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Friday January 20th, 2017

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Back to Rantburg
China-Japan-Koreas: Trump nuke alert: North Korea places long-range nuke missiles on mobile launchers, threatens inauguration
Posted by anon1 01/20/2017  08:23 6 Comments 77 words Read the whole thing on page 1

Scary news comes as satellite images show 'increased activity at one of the rogue state's major nuclear sites

NORTH Korea is ’readying two intercontinental ballistic missiles’ to ’nuke’ Donald’s Trump inauguration, it’s been reported.

Military experts predicted that any test would only involve a missile with a range of under 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles), less than half the usual ICBM range of 5,500 km (3,400 miles).

(more at the source including satellite pics)

#1: Perhaps an early Trumpet action.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 09:27 ||Comments

#2: I blame Russian hacking and Julian Assange.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 09:34 ||Comments

#3: They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist----
Posted by: Deacon Blues|| 2017-01-20 09:37 ||Comments

#4: Light the fuze on that SOB. I think they might be surprised at the response if it comes anywhere near the U.S.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 09:40 ||Comments

#5: There are consequences for the ChiComs for keeping a loose leash on their little mad dog Kimmie.
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2017-01-20 09:59 ||Comments

#6: Just try Kimmie. You'll live just long enough to regret it.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:45 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Greenfield: Day One
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 688 words Read the whole thing on page 4
In the first days of 2017, Washington D.C. was empty. It was a city holding its breath. Secret Service police officers in balaclavas waited at the White House as a black SUV carrying departing staffers passed. It had not been so long ago that they came into the city as if they owned it and the entire country. Now the same men and women who ran and ruined the lives of millions were scrolling through job postings on their smartphones. They watched Obama speak from faded screens at sports bars and they cried.

They knew it was coming. Day 1.

The parties and the protests are underway. Hundreds of thousands of Americans and anti-Americans have converged on the city: Tea Party housewives from Milwaukee suburbs and snarling Marxists from the ANSWER coalition, small businessmen from Houston and Berkeley J20ers outshouting the schizophrenic homeless panhandlers at Union Station.

While Trump and Pence are at St. John's Episcopal Church, Black Lives Matter will be howling abuse at D.C.’s black police officers at Metropolitan Police Headquarters. As Trump takes his oath of office, the Future is Feminist Counterinaugural Action will try to disrupt the event with their “bodies.” As Trump speaks to unify America, leftist protesters plan to smoke pot on the National Mall.

They can’t stop what’s coming. And they know it. The crying Obama staffers loading boxes into their cars and the Marxists biting their lips as they color in their signs on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial feel it. The pundits of the Post, the non-profit parasites and the entire cocktail party circuit can sense it.

Day 1 is more than just a day. It’s the end of an era. It’s the end of Obama.

Berlin, November, 1989. Moscow, August, 1991. Washington D.C., January, 2017. That’s the closest you can come to describing it. It’s the fall of an evil empire. There are breaths of fresh air as the cleansing rain washes away eight years of oppression, lies and corruption into the sewers of the city.

Day 1.

Trump has executive orders ready to go. While the ceremonies run their course, real change is already underway. The parade that matters is the slow march of Obama’s minions leaving and Trump’s people coming in. The transition began as a trickle, a few here and there, but is swiftly becoming a takeover.

The “landing team members” have moved in. And Obama’s people are moving out to be replaced by “beachhead teams”. What started with dozens and then hundreds will become thousands. These clashing armies wear uniforms of black suits and skirts. They wield smartphones and task lists. And they run the country.

That’s what the “peaceful transition of power” touted by Obama really means. A force of men and women the size of a small army will depart and another will arrive and take their place. They will do it without a shot being fired. The transition will not be entirely peaceful. The mobs of protesters will see to that. And the boycott of the inauguration by House Democrats is a rejection of that transition of power.

The roadblocks, barricades and fences are there to block the radical left’s plots to physically shut down the inauguration. Meanwhile their political allies in Congress are building roadblocks and barricades to jam up Trump’s nominees in endless committee sessions and hearings.

They can’t stop Day 1. But they are doing everything that they possibly can to slow it down.

Their battle plan is to confirm as few of Trump’s people as possible. The longer it takes to get new leaders into place, the longer it will take those leaders to bring in new people to make reforms. The endless hearings aren’t just political theater. They are an organized effort by the left to retain control of the government for as long as possible while tangling Trump’s agenda in red tape right from the start.

The protesters and the politicians have the same agenda. They want to stop reform from Day 1.

More at the link
#1: Yep.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 08:11 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Countdown to President TRUMP digital online clock in seconds, minutes and (less than seven) hours
Posted by anon1 01/20/2017  05:05 3 Comments 0 words Read the whole thing on page 1

Home Front: Politix: CNN Hires Valerie Jarrett's lawyer Daughter - No background in journalism
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  04:26 3 Comments 211 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[Free Beacon] CNN has assigned the daughter of one of President Obama’s top advisers to cover the Department of Justice.

The network announced in a press release that Valerie Jarrett’s daughter Laura would be one of four reporters to cover the Justice Department in 2017. The New York Post broke the news that Jarrett had been hired in September, though a formal announcement about her beat did not come until Thursday.

Jarrett has long wanted to work in television news, though being an objective reporter was not her original goal. She told Vanity Fair in a 2009 "Bright Young Things" profile that her chief ambition was to "work as a TV-news legal analyst." Her favorite cause was "promoting civil rights and social equality for women and minorities."

Jarrett worked as a private practice attorney prior to joining the news network, according to her CNN bio page. She has some experience with her beat, having defended "companies and individuals in government investigations brought by the Justice Department," as well as other government agencies. She does not, however, appear to have any journalism experience. Her last publishing stint came while she attended Harvard Law School.
#1: I was going to say, if that girl is luck, she looks more like her father. Then I thought, nah. Looking like a turkey baster would not be telegenic either...
Posted by: M. Murcek|| 2017-01-20 08:48 ||Comments

#2: I understand Chelsea is available.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 09:53 ||Comments

#3: Gotta keep the shadow government people happy.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:39 ||Comments

Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Jerusalem Mayor Trashes Obama on Way Out the Door: He Surrendered to Radical Islam (VIDEO)
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  04:21 1 Comments 157 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[GP] Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat trashed Barack Obama today on his way out the door. Barkat accused Obama of surrendering to radical Islam.

The mayor of the city holy to three world religions delivered a message Thursday to outgoing President Obama: good riddance.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat released a video that disparages Obama and welcomes President-elect Donald Trump.

The mayor’s video launches an online campaign to encourage Israelis to sign a letter, which Barkat promises to deliver to Trump officials, urging the new president to make good on his promise to move the U.S. Embassy, from its current location in Tel Aviv, up the hill 50 miles to Jerusalem.

Barkat’s video pitch begins (in Hebrew, with subtitles):

"My fellow citizens, during the last eight years, the Obama administration has pushed for a settlement-building freeze, has surrendered to the Iranians and radical Islam and abandoned Israel to a hostile U.N. resolution."
#1: Surrender? He continues to stand within the ranks of Radical Islam. Always has.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 09:42 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Obama's 'Legacy' Years: 3,000 Regulations And 8 Trillion In Debt
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  04:08 1 Comments 173 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[Daily Caller] President Obama’s time in the White House is ended, and after eight years, his administration has imposed more than 3,000 regulations and added nearly $8 trillion to the national debt.

Obama started his presidency on a wave of optimism, working with a Democratic-controlled Congress to pass a $831 billion stimulus package, financial reform and a bill to overhaul health coverage -- his namesake, Obamacare.

But Obama’s costly health care law cost his party dearly, and by his second term Republicans controlled the House in 2010, and then took over the Senate in 2014. Obama turned to alternative policy-making tools, using his "pen and phone" to regulate what he could not legislate.

The Obama administration put out 3,069 regulations, adding nearly $900 billion in costs to the economy. Obama’s main focuses were fighting global warming and immigration. Obama’s rules added nearly 572,000 pages to the Federal Register, including a whopping 97,110 pages in 2016 alone -- an all-time record.

#1: Not just the 3000 at the federal level, but the other thousands those inspired at state, county, and town level.

A pox on government officiousness. I wish we could make it a capital crime somehow.
Posted by: no mo uro|| 2017-01-20 05:53 ||Comments

-Land of the Free: Indiana YMCA Removes CNN from TVs Over Complaints About ‘Fake News'
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  03:55 1 Comments 248 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Breitbart] A YMCA in Indiana has removed CNN from the TVs in its wellness and exercise areas over complaints from members upset by the constant fake news the cable network airs.

The Valparaiso, Indiana, YMCA issued a statement to members that the cable news network was removed from facility TVs because too many members complained about the programing.

Debra Koeppen, the YMCA’s chief development officer, said that "Trying to please everyone" is the "No. 1 problem we have in the wellness area," according to Chicago Tribune reporter Jerry Davich, who claims to be a member of the YMCA in question.

Earlier this week, Robert Wanek, CEO of the Valparaiso YMCA, sent a message to members saying, "In order to eliminate perceived political bias associated with national news outlets, the Valparaiso Family YMCA will only be showing local news channels in the future."

Davich asked the CEO to reveal more details about the removal of CNN from the TVs, but Wanek replied, "I cannot pinpoint the change origins, only to add that we get dozens of requests to change channels every day from numerous interest groups."

"We just want the Y to be a haven for wellness where people come together and have a sense of belonging, gain new relationships and achieve their personal goals," Wanek added. "We will display local news moving forward."

Indeed, Wanek said that from this point forward only local news will be played on the TVs and all cable news networks will be banned.
#1: I approve.
Posted by: 49 Pan|| 2017-01-20 09:06 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Survey: 28% of Fed Employees May Quit Their Jobs Once Trump in Office
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  03:45 13 Comments 211 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Breitbart] Some federal government employees are considering leaving their jobs when President-elect Trump assumes office, according to a new survey.

"More than one in four federal workers, or 28 percent, will definitely or possibly consider leaving their jobs after Jan. 20 when Trump is sworn into office and becomes leader of the executive branch," according to the survey conducted by the Government Business Council and Government Executive, both groups that track trends in government.

Half of those surveyed said that Trump’s business experience would "hinder his management of the federal government" while two-thirds of people think Trump’s business relationships pose a conflict of interest.

Half of those who said they were leaving are retirement-eligible and have considered an early retirement, while 37 percent of people would look for a job outside federal government, the analysis said.

Only one percent of respondents said they would quit without having a plan for their next move, while an additional 12 percent of people said they were unsure of what they would do.

A survey by the same groups taken before the election showed that 35 percent of government workers would consider quitting their jobs if Trump won the election.
#1: 12 percent of people said they were unsure of what they would do.

...or have been doing.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 03:51 ||Comments

#2: Believe it when I see it.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 03:57 ||Comments

#3: We will not be that lucky.
Posted by: BernardZ|| 2017-01-20 04:25 ||Comments

#4: Half of those who said they were leaving are retirement-eligible and have considered an early retirement

This (14% - could be higher) is very likely accurate and should be fully exploited via retirement incentives. The 'key' is not backfilling the vacancies through the implementation of hiring freezes.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 04:36 ||Comments

#5: There are four times more people working for the public sector (relative to the size of the population at large) now as there were before the Great Society evil was foisted on America.

We need to return the size of the public "work" force to that level.
Posted by: no mo uro|| 2017-01-20 05:58 ||Comments

#6: So Cool it can't possibly be that wonderful. It sounds so good you HAVE to doubt it. Nothing could be that awesome.

Probably Fake News.
But it is VERY nice to hear.
Posted by: Elmaviper Black4757|| 2017-01-20 07:29 ||Comments

#7: And in Hollywood nobody who said they would go to Canada ever kept their word and actually did go.

So a lot of Bureaucrats "say" they will quit? Hollywood words. Just Hollywood promises. No one will quit. FAKE news.
Posted by: Elmaviper Black4757|| 2017-01-20 07:33 ||Comments

#8: When I first started looking for a job the deal was that you went into Public Service for the security and you went into the Private Sector for the money.

Now both benefits reside in the Public Sector.

Can that be changed?
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 08:16 ||Comments

#9: It's a start.....
Posted by: Mullah Richard|| 2017-01-20 08:54 ||Comments

#10: while 37 percent of people would look for a job outside federal government

That's the funniest thing I've read in months.
Posted by: Matt|| 2017-01-20 09:56 ||Comments

#11: I wish... but I doubt it. Parasites don't leave willingly.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:02 ||Comments

#12: Anyone remember the outrage and throngs of disgruntled FBI agents who threatened resignation and early retirement following Director Comey's refusal to recommend an indictment against HRC ?
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 10:07 ||Comments

#13: Tease, tease, tease.
Posted by: Procopius2k|| 2017-01-20 10:26 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Judge Nap: AG Lynch and a parting shot at personal freedom
Posted by gorb 01/20/2017  03:13 1 Comments 1023 words Read the whole thing on page 4
On Jan. 3, outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch secretly signed an order directing the National Security Agency -- America’s 60,000-person-strong domestic spying apparatus -- to make available raw spying data to all other federal intelligence agencies, which then can pass it on to their counterparts in foreign countries and in the 50 states upon request. She did so, she claimed, for administrative convenience. Yet in doing this, she violated basic constitutional principles that were erected centuries ago to prevent just what she did.

Here is the back story.

In the aftermath of former President Richard Nixon’s abusive utilization of the FBI and CIA to spy on his domestic political opponents in the 1960s and '70s -- and after Nixon had resigned from office in the wake of all that -- Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created a secret court that was charged with being the sole authority in America that can authorize domestic spying for non-law enforcement purposes.

The standard for a FISA court authorization was that the subject of the spying needed to be a foreign person in the United States who was an agent of a foreign power. It could be a foreign janitor in a foreign embassy, a foreign spy masquerading as a diplomat, even a foreign journalist working for a media outlet owned by a foreign government.

The American spies needed a search warrant from the FISA court. Contrary to the Constitution, the search warrant was given based not on probable cause of crime but rather on probable cause of the status of the person as an agent of a foreign power. This slight change from "probable cause of crime" to "probable cause of foreign agency" began the slippery slope that brought us to Lynch’s terrible order of Jan. 3.

After the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, numerous other statutes were enacted that made spying easier and that continued to erode the right to be left alone guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

The Patriot Act permitted FBI agents to write their own search warrants for business records (including medical, legal, postal and banking records), and amendments to FISA itself changed the wording from probable cause "of foreign agency" to probable cause of being "a foreign person" to all Americans who may "communicate with a foreign person."

As if Americans were children, Congress made those sleight-of-hand changes with no hoopla and little serious debate. Our very elected representatives -- who took an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution -- instead perverted it.

It gets worse.

The recent USA Freedom Act permits the NSA to ask the FISA court for a search warrant for any person -- named or unnamed -- based on the standard of "governmental need." One FISA court-issued warrant I saw authorized the surveillance of all 115 million domestic customers of Verizon. The governmental need standard is no standard at all, as the government will always claim that what it wants, it needs.

All these statutes and unauthorized spying practices have brought us to where we were on Jan. 2 -- namely, with the NSA having a standard operating procedure of capturing every keystroke on every computer and mobile device, every telephone conversation on every landline and cellphone, and all domestic electronic traffic -- including medical, legal and banking records -- of every person in America 24/7, without knowing of or showing any wrongdoing on the part of those spied upon.

The NSA can use data from your cellphone to learn where you are, and it can utilize your cellphone as a listening device to hear your in-person conversations, even if you have turned it off -- that is, if you still have one of the older phones that can be turned off.

Notwithstanding all of the above gross violations of personal liberty and constitutional norms, the NSA traditionally kept its data -- if printed, enough to fill the Library of Congress every year -- to itself. So if an agency such as the FBI or the DEA or the New Jersey State Police, for example, wanted any of the data acquired by the NSA for law enforcement purposes, it needed to get a search warrant from a federal judge based on the constitutional standard of "probable cause of crime."

Until now.

Now, because of the Lynch secret order, revealed by The New York Times late last week, the NSA may share any of its data with any other intelligence agency or law enforcement agency that has an intelligence arm based on -- you guessed it -- the non-standard of governmental need.

So President Barack Obama, in the death throes of his time in the White House, has delivered perhaps his harshest blow to constitutional freedom by permitting his attorney general to circumvent the Fourth Amendment, thereby enabling people in law enforcement to get whatever they want about whomever they wish without a showing of probable cause of crime as the Fourth Amendment requires. That amendment expressly forbids the use of general warrants -- search where you wish and seize what you find -- and they had never been a lawful tool of law enforcement until Lynch's order.

Down the slope we have come, with the destruction of liberty in the name of safety by elected and appointed government officials. At a time when the constitutionally recognized right to privacy was in its infancy, Justice Louis Brandeis warned all who love freedom about its slow demise. He wrote: "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."

Someday we will learn why Obama did this. I hope that when we do, it is at a time when we still have personal liberty in a free society.
#1: Someday we will learn why Obama did this. I hope that when we do, it is at a time when we still have personal liberty in a free society.

EO 12333 was written to protect US Citizens (USCIT) from intelligence collection against them. If information on a USCIT was needed, due process was followed and a warrant was issued.

This is just another step in the destruction of sovereignty and freedom.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 09:32 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Trump has given up personal cellphone
Posted by g(r)omgoru 01/20/2017  03:03 1 Comments 47 words Read the whole thing on page 6
h/t Instapundit

Less than 24 hours before his inauguration, the Associated Press reports President-elect Donald Trump has given up his personal cellphone.

Trump apparently told a friend on Thursday that he has given up the phone on the advice of security agencies.
#1: Trump apparently has given up the phone on the advice of security agencies.

They're going to give him a Blackberry and a mail server in Chappaqua, New York.
Posted by: Bobby|| 2017-01-20 08:32 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Trump has already delivered: Glenn Reynolds
Posted by g(r)omgoru 01/20/2017  02:54 0 Comments 243 words Read the whole thing on page 4
So the Trump presidency begins Friday at noon, and though plenty of people have been happy to offer predictions, nobody really knows how it will go. (If it’s like pretty much every other presidency in my lifetime, the answer is "disappointingly.") But Trump’s transition -- his "pre-presidency" -- is just about over now, so let’s see how that’s gone, and if that offers us any guidance on how things might go in the future.

And, actually, Trump has accomplished some stuff. So far, in his pre-presidency, Trump has:

(1) Killed off dynastic politics, at least for now.

(2) Kept Hillary out of the White House.

Frankly, those two things alone were perfectly decent reasons for backing Trump, and he’s already delivered on them. But what else has he done, for good and ill?

(3) Bringing jobs back.

(4) The appointments.

(5) The process. Right after the election, we heard that the Trump transition was chaotic, conflicted, a mess. Then the actual transition came and it was . . . pretty smooth.

(6) The press ... under Trump, the press will be making investigative journalism great again!

Whether Trump can match these accomplishments once he’s actually in office, I don’t know. It may be that he’s peaked already. But he’s already outperformed my (admittedly modest) expectations. I hope he’ll keep doing that in the four (or eight) years to come.

Home Front: Politix: A Close Look at Trump's Cabinet
Posted by g(r)omgoru 01/20/2017  02:41 4 Comments 25 words Read the whole thing on page 6
h/t Instapundit
...Here, updated in real time, are all of President-elect Trump's appointments so far, with handy breakdowns below:
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:49 ||Comments

#2: I just figured out that you can play the video while submitting a comment!

Anyway, turn your volume down before hitting play.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 03:24 ||Comments

#3: I searched for several minutes, to see if any of these candidates for the cabinet had any redeeming virtues. There seem to be none.

The site is named "Marie Claire". Marie Claire is an international monthly magazine for women. First published in France in 1937, the United States edition focuses on women around the world and several global issues. Marie Claire magazine also covers health, beauty, and fashion topics.

Posted by: Bobby|| 2017-01-20 08:29 ||Comments

#4: Marie Claire magazine also covers health, beauty, and fashion topics.

Sufficient credentials for credible political commentary.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 10:11 ||Comments

Europe: Spain arrests Russian wanted by US for alleged hacking
Posted by trailing wife 01/20/2017  01:41 0 Comments 309 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Ynet] Spanish officials say a Russian computer programmer wanted by the United States on hacking allegations has been locked away
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
while a decision is made on whether to extradite him.

The National Court said Thursday that Stanislav Lisov, 31, was locked away
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
Jan. 13 after Civil Guard police nabbed
Drop the gat, Rocky, or you're a dead 'un!
him at Barcelona airport on an FBI warrant issued though Interpol.

The court said a Madrid judge questioned him by videoconference over charges of criminal conspiracy in connection with electronic and computer fraud for which he is wanted by the U.S. It said he was ordered locked away
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
because of the seriousness of the offenses and the risk of him fleeing justice as he had done previously in the United States.

Lisov was arrested as he prepared to take a flight out of Spain with his wife.

Caribbean-Latin America: Argentina Jewish center briefly evacuated after false bomb threat
Posted by trailing wife 01/20/2017  01:41 0 Comments 152 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Somebody, or somebody plus a copycat, is having a little too much fun. Here's hoping the little idiot soon is found.
[Ynet] A Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was briefly evacuated after a false bomb threat on Thursday, Argentina
...a country located on the other side of the Deep South. It is covered with Pampers and inhabited by Grouchos, who dance the Tangle. They used to have some islands called the Malvinas located where the Falklands are now. They're not supposed to cry for Evita...
's Jewish community association AMIA said in a statement, a day after dozens of similar episodes were reported in the United States.

Home Front: Politix: Effing Magic: F-35's ‘Grotesque Overruns' Are Now Past, Says Pentagon's Chief at Odds With Trump
Posted by gorb 01/20/2017  01:16 7 Comments 490 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Yep. Everything's under control now. Won't cost us one more cent than is planned.
Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet "has come a long way" since "grotesque" cost overruns and schedule delays plagued the costliest U.S. weapons system, departing Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an appraisal at odds with the view of President-elect Donald Trump.

Because the $379 billion program is critical to three U.S. military services and many allied air forces, "it’s essential that it perform both in technology and in cost terms, and we’ve got to keep working on that," Carter said in an interview Tuesday.

Carter didn’t respond directly to Trump’s tweet last month that F-35 costs are "out of control," or his message Tuesday that boasted of "the massive cost reductions I have negotiated on military purchases." Trump has extracted general promises to cut costs on Lockheed’s F-35 and Boeing Co.’s new Air Force One after meetings with the chief executive officers of those two biggest U.S. government contractors.

Carter reflected on the F-35’s progress since he certified in June 2010 that the program was worth continuing even though its rising projected cost breached congressional limits.

The program was "near collapse and disgrace" when he first wrestled with its status in 2009 as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, he said, "because the development phase" was "grotesquely overrun in cost and behind in schedule." He said "we needed to instill discipline" and "eventually that was done."

Carter also said the program made significant changes to use fixed-price incentive fee production contracts to put more Lockheed profit at risk.

Two hundred of the U.S. program’s planned 2,443 aircraft have been delivered, and as of last year Congress had authorized about $110 billion in spending. "The things that need to be done" include applying "continued pressure on production costs," he said.

"Never forget," he added, that the support phase of the F-35 includes "the lion’s share" of the expenses. In addition to the $379 billion in projected research, development and procurement, the fleet will require more than 50 years of support estimated by the Pentagon’s independent cost analysis unit to add up to as much as $1.2 trillion.

Highlighting the promised capability of an aircraft that’s been dubbed a flying computer because of its eight million lines of software code, Carter said, "If we stay on course, no other fighter aircraft in the world will come close to competing with" the F-35 "for performance and cost, and we will wipe out all competition."
#1: ...And I'm sure that your need for a job as of 1200 EST today has nothing to do with your sudden confidence in Lockheed Martin.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski|| 2017-01-20 04:45 ||Comments

#2: Looks like a congressional PMR needs to happen....
Posted by: 49 Pan|| 2017-01-20 09:05 ||Comments

#3: What Ike said.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 09:22 ||Comments

#4: eight million lines of software code

I wonder what the defect density profile looks like?
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 09:50 ||Comments

#5: Those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it.
Posted by: Pliny Glons2836|| 2017-01-20 09:55 ||Comments

#6: For his sake they had better be.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:01 ||Comments

#7: Excellent MIG-19 video Pliny. Thanks for sharing. Must be some one who could wed that sound track to the past Obama inaugurations.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 10:04 ||Comments

Home Front: Politix: Obama Makes Last-Minute Move to Get Detainees Out of Gitmo
Posted by gorb 01/20/2017  00:59 3 Comments 1677 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Every minute brings Donald Trump closer to putting his hand on the Lincoln Bible, and a group of 41 men closer to a lifetime of internment at the U.S. military detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
Looks like 0bean is trying to come up with something that Trump can't undo.
But lawyers and Obama administration officials are working down to the wire to get remaining detainees out of Guantánamo before Trump throws away the key, potentially for good. With less than 24-hours remaining before President-elect Trump becomes president, Foreign Policy has learned that the White House has made four more transfers, the last of Obama’s administration. The Pentagon announced their names and destinations -- one to Saudi Arabia, and three to the United Arab Emirates -- later on Thursday evening.

In a letter on his last full day in office, President Obama urged House Speaker Paul Ryan one last time to close the detention center.
Sorry. Schedule full this week. Try again Monday.
"If this were easy, we would have closed Guantánamo years ago," Obama wrote. "But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to bring it to a responsible end."
The key word here is "responsible".
The White House publicly acknowledged for the first time this week what has long been the grim reality for the legal teams representing the detainees and the administration officials charged with their fate: Obama would not be able to make good on his campaign promise and executive order to close Guantánamo, issued almost eight years ago to the day.
Actually, they were kidding and 0bean took it seriously.
In defiance of Trump’s Twitter edict not to make any more transfers, the Pentagon sent 10 detainees to Oman on Monday, and the last four midnight-hour moves come just hours from the moment Trump takes the oath of office on Friday. The 10 men transferred on Monday, as well as five others, have been cleared by six national security agencies as no longer posing a threat to the United States, and several of them, the government has admitted, were cases of mistaken identity.
"We found the missing evidence, your honor. It was hidden."
"But the evidence was on display . . ."
"I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find it."
"That’s the missing evidence department."
"With a flashlight."
"Ah, well, the lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?"
"Yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'."

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter did not sign off on the transfers of several of the remaining cleared detainees in time for the legally-required 30-day congressional notification. Legal teams for two detainees on this list -- Abdul Latif Nasir, a Moroccan, and Sufyian Barhoumi, an Algerian -- filed emergency motions with federal courts to grant their repatriation before Friday. But the Obama administration opposed the requests, despite judicial orders to prepare the detainees to be moved immediately in case of a favorable ruling. On Wednesday night, the court ruled against Barhoumi, and on Thursday afternoon, the Moroccan’s request was shot down.

Shayana Kadidal of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which still has four clients remaining at Guantánamo, slammed the Obama White House for saying it wanted to close the facility but then stating unequivocally it wouldn’t follow the ruling if the judges ordered the already-cleared detainees to be released.

When Trump takes the oath on Friday, Kadidal will be in the air on his way to Guantánamo, where he’ll break the news to Barhoumi.

"I’m actually going to see him now, unfortunately, since he’ll still be there," Kadidal told Foreign Policy Thursday, "as the photos get switched from Obama to the orange-colored buffoon."

Barhoumi was initially charged with war crimes but they were later dismissed. Another of CCR’s clients, Ghaleb al Bihani, a Yemeni, was transferred with the group of 10 on Monday, but his older brother, Tawfiq, who has also been cleared, was left behind.

Lt. Col. Sterling Thomas, a military lawyer defending several Guantanamo detainees, said they’ve tried to keep their expectations low because, "It’s just too heartbreaking." His client, Abdul Zahir, was picked up in 2002 because the "government mistook him for someone else who shared a nickname." Zahir was surprised by the election result, telling Thomas, "’Americans and detainees in Guantanamo now both have to figure out the way forward.’"

On Monday night, the Pentagon still hadn’t informed Thomas whether Zahir was in the group that was transferred that day. Zahir is now Oman.

Of the 41 men who remain as of Thursday, only 10 have been charged with war crimes. The vast majority have been detained for more than a decade, and none were captured by the U.S. military.

If the rest do not make it onto a military plane by Friday, lawyers say, they will likely die at Guantánamo along with the 26 other men known as "forever prisoners" -- including the alleged plotters of the 9/11 attacks -- the U.S. has determined will be detained indefinitely. The 26 are eligible for their cases to be reviewed periodically.

Many of the detainees are deeply involved in their own defense, and they are aware that Trump’s victory has raised the stakes, according to legal teams who represent them. In recent conversations they’ve expressed their concern if they don’t make it out before Trump enters the Oval Office, they’ll be stuck.

Trump made his own campaign pledges to "load [Guantánamo] up with some really bad dudes," and "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding." While he’s since toned down his vows to return to illegal government torture -- at the behest of retired Gen. James Mattis, expected to be confirmed as defense secretary on Friday, who told him torture wasn’t effective -- he hasn’t ruled it out. He’s never backed off his plan to keep Guantánamo open, and has doubled down on expanding it, even suggesting he may try U.S. citizens in military commissions there.

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said his team is planning executive orders for Friday and Monday, including his own, as well as rescinding Obama’s prior dictates. In his "100 Day Action Plan" the New York businessman vowed to do so.

Spicer declined to comment as to whether Trump will issue his own orders for Guantánamo, but given his strong public stances, he is likely to move early to undo the four executive orders on U.S. detention and interrogation policy that Obama issued on his first day in office.

One promise Obama did keep was not to add a single detainee to the population at Guantánamo, relying largely on the federal justice system and foreign partners to deal with the handful of terrorist suspects captured on global battlefields since 2009. For the rest: lethal drone strikes, according to analysts.

Barred by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress from closing Guantánamo and moving the remaining "worst of the worst" detainees to a maximum-security facility on U.S. soil, Obama administration officials have steadily chipped away at the population through the transfers to third-party countries, ultimately moving 196 of the roughly 800 once held at Guantánamo.

Trump has echoed lawmakers’ concerns that Obama has been releasing dangerous terrorists who could return to the fight alongside Islamic State. But in contrast to a lengthy process that Obama’s own supporters and officials have criticized as unnecessarily onerous, President George W. Bush released more than 500 detainees, with few measures in place to protect against terrorist recidivism. Most of the transferred detainees that the Intelligence Community assesses have returned to terrorism were released under Bush, with 14.1 percent of detainees transferred before Obama’s inauguration being suspected of returning to terrorism, and only 6.8 percent of detainees released after, according to the latest report from the Director of National Intelligence.

The Obama administration, as well as supporters of closing Guantánamo, such as Sen. John McCain, (R-Ariz.), also have argued the cost of maintaining it is unjustifiable. The operational cost last year was approximately $445 million, according to the White House; with the president’s last transfers bringing the total to 41, that’s more than $10 million on average per detainee.

The government also pays for lawyers to defend detainees, including those being charged as co-conspirators in the 9/11 attacks, whose cases before military commissions are expected to stretch on for years.

James Connell, who serves as expert counsel for one of these "high-value" detainees, Anmar al Baluchi, said they joke about Trump -- "’What are we going to do with this guy?" But Baluchi is also concerned about the incoming president’s broader policies toward Muslims, in particular Syrian refugees. Under Trump, Connell anticipates every Guantánamo detainee left could become a "forever prisoner." "They’ll stay there until they die."

Trump may similarly find himself as confounded as Obama by the unanswered questions of the war on terrorism, Connell predicted.

"Obama hoped it would go away," he said. "But it won’t."
#1: The one thing a hotel and resort manager hates is empty rooms. I hope Trump fills up Gitmo with the same guys just released (plus a few more) and renames the resort "Barack Hussein Obama Forever Stay Prison"
Posted by: Airandee|| 2017-01-20 06:25 ||Comments

#2: One promise Obama did keep was not to add a single detainee to the population at Guantánamo, relying largely on the federal justice system and foreign partners. For the rest: lethal drone strikes.

Ironic, isn't it? Send no one to prison to determine guilt, just send folks presumed guilty, and a few nearby persons of unknown guilt, to their ultimate destination.

(Good news)It does save the cost of care and feeding at Gitmo, (bad news) but at the cost of a Hellfire missile.
Posted by: Bobby|| 2017-01-20 08:04 ||Comments

#3: I wonder, did his extra-judicial, remote-controlled executions tail off since the election?
Posted by: Bobby|| 2017-01-20 08:10 ||Comments

Europe: Erik Prince Discusses Libya And Europe's Migrant Crisis (Video)
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  00:13 0 Comments 362 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Feral Jundi] This is excellent and Erik Prince did a great job defending his former company in this interview with Becky Anderson. What I thought was very interesting was the discussion of Libya and the immigration crisis plaguing Europe right now.

I would agree with Erik that the EU does not have the political will to do what is necessary in Libya to actually lock down it’s borders.

But one point needs to be made when it comes to PMSC’s in Libya‐they are already there. Europe’s oil interests in Libya have required security in one form or another for years now. I wrote about all sorts of security related stories in Libya starting in 2011, so it should be no shock to any observer of that conflict that industry has provided services there, or has ’offered’ solutions to frustrated clients. Hell, the CEO of a major French PMSC, Secopex, was killed in Libya.

I would also argue that any security plan like this, should also be coupled with a grand strategic plan for Libya. The border might be squared away under a contract like this, but that will not remove the cause of why people are wanting to leave. The war needs to end there, and reconstruction along with the rule of law needs to be reestablished if they want to stop this migrant crisis. Security on the border is just one piece to a plan like that. But private industry can provide a solution for that.

The other thing that was interesting in this interview was the mention of Erik and the Trump administration.(he is a supporter) The question was posed wether the new administration will be good for the PMSC industry.

At 06:58, this is where the video get’s interesting. "Is Libya a quick win for a Trump administration?" the interviewer asks, and I will let the reader check out what Erik had to say....

So maybe Libya is a space to be watching in 2017? ‐Matt

Link to Frontier Services Group

Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Blast targets home of Abbas ally in Gaza
Posted by trailing wife 01/20/2017  00:00 4 Comments 623 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] Two kabooms hit the Gazoo Strip, police say, including one targeting the home of an official from Paleostinian Authority President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
’s Fatah party. There are no casualties.

Police and eyewitnesses say the first blast struck at around midnight in eastern Gazoo City outside the home of Nayef Khuweter, a Fatah official in the territory.

Fatah condemns the attack, saying it would "disrupt" attempts at reconciliation with terror group Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth",, which controls the Gazoo Strip.

In a separate incident, a car went kaboom! in Nuseirat refugee camp of central Gazoo.

The Hamas-led police say they are investigating both blasts, for which there are no immediate claims of responsibility.
And in other Gaza news:
Aid workers open new Gaza desalination plant

[IsraelTimes] International aid workers open a new desalination plant in the Gazoo Strip, bringing some relief to a territory where 97 percent of the water is undrinkable.

It is the Hamas, the well-beloved offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood,-ruled territory’s second and largest desalination plant. While it will not solve Gazoo’s water woes, officials say the project marks an important step.

"Despite the small production, this gives symbolism to Gazoo residents that the train of water solution is now on track," says Monzer Shublaq, director of Coastal Municipalities Water Utility in Gazoo.

The plant will initially produce 6,000 cubic meters of water a day, a small fraction of Gazoo’s needs. In all, the population uses 150,000 cubic meters a day, most of it from a depleted coastal aquifer.

The European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
says it invested 10 million euros, or $10.6 million, in building the plant with UNICEF. It has pledged a similar amount for a second phase meant to double capacity by 2019.

Hamas, the Paleostinian terror group that rules Gazoo, did not participate in the project, and is not represented at the ceremony.
#1: Good news.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:57 ||Comments

#2: Well, that didn't last long - "Wednesday 18 January 2017:Fatah and Hamas agree to form unity Palestinian government".
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 01:59 ||Comments

#3: How will they power that De-Sal plant?

Posted by: Frank G|| 2017-01-20 09:38 ||Comments

#4: the latest fatah-hamas concord is about the 7th time they've done this

the previous times, the agreement broke down within weeks, basically because they hate each other - a lot
Posted by: lord garth|| 2017-01-20 09:38 ||Comments

Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Jordan boosts border forces amid IS threat from Iraq, Syria
Posted by trailing wife 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 257 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Ynet] A senior Jordanian military commander says the kingdom faces a growing threat to its border as Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
forces of Evil in neighboring Iraq and Syria are being dislodged from their strongholds by military offensives.

Brig. Gen. Sami Kafawin told news hounds on Thursday he expects some IS fighters, increasingly on the defensive, to make their way to southern Syria and Jordan's border. Kafawin commands the border guard forces.

He says there has been a "big difference" in threat levels over the last three years and that nearly half of Jordan's military personnel and resources have been deployed along the Iraqi and Syrian border--a sharp increase from before the 2011 outbreak of the Syrian conflict.

He says Jordan is deploying "more and more forces" at the border to safeguard against IS.

Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Man caught ‘red-handed’ smuggling phones to security prisoner
Posted by trailing wife 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 556 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] Officials say unidentified suspect was trying to hand over cellphones, cash to an inmate.

Police and Prisons Service officers caught a man "red-handed" as he tried to smuggle cellphones and money to a security prisoner on Wednesday, officials said.

After discovering that illicit goods were reaching a prisoner serving a life sentence for national security crimes, the Israel Police and Prisons Service launched an undercover operation to disrupt the smuggling ring.

The operation culminated on Wednesday with the arrest of a suspect found with three cellphones and cash on his way to meet the prisoner.

The Prisons Service did not reveal the identity of the suspect, the prisoner, or the prison where the smuggling attempt occurred, saying only that it was "in the south of Israel."

After an interrogation on Wednesday, the prisoner and the suspect were taken to court Thursday morning for remand hearings.

The suspect and the prisoner are being investigated on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, purchasing goods for the purpose of abetting terrorism, and violations of Prisons Service regulations, specifically those dealing with cellphones.

Last month, MK Basel Ghattas of the Joint List party was accused of smuggling cellphones to security prisoners. Footage from a Prisons Service surveillance camera showed the Arab politician passing envelopes to prisoners at the Ketziot Prison in the south.

Following the allegations and threats of indictment, government and opposition politicians began the process of trying to expel Ghattas from the Knesset.

Separately, IDF troops placed in durance vile
Into the paddy wagon wit' yez!
11 Paleostinians throughout the West Bank late Wednesday and early Thursday, nine of them for rock-throwing or taking part in violent protests, the army said.

The other two were alleged members of the Hamas, the well-beloved offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood, terrorist group, the military said.

In addition, army sappers found and detonated pipe bombs in the northern West Bank.
And as a reward, a bit of fun:
WATCH: Police blow up 10 tons of fireworks

[IsraelTimes] Sappers destroy some 10 tons of fireworks and "dangerous" toys in a controlled kaboom in an unspecified, isolated location, police say.

According to police, the unprecedented detonation took place after the items, which posed a threat to public safety, were discovered in a yard in the center of the country during a drugs crackdown that began in 2015.

Police say sappers who examined the fireworks compared the impact of their detonation to an kaboom of one ton of TNT, saying such a blast could cause injury and damage in a radius of hundreds of meters.
The 41 second video can be seen at the link. Enjoy!

Down Under: Major police operation underway in Melbourne, Australia.
Posted by Jinens Thrinesh9791 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 1078 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Bourke St Mall carnage: Baby among three dead, at least 20 injured

[] At least three people including a baby are dead and 20 are injured after a driver ploughed through Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall, running over pedestrians as the car sped down the shopping strip.

Witnesses say the driver rampaged through the CBD for a distance of at least two blocks at speeds of at least 60km/h, leaving a "mass of bodies" in his wake before turning left onto Elizabeth St.

Police say he then deliberately drove into the Bourke St mall and rammed into pedestrians, hitting a pram in the process.

Police said the incident is connected to a stabbing in Windsor earlier today, which left a man in his 20s critically injured, but stressed that the incident is not counter-terrorism related.

Police will provide a further update at 5pm this afternoon.

Video taken from a convenience store shows a horde of people rushing frantically inside as the car accelerates down the pavement.

"There was a car that just sped along the footpath and hit people," a witness told police at the scene.

A man dressed only in red underwear has been arrested at the Elizabeth St end of the mall, and Ambulance Victoria is treating at least 20 people.

"We heard two gunshots over nearby construction noise and we moved over towards the window at that stage to see police yanking this man from the car," witness Ben Anderson told

"He had climbed across the passenger side of the seat, whether that means he was trying to escape I am not sure but police had their weapons drawn and pulled his out."

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the exact circumstances of the event are still being determined but the situation is now under control.

CCTV shows the older model maroon red Commodore driving in wild circles outside Flinders St station, missing pedestrians by centimetres just before 1.40pm.

An overturned baby pram has been photographed at the scene, with one witness telling Sky News the infant – believed to be "three or four" – "may not have made it". It now appears that fear has been confirmed, with reports the child died at the scene.

In a bizarre coincidence, the former Victorian police commissioner Christine Nixon, was on the scene. The driver reportedly missed Ms Nixon by a metre and the former top cop helped direct traffic in the chaotic minutes after the carnage.

"I just stood there for 15 or 20 minutes directing traffic. No one disobeyed my instructions," she said.

A mother was reportedly asking Ms Nixon, "Where is my baby? Where is my baby?" Ms Nixon answered, "I don't know, the child is not in the pram."

The Royal Melbourne Children's Hospital has confirmed four admissions, with one child listed as critical and the other three in serious conditions.

Another witness, Matthew Edwards, has told that he saw the "car had come up on to the footpath and ran people over for a block or two."

"Someone was hit out the front of Myer and another person was laying on the ground in a pool of blood in front of the Commonwealth building.

"Police were stopping people from going any further, saying 'you don't want to go up there' which means it much have been pretty bad."

Mr Edwards said witnesses were quick to grab their mobile phones as police swarmed on the area while paramedics treated victims.

"People were making a human barricade around a lady bleeding on the footpath. She was laying on her stomach – there was blood everywhere."

He said the car had mowed people down in the exact place he was standing only moments earlier. Another witness said they saw the driver "doing burnouts, screaming to a lot of's like something out of a movie."l
Update at 10:00 a.m. ET: anon1 submitted the following article, unfortunately without a link:
Australia: Police ask reporter to take down video of witness saying car attacker was screaming "Allahu akbar"

Andrea Hamblin is a reporter for the Herald Sun. Her tweet below indicates that the police are not so much as investigating the car attack that killed at least three people and wounded many more in Melbourne as they are actively trying to cover up evidence that it was a jihad attack. They don’t want people to think this was jihad, and are working to conceal evidence that it was.

What do they think this denial will get them? Do they think it will please and pacify Muslims in Australia, such that there will be no more jihad attacks of this kind? If so, they’re in for a rude awakening. Or do they have some agenda that involves wanting to keep Australians ignorant and complacent about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat?
video of eyewitness interview (censored in Australia) at website
And from the Daily Mail at 10:45 a.m. ET, which of course has photos of the miscreant:
The 26-year-old man behind the wheel has been identified as Dimitrious 'Jimmy' Gargasoulas, a Melbourne local who was charged with family violence offences last weekend and was out on bail.

Gargasoulas was wearing nothing but red underwear when he was detained by police at the Elizabeth Street end of the mall. He remains under police guard in St Vincent's Hospital and is yet to be questioned.

Gargasoulas recently posted on his Facebook page claiming he was not Greek Tongan, but rather: 'Greek islamic kurdish ANGEL OF CULT' (sic).


Officers said the incident is believed to be linked to a stabbing of a man in Windsor, in Melbourne's south east at 2am on Friday.

The offender was known to police for a string of family violence-related assaults and suffers mental health and drug-related issues, according to the Victorian Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton.
The other kind of jihadi, then -- a nutter loser who either picked up the zeitgeist or wandered into the wrong corner of the internet and was groomed.

Home Front: Politix: Saul Alinsky Leaves the White House
Posted by Pappy 01/20/2017  00:00 4 Comments 280 words Read the whole thing on page 4
When Barack Obama leaves the White House tomorrow, he leaves with his worst dreams unrealized. Still, what he leaves behind is awful. Thank goodness he’ll be gone.

The total list of bad faith, bad (lack of) integrity, bad policies, bad law, and bad results is almost too long to compile. (Its legal arguments were so laughable that it lost far more cases before a unanimous Supreme Court, including its own appointees, than any other president.)

All of those outrages above, though, will in the long run be little remembered in comparison with the three major self-inflicted disasters of the Obama presidency: The near-doubling of the national debt, the near-ruin of our health-insurance system, and the extreme diminution of American prestige and power worldwide combined with the rise of the Islamic State (henceforth ISIS).

As for ISIS, it is unclear whether the Obamites actually encouraged its early growth (by mistake), or merely were surprised by its virulence and dangerous effectiveness — which is bad enough, and undeniable. Either way, ISIS grew and committed almost unimaginable atrocities on Obama’s watch.

While we should never blame anybody for terrorist atrocities but the terrorists themselves, and while no sensible person would ever accuse Obama of secretly intending ISIS to thrive as it has, it is fair to observe that his policies against it — just like Clinton’s and the early Bush-43’s policies against Al Qaida — failed to adequately stem its rise.

The world is a much more parlous place because of Obama’s legacy. He entered office on an Alinskyite power trip, wanting to completely transform America. He failed at that, thank goodness, but he did succeed in weakening this great nation.
#1: But, at least, now the World knows that USA is not racist (do I need sark?).
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:27 ||Comments

#2: The choice was either racist or stupid . . . .
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 03:21 ||Comments

#3: Obama's legacy: the Caliphate reappeared to terrorise the world complete with head-choppings, crucifixions and stonings for the first time in a century.

Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 05:01 ||Comments

#4: Actually, I want him put to use for our side.
Posted by: charger|| 2017-01-20 09:49 ||Comments

Good morning
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 5 Comments 17 words Read the whole thing on page 1
#1: Was ever seen so callipygian
An ass alabastrine, not Stygian?
This veres, which I'd worsen
If not for a person
From Porlock, is merely Coleridgean.
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2017-01-20 07:18 ||Comments

#2: Is Fanny an ancestor of the Kardashians?
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 07:29 ||Comments

#3: You promised Alan! :(
Posted by: Shipman || 2017-01-20 07:46 ||Comments

#4: The previous Junk-In-The-Trunk era.
They always underestimate that gravity wins in the end.
Posted by: Procopius2k|| 2017-01-20 08:11 ||Comments

#5: No doubt the inspiration for those timeless lyrics "Shake a tail-feather, Baby"
Posted by: Omoluper the Low-priced5494|| 2017-01-20 10:12 ||Comments

Africa North: Over 80 IS Fighters Killed in U.S. Strikes in Libya
Posted by trailing wife 01/20/2017  00:00 4 Comments 740 words Read the whole thing on page 1
More on this from yesterday.
[AnNahar] More than 80 Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
jihadists were killed in a U.S. aerial blitz on training camps in Libya, including fighters involved in plotting attacks in Europe, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday.

The Pentagon made the highly unusual decision to conduct the air strikes with a pair of B-2 stealth bombers
...when you care enough to send the very best...
that flew to North Africa on a 34-hour mission from their base in Missouri in America's Midwest.
...and you don't want to ask anyone's permission...
That would be Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, for those who wish to be precise.
The last time the distinctive, bat-shaped planes were used in Libya was in 2011 during the mission that led to the ouster of longtime leader Muammar Qadaffy
...a proud Arab institution for 42 years, now among the dear departed, though not the dearest...
Wednesday's massive strike saw the B-2s and Reaper drones unleash about 100 bombs on the IS training camps -- equating to more than one bomb per jihadi that was killed.

The camps were located about 45 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of the coastal city of Sirte, Qadaffy's former home town that IS for a time turned into a stronghold as it attempted to expand its presence in Libya.

Speaking on his last day in office, Carter said the targets "certainly are people who were actively plotting operations in Europe, and may also have been connected with some attacks that have already occurred in Europe."

The air assault came a month after the United States had officially wrapped up its military operations in and around Sirte. The Pentagon launched that mission, Operation Odyssey Lightning, on August 1 and it comprised about 500 strikes. When operations concluded last month, following Sirte's "liberation," the Pentagon left open the possibility of conducting additional anti-IS attacks if Libya's Government of National Accord asked for help in doing so.

Wednesday's strike was conducted in full coordination with the GNA, Pentagon front man Peter Cook said, noting the operation had been authorized by outgoing President Barack Obama
That’s just how white folks will do you....
He displayed brief footage taken ahead of the strike showing a group of men standing by two camouflaged pick-up trucks and unloading what appeared to be bombs or rockets.

Officials said no civilians were thought to have been killed and no women or children were present during the massive strike.

Cook would not discuss why the Air Force chose to use the B-2s, or whether it was a show of force as Obama leaves the White House ahead of President-elect Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
's inauguration on Friday.
#1: More on this from yesterday.

Could you post this again tomorrow, too? For some reason I find this just as enjoyable each time I read it.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:08 ||Comments

#2: I don't see why you enjoy it so much gorb - have you looked up their birth rates?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:01 ||Comments

#3: We watched, amused, from very far,
A pasha wield his scimitar:
He spun and slashed, but when he'd freeze,
There still were several thousand bees,
And every time he stopped to pray,
The bees redoubled their affray,
So in the end, as Allah willed,
His tombstone read, "A million killed!"
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2017-01-20 08:02 ||Comments

#4: Fun, Zenobia F!

Ask and ye shall receive, g(r)omgoru. From the CIA World Factbook Libya page:

Total fertility rate:
2.04 children born/woman (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
41.9% (2007)
Posted by: trailing wife|| 2017-01-20 09:28 ||Comments

China-Japan-Koreas: N. Korea repeats threat to test ICBM
Posted by Steve White 01/20/2017  00:00 2 Comments 242 words Read the whole thing on page 2
North Korea on Friday repeated its threat to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at any time and place ahead of the imminent launch of the Donald Trump administration.

North Korean leader Fat Boy Kim Jong-un claimed in his New Year's address that his country has reached the final stage of ICBM development, followed by the foreign ministry's Jan. 8 assertion that Pyongyang can run an ICBM test at any time and place if its leader orders it. On Thursday, the South Korean military said the North has probably built two ICBMs and placed them on mobile launchers for a test in the near future.

"An ICBM test-firing is a fair self-defense step to counter the U.S. threat of a nuclear war against us (the North) that nobody can argue," the Rodong Sinmun, a daily of the North's ruling Workers' Party, said in a commentary.

The U.S. has nothing to say about whatever the North makes and tests to counter its nuclear blackmail, the daily said.

"We don't care what others say, and our ICBM will be test-fired at a certain time and place which our leadership will decide."

It's simply a robber's sophistry for the U.S., which conducted a Minuteman III ICBM test last year, to regard the North's ICBM test as a provocation and intimidation, the daily said.
#1: If they tested it on Mecca during Eid, I wouldn't really mind
Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 05:04 ||Comments

#2: I wonder if that couldn't be arranged . . . .
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 06:30 ||Comments

The Grand Turk: Two suspects remanded over Russian envoy’s assassination
Posted by Steve White 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 144 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Wednesday detained, Thursday arrested. The Turkish police are moving fast.
Two suspects, including one police officer, were arrested Thursday in connection to the assassination of Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Anadolu reported.

Police detained five suspects Wednesday, including police officer Sercan Baser and tradesman Enes Asim Silin. The pair was remanded later by an Ankara court pending trial under accusations of "being members of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO)".

The court approved the release of three other suspects under judicial control.

Karlov was fatally shot Dec. 19 by Mevlut Mert Altintas as the diplomat delivered a speech at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital. Altintas was later shot dead in an exchange of fire with security personnel.

Africa Horn: Several soldiers killed in attack on SNA convoy
Posted by Steve White 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 108 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Several Somali military soldiers were killed in an ambush attack by Al shabaab fighters in Bakol region, south-west of Somalia on Thursday. The Al shabaab attack took place at Marerey area, a small semi-forest area that links Hudur town to El-Berde district, according to sources in the military.

Pro-al shabaab media outlets reported the militants killed a number of government soldiers following an ambush on a vehicle transporting Mira from Hudur to El Berde town.

Somali military commanders in the region did not comment on Al shabaab’s claim of killing soldiers in attack. The residents said Al shabaab has stepped up such raids in the rural areas.

Africa Horn: UPDF vows retaliation for Al-Shabaab killing of captured Ugandan soldier
Posted by Steve White 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 391 words Read the whole thing on page 2
The army yesterday warned that al-Shabaab insurgents will pay for “inhumanly” executing a Ugandan soldier whom they captured in August 2015. The outgoing army spokesperson, Lt Col Paddy Ankuda, said al-Shabaab had violated the international law which protects prisoners of war from being killed by the belligerent forces.

“We have watched the video and it’s obviously unacceptable,” Lt Col Ankunda said. “The al-Shabaab is breaking international law, they will answer for their criminality.”

Lt Col Ankunda does not say how al-Shabaab will pay but insists action will be taken. Under Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 1949, prisoners of war are not supposed to be mistreated.
Since Al Shabaab are not signatories, that does not apply.
The execution of Pte Masasa, who hails from Busia District, is captured in a graphic video released by al- Shabaab on Tuesday. The video titled ‘’So they may take heed; the final message from Ugandan prisoner of war [POW]’’ shows Pte Masasa being shot twice in the head.

He was captured by the insurgents when they attacked a UPDF base in Janaale in South west of Mogadishu and killed 19 soldiers.

The insurgents also forced Pte Masasa to make a statement saying that Ugandan soldiers went to Somalia “just for the money”. He goes ahead to tell Ugandan soldiers to stay in their own country and not to deploy to Somalia. “It’s possible to get a salary even back in Uganda,” he says in the video.

This is the third video the insurgents are releasing after his capture. The first two videos were released last year when he made an emotional appeal to President Museveni to rescue him and also sent greetings to his wife he called Eva Achan and children. Despite his plea, the government has not come out to issue any statement on the soldier’s fate.

After the attack on Janaale UPDF base, the outgoing Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala, set up a board of inquiry chaired by Brig Jack Bakasumba, which found out that the commanders didn’t handle the operational requirements well.

The inquiry also found that the Janaale UPDF defensive position, manned by 200 UPDF troops, was overwhelmed by the al-Shabaab attackers who were estimated to be between 350 and 500 in number.

India-Pakistan: Killed for ‘honour’
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 474 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] ZEENAT Rafiq was one of around a thousand women murdered in the name of honour in Pakistain last year. In the vast majority of such cases, the wheels of justice do not merely turn slowly; they do not turn at all. In Zeenat’s case however, there has been a reckoning. An anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Monday sentenced her mother, Parveen Rafiq, to death and her brother to life imprisonment for murdering the 18-year-old on the pretext of honour. The young woman’s killing in June last year had repulsed the nation, not only for the gruesome manner in which it was carried out -- Zeenat being doused with kerosene and set alight -- but also because it was her own mother who had torched her and then reportedly exulted over her actions. Even for Pakistain, inured to the slaying of women by fathers, brothers, husbands and the occasional uncle or brother-in-law, maternal filicide is a bridge too far.

The back story was a familiar one: a woman marrying of her own free will and a family determined to mete out the ultimate punishment to her for having ’shamed’ them. While this paper continues to oppose the death penalty, one must note that there has been accountability in Zeenat’s case. Most ’honour’ killers go scot-free courtesy the legal loophole whereby families of victims can forgive the perpetrator, a particularly grotesque provision in the context of honour killings where the victim’s family and the perpetrator are often one and the same. However,
a good lie finds more believers than a bad truth...
that the accused in this instance have been punished owes more to the fact they were charged under the Anti Terrorism Act rather than the legal landscape for this terrible crime having changed significantly. Although parliament in October 2016 enacted amendments to ostensibly strengthen the law against such murders, the legislation falls short on an important front by not making honour killings non-compoundable, that is, one in which a compromise cannot be effected. Instead, it does little more than prescribe imprisonment for life, ie 25 years, for those found guilty of the crime -- and that too is subject to judicial discretion. That is not enough to serve the ends of justice, particularly given the problem has its roots in the society’s cultural mindset. These legal shortcomings should be addressed and police, prosecutors and judges trained to appreciate that so-called honour is never a mitigating factor in murder.

India-Pakistan: Clashes as protesters demand missing activists face blasphemy charge
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 288 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[DAWN] Protesters threw stones at supporters of five missing Pak activists on Thursday and demanded that police charge the missing men under a blasphemy law that carries a mandatory death sentence.

The activists, who have posted blogs criticising the political influence of the military and speaking up for the rights of religious minorities, have all gone missing separately since January 4, and it is unclear what happened to them.

Shortly after their disappearances, blasphemy allegations against them appeared on social media and in a complaint to police.

About 100 members of Tehrik-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah arrived at Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
Press Club and started hurling stones at people gathered there to support the missing activists.

They rolled their eyes, jumped up and down, and hollered poorly rhymed slogans real loud asking police to file blasphemy cases against the missing activists and carried banners that read: "Beheading is the punishment of blasphemers."

The activists' supporters were forced to withdraw into a nearby building.

Civil society activists said that instead of giving satisfactory answers over the recovery of the missing activists, the government and its institutions are trying to "veil their incompetence and wrongdoings by running a malicious campaign against the abductees".

Home Front: Politix: O-ver
Posted by Omenter Glomort1771 01/20/2017  00:00 9 Comments 811 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[Yahoo] WASHINGTON (AP) -- With a few final moves and a round of goodbyes, President Barack Obama quietly closed out his presidency on Thursday and prepared for life as a private citizen, as the country readied itself for President-elect Donald Trump.

Eight years after he started his presidency with a burst of activity and executive orders, Obama wound it down in low-key fashion. He didn't appear publicly during the day, and he didn't leave the White House, though he was to accompany Trump at midday Friday to the Capitol for his successor's swearing-in.

As the last remaining White House staffers packed up their belongings and cleared out, the president and first lady Michelle Obama placed a farewell call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- his last presidential call to a foreign leader. Merkel, Obama's closest international partner, is the only one of his key European allies still in power as he leaves office, though she faces a difficult re-election in September.

Hanging over Obama's departure is the reality that he's being replaced by a successor who has vowed to upend much of what he accomplished. Obama implored Americans not to vote for Trump, warning he was dangerous and unfit, but Americans elected him anyway.

In a letter to supporters, Obama said that "when the arc of progress seems slow," Americans should remember that they are empowered as citizens to influence the nation's future for the better. He added: "We shall overcome."

His administration also disclosed it had transferred four final detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, but conceded Obama had failed to fulfill his promise to close the prison.
"All that I've learned in my time in office, I've learned from you," Obama said. "You made me a better president, and you made me a better man."

Only a skeleton staff remained in the West Wing, creating an eerily quiet feeling in the normally bustling corridors. Photos of Obama and his family that for years have lined the walls were taken down, with some to be transferred to Obama's personal office, leaving big white spaces on the walls.

Most desks and offices were empty, having been vacated by staffers who departed in recent weeks. Those staffers still left were packing up their desks, handing in their phones and saying teary farewells to their colleagues.

"It has truly been a pleasure," one White House press staffer declared over the intercom.

Obama did save one major announcement for his final day: Commutations for 330 drug offenders who had appealed to him for clemency. The final round of grants brought to 1,715 the total number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted, more than any other president.
That sounds exactly the kind of thing our first Javanese president would do. Bets on how long before most of those commutations are arrested for cause, convicted, and get long sentences under the Three Strikes rule?
As his family packed up the living quarters where he and Mrs. Obama raised their two daughters, Obama received the president's daily briefing for the final time and had lunch with Vice President Joe Biden. His administration also disclosed it had transferred four final detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, but conceded Obama had failed to fulfill his promise to close the prison.
No worries. It soon will be full again, and this time they'll be allowed to get answers to questions.
Obama also staffed up for his life and work as former president, hiring a trio of former faces. Obama tapped his White House principle deputy press secretary to be his senior adviser and a former White House aide to be his spokesman, while first lady Michelle Obama selected her communications director to stay on in that role when she becomes the former first lady.

After Trump is inaugurated on Friday, ex-President Obama will fly by helicopter to Andrews Air Force Base, where he'll speak to longtime aides to thank them for their work. Then he and his family will board the presidential aircraft for their final flight, to California, where they plan a quiet vacation in Palm Springs.

The Obamas will return later to Washington, where they have rented a home and plan to live until youngest daughter Sasha finishes high school.
Layers of editors, forsooth! One needs three of a thing to achieve -est status. Sasha is merely an -er.
#1: If you are reading this, my heartfelt congratulations. You have endured eight long, painful years and lived to see the day this indolent imposter and Muslim apologist has finally left office.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 00:39 ||Comments

#2: I'll be so happy when our country is no longer under enemy control.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:40 ||Comments

#3: If you are reading this, my heartfelt congratulations. You have endured eight long, painful years and lived to see the day this indolent imposter and Muslim apologist has finally left office.

Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:46 ||Comments

#4: "That sounds exactly the kind of thing our first Javanese president would do. Bets on how long before most of those commutations are arrested for cause, convicted, and get long sentences under the Three Strikes rule?"

How many's murder charges could not be proven...?
Posted by: newc|| 2017-01-20 01:09 ||Comments

#5: I'll be so happy when our country is no longer under enemy control.

Than your happiness will have to be deterred until the Don reforms the civil service.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:37 ||Comments

#6: End of an Error.
Posted by: BrerRabbit|| 2017-01-20 03:27 ||Comments

#7: "I hear the deplorables heil him!"
"Well, Angel, you'll have to beguile him."
"Oh, Barry, you're dreamy!
Do drop by and see me...
I'll help you apply for asylum."
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2017-01-20 07:23 ||Comments

#8: I have found it amazing that my mood and outlook has improved by an order of magnitude since Nov. 9. It took months starting in 2009 to reach the depths.

I hoped that Zero would not be as bad as I feared but he quickly reached that level and then continued to descend.

Now, maybe, things will improve though I'm sure it will take time.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 08:49 ||Comments

#9: A day I have dreamed of for years and now it has finally come!

Goodbye Obumble. May a thousand sand fleas take residence in your underwear.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:41 ||Comments

Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Jordanian kills wife, daughters for 'honour'
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 3 Comments 235 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Bangla Daily Star] A Jordanian was yesterday charged with stabbing to death his wife and two young daughters and seriously wounding a third in apparent "honour" killings, judicial and security sources said.

The killings took place on Wednesday in the northern town of Ramtha and the prosecutor charged the 28-year-old with premeditated murder, a judicial source said.

A security source said the man turned himself in to the authorities after the crime, claiming to have killed them to defend the family's "honour" because he "suspected that his wife was cheating on him".

According to the security source, the couple had a row during which the wife told her husband that their three daughters -- aged three, two and one -- were not his but fathered by another man.

"He went crazy and grabbed a kitchen knife with which he stabbed his wife and three daughters," said the source.

The wife and two of the girls -- the three-year-old and the two-year-old -- were killed on the spot while the one-year-old was admitted to hospital in a serious condition, the security source added.

Murder is punishable by death by hanging in Jordan, but courts usually commute or reduce sentences in cases of so-called "honour killings," particularly if the extended family urges leniency.

The conservative Moslem majority country sees around 15 to 20 such cases a year.
#1: A security source said the man turned himself in to the authorities after the crime, claiming to have killed them to defend the family's "honour"

What family? They're all dead.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:14 ||Comments

#2: "Islam".

I look forward to the day when its universally reviled.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:37 ||Comments

#3: So, with a population less than New Jersey, they have 15-20 cases of honor murder. Note that's not deaths since some are multiple murders.

Wonder if that "Women's" march will address this?
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 07:50 ||Comments

Caribbean-Latin America: Colombia to hold peace talks with last rebel group
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 232 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Bangla Daily Star] Colombia announced a deal Wednesday to hold peace talks with its last active rebel group, the ELN.

The move aims to seal "complete peace" after the signing of a historic deal with the bigger FARC guerrilla force, President Juan Manuel Santos said.

"I can tell you we have come to an agreement" on launching talks, having settled a dispute about the release of a hostage that National Liberation Army (ELN) rebels were holding, Santos said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
...home of the Helvetians, famous for cheese, watches, yodeling, and William Tell...
Delegations from the two sides meeting in Ecuador said later they had agreed that the ELN would release the hostage and the government would in return grant pardons to two members of the rebel group.

The talks will then start on February 7, they said.

"We have been trying to start these official negotiations for three years now and the truth is it has been a very difficult process," Santos said.

"This second stage that is going to begin next month is extremely important because it will allow us to achieve a complete peace, not only with the FARC but with the ELN, too."

The Grand Turk: ‘HDP lawmakers’ arrests planned by AKP,’ says jailed co-chair Demirtas
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 517 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Hurriyet Daily News] A enjugged
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
co-chair of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has said the arrests of the party’s politicians were planned by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) "hour by hour around a table."

"The process that brought us to jail was an organization planned hour by hour and day by day by high-level AKP members sitting around a table," HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtas told daily Cumhuriyet from the prison in which he is kept in the northwestern province of Edirne, adding that they decided to arrest the politicians, including the party’s other co-chair, Figen Yuksekdag, after the grinding of the peace processor between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the government ended.

Demirtas also said the fact that the HDP passed the 10 percent election threshold in the June 7, 2015, and Nov. 1, 2015, elections affected the AKP politicians’ decision to arrest the deputies.

"In the June 7, 2015, elections, the HDP’s equilibrium in politics turned in favor of the people and against the hegemonic clique, and that’s when the AKP pushed the button. It was seen that voting could change a lot in the June 7 elections and because it can’t be directly and openly forbidden, voting for the HDP was banned.

there is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened...
it was seen in Nov. 1 elections that this didn’t work and with the HDP passing the threshold once again, they saw that the HDP didn’t allow the AKP to change the constitution without a referendum. The arrest process targeting us was started then," he also said.

Noting that the AKP made the arrests possible by declaring a state of emergency and issuing emergency decrees, Demirtas said the AKP saw it as "essential" to push the crowds represented by the HDP out of politics.

"According to the surveys, support for the presidency never past 42 percent. The plan was to raise nationalist and chauvinistic feelings through midnight operations against the HDP, to raise the support above 50 percent with the nationalism of the AKP and the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party] and to present the charter amendments to parliament," he said.

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Syrian regulars fight off ISIS counetrattack in Deir Ezzor
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 411 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[al-Manar] Syrian army units continue their engagement on Thursday with terrorists of the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group in the environs of Deir Ezzor military air base.

The following footages show a part of the fierce clashes, including the destruction of an ISIL booby-trapped vehicle before arriving in the base environs.

Air strikes against terrorists’ positions also appear in the video.
Video at the link

As reported previously in Asharq al-Awsat
Beirut – Forces backing the Syrian regime, Russia and Iran-proxy Hezbollah, stepped up the alertness of its units based in eastern Syria. The sharpened presence is poured in an effort to counter an expansive attack staged by ISIS hardliners desiring to take over the eastern city of Deir al-Zor.

Even though Hezbollah militants have set foothold in Deir al-Zor, some eight months ago, a mayday was dispatched by the group calling for air support to thwart the ISIS-led offensive against the regime enclave.

“Hezbollah militants , especially the 137 brigade, have taken base and spread across all area (Deir al-Zor) neighborhoods and alleys,” Ahmed Ramadan, website manager of “Forat (Arabic for Euphrates) Press” told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Director Rami Abdulrahman confirmed that numbers of incoming Hezbollah militants have been registered arriving at the city’s airport.

Saudi Ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah bin Yahya al-Moalimi urged the Security Council to issue an official resolution ordering the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria. The resolution would remove foreign terrorists, Hezbollah forces, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and foreign sovereign military from Syria battlefields.

Moalimi strongly defended that the Syrian people must be given the right to unconditioned self-determination, particularly in what concerns its political future.

The Saudi ambassador, stressed the importance of resolutions issued by the U.N. General Assembly, with respect to human rights in Syria as well determination to establish a divisive mechanism which gathers evidence and inklings, documenting information that could be used to hold those committing war crimes accountable for their actions.

The diplomat worded Saudi Arabia’s keenness to continue participating in all international efforts spent to bring about peace and stability in Syria. Moalimi welcomed the Security Council’s resolution No. 2336, which stressed the need to work on an exact political transition in Syria, according to the Geneva statement and decisions formerly issued by the body.

Terror Networks: ISIL militants in Raqqa sent footage from inside nightclub attacked by Masharipov
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 247 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Hurriyet Daily News] Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) murderous Moslems in Raqqa sent footage from inside the Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortaköy to prepare ISIS hard boy Abdulkadir Masharipov to carry out the attack, according to testimony from the Uzbek hard boy that was released to the press.

Masharipov, who was caught on Jan. 16 in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district, said in new testimony that he watched the video over and over because he was not familiar with the interior of the posh nightclub on the shore of the Bosphorus.

Afghanistan: Taliban militant and his 4 sons killed by own bomb in North of Afghanistan
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 117 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A Taliban krazed killer was killed along with his four sons in an kaboom triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which had made for an attack. According to the local officials, the incident took place in Qosh Tapa area. Provincial governor’s front man Zabiullah Amani confirmed that IED went off prematurely in the residence of the Taliban militan.
#1: Words escape me. Except for Ha Ha! Serves you right!!
Posted by: Steven|| 2017-01-20 04:43 ||Comments

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Syrian forces encircle Wadi Barada
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 592 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[al-Manar] Syrian forces have reportedly encircled a militant-held area on the Damascus outskirts, where the capital’s water supplies are located.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that the route between Wadi Barada, and the adjacent militant-controlled Qalamoun region, was cut on Thursday.

SOHR Head Rami Abdel Rahman said the government forces and allied fighters “besieged Wadi Barada” following “an advance from the north” the previous day.

Home to the key Ain al-Fijeh spring, Wadi Barada has been rocked by fierce clashes since December 2016. The government forces have been fighting in the area against Takfiri militants, who have damaged the water processing facilities there and cut water flow to some 5.5 million people in Damascus and its suburbs.

Last week, locals struck a truce deal with the Syrian authorities to allow the water pipes to be repaired.

However, the agreement was called off after terrorists in Wadi Barada killed Ahmad al-Ghadban, a representative of the Syrian government, who would coordinate reconciliation talks between Damascus and militant groups.

Meanwhile, an unnamed Syrian military source confirmed that the government troops had encircled Wadi Barada and that fighting was ongoing.

“Ain al-Fijeh has practically fallen militarily. The armed groups are surrounded… and have no choice but to accept the settlement or the continuation of the military operation,” the source said.

Hezbullies weigh in with their own load of bullsh*t
[al-Manar] Syrian army managed on Thursday to seize control over Wadi Tamama and Abu Salem crossing in Wadi Barada area in rural Damascus, Hezbollah Military Media Bureau reported.

The seizure tightens the grip against terrorists and totally isolates the barrens and Ifra village from Wadi Barada region. It also blocks the supply to armed groups from the barrens in subject.

Syrian rebels advance in eastern Ghouta

[AAWSAT] The Syrian regime has increased the pace of its military operations in the area of Wadi Barada which is situated in the north-western countryside of the capital Damascus. It has launched violent attacks, in coordination with Hezbollah fighters and militants loyal to it, on locations occupied by opposition factions in Ain Al-Fijah and the town of Ifrah in an attempt to crack down on the region and regain control of towns in Wadi Barada. Meanwhile, the opposition continue to advance, albeit slowly, in eastern Ghouta and they managed to kill a number of Syrian soldiers after tunnels used by Assad’s forces near the city of Harasta were bombed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the clashes that took place yesterday were concentrated in the vicinity of Ain Al-Fijah and on the Kafeer Al-Zayt and Wadi Allouz fronts. It added that the clashes occurred at the same time as “strikes carried out by warplanes and helicopters on the village of Ain Al-Fijah and the area surrounding it”. The observatory also said that the regime’s forces “targeted the area where the clashes were taking place with ground- to-ground missiles that it launched from its positions overlooking Wadi Barada”.

An activist in Damascus named Diaa Husseini said that “attacks carried out by the regime and its allies focused, in the last few hours, on the towns of Ain Al-Fijah, Deir Muqrin, Ifrah and Kafeer Al-Zayt”. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the regime is giving the factions two options; either they lay down their arms and become displaced or they will continue to be bombed and the dire humanitarian situation will deteriorate.

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: ISIS forces capture humanitarian supplies
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 138 words Read the whole thing on page 1
ISIS is gonna party like it's 2014 tonite!
[Al-manar] Syria’s Deir Ezzor has lost its only lifeline, as humanitarian supply deliveries were cut to the town due to the air drop zone being surrounded by ISIL terrorists, Jan Egeland, senior adviser to the UN special envoy for Syria, said on Thursday.

“The ISIL terrorists have launched a major offensive, have cut the besieged area now in two, and have captured, among other things, the drop zone for humanitarian supplies. So, it is not possible, it has not been possible since Sunday to drop new humanitarian relief to the Deir Ezzor people, who really do not have any other lifeline than relief by air,” Egeland said.

Deir Ezzor, which is still held by Syrian government forces, has been under siege by the ISIL terrorists.

Afghanistan: Taliban can carry on insurgency for a very long time warns Sartaj Aziz
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 521 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Talibs group can carry on insurgency for a very long time, Pakistain’s foreign affairs adviser Sartaj PrunefaceAziz
...Adviser to Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on National Security and Foreign Affairs, who believes in good jihadis and bad jihadis as a matter of national policy...
said as he insist that the Afghan leaders to review their "fragmented" approach to peace talks with the Taliban on containing and ending the resilient insurgency.

Aziz made the remarks during an interview with the Voice of America.

He said the group may not be able to capture (the) bulk of Afghanistan or the capital or any other (major urban) place.

"Their approach to talks with the Taliban is very, very fragmented. We want the (Afghan) government of national unity to succeed, to establish its writ, we want them to send a clear signal to the Taliban and other groups that the whole world wants them (insurgents) to talk (to Kabul
...the capital of Afghanistan. Home to continuous fighting from 1992 to 1996 between the forces of would-be strongman and Pak ISI/Jamaat-e-Islami sock puppet Gulbuddin Hekmayar and the Northern Alliance, a period which won Hek the title Most Evil Man in the World and didn't do much for the reputations of the Northern Alliance guys either....
) and solve the problem because nobody wants fighting in Afghanistan to continue," he added.

Aziz also added "I think they will come under greater pressure and so, if serious negotiations begin in 2017 that will be our best hope for peace in Afghanistan."

The Afghan government adopted a strict stance against the Taliban group and other turban groups after they rejected direct peace talks plea and decided to pursue violence by announcing their spring offensive in mid-April this year.

Earlier, the Afghan government was asking Pakistain to take actions against the bandidos murderous Moslems pursuing violence, a step that should be taken in line with the agreement reached in Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG).

The coordination group was formed earlier last year with an aim to help revive peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban and the group consisted of representatives from Afghanistan, Pakistain, China, and the United States.

Afghanistan: Clash in Kabul as top police official arrested over bribery
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 403 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A senior police official was tossed in the slammer
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
in Kabul
...the capital of Afghanistan. Home to continuous fighting from 1992 to 1996 between the forces of would-be strongman and Pak ISI/Jamaat-e-Islami sock puppet Gulbuddin Hekmayar and the Northern Alliance, a period which won Hek the title Most Evil Man in the World and didn't do much for the reputations of the Northern Alliance guys either....
by the security forces over bribery charges.

The police chief of Police District # 13 Hussain Dad was arrested by the operatives of the major crimes branch of the ministry of interior.

Sources privy of the development said Hussain Dad was arrested during an operation after he received AFN 50,000 in bribe.

The sources further added that a clash broke out during Hussain Dad’s arrest and two security personnel of the major crimes directorate were maimed.

This comes as the government has stepped up campaign against the corruption in line with its commitment to the international community to root out graft from the key government institutions.

A former senior General of the Ministry of Interior was tossed in the calaboose
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
for 14 years over corruption by a special tribunal formed to try the officials accused of corruption.

General Abdul Wasi Raufi was found guilty of corruption by the special tribunal holding its first public trial earlier this month.

The tribunal chief Sher Aqa Munib said the court also awarded a fine of AFN 18,000 besides awarding a jail term of 14 years.

Gen. Raufi was found guilty of receiving $150,000 in bribe and was tried by the special tribunal.

Arabia: 9 die in rocket artillery attack in Taiz
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 217 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Just yesterday they were crowing about Houthis abandoning their rocket launchers
ADEN: Twin rockets fired from the rebel-held outskirts of Yemen’s third city Taiz killed nine civilians late on Wednesday, a medic and a loyalist military source said.

A garrison loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has held out in the city largely surrounded by the Houthi rebels and their allies who control the capital Sanaa and much of the north.

Taiz is one of the key battlegrounds of the civil war and government-held neighborhoods have come under repeated rebel fire.
A medical source at the city’s Al-Rawda hospital told AFP that seven civilians were also wounded by the rocket fire.

A loyalist military source said that the rockets struck one after the other in the city’s Al-Nour district.

Since March 2015, pro-government forces have been backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.

The UN has stepped up peace efforts this week with UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed meeting Hadi at his base in second city Aden on Monday.

The envoy has been pushing a peace plan that would see a restored cease-fire leading to a political transition under which Hadi’s powers would be significantly reduced.

The push for a negotiated settlement has been driven by mounting civilian casualties.

-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-: Italy earthquake: 'Many dead' in avalanche-hit hotel
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 239 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Al Jazeera] Several people have died after a ski hotel was buried by an avalanche in earthquake-hit central Italia, according to Italian media.

"There are many dead," Antonio Crocetta, the head of a group of Alpine police that was trying to reach the cut-off hotel, was quoted as saying on Thursday.

SkyTG24 television said some dead were found inside the Hotel Rigopiano in the town of Farindola on the Gran Sasso mountain in the province of Pescara in the Abruzzo region.

Media reports said there had been at least 20 guests and seven staff at the Hotel Rigopiano on the lower slopes of the Gran Sasso mountain when the first of four powerful quakes hit the region on Wednesday morning.

The rescuers at the hotel were reported to have a snow mobile capable of transporting up to eight people.

Ambulances were blocked by two metres of snow some nine kilometres away, according to the civil protection agency.

Antonio Di Marco, president of the province of Pescara, which includes the mountain village of Farindola, close to where the hotel is located, said two people had been found alive.

"We don't know yet how many people are unaccounted for or dead," he wrote on his Facebook page.

"What is certain is that the building took a direct hit from the avalanche, to the point that it was moved by 10 metres."

Afghanistan: 5 insurgents die in Kapisa
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 105 words Read the whole thing on page 1
At least five militants were killed and 11 others were wounded in a military operation carried out by security forces in Tagab district in Kapisa province, the 201 Selab Corps said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement said the Operation Ghubar was aimed at clearing parts of the district of insurgents.

According to the statement, at least six villages were cleared of militants during the operation over the past 24 hours.

The military operation has been ongoing in insecure areas of Tagab district for the past 16 days, the statement said.

It added that at least two security force members were wounded in the operation in past 24 hours.

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: ISIS attacks Kurd forces HQ in Raqqa
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 336 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ARA News] Raqqa – At least three Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) were killed and several others were wounded in an attack by Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants west of Raqqa, in northeastern Syria, military sources said on Thursday.

“Daesh terrorists attacked one of our security offices in the Suwaydiya village west of Raqqa,” the YPG leadership said in a statement, using another acronym for ISIS.

“Three of our fighters lost their lives in the offensive,” it said. The fighters were identified as Ferhad Haji [aka Brusk Kobani], Ahmed Hisen [aka Mazlum Kobani], and Bozan Mihemed [aka Zinar Kobani]. The three fighters were from the Kurdish city of Kobane participating in the battle for Raqqa.

The same attack caused the injury of at least five YPG fighters.

“ISIS used mortar shells and heavy machine guns during the offensive, that was aimed at impeding the progress made by the US-backed forces towards Raqqa city,” YPG officer Habun Osman told ARA News.

The YPG is a leading faction within the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), that are currently in fight with ISIS in Syria’s northeastern Raqqa Governorate.

The SDF, which includes allied Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian militias, concurrently announced that it has captured 2480 square kilometers, clearing 196 villages and dozens of farms and strategic hills in western Raqqa Governorate as part of the second phase of the US-backed Euphrates Wrath Operation. During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, which began on November 6, the SDF liberated roughly 560 km² in northern Raqqa.

“Thus, since the beginning of the battle for Raqqa, 3200 square kilometers have been cleared, including 236 villages,” the SDF leaders announced on Monday.

The SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation with the objective of securing Raqqa’s western countryside and Tabqa Dam, which bridges the Euphrates River. The first phase of the operation focused on securing the banks of the Balikh River.

The long-term objective of Euphrates Wrath remains the elimination of the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa city.

Southeast Asia: Malaysia: Muslim countries should end Rohingya crisis
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 403 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Al Jazeera] Malaysia has called for an organization of Islamic countries to help end the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Moslem minority, while Indonesia has offered to be a controller to find a solution to the ongoing crisis.

Prime Minister Najib Razak told the opening of a special meeting of foreign ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation that the violence against Rohingya, which has galvanised Moslems in Southeast Asia, was no longer Myanmar's internal affair as it has fuelled an exodus of refugees that could destabilise the region.

He claimed that the violence must end otherwise gangs including the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIS, as know as ISIS) could infiltrate the Rohingya.

"OIC member states are well aware that terrorist organizations such as ISIS could seek to take advantage of this situation," Najib said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Security forces in Buddhist-majority Myanmar are accused of widespread abuses against the Rohingya, including killings, rape and the burning of thousands of homes that have driven an estimated 65,000 refugees across the border into Bangladesh in the past three months.

Myanmar's army began the latest crackdown in Rakhine state in October after nine coppers were killed along the border with Bangladesh.

Great White North: Canada's Indigenous call for national suicide strategy
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 4 Comments 246 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Al Jazeera] Indigenous leaders in Canada are calling for a national strategy to combat a suicide crisis in their communities, after two 12-year-old girls did away with himself earlier this month.

Wapekeka First Nation in northern Ontario is "in a state of shock, grief, and crisis" after Jolynn Winter and Chantel Fox, both 12, died after committing suicide on Jan. 8 and 10, respectively.

Local leaders say they discovered that several youth in the fly-in, Oji-Cree community had entered into a "suicide pact" last year.

But they say the federal government turned down their request for additional health funding to prevent the suicides.

"Our community plan was turned down by government and now two are dead," said Joshua Frogg, a spokesperson for the community, in a statement on Wednesday.

Located in northwestern Ontario, about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, Wapekeka First Nation is home to about 430 residents.

"I can't believe I had to bury my daughter. It was so hard to say goodbye," said Sandra Fox, Chantel’s mother. "I honestly didn't think I could survive losing Chantel."

Since the girls' deaths, four other local children were flown out of the community ‐ it is not accessible by road ‐ to be placed on 24-hour suicide watch, while 24 others have been identified as high risk for suicide.

"Every community member is deeply affected. These children could be alive today and their deaths preventable," Frogg said.
#1: Frogg? I'd change that name.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:15 ||Comments

#2: Thought this was about Canada's current immigration policy.
Posted by: Dino White9248|| 2017-01-20 01:01 ||Comments

#3: Somehow, I don't feel much compassion - guess it's my training as evolutionary biologist.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:38 ||Comments

#4: "after two 12-year-old girls did away with himself"

Uhmm I think I see the problem...
Posted by: Seeking cure for ignorance|| 2017-01-20 10:48 ||Comments

Iraq: Baghdad Bomb and Bullet Bulletin
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 136 words Read the whole thing on page 1

2 wounded in bomb attack in Euphrates district

Baghdad ( Two persons had been wounded in the blast of an improvised explosive device, west of Baghdad, an official source told Alsumaria on Thursday.

The source said, “Today, an improvised explosive device, emplaced near shops in Euphrates neighborhood, west of Baghdad, exploded, resulting in the injury of two persons.”

“Security forces cordoned off the area of incident, while ambulances transferred the wounded to a nearby hospital,” the source added on condition of anonymity.

The capital, Baghdad, is witnessing several suicide attacks using booby-trapped vehicles, explosive vests and improvised explosive devices, as well as separate attacks against civilians and security members.

Iraq: Hezbullies say ISIS deployments tripled in Diyala, Salahuddin
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 224 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Baghdad ( The number of Islamic State troops at the borders between the provinces of Diyala and Salahuddin has tripled in the past few months, a senior leader at al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) ha said.

Udai al-Kahdran, a commander at the militias fighting IS along with the government forces, told Alsumaria News on Wednesday that the fact indicates the extremist group’s willingness to distract security forces. He said the increase in militants at that region came as many had regularly sneaked from Kirkuk’s town of Hawija, an IS stronghold, to Salahuddin’s Mutaibijah and surrounding areas.

IS is trying to create “a new hotspot to preoccupy security forces”, and to “put hurdles on the way to liberating Hawija, according to Khadran.

IS is currently losing much ground at Mosul, the group’s biggest stronghold in Iraq, as security forces have liberated half of the city since operations launched in October 2016. But the group has stepped up violence against security and civilians in other provinces, which observers believe is an attempt to distract government forces and to make up for losses in Mosul.

On Wednesday, IS attackers killed four tribal combatants and six policemen, and kidnapped five police personnel in the east and south of Salahuddin’s city of Tikrit. Another attack in Hamreen killed nine members of Diyala police forces.

Africa Subsaharan: Adama Barrow sworn in as Gambia's president in Senegal
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 747 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Al Jazeera] Troops from a bloc of West African countries have entered Gambia
... The Gambia is actually surrounded by Senegal on all sides but its west coast. It has a population of about 1.7 million. The difference between the two is that in colonial days Senegal was ruled by La Belle France and The Gambia (so-called because there's only one of it, unlike Guinea, of which there are the Republic of Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, New Guinea, the English coin in circulation between 1663 and 1813, and Guyana, which sounds like it should be another one) was ruled by Britain...
in support of Adama Barrow, shortly after the new Gambian president called for international backing following his inauguration in neighbouring Senegal
... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees...
Longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, has refused to step down
...Hell no! The money's too good!...
despite losing a disputed December 1 presidential election to Barrow, deepening a political crisis.

In a statement, Senegal's army said on Thursday that forces from ECOWAS, West Africa's regional bloc, had begun strikes as part of an operation aimed at upholding the result of last month's vote.

Colonel Abdou Ndiaye did not specify the type of strikes, but said "significant" land, air and sea resources had been made available .

Earlier on Thursday, Barrow, who had recently sought shelter in Senegal, took the oath of office in a hastily-arranged ceremony at Gambia's embassy in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

"This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime," Barrow said in a speech immediately after being sworn in.

Not long after his inauguration, the United Nations organization originally established to war on dictatorships which was promptly infiltrated by dictatorships and is now held in thrall to dictatorships...
Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution backing Barrow and called for a peaceful transer of power.

"The people of The Gambia spoke clearly at the elections in December. They chose Adama Barrow to be their president. Their voice now needs to be heard and their will needs to be heeded by just one man," Peter Wilson, the UK deputy ambassador to the UN, said.

Earlier this week, Jammeh had declared a national state of emergency , while the parliament extended his term in office by 90 days. He has not been heard from since his mandate expired at midnight.

Gambia’s vice president steps down amid growing political crisis

[Iran Press TV] The Gambia’s vice president has resigned amid a growing political crisis in the West African country, triggered by the refusal of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh to step down despite his election loss to opposition leader, Adama Barrow.

Isatou Njie Saidy, the highest-level official to abandon Jammeh’s camp, announced her decision on Wednesday, hours before president’s mandate expires. She had been vice president of the Gambia since 1997.

The Gambia’s Minister of Education Abubacar Senghore had also resigned earlier on the same day, becoming the eighth cabinet minister to leave the government this month.

Jammeh had initially accepted the results of the December 1, 2016 election, in which Barrow was declared the winner, but later reversed his position and filed a complaint with the Supreme Court over election irregularities.

Terror Networks: The Beatings Will Continue: Iraqi and Syrian Editions
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 1618 words Read the whole thing on page 1

Residents, livestock suffer from ISIS oil fires

(Reuters) Shepherds herd blackened flocks through the Iraqi desert. Locals cough and wheeze under vast clouds of smoke, and NASA images show oil threatening to encroach on the Tigris River, a major water source.

Lit by Islamic State as they fled Iraqi forces in August, huge oil fires are still raging across northern Iraq, bringing a litany of problems in their wake.

A toxic cloud has hung for months over the town of Qayyara, just 60 km (40 miles) from Mosul where Iraqi forces are battling to defeat the militant Sunni group. It is an eerie reminder of the group’s rule of the area as traumatized residents begin to rebuild.

More than 250 square km (155 square miles) were covered in smoke for more than 21 days, according to satellite images published in November. Follow-up photos this month show oil “very close” to a tributary of the Tigris though a little less smoke as some fires have been extinguished.

Oil fires release deadly substances into the air, soil and water sources, as seen when retreating Iraqi forces lit more than 650 oil wells in Kuwait in 1991 causing a major environmental disaster.

“The smoke hurts our children, hurts us and, as we get older, it’s only going to cause us more problems,” said Sarhan Misin, 20, who works in a sweet shop just off Qayyara’s main road, adding he has begun suffering coughing fits and shortness of breath.

A doctor at the local hospital, asking not to be named for fear of reprisal by Islamic State, told Reuters he had seen many more patients with respiratory problems in recent months, though was not able to give numbers.

A shepherd herding sheep near a military checkpoint and bombed-out bridge said the oil fires were to blame for the deaths of 10 of his once-60-strong flock. The wool of the remainder turned an oily black.

“When it started, we washed them and they came back to this dark color immediately,” said Hamid Achman, 40, a former policeman turned shepherd after his brother, also a policeman, was killed by Islamic State.

ISIS using online recruiters for German prospects

Reuters) Islamic State is using “headhunters” on social media and instant messaging sites to recruit disaffected young people in Germany, some as young as 13 or 14, the head of the country’s domestic intelligence agency said on Thursday.

Hans-Georg Maassen also drew parallels between the militant Islamist group and past radical movements such as communism and Adolf Hitler’s Nationalist Socialists which also tried to lure young people keen to rebel against their parents and society.

“On social media networks there are practically headhunters who approach young people and get them interested in this (Islamist) ideology,” Maassen told foreign reporters in Berlin.

Maassen cited the case of a teenage German-Moroccan girl identified as Safia S., who is accused of stabbing a policeman at a train station in Hanover last February, and a 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy who tried to detonate two explosive devices in the western town of Ludwigshafen in December.

About 20 percent of an estimated 900 people from Germany who have been recruited by Islamic State to join the fight in Iraq and Syria are women, some as young as 13 or 14, he said.

German authorities are monitoring 548 Islamists deemed to be a security risk, but German law does not allow for their arrest until they have committed a crime, Maassen said.

He said he was satisfied that police and security officials had communicated well over the case of the failed Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri, who killed 12 people on Dec. 19 by ramming a truck through a Berlin Christmas market.

The case sparked criticism because German authorities had identified Amri, who was imprisoned in Italy for four years, as a security risk and had investigated him for various reasons, but he was never taken into custody.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Wednesday the cases of all those deemed a security risk in the aftermath of the Berlin attack would be reviewed.

Maassen said European intelligence agencies were also seeing the radicalization of other segments of society through social media, with growing numbers of people who were not previously politically active attracted to far-right groups.

Such people had their views reinforced in so-called “echo chambers” on the Internet, Maassen said.

“We’ve seen this with Islamic State, but now we’re seeing this with so-called ‘good citizens’ who are being radicalized, and we worry that this radicalization could be transformed into a willingness to commit violent acts,” Maassen said.

Support for far-right groups has grown in Germany following the arrival of more than a million migrants and asylum seekers over the past two years, many of them young Muslim men fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

ISIS troops fight each other over food

Nineveh ( One Islamic State militant was killed and two others were injured in western Mosul as the trio fought over a foodstuff load, yet another indication of growing divisions within the group as it loses more ground to Iraqi government forces.

A local source told Alsumaria News on Thursday that the trio had a heated argument over the handling of an amount of foodstuff at the centre of the town of Tal Afar.

The source added that the argument grew fiercer and developed into an armed fight which left one member killed and two others wounded. He said disputes have flared among IS members as conditions in the town grow more difficult amid ammunition and food shortages. The situation is even harder for civilians who are enduring a scarcity of food supplies, some of which the extremist group offers for expensive prices to secure more finances.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a U.S.-led international military coalition and popular militias are preparing for a new phase of operations to retake Mosul from IS militants. Since their launch in October 2016, operations have managed to retake almost all of districts in the east of the city. Islamic State still controls a majority of territory in the west.

The group has reportedly sustained severe personnel losses and ceded more space to advancing government forces since a second phase of operations began late December. Reports of serious rifts within the group’s ranks have become common since then.

ISIS abduct 150 kidz to use as cannon fodder

Nineveh ( Member of State of Law Coalition Nahla al-Hababi announced on Thursday, that the Islamic State group is forcibly recruiting children, after its defeat in the battle against security forces from army, police, al-Hashd al-Shaabi and tribal fighters.

In a press statement, Hababi said, “The Islamic State group abducted 150 children from Tal Afar, and forcibly recruited them in the so-called ‘Cubs of Caliphate’.”

“The Islamic State is training children that were abducted from Tel Afar, Yazidi families and Mosul’s families to kill civilians and security members using booby-trapped vehicles and explosive belts,” Hababi added.

“The government and United Nations should prepare a rehabilitation program for these children,” she explained.

Hababi also emphasized the importance of the presence of rehabilitation centers and specialized psychiatrists to help these children.

7 die in roadside bombing in Kirkuk

Salahuddin ( Seven civilians were killed and eight others were wounded when a roadside bomb killed them in Salahuddin’s northern mountainous region of Hamreen, a security source has said.

The source told Alsumaria News that the group was fleeing Islamic State stronghold town of Hawija, Kirkuk.

Islamic State militants, having taken control over several Iraqi cities in 2014 to proclaim a so-called “Islamic Caliphate”, have deliberately targeted civilians who attempted to escape the group’s domains, according to aid groups and news reports.

Kirkuk’s Hawija is one of the few remaining IS pockets in Iraq, and the group has been sustaining serious losses in Mosul, its biggest bastion in Iraq, since security forces, backed by an international military coalition and popular militias, launched a wide-scale operations last October to retake the city.

Since the start of operations in Mosul, at least 178.000 civilians fled their hometowns in Mosul and Kirkuk, according to the |raqi displacement ministry, and the United Nations estimates that military operations against the extremist group could force at least one million out of their homes.

The UN had estimated more than 3 million people internally displaced in Iraq, and news reports have shed light on food and medicine shortages at refugee camps.

ISIS executes 12 in Palmyra

(Reuters) Islamic State militants put at least 12 people to death in execution-style killings in the ancient city of Palmyra, which they re-captured from the government for a second time in December, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Thursday.

The jihadist group beheaded four of the people – state employees and teachers – outside a museum, the group said. The eight others – four of them government soldiers and four of them rebel fighters captured elsewhere in Syria – were shot.

Some of the killings took place at an ancient Roman theater in Palmyra, where Islamic State last year put at least 25 government fighters to death, the Observatory said.

Islamic State captured Palmyra for a second time from the government in December. Government forces and their militia allies, backed by Russian air power, took the city back from Islamic State in March, after first losing it in 2015.

Iraq: Mosul Offensive News
Posted by badanov 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 992 words Read the whole thing on page 1

Iraqi forces capture government buildings in Tel Kaif

Nineveh ( Iraqi army forces recapture on Thursday government buildings and a hotel in the town of Tel Kaif in northern Mosul as a few regions remain to recapture the eastern section of the city from Islamic State militants.

A statement by the defense ministry’s War Media Cell and Nineveh operations commander Abdul-Amir Yarallah said forces invaded the town from several directions and became in control over the town’s municipality, court building and the Oberoi Hotel building.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the basic military plan for Mosul’s liberation had been completed “in most combat axes” with the recapture of central Mosul, adding that operations continue to liberate the Ghabat and Presidential Palaces area besides “a few other regions” in the north of the city.

Commanders from the Iraqi army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces said in a press conference on the same day they had retaken all districts assigned to them in eastern Mosul, killing 3300 militants since operations launched in October 2016.

After getting finished with eastern Mosul, Iraqi generals plan to advance to the western region of the city beyond the Tigris River, where Islamic State still predominates a majority of territory.

The campaign to retake Mosul has entered its third month, with Iraqi government forces backed by U.S.-led international coalition fighter jets as well as popular militias.

IS militants have reportedly began retreating to their western Mosul strongholds.

Iraqi forces capture ISIS unfinshed aircraft
ISIS prolly figured out drones were cheaper and more effective per unit spent
After getting finished with eastern Mosul, Iraqi generals plan to advance to the western region of the city beyond the Tigris River, where Islamic State still predominates a majority of territory.

The campaign to retake Mosul has entered its third month, with Iraqi government forces backed by U.S.-led international coalition fighter jets as well as popular militias.

IS militants have reportedly began retreating to their western Mosul strongholds, and security commanders said they had seized several offices containing documents and communication systems used by the extremist group in its battles.

Earlier reports had shown forces seizing fake tanks deployed by the group as a deceptive tactic.

More north Mosul locales captured by Iraqi forces

Nineveh ( Iraqi army commanders said Thursday forces had recaptured the town of Tel Kaif, one of the last few remaining Islamic State strongholds in the eastern section of Mosul.

Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Joint Operations Command’s battles in Nineveh, said army forces raised the Iraqi flags above the mostly-Christian town’s buildings, and had earlier recaptured presidential palaces, a hotel, a municipality building and a courthouse.

Forces also recaptured Fadhiliya district, and stormed al-Arabi, according to Yarallah, all with the backing of Iraq and US-led international coalition fighter jets.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the basic military plan for Mosul’s liberation had been completed “in most combat axes” with the recapture of central Mosul, adding that operations continue to liberate the Ghabat and Presidential Palaces area besides “a few other regions” in the north of the city.

Commanders from the Iraqi army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Forces said in a press conference on the same day they had retaken all districts assigned to them in eastern Mosul, killing 3300 militants since operations launched in October 2016.

After getting finished with eastern Mosul, Iraqi generals plan to advance to the western region of the city beyond the Tigris River, where Islamic State still predominates a majority of territory.

The campaign to retake Mosul has entered its third month, with Iraqi government forces backed by U.S.-led international coalition fighter jets as well as popular militias.

IS militants have reportedly began retreating to their western Mosul strongholds.

2 ISIS leaders have a Very Bad Day in Mosul

Nineveh ( A security source in Nineveh Province revealed that the assistant of the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the group’s Police Chief were killed by an airstrike in central Mosul, Alsumaria reported on Thursday.

“Iraqi Air Force, in coordination with the Military Intelligence Directorate, conducted an airstrike on a gathering of the Islamic State’s leaders in al-Zera’i area in central Mosul, killing five leaders including the assistant of the Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Abdel Wahed Khodier, and the so-called Islamic Police Chief in Nineveh Ahmed Khodier Sayer al-Juwan.”

“The killed members also included the Islamic State’s Agriculture Minister in Tal Afar and Mahlabiya, Abdel Karim Khodier Sayer al-Juwan,” the source added on condition of anonymity. “The airstrike was conducted based on accurate information from the Military Intelligence Directorate,” the source explained.

Earlier today, Iraqi army forces recaptured the Presidential Palaces area, government buildings and Nineveh Oberoi hotel in the northern Mosul town of Tel Kaif.

20 ISIS Baddies bite the big one in Mosul

Nineveh ( Iraqi Ministry of Defense announced on Thursday, that the Army Aviation killed 20 members of the Islamic State and destroyed three machine guns, north of Mosul.

The ministry said in a press statement, “Iraqi Army Aviation, backed by Imam Ali brigade, managed to kill 20 members of the Islamic State, as well as destroying three machine guns, north of Mosul.”

Earlier today, media officials with the Ministry of Defense announced that Iraqi Counter-Terrorism forces fully liberated the northern axis of eastern Mosul.

Nineveh Province is witnessing extensive military operations since October 2016, to retake the city of Mosul that was captured by the Islamic State in June 2014.

India-Pakistan: Police sub-inspector killed in clash with proclaimed offender in Kasur
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 135 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[GEO.TV] KASUR: A proclaimed offender allegedly killed a police sub-inspector during a clash in the wee hours of Friday at Kot Aligarh, near Kasur, informed Police.

According to the details available to Geo News, on a tip-off that infamous proclaimed offender Amir Shehzad is hiding at a house in Kot Aligarh village, a fifteen-member Kasur police team raided the spot. The suspect opened fire on the personnel and killed Incharge Investigation Khalid Virk and manage to flee.

Virk was taken to DHQ hospital where he was pronounced dead.
He's dead, Jim!
on arrival by the hospital authorities.

Arabia: UN expert calls for end to Saudi ban on women driving
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 2 Comments 372 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Iran Press TV] A United Nations organization conceived in the belief that we're just one big happy world, with the sort of results you'd expect from such nonsense...
independent expert says the Saudi government should end its ban on women driving, urging the kingdom to do more to reform its male guardianship system.
"There -- that's sorted. I'm starving -- anyone else up for elevenses before we go to lunch?"
Philip Alston, an Australian legal expert who reports to the UN Human Rights Council, said after a 12-day visit to 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 the Soddy national face...
that the government in Riyadh was urgently required to cast aside rules and regulations that have hampered social life in the kingdom.

"So, I feel very strongly that the kingdom should move to enable women to drive cars," Alston said on Thursday.

The expert also called on Riyadh to make efforts to change the country’s guardianship system, which effectively hinders women's ability to work and travel. Alston said some features of the system, requiring that women obtain the consent of a male member of their family to study, travel and other activities, "need to be reformed."

"My concern is that the government is in fact deferring to a relatively small portion of conservative voices," Alston told a news conference, adding, "The role of the government is to work out how it can change the policy and how it can change attitudes."
#1: "My concern is that the government is in fact deferring to a relatively small portion of conservative voices," Alston told a news conference, adding, "The role of the government is to work out how it can change the policy and how it can change attitudes."

Uh, those aren't "conservative" voices. Those are "Islamic" voices. Those in favor of enabling women to drive in that country are also (unforuntately) Islamic voices. Any progress in treating women, men, and any other niche in that country will move at a snail's pace until *Islam* is called upon to reform (before it is eventually disgraced into the dust bin of history).
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:12 ||Comments

#2: hahaha dying gasps of the globalist deceptacons

i've got a better idea. Why don't we just ban Muslim migration and ban Sharia.

prosecute those who promote sharia within our borders for treason.

close the islamic schools, and regulate the mosques.

treat Islam like communism in the 1950s

and then we don't have to care what backwards knuckledragging religitarded crap the do in saudi arabia. Boycott them. Don't buy their oil, and don't halal certify our food including exports. Who cares if they can't buy it. Sit in the sand and starve until they can evolve to the level of say 1890.
Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 04:56 ||Comments

Iraq: Most Daesh commanders in Mosul killed in battles: Iraqi general
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 410 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Iran Press TV] A senior Iraqi general says most ISIS commanders in djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
have been killed in battles with armed forces over the past three months.

"The majority of (ISIS) commanders have been killed in the eastern side," Lieutenant-General Abdul Ghani al-Assadi from the elite Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) told news hounds on Thursday, while touring the newly retaken areas in the northern Iraqi city.

Since October 2016, the Iraqi army, backed by volunteer forces, has been pushing to drive ISIS faceless myrmidons out of their last urban stronghold in the Arab state.

"God willing, there will be an announcement in the next few days that all the eastern bank is under control," Assadi added.

Latest reports from Mosul on Thursday said government troops had liberated Mosul’s Fazeliyeh neighborhood, as well as Tel Kef, a small town just to the north of the city.

The army is still battling ISIS Death Eaters in al-Arabi, the last district which remains under their control in eastern Mosul, according to the reports.

Assadi had announced on Wednesday that ISIS had been driven out of almost all of Mosul’s eastern half, and that the area had been brought under CTS control.

He said the next stage of the operation is to liberate the western side of Mosul.

"There will be a meeting in the next few days attended by all the commanders concerned with liberation operations," added the senior military officials.

A total of 137,880 people have been displaced from Mosul and neighboring areas ever since the start of the operations, according to figures released by the International Organization for Migration on January 9.

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: US airstrikes killed al-Qaeda operatives in Syria
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 252 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Iran Press TV] The US military says its Arclight airstrikes have killed two senior al-Qaeda operatives in Syria in two separate incidents.

The Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday, "Mohammad Habib Boussadoun al-Tunisi, an al-Qaeda external operations leader, was killed by a US precision Arclight airstrike Jan. 17 near Idlib, Syria."

"The dear departed terrorist, a Tunisian, was involved in holy warrior facilitation and external operations and has been connected to terrorist plots to attack Western targets," Pentagon front man Peter Cook said.

In a separate statement, Cook said American forces killed al-Qaeda controller Abd al-Jalil al-Moslemi in a precision Arclight airstrike near Saraqib in northwestern Syria on January 12.

The statement said the terrorist was trained by Talibs in the late 1990s in Afghanistan. "He had extensive and long-standing ties to numerous al-Qaeda external operations planners and terrorists."

According to Cook, both men were Tunisian.

Home Front: WoT: Obama blasts US Congress for blocking Guantanamo closure
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 354 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[Iran Press TV] Outgoing US President Barack Obama
I inhaled. That was the point...
has condemned the Republican-dominated Congress for thwarting his plans to close the notorious American military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In a letter to the Republican leaders of Congress ‐ House Speaker Paul Ryan
...U.S. Representative for Wisconsin's 1st congressional district, serving since 1999. He is a member of the Republican Party. He proposed an alternative to President Obama's 2011 budget and made himself the target of both Democrat and Republican verbal pies...
and Senate President Pro Tempore Orrin Hatch
...Republican Senator-for-Life from Utah. The state does have two senators but nobody can remember who the other guy is...
-- on Thursday, Obama said the prison "never should have been opened in the first place."

"There is simply no justification beyond politics for the Congress' insistence on keeping the facility open," he stated.

"Members of Congress who obstruct efforts to close the facility, given the stakes involved for our security, have abdicated their responsibility to the American people," Obama continued.

The closure of the Guantanamo prison was among the main campaign promises of Obama during the 2008 presidential election. Obama vowed to close it within a year when he came to office in January 2009. But his efforts had been continually blocked by Republican politicians in Congress.

#1: But his efforts had been continually blocked by Republican lawmakers in Congress.

Back in 2009 when the US Senate was Democrat controlled funding for President Obama's Gitmo closure proposal was shot down 90-6. Majority Leader Reid was amongst the many Dems that not just voted but argued against the transfer of detainees to US soil. Others such as current leader Schummer have continued to block simmilar legislation. Team Obama was never one to let facts get in the way of a good partisan narrative - why start now?

Posted by: DepotGuy || 2017-01-20 09:28 ||Comments

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: 33 Daesh killed in clashes with army forces in central Syria
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 1072 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Iran Press TV] More than 30 members of the Takfiri adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
ISIS terrorist group have been killed when they engaged in fierce exchanges of gunfire with Syrian army soldiers and pro-government fighters from popular defense groups in the country’s central province of Homs.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 18 ISIS holy warriors had been killed as they sought to advance near the Tiyas Military Airbase, also known as the T-4 Airbase, west of the ancient Semitic city of Palmyra.

The UK-based monitoring group's head, Rami Abdel Rahman, said 12 pro-government fighters had also been killed, including seven in a kaboom.

ISIS has tried for weeks to cut off the Syrian army’s access route to the airbase, but to no avail in the face of strong resistance shown by government forces.

Additionally, Syrian soldiers killed more than 15 ISIS terrorists, and destroyed an armored vehicle and seven pickup trucks equipped with heavy machineguns south of Sharifa village, situated about 60 kilometers west of Palmyra.

A Syrian military source, speaking on condition of anonymity
... for fear of being murdered...
, also told Syria’s official news agency SANA that the army had established control over a number of strategic hills and checkpoints along al-Phosphate road in Homs province.

Syrian government forces inflicted heavy losses on ISIS ranks and military equipment during the operations.

Furthermore, Syrian army units, backed by the Air Force, targeted krazed killer hideouts in al-Maqaber area of the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr as well as the nearby al-Tharda Mountain.

ISIS executes dozen people in Palmyra

...back at the desert island, Irene was indignant at the thought of doing such a thing without benefit of clergy...
ISIS Death Eaters have reportedly beheaded and shot 12 captives in Palmyra in front of crowds of men and children.

Several of the victims were said to have been killed inside a second-century Roman amphitheater, while others were murdered in the courtyard of the Palmyra museum, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Four of those reported dead were teachers and babus government employees. The other eight were Syrian army soldiers and Lions of Islam from the so-called Free Army.

ISIS holy warriors retook Palmyra on December 11, just eight months after the Syria army drove them out.

Separately, tension prevails on the outskirts of the northwestern Syrian city of Jisr ash-Shugur after members of the Takfiri Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
...formerly al-Nusra, the current false nose and mustache of al-Qaeda in the Levant...
, formerly known as al-Nusra
...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ...
Front, attacked the headquarters and checkpoints of Ahrar al-Sham
...a Syria jihadi group made up of Islamists and salafists, not that there's that much difference, formed into a brigade. They make up the main element of the Islamic Front but they don't profess adoration of al-Qaeda and they've been fighting (mainly for survival) against the Islamic State. Their leadership was wiped out at a single blow by a suicide kaboom at a crowded basement meeting in September, 2014...
krazed killer coalition in the town of Khirbet al-Joz on the border with The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Lions of Islam also stormed Ahrar al-Sham’s positions in Z’einiyyeh area, where ensuing festivities between the two sides have reportedly caused a number of casualties.

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Iran summons Danish ambassador over embassy assault in Copenhagen
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 226 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Iran Press TV] Iran has summoned Danish Ambassador to Tehran Danny Annan to express the Islamic Theocratic Republic’s strong condemnation of an assault on Iran's embassy in the Scandinavian country.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi announced on Thursday evening that the ministry's director for Northern and Eastern Europe affairs had called in Annan to roundly criticize the attack on Iran's diplomatic mission in the Danish capital Copenhagen by "four anti-revolutionary elements," and state that such an act had taken place in violation of international regulations.

The senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official further censured the Danish government’s laxity in ensuring the security of the Iranian Embassy
...You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy!...
and its staff members, calling on Danish officials to seriously and responsibly deal with the perpetrators and report the results.

Annan, for his part, voiced regret over the attack, describing the incident as "unacceptable."

He pledged to relay Iran's protest to his government as soon as possible, and notify Iranian authorities of the outcome.

#1: "Where did you learn to act like like this?"

"I learned it from you"
Posted by: Procopius2k|| 2017-01-20 10:30 ||Comments

Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Fatalities feared after Iran's oldest high-rise collapses
Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 2 Comments 144 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Iran Press TV] Iran's oldest high-rise in downtown Tehran collapsed on Thursday morning following a major fire in the building, leaving many firefighters buried under rubble, some of who are presumed dead.

While Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf had earlier said 20 firefighters bit the dust trying to contain the flames, Tehran Fire Department front man, Jalal Maleki, told the state TV that although a number of firefighters were presumed dead, no final figure could be given on fatalities.

He, however, was quoted by the IRIB News Agency as confirming the 20 fatality figure, emphasizing that this was not a final figure because a number of firefighters were trapped under the rubble as rescue operation to get them out continued.
#1: The Sun estimated 75 fatalities earlier today
Posted by: lord garth|| 2017-01-20 00:23 ||Comments

#2: Iranian video at link shows the collapse, which shows some similarities to the Bush-explosives double-collapse some 15 years ago in New York City. But this building - the tallest in Iran - was only 17 stories.

I'll pray for the firefighters.
Posted by: Bobby|| 2017-01-20 08:18 ||Comments

-Lurid Crime Tales-: Down under shot off Down Under
Posted by Classer 01/20/2017  00:00 4 Comments 249 words Read the whole thing on page 3
A man shot in the groin by a balaclava-clad gunman at Campbellfield shopping plaza on Tuesday was a member of a north-west crime family.

It is understood Omar Tiba, 27, from Coolaroo, had part of his penis shot off when an unknown gunman got out of the car and started firing

Several members of the Tiba family have been convicted of serious violent offences - including Bassam Tiba for the manslaughter of Richard Haddara - and drug crime.
Sounds like some of those "Lebanese" criminals Australia has become known for...
Up to four men in a white or cream car drove up to the victim in the Campbellfield Plaza car park about 9.30pm on Tuesday before one got out and started firing, Detective Inspector Steve Clark said.

A shopping centre security guard heard gun shots, ran outside and found the man lying on the ground with at least three gunshot wounds to his leg and groin, Channel Nine reported.
If it had been his feet we would have known he was a Palestinian...
"He heard some shooting, he ran down to see what it was, and he saw a man on the ground, bleeding," the security guard's colleague, Thomas Yoannis, said. "I think it was his wife or his partner, holding him. She was holding his head and crying, and just asking for help."
#1: She was holding his head and crying, and just asking for help.

Shot in the penis and she was holding his head?
Who writes these things?
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 00:27 ||Comments

#2: not "north-western criminal" , not "lebanese"

they are MUSLIMS
Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 04:58 ||Comments

#3: With Australia's very strict gun laws I wonder where they got the guns.
Posted by: Deacon Blues|| 2017-01-20 07:29 ||Comments

#4: Ask the folks in Chicago, Deacon. Strict guns laws there, too.
Posted by: Mullah Richard|| 2017-01-20 08:53 ||Comments

-Land of the Free: Nigel Farage: Trump told me Brexit won him the presidency
Posted by Bright Pebbles 01/20/2017  00:00 3 Comments 17 words Read the whole thing on page 6
The first tipping point.
#1: in many ways i think that's right, if only because it gave Mr Trump extra insight into the massive wave of sentiment towards sovereignty, and extra confidence when it looked like all the polls were against him.

Bless Nigel Farage, the Man Who Saved Britain

One voice alone is small, but if another hears it and lifts up their voice, and another and another then sooner or later it swells to be a huge strong choir enough to shake the foundations of the world
Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 03:13 ||Comments

#2: The centralization pendulum swung way, way over to one side since the end of the Cold War. Now it must return because things have become organically out of whack.

The problem is, so many millions in the West have hitched their stars to centralization and realize that a return to sensible subsidiarity will not improve their lives that they will fight tooth and claw to keep things out of whack.
Posted by: no mo uro|| 2017-01-20 05:55 ||Comments

#3: Brexit was the start of a preference cascade.

It was documented as such by Herr Blogmeister early last year. People saw that they were not alone in their disgust with the nature of the elites and the direction they were steering.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 08:54 ||Comments

Southeast Asia: Two Abu Sayyaf captives freed in Sulu
Posted by ryuge 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 97 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Mindanao Examiner] Abu Sayyaf militants on Thursday freed two Philippine fishermen in the southern province of Sulu. The pair – Esteban Janamjam and Dolcesimo Almires – were recovered in the village of Tagbak, a known Abu Sayyaf stronghold in Indanan town. It is not known whether their families had paid ransoms or not.

Both men were seized by rebels in October last year off Pangutaran town, also in Sulu.

The military said the men were rescued by soldiers after intercepting them from two Abu Sayyaf guards who managed to escape but there was no immediate confirmation from the police.

Europe: German mosques running spy ring for Erdogan
Posted by Steve White 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 75 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Legal Insurrection has the report at the link. The original article in German is here. This is not limited to Gülen opponents but extends as well to various Turkish dissidents. Sultan Yippie is not amused.
#1: "Islam".
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:38 ||Comments

Terror Networks: Bureau of Labour wanks: Trump, Obama and the future of targeted killing
Posted by Besoeker 01/20/2017  00:00 7 Comments 264 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[UK's Bureau of Investigative Journalism] Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy is often discussed in terms of things he didn’t do: intervene in Syria, reset with Russia, get out of Afghanistan.

In one area however, Obama developed and expanded a defining policy architecture which his successor Donald Trump now inherits: the ability to kill suspected terrorists anywhere without US personnel having to leave their bases.
"Order up some more lawn chairs!"
While his administration lauded the drone programme for being so "surgical and precise" it could take out the enemy without putting "innocent men, women and children in danger", human rights groups lambasted it for doing just that ‐ hundreds of civilians were reported killed outside active battlefields during Obama’s eight years in power.

As his presidency progressed, Obama put restraints in place aimed at reducing civilian casualties ‐ but experts are now worried those limitations will be swept away by Trump in favour of an "anything goes to get the bad guys" approach.

Armed drones were first used under George W Bush. But it was Obama who dramatically increased their use. Responding to evolving militant threats and the greater availability of remote piloting technology, Obama ordered ten times more counter-terror strikes than his predecessor over the course of his term.
Lengthy, bitchy, and arrives at no conclusions, recommendations, or solutions. Proceed at your own risk.
#1: I disagree with the drone strategy, but for an entirely different reason than these pommie, leftest snowflakes.

Killing cockroaches one at a time with a Colt 1911 may be an impressive visual for friends and neighbors, but it's a very poor pest control strategy.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-19 14:06
#2: "Order up some more lawn chairs!"

And order the next terrorist annihilation on pay-per-view!
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:26 ||Comments

#3: If you haven't already, watch some of the drone strike videos on YouTube. The victims are all buildings and bad guys. You just don't see any 'family picnic' strikes MSM popularizes.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 00:34 ||Comments

#4: As his presidency progressed, Obama put restraints in place aimed at reducing civilian casualties ‐ but experts are now worried those limitations will be swept away by Trump in favour of an "anything goes to get the bad guys" approach.

They say it like that's a bad thing...
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:36 ||Comments

#5: When will the local victims of collateral damage realize the source of the fault is their own complacency?
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 01:12 ||Comments

#6: When will the local victims of collateral damage realize the source of the fault is their own complacency?

As soon as its acceptable to point out that both the target and themselves shared a common problem...adherence to Islam.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 01:42 ||Comments

#7: I'm with visitor.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:35 ||Comments

Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 168 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[WASHINGTONEXAMINER] The media is raising concerns about a drone bombing at the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Friday.

On Thursday's "Today" show, a report indicated that U.S. Secret Service has put in place several anti-drone efforts out of concern that an I-inspired "flying IED" will smash into the crowd, or worse.

The report quoted an official from DroneShield, a drone countermeasure firm, saying that the Inauguration "is not something I would feel safe at."

Reports of violent protests and attacks has Washington on edge, though past threats have never come.

But the "Today" show report, headlined "Drone Danger At Inauguration? Dealing with a new high-flying security threat," noted that drone bombs have been seen flying over coalition forces in Iraq at least once a day.

"When strapped with a bomb, a worse case scenario especially with hundreds of thousands of people gathered at one spot like the Inauguration," the report said.

Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 383 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[NYPOST] A federal judge is expected to block a proposed mega-merger between Anthem and Cigna -- a $54 billion deal that would create the nation’s biggest health insurer -- as soon as Thursday, sources told The Post.
I dunno why. Single points of failure are so much more efficient.
In what looked like a bid to get ahead of the judge’s smackdown, Anthem said in a public filing early Thursday it is extending the expiration of the merger agreement from Jan. 31 to April 30. Indeed, sources said Anthem can appeal any ruling that doesn’t go its way. Insiders expect that US District of Columbia Judge Amy Berman Jackson will rule against it on antitrust concerns.

President B.O.’s Department of Justice sued Anthem in July, alleging the merger would stifle competition in the US health care industry. The case went to trial in November.

A ruling by Jackson against the tie-up will likely spark a fight between the corporate giants. Cigna is looking to fight any merger extension as it looks to wiggle out of the deal and collect a $1.85 billion breakup fee from Anthem, according to insiders.

Cigna said in a statement that it had received notice of Anthem’s extension and that it would evaluate its options after the court ruling.

According to sources, Cigna believes the bench trial in November produced testimony that shows Anthem didn’t hold up its end of the merger agreement.

For example, a key to the deal was Anthem having a plan worked out to maintain the Blue Cross/Blue Shield networks it operates exclusively in 14 states, including one in New York City. Blue rules require, however, that an exclusive carrier have no more than one-third of its marketed products from other insurers in a given state. A combined Anthem and Cigna would trip that threshold, according to court papers.

On July 25, 2015, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish said on an analyst call that Anthem in the merger did not "anticipate any issues regarding so-called Blue rules in large measure."

Yet in court testimony on Nov. 30, Anthem VP of corporate development Steven Schlegel said Anthem was facing the possibility of a $3 billion penalty for having too much of its business being non-Blues-related.
#1: What's wrong with this? I thought Single Payer was the goal of the ACA.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2017-01-20 07:57 ||Comments

Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 4 Comments 248 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[DAILYCALLER] Texas Sen. Ted Cruz introduced a bill on Tuesday that would declassify information about the terrorist activities of detainees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba who have been released or transferred since Election Day.

The move came after a report that the B.O. regime recently struck a deal with Oman to transfer 10 detainees from Gitmo. The move brings the total number of detainees down to less than 50.

Cruz and other Republicans have been heavily critical of Obama’s transfers and of his promise to close the facility before leaving office. Republicans point to a statistic that 30 percent of detainees released or transferred from Gitmo either return to terrorist activities or are suspected of doing so. Obama has also been criticized for transferring detainees with known links to terrorists. Several close associates of the late Osama bin Laden
... who is now among the dear departed, though not among the dearest...
-- drivers and bodyguards -- have been transferred from Gitmo.

Cruz’s bill would allow the public access to the same information that the Defense Department and White House have used to determine whether detainees can be released or transferred.
#1: Perhaps this will keep 0bean from releasing the last tranche of prisoners . . . .
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:10 ||Comments

#2: Sadly, the action is likely to illustrate how weak the 'catch and release' protocols really are as well as exposing sensitive collection methods.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 09:34 ||Comments

#3: Flynn needs to go pay Cruz an office visit on Monday and explain why this really is a bad idea.

Calling them murdering SOB's is good enough for me. I need no further evidence.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-20 09:36 ||Comments

#4: I wouldn't mind seeing some of the info, but a lot of the specifics would have to be kept classified I think.

Either way, dropping them off over the Atlantic at 15,000 feet is the best way to "release" them.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:52 ||Comments

Posted by ryuge 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 82 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Bangkok Post] Malaysian police detained six men for alleged involvement in bomb-making during separate raids in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, just across the border from Thailand. The suspects were picked up at their homes in a series of raids which began early Sunday morning. The arrests were announced on Monday.

Kelantan police chief Ab Rahman Ismail said the police found several items, including bomb-making components. He said, "We do not rule out the possibility the suspects were linked to the Daesh militant group."

Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 8 Comments 457 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[DAILYCALLER] A group of parents in Southern Indiana has expressed alarm because their children in the local taxpayer-funded middle school are learning that Sharia law is a delightful concept beloved by women forced to live under its yoke.

The Sharia-related assignment at issue is for seventh-grade students at Highland Hills Middle School, just north of Louisville, reports The Courier-Journal, the main regional newspaper.

The assignment provides a reading passage ostensibly written by a 20-year-old woman named Ahlima who resides 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 the Soddy national face...
Ahlima says she feels "very fortunate" to be governed by Sharia law -- the notorious Islamic penal code which, in countries such as Saudi Arabia, includes the practice of cutting off the hands of criminals who steal. She observes that she is about to become some guy’s second wife. She supports the repressive clothes women in Saudi Arabia must wear. "I understand that some foreigners see our dress as a way of keeping women from being equal," Ahlima writes. "I find Western women’s clothing to be horribly immodest."
From the referenced The Courier-Journal article, it's all in the teaching:
Coletti said she developed the original lesson nearly 20 years ago to fulfill state social studies standards requiring middle school students to learn about culture in the Middle East. Ahlima, the character in the lesson, is based on an interview she saw on an interview in a news program with a woman who held many of the same ideas about Sharia law, she said.

Initially, the curriculum was two consecutive activities – one focusing on Ahlima and one focusing on an Israeli woman of a similar age who served in the army and wanted to attend college. Coletti said she later combined the two lessons for clarity.

She said that despite the change, the goal of the assignment was the same: to help students think for themselves and arrive at the conclusion that the Israeli has more rights and freedoms than the Saudi woman of the same age. If they don’t arrive at that conclusion, she said, the teacher is expected to help the student understand.
#1: Try it on for size at school. Make the girls wear barbeque covers. Beat them if they show anything above the wrist or ankle. In fact, make them stay at home and cook. As for the guys, chop off their hands or lash them if they steal another kid's iPhone or get high.

Then vote again after a month or so.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:12 ||Comments

#2: She observes that she is about to become some guy’s second wife. She supports the repressive clothes women in Saudi Arabia must wear. "I understand that some foreigners see our dress as a way of keeping women from being equal," Ahlima writes. "I find Western women’s clothing to be horribly immodest."

Why would we take as instructive the fawning praise of a *prisoner* who attempts to justify the rules her captors have set out for her?

The problem is Islam. The problem will always be Islam until it is relegated to the ash bin of history.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-20 00:17 ||Comments

#3: The real enemy is the vile progs (h/t Rottweiler), Muslims are just a vermin who have to be taught a lesson.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:09 ||Comments

#4: they're not teaching kids the truth unless they show "ahlima" telling the kids how her cliteris is chopped off and she'll never enjoy sex, and how she thinks gay students should be thrown off the highest roof because the hadith said so
Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 04:00 ||Comments

#5: oh yeah, and it lies unless "ahlima" can tell the students how her husband is allowed to marry and have sex with little girls aged 9 because Mohammad did
Posted by: anon1|| 2017-01-20 04:02 ||Comments

#6: Details, anon1. Wouldn't want to offend anyone at this delicate age.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 06:26 ||Comments

#7: Hmm, teaching religious subjects so they need to add Christian teaching as well, preferably at the same time!
Posted by: Seeking cure for ignorance|| 2017-01-20 10:26 ||Comments

#8: Typical white washing of islam. Cut off all federal funding to the school and let them sink.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2017-01-20 10:46 ||Comments

Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 1 Comments 23 words Read the whole thing on page 6
Posted by: newc|| 2017-01-20 01:25 ||Comments

Posted by ryuge 01/20/2017  00:00 0 Comments 114 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Bangkok Post] A member of the RKK insurgent group was killed in a clash with a Thai security unit in Yala province early on Monday.

About 3 a.m. the security team laid siege to a house in Raman district. They had been told RKK militant Koseng Niya was hiding there. While authorities were negotiating with homeowner Muhamad Ruslan Kotabaru for Koseng to surrender, Koseng jumped from a window and opened fire as he made a bid to escape.

Koseng was killed during the exchange of fire. His body was found under the house. He was holding a 9mm handgun with eight bullets left in it.

Posted by Fred 01/20/2017  00:00 3 Comments 722 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[ALMASDARNEWS] Key Syrian gang Ahrar al-Sham
...a Syria jihadi group made up of Islamists and salafists, not that there's that much difference, formed into a brigade. They make up the main element of the Islamic Front but they don't profess adoration of al-Qaeda and they've been fighting (mainly for survival) against the Islamic State. Their leadership was wiped out at a single blow by a suicide kaboom at a crowded basement meeting in September, 2014...
said on Wednesday it will not take part in peace talks between the government and ’opposition’ factions in the Kazakh capital next week.

The group decided not to participate in the negotiations in Astana that start on Monday due to "the lack of implementation of the ceasefire" in force since December 30 and ongoing Russian air strikes over Syria, it said in a statement.

Ahrar al-Sham was among gangs that signed the ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and terror backer The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
last month.

The truce has largely held across Syria although fighting has persisted in some areas, allowing Russia, Turkey and Iran to organize the peace talks in Astana.

Ahrar al-Sham said the army’s offensive against the gunnies in Wadi Barada, an area 15 kilometres (10 miles) northwest of Damascus that is the capital’s main source of water, was among the reasons it would not attend the talks.

The Syrian army has pressed an assault to retake the area from the bandidos bandidos krazed killers after mains supplies were cut last month, leaving 5.5 million people in Damascus and its suburbs without water.

Ahrar al-Sham said however that it was giving its support to other gangs represented at the Astana talks.

Mohammad Alloush, a prominent figure of the Jaish al-Islam
...Liwa al-Islam (Brigade of Islam) was established by Zahran Alloush, the son of Saudi-based religious scholar Abdullah Mohammed Alloush, after Syrian authorities released him from prison in mid-2011 where he had been serving time for his Salafist activism. The group claimed responsibility for carrying out the July 2012 Damascus bombing that killed Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Asef Shawkat, and Assistant Vice President Hassan Turkmani. It was a driving force behind actions in the Damascus region. It cooperated and conducted joint operations with al-Nusra. In Sptember 2013 Saudi Arabia engineered Liwa al-Islam's merger with fifty other more or less Salafist groups as a counterweight to al-Nusra, which the Learned Elders of Islam considered was growing too powereful...
(Army of Islam) faction, will in Astana head a "military delegation" of around eight people, backed by nine legal and political advisors from the High Negotiations Committee umbrella group.
#1: Do the rebels have a progressive liberal faction or something?
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-20 00:13 ||Comments

#2: They've a prior meeting with Russian air-force?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-20 02:10 ||Comments

#3: Yeah, they've said they won't be going to the inauguration either.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2017-01-20 09:35 ||Comments