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There is no good in much of their secret conferences save (in) whosoever enjoineth charity and fairness and peace-making among the people and whoso doeth that, seeking the good pleasure of God, We shall bestow on him a vast reward. (Al-Nisa, 4:114).


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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Assad: no peace unless rebels lose support

Published on 30 Oct 2013 | Syria's President says that peace talks to end the civil war in his country will only succeed if foreign powers stop supporting the opposition. Bashar al Assad made the comments during a visit with the UN special envoy, Lakdhar Brahimi. Diplomatic Editor James Bays reports.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dim peace prospects for Syria : UN-Arab League envoy heads to Damascus.

Published on 28 Oct 2013 | The UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is on his way to Damascus for talks with the Syrian government. He is due to meet president Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid Muallem. Brahimi is trying to build support for peace talks planned in Geneva next month, but the main rebel groups have refused to take part.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

In Moscow, It's Not Easy Being Muslim (VOA reported)

Published on 25 Oct 2013 | VOA Moscow Correspondent Jim Brooke talks to On Assignment's Alex Villarreal about his coverage of Moscow's growing Muslim population. Jim says Muslims in the Russian capital -- many of them migrant workers from Central Asia -- face persecution and religious repression.

Friday, October 25, 2013

China Considers Turkish Missile Deal As A Victory

Published on 2 Oct 2013 | 
Turkey's $4 billion (2.46 billion pounds) order for a Chinese missile defence system is a breakthrough for China in its bid to become a supplier of advanced weapons, even though opposition from Washington and NATO threatens to derail the deal.

The winning bid from the China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp (CPMIEC) to deliver its FD-2000 air defence missile system in a joint production agreement with Turkey is the first time a Chinese supplier has won a major order for state-of-the-art equipment from a NATO member. U.S., Russian and Western European manufacturers were also in the fray.

The decision last week to award the contract to CPMIEC, a company that is under U.S. sanctions for dealings with Iran, North Korea and Syria, surprised global arms trade experts and senior NATO officials.

"It is quite significant I would say, if it materialises," said Oliver Brauner, a researcher on China's arms exports at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)."It would certainly be a landmark deal."

Turkey signalled on Monday that it could back away from its decision after Washington said it had "serious concerns" about the deal with a sanctioned company for a system that would not be compatible with NATO's other weapons and networks.

And, in a reminder that Ankara faces stiff opposition from its alliance partners in Europe, a NATO official in Brussels said it was important that equipment ordered by member countries is compatible.

"It is premature at this stage to say whether Turkey's acquisition will be able to operate with the NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System," the official said.

NATO's disappointment with Turkey is heightened by the fact that the United States, Germany and the Netherlands each sent two Patriot batteries earlier this year after Ankara asked for help in beefing up its air defences against the threat of missiles from Syria.

Ankara could call off the air defence deal under pressure, but some Chinese and foreign commentators suggested it would still be a symbolic victory for Beijing.

They say Turkey's willingness to choose the FD-2000 over established rivals confirms the rapid technical improvement and competitiveness of China's missile and aerospace sector.

Chinese military experts say the system performed well in live tests for the Turkish Defence Ministry.

It also signals that China's sprawling defence industry is poised to become a low cost supplier of high technology weaponry alongside its rapidly expanding sales of basic military equipment including small arms, artillery, armoured vehicles, general purpose vehicles and older generation missiles.


China has displaced the United Kingdom as the world's fifth biggest arms supplier in the five years to 2012, according to SIPRI.

Chinese exports of conventional weapons increased 162 per cent in the five years from 2008 to 2012 compared with the five years from 2003 to 2007, the arms trade monitor reported earlier this year.

Sales to close ally Pakistan accounted for most of this but China is also expanding its deliveries to other markets, mostly in the developing world.

While almost three decades of double digit, annual increases in military spending has accelerated Beijing's ambitious military build-up, it has also allowed China's defence factories to boost the quality and performance of home-grown weapons and military hardware.

"There are good reasons for China to succeed in Turkey," says Vasily Kashin, an arms trade expert at Moscow's Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. "The key factors were price and the readiness to transfer technology."

CPMIEC, the marketing arm of China's missile manufacturing industry, outbid the Franco-Italian company Eurosam and its SAMP/T Aster 30 missile, Russia's Rosoboronexport's S-300 and Patriot air defence batteries from U.S. contractors Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Atilla Sandikli, the chairman of think-tank Bilgesam and a former high-level officer in the Turkish army, said an offer of technology transfer from China was decisive.

Turkey's NATO allies were less enthusiastic about co-production and technology sharing, he added.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Syria : Major militias rejected NSC

Slim prospects for political solution in Syria

Published on 22 Oct 2013 | Al Jazeera interviews Joshua Landis, director for the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, on the different forces at play in Syria.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

18 years of waiting (Ankara application) for EU membership.

EU to reopen accession talks with Turkey on November 5

Published on Oct 23, 2013 EU ministers agreed on Tuesday to resume accession talks with Turkey on November 5th after a three year break.

Originally scheduled in June, negotiations were put on hold after the EU accused Turkish police of using excessive force against anti-government protests earlier this year. 'Firstly I would like to share good news and congratulate our Turkish friends after the Commission progress report. The Council gave green light to the opening on a new negotiation chapter with Turkey. After more that three years break, negotiations are gaining a momentum and I hope to see a speedy progress. First step would be an accession conference at ministerial level agreed today scheduled on 5th November in Brussels', said Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Linas Antanas Linkevičius.

The move comes after Germany dropped its strong opposition against Turkey's EU membership following episodes of police violence in Istambul and Ankara. But earlier this month, the European Commission praised recent judicial (JUDISHAL) reforms in Turkey. 'We got the report of the EC about the situation in Turkey. Turkey had a good reaction. It is getting better and this is the right signal: the way of getting dynamic. This is really the signal to Turkish population that EU is ready to extension. Now Turkey has absolutely to work and improve on Justice and Rights', said German Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Michael Link.

Talks on Turkey's EU accession started in 2005, 18 years after Ankara applied for EU membership.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Turkey's security at risk as Syria war spills over border

Published on 21 Oct 2013 | Kilis is one of Turkey's smallest provinces but it shares a 110-kilometer border with Syria, making it a main transfer for point for Syrian escaping the war in their country.

Syria's elusive political settlement

Friends of Syrians? Don't they realized that it is not easy to dislodge the deep state, as experiences in Turkey & Egypt had shown?

Uploaded on Oct 22, 2013 | news...peace for Syria. Problems to make SNC attend Geneva 2?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Children dieing of lead poisoning in Nigeria

Published on 20 Oct 2013 | More than seven hundred people - most of them children - have been poisoned to death in Nigeria.

As usual the culprits are not named, they named only those who came to the 'rescue'! 

Syria : has no formidable alternative to the present?

Kerry to Europe for Syria Talks, he doesn't get it?

Published on 20 Oct 2013 | U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Europe for another round of talks with countries that are backing opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They are trying to get political opponents to agree to talks on a transitional government in Geneva.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Philippine Muslims ask for education boost

Published on 19 Oct 2013 | Muslims in the Philippines are asking the government to help their children learn Islam in schools. The country is predominantly Christian. Muslims make up about 15 percent of the population. Now parents are pushing for a new bill that would help boost religious education.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Behind Bars: RT goes inside Gitmo

Published on Oct 17, 2013 | Everyone may know the name of America's most-notorious prison - but few know what really happens behind the barbed wire at Guantanamo. RT has been given rare access to the facility that's been indefinitely detaining terror suspects without charge for more than a decade.

Israel's Ambassador Admits Toppling Assad a Longtime Goal

Published on 20 Sep 2013 | Pt 1. - Robert Parry: Israeli Ambassador's omission points to Israel backing Syrian jihadist, making Saudi Arabia and Israel strange bedfellows in the Syrian conflict.

Published on 20 Sep 2013 | Pt 2. - Robert Parry: Israeli Ambassador's omission points to Israel backing Syrian jihadist, making Saudi Arabia and Israel strange bedfellows in the Syrian conflict

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Will Morsi gets a public trial come Nov 4?

Morsi Trial Raises Tensions in Divided Egypt

Published on 15 Oct 2013 | The trial next month of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is expected to heighten political divisions in the volatile nation and test the credibility of Egypt's judicial system. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from Cairo.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Rambo styled raid foiled?

October, 2013 | The Americans are trying to barge into the Horn of Africa but they were beaten back by Al-Shabab fighters over the weekend. When a group of Navy Seals went guns blazing to attack a house in Barawe, the para-military group put up a stiff fight driving the Americans back into the sea. This, however, is not likely to deter the Americans from future mischief.

Washington DC, Crescent-onlineOctober 7, 2013, 20:12 pm EDT

In what was billed as a gung-ho Navy Seals assault on Al Shabab safe house in the Somali town of Barawe over the weekend ended in disaster for the Americans. After a fierce gun-battle in which the lightly armed Al Shabab fighters held their ground, the Americans were beaten back and they fled the scene leaving some equipment behind.

The Pentagon admitted today (October 7) that the target of the failed raid was a Kenyan whom they accused of plotting attacks on parliament buildings and the UN headquarters in Nairobi.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Peace deal possible in Syria, at last?

Can there be hope for peace in Syria? For the first time in nearly three years, both local and international developments point to such a possibility. With realization in Western capitals that Russia and Iran are the most influential players in Syria, hopes have been aroused that movement toward a peace deal may be forthcoming. There are also no opposition demands for Bashar al-Asad to step down, at least at this stage.

Beirut, Crescent-online | October 4, 2013

Following from the US-Iran thaw, however modest, hopes have been aroused of some kind of a peace deal in Syria. Two days ago, Ahmed Jarba, head of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said his group would be willing to participate in the Geneva-2 talks if the Arab countries supporting the SNC would guarantee that the interim government would be put in place in Syria.

Significantly, Jarba did not say anything about President Bashar al-Asad’s removal from power. This demand may come up again but with recent developments, this is becoming a moot point.

There have been other developments as well that lead one to speculate that the tide might be turning in Syria. On September 30, the veteran Middle East correspondent for the Independent reported that some members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had traveled to Damascus for talks with a senior Asad advisor. They were given government guarantees of safe passage.

In areas under FSA control, such as Aleppo and Homs province, government schools and other institutions have opened. Further, there are efforts by the government to attract soldiers that had defected to the FSA to rejoin the army. There will be no reprisals or punishment.

This has the added advantage of ending fighting in rebel-held areas, and using the returning deserters to go after the foreign mercenaries that the vast majority in Syria now fears.

There have been defections from the FSA to al-Qaeda affiliated groups. There has also been fighting between the two groups with the better-armed foreign mercenaries, brutal and without loyalty to anyone, besting FSA fighters.

Rebel infighting in Syria intensifies

rebel-infighting-in-syria-intensifies-4037-articles.htmlTerrorism has never been a successful strategy. Its only consequence is suffering for ordinary people. This is what is happening in Syria. The terrorist groups, however, are now fighting each other because they are unable to dislodge the government of Bashar al-Asad. Their foreign masters--Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, the US, France, Britain and Israel, to name a few--have also realized that these terrorists cannot deliver. Istanbul, Crescent-online

September 27, 2013, 12:17 EDT

Never united except in their subservience to their foreign masters, the rebels in Syria are now at each other’s throats and giving ultimatums for others to surrender. According to inside sources, Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists have given the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) 48 hours to disarm.

The two groups never got along because each claimed to represent all the fighters—an untenable assertion—but now they are fighting each other openly. The ultimatum went into effect at 8 pm local time on Thursday.

According to reports from Syria, al-Qaeda-affiliated group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), issued the ultimatum to the FSA to surrender in 48 hours. What these terrorists would do after 48 hours was left unclear but it is certain that fighting between the groups will intensify. Low intensity fighting has already been going on for months.

Britain’s Jane’s Defence Consultancy estimates there are at least 100,000 foreign mercenaries in Syria. They are split into myriad groups with no centralized command. The mercenaries have flooded into Syria from neighbouring countries—Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Lebanon—as well as from countries as far as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Chechnya.