Category: World News


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Reuters

In the chaos of the explosion at the Comptoir Voltaire cafe, one of several targets hit in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, nurse David instinctively sought to help the wounded.

Among them was a man lying amid overturned chairs and tables. David, who asked to be called just by his first name, lay him down. The man did not look to have massive injuries, but appeared unconscious, so David began CPR, the cardiopulmonary resuscitation he’d been trained for.

When he tore open the man’s t-shirt, David quickly realized that what he initially thought was a gas explosion at the cafe close to the Bataclan music hall where gunmen killed 89, was actually something far worse.

“There were wires; one white, one black, one red and one orange. Four different colors,” he told Reuters. “I knew then he was a suicide bomber.”

The man David was trying to resuscitate was Brahim Abdeslam, one of those involved in a series of deadly attacks that killed 130 people at bars, restaurants, a soccer stadium and a music hall. No one other than Abdeslam died at the cafe.

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100 said killed in Paris theater alone as attackers tossed explosives at hostages; police kill at least 2 gunmen in raid; gunman said to shout ‘Allahu Akbar’; French capital terrorized by attacks in 7 locales

November 14, 2015, 12:13 am 36
  • Victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday reported multiple terror incidents, leaving many dead. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
    Victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant, Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday reported multiple terror incidents, leaving many dead. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
  • France's President Hollande declares a state of emergency amid multiple attacks in Paris, November 13, 2015 (France 24 screenshot)
    France’s President Hollande declares a state of emergency amid multiple attacks in Paris, November 13, 2015 (France 24 screenshot)
  • Fans leave the Stade de France amid a stream of fatal attacks in Paris, including explosions near the stadium, November 13, 2015. (Foto AP/Michel Euler)

The Times of Israel is live blogging events as they unfold late Friday and into Saturday.

1,500 extra soldiers deployed to Paris after attacks

The office of the French President Francois Hollande says that at least 1,500 extra soldiers have been deployed to Paris after the deadly attacks tonight.

Hollande heads to Paris theater where 100 killed

A French police official says top government officials including President Francois Hollande were headed to the Bataclan concert hall where hostages were taken.

According to police, at least 100 people were killed in the theater. A police assault on the venue finished earlier tonight, leaving at least two attackers dead, officials say.

Facebook activates ‘safety check’ feature after Paris attacks

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature — allowing users to alert friends and others that they are safe — following the deadly terror attacks in Paris which have claimed the lives of at least 140 people tonight.

 

Screenshot from Facebook's 'Safety Check' feature allowing users to report that they are safe.

Screenshot from Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ feature allowing users to report that they are safe.

Netanyahu: Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with France against terror

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel stands “shoulder to shoulder” with France in the “war against terrorism” after a deadly string of attacks in Paris left at least 140 dead tonight.

“Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with President Francois Hollande and with the French people in the war against terrorism,” Netanyahu said as he offered his condolences to the families of the victims.

Police say 100 dead inside Paris theater; total death toll up to 140

French police say that about 100 people were killed inside the Bataclan theater in Paris tonight, bringing the total death toll from the multiple terror attacks across the French capital to 140.

‘Dozens’ killed in Paris theater as attackers tossed explosives at hostages

Dozens of people are dead inside Paris’ famous Bataclan theater where a terrorist attack took place earlier tonight, and some 100 people were taken hostage. The death toll is expected to rise as the situation becomes clearer.

Police launched a raid and killed two attackers a short while ago.

One Paris official described “carnage” inside the building, saying the attackers had tossed explosives at the hostages.

— AP contributed

 

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Columnists

12:38 09.11.2015(updated 15:17 09.11.2015) 
Paul Craig Roberts

The re-enserfment of Western peoples is taking place on several levels. One about which I have been writing for more than a decade comes from the offshoring of jobs. Americans, for example, have a shrinking participation in the production of the goods and services that are marketed to them.

On another level we are experiencing the financialization of the Western economy about which Michael Hudson is the leading expert (Killing The Host). Financialization is the process of removing any public presence in the economy and converting the economic surplus into interest payments to the financial sector.

These two developments deprive people of economic prospects.  A third development deprives them of political rights.  The Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Partnerships eliminate political sovereignty and turn governance over to global corporations.

These so called “trade partnerships” have nothing to do with trade. These agreements negotiated in secrecy grant immunity to corporations from the laws of the countries in which they do business. This is achieved by declaring any interference by existing and prospective laws and regulations on corporate profits as restraints on trade for which corporations can sue and fine “sovereign” governments. For example, the ban in France and other counries on GMO products would be negated by the Trans-Atlantic Partnership. Democracy is simply replaced by corporate rule.I have been meaning to write about this at length. However, others, such as Chris Hedges, are doing a good job of explaining the power grab that eliminates representative government.

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Terrifying final moments of doomed Russian jet: Flight data reveals plane lurched up and down then passengers were sucked out in their seats – as US satellite detects heat flash suggesting a bomb

  • Doomed Russian holiday jet lurched up and down before plunging 31,000ft after being blown apart, bosses claim
  • Travellers still strapped in seats sucked from stricken Airbus A321 through hole at back of jet when the tail blew off
  • Plane crashed into Sinai peninsula killing all 224 passengers and crew just 23 minutes after leaving Sharm El Sheikh
  • PM said security officials are ‘looking very carefully’ at whether there is a safety risk to Britons travelling to Egypt

A doomed Russian passenger jet lurched up and down before plunging 31,000 feet after being blown apart by an ‘external impact’, airline bosses have revealed.

Travellers still strapped in their seats were sucked from the stricken Airbus A321 through a hole at the back of the jet when the tail blew off 23 minutes after leaving the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El Sheikh, it was claimed.

The plane twice abruptly climbed nearly 3,000 feet in three seconds before falling 3,000 feet moments later in the final minutes before disappearing from radar, crashing in the Sinai peninsula with the loss of all 224 passengers and crew.

The news comes as US officials claim an American infra-red satellite detected a heat flash on the route the aircraft was taking seconds before the plane fell from the sky, suggesting there was some sort of explosion on board.

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Egyptian military approach a plane's tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana

Egyptian military approach a plane’s tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana

WILL YOUR FLIGHT BE CROSSING A TERRORIST DANGER ZONE? GRAPHIC REVEALS NO FLYING ZONES IN PLACE

Passenger jets leaving Britain routinely fly over areas of the world where conflict on the ground could put them at risk.

The risk was brought into tragic focus in July last year when a Malaysia Airlines passenger flight was shot down in eastern Ukraine by a missile launcher allegedly operated by pro-Russian separatists. All 298 people aboard Flight MH17 were killed.

Since then, with the exception of direct flights into Kiev, most airlines have avoided Ukrainian airspace.

However, MH17 is thought to have been destroyed by a sophisticated long-range missile – not the shoulder-launched devices obtained by IS gunmen and other rebel groups. These normally have maximum vertical range of 15,000 to 20,000ft, much less than the cruising height of commercial airliners.

Aviation authorities issue ‘Notices to Airman’ that place restrictions on commercial flights operated by carriers crossing hazardous airspace. For the world’s most dangerous areas – including Syria and Libya – all flights are banned.

But in others restrictions only apply to flights below a certain altitude, usually around 26,000ft, depending on the perceived range of anti-aircraft weapons available to gunmen in those countries. Warnings issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration cover global hotspots including Libya, Iraq, Yemen and parts of the Sinai Peninsular in Egypt. They are regarded as an international standard.

The Department for Transport’s list of flying restrictions for nine countries issued to British carriers is almost the same but also includes Pakistan.

Planes flying over such areas are warned not to go beneath 26,000ft because of the risk from terrorist or rebel fighters. In many cases – such as the Ukrainian capital Kiev – the no-fly rule does not include direct flights in and out.

Many terror groups around the world have access to the shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, known as MANPADS – or Man-portable air-defence systems. They were developed by the US and Russia in the Cold War.

They are a threat to low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters, and it is possible they could be used to attack an aircraft taking off or landing.

In February 2003, then Prime Minister Tony Blair sent armoured vehicles to Heathrow in response to intelligence warning of an ‘extremely probable’ terrorist attack. While it did not happen, it is likely that such an attack could have involved the use of MANPADS.

The data does not show the heat flash travelling at any time, as would be the case had a ground-to-air missile been launched in the plane’s direction.

Instead, the satellite evidence illustrates that there was just a single burst of ferocious heat on the jet’s path.

That has now opened up the possibility that a bomb on board, or an explosion in a fuel tank or engine as the result of a mechanical failure, caused the plane to come down.

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All passengers dead’ as Russian airliner crashes in Egypt’s Sinai

Published: 22:45 October 31, 2015

Agencies
November 1, 2015 | Last updated 4 minutes ago

 

 

All passengers on the Russian flight from Egypt died when the plane crashed in the Sinai peninsula Saturday, the Russian embassy said in a statement


  • Egypt PM Sherif Ismail (R) at the site of the wreckage of a crashed Russian airliner in HassanaImage Credit: AFP

  • Emergency workers unload bodies of victims from the crash of a Russian aircraft from a police helicopter.Image Credit: AP

  • Relatives react at Pulkovo international airport outside Saint Petersburg after a Russian plane with 224 peoplImage Credit: AFP
  • Relatives react after a Russian airliner crashed
    Relatives react after a Russian airliner crashed, as people gather at an information desk in Russia.Image Credit: AP

Paris: Air France and Lufthansa said Saturday they will stop flying over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula after a Russian passenger plane went down in the area with the loss of all 224 people on board.

The airlines said they were taking the measure as a precaution while the cause of the Russian crash was investigated.

The Daesh affiliate in Egypt has said it downed the plane, without saying how, but Russia’s transport minister said the claim “cannot be considered accurate” and an Egyptian security official said the plane did not crash because of an attack.

An Air France spokesperson told AFP they would not fly over Sinai until further notice, “as a precaution” while “clarification” was sought over why the Russian charter plane crashed.

Lufthansa told the German newspaper Die Welt it was taking the same measure for the same reason.

Military experts have told AFP that Daesh terrorists in Sinai do not have weapons capable of hitting an aircraft at 30,000 feet (9,000 metres), the altitude of the airliner when it lost contact.

But they have not ruled out a bomb on board or the possibility that the plane was hit by a rocket as it descended because of technical problems.

A senior Egyptian air traffic control official said the pilot of the Airbus A321 told him in their last communication that he had radio trouble.

 

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Sat Oct 31, 2015 6:43PM
Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at the remains of a Russian airliner after it crashed in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at the remains of a Russian airliner after it crashed in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. (Reuters Photo)

 

Moscow and Cairo have denied claims by the Daesh Takfiri group’s Egyptian affiliate to have downed a Russian aircraft that crashed in North Sinai with more than 200 passengers on board.

“Now in various media there is assorted information that the Russian passenger (plane)… was supposedly shot down by an anti-aircraft missile, fired by terrorists. This information can’t be considered accurate,” Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov said on Saturday.

“We are in close contact with our Egyptian colleagues and aviation authorities in the country. At present, they have no information that would confirm such insinuations,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Samir, Egypt’s army spokesman, also refuted the claim by the Takfiri group, saying that “the army sees no authenticity” to the terrorists claims or videos.

“They can put out whatever statements they want but there is no proof at this point that terrorists were responsible for this plane crash” he said.

“We will know the true reasons when the civil aviation authority in coordination with Russian authorities completes its investigation,” he added.


An Egyptian soldier and rescue crew transfer the body of a victim of a plane crash, from a civil police helicopter to an ambulance at Kabrit airport in Suez, east of Cairo, Egypt, October 31, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)

 

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Terrorists, non-state actors had no capacity to down Russian plane, security & aviation experts say

Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail looks at the remains of a Russian airliner after it crashed in central Sinai near El Arish city, north Egypt, October 31, 2015. © Reuters
While the investigation into the causes of the Russian passenger jet crash over the Sinai Peninsula continues, civil aviation and security experts agree that theories that the plane was downed by a militant group can be ruled out, despite terrorists making such claims.

All 224 people on board the Kolavia airline’s flight from resort area Sharm El-Sheikh to Russia’s St. Petersburg died after the aircraft crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Saturday. Experts are still decoding the flight recorders, and the Russian Air Transport Agency has said that there is no point in hypothesizing about the cause of the crash until there is reliable data on the circumstances.

LIVE UPDATES: Russian passenger jet crashes over Sinai

While Islamic State jihadist group allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it downed the Airbus A321 as retaliation for Russia’s airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria, aviation and security experts believe it to be highly unlikely.

“As far as it’s known, Islamic State and its affiliate groups don’t have the capability to bring down aircraft flying at the height that this aircraft reportedly was, which is something around 10,000 meters,” security analyst and former UK counter-terrorism officer Charles Shoebridge told RT.

 

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11_Cnt27_Fr16-Click to Open Overlay Gallery

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This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward.

 

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The Independent

Malnutrition and ‘Victorian’ diseases soaring in England ‘due to food poverty and cuts’

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of more than 50 per cent in just four years.

Cases of other diseases rife in the Victorian era including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have also increased since 2010, although cases of TB, measles, typhoid and rickets have fallen.

Chris Mould, chairman of the Trussell Trust, which runs a nationwide network of foodbanks, said they saw “tens of thousands of people who have been going hungry, missing meals and cutting back on the quality of the food they buy”.

 

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The Independent

Malnutrition cases in English hospitals almost double in five years

Admissions to hospitals have soared as poorer families struggle to afford food

 

The shocking impact of recession and austerity on England’s poorest people has come to light again in figures showing the number of malnutrition cases treated at NHS hospitals has nearly doubled since the economic downturn.

Primary and secondary diagnoses of malnutrition – caused by lack of food or very poor diet – rose from 3,161 in 2008/09 to 5,499 last year, according to figures released by the health minister Norman Lamb.

While the data does not include information on the circumstances of each diagnosis, the rise coincides with a dramatic increase in the cost of living, and a spike in demand for charity food hand-outs.

The figures, broken down by region, reveal the heaviest burden of hunger is being felt in rural areas. Hospitals in Somerset saw the most cases, with 215 diagnoses, followed by Cornwall and Scilly Isles.

 

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Yahoo News

Turkey sacks top police brass after Ankara attacks

AFP

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L), Finland's President Sauli Niinisto (2nd R), and their wives Emine Erdogan (L) and Jenni Haukio attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the site of the bombings in Ankara on October 14, 2015
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Ankara (AFP) – Turkey on Wednesday sacked Ankara’s top police chief and two other officials as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan admitted security shortcomings over a double suicide bombing in the capital that killed 99.

There has been growing anger against Erdogan and the government for alleged security lapses over the worst attack in modern Turkey’s history in which two suicide bombers blew themselves up in a crowd of peace activists on Saturday.

Announcing the first dismissals in the wake of the disaster, the interior ministry said Ankara police chief Kadri Kartal as well the head of the city’s police intelligence and security departments had been removed from their posts.

It said they had been sacked on the suggestion of investigators “to allow for a healthy investigation” into the atrocity.

In his first public remarks on the bombings late Tuesday, Erdogan admitted there were security shortcomings and ordered the State Supervisory Council (DDK), an inspection body attached to the presidency, to undertake a special investigation.

On Wednesday, Erdogan made his first visit to the site of the bombings outside Ankara’s main railway station, laying flowers for the victims alongside visiting Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meanwhile announced that the toll from the bombings had risen from 97 to 99 dead, and that one Palestinian man was among those killed.

“Ninety-four corpses have been returned to the families and four corpses are to be given to families who have been informed,” Davutoglu told Show TV in an interview.

– ‘Bombers identified’ –

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Explosions kill at least 95 at Turkish peace rally

The Associated Press

Posted:   10/11/2015 12:01:00 AM MDT

 

ANKARA, Turkey —Nearly simultaneous explosions targeted a Turkish peace rally Saturday in Ankara, killing at least 95 people and wounding hundreds in Turkey’s deadliest attack in years — one that threatens to inflame the nation’s ethnic tensions.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong signs” that the two explosions — which struck 50 yards apart just after 10 a.m. — were suicide bombings. He suggested that Kurdish rebels or Islamic State group terrorists were to blame.

The two explosions occurred seconds apart outside the capital’s main train station as hundreds of opposition supporters and Kurdish activists gathered for the peace rally organized by Turkey’s public workers union and other groups. The protesters planned to call for increased democracy in Turkey and an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces.

Saturday’s attacks came at a tense time for Turkey, a NATO member that borders war-torn Syria, hosts more refugees than any other nation in the world and has seen renewed fighting with Kurdish rebels that has left hundreds dead in the last few months.

Many people at the rally had been anticipating that the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, would declare a temporary cease-fire — which it did hours after the bombing — to ensure that Turkey’s Nov. 1 election would be held in a safe environment.

Television footage from Turkey’s Dogan news agency showed a line of protesters Saturday near Ankara’s train station, chanting and performing a traditional dance with their hands locked when a large explosion went off behind them. An Associated Press photographer saw several bodies covered with bloodied flags and banners that demonstrators had brought for the rally.

 

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3 October 10 2015 09:49 AM Explosion Turkey Capital City, Ankara Damage level Details

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Terror Attack in Turkey on Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 09:49 (09:49 AM) UTC.

Description
Thirtly people have reportedly been killed and more than 100 wounded after a suspected terrorist bomb attack in the centre of Turkish capital Ankara. Two explosions shook a road junction in the centre of the city on Saturday as people were gathered for a “peace” march to protest against the conflict between the state and Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey. The Turkish government put the death toll at 30 and said 126 people were injuried. Images of the chaos showed dreadful scenes inculding bodies lying in the road, many draped in flags and banners, and marchers desperately trying to help the wounded. Witnesses said the ground was covered in bloodstains. Authorities were investigating claims the attacks were carried out by a suicide bomber. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was due to hold an emergency meeting with the heads of the police and intelligence agencies and other senior officials. Witnesses said the two explosions happened seconds apart shortly after 10am local time (7am GMT) as hundreds gathered for the planned rally. Violence between the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants has flared since July, when Turkey launched air strikes on militant camps in response to what it said were rising attacks on the security forces. Hundreds have since died. The attacks come three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election in Turkey and at a time of multiple security threats, not only in the restive southeast but also from Islamic State militants in neighbouring Syria and home-grown militants.

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Evening Standard

Turkey bombings: 86 killed and hundreds injured after terrorist attack on ‘peace’ march in capital Ankara

Dozens wounded: People carry an injured man after the explosion Reuters/Tumay Berkin

At least 86 people have been killed and nearly 200 wounded after the suspected double sucide bombing of a “peace” march in the Turkish capital Ankara.

Two explosions went off within seconds in the centre of the city on Saturday as hundreds of people were gathered for the rally protesting against the conflict between the state and Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the deadliest attacks in Turkey in years.

Prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong signs” that the attacks – which struck 50 metres apart and left 186 people wounded – were suicide bombings.

blast3.jpg

Tragedy: Bodies of victims are covered with flags and banners as police officers secure the area after an explosion in Ankara

Busloads of activists had travelled to Ankara from other cities to attend the peace rally. Health minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 62 of the blast victims in Ankara died at the scene, while 24 others died after being taken to the hospital.

Images of the chaos showed dreadful scenes including bodies lying in the road, many draped in flags and banners, and marchers desperately trying to help the wounded.

 

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Updated: Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 10:35 UTC
Description
At least thirty people are dead and 126 wounded in a terror attack that targeted a peace rally in the Turkish capital Ankara. Two explosions rocked the main train station in the city, were thousands had gathered to protest against the long-running conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish separatist group, the PKK. Government officials say the blasts were a terrorist attack and are investigating reports that a suicide bomber was behind at least one of the explosions. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is being briefed by the interior and health ministers, state news agency Anadolu says. The wounded are being treated in various hospitals after the explosions, which occurred at 10:05 am local time (7:04 GMT). The country’s interior ministry confirmed that at least 30 people were killed in the blasts. Those killed and injured had gathered for a rally organised by unions and civil society groups, the ministry said in a written statement. A Reuters reporter at the scene saw at least 20 bodies covered by flags, with bloodstains and body parts scattered on the road. “Bodies lay in two circles around 20 metres apart where the explosions had taken place,” they reported. Witnesses said the blasts were seconds apart shortly after 10am and were so powerful they rocked nearby high-rise buildings. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blasts, which come three weeks ahead of a parliamentary election. A rally for the pro-Kurdish HDP party was bombed in June, ahead of last year’s general election. The country has been in a heightened state of alert since starting a “synchronised war on terror” in July, including airstrikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and PKK bases in northern Iraq. Designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, the PKK launched a separatist insurgency in 1984 in the south-eastern part of the country. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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Updated: Saturday, 10 October, 2015 at 14:35 UTC
Description
Two bomb explosions targeting a peace rally by leftist and Kurdish activists in Turkey’s capital on Saturday killed at least 86 people and wounded 186 others, Turkey’s Interior Ministry says. The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara’s main train station as people were gathering for the rally, organized by the country’s public sector workers’ trade union and other civic society groups. The rally aimed to call for an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces. It was not clear if the attacks, which came weeks before Turkey’s Nov. 1 elections, were suicide bombings. “There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara,” says the head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions. “Two bombs exploded in very short intervals.” Television footage from Turkey’s Dogan news agency showed a line of protesters fanned out on the street near the train station, chanting and performing a traditional dance with their hands locked, when a large explosion hit behind them. An Interior Ministry statement condemned the attack, which it said “targets Turkey’s democracy and peace.” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called an emergency security meeting to discuss the attack. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. In July, a suicide bombing blamed on ISIS killed 33 people in a town near Turkey’s border with Syria, and a leftist militant group has also carried out suicide bombings in Turkey.

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Updated: Monday, 12 October, 2015 at 02:35 UTC
Description
Nearly simultaneous explosions targeted a Turkish peace rally Saturday in Ankara, killing at least 95 people and wounding hundreds in Turkey’s deadliest attack in years – one that threatens to inflame the nation’s ethnic tensions. There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were “strong signs” that the two explosions – which struck 50 meters (yards) apart – were suicide bombings. He suggested that Kurdish rebels or Islamic State group militants could be behind the attacks. The two explosions occurred seconds apart outside the capital’s main train station as hundreds of opposition supporters and Kurdish activists gathered for the peace rally organized by Turkey’s public workers’ union and other civic society groups. The groups planned to call for increased democracy in Turkey and an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces. The attacks Saturday came at a tense time for Turkey, a NATO member that borders war-torn Syria, hosts more refugees than any other nation in the world and has seen renewed fighting with Kurdish rebels that has left hundreds dead in the last few months. Many people at the rally had been anticipating that the rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, would declare a temporary cease-fire – which the group did hours after the bombing – to ensure that Turkey’s Nov. 1 election would be held in a safe environment. Television footage from Turkey’s Dogan news agency showed a line of protesters Saturday near Ankara’s train station, chanting and performing a traditional dance with their hands locked when a large explosion went off behind them. An Associated Press photographer saw several bodies covered with bloodied flags and banners that demonstrators had brought for the rally. “There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara,” said Lami Ozgen, head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, or KESK. Health Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu said 62 of the blast victims died at the scene, while 24 others died after being taken to the hospital. “This massacre targeting a pro-Kurdish but mostly Turkish crowd could flame ethnic tensions in Turkey,” said Soner Cagaptay, an analyst at the Washington Institute. Cagaptay said the attack could be the work of groups “hoping to induce the PKK, or its more radical youth elements, to continue fighting Turkey,” adding that the Islamic State group would benefit most from the full-blown Turkey-PKK conflict. “(That) development could make ISIS a secondary concern in the eyes of many Turks to the PKK,” Cagaptay said in emailed comments, using another acronym for IS militants. The Turkish government imposed a temporary news blackout covering images that showed the moment of the blasts, gruesome or bloody pictures or “images that create a feeling of panic.” A spokesman warned media organizations they could face a “full blackout” if they did not comply. Many people in Ankara reported being unable to access Twitter and other social media websites after the blasts. It was not clear if authorities had blocked access to the websites, but Turkey often does impose blackouts following attacks. At a news conference, Davutoglu declared a three-day official mourning period for the blast victims and said Turkey had been warned about groups aiming to destabilize the country.

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 Iraqi refugees in Syria Wikipedia.org
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 POLITICO

October 07, 2015

Last week I arrived back home to Iraqi Kurdistan, exhausted but proud of a small but real triumph over the Islamic State. Three women and two toddlers came back with me—five human beings just rescued from enslavement by ISIL. For over a year, they were abused, raped and traded fighter to fighter because of one reason: our Yazid religion. I am determined to save every last one of the more than 2,000 Yazidi women and girls still waiting to be freed.

They thought they were abandoned. Their ISIL captors told them that no one wanted them, in their shame and defilement, and that no one was looking for them. But I insist on reaching out to them through pleas on Arabic radio and TV. I give them my phone number, and tell them that we love them and we want them back. Some brave women hear these messages and contact us, and a rescue mission commences. I answer the phone every time, determined to do all that I can, but it is little, and it is not enough. I know there will always be another call, another Yazidi who is terrified and broken and in need of hope, as the world looks the other way.

One of the women, clutching her 2-year-old child, was so distraught. The child kept asking for her 7-year-old sister, who had been taken away from her mother and enrolled in a religious institution where she would be forced to convert to Islam. Her mother had had no choice but to escape without her, and she told me she feared the girl would be raped at the hands of the militants. We have evidence of the militants raping our girls as young as age 8.

For that brief time in August 2014, the United States launched airstrikes to halt the advance of ISIL after its troops took over a third of Iraq, saving the Yazidi people from total massacre by ISIL troops. But since then, we’ve been abandoned and forgotten by Washington and the rest of the international community. For every story of a girl who has been rescued, there’s another one about a girl who is still in captivity, where she is starved, raped, beaten and sold—often to “fellow” Iraqis. And 500,000 Yazidis, a full 90 percent of the indigenous Yazidi population, are in displaced persons’ camps, living in abject misery and isolation with less than minimal sustenance. We languish in these camps, live without income, and without food, medicine or even shelter durable enough to keep the rain out. As long as ISIL remains intent on wiping my people off the map; and as long as the Iraqi and Kurdish Regional governments continue to see Yazidis as less than second-class citizens, unworthy of significant aid and attention, these horrors will continue.

 Published time: 25 Sep, 2015 12:20
© Seven LE DUC
The French animal rights group, Cause Animal Nord, has come under fire after a video emerged of the activists taking away a puppy from a crying homeless man in central Paris.

The video shows the man fighting for his dog, but eventually losing out as three members of the group, including the organization’s president, seized the puppy and ran away. The homeless man was left in tears.

The cruel act has been condemned by the media and internet users. A number took to social networks to express their disgust, while others left highly critical messages on the organization’s Facebook page.

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3 French animal rights activists steal puppy from homeless man, and put it up for adoption under the name “Vegan”:h…