It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. -- Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rescued girls not from Chibok, Nigerian military says - CNN.com

Nigerian soldiers walking in the street in the remote north-eastern town of Baga in Borno State. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

The following excerpts are from CNN:

Hotoro, Kano, Nigeria (CNN)Girls rescued from Boko Haram terror camps in Sambisa Forest on Tuesday are "not the Chibok girls," Nigerian Army spokesman Sani Usman said.

However, one official did not rule out that captives from other Boko Haram camps that were raided might include some of the 200 girls abducted in April 2014 from a school in Chibok.

Nigerian troops rescued 200 girls and 93 women Tuesday in the Sambisa Forest in the northeastern part of the country, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on its official Twitter account. The forest is a stronghold for the militant Boko Haram group and is not far from Chibok.

Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said the rescued girls and women are still being screened and none has spoken to their families yet.

The 2014 mass abduction from Chibok led to an international social media movement, #BringBackOurGirls, to rescue them. Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group, has been kidnapping females for years and has hundreds in their custody.

The Tokumbere, Sassa and Tlafa terror camps were raided and destroyed, said a source close to the military. The Tokumbere camp is the most notorious, where the training of small children by Boko Haram is said to have occurred, the source said. Boko Haram terrorists were killed in the operation, but the military did not say how many.


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Rescued girls not from Chibok, Nigerian military says - CNN.com



Senior Female ISIS Recruiter is Student From Seattle



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

A senior female Isis figure who reportedly helped recruit women to join the extremist group in areas under its self-declared caliphate has been exposed as a student from Seattle, who may have been living in the city up until March this year.

The person behind the influential @_UmmWaqqas Twitter account has been revealed by Channel 4 as a woman in her 20s who lived and studied in the US.

Her Twitter account had a following of over 8,000 before it was suspended and shows that British recruits, such as Aqsa Mahmood, and other women from Europe were in contact with her in the days running up their departure. Mahmood goes by the name of 'Umm Layth' online and tweets from the @_UmmWaqqas account...


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Senior Female ISIS Recruiter is Student From Seattle



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CHINA Kong Zhenlan, a mother to dozens of orphaned and abandoned children - Asia News

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The following excerpts are from AsiaNews.it:

Jiuji (AsiaNews/Ucanews) – For the past 42 years, Kong Zhenlan, a Catholic in China's Shanxi province, has been bringing up handicapped orphans and abandoned children along with her own kids, and that has inspired one of her sons to become a Catholic priest.

Kong's son Father Anthony Fan Changliang says the adoption of orphans is related to a local tradition in their Jiuji Catholic village in Qi County.

Before the communist revolution in 1949, the ancient Catholic parish in the village maintained a tradition of charity to help the orphans.

In the two decades that followed the revolution this noble tradition and all the charity works were stopped as religions were oppressed, Catholics say.

In the 1970s, there was an increase of abandoned children but there was no orphanage. Father Fan said that in 1977 his mother began to adopt abandoned and handicapped orphans.

The lack of medical care and children’s poor health made mortality rate quite high, said Father Fan, who was a teenage at the time. The deaths of some children and the unbearable financial burden on the family saddened him.

For a while, he said, he lost the faith. But the words of his mother made him think deeper. "To love the poor is to love Jesus. Each of the kid is a little brother, a little Jesus. When we take care of our little brothers, we are taking care of Jesus," she used to say.

Only after graduating from the novitiate did Father Fan fully understand and support his mother's mission, he said.

We are all brothers and sisters, there is no difference," he said when asked how many biological and adopted brothers and sisters he has. "It is a blessing" that his mother is able to give love to the kids, "a love with faith, and she enjoys doing it," he said.

Since the age of 24, Kong and her husband Fan Bucheng have been engaged in this charitable activity. Now, they are both 66-years old.

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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Italian police round up terror suspects in failed Vatican plot, deadly Pakistan attack | Fox News

Saint Peter's Square


The following excerpts are from Fox News:

Italian security forces were rounding up 18 Islamic extremists Friday who prosecutors said were behind a failed 2010 plot to attack the Vatican as well as a bombing at a Pakistan market that killed more than 100 a year earlier.

Prosecutor Mauro Mura told reporters in Cagliari, Sardinia, on Friday that wiretaps indicated the suspected terrorists, including two former bodyguards for Usama bin Laden, planned a bomb attack at the Vatican and went as far as to send a suicide bomber to Rome. Mura said the attack plans never went further and that the suicide bomber left Italy, though it wasn't clear why.

We don’t have proof, we have strong suspicion,” Mario Carta, head of the police unit leading the investigation, said when asked for more details on a possible attack against the seat of the Catholic church.

Authorities said nine suspects had been caught, and another nine were being sought, three of whom were believed to still be in the country. One of the suspects arrested Friday had a construction business in Sardinia that participated in work for a Group of Eight summit planned for Sardinia but that was later moved to quake-stricken Aquilia, in Abruzzo to boost reconstruction. Another was an imam in the northern province of Bergamo.

Vatican secretary of state Pietro Parolin said the threat is chilling, even if it is old.

"We are all exposed and we are all afraid," Parolin said. "But the pope is very calm for this, it's enough to watch him meeting people with great clarity and serenity."

At the time of the suspected plot to bomb the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI was still reeling from the effects in the Muslim world of a 2006 speech in Regensburg, Germany, in which he quoted a Byzantine emperor who characterized some of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as "evil and inhuman," particularly "his command to spread by the sword the faith."


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Italian police round up terror suspects in failed Vatican plot, deadly Pakistan attack | Fox News



Friday, April 24, 2015

The Assyrian Genocide As Part of the Christian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire

Of this photo, the United States ambassador wrote, "Scenes like this were common all over the Armenian provinces, in the spring and summer months of 1915. Death in its several forms—massacre, starvation, exhaustion—destroyed the larger part of the refugees. The Turkish policy was that of extermination under the guise of deportation" -- from Morgenthau, Henry (1918). "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story" . Garden City, New York: Doubleday.

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

(AINA) -- The dissolution of the Ottoman Empire is in both historiography and public memory almost solely associated with the murder of the Armenians. Although the Turkish government still denies that the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire fell victim to systematic murder, the extermination of the Armenians is far from being a "forgotten genocide." No book on the history of genocide can omit the case of the Armenians. Unfortunately, achieving the global remembrance of the genocide against the Armenians seems to have downplayed the fate of all other Christian minority groups in the Ottoman Empire such as Assyrians that suffered from ethnic cleansing and mass murder at the hands of the Sultan Abdul Hamid II and Young Turks. Henry Morgenthau, who served as US ambassador in Constantinople until 1916 stated in his memoirs: "The Armenians are not the only subject people in Turkey which have suffered from this policy of making Turkey exclusively the country of the Turks. The story which I have told about the Armenians I could also tell with certain modi about the Greeks and the Syrians...


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The Assyrian Genocide As Part of the Christian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Concerning Other Little-known Religious Genocides on the Edge of the News


The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Pope Francis infuriated the government of Turkey by using the word "genocide" leading up to April 24, the 100th anniversary of the start of the mass murder of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in what was then the Ottoman Empire. That atrocity, amid the chaos and rivalries of World War One, is often regarded as the forerunner and inspiration for Nazi efforts to exterminate the Jews of Europe.

In the April 15 issue of The Christian Century, Baylor University historian Philip Jenkins reports on another 2015 centennial that major media have ignored -- the "Sayfo" ("sword" year) memorialized by Christian Assyrians. Among other events, historians will examine this at the Free University of Berlin June 24-28. During that dying era of the empire with its historic Muslim Caliphate, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greeks were also killed during the "Pontic" ethnic cleansing.

The hatred toward all three Christian groups a century ago finds unnerving echoes in current attacks by Muslim fanatics in the Mideast and Africa, most recently the video beheadings of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. Assyrians are also victimized once again, now by ISIS under its purported restoration of the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq. The Assyrians' story is part of the over-all emptying out of Christianity across the Mideast.

Assyrians have three sectors that differ doctrinally on the divine and human natures of Jesus Christ. The "uniate" Chaldean Catholics loyal to the Pope follow the definition from the A.D. 451 Council of Chalcedon. Two groups do not, the "Nestorians" in the Church of the East, and the monophysite "Oriental Orthodox" (distinct from Eastern Orthodoxy, which adheres to Chalcedon).


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Concerning Other Little-known Religious Genocides on the Edge of the News


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bill to legalize euthanasia in Peru draws criticism :: EWTN News



The following excerpts are from EWTN News:

A bill introduced in Peru to legalize euthanasia has met with harsh criticism from a cancer doctor who said that it fails to respect human life and dignity.

Dr. Luis Raez, director of the Memorial Cancer Institute (MCI) in Broward County, Florida, told EWTN News that although “de-penalizing euthanasia does not sound so bad,” what is really being sought is the legalization of murder.

This attempt to legalize euthanasia will cause terrible harm to those who are ill,” warned Raez, who also serves as an associate professor at Florida International University.

The legislative proposal was entered for processing in the Peruvian Congress March 4, with the title “Law that de-penalizes mercy killing and that declares that the implementation of euthanasia is a need of the public and in the national interest.”

The document was signed by parliament members Roberto Angulo, Juan Pari, Eulogio Romero, Sergio Tejada, Esther Saavedra, Claudia Coari and Jorge Rimarachin.

Congresswomen Coari and Tejada have in the past voiced support for legalizing abortion as well.

The euthanasia bill is in the hands of the Constitution and Rules Committee and the Justice and Human Rights Committee for debate and a vote. If it passes this stage, it will be examined by the full Peruvian Congress.


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Bill to legalize euthanasia in Peru draws criticism :: EWTN News


Australian bishops: the suffering need compassion, not suicide by drugs :: EWTN News



The following excerpts are from EWTN News:

Euthanasia isn’t what the suffering and dying really need, said Australia’s Catholic bishops.

Suicide is always a tragedy, and all people who are confronted by their mortality, whether or not they are mentally or physically ill, deserve our help and compassion, not a lethal dose,” Bishop Peter Comensoli of Broken Bay said in an April 15 statement.

All people have dignity regardless of their health, age, disability, usefulness or other circumstance and deserve our love and support.”

Bishop Comensoli is the Australian bishops’ delegate on assisted suicide issues. He said the bishops conference’s new pamphlet, “Real care, love and compassion – the alternative to euthanasia,” aims to inform people about the dangers of legalized euthanasia.

Euthanasia is illegal in Australia. However, there are lobbying efforts to legalize voluntary euthanasia, which its backers characterize as “dying with dignity.”


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Australian bishops: the suffering need compassion, not suicide by drugs :: EWTN News



50 ISIS Fighters Killed As Kurds Repel Attack on Villages Near Kirkuk

The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region -- At least two Peshmarga fighters and some 50 Islamic State (ISIS) militants were killed in fierce clashes Tuesday morning in the ethnically-mixed village of Sahl al-Malih, some 30 kilometers south of Kirkuk city.

Field General Tariq Koyi of the Second Peshmerga Infantry in the area told Rudaw that intense house-to-house clashes took place in the early hours after ISIS militants infiltrated the village overnight.

"As far as I know we have lost two Peshmerga," Koyi said. "But at least four dozen Daesh (ISIS) bodies are in our hands now," he said, adding the situation was now under control.

Another Kurdish military source on the ground, who wished to remain anonymous, told Rudaw that at least 40 militants supported by "some local collaborators" had entered the village at 5 am Tuesday and started to shoot at Peshmerga positions.

Sahl al-Malih has a mixed Kurdish-Arab population. Local Kurdish officials have in the past accused some of the Sunni tribes in the area of collaborating with ISIS.

"The Daesh gunmen were surrounded and after three hours of intense shooting they were all eliminated," the military source said. "The Peshmerga are now in a house-to-house search for the remaining elements in the village." He added that the militants had attacked Peshmerga positions from both inside and outside the village in a surprise assault.

ISIS appears to have intensified attacks on Peshmerga positions in areas close to the key oil city of Kirkuk as an anticipated battle for the ISIS stronghold of Mosul nears.


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50 ISIS Fighters Killed As Kurds Repel Attack on Villages Near Kirkuk


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nearly Half of European Militants in Syria, Iraq Are French



The following excerpts are from AINA.org:

Nearly half of European militants known to have traveled to territory held by the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group are French, a report by the country's upper house Senate revealed Wednesday.

Just over 1,430 French people have made their way to Iraq and Syria, representing 47 percent of militants from Europe that are known and accounted for, Senator Jean-Pierre Sueur, who spearheaded a parliamentary probe into militant networks, told reporters.

According to Sueur, French domestic intelligence services are currently monitoring more than 3,000 people suspected of being involved in one way or another in Syrian networks -- a 24-percent increase since November last year.

Some 85 French nationals are thought to have died in ISIS-held zones while two are being held in Syria, the report said.

Of particular concern to intelligence services, some 200 have left to come back to France, prompting fears they may stage attacks mirroring the January 7-9 shooting spree that left 17 dead.


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Nearly Half of European Militants in Syria, Iraq Are French