Al Jazeera: News Summary, 27 Jan 2010


(Intro Music)

(00:11) Hello.

(00:13) The international meeting to determine how to best support Yemen and stabilize the country started today in London. The American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, arrived in London today to participate in the meeting that is being attended by 24 countries.

(00:32) In other news, the Washington Post newspaper quoted American officials who said that American teams were working in secret operations with the Yemeni Army against the al-Qa’ida organization. The officials clarified that American advisors helped plan an operation against al-Qa’ida in December of last year.

(00:51) The United Nation’s sections committee announced today that the names of five previous members of the Taliban were scratched off a list of those described as involved with terrorism. Diplomats believe that this step paves the way for the conference in London on Afghan affairs that will be held tomorrow.

(01:10) The official (1m) in Sri Lanka announced that the current President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a second (presidential) term. The (Sri Lankan) army surrounded the headquarters of the opposition leader for the second time. (The opposition leader) requested the protection of one of the neighboring countries.

(01:25) The spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Unity spoke about the country’s stance in the face of Pyongyang’s decision to implement a “no-sail” zone in a contested area between the two countries, saying that it was “still under review.” Pyongyang and Seoul had exchanged fire the previous day in the contested area.

(01:46) An official in the Lebanese army said that they will expand the search area for the remains of the wrecked Ethiopian airline if the black box is not found today. The official said that improving weather conditions will help further facilitate the (search) teams’ mission.

(02:04) Until next time…

(Exit Music)

Advertisements

Dar al-Hayat: Najaf Provincial Council brings a case against (Dar) al-Hayat after its reporter’s refusal to reveal his sources.

http://international.daralhayat.com/internationalarticle/101870

Najaf – al-Hayat

The Najaf Provincial Council decided to bring a case against a reporter from al-Hayat that (works) in the city, Fadil Rishad, after his refusal of the request by the council to give up information on the full names and addresses of those formerly in the Ba’ath party that had made statements to al-Hayat previously.

al-Hayat had published a report from Najaf in a number of its news outlets on the 23rd of this month titled, “Najaf’s Ba’athists fear the security apparatus and political militias.” It quoted unnamed former Ba’athists in regards to (their) security concerns, “Fear and panic have gripped Ba’athist families,” after threats that circulated from the local city government. Some of them mentioned that, “They have decided to flee the city after taking pledges from the security elements not to cooperate with armed elements.”

The Najaf (Provincial) Council issued had issued a report previously granting the Ba’athists a single day to vacate the province, following bombings that struck the city and left tens of people dead and injured.

After the report was distributed, the al-Hayat reporter was summoned to the headquarters of the (Najaf) Provincial Council where they requested that he divulge the complete information about the sources of his information and threatened to bring a case against him if he refused to disclose the sources.

The Press Freedoms Observer and the Association for the Defense of Press Freedoms announced their condemnation of the Najaf Provincial Council’s actions. The Press Freedoms Observer said in a report that, “(We) emphatically condemn what our colleague, Fadil Rishad, is having to deal with from the Najaf Provincial Council as well as its requests for (Fadil) to divulge his sources.” They added, “This is not a regional issue, and it goes against the freedom of expression that the constitution guarantees, as well as the democratic process in the country.”

Likewise, the Association for the Defense of Press Freedoms condemned the pressure that had been placed on the al-Hayat journalist in Najaf in order to compel him to divulge the names and addresses of his sources, and it believes that is a violation of the most basic necessities of a journalist’s work. The Association requested that, “The Najaf Provincial Council and it’s president, Shaykh Fayid al-Shamari, stop terrorizing journalists and raising cases against them using condemned criminal laws inherited from the previous regime that flies in the face of the constitution and international obligations to build a democracy and respect and strengthen freedom of the press.”

The organization mentioned that the Najaf Provincial Council had raised tens of cases in the past against international (media) organizations because of their use of quotes from members of the (Najaf) Provincial Council.

NFTR//
DMD

Al Jazeera: News Summary, 26 January 2010

(Intro Music)

(00:11) Hello, and welcome to this news summary.

(00:13) Iraqi Police said that at least 17 people were killed and another 80 injured in a car bomb explosion in front of the Criminal Forensics building belonging to the Ministry of Interior in downtown Baghdad. They added that most of the victims were members of the Police.

(00:31) The office of ‘Abd-al-Malik al-Huthi reported that his group completed its withdrawal from Saudi Arabian lands, while the spokesmen for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense has already said that the al-Huthis had already been pushed back by (the Saudis) from the land that they had taken.

(00:47) Lebanese authorities (announced) that hopes had diminished of finding passengers that survived the crash of an Ethiopian plane shortly after takeoff from the Beirut airport two days ago. Officials from the Civil Defense (force) indicated that the efforts are now focused on finding the bodies of the passengers as well as the black box recorder.

(01:08) The summit for countries neighboring Afghanistan began its activities today in the city of Istanbul, Turkey, with the participation by the Presidents of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The summit is dealing with how best the summit’s participants can provide solutions to Afghanistan’s problems, as well as building bridges of cooperation between its neighboring countries.

(01:28) A French Parliamentary Committee called for a ban on the Niqab (Islamic head covering) in transportation offices and areas, nationwide. The committee’s report states that the Niqab displays a rebellion against the republic and freedom. The French Minister of Justice warned against a ban on the Niqab, and (he said) that there was no way to enforce it.

(01:50) Thus ends the summary, until next time…

(Exit Music)

NFTR//
DMD

Al Jazeera: 18 killed in new explosion in Baghdad

http://aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/B32F96E6-B23F-4E39-B4F4-EB317271F673.htm

Smoke rises from the Investigations and Criminal Justice building.

This morning 18 people were killed and another 80 injured in a car bomb attack targeting the Iraqi Ministry of Interior’s Directorate of Investigations and Criminal Justice in Hayy al-Karada in downtown Baghdad.

Sources within the Iraqi Police said that a number of the victims were from their ranks, and they indicated that the Directorate’s building collapsed due to the explosion.

The sources added that the body count is expected to rise, especially since the targeted building normally has a large amount of people (in it) at that time.

A rescue team has already been successful at extracting a number of injured from the rubble of the building that had tens of employees in it before it collapsed.

From his point of view, a photographer belonging to the Reuters news agency said that ambulances and civil defense vehicles rushed to the scene of the incident, adding that the building had suffered vast damage.

It’s worth mentioning that Baghdad had witnessed a new string of car bombings yesterday despite intensified security measures. (The attacks) targeted three hotels and resulted in 36 dead and 71 wounded.

The two attacks came on the same day that the Iraqi Government announced the execution of ‘Ali Husayn al-Majid, the previous Iraqi Minister of Defense and cousin of the late Iraqi President, Saddam Husayn.

Likewise, these attacks also came just a few weeks before the Iraqi elections set for this coming March 7th and could represent a blow for Nuri al-Maliki’s government, according to observers.

NFTR//
DMD

Al Jazeera: al-Huthi announces an initiative to end fighting

http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F058CFDD-1850-49CC-BBFE-0FF840FFE911.htm

al-Huthis accuse Saudi Arabia's army of advancing into Yemen.

The leader of the al-Huthi group, ‘Abd-al-Malik Badr al-Din al-Huthi, announced a “withdrawal from all Saudi locations,” in a new initiative that he said was the third (try) to put out the crisis’ fuse as well as the clashes on the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

al-Huthi said in a voice recording released on one of the websites, “We announce our carrying out of a full withdrawal from all Saudi positions and from all land that is under control of the Saudi regime, and emphasize that our seizure of those locations was completely necessary in order to combat the enemies coming from there.”

Likewise, al-Huthi threatened to open what he called multiple new battlefields, and all out war, in the event that Saudi Arabia continues its operations and refuses the initiative.

On this point he said, “If after this initiative the Saudi regime continues its aggression it will find that it has commenced an invasion into our lands, and this will give us the right to open multiple new battlefields and launch an all out war. This is what will happen if it’s aggressions continue after this initiative.”

al-Huthi (also noted) that he believes that the civilians have suffered the most in this war, and he accused the Saudi Forces of what he calls indiscriminate bombing of the cities and villages, and all aspects of civilized life.

He also said that the initiative comes about to spare the blood of Saudis and Yemenis, and indicated that the al-Huthi’s operations didn’t target Saudi soil, and in that context he (described) what he called attempts to distance Yemenis from the border and form a buffer area.

Likewise, he believes that there is no justification for Saudi Arabia in this war, and described his initiative as a valuable opportunity, “That should be appreciated by all reasonable people in the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia),” as he put it.

NFTR//
DMD

Al Jazeera: Tens dead in explosions in Baghdad

http://aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4B22413C-5847-4034-BF58-96967DA48275.htm

A huge noise and a heavy cloud of smoke in the aftermath of the explosion.
Reuters news agency quoted police sources who confirmed that 36 people were killed, and at least 71 injured in three simultaneous explosions that rocked the center of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in an area that includes a number of big hotels near the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The three explosions, which security sources said were carried out by car bombs, came minutes apart with the first occurring around 15:30 in the afternoon (12:30 GMT). An extremely massive reverberation was heard and clouds of dust and smoke were able to be seen in the sky.

The explosions were carried out at the peak of rush hour when employees are leaving their offices and when the streets are packed with cars and people.

The first explosion was located in Hayy Abu Nawwas near the Palestine and Sheraton hotels, and the other explosions were located at the Babil and Hamra’ hotels that are frequented by foreign journalists.

Cement blast walls collapsed on the ground.
Massive Damage

The images broadcast live from the scene by local television stations of the location of the explosion showed the cement blast walls collapsed on the ground and many cars completely destroyed.

These explosions come two months before the parliamentary elections despite the strengthening of security procedures in Baghdad after the explosions last August that were named “Black Wednesday” or “Bloody Wednesday”.

106 were killed and 600 wounded in a massive explosion aimed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance last August 19th.

Another 153 were killed and 500 wounded on October 25th in two explosions targeting the Ministry of Justice and the Baghdad Governor’s Office.

Most recently, on December 8th, 127 were killed and 448 were wounded in five successive explosions.

NFTR//
DMD

Al Jazeera: News Summary, 25 January 2010

(Intro Music)

(00:11) Hello.

(00:13) The CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said that he hasn’t heard any news yet about survivors from the crash of one of its passenger airplanes early yesterday morning after its takeoff from Beirut airport. There were 90 passengers on board. Rescue teams have so far recovered 30 bodies and numerous (1m) from the airplane’s wreckage. 54 Lebanese were among the passengers, along with 22 Ethiopians and the wife of the French Ambassador in Beirut.

(00:44) The Lebanese President, Michel Sulayman, has already held a meeting at the Ministry of Defense to look into the circumstances surrounding the airplane crash and ruled out any sort of act of sabotage. Likewise the Lebanese Minister of Defense, Elias Murr, confirmed that American planes would participate in the rescue operations, with permission from the Lebanese (Government).

(01:03) The American General, Stanley McCrystal, Commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, said that he hopes that the increase in the number of American troops in Afghanistan will lead to the weakening of the Taliban to the point that it will sign a peace treaty and end the war.

(01:25) Five soldiers were injured in an attack on a military checkpoint in the province of al-Dhaliya’ in Yemen, which the authorities said was launched by armed fighters from the “Harak al-Janubi” (Southern Movement) Elsewhere, 3 students were injured, one seriously, in an outbreak of gunfire by the Southern Movement’s forces which it said was accidental and unintentional, whereas the authorities said that it was the result of the Southern Movement’s attempts to force students to participate in the insurrection that the Southern Movement has called for.

(01:55) Preparations continue in Sri Lanka for tomorrow’s Presidential election, and ballot boxes began to be distributed to voting centers country-wide. The current President, Makinda Rajapaksa, and the former commander of the Army, Sarath Fonseka, are among the most prominent of the candidates in this election.

(02:17) Until next time…

(Exit Music)

NFTR//
DMD

Dar al-Hayat: 3 Yemeni Soldiers killed in Shabwa by bullets from armed fighters of al-Qa’ida

http://international.daralhayat.com/internationalarticle/101000

Sana’ – Faysal Mukaram

At least three soldiers were killed and two others belonging to the Central Yemeni security forces were injured in the province of Shabwa (In the eastern part of the country), by armed fighters believed to be members of the “al-Qa’ida” organization in Yemen. In the early hours of yesterday morning, they attacked one of the military positions in the ‘Amashiya area of the ‘Atuq district (Around 600 kilometers from Sana’), and then ran away.

Local sources said that the attack might have been a response to security operations that have lately targeted “al-Qa’ida” in Shabwa and a number of provinces, and the authorities continue their pursuit of the organization’s members.

In the southern province of Lahaj witnesses confirmed to “al-Hayat” that tens of armed fighters belonging to “al-Harak al-Janubi” looted businesses, lit them on fire, and cut off the main highway connecting the province with the capital, Sana’, and the neighboring province of ‘Adin. (These acts) forced businessmen, particularly those who have come down from the northern provinces, to close their shops down and flee the province.

The neighboring province of al-Dhalia’ witnessed clashes between demonstrators belonging to “al-Harak al-Janubi” and police (forces) which arrested tens of the (demonstrators) after they blocked off the main highway leading to Sana’ and raised flags opposing (national) unity. At the same time, armed fighters in the demonstration seized three members of (Yemen’s) security forces, who they later released after (the three captured soldiers) confirmed that they were from the southern provinces.

On another front, in regards to the battle in Sa’da’, witnesses indicated that violent fighting has been going on since dawn of yesterday between the Army’s forces, supported by volunteers from tribes (al-Jaysh al-Sha’bi), and al-Huthi insurgents, especially in the entrances to the old district.

In the latest news, local sources indicated that the army has possibly wiped out a number of the positions that had been in the hands of the al-Huthis, due to the damage to their positions along the Buni Sufyan area and the foiling of their attempts to infiltrate near the Tibba al-Burka (area.)

Note: The “Harak al-Janubi”, or “Southern Movement” is a secessionist movement in Southern Yemen that is distinctly separate from the al-Huthi rebellion in the north and al-Qa’ida’s country-wide presence. For more information, follow these links:
http://www.isim.nl/files/review_22/review_22-50.pdf
http://www.criticalthreats.org/yemen/yemens-southern-challenge-background-rising-threat-secessionism

NFTR//
DMD

Al Jazeera: News Summary, 15 January, 2010

(Intro Music)

(00:11) Greetings.

(00:13) al-Jazeera’s special team in Haiti reports that donations for the victims flooded into the capital of Port-Au-Prince on Thursday, in the aftermath of the devestating earthquake. He added that most people are living in the street or protecting their (1m), and that the bodies of the deceased have begun to decompose. In this regard, the Red Cross in Haiti has reported that it expects the number of victims from the earthquake to reach 50,000.

(00:40) The People’s Movement to Liberate Sudan nominated the Deputy Secretary of the movement, Yasrah ‘Uman, for the presidential elections that have been set for this coming April. Likewise, the movement nominated it’s President, Sethakir Iyardat, the current Deputy for ‘Umar al-Bashir, for the presidency of southern Sudan, which is the position that he currently holds.

(01:01) A (human) rights organization that 138 people were killed and 344 others injured during clashes in Somalia over the past two weeks.

(01:15) A European Parliament delegation of 50 members representing 12 countries is headed from Cairo to the Rafah border crossing to enter the Gaza strip in the framework of the popular campaign in Europe to raise the blockade on Gaza and express (their) solidarity with the Palestinian people.

(01:35) Various areas around the world will see a partial solar eclipse, said by scientists to be the longest (such) eclipse in 3,000 years. Many people have gathered in Western and Eastern Africa, the Middle East, and different countries in Asia to witness this phenomonan, where the moon comes in front of the sun without completely covering it from view.

(01:57) Russia has said that it has clashes with what it describes as an Islamic revolution in neighboring Georgia, has led to strikes launched against Shishan and neighboring areas.

(02:09) Until next time…

(Exit Music)

Al Jazeera: Amman investigates the bombing of an Israeli convoy

http://aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/8A8F3BEE-BB27-4B46-A8A5-0E15C3C4DF5F.htm

Jordanian bomb squad members inspect the site where a bomb targeted a convoy of cars from the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan.

Jordan declined to comment on reports that a “terrorist” group was behind the bombing that targeted two diplomatic vehicle belonging to the Israeli embassy that were leaving Amman on Thursday.

Nabil al-Sharif, the Minister of Media and Communications Affairs said that his government will announce the results of the investigations when they are finished, refusing to disclose any other details related to the explosion or the type of explosives used in it.

Earlier, Nabil had explained in a report that an IED exploded along the side of the road which led to a depression (in the road) near Na’ur as some civilian vehicles passed, including the two Israeli diplomatic vehicles. He added that the attack didn’t result in any damage or injuries.

Targeting the Ambassador

al-Jazeera correspondents in Amman said that the Israeli Ambassador’s car was targeted in the attack that occurred as it was crossing the al-Malik Husayn bridge.

Yasir Abu Halaal clarified that the Israeli Ambassador travels amongst extreme security measures by the Jordanian side and the the ambassador’s car is armored.

On it’s side, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Embassy, Mirav Hursanbi, said that Jordan opened up an investigation into the incident. The Israeli TV station, Channel 2, said that the two cars were on their way from the embassy in Amman back to Israel, but that the ambassador, Dani Nevo wasn’t amongst their riders.

The channel added that the passengers were “Diplomats and personal guards,” indicating that the convoy continued it’s trip and one of the two cars received light damages.

Eyewitnesses said that security measures were intensified around the (Israeli) embassy and the Ambassador’s residence, after the attack that was the first on an Israeli target (in Jordan) in a number of years.

NFTR//
DMD