As Pakistanis united in revulsion at the massacre of 141 pupils and teachers at Peshawar’s Army Public School last week and the government began executing convicted terrorists in response, the Taliban commander who ordered the slaughter emerged from hiding to justify it.
Umar Mansoor, a long-bearded, 36-year-old father of three known as “Slim” for his athletic build and passion for volleyball, shook his finger at the camera and said it had been a simple act of revenge for the women and children killed in the Pakistan army’s war on terrorism in the Taliban’s tribal strongholds along the Afghan border.
“If our women and children die as martyrs, your children will not escape,” he said.
His finger wagging, however, was a sleight of hand: the Taliban leader really pulling the strings is Maulana Fazlullah, a bearded terrorist demagogue best known for the attempted assassination of Malala Yusufzai, the 15-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner who was shot in the head in 2012 for defying his ban on girls attending school.
Via NY Post:
Two uniformed NYPD officers were shot dead — execution style — as they sat in their marked police car on a Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, street corner.
According to preliminary reports, both officers were working overtime as part of an anti-terrorism drill when they were shot point-blank by a single gunman who approached their car at the corner of Myrtle and Tompkins avenues.
“It’s an execution,” one law enforcement source told The Post of the 3 p.m. shooting.
The gunman just started “pumping bullets” into the patrol car, another source said.
The suspected gunman fled to a nearby subway station at Myrtle and Willoughby avenues, where he was fatally shot. Preliminary reports were unclear on whether he was shot by police or his own hand.
The Pentagon said Saturday that four Afghans from the Guantanamo Bay detention center have been returned to their home country in what U.S. officials are citing as a sign of their confidence in new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
Obama administration officials said they worked quickly to fulfil the request from Ghani, in office just three months, to return the four — long cleared for release — as a kind of reconciliation and mark of improved U.S.-Afghan relations.
There is no requirement that the Afghan government further detain the men, identified as Mohammed Zahir, Shawali Khan, Abdul Ghani and Khi Ali Gul. Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, a government-appointed group, confirmed the transfer, but did not identify the men, saying that the four “will be reunited soon with their families.”
The council also requested the repatriation of the eight Afghans who are among the 132 detainees remaining at Guantanamo.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the Afghan capital, said in a statement that it had “full confidence in the Afghan government’s ability to mitigate any threats these individuals may pose and to ensure that they are given humane treatment.” The transfer “demonstrates Afghan sovereignty and U.S. trust in the strength of Afghan government institutions,” according to the statement.
Protesters from the “Black Lives Matter” group invaded the first floor of the Mall of America today to protest what they call police brutality and the systematic murder of young black men in America by police officers.
Unfortunately, mall security, mall ownership and the Minneapolis police are way more clever. They allowed the demonstration to take place, escorted legitimate shoppers to the upper levels then sealed off the bottom rotunda level of the mall.
More pictures below the break.
Boko Haram and the Islamic State competing to see who can be the most barbaric.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic extremists in northeast Nigeria are turning their guns on elderly people, killing more than 50 this week in a new tactic that has instilled more fear in areas the militants call an Islamic caliphate.
Residents from five villages say people too elderly to flee Gwoza local government area are being rounded up and taken to two schools where the militants open fire on them. The villages are about 130 kilometers (80 miles) southeast of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
“What they are doing now is to assemble the aged people — both men and women … and then they just open fire on some of them,” said Muhammed Gava, a spokesman for civil defense groups in the area. More than 50 people had been killed at Government Day Secondary School in Gwoza, he said.
A villager who had fled said more elderly people are being gathered and shot at Uvaghe Central Primary School. The villager spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of endangering his trapped parents.
A U.S. drone fired two missiles at militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least five Taliban fighters, two security officials said.
In a separate operation, the military said Pakistani security forces killed five “terrorists” on the outskirts of Peshawar, where the Pakistani Taliban carried out a school massacre earlier this week, killing 148 people, mainly children.
The attack shocked the nation and prompted a massive military response in the tribal regions along the Afghan border, longtime strongholds of both foreign and local militants. Pakistani air strikes and ground operations in the Khyber region — where the school attack is believed to have emanated — have killed around 200 militants.
The drone strike took place in the town of Datta Khel in North Waziristan, where Pakistani troops have been carrying out a major operation against local and foreign militants since June, the officials said.
One tiny despot to another…
Via Washington Post:
Officials in Moscow confirmed Friday that North Korean despot Kim Jong Un may attend ceremonies next year commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. It would be Kim’s first public foreign visit since coming to power in December 2011.
“Yes, such an invitation was sent,” confirmed Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, speaking to Reuters.
The news comes at a particularly conspicuous moment. On Friday, U.S. federal investigators accused North Korea of being behind the hacking attacking on Sony Pictures Entertainment. An escalation of cyber threats has compelled Sony to cancel the release of “The Interview,” a controversial comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that depicts the two being sent on a mission to assassinate Kim.
He’s just like us, he’s off to a month long vacation in Hawaii.
A tumultuous year all but behind him, President Barack Obama set off for his annual winter getaway in Hawaii hoping for one thing: Quiet.
Air Force One touched down late in the evening at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with the president, first lady Michelle Obama, their daughters and two dogs on board. On Saturday, the family was to begin their roughly two-week retreat from the hubbub in Washington on the lush island of Oahu.
Vacationing in Hawaii, where the president was born and spent much of his childhood, has been a tradition every year that Obama has been in the White House. This year, the trip comes as Obama closes out a chaotic sixth year in office on something of a high note.
Just like Affordable Care Act
President Barack Obama said the full opening of relations between Cuba and the U.S. may take years, even as he offered assurances the new U.S. stance will bring change to the island nation’s closed society.
Despite vehement criticism from Republican lawmakers and some Democrats, the president said he was confident his reversal of the half-century-long U.S. effort to isolate its Caribbean neighbor 90 miles off the coast of Florida was the right course.
Increasing U.S. travel and trade “chips away at this hermetically sealed society, and I believe offers the best prospect then, of leading to greater freedom, greater self-determination on the part of the Cuban people,” Obama said at a White House news conference Friday before leaving for vacation in Hawaii.
Breaking: French Police Kill Knife-Wielding Man Who Attacked Them In Police Station, Yelling “Allahu Akbar!”
BREAKING NEWS: French police kill knife-wielding man in police station who shouted “Allahu Akbar”. pic.twitter.com/tRuukpAqCR
— Breaking News (@NewsOnTheMin) December 20, 2014
French police on Saturday shot dead a man who attacked them with a knife in a police station while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic), a source said.
The man injured the face of a policeman at the entrance to the police station in Joue-les-Tours near the city of Tours in central France and injured two other officers before he was shot, the source said, adding that anti-terrorist investigators were probing the incident.
Naturally Ferguson protesters said this was racist and awful and a sin against humanity.
Mike Stables said he doesn’t know anyone serving in law enforcement, but still felt compelled to travel to New York from Denver, Colorado to attend last night’s “Pro-Cop Rally” in front of City Hall. Stables even sold t-shirts marked with the phrase, “I Can Breathe” to a few demonstrators.
“It’s not a divisive effort at all,” he said, insisting that his goal was to “bring communities together.” Asked why he would design a t-shirt with a perversion of the phrase uttered nine times by a dying man who was choked by an NYPD officer, Stables replied, “Lebron has a worldwide podium and he exercises that and does it in a very eloquent fashion, but I think we need to also perhaps garner some attention, no pun intended.”
NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and the police unions had discouraged their officers from attending the rally, which claimed the hashtag #BlueLivesMatter.
Roughly fifty people showed up. When tens of thousands of people are marching in the streets under the banner of justice, it seems like a bad time to publicly proclaim your faith in the status quo.
“Get a job, for Christssake,” Carmen Rios shouted at a group of counter-protesters holding signs bearing Eric Garner’s name. “He resisted arrest, and he had asthma, it’s his problem. He was doing something illegal. Isn’t he breaking the law? Why is that so difficult to understand?”
A man who collapsed while waiting for Berkeley paramedics to arrive later died at the hospital, city employees have told Berkeleyside, after large protests that wracked the city earlier this month delayed first responders.
Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong has declined to comment on the incident, saying he is prohibited from doing so because of medical privacy laws.
“Anytime there is a delay it causes us concern,” he said, speaking generally. “Our objective is to get there rapidly so we can start treating the patient.”
Several city staffers — who asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak with the media — confirmed that paramedics were delayed in their response to help the man who collapsed, and said he later died at the hospital.
De Blasio Meets With Protesters In Office Of SEIU Even After SEIU Organizer Arrested For Attacking Police
Just like Obama, this is de Blasio’s subtle finger in the eye to the NYPD. Here’s the story on the arrest of the SEIU organizer, Robert Murray. Murray is 43, not a kid, with years of union organizing. SEIU was a main actor behind Occupy and is heavily involved in getting out numbers for these protests in New York.
Walking a fine line between his sympathy for civil disobedience and his role overseeing the NYPD, Mayor de Blasio met with both protesters and cops Friday in separate events just hours apart.
At the agency’s lower Manhattan headquarters, where he attended a police promotion ceremony and addressed about 200 cops, the mayor got a polite reception Friday afternoon — though it paled compared to the wild cheers that greeted officers when they went onstage to be promoted to a higher rank.
In his speech, de Blasio twice referred to the NYPD as “the finest police force in the world” and praised its members for skillfully handling the weeks of angry protests against a Staten Island grand jury’s failure to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the chokehold death of Eric Garner.
“The eyes of the nation, in fact the eyes of the world, have been on this city and have been on this department and … the respect for the NYPD has grown,” he said.
Two hours earlier, the mayor met with the organizers of Justice League NYC, one of the groups behind the city-wide protests that have sprung up in the aftermath of the grand jury decision.
The closed-door meeting, held in the Midtown office of labor union 1199SEIU, lasted about 45 minutes.
North Korea Proposes Joint Investigation Into Sony Hack, Warns Of “Serious Consequences” If We Refuse
Even ridiculous North Korea now treating us like a door mat. How low can this regime bring us?
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes will prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack.
U.S. officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used in the Sony attack and previous hacks linked to the North, and have vowed a response. The break-in resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of confidential Sony emails and business files, and escalated to terrorist threats that caused Sony to cancel the Christmas release of the movie “The Interview.” The comedy is about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
On Saturday, an unidentified Foreign Ministry spokesman in Pyongyang said North Korea knows how to prove it’s not responsible for the hacking, so the United States must accept its proposal for the joint investigation.
The Vegas odds maker aren’t touching this one. To date Bergdahl is the only captive to keep his head.
The Army has finished its investigation into how and why Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan and senior Pentagon leaders have been briefed, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, officials said Friday.
Details about the probe’s conclusion have been closely held. But they are likely to lay out whether Bergdahl deserted his post or was “absent without leave” or AWOL. And it could include recommendations on whether Bergdahl should be charged with any criminal violations or forced to leave the Army. Any final disposition will eventually also determine whether Bergdahl gets as much as $300,000 in back pay and other benefits, including continued health care.
Officials said Army Secretary John McHugh could send the case to a military commander who would decide whether it should go before a court martial and what, if any, charges would be filed against Bergdahl.[…]
An initial U.S. military investigation in 2009 concluded that Bergdahl deliberately walked away, based on evidence available at the time. Since his release, some former soldiers who served with him have labeled him a deserter and said he should be held accountable for leaving his post. Others have suggested that troops were put in danger, and even killed, as they tried to find Bergdahl.[…]
The deal to swap prisoners with the Taliban, meanwhile, enraged members of Congress who complained the administration violated requirements to inform lawmakers of any such transfer 30 days in advance.
A report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon broke the law by not telling Congress and using nearly $1 million of a wartime account to make the transfer.
Hagel told Congress that the Defense Department “acted lawfully in the operation to recover Sgt. Bergdahl, a judgment that was supported by the Justice Department.”
This past election crushed the Democrats, this is their hope of a win in 2016.
Via Fox News:
Nearly 20 years after reporters and congressional investigators caught the Clinton administration trying to register a million immigrants as new citizens and Democratic voters — many without proper documents — some Republicans fear the Obama administration is instituting a similar policy.
The November memorandum issued by the White House and Department of Homeland Security on immigration does more than give a reprieve to millions of illegal immigrants. It also makes a push for legal immigrants to become citizens. It allows legal immigrants in the U.S. to, for the first time, pay their $680 naturalization fee by credit card. And the plan offers to waive the cost, based on income, for families earning up to $47,000 for a family of four.
In the past, the government prohibited such partial waivers. The plan, dubbed “New Americans,” will also include a comprehensive media campaign in major media markets in 10 states.
Critics worry this is part of an effort to register new Democratic voters and turn red states blue by the next election.
Six-year-old Aaron Williams got the surprise of his life when he pulled on Santa’s beard this year–and found his Air Force dad hiding underneath.
Little Aaron had no idea his father was able to get time off from his deployment in South Korea, WSMV reports.
Aaron Williams, 6, had no idea he was about to be one of the main characters in his own Christmas story.
Nicholas Williams was in the back putting on a Santa suit.
“I’m here to surprise my son, who doesn’t know I’m coming home for Christmas,” Nicholas Williams said.
Nicholas had been overseas for eight months, and Aaron had been told he would not be able to make it home for the holidays.
“I told him that wasn’t going to be possible, that he couldn’t leave,” Whitney Williams said. “So he started actually crying when I told him that. He was really upset. I felt like a horrible mother for lying to him like that.”
Aaron’s Lakeview Elementary School kindergarten class thought it was story time. That was when Santa Claus showed up.
Out of all the gifts Aaron could have asked for, he just asked for one: “Daddy.” He got his Christmas wish.
Obama: Where'd you learn to intimidate filmmakers? Kim Jong-un: From you, okay? I learned it by watching you! pic.twitter.com/qGanZqesaC
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 19, 2014
* In case you fail to recognize the picture, that’s police arresting the man who made the trailer that the Obama regime blamed for the attack in Benghazi.