Friday, February 27, 2015


American Blogger Avijit Roy Killed In Bangladesh; Wife Also Injured In Cleaver Attack - AP

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh's capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday.
The Thursday night attack on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred along a crowded stretch of sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured.
Police have named no suspects in the attack, but Roy was a prominent voice against religious extremism, and his family and friends say he had been threatened in the past for his writings....

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Comparison gender life expectancy by country

Pentagon Speeds Shipment of M-16s and MRAPS to Iraqi Army -

The U.S. recently completed a $17.9 million deal for the delivery of 10,000 new M-16 rifles, 250 Mine Resistant-Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles, and other military equipment to the Iraq as its army continues its buildup in the fight against ISIS, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The M-16s came with 10,000 M-68 Close Combat Optical (CCO) "red dot" sights and 100,000 magazines, and the MRAPs included 200 Harris radios for mounting in the vehicles, the Pentagon said....

Pentagon Speeds Shipment of M-16s and MRAPS to Iraqi Army

-bth;  So lets get this straight.  So a rifle with sights and extra mags is probably around $1000 +/-, 10,000 of them is probably around $80-100 million, not $17.9 million.  And these are new rifles.  Then we have the MRAPS which are between $0.6-$1.5 million each, so that's another $250 million or so.  All purchased for the low low price of less than $18 million.   Why are we giving this kind of money to a very wealthy oil producing Iraqi country?

Think Tank: Some NATO Countries Cutting Defense Spending - AP

Despite stern talk and solemn pledges from NATO, a British-based think tank says some alliance member nations are cutting their spending on defense.
In a report released Thursday, the European Leadership Network said Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Hungary and Italy are all on track to reduce military expenditures in 2015.
In France, spending is forecast to remain flat.
"Despite Russian aggression in Ukraine and much rhetoric from NATO leaders that this has been a game-changer in European security, all the evidence suggests there is a continuation of business as usual," said Ian Kearns, director of the European Leadership Network and the report's co-author.
In September, NATO leaders vowed to "reverse the trend of declining defense budgets."
On Feb. 6, NATO's secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said total spending on defense by alliance members declined by 3 percent last year.
"The fact is that our security challenges are increasing. But our defense spending is decreasing," Stoltenberg said.
"This is simply not sustainable," he said. "We cannot do more with less forever."...

-bth: if NATO European allies are not willing to fund their own defense why should we?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ukraine War Ruins of Stepanovka, UAV View Stepanovka Donetsk region

Ukraine War UAV at Work Exploration and correction of artillery fire ...

Ukraine War ~ Incredible Ukrainian UAV footage also with artillery impa...

UAV is taking small arms fire. Also at 3 minute mark it spots explosions on the ground

Ukraine War - Debaltseve blockade. Destroyed Ukrainian tanks, unmanned a...

Ополченцы ДНР ЛНР сбили беспилотник ВСУ под Ирмино Ukrainian UAV shot do...

12.02.2015 Shot down Russian UAV.

DNR fighter "Atlant" takes new UAV. "News-Front" video. Eastern Ukraine,...

[eng subs] DPR recon UAV footage: Debaltsevo "caulrdon"

Monday, February 23, 2015

500 Turkish truck drivers stranded in Kirkuk over ISIL threat - Sunday's Zaman

Some 500 Turkish truck drivers have been stranded along the highway between Baghdad and northern Iraq's Kirkuk province for over a month due to the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.
Turkish media reported on Thursday that the drivers, who were transporting goods from Gaziantep to Iraq, cannot return to Turkey as they have not unloaded their trucks due to a recent ISIL attack on Kirkuk.
“Iraqi officials say that we [the drivers] are not allowed to unload our trucks due to the clashes with ISIL along the Kirkuk-Baghdad highway. However, there are 500 drivers and there is a lack of food and water,” Vahap Eterkül told the Radikal daily.
Eterkül also recalled that ISIL had taken 32 truck drivers before this incident. “We would like to return home,” he added.
Last month, ISIL militants attacked and seized a small oil facility in Kirkuk province, but Kurdish peshmerga units retook it the next day.....

-bth:  this information, that commerce is blocked between Kirkuk and  Baghdad, would seem to  belie any real discussion of retaking Mosul.