11/30/2011

Bahrain :Sit-in of the dismissed workers, doctors, employees in front of the ministry of labor


Media of Truth | Bahrain
#Bahrain :Sit-in of the dismissed workers, doctors, employees in front of the ministry of labor. Nov30,2011
اعتصام العمال المفصولين، الأطباء و الموظفين أمام وزارة الهمل. 30نوفمبر2011






اعتصام المفصولين امام وزارة العمل 30-11-2011.wmv
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox8a4_a6ut0

Iranian Police Probing Details on Occupy Embassy Protests

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's Deputy Police Chief Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Radan announced that police started investigations into the details of the Tuesday protests in which angry self-driven protesters raided and occupied the British embassy and a well-known garden in Northern Tehran.
 


Radan announced that police forces have arrested those who entered the embassy.
Radan added that the events which took place in the UK embassy in Tehran injured the public feelings.
A number of people gathered in front of the UK embassy and started chanting slogans, he said, adding that another group of people got excited in their feelings and entered the UK embassy by passing through Police forces.
He stressed that a number of those who entered the embassy building have been arrested while necessary measures have already been taken to arrest the other ones.
According to Radan, people who had penetrated into Qolhak Garden have also been arrested.
Earlier, police clashed with protesters outside the embassy building and dispersed them with tear gas.
A number of protesters have been wounded during the clashes while police troops are exerting power to force them out of the embassy compound.
FNA dispatches also said that a number of the police troopers have been injured in the clashes.
The protests started Tuesday afternoon after thousands of protesters who had gathered in front of the British embassy in Tehran entered the embassy compound and brought down the British flag, demanding an immediate expulsion of London's ambassador from Tehran and a full closure of the embassy.
Both embassy compounds are now safe and under tight police control.
Security sources said police troops stationed in both places will remain there but declined to give any further detail.

BAHRAIN: REFORM, SECURITY, AND U.S. POLICY

Protesters Demand Closure of British Embassy in Tehran


TEHRAN (FNA)- Thousands of protesters who have gathered in front of the British embassy in Tehran since this afternoon entered the embassy compound and brought down the British flag, demanding an immediate expulsion of London's ambassador from Tehran and a full closure of the embassy.
 


The protesters who are demanding a full severance of ties with Britain started their rally in front of the British embassy in Tehran a few hours ago to cry protest against London's hostile policies against Iran.
FNA dispatches said large groups of self-motivated protesting students used the open doors of the embassy to enter the compound but the law enforcement police pushed them out.
The angry protester clashed with the police and climbed up the embassy building and entered the compound an hour ago.
The FNA reports from the scene also said that the protesters have taken down the British flag and set it on fire.
The protesters then hoisted Iran's national flag in the embassy in a sign of victory, saying that they have conquered the embassy as it should not be respected under diplomatic rules and should only be deemed as part of Iran's soil from now on.
"Down with Britain", "Down with America", "Down with Israel" and "Students are Awake and Hate Britain" are among the slogans chanted by the protestors.
Protesters carried photographs of Iran's assassinated nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari and IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani.
The rally comes as Iran is commemorating the first martyrdom anniversary of its nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari who was assassinated by the Israeli Mossad agency last year supported by the British MI6.
After the law enforcement police failed to stop the angry university students for a second time, the protesters entered the administrative buildings of the embassy and brought down the photograph of the British queen from the walls of the embassy buildings.
The students then did thanksgiving prayers in the compound.
Later dispatches said the law enforcement troops have pushed the students out of the building and made several arrests.
The Iranian parliament approved a downgrading of ties with Britain on Sunday. The Iranian legislators approved the bill with 179 yes votes, 4 oppositions and 11 abstentions. The 4 oppositions demanded a full cut of ties with London.
The Guardian Council - a powerful vetting body tasked with studying parliament approvals to make sure they are not against Islamic rules and the Constitution - announced its approval over the parliament ratification yesterday.
As the parliament approval calls for downgrading ambassadorial ties with Britain to the level of charge d'affaires, Tehran is now preparing to expel the British Ambassador to Iran Dominick Chilcott.
Chilcott took his post as the new Tehran ambassador in October and after several months of tension between the two capitals. The British embassy was meanwhile led by the charge d'affaires, Jane Marriott.
The parliament approval came a week after the US and Britain targeted Iranian financial sectors with new punitive measures, including sanctions on Iran's Central Bank and petrochemical industry.
The sanction against CBI and Iran's petrochemical industry was adopted in a unilateral move by the US, Canada and Britain outside the UN Security Council as other council members, specially Russia and China, had earlier warned against any fresh punitive measure, including sanctions, against Iran.
The British government has also embarked on delisting the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) from its list of terrorist groups.

11/29/2011

Back to Square One in Bahrain




(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Hundreds and hundreds of us trooped into the King of Bahrain’s palace on Wednesday afternoon for the presentation of the much-hyped Bassiouni report. Cherif Bassiouni, head of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) gave a 45-minute verbal summary of his 500-page report as we – and the senior members of the Al Khalifa royal family – listened.
Clearly relishing the attention, Bassiouni reminded the audience of government officials, NGOs, diplomats and media, how he had been appointed by King Hamad to investigate the allegations of human rights abuses in the government crackdown of democracy protests this year.
Speaking from the podium to a room the size of a football field, replete with thick carpet and chandeliers the size of trucks, Bassiouni announced what HRF and other international human rights organizations had been saying for many months – that thousands of people were detained, many tortured in custody, some until they died. That the criminal justice system is a farce, that those accused had confessions tortured out of them, and were denied their rights to proper legal access or fair trials. That more than a dozen civilians were killed by security forces, and that thousands more have been dismissed from their jobs or university places because of perceived association with the protests.
 The King apparently didn’t believe the world’s most credible media outlets and human rights organizations when we repeatedly reported these abuses day after day for many months, so he established and paid for his own commission which – d’oh – confirmed what we’d been saying.
King Hamad was on a podium flanked on one side by his son and heir, the Crown Prince, the reputed “reformer” in the family whose failure to broker a deal with the protestors in March led to the arrival of Saudi troops, the violent crackdown and his own loss of power within the government. To the king’s other side was his uncle the hardliner, whose brutal response to calls for reform trumped the Crown Prince’s approach. He has been the kingdom’s unelected Prime Minister since 1971, when Nixon was enjoying his first term and The Bee Gees topped the US charts (“How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?”).
The royals listened to Bassiouni as he was alternately fawningly polite and blisteringly critical of their government. The three sat behind an absurdly gigantic desk which, as Bassiouni listed incidents of torture at their detention centers, appeared to diminish them physically and morally. They sat totem-faced as he described how large numbers of detainees had been blindfolded, beaten, electrocuted and threatened with rape by their security forces. Awkward.
The king finally responded with an interestingly defensive line of argument about how the European Court of Human Rights frequently criticizes European states but that the international community doesn’t refer to them as “oppressive governments”. He said he was “dismayed to find” that the mistreatment of prisoners and detainees had occurred, suggesting he hasn’t read many newspapers or watched much TV news this year.
He also promised to respond positively to the recommendations in the report by setting various working groups and implementation mechanisms. He spoke for 15 minutes, finishing with a flourishing tirade against Iranian propaganda before the deflating admission that “the Government of Bahrain was not in a position to provide evidence of links between Iran and specific events in our country this year”. Then Bassiouni gave him a copy of the report in an enormous red box, and it was all over.
The king said he hoped “to make this day one that will be remembered in the history of this nation”. It is certainly one that will be remembered by the family of Abdulnabi Kadhem, who according to eyewitnesses was killed by a police vehicle a few hours before the king spoke, and a day to remember for former opposition MP Matar Matar, who was back in court for his part in peaceful protests. Despite the king’s apparent acceptance of the need for urgent reform to the criminal process, these sham trials continue. The notorious case of the 20 medics who were tortured and sentenced to prison for between five and 15 years resumes on Monday and others are scheduled for weeks and months to come.
 “This day turns a new page in history,” declared the king. But that night, in the village of Bani Jamrah, we heard the thud thud thud of tear gas canisters being shot around the neighbourhood. It’s so common that locals scarcely bother to look out of the window these days.
The BICI report offers a bit of succor to everyone – to those critical of the crackdown and those loyal to the government. It includes sections on “Attacks on the Sunni community” and “Attacks on Expatriates,” supporting some of the government narrative that it needed to take extreme measures to “restore order” to a country on the brink of widespread intercommunal violence.
But the report offers no recommendations for fundamental political reform or steps towards democracy. “We go back to where all this started, it doesn’t address why people protested in the first place,” said a Bahraini woman. “At best it takes us back to square one.”

A Bahrain court has postponed the trial of 61 athletes and sports officials accused of links to anti-government protests.

THE WASHINGTON  POST
By Associated Press, Published: November 29MANAMA, Bahrain —

Defense attorney Mohsen al-Alawi says the hearing was rescheduled for Jan. 4 because most of the defendants did not appear at Tuesday’s proceedings. They include handball, basketball and volleyball players along with referees and administrators for several sports.

The charges include illegal assembly and inciting hatred against Bahrain’s Sunni monarchy.
The defendants are among 150 Shiite sportsmen detained as part of crackdowns on protests by Bahrain’s Shiite majority seeking a greater political voice.
An independent report issued last week accused authorities of widespread abuses including torture.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Iran denies explosion after mystery blast heard near key nuclear facility

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
 
Authorities dismiss reports of blast as new satellite images show destruction from earlier incident at another facility


Iran denied reports of a blast heard near a key nuclear facility on Tuesday, as new satellite pictures emerged of damage from an earlier explosion that left 17 dead at another location.
"In the afternoon, there was a noise like an explosion," provincial judiciary head Gholamreza Ansari was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency on Monday.
Geoeye Via Google Earth  /  Institute for Science and International Security
Digitalglobe  /  DigitalGlobe/Institute for Science and International Security
Mohammad-Mahdi Ismaili, Isfahan's deputy governor in political and security affairs, called the reports "sheer lies" on Tuesday, according the Jerusalem Post quoting the IRNA news agency.
An official from the city's fire department also denied that there had been an explosion, the newspaper said.
An important Iranian nuclear facility involved in processing uranium is located near Isfahan city, although Iranian media reports of the incident did not refer to it.
Story: Cameron: Iran faces 'serious consequences' for failing to protect British Embassy
A report on the explosion was published on the website of the Iranian news agency Fars on Monday, including a picture showing a thick column of black smoke, but it was removed after the incident was reported in Israel, according to Israeli website Haaretz.
Haaretz reported that Ismaili initially confirmed the blast and said the authorities were investigating the matter before later issuing denials.
 
Analysts speculated that this or other recent blasts could be the result of sabotage by other countries.
“While it’s impossible to confirm, recent events in Iran raise suspicions,” Gala Riani, a Middle East analyst at London-based forecaster IHS Global Insight told Bloomberg.
She told Bloomberg it was possible that “foreign powers would want to carry out clandestine activity to sabotage Iran’s nuclear and military progress."
International Atomic Energy Agency spokeswoman Gill Tudor said the U.N. watchdog was aware of the media reports but had no further information. 

On November 12, a massive explosion at the Bid Kaneh military base 28 miles west of Tehran killed 17 Revolutionary Guards, including the head of the elite force's missile program.
Iran said that explosion, which could be heard as far away as the capital, was caused by an accident while weapons were being moved.
The Washington D.C.-based think tank, the Institute for Science and International Security, on Monday published an analysis of commercial satellite imagery of the base.
It said images taken before and after the blast showed most of the buildings on the compound appeared to be extensively damaged while some appeared to have been completely destroyed.
“Some of the destruction seen in the image may have also resulted from subsequent controlled demolition of buildings and removal of debris,” it said.
It said the blast occurred as Iran “achieved a major milestone in the development of a new missile.”
“Iran was apparently performing a volatile procedure involving a missile engine at the site when the blast occurred,” it said.
Reuters contributed to this report

11/28/2011

Iran rushes through law expelling British ambassador


By Mitra Amiri
TEHRAN | Mon Nov 28, 2011

(Reuters) - A bill to downgrade Iran's ties with Britain got final approval on Monday a day after parliament approved the measure compelling the government to expel the British ambassador in retaliation for sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear activity.
The exceptionally rapid move by the Guardian Council, a panel of 12 clerics and jurists who judge whether legislation is Islamic, reflects the urgency with which Iran is treating its reaction to the sanctions announced by Britain last week.
Britain acted after a November 8 report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog presenting intelligence it said suggested Iran had worked on designing an atom bomb. Iran says the intelligence is forged and that its nuclear program has wholly peaceful aims.
"The members of the Guardian Council, after examination of the plan, have approved it unanimously," council spokesman Abbasali Kadkhodai was quoted as saying on the website of the Iranian state broadcaster IRIB.
The bill requires the departure of the British ambassador within two weeks, leaving the embassy to be run by a charge d'affaires. The British government has called the legislation "regrettable" and "unwarranted."
Passed by legislators who chanted "Death to England" on Sunday, the law looked like a payback for London's decision to ban British banks from dealing with Iranian ones, including the Central Bank of Iran (CBI).
Members of parliament said Iran would take similar action against any other countries that follow Britain's example.
European Union foreign ministers are due to meet on Thursday to approve new sanctions that could cut financial links and ban oil imports from Iran over suspicions that it is trying to develop nuclear weapons.
MINISTER'S FLIGHT BLOCKED
Iranian media reported that Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi had been refused entry to EU air space to attend a meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in the Netherlands on Monday.
Student news agency ISNA said Tehran had summoned the Hungarian ambassador to explain why Salehi's plane had been refused permission to cross the EU country's air space, quoting an Iranian foreign ministry source saying technical problems cited by Hungarian authorities were "unconvincing."
The Hungarian and Iranian foreign ministries were not immediately available for comment.
The European measures are part of a U.S.-led drive to isolate the Islamic Republic and force it to suspend uranium enrichment, which Tehran says is its sovereign right but which the West says looks suspiciously like an atom bomb program.
Washington stopped short of imposing sanctions that would stop other countries dealing with Iran's central bank, considered a "nuclear option" due to the devastating effect it could have on Iran's oil-based economy.
The central bank receives payment for the more than 2 million barrels of oil Iran exports each day, so cutting it off from the global financial system would be a hammer blow.
The United States did declare the CBI an area of "primary money laundering concern," a step designed to dissuade non-U.S. banks from dealing with it. The bank denied the charge.
"The financial resources of the CBI are principally from the sale of oil and its derivatives which are deposited with this bank on the basis of the country's monetary and banking law, and they are managed by the international banking system," the CBI said in a statement on its website.
"The alleged performing of laundering operations on this source is a completely baseless and unprofessional claim."
(Reporting by Mitra Amiri; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Congo elections mostly peaceful, but fraught with problems

Guest blogger Jason Stearns received reports of delays opening polling stations, road blocks, protests, voting fraud, and violence at polling stations – just a few of the challenges in Congo's elections.
By Jason Stearns, Guest blogger / November 28, 2011




Voting has begun peacefully in much of the country, with high turnout in many areas (including Bukavu, where I am).
However, several serious incidents have been reported. While my sources are reliable (mostly foreign observation missions, journalists and the United Nations), things are developing rapidly and I have not been able to cross-check all of the information below.
In Lubumbashi, serious violence has erupted in various areas of town. Opposition supporters denounced the delays in opening polling stations in the Bel-Air neighborhoods where many UDPS supporters live. Road blocks were set up and protests broke out. Some time afterwards, UN reports came in regarding the blowing up of two trucks full of ballot papers that had allegedly already been filled out before voting began. Around the same time, two trucks full of sensitive election materials were set on fire in the Kenya neighborhood of town. All the while, numerous abuses have been reported by election observers in polling stations (no further information available). Armed civilians wearing red bandanas have opened fire on civilians at polling stations at Sapin Cemetary in the Ruashi neighborhood, while armed gunmen stormed another polling station in Bel Air and set it on fire. The MONUSCO staff has been forced to retreat into their compound; there are even reports of mortar fire in town;
Election materials arrived late in much of Kinshasa. According to one international source, in Kinshasa IV (where around a quarter of the population lives) the presidential ballot papers had not arrived by noon. Heavy rain has disrupted or slowed down some of the electoral operations in town. Still the situation seems to be relatively calm, with no reports of violence in the capital;
RELATED: Four ways Congo's instability affects the world
In several places around the country there have been reports of ballot papers being found already filled out before the elections began. This was the case in Goma (Himbi or Ndosho neighborhood), where the head of a voting center was attacked (one report has him being arrested) by voters after they found him with a stack of filled out ballots; a similar case occured in Kananga, where a woman is in critical condition - some reports suggest that she was trying to expose the fraudsters when she was attacked, others say she herself was the culprit. In Lubumbashi, Kananga and Mbuji-Mayi there have been similar reports;
In Kananga (Kasai Occidental), there have also been numerous violent incidents. Very few voting stations reportedly opened on time, due to the lack of polling materials. Some stations told voters to come back at noon, while in others observers alleged that ballot boxes already had ballots in them before voting began. Several voting stations - including those in religious institutions - have been attacked by "mobs," in some cases these seem to be angry voters throwing stones. Several injuries have been reported and some polling stations are now closed;
Irregularities are been reported in too many areas to list here - they include ballot boxes found filled before voting began in Penga Yengo (Kasai-Occidental); voting officials refusing to show witnesses that boxes are empty before voting began (as required by law) in Mbandaka (Equateur); opposition witnesses refused entry in Kananga and Bakwa Kenge (Kasai-Occidental); in Ndesha and Bena Leka (Kasai-Occidental) polling stations burned down;
In Luiza (Kasai-Occidental), opposition supporters loyal to Delly Sesanga's Envol party have attacked (not clear how serious) the guest house where election officials were staying, accusing them of fraud;
In Masisi (North Kivu), there have been accusations of CNDP soldiers stealing voters card and then voting for them, of soldiers telling people to vote for CNDP candidates, and of blocking the entrance fo non-CNDP witnesses into voting centers;
Fears of violence have prompted the European Union to withdraw observers from Mbuji Mayi and MONUSCO from pulling people from Mwene Ditu (Kasai Oriental)
Again, I emphasize that this is a huge country and in other areas voting has been happening peacefully. Nonetheless, this violence and persistent accusations of fraud are very troubling.
– Jason Stearns blogs about the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region at Congo Siasa.--

Medic alleges torture in Bahrain

Media of Truth | Bahrain
CNN.. #Bahrain لقاء السي إن إن مع الدكتورة فاطمة حاجي27\11\11




CNN..Bahrain لقاء السي إن إن مع الدكتورة فاطمة حاجي27\11\11
http://www.youtube.com/
Medic alleges torture in Bahrain http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/11/27/jamjoom-bahrain-tortured-medic.cnn

Commission: U.S.-Backed Bahrain Government Killed, Tortured Pro-Democracy Activists

DEMOCRACY NOW

A special commission in Bahrain has confirmed the gulf nation killed and tortured dissidents during its crackdown on pro-democracy protests earlier this year.The King of Bahrain has reportedly ordered a special commission to explore recommendations issued in the wake of the massive report. Cherif Bassiouni, head of the Bahrain inquiry, described some of the tactics employed by the Bahraini government.
Cherif Bassiouni, Bahrain inquiry chief: '’Violent beatings, punching, hitting with rubber hoses, hitting with electric wires on the feet, hitting with sticks and metal sticks and wooden sticks and other things and electric shocks and sleep deprivation and exposure to high temperatures and verbal abuse and threats of rape and insults to religious faiths. In general, these acts come under the definition of torture according to anti-torture convention.'’
According to the commission a total of 2,929 people were detained during the protests and at least 700 remain in prison. 35 people are believed to have died in the unrest between February and March and 11 more are suspected to have been killed later on. In addition to torture, international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the United Nations human rights agency, have accused the government of using excessive force and carrying out unfair trials. Activist Alaa Shahabi says conditions on the ground in Bahrain continue to worsen.
Alaa Shahabi, activist: "There is ongoing violence, there are ongoing abuses, there is a complete lack of faith that the government will even read the report let alone implement the recommendations, and I for one, my husband has been in jail for 4 months and the report didn’t go as far as demanding the immediate unconditional release of our 500 political prisoners in Bahrain today."

Interior Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Royal Directives Regarding BICI Recommendations


Manama-Nov28 (BNA) Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa today reaffirmed commitment to the high Royal directives related to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report and its recommendations. He said that after the BICI submitted its report to His Majesty the King and HM the King's directives to implement the recommendations, a work team was established at the Ministry of Interior to carefully study the report and prepare a mechanism to implement the recommendations through a comprehensive action plan that aims to develop police work and security performance in accordance with international criteria.
He announced that a series of reform procedures and steps would be adopted by the Ministry to enhance police work and create a balance between the role of the police in protecting security and stability and safeguarding lives and properties and the ministry's overriding duty to respect human rights and basic freedoms. He also revealed that the was in the final stages to sign contracts with a number of highly qualified experts and specialists from the United States of America and United Kingdom to assist in developing police work during the next phase. There would also be cooperation with international organizations to develop training curricula and the preparation of the ministry's personnel. The assistance of international centres specializing in human rights, in addition to the International Red Cross, would be sought to benefit from their expertise in developing police work in term of arrest and detention procedures, dealing with protesters, and ensuring accountability according to human rights principles. This will lead to the drafting of a Code of Conduct for police work that would include details on how a policeman should perform his duties according to international and local legal criteria and rules. Those rules should be followed by all policemen assigned to enforce law. The minister highlighted that some of the main steps that would be implemented are the reorganization of some bodies of the Ministry and the adaptation of the necessary legal and administrative procedures to directly link the supervisory system of the Ministry to the Minister, as well as work to develop and modernize the system through ensuring staff have judiciary qualifications as well as hiring specialized judges that are only assigned to judicial work in order to ensure more neutrality and independence to perform required duties and maintain justice through fast rulings with commitment to judicial rules. Lt. General Shaikh Rashid Minister said that the drafting of a law to amend the specialties of police courts at the Ministry are being reviewed to limit their responsibilities to disciplinary offenses only. He also confirmed the commencement of a study to draft the required legislations to guarantee visual and audio recording for all official questioning of detainees. He concluded by affirming the importance of role of policemen in protecting the nation's security and stability, while highlighting the sacrifices they have provided in the last phase to confront the difficult situations that the country went through. He said that the police's preformed role is in the heart of all Bahrainis who felt secure and safe. This doesn't mean that excesses didn't occur, in which the mentioned procedures would prevent in the future.

HM King Hamad Reforms National Security Agency


Manama-Nov28 (BNA)His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa today issued decree 115 for 2011 amending articles of decree 14 for 2002 on establishing the National Security Agency. Under the amendments, the National Security Agency is charged with collecting intelligence information, detecting and uncovering detrimental activities relating to spying, collaboration with foreign countries and terror in order to protect Bahrain's national security, institutions and systems.
The National Security Agency shall refer to the Interior Ministry cases requiring arrests, for legal action to be taken without contravening the provisions of the law on penal procedures, promulgated by law decree 46 for 2002.

Iran’s constitutional watchdog ratifies bill to reduce diplomatic relations with Britain

The Washington Post
By Associated Press,


TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s constitutional watchdog has ratified a bill that reduces diplomatic relations with Britain following London’s support of recently upgraded U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
State radio says the Guardian Council ratified the bill on Monday after parliament approved it the day before. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad now has five days to sign the bill before Iran’s foreign ministry can act on it.
The bill requires both Iran and Britain to withdraw their ambassador from the other country and reduce representation to the level of charge d’affaires.
Iran’s relations with Britain have become increasingly strained, largely because of increasing tensions over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. The West says Iran is developing nuclear weapons — a charge Iran denies.

SHORT NEWS

http://world.einnews.com/

Congo's flawed but necessary election 27 Nov 2011
Congo elections: UN patrols Kinshasa as violence feared 27 Nov 2011 
Climate change hits Africa 27 Nov 2011 
Dodd, Richard “Arthur” 27 Nov 2011 
Climate change hits Africa's farmers 27 Nov 2011 
South Africa: Otto takes over 26 Nov 2011 
Climate change hits Africa’s poorest farmers 26 Nov 2011
Out of Africa with a heart of gold 26 Nov 2011 
Zimbabwe: Zuma's Facilitation Meeting in Limbo 26 Nov 2011
New base for European helicopter group’s Southern African operation 25 Nov 2011

11/27/2011

BAHRAIN: Al-Wefaq Repeating Past Negative Stances, Justice Minister says



Manama-Nov27 (BNA) Bahrain has today reaffirmed its resolve to carry out therecommendations cited in the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI)Report.
It has also left the door open for any party "wanting to moveforward and embark on the reform march". Justice, Islamic Affairs andEndowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al-Khalifa today voiced the stance.
Hedeplored the decision of Welfaq Islamic Society to boycott the NationalCommission charged with BICI Report recommendations.
He described the decisionas reminiscent of Al-Wefaq's past negative stances.
He cited its walkout fromthe Parliament and refusal to engage in a national dialogue under theinitiative launched by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa,Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander.
The decision also brings to mindAl-Wefaq's withdrawal from the National Consensus Dialogue and boycotting ofthe legislative by-elections.
Shaikh Khalid described the BICI Report as adefining moment in national history as it gauges the deplorable events whichhit Bahrain and outlines a roadmap to address their aftermath.
He appealed toall parties to assume their responsibilities for the recommendations to be achieved– being a national trust and responsibility which must not be squandered.

BAHRAIN, TODAY


Media of Truth | Bahrain




النويدرات: "إطارات الكرامة " (1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe5srcraAo8
النويدرات: الأربعاء 23 نوفمبر 2011 النويدرات: الأربعاء 23 نوفمبر 2011 قام شباب
النويدرات بعملية "إطارات الكرامة" في يوم الغضب الأسود في تمام الساعة الثانية ع...



Media of Truth | Bahrain



سترة - المرتزقة ترمي قنبلة صوتية على امرأة Nov.25/2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMrHsuTIFIQ

 

Pakistan Buries Troops Amid Fury Over NATO Strike

VOA - Sunday, November 27th, 2011
Pakistan held funerals Sunday for the 24 soldiers killed Saturday in a NATO cross-border airstrike in the northwest region of the country.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Sunday he has offered his condolences to Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani for the “tragic, unintended” deaths.
Rasmussen said that he has written to the prime minister to say that the deaths of the Pakistani troops are “as unacceptable and deplorable as the deaths of Afghan and international personnel.” He said he supports the NATO investigation currently under way.
Earlier Sunday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the air raid on the military outposts that killed the soldiers and wounded 14 others is not acceptable. Khar said the attack demonstrated a complete disregard for human life.
Pakistan retaliated to the airstrike by shutting down all NATO supply lines through its territory to Afghanistan and ordering the U.S. to vacate an air base in southwestern Baluchistan province within 15 days.
Prime Minister Gilani and top military and government leaders said Saturday the Pakistani government “will revisit and undertake a complete review of all programs, activities and cooperative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF.” They called for “strong and urgent action” against those responsible for the deadly incident.

Bahrain pledges to act on criticism of crackdown

By Andrew Hammond
MANAMA | Sun Nov 27, 2011

MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahrain has promised to act on the recommendations of a hard-hitting inquiry that said detainees faced systematic abuse during a government crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
The U.S. administration has said it will delay a $53 million arms sale to Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, pending the government's response to the inquiry.
Protesters, mainly from Bahrain's majority Shi'ites, took to the streets in February demanding a bigger role for elected representatives and less power for the ruling al-Khalifa family. Some groups sought an end to the monarchy.
"The National Commission will study the recommendations and put forward proposals including with regards to the recommendation on necessary amendments in laws and regulations and how the recommendations can be implemented," a statement on the official BNA news agency said late on Saturday.
"The Commission will end its work by the end of February in a framework of transparency," it said, citing a royal decree from King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.
It did not say who would lead the Commission or if it would include figures from opposition groups, dominated by Shi'ite Islamist group Wefaq.
King Hamad established the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in June, after the end of two months of martial law and repeated complaints of abuse, including torture, as security forces moved to squash protests.
The government brought in troops from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to crush the uprising, which it said was driven by Shi'ite sectarian motives and fomented by Shi'ite power Iran.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION
The BICI inquiry asked for an "independent and impartial national commission" from the government, opposition parties and civil society to implement its recommendations.
Those included legal and disciplinary action against "those in government who have committed unlawful or negligent acts resulting in the deaths, torture and mistreatment of civilians."
It said security forces should include Bahrainis from all communities. Shi'ites say they suffer discrimination that shuts them out of many state jobs, and say the presence of naturalized migrants from Sunni countries in security forces proves a policy of sectarian rule.
It said sentences linked to political expression should be reviewed, sacked workers given their jobs back, and compensation paid to families of the deceased -- 35 died during the unrest -- and those who suffered torture and incommunicado detention.
It also called on state media to relax censorship and give fair access to the opposition.
The inquiry also recommended a "national reconciliation programme" to address political, social and economic grievances.
It is not clear how far the government is prepared to go in fresh negotiations with opposition groups. A "national dialogue" was held in June that said parliament would get more powers of monitoring but stopped short of fundamental changes.
The foreign minister told Reuters on Friday that opposition parties including Wefaq should take part in the National Commission and that all issues would be on the table. He later issued a tweet saying he was not suggesting the creation of a new political dialogue.
(Writing by Andrew Hammond; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

Bahrain creates panel to study unrest report

King Hamad announces national commission to "follow up and implement" policy after BICI report on crackdown on protests.

Bahrian's king has formally set up a national commission to "follow up and implement" the report published last week by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), which includes recommendations to adjust legislation, according to the country's state media.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a royal order on Saturday saying that a national commission will be formed and given powers based on the report issued on November 23.
He first announced the commission in a speech marking the report's release on Wednesday.
The king said that the national commission will function transparently and will guarantee that "the outcome of its work on the implementation of the recommendations is in accordance with best international practices and standards".
The commission will examine the BICI's recommendations and make its own suggestions by the end of February 2012.
The order comes just days after the independent panel issued its report, which accused Bahraini security forces of numerous abuses, including torture, wrongly killing unarmed protesters and arbitrary arrests.
Despite strong condemnation of Bahrain's actions during the crackdown, Khalil Marzooq of the Al Wefaq opposition party told Al Jazeera that the report did not do enough.
"There are things that need to complement this report, like the resignation of the government," he said.
"We cannot deal with this government, which the report says ... has brutally affected our citizens."
The government, responding to the report after it was initially delivered on Wednesday, pledged that officials involved in the abuses would be held accountable and replaced.
"The government welcomes the findings of the Independent Commission, and acknowledges its criticisms," an official Bahraini statement said.
"We took the initiative in asking for this thorough and detailed inquiry to seek the truth and we accept it."
Report conclusions


The BICI report blamed the opposition for not having accepted the Bahraini crown prince’s initiative in March, which it says might have led to a peaceful solution.
It also mentioned instances of aggression against the Sunnis of Bahrain as well as foreign workers.
The king had blamed much of the country's unrest on efforts by Iran to incite violence, but the BICI report said that it did not find any proof of an Iranian link to the situation.
"Evidence presented to the commission did not prove a clear link between the events in Bahrain and Iran," Cherif Bassiouni, the commission's lead investigator, said.
Cherif Bassiouni, the commission's lead investigator, said the death toll from the month-long unrest reached 35, including five security personnel. Hundreds more were injured.
The findings, which studied events in February and March, said that 11 other people were killed later.
The commission concluded that a total of 2,929 people were detained during the protest movement, at least 700 remain in prison.

Last chance for Bahrain

Abrams:
(ABNA)The report this week by the international commission on Bahrain represents the royal family’s, and that nation’s, last chance. If the conclusions of the report do not lead to compromise and reform, the future holds instability, violence, and in the end the demise of al-Khalifa rule.

The existence of the report does great credit to King Hamad.  When has an Arab government called for a truly honest international assessment of its handling of the most difficult moments of its rule?  When has it accepted a report that accuses it of abuse of prisoners, lack of due process, and torture?  The King pledged earlier this year that the commission would have a completely free hand, and he was as good as his word.
The picture drawn by the commission is grim, for as one reads the 500-page document it becomes very clear that the problem was not misconduct by individual officers but a wide pattern of Sunni official abuse of Shia citizens. That conclusion has not been accepted by the government, but it is unavoidable when one sees the magnitude of the abuses. It doesn’t matter, it seems to me, whether the King uses the word “pattern.”  What matters now is not what he says in reaction to the report, but what he does.  There are still political prisoners in Bahrain, and hundreds of Shia men and women who have lost government jobs for partisan political reasons have never been reinstated.  There are still hundreds of cases of torture and denial of due process whose perpetrators have never been punished.  Many times the government has promised that  officials who broke the law would be punished, and I have received such promises myself from Bahraini officials: “no impunity.” The time has come to make good on those promises.
It is hard to see how any of this will happen unless the King himself carries through.  The royal family is divided, with the prime minister (who is the King’s uncle) leading a hard-line faction and the crown prince a reformist group.  What has been missing is another firm decision by the King: having created the commission, and allowed it to do its work freely, he must now act on its findings.
That means real reform and real movement toward constitutional monarchy.  This year’s violence and abuses have in fact lost the Sunni al-Khalifa government the consent of the governed among Bahrain’s majority Shia population.  Implementation of the report’s recommendations can win it back, and can form a new governing majority of Shia and Sunni who want social peace, economic progress, and a royal family that continues to modernize the country politically as well as economically.  Needless to say this will require responsible action by the leading al-Wefaq party among the Shia, but signs are good that some of its key leaders would meet the King half way.
If the King is the key actor, the United States has a critical role to play.  The King will be pressured by the Saudi government not to reform at all, but instead to use a firm hand against the Shia.  The Saudis want no progress toward constitutional monarchy in this nation on the border of their own heavily Shia Eastern Province. They have sided with the prime minister and the hard line faction, and sent troops into Bahrain to press their point.  To them, this is about keeping the Shia down not about reform. And to them it is about pushing back against Iranian interference, while the report found that there has been no direct Iranian interference (beyond the use of broadcasting to try to manufacture crises).
The only counterbalance to that Saudi pressure is the United States.  We have a serious interest in seeing moderate reform leading to social peace in Bahrain, in part because it is the home of the Fifth Fleet.  As soon as this holiday weekend ends, the President should send a very high ranking official to Manama–someone like the Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State–to make the point that we appreciated the King’s leadership in commissioning the report and now believe that he should follow its recommendations. This should be stated publicly, while at the same time we push very hard on the Shia political groups to agree to compromise and to turn away from their own hard line factions that seek confrontation and have excessive demands.
We should organize whatever pressure we can for a compromise solution, asking the UK to weigh in with all its remaining influence in Bahrain, which is considerable, asking Shia leaders from Iraq to counsel their cousins to compromise, and seeking whatever moderate counsel from Arab leaders to the King we can round up. We should counsel the Bahraini Shia leaders to push back against their own extremists, and do whatever we can to show respect for the moderate leaders and help build a Shia majority for compromise.
This is probably Bahrain’s last chance so it is worth a strenuous effort on our part. The international commission’s report can be a turning point toward continuing internal reforms and social peace, or a lost opportunity to save Bahrain from turmoil.  Let’s hope King Hamad realizes the future of his dynasty depends on the decisions he makes in the coming months.

Editor's Note: Elliott Abrams is former senior director for the Near East and deputy national security adviser handling Middle East affairs in the George W. Bush administration. He is now a senior fellow for Middle East studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he writes the blog Pressure Points.

Congo police: 4 dead after pre-vote clashes

(AP) – 1 hour ago  KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A police official in Congo says four bodies were recovered after clashes in the capital ahead of a critical national poll.
Police inspector general Charles Bisengimana says four bodies were taken to a Kinshasa morgue on Sunday. He says opposition supporters attacked supporters of the president during Saturday's clashes.
He says the situation is calm throughout the country Sunday.
Saturday's violence prompted officials to ban rallies before Monday's poll.
Human rights groups had expressed fears about an atmosphere of spiraling violence and hate speech ahead of the vote. The outcome of the vote is almost certain to keep President Joseph Kabila in power.

Islamist party set to take most seats in Morocco

November 27, 2011
By Borzou Daragahi in Cairo
A moderate Islamic opposition party was poised to emerge as the winner of Friday’s parliamentary elections in Morocco, the latest in a series of political victories for Islamists in the Arab world.
The Justice and Development Party won 82 of the country’s 395 seats in parliament and appeared on track to have at least 106 deputies, making it the largest bloc in parliament, according to preliminary election results released over the weekend. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article.
Only 305 seats are contested, with the rest distributed proportionally.
Under the terms of a constitutional reform package enacted earlier this year, the party can now try to form a new cabinet but is likely to need to take on coalition partners and must propose a prime minister who meets the approval of King Mohammad VI, the country’s ultimate authority.
The party, known by the French acronym PJD, has historically been close to the monarchy. Its leader quickly sought to reassure the west it would not try to alter the country’s stance though it would pursue “more balanced” relations with the European Union and United States.
“We are aware that Morocco is a traditional ally of the EU and the USA and we have not the intention to propose something different,” Abdelilah Benkirane, PJD secretary-general, told reporters, according to the official Maghreb Arab Presse news agency.
“What we are advocating for today is to forge together and in a democratic fashion more balanced links. Other than that, we don’t see any reason why the PJD could create any problem in Morocco’s relations with the Mediterranean countries”.
Observers are closely watching the progress of Morocco, a rare example of an Arab state which has opted for dramatic reforms amid the wave of regional political turmoil sparked by the self-immolation of a Tunisian fruit vendor nearly a year ago.
The so-called Arab Spring revolutions spawned Morocco’s February 20 protest movement, which called for another in a series of rallies on Sunday. The movement called for boycotts of a referendum on constitutional changes and the elections held on Friday. The loose coalition of activists alleges the political process is rigged to give a veneer of democracy while granting the monarchy ultimate authority.
“I think people want to see more democracy and they want to see separation of powers”, Zineb Belmkaddem, a supporter of the February 20 movement, said in a telephone interview. “PJD is a political party that existed within a political scene that was very corrupt. In the context of the Arab Spring we could do a lot better – a real parliamentary monarchy like they have in Europe”.
The interior ministry said voter turnout was 45 per cent, higher than in previous elections. A statement issued by the National Democratic Institute, a US organisation which monitored the elections, highlighted “the lack of voter enthusiasm, calls for an election day boycott, and the significant number of invalid and spoiled ballots” which may suggest public cynicism about the vote.
“From a technical point of view, it was a fair election, but democracy is about substance as much as form”, Bob Rae, leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and a leader of the team monitoring the vote, said in a press release. “Seeing the number of people who actively spoiled their ballots as well as those who did not participate, it is clear that the path to real change will take more effort and time”.
The court of Mohammad VI has launched a public relations campaign, promoting the line that Morocco has avoided the turbulence of the rest of the Arab world because of its reform-minded king.
“As is the case in all Western democracies, free and fair parliamentary and local and regional elections give the public venues to express their political opinions and affect both national and local issues”, said a press release issued by an website called the “Morocco News Agency,” which was launched this month. “Hence, the vast majority of Moroccans have no reason to take to the streets.”

11/26/2011

BAHRAIN: Media of Truth | Bahrain

Media of Truth | Bahrain
We pray that the rain will wash the pain in #Bahrain
2001.11.27


BAHRAIN: Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).

BAHRAIN: HM King Hamad orders setting up an independent national commission



Manama, Nov. 26 (BNA)-- His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a royal order to set up a national commission to follow up and implement the recommendations of Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).

The royal order stipulates that an independent commission, to be called the National Commission, is to be established. Its formation and powers will be based on Paragraph 1715 of BICI report which was issued on November 23, 2011.
The National Commission will examine BICI recommendations and submit its own proposals, including recommendations to make the necessary amendments to the legislation and the application of the recommendations.
The National Commission will complete and publish its work in a framework of transparency before the end of February 2012.
The National Commission will guarantee that the outcome of its work on the implementation of the recommendations is in accordance with best international practices and standards.
The government will endeavor to implement BICI recommendations without delay and without waiting for the recommendations of the National Commission.
The National Commission has the freedom to comment on the government's implementation of BICI recommendations.
The government will provide the resources necessary to ease the work of the National Commission to empower it to carry out its work fully.

IRGC Commander: Iran to Target NATO Missile Shield if Attacked

TEHRAN (FNA)- Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh underlined Iran's crushing response to any enemy aggression, and warned that Tehran will target the NATO missile shield in Turkey in case it comes under attack.

"We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATO's missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets," General Hajizadeh said addressing a congregation of 10,000 Basij (volunteer forces) members in the Western town of Khorramabad on Saturday.
He further described deployment of the NATO missile defense system in Turkey as a deceitful move, saying that the NATO is misusing Turkey to save the Zionist regime.
"We are sure that the missile system is deployed by the US for the sake of the Zionist regime, but to deceive the world people, specially the Turkish people, they allege that the system belongs to the NATO," the general stated.
"Turkey is a member and cover for the NATO. Today NATO has become a cover for the US (moves) while the US itself has turned into a cover for the Zionist regime.
"Yet, the Turkish people are aware (of everything) and we are sure that Turkey's Muslims will stop this plot by themselves," he added.
"We are sure that the Muslim people of Turkey will promptly cut these systems into pieces under threatening conditions," he added.
Many analysts believe that the NATO's anti-missile system to be deployed in Turkey will be aimed at Iran.
Iranian officials have called on Turkey to reverse its decision for hosting the missile shield and withdraw from the plan. Tehran officials have repeatedly cautioned Ankara that the system is meant to create a shield for Israel and is thus seen as a threat to Iran.

AFRICA: The funerals that cost families dear

BBCNEWS
By Milton Nkosi BBC News, Johannesburg


Funerals in South Africa are lavish and generous affairs, and some are so extravagant they can leave a bereaved family counting the financial, as well as the emotional, cost.
When there's a death in the family, people in South Africa usually visit the home of the deceased to pay their respects.
This will happen for a week or so, mostly in the evenings when sympathisers come from work. An incredible amount of money is spent on tea, coffee, cakes and drinks to serve to those commiserating with the mourners.
Just the groceries leading up to the day of the funeral will set you back hundreds if not thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your social network.
On the night before the big day, people traditionally hold a vigil. Here the number of attendees nearly doubles that of the evening crowds, requiring even more resources. For example, a tent, tables and chairs where the vigil can be held. All these will need to be hired, at astronomical amounts because of high demand.
A survey conducted back in 2004 found that South Africans spend more time at funerals than at weddings or even doing their hair at salons. It seems like very little has changed since then. Conspicuous consumption is the order of the day at funerals.
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Molefi Kupane runs one of the biggest funeral parlours, conducting a minimum of 40 funerals every Saturday.
Surprisingly perhaps, he reckons people spend too much on funerals. He sees poor people blow life insurance payouts on the events. And they buy expensive caskets. Most are made out of beautiful ironwood, oak, kiaat, or walnut. But some want the most expensive, called Prometheus, which is a brass and gold-plated, steel affair.
Sitting at Kupane funerals in Orland East, Soweto, I observed elderly women clad in colourful blankets and head scarves slowly walk in to pay for the service.
Kupane, a university law graduate, runs the family business and is the shoulder on which the Soweto community cries. But he goes a step further than consoling bereaved families, in trying, as best he can, to persuade people not to squander all their life insurance funds on expensive coffins.
But the wise words of the undertaker can only go so far because on the day of burial, it's all systems go.
There's a tradition of turning up in the best and most expensive car at the ceremony. People wear designer sunglasses and dresses, and the latest suits. And gone are the days of mourners coming a funeral dressed in black. In the 21st Century, it's all colours - bright reds and yellows. As long as the attire is up to the high standard of the fashionistas.
 South Africans spend more time at funerals than weddings
At the graveside, the trend setters are not helping the big mama to sing her song. They literally pose.
Dust to dust, ashes to ashes - once these words are uttered by the lead vicar, the burial rites are finished. Then the race back home snakes through the vast network of Soweto roads. A massive lunch will be served, topped with desert.
But don't forget something called "after-tears". Here the drinks roll out like at the after-party of a fancy awards ceremony, followed by obligatory music and dance. The conclusion is the satisfaction that the deceased got a decent send off.
"I'm looking forward to a time where people will bury within their means," says Kupane, because quite often he has to help bury others without charge, simply because even in a post-apartheid South Africa, the levels of poverty are still unacceptably high. And there are 87 funeral undertakers dotted all across Soweto.
And when my time comes, I just quietly hope the old mama can sing my favourite hymn - Ithemba Lami - My wish, simply because I can't sing.

BAHRAIN: Mourners in A'ali commit acts of sabotage






Manama, Nov. 26 (BNA)—Following conclusion of the condolence period of a deceased in A'ali, around 150 mourners took to the streets in an illegal march and committed acts of sabotage blocking roads and hurling Molotov cocktails, stones and iron bars at the security officers, the Central Governorate Police Director announced.
Disobeying orders to disperse, the security forces had to intervene to break them up, re-open the roads and bring the situation back to normal, he added pointing out that the situation was handled according to the law.

AFRICA: Violence mars DR Congo election rallies

BBC-AFRICA NEWS
 

Tension is high in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, after violence at pre-election rallies left at least one person dead.
Supporters of President Joseph Kabila and the main opposition candidate, Etienne Tshisekedi, pelted each other with stones and police fired tear gas.
Final rallies were due to be held on Saturday ahead of Monday's parliamentary and presidential vote.
But police banned them at the last minute after the violence.
"Because of the escalating violence seen in Kinshasa, all public demonstrations and other political meetings are cancelled this Saturday," Governor Andre Kimbuta said. "This is for a better result of the electoral process."
President Joseph Kabila and his two main rivals had been due to hold rallies within several hundred metres of each other, at the capital's main stadium.
Tens of thousands of people had gathered at Kinshasa main airport to welcome Mr Tshisekedi, the Associated Press reported.
Mr Tshisekedi defied the police ban, telling supporters: "We are going to Stade des Martyrs. That's where I'm going to hold my rally."
However his car was blocked by police, who parked a large armoured truck across the road.
Earlier, police said a man had been fatally hit in the head with a stone.
An AP photographer said he had seen two dead bodies, and that police had opened fire on a crowd of opposition supporters.
Vital Kamerhe, the third opposition candidate, told Reuters that four people were killed, including one of his supporters, but there was no confirmation of that.
Ballots delayed
The elections on Monday see 11 candidates running for president and more than 18,000 candidates for the 500-seat parliament.
It will be the second presidential poll since the 1998-2003 war.
However, there are concerns over the distribution of ballot papers, as some planes bound for the country's regions have been unable to take off because of bad weather.
Mr Tshisekedi has also alleged that the head of the national election commission favoured Mr Kabila, and that "ghost" polling stations would be used to rig the result.
The last election, in 2006, was marred by weeks of street battles led by supporters of the losing candidate.
The BBC's correspondent in Kinshasa, Will Ross, said whether it is peaceful or not this time will depend to a great extent on the behaviour of the candidates and whether the losers are willing to accept defeat.

BBC allegations denied

Manama, Nov. 26 (BNA)—The Interior Ministry Security Media Director denied allegations by BBC channel, broadcast in its news bulletin, accusing Bahraini security forces of hampering the channel's crew work during their coverage of the incidents in A'ali last Thursday.
"Procedures taken, like verifying the work team's identification papers, is part of the police officers' duties to ensure the crew's security given that the team had had access to a region witnessing riots, acts of sabotage and blocking of public roads by thugs taking part in a funeral procession," he said pointing out that the security forces have provided all facilities to ensure the media teams reach the region to cover the incidents there.

Pakistan Tells U.S. to 'Vacate' Air Base as Border Strike Inflames Tensions

FOXNEWS

Pakistan's government has ordered the U.S. to "vacate" an air base used for suspected drone attacks, in retaliation for a NATO strike that allegedly killed two-dozen Pakistani soldiers, Fox News has confirmed.
The demand was the latest in a string of harsh statements out of Pakistan, as the U.S. and NATO allies scramble to investigate the incident. Islamabad had already ordered the country's border crossings into Afghanistan closed, blocking off NATO supply lines, after the strike. The government issued the air base demand, and pledged a "complete review" of its relationship with the U.S. and NATO, following an emergency military meeting chaired by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Pakistan's Defense Committee condemned the attack in a written statement, saying the strike was "violative of international law and had gravely dented the fundamental basis of Pakistan's cooperation" with NATO against terrorists.
"The attack on Pakistan Army border posts is totally unacceptable and warrants an effective national response," the statement said.
The government urged the U.S. to leave the Shamsi Air Base within 15 days. The U.S. is suspected of using the facility in the past to launch armed drones and observation aircraft. Pakistan made a similar demand over the summer, though officials reportedly claimed the CIA had already suspended its use of the base as a staging ground for armed drones months earlier.
Still, the tone of the Pakistani government's statement Saturday underscored the depth of the potential fallout after Pakistan accused NATO aircraft of firing on an army checkpoint and killing 24 soldiers. The incident early Saturday quickly exacerbated tensions between the two countries and threatened to escalate into a standoff more severe than one last year after a similar but less deadly strike. .
Last year, Pakistan closed the Torkham border crossing to NATO supplies for 10 days after U.S. helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistanis. On Saturday, Pakistan went further, closing both of the country's border crossings into landlocked Afghanistan.
A short stoppage may have little effect on the war effort, but could have deadly consequences. During last year's dispute, militants took advantage of the impasse to launch attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks carrying NATO supplies.
With 24 dead in the pre-dawn incident Saturday, U.S. officials expressed regret and vowed to launch an investigation.
"This incident has my highest personal attention and my commitment to thoroughly investigate it to determine the facts," said Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
"My most sincere and personal heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of any members of Pakistan Security Forces who may have been killed or injured."
A statement said NATO leadership remains "committed" to improving security ties with Pakistan.
Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force, told Fox News that the air support was called in by ground forces near the border consisting of Afghan and coalition troops. Jacobson said the air support "highly likely caused the Pakistani casualties," and said it is in everybody's interest to quickly investigate the incident.
"This is an incident that obviously has implications that reach far beyond the military side, so an investigation was started straight away," he told Fox News on Saturday. He said insurgents are the only ones who would benefit from a potential conflict.
U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter also acknowledged the claims that Pakistani soldiers had been killed.
"I regret the loss of life of any Pakistani servicemen, and pledge that the United States will work closely with Pakistan to investigate this incident," Munter said.
U.S.-Pakistani relations have lurched from one diplomatic standoff to the next since the U.S. raid that killed Usama bin Laden in May in a Pakistani military town.
Before retiring, outgoing Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen in September publicly accused elements of Pakistan's spy agency of helping the militant Haqqani network in attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
Most recently, the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. resigned amid claims he engineered a memo to Washington asking for its help in reining in the military in exchange for a raft of pro-American policies. He has denied any connection to the memo, but was replaced earlier this week by democracy activist Sherry Rehman.
The latest incident triggered a new round of problems between the two countries.
Gilani told reporters he summoned Munter to protest the alleged NATO attack, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. It said the attack was a "grave infringement of Pakistan's sovereignty" and could have serious repercussions on Islamabad's cooperation with NATO. Pakistan has also lodged protests in Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels, it said.
A Pakistani customs official told The Associated Press that he received verbal orders Saturday to stop all NATO supplies from crossing the border through Torkham in either direction. The operator of a terminal at the border where NATO trucks park before they cross confirmed the closure.
Saeed Ahmad, a spokesman for security forces at the other crossing in Chaman in southwest Pakistan, said that his crossing was also blocked following orders "from higher-ups."
The U.S., Pakistani, and Afghan militaries have long wrestled with the technical difficulties of patrolling a border that in many places is disputed or poorly marked.
Saturday's incident took place a day after a meeting between NATO's Gen. Allen and Pakistan army chief Gen. Kayani in Islamabad to discuss border operations.
The checkpoints that were attacked had been recently set up and were intended to stop Pakistani Taliban militants holed up in Afghanistan from crossing the border and staging attacks, said two local government administrators.
The Pakistani military has blamed Pakistani Taliban militants and their allies for killing dozens of security forces in such cross-border attacks since the summer. Pakistan has criticized Afghan and foreign forces for not doing enough to stop the attacks, which it says have originated from the eastern Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The U.S. has largely pulled out of these provinces, leaving the militants in effective control of many areas along the border.
The U.S. helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers on Sept. 30 of last year took place south of Mohmand in the Kurram tribal area. A joint U.S.-Pakistan investigation found that Pakistani soldiers fired at the two U.S. helicopters prior to the attack, a move the investigation team said was likely meant to notify the aircraft of their presence after they passed into Pakistani airspace several times.
Senior U.S. diplomatic and military officials eventually apologized for the attack, saying it could have been prevented with greater coordination between the U.S. and Pakistan. Pakistan responded by reopening the border crossing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/26/deadly-border-strike-inflames-tensions-between-us-pakistan/#ixzz1el0nbUJp

Bahrain | The arrest of a member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights activist Zainab

‎#Bahrain | The arrest of a member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights activist Zainab
إعتقال عضو مركز البحرين لحقوق الانسان الناشطة زينب الخواجة أثناء قمع المشييعن في منطقة عالي
 
 
 

Maqsha, Bahrain — Anti-gov protesters

Media of Truth | Bahrain
Maqsha, #Bahrain — Anti-gov protesters calling for the fall of the Bahraini gov, freedom for prisoners & democracy in the Gulf island kingdom participate in a rally that drew tens of thousands to Maqsha, near the capital of Manama.



PHOTOGRAPH BY: Hasan Jamali / Associated Press
صورة من مسيرة اليوم - تصوير حسن جمالي (أسوشييتيد برس

Bahrain | Courage one of Hamad's Mercenaries and response was fast !!


Media of Truth | Bahrain
‎#Bahrain | Courage one of Hamad's Mercenaries and response was fast !!
شجاعة أحد المرتزقة ... و الرد كان سريعاً
SITRA 25.11.2011



البحرين | سترة : المرتزقة في صدمه ورعب.
http://www.youtube.com/
البحرين | بعد خروج مسيرة الحرائر الستراوية في جزيرة سترة بقرية واديان المتظامنة مع أهل الشرقية قامت قوات الامن المرتزقة بالهجوم السريع على الحرائر وكان رد أس...

Mali kidnapping: One dead and three seized in Timbuktu


BBCNEWS 

Tourists are advised to avoid travelling to the ancient city of Timbuktu

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Profile: Al-Qaeda in North Africa

An armed gang of kidnappers has abducted three tourists and killed a fourth in the city of Timbuktu in northern Mali, security sources said.
Two of the hostages are Dutch and the third a South African who may have lived in the UK, reports say. The nationalities have not been confirmed.
The dead man, said to be German, was shot dead trying to resist the gang.
It is believed to be the first time foreigners have been abducted in Timbuktu, once popular with tourists.
However, a group linked to al-Qaeda has attacked Westerners in nearby regions.
Following several kidnappings, the UK has warned its citizens not to travel to northern Mali, including Timbuktu.
On Thursday, two French geologists were kidnapped by an armed gang in the eastern village of Hombori.

Police protection

The Timbuktu gunmen burst in as the four were dining in a restaurant on the central square of the ancient city.
They ordered the tourists there to follow them, a customer at Amanar restaurant told the Associated Press.
The owner of a hotel, where the four have previously stayed during their travel around Mali, told the BBC News website that one of them, a German, had been shot dead when he refused to get into the attackers' vehicle.
He said he had been told by colleagues in Timbuktu that all foreigners in the city had been gathered at the police headquarters and would be flown to the capital, Bamako, on Saturday.
The incidents are the latest in a series of abductions of foreigners believed to be the work of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (Aqim).

Correspondents say Aqim has bases in the northern Mali desert from which it organises raids and kidnappings, and traffics weapons and drugs.

French hostages

French soldiers have joined Mali's army in the hunt for the French pair kidnapped in Hombori, according to AFP.
The pair were the first Westerners in Mali to be kidnapped south of the River Niger.
The captives were named as Philippe Verdon and Serge Lazarevic, in documents seen by AFP.
They had been sent by the company Mande Construction Immobiliere to take soil samples in the Hombori region where it planned to build a cement factory.
A security guard at their hotel said that "the kidnappers were armed to the teeth".
"I was tied up and told to point out the rooms of the Frenchmen, whom they brutally took away," he said.
Al-Qaeda-linked fighters have in the past brought hostages into northern Mali from neighbouring countries, such as Niger where four French nationals - still being held - were kidnapped in September 2010.

'High threat'

Huge swathes of the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert have been rendered off-limits to foreigners.
Timbuktu is one of the many former tourist destinations in Mali that foreign embassies have deemed too dangerous for visitors due to the risk of kidnapping by Aqim.
The UK Foreign Office website says there is a "high threat from terrorism" in Mali.
"Terrorists have been involved in kidnaps in the region, on a number of occasions leading to the murder of the hostages," it said.
"We believe that further kidnap attempts are likely."
French citizens abducted in Mali

Bernie Ecclestone: Bahrain GP will go ahead in 2012 'unless something terrible happens to stop us'

THE TELEGRAPH

Bernie Ecclestone insisted on Thursday that the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix, scheduled for next April, will go ahead as planned “unless something terrible happens to stop us”.
By Tom Cary, F1 Correspondent
An independent report, commissioned by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and published this week, was critical of both the government and the opposition regarding their behaviour earlier this year.
The inquiry found evidence of human rights abuses, including the use of torture by officials in the security services on detainees after pro-democracy protests in the kingdom degenerated into violence, and more than 40 people were killed.
The unrest saw the 2011 grand prix, which was due to take place in March, postponed, then reinstated and then cancelled altogether following international condemnation.
The release of the report on Wednesday was preceded by further protests, but Ecclestone said he did not expect the race to become a magnet for further unrest.
"It's on the calendar,” he said. "We'll be there, unless something terrible happens to stop us."
The Bahraini king has vowed to introduce reforms after claiming to be “shocked” by the brutality uncovered by the inquiry. And Ecclestone said he had faith in Bahrain’s rulers.
"They have internal politics and I doubt very much whether they'd use international matters to sort out internal politics," he said.
Asked what he would do if trouble flared up again next year ahead of the race, which is scheduled for 22 April, Ecclestone said: "I'd wait and see what happened and then decide.
"Up to now they've done everything they said they were going to do."
And questioned on the risk of the sport being drawn into another long-winded saga with a similar conclusion, he said: "Maybe we should have gone this year."
Meanwhile, Ecclestone has repeated his assertion that next November’s inaugural United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, is unlikely to go ahead.
Organisers the Circuit of the Americas announced on Thursday that they would pay a sanctioning fee for next year’s race as long as Ecclestone accepted revisions to the contract.
"We have been ready to send Mr. Ecclestone a sanctioning fee check for some time now," claimed Bobby Epstein, founding partner of Circuit of The Americas, in a statement.
"He hasn't received it yet because the new contract presented to us two weeks ago contained unrealistic and unfeasible demands.
"We have signed and returned a contract similar to what we anticipated receiving. This race should be a reality, but if we are going to make the 2012 race date, we must receive a counter-signature in the coming few days."
Asked at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, where Formula One has gathered for the final grand prix of the year, whether he thought the Texas race might now happen, Ecclestone was dismissive.
"I doubt it," the 81 year-old said. "The truth is they're not complying with the terms and conditions of the contract. And as we make the contract, we will award the event or not award the event."
Asked whether his contract was really "unrealistic and unfeasible", Ecclestone replied: "Yeah, well they shouldn't sign it. My advice to them is don't sign it. And they probably won't get the opportunity."

11/25/2011

BAHRAIN:Reuters photographer in the suppression today of the funeralillage

 
 
 
 
 
Picture by #, A'ali vReuters photographer in the suppression today of the funeralillage ~ #Bahrain
صورة التقطها مصوّر رويترز في قمع التشييع اليوم،، قرية عالي
 
 
 

Foreign Secretary calls on the Government of Bahrain to implement Commission of Inquiry's recommendations


Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on the Government of Bahrain to implement recommendations from an independent report which contains ‘worrying findings’.
Foreign Secretary William Hague 
 
 
Commenting on the report the Foreign Secretary said:
“I strongly welcome today’s publication of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry’s report. We will be reviewing it in detail and discussing the findings with our partners."
“Since the beginning of the unrest in February we have continually expressed our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Bahrain and made clear that this must be addressed openly and urgently. The Government of Bahrain bears a particularly responsibility for this, as the report acknowledges. The report offers an important opportunity to rebuild trust and confidence and promote reform and reconciliation."
“Some of the Commission’s findings are deeply worrying, in particular the use of systematic torture and excessive force against detainees. We therefore welcome the King of Bahrain’s initial response to the report and the Government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations, ensuring accountability for past human rights abuses and putting in place mechanisms to prevent future abuses. The world will be watching to ensure that it acts decisively in the coming days and weeks to address the serious abuses identified. This will be crucial to Bahrain’s future stability."
“We also urge all opposition groups to act on the report’s recommendations, demonstrating their commitment to reconciliation and contributing to the process of renewal. The UK stands ready to offer Bahrain assistance in this critical work."

Iran arrests 12 'CIA spies' for targeting nuclear plans

BBCNEWS- Iran accuses CIA spies of targeting its nuclear programme
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Iran has arrested 12 spies of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the official IRNA news agency reports.
Parviz Sorouri, an influential lawmaker, said the agents were targeting Iran's military and its nuclear programme.
He said they were operating in co-ordination with Israel's Mossad and other regional agencies.
The United States and its allies suspect Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon program, a charge Tehran denies.
Mr Sorouri, a member of the powerful National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, did not give the nationality of the alleged agents, nor when they were arrested.
"The US and Zionist regime's espionage apparatuses were trying to use regional intelligence services, both inside and outside Iran, in order to deal a strong blow to our country," he was quoted as saying.
"Fortunately, these steps failed due to the quick measures taken by Intelligence Ministry officials," Mr Sorouri said.
Spy ring
The Iranian claim follows reports in the US that Lebanon's Hezbollah has unravelled a CIA spy ring within the Shia militant organisation. Hezbollah has close ties to Iran.
Reports quoting US intelligence officials emerged this week appearing to suggest that a number of US spies had been unmasked and that their lives were now in danger in Lebanon.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah said the reports were true. "Lebanese intelligence vanquished US and Israeli intelligence in what is now known as the intelligence war," he told the AFP news agency.
In June the group's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, said on TV that he had unmasked at least two CIA spies who had infiltrated the ranks of the organisation.
Although the US Embassy in Beirut initially said there was no substance to the accusations, the Associated Press reports that American officials later conceded that Nasrallah had been telling the truth.
In May, Iran said it had arrested 30 people after breaking up a spy network run by the CIA.
It said the network had operated out of American diplomatic missions in the Malaysia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to recruit Iranians as spies.