Peruvian officials are considering extraditing Greenpeace activists for vandalising the Nazca lines in Peru. The centuries-old etching in the desert is a national historical treasure of the country.
The officials accused the activists of irresponsibility because they caused “irreparable damage” to the Nazca lines after its demonstrations and publicity stunt aimed to send a message to the UN climate talks in Lima.
Culture Vice-Minister Luis Jaime Castillo said “we will extradite them and bring them to face their penal and civil responsibility. Our heritage has been tarnished by this action. Now everyone wants to go the Nazca lines, but to see the area affected by Greenpeace’s actions.”
Peruvian authorities have identified six members of the group who participated in the Unesco World Heritage site protests last week. Proesecutors have filed charges of attacking archeological monuments, which could amount to six years imprisonment.
“Greenpeace says it wants to take responsibility but in not giving us the names so that those responsible can appear before a judge in Peru it is refusing to do that,” he said. “It’s a contradiction in terms.”
“It makes you wonder if they really are as ashamed as they say they are.”
Twenty activists entered the restricted area and left the sign “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable!” beside the giant figure of the hummingbird etched in the desert ground more than 1,000 years ago. Archaeologists said the protester’s footprints could remain on the desert ground for decades.
Chancellor George Osborne announced more restraint in public sector salaries after he laid down his plan for the UK economy. The plan gave no assurances to the protection of the Department of Education’s spending and it even laid out the plans to limit public sector pay increases.
Osborne said: “Our control of public sector pay these past four years has delivered £12 billion of savings. By continuing to restrain public sector pay we expect to deliver commensurate savings in the next Parliament until we have dealt with the deficit.”
The public education industry has suffered four years of pay freezes and one-percent salary increases since the current government took position. Teachers leaders had condemned the new plan, stating that the industry and the workforce had suffered their share.
According to General Secretary of the NASUWT, teachers had been cut 15% from their pay packets. Now teachers and other public service workers pay restraint by the end of the decade and will represent even deeper cuts to pay.
NAHT General Secretary Russell Hobby said “We are really starting to see the effect of that policy on recruitment. It’s insidious in that when people come to consider teaching, they see that teacher salaries are becoming less and less competitive and we know you can’t raise standards without attracting the best people into teaching.”
“I’m worried that the government might be preparing the ground to water down its policy of protecting education budgets.”
According to writers and surveyors, Duchess of Cambridge Katharine Middleton, also known as Kate Middleton to the entire world might be losing her appeal. While the world respectfully gives her and her husband Prince William the treatment due, back here in the UK, she just seems to be some other person.
Some observers said that it is possible that the media has “moved on” from showcasing Kate. It is also possibly the “love-hate” relationship the British press and the public has with the royal family.
According to surveys, 89% of British women don’t have any interest in stepping into or becoming a Kate Middleton even for a single day. Only 6% of British men said they would date her. She comes fourth in the list after Prince Harry, the Queen and Prince William.
Feminist Commentator and Author Germaine Greer declared Kate has “a bastard job”, is “too thin” and the Duchess has been “made to go through” pregnancy again.
Women’s Wear Daily published the attitudes of the women in the US and UK questioning the validity of the “Kate Middleton Effect” and finds women are gravitating towards individuals who are showing independence instead of dependence.
It might be a falling out of love with the beautiful duchess. It might also be because the public is now focusing on realism
Formula 1 Racer Nico Rosberg had defeated Lewis Hamilton in the finals of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 23 for the second world title. Now, Hamilton is at a disadvantage following the controversial double points decision of the championship’s final race.
Now, Lewis Hamilton will have to be second to Nico Rosberg to be in the same scenario.
Rosberg had recently defeated Hamilton in Brazil, reducing the gap between the two Mercedes drivers to just 17 points. The German driver was flawless in his performance and had won four races. However, Hamilton has 10 races under his belt.
He had only once defeated Hamilton in a Monaco Race where Hamilton was eventfully slowed down at the pit stop.
Despite his brilliant performances, Rosberg receives criticism. By winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Finals, he can definitely prove his critics wrong. He had been the fastest in all practice and qualifying sessions and has led the races.
Most analysts say that Rosberg is the only one who could stop Hamilton’s continuous streak. They also point to Hamilton’s spin on lap 28 where the costly error had put him behind his Mercedes teammate.
The Pentagon verifies the authenticity of an ISIS video released by its media allies showing fighters securing a single US air drop intended for Kobane Kurdish Defenders. However, they said these are equipment the ISIS already has. According to the Pentagon, one supply drop is not enough to arm a formidable platoon.
The Pentagon said the strong winds blew off the supply drop’s intended target.
In the video, the cache contained a large number of grenades and medical supplies. Some of the equipment were rusty and new. Some of the equipment shown were rocket-propelled grenades.
The Pentagon verified that there was only one supply drop that missed its mark.
US air strikes have destroyed other caches dropped into Kobane to avoid ISIS possession.
The Islamic State had also stolen several American M1 Abrams tanks from the Iraqi army base in the Anbar Province.
Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, highly opposed to the US air drop, said that the move was “wrong.” He stressed the long-term Kurdish possession of the weapons, which may land to the hands of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party designated as a dangerous terrorist organisation by the US and NATO.
However, Turkey has allowed Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to enter the Turkish border to reinforce Kobane’s defence and push back ISIS from the strategic town.
The Hong Kong Government announced Saturday that all necessary actions will be taken to ensure protests were removed by Monday morning. However, by 6am, student demonstrators still remained in the Central district and other areas of government offices in the Admiralty areas.
Some protesters have withdrawn from the protest, but hundreds have arrived to replace them. Many of the protesters blocked entrance to the Chief Executive’s Office.
The student protesters had earlier warned of extended protests after no agreement had become fruitful for talks regarding Hong Kong’s political system. As protesters prepared to have themselves forcefully removed by police, not one arrived to make good on the Government’s promise.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government had agreed to have dialogue with the Hong Kong Federation of Students regarding constitutional reform if they call on protesters to clear the streets and lift the blockades on government facilities.
The talks were offered on Thursday, but student leaders did not acknowledge the offer because many students were violently assaulted by riot police in Mong Kok on Friday. However, Federation Secretary Andrew Chow told the crowd that they had now started preparing for dialogue with Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam.
The Hong Kong Federation of Students had also apologized to the public for the transportation inconvenience. Chow said that the protesters will be clearing access roads for government workers and other employees.
If not for the US’ attacks in Iraq, the balance between Sunni and Shia Muslims will still be the same. The US-led campaign had left many Sunnis in Iraq marginalised, especially with a Shia-dominated and western-backed Iraqi government. With majority of Sunnis in Syria revolting and dead against the dominance of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Shia minority, the Sunnis were left powerless to defend themselves against the Syrian regime..
All of these played right into the hands of the Islamic State.
According to political analysts, the US, Arab and other coalition country air strikes will only diminish the threat at present. However, it will not eradicate the threat of a new ISIS, al-Qaeda or any other terrorist splinter group forming because of the conditions there are for ethnic and religious minorities.
Meanwhile, the United States had thanked the efforts of Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for their support for the coalition. The five Arab countries had just finished their first bombing run with the United States and had confirmed the kill of 14 ISIS targets inside Syria.
Without a regional consensus, no true peace in the Middle East exists, says Financial Times political analyst David Gardner. Another front is fighting against the IS, namely Iran and other Shia militia from Iraq. He said that there is no possibility of re-ordering the Middle East unless its main actors want to put an end to the causes once and for all.
According to an anonymous Israel Military Official, Hamas had suffered 16,000 estimated combatant casualties as of Tuesday from the 50-Day Israel-Gaza war continues. The official said to reporters that militant Groups in Gaza probably had 2,500 to 3,000 rockets, which the Israeli military was able to destroy 3,000 before the ceasefire. Hamas and other groups had launched 4,000 rockets in total, misfiring against Israeli targets, hitting some Israel advances and suspected to have targeted some of Palestine’s own population.
The official provided evidence that Senior Hamas Commanders have been killed and thousands of operatives were wounded. Militant headquarters were also heavily damaged during the bombing run.
Hamas landed 875 rockets inside Gaza, increasing suspicion that Hamas was targeting the local Palestinian population and using civilians as their shields in the conflict.
The official commented that Hamas’ new tactics involved rocket sites concealed underground as operatives moved through tunnel networks accessible inside houses, making them hard to reach and virtually invisible.
Israel can only confirm the deaths of 341 Hamas, 182 Islamic Jihad militants and 93 other militants from smaller groups. Meanwhile, in the 2,127 Palestinian casualties, 706 were civilians, 805 still remain unknown as combatant or civilians.
The Israeli official has also not verified whether the bombing attack against the house of Muhammad Deif, the military chief of Hamas, has left him dead or alive.
Three Top Hamas Officials, Mohammed Abu Shamala, Mohammed Barhoum and Raed al-Attar were killed in Rafah, a southern town in Gaza. According to the Palestinian Rescue Services, the three Hamas officials were among the three individuals out of six who were killed in the bombing in the area.
Meanwhile, both Hamas and Israel blame each other for re-starting the hostilities between the two countries. Israel said that 10 Hamas rockets flew into the town of Beersheba and Tel Aviv. Meanwhile Hamas said that Israel’s air strikes came first before the rocket volley.
Israel has made it an ultimatum to disarm Hamas and ensure the “full security” of Israel from the militant group.
So far, 2,103 Palestinians have died within six weeks
Shamala was the senior commander of the south of Gaza and was the Commander of Rafah, who had captured Gilad Shalit, an Israeli Soldier. Barhoum and al-Attar are responsible, along with Shamala, for building the tunnel networks and smuggling activities of the Hamas.
Both Hamas and Israel had abandoned efforts to negotiate a lasting ceasefire with Israel. The UN Security Council was “gravely concerned” at the restart of the hostilities and called for the two sides to re-negotiate their ceasefire options. Meanwhile, Egypt promised it will continue to pursue a lasting truce for both countries.
A 72-hour Egyptian-brokered ceasefire accepted by both Israel and Hamas, replacing the earlier one broken by one of the two sides will take effect Tuesday at 8AM local time. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that both parties must respect the terms of the truce. Both sides are encouraged to meet in Cairo and resolve the dispute for a long-term ceasefire arrangement.
Israeli Officials said Israel prepared for the possibility that Hamas might violate the ceasefire as it had done recently. The officials cautioned that the public must remain vigilant against any possible major attack pulled by Hamas before the ceasefire.
After Israel finished the underground tunnels used by militants for infiltration operations, Israel accepted the ceasefire.
A Palestinian Delegation representing Gaza presented their demands to the Egyptian government. It called for the lift of the siege of the Gaza Strip, the reopening of all the border crossings. They also called for policing Israel regarding military attacks and UN assistance in rebuilding the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Officials deemed the demands as unrealistic and it will pull out all Israeli forces in Gaza once it is honoured. Israel had also not made clear if they will be sending their delegation immediately for indirect talks on a long-term agreement.