Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Genarischrom elkratos news & intel agencies (January 2016)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday that the continuing expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to the east would lead to retaliatory measures from Russia.......The NATO military alliance on Wednesday invited Montenegro to join its ranks.


  1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an updated national security paper describing Nato's expansion as a threat to the country...

    The paper says Russia's "independent domestic and foreign policy" has triggered a "counter-action" from the US and its allies.

    It accuses these countries of striving to dominate global affairs.

    The conflict in Ukraine, which began in 2014, has led to a sharp deterioration between Russia and the West.

    The updated National Security Strategy signed by President Putin on Thursday is the latest in a series that are critical of Nato.

    In 2014 Russia announced it was altering its military doctrine to take account of the Ukraine crisis and Nato's presence in eastern Europe.

    Kremlin adviser Mikhail Popov said at the time that Nato's enlargement in recent years meant the alliance was getting closer to [Russian] borders and presented an "external threat" to his country.

    Albania and Croatia joined Nato in 2009. In 2011, the alliance recognised four aspiring members - Bosnia, Georgia, FYROM, and Montenegro....BBC

  2. German police said that they had "indications that a terror attack" was being planned for New Year's Eve in Munich, as they called on the public to avoid large gatherings and two key train stations...

    "Current indications show that a terror attack is being planned in Munich. Please avoid gatherings of people and the Munich and Pasing train stations," police said in a tweet.

    Both stations have been evacuated, they said, and train services were no longer running at the two stations......

  3. Ukraine's free-trade agreement with the European Union came into force on January 1, coinciding with the start of Moscow's food embargo against Kyiv...

    The free-trade deal, signed in June 2014, is part of the broader EU Association Agreement and stands at the heart of the drastic deterioration of Ukraine's relations with Russia.

    The deal grants Ukraine tariff-free access to the EU's giant market and is expected to boost Ukraine's struggling economy.

    The European Commission said in a statement of December 31 that "the agreement will contribute to the modernization and diversification of the Ukrainian economy and will create additional incentives for reform.".....

  4. Three civilians including two children have been killed in cross-border missile attacks from Yemen on a residential area in southwestern Saudi Arabia, civil defence authorities said...

    Eleven others were wounded, among them nine children, when several missiles hit residential districts in the Jazan region on Thursday, civil defence spokesman Major Yehia al-Qahtani said in a statement.

    Saudi Arabia is leading a military coalition that has been battling Iran-backed rebels in neighbouring Yemen since March.

    The rebels intensified their rocket attacks across the Saudi border in recent days, prompting the coalition to threaten severe reprisals.

    The Saudis have deployed Patriot missile batteries designed to counter attacks and have recently been intercepting missiles fired from Yemen on an almost-daily basis.....

  5. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an updated national security paper describing Nato's expansion as a threat to the country...

    The paper says Russia's "independent domestic and foreign policy" has triggered a "counter-action" from the US and its allies.

    It accuses these countries of striving to dominate global affairs.

    The conflict in Ukraine, which began in 2014, has led to a sharp deterioration between Russia and the West.

    The updated National Security Strategy signed by President Putin on Thursday is the latest in a series that are critical of Nato.

    In 2014 Russia announced it was altering its military doctrine to take account of the Ukraine crisis and Nato's presence in eastern Europe.

    Kremlin adviser Mikhail Popov said at the time that Nato's enlargement in recent years meant the alliance was getting closer to [Russian] borders and presented an "external threat" to his country.

    Albania and Croatia joined Nato in 2009. In 2011, the alliance recognised four aspiring members - Bosnia, Georgia, FYROM, and Montenegro....BBC

  6. France carried out airstrikes early on Friday against oil sites in Syria near Islamic State's stronghold of Raqqa, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during a visit to a military base in Jordan...

    France was the first country to join U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq. Since the Nov. 13 attacks on Paris, it has increased its aerial bombing of Islamic State in Syria, focusing on Raqqa and oil-related targets.

    "I have had feedback from the overnight operations, we must continue in that direction," Le Drian told soldiers and reporters at the Jordan base from which Mirage 2000 jets took off in the early hours of Friday to conduct the airstrikes.

  7. India's capital is starting the new year with an experiment designed to reduce the city's record-breaking air pollution...

    Beginning Friday, cars with odd-numbered license place will be allowed on New Delhi streets on odd-numbered days. Cars with even-numbered plates will be allowed on even numbered days.

    The two-week trial, which ends January 15, is designed to limit the number of private cars on the capital's streets.

    Drivers seemed to be following the rules Friday. However, skeptics said with schools and some offices closed because of the New Year's holiday, the capital has yet to get a real idea of how motorists will adhere to the restrictions.

    "This plan will only be successful when it becomes a very big movement, when people will want to obey it from their heart," said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who promised that he and his ministers would carpool.

    A number of exemptions to the odd-even deal are in place, including for women drivers and people on motorbikes.

    A 2014 World Health Organization survey identified New Delhi as the world's most polluted city, partly because of the millions of vehicles clogging the city's streets.

  8. Syrian Army Welcomes in New Year by Driving Out Terrorists in Key Provinces...

    The past 24 hours have seen the Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces (NDF) obliterate terrorists' positions in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir Ezzur, Daraa, Quneitra, Hama and Homs, according to the Iranian news agency FARS.

    Dozens of terrorists were killed and many more wounded after the Syrian forces launched military operations on militants groups across Syria on Thursday, FARS reported.

    In the province of Aleppo, Syrian warplanes destroyed Daesh positions in villages and towns including Afash, Deir Qaq, Aisheh, al-Hader and al-Bab in the province's eastern areas. Additionally, the Syrian troops obliterated the positions of al-Nusra Front and other terrorist groups in the neighborhoods of Karm al-Tarab, al-Sheikh Lutfi, Salah Eddin, al-Rashidin 4 and Bani Zaid in the city of Aleppo......

  9. Saudi Arabia's execution of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr was intended to fuel Sunni-Shia strife and "set the region on fire", a lawmaker from Iraq's ruling Shia coalition told al-Sumaria TV on Saturday...

    "This measure taken by the ruling family (of Saudi Arabia) aims at re-igniting the region, provoking sectarian fighting between Sunnis and Shia," Mohammed al-Sayhud said, according to the TV station's website.

    1. Iran Accuses Saudi Arabia Of Supporting Terrorism After Shi'ite Cleric's Execution...

      Iran has accused regional rival Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism after the kingdom said it had executed a top Shi'ite cleric on terrorism charges.

      Nimr al-Nimr, 56, was among 47 people executed in Saudi Arabia on January 2, the kingdom's Interior Ministry said.

      "The Saudi government supports terrorists and [radical Sunni] extremists, while executing and suppressing critics inside the country," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari was quoted as saying by Iranian state media.

      Ansari warned Saudi Arabia "will pay a high price for following these policies." The Foreign Ministry also summoned Saudi Arabia's charge d'affaires in Tehran to protest al-Nimr’s execution, Iranian state television said.............

    2. Saudi Arabia summoned Iran's envoy to protest an "aggressive" statement by Tehran on the Saturday execution of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, the foreign ministry said...

      The ministry "handed the Iranian ambassador... a stern protest letter over the aggressive Iranian statements on the legal sentences carried out today against terrorists in the kingdom," said a statement published by the official SPA news agency.

  10. The Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing the Houthi movement in Yemen for nine months announced on Saturday the end to a ceasefire that began on Dec. 15 but was repeatedly violated by both sides, the Saudi state news agency SPA said on its twitter account...

    "The leadership of the coalition supporting legitimacy in Yemen announces the end of the truce in Yemen beginning at 1400 (1100 GMT) on Saturday," the agency said.

    1. Yémen: fin d'un cessez-le-feu qui n'a jamais fait taire les armes..

      La coalition arabe luttant contre les rebelles chiites au Yémen a annoncé samedi la fin du cessez-le-feu entré en vigueur le 15 décembre mais violé quotidiennement depuis, alors que d'hypothétiques négociations de paix doivent reprendre à la mi-janvier.

      La trêve avait été décrétée par le gouvernement yéménite pour marquer le début des premiers pourparlers directs entre les parties en conflit, qui s'étaient tenus du 15 au 20 décembre sous l'égide de l'ONU en Suisse.

      Le cessez-le-feu avait ensuite été prorogé, mais des combats, des bombardements, des tirs de missiles et des raids aériens s'étaient poursuivis dans plusieurs régions du pays..........

  11. Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) leadership should be stripped of their parliamentary immunity for the "constitutional crime" of calling for more autonomy in southeastern Anatolia region, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, as quoted by local media on Saturday...

    "The statements of the two co-leaders are definitely a constitutional crime," Erdogan said, as quoted by Today's Zaman newspaper. "I believe a process that would start with the lifting of their immunity would positively affect the atmosphere in our country regarding the fight against terrorism."

    Co-chairmen of the HDP Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdas are facing an investigation launched by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Diyarbakır for "inciting people to revolt," "propaganda for a terrorist organization" and "attempting to disrupt unity of the state and the country" for their statements at a Democratic Society Congress (DTK) meeting on December 26-27......

  12. Attacks by five suicide bombers on an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad have killed at least 15 Iraqi security forces and wounded 22 others...

    Iraqi security officials said two of the bombers detonated their vehicle-borne explosives on January 3 at the western gate of Camp Speicher, a former U.S. base outside the city of Tikrit.

    Three others detonated explosives after entering the section of the base where Iraqi police are being trained.

    The Islamic State (IS) militant group, which controls swathes of Iraq's north and west, claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement posted on the Internet by supporters.

    The statement said IS militants targeted "trainers from the rejectionist army," a term used by the Sunni insurgents to describe Shi'ite Muslims.

    The attack comes days after Iraqi security forces, backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes, announced they had recaptured the city of Ramadi -- which was seized by IS militants during the summer of 2015.

  13. Assad forces 'build up' troops in Syrian Golan...

    Fierce fighting between Syrian government forces and armed opposition groups has continued in the Quneitra province of the country's southwest as locals report a massive build-up of troops and pro-government militias in several towns.

    Opposition groups retook Quneitra after the Syrian army briefly controlled it on Saturday, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The escalation of clashes comes just days after the Syrian government launched a major offensive in the Quneitra province, situated on the border of the roughly 70 percent of the Golan Heights under Israeli occupation since 1967............

  14. Explosions and gunfire rang out late Sunday as militants tried to storm the Indian diplomatic mission in the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, officials said...

    "We are being attacked. Fighting is going on," an Indian consulate official told AFP by telephone from inside the compound.

    The official, who was hunkered down in a secure area within the complex, said all consulate officials were safe and accounted for.

    No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes just days after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kabul and his much-hyped diplomatic outreach to New Delhi's arch rival Pakistan.

    A local police spokesman said security officials had cordoned off the area where sporadic gunshots were ringing out after a series of

  15. L'Arabie saoudite a décidé de rompre ses relations diplomatiques avec l'Iran, a annoncé dimanche le ministre saoudien des Affaires étrangères au lendemain de l'exécution d'un dignitaire chiite par le gouvernement de Ryad qui a provoqué la colère des autorités iraniennes....

    Dans une conférence de presse, le ministre Adel al Djoubeir a précisé que son pays avait demandé au personnel de la mission diplomatique iranienne et aux administrations qui lui sont rattachées en Arabie saoudite de quitter le territoire dans un délai de 48 heures.

    "L'Arabie saoudite est déterminée à ne pas laisser l'Iran affaiblir sa écurité nationale", a affirmé le ministre saoudien. Des manifestants iraniens ont envahi l'ambassade d'Arabie saoudite à Téhéran dans la nuit de samedi à dimanche, après l'exécution dans le royaume wahhabite de 47 condamnés, dont un haut dignitaire

  16. Yemen govt declares curfew in Aden after 17 killed in fighting...

    Authorities in Yemen's southern city of Aden imposed a curfew on Monday after violence blamed on suspected jihadists killed at least 17 people, pro-government media and security sources said.

    The curfew will come into force at 8:00 pm (1700 GMT) and last until 5:00 am (0200 GMT), the website said, citing a decision taken by the Aden Security Commission.

    The decision comes after fierce battles on Sunday in the port of Aden that killed 17 people, among them nine members of the security forces including a colonel, the security sources said.

  17. Chine: les Bourses ferment pour la journée après une chute de 7%...

    Les cotations sur les Bourses chinoises de Shanghai et Shenzhen ont été arrêtées lundi pour la journée après une chute de 7% des cours consécutive à la publication de mauvais indicateurs sur l'économie chinoise.

    De son côté, la Bourse de Hong Kong a clôturé à l'horaire habituel, en recul de 2,68% pour le premier jour de cotation de l'année, dans le sillage des places boursières de Chine continentale et sur fond de tensions croissantes au

  18. China fears regional conflict as Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Iran...

    China said on Monday it was concerned about the prospect of an intensification of conflict in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with rival regional power Iran.

    Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran on Sunday, responding to the storming of its embassy in Tehran in an escalating row over Riyadh's execution of a Shi'ite Muslim cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken opponent of the ruling Al Saudi family.

    Tension between revolutionary, mainly Shi'ite Iran and Saudi Arabia's conservative Sunni monarchy has run high for years as they backed opposing forces in conflicts across the Middle East.

    "Like the international community, China is highly concerned about the developments and expresses concern that the relevant event may intensify conflict in the region," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular news briefing, referring to the escalation in tension.

    The safety and dignity of diplomatic personnel should be guaranteed, Hua said.

    "We hope the relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint, properly resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability," she

  19. Germany on Monday said it saw the passport-free Schengen zone "in danger" after Sweden and Denmark announced new controls at their borders to stem a migrant influx...

    "Freedom of movement is an important principle -- one of the biggest achievements (in the European Union) in recent years," foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters.

    "Schengen is very important but it is in danger," he added, when asked about Denmark's announcement of checks at the German border, on the same day Sweden introduced controls on its frontier with Denmark.

    Hours earlier, Denmark announced the immediate introduction of controls at the German border on the same day Sweden introduced controls on its frontier with Denmark to stem a migrant influx.

    "When other Nordic countries seal their borders it can have major consequences for Denmark," Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said, referring to the Swedish measure.

    "It can lead to more asylum seekers," he told reporters in

  20. Israël détruit les maisons de deux Palestiniens auteurs d'attaques ...

    Israël a détruit lundi les habitations de deux Palestiniens de Jérusalem-Est occupée accusés d'avoir tué quatre Israéliens le 13 octobre, dans des attaques parmi les plus meurtrières de la récente vague de violences, ont constaté des journalistes de l'AFP.

    Les forces de sécurité israéliennes ont rempli de béton le logement d'Alaa Abou Jamal et détruit au marteau piqueur celui de Bahaa Aliane dans le quartier de Jabal Moukaber, à Jérusalem-Est, la partie palestinienne de la ville sainte qu'Israël occupe depuis 1967 et a annexée unilatéralement.

    Le 13 octobre, Bahaa Aliane, âgé d'une vingtaine d'années, et un autre Palestinien du même âge, avaient semé la terreur en poignardant et en tirant sur les passagers d'un bus circulant dans une colonie juive de Jérusalem-Est, implantée à côté de leur quartier de Jabal Moukaber. L'attaque avait tué trois juifs et fait plusieurs blessés. Bahaa Aliane avait été abattu, son complice arrêté.

    Des destructions illégales, selon l'ONU

    Face à la vague de violences qui a éclaté début octobre entre Israéliens et Palestiniens, le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a décidé d'accélérer les démolitions des maisons d'auteurs d'attentat.

    Cette mesure controversée est critiquée par des défenseurs des droits de l'Homme qui la dénoncent comme relevant du châtiment collectif affectant les familles. Selon l'ONU, ces destructions sont illégales au regard du droit international.

  21. Le Hezbollah libanais a attaqué lundi une patrouille de l'armée israélienne à la frontière entre les deux pays, provoquant des bombardements de représailles israéliens sur deux villages limitrophes, selon des sources de sécurité libanaises...

    A Jérusalem, l'armée israélienne a confirmé qu'un engin explosif artisanal avait explosé près "de véhicules militaires" à proximité de la frontière et selon les premières informations l'attaque n'a pas fait de victime.

    "L'armée a riposté avec des tirs d'artillerie ciblés", a indiqué le porte-parole de l'armée Peter Lerner sur Twitter.

    Dans un communiqué, le Hezbollah a dit que ses combattants avaient détoné un engin explosif contre une patrouille israélienne dans les fermes de Chebaa, "endommageant un véhicule blindé et blessant ses occupants".

    L'attaque a été menée en réponse selon le communiqué, à l'assassinat en décembre de Samir Kantar, une figure du mouvement chiite libanais tuée près de Damas par un raid imputé à Israël.

    Le chef du Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah avait promis de répondre à cet assassinat "à l'endroit et au moment que le Hezbollah le jugera appropriés".

  22. Egypt agreed with Saudi Arabia to borrow $1.5 billion to develop the Sinai Peninsula, $1.2 billion to finance oil purchases over coming three months, Egyptian International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said on Monday...

    Another $1.5 billion in loans for Egypt’s Sinai development over five years were announced in December to be negotiated with the Kuwait Fund for Development, the Abu Dhabi Fund, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development and the Islamic Development Fund.

    Negotiations with the oil-rich kingdom are ongoing to agree on financing Egypt’s oil purchases within the coming five years, Nasr told Ahram Online via text message from the Saudi capital Ryiadh, where she arrived to chair the third meeting of the Saudi-Egyptian Business Council...........

  23. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged his Pakistani counterpart Tuesday to take "firm and immediate action" against those behind an attack on an Indian air force base that left seven soldiers dead...

    Modi's office said New Delhi had given Islamabad "specific and actionable information" on the audacious attack, which came just days after a landmark visit to Pakistan by the Indian premier raised hopes of improved relations.

    Security officials suspect the gunmen -- five of whom were killed -- belonged to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group that staged a 2001 attack on the Indian parliament which brought the two countries to the brink of war.

    In a statement, Modi's office said Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had telephoned him to discuss the attack on the Pathankot base in the northern state of Punjab near the border with Pakistan.

    Modi "strongly emphasized the need for Pakistan to take firm and immediate action against the organisations and individuals responsible for and linked to the Pathankot terrorist attack," said the statement.

    "Specific and actionable information in this regard has been provided to Pakistan."

    It said Sharif had given assurances that his government would take "prompt and decisive action"

  24. Syria conflict: Thousands of refugees stranded at Jordan border...

    Jordan has acknowledged that thousands of Syrian refugees are stranded in a remote desert area on its northern border with Syria awaiting entry.

    Government spokesman Mohammed Momani told the Associated Press "the number is 12,000, but it is increasing".

    Last month, he said a similar estimate by the UN was "greatly exaggerated".

    Mr Momani said about 50 to 100 refugees were being allowed into Jordan each day, with priority given to women, children, and elderly and sick people.

    Mass entry was unlikely because of security concerns, he added...........

  25. UN to hold emergency talks following N.Korea's claim of hydrogen bomb test...

    The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday in New York after North Korea claimed it had carried out a "successful" hydrogen bomb test, diplomats said.

    The closed-door morning talks between the 15 member nations were called by the United Nations and Japan.

    "While we cannot confirm at this time that a test was carried out, we condemn any violation of UNSC Resolutions and again call on North Korea to abide by its international obligations and commitments," US mission spokeswoman Hagar Chemali said.

    If the test was indeed a hydrogen bomb, it would mark a significant increase in capabilities from the North, which previously tested far less fission blasts generated by uranium or plutonium and would massively raise the stakes around its banned nuclear program and likely trigger tougher international sanctions

    A hydrogen, or thermonuclear device, uses fusion in a chain

  26. Turquie: trois activistes mortes faute de soin, accuse le parti prokurde...

    Trois militantes de la cause kurde blessées lors des combats qui opposent les forces de sécurité turques à des partisans de la rébellion dans le sud-est de la Turquie sont mortes faute de soins, a accusé mercredi le principal parti prokurde.

    Selon une députée du Parti démocratique des peuples (HDP), ces trois civiles et un quatrième homme ont été grièvement atteints par des tirs lundi soir dans la ville sous couvre-feu de Silopi mais n'ont pas pu être évacués pour être hospitalisés, faute d'un feu vert des autorités.

    "Ces trois femmes et l'homme ont été blessés lundi en soirée. Elles ont appelé pour dire 'on est blessé, on perd du sang, il faut nous évacuer' mais n'ont eu aucune réponse", a affirmé à l'AFP Leyla Birlik.

    "Le HDP a demandé aux autorités de les évacuer mais n'a eu aucune réponse", a ajouté l'élue de la province de

  27. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS oil facilities have cut the militant group's oil revenues by about 30 percent since October, a coalition spokesman said on Wednesday...

    In October, the U.S. military launched an intensified effort to go after oil infrastructure controlled by ISIS, dubbed "Tidal Wave II."

    That effort has consisted so far of 65 airstrikes, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the U.S.-led campaign, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, said in a news briefing.

    "We assess this operation has reduced their revenue by about 30 percent," Warren said. ISIS was producing 45,000 barrels of oil per day prior to the campaign, compared to about 34,000 bpd now, Warren said.

  28. Saudi-backed troops enter Yemeni port, opening new front - residents...

    Dozens of air strikes hit the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Thursday, in what residents described as the heaviest aerial attacks there in nine months of war, days after a Saudi-led coalition trying to restore a Saudi-backed government ended a fragile ceasefire.

    The strikes pounded the presidential palace and a mountain military base to the south of the city, causing children and teachers in several schools to flee for their lives.

    "My classmate and I were at recess when a huge explosion hit the neighborhood. We ran to the side and she fell to the ground in fear," said Maha, a tenth grader in a Sanaa school. "Everybody was screaming and the administration got us together and called our parents to take us out - all the students were in a panic." There were no immediate reports of

  29. Iran on Thursday accused Saudi Arabia warplanes of attacking its embassy in the Yemen's capital Sanaa...

    "Saudi Arabia is responsible for the damage to the embassy building and the injury to some of its staff," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari was quoted as saying by state television news channel IRIB.

    The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said it will investigate Iran's accusation. Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, a spokesman for the coalition, said coalition jets carried out heavy strikes in Sanaa on Wednesday night,when Iran said its embassy was bombed, to target missile launchers used by the Houthi militia to fire at Saudi Arabia, adding that the group has used civilian facilities including abandoned embassies.

    He said the coalition had requested all countries to supply it with coordinates of the location of their diplomatic missions and that accusations made on the basis of information provided by the Houthis "have no credibility."

  30. Cologne sex attackers risk deportation - Merkel...

    Germany must contemplate deporting foreigners convicted of crimes following the Cologne sex attacks, Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

    She said "clear signals" had to be sent to those not prepared to abide by German law.

    Gangs of men described as of North African and Arab appearance were reported to be behind the attacks.

    Police also received reports of sexual attacks in cities in Finland, Austria and Switzerland on New Year's Eve.

    Meanwhile, four young Syrians are being held over the suspected gang rape of two teenage girls in the southern German town of Weil am Rhein on the same night, according to German media....BBC

  31. Les liaisons dangereuses Erdogan-Daech...

    Il faut mettre un terme au "soutien masqué" que le président turc Recep Erdogan apporte aux terroristes de Daech, appelle la vice-présidente du parti de gauche allemand.

    La menace de l'escalade du conflit en Syrie a atteint un niveau extrême. Quinze Etats y font actuellement la guerre: tantôt de concert, tantôt parallèlement les uns aux autres, et parfois même les uns contre les autres.

    En outre, il n'y a pas de stratégie commune quant au règlement de la crise, déclare la vice-présidente du parti de gauche allemand Sahra Wagenknecht dans une interview au journal allemand Der Spiegel......

  32. A Croatian court has indicted a former Serb paramilitary commander for committing war crimes during the country’s 1991-95 war...

    The indictment came on January 8, six months after Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan, lost a nine-year battle to block his extradition to Croatia from Australia.

    Vasiljkovic is accused of torturing and killing captive Croatian soldiers and police officers in the Serb rebel stronghold of Knin in 1991 and in Bruska in 1993, and of drawing up a plan to attack the police station in Glina and neighboring villages in July 1991.

    "During the attack, civilian buildings were damaged or destroyed, the population was forced to flee, property was looted and civilians were killed or wounded," prosecutors said.

    Vasiljkovic was arrested in 2006 in Australia, where he worked as a golf instructor.
    A Croatian court has indicted a former Serb paramilitary commander for committing war crimes during the country’s 1991-95 war.

    The indictment came on January 8, six months after Dragan Vasiljkovic, also known as Captain Dragan, lost a nine-year battle to block his extradition to Croatia from Australia.

    Vasiljkovic is accused of torturing and killing captive Croatian soldiers and police officers in the Serb rebel stronghold of Knin in 1991 and in Bruska in 1993, and of drawing up a plan to attack the police station in Glina and neighboring villages in July 1991.

    "During the attack, civilian buildings were damaged or destroyed, the population was forced to flee, property was looted and civilians were killed or wounded," prosecutors said.

    Vasiljkovic was arrested in 2006 in Australia, where he worked as a golf instructor.

  33. The United Nations has received "troubling reports" that cluster bombs have been used on civilian areas in the capital of Yemen this week and warned that the use of such indiscriminate weapons could be a war crime, a U.N. spokesman said on Friday...

    "The Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) is particularly concerned about reports of intense airstrikes in residential areas and on civilian buildings in Sanaa, including the Chamber of Commerce, a wedding hall and a centre for the blind," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

    "He also has received troubling reports of the use of cluster munitions in attacks on Sanaa on (Wednesday) in several locations," Dujarric added. "The use of cluster munitions in populated areas may amount to a war crime due to their indiscriminate nature."

    Human rights groups have accused the Saudi-led coalition of using cluster munitions in Yemen. While Dujarric did not identify precisely who might have deployed the cluster bombs, he noted that it is the Saudi-led coalition that has been using warplanes in the conflict...........

  34. Three gunmen opened fire inside a hotel in the Egyptian resort town of Hurghada Friday, injuring two tourists, Egyptian media reported. One tourist was German and the second Danish...

    All three of the gunmen were killed. Two of the attackers were found to be wearing suicide belts.

    The attack occurred at Bella Vista Hotel in the downtown area of the Red Sea resort town. Security officials said that the gunmen arrived by sea, according to Reuters.

    Friday's attack comes a day after gunmen targeted a tour bus in the Egyptian capital of Cairo which was carrying Israeli tourists. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the

  35. A US Hellfire missile has turned up in Cuba after going missing in a fiasco that has left American officials worried the technology may be shared with China, Russia or North Korea, according to media report...

    Though the missile was not carrying a warhead, the alarming diversion while it was in transit from Europe has spurred US investigators to probe whether its arrival on the communist island was the result of criminal activity or merely a series of mistakes, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    And despite a historic thaw in ties with Cuba over the past year, Washington has been unsuccessful in its push to get the missile back, the WSJ said, citing unnamed sources...........

  36. Eine Woche nach den massenhaften sexuellen Übergriffen auf Frauen in der Silvesternacht in Köln will Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel nach Informationen der Zeitschrift "Stern" die Abschieberegeln für kriminelle Asylbewerber jetzt verschärfen...

    Bislang hatte Merkel nur gefordert, die geltende Rechtslage allgemein zu überprüfen. Jetzt geht sie die Situation konkreter an und schließt sich entsprechenden Forderungen zu strengerer Abschiebung — vor allem aus Kreisen der CDU — an.

    "Einige Straftäter von Köln haben ihr Gastrecht verwirkt", sagte Merkel am Freitagabend bei einer Parteiveranstaltung in Mainz.

    Möglicherweise müsse die jetzige Gesetzlage angepasst werden, fügte Merkel hinzu. Bislang erfolgte eine Ausweisung erst bei einer Freiheitsstrafe von drei Jahren zwingend..........

  37. Iraq's joint operations command denied on Saturday that Turkish forces based in northern Iraq had been attacked by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or had clashed with the militants, refuting a statement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan...

    "The joint operations command denies there was a terrorist attack on the position of Turkish forces in Bashiqa by the terrorist Daesh (ISIL) recently," said a news flash on state television, referring to a military base near Mosul.

    "The joint operations command denies what was relayed in some media outlets from the Turkish president about clashing between the Turkish forces inside Iraqi territory and the terrorist Daesh whether in Bashiqa or any other areas," another flash said.

    Erdoğan said on Friday that an attack by ISIL on the military base where Turkish troops are training an Iraqi Sunni militia showed Turkey's decision to deploy troops there was justified.

  38. Kosovo : nouvelle manifestation violente contre un accord avec la Serbie...

    (Belga) L'opposition kosovare a rassemblé samedi à Pristina des milliers de manifestants qui ont lancé des cocktails Molotov sur le siège du gouvernement, exigeant l'abandon d'un accord conclu avec la Serbie sous la houlette de l'UE, selon un journaliste de l'AFP.

    Pendant que des responsables de l'opposition faisaient des discours à proximité du siège du gouvernement, certains manifestants ont jeté plusieurs cocktails Molotov et des pierres par-dessus un cordon des membres des forces spéciales de police déployés en grand nombre autour du bâtiment. Plusieurs vitres ont été brisées et un incendie s'est déclaré à l'entrée de l'immeuble, avant d'être rapidement maîtrisé. La police a utilisé du gaz lacrymogène et réussi à repousser les manifestants vers plusieurs

    1. Proteste im Kosovo: "Die Regierung wird heute fallen" ...

      Tausende Kosovo-Albaner warfen bei Protesten in der Hauptstadt Pristina Steine und Molotowcocktails auf das Regierungsgebäude. Die Polizei reagierte mit dem Einsatz von Tränengas. Die Demonstranten fordern einen sofortigen Rücktritt der Regierung.

      In der kosovarischen Hauptstadt Pristina haben Tausende gegen die dortige Regierung demonstriert und deren Rücktritt gefordert. Die Protestierenden warfen Steine und Molotowcocktails auf das Regierungsgebäude. Die Polizei reagierte mit dem Einsatz von Tränengas.

      Der Protest wurde von allen Oppositionsparteien und von regierungskritischen Gruppen wie dem Bauernverband organisiert. "Die Regierung wird heute fallen", kündigten Redner an.

      Die Menschen verlangen einen Rücktritt der Regierung, weil diese der serbischen Minderheit eine weitgehende Autonomie eingeräumt hatte. Damit werde das seit sechs Jahren unabhängige kleine Balkanland zweigeteilt, kritisieren die Demonstranten. "Für ein souveränes Land" lautete daher das Motto der Demonstration.........

  39. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi repeated on Saturday his call for Turkey to withdraw its troops deployed in the region of Mosul, the largest city in northern Iraq which has been under the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) control since 2014...

    "This is a frank invitation to Turkey our neighbor to pull out its forces from Iraq," he said, while speaking at a ceremony in Baghdad broadcast live on state TV. "We will deploy every effort permitted by our rights and international law to make them leave."

    Turkey deployed around 150 troops last month at the Bashiqa base, where it is training an Iraqi militia to fight ISIL, citing heightened security risks.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said Turkish troops repelled an ISIL attack on the base, killing 18 militants, adding that this incident vindicated the presence of the protection force.

    The Iraqi army, however, later denied that any clash happened recently between Turkish forces and the

  40. Yemen crisis: MSF-backed hospital hit by missile...

    At least four people were killed when a missile hit a hospital supported by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in northern Yemen, the aid agency says.

    MSF said the strike in Saada province, a Houthi rebel movement stronghold, had injured a further 10 people.

    The Houthis are fighting the government and its allies, including Saudi Arabia.

    MSF said it was unclear whether the hospital was hit in an air strike by warplanes of a Saudi-led coalition, or by a rocket fired from the ground.

    But it added that planes were seen overhead at the time one projectile flattened hospital buildings, and at least one other landed nearby.

    The agency said three of those injured in the strike were its staff, two of whom were in a critical condition....

  41. Afghan Forces Recapture Northern District From Taliban ...

    Afghan forces have recaptured a northern district bordering Tajikistan from the Taliban, two months after it was seized by the militants.

    A statement from the Interior Ministry on January 10 said Afghan army, police, and special forces units launched a major offensive on January 8 to recapture the Darqad district in the northern province of Takhar.

    Afghan forces defeated the Taliban after two days of intense fighting that left many militants dead or wounded, the statement said.

    "The district has been entirely captured by the Afghan forces, the enemy, suffering heavy casualties, have been defeated," it said......

  42. Der polnische Außenminister Witold Waszczykowski hat den deutschen Botschafter in Warschau, Rolf Nikel, zu einem Gerspräch für Montag einbestellt...

    Der Grund seien "antipolnische Äußerungen deutscher Politiker", sagte Ministeriumssprecher Artur Dmochowski laut deutschen Medien.

    In Polen hatten am Samstag Zehntausende Menschen gegen das neue umstrittene Mediengesetz und die Entlassungen von Journalisten protestiert. Mehrere deutsche Politiker äußerten in den vergangenen Tagen Zweifel an der Rechtsstaatlichkeit mehrerer Gesetze der nationalkonservativen Regierung in Warschau.

    Der Vorsitzende der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion, Volker Kauder, plädierte für Sanktionen gegen Polen, sollte das Land weiter rechtsstaatliche Grundsätze missachten. Der polnische Verteidigungsminister Antoni Macierewicz warf Deutschland und anderen westlichen Staaten vor, sich in die Souveränität Polens einzumischen. In der kommenden Woche will die EU-Kommission über die Lage in Polen beraten.

  43. The Pakistani Army chief has asserted that any threat to Saudi Arabia's territorial integrity will evoke a strong response from Islamabad...

    General Raheel Sharif made the remarks to Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, who was in Islamabad on January 10 for a one-day official diplomatic visit.

    "Any threat to Saudi Arabia's territorial integrity would evoke a strong response from Pakistan," said Sharif.........

  44. Spain's Princess Cristina and her husband went on trial Monday under intense global media scrutiny in a landmark corruption case that has outraged the country and sullied the monarchy's reputation...

    Cristina, a 50-year-old mother-of-four with a master's degree from New York University, is the first Spanish royal to face criminal charges in court since the monarchy was reinstated following the 1975 death of dictator General Francisco Franco.

    The trial of the princess and the 17 other accused, including her husband, former Olympic handball medallist Inaki Urdangarin got underway at 9:20 am (0815 GMT) at a makeshift courtroom in Palma on the palm-lined Mediterranean island of Mallorca, where the Spanish royals have a holiday home.

    The royal couple arrived together an hour ahead of the start of legal proceedings, walking briskly into the building as photographers snapped pictures......

  45. Syria and Russia must stop military operations against civilians and in particular put an end to the "ordeal" taking place in the besieged city of Madaya just two weeks before Syrian peace talks are scheduled, France's foreign minister said on Monday...

    "We discussed the absolute necessity that Syria and Russia end their military operations against civilians and in particular the ordeal in Madaya and other cities besieged by the regime," Laurent Fabius told reporters after meeting Syrian opposition coordinator Riad Hijab.

    Fabius reiterated that President Bashar al-Assad could not remain in power and said Paris would consult the U.N. Security Council to pressure Syria to end indiscriminate attacks.

    He is due to meet the U.N.'s special envoy to Syria later on Monday.

  46. Mindestens sieben Menschen sind bei der Geiselnahme in einem Handelszentrum der irakischen Hauptstadt Bagdad ums Leben gekommen...

    Nach polizeilichen Angaben wurde das Handelszentrum von einer Gruppe Bewaffneter überfallen, wie die Agentur AFP am Montag meldete.

    Wieviel Menschen in Gewalt der Geiselnehmer sind, ist noch nicht bekannt......

    1. Bombings killed 20 people and wounded dozens at a cafe in the Iraqi town of Muqdadiyah northeast of Baghdad on Monday, officers said...

      A bomb exploded at the cafe and a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-rigged vehicle after people gathered at the scene, a police captain and an army colonel said.

    2. Die irakischen Sicherheitskräfte haben am Montag die in einem Handelszentrum der Hauptstadt Bagdad genommenen Geiseln befreit...

      „Die Situation ist unter Kontrolle“, wie ein Polizeisprecher nach Angaben westlicher Medien mitteilte.

      Es habe zwölf Tote gegeben.

      Zuvor hatten Medien berichtet, dass die Angreifer eine Autobombe vor dem Eingang zum Handelszentrum gezündet hatten. Etwa 25 Menschen seien verletzt worden. In Gewalt der Geiselnehmer seien zwischen 50 und 75 Besucher des Zentrums gewesen.

      Die Lage im Irak bleibt angesichts der Aktivitäten der in Russland verbotenen Organisation Islamischer Staat (IS/Daesch) angespannt. Daesch-Extremisten verüben Überfälle und Anschläge, denen hauptsächlich friedliche Bürger zu Opfern fallen.

  47. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday convened an emergency security meeting of key ministers and officials after a suspected attack on Istanbul's tourist hub of Sultanahmet left 10 people dead...

    Those taking part in the meeting include the powerful Interior Minister Efkan Ala and spy chief Hakan Fidan, the Anatolia news agency said.

  48. Der Präsident der Türkei Recep Tayyip Erdogan hat die Explosion in der Altstadt Istanbuls als einen Terroranschlag bezeichnet. Dieser sei von einem Syrer begangen worden, wie Erdogan während einer Ansprache im türkischen Fernsehen sagte...

    „Auf das Schärfste verurteile ich diesen Terrorakt auf dem Sultanahmetplatz, der von einem Selbstmordattentäter syrischer Herkunft verübt wurde. Wir haben 10 Tote zu beklagen, darunter türkische und ausländische Bürger. 15 Menschen sind verletzt worden“, sagte er.

    Nach Medienangaben ereignete sich die schwere Detonation um 9.20 morgens in der Nähe einer Straßenbahnhaltestelle auf dem Sultanahmet-Platz, unweit der berühmten Blauen Moschee. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt befand sich dort eine Touristengruppe.......

  49. Oil prices have been volatile again, hit by continuing oversupply, the strong dollar and weak global demand...

    Some members of the Opec group of oil producers are calling for an emergency meeting to discuss reducing output.

    Opec president Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said an extraordinary meeting could be held in "early March".

    On Tuesday, Brent Crude fell as low as $30.44 per barrel before recovering to $31.26 per barrel - still a 1% fall.

    Meanwhile the US benchmark contract, West Texas Intermediate, was down 1.6% at $30.91 per barrel.

    Oil prices have already fallen 20% since the start of the year and are close to levels not seen since 2003...

  50. South Korea and the United States will stage annual joint war games as early as in March, with an eye to detecting and destroying the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear program in time of emergency, Yonhap news agency reported Tuesday.

    South Korea's defense ministry sent the so-called "4D operation" plan, which will be implemented during the U.S.-South Korea joint war games, to the parliamentary defense committee last Thursday, Yonhap said.

    The 4D, which stands for Detect, Disrupt, Destroy and Defense, refers to a joint military operation between forces of Seoul and Washington to destroy Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs in time of emergency.

    The combined forces are pushing to implement the 4D operation for the first time during the joint military exercises code-named Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, believed to kick off in early March.

    The Key Resolve command post exercise and the Foal Eagle field training exercise have been denounced by the DPRK as a rehearsal for northward invasion.........

  51. Explosion outside Indian consulate in Afghan city ...

    An explosion took place outside the Indian Consulate in the Afghan city of Jalalabad Wednesday, sources said, adding all Indians are safe.

  52. Essai nucléaire en Corée du Nord: Séoul exige des sanctions plus lourdes ...

    La présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-Hye a appelé mercredi la planète et en particulier Pékin à réagir avec davantage de fermeté au quatrième essai nucléaire nord-coréen, promettant de faire pression pour obtenir des sanctions sévères contre Pyongyang.

    L'essai nucléaire du 6 janvier, présenté par la Corée du Nord comme le test réussi d'une bombe à hydrogène, est une provocation et un "défi inacceptable" pour la sécurité et la paix globales, a déclaré Mme Park lors d'une conférence de presse annuelle. Il est temps de réagir durement contre ce régime qui poursuit son programme nucléaire envers et contre tout, a-t-elle martelé: "Les contre-mesures de la communauté internationale envers la Corée du Nord doivent être différentes de celles prises dans le passé".

    Séoul veut aussi discuter avec les Etats-Unis et ses alliés de "sanctions punitives"........

  53. Das russische Generalkonsulat in der türkischen Mittelmeerstadt Antalya hat die Festnahme von drei russischen Staatsbürgern bestätigt...

    Türkische Militärs sollen Medienberichten zufolge die Russen bei einem Anti-Terror-Einsatz nach dem jüngsten Selbstmordanschlag in Istanbul festgenommen haben.

    „Wir bestätigen die Festnahme von drei russischen Staatsbürgern. Die Gründe für ihre Festnahme werden geprüft“, sagte der russische Generalkonsul in Antalya, Alexander Tolstopjatenko.......

  54. Deadly Attack on Pakistan Polio Immunization Facility ...

    At least 14 people have been killed and 10 others wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a polio vaccination center in southwestern Pakistan Wednesday.

    The attack occurred in the city of Quetta, the capital of violence-plagued Bauchistan province, and authorities say most of the casualties were security personnel. Provincial authorities said vaccinators and security officers had gathered at the center before being dispatched throughout Quetta during an ongoing three-day immunization campaign when the bomber struck.

    Attempts to eradicate polio through immunization drives in Pakistan -- one of only three countries where polio remains endemic -- have been stymied by repeated attacks on health workers and security personnel. At least 80 people have been killed in such attacks since 2012..........

  55. The European Union launched an unprecedented probe on Wednesday into controversial legal changes introduced by Poland's new right-wing government to see if they violate EU democracy rules and merit punitive measures...

    The move comes amid growing concern over changes to Poland's constitutional court and increased control over state media introduced by the conservative, eurosceptic Law and Justice party (PiS), which swept to power in October.

    "Today we have decided that the Commission will carry out a preliminary assessment on this matter under the rule of law framework," European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans said after a special debate on the issue.....

  56. Au Danemark, les migrants financeront leur séjour avec leurs effets personnels...

    Le gouvernement du Danemark a élaboré une loi autorisant les migrants à financer leur accueil dans les centres d'hébergement gouvernementaux avec leurs effets de valeur.

    Le gouvernement du Danemark a élaboré une loi autorisant les migrants à financer leur accueil dans les centres d'hébergement gouvernementaux avec leurs effets de valeur. Le projet a été soutenu par quatre fractions parlementaires, ce que lui garantit la majorité des voix au Parlement, annonce le Telegraph.

    Les auteurs du document ont dressé la liste les objets ne pouvant pas être confisqués. Parmi eux figurent les alliances, les portraits de famille et les «insignes d'honneur». Mais les montres, les téléphones portables aussi que les ordinateurs seront acceptés au titre de paiement du séjour dans les centres pour réfugiés, précise l'édition.....

  57. Six die in suicide bomb and gun attacks in Jakarta...

    Authorities in Indonesia say at least six people have been killed in militant suicide bomb and gun attacks in the centre of the capital, Jakarta.

    Police said four people suspected of being behind the attacks are among the dead.

    Two attackers were killed in a shootout with police, while two others were suicide bombers, Deputy National Police Chief Budi Gunawan told reporters.

    One of the two civilians who died in the attacks was foreign, Mr Gunawan said.

    Jakarta police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal added that five police personnel, one foreign civilian and four Indonesian civilians were injured, he said.

    President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, has called the blast "an act of terror".

    "Our nation and our people should not be afraid, we will not be defeated by these acts of terror, I hope the public stay calm," he said on TV station Metro TV.

    "We all are grieving for the fallen victims of this incident, but we also condemn the act that has disturbed the security and peace and spread terror among our people.....

  58. Several killed in PKK attack on Turkish police station...

    At least five people were killed and 39 injured on Thursday in a car bomb attack by Kurdish rebels on a police station in Turkey’s troubled southeast, Turkish media reported.

    Kurdish rebels detonated a car bomb at the police station then attacked it with rocket launchers and long-range firearms.

    The attack targeted the police station in the town of Cinar, in the mostly-Kurdish Diyarbakir province, and police lodgings on the top floors of the building, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The force of the blast destroyed part of the station's wall and left the wives of police and several children wounded, Dogan said......

  59. Le ministre autrichien des Affaires étrangères Sebastian Kurz a critiqué la coopération trop étroite de l'UE avec la Turquie et a noté que l’Europe ne réussirait pas à éviter des victimes lors de la crise migratoire actuelle...

    L'Union européenne a décidé de transférer une partie de sa responsabilité des réfugiés à la Turquie, pour ne pas se salir les mains, et Ankara, a son tour, a reçu trop de pouvoir, a déclaré Sebastian Kurtz, ministre autrichien des Affaires étrangères.

    "Nous ne devons transmettre à la Turquie que les tâches pour lesquelles sa participation est absolument nécessaire, notamment, l'octroi de l'asile aux migrants. Mais lorsque l'UE délègue à Ankara ses prérogatives de sécurité des frontières communes, une dépendance impressionnante se crée, qui, je pense, est très dangereuse", a indiqué M. Kurz au journal allemand Die Welt............

  60. Turquie: des intellectuels arrêtés pour avoir signé une pétition pour la paix...

    La police turque a arrêté vendredi des intellectuels signataires d'une pétition réclamant la fin des opérations controversées de l'armée contre la rébellion kurde, qui a provoqué la fureur du président islamo-conservateur Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Sur ordre du procureur, 21 universitaires ont été interpellés à l'aube à leur domicile et placés en garde à vue à Kocaeli (nord-ouest) dans le cadre d'une enquête ouverte pour "propagande terroriste" et "insulte aux institutions et à la République turque", a rapporté l'agence de presse progouvernementale Anatolie, rapporte l`AFP.

    Près de 1.200 personnes ont signé lundi une "initiative des universitaires pour la paix" réclamant la fin de l'intervention des forces de sécurité turques contre les partisans du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) dans le sud-est à majorité kurde du pays..........

  61. Islamic State of Iraq and Syria extremists will likely increase the tempo of attacks around the world as they come under increased pressure in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a top U.S. general warned...

    General Lloyd Austin, who currently heads the military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) overseeing Middle East operations, made the argument that recent ISIS-claimed attacks like the ones this week in Istanbul and Jakarta are in fact evidence the group is faltering.

    “ISIL has assumed a defensive posture in Iraq and Syria,” Austin said at a news conference in Florida.

    “Going forward, we can expect to see him rely increasingly on acts of terrorism such as we saw this week in Baghdad and in Turkey, and most recently in Jakarta,” he added...AFP...

  62. Somalia's Al-Qaida-linked Shebab militants stormed an African Union base Friday, the Somali army said, with witnesses reporting several dead...

    "They launched an offensive on a military base at El-Adde and there was heavy fighting which caused casualties," Somali army colonel Idris Ahmed said, adding a Shebab suicide commando blasted a way into the base in the far southwestern Gedo region, which borders Kenya and Ethiopia.

    Both Somali troops and Kenyan soldiers with the AU force, AMISOM, are deployed at that base.

    "There was suicide attack followed by the fighting and it seems that the base was stormed," Ahmed said.

    Shebab spokesman Shebab spokesman Abdiaziz Abu Musab claimed to have killed 63 Kenyan troops in the pre-dawn attack, but this could not be immediately verified.......

  63. A key pipeline linking a refinery and an oil terminal in Yemen's second city of Aden has been severely damaged in a suspected jihadist attack, officials said Friday...

    Firefighters managed to contain a huge blaze that ripped through the pipeline overnight, an official at Aden's main oil refinery told AFP.

    The blast did not damage the refinery's storage tanks, located in western Aden, and there were no casualties, the official added.

    A security source said that an explosive device detonated by unknown assailants hit the line around 500 metres (yards) from the refinery and three kilometres from the oil terminal.

    A brief firefight broke out in the wake of the blast between refinery guards and gunmen, who fled the scene in two vehicles, according to witnesses.

    A security official said that either the Islamic State group or Yemen's Al-Qaeda branch could have been behind the attack.

    "We are at war with the jihadists and I don't rule out the possibility that the orchestrators of the attack could be supporters of Daesh (IS) or Al-Qaeda," the official

  64. Taïwan: la candidate de l'opposition en passe de remporter la présidentielle ...

    Les Taïwanais votaient samedi lors d'un scrutin qui devrait donner sa première femme présidente à l'île et voir Taipei tourner le dos à des années de rapprochement avec la Chine. Selon des premiers résultats, la candidate du PDP, Tsai Ing-wen,est en passe de remporter l'élection.

    Tsai Ing-wen, qui dirige la principale formation d'opposition, le Parti démocratique progressiste (PDP), était en tête avec 58,1% des voix, selon un comptage des voix diffusé en direct par la chaîne FTV. Eric Chu, le candidat du Kuomintang (KMT), est loin derrière avec 32,5% des suffrages.

    Déjà première des sondages

    Le Kuomintang (KMT), qui met en oeuvre depuis huit ans une politique inédite de réchauffement avec Pékin sous l'égide de Ma Jing-jeou, devrait céder la présidence à Tsai Ing-wen, une ancienne universitaire de 59 ans. Mme Tsai dirige la principale formation d'opposition, le Parti démocratique progressiste (PDP), beaucoup plus méfiant envers la Chine. Elle devrait bénéficier du malaise suscité par les relations bilatérales et de la frustration d'une partie des 18 millions d'électeurs face à la stagnation économique.......

  65. Burkina Faso hotel siege 'over' amid reports of new attack...

    A siege at a Burkina Faso hotel seized by suspected Islamist militants is over, the authorities say, amid reports of an attack on a second hotel.

    The assault on the Splendid Hotel in the West African state's capital, Ouagadougou, killed at least 23 people of 18 different nationalities.

    Four attackers were killed, two of them women, officials said.

    The Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) militant group has announced that it carried out the attack.

    Bukinabe President Roch Kabore arrived at the scene on Saturday morning amid right security.

    French President Francois Hollande condemned the "odious" attack on the capital of the former French colony. French troops helped their Burkinabe colleagues during the security operation.....BBC

  66. Islamic State kidnaps 400 civilians in Syrian city of Deir al-Zor: monitor...

    Islamic State militants kidnapped at least 400 civilians when they attacked government-held areas in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday, a monitoring group said.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday families of pro-government fighters were among those abducted.

    "There is genuine fear for their lives, there is a fear that the group might execute them as it has done before in other areas," said the Observatory's head Rami Abdulrahamn.

    Deir al-Zor is the main town in a province of the same name. The province links Islamic State's de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa with territory controlled by the militant group in neighboring Iraq.

    Syria's state news agency SANA said earlier that at least 300 people, including women and children, had been killed during the attacks in Deir al-Zor, but it made no mention of people getting

  67. Germany is planning measures to expedite the deportation of rejected asylum seekers from Algeria and Morocco including placing them in special expulsion centres, officials said Sunday...

    The proposals came after a sharp rise in new arrivals from the two countries and public outrage over a rash of attacks on women on New Year's Eve in the western city of Cologne blamed on North African and Arab migrants.

    Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bavarian state leader Horst Seehofer had agreed that Algerian and Moroccan asylum seekers should no longer be put in shelters throughout the country.

    Instead, they would be housed in existing expulsion facilities in Bavaria until their claims have been heard, similar to the practice currently used for applicants from Balkan countries who are unlikely to be granted asylum.

    Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel noted Sunday that this option could be applied more widely.....AFP

  68. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad confirms that "several" Americans are missing in Iraq after local media reported that three Americans had been kidnapped in the Iraqi capital...

    U.S. Embassy spokesman Scott Bolz said Sunday that "We are working in full cooperation with Iraqi authorities to locate the missing Americans."

    His comments came after the Arab news channel, al-Arabiya, citing its own sources, reported that three Americans had been kidnapped by militias in Baghdad.

    The incident comes after a week that has seen a deterioration of security in and around the Iraqi capital after months of relative calm.

    The Islamic State group claimed a number of attacks in Baghdad and Diyala province last week that killed more than 50 people, including a high profile attack on a mall in the Iraqi capital.

  69. Iran on Monday said new U.S. curbs on the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program were illegitimate, vowing to continue developing its conventional military deterrent...

    The United States imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals on Sunday for supplying Iran's ballistic missile program in a move delayed by over two weeks so as not to endanger this weekend's release of U.S. prisoners.

    The new measures also came after the lifting of far more comprehensive nuclear sanctions.

    "The Islamic Republic will respond to these aggravating and propagandistic measures by pursuing its legal missile program stronger than before and developing its defensive capabilities," a foreign ministry statement

  70. Deadly blast hits area near Turkish school on Syrian border...

    At least one person was killed Monday and three others wounded when two mortar shells landed near a school in the Turkish town of Kilis on the Syrian border, Turkish television reports said.

    NTV television quoted the mayor of Kilis, Hasan Kara, as saying all schools in the town had been evacuated and the shelling had most likely come from Syria.

  71. North Korea launched about 1 million leaflets by balloon into South Korea in an escalating propaganda battle after the North's nuclear test earlier this month, Seoul officials said Monday...

    North Korea claimed to test a hydrogen bomb on January 6, although many foreign governments and analysts remain skeptical about the claim.

    While avoiding direct military confrontation that could easily escalate into a hot war, both the North and South resumed psychological war games and tactical maneuvers to demonstrate military readiness and resolve.

    Days after the test, South Korea began blasting anti-Pyongyang broadcasts and K-pop songs at its loudspeaker sites along the heavily militarized border.....

  72. El presidente de la República francesa, François Hollande, ha hecho público un plan de emergencia nacional contra el desempleo, cuyos ejes son la formación, el aprendizaje y las subvenciones para las pequeñas y medianas empresas, informa el rotativo 'Le Figaro'...

    Según Hollande, el plan tendrá un costo de más de 2.200 millones de dólares.

    El plan prevé ampliar la oferta de formación a desempleados y la duración de los mismos. Hollande también ha prometido hacer que el sistema de calificación sea más claro y más coherente. Todas estas medidas tienen como objetivo favorecer al mayor número de desempleados el acceso al mercado de trabajo.

  73. Brent oil briefly falls below $28 after Iran sanctions lifted ...

    Up to half a million barrels per day of Iranian crude could be added to already saturated markets...

    The cost of futures for oil of mark Brent with delivery in March 2016 on the stock exchange ICE in London fell by 3.5% to $27,96 per barrel.

    Up to half a million barrels per day of Iranian crude could be added to already saturated markets after US and European leaders ended a crippling embargo put in place over Tehran's nuclear programme.

  74. Kabul Calls For 'All Taliban' To Join Peace Process ...

    Afghan Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani has called for all Taliban factions to join peace talks with the Afghan government or risk being sidelined from any future settlement.

    Speaking at the start of four-nation talks in Kabul aimed at drafting a road map for an eventual peace deal with the Taliban, Rabbani said Kabul wanted "all of the Taliban to join us at the table for peace talks."

    But he said that "any delay in coming to the table will put the Taliban in a corner."

    He said that if the Taliban refused to attend the talks, they would prove that their aim is not peace.....

  75. Turquie: 23 morts dans des combats dans le sud-est du pays ...

    Vingt-trois personnes ont été tuées dans une attaque et des combats opposant les services de sécurité turcs et les rebelles du Parti des Travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK), dans le sud-est de la Turquie. Les troupes turques affirment lundi avoir tué 19 rebelles dans les provinces de Sirnak et de Diyarbakir. L'agence de presse DHA annonce pour sa part la mort de trois policiers à Sirnak, après que leur véhicule a sauté sur une bombe. Quatre autres agents ont été blessés. Le parti d'opposition pro-kurde HDP fait savoir qu'un garçon de 10 ans est mort lors d'une attaque au mortier perpétrée par les services de sécurité à Cizre.

    Un couvre-feu prévaut dans les villes de Cizre et de Silopi, ainsi que dans le quartier Sur de la métropole kurde de Diyarbakir. Les services de sécurité y livrent combat contre les sympathisants de la branche jeunesse du PKK (YDG-H). Un journaliste de l'agence de presse allemande DPA évoque lundi des explosions dans le quartier Sur. Les habitants rapportent, eux, de violents combats durant la nuit.......

  76. Deadly coalition air strike buries Yemeni rebels...

    An air strike by the Arab coalition targeted a building used by police and rebel forces in Yemen's capital, killing at least 26 people and wounding 15 others, security officials have said.

    The officials, who are loyal to anti-government rebels known as the Houthis, said on Monday that about 30 others were believed still to be trapped under the debris of the badly damaged building in central Sanaa.

    Police vehicles parked in the facility's courtyard were destroyed and nearby homes suffered some damage, the Associated Press news agency reported officials as saying.

    The dead and wounded were policemen and Houthi rebels, officials said.

    Repeated calls for comment by Al Jazeera to Brigadier-General Ahmed Asseri, spokesman for the Arab coalition forces in Yemen, remained unanswered.

    Security forces sealed off the area as earth-moving equipment arrived to help with the search for bodies and survivors under the debris.

    The building was partially used as a gathering point for security forces and on occasion by the Houthis as an assembly point for forces headed for deployment elsewhere in Yemen......

  77. The U.S. ambassador to Israel says Washington is "concerned and perplexed" over Israel's strategy of building West Bank settlements...

    Daniel Shapiro says that Israel's stated support for the establishment of a Palestinian state becomes increasingly difficult with its expansion of settlements.

    Shapiro says building settlements raises questions about Israel's intentions. He says that as Israel's closest friend, it is the United States' role to point that out.

    He spoke Monday at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies, a top Israeli think tank.....

  78. Canada has been excluded from a counter-ISIS coalition meeting in Paris this week...

    The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, but a spokesperson for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan confirmed Canada is not invited.

    The Liberal government has promised to pull Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets from the coalition bombing mission against ISIS. While Ottawa has not given a timeline, Canada’s fighter-jet commitment ends in April..............

  79. Yemeni hospitals seen as targets, people ‘avoid them as much as possible’ – MSF ...

    The constant bombing of health facilities in Yemen has created conditions in which the locals fear for their lives and try to avoids hospitals at all costs, MSF said, noting that over 100 facilities have witnessed attacks ever since the Saudi-led intervention.

    A week after a missile hit the Shiara hospital in Yemen, killing six and injuring seven people, Yemenis are trying to visiting medical facilities only in acute cases of emergency, as being present inside any medical facility is seen by the locals as an imminent threat to their lives.

    “People still consider hospitals a target and try to avoid them as much as possible. The only cases that we are receiving are emergencies and mass casualties following attacks,” Juan Prieto, general coordinator of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) projects in Yemen said.....

  80. 11 personnes auraient été tuées dans un attentat-suicide au nord-ouest du Pakistan...

    Un kamikaze se serait fait exploser près de la police. D’après les premières constatations, au moins onze personnes auraient été tuées et plus de 20, blessées.

    L’attentat a eu lieu dans les régions tribales où les forces de sécurité luttent contre les Talibans pakistanais et d’autres groupes terroristes situés à la frontière avec l’Afghanistan.

    Les autorités indiquent que les secouristes ont commencé l’évacuation. Tous les blessés ont été emmenés à l’hôpital de Peshawar.

  81. La guérilla des Farc et le gouvernement colombien ont demandé mardi aux Nations unies de superviser le processus de désarmement de la rébellion et le cessez-le feu lorsqu'ils auront signé un accord de paix, ont annoncé les négociateurs...

    "Nous avons décidé de demander au Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU la création" d'une mission "d'observateurs non armés pour une période de 12 mois" qui supervisera la fin du conflit aux côtés des parties, ont annoncé les représentants de la rébellion et du gouvernement, alors que des pourparlers se déroulent depuis novembre 2012 à La Havane. Cette "mission politique", selon un communiqué commun, devra également comprendre des représentants de la Communauté des États latino-américains et des Caraïbes (Celac). Dimanche, des représentants du gouvernement colombien et de la guérilla des Forces armées révolutionnaires de Colombie (Farc, marxistes) s'étaient engagés à mettre fin dans les "plus brefs délais" à plus d'un demi-siècle de conflit armé, lors d'une réunion avec le président cubain Raul Castro, hôte et garant des pourparlers colombiens depuis leur début. Mardi, les négociateurs de La Havane ont rappelé leur souhait de parvenir "à un accord de paix final (...) et à la construction d'une paix stable et durable, avec un accord de cessez-le-feu et de fin des hostilités bilatéral et définitif, et d'abandon des armes". (Belga)

  82. China on Tuesday said plans by the Philippines to build on Zhongye Dao Island in the South China Sea were illegal...

    "China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, including Zhongye Dao Island," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei at a regular press briefing in response to a question about the Philippines' intention to install a civil aviation satellite tracking system on the island.

    The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on Monday announced that it planned to build the tracking system and seven civil aviation radar stations. The tracking system will be used to monitor civil and commercial flights in the region, according to an official.

    "Any action by the Philippines on Chinese territory is illegal," Hong said.

    Philippine officials on Monday said that they had received two intimidating radio warnings from the Chinese Navy when they flew a civil plane to Zhongye Dao Island on Jan. 7.

    According to the report, China also expelled other civil and military planes that flew over the region. Philippine officials claim they felt "threatened" about freedom of flights in the region.............

  83. Au moins trois attaquants ont pénétré les locaux de l’université Bacha Khan à nord-ouest de Pakistan, en blessant plusieurs personnes...

    D’après le police locale cité par la chaîne de télévision Geo TV, des tirs sont toujours entendus depuis les bâtiments de l’université. Une forte présence policière a été annoncée par les médias, qui ont également fait état de deux explosions à l’intérieur du campus.

    Aucun de quelque 3 000 étudiants de Bacha Khan n’a été blessé, a annoncé le vice-président de l’université Fazal Raheem Marwat aux journalistes. Cependant, certains médias font état d’un mort et au moins six blessés.

    Selon un professeur de l’anglais Shabir Khan cité par Reuters, la plupart des étudiants et des enseignants se trouvaient dans des salles au moment de l’attaque.

    «Je n’ai aucune idée de ce qui se passe mais j’ai entendu un responsable de sécurité qui a indiqué par téléphone à son interlocuteur que plusieurs personnes ont été tuées et blessées», a raconté Shabir Khan...........

    1. A group of militants stormed a university in northwestern Pakistan and killed at least 21 people, officials said, adding that security forces had ended the operation against the gunmen...

      "The death toll in the terrorist attack has risen to 21," regional police chief Saeed Wazir told AFP without specifying if that included the four militants the army stated it had killed.

      He said the operation had ended and security forces were clearing the area, with most of the student victims shot dead at a hostel for boys on the Bacha Khan University campus in Charsadda.

      A spokesman for the army said on twitter that four of the gunmen had been killed by security forces and the army had contained the militants to two blocks inside the university.

      Police said earlier that other attackers were believed to be at large on the second and third floors of the campus buildings.....

  84. US troops have taken control of Rmeilan airfield in Syria's northern province of Hasakah to support Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told Al Jazeera...

    The airfield near the city of Rmeilan, which will become the first US-controlled airbase in Syria, was previously controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

    The airfield is close to Syria's borders with Iraq and Turkey.,,,

  85. A suicide bomber has launched an attack in the diplomatic area of the Afghan capital Kabul, officials say, killing at least four people...

    Officials say about 20 others have been wounded in the attack.

    The explosion sent black smoke billowing into the sky, with emergency services rushing to the scene.

    No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but the Taliban will be the main suspects as they have launched numerous attacks in the city.

    Since the beginning of 2016, Kabul has been hit by at least at least six bomb attacks - in the most recent on Sunday a rocket landed near the Italian embassy, wounding two security guards. The Indian and Pakistani missions have also recently been targeted.....BBC

  86. A Chisinau, la capitale moldave, les manifestants se sont introduits dans le bâtiment parlementaire après l’approbation par les députés de la nomination d’un politicien pro-UE au poste de Premier ministre...

    Plusieurs des manifestants ayant pénétré dans le bâtiment ont été arrêtés par la police, selon des rapports des médias

  87. After a reconciliation agreement was concluded in the towns of Hajar al-Aswad and al-Qadam in Damascus, dozens of families returned to the areas restored by the government as ISIL terrorists left them...

    Al-Manar correspondent Jaafar Mhanna reported that the governmental institutions started providing the basic needs to the civilians who expressed their gladness and hope that their entire country will overcome the ongoing

  88. US wasted millions on Afghan reconstruction, says watchdog...

    A US government watchdog has accused a Pentagon agency of wasting millions on "ill-conceived" reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

    The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations spent some $800m (£563m) on development projects over a five-year period.

    But poor planning and waste marred the scheme, Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko said.

    The Pentagon has disputed several of his findings.

    Among those highlighted by Mr Sopko, who appeared before senators from a special committee on military management, was a project to help the local cashmere industry.

    The $6m ($4.2m) initiative saw a small herd of rare blond Italian goats imported - but Mr Sopko said oversight was so ineffective he could not be sure that the goats were not eaten.

    A contractor said the scheme had created up to 350 jobs......

  89. Amnesty: Turkish army operations ‘beginning to resemble collective punishment’...

    The Turkish military operations backed by curfews in the country’s southeast have begun to resemble “collective punishment,” Amnesty International said on Jan. 20, also accusing the international community of poor criticism against Turkey.

    Turkey has imposed successive curfews over the last months in towns in the southeast to back military operations aiming to crush the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    Curfews remain in place in Cizre in the province of Şırnak and the Sur district of Diyarbakır, which were imposed on Dec. 14 and Dec. 2 respectively. A curfew in place since Dec. 14 in Silopi, also in Şırnak, was partially lifted on Jan. 19.

    The army says hundreds of militants have been killed in an "anti-terror"

  90. Flüchtlingskonferenz: Der „Geruch des Todes“ in der Ägäis...

    An der einen Seite sind zum Teil brandneue Cityjet-Garnituren aufgefädelt, an der anderen ist der Artikel eins der Genfer Flüchtlingskonvention affichiert. In der ÖBB-Montagehalle in Wien-Spittelau ertönt ein Gong, der zur Eile drängt. „Now“ prangt als Logo an der grauen Wand, zusammengesetzt aus grell-bunten Schwimmwesten – Relikten, die Flüchtlinge an den Küsten der Ägäis zurückließen.

    Die zugige, von Gleisen durchzogene Halle verströmt gleichsam die Aura des Exils, und um die Lage der Flüchtlinge, um virulente Fragen, Antworten und Lösungsansätze sollte sich bei der internationalen Konferenz auch alles drehen, die nicht ganz zufällig am 105. Geburtstag Bruno Kreiskys über die Bühne ging. Denn das Bruno-Kreisky-Forum firmiert als Mitorganisator, zusammen mit André Heller, Patricia Kahane und dem Traiskirchner Bürgermeister Andreas Babler. Sie war von langer Hand geplant, seit einem Lesbos-Urlaub von Freunden im August, die zu Nothelfern mutiert seien, wie Heller erzählt. Vom Timing setzte die Konferenz nun einen ganz bewussten Kontrapunkt zur Asylkonferenz und der Kehrtwende der großen Koalition in Wien in der Flüchtlingsfrage......

  91. North Korea says it has arrested a US student accused of committing a "hostile act" against the state...

    State news agency KCNA identified him as University of Virginia student Otto Frederick Warmbier.

    He had entered North Korea as a tourist with the intention "to destroy the country's unity", said KCNA, which added that the US government had "tolerated and manipulated" him.

    It did not give further details, but said he was now under investigation.

    An official at the US embassy in the South Korean capital, Seoul, told Reuters it was aware of the arrest.

    China-based tour agency Young Pioneer Tours released a statement confirming that Mr Warmbier had been detained while on one of their tours in Pyongyang, and said his family had been informed.....

  92. Kurdish independence closer than ever, says Massoud Barzani ...

    The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish north has called on global leaders to acknowledge that the Sykes-Picot pact that led to the boundaries of the modern Middle East has failed, and urged them to broker a new deal paving the way for a Kurdish state.

    Massoud Barzani, who has led the troubled country’s Kurds for the past decade, said the international community had started to accept that Iraq and Syria in particular would never again be unified and that “compulsory co-existence” in the region had been proven wrong.

    “I think that within themselves, [world leaders] have come to this conclusion that the era of Sykes-Picot is over,” Barzani told the Guardian. “Whether they say it or not, accept it or not, the reality on the ground is that. But as you know, diplomats are conservatives and they give their assessment in the late stages of things. And sometimes they can’t even keep up with developments.”......

  93. At least 15 migrants including eight children drowned when their boats capsized off the Greek islands of Kalolimnos and Farmakonisi early on Friday, a coastguard official said, as the refugee flow towards Europe continues despite the winter cold...

    A search and rescue operation was ongoing off Kalolimnos, a small island in the southeastern Aegean Sea close to Turkey's coast, assisted by a helicopter and other vessels, the official said.

    "Eight bodies have been recovered and 26 have been rescued and taken to the island," the official said. "They were on a wooden sailboat. We do not yet have a clear picture of how many were on board."

    It was not clear why the vessel capsized, the official said.

    In the sinking at Farmakonisi, a small island close to the Turkish coast, seven migrants drowned when their wooden boat crashed on rocks shortly after midnight.

    "Six children and one woman drowned while another 41 migrants on the vessel managed to swim to the shore," the coastguard official

  94. The United States has approved the sale of almost $2 billion worth of bombs and missiles to equip Iraq's squadron of F-16 attack jets in their battle against jihadist rebels...

    The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said 400 American government staff and contractors would work in Iraq until at least 2020 to maintain the arsenal and train Iraqi pilots and ground crew.

    "This proposed sale enables Iraq to fully maintain and employ its aircraft and sustain pilot training to effectively protect Iraq from current and future threats," it said.

    The sale of the 36 jets had been previously announced, but the $1.95 billion arms package confirms that the Iraqis will have access to modern smart bombs and missiles....AFP

  95. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group claimed responsibility on Friday for a bomb attack that killed nine people in Cairo...

    In a statement on social media, it said its fighters carried out the operation that killed six policemen and three others during a raid on a booby-trapped home on Thursday near the site of Egypt’s pyramids.

    Militants have stepped up attacks on Egyptian soldiers and police since the army toppled president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Hundreds have died.

  96. US snowstorm: Millions in path of huge blizzard...

    A huge blizzard has begun to hit the US east coast and is expected to dump near-record levels of snow from Washington to New York.

    More than 50 million people have been warned a "potentially paralysing storm" will drop up to 30ins (76cm) of snow in hours.

    Southern states are already blanketed under 8ins and snow began falling in the nation's capital at lunchtime.

    Thousands of flights have been cancelled and people told to stay home.

    The weather system affects a huge swath of the country, from Arkansas in the south to Massachusetts in the north-east, with eight people killed so far.

    A rush for supplies led to long queues and empty shelves at supermarkets......

  97. Saudi Yemen Strikes Kill MSF Ambulance Driver, 4 Others...

    Air strikes by Saudi-led warplanes on northern Yemen have killed five people, including an ambulance driver working for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and wounded 35 others, the relief agency said Friday.

    The strikes hit three villages late Thursday in Yemen's northern Saada province, said MSF spokeswoman Malak Shaher.

    The ambulance driver, who worked for MSF and the Jamhouri public hospital in Saada, was hit on his way to one of the bombing sites, she told AFP, without elaborating....AFP

  98. Crise des migrants - La police turque saisit 2.500 gilets de sauvetage contrefaits destinés aux migrants...

    (Belga) La police turque a saisi vendredi plus de 2.500 gilets de sauvetage contrefaits destinés aux migrants qui tentent tous les jours la traversée périlleuse de la mer Egée pour rallier les îles grecques depuis les côtes turques, a rapporté la presse locale.

    Les forces de l'ordre ont réalisé cette saisie lors d'une série de perquisitions visant 120 magasins et entreprises dans huit villes de l'ouest et du sud de la Turquie, dont Istanbul, a rapporté l'agence de presse progouvernementale Anatolie. La totalité de ces gilets ont été immédiatement détruits, a ajouté l'agence. Au début du mois, la police turque avait déjà saisi plus de 1.200 de ces mêmes articles contrefaits dans un atelier de fabrication clandestin d'Izmir, où travaillaient illégalement des réfugiés

  99. The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) needs to take back the cities Mosul and Raqqa and will use "boots on the ground" as part of its strategy in doing so, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday...

    "We need to destroy them in those two places, and I'd like to get on with that as soon as possible," Carter, speaking from Davos, Switzerland, said in an interview on CNBC.

    He said the coalition is using raids and bombs to take control of the routes between the two cities and cut off communication between them.

    "That'll essentially separate the Iraqi theater from the Syrian theater," he said.

    Carter said more ground soldiers will probably be added to support those already there, but part of the strategy is also mobilizing local forces "rather than trying to substitute for them."

  100. Nuclear missile damaged by human error: U.S. Air Force ...

    Errors by three airmen troubleshooting a nuclear missile in its launch silo in 2014 triggered a "mishap" that damaged the missile, prompting the Air Force to strip the airmen of their nuclear certification and quietly launch an accident investigation, officials said Friday.

    In a statement released to The Associated Press, the Air Force declined to provide key additional details or a copy of the report produced last November by the Accident Investigation Board, saying the information was classified and too sensitive to be made public.

    Under the Air Force's own regulations, Accident Investigation Board reports are supposed to be made public. The Air Force did release a brief summary to the AP after it repeatedly sought answers for more than a year. The summary said the full report was classified on Nov. 9, 2015, by Gen. Robin Rand, who took over as commander of Air Force Global Strike Command in July 2015.

    The Air Force said the accident caused no injuries and posed no risk to public safety. It said top Pentagon officials were briefed on the results of the investigation in December, as were members of

  101. Etats-Unis: au moins huit morts à cause de la tempête de neige Jonas ...

    Au moins huit personnes ont perdu la vie à la suite du passage de la tempête Jonas sur l'est des Etats-Unis, annonce des médias américains. Des milliers de vols ont été annulés et les autorités demandent aux gens de rester chez eux.

    La Géorgie, le Tennessee, la Pennsylvanie, le Maryland, le Kentucky, la Caroline du Nord, le New Jersey, New York, la Virginie et la Virginie occidentale ont déclaré l'état d'urgence avant la tempête, qui pourrait causer des chutes de neige allant jusqu'à 60 cm à certains endroits. Dans la capitale Washington, où un état d'urgence en raison de la neige a été décrété, on s'attend à jusqu'à 30 cm de neige. Les transports publics y sont à l'arrêt pour tout le week-end et de nombreux événements ont été annulés.

    Dans les Etats du Tennessee, de Caroline du Nord et du Kentucky, plusieurs personnes ont déjà perdu la vie dans des accidents de la

  102. U.S. says prepared for military solution against Islamic State in Syria...

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday that the United States and Turkey were prepared for a military solution against Islamic State in Syria if a political settlement was not possible, amid uncertainty over scheduled peace talks.

    The latest round of Syria peace talks are planned to begin on Monday in Geneva but were at risk of being delayed partly because of a dispute over who will comprise the opposition delegation.

    "We do know it would better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared ..., if that's not possible, to have a military solution to this operation in taking out Daesh," Biden said at a news conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Daesh is the pejorative Arabic acronym for Islamic State insurgents who hold parts of Syria.

    A U.S. official clarified that Biden was talking about a military solution to Islamic State, not Syria as a

  103. Egypt's president, speaking ahead of next week's anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, vowed on Saturday to unleash a firm response to any unrest and to press ahead with the fight against the country's Islamic militants...

    Abdelfattah al-Sisi spoke at a ceremony marking Police Day, which falls on Jan. 25, the day the uprising began five years ago.

    He posthumously decorated nearly 40 policemen killed in militant attacks, including eight generals and three colonels. Most of the widows who received the medals were accompanied by their children, including infants. Sisi, his eyes frequently welling up, carried the infants, hugged and kissed older children and posed with them for photos. He allowed several family members, including a boy no older than 12, to briefly address the large gathering.

    Addressing the nation, Sisi said of those killed in terror attacks: "Don't let their blood go in vain and, by the way, we will not allow that ourselves, and I am saying that so everyone listens and takes note," he said....AP..

  104. Wreckage found in Thailand unlikely to come from missing Malaysian jet...

    A piece of suspected plane wreckage found off the east coast of southern Thailand on Saturday (Jan 23) was unlikely to belong to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which vanished nearly two years ago, said aviation experts and Thai officials.

    A large piece of curved metal washed ashore in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Tanyapat Patthikongpan, head of Pak Phanang district, told Reuters. Villagers reported it to authorities for identification, he said.

    "Villagers found the wreckage, measuring about 2 metres wide and 3 metres long," he said. The find fuelled speculation in the Thai media that the debris could belong to MH370, which disappeared with 239 people on board during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014....

  105. Militants Kill 3, Injure 4 in Egypt Checkpoint Attack...

    Local media reported on Sunday that three people were killed and four others were wounded when militants attacked a checkpoint in the province of Sharqia.

    According to reports, the militants came on motorbikes and opened fire on a security checkpoint in Faqous city, killing a farmer and two security men. Four civilians were injured in the attack.

  106. A day after 46 migrants drowned in a choppy Aegean Sea, protesters demonstrated Saturday at a Greek border town to demand that Greece ease transit restrictions at its heavily militarized border with Turkey...

    Most of the 200-kilometre land border between Greece and Turkey is separated by the Evros River -- known as the Meric River in Turkey. But a 12.5-kilometre (nearly 8-mile) stretch of land separating the two countries was previously lined with minefields and is now separated by a fence.

    The area is guarded with police and military patrols on land and on the river, a network of cameras and a few officers from the European border protection agency, Frontex...AP...

  107. Western Sahara: Africa's last colony takes struggle for self-determination to European courts...

    It has been dubbed Africa's last colony, and Western Sahara's struggle for self-determination has embraced everything from violent conflict to passive resistance, and UN shuttle diplomacy has consistently failed to break the impasse over the fate of the disputed territories. Now the Sahrawi people are trying to break the deadlock themselves - in the courts.

    The mineral-rich country on Africa's north-west Atlantic coast is bounded by Morocco in the north, Mauritania in the south and Algeria to the east. All three countries have taken an active interest in the fate of the Sahrawi - not always altruistically. Spain, the former colonial power, relinquished the territory in 1975 to Morocco, which has formally claimed the land since 1957, and Mauritania.

    Then there was conflict between the two countries and the Polisario Front - the Sahrawi liberation movement. Mauritania withdrew in 1979, leaving Moroccan security forces in nominal control. Controversially, an extensive wall was built through the desert to exclude Polisario fighters accused of coming into the country from refugee camps in neighbouring Algeria.......

  108. A cold snap sweeping across East Asia has led to more than 50 deaths in Taiwan and stranded at least 60,000 tourists in South Korea.

    Taiwanese media reported a rash of deaths from hypothermia and cardiac disease following a sudden drop in temperature over the weekend.

    Meanwhile heavy snow forced the closure of the airport on the Korean holiday island of Jeju, cancelling flights.

    The cold spell has also hit Hong Kong, southern China and Japan.....

  109. Egypt marks fifth anniversary of 2011 uprising ...

    Egypt on Monday marked the fifth anniversary of the January 25 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

    On the eve of the anniversary, President Abdelfattah al-Sisi warned against protests and disruption to security in a speech that paid tribute to the 2011 revolution.

    Sisi said the protesters killed during the 18-day revolt had sought to revive "noble principles" and found a "new Egypt." The televised speech came amid a recent spate of arrests and a heightened security presence in the capital Cairo.

    Clearly, authorities are determined that the occasion will not be marked by popular demonstrations, or militant attacks......

  110. Erdbeben vor der marokkanischen Mittelmeerküste...

    Angaben des Nationalen Geografie-Instituts in Spanien hatte es eine Stärke von 6,3. Es folgte ein Nachbeben der Stärke 5,3. In der spanischen Nordafrika-Exklave Melilla entstanden am Montag einzelne Gebäudeschäden. Wie die Behörden mitteilten, wurden weder in Melilla noch auf dem südspanischen Festland Menschen verletzt.

    Die US-Erdbebenwarte USGS und das Geoforschungszentrum (GFZ) in Potsdam gaben die Stärke mit 6,1 an. Das Erdbeben ereignete sich den Angaben aus Potsdam zufolge in zehn Kilometern Tiefe, das Zentrum lag 160 Kilometer südöstlich von Gibraltar.

    In Melilla ordneten die Behörden an, dass die Schulen am Montag geschlossen bleiben sollen. Es müsse zuerst geprüft werden, ob die Schulgebäude ernsthaft beschädigt worden seien. Die Erdstöße waren auf dem spanischen Festland in der gesamten Region Andalusien zu spüren. In der Hafenmetropole Malaga und den Urlaubergebieten an der Costa del Sol wurden viele Menschen aus dem Schlaf gerissen.

  111. The Australian team looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has lost the sonar detector they were using for their search...

    On Sunday, the deep-water detector, or towfish, "collided with a mud volcano which rises 2,200 metres from the seafloor," an official statement said.

    Both the device and 4,500 metres of snapped cable are now resting on the sea floor.

    The search team believe they will be able to recover both at a later date.

    The Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), overseeing the search, did not say whether the loss would delay their operation, which they have said will be completed by June.

    Flight MH370 disappeared in March 2014, with 239 people on board, during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Based on satellite communications data, the plane is thought to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but only one piece of debris from the plane has ever been found, on the French island of Reunion.....

  112. Libya's internationally recognized parliament voted on Monday to reject a unity government proposed under a U.N.-backed plan to resolve the country's political crisis and armed conflict...

    Of 104 members attending the session in the eastern city of Tobruk, 89 voted against backing the government proposed by Libya's Presidential Council last week.

  113. WHO: Zika virus to spread to much of Americas...

    The Zika virus - linked to births of babies with smaller-than-usual brains in Brazil - is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization has said.

    Margaret Chan, the WHO director-general, told the organisation's executive board on Monday that she had asked Carissa Etienne, head of the WHO in the Americas, to brief the board later this week on the WHO's response to the outbreak.

    "The [WHO] Regional Directors and I are determined to change the way we respond to outbreaks and emergencies," Dr Chan said.

    "The complexity of humanitarian emergencies underscores the need for transformational changes in our response capacity," she said....

  114. L'empereur du Japon aux Philippines pour une visite historique...

    L'empereur du Japon est arrivé mardi aux Philippines pour une visite historique aux allures de pèlerinage sur les lieux de mémoire de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, 71 ans après la libération de l'archipel.

    Akihito, 82 ans, a fait des hommages aux victimes japonaises et non japonaises de la guerre un pilier de son règne de près de trois décennies, baptisé Heisei ou "accomplissement de la paix".

    Accompagné de l'impératrice Michiko, 81 ans, Akihito visitera deux mémorials au cours de son séjour de cinq jours, qui constitue la première visite dans l'archipel d'un empereur du Japon en exercice.

    "De nombreux Philippins, Américains et Japonais ont perdu la vie aux Philippines pendant la guerre", a déclaré Akihito lors d'une cérémonie avant de quitter Tokyo......

  115. At least 22 people were killed in a double suicide bomb attack at an army checkpoint in the central Syrian city of Homs on Tuesday, state media said...

    In a breaking news alert, state television said 100 people had also been injured in the blasts in the Al-Zahraa neighborhood of the city, which has been targeted in bomb attacks multiple times before.

    The provincial governor of Homs, Talal Barazi, told AFP at least 19 people had been killed in the attacks.

    He said the two bombers appeared to have pulled up at the army checkpoint in a car together, with one exiting the vehicle before the other detonated his explosives while still inside.

    In the chaos of the first blast's aftermath, and as a crowd gathered, the second bomber detonated his explosives, Barazi said.....AFP.........

  116. China stocks tumble 6 percent as oil price slips...

    Chinese shares plunged more than 6 percent to 14-month lows on Tuesday after oil prices dropped again, reviving concerns about global growth and prompting a selloff in the world's equity markets.

    The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index ended down 6.4 percent after a late selling frenzy at 2749.79 points, its lowest close since December, 2014.

    The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen dropped 6 percent to 2940.51, also its lowest since the beginning of December 2014............

  117. Danish parliament approves plan to seize assets from refugees ...

    Denmark has become the latest European state to force refugees to hand over their valuables, with the continent increasingly using scare tactics and physical deterrents to deal with the biggest migration crisis since the second world war.

    Following similar moves in Switzerland and southern Germany, Denmark’s parliament voted on Tuesday to allow police to search asylum seekers on arrival in the country and confiscate any non-essential items worth more than 10,000 Danish kroner (about £1,000) that have no sentimental value to their

  118. Netanyahu says UN chief Ban Ki-moon 'encouraging terror'...

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of "encouraging terror".

    Referring to the Palestinians, Mr Ban said it was human nature for oppressed peoples to react to occupation.

    Speaking at the UN Security Council, Mr Ban also condemned recent stabbings of Israelis by Palestinians.

    More than 155 Palestinians, 28 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have died in violence since October.

    "The comments of the UN secretary general encourage terror," Mr Netanyahu said in a statement. "There is no justification for terror.".....

  119. Opposition to decide on Syria peace talks...

    An important section of the Syrian opposition has to decide Wednesday on whether to participate in the Geneva peace talks, which could be compromised by the presence of other opponents of the regime, including the Kurds.

    The office of UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said it had issued invitations to the talks, scheduled to begin on Friday, but refused to say who had been invited to represent President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian opposition.

    It is the latest international attempt to end Syria's conflict, which has killed more than 260,000 people since it began with anti-government protests in March 2011.....

  120. Kerry says U.S., China agreed on need for 'strong' U.N. resolution against North Korea...

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that he agreed with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi about the need to reach a consensus on a "strong" resolution against North Korea from the U.N. Security Council.

    Kerry, speaking to reporters after meeting Wang, said China, the United States and other members of the council were obligated to take action after the Jan.6 nuclear test by North Korea.

  121. North Korea may be preparing a long-range ballistic missile launch, Japanese media said Thursday, following a nuclear test this month that raised international alarm and sparked a diplomatic clash between Washington and Beijing...

    Imagery collected over the past several days suggested the launch from the western Dongchang-ri site could come in about a week, Kyodo News said, citing a Japanese government source it did not

  122. Sweden to expel ‘up to 80,000’ failed asylum seekers...

    Sweden intends to expel up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers, the interior minister said Wednesday, the latest move by EU states to tighten their borders in the face of the migrant crisis.

    Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said the mass expulsions of people who arrived last year as part of a record influx of migrants would use specially chartered aircraft and be staggered over several years.

    "We are talking about 60,000 people but the number could climb to 80,000," he was quoted saying by Swedish media, adding that police and migrant authorities have been tasked with organising the scheme.

    Sweden, a country of 9.8 million, took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, putting it among the European Union states with the highest proportion of refugees per capita.

    More than one million people travelled to Europe last year -- the majority of them refugees fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan -- in the continent's worst migration crisis since World War

  123. The U.S. is weighing potential military options in Libya as ISIS extremists expand their influence in the North African nation roiled by political instability, a Pentagon official said on Wednesday...

    The growing ISIS presence in Libya is a “significant concern” and the United States is assessing how best to respond to the group’s “metastasis” from Iraq and Syria, said Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook.

    “We’re looking at military options, a range of other options as... the situation in Libya unfolds,” Cook said.

    “We want to be prepared, as the Department of Defense always wants to be prepared, in the event that ISIL in Libya becomes more of a threat than it is even today,” he added, using an acronym for the IS group.

    In 2011, an uprising against longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi quickly became an armed revolution backed by NATO, but his overthrow and killing have been followed by continued strife and political

  124. The Syrian opposition's High Negotiations Committee (HNC) says it is still debating whether or not its delegates will attend peace talks in Geneva, scheduled for Friday.

    The committee has set a number of conditions for their participation in the talks, including lifting sieges and stopping air strikes.

  125. The People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia affiliated with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), and its local allies have drawn up plans for a major attack to seize the final stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border held by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters, a YPG source familiar with the plan said on Thursday...

    Such an offensive could deprive ISIL fighters of a logistical route that has been used by the group to bring in supplies and foreign recruits.

    But it could lead to confrontation with Turkey, which is fighting against the PKK and sees the Syrian Kurds as an enemy.

    After a year of military gains aided by US-led air strikes, the Kurds and their allies already control the entire length of Syria's northeastern Turkish frontier from Iraq to the banks of the Euphrates river, which crosses the border west of the town of

  126. Saudi-based Syrian opposition will not attend start of Geneva talks...

    The High Negotiations Committee of the Syrian opposition decided here Thursday not to attend the opening session of the peace conference in Geneva because it still has not received U.N. guarantees that its requests will be complied with, an opposition source told EFE.

    The official added that the HNC will not participate in the negotiations until Articles 12 and 13 of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254 are implemented.

    Article 12 urges the parties to permit access by all humanitarian agencies to help the population, above all those people who are in besieged areas in Syria, while Article 13 demands an end to indiscriminate attacks on civilians.....

  127. U.S. and Russian defense officials on Thursday held a video conference to discuss implementation of the U.S.-Russia memorandum of understanding on flight safety over Syrian airspace, the Pentagon said...

    The call was co-chaired by U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin and Joint Staff Director for Strategic Plans and Policy Kenneth F. McKenzie and their counterparts in the Russian Defense Ministry, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement.

    "The two sides discussed measures to enhance operational safety for counter-ISIL coalition and Russian military forces operating in Syria, including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity," Cook said.....

  128. Leaders of Germany's ruling coalition struck a compromise on changes to asylum laws on Thursday, especially concerning family reunion for refugees, said German Deputy Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel...

    "Asylum Package II now stands and can go through to the cabinet very quickly," Gabriel, head of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), told media after consultations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who leads the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Horst Seehofer, party leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU).

    Asylum Package I was struck last year, as Germany responded to the new arrivals from the Middle East and Africa. That package came into force on November 1.

    According the compromise deal reached on Thursday, a waiting-period of two years would be introduced in the future for families seeking to join people who get so-called "subsidiary protection" in Germany......

  129. Discord between Russia and the US and UK as Security Council adopts UNFICYP resolution...

    UN Security Council resolution 2263 on the renewal of the mandate of UNFICYP, through adopted unanimously today, was approved amid discord between Russia on one hand and Britain and the US on the other. Egypt was critical of the absence of a direct reference to Turkey, in that Ankara continues to occupy Cyprus` northern third since its troops invaded in 1974.

    The Russian ambassador described the system of guarantees of Cyprus` independence and territorial integrity a “relic” of British colonial rule, whereas the British ambassador talked about maintaining the fine balance in the question of Cyprus.......

  130. The Netherlands has agreed to join US-led air strikes in Syria, extending its current mission over Iraq, Dutch officials announced Friday, bowing to a request from the United States...

    "In order to make the fight against ISIS in Iraq more efficient, it has been decided to carry out air strikes against ISIS in eastern Syria," the foreign and defence ministries said in a statement.

    The Netherlands is already participating in the coalition by carrying out air strikes in Iraq with four F-16 aircraft specializing in close air support of ground operations by Iraqi

  131. Die drei Maghreb-Staaten Marokko, Algerien und Tunesien sollen zu sicheren Herkunftsländern erklärt werden. Damit haben Personen aus diesen Ländern kein Anrecht auf Asyl mehr. Die Entscheidung ist umstritten. ...

    Bald werden sie wohl zu den "sicheren Herkunftsstaaten" zählen, die drei Maghreb-Länder Marokko, Tunesien und Algerien. In der Praxis heißt das, dass Menschen aus diesen Ländern in Deutschland grundsätzlich kein Anrecht auf Asyl mehr haben - und damit keine Chance, auf dieser rechtlichen Grundlage dauerhaft hier zu leben.

    Damit reagiert die Bundesregierung auf die erhöhte Zahl der Zuwanderer aus diesen Ländern. Nach Zahlen des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) reisten im Dezember 2015 knapp 2300 Algerier und rund 3000 Marokkaner nach Deutschland. Insgesamt 5300 Menschen also – und damit erheblich mehr als im Vorjahr: 2014 reisten insgesamt gerade einmal 4000 Menschen aus den beiden Ländern nach Deutschland.

    In den Fokus der Öffentlichkeit und der Behörden gerieten Algerier und Marokkaner in der Kölner Silvesternacht. Eine hohe Zahl der mutmaßlichen Täter stammt aus den beiden nordafrikanischen Ländern..............

  132. A US warship has sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea to challenge efforts to limit freedom of access, the Pentagon said...

    The vessel passed close to Triton Island in the Paracel Islands, a statement said.

    China, one of the countries claiming the islands, responded by accusing the US of violating its laws.

    China and several other nations have rival claims in the South China Sea, which is rich in resources.

    The US says it does not take sides on such territorial disputes but wants to safeguard access to the important shipping route....BBC


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