Posts Tagged ‘Israel grossman Blog’

Self-Declared Islamic State Claims Responsibility For Saudi Mosque Attack

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 22 2015

A suicide bomber killed several people in a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia Friday, raising fears of anti-Shiite violence there.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/22/408827444/self-declared-islamic-state-claims-responsibility-for-saudi-mosque-attack?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Obama Faces Criticism For Light Footprint Strategy Against Islamic State

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 22 2015

President Obama says the U.S. is not losing the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq, but his strategy has come under criticism after the fall of Ramadi.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2015/05/22/408827423/obama-faces-criticism-for-light-footprint-strategy-against-islamic-state?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

What Archbishop Romero’s Beatification Means For El Salvador Today

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 22 2015

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Maria del Pilar Perdomo holds up a framed portrait of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, during a procession on March 24 to mark the 35th anniversary of his assassination in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was killed in 1980 while offering Mass. Romero will be beatified on Saturday.

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Maria del Pilar Perdomo holds up a framed portrait of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, during a procession on March 24 to mark the 35th anniversary of his assassination in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was killed in 1980 while offering Mass. Romero will be beatified on Saturday.

Maria del Pilar Perdomo holds up a framed portrait of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, during a procession on March 24 to mark the 35th anniversary of his assassination in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was killed in 1980 while offering Mass. Romero will be beatified on Saturday.

Salvador Melendez/AP

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America’s most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.

They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.

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Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo-Romero offers the host wafer during the communion rite to a member of the congregation during a church mass in San Salvador, El Salvador on Jan. 13, 1980.

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Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo-Romero offers the host wafer during the communion rite to a member of the congregation during a church mass in San Salvador, El Salvador on Jan. 13, 1980.

Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo-Romero offers the host wafer during the communion rite to a member of the congregation during a church mass in San Salvador, El Salvador on Jan. 13, 1980.

Cotera/AP

The ceremony ends a long-fought battle for recognition of Romero’s life and work. But many say it does little to curb the current gang violence terrorizing the country today.

Romero’s beatification has brought visitors and his supporters from around the world to this small Central American nation. They stream through Romero’s spartan home in San Salvador, the capital, now preserved as a tiny museum, where Romero lived up until his death.

“He is a prophet of our time, one who denounced oppression and wrong doing,” says one visitor, Sister Rosario Carvajal, who came with a group of nuns for the beatification from neighboring Costa Rica.

Romero’s tan, 1970-era Toyota Corona sits in the home’s driveway, vintage black and white photos line the interior walls, and in his tiny bedroom, Romero’s bulky IBM Selectric typewriter rests on a desk in the corner. It’s the one he used to type his Sunday homilies, which were broadcast live throughout the country.

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Amadeo Rivas is touring the museum with family. The 71-year-old says he remembers those sermons, especially one where Romero preached about politics, which he insisted was not inherently bad, but a necessary part of a community’s life.

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That is not how El Salvador’s military or oligarchic leaders saw it. They viewed Romero’s broadcasts, which often ended with a list of atrocities perpetrated by their right-wing death squads, as subversive and agitating the growing leftist opposition.

“I don’t think his voice, his message, would have had as much impact, if it were not for the radio,” says Guillermo Cuellar, who had a daily music program on the Catholic Church’s station YSAX.

In one broadcast, he introduced Cuellar’s music, filled with protest messages, which the archbishop referred to as a helping hand to the oppressed.

Heard throughout the country on AM stations, Romero’s homilies, broadcast live from the packed San Salvador cathedral, were widely popular. Cuellar says in the rural communities, the poorest of peasants would conserve their batteries all week to make sure they had enough juice left to tune in on Sunday.

It was most likely his last Sunday homily that enraged El Salvador’s increasingly brutal regime. In it, he pleads with the U.S.-backed military to disobey orders from their superiors.

“In the name of God,” says Romero, “I order you to stop the repression.”

Killed While Celebrating Mass

The next day, March 24, 1980, while celebrating Mass at a hospital church, Romero was shot through the heart by an assassin.

His murder is widely thought to have sparked the start of the civil war that claimed more than 75,000 lives and lasted until 1992.

While peace was declared more than two decades ago, El Salvador today is engulfed in a new war, fed by feuding gangs and drug traffickers, says the Rev. Walter Guerra, who preached alongside Romero in the last year of his life.

As many as 30 homicides a day, one of the highest murder rates in the world, are now registered in the country.

“We are the same or worse than we were back during the war,” Guerra says.

He is most upset with the current government, run by former leftist fighters. President Salvador Sanchez Ceren was a Marxist guerilla commander.

Where, asks Guerra, is the social justice that thousands, including Archbishop Oscar Romero, died for?

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/05/22/408813450/what-archbishop-romeros-beatification-means-for-el-salvador-today?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 21 2015

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Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.

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Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.

David Gilkey/NPR

The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He’s slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.

That is, until he begins to brag about his accomplishments.

When he took over as police chief in 2011, Raziq says, the Taliban front line was just a half-mile from this patio.

“But now I can drive with you guys 90 kilometers [more than 50 miles] from here. You cannot find any front line of Taliban there,” he says.

The general says his network of informants, the targeted raids by his police and the continued financial and intelligence support from the Americans have all but pushed the Taliban out of an area that stretches from Kandahar city east to the Pakistan border.

“So when they make their terroristic plans, we also make our preparation against that,” he says.

But that preparation, say a number of human rights groups, includes brutality against both Taliban suspects and innocent citizens alike. There’s compelling evidence from the U.N. and other groups that Raziq and his police have relied on torture and killings. And now there’s growing pressure to do something about him.

“There are clear and credible allegations against Abdul Raziq,” says John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

“There’s a long line of reporting by journalists, U.N., civil society — even admissions by officials within Afghan government — of torture, disappearances and killings that are linked to men who work for Abdul Raziq,” Sifton says.

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A patch on an Afghan National Police officer’s uniform features the face of Raziq.

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A patch on an Afghan National Police officer's uniform features the face of Raziq.

A patch on an Afghan National Police officer’s uniform features the face of Raziq.

David Gilkey/NPR

Both Human Rights Watch and the U.N. have interviewed Afghans with graphic stories of mutilations and death while in the custody of Kandahar police. One doctor in Kandahar said two police detainees were tortured with a power drill. Eighty-one people disappeared in one year.

And now Pentagon sources tell NPR that the U.S. military recently completed a dozen reports on serious human rights violations in Afghanistan, and one of them implicates Raziq.

Raziq brushes aside the reports. He says detainees are coached by their Taliban commanders.

“The Taliban has taught their own soldiers that if you are arrested by the police, you tell them that you are beaten, you are tortured,” Raziq says. “These things, all of them are baseless.”

For years, President Hamid Karzai defended Raziq, sidelining investigations and promoting him.

As early as 2007, when Raziq was a border policeman, U.S. officials implicated Raziq in drug trafficking. A leaked confidential State Department cable called Raziq “part of the long-term problem in the border area.”

Now, a new Afghan government under President Ashraf Ghani has told U.S. officials it will deal with human rights abusers.

“They’re not defensive when we raise these problems,” says Tom Malinowski, the assistant secretary of state for human rights, who recently traveled to Afghanistan.

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He won’t discuss Raziq, but says the Afghan government is addressing human rights abuses.

The government has “begun an effort that is difficult and complicated and will take time, but that has begun to show results,” Malinowski says.

And for the U.S. military, which continues to partner with Raziq and provide arms, equipment and intelligence information, there’s a new twist: a 1997 law barring training to human rights abusers now blocks all assistance, like the support to Raziq’s force.

Withholding assistance to the Kandahar police, says a senior American officer, could jeopardize U.S. troops, who depend on people like Raziq for their security.

Sen. Pat Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who authored the law, says the U.S. should not be working with anyone committing war crimes.

“If we back corrupt, abusive warlords,” Leahy said in a statement to NPR, “we help foster a culture of impunity, blurring the distinction between our allies and the Taliban.”

For his part, Raziq doubts the Afghan government will punish him. He also isn’t worried the U.S. will decide to withhold military supplies or equipment.

“You don’t have to worry about that,” he says. “They will give us.”

Raziq’s reasoning is simple.

“Are they going to hand over this area back to the Taliban? What we are doing in this country is for law enforcement,” he says. “If serving the people is like crime, then I have to go to my people and ask them what they have decided about me.”

And many people in Kandahar already have decided about Raziq. All those we spoke with on the streets had a response similar to this teenager.

“Ordinary people are very happy with him. But the enemy of the country, of course, they’re afraid of him,” he says.

The day after our interview, Raziq spoke to a supportive crowd in Kandahar.

Taliban leaders, Raziq declared, want to kill him and others who fight them. And the Afghan government is selling us down the river in negotiations with the Taliban.

It is, Raziq said, like a poisoned knife.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/05/21/407979759/he-calmed-kandahar-but-at-what-cost?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 21 2015

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Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.

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Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.

Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.

B.K. Bangash/AP

Prosecutors in Pakistan’s Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

The New York Times described the killings in November:

“The accusations against them began after burned pages of the Quran were said to have been found in their trash. … [As] word spread, the couple were locked up in a room adjacent to the brick kiln by their employer, Yousaf Gujjar, who also had a running dispute with the couple over money. Some accounts in local news media suggested that Mr. Gujjar accused them of blasphemy after they refused to repay money he had lent them.

“Meanwhile, local clerics made incendiary announcements and urged people to gather. Hundreds of people converged on the couple’s home, and witnesses said some in the crowd broke down the door and dragged the couple out. The police said they were tortured and then burned in the kiln.”

The BBC adds: “The case raised fears among Christians, who form a minority in the Muslim country where blasphemy laws are controversial and attacks against Christians are common.

At the time of the incident, the Dawn daily wrote: “Pakistan’s brick kiln workers are often subject to harsh practices, with a study by the Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan estimating that 4.5 million are indentured labourers.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/21/408534103/more-than-100-charged-in-mob-killing-of-christian-couple-in-pakistan?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 21 2015

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Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district’s accomplishment of bringing clean sanitation to ever home.

Mark Maseko/Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia


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Mark Maseko/Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing clean sanitation to ever home.

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district’s accomplishment of bringing clean sanitation to ever home.

Mark Maseko/Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, “We use a toilet … do you?”

The daylong event celebrated a milestone in Zambia, where the practice of defecating in the open is all too common. In April, Chienge, in the northernmost province of Luapula, became the first district in Zambia to be declared free of open defecation by the government. According to UNICEF, it’s also the first district in southern Africa to fully abandon the practice. That means every household has at least one private latrine and a place to wash your hands.

“It means the community has decided they don’t accept [defecating] in the bush or outside,” says Philippa Crooks, a UNICEF volunteer from Australia, who helped run the campaign in the district of some 40 villages and 134,000 people.

An estimated 6.6 million people in Zambia alone don’t have a proper toilet, and 4.8 million people live without clean water, according to UNICEF. Residents often drink water from nearby a river and lakes, which have been contaminated with feces. And because hand-washing isn’t a regular practice in every district, bacteria from human waste can end up in people’s food, spreading diarrhea and cholera. There, the two diseases are among the major causes of death in children under age 5.

Zambia wants to make the entire country “open-defecation-free” within the next five years. And Chienge is a role model. Since the initiative began more than a year ago, Crooks says, the district has not recorded a single case of cholera.

The residents are happy about using toilets, says Leonard Mukosha, national coordinator of the Community-Led Total Sanitation program in Zambia. He recalls what he heard from a boy about 12 years old.

“Before, he would go into the bush [to use the bathroom] with fear because he would think of snakes,” Mukosha says. “And during the rainy season, sometimes you go and suddenly it starts raining. Now, least, he’s able to go to the toilet [indoors] so there are no surprises there.”

Over the past year, Mukosha and other health workers have been working with village chiefs and “champions” — those selected as community role models — to teach villagers about the importance of using toilets and washing hands with soap.

The goal is to help the community realize that “open defecation is very risky and that it strips the dignity from people,” says Mukosha. “You show them how the feces left in bushes get back to them. You create a sense of disgust when they realize so much money is being wasted to treat diseases that are preventable.”

Both Mukosha and Crooks say that despite defecation being a taboo subject in the communities, the village chiefs and champions met little resistance. They say, it’s because the residents already have a tradition of keeping their villages and homes clean.

“Historically that’s how the people have been,” Mukosha says. “If you go to the district you’ll find that lots of the villages are clean, and what was just lacking was the presence of toilets. So we made clear to them that you cannot claim to be completely clean [and] then use the bushes as a toilet — that does not mean cleanliness.”

Those caught defecating in the open can face penalties in the form of community work — cleaning government offices or gathering crops for orphans and disadvantaged people. But Mukosha says the district has rarely had to use the penalties.

What the campaign doesn’t do is hand out toilets. The Zambian government used to just donate cement slabs to villages, “and it never moved the country anywhere,” says Mukosha. “We only reached about 20 percent of the people, and everyone else was waiting for the material.”

Instead, the volunteers work with the villages to build pit latrines using locally available materials. The pit latrines are simple to construct: a hole in the ground for the actual latrine with a cleanable slab over it. Then poles and mud bricks for walls, straw for the roof and empty bottles and jugs for the hand-washing station.

“You can see that people have a lot of pride in their toilets, and they just keep them very, very clean,” Crooks tells Goats and Soda.

Mukosha says they plan to make at least five more districts open-defecation-free by the end of this year, as well as to provide better and more efficient toilets.

And part of the strategy is to celebrate the toilet era every year and set new goals as the people of Zambia climb what he calls the “sanitation ladder.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/21/408240078/a-toilet-in-every-home-zambians-celebrate-sanitation-milestone?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

Rare Black Rhino Killed By U.S. Hunter Who Won Controversial Auction

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 20 2015

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An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.

Barbara Scheer/DPA /LANDOV


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Barbara Scheer/DPA /LANDOV

An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.

An endangered black rhino is seen in this file photo from the Etosha National Park in norhern Namibia last year. An American hunter has killed one of the animals, under a special permit he bought for $350,000. While the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from shades of brown to gray.

Barbara Scheer/DPA /LANDOV

A Texas hunter who paid $350,000 for the right to hunt a rare black rhino in Namibia has killed the animal. The hunt has drawn controversy and spurred debate over the best way to manage endangered wildlife.

Corey Knowlton won an auction last January for a hunting permit that would allow him to kill a black rhino weighing around 3,000 pounds.

“There are only an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 black rhinos living in the wild,” Mark Memmott wrote for the Two-Way last year. “Namibian authorities issue five kill permits per year.”

The permit came from Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Each year it targets several older rhinos that are no longer able to breed but still pose a deadly threat to younger males. The proceeds are meant to go toward anti-poaching and conservation efforts.

Namibia is facing a surge in poaching — last week, the country’s New Era newspaper said that 60 rhinos have been poached so far in 2015, leading Namibia’s environmental ministry to double its reward for information about the killings.

After winning the auction, Knowlton then had to get special permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring the carcass back to America. The agency, which gave its approval in March, writes:

“The removal of limited numbers of males has been shown to stimulate population growth in some areas. Removing specific individuals from a population can result in reduced male fighting, shorter calving intervals, and reduced juvenile mortality.”

Black rhinos have “the highest combat mortality rates of any mammal,” Namibia’s Oshili 24 reports. “Approximately 50 percent of males and 30 percent of females die from combat-related injuries.”

But, the news site adds, “Many in Namibia opposed the auction.” Protests against the hunt came from international groups; demonstrators also picketed the auction held by the Dallas Safari Club.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Reaction From International Group

“I am deeply saddened, disappointed and incredulous that he sees this mission as contributing to the survival of endangered black rhinos,” said the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Jeff Flocken. “If you pay to take a human life and give to humanitarian causes, it does not make you a humanitarian. And paying money to kill one of the last iconic animals on earth does not make you a conservationist.”

Our original post continues:

As Knowlton told CNN, the rhino hunt could have ended in three possible scenarios, including one in which the wrong rhino could be killed:

“If it charges at us and we are already sure it’s the right one, we are going to kill it,” Knowlton said. “If we aren’t sure if it’s the right one, we are going to try and get out of the way. If we don’t feel like we can get out of the way, we got to kill it.”

Knowlton invited CNN to join him on the hunt; the network’s Ed Lavandera spent several days with the hunter and a team of trackers, documenting their walk through the bush. A sample:

“The rhino is close. Knowlton’s hands firmly grip his high-powered 500 Nitro Express rifle. Moments later, I see a massive flash of gray leap up over the bushes some 50 feet in front of us. It disappears and you can’t tell which direction the rhino is running.

“It’s jarring to see this close how quickly these massive creatures can move.”

The hunting party picked up the rhino’s trail near a watering hole early in the morning. When they finally got close to it, the rhino charged and was shot several times.

“Any time you take an animal’s life it’s an emotional thing,” Knowlton tells CNN.

“I felt like from day one it was something benefiting the black rhino,” Knowlton tells Lavandera shortly after the hunt. “Being on this hunt, with the amount of criticism it brought and the amount of praise it brought from both sides, I don’t think it could have brought more awareness to the black rhino.”

If you’re wondering how Knowlton, 36, could afford the steep hunting fee, we’re seeing that he’s a hunting consultant based in Dallas, as well as a personality on an Outdoor Channel hunting show, Jim Shockey’s The Professionals. He’s also a son of Lary Knowlton, the co-founder of BASA Resources, which was characterized last year as one of “the top 20 oil producers in the state of Texas.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/20/408186635/black-rhino-is-killed-by-u-s-hunter-who-won-controversial-auction?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

U.S. Releases Documents Seized From Osama Bin Laden’s Compound

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 20 2015

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Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo, was killed in 2011 during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo, was killed in 2011 during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, seen in Afghanistan in this undated photo, was killed in 2011 during a U.S. raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

AP

Updated at 2:20 p.m. ET

Intelligence officials on Wednesday released a trove of newly declassified documents, books and magazines found during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. They’re calling it “Bin Laden’s Bookshelf.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence says the release followed “a rigorous interagency review” and “aligns with the President’s call for increased transparency.”

The documents show that bin Laden, or those residing in the compound with him, had some eclectic tastes in reading material, with titles ranging from A Brief Guide to Understanding Islam, to Black Box Voting, Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century as well as Obama’s Wars by Bob Woodward and Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., called the release “a step in the right direction.” He added, “I look forward to the conclusion of the ongoing efforts to declassify the hundreds of remaining Abbottabad reports to meet congressional requirements.”

Among the newly declassified documents are letters and messages from bin Laden. One is a letter addressed to someone named Atiyah in which he mentions the Arab Spring. Atiyah could refer to Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, who the Washington Post says is “a Libyan who served as the terrorist network’s top operational planner and was killed in a 2011 drone strike.”

“To Shaykh ((Mahmud)), I am sure that you are following up on the news media on the events taking place; the downfall of the Tunisian tyrant, the revolutions taking place in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Oman, and the protest marches in Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, and Lebanon.

“These are gigantic events that will eventually engulf most of the Muslim world, will free the Muslim land from American hegemony, and is troubling America whose Secretary of State declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region. We also note that Egypt is the most important country, and the fall of its regime will lead into the fall of the rest of the region’s tyrants, and the existing international situation doesn’t allow the West to support ((Mubarak)) and the West’s position towards the Libyan revolution is a weak one. All of this indicates that the Western countries are weak and their international role is regressing.”

One document, listed as “Instructions to Applicants” appears to be an al-Qaida job application, and is both comical and chilling:

“Do you wish to execute a suicide operation?………………… What objectives would you would like to accomplish on your jihad path?………………………………………………….. What ideas and views do you, your family, and your other acquaintances have about jihad in Allah’s sake here?………… Family members:…………..Other acquaintances:…………… Do you have any chronic or hereditary disease(s)?…………… Who should we contact in case you became a martyr?………….. – Address:……………………………………………… – Phone numbers:…………………………………………

“Praise Allah, Lord of all worlds”

Among the correspondence is a letter from Bin Laden to his wife:

“My beloved wife, Know that you do fill my heart with love, beautiful memories, and your long-suffering of tense situations in order to appease me and be kind to me, and every time I thought of you my eyes would tear for being away from you. I want you to know that I will not marry on you because I will not find a woman like you, and I will remain in the land of jihad until God will bring us together in this world to see you and enjoy looking at you and at my children, and to compensate you for the kindness and love you missed in prison, due to the tension and being occupied with the thought. Or if meeting in the world is not possible, then I will see you in the thereafter and that will suffice.”

Another appears to be from a video message aimed at Americans:

“I begin by reminding you that if you had reflected on a little
of what has been said, you would have been able to avoid wasting
much blood and money.

“A good example is what one of your former presidents previously
warned you about with the despotism of the Big Money and about a day when you would become its laborers.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that one of the letters discusses terror operations in Somalia and mentions an effort to kill the president of Uganda. “Please talk to the Somali brothers about reducing the harm to Muslims at Bakarah Market [in Mogadishu] as result of attacking the headquarters of the African forces,” the 2010 letter reads, according to a translation by the U.S. government.

Also included in the release were articles from American newspapers and magazines, along with software and technical manuals and a number of materials relating to France.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/20/408204554/u-s-releases-documents-seized-from-osama-bin-ladens-compound?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

I’d Like To Buy The Emerging World A Coke

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 20 2015

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A woman walks past an ad for Coca-Cola in Bamako, the capital of the Republic of Mali.

New York Daily News Archive/NY Daily News via Getty Images


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A woman walks past an ad for Coca-Cola in Bamako, the capital of the Republic of Mali.

A woman walks past an ad for Coca-Cola in Bamako, the capital of the Republic of Mali.

New York Daily News Archive/NY Daily News via Getty Images

So who does drink the most soda in the world, anyway?

That’s a question that popped into my mind after the series finale of Mad Men. Ad man Don Draper goes on a hippie retreat, chants some “oms” and then the famous 1971 Coke jingle, sung by an ethnically diverse group of youth, begins to play: “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company. It’s the real thing.”

There’s debate over what that means on the show. Did Draper write the jingle?

But as the host of a blog called Goats and Soda, I was focused on soda data: How are Coco-Cola and the other Big Soda companies, Pepsi and Dr Pepper, doing in efforts to sell the world its carbonated beverages — especially the developing world?

To find out, I spoke to two beverage analysts: Will McKitterick of IBISWorld and Howard Telford of Euromonitor International.

Sales of soda are still huge in North America and Western Europe. We’re talking 12.76 billion gallons last year in the U.S. alone. But consumption of soda in these markets is stagnating or declining, McKitterick and Telford say. There are various theories why: concerns about extra calories and artificial ingredients used to sweeten diet sodas; interest in other beverages, such as energy and fruit drinks, water and tea.

To boost soda sales, companies are looking elsewhere, like Africa and Asia. There’s a rising middle class in those regions, and people have more disposable income for treats like soda.

“And you have a large young population that’s growing,” McKitterick says. Their parents may stick to local brands — that’s especially true in China. But the young’uns “may be more willing to purchase new brands and international brands coming into the country.” Like Coke and Pepsi.

So the message of that 1971 ad is more important than ever, Telford says, because Big Soda is “depending on driving consumption in the emerging world.”

Some governments aren’t happy about that. With rising rates of obesity and diabetes, Mexico last year levied a one peso tax (about 7 cents) on soda and other sweetened drinks. Early indications are that the soda tax has caused a drop in consumption, McKitterick says.

There’s a global twist to the Mexico story. Mexico bottles a version of Coke sweetened with cane sugar instead of the corn syrup used in the U.S. Coca-Cola says the taste is the same either way, but “MexiCoke,” as it’s nicknamed, is imported into the States because some purists prefer cane sugar. They’re willing to pay a little more to get what they think of as — to quote the 1971 ad — “the real thing.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/20/408027045/id-like-to-buy-the-emerging-world-a-coke?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world

British Police Arrest 9 Over Audacious Easter Jewelry Heist

Uncategorized | Posted by Israel Grossman Attorney
May 19 2015

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Surveillance camera images issued by the Metropolitan Police show thieves entering and leaving the scene of the burglary of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Police arrested seven suspects Tuesday.

Metropolitan Police/PA Photos /Landov


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Metropolitan Police/PA Photos /Landov

Surveillance camera images issued by the Metropolitan Police show thieves entering and leaving the scene of the burglary of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Police arrested seven suspects Tuesday.

Surveillance camera images issued by the Metropolitan Police show thieves entering and leaving the scene of the burglary of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company. Police arrested seven suspects Tuesday.

Metropolitan Police/PA Photos /Landov

The crime drew international headlines for its ingenious design and massive take. But now Scotland Yard says its “Flying Squad” has arrested seven men, ages 48 to 76, over the Hatton Garden theft that was reportedly one of the richest heists in Britain’s history.

The arrests took place Tuesday, when more than 200 officers raided 12 addresses in north London and Kent, police say. They recovered some of the heist’s haul, which has been difficult to estimate (but has been placed at up to $300 million).

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A photo issued by Britain’s Metropolitan Police shows a heavy drill used by thieves during the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company raid.

Metropolitan Police/Landov


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Metropolitan Police/Landov

A photo issued by Britain's Metropolitan Police shows a heavy drill used by thieves during the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company raid.

A photo issued by Britain’s Metropolitan Police shows a heavy drill used by thieves during the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company raid.

Metropolitan Police/Landov

Update at 2:30 p.m. ET: More Arrests; Two Suspects In Their 70s

Scotland Yard says two more suspects — a 58 year-old man and a 43 year-old man were arrested today on suspicion of conspiracy to burgle.

The agency didn’t name those arrested earlier today, but it released their ages: 67; 74; 58; 48; 59; 76; and 50.

Our original post continues:

The break-in took place over the Easter holiday at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit company, which is used by many of London’s jewelry firms. As we reported, after reaching a rooftop, the thieves’ plan required them “to abseil down an elevator shaft and penetrate a series of fortified doors to reach a trove of deposit boxes.”

In late April, police released images of six suspects who were captured on surveillance cameras. A review of the building’s system also found that the thieves took their time doing their work: after entering the building at 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, they left at 8 a.m. on Good Friday. They then returned Saturday night and left for the final time just before 7 a.m. Sunday.

From a statement issued Tuesday by Superintendent Craig Turner of the elite Flying Squad unit:

“A number of large bags containing significant amounts of high value property have been recovered from one address. Officers are confident these are items stolen during the burglary.”

Scotland Yard says the search for more stolen valuables is continuing. The recovery would seem to contradict early speculation that the thieves might have been sophisticated enough to have lined up buyers for the loot in advance and had already discharged themselves of the gems and other valuables.

In announcing the breakthrough, the police also acknowledged that after an intruder alarm was tripped during the burglary, the department didn’t follow its own policies.

From the police statement:

“Our normal procedures would have resulted in police attending the scene, and we apologize that this did not happen.
“In this case, the owners had been notified by the alarm company and a security guard attended the building but saw nothing more than our officers would have done had they been deployed.

“We are working closely with the alarm industry to improve the call handling and response processes at both ends to ensure nothing like this happens again.”

Article source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/19/407945079/british-police-arrest-7-over-audacious-easter-jewelry-heist?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=world