Wednesday, July 29, 2015

News on Afghan Taliban Leader Omar

Important Update added on 30th July !

أفغانستان.. هل قٌتل زعيم حركة طالبان الملا عمر؟ـ

Afghanistan: Was Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, [finally] killed ?

قالت الحكومة الأفغانية الأربعاء 29 يوليو/ تموز إنها بصدد التحقق من مقتل زعيم حركة طالبان، الملا محمد عمر.ـ

On Wednesday July 29 the Afghan government said that it was convinced of Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar being dead.

وأعلن مسؤول حكومي أفغاني، اليوم الأربعاء، أن الملا محمد عمر، زعيم حركة طالبان، توفي منذ عامين في باكستان بعد مرضه.ـ

An Afghan government official informed today, Wednesday, that Mullah Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban, died from a disease in Pakistan [already] two years ago.

وقال المسؤول الحكومي، الذي رفض الإفصاح عن اسمه، في تصريحات لوكالة الأنباء الألمانية: “لدينا تأكيد من السلطات الباكستانية ومصادر من طالبان بأنه توفى قبل عامين في باكستان جراء إصابته بمرض”.ـ

And the government official who refused to tell his name, told in declarations for the [.....] press agency: " We have confirmation from Pakistani authorities and Taliban sources that he died within the last two years in Pakistan [in the proceedings of] an acquired disease."

كما كانت هناك عدة تقارير عن وفاة الملا عمر في الماضي.ـ

..... There were also several reports on the death of Mullah Omar in the past.

وكانت مصادر حكومية تحدثت في وقت سابق عن مقتل زعيم حركة "طالبان"حسبما نقلت عنها هيئة الإذاعة البريطانية.ـ

And there were government sources referring to the killing of the Taliban leader much earlier according to quotations by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

[Source: Al-Alam قناة العالم, Iranian TV channel in Arabic on July 29, 2015]


Important Update on 30th July:

Afghanistan - In an announcement, the Taliban confirm
the death of their former leader Mullah Omar.

According to FRANCE 24, Omar died in 2013.

مجلس شورى حركة طالبان الأفغانية يؤكد وفاة زعيم الحركة
الملا محمد عمر و انتخاب ملا أختر منصور خليفة له

The Shura assembly of the Afghan Taliban confirms the death
of the organization's leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and the
election of Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as his successor.
Screenshot from Al-Jazeera Arabic TV on 30th July.

The Taliban has elected Mullah Akhtar Mansoor as its new leader, Taliban sources have told Al Jazeera, as the group confirmed the death of their founder Mullah Omar.

The election, which was reported on Thursday, has not been officially confirmed by the Taliban. But a commander present at the meeting to elect Mansoor confirmed the report to Reuters news agency.

Reports said the election was held in Pakistan's city of Quetta.

[Source: Al-Jazeera الجزيرة on 30th July 2015]

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor was previously Minister of Civil Aviation in Taliban-led Afghanistan. Mansoor was appointed deputy to Mullah Omar in 2010. He is believed to be in his 40s as of 2015, and is from southern Afghanistan near Kandahar.


Another Cold Case ...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Plans of Getting Tougher on ISIS

U.S., Turkey and Saudi Arabia are probably joining forces in their fight against ISIS. Such are today's headlines by CNN, France 24 and Al-Arabiya.

الملك سلمان: يجب القضاء على داعش ولتركيا حق حماية شعبها

King Salman: There is need for the annihilation of ISIS
and for [a rule allowing] Turkey to defend its people.

في اتصال هاتفي جرى بين العاهل السعودي الملك سلمان والرئيس التركي رجب طيب أردوغان بحث الزعيمان التطورات الأخيرة ومستجدات الأوضاع في المنطقة.ـ

In a telephone call between the Saudi ruler King Salman and Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the two leaders discussed recent developments.

[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on 28th July 2015]

Turkey: The offensive against ISIS and PKK intensifies.

The US and Turkey have agreed to work together to drive Islamic State jihadists from northern Syria, a senior US official said Monday, as Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said its military could "change the balance" in the region. Plannings of a Turkish U.S. cooperation should entail Turkey supporting US "partners on the ground" that are already fighting IS extremists.

But many question whether Turkey is more interested in limiting Kurdish capabilities in Syria and Iraq than tackling IS. Turkey has called an extraordinary NATO meeting for Tuesday over its two-pronged cross-border "anti-terror" offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and IS jihadists. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg backed Turkey's right to defend itself but told the BBC Sunday "of course self-defence has to be proportionate".

Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu told a group of Turkish newspaper editors that Ankara's intervention would "change the balance" in the region, but ruled out sending ground troops into Syria. He denied Turkey was worried by Kurdish gains against jihadists in northern Syria, pointing to Ankara's relations with autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.

Turkey has given the United States the green light to use its Incirlik air base to attack IS after months of tough negotiations. Davutoglu said Ankara's demands for a no-fly zone were addressed "to a certain extent", according to the Hurriyet daily. "Air cover is important, the air protection for the Free Syrian Army and other moderate elements fighting Daesh [i.e. IS]," he said. "If we will not send ground forces -- and that we will not do -- then certain elements that cooperate with us on the ground must be protected," Davutoglu added.

Up to now, direct fighting between Turkey and IS was restricted to some crossing-border shelling, seen as a retaliation for IS targeting Turkish territory. Turkey has already planned to bolster security along its border with Syria following a suspected suicide bombing in the town of Suruc which killed 30 people, most of them students, and left about 100 others wounded, only some days ago on 20th July.

[Source: France 24 / Al-Jazeera on 28th July 2015]


Monday, July 13, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal - Israel Divided

Important Update included on 25th July 2015

إسرائيليون يفتحون سفارة لإيران بتل أبيب ويبحثون عن سفير

Israeli [citizens] are opening some "unique style" Iranian embassy in Tel Aviv
and are [now] searching for an ambassador.
[Al-Arabiya on 13th July 2015]

Quotation from a Jerusalem Post publication on 13th July 2015:

Lapid: Netanyahu's campaign against Iran deal is a colossal failure.
Yesh Atid leader says Netanyahu caused the White House
to stop listening to Israel.

National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday morning that the ongoing negotiations in Vienna over Iran's nuclear program will likely lead to a deal that will be completed in the next day.
"As things look now, it's final. The nuclear deal with Iran will be signed in the next day," Steinitz told Army Radio.
Steinitz defended the government's handling of the Iranian nuclear issue and said Israel's diplomatic efforts led to sanctions being imposed on Iran. The minister also said that Israeli intelligence mitigated the interim nuclear deal with Iran.

Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid, on the other hand, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's diplomatic campaign on the Iranian nuclear issue has been a "colossal failure."
Lapid said the diplomatic efforts must now shift to focus only on the international supervisory mechanisms on the Iranian nuclear program.
In a separate interview that Lapid gave on Monday morning he said that Israel was sidelined from the talks with Iran because the White House shut Netanyahu out.
"I also am not thrilled by [US President Barack] Obama's polices. But Netanyahu crossed a line that caused the White House to stop listening to Israel," Lapid told Army Radio.
"In the last year we weren't even in the arena, we had no representative in Vienna, our intelligence cooperation was harmed, and the door to the White House was closed to us," he added.

Netanyahu, alone among world leaders publicly railing against the apparently impending nuclear deal with Iran, said Sunday that Iran is not hiding its aggressive intentions against Israel and the US even as the negotiations in Vienna are continuing.
He said that the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was quoted over the weekend as saying that Iran “needs to plan to fight the US regardless of whether there is an agreement.”


U.S. President Obama hails Tuesday's nuclear deal with Iran
and asks for its backing by U.S. Congress.

The U.S. still retain the right to military action despite the deal, as Vice President Joe Biden reassured lawmakers on Wednesday, 15th July.

Nevertheless, Iranians have been celebrating Tuesday's landmark nuclear deal, because the deal lifts economic sanctions from the U.S., European Union and United Nations. In exchange, Iran has agreed to curbs on its nuclear programme.

The lift of sanctions could quadruple estimated Iranian exports in the next few years. Furthermore, Iran's energy minister hopes to attract $100B investment in oil.

[Source: Al-Jazeera الجزيرة, international service, on 15th July 2015]


Iran's Religious Leader Ayatollah Khamenei
and Revolutionary Guard Qasem Soleimani

واشنطن: قاسم سليماني سيبقى على لائحة الإرهاب الأميركية

Washington: Qasem Soleimani will remain on the U.S. list of terrorists.

[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on 17th July 2015]

Major General Qasem Soleimani
Chief of the Al-Quds Brigades
Iranian Revolutionary Guards

وضحت ويندي شرمان، مساعدة الشؤون السياسية لوزارة الخارجية الأميركية، أن واشنطن ستبقي قائد فيلق القدس التابع للحرس الثوري الإيراني، اللواء قاسم سليماني، على لائحة الإرهاب الأميركية. و ذكرت شرمان، بحسب ما نقلت “العربية”، أن الاسم الذي ورد في المرحلة الأولى من العقوبات التي سيتم رفعها عن إيران هو قاسم سليماني آخر، ويشغل منصب مدير أحد مناجم ...ـ

Wendy Sherman, [under-secretary] for political affairs for the U.S. State Department, made clear that Washington will retain major general Qasem Soleimani, chief of the Al-Quds Brigade [and which is subordinate to] the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, on the U.S. list of terrorists. Sherman reminded that [, whatever "Al-Arabiya" reported, ] the name which had been provided in the first phase of sanctions to be lifted for Iran, [was that of] [Ghasem] Soleimani. He holds the position of a director of one of the mines ...

Editor's Note:
For clarification it should be mentioned that Ghasem Soleimani, the director of one of the Iranian uranium mines, and who has been included in the UN designation list at phase one of the sanctions, is not identical with major general Qasem Soleimani. The commander of the Al-Quds Brigades is mentioned on the UN designation list at phase two of the sanctions and remains on the U.S. terrorist list as indicated by under-secretary Wendy Sherman on a press conference of the U.S. State Department on 16th July 2015.

[Source: inews-arabiya iNews عربية on 17th July 2015]


The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that will clear a path for international sanctions crippling Iran's economy to be lifted. Representatives of all 15 countries on the Security Council voted on Monday, 20th July, by raising their hands.

[Source: International Media on 20th July 2015]


Most recent U.S. visitors interested in the Iranian subject.

Above: Reminder of an Israeli air raid in 2012
targeting Iran's armament facilities in Sudan.

In the news on 24th July 2015 - U.S. foreign secretary John Kerry warns:
Any Israeli attack on Iran would be 'a huge mistake with consequences'.
[Source: Al-Jazeera, RT (Russia Today) and other international media]

Friday, July 10, 2015

China - Reorientation in Financial Turmoil

Now that a Chinese stock market bubble finally burst, giving way to a 30% fall of shares, the global financial community is on the alert.

Shanghai Composite Index 09-07-2015

Here an excerpt from an article published by the British daily Telegraph on 9th July 2015:

" In any normal summer, a 30% fall in the Chinese stock market – a loss of value roughly equivalent to the UK’s entire economic output last year – after an ascent which had seen share prices more than double within the space of a year would have been front page news across the globe. The dramatic series of government interventions to stem the panic – hitherto unsuccessful, it should be added – would similarly have been up there at the top of the news agenda. Yet the pantomime of the Greek debt talks, together with the tragi-comedy of will they, won’t they leave the euro, has relegated the story to little more than a footnote - even though 940 companies, more than a third, have now suspended trading on China’s two main indices. "

The complete text compares China's current economic situation with the Black Friday Scenario of 1929 when the breakdown of U.S. stock markets caused a global economic crisis. It should be noted, however, that Chinese stocks are still much higher than a year ago !

On the same day, a Chinese language article, published by People's Network / Renmin Wang, dealt with the problem of "sleeping assets" that need to be activated in order to provide enough money for China's current economic needs. Here an excerpt from that article:


Half year report on China's economy: Revitalize assets and capital funds
to awaken the financial [system] from a sound sleep.


The chief economist of China's agricultural bank Xiang Songzuo proposes: In order to be able to revitalize assets and funds on the largest degree, it needs to further reduce taxes for China's small business. At the same time, people income tax should be adjusted. .......... From a macroscopic view it could be said that the tax burden in our country is too high. A suitable reduction of tax burden could again invoke a redistribution of such funds. As to the sectors or projects that really need financial support, this could realize more financial transfer payments.

[Source: People's Network 人民网 on 9th July 2015]


Wednesday, July 08, 2015

China - Signs of Policy Change

President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Modi in a Buddhist temple.

When China's President Xi Jinping received India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2015, he led him to a Buddhist temple and underlined the common cultural link between both countries and which is based on Buddhism. Centuries ago, Buddhism had started in India and had made its way into China, such dominating China's culture until the Communist movement of Mao Zedong swept away each and every ideology seen as opposing the new doctrine of atheism. Only to mention the fierce campaign against Confucianism during the Cultural Revolution and, in recent times, the pursuit of members belonging to the Falungong movement which described itself as some kind of spiritual way to live in peace with nature without any political goal at all. As to the Falungong movement, Chinese authorities argued that politically motivated foreign influence was behind it. This, however, cannot be entirely excluded as the Falungong movement found itself a strong base in North America, home of the eternal enemies to Communism.

Now, an anti-Communist Chinese paper pretends to detect further signs of Buddhism entering daily politics in Communist China; - a nice opportunity to look into the internal proceedings of a country that managed to develop its most successful capitalist state economy on the basis of a dominating Communist ideology.


Xi Jinping - Another Signal for Buddhism.


" A historic moment " to be faced.

密审周永康后 习近平祭出大动作

After a close examination dominating many weeks,
Xi JinPing [now] celebrates a big movement.


After endless weeks of sweeping away the " evil north-eastern tiger's " gentle ability and kindness and a close examination of " tsarist politics and law " : What [now] is the target addressed by Xi Jinping ? [Hence] everywhere it is guessed at the moment that Xi Jinping is repeatedly celebrating a big movement. The sword being pointed at the boss of the Jiang [Zemin] faction Zeng Qinghong and Jiang Zemin himself. A comment is pointing out that the break point of China's current political situation has already clearly appeared.

陈云家族转向 太子党联盟反江

[The mighty clan] changes its direction: The party of the
crown prince forms an alliance to counter Jiang [Zemin].

[Source: epochtimes 大纪元时报, the European edition of an anti-communist Chinese paper on 1st July 2015]. Another Chinese publication came with a similar stance:

陈云家族变脸 太子党八大家族结盟倒江

A sudden turn of [the mighty clan]: The [mighty eight] in the party of
the crown prince are forming an alliance to topple Jiang [Zemin].

[Source: chinaexaminer 中国观察 on 5th July 2015]

Editor's Note:

Zeng Qinghong is a retired member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. During the 1990s, Zeng was a close ally of then-Party Secretary General Jiang Zemin (1989-2002), and was instrumental in consolidating Jiang's power. For years, Zeng was the primary force behind the party's organization and personnel.

Before his retirement from daily politics between 2007 and 2008, Zeng used his political strength to secure the elevation of Xi Jinping into the Politburo Standing Committee. Xi Jinping, who succeeded Zeng in his posts of Vice-President and executive secretary of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, then became the heir apparent to succeed Secretary General Hu Jintao (2002-2012) as China's top leader.

Recent Chinese publications now indicate a change of policy under the guidance of Secretary General Xi Jinping and which is targeting former leader Jiang Zemin and his faction represented by Zeng Qinghong.

2014年习近平还提出了“依法治国”,从那时起利用法律来彻底清除江派的计划 就开始紧锣密鼓地进行了。

In 2014 Xi Jinping put forward the adage of "ruling the country according to law". From that time on, the law was utilized to totally erase the Jiang faction's plannings engaged in starting an intense publicity drive.
[=> quotation from epochtimes]

What has been translated as the " mighty clan " or the " mighty eight ", is essentially referring to the Politburo Standing Committee and the Secretary General of China's Communist Party.

Whether the approach of Buddhist virtues is just a means of delivering some new policy or an enrichment of Communist ideology based on national tradition remains to be confirmed. After all it should be noted that India's premier Modi visited China at first place to discuss urgent problems between both countries and to sign some important agreements.


Recent visitors to "blueprint news":

Visitor No. 200.000 was detected on 9th July 2015 at 09:17 GMT
and identified as coming from the U.S.A. while using an iPad.

Panamá Canal Authorities

U.S.A.: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Egypt - Terrorism Just for Fun

صور لموظف مصري يرهب السياح بمسدس لعبة في شرم الشيخ

Pictures showing an Egyptian employee intimidating tourists
with a fake revolver in Sharm el-Sheikh.

وصل كجيمس بوند مرتديا بذلة سموكن، ليرهب السياح بتسلية مرعبة

Entering "James Bond", wearing distinctive clothing,
to terrorize tourists just for the fun of intimidation.

[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on 4th July 2015]


Further news from the region:

Ports of Egypt

غرق عبارة مصرية بالبحر الأحمر وإنقاذ طاقمها

Sinking of an Egyptian Ferry in the Red Sea and Saving of its Crew.

غرقت عبارة مصرية لنقل الشاحنات بمياه البحر الأحمر على بعد عشرة أميال من ميناء سفاجا، و تمكنت قوات الإنقاذ البحري من إنقاذ جميع أفراد طاقمها المؤلف من 37 شخصا.ـ

Sinking of an Egyptian ferry loaded with trucks in the waters of the Red Sea, ten miles away from the port of Safaga. The sea rescue service could save all individual crew members, altogether 37 persons.

[Source: Al-Jazeera الجزيرة on 5th July 2015]


Recent visitors to "blueprint news":

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..... interested in the proceedings of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.