Tag Archives: United States

Russia replies to Canada’s colorful map tweet #RussiaCanada #USRussia #NATO


This combination image shows a map tweeted by the Canadian Joint Delegation to NATO on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, top, and a map tweeted in response on Thursday by the Twitter Feed of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, below. The top map went viral, being retweeted more than 25,000 times by late Thursday, including by U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. The bottom map shows Crimea as part of Russia, which the country annexed from Ukraine in March. (AP Photo)This combination image shows a map tweeted by the Canadian Joint Delegation to NATO on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, top, and a map tweeted in response on Thursday by the Twitter Feed of the Permanent Mission of Russia to NATO, below. The top map went viral, being retweeted more than 25,000 times by late Thursday, including by U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power. The bottom map shows Crimea as part of Russia, which the country annexed from Ukraine in March. (AP Photo)

TORONTO (AP) — It began with Canada tweeting some not-so-friendly travel tips for the Russian military: a map showing Russia and labeling Ukraine as “not Russia.”

That opening shot was enough to launch a Twitter war of words — and maps.

Canada’s NATO Twitter account posted the map Wednesday with the explanation: “Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost and ‘accidentally’ enter Ukraine.”

The tweet went viral, being retweeted more than 25,000 times by late Thursday, including by U.S. U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

Russia struck back by tweeting its own map showing Crimea as part of its territory. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.

Kiev accused Russia on Thursday of sending tanks, artillery and troops across Ukraine’s border.

Russia says its only active duty soldiers in Ukraine were the 10 captured earlier this week, who Moscow insists had mistakenly wandered across the border.

NATO estimates that as many as 1,000 Russian troops are fighting inside Ukraine with an additional 20,000 soldiers massing on the border for support or possible reinforcements.

“It’s important to look at this exchange through the current context,” said Rick Roth, the top spokesman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “The original tweet was in the context of Russian military personnel being found in sovereign Ukrainian territory, claiming they were lost. Nobody believes that.”

Dutch Brig.-Gen. Nico Tak said there has been a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine.

“We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks, and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine,” said Tak.

Baird called the recent events a “significant provocation” in advance of next week’s NATO summit in Wales, where the alliance’s leaders are expected to hold a special meeting with new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO, so the alliance is not automatically obliged to come to its defense.

President Barack Obama ruled out the possibility that the U.S. will take military action over Ukraine and declined to characterize the assault as an invasion. 1

 

Associated Press.


  1. Sounds like Obama really did make a deal with Putin during their secret talks over Ukraine in Finland in June

Full transcript: Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Perm. Rep. to the #UN, at Security Council Session on #Ukraine


U.S. Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power.U.S. Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power.

Below is the full transcript of remarks made by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, at a Security Council Session on Ukraine, August 28, 2014.

Mr. President, representatives on this Council, this is our 24th session to try to rein in Russia’s aggressive acts in Ukraine. Every single one of those sessions has sent a straight-forward, unified message: Russia, stop this conflict. Russia is not listening.

We said it when Russia flagrantly violated international law in occupying Crimea. We said it after the shocking downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17, which took the lives of innocent men, women, children, and infants from 11 countries. And we say it today, as Russia’s soldiers, tanks, air defense, and artillery support and fight alongside separatists as they open a new front in a crisis manufactured in and fueled by Russia.

But Russia is not listening.

Instead of listening, instead of heeding the demands of the international community and the rules of the international order, at every step, Russia has come before this Council to say everything except the truth. It has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied. So we have learned to measure Russia by its actions and not by its words.

In the last 48 hours, Russia’s actions have spoken volumes.

On August 26 – just this Tuesday – after meeting with Ukrainian President Poroshenko in Minsk, Belarus, President Putin spoke of the need to quote “end bloodshed as soon as possible.” End quote. Yet the same day, satellite imagery show(s) Russian combat units – combat units – southeast of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. That same day in Luhansk, Ukraine detained regular Russian Army personnel from the 9th brigade.

In response, Russia claimed the soldiers had wandered into Ukrainian territory “by mistake.” This, supposedly, in a time of conflict along one of the most carefully watched borders in the world.

The day after those talks, Russia fired Grad rockets from inside Russia at Ukrainian positions in Novoazovsk, and then attacked with two columns of Russian armored vehicles and tanks. Russian armored vehicles and Uragan multiple rocket launchers are positioned on the outskirts of that town as we speak.

Russia’s force along the border is the largest it has been since it began redeploying forces there in late May, and includes significant numbers of combat aircraft and helicopters. Russian unmanned aircraft routinely cross into Ukrainian airspace.

Other Russian deployments into Ukrainian territory include advanced artillery and air defense systems not found in the Ukrainian inventory. These artillery systems have shelled Ukrainian positions outside Luhansk City in conjunction with the recent separatist counteroffensive.

One of the separatist leaders that Russia has armed and backed said openly that three or four thousand Russian soldiers have joined their cause. He was quick to clarify that these soldiers were on vacation. But a Russian soldier who chooses to fight in Ukraine on his summer break is still a Russian soldier. And the armored Russian military vehicle he drives there is not his personal car.

Meanwhile, in Russia, family members of Russian soldiers are holding funerals for their loved ones who have been killed in the fighting in Ukraine. They’re demanding answers for how they were killed. Journalists who try to cover these funerals are harassed and threatened by armed men. Yet, still, according to the Russian government, the soldiers were never there. They were never in Crimea either, until Russia announced that those soldiers who were never there had annexed Crimea.

The last 48 hours fit into a well-established pattern for Russia. Each step has paved the way for the one that followed. And yet in spite of all of these outrageous actions, Ukraine has repeatedly sought a political solution to this crisis. It has repeatedly sought a path to de-escalation. Despite this pattern, President Poroshenko showed up in Minsk to meet with President Putin. In contrast, President Putin was still unwilling to acknowledge the most basic facts we all know: that Russia has armed, equipped, and now joined illegal separatists fighting in Ukraine. Serious negotiations are needed, urgently needed. But Russia has to stop lying and has to stop fueling this conflict.

The mask is coming off. In these acts – these recent acts – we see Russia’s actions for what they are: a deliberate effort to support, and now fight alongside, illegal separatists in another sovereign country.

Now, Russia has claimed that Ukraine is not interested in a ceasefire, but let’s be clear: we have every interest in a ceasefire, as do the Ukrainians, as long as it is a real one. But Russian separatists not only have no interest in observing a ceasefire, but they cynically use the time to rearm and wait for additional soldiers and supplies to flow across the border from Russia.

In the face of these deeply alarming actions, the most important question for us now is not what we should say to Russia. The most important question is what we should do to make Russia listen.

The United States has, throughout this crisis, and in close coordination with our European partners, the EU and the G7, exerted targeted, effective pressure so that this message is heard, so that Russia begins to de-escalate, rather than escalate, so that the reasonable peace plan put forward by President Poroshenko is adopted and implemented. And in the face of Russia’s continued aggression and blatant disregard for the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, we will continue to work closely with our G7 and European partners to ratchet up the consequences on Russia.

Now, I understand that there are real costs felt by citizens of countries when their governments take these actions. It has costs for businesses that trade with Russia and sell to Russian markets, from small-scale farmers to big factories. Those costs are considerable, and nobody should take them lightly.

But let’s be clear: if unchecked, the damage that Russia’s blatant disregard for the international order poses is much, much greater. These rules and principles that have taken generations to build, with unparalleled investment – countless lives have been lost to establish and defend these principles. And every single one of us has a stake in defending them. A threat to the order – the international order – is a threat to all of our peace and security.

These are the rules that Russia is flouting when it illegally seizes territory and arms, equips, and fights alongside illegal groups in neighboring countries.

Ukraine is one of roughly a dozen countries that share a border with Russia. Let me close with a couple questions: How can we tell those countries that border Russia that their peace and sovereignty is guaranteed if we do not make our message heard on Ukraine? Why should they believe it will be different if tomorrow, President Putin decides to start supporting armed separatists and allowing soldiers “on vacation” to fight in their countries? And, just as important, what message are we sending to other countries with similarly alarming ambitions around the world, when we let Russia violate these rules without sufficient consequences? In the face of this threat, the cost of inaction is unacceptable.

Thank you.


The Washington Post.

Secret US-Russia talks on Ukraine held in Finland #USRussia


Obama & Putin
HELSINKI (AP) — The Finnish Foreign Ministry says that the United States and Russia held secret talks over Ukraine in Finland in June.

Ministry spokesman Vesa Hakkinen told the AP that the ministry helped organize the meeting on the island of Boisto off the southern Finnish coast but declined to give more information.

Earlier this month, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto met President Vladimir Putin and traveled to Ukraine for talks with President Petro Poroshenko, leading to speculation that he was acting on behalf of the European Union.

Niinisto’s office said Tuesday that he was not involved in the secret June talks between the U.S. and Russia.

Associated Press.

London rapper turned jihadist believed to be under investigation for James Foley beheading #JamesFoley


Abdel-Majed Abdel BaryAbdel-Majed Abdel Bary was known as ‘L Jinny’ as a rapper

A former rapper fighting with the Islamic State (Isis) in Syria is believed to be one of several British jihadists under investigation following the beheading of James Foley.

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 24, was known as L Jinny or Lyricist Jinn at home in London, where his rising music career saw him appear in videos and have his singles played on BBC Radio in 2012.

He came to national attention earlier this year, when he posted a picture of himself holding a severed head on Twitter after resurfacing in Syria.

The gruesome picture, believed to have been taken in the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, was captioned: “Chillin’ with my homie or what’s left of him.”

Bary reportedly travelled to the country last year from Maida Vale, west London, where he lived with his mother and five siblings.

His father Adel Abdul Bary 1, an Egyptian refugee thought to be one of Osama Bin Laden’s closest lieutenants, was extradited from Britain to the United States on charges of terrorism in 2012 for his alleged roles in the bombings of two US embassies in east Africa in 1998.

His family is frequently mentioned in rap songs that can still be listened to online, with many people, unaware of L Jinny’s macabre transformation, praising his lyrics.

In early songs put online in 2012, Bary makes apparent reference to drug use, violence and life on a council estate and talks about the threat of his family being deported to Egypt.

“It’s hard to progress in the future with a damaged past but still I try to count my blessings and I thank Allah,” he rapped in 2012.

“I’m trying to change my ways but there’s blood on my hands and I can’t change my ways until there’s funds in the bank.

“I can’t differentiate the angels from the demons, my heart’s disintegrating. I ain’t got normal feelings.

“Even my life’s blessed, still I will not find rest.”

In later songs, apparent references to cannabis (“roll up and watch the leaves ignite”) stop and are replaced with tirades against people who choose to spend their money clubbing, drinking and on drugs rather than feeding their families.

Many British jihadists are known to be in Syria, including these men featuring in an Isis video to urge Islamists in the West to join themMany British jihadists are known to be in Syria, including these men featuring in an Isis video to urge Islamists in the West to join them.

The most recent video, which was posted on YouTube in March this year, is called “The Beginning”.

“Give me the pride and the honour like my father, I swear the day they came and took my dad, I could have killed a cop or two,” Bary raps.

“Imagine then I was only six, picture what I’d do now with a loaded stick. Like boom bang fine, I’m wishing you were dead, violate my brothers and I’m filling you with lead.”

Bary’s current whereabouts in Syria is not known and his Twitter account under the name “Terrorist” @ItsLJinny has been deactivated.

Previous posts mentioned Abu Hussein al Britani, a fellow Isis militant who has uploaded pictures of himself on Twitter with guns in Syria.

He and associate Abu Abdullah al-Britani were seen offering travel advice to would-be jihadists online earlier this year.

The Sun newspaper has linked the trio to a group of British jihadists known as “The Beatles”, including the man known as “John” who beheaded American journalist Mr Foley.


The Independent.


  1. Why are the family still in the country,  If parents allow their children to become terrorists, or do not notify the authorities of their child’s intentions then the whole family should be deported back to where they came from, this is the only way we will show these ‘immigrants’ that we will not tolerate their sick ideas of idealism 

#America: Strong #California #quake causes injuries, damage


This photo provided by Lyall Davenport shows damage to a building in Napa, Calif. early Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Officials say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 has been reported in California's northern San Francisco Bay area. (AP Photo/Lyall Davenport)This photo provided by Lyall Davenport shows damage to a building in Napa, Calif. early Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. Officials say an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 has been reported in California’s northern San Francisco Bay area. (AP Photo/Lyall Davenport)

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — The largest earthquake to hit the San Francisco Bay Area in 25 years sent scores of people to hospitals, ignited fires, damaged multiple historic buildings and knocked out power to tens of thousands in California’s wine country on Sunday.

The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. about 6 miles from the city of Napa ruptured water mains and gas lines, left two adults and a child critically injured, upended bottles and casks at some of Napa Valley’s famed wineries and sent residents running out of their homes in the darkness.

Dazed residents too fearful of aftershocks to go back to bed wandered at dawn through Napa’s historic downtown, where the quake had shorn a 10-foot chunk of bricks and concrete from the corner of an old county courthouse. Bolder-sized pieces of rubble littered the lawn and street in front of the building and the hole left behind allowed a view of the offices inside.

College student Eduardo Rivera, 20, said the home he shares with six relatives shook so violently that he kept getting knocked back into his bed as he tried to flee.

“When I woke up, my mom was screaming, and the sound from the earthquake was greater than my mom’s screams,” Rivera said.

People look at a damaged building with a top corner exposed following an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake rolled through California's northern Bay Area early Sunday, damaging some buildings, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)People look at a damaged building with a top corner exposed following an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake rolled through California’s northern Bay Area early Sunday, damaging some buildings, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

While inspecting the shattered glass at her husband’s storefront office in downtown Napa, Chris Malloy, 45, described calling for her two children in the dark as the quake rumbled under the family’s home, throwing heavy pieces of furniture 3 or 4 feet and breaking them.

“It was shaking and I was crawling on my hands and knees in the dark, looking for them,” she said, wearing flip flops on feet left bloodied from crawling through broken glass.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the earthquake, the White House said. Federal officials also have been in touch with state and local emergency responders. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for southern Napa County, directing state agencies to respond with equipment and personnel.

Napa Fire Department Operations Chief John Callanan said the city has exhausted its own resources trying to extinguish six fires, some in places with broken water mains; transporting injured residents; searching homes for anyone who might be trapped; and answering calls about gas leaks and downed power lines.

Two of the fires happened at mobile home parks, including one where four homes were destroyed and two others damaged, Callanan said.

Nina Quidit cleans up the Dollar Plus and Party Supplies Store in American Canyon Calif. after an earthquake on Sunday Aug. 24, 2014. Quidit and her husband were woken up in the early morning hours by the store's alarm company and immediately drove in to begin clean up. The 6.0-magnitude quake caused six significant fires, including at four mobile homes, Napa Division Fire Chief Darren Drake said. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)Nina Quidit cleans up the Dollar Plus and Party Supplies Store in American Canyon Calif. after an earthquake on Sunday Aug. 24, 2014. Quidit and her husband were woken up in the early morning hours by the store’s alarm company and immediately drove in to begin clean up. The 6.0-magnitude quake caused six significant fires, including at four mobile homes, Napa Division Fire Chief Darren Drake said. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)

The earthquake sent at least 87 people to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, where officials set up a triage tent to handle the influx. Most patients had cuts, bumps, bruises, said Vanessa DeGier, hospital spokeswoman said. She says the facility has treated a hip fracture and heart attack, but it’s unclear if it was related to the quake.

The child in critical condition was struck by part of a fireplace and had to be airlifted to a specialty hospital for a neurological evaluation, Callanan said.

The earthquake is the largest to shake the Bay Area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta quake in 1989, the USGS said. That temblor struck the area on Oct. 17, 1989, during a World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, collapsing part of the Bay Bridge roadway and killing more than 60 people, most when an Oakland freeway fell.

Sunday’s quake was felt widely throughout the region. People reported feeling it more than 200 miles south of Napa and as far east as the Nevada border. Amtrak suspended its train service through the Bay Area so tracks could be inspected.

In Napa, at least three historic buildings were damaged, including the county courthouse, and at least two downtown commercial buildings have been severely damaged. A Red Cross evacuation center was set up at a high school, and crews were assessing damage to homes, bridges and roadways.

Bricks and fallen rubble cover a car with the old courthouse in the background following an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake rolled through California's northern Bay Area early Sunday, damaging some buildings, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)Bricks and fallen rubble cover a car with the old courthouse in the background following an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake rolled through California’s northern Bay Area early Sunday, damaging some buildings, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

“There’s collapses, fires,” said Napa Fire Capt. Doug Bridewell, standing in front of large pieces of masonry that broke loose from a turn of the century office building where a fire had just been extinguished. “That’s the worst shaking I’ve ever been in.”

Bridewell said he had to climb over fallen furniture in his own home to check on his family before reporting to duty.

The shaking emptied cabinets in homes and store shelves, set off car alarms and had residents of neighboring Sonoma County running out of their houses and talking about damage inside their homes.

Pacific Gas and Electric spokesman J.D. Guidi said close to 30,000 lost power right after the quake hit, but the number was down just under 19,000, most of them in Napa. He says crews are working to make repairs, but it’s unclear when electricity would be restored.

The depth of the earthquake was just less than 7 miles, and numerous small aftershocks have occurred, the USGS said.

“A quake of that size in a populated area is of course widely felt throughout that region,” said Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado.

California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Bartlett said cracks and damage to pavement closed the westbound Interstate 80 connector to westbound State Route 37 in Vallejo and westbound State Route 37 at the Sonoma off ramp. He says there haven’t been reports of injuries or people stranded in their cars, but there are numerous flat tires from motorists driving over damaged roads.

Map locates epicenter of 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Napa August 24Map locates epicenter of 6.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Napa August 24.

(Associated Press writers Tom Verdin in Sacramento, Lisa Leff in San Francisco and Courtney Bonnell in Phoenix contributed to this report).


Associated Press.