Sunday, April 19, 2015

Today's Links

“All the signs are that things are worsening,” said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the agency. “Basic services are on the verge of collapse. It’s just getting worse by the day.” NYT






1--Chemical Weapons Used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen Kill Scores of Civilians, sputnik


2--Not so quiet on the eastern front‏




3--Top Yemen scholars in the West condemn Saudi Arabia’s war, WA Post


The targets of the campaign include schools, homes, refugee camps, water systems, grain stores and food industries," warns the letter. "This has the potential for appalling harm to ordinary Yemenis as almost no food or medicine can enter."


The Saudi intervention followed the steady collapse of the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who came to power with Saudi backing in 2012. A rebellion led by the Houthis, a Shiite political movement, seized Yemen's capital Sanaa last year. Hadi fled his sanctuary in the southern city of Aden last month as Houthi forces approached and is now in Riyadh.


We write as scholars concerned with Yemen and as residents/nationals of the United Kingdom and the United States. The military attack by Saudi Arabia, backed by the Gulf Cooperation Council states (but not Oman), Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, the UK and above all the US, is into its third week of bombing and blockading Yemen. This military campaign is illegal under international law: None of these states has a case for self-defense. The targets of the campaign include schools, homes, refugee camps, water systems, grain stores and food industries. This has the potential for appalling harm to ordinary Yemenis as almost no food or medicine can enter. Yemen is the poorest country of the Arab world in per capita income, yet rich in cultural plurality and democratic tradition. Rather than contributing to the destruction of the country, the US and UK should support a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and use their diplomatic influence to strengthen the sovereignty and self-government of Yemen. As specialists we are more than aware of internal divisions within Yemeni society, but we consider that it is for the Yemenis themselves to be allowed to negotiate a political settlement.


4--Navy has seven combat ships around Yemen as Saudi-led blockade continues, WA Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/04/17/navy-has-seven-combat-ships-around-yemen-as-saudi-led-blockade-continues/


US provides support for Saudi massacre of Yemen civilians.


5--Yemeni Army Tries to Safeguard Oil Fields as Qaeda Fighters Advance, NYT


Qaeda fighters have seized the airport, government buildings and a refinery around Al Mukalla, establishing themselves as the most powerful local force. In an effort to win popular support, they have begun calling themselves the Sons of Hadhramaut and have promised to quickly return control of the city to local civilian leaders. When they seized a major army base outside of the city on Friday, they allowed the soldiers inside to leave unharmed, according to a local tribal leader....


The United Nations, citing Yemeni Health Ministry reports, said at least 767 people had been killed and more than 2,900 wounded in recent weeks, and Mr. Schweizer said he had heard some estimates of more than 1,000 people killed. Intense fighting has kept medical teams from collecting the dead in some places, he said...


“All the signs are that things are worsening,” said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the agency. “Basic services are on the verge of collapse. It’s just getting worse by the day.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/world/middleeast/aid-agencies-increasingly-alarmed-by-yemen-crisis.html?_r=0


6--ISIL responsible for Jalalabad deadly attacks: President, press tv
Assim 5 hours ago
The funny thing is that Ashraf Ghani wanted to send 10 000 Afghan soldiers to fight the poor people of Yemen and protect the interests of the same wahabbi/takfiris who call themselves the Islamic State.


8--‘Saudi princes planned to down Air Force One with missile’: 9/11 terrorist gives damning testimony, RT


A former Al-Qaeda member has revealed a strong connection between the terrorist group and the Saudi Royal family in the 1990s. More notably, he alleges that Saudi princes and terrorists discussed a plan to shoot Air Force One out of the sky.
The revelations came in the form of a testimony, delivered from a maximum-security prison, where Zacarias Moussaoui is incarcerated.
According to the New York Times, Moussaoui submitted the claim on his own initiative. He sent a letter to the judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by family members of 9/11 victims against the government of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting discussing the plan to down Air Force One allegedly took place at the kingdom’s embassy in Washington DC....


“My impression was that he was of completely sound mind — focused and thoughtful,” said a Philadelphia lawyer questioning him.
It should be noted that allegations of ties between top Saudi businessmen, the political elite and Al-Qaeda are nothing new. They have been substantiated by evidence in the past. Bin Laden himself was the son of a Saudi construction magnate, and the money trail existed before the 2001 attacks.
At the same time, it’s also known that the Saudi family had collaborated with the US as well to finance Islamic militants, many of whom ended up in what would later become Al-Qaeda. This was during the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan in the 1980s


9--Markets face new threat as US Federal Reserve ponders interest rate rise


For much of Washington and the world’s economic leaders, China’s creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank crystallized the choice policy makers face. Earlier this month, Lawrence Summers, who was a top economic adviser for both President Bill Clinton and Mr. Obama, declared that China’s establishment of a new economic institution and Washington’s failure to keep its allies from joining it signaled “the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system.”

For years, China had threatened to establish institutions to rival those dominated by the West, like the I.M.F., World Bank and Asian Development Bank — or even to establish its currency, the renminbi, as a reserve currency to rival the dollar.
In 2010, Mr. Obama brokered a deal to raise China’s stake in the I.M.F. to 6 percent from 3.8 percent, still far below the United States’ vetoing share of 16.5 percent but enough to give Beijing a larger say. Congress has blocked the proposed adjustment.

Meantime, China’s international lending has soared. Fred P. Hochberg, who heads the Export-Import Bank, said that in the last two years alone, Chinese state-run lenders have lent $670 billion. Ex-Im has lent $590 billion since it was created during the Depression of the 1930s.
With nearly $4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, China has plenty of resources to project its rising economic power. For example, China’s president, Xi Jinping, plans to offer $46 billion to Pakistan for infrastructure assistance that would open new transportation routes across Asia and challenge the United States as the dominant power in the region

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