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Daily Archives: November 24, 2010

Another two victims of North Korea attack found dead on South Korean island

Another two victims of N. Korea attack found dead on S. Korean island

November 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Two civilian victims of Tuesday’s artillery skirmish between North and South Korea were found on the attacked Yeonpyeong Island, Yonhap news agency said on Wednesday.

Servicemen found the bodies at a construction site on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, Yonhap quoted the Coast Guard as saying, adding that they had not been identified yet.

The find brings the death toll of Tuesday’s artillery fire on the island in the Yellow Sea to four, including two South Korean marines reported earlier.

Eighteen others were injured, including three civilians.

The attack is the second incident in the tense Yellow Sea border area this year. In March, a North Korean submarine was alleged to have torpedoed a South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan, causing the loss of 46 lives.  (*)

MOSCOW, November 24

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Israel Preparing for Hizbullah Coup in Lebanon

File photo : Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and army chief Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi observe a military exercise at Elyakim military base near the northern city of Haifa May 11, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Eran Yuppy Cohen/Pool )

November 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI /   ) — The Israeli Security Cabinet convened Wednesday to prepare for a Hizbullah takeover of Lebanon in the wake of the Hariri probe crisis, while Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Beirut to preach unity.

An increasing number of foreign officials and analysts have stated the past several months that it is only a question of time as to when, rather than if Hizbullah will take over the Lebanese government.

The catalyst could be an expected report by the United Nations Tribunal in Lebanon announcing that Hizbullah was behind the bloody 2005 car bomb attack that killed former anti-Syrian Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, whose son now is prime minster and who has forged ties with the Syrian regime.

Wracked by mounting Syrian and Hizbullah military and political influence in Lebanon, the Beirut government is fragile, with Hizbullah holding veto power over major Cabinet decisions.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned earlier this month that the Hizbullah terrorist army has in effect merged with the Lebanese Armed Forces to the point that it is difficult to distinguish between the two.

Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has warned that Lebanese armed forces are assisting the Hizbullah army which includes terrorists trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and which has been heavily armed with weapons from Syria and Iran.

Last week, Ashkenazi again brought up the possibility of a Hizbullah coup, less than a month after intelligence officials estimated that the terrorist organization could take over the country “in a matter of hours, not days.”

In southern Lebanon, where then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak led an abrupt withdrawal of the IDF in 2000, Hizbullah has filled the vacuum with a “state within a state,” providing social and public services for civilians. The presence of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon has (UNIFIL) has not stopped Hizbullah from stockpiling tens of thousands of missiles, more than three times the number it possessed before the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Fears that the timing for a Hizbullah coup is near were sparked this week by a Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) report that the United Nations tribunal investigating the Hariri assassination has implicated Hizbullah terrorists.

Hizbullah has warned there will be repercussions if it is blamed. The office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not comment on the Canadian report.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Beirut in an effort to maintain political calm, but he also was met at the airport by 100 Armenian protesters, who raised signs proclaiming, “The Lebanese have not forgotten Turkey’s bloody history in the region” and “Today’s Turkey is yesterday’s Turkey: malicious, oppressive and an ally of the enemy” — meaning Israel.

The Lebanese community of 140,000 Armenians charged Turkey with genocide in fighting under the Ottoman regime nearly a century ago. (*)

 
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Canadian Report: Hizbullah Assassinated Hariri

The grave of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri

Report: Evidence links Hezbollah to murder of former Lebanese PM

 

November 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI /ISRAELNATIONALNEWS.COM ) — An investigative report on a Canadian television network has claimed that the Hizbullah terrorist group is behind the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and that UN investigators have overwhelming proof of that fact.

The report, which aired Monday on CBC, said that evidence gathered by Lebanese detectives and UN investigators “points overwhelmingly to the fact that the assassins were from Hizbullah.” CBC based its report on copies it had obtained of mobile phone and other communications in the case.

CBC said investigators called in a specialist British communications company, which found that the holders of eight mobile phones had been monitoring Hariri in the weeks before his death. The report added that a Lebanese detective named Wissam Eid who had already uncovered the network and linked it to Hizbullah was killed in January 2008 after he sent his information to the UN investigators.

The report also said that the UN team believed their inquiry had been penetrated by Hizbullah and that this is what led to the death of the Lebanese policeman. In addition, said CBC, the investigators also suspected Colonel Wissam Hassan, Hariri’s chief of protocol who is now head of Lebanese intelligence, of colliding with Hizbullah and being involved in the assassination.

Hariri, who spoke out against Syria’s strong presence and interference in Lebanon, was killed on February 14, 2005 when explosives were detonated as his motorcade drove near the St. George Hotel in Beirut. 22 others were also killed in the blast.

The CBC report comes on the heels of several recent reports which said that the UN tribunal investigating Hariri’s death would charge members of Hizbullah in the killing.

Last month, two members of the UN team were pursued by a mob in southern Beirut and had their files stolen.

A UN spokesman was quoted in AFP as saying in response to the CBC report: “It is a matter of concern that the leaks could have an effect on the substance of the work by the prosecutors and the tribunal itself. We want to be able to ensure that the special tribunal on Lebanon can go about its work without hindrance or interference.”

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (son of Rafik) dismissed the report on Tuesday and said that “Colonel Wissam Hassan has always had our full trust and continues to have our full trust. We generally do not comment on anything that is not formally released by the international tribunal or one of its offices but it is my personal opinion that media leaks do not serve the course of justice.”

Meanwhile, the prosecutor for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Daniel Bellemare, said in a statement on Tuesday that the CBC report could endanger certain lives.

“The most serious impact of the CBC reports is that their broadcast may put people’s lives in jeopardy,” AFP quoted Bellemare as saying. He added that he was “extremely disappointed” by the broadcast.

While Bellemare acknowledged that the report came “at a time when the Office of the Prosecutor is working flat out to ensure that a draft indictmentis submitted to the pre-trial judge for confirmation in the near future,” he refused to comment on issues related to the investigation out of what he termed “considerations of utmost concern for the integrity of the investigation and the safety of victims, witnesses, suspects and staff.”  (*)

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in World News

 

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Photostream : Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan Visiting Lebanon

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walks with his Lebanese counterpart Saad al-Hariri (blue tie), surrounded by Turkish security men (L, R) upon his arrival at Beirut international airport, November 24, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Jamal Saidi

Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman (L) walks with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut November 24, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/ Sharif Karim )

Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman (R) meets with Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut November 24, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Sharif Karim)

Supporters of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hold the Tukish flag as they wait for his arrival outside Beirut International Airport on November 24, 2010. (Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

Lebanese riot police stand guard as Lebanese Armenians hold a slogan that reads in Arabic "New Ottomans in Lebanon" during a protest against the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside Beirut International Airport on November 24, 2010. AFP PHOTO/ANWAR AMRO (Photo by ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2010 in World News

 

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Turkish Prime Minister in Lebanon to 'fight signs of civil war'

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviews an honour guard with his Lebanese counterpart Saad al-Hariri (L) during an official welcoming ceremony upon his arrival at Beirut international airport, November 24, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi )

Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Beirut amid soaring tension as Hezbollah fears UN indictment for Hariri killing.

November 24, 2010 (KATAKAMI / HAARETZ) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Beirut on Wednesday for a two-day visit that would include talks on the tense political situation in Lebanon.

Erdogan is to meet Lebanese government officials and lawmakers from Hezbollah, according to a government source.

The Turkish premier, in remarks published Wednesday in the Lebanese daily As Safir, said his country would not allow Lebanon to deteriorate into a civil war.

Erdogan said that Turkey would “do the necessary to fight signs of a civil war in Lebanon.”

“Now is the time for unity in Lebanon,” he said.

His visit comes ahead of the release of the findings of an international tribunal investigating the 2005 murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Political tensions have mounted in Lebanon amid indications that some members of Hezbollah are to be indicted in the case.

The militant Shiite group has said it will not accept any accusation against any of its members, and warned of the repercussions of such an outcome.

During his stay in the country, Erodgan is also due to visit Turkish troops deployed with the United Nations Interim Forces in Southern Lebanon and inaugurate Turkish-built schools and a rehabilitation centre.

Turkey and Lebanon are also expected to sign a partnership agreement to establish a free-trade zone.(*)

 

 
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Photostream : Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visits Russia

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) talks to China's Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the presidential residence in Gorki outside Moscow, November 24, 2010. Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to agree the price of Russian gas supplies to China before mid-2011, Russia's top energy official said, but the two countries' prime ministers noted on Tuesday bilateral trade was booming. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Sergei Chirikov/Pool )

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) shakes hands with China's Premier Wen Jiabao during their meeting at the presidential residence in Gorki outside Moscow, November 24, 2010. Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to agree the price of Russian gas supplies to China before mid-2011, Russia's top energy official said, but the two countries' prime ministers noted on Tuesday bilateral trade was booming. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Sergei Chirikov/Pool )

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, center, prior to his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, in St.Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. The Chinese Prime Minister will be taking part in the International Tiger Forum. Demand in China poses the greatest threat to tigers in the wild and organized crime runs the illicit trade in the world's largest felines, international experts said. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at a joint news conference after talks at the Konstantin Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. Putin says Russia and China have agreed to increase the use of national currencies in bilateral trade. (Getty Images / AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao shake hands during a documents signing ceremony at the Konstantin Palace outside St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010. Putin says Russia and China have agreed to increase the use of national currencies in bilateral trade. (Getty Images / AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

 
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Russia's Putin calls Leonardo DiCaprio 'a real man' at tiger forum

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

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November 23, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio “a real man” for his efforts in making it to the tiger forum.

DiCaprio was on his way to Russia to attend the International Tiger Conservation Forum when his plane was forced to land in New York’s JFK airport late on Sunday due to an engine flame out and malfunction.

“We need to praise the American pilots who showed bravery, calm and professionalism by turning on the fire extinguisher system and shut down all the engines, putting the plane into a free-fall for several seconds,” Putin said, adding: “I don’t think anyone would want to continue their trip, but Mr. DiCaprio isn’t one of them.”

Putin said DiCaprio began his journey on November 21 on a flight out of New York and once the plane gained altitude, one of the engines caught on fire. After the engines were restarted, the plane returned safely to New York.

However, the premier continued, DiCaprio didn’t stop at that and his adventures continued.

“Because of strong winds over the ocean, the airplane used up its fuel [before arriving to its destination] and was forced to land in Helsinki,” Putin said under a roar of laughter from the audience.

“That’s not funny,” Putin said with a smile.

The airplane was refueled in Helsinki and continued its flight to St. Petersburg.

“DiCaprio didn’t just come [to St. Petersburg], he busted into St. Petersburg across the Front Line,” Putin added under a round of applause.

“That’s what we call a real man!” Putin said.

Earlier on Tuesday it was reported that DiCaprio had committed $1 million to World Wildlife Fund for urgent tiger conservation efforts through his Fund at the California Community Foundation.

Putin also told the audience that he was thankful to DiCaprio for his donation to the fund.

DiCaprio, who shot to fame for his role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, is known for his participation in tiger conservation programs. Earlier this year, he joined WWF in its effort to raise $20 million through the Save Tigers Now campaign. As a WWF board member he recently visited tiger parks in Nepal and Bhutan.

The World Wildlife Fund plans to spend $85 million in the next five years on programs aimed at restoring the global tiger population.

According to the WWF, there are about 3,200 tigers left in the wild in 13 countries worldwide.

A century ago, there were some 100,000 wild tigers across Asia and the Russian Far East. The wild cats have been steadily pushed to the verge of extinction by poaching, illegal trade, and habitat loss.

The International Tiger Conservation Forum, hosted by the northwestern Russian city of St. Petersburg running November 21-24, is discussing a plan to double the animal’s population in 12 years, which will require up to $350 million from the international community.  (*)

ST. PETERSBURG, November 23

 
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