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Showing posts from February 1, 2015

Blogger takes on Mexico's drug gangs by publishing vital news on the latest shootouts, abductions and cartel roadblocks

A secret online activist, unbowed by threats and murders, is nominated for a free-speech award

Being a citizen journalist in Tamaulipas, one of Mexico’s most violent states, means living a life of extreme risk and expecting very little by way of reward.

For three years, the anonymous administrator of the website Valor por Tamaulipas (Courage for Tamaulipas) has hidden his online identity from everyone he knows and faced a constant barrage of threats against him and his family. He has seen colleagues brutally murdered, while criminal gangs and corrupt officials apparently continue to operate with impunity in his state.

In recent years, Tamaulipas, which borders Texas in the US, has become a black hole for reporting, with traditional media outlets resorting to self-censorship to avoid upsetting the drug cartels that dominate the region. But there is one place where citizens can read about stories that the local newspapers, television channels and radio stations dare not co…

Dead or alive? Fate of iconic Kurdish female fighter ‘beheaded by ISIS’ wrapped in mystery

Female Kurdish fighter known as ‘Rehana’ (Image from Twitter user / @PawanDurani)

Reports about the beheading of a young female Kurdish warrior known as ‘Rehana’ who fought for Kobani and reportedly killed scores of jihadists have sparked controversy. Other reports by people who claim to have contacted her say she is alive.

A young girl, wearing military gear and holding a gun, has become an Internet sensation after a picture of her showing a victory salute went viral.

The photo was posted on Twitter by Kurdish journalist Pawan Durani with a caption reading: “Rehana has killed more than 100 ISIS terrorists in Kobani".

On October 26, Rehana’s supporters were shocked by “unconfirmed” reports claiming that she had been kidnapped or executed by Islamic State jihadists, who may have beheaded her.

Jihadists have claimed, according to the Mirror, that a photo of a rebel holding a woman’s severed head is evidence that "Rehana" is dead.

However, Kurdish journalist @Rashad Abdel Qade…

Ukrainian Government: “No Russian Troops Are Fighting Against Us”

By Eric Zuesse

Ukraine’s top general is contradicting allegations by the Obama Administration and by his own Ukrainian Government, by saying that no Russian troops are fighting against the Ukrainian Government’s forces in the formerly Ukrainian, but now separatist, area, where the Ukrainian civil war is being waged.

Here is a screen-print of a google-chrome auto-translation of that statement:

The Chief of Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, General Viktor Muzhenko, is saying, in that news-report, which is dated on Thursday January 29th, that the only Russian citizens who are fighting in the contested region, are residents in that region, or of Ukraine, and also some Russian citizens (and this does not deny that perhaps some of other countries’ citizens are fighting there, inasmuch as American mercenaries have already been noted to have been participating on the Ukrainian Government’s side), who “are members of illegal armed groups,” meaning fighters who are not paid by any government, but i…