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24 Sep

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

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Iraq – A Peoples Photo Journal


Iraq Children by greyfox7

Originally Published on Nov 26, 2007

“I regret they got hurt,’ Bush,the former president and war criminal said of the veterans.”

To the War Criminal Bush – And to the thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians?

Never, ever forget that the War Criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. founded ISIS and today are proud of what they did and feel no regret.

‘It was the right decision’: Bush says he has ‘no regrets’ about invading Iraq and Afghanistan when asked how he feels when he sees wounded veterans

Since the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts began, at least 8,000 US and allied soldiers have died, according to CNN.

Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the United Nations.

The civilian death toll in Iraq is estimated to be somewhere between 170,000 and 190,000, according to Iraq Body Count

The McGlynn

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War News

IRAQ BODY COUNT>>

Total Dollar Cost of War>>

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Cost of Military Action Against ISIS>>

AP: Paratrooper becomes 1st French casualty in anti-IS coalition

PARIS (AP) — A French paratrooper has died in combat while fighting extremists in the Mideast as part of the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group, in what appears to be the first official French casualty in the operation.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said a member of the 13th parachute dragoon regiment was killed Saturday in the Levant, which includes Syria. Macron’s office would not provide details or identify the victim, part of a special forces unit. The U.S. military also announced the death.

A French official said it was the first publicly announced combat death since France joined the anti-IS operation in Iraq in 2014, and later expanded its involvement to Syria after IS attacks on France. The official was not authorized to be publicly named discussing military matters.

Read full story »

REU: U.S.-backed forces capture big gas field in Syria’s Deir al-Zor: senior commander

AMMAN (Reuters) – U.S.-backed forces said on Saturday they had seized a major natural gas field in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province from Islamic State militants in rapid advances since the start of an operation earlier this month to capture areas east of the Euphrates river.

Commander Ahmed Abu Khawla told Reuters that the Conoco gas field was the first of its kind taken by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, since it began an offensive earlier this month to capture the eastern province.

“This is the first gas or oil field in the campaign which we have liberated,” said the commander of the group whose campaign is in parallel with an ongoing battle for the nearby Raqqa city.

Read full story »

GUARD: Fearful neighbours look on as Iraq’s Kurds stake claim to nationhood

Monday’s independence poll for the Kurdish north is supported by voters but opposed by Turkey, Baghdad and the west, which fear it will deepen instability

Below the Erbil citadel, where empire and insurrection have been fought out over the course of 5,000 years, Kurdish flags stake out the claim to a nascent era – that of a sovereign state.

Banners were gathering rapidly during the week in advance of a referendum on independence in the Kurdish north of Iraq due to take place on Monday. Hours ahead of the ballot, the citadel square and nearby markets were teeming with Kurds draped in nationalistic red, white and green, symbolising the struggle that they believe will deliver them a new nation from the rump of another.

Defying overwhelming opposition outside Kurdistan, large numbers of Kurds see the ballot as a historic step in a decades-long struggle for self determination. They, like their leader, the de facto president of the Kurdish north, Masoud Barzani, have stared down ally and enemy alike, all of whom have warned that the move could lead to the breakup of Iraq and possibly imperil – not advance – their cause.

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PRESSTV: Iraqi forces retake 3 more villages from Daesh near Hawijah

Iraqi government forces, backed by fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, have retaken control over three villages from Daesh Takfiri terrorists as part of a multi-pronged offensive to dislodge the extremists from their stronghold in the northern city of Hawijah and surrounding areas.

The media bureau of the Popular Mobilization Units, commonly known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi, announced in a statement on Saturday that the pro-government volunteer fighters had freed al-Haliwah al-Wusta village west of Hawijah, located 45 kilometers west of Kirkuk, on Saturday and were advancing towards the villages of Upper Haliwah, Lower Haliwah, Hatirah and al-Khaz.

Earlier in the day, fighters from the 11th Brigade of Hashd al-Sha’abi forces reclaimed control over the villages of Karroud and Jarbardan.

Read full story »

IraqiNews: Iraqi paramilitary fighter killed in roadside bomb blast in Diyala

Diyala (IraqiNews.com)  A member of Iraqi paramilitary troops fighting the Islamic State died Saturday when a roadside bomb exploded northeast of Diyala province, a security source was quoted saying.

A member of the Popular Mobilization Forces died and another sustained injuries when a roadside bomb exploded in their patrol while passing at Sidlan village, Qarra Tabba, northeast of the province, according to the source.

Iraqi government forces, backed by a United States.-led coalition and paramilitary troops, are currently battling Islamic State militants out of their strongholds in Anbar, Kirkuk and Salahuddin provinces, hoping to mark an end to the self-styled “caliphate” the group declared in 2014 from the city of Mosul.

Read full story »

IraqiNews: Islamic State executes 27 members after fleeing Anbar

Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State has killed more than twenty of its militants, including a leader, after they fled Anbar, a paramilitary official said.

“The militant group executed one of its leaders, known as abu Dajana, a Syrian national,” Qutri al-Samarmad, a leader with the Tribal Mobilization Forces in Anbar, told Baghdad Today.

“The group also executed 27 other militants, along with the leader, in Syria’s al-BuKamal as they fled after security troops advanced in Annah town in Anbar,” he added.

Read full story »

REU: Kurdish government holds meetings in Baghdad on eve of independence vote

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – A delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government held talks with the Iraqi ruling Shi‘ite coalition in Baghdad on Saturday, two days before a planned referendum on secession from Iraq.

“The delegation will discuss the referendum but the referendum is still happening,” Hoshiyar Zebari, a top adviser to Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, told Reuters. “We said we would talk to Baghdad before, during and after the referendum.”

The KRG has said the vote is intended to give its autonomous territory a legitimate mandate to achieve independence from Iraq through dialogue with Baghdad and neighboring powers Turkey and Iran. Ankara and Tehran are worried that the vote could revive the separatist aspirations of their own Kurdish populations.

Read full story »

AP: Turkey OKs military intervention, warns Iraqi Kurds on vote

ISTANBUL (AP) — The Turkish parliament on Saturday renewed a bill allowing the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria if faced with national security threats — a move seen as a final warning to Iraqi Kurds to call off their Monday independence referendum.

The decree allows Turkey to send troops over its southern border if developments in Iraq or Syria are seen as national security threats. Turkish officials have repeatedly warned the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq to abandon its plans for independence.

Kurds are dispersed across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran and lack a nation state. Turkey itself has a large ethnic Kurdish population and is battling a Kurdish insurgency on its own territory that it calls separatist.

The bill read in parliament Saturday listed combating Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq and the Islamic State group as national security requirements for Turkey. It also emphasized the importance of Iraq and Syria’s territorial integrity and said “separatism based on ethnicity” poses a threat to both Turkey and regional stability.

Read full story »

NYT: Car Bomber Hits NATO Convoy in Afghanistan, Wounds Five Civilians

KABUL — Five civilians were wounded when a car bomber attacked a Danish convoy belonging to the NATO-led international mission in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Sunday, security officials said.

Captain William Salvin, a spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support mission, confirmed an attack had occurred and said a team was on the scene to recover the vehicle.

“There are no Resolute Support casualties as a result of the explosion,” Salvin he said in an emailed statement.

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NYT: Taliban Shut Down Clinics in Southern Afghan Province, Official Says

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — The Taliban has shut down dozens of clinics in the southern Afghan province of Uruzgan in the past few days, officials said, amid demands for special treatment for its fighters who control most of the embattled region.

Dost Mohammad Nayab, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said authorities were talking to elders, asking them to intercede with the Taliban to allow the clinics to reopen.

“Hospitals are not places for politics and we are asking the Taliban to let our doctors and healthcare workers return,” Nayab said.

Only three clinics, including the provincial hospital, were operating after the Taliban shut down 46 of the 49 treatment centers in Uruzgan since Friday, Nayab said. The Taliban were asking for special treatment for their fighters, he said.

Read full story »

Clashes in Helmand claims life of Nad-e-Ali police chief

The police chief of Nad-e-Ali district in southern Helmand province lost his life during the clashes with the Taliban insurgents, the local officials said Sunday. The officials are saying that clashes between the security forces and the Taliban insurgents started late on Saturday afternoon. The provincial chief of Nad-e-Ali General Omar Jan Haqmal lost his

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Suicide attack in Kabul city leaves civilians wounded

An explosion was heard in Kabul city earlier today after a suicide bomber targeted a convoy of the foreign forces. The incident took place in the vicinity of the 5th police district of the city. The Ministry of Interior spokesman Najib Danish confirmed that a suicide bomber detonated his explosives close to the foreign forces

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15 years a long time for US to decide regarding Pakistan’s lies: Karzai

The former Afghan President Hamid Karzai reaffirmed his opposition to the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia as he expressed doubts regarding the latest stance Washington has adopted against Pakistan. Speaking to Foreign Policy in his office in Kabul, Karzai said the new US strategy has not been announced with an aim to

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Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

None

Iraq Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities By Name>>

Afghanistan Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities By Name>>

Care for Veterans:

 

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD ProgramLocator to find a PTSD program.If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care,

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23 Sep

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

View All>>

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World Politics

France

Germany

Germany faces first far-right party in parliament since 1960s>>

United States

Trump’s combative first speech to the UN general assembly – video highlights

Source: Reuters

The US president, Donald Trump, castigates ‘a small group of rogue regimes’ in a combative debut speech to the United Nations general assembly in New York on Tuesday. He ramps ups his rhetoric on the escalating crisis with North Korea, and calls the Iran nuclear deal ‘an embarrassment to the United States’

The Resistance Now: campaigners warn fight for healthcare is not over

John McCain dealt a blow to Republican hopes of passing the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act but activists warn against complacency

by in New York

Not out of the woods yet …

Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act were teetering on the brink of failure on Friday, after John McCain said he would vote no on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.

But teetering on the brink of failure is not the same as plunging headlong into failure – hence the message from the activist group Indivisible on Friday afternoon: “THIS IS NOT OVER”.

Indivisible is hosting more than 73 rallies across the country over the next week in an attempt to defeat the bill, with activists planning to hold “sit-ins or die-ins” at senators’ state offices. The organization has also published detailed scripts for calling elected officials.

Our Revolution, meanwhile, has set up a page urging supporters to get involved as efforts to beat the bill continue.

Net news

Net neutrality advocates are planning two days of protest in Washington DC this week, as they fight off plans to defang regulations meant to protect an open internet.

The Guardian’s Dominic Rushe reported that a coalition of activists, consumer groups and writers are calling on supporters to attend the next meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, in Washington on 26 September. The next day the protest will move to Capitol Hill, where people will meet legislators to express their concerns about an FCC proposal to rewrite the rules governing the internet.

Battle for the Net, which is organizing the protests, is also planning events across the country.

Pelosi heckled

Nancy Pelosi was confronted by demonstrators from the Immigration Liberation Movement in San Francisco this week, days after she and Chuck Schumer met Donald Trump to discuss a deal to extend protection for undocumented people who were brought to the US as children.

Pelosi and Schumer said they had reached a deal with Trump that did not include funding for the border wall, but could include other security provisions.

Activists were not convinced about the efficacy of working with the president, nor about the conviction of the Democratic party as a whole. They rushed the stage as Pelosi held a press conference in San Francisco. Sandy Valenciano, one of the protesters, later wrote about the situation for the Huffington Post:

The Democratic party plays into Trump’s tactics while pretending to put up a fight. Instead, party leaders endanger the lives of people of color by taking middle-of-the-road stances on issues that affect the lives of immigrants.

Democrats have long kept their doors closed to community members and chosen to advance the agendas of corporate lobbyists and donors instead. Immigrant communities have not forgotten that Pelosi stood behind programs like Secure Communities (S-Comm) and the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP-Comm), policies that streamlined deportations in communities that are already heavily over-policed.

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Singer says recognition of the love of his husband ‘is what makes life truly worth living’, in a heartfelt plea as nation takes part in postal survey over change in law

Elton John and his husband David Furnish pictured in 2016.

Elton John and his husband David Furnish pictured in 2016. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Elton John has called for gay marriage to be legalised in Australia, as the country votes in a postal survey to ascertain the level of support for a change in the law.

In a heartfelt post on Instagram, John wrote that for him and his husband David Furnish, who he married in 2014, “being able to openly love and commit to one another, and for that to be recognised and celebrated is what makes life truly worth living”.

He said that recognition “makes us want to be as kind, responsible and productive members of society, as well as the best parents, that we can be. I love Australia. I love its spirit, its lack of pretence, its passion. I hope it can embrace the honesty and courage that seeks gay marriage as an expression not of desire but of love”.

He made mention of his first marriage in 1984, to German recording engineer Renate Bluel, which took place in St Mark’s church in Sydney. “I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret,” he said. “To be worthy of someone’s love, you have to be brave enough and clear eyed enough to be honest with yourself and your partner.”

John joins other public figures who have called for Australians to show their support for gay marriage, including TV host Ellen DeGeneres and Apple boss Tim Cook. Margot Robbie wrote “love is love” on Instagram this week, while her fellow Australian actor Liam Hemsworth wrote: “I believe it’s a human right to be able to marry the person you love regardless of gender.”

A Guardian Essential poll this week found that 55% of people surveyed were in favour of gay marriage, though support had dropped 4% in a fortnight as opposition rose. The “no” campaign have spent five times more than their opponents on TV advertising.

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Emails to prosecutor’s office include rightwing article sent by investigator and plea from lawyer whose firm would later represent Michael Brown’s killer

Cars burn at a dealership as demonstrators protest the Grand Jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, November 24 2014.

Cars burn at a dealership as demonstrators protest the grand jury decision not to indict the police officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Michael Brown, in November 2014. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

An attorney whose firm represented the policeman who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson urged the local prosecutor a day after the 2014 shooting to “do the right thing” and said officers were depending on him, newly released records reveal.

Jerome Simon emailed the message to the St Louis County prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, amid intense protests set off by Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of Brown. McCulloch went on to preside over the controversial decision to not bring criminal charges against Wilson.

“Dude, WTF? Do the right thing,” Simon wrote. “All of St Louis County is counting on your seasoned judgment and innate sense of essential justice for all – especially County Brown police officers.” St Louis County police officers are nicknamed for their brown uniforms.

Simon’s firm, Pitzer Snodgrass, went on to defend Wilson and Ferguson in a civil lawsuit brought by Brown’s parents, which was settled by the city for $1.5m. Simon was apparently not directly involved in the case. He did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The email from Simon to McCulloch on 10 Aug 2014 was one of the first few dozen released by McCulloch’s office in response to a public records lawsuit filed against it by the Guardian in St Louis County circuit court more than two years ago.

Another released email showed that while Wilson’s case was being considered, one of McCulloch’s senior investigators sent McCulloch a link to an article from a rightwing website that described Brown as a “thug” and said: “All the evidence backs Officer Darren Wilson’s side of the story.” The investigator, Jim Maier, did not respond to a request for comment. It was not clear from the records released whether McCulloch replied to the messages.

Since first being asked in a December 2014 records request for all his emails relating to the Ferguson case, McCulloch’s office has firmly resisted the publication of the records and tried to charge the Guardian tens of thousands of dollars to turn them over.

Judge Barbara Wallace ordered McCulloch’s office in January this year to release the emails that were not protected by confidentiality or legal privilege. Wallace fined McCulloch’s office for violating Missouri’s public records laws with its response to the Guardian’s original request.

Wilson’s deadly shooting of Brown in Ferguson, a previously obscure suburb of St Louis, was the major flashpoint behind a wave of demonstrations across the US in the subsequent years over the use of deadly force by police against African Americans.

McCulloch was sharply criticised by activists and protesters for his handling of Wilson’s case. He put the case through an unusually extensive grand jury process without providing a recommendation as to whether Wilson should be charged, leading to suggestions from some analysts that the process had been more like a criminal trial managed behind closed doors. He defended his handling of the case.

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Beijing bans exports of some petroleum products and imports of textiles as Pyongyang and US urged to calm tensions

A North Korean soldier guards barrels near Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong.

A North Korean soldier guards barrels near Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong. Photograph: AP

China has said it will ban exports of some petroleum products to North Korea, as well as imports of textiles from the isolated country, in line with a United Nations security council resolution passed after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test.

The announcement from Beijing came at the end of a week that saw tensions rise between the US and North Korea, with the leaders of both countries trading insults.

The Chinese ministry of commerce said in a statement that exports of refined petroleum products would be limited from 1 October and exports of condensates and liquefied natural gas would be stopped immediately to comply with the UN sanctions.

Imports of textiles from North Korea would also be banned immediately, but textile trade contracts signed before 11 September would be respected if import formalities were completed before 10 December, the statement said.

The moves follow the adoption of a unanimous UN security council agreement on sanctions after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on 3 September.

The resolution imposed a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of 2m barrels a year on refined petroleum products and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels.

Russia urged calm on Friday after the US president, Donald Trump, called his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, a “madman”. Kim had called Trump a “mentally deranged US dotard” a day earlier after Trump had said Washington would “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatened the US or its allies.

Trump announced new US sanctions on Thursday that he said would allow the targeting of companies and institutions which finance and facilitate trade with North Korea. The US treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, also said banks doing business in North Korea would not be allowed to operate in the US.

China has also urged calm, with the foreign minister, Wang Yi, telling his Japanese counterpart that Tokyo should not abandon dialogue over North Korea.

Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles this year, several of them flying over Japan, as it accelerates a weapons programme aimed at enabling it to target the US with a nuclear-tipped missile.

The Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, said China’s cutting of oil exports to North Korea was a key move in the attempts to force the country to the negotiating table.

“I actually believe oil is the game changer in the sanctions regime,” Bishop said. “China is clearly open to using its undoubted leverage – economic leverage.

“I’m not suggesting diplomatic but economic leverage over North Korea, and from my discussions with the US administration I’m confident the US and China are engaged in very serious dialogue about how they are going to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.”

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23 Sep

United States Wars, News and Casualties

United States Wars, News and Casualties

*********************

Iraq – A Peoples Photo Journal


Iraq Children by greyfox7

Originally Published on Nov 26, 2007

“I regret they got hurt,’ Bush,the former president and war criminal said of the veterans.”

To the War Criminal Bush – And to the thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians?

Never, ever forget that the War Criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc. founded ISIS and today are proud of what they did and feel no regret.

‘It was the right decision’: Bush says he has ‘no regrets’ about invading Iraq and Afghanistan when asked how he feels when he sees wounded veterans

Since the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts began, at least 8,000 US and allied soldiers have died, according to CNN.

Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the United Nations.

The civilian death toll in Iraq is estimated to be somewhere between 170,000 and 190,000, according to Iraq Body Count

The McGlynn

**********************

War News

IRAQ BODY COUNT>>

Total Dollar Cost of War>>

Cost of War in Iraq>>

Cost of War in Afghanistan>>

Cost of Military Action Against ISIS>>

AP: US, Russian militaries hold unprecedented talks on Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior American and Russian military leaders met for an unprecedented, face-to-face session somewhere in the Middle East this week to discuss the growing tensions in the competing battles to retake one of the remaining Islamic State strongholds in Syria.

Syrian government forces, Russian special forces and U.S.-backed militants are all battling IS around the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province. The talks are aimed at ensuring safety for all the different fighting elements.

The meeting, however, also suggests an expanded U.S. and Russian effort to coordinate their efforts, raising questions about how the Pentagon is adhering to an American prohibition against military-to-military cooperation with Moscow. Congress enacted that law in the wake of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon told Pentagon reporters on Thursday that U.S. and Russian general officers shared maps, graphics and information about where their forces are battling around Deir el-Zour. He would not provide details on when or where the meeting occurred, beyond saying it took place in recent days somewhere in the region.

Read full story »

IraqiNews: 1,500 displaced families repatriated in Nineveh: Official

Displaced children who fled the clashes queue to receive aid from Iraqi security forces in Antesaar neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) More than 1,000 displaced families returned back to Nineveh province, an official was quoted saying on Friday.

Speaking to Alghad Press, Naysan Kroumi, mayor of Hamdaniya, said “1,500 displaced families have returned back to Nineveh,” blaming the slow pace of return on the lack of basic services.

“The return to villages and countrysides in Hamdaniya is much better from the regions in the center of Nineveh, for not so much harmed like those regions,” he said adding that 80 percent of those displaced from Hamdaniya returned back to their houses, despite the huge suffering regarding services and facilities.

Read full story »

GUARD: The Guardian view on the Kurdish referendum: a fair question

The vote by Iraqi Kurds on their desire for independence, due to take place on Monday, poses real risks in an unstable region. But their case deserves to be heard

If not now, when? This is the obvious and reasonable question of Iraqi Kurds seeking to exercise the right to self-determination – enshrined by the UN charter, though often ignored – in a referendum on Monday. They already enjoy a high degree of autonomy. They believe their key role in the fight against Islamic State demands recognition, giving them leverage over western powers; and that the alternative is continued, subordinate membership of a broken and divided Iraq, a century after the Sykes-Picot carve-up.

The response has been overwhelmingly negative. The rest of Iraq, the US, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UK, the EU and the Arab League all oppose the vote thanks to concerns ranging from Kurdish secessionism within their own borders and the furthering of ethnic divisions to the immense dangers it poses in a perilously unstable region – particularly given that voting covers the disputed territories the Kurds have gained in the fight against Isis. The US and others want the vote postponed, understandably. But “later” is almost as unsatisfactory an answer as “never” to Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani and his supporters – and that too is understandable.

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IraqiNews: Iraq, U.N. reiterate opposition to Kurdistan independence

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Iraq and the United Nations have reasserted their disapproval of a referendum on Kurdistan independence from Iraq as the autonomous region stands two days from a highly divisive poll.

Meeting in Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and U.N. representative in Iraq, Jan Kubis reiterated their opposition to the vote slated for Monday, reaffirming their eagerness to preserve Iraqi territorial unity.

Kubis highlighted the “United Nation’s clear stance on rejecting the referendum, and the importance of dialogue (as means to end the political crisis)” Abadi’s office said in a statement on Saturday. He also pointed to an “international consensus reflected in the UN Security Council’s statement which expressed its opposition to the unilateral, regionally destabilizing referendum,” Kubis was quoted saying by the PM’s office.

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IraqiNews: Iraqi forces launch fresh offensive against Islamic State in Kirkuk

Hawija (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government and paramilitary troops launched Saturday a new phase of offensives against Islamic State’s stronghold town of Hawija, southwest of Kirkuk.

Operations commander Abdul-Amir Yarallah said in a statement that the Saturday attack targets IS hideouts in Azzawia and al-Naml regions, west of the Euphrates river in Hawija.

He explained that the offensive was a third part of a first phase of Hawija operations.

Meanwhile, the Popular Mobilization Forces, an alliance of Shia paramilitary troops operating under the government’s command, said they recaptured Tal Shaeer, a village south of Hawija. The force’s media service also said that other divisions moved from al-Udhaim Dam towards al-Zarka, also in the south.

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BBC: Iraq’s minorities fear for their future

Sheikh Mirza at Lalish

A slight octogenarian dressed in loose white garments, Sheikh Mirza looks an unlikely warrior against the fighters of so-called Islamic State (IS).

Nevertheless, the Yazidi leader says that when they approached his ancestral village two years ago he left Lalish – the holy site where he usually resides – for the frontline.

“I picked up my weapons and stood there. I preferred to be killed rather than see them advance,” he explains.

“These terrorists, these sons of donkeys, they hurt our people so much. God will take back our rights.”

Besides its Shia and Sunni Muslim communities and mixture of Arabs and Kurds, Iraq has a wide range of other religions and ethnicities.

Minorities had been hit by waves of violence and turmoil since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. Then, IS singled them out for attack.

Read full story »

NYT: Opinion India Does Not Need Boots on Afghan Ground

NEW DELHI — President Trump has pivoted toward India and away from Pakistan. Calling upon India to help in Afghanistan, “especially in the area of economic assistance and development,” Mr. Trump was holding up the prospect of a major Indian presence to goad Pakistan to crack down on the Taliban and deny them sanctuary.

Indian policy makers were pleased with Mr. Trump’s blunt warning to Pakistan to stop “housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” but Indian officials know the American president is neither measured nor consistent.

India could easily spare tens of thousands of soldiers for Afghanistan from its 1.4 million-strong military. Even as the Pentagon and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force have scrabbled for troops to fight a resilient Taliban insurgency, the United States has discouraged India from sending troops or weaponry to Afghanistan.

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NATO funds $54m leading-edge treatment facility construction for Afghan forces

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan on Friday informed regarding the plans to build a leading-edge treatment facility for the Afghan national defense and security forces. A major new rehabilitation center to treat wounded military and civilian patients will be built at Kabul National Military Hospital (KNMH), the NATO Resolute Support mission said in

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Ghani orders probe into documents leak about ethnic discrimination in Palace

President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani strongly reacted at the leakage of documents from the presidential palace administrative office regarding the ethnic discrimination and removal of non-Pashtuns from the key posts in the palace. The Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Ghani strongly condemns discrimination, thinking, and actions among the people in

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Casualties, Exclusive of Civilians

Recent Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.Staff Sgt. Aaron R. Butler, 27, of Monticello, Utah, died Aug. 16 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations. The incident is under investigation.

Butler was assigned to the 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Camp Williams, Utah.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve. They died Aug. 13 of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations in Iraq. Both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The incident is under investigation.

Killed were:

Sgt. Roshain Euvince Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn, New York

Spc. Allen Levi Stigler Jr., 22, of Arlington, Texas

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. They died Aug. 2 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as a result of injuries sustained when a vehicle-borne improved explosive device detonated near their convoy. Both soldiers were assigned to 2nd Battalion, 504th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C. The incident is under investigation.

Killed were:

Sgt. Jonathon Michael Hunter, 23, of Columbus, Indiana.

Spc. Christopher Michael Harris, 25, of Jackson Springs, North Carolina.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Tech. Sgt. David Board, 49, of Barboursville, West Virginia, died August 2 in Kuwait in a non-combat-related incident while deployed in support of combat operations.

Iraq Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities By Name>>

Afghanistan Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities By Name>>

Care for Veterans:

 

PTSD: National Center for PTSDPTSD Care for Veterans, Military, and FamiliesSee Help for Veterans with PTSD to learn how to enroll for VA health care and get an assessment.

All VA Medical Centers provide PTSD care, as well as many VA clinics.Some VA’s have programs specializing in PTSD treatment. Use the VA PTSD ProgramLocator to find a PTSD program.If you are a war Veteran, find a Vet Center to help with the transition from military to civilian life.

Call the 24/7 Veteran Combat Call Center1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387) to talk to another combat Veteran.DoD’s Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) 24/7 Outreach Center for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury provides information and helps locate resources.

Call 1-866-966-1020 or email resources@dcoeoutreach.orgMilitary OneSourceCall 24/7 for counseling and many resources 1-800-342-9647.Need further assistance? Get Help with VA PTSD Care,

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22 Sep

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

English Online International Newspapers

Nearly all of these are English-edition daily newspapers. These sites have interesting editorials and essays, and many have links to other good news sources. We try to limit this list to those sites which are regularly updated, reliable, with a high percentage of “up” time.

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Venezuelan Regime Orders Government Employees to Vote in Favor of “The Revolution”

During his television program, Diosdado Cabello — who now serves on Maduro’s unconstitutional National Constituent Assembly — said everyone who works for the government must openly support the regime with regional elections coming up on October 15. (Flickr)

Source: VTV, via Panampost

A top official in Nicolás Maduro’s regime has said all public employees are obliged to support the Venezuelan government.

During his television program, Diosdado Cabello — who now serves on Maduro’s unconstitutional National Constituent Assembly — said everyone who works for the government must openly support the regime with regional elections coming up on October 15.

“If you work for a government entity, be it as mayor or minister, you have to support the revolution,” he said. Cabello also instructed all employees in a supervisor position to instruct their staff to go vote, and to accompany them to voting booths with voter IDs in-hand. “That is how things should be,” he said.

This isn’t the first time that Maduro’s regime has threatened public workers into showing their support, especially during an election. Last July, Maduro ordered public employees to vote for the illegitimate Constituent Assembly that has since usurped the role of the National Assembly.

“If we have 15,000 workers,” Maduro said at the time, “15,000 workers must vote, without any excuse.”

“Take the payroll of all institutions, companies and do the math,” he said. “We have to set up the Constituent Assembly by company, suspend their payroll, call all of the workers and organize a plan to have them all vote on July 30.”

The regime used a similar strategy this April when a wave of intense opposition protests were just flaring up. Officials threatened public employees about losing their jobs if they were discovered to be protesting. Many were accused of committing treason against the “fatherland” for attending any opposition demonstrations.

Pressure on public employees demonstrates the terrible approval Maduro has with the Venezuelan people. With no one else to vote in his favor, he has resorted to bullying public workers. On numerous occasions, he also threatened to revoke their CLAP benefits — the food program that provides basic resources to the Venezuelan people amid a shortage, which is one reason for his low popularity in the first place.

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World Politics

United States

Mark Zuckerberg says providing ads will ‘help government authorities complete the vitally important work of assessing what happened’ in the election

Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Facebook will provide to Congress the contents of 3,000 advertisements purchased by Russians during the 2016 US presidential race, Mark Zuckerberg announced on Thursday following weeks of scrutiny surrounding the social network’s potential role in influencing elections.

The CEO said in a Facebook live video that the company would provide the controversial ads to government officials to support ongoing investigations in the US and as part of the social media company’s renewed efforts to protect the “integrity” of elections around the world.

“I wish I could tell you we’re going to be able to stop all interference, but that just wouldn’t be realistic,” Zuckerberg said. “There will always be bad actors.”

Facebook’s general counsel Colin Stretch said in a statement: “After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators. We believe it is vitally important that government authorities have the information they need to deliver to the public a full assessment of what happened in the 2016 election.”

Facebook disclosed earlier this month that an influence operation that appeared to be based in Russia had purchased $100,000 in ads to promote divisive political and social messages in a two-year period.

The adverts had spread controversial views on topics such as immigration, LGBT rights and race and had promoted 470 “inauthentic” pages and accounts that Facebook later suspended, according to the company. Facebook has said it was cooperating with related federal investigations, and the revelations have lended credence to the findings of US intelligence officials that Russia was involved in influencing the 2016 presidential election.

Concerns about the role of political ads on Facebook have not been limited to the US. A series of Conservative party attack ads in the UK were sent to voters in a key marginal constituency and relied on dummy Facebook accounts, the Guardian reported earlier this year.

The announcement comes one day after 20 Democratic senators and representatives wrote to the Federal Election Commission to urge it “develop new guidance” for advertising platforms “to prevent illicit foreign spending in US elections”.

In his speech, Zuckerberg said Facebook would also create a “new standard” for transparency in political advertising so advertisers must disclose which page paid for an ad and so that the public can visit advertisers’ pages and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on the site.

The CEO said the company had also been working to ensure the integrity of the forthcoming German election and had taken action against thousands of fake accounts.

“I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” he said, but later added that Facebook would never be able to catch all “bad content” in the system. “Freedom means you don’t have to ask permission first, and that by default you can say what you want.”

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By mid-morning on Thursday many of the Voice’s famous red distribution boxes were empty, as New York’s beloved weekly paper makes switch to online-only

The image of Dylan was taken in January 1965, near the old offices of the Voice.

The image of Dylan was taken in January 1965, near the old offices of the Voice. Photograph: Guardian

In the way that some things come back stronger once before they go away for good, that sentinel of downtown New York bohemian life, the Village Voice, has published its last printed edition, with a heyday cover shot of Bob Dylan.

Photographed in a salute, the image of Dylan was taken in January 1965, near the old offices of the Voice.

The 176-page issue features a 50-page portfolio of journalistic luminaries who helped define the publication, including Voice co-founder Ed Fancher, theater critic Michael Feingold, and film critics J Hoberman and Amy Taubin.

Michael Musto, the longtime nightlife columnist, marked the occasion with a return of his “La Dulce Musto” column.

By mid-morning on Thursday, many of the publication’s distinctive red distribution boxes were empty, copies collected up by souvenir hunters. In severing the Voice from its physical existence, owner and publisher Peter Barbey said the 62-year old print publication had been “a public forum for ideas and a cultural touchstone for the progressive thought and envelope-pushing aesthetics that defined New York”.

In the final edition, a photo section celebrated the photographers and writers who “looked out at the rest of the world from south of 14th Street”.

The images include the infamous denizens of the downtown realm – William Burroughs (with sword), the Beastie Boys, Madonna, Jack Kerouac – while cartoonist Steve Brodner reminisced: “This is journalism – authentic, fearless, two-fisted, pure.”

While many mourn the Voice’s physical passing, others have been less charitable.

Contrarian New York Post columnist Maureen Callahan wrote that the changes at the Voice and the sale of Rolling Stone meant post-war baby boomers were finally releasing their “chokehold on American culture”.

“So enough with the eulogies for Rolling Stone and the Village Voice, two relics demolished not by the internet but their own narcissistic, congenital nostalgia,” Callahan crowed.

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Since the police shooting of Mike Brown, there’s been little progress – as was evident in St Louis as police mocked people protesting officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal

About 1,000 people use their cell phones to light the night at the St Louis Justice Center during an effort to to raise money to bail protesters from jail in St Louis on Monday.

About 1,000 people use their cell phones to light the night at the St Louis Justice Center during an effort to to raise money to bail protesters from jail in St Louis on Monday. Photograph: UPI/Barcroft Images

It’s become a familiar scene in the the city’s metropolitan area, equal parts deja vu and cliche.

Again, protesters marched up and down a stretch of Missouri highway with signs that read “black lives matter” and “say their names”. Again they beat drums, cheered chants and locked arms. Above, helicopters buzzed while police in riot gear cordoned off sections of road. In rolled the armored bearcat, garrisoned with Swat officers.

As if on cue, an hour or so in, the protest was declared unlawful – no reason was immediately given. Threats of arrest and chemical munitions rang over police PA.

For demonstrators and reform advocates in the greater St Louis area, the exhaustion, the wearying sense of repetition was palpable – but so was the resolve.

“When folks stop making a mockery of the justice system, that’s when this stops,” said protester Jay Weaver as riot police slowly but steadily advanced their phalanx towards the crowd. “Until that mock trial mess going on in the courtroom stops, this can’t stop. They’re the ones making things worse, not the people out on the street protesting.”

Three years and some change since the police shooting of Mike Brown and the ensuing unrest burned the name Ferguson into the nation’s consciousness, the visuals persisted a few miles down the road at the St Louis Galleria in Clayton, Missouri. So did the catalyst. This was sixth day of protest since the acquittal of former St Louis officer Jason Stockley, who is white, over the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith, a black man. Stockley shot and killed Smith after a car chase; he said he thought Smith was reaching for a gun. The defense presented evidence, which the judge in the case ignored, that the gun recovered may have been planted.

 

Jason Stockley. Photograph: AP

Stockley, who wasn’t arrested until four and a half years after the 2011 incident, had precedent on his side. No St Louis police officer had ever been convicted for the death of a suspect. On 15 September, Stockley saw that streak extended, and the ensuing protests begged the question: where was all the change that Ferguson seemed bound to deliver?

All the wrong lessons, all the wrong conclusions

Among the answers is that legally, there was little that was required to change, despite substantial involvement by the Obama-era Department of Justice. One of the most important revelations of the post-Ferguson reckoning was the fractured nature of of law enforcement in the metropolitan area. St Louis County and city bounded by the Missouri and Mississippi rivers has a population of a little over 1 million people, yet it contains 59 separate law enforcement agencies, each in charge of its own staffing, training and policies. Even though the tiny department of Ferguson, with it’s 40-50 officers was legally bound to make a wholesale changes in the wake of a bombshell DoJ report that uncovered blatant racial bias in the department, that mandate affected a miniscule portion of the region’s law enforcement.

“That’s one jurisdiction and it has no impact on what’s happening to the St Louis police,” said Christy Lopez, a professor of law at Georgetown University and the leader of the DoJ team that produced the Ferguson report. “What you hope with these sorts of agreements is that, as people start to see them work they become more and more imaginable to other departments.”……………….He had no regrets about the tactics police used Sunday night, despite all the criticism, calling the arrests a “completely appropriate reaction”.

“Those folks had been asked to disperse for an hour and a half. So it was time for them to go to jail.”

As for the provocative chants from uniformed officers, Roorda demurred. “I’m not saying that I condone those statements but they were made after 12 hours of dealing with very harrowing protests, and, I don’t see the harm.”

They came for nothing but my son’s body

Meanwhile, across town at city hall, a small group of demonstrators had gathered to celebrate what should have been the 22nd birthday of Isaiah Hammett, who was shot and killed by police in June. Authorities said Hammett “fired numerous shots at police officers” with a high-powered rifle from his home before being gunned down by Swat officers in a “no-knock” raid. His family countered that a private forensic analyst found no sign of gunfire coming from inside the house. The rifle which police said Hammett fired, his family said was legally owned and non-functional, in the box waiting to be returned.

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