Chandra West aka Anna Rivers "White Noise (2005)" aka Liz in "The Salton Sea (2002)" aka Kim in "The Long Weekend (2005)" aka Kelly in "Something More (1999)" aka Sarah Parker in "A Perfect Son (2000)" aka Molly Graves in "Water's Edge (2003)" aka Oli Danilou in "Badland (2007)" (age 41)
Let's hope it's the beginning of an endless string of "interesting" years for America's foes,
an enlightening year for those who live in America but until now haven't engaged,
and an encouraging year for those who believe in the spirit and ideals this country was founded on.
[Dawn] An kaboom killed four people in the violence-torn city Nigerian city of Maiduguri as Mohammedan faithful left a mosque after Friday prayers, the military and residents said.
The blast comes after a series of Christmas attacks blamed on 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... killed at least 42 people, most of them outside a Catholic church near the capital Abuja, and raised fears of reprisals from Christians.
"There was a loud blast near the mosque just after the Friday prayers as people were trooping out of the mosque," one resident said.
"Everybody scampered to safety, leading to a stampede."Another resident, Mohammed Bukar, reported four dead and others maimed.
"There was confusion following the blast," he said.
"When the dust settled, I saw four dead people being loaded into a vehicle along with some maimed in the blast."A front man for a military task force in the region confirmed the blast but could not immediately provide details.
"It's true there was a blast near Monday market while people were leaving the mosque. We don't have details yet," said Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Mohammed.
Boko Haram has carried out scores of attacks in Nigeria, most of them in the northeast. The group's targets in that region have included Mohammedan leaders.
Thousands have decamped Maiduguri fearing further attacks by Boko Haram and heavy-handed military raids, with soldiers accused of killing civilians and burning their homes after kabooms.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/31/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Boko Haram
SANAA, Yemen Tens of thousands of Yemenis held demonstrations around the country Friday to demand their longtime president face trial for the killings of hundreds of unarmed protesters in the pro-democracy uprising that began 10 months ago.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in power for 33 years, signed a deal granting him immunity from prosecution in return for stepping down. Last month, Saleh, a onetime U.S. ally against al-Qaida, transferred his powers to his vice president and said he intended to travel to the United States for medical treatment of wounds suffered in a June assassination attempt.
Many protesters have objected to the deal, which was brokered by Gulf Arab nations and supported by the United States, because it doesnt include far-reaching political changes or allow for Saleh to be tried.
The slogan for Fridays protests referred to the uprisings unmet aims: Together to achieve the goals of the revolution.
Protesters carried pictures of Saleh with the words You will not escape punishment.
Saleh will not get immunity no matter what price we have to pay, said activist Mahmoud Taha.
[Dawn] Lal Masjid's firebrand holy men on Thursday accepted a government offer of 20 kanals of land in Sector H-11/4 for rebuilding Jamia Hafsa, averting a feared clash reminiscent of the bloody standoff between the two sides in July 2007 that saw the seminary for girls razed to ground.
This alternate site measuring 10,000 square yards is 40 times larger than the original site of Jamia Hafsa adjacent to Lal Masjid.
"An agreement has been signed by me and my wife Majida Younus alias Umm-i-Hissan, with Chief Commissioner Islamabad Tariq Mehmood Pirzada," announced the administrator of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz in a presser held in the mosque.
The agreement binds the Lal Masjid administration not to use the 250 square yards plot on which the original seminary stood for any purpose other than offering prayers.
During Friday sermon on December 16, Maulana Aziz announced his decision to reconstruct the building at its previous site and invited people to the foundation-laying ceremony on December 23.
It has been learnt that earlier the holy mans had demanded that the government should allocate 40 kanals for the seminary in sector H-8 and also construct the building.
However, we can't all be heroes. Somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by... Deputy Commissioner Islamabad Amer Ali Ahmed and his team continued holding talks with the holy mans and convinced them to accept the alternate plot in sector H-11, which has already been allocated for educational institutions; adding the government would not bear the cost of the construction.
At the presser, Maulana Aziz rejected the impression that there was any confrontation between the government and the Lal Masjid administration.
"We are satisfied with the new location because there the Capital Development Authority permits us to construct a nine-storey building for Jamia Hafsa," he said.
Responding a question, he rejected the impression that he and his followers had backed out from their previous stance of 'enforcement of Shariah', adding: "At present, we are concentrating on rebuilding of Jamia Hafsa."
He said those who were criticising them for having an underhand deal with the government never realised the problems being faced by about 4,000 students of Jamia Hafsa due to lack of a building.
He could not give a satisfactory reply when asked why Lal Masjid administration had so far not filed an application for registration of an FIR against former president Gen Pervez Perv Musharraf ... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ... for the 2007 operation, saying: "The issue of deaders is separate from our problems."
Asked why the plot had been allotted in his name instead of a trust, Maulana Aziz said: "As I am the in-charge of the mosque and seminary, it was allotted in my name but I have dedicated it to my students and followers."
Posted by: Fred ||
12/31/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Dawn] Unidentified motorcyclists rubbed out a tribal elder of 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... in Bosti Banda area of Kohat district on Thursday.
Police said that the assailants managed to escape after killing the tribal elder, however, they left behind their cycle of violence, bearing registration number RLA-4672.
The Bilitang cop shoppe impounded the cycle of violence and launched search for the arrest of the unidentified killers after registering a case against them.
Earlier this week, two motorcyclists had killed a leader of Sunni Supreme Council of Hangu district ... Hangu is famous for its greenery, hills, beauty and water. Most of the people of this area are Bangash & Orakzai Pashtuns. Part of the Bangash are Shia. The Orakzai and the Sunni Bangash are determined to kill them... and injured his lover companion in an ambush in the same area.
In Khyber Agency, two alleged kidnappers were killed and two others tossed in the calaboose after exchange of fire with security forces in Jamrud tehsil on Thursday.
An official handout said that a gang of kidnappers opened firing on a joint team of security forces and khasadar ...a rural policeman in Pakistain or India... s when they raided a house in Saparee area early in the morning.
Two kidnappers identified as Amir and Hayat Mir were killed while two others tossed in the calaboose after a shootout, the handout said.
The security forces also recovered Sadeequllah, a resident of Beautiful Downtown Peshawar, who had been kidnapped for ransom. The kidnappers were demanding Rs10 million for his release.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Esquimeau village our hero was receiving a quick lesson in aeronautics...... Khasadar Force recovered the body of a driver from Gudar Kallay in Jamrud on Thursday.
Officials said that the body had torture marks. The dear departed was identified as Talib Jan, a resident of Landi Kotal. His body was later handed over to his relatives.
[Dawn] At least 13 people were killed and 30 others injured, six among them seriously, when a bomb placed in a car parked near the house of a former minister of state on Arbab Karam Road went kaboom! on Friday evening.
The proscribed Balochistan ...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it... Liberation Army has grabbed credit for the attack.
The powerful blast was heard far and wide. It smashed windows of several buildings.
At least six vehicles parked in the area and 10 nearby houses caught fire after the kaboom and were destroyed.
"Unknown men put the kaboom into a vehicle and parked it near the house of former state minister Mir Naseer Mengal," DIG Operation Nazir Ahmed Kurd said, adding that the kaboom occurred at around 7pm.
He said 13 people had been killed and another 30 injured who were in hospitals.
Intelligence sources put the number of the dead at 15. Seven of the dead are said to be the guards of Shafique Mengal, son of Naseer Mengal.
Security officials were of the view that Shafique Mengal might have been the target of the attack.
DIG Investigation Hamid Shakeel told Dawn that about 40-50kg of kaboom had been used for the blast.
He said that kaboom had also been planted in another vehicle, parked near the house, adding that the bomb disposal squad defused it.
The injured were taken to the Bolan Medical College hospital and Civil Hospital.
According to doctors, six of the injured were at death's door. Some of the injured were identified as Abdul Qudoos, Qadeer Mola Bakhsh, Gul Muhammad, Muhammad Rafeeq, Abdul, Khalid Khan, Karam Khan, Abdul Hameed, Faisal Khan, Dost Muhammad, Musawwar Khan, Abdullah Khan, Amanullah, Afzal Khan, Lal Muhammad, Javed Ahmed, Abdul Rasheed, Fazal Kareem, Muhammad Yunus and Abdul Kareem.
According to sources, Shafique Mengal had returned to Quetta from his native Khuzdar district about an hour before the blast and was in the house.
His guards started firing in the air after the blast. They allegedly manhandled some journalists who were there to cover the incident.
Law-enforcement personnel cordoned off the area and started investigation.
Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani condemned the blast and ordered an immediate inquiry.
Claiming responsibility for the attack, BLA front man Meerik Baloch told news hounds on phone that it was a suicide kaboom carried out by Darwaish Baloch who he said was a member of their Majeed Shaheed Brigade.
AFP adds: Police said the majority of the dead were passersby making it even harder to piece together what happened.
"We are facing difficulties to know about the nature of the blast because many of the witnesses who were present at the scene have been killed," said DIG Kurd.
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Following Friday's prayers today, a massive demonstration was held in Khaldiya, west Ramadi, demanding the release a number of military officers who were arrested five days ago by the federal government.
Oraginzer Hafidh al-Khleifawi told Aswat al-Iraq that the 15 officers were called by the Defense Ministry to attend a security conference in Baghdad, but they were arrested upon arrival.
"There was no security conference and no one knows their destiny," he added.
Any student of Soviet history understands what happened...
ANBAR / Aswat al-Iraq: Security sources in Anbar province reported today that four civilians were killed by an armed attack east of Falluja.
The source, preferring not to be identified, told Aswat al-Iraq that "an armed group attacked a peasant's house east Falluja with machine guns, that led to his killing and three of his sons. Material damages were reported done in the house.
Investigations were carried out, but no information about the identity of the attackers was given.
OK. We had a beef with Saddam. The moral of the story, all you tin pot dictators, is you do NOT take a shot at the president of the United States because his son might get elected and then he'll come and get you.
So where does that leave the Iraqis? Are they more secure now or before? Are we responsible? Do we care if al Qaeda, or the Iranians, take control of all that oil? Was it really costing us all that much, compared to Obamacare for instance?
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
12/31/2011 18:31 Comments ||
BAGHDAD -- Hundreds of Sunni Muslims gathered in Baghdad Friday to celebrate the withdrawal of American forces, but in a sign of the sectarian divisions that re-emerged immediately after their departure, Shiite Muslims did not join the event.
The celebration took place near the Abu Hanifa mosque, the main house of worship in the primarily Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah in northern Baghdad. To secure the event, Iraqi troops blocked traffic on roads leading to the mosque and searched people approaching the area.
Because now that the 'occupiers' are gone the whole place is trusting and peaceful...
During the rally, men and children waved Iraqi flags and raised banners praising those who resisted the U.S. presence in Iraq.
"Baghdad is the castle of resistance," one banner read. "The deeds of the heroes are stronger than the weapons of the occupiers," read another banner. Women threw chocolates to the crowd as a sign of joy.
In his sermon, the mosque's preacher, Sheik Ahmed al-Taha, accused the Americans of stirring up sectarian tension among Iraqis.
"The occupiers created the sectarian conflict as an exit from the quagmire they found themselves in when they were facing 200 military operations against them every day. By dividing Iraqis, the Americans made Iraqis attack each other instead of attacking them," al-Taha told worshippers.
The preacher also called on the government to demand compensation from the Americans for the loss of lives and damage caused during the occupation.
The lingering sectarian divisions Iraq faces was clear during the prayer service and rally, which was almost entirely Sunni. Shiites had been invited to join the celebration but did not show up.
Shiites have even given the departure of the U.S. forces a different name than the Sunnis have. Sunnis generally call it the "evacuation day," whereas Shiites often refer to it as the "fulfillment day" as a way to show that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who leads a Shiite-dominated government, fulfilled his promise to get all the troops out of the country.
In spite of the problems, some Sunnis were optimistic. Omar Abdul-Aziz, 28, said the sectarian conflicts Iraq experienced just a few years ago "won't be repeated because Iraqis now understand that sectarianism was planned by the occupiers."
CP, there are many among us who could make the same expression concerning the Europeans or for that matter South Koreans. There are many among us who even though born here have cheered the killers and oppressors. There'll never be a problem for the MSM to find a small group to highlight to promote its own brand of anti-Americanism.
I'd think it would be a reasonable bet that after the death of Custer, there were those on the coast who thought it a waste of lives and money to bother settling the Dakotas or with the seemingly unending war with the Apache to waste similar resources on the New Mexico territory. How many could envision what we have today back then to understand the trade offs that are always made.
Heck, I'm from a generation that the old veterans bemoaned how we 'lost' in Korea because we didn't 'win'. Anyone who looks at the night imagery of the peninsula today can grasp what has been achieved. However, those results came decade afterward, not in an instant, not in a few years.
The spy war between Tehran and Tel Aviv escalated after an pro-Iranian group claimed responsibility for the killing of a 70 year old French (maybe Israeli too) Professor who was stabbed to death, and then burnt in his house on one of the city's most important streets (named after its first mayor, Meir Dizengoff).
The previously unknown group announced that it carried out an assassination of the "Zionist Chemistry Expert" Dr. Eli Laluz who is a French citizen and a graduate of the Weizmann Institute of Science (rehovot), in retaliation to a Mossad assassination of General Hassan Tehrani, the Architect of the Iranian missile program. But it is unclear that Laluz is an Israeli, the Israeli press refer to him as a foreigner, but declined to further report it as the Israeli authorities issued a "gag order" to maintain secrecy. Apparently, Laluz was a friend of Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav.
The group that called itself "the Brigades of the martyr general Hassan Tahrani Mokadem" said that it killed Laluz (spelled it lolaz in the Arabic statement) on last Monday, the 26th of December. "One of our operatives entered the home of a Professor in Dizengoff street in Tel Aviv, and killed him with a knife. then he burnt the house in a complex way. The mujahideen returned to their bases in peace". The statement also mentioned that "the operation comes as a first response to the assassination of Marty Hassan Tahrani Mokadem, who is an Iranian Brigadier killed in a Mossad bombing in Tehran". Mokadem was the architect of the Iranian Missile program (photo below).
[An Nahar] The U.S. State Department said Congress has released $40 million in aid to the Paleostinians, part of the nearly $200 million that was frozen over their bid for full U.N. recognition.
"We have been working with Congress for some time, because we don't think it's in U.S. national interests to keep this money frozen," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told news hounds, saying U.S. diplomats were "gratified" by the move.
The monies, provided through the Economic Support Fund, are targeted for economic and humanitarian support.
"We will continue to work with Congress when they come back in session to secure additional funding for these programs, because we think they're important," Nuland said.
"We think they aid in stability and security and development for the Paleostinian people. That's in our interest, it's in their interest and we believe it's also in Israel's interest."
In November, officials said U.S. politicians lifted a hold on nearly $200 million in aid to the Paleostinians, mainly money for the police force, that had been suspended in response to the Paleostinian bid for full U.N. membership.
However, a lie repeated often enough remains a lie... officials also said politicians were maintaining a block on some $192 million in aid for infrastructure projects in the Gazoo Strip, ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason,, and the Fatah-controlled West Bank.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ... sometimes described as The Heroine of Tuzla and at other times as Mrs. Bill, never as Another John Quincy Adams ... asked Congress in October to preserve the aid to the Paleostinian Authority, warning that Hamas bully boyz could otherwise try to fill the void.
During the U.N. General Assembly in September, the Paleostinians launched a bid for full U.N. membership. They need nine votes out of 15 in the Security Council, but the United States has made clear that it would veto the bid.
The Unites States and Israel insist the only route to Paleostinian statehood is through direct negotiations with Israel.
Paleostinian Authority President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas ... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial... has said efforts were continuing to gain full U.N. membership and admission to other international institutions.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/31/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Palestinian Authority
a lie repeated often enough remains a lie..., but quite often becomes historic fact.
$40 million borrowed from the Chinese and spent by the State Dept is relative chickenfeed, and will be regarded as an insult it is intended to be.
Nevertheless, I want the names of the Congress critters that are ripping off my kids and giving their future earnings to a people that hand out candy to celebrate terrorist attacks.
Posted by: regular joe ||
12/31/2011 11:15 Comments ||
Why doesn't the US borrow from Hezbollah's Nasrallah and then donate the money to the Palestinians, most of which would then go back to Nasrallah who could lend that back to the US who could donate the money to the Palestinians and so on and on.
Sixty two years living from the western tax payer and still haven't built something lookling like an economy so we have to feed them. But they have pleeeenty of money for terrorism and building Kassams.
Nearly forgot: they burned the greenhouses left behind by the israelis in order to provide them jobs and later they demanded, in fact they threatened us with terrorist actiobns in case we didn't obey, more money.
I want my money back, all of it since 1948. With interests and adjusted for infaltation.
Three separate attacks in southern Thailand Friday left one dead and three wounded.
Defense volunteer Kasaman Sadeemae, 23, was shot in front of his home in Yala province early Friday as he waited for a co-worker to pick him up for duty. The gunman, riding on a motorcycle, fled the scene. Sadeemae was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Later, a remote-controlled bomb was triggered also in Raman district, just before two motorcycles and a truck carrying eight soldiers passed over it. One of the soldiers was slightly wounded by the blast.
In Pattani province Friday morning, two soldiers providing security for teachers were wounded in a roadside explosion in front a school.
Police blame southern terrorists insurgents for all three attacks.
Iran has denied reports by its own state media that it test-fired long-range missiles during military exercises in the Gulf. Iran's senior navy commander said, ""The exercise of launching missiles will be carried out in the coming days."
Earlier, Fars news agency and other outlets reported that land-to-sea missiles had been fired.
[An Nahar] Syrian forces were accused of firing nail bombs Friday to disperse protesters as hundreds of thousands of people flooded streets across the country to make their voices heard to Arab monitors.
Protesters called for the ouster and prosecution of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Lord of the Baath... , whose autocratic regime has been blamed for the deaths of more than 5,000 people since pro-reform protests erupted in March.
Activists urged monitors, who started this week a mission to implement an 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... peace plan, to protect civilians from the regime's wrath.
"We urge you to make a clear distinction between the assassin and the victim," activists of the Syrian Revolution 2011 said in a statement posted on their Facebook page.
"Our revolution which was launched nine months ago is peaceful," they said.
The corpse count rose again Friday, with at least 32 civilians killed by gunfire as Syrian forces dispersed crowds of protesters around the country, while four people died in an ambush by government troops, activists and a rights watchdog said.
The Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said nine people were killed in the flashpoint central province of Homs, nine in the restive central province of Hama, two in the countryside around Damascus ...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world... , six in the northwestern province of Idlib, and six in the southern province of Daraa, cradle of the pro-democracy protests.
Huge demonstrations rocked northwestern Idlib province and Douma, a Damascus suburb where protesters clashed with security forces who fired "nail bombs" to disperse them, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
At least 24 protesters were hurt when security forces fired "nail bombs to disperse tens of thousands of demonstrators in Douma," the watchdog said, adding that the protesters "hurled stones" in retaliation.
"An activist in the city told the Observatory that he was hurt by shrapnel from those bombs," the Britannia-based group said in a statement received by Agence La Belle France Presse.
In Douma, security forces also fired "stun grenades and tear gas" at protesters as 60,000-70,000 demonstrators headed to city hall, where Arab League observers visited the previous day.
It was the "biggest ever demonstration" in the restive suburb since March, it added.
Further north in Idlib province, which borders Turkey, more than 250,000 protesters took the streets in various locations, the Observatory reported.
Meanwhile, ...back at the Esquimeau village our hero was receiving a quick lesson in aeronautics...... Anwar Omran, member of the so-called Revolution Council of Hama, told Al-Jazeera television that "Hama witnessed today massive demonstrations, with protesters numbering around 300,000."
In the southern province of Daraa, cradle of the pro-democracy protests, five civilians were rubbed out when security forces opened fire on crowds of protesters, the Observatory said.
Several people were shot and maimed in the Daraa town of Inkhil where, bracing for protests, authorities deployed security forces and posted snipers on high grounds from early in the morning, it said.
Protests also took place in Homs, which activists have dubbed the "martyr" city as hundreds have died there in a government crackdown on dissent over the past few months.
In the Damascus neighborhood of al-Qadam, security forces fired live rounds of ammunition at worshippers who emerged from midday prayers apparently to prevent them from joining the protests, said the Observatory.
Protests in 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... , Syria's second city in the north and economic hub, were "brutally" crushed by regime loyalists, it added.
Two civilians and two mutinous soldiers were also killed Friday in the Homs province town of Tal Kalakh in an ambush by regular army troops, said the watchdog.
Internet activists had urged Syrians to "march to the squares of freedom, bare-chested" on Friday, saying they were ready to confront the regime's "artillery and machinegun fire."
The Observatory's Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP activists are determined to make their voices heard to the monitors despite the bloody crackdown which activists say has killed more than 100 people since monitors arrived Monday.
"The Arab League's initiative is the only ray of light that we now see," said Abdul Rahman.
The mission has been tainted by some controversy, with some opposition members unhappy with the head of the observers General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi -- a veteran Sudanese military intelligence officer.
Dabi this week ruffled feathers by saying Syrian authorities were so far cooperating with the mission and by describing his visit to Homs as "good."
For some, Dabi is a controversial figure because he served under Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir Head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and eventually appointed himself president-for-life. He has fallen out with his Islamic mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, tried to impose shariah on the Christian and animist south, resulting in its secessesion, and attempted to Arabize Darfur by unleashing the barbaric Janjaweed on it. Sudan's potential prosperity has been pissed away in warfare that has left as many as 400,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Omar has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court but nothing is expected to come of it. who is wanted by the International Criminal Court ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... for alleged war crimes committed in Darfur region.
"The observers must remain in the cities they visit to protect civilians," said prominent human rights ...which often include carefully measured allowances of freedom at the convenience of the state... lawyer Haytham Maleh who is also a member of the main opposition Syrian National Council.
Speaking to Arab news channels, Maleh said the vaporous Arab League must increase the number of monitors to ensure they can verify Assad's regime is implementing all the terms of the plan to end the violence.
Around 66 monitors are currently in Syria but there are plans to deploy between 150 and 200 observers.
"The presence of the observers in Homs broke the barrier of fear," Abdul Rahman said in reference to some 70,000 demonstrators who flooded the streets of the central city Tuesday when the monitors kicked off their mission.
Western powers have urged Syrian to give them full access and Britannia's minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt echoed those concern on Thursday.
Damascus must "meet fully its obligations to the Arab League," including withdrawing security forces from cities, he said.
But Syria's key ally Russia -- which has resisted Western efforts to push through the U.N. Security Council tough resolutions against Damascus -- said Friday it was happy with the mission so far.
Syria's state SANA news agency reported that massive crowds rallied on Friday in several cities, including Damascus, to support Assad and reject the foreign-orchestrated "plot" that is "targeting Syria's stability and security."
Posted by: Fred ||
12/31/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
The Iranian revolution took about 1 year until it toppled the Shah. The Syrian revolution began in earnest on March 6th of 2011. It will be interesting to see if it takes a whole year to depose pencilneck.
(And for those who enjoyed that, here is another charming wrestling ditty called The Crusher, by The Novas.)
[An Nahar] Hundreds of protesters hit the streets in north Leb Friday to support the revolt against Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad Oppressor of the Syrians and the Lebs... 's regime, organizing blood drives and marching towards the volatile border.
Some 500 Lebanese and Syrians rallied near a border crossing in the Akkar district of Wadi Khaled, which straddles the Syrian border, amid tight security.
Around 500 others, mainly Islamists, staged a sit-in in the northern port city of Tripoli, which has witnessed festivities between Sunnis and minority Alawite Mohammedans loyal to the Assad family.
Student activists across Tripoli also set up a handful of tents to host blood drives and gather donations to aid injured Syrian refugees who have regularly crossed into Leb in recent weeks to seek medical care.
"We began this campaign after it became clear that the Lebanese government and the institutions that should be concerned with this cause were not doing their job," said Mohammed Taha, a Lebanese student who was helping set up the makeshift donation centers.
"All the money we gather here will be donated to Syrian refugees in Leb, and only to these refugees."
Ahmed Moussa, another student activist in Tripoli, said the grassroots campaign to aid refugees had begun weeks ago.
"We started by setting up donation booths outside mosques after Friday prayers and distributing discs documenting human rights ...which are usually entirely different from personal liberty... violations in Syria to passers-by for free," Moussa told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Thousands of Syrian refugees have decamped to Leb as the state cracks down on a popular revolt against the Assad regime, now in its tenth month.
The Syrian army last month laced the Lebanese border with landmines in a bid to curb arms smuggling and hampering army defectors and refugees from fleeing.
Syrian troops have also staged deadly incursions into border villages in neighboring Leb, the last of which was on Tuesday, when three Lebanese men were killed by Syrian gunfire in Wadi Khaled.
The United Nations ...a lucrative dumping ground for the relatives of dictators and party hacks... estimated earlier this month that more than 5,000 people have been killed in the crackdown since protests against the Assad regime began in mid-March.
Posted by: Fred ||
12/31/2011 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Syria
DAMASCUS Syrian forces were accused of firing nail bombs to disperse protesters on Friday as tens of thousands flooded the streets across the country in a bid to make their voices heard by Arab monitors.
The protesters called for the overthrow and prosecution of President Bashar al-Assad, whose autocratic regime has been blamed for the deaths of more than 5,000 people since pro-reform protests erupted in March.
Activists urged the Arab monitors, who this week started a mission to oversee an Arab League plan to end the bloodshed, to do more to protect civilians from regime forces which they said killed another 13 civilians on Friday.
We urge you to make a clear distinction between the assassin and the victim, activists of the Syrian Revolution 2011 said on their Facebook page.
Our revolution which was launched nine months ago is peaceful, they said.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, monitors visited Idlib, Hama, Daraa and the Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amro on Friday. State television said they also went to Hama and spoke to wounded people in a government hospital.
The mission has been the focus of controversy, with some opposition members unhappy with the choice of veteran Sudanese military intelligence officer General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi to head it. Dabi this week ruffled feathers by saying Syrian authorities were so far cooperating with the mission and by describing his visit to Homs as good.
Pretty good demonstration that the 'monitors' are there to save Pencilneck...
The observers must remain in the cities they visit to protect civilians, said prominent human rights lawyer Haytham Maleh, who is a member of the main opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council. Speaking to Arab news channels, Maleh said the Arab League must increase the number of monitors to ensure they can verify Assads regime is implementing all the terms of the blocs plan to end the violence.
These include the withdrawal of troops from all towns and cities that have been the focus of disturbances, protecting civilians, and the release of detainees, as well as opening a dialogue with the opposition.
Around 66 monitors are currently in Syria but there are plans to deploy between 150 and 200 observers.
Reporters Without Borders said the mission must visit journalists and bloggers being held by the regime and, in a statement, provided a non-exhaustive list of some 15 journalists it believes are in detention. The media rights group said it was relieved by the reported release of Jehad Jamal, a blogger also known as Milan, who had been held since October 14, but said the observers must interview those who have been freed after months in detention or else this mission will be just a sham.
Fridays dead included at least 11 civilians killed as security forces opened fire to disperse protesters, and two more killed along with two army deserters in an ambush by government troops, a watchdog said.
Huge demonstrations rocked northwestern Idlib province and Douma, a Damascus suburb where protesters clashed with security forces who fired nail bombs to disperse them, the Observatory said.
At least 24 protesters were hurt when security forces fired nail bombs to disperse tens of thousands of demonstrators in Douma, the Britain-based watchdog said, adding that protesters hurled stones in retaliation. Security forces also fired stun grenades and tear gas in Douma as 60,000-70,000 demonstrators headed to city hall, which the Arab observers visited on Thursday.
It was the biggest demonstration in the restive suburb since the uprising began in March, the Observatory said.
In Idlib province, which borders Turkey, more than 250,000 protesters took the streets, the watchdog reported.
In Daraa province, south of Damascus and cradle of the pro-democracy protests, five civilians were shot dead when security forces opened fire on crowds of protesters.
Five more were killed in Hama, in central Syria, when the security forces opened fire in Al-Hamidiyeh and Al-Hader neighbourhoods, the Observatory added.
And a man was shot dead in Homs, another flashpoint central city which activists have dubbed the martyr city after hundreds were killed in a massive crackdown over the past few months.
Five members of the security forces were also killed in Homs region by army deserters, the watchdog said.
Internet activists had urged Syrians to march to the squares of freedom, bare-chested on Friday, saying they were ready to confront the regimes artillery and machinegun fire.
Syrias state SANA news agency reported that massive crowds rallied on Friday in several cities, including Damascus, to support Assad and reject the foreign-orchestrated plot that is targeting Syrias stability and security.
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.