BEIRUT, Lebanon — Islamic State militants have razed a fifth-century Roman Catholic monastery and blown up one of the best-preserved first-century temples in Palmyra, the ancient Syrian city that is one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, according to government officials and local activists.
And that was just this past week — in one Syrian province.
Saudi Arabia Bulldozes Over Its Heritage
Nov. 14, 2014
Fayez Nureldine—AFP/Getty ImagesAn aerial view shows the Clock Tower, the Grand Mosque, and surrounding constructions sites in the holy city of Mecca, in 2013.
Over 98% of the Kingdom’s historical and religious sites have been destroyed since 1985, according to the U.K.-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation
For centuries the Kaaba, the black cube in the center of Mecca, Saudi Arabia that is Islam’s holiest point, has been encircled by arched porticos erected some three centuries ago by the Ottomans, above dozens of carved marble columns dating back to the 8th century. But earlier this month, any vestiges of the portico and columns were reduced to rubble, cleared to make way for the Saudi government’s expansion of Mecca’s Grand Mosque.
By Mike Whitney
The reason Putin will succeed where the US failed in its war on ISIS, is because the Russian air-strikes are going to be accompanied by a formidable mop-up operation that will overpower the jihadi groups on the ground. This is already happening as we speak. The Russian Air Force has been pounding terrorist targets across the Idlib Governorate for the last few days as well as ISIS strongholds in the East at Raffa. On Sunday, according to a report filed by South Front, roughly 700 militants surrendered to members of the 147th Syrian tank brigade shortly after bombers had attacked nearly cities of Mardeij, Ma’arat Al-Nu’man, Jisr Al-Shughour, Saraqib and Sarmeen. This is the pattern we expect to see in the weeks ahead. Russian bombers will soften targets on the frontlines, ground troops will move into position, and untold numbers of jihadis will either flee, surrender or get cut down where they stand. Bottom line: Syria is not going to be a quagmire as the media has predicted. To the contrary, Putin is going to cut through these guys like crap through a goose.
By Thomas B. Edsall
Voters on both the left and the right often claim that there is no difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties, and of course that isn’t true. There’s a big difference between Elena Kagan and Antonin Scalia, for one thing. But there may be more to this argument than you think.
Democrats now depend as much on affluent voters as on low-income voters. Democrats represent a majority of the richest congressional districts, and the party’s elected officials are more responsive to the policy agenda of the well-to-do than to average voters. The party and its candidates have come to rely on the elite 0.01 percent of the voting age population for a quarter of their financial backing and on large donors for another quarter.
By Klaus Marre
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is envisioning a future in which its agents would be able to use small handheld devices to collect fingerprints and photographs in the field and add them to a massive biometrics database.
If the Bureau gets its way, that future is not too far off — it has already taken major steps this year to make it a reality.
Most recently, the FBI is soliciting bids for the development of software that would enable agents to collect fingerprints and pictures of people they encounter. The prints and images could then be compared to the Bureau’s massive biometrics database.
By Pascale Bonnefoy
Many watched in disbelief: There he was, Pope Francis, calling people in Osorno, a city in southern Chile, “dumb” for protesting against a bishop accused of being complicit in clerical sexual abuse.
“The Osorno community is suffering because it’s dumb,” Pope Francis told a group of tourists on St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, because it “has let its head be filled with what politicians say, judging a bishop without any proof.”
Armored Sukhoi Su-25 ground-support fighter jets have attacked a jihadist training center in Idlib province, also destroying a workshop producing suicide belts, according to the newly-released Defense Ministry report.
Three depots with munitions, arms and material assets have been eliminated with pinpoint strikes. As a result of direct hits from KAB-500 air bombs, installations and munitions have been taken out.
Sukhoi Su-24M and Su-34 bombers inflicted airstrikes on eight terrorist installations near Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib province, the ministry said.
by Kurt Nimmo
Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian parliament’s international affairs committee, took to Twitter on Friday and said the United States is not bombing ISIS.
“McCain accused us of striking out at US-trained insurgents… However, since they have either run away or joined al-Qaeda, hitting them is a mission impossible,” Pushkov wrote on his Twitter account.
“The US-led coalition spent a whole year pretending they were striking ISIL targets but where are the results of these strikes?” Pushkov asked during and interview with France’s Europe 1 Radio.
AND WHAT, PRECISELY, WAS THE PART PLAYED BY BARACK OBAMA’S MOTHER AND STEPFATHER? THE WHOLE TRUTH THERE IS STILL UNKNOWN….
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of a mass slaughter inIndonesia. With American support, more than 500,000 people were murdered by the Indonesian Army and its civilian death squads. At least 750,000 more were tortured and sent to concentration camps, many for decades.
The victims were accused of being “communists,” an umbrella that included not only members of the legally registered Communist Party, but all likely opponents ofSuharto’s new military regime — from union members and women’s rights activists to teachers and the ethnic Chinese. Unlike in Germany, Rwanda or Cambodia, there have been no trials, no truth-and-reconciliation commissions, no memorials to the victims. Instead, many perpetrators still hold power throughout the country.
By George Monbiot
Evidence for flowing water on Mars: this opens up the possibility of life, of wonders we cannot begin to imagine. Its discovery is an astonishing achievement. Meanwhile, Martian scientists continue their search for intelligent life on Earth.
We may be captivated by the thought of organisms on another planet, but we seem to have lost interest in our own. The Oxford Junior Dictionary has been excising the waymarks of the living world. Adders, blackberries, bluebells, conkers, holly, magpies, minnows, otters, primroses, thrushes, weasels and wrens are now surplus to requirements.
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
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