Newscast Media BERLIN—Germany decided on Sunday to provide anti-tank missiles
and machine guns to the Kurds in northern Iraq to support the fight against the
Islamic State (IS), German media reported.
The decision was made after a meeting attended by German Chancellor Angela
Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defence Minister Ursula von der
Germany will send 16,000 assault rifles, 40 machine guns, 240 bazookas, 500
anti-tank missiles and 10,000 hand grenades to the Kurds, said a statement by the
German Ministry of Defence.
As German media Spiegel Online reported, due to the humanitarian situation in Iraq,
the German government has “started with delivery of assistance to the amount of 50
million euros so far”.
German government will use the weapons, in a total value of around 70 million euros,
to firstly upgrade a Kurdish fighters association which has approximately 4,000
people, according to Spiegel Online.
Von der Leyen said that the situation in Iraq was “extremely critical”. She also
accused the IS of “merciless brutality”.
In addition to humanitarian aid, the German government has already supplied military
equipments such as bullet-proof vests, helmets and night vision goggles to the fight
against IS militants.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
has expressed deep concern over the military coup in the South African nation of
Lesotho, calling on all parties to resolve their differences.
“He calls for respect for the constitutional order and democratic rule. He urges all
parties to refrain from violence and work together towards a peaceful and lasting
resolution of their differences,” Ban’s Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said in a
statement released on Sunday.
The UN chief also welcomed earlier efforts by the regional bloc known as the
Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Commonwealth and other
partners of Lesotho to support the restoration of trust among the members of the
country’s coalition government, and urged all parties to continue to play an active
role in the promotion of peace in Lesotho.
On Saturday, Lesotho’s Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled to South Africa in fear
for his safety after the army surrounded his residence and police stations in the
capital Maseru, and gunshots rang out.
Thabane said he suspected his deputy Mothet Joa Metsing was involved.
The army denied trying to drive Thabane out of power, saying it had moved against
police officers suspected of planning to arm a political faction in the small Southern
Metsing also dismissed allegations of a coup. “I would not still be a deputy prime
minister; the prime minister would not still be the prime minister if a coup [had] taken
place,” he stated.
Thabane’s All Basotho Convention party and Metsing’s Lesotho Congress for
Democracy formed a coalition with a third party, the Basotho National Party, after
elections in May 2012.
Political tensions simmered high since then between Thabane and Metsing and within
the coalition government. Thabane suspended parliament sessions in June amid
feuding in his administration.
Regional power South Africa described the situation in Lesotho as “worrying,” with
government spokesman Clayson Monyela saying his country would not tolerate
“unconstitutional change of government” in the landlocked country.
Lesotho has seen a series of military coups since independence in 1966.
Source: Press TV
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—Over the weekend, President Barack Obama made the
customary Labor Day Proclamation as he praised Americans for their hard work and
for making America the largest economy in the world.
Even though Labor Day is officially September 1, celebrations begin the prior
weekend, making it a three-day weekend for working Americans.
In his proclamation Obama said: “On Labor Day, we honor the legacy of our working
women and men who have played a defining role in the American story and all those who
carry forward our Nation’s proud tradition of hard work, responsibility, and sacrifice.
From assembly lines to classrooms, across highways and steel mills, American workers
strengthen the foundation of our country and demonstrate that our economy grows best
from the middle out…” CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—The list of Russian military units allegedly deployed in the
conflict area in east Ukraine was a “hoax,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“We noted the release of this hoax information and we have to disappoint its authors
overseas… The information in this material is absolutely untrue,” ministry spokesman
Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said.
Earlier in the day, Kiev claimed that Russian troops had entered Ukraine.
Russia denied the accusations, saying that “there are no Russian convoys” in Ukraine.
The UN Security Council convened for an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the
situation in Ukraine.
Kiev authorities launched a special military operation in mid-April against
independence supporters in the southeast of Ukraine, who refused to recognize the
legitimacy of the country’s coup-imposed government.
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The infection rate in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak
has the world health community scrambling to marshal all available resources to help.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing an additional $5
million to combat the outbreak. The August 27 announcement brings USAID’s
commitment for the Ebola response to nearly $19.6 million since the outbreak was
first reported in March.
Jeremy Konyndyk, director of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance,
announced the additional funding in Monrovia, Liberia, during his three-day visit with
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC). CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media KIEV—Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has convened an
emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council after accusing
Russia of sending troops into Ukraine.
Poroshenko canceled a planned trip to Turkey on August 28 and said he will meet with
top officials to discuss the “sharp deterioration” of the situation in the Donetsk region,
including the town of Novoazovsk, which the council says has fallen to Russian
“The president’s place is in Kyiv today,” Poroshenko said.
He said he is also calling for extraordinary sessions of the UN Security Council and the
European Council to discuss the crisis.
Western news agencies quoted a NATO military officer as saying the alliance
believed “more than 1,000 Russian troops” are operating inside Ukraine.
“They are supporting separatists [and] fighting with them,” the officer, who wished to
remain anonymous, told reporters in Mons, Belgium.
He said it is conceivable that Moscow could create a land bridge to the Crimea
Peninsula, which it annexed in March, via the southern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Two more McDonald’s restaurants are closing temporarily
in Moscow on the orders of state food regulators as Russia and the West feud over
Moscow courts on August 27 granted requests by the regulatory agency
Rospotrebnadzor to suspend the operation of a McDonald’s at Manezh Square, just
outside the Kremlin, and one on Prospekt Mira for 90 days.
The new suspensions bring to eight the number of McDonald’s restaurants closed
nationwide in recent weeks.
Regulators have cited “technical violations” of health codes and ordered the
restaurants to correct them before they can re-open.
Russia has responded to Western sanctions over Ukraine by targeting Western food
imports and some U.S. companies.
Moscow slapped a ban on most Western food imports earlier this month after
Washington and Brussels imposed economic sanctions targeting Russian economic
sectors including finance and energy.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The ISIL militant group in Syria is reportedly
demanding a $6.6 million ransom for releasing a 26-year-old American woman.
The woman, whose identity is being kept secret at her family’s request for fears of
her safety, was captured in Syria last year while doing humanitarian aid work, the
Associated Press reported.
The terrorist group recently threatened to kill American hostages to avenge the
crushing airstrikes in Iraq against militants advancing on Mount Sinjar and the Kurdish
capital of Irbil.
A representative for the family and U.S. officials asked Tuesday that the woman not
be identified out of fear for her safety. All spoke on condition of anonymity because
they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
More than a week ago, freelance journalist James Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire,
was beheaded by the Islamic State group, which kidnapped him in November 2012.
The Islamic State video of Foley’s beheading also showed another of the missing
American journalists, Steven Sotloff, and warned he would be killed next if U.S.
The ISIL terrorist group had originally demanded the United States to provide a
ransom of $100 million before decapitating Foley, but the US refused to pay,
according to The New York Times.
Source: Al Manar TV
Newscast Media BEIRUT—Thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets of the
Gaza Strip to celebrate the news of a truce meant to end weeks of fighting.
Palestinian militant groups have sought to frame the truce as a victory over Israel.
The latest ceasefire agreed between Israel and the Palestinians came into force at 7
p.m. local time (16:00 UTC). Shortly after it came into effect, thousands took to the
streets of the coastal territory to celebrate the apparent end of 50 days of fighting
that claimed more than 2,000 Palestinian lives, most of whom were civilians.
Correspondents reported that the loudspeakers of mosques blared out chants
normally reserved for Muslim holidays.
Even as the announcement of the truce was being made, the sound of Israeli air
strikes could be heard in Gaza, and Israeli media reported that rocket fire from the
Palestinian territory had continued after the ceasefire was meant to take effect.
The news of the ceasefire was first announced by Hamas and another Palestinian
militant group, Islamic Jihad, which described it as an “open-ended” truce, and
including an agreement by Israel to ease its seven-year-old blockade of the territory
to allow essential supplies and construction material to enter.
It was some time later that the Egyptian mediators who helped broker the ceasefire
made the announcement that deal was official.
Still later came confirmation from Israel.
“We have accepted once again the Egyptian ceasefire proposals, which call for a
cessation of all hostilities,” the DPA news agency cited an unnamed Israeli official as
saying. AFP quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official who described the truce as
being “unconditional and unlimited in time.”
Despite the fact that more than 2,000 Gaza residents were killed in the Israeli
offensive aimed at stopping militant rocket attacks on the Jewish state, Hamas
sought to frame the truce as a victory over Israel.
“Our armed resistance achieved what the Arab armies had failed to achieve,” Hamas
spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said, adding that “this besieged weak people defeated the
strongest … army in the Middle East and destroyed the enemy’s power of deterrence
and the legend of the army that can never be defeated.”
In addition to those killed, the past seven weeks of violence saw more than 17,000
residences destroyed in Gaza, leaving 100,000 Palestinians homeless, according to
United Nations estimates.
On the Israeli side, 68 people have been killed, all but four of whom were soldiers.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media DAMASCUS—Syrian war planes carried out a series of air raids
Tuesday on positions held by ISIL group in eastern Deir Ezour province, state media
“Syrian army forces targeted headquarters and warehouses storing weapons and
ammunition belonging to the terrorist group known as ISIL, destroying them
completely,” Syria’s state news agency SANA reported.
The agency added that the army had also targeted groups of ISIL members, “killing
large numbers of them.”
The opposing UK-based Syrian Observatory said the Syrian army had carried out at
least 12 strikes across the oil-rich province.
“It’s the first time since the ISIL took control of most of Deir Ezour that warplanes
have carried out such intensive and pinpoint raids against ISIL positions in the
region,” Observatory director Rami Abdul Rahman said.
The Syrian army launched Tuesday large-scale operations against terrorists’
gatherings, foiling their infiltration attempts in many areas across the country and
killing scores of terrorists.
Source: Al Manar TV News
Newscast Media HOUSTON—The political and media circus surrounding Texas
Governor Rick Perry never seems to end. Now even Perry is using political satire to
make fun of himself, due to his recent indictment, that many believe is politically
The whole brouhaha started in April when District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was
arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Perry was faced with the option of either allowing $7.5 million funding to the
department headed by Lehmberg or stopping it. Perry vetoed the funding on the
premise that he could not fund the Public Integrity Unit headed by a D.A. who was
arrested for drunk driving and the only way, as governor, he would allow the funding
was upon her resignation.
The Democrats then filed a lawsuit saying Rick Perry abused his power when he
vetoed the money, and this month Perry found himself facing two felony counts of
abuse of power. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media MOSCOW—Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday
that no progress had been made to agree on a ceasefire in Ukraine during crisis talks
over the weekend in Berlin.
Following the talks between the foreign ministers of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and
France on Sunday, Lavrov told a Berlin news conference that the talks had failed to
produce “positive results in [...] establishing a ceasefire and (starting) a political
Lavrov accused Kiev’s new leaders of changing their demands over what it would take
to establish a truce between government troops and pro-federalization, who have
been fighting for more than four months in eastern Ukraine.
“Our Ukrainian counterparts, unfortunately, continue setting conditions – and rather
vague ones at that – including, as they say, the establishment of an impenetrable
border,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia wanted an “unconditional” ceasefire.
However, Lavrov said that “all questions” regarding a Russian humanitarian convoy to
Ukraine had been resolved with Kiev and the Red Cross.
The convoy has been parked at the border between Russia and Ukraine for days amid
objections from Kiev.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday that the Berlin talks
had seen “frank words” being exchanged “on some issues,” but admitted the talks had
Steinmeier said the four foreign ministers would consult with their leaders before
possibly agreeing on how to proceed on Tuesday.
Source: Al Manar News
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The US has conducted fresh airstrikes on the “Islamic
State.” President Barack Obama says the assistance to Iraqi forces fighting to regain
control of the Mosul Dam area in line with objectives to protect US interests.
Fighter, bomber and drone aircraft carried out Monday’s strikes, the Pentagon
announced in a statement. Since August 8, the US military has conducted a total of
68 airstrikes in Iraq, according to the Pentagon. Of those, 35 have supported Iraqi
forces near the Mosul Dam.
“The failure of the Mosul Dam could threaten the lives of large numbers of civilians
and threaten US personnel and facilities – including the US Embassy in Baghdad,”
Obama wrote to Congress on Sunday. The US president added that failing to take
the dam back from the “Islamic State” (IS) could worsen the humanitarian situation,
and “prevent the Iraqi government from providing critical services.”
The US launched nine airstrikes Saturday and 14 Sunday to clear way for Kurdish
fighters (pictured). The attacks included the first reported use of land-based bombers
in the military campaign so far.
“Mosul Dam was liberated completely,” Ali Awni, an official from Iraq’s main Kurdish
party, told the news agency AFP Sunday. However, IS insists that it maintains
Lieutenant General Qassim al-Moussawi said Iraqi forces and Kurdish peshmerga
secured the dam Monday, but that part remained contested and fierce fighting
continued. In his televised statement, al-Moussawi added that security services had
dismantled at least 170 bombs around the dam but that many still remained and that
IS fighters had fled to areas near the south of the complex, hiding in homes.
Source: Deutsche Welle
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—U.S. warplanes struck Iraq on Friday for the first time
since American troops pulled out in 2011, attacking terrorists advancing towards the
Kurdish region after President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent
The rebels had advanced to within a half hour’s drive of Arbil, capital of Iraq’s Kurdish
region and a hub for U.S. oil companies. A Pentagon spokesman said two F/A-18
aircraft dropped laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece used by Islamic State
fighters to shell Kurdish forces defending Arbil.
Obama authorized air strikes after tens of thousands of Christians fled for their lives
from Islamic State fighters who have crucified and beheaded captives.
CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media NEW YORK—When Attorney General Eric Holder took on the largest
banks in America over toxic mortgages and fraud, he was ready for hardball all the
way to the finish line. Bank of America was one of the banks on his radar and just
this morning was the latest to crack under pressure, making an offer only a mad man
According to the New York Times, after months of low-balling the Justice
Department, Bank of America finally caved in and and made its offer.
The Times reported the tentative deal — which people briefed on the matter said
would cost Bank of America more than $16 billion to settle investigations into its sale
of toxic mortgage securities — started to take shape last week after the Justice
Department rejected yet another settlement offer from the bank. Then, a wild card
was thrown in the mix. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>
Newscast Media LONDON—There are no grounds for Russia to impose retaliatory
sanctions against Western countries, a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
official told RIA Novosti.
“There are no grounds for Russia to impose these sanctions. We have been pushing
for a strong and determined international response to Russia’s unacceptable behavior
in Ukraine. We have been clear that we are prepared to play our part and that there
will be some costs, but this does not diminish our commitment. Instead of retaliating,
Russia should be using its influence with the violent Russian-backed separatists to
stop destabilizing Ukraine,” the official said.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin singed an order on economic
measures to protect the country’s security. The decree banned for a year imports of
agricultural and food products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.
CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media BAGHDAD—Militants from the Islamic State have seized Iraq’s largest
Christian town and surrounding areas in northern Iraq, prompting the exodus of tens
of thousands of people.
The capture of Qaraqosh by the Sunni-led extremists on August 7 followed the
overnight withdrawal of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, who had suffered a humiliating
defeat in the area over the weekend.
Before the Islamic State — then known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
(ISIL) — seized large swaths of western and northern Iraq in June and declared a
caliphate, Qaraqosh had a population of about 50,000 people, mostly Christians.
But thousands of displaced Iraqis also fled to Qaraqosh and other nearby towns that
were being defended by Kurdish fighters since the militants seized Mosul in June.
Militants also seized the mostly Christian towns of Tall Kayf, Bartella, and Karamlesh.
The other towns seized by the Islamic State on August 7 also had communities from
the Shabak Shi’ite minority. Reports say almost all of the residents and displaced
Iraqis have fled the towns.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on August 7 called for an emergency meeting
of the UN Security Council over the advances of Islamic militants in Iraq.
Earlier, Pope Francis called for world governments to take steps to protect Christians
driven from their villages in northern Iraq and provide them with humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, Kurdish television reports that Mahmour and Gwar — two Kurdish
settlements less than 40 kilometers west of the Kurdish regional capital of Irbil — fell
to the militants on August 6.
The conquests put the jihadist fighters less than 20 kilometers from the border of
northern Iraq’s Kurdish autonomous region.
A UN spokesman on August 7 said a total of 200,000 people had fled fighting in
northern Iraq in recent days, creating a “tragedy of immense proportions.”
The Islamic State also claimed it had seized Iraq’s largest dam, the Mosul Dam on the
Tigris River, but Kurdish forces said the dam was still under their control.
The latest militant advances come despite a counterattack on Mosul that was
launched by Kurdish fighters on August 6 in coordination with air strikes by Iraqi
Iraqi officials say one air strike on August 6 targeted a building in Mosul that was
under the control of the Sunni militants, killing at least 60 people.
Medical workers said the building was a prison run by the Islamic State since it seized
Mosul in June.
Source: Radio Free Europe
Newscast Media WASHINGTON—A website has disclosed the number of people
considered suspicious by the NSA’s terrorism investigators. But who leaked the lists?
It’s unlikely that it was Edward Snowden, the usual suspect.
The world’s most famous whistleblower is currently in Russia. He is not a Russian
citizen, and he doesn’t work for an intelligence agency that keeps its records in
Cyrillic script. Edward Snowden is a US citizen and has been granted political asylum
in Russia. The famed whistleblower’s location is important to bear in mind for those
trying to link him to the lists published on the investigative website “The
Intercept”. CONTINUE TO FULL ARTICLE>>
Newscast Media CONAKRY, Guinea—Russian virologists have visited two Guinean
hospitals in the stricken capital Conakry, in West Africa, Russia’s Heal Ministry
spokesman said Tuesday.
“Our experts are working together with their colleagues in the region. They visited
two local medical institutions to study methods of diagnosing and treating the Ebola
[virus] disease,” said Oleg Salagai from the Russian Ministry of Health.
The spokesman said the delegation of Russian virology experts included Prof. Viktor
Maleyev, a deputy director at the Central Scientific Research Institute of
Epidemiology; and prof. Sergei Schelkunov, a head of department at Ivanovsky
They reportedly arrived in the city last Saturday and paid a visit to the Clinique
Ambroise Pare and the Donka Hospital.
According to the health ministry, the new Ebola outbreak was first registered in
Guinea in February and then spilt over into Sierra Leone and Liberia. The World Health
Organization (WHO) has confirmed 1,440 cases and 826 deaths. It is also the
deadliest outbreak to date.
Source: Ria Novosti
Newscast Media BANGUL—The government of the Central African Republic has
stepped down. The resignation comes as part of a peace deal aimed at ending
months of sectarian violence in which thousands have died.
Central African Republic’s interim prime minister, Andre Nzapayeke and his Cabinet
stepped down on Tuesday as part of a peace agreement reached last month with
Christian and Muslim rebel factions, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza said.
A spokesman for Samba-Panza told state radio that the resignation was at her
Samba-Panza said that, following talks with both factions, she would make the
transitional government more inclusive. CONTINUE TO FULL STORY>>