U.S. underestimated speed,development of Islamic State,Pentagon says

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.


Why Is Kansas Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse?

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback wants his state to be ready when zombies arrive.And to make sure Kansas takes the zombie apocalypse seriously, Brownback plans to officially declare October “Zombie Preparedness Month” during a ceremonial event Friday at the Kansas Statehouse.Zombie Preparedness Month, however, is not actually about planning a defense for viral reincarnate flesh eaters. Instead, Brownback’s administration wants to capitalize on pop culture’s zombie obsession to raise awareness about disaster planning and response.State officials say the preparations needed for a fictional zombie attack are a good exercise for the natural disasters that could actually hit Kansas in the near future. The agency is calling on Kansans to devise a survival plan that they could implement in the unlikely event that a horde of zombies descends upon the Sunflower State. Five of the best entries will be highlighted during “Zombie Preparedness Day” on Oct. 25, an event that will take place in Topeka.”If you’re equipped to handle the zombie apocalypse,


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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Obama urges world to unite against Russian aggressor

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.


Palestinian Authority arrests two journalists for Facebook posts

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.

( http://www.nkusa.org/activities/Statements/2006July18.cfm )

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.


Hong Kong Protest Leaders Give Government an Oct. 1 Deadline for Reform

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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Taiwanese See in Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Protests What a Future With China Might Be Like

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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Crackdown on Protests by Hong Kong Police Draws More to the Streets

HONG KONG — Downtown Hong Kong turned into a battlefield of tear gas and seething crowds on Sunday after the police moved against a student democracy protest, inciting public fury that brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets of a city long known as a stable financial center.Hours after the riot police sought late Sunday to break up the protest, large crowds of demonstrators remained nearby, sometimes confronting lines of officers and chanting for them to lay down their truncheons and shields. Police officers were also injured in skirmishes with protesters.The heavy-handed police measures, including the city’s first use of tear gas in years and the presence of officers with long-barreled guns, appeared to galvanize the public, drawing more people onto the streets. On Monday morning, protesters controlled major thoroughfares in at least three parts of the city. A few unions and the Hong Kong Federation of Students called for strikes, and the federation urged a boycott of classes.Late Monday morning, the Hong Kong government said it had pulled back the riot police from roads where protesters had blocked traffic. The government urged protesters to end their sit-in demonstrations.The confrontation threatened to tarnish Hong Kong’s reputation as a safe enclave for commerce, and immediately raised the political cost of Beijing’s unyielding position on electoral change here; footage and photos of unarmed students standing in clouds of tear gas facing off with riot police officers flashed around the world on Sunday. It also set the stage for a prolonged struggle that poses a test for President Xi Jinping of China, who has championed a harsh line against political threats to Communist Party rule.“If this one gets out of control, Xi will also lose face,” Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a commentator on Chinese politics who teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said in an interview. “Everyone knows he’s the one running the show.”Thousands of pro-democracy protesters had been gathering in front of the Hong Kong government headquarters since Friday, despite official warnings to leave. But on Sunday afternoon, the police moved in, lobbing tear gas canisters into the crowd and stopping supporters of the protest from entering the area.Thousands of people who had been prevented from entering the protest area then spilled onto the nearby streets, and protests and confrontations with the police multiplied across the city, as news and images of the crackdown spread. The police repeatedly hurled tear gas at the roaming crowds, further infuriating the protesters.“We’ve never seen anything like this, never imagined it,” said Kevin Chan, a 48-year-old factory manager who joined many thousands of people gathered at night on the road near the government offices. “The government must awaken that this is the Hong Kong people,” he said, gesturing to the crowd, mostly people in their 20s. “These are not their enemies. These are the people.”The escalation of the protests, and the unusually strong response by the police, pointed to the possibility of a long confrontation between a city government pressured by the Chinese Communist Party’s demands for top-down control and residents’ demands for a city leadership chosen by democratic means.The protest at the government offices was started by students demanding such electoral changes. Beijing last month proposed that the public would be able to vote for the city’s chief executive, beginning in 2017. But a committee dominated by people loyal to the Chinese government would be able to screen out candidates who did not have Beijing’s backing.“What is going on now, in addition to any immediate public order issues, is a battle for the hearts and minds of the Hong Kong public,” said Michael C. Davis, a professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, who has closely followed the debate over election reform. “Beijing may be indifferent to protest or at least not inclined to give in. The Hong Kong government needs public support.”The police issued a warning Sunday evening saying that a lockdown had been imposed on several downtown areas, including the vicinity of the central government’s offices, and declared any assembly near the offices unlawful. Officials had earlier in the weekend reported 78 arrests.But late into the night and on Monday morning, many thousands of residents remained on the streets, denouncing the police crackdown and staging sit-ins in several neighborhoods outside the original protest area. In the neon-lit shopping districts of Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, which were packed with shoppers, hundreds of protesters blocked traffic.At Admiralty, an area dominated by sleek malls, office towers and hotels, the main avenues were dense with thousands of chanting protesters, many wearing homemade masks and wet towels in case of tear gas. The police also used tear gas in the heart of Hong Kong’s financial district, known as Central, where a much smaller crowd had gathered under the HSBC Building, a feature of the city’s skyline.The Chinese government endorsed the tough approach to the protests. The Hong Kong government blamed the unrest on Occupy Central With Love and Peace, a group that has spearheaded demands for greater democracy. Sources for this article include: web hosting