Hunter Tylo aka Rachel Montgomery in "Longshot (2001)" aka Billie Jeeters in "A Place Called Home (2004)TV Movie" aka Dr. Taylor Hayes Forrester in "The Bold and the Beautiful (TV 1990-2012)" aka Amelia Lockhart in "SharkMan (2005)" aka Anna in "Final Cut (1988)" (age 50)
Fred peeped at his PayPal account this weekend, and it's just not looking very good. We got four important months ahead of us, and we need all the news we can get from around the world.... and you know it's the best at Rantburg.com.
So on the 4th of July, when you pick up a beer, rather than drinking it, sit it back down and tell yourself, "This one's for Fred," and go find that PayPal button in The Burg.
It's just below the Breitbart picture. Go be Breitbart!
Not a PayPaler? Below Breitbart... you will also find an Amazon donate button.
Neither of those work for you? Email Fred for a Snail Mail address.
Out here at Atka, Alaska, on the Aleutian Chain, where weather is fickle, and so is the Internet, and four wheelers quit 6 miles from town, I got a paypal donation through to Fred. This proves that miracles happen.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
Posted by: Frank G ||
Jeez, paypal is junk. After 20 minutes I gave up in frustration. They email saying someone else may have logged into my acc, and to check my logins, but there is no way to check logins. My account has been limited and I went through all their hoops and my account is still limited.
(Sh. M. Network)-Fighters from the Islamist faceless myrmidons of Al shabab-linked with Al Qaeda have attacked on Monday on Somali government soldiers at a base located near Hudur town, the quiet provincial capital of Bakol region.
Locals said Al shabab agents with rocked propelled grenades and automatic guns mounted heavy attacks against Somali soldiers positioned on the outskirts of Hudur town, causing an unconfirmed loss on both warring sides and nearby civilians.
"The fighting was so heavy and blazed on for two-hours with both sides exchanged mortar and artillery fire that could be heard across the city," said a local resident, adding that he could confirm the exact casualties.
Hassan Ibrahim Hassan, the deputy Bakol governor for Somali government, told Shabelle Media that the troops had beaten back the assault, and killed several combatants during the festivities. He added that the situation has returned into normal and the area is under their control.
Al shabab, which merged officially with Al Qaeda early this year didn't make any comments on the attack so far.
(Sh. M. Network)-Somali national army along with Kenyan military have on Monday, rescued four hostage aid workers kidnapped from Dadaab by gunnies on Friday, world's largest refugee complex, locals said.
Four foreign aid workers kidnapped in Kenya by Somali gunnies three days ago have been freed in a joint raid on Monday that carried out by Somali and Kenyan army at an area close to Dhoblay town, which sits near the border.
The latest reports from the border town of Dhobley indicated that Somali and Kenyan forces conducted search operations hunting the kidnappers who have been hiding out at Ali-Boley villages around the town. Residents reported that the allied forces managed to free the four aid workers from the hostage takers.
One captor was killed during the operation while three were captured, according to General Ismail Sahardid, the army chief of Somali forces in Jubba regions, south of the country.
"We have just been informed that the four aid workers have been released. They're in Dhamange base controlled by Kenyan army at Dhobley town," said Mr. Sahardid.
Airborne searches were ongoing in the past three-days using both military helicopters and aircraft, while vehicles and troops on foot searched the remote scrubland either side of the permeable border with Somalia.
The released detainees are two men and two women, who work with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), come from Canada,Norway,Pakistain and the Philippines.
[Al Ahram] Mali's beturbanned fascisti smashed the entrance of a 15th century Timbuktu mosque on Monday, escalating a campaign of destruction of the city's cultural treasures despite threats of prosecution for war crimes.
Some residents sobbed as the Islamist gunnies broke down the 'sacred door' of one of the northern Malian city's three ancient mosques after they wrecked seven tombs of Moslem saints over the weekend.
Exclusive video footage obtained by AFP shows turbaned men chanting 'Allahu Akbar' (God is great) while smashing a mausoleum with pick-axes in a cloud of dust, the mud-brick tomb showing gaping holes in the side with rubble piling up alongside it.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the destruction, saying in a statement the sites were "part of the rich Islamic heritage of Mali and should not be allowed to be destroyed by ... bigoted bad turban elements."
Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith) believe the shrines to be idolatrous and have threatened to destroy any mosques housing the remains of the ancient saints, prompting an outcry from government and the international community.
"The Islamists have just destroyed the door to the entrance of the Sidi Yahya mosque... they tore the sacred door off which we never open," said a resident of the town on Monday morning.
A former tour guide in the once-popular tourist destination said: "They came with pick-axes, they cried 'Allah' and broke the door. It is very serious. Some of the people watching began crying."
Another man, a relative of a local imam (religious leader), said he had spoken to members of Ansar Dine, which occupied the city and the rest of northern Mali in the chaos following a coup in Bamako three months ago.
"Some said that the day this door is opened it will be the end of the world and they wanted to show that it is not the end of the world."
The door on the south end of the mosque has been closed for centuries due to local beliefs that to open it will bring misfortune.
It leads to a tomb of saints, however the Islamists appeared unaware of this as one witness said if they had known "they would have broken everything."
According to the website of the UN cultural agency (UNESCO) Sidi Yahya is one of Timbuktu's three great mosques and was built around 1400, dating back to the city's golden age as a desert crossroads and centre for learning.
I'm still waiting for a news item like this: "They came with pick-axes, they cried 'Allah' and broke the door. Then they disintegrated in a hail of bullets from disgruntled Muslims who expressed strong disagreement with the beliefs and methods of the ax-wielders."
The most base of the savages rule. That seems to be the muzzie way. The rest seem powerless or unwilling to stop them. A cult of death and destruction. Somehow I think islam and scientology are linked. L. Ron Hubbard as big Mo?
The veneer of civilization is very thin. The Ansar Dine needed to be hunted down like mad dogs. BUT, it is Mali's problem, not our problem. If Mali thinks that their 500+ year old cultural treasures are worth saving, then they better get with the program.
Posted by: Alaska Paul ||
BUT, it is Mali's problem, not our problem
Do you think we don,t have Special Forces over there advising and training and such, Alaska Paul? Not to mention wandering off to explore odd little nooks and crannies during their off hours?
Officials in Kenya say that two Iranian agents who were locked away Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! last week with explosives planned to attack Israeli, American, British or Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... n targets inside Kenya.
Kenyan security forces locked away Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! the Iranians in June and were led to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of RDX, a powerful explosive, in the coastal city of Mombasa. Several hotels on the coast are Israeli-owned.
Kenyan security forces arrested Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi in June with 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of explosives.
One official said the two are members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force, an elite and secretive unit.
Several resorts on Kenya's coast are Israeli-owned. Terrorists in 2002 bombed an Israeli-owned luxury hotel near Mombasa, killing 13 people. They also tried to shoot down an Israeli airliner at the same time. An al-Qaida operative was linked to those attacks.
RDX is a military-grade explosive.
On Wednesday, lawyer David Kirimi, who represents Mohammad and Mousavi, argued that the two suspects are investors and their arrests will harm Kenya-Iran relations.
US Ambassador to Kenya and close Obama ally resigns over improper use of internet:
The security violations could have resulted in Gration losing his government security clearance, preventing him from holding a position in the State Department. "You cannot be a U.S. ambassador without a security clearance," the former official said.
Posted by: Frozen Al ||
I'd continue to ratchet up Operation Lemony Snickett in Iran. I'm sure we have a 3rd generation Stuxnet/Flame virus just waiting for deployment...
Posted by: Steve White ||
So Mo & Mou are 'investors'; what does one invest RDX in? I wonder who got their laptops & i-phones?
[Iran Press TV] About 150 American troops equipped with high-tech military and communication tools have arrived in Yemen, military sources say.
The US soldiers arrived in the al-Anad military base in the country's Lahaj governorate on a military plane Saturday, the Ansarullah website quoted Yemen's military sources as saying.
The recent deployment comes days after an unspecified number of US marines were seen in the Yemeni port city of al- Hudaydah.
The deployments come one week after Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi revealed that Sana'a had requested Washington to send liquidation drones "in some cases against fleeing al-Qaeda leaders."
"The fear lies in the infiltration of gunnies and Death Eaters into Yemen" from Somalia. It is very difficult for us to tell the difference between someone displaced for humanitarian reasons and a terrorist," Kurbi said.
In May, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.... for the first time admitted to the use of drones in Yemen.
The United States has launched frequent liquidation drone attacks not just in Yemen but in Pakistain, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The attacks have left thousands of people dead over the past few years.
Washington claims it is targeting Death Eaters but witness reports and figures provided by local officials indicate that civilians are the main victims of the assaults.
[Saudi Gazette] Yemeni security forces have foiled a plot to carry out 10 suicide kabooms against government buildings in the capital Sana'a, the defense ministry's news website reported Monday.
A wave of arrests targeting a suspected Al-Qaeda cell held responsible for a May attack that killed more than 100 soldiers in the capital netted the 10 faceless myrmidons charged with carrying out the bombings, the 26sep.net website quoted "informed sources" as saying.
The arrests "foiled 10 terrorist suicide kabooms in the capital Sana'a which the group was planning to carry out against several government facilities," it reported.
Security services have also found the last testament of the May 21 bomber, who was less than 18 years old, 26sep.net added.
National security chief Ali Mohammed Al-Ansi said in comments published by the ministry's 26 September newspaper Thursday that the security forces had made multiple arrests.They followed the announcement on June 20 of the arrest of Majed Al-Qulaisi, a suspected member of the cell that planned the May attack against troops rehearsing for a military parade.
[Yemen Post] Yemen has dispatched a military taskforce to protect the technical teams repairing the Marib oil pipeline, which has been shut down since October, the interior ministry reported.
Officials said Monday the repairs are expected to be completed this week and pumping will start immediately. Teams have completed some repairs including those reported this year.
"If the situation will be ok after the completion of the repairs, the , first cargo will arrive in the Aden Refinery by the end of the month," the officials said.
"We hope no more attacks will disrupt crude, though we heard rustics tried today to attack the teams continuing the repair work," they added. "The rustics already fired at the teams but no injuries or damages to the pipeline were reported".
The taskforce headed to the Serwah district in Marib province on Sunday and will not come back until all repairs to the pipeline were completed, the ministry said.
The Marib pipeline, which carries crude from Marib and Shabwa to the Ras Isa terminal in the West, was repeatedly attacked last year and this year, and negotiations and mediations to convince rustics to stop attacking it have failed several times this year.
The shutdown of this pipeline since October has been blamed for acute shortages after the Aden refinery was closed in November.
Separately, Saba quoted executive director of the Aden Refinery, Najeeb Al-Awj, as saying the modernization project of the refinery has been approved within the top priorities of the government to be financed by donors in the future.
"Donors realize the importance of this project, which will lead to processing all oil products in the refinery to meet the local demand and export the surplus quantities and will help develop petrochemical industries in Yemen," he said, according to Saba.
[Yemen Post] A tribal mediation led by sheikh Hussein Al-Ahmer could put an end to the sporadic deadly battles between the Shiite Houthi ...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is "God is Great, Death to America™", Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews" ... Group and the Salafis, part of the Sunni Mohammedans, in north Yemen, which erupted coinciding with a UN-sponsored power-transfer deal in December, locals in Saada said on Sunday.
The two sides eagerly agreed to the terms of the mediation, which called for ceasing fire, removing all war positions, mutual respect of each other's religious beliefs and equal citizenship as all Yemeni people, the sources said by telephone.
They eagerly agreed? The imps must be chipping ice off the heating fins in Hell.
"The mediation also called for terminating checkpoints by both sides, returning properties seized during the battles, recovering the bodies, swap of prisoners and avoiding word wars or unjustified accusations," they added.
The sporadic battles , in which hundreds have been killed from both krazed killer groups in the Kitaf district and other areas reaching nearby Hajjah province, directly came to an end with the two groups vowing to put their disagreements aside and live together peacefully forever.
When the Yemeni parties signed the power-transfer deal, which saw former president relinquish power after 33 years in office, the Houthis and Salafis started to trade accusations of provocation and then fought each other.
The reasons behind the fight, according to spokesmen from the groups, included religious slogans and speeches including sermons by the Salafis who argued the Houthi people are not 'true Mohammedans'.
The Yemeni army fought the armed Houthi Group fought the Yemeni army six times in Saada province, the latest in 2009, on the grounds this group ordered its members to take arms against the authorities and that it received support from Iran to form a Shiite sect in the country.
An agent for ICE's Homeland Security Investigations was shot Tuesday morning in Texas while conducting surveillance in a criminal investigation, a spokeswoman from the agency said.
The shooting occurred in Hidalgo County, Texas. The agent is currently in surgery for a gunshot wound, the spokeswoman said. He was shot twice in the abdomen shortly before 4 a.m. and is expected to survive, The Monitor's website reported. His identity was not immediately available.
A reporter for the paper said the victim was placed in a ambulance and rushed to the McAllen Medical Center at speeds up to 100 mph.
The scene, described as a remote and brushy area, was packed with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and an investigation is ongoing, the report said.
[An Nahar] Pak security officials on Monday said dozens of cut-throats infiltrated the Afghan border to attack a check post in a restive northwestern district for the second time in eight days.
Officials said six cut-throats were killed in the incident on Sunday, the latest attack to raise questions about whether Pak Taliban have regrouped in Afghanistan since escaping an army offensive three years ago.
The cut-throats were killed after crossing into Sabir Killey village in the Soni Darr area of Upper Dir district and one of the officials told Agence La Belle France Presse that the "firefight continued late into the night".
Another official said there were reports that "hundreds of orcs" were gathering in Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar and might try to infiltrate again.
"Authorities have alerted local lashkars (tribal militia) amid fears of a bigger clash," he told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Intelligence officials say the attackers are loyalists of Pak holy man Maulana Fazlullah, who fled into Afghanistan when the army recaptured the Swat ...a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistain, located 99 mi from Islamabad. It is inhabited mostly by Pashto speakers. The place has gone steadily downhill since the days when Babe Ruth was the Sultan of Swat... valley after a two-year Taliban insurgency ended in 2009.
Swat neighbors Upper Dir, which is a key transit route between Afghanistan and Pakistain.
The valley was once a popular tourism destination and unlike the semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, lies just 100 kilometers from the capital Islamabad.
The Taliban released a video showing severed heads of 17 Pak soldiers who they said were killed in a similar cross-border attack on a check post in Soni Darr on June 24.
A bigwig confirmed that all 17 in the video were security personnel.
Afghanistan and Pakistain trade blame for Taliban violence plaguing both sides of their porous, mountainous border.
Islamabad lodged a strong protest with Kabul over the June 24 attack. Both the Afghans and the Americans repeatedly blame Pakistain for not doing more to eliminate havens on its soil, which are used as launch pads for attacks across the border.
Last month, the U.S. commander of NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Originally it was a mutual defense pact directed against an expansionist Soviet Union. In later years it evolved into a mechanism for picking the American pocket while criticizing the cut of the American pants... in Afghanistan blamed the Pakistain-based Haqqani network for a siege on a lakeside hotel in Kabul that killed 18 people.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ...current SecDef, previously Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Panetta served as President Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1997 and was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1977 to 1993.... warned last month that Washington was running out of patience with Pakistain over orc havens.
[Pak Daily Times] Police apprehended two alleged cut-throats of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) and a gangster in separate raids conducted here in the city on Monday. A police official informed that two alleged cut-throats of the TTP, Faisal Mehsud and Khan Mohammad alias Sajid, were apprehended from Orangi Town. He said that the accused were allegedly involved in the killings of ASI Nadeem and Constable Sajid. Separately, an alleged gangster Shaukat was locked away Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw! from Pak Colony along with his kalashnikov and narcotics. Police officials said that the suspect was associated with Ghaffar Zikri group and involved in several assassinations. staff report
[Pak Daily Times] Unidentified gunnies blew up a government primary school for boys in Swabi district with no casualty reported, police said on Monday. The school in Dara village exploded with a time bomb that was planted outside the outer wall. As a result, structure of several rooms was badly damaged and windowpanes were smashed. No casualty was reported as the kaboom occurred late on Sunday night. The police cordoned off the area after the kaboom and launched a search operation. Someone is confused. It's girls' schools for blowing up, boys' schools for turning into madrassahs. One can never have too many madrassahs for boys.
A car bomb in a busy marketplace in Diwaniya killed at least 25 people and injured 50 others on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, two roadside bombs targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed four people and injured 21 near Kerbala.
In Diwaniya, 125 miles south of Baghdad, police announced a partial curfew and closed all entrances to the city.
The bombing took place near a Shi'ite mosque that pilgrims visit on their way to Kerbala to celebrate the birthday al-Mahdi this week.
[An Nahar] Exiled opposition groups tried to forge a common vision for a transition in Syria as they met Monday in Cairo while the U.N. human rights When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much... chief accused the regime and the opposition of "serious" violations.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay also charged that weapons supplied to both the government and opposition were escalating the conflict, telling news hounds in New York that "further militarization" must be avoided.
She spoke as at least 30 people were reportedly killed in new bloodshed across Syria.
Meanwhile, ...back at the pie fight, Bella opened her mouth at precisely the wrong moment... opposition figures met behind closed doors in Cairo to chart a common vision after criticizing a transition blueprint agreed by the major powers at the weekend.
Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... chief Nabil al-Arabi, who chaired the two-day meeting attended by around 250 opposition figures, urged the factions "not to waste this opportunity" and to "unite."
Arabi also stressed the need for "a pluralist democratic system that does not discriminate between Syrians."
Nasser al-Qudwa, deputy to U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan ...Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh and so far the worst Secretary-General of the UN. Annan and the UN were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for something or other that probably sounded good at the time. In December 2004, reports surfaced that Kofi's son Kojo received payments from the Swiss company Cotecna, which had won a lucrative contract under the UN Oil-for-Food Program. Kofi Annan called for an investigation to look into the allegations, which stirred up the expected cesspool but couldn't seem to come up with enough evidence to indict Kofi himself, or even Kojo... , echoed Arabi's call, telling the opposition to "unify your vision and your performance."
"This is not a choice, but a necessity if the opposition wants to gain the trust of its people in Syria," Qudwa told the meeting which was also attended by the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait.
In Syria, the corpse count rose again amid new reports of festivities between troops and rebels and shelling of rebel-held regions and districts across the country.
"The provision of arms to the Syrian government and to its opponents is fueling the violence," Pillay told news hounds after briefing the U.N. Security Council.
"Any further militarization of the conflict must be avoided at all costs," she said.
While Pillay did not name countries, Russia and Iran are key suppliers to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad The Scourge of Hama... 's government.
The Gulf states, notably Qatar and Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in their national face... , have given weapons to the increasingly well-armed opposition.
Pillay said the government and opposition were carrying out "serious" new rights violations including attacks on hospitals and renewed an appeal for the council to refer the conflict to the International Criminal Court ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... And she told the council that the violence, now in its 16th month, was becoming "increasingly sectarian," while hundreds of people remain trapped in Deir Ezzor, in the east, and in the Old City district of Homs "because of the increasing use of heavy weaponry, shelling and ongoing armed festivities."
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday that more than 16,500 people have been killed in violence since the uprising against Assad's rule broke out in March last year.
On Monday, the army kept up its bombardment of rebel neighborhoods of the central city of Homs as violence killed at least 30 people across the country, the watchdog said.
An activist in Homs told AFP via Skype that many civilians remained trapped in the shelling of the Jurat al-Shiah, Khaldiyeh and Old City neighborhoods of Syria's third-largest city.
"Many neighborhoods of Homs are still under siege, and it is really hard for us to get food or medicines in," said Khaled al-Tellawy.
"Field doctors are amputating the limbs of the injured because they have no equipment to treat them with, and they can't be smuggled out."
Rebel fighters and activists based in Syria said they were boycotting the Cairo meeting, denouncing it as a "conspiracy" and criticizing the agenda which they said rejects calls for military intervention.
The statement, signed by the rebel Free Syrian Army and "independent" activists, said the meeting serves the interests of the Syrian regime's allies Russia and Iran.
It also slammed the meeting for "ignoring the question of buffer zones protected by the international community, humanitarian corridors, an air embargo and the arming of rebel fighters."
World powers meeting in Geneva at the weekend agreed a transition plan for Syria, in a compromise with Russia and China, that was branded a failure by both the opposition and Syrian state media.
The Geneva plan did not make any explicit call for Assad to cede power, as urged by Western governments, after Russia and China insisted that Syrians themselves must decide how the transition takes place.
The opposition Syrian National Council said on Sunday that "no initiative can receive the Syrian people's backing unless it specifically demands the fall of Bashir al-Assad and his clique."
[An Nahar] President Michel Suleiman ...before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Leb Armed Forces. That was after the previous commander, the loathesome Emile Lahoud, took office as president in November of 1998. Likely the next president of Leb will be whoever's commander of the armed forces, too... slammed on Monday the Syrian security forces' detention of two general security members from Leb, deeming the action a violation of international law.
Syrian security forces infiltrated the northern region of Wadi Khaled on Monday and jugged Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! two general security members for an hour, several media outlets reported.
LBC TV said around 20 Syrian soldiers shot up Jisr al-Qmar, which damaged the customs building and a number of cars, and continued marching toward the area.
Al-Joumhouria newspaper reported that the Syrian forces threatened the Lebanese security forces, accusing them of allowing gunnies to open fire at Syrian territories.
LBC pointed out that the Syrian forces jugged Drop the rosco and step away witcher hands up! a member of the Lebanese customs and two general security members and hit them before dragging two of them into Syrian territories for an hour.
Suleiman added that the incident violates the duty of the two countries to coordinate their activity along the border.
 Turkish media reported that at least 85 Syrian troops, including a general and six other officers, defected to Turkey late Monday and brought 300 family members with them in a mass bid for asylum.
In its report on what would be the largest single-day exodus from the army of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... , the Turkish Anatolia news agency said 14 generals have abandoned their battle-torn homeland since an uprising began in March 2011.
High-level defections had been relatively rare in the early months of the conflict, attesting to the cohesion of Assad's inner circle, which is made up of members of the country's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. The majority of Syrians are Sunni Mohammedans.
But Syrian army attrition has escalated in recent weeks, markedly after Assad's forces shot down a Turkish jet on June 22 that Damascus ...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti... said had violated Syrian airspace. Ankara insists the plane was downed over international waters, and has stepped up air patrols of its tense, southern border. Another general and 33 other troops crossed over to Turkey during the weekend that followed the plane incident. And on June 21, a Syrian fighter pilot flew his MIG-21 war plane to Jordan and asked for asylum.
[Al Ahram] Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... issued three new "counter-terrorism" laws on Monday, the official SANA news agency said, nearly 16 months into a deadly crackdown on an uprising against his rule.
"Those who create or direct terrorist groups may be sentenced with 10 to 20 years of hard labour, but the punishment may be more severe if the goal is to change the regime or the structure of the state," said the text of the laws passed on Thursday.
"If these (terrorist) acts result in death or disability for the victims, the death sentence may be imposed," it added.
Moreover, "the financing of terrorism, including any action to collect and directly or indirectly provide money, weapons, ammunition, explosives, communication equipment or intelligence to aid acts of terrorism are punishable by 15 to 20 years in prison."
The lowest penalty is five years in prison for acts that do not result in loss of life or property.
Another law says state employees convicted of "any act of terrorism -- whether he is directly engaged, an accessory to the crime, or providing material or moral support to terrorist groups in any way -- will be fired," SANA said.
This law also applies to former government employees, who risk losing their pensions if convicted.
A third law provides for jail terms of 10 to 20 years with hard labour and a fine for any kidnapping for ransom, the news agency said.
SANA said that during a debate on Thursday, members of parliament said the laws were "needed at this stage, given the negative impact of terrorism on the security of the country and its citizens."
Human rights lawyer Anwar al-Bunni said the new laws were not intended to establish security.
Instead, they were "another tool in the hands of the regime to defend itself and pursue its security solution," said the head of the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research.
"The new laws contain broader definitions for acts of terrorism and stronger punishments than the former Penal Code," said Bunni, who has himself spent several years in prison.
"The government emphasises the idea of a conspiracy in the face of the revolution of a people who want democracy and liberty."
But by using more violence, the regime was "closing the door to any political solution," Bunni added.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.