Showing posts from June 28, 2015

Separation of church and terror? UN passes resolution against linking terrorism with religion

The United Nations Human Rights Council  has voted in favor of a resolution concerning the grave human rights situation in Syria and reaffirmed that terrorism, including the actions of Daesh, cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 29-6, with 12 abstentions, at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday. The council said that the resolution reaffirmed its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria. The resolution strongly condemned "the terrorist acts and violence committed against civilians by the so-called Daesh, al-Nusra Front and other extremist groups; [it] condemns in the strongest terms the violent extremist ideology professed by Daesh and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and reaffirms that terrorism, including the actions of the

Sinai Daesh affiliate claims rocket fire into Israel

The Islamic State in the Sinai province  on Friday claimed responsibility for the firing of rockets from Sinai into southern Israel earlier in the day. "With God's willing we bombarded the Jewish positions in occupied Palestine with three Grad rockets," the group said in a statement on Twitter. It also published three pictures, one showing the three Grad rockets before they were fired and the other two showing the rockets as they were launched. The Islamic State statement said the  rocket attack  was in retaliation for Israel's support of Egypt's armed forces on Wednesday in northern Sinai. Earlier, an Israeli army spokesman said a rocket fired from Sinai landed in southern Israel causing no casualties or damage. An Egyptian security source also confirmed earlier Friday that a rocket was fired towards Israel by unidentified assailants from an area that overlooks the southern sector of the Egyptian Rafah area. The source added that the situation in Sinai is "

Syrian army and Hezbollah launch major assault on border city

The Syrian army and its allied militia launched a major assault on the rebel-held Syrian city of Zabadani on Saturday, Lebanese group Hezbollah's television station said. It said heavy artillery and aerial bombardment were being deployed to capture Zabadani, located north-west of the Syrian capital near the frontier with Lebanon. Footage released on the channel showed large plumes of fire rising from the city. The Syrian army, with its Shia ally Hezbollah, has long sought to wrest control of Zabadani from Sunni militants. The city is close to the Beirut-Damascus highway that links the two countries and capturing it would be a major strategic gain for Syrian President Bashar al Assad's government. The former popular resort city is one of the rebels' last strongholds along the border. It was part of a major supply route for weapons sent by Syria to Hezbollah before the outbreak of the Syrian conflict in 2011. Violence from the four-year civil war has regularly spill

Houthis say Ramadan humanitarian pause under discussion

AP Shia rebels known as Houthis, gather at houses destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in Sana'a, Yemen, Friday, July 3, 2015. Yemen's dominant Houthi movement said on Saturday a pause in fighting to last until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan was under discussion with the United Nations to allow for deliveries of humanitarian aid. Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam said in a post on his Facebook page he had met U.N. special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Friday to discuss the matter. An Arab coalition has been bombarding Iran-allied Houthi forces and allied army units since March in a campaign to restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power. The U.N. envoy is also holding discussions with the pro-Hadi government in Saudi Arabia to push for a pause, sources said. The U.S. State Department on Thursday called for a "humanitarian pause" in the conflict during Ramadan to allow international aid groups to deliver urgent

Mosque bombing kills 15 al-Qaida fighters in Syria

Activists say a bomb has exploded inside a mosque where al-Qaida’s branch in Syria was holding a fast-breaking meal, killing at least 14. Activists say the bombing inside the Salem Mosque in the northern town of Ariha occurred shortly after sunset Friday when scores of Nusra Front members gathered to break their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Saturday that the explosion killed 31 Nusra Front members including five commanders. Syria-based activist Ahmad al-Ahmad said 15 Nusra Front fighters were killed and more than 30 wounded. The differences in casualty estimates could not be immediately explained since the Nusra Front cordoned off the area. Source:

Syrians increasingly desperate for healthcare as barrel bombs strike hospitals

The destruction of the Busra hospital  in southwestern Syria with barrel bombs last month was only the latest episode in a long series of attacks by the Assad regime on medical facilities across the country. It was one of 10 medical facilities struck by the Syrian military in June alone, according to the humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). “Busra hospital was the only health facility providing neonatal and dialysis services in Daraa,” the group said in a statement, adding that 10 barrel bombs tore through the hospital and eventually flattened it. Already suffering from a lack of medical supplies and services, many Syrians in need of medical attention were left with no access to healthcare. Despite the documentation by journalists and human rights groups, the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad nonetheless continues to deny that his forces have used  barrel bombs . In her late 50s, Umm Hussein suffers from kidney problems. She needs to undergo dialysis treatment at l

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents step up attacks in Nigeria

Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked the outskirts of a state capital in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, escalating their attacks after a week of bloodletting in which more than 150 people were killed, military sources said. Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked the outskirts of a state capital in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, escalating their attacks after a week of bloodletting in which more than 150 people were killed, military sources said. Heavy gunfire was heard coming from the fringes of Maiduguri, the capital of Bornoa state, for about half an hour on Friday evening. Military sources said insurgents attacked a village on the edge of the city but were repulsed. There were no immediate details on casualties. Boko Haram fighters tried to take Maiduguri a number of times earlier this year before an army offensive drove them out of large chunks of territory. The militants have since resorted to deadly hit-and-run attacks on settlements and using suicide bombers

Saudi led air strike on Yemen rebel bastion kills 23

Sanaa A Saudi-led air strike on a Huthi Shiite rebel stronghold in Yemen's northern mountains killed 23 people early today, tribal sources said. The strike targeted a munitions factory in Saqayn, near Saada, the sources said. Coalition aircraft also bombed the rebel held capital Sanaa, targeting an arms warehouse and the air defence headquarters, witnesses said. #rebel   #Saudi Arabia   #SHHITE   #yemen Coalition aircraft also bombed the rebel held capital Sanaa, targeting an arms warehouse and the air defence headquarters, witnesses said. The coalition launched air strikes against the rebels in March, after the Huthis seized control of much of the country prompting President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to take refuge in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Source:

Evidence weakens for BBC story on MQM-RAW links

AP Police are investigating charges of money laundering against the London-based MQM leader, Altaf Hussain. In this file photo, MQM supporters protesting in Islamabad against the arrest of their leader in London. Police refuse to validate ‘official’ transcripts The credibility of claims made in a recent BBC report that the Indian intelligence agency RAW funded Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), have been seriously weakened following a statement by the Britain’s Metropolitan police. The BBC story had quoted a senior MQM source as having acknowledged such payments in interrogation sessions with the Met police. The police are investigating charges of money laundering against the London-based MQM leader, Altaf Hussain. India had dismissed the charges as untrue. Soon after the story broke, however, documents purporting to be “official” and attributed to the Metropolitan police have been circulated on social media sites and in the Pakistan media. The documents alleg

No saviour from Damascus yet: Yasin Bhatkal may have pulled a prank on us with phone-call to wife

Yasin Bhatkal, former head of dreaded terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, has succeeded in dropping a bombshell from the confines of the four walls of high-security prison at Cherlapally in Hyderabad. Bhatkal has been lodged in the prison for two years. The explosive claims Bhatkal made through a phone call to his wife that he would flee the prison with the “support of Islamic State from Syria’s capital Damascus” has indeed sent ripples of concern through the country. However, it is safe to say that his claims of support from the IS are nothing but an attempt to cause some spurious sensation, for he was aware of the fact that the phone he was using to speak to his wife was one owned by the prison authorities. Previous reports stated that there was security breach and Bhatkal spoke to his wife over a phone that was smuggled inside. However, prison authorities have now confirmed that Bhatkal spoke to his wife on a phone that inmates are allowed to use twice a week to call relatives re

Southern whites who know basic facts about the Civil War don’t support the Confederate flag

Supporters of displaying the Confederate battle flag in public places like South Carolina's state house often argue that it's about "heritage, not hate." But as political scientists  Spencer Piston and Logan Strother  write for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, there is actual data measuring how Confederate flag supporters and opponents each feel about the South and its history. And, frankly, it doesn't look good for the "heritage, not hate" argument. In 2004, the Survey Research Laboratory at Georgia State University surveyed 522 white Georgia residents. (At the time, Georgia's state flag included the Confederate battle flag in its design, but the state was debating getting rid of it.) And they found Confederate flag supporters didn't know much about the actual Confederacy. Georgia State University The survey asked three questions about the Civil War — identifying Union general William Tecumseh Sherman, who famously bur

How the Confederate flag had a different meaning for the ‘Rebels’ of Georgetown District

In the early 1960s, the students at Georgetown District High School just ‘wanted to be Rebels Without A Cause’ For more than 30 years, a school just outside Toronto proudly displayed the Confederate flag. Around 1962, the sports teams of Georgetown District High School adopted the name “Rebels” and began wearing Confederate-branded uniforms. They were hardly white supremacists, according to the man who created the football team’s original Confederate logo. They were just a group of kids with an anti-authority streak who wanted to be James Dean. “We wanted to be  Rebels Without A Cause ,” said Dennis Martel, who designed the team’s crest, featuring a fox head with eye-patch and rebel hat. “That was the emotional birth of the name. I didn’t like the connection to the Confederacy, nobody did.” When the school’s football side was getting bigger and better in the early ’60s, the players wanted “new uniforms and a spiffy name.” The youngsters chose to be known a


From Nick Gass writing at Politico: As debate rages in South Carolina over the Confederate flag on its statehouse property, a majority of Americans see the rebel flag as a symbol of Southern pride, not a reminder of racism, according to a new  CNN/ORC poll  out Thursday. Public opinion is about where it stood 15 years ago, when the Palmetto State removed the rebel St. Andrew’s cross from the Capitol dome. But there is a stark racial divide on how the banner is perceived and what should be done about references to the Confederacy. Among all 1,017 adults participating, 57 percent said it’s a symbol of Southern pride, 33 percent called it more a symbol of racism and 5 percent said it’s both equally. Among whites, 66 percent said it symbolizes pride, while just 17 percent of African-Americans responded that way. In May 2000, 59 percent of Americans in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll called the flag a point of regional and historical pride. Read the rest of the story at  Politic

White Supremacist Organizations Officially Endorse Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s crazy antics have cost him several business connections, and it’s been amazing . At this point, it’s difficult to foresee who would actually endorse Trump. White supremacy groups are  that’s who, reported  Addicting Info . Univision, NBC, and Macy’s have completely washed their hands of Trump because of his bigoted and prejudiced tirade against Mexico and Mexican immigrants. In short, Trump said Mexican immigrants are rapists and do not contribute to American society. Even after the fallout of Trump’s remarks, he’s stood by them and refused to apologize. Trump’s stance on Mexico has won him the support and adoration of several white supremacist groups. Andres Anglin of the neo-Nazi blog site  The Daily Stormer  endorsed Trump. “He is absolutely the only candidate who is even talking about anything at all that matters,” said Anglin of Trump. He is “willing to call them out as criminal rapists, murderers and drug dealers.” Kyle Rogers of the Council of Conservati