Showing posts from January 27, 2013

Call To Free French-Aussie Journalist Detained In Iraq

MELBOURNE, Feb 2 (Bernama) -- Iraqi authorities have detained a French-Australian journalist without charge for more than a week. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has confirmed it is aware of the detention of 40-year-old Nadir Dendoune, an Algerian-born man who holds joint French and Australian citizenship. DFAT says the French embassy is providing consular assistance to Dendoune but Australia is monitoring the case. It is believed authorities detained Dendoune - who was in Baghdad to report on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq - for taking pictures without permission on January 23. Iraqi police have reportedly told French officials he was caught photographing a restricted location, but his family has told Agence France-Presse he was taking pictures of a water filtration system. The international Committee to Protect Journalists has called for his release. "The arbitrary jailing of a journalist is a vestige of t

China: Stop Sentencing Tibetans for “Inciting” Immolations

“These prosecutions are utterly without credibility, the Chinese government seems to think it can stop self-immolation by punishing anyone who talks about it. But in pursuing these ‘incitement’ cases, the government compounds the tragedy of these suicide protests.” (New York) – Chinese judicial authorities should immediately release two Tibetans who were found guilty in legal proceedings that relied solely on confessions they gave during five months in detention, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch has documented endemic use of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and coercion of Tibetans in detention. On January 31, 2013, the Intermediate People’s Court of the Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture sentenced Lorang Konchok to death with two years’ reprieve and his nephew, Lorang Tsering, to 10 years in prison on charges of “intentional homicide” in connection with the self-immolation protests of other Tibetans. “These prosecutions are utterly wi


Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that Didem Tuncay, a Turkish journalist who until recently worked for the 24-hour news channel NTV, was critically injured by today’s suicide bombing at the US embassy in Ankara. The bomb was set off by a man at the visitors’ entrance at around 1:30 p.m., killing at least one security guard as well as wounding Tuncay. Reporters Without Borders hopes she recovers quickly. US ambassador Francis Ricciardone said Tuncay had been coming to have tea with him. NTV said she remained in a critical condition despite improving after being rushed to Ankara’s Numune Hospital. She is in an intensive care unit where doctors are still examining the extent of her injuries. She reportedly sustained injuries to the neck, an eye and an ear but not to any vital organs. “Our thought are with Didem Tuncay and her family, and the family of the other victim of this bombing,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We know that

31 killed as militants attack checkpoint in Lakki Marwat

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Militants attacked an isolated army checkpoint in Lakki Marwat on Saturday, with at least 31 people killed in the initial assault, subsequent crossfire and a rocket attack on a house, officials said. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in response to a US drone strike in North Waziristan last month in which two commanders were killed. Security sources said at least 12 militants and nine officials and civilians were killed in the clash. Two bodies had suicide bomb belts on them, an official said. “Cross-firing between militants and security officials continued for four hours,” one source said. The militants also targeted a house next to the camp with rockets, killing 10 members of one family, sources said. “Pakistan has been co-operating with the US in its drone strikes that killed our two senior commanders, Faisal Khan and Toofani, and the attack on military camp was the revenge of their killing,” the TTP spoke

Narrow escape: Nine injured in blast targeting police van

PESHAWAR: Nine people were injured in a low-intensity bomb blast near Firdous Cinema on Jalil Kabibi Road Thursday morning. A Hasthnagri police mobile was on routine patrol when a homemade bomb, magnetically attached by unidentified militants to the back of the vehicle, went off, said police officials. Both the driver and the ASI on duty were not inside the vehicle at the time of the explosion and escaped unhurt. Nine bystanders, however, were injured during the early morning bustle while the police mobile was also damaged in the blast. The injured were shifted to Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) and none are said to be in critical condition. They have been identified as Arshad, Shoaib, Muhammad Yahya, Marof, Abdul Qadir, Haya Khan, Riaz, Qaiser and Zabihullah. According to the Bomb Disposal Squad, the explosives weighed 500 grammes. A week earlier, a blast in the same locality destroyed three shops. There were no casualties as all the shops were closed at the time of the explos

Pakistan: 23 killed in Taliban attack on army post

Associated Press | Updated: February 02, 2013 14:34 IST Peshawar: Officials say the death toll from a Taliban attack on an army post in Pakistan's northwest has risen to 23. Twelve attackers were also killed. Two security officials said Saturday that nine soldiers and four members of the Frontier Constabulary that polices tribal areas died during the raid on the post in Serai Naurang town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They say militants killed 10 civilians in a nearby house, including three women and three children. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Source

Police: Bomber at U.S. Embassy in Turkey with leftist group

Turkish police officers react after an explosion at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara Friday, February 1, in this picture provided by Milliyet Daily Newspaper. U.S. Embassy in Turkey bombed (CNN) -- Turkish officials say a suicide bomber belonging to a radical leftist organization blew himself up just outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on Friday. The blast killed a Turkish security guard and wounded a journalist. A senior U.S. official said no Americans were wounded. Istanbul police identified the bomber as Ecevit Shanli, a member of DHKP-C, a Marxist Leninist terror group. Little information is being released about the bomber or the group, but the specter of this kind of attack has once again put a spotlight on security at U.S. posts around the globe. What is the DHKP-C? The attack in Turkey came after a rash of attacks at U.S. embassies last September in Cairo, Egypt, Tunisia and, most deadly, in Libya. The attack in Benghazi killed four Americans, including U.

African Coastal Piracy in 2013 - the Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?

African maritime insecurity, particularly in connection with acts of piracy, has constituted an important field of study for security researchers in recent years. It has also frequently made local and global media headlines. However, the focus in recent reports is starting to shift away from alarm towards detailing the diminishing threat of piracy around Somalia. Large-scale piracy there would appear to be on the wane, but in what ways can we reasonably expect 2013 to be different from the past, in East Africa and elsewhere? So far in 2013 the most notable event has been the increase in piracy incidents off the West African coast, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea. This continues the trend in 2012 noted by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) where, despite a sizeable drop in the number of attacks in East Africa from 237 in 2011 to 75 in 2012, a total of 58 incidents were recorded in attacks off the West African coast in 2012, compared to 49 in 2011. Increased naval patrols

Nigeria’s Security Challenges: The Way Forward

A cursory examination of the topic evidently indicates that there is no better time to dwell on the security challenges we are facing today given the internal security challenges confronting Nigeria presently. Considering the contemporary nature of this lecture, I shall attempt to sensitize or arouse our curiosity on the dimensions and dynamics of the topic for a more general discussion during the interactive session. In Nigeria today, there are contentions as to whether our system of national security is functioning effectively. A number of public analysts freely opine that not much is being done to combat crime in the face of our resources being continually expended on International Peace Keeping Operations (PKOs) and commitments. Of course, most of these opinions emanate from lack of understanding and appreciation of the dimension of national security and its challenges, the threats to it and its management in a dynamic environment. Security is an encompassing phenomenon that i

Fighting Maritime Piracy: Mission Accomplished?

Emma Welch is a research associate in the Center for Preventive Action and the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. In early January, Mohamed Abdi Hassan—dubbed a “pirate kingpin” by the United Nations—announced his retirement from piracy. In his farewell press conference, Hassan explained: “After being in piracy for eight years, I have decided to renounce and quit, and from today on I will not be involved in this gang activity.” He added, “I have also been encouraging many of my colleagues to renounce piracy too.” Hassan may have an ulterior motive for quitting his career in piracy: business just isn’t what it used to be. In November 2008, pirates—reportedly led by Hassan—seized a Saudi tanker carrying over $100 million worth of oil. The tanker was released two months later, but only after the pirates negotiated a ransom of $3 million. Several months later, a Ukranian ship carrying weapons and ammunition was seized by the s

Two 'Somali pirates' jailed in Japan: Report

Friday, Feb 01, 2013 TOKYO - Two men who attempted to hijack a Japanese tanker off the coast of Oman were jailed for 10 years by Tokyo District Court on Friday, a report said, in the first piracy prosecution in Japan. The two were among four African men arrested in March 2011 over the attack in the Indian Ocean. Men armed with submachine guns tried to seize the tanker, which was operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and had 24 crew members aboard, reports said. "It was an organised and dangerous crime by men armed with guns who sought to demand a ransom," presiding judge Katsunori Ohno said in his ruling, according to broadcaster NHK. US Navy personnel captured the men and handed them over to Japan's coastguard, which for the first time applied the nation's new anti-piracy law to transport them to Tokyo to face trial. The court used two sets of interpreters - one from Japanese to English and another from English to Somali. The men were identified in court as Mo

The Morning Download: CIOs Caught in Cyberwar Crossfire

Michael Hickins The Morning Download comes from the editors of CIO Journal and cues up the most important news in business technology every weekday morning. Send us your tips, compliments and complaints. You can get The Morning Download emailed to you each weekday morning by clicking here. Good morning. The finger-pointing has started as companies and security vendors struggle to contend with endless nation-sponsored cyberattacks. Vendors are becoming defensive when systems they protect are successfully infiltrated or brought down by massive distributed denial of service attacks, consultants are blaming government agencies for a lack of transparency, and some lobbyists are accusing the federal government of trying to impose rigid cybersecurity standards on the private sector. The Wall Street Journal revealed Thursday its computer systems had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers; the New York Times reported Wednesday its systems had been infiltrated by Chinese hackers (more details

Wall Street Journal says hit by Chinese hackers too

The Wall Street Journal said Thursday its computers were hit by Chinese hackers, the latest US media organization citing an effort to spy on its journalists covering China. The Journal made the announcement a day after The New York Times said hackers, possibly connected to China's military, had infiltrated its computers in response to its expose of the vast wealth amassed by a top leader's family. The Journal said in a news article that the attacks were "for the apparent purpose of monitoring the newspaper's China coverage" and suggest that Chinese spying on US media "has become a widespread phenomenon." "Evidence shows that infiltration efforts target the monitoring of the Journal's coverage of China, and are not an attempt to gain commercial advantage or to misappropriate customer information," said a statement from Paula Keve of Journal parent Dow Jones, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The Journal gave no timeline for th


Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned about a wave of threats against journalist in three coastal departments in northwestern Colombia, a region known for the presence of major criminal organizations. “Journalists should not have pay because of the region’s high level of organized crime-related violence,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “The authorities must quickly investigate these acts of intimidation, which constitute grave violations of freedom of information. They must guarantee the safety of journalists and must make appropriate protective measures available to those who request them.” Crime reporter Amilkar Alvear and photographer Jairo Cassiani of the newspaper Al Día received a letter in Montería (Córdoba department) on 28 January containing death threats by the BCLU (Los Urabeños Criminal Band). It said they had “talked a lot” about the BCLU and now had 48 hours to leave the city. The two journalists left Montería the s

Two Lebanese soldiers killed in clashes near Syria border

At least two Lebanese soldiers have been killed in clashes with militants fighting against the Syrian government in eastern Lebanon near the border with Syria. The fighting broke out in the town of Arsal in Bekka Valley on Friday after a Lebanese army unit entered the area to arrest a member of an extremist group known as the Al-Nusra Front. "An army patrol was ambushed in the village of Arsal as it hunted a man wanted for several terrorist acts," the Lebanese army said in a statement, adding that an army captain and soldier were killed while several others were wounded in the clashes. A security source earlier gave a death toll of six soldiers and a gunman for the clashes in Arsal. Al-Nusra, which is fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has been accused of smuggling weapons into Syria from Lebanon. The group is also said to be involved in many atrocities committed in Syria. The group has been blacklisted as a terrorist group by many

6 PKK members surrender to Turkish police

ANKARA, Feb. 1 — Six members of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) have surrendered to Turkish police in southeastern Turkey, local newspaper Today’s Zaman reported Friday. The PKK rebels, who escaped from the PKK camps in northern Iraq, entered the Silopi town in Sirnak province through Habur border gate, according to the report. The PKK militants were taken to Silopi Gendarmerie Command for interrogation and were later referred to court, said the report. The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in an attempt to create an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey. Since then, over 35,000 people have been killed in conflicts involving the group. Source

Kurdish rebels to withdraw from Turkey in March: paper

Kurdish rebels to withdraw from Turkey in March: paper US-TURKEY-KURDS: ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Kurdish militants will withdraw from Turkish territory by the Kurdish new year on March 21 under a peace process to end a conflict in which 40,000 people have been killed, a newspaper close to the government said on Thursday. The withdrawal of the militants to northern Iraq, where most of the PKK's several thousand fighters are based, is planned to begin at the start of March as the weather in southeast Turkey starts to become milder, the Sabah daily reported. Turkish officials have been in talks with jailed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan since late 2012 and he was expected to issue a call within 10 days for the militants to declare a ceasefire, the paper said. Source

Kurdish party denies reports of meeting with PKK leader

Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chairperson of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has denied media reports that he is scheduled to meet the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as part of peace talks aimed at ending the Kurdish conflict. Turkish media has long been reporting that Demirtaş and Mardin independent deputy Ahmet Türk were preparing to visit Öcalan on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara, where the PKK leader has been in virtual isolation since his capture in 1999. Some claimed they were supposed to go to İmralı on Jan. 23, but the meeting was suspended by the Justice Ministry due to remarks made by Türk criticizing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the recent bombings by Turkish war planes in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq, the location of the PKK headquarters. More recent media reports said Demirtaş would be accompanied by BDP deputies Ayla Akat Ata and Sırrı Sakık along with Türk. In a message posted on his Twitter account on Friday,

PKK, al-Qaeda named as suspects in Turkey blast

02.01.13, Reports in Turkey suggest that the blast outside the United States Embassy in Turkey's capital Ankara may not be the result of a suicide bombing, but rather the work of a terrorist who planted the bomb and escaped. According to most reports, two people were killed and at least two others wounded. It is still unclear who is behind the attack. Media outlets estimated that it may be the Kurdish PKK or al- Qaeda terrorists. Their motives may be related to the US's deployment of Patriot missile batteries in Turkey as a defensive measure against a possible Syrian attack. (News agencies) Source,7340,L-4339885,00.html

FARC Release 3 Kidnapped Engineers in Colombia

Colombia’s FARC rebels have freed the three petroleum engineers they had kidnapped in the country’s southwest, a police spokesman told Efe Thursday. The guerrillas were forced to release their captives due to pressure from police, air force and army elements, Maj. Johan Mercado said. “Reports are they’re well,” Mercado said, adding that Luis Miguel Figueroa, Cesar Galiano and Embert Garcia are being transferred to an army battalion stationed in Villagarzon, a town in Putumayo province. The trio of contractors working for Canadian-owned Gran Tierra Energy was abducted Wednesday, and authorities had been carrying out an intense search for the men in a mountainous area between Putumayo and neighboring Cauca province. Last Friday, FARC fighters took two police captive in Cauca. The team representing the FARC in peace talks with the Colombian government said Wednesday that insurgents have the right to hold police and soldiers who fall into their hands in combat. Even so, the FAR

Teenager shot at US middle school

WASHINGTON - A teenage student was shot Thursday at a middle school in Atlanta, Georgia with the victim hospitalized but "alert," police said, after the latest gun attack against young Americans. In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the Atlanta police said the victim, whom they did not identify, was shot outside Price Middle School, and was "transported alert, conscious and breathing to Grady hospital." US media has reported that the person shot was a 14-year-old male. The police also said a suspect had been taken into custody. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed condemned the shooting and others like it as "unconscionable," and said gun attacks in and around US schools "must end." "Too many young people are being harmed, and too many families are suffering from unimaginable and unnecessary grief," he added in a message that was posted on the city's website. It had been earlier reported that a teacher at the school was als