Showing posts from June 3, 2012

Seven Injured In Southern Bomb Attack

BANGKOK, June 9 (Bernama) - Seven people, including three policemen and two monks, were seriously injured in a bomb attack in Pattani Saturday. The policemen were escorting the monks who were on their morning round collecting alms from the public when a homemade bomb exploded by the roadside at Jalan Jaroon, Samran, Pattani, at 6.30am. Pattani police chief Col Sompong Misuk said the other two injured were members of the public who were giving food to the monks when the three-kilogramme bomb was detonated remotely by using a walkie-talkie. He believed insurgents launched the attack in retaliation for the death of a village headman there on Tuesday which they (insurgents) claimed that the authorities were responsible. More than 5,000 people have died since suspected separatists resumed their armed campaign to seek independence for the three southern provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala eight years ago. Source:

Expert Blames Boko Haram For Rise In Food Prices

The more than 300 per cent rise in the prices of food commodities is attributable to the activities of the Boko Haram sect in some parts of Northern Nigeria, an expert on agriculture, has said. Dr Tony Egba, the Technical Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development , Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, made the assertion recently on the sidelines of a book launch in Ibadan. The motivational book, “ Empower Yourself for Success’’ was written by Dr Babajide Adelekan, a principal lecturer at the Federal College of Agriculture , Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan. Egba, the Technical Adviser on Cassava – Traditional Food Value Chain, said that the fear of the activities of Boko Haram sect had resulted in transporters avoiding some areas in the North. He also said that Nigerians’ involvement in

Pakistan rejects Panetta's remarks on safe havens

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan on Saturday branded US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's remarks on insurgent safe havens in the country as "misplaced and unhelpful". Panetta warned Pakistan on Thursday that the US was running out of patience over Islamabad's refusal to do more to eliminate hiding places for insurgents, who attack US troops fighting a 10-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Panetta made the comments after talks with Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak during an Asian tour that took him to Pakistan's arch-rival India, but not Islamabad in a sign of dire US-Pakistan relations. "Pakistan strongly rejects the assertions made recently by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta regarding 'safe havens' in Pakistan," foreign ministry spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan said in a statement. "We feel that the Secretary of Defense is oversimplifying some of the very complex issues we are all dealing with in our efforts again

Myanmar: Calm restored after rioting that killed 7

Yangon: Security forces in western Myanmar have restored order after rioters burned hundreds of homes in sectarian violence that killed at least seven people, state-controlled media reported on Saturday. The rioting reflected long-standing tensions in Rakhine state between Buddhist residents and Muslims, many of whom are considered to be illegal settlers from neighboring Bangladesh. Although the root of the problem is localized centering on resentment of the alleged cross-border outsiders there is fear that the trouble could spread elsewhere because the split also runs along religious lines. The state-run newspaper Myanma Ahlin said security forces had to open fire to restrain the rioters, while state television announced that army troops had been deployed to help police in Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships, where the mobs rampaged. A dusk-to-dawn curfew was applied and public gatherings of more than five people banned. According to the television repo

Bomber kills four French troops in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday killed four French troops and injured five others, French and Afghan officials said, deaths that increased pressure on an already wavering NATO ally. The new French president, Francois Hollande, told NATO allies at a summit in Chicago last month that France would end its combat role this year, two years ahead of schedule, rebuffing appeals to stay in the fight longer. Support for the Afghan war, already waning in France, slipped sharply after four other French troops were killed earlier this year by an Afghan soldier -- one of a rapid-fire series of “green on blue” attacks by Afghans against Western mentors. Saturday’s blast occurred in the late morning in Kapisa province, east of Kabul, the main area of operations for French forces. Provincial officials said the bomber approached a joint Afghan-French patrol in the village of Pul-e-Khwaja in the Nijrab district and detonated a payload of ex

IT ministry says 'Anonymous' is lying, its website running fine

NEW DELHI: Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), the country's premier agency dealing with cyber security contingencies, said that its website was neither attacked nor brought down on Saturday. Hackers allegedly belonging to the group called Anonymous had earlier claimed they had attacked CERT-IN website with Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A spokesperson from ministry of communications & IT told TOI, "The claim that CERT-IN website was attacked and brought down by hackers is without any basis and at complete variance with the facts. The fact is that the website has been running continuously & uninterruptedly -- including the whole of today." Incidentally, TOI could not access CERT-IN website on Saturday morning for a few hours. A check with, a tool that can tell a web user if a website is down or not, revealed that CERT-IN was inaccessible. The government acknowledged that hackers have been c

Syria rebels say will release Lebanese hostages in “new civil state”

PanARMENIAN.Net - Syrian rebels holding 11 Lebanese Shi'ite pilgrims hostage said they would release the men when their country had established a new "civil state" but left room for negotiations, a video obtained by Al Jazeera television showed. The hostages said in the video they were in good health and being treated well, Reuters reported. "The guests will be released by the Syrian civil state when their case is reviewed by a new democratic parliament," the rebels said in a written statement on the video. "But given the current conditions it may be possible to negotiate their release with neighboring countries." A 15-month-old uprising against four decades of Assad family rule has grown increasingly bloody as rebels bring the fight to President Bashar al-Assad's security forces trying to crack down on the rebellion. Rebels have previously kidnapped men from Syria's Shi'ite ally Iran, who said they were pilgrims

Thousands rally against Greece’s far-right party ahead of elections

PanARMENIAN.Net - Thousands have protested in Greece against the far-right Golden Dawn party after one of its members assaulted a woman on live TV, BBC News reported. Demonstrators shouted "Neo-Nazis out" in rallies called by left-wing and anti-racism groups in Athens. On Thursday, June 7 Ilias Kasidiaris , a Golden Dawn MP, was filmed hitting a left-wing politician during a chatshow. The rally comes nine days before elections which could result in a Greek exit from the Eurozone. In polls a month ago, Golden Dawn surprised many by winning 21 seats in Greece's 300-seat parliament. A second election is taking place as no party was able to forge a coalition. Prosecutors said an arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Kasidiaris, whose whereabouts remain unknown after he fled the television studio on Thursday. The assault took place during a live debate on a daily morning political show on the private Antenna television. Source: http://www.panarmenia

Yemeni clashes with Al-Qaeda leave 11 dead

PanARMENIAN.Net - Al-Qaeda militants have killed two soldiers in Yemen's Abyan province, prompting troops to shell jihadist positions and kill nine extremists, military and local sources said Saturday, June 9, AFP reported. "Al-Qaeda militants opened machinegun fire on an army post on the western outskirts of Jaar," an Al-Qaeda stronghold the army has been trying to retake since last month, "killing two soldiers and wounding four others," a military official said. Troops responded to the late Friday assault by shelling Al-Qaeda positions on Jaar outskirts killing "several militants," the official told AFP. A source in Jaar confirmed the shelling saying "we have buried nine Al-Qaeda militants in the town's cemetery," adding that five other jihadists were also wounded. Yemeni forces launched an all-out offensive on May 12 aimed at reclaiming towns and cities lost to Al-Qaeda during the past year, including Abya

More U.S. soldiers commit suicide than die in action - Pentagon More U.S. soldiers commit suicide than die in action - Pentagon June 8, 2012 - 17:59 AMT PanARMENIAN.Net - Suicide is on the rise in the U.S. military, averaging almost one every day, according to statistics, AP said. In the first 155 days of 2012 there was 154 suicides among active troops, around 50% more than the number killed in action in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon statistics obtained by Associated Press. This is the highest number in 10 years. The numbers reflect the burden of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to experts. The military is also struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other problems. Suicides had levelled off in 2010 and 2011, but this year's surge has caught officials by surprise. Studies have pointed to combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription drugs and personal financial problems as possible reasons for the increase. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of killing themselves, although a substantial proportion of the deaths are among soldiers who have never been deployed. The unpopular war in Afghanistan is winding down with the last combat troops scheduled to leave at the end of 2014. But this year has seen record numbers of soldiers killed, and there also have been several scandals involving military misconduct. The total of 154 suicides so far this year compares to 130 in the same period last year, an 18% increase. This year's January-May total is up 25% from two years ago, and it is 16% greater than in 2009, which ended with the highest yearly total so far. Suicide totals have exceeded U.S. combat deaths in Afghanistan in other years, including 2008 and 2009. The numbers are rising despite years of effort to encourage troops to seek help with mental health problems. Many in the military believe that seeking help is a sign of weakness and a potential threat to promotion. 7 Email Top stories Russia may join Mars research project in November - ESA Russia may join Mars research project in November - ESA ESA official added that Russia could contribute its experience in preparation for the launch of Mars probe Phobos-Grunt to the project. Greece’s unemployment soars, France posts 10% jobless rate Greece’s unemployment soars, France posts 10% jobless rate Almost 1.8m people were registered as unemployed in the nation of 11.3m, according to Greece's Ase statistics agency. Putin: Russia supports Iran’s peaceful use of nuke energy Putin: Russia supports Iran’s peaceful use of nuke energy “We have always supported the Iranian people’s right to modern technology,” Russian President said. Japans PM urges to restart nuke reactors for “survival of society” Japans PM urges to restart nuke reactors for “survival of society” The move could undermine Noda's already sagging support among voters still worried about safety. Articles Eurovision proved poor screen for Azerbaijan before West Baku blames the European Parliament for conniving at Armenian lobby which “uses every opportunity to slander” Azerbaijan. Most popular in the section UFO seen in Middle East linked to Russian missile test – paper Iran accuses Turkey of serving Israeli, U.S. interests in Syria Karabakh conflict, Iran on Hillary Clinton’s Baku talks agenda Porn star Magnotta named suspect in Canadian severed limbs case

PanARMENIAN.Net - Suicide is on the rise in the U.S. military, averaging almost one every day, according to statistics, AP said. In the first 155 days of 2012 there was 154 suicides among active troops, around 50% more than the number killed in action in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon statistics obtained by Associated Press. This is the highest number in 10 years. The numbers reflect the burden of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to experts. The military is also struggling with increased sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other problems. Suicides had levelled off in 2010 and 2011, but this year's surge has caught officials by surprise. Studies have pointed to combat exposure, post-traumatic stress, misuse of prescription drugs and personal financial problems as possible reasons for the increase. Army data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk of killing themselves, although a substantial pro

Blast damages key oil pipeline in northern Iraq

PanARMENIAN.Net - A key oil pipeline in northern Iraq was damaged Saturday, June 9 in what officials said was an act of sabotage, Trend News reported citing dpa. Explosives planted under the pipeline transporting crude from the Bai Hassan oil field were detonated, causing major damage, said Hassan Abdullah, a security official in the northern city of Kirkuk. The oil field north of Kirkuk produces 170,000 to 190,000 barrels per day, according to official figures. Oil fields in northern Iraq are linked to the main pipeline network that transports crude from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Oil flow from the pipeline was briefly halted in April following an attack. Source:

Flashlight bombs puzzle Phoenix authorities

Billboards across the Phoenix metro are warning citizens about picking up discarded flashlightsx. In three separate incidents, unsuspecting bystanders picked up standard-looking yellow flashlights and flicked the switch to turn them on. But instead of lighting up, bombs that had been left inside the flashlights exploded in their hands. Five people in all received minor injuries, but authorities in the Phoenix area still have no idea who committed the bombings last month. Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press. By

Maoists strike again, kill ‘suspected’ police informer in Koraput district

Narayanpatna: Maoist killed a 50-year-old tribal at a remote village in the South Odisha's Koraput district suspecting him to be a police informer, police said on Saturday. The tribal's body was found today with his throat slit and a letter left near it said he was killed after being identified to be a police informer, said Y J Rao, sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Laxmipur.   The victim, identified as a resident of Manasdapadar village, was also accused of extorting money from people by posing to be a Maoist agent. A group of seven to eight armed cadres came to the village and forcibly took him away from his house while he was sleeping. His body was recovered this morning from a jungle about 50 meters from his house. Rao has rejected the Maoist allegation that the man was a police informer. "There is no truth behind the allegation," he said. Source:

Maoists' cache of explosives recovered, two suspects arrested in Gaya

Gaya, June 9 (ANI): In an extensive anti-Maoist search operation, police recovered 250 kilograms of gunpowder, cane bombs and detonators, here on Saturday. The local police in collaboration with Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) conducted the operation. Speaking to reporters, the Assistant Sub-Inspector of Barachatti police station, B. K. Singh confirmed the whereabouts of the operation and the explosives recovered. "Based on the information, the police officials and the CRPF conducted this operation. Two people have been arrested. We have recovered the explosives from the residence of a person named Chandrika Manjhi," Singh said. The police arrested two suspects, Chandrika Manjhi and Krishna Kumar Keshri on the spot. According to police, the suspected persons were believed to have some connection with the Maoists. Seizure of explosives gave a huge sigh of relief to the police, as they believe that a major catastrophe was averted with the recovery of the e

We will reinstate king through votes: Kamal Thapa

REUTERS A supporter of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal (RPP-Nepal) holds a portrait of former King Gyanendra Shah during a protest rally in Kathmandu June 9‚ 2012. THT ONLINE KATHMANDU: Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa said that his party would reinstate the deposed king through a popular mandate if the elections were held. Addressing a mass meeting organised by his part at Khullamanch of Kathmandu on Saturday, the pro-monarchy leader argued that after the death of Constituent Assembly, which overthrew the monarchy from its meeting, and failure to promulgate new constitution t

Hijacked explosive laden truck found

The police today recovered a hijacked 10-wheeler truck of the Indian Explosives Ltd (IEL) carrying 15 metric tonne of powerful explosives in Hazaribagh district. Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kamboj said the police raided jungles of Bishnugarh following a tip-off, and found the explosive-laden truck there. Some anti-socials hijacked the truck for selling the explosives to Maoists and other criminal elements, he said. The khalasi of the truck was kidnapped by the armed hijackers but the driver managed to escape. Two of the hijackers were arrested and efforts were on to trace others and rescue the khalasi, Kamboj said. He said the truck left the IEL godown at Gomia in Bokaro district in the morning and was proceeding to Assam via Bishnugarh and Bagodar in Jharkhand. When the vehicle crossed Bishnugarh and took turn for Bagodar at 7 AM, some people who were following the truck overtook it and forced the driver to stop at gun point and took it towards the jungle, the

Army eyes 'zero NPA' in Quezon by yearend

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Army is aiming to clear Quezon province of New People’s Army (NPA) rebel soldiers by the end of the year, a military commander said Thursday. According to Col. Eduardo Año, commander of the Army's 201st Brigade, they are targeting to clear the province of insurgency and turn over security to the local government and police. Authorities said the number of insurgents in Quezon, a known bailiwick area of the communist group, has dropped from 58 in January 2011 to only 34. "My goal is zero NPA by the end of 2012," said Año. Año compared the operation in Quezon to the Army’s 2009 operation in Marinduque. "We projected a zero NPA in Marinduque and we achieved that in 2009. Until now, there is no NPA in Marinduque. That is what we want to achieve in Quezon," said Año. The military official said the NPA in the province is led by a certain Domingo Almusaria alias “Ka David.” He also said the military,

NPA bomb set off, missing army patrol in Compostela

DAVAO CITY, Philippines ( Xinhua ) - Suspected leftist rebels detonated an improvised bomb in the southern Philippines early today, barely missing a military vehicle on patrol and scaring residents, a military official said. Troops from the army's 71st Infantry Battalion were responding to reports of armed men sighted in Nueva Visayas village, Mawab town in the Southern Philippine Province of Compostela Valley when they were attacked by suspected New People's Army (NPA) guerrillas around 5:45 a.m. today, Colonel Roberto Domines Jr., 1001st Infantry Brigade commander, said. "A powerful explosion happened and followed by bursts of gunfire, forcing our troops to fire back. Fortunately the blast did not hit the soldiers aboard a military truck," Domines told Xinhua by mobile phone. The military official slammed the rebel group, saying the bomb was planted and set off along a national road where civilians, mostly farmers, regularly ues. The 4,000-s

Communist rebels raid Philippine mining companies

June 09, 2012 10:22 GMT MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippine military says communist rebels have raided two mining companies in the country's south, disarming guards and burning equipment. Army Lt. Col. Lyndon Paniza said Saturday that New People's Army guerrillas swooped late Friday on the Philex Mining Co. compound in Compostela Valley province. They torched two backhoes, two trucks and a drilling machine. Paniza says hours later guerrillas raided the Milagrosa Mining compound in nearby Maragusan township, disarming the guards and burning three electric generators. No one was hurt in both attacks. Last year the rebels stormed three mining companies. They destroyed equipment and seized weapons purportedly after warning the companies against destroying the environment and exploiting workers. Source:

PKK kidnaps three in southeastern Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey, June 7 (UPI) -- The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party blocked a road in southeastern Turkey and kidnapped three people, including a soldier, authorities said. Members of the group, known by its Kurdish-language initials PKK, stopped about 30 vehicles on a road leading to the Diyarbakır-Bingol Highway Wednesday night, Today's Zaman reported. Among those abducted was Turkish Gendarmerie Pvt. Ali Sabanci, who had been heading to his hometown, Gaziantep, while on leave. PKK members forced people to get out of their vehicles and spoke about the group, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Operations to rescue the abductees were under way. Today's Zaman said the PKK has kidnapped dozens of civilians in the past few weeks. The PKK, which seeks an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, the European Union and NATO. Read more:

Criminal Somali Pirates Using Terror to Make Millions

Horrific Somali piracy attacks are occurring with less frequency, but as a nefarious and risky enterprise — business is booming. reported 31 ransoms in 2011 brought in a record $160 million for Somali pirates — with ransoms running about $5 million each -- and the trend is only increasing. Geopolicity estimates this number could reach $400 million in the next three years. Douglas Burnett, partner in the Maritime Practice Group at Squire Sanders U.S. LLP , said the model is succeeding because these ruthless pirates are hanging onto their captures for longer, and charging more money than ever before. “They’re getting better at their business, and the escalation is going up dramatically,” Burnett said. “There are fewer successful hijacks, so when they get [a capture] they want to make back their investments.” Pirates operate in organized clans, Burnett said, with investors that fund them that demand significant return on investments (ROI). There a

Somali piracy more frequent, violent than ever, experts say

BUSINESS is booming for Somalia's pirates, whose attacks on commercial ships sailing near Africa's east coast are more frequent, violent and lucrative than ever. Pirates took in an estimated $160 million in ransoms last year, and one study predicts the number will climb to $400 million by 2015, as the high seas thieves continue their brazen reign on the Indian Ocean. Efforts by shipping companies to beef up security, and by the European Union, which has mounted airstrikes on pirate ships, have so far been met with stepped-up attacks. "It's an established, structured model, where you have Somalis who are leading and financing operations and then you have pirates who actually go out to sea and conduct the activity," Brian Green, chief of the counter-piracy branch of the Office of Naval Intelligence, told of the piracy industry. Piracy worldwide reached an all-time high in 2011, as 544 attacks against ships were reported to

Somalia: Pirates release ship after ransom payment

MOGADISHU, Somalia Jun 7 2012 (Garowe Online) - A Greek owned vessel that was captured by pirates was released after the pirates reportedly took a ransom, Radio Garowe reports. The MT Liquid Velvet was captured by Somali pirates last October as it traveled to India. The 22 member crew - 21 of whom are Filipino and 1 Greek - was released unharmed and are now heading to Oman. Reportedly the pirates demanded 8 million dollars for the 17 year old Japanese built tanker. After prolonged negotiations sources say that the pirates settled for much less than there initial demand. There were reports earlier this year that the vessel was used as mother-ship for pirate operations. According to sources the vessel was being held in the Harardheere area and was moved along the coast periodically. Some media outlets are reporting that the owners paid an 4 million dollar ransom for the vessel but those reports are unconfirmed as of yet. Ships ca

China restricts foreigners from visiting Tibet

Days after two Tibetans self-immolated in the heart of Lhasa, capital of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), it was learnt that Chinese authorities have alerted travel agencies that foreigners will not be issued to permits to visit the region. Reports said travel agencies were alerted earlier this week about the latest restriction; it wasn’t immediately known how long the restriction will be in place but it is likely to impact tourism as it goes into peak season till October. In what could be a related case, hundreds of Indian pilgrims on their arduous journey to Kailash-Manasarover were stranded in Nepal after Chinese authorities said the group didn’t have the required travel permits. A PTI report from Kathmandu on Thursday quoted an immigration official as saying: “We have got the information that hundreds of Indian tourists coming to Nepal on their way to Mansarovar have been stopped at the Tibetan border by the Chinese authorities.” The report added that travel a

LinkedIn hacked, 6 million passwords compromised

LinkedIn said that it had a data breach that compromised the passwords of some of the social network's members. LinkedIn engineer Vicente Silveira confirmed on the website's blog that some passwords were 'compromised.'   'We are continuing to investigate this situation,' he said.   LinkedIn said it sent emails to members whose passwords were affected, explaining how to reset them since they were no longer valid on the site. LinkedIn, which made its stock debut in 2011, is a social media company that caters to companies seeking employees and people scouting for jobs. It has more than 161 million members worldwide. One of the Mountain View, California-based company's main initiatives is to grow internationally - 61% of its membership is located outside the United States. Marcus Carey, security researcher at Boston-based Rapid7, said he believed the attackers had been inside LinkedIn's network for at least several days, based on an analys

Syrian troops bomb rebel-held area in Homs

AP Syrians living in Malaysia protest at a rally against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, outside the Syrian embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Syrian troops appeared on Friday to be readying to storm a rebel-held area in Homs city, activists say. Syrian troops on Friday shelled a rebel-held neighbourhood in the flashpoint central city of Homs as President Bashar Assad’s troops appeared to be readying to storm the area that has been out of government control for months, activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees had no immediate word on casualties from the shelling of Hom’s Khaldiyeh neighbourhood. Amateur videos posted online showed a small white plane, apparently a drone, flying over Homs. Friday’s violence came two days after reports of mass killing in the nearby province of Hama where about 80 people, including women and children, were shot or stabbed. U.N. observers came u

Hizb chief vows to turn the gun on Pak over Kashmir

Islamabad: Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has vowed to turn the guns on Pakistan if it stops backing jihadis in Jammu and Kashmir who, he claimed, were fighting "Pakistan's war". "We are fighting Pakistan's war in Kashmir and if it withdraws its support, the war would be fought inside Pakistan," said Salahuddin, who also heads the Muttahida Jihad Council, a grouping of terrorist organisations based in Pakistan. Salahuddin made the remarks during an interview with Arab News while referring to a reduction of tensions in Jammu and Kashmir following several rounds of talks between India and Pakistan. He said he was "desperate and agitated" with the new approach adopted by Pakistan in the peace process with India. The report said the Pakistani political leadership's new approach for normalising relations with India had "stunned" Kashmiri leaders. "Kashmir has been the key issue but now it has become per

FARC's 37th Front dismantled: Santos

President Juan Manuel Santos said the FARC 's 37th Front was dismantled after eight guerrillas were killed in a military operation , reported local media Thursday. "There remained a stronghold that had five to 15 bandits still in this front. I have knowledge that the blow we gave resulted in the death of eight [guerrillas] with three captured. That means that their structure was practically dismantled," said Santos in a statement to the press . Initial reports indicated that nine FARC members were killed. Santos recalled the 37th Front's historically strong presence in northern Colombia , once controlling large amounts of land. Recent military pressure forced the unit to retreat deeper south while their numbers dwindled. Among the dead were the commander of the front, Luis Enrique Benitez Cañola alias "Silvio" or "El Frances." Source:

Colombia: At least eight FARC rebels killed

Bogota: Colombia's military says at least eight rebels have been killed in a bombardment and clashes with Army troops. Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon says the guerrillas slain include the leader of the 37th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Pinzon says the military bombed a FARC camp early Wednesday in northern Antioquia state. The defence minister says no casualties were reported among the Army's special forces troops. The FARC has an estimated 9,000 guerrillas and has been fighting the government for decades. The guerrillas have continued inflicting casualties in recent ambushes and hit-and-run attacks on security forces. Authorities blame the rebels for two bombings that killed 16 people in provincial towns in February.  Source:

Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn MP slaps female leftist politician in the face on live television

ATHENS — The spokesman for Greece’s far-right party Golden Dawn threw a glass of water at a female leftist politician and slapped another one in the face on live television on Thursday, causing a political uproar and leading a prosecutor to seek his arrest. The morning talk show on private television station Antenna was interrupted by the incident and Ilias Kasidiaris was locked in a room at the TV studio but he broke down a door and escaped, the TV host said. Police have been told to track Kasidiaris down and arrest him, a court official said. What was a heated debate over the June 17 elections descended into chaos when Kasidiaris threw a glass of water at the female leftist party member, Rena Dourou, calling her a “joke.” As other participants watched in stunned silence, Communist party deputy Liana Kanelli intervened on her behalf, throwing a newspaper at Kasidiaris, who called her a “commie,” stood up, pushed her and hit her hard in the face. video : http://yout

Cyber experts warn about 'intelligent weapons'

TALLINN: Quick advances in cyber war technologies could soon lead to a new generation of so-called "intelligent cyber weapons" which top global IT defence experts warn could be virtually unstoppable. "Rapid developments in cyber (technology) might lead to intelligent cyber weapons that are hard to control and it's practically impossible to use formal methods of verifying the safety of intelligent cyber weapons by their users," Enn Tyugu, IT expert at Tallinn's NATO Cyber Defence Centre said at its fourth annual conference Thursday. He also warned that programmes developed to counter attacks by malwares like Stuxnet can act independently and could possibly themselves spark conflicts. "They are quite autonomous, and can operate independently in an unfriendly environment and might at some point become very difficult to control... that can lead to cyber conflict initiated by these agents themselves," Tyugu said. "Stuxnet and

Myanmar police ‘open fire’ amid religious unrest

YANGON: Police in western Myanmar on Friday opened fire in an attempt to quell religious tensions in a town dominated by the Rohingya Muslim minority group, a government official said. Police were said to have been deployed at more than a dozen villages in Rakhine state, along the Bay of Bengal, after houses were set on fire following a surge in sectarian unrest. “Police opened fire in Maungdaw in Rakhine state. There are no casualties,” the official said. Tensions have flared in Rakhine since 10 Muslims were killed by an angry Buddhist mob on Sunday. The victims’ bus was surrounded by a crowd of hundreds of people enraged at the May 28 rape and murder of a Rakhine woman, allegedly by three other Muslim men, state media reported Tuesday. Buddhists make up some 89 percent of the population of Myanmar, with Muslims officially representing four percent. The United Nations describes the Rohingya as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities. The violence threatens to ove

NATO apologises for deaths in Afghan airstrike

SHELL-SHOCKED: Afghan villagers at a house hit by a NATO airstrike in Sajawand village in Logar province, south of Kabul, on Thursday. Photo: AFP The commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan apologised on Friday for civilian deaths in a coalition airstrike earlier this week — the first confirmation by NATO forces that civilians were killed in the operation. Marine Gen. John Allen flew to Logar province to personally deliver his regrets to villagers and provincial officials for the deaths of women, children and village elders in Wednesday's pre-dawn raid to capture a Taliban operative. Afghan officials have said the airstrike called in by NATO troops killed 18 civilians. “I know that no apology can bring back the lives of the children or the people who perished in this tragedy and this accident, but I want you to know that you have my apology and we will do the right thing by the families,” Gen. Allen told the group of about two dozen Afgha

Nigeria police station bomb kills many

Maidaguri - A bomb blast at the entrance of the police headquarters of northeast Nigeria's Borno state killed many people on Friday, mostly police, witnesses and security officials said. A police officer at the scene, who could not be named, said five police vans had been loaded with the dead. “Many people, mostly members of the police, which include men and women, were killed in the explosion,” said witness Ali Alhaji in the city of Maiduguri, the focal point of an insurgency by Islamist sect Boko Haram. Boko Haram, which wants to create an Islamic state in parts of Nigeria, has been blamed for hundreds of bomb and gun attacks on security forces and civilians over the past two years. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bomb. Police spokesman for Borno state Gideon Jibrin confirmed there had been bomb blast and that there were casualties, but he did not have further details or a precise toll. Police stations are a favourite target

US jails Jamaican drug lord

New York - A U.S. federal judge on Friday sentenced Jamaican drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke to 23 years in prison, ending a long struggle by U.S. authorities to lock up a powerful figure who had evaded capture with the aid of Jamaican authorities. Coke, 43, was given the maximum sentence following a deal in which he pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and assault charges. Coke, wearing a gray prison jumpsuit, sat stoically through most of Friday's proceedings in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, but spoke briefly before Judge Robert Patterson. “I am a good person,” Coke said in asking the judge for consideration of what he said were the positive things he had done in his native Jamaica. Patterson, however, chose to give Coke the maximum allowable sentence - 20 years on the trafficking charge and three on the assault - and have them run consecutively. Coke's attorney, Stephen Rosen, said he was disappointed that Patterson did not allow the

Breivik has Tourette’s: expert

Oslo - A Norwegian psychiatrist proposed another diagnosis for gunman Anders Behring Breivik on Friday, adding to the confusion over the extremist's mental state after two teams reached contradictory opinions. Ulrik Fredrik Malt, a psychiatry professor at the University of Oslo, said the 33-year-old Breivik was suffering from Asperger's syndrome, Tourette's syndrome and narcissistic personality disorder, but was likely not psychotic. The question of Breivik's sanity is key to his ongoing trial. Though judges are certain to find him guilty, they must decide if he was criminally sane or not. Their decision would affect whether he gets mental treatment in a secure psychiatric facility. Asperger's is a developmental disorder on the autistic spectrum that often is characterised by a lack of empathy. Tourette's is a neurological disorder marked by tics and verbal outbursts. Malt said Tourette's could explain why Breivik has frequently smi

UK, Mauritius ink piracy deal

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and his Mauritius counterpart Navinchandra Ramgoolam signed a deal Friday for suspected pirates caught by the British navy to be prosecuted on the Indian Ocean island. Cameron said the agreement signalled that Indian Ocean states were stepping up the battle against piracy. Britain has similar deals with the Seychelles and Tanzania as part of efforts to protect vital shipping lanes against Somali pirates. “Piracy is a violent crime and pirates should be in no doubt that they will be arrested at sea, prosecuted in regional states and imprisoned,” said Cameron. Piracy has flourished off war-torn Somalia, outwitting international efforts to stamp out the scourge, including patrols by NATO and European Union warships since 2008 and tough sentencing of captured pirates. Several other nations, including Russia and China, also provide protection for their ships as they pass through the busy shipping route through the Gulf of A

Yemeni al Qaeda adjusting for survival

By Barbara Starr The Obama administration now works under the assumption that al Qaeda in Yemen " is coming after America every day ," says a U.S. official familiar with the situation in that country.  The official said there are also indications the organization is seeking recruits with specific knowledge of the United States and Western targets . The official paints a picture of an al Qaeda organization that over the last year has grown stronger, larger, more capable and more determined to attack the United States. The assessment of al Qaeda's growing threat underscores why Obama administration and intelligence officials, as well as members of Congress, were so angered about leaks of sensitive intelligence regarding a recent U.S.-Saudi "sting" operation in Yemen to stop a suicide bomb from making its way onto a U.S.-bound airliner. The official would not comment on the leak. As for new plots, the official said: "We don't know what plo