Turkey is calling for the United States and other allies to provide ground support as Russian-backed Syrian regime forces are closing in on Turkey’s borders.
Washington said a large-scale joint ground operation is highly unlikely despite the Turkish call.
Kurdish Militia have dominated several parts of Iraq and Syria from the Islamic State. Russian-backed regime forces have taken back several areas of Syria from both Saudi-backed rebels and IS.
Shiite Militias backed by Iran along with Russian air strikes had provided help for Syrian forces.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish YPG militia has become a prime target of Turkish artillery fire. Turkey considers the militia to be hostile insurgents in the region.
Turkey has accused Russia of “obvious war crimes” following its missile attacks against hospitals and an MSF facility in the northern region of Syria. Syrian ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad blamed the US for the airstrikes. In response, a US official denied all claims as no IS presence had been noted in the northern provinces.
Turkey had promised the YPG the “harshest reaction” if it should capture a town near the Turkish Border.
UN Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura conversed with Syria’s foreign minister to end hostilities and have the country’s support to bring in humanitarian aid.
Paralympian Oscar Pistorious had served less than a year in South Africa’s prison and he will continue his five-year sentence under house arrest in his uncle’s house. The court decision is now under appeal as many South African advocacy groups express disappointment in the decision.
Pistorious’ laywer Brian Webber said Pistorious shoud be released on August 21. The paralympian was released from prison on Monday and will remain under house arrest until 2019.
An appeal by prosecutors disappointed by the decision could see Pistorious return to jail instead of house arrest for the remainder of his sentence.
Pistorious was convicted of culpable homicide last year after shooting Model Reeva Steenkamp in his Praetoria residence. He maintained he thought Steenkamp was an intruder and did not intend to kill her as he shot through the door of his residence.
He will stay with his uncle, Arnold Pistorious, in Waterkloof, Praetoria. The luxury estate includes a swimming pool and has three storeys.
Despite his semi-free lifestyle, Pistorious will undertake community service and psychotherapy sessions as per court requirement.
Meanwhile, the Steenkamp family expressed their disappointment. Advocacy groups, including the ANC Women’s League, said:
“We pin our hopes on the SCA to repeal the judgment and that Oscar must serve a sentence that would bring him back a changed man and an advocate for women’s rights in future.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping called all to “not spare anything” for the rescue of the passengers of an Eastern Star liner carrying 500 people with 458 passengers aged 60-80 years old.
Rescuers have found 14 to be alive and seven dead. About 27 individuals were able to swim to shore post-sinking of the carrier.
Authorities claim it to be China’s worst maritime disaster in decades.
Footage showed rescue workers tapping the inverted hull of the ship for signs of life before they cut a hole to rescue those who are inside. Divers pulled out a 65-year-old woman from fast-flowing currents around the sunken ship.
Chinese Premier Li Kequiang flew to the site and marshalled a response team of 4000 personally to the site.
Most of the survivors saved themselves. The Tour-Guide leader Zhang Hui grabbed life jackets before they climbed out a window. Zhang floated away as people screamed for help. He remained in water invisible to ships and reached the shore during the morning.
The Eastern Star was to go to Chongqing. After 177-km winds toppled the ship during the heavy storm it encountered, the entire boat capsized.
No foreigners were listed aboard the ship.
After a hacker group attacked Sony Pictures and revealed all of its internal communications and information, US security agencies are now investigating their new threat against people who would watch the film “The Interview.”
According to the hackers, anyone who would watch the controversial comedy regarding the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un would face a “bitter fate.” They also warned that people living near cinemas showing the film must leave their homes.
According to the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS): “At this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theatres within the United States.”
NYPD’s Top Counterterrorism official John Miller said “Having read through the threat material myself, it’s actually not crystal clear whether it’s a cyber-response that they are threatening or whether it’s a physical attack.
“That’s why we’re continuing to evaluate the language of it, and also the source of it. I think our primary posture is going to be is going to have a police presence and a response capability that will reassure people who may have heard about this and have concerns.”
The hacker group calling themselves ‘Guardians of Peace’ had published Sony Pictures’s emails in a public domain. Sony is the main publisher of the film.
North Korean denied any involvement in the attack but had praised the efforts of the supporters.
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.
The number of violence took its high toll last year, including gun violence and the violence against women. The countries like the United States and India have already acted on the same issue on violence and are pushing an agreement or possible laws to penalize the criminals involved in such horrific and violent attacks among women, children, and innocent people.
Still new from last year’s uncountable violence, there’s a new incident that happened last Wednesday in one of the resorts in Acapulco, Mexico. There were Spanish tourists who were harassed by unknown gunmen and they were also raped. It is very unfortunate for the number of fourteen victims that were the target of armed men in the resort. Six of the fourteen victims were raped by the said criminals. The said tourists who were apparently spending some time in the beach resort for their vacation did not expect that something horrible would happen to them. The said incident have already spread worldwide and making a lot of tourist fear of their security when traveling.
The Foreign Ministry of Mexico was working with the Spanish Embassy regarding the victims’ situation. The said Spanish tourists were now under the custody of the Mexican authorities who were in charge of investigating the case. The Mexican government also strengthens their ties with the Spanish people and continues to work on the case. All the Spanish victims who were between the age of 20 to 34 years old were protected by the Mexican Police. There were a lot of investigators solving the case and the area were the crime had happen was secured by the authorities.
Protecting the endangered species in this generation is already a must. A lot of young environmentalist and organizations are formed to protect the environment and the wildlife. In a world where almost everything else is progressing, including the advancement of technology and random improvements on infrastructures could somehow be blamed for the destructio n of the environment.
Different animal and environmental activists have a common advocacy and that is to protect and preserve the wildlife and its ecosystem. In the other parts of the world, there are a lot of cases where endangered species are hunted and converted as food or sometimes clothing and accessories. That’s when organizations in the world like the Wolrd Wildlife Fund, who is responsible for the conservation of the wildlife is created.
Meanwhile, in Borneo a number of 13 elephants were found dead. The reason for their death was known to be poisoning. These are pygmy and carcasses. The said elephants could have eaten a poisonous palm fruits that was part of a palm plantation in the area. It was also suspected that there were still more elephants who could have taken the poisonous plant. The recently found dead elephants were seen in a forest reserve in Sabah. The pygmy is said to be a rare kind of Asian elephant.
Photos of the dead elephant were released by the officials in Sabah. Investigations were on going and the members of the said investigation would still look into the ten dead elephants to find out the real cause of their death. The World Wildlife Foundation in Malaysia also reported that there are fewer pygmy elephants left in the wild.