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RUSSIA STILL SELLING ARMS TO ASSAD

Syrian Dictator Gets a Lifeline from Moscow
By Harold Hutchison

Russia is still selling weapons to the regime of Syrian dictator Bashir Assad, claiming that the weapons cannot be used for offense. The head of Rosoboronexport, Anatoly Isaikin, claimed that the company is merely fulfilling existing contracts, claiming that due to a lack of UN sanctions, the sales were legal.

The Syrian Civil War has cost over 60,000 people their lives, and has also created a major refugee crisis as hundreds of thousands have fled the fighting.

ISLAMIST COUNTER-ATTACK REPULSED!

French, Malian Troops Hold Gao
By Harold Hutchison

French and Malian troops held Gao despite a counter-attack by Islamist rebels who had earlier been driven away from the city in Northern Mali.

According to a report from VOA News, the attack came two weeks after French and Malian troops liberated the city. The attack on Sunday was preceded by murder-suicide bombings the previous two days.

POLIO CLINICS TARGETED!

Gunmen Kill Nine In Attacks
By Harold Hutchison

Polio clinics in the northern Nigerian city of Kano were attacked by gunmen, leaving nine people dead.

The attackers, using motorcycles, attacked two locations where vaccinations against the deadly disease were being given. Polio causes paralysis – most famously in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1920s.

Some Moslem clerics in the area have denounced the anti-polio campaign as being harmful to Moslems. The claims have also included charges that the vaccinations would sterilize Moslem children.

PANETTA EXPLAINS BENGHAZI

Claims Time, Distance, Factors in Response
By Harold Hutchison

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claimed that time and distance considerations had an effect on the response – or lack thereof – to the 11 September, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others.

RAISING THE STAKES IN THE FALKLANDS

Argentina Makes Threats to Oil Companies
By Harold Hutchison

Argentina raised the stakes in its long-running dispute over the Falkland Islands by threatening to prosecute oil companies for theft if they explore for oil around the disputed islands.

Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman vowed to take companies exploring for oil and gas to court, saying, “We will continue the legal action against the oil companies who are doing hydrocarbon-related exploration activities in the south Atlantic, because they are stealing part of the natural resources of Argentina.”

HIJACKED TANKER RELEASED!

M/T Gascogne’s Ordeal Ends With Theft
By Harold Hutchison

Pirates released the M/T Gascogne after stealing some of its cargo during a two-day ordeal for the ship’s 17-man crew.

The tanker was seized off the coast of Western Africa, near Cote d’Ivorie. Piracy has been on the rise in West Africa. Earlier this week, gunmen off the coast of Nigeria fired at another merchant vessel, and in January, a tanker was hijacked in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivorie and its 5,000-ton cargo was stolen.

UNFC now has Twitter and Scribd

A message from a friend of SOF who has helped expose the abuses of the Buremse government:

Please be advised the United Nationalities Federation Council now has Twitter and Scribd accounts providing news and updates regarding the UNFC (Union of Burma), its member organisations and the ongoing civil war in Burma.

UNFC Twitter account - https://twitter.com/UNFC_Media

UNFC Scribd account - http://www.scribd.com/UNFC_Media

Jungle Truth in Burma

In the face of all the talk of "Reform" and "Ceasefires" it is easy for America and others to be deceived about what is happening to ethnic minorities in Burma today.

This You Tube link provides perspective on “Jungle Truth”:

The following website provides additional information that mainstream media is generally not addressing:
www.burmaincrisis.org

M23 MILITANTS NABBED!

South Africa Makes a Big Bust!
By Harold Hutchison

South African authorities have captured 19 suspected militants from the M23 rebel movement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The M23 rebel movement, composed of disgruntled Congolese troops, revolted in 2012 and briefly seized the capital of North Kivu province.

The raid was carried out in rural province of Limpopo. The 19 suspected militants had been tracked for a period of time.

SENIOR ISLAMISTS CAPTURED!

Tuareg Rebels Nab Bigwigs
By Harold Hutchison

Taureg rebels with MNLA, now working with French and Malian government forces, captured two high-ranking Islamist leaders in northern Mali.

The Mohamed Moussa Ag Mohamed and Oumeini Ould Baba Akhmed were arrested near the Algerian-Malian border as French forces continued their offensive. Ag Mohamed is believed to be the third-highest-ranking individual in Ansar Dine, and responsible for the imposition of sharia law in northern Mali.

KIDAL FALLS TO FRENCH OFFENSIVE!

Rebel Stronghold in Northern Mali Taken!
By Harold Hutchison

French, Malian, and other African troops have taken the town of Kidal, the last major stronghold of Islamist rebels who hijacked a Tuareg revolt that began in January 2012. French President Francois Hollande is about to visit the African country on Saturday.

US EMBASSY BOMBED!

Two Killed In Murder-Suicide Bombing
By Harold Hutchison

The United States embassy in Ankara Turkey was attacked by a murder-suicide bomber early this morning. The attack left a Turkish security guard at the embassy dead.

The attack comes less than five months after Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in the 11 September, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Bengahzi, Libya.

ISLAMISTS TORCH HISTORIC LIBRARY!

Ancient Texts Destroyed As French and Malian Troops Re-Take Ancient Town
By Harold Hutchison

The Ahmed Baba Institute was torched by Islamist rebels in the ancient African city. The institute held a number of ancient documents dating back to the 13th century, and there is growing concern about the extent of the damage.

EGYPT EXPLODES!

Death Toll in New Spasm of Violence Includes Soccer Players
By Harold Hutchison

A thirty-day state of emergency has failed to stop riots and violence in three Egyptian cities, and the death toll has included two soccer players. The riots occurred after nearly two dozen people were sentenced to death for their actions in deadly riots in Port Said.

WILL MALI EXPLODE?

France Moves Against an Al-Qaeda Haven
By Harold Hutchison

ISLAMIST UPRISING IN MALI
A year ago, most of you reading this issue had never really heard about Mali. About all you’d probably know about that country would be that it is somewhere in Africa. Maybe you’d know that it is where Timbuktu is now located. But beyond that, not too many people know that much about Mali.