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Father Overwhelmed By Japanese Hostage 'Death'

Written By andika jamanta on Minggu, 25 Januari 2015 | 18.25

The father of the Japanese hostage apparently killed by Islamic State has said he is overwhelmed by grief.

Shoichi Yukawa said he still had hope "deep in my heart that this is not true" and added that if he were reunited with his son he would give him a "big hug".

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slammed "an outrageous and unforgivable act" after a video reportedly showing an image of captive Kenji Goto holding a picture of a beheaded Haruna Yukawa was posted online.

The clip also purportedly contained the voice of journalist Mr Goto, 47, claiming the 42-year-old private military company operator had been killed.

Mr Abe said the video, which also includes a demand for a prisoner exchange for Mr Goto, appears to be authentic.

The jihadist group Islamic State (IS) had threatened to kill the captives unless a $200m (£133m) ransom was paid to secure their release.

The 72-hour deadline set by the Islamist militants expired on Friday.

However, in the new video they have called for the release of Sajida al Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death in Jordan for her part in the Amman bombings in 2005 that killed 60 people.

Mr Abe insisted Tokyo would not bow to terrorism and said his government would spare no effort to secure the release of the remaining captive.

But he reiterated that Japan would not give in to terrorism.

Barack Obama condemned the "brutal murder" and said the United states would stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Japan.

He called Mr Abe to offer his condolences and called for the immediate release of Mr Goto.

In the video, Mr Goto spoke in English, blaming Mr Abe for Mr Yukawa's death, and told his wife and family not to give up on him.

A Japanese news agency reported the video of Mr Goto had also been emailed to the wife of one of the hostages.

The hostages had appeared in videos wearing the same orange jumpsuits as those worn by captives in previous IS videos.

The mother of Mr Goto has pleaded with militants to spare her son's life.

Junko Ishido said he is a friend of Islam who devoted his life to helping children in war zones.

Mr Yukawa was seized by militants in August, after he went to Syria in what he described as a plan to launch a security company.

Mr Goto, a veteran war correspondent, went into Syria in late October seeking to secure Mr Yukawa's release, according to friends and business associates.


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Woman At Centre Of IS Prisoner Swap Demand

Islamic State militants have said they will release the remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto if a prisoner called Sajida al Rishawi is released from jail in Jordan.

But who is she and why does IS want her free?

On the evening of 9 November 2005, explosions ripped through three hotels in the Jordanian capital, Amman.

At the Day's Inn hotel, a bomber detonated an explosive belt killing three people. Down the road at the Grand Hyatt, a second bomber detonated his belt. Nine people died.

At the Radisson SAS Hotel, the final two suicide bombers prepared their devices. The couple, a husband and wife team, walked into the hotel ballroom where newlyweds were celebrating their marriage with 900 guests.

Ali Hussein Ali al Shamari detonated his device. It killed him and 37 others. His wife tried to detonate her belt, but it failed to go off. She escaped but was later arrested. Her name is Sajida al Rishawi.

She has spent the past 10 years, forgotten, in a Jordanian prison cell. Suddenly she is a focus again.

In his audio statement, Japanese hostage Mr Goto read out the demand from his IS captors:

"I would like to stress how easy it is to save my life, you bring them their sister from the Jordanian regime and I will be released immediately. Me for her."

Al Rishawi, an Iraqi national in her 40s, is more than just a symbolic 'sister' of the Islamic State. There is a thread linking her to the terrorist group and it goes back over a decade.

The thread begins in Ramadi, a town in a region west of Baghdad where the group known as Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was formed.

The leader of AQI was Abu Musab al Zarqawi, a man personally responsible for a series of bombings and beheadings at the height of the Iraqi insurgency in the mid-2000s.

Al Zarqawi's 'right-hand man', according to the Jordanian deputy prime minister, was a man called Mubarak Atrous al Rishawi. He was the brother of Sajida al Rishawi.

Al Zarqawi and Mubarak Atrous al Rishawi were both killed by US forces in Iraq, but their group lived on.

It adapted and amalgamated with other groups.

By 2006 it had morphed into the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) and eventually, after expanding into Syria as well as Iraq, it became the self-styled 'Islamic State' under the leadership of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, a graduate of al Zarqawi's brutality.

King Abdullah of Jordan, who proudly announced the capture of Sajida al Rishawi after her failed bombing attempt in 2005, has spoken in the last 24 hours to the Japanese Prime Minister.

The two men will be discussing al Rishawi: can she be traded? Will she be released?

Following her arrest, she made a TV confession of her attempted bombing.

She explained how she and her husband spread out in the ballroom in order to kill as many people as possible: "There were women, men and children" she said.


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

UKIP MEP Defects To Conservative Party

The Conservative Party chairman has dismissed Nigel Farage's claims against a UKIP defector as "absolute desperate stuff".

Amjad Bashir announced on Saturday he had defected to the Conservative Party, with David Cameron saying he was "absolutely delighted" with the decision

But Mr Farage told Sky News the "Establishment" had been threatened by UKIP's success and that he was expecting "102 days of endless negativity" ahead of the General Election.

He has claimed UKIP's MEPs had been "begging" him to get rid of Mr Bashir because of a number of serious irregularities and said the party was was about to suspend him.

Speaking on the BBC Andrew Marr Show, he said he was "surprised" the Tories had accepted the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber given UKIP were about to suspend him because of the allegations of a "grave nature".

The UKIP leader claimed there were questions over money in Brussels, the apparent employment of illegal immigrants at his restaurant, alleged interference with candidate selection process and apparent links to political extremists from Pakistan.

However, Grant Shapps told Sky's Dermot Murnaghan the Conservatives had done "due diligence" on Mr Bashir's background and had been in talks with him for some time.

And he dismissed the comments made by Mr Farage as "absolute desperate stuff from UKIP".

It comes as one of Mr Farage's most senior aides sparked controversy by claiming Britain has "hundreds of thousands of bigots" and saying UKIP was proud to stand up for them.

Matthew Richardson, the party's secretary, has dismissed his comments as "lighthearted harmless banter in the pub".

Mr Farage told Andrew Marr it was an attempt by the political establishment and their "friends in the media" to damage UKIP and echoed Mr Richardson's comments that it had been just pub talk.

As he attempted to limit the damage from the weekend's stories, Mr Farage promised to fund the NHS with the money Britain would save from leaving the European Union, pledging £3bn extra a year - more than Labour's pledge.

Mr Bashir, who was formerly UKIP's small business spokesman, was accused of hypocrisy last May after it emerged that seven people were arrested for immigration offences in a raid on his restaurant.

At the time, the party leader had refused to "prejudge" the case, as Mr Bashir's family had launched an appeal.

In addition, Mr Bashir reportedly held a "continued affiliation" with Mujeeb Bhutto - who resigned from the party in 2014 after it emerged he had been jailed for leading a gang of kidnappers in Pakistan.

Explaining his reasons for quitting the party, Mr Bashir told The Sunday Telegraph that UKIP had become a "party of ruthless self-interest" and was "pretty amateur".

He added: "The issues raised in my notice of suspension are historic and well known to the party. Indeed, on one of them, Nigel Farage has publicly defended me over it."

The defection is a boost for the Prime Minister, who saw two of his own MPs defect to UKIP last year and comes as a ICM Wisdom Index poll showed a significant drop off in UKIP support in the last month and a Tory boost.

He said: "I'm absolutely delighted that Amjad has decided to leave UKIP and join the Conservative Party."

Mr Farage claimed UKIP could win around three or four seats in May and said the party was not just taking seats from the Tories.


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

BA Owner IAG Tables Fresh Bid For Aer Lingus

Written By andika jamanta on Sabtu, 24 Januari 2015 | 18.25

By Mark Kleinman, City Editor, in Davos

The parent company of British Airways (BA) has approached Aer Lingus about a fresh takeover bid for the Irish carrier.

Sky News can exclusively reveal that International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) submitted a revised proposal to the board of Aer Lingus within the last couple of days.

Sources said that the board of IAG had authorised an improved all-cash offer earlier this week worth at least €2.50 a share, which would value the Dublin-based airline at more than €1.3bn (£971m).

Directors of Aer Lingus discussed the proposal on Friday with their investment banking advisers from Goldman Sachs, according to insiders.

The disclosure of the approach by Sky News is likely to trigger stock exchange statements by both companies on Monday.

The fresh overture could be sufficient to persuade Aer Lingus to enter into formal takeover discussions with IAG, although it was unclear this weekend whether there were significant conditions attached to the proposal.

It was also unclear whether IAG might be prepared to raise its offer for a third time if the current proposal is rejected.

IAG's chief executive, Willie Walsh, is a former Aer Lingus pilot who went on to run the airline before taking the helm at BA in 2005.

He has made two previous approaches for the Dublin-based carrier, pitched at €2.30 and €2.40 a share, in the past six weeks.

Both were rebuffed by Aer Lingus on the basis that there were undisclosed conditions attached and that they "fundamentally undervalue[d] Aer Lingus and its attractive prospects".

Mr Walsh's attempt to acquire Aer Lingus is designed to cement its grip on take-off and landing rights at London's Heathrow Airport, while enabling him to improve the Irish carrier's profitability by combining some operations with those of IAG.

Already the largest carrier at Heathrow, a merger of the two companies would create a group with close to half of the available slots there.

A Government commission on aviation capacity led by Sir Howard Davies is due to recommend after the General Election whether Heathrow or Gatwick should be allowed to construct a new runway.

Even if Aer Lingus's board is minded to open talks with IAG, Mr Walsh will need to persuade the Irish Government and Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary of the bid's merits.

Ryanair owns a 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus and has fought a long-running battle with regulators over both that shareholding and a string of its own bids for its rival dating back to 2006.

Ryanair has indicated that it would be prepared to consider an offer of between €2.50 and €2.70 a share.

The Irish Government holds a 25.1% stake in the airline, and reports have suggested that it could insist that IAG retains Aer Lingus's Heathrow slots solely for flights to and from Ireland as a condition for approving a deal.

Analysts have argued that such a pre-condition would make Aer Lingus less attractive to Mr Walsh, who in addition to his IAG role is also chairman of Dublin's state debt management agency.

IAG was created in 2009 from the merger of BA and Iberia, which has been radically restructured by Mr Walsh against initially intense opposition from Spanish labour groups.

Since then, it has also acquired Vueling, another Spanish carrier, struck an alliance with American Airlines and considered several other big takeovers.

IAG shares closed on Friday up 2.1% at 536p, valuing it at almost £11bn, while Aer Lingus shares closed up 0.4% at €2.35, giving it a market capitalisation of €1.25bn.

Aer Lingus is preparing for a transition in its leadership regardless of Mr Walsh's efforts to acquire it.

The airline's chief executive, Christoph Mueller, is leaving in May to run Malaysia Airlines, which is being nationalised following the disasters last year involving flights MH370 and MH17.

IAG, which is being advised by Deutsche Bank, and Aer Lingus both declined to comment.


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Obama Joining PM To Pay Tribute To Saudi King

Prime Minister David Cameron and The Prince of Wales, representing the Queen, are flying to Saudi Arabia today following the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

They will join a host of international dignitaries in Riyadh to pay their respects to the Saudi royal family.

President Obama has cancelled the end of his visit to India - which included a visit to the Taj Mahal - in order to fly to Saudi Arabia, a long-standing ally of the United States.

Mr Obama will travel to Riyadh on Tuesday to meet with King Salman, the White House has confirmed.

King Abdullah, 90, died on Thursday evening after almost two decades leading the world's biggest oil exporter.

Both Mr Cameron and the Queen said they were "saddened" by his death.

Their decision to fly to Saudi comes amid sharp criticism over a decision to lower flags at Whitehall and across England a mark of respect for the late monarch.

Downing Street and Whitehall buildings, including Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, were instructed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on Friday to lower the Union Flag for 12 hours in tribute.

But some politicians and human rights campaigners have slammed the tributes to Abdullah who presided over a country where a woman was recently beheaded in public, a blogger was sentenced to receive 1,000 lashes for 'insulting Islam' and where women have been banned from driving.

Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Conservatives, dismissed the flag tribute as "a steaming pile of nonsense", adding that it was "a stupid act on its own and a stupid precedent to set".

Former Conservative MP for Corby, Louise Mensch, took to twitter to vent her anger: "It is so unacceptable to offer deep condolences for a man who flogged women, didn't let them drive, saw guardian laws passed and starves them."

She even tweeted "F*** YOU" in reply to a tweet from the British Embassy in Riyadh which quoted the Prime Minister's sorrow at the king's death.

The head of Amnesty International implored the world not to forget the country's human rights abuses amidst the tributes to the dead king.

Salil Shetty said: "The Saudi regime seems insensitive to human rights and human dignity and unfortunately they are also protected by many Western countries because they have oil and because they are seen as allies in the fight against terrorism."

But Westminster Abbey argued refusing to lower its flag would not have helped the "desperately oppressed Christian communities of the Middle East".

"For us not to fly at half-mast would be to make a noticeably aggressive comment on the death of the king of a country to which the UK is allied in the fight against Islamic terrorism," a spokesman said.

A spokesman for UKIP leader Nigel Farage said lowering the flags showed "respect for an ally in the war against terror" and that the issue of human rights should be taken up with the new king.

But one of his MPs, Douglas Carswell, disagreed, saying officials had seriously blundered and showed "immoral" values far from those of the British public.

Referencing the civil service mandarin from television series Yes Minister, he said: "Sir Humphrey's values need to be aligned more closely to people in this country rather than being quite so immoral.

"Saudi Arabia is a country that doesn't let women drive and publicly executes people."

Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Rev Justin Welby told Sky News: 'Freedom of religion is essential and freedom to express Christian faith in Saudi Arabia is something that should happen.

"A few weeks ago there was a group of migrant workers arrested for holding a private service in a flat. That's not right.

"But I know that King Abdullah himself - it's a complicated place Saudi Arabia, like all countries - King Abdullah himself is someone who has worked very very hard on these issues and has contributed much and I think it's right that the prime minister should send condolences and should recognise what he's done over the years."

King Abdullah had run the country as de facto leader since the mid-1990s after his predecessor King Fahd suffered a debilitating stroke.

He was admitted to hospital on 31 December suffering pneumonia and the royal court announced that he was breathing with the aid of a tube.

He has been succeeded by his 79-year-old half-brother, Salman.


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Teenager Murdered In Pub Machete Attack

A murder investigation has begun after a 19-year-old man was killed in a machete attack outside a pub in Gloucester.

He was attacked near the Pike and Musket pub at about 12.40am on Saturday morning, and police are appealing for witnesses.

A 22-year-old man was left with serious injuries after the attack, and investigators believe the weapon used was a machete. 

The victim is now in a stable condition following surgery at the Gloucestershire Royal Hospital.

A third man, aged 18, sustained minor injuries in the fight, which unfolded on Windsor Drive in Tuffley.

"We would like to speak to anyone who witnessed what happened in the pub's car park or was in the area around the time of the incident and may have seen something which may help with inquiries," a police statement added.

More follows...


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The Sun Puts Topless Woman Back On Page 3

Written By andika jamanta on Kamis, 22 Januari 2015 | 18.26

The Sun has published a photo of a topless woman for the first time in almost a week after speculation the newspaper had scrapped its Page 3 feature.

The newspaper featured a winking "Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth" on Page 3 in Thursday's edition - the first such image published since last Friday.

"Further to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that this is Page 3 and this is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth," the paper states beneath a headline "Clarifications and Corrections".

"We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us."

It was widely reported that the 44-year-old feature had been moved online and would only be available on the paper's website.

Campaigners have long been pushing for the feature to be scrapped, labelling it sexist, harmful to children and out-of-date.

The campaign group No To Page 3 said the "fight might be back on" after Thursday's edition of the paper hit the newsstands.

Writing on their Facebook page the group said: "Thanks to The Sun for all the publicity they've given the campaign."


18.26 | 0 komentar | Read More

Video: Police Shoot Black Man As He Surrenders

Newly released footage has revealed the moment a man was shot dead during a police traffic stop in New Jersey as he got out of a car with his hands raised.

The footage, captured by a police dashboard camera, shows officers making a traffic stop in Bridgeton, New Jersey, on 30 December.

But the situation becomes increasingly tense as one officer warns his partner that he has seen a gun in the glove compartment of the Jaguar car.

Officer Braheme Days repeatedly shouts at the passenger "show me your hands!" while warning him not to "reach for something" inside the vehicle.

He then appears to reach into the car and remove a gun, but the passenger, Jerame Reid, gets out of the vehicle and is shot several times.

Officer Days and his partner have been placed on leave pending a Cumberland County prosecutor's office investigation.

The shooting has sparked protests in Bridgeton and comes after months of demonstrations over the killings of unarmed black men by white police officers in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.

In the footage, the officers pull over the Jaguar for going through a stop sign.

Officer Days steps back, pulls out his gun and tells the men inside the car to "show me your hands".

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  1. Gallery: Archive: Protests After Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

    Protesters took to the streets after a grand jury decided not to charge a white policeman over the chokehold death of an unarmed black man

Father-of-six Eric Garner, 43, died after he was restrained by police

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Prince Andrew Asked To Respond Under Oath

Prince Andrew has been formally asked to respond to allegations by a woman who claims she was made to have under-age sex with him.

A letter addressed to the Prince at Buckingham Palace has been filed by lawyers acting on behalf of Virginia Roberts.

The document, filed on Wednesday in a Florida court, asks him to take part in a two-hour interview under oath.

Ms Roberts, who is referred to in court as Jane Doe No 3, claims when she was 17 she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew by his friend Jeffrey Epstein - a financier and now convicted sex offender.

The Duke, who is not a party to the proceedings, strenuously denies the claims.

The letter, dated 14 January, said: "This letter is a formal request ... to interview you, under oath, regarding interactions that you had with Jane Doe No 3 beginning in approximately early 2001. Jane Doe No 3 was then 17 years old.

"The interview could be conducted at a time and place of your choosing, and with your co-operation, I believe the interview could be completed in two hours or less."

The Prince is expected to publicly deny the allegations when he hosts an event at the World Economic Forum in Davos later.

He is due to speak at around 5.30pm, with coverage on Sky News.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "We would not comment on speculation about what the Duke might say."

It is the first time Ms Roberts has spelt out in her own words what she claims happened.

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  1. Gallery: Profile Of Prince Andrew

    Born on 19 February 1960 at Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew is the second son and the third child of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh

The Prince served in the Royal Navy for 22 years as a helicopter pilot - he took part in the Falklands campaign

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'Unnatural Sex' File Given To Abuse Inquiry

Written By andika jamanta on Rabu, 21 Januari 2015 | 18.25

By Tom Parmenter, Sky News Correspondent

A secret Government file has been unearthed that documents "unnatural" sexual behaviour taking place when the Westminster paedophile scandal was at its height.

It has been kept under lock and key for 35 years on grounds of national security - but will now be released to the child abuse inquiry established by the Government.

Security and intelligence expert Dr Chris Murphy stumbled across it last November while searching documents at the National Archives in Kew.

He was immediately alerted by the title: "PREM19/588 - SECURITY. Allegations against former public [word missing] of unnatural sexual proclivities; security aspects 1980 Oct 27 - 1981 Mar 20."

"I was looking through the 'PREM' Prime Minister file series for the 1980s," the University of Salford lecturer told Sky News.

"I think I did a double-take and then started wondering what the potential implications of the title, which is a little vague, could be."

It is highly likely then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher saw the documents, and was briefed on the security implications, but the identities of those within them remain secret.

Dr Murphy added: "The fact that this file is concerning the Prime Minister and these allegations are being taken to the Prime Minister I think would strike anybody of being potentially of some interest."

Sky News highlighted the existence of the file to the Cabinet Office earlier this month.

A spokesperson for the department said: "In this case, the file was kept closed and retained as it contained information from the security services and advice from the Law Officers. 

"These classifications are reviewed periodically."

The department would not reveal whether David Cameron or Home Secretary Theresa May were aware of the contents, but promised it would be made accessible to the child sex abuse inquiry.

"We are clear that any files that are pertinent to the historical child sex abuse inquiry will be made available to the panel," the spokesperson added.

Mrs Thatcher's former press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham, told Sky News he could not recall the file.

He did though confirm that both he and Mrs Thatcher were aware of allegations against a Government minister in the early 1980s.

Sir Bernard would not name the individual, but said: "I asked him about it and he denied it, so no, I didn't do anything else. What was the alternative?"

In July last year, the Prime Minister promised the survivors of sexual abuse that "no stone would be left unturned" in the pursuit of the truth.

Officials at the Cabinet Office have previously attempted to block requests for information relating to Cyril Smith, the late Liberal politician who is now known to have abused youngsters.

Simon Danczuk MP, who exposed the extent of Smith's offending, told Sky News the "sexual proclivities" file had to be released.

"I think it is right and proper that the Government now open up this document, let us know what is in there," he said.

"I think there is a culture within Government departments of not releasing information and that has caused some of the problems we now have in getting to the bottom of who was involved in this paedophile network and who was involved in covering it up."

The abuse inquiry was announced in July but currently has no chairman, after first Lady Butler-Sloss and then Fiona Woolf were appointed and then stepped down following concerns over their links to the political establishment.

It is still yet to appoint someone to lead it amid growing calls for action from survivors and campaign groups.


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More
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