Showing posts from September 9, 2018

‘22 July’ Review: Paul Greengrass Shows Powerful Resilience in the Face of Far-Right Terror | TIFF 2018

Although  Paul Greengrass  has dealt with real-world violence before, specifically in his movies  Bloody Sunday ,  United 93 , and  Captain Phillips , his new film,  22 July , is the first time he has explored the aftermath of an attack. You get the sense from the film that Greengrass recognizes we’re in a new moment in history (before today’s screening at TIFF, he noted that we are living in “unprecedented times”) where the far right is on the rise throughout the Western world, and so he needs a different kind of movie to meet this moment. It’s not enough to simply show the particulars of a terrorist act; we must also recognize how to deal with the fallout. As always, Greengrass does not shy away from the brutality and evil of terrorism, but  22 July  unflinchingly looks at how extremists may sit in smug satisfaction, but they will never have the strength of those who fight for what’s good in this world. The first half-hour of  22 July  is deeply difficult to watch as Greengrass s

Kenya submits data in Somalia border row

(MENAFN - SomTribune) Kenya has presented to the UN evidence of what it believes should determine its sea boundary dispute with Somalia. On Thursday, Attorney-General Githu Muigai and his team tabled geographical and seismic data collected for the past seven years. The submission, to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, is in a bid to prove that the current sea boundary with Somalia should stand.  'In preparing the submission, Kenya had to acquire bathymetric data in 2007 and seismic, magnetics and gravity data in 2008, in offshore areas appurtenant to Kenya,' the Attorney-General's Office said in a statement on Thursday.  The presentation to the UN Commission in New York comes just a fortnight after Kenya challenged a case filed by Somalia to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as invalid.  The commission was created by the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea.  It usually considers data and other material submitted by coastal states co

SBU professor Valeri edits new books on hate crimes, terrorism

ST. BONAVENTURE — St. Bonaventure University psychology professor Dr. Robin Maria Valeri is the editor of two new books offering fresh perspectives on the study of hate crimes and terrorism. “Hate Crimes: Typology, Motivations, and Victims” was co-edited with Dr. Kevin Borgeson, associate professor of criminal justice at Salem State University, and published by Carolina Academic Press. Valeri and Borgeson are also the editors of a new book examining the beliefs, actions and impact of American-based terrorists and terror organizations. “Terrorism in America” was published in May by Routledge. The book “Hate Crimes,” with separate chapters on LGBT, race, religion and gender motivated hate crimes, focuses on the various targets of these crimes and examines the theories and motivations that drive perpetrators. To address the increase in hate crimes occurring on college campuses and in cyberspace, the book also includes chapters on campus hate crimes and virtual hate. Valeri a

EU to crack down on online terrorism and cyber threats

The European Union is poised to adopt sweeping new powers against abuse of internet technologies, including measures to ensure the rapid removal of online terrorist message and an overhaul of regulations designed to counter cyber security threats.  The shift from relying on self-policing by the web giants to remove material that promotes extremism, incites violence or orchestrates plots to a mandatory scheme that would impose punishments for any failures to take action, represents a decisive break with past policies.  The proposal by the European Commission, expected to be unveiled in the coming weeks, will require internet giants like Facebook and Google to remove terrorist content within one hour of publication. Failure to take rapid action after receiving a notification will result in penalties for the providers. What constitutes a “terrorist” message will be left for individual countries own parliaments. Each member state will be expected to set up a national authority

Hotel Mumbai provides a raw & rare look behind 26/11 Mumbai terror attack

Director Anthony Maras’ new film replicates the confusion, panic and genuine fear during the terror attack. D irector Anthony Maras’ new film  Hotel Mumbai  had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars Dev Patel ( Slumdog Millionaire ), Armie Hammer ( Call Me By Your Name ), Jason Issacs  (Harry Potter ) and Anupam Kher ( The Big Sick ). All of these actors attended the premiere and participated in a compelling Q&A conversation with the audience after the film. The movie depicts the  Mumbai terror attacks  that took place 26 – 29 November 2008, when 10 gunmen belonging to the Pakistan-based militant organization  Lashkar-e-Taiba  staged a series of co-ordinated attacks across the city, ending with a multi-day siege of the luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel that left 164 dead and hundreds wounded. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with survivors and witnesses and told from the perspective of hotel guests, staff and to some extent the gunmen

In "The Fighters," two unfinished wars in all their thrill and horror

The Global War on Terrorism War Memorial Act that Congress passed last year calls for a new monument on the Mall. Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, it will be designed by the winner of a national competition. Unlike the Vietnam project – or any other war memorial on the Mall – it must solve this riddle: How does one memorialize a war still being fought? C.J. Chivers, a Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent for The New York Times, has taken up the question in his second book, “The Fighters: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.” When erecting a war memorial, in stone or in words, it can be difficult to say anything new: the lives cut short, the misguided strategies of politicians, the societal journey from idealism to disillusionment. We’ve heard it all before, haven’t we? After nearly 20 years, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have exhausted our collective attention spans. I’m a veteran of both conflicts, and they have come to exhaust my attention span, too. I was hesitan

Who are the MEK? How One Iranian Group Lobbied Itself From Terrorist to Freedom Fighter

A little ways outside the center of Tirana, Albania lies a military-style base surrounded by high walls and tight security.  What makes the compound one of the most unique in the world, is that its walls may be keeping its inhabitants in, rather than keeping any intruders out. Inside are thousands of members of the Mujahideen al-Khalq (MEK), an Iranian organization that was deemed a terror group by much of the world, only to be quietly re-marketed as a peaceful, democratic organization. Now, it is considered a vital strategic partner by U.S. President Donald Trump and his foreign policy team who hope that the MEK will one day storm Tehran, overthrow the Ayatollah’s regime and take the reigns of power. “There is a viable opposition to the rule of the Ayatollahs,” Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton proudly announced to a conference hall full of MEK members bussed in to the annual gathering from their compound. “And that opposition is centered in this room today.” But

The Iranian Land Bridge in the Levant: The Return of Territory in Geopolitics

With the re-establishment of Bashar al-Assad’s power in Syria, the strengthening of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and finally the political and military victory of pro-Iranian forces in Iraq, it is clear that an Iranian axis now prevails in the Levant. The strength of this geopolitical axis is reinforced by the territorial continuity between Tehran and Beirut via Damascus and Baghdad: “the Iranian land bridge” or “Iranian corridor,” controlled by Iranian troops directly and by proxies. Since the Shia militias joined the Syrian-Iraqi border in May 2017, the Iranian land bridge [1]  has continued to expand, despite the U.S. troop presence on both sides, in the al-Tanef pocket and in northeastern Syria. Until spring 2017, the West seemed incredulous about this reality. However, at that time, it was already too late to block the Shiite militias in eastern Syria, and the Iranian land bridge became a reality. The construction of a land bridge brings us back to the past, to the theories of Friedr