Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Germany Nabs 3 US Teen Girls Seeking to Join IS; Teens from Denver Area, Kerry Thanks Germany

Secretary of State John Kerry said today (October 22, 2014) that the U.S. is grateful to Germany after three Denver-area teenage girls -- who secretly left their homes -- were stopped in Frankfurt last weekend, while traveling to join Islamist State (IS) fighters in Syria, according to the USA Today website.

"We are very, very grateful for Germany for their cooperation with us on this particular incident of some young folks who were traveling," Kerry said today during a Berlin news conference.

Two girls are sisters, ages 15 and 16, of ethnic Somali origin, and the third teen, 17, is of Sudanese background. One girl reportedly told German authorities the three were "going to Turkey to study."

German Interior Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Mueller-Niese told reporters today that authorities in Germany were informed by the U.S. that the girls were arriving alone at the Frankfurt airport. The three have since been reunited with their families in Colorado, FBI spokeswoman Suzie Payne said. The girls -- most likely -- will not be prosecuted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

US Weapons Airdrop Seized by IS Mil. in Kobane; Crates of Arms, Ammo, Med. Eqpt. Was for Kurds

A U.S. military airdrop of weapons meant for Kurdish fighters fell into the hands of their jihadist foes near the Syrian battleground town of Kobane, the AFP (Agence France-Presse) website reports today (October 21, 2014).

The American military could not confirm the account, but said it was examining a video posted online that shows a masked gunman with what appears to be parachuted crates of weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies to resupply Kurds defending the Syrian town of Kobane from the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.

"One load was taken by IS and there are contradictory reports about a second" which was also reported to have gone astray, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Some sources said two consignments had landed in the hands of IS, but others said that warplanes from a U.S.-led coalition destroyed one of them once the error was detected.

Pastors Must Perform Gay Weddings or Be Fined; File Lawsuit to Stop City's Forced Gay Ceremonies

Two Christian pastors in Idaho have filed a lawsuit and asked the courts to restrain city officials from making them perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Donald Knapp and his wife, Evelyn, operate Hitching Post Wedding Chapel and have been required by city officials to perform same-sex marriages or else be jailed or fined, the Christian Headlines website reports today (October 21, 2014).

The Knapps' penalties could be up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000 per day that they refuse to officiate the weddings.

The city of Coeur d'Alene says its non-discrimination ordinance requires the couple to perform the wedding ceremonies.

"The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines," legal counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Putin Tried to Divide Ukraine with Poland's Tusk; Polish PM Showed No Interest to Back Putin Plan

Poland's parliamentary speaker, Radoslaw Sikorski, has been quoted as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Poland's then leader in 2008 that they divide Ukraine between themselves, the Reuters website reports today (October 20, 2014).

Sikorski -- who until September served as Poland's foreign minister -- was quoted telling U.S. website Politico that Putin made the proposal during Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's visit to Moscow in 2008.

"He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an 'artificial country' and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don't we just sort it out together," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Sikorski -- who accompanied Tusk on his trip to Moscow -- was quoted as saying Tusk did not reply to Putin's suggestion, because he knew he was being recorded, but Poland never expressed any interest in joining the Russian operation. "We made it very, very clear to them  -- we wanted nothing to do with this," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Miss Hitler 2014 Contest Is on Russia's Facebook; Nazis Vote for Favorite Pix of Anti-Semitic Women

A Miss Hitler 2014 contest is going on right now on VKontakte -- Russia's Facebook -- as Russian and Ukrainian Nazis are voting for their favorite pictures of proud, beautiful, anti-Semitic women posted on the site's "Adolf Hitler" group page, the Drudge Report website reports today (October 18, 2014).

Miss Ostland 2014, as it's called, is a social media pageant tribute to Ostland, the Nazi civilian occupation regime of the Baltic states in 1941 in which more than a million Jews were murdered.

But Miss Ostland is more about "feminine beauty" than genocide.

The woman whose picture receives the most likes will be declared the winner, and only group members can vote.

Nigeria, Boko Haram Accept Truce, Girls' Freedom; 200 Schoolgirls Kidnapped in April Will Be Freed

The Nigerian government says the militant group Boko Haram has agreed to a cease-fire and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants in April, the Voice of America News website reports today (October 18, 2014).

Nigeria's highest-ranking military official, General Alex Badeh, announced the cease-fire agreement yesterday. He ordered all of the country's military chiefs to abide by the deal.

Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria for the past five years as it tries to turn northern Nigeria into an Islamic state. Bombings, gun attacks, and other acts of violence have killed thousands of civilians and police.

The militants outraged the world when they stormed a school in the remote northeastern village of Chibok, kidnapping some 270 girls. Fifty-seven managed to escape, but more than 200 are still being held. Many of the girls are believed to have been used by the militants as sex slaves.

Friday, October 17, 2014

IS Militants Being Trained to Pilot Fighter Jets; Flew Captured Jets in Syria Near Aleppo Airport

Reports have emerged that ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) militants have been trained to pilot three captured fighter jets in Syria, the Euro News website reports today (October 17, 2014).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said several witnesses reported the planes were flown around the military airport in Aleppo, Syria. It is unknown whether the jets are equipped with functioning weapons. The insurgents were said to be trained by former pilots of the late Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein.

The U.S. military said it was unaware of any IS flight operations in Syria or elsewhere.

IS militants have often captured weaponry from Syrian and Iraqi armies, but this would be the first time they have piloted warplanes.