(Sh.M.Network)-- The United States plans to provide eight small drones toKenyaas part of a new package to help combat Somalia militia Al-Shabaab. ... the successor to the Islamic Courts... According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the "eight hand-launched Raven drones" will form part of key military assistance from the Pentagon.
The WSJ said a review of Pentagon documents shows thatKenyawill get the Raven drones with sensors used to pinpoint targets.
Ravens are unarmed but can be used to identify targets for strikes using ground forces, the WSJ says.
"This assistance will help build the capacity of Kenyan national military forces to conduct CT (counterterrorism) operations by providing tactical unmanned aircraft systems and training," the WSJ reported quoting a Pentagon document.
"This assistance will improve the tactical effectiveness and operational reach of the Kenyan National Defence Forces engaged in CT operations against Al-Shabaab in Somalia."
The Ravens for Kenya are part of an initial $41.4 million package of military aid that also includes trucks, communications gear and rifles for Burundi,Djibouti and Uganda, WSJ said.
(Sh.M.Network)-) -- The threat from Somali pirates is receding but the international community must continue to work together to eliminate the menace, a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization.... official said on Saturday.
"We are getting more successful in reducing the Somali piracy threats with our constant patrolling but the international community must continue to exchange ideas and increase efforts to completely eradicate the problem," Commodore Ben Bekkering, NATO's counter-piracy commander, said at a news conference on Dutch war vessel HNLMS Evertsen in Muscat.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, there were 69 hijacking incidents by Somali pirates from Jan. 1 to July 12 this year, a drop of 32 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
"We are happy to say that Oman's navy is cooperating and helping us to find the hijackers but it is like looking for a needle in a haystack," Bekkering said.
h/t Gates of Vienna
The price of wheat on the active futures contract shot up to $943 a bushel from only $625 a bushel just a month ago, due to the drought in the US Midwest and other factors. That is a further blow to stability in Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, dependent on foreign sources for half its caloric consumption. Egypt now imports 800,000 metric tons of wheat a year.
Egypt is broke. Many thousands had worked in Libya under Qaddafi. With that gone they are hurting for certain. Pipeline keeps getting blown up also. This was a Western oriented country but no more.
Back to the days of Nasser most likely.
The problem goes far beyond just Egypt. If the price of bread and basic grains were to double, there could be widespread riots across many countries in Africa and the third world. Heck, even Mexico would be hard hit by a change like that.
You get that sneaking suspicion that a lot of countries that are stable, but just borderline stable, could really topple over - and become failed states.
The patented seed corn is GMO, and inedible, labeled as "Not for Human Consumption" but it produces huge yields and takes farm ground out of food production. You can't just divert usage from ethanol to food.
It can't be that bad. I just bought 15# of rice for about 40 cents a pound. In America at retail and delivered to a store, and during the worst drought in the history of Arkansas, which is where much U.S. rice is grown.
Add some beans, and or meat and there you have a full day's food supply for a person for much less than a dollar.
Absent ridiculous levels of corruption and incompetence Egyptians should be able to pay less than me. And if there are ridiculous levels of corruption and incompetence, then Egyptians should be expected to riot about that.
SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia: The mother of Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor whose self-immolation sparked Tunisia's revolution, was given a suspended four-month jail term yesterday for insulting an official, the justice ministry said.
Manoubia Bouazizi, 60, was handed the suspended sentence after being convicted by a court in the central western town of Sidi Bouzid of insulting an official, ministry official Mondher Bedhiafi said. Earlier, a court source told AFP that she was found guilty of "insulting an official while he was performing his duties and of indecent behavior."
Bouazizi, who was arrested last week after an angry altercation with a judge in the Sidi Bouzid court, was freed following the verdict.
She had originally been at the courthouse to sign documents that would allow her to receive government compensation awarded to "martyrs of the revolution."
The popular uprising in Tunisia that touched off the Arab Spring began in December 2010 when Bouazizi's son Mohamed, a 26-year-old who was complaining of unemployment and police harassment, set himself on fire. The Bouazizi family later had to leave Sidi Bouzid, as rumors circulated that Mohamed's mother had profited unjustly from his death.
Tunisia's mass protests forced long-time strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on Jan. 14, 2011.
CAIRO: An Egyptian court has sentenced a former ultraconservative lawmaker to 18 months in jail on charges of "violating public decency" and contempt of police.
Police officers say Ali Wanees, who is also a religious cleric, was in a parked vehicle along an agricultural road at night last month. The officers say they approached the car and saw a woman in a full face veil sitting on top of Wanees, who was touching and caressing her.
So they were making out in a car at the local Lover's Lane? They could have at least gone to a drive-in movie...
Wanees has denied the charges. He was tried in absentia and is allowed a retrial.
The woman with him has been under arrest for about a month. She was ordered to six months in jail yesterday.
The charges are especially embarrassing for Salafis, who advocate a strict segregation of unrelated men and women.
* ION DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > WID IRANIAN THREAT, SAUDIS DEPLOY EXTRA TROOPS TO SHIA PROVINCES [crude/oil-rich Eastern Province].
OTOH the ideo rivalry vee Shia Iran may not be the Sunni KSA's only problem or concern ...
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > SAUDIS CALL FOR SPECIAL [Worldwide = Global] ISLAMIC SUMMIT, to focus on the seeming threats of "sedition",
"fragmentation", + "disunity" that appear to spreading or affecting the entire Muslim World.
Lest we fergit, no longer is USA-vs-Rising-China, but USA-VS-RISING-CHINA-VS-RISING-NUCLEAR-ISLAM.
* SAME > [Terminally = irreversibly?] DECLINING MIDDLE EAST OIL RESERVES FORCES US TO FOCUS ON PACIFIC [Asia-Pacific], + seek new or expanded MilPol "engagement" wid the Nation-States therein | NATIONAL SECURITY; AMERICA'S "PACIFIC CENTURY" IS NOT ABOUT CHINA ALONE ...
Yokay, once again, this is why its vital for the Govts-Perts, etc. as per our future desired OWG-NWO = FUTURE SPACE GOVT-ORDER TO COME TO COMMON CONSENSUS ON PLANETARY/GLOBAL MATTERS, ESPEC ON RESOURCES + RESOURCES CONSUMPTION, SUBSTITUTION..
E.g. OWG-NWO > KAMALEN + 2030 GUAM, EARTH-VISIBLE MOON EXPLOSIONS - thus far, of all the proposed OWG Federal, Regional + Trans-Regional/Continental "Unions" only the Euro-Dollar-troubled European Union [EU] = EuroZone [EUZ] IS UP-N-RUNNING, BUT APPARENTLY NOT ABLE TO SAVE TERRA FIRMA = GAIA = EARTH QUITE YET FROM WILY DASTARDLY INCOMING SPACE ROCKS, ETC.???
NO CONSENSUS = NO SPACE DEFENSE + NO RELIABLE DATUMS ON RESOURCES [earth + Space], SOLAR ACTIVITY [GWCC], ETC. Govts. can ponder deep space travel + exploration. but may not be able to do so.
Lest we fergit II, Russia's theory on "Biotic Oil" does NOT yet have Universal/International acceptance as per validity.
[Yemen Post] The security authorities have been placed on high alert across the republic of Yemen after uncovering Al-Qaeda plans to target military and security targets, the interior ministry reported on Saturday.
Deadly suicide kabooms have been recently carried out in several Yemeni cities including the capital Sanaa, with military and security officers, personnel, cadets and offices key targets.
The bombings, some claimed by Al-Qaeda and others blamed on it, appeared to be in retaliation after the army had driven forces of Evil out of their strongholds and killed hundreds of them including big shots in the past few months.
All those in military and security headquarters and posts including checkpoints and entries were ordered to stay alert to face possible terrorist attacks, it said.
"The orders came after discovering plans to use Al-Qaeda forces of Evil in security and military uniforms to attack security and military targets including camps," the ministry added.
Meanwhile, ...back at the barn, Bossy had come up with a new idea... an extensive hunt is continuing for Al-Qaeda operatives including key leaders who the authorities said had planned to regroup and build training centers to recruit new forces of Evil after the severe blows to AQAP in Abyan ...a governorate of Yemen. The region was a base to the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army terrorist group until it dropped the name and joined al-Qaeda. Its capital is Zinjibar. In March 2011, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula declared the governate an Islamic Emirate after seizing control of the region. The New York Times fastidiously reported that those in control, while Islamic hard boyz, are not in fact al-Qaeda, but something else that looks, tastes, smells, and acts the same. Yemeni government forces launched an effort to re-establish control of the region when President-for-Life Saleh was tossed and the carnage continues... and nearby provinces.
So far, many terrorist cells have been enjugged Please don't kill me! including those responsible for carrying out and planning suicide kabooms, but the authorities have not revealed any investigations into attacks.
[Yemen Post] The Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammad Al-Hamadan returned on Friday to Yemen after four months of leaving the state.
Sources of the Saudi embassy to Yemen expected that the crisis resulted by the abduction of a Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Abdullah Al-Khalidi, will be ended.
Al-Khalidi was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in March 28 from the port city in Aden. Al-Qaeda grabbed credit about the abduction and posted a video massage for the diplomat.
A Yemeni diplomat Abdul-Rahaman Al-Sharabi had said the resumption of work in the Saudi embassy was contingent on Al-Khalidi, but Yemeni political sources said that the closure of the embassy resulted by fears of demonstrations before the embassy. The closure of the embassy paralyzed most Yemen tourist agencies, particularly those working in umra and pilgrimage services.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis who working in Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... and those who visit Saudi Arabi to perform Umara and pilgrimage were deprived from entering this year.
Yemenis organized several rallies in the capital Sana'a last week, calling for reopening the Saudi embassy.
The protesters who carried pictures of Yemen and Saudi's leaders as well as banners condemning abducting the Saudi diplomat appealed to Abdulaziz and Hadi to reopen the embassy after months of closure.
They demanded the embassy to resume its duties and issue visas and allow the Hajj and Umra seekers to practice their religious obligations.
Al-Khalidi was kidnapped by gunnies affiliated to the terror network of al-Qaeda from nearby his residence in Aden. Several mediations aiming to release al-Kaledi failed so far.
Boy runs from crowd and attempts to wrestle flame from torch bearer shouting Arabic for 'God is Great'
Anna Skora, 23, manages to keep hold of flame to carry on
Security drag teenager away, who has since been enjugged Into the paddy wagon wit' yez! and is being held in jug
Kent police say the relay continued 'without disruption' as Ms Skora passes torch on to next bearer
A 17-year-old shouted 'Allahu Akbar' - Arabic for 'God is Great' - as he unsuccessfully tried to grab the Olympic torch during a stretch of the flame's route through Maidstone towards Redhill.
Broadcast live on the BBC, the youth lunged from the crowd to try to take the torch from the hands of its bearer Anna Skora, but was swiftly bundled away by officers.
In one video posted to YouTube he can be seen waiting behind a car and as Ms Skora gets closer he lunges towards the torch.
Two days after a deadly blast in a popular vacation spot killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian, investigators in Bulgaria and in several other countries were making steady progress in investigating the crime and closing in on the identity of the bomber. Israel's Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence agencies had teams on the ground at the Black Sea resort of Burgas helping with the probe.
Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said Friday evening that the bomb had been carried in the backpack of a man caught on security cameras at Bulgas's Sarafovo Airport shortly before the blast there.
Tsvetanov said the bomb had detonated in the luggage compartment of the bus carrying Israelis from their newly landed plane to the terminal on Wednesday afternoon. The bomber was believed to have been about 36 years old and had been in the country between four to seven days, he said.
He later said in an interview with state TV that the blast was caused by 3 kilograms of TNT powder.
Bulgarian prosecutors said the attacker had short hair, not the long hair seen in the security video footage captured of him at the airport where the attack took place Wednesday afternoon. A witness said the man appeared to be wearing a wig.
The same man, according to eyewitnesses quoted on Israel's Channel 2 news, had been seen speaking to tourists at local beaches in the days before the attack. According to one eyewitness report, the man struck up a conversation with tourists from Holland, and told them that his mother was Dutch and his father was Iranian.
An analyst on Israel's Channel 2 suggested that the bombing may not have been a deliberate suicide bombing, but that the device may have detonated prematurely, killing the attacker.
Bulgarian authorities on Friday released an artist's sketch of a man believed to have helped the bomber.
Israeli and American officials have blamed the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah for Wednesday's bombing, which killed five vacationing Israelis, along with a Bulgarian bus driver and the attacker.
In a TV interviews Friday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he was certain who carried it out. "Hezbollah is behind the attack, it was part of a series of attacks," he told Israel's Channel 2 TV. "We know that Iran is behind it all. What we don't know is who the actual man is."
Though Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gloated over the attack on Thursday, Iran denied responsibility for the attack,
which threatened to further escalate a shadow war between the two countries over allegations that Tehran is trying to build nuclear weapons.
Security camera footage from before the attack showed the suspected bomber wandering in and out of the terminal, wearing a baseball cap over long hair, a T-shirt and plaid shorts, with a bulky backpack.
Bulgarian prosecutors said the man tried to rent a car in the days before the bombing but was turned down because his ID appeared suspicious. Authorities have examined his fingerprints, his DNA and his fake Michigan driver's license.
They also said the man actually had short hair. It was not clear if he was wearing a wig, or if he had a haircut after the airport footage was taken.
Afrodita Petrova, the owner of the car rental company, told Bulgarian National TV that the suspect had short dark hair when visiting the office. She said he was the same person from the video camera footage and appeared to be wearing a wig.
"He spoke English with an Arab accent," she said.
Tsvetanov said the investigation had ruled out that the bomber was a Bulgarian citizen, but did not say how authorities know that. He said the investigation had also ruled out that the bomber was Mehdi Ghezali, a Swedish citizen and former Guantanamo detainee whom authorities had previously fingered as the bomber.
Israel has officially issued a complaint with the UN Security Council, accusing Iran of responsibility for the attack. Israeli representative Haim Waxman wrote the Security Council president that the attack in Bulgaria was part of an international terrorist campaign against Israelis and Jews worldwide, led by Iran and Hezbollah.
Bulgarian authorities have established that a Hezbollah terror cell orchestrated last Wednesday's bombing on a bus at Burgas airport in which five Israelis and the Bulgarian bus driver were killed, Israel's Channel 2 news reported on Saturday night.
There is a concern that members of the cell have fled Bulgaria, possibly overland to Turkey.
The authorities distributed an artist's sketch on Friday of a man they believed had helped the bomber, but they now believe the man in the sketch may have been the bomber himself, the report added.
Bulgaria's Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said on Saturday "there may have been a second man" directly involved in the bombing. "We have not ruled that out."
With assistance from Israeli Mossad and Shin Bet teams, and other intelligence agencies, the Bulgarians were reported to be analyzing remnants of the bomb -- a homemade device comprising 3 kg. of TNT -- in order to determine its origin.
[Al Ahram] Kurdish parliamentarians and human rights activists call the Turkish government to release PKK jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan following raised concerns about his health, security, and 'inhumane' imprisonment conditions
A pro-Israel group must be allowed to place a paid advertisement on New York City public buses that equates jihadists with savages, a US judge ruled on Friday.
The opinion by US District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan said a 1997 rule by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that barred demeaning language in advertisements was a violation of free speech.
While the rule was well intentioned, the judge found, it had the effect of discriminating against certain advertisers based on the content of their proposed message.
The advocacy group American Freedom Defense Initiative sued the MTA in September 2011 after the transit agency denied its proposed ad.
The ad said: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad."
The ad said: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad." The ad would have been posted on 318 city buses for four weeks, at a cost of about $25,000, the opinion said.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative, based in Sherman Oaks, Caliphornia, has been one of the most vocal opponents to the planned construction of a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.
The group says the prayer center is funded by Islamists and would sully the memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack victims.
"This is a great victory for the First Amendment," the group said on its website.
"Disallowing a pro-Israel ad was clearly a politically correct, politically motivated denial of free speech," said Pamela Geller, the group's executive director.
The MTA said in a statement that it was reviewing the opinion and "is evaluating its existing advertising standards in light of the court's ruling."
The judge said the advertising space on public buses should be considered a public forum. The judge also ruled that because the ad in question was political speech, it was entitled to the "highest level of protection under the First Amendment."
"By differentiating between which people or groups can and cannot be demeaned on the exterior of a city bus, MTA's no-demeaning standard ... discriminates based on content," the opinion said.
The judge said his preliminary injunction would take effect in 30 days, at which time the MTA would be prevented from enforcing the standard.
The standard bars any ads that "contain ... information that demean(s) an individual or group of individuals on account of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation."
While MTA officials had been correct to regard the ad as "demeaning a group of people based on religion (Islam)," the standard itself does allow for demeaning statements on a host of other topics, such as where they live, their job or their political affiliation, the judge said.
KARACHI -- Quashing speculation about early general elections, President Asif Ali Zardari has advised leaders of opposition political parties to wait for eight more months for the next general elections.
"I will request my impassioned opposition friends to wait for eight more months for the general elections. The present government is under no threat and it will complete its tenure that ends in March 2013", the president said while addressing Pakistan People's Party (PPP) ministers and senior party leaders at Bilawal House here on Friday.
During the meeting, the concerns of the coalition partners and the issue of Lyari were discussed and the president made it clear that the incumbent government would set a new precedent by holding free and fair elections in the country and advised Sindh PPP leaders to continue the policy of reconciliation.
Zardari, who is Co-chairman of the ruling PPP, urged the party leaders to resolve all issues and complaints of the coalition partners the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and the Awami National Party (ANP). "The PPP will jointly contest the next general elections and form again a coalition government. For this we have to redress their concerns without delay."
All the three coalition partners the MQM, the PML-F and the ANP had voiced deep concerns over the law and order situation in Karachi and have been openly criticising the policies of the Sindh government.
Unhappy with the present resentment of the people of Lyari, the president directed the leaders to tackle the issues on priority basis. "Lyari is PPP's fortress and we cannot lose it at any cost," Zardari told the meeting.
Pakistain's lack of realism
Columnist Nazeer Naji wrote in Jang that Pakistain's condition for opening the NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants... supply route was unrealistic when it asked for $5000 per truck when for the past decade it was accepting $250 per truck from NATO. In the past much damage was done to the infrastructure by these trucks for which Pakistain unfairly agreed to receive very little, but now to enhance the fee 20 times was not justified.
Dr Afridi to be used as a pawn?
Columnist Ishtiaq Beg wrote in Jang that Dr Shakeel Afridi was punished in the Khyber Agency with 33 years in jail for spying for the US - which led to the discovery and death the late Osama bin Laden ... who has made the transition back to dust... - under tribal law because he could be freed later by the simple device of Governor Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa ... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central... pardoning him. Thus Dr Afridi could become a pawn in the bargain that Pakistain would drive with the US on the Afghan endgame.
It occurs to me that these are not nice people.
Pak favour trade with India
Reported in Jang 67 percent of the Paks favoured free trade with India while 29 percent opposed it. About 45 percent thought that trade will help normalise bilateral relations. Some 37 percent thought that cricket too could help in improving the equation.
If only the army and government of Pakistan cared about the wishes of the voters...
Unsavoury facts about 'ghaddaar' Dr Afridi
Daily Jang reported that Dr Afridi was not only ghadaar (traitor) to Pakistain he was also a drunkard (sharabi), pleasure-loving (ayyaash), bribe-taker (raashi), and incompetent (na-ehel) person who also slept around with women.
How very odd, when he was so unobjectionable until the army's pet terror mastermind was taken by the Americans.
Circular debt now Rs 400 billion
Daily Jang reported that the circular debt of Rs 300 billion left behind by the Musharraf government was now Rs 400 billion which had aggravated the situation of non-payment to the independent power producers (IPPs) which provide most of the electricity in Pakistain. The eight IPPs have invoked sovereign guarantees because of non-payment.
Power production harder than atom bomb
Daily Express had lawyer Fawwad Chaudhry saying that making and exploding the atom bomb was easier than producing electricity because the priorities of the state were opposed to looking after the people and more focused on fighting wars.
As it is said, Pakistan is an army with a country attached.
Army officers favour Imran Khan
Of course. He's too dumb to realize they'll be running things behind his back, and so are his voters.
Famous columnist Abdul Qadir Hasan wrote in Express that a large body of retired army officers were organising themselves behind Imran Khan ... aka Taliban Khan, who who convinced himself that playing cricket qualified him to lead a nuclear-armed nation with severe personality problems... because they wanted him to be Pakistain's next prime minister. Lahore, Bloody Karachi ...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It may be the largest city in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous... and Islamabad were the venues for this movement of the army officers while Lahore Gymkhana was their gathering place in Lahore. The officers said that the Army was not behind Imran Khan but the gatherings clearly pointed to that possibility.
Mukhtaran Mai complains judiciary
Woman raped under orders from an illegal rural panchayat Mukhtaran Mai was quoted in Express as saying that she was not given justice by the superior judiciary because a judge thought that she could not have been raped on grounds that the FIR was recorded late. She said that she wanted to die after the gang-rape. General Musharraf who had attributed her plaint to an effort to get a visa to the US said if the judiciary decided against her then the judges must be right.
Ban convert marriage for six months
Daily Express reported that the Commission on Minorities Affairs had recommended to the government that any non-Mohammedan converting to Islam should be prevented from marrying for six months. It also recommended that the chairman of the Evacuee Property Trust should be chosen from the non-Mohammedans because the evacuee property belonged to non-Mohammedans.
The Columnist and Dr AQ Khan
Writing in Express famous columnist Abdul Qadir Hasan stated that he loved Dr AQ Khan above all because he had made Pakistain secure by exploding the atom bomb. But pygmy politicians are after him to exploit him for political purposes. He wrote that he left a good job because he loved AQ Khan and had a public tiff with General Zia over the great nuclear scientist.
That's nice, dear. Would you like a biscuit with your tea before bed?
The judiciary-PPP feud
Writing in Jang Hamid Mir stated that the entire world was scandalised by the ongoing feud between the PPP government and the Supreme Court. The government was openly in defiance of the Court's orders while some state agencies were getting out of hand in Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... . Military-dominated agency the ANF was getting excessive in its action against the pharmaceutical industry where four million people were employed forcing the factories to relocate to Bangladesh.
'Chaalbaz' Shah Mehmood
Writing in Express Nusrat Javeed stated that Pak diplomat was great because he was opposed to letting the UN inquire into the liquidation of Benazir Bhutto ... 11th Prime Minister of Pakistain in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistain People's Party, who was murdered at the instigation of General Ayub Khan. She was murdered in her turn by person or persons unknown while campaigning in late 2007. Suspects include, to note just a few, Baitullah Mehsud, General Pervez Musharraf, the ISI, al-Qaeda in Pakistain, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who shows remarkably little curiosity about who done her in... but later on when it did take place against his wishes foreign minister Shah Mehmood Wormtongue Qureshi used his tricks (chalakian) and deceptions (chaalbazian) to make the UN inquiry come to nothing.
...thus protecting the honour of the Land of the Pure.
Water aggression will trigger nuclear war
Famous head of Indus Basin Water Council Zahurul Hasan Daha told Nawa-e-Waqt in Islamabad that if India did not stop water aggression (aabi jarihiyat) then Pakistain will have to unleash nuclear war on it.
Big talk from an unimportant little man.
By 2015 India will have built 175 dams on Pak rivers and joined 30 rivers of Kashmire. He said Indus Waters Treaty was a conspiracy of Hindu and Farangi.
I think that last might be us. I suspect it's an insult.
He said the water system of Pakistain should be handed over to Pakistain Army. Paper also reported at the same time that Pakistain had successfully tested its Hatf (Death) Nine missile which was a face-breaking (muhn tor) answer to India.
Munir Akram and the Bomb
Columnist Nusrat Javeed wrote in Express that super Pak diplomat at the UN Munir Akram (retired) had written that first the Pak atom bomb was directed at India but now Pakistain should announce that it would be used against anyone daring to threaten Pakistain. Javeed asked what if the US threatened Pakistain as it had done at Salala? Would then Pakistain be bound to throw the atom bomb at the US?
a good point, Mr. Javeed.More importantly, what would happen if Pakistan tried?
Death of Urdu
Famous columnist Muhammad Ahmad Sabswari wrote in Jang that in the Constitution Section 251(1) it was pledged that the national language of Pakistain was Urdu and would be enforced in 14 years in public offices. It also pledged that English would be used as official language after arrangements for it had been made. But 24 years had passed without progress on Urdu. Now the bad news was that 22 MNAs had prepared a bill which enumerated the regional languages of the country as national languages and they will be given time to be enforced and till such time English will continue to be used. Switzerland ...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell... and Canada had more than one national language.
Evoke the djinns! Pakistan must be made Swiss!
Baloch were with us!
Famous columnist Hamid Mir stated in Jang that the Baloch were with Ahmad Shah Abdali when he attacked India in 1761. They were 25,000 in number and took part in the carnage. In 1765 Baloch hero Mir Nasir battled the Sikhs. In 1769 they went to war with Iran. But the British came and made them fight one another. The Baloch were always with Mohammedans of Pakistain.
JERUSALEM - Israel said on Friday it would consider military action if needed to ensure Syrian missiles or chemical weapons did not reach President Bashar al-Assad's allies in Lebanon, the Shi'ite Islamist movement Hezbollah.
This is just for public consumption; Israel (I'm certain) has already been considering just how to do this for quite some time.
"I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an operation," Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in an interview on Channel 10 television.
"We are following ... the possible transfer of advanced munitions systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy ground-to-ground missiles, but there could also be a possibility of the transfer of chemical means (weapons) from Syria to Lebanon," said Barak. "The moment (Assad) starts to fall we will conduct intelligence monitoring and will liaise with other agencies."
Hezbollah, which in the past has received military and financial support from Syria and Iran, launched thousands of mainly short-range rockets into Israel during the Jewish state's 2006 offensive in southern Lebanon. Some longer-range rockets reached central Israel. The Israel-Lebanon border has been largely quiet since then.
OTOH DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > ISRAELI OFFICIAL [Amos Gilad]: SYRIA PROTECTING CHEMICAL ARSENAL.
Baby Assad is still "Da Man", i.e. still in control.
* SAME > AS CHAOS GROWS IN SYRIA, WORRIES ON THE SIDELINES.
Not unlike Mubarak or Uncle Muammar, IMO regional rivals Israel + Iran, etc. may end up missing Baby Assad in that, unlike ambitious Islamist Iran or MilTerr-happy Pakistan, Syria historically has N-O-T exhibited any simil major expansionist or imperialist designs for very long time.
"THE DEVIL YOU KNOW ...".
* SAME > [Today's Zaman] SYRIAN OPPOSITION: SEVERAL SOLDIERS WID IRANIAN [IRGC] ID CARDS
CAPTURED, andor killed in Syria fighting.
* WAFF > IRGC REJECTS [Media = MSM] REPORTS ON MARTYRDOM OF QUDS FORCE COMMANDER IN SYRIA, i.e. Gen. Qassem Suleimani.
[Al Ahram] The Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... chief Nabil El-Arabi left Cairo on Saturday evening, heading to the Qatari capital Doha as Arab foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in Syria on Sunday.
On Wednesday, El-Arabi also voiced the pan-Arab organization's concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, warning of the mounting threat of civil war. "Violence leads to more violence," he said.
The Arab League chief went on to call for the peaceful, democratic transition of power in Syria, saying that respect for the Syrian people's legitimate rights was "the only safe exit" from the ongoing bloodshed.
[An Nahar] Mahmoud Hayek, the suspect in the liquidation attempt against MP Butros Hard, refused to appear before the investigative bodies because he is a member of Hizbullah's security apparatus, according to the politician and some security sources Saturday.
Harb said that a car plate number was found inside the bag carried by the suspect when he tried to booby trap the top of the building elevator of his office in the Sami Solh region. The plate turned out to belong to a Hizbullah member who was called in for questioning, but refused, the An Nahar daily said.
Harb considered the telecom data issue as the missing link in the investigation, noting that ministers of Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement Despite its name a Christian party allied with Hizbullah, neither free nor particularly patriotic... refused to hand in the data needed for the completion of investigation.
The cabinet had decided in its meeting earlier this month to provide the security apparatus with the telecom data and limit the international mobile subscriber identity IA.
According to LBC television Friday, the security apparatus summoned M.H., from the southern town of Adchit, for questioning on the backdrop of Harb's liquidation attempt in a bid to compare his fingerprints and DNA to the ones found at the scene of the crime.
However, you can observe a lot just by watching... it was learned that M.H. is a prominent Hizbullah official, and that he was not at his home when security members arrived to notify him. His wife said that any request related to her husband must pass through the Hizbullah security committee, LBC added.
A senior security source told An Nahar that such behavior explains the insistence of Hizbullah and its allies not to hand in the full telecom data to the security sources.
The source added on condition of anonymity: "The investigations will not back down; there is a strict decision not to retreat or leave Leb a prey for tactics that aim to shake its stability."
For its part the al-Joumhouria newspaper on Saturday quoted a security source who confirmed that the suspect is a Hizbullah official called Mahmoud Hayek.
Harb escaped an liquidation attempt early July, when three people tried to plant a booby trap inside the elevator of the building where his office is located in Sami Solh.
[Al Ahram] As darkness descended over Damascus ...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat... last Saturday, few of its 1.7 million residents could have had any inkling that a decisive battle to wrest the city from the grasp of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... was about to begin.
Insurgents gave the operation a name that reflected their hopes of a successful surprise attack on a city long regarded as an impregnable fortress for the Assad family: "Damascus Volcano and Syrian Earthquake".
"There is no going back," Colonel Qassem Saadeddine, a front man for the joint command of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), told Rooters after the fighting had broken out. "We have started the operation to liberate Damascus."
The operation, still under way, has come closer to toppling Assad than anything else in the 16-month uprising against his rule. By nightfall on Friday, six days after it began, rebels had seized control of border crossings and were battling loyalist troops on the streets of Damascus.
The attempt to seize the lair of a man whose father was known as "The Lion of Damascus" had been long in the planning, Saadeddine said. It involved 2,500 fighters who had infiltrated the ancient city's suburbs a week earlier, he said.
Insurgents were especially redeployed from other parts of the country for the task, another FSA officer said separately.
The rebels struck first in the city's southern Hajar al-Aswad district, engaging in sustained battles with government troops who must have wondered what had hit them.
The following day, July 15, the scale of the rebels' ambition became clear. That day, a Sunday, a powerful blast tore through a bus in Damascus carrying security forces personnel, wounding many, and fighting spread to three other city districts.
Residents sympathetic to the Orcs and similar vermin burned tyres to distract government troops. Government armoured vehicles poured into southern Damascus amid reports that the road to the airport had been closed.
Residents of one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities corroborated those accounts described the fighting as the fiercest to touch the capital yet since the uprising began in provincial towns 16 months ago.
Assad had - until then - largely succeeded in shielding his capital and its residents from the extreme violence that has convulsed the rest of the country while he battled to maintain his family's 42-year grip on power.
Even as his tanks and artillery laid waste to parts of other cities, traffic in Damascus circulated, shops and markets kept open, and students continued to study.
But as black smoke rose above Damascus last Sunday and the clatter of machinegun fire rang out - interspersed with the sound of kabooms - that illusion of normality was shattered.
On day two of the operation, residents of the central district of Midan said their area had become a war zone with snipers deployed on rooftops and heavy fighting ... as opposed to the more usual light or desultory fighting... between rebels and government troops.
The supply of electricity and water to some districts was cut. Serious festivities broke out in the districts of Zahera and Tadamon. As violence escalated, activists said tanks were in action on the city's streets, a move analysts interpreted as a sign the government was beginning to panic.
Using classic guerrilla warfare tactics, Orcs and similar vermin sheltered in the city's narrow alleys in the knowledge that armoured vehicles and tanks would be unable to follow.
Syrian state TV made little reference to what was unfolding, saying only that security forces were chasing "terrorist groups" that had fled to parts of Damascus.
Video footage uploaded by opposition activists showed men in jeans crouching in sandbagged Damascus alleyways, firing rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns. At that point, on Monday, the rebels said they were surrounded by government troops.
The rebels say they have adapted their tactics, becoming more organised and mobile, operating in smaller groups so as to present a smaller target for government forces. They have also turned increasingly to using homemade bombs or improvised bombs (IEDs), they have said.
Though foreign backers keep them supplied with a steady stream of small arms smuggled into Syria, it remains unclear how much direction or support the rebels are receiving, if any, from foreign intelligence services.
On the third day of the offensive, July 17, helicopter gunships were reported to have been pressed into action and the rebels said they had shot down one army helicopter.
Clashes of such intensity so close to Assad's seat of power showed his grip on power was weakening, anti-government activists said.
"When you turn your guns against the heart of Damascus, on Midan, you have lost the city," said Imad Moaz, a Damascus-based activist. Video footage showed the charred facades of shops and buildings.
Israeli military intelligence said Assad hurriedly redeployed troops serving near the Israeli border to Damascus in order to bolster his firepower.
The fourth day of the battle is the one that changed the course of the war. Battles flared in the morning within sight of Assad's presidential palace, an imposing structure that sits on a sandstone hill overlooking the city.
Assad's most trusted lieutenants, led by his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, were holding a crisis meeting inside a security headquarters when a kaboom tore through the room. Shawkat was killed, as was the defence minister and another top general.
The intelligence chief would die of wounds two days later, and the interior minister was also hurt.
Jubilant, the rebels grabbed credit, boasting that they had pulled off what they called "a turning point in Syria's history", hailing the attack as "the beginning of the end".
It was unclear whether the bomb was delivered by a jacket wallah or whether it had been remotely detonated in the same way that Claus von Stauffenberg had tried and failed to kill Adolf Hitler ...late Fuehrer of Germany, founder of the Third Reich, currently communing with his pals Himmler and Heydrich. He is reincarnated every few days as a politician somebody doesn't like... in 1944.
But the attack - taking out the top layer of Assad's military planners right in the heart of Damascus - gave a huge boost to the rebels while delivering a psychologically devastating blow to the government.
Shell-shocked or lost for words, Assad did not appear on state TV until the following day. He has yet to make any pronouncement on the attack, leaving it to his former army chief-of-staff to vow swift retaliation.
His unproven whereabouts became the subject of rumour, with rebels saying he had left the capital for the coast.
One Western diplomat says it is understood that after the attack the Syrian president called the head of a UN peace monitor team, General Robert Mood, promising to implement a UN peace plan if the West could get rebels to stop their attacks. Mood and UN envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... were not available to comment.
The authorities promised the rebels they would strike back hard, saying they would "cut off every hand that harms the security of the homeland".
Syrian troops began turning their anti-aircraft guns on rebels in residential areas pointing the barrels at buildings instead of skywards. Helicopters and artillery fired on Damascus throughout the day.
Blasts also rocked an area close to the base of a feared military unit led by Assad's brother, Maher, while a cop shoppe in the Hajar al-Aswad district went up in flames.
Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoabi called the battle for Damascus "the decisive battle in all of Syria" - a comment echoed by Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia, Assad's main protector on the world stage.
For the first time, state TV showed government troops exchanging fire with rebels in central Damascus.
"This is the volcano we talked about, we have just started," said Saadeddine, the FSA front man.
On day five, helicopter gunships pounded rebel positions. Artillery batteries nestled in the mountains overlooking Damascus rained down shells on two city districts.
Rebels torched and looted the Damascus Province Police headquarters, a huge building. Residents spoke of corpses in the streets.
Scared to venture out, many residents said they had locked themselves inside their own homes for their own safety, while most shopkeepers shuttered their businesses.
Ordinary citizens appeared to have deserted the city's once bustling streets. "Everyone in the neighbourhood is arming themselves," said one resident near the Midan district.
"Some with machineguns, some with shotguns. Some even just with knives," the resident added. Fighting flared near the Syrian government's headquarters - a vast Soviet-style building as well as near the prime minister's office.
Far from Damascus, rebels seized border checkpoints with Turkey and Iraq, the first time they had held control of Syrian frontiers.
On Friday, the sixth day of the rebels' attempt to "liberate" Damascus and the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Orcs and similar vermin suffered a setback.
Under heavy bombardment, they were forced to withdraw from the central district of Midan.
"It is a tactical withdrawal. We are still in Damascus," Abu Omar, a rebel commander, said by telephone.
Elsewhere in the city, rebels set fire to a military barracks after a two-day siege. Opposition sources said the building had been used as a training ground for feared shabbiha Islamic fascistiloyal to Assad.
In a further sign that the authorities' control was becoming increasingly tenuous, UN officials said they had heard reports that the city's banks were running out of money.
State TV showed the bodies of about 20 men in T-shirts and jeans with weapons lying at their sides. It described them as members of the "so-called Free Army" killed in battle.
Trying to show that the authorities were still in control, state TV also broadcast live footage of central roads and districts. But the traffic of the cramped Middle Eastern city was missing; only a few cars were moving along its boulevards.
As the temperature rose to above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), power in many parts of the capital remained cut off, compounding people's misery.
Many residents have already fled, with tens of thousands of people reported to be pouring into neighbouring Leb.
At the hilly Masnaa border crossing on the Lebanese side, Damascenes, many of them wealthy families driving their own air-conditioned cars, could be spotted making their way past border control.
The FSA still may need more defections from the army to gain the expertise and weaponry to achieve final victory.
President Barack Obama My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it... 's administration has been drawing up contingency plans for if and when Assad falls. The New York Times ...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize... said Washington was talking to Israel about the possibility of securing Assad's chemical weapons - one of the largest stockpiles of its kind in the world.
Like a maimed lion, Assad could still mount a robust response to the rebels' most audacious attack on his powerbase.
[An Nahar] U.N. chief the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... said Saturday that Syrian authorities have "manifestly failed" to protect civilians and called on the international community to act to stop the violence.
"The Syrian government has manifestly failed to protect civilians and the international community has a collective responsibility to live up to the U.N. charter and act on its principles," Ban said during a visit to Croatia's Brijuni Island as part of a week-long Balkans tour.
Ban added that he was "deeply distressed by the rising corpse count and the number of people forced to flee their homes" as heavy festivities between troops and rebels raged in Syria's second city 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... Saturday, according to activists.
The capital Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... was calm after a day of fierce fighting.