Internally, we’ve always attempted to define PJM as a place for reading the most accomplished writers, no matter the topic. Max Steinberg had previously won an event at the World Series of Poker and had since made a name for himself in now-exploding daily fantasy sports. He runs DailyFantasyWinners.com, and has written several articles at PJM on this brand new gaming business that go beyond gambling’s usual low-level, PR-based content to discuss how professional gamblers actually approach making a living via gaming.
Yesterday, after seven days of Texas Hold ‘Em, Max secured a spot in the final nine, who will meet again in November for the annual iconic, televised event. Here is his potential take-home:
Not bad for a week of playing cards. Go introduce yourself to Max here, with congrats, jealousy, marriage proposals, etc.
At this moment — 10:37 a.m. EST — the House is considering the Brat Amendment to H.R. 6, a bill which would fund the National Institute of Health and the Federal Drug Administration and has one of those precious titles implying that big government can indeed — and in this case, literally — fix what ails you: the “21st Century Cures Act.”
Most media reported Dave Brat’s election as primarily being due to his stance on immigration. Yet while on the stump in Virginia’s 7th, Brat said that citizens actually responded most fervently to his promise to lead a full frontal assault on the national debt.
Brat was a full professor of Economics at Randolph-Macon — he mentions Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan’s point man on the economy, as his greatest influence.
For a body that deliberates over the greatest collection of wealth in human history, you would expect a few more economists would fill its roster. But shockingly — or not at all, Washington being Washington — Dave Brat is the only Economics Ph.D. in either the House or Senate, let alone the only Econ professor. (Brat was as surprised as I was to discover that, prior to his election. I had been researching something else, came across that fact, and asked if he was aware no one had been elected with an Econ Ph.D. since Phil Gramm. It’s just Brat now, yet Paul Ryan continues in his role as the supposed premier GOP voice on budgetary issues.)
Brat’s amendment has nothing to do with the bill’s intent — only with the bill being proffered with Washington’s favorite funding method, “autopilot,” wherein your tax money is spent automatically without future Congressional review or public notice. In practice, this surmounts to Taxation without Representation, as “autopilot” is not an entity Constitutionally qualified to hold office nor even an experimental Facebook gender identification option.
Brat gave the following speech (click to the next page) this morning. You’ll notice that it differs from the typical Floor speech in that it makes sense to adults who manage budgets, and that it treats Virginia’s 7th like citizens, not as Pinterest “likes”…
David Wright is the Everett, Massachusetts man arrested yesterday for plotting a police officer beheading with Usaama Rahim. Wright was arrested shortly after Usaama Rahim was killed when two officers approached to question him. Wright is scheduled to be arraigned at 3:30 p.m. Eastern today.
Here is a link to and screenshot of Wright’s Facebook page:
Wright only has nine friends on his page, all visible in the above screenshot. Note that one of these select few friends is Ibrahim Rahim — the elder brother of Usaama. Yesterday, Ibrahim was quick to defend his brother by offering a wildly different account of the shooting, one which accused the police of shooting Usaama in the back, unprovoked.
Two of Wright’s friends — Antoinette Aaliyah Allen and Anthony Allen — appear to be related, and Antoinette is listed as working at a CVS, as did Usaama, who was shot in a Roslindale CVS parking lot.
Another of Wright’s friends, Khalid Abdelmoneim, posted this yesterday after Usaama was shot:
I have lost all faith in Law Enforcement. The unwarranted violence that our law enforcement inflicts on its citizenry everyday has now affected me directly. I cannot support a group that frequently abuses the people they are sworn to protect and even kills them without just reason or even minor consequences
R.I.P. to a good mann, Usaamah Rahim. Jannah await you brother. We know the person you truly were and will not believe the lies that the media has created about you to fit their Islamaphobic Agenda. Usaamah was one of the brothers who really got me to reflect on my relationship with god and Islam and in turn push me to be a better Human being. I got to pray Jummah and catch up with you recently. I cannot believe you are gone. This is so surreal. Love you brother, you are in all our Dua. Prayers and thoughts are with the Rahim Family…
Usaama Rahim does not appear to have a Facebook page. However — David Wright has a friend named Abu Sufyaan. In the above screenshot, Sufyaan is the only “like” listed for Wright’s cover photo.
Abu Sufyaan’s Facebook page reveals him to be a supporter of ISIS, and of British Islamist cleric Mizanur Rahman. (Rahman gained additional notoriety earlier this year when he defended the jihadists who committed the Charlie Hebdo massacre.):
Massachusetts police have claimed that their interest in Usaama Rahim and David Wright stemmed from social media. As Usaama Rahim appears to have no presence, and considering the connections, either Abu Sufyaan is in fact Usaama Rahim, or there is a third, unknown dangerous supporter of ISIS and jihadism interconnected with this small group still roaming the area.
The latter strikes me as less likely.
Also unlikely, according to these connections: that Imam Ibrahim Rahim was a) unaware that his younger brother and David Wright were dangerous; or b) was unaware that a third man, Abu Sufyaan, and David Wright were dangerous.
And Usaama Rahim/Abu Sufyaan also posted under the name “Abdur-Rahim Al-amreeki“.
J. Christian Adams on Fox: ‘Some DOJ Lawyers in Division Probing Baltimore PD Worked for Anti-Police Orgs’
PJ Media Legal Editor J. Christian Adams appeared with Shannon Bream to discuss the Department of Justice’s investigation into the conduct of Baltimore’s Police Department, which was requested by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody.
The Eric Holder/Loretta Lynch DOJ has launched similar investigations into the conduct of municipal police departments based upon an incident that inflamed racial tensions. Most recently, the DOJ targeted the Ferguson Police Department, which resulted in firings and other severe punishment despite the inciting incident having been found to exhibit no evidence of misconduct. As Adams mentions in the below clip, the DOJ also recently targeted the New Orleans Police Department — which resulted in a federal judge rebuking the DOJ attorneys for “grotesque misconduct” during the investigation.
As Adams mentions, those two examples are likely indicative of a personnel problem at the DOJ.
Several years ago, Adams and former DOJ attorney Hans von Spakovsky researched the resumes of every single new hire within the DOJ Civil Rights Division under the tenure of Eric Holder. (Simply retrieving the resumes required a lengthy FOIA Act battle.) They found that every single new hire — over 100 attorneys in all — had previously worked for identifiably leftist political organizations.
Including, as he tells Shannon, organizations that existed for the sake of targeting the conduct of police departments.
The Los Angeles Times reported this morning, in an article titled “Armenian Hopes Crushed as Obama Decides Not To Use the Word ‘Genocide’“, that Obama was in fact breaking a campaign pledge with his decision.
His 2008 promise could not have left less wiggle room:
The decision, revealed Tuesday in a meeting with Armenian American groups, backs down from a previous Obama pledge.
“As president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide,” Obama said while running for president in 2008.
Obama’s decision is a continuation of federal policy, though no prior U.S. president had made a specific promise of recognition.
The federal refusal to recognize is certainly not in step with the states. According to the Armenian National Committee of America, 43 U.S. states, by “legislation or proclamation,” have recognized the 1915 genocide since New York and New Jersey first did in 1975:
More on Obama’s campaign promise, from the LA Times article:
Obama, as a senator and a candidate for president, supported using the term to describe the killings and criticized the George W. Bush administration for not doing so.
“Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence,” Obama said in 2008. “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.”
Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced that the United States would be removing Cuba from the U.S. State Sponsors of Terror list as part of his push to normalize relations with the communist dictatorship. But just hours later, a terror group long fostered by Cuba — even today, the Castro brothers are harboring several wanted members of the group — murdered 10 Colombian soldiers and wounded 17 others in a terror attack on a military base.
Ten Colombia soldiers killed in apparent FARC attack
Ten soldiers were killed and 17 injured in western Colombia Wednesday, in a dawn attack on an army garrison that officials blamed on leftist FARC guerrillas.
The attack occurred in a small town in Cauca province, governor Temistocles Ortega told Blu radio, adding that four of the injured soldiers are in serious condition.
The Cauca region has been a stronghold for the rebel fighters, who are in peace talks with the Bogota government to end more than a half-century of hostilities.
“This is precisely the war that we are trying to end,” President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.
The FARC in December declared a unilateral ceasefire, which it has said was meant to advance the negotiations, which have been under way since November 2012.
The Colombian government last month temporarily halted air raids against the Marxist rebels.
The five-decade-long conflict has killed more than 200,000 people and uprooted more than five million.
Yesterday, in an article titled “Why Cuba Was, And Must Remain, On Terror List,” PJ Media’s Henry Gomez reported that Cuba has not changed its policy of fueling and defending leftist terror whatsoever since they were initially placed on the list. Wrote Gomez:
The Castro brothers continue to harbor international terrorists from Spain’s Basque separatist group ETA and Colombia’s Marxist rebels FARC, as well as American domestic terrorists from groups like the Black Liberation Army.
Nothing has really changed on this front. It’s estimated that 70 U.S. fugitives are being harbored by Cuba, including Joanne Chesimard (AKA “Assata Shakur”), a convicted cop killer.
Apologists for the Castro regime try to argue that Cuba does not meet the criteria of state sponsor of terrorism via technicalities. They insist that the Basque terrorists in Cuba are a matter for Spain to resolve bilaterally with Cuba, and that the FARC terrorists don’t count because Cuba is hosting peace talks between FARC and the Colombian government, and that Chesimard doesn’t qualify as a terrorist because she didn’t kill a civilian, conflating a police officer with a member of uniformed armed forces in a declared war.
Needless to say, the straws they grasp at paint no more of a flattering picture of the totalitarian dictatorship they defend, which is in its sixth decade.
Gomez is correct in his description of the apologists’ behavior as “grasping at straws.” Harboring terrorists matches the qualifications required for the list, as this act was specifically included in every yearly report dating back to Cuba’s being placed on the list in 1982.
For example, see this State Department report from 2012:
Cuba was designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism in 1982. Reports in 2012 suggested that the Cuban government was trying to distance itself from Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) members living on the island by employing tactics such as not providing services including travel documents to some of them. The Government of Cuba continued to provide safe haven to approximately two dozen ETA members.
In past years, some members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were allowed safe haven in Cuba and safe passage through Cuba. In November, the Government of Cuba began hosting peace talks between the FARC and Government of Colombia.
There was no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.
The Cuban government continued to harbor fugitives wanted in the United States. The Cuban government also provided support such as housing, food ration books, and medical care for these individuals.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has identified Cuba as having strategic anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism deficiencies. In 2012, Cuba became a member of the Financial Action Task Force of South America against Money Laundering, a FATF-style regional body. With this action, Cuba has committed to adopting and implementing the FATF Recommendations.
European soccer has long dealt with a vile, bigoted thread of thug fandom, but this minutes-long chant by “dozens” of Utrecht fans describes a stirring of that fascist remnant growing larger, more ominous. Imagine, say, the notorious Philadelphia Eagles fans carrying on like this. You can’t, because this sort of thing isn’t occurring here — our obnoxious fans stop several miles short of genocide these days.
Now imagine what life is like for Dutch Jews today, many of whom must have been in the stadium. Europe is at a crossroads.
The chants were documented on Sunday at Galgenwaard Stadium in Utrecht, a city situated 40 miles southeast of the Dutch capital Amsterdam, during an honor division match between Amsterdam’s Ajax team and FC Utrecht, the De Telegraaf daily reported.
Utrecht supporters chanted the slogans to insult rival fans, whom they often call “Jews” because of the historical Jewish presence in Amsterdam, which is sometimes colloquially called “Mokum” after the Yiddish word for “place.”
During the match, dozens could be seen and heard chanting: “My father was in the commandos, my mother was in the SS, together they burned Jews cause Jews burn the best” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” The chanting went on for several minutes, according to The Post Online news website.
Here’s video (HT William Jacobson):
You can probably guess the party identifications.
The Washington Times’ Jessica Chasmar reports:
As you all know, there is only one possible circumstance in the course of human history — both infinitely on into the future, and past to the grand discovery of petroleum jelly — in which the phrase “hurled a [freakin'] jar of Vaseline at the Governor” could be followed with the phrase “attendees were reportedly split on [the] outburst,” and that circumstance is “Governor is a Republican.” (Google “Wisconsin recall” for further background.)
To be fair, Mayor Twomey’s act should not be characterized as that of an unstable crazy person, but as that of an unstable crazy person with a freakin’ plan. She didn’t just grab the first item in her purse to throw at the mayor, but had prepared ahead of time to throw just the right metaphor at the governor:
Ms. Twomey said she she chose a jar of Vaseline to throw because of the governor’s reference nearly two years ago about Democratic state Sen. Troy Jackson.
Keep your eye on Twitter: there should be a wave of praise for Twomey’s “empowering provocation” and “act of resistance” and “sparking a national conversation” any minute now. You know it’s coming.
Here’s the video, lunacy starts around 2:30 mark:
Yesterday, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency appeared to be the first media outlet to notice a disturbing tweet from Comedy Central’s new hire Trevor Noah, who is pegged to replace Jon Stewart as host of the Daily Show:
South Africans know how to recycle like israel knows how to be peaceful.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) June 2, 2010
Late this evening, author and former Conservative MP Louise Mensch found several more:
Behind every successful Rap Billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man. #BeatsByDreidel
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 7, 2012
Xbox and Playstation players are like Jews and Muslims. They are so similar but they hate each other so much!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 12, 2014
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) May 7, 2012
— Senzo Sibiya (@senzo_tm) January 26, 2012
Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 18, 2009
@khayadlanga I knew he was Jewish cause his parents across the road looked Jewish. Oh and they were outside a Shul.
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 18, 2009
This is just nasty..lmao!”@Trevornoah: And lower Jew tolerance? RT @UnreaIFacts: Blue-eyed people have a higher alcohol tolerance.”
— Mutule (@2le_kronikos) October 22, 2012
WTF??? New Daily Show host thinks “Untermensch” isn’t a racial slur, says it just means “lower class person”. https://t.co/0KTOfCBNUS
— John Schindler (@20committee) March 31, 2015
JTA also found this from Noah’s Facebook page, which appears to show Noah as having been present at an anti-Israel rally in front of the White House:
I just don’t see Comedy Central standing behind a host they have nothing invested in besides eight hours of PR after they review that “Jewish chicks” tweet, among the others. And of course, other examples are sure to appear in the next few hours.
What do you think: does Noah survive the day in his new job?
I’m not sure precisely how I missed this three days ago, but Vanessa Summers’ party identification strikes me as the most likely reason few outside of Indianapolis picked it up. Online media lives for the chance to humiliate elected officials — it’s a large element of the business model, assuming the humiliation doesn’t come at the expense of ideological narrative.
BizPacReview’s Carmine Sabia spotted it moments ago: Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), who has represented the 99th District since 1991, thinks white toddlers who fear her are racist. Rather than follow the well-trod path of her progressive brethren by writing a Masters thesis — say, “Changes in Postmodern White Toddler Microaggression in Middle America, Pre- and Post-LBJ” — she took her revelation to an open mic on the statehouse floor:
Lawmaker says colleague’s toddler feared her because she’s black
The already contentious debate over Indiana’s proposed “religious freedom” bill took a surreal twist Monday afternoon when — in the midst of discussion on the bill — a Democratic lawmaker said that a Republican lawmaker’s child was “scared” of her because she is black.
The comment by Rep. Vanessa Summers drew audible gasps, in no small part because the child — the son of Rep. Jud McMillin — is 18 months old.
“I told Jud McMillin I love his son, but he’s scared of me because of my color,” Summers told McMillin, who is white, during debate over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the House.
“It’s hard,” said Summers, D-Indianapolis. Then, as other lawmakers groaned at the comments, she followed up with, “It’s true.”
“He looked at me like I was a monster and turned around and cried. And I told him you need to introduce your child to some people that are dark-skinned so he will not be scared,” she said.
McMillin, R-Brookville, called Summers’ comments “unfortunate.”
“It’s just incredibly unfortunate. You’d like to think that we would have professional discussion on the House floor and certainly be able to avoid having 18-month-olds in the discussion,” he said.
“I can tell you that if he reacted the same way he reacts with anybody brand new, he buries his head in his dad’s shoulder,” McMillin said. “Whoever it is, it’s what he does. He’s an 18-month-old kid; he’s in a new environment up here in the place like the Statehouse but doesn’t know anybody. I honestly don’t remember anything out of the ordinary.”
Tim Swarens, op-ed editor at local outlet Indystar, brought some relief to the nation by informing that the Democrat contingent of this chamber is abysmally weak:
It’s a hard fact of life: Toddlers cry. They cry when Dad picks them up. They cry when Mom puts them down. They cry when they’re hungry, and while they’re being fed. They cry before a nap and after a nap. And, on an especially bad day for their parents, during a nap.
Why do they cry? Because they’re toddlers.
But state Rep. Vanessa Summers, a Democrat from Indianapolis, has a different theory about why the 18-month-old son of a colleague in the Indiana House cries.
She thinks it’s because his father, state Rep. Jud McMillin, is a racist.
Now, it’s tempting to write off Summers’ comments as the irrational rant of a lawmaker who is all but irrelevant. Her party controls only 29 seats in the 100 member House, and Summers isn’t exactly one of the leading lights of the Democrats’ tiny caucus.
Yet there should be professional standards — even in the Indiana General Assembly. And by any standard, Summers leaped over a line that no one should cross without consequence.
Don’t criticize a colleague’s parenting skills, especially in a professional setting. Don’t insinuate that a co-worker is a racist, unless there’s hard evidence. Don’t assume you can read the mind of a toddler. Don’t make personal what should be a debate about policy.
Don’t, if you have nothing of value to add, say anything.
Moments ago, President Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough gave a speech to a gathering of J-Street, an organization the AP describes as “an Israel advocacy group strongly critical of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.” (In reality, Israel has been waiting since the founding of J-Street for the organization to do some “Israel advocacy.”) Reported the AP:
Top Obama aide: US can’t ignore Netanyahu’s comments
President Barack Obama’s chief of staff says the United States can’t simply pretend that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH’-hoo) didn’t reject the possibility of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu made the comment just before Israel’s elections last week, but later backpedaled. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says Netanyahu’s contradictory answers call into question his commitment to a two-state solution.
What exactly was it about Netanyahu’s comments about the two-state solution that President Obama is unable to ignore? The White House has had no difficulty pretending that Mahmoud Abbas never uttered any of the following comments or took the following actions:
– “[Abbas'] book, published in Arabic in 1983, translates as “The Other Side: The Secret Relations Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement.” … The book repeatedly attempts to cast doubt on the fact that the Nazis slaughtered 6 million Jews. … Abbas denies that the gas chambers were used to murder Jews, quoting a “scientific study” to that effect by French Holocaust-denier Robert Faurisson.”
– “In the wake of Palestinian Authority President Abbas’ recent condolence letter to a terrorist’s family, Ambassador Ron Prosor submitted a letter of complaint to the UN Secretary General and the President of the Security Council about the most recent example of the troubling rise in the Palestinian Authority’s use of incitement … ”
– “[Abbas] hosts the poet whose famous work describes Israelis as “Our enemy: A Zionist, Satan with a tail“, while the PA Minister of Culture awards him a plaque of honor at a ceremony in Ramallah … ”
– [Abbas] and PA representatives accuse Israel of poisoning Palestinian security prisoners and intentionally spreading disease among them. Abbas: “Human lives, of course, are of no importance to them.”
– ”I am not one to surrender. When Fatah launched the armed struggle, we were nine members. Four of us supported the armed struggle, and four opposed it. My vote tipped the scales in favor of the armed struggle. But everything in its time.” – Mahmoud Abbas.
“(Note: Abbas’ phrase “everything in its time” alludes to the PA policy of alternating between the use of terror and diplomacy, whichever the PA deems the most beneficial at any given time.) Fatah posted this to its “Main Page” on Facebook on Jan. 16 and 22, 2015.”
– “This week, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas ended a speech about the current conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza with a quote from the Quran justifying war. His Fatah party interpreted Abbas’ statement to mean that fighting against Israel is justified on religious Islamic grounds.”
– New York Times, April 27, 2009: “Abbas Rejects Calling Israel a Jewish State”
– Times of Israel, November 29, 2014: Abbas: Palestinians will never recognize Israel as Jewish state
Of course, this is a scant reflection of the decade of terror, anti-Semitic incitement, and yes, rejection of the two state solution that President Obama has chosen to ignore, displaying cognitive dissonance regarding his comprehension of the Middle East.
In his eyes, Israel’s behavior is unacceptable no matter the context, while Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority can do no wrong, up to and including the murder of innocents, the celebration of the murderers, and incitement to genocide.
Lowly Georgia State, a 14th seed, just took down 3 seed Baylor with two seconds left on a ridiculous three-pointer from a good seven feet behind the line.
Amazing? There’s more: Georgia State was down by 10 points with 1:30 left.
It gets better: The player who hit the shot is R.J. Hunter, who scored 12 of Georgia State’s last 13 points to win the game.
Now watch the below Vine of the play, and see the magical moment when Georgia State’s coach — who tore his Achilles a few days ago celebrating his team’s win — falls right off the stool he’s using because his left foot is in a cast.
One more thing: THE COACH IS RJ HUNTER’S DAD.
Go ahead and cry a bit, folks. Feels good.
This morning, the White House conspicuously avoided sending any message of congratulations to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his sweeping victory yesterday. Weekly Standard reports:
On CNN this morning, White House aide David Simas avoided congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Israeli elections. Instead, he would only congratulate the Israeli people on having an election.
“We want to congratulate the Israeli people for the democratic process for the election that they just engaged in with all the parties that engaged in that election. As you know now, the hard work of coalition building begins. Sometimes that takes a couple of weeks. And we’re going to give space to the formation of that coalition government and we’re not going to weigh in one way or another except to say that the United States and Israel have a historic and close relationship and that will continue going forward,” Simas said.
While Obama has had public differences with Netanyahu recently, in the past he has made efforts to congratulate leaders that have a much more adversarial relationship with the United States as well as shamefully undemocratic electoral processes.
Obama congratulates Turkey’s Erdogan on presidential win
U.S. President Barack Obama congratulated Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday for his victory as the country’s next president, the White House said.
Erdogan vowed to pursue a period of reconciliation in Turkey after securing the post with more than 52 percent of the vote on Sunday.
“The president praised the prime minister’s speech on Sunday and noted that as Turkey’s first directly elected president, the prime minister has an historic opportunity to further move Turkey forward,” the White House said in a statement.
The call lasted 45 minutes, according to Turkish sources.
Erdogan last month acknowledged strains in his relations with Obama, saying he no longer spoke directly to the U.S. president as he had in the past.
Erdogan’s leadership style, from his bombastic rhetoric on Israel to his crackdown on anti-government protests last summer, has raised increasing concern among Western allies in recent years.
Obama calls new Egyptian president to congratulate him: White House
President Barack Obama called new Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Tuesday and affirmed their commitment to a U.S.-Egyptian strategic partnership, the White House said.
Sisi was sworn in on Sunday, almost a year after toppling elected President Mohamed Mursi, an ouster that Obama resisted calling a coup because it would have prompted Washington to cut off assistance to Egypt.
The White House said Obama called Sisi to congratulate him on his inauguration and “to convey his commitment to working together to advance the shared interests of both countries.”
Obama breaks three decades of silence with call to Iranian president
Obama began by congratulating Rouhani on his June election. He referred to the long mistrust between the two sides but said he believed the talks were already making progress.
Israeli leaders and senior U.S. lawmakers, some of whom remain wary of Iran’s intentions, were notified of Obama’s plans ahead of time.
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor blasted Obama for failing to press the Iranian leader on terrorism, Syria and other issues.
Obama Calls to Congratulate Putin
CBS’s Mark Knoller reports:
Pres. Obama phoning congratulations from AF-1 to Pres-elect Vladimir Putin of Russia.
As the New York Times reported earlier in the week, there are serious charges that Putin rigged the election: “A day after claiming an overwhelming victory in Russia’s presidential election, Vladimir V. Putin on Monday faced a range of challenges to his legitimacy, including charges of fraud from international observers and a defiant opposition that vowed to keep him from serving his full six-year term.”
Even the State Department called for an investigation into the election earlier in the week.
Yet with President Obama reportedly calling to congratulate Putin, apparently the White House isn’t too concerned with the fraudulent election–or even its worrisome outcome.
Obama congratulates new power-sharing leaders in Afghanistan
President Obama on Sunday made a congratulatory call to Afghanistan’s newly elected president, Ashraf Ghani, and the runner-up, Abdullah Abdullah, who have agreed to a power-sharing deal.
The country’s election commission on Sunday named Ghani the winner of the election. An audit of vote tallies conducted by the United Nations was not disclosed, fueling criticism of the election process.
Report: Obama Congratulates Top Chinese Communist on New Position
A report in the Chinese state-run Xinhua outlet claims that President Barack Obama congratulated Xi Jinping on his “election” to be the top Communist in China. Jinping will be the next president of China, and now controls the Chinese military.
Obama congratulates Morsi on winning Egyptian presidency
In a statement, press secretary Jay Carney also addressed another major U.S. fear of an Islamist victory, saying the Obama administration believes Mr. Morsi and his new government “have both the legitimacy and responsibility of representing a diverse and courageous citizenry.”
“We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians,” Mr. Carney said.
Morsi was overthrown by the Egyptians for his dictatorial behavior less than a year later.
On June 18, 2012, the Chicago Tribune reported on Obama congratulating the Saudis for a dictatorial transition of power:
Obama congratulates Saudi king on selecting new heir
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday congratulated Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for naming Prince Salman as heir apparent and said he was looking forward to continuing to deepen the U.S.-Saudi partnership.
“I had the pleasure of receiving him at the White House this April and know that he is a man of deep faith who is committed to improving the lives of the people of Saudi Arabia and to the
security of the region,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House.
UPDATE: The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Bibi has already contacted Naftali Bennett, the leader of Bayit Yehudi, to begin discussions of joining a Likud-led coalition. Netanyahu has already claimed there is no chance he puts together a “unity” government with ZU, as he sees the gulf between the two parties impossible to bridge. He won’t need to — the road to 61 “right-wing” seats appears clear:
Likud 28 or 27
HaBayit haYehudi 9 or 8
Yahadut haTorah 12 or 11
Kulanu 10 or 9
Yachad 6 or 5
Channel 2 in Israel is reporting the following for their exit polls. (Note: These are the channel’s own polls.) Last week, Zionist Union held a lead over Likud in the final pre-election poll.
And Channel 10 has the following numbers:
Arab list 13
And Channel 1:
Zionist Union 27
Joint Arab List 13
Yesh Atid 12
Bayit Yehudi 9
United Torah Judaism 6
Yisrael Beytenu 5
The Times of Israel reports on the Israeli reactions to the exit polls. Safe to say that the country supports their accuracy:
TV exit polls show Netanyahu set to retain premiership
Likud ahead or level with Zionist Union in all three exit polls, better placed to build coalition; Netanyahu’s efforts in final days drew him level with Herzog; delight in Likud, dismay in Zionist Union; Jewish Home slips
Zionist Union’s Shelly Yachimovich is trying to claim in a Channel 2 interview that there’s still room for a left-wing government, based on the Arab list and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu.
But the stark fact is Netanyahu’s natural coalition is much larger according to exit polls.
To seal the consciousness of a Netanyahu victory, Netanyahu has already called Jewish Home’s Naftali Bennett in the last few minutes, and is slated to call Avigdor Liberman in the coming minutes.
The call to Moshe Kahlon could be among his last. Kahlon will take some convincing. His 10-seat showing makes him a decisive factor in the new coalition, and his demand was already clear in the campaign: to be finance minister.
The hashtag #AskHamas is currently at the top of Twitter’s trends, and apparently this began not as a stunt but as an actual outreach attempt from Hamas itself. Reports ABC:
Hamas launched #AskHamas on Friday. The campaign promised responses from the group’s leaders, or as they called it, “Truth from the mouth of the horse.”
The mouth, people. Of THE HORSE.
Obviously, worldwide Twitter used this opportunity to find some measure of truth and integrity from the people who hide weapons underneath kindergartens.
#AskHamas Do you think zebras are black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? Or do you just blame zebras on the Jews?
— Patrick Henrys Ghost (@Pissed_Pat) March 13, 2015
— Country Music (@Country__Songs) March 13, 2015
— Sara (@SGLawrence) March 13, 2015
#AskHamas My wife glanced at a magazine with a man in it. What sized stones should I use?
— IXLR8 (@DenverOilGuy) March 13, 2015
When are your top leaders gathering in one place and where will this meeting be? #AskHamas
— Rob H. (@waitomo11) March 13, 2015
— Leah the Boss (@LeahRBoss) March 13, 2015
— שומרים Hackman Watch (@HackmanWatch) March 13, 2015
— ♫ vic ♫ (@DivaMomVicki) March 13, 2015
— Martin Wilfork (@Martin_Wilfork) March 13, 2015
— Sara (@SGLawrence) March 13, 2015
Of course, terror apologist and serial fabricator Max Blumenthal — the man whose recent book on Israel was panned as too pro-terror by most of the American left — took the opportunity to defend the worst of the worst:
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) March 13, 2015
Washington Free Beacon’s Elizabeth Harrington reports on Wednesday’s Office of the Inspector General report, which found that not only did at least 740 people continue to receive direct deposit benefit payments after they passed away, but also that the SSA did not try to recover the money.
The OIG based its results on the bank records of 58 deceased individuals, finding that the SSA had put $1,111,000 into their accounts. The agency only was able to recover $35,000 and “did not attempt to recover payments from the other beneficiaries.” Family members or others can withdraw the funds if they have access to the dead individual’s account.
Expanding their results to the entire beneficiary population, the OIG determined that a low estimate for improper direct deposit payments to dead people amounts to $17,103,880.
“We estimate SSA improperly paid 740 beneficiaries about $17 million after their deaths,” the audit said. “SSA would likely not recover these funds because of the delay in developing these cases.”
The OIG said “these results are likely understated.”
“We estimate there is at least $17,103,880 in outstanding payments deposited into bank accounts of beneficiaries in suspense status after the death of the beneficiary,” they said. “However, we believe the actual figure is likely higher because we limited our review to individuals in suspense for fewer than 7 years, residing in the United States, and those with higher monthly benefit amounts.”
The best part, in which the SSA accountants prove to be slightly more efficient at money management than the dead:
Of the OIG’s sample, the SSA only terminated benefits for six individuals, leaving the “remaining 52 in a suspended payment status.”
From MEMRI, the video clip below shows Kuwaiti researcher Abdulaziz Al-Qattan making an appearance on Al-Mayadeen TV on March 3. MEMRI’s Counter-Radicalization Initiative report on the appearance highlights the following quotes from Al-Qattan, each of which would get a person branded an Islamophobe in the West:
Abdulaziz Al-Qattan: “ISIS did not come out of nowhere. It’s not an aberration. By no means. ISIS adopts the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology of Al-Qaeda. If you look at Durur Al-Saniyah by Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab, you will see that ISIS is implementing the ideas of that book to the letter. They are doing it step by step, word by word.
“The problem of us Arabs is that we are not being honest with ourselves. We do not acknowledge our mistakes. We refuse to break away from that heritage. Our Islamic heritage is a minefield of these deviant ideas. Unfortunately, even some contemporary muftis, sheiks, and Islamic scholars subscribe to this reactionary ideology and to this backwardness. To this day, some of them consider photography to be prohibited polytheism, and view statuses as idols that are worshipped instead of Allah.
“Even in the days of the Islamic conquests, ‘Amr Ibn Al-’As did not destroy the Sphinx and did not shatter statues in Egypt. I cannot imagine Islam, or any civilization, without art. I cannot imagine the beauty of Islam without art. Art is sublime. Art means progress. Art means civilization. Can you possibly imagine humanity without art? Inconceivable! Inconceivable!
“The ISIS [ideology] existed even before ISIS and Al-Qaeda emerged, but we turned a blind eye, and some Arab governments still prefer not to face the plain truth. All the books of Islamic heritage, without exception – from all Islamic sects and denominations – have enough ISIS ideology to turn your hair white. Therefore, what we need to do is sift through Islamic heritage. We must go back to the book of Allah, for it gives guidance to humanity. Islam does not, under any circumstances, run counter to human nature. Allah created Man free and gave him freedom of thought, but the problem is that the Muslims have begun to worship people. We have begun to worship our heritage. We have begun to worship books.
“I say “Islamic heritage,” but that is not what it is. It is the heritage of the jurisprudents, not of the Prophet Muhammad. The books of Islamic heritage — Al-Bukhari and Muslim hadith collections, and the other canonical hadith books, as well as the Kitab Al-Kafi and all the other books of the Shiites … All these books need to be sifted through by real institutions. “These stories should be sifted through in order to filter out all their blemishes. Politics played a role in the evolvement of this heritage. The Islamic scholars of the Sultan’s court played a role in this. The hadith narrators were not infallible. Some of them were liars, cheats, and so on.”
For great detail on “the books of Islamic heritage,” follow along with Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an here at PJ Media.
Moments ago, Organizing For Action — Obama’s permanent campaign lemmings/Warby Parker aficionados — posted this unintentionally funny graphic to their Twitter account:
— OFA (@OFA) March 11, 2015
The science is settled: America’s Bar Mitzvah-aged contingent has reached a consensus.
Of course, 100% of America’s current eighth graders have not lived a day of global warming, as temperatures haven’t peaked since 1998.
Aaron Karp, senior editor of trade publication Air Transport World, tells PJ Media how that runway was open at LaGuardia today:
It’s FAA’s call on whether to keep an airport operating.
However, airlines can cancel flights going to airports they think may be shut down, and ultimately pilots can decide to divert if they think the weather is too bad.
Generally, operations continue when there is just a couple of inches of snow on the ground, especially at northern airports (Canadian airports almost never shut down).
In this case, controllers are saying planes that were landing before the Delta flight reported no problems braking, and a wind check before the Delta plane was cleared to land was OK. …
I’m sure the weather conditions will be a focus of the NTSB investigation, but airports do operate regularly in such conditions. Runway excursions on landing are an ongoing safety concern and often are the worst accidents. Just yesterday, a Turkish Airlines A330 ran off the runway landing in Nepal, though no one was hurt …
According to the International Air Transport Association, from 2009-2013 there were 98 runway/taxiway excursions globally among commercial airlines, comprising 23% of airline accidents, the most of any category of accidents.
Another thing to watch in the investigation: Pilots make a “landing distance assessment” prior to takeoff. One question here is whether the pilots revised that assessment prior to landing based on the conditions at LaGuardia at the time of the landing. That has been an issue in the past.
The Pew Research Center has released a report on the “Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities,” which found that harassment of Jews is growing worldwide despite a downward trend of harassment of other religions. Writes Pew:
In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of countries where Jews were harassed. In 2013, harassment of Jews, either by government or social groups, was found in 77 countries (39%) — a seven-year high. Jews are much more likely to be harassed by individuals or groups in society than by governments. In Europe, for example, Jews were harassed by individuals or social groups in 34 of the region’s 45 countries (76%).
Yet more evidence that Europe is on a trend mirroring the social change of the 1930s.
The left takes the same approach to every problem, be it bullying or beheading: an expensive conference promoted by the same Benetton-ish graphic design the left has used since Live Aid, and the already-agreed-upon solution that the answer lies in greater “dialogue.”
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a current screen shot of the U.S. State Department’s “Official Blog”:
Imagine, for a moment, you are a Yazidi refugee who was rescued from a monstrous death at the hands of ISIS, though you’ve witnessed your children murdered. The U.S. State Department has just published a graphic claiming they stand ready to offer “SUPPORT” to combat this extremism with a little heart on a lavender house.
Other solutions for halting the rise of the Fourth Reich:
Jihadi John, who currently has as much blood on his outsides as his insides, gets a mentor and a partner.
Recall the State Department did backtrack on Marie Harf’s “jobs” comments, insisting that the current policy is to kill ISIS and not save them. Obviously this was false and Harf spoke the truth.
It’s the 1930s all over again, brought to you by people on record trying to reassure us with “Never Again.”
Reports Patrick Howley at the Daily Caller:
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf wrote her college honors thesis on “how conservative evangelical support for Israel complicates U.S. foreign policy,” according to Indiana University records.
This doesn’t appear to be a stretch of the source material by any means. Howley precisely quotes the article “College ‘Luminary’ Marie Harf followed father to IU, political science” which was published on November 10 last year on an Indiana University website:
She credits her IU professors — and especially her undergraduate honors advisors, political science professors Mike McGinnis and Marjorie Hershey, and English and Jewish studies professor Alvin Rosenfeld — for much of her career achievement.
“Those people, when I was 19 or 20, took an interest in me and encouraged me,” she said. “They really pushed me and made me think I could do big things.”
McGinnis had been a student of her father’s at Ohio State.
“You know you have been teaching a long time when a student introduces herself as the daughter of the professor who taught the first course you took in your chosen field,” he said.
McGinnis said he still remembers a paper he wrote for Jim Harf, an analysis of the neutron bomb then under consideration by the Carter administration, and the honors thesis Marie later wrote at IU on how conservative evangelical support for Israel complicates U.S. foreign policy.
The thesis was titled “The Religious Right in American Support for Israel.”
Little information is currently available. If true, ISIS is apparently capitalizing on the worldwide revulsion at the burning of the Jordanian pilot.
Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) have burned to death 45 people in the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi, the local police chief says.
Exactly who these people were and why they were killed is not clear, but Col Qasim al-Obeidi said he believed some were members of the security forces.
IS fighters captured much of the town, near Ain al-Asad air base, last week.
Col Obeidi said a compound that houses the families of security personnel and local officials was now under attack.
He pleaded for help from the government and the international community.
The fighting and poor communications in the area make it difficult to confirm such reports.
Earlier this month, IS published a video showing militants burning alive a Jordanian air force pilot, whose plane crashed in Syria in December.
Al-Baghdadi had been besieged for months by Islamic State fighters before its fall on Thursday.
It had been one of the few towns to still be controlled by the Iraqi government in Anbar province, where IS and allied Sunni Arab tribesmen launched an offensive in January 2014.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby told reporters on Friday that al-Baghdadi’s capture needed to be put in perspective.
He said it was the first time in the last couple of months that the jihadist group had taken new ground.
However, Ain al-Asad air base, where about 320 US Marines are training members of the Iraqi army’s 7th Division, is only 8km (5 miles) away.
The base was itself attacked by IS militants, among them several suicide bombers, on Friday. The militants were eventually repelled by Iraqi troops backed by US-led coalition aircraft.
While debating Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over his stance on gay marriage, CNN’s Chris Cuomo revealed his ardent support for the idea at the root of all violations of human rights. States Cuomo (video below):
Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man … That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.
Note that Cuomo conflates “rights” and “laws,” a symptom of his logical failure. This is the heart of progressivism, and the heart of every nation or ideology that needs a philosophical approval of a desire to violate the individual’s rights. Declaring that rights are inalienable, coming from G-d, defines American exceptionalism. Cuomo not only does not understand this, he vigorously denies it.
We could direct Cuomo to reread the volumes of work he studied in middle school which define his fallacy, but that doesn’t change the mind of someone as dedicated to this horrifically damaging idea as is Cuomo.
So let’s dumb it down — here’s a scenario to tweet at Cuomo, which simplifies life, liberty, and property in a manner he could never effectively challenge should he choose to respond:
Put two men on, say, Mars, either a billion years in the future or the past. No countries, no other people. No conversation has occurred between the two, barring the existence of any “collective agreement and compromise.”
1. One kills the other. Has he violated the man’s rights? If yes, then the right to life must come from G-d.
2. One digs an inescapable hole and sticks the other in it. Has he violated the man’s rights? If yes, then the right to liberty must come from G-d.
3. One steals the other’s freeze-dried astronaut food, leaving him to starve. Has he violated the man’s rights? If yes, then the right to property must come from G-d.
If you understand this, then any nation which does not establish its laws to uphold these rights is an unjust nation. Yet only one nation has done so, which is an unimaginable miracle, and Cuomo, blessed enough to live in it, nonetheless rejects it.
Also, only two religions pray to a G-d who would establish and uphold these laws. Cuomo refuses to consider that difficult premise as well, which is the singular reason why we are hamstrung in fighting the violent rise of Islam and a resurgent socialism.
At today’s press briefing, Earnest said the following regarding Israel’s announced building of additional housing units in the West Bank. Note that Earnest is not speaking off the cuff, but is reading from a prepared statement:
Our position is that we believe that settlements are illegitimate and counterproductive to achieving a two-state outcome. We have deep concern about these highly contentious settlement construction announcements. They will have detrimental impacts on the ground, inflame already heightened tensions with the Palestinians, and further isolate the Israelis internationally. The United States, as a close ally of Israel, uses our diplomatic influence around the globe to try to build support for Israel, and an announcement like this only serves to further isolate them. I can tell you that issuing tenders like this does nothing to bolster Israel’s security, does not increase its prosperity, and it does not further the cause for peace. In fact it does precisely the opposite.
Recall, the White House just sent a huge contingent to Saudi Arabia to honor the achievements of the deceased King, a remarkably accomplished human rights violator. He was honored, not rebuked for his atrocious treatment of women and of anyone else not Muslim. Israel is being rebuked by the White House for building homes.
If the settlements — in their entirety and not just in their expansion, as Earnest clearly states — are “illegitimate,” than the White House’s official position is that the West Bank is to be Judenrein.
Reports the Times of Israel:
The Housing Ministry told Israel Radio that the tenders in question had been issued in the past, and were renewed automatically since construction did not take place after its initial approval.
This implies that the White House statement was also deliberately misleading on the nature of the Israeli announcement.
Moments ago, Los Angeles Times reporter Amina Khan or her editor dropped the following click bomb in its Science Now section, presumably to appeal to their left-leaning readership of left-leaning social science aficionados, who stand ready to stamp the mantle of science on anything that furthers progressive policy prescriptions and little else:
Let’s deconstruct that accompanying photo, which, if it wasn’t staged, is just about the most perfect image ever discovered to match its article’s headline. A wooden cross, signifying that a Christian has died. A bizarrely shaped GOP logo, next to the wooden cross. And a faceless Republican — his shadow casting a pall on the logo — with terrible posture, indicating he has a case of the sads. Either this is the luckiest stock photographer in existence, or the L.A. Times actually sent out a photo crew with instructions to convey dead, sad Christian Republicans.
The article opens with:
If you’re dead serious about politics, consider this: A new paper finds that people with conservative ideologies were more likely to die in the study period than their liberal peers.
The findings, published by the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, offer a new view into the complex relationship between political identity and health.
Some studies have found that conservatives appear to be healthier than liberals; others have found that Republicans are less likely to report being in poor health than Democrats. But such papers typically didn’t look at both political party affiliation and political ideology, said lead author Roman Pabayo, a social epidemiologist who did the research while at Harvard and is now at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“Previous studies have only looked at one or the other,” Pabayo said. “I wanted to see if there was a relationship between those two.”
Why would a social scientist find such fascination in the study of death rates by political ideology? Add this new chapter to the blossoming field of “Conservative Anthropology” — recall What’s the Matter with Kansas? — wherein leftist sociologists ignore appeals to reason, logic, morals, and Natural Law as the driving force behind conservatism, hypothesizing that it must instead be a physical disorder.
Subsequently, and of course, the article pivots from its morbid fantasy headline to discuss the opinions of Pabayo’s colleague, who believes the study is poo:
But the results elicited some criticism from Subu V. Subramanian, a social epidemiologist at Harvard University who was not involved in the study.
“I have some skepticism around the paper, and one of [the issues] is, can they really tease out this distinction between ideology and affiliation?” Subramanian said.
He also said it would have been useful to have a three-by-three table mapping out the overlap between affiliation and ideology. For example, how many Democrats were actually conservative, how many Republicans were moderates, how many Independents were liberal, etc.
“The results are somewhat inconsistent … and also the mortality effect seems very small,” he added.
Subramanian also argued that self-reported health had been shown in the research to be linked to death rates.
“I would not just dismiss self-rated health as a ‘subjective measure.’ It happens to be one of the strongest measures of your mortality,” he said.
In any case, there’s definitely no causal link here, the researchers said — being liberal or conservative doesn’t directly affect health.
Of course. Be very sure that Amina Khan knew that her own article — and the researchers themselves – would render the headline exploitative and misleading.
But political affiliation and ideology could be markers for other underlying factors that might actually influence health, and it will take much more detailed data to figure out what those factors may be.
For example, Pabayo said, it would be useful to track whether people switch their party affiliation or ideology over time, and whether that’s linked to other changes, as well. And it would be useful to ask people more specific questions about their political beliefs, because on specific policy issues, people may not be as “liberal” or “conservative” as they think.
In other words — we can’t find anything, no one can find anything, but don’t let that “conservatism as pathology” hypothesis die, not ever, it’s just too darn helpful to the cause.
Moments ago (12:29 p.m. EST), Bloomberg Business posted a “Story Developing … ” blurb consisting entirely of the following:
The S&P is considering downgrading Greece’s credit following concerns over whether the nation can continue to service its debt.
Leftwing Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras threw down an open challenge to international creditors on Wednesday by halting privatization plans agreed under the country’s bailout deal, prompting a third day of heavy losses on financial markets.
A swift series of announcements signaled the newly installed government would stand by its anti-austerity pledges, setting it on course for a clash with European partners, led by Germany, which has said it will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help Greece pay its debts.
After announcing a halt to the privatization of the port of Piraeus on Tuesday, for which China’s Cosco Group [COSCO.UL] and four other suitors had been shortlisted, the government said on Wednesday it would block the sale of a stake in the Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC).
It also plans to reinstate public sector employees judged to have been laid off without proper justification and announced rises in pension payments for retired people on low incomes.
Uncertainty over the new government’s relations with the European Union went beyond economic policy. A day before the EU is expected to extend sanctions against Russia for six months, it was unclear if Athens would back its European partners on this move, after dissenting over a joint statement from the bloc on Ukraine on Tuesday.
Tsipras, who met Russia’s ambassador to Athens on Monday and the Chinese envoy the next day, told ministers that the government would not seek “a mutually destructive clash” with creditors. But he warned Greece would not back down from demanding a renegotiation of debt.
“We are coming in to radically change the way that policies and administration are conducted in this country,” he said.
Sigh. Few global events are more predictable than the reaction of markets — and the subsequent drop in general welfare — to socialist policies.
Just posted by MEMRI (subscription required, shared with permission): an ISIS cell was raided in Belgium in the days following the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Two of the three jihadists were killed, and a third is believed to be at large. All had previously been to Iraq and fought for ISIS.
In a report on how ISIS members use social media for recruitment and communication, MEMRI has published multiple clips and stills of the jihadis posting photos of their activities on the front lines — including graphic photos of their dead victims. The full report is here, below are some clips and photos:
Jadaoun (27) was of Moroccan origin. Before leaving for Syria, he posted on Facebook regularly, first under the alias Abu Abbas Al-Belgiki and later under the alias Abou Hamza Belgiki; his accounts were frequently shut down. His publicly shared content consisted mainly of quotes from Islamic texts, anasheed (religious songs), reflections on the situation and suffering of Muslims around the world such as the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, and his own personal musings and photos of himself with friends and family. He signed some of his messages “The Lion” and shared images of lions; the lion is a common motif among jihadis, symbolizing the mujahideen and their courage.
On August 4, he posted a photo he took of a front line position at night, stating: “May Allah protect the brothers in combat. Pray for the mujahideen, it is the least of faith you can show. Pray so we march onto Palestine and free them with the help of Allah…”
On September 21 he shared a photo of a body and boasted: “My first victim, by Allah’s grace.” When asked by friends to elaborate, he wrote: “Ha-ha it’s a beautiful story. I got so close, around 10 meters away – that I talked to him. It was night time. There was an olive grove in front of his position, I passed through it. I was afraid I might shoot a brother [a fellow jihad fighter]. I asked ‘who are you brother,’ he asked me as well. We had a code between brothers and I stressed out and said to him ‘dawla islamiya’ [Islamic State], so he started shooting at me, the dog. I saw where he was shooting from, I swear he was very well tucked in a prone position. I shot a volley. There were three or four of them, the rest fled. I swear to God, Allah helped us a lot to conquer this village, and all villages, but I have only been in two [of these assaults]. At night he was on his stomach and in the morning I found him like this.”
The BBC reports that a proposal to place a moratorium on fracking for two-and-a-half years was crushed today in Parliament. The proposal was supported by, eh, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood:
(Westwood, wearing several coats)
The Environmental Audit Committee had put together an audit on fracking which had recommended the 30-month ban on the grounds of there being “huge uncertainties” about the practice:
We called for a moratorium on fracking because it cannot be accommodated within our climate change obligations. A halt is also needed on environmental grounds, and it is essential that further independent studies into the impacts of fracking in the UK are completed to help resolve the environmental risk uncertainties.
The vote was a massive rejection of this logic, a mirror of the delaying tactic currently being employed regarding the Keystone XL project in the United States. Prime Minister David Cameron, in a stark contrast to President Obama, has claimed he is ready to go “all out” on shale gas because of the economic benefit and the reduction of reliance on foreign sources.
While liberal Los Angeles ties itself in knots attempting to hide its general disdain of the troops while still impressing their colleagues with “brave” yet watered-down, even backtracked criticism of American Sniper, the Los Angeles Times Fashion section takes a courageous stand in defending designer Rick Owens’ decision to send his models down the runway looking like the window of a butcher shop:
Rick Owens’ brave male models bare all on runway
Designer Rick Owens — that scamp — drew gasps and stirred up a social media storm on Thursday during his Paris Fashion Week men’s show by sending some of the models out in deconstructed togas strategically cut with holes that gave peek-a-boo views of their family jewels. In other cases, the models reportedly just dispensed with pants altogether. When wire services transmitted the photos to news outlets, they helpfully warned in all caps: NOTE NUDITY. [Refinery 29 (NOTE NUDITY)]
Once Owens had everyone’s attention, he also showed beautiful sweaters, suits and coats.
Everyone has quirky hobbies and interests, but the human race would be hard-pressed to think of a less enjoyable evening for most of humanity than a viewing of balls followed by a viewing of sweaters.
(Pictured: role model)
But they were brave! And so was Lena Dunham when she falsely accused a man of rape and regaled her fans with comic tales of sexually abusing her sister, and so was Wendy Davis when she filibustered a late-term abortion bill. Meanwhile, Chris Kyle is a coward, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is banned from speaking at Brandeis.
Add “brave” to the liberal lexicon of things that mean the opposite of what the language intended them to mean when lefties say it. Along with “social justice” (the opposite of justice) and “human rights” (things that cannot possibly be rights), ”brave” now means “publicly doing something tangentially related to sex.”
Specific Terror Threat? ISIS Supporter Threatens ‘Caesium 131′ Attacks in ‘Boston, Dallas, Virginia’
Earlier today, MEMRI.org (subscription required, posted with permission) published an article exposing a further example of ISIS exploiting social media to strengthen its global reach. This incident is an example of ISIS using online media both to post threats and to recruit jihadists worldwide.
The ISIS supporter makes specific threats regarding targets in the West, even mentioning the use of “Caesium 131 poison.”
He also reaches out with support and advice to the misleadingly titled “lone wolf” jihadists living in the West. In reality, these jihadists have proven to generally have documented ties to the global jihad movement and to be already known to Western law enforcement. Note that the ISIS supporter actually uses the term “lone wolves,” a term not dreamed up by any jihadist movement, but by Western governments downplaying the reach of global jihad and the extent of the infiltration within their own countries. In the first two paragraphs of his essay, the ISIS supporter specifically challenges the accuracy of the term.
On January 10, 2015, ISIS supporter “Hamel Al-Bushra” (Bearer of Tidings”) posted on his Twitter page[i] an article titled “Lone Wolves,” in which he threatened a wave of lone wolf terror attacks in Western cities.
Attacking the members of the rival organization, Al-Qaeda, he says that they do nothing except write in the magazine Inspire from time to time – whereas ISIS has continued fighting the “internal enemies” within the Arab world, thus compelling the “far enemy” – America and its allies – to intervene and become entangled in a difficult war.
This is an interesting point — ISIS grew from the former al-Qaeda in Iraq, yet is now attempting to poach al-Qaeda members with boasts of being the bloodier organization.
He then notes that two major turning points reawakened the lone wolves to action in their countries: the call by ISIS spokesman Al-’Adnani to commit terror attacks in the Western countries, and the declaration of the Islamic Caliphate. Following these milestones, lone wolves in Western countries began feeling that were no different than the fighters in Falluja or Kobane, and set out to attack the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, Sydney, Belgium, France and many additional places. He notes further that Muslims are subjected to bombings and degradation in their countries, and that lone wolves balance the equation by retaliating against the West.
The writer warns the people of Europe, Russia and the U.S. that the lone wolves will soon strike them in their cities with bombs, knives, car bombs and even by spreading hazardous radioactive caesium 131 in the streets and train stations. He also advises lone wolves on field security, telling them, for example, not to use the telephone before and after an operation, to cover their faces during an operation, to prepare escape routes, etc.
Below is a screen shot of the Twitter account followed by an English translation of the essay posted by the ISIS supporter. Both are from MEMRI:
The following is an English translation of the article that was released by the pro-ISIS media company Al-Khilafa Media Foundation.[ii]
Lone wolves or City lions
The doings of our heroic Mujahedeen in the East and West countries of attacking the Infidels’ heads and those who support them is lone terrorism in the eyes of the west, but in reality those are the wolves of City who repelled against the heads of infidels and their soldiers. In the eyes of Mujahedeen, those are what the holy book of Quran told us: “So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself…” [Surat An-Nisā'- 84]
The lone wolves believe that what they are doing is a great worship that they do to be nearer to Allah; killing the heads of infidels, their soldiers, allies, and those who disbelieve in Allah, whether they are civilians or military workers fro they are the same, they are doing such following the footsteps of their ancestors, and when they remember:
Mohamed bin Maslama and what he did with the enemy of Allah Ka’ab bin Ashraf, they get out to the streets of Madrid, Sydney or Texas, carrying their knives and edged weapons stabbing their stomachs, beheading their heads, and by doing so they are following the footsteps of Mohamed bin Maslama, in which his actions was pleased by the prophet, and the prophet was happy with his action, and actually the prophet himself is the one who sent him to do this operation!
And when they remember Abdullah bin Unais, the city wolf gets out depending on Allah, taking his pistol, and he enters a Police station, or a Government office or a Church and by doing so he avenged for Allah and His prophet peace be upon him. The lone wolf remembers the prophet’s companions and the salaf who followed them like Fairus Aldaylami who cut the head of Al-Aswad Al-`Ansi, he -the city wolf- remembers them and he gets out to New Jersey or New Mexico and takes out the lives of the enemy’s soldiers and commanders on their streets and public squares.
On this way the lone wolves follow their example before: Mohammed Bin Maslama, Abdullah bin Unais & Fairus bin Dulaymi in chopping off the heads, stabbing the stomachs and shattering the skulls of infidels. So to give them the taste of their own medicine, make them feel what life is like, living in Fallujah in Iraq, or Kobane in Syria, what it’s like to experience the day and night bombs dropping from sky, the missiles hitting our mosques, homes, killing our children, killing them in the streets of Norway, Florida, Montreal, Finland, Lisbon, Luxemburg, & Canberra will terrorize them, and it will make them feel our wrath.
Let the equation be balanced, let the words of the Shaheed and the Imam Osama bin Laden be like it be: “I swear to Allah that America will not dream, neither those who live in it to have peace until we have in Palestine, and until crusaders leave and empty the peninsular of our prophet Mohamed peace be upon him”
Quick Review back
The Strategy of the Sheikh was to fight the infidels, and he did it with all he could, 11 September was a good example, before that there was USS COL, followed by the operation of our brother Omar Al-Naijeyri, Sheikh Osama every time explained his actions in every operation with a recorded message.
What Changed After Sheikh Osama
What changed is that, there were no actions, words replaced them, sadly so but this was the reality, accompanied by avoiding fighting against the internal enemy as a “strategy”! So we did not see this or that, except the “Inspire Magazine” which we recommend, Thanks to Sheikh Anwar Al-Awlaki –May Allah Accept him- who took part in creating the magazine.
Islamic State -on the other hand- have one strategy that is: fight the nearest, and it forced the far Americans and their followers to enter in a bankrupting fight. The Islamic State succeeded to hurt the near enemy and forced America to enter and fight, also Islamic State has established Dabiq Magazine, and Al-Hayat Media Center, intended to address the west, and it did not add anything to an audio speech by the official spokesman Abu Mohammad Al-Adnani titled:
“Indeed Your Lord Is Ever Watchful”
Urges the Muslims to fight the criminals, the head of Kuffar, and the warlords who begin to fight the Islamic State.
The announcement of the Khilafah was the key to good, and the outlet for those lone wolves after Osama died, and the Qaida of Al-Zawahiri became the head, not the Qaida of Osama Bin Laden.
The head of the snake(United States) was still the enemy, the rest (the tail of the snake) was left roaming around, till new heads were born! And the tail was the one who singled in killing, imprisoning and fleeing Muslims, and when it was hit by the brothers in Iraq -for example “Irbil” they (Al-Dhawahiri’s Qaida) said: no! It was better to hit the head! And by this way, the head and the tail were all left! Al-Qaidah deceived (with false illusions) its followers, supporters, and soldiers in hitting the head of the snake, but no one answered, this was for a number of years, still no one answers!
After the speech of Al-Adnani, we saw the effective result, the Lone Wolves again were at it, they took the responsibility to hurt the Kuffar where it would hurt mostly, they carried out attacks on the streets of New York, hitting police stations, then in Ottawa where the Parliament guard was targeted, the effect of Al-Adnani Speech was felt in several Western countries in France, Belgium, Australia, United Arab Emirates, The Two Holy Mosques Country, France and we for sure still will see again blessed operations. Sheikh Al-Adnani -may Allah keep him firm- said:
Those who observed the reasons of the Lone Wolves operations will realize that the reasons are the oppression of these countries, in their own countries or in Muslim Countries, These Operations were carried out because they banned the veil, they fought every small right that Muslims have to worship, they fought the Mosques, they forced people to follow the democracy in the Muslim countries, which is a great Shirk (polytheism) unknown by many of our Muslim sons, and made it a god besides Allah, and they intervened and fought against the Muslims who intended to apply Sharia and the law of Allah in their Land, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia & the Levant recently are good examples and now we see the coalition of almost 60 Countries against the Khilafah!
So after all these, how come that you want the lone wolves to stop and not act, how do you want our lions in Europe, Australia, America, Canada, Russia, how do you want them to watch their Muslim brothers get killed, how do you want them to stop, How?
“To the People whom their countries participate in the coalition against the Islamic State”
Can you live in Raqqa , or Kobane, or Falujjah, or Jurf Al Sakhr, or Belad, or Mukeishifah, or Ishaqi, Or Tarmiya, Or Ghouta? Your Answer is: No, for sure. Why you can’t live in those cities? No worries, I will answer, because the coalition’s fighter jets, bomb and destroy everything, they carry out this barbarism act with the help of their proxies, the children of Ibn Al-Alqami, the bastards! (Shi’i government)!
So our Lions, Our brothers in Islam, those who did the operations of Charlie Hebdo, the operation of Ottawa Parliament, the Sidney Café, Our Lone Wolves wanted to give you a taste of your own medicine, they wanted you to try and experience somehow what’s happening in Fallujah or Raqqa, a places where you can’t live, but we live in there with the help and the guidance of Allah “Glorified and Exalted be He”.
And you are getting killed because of your Denial and not Believing in Allah First and then because of your fighting against us and your tyranny towards us.
In the Lord’s eye this is justice, this is balance, and he is with us, and he will help us defeat you, Don’t you see, we are small in number, but we are growing day by day, and we are destroying the defense and the forts of your proxies, those you chose to represent you.
Allah said in His Holy Quran: “Whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you” So do you feel the same way we do, O’ the people of Europe, America, Australia, Canada & Russia?
I don’t think so, you descendants of Monkeys & Pigs!
I don’t Think so, you worshipers of the cross!
I don’t think so, you atheists!
I don’t think so, You Majus!
No, No!! So I say to you, wait for more of our Lone wolves, the lions of the city, to make you understand justice, and to make you feel the same way we do, to wake you up from your sleep, and the agonies of your desires!
Yes you will feel the same way as we do, when you hear the bombs going off in the streets of San Francisco & Belgium!
Yes you will feel it, when the silencers will be used to shut you up forever in the streets of Madrid, London & Sydney!
Yes, you will feel it, when you wake up to have your breakfast and you hear the effect of the explosives in the city, and when you go to your work there await you the descendants of Al-Zarqawi to behead you with their knives, when the silencers of Abu Umar Al-Baghdadi await you on the streets and roads. Yes, you will feel it when the Caesium 131 Poison spreads in the streets and the train stations of Russia, Boston, Dallas, Virginia, & Amsterdam.
I promise you all that I said before, it will happen, no matter of what you do to be care full , it will happen, as long as you still occupy our countries and bomb us and kill our children and women! Yes, I promise you, so wake up and watch out, be care full, watch out when you go to work, watch out when you enter your work premise, hire security guards, anyway they won’t matter, because our target is you, not them, we will target you, in Short leave your work and watch out, from now on you are a target to us, wherever you are!
I believe whatever operations that happened and you watched it and heard it, it’s all the beginning, beginning for declaring your countries and cities to be a part of the Islamic State, to be part of the great Islamic Caliphate. And don’t you be surprised by that, I am not exaggerating, Allah Knows. God is with us, and he will support us and help us, and Allah is Owner of the Kingdom. He gives the kingdom (governance) to whom he will.
Allah said in His Holy Koran: “Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me. But whoever disbelieves after that – then those are the defiantly disobedient”
Thawban (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAAW) said: “Allah drew the ends of the world near one another for my sake. And I have seen its eastern and western ends. And the dominion of my Ummah would reach those ends which have been drawn near me …” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab Al-Fitan wa Ashrat As-Sa`ah, Hadith 5144)
And this is advice to the City Wolves:
Take what suits you and benefit you and we hopefully would not be denied the rewards of your good deeds: After you do your operation, stay away from your known locations, your familiar area. Don’t Use phone calls before and after your operation, and don’t depend on official paper works. You must cover your face, and you must not leave any thumb prints as your brothers of operation Charlie Hebdo did. You must have a plan for you withdrawal after the operation is done, a clear and effective plan, so they won’t be able to trace you easily. Hurry up and move to another state immediately after your operation. Make sure you have your belt ready, don’t you ever allow them to catch you alive so they will torture you, become Shaheed and kill couple of them at the same time. Avoid large numbers in your operations, it will make hard for you to withdraw afterwards.
We gladly and happily inform the Islamic Ummah of the martydom of brothers:
May Allah accept them.
“And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know” And accept my words O’ Lions of the City, for you are the one who resides in his heart:
Your lover brother: Hamil al-Bushra (Glad Tidings Carrier)
Your brothers in: The Media Front for the Support of the Islamic State Al-Khilafah Media Foundation
Rep. Dave Brat — the only Ph.D. economist in Congress — released this statement following President Obama’s State of the Union address focused on economic issues:
Brat Takes Obama to Task for Being a Pretend Populist, Harming the Economy and Wages
– Response to State of the Union –
WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 20, 2015) – Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) issued the following response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight:
“President Obama used the State of the Union tonight to play the populist card, which he’s trying to define as giving away free stuff. But as an economist, I can tell you his giveaways aren’t free. He’s trying to hide the true cost from the American people, just like he did with Obamacare. We all pay for these programs in the end through higher taxes, more government spending, and a weaker economy.
“But it’s hard for him to call himself a populist when he’s not actually looking to empower the American people, but is instead looking to increase the concentration of power in government. True populism is what conservatives are trying to do: Break up the accumulation of power in Washington and give it back to the American people.
“The president has also called for more taxes to feed Washington’s insatiable spending appetite. Hardworking Americans pay enough in taxes.
“Increasing taxes on anyone – whether the wealthy or the middle class – only slows the economy down. Higher taxes discourage people from saving, investing, and buying things. That means businesses can’t grow, can’t create more jobs, and can’t increase their workers’ wages. That hurts everyone. It’s Economics 101.
“There’s also a fundamental difference in how the president and most Republicans feel about business – whether business is a force for good or something that needs to be continually punished. While I speak out against cronyism between some big businesses and government, I believe businesses are generally a force for good – successful businesses grow our economy, provide incomes for our families, and do good works in our communities. A true populist understands that most people need to work to provide for their families and that most of them work in the very businesses the president seeks to punish.
“If we want to turn our economy around and create more jobs and higher wages for all Americans, history shows that we should be cutting taxes and encouraging business growth rather than turning more money over to government, which continues to spend uncontrollably and put us further into debt. It’s also critically important that we simplify and make our tax code fairer, treating all taxpayers equally rather than having a tax code that allows politicians to pit them against one another.”
Just posted at MEMRI (subscription required, shared with permission): late last year, an Indian jihadist was arrested for his involvement in planning an attack on schoolchildren attending the American School in Mumbai.
The jihadist’s Facebook page was being monitored, and he was caught recruiting a willing U.S.- based jihadist to undertake a similar attack here.
An Indian Muslim youth arrested in connection with a terror plot to attack a school in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, was in contact with a U.S.-based jihadi, according to Hindi-language daily Dainik Bhaskar.
Anis Ansari, who was arrested in October 2014 in connection with the terror plot to target the American School situated in the Bandra-Kurla area of Mumbai, was in contact with U.S.-based jihadi youth Umar Ilhaji through Facebook chat.
Ansari, using his identity as “Logan,” was teaching Umar Ilhaji how to carry out an attack in the U.S. As per the media report, Umar Ilhaji (aka Al-Haji) was using his real name for the Facebook chat.
The following are translated excerpts from the chat between the two youths; they may have taken place over a period of time:
Logan (Anis): “Where do you live?”
Ilhaji: “Lebanon, but I live in Darul Harb [Land of War]”
Logan: “Saudi Arabia?”
Ilhaji: “Unfortunately, I live in America, but I didn’t come here out of willingness.”
Logan: “Do you know how lucky you are?”
Ilhaji: “You are joking. How could I be lucky when neither I want to live here nor the people here want so? I want you to reconsider whatever you said.”
Logan: “The mujahideen across the world dream of launching an attack in America on their own. From Yemen to Somalia and Afghanistan, the mujahideen want to do this… They want that the enemy be killed in their home. Have you not heard of attacks carried out on one’s own? Whereas we are very far and cannot do much.”
Ilhaji: “Include me in your team. I too want to become part of this action (jihadi attack) because you think that for this action I am in the right place; that is, America.”
Logan: “You can do a lot on your own; you do not even require help from someone. If you want, by spending 100 dollars you can have the earth under Obama’s feet sink. For this, only courage is needed. You would have heard of a vehicle bomb, IED [improvised explosive device], or pressure-cooker bomb.”
Ilhaji: “Yes, why not. How can a mujahid with hot blood be unaware of these?”
Logan: “Then why is the delay? For targets, you have lots of options near you. I’d bet on this.”
Ilhaji: “Can you help me in this?”
Logan: “How can I help you in this? I am very far from America.”
Ilhaji: “Where are you after all?”
Logan: “Hind; that is, India.”
Ilhaji: “Ok. But our Indian brothers are fighting a war in Kashmir.”
Logan: “This war is about to expand across the entire Indian Subcontinent.”
Ilhaji: “I like your advice. You are a born leader and motivator. I will continue to take advice [from you] in my action, as I will need someone to help me.”
Logan: “You can ask me for advice any time.”
Ilhaji: “I will ask you to reconsider the target (attack on the American School in Mumbai). You need to be cautious. And yes, why do you want to attack the American School only? There are innocent children there, what is their fault?”
Logan: “[I want to target] the American School because there in addition to France and Italy, children from ten allies of America study there. We should hit that part of the enemy which causes the most pain. I mean: the citizen. The deaths of soldiers do not cause pain because this is their line of work.”
Ilhaji: “I agree with you, but in India where would you find such targets?”
Logan: “In Mumbai itself… One can find many targets here.”
Ilhaji: “Your plan and advice are really fabulous.”
Logan: “It will be fabulous only when one puts them into practice. Our one small effort can help the Islamic State (ISIS) a lot. The day America realizes this – that the war in the Middle East has now reached its soil – then the same day will be decisive victory for the Islamic State and mujahideen of the world.”
Ilhaji: “But you should reconsider about attacking the American School.”
Logan: “Aside from that, I do not have any other school in my list because this is indeed a special school. Here all the children are VIPs who are connected to the governments and administrations of America and Europe. Here the teachers and staff are high-profile. However, this work is very difficult because for 24/7 Indian security forces maintain vigilance.”
UPDATE (3:45 p.m.): The Interpreter blog offers the following analysis, closed by the key observation that the shelling appears to have come from Russian-backed areas — which would conflict with the Donetsk People’s Republic’s claim that they had captured the airport earlier today, as reported by the NY Times:
The video is dramatic. First there is a strange noise, then a massive series of explosions on the horizon. The title of this video suggests a massive airstrike has just hit Donetsk. It was shot within the last hour.
That scenario, however, is unlikely. It’s not clear what payload a single aircraft could deliver that would cause that many explosions spread out over a very wide area. The roar we hear before the explosions is likely the sound of rockets traveling through the air, many rockets since this appears to be the result of a multiple-launch-rocket-system, perhaps a Grad strike.
The fact that we hear the rockets before seeing the explosions means that they likely came from behind the camera – territory held by the Russian-backed fighters.
Most of the rockets hit the western half of the airport, and all of those explosions give off about the same amount of light and sound.
However, there are two more things that are odd about this video. The first is that there are several much louder and brighter explosions in the center.
The second is that there are a long series of explosions far off to the right after this initial wave. These explosions are the last of the series, are much fainter flashes, and don’t appear to give off any sound.
So what just happened? Here’s our theory.
A multiple-launch-rocket-system, likely a Grad launcher, struck the airport. This would account for the large amounts of explosions in a tight cluster.
A different weapon fired the shots that hit in the center of the screen. We used a stop watch to time the gap between the light and the sound of these explosions. It took approximately 8.57 seconds for the sound to reach the camera, which means that the explosion was approximately 1.86 miles away. What this means is that those shells are much closer than the ones that hit on the right side of the screen. But it’s also possible, as we see on this map, that they may have hit a series of fuel storage tankers which are near the airport (the same ones filmed by Graham Phillips earlier today). Might that account for the fact that four of the explosions appear to be much larger than the rest? Either way, this indicates a coordinated strike between multiple artillery batteries:
The last set of explosions may also be Grad rockets, but they likely targeted the Ukrainian position near Avdiivka. Interestingly, though, these explosions are much further to the east than we’re used to seeing. Perhaps they missed their target?
Either way, if the Russian-backed fighters are the ones shelling the airport, then it’s another sign that they do not fully control this location.
Russia Today has posted the below security camera video, in which several large explosions begin around the :46 mark.
The airport was already in ruins from months of shelling, as per this drone footage also posted today, yet still considered a strategic site:
On the below video posted today by Euronews:
A Ukrainian military spokesman said six of his troops were killed in attacks by separatists in 24 hours of clashes. Another 18 were wounded.
Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko refuted claims that rebels had taken hold of the airport and said they had been repelled completely from around the new terminal, a strategic site in the east of the country.
This tweet comes from Oliver Carroll, a reporter in Ukraine:
Further to the last post, sounds in Donetsk centre mostly due to outgoing artillery – which has, in past few hours, been strangely silent
— Oliver Carroll (@olliecarroll) January 16, 2015
There is much other talk on Twitter that the sounds in the above security video just prior to the explosions may be a jet engine, indicating an air strike, but so far there is no confirmation of this:
— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) January 16, 2015
Russian separatists have also claimed to have been hit by an airstrike at #Donetsk airport, so this seems to jive with that report.
— Conflict News (@rConflictNews) January 16, 2015