The Syrian capital of Aleppo is once again under siege as Syrian regime forces try to win back the capital against the Syrian opposition. Syrian warplanes have struck rebel positions near Aleppo’s military air base and other rebel held areas in the north Tuesday.
Rebels have been planning to take over Kweiras and its two military air bases but are faced with great adversity as the regime had gone on the offensive in the province and other areas to recapture rebel-held territories. Activists also reported that the government had targeted Atareb and Kfar Hamra in Aleppo province as troops clahsed with the rebels inside the provincial capital.
The Syrian violence had also spilled beyond the border of the country. Clashes between pro-Hezbollah gunmen and radical Sunni clerics in southern Lebanon had killed two people, according to officials. In the last few months, Lebanon had seen violence burst suddenly between the supporters and opponents of Assad.
Hezbollah openly joined the fight in Syria on Assad’s side and helped on the attack against Qusair just over the border in Syria earlier this month. Backed by Iran, the regime finally regained control of the city amidst a violent fight against the rebels
The Syrian civil war had caused casualties of over 93,000, including women and children.
If US President Barack Obama refuses to help arm Syria’s rebels, the Arab and European countries may fill in their position. The US considered its option to arm the rebels after watching the footage of Syrian regime force seize Qusair from the rebels in a bloody battle with great civilian casualties.
The re-invasion of Qusair by government forces is a sign that the military balance between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels may be tipping. Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Iran support Al-Assad’s regime. The UN also suspects that Al-Assad is using chemical weapons in the battle and evidence supporting this fact has increased.
The G8 summit will allow leaders of Britain, France, Russia and the US to talk about any decision regarding the arming of the rebels. Analysts see many consequences based on the US President Barack Obama’s decision. If the US choose otherwise, Saudi and Qatar might gain more profit and may give way to client militias with sponsorships from diferent countries, which might cause problems with a united rebel front.
Because Arab countries cannot afford to lose Syria, they will be the country most likely to fill the gap the US might leave.
The US is reconsidering not arming the rebels because Syrian Rebels have connections with al-Qaeda and some of the arms they provide can end up in terrorist hands.
The former Pakistani prime minister’s son was abducted on Thursday in a dangerous raid two days before the done was to face the provincial assembly elections, his brother said. Ali Haider Gilani’s abduction is the newest from the number of attacks that has happened in connection to the national election in Pakistan for Saturday. His brother Ali Qasim Gilani stated that his brother was kidnapped in Punjab province by two gunmen, who killed two individuals and eight others wounded in the assault.
Ali Haider, the son of the former prime minister in Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani was on that day going to address a public meeting in Multan city before the attack happened. The victim was running for a position in Punjab provincial assembly. Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso contacted on Thursday the former prime minister which is the father of the kidnap victim to assure him that they are taking necessary actions in order to recover his son.
The elections on Saturday is suppose to be the first change in democratic power in Pakistan, as the ruling People’s Party in Pakistan is assumed to become the very first civilian government to complete the full five-year term. But the campaigns before the election were filled with violence in the past weeks. The Pakistani Taliban claimed to be responsible for several candidates attack. Last Tuesday, not more than 16 people have died in two different attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A day before the attack in the province, a blast caused the death of 18 people during a rally for a religious group.
A 62 year-old woman named Carolyn Watkins, was found dead in her car days after it was towed from a crash. Mrs. Watkin’s body was found inside her car at a tow yard on a Monday, which was also the same day when her family reported that she was missing. The car was taken to the tow yard after a trooper found it at Johnston County, North Carolina. According to the trooper’s report, no one was in the vehicle. Johnston County’s district attorney sent a request to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to focus and look deeper into the death and the trooper’s action.
Patricia Parker said that they initially gave a report that she was missing since they know that she was out of town for Easter Weekend. But when Mrs. Watkins did not showed up on her job last Monday, that was the time they knew something was wrong. The family was worried that she might have been alive when she was taken to the tow yard, but the medical team told them that she died because of the great impact triggered by the accident.
Mrs. Watkins suffered from blunt force injuries to the head and neck, according to Patricia Parker. She blamed the trooper who was in charge of the incident. “I was angry, and now I’m just sad about it, “Tell your loved ones you love them, that’s all. I didn’t have a chance to do it.”that was a heartbreaking statement said by Algernon Parker.
It was reported that there were already growing tensions occurring between Israel and Turkey because of the civil war in Syria. On Thursday, Turkey has warned that they will be deporting and prosecuting refugees who are part of a protest. The country of Israel also reported that there was an increasing number of Syrians who were injured because of the dispute happening in the boundaries.
The Syrian conflict has already threatened the stability of different regions. The major supporter of Syria which is Russia already suggested that the reason why the U.N. and the Syrian envoy of the Arab League already lost its credibility because of the Arab League who took side with the insurgency. Aside from Jordan which has accepted a lot of the Syrian refugees, Turkey has also welcomed a number of refugees coming from Syria.
The threat of deporting the refugees in Turkey was released by the Turks after a riot that occurred in one of the Refugee camps in Turkey. Last Wednesday, the United Nations was alarmed because of the said threat imposed by the Turkish government. If the Turks would continue with the uttered threats, the United Nation will consider it to be against the International law. It was on Thursday that the Turkish Government already changed their statement and said that they will not deport the refugees. A United Nations Spokesperson said that the refugees should not be forced to go out. According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry says that a group of Syrian Refugees would want to use their rights to be able to voluntary return or leave Syria.
A reported cyber attack in South Korea affected 32,000 computers. The cyber attack was suspected to come from China. The South Korean banks and broadcasters were the target of the cyber attacks. According to the Communication Committee of South Korea, it was found out that the hackers IP address were coming from China. There were several computers and servers in the South that were damaged by the attack. Most of these were coming from banks and financial companies. The media servers were also affected badly. The systems of the bank were shut down because of hacking.
South Korea had suspected that the incident was caused by North Korea having China as its ally. The officials in South Korea continued to work on the damage and prevent another one to come. It was reported that North Korea has given a lot of new threats to the South. There has been an ongoing tension between Pyongyang and South Korea with the issues of missile testing and weapons. A local news agency in South Korea has reported that the South Korean military would improve their cyber defense plan. The news added that the National Computing and Information Agency said that the government sites were not affected by the cyber attacks.
The government has organized a team to respond to the problem and the South Korean officials were working on an investigation as to how the hackers got in and infected the computers in South Korea. The attack that happened on Wednesday was reported to be a similar attack that North Korea has done before. Related incidents of the attack were recalled between the years 2010 and 2012.
China has finally named its new President last Thursday. The Chinese Parliamnt named Xi Jinping as the country’s President. It was reported to be the first leadership change in China. President Xi Jingping took over as the Secretary General of the Communist Party. He had replaced Hu Jintao, who used to be the outgoing leader of the party. Xi Jingping was formally voted by the deputies in the National People’s Congress. He received a vote of 3,000. It was a unanimous vote in China’s political history.
Aside from being named as China’s President, Xi Jingpin was also declared the head of the Central Military Commission in China. He was described to have stronger relationship with the military. One of the writers described the newly chosen President to have a strong hold in his position and would handle the challenges ahead of him. He added that China will still go through problems because of their economy’s structure and also adding up the social issues the country is facing. The ongoing issues in China include the food safety, retirement of its citizens, health care, housing, education, and pollution.
Tough challenges are ahead of the Chinese president according to the critics. When the NPC has opened last week in China, a lot of officials were part of a series of meetings. The agenda of the meetings were reported to have focused in discussing the structure of China’s State Departments including their future targets.During the 1st day of NPC’s opening, it was announced that China would aim for a 7.5% annual growth rate.
There were a lot of speculations regarding the gender of the Duchess of Cambridge’s baby. A number of British newspapers are looking closely into the pregnancy of Kate Middleton. They were speculating the Prince William’s wife Catherine will be expecting a baby girl. It was reported that the Duchess was able to give a hint on the gender of the baby during a talk on the coastal town of Grimsby, in the northeastern part of England.
They say that both her pregnancy and the need for privacy are two of the problems the Duchess is facing. The Duchess is five months pregnant with their first born. After the slip of the tongue from the Duchess, a lot of the newspapers in the United Kingdom have published the said issue that the Duchess and the Duke will expect a baby girl. The source from the Royal Family gave different news and said that both the Duke and the Duchess do not know the gender of the baby. The first born is due in July and would be considered the great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II.
The British Cabinet Office said that the child who will be born in July will be next in line to the British throne after Prince William. Prince Charles is the first in line to the British throne. The planned has already changed for the law of succession in the Royal family. This changed would end the tradition that a boy should take over and elder sister. Although there were already speculation and news about the gender of the baby, the truth would still be confirmed by the Duchess and the Duke.
There were a number of 140,000 customers of the Lloyds Banking Group who were affected with the delays in PPI claims for compensation. The bank has already apologized to their valued customers regarding the said delay. It is not easy for the bank’s customer to experience delay in PPI payments. There must be something wrong with the bank’s standard on the release of PPI compensation to the customers. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) was unhappy about how the bank handled the customer’s PPI payments causing all the customers to wait for almost six long months for their PPI compensation.
The bank has been given a fine amounting to £4.3 Million because of the tons of complaints they have been receiving from their customers. The concerned regulators released a statement saying that the banks failed in establishing a trusted process in preparing the compensation addressed to the customers who complained from the banks like Lloyds, Bank of Scotland, and TSB. Lloyds bank was said to have save an amount of £5 billion that is allotted to compensate the customers who purchased products that weren’t useful.
The regulators have given the bank a fine since they should pay for their delays. The bank already said that they are following a target to pay their customers after each would be receiving letters from the bank. The target would last for 28 days. The bank has already sent out decision letters to a number of 582,206 customers in the month of May 2011 until March of last year but according FSA the bank has let a number of 87,000 customers wait not for 28 days but it reached until forty-five days. The complaints that the bank has been receiving is a result of their own failure.
To find out more about PPI compensation see PPIClaimCo.com.
Last Monday, Pope Benedict XVI resigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope’s decision was said to have caused speculation on who will be his successor. The surprising resignation of the Pope from his office was known worldwide and a lot of feedback mostly from the countries dominated with Roman Catholics were having varied opinions about the Pope’s recent decision to step down from his office for he might not be able to render his service due to health reasons as released by the Vatican.
A number of one hundred eighteen cardinals coming from different countries will take part in choosing the next Pope on March. The composition of the cardinals is mostly coming from European countries as stated by the statistics from the Vatican. Everyone is guessing on who will follow Pope Benedict’s footsteps. Since they are aware that the College of Cardinals is composed of cardinals mostly from Europe, a lot have made conclusions that the succeeding Pope will be coming from one of the European nations. Roman Catholicism has been growing in the countries like Africa, there is a possibility that the next Pope will come from Africa.
The College of Cardinals will convene at the Vatican for the purpose of choosing the new Pope and once they have already chosen, the awaited white smoke will be the only sign that there’s a new Pope. During Pope Benedict XVI’s election as Pope, the results came out quickly. The gathering this March in the Vatican would probably draw a lot of Roman Catholics excited to see their newly elected Pope.