Tag Archive for: Kurds

 

 

Costly train strike looming ahead of holidays. Shooter at CO gay club charged with hate crime, dodged red flag law. Turkey, Iran carry out airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan.

NATIONAL NEWS

National train strike looms again ahead of holidays

Back in September, marathon negotiations between industry groups, labor unions and members of the Biden administration narrowly averted a major nationwide railroad strike. The parties hammered out a deal that would give train workers a 24% raise. However, the deal did nothing to address issues with working conditions and sick days, which were a major sticking point for the unions.

Leaders and members of the 12 major unions expressed dissatisfaction with the deal at the time, but agreed to put the contracts to a vote. As of now, seven unions have ratified the agreement; three have rejected it and are back at the bargaining table; and two unions have yet to vote. 

Now fears are rising that we could see a strike as soon as Dec. 4. If even one of the 12 unions decides to strike, all the others will join them. Back in September when a strike was first on the horizon, industry groups estimated a strike would cost the US economy about $2 billion per day. With the holidays approaching, the loss could be even better. Not to mention the fact that about 30% of freight in the US travels by rail. A rail strike could mean even greater supply chain problems and even empty shelves. Amtrak and some commuter rail lines would also grind to a halt.

In the event of a strike, Congress has the power to force the unions back to work. Workers know this would mean accepting a less favorable deal than the one that’s on the table now. But after over 5 years of negotiation and two years of crews working short-staffed with punishing schedules while companies made record profits, there is a lot of built up anger and frustration on the part of the workers

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

 

Shooter at CO gay club charged with hate crime, dodged red flag law

Saturday night, a 22-year-old gunman entered Club Q, a LGBT club in Colorado Springs, CO., and started shooting. Anderson Lee Aldrich killed 5 people and injured 25 before two civilians heroically tackled and disarmed him. Police and first responders were on the scene within about 5 minutes of the first 911 call.

Aldrich was not known to the patrons or owners at Club Q. His attack coincided with Trans Memorial Day, when the LGBT community memorializes trans people who have died by violence in the last year. It seems Aldrich picked a day when he knew there would be a good crowd in attendance. He carried both and AR-style long gun and a handgun and brought several extra magazines. It’s not clear how many people were in the club that night, but Aldrich obviously hoped for a high body count.

Today Aldrich was charged with a hate crime. FBI agents have been working alongside local law enforcement processing the scene.

Back in June 2021, Aldrich allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb. Police responded and evacuated nearby neighbors while the bomb squad searched his home for explosives. None were found. Local media reports that prosecutors did not pursue formal charges and the records were sealed. Nevertheless, Aldrich’s guns could have been confiscated under Colorado’s red flag laws. Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to obtain a warrant to remove weapons from the home of a subject who is considered a threat to himself or others. It’s not clear at present why this didn’t happen. Even if a judge had ordered Aldrich’s weapons confiscated, subjects often get them back within a couple of weeks.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Turkey, Iran carry out airstrikes in Iraqi Kurdistan

Turkey is hitting neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan (in the north of the country) with air strikes in retaliation for a recent bombing in Istanbul. The Turkish government blames militant Kurdish liberation forces, known as the PKK, for the bombing. Air strikes have also taken place in Kurdish areas of Syria in what the Turks are calling Operation Claw-Sword. Turkey has been waging war on its own Kurdish population for decades and has committed numerous war crimes against them over the years. Militants have now largely retreated to areas of Syria and Iraq. Turkey has taken advantage of political turmoil in its neighboring countries, believing they can carry out attacks on foreign soil with impunity.

Iraqi Kurdistan has also been hit multiple times by Iranian missiles in recent weeks. Iran’s government blames the Kurdish minority for stirring and perpetuating widespread antigovernment protests across the country. Mahsa Amini (also known as Zhina Amini), the 22-year-old student whose death in police custody sparked the protests, was Kurdish.

The Kurds are a distinct ethnic group with their own language. They’ve been fighting to create their own state as they frequently face brutal oppression in the countries they inhabit. The diaspora spreads across areas of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Caucasus region. During the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi Kurdish force called the Peshmerga fought alongside US troops. The Kurds then established a semi-autonomous region in the north of the country and enjoyed a period of relative peace. Now that the political situation in Iraq has become increasingly unstable, Iraqi Kurdistan has been vulnerable to attacks from all sides. 

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

 

 

Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

 

Ian devastates Florida, takes aim at South Carolina, Georgia. Iran strikes in Iraq kill at least 13 over protests. Putin prepares to annex Ukraine lands; at least 200,000 flee draft.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Ian leaves devastation in Florida, takes aim at South Carolina, Georgia

When Hurricane Ian made landfall at 3:05pm local time yesterday, it landed as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of over 150mph. Tampa Bay had been bracing for a direct hit for days. Although the city of Tampa still suffered extensive damage from flooding and wind, the heart of the storm veered southwards. Ft. Myers bore the brunt of the storm’s impact from huge storm surges, 16 ft. in some areas, and punishing winds.

While much of low-lying Ft. Myers had been under evacuation orders, many had stayed put, not expecting a direct hit. Some residents on Sanibel, a nearby barrier island, called for help during the initial surge, saying they were trapped in their attics. But weather was too severe for many hours to event attempt a rescue. As a result, local authorities fear there may be a significant loss of life in the area.

Officials in southwest Florida have confirmed deaths, but there is no official death count as yet. Rescue efforts are still underway. At least 2.7 million in the state were without power at one point. Utility crews, bolstered by volunteers from 27 states, have been hard at work since the worst of the storm passed. So far, they’ve managed to restore power to about 500,000 homes.

Reports have come in of extensive property damage, particularly in Naples and Ft. Myers. The full picture will become clearer in the days to come.

Dangers still ahead

As clean-up and rescue operations have gotten underway on the southwest coast, Ian continued its march across the state. Ian has been downgraded at this point to a Tropical Storm. Its progress has slowed but it continues to dump torrential rain in central Florida, particularly in the area around Orlando. Over the coming hours, Ian is expected to move slowly off the coast. There meteorologists say it is likely to regain strength over warm Atlantic waters. If it regains sufficient power, it could endanger parts of St. John’s county (where Jacksonville is) sending the flood-prone waters of the St. John’s River surging inland.

Forecasters are now predicting Ian will hit Charleston, SC, tomorrow morning as a Category 1 hurricane. Charleston is city particularly prone to flooding. A hurricane watch has been issued for the entire coastlines of South Carolina and Georgia.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

Click here for live updates (opens in new tab).

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Iran drone strikes in Iraq kill at least 13 over protests

Following nearly 2 weeks of protests in Iran after the death of Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini, Iran has carried out drone strikes in Iraqi Kurdistan. Amini, 22, died in the custody of Iran’s morality police, who had arrested her for wearing her head scarf improperly. Days of protests in Iran left at least 72 people dead. Despite the growing protests, Iranian officials have continually downplayed their significance and blamed outside actors for instigating them. However, their reaction to the protests would suggest Iran’s elite fear the protests may have a destabilizing effect. 

Yesterday, Iran carried out the deadly attacks in Iraq in apparent retaliation for the protests. The attacks killed at least 13 people and wounded nearly 60. Iraq has been in turmoil for the past year following inconclusive elections. Turkey has also apparently seized on the opportunity to launch its own airstrikes into Kurdistan from the other side. Turkish authorities claim to have been targeting rebels of the Kurdish rebel group PKK.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

 

West blames Russia for sabotaging Baltic pipelines

NATO forces have now confirmed four leaks in two Nord Stream pipelines that carry natural gas between Russia and Germany. Both NATO and US officials have blamed Russia for deliberately sabotaging the two pipelines. The two pipelines, Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 were not operational, but still contained huge amounts of methane gas, which is now bubbling up to the surface. The gas leaks not only pose dangers to shipping, they also constitute what may be the largest ever release of climate-warming methane in a single event. Not only that, oil and gas companies are taking advantage of the panic, sending already high gas prices in Europe skyrocketing by 14%. 

Putin prepares to annex Ukraine territory as at least 200,000 flee draft

Russian President Vladimir Putin is preparing to sign a declaration annexing four Ukrainian territories. The regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia underwent sham referendums to join Russia starting last week. During these votes, occupying forces go house-to-house forcing people to vote. Not surprisingly, they voted to join the Russian Federation with 96% of the vote. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy condemned the sham votes and said there would be no further negotiations with Russia if Putin went ahead with the annexation. Western countries have rejected the votes as illegitimate and said they will never recognize the territories as Russian.

Meanwhile, various sources report that anywhere between 194,000 and 261,000 Russian men of military age have fled the country to avoid the draft Putin announced last week.

 

Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

NEMiss.News Putin and Erdogan

 

 

Trumper called ‘Q-Anon conspiracy theorist’ by out-going GOP governor, wins Maryland’s GOP gubernatorial primary; Putin, Khamenei, Erdogan meet in Tehran as ‘Supreme Leader’ expresses strong support for Russia in its war with Ukraine.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Trumper wins GOP governor nomination in Maryland

Trump-backed Dan Cox has won the GOP gubernatorial nomination in Maryland.

Cox has been known to call former Vice-President Mike Pence “a traitor” and organized buses for people to attend the events in Washington, D.C. on Jan 6, 2021.

Outgoing Governor Larry Hogan, a term-limited Republican, has called Cox “a Q-Anon conspiracy theorist.”

It remains to be seen whether Cox’s bagging the GOP nomination for Maryland governor has any real long term relevance. Maryland remains a Democratic stronghold. The state gave 65.4% of its 2020 presidential vote to Joe Biden, 33% better than Hillary Clinton did when she carried Maryland in 2016.

Yesterday Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, seemed to be trying to put distance between himself and Trump. Trump turned on McConnell after the Kentuckian voted to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2016 election. McConnell said Trump would face a number of Republican opponents if he runs for president in 2024.

Click here for full story

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Putin, Turkey and Iran meet in Tehran

Russian President Vladimir met yesterday with Iraq’s “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The three were together in Tehran as Khamenei proclaimed Iran’s strong support for Russia in its continuing war with the Ukraine.

Erdogan, continuing a tradition of Turkish leaders, has talked out of both sides of his mouth with regard to the Russian attack on the Ukraine. Turkey, a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for 70 years has found itself in recent years opposing Russia’s military intervention in Syria. However, Erdogan has opposed NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, a move favored by the rest of he NATO membership.

Erdogan wants help with Turkey’s decades long work to suppress or exterminate its Kurdish minority.

Ironically, Turkey has recently sold military hardware to the Ukraine.

Click here for full story. (opens in new tab)

Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!