Posts Tagged ‘Reuters’
Iran says happy to examine U.S. plot allegations (Reuters)
Last Updated on Monday, 17 October 2011 05:52 Written by admin Monday, 17 October 2011 05:52
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran said on Monday it would take a look at “seriously and patiently” U.S. allegations it prepared to assassinate a Saudi ambassador and called on Washington to deliver evidence of the plot it has dismissed as baseless propaganda.
“We are well prepared to look at any matter, even if fabricated, significantly and patiently, and we have known as on The usa to submit to us any information in regard to this scenario,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA information company.
U.S. authorities explained very last week they had foiled a plot to destroy Saudi’s ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, and had arrested an Iranian-U.S. joint nationwide — information that raised tensions in between Tehran, its Arab neighbors and the West.
President Barack Obama said the foiled plot must lead to tighter sanctions against Iran — previously beneath numerous rounds of U.N. sanctions above its nuclear program — and repeated that all options are on the table to deal with the Islamic republic, a tacit threat of potential army action.
U.N. Secretary-Common Ban Ki-moon stated on Monday he had passed correspondence about the U.S. suspicions of Iran’s involvement in the alleged plot to the U.N. Security Council.
Tehran says Washington fabricated the plot to divert attention from its own economic difficulties and boost pressure on Iran, which it has lengthy regarded as a supporter of “terrorist” groups with nuclear weapons ambitions.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned the West Iran will counter any “inappropriate measure” taken in opposition to it and stated he had no concern of military or sanctions threats.
“Despite the high army, protection, propaganda and sanctions strain, the Islamic Republic is very pleased not to again down even an iota for the duration of the past 32 many years,” he stated in a televised speech during a tour of Kermanshah province.
“The Iranian nation and its officials will not yield to the enemies’ blackmailing and pressure.”
The plot furor appears to have killed any possibility of a rapid return to talks among Tehran and world powers worried about its nuclear course, but Salehi stated Iran continued to make strides in the technologies it states is for purely peaceful ends.
Salehi conceded Iran had at first feared the assassination of a nuclear scientist in Tehran final November — which it blamed on Israel — had dealt a significant blow to a important portion of its atomic work.
“When (Majid) Shahriyari was martyred we have been anxious due to the fact he was the only man or woman who understood about this expert area (enriching uranium to 20 percent purity),” he mentioned.
“But soon after our trip to (the nuclear plant in the town of) Isfahan, I recognized that the graceful martyr had skilled about twenty folks in his workshops. Appropriate now we have several thousand nuclear engineers and there is virtually nothing in the nuclear concern that we want to obtain but can’t.”
Iran’s announcement final year that it had escalated uranium enrichment from the lower level essential for electrical power creation to twenty %, alarmed many international locations that feared it was a crucial phase towards making materials potent enough for a nuclear bomb.
Tehran states the fuel is essential to make isotopes for cancer treatment and preceding nuclear talks targeted on a deal to provide ready-built fuel for its healthcare reactor in trade for some of Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium.
Salehi mentioned in January — forward of the previous spherical of nuclear talks that then stalled — that these kinds of a fuel swap deal was turning out to be much less relevant as Iran would be able to generate its personal fuel plates for the reactor in the very first half of the Iranian yr, which began in March.
With that deadline currently passed, Salehi said on Monday Iran would be creating the medical reactor fuel within the subsequent four to five months. He explained Iran had created nearly 70 kg (a hundred and fifty lb) of twenty % enriched uranium, up from an approximated 40 kg in January.
(Producing by Robin Pomeroy modifying by Philippa Fletcher)
About 175 arrested early Sunday in Chicago protest (Reuters)
Last Updated on Monday, 17 October 2011 05:52 Written by admin Monday, 17 October 2011 05:52
CHICAGO (Reuters) – Police arrested all around 175 demonstrators at a nascent protest camp in a downtown Chicago park early on Sunday, hauling them away in vans and buses even as protesters vowed to carry on their marketing campaign from economic inequality.
The Chicago protests, connected to the Occupy Wall Road movement that sparked weekend demonstrations around the globe, drew far more than two,000 individuals on Saturday and into the early hrs of Sunday. Marches in New York and Los Angeles attracted about 5,000 folks every single on Saturday.
But the predawn arrests scuttled, at minimum for now, ideas by the Chicago protesters to build a protest camp comparable to that in New York’s Zuccotti Park, the Manhattan hub of the Occupy Wall Road movement that commenced previous month.
Right after the arrests, demonstrators in Chicago said they had been plotting a way ahead, grappling with issues such as trespassing laws barring occupation of manifeste spaces, organizing challenges and dropping temperatures.
The arrests transpired soon after protesters marched on Saturday from Chicago’s monetary district, wherever some have spent the night on sidewalks, to Grant Park where they hoped to set up camp regardless of a regulation barring the public from town parks soon after 11 p.m.
“We went in knowing that we had been going to occupy,” explained Kyle Miskell, a 24-calendar year-old laptop or computer technician, including he was amid people arrested. “We have been hoping the city would say, ‘OK, let them occupy right here.’ But it didn’t perform out that way.”
Police warned them to leave. But some protesters linked arms about the tents, stating they ended up ready to be arrested. Others stood across the road to chant and sing on the sidewalk in a gesture of solidarity.
“They were presented warnings, recommended of the statute and that they ended up in violation, and they selected to remain,” Chicago Police spokesman Daniel O’Brien stated.
Police took down close to thirty tents following hauling away the last of the arrested protesters early on Sunday, protesters said. At minimum 1 protester stated the police acted “humanely.”
Miskell explained the protesters “definitely require a far more long term residence” much more cozy than the fiscal district sidewalk they at present occupy.
“Sleeping on the streets in November and December in Chicago is not a good notion,” he explained.
Yet another Chicago protester, an intensive treatment nurse, explained that as the Chicago movement grew it necessary a “far more visible, yet secure” location to call house.
“There has been talk about men and women making an attempt to reoccupy Grant Park tonight. When the police had been tearing down the tents, there was a chant of ‘We have far more tents,’” explained the girl, 31-yr-old Heather Fallon.
ARRESTS IN OTHER Cities
In New York, in which the motion began when protesters set up camp on September 17, 92 demonstrators ended up arrested on Saturday and early on Sunday for disorderly perform and resisting arrest, police said.
Much more than a dozen have been demonstrators arrested in Washington Square Park for violating the park’s midnight curfew.
Another approximately twenty protesters have been arrested late on Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina, and about 50 were arrested in Phoenix.
In addition to the U.S. protests, demonstrations stretched into Sunday in London, exactly where about 250 people set up camp outside the house St Paul’s Cathedral, vowing to occupy the internet site indefinitely to show their anger at bankers and politicians through the international economic crisis.
The protests, in Asia and Europe as properly on Saturday, ended up largely peaceful apart from in Rome, where the demonstration sparked riots.
American protesters are angry that U.S. banking institutions are savoring booming earnings soon after finding bailouts in 2008, even though numerous regular Americans are struggling to stay afloat in a challenging economy with much more than 9 % unemployment.
They also imagine the richest 1 percent of Americans do not spend their honest share in taxes and want a far more equitable economic method.
Some protesters stated they were happy with the weekend’s turnout, although some marches ended up more compact than organizers had expected and it was unclear if the motion, mainly driven by social media, would sustain its momentum. Critics have accused it of lacking obvious objectives.
Occupy LA organizer Clark Davis was exuberant over the 5,000 men and women who marched by means of the streets of Los Angeles and gathered peacefully outside City Hall.
“Wow, they really showed up,” he mentioned.
In New York, Troy Simmons, production manager for a well being food organization, explained he was surprised turnout was not more substantial.
“Men and women do not want to get involved. They’d instead observe on Tv,” he explained.
(Added reporting by Brad Dorfman in Chicago, R.T. Watson in Los Angeles, Ray Sanchez in New York Composing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Eric Johnson, modifying by Cynthia Johnston)
Insight: On the run, Gaddafi leaves few footprints (Reuters)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 5 October 2011 04:44 Written by admin Wednesday, 5 October 2011 04:44
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Dressed in rags and keeping a cellphone, Muammar Gaddafi sits in the shade of an oasis palm in the southern Libyan desert. He gazes wistfully at indications that say “Niger 450 km,” “Burkina Faso 2,700 km,” “Algiers, 650 km.”
The cartoon, shown on an easel in the lobby of Tripoli’s Mahari hotel, raises a smile from patrons checking their AK-47 assault rifles and device pistols in the wooden gun rack driving the security desk.
Just about no a single understands exactly where the previous leader is hiding, 6 weeks following Libya’s revolution lastly broke his hold on the capital in an operation coordinated with NATO and Arab powers.
His aides and some of his sons scattered to provincial strongholds, in which at minimum two — Mutassem and Saif al-Islam — are now believed to be fighting for their survival, respectively in Gaddafi’s coastal house town of Sirte and the inland city of Bani Walid.
Of their father, there is tiny trace.
But by coincidence instead than layout, the mocking portrait of Gaddafi in the Mahari, short-term house to senior groundbreaking fighters, illustrates neatly the working assumptions that lie powering the manhunt.
These clues as exist appear to level south, inserting the 69-12 months-outdated shut to the country’s southern borders with sub-Saharan Africa.
And, as the drawing suggests, those who are tracking him suspect he is looking for a refuge in a Sahelian or sub-Saharan region, the regions in which the gentleman who known as himself Africa’s “King of Kings” cultivated allies for many years.
A move overseas would place him at danger of arrest by African countries which are signed up to The Hague war crimes court. Several advise he could outfox his pursuers by hiding in plain sight in an urban environment in Libyan’s north — a tactic employed successfully for many years by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden until finally his killing by U.S. forces in Pakistan in May.
But in many respects the Sahara can make feeling.
It may possibly seem in close proximity to-empty from the map, but the world’s most significant desert serves as a contraband superhighway, especially at evening when fewer eyes — which includes satellites — are viewing.
The 69-year-aged might now calculate he can vanish amid the smugglers, shepherds, bandits, unlawful migrants and militants who roam this component of Africa without a trace.
Needed: TIMELY Prospects
As peace takes hold in Libya, the region could see a resumption in site visitors from African migrants, creating the possibility of added cover for an global fuyarde.
Hisham Buhagiar, who sales opportunities the hunt for the interim Nationwide Transitional Council (NTC) that changed Gaddafi, told Reuters he suspected his prey was near the historic Saharan investing city of Ghadames, 550 km (350 miles) southwest of Tripoli on the Algerian border and residence to a UNESCO Planet Heritage Site.
“1 tribe, the Tuareg, is nevertheless supporting him and he is thought to be in the Ghadames location in the south,” explained Buhagiar, incorporating that Gaddafi had moved there from the southern town of Samnu.
Despite Buhagiar’s lead, there appears to have been no try at seize, and protection authorities suspect the information that led to this perception was not adequately timely or precise to allow a raid to be mounted.
Therein lies the problem for his pursuers. Actionable data is what they want, but most of what they acquire from human informers is possibly out of date.
Speaking on problem of anonymity, an additional NTC official stated there was a presumption amongst his colleagues that the lookup could just take months, if only due to the fact of the tremendous dimension of Libya, Africa’s third largest nation.
“It could be a extremely extended drawn approach. It’s a huge nation. There is a great deal to research,” stated the official, incorporating there was a sensation “he could be someplace in the south, in villages about the southern town of Sabha,” in which he spent aspect of his youth.
“We’ve seen many convoys heading across the borders — much more than have been publicly described. The convoys are huge and really properly armed. And the windows are all blacked out.”
“But we do not assume he has been amid them.”
Details about these convoys, which have crossed primarily into Algeria and Niger, arrives from satellites or human informers, according to a person who is occasionally briefed on the campaign.
The number of males who are considered to be with Gaddafi, the official explained, will be trustworthy if only since they are relying on him as their implies of survival. And Gaddafi may nevertheless have the signifies to recompense their loyalty.
TUAREGS Beneath SCRUTINY
One particular person acquainted with component of the hunt mentioned there had been a sighting of Gaddafi close to Sabha in mid-September. The specific was flown to Benghazi for a thorough debriefing. But the outcome was inconclusive, the particular person said. “It was fascinating,” he said. “But he may have been lying.”
A $ one.5 million reward is on supply for info major to Gaddafi’s capture.
Several observers consider severely the concept that Gaddafi has received sanctuary among the Tuareg tribes, which are crucial to regional security due to the fact they have affect in the Sahara.
After all, Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha, her brothers Hannibal and Mohammed, their mom Safia and a number of other household members fled to Algeria in August by way of a southern Saharan route and have lived there given that.
Tuaregs have backed Gaddafi simply because he supported their revolt against the governments of Mali and Niger in the 1970s and afterwards permitted numerous of them to settle in southern Libya. Libyan Tuareg tribes look at with suspicion the NTC that is now in power in Tripoli.
George Joffe, a north Africa professional at Cambridge College, explained he believed it was “very probable that the Tuareg are protecting him and he has long had close contacts with them, but I do not know which branch of the Tuareg he deals with, practically undoubtedly a Libyan-based group.”
Whether that implies Libyan Tuareg can very easily escort Gaddafi to safe havens in Niger, Mali or elsewhere is not distinct.
Niger’s border with Libya is small for this portion of the globe — 250 km (150 miles) lengthy. Nevertheless the absence of bodily demarcation makes even that hard to patrol. “It’s a massive seaside without the sea,” a single diplomat in Niamey set it.
Military resources say at minimum 2,000 soldiers – about a tenth of the army – have been deployed to the northern Agadez region of Niger up to the border considering that the Libyan conflict. They are carrying out spot and identity checks and patrols in equally desert and mountain zones.
Typically they patrol in convoys of four to ten 4-wheel-drives with assault rifles, mortars, device-guns and rocket-launchers. There is some aerial surveillance, with two DA-42 reconnaissance planes and two overcome helicopters.
However Niger has acknowledged it won’t have the means to totally keep track of its border and diplomats say it has asked Western countries for aid with additional aerial surveillance and evening eyesight programs.
Niger has ratified the Rome Statute of The Hague war crimes court and has promised to respect its commitments if Gaddafi turns up — widely interpreted as which means they will arrest him if he is picked up in Niger.
Operating OUT OF HIDING Places?
But there is also the query of whether Gaddafi could move into Niger incognito, probably en route to another exile destination in Africa. Although that is witnessed unlikely, Niger is a route for drugs smugglers, so if narcotics can move by means of the state in solution, then possibly he could be too.
Niger Tuaregs dismiss the concept they would give haven to Gaddafi and position the finger at their Libyan fellows.
Agali Bagou, a Tuareg previous fighter, mentioned: “If they are Tuareg, they are not from Niger. I know the Nigerien former fighters from our rebellions and they have returned, they are at property.”
Ahmed Mohamed, a Tuareg artisan, mentioned: “I do not know why we emphasis on the Tuareg, considering that Gaddafi’s supporters have recruited from all of Libya’s communities such as the Tuareg, Arabs, Toubous. If the Tuareg are with Gaddafi, I think they are the Libyan Tuareg.
“In Niger it is mentioned that it was Aghali Alambo, the former leader from the 2007 rebellion, who recruited Tuareg mercenaries from Niger. Aghali returned after the fall of Tripoli and I will not believe a simple Nigerien has remained (in Libya).”
The Tibesti mountain array in northern Chad just inside of the border with Libya would make a prospective hideout for Gaddafi — an African Tora-Bora.
However as of very last month that would have been blocked to Gaddafi since — in accordance to Aghali Alambo, the Nigerien Touareg who acted as guidebook for the escape of Gaddafi’s protection chief — the route down to the Chad border was crawling with ethnic Toubou fighters loyal to the NTC.
Chad army sources also mentioned that France, with which Chad has a protection cooperation pact, had also deployed drones to watch the border.
Geography will be challenging for pursuers and the pursued. Circumstances in the south can be desolate. Bandits, and excessive weather, are not the only potential risks.
Alex Warren, a Libya specialist at Frontier MEA consultancy, says that in the extreme central-south, which has no paved roads or mobile telephone network, “are remnants of Libya’s border war with Chad in the 1970s and eighties which has left several regions seriously land-mined. ”
THE DEEP SOUTH: A Globe APART
In the deep south-east, the city of Al Kufra has a historical past of rejecting handle from Tripoli. A tribal rebellion in 2009 was only quelled following the protection forces sent in helicopter gunships, he wrote in a commentary in September.
“Close to the city are the skeletal remains of Earth War II tanks and aircraft, a reminder of preceding battles that have been waged around this patch of North African desert.”
NATO nations are expected to present intelligence aid to the manhunt, in the kind of electronic eavesdropping. Special forces teams, possibly operating for non-public contractors or for member states’ armies, are probably concerned.
“Unless of course Gaddafi’s operational security is impeccable, he will sooner or later be discovered,” said Shashank Joshi, an associate fellow at Britain’s Royal United Services Institution.
Noman Benotman, a previous leader of a failed guerrilla uprising towards Gaddafi in the 1990s, told Reuters cooperation from countries with effective intelligence abilities was going to be essential.
In accordance to Benotman, a pal of previous Gaddafi spy chief Moussa Koussa, Gaddafi has often taken personal responsibility for his personal security and there is every single reason to feel he continues to do so.
But a methodical and painstaking method to gathering clues would ultimately bear fruit, he stated.
“This type of hunt demands endurance, he stated. “You need to hook up a great deal of dots on the intelligence and the satellite imagery. You start to develop a spider’s world wide web of contacts, everything from A to Z — names, locations and extremely high resolution imagery — to get to him.”
But substantial engineering might only get the pursuers so far.
The political climate may possibly shrink the possible circulation of information from informers, specially Tuaregs and black Africans who may search askance at the NTC and bear in mind Gaddafi as a benefactor.
As Gaddafi’s regime crumbled, Tuaregs and other African migrants doing work in Libya faced violent attacks which look to have been motivated possibly by racism or the belief amid numerous Libyans that they are pro-Gaddafi mercenaries.
But Mukhtar al-Akhdar, a groundbreaking officer from the western city of Zintan who understands Ghadames well, advised Reuters he did not believe Gaddafi would be in a position to purchase protection from the Tuareg.
“As for Gaddafi and paying any cash, properly I can affirm that Gaddafi, his income and his gold are around,” he mentioned.
(Further reporting by Samia Nakhoul in London, Abdoulaye Massalaatchi in Niamey and Madjiasra Nako in N’Djamena, Mark John and Richard Valdmanis in Dakar, Joe Logan and Ali Shuaib in Tripoli, Mark Hosenball and Phil Stewart in Washington Editing by Giles Elgood)
Hank Williams Jr. apologizes for Obama-Hitler comment (Reuters)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 5 October 2011 04:44 Written by admin Wednesday, 5 October 2011 04:44
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Country new music singer Hank Williams Jr. canceled a Fox Information Channel job interview on Tuesday and mentioned he was sorry for any offense provided by his modern declaration evaluating President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler.
The apology of sorts was posted on his site a day soon after the Disney-owned cable jeu channel ESPN pulled Williams’ concept song from its newest “Monday Night Football” broadcast in a rebuke to the region star for his Hitler remark.
Appearing on the Fox News morning software “Fox & Pals” on Monday, Williams said he imagined that a June 18 golf summit pairing Obama with Republican Residence speaker John Boehner in the midst of the congressional price range crisis had “turned a whole lot of folks off.”
Asked what he did not like about the friendly bipartisan golf match, Williams replied, “Appear on! It’d be like Hitler enjoying golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.” He went on to refer to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as “the enemy.”
Soon after his “All My Rowdy Buddies” song was yanked from the “Monday Night time Football” opening by ESPN later on that day in protest, Williams issued a statement acknowledging that his “analogy was intense” but insisting it was meant to illustrate how ludicrous he believed it was for Obama and Boehner to staff up at golf.
“They’re roman policier opposites and it manufactured no sensation. They will not see eye-to-eye and in no way will,” the bearded singer explained.
Williams, sixty two, was scheduled to return to the Fox Information Channel with an interview on Tuesday on the “Hannity” present, but the network advised Reuters that the singer made a decision to cancel.
Hours later on, he posted but an additional, fairly far more contrite statement, stating: “I have constantly been extremely passionate about politics and sports, and this time it received the greatest or worst of me.
“The imagined of the leaders of each events jukin and substantial fiven on a golf training course, whilst so numerous households are struggling to get by merely created me boil over and make a dumb declaration, and I am very sorry if it offended anyone,” he wrote.
He concluded, “I would like to thank all my supporters. This was not authored by some publicist.”
The declaration was posted just below a link to a video clip from the ABC daytime discuss show “The Look at,” in which host Whoopi Goldberg suggested Williams was judged as well harshly.
“Hank is a musician, and he’s constantly been provocative,” Goldberg said on the demonstrate. “He could have picked his phrases far more properly, but as someone who actions in it quite often, we all do it. Those between us who are without having sin, cast the initial stone.”
Reporting on Williams’ apology on its personal web site Tuesday night time, ESPN said it had no remark on regardless of whether his song would be employed on foreseeable future telecasts.
(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)