Tag Archives: Associated Press

2 gunmen killed outside Mohammed ‘art event’ in Texas

77

Two gunmen have been shot and killed in a parking lot outside a venue in Garland, Texas that had been hosting a controversial Mohammed art event dedicated to free speech. As a precaution police and SWAT have swept the area for possible explosive devices.

The two suspects drove up to the center and opened fire, injuring a Garland ISD security officer in his leg, the city confirmed. The officer suffered non-life threatening injuries and was soon released from the hospital.

Both attackers were killed in the shooting, but police proceeded to search the area for a vehicle that could allegedly have explosives in it.

“Because of the situation and what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we’re considering their car as possibly having a bomb,” said Garland police officer Joe Harn, describing the search as a “precaution.”

According to tweets from IS followers, the attack was carried out by jihadi militants loyal to the terrorist group.

An IS fighter from the UK tweeted – “2 of our brothers just opened fire at the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) art exhibition in texas” and “They Thought They Was Safe In Texas From The Soldiers of The Islamic State,” according to SITE Intelligence, an online watchdog of jihadist activities.

One of the gunmen is believed to have tweeted about the impending attack earlier on Sunday, saying ‘May Allah accept us as mujahideen.’

Reports on the grounds say that police have finished checking the attackers’ car for explosives and announced no immediate threat to area.

The FBI has reportedly arrived at the scene to investigate the incident further.

People inside the exhibition center were initially ordered to stay indoors, while the nearby Walmart and other businesses were evacuated.

SWAT inside

SWAT inside

The SWAT team evacuated the convention participants to a safer location on a local high school campus. Channel 8 reporter on the scene, Jobin Panicker, reported that initially the crowd heard around 3-4 gunshots. A further exchange of gunfire followed after a brief pause.The Curtis Culwell Center was hosting the first annual Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest, a controversial “free speech” event that offered a $10,000 prize for the best cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative event was being broadcast live on YouTube, when a SWAT member burst in telling the crowd that two suspects had been shot. The event was interrupted and guests and organizers were moved into a secure room by the authorities.

The event had created controversy prior to its execution with some seeing it as an attack on Islam. The event’s organizers said they are exercising the right to freedom of speech, according to the Dallas News.

The shootings allegedly took place just before 7:00 pm local time, when the event was about to conclude, shortly after the last speaker had finished his presentation.

Additional police forces had already been deployed to the Curtis Culwell Center at the time of the incident to provide security because of the controversy of the event. However, no protests were taking place prior to the event, and neither were there threats of any imminent attacks reported.

88

Bodies on road outside TX free speech event

Texas governor, Greag Abbott, meanwhile issued a statement saying that authorities are trying to figure out what caused the “senseless” attack. He expressed his condolences and thanked the policemen for “quickly” resolving the situation.

“It is a terrible thing people in America today think, ‘well they told us that they would kill us if we draw cartoons, so we [had] better not draw cartoons!’” Robert Spencer, one of the organizers said during the event. “No…that is when we have to draw cartoons!”

“We were aware of the threats. We were aware of the difficulties. We have paid tens of thousands of dollars for security for this. And you saw the massive security measures that there are in place,” Spencer said about an hour ahead of the incident.

One of the organizers, Pamela Geller, was “known to make anti-Muslim statements,” and is notorious for arguing in courts the idea of placing anti-Muslim ads around New York, Al Jazeera reports.

In her tweets after the shooting, Geller said that what has occurred in Texas was “a war on free speech.”

The American Freedom Defence Initiative was allowed by a federal court to display its ad campaign on New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses. Some online comments have suggested that the shooting might be linked to this particular ad campaign. Similar campaigns have also taken place in Washington DC.

Advertisements

El Rey recibe al presidente egipcio en la Zarzuela

Abdelfatah al Sisi, junto al rey Felipe VI. / Andrea Comas

  • Felipe VI ha abordado con Abdelfatah al Sisi, que visita por primera vez España, las perspectivas de cooperación bilateral, fundamentalmente en materia económica

  • El mandatario se reunirá también con Rajoy y está previsto que ambos firmen varios acuerdos de cooperación en las áreas de seguridad y lucha contra el crimen, turismo e infraestructuras y transportes

El Rey ha recibido en el Palacio de la Zarzuela al presidente de Egipto, Abdelfatah al Sisi, que visita por primera vez España y con quien ha tenido ocasión de tratar las perspectivas de la cooperación bilateral, fundamentalmente económica, y cuestiones de actualidad en la región mediterránea.

Don Felipe ha dado la bienvenida a Al Sisi ante la entrada del palacio y, tras posar junto a él para los medios gráficos en los jardines, le ha invitado a pasar a su despacho para mantener allí la entrevista, a la que han asistido los ministros de Asuntos Exteriores de España, José Manuel García-Margallo, y Egipto, Sameh Shoukry, así como los respectivos embajadores.

En la primera visita oficial a España de un presidente egipcio desde la que realizó Hosni Mubarak en 2004, Al Sisi busca profundizar la ya positiva cooperación política y ampliar unas relaciones económicas que aún disponen de un amplio margen de mejora, actualmente muy inferiores a las que España mantiene con países como Marruecos, Argelia o Arabia Saudí.

Acuerdos de cooperación

Tras su entrevista con el Rey, el jefe de Estado egipcio se reunirá con el presidente del Gobierno, Mariano Rajoy, en el Palacio de la Moncloa, donde está previsto que se firmen varios acuerdos de cooperación en las áreas de seguridad y lucha contra el crimen, turismo e infraestructuras y transportes.

La cooperación bilateral contra el terrorismo yihadista y ante los flujos migratorios en el Mediterráneo son dos de los asuntos centrales de la agenda de Al Sisi en Madrid, junto al interés de Egipto por atraer inversiones españolas, especialmente en construcción, infraestructuras y energía, objetivo que ha marcado una reunión con empresas de ambos países, celebrada esta mañana.

El líder egipcio volverá a encontrarse hoy con don Felipe, acompañado por doña Letizia, en el almuerzo que los Reyes ofrecerán en su honor en el Palacio Real, tras el que visitará el Congreso de los Diputados, donde será recibido por el presidente de la Cámara, Jesús Posada.

Felipe VI coincidió con Al Sisi el pasado 30 de enero -el día que el Monarca cumplió 47 años- en Adis Abeba, donde ambos participaron en la cumbre de la UA y mantuvieron una reunión bilateral en la que el Rey expresó la voluntad de España de aumentar la presencia económica en Egipto y de proseguir su apoyo al proceso de paz en Oriente Próximo.

Asimismo, don Felipe coincidió con Al Sisi en la necesidad de proseguir la lucha internacional contra el terrorismo y garantizó la implicación de España en este objetivo con un papel importante desde su puesto de miembro no permanente del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU.

Saudi King names nephew as new crown prince

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud on Wednesday appointed his nephew, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, as the new crown prince.

A royal decree aired on state TV announced that Mohammed bin Nayef, who is also the kingdom’s interior minister, and is widely known internationally as Saudi Arabia’s counterterrorism czar, will replace (now former) Crown Prince Muqrin bin Abdul Aziz who had requested to step down.

“We have decided to respond to His Highness and what he had expressed about his desire to be relieved from the position of crown prince,” said a statement from the royal court, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The statement also said Muqrin was also relieved of his position as deputy prime minister.

The decree named “Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as crown prince” as well as deputy prime minister and said he will continue to hold his position of interior minister and head of the political and security council, a coordinating body.

This comes amid a series of reappointments across the kingdom’s cabinet which saw the appointment of Ambassador to the U.S. Adel Al Jubeir as the new foreign minister.

Read also: Saudi King appoints son as Deputy Crown

Read also: Saudi appoints new foreign, health ministers

King Salman also called upon Saudis to pledge allegiance to the new crown prince and new deputy crown prince today.

Massive blaze destroys building in Baltimore following day of riots

Baltimore firefighters confer as they attack a fire set by rioters in a convenience store and residence at East Biddle Street and Montford Avenue during rioting in Baltimore, Maryland in the early morning hours of April 28, 2015.

Following a day of riots in Baltimore, a community center and apartments owned by the Southern Baptist Church in East Baltimore were set ablaze and burnt down before firefighters managed to contain the flames.

Firefighters were forced to respond to the three-alarm fire at 8:49pm, after the flames engulfed the five-story building at Gay and Federal streets

“We were able to dispatch units as soon as we got the call,” Baltimore Fire Department spokesman Capt. Roman Clark said, as law enforcement officers with shotguns cordoned off the fire hazard area. More than 90 firefighters responded to battle the flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Clark said, as riots following Freddie Gray’s funeral raged across the city. No one was injured in the East Baltimore blaze. A spokesman for the mayor of Baltimore, Kevin Harris, said the fire at the Mary Harvin Transformation Center was related to rioting in the city.

Firefighters managed to calm the fire just before 10:00pm and were spraying water over surrounding structures to ensure no flames spread.

The Southern Baptist Church was building the center to provide 60 affordable apartments and behavioral counseling for seniors. The construction was ongoing since 2006 by the Woda Group, a low-income housing developer.

“We’re going to rebuild. We’re going to come back strong from this,” the church’s pastor Donte Hickman told local media outlets. “This fire is going to spark a revival.”

Senior vice president of The Woda Group, Kevin Bell, also vowed to rebuild the housing and community center. “This does not make us go away,” he said.

The city lent $15 million towards the construction of the units. The State Department of Housing and Community Development granted another $200,000 last year toward the center.

The Southern Baptist Church fire is one of many the Baltimore City Fire Department has been battling as riots erupted throughout the city. Baltimore’s firefighters are taking precautions to protect themselves against violence.

Nepalese dig with bare hands for quake survivors as toll rises to 1,900

 TV Channels Online Turn Your Computer into a TV!   Watch Full TV Episodes w Free App www.televisionfanatic.com Ads by Google earthquake, nepal earthquake, himalayan earthquake, everest avalanche, Mt. Everest base camp, Nepal quake, Kathmandhu earthquake, Dharahara tower, Bhimshen tower, Nepal durbar square, Nepal UNESCO heritage sites, Swayambhunath stupa, earthquake in nepal, India earthquake, nepal earthquake photos, kathmandu earthquake photos, A worst hit earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday morning

A worst hit earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday morning

(Reuters) – Rescuers dug with their bare hands and bodies piled up in Nepal on Sunday after an earthquake devastated the heavily crowded Kathmandu valley, killing at least 1,900, and triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.

Army office Santosh Nepal led a group of rescuers that worked all night to open a passage into a collapsed building in the capital of Kathmandu. They had to use pick axes because bulldozers could not get through the ancient city’s narrow streets.

“We believe there are still people trapped inside,” he told Reuters, pointing at concrete debris and twisted reinforcement rods that was once a three-storey residential building.

Among the capital’s landmarks destroyed in the earthquake was the 60-metre (200-foot) Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal, with a viewing balcony that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years.

A jagged stump was all that was left of the lighthouse-like structure. As bodies were pulled from the ruins, a policeman said up to 200 people had been trapped inside.

Bodies were still arriving at one hospital in Kathmandu, where police officer Sudan Shreshtha said his team had brought 166 corpses overnight.

“I am tired and exhausted, but I have to work and have the strength,” Shreshtha told Reuters as an ambulance brought three more victims to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital.

Bodies were heaped in a dark room; some covered with cloth, some not. A boy aged about seven lay, his face half missing and his stomach bloated like a football. The stench of death was overpowering.

Outside, a 30-year-old woman who had been widowed wailed: “Oh Lord, oh God, why did you take him alone? Take me along with him also.”

Authorities also scrambled to provide shelter in the capital, Kathmandu, for thousands of people who spent the night outside in freezing temperatures and patchy rain, too afraid to return to their damaged homes.

People milled about in parks and streets strewn with rubble. The 7.9 magnitude quake struck at midday on Saturday at a busy time of year for the tourism-reliant country’s trekking and climbing season, with an estimated 300,000 foreign tourists in the country.

The government planned to pitch tents and turn schools and other public buildings into shelters, said Rameshwor Dangal, a home ministry official. It would also re-open roads and send helicopters to rescue people.

Nepal’s police put the death toll at 1,896, with about 4,700 injured. At least 400 were killed in the capital, a city of about 1 million people where many homes are old, flimsy and packed close together.

Foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides around Mount Everest were caught by the tremors and a huge avalanche that claimed the highest toll of any disaster on the world’s highest mountain.

Seventeen bodies were recovered on Mount Everest base camp and 61 were injured when part of the base camp was engulfed by the snowslide, Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told Reuters.

A first helicopter took off from Kathmandu on Sunday morning to airlift the injured after flights were delayed by cloudy weather, Sherpa said.

Two light helicopters were shuttling injured from base camp to a lower altitude, from where they could be evacuated back to the capital, emergency officials at Kathmandu airport said.

Hospitals across the impoverished nation of 28 million people struggled to cope with its worst quake in 81 years. They expected a fresh influx of patients on Sunday but medical supplies were running low.

Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital had received 300 to 350 patients with serious injuries through Saturday, and most of them died, said paramedic Dinesh Chaudhary. He said the hospital was procuring medicines from shops outside.

PEOPLE STILL TRAPPED

The earthquake, centred 50 miles (80 km) east of the second city, Pokhara, was all the more destructive for being shallow.

Rescue operations had still not begun in towns in some remote areas.

Across the city, rescuers scrabbled through destroyed buildings, among them ancient, wooden Hindu temples.

“I can see three bodies of monks trapped in the debris of a collapsed building near a monastery,” Indian tourist Devyani Pant told Reuters. “We are trying to pull the bodies out and look for anyone who is trapped.”

Neighbouring India, where 44 people were reported killed in the quake and its aftershocks, sent military aircraft to Nepal with medical equipment and relief teams. It also said it had dispatched 285 members of its National Disaster Response Force.

In Tibet, the death toll climbed to 17, according to a tweet from China’s state news agency, Xinhua.

International aid groups readied staff to go to Nepal to help provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food, while the United States, Britain and Pakistan were among countries providing search-and-rescue experts.

More than 1,000 climbers were on Everest at the start of their season when disaster struck.

Romanian climber Alex Gavan tweeted on Saturday that there had been a “huge earthquake then huge avalanche” at Everest base camp, forcing him to run for his life.

In a later tweet he made a desperate appeal for a helicopter to fly in and evacuate climbers who had been hurt: “Many dead. Much more badly injured. More to die if not heli asap.”

In the Annapurna mountain range, where scores were killed in the nation’s worst trekking accident last year, many hikers were stranded after the quake, according to messages on social media, but no deaths there had been reported.

Nepal, sandwiched between India and China, has had its share of natural disasters. Its worst earthquake in 1934 killed more than 8,500 people.

Ex-general, CIA chief Petraeus gets probation, $100,000 fine in leak case

 Former CIA director David Petraeus leaves the Federal Courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 23, 2015.

Former CIA director David Petraeus leaves the Federal Courthouse in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 23, 2015.

Former U.S. military commander and CIA director David Petraeus was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay a$100,000 fine but was spared prison time on Thursday after pleading guilty to mishandling classified information.

The retired four-star general apologized as he admitted in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, to giving the information to his mistress, who was writing his biography. He agreed under a plea deal to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler raised the fine from the $40,000 that had been recommended to the maximum possible financial penalty for that charge, noting it needed to be higher to be punitive and reflect the gravity of the offense.

“This constitutes a serious lapse of judgment,” Keesler said during the hour-long hearing.

The guilty plea ended an embarrassing chapter for a man described in letters to the court as one of the finest military leaders of his generation. Petraeus, 62, a counter-insurgency expert with a Princeton University doctorate, served stints as the top U.S. commander in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was once considered a possible vice presidential or presidential candidate.

He resigned from the CIA in 2012 after it was revealed that he was having an affair with the biographer, Army Reserve officer Paula Broadwell.

Dressed in a dark suit and blue tie, he showed no emotion as he read from a prepared statement in court.

“Today marks the end of a two-and-a-half year ordeal that resulted from mistakes that I made,” he told reporters after the sentencing. “As I did in the past, I apologize to those closest to me and many others.”

Petraeus was accompanied at the hearing by three attorneys, but it did not appear that his family members attended, nor did Broadwell, who lives in Charlotte.

Keesler said the heads of state, senators and high-ranking U.S. military officials who wrote letters submitted by defense attorneys in support of Petraeus agreed he had “committed a grave but very uncharacteristic error in judgment.”

The judge said the retired Army general’s actions stood in stark contrast to his nearly four decades of public service.

Petraeus now serves as chairman for the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts‘ captive economic and geopolitical think tank, the KKR Global Institute. The White House also has continued to consult him on occasion for advice on national security matters.

Civil liberties and government transparency advocates had questioned the plea deal, saying the government’s lenient treatment of Petraeus suggested prosecutors maintain double standards. Defendants in other leak cases have received harsher punishments, including prison.

“A slap on the wrist is the most one could say about what can barely be called a sentence for what could have been treated as serious crimes including espionage,” said Michael Ratner, a U.S. lawyer who represents WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

But Petraeus’ attorney, David Kendall, said in court it would have been unprecedented to incarcerate him for the charge he faced, which carries a maximum prison term of one year.

“This is not a case about the dissemination to the public of classified information,” Kendall said. “No classified information appeared in the biography. Not a single syllable.”

A court document signed by Petraeus and prosecutors says that in 2011, just before he became the CIA director, the general illegally gave Broadwell access to official binders.

Known as “black books,” the binders contained classified information including identities of covert officers, code word information, war strategy, intelligence capabilities, diplomatic talks and information from high-level White House National Security Council meetings, according to court records.

Petraeus also was accused of improperly storing classified materials at his Virginia residence and falsely telling the FBI in October 2012 that he had not shared any classified information with Broadwell.

U.S. prosecutor James Melendres noted that Petraeus had been entrusted with the government’s highest secrets.

“The defendant betrayed that trust,” he said.

Turkish prosecutor killed in hostage taking

An alleged millitant from the Turkish Marxist-Leninist left wing organisation, the DHKP-C, holds a gun to the head of prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz in Istanbul on Tuesday. A Turkish prosecutor probing the politically sensitive death of an anti-government protester was taken hostage by an armed group at an Istanbul courthouse, the Dogan news agency reported.

ISTANBUL — Two members of a banned leftist group and a prosecutor they held hostage inside a courthouse in Istanbul died Tuesday after a shootout between the hostage takers and police, officials said.

Istanbul’s police chief, Selami Altinok said police had negotiated with the gunmen for six hours before the violent end of the hostage situation.

The prosecutor, identified by the state-run Anadolu Agency and state television TRT as Mehmet Selim Kiraz, was shot in the head during the standoff and rushed to hospital where doctors tried to save his life, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier Tuesday.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and hospital officials later announced he had died.

Speaking in Ankara, Davutolgu said the hostage takers have been identified and had dressed up as lawyers in order to sneak in arms inside courthouse. He did not give any other new information.

Kiraz was the prosecutor investigating the death of a teenager who was hit by a police gas canister fired during nationwide anti-government protests in 2013.

A website close to the left-wing DHKP-C group said that militants from the banned organization had taken the prosecutor hostage at midday and had given authorities three hours to meet five demands, including forcing policemen held responsible for the teenager’s killing to confess to the death.

Members of special security forces stand outside the main courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday. Mehmet Selim Kirazis the prosecutor investigating the death of a teenager who was hit by a police gas canister fired during nationwide anti-government protests in 2013.

The group also demanded that the policemen be tried by “peoples’ courts” and for court officials to drop prosecutions or investigations against people who took part in protests denouncing the boy’s death. The website showed a picture of someone holding a gun to a man’s head with posters from the group in the background.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Orhan Kapici confirmed that the incident was related to Kiraz’s investigation into the boy’s death.

The DHKP-C, which seeks a socialist state, is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Related articles

AirAsia flight from Indonesia to Singapore confirmed missing

AirAsia flight number QZ8501, bound from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, has lost contact with air traffic control, the airline has confirmed. The missing flight is an Airbus A320-200 with up to 161 people on board.

Indonesia air transport authorities have provided details of the plane’s last position.

“We are coordinating with the rescue team and looking for its position. We believe it is somewhere between Tanjung Pandan, a town on Belitung island, and Kalimantan,” Indonesia’s air transportation director-general Djoko Murjatmodjo stated, as cited by AFP.

Also, air force spokesman Marsma Hadi Tjahjanto confirmed that the Air Force was using the last point of contact to conduct an air search.

AirAsia has stated that there were 162 passengers on board: 156 Indonesians, one Singaporean, one Malaysian, one French, and three South Koreans

The flight was due to land in Singapore at 8:30 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT) and was listed as “delayed.

AirAsia has confirmed the plane has gone missing in a statement

“At the present time we unfortunately have no further information regarding the status of the passengers and crew members on board, but we will keep all parties informed as more information becomes available,” the company said.

It added that “search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said that services have been “activated” to help Indonesia search for the missing flight

An Emergency Call Center with the number +622129850801 has been established for family and friends of those who may have been on board the flight.

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia is believed to be one of the safest air carriers in the world. Until today there have been only two incidents with its aircraft. In both cases they overran runways. One took place in November 7, 2004, at Malaysia’s Kota Kinabalu airport (Flight 104, Boeing 737). Another incident with Flight 5218 (Airbus A320-200) occurred in Malaysia’s Kuching on January 10, 2011.

‘Mobile bomb’: Iranian army tests suicide drone in massive drills

A picture made available on December 25, 2014 by Iranian Jamejam newspaper's website (Jamejam online) shows Iranian Army ground forces launching an Iranian made drone during the "Mohammad Rasoul Allah" military drill in the Oman Sea port city of Bandar Jask in southern Iran

A picture made available on December 25, 2014 by Iranian Jamejam newspaper’s website (Jamejam online) shows Iranian Army ground forces launching an Iranian made drone during the “Mohammad Rasoul Allah” military drill in the Oman Sea port city of Bandar Jask in southern Iran

For the first time Iran’s army has tested a suicide drone able to hit aerial and ground targets, as well as ships, said the army’s chief commander of ground forces amid the third day of massive drills at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

The unmanned aircraft is “a mobile bomb” that can be used for “hitting aerial and ground targets and can carry out an attack when it identifies a suspicious target,” commander Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told journalists on Saturday.

Local media reports indicated that the drone is called Yasir. It’s a domestically produced combat drone that was unveiled in September.

Yasir is equipped with state-of-art, light cameras for reconnaissance. It can fly for eight hours with a range of 200 kilometers and reach an altitude of 4,500 meters.

The drone was tested as part of a six-day exercise code-named Mohammad Rasoulallah (Mohammad, the Messenger of God) that started on Thursday, involving all branches of Iran’s military.

The second stage of the maneuvers launched in southeast Iran on Friday was led by ground forces and involved the military’s land, air and naval forces.

A picture made available on December 25, 2014 by Iranian Jamejam newspaper’s website (Jamejam online) shows Iranian Army ground forces moving an Iranian made drone during the “Mohammad Rasoul Allah” military drill in the Oman Sea port city of Bandar Jask in southern Iran.

Reports indicated that tanks, F-4 Phantom and Mirage fighter jets, helicopters, missiles and artillery units were deployed in the war games.

The massive drills are part of boosting military capabilities and combat readiness, said Air Force spokesman Brigadier General Hossein Chitforoush.

“In these drills, Iran is putting to the test and drawing on the experience it gained during the eight-year [Iraqi imposed] war,” the top commander told Iranian news television Press TV on Saturday.

The drills mark the first time Iran has organized military maneuvers so far from its coastline, according to the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper. The exercises reportedly cover 2.2 million square kilometers – stretching from the eastern part of the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, and also include the southeastern provinces of Hormozgan and Sistan-Baluchistan.

 

 

Readout of the President’s Call with President al-Sisi of Egypt | The White House

Mr_ President al-Sisi

Mr. President al-Sisi

President Obama spoke with Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi today to discuss the U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relationship and developments within the region.  The President affirmed the United States’ continuing commitment to the strategic partnership with Egypt and emphasized the importance of bilateral cooperation to promote shared interests in counterterrorism and regional security.  President Obama expressed his condolences to the Egyptian people for the spate of terrorists attacks they have suffered.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of continuing their countries’ close military and intelligence relationships and encouraged President al-Sisi to invest in the political, economic, and social aspirations of the Egyptian people.  The two leaders agreed to stay in touch in the weeks and months ahead.

The White House.