Sunday, December 21, 2014

Tunisians voting for new president 21 DECEMBER 2014 Beji Caid Essebsi , Marzouki,

The Sigma Conseil company's exit polls, which have consistently come close to matching official results released later, gave Essebsi 55.5 percent of the vote and his opponent Moncef Marzouki, the outgoing interim president, 44.5 percent. 
The run-off between the two candidates is the third election in the last two months and represents the final stage in the country's democratic transition since the Arab Spring revolution that overthrew long-ruling president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Alone among the countries that experienced pro-democracy uprisings, Tunisia's transition has remained on track.
"It is important because we don't know ahead of time who will win, unlike in the past," said Hatem Dekali, an employee of the national airline, as he cast his vote in the Tunis suburb of Carthage.
The contest pits Beji Caid Essebsi, an 88-year-old minister in previous Tunisian governments, against Moncef Marzouki, a rights activist who became interim prime minister after the revolution.
Mr Essebsi is favorite to win after taking 39% of the vote in last month's first round and has promised to restore the "prestige of the state" after the chaotic first years after the revolution marked by unrest and economic problems.
Mr Marzouki, who took 33% of the vote last month, has warned that Mr Essebsi, whose party also won October's parliamentary election, will bring back the authoritarian policies of the previous regimes.
Tunisia's moderate Islamists, who still have a great deal of support in the country, are not officially backing either candidate but are believed to lean towards Mr Marzouki.
The eve of the election was marked by violence with a shotgun blast wounding a soldier near the city of Kairouan.
Islamic radicals vowed further attacks on security forces in a video that surfaced on social networks on Wednesday calling on people to boycott the election.
According to authorities, about 100,000 police and soldiers will secure the polls. Certain stations in the border regions with Algeria will close early because of security reasons.



Friday, December 19, 2014

World News December-2014



Kashmiri women stand in a queue to cast their votes during the third phase polling of the Jammu and Kashmir state elections in Budgham, about 17 miles southwest of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. Elections are being held in five stages to allow government forces to better guard against any violence or anti-India protests. Results are due December 23. (AP
Australian defence officials are claiming success in the air campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and say it has helped check the group’s advances – however the assessment comes amid renewed warnings about the scale of the humanitarian crisis within Iraq and Syria.
The UN has launched an appeal for aid to help the more than 2.1 million people displaced across the country and 5.2 million in need of humanitarian aid – of whom 2.2 million are in areas under the control of Islamic State.
In Syria, the UN now estimates that 12.2 million people require humanitarian assistance.
Australian air force F/A-18 Super Hornets are flying as part of the air campaign against Islamic State militants.
RAAF pilots have contributed more than 180 sorties since operations began in October. More than 100 bombs and missiles have been fired at 44 targets by Super Hornet pilots, destroying 36 and damaging a further six.
Australian special forces are on the ground training Iraqi soldiers in counter-terrorist tactics, co-ordinating air strikes and dealing with improvised explosive devices.

Vice Admiral David Johnston, the chief of joint operations, says Islamic State fighters are coming under immense pressure.
“The militants’ momentum has been checked since the air campaign commenced,” he said
The update from the Australian Defence Force follows a US assessment that Islamic State extremists have lost momentum in both Iraq and Syria and have been demoralised by heavy casualties inflicted by American air strikes.
US officials say that since the western air strikes began in mid-November senior and mid-level leaders as well as about 1,000 fighters have been killed, particularly around the fiercely contested Kurdish town of Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border.
US jobless aid applications decline to 289,000
18 December 2014 - Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, a sign of solid job security and growing confidence among employers. Hiring is accelerating. In the first 11 months of this year, employers have added 2.65 million jobs. That already makes 2014 the best year for hiring since 1999. Employers added 321,000 jobs in November, the most in nearly three years.
President Obama: US re-establishing relations with Cuba
17 December 2014 - President Barack Obama announced the re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday and declared an end to America's 'outdated approach' to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity. 'These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,' President Obama said in remarks from the White House. 'It's time for a new approach.'

Muhammad Ali taken to hospital with pneumonia

Three-time world heavyweight champion, who has Parkinson’s disease, in stable condition, says spokesman.

Peshmerga forces heave Isis away from Mount Sinjar

As many as 300 militants are believed killed as US-led airstrikes assist the Kurdistan regional government in northern Iraq

Kurdish peshmerga forces backed by US-led air strikes pushed Islamic State militants out of a large area around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq, according to Kurdish officials.
“We have managed to free 3,000 sq km during the last 24 hours,” Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan, told reporters on top of Mount Sinjar. “Most of Sinjar is under our control now and with the help of God, we will free all of it.”
From a remote desert mountaintop in Iraq, Kurds battle to free a town held by Islamic State

The road to the battlefront plunges straight down the steep face of Mount Sinjar, whipped by a fierce wind. It is littered with trucks and cars that couldn't get up that incline, abandoned by their owners months ago as they fled the rampage of Islamic State group extremists.

 Kim Jong Un




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

George W. Bush Should Face Probe Over Post 9/11 Torture: Amnesty Internationa' December-2014

mnesty International’s US director demands justice over officials responsible for torturing detainees. Among them is former President George W. Bush who reportedly granted the CIA’s request to use waterboarding and other "enhanced" interrogation techniques.NEW YORK, December 9 (Sputnik) — Former US President George W. Bush should be investigated for his role in the CIA torture program, Amnesty International’s US director Steven Hawkins said in a statement released Tuesday in light of the publication of a US Senate Committee report on the CIA's torture practices.

“Former President George W. Bush should have been investigated long ago for his role in authorizing this program, including his assertion since leaving office that he personally granted the CIA’s request to use waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ against particular detainees,” Hawkins said in the statement.
The Amnesty International's executive stressed that no person, "however high the office they may have held, is above the rule of law.”

On Tuesday, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released a 500-page summary of a detailed investigation into the CIA's interrogation techniques that were used on alleged al-Qaeda agents in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington.

US foreign missions and military bases around the world have seen increased security ahead of the report's release amid fears that evidence of the CIA using torture may incite revenge attacks against the United States.
“Today’s release once again makes crystal clear that the US government used torture. Torture is a crime and those responsible for crimes must be brought to justice,” Hawkins said.