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Operation Protective Edge

Hamas Says it is Ready for War, Again

August 7th 2014

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After a month of fighting Israel, masked members of the Hamas military wing in Gaza gave the Qatar-based satellite network Al Jazeera an exclusive look at how they are preparing for a new round of warfare.

After a month of fighting Israel, masked members of the Hamas military wing in Gaza gave the Qatar-based satellite network Al Jazeera an exclusive look at how they are preparing for a new round of warfare.

As representatives of Israel and the Palestinian factions remain engaged in Egyptian-mediated cease-fire discussions in Cairo, operatives of the Izz a-Din al-Kassam Brigades gave Al Jazeera a glimpse of the tunnels and rocket-launchers that they conceal in concrete bunkers.

The terrorist group also displayed some of its arsenal of rockets, mortars, and anti-tank missiles. The Al Jazeera clip, whose English translation is courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), shows Hamas snipers in camouflage who are positioned to shoot. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

FRANCE 24 Reporter Reveals Hamas Rockets Fired near UN Facility, Reporters and Civilian Area

August 6th 2014

A reporter for France 24 News on Tuesday evening published a report showing a Hamas rocket launcher which was hidden, and fired, from a site very close to a United Nations facility, Palestinian civilians, and reporters’ lodgings – all three indicating a Geneva Conventions war crime. (see video here)

In Gallagher Fenwick’s report, he, in his words, “snoops around” a location he’d previously reported from days earlier, from where a rocket aimed at Israel had been fired during his live stand-up report.

“This type of setup is at the heart of the debate,” says Gallagher. “The Israeli army has repeatedly accused the Palestinian militants of shooting from within densely populated civilian areas and that is precisely the type of setup we have here.”

With the 72-hour cease fire now in place as of Tuesday morning, similar reports are beginning to seep out by other journalists who have since left Gaza, and feel free to report the situation on the ground. Read more ..

The 2014 Vote

GOP Voices Concern over So-Called 'War on Whites'

August 5th 2014

Republicans say a GOP lawmaker’s comments that Democrats are waging a “war on whites” is just what the party doesn’t need to deal with ahead of the midterm elections.

With a Senate majority in sight, party strategists say their office holders need to avoid a distracting battle on the polarizing issue of race, which could gin up Democratic voters and turn off independents.

“There's no part of what he said that was helpful,” one GOP strategist groused of Rep. Mo Brooks's (R-Ala.) comments.

Brooks made the “war on whites” comments during an interview on conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's show, which focused on immigration and the border crisis.

A day later, he doubled down on his accusation in an interviews with USA Today and Newsmax. Read more ..

Ukraine on Edge

As Investigators Review Ukraine Shoot-Down Site, More Killing Ensues

August 4th 2014

Russian tourist in Ukraine

Deadly clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists continued Sunday as investigators searched the site of a plane crash for a third day.

Local officials in Donetsk say six people were killed there in shelling between the two sides. An official tells Reuters news agency three other people were killed in Luhansk.

A Reuters reporter in central Donetsk said the shelling echoed through the night and witnesses said several buildings caught fire in the outlying Petrovsky district, including a school. The smell of smoke stretched as far as the city center.

Many residents of Luhansk, which is close to the border with Russia, have no electricity and some are without water, the city administration's press office said. Advances by the Ukrainian army have forced the rebels out of most of the towns they had occupied in Russian-speaking east Ukraine and squeezed them mainly into Luhansk, which had a population of about 400,000 before the conflict, and Donetsk, which had about 1 million residents. Read more ..

Obama's second Term

Obama Set to Host US-Africa Summit

August 3rd 2014

Obama game face

President Obama will be welcoming more than 50 African leaders for a three-day U.S.-Africa summit to begin August 4 in Washington, D.C.

Not invited are the presidents of four countries with a record of human rights violations: Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Sudan and Central African Republic. The leaders of Sierra Leone and Liberia have canceled their trips because of the Ebola outbreak in their countries.

At the summit, the U.S. is expected to unveil nearly $1 billion in business deals, more funding for peacekeeping, and commit billions more dollars to food and power programs in Africa. Administration officials say it’s an opportunity to discuss the future of an economically-growing continent, and address questions about how the U.S. can become a closer partner.

Themed “Investing in the Next Generation," the summit meetings will be designed to identify shared interests that will be needed if the continent is to meet the needs of its young people: health care, education, and work place opportunities. At a time when armed conflict has created a humanitarian emergencies in Central African Republic and South Sudan, and East and West African countries are fighting the spread of radical Islamists, the first goal is to ensure peace and stability needed for development. Read more ..

Inside Politics

McConnell, Grimes Throw Punches at Fancy Kentucky Farm

August 2nd 2014

McConnell Mitch

The contrast was stark and the messages crystal clear at Saturday’s Fancy Farm faceoff between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Grimes, the secretary of State, emphasized her youth and freshness against McConnell’s age and long tenure in Washington. Making her pitch to women voters, at one point she compared McConnell to the hit show “Mad Men”: “Treating women unfairly, stuck in 1968 and ending this season.”

But McConnell hammered home both Grimes’ inexperience and ties to President Obama in a one-two punch of sorts, rattling off a list of similarities between the two: “He was only two years into his first big job when he started campaigning for the next one…his campaign raised millions from extreme liberals…he really didn’t have any qualifications.”
“Sound familiar?” McConnell asked, to cheers from the crowd.

The unofficial kickoff of the fall campaign season in the Bluegrass State brought more than two dozen elected officials and candidates -- accompanied by a record crowd of nearly 20,000 --  out to enjoy the barbecue and political fisticuffs at the 134th annual church fundraiser that’s become a political tradition in the small western Kentucky town of Fancy Farm.

Grimes knocked McConnell for his unpopularity — “35 is my age, that’s also Senator McConnell’s approval rating” — and for his campaign gaffes, declaring that the barbecue “smells so good, even [campaign manager] Jesse Benton stopped holding his nose,” a reference to a leaked tape of a conversation Benton had in which the former aide to Tea Party-backed Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) admitted he was “holding my nose” to work with the state’s other senator on his reelection fight. Read more ..

Broken Government

Obama Vows to Act Alone on Border Security

August 1st 2014

President Obama on Friday vowed to “act alone” if Congress fails to pass a supplemental funding bill to deal with child immigrants crossing the border.

Obama said federal authorities don’t have the resources to deal with the wave of unaccompanied children unless action is taken.

"I'm gonna have to act alone because we don't have enough resources. We're going to run out of money," he said.
He also ripped into Republicans for failing to approve legislation. The House is set to consider a $694 million funding bill later today — far less than the $3.7 billion requested by Obama.

Obama torched the GOP legislation, calling it is “a message bill” and saying Republicans are “not trying to solve the problem.” Read more ..

The 2014 Vote

Democrats Fear 2014 Election Rout

August 1st 2014

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Record-low primary election turnout is threatening to magnify Democratic midterm worries.

Both parties have made their “get out the vote” programs a top priority for November, investing millions in building bigger ground operations earlier than ever before.

The challenge is most dire for Democrats, who are defending a fragile six-seat Senate majority that relies on a handful of races in hostile, GOP-leaning territory — and trying to pick up House seats in a difficult year, politically. Read more ..

Washington on Edge

Former House Leader Cantor Resigns Early

August 1st 2014

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Now-former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will resign from Congress on Aug. 18, nearly two months after his surprise GOP primary defeat.

Cantor announced his plans in an interview with his hometown newspaper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the same day he officially stepped down from GOP leadership.

According to Cantor, his decision is timed so that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) can call a special election to coincide with the regular Nov. 4 general election.
“I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session,” he told the Times-Dispatch.

Long seen as the Speaker-in-waiting, the 14-year incumbent was dealt a surprising defeat at the hands of Randolph-Macon economics professor Dave Brat (R) on June 10. Cantor has since endorsed Brat, who faces another Randolph-Macon professor, Democrat Jack Trammell, in November in the heavily Republican district.

"I hope he will win," Cantor reiterated in support of Brat.

Earlier Thursday, Cantor bid his colleagues farewell one last time in an emotional speech before he passed the torch to incoming Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). Read more ..

Broken Government

House Republican Leadership Kills Border Bill

July 31st 2014

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House GOP leaders canceled a Thursday vote on their $659 million border bill after failing to win over conservative members who opposed giving any more money to President Obama.

A significant number of Republicans had balked at sending any money to the White House for the border, and Democrats were generally united in opposing the measure.

The decision is another defeat for House GOP leaders, who have repeatedly failed to bring their members in line on tough votes.
Signs of trouble emerged late Wednesday night when the House Rules Committee delayed reporting a rule for the border bill. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Hamas Terror Cell Received Advanced Training in Malaysia

July 31st 2014

Hamas head

IDF forces have captured several hundred Hamas terrorists over the course of Operation 'Protective Edge'. Many of them have been turned over for further questioning and investigation. The questioning of one of the terrorists revealed another of Hamas' plans to kill and abduct Israeli soldiers and civilians. A Shabak investigation exposed that Hamas terrorists received training in Malaysia and Gaza to infiltrate Israel by air to kidnap and murder Israelis.

In the early hours of July 21st, IDF forces captured a Hamas cell commander in Khan Yunis, in southern Gaza. When questioned by the Shabak, also known as the Shin Bet Security Service, the cell commander revealed that he had been sent by Hamas leadership to Malaysia for paragliding training. The plan was to parachute into Israel to kidnap and murder civilians. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Obama Says to GOP: Stop the 'Hating' and Being 'Mad' All the Time

July 31st 2014

President Obama asked Republicans to stop “hating” and “being mad all the time” during a Wednesday speech in Kansas City, Mo., focused on the economy.

The president accused GOP lawmakers of needlessly suing him, instead of doing their jobs. He said they should be more focused on the economy.

“They have not been that helpful,” Obama told a crowd in a local theater. “They have not been as constructive as I would have hoped and these actions come with a cost.”

The House is set to vote later on Wednesday on legislation authorizing a lawsuit against Obama over his use of executive actions, particularly to delay ObamaCare’s employer health insurance mandate. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Gaza UN Facility Denounces Weapons Cache Found On its Premises

July 30th 2014

Hamas Terrorist with Rocket

A hidden weapons cache was discovered in an UNRWA school in Gaza on Tuesday, marking the third incident of this kind in the span of two weeks. Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, did not name a responsible party, but quickly criticized whoever was responsible for hiding the weapons in the school. “We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school,” said UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness, in a statement. “This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property.” UNRWA said it sent a UN munitions expert to disarm and remove the weapons but could not reach the site “because of fighting in the vicinity,” it said in the statement. “But we hope to do as soon as the security conditions allow.”

The chief of the Hamas military wing Mohammed Deif on Tuesday said the militant wing will not agree to a ceasefire until its demands are met and Israel lifts its blockade of the coastal enclave. " Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

'Protracted Campaign' Seen as Israel Neutralizes Gaza Tunnels and Missiles

July 29th 2014

Hamas Tunnel

Israel's military pounded targets in the Gaza Strip on overnight on July 28-29 after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country needed to be prepared for a long conflict in the Palestinian enclave, squashing any hopes of a swift end to 22 days of fighting. Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats targeted symbols of Hamas control, firing on the house of Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh before dawn on July 29, causing damage but no casualties, Gaza's interior ministry said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman had no information on the report but was checking for details. The spokesperson said 70 targets were struck in Gaza through the night. At least 30 people were killed in the assaults from air, land and sea, residents said, after a night of the most widespread attacks so far in the coastal enclave. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Former SecState Albright Confirms 'The World is a Mess'

July 28th 2014

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on the July 27 broadcast of CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ that “the world is a mess.” Interviewed by host Bob Schieffer, the veteran diplomat said “Can you recall a time when there was so much trouble in so many different places around the world?”

“We all grew up in a very different era where we were focused on the threat from the Soviet Union and that was the major activity and it clearly was dangerous, but what has happened now is that we are seeing problems in a variety of places,” Albright said. Albright served during the Clinton administration.

Noting the growing importance of globalization and technology, Albright said “There is so much connectivity, but also not an understanding of all the various pieces of the news that come into us.” Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Veteran Israeli Analyst Calls Kerry's Ceasefire Proposal a 'Betrayal'

July 27th 2014

Kerry and

David Horovitz, a veteran Israeli analyst and editor-in-chief of the Times of Israel, called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's latest ceasefire proposal a "betrayal" in an article published Sunday.

John Kerry: The Betrayal

Horovitz called it "inconceivable" that the proposal did not require the dismantling of Hamas’s rocket arsenal and network of tunnels dug under the Israeli border. Yet the reported text did not address these issues at all, nor call for the demilitarization of Gaza. It seemed inconceivable that the secretary’s initiative would specify the need to address Hamas’s demands for a lifting of the siege of Gaza, as though Hamas were a legitimate injured party acting in the interests of the people of Gaza

He called it an attempt "to accommodate a vicious terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction, with a formula that would leave Hamas better equipped to achieve that goal." Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

Russian Arms Transfer Imminent for Putin's Proxies in Ukraine

July 27th 2014

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Police monitors from Australia and the Netherlands postponed plans on July 27 to visit the Malaysian airliner crash site in eastern Ukraine, citing security concerns as fighting continues in the area. All 298 people on the Boeing 777 were killed when the plane was shot down ten days ago en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. It fell in a rebel-held area of the Donetsk region, where fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists has raged for months.

Dozens of Dutch and Australian officials arrived to investigate and aid in the recovery of human remains amid reports of evidence-tampering at the scene. Malaysia said on July 27 it would also be sending dozens of police to support the investigation. Rebel leader Alexander Borodai agreed last week to allow international investigators safe access to the site. Read more ..

The Caliphate

ISIS Kills 50 Syrian Soldiers, Beheads Many In Raqqa

July 26th 2014

ISIL execution victims

At least 50 soldiers of the Syrian Army’s 17th division were killed and a number of them were beheaded Friday during an ambush by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The attack was mounted on an army base outside the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, which is controlled by ISIS.

“At least 50 soldiers were ambushed, some of them were killed in fighting, but most of them were beheaded,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights quoted in an Agence France-Presse report. During the same offensive, 74 people were killed in the last 24 hours, the human-rights group said.


The Battle for Libya

U.S. Embassy in Libya Evacuated

July 26th 2014

Egypt border post attacked by Libyans

The U.S. Embassy in Libya evacuated its personnel on Saturday because of heavy militia violence raging in the capital, Tripoli, the State Department said.

About 150 personnel, including 80 U.S. Marines were evacuated from the embassy in the early hours of Saturday morning and were driven across the border into Tunisia, U.S. officials confirm to CNN.

CNN has learned the plan to evacuate the Americans was in the works for several days, but the decision to carry out the plan was made just in the last few days as the security situation around the embassy deteriorated. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the United States is grateful to Tunisia "for its cooperation and support." She said the personnel are "traveling onward" from Tunisia. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Obama Huddles with Central American Presidents on Immigrant Surge

July 26th 2014

President Obama said Friday that migrant children who cross the border and do not have “proper claims” will be sent back to their home countries.

Obama made the remarks during a meeting at the White House with the leaders of three Central American countries that are home to many of the young immigrants who have been flooding across the border.

The White House is trying to work with the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to reduce the number of immigrants seeking to enter the United States. “I emphasized that the American people and my administration have great compassion for these children,” Obama told reporters gathered in the Cabinet Room at the end of the meeting, according to a White House pool report. “But I also emphasized to my friends that we have to deter a continuing influx of children putting themselves at risk.”

Obama met with Presidents Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala, Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras and Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

No Ceasefire In Sight as Secretary Kerry's Proposal is Rejected

July 25th 2014

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Israel has rejected a proposal presented by Secretary of State John Kerry for a cease-fire between Israel's military and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, Israeli medi reported.. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet reportedly have voted against the proposal as it stands and are seeking modifications before any agreement to end hostilities.

U.S. and U.N. diplomats continued to work into the night on a possible cease-fire plan in the Gaza Strip, where more than two weeks of intense fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants has sent the death toll soaring among Palestinian civilians. Some 34 Israeli soldiers have been killed, while more than 800 Palestinians have died.

The New York Times and Washington Post reported that Kerry has proposed a plan that would begin with a week-long truce starting on July 27, which marks the start of Eid, the holiday concluding the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Israel Foils Mass Hamas Terrorist Tttack

July 25th 2014

Hamas Terrorist with Rocket

A security source tells i24news Friday the Israeli army has foiled a massive terrorist attack, planned to take place on the Jewish new year, celebrated in the month of September.

According to the report, thousands of terrorist were meant to cross over to Israel from Gaza through the tunnels and kill and kidnap as many Israelis as they could. The source added that the army learned about the huge planned attack during the interrogations of Hamas prisoners, captured during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said during Thursday's cabinet meeting that the army has succeeded in foiling an attack which could have caused a number of fatalities even higher than the 2,222 fatalities Israel suffered during 1973 Yom Kippur War

The fighting in Gaza continues despite the international pressure for a ceasefire. At this point in time the Israeli army (IDF) and the government are in complete agreement that the ground operation should go on until Hamas' tunnels are destroyed. Israel now is waiting for Monday, when the UN Security Council is scheduled to convene. "It would be hard to ignore any decision of the Security Council," an Israeli source said Wednesday. "But despite its importance, we need more time, maybe a few more days, to hit Hamas," he added. Israel's security cabinet is due to convene later on Friday for a military update on Gaza. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

White House Joins EU in Demanding Hamas Demilitarize Gaza for Cease-Fire

July 24th 2014

Gaza Qasam Rocket

A top White House adviser says any cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestinians must include the demilitarization of Gaza.

In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken said "that needs to be the end result."

"There has to be some way forward that does not involve Hamas having the ability to continue to rain down rockets on Israeli civilians," Blinken said.

Asked if this means the U.S. has endorsed Israel's demand that Hamas give up its weapons, Blinken said:

"One of the results, one would hope, of a cease-fire would be some form of demilitarization, so that again, this doesn't continue, doesn't repeat itself. This is what we've seen happen multiple times over the past few years, which is these rockets coming from Gaza, which Hamas controls, as well as more recently the tunneling to Israel with terrorists trying to infiltrate Israel. And no country can accept that. So that needs to be the end result of this process." Read more ..

The Battle for Baghdad

Islamic State Orders All Women in Northern Iraq Submit to Genital Mutilation

July 24th 2014

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The UN says militant Islamist group Isis, the so-called Islamic State, has ordered all women and girls in Mosul, northern Iraq, to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). The procedure involves the surgical removal of the clitoris and, in some cases, the labia of the victims. According to a BBC report, Jacqueline Badcock of the United Nations said that the religious edict applied to females between the ages of 11 and 46.

Badcock expressed grave concern over what she termed an unprecedented fatwa decree issued by the Islamists who control the city. Badcock, who is the UN's resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, told reporters via videolink from Irbil that the practice "is something very new for Iraq... and does need to be addressed." "This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added. Read more ..

The Battle for Baghdad

Islamic State Occupies Ancient Iraqi Christian Monastery and Threatens Christians

July 24th 2014

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On July 20, the self-proclaimed "Islamic Caliphate" took possession of the ancient Syrian Catholic monastery of Mar Behnam, ten minutes from the city of Qaraqosh.

Syrian Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Petros Moshe of Mosul told the Fides news agency that armed Islamist militiamen of the Caliphate "imposed on the three monks and a few families living in the monastery to go away and leave the keys." Christians fear that the Islamists will desecrate and vandalize the monastery in much the same way they have done so at other Christian sites as well as places revered by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam such as the tomb of the Prophet Jonah.

Mosul has been emptied of Christians ever since they received word from the Islamists on July 18 that they must leave, convert to Islam or face death. Christians of Qaraqosh, a city only a few kilometers from Mar Behnam, are increasingly alarmed. Christian residential and business properties were marked by the insurgents so as to identify them for dispossession by Muslims once the owners have fled. Read more ..

Cyber Crime

Arrests Forthcoming for International Cyber Fraud Ring the Preyed on eBay's StubHub

July 23rd 2014

Shadowy Computer User

eBay Inc.'s StubHub online ticket resale service said it was the victim of a massive international cyber fraud ring, the details of which authorities plan to disclose on Wednesday as they announce arrests in the case.

Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

StubHub's head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters late on Tuesday that his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case.

Lehrman said he could not say how much money was involved or how many people were being charged ahead of announcements planned by authorities in several countries on Wednesday. Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

Bodies of Doomed Malaysian Airlines Flight Are Being Transported to The Netherlands

July 22nd 2014

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The remains of some of the nearly 300 victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine were making their way to the Netherlands on July 22 as a senior Ukrainian separatist leader handed over the plane's black boxes to Malaysian experts.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told a news conference on July 21 that a train carrying around 200 body bags was on its way to rebel-held Donetsk and then to Kharkiv, where it arrived around 0841 GMT on Tuesday. Kharkiv is in Ukrainian government hands.

The bodies were then to be taken back to the Netherlands to be identified.

The train left the crash site after the Malaysian prime minister reached agreement with the separatists for recovered bodies to be handed over to authorities in the Netherlands, where the largest number of victims came from.

Rutte also said that the bodies of some of the 298 people killed in the crash last week are in a part of the country controlled by the Ukraine government. One of those killed was an American. Most of the victims, however, were Dutch. Read more ..

Obama's Second Term

Christians United for Israel Conference Seeks to Remind Obama and Congress of Iranian Threat

July 21st 2014

Iran Long-Range Missile
Iranian troops parade

In Washington DC, Christians United for Israel – a U.S.-based advocacy group – is gathering for a conference that comes during a critical time for the survival of the Jewish state and the people of Israel.

Click here to see live coverage

The security forces of Israel are now entering the second week of a conflict with the Hamas terrorist organization that had been lobbing missiles into Israel over the last month. The conference began on July 20 and continues until July 22.

Among the speakers slated to appear are Evangelical pastor John Hagee, columnist Charles Krauthammer, publisher Bill Kristol, as well as author and activist Dennis Praeger. The opening panel discussion touched on the ongoing Iran crisis. The CUFI website stated, “Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terror and on the cusp of developing nuclear weapons. The dangers of this regime cannot be understated but they must be understood.” Those speaking included former National Security Council official Elliot Abrams, and former CIA director James Woolsey. Read more ..

Egypt on Edge

Egypt Vows Retaliation for Deadly Libyan Islamist Attack on Border Post

July 21st 2014

In a statement, Egypt vowed to retaliate for a strike on a western border post that cost the lives of 21 members of its security forces along the border shared with Libya. It was on July 19 that militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and machine-guns at a border checkpoint, approximately 600 miles west of Cairo. Besides the 22 fatalities, four Egyptian border guards were wounded.

The Egyptian military claimed that the guards were killed with an RPG detonated an ammunition depot at the El-Farafrah border security post. In a July 20 statement, Egypt's presidency said "the heinous crime that took these brave souls and spilled their blood will not go unanswered.”

"The heinous crime that took these brave souls and spilled their blood will not go unanswered," a statement from the Egyptian presidency said. "Terrorism will be uprooted from every part of Egypt." The dead were buried on July 20. Read more ..

Malaysia Flight MH17

Russia's 'Shambolic' Self-Investigation of Shoot-Down of Malaysia Flight MH17

July 21st 2014

On July 21, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott condemned what he termed a  "shambolic" situation at the MH17 crash site as he demanded Russian President Vladimir Putin back up assurances with action.

At least 37 Australian passengers were among the 298 people aboard Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, shot down over eastern Ukraine in an attack the West has blamed on separatist rebels armed by Russia.

“This is still an absolutely shambolic situation, it is an absolutely shambolic situation. It does look more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Canberra.

“There's no doubt that at the moment the site is under the control of the Russian backed rebels and given the almost certain culpability of the Russian-backed rebels in the downing of the aircraft having those people in control of the site is a little like leaving criminals in control of a crime scene,” he said. Read more ..

The Battle for Iraq

Islamic Cleansing of Iraqi Christians Nearly Accomplished

July 20th 2014

During a Sunday sermon, Pope Francis expressed concern for Christians forced to flee Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, where Christians have resided for centuries. During his traditional blessing of pilgrims assembled in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on July 20, the pontiff offered prayers for Christians in Iraq who "are persecuted, chased away, forced to leave their houses without out the possibility of taking anything" with them. It has been reported that the last Christians living in Mosul have left, while many of them headed for the Kurdish region to the north.

Members of the ISIS Islamist terrorist organization currently battling the Iraqi government began issuing over mosque loudspeakers an ultimatum on July 17: pay a head tax known as jizya, convert to Islam, or face death. Iraq’s Christian community dates back to the time of the apostles of Jesus, sending missionaries during the first centuries of the first millennium as far away as China and India.

Pope Francis called for dialogue instead of death-dealing. He said "violence is not overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace." Read more ..

The Caliphate

Facing Fines, Conversion or Death, Christian Families Flee Mosul

July 20th 2014

ISIL execution crucifixion Iraq

Just days after the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria said they killed hundreds of Syrians, dozens of Iraqi Christian families are now fleeing the ISIS-controlled city of Mosul, hoping to avoid a similar fate.

On Friday, the al Qaeda splinter group issued an ultimatum to Iraqi Christians living in Mosul -- by Saturday at noon (5 a.m. ET), they must convert to Islam, pay a fine or face "death by the sword."

A total of 52 Christian families left the city of Mosul early Saturday morning, with an armed group prohibiting some of them from taking anything but the clothes on their backs. "They told us, 'You to leave all of your money, gold, jewelry and go out with only the clothes on you,'" Wadie Salim told CNN. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Egyptian Military Block Activist Convoy to Gaza

July 19th 2014

Rafah crossing

Egyptian soldiers in north Sinai prevented an aid convoy of activists from reaching the Rafah border crossing with the embattled Palestinian Gaza Strip on Saturday. An army officer at the Balloza checkpoint, one of many along the desert highway to Rafah stated the security situation in the restive peninsula was too unstable to allow the convoy of 11 buses and 500 activists to pass. There was a brief scuffle between some activists and soldiers but no arrests were made. Egypt usually keeps the crossing closed, citing a counter-insurgency operation against militants in north Sinai, but has allowed entry to Palestinians wounded in the 12-day conflict between Hamas and Israel.

The Egyptian military had earlier said it was sending 500 tonnes of food and medical aide to the besieged enclave. Hamas, militant Islamist rulers of Gaza, have refused to accept a ceasefire with Israel until it receives guarantees that border crossings to Gaza -- all but one under Israeli control -- will be opened.

The Battle for the Ukraine

Obama Blames Russia for Malaysian Airliner Shootdown

July 18th 2014

Obama speechifying

President Obama said at least one American died in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which he said was taken down by a surface-to-air missile launched from territory controlled by the Russian separatists. Obama didn’t say the missile was fired by Russian militants and cautioned that the U.S. was still collecting facts. But he also blamed Russia’s government for doing too little to control militias aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, saying violence in the region had been “facilitated … in large part because of Russian support.” Obama said, “Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken — men, women, children, infants who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine, Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions.” Read more ..

The Battle for Ukraine

Malaysian Airliner Carrying 295 People Crashes in Eastern Ukraine

July 17th 2014

Malaysia airlines

A Malaysian Airlines jetliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed Thursday in eastern Ukraine, and Ukrainian government officials said pro-Russian insurgents had shot down the plane.

The Boeing 777, carrying 295 people, went down in a rural part of the Donetsk region, not far from the Russian border, where the Russian-backed fighters have battled Ukraine governement troops in what increasingly resembles all-out war.

Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that the plane had 280 passengers and 15 crew members and lost contact with Ukrainian air-traffic control at around 2:15 p.m. UTC. Anton Gerashchenko, a top aide to Ukraine's interior minister, said the airliner was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

In a posting on his Facebook page, Gerashenko said the plane was flying at 33,000 feet when it was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher. The Buk is a sophisticated, medium-range, Russian-designed surface-to-air system that can fire missiles up to 72,000 feet. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he didn't rule out that the airliner was shot down. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

IDF Orders Gazans to Evacuate Their Homes, Again

July 16th 2014


As a prelude to the intensification of air strikes and a possible ground incursion into Gaza the IDF has again dropped leaflets over Beit Lahiya, Saja’iya and Zeitune in northern Gaza, ordering the civilians there to leave their homes so that they are not harmed by the escalating warfare in the area. The IDF has further sent recorded messages.

In the leaflets the IDF states that: “Despite the cease fire, Hamas and other terror groups have continued to fire, and therefore the IDF intends to attack terror targets in these areas. From these areas rockets are launched at Israel. For your safety, we ask you to leave immediately and move towards Gaza City. The IDF has no intention of harming you or your families. This evacuation is meant to save your lives. Anyone who does not heed these instructions endangers himself and his family.”  The deadline was set at 8:00 this morning. Read more ..

Operation Protective Edge

Israel Accepts Cease Fire; Hamas Rejects It -- Gaza Operation Continues

July 15th 2014

Hamas protester

Eight days after the commencing of Operation 'Protective Edge' Israel's Security Cabinet voted this morning in favor of the cease fire with Hamas, brokered by Egypt. Six ministers voted with PM Netanyahu in favor of accepting the cease fire; Ministers Lieberman and Bennet voted against.

According to several Arab media sites Hamas has rejected the cease fire. They have fired several mortar shells and rockets at Israel since the cease fire has come into effect.   

Several of PM Netanyahu's political party members voiced strong opposition to the acceptance of a cease fire at such an early stage in the campaign.

They believe that the IDF could have done much more to decimate Hamas's capabilities. Minister of Transportation Yisarel Katz stated: "The rocket threat has not been removed and Hamas's leadership was not annihilated. If we would have won the world would have stood up and applauded. Ending the campaign in this fashion will bring immense pressure on Israel." Deputy Minister of Defense Danny Dannon thinks the government could have done much more to defend its citizens. Read more ..

Bordering on Crisis

Nebraska Governor Accuses Obama Administration of Secret Operations involving Immigrant Minors

July 15th 2014

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) pressed the Obama administration Monday to give him the names of nearly 200 children in his state who had been apprehended entering the country illegally.

"We want to know the names of those individuals, who their sponsor is, is their sponsor legal, what communities did you send them to," Heineman said. "Why are they conducting a secret operation essentially — transporting them all over the country, and now we learn to Nebraska, and the federal government won't tell us what is going on."

The governor said on "Fox and Friends" that he learned from Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns (R) that the federal government had moved the children to the state amid the large influx being apprehended crossing over the Texas-Mexico border — mainly originating from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
"I'm concerned, it is 200 today, how many is it tomorrow?" Heineman asked. Read more ..

Bordering on Crisis

U.S. Military Feels the Pinch Due to Immigrant Surge on U.S./Mexico Border

July 15th 2014

Click to select Image

Lawmakers warn President Obama is shortchanging the military by calling it into action at the U.S. border without providing a boost in funding.

“President Barack Obama has already decimated the military with budget cuts and the lack of overall strategy; now he’s asking them to do more,” said Senate Armed Services Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in an op-ed published Monday.

Obama last week requested $3.7 billion from Congress to respond to the flow of children crossing the border but that did not include additional funding for the military, which is housing thousands of immigrant children and trying to contain the violent drug trade. Military officials say there’s a direct link between drug traffickers and the influx of immigrants from Central America, but that they lack the resources they need to combat the problem at the source. Read more ..

The Battle for Iraq

Iraqi Parliament Fails to Create New Government While Shiite Militants Strike in Baghdad

July 14th 2014

ISIL execution crucifixion Iraq
Iraqi executed by ISIS Sunni terrorists

At least 29 people, including 20 women, were shot dead in Iraq in an apparent attack on a brothel in Baghdad. Shiite militants are suspected. Wearing camouflage, gunmen barged into two apartments on July 12 and murdered everyone they found there. No group has yet to claim responsibility for the savage attack. When police arrived belatedly on the scene, they found blood streaming down a stairwell where two bodies were lain. Other bodies were found lying on furniture and the floor, while the body of one woman was found in a kitchen cupboard where she had presumably sought refuge. She had been shot to death.

The attack occured in Zayouna, a mixed Sunni and Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad during the evening hours on July 12. Authorities assert that the attackers used silenced weapons to carry out the murders. Before they left, they scrawled 'This is the fate of any prostitution" on one of the doors. Read more ..

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