Politics and Legislation
‘US respects no one’s sovereignty’
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
At least eight people have been killed in the latest US assassination drone strike in the northwestern tribal belt of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a house in North Waziristan on Sunday morning.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Syed Tariq Pirzada, strategic affairs analyst, to hear his opinion on this issue.
|TEHRAN, July 2 (MNA) – The Iranian ambassador to the Human Rights Council has said that lasting peace can be established in the region only if the Zionist regime ends its occupation of the Palestinian territories.|
|Ambassador Mohammad Reza Sajjadi made the remarks in Geneva on Monday in a speech during a meeting of the Human Rights Council after Richard Falk, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, presented his report to the council.
Following are excerpts of the text of Sajjadi’s speech:
My delegation would like to thank the Special Rapporteur for his detailed report submitted to the council.
Highlighting the violation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory with reference to (the) “Israeli regime(‘s) policy and practice of targeted killing” as well as “widespread and abusive use of administrative detention procedures”, the report obviously illustrates flagrant violation of human rights in the Palestine and draws attention to some horrific incidents (caused) by so-called “Israeli Defense Forces.”
The incidences of extrajudicial executions or assassinations underscored in the report as well as the recent upsurge of violence by (the) Israeli regime in Gaza are just (the) tip of (the) iceberg demonstrating that this regime continues and even intensifies its heinous crimes against the oppressed and defenseless Palestinian people in defiance of human rights principles, international law, UN resolutions and even the basic norms of decency. What is perplexing is that the Israeli regime, enjoying the unflagging support of the Western bloc, continues to perpetrate its crimes and violations with a sense of impunity.
It is high time for the council to defend more effectively the human rights of (the) Palestinian people and adopt a firm position and urge the international community to counter the said regime’s inhumane policies and practices against the defenseless Palestinians.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the settlement of the Palestinian crisis would be achievable only if the inalienable rights of the people of the occupied Palestine (are) fully recognized, restored, and maintained.
The only solution to the Palestinian issue (necessary for the) establishment of peace is restoration of the sovereignty right to Palestine and putting an end to occupation.
The Palestinian people should be allowed to express their opinions freely regarding their fate and future and the kind of state and government they want to have through a referendum with the participation of all (the) Palestinian people.
By AL ARABIYA WITH AGENCIES
Egyptian youth activists and Christian leaders met with President-elect Mohammed Mursi on Wednesday to work towards “achieving the goals of the uprising which ousted his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year,” the Egypt Independent newspaper reported.
Egyptian activist Wael Ghoneim, known for his prominent role during the January 25 Revolution, said the meeting discussed the importance of transparency in all decisions made by Mursi’s government, which is due to be installed after he is inaugurated at the weekend.
Ghoneim has previously said he has several reservations on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mursi even though he voted for him.
“Many people did not vote for Mursi because he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood or the chairman of its political wing the Freedom and Justice Party, but because they did not want to opt for a member of the former regime,” Ghoneim said earlier this month in reference to the election runoff which saw Mursi pitted against former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.
In the talks Mursi held with the youth activists, Asmaa Mahfouz, one of the founders of Egypt’s April 6 Youth Movement, said Mursi’s promises “are calculated but he seems to mean well for Egypt,” Egypt Independent reported.
Mursi also met with Christian leaders and the families of those killed in the uprising, seeking to broaden support before a handover of power by the ruling generals, due by June 30.
His first appointments as president-elect of Egypt will be a woman and a Coptic Christian, his spokesman has told the Guardian this week, as he moves to allay fears of the Brotherhood.
Samah al-Essawy said that although the names of the two choices had not been finalized, they would be Mursi’s two vice-presidents.
When the appointments go through, they will constitute the first time in Egypt’s history that either a woman or a Coptic Christian has occupied such a high-ranking position.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday congratulated Egypt’s newly elected Islamist president, but cautioned that the election was just a first step towards true democracy.
“We have congratulated President (Mohammed) Mursi and the Egyptian people for continuing on their path to democratic transition,” Clinton told reporters in Helsinki.
President-elect Mursi, of the once-banned Muslim Brotherhood, is in the process of forming a government after he was proclaimed Egypt’s first democratically elected president on Sunday, a year and a half after street protests toppled veteran strongman and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.
“We have heard some very positive statements so far,” Clinton said, hailing among other things Mursi’s pledge to honor international obligations, “which would, in our view, cover the peace treaty with Israel,” signed in 1979 and which many feared could be abandoned with an Islamist in power.
However, Clinton cautioned, “one election does not a democracy make.”
The historic vote was “just the beginning of hard work, and hard work requires pluralism, respecting the rights of minorities, an independent judiciary and independent media,” she said.
“We expect President Mursi to demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity that is manifested by representatives of the women of Egypt, of the Coptic Christian community, of the secular, non-religious community and young people,” she added.
|TEHRAN, July 2 (MNA) – The Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee has put forward a proposal to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz to prevent the passage of tankers that carry oil for the countries that have imposed sanctions on Iran, an Iranian MP announced on Sunday.|
|Speaking to the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency, MP Ebrahim Aqa-Mohammadi said that the proposal had been signed by 100 MPs as of Sunday.
The measure would be a response to the European Union’s oil embargo on Iran that took effect on July 1 and a new U.S. law that penalizes countries that do business with the Central Bank of Iran by denying their banks access to the United States market. The law came into force on June 28.
The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most strategic shipping channels. It connects the vast majority of the world’s countries with the crude oil that fuels their economies.
At its narrowest point, the strait is 21 miles wide, with a two-mile shipping lane on either side. On average, 14 supertankers sail through the strait every day.
MP Arsalan Fat’hipour said on Sunday that if Iran is unfairly targeted, it will not allow “even one drop of oil” to pass through the Strait of Hormuz.
According to the Fars News Agency, he also played down the effects of sanctions against Iran and said, “We have been sanctioned for 33 years and have faced worse conditions than this, but nothing happened.”
By Al Arabiya with Agencies
A meeting for the Syrian opposition groups kicked off in Cairo on Monday mainly to discuss a new international plan for a transitional Syrian government. They are also expected to hold talks on Tuesday with Arab ministers in a bid to agree on a shared platform, Egyptian media and the Arab League said.
The Arab League chief called on the fragmented Syrian opposition to unite during the opening session of the meeting.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi addressed nearly 250 members of the Syrian opposition at the meeting on Monday in an effort to get disparate groups to pull together. It is the first time the Arab League hosts a meeting of the Syrian opposition.
Arabi said the opposition “must not miss this opportunity” to unite, adding that the Syrian people are more valuable than any factional disagreements.
Syria-based rebel fighters and activists earlier on Monday said they would boycott the opposition meeting in Cairo, denouncing it as a “conspiracy” that served the policy goals of Damascus allies Moscow and Tehran.
“We refuse all kinds of dialogue and negotiation with the killer gangs … and we will not allow anyone to impose on Syria and its people the Russian and Iranian agendas,” said a statement signed by the rebel Free Syrian Army and “independent” activists.
The signatories criticized the agenda of the Cairo talks for “rejecting the idea of a foreign military intervention to save the people … and ignoring the question of buffer zones protected by the international community, humanitarian corridors, an air embargo and the arming of rebel fighters.”
The boycotting groups said the talks follow the “dangerous decisions of the Geneva conference, which aim to safeguard the regime, to create a dialogue with it and to form a unity government with the assassins of our children.”
“The Cairo conference aims to give a new chance to (U.N.-Arab League) envoy Kofi Annan to try again to convince Assad to implement his six-point plan. .. while forgetting that thousands have been martyred since the plan came into force,” they said.
No transition in the presence of Assad
Reema Flaihan, spokesperson of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), had told Al Arabiya that the responsible committee has prepared a document for the transitional period, which has been signed by the different opposition members.
According to reports, the opposition figures will most probably reject any discussion of a national unity government in the presence of President Bashar al-Assad.
On the ground, as many as 77 people have been killed in violent crackdown on dissent across the country on Sunday.
The Syrian opposition on Sunday branded an international plan for a transition in strife-torn Syria a failure, as the death toll mounted.
World powers meeting in Geneva on Saturday agreed that the transition plan could include current regime members, but the West did not see any role for Assad in a new unity government.
Russia and China insisted that Syrians themselves must decide how the transition takes place, rather than allow others to dictate their fate.
Moscow and Beijing, which have twice blocked U.N. Security Council resolutions on Syria, signed up to the final agreement that did not make any explicit call for Assad to cede power.
Extra powers to Annan and his team
In a special interview with Al Arabiya, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zebary said that the principles agreed on in Geneva will give extra powers to Annan and his team for the sake of finding a solution to the Syrian crisis.
Official Syrian media slammed the outcome, in rare agreement with the main opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) and the LCC which organize protests.
The SNC said it had expected “more serious and effective action” to emerge from the Geneva talks and reiterated that Assad must quit power.
“The Syrian people were hoping that the international community would adopt more serious and effective measures in dealing with the regime, whose bloody behavior has become clear,” the SNC said.
“The Syrian National Council affirms that no initiative can be accepted by the Syrian people unless it clearly calls on Bashar al-Assad and the tyrants around him to step down.”
It also charged that the Geneva plan “lacked a clear mechanism for action and a timetable” to hold the regime accountable, and warned that this could mean “more bloodshed.”
The LCC said the outcome showed once again a failure to adopt a common position.
It called the transition accord “just one version, different in form only, of the demands of Russian leaders allied to the Assad regime and who cover it militarily and politically in the face of international pressure.”
Iran, a strong ally of Assad, said the Geneva meeting was “unsuccessful” because Damascus and Tehran were not invited.
The United States and European nations reportedly opposed the presence of Iran, although U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon had wanted Tehran to attend.
The Geneva deal came despite initial pessimism over the talks amid deep divisions between the West and China and Russia on how to end the violence that the Observatory says has killed more than 15,800 since March 2011.
Syria’s neighbor Turkey, which attended the Geneva talks, scrambled fighter jets after Syrian helicopters flew close to its border, the army said on Sunday, hiking tensions following last month’s downing of a Turkish plane.
Six F-16 warplanes took off from airbases in south Turkey on Saturday after Syrian helicopters flew closer to the border than is normal, the army said, specifying there had been three incidents but no violation of Turkish airspace.
Sunday’s highest concentration of deaths was in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
Annan said on Saturday it was up to the Syrians to decide who they wanted in a unity government. But he added: “I would doubt that Syrians… would select people with blood on their hands to lead them.”
The United States and France both said it was clear there was no future role for Assad.
|TEHRAN, July 2 (MNA) — Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that Iran is ready to upgrade its relations with Egypt to the level of ambassador whenever the Arab country announces its readiness.|
|“Iran has always expressed its interest in upgrading political relations between Tehran and Cairo to the level of ambassador, and, whenever the Egyptian side is ready, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to enhance ties between the two countries.”
Salehi described current relations between Iran and Egypt as “good”, adding, “However, the Egyptian side has so far set some conditions for enhancing political relations with Iran, but the election of (Mohamed) Morsi to serve as the Egyptian president has opened a new chapter in the country’s foreign policy.”
“The Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that the prospects of Egypt’s foreign policy will become brighter and that the country’s new government will take more serious measures to have more comprehensive and deeper relations with the Muslim world,” he added.
The Iranian foreign minister also said, “The Egyptian people did a great job by electing Morsi to serve as the president and brought the revolution to fruition.”
The U.N. pointman for Palestinian human rights launched a blistering attack on the international community Monday, accusing it of conspiring in Israeli settlement policies and branding the peace process a “trick.”
Richard Falk, the special U.N. rapporteur for human rights in the occupied territories, also took aim at the so-called Middle East Quartet’s peace envoy Tony Blair over his efforts in the region.
Falk, who spoke to reporters after addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, said Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were offered no protection in Israeli law and that their treatment was akin to apartheid.
“I think one has to begin to call the reality by a name,” he said, likening the “discriminatory dualistic legal system” in the West Bank to the former system in South Africa.
In his report to the council, Falk expressed his concern about Israel’s use of administrative detention, the expansion of settlements and violence by settlers.
Israel in March severed contacts with the council after the 47-member body said it would investigate settlements in the occupied territories, which are considered illegal under international law.
Peace talks between the two sides have been on hold since September 2010, with the Palestinians refusing to resume them without a moratorium on settlement building.
“The peace process is a trick rather than a way to find a solution to the problem,” Falk said.
He also criticized the work of the former British prime minister Tony Blair in the region.
“Tony Blair has not much to show for his 86 visits to the Middle East… (it is) an extension of the peace process which I regard as a failure because while time passes the settlement culture continues.”
“The international community is conspiring – maybe unwittingly – in a process that has no way of bringing justice to the people involved in this conflict,” he said of settlements.
At least 3,500 buildings were under construction in the West Bank in 2011, Falk reported, not including Israeli settlements in annexed east Jerusalem.
Such building on Palestinian land “more or less closes the book on the reality and feasibility” of a two-state solution to the conflict, Falk said.
“The credibility of the Human Rights Council is very much at stake if there is nothing that is done about the non-cooperation or non-compliance” by Israel with the council’s recommendations, he said.
“The language of censure doesn’t help the Palestinian people if there is no action.”
Settler violence against Palestinians was a new feature of the drive to occupy the Palestinian territories, especially around Hebron and Nablus, he added.
“Many people say the Israeli government is an extension of the settlers and I think that is an accurate description,” he said.
Falk said Palestinians were disillusioned by the international peace efforts and had resorted to extreme measures such as hunger strikes to raise awareness of abuses including illegal detention by Israel.
But such action was ignored in Western media, Falk said, sending “the unfortunate signal that only violent protests will be noticed internationally.”
‘Lazy Greeks myth, red herring in explaining crisis’
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by RussiaToday
Peter Mertens, leader of the Workers’ Party of Belgium, believes the Eurozone debt crisis is pushing member states towards “a very large number of social conflicts.” Mertens told RT that Europe faces three alternatives – saving the euro with “authoritarian measures by taking national sovereignty overnight to the European level”, breaking up into “two, three or four Europes”, or adopting a socialist model, “where banking system is public, where energy system is public, where there is democracy.” He believes Europe needs radical changes to its financial sector.
See transcript: http://on.rt.com/r9ai58
Big banks craft “living wills” in case they fail
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five of the biggest banks in the United States are putting finishing touches on plans for going out of business as part of government-mandated contingency planning that could push them to untangle their complex operations.
The plans, known as living wills, are due to regulators no later than July 1 under provisions of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law designed to end too-big-to-fail bailouts by the government. The living wills could be as long as 4,000 pages.
Since the law allows regulators to go so far as to order a bank to divest subsidiaries if it cannot plan an orderly resolution in bankruptcy, the deadline is pushing even healthy institutions to start a multi-year process to untangle their complex global operations, according to industry consultants.
“The resolution process is now going to be part of the cost-benefit analysis on where banks will do business,” said Dan Ryan, leader of the financial services regulatory practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. “The complexity of the organizations will shrink.”
JPMorgan Chase & Co , Bank of America Corp , Citigroup Inc , Goldman Sachs & Co and Morgan Stanley are among those submitting the first liquidation scenarios to regulators at the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, according to people familiar with the matter.
The five firms, which declined to discuss their plans for this story, have some of the biggest balance sheets, trading desks and derivatives portfolios of financial institutions in the United States.
Great Britain and other major countries are imposing similar requirements for “resolution” plans on their big banks, too.
The liquidation plans are coming amid renewed questions about the safety of big banks following JPMorgan’s stunning announcement last month that a trading debacle has cost it more than $2 billion – a sum far too small to endanger the bank, but shocking enough to bring back memories of the financial crisis.
Iran to boost gasoline output by one million BPD
Published on Jul 2, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
As the US and European Union intensify sanctions on Iran’s energy industry, Iran continues to develop its oil facilities using domestic capability.
Press TV’s Amir Mehdi Kazemi reports from Tehran.
Press Trust of India / New Delhi
Amid a global crackdown against alleged black money in secret accounts of Swiss banks, their bankers are selling a new safe-haven idea to their rich clients from India and other countries — the high-value 1,000 franc notes to be stored in safe deposit boxes.
These boxes — kept inside the premises of Swiss banks — are also said to be being used to stash gold, diamond, paintings and art works among other valuables — apparently because of limited risk of catching the preying eyes of foreign governments having signed banking information exchange treaties with Switzerland.
According to industry sources, bankers are telling their rich clients that Switzerland’s tax and information exchange treaties with India and other countries are mostly limited to funds in customers’ savings, deposit and investment accounts, and do not apply to the safe deposit boxes.
As a result, the demand has soared to record high levels for the safe deposit boxes and the 1,000 Swiss franc banknotes in Switzerland, as rich of the world are rushing to get them.
As per the data available with Switzerland’s central bank SNB (Swiss National Bank), the thousand-franc notes now account for 60 per cent of total value of all Swiss banknotes in circulation, up from about 50 per cent a year ago.
Replying to PTI queries, SNB confirmed that there was a significant surge in demand for thousand-franc notes and admitted that this could be due to a trend to store the money and a higher demand was being noticed from abroad for these high-value currency notes.
SNB did not reply to specific queries about demand from India and said that it did not have any data on deposit boxes.
Just one thousand-franc banknote is worth about Rs 60,000 in Indian currency, making it easier to store large amount of money in form of these notes
‘Sanctions only hurting EU, Iran cashing in on exemptions’
Published on Jul 2, 2012 by RussiaToday
The EU embargo of Iranian oil is now in place, along with fresh U.S. sanctions against countries dealing with Tehran. The measures are aimed at pressurizing Iran to curb its nuclear programme. The Islamic Republic says however that it’s been stockpiling money as a buffer and that selling oil remains no problem – thanks to America exempting some countries from penalties – including China and Singapore. Author and journalist Afshin Rattansi says the sanctions are unlikely to have the desired effect.
Wars and Rumors of War
Economy and drugs dominate Mexico poll
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish
Two of the main issues expected to dominate Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday are the economy and the country’s “War on Drugs”.
Mexico’s economy is growing at a rate of four per cent, but 20 million youths are out of school and out of work.
Meanwhile, more than 50,000 people have been killed since December 2006, in the fight against drug gangs and organised crime.
Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney reports from Ciudad Juárez.
Armed Angels: Children dragged into grown-up war in Syria
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by RussiaToday
The urgency for international agreement on Syria is underlined by the growing daily violence there. As Maria Finoshina reports, even the youngest in the country are being dragged into the conflict.
Missiles, bombs, drones & battleships: London ready for Olympics?
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by RussiaToday
High-tech battleships and missiles are on stand-by to protect London during the upcoming Olympics. Some are concerned it looks more like war games than a sporting event. But as RT’s Laura Smith explains, heavy weaponry may not be enough to tackle the real threat.
‘Removing Assad will add to Syria chaos’
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews
Russia and China want the Syrian people to resolve the Syrian issue while the US and its allies who are causing the bloodshed is firm about dictating terms.
Interview with James Fetzer, professor and philosopher, Madison.
Syrian No-go: Rebels won’t talk until Assad out
Published on Jul 2, 2012 by RussiaToday
Syria’s rebels have rebuffed the latest plan for peace. World powers pushed for a unity government at talks in Geneva at the weekend – but the opposition insists Assad has to go. The deal was forged to try and end the drawn-out conflict, which the UN says has claimed more than 10-thousand lives. RT’s Maria Finoshina reports.
UN Rights chief arms flow increasing into Syria
Published on Jul 2, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish
Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, tells Al Jazeera that violence in Syria is being fuelled by the increasing flow of weapons to both the sides.
In a phone call to the Kremlin Sunday, July 1, Syrian President Bashar Assad said he needed just two months to finish off the revolt against his regime. “My new military tactics are working,” he said in a secret video-conference with Russian intelligence and foreign ministry officials who shape Moscow’s policy on Syria.
Reporting this exclusively, debkafile’s intelligence sources also register the fleeting life span of the new plan for ending the Syrian war which UN envoy Kofi Annan announced had been agreed at a multinational Action Group meeting in Geneva on Saturday, June 30. Within 24 hours, the principle of a national unity transitional government based on “mutual consent” was rejected by the regime and the Turkish-based opposition leaders alike, as the violence went into another month.
On the first day of July, 91 people were reported killed in the escalating Syrian violence after a record 4,000 in June.
The new military tactics to which Assad referred are disclosed here:
1. The sweeping removal of most of the veteran Syrian army commanders who led the 16-month bloody assault on regime opponents and rebels. They were sent home with full pay to make way for a new set of younger commanders, most of them drawn from the brutal Alawite Shabiha militia, which is the ruling family’s primary arm against its enemies.
The regular commanders had shown signs of fatigue and doubts about their ability to win Assad’s war. Their will to fight on was being badly sapped by the mounting numbers officers and men going over to the opposition camp in June.
One of the tasks set the new commanders is to stem the rate of defections.
To keep the veteran commanders from joining the renegades and reduce their susceptibility to hostile penetration, the officers were not sacked but retired on full pension plus all the perks of office, including official cars.
2. But a higher, unthinkable level of violence is the key to Assad’s “new tactics.” He has armed the new military chiefs with extra fire power – additional tank and artillery units, air force bombers and attack helicopters – for smashing pockets of resistance and unlimited permission to use it. Already the level of live fire used against the rebels has risen to an even more unthinkable level which explains the sharp escalation of deaths to an average of 120 per day.
On the Syrian-Turkish border, tensions continue to mount. Monday morning, Turkey was still pumping large-scale strength including tanks, antiaircraft and antitank guns, artillery, surface missiles and combat helicopters to the border region.
Saturday, half a dozen Turkish jets were scrambled to meet Syria helicopters approaching their common border.
In Tehran, Brig. Gen. Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, commander of Iran’s IRGC Aerospace Division, warned Ankara that if its troops ventured onto Syrian soil, their bases of departure would be destroyed. The threat was made during Hajizadeh’s announcement of a three-day missile exercise starting Monday in response to the European oil embargo. He reported that long-, medium- and short-range missiles would target “simulations of foreign bases in the northern Semnan Desert,” without mentioning any specific nation except Turkey.
Novinite.com (Sofia NewsAgency)
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark gives his monthly press briefing in Brussels, in Brussels, Belgium, 02 July 2012. EPA/BGNES
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has played down the risk of a military confrontation between Turkey and Syria.
Rasmussen also said Ankara was justified in beefing up its defenses along the Syrian border, as cited by international media.
Turkey, a key NATO member, has strengthened its troop presence and air defenses along its southern border after Syria shot down one of its jets on June 22, heightening tensions between the neighbors caused by an uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Asked if he was concerned about Turkey‘s military buildup and whether there was a risk it could lead to a confrontation with Syria, Rasmussen said told a news conference:
“I commend Turkey for having shown restraint despite the very tragic aircraft incident,” Rasmussen told a news conference in Brussels on Monday.
“I find it quite normal that Turkey takes necessary steps to protect its population and its territory,” he said.
He added NATO had received no request from Turkey to deploy AWACS surveillance planes or other military equipment.
At an emergency meeting in Brussels last week, NATO allies condemned Syria‘s shooting down of the Turkish military plane, but stopped short of threatening a military response.
Syria says it shot down the Turkish jet in self-defense and that it was brought down in Syrian air space. Turkey says the jet accidentally violated Syrian air space for a few minutes but was brought down in international air space.
Turkey scrambled six F-16 fighter jets in three separate incidents responding to Syrian military helicopters approaching the border on Sunday, its armed forces command said on Monday.
Meanwhile, Arab states and Turkey urged Syria‘s divided opposition on Monday to unite and form a credible alternative to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but rifts swiftly emerged at talks in Cairo.
The unity calls were made at the opening of a two-day meeting organized by the Arab League to try to rally Syria‘s opposition, which has been beset by in-fighting that diplomats say have made it tougher for the world to respond to the crisis.
Sixteen months into an uprising against Assad, squabbling among the opposition makes it less likely to be able to win international recognition or to get more than half-hearted foreign support.
“It is not acceptable to waste this opportunity in any way. The sacrifices of the Syrian people are bigger than us all and more precious than any differences or individual and party interests,” Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said, addressing the roughly 200 Syrian politicians and activists.
Articles of Interest
Inside Story – Sudan: Breaking the barrier of fear
Published on Jul 1, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish
As the Sudanese government intensifies its crackdown on anti-government protests that have been going on for almost two weeks, activists have called for a massive demonstration against the government’s austerity measures.
The protesters defiantly dubbed their anti-government rallies “licking elbows” after officials issued a statement telling people who are dissatisfied with the government to do just that.
The protests that were sparked by austerity measures have spread from the capital Khartoum to other areas of the country, with people now openly calling for an end to the 23-year-old rule of Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president.
Fast and Furious & The 2nd Amendment
The War On Drugs
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