Kim Jong Il, North Korea's bat-sh*t insane and physically wrecked leader whose total lack of leadership skills and unwarranted self-importance for his blockaded communist nation provided a lot of comedy gold for more than a decade, has died. He was 69.
Kim's death was announced Monday by the state television from the North Korean capital, Pyongyang.
Yup, the Burg (and the interpipes) are alive with news. We'll have several posts at the rollover, but feel free to comment on this one, AND on the ones we have for tomorrow.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/18/2011 23:00 Comments ||
Christmas came early! Things are about get interesting on the peninsula in the next few weeks.
Posted by: Yosemite Sam ||
12/18/2011 23:02 Comments ||
Unfortunately, my take on the situation is that the son who is heir apparent is probably nuttier and more antisocial than darling dad.
This will get interesting as the various factions try to consume or eliminate each other to elbow their way to the table with Junior.
Could get ugly.
Who's making the popcorn on this one.
Hopefully the ROK is on full alert.
Posted by: Bill Clinton ||
12/18/2011 23:04 Comments ||
I did the same thing, Angie. I wonder what Hans Brix and Aric Bardwin have to say.
Posted by: Eric Jablow ||
12/18/2011 23:05 Comments ||
I'm sponsoring a couple of kids in S.Korea and one of them is in an orphanage on the outskirts of Seoul. My behind is puckering 'cause I can't do a thing about it. I'm afraid those dipsticks in the North will start a shooting war.
Military police battled demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday, the third day of clashes that have killed 10 people and injured hundreds, casting a shadow over the first free election most Egyptians can remember. They never had a free election, and never will Lots of photos here. I see smoke, I see fire.
[An Nahar] Gunmen have killed a policeman in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, a day after three soldiers died in an attack on a military-run school, police said Saturday.
The gunnies opened fire on a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the city late Friday, resulting in a shootout which left one policeman dead and another seriously maimed, Kano state police front man Magaji Majia told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Residents of Gaida neighborhood where the attack took place said the shootout lasted for 30 minutes before the gunnies decamped.
Nigeria's north has been hit by scores of attacks blamed on the Islamist sect Boko Haram ... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. Currently wearing a false nose and moustache and answering to Jama'atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda'Awati Wal Jihad, or Big Louie... , but Kano has not been targeted since the latest round of violence attributed to the group began in 2010.
On Thursday night gunnies attacked a military-run school outside Kano, the largest city in northern Nigeria, killing at least three air force personnel.
Majia declined to say if Boko Haram was behind the checkpoint attack. No arrests were made.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/18/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Boko Haram
[Pak Daily Times] A Yemeni military commission began returning the capital to normality Saturday, removing checkpoints and barricades erected during months of deadly protests 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, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it... Bulldozers were seen removing sand berms thrown up by the pro-Saleh Central Security service at the Asser roundabout, under the supervision of members of the joint commission formed by the new opposition-led government, an AFP correspondent reported.
The neighbourhood was scene to frequent festivities between Saleh loyalists and demonstrators marching from the nearby Change Square -- the focal point of anti-Saleh protests, which was protected by the dissident First Armoured Division led by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.
"We have received orders to withdraw from this area following the instructions of the military commission," said an officer of the division at Sitin Street as his troops cleared the area.
The national unity government overseeing the departure from office of long-serving Saleh formed the commission to restore stability under the terms of a transition deal.
The commission is led by Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who has been charged with managing the transfer of power and designated to serve as a consensus president following Saleh's departure, expected in February.
The military commission will also aim to reform the security services, controlled partly by Saleh loyalists, in accordance with the transition deal signed by Saleh in November after more than 10 months of protests against his 33-year rule.
Violence in Yemen has continued since the agreement was inked, notably in Sanaa and in the second city of Taez, where festivities between loyalist troops and dissidents have left dozens dead.
JEDDAH: A terror suspect allegedly belonging to a Qatar cell that targeted American installations in the Gulf country ratified his confessions before a criminal court on Saturday.
Another two suspects, Defendant Nos. 4 and 10, however, told the Riyadh court that they wanted to change the lawyer appointed to defend their cases.
The three were allegedly part of a 41-member cell, including 38 Saudis, a Yemeni, an Afghan and a Qatari, that plotted to carry out attacks on US forces in Qatar. The cell members are also accused of funding terrorist operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and mobilizing young Saudis to join terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.
The hearing was attended by representatives of the Human Rights Commission. The Justice Ministry prevented journalists from entering the courtroom on the request of the defendants.
Defendant No. 3, the suspect who ratified his confessions, is accused of issuing religious edicts against Saudi rulers and leaving the Kingdom to join battles in Iraq, disobeying the Saudi leadership. He was allegedly carrying a machine gun with live ammunition and had tried to obtain four guns to carry out chaos and confusion in the country.
Defendant No. 4 is accused of joining the terrorist cell established by Defendant No. 1, funding terrorist operations and helping militants to sneak into Iraq. Defendant No. 10 allegedly helped Defendant No. 1 leave the Kingdom for Kuwait with someone else's passport.
Meanwhile, the court heard the testimony of a Saudi academic accused of supporting Al-Qaeda. The hearing was attended by the defendant's brother and eight sons. The academic rejected the confessions made by some of the witnesses, saying he did not know them. The court asked the prosecutor to present his evidence in the next session. The academic is accused of inciting militants to attack Abqaiq refinery.
In a related development, Friday passed without incident although some Saudis had called for holding a protest march to force authorities to release terror suspects in the Kingdom's jails.
They had made the call using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The proponents of the campaign faced stiff opposition from groups of Saudis who launched another campaign against possible anti-government protests. It was quite clear that those who called for demonstration against the Saudi leadership used fake Saudi names and were mobilizing public support from foreign countries.
Sheikh Abdullah Al-Suwailem, imam and khateeb of Prince Khaled bin Saud Mosque and member of the committee to rehabilitate militants, has denied reports carried by Facebook and Twitter that he had broke into the women's prayer hall at the mosque and asked women making sit-in protests after the Friday prayer to leave the place and get into the vehicles of police and the Haia.
On his Twitter account, Al-Suwailem said he had never visited the alleged demonstration or sit-in protest location. "I had never come out of my house after Friday prayer," the imam said and expressed his opposition to such protests, saying they are good for nothing. He also commended the Saudi government's services for Islam and Muslims and spreading the message of the Holy Qur'an.
A senior Federal Security Service official has been killed in an attack in Dagestan. A police source earlier said four masked gunmen had broken into a house in the Dagestani city of Caspiisk, where Colonel Magomed Radzhabov was meeting with friends late on Saturday. The gunmen shot and killed Radzhabov and beat several other people, according to the same source.
Radzhabov had been serving as deputy head of the Internal Security Directorate of the FSBs Border Guards Service in Dagestan.
[Dawn] Three Pak soldiers were killed on Saturday after a bomb planted on a roadside went kaboom! in a northwestern tribal area, security officials said.
The blast took place at Katasarai village in restive Kurram tribal district ...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora... bordering Afghanistan where Mighty Pak Army and paramilitary forces have launched an operation against Talibs.
"Three security personnel including a lieutenant have embraced martyrdom and one other was maimed in an IED (improvised bomb) blast," a security bigshot told AFP.
Local intelligence officials suspect the involvement of Talibs in the attack.
Pakistain has for years battled homegrown hard boyz in the tribal belt that borders Afghanistan.
More than 3,000 soldiers have died but Pakistain has resisted US pressure to do more to eliminate havens used by Afghan bad turbans.
On Thursday, the US Senate voted to freeze roughly $700 million in aid to Pakistain pending assurances from Islamabad on taking steps to thwart forces of Evil who use improvised bombs (IEDs) against US-led forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistain angrily criticised the move, the latest rift in a fraying alliance that has been in deep crisis since air strikes by US-led forces killed 24 Pak soldiers last month.
[Dawn] Police claimed to have tossed in the clink a terrorist, who was coming from Orakzai Agency ... crawling with holy men, home to Darra Adam Khel, the world's largest illegal arms bazaar. 14 distinct tribes of beturbanned primitives inhabit Orakzai agency's 1500 or so square kilometers... to Kohat, at Kaghazai checkpost and recovered explosives and hand grenades from his possession on Saturday.
The station house officer of Cantt cop shoppe, Aqeeq Hussain, said that the tossed in the clink person was 18 years old and came from Mamozai area of Orakzai Agency. He was identified as Raeef Khan.
The SHO said that the Sherlocks would try to trace the group with which the alleged terrorist was working.
During preliminary investigation, the tossed in the clink youth disclosed that a man, who introduced himself as Bilal, used to remain in contact with him in Kohat but he did not know his whereabouts.
The accused was still under interrogation and police wanted to know whether the explosives were meant for a suicide kaboom or other kind of blast.
Police handed over the 6.1 kilograms of explosives and hand grenades to the bomb disposal squad and started the paperwork but haven't done much else against the accused.
The bomb disposal squad said that the explosives were very dangerous and could automatically catch fire if exposed to open air.
[Dawn] The Provincial Review Board extended on Friday for one month the detention of Malik Ishaq and Ghulam Rasool Shah, the leaders of a banned outfit, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). ... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
The review board consisting of Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh, Justice Manzoor Ahmed Malik and Justice Sheikh Ahmed Farooq of the Lahore High Court held in-camera proceedings and heard the representative of the Punjab government and the jugged leaders. The DPOs of Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar produced Ishaq and Shah, respectively, before the board amid tight security.
The Punjab home department, through its counsel, requested the board to extend detention of Ishaq and Shah for three months on the plea that release of both would create a law and order situation in the province. Ishaq and Shah also addressed the board and opposed the home department's request.
Malik Ishaq was involved in 44 cases involving 70 murders. Courts acquitted him in 34 cases and granted bail in the remaining 10. He was released from Kot Lakhpat Jail on July 14, 2011, after Supreme Court granted bail in last case pertaining to attack on Sri Lankan cricket team.
Later, the Punjab government approached the SC for the cancellation of his bail but the apex court dismissed the plea.
Thereafter, the government jugged Ishaq in Rahim Yar Khan Jail for 10 days under Maintenance of Public Order. The detention order was extended for 60 days on Oct 25.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/18/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Jhangvi
[Pak Daily Times] Afghan cops and international troops freed 11 Afghan coppers kidnapped by hard boyz nearly two weeks ago, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday.
Terrorists kidnapped the Afghan coppers on December 5 during an ambush in Wardooj district of Badakhshan province. Two coppers were killed and four others maimed during the kidnapping, said Sayed Hussain Safawi, deputy provincial police chief.
Afghan border police and international troops rescued the coppers on Friday after local elders' attempts to mediate their release failed. About two dozen suspected hard boyz were incarcerated during the rescue.
Separately, in the east, the US-led coalition and local Afghan officials have released differing accounts of a raid on a home around 1am on Saturday in Ahmadaba district of Paktia province.
The governor of Paktia province condemned what he said was a raid on the home of the Afghan government's counter-narcotics chief in the province, the governor's front man, Rohullah Samon, said. He said local authorities, who believe the counter-narcotics chief has not committed any crime, have contacted the coalition about getting him released.
After international troops exchanged gunfire with guards at the house, they jugged the counter-narcotics chief and two of his sons, he said. An Afghan woman and another member of the counter-narcotics chief's family were killed and three other women were maimed, Samon said. The coalition said the three men jugged included a leader with the Haqqani terrorist network, which is affiliated with al Qaeda and the Taliban. Two AK-47 assault rifles, a bolt-action rifle, ammunition and a grenade were confiscated from the compound.
A joint Afghan-NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis.... force returned gunfire coming from the house, the coalition said. After the shooting stopped, they called for those inside to come out.
Two Afghan women inside were maimed and evacuated to a medical facility and one later died of a gunshot wound, the coalition said.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/18/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Taliban
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: A leader in the pro-government Al-Sahwa (Awakening) Forces, his mother and two cops were killed today, in addition to seven cops being wounded in two spontaneous explosions north of Baghdad, security sources said today.
Someone just pushed the plunger and the kaboom 'spontaneously' occurred...
The source told Aswat al-Iraq that a bomb was directed to the residence of Sahwa leader Nadhim Kareem Mohammed which led to his killing with his mother. The other bomb exploded with the arrival of police forces to the site of the crime that led to killing two and wounding seven more.
A paramilitary ranger was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in Yala province on Saturday morning. Ranger Banpot Meebun, 35, was riding motorcycle on a local road when gunman riding pillion on another motorcycle shot him three times with a pistol. The attacker then fled. The victim was taken to Yala hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Police blamed separatist terrorists militants.
A villager was shot and seriously wounded in Yala province on Sunday morning, police said. Mamu Daeha, 40, was standing in front of his house when a gunman fired at him three times with a .38 mm pistol. The attacker then fled. Mamu was hit once and was admitted to Yala hospital.
LOL Usually I'm the one who posts it too. When I don't have much time to post, I will often post the latest article from southern Thailand because I can be pretty sure no one else has already posted it. Then I don't have to waste any time checking whether it's been covered already.
[An Nahar] Syrian Local Coordination Committees confirmed on Saturday that security forces killed 34 civilians as they pressed on with a crackdown on dissent across the country.
The Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said six non-combatants were killed when security forces launched search operations in the southern Daraa province, the cradle of anti-regime protests that began in mid-March.
The deaths occurred in the village of Kfarshams where "violent festivities pitted members of the security forces and soldiers against a group of army deserters," the Observatory said in a statement received by Agence La Belle France Presse.
Mutinous soldiers and troops also clashed in the northwest region of Idlib, the group said.
Two children were among three people killed in the Idlib village of Kafr Sajnah where security forces opened fire indiscriminately, it said.
Another civilian and a mutinous soldier were killed when more than 150 armored vehicles entered the Jabal al-Zawiyah district in Idlib, it added.
And in the protest hub of Homs in central Syria, five non-combatants were killed by the security forces and snipers in the town of Qusayr near the border with Leb, while a sixth civilian was killed nearby, it said.
On Friday, at least 19 non-combatants were killed in protests across Syria amid mass rallies to criticize the League's failure to take tougher action.
"The Arab League ...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing... is killing us -- enough deadlines," was the protesters' slogan.
The U.N. estimates that more than 5,000 people have been killed in Syria in a government crackdown on anti-regime protests launched in mid-March.
Meanwhile activists said that a civil disobedience campaign launched on December 11 was still being observed in Idlib, Daraa, Homs and Hama further north as well as in the flashpoint Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... suburbs of Douma and Harasta.
Activists had urged Syrians to strike in the first stage of a wider campaign to put pressure on the regime.
"Today (Saturday) shops will begin their strike and we will shut down our cell phones during four hours each afternoon," a message on the Facebook page of the Syrian Revolution 2011 said.
The Arab League, meanwhile, threatened to take Syria to the U.N. Security Council if it continues to resist calls to allow monitors inside the country to protect civilians as part of a peace plan to end the bloodshed.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/18/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
[Pak Daily Times] Tehran has tossed in the slammer an alleged US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spy of Iranian origin before he could complete his mission of infiltrating the intelligence ministry, media quoted the ministry as saying on Saturday.
"Based on the scenario, he was supposed to infiltrate the intelligence ministry and feed it deceptive information on a large scale and spy on it," said a statement reported by the ISNA news agency. "The Iranian-origin CIA agent received complex training, had worked as an analyst and also worked with the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan," the statement added, without identifying him.
The man was first identified at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and tossed in the slammer in Iran, the statement said, without identifying the man or saying when he was seized. Several times in the past, Iranian officials have announced the arrest of suspected spies for the United States, but provided little information to substantiate the detention or allegations.
On Tuesday, Tehran's chief prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabi said Iran had indicted 15 people on charges of spying for the United States and Israel, the Islamic republic's nemesis, without providing any details. In May, the intelligence ministry announced the arrest of 30 CIA "spies" allegedly engaged in espionage and sabotage.
It provided few specifics beyond saying the alleged ring promised US visas and residency to educated Iranians in several Moslem countries in a bid to gather information on Iran's infrastructure and its nuclear, aeronautic, defence and bio-tech sectors. Iran regularly accuses the United States of seeking to undermine its regime through covert operations.
Evidence of part of the US spying programme towards Iran came to light last week when Tehran displayed a US reconnaissance drone it said it had captured.
US President Barack In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed Obama on Monday acknowledged Iran had the drone, a sophisticated and stealthy RQ-170 Sentinel, and requested its return, which Iran has refused.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/18/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
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.