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Showing posts from July, 2013

No Work at North Korean Launch Site for 8 Months: Analysts

New satellite photos suggest construction work has been halted for the last eight months at a key North Korean launch site intended to test bigger and more advanced rockets.

The 38 North research institute says North Korea had been making rapid progress on building a launch pad, control center, and missile assembly building at the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground on the northeast coast.

This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new launch pad, center, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North) x This May 26, 2013 satellite image taken by Astrium, and annotated and distributed by 38 North shows an unfinished new launch pad, center, at the Tonghae facility in North Korea. (AP Photo/Astrium - 38 North) ​

Commercial satellite images taken late last year showed that construction mysteriously stopped. The U.S.-based institute initially said the projects may have been temporarily stopped due to …

Guinea Counts Dead, Arrests Suspects as Calm Returns

CONAKRY — Authorities in Guinea on Thursday identified bodies of people hacked and burned to death and rounded up dozens of suspects after days of ethnic clashes killed 58 people and injured at least 160, officials said.

Residents said that towns in southeastern Guinea where the military has moved in to restore order were mostly calm after days of violence between rival communities.

The violence erupted after a man accused of being a thief was lynched on Sunday. It took place against a background of preparations for long-delayed legislative elections that are meant to end years of transition back to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup.

"We have identified 58 dead up until now but calm has returned," government spokesman Damantan Albert Camara said.

"The number of arrests has doubled," he added. "The security forces have detained about 100 people. Some of them were armed with machetes when they were arrested."

A local radio journalist, who asked to remain …

N. Korea Demands Release of Seized Ship

North Korea is demanding that Panama release a Pyongyang-flagged ship seized in Panamanian waters, saying the commandeered Cuban arms shipment on board was part of a legitimate deal.

In a statement late Wednesday, Pyongyang's foreign ministry described the cargo as "aging" Cuban weapons that North Korea agreed under contract to overhaul. The statement also called for the immediate release of the ship, the Chong Chon Gang, and its crew.

Hours earlier, Panama called on the United Nations to investigate the seizure, as allegations swirled that the North Korean ship was smuggling arms in breach of U.N. sanctions.

Panamanian Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said his government asked the world body how to proceed with the case, and said Panama intends to forward the ship to U.N. custody.

Mulino also said two more containers with suspected arms have been discovered and the 35 ship crew members are to be charged with crimes against Panama's internal security.

Panama stopped the…

Bombs in Iraqi Shi'ite provinces kill 24

By Aref Mohammed
BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - A string of bomb blasts in predominantly Shi'ite Muslim provinces of Iraq killed at least 24 people on Sunday, police and medics said. The violence is part of a sustained campaign of militant attacks this year that has prompted fears of wider conflict in a country where ethnic Kurds and Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims have yet to find a stable power-sharing compromise.
A suicide bomber killed at least four people in a Shi'ite mosque in the town of Mussayab, and in Kut city, a car bomb went off in a busy market, killing five, police and medics said.
Three bombs exploded in quick succession near the headquarters of a Shi'ite political party in the southern oil hub of Basra, 420 km (260 miles) southeast of Baghdad, killing at least eight people, police said.
." View gallery Iraqi security forces and firefighters inspect the site of bombs attacks in Basra, 420 km (260 miles … "When the first explosion happened, I ran to evacuate …

Egypt's army chief defends ousting Morsi

Egypt's military chief says the ousted president violated his mandate and entered into conflict with the armed forces.
Egypt's military chief has defended removing Mohamed Morsi from office, saying the ousted president had violated his popular mandate and antagonised state institutions.
Speaking to an auditorium filled with military officers on Sunday, General Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Morsi "entered into a conflict with the judiciary, the media, the police and the public opinion. Then [he] also entered into a conflict with the armed forces."
He did not elaborate on the nature of the conflict with the military, but said that the armed forces could no longer stand on the sidelines as millions of Egyptians took to the streets to call for Morsi to step down over allegations he was abusing his power.
The military chief said he frequently advised Morsi and finally reached out to him before giving him a 48-hour ultimatum to reconcile with opponents and address public dema…

Egyptian Revolution: What You're Not Being told

Past as prologue: The Bin Laden dossier

Long-suppressed report finds Pakistani government was negligent, inefficient, and incompetent in the bin Laden affair.
If there were one, simple conclusion to be drawn from the report of the Pakistani commission established to investigate Operation Neptune Spear - the US raid on Abbottabad, Pakistan, in which Osama bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011 - it would be that there are times when things are precisely as they appear. The long-suppressed Abbottabad Commission report has now emerged to provide a timely reminder of a truism which this author learned long ago through hard experience: When seeking to explain negative events, and given a choice between some grand conspiracy and simple incompetence, bet on incompetence every time. Who would have guessed? Surely, few either in the US or Pakistan were prepared to believe that Osama bin Laden, easily the most wanted man in the world, could have lived for years with multiple wives and many children in the heart of a military town in Paki…

Egypt's Atypical Military Coup

Summary


There is a great debate underway in Egypt on whether the move to oust President Mohammed Morsi is tantamount to a military coup. Considering that the Egyptian army is forcibly removing a democratically elected president in the wake of nation-wide unrest, the military intervention is indeed a coup. However, it differs from other coups in that direct military rule will not be imposed.

Analysis


There is a great debate underway in Egypt on whether the move to oust President Mohammed Morsi is tantamount to a military coup. Considering that the Egyptian army is forcibly removing a democratically elected president in the wake of nation-wide unrest, the military intervention is indeed a coup. However, it differs from other coups in that direct military rule will not be imposed.

There is considerable public support for Morsi's removal, so the provisional authority that will replace him likely will be a broad-based entity that includes representatives of the nation's main political …

Arab Spring Timeline

Arab Spring Timeline


Year

JUL032013
Egypt: Constitution Will Be Temporarily Suspended, Army Head Says
The Egyptian Constitution will be temporarily suspended and the constitutional court head will run state affairs, army head Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said July 3, Al Arabiya reported.

JUL032013
Egypt: Army Tells Morsi That He Is No Longer President
The Egyptian army informed Mohammed Morsi that he is no longer the president, Ahram reported July 3.

JUL032013
Egypt: Military 'Roadmap' To Include For New Elections, Constitution Suspension, Parliament Dissolution
The Egyptian military's "roadmap" for the country's political future will involve dissolving the parliament, suspending the constitution, and calling for new presidential and parliamentary elections, BBC reported July 3.

JUL032013

Egypt's Atypical Military Coup
A military coup is not the outcome the army wanted.

JUL032013
Egypt: Troops Movements Reported In Suez, Sinai
Some 20 armored vehicles and personnel carriers…

Possible Military Coup in Egypt

Analysis


The deadline attached to the Egyptian military's ultimatum expired July 3, and it appears the military is removing President Mohammed Morsi from office to begin the plan that it leaked to the press on July 2. Morsi gave a defiant speech last night, saying that he would not give up his electoral legitimacy -- essentially forcing the military to choose between intervening and removing him directly or reaching some kind of compromise. It appears the former is in the process of happening, though it is still possible that the military could be engaging in a show of force to dramatically increase pressure on negotiations. The military could be using this brinksmanship to get the Muslim Brotherhood to adopt the "road map" the military released for the political future.

Al Masry Al Youm reported earlier that Muslim Brotherhood and Wasat party leaders had been banned from leaving the country and that it was likely the Egyptian intelligence service was involved in enforcin…

CrisisWatch N°119

The Syrian conflict continued to morph into a full-blown regional sectarian struggle (see our new report). President Bashar Assad’s forces recaptured the town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border with the backing of Hizbollah fighters, whose open support for the regime is mobilising Sunnis across the region. An unprecedented conference in Cairo brought together some of the most prominent, and usually divided, Sunni religious opinion leaders in a joint appeal for jihad against the regime. Their call was endorsed by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. Meanwhile Iraqi Shiite militia are reportedly streaming into Syria in ever greater numbers. As both regime and opposition forces take on increasingly overt confessional stances, the massacre of Shiites in the eastern village of Hatla, reportedly carried out by opposition armed groups, further inflamed the atmosphere. UN/Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi reported that a planned peace conference in Geneva is unlikely to take place before August…

US-China Competition Plays Out in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA — U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Tanzania as the last stop of his African tour, underscores a silent competition with China to tap the country’s growing economic potential.

It’s always a hard day’s work at the Kivukoni fish market in Dar es Salaam.  This place was once the center of business and trade in the city by the sea.  But that has all changed.  Tanzania’s economy has a 7% growth rate and the country is quickly developing.  Competition to get into the market is heating up.

Chinese companies are already at the forefront, leading construction of buildings and infrastructure.

But the United States is also looking for a stronger foothold, a priority emphasized by U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the country.

Lead economist for the World Bank in Tanzania Jacques Moriset says the competition can be a good thing. “In my view, it’s a benefit, it’s a huge opportunity for Tanzania, I mean I strongly believe in the basic principle of economy: competition…