Monday, October 26, 2015

Five Britons killed after boat sinks

Image of Leviathan II boat that sank near Vancouver Island - 26 October 2015

Five Britons killed after boat sinks

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Five Britons were killed when a whale-watching boat sank off the coast of western Canada, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
The boat carrying 27 people sank near Tofino on Vancouver Island on Sunday.
Emergency officials said 21 people had been rescued and one other person was still missing.
The boat, Leviathan II, made a mayday call before sinking about 8 miles (12km) west of Tofino. Sea conditions at the time were reported to be calm.
Mr Hammond said consular staff in British Columbia were supporting family members of those who had died.

At Least 5 Killed When Tour Boat Sinks Off Vancouver Coast

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At least five people are dead and one missing after a Canadian whale-watching boat sank off the coast of British Columbia, according to search and rescue officials.

AP Top Stories 26 A 

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 00:47

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Here's the latest for Monday, October 26th: Five dead in Canada boat accident; OK crash suspect going to court; Biden explains why he isn't running; Guatemala elects former comic President.
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Afghans Look to Russia for Military Hardware

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The outreach has created another opening for a more assertive Kremlin in world affairs, stepping up the potential for confrontation with the U.S.

Syria poses challenges for Putin

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Russia's president gives some insight into his Middle East policy

Biden opted out on 2016 Dem race because he 'couldn't win'

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden says he decided against running for president because he "couldn't win," not because he would have had too little time to get a campaign up and running....
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Man charged after nightclub crash

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A 24-year-old man has been charged after 13 people were hurt when a car crashed into a smoking area outside a nightclub

Kremlin Rejects Claims Of Civilian Casualties In Syria Air Strikes

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The government of Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected claims by the New York-based organization Human Rights Watch that Russian air strikes in Syria may have caused dozens of civilian deaths.

VIDEO: Sewage in Iraq water causes cholera

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Cholera infections are soaring in Iraq as the health ministry has reported more than 1,800 confirmed cases since the start of the outbreak last month.

Nationalist Party Wins Poland's Election

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Poland’s nationalist opposition Law and Justice party has won parliamentary elections and looks likely to have enough votes to govern on its own, after promising to spend more on welfare, focus on traditional Catholic values and take a more assertive view within the EU.

Saudi relationship with UK 'at risk'

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An "alarming change" in Britain's attitude towards Saudi Arabia could lead to "serious repercussions", the Saudi ambassador warns.

Syria rebels sceptical of Russia offer

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Western-backed rebels in Syria say they will reject any offers of military assistance from Russia while it continues to bomb them.
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Biden Chose Not To Run Because He 'Couldn't Win'

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The Vice President also quashes rumours that his late son Beau pleaded with him to run for the Democratic nomination.

Show us respect or ties will suffer, Saudi ambassador tells Britain

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LONDON (Reuters) - Stung by criticism in Britain of his country's human rights record, Saudi Arabia's ambassador in London threatened "potentially serious repercussions" for the two countries' relationship unless a more respectful discourse developed.

  

Iranian aggression since Obama nuclear deal looms as 2016 headache for Democrats 

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For any Democrat anxious to see the unpopular Iran nuclear agreement fade from public view between now and November 2016, it's been a rough couple of weeks.
Headlines about the GOP Senate's failed battle to stop the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action had all but disappeared when Iran launched an ...

Russia’s new generation of patriots training for the military

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In a playground outside a shabby warren of cinder-block apartments in north Moscow, children play on swings and climbing bars as Stepan Zotov instructs a squad of teens in knife-throwing nearby.
     

IRGC to raise number of military advisors in Syria

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Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) is to increase the number of military advisors as per request from the Syrian government, an IRGC official said on Sunday.

Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort

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The ultimate hack could involve severing the cables at their most remote locations and halt the communications on which the West has grown dependent.
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Russian subs looking for US undersea Internet cables, say officials 

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An increased presence of Russian submarines near American territorial waters appears to correspond to the location of undersea Internet cables used for commercial and military communications, according to officials. 

Russia overrides Middle East cyber waves

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October 26, 2015, 8:36 AM (IDT)
Moscow has augmented its military presence in Syria and Iraq with two state-of-the-art weapons: Ilyushin-20 (IL-20 Coot) surveillance planes in both countries and, nine Borisoglebsk 2 electronic warfare systems atop a Syria peak. Both are among the most sophisticated of their kind. Last week, after Baghdad gave Moscow permission to use its Al Taqaddum air base, the Russian spy plane first sighted in Syria was spotted in Iraq. The electronic warfare system is capable of neutralizing air and ground military operations of US-led operations forces in Syria and Iraq by jamming almost any radio signal.

Week ahead: Lynch back on the hot seat - The Hill

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Week ahead: Lynch back on the hot seat
The Hill
“We will seek information about the disturbing politicization of the Justice Department under the Obama administration,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said in a statement. Topping the agenda will be criminal justice reform ...

News Roundup and Notes: October 26, 2015 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
IRAQ and SYRIA 
An alliance of Free Syrian Army (FSA)-linked groups have demanded that Moscow stop bombing rebel groups as a condition to cooperation talks between Russia and rebel forces. A spokesperson denied earlier reports that the FSA rejected an earlier offer of military assistance from Russia. [Reuters] 
Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has made a qualified apology for the Iraq war, saying that he is sorry for the “fact that the intelligence we received was wrong,” but declined to apologize for the war itself or the ousting of Saddam Hussein, in an interview on CNN with Fareed Zakaria. [The Guardian’s Nicholas Watt]
Blair also commented that the 2003 Iraq invasion was responsible in part for the rise of the Islamic State. [Reuters] Martin Chulov explains just how critical the Iraq war was to the rise of ISIS, at theGuardian.
Footage has been released of a joint US-Kurdish raid on an ISIS prison in Iraq during which 70 hostages were rescued. [AP]
Defense Secretary Ash Carter described the US train, advise and assist mission in Iraq as “combat”on Friday, commenting on the death of Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler during the raid. [Defense One’s Gayle Tzemach Lemmon]
An Arab Israeli paraglided into Syria on Saturday to join Islamic State-affiliated rebel forces. [The Daily Beast’s Shira Rubin] The incident “highlights new dangers” for Israel and signals “changes in the balance of power along the Golan border.” [Haaretz]
The head of the House Intelligence Committee has called on the White House to put forward a long-term strategy for the fight against the Islamic State. [The Hill’s Lydia Wheeler]
“The needed concessions are not from the combatants in Syria, but from the proud nations that claim to want peace but refuse to cooperate with one another,” writes former US President Jimmy Carter at the New York Times.
“Where Russian and American weapons have been fired in Syria,” from the New York Times.
ISRAEL and PALESTINE 
A US-brokered deal aimed at diffusing tensions has not succeeded, violence continuing in Israel despite the agreement between the US, Jordan and Israel aimed at clarifying guidelines for the management of Jerusalem’s holy sites. [Wall Street Journal’s Rory Jones; Washington Post’s Hugh Naylor]
Palestinian leaders have dismissed a proposal to install security cameras in the al-Aqsa mosque compound, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope that the agreement with the US and Jordan maintaining the status quo would help ease tensions. [The Guardian’s Ian Black]
An Israeli was wounded today during a stabbing attack near Hebron in the West Bank. The attacker was shot and killed by IDF forces. [Haaretz]
AFGHANISTAN 
A roadside bomb has killed two employees of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission after it hit their vehicle in the country’s eastern Nangarhar province. No group has claimed responsibility though the Taliban is suspected. [AP]
The Taliban is quietly starting conversations with Moscow and former Soviet states on the Afghan border, aimed at considering ways to tackle the Islamic State. Sami Yousafzai provides the details atThe Daily Beast.
BENGHAZI 
Democrats on the Benghazi panel will not resign, ranking Democrat Rep Elijah Cummings has said, citing the need to defend “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” [The Hill’s Bradford Richardson] 
The House Benghazi Committee is considering how hard to pursue the Hillary Clinton email controversy amid mounting Democratic accusations of overreaching. [Politico’s Rachael Bade]
The Wall Street Journal editorial board opines that Clinton’s Benghazi testimony “turned up new information that relates directly to the former Secretary of State’s political character and judgment as a potential Commander in Chief.”
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS 
A firefight following a raid on houses in Turkey’s southeast today has left two policemen and seven ISIS militants dead. [Reuters] 
The cost of replacing and maintaining Trident, Britain’s nuclear deterrent will be as much as $265 billion, a figure much higher than expected, according to figures calculated by lawmakers andReuters.
Russian submarines and spy ships are operating close to the undersea cables responsible for carrying most of the world’s Internet communications, a situation of concern for US military and intelligence officials. David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt report. [New York Times]
Yemen is “ablaze,” said the UN special envoy to that country, urging for peace talks aimed at bringing the civilian suffering to an end. [UN News Centre]
Strange noises and vibrations at night in the cell of an accused 9/11 plotter may be caused by a covert Pentagon program revealed last week, the lawyer of Ramzi Bin al Shibh told a military judge yesterday. [Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg]
The EU and Balkan states have agreed a 17-point plan for managing the flow of refugees in the Balkans, including the creation of 100,000 places in receptions centres along the route between Greece and Germany. [The Guardian’s Angelique Chrisafis]
Surplus military equipment should not be withheld from local law enforcement because of how it looks, argues Jonathan Thompson, the chief executive and executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association. [Washington Post]
Read on Just Security »
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Possible new weapon vs. ISIS: Russia unveils ray gun that can blind enemies - ChristianToday

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ChristianToday

Possible new weapon vs. ISIS: Russia unveils ray gun that can blind enemies
ChristianToday
Russia recently unveiled a powerful weapon that emits light so strong that it can blind enemies, which can possibly be used in the country's stepped-up campaign against the the Islamic State jihadist group. The terrifying new device, a "visual optical ...

Russia accused of killing 46 members of one family in Syria air strike - Daily Mail

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Daily Mail

Russia accused of killing 46 members of one family in Syria air strike
Daily Mail
The deadly attack hit a house in the village of Ghantou in northern Homs on October 15 and locals believe Russia was responsible, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports. The accusations come as Russia shows off its state-of-the-art combat jets at a it's ...

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Harsh conditions are foiling Russian jets in Syria - USA TODAY

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BBC News

Harsh conditions are foiling Russian jets in Syria
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Russian warplanes sent to Syria to back the regime of Bashar Assad are breaking down at a rapid rate that appears to be affecting their ability to strike targets, according to a senior Defense official. Nearly one-third of Russian attack ...
Syria conflict: FSA rebels reject Russia military helpBBC News
Russia defies recession to fund Syria conflictFinancial Times 

Russia's military renaissance attempts to bring the army into the heart of societyThe Independent

all 1,531 news articles »

Aftermath of Horrific Crash at Oklahoma State University Homecoming Parade

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Police have revealed the identities of the three adults killed and dozens more injured when a woman plowed her car into the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade crowd on Saturday, sending some spectators flying through the air and children's shoes strewn around the site. The crash also killed a 2-year-old boy and hurt other children during what was supposed to be a joyful event Saturday morning in Stillwater. Police arrested the driver, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers, on a DUI charge and are awaiting blood test results to determine if she was impaired by drugs or alcohol.   After seeing the crash and surveying the street still strewn with lawn chairs, blankets and water bottles Saturday afternoon, Dan Whitmore said he had changed his mind about attending the homecoming game.   “You look at the carnage alone. (Someone) had a little baby stroller crushed up. It's disgusting,” said Whitmire, who was visiting his daughter from Dallas.   Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said there was discussion about canceling the homecoming game against Kansas, but that it was played as scheduled. The victims were remembered with a moment of silence before kickoff, and most of the OSU players knelt on the sideline in prayer.   Early Sunday, police identified the three adults who were killed at the scene, but declined to name the 2-year-old boy who later died at a hospital and other minors who were hurt.   Capt. Kyle Gibbs said 23-year-old Nakita Prabhakar Nakal, a student at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond was killed in the crash, along with Bonnie Jean Stone and Marvin Lyle Stone, both 65 and of Stillwater. Another 47 people were injured in the collision, including five who remained in critical condition early Sunday, Gibbs said.   “I don't know if they're expected to pull through or not, we're crossing our fingers at this point,” that they will survive, Griggs said.   Chambers, a Stillwater resident, remained jailed Sunday and could make her initial court appearance Monday, Gibbs said.   Chambers' Hyundai Elantra struck an unoccupied motorcycle of an officer who was working security at the parade, then went into the crowd, according to Gibbs.   Gibbs said investigators are going through four to five dozen witness statements and may approach the district attorney Monday to discuss formal charges.   “Our investigators are going as fast as they can to collect statements from witnesses.”   One spectator, Konda Walker, from Anchorage, Alaska told the Stillwater News Press that some people initially thought the crash was part of the show.   “People were flying 30 feet into the air like rag dolls,” Walker said.   Chambers' father, Floyd Chambers of Oologah, told The Oklahoman newspaper he couldn't believe his daughter was involved and said she was not an alcoholic. He described her as “timid” and said she had attended homecoming festivities Friday night with family but that her boyfriend had told him she was home by 10 p.m.   “This is just not who she is. They're going to paint her into a horrible person but this is not (her),” Floyd Chambers told the paper.   A woman who answered a call to a phone number listed for Floyd Chambers told The Associated Press no one was available to talk.   It's not the first tragedy to strike events connected to Oklahoma State sports programs. Ten people, including two OSU men's basketball players, were killed in a 2001 plane crash while returning from a game in Colorado. And Oklahoma State women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna were among four killed in a plane crash in Arkansas in 2011 while on a recruiting trip.   “The families, I know, and these victims will never be able to understand this, nor will we,” Hargis said. “But the Cowboy family pulls together. Unfortunately we've had to do it before and we're going to do it again.”

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US and Saudis vow to step up war on Assad in defiance of Russia 

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Two countries agreed to increase support to Syria's moderate opposition while seeking a political resolution of the four-year conflict











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Russia’s military renaissance attempts to bring the army into the heart of society 

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Revamp following the events in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and Syria, aims to make it the place where non-violent criminals can get their 're-education'

Afghanistan Looks to Russia for Military Hardware - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

Afghanistan Looks to Russia for Military Hardware
Wall Street Journal
Afghanistan, battered by worsening security, is reaching out to an old ally and patron—Russia—just as the Kremlin is seeking to reassert its position as a heavyweight on the world stage. President Ashraf Ghani has asked Moscow for artillery, small ...

A Taliban-Russia Team-Up Against ISIS?Daily Beast
Afghanistan Seeking Artillery, Mi-35 Helicopters From Russia Amid Growing ...International Business Times
Russia unfairly demonizedThe Japan Times
ValueWalk
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US Sees New Need to Engage Russia, Iran on Mideast - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

US Sees New Need to Engage Russia, Iran on Mideast
Wall Street Journal
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia—Secretary of State John Kerry and his European allies, in their renewed drive to promote stability in the Middle East, are increasingly reliant on the two countries the U.S. has historically argued only undermine stability—Russia ...
Krauthammer: Iran marches, Russia rules, Obama watchesBloomington Pantagraph

all 131
 Russia, US, Saudi Arabia, Turkey 'At Odds' on Future of Bashar al-AssadJP Updates

all 140 
news articles »
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A Taliban-Russia Team-Up Against ISIS? - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

A Taliban-Russia Team-Up Against ISIS?
Daily Beast
And the Russian connection is emerging, ironically, at the same time that Afghanistan's Uzbek warlord and vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum, has openly warmed to his one-time allies inRussia and tried to strengthen ties to the former Soviet states ...
Afghanistan Looks to Russia for Military HardwareWall Street Journal
Afghanistan Seeking Artillery, Mi-35 Helicopters From Russia Amid Growing ...International Business Times
Russia unfairly demonizedThe Japan Times

all 9 news articles »

Meet a 21st-Century Slave - The New York Times

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