World watch – Sunday

Saturday GMT


For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

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  1. Gezza

     /  February 25, 2018

    The main items being reported on Aljaz tv are:

    More than 100 schoolgirls have been kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Some of the attackers were dressed in military fatigues. The President of Uganda, Mohammadu Buhari, has publicly apologised to the parents for the military initially reporting they had been rescued & has announced a major military effort to find the girls.

    The area they have been taken in is large & they may have been taken across the border into neighbouring Chad or another country. Many of the 200 Chibook schoolgirls abducted in 2014 are still missing. Amnesty International reports that over the past few years more than 2,000 women & girls have been abducted in Northern Nigeria & many are suspected to have been sold into sexual slavery.

    Boko Haram is linked to ISIS. The government of Nigeria has declared on several occasions that the group has been defeated however they continue to carry out attacks and raids.

    Twin car bombings have killed nearly 40 people in Mogadishu, Somalia – claimed by Al-Shabab, another IS-linked Islamic terrorist group.

    There were four major attacks in Afghanistan yesterday:

    At least 18 Afghan soldiers were killed on Saturday in the Bala Boluk district of western Farah province when Taliban fighters stormed an army checkpoint.

    Two suicide car bombers also killed at least two soldiers and wounded a dozen others in two separate attacks southern Helmand province.

    In a separate attack in the capital Kabul on Saturday morning, a bomber killed at least three people and himself near the diplomatic area of the city. The attack was later claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group. This attack was on the Security Intelligence building in the heavily guarded centre of the city, which the Afghan President Ghani has assured the city it has taken steps to beef up security to protect people after the last attack in the city centre.

    The UN Security Council has been unable to secure a resolution yet providing for a ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta, the enclave near the government centre in Damascus, where over 500 civilians have been killed and over 2,000 wounded in the past few days as the Russian & Syrian airforces have continued round-the-clock bombing & shelling.

    Video of the carnage in the streets is harrowing. Aljaz said it couldn’t show one street because even though the dead had been cleared from the rubble, the street was still littered with body parts.

    James Bayes, their diplomatic reporter at the UN, held up a printout of the text of the latest resolution, which seeks a ceasefire to allow evacuation of the wounded & supplies to be sent in to the starving population. It shows pointless amendments the Russians & Syrians have insisted on debating one after another, over and over again.

    Changes like the word “immediately” being replaced by “without delay”. And the duration of the ceasefire to be 30 days, replaced with “no less than 30 days”.

    He noted that he had asked the Syrian ambassador whether the government would honour the ceasefire as he left yet another fruitless meeting in which no vote had yet been taken, and that the ambassador had simply glared & mumbled at him “who made you the chairman of this meeting”.

    Man, I’m so glad to have had the sheer good luck to have been born in this country at this so peaceful time in our history, and not in one of these countries!

    • Gezza

       /  February 25, 2018

      A couple of other items by James Bays give a bit more context:
      – Ambassadors are assembling & a vote appears to be imminent at the Security Council
      – The Ceasefire Resolution is sponsored by Kuwait & the EU
      – It is for a ceasefire across Syria, not just Eastern Ghouta
      – Although the majority of the 400,000 people in this enclave are civilians, there are rebel forces operating & the area is so close to Damascus they are continuing to randomly fire mortars into the centre of that city.

      The Russian and/or Syrian air forces are now droppng incendiary cluster bombs, & video footage showed a Syrian helicopter also dropping what an American military expert says appear to be parachute-slowed, bunker-busting munitions known as vacuum bombs which collapse the lungs of those people in underground shelters who don’t get killed by the blast.

      • Gezza

         /  February 25, 2018

        All 15 members of the Security Council have voted to adopt the draft – which calls upon all parties to observe a 30 day ceasefire & stop hostilities immediately to enable humanitarian aid to be delivered & evscuations of the wounded, & work towards a political solution of the conflict.

        The ambassadors of Kuwait & Sweden were the sponsors. Other ambassadors are now speaking to the resolution. Nikki Hayley is speaking now, following the Kuwaiti Chairman’s initial speech. She’s reading out descriptions of what it is like from people in Eastern Ghouta.

        • Gezza

           /  February 25, 2018

          And laying in to Russia big time, as well as Syria, & Iran, for dragging out the neogtiations for three days while the bombing continued to kill mothers & children.

        • Gezza

           /  February 25, 2018

          The Russian ambassador is now reminding members that the ceasefire does not apply to fighters of ISIS, Al Qaeda, or Al Nusra, against whom hostlities may continue. Must recognise the sovereign integrity of the Syrian government. Criticising Nikki Kaye & the US for supporting rebel terrorists of “dubious legitimacy” & claiming the rebel shelling of Damscus has included hits on the Rssian Embassy there.

    • Gezza

       /  February 25, 2018

      I knew I’d forgotten one – with all the live reporting on the Security Council having taken over their earlier news:

      Dozens of people have been killed or wounded in two suicide car bombings in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, witnesses and local medics say.

      Saturday’s attack occurred outside the gate of a counterterrorism camp in the city’s southwest, according to the witnesses. The sources said the blasts caused civilian and military casualties.

      The attack on Saturday was claimed by the Islamic State via the group’s Amaq website.

      What’s clearly happening is that, as predicted, ISIS may have lost its territorial state, but it is continuing to operate in other countries, and is still carrying out random attacks in places in Iraq. And in Syria, even given the brutal harshness of the Syrian regime’s response to a popular revolt, significant numbers of the various rebel forces fighting against the regime – except the Kurds – are seeking the establishment of Islamic fundamentalist rule.

  2. Corky

     /  February 25, 2018

    Gezzas right folks. Take a minute to look outside at our beautiful country. Not a machine gun or army tank insight. It’s the only place in the world where everyone wins the lotto of life every week.

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  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 25, 2018

    The Schiff rebuttal of Nunes’ memo has been released. As expected it throws shade all over Nunes. Lots of redactions too…

    I wonder if Nunes has signed up yet for Schiff’s masterclass on “How to write an Impressive, Accurate and Literate Memo” ?

    • Mefrostate

       /  February 25, 2018

      I think Pete should give this a thread of its own, it’s pretty devastating to Nunes.

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