Six children starve to death in southwestern Somalia
At least six children have died of severe malnutrition in southwestern Somalia, where people are experiencing a famine after over two decades of war.
Mohamud Wariye, a Somali government official, said on Thursday that there are reports that six children have starved to death in Wajid district of the Bakool region, located 330 kilometers (205 miles) southwest of the capital, Mogadishu, over the past few days. The district has been hard-hit with drought since mid-2014.
Wariye added that the district commissioner has asked for assistance from Mogadishu government, and Somalia authorities are trying to plan the logistics.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has voiced alarm over the growing number of people facing hunger in Somalia, calling for urgent humanitarian aid to “avert another famine” in the Horn of Africa state.
“Over three million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance and unfortunately that number is growing,” Ban said during his visit to Somalia on October 29, 2014.
The United Nations has pledged some USD 933 million to help prevent a new famine in the country, but the world body has only received a third of the amount it has appealed for.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), about 218,000 Somali children under the age of five are grappling with malnourishment.
Somalia was the hardest hit by a severe drought in 2011 that affected more than 13 million people across the Horn of Africa. More than 250,000 Somalis died in a famine which was caused by the drought.
The African country has been the scene of clashes between government forces and al-Shabab fighters since 2006.
‘US, Britain toeing Israel’s line.
The United States and Britain have been voicing more aggressive positions against what President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron have described as “Islamist extremists”.
However, many believe Obama and Cameron’s latest position has clearly revealed the hypocrisy of both countries in dealing with the issue of terrorism, specifically given that both the US and Britain face accusations of supporting terrorism.
Dr. James B. Thring, a London-based political analyst, has told Press TV that the US and Britain are toeing the line of Israel by getting themselves involved in a string of conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.
“They don’t really understand who they are backing,” Thring said referring to the US and Britain. “I think they have been… told what to do by people who do understand what’s going on and have an agenda.”
He said Israel is pulling the strings of the US and Britain – as two “very important” Security Council members – to try to change the attitude of people towards Islam and make it look like “as if it’s a kind of mad extremist organization.”
“They (the West) say that the Muslims are attacking way of life which of course does not make sense when you think about it. Anyway, but it certainly isn’t true,” he said.
Thring said there is an inclination in the West to demonize Islam, but questioned why this is happening.
“The answer is clearly set out in a document called Rebuilding America’s Defenses by Rabbi Dov Zakheim, Paul Wolfowitz and many other neo-cons on Capitol Hill,” he said, adding that the documents mentions military actions to topple governments in several Middle Eastern countries as an ultimate goal of American leaders.
Muslim worker hid customers from terrorists in Paris market
A Muslim man who saved a group of customers by hiding them in a basement storage room of the Hyper Cacher supermarket during the recent hostage taking in France has been called a hero.
“When they came running down I opened the door of the fridge,” Lassana Bathily told French Television network BFM TV.
“Several came in with me. I turned off the light and the fridge. When I turned off the cold, I put them in. I closed the door. I told them to stay calm and I said ‘you stay quiet there, I’m going back out’.”
People in social media networks have called him a hero, and want to spread his story.
On Friday, police ended the hostage-taking in the kocher supermarket in the eastern Porte de Vincennes area of Paris, killing one armed hostage-taker, Amedy Coulibaly, who was a suspect in the Thursday killing of a policewoman in southern Paris. Officials say that four hostages were also killed during the raid.
Bathily, a 24-year-old shop assistant, is originally from the West African country of Mali.
He was initially thought to be one of the hostage takers by French police as he was escaping via a goods lift.
“They told me, ‘get down on the ground, hands over your head’. They cuffed me and held me for an hour and a half as if I was with them,” The Guardian quoted him as saying.
Following the shootout which ended the situation, customers came and thanked him for his bravery. “When they got out, they thanked me,” he said.
Also on Friday, two brothers, Said and Cherif Kouachi, suspected of slaughtering 12 people on Wednesday at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, were killed after being cornered at a printing workshop with a hostage in the town of Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris. The two had earlier released the hostage.
Earlier on Friday, a person claiming to be Coulibaly told BFM that he was an ISIL member, and that he had “co-ordinated” his attack with the Kouachi brothers, the state-run BBC reported.
The ISIL Takfiri group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, threatening to target the United States and Britain next. “We started with the France operation for which we take responsibility,” Abu Saad al-Ansari, who is affiliated with the Takfiri group, said in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
French police and intelligence services have been facing mounting criticism over their lack of intervention before the attack on Charlie Hebdo newspaper headquarters by the two gunmen on Wednesday.
One of the main suspects of the Wednesday attack had reportedly been convicted on terrorism charges and another is thought to have had links to Yemeni al-Qaida militants.
A Muslim Hyper Store worker’s Heroic Actions Back Dr. Robert’s Claim; read the story of the France Hero next.
A former White House official says the terrorist attack that killed 12 people on Wednesday in Paris was a false flag operation “designed to shore up France’s vassal status to Washington.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, made the remarks in an article published on Thursday.
“The suspects can be both guilty and patsies. Just remember all the terrorist plots created by the FBI that served to make the terrorism threat real to Americans,” he wrote.
He said that the French economy is suffering from the US-imposed sanctions against Russia. “Shipyards are impacted from being unable to deliver Russian orders due to France’s vassalage status to Washington, and other aspects of the French economy are being adversely impacted by sanctions that Washington forced its NATO puppet states to apply to Russia.”
Dr. Roberts stated that French President Francois Hollande this week said that the sanctions against Russia should end. “This is too much foreign policy independence on France’s part for Washington.”
He added that the CIA has apparently resurrected a policy that it followed against Europeans during the post-WW II era when the US spy agency would carry out attacks in European states and blame them on communist groups.
Dr. Roberts said now the US agencies have planned false flag operations in Europe to create hatred against Muslims and bring European countries under Washington’s sphere of influence.
He noted that “the attack on Charlie Hebdo was an inside job and that people identified by NSA as hostile to the Western wars against Muslims are going to be framed for an inside job designed to pull France firmly back under Washington’s thumb.”
The widely read columnist stated that the US “government tells Americans whatever story the government puts together and sits and laughs at the gullibility of the public.”
World’s top publisher ‘regrets’ erasing Israel from atlas meant for Middle East customers
HarperCollins, one of the world’s largest publishing companies, has officially apologized for excluding Israel from its Collins Middle East Atlas because of “local preferences”. The publisher was accused of harming peace efforts in the region.
“HarperCollins regrets the omission of the name Israel from their Collins Middle East Atlas,” it said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The Atlas has now been removed from sale in all territories and “all remaining stock will be pulped. HarperCollins sincerely apologizes for this omission and for any offence caused,” the publishing house’s statement read.
Earlier, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales accused the publishing house of interfering with the peace process in the region by producing atlases that omit Israel from their maps.
“The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence,” Bishop Declan Lang chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of International Affairs, told The Tablet.
In reply, the subsidiary of HarperCollins said to the same outlet that writing the name ‘Israel’ would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf, so the change was to suit “local preferences.”
The map showed Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea, with Gaza also marked, and was sold mainly to English-speaking schools in the Muslim region of the Gulf.
The Tablet also reported that other school atlases allegedly only reached the recipients when “Israel” was erased by hand.
Some experts said that allowing this to happen could de-legitimize the Israeli nation in the eyes of the students who would use the atlases.
“Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimizing ‘the other’ and can lead to confusion rather than clarity. We would be keen to see relevant bodies ensure that all atlases anywhere reflect the official UN position on nations, boundaries and all political features,” Dr. Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews, stressed to The Tablet.
The omission also triggered anger among social network users.
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has said he will not permit members of the Muslim Brotherhood to participate in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.
In an interview with state media, Sisi said the Egyptian nation will never accept officials of the Muslim Brotherhood to enter the country’s parliament.
He went on to say that members of the group may not even take part in the polls as independent candidates.
Egypt‘s parliamentary elections are scheduled for early 2015.
The upcoming polls are the third stage of the roadmap for power transition in Egypt, after the overthrow of former president, Mohamed Morsi.
The first stages were passing of a new constitution in January and June’s presidential election.
Morsi, the country’s first democratically-elected president, was ousted in July 2013, in a military coup led by Sisi.
Morsi and his aides are currently on trial in several cases and could face the death penalty if convicted. They are standing trial for what the military-backed court calls the destabilization of Egypt through collaborating with such groups as Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, and Lebanese Hezbollah movement, and leaking confidential information to foreign countries.
(Published in Business Insider)
GEORGE W. BUSH: This Is Why I Refuse To Criticize Obama
When asked why Mr. Bush almost never criticizes his successor President Obama, besides other reasons most interestingly he said, “I don’t criticize Obama because I don’t really long for publicity now.”
Our question: Mr. Bush: do you long for the freedom of American people?
But then again, “You’re no Kennedy Mr. Bush.”
Mr. Kennedy died for the freedom of Americans at the hands of our inner enemies!