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Showing posts from December 4, 2014

Isis leader’s wife and child captured by Lebanon army

Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, a hairdresser, may be used as bargaining chip for release of Lebanese soldiers

The Lebanese military has captured one of the wives of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader and self-proclaimed “caliph” of Isis. The woman, who was identified as Saja Hamid al-Dulaimi, was arrested nine days ago, along with a child.

She was set again tonight to become a valuable bargaining chip, this time for the Lebanese government, which has been negotiating with Baghdadi’s group, also known as Islamic State, over the release of almost 30 kidnapped Lebanese soldiers and police officers. The group has also captured Iraqis, Syrians and foreigners across the swathe of territory it controls in Iraq and Syria.

Initial reports said Dulaimi was accompanied by her son when captured, but a senior Lebanese security official claimed a daughter had been DNA tested and was a match with Baghdadi. It is unclear where the Lebanese authorities obtained Baghdadi’s DNA. The Isis leader was held by US forces…

Afghan conference: World leaders worry over dwindling aid & Taliban resurgence

Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani (Reuters/Mohammad Ismail)

Afghanistan's president is urging world leaders not to abandon his country but instead make long-term commitments amid the withdrawal of most foreign troops and a surge in Taliban attacks.

President Ashraf Ghani and British Prime Minister David Cameron are jointly hosting a conference in London on security, corruption and political reform in Afghanistan.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and international diplomats are also attending the two-day event. Experts have warned security is deteriorating in Afghanistan and that humanitarian funds are drying up.

In his opening address, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “We should also remember all the Afghan and international civilians who have been killed as a result of the conflict, including Ronnie Jessiman and Tawab Sediqi, British Embassy staff killed in an attack on their car, only last week.”

Ghani was finally elected in Sept…

The Importance Of The Cancellation Of South Stream

By Alexander Mercouris

The reaction to the cancellation of the Sound Stream project has been a wonder to behold and needs to be explained very carefully.

In order to understand what has happened it is first necessary to go back to the way Russian-European relations were developing in the 1990s.

Briefly, at that period, the assumption was that Russia would become the great supplier of energy and raw materials to Europe. This was the period of Europe's great “rush for gas” as the Europeans looked forward to unlimited and unending Russian supplies. It was the increase in the role of Russian gas in the European energy mix which made it possible for Europe to run down its coal industry and cut its carbon emissions and bully and lecture everyone else to do the same.

However the Europeans did not envisage that Russia would just supply them with energy. Rather they always supposed this energy would be extracted for them in Russia by Western energy companies. This after all is the pattern i…