Showing posts from July 24, 2011

Ex-Tunisian president Ben Ali given 16 years for corruption

Source: IE Former President of Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (AP)   A court sentenced Tunisia's exiled former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to 16 years in prison for corruption and property fraud, in the latest sentence handed to the ex-President. Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia last January after a popular revolt against his 23-year regime, has already been sentenced in his absence to a total of more than 50 years in two separate trials. On Thursday, the court also handed down an eight-year prison sentence to Ben Ali's daughter and 16 years to his son-in-law Sakhr al-Materi over two separate cases. One involved the fraudulent acquisition of a plot of land in an upscale Tunis district following the “personal intervention” of the former President. The other concerned the acquisition of a plot in the same neighbourhood initially intended to be a park but subsequently reclassified as building land, considerably boosting its value.  According

Songwriter of Syria uprising meets gruesome death

Source: IE Ibrahim Qashoush's lyrics moved thousands of protesters in Syria who sang his jaunty verses at rallies, telling President Bashar Assad, “Time to leave.'' So when his body was dumped in the river flowing through his hometown, his killers added an obvious message: His throat was carved out. Qashoush's slaying underlines how brutal Syria's turmoil has become as authorities try to crush a persistent uprising. His fellow activists are convinced he was killed by security forces and fear it could mark a new campaign to liquidate protest leaders. An estimated 1,600 civilians have died in the crackdown on the largely peaceful protests that have been raging around Syria for more than four months, most from shootings by troops on anti-Bashar rallies. Qashoush's case was a rare, targeted killing of a prominent activist – made more chilling by the clear intention to send a bloody message.  The 42-year-old Qashoush, a father of three boys, was

Iraq less safe than a year ago

Read more: theage An Iraqi soldier inspects the scene of a suicide attack in Radwaniya. Photo: AP Iraq is a less safe place than it was one year ago and security is continuing to deteriorate, an American watchdog warned on Saturday, just months ahead of a US withdrawal from the country. The assessment by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) contrasts markedly from the view often voiced by senior US army officers who argue that levels of violence are significantly lower than in 2006 and 2007, when Iraq was in the throes of a sectarian bloodbath. He also noted that efforts by Washington to hand over responsibility for training Baghdad's fledgling police force to the American embassy from the military would prove "challenging". Advertisement: Story continues below

Islamist militia killed general, say Libya rebels

Read more: theage THE gunmen who shot dead the Libyan rebels' military chief, Abdul Fattah Younes, were members of an Islamist-linked militia allied to the campaign to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, according to a National Transitional Council minister. After 24 hours of confusion surrounding the death, rebel minister Ali Tarhouni said yesterday General Younes had been killed by members of the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade. Mr Tarhouni said a militia leader who had gone to retrieve the general from the frontline for questioning - reportedly about charges of treason - had been arrested and had confessed that his subordinates carried out the killing. Advertisement: Story continues below ''It was not him. His lieutenants did it,'' Mr Tarhouni said, adding that the killers were still at large. The rebels' to

Norway unites to bury its dead and defy its terrorist

Read more: theage Kurdish-born Bano Rashid, 18, was aiming for a new Norway: 'Let Norway use the resources of its immigrants. Give us time to integrate, preferably without discrimination.' Photo: Reuters The soul-searching has begun for a shocked nation. WHILE her friends saved for iPads, Bano Rashid worked at an amusement park last summer to buy a bunad, Norway's ornate and expensive national costume. Though she was an Iraqi Kurd who came to Norway as a child, Rashid wanted to stretch the limits of the country's blond and blue-eyed identity, to help redefine what it means to be Norwegian. It was a mission that an anti-immigrant terrorist sought to thwart when he killed Rashid, 18, and at least 76 others a week ago in attacks that were meant to turn Norway upon itself. But the challenge from the t

Blast kills at least 17 at Ukrainian coal mine

Source: IBN Kiev: An explosion at a Ukrainian coal mine killed at least 17 miners on Friday, the Emergencies Ministry said, the latest in a series of accidents that has raised concern over safety standards in the industry. Two miners were injured in the explosion at the Sukhodilska-Eastern mine in the Luhansk region in the former Soviet republic's coal mining heartland, and nine were missing. The blast early on Friday at the mine in the town of Sukhodilsk was the deadliest of its kind since 2007, when a methane explosion at a nearby mine killed more than 100 people. "The cause of the blast is being determined," the ministry said in a statement. Interfax news agency quoted a regional mining official as saying the explosion was caused by a concentration of methane gas inside the mine, where 252 people were working at the time. Ukraine's energy and mining sectors have been plagued by accidents, against a background of poor infrastructure a

Italian intelligence agency steals sensitive info from Indian embassy

Source: IE Sensitive defence information appears to have been stolen from the Indian embassy here by an Italian intelligence agency during the past two years, according to a media report. If the documents released by international hackers' group are to be believed, the Italian cyber police – National Anti-Crime Computer Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection (CNAIPIC) - was widely hacking Indian embassy's letters with Russian defence firms, the Izvestia daily said. Anonymous Hackers for AntiSec operation, an international group campaigning against security agencies and governments, had on July 26 put online a set of documents allegedly hacked from the Italian cyber police server, which include the letters between the Indian embassy's Air Wing and a local company supplying spares for military aircraft. Izvestia said Italian cyber police had hacked on June 22, 2010 Deputy Air Attache D S Shekhavat's correspondence with Aviazapchast, a company

400 MB of FBI contractor data released by Anonymous

Source: MYONA The Anonymous group has promised to embarrass the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and they just successfully did it. 400 megabytes of contractual documents containing spreadsheets, résumés, planning documents, even photographs has been leaked by the hacktivists group in the Pirate Bay site. The contractor company to FBI, ManTech, declined to comment further on the incident, but they do posted a note on their site . “All organizations attract cyber threats in our highly networked world,” the company said. “Our practice is generally not to comment on reports involving security related matters. However, given current publicity, we wish to assure our customers, employees, shareholders and business partners that ManTech takes seriously recent reports of a cyber threat, and we responsibly and actively address all sources of information about threats to our information and assets and those of our customers.” PCWorld has reached a spokeswoman for FBI, bu

Teachers lack power to punish cyber bullies

Read more: theage VICTORIA'S principals are powerless to expel or suspend students who use social media websites or their mobile phones to bully classmates outside school hours. With cyber bullying and sexting on the rise, government school principals are concerned that when students use home-based social media tools to vilify or harass classmates, teachers lack the legal artillery to enforce serious disciplinary procedures. Lawyers warn the Education Department could be exposed to legal action if its schools do not act forcefully enough to protect victims from bullying classmates at home on sites such as Facebook. Private schools are on the front foot in implementing social media policies that govern cyber behaviour during and outside school hours. The policies, which commonly have to be signed by students, their parents and staff, regulate what is unacceptable, and what sort of comments and actions can result in disc

IM plots hatched in cyber world

Source: IBN KOZHIKODE:Of late, the web-world appears to have become the most preferred place of extremist elements for hatching bloody terror plots. Terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen is learnt to have signed into chatrooms and social networking sites to rev up the recruitment process.This was confirmed by the police after the arrest of Danish Riyas alias Riyas Khan from Vadodara recently in connection with the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts. According to top police sources, Riyas, a trained cadre of the IM, has recruited around 25 people from different states of the country through internet, which reduces the risk of detection by the police agencies to a considerable extent. "Each group will consist of a maximum of four members only and they will not be geographically confined to a particular area. More crucially, even the elements of the group may not be knowing each other. The communication between the masterminds and the members will be through chatting. This minimises t

Oil pipeline hit by bomb blast in western Syria: TV

Source: Xinhua DAMASCUS, July 29 (Xinhua) -- "Saboteurs" hit early Friday an oil pipeline with an explosive device in the Talkalakh town near the borders with Lebanon, causing a leak of oil and a hole of 15 meters diameter, the state TV reported. Saboteurs targeted an oil pipeline with an explosive device in the Talkalakh town, which is also near the city of Homs and close to the Tal Hosh Dam, said the TV, adding that the explosion aims to cause a leak of oil in the waters of the dam to destroy nearby agricultural crops. The governor of Homs, Ghassan Abdul-Aal, was quoted by the official SANA news agency as saying that this is a first-degree sabotaging act, adding that the saboteurs have chosen to act in the early morning as there are no people in the street. He said the saboteurs picked this place near the Tal Hosh Dam that feeds a large area of agricultural lands, adding that procedures are currently underway to prevent the spread of oil in the dam's

Raisani’s nephew killed in blast

Source: the nation QUETTA - Mir Akmal Raisani, a nephew of Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, was killed while 23 others including 12 security personnel were wounded in a bomb blast on Friday in Mastung town, some 60kms southeast of the provincial capital. Officials said, Mir Siraj Raisani, the younger brother of the CM, along with his son Mir Akmal Raisani, 16, was about to board his vehicle after distributing awards among winners of football final when a powerful blast took place. The ceremony in the main stadium of Mastung was held for the final match of All Pakistan Sarawan Football tournament. As the bomb went off, the body guards of Siraj Raisani and police escort started firing in the air to keep the general public away. It was then that Akmal Raisani and 23 others including eight personnel of Anti Terrorist Force and four policemen were injured. Akmal Raisani and other seriously wounded were rushed to local hospital and later they were shifted to

Four troops hurt in 20kg bomb blast

Source: bangkokpost Grenades fired into outpost, no one injured  NARATHIWAT : Four soldiers were injured yesterday in a bomb attack on a road in Narathiwat. Security officers examine a one-metre deep hole left in a road in Narathiwat’s Cho Airong district after a bomb went off, hurting four army officers. WAEDAO HARAI A bomb planted on a road between Ban Parehlubo and Ban Kue Rong in tambon Maruebo in Narathiwat's Cho Airong district went off about 10am as a pick-up truck carrying an army major and three other soldiers passed by. The explosion caused their truck to swerve off the road and plunge into a ditch. The four officers sustained minor head injuries. They are Maj Samatchai Plaengsai, deputy chief of the Narathiwat 31 special task force; Capt Adisorn Khamchuai; Sgt Sirichai Treesat and Sgt Theeraphong Buntam. Cho Airong police said the bomb was a homemade explosive, assembled in a fire extinguisher and weighing about 20 kilogrammes.

Abdel Fatah Younis assassination creates division among Libya rebels

Source: Gaurdian Mourners descend on Benghazi for funeral parade following revelation ex-Gaddafi aide had been called back to city Abdel Fath Younis's mysterious death has created divisions among Libyan rebel fighters. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP The fractious coalition fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi was plunged into disarray on Friday as the mysterious death of the rebels' army commander sparked anger from his powerful tribe and distrust among those loyal to the cause. The assassination of Abdel Fatah Younis , one of Gaddafi's former right-hand men and a high-profile defector to the rebels, was announced at a late-night press conference on Thursday by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, president of the ruling National Transitional Council. But yesterday Jalil, who said only that Younis had been killed on his way back to Benghazi where he had been "summoned" for questioning, failed to explain the ci

Norway attacks: Writer quoted by gunman hits back

Source: Guardian Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips takes exception to 'suggestion' on blogs that her writings might have influenced Anders Behring Breivik's actions Melanie Phillips is angry about the link between her columns and the Norway attacks. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian Anders Behring Breivik 's purported manifesto, a lengthy anti-Muslim tirade published on the internet on the day of the Norway attacks and entitled A European Declaration of Independence, drew on numerous published sources, carefully annotated at the end of each chapter. In an apparent attempt to give respectable intellectual underpinning to his extremist views, Breivik quoted, among others, Winston Churchill, Bernard Lewis, Edmund Burke, Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, John Locke, George Orwell, Roger Scruton and Frank Field.

Gandhi, Jihad watch and whole lot quoted in 1500 pg manifesto of Norway mass murderer

Source: Blogs Ottawacitizen Michael Coren interviews Robert Spencer, director of JihadWatch. I would also recommend his Coren’s blog. He is decidedly provocative, but spot on in his judgment. For example:   Tragic irony. The teenagers at the socialist youth camp on the Norwegian island who were victims of terror had just demanded that Israel remove the separation fence – the wall – that has saved any number of innocent, Jewish children from Islamic terror gangs. They also condemned Israel for, well, pretty much everything, and showed no empathy at all for Jewish suffering, and the experience of living with terrorism for more than sixty years. So sad, but so typical.   I see that Naomi Klein is quoted in the Norwegian mass murderer’s manifesto. Using the logic of Klein’s friends, we should consider banning her work because it is read by mad loners who slaugh

Religious tolerance suffers another defeat in Indonesia

Indonesia struggles with that whole "freedom of religion" thing. Kate Lamb A protester hold a placard, reading "Disband Ahmadiyah, British stooge" during a rally against the minority Muslim Ahmadiyah sect in Jakarta on February 18, 2011. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images) JAKARTA, Indonesia — Donned in skull caps and sarongs and fingering prayer beads, more than a hundred conservative Muslim men, standing outside a West Java courtroom on Thursday, prayed for the release of their brethren. The 12 men they were praying for were on trial for taking part in a brutal attack on members of the minority Islamic sect (graphic video)  known as Ahmadiyah in West Java earlier this year. Three people were killed in the assault, and several others were seriously injured. The chanting outside the courtroom on Thursday echoed the shouts of e

Norway: Where's the anger?

Why Norwegians are refusing to cast blame for Anders Behring Breivik's slaughter. Teri Schultz This screen grab of an undated photograph on shows the central suspect of the Norway terror attacks, named by sources as Anders Behring Breivik, July 23, 2011. The 32-year-old Christian fundamentalist Norwegian suspect is in police custody following a bomb attack in Oslo and a shooting massacre on Utoya Island that have claimed more than 90 lives. (Photo by Facebook via Getty Images) (Facebook)   OSLO, Norway — In Anders Behring Breivik’s sickest fantasies, he never dreamed he’d be able to blow up downtown Oslo, sail smoothly in a fake police uniform to Utoya island and have 87 unhindered minutes to slaughter his teenage targets. Even Breivik, on a drug-fueled mission to destroy everything his c

Netanyahu's popularity reels as Israel protests take root

Israel’s citizenry seems to have collectively blown a fuse. Israelis march to protest against rising housing prices and social inequalities on July 23, 2011 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Uriel Sinai/AFP/Getty Images) TEL AVIV, Israel — Sebastian Engelbrecht, a German radio correspondent stationed in Israel, found himself on the wrong side of a microphone the other day in Tel Aviv. Semi-amused, Razi Barkai, Israel’s top morning news maven was asking him “Are you covering this? Are Germans really that interested in social protests in Israel?” Engelbrecht responded, “Not that interested so far, but this German is interested.” “What are you finding so interesting in this situation?” replied Barkai, saddling up for a proper interview. “After a year in Israel, my landlord decided to raise my rent by 100 percent,” Engelbrecht said. “One hundred perc