Monday 7 October 2013
Photo, above: An estimated 800,000 mourners turned out in Jerusalem for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party – this first political party in Israel to give voice to the Sephardim.
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block A: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, in re: Abu Anas al Libi, abducted from Tripoli "by men with Libyan accents," according to his sons; was sought by Britain and fled from there early in the aughts; is "core al Qaeda," however you define that. Is now a guest on a US warship; Libya objects vociferously. Somalia: a failed raid. SEALs went in to get an al Shebaab target, leader of external operations ("the guy who plans attacks"); had to withdraw under heavy fire. He's probably linked to the attack on the Westgate Mall. Swedish Somali also involved. No public reports of Chechens. Raid was similar to another failed attempt earlier this year. Anent both raids, in Somalia and Libya, both groups were carrying out orders from al Qaeda senior leadership in South Asia.
Shabaab claims it 'repelled' raid by Western special operations forces Shabaab claimed that its fighters stopped a Western-led nighttime raid from the sea in the costal town of Barawe. The US special operations forces killed a top al Qaeda and Shabaab leader in Barawe four years ago.
Al Qaeda's affiliates continue joint operations in Syria Reporting from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights shows that al Qaeda's two affiliates inside Syria continue to collude despite a leadership dispute that became public in April.
Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah claims credit for assassinating Pakistani general The Taliban released video of the attack that killed Major General Sanaullah Niazi, the Army commander for Swat. Fazlullah said negotiations with the government are merely "a component of war.
Danish Salafist leader said to have been killed in Syria A martyrdom video for Kaldet til Islam leader Shiraz Tariq has surfaced, indicating that he died fighting with jihadist forces in Latakia last month.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block B: Bill Roggio, Long War Journal and FDD; Thomas Joscelyn, Long War Journal senior editor, in re: Syria leadership dispute: who gets to control this army that's growing day by day. More acid relations earlier this year, but now they’re fighting side by side. First category is __________. Second is groups that mostly agree with al Qaeda and sign a document saying, This is how we thing Syria should look in the future. All troublesome to the West. All the non-Assad forces are aligning themselves with the jihad is. Reluctance in the Obama administration to acknowledge that al Qaeda is growing. Most are devoted to insurgencies; increases long-term danger to the West. It is not true that al Qaeda is receding, diminishing. Thousands of fighters are arriving into Syria – over 10,000 have poured in as well as we can tell. We were told that he Americans were the problem in the Mideast; that, were we to leave, it'd all return to stability. This is patently not accurate. Al Q expansion in Somalia, East Africa, Sinai, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Caucasus. Astronomical increase.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block C: Francis Rose, Federal News Radio; Lara M Brown, political analyst and author; Salena Zito, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review & Pirates fan, in re: the government shutdown. Pentagon bringing back many workers in the next hors. Commute today was light. DoD comptroller said "sometime this week." John Boehner ("need debt limit") & president both basically promise no negotiation. "Like Gettysburg – nether side could see it coming, both sides got drawn in over three days, bludgeoned each other." Gettysburg battle ended as the high-water mark of the South; so far, polls show that they're all falling, an anti-incumbent wave is building. In Gettysburg, until the third day Lee thought he was winning. Behind the scenes, GOP saying , We just want to clean this up and take care of the debt ceiling. The Grand Bargain, a phrase not being used here, looks as though it's coming because of the clock. . . . Pew research: 77% of Republicans nationally think Obama shd agree to a change in the ACA, whereas 75% of Dems think the opposite. . . . Disaster.
GOP congressman: We stumbled into war over Obamacare On Thursday afternoon, as the government shutdown entered its third day, a Republican member of the House sat down with a group of reporters in an office building not far from the Capitol. He spoke on the condition that he be referred to only as a House lawmaker, but without betraying the...
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 1, Block D: Lanhee Chen, Stanford, in re: APEC in Bali. Late on a Thursday night, just before his intended departure, the president decided not to attend any of four planned meetings, including ASEAN and APEC. State Secretary said: this doesn’t mean the president has taken his focus off the region. Russia and China showed up; the US didn't. . . . Administration officials keep claiming that the pivot is not about China; it certainly should be – Strait of Malacca, the whole region. The US has an interest in insuring that China is a [fair] player. Opportunities missed by the US.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block A: Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management; John Fund, National Review Online; David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Senior Congressional correspondent, in re: In Washington, negotiations aren't happening.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block B: Patrick Chovanec, chief strategist at Silvercrest Asset Management; John Fund, National Review Online; David M Drucker, Washington Examiner Sr Congressional correspondent, in re: Affordable Care Ac: everyone knows it doesn’t much work; shrugging it off. Medicaid expansion.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block C: Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica, in re: Yesterday, a federal jury convicted a former Guatemalan army lieutenant, Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes, of immigration fraud, finding that he obtained U.S. citizenship in 2008 by concealing his role in the massacre of 250 men, women and children during Guatemala's civil war three decades ago. The trial, which began last week, is the first in the U.S. involving an atrocity from Guatemala's 30-year civil war. Sosa faces a prison term of at least 10 years, loss of U.S. citizenship and then deportation to Guatemala, where he is charged with murder. He is the highest-ranking former soldier convicted on charges related to the slaughter that wiped out Dos Erres in 1982 -- highlighting how this case has achieved unusual progress as the only mass killing among hundreds from the war where soldiers have been held accountable. The verdict has been called "an important validation" of efforts by human rights advocates and Guatemalan prosecutors who have long pursued cases against former members of an elite unit of commandos known as "Kaibiles." "Although Sosa was convicted of a relatively minor crime, the role of the U.S. government in prosecuting the Dos Erres case reinforces the quest for justice in Guatemala," Rotella writes. ". . . The judicial and media attention in the United States is also important because powerful sectors in the economic and political elite of Guatemala are resisting efforts to pursue the atrocities of the past." [more]
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 2, Block D: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com, in re: Fukushima radiation suddenly spikes up; Japan calling for global help – which it refused inn the wake of the disaster. The Ronald Reagan was near there at the time, had a great deal of experience in nuclear clean-up and could have helped a lot. China opens fire on 60 Tibetan protestors. When this Chinese govt falls there need to be international tribunals charging Party leaders for crimes against humanity effected in Tibet and in East Turkestan. Xi Jinping can move round meetings and smile a lot, but all the neighbors know how appalling his troops have been both internally, against non-Han people and even against Han citizens, as well as externally, and how aggressive he's been in violating sovereign space in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The Trans-Pacific Partnership. China pressing for its own TPP. Obama's failure to attend is a huge mistake – an unforced error – while Kerry clearly is not up to the task. Putin and Xi as fuzzy-warm buddies.
Chinese Police Fire on Unarmed Tibetan Protesters in Driru. Chinese security forces shot and wounded at least 60 Tibetans as they fired into a crowd demanding the release of a villager who had led protests against orders to fly the Chinese flag from their homes, according to sources Monday. The incident Sunday in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Driru (in Chinese, Biru) county of Nagchu (Naqu) prefecture was sparked when a crowd gathered to confront police attempting to search the home of Dorje Draktsel, who was detained last week after taking part in local protests, the sources said. At least 60 were wounded when the Chinese troops opened fire, with many of those hurt suffering gunshots to their hands and legs and others knocked unconscious when police fired tear gas into the crowd, they said. Many of the injured have still not received medical care, according to the sources. Tagged as a leader Draktsel, a resident of the township’s Yangthang village, had been tagged by authorities as one of the leaders of the protest by Driru-area Tibetans resisting orders to fly the Chinese flag from their homes. “He had escaped from Dathang township and was going to Driru town when he was taken into custody,” a Tibetan living in exile Tashi Dondrub told RFA’s Tibetan Service, citing contacts in the region. After Draktsel was detained, “[Chinese] armed police went to search his home, and when the villagers protested, more armed police arrived and fired into the crowd,” Dondrub said. At least two of the protesters were critically wounded. One of them, Tashi Gyaltsen, was sent to a hospital in the regional capital Lhasa, a local source in Driru said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “An elderly woman was also hit by gunfire and is now in critical condition,” an India-based exile source named Tenzin told RFA’s Mandarin Service on Monday, also citing sources in the area. “Other Tibetans suffered gunshots to their hands or legs, and many were knocked unconscious when police fired tear gas into the crowd,” Tenzin said. Brutally beaten Another protester—Tsering Gyaltsen, 25—was earlier detained and brutally beaten after being identified as a ringleader of last week’s protest against forced displays of loyalty to the Chinese state, Tenzin said. “He was rushed to a hospital in Lhasa on Oct. 5,” he said, adding, “Now his condition is very worrisome, but doctors refuse to provide details.” Because of “extremely strict” controls on information channels, it is impossible to obtain photos of those wounded in Sunday’s shooting, Tenzin said. “Chinese authorities have dispatched more than 200 paramilitary and police vehicles to villages [in Driru], setting up checkpoints on all the major roads,” he said. “They have confiscated Tibetans’ cell phones and blocked communications by phone and the Internet. Now people have to bring their ID cards even when they go out to shop, and police are taking away all Tibetans who cannot show their ID.” Driru-area Tibetans now living in Lhasa have been forbidden to return to their hometowns, a local source added. Sporadic demonstrations challenging Beijing’s rule have continued in Tibetan-populated areas of China since widespread protests swept the region in 2008. A total of 122 Tibetans have also set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom, with another six Tibetans setting fire to themselves in India and Nepal. Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service and Dan Zhen for the Mandarin Service. Translated by Karma Dorjee and Ping Chen. Written in English by Richard Finney.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block A: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Conference grand, gala diner next week. Syrian "rebels" are now mostly al Qaeda-affiliated. PM of Turkey, Erdogan, calls Assad a terrorist and excoriates State Secy Kerry for praising Assad for divesting of some chemical weapons. First, Assad had called Erdogan a murderer. Before that, Assad and Erdogan were best friends. UN announces that in 2014, four million Syrians will flee Syria. Syria is a failed state with a rogue state inside it; a city near the Turkish border holds 1,000 foreign jihadists – young men recruited, go there as an adventure; say that Syria is a stage, then Lebanon, then other countries then Europe. There's no solution to Syria. Assad looks as though he might prevent the total chaos that observers expect. Kerry supports the US demand of getting rid of chem. weapons – the ones that Assad said don’t exist; doesn’t much support the Assad regime.
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block B: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents, in re: Sephardic Jewry. Sferad is Hebrew for Spain; refers now to Jews of Middle Eastern lineage, distinct from Ashkenazy Jews, from East Europe and Europe. "Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef died on Monday in Jerusalem, following months of deteriorating illness, aged 93." The rabbi founded the Shas Party, which was the first to give a political voice to Sephardim. Rabbi was born n Baghdad, went to Cairo in 1947?; returned to Israel became a senior judge, Wore traditional gown with silver and gold embroidery Today, 800,000 people turned out for his funeral. He turned the mantle of leadership to a fellow who'll take the secular leadership, but no apparent heir to his religious position. Rouhani, in May just before the June elections in Iran, boasted about how he'd deceived the world about Iran's nuclear program – "We suspended centrifuges, didn’t stop them; began with yellowcake in 2004; I [lied] extensively." The plutonium reactor is moving ahead; nukes enhanced. US can step up the sanctions but . . .
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block C: Sharon Begley, Reuters, in re: Days after the launch of the federal government's Obamacare website, millions of Americans looking for information on new health insurance plans were still locked out of the system. [more]
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 3, Block D: Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg, in re: ACA. Straining Clinics With Medicaid Expansion – Much of the attention on Obamacare has centered on the law’s insurance exchanges, which opened Oct. 1 and allow people to shop online for health plans. Less noticed has been the law’s provision to provide states funding to expand their Medicaid programs to individuals making as much as 133 percent of the federal poverty level, far more generous than eligibility requirements in most states prior to the law. So far, 25 states have said they plan to expand Medicaid. [more]
SLO-BAMACARE. Obamacare Window Shoppers Meet Bottleneck in Slow Sign-Up – Health insurers in the Obamacare marketplaces are starting to slowly enroll new customers after computer bottlenecks and window shoppers complicated the debut of the exchanges. Insurers selling plans in the government-run exchanges are reporting a trickle of applications and they anticipate sign-ups will increase as technological issues in the enrollment process are corrected and consumers gain familiarity with their options. [more]
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block A: Sabrina Tavernise, NYT, in re: Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law Because some states are not expanding Medicaid, two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and a majority of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance will not benefit from the new health law. . . . A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times. Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help. The federal government will pay for the expansion through 2016 and no less than 90 percent of costs in later years. Those excluded will be stranded without insurance, stuck between . . . [more]
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block B: Reza Kahlili, author, A Time to Betray, in re: As US touts thaw in Iran relations, Iranians spit on Obama image, prepare for ‘Death to America’ day
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block C: Big Guns and Brave Men: Mobile Artillery Observers and the Battle for Okinawa [Kindle Edition], by Rodney Earl Walton (1 of 2)
Monday 7 October 2013 / Hour 4, Block D: Big Guns and Brave Men: Mobile Artillery Observers and the Battle for Okinawa [Kindle Edition], by Rodney Earl Walton (2 of 2)
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Hour 1 : The Eagle, Brake
Hour 2 : Centurion, Assassin's Creed
Hour 3 : Mission Impossible 2, Game of Thrones
Hour 4 : Brake, The Recruit