Category: Global-news

Global-news

  • Liberation of Marawi City from Maute group has not ended threat of violent extremism in the Philippines.

    Author: 
    ELLIE ABEN | SPECIAL TO ARAB NEWS
    Wed, 2017-11-08 20:48
    ID: 
    1510152597815645600

    MANILA: A regional security expert on Wednesday said the liberation of Marawi City from the Daesh-backed Maute group has not ended the threat of violent extremism in the Philippines.
    Sidney Jones, director of the Indonesia-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), said this as she warned of grave consequences if the Philippine government fails to efficiently rebuild Marawi which suffered massive devastation from the five months of battle between government troops and the Maute group.
    Jones also raised the possibility that children of militants killed in the Marawi siege could be the next generation of fighters. She said that there is “ongoing radicalization taking place on a very quiet, below-the-radar-screen level” among youth in Mindanao, particularly those directly affected by the Marawi crisis.
    “One of the things particularly to think about are (the) children and younger siblings of people who were killed,” Jones said in a forum with foreign correspondents.
    She pointed out that the government placed the number of slain terrorists at 800 to 900. The question, however, is “how do you know that all (these) people killed are really terrorists?” She that it was never clear how the determination was made to say that they are indeed militants.
    The fact that the number of terrorist casualties kept going up, whereas the number of civilians stayed at 47 from the start of the siege in May all the way till the end, just “doesn’t make sense,” Jones stressed. That leaves the children and young siblings of these slain militants very vulnerable to recruitment and involvement in radical organizations, she added.
    Jones thus said it is important to identify the families and children of the so-called 800 terrorists killed in Marawi, where are they, and what programs can be put in place for them.
    According to the IPAC director, the problem with the children and siblings of the slain militants “could be exacerbated if there’s a failure to rebuild Marawi very quickly or efficiently.”
    Jones notes that many displaced residents are not angry at the destruction of their homes, but are also unhappy at the conditions in evacuation centers — a situation that can be exploited by extremists.
    “And as I say, watch the reconstruction of Marawi and watch what happens … in terms of resentment in evacuation centers if people don’t go home quickly,” she continued.
    “Reconstruction of Marawi, how it’s conducted will be key,” Jones emphasized.
    While saying that she doesn’t think there’s a likelihood that militants could take over another city, Jones said that revenge bombings in Manila, Zamboanga, or Cotabato can come next after the government declared victory against Daesh-backed militants in Marawi.
    “We’re more likely to see bombing attacks in urban areas to say we’re (militants) still here,” Jones said.
    She added there’s also a possibility of attacks on Philippine embassies elsewhere, and the rise of a new Maranao movement that will take a more Islamist stance, as well as eruption of clan wars against the Mautes. Basilan could also revert to kidnappings under Furuji Indama.
    Another thing to pay attention to, she said, was the presence of Indonesians and Malaysians in Marawi
    “It is important to note how far back the links between Mindanao-based Indonesian extremists actually go. There’s a long, complex history with lots of different groups … just because Marawi is liberated doesn’t mean an end to that,” Jones said.
    “The ideology that supports violent extremism isn’t going away any time soon,” she further said.
    Asked about the announcement made by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Ronald Dela Rosa that Malaysian jihadist Muhammad Amin Baco has replaced Isnilon Hapilon as the new Daesh emir in Southeast Asia, Jones said: “It looks like he jumped to (that) conclusion.”
    Jones stressed “there’s no way” that Baco is Daesh’s new emir in Southeast Asia.
    She said there may have been information from captured Indonesian Muhammad Ilham Syahputra that Baco was there when Hapilon and the Maute brothers were killed, and he (Baco) may have temporarily assumed leadership of the stragglers in Marawi. “But you can’t extrapolate from that to saying that somebody is emir,” Jones emphasized.
    “I’m not sure what the basis was on which the police chief made that statement,” Jones said, adding: “I don’t think we have any evidence to support that.”

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  • US tourist, 20, falls to death from Myanmar temple

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 14:50
    ID: 
    1510141874194578000

    YANGON: A 20-year-old American tourist fell to her death while trying to view the sunset from a 20-foot pagoda in Myanmar’s ancient former capital of Bagan, the government said Wednesday.
    The traveler, identified as Kassandra Braun, “accidentally fell from the Bagan pagoda...while looking for the sunset at 4:30 p.m. on November 7,” said the Home Affairs ministry.
    She died on the way to hospital in Mandalay, the statement said.
    Myanmar has tried in vain to keep tourists from scaling Bagan’s temples to watch sunsets fall over its vast plain of more than 2,000 Buddhist monuments.
    In 2016 authorities tried to restrict the daily ritual to five main temples, citing the need to preserve the temples and protect tourists’ safety.
    But travelers continue to scamper up many of Bagan’s smaller structures, including the 20-foot Wuttanathaw pagoda from which Braun fell.
    Bagan is among Myanmar’s most venerated religious sites and a top attraction for its growing tourism industry.
    Major renovations were launched after an August 2016 earthquake damaged hundreds of pagodas.

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  • Desperate Rohingya use plastic rafts to flee Myanmar

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 12:46
    ID: 
    1510137362404164400

    SHAH PORIR DWIP, Bangladesh: Dozens of Rohingya refugees floated into Bangladesh on Wednesday on a raft fashioned from plastic jerrycans, as the persecuted Muslim minority continue to flee violence in Myanmar in droves, officials said.
    Bangladesh border guards spotted the makeshift raft overloaded with more than 50 passengers as it drifted toward the coastal village of Shah Porir Dwip village.
    Local border guard commander S.M. Ariful Islam told AFP the 52 refugees tied plastic jerrycans together to float across the Naf River separating the two countries.
    Islam said those fleeing ethnic violence in Myanmar were still desperate enough to make the dangerous crossing, with other daring escapes recorded in recent days.
    At least 16 Rohingya refugees were found floating across the same river in a plastic drum sawn in half, local police said.
    “A lot of them arrived today on rafts made from plastic jerrycans,” local community policeman Abdul Jabbar told AFP on Tuesday.
    “It was a dangerous attempt to cross the Naf on such a flimsy device. It could easily have gone wrong, causing deaths.”
    Many families stuck on the bank were unable to pay the exorbitant fees charged by boatmen and were resorting to increasingly desperate measures to escape.
    Nur Shahin, who crossed in the half drum, said he could not afford what the boatmen were asking to get his family across the river to safety.
    “We thought this was the only way to save our lives,” Shahin told AFP.
    An estimated 611,000 people have fled Myanmar since late August, when the military launched a massive crackdown in Rakhine State in response to attacks by Rohingya militants.
    Many crossed by land, hiking through mountains and miles of paddy fields to reach Bangladesh, but many also came by river and open sea.
    Authorities have cracked down on boat arrivals in recent weeks as border guards alleged that drug traffickers were using the exodus to smuggle methamphetamine pills aboard the craft.
    The UN estimates the majority of Rohingya once living in Rakhine State — estimated at around 1 million — had fled a campaign of violence its likened to ethnic cleansing.
    “If you do the mathematics, you’ll see the vast majority have actually left, which is a great concern for us,” UNHCR assistant commissioner Volker Turk told AFP at the weekend.

    Main category: 

  • Desperate Rohingya use plastic rafts to flee Myanmar

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 12:46
    ID: 
    1510137362404164400

    SHAH PORIR DWIP, Bangladesh: Dozens of Rohingya refugees floated into Bangladesh on Wednesday on a raft fashioned from plastic jerrycans, as the persecuted Muslim minority continue to flee violence in Myanmar in droves, officials said.
    Bangladesh border guards spotted the makeshift raft overloaded with more than 50 passengers as it drifted toward the coastal village of Shah Porir Dwip village.
    Local border guard commander S.M. Ariful Islam told AFP the 52 refugees tied plastic jerrycans together to float across the Naf River separating the two countries.
    Islam said those fleeing ethnic violence in Myanmar were still desperate enough to make the dangerous crossing, with other daring escapes recorded in recent days.
    At least 16 Rohingya refugees were found floating across the same river in a plastic drum sawn in half, local police said.
    “A lot of them arrived today on rafts made from plastic jerrycans,” local community policeman Abdul Jabbar told AFP on Tuesday.
    “It was a dangerous attempt to cross the Naf on such a flimsy device. It could easily have gone wrong, causing deaths.”
    Many families stuck on the bank were unable to pay the exorbitant fees charged by boatmen and were resorting to increasingly desperate measures to escape.
    Nur Shahin, who crossed in the half drum, said he could not afford what the boatmen were asking to get his family across the river to safety.
    “We thought this was the only way to save our lives,” Shahin told AFP.
    An estimated 611,000 people have fled Myanmar since late August, when the military launched a massive crackdown in Rakhine State in response to attacks by Rohingya militants.
    Many crossed by land, hiking through mountains and miles of paddy fields to reach Bangladesh, but many also came by river and open sea.
    Authorities have cracked down on boat arrivals in recent weeks as border guards alleged that drug traffickers were using the exodus to smuggle methamphetamine pills aboard the craft.
    The UN estimates the majority of Rohingya once living in Rakhine State — estimated at around 1 million — had fled a campaign of violence its likened to ethnic cleansing.
    “If you do the mathematics, you’ll see the vast majority have actually left, which is a great concern for us,” UNHCR assistant commissioner Volker Turk told AFP at the weekend.

    Main category: 

  • UK aid minister facing sack over undisclosed meetings with Israelis: Sun newspaper

    Author: 
    Reuters
    Wed, 2017-11-08 10:41
    ID: 
    1510131570213836500

    LONDON: Britain’s aid minister Priti Patel’s future was in doubt on Wednesday after the Sun newspaper reported she had held two further undisclosed meeting with Israeli politicians.
    Development Secretary Patel apologized to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday for failing to report she had met senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a private holiday.
    She had failed to follow the usual procedures that ministers inform Britain’s Foreign Office before conducting official business overseas and said she regretted suggesting Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had been aware of her trip.
    On Wednesday, the Sun said Patel had also met Israel’s Foreign Ministry’ Director General Yuval Rotem in New York and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in London but had not informed May about either meeting despite giving her assurances there had been no other undisclosed talks.
    May’s Downing Street office could not be reached for a comment and there was no comment from Britain’s Department for International Development.
    If Patel is removed, she would be the second of May’s cabinet to be forced out in a week after Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigned amid a broader parliamentary sexual harassment scandal.

    Main category: 
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    UK minister Priti Patel apologizes for undisclosed meeting with Israeli PM
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  • UK aid minister facing sack over undisclosed meetings with Israelis: Sun newspaper

    Author: 
    Reuters
    Wed, 2017-11-08 10:41
    ID: 
    1510131570213836500

    LONDON: Britain’s aid minister Priti Patel’s future was in doubt on Wednesday after the Sun newspaper reported she had held two further undisclosed meeting with Israeli politicians.
    Development Secretary Patel apologized to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday for failing to report she had met senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a private holiday.
    She had failed to follow the usual procedures that ministers inform Britain’s Foreign Office before conducting official business overseas and said she regretted suggesting Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had been aware of her trip.
    On Wednesday, the Sun said Patel had also met Israel’s Foreign Ministry’ Director General Yuval Rotem in New York and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in London but had not informed May about either meeting despite giving her assurances there had been no other undisclosed talks.
    May’s Downing Street office could not be reached for a comment and there was no comment from Britain’s Department for International Development.
    If Patel is removed, she would be the second of May’s cabinet to be forced out in a week after Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigned amid a broader parliamentary sexual harassment scandal.

    Main category: 
    related_nodes: 
    UK minister Priti Patel apologizes for undisclosed meeting with Israeli PM
    UK minister faces resignation calls over aid to Israeli army row
    UK politician found dead after misconduct claims

  • Trump lands in China for talks on trade, North Korea

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 09:44
    ID: 
    1510128443943688100

    BEIJING: US President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a state visit focused on trade and the North Korean nuclear crisis.
    Air Force One touched down at the capital’s international airport, with Chinese President Xi Jinping having prepared an extravagant “state visit-plus” for Trump, who is on the third leg of an Asian tour that has taken him to Japan and South Korea.

    Main category: 

  • Trump lands in China for talks on trade, North Korea

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 09:44
    ID: 
    1510128443943688100

    BEIJING: US President Donald Trump arrived in Beijing on Wednesday for a state visit focused on trade and the North Korean nuclear crisis.
    Air Force One touched down at the capital’s international airport, with Chinese President Xi Jinping having prepared an extravagant “state visit-plus” for Trump, who is on the third leg of an Asian tour that has taken him to Japan and South Korea.

    Main category: 

  • Mexico earthquake reconstruction will cost $2.5bn: Pena Nieto

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 07:29
    ID: 
    1510127712233643100

    MEXICO CITY: Reconstruction in central and southern Mexico following two deadly earthquakes in September that killed 465 people will require a $2.5 billion investment, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Tuesday.
    Speaking at a public event, the president said the quakes partially or totally damaged 184,000 homes, while 14,000 businesses and 16,000 schools were also affected.
    It is “a reconstruction that the government estimates will demand an investment of 48 billion pesos (around $2.5 billion). One tenth of these resources will be provided by the private sector,” he said.
    Tuesday marks two months since an 8.2-magnitude earthquake — the strongest in Mexico in a century — swept over the states Chiapas and Oaxaca, leaving 96 dead.
    On September 19, the 32nd anniversary of a devastating tremor which killed over 10,000 people in 1985, Mexico City suffered another quake, this time with magnitude of 7.1, leaving 369 people dead.
    The earthquakes caused widespread damage to assets like roads, hospitals and cultural heritage sites.
    Pena Nieto said most of the resources for reconstruction will come from public funds. Private donations will not be handled by the government, which will instead coordinate them in order to avoid duplicating reconstruction projects.

    Main category: 
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  • Mexico earthquake reconstruction will cost $2.5bn: Pena Nieto

    Author: 
    AFP
    Wed, 2017-11-08 07:29
    ID: 
    1510127712233643100

    MEXICO CITY: Reconstruction in central and southern Mexico following two deadly earthquakes in September that killed 465 people will require a $2.5 billion investment, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced Tuesday.
    Speaking at a public event, the president said the quakes partially or totally damaged 184,000 homes, while 14,000 businesses and 16,000 schools were also affected.
    It is “a reconstruction that the government estimates will demand an investment of 48 billion pesos (around $2.5 billion). One tenth of these resources will be provided by the private sector,” he said.
    Tuesday marks two months since an 8.2-magnitude earthquake — the strongest in Mexico in a century — swept over the states Chiapas and Oaxaca, leaving 96 dead.
    On September 19, the 32nd anniversary of a devastating tremor which killed over 10,000 people in 1985, Mexico City suffered another quake, this time with magnitude of 7.1, leaving 369 people dead.
    The earthquakes caused widespread damage to assets like roads, hospitals and cultural heritage sites.
    Pena Nieto said most of the resources for reconstruction will come from public funds. Private donations will not be handled by the government, which will instead coordinate them in order to avoid duplicating reconstruction projects.

    Main category: 
    related_nodes: 
    Mexico detains wanted US polygamist, 4 wives
    Paul McCartney lifts spirits in quake-hit Mexico
    Toyota confirms it will scale back Mexico plant