The Nation Sunday Print Edition - page 8-9

Sunday, February 15, 2015
foreign news
New Delhi, India (AFP)-
Tens of
thousands of supporters gathered
Saturday to see Arvind Kejriwal
sworn in as Delhi chief minister
for the second time after his upstart
anti-corruption party won one of the
biggest election victories the Indian
capital has ever seen.
The 46-year-old former civil ser-
vant’s Aam Aadmi (Common Man)
Party (AAP) won all but three of
the 70 seats in state elections after
pledges to tackle entrenched corrup-
tion and lower utility bills won over
legions of working-class voters will-
ing to give him another chance.
His first term as chief minister
lasted just 49 days and ended in chaos
a year ago, sparking accusations he
was fleeing the tough job of adminis-
Before last Saturday’s election he
apologised for leaving voters without
an elected government for a year, tell-
ing the Times of India daily that he
and his party had “evolved”.
Kejriwal’s style remains unconven-
tional, but he appears eager to proj-
ect a more grown-up image this time
Posters thanking voters for their
support carried images of him
dressed in a shirt and jacket and
without the trademark woolly scarf
that earned him the nickname “Muf-
fler Man”.
He is expected to arrive at Satur-
day’s swearing-in by motorcade, after
famously travelling by metro to his
first inauguration, and has invited
the whole city to attend using radio
announcements and social media.
Around 100,000 people are expected
to turn out for the open-air ceremony
at the Ramlila ground where Kejri-
wal chose to have his first inaugura-
tion, in a break from the tradition of
taking the oath in the state assembly.
Ramlila is considered the ground
zero of India’s anti-corruption move-
ment, where huge rallies were staged
four years ago.
Hours before the swearing-in was
due to start at midday (0630 GMT)
thousands of people had already
gathered at the ground, many wear-
ing the white paper hats printed with
the words ‘common man’ in Hindi for
which the AAP party is known.
- Free Wi-Fi -
Most pundits had written off Ke-
jriwal, especially after his AAP party
won just four seats in last year’s gen-
eral elections.
He initially won plaudits for reject-
ing the VIP culture of Indian politics,
but his administration quickly lost
its sheen.
He famously declared himself an
anarchist during his brief tenure
as chief minister and staged several
street protests outside government
Kejriwal is expected to outline his
priorities for the new Delhi govern-
ment after taking the oath -- though
his speech may be relatively brief as
he is reported to be suffering from a
sore throat and fever.
He will chair his first cabinet meet-
ing later in the afternoon.
He based his election campaign
around pledges to deliver cheaper wa-
ter and electricity and free Wi-Fi for
Delhi’s 17 million residents, as well
as a promise to counter corruption.
In his first meeting with Prime
Minister Narendra Modi he pressed
for greater autonomy for Delhi, where
the central government retains great-
er powers than in most states.
Kejriwal quit his comfortable and
highly sought-after government job
in 2001 and embarked on a career as
an anti-corruption campaigner that
led to national fame.
He came to prominence as an ad-
viser to elderly social activist Anna
Hazare, whose 2011 anti-graft drive
galvanised India.
Kejriwal went on to found his own
party after the men fell out over strat-
egy, with Hazare wanting the struggle
to remain non-partisan.
The taxman-turned-politician is re-
ported to have rejected the top secu-
rity categorisation -- known in India
as “Z-list” security and reserved for
the most senior leaders -- because it
would make him inaccessible.
In his victory speech on Tuesday
Kejriwal, whose supporters span
many classes from domestic servants
to teachers to business entrepre-
neurs, appealed to party workers and
leaders not to become “arrogant”.
“We have to serve people of Delhi
and develop it into a city so that both
rich and poor will feel proud of it,”
he told supporters at the AAP head-
quarters as they showered him with
Anti-graft leader gets second
chance as Delhi chief
San Jose, United States (AFP)-
Swiss researchers
are developing contact lenses that contain tiny tele-
scopes to boost vision and zoom in and out with the wink
of an eye, researchers said Friday.
The latest advances in vision aids -- some of which
could potentially help the 285 million people worldwide
with some form of vision impairment -- were discussed
at the American Association for the Advancement of
Science annual meeting in California.
The contact contains an extremely thin, reflective tele-
scope, which is activated by winks and embedded in-
side a 1.55 millimeter-thick lens. First released in 2013
and fine-tuned since then, the prototype was unveiled by
Eric Tremblay from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de
Lausanne in Switzerland.
The lenses come with smart glasses that respond to
the wearer’s winks -- but not blinks -- so that the user can
switch almost effortlessly from normal to magnified vision
and back. The wearer blinks with the right eye to activate
the telescope, and with the left eye to deactivate it.
“We think these lenses hold a lot of promise for low
vision and age-related macular degeneration,” a vision
disorder that affects older people, Tremblay said.
“At this point this is still research, but we are hopeful it will
eventually become a real option for people with AMD.”
The device magnifies objects 2.8 times, meaning AMD
patients can read more easily and recognize faces and
objects. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA), the lenses were meant to
serve as a form of bionic vision for soldiers.
“Small mirrors within bounce light around, expanding
the perceived size of objects and magnifying the view,
so it’s like looking through low magnification binoculars,”
the researchers said in a statement.
High-tech contact
lenses zoomwith
a wink of an eye
Moon praises slain
Muslim students
United Nations, United States (AFP)
-| UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised three Muslim stu-
dents gunned down in North Carolina and said he was
“deeply moved” by scenes of thousands of people mourn-
ing their deaths.
Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his new wife Yusor Moham-
mad, 21; and her 19-year-old sister Razan Mohammad
Abu-Salha were killed on Tuesday, allegedly at the hands
of a neighbor who railed against religion.
“At a time of troubling tensions stoked by those who
seek to twist the teachings of faith and sow division, these
three young people represented the best values of global
citizenship and active community compassion to build a
better world for all,” Ban said in a statement read by his
© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse
UAE evacuates embassy
staff from Yemen
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AFP)
-|The United
Arab Emirates has suspended operations at its embassy
in Yemen and evacuated staff over security concerns af-
ter a Shiite militia seized power, the foreign ministry said
The move comes a
day after Sunni-dominat-
ed regional powerhouse
Saudi Arabia announced
it had also evacuated all
its staff from the embas-
sy in Sanaa. The Shiite
Huthi militia, accused of
receiving backing from
Shiite-dominated Iran,
dissolved Yemen’s gov-
ernment and parliament
on February 6 after seiz-
ing the presidential pal-
ace and key government
The UAE foreign min-
istry said in a statement
carried by the official
WAM news agency that
it “has suspended em-
bassy operations in the
Yemeni capital Sanaa
and evacuated all staff.
“This decision comes
in light of the increasing-
ly deteriorating political
and security situation”
and the “unfortunate events with the Huthis undermining
legitimate authority in the country.”
France, Germany and Italy took similar action on Fri-
day, two days after Britain, the Netherlands and the
United States pulled out. UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon said this week that Yemen was “collapsing be-
fore our eyes” and called for Western-backed President
Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to be restored to power.
A Yemeni supporter of the
holds a flag during a rally
to commemorate the fourth
anniversary of the start of
the uprising that forced out
president Ali Abdullah Saleh
in Sanaa on February 11,
2015 (AFP)
Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal (AFP)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Bahrain’s opposition has called
for protests on Saturday’s fourth anni-
versary of an uprising that deeply di-
vided the key US ally in the worst inter-
nal crisis to hit a Gulf Arab state.
The radical February 14 Coalition, a
cyber youth group, urged demonstra-
tions and strikes across the tiny king-
dom under the slogan “Strike of defi-
But the public security chief, Major-
General Tariq al-Hassan, warned that
even calls to take part in the protests
will be treated as a crime, and said peo-
ple should “stay away from disruptive
activities that might affect security or
public order”.
“Action would be taken against those
who spread terror among citizens or
residents, put the safety of others at
risk or try to disrupt the nation’s secu-
rity and stability,” Hassan said.
Bahrain’s Saudi-backed Sunni au-
thorities crushed protests led by its ma-
jority Shiites shortly after they erupted
on February 14, 2011, taking their cue
from Arab Spring uprisings in the Mid-
dle East and North Africa.
Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet,
sits across the Gulf from Shiite-domi-
nated Iran.
It is also one of several Arab states
that backs US-led air strikes against
the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syr-
ia, making it a vital Western ally.
Tensions are running high in the
kingdom where a sectarian divide is
deepening and there is a growing gap
between the Sunni minority govern-
ment and its mainly Shiite opponents.
The opposition is demanding a “real”
constitutional monarchy with an elect-
ed prime minister who is independent
of the ruling royal family.
But the Al-Khalifa dynasty has re-
fused to yield.
Shiite opposition leader Sheikh Ali
Salman is behind bars for allegedly try-
ing to overthrow the regime.
His arrest on December 28, shortly af-
ter he was re-elected head of Bahrain’s
main opposition party Al-Wefaq, has
sparked near-daily protests in Shiite
Attacks targeting security forces
have also increased.
- ‘Little hope of progress’ -
“The movement has reached its
four years with the situation only
getting worse and deteriorating with
citizens threatened by losing their
nationalities any minute,” Al-Wefaq
said on Twitter.
Bahrain has revoked the citizen-
ships of scores of activists over the
past few years, drawing condemna-
tion from rights groups.
In October, a court banned Al-We-
faq for three months for violating a
law on associations.
“There looks like little hope of
progress in Bahrain. The opposition
is barely legal,” said Neil Partrick, a
Gulf analyst at the Royal United Ser-
vices Institute for Defence and Secu-
rity Studies.
The political rivals have struggled
to bury their differences through a
“national dialogue” that fell apart de-
spite several rounds of negotiations.
Al-Wefaq refused to resume talks
with the authorities in September
last year despite a new proposal by
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-
And in November, the opposition
boycotted parliamentary elections in
which pro-government Sunnis won
the most seats.
Al-Wefaq described February 14,
2011 as the start “of the peaceful
movement... demanding a democrat-
ic nation in which the people will be
the source of powers and which is
built on partnership and equality”.
It insisted that “peaceful” protests
must continue “until a political solu-
tion is reached”.
But a solution appears remote in
the smallest Gulf Arab country, a
neighbour of the absolute Sunni
monarchy and regional powerhouse
Saudi Arabia.
“Despite an interest in intra-Bah-
raini talks, the Saudi leadership
seems to be allowing harder-line ele-
ments in the Bahraini ruling family
to dictate the political direction of
the country,” said Partrick.
On Monday, Manama permanently
closed Alarab News Channel whose
programmingwas interrupted onFeb-
ruary 1 just hours after it launched
and aired an interview with a Shiite
opponent of Bahrain’s rulers.
Bahraini female protesters look on during a demonstration against the
arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the Shiite opposition movement Al-
Wefaq, in his home village of Bilad al-Qadeem, on the outskirts of the
capital Manama on February 6, 2015. Salman, 49, was arrested December
28, 2014 on charges of attempting to overthrow the regime (AFP)
‘Strike of defiance’
Protests set to mark four years after Bahrain uprising
But the public security chief, Major-General Tariq
al-Hassan, warned that even calls to take part in the
protests will be treated as a crime, and said people
should “stay away from disruptive activities that might
affect security or public order”
Washington, United States (AFP)
- Ameri-
can pilots call it “going Winchester.”
That’s when a warplane drops every bomb
on board. And air crews for the B-1 bomber
told AFP it was not uncommon in the battle
for the Syrian town of Kobane, recaptured by
Kurdish forces last month.
The airmen, recently returned from a six-
month stint flying combat missions over Syria
and Iraq, recounted how American aircraft
relentlessly pounded Islamic State jihadists
fighting the Kurds in Kobane.
The heavy bombing, not seen since the 2003
US invasion of Iraq, helped the Kurds hold and
eventually recapture the northern border town
last month, a symbolic blow to the extremists
who appeared on the verge of seizing Kobane
in October.
“When you went to Kobane, you could almost
guarantee you were going to release a weapon
that day,” said Captain Todd Saksa, a B-1 weap-
ons systems officer.
The 31-year-old Saksa had flown other mis-
sions in Afghanistan but what was different
this time was “the sheer number of weapons
dropped,” he said by phone from Dyess Air
Force Base in Texas.
B-1 pilot Major Brandon Miller, 38, has been
deployed five times in warzones, but he had
never before dropped as many bombs as dur-
ing the battle for Kobane.
“I personally went Winchester three times,”
he said. Before that, he had never emptied his
weapons bay.
In previous six-month tours over Afghani-
stan, it was typical for his squadron to unload
15 to 20 bombs.
But in their last deployment, the squadron
dropped more than 2,000 bombs and hit more
than 1,700 targets, he said.
The B-1B Lancer was built in the 1980s dur-
ing the Cold War to fly low and fast into Soviet
air space.
But the supersonic plane became a “work-
horse” for the American-led air campaign in
Kobane, delivering much of the firepower that
took out IS fighters and vehicles, US Air Force
officers said.
Unlike fighter jets, the bomber -- dubbed “the
Bone” by air crews -- is able to linger for hours
over a target thanks to a large fuel tank and
can hold a much larger payload of weapons,
with roughly two dozen bombs of different
In a six-month period, the B-1 flew 18 percent
of all strike flights against IS and accounted
for 43 percent of the total tonnage of muni-
tions dropped in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan,
officials said.
Battle for Kobane
US crews recount
heavy bombing
This October 23, 2014 file photo shows militants of Islamic State (IS) seen during the explosion of
an air strike on Tilsehir hill at Yumurtalik village, Sanliurfa province, near the Turkish border
By Kate Connolly
On the grounds of Dresden’s
trade fair site, visitors emerge
from the cellar of a former ab-
attoir. Most of it was recently
turned into a cloakroom, but
it partly retains its original
look, of shiny white tiles and
a stained concrete floor. A
plaque identifies it as Schlach-
thof 5 [Slaughterhouse 5].
This is where Kurt Vonnegut,
along with 159 fellow US sol-
diers, was held as a prisoner of
war. It’s also where he experi-
enced the 1945 firebombing of
the city, protected from death
by the thick walls of the meat
vault in which he was held,
the place that would inspire
his 1969 cult anti-war satire,
“It’s probably one of the few
places in the city where you’re
reminded of the bombing, but
only really if you know where to
look,” says 39-year-old Danilo
Hommel who takes tourists on
daily tours of the city which,
through the eyes of the writer,
focus on the allied air raid that re-
duced the baroque city to some-
thing resembling a moonscape.
Hommel points also to a nearby
“rubble mountain” in the western
district of Ostragehege. The rec-
reational spot was formed from
the vast amount of smithereens
– from crumbled buildings to
crushed human bones – that
resulted when 2,400 tons of ex-
plosive bombs and nearly 1,500
tons of incendiary devices were
dropped from RAF and US air
force planes in four raids on the
city between 13 and 15 February
1945, in an attempt to bring the
war to an end.
“Most Dresdeners are hardly
aware that it consists of war
rubble, and few would dare con-
template that it contains human
remains,” Hommel says.
On Friday the city will mark the
70th anniversary of the bomb-
ings, which killed 25,000 civil-
ians, many of whom if not blown
up, were asphyxiated or burnt to
death. Citizens will come together
to commemorate the bombing at
an array of ceremonies, bell-ring-
ings, readings and plays, with a
speech by the German president,
and a human chain where can-
dles will be lit in silent tribute to
the victims of war.
But Dresden is approaching
this major anniversary with con-
siderable trepidation after the
most tumultuous months in its
recent history, following the rise
of the anti-immigrant movement
Pegida, which at its height has
attracted 25,000 protesters to its
Monday evening demonstrations.
Attacks on foreigners have
risen 130% since the autumn,
according to Danilo Starosta, an
expert on the far-right with the
Dresden group Kulturbüro Sach-
sen, who blames Pegida for cre-
ating a “poisonous atmosphere”
in the city.
Commemorations are taking
place against the backdrop of
a deeply divided city. “There’s a
crack running through the city,
with one half for diversity, open-
ness and tolerance, while the oth-
er half is fearful or hostile, against
foreigners, even against people
not from [the local region] Sax-
ony,” says Dresden-based politi-
cal scientist Hans Vörlander.
That divide is perhaps most
palpable outside the Semperoper
concert hall on theatre square,
which has been the scene of sev-
eral Pegida demonstrations,
Christian Thielemann, chief
conductor of the Staatskapelle
Dresden, who was keen to stress
that the opera house is no “ivo-
ry tower” but says: “Our artistic
and technical crews have felt
uneasy coming to work on Mon-
days, scared that they’ll be hit by
stones or bottles, having to elbow
their way through ... the noise and
braying of the indignant crowds to
get to the stage.”
The “Pegida divide” is to be felt
just as acutely among the opera
house’s employees as elsewhere
in the city. Pegida has attracted
a considerable gathering of far-
right demonstrators, and a leader,
Lutz Bachmann, who has posed
as Hitler and called immigrants
“cattle” and “scum”. But largely
its core of supporters are middle-
class, middle-aged and well-edu-
cated, earning above the average
wage. The group has been vague
about its aims and unwilling to
communicate, but those par-
ticipants willing to talk express a
wish to rid Germany of “criminal
asylum seekers” and their fear of
the “Islamisation” of the western
world. But above all the feeling
that they have is of having been
hard done by.
Vörlander puts the movement’s
relative success down to “de-
cades, even centuries” of a cul-
ture of “self-reference and nar-
cissism, which coincides with
a feeling of being an innocent
victim of circumstance”. It is, he
adds, one of the consequences
of living in such baroque splen-
dour that Dresdeners “define
themselves through the past, not
the future”. Historians say that,
terrible though the destruction of
Dresden was, there was nothing
remarkable about it.
“Hamburg, Cologne and Pfor-
zheim suffered more,” says
Thomas Widera, a historian at
the Hannah Arendt Institute at
Dresden’s technical university.
Allied carpet bombing had been
going on under the command of,
Arthur “Bomber” Harris since
1942, with the lesson learned
from the Nazi bombing of Coven-
try in 1940 that bombing a whole
city was more effective than fo-
cusing on single targets.
But Dresden soon became the
German equivalent of Hiroshima,
a status it has never really lost.
“While cities like Rotterdam
and Coventry are seen to have
‘moved on’, Dresden is stuck in
its past,” says Widera.
First it served as an effective
propaganda tool for the Nazis,
then for the communists, and in
the last 20 years has been used
by neo-Nazis who use the anni-
versary to demonstrate against
what they refer to as the “bomb-
ing Holocaust”, equating
the event it to Auschwitz
and viewing Germans as
the victims, the allies as
the perpetrators.
Widera says many Dres-
deners choose to ignore
that the bombing did not
take place in isolation.
“Don’t forget that Aus-
chwitz was liberated just
about two weeks before
the bombing of Dresden,”
he says. “And the pic-
tures that emerged from
Auschwitz were far more
shocking than those of a
destroyed Dresden.”
Unlike Berlin, where sec-
ond world war bullet holes
are still visible in many
buildings in the city centre
and Nazi crime scenes are
signposted and preserved,
Dresden has done its
best to remove the stains.
Many of its baroque build-
ings have been restored at
huge effort and cost, most
famously the Frauenkirche,
which until the mid-90s was still a
huge pile of charred stones but in
the past fewyears has been pains-
takingly reconstructed. Its facade
is a strange mix of charred-black
(4,000 of the original stones) and
sand-coloured stones, which lo-
cals say with pride will, thanks to
the elements, one day be indis-
tinguishable from each other, so
that no one need talk about the
day it was destroyed or why.
Dresdeners have long been di-
vided between those who want to
rebuild the city as it was – some-
times dubbed “baroque fascists”
– and those who favour the mod-
ern (“modernist barbarians”).
Those who are critical of Dres-
deners’ lack of self-scrutiny
– their failure to recognise what
a Nazi stronghold the city was or
the high degree of antisemitism
that existed – argue that it is dan-
gerous and distasteful to rebuild
the city without comment on the
“The Frauenkirche could have
been a memorial. Instead it’s
been shaped by this desire to get
rid of traces of the war. As a his-
torian, I think it’s wrong that it’s so
pristine,” says Widera.
Dresdeners are responding
in different ways. Outside the
Semperoper, huge banners bear
the slogan “Eyes Open, Hearts
Open, Doors Open”, while at the
Academy of Arts, windows have
been painted with the messages
“Dresden for All” and “Refugees
Mercedes Reichstein, a femi-
nist activist, has gone further still
in her response to the revisionism
and the rise in intolerance, with
an invitation to British bombers to
repeat the actions of 13 February
1945. She has painted her naked
chest with “Bomber Harris Do it
Again” in a viral photograph.
Meanwhile, Hommel is strug-
gling with Dresden’s authorities
to keep the remaining piece of
the Vonnegut cellar as it is. “So
much of Dresden’s historic charm
– by that I mean the genuine stuff
– is obsolete,” he says. “Even if
some things, like the cellar, are
not so attractive, it would be nice
to keep them as they were to act
as a reminder of what happened,
because that sense of connection
is the only way you can have an
emotional response to it and the
only chance we have of stopping
history from repeating itself.”
The Guardian
Dresden at war with itself
On Friday the city will mark the 70th anniversary
of the bombings, which killed 25,000 civilians
Pegida has attracted a considerable
gathering of far-right demonstrators
Patchett and Adel Shamsan A 13-
year-old boy who was killed in
Yemen last month by a CIA drone
strike had told the Guardian just
months earlier that he lived in con-
stant fear of the “death machines”
in the sky that had already killed
his father and brother.“I see them
every day and we are scared of
them,” said Mohammed Tuaiman,
speaking from al-Zur village in
Marib province, where he died
two weeks ago.
“A lot of the kids in this area
wake up from sleeping because of
nightmares from them and some
now have mental problems. They
turned our area into hell and con-
tinuous horror, day and night,
we even dream of them in our
sleep.”Much of Mohammed’s life
was spent living in fear of drone
strikes. In 2011, an unmanned
combat drone killed his father and
teenage brother as they were out
herding the family’s camels.
The drone that would kill Mo-
hammed struck on January 26 in
Hareeb, about an hour from his
home. The drone hit the car car-
rying the teenager, his brother-
in-law Abdullah Khalid al-Zinda-
ni and a third man.“I saw all the
bodies completely burned, like
charcoal,” Mohammed’s older
brother Maqded said. “When we
arrived we couldn’t do anything.
We couldn’t move the bodies so
we just buried them there, near
the car.”
Several anonymous US gov-
ernment officials told Reuters
that the strike had been carried
out by the CIA and had killed
“three men believed to be al-
Qaida militants”. Al-Qaida in
the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
claimed responsibility for the
Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris
last month.
Marib Province has become
a flashpoint in the struggle be-
tween the Houthi rebels –who
have ousted the president after
overrunning the capital – and
the local tribes who reject the
Shia group’s attempts to bring
Marib under their control. Like
the other families around al-Zur
and throughout Marib Province,
the Tuaiman men have been in-
volved in pushing back against
the Houthis.
In a secretive program car-
ried out by the CIA in rural, iso-
lated parts of Yemen, it is easy
for confusion to surround the
particulars of those killed in a
drone strike. Affiliations with
al-Qaida and anti-government
tribal sympathies mesh and
merge depending on who is at-
tacking whom.
Maqdad said the family had
been wrongly associated with
al-Qaida, and family members
strongly deny that Mohammed
was involved in any al-Qaida or
anti-Houthi fighting. “He wasn’t
a member of al-Qaida. He was a
Speaking from al-Zur the day
after his brother’s death, Meq-
dad said: “After our father died,
al-Qaida came to us to offer sup-
port. But we are not with them.
Al-Qaida may have claimed
Mohammed now, but we will do
anything – go to court, whatever
– in order to prove that he was
not with al-Qaida.”
When the Guardian inter-
viewed Mohammed last Sep-
tember, he spoke of his anger
towards the US government for
killing his father.“They tell us
that these drones come from
bases in Saudi Arabia and also
from bases in the Yemeni seas
and America sends them to kill
terrorists, but they alwys kill
innocent people. But we don’t
know why they are killing us.
“In their eyes, we don’t de-
serve to live like people in the
rest of the world, and we don’t
have feelings or emotions or cry
or feel pain like all the other hu-
mans around the world.”
Mohammed’s father, Saleh
Tuaiman, was killed in 2011 in a
drone strike that also killed Mo-
hammed’s teenage brother, Jalil.
Saleh Tuaiman left behind three
wives and 27 children.The CIA
and Pentagon were both asked
to comment on whether the teen-
ager had been confirmed as an
al-Qaida militant. Both declined
to comment.
Mohammed’s 27 siblings have
now lost three family members
in US drone strikes and may
grow up with the same sense of
confusion and injustice Moham-
med expressed shortly before his
death.“The elders told us that
it’s criminal to kill the civilians
without distinguishing between
terrorists and innocents and
they kill just on suspicion, with-
out hesitation.”
ForMeqdad,Mohammed’s death
has reignited his determination to
seek out justice for his family. “We
live in injustice and we want the
United States to recognize these
crimes against my father and my
brothers. They were innocent peo-
ple, we are weak, poor people, and
we don’t have anything to do with
this.”However, he added: “Don’t
blame us because we sympathize
with al-Qaida, because they were
the only people who showed their
faces to us, the government ig-
nored us, the US ignored us and
didn’t compensate us. And we will
go to court to prove this is wrong.”
Courtesy: The Guardian
Killed by nightmare
Months before he was killed by a CIA drone strike, this 13-year-old
Yemeni boy said he dreams about drones
Sydney, Australia (AFP)-
Prime Minister Tony Abbott Sat-
urday pleaded with Indonesia to
heed Australia’s call for clem-
ency for two death row convicts,
and warned that Canberra would
make its displeasure
known should the ex-
ecutions go ahead.
Andrew Chan, 31,
and Myuran Sukuma-
ran, 33, are facing exe-
cution by firing squad
after being convicted
over a failed 2005 bid
to traffic heroin from
Indonesia’s island of
Bali into Australia.
“Millions of Austra-
lians are feeling very,
very upset about what
may soon happen to
two Australians in Indonesia,”
Abbott told reporters in Sydney.
“And my plea, even at this late
stage, is for Indonesia to be as re-
sponsive to us as it expects other
countries to be to them when they
plead for the life of their citizens
on death row overseas.”
Australian media reported that
there are 360 Indonesians on death
row around the world, including
in Malaysia, Singapore, China,
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with 230
of these on drugs charges.
Abbott, in an inter-
view with The Daily
Telegraph, also noted
that Australia had
stood by close neigh-
bor Indonesia in times
of need, particularly
after the devastating
2004 Asian tsunami.
“We abhor the death
penalty, we regard it as
barbaric,” he told the
Asked whether Can-
berra would withdraw
Australian officials if the execu-
tions go ahead, Abbott said: “We
will find ways of making our dis-
pleasure known.”
“We respect Indonesia’s sover-
eignty but we would very much
appreciate an act of magnanim-
ity in this case,” he added.
Abbott pleads with Indonesia
over death rowmen
Prime Minister Tony
Abbott (AFP)
Washington, United States (AFP)-
US President Barack Obama on Fri-
day condemned the “brutal and out-
rageous” execution-style murders of
three Muslim students in North Caro-
lina at the hands of a neighbor who
espoused anti-religious views.
“No one in the United States of
America should ever be targeted be-
cause of who they are, what they look
like, or how they worship,” Obama
said in a statement, three days after
the trio were shot dead.
Police say they are investigating
what may have been a parking dis-
pute gone wrong, but have not ruled
out a hate-based crime. Relatives of
the victims however say they are
convinced they were targeted be-
cause of their faith.
The president has faced criticism
for not responding quickly enough to
the deaths of the three students --
Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his new
wife Yusor Mohammad, 21; and her
19-year-old sister Razan Moham-
mad Abu-Salha.
The Federal Bureau of Investiga-
tion has opened an inquiry into the
fatal shootings, allegedly carried out
by Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, who
railed against all religions on his
Facebook page. The three were
buried on Thursday before a gather-
ing of thousands.
“Michelle and I offer our condo-
lences to the victims’ loved ones. As
we saw with the overwhelming pres-
ence at the funeral of these young
Americans, we are all one American
family,” Obama said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan, a devout Muslim, had been
one of those who criticized Obama
for his silence in the days following
the attacks.
“Three Muslims have been mur-
dered in North Carolina and Presi-
dent Obama, (Secretary of State
John) Kerry and (Vice President
Joe) Biden have not made any state-
ments about it,” Erdogan said during
a visit to Mexico.
“As politicians, we are responsible
for everything that happens in our
countries and we have to show our
Obama condemns ‘outrageous’ murders of Muslim students
US President Barack Obama (AFP)
Ban Ki-moon
Compiled by
Ravi Nagahawatte
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