Oct 06 2013

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

US commando raids target Islamist leaders in Africa

6 October 2013 Last updated at 04:47 GMT


US special forces have carried out two separate raids in Africa targeting senior Islamist militants, American officials say.

In Libya, US commandos captured an al-Qaeda leader accused of the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Anas al-Libi was seized in the capital Tripoli.

And a leader of the al-Shabab group was targeted in southern Somalia, but that raid appears to have failed.

The al-Shabab leader – who has not been identified – is suspected of involvement in last month’s attack in the Westgate shopping centre in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, which left at least 67 people dead.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Colombian ex-president sounds off on his successor’s peace talks with FARC rebels

Worldwide vigils for Greenpeace activists held by Russian authorities

Illegal ivory trade funds al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks

Israel isolated by Middle East turmoil

Brazil: City of God – 10 years later


Colombian ex-president sounds off on his successor’s peace talks with FARC rebels

By Juan Forero and Marina Villeneuve, Sunday, October 6, 6:12 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has a problem: his predecessor and former boss, Álvaro Uribe.

During the 2010 presidential campaign, Uribe backed Santos as the most capable steward of his hard-line, U.S.-supported policies that brought a once-chaotic country under control. Now Uribe calls his former defense minister “a traitor” and “a scoundrel,” warning of the doomsday scenario that awaits if peace negotiations with Marxist guerrillas are fruitful.

Uribe has even formed his own political party, the Uribe Democratic Center, and says he’ll run for senate to block his former underling’s initiatives.

The relentless attacks from Uribe, who was the closest U.S. ally in Latin America during his eight-year rule, is raising eyebrows among policymakers in the Obama administration and in the U.S. Congress.

Worldwide vigils for Greenpeace activists held by Russian authorities

Russian authorities shrug off controversy, saying group’s protest at Arctic oil platform was ‘pure provocation’

Tracy McVeigh

The Observer, Sunday 6 October 2013

Protests were held in cities across Britain and around the world on Saturday to show support for the 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists currently being held by the Russian authorities on charges of piracy. Even as the vigils were taking place, the Russian authorities shrugged off the controversy, saying that the group’s protest at an Arctic oil platform owned by state-controlled firm Gazprom had been “pure provocation”.

Six Britons are among the group, drawn from 18 countries, being detained in jail in the northern Russian city of Murmansk after being seized at gunpoint last month along with their ship, the icebreaker Arctic Sunrise. Greenpeace says the activists had been protesting peacefully in international waters to highlight the environmental cost of drilling in Arctic waters.

Illegal ivory trade funds al-Shabaab’s terrorist attacks

 A few tusks hacked from elephants shot by poachers can finance a raid like the attack on Westgate mall


Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamist group that killed dozens of people last month in a bloody four-day siege of the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, is deriving funds for its terror campaigns from elephant poaching in Kenya and elsewhere, activists and conservationists claim.

The Elephant Action League (EAL), which has dubbed ivory the “white gold of jihad”, said that elephant poaching and the trafficking of ivory is fuelling conflict in Africa by helping groups such as al-Shabaab to mount ever more deadly attacks.

Israel isolated by Middle East turmoil

Israel considers itself a part of the “West.” But unlike its allies, it physically borders the countries making headlines in the Middle East. And that, political analysts believe, is dividing it from the US and Europe.


Newly elected Iranian President Hasan Rouhani has surprised the West by turning over a new diplomatic leaf. He has congratulated Israelis on the Jewish New Year and expressed a willingness to restart talks on Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

But his new tone has also created a dilemma for Western countries: Can Rouhani’s words be trusted, or are they just a tactic to undermine the West and subvert sanctions placed upon Iran?

Opinions are divided, but a clear line is emerging: where Europe and the US are inclined to be carefully optimistic about Tehran’s new tone, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t trust Rouhani, recently calling him a wolf in sheep’s clothing during a speech at the UN General Assembly. His country also places Iran further along the nuclear weapons timeline than the US.

Brazil: City of God – 10 years later

 A new documentary speaks with some of the cast from the blockbuster film ‘City of God,’ and finds outcomes that are both uplifting and bitter.

By Stephen Kurczy, Correspondent / October 5, 2013


A decade ago, the Brazilian gangster Li’l Zé took movie screens across the world by storm in the low-budget crime drama “Cidade de Deus,” or “City of God.” Set inside the eponymous slum in Rio de Janeiro, the film grossed $30 million, received four Oscar nominations, and won festivals from Los Angeles to Toronto.

Li’l Zé dies at the end of the film. The actor who portrayed him, however, still lives in the notorious slum, or favela, of Cidade de Deus. For his role in the original film, Leandro Firmino was offered either a percentage of the film’s potential revenue or several thousand dollars. A poor kid who had been pulled directly from the favela into the film studio, he took the cash.

Bitterness over the wildly successful film’s uneven distribution of wealth for Mr. Firmino and others who starred in “City of God” – which famously recruited its amateur cast from Rio’s slums – is palpable in the new documentary “City of God: 10 Years Later.” The film premiered this week at the Rio Film Festival and explores the lives of the actors since 2002.