--Advertisement--
Ad by The Cutting Edge News

The Cutting Edge

Tuesday June 27 2017 reaching 1.4 million monthly
--Advertisement--
Ad by The Cutting Edge News

The Arab Winter of Rage

White House Knew of al-Qaeda Link to Benghazi Consulate Attack

October 25th 2012

Libyan rioters at US consulate Sep 2012 #1

White House officials and State Department staff, contrary to original press statements, were informed about the suspected terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2012, just two hours after the assailants invaded the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and that a radical Islamist group claimed responsibility for the consulate invasion and murders of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador, according to emails obtained by the news media on Wednesday.

The emails, obtained by the Fox News Channel's national security correspondent Catherine Herridge from an anonymous government source, identified the terrorist group as Ansar al-Sharia as claiming responsibility for the attacks. The first short email revealed how U.S. diplomats, in the midst of the violent and deadly attack, described the attack to Washington.

A second email that was sent stated that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that "the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared." It said a ‘response team’ was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel. A third email sent carried the subject line: "Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack." The message reported: "Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on [the U.S. Embassy in] Tripoli." Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

UN Monitor Denounces Iran's Human Rights Conditions

October 25th 2012

Quds Force

The United Nations expert charged with monitoring the human rights situation in Iran warns that there are “alarming trends” in the country’s human rights situation, including the prosecution of human rights defenders and lawyers, executions in the absence of fair trials, and the detention of journalists and Internet commentators.

U.N. Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed says in his third report to the U.N. General Assembly that the overall human rights situation in Iran is “deeply troubling.”

The country has one of the highest execution rates in the world, often for crimes, such as drug offenses, which are not considered to be among the most serious and deserving of capital punishment under international standards. Just this week, Tehran announced that 10 more persons were executed for alleged drug crimes. Minors also have been subject to the death penalty. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Russia Accuses U.S. of Arming Syrian Rebels

October 25th 2012

Syrian Rebels in Aleppo

Russia’s senior general says that rebels in Syria have acquired shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles, including a model made in the United States. General Staff Chief Nikolai Marakov says that officials need to determine who supplied the weapons to Syria’s opposition.

Interfax news agency quotes General Nikolai Marakov as saying "that militants fighting Syrian government forces have portable missile launchers of various states, including American-made Stingers.” He did not make any direct accusation of how the rebels acquired the weapons. In Washington, the Pentagon had no immediate comment. In the past, the U.S. government has denied supplying Syrian rebels with weapons or having any information that American-made weapons are in the hands of rebel forces. Read more ..


Burma on Edge

Violence Between Burmese Buddhists and Muslims Spreads

October 25th 2012

Rohingya Refuge Camp
Muslim Rohingya camp in Myanmar

Renewed sectarian violence between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine is spreading in Burma’s western Rakhine state. At least two people were reported killed and there are concerns the death toll may grow. Authorities say fighting erupted late Tuesday in two more towns, Kyaukpyu and Myebon.

Burma's state media said communal violence has left more than 1,000 homes burned since Sunday. The New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported two people were killed in the fighting, while unconfirmed reports say casualty figures are much higher. Al Haji Nyunt Maung Shein is chairman of Burma's Islamic Religious Affairs Council. He says they received reports as many as 178 Muslims and Buddhists were killed, but were unable to independently confirm the figures. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Rocket War on Israel's South Keeps Children Home as Fighting Intensifies

October 24th 2012

Rocket Damage

Over 60 rockets and mortars were fired at civilian targets from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday night and throughout Wednesday morning. Two foreign workers were critically wounded by a direct rocket hit, while working in chicken coops on a farm in the Eshkol region, which was badly hit. They were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva, along with a third worker who was lightly wounded. In addition, a woman suffered minor injuries as she stumbled while running for shelter during a siren. Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In Eshkol, located in the northwestern part of the Negev, 30 rockets struck the region, hitting homes and damaging properties. One of the rockets hit a central electricity exchange box, cutting off several of the towns.

Ronit Minaker, the spokesperson for the Eshkol region said that the normal routine of area residents was severely disrupted today. “Schools have been cancelled—children are home and parents have stayed home with them, missing work because of the rocket attacks,” she said.

“Five homes have been hit in the south, and there were children at home in some of them at the time. Families whose homes have been hit are now staying by their neighbors,” Minaker added.

Following this latest escalation, the military has canceled school in many parts of the Negev. The students will learn online, and the teachers are making a special effort to identify students who are suffering from anxiety so that they receive the proper trauma treatments. Nachala, a student at Sapir College, near Sderot told Tazpit News Agency that she arrived for her morning classes, but was sent home. "I heard rocket explosions all night long. This morning, when I got to Sapir, we were told to go home because of the rocket threat. For me it wasn't too bad, because I live nearby, but many of the students traveled from far to get to college classes, and they had to go back home." The IDF Home Front Command has instructed area residents who live within the radius of 10 kilometers of the Gaza border to take shelter and stay indoors. Read more ..


Burma on Edge

Sectarian Violence Spreads in Burma--A Thousand Homes May be Burned

October 24th 2012

Burmese Generals

Renewed sectarian violence between Muslim Rohingya and Buddhist Rakhine is spreading in Burma’s western Rakhine state. At least two people were reported killed and there are concerns the death toll may grow. Authorities say fighting erupted late Tuesday in two more towns, Kyaukpyu and Myebon. Burma's state media said communal violence has left more than 1,000 homes burned since Sunday. The New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported two people were killed in the fighting, while unconfirmed reports say casualty figures are much higher.
 
Al Haji Nyunt Maung Shein is chairman of Burma's Islamic Religious Affairs Council.  He says they received reports as many as 178 Muslims and Buddhists were killed, but were unable to independently confirm the figures. "Still the violence is going on in Rakhine state, especially in Kyaukpyu area and Myinbya area last night.  And recently they are suffering so much.  And almost all, nearly 2,000 houses are burnt," he said.
The council cancelled celebration of the Islamic religious festival Eid al-Adha out of concern for security.
Read more ..

The Edge of Terrorism

Hamas Pummels Israel's South With Dozens of Rockets

October 24th 2012

Hamas celebrating

Hamas terrorists continued their rocket fire on southern Israel Wednesday, injuring five and bringing life in the south to a standstill. The terror group has fired more than 50 rockets since Tuesday night, bringing the total to more than 70 rockets fired since Monday. Hamas's armed wing, the Al-Qassam brigades, took responsibility Wednesday for both a barrage of rockets unleashed against Israel since Tuesday night and the bomb that critically injured an IDF officer along the Gaza border on Tuesday. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) took responsibility for the Gaza border bomb.

Israel's air force retaliated Tuesday and Wednesday, killing four Hamas rocket launchers. According to reports, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system has intercepted eight rockets. Of the five injured in Israel, three were foreign workers.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a Gaza ground operation to stop the rocket fire was a real option. “I trust the IDF’s chief of staff and the head of the Southern Command, and if they believe it’s necessary — and if it’s what the government decides on — then yes, it’s not out of the question,” the defense minister said. Read more ..


China and Japan

China and Japan Begin Talks on Disputed Islands

October 24th 2012

Senkaku Islands

Japan says it is engaged in talks with China to resolve a territorial dispute that has disrupted ties between the two Asian powers. Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura on Wednesday confirmed reports that Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai secretly met last week with senior Chinese officials in Shanghai. He said the talks were part of Tokyo's effort to continue to communicate with Beijing "at various levels" regarding the island dispute in the East China Sea. China-Japan relations plummeted last month after Tokyo purchased a group of disputed islands from their private Japanese landowner. The islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are surrounded by potential energy deposits and rich fishing grounds. Read more ..


Broken Labor

Union Members Launch Protest Against their Own Union

October 24th 2012

labor protest

Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have launched a protest against their own union in California over waste and corruption. They rallied outside SEIU headquarters last week and plan to be in Sacramento on on October 24. The protestors are calling for transparency, accountability, and audits of the 2 million member labor union. The group’s website is urging members to hold their representatives accountable: “It is our members that see the waste every day; it is our members that can call it out to the union representatives in their area.”

At the rally last week, SEIU officials asked the gathering protesters, “How much are they paying you?” The protestors replied that they were participating on their own time.

SEIU reacted to the protest outside its offices by closing the doors and videotaping the dissenting members, according to the protesters. The group’s website describes the purpose of videotaping dissenting members as an effort to identify members to add to a “blacklist.” Read more ..


Oil Addiction

Stock Prices Take a Hit as Gasoline Prices Drop

October 23rd 2012

Gas prices

Disappointing corporate earnings and continuing worries about Spain's battered economy cut stock prices on key European and U.S. exchanges on October 23.

Crude oil prices also declined. France's CAC-40 and Germany's DAX were down more than two percent in late trading. At one point during mid-day trading in New York, the Dow and the S&P 500 were off 1.7 percent or more.

Analysts say the declines follow weaker than expected earnings from major companies like IBM, FedEx, and McDonald's. Chemical company DuPont said it will cut 1,500 jobs after profits declined sharply. Traders apparently saw the disappointing earning reports as a sign that the economy will slow down, cutting demand for energy. That perception is one reason that oil prices declined in key markets. Read more ..


Russia on Edge

Russia's State Capitalist Empire Aided by BP Sale

October 23rd 2012

Putin Gesticulates

Teymur Huseynov, pf the UK-based Exclusive Analysis firm, said that the “future of Russian oil is dependent on Greenfield projects and Western technology.” This was according to a report released by the political and economic forecasting firm on October 23.

Huseynov said, “At a meeting with President Putin, Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin reported that Russia's state-run oil major was planning to buy out 100% of BP's Russian joint venture TNK-BP. As a result, BP will end up with $12.3 billion in cash and 19.75% of Rosneft stock, factoring in its already existing 1.25% of the company. Sechin also reported on current negotiations with TNK-BP's Russian shareholders (AAR), which is set to sell out of the company for about $28 billion.”

Huseynov continued, “Russia's new arctic fields are also now open for BP investments. There is consensus in the Kremlin that Russia needs to develop its offshore resources quickly in order to keep oil production levels from declining sharply. Despite the government’s efforts at economic diversification, the oil industry will continue to provide the majority of revenues for the Russian budget and be a critical factor in insuring the stability of the Putin system. We expect BP and Rosneft to sign a strategic agreement on the development of offshore acreage held by Rosneft in Russia." Read more ..


Italy on Edge

Italian Scientists Convicted of Not Warning of Earthquake

October 23rd 2012

Italy Quake 2009

An Italian court on Monday convicted seven scientists and experts of manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a killer earthquake and failing to adequately warn citizens before it struck the central Italian town of L'Aquila in 2009. More than 300 people were killed, tens of thousands were left homeless, and the town's historic center and medieval churches were destroyed in the 6.3-magnitude quake. Prosecutors argued that the defendants - members of a national panel that assesses major risks - offered "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information" to residents. The international scientific community denounced the trial, noting that predicting earthquakes is impossible. Even early warning systems, which rely on a network of sensors to detect surface seismic waves that precede larger quakes, can provide residents only 10 to 60 seconds advance notice, and then, only in areas where those sensors are in place. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Romney Cuts Obama Lead in Ohio Down to 5 Points

October 22nd 2012

Romney

President Obama still leads Mitt Romney among likely voters in Ohio but the margin has shrunk since September, according to a new Quinnipiac/CBS News poll. The poll, released Monday, found Obama leading Romney 50 percent to 45 among likely Ohio voters. In September, the same poll found Obama leading 53 percent to 43. Three percent of likely voters surveyed said they are undecided. Broken down by gender, Obama holds a double-digit lead among women over Romney, with 55 percent supporting Obama to 40 supporting Romney. But that margin, too, is smaller than in September when the poll found Obama leading Romney among women voters 60 to 35. Among men, 51 percent support Romney, 44 percent Obama, the poll found. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Jordan Arrests 11 in Alleged Al-Qaida Plot

October 22nd 2012

King Abdullah of Jordan

Jordanian officials say state security forces have arrested 11 people in connection with what they call an al-Qaida-linked plot to bomb shopping centers and attack Western diplomatic posts in the capital, Amman. Government spokesman Sameeh Maaytah told reporters Sunday that the group had been working since June, and planned to carry out the attacks with weapons smuggled from Syria, where they had spent time. He also said they had consulted with al-Qaida in Iraq explosives experts. Jordan has been the target of al-Qaida attacks, including triple hotel bombings in November 2005 that killed more than 50 people.

Reuters reported: "Minister of Information Maaytah said the arrests underscored the serious threat posed by radical "terror groups" seeking to undermine the kingdom's long tradition of stability. A key U.S. ally in the Middle East and Israel's peace partner, Jordan enjoys close ties with Western intelligence agencies and has often been targeted by al-Qaeda and other Islamist militants. The cell had targeted two major shopping malls in the capital and was planning a bombing campaign in the capital's affluent Abdoun neighborhood, where many foreign embassies are located." Read more ..


The Drug Wars

Los Zetas Hitman Gets Life Plus 40 Years

October 21st 2012

Narcotics

Two members of a notoriously powerful Mexican organized crime gang may spend the remainder of their lives in a U.S. federal penitentiary, according to a Texas law enforcement source on Friday.

Los Zetas hitman Gerardo Castillo-Chavez, aka “Cachetes” or "Armado Garcia," and Eduardo Carreon-Ibarra, aka “Negro,” have been sent to federal prison for many years following their multiple convictions stemming from a lengthy Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said in Laredo, Texas.

The 26-year-old Castillo-Chavez, a resident of Tamaulipas, Mexico, was convicted on all counts as charged following five days of trial on Jan. 25, 2012. The Zetas member was sentenced to life imprisonment plus 40 years. Meanwhile, 28-year-old Carreon-Ibarra, a Laredo native, and pleaded guilty on June 1, 2012. On Friday, he was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison to run consecutively to his previous 20-year sentence. Read more ..


Lebanon on Edge

Thousands of Lebanese Mourn Intelligence Official Killed in Blast

October 21st 2012

Lebanon agitatioin

Thousands of Lebanese gathered in Beirut's Martyrs Square for the funeral of police intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan, killed in the explosion of a car bomb on Friday. 

A sea of mourners gathered in Martyrs Square outside the Mohammed al Amin mosque as Lebanon's top political and religious leaders attended prayers inside. The flag-draped coffins of Hassan and an officer who died with him lay in state as the mufti of Tripoli, Malek Sha'ar, delivered the funeral oration.

As the prayers ended, several religious and political figures addressed the crowd, saying that Lebanon and the opposition March 14 coalition have paid “too high a price and suffered too many martyrs” in recent years. ​​The slain police intelligence official was allied with Lebanon's anti-Syrian opposition and seen as a supporter of the mainly Sunni rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syria's civil war has heightened political and sectarian tensions in neighboring Lebanon. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Obama Denies Direct Meeting with Iran

October 21st 2012

Obama

The White House is denying a report in The New York Times on Saturday that said administration officials and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks on Tehran’s nuclear program.

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said late Saturday that the White House remains open to discussions in an effort to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. “We continue to work … on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally,” Vietor said in a statement. “It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure,” he said. Read more ..

The 2012 Vote

International Monitors at US Polling Places Draw Criticism

October 20th 2012

Detroit voters

United Nations-affiliated election monitors from Europe and central Asia will be at polling places around the U.S. looking for voter suppression activities by conservative groups, a concern raised by civil rights groups during a meeting this week. The intervention has drawn criticism from a prominent conservative-leaning group combating election fraud.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a United Nations partner on democratization and human rights projects, will deploy 44 observers around the county on Election Day to monitor an array of activities, including potential disputes at polling places. Liberal-leaning civil rights groups met with representatives from the OSCE this week to raise their fears about what they say are systematic efforts to suppress minority voters likely to vote for President Obama. Read more ..


Lebanon on Edge

Lebanon PM Links Car Bomb to Syria Crisis

October 20th 2012

Beirut Hizbollah Street Violence

The Lebanese Cabinet is holding an emergency session Saturday, a day after a massive car bomb killed the country's police intelligence chief. Eight people died and more than 80 were wounded in the blast Friday.

The government has declared Saturday a national day of mourning. Demonstrators have closed roads around the country to protest the bombing. Lebanese media report Wissam al-Hassan, chief of police intelligence, was the target of Friday's car bomb. Hassan led the investigation into a recent bomb plot that resulted in the arrest of a pro-Syrian Lebanese politician. He also led the probe that implicated Syria and Hezbollah in the killing of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. No one has claimed responsibility for Friday's explosion. Some Lebanese officials blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for what they call Hassan's assassination. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Obama Quips that the Deaths of Four Americans in Libya was not 'Optimal'

October 19th 2012

Barry yucks it up

President Barack Obama and Republican contender Mitt Romney made fun of themselves and each other at a high-profile charity dinner on the evening of October 18 in New York City. The formal event hosted by the city's Catholic archdiocese at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was a chance for the candidates to take a break from an often combative presidential campaign. At the white-tie affair, host Cardinal Timothy Dolan, sat between them as prominent clergymen, journalists, and entrepreneurs looked on.

Romney, a multi-millionaire, began the evening by taking a shot at his own wealth, telling the formally dressed crowd that he was glad he and his wife Ann could slip into clothes they "wear around the house." His speech also poked fun at the media, who many Republicans accuse of favoring Democrats. "Let's just say some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When I suddenly, pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? 'Polls show Obama leading from behind,' Romney joked. "And I have already seen early reports from tonight's dinner. Headline: 'Obama embraced by Catholics,' ' Romney dines with rich people.'" Read more ..


Edge of Terrorism

Islamist Nabbed in New York City Sting

October 18th 2012

FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force

A Bangladesh national was arrested by federal law enforcement officials in an elaborate sting operation that involved the suspect's alleged plot to bomb the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan, New York City, a federal law enforcement said Wednesday.

The suspected Islamic terrorist, later identified as Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, was nabbed by members of the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force when he tried to detonate what he believed 1,000-pound improvised explosive device (IED) -- that was furnished to him by undercover cops -- in front of the Federal Reserve Bank's headquarters on Liberty Street in the middle of New York's busy Wall Street financial center.

The JTTF stated that the general public was never in any danger during the entire undercover operation. Throughout the investigation, FBI agents and NYPD detectives working with the JTTF were able to closely monitor Nafis as he attempted to proceed with his bomb plot. Read more ..


The Edge of Space

New Proof that Moon Was Created in Giant Smashup

October 18th 2012

Moon

It's a big claim, but Washington University in St. Louis planetary scientist Frédéric Moynier says his group has discovered evidence that the Moon was born in a flaming blaze of glory when a body the size of Mars collided with the early Earth.

The evidence might not seem all that impressive to a nonscientist: a tiny excess of a heavier variant of the element zinc in Moon rocks. But the enrichment probably arose because heavier zinc atoms condensed out of the roiling cloud of vaporized rock created by a catastrophic collision faster than lighter zinc atoms, and the remaining vapor escaped before it could condense.

Scientists have been looking for this kind of sorting by mass, called isotopic fractionation, since the Apollo missions first brought Moon rocks to Earth in the 1970s, and Moynier, Randal Paniello, James Day are the first to find it. The Moon rocks, geochemists discovered, while otherwise chemically similar to Earth rocks, were woefully short on volatiles (easily evaporated elements). A giant impact explained this depletion, whereas alternative theories for the Moon's origin did not. Read more ..


The Arab Winter of Rage

Libyans Oppose Possible U.S. Retaliation for Benghazi Attack

October 18th 2012

Libya protesters

The United States is said to be weighing the option of a military strike against those found responsible for the September 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya that killed four American embassy personnel dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. One of the first hurdles they face is identifying who carried out the attack. The main suspects in the case, the militant Ansar al Sharia, have denied responsibility, despite witness accounts of their involvement.

They are but one of dozens of militias across Libya that lie beyond government control. But some analysts warn of the consequences to the fledgling Libyan state should the United States intervene. The former opposition spokesman during last year's uprising, Mustafa Gheriani, argues any justice must be served by Libya itself. “If you want to be a country of law and not to be like Afghanistan or Pakistan, then we need to take matters through the proper channels," Gheriani said. "It might be later date if there is a question about their strength at the present time, but definitely not to have anything irrational taking place at this moment.” Read more ..


Japan on Edge

American Sailors Stand Accused of 'Unforgivable' Sexual Assault in Okinawa

October 17th 2012

US Navy Okinawa

The latest alleged crime committed by American servicemen in Japan threatens to ignite escalated protests on the southern island of Okinawa against the U.S. military presence there. There has been an immediate diplomatic outburst following the detention of two U.S. Navy sailors on Okinawa. A Japanese woman in her 20's says she was sexually assaulted by the men as she walked home early October 17.

The sailors, both 23 years of age, have been identified as Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker from the Forth Worth Naval Air Base in Texas. Authorities say they arrived in Japan on October 15 and had been scheduled to leave on the same day the reported attack took place. Local police quote Dozierwalker as admitting to the accusation while his fellow sailor denies involvement in the assault. Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Argumentative Obama Heats Up Debate with Romney

October 17th 2012

Obama and Romney road show

President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney faced off Tuesday in the second of three nationally televised debates. This forum contained far more confrontation than the first, with the candidates occasionally lapsing into arguments.

With his poll numbers fading after a listless performance in the first debate, President Obama was far more energetic and aggressive in the second debate. He and Governor Romney tangled in a town hall-style forum at Hofstra University, near New York City, where the two candidates fielded questions from an audience of undecided voters. On several occasions they began to argue, as in this exchange on energy policy: Read more ..


Israel and Palestine

Hamas Fires from Gaza an Anti-Aircraft Missile Smuggled from Libya

October 17th 2012

Hamas and flags

An anti-aircraft missile was fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza last week at an Israeli aircraft but missed its target, the Hebrew language newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported on October 16.

According to the report the missile was smuggled in from Libya. Israeli authorities have worried that the missiles could be used against the Jewish state since an estimated 1,000 of them went missing from Libya’s arsenal in the aftermath of the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.

The Russian made Strela-2 surface-to-air missile system can hit aircraft flying as fast as 1,118 miles an hour and at altitudes up to 7,500 feet.

According to military sources it is believed that after a relative lull in the conflict, Hamas is intending to escalate the conflict with Israel. Such provocations could signal their intent to do so. Commercial aircraft have already been told to avoid flying over Gaza. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Fierce Fighting in Damascus as Truce Sought for Muslim Holy Day

October 16th 2012

Syrian Rebels in Aleppo

Syrian activists say government warplanes bombed a strategic town seized by rebels last week, while the Syrian army clashed with opposition fighters outside the capital. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees reported the bombing on October 16 in the Maaret al-Numan area. The northern town is strategically located in Idlib province along the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo. Meanwhile, fierce clashes were reported on October 16 on the outskirts of Damascus. The fighting continues amid international warnings that the situation in Syria is worsening.

In an October 15 statement, United Nations-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said the 19-month crisis in Syria is "getting worse every day" and there is an urgent need to stop the bloodshed. He called for Iran's help in establishing a cease-fire during the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, which begins next week. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki reiterated calls for quick progress in resolving the Syrian conflict, after meeting Brahimi in Baghdad. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

United Kingdom Does Not Seek Regime Change in Iran

October 16th 2012

Iran protest
Lift-off of Iranian missile.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has dismissed the notion that Britain is trying to force regime change in Iran with the sanctions that the European Union has imposed over Tehran's nuclear activities. The European Union on October 15 agreed to a fresh round of sanctions against Iran in a bid to dissuade Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, as a number of governments have alleged.

But the British foreign minister stressed that any question of regime change "is up to the people of Iran," adding, "Our agenda is not about regime change." "We will respect whatever the people of Iran decide, hopefully in a democratic process in the future," Hague added. "But our objective is to settle the issues about the nuclear program. If we could settle the nuclear issues, there wouldn't be sanctions. There wouldn't be this pressure from the Western world on Iran. This is exclusively about the nuclear program." Read more ..


Broken Government

Feds Probe Alleged Campaign Improprieties Committed by Jesse Jackson Jr.

October 15th 2012

Lobbyist

Federal investigators are probing allegations that Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. illegally used campaign funds to redecorate his house, according to a media report. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. have spearheaded the inquiry and are close to completing their investigation. The report says that Jackson’s attorneys requested that authorities not seek an indictment before the election, a call that Justice Department officials rejected. 

The report said that neither Rep. Jackson’s spokesman or lawyer would comment on the matter. The probe is separate from another inquiry by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington into former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s (D) attempt to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Jackson has denied wrongdoing in that matter. The criminal probe into misused campaign funds was launched before Jackson’s resent absence from Capitol Hill for health related reasons. Jackson left Washington in mid-June and revealed two months later that he was being treated for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.  Read more ..


Inside the Philippines

Filipino Government and Muslim Insurgents Sign Preliminary Peace Deal

October 15th 2012

Benigno Aquino III

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels waging a decades-long separatist insurgency in the south of the country have signed a preliminary peace deal that outlines steps to end the conflict by 2016. President Benigno Aquino and Moro Islamic Liberation Front Chairman Murad Ebrahim witnessed the signing ceremony on October 15 in the presidential palace in Manila.

Officials say the agreement specifies the extent of power, revenues and territory in the south, creating a new Muslim autonomous region called the "Bangsamoro." The framework, negotiated with MILF rebels in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur this month, sets up a 15-member Transition Commission, which has until 2016 to draft laws setting up the new region. Read more ..


Pakistan on Edge

Teenage Pakistani Human Right Defender Flown to UK for Treatment

October 15th 2012

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai is a symbol of peace, education and another face of Pakistan which the world is slowly and gradually learning about.

Malala Yousafzai is a 14 year old peace, education and women rights activist from the mesmerizing Swat valley. Yousafzai gained world`s attention at the age of 11 when the Taliban banned the girls from going to schools in the Swat valley, they destroyed over 400 schools for girls.

She wrote about the atrocities of the Taliban regime and the military operation and her passion for education. She was not afraid to take an initiative for peace and education for women.

She went to the school and encouraged others to go with her, she was awarded the National Youth Peace prize. She said that day, " I dont mind if I have to sit on the floor at school, all I want is education. I am afraid of no one." Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

High Gas Prices Roil House Races

October 14th 2012

Gas Prices

High gasoline prices have become a political wild card in California, where several tight races are pivotal to Democrats’ slim hopes of winning back control of the House.

Gas prices are always higher in California, but lately they’re bad even by Golden State standards, soaring a half-dollar in one week to average $4.67-per-gallon on Oct. 9. Republicans have sought political mileage from pump prices, and there is more to come. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), who faces a challenge from Democrat Raul Ruiz, is running an ad that begins with shots of gas price signs and then cuts to the eight-term congresswoman filling up an SUV.

“These gas prices are outrageous. They have more than doubled in the past four years, and working families are hurting the most. This has to change,” she says. Bono Mack adds that more alternative energy and domestic drilling are needed, and calls for construction of the Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline, a project that the White House is still reviewing.

“I would anticipate we’ll be hitting this same theme in . . . ads coming out over the next three weeks,” said Daniel Scarpinato, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Democrats hope to tailor their national narrative on energy prices, which stars “Big Oil” and Wall Street speculators as the bad guys, into damaging attacks against GOP incumbents there.

On Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent California reporters releases on gas prices targeting four GOP incumbents in competitive races: Reps. Dan Lungren, Jeff Denham, Brian Bilbray and Bono Mack. “As Gas Prices Surge to Record Highs in California, Congressman Lungren Stands with Big Oil companies instead,” the DCCC release on Lungren states. Read more ..


Islam on Edge

Pakistan Police Arrests Suspects in Child Activist Shooting

October 13th 2012

Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai

Pakistani police have arrested several suspects in the shooting of a 14-year-old girl internationally recognized for documenting atrocities committed by the Taliban.
Officials say the arrests took place in the northwestern Swat Valley, where Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck Tuesday by Taliban gunmen as she left school.
Few other details were released on the arrests.

Earlier Friday, a Pakistani military spokesman said Yousafzai is in "satisfactory" condition.  Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa said the next few days will be critical in the recovery of Yousafzai, who remains unconscious and on a ventilator. A Taliban spokesman in the Swat Valley said Friday the group's leaders decided a few months ago to kill Yousafzai, and assigned gunmen to carry it out. Read more ..


Israel and Syria

In Secret Negotiations, Israel was Willing to Cede Golan Heights to Assad

October 12th 2012

Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot revealed on Friday that hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has often criticized the concept of territorial withdrawal in exchange for peace, was in secret negotiations with Syria to do precisely that with the Golan Heights. According to the report, the negotiations were conducted through a back channel throughout 2010, and were begun when Netanyahu agreed in principle to return the Golan, captured in the Six Day War of 1967, to Syria.

Yedioth quoted a senior American official as saying that the negotiations were serious and far-reaching and would have likely ended with an agreement had they not been interrupted by the uprising against Assad. The official estimated that Netanyahu resumed the talks with Assad to justify the stalemate in the negotiations with the Palestinians and because he viewed Syria as the weak link in the so called "axis of evil," which also includes Iran, Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were involved in the negotiations, and U.S. President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and several other prominent American players in Middle East diplomacy were let in on the secret. The talks broke down only because of the sudden outbreak of the Syrian civil war. Netanyahu's office has categorically denied the report, and claims that it has been published because of "political considerations," i.e., the upcoming Israeli elections.

Nonetheless, if true, it would not be the first time Netanyahu has made concessions in secret while saying something quite different in public. During the Oslo Process, Netanyahu agreed to withdraw from Hebron in 1997, despite his pledges otherwise. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Hezbollah Admits to Israeli Airspace Violation, Calls for More

October 12th 2012

Hezbollah Nazi Salute

Admitting to a move aimed at provoking Israel, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed responsibility for his group launching the drone aircraft that was recently shot down in Israeli airspace, the Associated Press reported. Hezbollah had been the leading suspect behind the drone, which was unarmed and brought down by an Israeli warplane jet in the Hebron Hills, not far from Israel’s nuclear reactor site at Dimona. “It is our natural right to send other reconnaissance flights inside occupied Palestine … This is not the first time and will not be the last. We can reach any place we want,” Nasrallah said in a televised address. The drone incident has generated a war of words between Iran, its proxy Hezbollah and Israel. Earlier in the week, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corp claimed that the drone successfully photographed the Dimona reactor. Read more ..


Nigeria on Edge

Worst Nigeria Flooding in 50 Years Called 'Natural Disaster'

October 12th 2012

Nigera flood

At least 140 people have been killed, hundreds of thousands uprooted and tens of thousands of hectares of farmland have been submerged since the start of July, raising concerns about food security, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Friday. Vast stretches of Nigeria has been submerged by floods in the past few weeks, as major rivers like the Niger, the continent's third longest, burst their banks.

In Kogi, a northern state that has been the worst affected and which Jonathan visited on Thursday, NEMA state coordinator Ishaya Chonoko said 623,900 people had been displaced and 152,575 hectares of farmland destroyed so far. "We are very sad over these flood incidences in the country.

It is a national disaster," Jonathan said with a sombre expression, after casting an eye over the makeshift displacement camp huddling 738 people together in Dankolo primary school. "We are thinking of how to settle you all back to your places after the floods. Government is doing everything possible to cushion the effects on you ... it will soon be over." Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Ryan and Biden Exchange Verbal Blows in Contentious TV Debate

October 12th 2012

Biden Ryan debate

Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) traded furious blows Thursday night in a highly contentious vice presidential debate.

There was no clear winner in the first and only showdown between the vice presidential candidates, with both sides making strong cases for their running mates at the top of their respective tickets. But perhaps the most prominent feature of the debate in Danville, Ky., was Biden’s incredulous demeanor. The vice president repeatedly dismissed Ryan with laughter, eye rolling and even an “Oh, god!” in an evening of quips and comebacks.

From the outset of the 90-minute debate, Biden sought to portray Mitt Romney and Ryan’s ideas as “malarkey” and depicted his opponent as evasive and untruthful, a theme the Obama campaign has aggressively pushed in recent days. "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Biden said. "Not a single thing he said is accurate." Read more ..


The 2012 Vote

Questionable Fundraising by Obama Campaign Exposed by Watchdog Group

October 11th 2012

Obama

A public-interest watchdog group yesterday released a troubling report of its investigation into fundraising by both presidential candidates that revealed that President Barack Obama's fundraising tactics has garnered campaign contributions from Chinese, Arabic, Thai, and Korean nationals overseas. According to the Federal Elections Commission, contributions to American political campaigns from donors in foreign nations are criminal violations of federal law.

According to Government Accountability Institute officials, the web site Obama.com, which acts as a gateway the Obama campaign's donation web site, receives an enormous number of "hits" from citizen's of foreign countries. This situation has resulted in the questioning of the legality of million of dollars in donations to the Obama campaign, according to a new report.

The 108-page analysis, from the group that uncovered President Obama skipping many of his national security briefings, studied Internet fundraising by both Obama and his opponent Mitt Romney, as well as congressional candidates in the Democratic and Republican Parties. Read more ..


The Obama Edge

Chaffetz Accuses State Department of Revealing Classified Information

October 11th 2012

Obama-Limo

Rep. Jason Chaffetz caused a stir at Wednesday's hearing on security lapses in Libya when he accused the State Department of publicizing classified information by displaying a satellite photograph of the United States consulate in Benghazi. Chaffetz made the comments at the House oversight panel hearing in reference to a photo of the diplomatic mission that came under attack on September 11, 2012. American lives were being putting at risk by making the information public, he alleged.

Democrats on the dais, and observers in the hearing room, reacted to the GOP lawmaker's request with raised eyebrows and guffaws.“You can Google it!” Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the Oversight panel, said of the picture. Patrick Kennedy, the State Department under-secretary for management, said the photo was obtained from a commercial satellite. Chaffetz, the chairman of the committee's panel on national security, replied that Obama administration officials were making documents public that his State Department handlers told him were classified during a visit to Libya over the weekend. Committee chairman Darrell Issa, however, sided with the administration. Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Turks Force Syrian Crew to Sign Statement Claiming 'Emergency Landing, No F-16s'

October 11th 2012

Turk flags

Passengers onboard the plane intercepted by Turkish jets said that security forces were making the crew and passengers sign fraudulent papers suggesting that the plane made an emergency landing and no Turkish military were involved in the incident. Hours after Turkish authorities announced that the Syrian Airlines passenger plane intercepted by its F-16s was granted a departure clearance, the aircraft remained on the tarmac in darkness. “Four people onboard have been beaten up, two crew and two passengers, as they tried to force them to sign documents,” Sherin Azis, a hostess on the plane, told RT by phone. “We don’t know what these papers are about. We are scared for the fate of the captain. He was taken away and threatened with arrest if he does not sign an emergency landing paper.”

Fatima al-Saman, a passenger and a mother of three, also told RT that the captain was being forced to sign a release stating that military planes were not involved and the plane just made an emergency landing. Read more ..



See Earlier Stories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60

Copyright © 2007-2017The Cutting Edge News About Us