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Swiss couple kidnapped in SW Pakistan: official
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
1 00:00 Frank G [294] 
2 00:00 JosephMendiola [360] 
8 00:00 Barbara [334] 
1 00:00 Anonymoose [301] 
10 00:00 Frank G [350] 
3 00:00 Barbara [295] 
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10 00:00 Spinegum Ghibelline7465 [640] 
1 00:00 Kentucky Beef [265] 
2 00:00 trailing wife [560] 
4 00:00 Anonymoose [290] 
4 00:00 trailing wife [272] 
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2 00:00 Pollyandrew [298] 
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3 00:00 Spinegum Ghibelline7465 [278] 
Page 2: WoT Background
7 00:00 trailing wife [346]
3 00:00 JosephMendiola [382]
2 00:00 Spinegum Ghibelline7465 [271]
2 00:00 JosephMendiola [340]
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2 00:00 Spinegum Ghibelline7465 [258]
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1 00:00 g(r)omgoru [260]
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1 00:00 swksvolFF [267]
2 00:00 Barbara [432]
4 00:00 S [273]
2 00:00 Pollyandrew [329]
4 00:00 JosephMendiola [341]
Page 3: Non-WoT
3 00:00 Pappy [447]
4 00:00 JosephMendiola [376]
7 00:00 Barbara [326]
2 00:00 Barbara [259]
4 00:00 Pappy [257]
10 00:00 Mizzou Mafia [448]
5 00:00 Glenmore [255]
1 00:00 gromky [256]
8 00:00 JohnQC [261]
9 00:00 Barbara [336]
4 00:00 borgboy [258]
1 00:00 trailing wife [258]
3 00:00 European Conservative [263]
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1 00:00 Highlander [261]
Page 4: Opinion
1 00:00 JohnQC [254]
2 00:00 Bobby [254]
3 00:00 JohnQC [255]
11 00:00 Richard Aubrey [474]
2 00:00 Barbara [267]
Page 6: Politix
4 00:00 Cheaderhead [344]
4 00:00 Barbara [289]
8 00:00 JohnQC [257]
Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [350 views] Top|| File under:

#1  She doesn't look at all like Katherine Ross
Posted by: Frank G || 07/02/2011 1:02 Comments || Top||

#2  Happy Birthday/Daily Gam Shot

Yancy Butler aka Sgt. Eve Edison in "Mann & Machine (TV)" aka Det. Sara 'Pez' Pezzini in "Witchblade (TV)" aka Jessie Crossman in "Drop Zone" aka Avedon Hammond in "Ravager" aka Angie D'Amico in "Kick-A$$" (age 41)

For Gorb's Eyes Only.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 07/02/2011 2:36 Comments || Top||

#3  I am sure they are both very nice ladies, Frank G, btw, how does one address a Commodore? (8iggest mistake in my military life was to call a Sergeant Major, 'Sir', well, one of my biggest mistakes; they have no desire to be associated with Commissioned Officers and make a point of it).
Posted by: Rhodesiafever || 07/02/2011 16:07 Comments || Top||

#4  While I was in the USN (rhymes don't it?), Commodore was the title not rank of a squadron or group commander and was addressed by his military rank (either Captain or Admiral)
Posted by: Phereper Bonaparte1775 || 07/02/2011 16:13 Comments || Top||

#5  We're off base. "Frank" will do :-)
Posted by: Frank G || 07/02/2011 17:08 Comments || Top||

#6  Ah, the U of R. My ignorance is perhaps excused, as we had no navy. Thanks, ouens.
Posted by: Rhodesiafever || 07/02/2011 18:09 Comments || Top||

#7  I don't normally disagree with a Commode Door Frank G, but I always thought Katherine Ross was a good choice for Etta Place, who was uncommonly beautiful for her time.
Posted by: Pollyandrew || 07/02/2011 19:32 Comments || Top||

#8  I cannot explain the underlining. That is all.
Posted by: Pollyandrew || 07/02/2011 19:36 Comments || Top||

#9  I just thought i should tell you im gonna have such a hangover tomorow.

celebrating a yanky mates 4the july.

Happy Independence day.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 07/02/2011 20:08 Comments || Top||

#10  One of my fraternity brother's Step-Mom was Katherine Ross (Google it). Wisely, he kept us away. Don't blame him
Posted by: Frank G || 07/02/2011 21:59 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Sudanese army seizes southern Libyan town
Officials overseeing the no-fly zone enforced by Nato over Libya said the Sudanese move north of border had not encountered resistance from troops loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Since the February uprising against his regime, the Libyan leader's forces have been concentrated around Tripoli, the capital; Sirte, the eastern town that is Col Gaddafi's birthplace and Sebha, the desert outpost where the dictator grew up.

Officials said control of the town of Kufra and nearby military base granted the Sudanese a key strategic foothold between the regime and the opposition Transitional National Council (TNC) which holds the eastern seaboard and a series of rebel enclaves.

The Sudanese have not disrupted efforts to resume oil production on nearby southern oilfields.

"Our surveillance shows that they are not moving oil, so its not about money in the short term," said one Western official. "The commercial oil companies monitoring is reporting that there has been no movement of oil out of Libya.
Posted by: tipper || 07/02/2011 00:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [334 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kufra is about 400 Ks from the Sudan border.

Looks like an invasion to me.
Posted by: phil_b || 07/02/2011 2:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Sudanese and Libyans have been at it off an on since 71. look for Chad to get involved and get some payback while they can as well.
Posted by: OldSpook || 07/02/2011 9:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Look up the Toyota War in case you hand;t heard of it. Allegedly our support for Chad's ass-kicking of invading Libyan troops by Chadian forces was one of the vectors that led to Ghadaffy being angry enough to order the Lockerbie bombing.

The world was a busy place for us spooks 25 years ago.
Posted by: OldSpook || 07/02/2011 9:34 Comments || Top||

#4  "The world was a busy place for us spooks 25 years ago."

And it isn't now, OS?
Posted by: Barbara || 07/02/2011 9:48 Comments || Top||

#5  The Sudanese are laying down a marker in case the rebels win. If the rebels do succeed, they'll be busy enough just trying to establish order that they won't be able to do anything about a Sudanese excursion into Kufra.

The Sudanese Arabs have to replace the oil they won't be getting from south Sudan, after all.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/02/2011 11:45 Comments || Top||

#6  What a GREAT intervention strategy!
Pretty much got to figure his support for training camps is pretty much done.
Posted by: Skidmark || 07/02/2011 12:00 Comments || Top||

#7  Kufrah is a key transport/supply depot on the desert route from Cyrineica to Western Sudan (Darfur). Weapons, troops and supplies have often been shipped on a pretty much straight north-south line along the eastern border of Libya. I don't believe the oil pipeline system in Sudan is connected in any major way to the Libyan oil system. I would imagine that the building of a pipeline connecting the two would be a long term strategic objective of regional regimes with scruples.
Posted by: Kentucky Beef || 07/02/2011 13:25 Comments || Top||

#8  "a long term strategic objective of regional regimes with scruples"

Bummer - that leaves them all out.
Posted by: Barbara || 07/02/2011 14:10 Comments || Top||

Gadhafi Urges Supporters to Recover Arms France Gave Rebels
[An Nahar] Libyan leader Moammar Qadaffy on Friday urged his supporters to get back the weapons that La Belle France supplied to rebels in the Nafusa mountains who are battling his regime.

"March on the jebel (Nafusa) and seize the weapons that the French have supplied. If later you want to pardon them (the rebels), that's up to you," the embattled Qadaffy said in a message played over loudspeakers in central Tripoli.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Friday that this week's arms drop was meant only to defend peaceful civilians from Qadaffy's forces and thus fell in line with existing U.N. resolutions on the conflict.

"Civilians had been attacked by Qadaffy's forces and were in an extremely vulnerable situation and that is why medicine, food and also weapons of self-defense were parachuted," Juppe said, speaking on La Belle France Inter radio.

"It is not a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions" under which La Belle France and other allies launched air strikes and imposed embargoes to protect civilians from Qadaffy, he added.

On a visit to Moscow, Juppe said La Belle France had informed its partners in 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 style of the American pants...
as well the U.N. Security Council about its decision to supply arms directly to the rebels in Libya.

"We informed our partners in NATO and the Security Council about these deliveries," Juppe told news hounds after talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

"We believe that within the frameworks of Resolutions 1970 and 1973 -- and 1970 as a whole -- it is clear that all means are legitimate for protecting peaceful civilians," Juppe said.

The first resolution bans all arms deliveries to Libya -- a move Russia backed -- and the second authorizes nations "to take all necessary measures" to help protect civilians against Qadaffy's forces.

...back at the hoedown, Bob finally got to dance with Sally...
Qadaffy vowed anew that his forces will crush NATO, warning the military coalition: "Pull back, you have no chance of defeating this brave (Libyan) people."

"The Libyans will defeat the Crusader NATO forces," Qadaffy said in a speech to mark 100 days of NATO operations.

"Stop your operations otherwise the world will poke fun at you," he said, adding that NATO strikes were "useless."

"I advise you to stop your campaign and not to be led by a handful of traitors in Benghazi," he said in reference to the eastern coastal stronghold of the Libyan rebels.

He also directly addressed Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
...current Italian prime minister, known for his plain (for a European politician) speaking and his liking for hookers a third his age or less...
, "poor" French President Nicolas Sarkozy
...23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. Sarkozy is married to singer-songwriter Carla Bruni, who has a really nice birthday suit...
and British Prime Minister David Cameron
... has stated that he is certainly a big Thatcher fan, but I don't know whether that makes me a Thatcherite, which means he's not. Since he is not deeply ideological he lacks core principles and is easily led. He has been described as certainly not a Pitt, Elder or Younger, but he does wear a nice suit so maybe he's Beau Brummel ...
, asking them to "listen to the Libyan people who want peace."

Qadaffy, who was speaking from a secret location, invited NATO to "talk to the Libyan people."

"The people are masters of their own destiny. Discuss with them a solution to the crisis and I will help you," he said, again addressing leaders of NATO member states.

He also urged loyalists "to march on Misrata and liberate the city inch by inch, without resorting to arms."

The besieged rebel-held Misrata is Libya's third-largest city and the rebels' most significant enclave in western Libya.

"Finish the battle quickly," Qadaffy said.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [295 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Stop your operations otherwise the world will poke fun at you."

I will hand it to the Q-man, he will intermittently generate some impressive one-liners.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 07/02/2011 8:48 Comments || Top||

#2  Rebels to Gadhafi: Arabic equivalent of Molon Labe.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 07/02/2011 11:38 Comments || Top||

#3  "He also urged loyalists 'to march on Misrata and liberate the city inch by inch, without resorting to arms.'"

Lessee - the rebs have guns. The rebs know that if Qadaffyduck's minions defeat them, they're all dead, along with their families and probably their goats.

Yeah, that's gonna work. I notice Qadaffyduck's not out in front leading the charge against armed rebs to take back the city "without resorting to arms." Hope Qadaffyduck's loyalists don't mind being sacrificial lambs.
Posted by: Barbara || 07/02/2011 11:46 Comments || Top||

Qaddafi’s son denies he ordered civilians killed
TRIPOLI, Libya: The son of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, who like his father is a wanted man under an international arrest warrant, denies that either of them ordered the killing of civilian protesters in Libya as prosecutors charge.

Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi told Russian news channel RT in an interview posted online Friday that “most of the people” died when they tried to storm military sites, and that guards fired on them under standing orders to protect the bases and themselves.

However, documents from the International Criminal Court outline multiple instances in which the tribunal prosecutors allege government troops fired on civilian protesters during anti-Qaddafi street demonstrations earlier this year.

Seif Al-Islam wore a thick beard and traditional sofa clothes in the interview. He denounced the international court seeking his arrest as controlled by the NATO countries now bombing Libya.

“This court is a Mickey Mouse court ... For me to be responsible for killing people, it was a big joke,” he told the Russian state-funded network.

The Netherlands-based tribunal on Monday issued arrest warrants against the Libyan leader, his son Seif Al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah Al-Sanoussi.

The three are accused of orchestrating the killing, injuring, arrest and imprisonment of hundreds of civilians during the first 12 days of an uprising to topple Muammar Qaddafi from power, and for trying to cover up their alleged crimes.

Presiding Judge Sanji Monageng of Botswana has said that hundreds of civilians were killed, injured or arrested in the crackdown, and there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that Qaddafi and his son were both responsible for their murder and persecution.

But Seif Al-Islam denied that he and his father specifically ordered protesters to be killed.

“Of course not,” he said, arguing that government troops fired on protesters out of self-defense. “Nobody ordered. Nobody. The guards fired. That’s it. ...

The guards were surprised by the attacking people and they start ... firing. They don’t need an order to defend themselves,” he said.

In the interview, Seif Al-Islam accused Western nations of intervening in Libya because they are after the country’s oil and other resources. He said the goal is “to control Libya,” and he vowed to fight on.

“Nobody will give up. Nobody will raise the white flag,” he said. “We want peace, but if you want to fight, we are not cowards. ... We are going to fight.”

On Thursday, the French-2 network aired an interview with Muammar Qaddafi’s daughter Aicha, who said her father’s government is in direct and indirect negotiations with Libyan rebels. She didn’t elaborate, but said that to end the spilling of Libyan blood “we are ready to ally ourselves with the devil, with the rebel army.”
Posted by: Steve White || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Poor Mr. Qadaffi. One can't simply buy a few experts to create a submissive populace like one can buy a couple of Harvard economics professors to write one's dissertation.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 1:52 Comments || Top||

#2  So, how does it feel to be a designated bad guy?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 07/02/2011 4:16 Comments || Top||

#3  Trailing Wife, you elucidate an important aspect of the Libyan state's general dysfunction. The Libyans have always been extremely dependent on imported technocrats and personnel. There's gonna be a flurry of oil industry activity should a new regime come to power in Libya. The oil infrastructure is very old. Maintenance of existing infrastructure has not been a strongpoint of the Qaddafi regime.
Posted by: Kentucky Beef || 07/02/2011 13:56 Comments || Top||

#4  Thank you, Kentucky Beef -- you are kind to say so, although truly I hadn't intended to be nearly as clever as your expansion. I will be able to be next time, though. :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 15:29 Comments || Top||

Yemenis turn Friday prayers to political rallies
[Emirates 24/7] Tens of thousands of Yemenis turned Friday prayers into rallies for and against President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower...
who is recovering from injuries sustained in an liquidation attempt earlier this month.

Witnesses said Saleh opponents packed Sixty Street to listen to a Mohammedan preacher urge acting President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to do more to end a standoff over demands that Saleh quit to allow Yemenis to chose a new leader.

"We have sacrificed all what we own, you should sacrifice what you can," the preacher said, addressing Hadi.
Hadi told CNN that Saleh was so severely injured in the liquidation attempt that it is uncertain when he will return to the country after his treatment in Soddy Arabia.

Yemen, a southern neighbour of Soddy Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has been rocked by months of protests by tens of thousands demanding Saleh end his 33 years in power.

The United States and Soddy Arabia fear that Islamist hard boyz linked to al Qaeda, which has established a foothold in southern Yemen, might exploit the unrest to carry out attacks in the region and beyond.

Both have urged Saleh to step down under a plan proposed by Gulf Arab states. But 69-year-old Saleh has resisted the pressure, hoping protesters will grow tired and drop their demands.

"We will continue to pay the price until we liberate our country from a tyrannical family-run regime," the preacher said.

In his interview with CNN, Hadi said that according to doctors treating Saleh, no one can tell when the president might return. "Days, weeks, months," he told CNN through a translator. "It could be months, this is a decision up to the doctors."

At Seventy Street, a smaller number of Saleh supporters marched out of Friday prayers holding placards and posters of the president.

"You are our president, leader and commander until 2013," one placard read, referring to when Saleh's term ends.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under:

Yemen Acting President Hadi Ignores GCC proposal and seeks new dialogue
[Yemen Post] While millions feel that Yemen can not stand another week of the ongoing catastrophic crisis, Yemen acting president Abdu Rabu Hadi hinted that transfer of power is far from happening and wants to start from step one again calling for dialogue. Hadi said that the UN has come up with a proposal that calls for all political factions in Yemen sit in one round table.

Hadi said that he met with a UN representative last week and was informed that the UN is working on a proposal that would involve all powers.

Considered a blow to power transition in Yemen, Hadi said that President-for-Life Saleh
... exemplifying the Arab's propensity to combine brutality with incompetence...
would not step down from power until a new president is elected.

"Saleh still has three million supporters in Yemen and that is why he remains Yemen's president. Saleh is ready to conduct early elections to rid the country from more crises."

The acting president said that no solution can take place without President Saleh calling him a main part of the solution to Yemen's problems.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

Yemeni security apparatuses identify fourth corpse of Al-Qaeda elements
(KUNA) -- Yemeni law enforcement agencies said Friday evening that they could unveil the identity of the fourth corpse of Al-Qaeda elements who managed to escape from Al-Mukalla prison in the eastern governorate of Hadhramaut on June 22.

The Ministry of Defense said, in a statement published on its website, it has identified the corpse which had been found at Al-Ghalila area, noting the dead person name was Wajdi Al-Marfadi, and the body was remanded in jug pending further investigations.

The Ministry of Interior said earlier that, "63 of Al-Qaeda elements who were imprisoned at Al-Mukalla jail with varying prison terms against some of them, along with others who were still standing for trial, have beat feet through digging a 35-meter tunnel, then they killed a prison guard."

It added that, "security bodies tracked the escapees, and consquently two of them have been nabbed, while three others have been killed after resisting the security forces, their names are Sultan Ali Suleiman, Said Nayef Bin Sankar, and Rawi Haman Bin Salem Bin Saad Al-Sairi who had death sentences against them on Tarim terror cell." It also noted that, "Director of the Al-Mukalla Central Jail has been suspended from work along with his deputy and number of police personnel pending further investigations into the jailbreak."

The preliminary interrogations which have been conducted with those who were incarcerated of the escapee inmates pointed out that, "they dug a 35-meter tunnel inside one of the prison wards," the ministry said, noting that, "the digging process took some 25 days." Taking a different tack, press sources said that a woman has been killed along with her baby during the artillery bombardment this evening on Arhab district, northern of the capital city of Sanaa.

The same website said that one the houses at "Salman" village has been subjected to bombing in what caused the death the woman along with her one-year child.

The artillery bombardment renewed this noon against some villages of the Arhab district by the brigades of the Republican Guard stationed there.

Arhab tribe called on Yemeni Vice-President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, who currently carries out the President's tasks, to stymie the Republican Guard attacks which badly affected their villages, and caused the death of 20 persons, and the injury of 64 others with thirty two of them being badly maimed, besides the kidnapping of 16 persons.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia

#1  It's interesting that, in the midst of what is apparently a multi -variable civil war plus a peaceful popular uprising, hunting for Al Qaeda is still a priority.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 6:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Yep.

It's a bit like WWII -- everyone knows who the common enemies are.
Posted by: Pollyandrew || 07/02/2011 19:45 Comments || Top||

Opposition To Discuss Formation of Yemeni Transitional Council Saturday
[Yemen Post] The Joint Meeting Parties, the opposition coalition in Yemen, meets on Saturday in the capital Sana'a to discuss the ways to form an immediate transitional council, a leader in the coalition's supreme council said on Friday.

Hassan Zaid, secretary general of Al-Haq Party, told media that the coalition will announce a transitional council very soon amid pressure by millions of people in the country to do so.

"The opposition never refuses the formation of the transitional council amid the current political vacuum while President-for-Life Saleh
... exemplifying the Arab's propensity to combine brutality with incompetence...
is being treated in Soddy Arabia, but it tried to make the GCC West-backed power-sharing deal a success," he said.

But now, the JMP should take action as the youth-led protesters continue their protests urging to form the transitional council, he said, pointing out that the council will include various political forces including the Houthi Group, the Southern Movement and the opposition abroad.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [277 views] Top|| File under:

Government Retakes Abyan's Wahda Stadium from Militants
[Yemen Post] A security official in Abyan confirmed that government soldiers have retaken the Wahda stadium after non stop festivities with suspected al-Qaeda Islamic fascisti over the last 24 hours.

Security officials in Zinjibar said that the government sent reinforcements to the city of Zinjibar after the stadium was getting out of governmental control.

At least five soldiers were killed in the festivities since Thursday noon, a security official said. He added that at least seven soldiers were maimed since noon.

On Wednesday night, at least 30 soldiers were killed in Zinjibar, Abyan, a security official said. The official said that at least 14 suspected al-Qaeda Islamic fascisti were also killed in the festivities.

Fierce festivities erupted when suspected al-Qaeda Islamic fascisti attacked security forces who were stationed at the Wahda Stadium.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia

Fatalities at Filling Stations as Shortages Deepen in Yemen
[Yemen Post] Three people were killed and others injured when arguments between people who have been queuing at filling stations turned into violence as the fuel crisis deepens in most Yemeni cities.

Local sources in Hodeida province were quoted by alsahwa-yemen.net as saying that three people were killed and at least eight others injured in conflicts at filling stations where thousands of cars have been parked for long time, some for almost two weeks, waiting for petrol or diesel.

In other provinces including the capital Sana'a, several people were maimed in conflicts at filling stations; some as powerful people using guns tried to fill their cars before those who have been queuing.

Yemen is experiencing severe fuel and power crises after rustics had attacked the main oil pipeline and power towers in Marib province.

Most recently, the government said President-for-Life Saleh
... exemplifying the Arab's propensity to combine brutality with incompetence...
had given orders to repair the pipeline and secure roads in Marib by any means.

Earlier, an operation room from Yemen Petroleum Company, the Ministry for Oil and Minerals and other security bodies was formed to put an end to road closures and banditry blamed for the deepening fuel shortage.

Supervisory committees were also formed to observe filling stations after the Ministry accused some of selling quantities they get in the black market.

Meantime, the acute fuel shortage has sent the prices of petrol and diesel up by 700 percent. Today, drivers said they bought a petrol battle for YR 10000, up from the fixed price earlier this week of YR 1500.

Owners of filing stations said that long queues of cars on main streets are causing troubles at their stations including violence when some arguments turn into armed conflicts.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

Caribbean-Latin America
Zacatecas: Fighting Erupts in Fresnillo, 15 Die -- UPDATED
For a map, click here. Zacatecas state is considered a Los Zetas stronghold in Mexico. Los Zetas just got hammered hard by Mexican Naval Infantry. Link to a photo of what I assume is the Los Zetas safe house or what is left of it, here..

By Chris Covert

Mexican Marines killed 17 armed suspect presumed to be Los Zetas operatives and detained 17 more, according to Mexican news reports.

Elements of a Mexican Marine unit left the village of San José de Lourdes in Fresnillo municipality mid Friday afternoon after conducting sweeps in the area following the early morning firefight.

Official reports say the gun battle in Fresnillo started around 0600 hrs and ended around 1200 hrs.

The marine unit was on patrol on Mexican Federal highway 45 when they were attacked by armed suspects aboard several vehicles.

Several suspects fled the scene to a safe house where the main part of the battle took place. Weapons and vehicles were seized in the aftermath.

A total of 15 armed suspects died in gun battles around the area of San José de Lourdes. Seventeen were detained. Six marines were wounded in the firefights.

Later in the morning several roads around San José de Lourdes were blocked using heavy vehicles presumably hijacked by armed suspects. Some were set afire. Blocked roads included Paseo del Mineral, and Avenida Plateros and Bulevar Hombres Ilustres, and near a grocery store.

Streets in the area were emptied, and schools and other institutions were closed.

Mexican Marines began house to house searches in the area following the battle at the safe house and seized a number of vehicles.

Confirmed reports as of 1743 hrs say fighting continues near the western border with Durango state, near Jerez north of Fresnillo and in Plateros in the south.

Last May, Mexican press reported as many as 200 Marine effectives were deployed along the main road between Durango city and Zacatecas state and had set up checkpoints.
To read the Rantburg report detailing Mexican Marine deployments, click here.
Although Zacatecas is considered a Los Zetas stronghold, the criminal gang has suffered a number of setbacks from Mexican security forces counternarcotic operations and from shootouts with rival gangs.

For example in Florencia de Benito Juarez municipality May 18th, as many as 20 Los Zetas died in a firefight with Carteles Unidos. With the Los Zetas practice of retrieving their dead it is likely the death toll was much higher.

Carteles Unidor is a criminal group which included members of the Gulf, Sinaloa and La Familia Michoacana cartels, all of which have major beefs with Los Zetas.

A subsequent firefight between Los Zetas and the Los Valencias Sinaloa faction in San Cristobal de la Barranca municipality in nearby Jalisco state cost Los Zetas 20 more and probably more dead.
To read Rantburg reports on counternarcotics operations in Zacatecas and Jalisco click here (fourth item) and here.
Posted by: badanov || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [301 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Los Zetas are becoming victims of their own publicity. Those cartels that have fewer casualties try to keep their activities low key.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 07/02/2011 19:20 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
US Senate confirms Petraeus as CIA director
[Al Jazeera] The US Senate has voted unanimously to confirm General David Petraeus to be the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Petraeus, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, was nominated by President Barack B.O. Obama to replace Leon Panetta
...current 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....
, who is leaving the CIA to become the US secretary of defence.

Petraeus is expected to start his new job in September.

Before the vote on Thursday, the 58-year-old Petraeus was praised as "among the finest military officers and strategic thinkers of his generation," Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat and Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman said.

The West Point graduate and 37-year army veteran is credited with turning around the war in Iraq, from where US troops have been withdrawing in large numbers, and in improving the security situation in Afghanistan.

Petraeus' challenges at the CIA will include providing accurate intelligence on trends in Afghanistan, tracking and neutralising gangs on multiple continents, and tracking issues as diverse as climate change and the political effects of global economic upheaval.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Congratulations, good luck, and happy hunting!
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 6:36 Comments || Top||

#2  I wish him well, but fear that his initiatives will be blocked at every move by the entrenched bureaucrats, both there and down the street a ways.

Perhaps handing him this position was a way to 'turf' him into a controllable environment.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 07/02/2011 8:44 Comments || Top||

#3  He might have a little more luck than expected. When senior military officers move into civilian digs, the first thing they do is try to have a more efficient military-style command staff organization. This is not threatening to the civilian staff, so they generally don't oppose it.

However, it is a highly efficient staff organization, and tends to boost efficiency. Which improves morale. Which makes staff less resistant to further changes.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 07/02/2011 8:52 Comments || Top||

#4  Gee, I wonder if Petraeus remembers when Moveon.org took out a one page ad in the NYT, to call him "General Betray Us". If he does, I hope he is a firm believer in payback. It's good to be the DIRCIA.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 07/02/2011 8:54 Comments || Top||

Turkish jihadist commander executed by the Taliban in Waziristan
A Turkish jihadist commander who fought in the Caucasus for 15 years before arriving in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas was executed recently by the Taliban.

Abu Zarr, who is also known as Serdal Erbasi, was executed in the Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan for ordering the deaths of two "foreign fighters," according to a Turkish jihadist website. Two of his followers, who carried out the deaths of the foreign fighters, were also executed along with Abu Zarr.

The "Sharia court of the Waziristan-Uruzgan region" ordered Abu Zarr's execution after accusing him of ordering the murders of Samil Dagistanli and Ismail Azeri, two other jihadists from the Caucasus, presumably from the Russian republic of Dagestan, and Azerbaijan. Dagistanli and Azeri were in opposition to Abu Zarr after he split off from the Taifatul Mansura, or the Victorious Sect, due to a dispute over money received from outside of the region. According to the Taliban sharia court, Abu Zarr ordered two of his followers to kill Dagistanli and Azeri.

The jihadist website, which is supportive of Abu Zarr, claimed that "plots were hatched full of sedition and disinformation about Abu Zarr who was in disagreement with some groups," and that he was executed by the Taliban because he was "uncontrollable."

Posted by: tipper || 07/02/2011 16:56 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:

#1  nom nom nom - eating their own
Posted by: Frank G || 07/02/2011 17:32 Comments || Top||

Swiss couple kidnapped in SW Pakistan: official
[Dawn] A Swiss couple has been kidnapped while travelling in southwestern Pakistain, a senior government official said on Friday, triggering a police search.

They were seized in a district 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of Quetta, the capital of sparsely populated Balochistan province, the official said.

"We have received reports that two Swiss nationals have been kidnapped in Loralai district," provincial home secretary Zafarullah Baloch told AFP.

"We have sent a team comprising police and an administration official to search them," he added.

Loralai's district police chief Ghulam Ali Lashari said officers had found couple's abandoned Volkswagen vehicle in Killi Nigah area.

The couple arrived at Sirki Jungle checkpoint at about 5.45 pm (1245 GMT), registered as Swiss tourists and were allowed to enter an area controlled by tribal police, Lashari said.

"According to witnesses when they were travelling in Killi Nigah area some unknown gunnies intercepted the Swiss couple and took them away to an unknown place," he said.

Baloch and Lashari said the pair had entered Balochistan from Dera Ghazi Khan district in Punjab province and might have been heading for Quetta.

No one has yet grabbed credit for the incident or contacted authorities about the kidnapped foreigners, he said.

Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has seen an upswing in violence recently, with the province suffering from a separatist insurgency, sectarian violence and Talibs.

Hundreds of people have died since rebels rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region's natural oil, gas and mineral resources.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [640 views] Top|| File under:

#1  increase the IQ of the West - Keep them and do what you normally do
Posted by: Frank G || 07/02/2011 1:06 Comments || Top||

#2  What in the world is somebody doing vacationing in Pakistan?
Posted by: Water Modem || 07/02/2011 2:35 Comments || Top||

#3  Because Burma is out of season.
Posted by: S || 07/02/2011 2:40 Comments || Top||

#4  So, are their names Hans and Renee' or Belalullah and Aisha?
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 6:30 Comments || Top||

#5  What in the world is somebody doing vacationing in Pakistan?

Because Burma is out of season.

...and all the hotels in southern Thailand were already booked.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/02/2011 8:53 Comments || Top||

#6  The 2 Swiss are from Bern

It is approximately 15:00, (Swiss midday hour) Friday when David Och, 31 years, and Daniela Widmer, 28 years, roll in their Volkswagen motor home in direction of Quetta, the capital of the province of Balouchistan, in the West of the country. The two tourists arrived in the area Friday morning, after having remained in the province close to Penjab. Their vehicle carries a number plate of the canton of Bern. The couple seemed to project to return to Switzerland by the road while passing by Iran. A few days earlier, they had remained in India then passed the Pakistani border with Wagah on June 28.
(Google trans.)
Posted by: Willy || 07/02/2011 13:02 Comments || Top||

#7  there are recent reports of American arming of Baloch nationalists on both sides of the Iranian border.
Posted by: Kentucky Beef || 07/02/2011 14:28 Comments || Top||

#8  there are recent reports of American arming of Baloch nationalists on both sides of the Iranian border.

How credible are the reports, Kentucky Beef? Could this be Iranian or Pakistani explaining why the natives are getting restless yet again?
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 15:35 Comments || Top||

#9  If we aren't, we should be. Create internal issues for the terror-exporting IRGC and Mullahs. I'd like to see some IED's on Mullah convoys as payback for the American dead in Iraq and Afghanistan. Start to "unstable" them at home and their exports will shrink
Posted by: Frank G || 07/02/2011 16:47 Comments || Top||

#10  The Swiss were probably dhimmis. I wouldn't commit resources to aid the stupid.
Posted by: Spinegum Ghibelline7465 || 07/02/2011 16:49 Comments || Top||

Seven terror suspects released
[Dawn] Seven suspected hard boyz charged with possessing explosive, attacking the Danish embassy and abetting the killing of Army Surgeon General Mushtaq Baig were released from Adiala Central Jail on Thursday night, official sources said.

The suspects had been acquitted by the trial court on May 29 due to lack of evidence but on the directive of the deputy commissioner Islamabad, the capital police jugged them. However,
the hip bone's connected to the leg bone...
they challenged their detention in the Islamabad High Court which set aside the detention orders on Tuesday.
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan

#1  translation: it's off to Kashmir with you!
Posted by: Kentucky Beef || 07/02/2011 14:29 Comments || Top||

US rejects demand to vacate Shamsi base
[Dawn] The US is rejecting demands from Pakistain that American personnel abandon a military base used by the CIA to stage drone strikes against bully boys, US officials told Rooters.

US personnel have not left the Shamsi air base and there is no plan for them to do so, said a US official familiar with the matter. "That base is neither vacated nor being vacated," the official said. The information was confirmed by a second US official.

On Wednesday, federal Minister for Defence Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar said that US had been asked to stop using the base for drone strikes and vacate it.

Relations between the two uneasy allies deteriorated after the May 2 raid by US SEALs in Abbottabad that killed the late Osama bin Laden.
... who can now be reached at RFD Boneyard...
Wednesday's statement by Mr Mukhtar was the latest salvo.

"We have been talking to them (on the issue) for some time, but after May 2, we told them again," he told Rooters on Thursday. "When they (US forces) will not operate from there (Shamsi base), no drone attacks will be carried out."

Earlier, the Financial Times quoted Mr Mukhtar as saying that Pakistain had already stopped US drone flights from the air base. Despite the defence minister's statements, it was unclear what the situation at Shamsi is.

A US military official said no American military personnel had ever been stationed at the base, but the drone programme in Pakistain is run by the CIA, and the official declined to comment on that.

Pak military officials confirmed that the US had been asked to vacate the base, but wouldn't comment on when the request had been made or whether the Americans had complied.

"We have told them to leave, vacate our base. We cannot provide security to their people," a senior air force official told Rooters.

But a member of parliament who represents the area, retired lieutenant general Abdul Qadir Baluch, said that US officials were still at the base.

A senior Pak military official added that when US forces first launched counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan, Pakistain "provided Americans two bases in Jaccobabad and Shamsi. Jacobabad base has been vacated for long time ago, but Shamsi is still with them."

"They are vacating it," the official insisted. "Shamsi base was for logistic purpose. They also used it for drones for some time but no drones have been flown from there."
Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  "We cannot provide security to their people."

Why do I think that having the Pakis provide security to a CIA base is not a major concern to the CIA? It is hard for even non-CIA US personnel to visit such bases without getting lit up. "Like trying to make luv to a porcupine."

Such CIA airbases in Vietnam were even alleged to refuse landing permission to damaged US aircraft, which lead to the notorious "WTF?, Over!" communication.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 07/02/2011 9:03 Comments || Top||

#2  I have read in a couple places that we left Shmansi back in April 2011. This seems to be self-generated theater from the Land of the Purely Dramatic.
Posted by: SteveS || 07/02/2011 16:04 Comments || Top||

#3  Run by the CIA? More like DI operates on CIA intelligence.
Posted by: Spinegum Ghibelline7465 || 07/02/2011 16:59 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Thai terrorists target officials in the south
Terrorists Insurgents fired an M79 grenade at Narathiwat Provincial Hall on Friday in an escalation of attacks before Thailand's election day.

Police said an unknown number of terrorists insurgents fired the grenade with a M79 launcher at about 11:20 a.m. The grenade missed the hall and landed on the ground in front of a flagpole. The explosion did not cause any damage to the building and there were no injuries.

Provincial governor Thanon Wetchakornkanont dismissed the attack as a bang from a firecracker meant to cause a disturbance prior to election day.

In another incident captured on camera, a car bomb exploded in the same province in front of a Thai bomb squad member who was inspecting the car. The officer was injured in the attack but the extent of his wounds are not known.

Two terrorists insurgents were also responsible for attacking the Bacho district office compound with a homemade bomb. The explosion created a crater outside the fence of the district office and damaged two cars and two motorcycles parked at the scene. The attack was 15 meters away from the district chief's house.

Police checked footage from the security camera and saw two men in traditional sarongs arriving on a motorcycle. The pillion rider sparked the device, made from a PVC pipe, and threw it at the district chief's house. The bomb hit the leaves of a palm tree and fell outside the fence.
Posted by: ryuge || 07/02/2011 06:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [360 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And muslims treat minority Copts, etc so well.
Posted by: Spinegum Ghibelline7465 || 07/02/2011 15:56 Comments || Top||

#2  Thailand is a target for both AFPAK = WEST ASIAN Islamic MilTerr Groups, + ditto Indonesian Jihadis.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/02/2011 21:37 Comments || Top||

11 Dead as Half a Million Rally across Syria on 'Friday of Departure'
[An Nahar] Syrian security forces on Friday killed 11 civilians as more than half a million people erupted into the streets across the country to demand the departure of President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators. Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor...
, activists said.

Six people died in the central city of Homs when security forces opened fire to quash protests, two were killed in 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...
and one in Daraya, near the capital, activists told Agence La Belle France Presse.

The other two victims, a mother and daughter, were killed when the army shelled a chicken hatchery in the town of al-Bara in the northwestern province of Idlib, activists said.

Earlier, an activist in Homs, 160 kilometers north of Damascus, had said two died and at least 12 were maimed, with tanks in the city, and that "more than 100,000 people participated today in demonstrations in several districts."

In Hama, 40 kilometers further north, varying reports put the turnout at as much as more than half a million.

The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul Rahman, gave a figure of more than 500,000 and said this was "the biggest (anti-regime) demonstration since the Syrian Revolution broke out" on March 15.

Another activist said that "more than 400,000 marched," adding that "they came from all over, from mosques and nearby towns."

A third said earlier that more than 200,000 had gathered in the city's Assi Square, stretching for more than one kilometer, and that there was no sign of security forces.

Abdul Karim Rihawi, president of the Syrian League for Human Rights, said "tens of thousands of protesters headed towards Deir Ezzor's Freedom Square upon leaving the mosques" after the main weekly Mohammedan prayers in the eastern oil hub on the Euphrates River.

In Jabal al-Zawiyah, which has been the theater of army operations since Tuesday, "tens of thousands of people started to march from the village towards Maaret al-Numan," he told AFP.

For its part, state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
showed images of pro-regime demonstrations in the country's commercial hub of Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
, in the north, and in Suweida, in the south.

People were waving Syrian flags and chanting "God, Syria, Bashar and that's it."

Overnight, Abdul Rahman said security forces had killed three civilians in Jabal al-Zawiyah, as kabooms were heard in the coastal city of Latakia.

Friday's protests followed a call from a Facebook group for people to take to the streets nationwide.

The Syrian Revolution 2011 group called on people to rally after weekly prayers, branding July 1 "the Friday of departure" and saying in a message to Assad: "We don't love you ... Go away, you and your party."

Hundreds of protesters in Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub, were beaten back on Thursday by baton-wielding security forces, activists said.

And an activist said on condition of anonymity that "kabooms were heard Friday in the Latakia district of Raml al-Shamali," without elaborating.

On Thursday, the opposition also turned up the heat on Assad, announcing the creation of a "national coordination committee" of exiled dissidents and opponents at home to push for democratic reforms.

The announcement came after about 160 dissidents, several of whom have spent years in jail, gathered in Damascus earlier in the week, vowing to press ahead with a "peaceful uprising for freedom and democracy and pluralism to establish a democratic state through peaceful means."

"There are two ways forward -- the first a clear and non-negotiable move to a peaceful transition to democracy which would rescue our country and our people," opposition activist Munzer Khaddam told the meeting.

"The alternative is a road that leads into the unknown and which will destroy everyone," he said.

They demanded the right to demonstrate peacefully, the release of political prisoners, freedom of the press, the safe return of refugees and moves to prevent foreign intervention.

The crackdown comes in defiance of repeated global condemnation and warnings from Western powers to Syria to show restraint and despite new U.S. sanctions against regime pillars and Syria's ally Iran.

The Observatory says 1,360 civilians have been killed since mid-March and that 343 security force personnel have also died. Thousands have been placed in long-term storage.

Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [560 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  Wow, any way you slice it, a half-million in the Syrian streets is a lot of f*ing people.
Posted by: American Delight || 07/02/2011 8:45 Comments || Top||

#2  I would actual translate the various numbers given in this one article alone as No more accurate than "a lot of f*ing people," American Delight. Crowd estimation is a notoriously difficult skill when trained people are working from overhead photos, as our own Old Patriot can attest. Even in the U.S., crowd estimates seem to vary by an order or two of magnitude, for instance between MoveOn.org and the National Park service for a rally on the Mall in Washington, DC. Arabs have a different concept of the absoluteness of numbers anyway, so...
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/02/2011 15:44 Comments || Top||

Some 150 Syrians Flee Homs Village into North Lebanon
[An Nahar] Around 150 Syrians fleeing unrest in their hometowns arrived Friday in north Leb via an illegal border crossing, a holy man working with the displaced told Agence La Belle France Presse.

Sheikh Mustafa Hammoud, imam of a mosque in the border village of Kneissi, said the Syrians -- mainly women, children and the elderly -- had made their way from the village of al-Qussair overnight for fear of fresh unrest after Friday Mohammedan prayers.

"Some of the refugees settled with relatives in Leb, but most have been offered shelter in a school in the village of Mashta Hammoud" in the region of Akkar in north Leb, he said.

Thousands of Syrians have poured into north Leb since April, using illegal crossings generally used by smugglers.

Rights groups estimate more than 1,300 civilians and 300 security force personnel have been killed since protests against the rule of Syrian President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators. Before going into the family business Pencilneck was an eye doctor...
erupted mid-March. Thousands others have been tossed in the clink.

At least six protesters were killed Friday as rallies erupted across Syria after weekly Mohammedan prayers, activists said.

Posted by: Fred || 07/02/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

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Two weeks of WOT
Sat 2011-07-02
  Swiss couple kidnapped in SW Pakistan: official
Fri 2011-07-01
  Report: U.S. Drone Wounds Top Islamists in Somalia
Thu 2011-06-30
  Pakistan tells US military to leave 'drone' attack base
Wed 2011-06-29
  Libyan rebels seize Gaddafi weapons depot
Tue 2011-06-28
  Breaking: Kabul Intercontinental Hotel under attack
Mon 2011-06-27
  Suicide car bomber kills 35 at Afghan clinic
Sun 2011-06-26
  25 killed in beer garden attack in Nigeria
Sat 2011-06-25
  60 dead in Afghanistan hospital bombing
Fri 2011-06-24
  Syrian Army Enters Village Bordering Turkey, Hundreds Flee
Thu 2011-06-23
  AL chief slams NATO bombing in Libya
Wed 2011-06-22
  Obama Opts for Faster Afghan Pullout
Tue 2011-06-21
  Assad holds hard line on unrest
Mon 2011-06-20
  Syrian dissidents set up 'national council'
Sun 2011-06-19
  Yemeni Government, Opposition Meet in Europe as Unrest Continues
Sat 2011-06-18
  Nigeria's Islamists Claim Suicide Bombing

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