Daily Archives: April 6, 2014

رئيس ديوان بوتفليقة : مافيا دولية تحيك المؤامرات ضد العالمين العربي والاسلامي

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قال أحمد أويحي رئيس ديوان الرئيس الجزائري عبد العزيز بوتفليقة إن “العالمين العربي والإسلامي يتعرضان لمؤامرة خطيرة من قبل مافيا دولية مازالت تتربص بالجزائر”

جاء ذلك في كلمة له خلال تجمع شعبي بمحافظة سكيكدة شمال شرقي الجزائر في إطار الحملة العائية للرئيس بوتفليقة المترشح لولاية رابعة في انتخابات الرئاسة المقررة يوم 17 أبريل/ نيسان

وقال أويحي “العالم العربي والإسلامي مستهدفان، وهما يتعرضان لمؤامرة خطيرة من قبل مافيا دولية”، دون أن يوضح ما المقصود بالمافيا الدولية

وتابع “السودان قسمت لدولتين، والعراق تمّ تخريبها وتكسيرها، وسوريا أضرموا فيها النيران، واليمن تتعرض لمؤامرة كبرى، والجمهورية المصرية أدخلوها في دوامة من الفوضى والمشاكل، وجارتنا ليبيا في فوضى أمنية وسياسية نتمنى ألا تتطور لحرب أهلية”

وتساءل أويحي “هل تظنون أن الجزائر ليست في قائمة المافيا الدولية التي تسعى لتخريب وتكسير العالمين العربي والإسلامي؟”

وأجاب قائلا “مازال هناك أعداء يتربصون بمستقبل وأمن واستقرار البلاد، ولابد لنا من التصدي لهم، والجزائر نجحت في عدم السقوط في مستنقع الربيع العربي، بسبب حنكة وذكاء وفطنة رئيس الجمهورية عبد العزيز بوتفليقة”

وحذر أويحي “إذا كانت الجزائر والجزائريون ينعمون بالاستقرار، فلابد لنا من أن نلتفت يمينا وشمالا لما يحدث في جوارنا”

ويشغل أويحي البالغ من العمر 62 عاما، حاليا منصب رئيس ديوان رئاسة الجمهورية، وتقلد منصب رئيس الحكومة الجزائرية لثلاث مرات، خلال الفترة الممتدة من 1995 إلى 1998، ومن عام 2003 إلى 2006، ومن عام 2008، إلى شهر سبتمبر/ أيلول من عام 2012

وأعلن بعدها بشهور استقالته من الأمانة العامة لحزب التجمع الوطني الديمقراطي، القوة السياسية الثانية في البلاد، واختفى بعدها عن الحياة السياسية بصفة شبه نهائية تقريبا، قبل أن يعود عشية انطلاق سباق الرئاسة، لمنصب رئيس ديوان بوتفليقة

 

Kerry says U.S. wants to boost Algeria in al Qaeda fight – Yahoo News.

Violence hits Bouteflika rally in Algeria – Africa – Al Jazeera English.

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‘Blood moon’ rising : Total lunar eclipse on April 14-15, first in rare series

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A total lunar eclipse set to sweep the skies on April 14-15 and turn the moon blood-red just before midnight has got scientists excited and some Christians fearing for the end of days.

The coppery moon will be the first of two total lunar eclipses in 2014 as well as the opening act in a lunar tetrad – four total lunar eclipses in series.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon align, causing the Earth’s shadow to fall on the moon, darkening it. The crimson color the moon takes on during an eclipse comes about because of the refraction of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere. This, incidentally, is the very same effect that causes sunsets to appear red.

The April 14-15 eclipse will begin at 21:20 GMT according to Sky and Telescope magazine. The other three eclipses in the “tetrad” will be in October, April 2015 and September 2015. Griffith Observatory will stream the event live.

A small group of Christians, however, view the upcoming event as a biblical prophecy sounding the end of times.

John Hagee, pastor and author of ‘Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change,’ cites Joel 2:31 as evidence, which says: “The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.”

Proponents of this Biblical prophesy also say it coincides with two important Jewish holidays – Passover and Tabernacles – contributing to the significance of the event.

However, writing for EarthSky.org, Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd say that it’s no surprise that full moons would coincide with important Jewish holidays, as the Jewish calendar is, after all, a lunar calendar.

“In any year, it’s inevitable that a full moon should fall on or near the feasts of Passover (15 Nissan) and Tabernacles (15 Tishri). Nissan and Tishri are the first and seventh months of the Jewish calendar, respectively,” they said.

“It is somewhat ironic that three of these four lunar eclipses are not visible – even in part – from Israel.”

The pair argue that while the idea of a blood moon is one that lends itself to the imagination, the term is actually applicable to pretty much any total lunar eclipse.

“It’s only in years where volcanic activity is pronounced that the moon’s face during a total lunar eclipse might appear more brownish or gray in color. Usually, the moon looks red.”

Tetrads, while occurring less often than a blue moon, are not entirely rare. According to Byrd, there will be a total of eight lunar tetrads between 2001 and 2100. The last lunar tetrad occurred in 1967-1968.

This eclipse also features an additional astronomical anomaly, which is likely to spark the imagination. Byrd says Mars will appear “as a fiery red ‘star’ next to the moon. Together red Mars and the red shadow on the moon’s face should be a spectacular sight and an incredible photo opportunity.”

via ‘Blood moon’ rising: Total lunar eclipse on April 14-15, first in rare series — RT News.

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Chinese firm to reward 16,000 with UAE vacation

The company has booked 39,514 rooms in 40 hotels and 409 tourist guides

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Dubai: In what is considered to be one of the biggest vacations organised by a company for its staff in history, a Chinese company will transport more than 16,000 of its employees on a 10-day trip to the UAE, CNN Arabic news channel reported.

The company will begin transferring its staff in seven batches, starting from Sunday until April 17. The company’s offices represented in the trip are from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the news channel reported.

Each batch will include at least 2,000 people. They will be brought in on 77 flights, including two chartered trips organised by Emirates. The cost according to UAE and Chinese media will be “hundreds of millions of dollars,” CNN Arabic said.

The company has booked 39,514 rooms in 40 hotels and 409 tourist guides. According to officials the company also booked the “Ferrari World” nightclub for three days, and dinner parties on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for 8,000 people.

 The company Nu Skin, specialising in beauty products, said it wants to reward its employees, especially sales staff for their performance by sponsoring their visit to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

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US sending 2 warships to Japan to counter NKorea

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera participate in a joint news conference at the Japanese Ministry of Defense headquarters Sunday April 6, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan

TOKYO (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged warning to Asia Pacific nations Sunday, announcing that the U.S. will send two additional ballistic missile destroyers to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, and saying China must better respect its neighbors.

In unusually forceful remarks about China, Hagel drew a direct line between Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea region and the ongoing territorial disputes between China, Japan and others over remote islands in the East China Sea.

“I think we’re seeing some clear evidence of a lack of respect and intimidation and coercion in Europe today with what the Russians have done with Ukraine,” Hagel told reporters after a meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. “We must be very careful and we must be very clear, all nations of the world, that in the 21st century this will not stand, you cannot go around the world and redefine boundaries and violate territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations by force, coercion and intimidation whether it’s in small islands in the Pacific or large nations in Europe.”

Hagel, who will travel to China later this week, called the Asian nation a “great power,” and added, “with this power comes new and wider responsibilities as to how you use that power, how you employ that military power.”

He said he will talk to the Chinese about having respect for their neighbors, and said, “coercion, intimidation is a very deadly thing that leads only to conflict. All nations, all people deserve respect no matter how large or how small.”

Still, he said he looks forward to having an honest, straightforward dialogue with the Chinese to talk about ways the two nations and their militaries can work better together.

The announcement of the deployments of additional destroyers to Japan came as tensions with North Korea spiked again, with Pyongyang continuing to threaten additional missile and nuclear tests.

In recent weeks the North has conducted a series of rocket and ballistic missile launches that are considered acts of protest against annual ongoing springtime military exercises by Seoul and Washington. North Korea says the exercises are rehearsals for invasion.

North and South Korea also fired hundreds of artillery shells into each other’s waters in late March in the most recent flare-up.

Standing alongside Onodera at the defense ministry, Hagel said they discussed the threat posed by Pyongyang. He said the two ships are in response to North Korea’s “pattern of provocative and destabilizing actions” that violate U.N. resolutions and also will provide more protection to the U.S. from those threats.

On Friday, North Korea accused the U.S. of being “hell-bent on regime change” and warned that any maneuvers with that intention will be viewed as a “red line” that will result in countermeasures. Pyongyang’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Ri Tong Il, also said his government “made it very clear we will carry out a new form of nuclear test” but refused to provide details.

The two additional ships would bring the total to seven U.S. ballistic missile defense warships in Japan, and it continues U.S. efforts to increase its focus on the Asia Pacific.

The ships serve as both defensive and offensive weapons. They carry sophisticated systems that can track missile launches, and their SM-3 missiles can zero in on and take out short- to medium-range missiles that might be fired at U.S. or allied nations. They can also carry Tomahawk cruise missiles, which can be launched from sea and hit high-value targets or enemy weapons systems from afar, without risking pilots or aircraft.

Hagel is on a 10-day trip across the Asia Pacific, and just spent three days in Hawaii meeting with Southeast Asian defense ministers, talking about efforts to improve defense and humanitarian assistance cooperation. Japan is his second stop, where he said he wants to assure Japanese leaders that the U.S. is strongly committed to protecting their country’s security.

Japan and China have been engaged in a long, bitter dispute over remote islands in the East China Sea. The U.S. has said it takes no side on the question of the disputed islands’ sovereignty, but it recognizes Japan’s administration of them and has responsibilities to protect Japanese territory under a mutual defense treaty.

Onodera said he and Hagel talked about the islands, known as Senkaku by Japan and Diayou by China, and the concerns about any changes to the status quo there.

Hagel said the U.S. wants the countries in the region to resolve the disputes peacefully. But he added that the United States would honor its treaty commitments.

The ships are just the latest move in America’s effort to beef up Japan’s defenses. Last October, the U.S. and Japan agreed to broad plans to expand their defense alliance, including the decision to position a second early warning radar there by the end of this year. There is one in northern Japan and the second one would be designed to provide better missile defense coverage in the event of a North Korean attack.

The U.S. will begin sending long-range Global Hawk surveillance drones to Japan this month for rotational deployments. They are intended to help step up surveillance around the Senkaku islands.

AP

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US operates global drone war from German base – ex-pilot

A testimony by a former US Air Force drone pilot has revealed that the US is using its Ramstein Air Base in Germany to wage highly controversial drone warfare in Africa, Yemen, and Pakistan.

“The entire drone war of the US military wouldn’t be possible without Germany,” Brandon Bryant, who resigned in 2011, told NDR television and Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Last year, German media revealed that the US uses its military bases in Germany to conduct targeted killings of suspected terrorists in Somalia. But Bryant now says that Ramstein Air Base in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate is involved in strikes on Pakistan and Yemen.

During his five years of service, Bryant flew more than 1,000 operations in Pakistan and Yemen. Although Bryant was seated at his control pad in New Mexico – far from the actual drones – there is mounting evidence that the base in Germany plays a key role.

Data from the remote controlled drones is transmitted via satellite to Germany. It is then sent back to America via fiber optic cable. Live pictures are analyzed and classified by teams of US intelligence officers in Germany, suggesting Ramstein is the nerve center behind the operations.

Bryant said that Ramstein was always “the first port of call” during any strike.

Supporters of Pakistan’s outlawed Islamic hardline Jamaat ud Dawa (JD) carry placards as they shout anti-US slogans during a protest against the US drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal region, in Islamabad on November 8, 2013.

Polls show that the majority of Germans have consistently disapproved of drone strikes, saying they are secretive, do not follow a legal process, and can prove ineffective if the wrong targets are eliminated.

Aware of these concerns, the United States – which has a military presence in the country guaranteed by post-WWII agreements – has denied that its German base, which houses over 600 personnel, is directly involved in the strikes.

“The US government has confirmed that such armed and remote aircrafts are not flown or controlled from US bases in Germany,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters on Friday.

In total, up to 900 people may have been killed in Yemen since strikes began in 2002. More than 3,700 people have died in Pakistan since 2004. The figures were collated on the basis of reports by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent online news source, as the CIA and the Pentagon do not reveal official figures.

In the wake of the revelation, foreign policy spokesperson for the Greens party, Omid Nouripour, urged Angela Merkel’s government to take action. “It is shameful that the German government simply closes its eyes to violations of international law on German territory,” Nouripour told DPA news agency.

While the new revelations may put further strain on the relationship between Washington and Berlin – which is already tense due to Edward Snowden‘s leaks about NSA surveillance – they are unlikely to lead to specific measures from Germany.

Berlin cannot freely inspect – much less close down – US bases without pulling out of key military cooperation agreements.

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 : Ship reportedly detects “pulse” signal

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PERTH, Australia — A Chinese ship involved in the hunt for the missing Malaysian jetliner reported hearing a “pulse signal” Saturday in Indian Ocean waters with the same frequency emitted by the plane’s data recorders.

China‘s official Xinhua News Agency said a black box detector deployed by the ship, Haixun 01, picked up a signal at 37.5 kilohertz (cycles per second). However, Xinhua said it had not yet been determined whether the signal was related to the missing plane, citing the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, confirmed that the frequency emitted by Flight 370’s black boxes was 37.5 kilohertz.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, chief coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Center – the Australian government agency coordinating the search – said Saturday the Haixun’s report of electronic pulse signals could not be verified at this time. U.S. officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and FAA were not able to confirm the report, either.

Houston also said the report of a number of white objects on the water’s surface about 90 kilometers from the signal detection area could not be confirmed to be related to the missing plane.

The deployment of Royal Australian Air Force assets to the area where the Chinese ship detected the sounds is being considered, Houston said.

CBS News transportation safety analyst Mark Rosenker, a former chairman of the NTSB, wondered why there was no report of debris from the Chinese ship that detected the signal: “When you think about what in fact they are saying, which means they believe they have the debris site where the aircraft is laying, it defies logic that we would not be seeing something on the surface as well,” Rosenker said.

But Sky News senior correspondent Ian Woods told CBS News Radio, “The reason it is being given some credibility is because even though there are many items that could be mistaken for wreckage floating round in the ocean, there is only one thing that pulses at 37.5 kilohertz, and that is a ‘black box’ recorder.”

Rosenker also said that, if the signal came from missing plane’s flight data recorder, then it could likely take weeks or possibly longer to target and recover it.

On Thursday, the British navy’s HMS Echo reported one alert as it searched for sonic transmissions from the data recorder, but it was quickly discounted as a false alarm, the Joint Agency Coordination Center overseeing the search said. False alerts can come from animals such as whales, or interference from shipping noise.

With the batteries in the black boxes’ locator beacons due to run out any day, crews are in a desperate race against the clock.

On Friday for the first time, crews launched an underwater search trying to pick up a signal from the black box flight recorders on the Beijing-bound plane before they are expected to fall silent. The batteries last only about 30 days, which would be Monday.

The search for the Boeing 777 — plagued by confusion, and agonizing to relatives of the 239 passengers — has frustrated investigators and left many wondering how long it can go on.

Two naval ships from Australia and the United Kingdom began probing the ocean along a 150-mile route on Friday that investigators hope is close to where Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went down. The Australian ship, Ocean Shield, is towing a U.S. Navy device that can detect signals or pings from the flight data and cockpit voice recorders, commonly known as the black boxes.

The U.S. Navy’s towed pinger locator can pick up signals to a depth of 20,000 feet, and so should be able to hear the plane’s data recorders even if they are at the deepest part of the search zone, about 19,000 feet.

But no wreckage from the plane has been found, so officials cannot even be sure they are looking in the right location. The 84,000-square-mile search area, about 1,100 miles northwest of Perth, was already shifted almost 700 miles to the north after investigators decided that the plane was traveling faster than originally thought.Plus, the pinger locator — consisting of a 30-inch cylindrical microphone attached to about 20,000 feet of cable — must be dragged slowly through the water at just 1 to 5 knots (or 1 to 6 mph) in a grid pattern.

Meanwhile, up to the 11 military planes, four civilian jets and 11 ships were to assist in Saturday’s search, led by the Australia Maritime Safety Authority. Australian officials continue to refine the area where the plane entered the water based analysis of satellite communication and the aircraft’s performance.

The Malaysia Airlines jet left Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, March 8, at 12:41 a.m. headed for Beijing. But investigators believe someone re-programmed the plane’s flight management system, and two minutes after the last conversation between air traffic controllers in Malaysia and the cockpit, the plane’s transponder was turned off. The plane went dark on civilian radar, and then made a left turn back toward Malaysia.

Sources have said it followed an established aviation corridor over several navigational “waypoints.”

The Malaysian military tracked an unidentified object now believed to have been Flight 370 on its radar traveling west towards the Strait of Malacca. At 2:15 a.m., it disappeared from the military radar, about 200 miles northwest of Penang.

Investigators say the plane’s antenna signaled to a satellite multiple times over the next several hours, with the last signal recorded at 8:11 a.m., about the time the plane would have run out of fuel.

Experts says the search in the southern Indian Ocean might have been easier had the plane been outfitted with so-called “deployable black box” technology, essentially flight recorders that eject and float when a plane crashes.

The U.S. Transportation Safety Administration tested the technology, employed on U.S. Navy jets such as the F/A-18 for more than two decades, and found that it would enhance safety on commercial aircraft. But three years after the study, no U.S. commercial airline has installed the technology. The price tag per plane is about $60,000.

As the search for the missing Malaysian jet entered its fifth week, Australian Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, head of the joint agency coordinating the operation, has acknowledged the search area was essentially a best guess.

“They might be lucky and they might start smack bang right over the top of it,” said Geoff Dell, discipline leader of accident investigation at Central Queensland University in Australia. “But my guess is that’s not going to be the case and they’re in for a lengthy search.”

CBS News

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