The Pentagon’s spokesman said Monday that while the U.S. government was aware of the development of the Islamic State terrorist group, officials didn’t appreciate the speed with which the group could mobilize.“I think everybody was mindful about their growth and development,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary, said Monday on MSNBC. “What surprised us, certainly from a military perspective, was how quickly they moved into Mosul over the summer, how fast that went, their progress up north, as well as just the way four or five Iraqi divisions kind of melted away.”The comments come on the heels of President Obama’s acknowledging on “60 Minutes” that the United States underestimated the rise of the group.“It wasn’t that we weren’t watching them,” Adm. Kirby said. “But I don’t think we completely, full appreciated the speed with which they could move and how well-resourced, how fast, how lightning-fast they could be in the summertime.”He said they knew Iraqi forces weren’t able to keep up their capabilities as well as they were in 2011, when the last U.S. combat troops left the country, but said officials weren’t as prepared for how some of those divisions weren’t well-led or well-trained.Adm. Kirby also said some security forces are doing a good job of defending Baghdad, pointing to their taking back the Mosul Dam facility from the group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, over the summer with the help of Kurds and U.S. air support.
then you’re prepared for tornadoes, severe storms, fire, and any other natural disaster Kansas usually faces,” said Devan Tucking, a Human Services Officer with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.And Kansas isn’t the only place preparing for the arrival of the living dead. In Virginia, Northern Virginia Community College is planning an event Thursday where zombie look-alikes will swarm the campus sharing tips with students about how to plan for disaster.
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The American chieftain Obama in his traditional Saturday address to the Americans, spoke about the Russian threat.
On the Russian problem, he said the following (we quote from the full script of his speech):
– “Hi, everybody. America is leading the effort to rally the world against Russian aggression in Ukraine. Along with our allies, we will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy. And this week, I called upon even more nations to join us on the right side of history”.
We would like to note from our part, that it is an empty rhetoric. America still has not started bombardments of Russian military and economic targets in Russia.
Meanwhile, the foreign minister of Germany Steinmeier also spoke on Saturday in the framework of an empty democratic rhetoric, instead of bombarding Moscow. He called the Russian annexation of Crimea a crime – this characteristic is shared by America and EU consisting of 28 countries.
Steinmeier accused Moscow of unilaterally changing the existing borders in Europe and pointed out that thus Moscow broke international law, reports the propaganda Voice of America.
Meanwhile, the departing NATO Secretary General Rasmussen published in a London newspaper of the KGB-FSB general, Russian patriot Lebedev, The Independent, an article.
Rasmussen writes about Russia, in addition to now prevailing in all Western media anti-Islamic propaganda in support of American bombardments of Syrian Mujahideen, which is ignored by the media in Eastern Europe due to the lack of interest:
– “We never agreed with Russia on missile defence. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has challenged our vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace… Unless Russia changes course, there can be no business as usual, and I expect that engagement with Moscow will remain a considerable challenge for the foreseeable future”.
Meanwhile, American ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt, said in a Kiev newspaper “Den/Day” that America would lift sanctions against Russia only if Russia returns Crimea to Ukraine. However, statements of American ambassadors, not backed by statements of their presidents, mean little.
The Palestinian Authority’s recent arrests of two journalists in the occupied West Bank are part of a broader pattern of monitoring and censoring social media activity, according to the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA).Earlier this month, Palestinian intelligence services arrested 26-year-old Mujahid al-Saadi and 22-year-old Bara al-Qadi, a press release published by MADA reports.MADA calls for “an end to the arrest and prosecution of journalists and activists for their writings on social networks. These arrests have no legal justification since the law gives anyone the right to litigate in cases of defamation.”These latest instances of censorship and intimidation are nothing new. Palestinian and international human rights groups have for years documented human rights abuses, political persecution and free speech violations.
The Palestinian Authority – which often works in tandem with Israeli occupation forces to arrest Palestinians in the West Bank – also frequently attacks journalists in demonstrations, and in the past has been accused of torturing journalists apprehended while documented human rights abuses.
Originally posted on TIME:
Occupy Central leaders on Tuesday announced an Oct. 1 deadline for the Hong Kong government to respond to their demands for voting reform, as mass pro-democracy protests entered their third day.
Oct. 1 is China’s National Day, and stipulating it as an ultimatum will be seen as a grave affront by Hong Kong’s sovereign rulers in Beijing.
A statement from Occupy Central called on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to grant Hong Kong people the right to nominate and directly vote for candidates for the city’s highest office. The group also called for his resignation by Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
Chan Kin-man, a co-founder of the group, told TIME late on Monday that the large-scale occupation of Hong Kong’s streets may not go on for much longer, and mentioned Oct. 1 as the day the barricades could come down and the protests would switch gear. However, his stance is at…
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If Beijing had its way, the democratic island of Taiwan would be reunified with mainland China under the same political set-up known as “one country, two systems” that gives Hong Kong a certain amount of autonomy from the central government (or at least is supposed to). But as thousands continue to protest in Hong Kong for genuine democratic elections and are met with tear gas and pepper spray, some Taiwanese think the “one country, two systems” idea has failed and the autonomy “enjoyed” by Hong Kong is a sham. Taiwanese student activists expressed their support to Hong Kong students’ class boycott on 22 September 2014 in the hopes of raising awareness in Taiwan of Beijing’s manipulation of Hong Kong’s election reform.In response to the violent clashes between the student protesters and the Hong Kong police on 27 September and the debut of a massive sit-in dubbed Occupy Central the following day, more than a thousand people gathered in the Freedom Square in Taiwan to express their solidarity with Hong Kong protesters.Beijing will allow former British colony Hong Kong a direct vote for its next top leader, but requires candidates to receive majority support from a largely pro-Beijing nominating committee before being put on the ballot. Protesters argue that this election framework, presented by the Standing Committee of the National Congress of People Committee, goes against the universal suffrage that Hong Kong was promised. Beijing rejects Taiwan’s independence and considers the island a wayward territory.A Taiwanese blogger, shophist4ever, pointed out that the election framework imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing reflected the failure of “one country, two systems”:
The Chinese government does not need to make things so ugly. The ‘one country, two systems’ in Hong Kong is also a demo for Taiwan. However, the so-called ‘electoral reform framework’ proposed by China’s government is actually designed for a [Hong Kong] chief executive selected by Beijing. For a person who has seen a real election in a democratic country, they will not accept this proposal.Kuo-Chang Huang, one of the leaders of the Sunflower Movement, which occupied Taiwan’s legislative building for three weeks to protest a secretly negotiated trade deal with China, pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration in Hong Kong has eroded the rule of law in the city and warned Taiwan not to follow in Hong Kong’s footsteps:
If you want to observe how the CCP infiltrates
a society, you should observe Hong Kong. Things have been changed to an extent that is difficult to be understood. Such things should not be tolerated in Hong Kong. When Hong Kong was governed by Britain, there was no democracy, but there was legal system. Now based on the practice of legal institutions in Hong Kong, you may feel that there is no democracy, and its legal system is degraded.
The CCP promised Hong Kong ‘one country, two systems,’ the right to elect their chief executive, and no change in 50 years. Nevertheless, the CCP changed their mind overnight. The CCP surely knows the political cost of their treachery—it becomes a deceitful party that publicly breaks its promise. Why does the CCP dare to do it? Because Hong Kong is in the pocket of China—Hong Kongers, you are in my pocket. Give up your resistance. Since you are in my hand, what can you do?
From the point of view of China, Taiwan is in the same position as Hong Kong. The CCP plans to make Taiwan economically rely on the market in China so that it can put Taiwan in its pocket slowly. Afterwards, the CCP will have a lot of chips in the political negotiation. The CCP will let Taiwanese see the reality. ‘You cannot escape from my hand, so what do you want to negotiate with me?’ The end game of the cross-strait relationship is to unify Taiwan and put Taiwan in the CCP’s pocket.
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