United States continues bombing everyone




US Department of Defense [16/4/16]:


U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Attack and fighter aircraft conducted three strikes near Mara in Syria, striking three separate ISIL tactical units and destroying two ISIL fighting positions.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, ground-attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

-- Near Fallujah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Hit, two strikes destroyed an ISIL mortar system, 14 ISIL boats and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, 14 ISIL modular oil refineries and two ISIL crude oil stills and destroyed an ISIL assembly area and 10 ISIL boats.

-- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed 24 ISIL boats, two ISIL rocket rails and two ISIL assembly areas.

-- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL assembly area.

-- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Tal Afar, a strike suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.





@MSF_Sea [16/4/16]:  This father and son from #Iraq are locked up in an overcrowded Moria detention centre. This is #Europe in 2016.




‏@Lihtenvalner [16/4/16]:  Hundreds of protesters demonstrate in solidarity with detained immigrant women of Elliniko prison #Athens #Greece




‏@Lihtenvalner [16/4/16]:  In luxury apartments, peace and comfort are living neighbours opposite from #Elliniko prison #Athens #Greece




Police harass relief workers - who have been saving lives for months - and don't allow them to approach the Pope via @Hibai_ [16/4/16]




Pope Francis has taken 12 Syrian migrants back with him to the Vatican after visiting a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. ... [BBC - 16/4/16]




Refugees, rights groups buoyed by papal spotlight [Ekathimerini - 15/4/16]:


... "The pope's visit comes at a pivotal moment: Right as Europe is gearing up to send thousands of refugees back to Turkey, locking them up in the meantime in horrible conditions, frightened of the future," Gauri van Gulik, deputy Europe director at Amnesty International, told The Associated Press.

"These are people who fled the horrors of Islamic State, the Taliban, bombings in Syria and more. They deserve Europe's protection and care, and hopefully the pope can shed light on their plight."

Refugees and migrants reaching Greece have been arrested since March 20, when the EU-Turkey deal took full effect. Assisted by police officers sent from across the EU, Greece has so far deported 325 migrants, most on small ferries from Lesvos, which lies just 8 kilometers (6 miles) from the coast of Turkey.

But most will have to wait months to have their asylum applications reviewed as they remain at camps created to register masses of migrants heading toward central Europe, but now being used to stop them.

"It's clear conditions at the camps are unacceptable. There are unaccompanied minors locked up behind barbed wire," said Jerome Oberreit, secretary general of the relief agency Doctors Without Borders, or MSF.

"I hope a leader who influences opinion, like the pope, will voice the worry that Europe is actually not going the right way, and that this deal will have repercussions. It's a historical dismantling of the right to asylum," he told the AP.

"You can't outsource people's rights. They have to be upheld inside Europe." ...




‏How many refugee boats did the Australian "Fuck your mothers ... fuck your family ..." Navy push back, abandon or sink in the last 24 hours? ---> @ItalianNavy [16/4/16]:   #SAR Nave Orione #MarinaMilitare è intervenuta in soccorso di un gommone recuperando 106 migranti




‏@ItalianNavy [16/4/16]:  #SAR Nave Borsini #MarinaMilitare, in operazione #MareSicuro, ha soccorso un gommone traendo in salvo 118 migranti di cui 20 minori




‏@guardiacostiera [16/4/16]:  #CentraleOperativa #GuardiaCostiera coordina soccorsi nel #CanalediSicilia: mercantile panamense salva 124 #migranti






@guardiacostiera [16/4/16]:  #CanalediSicilia, #CentraleOperativa #GuardiaCostiera coordina soccorsi: Nave Aquarius di @SOSMedFrance salva 115 #migranti su un gommone




‘Refugees have a right to asylum – not bias and barbed wire,’ Ban says in Washington [UN Media Release - 15/4/16]:



... The World Humanitarian Summit will fuel “much-needed momentum” for the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, which is scheduled in the UN General Assembly for 19 September.

Mr. Ban also stressed that world leaders must recognize that today’s internal displacement and refugee crises are signs of deeper challenges, and show greater solidarity not just through relief, but through resettlement and other legal pathways. ...




Costa Rica deports 250 migrant men, women and children from Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopa to Panama [Africa News - 16/4/16]




More than 1,000 mostly Cuban migrants blocked traffic and forcibly crossed the border into Costa Rica Wednesday morning, demanding that Costa Rica and Nicaragua let them pass through on their way to the United States, Security Minister Gustavo Mata said during a news conference.

Most of the migrants returned to Panama voluntarily, although Mata said police escorted some back. ... [The Tico Times - 13/4/16]





Chants of "Where is freedom?" from one side of the fence. Reply of "After 3 years" from the other.




Day 28, Nauru protests - Refugee Action Coalition Sydney [VIDEO - 16/4/16]  




... When Pacific Standard reached out to Nauru Ambassador Judith Cefkin for her thoughts on the refugee camp conditions, she sent back only a boilerplate response: “We encourage all countries to work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to find durable solutions for refugees and asylum seekers.” ...


Nauru: A ‘Human Dumping Ground’, Julie Morse [Pacific Standard - 12/4/16]



US Ambassador Cefkin with the Republic of Nauru media team [US Embassy Suva - 17/8/15]




Nauru, suicide and punishment, Dr. Binoy Kampmark [Countercurrents.org - 16/4/16]:



... The modern response to tendencies to suicide in the Nauru detention centre is to render it pathological, to make it a product of psychic disturbance deemed inherent in the “manipulative” refugee.

 You are not permitted to take your life – that would be an indulgence, an exaggeration of circumstances. ...



Hunger strikes and suicide attempts by asylum seekers on Nauru will not get them ''anywhere'', Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on Monday. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/2/13]



South Korean who raped teen wins deportation battle [RNZI - 16/4/16]:


A South Korean man who took turns with a friend to rape a teenage girl has won his fight not to be deported.

Young Jin Bae told the Immigration and Protection Tribunal he did not think that he had raped the drunk 16-year-old because she said stop, but did not push him away.

Bae's victim told the tribunal she wanted him to stay in New Zealand as she would be at risk of meeting him if he was deported to South Korea, as she moved there after the rape.

He said he regretted pleading not guilty and appealing his conviction, forcing his victim to travel twice from South Korea to give evidence.

He was due to be deported after finishing a six-year sentence.

But the tribunal lifted the deportation order, on condition he does not re-offend for five years.

It said his humanitarian circumstances, and the victim's wishes, outweighed the seriousness of his offending and the public interest in him being deported.

He is now the head barista at a cafe and plans to move to Wellington.

He has lived in New Zealand for more than 10 years and told the tribunal he would have difficulty adjusting to South Korean life and finding a job.

His father is a pastor and Bae does youth work at church.

A psychologist said he presented a low risk of re-offending and would suffer distress and isolation if he was separated from his New Zealand-based family.

The tribunal heard the vulnerable victim, who was described as heavily and obviously intoxicated, was raped by two men in turns.

"She was left naked and terrified, extremely vulnerable, humiliated by others coming into the room, and was later verbally abused by the appellant and his friend," said the sentencing judge. ...




An Australian man with no criminal convictions was held in a Christchurch jail cell without charge for 12 hours after being formally refused entry to New Zealand this month because he is a member of the Rebels motorcycle club. ... [Guardian - 18/12/15]




Scores of people were feared buried alive Saturday after two powerful quakes hit Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu a day apart, killing at least 37 people, and as a forecast storm threatened more devastating landslides.

The magnitude-7.3 temblor, which struck at 1:25 a.m. Saturday, registered upper 6 on Japan’s seismic scale in Kumamoto Prefecture, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

The quake, upgraded by the meteorological agency from a preliminary magnitude of 7.1, originated at a depth of about 12 kilometers.

Homes, roads and railway lines were swept away when huge hillsides collapsed, as thousands of tonnes of mud was dislodged by the thunderous seismic tremors.

Buildings were reduced to rubble, including a university dormitory and apartment complexes, with dozens of people unaccounted for over a wide area. ... [Japan Today - 16/4/16]



Heavy rain warning for Fiji as tropical disturbance forms [RNZI – 16/4/16]




Bangladesh FM attends OIC summit in Istanbul [Bangla News 24 - 15/4/16]:


... Bangladesh foreign minister has delivered a statement Friday on behalf of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who was scheduled to address the conference.

In the statement, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina underscored the need for unity of the Ummah and its pursuit of the great Islamic values of fraternity, justice and inclusion.

She referred to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s call for unity and solidarity within the Muslim Ummah made during the 2nd OIC Summit in 1974. She reiterated “zero tolerance” policy to terrorism and violent extremism, emphasized on criminalizing Islamophobia and using interfaith dialogue to stem it.

She suggested creation of an OIC mechanism/initiative to settle internal differences within the OIC; she stressed on developing an OIC humanitarian mechanism and OIC support for frontline battle against climate change impacts.

She called for collective action for eradication of poverty through implementation of OIC-2025 Program of Action. She underscored implementation of OIC preferential and free trade arrangements on a fast track basis.

She called for settlement of Palestinian problem and joined other leaders for working together in solidarity with the Muslim minorities including the Rohingas.

Earlier on 12 April Bangladesh foreign minister attended a meeting of the OIC Ministerial Contact Group on Rohingya Muslim Minority of Myanmar and discussed within the group the course of action ahead and plan of engagement with the new Government in Myanmar. ...




Human rights activists have warned the government not to use next week's national symposium on the 1965-1966 mass killings as a way to force a one-sided reconciliation that upholds the impunity of the guilty. ... [Jakarta Post - 16/4/16]




Fighting continues to rage on the Philippines island of Basilan today, with the military fighting against Abu Sayyaf militants, but the Philippine government insists that ISIS claims of involvement, and claims they killed 100 troops, are “purely propaganda.”

ISIS claimed to have gotten into the area and “detonated seven trucks carrying soldiers,” killing 100 troops in a single go. The government insists that only 46 people have been killed overall in a week of fighting, including both troops and militants. ... [Antiwar.com - 14/4/16]




Woman fights Russian law on organ removal without consent [AP - 15/4/16]




Rights groups voice concerns after a rare protest in Gambia [Reuters - 15/4/16]




Spain's interim Industry Minister, José Manuel Soria, resigned from the government on Friday morning after a series of media revelations about his offshore business activities in other countries and tax havens snowballed at the minister's own insistence over the course of the week.

He also resigned as an MP and as the chairman of the regional Popular Party in the Canary Islands. ... [The Spain Report - 15/4/16]




... It's our job to begin to scare the shit out of the power structure, whoever it is  ...


#DemocracySpring Day 5 [ACT OUT - VIDEO - 15/4/16]



This guy gets it

#DemocracySpring #DemocracyAwakens #bigmoneyout



Image:  @farm_dizzle [16/4/16]





"First Amendment Rights!" Two Democracy Now! journalists arrested filming anti-Trump rally in NYC [Democracy Now - 15/4/16]




How UC Davis tried to scrub its abuse of students from the web [The Atlantic - 15/4/16]:


... Imagine how vexing it is to find out, several years later, that after journalists like me worked to document this matter, UC Davis “contracted with consultants for at least $175,000 to scrub the Internet of negative online postings” on the pepper-spraying and “to improve the reputations of both the university and Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.” So reports The Sacramento Bee, adding that UC Davis signed a 6-month contract with a PR company at a rate of $15,000 per month, and that one objective described in the company’s proposal was the “eradication of references to the pepper spray incident in search results on Google for the university and the Chancellor."

It was to be “an aggressive and comprehensive online campaign.”   ...




Microsoft Corp has sued the U.S. government for the right to tell its customers when a federal agency is looking at their emails, the latest in a series of clashes over privacy between the technology industry and Washington.

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in federal court in Seattle, argues that the government is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing Microsoft from notifying thousands of customers about government requests for their emails and other documents. ... [Reuters - 15/4/16]





In other news from Canada, activists have occupied government offices to demand Prime Minister Trudeau visit a First Nations community rocked by a spate of suicide attempts.

The Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario saw 28 suicide attempts last month within a population of 2,000 people, and 11 attempts on Saturday alone.

Activists with the Black Lives Matter and Idle No More movements occupied the Toronto offices of a government indigenous affairs agency Wednesday, while another group of activists staged a sit-in in the agency’s Winnipeg office Thursday evening. [Democracy Now - 15/4/16]




Rights experts urge UN to compensate displaced Roma poisoned in camps in Kosovo [UN Media Release - 15/4/16]:



Two United Nations independent experts today called on the world body to hold the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) accountable for leaving Roma families exposed to lead poisoning in camps for those internally displaced in the territory.

 The Human Rights Advisory Panel of UNMIK, established in 2006 to examine complaints of alleged human rights violation committed by the Mission, made their opinion public last week.

A press release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recalled that during 1998 and 1999, thousands of Roma were forced to flee by the armed conflict between the Serbian forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army and other Kosovo Albanian armed groups.

Many became internally displaced persons (IDPs) or refugees in neighbouring countries and in Europe.

IDP camps were established in the late 1990s close to the Trepca mining and smelting complex, known to be the cause of lead contamination and other forms of toxic contamination of the surrounding areas since the 1970s.

The camps, which were intended to provide only temporary accommodation up to 90 days, were in place for several years.

The opinion of the Panel highlights the extremely poor conditions of the camps, as its inhabitants often lacked running water, electricity, heating, adequate healthcare or access to food. ...










The Greens have proposed increasing Australia’s annual refugee intake to 50,000, including 10,000 through a “skilled refugee” stream to bring into the country refugees with skills deemed to be in short supply.

The policy, to be announced on Saturday, would shut the Manus and Nauru offshore detention centres, and also proposes a “dignity package” for asylum seekers waiting to have refugee claims processed in Malaysia and Indonesia, designed as a disincentive for people to try to reach Australia by boat. ... [Guardian - 16/4/16]



The Greens know Australia hasn't accepted refugees since July 2014.  If they were serious, they would have involved the UNHCR, and explicitly stated Australia must resume meeting its obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.  [Jakarta Globe - 21/3/16]




MOAS ends sea mission in South East Asia, will continue using their ground network and advocacy in the region [Media Release -15/4/16]





Medical torture in Australia's concentration camp on Manus Island being used as a deterrence weapon against refugees ---> ... Sometimes I wake suddenly, because of too much pain. I feel scared of IHMS because they are using my pain to put me under pressure. I am sure that they will leave me with my pain. ... [The Saturday Paper - 16/4/16]




Berks Detention Center employee convicted of sexual assault of young Honduran mother [Amercian Immigration Council - 15/4/16]:


A judge in Pennsylvania this week sentenced Daniel Sharkey, a 41-year-old former counselor at the Berks County Residential Center, to six to twenty three months of jail time.

Sharkey previously worked at the county-run detention center for children and their parents. His sentence came down after he pled guilty to three counts of institutional sexual assault, a third-degree felony under the Pennsylvania criminal code.

The survivor of Sharkey’s repeated sexual assaults is a 19-year-old mother from Honduras, who had fled abuse in her home country and sought protection in the United States with her three-year-old son.

The mother, previously identified as “Maria” in media reports, explained that the married Sharkey told her that she and her son would be deported if she ever told anyone about their relationship.

The repeated sexual assaults took place throughout the detention center, including in women’s bathroom stalls, family bedrooms, the chapel, and the laundry room. ...




Mexican soldiers charged in torture; witness says federal police present as 43 students disappeared [Democracy Now - 15/4/16]





A Mexican woman has been reunited with her two U.S. citizen children after the three attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border together to call for authorities to end their separation.

Mirna Lazcano has been unable to return to her husband and children in New York since returning to Mexico in 2013.

When she attempted to re-enter the United States through the Arizona desert, she was captured and deported.

This week, Lazcano’s children came to join her in Mexico as she traveled with the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice, a group that has traveled through Central America and Mexico calling for an end to the war on drugs.

Lazcano spoke out after reuniting with her daughters in Mexico. ... [Democracy Now - 15/4/16]




Australian media unquestioningly (and relentlessly) promotes protected and unaccountable anti-refugee propagandist, who played a key role in re-opening Australia's concentration camp on Nauru.



Bob Ellis [5/6/12]:

We don’t hear much about the evil of Peter Slipper now, do we. And less and less about Craig. Suddenly it’s the people smugglers living in Australia and conniving the drowning of children.

It’s what the Right do. They try things on, and if one big lie doesn’t work, they go on to the next one.

In the last two months two men were villainised, until the truth humanised them. They were bogeymen for a while, doing terrible things: falsifying cabcharges, and using the money of the poor in plush whorehouses, shock horror. And now they are ordinary husbands and fathers again. Their ex-wives say so.

And another bogeyman is needed. Someone who does worse things. Kill children, that’s it. He drowns children. Bad, bad man.

It’s a pity the ABC involved itself in this. The timing suggests that, just as Craig was slipping the noose, they needed something really big to ‘overshadow’ him and bring back the issue that always works well for the Liberals’ racist rump, the evil boat people, the nasty, nasty invaders. wanting a better future for their children, the horror, the horror.

Hard to see how it wasn’t connived.

Yes, yes, I know there are no conspiracies and it was a lone madman who took out Julius Caesar, but you do wonder. You really do.

What conversations between ABC executives and Scott Morrison took place in April, I wonder? In a room in, say, the Four Seasons Hotel? On, say, Easter Saturday.

Sarah Ferguson should be asked to investigate.

Unless, of course, she was there.



Stan Grant jumps the shark.



... broadcaster Stan Grant will help lead the nation towards the constitutional recognition of Indigenous people.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have appointed Mr Grant, a Wiradjuri man and award-winning reporter, to the Referendum Council on constitutional recognition.

Mr Grant will replace Indigenous leader Patrick Dodson, who has resigned to enter the Senate for Labor. ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 16/4/16]




Image: ‏@clayton_dixon  [14/12/14]




Constitutional Recognition Survey [Conducted by IndigenousX]




'Recognising' The Artful Con That Is The Constitutional Reform Debate, Amy McQuire [New Matilda - 12/12/14]:


The great academic Noam Chomsky once wrote: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum”.

This quote perfectly encapsulates the current debate around constitutional reform – where there is a bipartisanship backed by reams of PR spin as a “positive”, while in reality it demonstrates one of the most insidious developments in black policy today – a dangerous “Canberra consensus”, as described by Indigenous policy expert Jon Altman.

How can two white leaders agreeing on the best way to shortchange blackfellas, at the expense of Aboriginal opinion, be a good thing?

The debate around ‘Recognise’ is made worse by the fact even the Greens are snuggly in the fold, leaving the opposition to a growing chorus of disenchanted and disenfranchised Aboriginal people, who are vilified for their justifiable and commendable cynicism.  ...




AIJAC congratulates Mark Leibler on his appointment as Co-Chair of the Referendum Council [Media Release - 9/12/15]




Australians should be proud of the fact that our Prime Minister and Foreign Minister have consistently supported a genuine, negotiated two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is why Australia wisely voted against the admission of Palestine to UNESCO and why Australia should vote against Palestinian ''statehood'' if and when it comes to the United Nations General Assembly. ... Mark Leibler [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/11/11]





At least three Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces amid clashes across the Palestinian territory Friday, according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

Medics told Ma’an Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinians with live fire in eastern Gaza City. ... [Maan - 15/4/16]







Palestinian shot, killed by Israeli forces after attempted attack near Hebron [Maan - 14/4/16]




Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday at dawn invaded al-Bireh area, in Ramallah district, clashed with local youth and afterwards set a shop on fire, after damaging and confiscating all its equipment, Palestinian sources say. ... [PNN - 14/4/16]




More than 90 percent of the U.S. House of Representatives has signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to use U.S. veto power to block any United Nations resolutions seen as biased against Israel, one of the letter's lead sponsors said on Friday. ... [Reuters - 15/4/16]




The viability of a two-state solution, which envisages peaceful co-existence of both Israel and Palestine, is in danger due to the negative trends on the ground, including recent violence, ongoing settlement activity, demolitions, incitement, and the absence of Palestinian unity, a new United Nations report warned today. ... [UN Media Release - 14/4/16]




As Clinton backs closer US-Israel ties, Sanders criticises settlements and 2014 assault on Gaza [Democracy Now - 14/4/16]:


... AMY GOODMAN: You wrote a letter to Senator Sanders?

[Professor] JOEL BEININ: Yes. What I tried to do was to say, "OK, great that you’re against the influence of billionaires in American politics. You talk primarily about domestic politics, and I agree with all of that. But there’s also a very pernicious influence of billionaires in foreign policy, and perhaps nowhere more so than Israel-Palestine." Sheldon Adelson, the Adelson primary, all the Republican candidates traipsed to Las Vegas to get his endorsement. And on the Democratic side, Haim Saban is a huge contributor both to Hillary Clinton’s current campaign and to past campaigns of Bill Clinton and to the Clinton Foundation. And both of them are single-issue people. They care only about Israel. Haim Saban said he’s prepared to spend whatever it takes to get Hillary Clinton elected president. And the policies that Hillary Clinton advocates, as we heard in the clip, reflect Haim Saban’s views. ...





Academics in Italy held the country’s first scholarly discussions about boycott, divestment and sanctions measures on Israel in support of Palestinian rights — in spite of attempts at censorship during a major Middle East studies conference in Sicily. ... [Electronic Intifada - 14/4/16]




CENTCOM Commander General Votel visits Lebanon [Lebanese Republic Ministry of Information [15/4/16]




Protests in Egypt against Red Sea islands deal, vow to return on 25 April [Ahram - 15/4/16]




Robert Scheer v. Torie Osborn: A heated debate on Sanders vs. Clinton with two longtime progressives [Democracy Now - 15/4/16]:


ROBERT SCHEER: ... And by the way, Hillary mentioned Mohamed Morsi, a graduate of the University of Southern California. He got his doctorate there. And she said, "I talked to him." Why doesn’t she mention that he’s in jail facing death? The first elected person to run Egypt is in jail facing death, and that Hillary Clinton was part of an administration, and after this administration, she has supported an accommodation with the military rulers of Egypt that have totally reversed that Democratic experiment. ...




France’s ambassador to Cairo Andre Parant said 30 agreements will be signed during French president Francois Hollande’s visit to Egypt next week. ... [Daily News Egypt - 10/4/16]




Two soldiers were killed and three wounded in a car bombing Friday near the Libyan city of Benghazi, security sources said, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. ... [Ahram - 1/4/16]




The Afghan Air Force (AAF) flew 83 missions in the past 24 hours with the newly added A-29 Super Tucanos playing a key role in providing close-air support to the Afghan Forces.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesman Dawlat Waziri said the air campaigns incurred heavy losses to the anti-government armed militants during the past 24 hours.

He said at least 34 militants were killed and 7 others were wounded in the airstrikes carried out in the areas falling under the control of 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan National Army. ... [Khaama - 15/4/16]




... The US drone program is just another nefarious aspect of the faux ‘war on terror.’ Pain, tragedy, war, death and total surveillance are the fruits of this perennial war, and unless the people of the world hold the criminals in Washington (and elsewhere) to account in the coming years, this will unfortunately only continue. [Activist Post - 15/4/16]




US strike kills 40 in eastern Afghanistan [Press TV - 15/4/16]




A sprawling U.S.-built complex in Parwan province, northwest of Kabul, acts as jail, hospital and courtroom for thousands of combatants captured on battlefields across Afghanistan.

Now run by Afghan security forces, the facility is touted by U.S. commanders as a potential model for counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond. ... [Reuters - 15/4/16]




... The Chairman also commended Slovakia for its contributions to NATO’s operations and missions, specifically highlighting the role Slovakia plays in Afghanistan, stating “Slovak soldiers are training Afghan Security Forces in our Resolute Support Mission and you provide valuable financial support to the Afghanistan National Army Trust Fund”. ... [NATO Media Release - 15/4/16]




People in several cities across Yemen have taken to the streets to condemn incessant Saudi attacks on civilians despite a truce meant for facilitating peace talks.

In a major rally on Friday, thousands gathered in central streets of the capital Sana’a to condemn the attacks which have continued despite the truce starting early last week. ... [Press TV - 15/4/16]




US considers supporting new UAE push against al Qaeda in Yemen [Reuters - 15/4/16]




Yemen at ‘critical crossroads,’ Security Council told ahead of face-to-face peace talks [UN Media Release - 15/4/16]




UK has 'legal duty' to challenge Saudi Arabia over Yemen airstrikes [Guardian - 14/4/16]




The recent heavy rain in the Kingdom has resulted in 18 deaths, while 24 people lost their lives in Yemen.

The Civil Defense rescued 915 people caught up in Saudi flooded areas on Wednesday. ... [Arab News - 15/4/16]




Iraqi Parliament members protest and vote for Jubouri’s resignation [Asharq Al Awsat -15/4/16]




Thousands of Iraqis protested in the capital, Baghdad, Friday calling for reforms and supporting lawmakers who are participating in a sit-in inside the parliament.

The demonstrators also called for the formation of a technocrat government during the protest in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad.

They said they will keep protesting till their demands are met. ... [Press TV - 15/4/16]




Moscow says Russian air group helping Syrian army to prevent another blockade of Aleppo [TASS - 15/4/16]




The ‘porous’ Turkey-Syria border facilitates the actions of terrorists and flow of smuggled goods, Russia’s foreign minister said, adding that the only way to stop the process is to invite international observers.

“It’s clear that international observers could be deployed there only at Turkey’s request and we give special attention to the matter, in the UN as well, hoping that our Western partners will manage to compel Ankara to do so,” Sergey Lavrov said on Friday at a press conference after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishido, in Tokyo. ... [RT - 15/4/16]




Cameraman Ibrahim al-Hamwi from Syrian TV channel al-Ikhbariya was injured by gunfire from ISIS terrorists in Deir Ezzor countryside on Friday. ... [SANA - 15/4/16]




Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice at the US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs [White House - 14/4/16]:


... Meanwhile, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, ISIL has established a branch calling itself ISIL in the Khorasan—largely composed of former Afghan and Pakistani Taliban members.  While ISIL Khorasan has had to contend with rival extremist groups—such as al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban—they remain a dangerous and destabilizing force.  They’ve gained territory in the east and launched attacks in major cities like Jalalabad, though a combination of U.S., Afghan, and Taliban pressure has limited ISIL’s gains.  As part of the U.S. counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, President Obama has authorized the Department of Defense to target ISIL in the Khorasan.  American forces removed a Khorasan deputy last year, and we have launched a series of strikes and joint operations, killing hundreds of militants and regaining ISIL-held territory.  And, we’re not going to let up. ...



... After the airstrikes had commenced, reports began to surface that no identifiable Syrian activists within the country had ever heard of such an organization.

Days after the U.S. initiated military operations within Syria, it became increasingly unclear whether the “Khorasan Group” itself actually existed. ... [The Intercept - 28/5/15]





16 April 2016