Tunisia holds landmark election

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Tunisia, whose 2011 uprising inspired the Arab Spring, holds a presidential run-off with the winner becoming the country’s first freely elected leader.
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North Korea wants joint inquiry with US into Sony hacking – Irish Times

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Irish Times
North Korea wants joint inquiry with US into Sony hacking
Irish Times
North Korea has proposed a joint investigation with the US into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment and warned of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects an inquiry that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the …
N. Korea proposes joint probe with US into Sony cyber attackDaily Mail
9 things the Sony hack has taught us about HollywoodThe Independent
White House 'pleased' Sony is looking for ways to distribute movie after cyberattackFox News
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty -RT -Boston Globe
all 3,459 news articles »

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‘Assassinated': Shock After Two NYPD Officers Gunned Down in Their Car – NBCNews.com

December 21st, 2014 No comments

NBCNews.com
'Assassinated': Shock After Two NYPD Officers Gunned Down in Their Car
NBCNews.com
Investigators believe the gunman who ambushed and fatally shot two New York City Police Department officers Saturday boasted on social media that "I'm putting wings on pigs today" before the killings. The Instagram post also references Michael Brown and …
NYPD cops turn backs to de Blasio at hospitalNew York Daily News
Gunman kills two New York police officers in possible revenge attackReuters
Authorities say cop killer wanted retaliation for Michael Brown, Eric Garner deathsFox News
Washington Post -Telegraph.co.uk -CNN
all 1,683 news articles »

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Jordan ends death penalty moratorium

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Jordan executes 11 men convicted of murder, ending a eight-year moratorium on the death penalty.
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Kurds inflict first Major Defeat on Daesh/ ISIL, Rescue Yezidis of Sinjar

December 21st, 2014 No comments

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) —

The pan-Arab London daily, Al-Hayat [Life] reports that the Iraqi Kurdistan paramilitary, the Peshmerga, have taken Mt. Sinjar from Daesh (what Arabs call ISIL or ISIS). They have therefore saved several thousand members of the Yezidi (Izadi) Kurdish religious minority, who have been besieged and sometimes enslaved or massacred in the thousands by Daesh fighters, in an Iraqi humanitarian catastrophe (see this recent posting at Informed Comment). Its author, Patrick Bell, wrote, “Most Yezidis are native Kurdish speakers, while others speak Arabic, and many speak both languages. They practice an ancient religion known as Yazidism, which is neither Christian nor Muslim. They have struggled for centuries against pressure from their neighbors to convert to Islam.”

The Sinjar campaign began last Wednesday, and has benefited from extensive bombing and close air support for the Peshmerga (literally ‘one who stands before death’). Yezidi Kurds chanted in favor of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani. Peshmerga sources said that having taken the area of Mt. Sinjar, they expect momentarily to clear completely the Daesh from the town of Sinjar.

Alarabiya is reporting that Peshmerga convoys are already in downtown Sinjar (the city).

The flag of Kurdistan now waves over Mt.Sinjar. It remains to be seen if this means Kurdistan has annexed the far north of Iraq’s Ninewah Province, which abuts the Kurdish area of Syria. Keeping Sinjar may also be a logistical challenge, since it is three hours drive from the Kurdistan capital of Erbil, but much closer and more accessible to Mosul, which allied with Daesh on June 9 to expel the Shiite Iraqi government. Iraq’s parts– Kurdistan and “Sunni Arabistan” are now at war with one another, and territory is changing hands. The contested province of Kirkuk, claimed both by Kurds and Arabs, has fallen to the Kurds since the Iraqi army ran away from it, and it appears unlikely that the Kurds will relinquish it.

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 3.23.04 AM

Thirty-two trucks full of food and other aid arrived at Mt. Sinjar on Saturday from Iraqi Kurdistan.

Yezidi fighter Hasso Mishko Hasso explained that the people of Sinjar have been under siege for three months, and lived on raw flour and barley.

The radical fundamentalist Daesh defenders in the town of Sinjar are said by Yezidi Kurds to lack heavy weaponry, having only sniping and suicide bombing for tactics.

The Peshmerga now plan to liberate Talafar from Daesh.

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Related video:

AJE: “Kurds battle ISIL to secure Iraq’s Sinjar”

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Heroic Teachers in Peshawer

December 21st, 2014 No comments

[This story of incredible bravery needs to be widely distributed. As we try to make sense of such a senseless cowardly act, it is well to remember such bravery by these incredible women]

Pakistanis for Gender Equality, December 18, 2014

As the nation mourns the Peshawar school attack, let us also commend the exemplary bravery shown by these women (amongst others) who gave their lives in the hopes of protecting Pakistan’s tomorrow. Who says women are weak? Can our leaders show this kind of resolve to save this country from the TTP barbarians? Let us not let their sacrifices be in vain.

1) Tahira Qazi. Her personal assistant says she had the opportunity to escape the school but instead chose to stay with the students. As the militants fired shots, she rushed from classroom to classroom, shouting at those inside to lock themselves in. She consoled, protected, and ushered many students to safety. She even phoned parents to come and collect their children. One source says, “the honourable principal was asked by the terrorists ‘where are the students and why are you hiding them?’ She replied: ‘Talk to me, I am their mother.’ The terrorists replied ‘Ok, you die first, in a miserable way.’ She was burnt and bullets were fired in her head directly.”

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Jordan hangs 11 men after eight-year death penalty moratorium

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Jordan executed 11 men convicted of murder by hanging on Sunday, the interior ministry said, as it ended an informal eight-year moratorium on the death penaltyJordan executed 11 men convicted of murder by hanging on Sunday, the interior ministry said, as it ended an informal eight-year moratorium on the death penalty. Authorities said the men were all Jordanians convicted on murder charges in 2005 and 2006. Jordan's last previous executions were in June 2006 and 122 people have since been sentenced to death. Interior Minister Hussein Majali suggested recently that the moratorium might end, saying there was a "major debate" in Jordan on the death penalty and that "the public believes that the rise in crime has been the result of the non-application" of capital punishment.

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GOP Denialism to Sink Capital: 150 Tidal Floods a Year for Washington DC by 2045

December 21st, 2014 No comments

Link TV | —

“The eastern coast of the United States– from the Gulf of Mexico to New England — has one of the highest rates of sea level rise in the world. As a result of climate change, 5 to 11 inches of sea level rise is expected by 2045 leaving communities like Norfolk, Virginia, Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Annapolis, Maryland essentially inundated. Dr. Brenda Ekwurzel of the Union of Concerned Scientists speaks to Earth Focus about what’s at stake for major U.S. coastal cities and local communities and the choices they need to make to adapt to this imminent threat.”

Link TV: “Encroaching Tides: What’s at Stake for the US”

For more see Union of Concerned Scientists, “Encroaching Tide”:

“Using a mid-range scenario for future sea level rise, we find that, by 2030, more than half of the 52 communities we analyzed on the East and Gulf Coasts can expect to average more than two dozen tidal floods per year. Importantly, the rise in the frequency of tidal flooding represents an extremely steep increase for many of these communities. In the next 15 years alone, two-thirds of these communities could see a tripling or more in the number of high-tide floods each year. The mid-Atlantic coast is expected to see some of the greatest increases in flood frequency. Because many communities are already coping with tidal floods, a tripling in their frequency means that, by 2030, such floods could occur more than once a week…

Because communities are already coping with tidal floods, a tripling in their frequency means that, by 2030, such floods could occur more than once a week. Places such as Annapolis, MD, and Washington, DC, for example, can expect more than 150 tidal floods a year, on average, and several locations in New Jersey could see 80 tidal floods or more. By 2045—within the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage— many coastal communities are expected to see roughly one foot of sea level rise.”

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Martin Schram: Another president promises change for Cuba – U-T San Diego

December 21st, 2014 No comments

The Guardian
Martin Schram: Another president promises change for Cuba
U-T San Diego
Thousands in Miami's sunny Orange Bowl stood and cheered as one, thrilled to ecstasy and even tears of joy by what they'd just witnessed on the field. Surely no football star had ever thrilled a crowd quite the way these faithful true believers were just moved …
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Jamaica Gleaner -Washington Post -New York Times
all 450 news articles »

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Leftist Jordanians protest expected gas deal with Israel

December 21st, 2014 No comments

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of protesters marched in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Friday to denounce a gas deal with Israel that is expected to be passed by the end of the year.

Protesters held signs against the Israeli diplomatic mission in Jordan and against normalization with Israel during the rally, bearing messages such as: “The gas of the enemy is occupation,” “The people of Jordan are not collaborators,” and various other messages calling for a revocation of the 1994 deal that normalized relations between Israel and Jordan after decades of hostility.

308930_345x230 Courtesy Ma’an Images

The head of the youth office of the Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party, Fakher Da’as, said the march aimed to send a message to the parliament and the government in order to pressure them to take real steps against the agreement.

The march was called for by the youth offices of the six leftist and nationalistic parties in Jordan as well as the Ahrar al-Asima group.

Although the 1994 Wadi Araba agreement officially ended decades of conflict between Israel and Jordan, many Jordanians opposed and continued to oppose the agreement, which ended Jordanian claims of sovereignty to the West Bank.

Opposition has persisted particularly in light of Israel’s failure to follow through on the various peace accords it has signed with Palestinians, as well as the repeated and ongoing assaults and invasions it has carried out in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Ma’an News Agency

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