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Nov 24 2015

Six In The Morning Tuesday November 24

Turkey shoots down jet near border with Syria

Turkish military official says fighter jets destroyed plane after it violated the country’s airspace

Turkish fighter jets have shot down a warplane near the Syrian border after it violated Turkey’s airspace, a military official said, but the nationality of the downed aircraft was not immediately clear.

Turkish F16s warned the jet over the airspace violations before shooting it down, the official told Reuters.

Footage from private broadcaster Habertürk TV showed a warplane going down in flames in a woodland area, a long plume of smoke trailing behind it. The plane crashed in an area known by Turks as “Turkmen Mountain” in northern Syria near the border, Habertürk said.

Separate footage from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency showed two pilots parachuting out of the jet before it crashed.

 

Nature Studies: The commercial hunting trade has hit a new low with lions being taken to the slaughter

The animals are ‘bred for the bullet’, spending their lives in small, dirty, compounds

It’s hard to believe until you see the images – and then you feel sick.

Thousands of lions are now being bred in captivity every year in South Africa so that foreign trophy hunters can shoot them with a minimum of difficulty, a powerful new film reveals this week. The lions are being intensively farmed like livestock because of the huge sums of money to be made in “canned hunting”, where the animals are released into confined areas in which they can be easily tracked and killed.

Overseas hunters, largely from the US and Europe, are paying tens of thousands of dollars for the guaranteed kill of a beast which is not really wild at all, but which still possesses a magnificent trophy head which can then be taken home and boastfully hung upon the wall.

The situation is shaming, and it is dramatically illustrated in a new film, Blood Lions, made by a group of South African conservationists, and which will have its first British showing in London on Friday. The film reveals how the two interlinked practices of captive lion breeding and canned hunting, which once were frowned upon, have exploded in the past five years, such are the financial returns.

 

Opinion: Belgian charm can’t make up for incompetence

Brussels has been on lockdown for several days, but nothing has come of it so far. And that is no surprise: If Belgium’s authorities are known for one thing, it’s incompetence, DW’s Max Hofmann writes.

You have to put up with a lot in Brussels: the architectural eyesores, the permanent traffic jams, the garbage on the streets, the nonstop rain in autumn. But, then, there are umbrellas and there is the oft-cited charm that covers up a multitude of this odd and lively city’s sins. The problem is, charm alone never caught any terrorists .

It’s now the third day in a row that a giant “closed” sign seems to be hanging over the capital of Europe: no subways, no big events, no school. The people of Brussels have abandoned their everyday activities, preferring to stay at home – far away from their windows, of course, as per the authorities’ instructions. They’re hoping that the police and the military will be able to prevent a “serious and imminent attack,” according to the government.

But it’s a mystery to me why anyone should have faith in Belgium’s authorities. Even before the district of Molenbeek became known across Europe as a haven for extremists, the police of this “charming” country were known for being arbitrary and incompetent. One of the most notorious examples of shameful failure was their botched investigation into Marc Dutroux, a barbaric pedophile whose crimes shocked all of Europe 20 years ago.

 

Australian anti-Islam protests use ‘Paris’ as rallying cry

Maya Jee

Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra… On Sunday, all these Australian cities were hit by anti-Islam rallies, each of which was countered by anti-racism protests. During these tense standoffs, the anti-Islam side used the recent terrorist attacks in Paris as a rallying cry for their cause.

Reclaim Australia” is a campaign that has already organised several rallies throughout Australia to protest what they call the ‘encroachment’ of Islam. According to their website, they want the “freedom to be ‘Australian’” and notably ask that the country get rid of halal food certifications. Their earlier protests were marred by violence, and the latest batch was no exception: in Melbourne, where the Reclaim Australia protesters were also demonstrating against the building of a mosque, three men were arrested for possessing a weapon, and two others for riotous behaviour. Earlier during the week, a Melbourne man who claimed to have links with the movement was charged with illegally possessing tasers and a bomb-making manual.

There was a very heavy police presence keeping the two rallies apart. They were about equal in size. From what I could see, their attendees were all white and mostly-middle aged, while the anti-racist rally had a very diverse attendance, including Muslims and indigenous people. The Reclaim Australia protesters had placards with anti-Muslim slogans, such as “Ban Islam” and “Ban Halal”. They seem convinced that halal food funds terrorism, which has been found to becompletely false. There were also plenty of signs about banning immigration. Some signs even linked Islam to pedophilia! [Editor’s Note: On their site, Reclaim Australia claims “child brides” is one of the “ways of Islam”, though it is of course banned in Australia]. They had a sea of Australian flags, and French ones, too. They made references to the Paris attacks throughout their rallies, not just in Perth but all over the country, exploiting the tragedy to advance their Islamophobic views and spread fear about Muslims

 

North Korea’s No.2 believed banished by Kim Jong Un

Updated 0706 GMT (1506 HKT) November 24, 2015

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is believed to have “banished” his presumed number two from Pyongyang for “re-education,” according to a South Korean lawmaker.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) told the country’s Parliament in a briefing Tuesday that they believe Choe Ryong Hae was sent to a farm in the North Korean countryside in early November, Shin Kyung-min, a lawmaker who was present during the briefing, told CNN Tuesday.

The reason for his exile is not known but the NIS said it may be because of differences of opinion with Kim, or because of the poor quality of construction of the Baekdusan Power Plant, said to be part of Choe’s remit.

Choe is believed to be North Korea’s point person on China after he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, acting as Kim’s envoy.

Choe also made a surprise visit to South Korea in October last year for the closing ceremony of the Asian Games.

 

Fear of xenophobic attacks persists in S Africa

Government blamed by immigrants and foreign African nationals in Durban of not doing enough to help or protect them.

Tania Page | | South Africa, xenophobia, Migrants

Durban – Immigrants and foreign African nationals in South Africa say the government has not done enough to reintegrate them into communities after becoming targets of xenophobic violence.

Many moved to refugee camps due to the attacks and some are still too afraid to go back to their homes.

Shop owners in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal province, say not enough is being done to help them.