Pakistan Observer

International

KSA expands buffer zones on borders

Jeddah—The Border Guard has widened borders in the Northern Border Province, Tabuk, and in the Eastern Province by 20 km for security reasons. ... Thursday, November 20, 2014 Details

Russia indicates assualt on eastern Ukraine

Moscow—Russia’s foreign policy chief on Wednesday claimed that Ukraine’s decision to freeze budget payments to the eastern rebel-held territories could be a precursor to a military onslaught. ... Thursday, November 20, 2014 Details

US senate blocks national security overhaul bid

Washington - US Senate Republicans blocked a sweeping overhaul of a National Security Agency program that would have ended the government’s controversial bulk collection of data about Americans. ... Thursday, November 20, 2014 Details

Putin’s G20 Snub

SO RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin left the Group of 20 summit early because he needed to catch up on his sleep. Sure. He had about 17 hours of flying time to get back to Moscow, and somehow I doubt that the president of Russia has the same experience of economy air travel as we mortals, with on one side a squealing baby and on the other someone who gets you out of your seat every half-hour as he heads off to get something to drink or duly go to the bathroom. ... Thursday, November 20, 2014 Details

New Kurdish offensive targets Islamic State group

Baghdad—Kurdish peshmerga forces launched a new offensive Wednesday targeting Islamic State group extremists in Iraq, even as a suicide bomber killed at least five people in the Kurds’ regional capital. The operation came as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said details haven’t been finalized for a deal that would have his country to train rebels to battle the Islamic State in Syria, where the militants also hold territory. That will be a major topic for retired Marine Gen. John Allen, the U.S. envoy for the international coalition to counter Islamic State group, during planned talks Wednesday in Ankara. ... Thursday, November 20, 2014 Details

Ukraine rules out direct talks with separatists

Kiev (MOSCOW)—Russia urged Ukraine’s leaders on Wednesday to talk directly to separatists to end the conflict in the east, but Kiev rejected the call and told Moscow to stop “playing games” aimed at legitimizing “terrorists”. Kiev and the West accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine by providing the rebels with money, arms and reinforcements. The West has imposed sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in which more than 4,000 people have been killed since mid-April. Russia backs the separatists but denies it is directly involved in the conflict in the Donbass region. ... Thursday, November 20, 2014 Details

White House reviewing policy on US hostages held by militants

Washington—President Barack Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of US policy governing efforts to free Americans being held by militant groups overseas, the White House said. In recent months, Islamic State militants have beheaded three Americans, including Peter Kassig, an aid worker and former US Army Ranger, whose death was announced in a video released by the group on Sunday. ... Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Details

Four dead in attack on Jerusalem synagogue

Jerusalem—Two suspected Palestinian men armed with axes and knives killed four people in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday before being shot dead by police, Israeli police and emergency services said, the deadliest such attack in the city in years. The attack took place shortly after dawn in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of West Jerusalem. Pictures posted by an Israeli army spokesman on the Internet showed a man in a Jewish prayer shawl lying dead, a bloodied butcher’s cleaver discarded on the floor and overturned prayer tables. ... Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Details

Supporting Africa in Fighting Ebola: China’s assistance is real

Beijing—On August 11th when a special Chinese airplane fully loaded with anti-Ebola materials slowly touched down at the airport of Conakry, the capital city of Guinea, people of the country were thrilled and the news spread fast among them. President Mala (transliteration) of China-Guinea Friendship Hospital said, “China sent a special airplane, flying thousands of miles to bring us the most needed supplies. It is so touching.” ... Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Details

The Kurds Rise From the Ashes of Syria

THE tyrannical regime of Bashar al-Assad governs parts of what’s left of it. The psychopathic Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controls another large swath. Small scraps of territory are ruled by sundry other militias which, more likely than not, will eventually be absorbed by Assad or ISIS. ... Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Details

Frenchman seen in IS video of beheadings

Paris/London—A Frenchman is believed to have been among Islamic State jihadists appearing on a video showing the severed head of US aid worker Peter Kassig, but a British man denied earlier reports his medical student son was there too. Sunday’s announcement of Kassig’s death, the fifth such killing of a Western captive by Islamic State, formed part of a video that also showed the beheadings of at least 14 men Islamic State said were Syrian military pilots and officers. ... Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Details

Iraqi security forces enter Baiji refinery: police

Baghdad—Iraqi security forces entered the country’s largest refinery for the first time on Tuesday after months of battling Islamic State militants who had surrounded it, a police colonel and state television said. ... Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Details

IS claims beheading US hostage Kassig

Beirut—Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria claimed in a video posted online on Sunday that they had beheaded American hostage Peter Kassig. The video did not show the beheading but showed a masked man standing with a decapitated head covered in blood lying at his feet. Speaking in English in a British accent, the man says: “This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen.” Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the footage, which appeared on a jihadist website and on Twitter feeds used by Islamic State. ... Monday, November 17, 2014 Details

US military war readiness, competitive edge worsening: officials

Washington—The U.S. military’s ability to stay ahead of technology advances by other countries and respond to multiple crises around the world is already in jeopardy and will get worse unless mandatory budget cuts are reversed, top U.S. officials warned on Sunday. Former defense secretary Robert Gates said the budget cuts were eroding confidence in U.S. leadership around the world and that it was time to end the “incredibly stupid” reductions. ... Monday, November 17, 2014 Details

Will Obama take a step forward at G20?

MUCH has been said and written about the handshake between president Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing. And there is no denying the handshake has eased tensions in East Asia over the Diaoyu Islands dispute between China and Japan, which seemed to threaten peace in the region. Xi has also taken the initiative to strike a landmark climate deal with US President Barack Obama, setting a self-imposed deadline for the first time to cap China’s emissions by 2030. Climate scientists may speculate on the efficacy of the deal, but they agree it is good beginning. ... Monday, November 17, 2014 Details

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