100 nude women pose in Cleveland, reflecting on Trump

Monday, July 18, 2016
CLEVELAND,Ohio, U.S.A. -  American photographer Spencer Tunick merged nudity and politics in a dramatic way Sunday in his latest work, posing 100 unclothed women for a shoot in sight of the Republican National Convention. 
Tunick’s large-scale arty installation, “Everything She Says Means Everything,” featured women of all shapes, colors and sizes, holding up mirrors toward the arena where Republicans this week are set to formally name billionaire Donald Trump as their presidential nominee. 
The artist is well known for his sometimes startling images of nude people.
The women stripped down to their bare and often tattooed skin early Sunday and were seen snapping selfies with each other. 
Tunick’s website said that the mirrors reflected “the knowledge and wisdom of progressive women and the concept of ‘Mother Nature’… onto the convention center, cityscape and horizon of Cleveland.
  • ” But the artist has signaled that this shoot, near the arena where Trump is to be named the Republican nominee on Thursday, was political. 
  •  “There shouldn’t be a rhetoric of hate in a presidential election,” Tunick, 49, told AFP last month, speaking of the billionaire tycoon’s virulent diatribes against Mexicans, Arabs and women journalists, among others. 
  • “I can’t just vote. I have to do something,” he said. 
  • “I think every artist in the United States should make an artwork before the election and get it out there.
  • ” Size-wise, the artwork was a far cry from Tunick’s most recent effort, in Colombia in June.
For his largest installation in six years, he convinced more than 6,000 women to bare all in Bogota’s main square as the war-torn country neared a peace deal with the leftist rebels of FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. 

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Malaysia Offers To Help France Fight Radicalization?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia – Malaysia, which has chalked up wide experience combating terrorism since 1948, has offered to France and other countries the standard operating procedure on terrorist deradicalisation and rehabilitation. 
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said the SOP, in four languages including French, would be offered to France, which came under another terror attack on Thursday.
“Compared to organised crime, crime ideology should be seen as more than just violence. This is ideology … there is radicalisation as well, and Malaysia has the SOP to share with countries that are victims of terrorism,” he told Malaysian journalists here.
  • Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is leading the Malaysian delegation to the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit that opened here Friday, said Malaysia was ready to offer training for trainers to countries faced with the problem of radicalization. 
  • News reports said at least 80 people were killed in the southern French city of Nice Thursday after a truck ploughed through a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day. 
  • In November last year, more than 100 people were killed in a terror attack in Paris. Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, said Malaysia expressed sadness over the incidents and was concerned that the acts would tarnish Islam if they were committed by terrorists in the name of the religion. 
  • Elaborating on the SOP offer, he said he had instructed the Prisons Department, Royal Malaysia Police, Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department and several psychologists and “ulama” (religious scholars) to help the nations in need. 
  • “As this seems to be a long-term problem, it will tarnish the image of Islam if it is not resolved quickly. Islam does not condone killing, terrorism … but its image will be tarnished because a rotten apple spoils the barrel,” he said. 
Malaysia, which has overcome communist terrorist and militant threats, had also offered to the United States the SOP for rehabilitation of militants detained at Guantanamo Bay, he said. 
“The United States has accepted our offer and will send over officers to Malaysia. This shows Malaysia’s commitment to share, though we may be a small country,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid. 
 Source: Bernama
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Malaysian Police Confirm Nightclub Blast Was First Successful IS Attack In Country?

Tuesday, July 05, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR - Police has confirmed that the Movida night club bombing last week was the first ever successful IS attack on Malaysian soil.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the attack, which left eight people injured, was carried out by locals who were directly instructed by Isis member Muhamad Wanndy Mohamad Jedi from Syria. 
"The two of those arrested had received instructions from Muhammad Wanndy, who had commanded them to carry out attacks in Malaysia, on our government leaders, top police officials and judges. 
These three groups are considered as threatening to IS activities," Khalid said at a news conference. 
  • Police are hunting for two more people believed to have been directly involved in the nightclub attack, Khalid added.
  • "Since the attack on June 28 to July 1, we have arrested 15 people including the two men who threw the hand grenade," he said. 
  • It was confirmed that two of the 15 were also policemen. Khalid said those detained during the crackdown had all received instructions to carry out attacks on top officials "and also entertainment centres, which they consider un-Islamic". 
  • Police had on June 28 ruled out terrorism as a motive for the pre-dawn attack, which took place as customers were watching a live screening of the Euro football tournament. 
Investigators initially said that a business rivalry, or a targeted attack on someone in the bar, were the more likely motives, but were forced to reassess their position a day later after an IS claim of responsibility was posted on Facebook.
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Istanbul Ataturk Airport Attack: 41 Dead And More Than 230 Hurt

Wednesday, June 29, 2016
A gun and bomb attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport has killed 41 people, at least 13 of them foreigners, and injured more than 230, officials say.
Three attackers arrived in a taxi and began firing at the terminal entrance late on Tuesday. They blew themselves up after police fired back.
PM Binali Yildirim said early signs pointed to so-called Islamic State but no-one has so far admitted the attack.
Recent bombings have been linked to either IS or Kurdish separatists. Tuesday's attack looked like a major co-ordinated assault, says the BBC's Mark Lowen.
  • Ataturk airport has long been seen as a vulnerable target, our Turkey correspondent adds, reporting from a plane stuck on the tarmac in Istanbul. 
  • There are X-ray scanners at the entrance to the terminal but security checks for cars are limited. 
  • Pictures from the airport terminal showed bodies covered in sheets, with glass and abandoned luggage littering the building. 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against militant groups. 
"The bombs that exploded in Istanbul today could have gone off at any airport in any city around the world," he said.

Source: BBC
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Philippines’ Duterte Looking To Destroy ‘Imperial Manila’

Tuesday, June 28, 2016
MANILA: Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte takes office this week looking to end the domination of “Imperial Manila” with a radical shift to federalism that he says is vital to fighting poverty and ending a deadly Muslim separatist insurgency. 
Duterte, who won last month’s elections in a landslide, has vowed to have the constitution rewritten to achieve his bold plans — which would see power devolved from the central government in the capital to newly created states governing the current 81 provinces. 
It (the current system) is an excuse for them to hang onto power in Imperial Manila. 
They have always been there in one single office, running the Philippines,” Duterte said in a speech during the election campaign. 
Such comments are typical fare for Duterte, an anti-establishment figure who relentlessly rails against the elites who have mostly ruled the Philippines since independence from the United States after World War II. 
Duterte will on Thursday take over from Benigno Aquino, who remains a generally popular figure but nevertheless comes from one of the remarkably small number of wealthy clans that have long dominated national politics and overseen one of Asia’s biggest rich-poor divides.
Duterte will become the first president from the vast southern region of Mindanao, which is one of the nation’s poorest areas and home to decades-old communist and Muslim insurgencies that have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Source: FMT...More
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Donald Trump Appears To Shift On Muslim Ban

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Muslim ban has been a central pillar of Trump’s campaign for president. Given his penchant for saying virtually anything with little regard for the facts or previous statements, it’s unclear whether he will stick by what he said on Saturday.
However, Donald Trump appeared to shift his position on a blanket ban on all Muslims entering the United States, saying on Saturday he wouldn’t be bothered if a Muslim from Scotland or Great Britain entered, according to reporters from CBS and CNN. 
Trump first called for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration in December.After a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Trump called for a complete immigration ban from countries with a history of terrorism against the United States.
    • But on Saturday, Trump shifted, telling CNN’s Jeremy Diamond he only wanted to focus on “people coming from the terror states.
    • ” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, also told Diamond that Trump no longer supports a blanket ban and only wants to ban Muslims from terror states.
    • It’s unclear which countries, exactly, this applies to. The three countries on the State Department’s official list of state sponsors of terrorism are Syria, Iran and Sudan, but terrorist groups are complex organizations that can have members in several countries, including U.S. allies. 
    Several of the suspected terrorists involved in the Paris attacks, for example, were French nationals. Two of the brothers involved in the March Brussels attack were Belgian-born. 
    Hicks did not respond to an additional request for comment from The Huffington Post.

    Source:  The Huffington Post.

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    Lightning Kills 93, Mostly Farmers, In India

    Thursday, June 23, 2016
    NEW DELHI: At least 93 people have been struck by lightning and killed in India over the past two days, disaster management officials said Wednesday, as annual monsoon rains swept the country. 
    Lightning strikes are relatively common in India during the June-October monsoon, which hit the southern coast earlier this month, but this week’s toll is particularly high. 
    Most deaths occurred in the eastern state of Bihar, where an overnight storm killed at least 56 people and injured another 28.
    • “The death toll has climbed to 56 and 28 are injured.
    • Many of the victims are children and women,” Anirudh Kumar, a senior official at Bihar’s diaster management agency, told AFP. 
    • Another 37 people were killed across Uttar Pradesh, Jharkand and Madhya Pradesh states, according to figures compiled by local disaster management authorities. 
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “deeply anguished” by the loss of life. 
    Lightning kills thousands of Indians every year, most of them farmers working the fields. 
    More than 2,500 people were killed by lightning in India in 2014 according to the National Crime Records Bureau, the most recent figures available.

    Source: AP
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    Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia Agree To Act vs Abu Sayyaf

    Monday, June 20, 2016
    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia agreed Monday to take possible coordinated actions, including sea and air patrols, to stop an alarming wave of cross-border kidnappings and boat attacks by Abu Sayyaf extremists and other outlaws. 
    Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said no accord was signed during talks with his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts in Manila because he wanted the administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, to formalize any such border security arrangement. 

    Gazmin's designated successor, retired army Maj. Gen. Delfin Lorenzana, joined the meeting at his invitation. 
    • It follows an initial meeting by the three foreign ministers last month that was hosted by Indonesia and underscored the alarm over the Abu Sayyaf's continuing attacks despite repeated assurances of tighter security by Malaysia and the Philippines. 
    • "The ministers raised concern over the recent incidents of kidnappings and armed robbery at sea in the maritime areas of common concern," the defense chiefs, who included Hishammuddin Hussein of Malaysia and Ryamizard Ryacudu of Indonesia, said in a joint statement. 
    • They reaffirmed the need and collective responsibility of the countries to address such threats, it said. 
    • After staging ransom kidnappings of Malaysian and foreign tourists in Malaysia's Sabah state in recent years, Abu Sayyaf gunmen and allied militants successively attacked three tugboats starting in March, kidnapping a total of 18 Indonesian and Malaysian crewmen. 
    • The captives were freed in batches from the militants' jungle bases in the southern Philippine province of Sulu reportedly in exchange for huge ransoms. The militants have separately beheaded two Canadian hostages, who were seized from a southern Philippine marina, after a ransom deadline lapsed, sparking condemnations from Canada and a major Philippine military offensive. 
    • Gazmin told The Associated Press by telephone that the proposed actions include setting up a database on extremists and establishing joint military command posts in designated areas. 
    • Coordinated security actions are delicate because the Philippines has a territorial claim to Malaysia's easternmost state of Sabah on Borneo Island. The proposals would be studied before being formalized in an agreement that may be signed within the year, he said. 
    A template for their coordination will be the anti-piracy actions by Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand that have reduced the high number of piracy attacks in the Malacca Straits to zero so far this year, Gazmin said. 
    "The aim is to send a warning or information to the other side which may face an imminent attack or to us when kidnap victims are about to be brought in," he said. 
    The Abu Sayyaf has carried out deadly bombings, kidnappings for ransom, beheadings, piracy and extortion, and is considered a terrorist organization by the Philippines and the United Nations. 
    The militants still hold at least five hostages, including a Norwegian resort manager and a Filipino woman kidnapped with the beheaded Canadians in September last year and a Dutch bird watcher, who was abducted more than three years ago.

    Source: AP
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    Israel Cuts Water Supplies To West Bank During Ramadan?

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016
    Israel's national water company has cut crucial water supplies to large areas of the occupied West Bank.
    This  leave tens of thousands of Palestinians without access to safe drinking water during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
    Mekorot, the main supplier of water to Palestinian towns and cities, siphoned off water supplies to the municipality of Jenin.
    Also several Nablus villages and the city of Salfit and its surrounding villages. 

    • Ayman Rabi, the executive director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that in some areas people had not received water for more than 40 days.
    • "People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity.
    • "Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litres per capita per day," he said, adding that in some areas they had started rationing water". 

    The city of Jenin, which has a population of more than 40,000 people, said its water supplies had been cut by half, and warned that it would hold Mekorot solely responsible for any tragedies resulting from water shortages during the hot summer months. 
    Mekorot did not respond to Al Jazeera's request for comment. 
    According to the UN, 7.5 liters per person per day is the minimum requirement for most people under most conditions but in some areas of Palestine - where temperatures exceed 35C - the minimum requirement is much higher. 
    Since 1967, Israel has limited the water available to Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip since its forces occupied the territories. 
    Israelis, including settlers, consume 5 times more water than Palestinians in the West Bank, 350 liters per person per day in Israel compared with 60 liters per Palestinian per day in the West Bank. 

    Source: Al Jazeera
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