Unidentified people set fire to NLD headquarters

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YANGON, Myanmar – Unidentified people threw a burning torch into National League for Democracy headquarters in Bahan township at 4am Friday.

Neighbors put out the flames using buckets of water and fire extinguishers after finding there was no water available for nearby hydrants. After they had put out the fire, the local fire service arrived, which also did not bring water with them.

“The strange thing was that the water was cut off,” one bystander told Myanmar Now. “There was no water supply at all around the office. There was no water from the hydrants when we tried to put out the fire. We had to use buckets of water. It’s lucky that there were fire extinguishers ready.”

There was some structural damage as well as damage to office furniture.

NLD representatives said they would report the arson to the police.

The NLD Party was formed after the 1988 democratic revolution. Standing as an opposition party, the NLD party entered the parliamentary by-election in 2012.

By Htay Win
Photo credit Myanmar now

Sentencing memorandum in US case says Honduran president ‘played a leadership role in a violent, state-sponsored drug trafficking conspiracy’

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A pre-sentence report submitted by US Attorneys against Tony Hernández, brother of current Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, describes the president participating firsthand in his brother’s cocaine smuggling ring and taking bribes.

The president’s brother was convicted of trafficking “multi-ton loads of cocaine” through Honduras by plane, boat, and helicopter and using government forces to secure drug shipments.

A statement by US Attorney Audrey Strauss says the convicted Hernandez is a “ruthless, powerful, and murderous cocaine trafficker” who “facilitated the shipment of large loads of cocaine by bribing Juan Orlando Hernández.”

According to transcripts from trial closing arguments, US Attorneys charged that the defendant paid bribes to the president as recently as 2019,.and that the president “did not only want the cash, he wanted access to the defendant’s cocaine.”

It is unusual for US prosecutors to name sitting heads of government in criminal cases, but the president is named directly 58 times in court documents.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Bangladesh sentences 14 Islamists to death for attempting to kill prime minister in 2000

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Nine operatives of the outlawed Harkatul Jihad Bangladesh, HuJI-B, were in court Tuesday, five others on the run, as the sentence was pronounced by a judge at the Dhaka Speedy Trial tribunal-1 for placing a 170-lb bomb where the prime minister’s helicopter was scheduled to land in Gopalganj district in July 2000. The plot failed because security forces detected the device.

“The verdict will be executed by a firing squad to set an example unless the law barred it,” the judge said. The prevailing practice is execution by hanging. For the five on the lam, the judge said their sentence would be executed upon arrest or surrender.

The condemned have the right to appeal.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Armed bandits target civilian populations in possible IS resurgence, killing 236 in just a week near Mali border in Niger

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Motorcycle gunmen sprayed bullets at everything that moved in the villages of Intazayene, Bakorat, and Wistane Sunday in the 3-country area near Burkina Faso, said local officials noting that Islamic State jihadists have claimed responsibility for massacres in the area, adding 137 dead to the toll of earlier attacks.

The arid Tahoua region in western Niger butts against the Tillaberi river valley region in a border zone that has filled with Jihadists attracted by Islamist insurgencies in the 3 countries, explained a government spokesman on public television following the attacks.

Sunday marked the deadliest day in the region.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Mexico tightens its southern border ‘to protect minors’ and to keep them from reaching US

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Mexico’s National Migration Institute, INM, says the aim is to protect migrant children who are “exploited by criminal networks” that tell migrants to bring their children to facilitate their entry into Mexico and the United States.

Mexico’s protection of minors is centered in stopping them from entering the country to prevent them from becoming “victims of human trafficking,” according to INM, which announced “various new measures,” including reinforced National Guard troops, drones, and militarized police will be deployed to monitor points of entry on its southern border.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Gulf of Guinea pirates a growing threat in West Africa controlling area from Senegal to Angola, to Cabo Verde to Sao Tome and Principe

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Militant groups robbing and kidnapping foreign nationals for ransom have grown into a proper organized criminal network with a hub in Nigeria running pirate operations with impunity, and the problem is getting worse and more widespread in the region, stifling development across the entire west coast of Africa, according to a pirate expert speaking to Alan Kasujja on Africa Daily. Pirates now control an area that reaches as far as 200 knots into international waters, and modern vessels now allow them to evade authorities. Last year, 130 of 135 maritime kidnappings worldwide occurred in the Gulf of Guinea.

The area gets less international attention that the key oil routes of the Straits of Hormuz and the Horn of Africa.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Eight male student leaders accused of threatening mostly female university students to make them attend meeting that resulted in tragic deaths in Bolivia

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University students grieving the loss of classmates after the collapse of the barrier of a 4th story balcony that killed 7 and injured 4 say they were forced to attend the overcrowded student assembly under physical threats, and demand “justice.”

The Education Science students, mostly women due to the nature of their field of study, charge that a group of 8 male current and former student leaders seeking to gain political control of the student organization called the compulsory meeting. They ignored social distancing restrictions and threatened whippings, beltings, fines, and other “sanctions,” they say, and claim to have been beaten for being late or skipping previous meetings.

Seven of the 8 men are now in custody, charged with homicide, with calling the illegal gathering, and with inciting the confrontation that broke the guard railing.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Massive prison break in Haiti leaves dozens dead, 200 high-security inmates on the run

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Around 400 inmates broke out of the maximum security prison in Croix-des-Bouquets near the capital Port-au-Prince, killing the warden and several civilians. Six of the fleeing prisoners died, half of them have been arrested again, others are still handcuffed but still on the loose, according to a government spokesman.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Former French president sentenced to ‘prison’

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Nicolas Sarkozy was sentenced to three years for bribery and illicit influence by a Paris court Monday stemming from a conviction for conspiring with lawyers in order to obtain information into an investigation of his campaign finances.

Of the 3-year sentence, 2 years will be be spent on probation, reported French news agency AFP from the Paris Palace of Justice. The 66-year-old is unlikely to have to go to jail because the sentence can be served at home under electronic surveillance. He is the first former French president to be sentenced to prison.

He has 10 days to appeal.

By Milan Sime Martinic

Mexico: Thousands March One Year After Disappearance Of 43 Students – Photo Document

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MEXICO CITY — Thousands of people took to the streets Saturday to mark the anniversary of the disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero in a case involving corrupt police and high-ranking members of the army that continues to trouble Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Parents and relatives of the missing students led the march from an area close to the presidential residence of “Los Pinos,” carrying with them pictures of their loved ones and shouting slogans rejecting the official statement of their fate.

Days before the march, President Nieto held a meeting with the parents of the 43 missing students to hear their demands and show support for their cause.

“We are on the same side,” Peña declared.

Nevertheless, the Parents described the president’s attitude toward the case as “indifferent,” and while more than 10,000 people were marching through one of the main boulevards of Mexico City, Nieto was attending to the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York City.

“Because alive they were taken, alive we want them back!” was the slogan of the march; Signs that read “Crime of the State,” “Get out Peña,” and “Peña, Murderer” were shown all along the march. Various Mexican personalities such as Elena Poniatowska, a Mexican journalist, author and activist, and Hipolito Mora, leader of self-defense groups in Guerrero, were also present, asking for justice.

The march proceeded peacefully except for one group 0f self-named “anarchists,” who launched a series of riots, ending in clashes with police but without causing much damage.

The march culminated at the historic Zocalo, a giant square in the heart of Mexico City, with a speech by the spokesman for the families, Felipe de la Cruz, in which he encouraged demonstrators to show their outrage over what happened in Ayotzinapa, Atenco and Tlatlaya, where state crimes have been committed and where impunity still reigns.

Text and Images by David Córdova
























The Story of Michael Flynn

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The former Obama administration director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and former Trump administration National Security Advisor is back in the news this week after Sally Yates, former acting-Attorney General, testified to the Senate about his history.

She said that the Obama administration had warned Trump not to hire Flynn because Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail from Moscow because Flynn wanted to hide his dealings with Russia.

The reasons behind Flynn’s decisions are known only to him and perhaps the FBI, which is investigating Flynn and others in the Trump administration for possible collusion with Russia during the election.

Flynn was first fired by Obama in 2014.

Between that time and Trump’s candidacy, Flynn was a paid guest on RT, where he criticized the U.S. government, and even shared a table with Putin, reportedly.

During Trump’s run in 2016, Flynn was a big supporter, although he also was being paid $500,000 by Turkey to work on their behalf, reportedly. Flynn did not disclose the relationship with Turkey to the relevant authorities in the U.S. or to the Trump administration.

When Trump was elected he appointed Flynn as National Security Advisor, despite reported warnings from the Obama administration and, according to some, Obama himself, that Flynn could not be trusted because he had lied to the Trump administration about meetings Flynn had with a Russian ambassador (Sergey Kislyak, talking about lifting the sanctions currently on Russia over Crimea and Ukraine issues) during the election.

Additionally, when he was appointed by Trump to become National Security Advisor he did not disclose his dealings with Russia on his security clearance form (a federal crime).

When the Trump administration was warned by the Obama administration about Flynn, he was not fired until 2 weeks later, just after the Washington Post reported on the conversation Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador.

Washington Post, NYTimes, NYTimes, NYTimes, NBC News, Foreign Policy, CBS News