Monday, November 2, 2015

Phase 2, week 3

Hi all

From now on, you need to keep track of your sources.
You only need the name: "NY Times," "Guardian," etc.

You should look at two or more sources, and you should split the paragraph for each source. It doesn't matter if the paragraphs are only two or three lines.

In your research each week, you should always start by looking for a follow-up to what you wrote about last week.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Conflict in the South China Sea

    NY Times: Following the freedom of navigation operation conducted by the United-States last week, a meeting of the Defense Ministers was held on Wednesday, October 4th in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. China was unwilling to include anything regarding the South China Sea in the joint statement to be issued at the end of this meeting, thus many countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines refused to sign it and no statement was published.

    The Associated Press via CP24: Xi Jingping, China’s President, is in Vietnam for a two day visit to repair ties regarding disputes over the South China Sea. However many people think that not much will change after this visit since Vietnam and China will not give up their positions. Xi Jingping has given a speech on Friday November 6th to the Vietnamese lawmaking National Assembly. The Business Times says that China and Vietnam have said they will maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and not indulge in any acts that "complicate" the tensions between the two countries over disputed territories.

    The Guardian: The meeting held Wednesday was originally a meeting of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) however China and the US were also present, and China says, although not explicitly, that it is the US’s fault that no joint statement has been issued. Also, China’s vice-foreign minister said to the US Ambassador, about the USS Lassen episode last week, that it was an “extremely irresponsible” move.

  3. Russia is Bloody Phony-Syria

    How fruitful are international meetings if Russia is such a sham? Peace had been discussed in Vienna with the strong push for an international ceasefire at least, and the possibility of a national ceasefire… And Russia declared that she had “discontinued the release of daily airstrike” but from reliable sources, it is understood that Russia is a bloody phony. Indeed, the Russian MoD continues to target ISIS terrain with operations in Homs and Aleppo with warplanes, as well as Albu Kamal (near the Iraqi border in Deir ez-Zour Province). This last airstrikes has killed over 50 civilians at least, so Russia is definitely being peaceful and respecting their word. It also seems that Russia is aiming her airstrikes against the Syrian opposition rather than ISIS, from the targeted air operations on Damascus, Idlib, Latakia and Aleppo that are known to be rebel held areas. Russia has been winning for now in the international competition of fakeness: try to seem like a good person in Vienna while sitting next to John Kerry, pretending to respect the ceasefire, killing civilians, and casually striking the wrong enemy. Russia won the title “bloody phony”! from Reuters especially

    There is a little good news in this time of crisis J

    Starting October 13, a café in central Israel is offering a 50% discount for Jews and Arabs who eat together. A few people took advantage of that deal, but a surprising amount of people who could benefit of a discount decide to pay full price to support the owner’s plan. Their slogan is : "With us we don't have Arabs! But we also don't have Jews... With us we've got human beings!”
    This shows that the conflict is not maintained by the majority of the population. Many people do not hate each other, but because of the acts of violence of a minority, they are all suffering the consequences.

  5. Ukraine conflict

    CSIS(center for strategic and international studies) and Deutsche Welle

    Last sunday, Poroshenko started the fight against corruption with the arrest of Hennadiy Korban by the Ukrainian authorities, as part of an anti-corruption investigation. Korban is accused of participating in an organised crime group and of the embezzlement of $1.7 million in funds meant to help the Ukrainian armed forces. Poroshenko declared “Korban won’t be the last”.
    As tensions rise and accusations of ceasefire violations emerge from both sides, the secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council stated that Ukraine could suspend the process of withdrawal of weapons from the lines of contact, where conflicts were fought before ceasefires occurred, and even possibly reverse it.
    There are also reports of the OSCE having witnessed an increase of violence in and around the Donetsk airport.

    Ministers from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine met in Berlin yesterday (Nov.6th), to discuss ways to move the peace process in Ukraine forward. Despite recent events, they stated that significant progress has been made in the country, with all sides adhering to a ceasefire agreement and life somewhat returning to normal, with refugees returning to their homes. However, more work needs to be done with an important humanitarian assistance needed in the embattled eastern regions of the country and the damaged infrastructure.

  6. Venezuelan conflict

    Bbc,September 2015: Leopoldo Lopez, a prominent opposition leader has been sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was found guilty of encouraging violence during protests. His case has led to a fight outside the courthouse (his supporters vs Maduro's supporters). These political tensions intensify the conflict since he is now disqualified from running in December's elections.

    Wall Street Journal, October 27: Since last year, prosecutor Franklin Nieves, who detained Lopez and supervised his trial, was convinced Lopez should be found guilty of inciting violence. His determination eventually led Lopez to prison. Now, he apologizes, claiming Lopez's innocence and demanding his freedom. While deepening the political crisis, Nieves has seeked exile in Miami to avoid repercussions.

    Bloomberg Business, November 6: The U.S had the project of building a pipeline (Keystone XL)from Canada to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries to ship oil. However, Obama has rejected the project saying it would not benefit the U.S. economy since it would not lower domestic gasoline. If the Keystone Project had been approved, Venezuela would have seen 40% of its oil exports cut off. Thanks to Obama's rejection, Venezuela's economy will not be once again destroyed.

  7. Shattering News !
    Source : The New York Times
    The Mexican Supreme Court has taken an extremely important and groundbreaking decision as of November 4th, 2015! It now states that “individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use”, a very difficult decision to make in the heated drug wars of the country; however this law is believed to be more beneficial than the costly, unfruitful fight against drug cartels.
    Source: Yahoo! News
    Meanwhile, the manhunt for El Chapo has moved to southern America, where he is rumored to have attempted to cross the border between Chile and Argentina. Argentina is now closely watching the southern region of Patagonia, has put the federal forces of the region on high alert and has activated all its security mechanisms whilst the government of Chile has been receiving and collecting information on the matter.

  8. North Korea conflict

    (The Japan Times News) As mentioned in the previous post, last Friday South Korean media reported that the North was believed to be digging a new tunnel in the northeast of the country: possibly a sign for nuclear test preparations.

    (Yonhap News and 38 North) However, U.S. experts from the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University stated on Friday, on their closely-watched website 38North, that satellite imagery taken from Sept. 27 and Oct. 25 indicate “no signs that North Korea is excavating a new tunnel at the existing test areas”. Apparently, the main observable activity is the construction of a new building at the main support area. 38 North also said that activity at both the west and south portals of the site has been at a low level which does indicate the country’s focus on tunnel maintenance but ultimately doesn’t prove any nuclear test preparations.

    A meeting with the leaders of South Korea, Japan, and China occurred last Sunday, as was pointed out in the last post. (CNN) It was the first time leaders of the three countries had met in three years. Among other topics, the summit covered denuclearizing North Korea. Essentially, the three powers agreed that they would "resume meaningful Six Party Talks at an early date to make substantial progress in denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner."

  9. A good but hard week...

    (NY Times): As said in last week the U.S and Iran are working on a deal that could potentially solve the Iranian nuclear conflict. On a part of the deal already agreed upon in July Iran promised to reduce its enrichment capabilities and overhaul a heavy-water facility, turning it into a less dangerous light-water reactor. Well this week they started decommissioning the first of thousands of centrifuges used for enriching uranium. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, says this process will take time since Iran is taking away about two thirds of its uranium. This news is encouraging for the near future.

    (Yahoo News): Last week we expressed the fact that The U.S and Iran had started to communicate on the Syria problem for example. Even though this is true deep distrust persists between Iran and the U.S. Yahoo shows a shocking video of Iranian people walking in the streets burning American and Israeli flags but also with signs saying :" Down with U.S.A ==> Down with Israel" These marches and manifestations show that the U.S and Iran are far from trusting each other therefore the conflict is far from over...

    Nicolas Rival

  10. Plane crash in the Sinai region in Egypt :
    People strongly think that the plane crash was in result of a bomb and the theory on the malfunction of the aircraft is no longer at hand. The black box’s analysation show voices are heard then an explosion then nothing. This strongly hints an explosion do to a bomb or missile. CNN claims it is an explosion but they wonder if it was ISIS doings and whether a bomb was in the plane or launched from land.
    Putin has just suspended all russian flights to Egypt because he fears of other attacks says Foreign Policies.
    Russian authorities also ordered Metrojet not to fly its jets of the same model until the causes of the crash are known. Russia and Egypt are both trying to find out together what caused the explosion but it “could take months” said the egyptian president. Also, a militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt said that it brought down the plane "in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land", but Sokolov told Interfax news agency the claim "can't be considered accurate" because they did not have any evidence, claimed SBS on november 2nd.

  11. Iran Nuclear Crisis:

    Iran, after their agreement with the United States is starting to decommission their nuclear facilities and they are still saying that their nuclear program is peaceful. On the other hand the United States is lifting their economic sanctions on Iran. Iran considers that if these sanctions are lifted the economy of Iran is going to prosper. (BBC)
    But, even though this deal should make Iranians happy, the opposite is happening. There have been many protests and many arrests due to this deal inside of Iran. The main example of these protests is Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He claims that the United States are Iran’s biggest enemy, and is trying to “warn” Iranians of this "danger" that is the United States. (The New York Times)

  12. Ukraine

    The Minsk cease-fire compromise has never been fully enforced during the conflict, as the rebel groups, supported by Russia, has been continually attacking Ukraine over the last months. For example, on June 3, a Russia-backed separatists attacked Ukrainian strongholds in the west of Donetsk. This was the largest assault on Ukraine since the capture of Debaltseve on the frontier between Donetsk and Luthansk. These new control of regions ay not only be to control strategic military points for this armed conflict but also force Ukraine in recognising the newly created republics as independent states. This assault used heavy artillery as multiple launch rocket systems in order to encircle the Ukrainian ATO’s resulting in the death of three Ukrainian soldiers, at least three wounded and the destruction of surrounding towns such Marinka and Krasnohorivka.
    Adrien Lopez

  13. Disagreements

    Tension seems to rise in between Russia and the US. Russia says that their air strikes have never been more sufficient and that they have achieved more in the war against ISIS in less 14 months alone than all the other 60 countries fighting with them. This point has been brought up by Nuri-al-Maliki, Iraq's vice president: “The Russian involvement in Syria and the intensive bombings have stopped the offensive of many terrorist groups. This involvement hurt the terrorists a lot and inspired the Syrian troops. Russia's actions also stunned the international coalition. In just days and weeks Russia delivered strikes against major terrorist positions in Syria. And where is the intentional coalition of more than 60 nations that had achieved nothing in 14 months in Iraq?”. Meanwhile, the US has done more that half the air strikes in the past years against ISIS in the Arab world. The probable cause for that is that lately, Obama demanded the Arab allied countries to fly side by side with the American jets to increase the damage dealt. Meanwhile the two countries are also fighting upon Ukraine which even more destabilises the alliance in the war against ISIS. RT has said that the US tries to "daemonise Poutine" by telling its people that he takes countries without asking war permission and without any valid reasons.

    sources: RT, NYT

  14. South China Morning post, Nov. 1rst:
    Last Sunday in Seoul, a meeting was held between China's prime minister, Li Keqiang, and Shinzo Abe. The goal of the talk this time was to find ways on how to ameliorate economical (talks on resource exploitations in the Senkakus, and Japan might join in Chinese gas exploitations) and military relationships (establishment of maritime and air communications system) in order to regain some political trust and peace between the countries. However, the problem is that either one nation or the other will gain sovereignty over the islands, therefore experts say that compromises will be difficult to achieve and peace is still far to be seen.

    Thanh Nien Daily, 5th of Nov. :
    Xi Jingping met with Vietnam's Party General Secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong, to continue reinforcing ties between the countries, especially peace in the East China Sea. Both countries were celebrating their 65th year anniversary of their partnership, and they both plan to keep it that way in the East China Sea area (talks on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties, the Code of Conduct and the UN Convention on the Law on the Sea). Aside from China transferring hundreds of million dollars to help Vietnam, both leaders also want to maintain and even increase cooperation in security, foreign affairs and humanity projects.

  15. Internal Crisis in South Sudan :

    BBC: Despite the peace treaty signed in August 2015, the government and the opposing rebels are stockpiling weapons and ammunitions. This decision from both sides of the conflict could come from President Salva Kiir’s decision to create more states, going from 10 to 28. There are different views on what should be done; the UN mostly wants to take action, but African countries and Russia seem to want to give the peace deal a chance before sanctions are imposed. South Sudan’s incapacity to hold a peace treaty is really insisted on in this article, saying that seven ceasefires have been agreed and broken since the conflict started, and that over the past 60 years, South Sudan has been at war for 42!

    The Daily Star (Lebanon): This article has the same overall information about the decision, with the same quotes from the UN Security Council Report and from UN experts. However this article points out that in July the Security council has blacklisted six of South Sudan’s generals, forbidding them to travel and be involved politically. But Angola, Venezuela and most importantly Russia objected in Sept to the decision to add another army chief and rebel commander to the sanctions lists. Could this, along with Russia’s desire to wait before imposing international sanctions, be in attempt to get on South Sudan’s “good side” and benefit from its significative oil supplies?

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Tensions ran high in the West Bank this week. On Friday, in Hebron, the West Bank’s largest city, three heated incidents occurred. Ongoing Palestinian shootings wounded three Israelis, including two of them seriously, between the ages of 19 and 16. These attacks can be interpreted as a sign of escalation after a series of violent confrontations with Israel. Indeed, earlier that day, Israeli troops shot and killed a 73 year old Palestinian woman in what the military claimed to be an attempt to attack them with her car, despite the avid denial of her son.
    In between attacks, panic has been stirred up as well amongst right-wing Israeli activists. Israeli police are determined to follow through with the razing of a synagogue in a West Bank settlement, however, this has not gone unnoticed by Israeli right-wing protestors. Many have sought refuge inside this synagogue since Tuesday night, claiming that they are willing to risk their lives to save it. Some claim that the synagogue lays on land once owned by Palestinians and would later make up a Palestinian state. However, others argue that Jews have a biblical claim to the land, and have frequently used this as an excuse to stage attacks against Palestinians.

    Sources: CBS news, International Business Times

  18. Growing Instability in Thailand
    General Prayuth Chan-Ocha presented his plan for the future to the "five rivers of power" (the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), the cabinet, the National Legislative Assembly, the Constitution Drafting Committee and the National Reform Steering Assembly). He suggested that since there are many violent demonstrations he should practice his strategy of the whip panel. The "five rivers of power" granted him 20 months to make a charter. In other words, if there is violence in the next 20 months, Prayuth will continue being the leader.
    On Friday, two men, part of the Red Shirts, supporting Yingluck Shinawatra, were put in jail because they attacked a demonstration, against their principles, with a grenade. They are sentenced to 43 years and four months of prison, which is less then predicted because they admitted the truth during the interrogation.

  19. Le Monde (

    Recently Al-Qaeda emerged once again in Yemen. Tuesday, Le Monde confirmed that AQAP has made the rebels flee from Aden, and have taken advantage of the government’s absence to enforce their own laws. They move fast, assassinate in the city, and what is left of the coalition’s soldiers stay in their base in the airport, but do not go through the city streets anymore.

    NPQ (

    On top of this, Yemen has been hit last Tuesday (11/03/15) by Cyclone Chapala. Powerful winds and humongous floods have forced the relocation of 40,000 Yemenis, and has killed and wounded many of the country’s people. On USAID’s website, it is said Yemen’s recent fuel and food’s price rise, unemployement, and displacements, all due to the conflict has left 24.8 million people food insecure, and within these 1 million are children.

  20. Increasing Violence and Instability in Afghanistan

    The surfacing of a video on the internet, showing the stoning to death of a young woman on the 25th of November, has sent it viral across the web. A 19-year-old wed Afghan woman, Rukhshana, was “methodically stoned her to death for adultery” by Taliban fighters. According to the mullah Maulavi Inayatullah Baleegh, the religious punishment was not entirely done following the Shariah law as it did not seem to involve confession and witnesses. However, a presidential decree “outlawed the stoning and flogging of adulterers”- but goes unrecognized by Taliban and other high authorities, such as Baleegh. The companion was condemned as well, with the “lesser punishment of 100 lashes”. This women’s right violation was denounced “as another example of abusive treatment of women by the Taliban” by “Western embassies and human-rights groups” . (NY Times)
    The “barbaric” killing occurred in a Taliban village around the center of Afghanistan. The young women was wed, but deliberately fled with another man. The couple was caught, and the Taliban leader of the village ordered her stoned to death. The provincial governor says that she is powerless in front of the situation in Aurdak, city that the Islamist group has been controlling for three years. She has asked help from President Ghani but “doesn't know when she will have enough security forces and weapons.” (CNN)
    The stoning apparently happened in Ghalmin. The governor “who has been the target of death threats and protests” points out the occupation of the Taliban in this entire region of Ghor. The shocking event and video has risen the protest of several officials and activists such as Wazhma Frogh, co-founder of the Research Institute for Women, Peace and Security. (The Asia Times)

  21. "TheDailyDot": In order to avoid a hacker causing causing massive damage to an american infrastucture, the United States government is updating its rules for nuclear power plants. There are now cybersecurity regulations on nuclear facilities, which were said to maintain out of date and insecure systems. the new rules are deemed essential to assess and evaluate potential cyber threats.

    "DefenseOne": The US doesn't know who is in charge of what in the eventuality of cyberattacks on an infrastructure. However, some think that there is no problem, as each party knows what they are supposed to do in the eventuality of an attack, and there is

    Quentin Siart

  22. South China Sea Conflict
    - China's president, Xi Jinping, promises to protect free navigation in South China Sea.
    - UN remains neutral in South China Sea Conflict but declare that they wish/hope that the dispute be resolved before anything bad happens.
    - Japan and Vietnam have had their first ever joint naval training operation. Japan doesn't wan't to antagonize China like the U.S. has and is doing but they do want to have a close military relation with Asian Nations in the sea except for China.
    The information was exactly the same, but there was something different/funny about the two sites. Thee NYT was very professional looking and everything but CNN was all like "Showdown" and putting unimportant stuff in capital letters. Plus NYT had more updated information than CNN.

  23. Terrorism on US soil:
    The Guardian, November 2nd: James Clapper, the American director of national intelligence, claims that the crash on October 31st of the Airbus 321 in Sinai, is unlikely to have been caused by the terrorist group, ISIS. He believes, along with the aviation and security experts, that the Islamic State does not possess a "missile system capable of downing a jet flying at more than 30,000ft."

    CNN, November 4th: A couple days after dismissing any terrorist involvement in the plane crash, the CNN publishes an article claiming that the US national intelligence highly believes a terrorist group or affiliate planted a bomb in the plane. In fact, an audio message from ISIS' Sinai branch, posted on social medias on Wednesday, insists on its responsibility in the Airbus 321 crash. Should we really believe the claims of responsibility given by this terrorist group, although without any proof or objective details? Or are they simply trying to spread propaganda and fear?

  24. Boko Haram’s recorded allegiance to ISIS was not as committal as it could seem for various reasons. Analysists said it was an act of desperation in a time of pressure and propaganda. The distance between their localities, despite ISIS’ global image, and Boko Haram’s criticisms on “Arab involvement” would prevent ISIS from sending soldiers and weapons to Boko Haram. “New Republic” (“The Guardian” verification)
    It has also been said that since three months, the number Syrian attacks through Nigeria grew of 42 percent. Even more surprisingly, the death toll in Nigeria from terrorist attacks appears to be higher than the one in Syria. Despite an increasing amount of attacks, the Islamic State is not recuperating new territory because it wants to consolidate local control and defeat resistance in the territory they already acquired. “Foreign Policy”

  25. This week we will be looking at two sites from which we got multiple articles, two from the French newspaper Le Monde and two from the Malian website

    The first of the two French articles informs us of what the author calls “French hypocrisy” in Africa. He states that the French army is delivering death penalties to people while its own constitution bans it. Furthermore, he states that the war that was supposed to be a rapid operation is still going on and that as of today it is a political failure, meaning that the public opinion does not support it as much as it used to. I was quite surprised to find out that the people that commented on the article actually called out the author on what he was saying rather than agree with him.

    The following article from Le Monde is on the war on terror and reconnaissance in France and how the president is involved in it.

    Maliactu tells us about Mali and the end of the war. The first article informs us on the end of the current conflict and the talks to cease the fighting. This article is titled Mali: Situation au nord du Mali: Fini la guerre, place à la Paix et à la justice! A name which is a great resumé of the article itself. An optimistic end of the war paper that tells the readers what they should do if they were victims of war. They say that peace and justice go hand in hand and so therefore while peace is being made justice needs to come back quickly.

    The irony of the last article is that soon after the same site published a report a little later stating that the current president’s political policies were to “leave the French work”. The paper accuses IBK (current president) of lying about bringing back control and peace and of letting France take control of the natural resources, primarily uranium, in the northern regions. Furthemore the site claims that the current government (in contrast to the others) has let the French and their obsession with the Sahel area start a “neo colonialism” of the area. One sentence struck out to me as oddly poetic but nevertheless very provocative “A cette étape, le régime IBK a désormais amorcé l’exploitation éternelle par la France de nos ressources naturelles, principalement notre uranium qui demeure le plus riche de la sous-région.” .

  26. As the situation on the recent invasion in Iraq seems to be, for now, put aside as the U.S. have been leading airstrikes on Iraqi territory. American military forces have been continuously attacking the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists situated in both Iraq and Syria.

    Knowing that the USA does not have an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, France has decided to send their only aircraft carrier in order to help fill in the gap.
    As the USA’s engagement gets more and more dense, the Allies are gradually withdrawing from their presence in Iraq. For example, both France and Australia have been limited to only a small amount of damaged done in Iraq.

    According the Department of Defense there have been 12 strikes that have remotely piloted with the target being Syria. In comparison, 19 strikes have been taken into account in Iraq. These attacks consist of ground-attacks as well as fighter jets and bomber attacks. In addition to this, Jstin Trudeau, the new Canadian prime minister promised to put a term to Ottawa’s part in the air campaign. To sum up, not many countries seem motivated to join the United States air strikes.

    -Washington Post
    -The New York Times
    -Department of Defense

  27. AQAP
    On November 5th, four men in were convicted for conspiring to aid AQAP and its U.S.-born member Anwar al Awlaki. Although the crimes they are accused of date back as early as 2005 and continue to 2011, the men in question were only recently discovered. Suspects Yahya Farooq Mohammad, 37, his brother, Ibrahim Zubair Mohammad, 36, Asif Ahmed Salim, 35, and his brother, Sultane Room Salim, 40, were charged with conspiring to send money to Awlaki in support of attacks on U.S. territory and/ or forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as the rest of the world. The Mohammads were Indian citizens who studied engineering at U.S. universities and married Americans. Asif Salim lives in Kansas, and his brother lives in Ohio, a statement said. The charges against these men state that from January 2005 through January 2012, the four men conspired to provide money, equipment and other assistance to Anwar Al-Awlaki. Awlaki however was killed in 2011 by a drone strike in Yemen after being identified as a global terrorist.
    Sources: Fox8, Reuters

  28. FROM BEN
    Update on Afghanistan related events in early November 2015

    New dissident Afghan Group

    Ever since the announcement of the death of the Taliban's former leader, Mullah Omar, the Taliban were less united. Consequently, peace talks between Ashref Ghani and the Taliban slowed down. Recently another leader, Mullah Mohammad Rasool, has formed
    "a dissident Afghan Taliban group" opposing to the Taliban's actual leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor.
    This itself may not be a concern for peace talks, however, it could trigger the creation of more factions within the Taliban group and that would be problematic in sight of peace.


    An Afghan Taliban splinter group, which refuses Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor as successor of late Mullah Omar, says they are ready to talk peace with the Afghan government.
    The condition is for foreign troops to all leave the country and afterwards peace talks between this group and the Afghan government will begin.
    Although Mansoor was criticized and blamed for causing a deep division within the Taliban group, this is the first official rupture within the movement.

    Follow up on Kunduz hospital bombing

    Strikes from an American AC-130 gunship fired the main hospital building where 30 are known to have died.
    Senior Afghan officials claimed that the hospital was being used by the Taliban to pursue their fighting. However, MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) assures that there was no heavy fighting at the hospital and that the hospital was not being used as a base.
    The MSF told Washington in an email before the airstrike that staff and also patients of all sorts including wounded Talibans were in the building.
    From the general manager of MSF, Chrstopher Stokes' point of view on this US claiming the airstrike was a mistake is that “A mistake is quite hard to understand and believe at this time.”.
    Concerns are raised whether or not this was an intentional attack.

    Airplanes targeted by terrorism

    sources: the guardian

    A few days ago, a Russian airplane crashed in Egypt. However this tragic accident is believed to be a caused by an explosive device planted by the Isis. The US and UK officials believed this accident was a terrorist attack and the the British government has suspended all flights between England and Egypt until safety can be assured by the Egyptian government. There have been two possibilities found to this plane crashing. The first suggestion was that The Isis of the Islamic State planted the bomb on the aircraft, according to media reports and unnamed sources. The second option was that an outside device created the explosion. The UK and US governmnent have not confirmed any of these two options yet and have not concluded if it is in fact a terrorist attack. The aircraft was travelling from the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg in Russia on Oct. 31, when it crashed, killing all 224 people onboard.

    source: international business times

    New information has reinforced the theory that a bomb was in fact planted on the aircraft. The US strongly believes and is almost certain that this plane crash was the result of a terrorist attack.However, the Egyptian government who is conducting the main investigation are in doubt concerning the cause and have not yet confirmed the bomb theory and have said that no conclusion has been reached yet. Meanwhile, Russia has been bringing back russian tourists that were in egypt. It has been estimated that 11,000 have been brought back, still leaving 69,000 russian tourists in Egypt.

  30. Last week, Al Shabab posted a video of a Safari on the Internet. It shows one of its soldiers gunning down a giraffe. Videos like this one are not unpopular these days, it is the fifth video that the group has posted as propaganda in order to recruit new soldiers. However this video differs as it shows two djihadists that seem to be having fun as they can be heard laughing.
    Somali Soldiers remain unpaid, and the country is now strongly relying on outside funds to be able to keep the nation safe. The United Nations and the African Union have both sent troups to Help Somalia. The UN has sent the “casques bleus” an army borrowing soldiers from countries belonging to the UN. Its role is to keep the peace or try and restore it in a given country, by protecting he civilian population.

  31. 2/11-8/11

    the guardian/
    Zhao Xinwei, an editor of the state-run newspaper, the Xinjiang Daily, was fired for criticising the government about the conflicts in the Xinjiang region, that is “‘improperly’ discussing, and publicly opposing, government policy in China’s violence-stricken west.” (the guardian) He will also be sued for “serious discipline violations,” which usually means corruption. He has hence been handed over to legal authorities. It is not the first time Zhao has been criticized by the government, even if he has been part of the Communist party since 1984. He has been caught accepting bribes as well as wasting public money. The follow up of this event is to be expected next week.

    yahoo news (Reuters)
    Zhang Chunxian is the Xinjiang’s party boss, and supports the government’s efforts. Through him, the government is trying to encourage cultural ‘blending’. This consists in strongly encouraging the learning of Mandarin Chinese. Most Uighurs refuse to learn it since they consider it is yet another attempt to get rid of Uighur culture, by eliminating their language. The Chinese government denies having repressive policies, and explains this push to switch to mandarin by saying it unifies China, a country with hundreds of different dialects and languages.

    the economist
    This is a very negative article which blames the Chinese government of limiting Uighur births in order to eliminate uighur beliefs, and make sure that Uighurs don’t overtake the Han in numbers (a commun Han worry). The article does not bring any new information, and only summarizes pasts events linked to the birth restrictions in China. It also presents the link between the birth restriction and the “efforts to fight terrorism” as a fact and not a possibility, which most neutral or Asian news outlets avoid. It is the first article about the Uighur conflict in the last couple weeks to express China’s negative intentions as a fact and not an educated guess. Most Uighurs already state the suppression of their culture as the goal for many of China’s laws, but the economist of the first news source to the same.

  32. This week, Mr. Sayar Sadiq was re-elected as the speaker of the National Assembly. In Islamabad, the government was reminded on Monday that progress of the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism has been sluggish in a meeting involving very important persons, such as Nawaz Sharif, Minister of Finance Ishaq Dar, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, etc. Basically the plan was reviewed, and edited. They decided to take action against terror financing, foreign funding of seminaries, proscribed organisations, hate speeches and madressah reforms.
    Aziz stated that Pakistan should take India to the IJC when Modi confessed about Indian involvement in Pakistan's "break-up" in 1971.
    Meanwhile Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, is heading for the Myanmar landslide to help. In a steel factory near Lahore 5 workers were killed in a factory fire.

  33. Sources: South China Morning Post & Hong Kong Free Press

    China has found a huge reserve of gold ore 2000 meters under the East China Sea "north of the Sanshan Islands in Laizhou, Shandong province". The gold reef contains an estimate of 470 tons of gold ore that can give about 4.3 grams of gold per ton according to the Chinese geologists. At this time Japan has not reacted to these news but they most likely won't since these mining areas are very close to China who has been mining there since 2012.

  34. Business Insider:

    The Taipei Island is a common place for hackers to practice cyber hacking while remaining anonymous and before cyber-attacking countries, so some people attacking the U.S. infrastructure could be living there. The U.S. power grid is very vulnerable to cyber attacks, but it is believed that turning the country’s power off entirely may be impossible. :

    the battle against cyberattacks is becoming expensive, as companies spend 20% more money than in 2014 to protect themselves from security breaches. The cost of containing an attack is high due to an average of 46 days needed. According to L. Ponemon, chairman at the MI-based Ponemon institue, companies spend on average $43,000 a day to contain cyberattacks.