Friday, March 27, 2015

World News

obama

We write to express strong support for the President’s request of $87.7 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF) to support the formation of legitimate, durable institutions that will enhance stability and economic development in Somalia. The country is at a critical juncture and we need to provide meaningful assistance in order to build upon the economic and security gains achieved over the last several years. We urge you to prioritize assistance to this fragile country by providing the full amount requested by the President.
Poverty, weak institutions, lack of economic opportunity, and radical ideology all directly contribute to and foment instability and conflict. The U.S. has a long history of investing in and

supporting political and economic development in impoverished countries. In order to do this effectively, we need to use our foreign policy tools in a balanced manner and focus our assistance on building governnent institutions and strengthening civic capacity.

us

Over the past several years, significant gains have been made against Al-Shabaab with the help of U.S. contributions to the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the countries that are a part

of that force. However, this assistance needs to be matched by a robust investment in capacity building and support for legitimate and capable government institutions, which area pre-requisite

for long-term stability in Somalia. In FY2014, the United States provided $21.6 million in ESF to help Somalia’s new government expand its presence beyond the capital of Mogadishu and

begin providing basic services to its people. Somalia is working to repair the negative effects of 20 years of state collapse, widespread violence, and lawlessness. As a result, rebuilding state

capacity and fostering a peaceful political system will be a long-term project. We must be willing to make the commitment necessary to help the people of Somalia undertake that project.

The need to invest in strong institutions and capacity building in Somalia has been made clear by the current situation surrounding remittance flows to Somalia from countries like the U.S.,

United Kingdom, and Australia. In March, the largest financial institution that handled the majority of money transfers from the U.S. to Somalia closed the accounts of all Somali-

American Money Transfer Operators (MTO). Without banking services, many of these MTOs have been forced to limit their operations, leaving the Somali diaspora in the U.S. with a lack of a secure means to send funds to their loved ones back home. While there are domestic regulatory reasons for this situation, a core complicating factor is Somalia’s lack of a strong central bank and the robust regulatory institutions necessary to participate in the world banking system.

Last year, Salaama Somali Bank became the first Somali lender to handle foreign transactions, which is an encouraging sign that the country is stabilizing after decades of conflict. Although there is a long way to go before Somalia has a functioning banking system or thriving economy, this is progress we need to encourage and support with our assistance. Failure to adequately invest in Somalia’s political and economic development risks undermining the fragile gains that have been made and losing the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. has invested to date.

Thank you for considering fully funding ESF for Somalia in Fiscal Year 2016. We appreciate the challenges your Subcommittee faces and look forward to working with you to craft a FY 016

State Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that gives fragile countries like Somalia the tools they need to build stable, democratic governing institutions.

 

Ethiopia

(CNN)It’s called the Grand Renaissance Dam — and the clue is in the name. With some 8,500 laborers working around the clock on its construction, the imposingly-named dam is surely one of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure projects, reaffirming Ethiopia’s ambitions of becoming a big regional player and a major exporter of power. 

When completed, the project will generate around 6,000 megawatts of electricity for both domestic use and exports.

The most striking aspect of the nearly $5 billion enterprise is, however, that it is entirely funded by Ethiopia, without any foreign investment. According to the authorities, 20% of the project is financed from bond offerings to Ethiopians, and the remaining 80% from tax collection.

“Without electricity there won’t be industrialization in Africa”, Zemedeneh Negatu

“It was seen as a strategically important initiative that the government and the Ethiopian people are financing it 100%,” says Zemedeneh Negatu, managing partner at Ernst & Young Ethiopia.

“They have come up with a very creative and innovative way that I think will be a lesson for other African countries who want to embark on such large infrastructure projects, and want to have the flexibility to do it themselves,” he adds.

Hydroelectric powerhouse

So far, Ethiopians at home and abroad have contributed about $350 million, and the government says that the 170 meter tall dam is on track for a 2017 opening, with 40% of the work already complete.

Ethiopia’s per capita income might be one of the lowest in the world, but the country has enjoyed an impressive economic growth since 2000, averaging 10.9% annually, which has resulted in a 33% reduction of people living in poverty.

If the Grand Renaissance Dam and other hydroelectric projects, such as the Gibe III dam on the Omo river, are completed on time, The World Bank estimates Ethiopia could earn $1 billion a year from electricity exports. Negatu says that this would make the country the largest exporter of power in Africa, and second only to South Africa when it comes to installed capacity.

Unhappy neighbors

Yet, not everyone is happy about Ethiopia’s energetic drive to harness its water resources. The Grand Renaissance Dam is being built on Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River which has been powering the agriculture of Sudan and Egypt — through which it flows — for millennia. These countries have opposed the project in the past, fearing that the dam will reduce their share of the Nile water. The ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi had even threatened to defend “each drop of Nile water with our blood if necessary” back in 2013.

Passions have been calmer more recently, and today the Reuters news agency reported that representatives of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia reached a preliminary agreement in Khartoum on how to operate the dam. Negatu is convinced that a compromise will be reached, as he thinks that the dam will ultimately benefit not just Ethiopia but most other East African nations.

It’s Africa’s Achilles’ heel. With anyone who wants to build a factory in Africa, the first thing they ask is infrastructure, and within infrastructure, whether there is sufficient electricity.

“This is actually a regional project because up from Egypt all the way down to Rwanda, countries are going to buy the power that’s generated by this dam,” Negatu says, adding that both Rwanda and Kenya have already agreed to purchase thousands of megawatts once the project is finished.

A lack of reliable power has long stunted Africa’s development, with 600 million people on the continent not connected to the grid and getting by on a mix of generators, kerosene lamps and candles. In Ethiopia, only 15 to 20% of the population has access to power according to a study by Chatham House.

“It’s Africa’s Achilles’ heel,” says Negatu. “With anyone who wants to build a factory in Africa, the first thing they ask is infrastructure, and within infrastructure, whether there is sufficient electricity. Industrialization has always been about electricity, and this [dam] addresses this basic need.”

He adds that, after depending on exporting raw commodities for decades, governments across Africa should be pursuing a strategy of industrialization, following the example of China.

“We’ve got to move up the value chain, and it’s what Ethiopia is doing right now. Its strategy is industrial-based — not to export commodities but to manufacture value-added things, and other African nations are trying to emulate that. But without electricity there won’t be industrialization in Africa.”

Kenya proposes to put a solar collector on every rooftop.
Kenya proposes to put a solar collector on every rooftop.
Kenya proposes to put a solar collector on every rooftop.

VOA – NAIROBI— As the world gears up for a new global treaty on climate change in December this year, experts warned that millions of people around East Africa are faced with grave risks from changing disease patterns to extreme weather events, and the threat to food and water security.

Scientists from the United Nations-affiliated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are warning East African nations to brace themselves for extreme weather events related to climate change.

“One thing is for sure,” said Guled Artan, who sat in on a recent regional meeting on climate change. “Man has an effect on climate and the temperature is increasing.” As director of the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), Artan joined officials representing the membership of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) at the conference.

“The problem in East Africa is serious,” Artan said.” When there’s rain, the rain will be more intense, so there will be floods. The dry spells will be wider, so there will be more droughts. That’s the risk. So, increased likelihood of floods, increased likelihood of drought; and two extremes:  too much water, too little water.”

Experts say global warming is no longer in doubt because since the 1950s many of the observed changes have been dramatic.

Dr. Thomas Stocker gave the scientist’s perspective. “The understanding of these changes and the causes for these changes lies with the increase of greenhouse gases which have led to high levels of carbon dioxide, methane…. in the atmosphere that are unprecedented and are higher than ever in the past at least 800,000 years.”

As the composition of the atmosphere changes, the balance of the planet’s energy changes, “ … this planet has changed, with the consequence… that we will have to live with and adapt to in the future.”

The conference included a working group that watches the impact of these changes in terms of weather patterns like floods.

The working group’s Dr. Chris Field says, “When you look at the African context, the issues that came to emerge in terms of the impacts are those related to food security, water availability and reliability of water supplies…” There are issues he associates with infectious diseases, lowered food security, the inability to protect people’s health, greater threats to “the urban environment including large movements of people from the country sides into the urban environment.”

Don’t wait any longer

We can reduce today’s climate risks by creating climate-resistant development practices, says Dr. Youba Sokona of the working group. Sokona said addressing current vulnerabilities can reduce today’s climate risks and contribute to climate-resilient development over the coming decades. But we can’t wait.

“The more we wait, the more difficult and costly it will be,” Sokona said.

“It’s also important to note that climate change is a global common problem that requires international cooperation at different levels as no single country, no single group of countries can deal with it alone.”

Vulnerable populations already suffer from the effects of climate change, and countries such as Kenya face competing priorities. While they support efforts to minimize the emissions of global greenhouse gases, they need to boost and transform their economies.

“Let me take the example of the energy sector,” said Dr. Alice Kauda, environment secretary in the ministry of environment, water and natural resources. Kenya has been building a portfolio based on renewable energy. She says sustainable consumption is one way to adapt to climate change.

A solar panel on every roof

The ministry seeks to regulate households to 100 liters of water per day and install solar panels in Kenyan homes with tax rebates.

“In the agricultural sector I can give the examples of us moving from entirely depending on rain-fed agriculture to irrigated agriculture,” said Kauda. “Therefore, there’s a specific target that is requiring us to set up irrigation schemes.”

Her ministry works with health, agriculture, and other sectors to adapt to climate change, she said.  She also engages with local leaders, empowering communities to evaluate the true value of the country’s natural resources. Kenya wants every household o set aside 10 percent of their land to plant new trees.

She calls it a “least-cost measure for mitigating climate change… Most of our laws in the natural resource management sector are already mainstreaming into climate change.”

Development specialists also advocate the adoption of green technologies, said

Sarah O’Keefe, a University of Oxford researcher who works on a climate change-related project for Africa.

“What’s interesting about climate change is that we are kind of in this together. We are all tackling this issue at about the same time. We are grappling with how to identify the role greenhouse emissions are playing in these events and how to adapt efficiently and effectively to these changes. ”

Developed and developing countries can teach on another. But she says Africa is playing a leading role – identifying the impact of climate change, and trying out different measures to adapt to it.

TİKA'dan Makedonya’daki selzedelere yardım

TİKA'dan Makedonya’daki selzedelere yardım

Daily Sabah – The government announced that its aid agency TİKA has delivered aid worth over $766 million to over 100 countries in six years, showcasing Turkey’s growing “soft power” efforts to reach out to communities in need. 

Turkey’s state-run Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) can boast delivering aid worth over $766 million to over 100 countries in six years, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said yesterday.

Founded as an agency under the Prime Ministry, TİKA increased and diversified its efforts under the AK Party government, starting in 2002.

Answering lawmakers’ questions on the agency’s activities, Numan Kurtulmuş said TİKA’s aid delivery covered countries from all continents – from Albania in Europe to Chile in South America, and Sudan in Africa to Mongolia in Central Asia.

Turkey’s war-torn neighbor Syria and Somalia are among the main countries benefiting from TİKA aid. The agency regularly delivers humanitarian aid to Syria, and Somali received $115 million last year in the form of humanitarian aid.

The agency is known for its diverse range of aid recipients, from large groups of displaced people to small communities in remote countries. For instance, 19 reindeer were donated to Dukha Turks in Mongolia earlier this year while impoverished women in Goumedyr, a small town in Burkina Faso received equipment for flour mills. The aid is not confined to reindeer, food, mills, blankets etc. TİKA also set up a radio station for Somalian youth at a university in Mogadishu.

Syria received the highest aid at $1.6 billion. It was followed by Egypt at $538 million, Kyrgyzstan at $131 million and Somalia at $115 million.

In 2013, Turkey delivered $4.347 billion in humanitarian aid through official channels and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

The data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Cooperation Directorate (DAC), says that Turkey is the fourth biggest donor after the U.S., the EU and the U.K. overall, and Turkish NGOs delivered $280.23 million in humanitarian aid.

cairo

cairoES – Egypt’s Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman has announced that Egypt will reveal plans for the country’s new capital city within weeks.

According to The National, a UAE-based newspaper, Salman said the city’s plans will be revealed at Egypt’s economic conference that will be held in Sharm El Sheikh in March.

“We’re talking a very big city. It is just the size of New Cairo itself … It is the ‘new New Cairo’,” said the Minister to The National.

The Minister added that the city, which will be 70,000 acres, will take 12 years to build and will be built to the east of Cairo near Ain El-Sokhna.

While it is not clear who will be responsible for the construction of the city, reports earlier this week in Bloomberg revealed that UAE’s Emaar is in negotiations with the Egyptian government to build the new capital.

Plans to build the new city were first announced by Egypt’s Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb in July 2014.

WHY BUILD A NEW CITY

The proposed city would aim at transferring Ministries, government buildings and foreign embassies from down-town Cairo to the new capital.

According to Prime Minister Mehleb, the new city would be established on the Suez-Cairo-Ain Sokhna road. The project will aim at reducing congestion in down-town Cairo and population density.

The plan to build a new capital city appears to be in line with the economic and development policies of Egypt’s new President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Egypt’s new President is tackling development through the implementation of a plan titled ‘The Map of the Future.’

The plan, a creation by former NASA geologist Farouk El-Baz, involves building new cities, making use of more than 90 percent of Egypt’s territory that remains abandoned and constructing new roads, railroads and airports.

‘The Map of the Future’ also envisions the use of renewable energy (including solar and wind power) to provide a sustainable energy source for Egypt’s rapidly growing population.

President Sisi’s plans aim to boost development, diversify energy sources and tackle Egypt’s high unemployment.

Cairo is one of the most overpopulated cities in the world, with almost 20 million people. The city also suffers from high pollution, traffic congestion and hundreds of illegally constructed buildings.

Obama - Bartamaha.com

Obama - Bartamaha.com

Washington, DC (BARTAMAHA) Wargays aad uga faalooda arimaha siyaasadda reer galbeedka oo ka soo baxa dalka Maraykanka ayaa maanta daabacay warar ku saabsan in madaxweyne Obama uu si qarsoodi ah warqad ugu diray hoggaamiyaha ruuxiga ee ee jamhuuriyadda islaamigaa ee Iran, taasoo uu kaga hadlayay sida loo hirgalin karo suurta galna ay u noqon karto iskaashi xukuumadaha Washington iyo Tehran ay ka yeeshaan la dagaalanka ururka Daacish.

Falanqeeya arimaha siyaasaddaa ayaa laga soo xigtay in hogaamiyaha ruuxigaa ee dalka Iiraan Ayatullah Cali Khamenei uu xilli aan fogayn warqad ka helay m/weyne Obama.

Sida lagu xusay cadadkii maanta ee wargaygska The Wall Street Journal ayaa lagu faaqiday in Obama uu warqadani diray bishii lasoo dhaafay, isagoo ku xusay in Iran iyo Mareykanka ay wadaagaan khatar kaga soo fool leh ururka Daacish ee ka dagaallama Suuriya iyo Ciraaq.

Kama dambeysta rasmigaa ee la siiyay heshiiskaasi ayaa ah 24-ka bishan November, isbuuca nagu soo aaddan ayaa la filayaa in ay yeelan doona wasiiradda arrimaha dibadda ee Iran iyo Mareykanka, dawladda Iran ayaan illaa hadda wax lug ah ku lahayn duulaanka uu Mareykanka hoggaaminayo ee ka dhanka ah Daacish, balse waxa ay iskeed dagaal ugula jirtaa ururkaasi.

Balse Madaxweynaha Mareykanka ayaa ku adkeystay in iskaashi kasta oo labada dal dhex mara uu ki xiran yahay sida ay Iran u aqbasho heshiis wax ku ool ah oo laga gaaro barnaamijkeeda nuclear-ka.

Iran ayaan qeyb ka ahayn duulaanka uu Mareykanka hoggaaminayo ee ka dhanka ah Daacish, balse waxa ay iskeed dagaal ugula jirtaa ururkaasi.

Saraakiil Mareykan ah ayaa sheegay in Iran ay kala hadleen iskaashi ku aaddan dagaalka, balse ilaa iyo hadda aanu jirin iskaashi u dhexeeya oo dhanka ciidanka ama sirdoonka ah.

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BARTAMAHA ONLINE

Robert James O’Neill Bin Laden - Bartamaha.com

Robert James O’Neill Bin Laden - Bartamaha.com

In 15 years of dangerous missions — from midnight raids on al-Qaida safe houses in Iraq to battling Somali pirates from the deck of a heaving Navy ship on the high seas — there had never been one so shadowed by dread. As Robert James O’Neill contemplated his jump from a helicopter into Osama bin Laden’s private garden, he was positive it would be his last.

“I didn’t think I would survive,” the former Navy SEAL said.

O’Neill, one of dozens of U.S. special operators to storm bin Laden’s hideout on May 2, 2011, said he mentally prepared himself to face death from heavily armed gunmen or from the elaborate booby traps that would surely line the approaches to the al-Qaida leader’s inner sanctum. What he never expected was that he would secure a place in history that night, as the man who fired the bullet that ended bin Laden’s life.

O’Neill confirmed to The Washington Post that he was the unnamed SEAL who was first to tumble through the doorway of bin Laden’s bedroom that night, taking aim at the terrorist leader as he stood in darkness behind his youngest wife. In an account later confirmed by two other SEALs, the Montana native described firing the round that hit bin Laden squarely in the forehead, killing him instantly.

More than three years after the events, O’Neill agreed to discuss his role publicly for the first time, describing in unprecedented detail the mission to capture or kill the man behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

His decision to talk came nearly two years after another team member, Matt Bissonnette, published a controversial account of the raid in the book titled, “No Easy Day.” It also follows what O’Neill has described as an agonizing personal struggle, as he weighed concerns over privacy and safety against a desire to have a least some control over a story that appeared likely to break, with or without his consent.

Over the past year, awareness of O’Neill’s role as “the shooter” had spread through the military community and onto Capitol Hill, where a number of members of Congress knew the story and had congratulated O’Neill personally, he said. Journalists were becoming aware of his name as well.

In the end, just a week before scheduled interviews on Fox News and The Washington Post, O’Neill’s identity was leaked by some of his former peers. SOFREP, a website run by former special-forces operatives, posted an article that complained of O’Neill’s decision to tell his story on Fox News and decided to reveal his name pre-emptively.

The SOFREP item was subsequently picked up by the British tabloid, the Daily Mail, which reported on Wednesday that O’Neill’s father had confirmed his identity as the shooter in a telephone interview.

SOFREP published an Oct. 31 letter — apparently triggered by O’Neill’s impending TV interview — in which the commander and master chief of the Navy Special Warfare Command emphasized that a “critical” tenet of their profession is to “not advertise the nature of my work nor seek recognition for my action.”

“We do not abide willful or selfish disregard for our core values in return for public notoriety or financial gain,” the letter said.

O’Neill, in two meetings with The Washington Post, said he had anticipated the criticism. He said his decision to go public was confirmed after a private encounter over the summer with relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York’s World Trade Center.

O’Neill, who works as a motivational speaker, had been invited to address a gathering of 9/11 family members at the National September 11 Memorial Museum shortly before its official opening. During what he described as a highly emotional exchange, O’Neill decided spontaneously to talk about how bin Laden died.

“The families told me it helped bring them some closure,” O’Neill said.

The meeting was facilitated by a member of the New York congressional delegation who asked O’Neill if he would donate his uniform to the museum’s collection.

“He insisted on doing this anonymously to honor his unit, however the incredible interest in this story made this difficult,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. “I represent thousands of individuals whose lives were forever scarred by the tragedy of Sept. 11, and Mr. O’Neill’s private words to the families who lost loved ones brought a remarkable comfort to them.”

Maloney praised O’Neill as “a great American hero and a fine, articulate gentleman who has been very careful to always praise his team for the success of this mission.”

O’Neill’s involvement in the 2011 bin Laden raid capped a career that had already been extraordinary, by any measure. Tall and athletic with boyish features and reddish-blond hair, O’Neill became a SEAL in 1996 at age 20, and was eventually promoted to elite SEAL Team Six.

He eventually received 24 different honors and commendations, many of them earned for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as the leader of missions to capture or kill suspected al-Qaida-allied insurgents.

Between tours, his team was pressed into service for rescue missions in far-flung corners of the world. O’Neill was among the SEALs who assisted in the 2009 rescue of merchant marine Capt. Richard Phillips from pirates off the coast of Somalia, an operation depicted in the 2013 movie “Captain Phillips.”

O’Neill’s experiences during the bin Laden raid were first described last year to journalist Phil Bronstein for a February 2013 Esquire magazine article that, by agreement, referred to him only as “the shooter.” In the piece, he described advancing through bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, with five other SEALs, eventually reaching the third floor, where bin Laden lived with his wives.

As other team members peeled off to search different rooms, O’Neill found himself in the No. 2 position, behind the point man, for the final assault on bin Laden’s bedroom. When bin Laden briefly appeared at the door, the SEAL at the front of the line fired a shot that apparently missed.

“I rolled past him into the room, just inside the doorway,” O’Neill recalled. “There was bin Laden, standing there. He had his hands on a woman’s shoulders pushing her ahead.”

Though the room was dark, O’Neill could clearly see bin Laden’s features through his night-vision scope.

“He looked confused,” O’Neill was quoted in the Esquire magazine as saying. “He was way taller than I was expecting. He had a cap on and didn’t appear to be hit.”

Bin Laden was “standing and moving,” thrusting one of his wives in front of him as if to use her as a shield.

“In that second I shot him, two times in the forehead,” he said. “Bap! Bap! The second time, as he is going down. He crumbled to the floor in front of his bed and I hit him again.”

O’Neill told The Post that it was clear bin Laden had died instantly, his skull split by the first bullet.

“I watched him take his last breaths,” he said.

He dismissed any talk of heroism, describing his actions as “muscle memory,” the result of continuous, repetitive training, including countless rehearsals of the Abbottabad raid using full-scale models. He described the “heroic” actions of other SEALs, including those of the point man, who tackled two women in the bedroom to create the diversion that allowed O’Neill to get off his shots.

O’Neill said the SEALs had little time to contemplate the magnitude of the evening’s events. After taking photographs and squeezing bin Laden’s frame into a body bag, they scrambled to collect computer drives and other obvious sources of intelligence.

Then they moved bin Laden’s wives and children away from the house before boarding their helicopter for a sprint across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, just ahead of approaching Pakistani fighter planes.

Hours later, O’Neill was back at an American military base in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, eating a breakfast sandwich while bin Laden’s body lay in an adjacent room. Just then, President Barack Obama appeared on a television screen.

“The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children,” Obama said.

O’Neill said he glanced up at the screen and then at bin Laden’s body bag.

And then finished his sandwich.

Source: Standard Examiner

CANADIAN PARLIAMENT ATTACKED

CANADIAN PARLIAMENT ATTACKED

(Reuters) – A gunman shot and wounded a soldier in Ottawa on Wednesday and then entered the country’s parliament buildings chased by police, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.

A suspected gunman was shot dead inside the parliament building, a government minister said.

It was not clear whether the suspect had acted alone. Ottawa police said they were actively looking for one or more suspects.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in a caucus meeting in parliament when gunfire erupted in the building, Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, a former policeman, told the Toronto Sun.

Harper was later safely removed from the building, and parliament was locked down.

Fantino said parliament’s head of security, Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), had shot a suspect dead.

“All the details are not in, but the sergeant-at-arms, a former Mountie, is the one that engaged the gunman, or one of them at least, and stopped this,” Fantino said. “He did a great job and, from what I know, shot the gunman and he is now deceased.”

Dramatic video footage posted by the Globe and Mail newspaper showed police with guns drawn inside the main parliament building. At least a dozen loud bangs can be heard on the clip, echoing through the hallway.

‘DANGER HERE’

As the drama enfolded, police in dark bulletproof vests and automatic weapons flooded the streets near parliament.

Some took cover behind vehicles, and shouted to people to clear the area, saying: “We do not have the suspect in custody. You are in danger here.”

Members of parliament were told to lock themselves in their offices, and stay away from the windows.

“If your door does not lock, find a way to barricade the door, if possible. Do not open a door under any circumstances,” said a security alert issued by parliament officials.

People in downtown Ottawa should stay away from windows and off roofs due to an “ongoing police incident,” the RCMP cautioned in a statement.

All cell phones in the area were blocked.

The wounded soldier was taken into an ambulance in which medical personnel could be seen giving him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

The shooting came two days after an Islamic convert ran down two Canadian soldiers with his car, killing one, near Montreal, before being shot and killed by police.

‘DOUBLE-BARRELED SHOTGUN’

A construction worker on the scene in Ottawa told Reuters he heard a gunshot, and then saw a man with a scarf over his face running towards parliament.

“He was wearing blue pants and a black jacket and he had a double barreled shotgun and he ran up the side of this building here and hijacked a car at gunpoint,” construction worker Scott Walsh told Reuters.

The driver got out safely, then the man drove the car to the Centre Block on Parliament Hill, where construction work is underway, Walsh said.

The suspected gunman rushed past a woman with a child in a stroller, who ran away screaming. He did not attack the woman or child, he said.

Centre Block is the main building on Parliament Hill, a sprawling complex of buildings and open space in downtown Ottawa. It contains the House of Commons and Senate chambers as well as the offices of some members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses.

One member of parliament, Mark Strahl, tweeted from inside parliament: “Very tense situation in Ottawa this morning. Multiple gun shots fired outside of our caucus room. I am safe and in lockdown. Unbelievable.”

Security on Parliament Hill is fairly low-key, compared with Capitol Hill in Washington. Anybody could walk right up to the front door of parliament’s Centre Block with arms and explosives without being challenged before entering the front door, where a few guards check accreditation.

The room where the caucus of the governing Conservatives meets with Prime Minister Stephen Harper is perhaps 100 feet (30 meters) from that door.

The Canadian military closed its bases across the country following the events in Ottawa, CBC TV said.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins,; Writing by Andrea Hopkins and Frances Kerry; Editing by Amran Abocar; and Peter Galloway)

nobel malala

nobel malala

Pakistani 17-year-old and Indian activist share peace award for “their struggle against the suppression of children”.

Pakistani schoolgirl and education activist, Malala Yousufzai, and Indian children’s rights activist, Kailash Satyarthi, have been jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the two “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”

Awarding the prize, the committee said that peaceful global development could only come about if children and the young are respected.

Malala, 17, is the youngest person to be awarded the prestigious honour. She was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 after campaigning for more access to education for girls and has since become recognisable worldwide.

Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the Nobel committee said.

He has led the rescue of tens of thousands of child slaves and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation.

Reacting to his award shortly after it was announced, Satyarthi told Al Jazeera that he was very thankful to the Nobel committee and that this recognition “is the recognition of many voices of children who are victims of servitude, not just in India but the across the world”.

He said that it was an honour for his country, and he hoped the award would encourage the Indian government to pay more attention to the plight of children who are forced to work.

‘Extremism struggle’

“The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism,” the committee said during Friday’s announcement in Norway’s capital, Oslo.

“Children must go to school and not be financially exploited,” it said.

“In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.”

The Nobel Prizes in medicine chemistry physics and literature were announced earlier this week. The economics award will be announced on Monday.

All the awards will be formally handed out on December 10 in Oslo.

Source: Al Jazeera

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 4.20.06 AM

Screen shot 2014-07-20 at 4.20.06 AMEgyptian news anchor Tawfik Okasha claimed that Egyptian blood has been spilled because of their support of Gaza, and that Egypt should “forget Gaza.”

State TV ran a similar segment in which one of its presenters said, “It’s not our business what happens in Gaza. For the last four years they have done nothing but cause us trouble.”

_mh17

_mh17

Diyaarad rakaab ah oo ay lahayd Malaysian Airlines ayaa lagu soo riday bariga dalka Ukraine, halkaasi oo ah goob ay ka dagaallamayeen kooxaha mucaaradka ah ee taagersan Ruushka.

MH17 oo ay saarnaayeen 298 qof ayaa la sheegayaa in dhamaantood ay halkaas ku geeriyoodeen. Diyaaradda oo ka soo duushay magaalada Amsterdam waxay u socotay Kuala Lumpur.

Burburkii diyaaradda oo gubanaya ayaa la arkayay, waxaana qof dadka badbaadada ah uu sheegay in meydad badan halkaasi laga helay.

Hoos ka daawo muuqaalka diyaaradda MH17 markay dhulka kusoo dhacday.

Muuqaal kale

Madaxweynaha Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, ayaa sheegay in diyaaradda ay soo rideen wax uu ugu yeeray argagixiso, waxaana uu ku baaqay baaritaan caalami ah

Masuuliyiinta Ukraine ayaa eedeeyay kooxaha gooni u goosadka ah ee Ruushka taageersan laakiin mucaaradku waa ay beeniyeen inay wax lug ah ku leeyihiin, waxaana ay sheegeen in ciidanka dowladda ay ka masuul yihiin.

diana magnay cnn

diana magnay cnnCNN’s Diana Magnay “I think you can probably see there are lots of Israelis gathered around who are cheering when they see these kinds of Israeli strikes.”

malaysia

malaysia

A passenger plane carrying 295 people had been shot down in Ukraine on Thursday, said the Ukrainian interior minister.

Separately, Malaysia Airlines confirmed it lost contact with flight MH17 from Amsterdam about 30 miles from the Russia-Ukraine border on Thursday. The last known position was over Ukraine’s airspace.

http://youtu.be/PhVt0_dyWOM

Reuters reported that Ukraine’s prime minister has identified the shot-down plane as missing Malaysian Airlines flight and has ordered an investigation. A YouTube video purported to show footage from moments after the plane went down.

An aviation source told Reuters that a Malaysian airplane failed to enter Russian airspace when expected on Thursday and was found burning on the ground in eastern Ukraine.

President Barack Obama is asking his advisers to keep him updated on reports of a plane shot down over Ukraine. But the White House says it can’t confirm the reports.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said his country’s armed forces did not take action against any airborne targets. “We do not exclude that this plane was shot down, and we stress that the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not take action against any airborne targets,” he said. “We are sure that those who are guilty in this tragedy will be held responsible.”

Separatists blamed the downing of the plane on the Ukrainian government, according to Russian media.

“Apparently, it’s a passenger airliner indeed, truly shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force,” Borodai told Russia’s state-run Rossiya 24 TV broadcaster.

Kiev denied the involvement of Ukraine’s armed forces.

On his Facebook page, Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko claims that terrorists struck down the plane under Russian President Vladimir Putin’s orders.

Screen shot 2014-07-13 at 1.30.33 AMThe United Nations Security Council has issued a statement calling for the reinstitution of a ceasefire reached between Israel and militant factions in Gaza in 2012.

“The Security Council members called for de-escalation of the situation, restoration of calm and reinstitution of the November 2012 ceasefire,” said Eugene Gasana, UN Security Council President. 

Meanwhile the sound of explosions were reported in Jerusalem shortly after sirens wailed across the city.

crimea

crimea

Simferopol — Crimeans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to join former political master Russia as tensions soared in the east of the splintered ex-Soviet nation, the epicentre of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Partial results with more than half the ballots counted showed 95.5 percent of voters were in favour of leaving Ukraine in the most radical redrawing of the map of Europe since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

International condemnation began pouring in from world capitals long before the polls had closed but on the streets of Crimean cities thousands of people were celebrating the outcome with Russian flags and Soviet-era songs.

“I am happy. Honestly, I’m 60 and I never thought I would live to see this happy day,” said Alexander Sorokin as he strolled the waterfront of Sevastopol — home of tsarist and Kremlin navies since the 18th century and a city that like most of the scenic peninsula is heavily Russified.

Ukraine’s new pro-European leaders and the West have branded the referendum “illegal” because the strategic Black Sea region has been under de facto control of Russian forces since the start of the month.

The choices facing voters were either to join Russia or go back to a 1992 constitution that effectively made Crimea into an independent state within Ukraine. Retaining good relations with Kiev was not an option.

In Kiev’s Independence Square — the crucible of three months of deadly protests that led to the toppling of the pro-Kremlin regime in February and prompted Russia to move its troops against its neighbour — the Ukrainian national anthem rang out as thousands gathered and militiamen roamed the streets.

“This referendum is contrary to Ukraine?s constitution, and the international community will not recognise the results of a poll administered under threats of violence and intimidation from a Russian military intervention that violates international law,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.

The European Union said it would decide Monday on sanctions against Russia that include the possible seizure of the foreign assets of top Kremlin officials and travel bans for senior ministers.

“We reiterate the strong condemnation of the unprovoked violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty… and call on Russia to withdraw its armed forces to their pre-crisis numbers,” the EU said in a statement.

And British Foreign Secretary William Hague called the vote a “mockery” of democracy.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin — accused of orchestrating the vote as a way of seizing Ukranian land and punishing its leaders for spurning closer ties with Moscow — seemed unmoved.

The Kremlin said Putin intended to “respect” the vote’s outcome and then reported a telephone conversation in which the Russian strongman told US President Barack Obama that the poll fell “completely in line with the norms of international law”.

“Despite the differences… it is necessary to jointly search for ways of stabilising the situation in Ukraine,” the Kremlin added.

In Crimea, thousands poured out across the main square and streets over looking the Black Sea for alcohol-fuelled celebrations that reflected a profound mistrust of the new Kiev leaders in the largely Russian-speaking southeast of the nation of 46 million people.

“This is a historic moment,” Crimea’s self-declared premier Sergiy Aksyonov told reporters after casting his ballot in the regional capital Simferopol.

He pledged to apply on Monday for membership of the Russian Federation following the results of the poll, where official turnout was put at over 81 percent.

Analysts warn that tensions in the southeast of Ukraine make the threat of a military escalation a reality that could result in an even further diplomatic and economic isolation of Russia.

Three people have died in clashes between nationalists and Russian supporters in Ukraine’s southeast since Thursday — the first fatalities since nearly 90 died in a week of carnage in Kiev last month — and the region remained fraught with tensions.

Around 4,000 pro-Moscow activists rallied in the flashpoint industrial city of Donetsk to support Crimea’s referendum and 6,000 turned out in Kharkiv with a large Russian flag and a sign reading “Our Homeland is the USSR”.

Ukraine’s interim President Oleksandr Turchynov — not recognised by Russia and due to be replaced in elections due May 25 — said the results had been “pre-planned by the Kremlin as a formal justification to send in its troops”.

- ‘Not going to vote’ -

Not everyone in the peninsula — symbolically gifted to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 — was happy to return to Kremlin rule.

Some had said they would spoil their ballots in protest and there was a call on social media for people to cook vareniki — Ukrainian dumplings — instead of going out to vote.

Crimean referendum commission chairman Mykhaylo Malyshev said his office had received no official complaints about violations. But accredited journalists including AFP were prevented from entering some polling stations in the port city of Sevastopol and in Simferopol.

Foreign observers were present although the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said it would not monitor the vote because it was not officially invited by Ukraine’s national government.

Crimea’s indigenous Muslim Tatar community — deported to Central Asia en masse in Soviet times — largely boycotted the referendum.

“Of course we are not going to vote,” said community leader Dilyara Seitvelieva in the historic Tatar town of Bakhchysaray. “The situation is very dangerous.”

- ‘Crimean Spring’ -

Russian lawmakers are expected Friday to debate legislation that would simplify the process under which the Kremlin can annex a part of another state — a law that some analysts fear Putin may want to apply to other Russified regions.

“I now see an increasing risk that the conflict could spill into the rest of Ukraine,” said UniCredit Research chief global economist Erik Nielsen.

“And that in turn would almost certainly trigger broader sanction (against Russia) likely to include some trade and investment areas.”

The situation in Crimea — an economically devastated region that had relied on Kiev’s help to subsist — also remains a worry.

The authorities are calling the vote a “Crimean Spring” but many locals are concerned about a possible legal vacuum and economic turmoil.

Bakhchysaray native Anna Ivanovna said she had voted to join Moscow but remained apprehensive about the future.

“Yes, we will be Russians. It’s good but at the same time, at my age, it’s hard to change countries.”

AFP

zeidan

The former Libyan prime minister, Ali Zeidan, has defied a travel ban and fled the country hours after parliament removed him from office in a no-confidence vote.

Zeidan was in Malta for two hours late on Tuesday on a refuelling stop before going to “another European country”, the island’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, said.

The Muscat told state-owned television channel, TVM, that he spoke briefly to Zeidan, who was banned from travelling abroad because of his suspected involvement in the embezzlement of public funds.

Zeidan spent many years in exile in Germany and it is believed he may head there.

Libya’s parliament voted Zeidan out of office on Tuesday after rebels humiliated the government by loading crude on a tanker that fled from naval forces.

State prosecutor Abdel-Qader Radwan said in Tripoli he had banned Zeidan from travelling abroad because he faced an investigation over the alleged financial irregularities.

The no-confidence motion against Zeidan was approved by 124 of the 194 members of the parliament, four more than the majority required, MPs said.

MP Suleiman al-Zubi told the AFP news agency that the defence minister, Abdullah al-Thanni, was named as an interim replacement for the two weeks the assembly now has to agree on a permanent replacement.

Parliament will support Thinni and not obstruct his work, its head Nuri Ali Abu Sahmain told the assembly during a session broadcast by state television after the caretaker prime minister took his oath.

Previous attempts to bring down Zeidan had failed to win the required majority.

Zeidan’s government had been repeatedly criticised for its failure to disarm militias which have carved out their own fiefdoms since the NATO-backed uprising that ended the 42-year rule of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The prime minister was himself briefly abducted by an armed group in the heart of the capital, Tripoli, last October.

Rebels demanding a bigger share of oil revenue and political autonomy in the east seized three ports last summer and partly control a fourth.

Western powers fear the OPEC member state could break apart, with the government struggling to rein in the armed militias and tribesmen who helped topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

malaysia air

 

* Malaysia Airlines says “fearing the worst”

* Flight lost contact hour after takeoff, no distress signal or sign of bad weather

* KL-Beijing flight carried 227 passengers and 12 crew

* Two passengers, possibly more, were travelling under false identities

By Yantoultra Ngui and Nguyen Phuong Linh

KUALA LUMPUR/PHU QUOC ISLAND, Vietnam, March 9 (Reuters) – Malaysia Airlines said it was “fearing the worst” on Sunday for a plane carrying 239 people that went missing more than 24 hours ago, as the government said it was investigating four passengers who may have held false identity documents.

There were no reports of bad weather and no sign of why Flight MH370 would have vanished from radar screens off the coast of Vietnam about an hour after it took off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing early on Saturday morning.

European officials said it appeared two people on board were using stolen passports and Malaysian Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said authorities were also checking the identities of two other passengers.

“All the four names are with me,” said Hishamuddin, who is also defence minister. “I have indicated to our intelligence agencies and I have also spoken to international intelligence agencies for assistance.”

He said help was also being sought from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). However, an attack was only one of the possibilities being investigated.

“We are looking at all possibilities,” he said. “We cannot jump the gun. Our focus now is to find the plane.”

The Chinese official Xiamen Daily reported that one of the passengers who was supposed to be on the flight, according to the manifest, was at home in China. The name on the passport and the passport number did not match, according to the newspaper.

It was not immediately clear if the Chinese person’s identity was among those being investigated.

There were no confirmed signs of the plane or any wreckage on Sunday, well over 24 hours after it went missing. Search operations continued through the night, officials said.

“In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA, will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time,” the airline said in a statement.

STOLEN PASSPORTS

Vietnamese naval boats sent from the holiday island of Phu Quoc patrolled stretches of the Gulf of Thailand, searching for any wreckage, scouring the area where an oil slick was spotted by patrol jets just before nightfall on Saturday.

“Our two rescue boats have approached the two oil spills since 3 a.m. today but we haven’t found any sign of the Malaysian plane yet. Other boats are ready to go to support if needed,” Admiral Ngo Van Phat told Reuters.

There were no indications of sabotage nor claims of an attack. But the passenger manifest issued by the airline included the names of two Europeans – Austrian Christian Kozel and Italian Luigi Maraldi – who, according to their foreign ministries, were not on the plane.

A foreign ministry spokesman in Vienna said: “Our embassy got the information that there was an Austrian on board. That was the passenger list from Malaysia Airlines. Our system came back with a note that this is a stolen passport.”

Austrian police had found the man safe at home. The passport was stolen two years ago while he was travelling in Thailand, the spokesman said.

The foreign ministry in Rome said no Italian was on the plane either, despite the inclusion of Maraldi’s name on the list. His mother, Renata Lucchi, told Reuters his passport was lost, presumed stolen, in Thailand in 2013.

U.S. and European security officials said that there was no proof of foul play and there could be other explanations for the use of stolen passports.

A Malaysian official with knowledge of the investigation said the passengers being checked had all bought their tickets through China Southern Airlines, which was code-sharing the flight with Malaysia Airlines, the official said.

Passengers on board the flight included 20 employees of Austin, Texas-based chip maker Freescale Semiconductor Ltd . Twelve of the employees were from Malaysia and eight from China, the company said in a statement.

NO MAYDAY

The 11-year-old Boeing 777-200ER, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent engines, took off at 12:40 a.m. (1640 GMT Friday) from Kuala Lumpur International Airport when it went missing without a distress call. Aboard were 227 passengers and 12 crew.

Flight MH370 last had contact with air traffic controllers 120 nautical miles off the east coast of the Malaysian town of Kota Bharu. Flight tracking website flightaware.com showed it flew northeast after takeoff, climbed to 35,000 ft (10,670 metres) and was still climbing when it vanished from tracking records.

A crash would likely mark the 777′s second fatal incident in less than a year, and its deadliest since entering service 19 years ago. An Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER crash-landed in San Francisco in July 2013, killing three passengers and injuring more than 180.

Boeing said it was monitoring the situation but had no further comment.

Paul Hayes, director of safety at Flightglobal Ascend aviation consultancy, said the flight would normally have been at a routine stage, having reached initial cruise altitude.

“Such a sudden disappearance would suggest either that something is happening so quickly that there is no opportunity to put out a mayday, in which case a deliberate act is one possibility to consider, or that the crew is busy coping with what whatever has taken place,” he told Reuters.

A large number of planes and ships from several countries were scouring the area where the plane last made contact, about halfway between Malaysia and the southern tip of Vietnam.

“The search and rescue operations will continue as long as necessary,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak told reporters. He said his country had deployed 15 air force aircraft, six navy ships and three coastguard vessels.

Besides the Vietnamese vessels, China and the Philippines also sent ships to the region to help, while the United States, the Philippines and Singapore dispatched military planes. China also put other ships and aircraft on standby.

“BIG RED FLAG”

The disappearance of the plane is a chilling echo of an Air France flight that crashed into the South Atlantic on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board. It vanished for hours and wreckage was found only two days later.

John Goglia, a former board member of the National Transportation Safety Board, the U.S. agency that investigates plane crashes, said the lack of a distress call suggested that the plane either experienced an explosive decompression or was destroyed by an explosive device.

“It had to be quick because there was no communication,” Goglia said. He said the false identities of the two passengers was “a big red flag”.

If there were passengers on board with stolen passports, it was not clear how they passed through security checks.

International police body Interpol maintains a database of more than 39 million travel documents reported lost or stolen by 166 countries, and says on its website that this enables police, immigration or border control officers to check the validity of a suspect document within seconds. No comment was immediately available from the organisation.

ukraine

ukraine

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE — Russian troops took over the strategic Crimean peninsula Saturday without firing a shot. The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react, and despite calls by U.S. President Barack Obama for Russia to pull back its forces, Western governments had few options to counter Russia’s military moves.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sought and quickly got his parliament’s approval to use its military to protect Russia’s interests across Ukraine. But while sometimes-violent pro-Russian protests broke out Saturday in a number of Russian-speaking regions of eastern Ukraine, Moscow’s immediate focus appeared to be Crimea.

Tensions increased when Ukraine’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, made a late night announcement that he had ordered the country’s armed forces to be at full readiness because of the threat of “potential aggression.”

Speaking live on Ukrainian TV, Turchynov said he had also ordered stepped up security at nuclear power plants, airports and other strategic infrastructure.

Ignoring President Barack Obama’s warning Friday that “there will be costs” if Russia intervenes militarily, Putin sharply raised the stakes in the conflict over Ukraine’s future evoking memories of Cold War brinkmanship.

After Russia’s parliament approved Putin’s motion, U.S. officials held a high-level meeting at the White House to review Russia’s military moves in Ukraine. The White House said Obama spoke with Putin by telephone for 90 minutes and expressed his “deep concern” about “Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The White House said Obama told Putin that the United States is calling on Russia “to de-escalate tensions by withdrawing its forces back to bases in Crimea and to refrain from any interference elsewhere in Ukraine.”

A statement from the Kremlin said Putin emphasized to Obama the existence of “real threats” to the life and health of Russian citizens and compatriots who are in Ukrainian territory. The statement indicated that Russia might send its troops not only to the Crimea but also to predominantly ethnic Russian regions of eastern Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin emphasized that, in the case of a further spread in violence in eastern regions (of Ukraine) and Crimea, Russia maintains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population that lives there,” the Kremlin statement said.

Obama told Putin that he would support sending international monitors to Ukraine to help protect ethnic Russians. He said the U.S. will suspend its participation in preparatory meetings for June’s G-8 summit in Sochi, Russia, the site of the recently concluded Winter Olympics, warning that Russia’s “continued violation of international law will lead to greater political and economic isolation.”

NATO announced a meeting for Sunday of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s political decision-making body, as well as a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission. NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the allies will “coordinate closely” on the situation in Ukraine, which he termed “grave.”

The U.N. Security Council met in an open, televised session for about a half hour on Saturday afternoon after closed-door consultations, despite initial objections from Russia to an open session. The council heard speeches from a U.N. deputy secretary-general and several ambassadors, but did not take any action.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.N. Yuriy Sergeyev asked the Security Council “to do everything possible now” to stop what he called Russian “aggression.” Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the government in Kiev needs to get away from “radicals” and warned, “such actions they’re taking could lead to very difficult developments, which the Russian Federation is trying to avoid.” He said Russia was intervening at the request of pro-Russian authorities in the autonomous Crimea region that is part of Ukraine.

Calling the situation in Ukraine “as dangerous as it is destabilizing,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said, “It is time for the Russian military intervention in Ukraine to end.” She warned that “Russia’s provocative actions could easily push the situation beyond the breaking point.” She asked that Russia directly engage the Ukraine government and called for international monitors to be sent to Ukraine to observe the situation.

“Russia and the West find themselves on the brink of a confrontation far worse than in 2008 over Georgia,” Dmitri Trenin, the director of Carnegie Moscow Center, said in a commentary posted on its website. In Georgia, Russian troops quickly routed the Georgian military after they tried to regain control over the separatist province of South Ossetia that has close ties with Moscow.

The latest moves followed days of scripted, bloodless turmoil on the peninsula, the scene of centuries of wars and seen by Moscow as a crown jewel of the Russian and Soviet empires. What began Thursday with the early-morning takeover of the regional parliament building by mysterious troops continued Saturday afternoon as dozens of those soldiers — almost certainly Russian — moved into the streets around the parliamentary complex and seized control of regional airports, amid street protests by pro-Russian Crimeans calling for Moscow’s protection from the new government in Kiev.

That government came to power last week in the wake of months of pro-democracy protests against the now-fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovych, and his decision to turn Ukraine toward Russia, its longtime patron, instead of the European Union. Despite the calls for Moscow’s help, there has been no sign of ethnic Russians facing attacks in Crimea or elsewhere in Ukraine.

Obama on Friday called on Russia to respect the independence and territory of Ukraine and not try to take advantage of its neighbor’s political upheaval.

He said such action by Russia would represent a “profound interference” in matters he said should be decided by the Ukrainian people. He has not said, however, how the U.S. could pressure Moscow to step back from its intervention.

The Russian parliament urged that Moscow recall its ambassador in Washington in response to Obama’s speech.

On Friday, Ukraine accused Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” in the Crimea, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk called on Moscow “to recall their forces, and to return them to their stations,” according to the Interfax news agency. “Russian partners, stop provoking civil and military resistance in Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s population of 46 million is divided in loyalties between Russia and Europe, with much of western Ukraine advocating closer ties with the European Union while eastern and southern regions look to Russia for support. Crimea, a semi-autonomous region that Russia gave to Ukraine in the 1950s, is mainly Russian-speaking.

In his address to parliament, Putin said the “extraordinary situation in Ukraine” was putting at risk the lives of Russian citizens and military personnel stationed at the Crimean naval base that Moscow has maintained since the Soviet collapse.

Despite Putin’s sharp move, there were possible signs Saturday that the Russian leader could soften his approach. Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was freed a week ago after more than 2 ½ years in prison, was reported to be heading to Moscow for a meeting with Putin on Monday, though her spokeswoman denied that. Putin has had good ties with Tymoshenko in the past, and he may look to her for a possible compromise.

In a statement posted on her party’s web site, Tymoshenko urged the U.N. Security Council to meet in Kiev and asked the EU leaders to convene a meeting in Crimea. She urged the West to help protect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, asked Ukrainians to remain calm and voiced hope that diplomacy will succeed.

Putin’s parliamentary motion loosely refers to the “territory of Ukraine” rather than specifically to Crimea, raising the possibility that Moscow could use military force in other Russian-speaking areas in eastern and southern Ukraine, where many detest the new authorities in Kiev.

But in a note of restraint, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said the motion doesn’t mean the president would immediately send additional troops to Ukraine. “There is no talk about it yet,” he said.

Pro-Russian protests were reported Saturday in the eastern cities of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk and the southern port of Odessa. In Kharkiv, 97 people were injured in clashes between pro-Russia demonstrators who flushed supporters of the new Ukrainian government out of the regional government building and hoisted the Russian flag on top of it, according to the Interfax news agency.

Trenin, of Moscow’s Carnegie office, said that Putin could be seeking to “include Crimea within the Russian Federation and eastern and southern regions of Ukraine forming a separate entity integrated with Russia economically and aligned with it politically.”

“It is not clear at this point whether Kiev will be left to build a rump Ukraine with the western regions or whether it will be swayed to join the eastern regions,” he wrote.

In Crimea, the new pro-Russian prime minister — who came to power after the gunmen swept into parliament on Thursday — claimed control of the military and police and asked Putin for help in keeping peace. There was no visible presence of Ukrainian troops Saturday.

The deputy premier in the Crimean government told Russian news agency RIA Novsti that Ukrainian troops were disarmed and others joined the Crimean people to help patrol the territory. The report couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

Crimean Tatars, the historic hosts of the land who make up 12 percent of the island’s population and stand strongly for Crimea remaining part of Ukraine, didn’t put up any visible resistance Saturday.

“The last two or three days have turned around the life of all the people in Crimea,” said Refat Chubarov, a Crimean Tatar leader. “They’ve taken over military bases and civil institutions. That’s why Crimean society is filled with fear. People are afraid of everyone and everything.”

Crimea only became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was a mere formality when both Ukraine and Russia were part of the Soviet Union. The Soviet breakup in 1991 meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt summed the situation up simply: “What’s happening in Crimea is a Russian takeover. There is no doubt about that,” he told Swedish Radio. “Russian military forces are involved and there has been a local takeover of power.”

Russia put pressure on Ukraine from another direction when a spokesman for state gas company Gazprom said that Ukraine owed $1.59 billion in overdue bills for imported gas. Sergei Kuprianov said in a statement carried by Russian news wires that the gas arrears would endanger a recent discount granted by Russia.

The Russian payment demand and loss of the discount would accelerate Ukraine’s financial crisis. The country is almost broke and seeking emergency credit from the International Monetary Fund.

The tensions barely touched everyday life in Simferopol, the regional capital of Crimea, or anywhere on the peninsula. Children played on swings a few blocks from the parliament building, and most of the city’s stores were open. Couples walked hand-in-hand through parks. Crimea’s airports — civilian and military — were closed to air traffic, but trains and cars were moving to and from the Ukrainian mainland. The civilian airport in Simferopol was reopened late Saturday night.

“Things are normal,” said Olga Saldovskaia, who was walking through town with her son and grandson. While she doesn’t like having gunmen in the streets, like many people in this overwhelmingly ethnic Russian city, she also found their presence reassuring.

“If anyone tries to hurt the people here, they will protect us,” said Saldovskaia. She said she sympathized with the pro-democracy protesters in Kiev, but also worries that turmoil in the capital could lead to violence against ethnic Russians. She added, though, that she definitely doesn’t want Crimea to become part of Russia.

“Russia is not just all flowers and candy,” she said.

Moscow has remained silent on claims that Russian troops are already in control of much of the peninsula, saying any troop movements are within agreed-upon rules governing the semi-autonomous Ukrainian region.

Meanwhile, flights remained halted at Simferopol’s airport. Dozens of armed men in military uniforms without markings patrolled the area. They didn’t stop or search people leaving or entering the airport, and refused to talk to journalists.

AP journalists crossing into Crimea from mainland Ukraine were briefly stopped at a checkpoint manned by troops in unmarked camouflage uniforms as well as officers in uniforms of the Berkut, the feared riot police that cracked down on anti-Yanukovych protesters before he fled the capital a week ago.

 AP

__WORLD

__WORLD

Russia’s upper house of parliament has approved President Putin’s request for Russian forces to be used in Ukraine.

He had asked that Russian forces be used “until the normalisation of the political situation in the country”.

Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, where many ethnic Russians live.

Kiev has reacted angrily to days of military movements in Crimea, accusing Moscow of trying to provoke the new government into an armed conflict.

President Vladimir Putin submitted the request “in connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of Russian citizens”, the Kremlin said.

The BBC’s Richard Galpin in Moscow notes that he refers to the “territory of Ukraine” rather than specifically to Crimea, implying that troops could be used in other pro-Russian parts of eastern and southern Ukraine.

‘Provocation’

The request follow days of military activity in Crimea during which unidentified armed men moved in to take over the regional parliament, state television and telecommunications hubs.

Soldiers from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Crimea, are reported to be guarding some administrative buildings and military bases.

Amid the closure of airspace over Crimea’s regional capital Simferopol on Friday evening, there were unconfirmed reports that Russian planes were flying in thousands of troops.

Ukrainian Defence Minister Ihor Tenyukh said on Saturday there are now an extra 6,000 Russian troops in Crimea, alongside an additional 30 armoured vehicles.

Under the agreement governing the presence of the fleet in Crimea, the Russians must co-ordinate all troop movements outside the fleet’s base with the Ukrainian authorities beforehand.

The newly-elected pro-Moscow leader of Crimea, Sergiy Aksyonov, earlier said he had appealed to Mr Putin for help to ensure peace on the peninsula – a request which the Kremlin said it would “not leave unnoticed”.

Events in Crimea have angered the new interim government in Kiev – which does not recognise the province’s new leadership – and has alarmed Western leaders.

Ukraine’s acting President Oleksander Turchynov accused Russia of trying to provoke Kiev into “armed conflict”, but said they would not react.

US President Barack Obama has warned of the “costs” of any Russian intervention in the Ukraine.

Meanwhile, big pro-Russian rallies are being held in several Ukrainian cities outside Crimea.

  • In Donetsk, Mr Yanukovych’s traditional stronghold, demonstrators from a crowd of some 7,000 tried unsuccessfully to occupy the regional administration building, raising a Russian tricolour on a nearby flag-post
  • In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-biggest city, scuffles broke out when protesters with Russian flags tried to occupy the regional administration building
  • In Mariupol, in the south-east, hundreds of protesters carrying Russian flags gathered outside the city council in eastern and southern Ukraine.

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Madaxweynaha Soomaaliya Xasan Sheekh Maxamuud ayaa shacabka Soomaaliyeed ugu hambalyeeyay maalinta 12-Oktoobar oo ah maalintii calanka Soomaaliyeed cirka loo taagay.

Xasan Sheekh Maxamuud ayaa shacabka Soomaaliyeed usheegay in calanka Soomaaliya uu yahay mid shacabka Soomaaliyeed kawada dhaxeeyo oo qiimo weyn leh, Soomaaliyana lagu tilmaamayo calankaasi.

12-Cotoobar 1954 ayeey aheyd markii calanka Soomaaliya ciida Soomaalida laga taago, oo loo bixiyay maalintaasi (Maalinta calanka)

Inkastoo xilligaasi calanka Soomaaliya uu lahaa qiimo weyn, ayaan hada muuqan qiimihii xilligaasi uu lahaa, maadaama Gobalada dalka Soomaaliya qaarkood aysan suuragal aheyn in laga taago oo laga diidayo calanka.

Soomaalida oo ahaan jirtay dad wadaniyad jaceyl ah oo isqiimeysa ayaa 20-sano oo qabiil iyo bur-bur ay ku jireen waxa ay noqdeen kuwa kaal fogaado oo ahmiyad aan qabiil aheyn aysan garawsan.

Madaxweynaha Soomaaliya Xasan Sheekh Maxamuud ayaa ku baaqay in astaamaha qaranimada ee Soomaalida ka dhaxeyso ay wanaagsan tahay in la dhowr oo shacabka Soomaaliyeed ay aqoonsadaan muhiimada calanka.

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