Guntanamo is human disgrace says Urugay president.


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Uruguay President Jose Mujica called the Guntanamo detention center used to hold terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks a “human disgrace.”

Uruguay President Jose Mujica on Friday rebutted opposition criticism of his decision for the country to accept six Guantanamo Bay prisoners as popular opposition mounts ahead of presidential elections in three weeks time.

Leftist, blunt-talking Mujica has called the detention center used to hold terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks a “human disgrace” and accepted a request from the United States to take some inmates so it can be shut down.

But a recent poll published by the consultancy Cifra shows opposition among Uruguayans to granting the prisoners refugee status in their small South American country is growing, with 58 percent against it compared with 50 percent in April.

Opposition candidate Luis Lacalle Pou of the traditional center party the Partido Nacional, which has been gaining in polls, has added his voice to the chorus of criticism.
But Mujica, a 78-year-old ex-guerrilla jailed during a 1973-1985 military dictatorship, stood firm on Friday.

“What soul in this world could be so rotten not to have the courage to give a hand to defend a just cause if a barbarity is being committed?,” he told a local broadcaster.
Guantanamo has been criticized by human rights groups for holding some prisoners for a decade or longer without being charged or given a trial.

The center has become a symbol of the excesses of U.S. President George W. Bush’s “war on terror.”
The transfer had been expected in August but last month the presidency said it was unlikely to occur before the elections.
Mujica, who in office has pursued radical policies such as marijuana legalization, is constitutionally barred from running for a second term.

The candidate for his left-wing Frente Amplio bloc, Tabare Vazquez, this week backed his decision, dismissing fears the inmates could plan terrorist acts in Uruguay.

“If there was any risk of this, the United States would not release them,” said Vazquez, who led the country between 2005 and 2010, pursuing a center-left agenda that combined social welfare reforms with conservative economic policies.

A first round of Uruguay’s presidential poll will take place on Oct. 26. A runoff vote, if no party reaches the majority required, will be held in November.

Support for Vazquez has fallen to 43 percent from 41 percent in August, while it has inched up to 33 percent for Lacalle Pou from 32 percent, according to a poll last week by Cifra. Right-wing Colorado party is steady on 15 percent.

A separate poll by Interconsult consultancy suggests a run-off would be tight, putting Vazquez on 47 percent and Lacalle Pou on 46 percent.
U.S. President Barack Obama promised to shut the Guantanamo Bay detention facility during his first presidential election campaign, but has yet to carry out that pledge.

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Yemen: An interview with Houthi leader Mohammed Al Bukhatii.


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Al Jazeera: When will the Houthis withdraw from the capital?
Mohammed al-Bukhaiti:We will only do this when the government is formed. We have made it clear in the agreement that we will do so once there is a government that can assume security duties. This is not about a takeover of the capital. In fact, it is a huge burden for us to be responsible for law and order across the capital and we want to see the end of it when a new government is formulated.

AJ: Can you confirm news reports that Houthi fighters are besieging the Saudi embassy in Sanaa?
Al-Bukhaiti:This is not true. The media overplayed this. We are only there to protect those places including government installations, embassies, and main roads because there are hardly any security forces in the capital now. Just a few days ago, the military police forces began patrolling some areas.
AJ: How would you describe your relationship with the Yemeni president?
Many accuse Houthis of undermining the president and even working to oust him?
Al-Bukhaiti: during our protests, we did not call for the president to step down because we realised that the current state of affairs in Yemen, with all state institutions out of order, could not benefit from that. Indeed, we have rejected the Gulf initiative and we did not take part in the presidential elections. President Hadi is the only statesman about whom there is wide consensus among Yemenis across the board. And we do not want to go against this consensus.
The sectarian factor has never been an issue in deciding who we ally ourselves with. While it is part of who we are but it occupies a secondary role and is not a decisive factor.

AJ: Have you reached a consensus over who should be the next prime minister?
Al-Bukhaiti:We have picked Ayoub al-Hamadi, an independent university professor. We want people with integrity to be able to combat the chronic problems of corruption plaguing the Yemeni ruling establishment.

AJ: How would you describe the relationship with Tehran?
Given that the conflict in Yemen has been framed along sectarian lines between Yemen’s Shia population (represented by the Houthis) and the Sunni leaders of al-Islah party.
Al-Bukhaiti:They say because Tehran lost Damascus, it took over Sanaa. This is an inaccurate analysis of the situation in Yemen. We are where we are today mostly because of domestic politics and power relations among political actors. What we have in common with Iran or Hezbollah because the comparison was also made between the so-calledHouthis’takeover of Sanaa and the Hezbollah takeover of Beirut in May 2008] or Hamas and Islamic Jihad, is that we have a common stand vis-a-vis Israel and US and we will cooperate with any political actor in the region who stands in the face of the US regional designs. But to grasp the complexities of the situation in Yemen, we should only look in Yemen for answers and not in Tehran or Lebanon for that matter.

AJ: But did you, at any stage of the conflict, receive logistical or military support from Tehran?
Al-Bukhaiti:The short answer to this is a categoric no.
As for the sectarian aspect, Yemeni people, across the spectrum, do not perceive the conflict as such. The sectarian factor has never been an issue in deciding who we ally ourselves with. While it is part of who we are, it occupies a secondary role and is not a decisive factor. It is the other groups, al-Islah party and their allies, the al-Ahmer tribe, as well as some power centres within the government, that sought to use the sectarian card and frame the conflict along sectarian lines, however, in Yemen, tribal affiliation and Arab nationalistic sentiments have more of an influence among Yemenis than the sectarian identity.

AJ: So does this mean there has not been any backdoor negotiations or talks between Ansar Allah and al-Islah party during the recent crisis?
Al-Bukhaiti:Al-Islah party has a large popular base and is a force to be reckoned with in Yemeni political scene and should be included in the political process, however, it should not have a monopoly over the decision-making process as had been the case before. The relationship between the Houthis and al-Islah is not at its best because of the wars that were waged against us which we believe al-Islah has been a primary party in, even if they deny this. We, however, hope to have a new beginning with the party.
And for well over a year now, we have made several attempts to get al-Islah’s leadership to sit at the negotiation table to settle the conflict but they always came back to us with one answer: They are not part of the conflict. They are the ones turning down our calls for national dialogue.

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The plight of Europe’s unwanted Muslim migrants – Features – Al Jazeera English


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Lesvos, Greece-A police car pulls up to the PIKPA youth centre on the Greek island of Lesvos to drop off a new batch of “irregular” migrants.
Most of them are ethnic Hazaras from Afghanistan, and they are fresh off the boat from Turkey. But PIKPA is not an official first reception centre. It is a former youth centre, transformed into a community-run, temporary shelter for the dozens of migrants that reach the island each day.

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The number of migrants arriving via the Aegean Sea tripled last year to reach 11,831, after a fence was erected along the land border between Greece and Turkey in 2012. Only a couple of hours’ boat ride from the Turkish coast, the island of Lesvos has been particularly affected.
When Moria, the government-run identification centre, runs out of capacity, the police drop migrants at PIKPA before space frees up to take them in for registration.
Given plans to expand Moria’s capacity from 100 to 250 people in the identification centre, in addition to 400 places in the pre-departure centre for individuals subject to deportation, it is uncertain what the role of PIKPA might be in the future. “When Moria gets bigger, then PIKPA will not be needed,” Konstantinos explains.

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Untold stories of sadism of Sadam’s son. Told by his double.


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Uday Hussein’s many vices and wanton sadism appalled even his father. And one man was on hand to witness it all – Uday’s unwilling ‘body double’

The siege of the Iraqi mansion lasted five hours, starting with a loudspeakered call to surrender and ending with the crash of missiles from a United States helicopter gunship. By the time it was over, half the house’s wedding cake-style facade was missing, affording the media a unique, through-the-rocket-hole tour when they were finally allowed near it.

Inside we found an elegant inner balcony splintered with bullets, and for anyone with a knowledge of gangster movies, one scene sprang to mind: the closing shots of Scarface, where Al Pacino’s drug baron makes his famous last stand.

“That film was mentioned a couple of times,” grinned Lieutenant Colonel Rick Carlson, commander of a unit involved in the raid, when I put this to him later.

So came the spectacular demise of Saddam Hussein’s notorious sons Uday and Qusay, whose lives resembled a real-life gangster flick, and whose deaths in July 2003 produced one of the few moments of universal good cheer in the ever-mounting gloom of post-war Iraq. For the US military, it was a much-needed morale boost in a steadily fraying mission, netting both the Ace of Hearts and the Ace of Clubs in the “Deck of 55” most wanted. For Iraqis, meanwhile, it meant the passing of two of the regime’s most feared men – in particular Uday, whose psychotic, unhinged brutality made his father look statesmanlike.

Yet as celebratory gunfire erupted over Baghdad, Latif Yahia, a 39-year-old former commando, was one of the few Iraqis who didn’t reach for his Kalashnikov. Not just because he was thousands of miles away in exile in England, where assault rifles are still frowned upon as party poppers, but because he didn’t want to cheer. He wanted to cry.

“The Americans should have taken Uday alive,” he tells me now. “I wanted him to face trial, so that I could tell the world what he had done, all the killing.”

Playboy, murderer, and sadist extraordinaire, Saddam’s elder son left no shortage of people with horror stories to tell in his wake. Yet for Latif, the trauma of his encounter with him was uniquely personal, one that still haunts him every time he looks in the mirror. For back in 1987, after noticing his striking likeness to Saddam’s son, Iraq’s secret service picked him to be Uday’s “fiday”, or body double, a job that involved becoming the living, breathing copy of the nation’s greatest hate figure.

Being the stand-in man on any occasion where Uday feared one of his many enemies might assassinate him was just one of Latif’s occupational hazards. Far worse was the window it gave him into the ruling family’s inner circle, attending Uday’s debauched parties, mixing with his entourage of pimps and thugs, and looking on as his doppelganger rampaged with impunity. And, to his ultimate horror and guilt, sometimes enjoying it.

“Until now, I haven’t slept properly because of thinking about him,” he said. “I am stuck with Uday for the rest of my life, and will probably take him with me to my grave.”

Now, though, 19 years after fleeing Iraq and claiming asylum in Europe, Latif has another chance to give Uday’s crimes an airing, and, hopefully, give his designer-stubbled, Ray Ban-wearing demon a final exorcism.

The Devil’s Double, released this week, is a film loosely-based on Uday’s early life – shot entirely from the point of view of his body double. Coming in the wake ofGreen Zoneand theHurt Locker, it is the first major Iraq movie to explore life in the ruling clan. And while Uday played no real role in the wider political drama of the war, he proves an illuminating focus point, being in many ways the personification of the regime’s dark side.

Addicted to drink, sex and violence in equal measure, he was despised even more than his father – as I myself found when I was a correspondent based in Baghdad after the war.

On the hot July night that news emerged that he had been killed, the Iraqi capital erupted with so much gunfire that I thought a full-scale insurrection had broken out; by contrast, the celebrations when Saddam was caught five months later were more muted.

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Who are Houthis?


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TheHouthis( Arabic:‎al-Ḥūthiyyūn) are a Zaidi Shiainsurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as a “powerful clan,” and by the title Believing Youth(BY; ash-Shabāb al-Mū‘min).

The group takes its name from Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, their former commander, who was reportedly killed by Yemeni army forcesin September 2004. Several other commanders, including, Ali al-Qatwani, Abu Haider, Abbas Aidahand Yousuf al-Madani(a son-inlaw of Hussein al-Houthi) have also been killed by Yemeni forces. The Houthi brothers’ father Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group.

Membership of the group had been between 1,000 and 3,000 fighters as of 2005 and between 2,000 and 10,000 fighters as of 2009. In the Yemen Post it was claimed, however, that they had over 100,000 fighters.

According to Houthi Expert Ahmed Al-Bahrithe Houthis had a total of 100,000-120,000 followers, including both armed fighters and unarmed loyalists.

Territorial control
Through their armed uprising, the Houthis have managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorateand parts of ‘Amran Governorate, Al Jawf Governorate and Hajjah Governorate.

By 9 November 2011, Houthis were said to be in control of two Yemeni governorates (Saada and Al Jawf) and close to taking over their third governorate (Hajjah), which would enable them to launch a direct assault on Yemeni capital Sana’a.

By May 2012, it was reported that Houthis controlled a majority of Saada, Al Jawf and Hajjah governorates, had gained access to the Red Seaand had started erecting barricades north of the capital Sana’a in preparation for new conflict.

By 21 September 2014, Houthis were said to control parts of the Yemen capital Sanaa including government buildings and a radio station.

Houthis belong to the Zaidi branch of Shia Islam, also known as Fivers, a sect of Islam almost exclusively present in Yemen. They are distinct from the Shi’ite majority, the Twelvers found in mainly in Iraq, Lebanonand Iranand are known for being most similar to Sunni Muslims in matters of religious law and rulings. They do however, believe in the concept of an Imamate as being essential to their religion, which makes them distinct from Sunnis.

The Houthis have asserted that their actions are for the defence of their community from widespread and systematic discrimination, whereas the Yemeni government has in turn accused the insurgents of intending to overthrow the regime out of a desire to institute Zaidi Shia religious law, destabilising the government and stirring anti-American sentiment.

The Houthis have told people they are “praying in the wrong way” by raising their arms, as is the custom among Sunnis in Yemen.

The Yemeni government has also accused the Houthis of having ties to external backers, in particular the Iranian government, as Iran is a Shia-majority country.
In turn, the Houthis have countered with allegations that the Yemeni government is being backed by virulently anti-Shia external backers such as al-Qaeda and the monarchy of Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that former President Ali Abdullah Salehwas also Zaidi.

*. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi- Ex-leader (killed in 2004)
*. Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi- Leader
*. Yahia Badreddin al Houthi- Senior Leader
*. Abdul-Karim Badreddin al-Houthi- High ranking commander
*. Badr Eddin al-Houthi- Spiritual Leader (died in 2010)
*. Abdullah al-Ruzami- Ex-military commander
*. Abu Ali Abdullah al-Hakem al-Houthi- Military commander
*. Mohammed Abdulsalam
*. Saleh Habra- Political leader
*. Faris Manna- Houthi appointed governor of Saada and former head of Saleh’s Presidential committee.

Houthis and their massive base of support rely mainly on peaceful methods of campaign most notably civil disobedience. In a new series of protests which was provoked by Yemenis government’s decision in July 13, 2014 to increase fuel prices, Houthi leaders succeeded to organize massive rallies in the capital San’a to protest the decision and to demand resignation of the incumbent government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadifor “state-corruption”.

Thousands of Yemenis responded to the Houthi Leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi’s call to “erect tents, carry out sit-ins and organize marches” in the capital.

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Saudi Arabia warns Yemen violence could threaten global security


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DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia has said “unprecedented challenges” facing Yemen since Shi’ite Muslim rebels took over the capital could threaten international security, and called for swift action to deal with instability in its southern neighbor.

The world’s largest oil exporter, which shares a long border with Yemen, welcomed an agreement signed in Sanaa on Sept. 21 to form a new government incorporating the Houthi rebels and some Yemeni southern separatist forces.

But the kingdom, a key U.S. ally which views itself as protector of Sunni Islam, fears the accord could benefit its main regional foe Iran, which it sees as an ally of the Houthis, and might also bolster the Islamist militant al Qaeda group.

It is not clear whether the power-sharing deal will satisfy the Houthis’ demands, or whether it will instead embolden them to seek further powers. Under a security annexe to the accord, they had been expected to leave Sanaa in return for their inclusion in the new government. To date they remain in place.
In some of his strongest language about Yemen to date, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told the U.N. General Assembly that hopes for an end to the crisis had been wrecked by what he suggested was the Houthis’ failure to honor the deal.

“The lack of implementation of the security annexe of the agreement and the lack of implementation of the agreement itself in the required manner by the Houthi group has dashed these hopes,” he said in a speech circulated by the Saudi mission at the United Nations in New York.

“Yemen faces accelerating and extremely dangerous conditions that require us all to look and propose the necessary solutions to confront these unprecedented challenges,” Prince Saud said.

Prince Saud said Yemen’s violence “will no doubt extend to threaten stability and security on the regional and international arena that could prove difficult to put down regardless of the resources and efforts that may be exerted.”
Saudi Arabia in 2011 played a key role to push forward a Gulf power transfer deal that saw long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down after months of protests in 2011 in favor of his deputy.

Yemen has since faced multiple challenges, including regular attacks by al Qaeda and its affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, as well as protests by southern separatists demanding secession from the country.

The Houthis say their move into Sanaa was necessitated by them being left out of a government formed after the 2011 protests that they had participated in.
Saudi Arabia views the Houthis, who hail from the Zaydi branch of Shi’ite Islam, as allies of arch-rival Iran. Iran denies interfering in Yemeni affairs.

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Bizzare homemade Kurdish armor to fight ISIS


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Irregular armed forces have to rely on their ingenuity to arm themselves. And while rifles and mortars can be bought on the black market, getting hold of a tank or two can be a bit tricky. But you can always make a DIY version with your own hands.

At least that’s what fighters of the Kurdish militias in northern Syria do. Called People’s Protection Units, or YPG, they have been dedicated to protecting Kurds from whatever the three-year-long war in the country may throw at them. Lately it’s been the Islamic State, the big bad terrorist group that proved to be worthy of being bombed by America itself.
The People’s Protection Units don’t have killer drones or stealth bombers.

They are mostly armed with small arms, with some heavier weapons such as mortars and rocket launchers, pickup trucks turned into mobile gun turrets and an occasional piece of artillery.

And the Kurds also have homemade armor – an assortment of vehicles that would make Marvin Heemeyer proud.

(Heemeyer, an American welder, infamously used a bulldozer, armor plating and a few guns to go on a rampage in in Granby, Colorado, in 2004 to settle grievances over a zoning conflict.)

The former cars and track vehicles may look like cast-offs from Tatooine desert scenes of Star Wars, but with proper deployment they are no less efficient in battle than the early tanks of World War I were on European battlefields.

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Al-Jazeerah: 6 Million Muslims convert to Christianity in Africa each year


Muslim Statistics

According to Al-Jazeerah’s interview with Sheikh Ahmad Al Katani, the president of The Companions Lighthouse for the Science of Islamic Law in Libya, In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity.

Everyday, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity. Al-Jazeerah has since removed the interview and details.

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Islam, SVM News, 1 January, 2007: Millions of Muslim converts to Christianity celebrated Christmas throughout the world. According the reports of the various missionary organizations and news medias.
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The Salem Voice Ministries evangelizing Muslims in  India and many other Muslim nations. There are about 500 evangelists  ministering among Muslims  in different African, Middle East and Asian countries. A vast number of Muslims finding the truth and attaining Salvation of Jesus Christ day by day.
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‘More Muslims converted to faith in Jesus Christ over the past decade than at any other time in human history…

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The Top 20 Countries where Christianity is Growing the Fastest


Disciple All Nations

top 20Where is Christianity growing the fastest? The Center for the Study of Global Christianity, based at Gordon Conwell Seminary, published In June 2013 an excellent report regarding Christianity in its Global Context. The full report can be found online at www.globalchristianity.org/globalcontext. From this report I identified the top 20 countries that have the highest percentage Christianity Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR). They are listed in Table 1.  I have also calculated the number of years for the number of Christians to double, based on the Average Annual Growth Rate.  

Table 1. The Top 20 Countries Where Christianity Has the Highest Percentage Growth Rate

Rank Country Continent Christian  AAGR Years to double Majority Religion Percent Christian 1970 Percent Christian 2020

1

Nepal Asia, South Central

10.93%

6.6

Hindu

0.1%

3.8%

2

China Asia, Eastern

10.86%

6.6

Non-religious

0.1%

10.6%

3

United Arab Emirates Arabian Peninsula

9.34%

7.7

Muslim

5.9%

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Greece: Muslims threatened to be ‘slaughtered like chickens’


Note with Golden Dawn emblem printed on the paper says ‘there will be blood’ – Above the threatening note as published on the Muslim Association’s webpage

The Muslim Association of Greece says they received a threatening note giving all Muslims one month to leave the country or be ‘slaughtered like chickens’. The letter, as it appeared on the association’s webpage, has the Golden Dawn emblem printed on it

The Muslim Association of Greece on Friday received a threatening note giving all Muslims, Greeks and foreigners, one month’s time to evacuate the country or be “slaughtered like chickens”, according to a statement released by the association on Saturday.
The note, published on the association’s webpage, is written in Greek, English and Arabic and the Golden Dawn emblem is printed on the paper.
The anonymous author uses vulgar language against Muslims, threatening that if they do not leave the country “there will…

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