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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject: In The News Today Reply with quote

A new thread for things appearing in the news. If there's enough comment, any item can be split off into its own thread.


Quote:
Terror Blast Rocks Moscow Airport

An explosion ripped through the international arrivals hall at Moscow's busiest airport yesterday, killing 35 people and wounding about 130, officials said. The Russian president called it a terror attack.

The state RIA Novosti news agency, citing law-enforcement sources, said the mid-afternoon explosion at Domodedovo airport may have been caused by a suicide bomber. Those at the airport said it was filled with thousands of people at the time and the terminal filled up quickly with smoke.

''From the preliminary information we have, it was a terror attack,'' President Dmitry Medvedev told officials in a televised briefing.

Medvedev, who postponed his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos after the blast, ordered authorities to beef up security at Moscow's two other commercial airports and other transport facilities, including the subway system, the target of past attacks.

Although there have been repeated attacks on the Moscow subway and Russian trains - most blamed on Chechen militants - the bombing yesterday was the first on a Russian airport since 2004.

Sergei Lavochkin, who was waiting in the arrivals hall for a friend to arrive from Cuba, said he saw emergency teams carrying bloodied people out of the terminal.

"I heard a loud bang, saw plastic panels falling down from the ceiling and heard people screaming. Then people started running away,'' Lavochkin told Rossiya 24 television.

Mark Green, a British Airways passenger who had just arrived at the airport, told BBC television he heard the huge explosion as he left the terminal.

''Literally, it shook you,'' he said. ''As we were putting the bags in the car a lot of alarms . were going off and people started flowing out of the terminal, some of whom were covered in blood.''

Sofia Malyavina, a spokesman for the Social Development and Health Ministry, said 35 people were killed and about 130 were wounded.

''The airport is filled with smoke,'' she said on Rossiya 24.

Built in 1964, Domodedovo is located 42km southeast of the centre of Moscow and is the largest of the three major airports that serve the Russian capital, serving over 22 million people last year.

It is generally regarded as Moscow's most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called into question.

In 2004, two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by buying tickets illegally from airport personnel. The female bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights.

Terrorists have previously targeted other transportation centres in Moscow.

Twin blasts in the subway last March killed 39 people and wounded more than 60 people.

In December 2009, Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for blowing up a high-speed train between Moscow and St Petersburg, killing 26 people and injuring scores.


--A
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject: Re: In The News Today Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
A new thread for things appearing in the news. If there's enough comment, any item can be split off into its own thread.


Quote:
Terror Blast Rocks Moscow Airport

An explosion ripped through the international arrivals hall at Moscow's busiest airport yesterday, killing 35 people and wounding about 130, officials said. The Russian president called it a terror attack.

The state RIA Novosti news agency, citing law-enforcement sources, said the mid-afternoon explosion at Domodedovo airport may have been caused by a suicide bomber. Those at the airport said it was filled with thousands of people at the time and the terminal filled up quickly with smoke.

''From the preliminary information we have, it was a terror attack,'' President Dmitry Medvedev told officials in a televised briefing.

Medvedev, who postponed his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos after the blast, ordered authorities to beef up security at Moscow's two other commercial airports and other transport facilities, including the subway system, the target of past attacks.

Although there have been repeated attacks on the Moscow subway and Russian trains - most blamed on Chechen militants - the bombing yesterday was the first on a Russian airport since 2004.

Sergei Lavochkin, who was waiting in the arrivals hall for a friend to arrive from Cuba, said he saw emergency teams carrying bloodied people out of the terminal.

"I heard a loud bang, saw plastic panels falling down from the ceiling and heard people screaming. Then people started running away,'' Lavochkin told Rossiya 24 television.

Mark Green, a British Airways passenger who had just arrived at the airport, told BBC television he heard the huge explosion as he left the terminal.

''Literally, it shook you,'' he said. ''As we were putting the bags in the car a lot of alarms . were going off and people started flowing out of the terminal, some of whom were covered in blood.''

Sofia Malyavina, a spokesman for the Social Development and Health Ministry, said 35 people were killed and about 130 were wounded.

''The airport is filled with smoke,'' she said on Rossiya 24.

Built in 1964, Domodedovo is located 42km southeast of the centre of Moscow and is the largest of the three major airports that serve the Russian capital, serving over 22 million people last year.

It is generally regarded as Moscow's most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called into question.

In 2004, two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by buying tickets illegally from airport personnel. The female bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights.

Terrorists have previously targeted other transportation centres in Moscow.

Twin blasts in the subway last March killed 39 people and wounded more than 60 people.

In December 2009, Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for blowing up a high-speed train between Moscow and St Petersburg, killing 26 people and injuring scores.


--A


My heart goes out to the victims of this tragady.

With that said, my comment to the Russian Government, in the immortal words of John Mcclane "Welcome to the party pal"
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uh, I hate to point this out to you, but Russia has been enduring terrorism for quite a long time.

In fact, if you want to ignore what happened during the Soviet era, Russia has still suffered over 20 acts of serious violent terrorism since the '99 apartment bombings in Moscow that ushered in the 2nd Chechan War.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, terrorism happens all over the world. We don't typically hear about it in the US unless an American is involved somehow, or unless American interests are affected. I think we only heard about the Moscow airport bombing because Americans could have been passing through the airport at the time.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Uh, I hate to point this out to you, but Russia has been enduring terrorism for quite a long time.

In fact, if you want to ignore what happened during the Soviet era, Russia has still suffered over 20 acts of serious violent terrorism since the '99 apartment bombings in Moscow that ushered in the 2nd Chechan War.

--A


Yeah, but they seem to have the attitude that if it wasn't Chechnya or Georgia, it wasn't worth worrying about. Course it could very well be that, but maybe now they will see why we've been getting up in arms about it now.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha, similar to America's attitude that unless it affected America, it wasn't worth worrying about? Wink

Anyway, my point was just that this is scarcely the first time Russia has suffered a terrorist attack. In fact, they've suffered more of them than you guys have. They've been partying since before the US knew there was a party. Laughing

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Swiss Vote To Keep Army Guns At Home

Geneva - Switzerland, which has the highest rate of suicide by firearms in Europe, voted on Sunday to hold fast to its long-standing tradition of letting citizens keep army-issue weapons at home.

A referendum, launched by a coalition of non-governmental groups, religious authorities and centre-left parties, pushed to have the weapons stored in armouries instead.

The initiative also aimed to abolish the practice of allowing those on military service to keep their government-issue assault rifles even after they leave the army.

But the coalition failed to secure the votes of both a majority of the population and cantons.

Final results showed that 20 out of 26 cantons were against while 56.3% of the population rejected the initiative.

For any initiative to pass, the twin support of a majority of citizens and of cantons is required.

The practice of keeping arms at home was once a core part of the country's defence strategy, which was in part aimed at deterring an invasion with the threat that its citizens are combat-ready at any sign of trouble.

Proud shooting tradition

According to official data, about two million firearms are in circulation in this Alpine country of about seven million inhabitants. But there are an estimated 240 000 more unregistered weapons.

The Swiss ease with weapons is seen on the street and in railway stations, as young conscripts travel to and from military service nonchalantly carrying their semi-automatic rifle, with barely a glance from passers-by.

Switzerland's biggest political party - the far-right Swiss People's Party, said the rejection of the initiative is "the Swiss people's affirmation of their proud shooting tradition".

"A disarmed army is a weakened army. The Swiss people have recognised this. With today's no on the weapons initiative, they have clearly rejected those army abolitionists," it added in a statement.

Stop Suicide, which counted among groups that launched the initiative, said however that Switzerland "missed an opportunity to take targeted measures to reduce the number of suicides."

The group believes that the easy availability of weapons poses a danger particularly for suicidal people.

Rates of suicide using firearms in Switzerland are three times higher than in the rest of Europe, noted Anne-Marie Trabichet, from Stop Suicide.

Sufficient protection

Amnesty International also issued a statement saying that it is "regrettable that the majority of the Swiss population did not find that the place of a weapon is not at home."

Speaking following the results, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga reiterated the government's position that despite the no vote, "people are nevertheless protected from weapons abuse" through current regulations.

The government had campaigned against the initiative, explaining that "current legislation assures adequate and sufficient protection of the population against the abusive use of weapons".

It noted for instance, that it is no longer possible for citizens to trade freely in these weapons. The army also instructs servicemen to keep their weapons disassembled and not to divulge where they are hidden.

In addition, those who wish to can already store their weapons in armouries.

"I invite the people to use current possibilities, to give your weapons up. On this point, there are no differences between the government and those who launched the initiative - we agree that with a reduction of available weapons, we can lower the rates of fatal crime and suicide," said Sommaruga.

- AFP


They might have the highest rate of suicide by firearms in Europe, but AFAIK they have the lowest rate of accidental gun death in the world.

In my opinion, this is the only true form of democracy. Referendum. If you can get enough people to agree with you, what you want happens.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm...high suicide by firearm, but what about suicide rate total? Because if the total rate isn't high, just the preference...well, the gun isn't the problem, is it?

If this happened in the U.S., I promise you, some network or other would be chattering about a result they got from polling the "potential suicide" voters.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting thought.... 23rd in the world, 15 suicides per 100,000. Which translates to around 1,100 odd per year.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh so this is the guy to blame!

Quote:
An Iraqi man whose testimony the United States used as a key evidence to build a case for war in Iraq says he is proud that he lied about his country developing mobile biological warfare labs.

The Guardian newspaper published an interview Wednesday with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who has been identified as the informer called "Curveball," whose claims about weapon labs formed part of then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council in 2003, shortly before the war began.

The Guardian quoted al-Janabi as saying: "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that."

Although some intelligence agents were skeptical of Curveball's story, the US Senate Intelligence Committee reported in 2004 that the Central Intelligence Agency "withheld important information about Curveball's reliability" from analysts dealing with the case.

The Guardian interviewed al-Janabi in Karlsruhe, Germany in a mixture of Arabic and German. The US Senate panel's report said Curveball spoke in English and Arabic when he was interrogated by intelligence officers.

Asked about his feeling's about the deaths and destruction during the war and in the years following, The Guardian said al-Janabi said there was no other way.

"I tell you something when I hear anybody not just in Iraq but in any war (is) killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution?" the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Saddam did not (allow) freedom in our land," the Iraqi said. "There are no other political parties. You have to believe what Saddam says, and do what Saddam wants. And I don't accept that. I have to do something for my country. So I did this and I am satisfied, because there is no dictator in Iraq any more."


Patsy anyone?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

finn wrote:
Ahhh so this is the guy to blame!

Quote:
An Iraqi man whose testimony the United States used as a key evidence to build a case for war in Iraq says he is proud that he lied about his country developing mobile biological warfare labs.

The Guardian newspaper published an interview Wednesday with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who has been identified as the informer called "Curveball," whose claims about weapon labs formed part of then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell's speech to the UN Security Council in 2003, shortly before the war began.

The Guardian quoted al-Janabi as saying: "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that."

Although some intelligence agents were skeptical of Curveball's story, the US Senate Intelligence Committee reported in 2004 that the Central Intelligence Agency "withheld important information about Curveball's reliability" from analysts dealing with the case.

The Guardian interviewed al-Janabi in Karlsruhe, Germany in a mixture of Arabic and German. The US Senate panel's report said Curveball spoke in English and Arabic when he was interrogated by intelligence officers.

Asked about his feeling's about the deaths and destruction during the war and in the years following, The Guardian said al-Janabi said there was no other way.

"I tell you something when I hear anybody not just in Iraq but in any war (is) killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution?" the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"Saddam did not (allow) freedom in our land," the Iraqi said. "There are no other political parties. You have to believe what Saddam says, and do what Saddam wants. And I don't accept that. I have to do something for my country. So I did this and I am satisfied, because there is no dictator in Iraq any more."


Patsy anyone?
Is there anything to substantiate that?
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a thing....thus the question mark!

However before you mischaracterise my rationale, my suspicion is that he is not a Bush apologist patsy, but rather one aimed at the last administration and in particular the CIA, to re-inforce (spin) the position of the current White House occupants.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seriously, finn? Sounds to me like he wanted to get rid of Saddam, period. And he figured out a way to do it.

If anything --given it's a British newspaper interviewing the guy -- I'd say it was an attempt to credit/discredit the Blair government's involvement in Iraq.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think (and this is just me) that we're never going to know everything about why we went into Iraq. I think that a lot of competing yet compelling arguments can be made about what led us to Iraq. I'm not going to call BS on this guy, because I simply don't have the information available to me to make that claim.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
Seriously, finn? Sounds to me like he wanted to get rid of Saddam, period. And he figured out a way to do it.

If anything --given it's a British newspaper interviewing the guy -- I'd say it was an attempt to credit/discredit the Blair government's involvement in Iraq.

I agree - it just goes to show that the smallest shred of the least compelling evidence can be seized upon by the powers that be as a matter of pure convenience to justify their entirely differently motivated agendas.

If The Guardian article is accurate, it's entirely lamentable - and equally entirely unsurprising - that something that would have been thrown out of almost any courtroom as unsubstantiated hearsay was used as a supportive plank in an unsupportable strategy.

Re Blair, my reading of the prevailing UK viewpoint is that, following numerous public enquiries that have failed to get anywhere near the truth - and I agree with Cail, that's a truth that will never be revealed - his actions in involving the UK in Iraq were unjustified... hence, amongst many other examples of spin at the time, the infamous "sexing up" of the UK secret service dossier with the "only 45 minutes warning before Iraq's usage of its WMDs" addition.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aliantha wrote:
Seriously, finn? Sounds to me like he wanted to get rid of Saddam, period. And he figured out a way to do it.

If anything --given it's a British newspaper interviewing the guy -- I'd say it was an attempt to credit/discredit the Blair government's involvement in Iraq.


Call me cynical Ali, but I have found over time that pieces such as this are seldom rolled out on a random basis. Its a good point tho' about Blair.

We will never know the actual, factual truth about going to war in Iraq, but there are a few smoking guns and its not hard to piece together consistant causes and motivations to show that certain reasons were more likely and others less likely.

However, my question is why now? Who stands to gain from this being raised at this time?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I saw this too. If it's true, it's pretty funny...the guy turned 1/4 of the world into his blunt instrument.

--A
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man held for Sweden terror attack

Interesting, Sweden had a terror attack? Do you think the Muslim was tired of the Swedish army in the Middle East? Does Sweden even have an army? I thought they just used the bikini team to solve any diplomatic issues.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, they have one of the oldest standing armies in the world.

--A
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe the hypocrisy....

From the BBC yesterday....

Quote:
The foreign secretary has condemned Tehran's "completely unacceptable" behaviour after British Special Forces seized a shipment of suspected Iranian arms intended for the Taliban.

The 48 rockets are understood to have been intercepted in Nimruz Province, in southern Afghanistan, on 5 February.

UK officials say technical analysis showed they had come from Iran.

William Hague said Iran's actions were at odds with its claim to "support stability and security in Afghanistan".

The rockets are understood to have a much greater range than the weapons currently available to Taliban insurgents.

It is believed that both UK and Afghan troops were involved in the operation to intercept them in Nimruz, which borders Iran.

'Extremely concerned'
Mr Hague said: "This is completely unacceptable. It is not the behaviour of a responsible neighbour.

"It is at odds with Iran's claim to the international community and to its own people that it supports stability and security in Afghanistan."

The foreign secretary said technical analysis and the circumstances of the seizure left him in "no doubt" the weapons came from Iran.

"I am extremely concerned by the latest evidence that Iran continues to supply the Taliban with weaponry - weapons clearly intended to provide the Taliban with the capability to kill Afghan and Isaf [International Security Assistance Force] soldiers from significant range."

He said the British Ambassador in Tehran had raised the issue with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said: "This confirms my often repeated view of the dangers that Iran poses not only through its nuclear programme, but its continuing policy of destabilising its neighbours.

"Supplying weapons to help the Taliban kill Isaf soldiers is a clear example of the threat they pose."

Mark Sedwill, Nato senior civilian representative to Afghanistan, said all of the country's neighbours had an obligation to prevent weapons falling into insurgent hands.

"These rockets represent a step-change in the lethal impact of weaponry infiltrating Afghanistan from Iran," he added.

The UN Security Council has called on Iran to stop enriching uranium until it can be established that its intentions are peaceful. The US believes it aims to build nuclear weapons.

Mr Hague said the latest report from the International Atomic Energy Agency "provides further evidence" of why the international community should be concerned about Iran's nuclear programme.

He said: "The report comprehensively outlines the many areas where Iran is failing to comply with its international obligations.

"Iran continues to enrich uranium in defiance of numerous UN Security Council and IAEA Board Resolutions, and has consistently failed to answer questions about possible military dimensions of its programme."

And he continued: "This needs to change. Iran should not think that recent events in the Middle East have distracted the world's attention away from its nuclear programme."

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