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Showing posts from January 26, 2013

British MP: Jews Didn't Learn the Lesson from the Holocaust

Brtish MP David Ward faces expulsion for saying Jews didn't learn from the Holocaust and are "inflicting atrocities" on PA Arabs.

A Liberal Democrat MP in Britain faces expulsion from the party for saying Jews had not learned from the murder of six million in the Holocaust in their treatment of PalestinianAuthority Arabs, the Daily Mail reports.

David Ward, MP for Bradford East, wrote on his own website that he was “saddened” that Jews “could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians…on a daily basis.”

“Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza,” Ward wrote.

He later defended his comments in int…

Kim Jong Eun surgery rumors force open a sliver of daylight with China

North Korea’s official news agency has taken the unusual step of publicly rebuking a rumor about young leader Kim Jong Eun, and has chastised China, its sponsor and only real ally, in the process. The vitriolic report insists that the 30-year-old Kim absolutely, positively did not receive plastic surgery to look more like his deceased grandfather, Kim Il Sung. Such rumors have been around for years, but just as rumors. So why condemn them now, at the risk of just lending them greater legitimacy?

Since taking control of the country, Kim Jong Eun has aggressively cultivated an image in his grandfather’s likeness. Kim Il Sung, considered North Korea’s national founder, is practically deified. His son and heir, Kim Jong Il, rarely appeared in public and never fully inherited his father’s cult of personality. Now, Kim Jong Eun seems to be doing everything he can to draw comparisons between himself and his beloved grandfather, which could help him considerably in consolidating and maintainin…

Japan, China struggle to curb tensions

MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES - Chinese paramilitary policemen run past bottles thrown by demonstrators during a protest over the Diaoyu islands issue, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan, outside the Japanese Embassy in Beijing last year.

BEIJING — Judging by some of the commentary in the Chinese media, an outside observer might think war with Japan is imminent. “The Chinese military could win a war over the Diaoyu Islands in half an hour,” Major General Zhang Zhaozhong, a Chinese military scholar, was quoted as saying last week.

Chinese hawks are not the only ones raising the spector of a military clash between Asia’s two largest economies. Since Tokyo infuriated Beijing last September by nationalizing some of the disputed Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu in China and Taiwan, tensions between the two countries have escalated.

Both militaries regularly fly fighter jets in the airspace above the islands and have scrambled them against each other.

Japan’s coast guard on Monday cited …

Pentagon must do more to understand suicide problem

SUICIDES IN THE U.S. military rose in 2012 to a record high of 349, with more personnel dying by their own hand than on the battlefield. The numbers are a grim reminder of the challenge that suicide has long posed for the military — and they should lend urgency to the Pentagon’s efforts to combat this insidious problem.

The 349 suicides among active-duty troops exceeded not only the 2011 total of 301 but also the Pentagon’s internal projection for the year of 325. By comparison, The Post’s Ernesto Londoño wrote, 229 troops were killed in combat in Afghanistan last year. The number of suicides, which is subject to revision as the 2012 deaths are fully investigated, is the highest since 2001, when defense officials began keeping track. The military suicide rate is below that of the general civilian population, but the rising rate — even as the Pentagon has made suicide prevention a priority, with the establishment of numerous mental health initiatives — has unsettled military officials. …

UN to expand DR Congo peacekeeping mission

The United Nations is set to expand its peace mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, creating a new special force to work alongside existing peacekeeping troops, diplomats have told Al Jazeera.

DR Congo has been in crisis since M23 rebels took control of large parts of the country's east.

The proposed plan, currently being finalised, will create a new special intervention brigade, comprising between 2,000 and 2,500 troops, to be deployed to that area.

The troops will operate under the overall UN umbrella, but will likely have more robust rules of engagement, Al Jazeera Diplomatic Editor James Bays reported on Friday.

Relaunching peace talks

Tanzania and South Africa are leading contenders to provide the first special force to bolster the UN mission, diplomats said.

Meanwhile, the presidents of DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Angola, Republic of Congo, South Africa and Tanzania are set to sign a UN-brokered accord relaunching political efforts to bring peace to the region on the…

Death sentences over Egypt football massacre

At least 16 people killed in Port Said clashes after 21 fans sentenced to death over last year's deadly football riot.
Violence erupted in Port Said on Saturday after an Egyptian court handed down 21 death sentences in connection with the deadly riot last year at a football stadium in the Mediterranean city.

At least 74 people were killed in the riot on February 1, 2012, which began minutes after the final whistle in a game between al-Masry and the Cairo-based al-Ahly.

Al-Masry fans stormed the pitch after their team won, throwing stones, bottles and fireworks at al-Ahly supporters.

Witnesses said that police at the stadium did nothing to stop the violence, which set off days of violent protests in the capital Cairo.

The verdicts are not final; death sentences must be approved by Egypt's grand mufti, though that is largely a procedural formality. Defendants can also appeal their sentences, which could take years to carry out.

After the verdicts were handed down, the families of th…