Daily Archives: December 27, 2015

Austrian police warn of a possible terror attack between Christmas and New Year

Police in Vienna has stepped up security following a warning about a potential terror attack employing explosives or firearms between the Christmas and New Year holidays. According to police, the warning was issued to several European capitals.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Austrian police said that the warning came from an unidentified “friendly intelligence service” just days before Christmas, offering mostly general information about the possible attacks without specifying potential targets or exact dates.

It added that “several possible names of potential attackers were mentioned, who were checked and the investigation based on (these checks) has so far yielded no concrete results.”

“We do not know if these people exist in real life, or if they are only names with no real person behind them. We have no evidence that they are in Vienna, and we have no evidence that they are even in Europe,” Christoph Poelzl, a spokesman for Vienna police, said as quoted by the Guardian.

Poelzl refused to give any further details concerning the terror warning as he did not reveal the list of European capitals mentioned in the warning.

In the view of the warning, Vienna authorities said that no public events would be canceled but police surveillance will increase in the places expected to attract large numbers of people during the specific period.

Police will also pay closer attention to suspicious bags.

Meanwhile, France remains on high alert since Paris attacks in November. Last week, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve ordered police and security forces to be especially watchful during festive church services.

 

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Christmas Miracle: British Couple Cloned their Dog 12 Days After its Death

A couple from North Yorkshire, England, paid $100,000 to South Korean scientists to clone their dog almost two weeks after it died, an unprecedented procedure heralding the next phase in bio-technology.

Getting a puppy for Christmas is usually an old story but not for Laura Jacques and Richard Remde who received a brand new cloned boxer called Chance on December, 25.

The story prompted unbelievable public outrage as the canine was recreated from the DNA of Remde’s old b

oxer Dylan which died 12 days before the successful samples were taken. Usually, the cloning procedure requires samples from a living or just recently deceased dog.

The 8-year-old Dylan died of a heart attack caused by an inoperable brain tumor a half year ago.

While wallowing in her sorrow, Jacques, 29, watched a documentary movie about Rebecca Smith who cloned her dog. Jacques immediately shared the story with her partner saying that could be a way for them to have Dylan around again.

“I didn’t know how I would be able to cope [without Dylan],” Jacques told the UK’s Telegraph. “I thought I would have to throw myself off a bridge or something.”

That prompted 43-year-old Remde to, the very next day, go to South Korea, where he handed over Dylan’s DNA samples to Sooam labs, widely known for successfully cloning 700 dogs.

The high hopes for reunification were dashed when it didn’t work out the first time but they didn’t give up and travelled once again with a biopsy from the dog’s abdomen.

“This is the first case we have had where cells have been taken from a dead dog after a very long time,” David Kim, a scientist at Sooam, told The Guardian. “Hopefully it will allow us to extend the time after death that we can take cells for cloning.”

Dylan’s DNA gave “birth” two little ones. Chance was cloned by one surrogate on Friday, while the second surrogate is still pregnant with the second pup, Shadow, which the couple also plans to adopt, adding to their four dogs and 11 other animals.

“It is a controversial topic and there will be people who don’t agree with it but there will be loads of people that would love to be able to do it,” said Jacques.

When Chance joined his new family, Jacques couldn’t help but talk about the pup’s resemblance with Dylan.

“I can’t believe how much he looks like Dylan,” added Jacques. “All the colorings and patterns on his body are in exactly the same places as Dylan had them.”

Dylan’s remains have still been kept in the animal-loving couple’s freezer at their house in Skipton as they plan to bury them in a newly renovated garden.

The standard cloning of a pet requires a sample from the abdomen or cheek that is transmitted into a culture with the animal’s DNA and then put in a surrogate dog’s unfertilized eggs. Nine weeks later you have a little clone.

Syrian army destroys leader of “Syrian Revolutionaries Front” in Damascus province

The Syrian army has destroyed the leader of the “Syrian Revolutionaries Front” Mohammed al-Masaalm, Syrian Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Ali Maihub said on Sunday.

Maihub told journalists that al-Masaalm was killed in the province of Damascus. “A large number of terrorists were destroyed, including the leader of the so-called ‘Syrian Revolutionaries Front’ Mohammed al-Masaalm,” he said.

“The Syrian army destroyed armored vehicles with terrorists and three vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns to the south of the Al-Manchiya district in the city of Daraa, and delivered strikes at terrorist groups in a refugee camp to the south of the Busra Square, to the south of a boy’s school, to the south of the Energy Company building, along the road of Daraa-Mahapta,” Maihub added.

US Police Fatally Shot Almost 1,000 Civilians in 2015 – Report

US law enforcement has mortally wounded nearly 1,000 civilians this year, according to a recent study by local media.

Some 965 US citizens were fatally shot by US policemen, 564 of whom were armed with a gun, The Washington Post study published Saturday revealed.

According to the newspaper, almost 100 people did not have weapon of any kind during a confrontation with police.

The study also suggested that race remains one of the main reasons of police brutality, as 40 percent of fatal police shootings were aimed at unarmed black men.

Overall, people who died from a bullet fired by policemen were either bearing arms, suicidal, mentally troubled, or refused to halt at police’s request and ran, the report said.

Over the past year, the United States has seen numerous protests following high-profile cases of police brutality around the country. The incidents have set off mass protests around the country and triggered a national debate about racial inequality and police violence in African-American communities.

 

Iraqi Army Captures Daesh Leader in Ramadi – Reports

Iraqi soldiers have detained one of the leaders of the Islamic State jihadist group, in the Iraq’s Ramadi, local media reported.

The identity of the leader of Daesh militants has not been disclosed, Sky News Arabia reported Saturday.

On Tuesday, Iraqi troops launched an offensive in Anbar against the Daesh jihadists. The main aim of the offensive is to liberate Ramadi, the biggest city of the province, from the militants.

Daesh, which is outlawed in Russia and many other countries, has seized large areas in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate on territories under its control. The group is currently considered to be one of the main threats to global security.