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Showing posts from January 24, 2014

Video Shows Afghan MP Supporting Jihad Against U.S.

by Karim Amini



TOLOnews received video clips from an anonymous source showing Parwan MP Abdul Sattar Khawasi calling on residents of Ghorband District to launch Jihad against the U.S.

Although the exact date of the video footage has yet to be confirmed, the clips clearly show Khawasi at a public gathering in Ghorband promoting Jihad against the U.S.

"Jihad is legitimate against the U.S., and silence against the U.S. is an act in violation of religion, I am obligated to tell you," Khawasi says in part of the video.

Reportedly, though it has yet to be verified, the video clips were taken after copies of the Holly Qur'an were burnt at Bagram Military Airbase by U.S. soldiers in early 2012, an incident that sparked protests around the country.

The footage also shows the MP, a member of the U.S.-backed government in Kabul since joining Parliament in 2004, accusing other government officials of being "collaborators" for working alongside the U.S.

"Now lets focus on …

Burma violence: UN calls for Rohingya deaths inquiry

The attacks were said to have taken place near the town of Maungdaw 

The UN human rights chief has called on Burma to investigate reports that dozens of Rohingya Muslims have been killed in attacks by Buddhists in Rakhine state.

In a statement, Navi Pillay said a "full, prompt and impartial investigation" was needed.

The UN had "credible information" that 48 Rohingya Muslims had been killed in violence in early January.

Presidential spokesman Ye Htut said he "strongly objects" to the UN claims.

The facts and figures were "totally wrong", the Associated Press news agency quoted him as saying.

Rakhine state - in the west of Burma, which is also known as Myanmar - has seen several outbreaks of violence targeting the Rohingya Muslims since June 2012.

'Receive justice'

In the statement, the UN said eight Rohingya Muslim men were attacked at Du Char Yar Tan village on 9 January.

On 13 January, a police official was killed in the same village by R…

U.S. Privacy Board Says The NSA Phone Program Is Illegal And Should End

By Eric Beech

 "Reuters" - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records provides only minimal benefits to countering terrorism, is illegal and should end, a federal privacy watchdog said in a report to be released on Thursday, according to media reports.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent government agency, has shared its conclusions with President Barack Obama, according to reports in the New York Times and Washington Post. The board was not immediately available for comment.

Its conclusion goes further than Obama, who said in a speech on Friday that he thought the NSA's database of records should be moved out of government hands but did not call for an outright halt to the program.

Members of Congress are divided about the value and legality of the program, which collects data on millions of phone calls made in the United States but not the content of the calls. The report could add ammunition …

The Secret War in Libya

By Eric Draitser

January 23, 2014 - The battles currently raging in the South of Libya are no mere tribal clashes. Instead, they represent a possible burgeoning alliance between black Libyan ethnic groups and pro-Gaddafi forces intent upon liberating their country of a neocolonial NATO-installed government.

On Saturday January 18th, a group of heavily armed fighters stormed an air force base outside the city of Sabha in southern Libya, expelling forces loyal to the “government” of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, and occupying the base. At the same time, reports from inside the country began to trickle in that the green flag of the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was flying over a number of cities throughout the country. Despite the dearth of verifiable information – the government in Tripoli has provided only vague details and corroboration – one thing is certain: the war for Libya continues.

On the Ground

Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan called an emergency session of the Gen…

Security Threats on Cameroon's Borders

Cameroon is taking steps to secure its frontier after a spate of kidnappings and skirmishes along its borders with Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Rebels from the former Seleka alliance in the Central African Republic have occasionally launched attacks on Cameroonian soil. These cross-border attacks by rebels seeking to avoid security operations by French and African peacekeeping forces in the Central African Republic occurred at different locations on the border, with the most recent attack taking place Jan. 19 at Garoua-Boulai, a border town through which the main road leading from Cameroon to Bangui passes. On Nov. 18, 2013, Seleka rebels also attacked a village in Cameroon near the location of a separate road leading from Cameroon to Bangui.

Cameroon has faced similar threats posed by the northern Nigerian Islamist militants of Boko Haram. On Jan. 15, a skirmish took place in northern Cameroon as Nigerian refugees and Boko Haram fighters crossed the border and Nigerian mi…

Venezuela's President Turns to Chavez's Old Allies for Support

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks Jan. 15 in Caracas beside a portrait of former President Hugo Chavez. (LEO RAMIREZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


Amid shaky economic conditions and persistent political uncertainty, the new government in Caracas is returning to old patterns in hopes of forcing unity and maintaining stability. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's recent policy announcements adhere to the ideology of his predecessor, and recent ministerial-level appointments have elevated military figures whose close association with deceased President Hugo Chavez lends them gravitas. The South American nation seems less and less likely to voluntarily shift away from the policies that have brought it to this point, but every day brings increased urgency to find additional sources of national revenue.

Analysis


On Jan. 20, Maduro officially promoted the heads of his personal guard to lead the country's national and military intelligence organizations. In doing so, he reaffirm…

Australia Is Normalizing Its Defense Ties With Myanmar

The Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Childers patrol ship. Commonwealth of Australia 2013

Summary


Australia's establishment of a defense attache in Myanmar was an expected step in the normalization of relations, but Canberra's growing naval concerns in the region make the move more notable. Australia will now have an office in Myanmar specifically dedicated to coordinating defense matters and reducing any frictions.

Analysis


Australia's HMAS Childers, an Armidale class patrol ship, was set to leave Thilawa Port, Yangon, on Jan. 23, the first such visit since 1959. It will next call on Chittagong, Bangladesh, and then participate in India's Exercise Milan 2014 in the Andaman Sea. On Jan. 20 Royal Australian Navy Capt. Jonathan Dudley became Australia's first defense attache to Myanmar since 1979. While Canberra and Naypyidaw have a history of distrust and bilateral defense relations are restarting at a low level, Australia views Myanmar and the Indian Ocean Basin as …