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August 22, 2011

Libya: Rebels edge closer to Tripoli

Libya: Rebels edge closer to Tripoli – Wikinews, the free news source

Libya: Rebels edge closer to Tripoli

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Monday, August 22, 2011

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  • 15 September 2014: Libya accuse Qatar of intervening on side of rebels
  • 7 September 2014: Libya accuse Sudan of arming ‘terrorist group’
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  • 24 August 2014: Renegade General’s forces claim responsibility for aerial attacks on Tripoli
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2009 file photo of Muammar Gaddafi.
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Libyan rebels edged closer to the capital city of Tripoli on Sunday to help fellow mutineers inside the city who declared a final clash with leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Following a night marred with gunfire, the rebels said that they controlled a handful of Tripoli’s localities. With the rebels within about 25 km of Tripoli, Gaddafi’s hold on power looks fragile. He labelled the rebels, who had been fighting for the past six months, as “rats” and said that he would not yield to their demands.

A coordinated revolt that rebels had been secretly planning for months saw gunfire across Tripoli, instantly after Muslim clerics called people onto the streets. The revolution, combined with rebels advancing to the capital’s periphery, appears to signal the critical chapter in the “Arab Spring” uprising, which is in its sixth-month now.

“The rebels may have risen too early in Tripoli and the result could be a lot of messy fighting,” said Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya. “The regime may not have collapsed in the city to quite the extent they think it has.”

The rebels’ advance toward the city was quick, and the mutineers have halved the distance between them and the capital. Government forces put up a brief fight at the village of Al-Maya, leaving behind a burned-out tank, and some torched cars. On their way to Tripoli, the rebels paused long enough and filled some walls with graffiti, one reading: “We are here and we are fighting Gaddafi.”

In Benghazi, the rebels’ main stronghold and the genesis of the revolt, a senior official said everything was going according to plan. “Our revolutionaries are controlling several neighborhoods and others are coming in from outside the city to join their brothers at this time,” said Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the rebel National Transition Council.

Gaddafi — in hiding since the NATO attacks on Libya in June — said in an audio recording broadcast late yesterday that he had no intention of succumbing to the rebellion. A spokesman for Gaddafi, Moussa Ibrahim, in a briefing for foreign reporters echoed the message of defiance and said: “The armed units defending Tripoli from the rebels wholeheartedly believe that if this city is captured, the blood will run everywhere; so they may as well fight to the end.”

Cquote1.svg Those rats … were attacked by the masses tonight and we eliminated them Cquote2.svg

—Muammar Gaddafi

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“We hold Mr. Obama, Mr. Cameron and Mr. Sarkozy morally responsible for every single unnecessary death that takes place in this country,” he added, referring to the leaders of NATO members, the United States, United Kingdom, and France.

Underground rebel cells in the capital had been following detailed plans developed months ago and had been waiting for a signal to start. The signal was “iftar” – the moment when Muslims who observe the holy months of Ramadan break their daily fast. Imams started broadcasting their message from the loudspeakers of mosques and minarets.

A rebel activist in the city said pro-Gaddafi forces had put snipers on the rooftops of buildings around Bab al-Aziziyah, Gaddafi’s compound, and on the top of a nearby water tower.

State television flashed a message urging citizens not to allow rebels to hide on their rooftops. “Agents and al Qaeda members are trying to destabilize and sabotage the city. You should prevent them from exploiting your houses and buildings, confront them and cooperate with counter-terrorism units, to capture them,” it read.



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April 17, 2011

Syrian protests met with crackdown

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Syrian protests met with crackdown

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

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President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.
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Tens of thousands of Syrians took to the streets Friday in cities across the country protesting for freedom. Syria’s official news agency (SANA) reported, “scattered groups of citizens came out to the streets in several areas of the provinces after Friday prayers and chanted slogans calling for freedom without the intervention of security forces.” However, protests in Damascus reportedly turned violent as security forces were said to disperse the crowds with batons and tear gas to prevent protesters reaching the capital’s main square.

“I counted 15 mukhabarat [secret police] busloads,” a source reported to Reuters news agency. “They went into the alleyways just north of the square chasing protesters and yelling ‘you pimps, you infiltrators, you want freedom? we will give it to you’.”

Protests in Syria have intensified since mid-March after families of political prisoners held rallies in Damascus and people in Daraa protested against the arrests of more than a dozen children for anti-regime graffiti. The protests continued as Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad failed to lift the emergency law the country has operated under since his Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party came to power in 1963. The Assad government has met protests with a mixture of minor concessions and force.

After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Berlin, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, “The Syrian government did not meet the legitimate demands of the Syrian people. It is time for the Syrian government to stop its crack down on these people and begin to meet their aspirations.” Assad met with a delegation from Dara’a yesterday. The delegation asked for a deadline for their demands to be met. Al Jazeera correspondent Rula Amin said, “It seems from the people in Daraa that the government is seriously trying to contain [the situation in] Daraa because that is where it all started. If they manage to calm the situation in Daraa, the government believes it will be able to contain the situation throughout Syria.”



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April 11, 2011

Shiites protest against discrimination in Bahrain

Shiites protest against discrimination in Bahrain

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Monday, April 11, 2011

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This week state run newspapers in Bahrain officially declared that the nation was ‘back on track’ after weeks of political and sectarian unrest in the nation. However these headlines have been disputed by Shiite protestors in Bahrain. Sunni security forces have been raiding Shiite protestors’ homes, knocking their doors down, spraying graffiti on walls and arresting them in an effort to keep Shiite activists off the street.

Bahrain’s government has been accused by the United States of human rights abuses including arbitrary detention and discrimination against Shiites in the country; Shiites make up between 60% and 70% of the population of Bahrain. One activist told The Associated Press that he was brutally beaten by security forces, threatened with rape, and told to return to Iran — a major Shiite power in the region.

“We cannot stop,” said another Shiite protestor, Ali Mohammed, “we might go quite for a bit to mourn the dead and treat the injured and see those in jail, but then we will rise up again.” He lost his teaching job because of his involvement in the protests.

It was also revealed by a US State department report that the Bahrain government had requested from various media outlets and journalists that they no longer report on sectarianism, national security or stories that degraded the Royal Saudi family. The report also claimed that “according to some members of the media, government officials contacted editors directly and asked them to stop writing about certain subjects or asked them not to publish a press release or a story.”

Shiites have voiced their opinions about continuous discrimination in the country, with the Muslim opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman requesting that the Saudi military leave the region and stop intervening with protesters.

The official body count states that at least 20 people have been killed since the political protests began in early February 2011.


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September 20, 2010

Iconic London mural could be restored

Iconic London mural could be restored – Wikinews, the free news source

Iconic London mural could be restored

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Monday, September 20, 2010

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One of London’s most well known murals could be restored after years of neglect if plans by a group of community activists gain public support. The Fitzrovia Mural at Whitfield Gardens on London’s Tottenham Court Road was created by two mural artists and commissioned by Camden Council in 1980, but the mural has since decayed and been vandalised.

Mural in Fitzrovia, London, UK
Image: Gordon Joly.

Plans will be presented at a public meeting this Tuesday, to include details of the restoration and promote local public space in contrast to potential commercial developments and the focus of the London 2012 Olympics. If enough funds are raised from charitable trusts and public donations the mural could be restored during the summer of 2011.

Plans to be put forward by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, and the London Mural Preservation Society, will present ways to fund not only the restoration work but also projects to raise awareness of conservation, heritage, and the residential and working community. The heritage and mural project hopes to involve many local people who could learn new conservation skills. Also planned are workshops with local children to involve them in their heritage, an exhibition by local artists, guided tours and a celebratory event at the end of the restoration project. In addition to this, a booklet would be produced containing collected oral histories of the people involved and a preservation trust to protect the mural in future years.

The playful painting was created on a Camden Council-owned building in 1980 by artists Mick Jones, (son of the late Jack Jones, trade union leader) and Simon Barber and is a mash up of scenes depicting problems faced by the neighbourhood over the preceding decade.

There is also a caricature of poet Dylan Thomas, who lived in Fitzrovia, and a mocking portrayal of then leader of the Greater London Council, Conservative politician Horace Cutler, who is pictured as a bat-like creature. Other characters include an anonymous greedy developer and a property speculator counting piles of cash.

Peter Whyatt of the neighbourhood association is jointly leading the project to restore the mural. Yesterday he told Wikinews he had a number of concerns about the possible success of the project.

“There are a great number of problems with getting this project off the ground and we also need to act pretty quickly for a number of reasons,” said Mr Whyatt.

“Firstly the mural is in a terrible state and deteriorating quickly. There is more graffiti being daubed on the site every month because one bit of graffiti attracts another bit. We really need to start the work in the next 12 months because going through another winter with the condition of the wall will causes more problems and inevitably more expense. We want to keep as much original artwork on the site as possible to keep the costs down. This is a big mural and it will be expensive to restore,” he continued.

“And that brings me to my second concern: cost. If we don’t get other community organisations on board to bid for money for this with us and to involve their beneficiaries and volunteers, it will be very difficult to secure the money needed. Money is very tight at the moment because to the current financial climate. We need to get support at this meeting on Tuesday and some firm commitments from people and organisations to get involved.

“Lastly there is a danger of a commercial development on the site. A public-private partnership to create a new art feature. Because of the existing mural’s subject matter – it mocks property speculators, and land developers, etc – a commercial scheme probably backed by a property developer would not want to restore the mural’s original message. They’d want some “good news” scheme, some greenwash idea that paints them in a positive light.

“However, despite these problems, Camden Council have offered to do a condition survey on the mural. This will save us a lot of money. But having said that there are five council departments to deal with to get permission for this restoration work, and they don’t always talk to each other.

“But if the public and local voluntary organisations show their support, we can make it happen,” Mr Whyatt concluded.

The mural restoration will be just one part of a year long project of heritage and conservation awareness-raising. “The project is not just about the mural but also wider plans to promote awareness of heritage and conservation in an area of London under threat from commercial development. In fact the bulk of the project is about the heritage and conservation and the mural is just one part of it, and the most visible because of its situation,” Mr Whyatt later added.

There will be a public meeting about the heritage and mural project at 7.30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday), at the Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street. The public can also comment about the proposals on the Fitzrovia Heritage and Mural website.



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July 25, 2010

Hong Kong teenager murders mother and sister

Filed under: Archived,Asia,China,Crime and law,Graffiti,Hong Kong,Mental health — admin @ 5:00 am

Hong Kong teenager murders mother and sister

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The suspect fled to Tsuen Wan Riviera Park after killing his mother and sister.
Image: Hong Kong Student.

A 15-year-old boy from Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong murdered his mother and sister with a chopper in the early hours of Thursday morning. Police records show that the teenager had no record of drug abuse or mental illness, and was known by neighbours to be a well behaved, polite boy. The only clue to the motivation of the murder was when he told police “the world would be better with fewer people” during interrogation.

The teenager attacked his mother, 42, and 12-year-old sister in their flat while his father was working at the family-owned restaurant situated across the road. After killing them, he fled the scene and called police at approximately 3:30 a.m. HKT (1930 UTC, July 21) from a telephone booth in a nearby park. As he was waiting for the police to arrive, he cut a wound in his own hand. When police found him, he was wearing black gloves and was covered in bloodstains, and carrying the chopper in his rucksack. They escorted him back to the family home and discovered his mother and sister’s bodies which were inflicted with extensive knife wounds to their necks and abdomens. The boy’s father temporarily shut down his restaurant as a result of the murder, and visited his son in hospital while he was receiving treatment for his hand laceration.

The boy, who studies at Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College, ranked first in class in Primary Six, and was known to be well behaved, friendly and hard-working. His principal, his father, an employee at the family’s restaurant and a neighbour were said to be shocked at the news of the murders. The local newspaper vendor described him as “polite”. There have been no record of any arguments among the family members; however, graffiti which is believed to have been written by the teenager was found on the walls of the block of flats where the boy lives. The graffiti includes foul language, including “shit” and “bitch”, as well as “I love you” and “Happy birthday (little sister)”. A psychiatrist told Hong Kong newspaper The Standard that he may have committed the murder as a result of incubated mental illness that his family were not aware he was suffering from, or that he may have experienced a huge setback or terrible experience.


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July 17, 2010

Car bomb in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico kills several, many injured

Car bomb in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico kills several, many injured

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

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  • 27 June 2014: Germany, Netherlands, Canada and USA into Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Championships semi-finals
  • 25 June 2014: Japanese wheelchair basketball player Mari Amimoto leads in scoring at world championships
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Juárez on a map, where Ciudad Juárez is located, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
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A car bomb that exploded at about 20:00 MDT Thursday (01:00 Friday UTC) in a violent area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico killed several people and injured more.

Police spokesman Jacinto Seguro said Friday that Mexican federal police received a call that an officer was dead. Seguro went on to say, “When they went to check the car, there was a dead body in there, dressed up like a police officer, but it wasn’t one of ours. They put him in a civilian car but dressed him up in a municipal police uniform. That’s when the bomb went off. It’s like an act of terrorism.”

Federal police spokesman Ramon Salinas said the blast killed two officers, a paramedic, and one civilian, although Mayor Jose Reyes said that only three died. At least six others were injured, although reports have said the total injured may be as high as sixteen. Four remain in the hospital, including three paramedics and one civilian.

Mexican authorities say it was a car bomb, but counter-terrorism experts are still unsure as to what caused the vehicle to explode. Intelligence expert Fred Burton said, “For this to be an improvised grenade attack, in some capacity, it doesn’t surprise me.”

The Juarez cartel, one of the two drug-traffickers in the area, claimed responsibility for the bombing in a graffiti message. “We have more car bombs,” the graffiti said.

Ciudad Juárez has a history for trafficking drugs to the United States, especially into Texas.

Before the explosion, the police arrested a suspected leader of the Juarez cartel, Jesus Armando Acosta Guerrero.

This year more than 7,000 people have died as a result of drug-related violence in Mexico since this year began. Attorney General Arturo Chavez on Friday said nearly 25,000 people have died in the last three and a half year period.



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November 9, 2009

Thousands to celebrate twenty years since fall of Berlin Wall

Thousands to celebrate twenty years since fall of Berlin Wall

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Monday, November 9, 2009

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The fall of the Brandenburg Gate in 1989
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Leaders from around the world are set to join hundreds of thousands of people in Berlin, Germany tonight to celebrate twenty years of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an historic event which contributed to the end of the Cold War.

As the capital prepared for the anniversary of the Wall’s fall with festivities planned throughout the city, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for renewed worldwide efforts for freedom for those still living in repressive regimes. “Our history did not end the night the Wall came down,” she said last night to influential political figures, past and present. “To expand freedom to more people, we cannot accept that freedom does not belong to all people. We cannot allow oppression defined and justified by religion or tribe to replace that of [communist] ideology.”

Celebrations will centre around the Brandenburg Gate, which has become the symbol of German reunification since the peaceful revolution that opened up the Wall in 1989. Much of the Wall has since been demolished, although a section of the 155 kilometre (96 mile) long wall remains serving as an art gallery for graffiti artists.

Host German Chancellor Angela Merkel reminisced that the end of the Cold War came as a total surprise. “The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Wall should remind us all what incredible luck we had with the reunification of Europe and Germany,” commented Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany, in Monday’s edition of the Bild newspaper.

Other leaders expected to attend are Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, along with former Polish President Lech Wałęsa, once leader of the Solidarity trade union and former Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Németh, who decided to open his country’s borders, both who were key players in the downfall of communism in Europe.

Berlin’s Mayor Klaus Wowereit summed up the feeling of the people. “History is palpable and alive here,” he said. “The peaceful revolution of the fall of the Wall 20 years ago paved the way to an unprecedented transformation of Berlin.”


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September 19, 2009

At least two killed by gunman in Mexico City subway

At least two killed by gunman in Mexico City subway

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

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Entrance to the Balderas subway station

According to police reports, at least two people were killed and five more wounded on Friday after a gunman opened fire at a subway station in Mexico City, Mexico.

Witness reports say that two men were shouting slogans against the government in the Balderas station. One of them started drawing graffiti on a wall, and opened fire when a police officer tried to restrain him.

The police officer and a passerby who tried to stop the gunman were both killed.

Only one person was arrested after the incident, the El Universal newspaper reported. He was later identified as Luis Felipe Hernandez Castillo, 38.

Manuel Mondragon, the police chief, pledged to increase police presence in the subway system following the attack.



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January 25, 2009

Thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to railway station and stonework in Bath, England

Thousands of pounds worth of damage caused to railway station and stonework in Bath, England

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bath Spa Railway Station

Vandals have caused thousands of British pounds worth of damage at a city railway station. The Bath Spa railway station in Bath was targeted by vandals over the weekend. Graffiti was sprayed over the new tourist centre as well as the stone work which is over 100 years old. The disabled toilets were also vandalised.

First Great Western who owns Bath Spa station released a statement through spokesman Dan Panes saying, “last year we invested a considerable amount of money improving the station environment at Bath Spa for our customers, and it’s a great shame that a couple of minutes of vandalism could cause so much damage.”

The vandalism comes just months after a mini police station was opened up in the station to combat anti-social behaviour. The behaviour in Bath was said to be worse than that of the centre of Liverpool.

CCTV has been passed on to the British Transport Police and are currently assessing the damage caused.



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April 27, 2008

Vandals deface family crypt of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

Vandals deface family crypt of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pierre Eliott Trudeau in 1977

A woman in the tiny farming community of Saint-Rémi, Quebec, south of Montreal visited the local cemetery Saturday and received a rude shock. Graffitied on former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Eliott Trudeau’s family crypt were “FLQ”, the initials of the Front de libération du Québec and the French words for “traitor” and “bastard” in black spray-paint.

“It’s very sad,” said Pierre Sauriol, whose organization maintains the graveyard. “He made errors and good decisions like everyone, but he was one of the prime ministers of Canada, and he should rest in peace.”

Trudeau, who served as Canada’s prime minister from 1968-79 and again in 1980-84, was a controversial figure in the history of Quebec.

During the FLQ crisis in October 1970, Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act after a British diplomat, James Cross and a provincial cabinet minister, Pierre Laporte were kidnapped, leading to arrests of any individuals the police thought to be separatists, and to their detentions without bail. Laporte was later strangled to death by the FLQ.

Trudeau, who died in September 2000, is entombed in the grey-stone mausoleum with his parents and 11 other family members.

Mr. Sauriol said this was the first time vandals have left their mark on the crypt.

Police believe the tomb was vandalized sometime on Friday night or early Saturday morning.

The Trudeau crypt, which stands taller than any monument in the cemetery, was cordened off Saturday using orange police tape tied to tombstones.

Provincial police are searching the area in the hope of finding any clues. They have also measured and taken photos of the graffiti, which was applied to every wall of the structure. The letters “FLQ” on the front of the crypt covered a pair of names on a plaque posted by the door. As of now, there have been no arrests or suspects.

The crypt is located a few metres from a major road and many residents from the town of 6,000 slowed to see the damage as they passed by in their vehicles.

Trudeau’s family could not be reached for comment but the head of a prominent nationalist group gave his opinion on the matter, calling the vandalism “extremely deplorable.”

“It isn’t acceptable,” said Jean Dorion of the Societe Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Montreal. “Of course we disagree with the Constitution that has been imposed forcibly on Quebec – this is not acceptable. But it’s not a reason to desecrate a burial place.”

Environment Minister John Baird, who is responsible for Parks Canada, said in a statement that his department would remove the offensive graffiti.

“It is important to protect the historic resting places of former prime ministers, and these places should at all times be given the respect and honour they deserve,” Baird said.

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