[DailyMail] US Defense Secretary General James Mattis has dismissed as 'fiction' an Australian media report claiming American forces were prepared to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities as early as next month.
A bewildered Mattis was quizzed by US reporters in Washington DC on Friday about the ABC report.
The 'exclusive' report quoted unnamed senior Australian government figures and claimed Australian defence facilities would likely play a role in identifying targets in Iran.
Here is the original Oz Broadcasting (ABC) report:
A reward for Hamas for being about to sign a hudna with Israel, no doubt.
[AlAhram] Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has ordered the country's Rafah border crossing with the Gazoo Strip be opened for four days starting Saturday, to facilitate travel by Moslem pilgrims from the strip. The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca will take place later this month.
One of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, the hajj is obligatory for all Moslems who are able to complete the trip.
Egypt usually keeps the border crossing closed citing security concerns, opening it periodically for short periods, often including major Islamic holidays.
[ARABNEWS] the late Osama bin Laden ... who is no longer with us, and won't be again... , the world’s former most wanted man for terrorism charges, was set on using Saudi citizens to destroy relations between the west and the east, according to officials in Riyadh, London and Washington DC.
"There is no doubt that he deliberately chose Saudi citizens for the 9/11 plot," a British intelligence officer told British daily the Guardian.
The intelligence officer said that Bin Laden "was convinced" that he was going to turn the west against 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... The former head of Saudi intelligence between 1977 and September 1, 2001, Prince Turki al-Faisal, also said his intelligence agency knew that something "spectacular" was about to happen to the Americans, British, French and Arabs just months before 9/11, the report said.
According to the prince, the al-Qaeda leader had developed a political attitude in 1990 when he wanted to evict the communists from South Yemen. This happened after Bin Laden travelled to Afghanistan to fight the Soviet occupation.
However, some people cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go... according to Bin Laden’s mother, Alia Ghanem, he was a shy boy who was academically capable and only became radicalised in his early 20s while studying in university.
Speaking for the first time, she told the Guardian that he was brainwashed at university.
While at university, Bin Laden met Abdullah Azzam who was a member of the Moslem Brüderbund. Azzam became Bin Laden’s spiritual adviser after he exiled from Saudi Arabia.
Posted by: Fred ||
08/04/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: al-Qaeda
Where he went wrong. You can't polish a turd...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
08/04/2018 0:48 Comments ||
[ToloNews] The United States Congress on Thursday approved a $716.3-billion defense authorization bill, wherein it made a significant cut to the security-oriented financial aid to Pakistain.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2019 ramped up the military spending and avoided policy changes that would have antagonized US President 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... In the latest NDAA, the security aid to Islamabad ‐ that had once started from almost $750 million per year to $1 billion ‐ was marked down to a mere $150 million. However, a hangover is the wrath of grapes... it also relaxed certain conditions that were attached with the financial assistance, including action against the Haqqani Network and the Lashkar-e-Taiba ...the Army of the Pure, an Ahl-e-Hadith terror organization founded by Hafiz Saeed. LeT masquerades behind the Jamaat-ud-Dawa facade within Pakistain and periodically blows things up and kills people in India. Despite the fact that it is banned, always an interesting concept in Pakistain, the organization remains an blatant tool and perhaps an arm of the ISI... (LeT).
This crucial reduction translates into the fact that the Pentagon might not have any tools to pressurize Pakistain into taking action against the banned myrmidon outfits. The US had earlier used these funds to ask Islamabad to do more with regard to the counter-terrorism operations, especially against the Haqqani Network.
Lately, the Trump administration, which has become quite active in trying to make the Afghan peace talks work, has been pushing Pakistain to help bring the Taliban ...the Pashtun equivalent of men... to the negotiating table in order to reach a deal with Kabul's government.
The NDAA 2019, which was earlier given the green signal by the US House of Representatives, was passed 87 to 10 in the Senate. The Bill has now been sent to the White House for Trump to sign.
The bill provides $69 billion in war funding known as overseas contingency operations, authorizes a 2.6-percent pay raise for members of the armed forces, and invests tens of billions in modernizing the Pentagon's air and sea fleets and missile defenses.
The bill includes "the quantity and type of precision guided munitions that are necessary for Israel to combat Hezbollah in the event of a sustained armed confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah," and "other gangs and terrorist organizations such as Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth",."
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) praised the bill which includes $500 million for missile defense cooperation between the two countries, and up to $50 million for counter-tunnel defense, thanking the Senate for helping to "protect Israel against mounting security threats."
According to AIPAC, the bill "authorizes funding for both R&D and procurement for the Iron Dome, David’s Sling, Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 missile defense systems. These programs enable Israel to defend its citizens while advancing America’s own missile defense capabilities."
In addition, the bill authorizes the government to provide counter-tunnel technology, which AIPAC said, "will enable America and Israel to continue their joint efforts to defeat the threat posed by terrorist organizations like Hamas and similar threats America faces in the Middle East and beyond."
The funding is less than in the 2017 budget, but AIPAC said it is in accordance with the 2016 US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on security assistance.
The bill notably prohibits delivery of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft to The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire.... , a NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... ally with increasingly fraught relations with Washington, until Ankara can confirm it will not buy Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.
And while China and Russia are classified as "strategic competitors" to the United States, the legislation negotiated between the House and Senate left out a proposal by senators that would have blocked a deal Trump reached with Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE that eases tough financial penalties on the firm for helping Iran and North Korea evade American sanctions.
The NDAA also includes a provision allowing the administration to waive some Russia-related sanctions that would have barred Washington from selling defense-related equipment to countries using Russian technology.
Supporters of the provision stress that the change will help certain countries wean themselves off of Russian influence.
The bill including provisions which allow for better assessment of risks to US national security from transactions involving foreign firms aiming to gain access to sensitive American technology.
It also extends a restriction on US-Russian military cooperation, and authorizes $65 million to revamp the US nuclear arsenal by developing new "low-yield" nuclear weapons.
This year’s NDAA was named after Senator John Maverick McCain ... the Senator-for-Life from Arizona, former presidential candidate and even more former foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution. As an ordinary citizen he greased the infamous hookers peeing on the Obamabed in Moscow dossier in an attempt to smear President Trump... , the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman and national security hawk who is home in Arizona battling brain cancer.
"This year’s NDAA represents an important opportunity to implement an effective approach to confront a growing array of threats around the world," McCain said.
[DAWN] Four detained suspects on Thursday recorded their statements before an antiterrorism court, denying their alleged involvement in the murder of Pakistain Tehrik-e-Insaf ...a political party in Pakistan. PTI was founded by former Pakistani cricket captain and philanthropist Imran Khan. The party's slogan is Justice, Humanity and Self Esteem, each of which is open to widely divergent interpretations.... leader Zahra Shahid in 2013.
The suspects ‐ Mohammad Rashid, alias Master, Zahid Abbas Zaidi, Irfan, alias Lamba, and Kaleem ‐ with their absconding accomplices have been charged with killing the PTI leader in front of her home in the Defence Housing Authority on May 18, 2013.
On Thursday, the ATC-XVII judge, who is conducting trial in the judicial complex inside the central prison, record statements of the suspects as required under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Irfan, alias Lamba, testified that the Rangers personnel had taken him into custody from his home on March 28, 2013 while the alleged murder took place on May 18, 2013. He said his family had also filed a petition with the Sindh High Court about his disappearance.
The suspect added that after unlawfully detaining him for 12 days the paramilitary force handed over his custody to the Mehmoodabad police, where he was booked in false criminal cases of possessing illicit arms, etc.
The suspect further deposed that he had nothing to do with the murder of the PTI leader, but the law enforcers had framed him in the case because of political rivalry as he was associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement as in-charge of its Defence and Clifton unit.
Mohammad Rashid, Zahid Abbas and Kaleem also denied their involvement in the alleged crime, alleging that they were framed in the case by the law enforcers on the basis of political rivalry.
The suspects deposed that they were detained by the law enforcement agencies after the crime took place and their families had also petitioned the SHC for their release from the detention of the law enforcement agencies.
They further testified that the prosecution had falsely booked them in the case.
After recording their statements, the judge fixed the matter for Aug 3 (today) to record testimonies of the defence witnesses.
Ms Shahid, a senior leader of the PTI, was shot dead on the eve of re-election on Karachi’s National Assembly constituency, NA-250.
On July 14, the prosecution rested its side in the case. Around 15 prosecution witnesses have been examined in the case.
Posted by: Fred ||
08/04/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[DAWN] Former prime minister and supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf, then by the courts... has sent a message to his party leaders and workers from Adiala jail, asking them to continue protest against alleged rigging in the July 25 elections.
According to PML-N leaders who met Mr Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar in the jail on Thursday, the former PM has also asked them to make a joint strategy with other opposition parties.
A number of PML-N leaders and family members met the incarcerated leaders of the PML-N in jail. Prison authorities arranged the meeting in a conference hall adjacent to the jail superintendent’s office.
Talking to reporters outside the jail later, they said Mr Sharif was of the opinion that his party lost people’s mandate had been stolen in the elections.
Posted by: Fred ||
08/04/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[DAWN] The Election Commission of Pakistain (ECP) is set to void polls, and their results, in two national assembly constituencies over low turnout of female voters.
"A summary has been moved to the Commission by the ECP secretariat recommending that the polls in NA-10 (Shangla) and NA-48 (North Wazoo) ‐ where women votes were less than 10 per cent of the total polled votes ‐ be declared void," a source in the ECP told Dawn on Thursday.
The number of registered voters in a constituency includes both men and women who have registered to vote. The 10pc law was passed to ensure that women participated in the polls, and were not marginalised or coerced into not voting. According to the rules, if among the total votes cast in a constituency, the share of women in the final count is less than 10pc, the results of the polls may be declared void.
Posted by: Fred ||
08/04/2018 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
*snicker* The Go Limp gambit: the men don’t want us to vote so we won’t, leaving them to deal with the consequences of “winning”. Wars between the sexes don’t go well.
[Rudaw] ERBIL, Kurdistan Region ‐ On the eve of the Yezidi genocide, their representative in the KRG’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Endowments disclosed that 1,102 Yezidis remain missing.
Khairi Bozani told Rudaw that the Yezidi population is 550,000 in Iraq and Kurdistan Region, while another 100,000 have fled the country since Shingal fell to ISIS on August 3, 2014.
Considered non-believers or devil worshipers by ISIS, thousands of Yezidi men and women were massacred or sold into slavery ‐ sexual and otherwise.
Bozani added that 1,193 people were massacred only in the first day of the attack, leaving 2,745 children without parents.
Following the events, the KRG opened an office for kidnapped Yezidis. Out of 6,417 kidnapped people, the office has been able to rescue 1,315.
On Friday againt the Yezidis will hold a ceremony on Mount Shingal and other events are planned in Duhok where hundreds of thousands remain displaced.
Rebuilding the Shingal homeland remains a struggle. It is a disputed or Kurdistani area, claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil. Infrastructure remains destroyed more than a year after its liberation from the Lion of Islams.
Psychosocial services are also a major concern for the survivors.
Why it's best not to rely on govenrment for anything that can be acquired elsewhere.
[Rudaw] SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region‐Local officials and business owners in Sulaimani believe that the federal government has supplied expired and bad quality wheat to the province’s mills and bakeries.
"We found out that one of the mills was using a type of wheat that was supplied by Baghdad and rated as top quality," Ramazan Namiq of Sulaimani provincial agricultural commission told Rudaw. "But we realized that it wasn’t even second or third rate."
"It failed our inspections altogether." Name added.
According to Namiq the wheat had originally come from Kirkuk’s main silos. He believes that the supply has been tampered with on the way to the Kurdistan Region.
"We’ve information that a lot of dirt has been mixed with the wheat in order to increase the weight." Namiq claimed.
Awder Rahman, a baker in Sulaimani said they have no use for government-supplied flour due to its bad quality.
"We buy our own Ottoman Turkish flour," Rahman told Rudaw. "The subsidized flour is only used to put on top of the other flour to keep it from drying."
In Iraq the government subsidizes flour, rice and certain other items to people. However, denial ain't just a river in Egypt... there have long been complaints of low quality food supplies under the ration card program.
For her part, Nasrin Muhammad, head of the Sulaimani department of grains admitted that the wheat supplied by the central government was of low quality, but added that it had passed health inspections.
"From a health perspective it has no issues at all, but it isn’t good for making bread." Muhammad said. "I also assure everyone that good quality Australian wheat has been bought and is on the way and once it arrives we’ll mix it with our own wheat and produce a high quality flour.
[IsraelTimes] Move comes after Operation Good Neighbor 'frozen' amid Assad regime and Russian offensive that retakes control of border area.
The Mazor Ladach field clinic, whose name means "relief for the suffering," was part of the army’s multi-faceted humanitarian relief operation, dubbed Operation Good Neighbor and launched in 2013.
Israel has treated thousands of Syrians in field hospitals on the border and in public hospitals, mostly in northern Israel, over the past five years. Since 2016, as part of the operation, more than 600 Syrian children, accompanied by their mothers, have come to Israel for treatment. Hundreds of tons of food, medical equipment and clothing have also been sent across the border to Syria.
But over the past week, the IDF has reportedly begun to scale back its border operations and close the border to fleeing civilians seeking medical care. The reason: Syrian government forces have completed their takeover of the area bordering Israel’s Golan Heights from rebel groups, leaving the Damascus government in charge of the area and responsible for civilians’ well-being there.
The army’s decision represents the first time that the border will be completely closed to any Syrian civilians since Good Neighbor was initiated. Officials stressed, however, that the program has not been permanently shuttered and rather only "frozen" until the outcome of the Syrian government offensive, and its consequences for civilians in the border area, becomes clear.
Rebels captured the area along the Golan Heights after a popular uprising broke out against Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Light of the Alawites... in 2011. An IS-linked outfit known as the Khaled bin al-Waleed Army later seized the area from the opposition fighters.
The region is strategically important for Syria because it also controls a key highway from the Jordanian border to the capital, Damascus.
UN peacekeeping forces first deployed along the frontier in 1974 to separate Syrian and Israeli forces.
[IsraelTimes] Top leadership said to accept terms of truce on condition of eased border restrictions; Jerusalem official says they insisted deal include return of held Israelis
I put down my marker that the Gazans will break it before it is even signed. What say you, dear Reader?
Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth", leadership on Friday agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal with Israel on the condition that restrictions on the Gazoo Strip’s border crossings be eased, Hadashot news reported. Now they were waiting for an Israeli response after the cabinet meets Sunday.
In the wake of Hamas’s approval, the TV news station said that a "very senior" Israeli official travelled to Qatar ...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates. Home of nutbag holy manYusuf al-Qaradawi... Continued on Page 49
[Ynet] Syria denied reports early Friday it had shot down an Israeli aircraft in the wake of reports on the state news agency SANA that the Syrian army's air defense systems intercepted a target in western Damascus.
Syrian sources told Al Mayadeen there was no Israeli attack in Syria.
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.