Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Here’s How Many Black People Have Been Killed By Police Since Colin Kaepernick Began Protesting



It’s been just one month.

09/20/2016 02:20 pm ET | Updated 6 days ago

Colin Kaepernick and teammate Eric Reid knelt again before the 49ers played the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
At least 15 black people have died during encounters with the police since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting police violence by kneeling before NFL games, based on numbers compiled by The Guardian.
Kaepernick’s decision to sit or take a knee during the national anthem first drew attention after his team’s Aug. 26 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, when he told NFL.com that he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Since then, Kaepernick’s continued protest has drawn considerable criticism from politicians, police unions, pundits, other professional athletes and many on social media who have opposed both his message and his method of conveying it.
But the problem Kaepernick wants to highlight has continued. And on Monday, it was back in the news again, after police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, released multiple videos that showed the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher.
The videos show that 40-year-old Crutcher, like so many other black men, was unarmed with his hands in the air when police officers shot and killed him as he returned to his car, which had stalled in the middle of a roadway. The videos run contrary to the department’s initial statements about the shooting, which claimed that Crutcher had ignored officers’ warning to raise his hands.
Overall, police have killed at least 67 people since Kaepernick’s protest began, according to The Guardian’s database. Roughly 22 percent of the victims have been black. Police have killed more than 780 people so far in 2016, according to The Guardian’s numbers. At least 193 of those people ― or about 25 percent ― were black. Of the 15 black people killed since Kaepernick’s demonstration started, at least 11 were shot, according to The Washington Post’s tracker of fatal police shootings.
The white officer who shot Crutcher, Betty Shelby, was placed on paid administrative leave while the department investigates the case ― another issue Kaepernick highlighted when he spoke out against police killings.
“To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” Kaepernick said. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Terence Crutcher, 40, is one of at least 15 African-Americans to die during encounters with police since Kaepernick began protesting before NFL games in late August.

Kaepernick’s message has spread across the sports world since the start of the NFL season. Players on a number of NFL teams ― including the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Tennessee Titans ― joined his demonstration during the first week of the NFL season.
The Denver Broncos’ Brandon Marshall, who has taken a knee during the anthem, responded to the Terence Crutcher video by saying such situations are the “exact reason we’re protesting.”
Soccer star Megan Rapinoe has also knelt during the anthem before both National Women’s Soccer League and U.S. Women’s National Team matches in recent weeks. And NBA players Nick Young and Stephen Curry have spoken out in support of Kaepernick, with Young saying that he may kneel before the anthem once his season begins next month. High school football players across the country have joined in as well.
Some of the protests have drawn the ire of police. In Miami, the union that represents the Broward County Sheriff’s Office called on the department to stop providing security details for Dolphins’ games after four members of the team knelt during the anthem last week. “In certain professions,” the head of the union said, “an individual’s freedom of speech must take a back seat to the organization or government entity that they choose to represent.”
The NFL Players Association, which has stood behind Kaepernick’s right to protest, fired back at that statement Monday. “Don’t we stop being the land of the free and the home of the brave when a citizen is asked to take a ‘backseat’ for expressing his freedom by those sworn to defend it?” DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, said in a statement. “Players don’t stop being men and citizens just because they are wearing a jersey.”
And while many have questioned how a black athlete could qualify as oppressed, recent cases highlight that Kaepernick and other black athletes are also at risk of experiencing police violence.
James Blake, a retired tennis player, was misidentified as a robbery suspect and tackled by NYPD officers in September 2015. The same year, NBA player Thabo Sefolosha’s leg was broken in an altercation with NYPD officers; Sefolosha is currently suing the department. John Henson, a player for the Milwaukee Bucks, said employees of a high-end jewelry store locked the door and told him to leave before police arrived. And in 2011, police in Florida told former NFL running back Warrick Dunn they pulled him over because he “had the characteristics of people transporting drugs and guns,” he said.
Kaepernick, meanwhile, continued his protest before the 49ers game on Sunday, and picked up more support this week. On Monday night, hours after the Tulsa Police Department made the videos of Crutcher’s death public, three members of the Philadelphia Eagles raised their fists throughout the national anthem.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Saudi prince al-Waleed bin Talal: In case of outbreak of Palestinian uprising I'll side with Israel

the flamboyant Saudi Prince and entrepreneur, al-Waleed bin Talal posited that his country must reconsider its regional commitments and devise a new strategy to combat Iran's increasing influence in Gulf States by forging a Defense pact with Tel Aviv to deter any possible Iranian moves in the light of unfolding developments in the Syria and Moscow's military intervention.

"The whole Middle-East dispute is tantamount to matter of life and death for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from my vantage point ,and I know that Iranians seek to unseat the Saudi regime by playing the Palestinian card , hence to foil their plots Saudi Arabia and Israel must bolster their relations and form a united front to stymie Tehran's ambitious agenda," Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) quoted Prince al-Waleed as saying on Tuesday , adding, Riyadh and Tel Aviv must achieve a modus vivendi , for Saudi policy in regard to Arab-Israeli crisis is no longer tenable.
Iran seeks to buttress its presence in the Mediterranean by supporting Assad regime in Syria, added Prince al-Waleed, but to the chagrin of Riyadh and its sister Gulf sheikhdoms , Putin's Russia has become a real co-belligerent force in Syrian 4-year-old civil war by attacking CIA-trained Islamist rebels. Here surfaces the paramount importance of Saudi-Israeli nexus to frustrate Russia-Iran-Hezbollah axis.
" I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian Intifada( uprising) and  i shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv , because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment," Al Qabas cited the Saudi media tycoon as he is in a regional tour, visiting the other Gulf Arab littoral states--Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman--to muster support for Saudi-backed Islamist rebels in Syria.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

[VIDEO] Cops accused of killing three 'innocent' girls at Mombasa Central police station


A bomb disposal expert dressed in his protective suit walks towards the body of a suspected attacker outside the central police station after an attack, in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, September 11, 2016. /REUTERS
A bomb disposal expert dressed in his protective suit walks towards the body of a suspected attacker outside the central police station after an attack, in the coastal city of Mombasa, Kenya, September 11, 2016. /REUTERS
A human rights body has questioned the manner in which three women were killed at Mombasa Central police station, in what officers say was a foiled terror attack.
Muhuri has challenged police reports that the women were suicide bombers on a mission to blow up the station.
“When the story broke, the police narration of what really happened was contradictory from one source to the other," said Muslims for Human Rights chairperson Khelef Khalifa.
"At the moment they (police) have refused to state facts on what really unfolded."
Three terrorists killed in foiled attack at Mombasa Central police station
Three more arrested after Mombasa Central police station terror attack
Two of the women were identified as Fatuma Omar and Tasnim Yakub, who is believed to have been the leader. The third woman is yet to be identified.
Police termed them terror suspects saying they pretended to report phone theft but hurled a petrol bomb at the station, forcing them to open fire in self defence.
This was said in an announcement by government spokesman Eric Kiraithe on Tuesday.
Amid growing concern about extrajudicial killings by organisations including Human Rights Watch, Muhuri said the shootings were a continuation of the crime.
“We hold that what police said is a total lie and we cannot let it go unchallenged. They are cooking up stories to cover up the whole incident,” said Khalifa.
He said the group will sue the station's OCS and officers seen in the video of the killings.
Extrajudicial killings are sanctioned by top government organs - Human Rights Watch
Muhuri said the "girls" - two sisters and a friend who finished form four last year - were mishandled when they went to report the crime.
The lobby said a witness reported that when they got into the station, the officer on duty wanted to tear off the burqa one of them was wearing, forcing a reaction.
Khalifa said it was during the commotion that followed that the woman stabbed the officer with a key chain, but that the policeman insisted on "undressing" her.
He said other officers then opened fire and killed all three women, and accused them of dousing the bodies in kerosene and setting them ablaze to conceal the killings.
A clip seen by the Star shows one of the women with her hands in the air in surrender, and a policeman walking towards her while shooting.
“We question why even after surrendering the police continued firing at the lady," said Khalifa.
"We suspect the bodies were doused in kerosene and set ablaze to make it seem they had bombs, because if it is true they had a petrol bomb that they threw into the police station, why didn't we have any injuries? And if there were, where are the victims?"
Police are yet to show the knife and the suicide jacket they said they recovered from the body of one of the suspects.
“The word 'terrorists' invokes fear. When police want to justify any action of extrajudicial killing they brand the victims terror suspects because the public buys such narratives without question.” Khalifa said.
He further claimed the arrest of Haniya Saggar, who is Aboud Rogo's widow, in connection with the attack, was part of the conspiracy theory by police.
Police said Saggar is suspected to have financed the three women as there was proof of a transaction between her and one of them.
But Muhuri said: “It is a case of pure framing and efforts by police to build a case to cover up their action."
"As a matter of fact we have established that on the fateful day the telephone line of one of the girls had been used to send Sh10,000 to Haniya, which she sent back because, as usual, if you get money from someone you don't know you send it back. Those girls were not known to her."
Widow of slain cleric Aboud Rogo arrested, linked to Mombasa attack
Khalifa said urgent post mortem examinations need to be carried out on the bodies, and thorough investigations done by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, with a view to punishing those culpable.
Read more:  http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016/09/20/video-cops-accused-of-killing-three-innocent-girls-at-mombasa-central_c1423846

Police killed three "innocent" girls in anti-terror guise

Trump's grandfather was a pimp and tax evader; his father a member of the KKK

American Herald Tribune
trumps 7229d
Most families of enormous wealth have a dark and sometimes scandalous, even monstrous past. Donald Trump's clan is no exception to that rule. His grandfather was a pimp and a tax evader, his father a racist who would in the course of his life, clash with New York City Police as a member of the Ku Klux Klan and then as a wealthy real estate magnate, refuse to rent to people of color.
Donald Trump's legacy is anything but a rags to riches story. His dad kicked the bucket with $250-$300 million in the bank. The man who wants to ban all people of a particular religion from travel, wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth, his was white gold. The only thing more obnoxious than Donald Trump himself, is his family's money grubbing, bigoted history.
Trump's Grandfather: Pimp and Tax Evader
Donald Trump's grandfather, Frederick or Frederich Trump, made his money from operating a decadent restaurant and hotel during the Gold Rush at Klondike in the Yukon.
That's a nice way of saying it.
"Trump made his first fortune operating boom-town hotels, restaurants and brothels", is more accurate, according to the CBC news report, "Donald Trump's grandfather ran Canadian brothel during gold rush, author says". Author Gwenda Blair simply wrote, ""The bulk of the cash flow came from the sale of liquor and sex."
Trump's grandfather was born in Germany, to parents who were employed by a vineyard. He moved to New York City in 1885 where he became a barber. After six years of this, Frederick Trump moved across the United States to Seattle, Washington, where he owned and operated what he referred to as a "decadent restaurant" that was actually called "Poodle Dog" in Seattle's red light district. Interestingly, the name and concept that had already been established in San Francisco. (He named his restaurant after a dog but would later make money selling horse meat) Around this time Frederick Trump became a US citizen.
A Yukon Sun Newspaper writer described his business: "For single men the Arctic has excellent accommodations as well as the best restaurant in Bennett, but I would not advise respectable women to go there to sleep as they are liable to hear that which would be repugnant to their feelings – and uttered, too, by the depraved of their own sex".
Trump moved to Monte Cristo, Wash. in 1894, and then four years later, shortly after the Klondike gold rush began, he relocated again to Bennett, British Columbia.  Here he ran the "Actic Restaurant and Hotel".  He would next build the "White Horse restaurant and Inn" in Whitehorse, Yukon. 
An article published this year by Politico, explains that Frederick Trump sold off his investments and returned to Germany in 1901, as he sensed the end of the gold rush and a subsequent end to prostitution.  The following year, he married his former neighbor, Elizabeth Christ in his native German town of Kallstadt.  Then he came under heavy scrutiny by the German government,
The country had compulsory military service for men which had to be fulfilled by the age of 35.  Donald Trump's grandfather waited until he was 35 to go back to Germany.  He had already amassed great wealth worth well more than half a million US dollars, or 80,000 marks.  While his town council was eager to keep Trump and his money, who billed himself as a man who "avoided bars" and led "a quiet life", other German authorities had a different plan, the Politico article explains.  In their view, Trump had relocated to Germany in order to avoid both tax and military-service obligations.
"...the regional authorities refused to let Trump off the hook. Unlike his grandson, who would become too big to fail in business and, more recently, to ignore in politics, Friedrich Trump was not big enough to get away with being a draft-dodger. He and his wife, then pregnant with Fred, Donald’s father, would not be allowed to resume their German citizenship and it would not be extended to their daughter; instead, they were deported—the same fate that Donald would like to impose on undocumented immigrants in the U.S. today." 
The fact that Donald Trump has done so well in the Republican polls is quite amazing, as the party that we think of as conservative, would be expected to shun a man who created exploitative beauty pageants and was born rich strictly because of the nefarious activities of his ancestors.  
Trump's Father: a Lifetime of Racist Practices
Donald Trump  has often said he made his money "the old-fashioned way," and this is true, in that he prospered from racism.
A New York Times article published 01 June 1927, related Donald Trump's father Fred Trump's role in a Ku Klux Klan brawl that pitted 1,000 klansmen against 100 New York City Police in Queens.  Though he wasn't officially charged, Fred Trump was one of seven klansmen arrested during the incident.  It probably wasn't very shocking at the time as America's racist practices were in full swing generations after Abe Lincoln freed the country's African-American slaves.  In fact the mid-20's saw a peak in KKK activity.  Donald Trump would later deny his father's involvement in the KKK brawl in spite of the fact that it happened two decades before he was born.  Fred Trump's enthusiasm for racist practices never changed until he was forced to do so by the law.
Presidential Candidate Donald Trump joined his father's real estate company in New York in 1971, and only two years later, the company was served with a civil rights lawsuit that was filed against the Trump organization because it refused to rent to Black people.  The Urban League got wind of the racist rental policy and actually sent both Black and White people in to apply for apartments that belonged to complexes owned by the Trumps.  What they proved, was that Black people were denied rentals across the board, and only Whites were approved.  A Village Voice article by Wayne Barrett, published in 1979, blew the lid off the Trump organization's brewing pot of racist practices.
"Three doormen were told to discourage blacks who came seeking apartments when the manager was out, either by claiming no vacancies or hiking up the rents. A super said he was instructed to send black applicants to the central office but to accept white applications on site. Another rental agent said that Fred Trump had instructed him not to rent to blacks. Further, the agent said Trump wanted 'to decrease the number of black tenants' already in the development 'by encouraging them to locate housing elsewhere.'"
The article explains that Trump's reaction was to claim that the suit was a, "nationwide drive to force owners of moderate and luxury apartments to rent to welfare recipients."
"'We are not going to be forced by anyone to put people...in our buildings to the detriment of tenants who have, for many years, lived in these buildings, raised families in them, and who plan to continue to live there. That would be reverse discrimination,' he said. 'The government is not going to experiment with our buildings to the detriment of ourselves and the thousands who live in them now.'"   
Indeed, Trump's wild, largely uninformed and unintelligent rants are the legacy of men who walked over the backs of other Americans to gain and secure their wealth.  This may be symbolic to the American capitalist way, but it falls short of any form of greatness or real human success.  As they say, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

‘Unbelievable that US strike on Syrian army was mistake' – fmr MI5 agent

Daawo.Arin Mucjiso oo ka dhacday Deegaanka Dahar ee Soomaaliya.

Tulsa police release footage of officer killing unarmed black man with car trouble

T ThinkProgress

The videos seem to contradict the department’s initial explanation.

CREDIT: Tulsa Police Department
Dash cam videos released Monday show Tulsa Police Department officers killing an unarmed 40-year-old black man who had his hands raised.
Terence Crutcher was shot and killed by police shortly before 8:00 pm on Friday night. He was unarmed and apparently seeking police assistance because his car had broken down. Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan confirmed Monday afternoon at a press conference that Crutcher had no weapon, and hinted that his department is treating his death like a crime.
The videos, including three from police cars and a fourth from a helicopter, are disturbing. None captures the entirety of the interaction between Crutcher and Officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed him.
But all of them show him with his hands raised, walking back to the side of his car, while Shelby follows with her gun raised. Another officer arrives, and fires his Taser at roughly the same moment that Shelby shoots Crutcher.
The department did not release video from Shelby’s own cruiser. A department public information officer told ThinkProgress that none exists, because Shelby had not turned her camera on manually and never switched her roof lights into the mode that automatically activates the camera.
She was initially the only officer on the scene. Turnbough appears to have been second to arrive. He had been out of his car for less than 30 seconds when Shelby shot Crutcher.
Jordan called the videos “very disturbing” and “difficult to watch,” according to local news reporters. They also appear to contradict the officers’ initial description of what happened.
TPD initially told the public that Crutcher had ignored officers when they told him to raise his hands and reached back into his car, prompting Officer Shelby to shoot and Officer Tyler Turnbough to fire his Taser. Shelby shot Crutcher once, and he was pronounced dead later at a hospital.
But the videos show Crutcher with his hands above his head, walking slowly back to the driver’s side of his truck, when he is suddenly tased and shot. The helicopter footage includes an officer murmuring that Crutcher “looks like a bad dude,” while another acknowledges that Crutcher’s hands are up but says he doesn’t seem to be complying with Shelby’s commands.
Shelby has been with TPD since 2011. Before joining the city force, she was a deputy with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office from summer 2007 through fall 2011, the local Fox affiliate reports. Shelby is approximately 42 years old and previously served in the Oklahoma Air National Guard for five months, excerpts from her Sheriff’s Office personnel file provided to ThinkProgress indicate.
Over the weekend, the department showed the videos to Crutcher’s family and to local leaders, including pastor Rodney Goss.
“His hands were in the air from all views,” Goss told the Tulsa World. He added that the videos showed Crutcher approaching officers near his truck, which had broken down, and then returning toward the vehicle again slowly, and being shot down.
“It was not apparent at any angle from any point that he lunged, came toward, aggressively attacked, or made any sudden movements that would have been considered a threat or life-threatening toward the officer,” Goss told the paper.
Crutcher’s twin sister Tiffany has said she wants Shelby charged. While Chief Jordan declined to answer specific questions about Crutcher’s killing Monday, he indicated his department is treating his death as a crime.
This is a criminal investigation. If you really expect me to carry this forward the way the community is asking and the way my oath says I will, I can’t discuss it further,” Jordan said. Federal investigators have opened their own separate investigation into whether or not Crutcher’s civil rights were violated, the Associated Press reported Monday afternoon.

Abused during Hajj – Pilgrims recall Saudi Arabia’s ultimate betrayal against Islam



09/19/2016 03:29 pm ET
Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies
Saudi Religious Police
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One of the five sacred pillars of Islam, Hajj pilgrimage is required of all able Muslim – men and women, at least once in their lifetime. Holy among the holies, Hajj embodies the very spirit of Islam as it enables the faithful to reach the divine through physical acts of worship.
It is God whom pilgrims are yearning for as they turn their faces towards Mecca; it is remembrance of God’s Mercy and His Benevolence pilgrims hope to find as they walk in the footsteps of Islam’s last prophet.
Allah says: “The pilgrimage is (in) the well-known months, and whoever is minded to perform the pilgrimage therein, then let there be no lewdness nor abuse nor disputation during the pilgrimage. And whatsoever good you do Allah knows it. So make provision for yourselves (Hereafter); for the best provision is to ward off evil. Therefore keep your duty unto Me, O people of understanding.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 197]
A pilgrimage of the mind and heart, as well as the body, Hajj demands of each pilgrim utmost restraint, good moral, and piety. If Hajj is often taxing on the body, it is spiritual elevation, and enlightenment which in fact require together discipline and absolute devotion. Needless to say that Hajj is not for the faint-hearted. Hajj commands submission through perfected religion … only then, can pilgrims hope to be reborn in Islam and washed away from their sins.
The walk of a lifetime, the communion to surpass all communions Hajj is where, and when many will find not only Islam, but Eternity in faithful abandonment.
The Hajj pilgrimage is a concerted effort for the pilgrim to remain aloof from the desires of the worldly life and its material concerns. The pilgrimage trains and conditions the character to be more independent of material things and to find contentment in less.
Every year millions on Muslims converge towards the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform their pilgrimage, and complete their faith. Every year tens of thousands have seen their pride and their body shattered under the vengeful boot of al-Saud’s Wahhabi moral police in the name of a faith which has claimed ownership over Islam’s inner sanctum.
If Mecca still echoes of Abraham, if the Kaaba still remembers of the touch of God’s prophet, its skies remain blotted by the arrogance of a house which thought itself worthier of that which God’s elected to His Guardianship.
As it glimmers of a thousand golden lights, its floor paved with marbles and precious stones, Mecca has died a million deaths - its holy landscape redacted, and the faithful prevented from expressing their devotion in the manner which best fits their heart. It is violence today which most of all has tainted Hajj and turned Islam’s most sacred ritual into an exercise of submission to the dogmatism of Wahhabism.
Muslims of all school of thoughts and walks of life have raised their voice in resistance – keen to break fear so that Islam could be reclaimed for those who seek God, and not flitting glory.
“I have ben spat on, beaten and punched while performing Hajj. I was called an apostate and an infidel when I turned my face towards the Prophet Muhammad’s last resting place and called for his intercession. I was slapped in Medina as I read my book of duas [religious supplications] in al-Baqee cemetery where Islam’s saints are buried. My real crime? Doing Hajj while Shia” said Hassan al-Wazir, a pilgrim from Yemen in her testimony to the Baqee Organization.
Hanan Abbas, a British pilgrim recalled how her elderly mother was thrown to the ground by a Muttawa (Wahhabi religious police) when she shed tears at al-Baqee cemetery over the martyrdom of Fatema bint Muhammad, the daughter of the Prophet. “My mum was first told to move away … when she pleaded with police to be allowed to pay her respect to the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad she was pushed violently to the ground. They took her book of supplication and cursed her. As my brother intervened he was hit with a baton in the stomach … I was in shock! My mother spent the rest of her Hajj in tears. I have never been angrier in my life. Hajj is supposed to be a time of reflection and peace. We saw the face of hatred and bigotry.
Under the care of the Saudi regime the Hajj pilgrimage has been turned into a painful and humiliating experience. For millions of non-Wahhabis, every step taken has become an act of resistance against the intolerance of blind extremism.
“Long ago Muslims faced the wrath of Mecca’s idolatrous elite … today we face the poison of another. We have tasted humiliation and oppression for we have refused to abandon our beliefs and buckle down before the House of Saud. For millions like me performing the Hajj is an act of religious resistance against tyranny. We shall continue to bear our sorrow and call on our Lord to revenge our cries. Islam is for all believers, without judgement, without bias, without prejudices … Islam is not about dogma and vengeance. What a tragedy to see our Scriptures misinterpreted by an ignorant crowd,” noted Sheikh al-Hashemi, a scholar from Yemen.
A sign of the time, and in negation of Islam calls for tolerance, the Saudi regime has called since 2015 for pilgrims to be profiled according to their school of thoughts. Pakistani officials confirmed in 2015 that: “Saudi Arabia will not entertain any Hajj application from aspirants that fail to specify whether the applicant is a Shia or a Sunni.”
It is violence and the fear of violent repression which more than anything else now rhymes with Hajj. Only this September the Saudi authorities arrested Iraqi Shia scholar “Sheikh Taha” in Mina, sentencing him to 3-month incarceration and 300 flagellations for an unknown reason.
Of all the many and grave transgressions Saudi Arabia committed against pilgrims one particularly troubling incident has stood out. Just as millions of pilgrims flocked to the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia senior cleric called for a grand religious cleanse against all those they view as apostates: all non-Wahhabis.
Of course the label non-Wahhabis extend to pretty much every faith, including Islam
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/57e0398be4b053b1ccf2a2e8

'Unusual' bee species drills apartment-style nests out of rock


The bee species Anthophora pueblo excavate their nests in hard sandstone, such as here in Utah's San Rafael Swell.
The bee species Anthophora pueblo excavate their nests in hard sandstone, such as here in Utah's San Rafael Swell.  (Michael Orr/Utah State University)
A newly discovered species of bee does things the hard way, gnawing its nests out of solid rock even when softer dirt is available.
This hard work appears to pay off, however, by providing the bees greater protection from the vagaries of life in the desert Southwest. The species, dubbed Anthophora pueblo, has been found in Utah, in southwest Colorado and in Death Valley in California, where it pocks vertical sandstone rock faces with tiny holes. Though the bees seem to be solitary nesters, they build these rocky alcoves next to one another, like insect apartment-dwellers.
"The bee is very unusual," study researcher Michael Orr, a doctoral student in biology at Utah State University, told Live Science. [See Images of the Sandstone Bee Nests]

Hidden discovery

The first hint of Anthophora peublo's existence dates back to the early 1980s, when entomologist Frank Parker — an author on the current study and the former head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bee Lab in Utah — discovered bees nesting in holes dug into sandstone in Utah's San Rafael Desert. Parker chipped out a couple of blocks of sandstone and reared the bees until they emerged from the rock; the nests and bee specimens then sat in a museum collection, unstudied.
Flash forward to the present day, when Orr began doing fieldwork studying other members of the Anthophora genus. He'd seen bees using the sandstone nests, and when Parker told him about the original discoveries in the 1980s, he knew he had to investigate more fully.
He did some detective work to rediscover Parker's original field sites, where the gap is still visible from the chunk of rock he chiseled out 36 years ago, Orr said. Something else remains the same, too.
"One of the greatest moments for me of this project was going back and revisiting that site from almost 40 years ago, and just walking up and the bees are still there," Orr said. "They're still using this same spot."


Orr and his colleagues discovered the sandstone-dwelling bees at seven sites total, the researchers reported on Sept. 12 in the journal Current Biology. They're mostly found in natural rock formations, but some nest in ancient Pueblo dwellings made by human hands — lending them their species name.
The bees, which are covered in the familiar black-and-yellow stripes, nest in sandstone at all but two sites, Orr said, where they burrow into silt. At these silt sites, the sandstone is about 2.5 times harder than the sandstones that the bees burrow into.
"They prefer it up until it's at a certain hardness threshold and then it doesn't make sense for them anymore," he said.

 Costs of excavating

There's a cost to burrowing in stone. Older female bees commonly show wear and tear on their mandibles, Orr and his colleagues reported, and it takes more energy and time to dig through sandstone than dirt. However, there's evidence that building nests to last confers benefits to the bees' offspring, which may reuse their parents' tunnels. The bees are also able to hole up in their dwellings and delay emergence for up to four years when times are lean and not many desert flowers are blooming; sandstone probably protects the bees from erosion or flash floods better than dirt during these long quiescent periods, the researchers wrote.
While long-lasting nests used through multiple generations can attract parasites, the sandstone also seems to stymy freeloaders, the researchers found. In the sandstone blocks found in 1980, the nesting sites had been colonized by parasitic beetles called Tricrania stansburii. The larva of these beetles hitch rides on bees back to the bee nests. However, only six out of 69 larvae had successfully emerged from their nesting cells, Orr said. The rest died, unable to get out of the tough stone. The hardness of the rock seems to help keep the parasite population in check. [The 10 Most Diabolical and Disgusting Parasites]
The sandstone should also deter microbial parasites. "Sandstone has relatively little organic matter in it naturally because of the way it's formed, and because of that most of the microbes that are using it are making their own food through things like photosynthesis," which requires sunlight, he said. "Anything making its own food through photosynthesis will be much less likely to invade a bee's nest and eat the bee's food."
The bee nests also provide a sort of secondary shelter for insects and arachnids that can't chew through rock on their own, Orr said. At least 20 species use the burrows, about half of which are parasites. Other "renters" of the rock apartments include spiders, other bee species and wasps, he said.
In the future, Orr hopes to track the bees as they come and go to find out if they're entirely solitary or if they cooperate to share nests. He's also working to get the local Native American community involved in the study and to draw more non-scientists into noticing these odd bees.
"I'm hoping to build kind of this sort of citizen science network where people can report these nest sites to me," he said. Acting on tips and doing his own explorations, he's found more than 50 new nesting sites since the paper was submitted to the journal, he said.
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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Former First Lady has KSh3.2 billion in bank accounts frozen


September 15, 2016
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Former Nigerian first lady Patience Jonathan is claiming ownership of bank accounts allegedly worth $31.5 million (KSh3.2 billion) that have been frozen in a corruption investigation, prompting anti-corruption groups to demand her prosecution.
The wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan filed suit asking the Federal High Court in Lagos to unfreeze five U.S. dollar accounts at Nigeria’s Skye Bank. They were frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in July.
Separately, her lawyer sent a letter to the commission saying $15 million (KSh1.5 billion) of the money was a government payment for medical bills she incurred in London in 2013.
Nigerians have taken to social media to deride that claim, asking if she planned to heal the entire world or was buying eternal life. But some accused the anti-graft commission of subjecting her and others to “trial by media.”
The commission has detained hundreds of people in a yearlong investigation of tens of billions of dollars missing from the state treasury that has not produced any successful prosecutions.
The commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit and letter, which were dated last week and obtained by The Associated Press.
President Goodluck Jonathan left office in May 2015 after being voted out.
Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, a civil society group, demanded that the attorney general immediately undertake criminal proceedings against the former first lady.
Nigerian media quoted unidentified anti-corruption commission officers as saying all but one of the frozen accounts were set up in the names of domestic workers, though the former first lady was the sole signatory.
A former senior presidential aide, a lawyer and a bank official are among people named in the corruption case that alleges graft and money laundering.

EDITORIAL POLICY: Permission to use quotation from this article is granted subject to full credit of source being given by referencing the direct link of the article on edaily.co.ke
Read more: https://edaily.co.ke/entertainment/former-first-lady-has-ksh3-2-billion-in-bank-accounts-frozen-122889/enews/eafrican/

France names row: Politician hits back over criticism of daughter's name


  • 14 September 2016
  • From the section Europe
 Rachida Dati
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption French politician Rachida Dati was minister of justice under Nicolas Sarkozy
A French politician has hit back after it was suggested her daughter was "less French" than other children because she had named her after her mother.
Rachida Dati reacted angrily after journalist Eric Zemmour criticised her choice of name for seven-year-old daughter Zohra.
He said it was unpatriotic because it did not come from an official list of French Christian names.
Ms Dati, a former justice minister, said the comments were "pathological".
Zemmour appeared on French television channel LCI on Monday, demanding the return of a law restricting the names children are given.
The law was abolished in 1993, 200 years after it was brought in by Napoleon Bonaparte.

Five countries which regulate baby names

A baby and its mother (file image) 
Image copyright PA
Iceland: Parents can choose from an approved list of 1,853 female and 1,712 male names, with those who want to venture outside the norm facing a special committee which will approve the choice should it meet certain criteria - including not embarrassing the child in question
Portugal: Those looking for inspiration can turn to an 80-page list which includes some 2,600 banned names, according to the Portuguese-American Journal
Saudi Arabia: The kingdom banned 50 names in 2015, including Alice, Elaine and Lauren - all considered too Western by authorities.
New Zealand: The task of approving baby names falls to the Department of Internal Affairs, which releases a list of its top "most rejected" each year - with 2015's winner being "Messiah"
Malaysia: As well as banning parents from calling babies names like Hitler, the National Registration Department has prohibited naming children after animals, insects, fruit, vegetables or colours since 2006

Zemmour - who also told the channel he felt National Front leader Marine Le Pen was not far enough to the right - said non-Christian names like Zohra, and that of football legend Zinedine Zidane, made their bearers "less French" than himself.
He also admitted to confronting Ms Dati, who is of North African origin, over her choice of name to her face.
"She called her daughter Zohra," he said. "I find it outrageous and I told her."
He added: "I consider that by giving Muslim first names, you are refusing to accept the history of France."
Ms Dati, who was justice minister under ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, was raised in a Muslim household but was partially educated at a private Catholic convent school. She has spoken previously of how she considers herself first a "daughter of France".
"Do you find it scandalous to give your mother's name to your children?" she asked, in a vigorous defence of her choice of name.
"I loved my mother. I have a little girl, and I called her after my mother. Like millions of French people do every day."

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37359437

كاتب فرنسي يهاجم ذوي الأسماء "غير المسيحية"

هاجم الكاتب الفرنسي إيريك زمور مواطنيه الذين يحملون أسماء غير مسيحية وغير فرنسية، وهو ما قوبل باستهجان البعض الذي اعتبر أنه ينم عن "عنصريته".
وقال زمور في تصريحات إعلامية الثلاثاء الماضي إن كل الفرنسيين (من أصول أجنبية) الذين يحملون أسماء غير موجودة في التقويم المسيحي هم أقل فرنسية من الذين يحملون أسماء موجودة في ذلك التقويم.
وضرب مثالا على ذلك عندما ذكر اللاعب الفرنسي الشهير زين الدين زيدان (من أصل جزائري) والوزيرة الفرنسية من أصول مغربية رشيدة داتي التي اختارت اسم "زهرة" لابنتها.
وفي هذا الإطار، قال زمور إن كل من يعطي اسم غير مسيحي لابنه هو بشكل من الأشكال "ينفصل عن فرنسا".
وفي ردها على تصريحات الكاتب المعروف، تساءلت داتي أمس الأربعاء عن المشكلة في تسمية ابنتها على اسم أمها التي تعشقها كما يفعل ملايين الفرنسيين، وفق تعبيرها.
وقالت "إذا كان زمور ينزعج من هذا الأمر، فهذا يعني أنه يعاني من حالة مرضية وأنصحه بأن يعالج نفسه".
بدوره قال الأمين العام للحزب الاشتراكي كريستوف كمباديليس إن كل ما يسعى إليه زمور في كل ظهور إعلامي أن يربط يبن المسلمين والإرهاب وهو أمر غير مقبول ولن نسمح به.
أما عضو المجلس البلدي بمدينة غوسافيل الفرنسية بدر ساسي فقال للأناضول إن المشكلة ليس في ما يقوله زمور لأنه معروف بعنصريته، ولكن المشكلة في عدد من وسائل الإعلام التي تمرر أناسا رأس مالهم الوحيد هو العنصرية وتصنع منهم نجوما وشخصيات عامة، وفق تعبيره.
وحذر ساسي من أن فتح المنصات الإعلامية لمثل هؤلاء"ليس خطرا على المسلمين فحسب، بل على فرنسا والمجتمع برمته".

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Refugees from Boko Haram return home, excited but fearful

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In this photo taken Sunday Aug. 28, 2016 a girl displaced by Islamist Extremists carries empty... Read more
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Excited but fearful, refugees from Boko Haram piled into yellow school buses with their bundles of belongings, returning after two years to homes that have been torched, wells destroyed, livestock looted and fields that still may not be safe from the Islamic insurgents.
On Monday, the largest group yet of such refugees, nearly 2,000, was transported to villages and the town of Konduga. Though they are just 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria's biggest city, they are also on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest where the Islamic extremists still have strongholds.
How this group of returnees survives, and whether the military can protect them, could influence other refugees whom the government is keen to resettle. Maiduguri alone is home to about 1 million of the 2.6 million people forced from their homes in Nigeria and neighboring countries during Boko Haram's seven-year uprising that has killed some 20,000.
Despite the threat from insurgents, "food is the most important issue," said one returnee, Baari Mustapha. "If not, there will be serious hunger and starvation."
Food is already a critical issue. Children are dying of starvation in refugee camps like Dalori, where many of the returnees had been living in tattered tents and makeshift huts of straw on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
Dalori residents were among hundreds who protested last week, accusing officials of stealing their food donations. Nigeria's government is investigating the charges.
The refugees say the camps are miserable, and they hope life will be better back home.
"Life has not been easy in the camp," said Bintu Ganaye, a 32-year-old mother surrounded by her five children, ages 3 to 13. "Our major fear is that we don't know what the future holds out for us as we return empty-handed."
Almost all the returnees are children, women and old men. Most women have no idea of the fate of husbands and sons, who may have been killed by Boko Haram or kidnapped to be turned into fighters.
The Borno state government some months ago tried to force refugees to return home, only to meet resistance from people who said it wasn't safe. Smaller groups have voluntarily returned.
On Monday, the refugees waited hours in sweltering heat for the arrival of Borno state Gov. Kashim Shettima, who assured them that food rations would be shipped to them, along with seeds to cultivate a total of 50 hectares (124 acres) of land cleared for them.
The villagers said they believe they still could be attacked by Boko Haram on their traditional farming lands, which are located away from their villages.
Hundreds of thousands of peasant farmers have been driven from their lands by Boko Haram.
Konduga town was attacked many times in the past because it serves as a final defense for Maiduguri, the birthplace of the extremist group and headquarters of the military campaign to curb its insurgency.
Even in Dalori camp, the refugees were not safe. In January, Boko Haram sent gunmen and suicide bombers who firebombed huts there and killed at least 86 people, including children.
There has been no major attack on Maiduguri or Konduga in the months since the military and forces from neighboring countries announced they had forced the militants out of most areas except the extreme northern areas around the Lake Chad Basin, where Nigeria's borders meet Cameroon, Chad and Niger, and the Sambisa Forest to the west of Konduga.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/04f4b9692e244b34acc1ce01ed924798/refugees-boko-haram-return-home-excited-fearful

Health Matters - A Medical Perspective

Monday, September 12, 2016

Kenya is key to Somali-land recognition

Standerd Digital News

Updated Sunday, September 11th 2016 02:58am
Kenya’s role in Africa should not be underestimated, since one party State Kenya has remained a force to be reckoned with in Africa. Moi through his well-articulated leadership had many enemies as well as friends in same measure. Moi was pro West and had support from United States for standing with the West in era of cold war. It was during Moi era that Nairobi mooted the birth of democratic Somalia and Southern Sudan. In recent years, Kenya has grown more popular outside the East Africa States. Kenya’s popularity has come with equal benefits through the leadership of Kenyatta. Somali’s UN backed government operated from Nairobi before eventually moving to Mogadishu. Kenya babied Somalia from the word go and it remains committed to see a peaceful neighbor for many years to come.
It is against this backdrop that I argue Kenyatta government can moot recognition of self-declared Somali-land. Kenyatta has a respected voice in African Union as well as the entire world. Somali-land, against all odds, declared its independence in 1991 after the fall of Said Barre. This self-determined breakaway State is not imposed by any major power or global elites, it merely followed through the status it had on June 26, 1960, after receiving independence from British colonial rule. It should be understood that Somaliland was recognized by the United Nations, United States and 35 other countries as an independent State until it voluntarily joined former UN Trust territory of Somalia on July 1, 1960. Somaliland is a unique self-created democracy that has held general elections, where the losers have accepted defeat and instead of fighting have formed a strong nation that has a strong stand against radicalization. It is time for the world to invest in this nation.
Kenya, in the efforts of bringing sanity in East Africa deployed troops in Somalia through a swift operation code named Linda nchi (Protect the Nation) that saw the capture of Kismayu in a well thought and uniquely planned war that saw Kenya make mark militarily for the first time in the history of the world. Kenya through African Union should push the agenda of self-rule in Somaliland. Kenya has nothing to lose in this pursuit because at the moment Kenya spends millions of dollars in war that continues to radicalize Kenyan youth. UN backed Somalia government has a long way to go but the best available solution now is supporting any breakaway region that guarantees transparency, democracy and rule of law.
Kenya can carefully work through a strategy of withdrawing troops from Somalia and deploy a residual force to train Somali-land troops, Kenya will have achieved what no African nation has achieved. Kenya besides being the first African nation to have a forward base in a foreign land will also advance its economic interest in establishing new markets for Kenyan products as well as export Kenyans workers with diverse skills and human resource. It should be understood Kenya helped Namibia gain its footing in 80’s, the same can be said of Mozambique, Liberia and war stricken Yugoslavia.
Somali-land desire to live as an independent State was as a result of failed clannism politics that seems to tear Somalia apart. It is important to note that many countries have emerged from failed federation like the grand Federation of Somalia formed by Italian and British protectorate. Other countries that have formed breakaway countries that were later recognized are the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, Gambia, East Timor and Eritrea.
Kenya’s voice in Africa is critical and its leadership is equally undeniably top notch. It should be known that everything Kenya nurtures through the ages has turned out to be great. Let Kenya deploy its military force for training purposes in Somaliland, while there, Kenyan navy can continue to open maritime commerce while flying Kenyan flag high and in a peaceful way. While in Somaliland, KDF can continue to protect Kenya homeland by destroying and disrupting terrorist activities directed towards Kenya from foreign lands. Like any other great nations, Kenya can have foreign based troops that can answer the call moment’s notice when it is most needed.
Read more: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/ureport/story/2000215536/kenya-is-key-to-somali-land-recognition