Nov 15 2015

Six In The Morning Sunday November 15

Paris attacker named as Omar Ismaïl Mostefai as investigation continues




Latest summary

Here is what we know so far, as Paris wakes up to a Sunday of official mourning for those it lost on Friday night.

  • Prosecutors say seven attackers, in three groups, staged the six assaults across Paris on Friday evening, killing 129 people.

  • 352 people were wounded, with 99 in critical condition. Victims have so far been identified from 15 different countries.

  • The seven attackers also died in the attacks: six blew themselves up with suicide vests – the first-ever suicide bombings on French soil – and one was shot dead by police.

  • One of the attackers has been named in French media as Omar Ismaïl Mostefai, a 29-year-old Frenchman from the southern Paris suburb of Courcouronnes. He had been flagged as being close to radical Islam, but had never been linked to terrorism. He was reportedly identified from police fingerprint records as one of the attackers at the Bataclan music venue.

  • Mostefai’s brother and father and an unidentified woman have reportedly been taken into police custody, and their homes searched. Mostefai’s older brother told AFP before going to the police station that he had not had contact with his younger brother for several years:

It’s crazy, insane. I was in Paris myself last night, I saw what a mess it was.

  • Three people were arrested at the Belgian border, the Paris prosecutor said, and Belgian police made several arrests after raids in Brussels.

  • Investigators in France, Belgium, Greece and Germany are involved in efforts to identify the attackers and their network, but Greek authorities have told the Guardian that an earlier report that a second attacker had accessed Europe via Greece was incorrect.

  • Vigils have taken place across the globe to pay tribute to the dead and wounded.

  • Survivors’ tales are beginning to emerge, as some of those feared missing make contact with family and friends.


Paris attack: Isis has created a new kind of warfare

The Islamic State (Isis) has always massacred civilians in large numbers to show its strength and instil fear in its opponents. In the West, people notice these atrocities only when they take place on their own streets, though Isis suicide bombers killed 43 people in Beirut on 12 November and 26 more in Baghdad on 13 November. These attacks are almost impossible to stop because they are directed against civilians, who cannot all be defended, and the bombers are willing to die in order to destroy their targets.

Isis has claimed the Paris attacks, saying that France was targeted because of its air strikes in Syria. The use of eight suicide bombers and gunmen in a national capital, guaranteeing maximum coverage by the media, has all the hallmarks of an Isis operation. One ominous difference from the killings earlier in the year atCharlie Hebdo magazine and in a Jewish supermarket, is that attacks, presumably because of Isis involvement, are getting more sophisticated and better planned. Recruiting, arming, coordinating and keeping hidden the Paris killers until the last moment implies good organisation. The same was true of the smuggling of a bomb on to the Russian plane before it left the ground at Sharm al-Sheikh on 30 October.


Justice Department: Black Americans more susceptible to nonfatal force by police

November 15, 2015 – 3:15PM

Anu Narayanswamy

Washington: Black Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to experience nonfatal​ force or the threat of force from police, according to a new US Justice Department study.

The study, which was released Saturday, found that an annual average of 44 million US residents older than 16 had at least one face-to-face contact with police between 2002 and 2011. About 75 per cent of those who had encountered force from the police perceived the force to be excessive.

For the purpose of the study, nonfatal​ force by police officers was defined as anything from shouting and cursing to using an electroshock weapon or pointing a gun. The report “looks at the characteristics of incidents involving force, including the type of contact, type of force used, and whether the contact involved a personal search.”


Myanmar’s hidden war


They stand guard in a village on a mountain peak that offers commanding views of alpine valleys carpeted with thick jungle and steep tea plantations. Fighters dressed in olive green uniforms and bright red kerchiefs carry battered but carefully-maintained AK-47 semi-automatic rifles.

A rebel commander named Robert Anyunt points to a village far down below. He says it is home to a detachment of soldiers from the military of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

“If the Burmese army sends its troops up here, it will be difficult for them,” the commander says in a thinly-veiled warning.

He is part of an armed rebel movement known as the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, or TNLA. The faction met with CNN recently for their first face-to-face interview with a U.S. news organization. Its members refuse to accept the authority of the central government in Myanmar.

China’s new Silk Road: boom or dust for Pakistan?


A glossy highway and hundreds of lorries transporting Chinese workers by the thousands: the new Silk Road is under construction in northern Pakistan, but locals living on the border are yet to be convinced they will receive more from it than dust.

The town of Sost is gateway to millions in customs duties, with its rickety stalls of corrugated iron engraved in Mandarin and Urdu, its cross-border secret agents and its dusty petrol station’s abrupt service.

It is the first stop along a new $46 billion “economic corridor” designed by China in Pakistan.

Drivers from China arrive through the Khunjerab Pass, the world’s highest paved border crossing at 4,600 metres (15,000 feet) above sea level, and unload their goods encircled by the magnificent Karakoram mountains, swirled with snow.



Dozens injured at South Korea anti-government protest

An estimated 80,000 people brave rain in capital Seoul to protest against the policies of President Park Geun-hye

| Politics, Asia Pacific, South Korea, Park Geun-hye

At least 30 people have been injured after police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse what was believed to be the largest anti-government protest in South Korea’s capital in more than seven years, local media reported.

On Saturday up to 80,000 people in Seoul called for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye in demonstrations fuelled by growing frustration over the government’s labour policies and rising youth unemployment.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from Seoul, said the protest shows the “general polarisation” of politics in South Korea.

However, he said, the heavy rain on Saturday may have dampened the turn out of the protest.

The marches, organised by labour, civic and farmers’ groups, brought together protesters with a diverse set of grievances against the government of conservative President Park Geun-hye, including her business-friendly labour policies and a decision to require middle and high schools to use only state-issued history textbooks in classes starting in 2017.