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Articles Posted by DeaconBenjamin

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  • Senior Kosovo figures face prosecution for crimes against humanity

    07/29/2014 5:07:15 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | Tuesday 29 July 2014 09.42 BST | Julian Borger
    Leading political figures in Kosovo face indictment by a special EU court for crimes against humanity, including killings, abductions, sexual violence and other abuses of Serb and Roma minorities, according to the chief prosecutor leading a three-year special investigation. The threat of indictments comes in a progress report published on Tuesday morning in Brussels by Clint Williamson, an American prosecutor appointed by the EU in 2011 to investigate ethnic cleansing committed in Kosovo since the 1999 Nato intervention ended the conflict there. Williamson describes the suspects as "senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA), which fought against the...
  • Historic Chinese church gutted by fire

    07/28/2014 6:15:55 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Rakyat post ^ | BEIJING, July 28, 2014:
    This overhead view shows a firetruck (bottom, left) beside Jiangbei Cathedral in Ningbo, as firefighters put out a fire at the structure in Ningbo, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on July 28, 2014. — AFP pic A fire largely destroyed one of China’s oldest churches early today, state media reported, gutting the inside of the late 19th century structure. “The inside of the building is totally destroyed,” a firefighter told the official Xinhua news agency after the blaze at the gothic-style Jiangbei Cathedral in Ningbo, in Zhejiang province. “It’s a great loss. The church is such a beautiful building.” No...
  • No room for Christians in Iraq anymore, fleeing residents say

    07/27/2014 6:05:38 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 13 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/27/2014
    Alive but not at peace, Iraqi Christians who have fled the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Mosul are recounting their nightmares about the group, while also lamenting the ostensible end of a place for their community in Iraq. Thousands fled the violence after ISIL, which now calls itself the Islamic State (IS), took control of Mosul, and many others who were left behind were forced to flee the city last week under the threat of forced conversion or execution by jihadists. Not only were the Christians harried, but their heritage that is thousands...
  • Boko Haram kidnaps wife of Cameroon's vice PM, kills at least three

    07/27/2014 7:03:55 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 13 replies
    reuters ^ | By Tansa Musa
    YAOUNDE (Reuters) - The wife of Cameroon's vice prime minister was kidnapped and at least three people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants on in the northern town of Kolofata on Sunday, Cameroon officials said. A local religious leader, or lamido, named Seini Boukar Lamine, who is also the town's mayor, was kidnapped as well, in a separate attack on his home. Boko Haram, the Nigerian Islamist militant group, has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks as Cameroon has deployed troops to the region, joining international efforts to combat the militants. A Cameroon military...
  • Oil smuggling finances Islamic State's new 'caliphate'

    07/23/2014 4:57:04 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/23/2014
    Islamic State militants seized four small oilfields when they swept through north Iraq last month and are now selling crude oil and gasoline from them to finance their newly declared "caliphate". Near the northern city of Mosul, the Islamic State has taken over the Najma and Qayara fields, while further south near Tikrit it overran the Himreen and Ajil fields during its two-day sweep through northern Iraq in mid-June. The oilfields in Islamic State hands are modest compared to Iraq's giant fields near Kirkuk and Basra, which are under Kurdish and central government control. Most of the Islamic State-held oil...
  • Iran balks at Kurdish statehood threats

    07/20/2014 4:42:06 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    Asia Times ^ | Jul 18, '14 | By Mahan Abedi
    As Iraq continues to disintegrate, its powerful eastern neighbor, Iran, struggles to keep up with a wide range of issues and threats. For Iran, nothing is potentially more problematic and threatening than Kurdish independence. Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani raised the stakes for all key regional and international players by signaling determined political intent in Erbil to push for independence. An independent Kurdistan undercuts Iranian influence in Iraq. A nascent Kurdish state also signals a permanent base for American and Israeli influence on Iran's doorstep. As if this was not bad enough, Kurdish independence in Iraq will inevitably embolden irredentist Kurdish...
  • This Independence Day, India will remember her 1.3 million troops of WWI

    07/20/2014 3:28:26 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    Times of India ^ | Jul 21, 2014, 12.24 AM IST | Manimugdha S Sharma,TNN
    In the killing fields of Gallipoli in 1915, Australia and New Zealand found their national identities. This Independence Day, India, which has been sprinting along the superpower track, will find an opportunity to pause for a moment to remember the 1.3 million Indians who fought in the First World War. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Great War, a global organization of NRIs wants to declare August 15 as Remembrance Day in memory of the Indian soldiers. They have chosen this day because "there could be no better day to be free of our old inhibitions about...
  • Democrats may lose Hope in Arkansas despite Clinton legacy

    07/20/2014 2:06:26 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 11 replies
    LA Times ^ | By Lisa Mascaro
    Much has changed since Bill Clinton grew up in this sleepy Arkansas town. The former Clinton home is now a well-appointed museum. The old two-lane road in front grew into a bustling artery leading to a Wal-Mart. Across the street sits a taco truck, whose owner, immigrant Elvia Bello, sells her famous tamales to the small but growing Latino population in the once-segregated community. But perhaps the biggest change of all in a state that once had reliably elected Democrats is the sandwich-board sign on a corner with hand-painted letters announcing: "Tea Party Meeting 4th Thursday 7 p.m." This busy...
  • Iraqi Kurds begin oil pumping from Kirkuk

    07/17/2014 10:31:35 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region has begun to pump oil from Kirkuk fields previously controlled by Iraq’s central government into the pipeline system that runs in its own territory, a senior Iraqi oil official said on July 17. Kirkuk lies on the disputed boundary between the northern Kurdish region and the rest of Iraq and is at the heart of a long-running dispute between Baghdad and Arbil, the Kurdish regional capital, over territory and natural resources. Kurdish forces took control of production facilities at the Kirkuk and Bai Hassan northern fields on July 11, exploiting a power vacuum created by an...
  • Syrian car hits family in Turkey, raising racial tensions

    07/16/2014 9:33:12 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/16/2014
    Tension between locals and Syrians escalated in the southeastern province of Gaziantep when a car with a Syrian plate hit a family on July 15, injuring a mother and a daughter. The Syrian driver, whose identity remains unknown, crashed into the family of four while the latter was crossing the Özdemirbey Avenue in the evening hours. Güneş Aydoğan, 54, and her 5-year-old daughter Betül Aydoğan were taken to hospital after being injured in the accident. Turkish citizens who gathered at the scene attacked the car and broke its windows, attempting to lynch the Syrian driver. The outraged group also attacked...
  • Dutch court rules nation liable over 300 Srebrenica victims

    07/16/2014 9:21:20 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/16/2014
    A court in the Netherlands ruled Wednesday that the Dutch state was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity on European soil since World War II. Families of the victims had brought a case the Dutch government over the 1995 killings, accusing Dutch UN peacekeepers of failing to protect the 8,000 slaughtered by ethnic Serb troops just a few months before the end of the Bosnian war. The judgement was greeted with a mixture of satisfaction and dismay by relatives after the court found the state was liable...
  • What is UN good for if Gaza in flames, asks Turkish PM Erdogan

    07/16/2014 9:13:53 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 23 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/16/2014
    The humanitarian tragedy in Gaza due to Israel’s devastating attacks has moved Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to once again slam the United Nations’ alleged lack of effectiveness. “I wonder, how can we make an explanation for what Israel has done, as a human being, no matter which religion or sect we are from?” Erdoğan said late on July 15. “The United Nations is the number one responsible on this matter. I always ask the U.N: What do you serve for? Why was this U.N. founded? To provide the world’s peace? If the U.N. can’t fulfill its job, then...
  • Egypt opens border to wounded Palestinians

    07/10/2014 4:52:01 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | July/10/2014
    Rafah is Gaza's only border crossing that bypasses Israel, which has hammered the coastal strip in response to Palestinian rocket fire. AFP Photo Egypt opened its Rafah border crossing to Gaza on Thursday to receive wounded Palestinians as Israel pounded the enclave with air strikes, an official at the border said. Hospitals in north Sinai, which borders Gaza and Israel, have been placed on standby to receive the Palestinians, Egypt's official MENA news agency reported. The crossing is usually closed, with Egyptian officials citing the tense security situation in Sinai, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency. Rafah is...
  • Pro-Erdoğan group hacks Armenian weekly’s website, threatens community with ‘eradication’

    07/09/2014 4:07:47 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin
    Hürriyet ^ | July/09/2014
    The website of the weekly Armenian newspaper Agos was hacked in the late hours of July 8, posting a message and a photo of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with an Ottoman stamp in the background. The hackers, calling themselves “Herakles Fearlesleon,” threatened to “eradicate” the community and accused it of “treason,” while also sending messages of support to Erdoğan. “We have seen a lot of traitors like you. We know what you did and what you will do in the future. But from now on the great Ottoman state will be reborn with the master Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” a...
  • China starts publishing daily Japanese war crimes 'confession'

    07/04/2014 9:29:50 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 11 replies
    Japan Today ^ | Jul. 04, 2014 - 11:50AM JST
    China began publishing “confessions” of 45 convicted Japanese World War II criminals on Thursday, officials said, in Beijing’s latest effort to highlight the past amid a territorial dispute between the two countries. The documents, handwritten by Japanese tried and convicted by military courts in China after the war, are being released online one a day for 45 days by the State Archives Administration (SAA), it said in a statement on its website. In the first, dated 1954 and 38 pages long, Keiku Suzuki, described as a lieutenant general and commander of Japan’s 117th Division, admitted ordering a Colonel Taisuke to...
  • China's Xi highlights Japan militarist past in Seoul speech

    07/04/2014 9:20:20 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    Japan Today ^ | Jul. 04, 2014 - 04:15PM JST
    Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the joint suffering of China and South Korea under Japanese militarism during a speech in Seoul Friday that came days after Tokyo announced a landmark shift in military policy. “In the first half of the 20th century, Japanese militarists carried out barbarous wars of aggression against China and Korea, swallowing up Korea and occupying half of the Chinese mainland,” Xi said in an address at Seoul National University. “When the war against Japan was at its highest pitch, the Chinese and Korean people shared their suffering and helped each other with sweat and blood,” he...
  • Israel's prime minister backs Kurdish independence

    06/29/2014 5:29:24 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | Sunday 29 June 2014 19.32 BST
    Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu voiced support for Kurdish statehood, taking a position that appears to clash with the US. Netanyahu on Sunday called for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan as part of a broader alliance with moderate forces across the region. Netanyahu laid out his positions in a policy speech that marked his most detailed response to the gains made by Sunni extremists fighting in Iraq. His endorsement of Kurdish independence put him at odds with prevailing international opinion. Netanyahu said that the rise of both al-Qaida-backed Sunni extremists, as well as Iranian-backed Shia forces, had created the...
  • Texas man pleads guilty to attempt to join ISIL via Turkey

    06/29/2014 6:53:03 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/28/2014
    This undated image provided by the Austin Police Department shows Michael Wolfe. Wolfe is one of two Central Texas men who have been separately accused of trying to plot their entry into conflicts in Syria and Somalia to support terrorists, according to federal prosecutors. (AP Photo/Austin Police Department) A Texas man pleaded guilty on Friday of attempting to provide support and resources to a Middle Eastern foreign terrorist organization as part of a federal undercover operation, U.S. prosecutors said. Michael Wolfe, 23, admitted that "he planned to travel to the Middle East to provide his services to a foreign terrorist...
  • Turkey to meet Kurdistan Regional Government’s fuel demand amid oil crisis

    06/28/2014 11:09:45 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/27/2014
    Turkey will meet northern Iraq’s additional 4,000 tons of processed oil demand, the Turkish energy minister has said, but warned of border gate restraints amid fuel scarcity in the region after the shutdown of Iraq’s biggest refinery. Turkey currently ships 9,000 tons of fuel to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq and an additional 4,000 tons have been demanded, Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said, answering reporters’ question at the Bosporus Energy Club meeting on June 27. “Can we meet this? Of course we can … Will it be possible for all of the order to pass through Habur...
  • Iraqi Kurdish leader Barzani says Kurdish self-rule in Kirkuk to stay

    06/27/2014 5:08:52 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/27/2014
    Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani said June 27 there was no going back on autonomous Kurdish rule in oil city Kirkuk and other towns now defended against Sunni militants by Kurdish fighters. "Now, this (issue) ... is achieved," he said, referring to a constitutional article meant to address the Kurds' decades-old ambition to incorporate the territory in their autonomous region in the north over the objections of successive governments in Baghdad. Kurdish forces stepped in when federal government forces withdrew in the face of a jihadist-led offensive earlier this month. Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting British Foreign...
  • Syria opposition sacks Free Syrian Army command over graft allegations

    06/27/2014 5:06:48 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin
    hurriyet daily news ^ | June/27/2014
    Syria's opposition government sacked the military command of the rebel Free Syrian Army late Thursday over corruption allegations, as the White House asked lawmakers for $500 million for moderate insurgents. A statement by the opposition government said its chief Ahmad Tohme "decided to disband the Supreme Military Council and refer its members to the government's financial and administration committee for investigation". The decision came amid widespread reports of corruption within the ranks of the FSA, which is backed by Western and Arab governments in its battle to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The government in exile said it...
  • Swedish music festivals opt to go cash free

    06/14/2014 11:05:54 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 32 replies
    The Local (Sweden) ^ | 13 Jun 2014 10:21 GMT+02:00
    Dropped wallets, mile-long lines to buy a hotdog, and stolen cash are a thing of the past - at least at music festivals in Sweden. Cash is no longer king. Many Swedish music festivals will soon be entirely cashless, organizers announced on Friday. "All festival armbands will have chips," said Niklas Westergren, marketing director at FKP Scorpio, one of the largest organizers of music festivals in Sweden. "Before the festival begins, people can create a profile where they can add their bank details." Instead of keeping track of cash, festival-goers can transfer money from their accounts and then just swipe...
  • Spain forces Coke to rehire workers

    06/14/2014 11:00:49 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 24 replies
    The Local (Spain) ^ | 13 Jun 2014 16:06 GMT+02:00
    Coca-Cola will have to reemploy and reimburse the 821 workers it sacked in April when it closed four of its bottling plants in Spain now that a judge has ruled the drinks multinational carried out the lay-offs unlawfully. The sudden lay-off of 1,190 (finally 821) Coca-Cola employees from its bottling plants in Madrid, Mallorca, Alicante and Asturias were, according to holding company Iberian Partners, needed to improve efficiency. But Spain’s High Court ruled on Friday that the fizzy drinks giants had not carried out the merging of all of their eight bottling plants in Spain appropriately. They also blamed them...
  • Egypt pleads with Italian tourists to return

    06/14/2014 8:04:43 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 22 replies
    The Local (Italy) ^ | 12 Jun 2014 14:02 GMT+02:00
    Tour operators in Egypt have this week held a conference to urge Italian tourists to return, after instability in the country prompted a crisis in the travel industry following the 2011 ousting of dictator Hosni Mubarak. Around 700 tour operators gathered this week at the ‘United for Egypt’ conference held at the Port Ghalib resort, La Stampa reported. Organizers from both countries hoped the meeting would give a much-needed boost to tourism to Egypt, which has seen a dramatic fall-off in recent years. “In 2008 in Egypt there were 1,073,159 Italian travellers. That number literally collapsed and in 2013 local...
  • Rockefeller family member killed in small plane crash near New York City

    06/13/2014 10:41:52 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 34 replies
    yahoo news ^ | by Victoria Cavaliere
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller was killed on Friday when his small plane crashed shortly after taking off from an airport north of New York City, a family spokesman and the Federal Aviation Administration said. Dr. Richard Rockefeller of Falmouth, Maine, was piloting the Piper PA-46 aircraft when it went down about 10 minutes after takeoff from Westchester County Airport in Purchase, 23 miles (37 km) north of New York City, family spokesman Fraser Seitel and the FAA said. He was the only person on board, according to an FAA statement. "This is...
  • Turkish opposition lawmakers accuse Turkish government of 'protecting ISIL and al-Nusra militants'

    06/13/2014 8:44:24 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/13/2014
    This photograph shows ISIL commander Abu Muhammad, April 16, 2014, allegedly receiving free treatment in Hatay State Hospital after being injured during fighting in Idlib, Syria. Two lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) have accused the government of protecting and cooperating with jihadist militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the al-Nusra Front, while the Turkish government quickly denied the claim. CHP Deputy Parliamentary Group Head Muharrem Ince has asked for explanations of a photograph showing ISIL commander Abu Muhammad allegedly receiving free treatment in Hatay State Hospital on April 16, 2014,...
  • ISIL issues ‘10 commandments’ for Islamic rule

    06/13/2014 8:34:42 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 32 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/13/2014
    Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), who abducted 80 Turks in northern Iraq and who are approaching ever closer to the Iraqi capital Baghdad, have set rules for those living under their control in the province of Nineveh. The group, which has made clear that it intends to create a new Caliphate, published the document two days after taking the provincial capital Mosul. Arabic-speaking reporter Jenan Moussa translated the document. A redacted version is as follows: 1) People, you tried secular rulings (Republic, Baathist, Safavid) and they gave you pain. Now is time for the...
  • ISIL militants 'executed 1,700 Shiite soldiers', UN alarmed

    06/13/2014 8:32:15 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 29 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/13/2014
    Concerns are growing over executions and mounting abuses by militants led by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), amid a warning from the United Nations that hundreds of people were killed, many of them summarily executed, after the seizure of Mosul. “The full extent of civilian casualties is not yet known but reports received by UNAMI, the U.N. mission in Iraq, to this point suggest that the number of people killed in recent days may run into the hundreds and the number of wounded is said to be approaching 1,000,” Rupert Colville, the spokesman of the U.N.’s...
  • Red Cross freezes Libya work after Swiss death

    06/08/2014 3:47:39 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    The Local (Switzerland) ^ | 05 Jun 2014 18:11 GMT+02:00
    The International Committee of the Red Cross says it is temporarily freezing its operations in Libya to reevaluate the security situation after a Swiss staffer was killed by gunmen. "We are freezing movement (of personnel) for the time being to analyze the situation so we can adapt our operations," ICRC spokesman David-Pierre Marquet told AFP on Thursday. He said there were no plans to permanently halt the organization's operations in Libya. The announcement came a day after Michael Greub, a 42-year-old Swiss citizen heading the ICRC's office in Libya's third city Misrata, was killed by gunmen in Sirte, 200 kilometres...
  • Italians flock to Albania in search of work

    06/08/2014 3:33:56 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    The Local (Italy) ^ | 06 Jun 2014 08:00 GMT+02:00
    There has been a jump in the number of Italians moving to Albania for new opportunities, with 19,000 taking up work or study visas, Italian media reported on Thursday. The figures from the Albanian government represent “a real boom”, sociologist Rando Devole was quoted in Il Messaggero as saying. “That says a lot about the Italian crisis, but also about the growth of Albania through its own immigrants,” he said. Albanian immigrants to Italy have acted as ambassadors for their country, “convincing owners of small businesses in Italy to open in another part of the Adriatic coast,” Devole said. Although...
  • Turkish-American F-35 engine production facility inaugurated in İzmir

    06/08/2014 2:36:20 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 13 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | June/06/2014
    Kale Pratt & Whitney, a joint venture of American aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney and Turkish aviation company Kale, has inaugurated its new engine factory in the Aegean province of Izmir, where the most critical engine parts of F-35 fighter jets will be manufactured. The parts of the F-135 engine of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighters will manufactured, assembled and repaired at the plant, the opening of which has been marked with a ceremony attended by President Abdullah Gül, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz and company managers. With the aim of producing fuselage parts for the new generation...
  • French boxer floored by his own freak punch

    06/02/2014 9:08:23 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies
    the local (France) ^ | 31 May 2014 12:51 GMT+02:00
    Heavyweight boxer Mickael Vieira was the victim of his own punch when he suffered a first-round knock-out against Germany's Francesco Pianeta. The 29-year-old lasted just 140 seconds of Friday's fight for the vacant WBO European title in Dresden when he suffered a suspected broken elbow after punching Pianeta's right shoulder.After landing the punch with his left, the Frenchman let out a cry of pain and crumpled to the canvas in a bizarre end to the bout. It was Vieira's fight outside of France and he was immediately offered a rematch by Pianeta, 29, who suffered the only defeat of his...
  • Portuguese court throws out 'unconstitutional' pay and pension cuts

    06/02/2014 8:47:35 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 2 replies
    EUObserver ^ | By Benjamin Fox
    BRUSSELS - Portugal’s supreme court threw out cuts to welfare and public sector pay in the latest challenge to Pedro Coelho’s government. In a ruling announced on Friday night (30 May), the court stated that public sector pay cuts worth between 2 and 12 percent, as well as cuts to pensions and welfare benefits were unconstitutional.The court ruling will not be applied retroactively to cuts which were applied in January, but will come into immediate effect. "Budget execution has reached half way (through the year) and so these substantial amounts could damage budget consolidation targets," said Joaquim de Sousa Ribeiro,...
  • Turkey driven by 'greed' in Kurdish oil row: Iraqi deputy PM

    06/01/2014 1:23:49 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 4 replies
    hurriyet daily news ^ | June/01/2014
    Turkey has been “driven by greed” in an escalating row over oil pumped from Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region and shipped overseas, Baghdad’s top energy official has said, after northern Iraqi leader Masoud Barzani reportedly threatened to consider self-rule. The remarks by Hussein al-Shahristani, deputy prime minister responsible for energy affairs, represent a significant ratcheting up of rhetoric after Baghdad took legal action against Ankara in a widening dispute over Iraq’s prized natural resources. The shipping of oil extracted from the three-province Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) last month has chilled ties both between Baghdad and Ankara, and between the central government...
  • Japan, Australia consider submarine deal that could rattle China

    06/01/2014 1:13:05 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 11 replies
    Japan Today ^ | Jun. 01, 2014 - 06:00AM JST
    Japan will get the chance to pursue an unprecedented military export deal when its defense and foreign ministers meet their Australian counterparts in Tokyo this month. Japan is considering selling submarine technology to Australia - perhaps even a fleet of fully engineered, stealthy vessels, according to Japanese officials. Sources on both sides say the discussions so far have encouraged a willingness to speed up talks. Any agreement would take months to negotiate and remains far from certain, but even a deal for Japan to supply technology would likely run to billions of dollars and represent a major portion of Australia’s...
  • US demands billions in fines from BNP Paribas

    05/30/2014 9:30:00 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    the local (France) ^ | 30 May 2014 08:10 GMT+02:00
    The US is seeking more than $10 billion (€7.35 billion) from French bank BNP Paribas to settle criminal charges it violated sanctions on Iran, Sudan and Cuba, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Citing people familiar with the negotiations between the bank and the Justice Department, the newspaper said the two sides are still locked in talks, and that BNP wants to pay less than $8 billion. Both numbers are far higher than earlier reports of less than $4 billion, and would far outpace the $1.9 billion British bank HSBC was fined in 2012 for routinely handling money transfers for...
  • Indian teen girls gang-raped and hanged from a tree

    05/30/2014 8:57:53 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 30 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | May/30/2014
    In this Wednesday, May 28, 2014 photograph, Indian villagers gather around the bodies of two teenage sisters hanging from a tree in Katra village in Uttar Pradesh state, India. AP Photo Indian police have arrested one man and are looking for four other suspects after two teenage girls were gang-raped and then hanged from a tree in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, police said on Thursday. The two cousins, who were from a low-caste Dalit community and aged 14 and 15, went missing from their village home in Uttar Pradesh's Budaun district when they went out...
  • Turkish court orders arrest of four Israeli generals over Mavi Marmara

    05/26/2014 9:14:39 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 11 replies
    hurriyet daily news ^ | May/26/2014
    A Turkish court has ordered the arrest of four Israeli commanders who were allegedly involved in the raid on the the Mavi Marmara aid ship off Gaza in 2010. The Istanbul 7th Court of Serious Crimes also decided May 26 to request an Interpol Red Notice for the arrest of former Israeli Chief of Staff, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, former Naval Forces Cmdr. Eliezer Alfred Marom, former Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlinir and former Air Forces Intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi, who are all being tried in absentia. The court argued that an arrest warrant had become necessary...
  • French railway operator SNCF orders hundreds of new trains that are too big

    05/21/2014 7:06:04 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 17 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | Wednesday 21 May 2014 07.03 EDT | Kim Willsher in Paris
    France's national railway operator SNCF has ordered 2,000 new trains that are too large for many of the stations they are due to serve. The train operator has admitted failing to verify measurements it was given by the rail operator before ordering its new rolling stock. The costly mistake has sparked an urgent €50m operation to modify 1,300 platforms on the regional network. SNCF has admitted that one in six regional train stations is affected. In the worst cases it has discovered two trains can no longer pass each other on adjacent lines.The French minister of transport described the situation...
  • Prosecutor Won’t File Charges In Deadly Fort Smith [AR] Mall Shooting

    05/20/2014 5:10:03 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 22 replies
    5 News Online ^ | 5:09 pm, May 19, 2014, | by Curt Lanning
    Sebastian County Prosecutor Daniel Shue has decided not to file charges against a man involved in the deadly Fort Smith mall shooting that occurred on May 10, according to a statement released by his office Monday (May 19). Shue states it is the opinion of his office that Grayson Herrera was justified in his use of deadly force at Central Mall against Fadi Qandil, who died from injuries suffered in the shooting. “This is a justifiable homicide which does not merit the filing of criminal charges,” Shue states. Fadi “Frankie” Qandil, 34, died from injuries sustained from multiple gunshot wounds...
  • Combatting the Crunch: ECB Plans Negative Rate on Bank Deposits

    05/19/2014 5:07:07 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 10 replies
    Spiegel.de ^ | By Christian Reiermann
    When it meets on June 6, the European Central Bank may implement a negative interest rate for financial institutions seeking to park their money at the Frankfurt powerhouse. The move is aimed at spurring loans. The bank wants to introduce a negative rate on bank deposits of -0.1 for the first time in its history. The ECB's deposit rate is currently at zero, and a further cut would mean that banks would effectively have to pay a fee to park their money. Normally they would be paid interest to do so. Under the new punitive rate, if a bank were...
  • Byzantine ancestors of tablet computers found in Yenikapı diggings

    05/07/2014 5:44:57 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    hurriyet daily news ^ | May/07/2014
    A wooden notebook found in a sunken ship during the Yenikapı excavation has impressed the archaelogists. Yenikapı excavations that started nearly 10 years ago has brought back Istanbul’s historical heritage to 8,500 years. A wooden notebook, which was found in a sunken ship, the replica of which will sail, is considered the Byzantine’s invention akin to the likes of the modern-day tablet computer. During archaeological excavations, experts have also found striking information on animal culture, such as the meat of many animals, like horses and wild donkeys were eaten in the ancient era. Remains unearthed in the excavations drew great...
  • Supreme court rules prayers to open town council meetings constitutional

    05/05/2014 9:25:30 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 5 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | 5 May 2014 10.30 EDT
    The supreme court said on Monday that prayers that open town council meetings do not violate the constitution even if they routinely stress Christianity. The court said in 5-4 decision that the content of the prayers is not significant as long as officials make a good-faith effort at inclusion. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers are ceremonial and in keeping with the nation's traditions. "The inclusion of a brief, ceremonial prayer as part of a larger exercise in civic recognition suggests that its purpose and effect are to acknowledge religious leaders and the institutions they represent,...
  • France to ban pigs and byproducts from N America, Japan over virus

    05/05/2014 9:14:03 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    Japan Today ^ | 05:57AM JST | May. 03, 2014
    France will ban imports of live pigs, pork-based byproducts and pig sperm from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan to protect against a virus that has killed millions of piglets in North America and Asia, a farm ministry official said on Friday. The ban, which is due to be introduced on Saturday and does not include pork meat for human consumption, aims to ward off Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), which has killed around 7 million young pigs since first identified in the United States almost a year ago. The disease has reduced hog supplies in the United States...
  • Boko Haram leader vows to sell abducted schoolgirls

    05/05/2014 8:56:30 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 32 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | May/05/2014
    Boko Haram on Monday claimed the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls in northern Nigeria that has triggered international outrage, threatening to sell them as "slaves". "I abducted your girls," the Islamist group's leader Abubakar Shekau said in the 57-minute video obtained by AFP, referring to the 276 students kidnapped from their boarding school in Chibok, Borno state, three weeks ago. Fifty-three of the girls managed to escape from the militants but 223 were still being held, state police said last Friday. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan and his administration have been under mounting pressure to act since gunmen stormed the girls'...
  • Norwegian Islamist killed in Syria hailed as martyr in Norway

    05/04/2014 7:01:43 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 12 replies
    The Local (Norway) ^ | 02 May 2014 10:34 GMT+02:00
    A Norwegian man killed fighting alongside rebels in Syria has been hailed as a martyr by one of the country's leading Islamist groups, raising fears his death will encourage others to join the country's civil war. Egzon Avdyli, a 25-year-old from Oslo, was on Wednesday reported to have been killed in Syria, where he had reportedly been fighting as part of ISIL, an Islamist group classed a terrorist organisation by the US government. Ubaydullah Hussain, the former leader of the Prophet's Ummah, a Norwegian Islamist Group, celebrated Avdyli as a martyr on Facebook on Thursday. "My good friend and dear...
  • Spain arrests French 'Al-Qaeda' terror suspect

    05/04/2014 6:53:31 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin
    the local (France) ^ | 01 May 2014 10:44 GMT+02:00
    Police in Spain arrested a French-Algerian man suspected of fighting for Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, the Spanish interior ministry said on Wednesday. Spanish officers with the help of French police seized Abdelmalek Tanem, 24, in the southern city of Almeria on Wednesday afternoon, the ministry said in a statement. They said he was thought to have carried out "terrorist activities" in Syria with two jihadist factions: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the Al-Nusra Front. He is suspected of serving as a "combatant" as well as a "facilitator" on the Syria-Turkey border helping other Europeans travel...
  • ISIL's Syria push 'a political disaster' according to Al Qaeda leader

    05/03/2014 8:50:46 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies
    Hürriyet ^ | May/03/2014
    Iraqi Al Qaeda's entry into Syria's civil war caused "a political disaster" for Islamist militants there, the movement's global leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a video message, urging the faction to redouble its efforts in Iraq instead. Zawahri has repeatedly tried to end infighting between the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and another Al Qaeda-aligned group, the Nusra Front. He said on May 2 in a message translated by SITE Monitoring that if ISIL had accepted his decision not to get involved in Syria and had instead worked to "busy itself with Iraq, which needs double its...
  • C. African Republic muslim rebels kill 16 at hospital; 3 MSF staffers

    04/28/2014 6:19:57 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | Monday April 28 2014
    BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) Heavily armed Muslim rebels opened fire inside a hospital in a remote corner of Central African Republic, killing at least 16 people including three local health workers employed by Doctors Without Borders. The medical aid group confirmed that three staff members had been killed in Nanga Boguila, a town located in the northwest near the border with Chad. The attack on the Boguila hospital came after it was surrounded by more than 40 armed rebels on Saturday. Inside the hospital staff members from Doctors Without Borders were meeting with several dozen local village chiefs from...
  • 'It's a horrible situation, but I do believe the [dog] shooting is justified'

    04/27/2014 10:11:09 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 112 replies
    KSLA News 12 ^ | Friday, April 25, 2014 4:54 PM | By Marshall Stephens
    Jerrod Dooley Candy, the dog RAINS COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A former Rains County deputy retained a Dallas attorney on Friday. Jerrod Dooley was fired by Rains County on Thursday after he shot a dog while responding to a burglary call on April 18."[The] dog shooting in Rains County this week [was] an unfortunate situation," said Peter Schulte, Dooley's attorney. "Deputy Dooley retained me today to share his side... I ask that everyone keep an open mind about the Rains County incident. It's a horrible situation but I do believe the shooting is justified." Rains County Sheriff David Traylor...