Showing posts from February 16, 2014

Cops’ informant was former Maoist

Indicating the partial success of the government’s amnesty policy for Naxals, it has been revealed that the informant in the latest encounter that killed seven ultras was a former Maoist himself, who had joined the police ranks a few years ago. The firefight took place at around 10 pm on Monday night in the Kurkheda division of Gadchiroli district and two of the deceased were women. According to sources in the Gadchiroli police, the informant, now working with the police as a specially recruited police constable, had laid down his weapons a few years ago. He then joined the police force, changed his identity and looks so as not to be identified by his former comrades. The dreaded militants have vindictively killed their former compatriots in assassinations and bombings in Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Maharashtra. “We had been trying to track Naxal movements in the area for a long time when the former Naxal received a tip-off about their presence. The police party began combing the area and

Xinhua Insight: Details of suspected crimes by gangster-turned billionaire

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Nine murder charges have been brought against 36 alleged gang members and many other charges filed, Xianning People's Procuratorate in Hubei Province said on Thursday. Rumors have circulated since last March that well-known plutocrat and mineral tycoon Liu Han had disappeared soon after last year's national political sessions. Famous for his philanthropy, Liu was elected political advisor in Sichuan Province three times in a row, and has over 20 honorary titles. His best known charitable act was the building of a rural elementary school complex which withstood the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake. He is chairman of the boards of the Hanlong Group, the biggest private enterprise in Sichuan Province, and the listed Jinlu Group. He owns tens of subsidiary companies involved in electricity, energy, finance, mining, real estate and securities. Estimates put his worth in tens of billions of yuan. Acting on the orders of the Central Committee of the Com

Blasts shake five polling stations in Libya, no one hurt

Feb 20, 2014 5:38pm IST TRIPOLI, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Explosions rocked five polling stations in eastern Libya on Thursday as voters began electing a body to draft a new constitution, another step in the OPEC producer's rocky transition since Muammar Gaddafi fell in 2011. Nobody was wounded in the dawn bomb attacks in the restive town of Derna, residents said, but the incident highlighted the volatile situation in the North African country. Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's government is struggling to assert its authority over militias which helped topple Gaddafi but kept their weapons and have become major political players. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing and Ghaith Shennib; Editing by Alistair Lyon) Source

India PM Seeks to Block Release of Former Prime Minister's Killers

Relatives of some of the sixteen others who were killed during the 1991 assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi address the media in Chennai, India, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is asking the Supreme Court to block the release from prison of seven men involved in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu ordered the release of the men on Wednesday, saying they have already served more than 20 years in prison for the crime. The decision sparked angry protests in the national parliament, mainly from members of Mr. Gandhi's Congress Party. The Supreme Court was expected to respond to the government's petition Thursday afternoon. Gandhi was killed in a suicide attack by an ethnic Tamil, apparently in retaliation for his decision to send peacekeepers to neighboring Sri Lanka, where the separatist Tamil Tigers were engaged in an armed uprising against the government. Lawma

Pussy Riot Crashes The Olympics With New Song

Pussy Riot has crashed Putin's games, shouting out in a new video shot in Sochi that punks are not dead in Russia. "Putin Will Teach You How To Love The Motherland" opens with scenes of waves quietly lapping up on the shores of the Black Sea resort town, host of the Winter Olympics. But the tranquility ends quickly when the performance art group orchestrates a beach landing to use the Russia's $50 billion showpiece as a platform for protest. The video is Pussy Riot's first to feature Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina since the two were released from prison in late December. President Vladimir Putin himself granted the amnesty, in what was widely seen as an attempted act of forgiveness for the 2012 anti-Putin protest that landed them in prison in the first place. The video makes clear that Pussy Riot has no intention of putting its multicolored balaclavas and biting lyrics away. Members of the group don their trademark outfits and attack Putin on human rig

Ukraine protests live: Death toll mounts amid 'sniper attacks' as fresh fighting breaks truce

By Hannah Strange, London, Roland Oliphant and David Blair, Kiev 12:14PM GMT 20 Feb 2014 At least 24 killed as gunfire rings out in Independence Square; reporters see bodies with bullet wounds to heads. Follow live developments here.   Hopes that truce could end violence dashed as fighting breaks out in Independence Square 23 bodies in civilian clothing counted by reporters amid suggestions of sniper attacks 1 policeman has been reported killed and dozens have been captured by protesters Telegraph correspondent sees several bodies with single bullet wounds to head Foreign ministers from Poland, France and Germany meet President Yanukovych in Kiev EU foreign ministers to hold emergency meeting on possible sanctions Latest Related Articles 15.24  Ukraine's police force has said it used live rounds in self-defence during this morning's clashes. "For the purpose of preserving the lives and wellbeing of law enforcement officials, a decision was taken ... to use weapons in self

Suicide Bomber Targets Shi’ite Cultural Center In Kabul

U.S. troops stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on February 20. KABUL -- A suicide bomber targeting a Shi’ite cultural center has killed one person and wounded four others in the Afghan capital, Kabul. The Interior Ministry said the attacker's explosives detonated on the morning of February 20 after a security guard prevented the attacker from entering the Naser Khosraw-e-Balkhi Culture Center of the Ismailia sect. The bomber and the security guard were both killed in the blast. No one claimed responsibility but in the past such strikes have been claimed by the Taliban. In Kabul last week, two civilian contractors working for the NATO force in Afghanistan were killed in a car bomb attack claimed by the Taliban. With reporting by AFP Source

Libyan militias extend ultimatum to parliament TRIPOLI, Libya: Two powerful militias that earlier demanded that Libya’s interim parliament step down or face arrest now say the country’s political factions have 72 hours to resolve their crisis, while the United Nations urged on Wednesday that the deadlock be resolved by holding new elections. The demands issued on Tuesday by the Al-Qaaqaa and al-Sawaaq militias, which some politicians likened to an attempted coup, brought the restive North African country’s long-running political showdown to a head. Parliament is split between Islamist and non-Islamist blocs. Its mandate was to have expired this month, but the Islamists led a motion to extend its mandate by another year. Source

Syria Rebel Commanders Reject Leadership Shakeup

ABC News The former leader of the Western-backed Syrian opposition's military wing on Wednesday rejected his recent dismissal, and along with more than a dozen senior insurgent commanders severed ties with the political opposition-in-exile, further fragmenting the notoriously divided rebel movement. The statement from Gen. Salim Idris comes two days after the opposition Syrian National Coalition announced that Idris had been sacked as head of the Supreme Military Council and replaced by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir — an experienced, moderate field commander from southern Syria. The move was widely seen as an attempt to restructure the military council and to persuade Western allies to boost their support for mainstream rebels trying to oust President Bashar Assad. Moderate opposition fighters have been eclipsed over the past year by ultraconservative Islamic groups and extremist factions that have emerged as the most powerful brigades on the rebel side. But the move also holds t

Beauty queen the latest victim in Venezuela unrest

Caracas:   A local beauty queen died of a gunshot wound on Wednesday in the fifth fatality from Venezuela's political unrest, as imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez urged supporters to keep fighting for the departure of the socialist government. Tensions have risen in Venezuela since Lopez, a 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist, turned himself in to troops on Tuesday after spearheading three weeks of often rowdy protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government. The latest included college student and model Genesis Carmona, 22, who was shot in the head at a protest on Tuesday in the central city of Valencia. She died later in a clinic. "How long are we going to live like this? How long do we have to tolerate this pressure, with them killing us?" a relative, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. "She only needed one more semester to graduate," he added of Carmona, who had been studying tourism and had won the 2013 Miss Tourism competition in h

At least 15 killed as Pakistan bombs Taliban hideouts

Miranshah, Pakistan:   Pakistani jets early on Thursday bombed Taliban hideouts in a northwestern tribal district, killing at least 15 people, security officials said. The airstrikes in the country's troubled North Waziristan come a day after Taliban insurgents said they are ready to observe a ceasefire to allow the resumption of stalled peace talks, provided Pakistani security forces stop killing and arresting them. "There are confirmed reports of 15 militants including foreigners killed in these airstrikes," a senior security official told AFP, adding that the focus of the attacks was the town of Mir Ali and its surrounding areas in North Waziristan, a stronghold for Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants along with Afghan border. "Airstrikes were carried out to target militant hideouts with precision. A huge cache of arms and ammunition have also been destroyed," the official said. Peace talks between the Taliban and the government stalled this week due a rece

US warns of airline shoe-bomb threat

Washington:   US authorities issued a warning on Wednesday to airlines flying to the United States to watch out for militants who may have hidden bombs in their shoes, US government sources said. The warning came from the Department of Homeland Security, the sources said, and it is consistent with concerns security agencies have about militants trying to smuggle explosives onto airplanes in shoes, cosmetics or liquids. The sources said the warning principally applied to flights originating overseas and heading for the United States, rather than domestic flights or planes headed overseas from the United States. However, some sources said the warnings did not mean that the United States had specific intelligence indicating a plot to use a shoe bomb overseas was in progress. One source said the alert was being issued "out of an abundance of caution." A second source said the alert was "not a big deal." Wednesday's warning follows one earlier this month in which U.S

Homeland Security warns airlines of new threat

Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security has warned airlines that terrorists could try to hide explosives in shoes. It's the second time in less than three weeks that the government has issued a warning about possible attempts to smuggle explosives on a commercial jetliner. Homeland Security said Wednesday it regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, but it declined to discuss specifics of a warning sent to airlines. "Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment," the department said in a statement. A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that DHS released a notice to airlines reiterating that liquids, shoes and certain cosmetics were of concern, all of which are covered under existing Transportation Security Administration security policies

Terrifying headcam footage shows Americans drop 500lb bomb on their OWN soldiers

500 Pound Bomb Dropped on U.S. Soldiers By Mistake This video shows the shocking moment a 500lb bomb was dropped on US soldiers by mistake. American troops were engaging Taliban  forces in the  Paktika province  when an airstrike began. Reports suggest the operation went drastically wrong and 'friendly fire' resulted in the quarter tonne bomb being unloaded on their own troops. Amazingly there were no casualties in the incident, which was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday. An interview on the military veteran community Funker with the cameraman explains what happened. The soldier said: "About a half second before impact you could hear the bomb screaming in like I hadn’t ever heard before, and I definitely knew at that point something was off. "After the initial realization that it had hit behind us, we were so scatter brained trying to figure out what happened. It hit so close to the guys in the tower it actually knocked the fill out of radios." Source  http://www.m

Big Mafia families retreat as the Russian mafia become FBI Priority

Russian mafia have over taken Five mafia families in New York The Five top mafia families have had to adapt to lower profits and a lower profile to survive, the F.B.I.’ top mafia investigator claims, as he cautions against writing them off as a spent force. The priority for the bureau is now the Russian mafia, after a number of high profile convictions and mafia wise guys who have become state witnesses against the old families. The F.B.I.’s special agent in charge of the Criminal Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New York told the Wall Street Journal that the mafia are not the force they were, but still a dangerous entity on the criminal landscape. "I don't know that I'd say La Cosa Nostra wasn't what it was in its heyday, but I wouldn't say by any means it's gone away," he said. He believes that the Cosa Nostra, made famous by the ‘Godfather’ films have endured quite a make-over and transformation but their hierarchy

NSA Surveillance: Not For Terrorism, Not Even to Curb Privacy

Another  extremely important article  from The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher reveals that “the National Security Agency and its British counterpart…targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert surveillance to prosecution.” The intelligence agencies “collect[ed] the IP addresses of visitors” to a WikiLeaks website and attempted to target WikiLeaks supporters. The documents, leaked by Edward Snowden, also reveal NSA surveillance of other activist groups on the internet. “Illustrating how far afield the NSA deviates from  its self-proclaimed focus  on terrorism and national security, the documents reveal that the agency considered using its sweeping surveillance system against Pirate Bay, which has been accused of facilitating copyright violations,” Greenwald and Gallagher report. Facilitating copyright violations. Scary right? Pirate Bay is a site known to offer “music, movies, games and software” and this does tend to conflict

UN says over 8,50,000 Somalis desperately need food

UNITED NATIONS: More than 850,000 people in  Somalia  are in desperate need of food and "in crisis and emergency conditions," the director of UN humanitarian operations said on Wednesday.  John Ging, who just returned from a three-day visit to Somalia, said another two million Somalis are considered to be "food insecure."  "These figures are very, very large," he told a news conference. "They tell us a simple message which is that the situation in Somalia for Somalis on the humanitarian side is very grave. It's also very fragile."  Ging said the UN World Food Program's Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit reported this month that 8,57,000 Somalis are in acute crisis conditions and require urgent humanitarian assistance. This is "a modest improvement" from the previous six months when 870,000 Somalis desperately needed food, he said.  Somalia has long been a rudderless nation plagued by cyclical drought and famine and decad