Recent Spate Of Violence In Nigeria

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Two bombs blamed on the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram exploded at a crowded mosque and a Muslim restaurant in Nigeria’s central city of Jos, killing 44 people, officials said on Monday.

The blasts on Sunday night came hours after a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded evangelical Christian church service in the north-eastern city of Potiskum, killing at least five people, writes the British newspaper The Guardian.

Also on Sunday, extremists returned to north-eastern villages attacked three days earlier, killing nine villagers and burning down 32 churches and about 300 homes, according to the chairman of a self-defence group in Borno state.

The violence comes at the end of a week in which suspected Boko Haram insurgents killed more than 200 people, according to Reuters.

The spate of bloodshed prompted outrage and French President Francois Hollande said he was ready to hold a summit with regional leaders to coordinate the fight against Boko Haram.

The blast in Potiskum in the state of Yobe on Sunday came after an attack on the capital of neighboring Borno state on Friday, deadly raids in three towns during the week and suicide bombings along a highway.

The president, Muhammadu Buhari, said a slaughter of up to 150 Kukawa residents near Lake Chad on Wednesday by Boko Haram was a “heinous atrocity”. Several people who attended burials there, including a senior government official, said 147 bodies, including 22 children, had been interred.

Also last week in Borno, about 50 people were shot dead in nearby Monguno, 12 men were killed in a raid on Miringa and two suicide bombers killed another 10 alongside a highway.

The Defence Ministry said six suicide bombers had blown themselves up during the attack on the outskirts of Maiduguri on Friday, killing a soldier and “scores” of civilians, writes Reuters.

http://time.com/3946134/terrorism-boko-haram-nigeria-radical-islam-caliphate-suicide-bombing/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/05/us-nigeria-boko-haram-idUSKCN0PF0D120150705

Senator Tom Cotton Predicts A 4-Day War With Iran

TYT Network

Tom Cotton is the junior U.S. Senator from the state of Arkansas.  He is a member of the Republican Part and he is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a lawyer.  Cotton is now known for writing a letter signed by 47 Senators to the leadership of Iran, apparently in an effort to undermine the peace treaty being negotiated with the U.S. and five other nations.

Wikipedia:

“On or about March 9, 2015, Senator Cotton wrote and sent a letter to the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran, signed by 47 of the Senate’s 54 Republicans, attempting to cast doubt on the Obama administration’s authority to engage in nuclear-proliferation negotiations with Iran.  The open letter was released in English as well as a poorly-translated Persian version (which “read like a middle schooler wrote it” according to Foreign Policy).  Within hours, commentators suggested that the letter prepared by Cotton constituted a violation of the Logan Act.  Questions also were raised as to whether it reflected a flawed interpretation of the Treaty Clause of the United States Constitution.

“President Barack Obama mocked the letter, referring to it as an ‘unusual coalition’ with Iran’s hard-liners as well as an interference with the then-ongoing negotiations of a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear program. 

“In addition, during a Vice News Interview, President Barack Obama said ‘I’m embarrassed for them, for them to address a letter to the Ayatollah the Supreme Leader of Iran, who they claim is our mortal enemy and their basic argument to them is: don’t deal with our president, because you can’t trust him to follow through on an agreement… That’s close to unprecedented.'”

Cotton predicted Thursday that U.S. military strikes on Iran could damage its nuclear capabilities without leading to a full-scale war, states USA Today.

He said past Israeli air force attacks on nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria and President Obama’s own statements about a “military option” indicate that “air and naval bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities would in fact work,” states USA Today.

He likened the option to Operation Desert Fox, the four-day bombing campaign President Clinton ordered in 1998 for Iraq’s refusal to cooperate with international weapons inspectors. “That’s what military action would look like if we had to take military action against Iran,” Cotton said, according to USA Today.

Cotton, himself a veteran of the Iraq War, dismissed any comparisons to the predictions of a short conflict by then-President Bush and then-Vice President Dick Cheney and others before the invasion of Iraq.

(Updated report)

Suicide bombers Kill 14 Outside Pakistani Churches

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According to the Associated Press, Pakistani Taliban suicide bombers blew themselves up near two churches in the eastern city of Lahore on Sunday as worshippers were inside.  14 people were killed, officials said, and it was the latest attack against religious minorities in the increasingly fractured country.  Zee News of India reports that more than 80 people were injured.

In the tense aftermath, angry mobs lashed out at people they suspected were behind the attacks, and one person was burned to death, according to the Associated Press.

Christian crowds set fire to cars in a show of defiance in the country’s second largest city and the prime minister’s seat of power.

Life in Pakistan is increasingly riddled with danger for religious minorities, especially Christians. They have been targeted by extremist Sunni Muslim militants who object to their faith.

They are also discriminated against in the wider society where they can often only get menial jobs like garbage collection, and are frequently targets of blasphemy accusations, claims the Associated Press.

Militants appear to be targeting minorities more intensively recently, states the AP.  There have been attacks on a string of mosques belonging to members of the Shiite Muslim minority sect.  In 2013, twin blasts at a church in Peshawar killed 85 people.

“There will be more of such attacks,” warned Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for the assault, in a statement emailed to reporters.

Is Argentina In The Midst Of A Full-Blown Meltdown?

FeaturedImage_2015-02-03_093230_YouTube_Alberto_Nisman

Recently, The Week wrote an article entitled “Argentina is in the Midst of a Full-Blown Meltdown.”  Lets’s take a look at the situation.

In January, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, 51, made accusations that top Argentine officials, including President Fernandez de Kirchner, had conspired with Iran to cover up responsibility for a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center.  That bombing killed 85 people and injured hundreds.

Nisman claimed the bombing was part of a deal that would supply Iranian oil to Argentina.

Mr. Nisman’s body was discovered on January 18th of this year at his home.  It was the day before he was to testify before lawmakers about those accusations.  His door on the 13th floor had been locked from the inside, and a gun with a spent cartridge was found on the floor near his body. There was no suicide note, though it had the appearance of a suicide.

Mr. Nisman had drafted a warrant for the arrest of Argentina’s president – Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner – and had accused her of trying to shield Iranian officials from responsibility in the 1994 bombing, the lead investigator into his death said.

In February, a few days before a speech given by the president, a federal judge, Daniel Rafecas, threw out allegations that Ms. Fernández de Kirchner and her officials had obstructed an investigation into the terror attack, states the Economist.

Recently, the BBC reported that the family of the deceased Argentine prosecutor Nisman had independent tests conducted that show that Nisman was murdered, according to family members.

At a news conference, Mr Nisman’s ex-wife said the findings ruled out theories of accident or suicide.

Sandra Arroyo Salgado, Mr Nisman’s ex-wife, said a team of experts had made their conclusions based on reports from a post-mortem examination and forensic evidence.

Ms Arroyo Salgado, who is also a federal judge, added that her report was at “the disposal of the prosecutor and judge” involved with the official investigation into Mr. Nisman’s death, states the BBC.

Despite telling journalists the report’s conclusions, Arroyo Salgado has not released the full details of the document.

The family report concludes:

1.)  There were no spasms in Mr Nisman’s right hand, suggesting he had not shot himself

2.)  Additionally, no gunpowder residue was found on his hands

3.)  The prosecutor had been shot in the back of the head

4.)  Mr Nisman’s body had been moved to the bathroom once he was shot

5.)  The prosecutor was apparently not drunk at the time

More here

(Updated post)

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins


MSNBC

Yesterday, the Boston Marathon bombing trial began.

The trial could last until June, according to Jose Diaz-Balart.

The Boston Globe’s Mike Bellow joins Balart at MSNBC to discuss the federal murder trial of bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Strange: Prosecutor Who Wanted To Arrest Argentine President Found Dead

FeaturedImage_2015-02-03_093230_YouTube_Alberto_Nisman
Argentine Prosecutor Alberto Nisman

Last month, Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, 51, made accusations that top Argentine officials, including President Fernandez de Kirchner, had conspired with Iran to cover up responsibility for a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center.

Nisman claimed the bombing was part of a deal that would supply Iranian oil to Argentina.

Mr. Nisman’s body was discovered on January 18th – the day before he was to testify before lawmakers about those accusations.  His door on the 13th floor had been locked from the inside, and a gun with a spent cartridge was found on the floor near his body. There was no suicide note.

Mr. Nisman, had drafted a warrant for the arrest of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, accusing her of trying to shield Iranian officials from responsibility in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center, the lead investigator into his death said on Tuesday.

More here

Attempted Bombing At NAACP Building In Colorado

According to the LA Times, a homemade explosive blew up on Tuesday outside the Colorado Springs, Colorado, chapter of the NAACP. The FBI has called it a deliberate incident.

The chapter’s offices, as well as Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios barber shop located inside the building, sustained minor damage from the explosion. No deaths or injuries have been reported.

Witnesses reported hearing a “loud boom” around 10:45 a.m. local time. “There was smoke everywhere, the building on the side was burnt,” one onlooker told local television station KDVR. The Los Angeles Times reports an improvised bomb appears to have been positioned against the outside wall of the building on South El Paso Street.

According to the FBI, it was set right next to a gasoline can, which didn’t burst during the explosion.

More:

http://www.newsweek.com/naacp-chapter-bombing-colorado-springs-deliberate-says-fbi-297399

Boston Bombing Jury To Exclude People Opposed To Death Penalty

Jury selection is underway for the accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who faces 30 charges including use of a weapon of mass destruction and bombing of a public place.

As explained by MSNBC’s Ron Mott, the federal court is looking for jurors who are not opposed to the death penalty.

The state of Massachusetts does not have the death penalty. However, because it is a federal case and not a state case, the defender could still end up with the death penalty.

MSNBC