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TOPIC: kobani


Why Should We Give Military Support To Ukraine? Remember The Kurds

Six years ago, when ISIS attacked Kobanî, in Syria, the Kurds put up a heroic resistance, as the Ukrainians are doing now. But the city was only saved because the West supported the Kurdish fighters – support that is not forthcoming for Ukraine today.


In October 2014, Islamic State (ISIS) fighters attacked the Kurdish-majority city of Kobanî in northern Syria with U.S.-manufactured heavy weapons, which they had seized earlier that year in the Battle of Mosul. As those defending the city were pushed back to a few remaining streets, Stéphane Charbonnier wrote a thought-provoking article in the left-leaning French daily newspaper L’Humanité.

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“I am not Kurdish, I can’t speak a single word of Kurdish, I cannot name a single Kurdish writer, I know nothing about Kurdish culture. But today I am Kurdish. I think in Kurdish, I speak in Kurdish, I sing in Kurdish, I weep in Kurdish. The besieged Kurds in Syria are not just Kurds; they are humanity fighting against the darkness. They are defending their lives, their families, their country, but whether they want to or not, they represent the last bulwark against the advance of the ‘Islamic State’. They are defending us, not against a distorted version of Islam, a religion that the terrorists of ISIS do not truly represent, but against barbarism and mob rule.”

Charbonnier, known by his pseudonym Charb, was editor-in-chief at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Four months after that article was published, he – along with nine of his colleagues and other victims – was murdered by this very same “barbarism and mob rule.”

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Terror Attack in France, Iran Talks, Pope's Stadium

Photo: Anup Kaphle/Twitter


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Ultimatum For Greece, Boston Bomber Apology, Translating Seinfeld


Fruitless talks between the Greek government and its international creditors to obtain a new rescue funding plan resumed yesterday and lasted through the night, ending in the lenders giving Greece an ultimatum to offer a new reforms proposal this morning, To Vima reports.

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Fighting ISIS In Kobani, A Syrian Kurd Tells His Story

KOBANI — Sardar is a 26-year-old fighter in the ranks of the Kurdish People's Protection Units, known by its Kurdish acronym, the YPG. A former blacksmith, he has taken up arms for the past five years, since he first became involved with the militant group. In his eyes, it is the core of a Kurdish army that will someday represent the future state of Kurdistan.

His priority now is to defend the city of Ain al-Arab, also known by its Kurdish name Kobani. The city has been under attack by ISIS since September.

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Alfred Hackensberger

ISIS, The Caliphate Of Madmen Starts To Crumble

The ISIS terror group believes that if it is Allah's will, the organization will take over much of the world. But at the moment, Allah doesn't seem to be on their side.


BERLIN — According to the ISIS terror group's five-year plan, the entire northern half of Africa, and large parts of Europe and Asia, should be conquered by 2019. Then comes the rest of the world. It's a ludicrous plan, but it nevertheless remains a firm foundation of ISIS ideology.

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Ismet Berkan

With ISIS At The Border, Will Turkey Invade Syria?

Complaints about Ankara's inaction have come from the West and Kurds. But Turkey's regional ambitions may very well push it into Syria to crush ISIS. The risk could be huge.


ISTANBUL – The criminal organization that calls itself the “Islamic State” (ISIS) continues its siege of Kobani on Syrian soil, just next to Sanliurfa in Turkey's Suruc District.

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NASA Fail, 60 Days To Save Africa, Google Vs. Death

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have arrived in Kobani to fight alongside Syrian Kurds in the besieged border city, more than a week after Turkey announced it would let them cross into Syria, The New York Times reports. The 150-strong group were reportedly to be joined by as many as 150 additional fighters from the Free Syrian Army, which has mostly been engaged in the fight against Syrian government forces. Kurdish officials in Kobani believe that these new reinforcements will enable them to open up new fronts against ISIS. The jihadist group meanwhile launched a deadly attack on an oil and gas field near the Syrian city of Homs, killing at least 30 pro-Assad fighters, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.

An Antares rocket carrying cargo to the International Space Station exploded shortly after launching Tuesday night, in the first failure of a NASA commercial space mission. The rocket was carrying an unmanned spacecraft packed with about 2.5 tons of supplies for astronauts on the International Space Station. NASA has come under intense criticism online for describing the dramatic explosion, the first since the space agency outsourced resupply operations to private space companies, as a "mishap." The bill is expected to top $200 million. Russia has offered to help the U.S. with deliveries to the ISS should the NASA require its assistance. Read more from AFP.

“Parts of West Africa face catastrophe within 60 days” if urgent action against the Ebola virus is not taken, a UK umbrella group representing 13 aid charities warned yesterday as it launched an aid appeal, the BBC reports. It is the first time in its 50-year history that the Disasters Emergency Committee is calling for aid for a disease outbreak, “a sign of how serious the situation has become,” its chief executive said. According to the World Health Organization, the worst affected countries could see 5,00 to 10,000 new cases every week by December. Meanwhile, Time reports that Asia is also preparing to face a potential Ebola outbreak but notes that the continent’s recent experiences with epidemics gives Asian nations an edge. Professor Peter Piot, one of the doctors who discovered the deadly virus in 1976 recently warned that China would be at risk “one day” given the number of Chinese citizens working in Africa.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff edged out reelection, thanks in part to her charismatic predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. But what role will the former president seek in Dilma’s second term? According to Folha de S. Paolo’s Valdo Cruz, “With an eye on maintaining the Workers’ Party project in power, the former president wishes to have a bigger influence on his protege's second term. Brazilian law prevents a president from running for a third consecutive term in office. Meaning that nothing would stop Lula — who served from 2003 to 2011 — from deciding to be a candidate four years from now, to succeed his own successor.”
Read the full article, After Dilma's Reelection, The Lula Question Looms.

At least 10 people died and some 300 are missing in central Sri Lanka after a landslide which came after heavy monsoon rains, the BBC reports quoting disaster officials.

In its quest to “cure death,” Google is working on a pill containing nanoparticles that could “patrol the human body” and diagnose cancers, impending heart attacks or strokes and other diseases, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the newspaper, such a pill and its accompanying wearable device are “likely more than five years off” and will face “huge challenges, both technical and social.” Just over a year ago, the search giant launched Calico, a health company focused on “the challenge of aging and associated diseases.”

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg reports that U.S.-Israeli relations are at an all-time low, and the colorful word that an unnamed White House official used to describe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t help. Read our daily Verbatim item here, and Goldberg’s article here.

Unclassified White House computer networks have been breached in recent weeks with unnamed officials quoted inThe Washington Post suggesting the hackers could be working for the Russian government. Although the FBI and the NSA are currently investigating, the White House officials said there had been no damage to the systems and that no classified data was hacked. Meanwhile, Russia and China appear to be finding harmony on Internet security questions, reports Moscow daily Kommersant.

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Zambian President Micheal Sata has died in London at the age of 77 from an undisclosed illness that had taken him off the public stage since June. Sata, whose sharp tongue earned him the "King Cobra" nickname, was elected in 2011.

Who said aging rockers are destined to turn into furniture? Still, for the right price, they can adorn your living room coffee table: A new limited edition signed book by The Rolling Stones is fetching a $5,000-pricetag. There’s also a “cheap” smaller version, available for $150. Sometimes you get what you need ...


Second Mass Grave, Japan's Nuclear Restart, Table Tennis Foul

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In a new video showing captive British journalist John Cantlie, and which The Washington Post calls “bizarre,” ISIS claims that the battle for the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani is “is coming to an end. The Mujahideen are just mopping up now.” The video, made to look like a news report, begins with footage allegedly shot from an “Islamic State Army” drone. Then Cantlie calmly says that Western reports about the battle are false, before adding that that Western journalists are receiving their news only from "Kurdish commanders and White House press secretaries.”

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Election Galore, Stress Tests, Smuggler's Got Guts

Monday, October 27, 2014

It was "election weekend" around the world, with notable ballots held in five countries, though not always without problems. In Ukraine, President Petro Poroshenko’s bloc and the party of his Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk were holding talks Monday to create a coalition after the two led in preliminary results of yesterday’s parliamentary elections. In a statement, Poroshenko thanked voters for their vote “for a democratic, reformist, pro-Ukrainian and pro-European majority.” But according to AFP, heavy shelling resumed between government and pro-Russian separatist forces near the rebel-held city of Donetsk this morning.

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Ebola Nurse Cured, Pope Overruled, Italy's Baby Bonus

Monday, October 20, 2014

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the country would let Iraqi Kurds cross its border and join Syrian Kurds fighting against ISIS in the city of Kobani, the BBC reports. The announcement came after U.S. aircraft dropped ammunition, small arms and medical supplies to Kurdish fighters in the border town, responding to “an urgent need to resupply” them, The New York Times quotes an official as saying. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Indonesia, where he is expected to press southeast Asian leaders to step up their efforts against ISIS. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation with 250 million Muslims, and authorities believe that hundreds of people in the region have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the terrorist group’s ranks.

More than 1,800 kung fu students from 63 countries and regions are participating in a three-day kung fu festival that opened Sunday in China.

Teresa Romero, the Spanish nurse who became the first person to contract Ebola outside West Africa, has tested negative for the virus, suggesting she is cured, dailyEl País reports. Although she will have a second test in the next couple of days, a family spokeswoman said she was “very excited” and “eager” to leave confinement.

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North Korea

Kurdish Gains In Kobani, Kim's Back, NYC Rats

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kurdish fighters battling ISIS jihadists in Kobani, Syria, near the Turkish border, announced this morning that they regained control of the strategically crucial Tall Shair hilltop following air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition. ISIS captured it more than 10 days ago. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there was heavy fighting east and south of Kobani Monday, while ISIS reportedly carried out three suicide bomb attacks. The Observatory now says ISIS controls about half the city.

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Fighting For Kobani, Lost Capote Stories, Google's Camel

Despite airstrikes targeting ISIS fighters in and around the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, the jihadist group has seized more than one-third of the city, Reuters quotes the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying. While Turkey’s inaction as the battle unfolds on its border has been heavily criticized, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said it was “not realistic to expect Turkey to conduct a ground operation on its own.” He reiterated calls for a no-fly zone over Syria, as Turkish officials are holding meetings with NATO and U.S. officials. In an editorial entitled, “Erdogan’s Dangerous Game”, The New York Times denounces the Turkish president’s “cynical political calculations” and slams his behavior as “hardly worthy of a NATO ally.”

Thousands of angry protesters demonstrated yesterday in cities across Mexico as outrage grows over last weekend’s discovery of a mass grave believed to contain the bodies of missing students, The Guardian reports. “They took them alive. We want them alive,” demonstrators chanted in Mexico City.

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