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Singapore: Iran assassination plot against Israeli Defence Minister Barak foiled
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 6: Politix
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Israeli paratroopers recently had first mass jump in years - preparing for?
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/29/2012 19:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [352 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I know we have speculated that a couple of the sites in Iran are too deep to take out with just bombs. But a couple battalions of paratroopers would make short work of 'em.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/29/2012 20:29 Comments || Top||

#2  How do they come home? Or is it a suicide mission? Or a story in need of salt?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/29/2012 20:40 Comments || Top||

#3  Its been awhile for the IDF - the Paras are likely gonna need more than one JUMPEX.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/29/2012 21:01 Comments || Top||

#4  I can't say for IDF tactics, but from an American standpoint the best way would to come in behind any fighter strike. The paratroopers could land and form a nice little perimeter, with special ops conducting the strike into the facility.

A FARP for helicopter support would be set up in Kurdistan or in Saudi Arabia so some close air support would be available.

After the raid, the paratroopers and commandos would leave via C-130 or equivalent aircraft with any intel/prisoners.

Whole thing would take two hours from the first bomb falling to wheels up on the C-130.

The trickiest part would be setting up the fuel depot in Kurdistan or Saudi and not have it be detected and deniable by the host countries.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/29/2012 22:47 Comments || Top||

#5  Ariel refueling?
Posted by: crosspatch || 02/29/2012 22:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Aerial, even.
Posted by: crosspatch || 02/29/2012 22:58 Comments || Top||

#7  Aerial refueling only goes so far. They would need a FARP for support since the distances are just too great. The coalition did it quite successfully during GW I.
Posted by: DarthVader || 02/29/2012 23:17 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Singapore: Iran assassination plot against Israeli Defence Minister Barak foiled
Mossad, Singaporean authorities foil Hezbollah-Iranian plot during Israeli minister's visit, according to Kuwaiti report, three arrested.

A plot to assassinate Defense Minister Ehud Barak was foiled by Singaporean authorities in cooperation with the Mossad, during his visit to the island country earlier this week, according to a Kuwaiti newspaper report.

The report in Al Jarida, claimed that three members of a Hezbollah-Iranian terror cell were arrested by Singapore’s security agencies.

The information on the plot was obtained by the Mossad which passed it on to Singapore prior to Barak’s visit there earlier this week. The Israeli defense minister was in Singapore to attend the annual Air Show and for talks with local officials.

According to the report, the Hezbollah-Iranian cell was in possession of accurate information on Barak’s schedule during his three-day visit to Singapore and that it had planned to try and assassinate him at his hotel.

Barak is currently in Japan on a four day visit and is scheduled to return to Israel on Monday.

News of the assassination plot comes as Israeli security agencies are on high alert overseas following a spate of bombing attacks against Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia and amid concern that the Iranian cells apprehended in Bangkok was plotting to assassinate Israel’s ambassador to Thailand.

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned Barak against attacking Iran during a meeting they held in Tokyo.
Yes, yes, thank you very much. You don't want your oil supply messed up, and Israel doesn't matter
.During the meeting, Noda told Barak that military action would be dangerous and could escalate the current standoff between Iran and the West, a Japanese news agency reported.
it's going to escalate anyway. Might as well get something useful out of it.
Barak’s office issued a statement on the meeting but left out the warning he heard from the Japanese premier. Barak’s office said that he had asked Noda to step up its efforts to reduce its oil imports from Iran.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 12:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [868 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Coincidence? Just another country with angry random Iranians venting right?
Posted by: Fat Bob Unotch3711 || 02/29/2012 14:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Reads like a ally gathering trip.
"This is what I'm going to do...and this is how we think you will be affected. Can you live with that?"
Posted by: Skidmark || 02/29/2012 15:21 Comments || Top||

#3  Singapore apparently hands out death sentences for attempted murder. Usually carried out within 3 years of arrest. These guys will get to find out real soon whether Allah really exists.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/29/2012 22:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Peace be upon him, for that.
Posted by: rammer || 02/29/2012 22:53 Comments || Top||

Syrian Troops Advance on Rebel Area of Homs
Syrian troops advanced Wednesday on a key rebel-held area in the central city of Homs, where three Western journalists are trapped by a government assault that has raged for weeks. The forces appeared to be starting a ground operation to retake the area that has become a symbol of the uprising to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

Government forces have been heavily shelling Homs, and particularly the rebel-controlled Baba Amr neighborhood, for more than three weeks with tanks, artillery and rockets. The announcement by a Syrian official of the new troop advance indicated a ground assault was beginning to recapture Baba Amr.

A Syrian official vowed Baba Amr would be "cleaned" within hours. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
Posted by: tipper || 02/29/2012 09:59 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under:

Africa North
Doubts over identity of al-Qaeda militant held in Cairo
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 08:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Is this another one of those AQ types with more nommes d'plume and nommes d'guerre, that the total number exceeds his IQ?
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/29/2012 10:52 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Wanted Thai terrorist killed in gun battle
A man believed to be a key figure in the Runda Kumpulan Kecil terrorist separatist group was killed in an exchange of gunfire with security forces in Yala province yesterday.

Military rangers cordoned off a village in Raman district around 4:40 a.m. and searched for a group of RKK members. About two hours later, the force moved on to surround a house and saw a man later identified as Mazahutee Samae, 38, trying to flee with several other people.

Mazahutee began shooting at rangers, starting a gun battle that lasted for about 10 minutes. After the clash, the body of Mazahutee was found near a .38 pistol. Other suspects escaped.

Mazahutee faced three arrest warrants from Dec 22, 2007, to Feb 25, 2009. He is believed to have been involved in a gun attack that killed Lomae Arbu, a village leader, in 2010.

The military rangers found a man hiding in a bathroom of a nearby house around 8:30 a.m. The man was identified as Tameezee Baka, 35, who claimed he was so frightened by the sound of the gunfight that he decided to hide. Police said they found a bulletproof vest in his house, although it could not be established if he was linked to the RKK.

In Narathiwat province, three soldiers were wounded in a bombing in Bacho district yesterday. They were among six soldiers traveling on a six-wheeled truck about to cross a bridge.

In Pattani, an assistant village leader and a villager were killed in a gun attack on Monday night. They were identified as assistant village head Zakaree Wicha, 32, and Muhamudroyalee Kalong, 35, who were attacked by gunmen while talking near a house.
Posted by: ryuge || 02/29/2012 00:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:

Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Happy Birthday/Daily Gam Shot

Michèle Morgan (French) aka Paula Matrac in "Passage to Marseille (1944)" aka Julie in "The Fallen Idol (1948)" aka Nelly in "Le quai des brumes (Port of Shadows)(1938)" aka Marie-Louise Rivière in "Les grandes manoeuvres (The Grand Maneuver)(1955)" aka Countess Natalie de Clairefons in "Lost Command (1966)" aka Joan in "Joan of Paris (1942)" (age 92)

You Silly Wabbit
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/29/2012 1:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Lost command was a good one.

Posted by: Dale || 02/29/2012 7:10 Comments || Top||

#3  Good morning Joan. Would you like a cup of coffee?. Oh, you don't have to get up.
Posted by: Dale || 02/29/2012 7:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Somehow Joan Blondell looks a little healthier. Did that have anything to do with avoiding randy defense ministers?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/29/2012 11:22 Comments || Top||

#5  I've always liked Blondell when she appears here. Blondell was married three times, first to cinematographer George Barnes in 1933—divorced in 1936. In 1936, she married husband two, actor, director, and singer Dick Powell--divorced in 1944. In 1947, Blondell married producer Mike Todd (3rd Liz Taylor's eight marriages), whom she divorced in 1950. Her marriage to Todd was a disaster. She died of leukemia Christmas 1979. The picture above was censored in 1932 as too risqué for eyes.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/29/2012 12:15 Comments || Top||

#6  amazing. When I was watching those's '50s sitcoms as a kid, I had no idea,,,, oh, Joanie
Posted by: Snish Unusotle2994 || 02/29/2012 13:00 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm glad I'm not the only guy who has a fondness for this woman. (I pretty much love all her stuff, including Here Come The Brides.)
Posted by: OregonGuy || 02/29/2012 14:44 Comments || Top||

4 killed, wounded in western Mosul blast
NINEWA / Aswat al-Iraq: One of the guards of the Badosh prison was killed and three others wounded in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast that targeted their patrol in western Mosul city on Tuesday, a security source in Ninewa said.

“An IED went off near a security patrol in the al-Islah al-Ziraie neighborhood in western Mosul, leaving a reformatory guard of the Badosh prison killed and three others injured,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

“The prison patrol had carried convicts to a hospital in Mosul and came under the IED attack while it was returning,” the source added, noting two are seriously wounded.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

Chinese woman, local man shot dead in Peshawar: police
[Dawn] A Chinese woman was rubbed out with a male companion on Tuesday in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, which borders the tribal belt stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked beturbanned goons, police said.

They were killed by gunnies on cycle of violences while walking in the Kohati bazaar in the historic centre of the northwestern city, but the motive of the shooting was not immediately clear, police official Tahir Ayub told AFP.

"Those who were killed are one man carrying a Pak ID card and one woman carrying a Chinese passport," Ayub told AFP.

They were walking in the Kohati Bazaar when gunnies on motorbikes shot them and decamped, he said.

Police found a Chinese passport with a Pak tourist visa inside, a laptop, digital camera and biscuits in the woman's bag, Ayub said.

Police said initially that two foreigners had been killed.

It was the fifth shooting or kaboom in Pakistain's northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
since Thursday, raising fears that violence is again on the rise following a relative decline in unrest in recent months.

Peshawar is a city of 2.5 million close to the Afghan border and has long been on the frontline of violence blamed on a five-year Taliban insurgency led by forces of Evil opposed to the government's alliance with the United States.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  A Chinese woman with a local, male companion in Peshawar? Isn't that an odd combination? Possible tour guide, sure, but an oriental woman on her own in Peshawar instead of with a group?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 5:53 Comments || Top||

#2  See map of Western China. There are a slew of different ethnic groups in the mountains on the borders of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kirghizstan, etc. So the lady may not have been ethnic Han, but one of the local groups born on the other side of the line.

It is also possible that China sent the lady on business out there, or that somebody wanted to visit, although that would suggest a nomination for a Darwin.
Posted by: mom || 02/29/2012 9:30 Comments || Top||

Kohistan bus ambush kills 18
[Dawn] Sectarian gunnies ambushed a bus on Tuesday, killing 18 Shia Moslems in a usually peaceful region of northern Pakistain that neighbours the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, officials said.

The bus was stopped, before passengers were ordered off and shot in the mountainous district of Kohistan
...a backwoods district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa distinguished by being even more rustic than is the norm among the local Pashtuns....
as it travelled from Rawalpindi to the northern city of Gilgit.

"Armed men hiding on both sides of the road attacked the bus," local police chief Mohammad Ilyas said.

"Eighteen people have died and eight maimed," he added. The ambush happened near the town of Harban, 130 miles (208 kilometres) north of the capital Islamabad.

Survivors said seven or eight gunnies stopped the bus, forced the passengers to get off and then opened fire, regional administration chief Khalid Omarzai told AFP by telephone, confirming the casualty numbers.

"It appears to be a sectarian attack," local MP Abdul Sattar Khan said.

"Its a remote area. We are getting reports that the gunnies forced people to get off the bus. They checked their papers and shot them dead," he told AFP.

The victims were Shia Moslems, he said. "It could be the outcome of the murder of two Sunni Moslems a few days ago in Gilgit. The people of the area had vowed they would take Dire Revenge™," Khan added.

Authorities were slow to confirm the motive and insisted Death Eaters are not active in the area.

Kohistan borders the Swat
...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat...
valley, where Pakistain in 2009 managed to put down a two-year Taliban insurgency.

Omarzai told AFP that he could not immediately confirm whether it was a sectarian attack, saying that the police were investigating.

President Asif Ali President Ten Percent Zardari
... sticky-fingered husband of the late Benazir Bhutto ...
and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ...
had strongly condemned the Kohistan incident.

The two leaders directed the concerned authorities to ensure best medical treatment for the injured.

Gilani said such incidents could not deter the government's resolve to fight the menace.

While the president said the culprits of such heinous crime would not be spared
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Jhangvi

Afghan bombs kill 14: all red-wire green-wire related
[Dawn] Two separate blasts in southern Afghanistan killed 14 people, including a group of gun-hung tough guys who were trying to rig an improvised bomb against Afghan and foreign forces, officials said Tuesday.

In the volatile Nawzad district of Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province, a group of seven Talibs died while trying to cut a pipe bomb and fit it into a vehicle on Monday, provincial front man Daud Ahmadi told AFP.

"The explosive-packed pipe detonated killing a Taliban capo along with six of his fighters," he said.

Roadside bombs are the most commonly used weapons by the Taliban, who are leading a 10-year insurgency, and are responsible for the bulk of deaths among the US-led coalition and Afghan cops.

On the same day, seven people, including six women, were killed in an kaboom in Nawa district of the same province inside a house used by a local Taliban capo Mullah Manan, a security bigshot said.

"We have intelligence that the Taliban capo was making bombs inside the house," Mohammad Ismail Hotak told AFP.

Helmand has experienced increasing militancy over the past couple of years despite Afghan and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
-led operations.

The number of civilian casualties, many of them killed by roadside kabooms, hit a record of 3,021 last year, according to a UN annual report.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Don't you just hate when that happens. You go to Kaboom University in downtown Kaboomastan and you cut one freakin' class.
Posted by: Steven || 02/29/2012 0:12 Comments || Top||

#2  Pakistan madrasa curriculum's no bomber left behind is failing miserably.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/29/2012 8:05 Comments || Top||

#3  so I suppose the six wymyns were "civilians" and not camp whores for snuffies?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/29/2012 8:10 Comments || Top||

#4  Pakistan madrasa curriculum's no bomber left behind is failing miserably

But their "no bomber left behind in one piece" is succeeding splendidly.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/29/2012 10:58 Comments || Top||

#5  Seems to me like the time to cut the pipe is before you pack it with explosives. But then, I never graduated from Kaboom U.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 02/29/2012 11:39 Comments || Top||

102 Civilians, 5 Troops Dead as Thousands Rally in Damascus
[An Nahar] Syrian security forces killed 102 civilians across the country on Tuesday, among them 35 in a "massacre" in the central region of Hama, as five regime soldiers were killed in fighting with deserters in the restive southern province of Daraa, activists and a rights group said.

Thirty-seven non-combatants were killed in the central province of Hama, among them 35 in a massacre in the town of Halfaya, and 50 non-combatants were killed in the central opposition bastion Homs, among them 26 in the besieged neighborhood of Baba Amr, the Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said.

Elsewhere, six non-combatants were killed in the northern province of Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
, five in the northwestern province of Idlib, three in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour and one in the southern province of Daraa, the LCC said.

"Five soldiers were killed and three others maimed in fighting which broke out at 3.00 am (0100 GMT) in the (Daraa province) village of Dael with a group of deserters some of whom were maimed," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Shooting continued for several hours, it added, with Syrian troops firing on the town in Daraa, the cradle of the protests that erupted against Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Despoiler of Deraa...
's regime in March last year.

Separately, in the flashpoint central city of Homs, under assault by regime forces for more than three weeks, the Observatory and activists reported fresh shelling on Tuesday morning.

The rebel-held Baba Amr district was "bombarded for the 25th straight day by regime forces," according to a post by activists on the Syrian Revolution 2011 Facebook page.

"The shells are falling and the world watches," said an activist in a video showing columns of black smoke rising from bombed buildings.

Explosions were also heard in the Khaldiyeh and Karm al-Zaytoun districts, while fighting broke out in Hamidiyeh, another embattled Homs neighborhood, between deserters who control a large part of it and regular troops, the same source said.

The Observatory on Monday reported more than 100 people killed across Syria, including 11 members of the security forces, and 68 civilians in what the Britannia-based monitoring group called a "massacre" in Homs province.

...back at the bake sale, Umberto's Mom's cannoli were a big hit...
thousands of mourners erupted into the streets of the Syrian capital on Tuesday for the funerals of civilians killed in the regime's crackdown on dissent, activists said.

"Thousands of people attended at noon the funeral of two deaders killed on Sunday and Monday in Kfar Sousa," a residential neighborhood in western Damascus
...Home to a staggering array of terrorist organizations...
, said Mohammed al-Shami.

"The protesters were surrounded by security agents who threw tear-gas grenades," said the front man of the Damascus chapter of the Local Coordination Committees.

The head of the Observatory said 5,000 people took part in the funeral protest.

"At least 5,000 people, including a large number of students, marched in Kfar Sousa," said Rami Abdul Rahman.

Damascus has seen relatively few protests since the dissent movement against the Assad regime erupted nearly a year ago.

"The number of protests is increasing as the repression worsens," said Abdul Rahman.

Hundreds of protesters also filled the streets of the historic neighborhood of Midan on Tuesday for the funeral of another civilian killed by regime forces, Shami said.

Mourners emerged from mosques and erupted into the streets, he said.

Demonstrations were also reported in the districts of Barzeh, Zamalka and Irbin near Damascus despite a massive deployment of security sources, activists said.

According to the Observatory, more than 30 students were tossed in the clink at Damascus University.

Also on Tuesday, Red Thingy and Red Islamic Thingy rescuers left the rebel city of Homs after talks to evacuate trapped Western journalists foundered, front man for the two aid groups said.

"Our team returned to Damascus at around 2:30 pm (1230 GMT) after negotiations yesterday and today with a sheikh (religious official) who was serving as an intermediary," to evacuate the journalists, Abdul Rahman Attar told AFP.

"He asked for food and medical supplies for the residents of Baba Amr and our team accepted. We asked in return to meet the journalists, but he refused," Attar added.

The International Committee of the Red Thingy in Damascus said its delegates had left Homs for the same reasons.

"The ICRC team has returned. The negotiations have been halted and the situation is very tense in Baba Amr," the rebel stronghold of Homs where journalists are believed trapped, said ICRC front man Saleh Dabbakeh.

There are three Western news hounds trapped in Baba Amr, a rebel stronghold of Homs, where a rocket attack last week on a makeshift media center also killed two other journalists.

Attar confirmed that British photographer Paul Conroy was successfully smuggled out of Homs across the border with Leb, where the international NGO Avaaz earlier said he was "safe."

President Nicolas Sarkozy
...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit...
and a Lebanese official, meanwhile, confirmed that maimed French news hound Edith Bouvier had also crossed into Leb.

The French journalist works for the daily Le Figaro and was maimed last week in a rocket attack on a makeshift media center in the Homs rebel stronghold of Baba Amr.

Conroy was also maimed in that attack which killed veteran U.S. news hound Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik.

Two other journalists trapped in Homs are William Daniels, a photographer who also was on assignment for Le Figaro, and Spaniard Javier Espinosa who works for the Spanish daily El Mundo.

"It's a real shame but I have the impression that those inside Baba Amr are not being very clear with us," Attar said, in apparent reference to the people his team were negotiating with.

Conroy was safely smuggled across the border to Leb from Homs earlier.

"The Sunday Times can confirm that the photographer Paul Conroy is safe and in Leb. He is in good shape and good spirits," a spokeswoman for the newspaper said in London.

Wissam Tarif of the international activist organization Avaaz said it coordinated his rescue from the battered city of Homs in central Syria and across the border into Leb.

"Avaaz coordinated with Syrian activists Conroy's exit from Homs and his arrival in Leb," Tarif told AFP in Beirut.

Conroy's father also told British media that his son beat feet to Leb. "We've just had word from Beirut," Les Conroy said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

UK Journalist Flees Homs to Lebanon, French Reporter Fate Unclear
[An Nahar] Wounded British journalist Paul Conroy has been smuggled safely out of the besieged Syrian rebel city of Homs and crossed into Leb, officials said on Tuesday.

But there was uncertainty over the fate of French news hound Edith Bouvier, who was first reported to have also beat feet before that was denied.

An international NGO, Avaaz, said three activists were killed in a rescue operation for the maimed journalists.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy
...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit...
retracted an earlier statement in which he had confirmed that Bouvier, who has multiple fractures, had beat feet from the besieged district of Baba Amr in Homs.

"It is not confirmed that she is now safe in Leb," he said, adding that the situation was "unclear" and "complicated".

Bouvier "is not in Leb but still in Syria," a management source at her newspaper, Le Figaro, told Agence La Belle France Presse. "It is wrong to say she is 'safe and sound in Leb,'" the source said.

On its website, the newspaper also noted that "the French embassy in Beirut has indicated it is not able to confirm rumors about the journalist's evacuation to Leb."

Earlier, a Lebanese official told AFP the "two journalists, Edith Bouvier and Paul Conroy, arrived overnight in Leb and they are safe."

"Paul Conroy is at the British embassy and in good condition. Edith Bouvier is also here in Leb but we have no information as to where she is exactly," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Syria Says 'Terrorist Infiltration' from Lebanon Foiled
[An Nahar] Syrian authorities have prevented an "armed terrorist group" from infiltrating Syria through the Ouyoun al-Shara-Halat crossing point in Talkalakh which borders northern Leb, Syria's state-run news agency
...and if you can't believe the state-run news agency who can you believe?...
SANA reported on Tuesday.

Quoting an official source, SANA said three members of the group were killed and several others maimed in a clash with Syrian security forces.

"One member of the law-enforcement forces was maimed and taken to al-Bassel Hospital in Tartous for treatment," the news agency added.

Earlier on Monday, Syrian authorities prevented an "armed terrorist group" from entering Syria from Jordan, according to SANA.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  Wouldn't it be fun if it were a unit of Hizb'allah?
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 5:59 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Egypt Judges Bow Out of Foreign NGO Trial
[An Nahar] The Egyptian judges trying dozens of democracy activists, including Americans, in a case that has strained ties with Washington recused themselves from the trial Tuesday, judicial sources said.

In such instances, the trial, which opened on Sunday, is normally referred to the court of appeals, which appoints a new panel of judges.

State news agency MENA reported that chief judge Mohammed Shukry sent a letter to the head of the appeals court, which designates trial judges, saying that he and his two colleagues could not continue the trial.

It quoted them as using a formulation that could either mean they felt unease at the proceedings or restrictions on their work.

Hafez Abu Saada, a lawyer for three of the defendants, said judges often recuse themselves over a conflict of interest or a sense of pressure.

"Maybe one of the parties in the trial has a relation with one of the judges, or he felt he was facing pressure, whether from the media or public pressure, which won't allow him to judge fairly," he told Agence La Belle France Presse.

He said it was too early to tell whether to welcome the move, which could lengthen the trial.

But Egyptian media have reported that the authorities were considering a way to resolve the rift with Washington, perhaps by retroactively licensing the civil society groups.

The trial opened amid continuing U.S. pressure on its close ally to drop the charges against the activists, who worked with five foreign NGOs accused of receiving illicit foreign funds and operating without licenses.

Earlier on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
... sometimes described as The Liberatress of Libya and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another Bainbridge Colby ...
told senators in Washington that the administration was "engaged in very intensive discussions" with Egypt and hoped "to resolve this very soon."

Egyptian judicial sources say 19 Americans are among the 43 defendants of various nationalities. None of the foreigners showed up at Sunday's hearing.

Several of the Americans have sought refuge in their Cairo embassy, including Sam LaHood, the head of the U.S.-based International Republican Institute and son of U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood.

The other defendants are Egyptian, Paleostinian, Norwegian, Serbian and German. Four of the groups are American and the remaining one is German.

The trial sparked a rift between Washington and Egypt's military rulers, who took power after an uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
a year ago.

U.S. politicians have threatened that pressing on with the trial could imperil more than $1.3 billion the U.S. yearly gives to Egypt, mostly to the military.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

#1  The check cleared?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/29/2012 6:34 Comments || Top||

#2  Either that or the Mohmammedans got their way.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/29/2012 11:29 Comments || Top||

Syria Walks Out of U.N. Human Rights Debate
[An Nahar] Syria walked out of a U.N. debate on the human rights
...which often include carefully measured allowances of freedom at the convenience of the state...
situation in the violence-wracked country on Tuesday, while its ally Russia urged Damascus
...Home to a staggering array of terrorist organizations...
to cooperate with efforts to allow in humanitarian aid.

Syria has been rocked by 11 months of anti-regime demonstrations and a military crackdown against a growing protest and rebel movement that has left more than 7,600 people dead, according to opposition activists.

Moscow, which triggered Western outrage by vetoing U.N. Security Council resolutions on the crisis, called on Damascus to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Thingy as it tries to negotiate a daily two-hour ceasefire to help civilians caught up in the fighting.

The Syrian representative to the United Nations
...an idea whose time has gone...
, Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui, walked out of an especially convened meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, telling the assembly: "We declare our withdrawal from this sterile discussion."

He said the aim of the debate was to "fuel the flames of terrorism" in his country and that a simple measure to help the Syrian people was "to stop inciting sectarianism and providing arms," and putting the Syrian people against one another.

U.S. ambassador to the HRC Eileen Donahoe described the comments as "delusional".

"Anyone who heard the Syrian ambassador should be aware that his comments were borderline out of touch with reality," she told media on the fringes of the meeting.

"I think it's a reflection to some extent of what's going on with the Assad regime itself," she added, citing the move to hold a "farcical" referendum in the midst of a "humanitarian crisis of their own making."

"I think the Syrian ambassador's comments were equally delusional," said Donahoe.

Several HRC members called for the urgent debate to discuss reports of human rights abuses in Syria and the deteriorating humanitarian situation.

A resolution filed by Kuwait, Qatar, Soddy Arabia and Turkey calling for access for relief agencies was to be discussed after the meeting, although a U.N. spokeswoman said it was not clear if this would happen on Tuesday.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said fighting must end so help can be delivered to civilians caught up in regime blockades in the cities of Homs and Hama which have left them without food and water.

"There must be an immediate humanitarian ceasefire to end the fighting and bombardments," said Pillay.

The U.N. rights chief said that since mid-February she had received reports of a "rapidly deteriorating" humanitarian situation and serious rights abuses, including a massive campaign of arrests by military and security forces.

"The Syrian army has reportedly used tanks, mortars, rockets and artillery to cordon off cities, and shelled densely populated neighborhoods in what appears to be an indiscriminate attack on civilian areas," said Pillay.

"The crisis has exacerbated pre-existing high levels of poverty and unemployment. The humanitarian situation is dire."

Pillay also reiterated her view that the situation in Syria should be referred to the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...

Before walking out of the debate, the Syrian envoy said he was not pretending that the human rights situation in his country was "perfect".

He said that services were lacking but blamed gangs which he said were responsible for attacking hospitals, health centers and ambulances.

"We are convinced that the real aim (of the debate) is to cover up for the violence and murder perpetrated by gangs against innocent civilians," he said.

La Belle France reacted to the Syrian walkout calling it "another illustration -- added to so many other dramatic examples -- of the Syrian regime's deliberate will to choose the option of violence and the pursuit of repression ... This will strengthen a bit more the isolation of the regime in Damascus," said French foreign ministry front man Bernard Valero.

Russia urged Syria to cooperate with the ICRC which is trying to negotiate a daily two-hour ceasefire.

"It is important that the Syrian government cooperates with the ICRC," Russia's deputy foreign minister Gennady Gatilov told the meeting.

Russia boycotted a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Tunis on Friday after arguing that its Arab and Western participants were unfairly blaming one side of an "internal conflict".

The resolution set for discussion by the HRC calls on Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
The Scourge of Hama...
's regime to "permit humanitarian agencies to deliver vital relief goods and services to civilians affected by the violence, especially in Homs, Deraa, Zabadani and other areas under siege by the Syrian security forces."

The draft document denounces "the lack of access to basic food, medicine and fuel, as well as threats and acts of violence to medical staff, patients and facilities, in some areas."
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  They walked out commenting: We don need no steenking human rights."
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/29/2012 12:17 Comments || Top||

Syrian Media Hails Referendum 'Victory'
[An Nahar] State media on Tuesday hailed as a "victory for Syria" the adoption by referendum of a new constitution that ends the ruling Baath party's monopoly on power but which leaves extensive powers in the president's hands.

"The success of the referendum on the constitution represents a victory for Syria, and not for any party, government or political movement, as some are trying to claim," said the official daily al-Baath.

The new law fundamentally "opens the way to an era of political consensus and the consolidation of liberties and the concept of citizenship," said the mouthpiece of the ruling Baath party.

Syrians' voted on Sunday for a new constitution brought in by Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs...
after 11 months of anti-regime protests, with 89.4 percent of voters backing the charter and a turnout of 57.4 percent, according to Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar.

The constitution ends the legal basis for the five-decade stranglehold on power of Assad's Baath party but still leaves huge powers in his hands.

The opposition said the changes were cosmetic after nearly a year of repression by Assad's security forces that human rights
...which often intentionally defined so widely as to be meaningless...
groups say have left more than 7,600 people dead.

"The opinions of 750,000 (no) voters and of the six million who abstained will be respected, since the goal is to overcome the current (crisis), al-Baath newspaper said.

"Those who drafted the constitution do not claim that it is perfect and that it cannot be subject to amendment."

The official Tishrin newspaper Tishrin said the vote amounted to a "defeat" inflicted on "states which incite violence by urging the opposition to refuse all dialogue or through their support for gangs."

Those states "have delivered diatribes and have made threats such as those of (Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh) Hamad bin Jassem (al-Thani), who advocates arming the opposition to make the blood of Syrians flow."

The Qatari premier on Monday called for the arming of Syrian rebels.

"We should do whatever necessary to help them, including giving them weapons to defend themselves," he said during an official visit to Norway.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [253 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Iran Accuses Israel of Plotting Thai Bombings
[An Nahar] Iranian diplomats have visited three Iranian suspects implicated in a series of bomb kabooms in Thailand, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday according to the Fars news agency.

Iran's deputy foreign minister in charge of Asia and Oceanic affairs, Abbas Araqchi, was quoted as saying of the February 14 kabooms in Bangkok: "We still do not know who is behind this and why they have done it."

"The dimensions of this issue are not clear for us and there are ambiguities about this issue, and it seems that the scenario was devised by the Zionists (Israelis) to involve Iran in a new misdeed," he said.

Thai police have said the bombings were part of an alleged plot to kill Israeli diplomats, in a similar fashion to failed attempt
Curses! Foiled again!
s on Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia.

Araqchi said Iranian diplomats in Asia were granted consular visits to two Iranians being held in Thailand and one being jugged in Malaysia.

"We are aware of their physical conditions and we were assured that international regulations will be applied to them," he said.

The two suspects visited in Thailand by Iranian officials include a man who inadvertently blew his own legs off when he tried to throw a bomb at pursuing police.
The two suspects visited in Thailand by Iranian officials include a man who inadvertently blew his own legs off when he tried to throw a bomb at pursuing police.

The other suspect visited is an alleged accomplice who shared a rented Bangkok house where a bomb cache was discovered after an apparent accidental kaboom.

Thai police on Monday said they were holding a third Iranian for questioning in the affair, but that he denied any involvement and for the moment he was being jugged for overstaying his visa.

The other Iranian suspect seen by diplomats from his home country was being held in Malaysia, to where he flew straight after the blasts.

Thailand has issued arrest warrants for yet another two Iranians who were believed to have left the country.

Israel has blamed Iran over the Bangkok blasts, as well as the attacks in India and Georgia a day earlier.

Tehran has rejected the accusations. Last week, it said it was ready to help identify those responsible.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [262 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  Hell, the muslims have accused the Israelis of causing the Tunguska explosion in Russia despite it being thought to be caused by a large meteoroid strike in 1908.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/29/2012 12:24 Comments || Top||

#2  Those juices are a clever people, JohnQC. Time travel is but one of their many trickses.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/29/2012 13:23 Comments || Top||

#3  Yah, but everyone knows the Tungusta Event was really done by Nikolai Tesla. (Or one of his duplicates).
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/29/2012 13:36 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Sudan Rebels Say Border Battle Killed 150 Army Troops

[An Nahar] Sudanese rebels said Tuesday they killed 150 government soldiers along the disputed border with South Sudan in a battle that prompted Khartoum to threaten retaliation against its newly independent neighbor.

Sudan's military denied the casualty toll and said it had killed a "huge number" of rebels, but gave no figure.

The casualties came during Sunday's "surprise attack" against a government base in the Jau area, said Arnu Ngutulu Lodi, of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N).

Rebels counted the bodies on the ground, he said, and seized three tanks along with hundreds of weapons and vehicles in the joint operation with a small number of fighters from Darfur's Justice and Equality Movement (JEM).

The bully boys, who last year formed a "revolutionary front" aimed at toppling the Khartoum regime, claimed the attack in the contested Jau area -- part of an oil-rich region on the poorly defined border -- as their first combined operation against government forces.

After the Jau attack, SPLM-N rebels moved on Sunday evening into the key location of Taruje, about 20 kilometers north, and on Monday retook a government outpost at El-Ahmier, 30 kilometers southeast of the state capital Kadugli, Lodi told Agence La Belle France Presse.

Rebels had seized the el-Ahmier outpost in mid-January but the army retook it, and now it has changed hands again, he said.

Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the Sudanese army front man, denied rebels had taken Taruje or el-Ahmier. He said the only fighting had been around Jau, from which rebels had since withdrawn.

"Now SAF troops are clearing the area," he said.

Access to the state is heavily restricted, making independent verification difficult.

Khartoum threatened retaliation on Sunday after accusing South Sudan of backing the rebel attack on the Jau area, six kilometers inside the border, in violation of a memorandum on non-aggression and cooperation signed this month.

It said rebels accompanied by officers from South Sudan's army launched a "direct attack", but Juba denied supporting opposition groups in Sudan.

Ethnic minority beturbanned goons in the SPLM-N fought alongside the former rebels now ruling the South.

Although political and military ties between the South and the SPLM-N have not been fully severed, "the two are now separate entities with distinct leaderships," the Small Arms Survey, a Swiss-based independent research project, said in a report late last year.

South Sudan broke away last July after an overwhelming vote for independence that followed more than two decades of war.

Border tensions have since flared, with each side accusing the other of supporting rebels within its territory, while a major dispute over oil transit fees remains unresolved.

Fighting in South Kordofan broke out in June, followed in September by a similar conflict in nearby Blue Nile state, as Khartoum moved to assert its authority in the wake of southern secession.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Spain Arrests Suspected 'Anonymous' Hackers
[An Nahar] Spanish police locked away four suspected hackers of the subversive online movement Anonymous accused of sabotaging websites and publishing confidential data on the Internet, officials said Wednesday.

They are suspected of hacking political parties' and companies' websites and adding fangs to the faces of leaders in photographs online, and publishing data identifying brass hats' security guards, police said in a statement.

The arrests were part of an international raid against Anonymous in which police traced suspects by trawling through computer logs, it said.

It also netted 10 suspects in Argentina, six in Chile and five in Colombia.

Police said one of the suspects went by the nicknames Thunder and Pacotron and was suspected of running the computer network used by Anonymous in Spain and Latin America, via servers in the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

He was locked away in the southern Spanish city of Malaga.

Two of the suspects were in detention while one was bailed and the fourth was a minor who was left in the care of his parents.
Posted by: Fred || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [259 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I am curious.

Does "left in the care of his parents" roughly translate to "given over to his irate father for a sound thrashing?"
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/29/2012 10:50 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Federales bag 11 bad guys in Zacatecas

For a map, click here. For a map of Zacatecas state, click here

By Chris Covert

Mexican Policia Federal (PF) troops killed 11 armed suspects and seized a number of contraband including weapons and vehicles in a Monday afternoon operation, according to Mexican news accounts.

The confrontation took place in Fresnillo municipality in a southwestern area near the border with Valparaiso municipality in the village of El Salto at around 1330 hrs.

PF agents had conducted a rescue operation of an unidentified individual at a safe house against a band a kidnappers by blocking roads. Armed suspects reacted by themselves blocking roads at seven locations including roads leading to Jerez municipality to the southwest and Valparaiso, also to the southwest. Roads with blocks includes Bulevar Varela Rico.

Seven narcobloqueos were removed with the assistance of Zacatecas state and local municipal police agents, but seven armed suspects still managed to escape the PF cordon. One unidentified armed suspect was detained.

In the aftermath, 12 abandoned vehicles were found as well as 12 rifles.

Reports have surfaced that some of the dead were prison escapees from the Apodaca CERESO prison massacre that took place over the weekend in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon ten days ago. None of the dead criminal suspects have yet been identified.

Five PF agents were wounded in the encounters, two requiring hospitalization. The death toll for the armed suspects could rise by four, though Zacatecas Procurador General del Estado Arturo Nahle Garcia denied more had died in the encounters.

Policia Federal units have been operating in increasing concentrations in Zacatecas state, either by augmenting army patrols or by providing a placeholder as army units have been dispatched to other locations in Mexico. Three Mexican Army battalions are known to have bases in the state.

PF units were involved in a shootout in Fresnillo ten days when agents intercepted a two-vehicle convoy of armed suspects killing six and seizing 37 weapons, tactical gear and military C4 detonation charges. Another eight unidentified suspects were detained, all Guatemalan nationals.
Posted by: badanov || 02/29/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [408 views] Top|| File under:

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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2012-02-29
  Singapore: Iran assassination plot against Israeli Defence Minister Barak foiled
Tue 2012-02-28
  Yemen's Saleh formally steps down after 33 years
Mon 2012-02-27
  Congressmen Attacked on Mount of Olives
Sun 2012-02-26
  Afghan interior ministry employee sought in NATO killings
Sat 2012-02-25
  Yemen gets new president after 33 years
Fri 2012-02-24
  Air strke kills al-Shaboobs
Thu 2012-02-23
  Ansar as-Sunna Chief Arrested on Syria-Iraq Border
Wed 2012-02-22
  Hugo has new tumor
Tue 2012-02-21
  Afghans rescue 41 child suicide bombers
Mon 2012-02-20
  Syrian army reinforcements head to Homs
Sun 2012-02-19
  Iran stops oil sales to British, French
Sat 2012-02-18
  SWIFT To Cut Off Iran - No Financial Telecommunications
Fri 2012-02-17
  Feds arrest another thinks-he-is suicide bomber heading to Capitol building
Thu 2012-02-16
  U.S. drone kills five insurgents in Miranshah
Wed 2012-02-15
  Thailand charges Iranian bomb suspects in Bangkok

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