Category archives for: News From Away

Gay Activists Give Al-Shabab One Star on Yelp After They Hint They Won’t Serve Pizzas at Gay Weddings in Kenya

al shabab in kenyaGARISSA, Kenya (AP) — Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through a university in northeastern Kenya at dawn Thursday, killing 147 people in the group’s deadliest attack in the East African country. Four militants were slain by security forces to end the siege just after dusk. The masked attackers — strapped with explosives and armed with AK-47s — singled out non-Muslim students at Garissa University College and then gunned them down without mercy, survivors said. Others ran for their lives with bullets whistling through the air. Amid the massacre, the men took dozens of hostages in a dormitory as they battled troops and police before the operation ended after about 13 hours, witnesses said. When gunfire from the Kenyan security forces struck the attackers, the militants exploded “like bombs,” Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said, adding that the shrapnel wounded some of the officers. (read more at the Lewiston Sun Journal)

Islamic State Army Destroys Ancient City to Promote Their Vicious, Uncompromising Worldview, Say They Want to Rename the Washington Redskins Next

isil armyBAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq — Islamic State militants have destroyed ancient remains of the 2,000-year-old city of Hatra in northern Iraq, the tourism and antiquities ministry said on Saturday. An official told Reuters that the ministry had received reports from its employees in the northern city of Mosul, which is under the control of the radical Islamist group, that the site at Hatra had been demolished on Saturday. The official said it was difficult to confirm the reports and the ministry had not received any pictures showing the extent of the damage at Hatra, which was named a world heritage site in 1987. But a resident in the area told Reuters he heard a powerful explosion early on Saturday and said that other people nearby had reported that Islamic State militants had destroyed some of the larger buildings in Hatra and were bulldozing other parts. Hatra lies about 70 miles south of Mosul, the largest city under Islamic State control. A week ago the militants released a video showing them smashing statues and carvings in the city’s museum, home to priceless Assyrian and Hellenistic artifacts dating back 3,000 years. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Homeland Security Reminds Terrorists to Come to the Airport to Get Frisked Before Blowing Up the Mall. It’s the Law

mall of americaWASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department said on Sunday it was not aware of any specific plot against U.S. shopping malls, backing away from comments by the department’s chief that he takes seriously a threat by Somali-based Islamist militants against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping sites in the West. Some U.S. and Canadian officials had earlier cast doubt on the credibility of the threat made in a video attributed to al Shabaab, which appeared to call for attacks on Western shopping areas, specifically mentioning Mall of America, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, London’s Oxford Street and sites in Paris. Asked on the CNN program “State of the Union” on Sunday morning about the threat to Mall of America, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said, “Anytime a terrorist organization calls for an attack on a specific place, we’ve got to take that seriously.” He advised people going to the Mall of America, which is one of the world’s largest shopping areas, to be particularly careful. Hours later, Homeland Security Department spokeswoman Marsha Catron said the department and the FBI had shared information about the video with local law enforcement and “private sector partners.” (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Live, Freeze, and Die

Blizzard in Maine. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorBOSTON — Following a series of record-setting snowfalls, New England on Friday got a new metric for how severe its winter has been: The town of Alton, New Hampshire called off its annual ice carnival due to a forecast calling for more snow and brutal cold. “It’ll be zero degrees and blowing snow, and that’s not a good time for everybody,” said Roger Sample, who owns a construction business in the town on the shores of New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee and serves as the carnival’s chairman. The carnival, which Sample said has been held for more than two decades, typically draws about 1,000 visitors out onto the frozen lake’s Alton Bay for games and rides, as well as to see small planes that land on the ice. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Five Years On, Haitians Starting to Wonder How Bad Maine Must Be to Keep These Weirdos Hanging Around

mainers in haitiThere’s a utility sink in the surgical ward at Justinian University Hospital that’s not a fit place to dump a mop bucket, let alone wash a doctor’s hands. Yet that’s exactly what happens several times each day at the only public hospital in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest city in Haiti. A nurse dips a small yellow bucket into a barrel of water that stands next to the sink. Slowly, she pours the water while a doctor scrubs his hands with disinfecting soap. The gray water rises in the bottom of the sink. The drain pipe to an underground cesspool has been clogged or broken for years. “It will take a whole day for that water to drain away,” said Hugh Tozer, an engineer at Woodard & Curran in Portland. “Even the maternity ward doesn’t have functioning sinks.” Five years after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 200,000 Haitians and left 1.5 million homeless, Tozer and other Mainers still working to improve life in the impoverished Caribbean nation say progress has been made, but much remains unchanged. (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Brian Williams Taking Time Off to Look for the Blue Max NATO Gave Him for Shooting Down Bin Laden

The Blue MaxNEW YORK — NBC News anchor Brian Williams said Saturday he will take himself off the evening newscast for several days as the network probes misstatements related to his experience reporting on the Iraq war in 2003. “In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions,” Williams said in a statement posted on NBC News’ website. Lester Holt, who typically anchors on weekends, will step in to handle the weekday evening broadcast in the interim, Williams said. NBC launched an internal probe Friday into the top-rated “Nightly News” anchor’s debunked claim that he was aboard a helicopter that was downed by a rocket-propelled grenade during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. In an internal memo, NBC News President Deborah Turness told staffers that a team would gather the facts about the incident in which Williams, 55, falsely said he was in a U.S. Army helicopter that was hit and forced down by an RPG. “This has been a difficult few days for all of us at NBC News,” she said. “As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired.” (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Last Four Copies of the Magna Carta Displayed to the Last Four People in London Not Named Patel

magna cartaLONDON — You can’t exactly call it a reunion — the four surviving original Magna Cartas had never before been in the same place. So the British Library called it a “unification event” Monday when the priceless documents were put on display together for the first time. The event marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, which established the timeless principle that no individual, even a monarch, is above the law. In 1215, 40 rebellious barons came together to declare their rights to King John, and he reluctantly consented to their demands in an attempt to avoid civil war. It included acknowledgements that taxes cannot be arbitrary, that free men cannot be imprisoned without first being judged by their peers or the law and that justice cannot be denied or delayed. But within weeks, the pope voided the agreement, and England was thrown into war. The document was later incorporated into English law. The original Magna Carta manuscripts were written and sealed in late June and early July 1215, and sent individually throughout the country, making Monday’s unification unique. (read more at the Maine Edge)

Obama Wonders Why Islamic Terrorists Don’t Just Order Tax Audits On Their Enemies Like Civilized People Do

obama and bidenWashington (AFP) – US President Barack Obama condemned the “cowardly, evil” assault on a French satirical newspaper that left 12 dead Wednesday, pledging US assistance to Paris to bring the attackers to justice. The US leader, speaking from the Oval Office, expressed solidarity with France and pledged that the attack on Charlie Hebdo would not squelch the right to free speech held dear by both nations. “France is one of our oldest allies, our strongest allies,” Obama said. “For us to see the kind of cowardly, evil attacks that took place today, I think, reinforces once again why it’s so important for us to stand in solidarity with them, just as they stand in solidarity with us.” “The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom — of speech and freedom of the press,” he added. “But the one thing that I’m very confident about is that the values that we share with the French people, a belief — a universal belief in the freedom of expression — is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.” (read more at Yahoo News)

Satirical Newspaper Workers Massacred. I’ll Be Right Back, Someone’s at the Door

satirical newspaper workers massacredPARIS — Black-hooded gunmen shot dead at least 12 people at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a satirical publication firebombed in the past after publishing cartoons lampooning Muslim leaders and the Prophet Mohammad, police said. President Francois Hollande headed to the scene of the attack and the government said it was raising France’s security level to the highest notch. “This is a terrorist attack, there is no doubt about it,” Hollande told reporters. Another 10 people were injured in the incident and police union official Rocco Contento described the scene inside the offices as “carnage.” “About a half an hour ago two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs (rifles),” witness Benoit Bringer told the TV station. “A few minutes later we heard lots of shots,” he said, adding that the men were then seen fleeing the building. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

Buffalo Residents Assured By Climate Experts That If They Keep Digging, They’ll Eventually Hit The Global Warming

buffalo global warmingBUFFALO, N.Y. – A ferocious lake-effect storm left the Buffalo area buried under 6 feet of snow Wednesday, trapping people on highways and in homes, and another storm expected to drop 2 to 3 feet more was on its way. Even hardened Buffalo residents were caught off-guard by the early-season storm that was expected to end by Wednesday afternoon. The storm came in so fast and furious it trapped more than 100 vehicles on a 132-mile stretch of the state Thruway in western New York that remained closed Wednesday. Snow plunged off one family’s roof with such force that it blew in the back door, filling a room with snow.“It was a huge crash. We all started running back there. We actually thought that it was the roof coming down in the house,” said Chrissy Gritzke Hazard, who was home with her husband, five children and three of her children’s friends Tuesday. “We were definitely not expecting it to be the doors blown out, the frame, everything, inside the house.” The snowstorm shifted slightly into Buffalo’s northern suburbs Wednesday morning, giving the hardest hits areas a bit of a reprieve, but forecasters said a second round of lake-effect snow could deliver an additional 2 feet or more into Thursday. (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

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