Author Archives: TGO

British Muslims blame jihadi subculture after beheading video


The only way to deal with these people is with force. One cannot defeat an enemy who doesn’t “play” by the rules if one plays by the rules. We here in the west pride ourselves on being civilized and humane, even in warfare, and that’s all well and good when fighting against a ‘typical’ enemy. But when confronting these indoctrinated Islamic fundamentalists, we need to do away with fair play and just vaporize them. Sure, there will no doubt be countless casualties of innocent civilians, and that’s unfortunate. But what are the options?

We fought a war in Iraq for ten years playing by the rules. We overthrew a murdering dictator in Saddam Hussein. And what’s the situation in Iraq now? Worse than before.

Here are the options:

1) Notify all American citizens that if they travel to certain countries (countries such as Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.) they are on their own and will NOT be protected by the U.S., and pull all foreign troops from these countries and use them to protect our borders and civilians here at home. In other words, let all of these other countries fend for themselves.

2) Nuke every single one of the countries on the list; which we know will never happen.

One thing is for certain, the current methodology against Islamic fundamentalists is not working and will not work. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

American

LONDON/BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A British Muslim leader called for action on Thursday to tackle a jihadi sub-culture after an Islamic State video showed a suspected Briton beheading U.S. journalist James Foley, held hostage in Syria.

In Washington, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the threat from Islamic State was “beyond anything we’ve seen” and the U.S. Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into the death of Foley on the video, which featured a masked man speaking English with a British accent.

As Western officials tried to identify the man, the Muslim Council of Britain denounced Foley’s “abhorrent murder” and one of its advisers urged anyone who knows the killer’s identity to contact the police.

Horror at the video spanned from the West to Baghdad, where Iraqis asked why the United States and its allies had not cracked down on Islamic State fighters long before they captured large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Foley, 40, was beheaded by an Islamic State militant in the video that surfaced on the Internet on Tuesday, and officials in Washington revealed that U.S. special forces had tried unsuccessfully to rescue him along with other American hostages earlier this summer.

A firefight between the U.S. forces and Islamic State militants during the rescue attempt appeared to be the first direct ground engagement between the two sides.

The video caused particular shock in Britain, which is home to about 2.7 million Muslims, although the hundreds of British men fighting alongside the militants in Iraq and Syria have created concern for some time.

Iqbal Sacranie, an adviser to the Muslim Council of Britain, said Britons from across the country’s communities had to stop young men being seduced by radical ideologies.

“This sub culture of this ‘jihadi-cool’ – as they call it in the media – within the margins of society … that is the real challenge,” he told BBC Radio. “This is a problem that affects all of us and it will only be dealt with more effectively if all of us are working together on this.”

Sacranie said the Muslim community was pushing the message that “this is totally alien to Islam” and families were reporting to the authorities when they discovered their sons had headed to the Middle East to fight. He also told London’s Evening Standard newspaper that anyone who recognized the man in the video had a duty to contact police.

JOHN, PAUL AND RINGO

The Guardian newspaper said a former hostage had identified the masked man as the leader of three Britons who guarded foreign hostages in the city of Raqqa – Islamic State’s stronghold in eastern Syria.

The BBC also reported that hostages had nicknamed their three captors John, Paul and Ringo, after members of the Beatles pop group.

Ghaffar Hussain, managing director of the counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation, said it was almost inevitable that men who had fought in Syria would return to plan attacks in Europe.

“It is disturbing that people born and raised in Britain and who have gone to the same schools as us could have been essentially indoctrinated to the extent where they can justify raping women and chopping heads off,” he said.

Four British Islamists – two of whom had been to al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan – killed 52 people in suicide bomb attacks on London in July 2005, and Britons have previously appeared in graphic Islamist videos.

Until recently, Islamic State concentrated on establishing its self-proclaimed caliphate in areas of Syria and Iraq it had seized rather than on attacking the West, like al Qaeda – the group from which it split.

But U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to order air strikes on its fighters in Iraq appears to have changed this. The beheading video also showed images of another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, whose fate the group said depends on how the United States acts in Iraq. “The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision,” the masked man says.

In a Washington briefing on Thursday, Hagel said Islamic State was as sophisticated as any group the United States had seen and posed an imminent threat “to every interest we have, whether it’s in Iraq or anywhere else.”

“They are beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of … military prowess,” Hagel said. “They are tremendously well-funded. This is beyond anything we’ve seen.”

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested Islamic State would be a danger until it could no longer count on safe havens in Syria.

“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of- days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated,” Dempsey said.

“To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a non-existent border.”

In Baghdad, Iraqis expressed their horror at the video of Foley’s killing and questioned Western strategy on Islamic State, which advanced out of Syria in June to capture several major Iraqi cities, including Mosul, before the United States intervened militarily.

“The killing is the crime of all crimes, whoever the victim is,” said Kareem Jamal, 55, an Arabic language teacher at a secondary school.

“I wish the world superpowers had fought these criminal groups in their incubators. The U.S. should have hit Islamic State when they first appeared in Syria. Why didn’t they hit them when they first entered Mosul and other cities?”

Ali Mohammed Saeed, a 35-year-old doctor, called for deeper Western involvement, almost three years after U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq. “Air strikes are not enough, those criminals need ground troops to kill them and kick them out.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron has ruled out sending troops to step up Britain’s military involvement in Iraq, which has so far been focused on delivering supplies to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State and using jets to conduct surveillance.

(Additional reporting by Julia Edwards, Missy Ryan, Steve Holland and David Alexander in Washington and William James in London; Writing by David Stamp; editing by Philippa Fletcher and Gunna Dickson)

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‘Terrorists’ help U.S. in battle against Islamic State in Iraq


These people are all ‘terrorists’. They’d kill their own mothers and children if they could justify it with their silly superstitious beliefs.

Take Osama bin Laden; we helped him and his criminal friends fight against the Russians. So what does he do? Can anyone say 911? New York City’s Twin Towers?; the Pentagon?

Muslims are still living with the tribal mentality of the Bronze Age. They cannot be trusted. They’re savages. Just think of the mindset of a people who in the 21st century stone women to death and decapitate journalists! TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

Muslims
MAKHMUR Iraq (Reuters) – Washington has acquired an unlikely ally in its battle against Islamic State militants in Iraq – a group of fighters it formally classifies as terrorists.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), condemned for its three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state, says it played a decisive role in blunting the militants’ sweep through Iraq, which triggered U.S. air strikes to halt their advance.

“This war will continue until we finish off the Islamic State,” said Rojhat, a PKK fighter speaking from a hospital bed in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in Iraq.

The involvement of the PKK has consequences not only for rival Kurdish factions who failed to stop the Islamic State’s advance, but also for Turkey and the international community, which is being lobbied by the PKK to drop the terrorist tag.

Rojhat, 33, was wounded for a third time in the battle to retake the northern Iraqi town of Makhmur from the Islamic State after the militants – deemed too extreme even for al Qaeda – routed the region’s vaunted Kurdish peshmerga forces.

The first two times he was fighting Turkish forces, part of a conflict which killed 40,000 people between its beginnings in 1984 with demands for Kurdish independence from Turkey and a ceasefire in March 2013.

His role highlights the challenge the PKK represents for Ankara, which still views it as terrorist but feels seriously threatened by the Islamic State, which has seized dozens of its citizens and decapitated an American hostage this week.

Thanks to Rojhat and his comrades-in-arms, residents of Makhmur who fled in terror at an onslaught that threatened Arbil, 60 km (40 miles) away, are now returning to assess the damage.

They have already sprayed over graffiti that reads: “the Islamic State is here to stay”.

“This is not just about Makhmur: this is about Kurdistan,” said PKK commander Sadiq Goyi, seated beneath a banner of the group’s jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, referring to Kurdish-inhabited land in Syria and Iran as well as Turkey and Iraq.

“Islamic State is a danger to everyone, so we must fight them everywhere”.

An armed sister group of the PKK – People’s Defense Units (YPG) – has carved out an autonomous zone in Syria’s northeast, successfully fending off attacks by IS militants who have proclaimed a caliphate straddling the frontier with Iraq.

When the militants overran peshmerga positions in northwestern Iraq, YPG fighters crossed over from Syria and evacuated thousands of minority Yazidis left stranded on a mountain with scant food and water.

“The PKK is our hero,” said 26-year-old Hussein, one of hundreds of Yazidis being trained by YPG fighters at several camps inside Syria to fight the Islamic State.

PKK commanders say guerrillas have been dispatched to the front line in the cities of Kirkuk and Jalawla as well. They declined to give numbers and fierce fighting makes their statements hard to verify.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE

Turkish security forces began clearing villages suspected of sympathizing with the PKK during the 1990s, displacing thousands of Kurds, some of whom fled to Iraq and eventually settled in a camp in Makhmur, recently turned into a base for PKK guerrillas.

The word “Apo”, nickname for Ocalan, is scrawled on walls around the camp, which held more than 10,000 residents until the Islamic State’s incursion.

A lone pair of socks still dangles from a washing line and unpicked grapes have begun to shrivel on the vine. The thud of artillery can be heard from the new front line with the Islamic state, several kilometers away.

The militants’ surge towards Kurdistan destroyed the aura of invincibility surrounding the region’s peshmerga forces, which had not fought for years and ultimately proved no match for fighters armed with weapons plundered from the Iraqi army.

PKK commanders however say the militants’ main weapon is fear: “They are waging psychological warfare,” Goyi said. “Islamic State are not as powerful as they’re thought to be”.

The PKK’s newfound role may prove most worrying to its historic competitor, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The two have long vied for leadership of the Kurdish community across the borders of Syria, Iran, Turkey and Iraq.

With Kurdish forces from all four countries fighting the same enemy for the first time, for now at least, PKK guerillas and peshmerga stand side by side at checkpoints on the road to Makhmur. Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan and also head of the KDP visited the camp himself to thank PKK commanders for their assistance.

But tensions are not far beneath the surface.

A senior KDP official said the PKK’s involvement would discourage the international community from providing the Kurds with advanced weapons to match Islamic State’s arsenal. “We don’t need them,” he said of the PKK, accusing it of seeking to discredit the KDP.

The wounded guerrilla Rojhat said the PKK was more organized and disciplined than the peshmerga, and its tactics better suited to fighting Islamic State, even without the kind of military hardware Iraqi Kurds are seeking.

“This is how we fought the Turkish army for years,” Rojhat said. “War is an act of faith”.

“NO NEED TO PANIC”

Ankara has made little comment on the latest conflict in Iraq, smarting from allegations, which it firmly denies, that its support for Sunni opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad helped the Islamic State to grow and fearing for the fate of dozens of its citizens the militants have captured.

But Turkish officials played down concern the PKK would be embolded by its role in Iraq into stirring unrest in Turkey, seeing the fight against Islamic State as a separate issue from their struggle with Ankara for Kurdish rights.

“In Iraq there is a crisis and the PKK has engaged in this fight along with other elements there,” a senior Turkish government official told Reuters, adding that he did not see its engagement there as permanent.

“There is no fear of a division in Turkey or a fear of unification of the Kurdish population outside of Turkey. Since there are no demands through armed conflict or violence from the PKK in Turkey, there is no need to panic,” the official said, asking for anonymity to allow him to speak more freely.

Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said this week the government may hold direct talks with the guerrillas, whose leader Ocalan is jailed on an island in the Marmara Sea. It proposes a plan involving the disarmament and reintegration of fighters into Turkish society.

The PKK see the new enemy and the old as very much linked, accusing Turkey of funding and sending Islamists to fight Kurds on their behalf in Syria, allegations Ankara denies.

But it has dropped its demand for a separate state for Kurds in Turkey’s southeast in favor of devolution of power in each of the four countries across which Kurds are divided.

A European diplomat in Ankara said that the PKK would see its actions in Iraq, in particular its help in protecting members of the Yazidi community, as helping a diplomatic push to persuade the European Union to remove it from its list of terrorist groups.

“It is quite paradoxical that an organization proscribed as a terrorist group by the EU appears to have played such a significant role (against Islamic State),” the diplomat said.

“They’re challenging the legal basis on which the EU proscribed them in the first place. They will see all of what has been happening in the past few days as grist to that mill.”

The European Union, however, would be highly unlikely to make any such move without Turkish agreement, he said.

“The Turks would be strongly against … We’re not at the stage where Turkey would be willing to contemplate anything like that, absolutely not.”

(This story has been refiled to correct spelling of proscribed in fourth paragraph from the end)

(Additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Mark Hosenball in Washington, Orhan Coskun and Nick Tattersall in Istanbul; Editing by Michael Georgy and Philippa Fletcher)

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ISIS Beheads an American Journalist


This is so disgusting! These despicable Muslim vermin need to be exterminated! We should be patient, and little by little evacuate all Americans from Iraq, it may take 3 months, or 6 months or a year, then… KABOOM! Ten 100 megaton nuclear bombs, one in every major city in Iraq. The hell with it, it’s time we pull our heads out of our asses and begin to fight fire with fire! We might be doing the people of Iraq a favor by ending their miserable existence in that cesspool of a country.

I realize this sounds extremely cold and radical, but if these religious freaks are not halted, in 100 years they will take over our country! TGO

Refer to Video: YouTube

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Islamic State message to America: ‘we will drown all of you in blood’


Here’s a good article for all of you Muslim ass-sniffers out there who are always apologizing for those who worship Islam. Enjoy… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The Islamic State militant group that has seized large parts of Iraq and drawn the first American air strikes since the end of the occupation in 2011 has warned the United States it will attack Americans “in any place” if the raids hit its militants.

The video, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and victims of snipers, featured a statement which said in English “we will drown all of you in blood”.

U.S. airstrikes on Kurdish forces in northern Iraq have helped the fighters take back some territory captured by Islamic State militants, who have threatened to march on Baghdad.

The latest advance by the Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot, sent tens of thousands of members of the Yazidi ethnic minority and Christians fleeing for their lives and alarmed the Baghdad government and its Western allies.

Unlike al-Qaeda, Islamic State has so far focused on seizing land in Iraq and Syria for its self-proclaimed caliphate, not spectacular attacks on Western targets.

U.S. President Barack Obama said at a news conference on Monday that the Islamic State posed a threat to Iraq and the entire region.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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Robin Williams’ Death


A friend of mine (we’ll call him Pete) has suggested that Robins Williams did not commit suicide, but rather that he died from what is termed ‘auto-erotic asphyxiation’, which is one of the many terms associated with this event.

This is where an individual masturbates while at the same time restricting the blood flow to the brain, which is supposed to heighten the intensity of one’s orgasm.

His thinking is that Robin Williams was found in what is basically a sitting position, slumped over with one of his shoulders practically touching the floor. Pete’s suggestion is that people who engage in that practice do it from a seated position.

Pete’s other reason for suggesting that there was no suicide involved is the fact that Robin Williams left no suicide note behind, which typically an individual committing suicide does.

Whether my friend Pete is right or wrong has yet to be determined and in fact we may never know. Even if he did die in the fashion he suggests, it may be kept from public knowledge. Robin Williams was much more popular and adored by the public than someone like fellow actor David Carradine, who in fact died in the same manner that my friend suggests Robin Williams did.

The bottom line is that sadly, Robin Williams is dead. It would be an even more sad ending to his life, in my view, if he never intended to die. TGO

 

 

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Police deploy tear gas to impose Ferguson curfew


I don’t consider myself a racist, although having said that, I believe that every single individual has some level, however minute, of racism, prejudice, bias; whatever… But I have to say that this scene (pictured below) is really, really tiresome. These people act like they just came out of the jungle whenever one of their own is killed. Mind you, it isn’t as if those dying are model citizens. All of them are getting shot for a reason. I’m not saying that these young men deserve to die, but it isn’t as if police just walk up to them and shoot them for no reason at all.

And I can understand the sentiments; the anger and everything else that goes with it. The part that angers me is the looting, the stealing, etc. That shows me that these people are hypocrites. With them it isn’t about justice, it’s about being the thugs and thieves they are, who take advantage of these situations to do what they want to do, which is break the law.

Once again, I don’t consider myself a racist. But these incidents, which happen each and every time a black man gets shot (regardless of the reasons) are inexcusable and do nothing but further separate the races. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Associated Press

Police: Man Shot As Ferguson Curfew Begins

Blacks

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — One person was shot and seven people were arrested early Sunday morning as police used smoke and tear gas to impose a curfew in a St. Louis suburb where a black teen walking down the street had been shot by a white police officer.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said during a news conference that police are still seeking the person who shot the critically wounded victim and defended his department’s strong strategic response that came after a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew took hold in Ferguson, Missouri. Johnson said the strong police response was precipitated by two events.

Johnson said concerns about people who’d broken into a barbecue restaurant and taken position on the roof overlooking approaching police was one strategic concern. He said another involved a man who flashed a handgun and appeared in the middle of the street as armored vehicles approached the crowd of protesters.

Johnson said someone also fired at a patrol car, but no officers were injured.

Hundreds of other protesters left peacefully before the curfew took effect in Ferguson, where 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot on Aug. 9. The shooting has prompted protests, unrest and claims of civil rights violations.

But remaining protesters — chanting “No justice! No curfew!” — refused to leave the area. As five armored tactical vehicles approached the crowd, officers spoke through a loudspeaker: “You are in violation of a state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately. Failure to comply, may result in arrest.”

As officers put on gas masks, a chant from the distant crowd emerged: “We have the right to assemble peacefully.”

A moment later, police began firing canisters into the crowd of protesters.

Highway Patrol Spokesman Lt. John Hotz initially said police only used smoke, but later told The Associated Press that they also fired tear gas canisters. He said of police efforts: “Obviously, we’re trying to give them every opportunity to comply with the curfew.”

Jayson Ross, who was leading the protesters toward police before the canisters were fired, said: “They got guns. We got guns. We are ready.”

The unrest between police and protesters came after Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Ferguson.

Nixon’s curfew announcement came after tensions again flared in Ferguson late Friday night. Earlier that day, local police identified the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson and released documents and video footage alleging that Brown had robbed a convenience store just before he was shot. Police said Wilson was unaware Brown was a suspect when he encountered him walking in the street with a friend.

As the curfew approached late Saturday night, New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz roamed the street with a bullhorn, encouraging people to leave for their own safety. Many appeared to follow his suggestion.

“C’mon you all, let’s roll out,” Shabazz said through his bullhorn. “Let’s roll out of here, get some rest and come back tomorrow.”

Crowds that were in the hundreds prior to the curfew had dwindled significantly in the final hour.

Keyon Watkins, a 26-year-old computer science worker from St. Louis, said on Saturday that if many others stayed in the street, he would join them.

“All of this is just building up — pent-up aggression by being mistreated on a daily basis,” Watkins said.

In announcing the curfew, Nixon said that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow looters to endanger the community.

“I am committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,” Nixon said during a press conference at a church that was interrupted repeatedly by people objecting to the curfew and demanding that the officer who shot Brown be charged with murder.

“We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching,” Nixon said. “We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many.”

State statute gives the governor broad powers when he declares a state of emergency, but he hasn’t indicated that he plans to do anything other than imposing the curfew and empowering the state highway patrol to enforce it.

Meanwhile, Nixon said the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its civil rights investigation of the shooting.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door in the neighborhood starting Saturday, talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting.

Johnson on Saturday said police would not enforce the curfew with armored trucks and tear gas but would communicate with protesters and give them ample opportunity to leave. Local officers faced strong criticism earlier in the week for their use of tear gas and rubber bullets against protesters. Johnson said one tear gas canister was deployed Friday night after the group of rioters became unruly and several officers got trapped and injured.

Brown’s death had already ignited several days of clashes with furious protesters. Tensions eased Thursday after Nixon turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gone were the police in riot gear and armored vehicles, replaced by the new patrol commander who personally walked through the streets with demonstrators. But Friday night marked a resurgence of unrest.

On Saturday, some residents said it appeared the violent acts were being committed by people who came from other suburbs or states.

“Who would burn down their own backyard?” asked Rebecca McCloud, a local who works with the Sonshine Baptist Church in St. Louis. “These people aren’t from here. They came to burn down our city and leave.”

Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, is a six-year police veteran who had no previous complaints against him, the local police chief has said.

The Ferguson Police Department has refused to say anything about Wilson’s whereabouts, and Associated Press reporters were unable to contact him at any addresses or phone numbers listed under that name in the St. Louis area.

Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said it could be weeks before the investigation wraps up.

___

Follow David A. Lieb at: http://www.twitter.com/DavidALieb

Associated Press writer Nigel Duara contributed to this report.

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‘Massacre’ in Iraq as strikes hit near key dam


All of this destruction, suffering and killing can be blamed on one thing and one thing only; Islam and the people who adhere to this venomous faith. The killing in societies dominated by this disease called Islam will continue until the day this virus of the mind is eradicated. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Associated Press

CBSTV Videos

Report: ISIS insurgents kill 80 Yazidi citizens

Bridge

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Islamic extremists in Iraq killed 80 Yazidi men and abducted their wives and children, officials and eyewitnesses said Saturday, insisting the religious community is still at risk after a week of U.S. and Iraqi airstrikes on the militants.

Airstrikes meanwhile targeted insurgents around Iraq’s largest dam, which was captured by the Islamic State extremist group earlier this month, according to nearby residents. It was not immediately clear who carried out the strikes.

The U.S. began launching airstrikes against the Islamic State extremist group a week ago, in part to prevent the massacre of tens of thousands of Yazidis stranded on a northern mountaintop. After most were able to escape with the help of Kurdish fighters, President Barack Obama took credit for alleviating the threat of genocide.

But on Friday afternoon Islamic State fighters who had surrounded the nearby village of Kocho 12 days ago, demanding its Yazidi residents convert or die, moved in.

The militants took the men away in groups of a few dozen and shot them dead with assault rifles on the edge of the village, according to a wounded man who escaped by feigning death.

The fighters then walked among the bodies, finishing off any who appeared to still be alive with their pistols, the 42-year-old man told the Associated Press by phone from an area where he was hiding out. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety.

“They thought we were dead, and when they went away, we ran away. We hid in a valley until sundown, and then we fled to the mountains,” he said.

A Yazidi lawmaker, a Kurdish security official and an Iraqi official from the nearby city of Sinjar gave similar accounts, saying Islamic State fighters had massacred scores of Yazidi men Friday afternoon after seizing Kocho.

All said they based their information on the accounts of survivors and warned that the minority group remains in danger despite the U.S. intervention. Their accounts matched those of two other Yazidi men, Qassim Hussein and Nayef Jassem, who said they spoke to other survivors.

The Yazidis are a centuries-old religious minority viewed as apostates by the extremist Islamic State group, which has claimed mass killings of its opponents in Syria and Iraq, often posting grisly photos on the Internet.

Yazidi lawmaker Mahma Khalil said the Yazidis in Kocho were given the choice to convert or die. “When the residents refused to do this, the massacre took place,” he said.

Halgurd Hekmat, a spokesman for Kurdish security forces, said the militants took the women and children of Kocho to the nearby city of Tal Afar, which is controlled by the Islamic State group.

Elsewhere in northern Iraq, residents living near the Mosul Dam told The Associated Press that the area was being targeted by airstrikes, but it was not immediately clear whether the attacks were being carried out by Iraq’s air force or the United States.

A Pentagon spokeswoman said the Defense Department, for the safety and security of American personnel, would not discuss reports of ongoing or future operations. Iraqi military spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.

The extremist group seized the dam on the Tigris River on Aug. 7. Residents near the dam say the airstrikes killed militants, but that could not immediately be confirmed. The residents spoke on condition of anonymity out of fears for their safety.

Tens of thousands of Yazidis fled when the Islamic State group earlier this month captured the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar, near the Syrian border.

The plight of the Yazidis, tens of thousands of whom were stranded on a desert mountaintop for days, encircled by the Islamic extremists, prompted U.S. and Iraqi forces to launch aid drops. It also contributed to the U.S. decision to launch airstrikes against the militants, who were advancing on the Kurdish regional capital Irbil.

Most of those Yazidis were eventually able to escape to Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdish region with the help of Kurdish fighters, and on Thursday Obama said Americans should be proud of the U.S. efforts to save them.

“We broke the ISIL siege of Mount Sinjar, we helped vulnerable people reach safety and we helped save many innocent lives.” Obama said, speaking from his vacation spot in Edgartown, Massachusetts. He was referring to the extremist group by its earlier acronym.

But the Islamic State group remains in control of vast swaths of northeastern Syria and northern and western Iraq, and the scale of the humanitarian crisis prompted the U.N. to declare its highest level of emergency earlier this week.

Some 1.5 million people have been displaced by fighting since the Islamic State group’s rapid advance across northern and western Iraq began in June.

The decision to launch airstrikes marked the first direct U.S. military intervention in Iraq since the last troops withdrew in 2011, and reflected growing international concern about the extremist group.

On Saturday, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said it deployed a U.S.-made spy plane over northern Iraq to monitor the humanitarian crisis and movements of Islamic State militants. It said the converted Boeing KC-135 tanker, called a Rivet Joint, would monitor mobile phone calls and other communication.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was in Baghdad on Saturday, where he announced his government would provide more than 24 million euros ($32.2 million) in humanitarian aid to Iraq.

“The first German air force planes are flying to Irbil at this moment to deliver humanitarian aid,” Steinmeier said in a joint press conference with Iraq’s acting Foreign Minister Hussein Shahristani.

“In the current situation where minorities, especially in northern Iraq, are expelled and murdered, where children are orphaned and women are enslaved, humanitarian aid is extremely important.”

Two British planes also landed Saturday in the Kurdish regional capital Irbil carrying humanitarian supplies.

But Khalil, the Yazidi lawmaker, said the U.S. must do more to protect those fleeing the Islamic State group.

“We have been calling on the U.S. administration and Iraqi government to intervene and help the innocent people, but it seems that nobody is listening,” Khalil said.

___

Yacoub reported from Baghdad. Associated Press writer Vivian Salama in Baghdad, Frank Jordans in Berlin, and Shawn Pogatchnik in Dublin contributed to this report.

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5 Viruses That Are Scarier Than Ebola


There always seems to be some sort of virus lurking that is a threat to our species… Hopefully none of these, or others yet discovered or which haven’t hopped over from another species will be our downfall. It would really be a sad end to mankind to be wiped out by microscopic organisms. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: LiveScience

LiveScience.com

Ebola Highlights Growing Global Virus Threat

Virus

The Ebola virus has now killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa. Although the mortality rate of the most recent outbreak isn’t as high as in previous events, it’s still the case that most people who become infected with Ebola will not survive. (The mortality rate is about 60 percent for the current outbreak, compared with 90 percent in the past, according to the National Institutes of Health.)

But despite this somber prognosis, health experts in the United States aren’t particularly worried about the threat of Ebola in this country or in other developed countries.

“I see Ebola as a significant threat in the specific regions that it has been identified in, certainly central and west Africa,” said Cecilia Rokusek, a public health expert with Nova Southeastern University’s Institute for Disaster and Emergency Preparedness in Florida. “But in my opinion, it’s not an imminent threat for those in the United States.”

Indeed, other viruses pose a larger threat to U.S. citizens, according to Rokusek.

Although some of these viruses have far lower mortality rates than that of Ebola, they are more prevalent in developed nations, and kill more people annually than Ebola does. Here are five viruses that are just as dangerous (if not more so) than Ebola:

Rabies

Over the past 100 years, rabies has declined significantly as a public health threat in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately two people now die yearly in the United States from this virus, which is transmitted to people through saliva when they are bitten by infected animals, such as dogs or bats.

People who know they have been bitten by an animal should receive the rabies vaccine, which prevents infection by the virus, according to the CDC. But, especially in the case of bat bites, people may not always realize they have been bitten.

And rabies has one of the highest fatality rates of any virus; only three people in the United States are known to have ever survived the disease without receiving the vaccine after exposure to the virus.

Still, the disease remains a greater threat in other areas of the world than in the United States. Approximately 55,000 people die of rabies every year in Africa and Asia, according to the WHO.

HIV

Though the number of annual deaths related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has declined in recent years, an estimated 1.6 million people worldwide died of HIV and autoimmune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) related causes in 2012, according to the WHO. The virus attacks a person’s immune cells and weakens the immune system over time, making it very difficult for the infected individual to fight off other diseases.

About 15,500 people with an AIDS diagnosis died in 2010 in the United States, according to the CDC. In total, an estimated 650,000 people have died of AIDS in the United States since the disease was discovered in 1981. An estimated 36 million people have died worldwide from the epidemic.

Today, people with HIV do live longer than they used to, a trend that coincides with the increased availability of antiretroviral therapy, as well as the decline in new infections since the peak of the AIDS epidemic in 1997. However, no cure for HIV exists.

Influenza

The flu may not sound very scary, but it kills far more people every year than Ebola does. The exact number of people who die each year from seasonal flu virus is the subject of much debate, but the CDC puts the average number of annual deaths in the United States somewhere between 3,000 and 49,000.

The large variation in yearly deaths arises because many flu deaths are not reported as such, so the CDC relies on statistical methods to estimate the number. Another reason for this wide range is that annual flu seasons vary in severity and length, depending on what influenza viruses are most prominent. In years when influenza A (H3N2) viruses are prominent, death rates are typically more than double what they are in seasons when influenza A (H1N1) or influenza B viruses predominate, according to the CDC.

A highly contagious virus, influenza sickens far more people than it kills, with an estimated 3 million to 5 million people becoming seriously ill yearly from influenza viruses. Worldwide, the flu causes an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Despite the relatively low mortality rate of the virus, public health professionals and doctors recommend annual flu shots to keep the risk of complications from influenza at bay.

“Healthy people should get their vaccines every year,” Rokusek told Live Science. “Studies have shown that the flu vaccine is an effective preventative measure.”

But flu vaccines, which offer immunity from influenza A and B viruses, do not protect against other forms of influenza, which can arise when the virus undergoes genetic changes. New strains of the flu result in higher than average mortality rates globally. The most recent influenza pandemic, the “swine flu” or H1N1 pandemic, killed between 151,700 and 575,400 people globally during 2009 and 2010, according to the CDC.

Mosquito-borne viruses

Spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, viruses such as dengue, West Nile and yellow fever kill more than 50,000 people worldwide every year, according to estimates by the WHO and the CDC. (Malaria — which is also spread by mosquitos, but is caused by a parasite rather than a virus — kills more than 600,00 people yearly.)

At least 40 percent of the world’s population, or about 2.5 billion people, are at risk of serious illness and death from mosquito-borne viral diseases, according to the CDC.

Dengue fever, which is endemic to parts of South America, Mexico, Africa and Asia, claims approximately 22,000 lives every year, according to the CDC. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a deadly infection that causes high fevers and can lead to septic shock.

These diseases occur in regions neighboring the United States, making them a threat in this country.

“Dengue is very active in the Caribbean, and travelers to the Caribbean come back to the United States with dengue,” said Dr. Robert Leggiadro, a New York physician and professor of biology at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

People infected with dengue while traveling abroad can spread the disease at home when mosquitos bite them, and then bite other people, Leggiadro said.

Even more deadly than dengue is yellow fever, which mostly affects people in Latin America and Africa. The disease causes an estimated 30,000 deaths worldwide, according to the WHO.

Less deadly, but still dangerous is West Nile virus, a viral neurological disease that is spread by mosquitos that bite humans after feasting on birds infected with the virus. Although the vast majority of people infected with this virus will not show symptoms of West Nile, the disease has killed an estimated 1,200 people in the United States since it was first seen here in 1999, according to the CDC.

Rotavirus

Not everyone is at high risk of contracting rotavirus, but for children around the world, this gastrointestinal virus is a very serious problem. Approximately 111 million cases of gastroenteritis caused by rotavirus are reported every year globally, according to the CDC. The vast majority of those affected by the virus are children under the age of 5, and about 82 percent of deaths associated with the virus occur in children in developing nations.

Globally, an estimated 440,000 children who contract the virus die each year from complications, namely dehydration. In the United States, a vaccine for rotavirus was developed in 1998, but was later recalled due to safety concerns. A newer vaccine, developed in 2006, is now available and is recommended for children ages 2 months and older.

Despite routine vaccinations for rotavirus in the United States, the CDC estimates that between 20 and 60 children under age 5 die every year from untreated dehydration caused by the virus.

While some parents in the United States have expressed concern about the complications that may arise as a result of vaccinating for rotavirus, Leggiadro told Live Science that vaccination for this and other preventable diseases is the best way to safeguard against diseases that, if left untreated, can be deadly.

Follow Elizabeth Palermo @techEpalermo. Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.

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Southern Indiana man sentenced to death again


It is truly remarkable that when dealing with vermin such as this guy, people talk about whether or not he feels remorseful! Who gives a crap? The guy murders women, then has sex with their corpses, then mutilates them, and his destiny is determined by whether or not he feels sorry for what he did; really!

As usual, nobody thinks about the victims. All these bleeding hearts, including judges who succumb to social pressure do is concern themselves with their own conscious. People such as these murdering scum will probably live another 25 years in prison with access to sports, games, television, internet, etc. Meanwhile, their victims are still dead. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Associated Press

WRTV – Indianapolis Scripps

Killer

NEWALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana man already sentenced to death for killing a family friend and mutilating her body was sentenced Friday to death in the slaying of a second woman whose body was found buried in his backyard.

William Clyde Gibson III, 56, was sentenced to death by Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth in the strangling of 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk of Charlestown, The News and Tribune and The Courier-Journal reported.

Gibson pleaded guilty unexpectedly in June to killing Kirk. Her remains were found in 2012 buried in the backyard of Gibson’s New Albany home. Police said during testimony that her back had been broken.

Orth said in her nearly 30-page sentencing order that death was the “only appropriate sentence.”

Gibson was sentenced to death last year for the murder of 75-year-old Christine Whitis, whose body was discovered in Gibson’s garage days before Kirk’s body was found. Both Kirk and Whitis were sexually assaulted after they were killed, police said.

Gibson also was convicted early this year of murder in the death of Karen Hodella of Port Orange, Florida. Her remains were found in Clarksville along the Ohio River. Gibson was sentenced to 65 years in prison for her death.

Defense attorney Patrick Biggs had argued a second death sentence for Gibson was unnecessary. He also cited Gibson’s history of alcoholism and bipolar disorder, and his “remorseful” confession as reasons why he shouldn’t be sentenced to death for the murder of Kirk.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said following the sentence that the judge didn’t see the remorse. He also pointed out a tattoo Gibson got in prison that reads: “Death Row X3,” in large letters across the back of his head.

“We can’t make someone be sorry,” Henderson said. “But what we can do is hold them accountable, and that’s what we did.”

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Boko Haram abduct dozens of boys in northeast Nigeria: witnesses


The Muslim douche-bags strike again… I know, I know, what else can be expected from these insects? These people are poisoned by the Koran, which is understandable (given that the book is evil) – couple that with the stupidity of Muslims and this is what you get; violent, brain-dead people. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

By Lanre Ola

Dicks

MAIDUGURI Nigeria (Reuters) – Suspected Islamist Boko Haram fighters have abducted dozens of boys and men in a raid on a remote village in northeast Nigeria, loading them onto trucks and driving them off, witnesses who fled the violence said on Friday.

The kidnappings came four months after Boko Haram, which is fighting to reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in religiously mixed Nigeria, abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from the village of Chibok. They are still missing.

Several witnesses who fled after Sunday’s raid on Doron Baga, a sandy fishing village near the shores of Lake Chad, said militants clothed in military and police uniforms had burned several houses and that 97 people were unaccounted for.

“They left no men or boys in the place; only young children, girls and women,” said Halima Adamu, sobbing softly and looking exhausted after a 180 km (110 mile) road trip on the back of a truck to Maiduguri, capital of the northeastern state of Borno.

“They were shouting ‘Allah Akbar’ (God is greatest), shooting sporadically. There was confusion everywhere. They started parking our men and boys into their vehicles, threatening to shoot whoever disobeyed them. Everybody was scared.”

They said six older men were also killed in Sunday’s raid, while another five people were wounded.

Boko Haram, seen as the number one security threat to Africa’s top economy and oil producer, has dramatically increased attacks on civilians in the past year, and what began as a grassroots movement has rapidly lost popular support as it becomes more bloodthirsty.

Its tactic – kidnapping boys and forcing them to fight and abducting girls as sex slaves – is a chilling echo of Ugandan rebel Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army, which has operated in Uganda, South Sudan and central Africa for decades.

DETERMINED FOE

The military did not respond to a request for comment. A security source said they were aware of the incident but were still investigating the details.

“I am appalled to see reports of another large abduction by terrorists in the northeast of Nigeria.” British Minister for Africa James Duddridge said in an emailed statement.

“Officials at the British High Commission in Abuja are urgently looking into the details. The UK stands firmly with Nigeria as it faces the scourge of Boko Haram.”

Britain and the United States have offered help to try to find the missing Chibok girls, but there has been no success yet.

The kidnappers overpowered local vigilantes who had no support because this is no military presence there, the villagers said.

Talatu Abubakar, another villager who fled to Maiduguri, said the invaders had taunted the men for being unable to defend themselves.

“They were shouting ‘Where is your pride? You people used to be warriors. Today you are all just women, not as brave as we thought’,” he said.

He said that from his Hadeija clan alone, some 47 people were missing and feared to have been abducted.

The raid shows how mobile Boko Haram units can be.

After a military offensive in May last year broke their hold on the area around Lake Chad in the far northeast of Borno state, the rebels relocated to the south of the state, near the Cameroon border nearly 300 km (190 miles) away. Chibok, where the girls were abducted, is in this area.

Their re-appearance in the area demonstrates their ability to move across vast swathes of northeastern Nigeria without being intercepted by the military.

Nigerian forces are overstretched against a determined foe. In the past week they have fought gun battles with Boko Haram Islamists in two key towns in the south of Borno – Gwoza, the security sources said, and the garrison town of Damboa, which the militants sacked a month ago.

(Reporting by Lanre Ola; Writing by Tim Cocks; Additional reporting by Guy Faulconbridge in London; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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Specks of star dust likely first from beyond solar system


The universe is such a fascinating place. It would have been incredible to have been born 100 years from now, just to know and understand what will be common knowledge then. With scientific advancements growing at a seemingly geometric rate, one can only imagine what the future brings… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

Dust

CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) – A NASA spacecraft dispatched 15 years ago to collect samples from a comet also snared what scientists suspect are the first dust specks from interstellar space.

The Stardust robotic spacecraft was launched in 1999 to fly by a comet and collect samples from Comet Wild 2 (pronounced “Vilt 2″) and parachute them back to Earth in 2006. Before reaching the comet, the spacecraft also twice opened a collection tray to fish for particles that may have come into the solar system from interstellar space.

Now, after a Herculean effort involving thousands of volunteer researchers, scientists say they have what they believe are the first seven specks of freshly plucked dust hailing from exploded stars and other cosmic phenomena beyond the solar system.

The grains, described in a paper in this week’s edition of the journal, Science, are unexpectedly diverse in shape, size and content, indicating that interstellar dust likely has a more complex and varied evolution than originally thought, said lead author Andrew Westphal, a physicist with the University of California Berkeley’s Space Science Laboratory.

Two of the particles are bigger than the rest, though that is a very relative term when speaking of specks that are about 4 microns, or one-16,000th of an inch (0.0004 cm) across.

These two dust grains, which appear fluffy, like snowflakes, contain a magnesium-iron-silicate mineral called olivine, a hint that they may have come from disks around other stars before being altered by interstellar travel, Westphal said.

Some of the interstellar grains also may have organics, added space scientist Michael Zolensky, who oversees NASA’s collection of extraterrestrial samples at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Scientists hope to tease out more information from the dust motes, but not quite yet. They say more sophisticated equipment and processes are needed to analyze the tiny samples without destroying them.

“The prudent thing is just to put these away for a while and then wait until better techniques come along to make the analysis,” Zolensky said.

In the meantime, the volunteer effort to find other potential interstellar grains in Stardust’s collection trays continues. The particles were trapped in a smoke-like substance called aerogel, but their telltale impact tracks are so tiny that scientists had no choice but to recruit volunteers to assist in the search.

“This takes real effort,” Westphal said. “You’re not just launching your computer off on a project. You’re having to do it yourself.”

So far, about 30,700 self-described “dusters” have collectively done more than 100 million searches for interstellar dust particles by scanning digitized images of Stardust’s translucent aerogel collectors.

The next phase of the Stardust@home project starts on Friday.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comedy great Robin Williams hanged himself at home


What a sad ending to the life of a truly brilliant man… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

KABC – Los Angeles

Actor-comedian Robin Williams found dead in apparent suicide

 

Robin

SAN RAFAEL Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Oscar-winning actor and groundbreaking comedian Robin Williams hanged himself with a belt in his Northern California home after he had sought treatment for depression, a coroner said on Tuesday based on preliminary findings.

Williams, 63, was found dead by his personal assistant at midday on Monday in a bedroom. He was suspended from a belt wedged between a closet door and a door frame, in a seated position just off the ground, Marin County’s assistant chief deputy coroner, Keith Boyd, told a news conference.

“Mr. Williams’ personal assistant became concerned at approximately 11:45 a.m. when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door,” said Boyd.

“His right shoulder area was touching the door with his body perpendicular to the door and slightly suspended. Mr. Williams at that time was cool to the touch with rigor mortis present in his body,” Boyd added.

The official preliminary cause of death was asphyxia due to hanging, he said, and conclusion of the investigation is still weeks away.

Officials also found a pocket knife near Williams and superficial cuts on his left wrist with dried red material that matched what was on the knife blade. It was not yet known if it was his blood.

Williams had been open about his struggles with alcohol and cocaine and in the past months had entered a rehabilitation center to help him maintain sobriety. But many questions remained over what could have led him to take his own life.

Williams’ publicist, Mara Buxbaum, said on Monday that he had been suffering from severe depression, and Boyd acknowledged that he had been seeking treatment without giving more details.

His tragic end stood in stark contrast to the many on-screen characters he portrayed who encouraged those around them to tap into their own inner vitality, a wellspring of creativity to which he himself gave full vent in films such as “Good Morning, Vietnam” and “Dead Poets Society.”

Williams was last seen alive by his wife, Susan Schneider, on Sunday night when she retired for the evening. She left the next morning around 10 a.m., thinking that her husband was still asleep.

Boyd would not say whether Williams had left a suicide note, nor if any drugs or alcohol were involved. The full toxicology report would take two to six weeks, he said.

In addition to his wife, Williams is survived by three grown children – daughter Zelda, and sons Cody and Zachary. Funeral arrangements are pending and his body has been released by the coroner facility in neighboring Napa County.

‘THANKS CHIEF’

Tributes poured out from actors, comedians, politicians and generations of fans, including President Barack Obama who called him a “one-of-a-kind” actor.

A force of manic energy, Williams long ago established himself as one of the world’s most beloved comedians, and took audiences on wild flights of imagination that often stressed one simple message: seize the day.

His improvisational stand-up routine broke all rules, whether he was giving a comedic account of a nuclear accident in the style of Shakespeare or grabbing a camera from an audience member and pointing the lens down his pants.

Ben Affleck, whose breakthrough role came alongside Williams and Matt Damon in 1997’s “Good Will Hunting,” for which Williams won his only Oscar, said he was heartbroken.

“Thanks chief – for your friendship and for what you gave the world,” Affleck wrote on his Facebook page. “Robin had a ton of love in him. He personally did so much for so many people. He made Matt and my dreams come true. What do you owe a guy who does that? Everything.”

Spontaneous acts of tribute sprang up at landmarks from his career.

In Boston, scores of people jotted tributes in chalk to Williams near at bench in the lush Public Garden downtown, which featured in “Good Will Hunting”.

Mourners hung signs including “You will be missed” and “RIP Robin” on the wooden fence of the home in Boulder, Colorado, where parts of the intro credits for his breakout 1970s TV comedy, “Mork & Mindy,” were filmed.

On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, fans congregated around Williams’ star, leaving flowers and candles to honor the actor.

“My kids grew up on ‘Mrs Doubtfire’,” said Erlinda Fantauzzi, referring to the hit movie in which he played a father who took on the persona of a tender British nanny to be close to his kids. “I feel so bad. He was a tortured soul and he died alone. He touched adults and children,” she said.

Interest in his film work spiked on Tuesday, with “Dead Poets Society,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and “Good Morning, Vietnam” making it into the top 20 in the iTunes movie chart.

(Additional reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Scott Malone in Boston and Daniel Wallis in Denver; Writing by Mary Milliken; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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