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Updated: 3 hours 44 min ago

New German Police Gear Looks Like Darth Helmet From 'Spaceballs'

4 hours 26 min ago
pWhen police in Bavaria, Germany, unveiled their new protective gear last week, some thought the helmets looked a href="https://twitter.com/N_Flux/status/669446792476549120" target="_blank"like the one worn by Darth Vader/a in the "Star Wars" films.#160;/pbr / pBut other saw a much less ominous similarity -- comparing the new gear to Darth Helmet from Mel Brooks' 1987 parody, "Spaceballs."#160;/pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"blockquote class="twitter-tweet" align="center"p lang="de" dir="ltr"Neue Schutzkleidung der a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Polizei?src=hash"#Polizei/a in Bayern. a href="https://t.co/tgW5Cq2tQ9"pic.twitter.com/tgW5Cq2tQ9/a/p#8212; Christoph Azone (@ChristophAzone) a href="https://twitter.com/ChristophAzone/status/669416185209950208"November 25, 2015/a/blockquotebr / script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"/script/div/divbr / br / pThe new gear includes a href="https://www.rt.com/news/323619-bavaria-police-dark-helmet/" target="_blank"ceramic composite plates and a titanium helmet/a, which can supposedly withstand being shot by an assault rifle, RT.com reports./pbr / pBut it can't protect them from ridicule. Already, images of the uniform are a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/photoshopbattles/comments/3upkjp/psbattle_new_helmet_for_bavarian_police/?sort=confidence" target="_blank"being used as fodder for a classic reddit Photoshop battle/a./pbr / pAnd "Spaceballs" is just the beginning of the jokes:#160;#160;/pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="fmhVWgn"a href="//imgur.com/fmhVWgn"View post on imgur.com/a/blockquotescript async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"/script/div/divbr / br / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="34Iqnwq"a href="http://imgur.com/34Iqnwq"View post on imgur.com/a/blockquotescript async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"/script/div/divbr / br / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="2aJTGEH"a href="http://imgur.com/2aJTGEH"View post on imgur.com/a/blockquotescript async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"/script/div/divbr / br / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="QIjI8MJ"a href="http://imgur.com/QIjI8MJ"View post on imgur.com/a/blockquotescript async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"/script/div/divbr / br / pMay the Schwartz be with you.#160;/pbr / p#160;/pbr / p(h/t a href="https://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/may-the-schwartz-be-with-you-new-darth-vader-police-uniforms-become-laughingstock-of-the-internet/" target="_blank"Raw Story/a)/pbr / p#160;/pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519044064%2C518455676%2C517516697%2C518856963%2C518723525%2C518409955%2C518526950%2C518408932%2C518406560height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRresponsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244160007828/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be13c30/sc/38/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4be13c30/sc/38/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Mystery Of China's 'Levitating Cars' Video Solved

4 hours 52 min ago
div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"div style="left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.2493%;"iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JhuYzIQ1Zos?wmode=transparent#38;rel=0#38;autohide=1#38;showinfo=0#38;enablejsapi=1" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" mozallowfullscreen="true" style="top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"/iframe/div/div/divbr / br / pIt looked like they a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhuYzIQ1Zos" target="_blank"ran into a force field/a./pbr / pSurveillance footage from Xingtai, China posted online by Live Leak and others shows two vans and a car suddenly rising off the ground with so much force that one of them overturns.#160;/pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"div style="left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.2493%;"iframe src="https://gifs.com/player/KRQVdb" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" mozallowfullscreen="true" style="top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"/iframe/div/div/divbr / br / pWhile video of the accident, which happened earlier this month, caused the term "a href="https://www.facebook.com/topic/Levitating-Cars/105521309480789" target="_blank"levitating cars/a" to trend on Facebook, there was no magic at work.#160;A cable that had been laid across the street#160;a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/weirdnewsvideo/12023375/Mystery-of-cars-levitating-in-bizarre-accident-solved.html" target="_blank"got caught in the street sweeper seen on the right of the screen/a, according to the Telegraph./pbr / pThe street sweeper pulled the cable in, which caused it to tighten up and act like a tripwire for the vehicles#160;--#160;but because of the low resolution of the video, the cable itself can barely be seen./pbr / pNo one was injured.#160;/pbr / p#160;/pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244160022315/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4be0e9ec/sc/7/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

‘I’m Sure They’re Being Tortured’: U.S. Ally Accused of Abusing ISIS Prisoners

6 hours 52 min ago
pISIS fighters taken with the help of U.S. Special Forces are allegedly being tortured by America#8217;s Kurdish allies. But don't expect the U.S. to look too hard into the allegations./p p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159974030/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be08229/sc/24/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4be08229/sc/24/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

President Obama: It Is a Moral Imperative to Help Women and Girls Raped in Conflict

7 hours 12 min ago
The world is a drastically unsafe place for women and girls. They are especially vulnerable in conflict zones, where terrorists kidnap, batter and rape them as a deliberate strategy of creating fear and destroying communities. Their vulnerability is compounded when they are often denied emergency contraception and abortion as part of U. S. foreign assistance if they become pregnant from sexual assault. br / br / Mr. President, you have the power to change this in regard to U.S. assistance and it is a moral imperative that you do so. br / br / From Iraq to Syria and, recently, to Colorado in the U.S. and in places too numerous to name, women and girls around the world already struggle against enormous threats and outright violence to obtain reproductive services. This is part of what a href="http://news.yahoo.com/latest-police-id-clinic-gunman-robert-lewis-dear-140608123.html" target="_hplink"Attorney General Loretta Lynch/a has rightly called "a crime against women" receiving health care, in regard to the recent mass shooting at the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood. br / br / This pattern of a "crime against women" is intensified in conflict zones when women and girls are denied reproductive services for pregnancy that results from violent sexual assault. br / br / This must change, and, President Obama, I appeal to you to use your executive power to make this change. br / br / It is essential that all possible U.S. foreign assistance, including "emergency contraception, safe and legal abortion services, including sexual and reproductive health access, and psychosocial support" (per a March 23 a href="http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2015/203" target="_hplink"Report/a of the U.N. Secretary-General) be provided. This kind of assistance is crucial for women and girls to treat them and help them recover from the brutal and inhumane treatment they have received at the hands of ISIS and other extremist groups in these conflicts raging around the world. Rape has long-lasting physical and psycho-social effects, especially if a woman or girl gets pregnant from the sexual assaults and is forced to carry a pregnancy from rape to term. br / br / This is a moral imperative, as what is being done to these women and girls violates any standards of moral law and religious values. br / br / Kidnapped, raped, beaten, subjected to electric shock, forced into marriage, sold into sexual slavery and subjected to forced impregnation: This is what women and girls have endured from extremist groups according to a href="http://features.hrw.org/features/Interview_These_Yezidi_Girls_Escaped_ISIS/index.html" target="_hplink"Human Rights Watch/a. br / br / I appeal to you, Mr. President, to use your authority to stand with these women and girls and take executive action to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance include emergency reproductive services, including abortion, for them.br / br / Taking such action is an act of conscience in the face of the massive violations of women and girls by extremists. Rape and sexualized violence is epidemic in Iraq, Syria, in the Congo and in many other conflict zones. This is an ISIS pattern, but certainly not confined to that group. In Syria, Assad forces have long a href="https://womenundersiegesyria.crowdmap.com" target="_hplink"committed violence against women/a in detention and at checkpoints. br / br / Mr. President, you have called sexual assault a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/22/remarks-president-and-vice-president-event-council-women-and-girls" target="_hplink"an affront to our basic decency and humanity/a. This is correct, and when forced pregnancy results from sexual assault, you can act to help women and girls recover their dignity by taking back control of their own bodies and making their own decisions about pregnancy. br / br / a href="http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/few-care-services-available-for-women-raped-pregnant-islamic-state-escaping" target="_hplink"The Helms Amendment/a (1973) does not prohibit providing reproductive services, including abortion, in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment. The only prohibition is for using abortion "as a method of family planning." br / br / No one could call vicious sexual assault and forced impregnation "family planning." That is an insult to these women and girls. That isn't "family planning," mass rape in war is actually a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/feb/23/warcrimes" target="_hplink"a war crime/a. But yet, these women and girls are denied this help by U.S. policy, even when carrying a pregnancy to term for young girls a href="http://www.womenundersiegeproject.org/blog/entry/how-u.s.-policy-denies-life-saving-care-to-women-raped-in-war" target="_hplink"can be life-threatening/a. br / br / Mr. President, we know you to be a person of conscience and of faith. Conscience, as our moral sense, demands that you take this action to extend U.S. assistance to these women and girls through provision of emergency contraception and abortion. br / br / We often hear more about conscience from those who oppose abortion and even contraception, but in the case of women and girls raped in war and forcibly impregnated, the conscience imperative is clearly to help them with emergency contraceptive and abortion services. br / br / a href="https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/general/news/2009/04/06/5943/the-progressive-conscience-in-action/" target="_hplink"Conscience/a is not only inward and individual, but is also directed toward creating a more just and equitable world. It is important to emphasize this aspect of conscience, and therefore struggle, with moral reflection on the question, "What is it right to do that provides the most good especially when massive wrong has taken place?" Caring for others and not just for oneself or one's kind is, of course, a universal value found in both religious and humanist writings.br / br / We must care about the good that can come from helping women and girls heal from the trauma of rape in conflict.br / br / Mr. President, I implore you to act on this moral imperative. p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244160017241/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be09909/sc/7/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4be09909/sc/7/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Obama Visits Bataclan To Honor Paris Attack Victims

9 hours 40 min ago
div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519286706height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / br / pPARIS (AP) #8212; President Barack Obama is paying tribute to those killed in the terrorist attacks in Paris two weeks ago./pbr / pAfter midnight on a cool and clear Paris night, the American president's motorcade went straight from Orly Airport to the famed French concert hall, the Bataclan, that the terrorists struck./pbr / pFrench President Francois Hollande and the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, joined Obama. Each placed a single flower at a makeshift memorial and Obama bowed his head in silence/pbr / pSome 130 people died in the deadliest attack on French soil in more than a half-century. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility./pbr / pObama is in Paris for the opening two days of an international conference on combatting climate change./pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / p#160;/pbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244160004992/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4be02998/sc/31/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4be02998/sc/31/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

What You Need To Know About The Paris Climate Summit

10 hours 46 min ago
br / p class="p1"On Nov. 30, a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/c37abd8b8f1543838db58d51a36d2ce3/putin-attend-paris-climate-talks-france-says"more than 100 world leaders/a will gather in Paris in what many consider one of a href="http://time.com/60769/global-warming-ipcc-carbon-emissions/" target="_blank"the last remaining attempts/a to squelch the growing scourge of climate change. They'll be joined by many of the planet's leading scientists, who for decades have a href="http://www.un.org/climatechange/blog/2014/11/climate-change-threatens-irreversible-dangerous-impacts-options-exist-limit-effects/" target="_blank"urged countries to scale back the emission of greenhouse gases/a to stave off a slew of unprecedented consequences./pbr / p class="p1"The meeting -- the a href="http://www.cop21.gouv.fr/en/"21st Conference of the Parties/a, or COP21 -- will feature talks from the leaders of the world's worst polluting countries, namely United States President Barack Obama, Russia's Vladimir Putin, China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi.#160;Environmentalists hope officials will come away from the summit with a sweeping plan to curb emissions and increase investment in renewable energy without any negative economic impacts, because (good news!)#160;a href="http://blogs.worldbank.org/climatechange/climate-action-does-not-require-economic-sacrifice" target="_blank"climate action is a sound investment/a./pbr / p class="p1"The conference comes at a dire moment. The world has shattered record after climate record, with 2014 ranking as a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/2014-hottest-year-on-record_n_6479896.html" target="_blank"the hottest year in recorded history/a. The planet's glaciers are a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/glaciers-melting-fastest-rate_55bf7090e4b06363d5a2a494" target="_blank"melting at the fastest rates ever seen/a. Underwater, coral reefs are suffering from a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/coral-bleaching-climate-change_561568d9e4b021e856d33d0f" target="_blank"an assault of bleaching/a, spurred by ever-warmer oceans./pbr / p class="p1"All of these effects have prompted harsh warnings about the potential impact on humanity. Rising seas from melting glaciers could inundate some of the world's largest metropolises. Warmer summers could force the evacuation of a href="http://time.com/4087092/climate-change-heat-wave/" target="_blank"certain cities/a that may see days with a a href="http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ama/?n=heatindex" target="_blank"heat index/a#160;upwards of 170 degrees Fahrenheit./pbr / p class="p1"And yet, there is still time to act./pbr / p class="p1"Those attending the meeting hope to hash out an actionable strategy to limit emissions below a warming threshold that, scientists agree, would ward off the worst of the predicted threats. That level -- 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 span class="il"degrees/span Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial temperatures -- is a a href="https://newrepublic.com/article/121907/limiting-global-warming-2-degrees-celsius-wont-save-us"contentious number/a, but the conference reflects growing awareness that climate change is a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/24/the-weight-of-the-world"a very real problem./a#160;/pbr / p class="p1"Obama said he was "a href="http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/18/barack-obama-optimistic-of-reaching-climate-change-deal-at-paris-summit"optimistic/a" the world will reach an outcome this time, as past meetings a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-34274461"have failed to turn up a policy that pleases everyone/a./pbr / p class="p1"Several big polluters have demanded nations tackle the burden equally despite some countries, like China and India, contributing far more emissions than others. Those suffering from the brunt of negative effects -- like the low-lying island nation of Kiribati, which is a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/03/27/world/climate-rising-seas.html" target="_blank"quickly sinking under rising seas/a -- have in turn blamed the big emitters./pbr / p class="p1"But Obama's optimism seems to reflect a shift in international attention toward the problem. Organizations from the United Nations to a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2015/06/18/world/pope-francis-climate-technology-encyclical/"the Vatican/a#160;have come out in favor of an accord, and those nations traditionally antagonistic towards climate action#160;-- such as#160;a href="http://grist.org/article/russia-takes-a-skeptical-approach-to-climate-change-thanks-to-putin/" target="_blank"Russia/a#160;and a href="http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/10/25/turnbull-attend-un-climate-conference" target="_blank"Australia/a --#160;will be in attendance in Paris./pbr / p class="p1"While Americansa href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/americans-largely-unconcerned-about-climate-change-survey-finds_563906d8e4b079a43c04de2d"#160;remain largely unconcerned/a#160;about climate change, a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/upshot/americans-are-outliers-in-views-on-climate-change.html?_r=0" target="_blank"much of the world/a#160;is ready to adapt. As the European Union's climate chief said earlier this year, there is "a href="http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/06/no-plan-b-if-paris-climate-summit-ends-in-failure-says-eu-climate-chief"no plan B/a" if the conference ends in failure./pbr / p class="p1"span class="s1""/spanspan class="s2"I think that this whole climate thing is a very interesting learning ground for humanity," a href="http://figueres-unfccc.net/about/" target="_blank"Christiana Figueres/a/spanspan class="s3", the leader of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/24/the-weight-of-the-world" target="_blank"told the New Yorker earlier this year/a./spanspan class="s2" "Where we are now is that we see that nations are interlinked, inextricably, and that what one does has an impact on the others."/span/pbr / p class="p1"Take a look at the graphic below to get a sense of what's at stake. COP21 will take place from Nov. 30 through Dec. 11./pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=z4n1893HhaUI.kkJQ_Y5nIynI" width="900" height="675"/iframe/div/divbr / br / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519248696height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159985585/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdfde8c/sc/31/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

In Confidential Memo, Hillary Clinton Urged Obama To Close Gitmo

10 hours 47 min ago
pWASHINGTON -- Weeks before she stepped down as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton wrote a memo urging President Barack Obama to step up his administration's efforts to close the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay in his second term. In the confidential January 2013 memo obtained by The Huffington Post, Clinton told Obama she worried that support for closing Guantanamo would further erode unless the administration took action./pbr / p"We must signal to our old and emerging allies alike that we remain serious about turning the page of GTMO and the practices of the prior decade," Clinton wrote in the document, using the military abbreviation for the U.S. naval base. "The revitalization of transfers, efforts to prosecute some detainees in federal courts, a longer-term approach to the return of Yemeni detainees, and credible periodic reviews would send the signal and renew a credible detention policy."/pbr / pShe also encouraged Obama to consider moving Guantanamo detainees into the country.#160;"If the law permits, I recommend that you consider transfers to the United States for pre-trial detention, trial, and sentences," Clinton wrote./pbr / pThe memo laid out three steps Obama should take in the wake of renewed restrictions that Congress placed on the president's ability to transfer detainees from the Guantanamo Bay facility.#160;One of Clinton's key suggestions was for Obama to appoint a senior White House official to "lead all GTMO efforts," stating that an "impasse" on detainee transfers would continue without centralized leadership. Clinton said restrictions had#160;"effectively prevented any transfers" and said the Pentagon and other agencies had been "wary" of certifying that a number of security conditions were in place and allowing transfers to move forward. "We need a White House lead," Clinton wrote.#160;/pbr / br / pThe confidential January 2013 memo, "Revitalizing the Guantanamo Closure Policy," was disclosed by the State Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by The Huffington Post over two and a half years ago, after the memo was mentioned in a a href="http://www.newsweek.com/2013/05/15/how-gitmo-imprisoned-obama-237388.html" target="_blank"May 2013 Newsweek story/a. At the time that Clinton wrote the memo, the Guantanamo military commissions a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/16/obama-guantanamo_n_2618503.html" target="_blank"were essentially at a standstill/a.#160;Nearly three years later,#160;it's still unclear when the trials of the individuals accused of involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks will actually take place, and it's increasingly unlikely that the facility will close before the end of the Obama administration. There were 166 detainees at Guantanamo at the time Clinton wrote the memo. Today, 107 remain./pbr / pClinton sent the memo about a week after she returned to the State Department following treatment for a blood clot connected to a concussion she suffered following a fall the month earlier, in December 2012. Clinton would leave her post weeks later, upon the Senate confirmation of John Kerry./pbr / pIn the memo, Clinton wrote that the administration needed to convince supporters of Guantanamo that federal courts were a better option because they were "time-tested and credible to our allies" and that holding detainees at the facility was not cost-effective./pbr / pClinton said the administration needed to engage members of Congress who wanted to keep Guantanamo open and try to convince them not to reenact restrictions "on the grounds that tying the Executive's hands on detention policy has negative national security implications beyond GTMO."/pbr / pWeeks after the memo was written, and after Obama failed to mention Guantanamo in his inauguration address,#160;a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/02/guantanamo-hunger-strike_n_3188170.html" target="_blank"a mass hunger strike/a#160;by detainees would draw attention to the situation. Following a a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/16/guantanamo-prison-raid_n_3096018.html" target="_blank"raid/a to regain control of the facility, military officials a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/18/guantanamo-hunger-strike-deaths_n_3110642.html" target="_blank"found/a a detainee#160;#8220;almost dying because of hunger and thirst." The Pentagon's Muslim advisor on the base predicted more than one detainee would die./pbr / pClinton's memo also identified the large number of detainees from Yemen as an issue, as they made up more than half of Guantanamo's population of inmates. She wrote that the State Department "supports helping Yemen develop a rehabilitation program and other measures to address both future transfers from GTMO and Yemen's own domestic extremists."/pbr / pCongressional restrictions that make it difficult for Obama to close Guantanamo have continued in the years since Clinton's memo, despite the White House's oppositions and threats to veto bills that imposed the restrictions. Most recently, the Senate a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/senate-ndaa-closing-guantanamo_56421b7ee4b0307f2caf060e" target="_blank"placed restrictions/a#160;in the National Defense Authorization Act that would essentially make it impossible for Obama to close down Guantanamo before he leaves office without taking controversial executive action./pbr / pObama#160;a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-executive-action-guantanamo_56562958e4b072e9d1c1aa93"signed/a#160;the National Defense Authorization Act on Wednesday, but issued a signing statement that could be seen as an indication he was considering executive action to close the facility. In a statement, a spokesman indicated that Clinton would want to work with Congress to close the facility should she become president./pbr / p"Hillary Clinton supports the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and as the memo makes clear, she has consistently sought to work with Congress towards that goal," Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement.#160;/pbr / pA a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/23/poll-as-republicans-ratchet-up-the-rhetoric-clinton-is-most-trusted-on-terrorism/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fear615p%3Ahomepage%2Fstory" target="_blank"recent poll/a found that Clinton is the 2016 candidate that voters trust most to handle terrorism. In contrast to Clinton, Republican candidates have supported keeping the detention facilities in Guantanamo open, and even expanding their use. Donald Trump has a href="http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2015/08/11/donald-trump-gitmo-plan-leaked-sciutto-nr.cnn" target="_blank"said/a he'd send American supporters of the Islamic State group to Guantanamo,#160;and Jeb Bush has a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/r-bush-to-say-would-keep-guantanamo-prison-open-if-elected-2015-11" target="_blank"said/a he would keep the facility open, while Marco Rubio has a href="http://dailycaller.com/2015/04/14/marco-rubio-slams-obama-on-gitmo-says-hed-make-the-facility-larger/" target="_blank"said/a he'd make the facility even larger./pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"div style="left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 0px; position: relative; padding-bottom: 129.3828%;"iframe src="https://www.scribd.com/embeds/291593535/content" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="true" webkitallowfullscreen="true" mozallowfullscreen="true" style="top: 0px; left: 0px; width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;"/iframe/div/div/divbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159985584/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdfde8d/sc/7/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Russian Air Strikes Kill At Least 30 In Stepped Up Raids In Syria

10 hours 59 min ago
br / pAMMAN/BEIRUT, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian jets killed at least 30 people in the town of Ariha in northwestern Syria on Sunday, rescue workers in the rebel-held area said, part of an escalation of Russian strikes near the Turkish border./pbr / pIn separate air strikes closer to the frontier with Turkey, jets believed to be Russian hit a truck depot that was also struck on Thursday, destroying 10 trailers and killing five people, a rebel in the area said./pbr / pOfficials at the Russian defense ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. Syrians in rebel-held areas of northwestern Syria near the Turkish frontier have reported intensified air strikes in the days since Turkey downed a Russian warplane near the border./pbr / pThe air strike on Ariha in Idlib province wounded dozens more people, striking a market place, the rescue workers said. Mohamed Queissi, a rescue worker with the Civil Defence service which operates in rebel-held areas, said the bodies of 31 people had been identified, with 12 more awaiting identification./pbr / p"The vendors were shouting loudly as people were buying and selling and suddenly we heard the sound of the planes and in less than a second the jets struck and there was deadly silence./pbr / p"I saw people thrown in the street, strewn corpses and terrified children crying and shouting for their parents," said Mohamed Amine Qurabi, 25, a second Civil Defence worker./pbr / pBoth were contacted by Reuters and spoke from Ariha./pbr / pThe Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reports on the war, gave an initial death toll of 18 people including four children and "a leading opposition" member. It said the toll was likely to rise, with a total of 60 killed and wounded./pbr / pAriha fell to rebels in May during an advance that resulted in the whole of Idlib province falling to the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. Rebels in Idlib include the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front. The province is not a stronghold of the Islamic State group that controls wide areas of eastern Syria./pbr / pRussia began a major aerial campaign on Sept. 30 to help its ally Assad, who suffered a series of setbacks earlier this year including the loss of Idlib province and areas near the coast which is of crucial strategic importance./pbr / pMoscow says its target is Islamic State but the overwhelming majority of its strikes have been against other opponents of Assad./pbr / pThe Syrian army, backed by Iranian and Hezbollah fighters, have in tandem launched ground offensives across areas of western Syria that are mostly controlled by insurgents other than Islamic State, including groups backed by Assad's foreign enemies, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey./pbr / pOne of these offensives is south of Aleppo, around 50 km (30 miles) east of Ariha, where government forces backed by Iranian fighters are seeking to advance westwards towards the main Damascus-Aleppo highway. Ariha is located on the main road linking Aleppo to the coast./pbr / pResidents and rebels say warplanes believed to be Russian have stepped up raids on residential areas in several major cities in northwestern Syria that are within a radius of 10 to 30 km from the Turkish border./pbr / pThese towns, where Turkish goods are sold, have helped to sustain the economy of rebel-held northwest. They are also home to functioning hospitals and councils that run the rebel-held areas. Towns hit in recent days include Sarmada and Dana, and others in the northern and western Aleppo countryside near the Turkish border such as Azaz and Atareb, residents say./pbr / pThe targets have included areas close to two main border crossings between the rebel-held northwest and Turkey./pbr / pThe Syrian army said on Saturday that Turkey had increased weapons supplies to rebels recently, saying that they were being smuggled into the country in shipments claimed to be humanitarian aid. (Additional reporting by Lidia Kelly in Moscow and Tom Perry in Beirut; Editing by Tom Perry and Peter Graff)/pbr / p#160;/pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159985583/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdfde8e/sc/24/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Russia's Terror, War Victims Aren't Leading Headlines Back Home

11 hours 30 min ago
br / pspan style="font-weight: 400;"emEvery week, we bring you one overlooked aspect of the stories that made news in recent days. Did you notice the media forgot all about another story's basic facts? Tweet @TheWorldPost or let us know on our a href="https://www.facebook.com/theworldpost" target="_blank"Facebook page/a./em/span/pbr / pspan style="font-weight: 400;"A Russian passenger jet exploded in midair over Egypt#8217;s Sinai peninsula almost one month ago, plunging 224 people on board to their deaths.#160;/span/pbr / pspan style="font-weight: 400;"It was the worst aviation disaster in Russian history and the deadliest terrorist attack targeting Russians /spana href="https://www.rt.com/news/322495-deadliest-terrorist-attacks-russia/"span style="font-weight: 400;"in over a decade/span/aspan style="font-weight: 400;".#160;/spanspan style="font-weight: 400;"Yet many Russians know little about the victims of Metrojet Flight 9268.#160;/span/pbr / pRussian authorities released thea href="http://www.mchs.gov.ru/operationalpage/Operativnaja_informacija/item/5216330/" passenger manifest/a -- which included 209 Russian citizens and at least 25 children#160;-- but their personal stories have not been widely covered in the Russian press./pbr / p#8220;It#8217;s shocking in comparison to when tragedies happen in Western countries, when there are photos of the victims and comments on social media,#8221; said Tonia Samsonova. Samsonova is a founder of Russian-language social network a href="http://thequestion.ru/"The Question/a#160;and a U.K.-based correspondent for the Echo of Moscow, regarded as Russia's a href="http://news.yahoo.com/russia-fights-western-propaganda-critical-media-squeezed-132033487.html" target="_blank"most liberal radio station/a./pbr / pThe lack of coverage has repercussions on public perceptions of the tragedy, said Valery Nechay, a Russia-based journalist for the station./pbr / p#8220;People become more involved in the story when they know the images and stories, and not just a number -- 224 victims,#8221; he told The WorldPost./pbr / br / pThe so-called Islamic State extremist group said it had planted a bomb on the plane in retaliation for Russian intervention into the Syrian war since September, a claim a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russian-metrojet-plane-crash-likely-isis-uk_563b6539e4b0411d306fc74b" target="_blank"deemed credible by Western officials/a,#160;to the chagrin of the Kremlin.#160;Initially, Russian and Egyptian authorities cautioned that#160;a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/world/europe/sinai-peninsula-russian-plane-crash.html" target="_blank"mechanical defects/aa href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/world/europe/sinai-peninsula-russian-plane-crash.html" target="_blank" or pilot error/a#160;or pilot error could be to blame./pbr / pWhen Russia's FSB security services a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/metroject-crash-egypt_564aec67e4b06037734a9fcf?utm_hp_ref=world" target="_blank"acknowledged two weeks later/a that the plane had been bombed, much of the public debate had already moved on.#160;/pbr / p#8220;In the first days [after the plane went down], everyone was discussing the company Metrojet and its subsidiary Kogalymavia, and trying to figure out who is responsible,#8221; Samsonova said.#160;#8220;There was no question as to whether it was true or not. It was totally unthinkable that ISIS could be a real threat to us,#8221; she said./pbr / p#8220;By the time people realized it was a terrorist attack, the grief had passed.#8221;/pbr / br / pThe grief, of course, has just begun for the families of the victims. Yet few journalists have spoken to the Metrojet relatives and they have been mostly absent from public discussions about the attack and its repercussions.#160;/pbr / pAccording to several analysts, this is partly a reflection of the government's concerns. Much of Russia's media is a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/vladimir-putin-russia-news-media_56215944e4b0bce34700b1df" target="_blank"owned or heavily influenced by the Kremlin/a and its allies. "State-oriented media don't want people to think about" the Metrojet disaster, Samsonova said./pbr / pThe relative lack of coverage also reflects a certain amount of compassion fatigue in Putin's Russia, where economic turmoil has a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-10/how-the-unshackled-ruble-has-changed-russia-s-economy-forever" target="_blank"fueled rising poverty levels/a, the Kremlin has cracked down on a href="http://www.rferl.org/section/crackdown-on-ngos-in-russia/3272.html" target="_blank"activists/a#160;and journalists and ratcheted up tensions overseas, from neighboring Ukraine to the United States.#160;"In Russia, terrible things happen every day," Samsonova said. "People are more concerned with the declining living standards and coping with the constant state of tension."/pbr / br / pThere are glimpses of discontent amongst the Metrojet victims' families. Some relatives have#160;a href="http://www.rosbalt.ru/piter/2015/11/17/1462209.html"complained they are being kept in the dark/a#160;over the details of the Russian-Egyptian Metrojet investigation./pbr / pNechay, who spoke to several families of the victims, said many do not trust the government. They are primarily concerned with receiving formal identification of their loved ones's remains and securing the compensation pledged by the government./pbr / pMost are too consumed by their loss to think much more about the government#8217;s investigation, he said. #8220;If it was a mechanical problem, or not, it won#8217;t change their situation,#8221; Nechay said./pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519254415height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / br / pTurkey's downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday, which killed a pilot and a Russian marine deployed on a rescue mission, has similarly failed to shift media attention to the human cost of Russia's war in Syria./pbr / pThe downing has sparked widespread outrage in Russia, but the threat of a military confrontation has overshadowed of the military deaths themselves, said Ruslan Leviev, an investigative blogger who has a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/08/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-idUSKCN0SX0H820151108#Vrqk9PdllFM2OHq4.97" target="_blank"tracked Russian military involvement in Syria and Ukraine/a.#160;The slain marine received a military funeral this week, but it was hardly covered by the Russian press, he said.#160;/pbr / pThere was some criticism of Putin on social media when he didn't send condolences to the slain pilot's family in the first message he issued after the plane downing this week, Nechay said. Putin did send his condolences a few days later./pbr / br / pOverall, Russian military families have shown much less vocal opposition to the intervention in Syria than to the divisive Russian campaign in Ukraine, according to Leviev.#160;span style="font-weight: 400;"#8220;While this mission [in Syria] already has claimed lives of our soldiers, the relatives say this is#160;/spanspan style="font-weight: 400;"part of the job and a risk they take willingly,#8221; he said./span/pbr / pAnd while some analysts suggested the Metrojet disaster might dent broader support for Russian involvement in the war in Syria,#160;a href="http://www.levada.ru/eng/syria-plane-crash-egypt" target="_blank"polls by the independent Moscow-based Levada Center /aappear to show that public opinion has remained largely constant -- and mostly supportive./pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159999864/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdf9e7f/sc/7/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Focusing on Efficiency in the AIDS Fight

14 hours 19 min ago
When the United Nations prioritized the fight against HIV in the 2001 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a lack of affordable treatment options meant we could only scale up prevention, treating a href="http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2015/july/20150714_PR_MDG6report" target="_hplink"less than 1%/a of patients living with the disease. Fifteen years later, more than a href="http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2015/july/20150714_PR_MDG6report" target="_hplink"15 million patients/a are receiving treatment, and we have hopes of ending the epidemic by 2030.br / br / The enormous gains achieved over the past decade and a half were largely made possible by an unprecedented financial mobilization around HIV, focusing on one simple target: increasing the number of people receiving treatment. br / br / The context today is very different. We are already spending record amounts of money and treating record numbers of patients. But the needs are increasing rapidly while the funds available for treatment have all but flatlined. The fight needs to focus on deploying our limited resources more efficiently. br / br / At one time, HIV meant certain death. No longer. The more successful the treatment--that is, the longer it keeps patients alive--the greater the absolute number of patients requiring treatment. With the population of Africa, where the vast majority of HIV cases occur, expected to a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-34188248" target="_hplink"more than double /a by 2050, the challenge of maintaining these 15 million patients on treatment and providing treatment to the rest of people living with HIV (an estimated a href="http://www.who.int/gho/hiv/epidemic_status/cases_all/en/" target="_hplink"35 million/a) becomes that much greater.br / br / Meanwhile, contributions to the global fight against HIV are slowing due to competing funding priorities, from climate change to Ebola and other health issues. br / br / From 2000 to 2014, the United States--the single largest contributor to such efforts--raised annual funding for global health from a href="http://www.foreignassistance.gov/" target="_hplink"US $1.6 billion to $8.4 billion/a. For fiscal year 2016, the administration's budget request is roughly flat, and this trend is not likely to stop. Of the eight MDGs set in 2001, a href="http://www.who.int/topics/millennium_development_goals/diseases/en/" target="_hplink"one/a was specifically dedicated to fighting TB, HIV and malaria; of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set in 2015 to replace the MDGs, only a href="http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/" target="_hplink"one/a is health-related, and it's dedicated to "health" in general. Funding increases from African governments may fill some of the void but are not likely to be sufficient. br / br / Competition means that countries and donors need to become smarter and more effective with resource allocation. Disease fighters must learn how to increase productivity and stretch their dollars to deliver services to a growing client base without parallel increases in resources. br / br / Sound familiar? For those of us in the private sector, there is a strong parallel with the challenges corporations face when competition increases and the economy slows down. We can learn much from those that survive and thrive. br / br / During the economic boom in the '60s, most companies focused solely on growth. This continued until the economic crisis in the '70s intensified competition, demanding a shift in strategy from "growth" to "efficiency." br / br / The fight against HIV is at a similar juncture. Until now, most global development organizations focused on treating more patients (i.e. growth), rejecting efficiency as a business term ill-suited for the social sector. Heightened competition for stagnant resources means the only way to continue to grow--and save more lives by doing so--is by using resources more efficiently. br / br / Corporations learned that the focus needs to shift to operational effectiveness. We now need to translate this into the operations of African health centers. br / br / As part of a recent project, my colleagues and I reviewed the performance of health centers in Africa. Despite operating with the same resources and same constraints, some centers achieved better outcomes than others. We further investigated the performance of 45 health facilities in Kenya, Senegal, and Uganda that were achieving higher results than average to determine what they were doing differently. Our goal was to identify efficiency-boosting measures that could be replicated at other facilities. The effort was not in vain. br / br / One strategy we observed is differentiation--that is, tailoring services and delivery models to customers. In this case, patients. Some facilities tailored their HIV drug delivery systems to the needs and constraints of their patients, leveraging community distribution of drugs for stable patients (a patient-friendly distribution method in which all the drugs required by beneficiaries in a given community are delivered to a central location for easy pickup, sparing beneficiaries a trip to the center). This alone reduced the per-patient cost of HIV treatment by 20 percent. If deployed across Africa, this could reduce total spending by the countries with the heaviest HIV disease burdens by almost $750 million annually, without any treatment reductions. br / br / Another way in which facilities differentiated among patients was to lengthen the time between appointments for the most-stable patients from the usual one-to-two months to three months. This too, if broadly adopted, could reduce costs by another 20 percent and save an additional $700 million per year--without impacting patient care. The combined savings from these two measures alone would enable an additional 3.8M HIV patients to be treated without increasing current budgets.br / br / The efficiency strategies employed by Africa's top-performing health centers are not widely used today. If broadly adopted, hundreds of millions of dollars could be saved each year, money that could finance treatment for millions of additional patients.br / br / HIV fighters will need to switch to continuous efficiency improvement as corporations do. Only by thinking, organizing, and using resources differently can the global health community end the epidemic. br / br / # # #br / br / emMathieu Lamiaux is a Paris-based senior partner of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) with more than 15 years' experience working with governments, international institutions, NGOs, and private-sector organizations to improve access to care in emerging economies and develop more efficient and effective health systems. He currently leads the firm's Health Care practice in Western Europe, South America, and Africa./em p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159974200/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdf24c7/sc/28/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Turkey Returns Pilot's Body From Russian Jet It Shot Down

14 hours 46 min ago
br / pANKARA/MOSCOW, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Turkey recovered the body of a Russianspan class="highlight" pilot /spanfrom northern Syria and presented it to Russian diplomats on Sunday, five days after shooting down his warplane in an incident that wrecked relations between two of the main powers involved in Syria's war./pbr / pA coffin carrying Oleg Peshkov arrived by ambulance on the tarmac of Hatay Airport in southern Turkey near the Syrian border, a Reuters photographer said./pbr / pIt was flown to the capital Ankara, where according to Russia's RIA news agency it was met at an airfield by Moscow's ambassador and military attache. The Russian embassy declined to comment and Turkish officials did not immediately disclose when the body would be repatriated to Russia./pbr / pThe shooting down of the Russian fighter jet by NATO-member Turkey, the first known incident of its kind since the Cold War, has set back efforts to forge a united front against Islamic State in the weeks since militant group claimed responsibility for mass killings in Paris and blowing up a Russian airliner./pbr / pMoscow has responded towards Ankara with fury, calling the episode a pre-planned provocation. President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Saturday imposing punitive economic sanctions against Turkey. Details of Turkish goods that will be banned and other measures under the decree are expected to be announced in coming days./pbr / pTurkey says Peshkov's plane was in its air space and had ignored repeated warnings when it was shot down. Russia says it was flying over Syria and was struck unprovoked./pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519282470height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / br / p#160;/pbr / pThe navigator of the two-seat jet survived but another Russian service member was killed rescuing him from northern Syria./pbr / pTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutgolu said on Sunday that Peshkov's body had arrived in Turkey overnight, but gave no further details of how it was recovered or brought across the border./pbr / pTurkey is part of a coalition of countries led by the United States that have been bombing Islamic State positions in both Syria and Iraq, while also calling for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down./pbr / pRussia, which supports Assad, launched its own separate bombing campaign against Assad's opponents nearly two months ago. While it says it is also targeting Islamic State, most of its air strikes have been against other Assad opponents, including groups actively supported by Turkey./pbr / pDavutoglu called for more military cooperation to prevent future incidents./pbr / p"Communication and coordination in Syria operations is needed in order to prevent further incidents, because two different coalition groups are conducting operations in Syrian air space always risk leading to similar incidents," he said before getting on a plane to Brussels for a meeting on the migrant crisis with EU leaders. He also accused Russia of using anti-Islamic State operations as a pretext to help Assad./pbr / pRussia has not eased its bombing campaign since Peshkov's plane was shot down on Tuesday. On Sunday air strikes believed to have been carried out by Russian jets killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens more in the town of Ariha in northwest Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict./pbr / pTurkey is a major customer of Russian natural gas exports and a big destination for Russian tourists. Russia buys Turkish exports including produce, having already banned food from the United States and European Union in retaliation for financial sanctions imposed over Moscow's intervention in Ukraine./pbr / pRussia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Sunday Moscow would not boycott international sporting events held in Turkey, but would require maximum security and would limit training trips by Russian athletes there, RIA reported./pbr / pTurkey is one of the neighbors most affected by the 4-year-old civil war in Syria, having hosted 2 million refugees while calling loudly for the downfall of Assad. It has been angered by the Russian military campaign in Syria, complaining in particular in recent weeks about Moscow's targeting of ethnic Turkmen rebels in the border area, who are close kin with Turks./pbr / pPro-government newspaper Sabah Daily reported that Turkey had tightened security along its border with Syria on Saturday, deploying additional tanks, armored personnel vehicles and other weapons alongside its border with Syria. A Turkish official said he could not confirm this./pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159947731/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdefeb5/sc/11/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Empty Shoes Left Out To Replace Cancelled Paris Climate March

15 hours 18 min ago
div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519285979height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / br / pShoes belonging to famous people such as Pope Francis were displayed on the Place de la Republique Sunday morning (November 29) as part of an installation of over 10,000 shoes, as activists put up posters around the French capital./pbr / pThe installation replaced a giant march for climate change which was forbidden by French authorities following the deadly attacks in the capital on November 13, which cost 130 lives./pbr / pThe organizers behind the project said it was a way of showing the determination of protesters in their fight against climate change, and allowed them to still send a strong message on the eve of the U.N. climate conference (COP21) hosted by France, which will bring together more than 140 world leaders./pbr / br / pShoes were donated by French actress Marion Cotillard, British fashion designer and climate change activist Vivienne Westwood, and U.N Secretary General Ban Ki-moon./pbr / pBrazilian Cardinal Claudio Humes delivered a pair of shoes on behalf of Pope Francis and said that it was a very emotional moment for everyone./pbr / p"This is a very important and also very emotional moment, the Pope wanted to personally participate symbolically just like all of us who have put our shoes, we want to participate symbolically to the worldwide march for climate change here in Paris," he said./pbr / pThe climate change conference will take place in the French capital from November 30 to December 11 where negotiators will hope to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate./pbr / br / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159986867/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdf05fe/sc/32/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

ISIS Has A Libyan Fallback Option

16 hours 40 min ago
pMISURATA, Libya #8212; Iraqi commanders have been arriving from Syria, and the first public beheadings have started. The local radio stations no longer play music but instead extol the greatness of the Islamic State#8217;s self-proclaimed caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi./pbr / pWhen the Libyan arm of the Islamic State first raised the group#8217;s black flag over the coastal city of Surt almost one year ago, it was just a bunch of local militants trying to look tough./p p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159942312/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bdec0a9/sc/24/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Around 200 Arrests At Paris Climate Conference Protest

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 23:19
br / pPARIS (AP) #8212; The latest from the much-anticipated U.N. climate conference that gets underway in Paris on Monday. All times local:/pbr / p8:15 p.m./pbr / pFrance's interior minister says 174 protesters are in detention facing possible charges after clashing with riot police on the eve of a critical climate conference./pbr / pBernard Cazeneuve said Sunday a total of 208 people were arrested after the clashes, but some were later released./pbr / pFrench President Francois Hollande said the violence was "scandalous" both because the clashes were caused by "disruptive elements" that have nothing to do with environmental defenders and because they occurred at Place de la Republique, which has been a memorial square for the 130 victims of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks./pbr / pPolice said they used tear gas to stop the advance of groups of several hundred people throwing projectiles that included memorial candles./pbr / p"These individuals have no place and that's why everything will be done to move them aside," Hollande said from Brussels./pbr / p___/pbr / p6:25 p.m./pbr / pPresident Barack Obama says American leadership is helping the global fight against climate change./pbr / pAs he left for the climate conference in Paris Sunday, Obama wrote a Facebook that the U.S. has shown it's possible to make environmental gains while creating jobs and expanding the economy./pbr / pObama will try to reassure world leaders in Paris that the U.S. can deliver on its own commitments./pbr / pHe says the goal in Paris is a long-term framework for more global reductions, with each nation setting targets that other countries can verify./pbr / pHe says leaders will try to support "the most vulnerable countries" in expanding clean energy and "adapting to the effects of climate changes that we can no longer avoid."/pbr / p___/pbr / p6:05 p.m./pbr / pA well-known climate pressure group took its distance from a violent demonstration in Paris, saying the protesters were "unaffiliated with the climate movement."/pbr / pThere were at least 100 arrests after the clash between riot police and groups of protesters, some wearing masks, but no injuries, police chief Michel Cadot said./pbr / pOn the eve of a climate conference, protesters threw glass bottles and even candles at police in the Place de la Republique, after two peaceful demonstrations earlier in the day in response to a ban on marches due to France's state of emergency imposed after the Nov. 13 attacks./pbr / pIn a statement, the climate group 350.org said that the violent protesters violated the "nonviolent pledge that every group involved in the climate coalition" agreed to./pbr / pThe statement expressed hope that France wouldn't clamp down further on freedoms during the conference following the incident./pbr / p___/pbr / p5:30 p.m./pbr / pClimate change negotiations in Paris have started with a moment of silence and commemoration for the victims of the attacks in the French capital./pbr / pNegotiations started at 5 p.m. local time Sunday in Paris. After the moment of silence, Peruvian environment minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, who headed last year's negotiations, said a climate agreement is a good way to overcome the horrors of the Paris attacks./pbr / pFrench Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, president of the Paris conference, said the goal is an ambitious agreement that all countries can agree on./pbr / p"I am confident that you will be able to retrieve a good result," Fabius told negotiators. "Every day we have to make progress. No subject shall be left aside."/pbr / pHe said negotiators owe it to the world to finish negotiations in an orderly time frame./pbr / p4:45 p.m./pbr / pThe Paris police chief says that about 100 people have been detained after a protest seeking a global climate deal turned violent./pbr / pMichel Cadot told reporters that police identified about 200 or 300 people who violated a ban on all protests under the country's state of emergency. The state of emergency was declared because of recent extremist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris./pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519286000height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / br / p#160;Cadot said Sunday about 100 people who were found to have projectiles or other suspicious objects were detained./pbr / pPolice fired numerous rounds of tear gas on protesters to disperse them./pbr / pThe protesters were gathering ahead of critical global warming talks outside Paris./pbr / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159979850/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde85e3/sc/31/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

This Week in World War I, November 28-December 5, 1915

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 22:40
strongThe Balkan Frontbr / /strongbr / a hrf="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448476182-8911447-BalkanFrontBritishTroopsinatrenchontheSalonikaFront.jpg"img alt="2015-11-25-1448476182-8911447-BalkanFrontBritishTroopsinatrenchontheSalonikaFront.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448476182-8911447-BalkanFrontBritishTroopsinatrenchontheSalonikaFront-thumb.jpg" width="550" height="407" //abr / emBritish troops on the Salonika front, 1916br / /embr / The Balkan Front was a 900-mile front that stretched from the Isonzo River valley in northeast Italy to the Romanian Black Sea coast. The front consisted of a series of largely separate campaigns. It began with the Serbian Campaign, first between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, and then a second Serbian Campaign that saw Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria both invade Serbia. It expanded to include the Romanian and Bulgarian campaigns as well as the largely independent Italian campaign in the Trentino and Alto Adige. Eventually the various campaigns all coalesced around what came to be called the Macedonian or Salonika Front. In the process it drew in both Greece and Romania on the Allied side and Bulgaria on the side of the Central Powers. In addition, the major combatants, Great Britain, France, and Austria-Hungary and, to a lesser extent, Italy, the Ottomans and Germany, all contributed significant numbers of troops to the forces arrayed on the Macedonian Front.br / br / Ostensibly, the purpose of the Balkan campaign was to sever the Berlin to Constantinople railway and to cut off the Ottoman Empire from support by either Austria-Hungary or Germany. A secondary consideration was to relieve pressure on Russia on the Eastern front by tying up large numbers of Austrian-Hungarian troops in the Balkans. Finally, in the event of a dual breakout on both the Balkan and Eastern Fronts, the two Allied armies would be able to encircle the Austrian-Hungarian armies in a broad enveloping movement and destroy them. In reality none of these objectives came to pass and the Balkan Front became yet another stalemate between the Allied and the Central Powers.br / br / The Serbian front saw the first outbreak of conflict in World War I when Austrian artillery shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade. The subsequent Austrian-Hungarian invasion of Serbia was repulsed by the Serbs, which gave the Allies their first battlefield victory of the war. A joint Austrian and Bulgarian campaign in 1915 saw Serbia again invaded, this time from both the north and the east. Against the renewed onslaught, the Serbian Army steadily retreated eventually making its way to the Albanian port of Durazzo where they were evacuated by a joint British and French task force. After additional training and rearmament they were deployed in Macedonia where they participated in the Macedonian/Salonika campaign.br / br / a href="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448476566-4981294-BalkanFrontBulgaria_during_World_War_I.png"img alt="2015-11-25-1448476566-4981294-BalkanFrontBulgaria_during_World_War_I.png" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448476566-4981294-BalkanFrontBulgaria_during_World_War_I-thumb.png" width="570" height="431" //abr / emBulgarian campaign, Balkan Front 1915-1918 br / /embr / In 1914 Romania had been formally allied with Austria-Hungary, but when war broke out the Bucharest government had declared its neutrality. Over the summer of 1916, in response to inducements by Great Britain and France that they would support the Romanian annexation of Transylvania from Austria-Hungary, as well as in response to long standing enmity between Romania and Bulgaria, Romania joined the war on the Allied side. The war proved to be a total disaster for Romania. Between August and the end of December 1916, a combined Austrian-Hungarian, German, Bulgarian, and Ottoman force had overrun the regions of Wallachia and Dobruja. More than half of the Romanian army had been captured and an unspecified number killed.br / br / Following retraining under a French Expeditionary force commanded by General Henri Berthelot a resupplied Romanian Army, supported by elements of the now disintegrating Russian Army, were able to contain the German drive on Moldova in 1917. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the German advance into the Ukraine left Romania entirely surrounded by the military forces of the Central Powers. Facing certain destruction, the Bucharest government signed the Treaty of Bucharest in 1918 and withdrew from further involvement in World War I. Following the successful offensive on the Macedonian Front that knocked Bulgaria out of the war, Romanian reentered the war of the Allied side on November 10, 1918; one day before the general armistice was announced.br / br / Italian forces had intervened in the Balkans even before Italy's entry in World War I. In December 1914, Italy had occupied the port of Vlore in Albania. After it entered the war, Italy expanded its occupation to include southern Albania and northern Epirus. It also organized an army of Albanian irregulars to supplement its own forces. Additionally, the Italians contributed troops to the joint Allied force on the Macedonian front.br / br / In the northeast, Italian forces fought a series of bloody battles to seize the Isonzo River and advance into Dalmatia. Italian troops continued their campaign even after the Armistice was announced on November 11. They finally stopped on November 18 with the seizure the city of Fiume and promptly announced, in accordance with the provisions of the 1915 London Treaty, that they were annexing this newly conquered region of Dalmatia. br / br / a href="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448476706-1889176-BAlkanFrontSerbianinfantrymarchingtothefront.jpg"img alt="2015-11-25-1448476706-1889176-BAlkanFrontSerbianinfantrymarchingtothefront.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448476706-1889176-BAlkanFrontSerbianinfantrymarchingtothefront-thumb.jpg" width="570" eight="393" //abr / emSerbian troops marching to the front line against the Austriansbr / /embr / Bulgaria had historically been at war with the Ottoman Empire and closely allied with Russia. Disappointed at the lack of Russian support during the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, Bulgaria gradually moved closer to the Central Powers even if that meant it was now allied with the Ottomans, their traditional enemy. The historical rivalry with Constantinople notwithstanding, Sofia now had more substantial claims over the predominantly Bulgarian populated territories in Serbia, Greece, and Romania, all three of which were now aligned with Great Britain and France. br / br / Bulgaria, which already had the largest army in the Balkans, scored a quick series of battlefield triumphs, occupying much of southern Serbia, taking the region of Dobruja from Romania, and advancing into Greek Macedonia. Bulgarian popular support for the war waned rapidly, however, as a result of the extreme economic dislocations caused by the fighting. The Russian Revolution in February 1917 ignited similar sentiments in Bulgaria spreading antiwar and anti-monarchial support among the military and civilian population.br / br / In 1915, in response to the collapse of Serbian forces against the combined Bulgarian and Austrian-Hungarian offensives, a joint British-French-Italian force had landed at Salonika, modern day Thessaloniki, to reinforce Serbian forces as well as to establish a base of operations against pro-German Bulgaria. Reinforced by the remnants of the Serbian Army, as well as troops withdrawn from the Allied campaign in Gallipoli, the new front stabilized along the northern Greek border with Macedonia and was referred to as the Macedonian front, although the term Salonika front was used interchangeably. br / br / a href="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448477174-1794647-TheBalkanFrontRomanianInfantryMarchingThroughtheSnow.jpg"img alt="2015-11-25-1448477174-1794647-TheBalkanFrontRomanianInfantryMarchingThroughtheSnow.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-11-25-1448477174-1794647-TheBalkanFrontRomanianInfantryMarchingThroughtheSnow-thumb.jpg" width="570" height="356" //abr / emRomanian troops on the march, November 1918br / /embr / In September 1918, after a prolonged buildup, a joint Allied army consisting of a mix of Italian, British, French, Greek, and Serbian forces, under the command of French General Franchet d'Esperey, broke through along the Macedonian front and began to advance. Bulgarian forces stopped them in Dojran before they could physically occupy any historic Bulgarian territory. By October 1918 they had liberated Serbia and were poised to invade Hungary. The offensive was halted when the Hungarian government offered to surrender and by the subsequent Armistice of November 11. br / br / Notwithstanding the victory at Dojran, The Bulgarian Tsar Ferdinand was forced to sue for peace, however, and he agreed to abdicate in favor of his son Boris III. Under the treaty of Neuilly signed in November 1919, Bulgaria lost its Aegean coast (western Thrace) to Greece and nearly all of its Macedonian territory was incorporated into the new state of Yugoslavia. In addition it had to return Dobruja to Romania. br / br / The Balkan Front was a relatively minor theater of World War I. No epic battles were fought there, and there were no events that impacted the larger conduct of the war on either the Eastern or Western Fronts. The strategy of using it as a launching point for a general offensive into Austria-Hungary, and to coordinate the advance with a similar breakout of Russian troops on the Eastern front, was sound military logic, but after 1915, Russian troops on the Eastern front were unable to stage a broad breakout and the troop strength on the Macedonian front was never sufficient to stage their own breakout and create a credible pincer movement against Austrian-Hungarian forces until 1918. By then Russia was out of the war and the war on the Eastern Front had long since been settled. p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159961818/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde678f/sc/38/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde678f/sc/38/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

When Closing Civil Society Space Means Killing Human Rights Defenders

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 22:06
Worrying about the reduction of civil society space is all the rage in Washington. Policy pundits present papers at public panel discussions outlining increasingly repressive laws aimed at NGOs.br / br / Legislation from Ethiopia to Cambodia to Egypt to Israel to Kenya and elsewhere threatens civil society organizations and human rights defenders, and Washington experts rightly warn that making it difficult for NGOs to register, or restricting the funds they can receive from abroad, leads to suffocation of dissenting voices healthy, stable societies need.br / br / President Obama is worried about it too. In Panama earlier this year he a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/04/10/remarks-president-obama-civil-society-forum" target="_hplink"said/a:br / br / blockquoteWhen the United States sees space closing for civil society, we will work to open it. When efforts are made to wall you off from the world, we'll try to connect you with each other. When you are silenced, we'll try to speak out alongside you. And when you're suppressed, we want to help strengthen you. As you work for change, the United States will stand up alongside you every step of the way.br / /blockquote br / What sometimes gets overlooked in the discussion around "shrinking civil society space" are direct, violent attacks on human rights defenders.br / br / This year's Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) detailed killings of HRDs in Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.br / br / And the a href="http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/217" target="_hplink"Situation of human rights defenders/a, Note by the UN Secretary-General in July this year included how "defenders also describe their sense that they are often on their own, with the media showing little interest in reporting acts of aggression against them and with little support from political figures..."br / br / Murderous attacks on HRDs are too often left out of the closing civil society discussion, sanitizing the conversation and reducing it to one about legislation and policy.br / br / Earlier this month, HRD NGO Front Line Defenders gathered over 160 at risk HRDs together in Dublin. Many at the Dublin Platform spoke of physical threats, including death threats, against them. Front Line Defender's Executive Director Mary Lawlor said:br / br / blockquoteThe closing down of civil society space and the backlash against HRDs has almost become an academic discussion which masks the day to day reality for HRDs... Last year, 21 countries killed Human Rights Defenders outright. This year, from January till the end of September, we have already recorded that 115 Human Rights Defenders have been killed across 23 countries./blockquote br / br / These include Juan Francisco Martinez in Honduras, Chai Bunthongiek in Thailand,br / Sabeen Mahmud in Pakistan, Francela Mendez in El Salvador. Three HRDs in the Philippines -- Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo -- were murdered on the same September day. No one really knows how many HRDs are killed every year, and these figures are only a fraction of the likely number. Too many go unrecorded, unreported by the media and unpunished by governments.br / br / HRDs at the Dublin Platform identified impunity for attacks as a major enabler of these killings, and shared ideas on protecting themselves -- from setting up early warning systems to undertaking security training and risk analyses, and attempts to set up national and regional protections measures. None of these should be necessary, of course. If governments protected their HRDs instead of killing them, or allowing them to be killed, HRDs would have to become their own security guards.br / br / But HRDs remain under enormous threat. This week the UN General Assembly passed a a href="http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/70/217" target="_hplink"resolution/a recognizing the need for the protection of HRDs. While 117 countries - including the United States -- voted for the resolution, 54 refused to support it, including key U.S. military allies Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Washington's close friend Saudi Arabia actually voted against it. As did Kenya, apparently ignoring President's Obama's a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/26/remarks-president-obama-conversation-members-civil-society" target="_hplink"defense/a of civil society when in Nairobi this year.br / br / The U.S. government needs to push its allies to end impunity for those who attack or murder human rights defenders, and ensure that its own discussions about closing civil society space are always open to include the killings of HRDs. p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159933772/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde3ad1/sc/24/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Reflections on Europeanism, Radical Islam, the Muslims' Task and Slips of the Tongue

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 21:27
Romain Gary's famous distinction between nationalism as hatred for others and patriotism as love for one's own no doubt applies to the prominent display of the French flag. But, by the same token, why not the flag of Europe as well? Has it become such a meaningless rag that no one thinks of claiming it as his or her own? If so, that is a pity because it is on the European level, and only on the European level, that the three most pressing issues of our time will ever be resolved: First, the undetectable financial flows that fund terrorism; second, the Schengen zone's porous internal borders, of which the assassins take full advantage; and third, the effectiveness of a military response for which France can set the direction but cannot provide, on its own and without allies, all of the means and logistics. br / br / I hesitate to return to the next point, but, because a pernicious argument seems to be gaining traction, I will. The birth of modern Islamist terrorism dates back to the Iranian revolution of 1979 or to the bloody spiral of violence that was Algeria in the 1990s. Temporally, it has nothing to do with the wars in Iraq, Libya and Syria of the 2000s. And because the recent wave of terror has struck, willy-nilly, in Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Tunisia and other countries, it has no geographic link with the allegedly neo-colonial wars of a west that is supposedly bent on destroying the Arab world. Therefore, the Paris massacres are not a boomerang returning to punish France for her bad policy in the Middle East; rather, they are episodes in a long-term war declared by Islamo-fascism against anything anywhere that vaguely resembles democracy. A word to the wise. And enough mental appeasement!br / br / Another piece of intolerable sophistry is the argument that asking Muslims in France to dissociate themselves from Islamism is tantamount to holding them collectively responsible for the attacks, and casts a shadow on all Muslims everywhere. No. Asking Muslims in France to dissociate themselves from Islamism implies that only a Muslim is in a position to say to other Muslims, "Your Islam is not the right one," and that only a reader of the Koran can say with authority to other readers of the Koran, "Let's eradicate, or at least reinterpret, the notions of emjihad/em and emsharia/em in the holy book we share." br / br / It recognizes, in other words, that Islam is the site of an ideological battle that is at least as critical as the military one, an ideological battle that Christians, Jews and atheists are simply not in a position to wage. So, yes, imams, intellectuals, and ordinary observant Muslims must rise in great number and say to the Islamists, "Not in our name!" Together they must carry out the re-interpretions of word and dogma that will enable them to say to those tempted by the jihadist horror, "This is where Islam stops." Nothing is more urgent.br / br / It is wise to avoid over-interpreting slips of the tongue. But this one is too ripe to ignore -- and, oddly, it has not been raised. One of Putin's Sukhoi fighters has just been shot down by a Turkish patrol. What is his first reaction? "A stab in the back!" For the history-minded, those were the words of defeated Germans of a century ago. First used to refer to the supposed betrayal of the Reich's army by the draft dodgers and other "reds" in the rear, they were then repeated emad nauseam/em by Germany's panoply of revolutionary conservatives, national-Bolsheviks and other pre-Hitlerites. History is real. As is the unconscious in political language. And the (unconscious) return of the theme of the "stab in the back" should be sufficient to convince us that although we can work with Russia, we must keep an eye on the terms of the alliance. The goal of this war is to annihilate Daesh, not to exterminate the Syrian moderates or to strengthen Bashar al-Assad.br / br / And finally, this awful pearl from John Kerry. Like Putin's, no one seems to have noticed it. The American secretary of state is in Paris addressing the staff of the American embassy. There is a difference, he says, between the crimes of November 13 and those of last January (emCharlie Hebdo/em and the kosher market). The latter had "a particular focus," "even a legitimacy." From the transcription, you can sense the secretary of state correcting himself: "not a legitimacy, but a rationale," he says. Whereas the attacks of two weeks ago, he continues, go after "everything that we do stand for" and are therefore even more inexcusable. Wait. So the assassinated cartoonists, the Jews doing their Sabbath shopping and the police at work protecting the republic did not embody everything we stand for? This is not far from what French prime minister Raymond Barre said thirty years ago about the infamous attack that, although "aimed at Israelites heading to the synagogue" killed "innocent French people crossing the Rue Copernic." This ugly little insinuation that the blasphemers of a satirical weekly and the customers of a kosher supermarket are somehow lesser victims than Parisian youth hit indiscriminately -- we are starting to hear it whispered here and there. And that is not consistent with national unity. The patriotic spirit with which France has met the attacks of November 13 must not allow such invidious sentiments to spread.br / br / br / emTranslated by Steven B. Kennedy/em p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159956477/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde2964/sc/24/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde2964/sc/24/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Royal Family Releases Adorable New Photos Of Princess Charlotte

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 20:59
pIsn't she adorable?/pbr / pThe British royal family on Sunday released two brand-new photographs of Princess Charlotte./pbr / pThe images were taken by the 6-month-old's mom, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge./pbr / br / pShe plays with a cuddly toy dog in one of the shots#160;a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal" target="_blank"posted to Twitter by Kensington Palace/a./pbr / pThe second picture shows her staring off to the side of the camera. In both photos she is wearing a pink cashmere cardigan and floral print dress./pbr / pThe photos were taken earlier this month at the family's home at Anmer Hall, their 10-bedroom country house on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk./pbr / br / pThe princess turns 7 months old on Wednesday./pbr / pa href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/06/royal-family-princess-charlotte_n_7526198.html" target="_blank"The royal family previously released pictures of Charlotte and her big brother, Prince George, who is now 2 years old, in June. Those were also taken by Catherine.#160;/a/pbr / pA series of other photographs a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/princess-charlotte-christening-photos_559e81c1e4b05b1d028fbe45" target="_blank"were taken at Charlotte's christening/a in July by Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino./pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"blockquote class="twitter-tweet" align="center"p lang="en" dir="ltr"The Duke and Duchess hope everyone enjoys these new photos of Princess Charlotte as much as they do. a href="https://t.co/ylZ7VvOuIY"pic.twitter.com/ylZ7VvOuIY/a/p#8212; Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) a href="https://twitter.com/KensingtonRoyal/status/670946753584209920"November 29, 2015/a/blockquotebr / script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"/script/div/divbr / br / pemstrongAlso on HuffPost:/strong/em/pbr / div class="embed-asset embed" data-type="embed-asset" data-provider="Embed" data-title=""br / div class="embed-code"span class="js-fivemin-script"/spanscript type="text/javascript"(function(){var src_url="https://spshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?playList=519061792height=width=100sid=577origin=SOLRvideoGroupID=155847relatedNumOfResults=100responsive=trueratio=widealign=centerrelatedMode=2relatedBottomHeight=60companionPos=hasCompanion=falseautoStart=falsecolorPallet=%23FFEB00videoControlDisplayColor=%23191919shuffle=0isAP=1pgType=cmsPluginpgTypeId=addToPost-toponVideoDataLoaded=track5min.DLonTimeUpdate=track5min.TC#38;onVideoDataLoaded=HPTrack.Vid.DL#38;onTimeUpdate=HPTrack.Vid.TC";if (typeof(commercial_video) == "object") {src_url += "#38;siteSection="+commercial_video.site_and_category;if (commercial_video.package) {src_url += "#38;sponsorship="+commercial_video.package;}}var script = document.createElement("script");script.src = src_url;script.async = true;var placeholder = document.querySelector(".js-fivemin-script");placeholder.parentElement.replaceChild(script, placeholder);})();/script/div/divbr / p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159971100/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde12b4/sc/14/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

France's War Rhetoric: The Rise of the Exterminators

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 20:50
Otto Dix Totentanz anno 17 (a href="http://www.moma.org/collection_ge/object.php?object_id=63261" target="_hplink"Danse of Death anno dominici 17/a)br / br / br / br / In 2001 after the period of shock and stunning paralysis that followed the 9/11 attacks some thinkers warned about the dangers of knee-jerk reactions and military adventures. Yet a majority of Americans, approved by a majority of Western Europeans, favored military retaliation. br / The argument then went something like this: "we cannot do nothing against these bastards, we have to fight back". Emotionally this is understandable: where you are attacked you want to retaliate and vent your anger and your rage. Politically and intellectually this gut reaction often leads to further disasters. An eye for an eye and the world goes blind. But the war mongers won and spread chaos from Afghanistan to Iraq and Libya. br / br / The anti-war thinkers of the early 2000s were of course totally vindicated in their analysis: Afghanistan, the war that was so popular, was won in a month but is still lost 14 years and thousands of dead later. Thinking with one's guts is a blind alley.br / br / In 2003 millions of people the world over had demonstrated against the looming war in Iraq. The demonstrators had no love, admiration or respect for Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader who was a murderous thug. People the world over understood clearly that war was not the answer and would only kill innocents and make matters worse. Precisely what it did. The Iraq war was based upon lies and fabrications, Afghanistan was a form of revenge for 9/11 but in both cases the military reaction made things much worse and led to the current waves of terror and the refugee crisis. Vengeance had defeated justice. br / br / Now after the Paris massacres what was understood during the anti-war demonstrations of 2003 has been totally forgotten. France is on a war footing and the country that led the opposition to the US war twelve years ago is now walking in its footsteps and adopting the same war rhetoric, the same military attitude. France follows the catastrophic recipes of the neocons and prides itself on being tougher than supposedly wimpish Obama. All this is well described and analyzed in alternative media, in the US or France. a href="http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/11/20/paris-and-the-soldiers-of-the-caliphate-more-war-more-blowback/" target="_hplink"Here/a and a href="http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176071/tomgram%3A_engelhardt%2C_the_national_security_state"s_incestuous_relationship_with_the_islamic_state" target="_hplink"here/a. br / br / What I find striking, among many other things, is the return of what I would call the genocidal fantasy. Words such as "eradicate" annihilate" "obliterate, "destroy" "punish" are frequently used to refer to ISIS, its supporters or sometimes terrorists who may be confused or conflated with all Islamists, Muslims or Arabs. br / br / These words are commonly used by liberals as well as reactionaries and even among the left. Even some people who experienced the dirty civil war in Algeria also resort to this quasi-genocidal rhetoric. "There should be no respect for the law with these guys, they are murderers and they should all be annihilated" I heard one left leaning colleague say. br / br / The dirty war in Algeria, which pitted Islamists against the army, haunts many people who fled to France to escape the terror and murder meted out by the FIS (Islamist front). Others who fled Iran may be equally vehement. br / br / French people who should remember the murderous consequences of such rhetoric during the Algerian war of independence still favor it today. They support the curtailing of civil liberties and the military strikes on ISIS in Syria. Like Americans after 9/11 they massively support their government and imagine that a military solution exists. In other words, many who derided the US for its slide towards a non-democratic society, now believe in Bush's wisdom when he declared: br / br / "you are either with us or with the terrorists". They have forgotten their support for a href="https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/French_address_on_Iraq_at_the_UN_Security_Council" target="_hplink"Villepin's famous UN speech/a refusing war in Iraq. br / br / What is annihilated is, of course, subtlety and the ability to think. The glaring example of failure is right there in front of our eyes and yet we choose blindness. What the US and Russia did not manage to do in Afghanistan is promoted as a miracle cure in Syria and Iraq. br / br / The pain and shock after the Paris massacres not only reinforce the political blindness which led leaders to choose bombing as a solution to complex issues, they legitimize the blindness toward the a href="http://monoskop.org/images/a/a6/Sontag_Susan_2003_Regarding_the_Pain_of_Others.pdf" target="_hplink"pain of others, as Susan Sontag/a, phrased it. The eternal cycle of violence, blowback and more violence has started again and is cheered by people who think bombs will "eradicate" terrorism and/or terrorists.br / br / In France today as in the US in 2001 critics are shouted down with a silly question which thinks it is smart: "so what do you suggest we do? Nothing?" and then if critics demur they are called "appeasers, friends of the terrorists" and called every name in the book. Not knowing what to do or being gripped by terror leads many to accept doing anything, bombing everything and finding succor in more violence. France is in danger of becoming a nation of Donald Trumps (bomb the s... out of them).br / br / More war and more violence have been tried and always produced well more war and more violence notably more terror attacks. Yet the urge to bomb and destroy seems to be stronger. "Bomb; bomb, bomb Iran" McCain sang and now the tune is on everyone's lips but applied to ISIS. Suddenly the world has become Manichean, we, like George Bush, "know we are good" and we are getting ready to fight evil. Our responsibilities in the current mess disappear, our foreign policy had nothing to do with terror and deteriorating social conditions in our society do not matter, the weapons we sell to Saudi Arabia do not figure in dominant discourse, nor does Saudi funding of the radical groups that turn against France. Turkey's double game of bashing the Kurds while fostering ISIS even though it claims to fight it is also absent from media reports. There are just the good people versus the evil ones. The good cultured people vs. the scumbags or assholes.br / And, of course, if one limits oneself to the victims of the Paris terror attacks, innocents in cafés vs. the Kalashnikov-waving killers, this good vs. evil presentation is apt (though calling criminals just "scumbags" is too nice). When it is applied to foreign policy it becomes totally wrong. Those we (France, the West, Russia,) kill are forgotten and we forget the backlash and blowback we inevitably cause with our military hardware and our mental mush. br / br / All asymmetrical wars in the recent past have been lost by the big powers, terrorism is flourishing after Iraq and in spite of drones but we do not learn anything from history and we rush to commit the same mistakes and accelerate the spiral of violence.br / br / The "eradicators" as Robert Gates could have said "need to have their heads examined". They dream of genocide, sow the wind of "annihilation" and reap the whirlwinds of multiple terror attacks and yet they allow their guts to dominate their brains. They get drunk on their thirst for revenge even when the end point of further disaster is known to their non-reptilian brains. br / We know that it is precisely what terror groups want. The American experience has taught us that Guantanamo and drones are the best a href="https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/" target="_hplink"recruiting agents for terrorists/a. We also know that macho militarism is one step in the dance of death our leaders have decided to engage in with al Qaeda or ISIS. Those who claim to protect us from the terrorists are the chief promoters of terror and therefore the a href="https://www.google.fr/search?q=goya+disasters+of+warsource=lnmstbm=ischsa=Xved=0ahUKEwit7ue3v6TJAhVIxRQKHQ1XCPcQ_AUIBygBbiw=1264bih=687" target="_hplink""disasters of war"/a. p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159971099/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde12b5/sc/11/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor

Corruption in Kenya: Sharing the Blame But Not the Wealth!

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 20:49
A very interesting narrative is taking shape in Kenya's latest "war" against corruption. The narrative advances the storyline that:br / br / Kenyans are corrupt because Kenyans are corrupt or as someone put it:br / br / "The problem has always been us, yes, me, you and every other individual who calls himself or herself a Kenyan."br / br / Unfortunately, the notion that "the buck stops with all of us" is embodied in the story about Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody:br / br / "emThere was an important job to be done, and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Now, Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought that Anybody could have done it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. So, it ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done./em"br / br / The party line being peddled that it is "our patriotic" duty to curb corruption, nepotism and impunity sounds reasonable until one looks at the perpetrators and beneficiaries of the seedy practices: A coterie of golfing buddies, their families, friends, assorted toadies and self-proclaimed "ballers". The foregoing is respectively evidenced by the on-going scandal at the Department of Devolution and Planning, the recent presidential appointments to various parastatals that included a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/201504290104.html" target="_hplink"five individuals from one family/a and details in an article titled "a href="http://www.sde.co.ke/pulse/article/2000181699/ballers-running-the-city-how-young-kenyan-millionaires-are-moving-into-the-political-square" target="_hplink"Ballers Running the City: How Young Kenyan Millionaires are Moving into the Political Square/a".br / br / I was born in Kenya and have Kenyan blood running through my veins. However, I refuse to take responsibility for the actions of the kleptomaniacs running the country. I also refuse to be grouped with those who repeatedly vote for these kleptocrats because they are "our" "sons" and "daughters". br / br / For the record, I have only one son.br / br / And no, this is not schadenfreude. It is placing the blame squarely where it belongs: br / br / On those who perpetrate and abet the kleptocratic ways of their "sons" and "daughters".br / br / I was once asked by an official at JKIA to produce "pages" supposedly "missing" from my passport and an official in Mombasa cajoled me to "ongea vizuri" i.e. speak properly if I wanted him to "expedite" release of a car I had imported from Japan. br / br / I waited for over 2 hours to talk to a supervisor before the individual who said that my passport was "missing some pages" relented and waved me through. In Mombasa, I extended my stay for an extra week to oversee the normal and tedious process of releasing a car through customs rather than "ongearing vizuri" and paying the unofficial "expedite fee" requested. br / br / NOTE: In an a href="http://www.jambonewspot.com/kenya-is-corrupt-because-kenyans-equivocate-corruption-and-elect-corrupt-leaders/" target="_hplink"earlier/a version of this article for another site, I did not mention that a primary and high school friend who had offered to help me clear the car vanished after receiving his KShs. 10K (approx. $100) retainer's fees. The irony is that he is now one of the most articulate voices against corruption and impunity in Kenya on social media!br / br / I did not support Uhuru Kenyatta because he run for office while still a crimes-against-humanity suspect. He escaped conviction because of allegations of blatant obstruction of justice. Besides, and contrary to popular belief, Mr. Kenyatta was and is not the incorruptible baby boomer his supporters, including some in my family, have made him out to be. Uhuru is the direct beneficiary of ill-gotten gains (IGG) thanks to his father Jomo Kenyatta and while Minister for Finance, the current president was implicated in his own malfeasance -- KSh. 9billion "a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMsRIB-6UCg" target="_hplink"typo, software glitch or whatever/a" that mysteriously appeared in the supplementary budget estimates the ministry submitted. br / br / Finally, and this should have given Kenyans serious pause BEFORE they voted him into office, Mr. Kenyatta (and his deputy WIlliam Ruto) cut his teeth in "governance" as then-President Arap Moi's "a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/200611300572.html" target="_hplink"project/a" during the Goldenberg-era when government officials openly treated the national coffers like their personal ATM. br / br / So under the heading "Better Late Than Never", most Kenyans are finally waking up to the reality aptly captured by the blogs "a href="http://www.mwakilishi.com/content/blogs/2014/03/16/uhuru-kenyatta-is-naked-and-no-one-dare-tell-him.html" target="_hplink"Uhuru Kenyatta is Naked; and No One Dare Tell Him/a" and "a href="http://www.mwakilishi.com/content/blogs/2015/11/04/the-king-is-naked.html" target="_hplink"The King is Naked/a" respectively.br / br / a href="http://www.amazon.com/From-Third-World-First-Singapore/dp/0060197765" target="_hplink"Mr. Lee Kuan Yew/a wrote that a "emsoft people will vote for those who promise a soft way out/em"; presumably out of their predicament. The late founding father of modern Singapore thus opted to toughen Singaporeans by "emkeeping the government clean...and making sure that every dollar in revenue was properly accounted for.../em" br / br / Contrastingly, Jomo Kenyatta, along with his family and friends set out to eat the newly earned "matunda ya uhuru"; even deriding some for not "eating" when given the opportunity! Given this history, it is no surprise that Kenyans are now witnessing the likes of Anne Waiguru, "ballers", Jack Ranguma, KShs. 109K wheelbarrows, Condom dispensers, KShs. 2million to set up Facebook accounts etc. -- persons implicated in and/or recent examples of unbridled corruption.br / br / Unlike Kenya's judiciary and vetting bodies that just go through the motions when auditing a candidate's lifestyle, Singapore's courts treat as corroborating evidence of corruption anyone who is "living beyond his/her means...or has properties or income (whose origin) they cannot explain." br / br / Conversely, Kenyans who seemingly live beyond their means or are suddenly making it "rain" are lauded as "industrialists", "astute businessmen/women", "moguls", "savvy investors" and my favorite, "prodigious" with "a reputation as a fairly intelligent person...already (owning) a company."br / br / As Kenya's 4th president, Uhuru Kenyatta had the opportunity to be a transformational leader the controversy surrounding his election notwithstanding. US President Obama even commended, prematurely I'd say, the former crimes-against-humanity suspect for his efforts at "tackling" corruption. The half Kenyan-Luo POTUS also chided the Opposition -- Raila to most -- for its hypocrisy and constant whining. Unfortunately, a free and emboldened UK then flipped the script on Barack and is now presiding over one of the most corrupt administration arguably in Africa: A point underscored by the fact that the a href="http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/05/world/africa/kenya-government-corruption.html?_r=0" target="_hplink"New York Times/a, a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/11/05/how-bad-is-corruption-in-kenya-sex-toys-are-listed-as-public-assets/" target="_hplink"Washington Post/a, a href="http://news.yahoo.com/corruption-crisis-kenya-us-ambassador-180332967.html;_ylt=AwrSbgKbGFZW7LgA8JRXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEydGw4M25xBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjA5MzJfMQRzZWMDc2M-" target="_hplink"AFP/a, a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/11/05/official-corruption-in-kenya-hits-new-lows" target="_hplink"US News World Report/a and a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-official-corruption-in-kenya-hits-new-lows-2015-11" target="_hplink"Associated Press/a (AP) all carried articles about corruption in his government within the same news cycle! The coup de grace was nonagenarian Robert Mugabe wondering whether Kenyan universities have a monopoly in the major "Bachelors of Stealing".br / br / Confronting corruption in Kenya is not rocket science. br / br / It requires (i) unwavering political will AND (ii) a critical mass of public support. As unpopular as this may sound, Mr. Kenyatta and his ruling coalition have demonstrated neither the will nor the moral high-ground to confront the issue: br / br / They strongARE/strong a big part of the problem. br / br / As for the 2nd piece of the puzzle, 2017 is just round the corner. The world will see just how serious Kenyans are about confronting corruption and disabusing Robert Mugabe of the notion that Kenyans wrote the book on corruption and stealing. p-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/terms.html/'terms./a It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website./pbr clear='all'/br/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/rc/1/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/rc/1/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/rc/2/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/rc/2/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/rc/3/rc.htm" rel="nofollow"img src="http://rc.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/rc/3/rc.img" border="0"//abr/br/a href="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/a2.htm"img src="http://da.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/a2.img" border="0"//abr/a href="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/ach.htm"img src="http://adchoice.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/ach.img" border="0"//aimg width="1" height="1" src="http://pi.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/a2t.img" border="0"/img width="1" height="1" src="http://pi2.feedsportal.com/r/244159971098/u/60/f/677102/c/35496/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/a2t2.img" border="0"/img width='1' height='1' src='http://feeds.huffingtonpost.com/c/35496/f/677102/s/4bde12b6/sc/38/mf.gif' border='0'/
Categories: News Monitor