Garissa, Kenya -- The Garissa campus of the Kenya Medical Training College ( KMTC) has been closed for what was termed as security concerns. The closure comes weeks after the indefinite closure of Garissa University College in the same town following a terrorist attack that killed 148 people.
Pretty much an admission by the Kenyan government that it can't protect its citizens...
More than 300 students who were pursuing various diploma and certificate courses at the medical institution have been ordered to leave. The college’s administration had given students two days to fill up transfer forms and travel to other KMTC campuses around the country
Some students expressed their relief by the action saying they had been worried of their security since no visible improvements had been made since the university’s attack. Others, mostly from Northern Eastern, expressed their disappointment by the closure saying they have been forced to continue with their education in campuses far away from their locality.
By Saturday afternoon it was not yet clear the fate of two other institutions of higher learning within Garissa.
Posted by: Steve White ||
Top|| File under: al-Shabaab
Cairo -- Egypt said on Saturday it had extended by three months a state of emergency imposed on parts of northern Sinai in October after terrorists militants stepped up attacks in the peninsula bordering Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal.
Terrorists Insurgents have killed hundreds of soldiers and policemen in Sinai since mid-2013, lashing out after then-army chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi ousted President Mohammed Mursi following protests. Sisi went on to be elected president last year.
The decision, announced in a statement from the presidency, will be implemented in Rafah, Al Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and surrounding areas starting on Sunday. It also extends a night-time curfew in place in the same areas.
The measure was first introduced after 33 security personnel were killed in an attack by terrorists in late October at a checkpoint in northern Sinai. It was extended for another three months in January.
The attack was claimed by terrorists Sinai Province, an affiliate of Daesh, which earlier changed its name from Ansar Bayt Al Maqdis. The terrorist group, which aims to topple the government in Cairo, has mainly focused on targets in Sinai.
The destruction of tunnels into the Gaza Strip and the creation of a security buffer zone in northern Sinai last year has stoked resentment among terrorist camp followers residents, who say they rely on the smuggling trade through the tunnels and complain of neglect by the state.
UN -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named a Mauritanian diplomat on Saturday as his envoy to Yemen, charged with trying to broker peace in the country.
I didn't realize Mauritania had diplomats...
Everyone has diplomats. It gives the over-educated, underemployed first sons of the ruling class -- not to mention the unemployed second through nth sons and ambitious daughters of ditto -- something to do that keeps them out from underfoot of those running the famijly business back home. That young Bhutto was not kitted out as a diplomat after he failed as a politician suggests he is seriously missing something in the upper story.
So okay, it could be work: Ahmed could have stayed in Mauritania...
Ban notified the UN Security Council on Thursday of his intention to appoint Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace Jamal Benomar, a Moroccan diplomat who brokered a 2011 transition aimed at quelling political turmoil in Yemen. The Security Council approved the selection on Saturday.
“Ould Cheikh Ahmed will work closely with the members of the United Nations Security Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Governments in the region and other partners, as well as the United Nations Country Team for Yemen,” Ban said in a statement.
Since December Ould Cheikh Ahmed has been heading the United Nations Ebola response mission, UNMEER.
So he's well experienced with managing disasters...
He has almost three decades of development and aid experience with the United Nations.
As I was just sayin'...
More recently, he was UN resident humanitarian and development coordinator in Syria between 2008 and 2012, and in Yemen from 2012 to 2014.
WASHINGTON -- North Korea appears to have missed an important lesson from the breakthrough deal on Iran's nuclear program: that the United States is committed to negotiations even with long-time foes, the U.S. envoy for nuclear talks with Pyongyang said Tuesday.
Sydney Seiler, special envoy for the six-party talks on the North's nuclear program, made the remark during a seminar in Washington, stressing that the Iran deal clearly demonstrated "the flexibility, the creativity, the commitment to negotiations" that the U.S. maintains.
"They (the North Koreans) may not have learned any lesson (from the Iran nuclear deal). If they had learned any lesson, then we would have perhaps seen it earlier," he said during the seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The Iranian deal "clearly demonstrates our willingness to engage countries with whom the United States has had long-standing differences," Seiler said, adding that there should be no doubt the U.S. remains committed to a negotiated resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.
"See? If you guys were more like the Iranians we could surrender to you. Even Castro figured that out!"
"It is the DPRK, however, that has not yet decided to embark on this path. It has repeatedly rejected offers for dialogue. It has repeatedly and openly violated commitments ... to abandon its nuclear program. It continues to ignore international obligations," Seiler said.
Iran ignored international obligations and look how we're kowtowing to them...
The six-party talks aimed at resolving the North Korean standoff have been stalled since late 2008. North Korea demands the unconditional resumption of negotiations, while the U.S. says that Pyongyang must first take concrete steps demonstrating its denuclearization commitments.
As the six-party talks have been idled, the North has bolstered its nuclear capabilities and stockpile, conducting its second and third nuclear tests, in 2009 and 2013. Some experts now warn that the communist nation's nuclear arsenal could expand to 100 bombs by 2020.
Seiler stressed that the U.S. is not opposed to surrendering talking to North Korea, but that negotiations must focus on denuclearization. The communist regime should also halt its nuclear activity and refrain from nuclear and missile tests before talks resume.
"We seek negotiations ... And indeed the entire international community is looking for this type of policy shift in Pyongyang and that policy shift would be positively responded to," he said.
"Serious guys! You give an inch and we'll give you the mile!"
“Reclaim Australia” rallies were held in 16 different locations across Australia Saturday. Billed as a call for “patriotic Australians” to “stand together to stop tax, Sharia law and Islamization,”. the rallies provoked violent encounters with counter protesters who billed the events as racist and anti-Muslim.
Reclaim Australia, a community organization, denied the accusations. "We're not against any particular race or any particular religion," John Oliver, an activist with the organization, said. "We're against the extremists of one particular religion. I know in Sydney and Melbourne they've got Muslims already signed on to attend because they can see what's happening and they don't like what's happening."
Most Reclaim Australia protesters interviewed seemed to agree that the group was opposed to Islamic extremism and not Muslims who follow Australian law and whose intentions were not to change Australian culture.
Typical at the rallies were the sentiments of protester John Bolton who told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, "What I'm not against is ordinary Australian people who happen to be Muslims who follow their faith, they don't need anybody's permission, provided they comply with the Australian civil and criminal law and want to comply with our constitution."
"Most here are happy to have immigrants who want to come and fit in," Reclaim Australia protester Rhonda Cashmore said. "We're protesting against immigrants who don't want to follow our laws."
Reclaim Australia spokeswoman Catherine Brennan concurred. "We are pro-Australian values and anti-extreme Islam, but we're not anti-Muslim," she stated. “Since when is it being racist to love your country and to love the values and culture that you've been brought up with?"
Australia has been hit with a spate of Islamic extremist crime. Last September, Australian police embarked on a major counter-terrorism operation in response to intelligence reports that the Islamic State was planning an imminent attack. In the largest terror raid in Australia’s history, close to 800 federal and state police officers were dispatched to more than 12 locations across Sydney, with more raids coordinated in Brisbane and Logan as well.
Australia contributes the highest number of foreign fighters per capita to the ranks of the Islamic State. A number of Australian citizens have made the news for joining the Islamic State as well as the vast majority of the estimated 200 fighters who remain anonymous.
I thought a lot of Muslims left their Muslim homelands for the West because they were not fond of the extremist Muslim rule there and wanted the opportunity and freedom available in, e.g., Australia. Sounds like finally at least a few of them may be recognizing that what they left is following them, and they need to speak up a bit. Maybe?
nice to see reasonable coverage if a bit late. The protests were back on april 4
In the weeks since then there has been no fair coverage in the australian media. Australian news, radio, television and internet coverage all painted the counter-rallies as "anti-racist" even though they were not.
The Reclaim Australia rallies were about opposing Sharia and Halal Certification on food.
Islamists have pressured large food companies into paying huge sums to certify their products "halal" under threat of Muslim boycott.
The money goes to organisations like Muslims Australia, which certifies Vegemite, and is the umbrella organisation for the Islamic Councils of each state.
This group uses the money raised from halal certification to build mosques and spread Islam in Australia. It raised more than $600,000 in halal certification fees in 2012 and is just one of 21 certification organisations.
Non-Muslim Australians are VERY ANGRY they have to subsidise this on their groceries. It's on meat. It's on vegemite. It's on bread. Flour. Butter. Cream. Shampoo. Delivery trucks must have it. McDonalds, Red Rooster, KFC all buy meet from halal certified abattoirs.
I just read back to your question vis Kashrut and Kosher marks being taken off food due to Halal Cert push back.
People here are not angry at Kosher certification, because that isn't used as a blatant revenue stream.
People here understand that it is an honest religious symbol designed only to tell jews that the product is Kosher. For example: I've heard of no instances where something is Kosher without a big symbol on it.
Halal Certification is different - they are taking money from everyone. Including Sanitarium cornflakes - Sanitarium is owned by some other religion! But it certifies Halal and pays money to build mosques and spread Islam!!!
It's outrageous to expect us to pay for this on groceries.
What consumers here want - and it's totally reasonable - is for religious organisations to fund their own certification so non-religious consumers are not subsidising them. That and label the product clearly so people can have a choice.
This won't affect Kashrut or Kosher certifiers to the same degree that it will affect Halal Certifiers for the simple reason that Kosher certifiers are honest and Halal Certifiers are using it as a revenue raising exercise.
the thing I know its the western born muslims that want to go out to Syria/Iraq to fight. they have a romantic view of the Islamic world/caliphate. they don't realise the poverty side till they land there.
[NEWS.INVESTORS] Another Obama amnesty program is well underway -- at Guantanamo, where three dangerous al-Qaeda operatives have quietly been OK'd for release in three months. And now a close aide to the 9/11 criminal mastermind is also on tap for release.
After already freeing an al-Qaeda bomb maker last month -- over the objections of U.S. intelligence, which warned, "He would be capable of re-engaging as an explosives expert or trainer" -- the parole board that Obama set up to clear out Gitmo is now poised to rubber-stamp for release a close associate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Gitmo's so-called Periodic Review Board, made up of State Department and Justice Department officials, is hearing from defense lawyers for Abdul Shalabi, a former bodyguard to the late Osama bin Laden ... who doesn't live anywhere anymore... also connected to Mohammed while he was in 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... , Pakistain, plotting the 9/11 attacks.
They argue that their client is now harmless and wants only to "take care of his ailing mother" 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... while joining the family "real estate and construction business."
Military intelligence notes that Shalabi was trained "for participation in a suicide kaboom or deployment to the West" and warns that his family in Saudi Arabia didn't stop him from becoming radicalized before 9/11.
Posted by: Fred ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
Such martial prowess on the part of little Belgium -- which I think once again has an actual, as opposed to caretaker, government -- should be appreciated and applauded, that they might be encouraged to take on more such responsibilites.
[Rudaw] The Belgium Ministry of Defense has released details of its role in the international coalition formed to battle 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.... , or ISIS, and has pledged to continue to train Iraqi troops.
"Since the beginning of the US-led coalition Arclight airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Belgian warplanes have constituted five percent of the Arclight airstrikes, but we have not taken part in Arclight airstrikes in Syria," the defense ministry announced on Saturday.
Lieutenant General Claude Van de Voorde, commander of the Belgian Air Force, issued specific details of the Arclight airstrikes at a presser in Brussels.
"Upon the request of the Iraqi Army and the Peshmerga, we managed to destroy 107 ISIS arsenals and positions in Iraq," Van de Voorde said.
"Belgian military advisers will continue to train Iraqi security forces."
The Belgian government became part of the anti-ISIS coalition last year, and has sent at least 35 military trainers and advisers to work with Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga.
On March 23, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) requested heavy weapons from Belgium during a session of the country's parliament attended by the KRG's representative to the European Union ...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing....
Posted by: trailing wife ||
Top|| File under: Islamic State
[Rudaw] The hall for the Erbil Oil and Gas Exhibition this week was crowded with company displays, executives and investors. But conspicuously absent were international oil giants like Shell, Exxon-Mobil and Chevron that only a year ago were eager to exploit the promising reserves of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
The threat of 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.... group krazed killers, who have swept across much of northern Iraq and are battling Kurdish forces only miles away from the Kurdish capital, Erbil, has dampened international interest. The security threat only increases oil companies' doubts, on top of falling oil prices and disputes between the Kurds and the Iraqi central government in Baghdad.
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"The Israeli Government is trying by all means to hide their atrocities against the Palestinian people, and minimize the number of people who can actually see what is happening on the ground," Nzimande told Independent Media on Thursday.
Nzimande was invited to Palestine by his Palestinian counterpart from 25-29 April 2015 in order to discuss the implementation of an agreement on academic collaboration that they signed when the ineffectual Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited South Africa in November 2014.
Palestine has academics?
Lots and lots of academics, and a number of higher education facilities, courtesy of the 1967- Intifada period of direct Israeli rule.
Birzeit University and the University of Johannesburg have been identified as possible academic partners, and Minister Nzimande was scheduled to participate in the launch of the Centre for African Studies at Birzeit University, for which South Africa would be the anchor. A Centre for Middle East Studies was also due to be launched at the University of Johannesburg, for which the University of Birzeit would have been the anchor.
Nzimande and his delegation of three officials had followed normal procedures to apply for a visa through the Embassy of Israel, but the application was returned with no explanation. The Israeli Embassy has now confirmed that they declined to issue the visa, and are adamant they will not be issuing the visas.
Nzimande is convinced that the Israelis want to punish him and the South African Communist Party for being so vocal in the past on their support for the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and a viable independent state.
Minister Nzimande is incensed at this blatant discrimination, and plans to request that all South African universities and colleges that have academic relations with Israeli institutions sever their ties. This academic boycott will only be called off once Israel fulfils its obligations under international law recognising Palestine along the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Nzimande is also calling on the Palestinian Solidarity Forum to call for a general academic boycott of all Israeli academic institutions. "What Israel is also doing is trying to subvert academic freedom, which cannot be tolerated," Nzimande said. The Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk was unavailable for comment.
[AnNahar] Hizbullah ...Party of God, a Leb militia inspired, founded, funded and directed by Iran. Hizbullah refers to itself as The Resistance and purports to defend Leb against Israel, with whom it has started and lost one disastrous war to date, though it did claim victory... has allegedly constructed a runway that consists of a single unpaved strip with a length of 670 meter and width of 20 meter in the Bekaa town of Hermel to operate its drones.
IHS Jane's Defense Weekly said in a report that the area is remote and unpopulated.
The magazine said that it obtained the information from satellite images that recently became publicly available on Google Earth.
The report suggests that the airstrip, 18 km west of the Syrian border, was established between 27 February 2013 and 19 June 2014.
It pointed out that the runway was "built over a shorter strip that had been in existence since at least 2010."
"The short length of the runway suggests the facility is not intended to smuggle in weapons shipments from Syria or Iran as it is too short for nearly all the transport aircraft used by the air forces of those countries," the report said.
It estimates that the runway was constructed to operate Iranian made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including Ababil-3 and Shahed-129.
Hizbullah sources confirmed to the magazine that the party is using the drones to aid the forces of Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... against rebels.
In 2014, the Saudi al-Watan daily reported that Hizbullah had established a small military airport in the Bekaa city of Baalbek to operate Iranian-made drones.
The Iranian drones were identified as Mirsad-1 and Mirsad-2.
Senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh had said that Hizbullah has dramatically improved its missile capabilities and can now pinpoint targets anywhere in Israel.
In 2012, Hizbullah chief His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah The satrap of the Medes and the Persians in Leb... acknowledged that a drone which Israel shot down by Israel was launched by his party.
The drone was "believed to be the new Shahed-129, which was unveiled by Tehran, with a range of up to 1,200 miles and a flight duration of 24 hours."
In July 2006, the Israeli military shot down an unarmed drone operated by Hizbullah over the Jewish state's territorial waters.
On April 12, 2005, another pilotless Hizbullah aircraft succeeded in overflying part of northern Israel without being downed.
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.