Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Pakistan’

Malaysian Airplane Probe Looks at Suicide as Possible Motive.


The co-pilot of a missing Malaysian jetliner spoke the last words heard from the cockpit, the airline’s chief executive said, as investigators consider suicide by the captain or first officer as one possible explanation for the disappearance.

No trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has been found since it vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard. Investigators are increasingly convinced it was diverted perhaps thousands of miles off course by someone with deep knowledge of the Boeing 777-200ER and commercial navigation.

A search of unprecedented scale involving 26 countries is under way, covering an area stretching from the shores of the Caspian Sea in the north to deep in the southern Indian Ocean.

Airline chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya also told a news conference on Monday that it was unclear exactly when one of the plane’s automatic tracking systems had been disabled, appearing to contradict comments by government ministers at the weekend.

Suspicions of hijacking or sabotage had hardened further when officials said on Sunday that the last radio message from the plane – an informal “all right, good night” – was spoken after the tracking system, known as “ACARS”, was shut down.

“Initial investigations indicate it was the co-pilot who basically spoke the last time it was recorded on tape,” Ahmad Jauhari said on Monday.

That was a sign-off to air traffic controllers at 1.19 a.m., as the Beijing-bound plane left Malaysian airspace.

The last transmission from the ACARS system – a maintenance computer that relays data on the plane’s status – was received at 1.07 a.m. as the plane crossed Malaysia’s northeast coast.

“We don’t know when the ACARS was switched off after that,” Ahmad Jauhari said. “It was supposed to transmit 30 minutes from there, but that transmission did not come through.”

FOCUS ON CREW

The plane vanished from civilian air traffic control screens off Malaysia’s east coast less than an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian authorities believe that someone on board shut off its communications systems.

Malaysian police are trawling through the backgrounds of the pilots, flight crew and ground staff for any clues to a possible motive in what is now being treated as a criminal investigation.

Asked if suicide by the pilot or co-pilot was a line of inquiry, Malaysian Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said: “We are looking at it.” But it was only one of the possibilities under investigation, he said.

Intensive efforts by various governments to investigate the backgrounds of everyone on the airplane had not, as of Monday, turned up any information linking anyone to militant groups or anyone with a known political or criminal motive to crash or hijack the aircraft, U.S. and European security sources said.

One source familiar with U.S. inquiries into the disappearance said the pilots were being studied because of the technical knowledge needed to disable the ACARS system.

Many experts and officials say that, while the jet’s transponder can be switched off by flicking a switch in the cockpit, turning off ACARS may have required someone to open a trap door outside the cockpit, climb down into the plane’s belly and pull a fuse or circuit breaker.

Whoever did so had to have sophisticated knowledge of the systems on a 777, according to pilots and two current and former U.S. officials close to the investigation.

Malaysian police searched the homes of the captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, and first officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27, in middle-class suburbs of Kuala Lumpur close to the international airport on Saturday.

Among the items taken for examination was a flight simulator Zaharie had built in his home but a senior police official familiar with the investigation said there was nothing unusual in the flight simulator programmes. A second senior police official with knowledge of the investigation said they had found no evidence of a link between the pilot and any militant group.

Some U.S. officials have expressed frustration at Malaysia’s handling of the investigation. The Malaysian government still had not invited the FBI to send a team to Kuala Lumpur by Monday, two U.S. security officials said.

 

VAST SEARCH CORRIDORS

Police and the multi-national investigation team may never know for sure what happened in the cockpit unless they find the plane, and that in itself is a daunting challenge.

Satellite data suggests it could be anywhere in either of two vast corridors that arc through much of Asia: one stretching north from Laos to the Caspian, the other south from west of the Indonesian island of Sumatra into the southern Indian Ocean.

Aviation officials in Pakistan, India, and Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia – as well as Taliban militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan – said they knew nothing about the whereabouts of the plane.

China, which has been vocal in its impatience with Malaysian efforts to find the plane, called on its smaller neighbour to immediately expand and clarify the scope of the search. About two-thirds of those aboard MH370 were Chinese.

Australia has offered more resources in addition to the two P-3C Orion aircraft it has already committed.

Malaysian Transport Minister Hishammuddin said diplomatic notes had been sent to all countries along the northern and southern search corridors, requesting radar and satellite information as well as land, sea and air search operations.

The Malaysian navy and air force were also searching the southern corridor, he said, and U.S. P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft were being sent to Perth, in Western Australia, to help scour the ocean.

At the same time, the U.S. Navy said the destroyer USS Kidd was ending its search operations in the Andaman Sea.

 

NORTH OR SOUTH?

Electronic signals between the plane and satellites continued to be exchanged for nearly six hours after MH370 flew out of range of Malaysian military radar off the northwest coast, following a commercial aviation route across the Andaman Sea towards India.

The plane had enough fuel to fly for about 30 minutes after that last satellite communication, Ahmad Jauhari said.

A source familiar with official U.S. assessments of satellite data being used to try to find the plane said it most likely turned south after the last Malaysian military radar sighting and may have run out of fuel over the Indian Ocean.

The Malaysian government-controlled New Straits Times on Monday quoted sources close to the investigation as saying data collected was pointing instead towards the northern corridor.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

Ex-CIA Analyst: Snowden Journalist Could Have Blood on Hands.


The journalist who holds a cache of documents stolen by National Security Agency secrets leaker Edward Snowden not only disrupts U.S. intelligence but must ultimately take responsibility for any deadly consequences of the leaked information, former CIA analyst and LIGNET contributor Lisa Ruth said Tuesday.

“There is an absolute direct correlation between leaks and problems on the ground,” Ruth said in an exclusive interview with John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV.

Former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald should have “months ago” considered withholding the NSA information in light of killings in 2010 of Afghan tribal leaders after the release of military documents by WikiLeaks, she said.

“I understand journalists believe part of their view is to give information, that’s what they’re trying to do,” she said. “With WikiLeaks, when this information first came out, we know that there were Afghan tribal leaders who were beheaded and killed. These were our sources.”

Story continues below video.

She said the WikiLeaks release was responsible for “not only disrupting our intelligence sources, but that journalist, in my opinion, is carrying the weight of those deaths on his shoulders, and at some point there is an ethical decision, what’s right.

“Obviously we can’t decide that for [Greenwald], but I agree that there is a point where the damage they are doing is far greater than any benefit,” she said.

Ruth said the intelligence community thinks it’s “absurd” that the public is debating the issue of how the government conducts drone strikes overseas, particularly how the military and CIA often rely on data from the NSA’s electronic spy program for targeted drone strikes and killings.

“I just can’t get my head around why we’re all debating this,” she said. “We don’t throw out for a referendum, ‘OK, folks, should we go after this guy or not?’ This is a government decision.”

According to a report from a news website launched by Greenwald, NSA documents confirm the agency “played a key supporting role” in the drone strike in September 2011 that killed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, as well as another American, Samir Khan, in Yemen.

“I have to say that it is horrifying to me that we are talking about this,” she said. “I have to go out and say the fact that this is in the press is completely absurd to the intelligence community — the fact that we’re debating drone strikes.”

She said classified information is paramount “if you’re going to carry out operations.”

“Until yesterday, most Americans didn’t know there was a guy in Pakistan, American citizen, who’s with al-Qaida,” she said. “Did it make them feel more safe to know we’re considering attacking him with a drone? Probably not.

“If you look at overall, it’s about trust in your government, really, trust, and right now perhaps that’s not at its highest peak, and I don’t know how you get that back but in terms of intelligence. I don’t’ believe that’s something that needs to be aired,” she said.

She said the reason the CIA “holds . . . the controls to the drone strikes” is that it can “move quickly.”

“Going through military bureaucracy, as you know, takes time,” she said. “The reason they put it in the hands of the CIA was to get things done quickly . . . So, now we’re in a situation where we’re talking about this American, and again, all over the press, all over the news, and whether NSA information is going to be used. From a CIA officer standpoint, that’s only one piece we would use . . . you need a lot of other pieces of information to target in.”

Ruth noted the United States is not getting the “human intelligence” it used to, partly “because of the drones” and partly because of “the way intelligence is done, and cutbacks.”

“The idea that, oh, we can put a bug somewhere or we can use a listening device. That’s not really accurate,” she said.

“Without human intelligence in many cases we’re operating blind, and keep in mind, if I’m hearing something perhaps from a cellphone or other places, I have no way of knowing how accurate that is . . . as a human, I can sit across from you, I’m evaluating you, I’m spotting, I’m assessing, I’m making these decisions, and it usually provides more targeted information, in conjunction with NSA information, of course.”

Ruth said she hopes debate on the issue spurs change for the good.

“From my perspective and some of my contacts at the intelligence community, the hope is to get back on track . . . and that these kinds of debates can really highlight the importance of human intelligence and why we need that, and particularly with a terrorist threat,” she said.

Related Stories:

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Cathy Burke

Study: Government Restrictions, Social Hostility Rise Against Religion.


Government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion are on the rise around the world, a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life disclosed.

Social hostilities include “abuse of religious minorities by private individuals or groups in society for acts perceived as offensive or threatening to the majority faith of the country,” according to Pew.

Social hostilities in a third of the 198 countries or territories surveyed were viewed as high or very high, with acts of religious violence rising everywhere in the world except the Americas, Pew noted in its study, which covered the six years from 2007 to 2012.

“We monitor this in two ways that religious freedom is restricted — actions of government and actions of individual groups of society,” the study’s lead author Brian Grim told Newsmax. “We’ve seen a steady climb overall. It’s a global phenomenon.

“There’s an association between social hostilities and government restrictions. As one goes up, the other goes up. And that may be part of what is going on,” said Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation in Annapolis, Md.

Among the Pew study’s key findings:
• The number of countries with religion-related terrorist violence has doubled over the past six years.

• Women were harassed because of religious dress in nearly a third of countries in 2012 (32 percent), up from 25 percent in 2011 and 7 percent in 2007.

• The Middle East and North Africa were the most common regions for sectarian violence, with half of all countries in the regions seeing conflicts in 2012.

• China, for the first time in the study, experienced a high level of social hostilities involving religion, with multiple types reported during 2012, including religion-related terrorism, harassment of women for religious dress, and mob violence.

• The number of countries with a very high level of religious hostilities increased from 14 in 2011 to 20 in 2012. Six countries — Syria, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma) — had very high levels of religious hostilities in 2012 but not in 2011.

Raymond Ibrahim, a religious scholar and author who studies hostilities against Christians, said persecution of Christian minorities was rising across the Islamic world, as well as in North Korea and to a smaller extent in India and China.

Ibrahim said the U.S. culture’s embrace of tolerance makes it different from other places where religious traditions tend to discount other faiths as false.

“I think the historical position on religions is about truth. If I have the truth, you don’t. I don’t want your falsehoods to get out in the open. We in the West don’t appreciate this kind of logic and we take for granted the idea of religious tolerance,” Ibrahim said.

The difference between the United States and other countries around the world is that America has “many mechanisms to address religious freedom problems as they come up,” Grim noted, citing the Department of Justice’s special branch dedicated to reviewing discriminatory issues related to religious dress as well as land use problems involving churches and mosques.

In current hot zones of violence, like the Central African Republic and Nigeria, and across sub-Saharan Africa, “there’s a real trend toward major fighting and religious violence along this Christian-Muslim line,” said Eric Rassbach, deputy general counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

In Nigeria, “you have a largely Muslim north and a largely Christian south and extremist groups stoking tensions between the two and carrying out acts of violence,” Rassbach told Newsmax.

“I think what happens is those conflicts aren’t just limited to their own countries. What you are seeing is they end up resulting in inter-religious disagreements in other countries,” Rassbach said.

Ethnic and economic conflicts are also tied up in regional disputes, and those add to the mix of religious differences, he said.

“In other parts of the world, it tends to be government-driven, especially in more authoritarian governments. You tend to see a crackdown, so to speak,” noting the crackdown on Christian house churches in China.

In Pakistan, “the government doesn’t officially target religious groups, but the way it runs itself, it ends up essentially green-lighting inter-religious violence by individuals who can often act with impunity,” Rassbach said.

In the Middle East, “the Arab Spring has intensified a lot of previously quieter disputes,” many of which have spilled over to other countries within the region as governments have been destabilized. “I think, anecdotally, you can tell that the violence and resentment is going up. But I think it’s for different reasons in different places,” he said.

There also has been some hostility toward religion in the United States, Rassbach added. “I think a lot of it has been stoked by the government,” including “issues like the contraceptive mandate that we are litigating.”

“It used to be that everybody agreed that religious liberty was a good thing. Now you are starting to see people here opposed to religious liberty.

“I think it’s because of the politicization,” he said. “Some political actors have seen it as useful to pick fights with religious groups. That ends up stoking religious tensions.”

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Andrea Billups

Power Plant Attack Sparks Terror Fears in Three Other Incidents.


A recent report about the terrifying attack on a California power plant last April has raised suspicions about other troubling cases throughout the United States within the past year, Newsmax has learned.

Consider:

  • On Jan. 9, more than 7,000 gallons of methanol leaked into Elk River in Charleston, W.Va., after a spill at a chemical storage plant operated by Freedom Industries. Nearly 300,000 people were left without drinking or bathing water, some for more than a week. A federal grand jury investigation has begun into the spill, CNN reports.
  • The following week, in Manapalan, N.J., a 26-year-old man, Asaf Mohammed, was arrested after being found trapped inside a 20-inch pipe outside a storage tank at a water-treatment plant owned by United Water. The plant supplies drinking water to 40,000 customers in the township, New Jersey.com reports.
  • Within a month after the Boston Marathon bombings last April, seven Muslims — from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore — were arrested in the middle of the night at the Quabbin Reservoir, which provides drinking water to Boston and several other nearby communities, the Boston Herald reports. Three locks had been cut to gain access to the reservoir.

The incidents, two of which received scant media attention at the time, now have authorities and legislators worried about the possibility of terrorist acts’ being committed against the nation’s power grid and other utility operations.

Those attack reports follow a report by The Wall Street Journal that a sniper assault last April 16, a day after the Boston bombings, knocked out an electrical substation near San Jose, Calif. No arrests have been made in that attack.

“It does seem that we have to be awakened by a cataclysmic event before we pay attention,” retired Army Lt. Col. Allen West told John Bachman in an exclusive interview Wednesday on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV.

“We have a porous, open border,” said West, a former Florida GOP congressman. “You have some bad actors coming across, but it’s not just that dry-run attack against a power plant. There are also a couple of instances, in [West] Virginia and also in the Boston area, where water-supply plants, people were trying to infiltrate there as well.”

In an interview on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV on Wednesday, counterterrorism expert Fred Fleitz called the California assault “a trial run for a terrorist attack.”

Fleitz is a former CIA analyst and FBI agent who is now chief analyst for the global intelligence forecaster LIGNET.

“What Americans don’t realize is that we now have something called a smart-grid system, where our electric grid is linked to other grids over the Internet and by computers,” he said. “A major attack on one part of the grid could cause a devastating outage that could put tens of millions of Americans in the dark.”

The 52-minute attack in California occurred at the Pacific Gas & Electric Corp.’s power substation in Metcalf, a community in southern San Jose.

Jon Wellinghoff, who was chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at the time, said the assault was “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving the grid that has ever occurred.”

He told The Journal that the incident may have been a dress rehearsal for a bigger attack.

The FBI said that it was “continuing to sift through the evidence” but that it did not think a terrorist group was behind the incident, The Journal reports.

The attack began at 12:58 a.m., when underground AT&T fiber-optic telecommunications cables were slashed in a vault not far from the Metcalf facility.

Other cables were also cut. At 1:31 a.m., the facility, situated near a freeway, came under sustained rifle fire. AK-47 bullet casings found later had been wiped clean of fingerprints.

The shooters were apparently aiming for the oil-filled cooling systems intended to keep the transformers from overheating, The Journal reported. Though they were riddled with bullet holes and hemorrhaged 52,000 gallons of oil, the transformers did not explode.

The attackers had left the scene by the time sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Seventeen huge power transformers had been disabled. Company officials initially declared the incident vandalism. Cameras were positioned facing inward and did not pick up images of the shooters.

Upon further investigation, it looked more like the handiwork of professionals who had done advance preparation and reconnaissance, The Journal reported.

The substation was brought back online after 27 days as other power plants increased their production of electricity to make up for the loss.

“The FBI is still not prepared to say that this was a terrorist attack, even though this power station was attacked with AK47s,” Fleitz told Malzberg.

“There was a systematic plan to cut the phone lines, the fiber-optic cables in a way that couldn’t be detected or easily repaired.”

Meanwhile, the two women and five men that Massachusetts state troopers found in the middle of the night at the Quabbin Reservoir in Boston last May after the marathon bombings said they were all chemical engineers who simply wanted to check out the facility, the Examiner reports. Three locks had been cut to gain access to the reservoir.

No charges were ever filed against the trespassers — even though the Massachusetts State Police unsuccessfully appealed the decision.

The names of the “chemical engineers” were never released to the public, the Boston Herald reports, and their whereabouts are currently unknown.

According to New Jersey.com, a United Water official said Mohammed was discovered by employees Jan. 17 after they “heard cries for help” inside the 20-inch pipe.

“He must have traversed through a basin and climbed up into a pipe for reasons unknown at this time,” Jim Mastrokalos, the company’s director of operations, told the news website.

The plant is surrounded by barbed wire fences, and the investigation involved determining how Mohammed gained access to the plant without detection.

Mohammed, who police said lived neared the plant, was charged with fourth-degree criminal trespass and was required to pay for the costs of rescuing him from the pipe, local news website 12 New Jersey reports.

In West Virginia, CNN reports, subpoenas have been issued requiring testimony for what one federal official confirmed was a criminal investigation into the chemical spill at the Freedom Industries storage plant.

An independent water test conducted for CNN this week found trace levels of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol, or MCHM, in both untreated river water and tap water from two homes in Charleston.

Elizabeth Scharman, West Virginia’s poison control director, told CNN that MCHM has not been widely studied.

“We don’t know the safety info, how quickly it goes into air, its boiling point,” Scharman said.

The chemical is used to wash coal before it goes to market to reduce ash, CNN reports. Exposure can cause vomiting, dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, and irritated skin, among other symptoms.

West, the former Florida congressman, told Newsmax that these attempts were “all part of asymmetrical warfare, and if we don’t start to recognize it and put a focus on it, the enemy is always going to look for the gaps by which they can exploit you.”

Related Stories:

 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Todd Beamon

Mike Rogers: Administration ‘Red Tape’ Leaving Terrorists on Battlefields.


Image: Mike Rogers: Administration 'Red Tape' Leaving Terrorists on BattlefieldsPakistanis in Lahore protest against U.S. drone attacks.

By Elliot Jager

 

There has been a moratorium on the use of drones in the U.S. counter terror campaign in Pakistan, the Washington Post reports. 

The suspension was put in place at the request of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is attempting to negotiate with the country’s Taliban groups. 

“That’s what they asked for, and we didn’t tell them no,” a U.S. official told the Post. 

But counterterror attacks against al-Qaida targets in Pakistan, if any present themselves, have not been suspended. The use of drone strikes in counterterrorism elsewhere, including Yemen, is also unaffected. 

Meanwhile, an unnamed senior Obama administration source also told the Post that press reports about a change in policy were wrong.

Still, there have been no drone strikes since December. In November, a strike killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud. The Pakistani government at the time said the hit derailed peace talks that had been scheduled to begin.

Separately, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, took exception during an open hearing to changes made by President Barack Obama in 2013 that narrowed the criteria regarding when drones may be used. 

Now, only al-Qaida operatives who present an imminent danger to Americans can be targeted, and only when there is a “near certainty” a strike would not bring about civilian casualties.

Rogers said that “individuals who would have been previously removed from the battlefield by U.S. counterterrorism operations for attacking or plotting to attack against U.S. interests remain free because of self-imposed red tape.”

He was referring to al-Qaida’s presence in Yemen, Syria and Africa. The chairman did not comment on the purported Pakistan moratorium. Rogers said the new guidelines “are an utter and complete failure, and they leave Americans’ lives at risk,” the Post reported.

Testifying at the House Intelligence Committee hearing James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, said he did not agree that the new guidelines on drone use put the country at increased peril. He said the danger comes from the transformation of the al-Qaida threat, “its diffusion, its globalization and its franchising,” the Post reported.

Also at the hearing, California Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff called on the intelligence community to release aggregate data annually specifying the number of terrorists the United States had killed as well as how many civilians might have died as a result of the strikes.

In a related development, the latest effort at peace talks between Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban was delayed on Tuesday because two members of a Taliban delegation refused to take part.

Related Stories: 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Back To Basics : Homosexuality Is Not un-African, Homophobia Is By Ijabla Raymond.


By Ijabla Raymond

In Nigeria, university lecturers have been on strike for nearly 6 months; medical doctors are contemplating going on strike; the roads are death traps; people rely on generators for power as electricity supply is epileptic ; people have to sink wells or boreholes to supply their own homes with water; those who can’t have to buy water off the street from water vendors; Nigeria remains one of only three countries in the world where polio is endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan; our hospitals are poorly resourced and people with money fly abroad for routine health checks; we have one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world; many state governments have refused to adopt the Child Rights Act, and those which have, are failing to enforce it; child marriages occur with reckless impunity and no one appears interested in banning the practice anytime soon; you get 7 years for raping a woman but 14 years for a consensual same-sex intercourse; we rely on foreign aid to assist with poverty alleviation despite our stupendous wealth; our government is one of the most corrupt in the world etc.

But guess what? The Nigerian government has chosen to prioritise anti-gay law over all of these pressing needs. The government feels that legislating on what two consenting adults choose to do in their closet takes precedence over all of the aforementioned problems.

Sadly, but as expected, this law has turned out to be very popular with Nigerians, who say that homosexuality is wrong because it contravenes God’s principles in the Quran and the Bible. They say that homosexuality is wrong because it is un-African, foreign and that it will lead to a de-population of the human race. But, if I may ask, what is African about Christianity and Islam? These religions are foreign to us and are very un-African, when are we going to ban them too?

Homosexuality is as old as human history and it exists in all human races. It even occurs amongst animals. Gay people lived freely and even got married in many African cultures pre-colonisation. It was colonisation, through the instrument of the twin foreign religions, Christianity and Islam, which criminalised homosexuality. Till date, those who live in northern Nigeria will be very familiar with the “yan daudu” – the third gender men who can be anything from transvestites, homosexuals, to bisexuals. I grew up in northern Nigeria and I remember how well these individuals were accepted – their lifestyles were even featured in TV dramas.

My question to those who say that homosexuality will lead to a de-population of the human race is: When should we start jailing heterosexual couples who practise anal and oral sex or couples who suffer from infertility or those couples who use contraception?

And to those who say that homosexuality is wrong because the Bible or Quran God said so, first of all, may I remind you that these religions are foreign to Africa and were instruments of slavery? They were used to subjugate our forefathers. Secondly, if we say that God is omnipotent or omniscient, then we must accept that it was His grand design and plan to create homosexuals, so, why destroy them?

Who would believe, that in the 21st century, we would still be making laws based on books that were written a few thousand years ago by men who reasoned that diseases were caused by demons and evil spirits? We need to separate religion from the State, it’s only in doing so that we can guarantee and uphold the human rights of all people.

This anti-gay law smirks of gross ignorance of our own history and culture. If we are going to make laws, then let’s do so from a position of knowledge and best evidence, and not ignorance or religious bigotry. I have included links at the bottom of this article for those who wish to know more about “yan daudu”, homosexual practices in pre-colonised Africa or the practice of adult men using young boys as sex slaves in Afghanistan (the dancing boys). I believe there are similar practices in Arab countries.

President Jonathan (GEJ) and his government have succeeded in distracting Nigerians from our main problem – corruption. I have seen photos of harmless gay people on news media being hounded into the back of vans with their hands cuffed, but those who steal our collective wealth and cause us untold hardship and death are not only walking freely, they are even worshipped by some of us. I will not be surprised if GEJ gets voted back into office for a 2nd term on the back of this popular, but inhumane, anit-gay law. I weep for this country.

Ijabla Raymond,
Medical doctor of Nigerian heritage writes from the UK

Email: Ijabla.Raymond@facebook.com

REFERENCES:
1.     http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/lgbt1208_webwcover.pdf

2.     Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex. Pages 220 – 227

3.     Alternatively, swipe through pages 220 – 227 of this e-book:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iZ5RAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA221&lpg=PA223&ots=P…

4.     http://yoknyamdabale.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/africa-kill-the-gays/

5.     http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/10/nigeria-yan-daudu-persecution

6.     http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11217772

 

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Obama Ignores American Warren Weinstein Who Was Kidnapped By Al-Qaeda.


ISLAMABAD — A 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaeda more than two years ago appealed to President Barack Obama in a video released Thursday to negotiate his release, saying he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten.”

warren-weinstein-kidnapped-al-qaeda-obama-refuses-to-help

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH AL-QAEDA KIDNAP VIDEO NOW

The video of Warren Weinstein was the first since two videos released in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011.

In the video sent Thursday to reporters in Pakistan including The Associated Press, Weinstein called on the U.S. government to negotiate his release.

“Nine years ago I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come click-here-to-read-the-rest-of-this-story-on-before-its-news-from-now-the-end-begins-nteb-geoffrey-griderhere, and now when I need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten,” Weinstein said during the 13-minute video. “And so I again appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release.” source – News Max.

by NTEB News Desk

American Abducted in Pakistan Calls for US Help.


ISLAMABAD — A 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaida more than two years ago appealed to President Barack Obama in a video released Thursday to negotiate his release, saying he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten.”

The video of Warren Weinstein was the first since two videos released in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011.

Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Story continues below video.

In the video sent Thursday to reporters in Pakistan including The Associated Press, Weinstein called on the U.S. government to negotiate his release.

“Nine years ago I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here, and now when I need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten,” Weinstein said during the 13-minute video. “And so I again appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release.”

The video and an accompanying letter purported to be from Weinstein was emailed anonymously to reporters in Pakistan. The video was labeled “As-Sahab,” which is al-Qaida’s media wing, but its authenticity could not be independently verified. The letter was dated Oct. 3, 2013 and in the video Weinstein said he had been in captivity for two years.

In the video, Weinstein wore a grey track suit jacket and what appeared to be a black knit hat on his head. His face was partially covered with a beard.

Editor’s Note: Do You Approve of Pope Francis? Vote Now in Urgent Poll 

Al-Qaida has said Weinstein would be released if the U.S. halted airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world.

The White House has called for Weinstein’s immediate release but has said it won’t negotiate with al-Qaida.

The videos last year showed Weinstein appealing for help from the Jewish community and Israel’s prime minister.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Lawyer Tied to bin Laden Raid Flees Pakistan.


The lawyer for the Pakistani doctor who played a pivotal role in helping the U.S. track and kill Osama bin Laden has fled to Dubai, Pakistan‘s Express Tribune reports.

A relative of Samiullah Afridi said terrorists threatened to blow up the lawyer’s car and kill his family.

“We cannot disclose the country he left for due to security threats to his life,” the relative said, asking for anonymity, according to The New York Post.

“Militants warned him to stop pleading the case, or else he and his family would face the consequences.”

Afridi is one of three attorneys representing Dr. Shakil Afridi — the two are not related — a surgeon who helped the CIA carry out a phony hepatitis vaccine campaign that allowed Dr. Afridi to collect the DNA of bin Laden’s children from the family compound in Abbottabad.

The Pakistani government arrested Dr. Afridi as he tried to cross the border days after the May 2011 raid. He was purportedly taken into custody for his involvement, though it was later stated that it was for alleged ties to Islamist terror group Lashkar-e-Islam, something Dr. Afridi denies.

He was serving a 33-year sentence that in August was overturned for procedural errors. While awaiting a retrial, Dr. Afridi was charged with murder related to the death of a patient eight years ago.

His lawyers recently received a hand-written letter smuggled from Dr. Afridi’s prison cell — their first contact with him in 15 months — saying he was being denied his right to a fair trial, the BBC reports.

Qamar Nadeem, who also represents Dr. Afridi, told the BBC that Samiullah Afridi left Pakistan on Wednesday.

“I had met him a day earlier but he did not indicate he had any plans to leave the country. I have now been told he is gone,” Nadeem said. “I didn’t ask and he never told me who was threatening him, or what was the nature of those threats.”

Related Stories:

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Melissa Clyne

Hagel Warns Pakistan Leaders Over Thwarting Military Shipments.


Image: Hagel Warns Pakistan Leaders Over Thwarting Military Shipments

ISLAMABAD — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Pakistani leaders Monday that if they don’t resolve protests stalling some military shipments across the border with Afghanistan, it could be difficult to maintain political support in Washington for an aid program that has sent billions of dollars to Islamabad, defense officials said.

In response, the officials said, Hagel received assurances from the Pakistanis that they would take “immediate action” to resolve the shipment problem. The officials did not provide details on how that might be done.

Just last week, anti-American protests along one of the primary border crossing routes in Pakistan prompted the U.S. to stop the shipments from Torkham Gate through Karachi last week, due to worries about the safety of the truckers. The protests center on the CIA’s drone program that has targeted and killed many terrorists, but has caused civilian casualties.

The defense officials said Hagel described a political reality on Capitol Hill that could complicate support for the billions of dollars of aid Pakistan now receives.

It was Hagel’s intent to try and pre-empt any problems with the aid, said the officials who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the private meetings publicly on the record.

Hagel had back-to-back meetings Monday with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the new army chief, Gen. Tahaeel Sharif, in a move to further repair what has been a strained and sputtering relationship between Washington and Islamabad. Defense officials said Hagel is first high ranking U.S. official to meet with the Army chief, who took over at the end of last month.

During the meetings some of the more contentious issues also were raised, including Pakistan’s opposition to ongoing CIA drone strikes and Washington’s frustration with Pakistan’s reluctance to go after the Haqqani terrorist network, which operates along the border and conducts attacks on U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan.

The officials acknowledged that little progress was made other than to agree to continue talking.

Sharif’s office said in a statement the prime minister and Hagel had “in-depth exchanges on a whole range of issues of mutual interest” including bilateral defense, security cooperation and Afghanistan.

Sharif’s office also said the prime minister conveyed Pakistan’s deep concern over continuing U.S. drone strikes, “stressing that drone strikes were counter-productive to our efforts to combat terrorism and extremism on an enduring basis,” the statement said.

Shireen Mazari, the information secretary for the political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said in a statement Monday it’s time for the government to speak forcefully to the U.S. to demand an end to the drone attacks. The party is leading the protests.

Pakistan has called the drone strikes a violation of the country’s sovereignty, but the issue is muddied by the fact that Islamabad and the military have supported at least some of the strikes in the past.

Following their meeting in Rawalpindi, Hagel and Sharif echoed each other’s desire to work to strengthen the countries’ ties. The top military men discussed the defense relationship between the two countries and regional stability, according to the Pakistani army chief’s office.

Hagel’s warning to the Pakistanis about the supply route reflects what has been a growing frustration among U.S. lawmakers with Pakistan in recent years.

The Pakistani government blocked the supply crossings for seven months following U.S. airstrikes that accidentally killed two dozen soldiers on the Afghan border in November 2011. Pakistan finally reopened the routes after the U.S. apologized.

The rift largely led the U.S. to sever most aid to Pakistan for some time, but relations were restored in July 2012. Since then the U.S. has delivered over $1.15 billion in security assistance to Pakistan. Some of the items include advanced communications equipment, roadside bomb jammers, night vision goggles and surveillance aircraft.

Since July 2012, relations between Washington and Islamabad have been improving. Sharif met with President Barack Obama and Hagel in late October in Washington.

The last Pentagon chief to visit Pakistan was Robert Gates in January 2010.

Hagel flew to Pakistan from Afghanistan, where he visited U.S. troops but declined to meet with President Hamid Karzai, who has rankled the U.S. by refusing to sign a security agreement before year’s end.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,681 other followers