Category: Alerts & News
The nun said taxi driver Andrei Arbashe, 38, was kidnapped after his brother was heard complaining that fighters against the ruling regime behaved like bandits.
She said his headless corpse was found by the side of the road, surrounded by hungry dogs. He had recently married and was soon to be a father.
Sister Agnes-Mariam de la Croix said: ‘His only crime was his brother criticised the rebels, accused them of acting like bandits, which is what they are.’
There have been a growing number of accounts of atrocities carried out by rogue elements of the Syrian Free Army, which opposes dictator Bashar al-Assad and is recognised by Britain and the West as the legitimate leadership.
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For peaceful purposes …
TV Host: “The Saudi preacher, Muhammed al-Arifi, has issued a special fatwa that solves the sexual problems of the Mujahideen after he expressed his annoyance with the deprivation of the fighters of Islam, who are fighting in Syria alongside the armed opposition forces, from the earthly pleasures. He clarified that it has been two years since the Jihadists last were with women. Al-Arifi’s fatwa allows the fighters in Syria to engage in a marriage, which he called ‘intercourse marriage’ and that lasts for a few hours, from Syrian females, in order to give each fighter a turn…”
By Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute – “Islamic leaders continue to portray the popular protests against President Morsi and his recently passed Sharia-heavy constitution as products of Egypt’s Christians. Recently, Muslim Brotherhood leader Safwat Hegazy said in an open rally, as captured on video:
A message to the church of Egypt, from an Egyptian Muslim: I tell the church — by Allah, and again, by Allah — if you conspire and unite with the remnants [opposition] to bring Morsi down, that will be another matter…. our red line is the legitimacy of Dr. Muhammad Morsi. Whoever splashes water on it, we will splash blood on him.”
More recently, Dr. Wagdi Ghoneim — who earlier praised Allah for the death of the late Coptic Pope Shenouda, cursing him to hell and damnation on video — made another video, entitled, ‘A Notice and Warning to the Crusaders in Egypt,’ a reference to…
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During this Christmas season, it is worth remembering the historical roots of Christians in the Middle East, and recognizing just how much the plight of Middle East Christians has deteriorated. Over 2,000 years ago, Christianity was born as a religion and spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the Levant, including territories in modern Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt. TheChristian faith flourished as one of the major religions in the Middle East until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century.
Despite Muslim domination of the region, Christians comprised an estimated 20% of the Middle East population until the early 20th century. Today, however, Christians make up a mere 2-5% of the Middle East and their numbers are fast dwindling. Writing in the Winter 2001 issue of Middle East Quarterly, scholar Daniel Pipes estimated that Middle East Christians would “likely drop to” half of their numbers “by the year 2020” because of declining birth rates, and a pattern of…
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Tit-for-tat moves between Russia and the US are plunging the two nations into a new Cold War, says Russia expert Stephen Cohen. Washington’s longtime policy towards Moscow is to blame for the growing tensions.
The ‘reset’ in relations between the United States and Russia is dead, as the Obama administration has never truly cooperated with Moscow, instead pushing the same policy Washington has been imposing on Russia for the past 20 years, Stephen F. Cohen – professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University and Princeton University told RT.“That policy is advancing NATO toward Russia’s borders, building missile defense on Russia’s borders, interfering in Russia’s internal politics.”
RT: After the US Senate passed the controversial [Magnitsky] bill, Russia accused Washington of engaging in ‘Cold War tactics’. Now that Moscow has retaliated, how would you describe the two countries’ relations?
Stephen Cohen: Increasingly we are plunging into a…
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NEW YORK – A Manhattan couple was facing weapons charges Monday after authorities said they found a substance used to make bombs and papers titled “The Terrorist Encyclopedia” in their Greenwich Village apartment. Morgan Gliedman, 27, and her 31-year-old boyfriend, Aaron Greene, were arrested on weapons-possession charges Saturday after officers with a search warrant discovered a plastic container with 7 grams of HMTD, a highly explosive white powder used in bomb making, police and prosecutors said. Also found in the living room were numerous written items containing instructions on the manufacture of explosive materials and bombs, including a collection of pages that had a cover page entitled “The Terrorist Encyclopedia,” court papers said. According to the court papers, chemical precursors to HMTD also were found in the living room. Greene was held without bail after he appeared in state court in Manhattan on Sunday. Gliedman, who is nine months pregnant, was awaiting an initial…
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President Barack Obama is encouraging legislators in his home state of Illinois to legalize gay marriage this week, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The state only just established civil unions earlier in this legislative term.
“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.
“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.
Obama never advocated for civil unions or gay marriage during his eight years as a state senator (1997-2005).
The urgency with which the state’s Democrat-dominated legislature…
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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gay couples are preparing for New Year’s Day weddings in the first state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to allow same-sex marriage, which will become legal in Maryland on Tuesday.
The new law takes effect at 12:01 a.m. and follows a legislative fight that pitted Gov. Martin O’Malley against leaders of his Catholic faith. Voters in the state, founded by Catholics in the 17th century, sealed the change by approving a November ballot question.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Jim Scales, who made a Christmas present of his marriage license to William Tasker, his partner of 35 years. Scales, 68, and Tasker, 60, plan to be married at a ceremony at Baltimore City Hall by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake shortly after midnight.
Same-sex couples in Maryland have been able to get marriage licenses since Dec. 6, but they do not take effect until Tuesday.
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Although flu is always unpredictable, the early nature of the cases and the predominant type circulating this year could make this a severe flu season, said officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But officials said the vaccine formulated for this year is well-matched to the strains of the virus seen so far and urged those who have not been vaccinated to get a flu shot.
In early December, the CDC said it was noticing an uptick in flu activity about a month before authorities normally see it, and the earliest since the 2003-2004 flu season. The primary strain this season is the H3N2, an influenza A virus that has been associated in the past with more severe flu seasons.
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The number of Israeli Jews passed the emotional 6 million mark in November, and the total population will pass 8 million in February, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. The Jewish population represents 75.4 percent of the total, of which Arabs are 20.6 percent, representing a continuing trend of a higher Jewish birth rate and a lower Arab birth rate.
The other four percent of the Israeli population includes Christians, other faiths and 319,000 people who call themselves Jewish but are not recognized as such according to Jewish law. Almost all of them are from the former Soviet bloc. As January 1 approached, the total population was 7,981,000, 1.8 per cent higher than the previous year. The figures do not temporary residents and foreign workers. New immigrants account for a smaller increase in the number of Jews, with only 16,500 having come on “aliyah” in 2012. North American aliyah was about 4,000, including those who already were…
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The prospect of a global “currency war” between the world’s major economies edged closer as the new Japanese Finance Minister, Taro Aso, pledged to prevent speculators driving up the value of the yen and reiterated Tokyo’s plans to alter the Bank of Japan’s mandate to deliver reflation.
“If excessive rises or falls in the yen due to speculation cause trouble for a lot of people, intervention would be a powerful tool, so there’s no reason why we should not use it,” Mr Aso told reporters. His words helped to push the yen down to a two-year low against the dollar.
Mr Aso also said he expects the government to reach an accord with the Bank of Japan next month to double the official inflation target to 2 per cent in order to combat deflation.
Other central bankers have also signalled changes to traditional inflation targeting frameworks. The Canadian central bank…
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Joe Woodland invented the bar code — that collection of lines and numbers used to ring up your groceries every time you visit the supermarket — and after the longtime IBMer passed away earlier this month at the age of 91, the response from certain parts of the web was all too predictable.
“It’s the mark of the beast!” wrote one regular Wired commenter in response to our Joe Woodland tribute, pointing readers to the 16th verse of the 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation. Revelation is the final book of the Bible’s New Testament, and among other things, it foretells an apocalypse in which a beast will rise from the earth, rain fire from the heavens, and lay his mark on all of humankind — a mark used to buy and sell.
“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a…
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BEIJING (AP) — China’s government tightened Internet controls Friday with approval of a law that requires users to register their names after a flood of online complaints about official abuses rattled Communist Party leaders.
Authorities say the law will strengthen protections for personal information. But it also is likely to curtail the Internet’s status as a forum to complain about the government or publicize corruption.
“Their intention is very clear: It is to take back that bit of space for public opinion, that freedom of speech hundreds of millions of Chinese Internet users have strived for,” said Murong Xuecun, a prominent Chinese writer.
The rules approved by China’s national legislature highlight the chronic tension between the ruling Communist Party’s desire to reap technology’s benefits and its insistence on controlling information.
Beijing encourages Web use for business and education but tries to block material deemed subversive or obscene. It has steadily stepped up censorship, especially after…
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We’ve been trying to keep you aware of what has been taking place with the talks concerning the 2013 version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). We’ve covered the Feinstein amendment, which effectively did nothing, except to empower Congress to authorize the military at their whim to violate people’s 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendment rights.
But now the talks are all done and the legislation is headed for Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law soon, just as it was nearly one year ago today, including provision to use the military to indefinitely detain US citizens.
Previously, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) voted for the Feinstein amendment to the NDAA. But then there came the hashing out of language in the bill and Paul blasted Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for stripping away the amendment.
“We had protection in this bill. We passed an amendment that specifically said if…
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