source. Earlier, Saad ben Ali Almohanady, a Qatari foreign ministry official in charge of Arab affairs, rejected the Egyptian statement by Tariq Adel, as "mixing terrorism with the murder and burning of civilians in a barbaric manner". The official repeated Doha's...
  • Hezbollah calls for Lebanese anti-terrorism strategy

    02/19/2015 5:16:36 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    maktoob news ^ | Tue, Feb 17, 2015
    Beirut, Feb 17 (IANS) Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah voiced support for "a national anti-terror strategy", affirming that dialogue will continue between the Hezbollah and former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri's al-Mustaqbal movement. In a speech commemorating Hezbollah's "martyr leaders", Nasrallah revealed for the first time that his group was fighting the Sunni jihadi organisation Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, according to a Xinhua report. Hezbollah is already fighting in Syria, alongside President Bashar Assad's forces. Nasrallah said: "I tell those who are asking us to withdraw from Syria, let us go together to Syria and Iraq and to...
  • US accuses six Bosnians [in US] of helping ISIL via Turkey

    02/08/2015 6:01:50 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | February/07/2015
    Six Bosnian immigrants have been accused of sending money and equipment to terrorists oversees, including fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group and al-Qaida in Iraq, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Feb. 6. An indictment unsealed Feb. 6 in St. Louis said the defendants donated money themselves and in some cases collected funds from others in the U.S. and sent the donations oversees. It says two of the defendants used some of the money to buy U.S. military uniforms, firearms accessories, tactical gear and other equipment, which was shipped to people in Turkey and Saudi...
  • 'No more Middle Eastern immigrants': Alternative for Germany

    02/01/2015 3:08:12 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 15 replies
    The Local (Germany) ^ | 28 Jan 2015 11:12 GMT+01:00
    The deputy leader of right-wing populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) said on Wednesday that all migration from Arab countries should be stopped. "We should no longer support immigration by people who are totally foreign to our cultural tradition, in fact we ought to block it," Alexander Gauland told Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper. "There are cultural traditions that have a very hard time integrating here ... those cultural traditions are at home in the Middle East," Gauland said. He added that there was a danger of "parallel societies" developing in Germany "with which we won't be able to cope with in...
  • Egypt court rules Hamas armed wing 'terror group'

    01/31/2015 7:35:48 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, declaring it a "terrorist" group, a judiciary official said. Since Egypt's military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the authorities have accused Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, of aiding jihadists who have increased their attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. Saturday's court verdict followed a complaint from a lawyer accusing the Hamas armed wing of direct involvement in "terrorist operations" in the Sinai, a court official said. The lawyer also accused the movement of using tunnels under the...
  • Gülenists in Turkey cooperating with Israel’s Mossad, Erdo&#287;an says

    01/31/2015 7:13:22 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | January/31/2015
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodogan said Jan. 31 that the Gulenists in the country, which he dubs “the parallel structure,” have joined forces with the Israeli intelligence service. “The sincere people backing this parallel structure should see with whom this structure is cooperating with,” Erdogan said, while addressing a meeting of the All Industrialist and Businessmen’s Association (TUMSİAD) in Istanbul. “Shame on them if they still cannot see that this structure is cooperating with the Mossad,” he said. Erdoğan accuses the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen for illegal wiretappings and a “coup attempt,” starting from the revelation...
  • World's first limousine snowplough for hire

    01/25/2015 3:44:06 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 19 replies
    The Local (Sweden) ^ | 25 Jan 2015 10:34 GMT+01:00
    A businessman in central Sweden is advertising what he claims is the world’s first Hummer limousine snowplough for hire on Blocket, Sweden’s version of eBay. Håkan Andersson, who runs the Haga Limo company in the tiny town of Töreboda, is leasing out the unlikely machine on the site under the slogan “plough in style”. "We have given an incredible number of tours with our limousines to everyone from students to the municipality's director, all of them swilling bubbly, so now we're taking it a step further and offering ploughing in a little style," Andersson told the local Skaraborgs Läns Tidning...
  • Myanmar vows probe into [Baptist] teacher deaths

    01/23/2015 9:41:07 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin
    A woman places flowers at a makeshift memorial in Yangon on January 23, 2015 for two school teachers found dead in a remote village in Shan state Myanmar on Thursday said it would investigate the deaths of two teachers who activists claim were raped and murdered by government troops, as crowds gathered in the country's far north amid rising anger over the killings. The battered bodies of the two women, aged 20 and 21, were found Monday in a remote village in Shan state where they were teaching children on behalf of the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC), according to the...
  • Owner puts historical church in central Turkey up for sale online

    01/19/2015 5:10:16 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    hurriyet daily news ^ | January/19/2015
    Ömer Sicimoğlu, who works in real estate, bought the abandoned church building in 2013 for personal use. AA Photo An 18th century Greek church in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri has been put up for sale online by its owner, with an asking price of 450,000 euros. Ömer Sicimoğlu, who works in the real estate business, bought the abandoned church building in 2013 for personal use. “The church, which is an important cultural asset, can be restored. We want it to be bought by those who will renovate it," Sicimoğlu told Anadolu Agency. He put an advertisement for the...
  • Shell says has US OK to export lightly processed oil from US

    01/14/2015 5:48:13 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | January/14/2015
    Shell had been working with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on how to ship lightly processed condensate overseas without violating a decades-old crude export ban, the company told Reuters. The BIS regulates export controls. The approval enables Shell to move ahead with exports of condensate that qualifies as an exportable refined product as defined by BIS guidance issued on Dec. 30, the company said. However, U.S. crude oil prices have fallen by more than half since June to less than $50 a barrel and Shell said it would export processed condensate when it was...
  • AP: Budvar beer exports reach record high in 2014

    PRAGUE (AP) — Czech state-owned brewery Budejovicky Budvar, which has been fighting a long legal battle with U.S. beer giant Anheuser-Busch over the use of the "Budweiser" brand, says its overall output and exports reached record highs in 2014. Budejovicky Budvar NP says exports rose by 6 percent to reach 813,000 hectoliters (21.48 million gallons) of beer, the best result in 119 years. Budvar exported to 70 countries last year, five more than the previous year. Overall output reached 1.457 million hectoliters, up 2.5 percent from 2013. Profit figures from the brewery are due in April. Both Budvar and Anheuser-Busch...
  • Reuters: Saudi cleric condemns snowmen as anti-Islamic

    DUBAI, Jan 12 (Reuters) - A prominent Saudi Arabian cleric has whipped up controversy by issuing a religious ruling forbidding the building of snowmen, described them as anti-Islamic. Asked on a religious website if it was permissible for fathers to build snowmen for their children after a snowstorm in the country's north, Sheikh Mohammed Saleh al-Munajjid replied: "It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun." Quoting from Muslim scholars, Sheikh Munajjid argued that to build a snowman was to create an image of a human being, an action considered sinful...
  • Russian law imposing 10-year entry ban on violators of sojourn procedures comes into force

    01/10/2015 7:34:52 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. A law banning labour migrants to entre Russia for a term of ten years for violating the sojourn procedures enters into force on Saturday. Under the law, the ten-year entry ban is applicable to foreign citizens and people without citizenship who stayed in Russia for more than 280 days during their previous visit. Foreigners and people without citizenship who stayed in Russia illegally for 180 days will be banned from entering Russia for a term of five years. Russia’s previous migration laws were much milder with the longest entry ban of three years. Konstantin Romodanovsky, the...
  • US ambassador to Switzerland sparks flap over Swiss ski 'chaos'

    01/07/2015 5:29:52 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 45 replies
    The Local (Switzerland) ^ | 05 Jan 2015 10:43 GMT+01:00
    US Ambassador to Switzerland Suzi LeVine is being accused of violating diplomatic etiquette by posting critical comments about Swiss ski resorts on her Facebook page. “I’m trying to understand the chaos in the lift lines at Swiss ski resorts,” LeVine wrote after spending New Year’s Day at the Adelboden ski resort in the Bernese Oberland. She said she and her family enjoyed a great day at the resort “but I was so puzzled by the scrum heading to the lift (and the inefficiency in terms of how many people were on each lift)”. LeVine, a former Microsoft employee and Democratic...
  • Bad barley crop probably won't affect 2015 beer prices

    01/04/2015 7:39:36 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    maktoob news ^ | By LISA BAUMANN
    Problems with the 2014 malt barley crop in the western United States resulted in the worst year for malting production in the nation. This year, farmers and maltsters scrambled to salvage a large portion of the crop hit by heavy rains in August, especially in Montana and Idaho, the top two barley-growing states in the U.S. Growers in North Dakota and Alberta, Canada, faced similar issues. Scott Heisel, vice president at the American Malting Barley Association, said "the industry has never had to deal with this issue on this scale before." Fields with half of Montana's crop and 85 percent...
  • Bleak 2015 for Spaniards still engulfed by economic crisis

    01/04/2015 7:34:00 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    maktoob news ^ | By Michaela Cancela-Kieffer
    Behind the iron door of a ground floor flat in Madrid's working-class suburb of Vallecas around 30 people have gathered as Veronica Hidalgo announces she will be evicted from her home in 2015. "I have lived in social housing for the past two years. I paid 50 euros ($60) a month. It climbed to 400 euros," explains 26-year-old Hidalgo at the meeting. The regional government of Madrid has sold her 46-square-metre (495 square foot) apartment to a private company that drastically increased the monthly rent. Hidalgo, an unemployed mother of two children aged four and eight, only has a monthly...
  • Syrian troops, Al Qaeda-linked militants clash in Lebanon

    01/03/2015 3:54:34 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    Damascus, Jan 3 (IANS) Intense clashes were raging since Saturday morning between the Syrian troops backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front militants in Lebanon. According to the anti-government Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), violent clashes flared up in the area of Flaita, in the western part of al-Qalamoun, in Lebanon, Xinhua reported. Meanwhile, al-Mayadeen TV denied reports that the Nusra fighters managed to storm a Hezbollah position in Flaita, adding that the clashes raged on. No reports of losses, however, have yet emerged. Syrian government troops have been fighting rebel groups and militants since...
  • Libya Islamists abduct 20 Egypt Christians

    01/03/2015 3:49:10 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 11 replies
    Islamist militants have abducted 20 Egyptian Christians in Libya in recent days, a source close to the government said Saturday. The source said the Ansar al-Sharia militia had kidnapped 13 of them on Saturday in the coastal city of Sirte and the rest of them there over the past few days. The identity of those kidnapped was not immediately clear, except that they were said to be Coptic Christians.
  • Al Shabaab leader with $3 million U.S. bounty on head surrenders

    12/27/2014 9:55:55 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    maktoob news ^ | 9 minutes ago | By Abdi Sheikh and Feisal Omar
    MOGADISHU (Reuters) - A leader of Somali Islamist group al Shabaab, who has a $3 million U.S. bounty on his head, has surrendered, a Somali government official and local media said on Saturday, although the militants said he had long left their organisation. Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi was one of seven al Shabaab leaders for whom the U.S. State Department in 2012 offered a total of $33 million in reward money for information that led to their capture. If true, Hersi's surrender would be the second major blow to al Shabaab's leadership in just a few months. In September the...
  • Terrence Tusan's motives a mystery [Howard U RB killed committing robbery]

    12/26/2014 6:34:25 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 31 replies
    espn ^ | December 26, 2014, 2:42 AM ET
    A former coach and family friend of the Howard Bison running back who was one of two suspects fatally shot during an attempted robbery in Texas says Terrence Neal Tusan was a "good kid" and student. Tusan, 22, was killed on Sunday at a Denton, Texas, apartment complex. Denton police say five people were involved in some sort of altercation during the home-invasion robbery. "He was a good kid," Clarence Nevels, a former coach and mentor to Tusan, told the Denton Record-Chronicle. "He had good grades and was just down at AT&T Stadium for Thanksgiving Day Madness Youth Football speaking...
  • Snow globe caused charity shop fire

    12/25/2014 3:50:34 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    belfast telegraph ^ | 25 December 2014
    The sun's rays ignited fake reindeer food and snow on display in the window of the shop in Bournemouth, Dorset. Firefighters from Dorset Fire Service attended the incident at the shop in Wimborne Road, Winton, at around 11.30am. Occupants of neighbouring properties were advised to evacuate and firefighters put the flames out within 10 minutes of arriving on the scene. A fire service spokesman said: "At the risk of sounding like a Christmas tale, the cause of the fire was believed to be sun refracting through a snow globe in the shop window which then ignited 'reindeer food' and fake...
  • 'Three Wise Men' fined for not wearing helmets

    12/24/2014 7:27:47 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 23 replies
    the Local (Spain) ^ | 23 Dec 2014 09:06 GMT+01:00
    Police in Zaragoza have fined the three kings who rode their motorbikes without wearing helmets while en route to an appearance at a local school. Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported that rather than wearing the legally required helmets, the three kings were sporting their usual headgear of golden crowns as they made their way to Recarte y Ornat primary school in Zaragoza.The three wise men were stopped by local police in the centre of the city and were made to wait for 45 minutes, while across the city 400 pupils eagerly awaited the arrival of the kings and their gifts.Organizers...
  • Mum says toddler taken to Syria by Isis dad

    12/24/2014 7:21:12 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    The Local (Italy) ^ | 22 Dec 2014 16:30 GMT+01:00
    A mother has claimed to have recognized her three-year-old boy in photos distributed on jihadist forums promoting terrorist organization Isis (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), more than a year after he disappeared from northern Italy. Lidia Solana Herrera, who was born in Cuba, claims her son Ismail Mesinovic was kidnapped by her estranged husband and son’s father, Ismar Mesinovic, from her home in Belluno in northern Italy in November 2013. Mesinovic, a Bosnian native, is alleged to have taken the child with him when he left Italy and volunteered to fight for Isis in Syria. The father has reportedly...
  • Major drug network busted in Macedonia

    12/24/2014 6:35:07 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    the Local (Austria) ^ | 22 Dec 2014 23:49 GMT+01:00
    Europol announced on Monday that it has busted a major heroin-smuggling network based in Macedonia, including distribution hubs in Austria and Germany, with the arrests of 400 people. The gang is suspected of having brought large quantities of drugs from Macedonia to the EU. According to a report from the Austrian Press Association, some 400 people have been arrested, with 100 kg of heroin, cocaine and cannabis seized, as well as a large amount of cash. The gang recruited its members mostly in Macedonia, who were then tasked with the packaging and smuggling of drugs into the EU through the...
  • Egyptian man in Austria cuts down 'eyesore' Jesus on cross

    12/24/2014 6:30:30 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 52 replies
    the Local (Austria) ^ | 24 Dec 2014 09:25 GMT+01:00
    An Egyptian man who moved into a house in Grossenzersdorf in Lower Austria told his neighbours the 60-year-old figure of Jesus on a cross outside his home was an 'eyesore' - so he cut it down with an angle grinder. Shortly after the man bought the house in Augasse, he was heard complaining to his neighbours about the two-metre high crucifix with the figure of Jesus that stood for several decades on the grass verge in front of his property. "I don't want that. It has to go!", he said, according to a report in the news daily Heute. Soon,...
  • Egypt jails 40 Morsi backers for church fires

    12/19/2014 4:37:41 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    An Egyptian court sentenced 40 backers of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to up to 15 years in jail Thursday for violence including torching churches, a judicial source said. Followers of Morsi have been the target of a relentless crackdown by the authorities since he was deposed in July 2013 by ex-army chief and now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The criminal court in Assiut in southern Egypt sentenced two defendants to 15 years each, while the others were given jail terms ranging from one year to 10, the source said. They were accused of taking part in acts of violence...
  • Iran advisers boost anti-ISIL battles in Iraq

    12/14/2014 6:55:38 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    Baghdad - Iranian military commanders deployed in Iraq played a key role in recent victories against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters throughout the country, according to Iraqi security officials and Shia militia leaders. Iran was the first country to respond to the Iraqi government's calls for international help in the battle against ISIL, which overran vast swaths of the country's north and west this summer and were advancing towards the capital. Dozens of Iranian military commanders - including Qassim Sulaimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force - have joined Iraqi security forces in battlefields north...
  • Americans and Belgians mark 70th anniversary of Battle of the Bulge

    12/13/2014 12:15:44 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 22 replies ^ | Saturday 13 December 2014 11.43 EST
    Belgium’s King Philippe, right, and Queen Mathilde throw nuts to the public, during the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, in Bastogne, Belgium, on Saturday. The tradition dates from when the Germans asked for the US surrender in Bastogne, to which General Anthony McAuliffe answered: ‘Nuts!’ Photograph: Yves Logghe/AP Braving snowy weather, Americans and Belgians gathered in the Ardennes on Saturday to mark the 70th anniversary of one of the biggest and bloodiest US battles of the second world war, the Battle of the Bulge. Jean-Claude Klepper, 62, of Virton, Belgium, said “we must never forget what...
  • ISIL has training camps in eastern Libya: Top US general

    12/04/2014 4:39:11 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | December/04/2014
    The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which overran large areas of Iraq and Syria, has set up training camps in eastern Libya and the American military is closely monitoring, a top U.S. general said Dec. 3. Western countries have been increasingly worried that Libya's political turmoil could provide fertile ground for Islamic extremists, but General David Rodriguez ruled out military action on the "nascent" camps in the immediate future. "They put training camps out there," Rodriguez, head of US Africa Command, told reporters, referring to the ISIL. Rodriguez described the ISIL's activity in eastern Libya as "very...
  • Al-Qaeda leader in Libya detained in Turkey

    12/04/2014 4:34:46 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | December/04/2014
    Abd al-Baset Azzouz, the reported leader of al-Qaeda in Libya, was detained last month in northwestern Turkey after he entered the country with a fake passport, Turkish daily Milliyet reported on Dec. 4. Azzouz was reportedly detained Nov. 13 in Yalova by Turkish police, after work between Turkey’s intelligence service and the CIA. The suspected was subsequently deported to Jordan on Nov. 24, according to the report, before being transferred to the United States on suspicion of his involvement in a deadly attack on Washington’s consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, in which U.S. Envoy to Libya Chris Stevens...
  • Car bomb hits home of Iran envoy in Yemen, one dead

    12/03/2014 4:51:32 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    maktoob news ^ | 31 minutes ago
    Yemeni security forces inspect the scene of a car bomb which struck the residence of Iran's ambassador in Sanaa. At least one person was killed and 17 wounded Wednesday when a car bomb struck the residence of Iran's ambassador in Yemen, where Tehran is accused of backing Shiite militia.Ambassador Hassan Sayed Nam was not at home when the attack took place in the diplomatic district of Hada in the capital Sanaa, according to a security official. The son of a guard at the residence was killed, according to an interior ministry statement given by the official Saba news agency....
  • US close to deal with Turkey over ISIL mission

    12/01/2014 5:31:18 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 17 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | December/01/2014
    The United States and Turkey are closing in on a deal that will allow the U.S. military and allied forces to use Turkish air bases in their campaign against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Syria, the Wall Street Journal reported Dec. 1. The newspaper, citing U.S. and Turkish officials, said the agreement could include a safe zone along a portion of the Syrian border to protect refugees and certain opposition forces that would also “be off-limits” to aircraft from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Allowing the United States and its allies to use Turkey’s bases...
  • Japan military chief urges early 'crisis management' pact with China

    11/29/2014 9:02:49 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    reuters ^ | Japan military chief urges early 'crisis management' pact with China
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's highest-ranking military officer on Friday urged an early start to a "crisis management" mechanism with China amid conflicting claims to a group of tiny East China Sea islands. Patrol ships and fighter jets from both countries have shadowed each other regularly near the uninhabited islands, prompting fears an accidental collision or other incident could escalate into a larger conflict. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed this month to start work on maritime crisis management. Such talks have been halted since Japan nationalized three of the disputed islands in September 2012. "It...
  • Turkish engineers to produce electricity from cows’ intestinal gas

    11/29/2014 8:23:55 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 17 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | November/27/2014 | Sadi Özdemir
    Three Turkish engineers have developed a system that produces electricity from intestinal gases collected from cows in barns. They aim to enable farmers to create additional revenue from this energy, which will be generated in 4,000 barns. “Our project is based on collecting and decomposing intestinal gases from cows to produce an energy resource. Cows produce more gas than other animals due to their unique intestinal system. For instance, a human produces 0.5 liters of gas a day, but a cow is able to produce up to 580 liters of gas,” said one of the engineers, Şafak Karatepe. Yalçın Öztürk,...
  • Turkish man catches child after fall from seventh floor

    11/29/2014 8:19:45 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 18 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | November/29/2014
    The cleaning worker who saved the girl's life said he received many phone calls from people who declared him a hero. A Turkish man has caught a four-year-old girl who fell from a seventh floor window in a central Anatolian city. Şükrü Deniz, a cleaning worker in the Eskişehir province, was passing by a building in the Cumhuriyet neighborhood on Nov. 28, when a pair of shoes fell on the street. "I looked up to complain about the people who throw shoes from their windows, but I saw a kid on the top floor playing on the window ledge," Deniz...
  • Angry at Israeli raid on al-Aqsa, Turkish governor orders synagogue be turned into museum

    11/22/2014 6:40:56 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    The governor of the northwestern province of Edirne on the Turkish-Greek border has ordered a historical synagogue be turned into a museum, citing a recent Israeli raid on al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. “When those bandits blow winds of war inside al-Aqsa and slain Muslims, we build their synagogues,” Edirne Gov. Dursun Şahin told reporters on Nov. 21. “I say this with a huge hatred inside me. We clean their graveyards, send their projects to boards. The synagogue here will be registered only as a museum, and there will be no exhibition inside it.” A main opposition lawmaker has called for...
  • Japan raises military profile in naval war games with U.S.

    11/21/2014 5:10:31 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    Japan Today ^ | Nov. 21, 2014 - 11:09AM JST | By Tim Kelly
    Japan stepped up its role in large-scale war games with the United States this week, with one of its admirals commanding air and sea maneuvers that the U.S. military described as the most complex ever overseen by the Japanese navy. The Keen Sword exercises involving more than 30,000 Japanese troops and 11,000 U.S. personnel come as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks a higher profile for Japan in the security alliance. At the same time, Washington has encouraged Tokyo to take a greater share of the defense burden, especially as China’s military modernises rapidly. Rear Admiral Hidetoshi Iwasaki commanded a flotilla...
  • Mogherini makes light of leaked EU paper on Israel sanctions

    11/18/2014 8:32:58 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    EUObserver ^ | Today @ 09:28 |
    BRUSSELS - Europe’s new foreign relations chief has denied the EU is in talks on Israel sanctions, despite a leaked paper on the issue. Federica Mogherini, who chaired her first foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday (17 November), told press the leaked paper is a “technical working hypothesis” which “member states requested” when her predecessor was in office. She added: “It is not at the heart of today’s discussions on how to start a positive process with the Israelis and Palestinians. There’s currently no question of sanctioning anybody. The question is rather how to motivate people to … restart...
  • Iraqi-Kurdish oil deal falls short of solutions

    11/16/2014 8:33:31 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin
    maktoob news ^ | By VIVIAN SALAMA and BRAM JANSSEN
    The semi-autonomous Kurdish Regional Government has struggled to stabilize the local economy in the face of a militant onslaught and an expensive financial dispute with the Iraqi central government in Baghdad. Negotiations between the two sides yielded some progress Thursday after Baghdad agreed to release $500 million in frozen budget payments. In return, the Kurds will provide 150,000 barrels of oil per day for Baghdad to sell. But while the cash infusion may provide temporary relief, many here say it is nowhere near enough to stabilize the Kurdish economy amid the Islamic State group insurgency, which has driven more than...
  • Chinese, Iranian FMs have phone talks over nuclear issue

    11/16/2014 4:43:48 PM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    CANBERRA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad-Javad Zarif held a phone conversation Sunday over the Iranian nuclear issue. Noting that the negotiations for a comprehensive agreement on the issue have entered a crucial stage, Wang urged all parties concerned to keep focused on the overall interests, adhere to the existing consensus, meet each other halfway and show flexibility, so as to reach a fair, balanced and comprehensive deal as scheduled. China is willing to keep close contact with all parties concerned and play a constructive role, Wang added. Zarif elaborated Iran's stance...
  • French lawmakers 'to vote Nov 28 on recognising Palestine'

    11/12/2014 10:15:14 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    French lawmakers will vote on November 28 on a proposal by the Socialist Party urging the government to recognise Palestine as a state, a parliamentary source said Wednesday. The non-binding but highly symbolic vote would follow a similar vote in the British parliament and after Sweden announced it formally recognised the state of Palestine. A draft of the proposal states that the lower house National Assembly "invites the French government to use the recognition of the state of Palestine as an instrument to gain a definitive resolution of the conflict". France will "obviously at a certain moment recognise the Palestinian...
  • Iran denies nuclear scientist killed in Syria

    11/12/2014 10:13:10 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Iran on Wednesday denied a report that one of its nuclear scientists was killed in an ambush near the capital of its war-torn ally Syria. "There are no Iranian nuclear scientists in Syria," said Deputy Foreign Minister Hassan Ghashghavi, quoted by state news agency IRNA. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said five nuclear engineers, including an Iranian, were killed Sunday as unknown assailants attacked their bus just north of Damascus, near the research centre where they worked. Iran backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who has since March 2011 faced an armed revolt aimed at toppling...
  • Azerbaijan shoots down Armenian military helicopter

    11/12/2014 5:54:12 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | November/12/2014
    Azerbaijani forces on Nov. 12 shot down an Armenian military helicopter, the defence ministry in Baku said, in a dramatic flare-up in the arch-foes' longstanding conflict over Nagorny Karabakh. "On November 12 a MI-24 combat helicopter attempted to attack positions of the Azerbaijani army near (Karabakh's) Agdam district. The helicopter has been shot down by Azerbaijani army," Azerbaijan's defence ministry said in a statement.
  • Turkey could scrap controversial Chinese missile purchase

    11/12/2014 5:52:36 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | November/12/2014
    Turkey could scrap a controversial plan to buy missile defense systems from China that alarmed the United States and its Western allies, Turkish and European sources said on Nov. 12. Key NATO member Turkey said in September last year that it was entering negotiations with the China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corporation (CPMIEC) to acquire its first long-range anti-missile systems. However, the plan has deeply concerned the United States, which has already imposed sanctions on the Chinese company for supplying arms to Iran and Syria in defiance of an embargo. "Several options are on the table, including a cancellation of the...
  • Europe is living in a world increasingly dominated by Asia

    11/12/2014 5:46:34 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    Economic development in China and other Asian countries has an impact on the role of European states in global affairs. Craig J. Willy argues that with the rise of Asian economies, the world is increasingly moving away from the model of free trade championed by Europe and other states in the West. Unless Europe becomes a more cohesive actor which is capable of convincing other nations to respect Western legal and commercial principles, it will find itself forced to adapt to the East Asian development model.Economic relations between the European Union and China are a classic example of what French...
  • EU and Kosovo corruption: Scratching the surface?

    11/12/2014 5:33:20 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    EUObserver ^ | 11.11.14 @ 15:57 | By Andrew Rettman
    BRUSSELS - The EU has asked a 72-year old French academic to look at the recent corruption allegations against Eulex, its rule of law mission in Kosovo. But former EU officials are asking bigger questions, like: How come Eulex prosecutors failed to convict a single high-level suspect in the past five years?Europe’s new foreign relations chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Monday (10 November) that Jean Paul Jacque, who teaches law at the University of Strasbourg in France and the College of Europe in Belgium, will “review” the corruption affair. He will work pro bono and file a report, which is...