1. Somali pirates now out of Aden -- helping to further internationalize the water ways how convenient is that?
MANILA, Philippines—With calmer seas, Somali pirates have resumed their operations, not in the heavily patrolled Gulf of Aden, but in Gulf of India and Tanzania, Labor Secretary Marianito Roque told reporters Wednesday.
“Palayo na sila ng palayo sa (They are operating farther and farther from) Gulf of Aden,” he said.
Roque said that at the upcoming maritime ship owners’ meeting this December 15-16, he would ask for a wider patrol coverage for the protection of the ships and seafarers.
He said 25 countries, including India, Malaysia, Japan, and China, help patrol Gulf of Aden.
With Sunday’s hijack of the Greek-flagged Maran Centaurus with 16 Filipino seafarers, there are now 70 Filipino seamen being held by Somali pirates.
Piracy off the Somali coast has been a threat to international shipping since the collapse of the government in the early 1990s.
2. Pollard whines that Israel cares more about Shalit than they do about him, suggests killing Palestinian prisoners one a day
Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard made clear that he strongly opposed the prisoner exchange deal to free Israeli occupation army soldier Gilad Shalit, reported the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. Pollard has been in an American jail for over 20 years for spying for Israel while serving as a U.S. Navy intelligence analyst.
Pollard met with Likud activists Moshe Feiglin and Shmuel Sackett at his prison in North Carolina.
Instead of talking about freeing Palestinian detainees, Pollard said, "Netanyahu should take the list of prisoners Hamas requested and kill one of them every day until they release Gilad from prison."
In a letter sent to the Jerusalem post and published last week, Pollard wrote, " Why is the life of one Israeli captive deemed so precious that Israel's leaders are willing to dispense with all logic and morality in order to redeem him?"
"As long as Israeli leaders demonstrate a unanimous will to exploit the value of rescuing one captive because it suits their political ends, while simultaneously ignoring another captive, there can be no national honor, nor national self-respect," the letter said.
source: al manar tv
3. LRA continues terrorizing South Sudan -- like Osama bin Laden magically evaded the greatest military in the world for 8 years oh wait he's dead -- these 500-600 terrorists manage to evade justice and carry on their killing spree for years on end and nobody can ever seem to stop them. RIGHT.
JUBA, Sudan - Suspected Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) fighters have attacked Nzara region of Southern Sudan at least three times this month, forcing civilians to flee their homes, local officials said. ...Attacks blamed on the LRA have also occurred in several regions in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR). More than 220 people have been killed and at least 157 abducted this year in Southern Sudan by the LRA, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
...The main force of LRA fighters and their commander Joseph Kony – who is wanted by the International Criminal Court - are believed to be in CAR, but with autonomous units operating across a wider area. Sudanese officials said these units had changed tactics. "In the years before, the LRA would abduct people, but now they are simply coming to loot and to kill,” said Ndefu.
..Several reports claim at least one unit of LRA fighters has moved into Sudan’s South Darfur state, but this was impossible to verify.
Meanwhile the US Foreign Relations Committee on 17 November passed a bill to develop a "new multifaceted strategy" to tackle the LRA, the bill’s author US Senator Russ Feingold said in a statement. It authorizes US$10 million in additional funding for humanitarian assistance for those areas outside Uganda "affected by the LRA’s brutality", and $30 million for "transitional justice and reconciliation".
Jon Elliott, Africa advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, welcomed the bill, saying: "This bill offers an opportunity to put civilian protection where it should be, at the top of the agenda, and much-needed American leadership to finally bring Joseph Kony and his co-accused to justice."
Analysts, however, remain sceptical.
"The Ugandan media make out that the LRA are about to collapse," said one western security analyst in the region, speaking on condition of anonymity. "The fact that Kony has not made contact for fresh talks suggests that the LRA retains strength enough to continue: their supply lines have been disrupted but the forces are far from destroyed."
The "supply trail" suggested there were six forces, with an estimated 500-600 fighters, he added.
Delegates to the former LRA peace talks – bitterly divided and largely discredited - also say there is little hope for a peaceful solution soon. "Instructions from General Joseph Kony were often at times confusing and he kept on shifting the goal-posts," former spokesman David Matsanga said in a November statement. "A golden opportunity was thus lost and it’s doubtful that any nations of the world will in future pay for any other [LRA] peace talks."
read more @ middle east online
4. blood flows in Thailand's deep south
None of the youths I talked to could give any clear explanation for their actions, except to say that an Islamic schoolteacher known as Ustadz So had recruited them into a shadowy militant movement. Ustadz had taught them that Thai rule over this historically Malay region was illegitimate, that Thai officials were cruel and heartless, and that the time had come for the Muslim population to rise up and expel the Buddhist infidels.
According to counter-insurgency expert David Kilcullen, the violence in Thailand's deep south – which has now claimed more than 3,500 lives – was some of the most intense in the world between 2004 and 2007, "second only to Iraq and Afghanistan during this period." Yet, despite such alarming levels of bloodshed, the insurgency has been under-reported and under-researched, barely registering on the international community's radar screen, largely because the conflict cannot be reduced to a sound-bite-friendly narrative of identifiable bad guys and good guys.read more @ guardian
5. or maybe there are other reasons why it's not reported: corruption in Thailand linked to bigger picture -- stories collected here on 11/3/09:
finance, real estate, militants with unknown agendas and backers, surveillance projects, human trafficking, etc.