Nov 27 2015

Six In The Morning Friday November 27

Paris attacks: Victims’ families attend memorial ceremony two weeks on

France mourns the 130 people killed in the 13 November attacks, with François Hollande leading a solemn address at Les Invalides




La Marseillaise is playing now in Les Invalides as Francois Hollande arrives at the memorial. We’re expecting a parade of French troops to follow. You can follow the ceremony in the live stream above.


Eric Ouzounian, whose 17-year-old daughter Lola died at the Bataclan, has written a moving open letter about why he has decided not to attend the ceremony at Les Invalides, citing the policies of both Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy in Libya and Syria.

Here’s an extract from the piece, published in French on Le Huffington Post.

I consider that the state and its most recent leaders bear a heavy responsibility for what happened.

“This interference of France in the internal affairs of sovereign countries was carried out because of the claim that the Syrian and Libyan leaders were massacring their people. Certainly. As with Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad is a sinister dictator of the worst kind. But there is no leader more execrable than those currently in power in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with which France maintains excellent diplomatic and commercial relations, and who funded Daesh.

Such erosion of political competence is tragic for our country. The last presidents have acted with inconceivable simplicity, with short-term views.

Ouzounian also blames “forty years of failure” in attempts to deal with social depravation, saying France has allowed “districts of despair” to develop.

The divorce between the French and their leaders is accomplished, the social contract is broken, the chasm between the people and the elites is gaping.

Significant violations of public freedoms, eagerly passed by the National Assembly, will solve nothing. The extreme right will always try to outdo them and murderers will always cross borders.

France is unable to provide a future for its youth, Europe is unable to overcome its current liberal stalemate. Our elected officials are unable to offer a political vision.

I am appalled by my country devastated and I am devastated by the death of my daughter.

Putin claims U.S. ‘leaked’ flight path of downed Russian jet to Turkey

Why did we give this information to the Americans if they did not pass it along to the rest of the coalition?’

Rose Troup Buchanan

Vladimir Putin has accused the US of “leaking” the flight path of a downed Russian jet to Turkish authorities.

The Russian leader said America – as leaders of the coalition against Isis – had a responsibility to ensure warplanes were not targeted by members.

One of the Russian pilots was killed by Syrian forces after the SU-24 bomber was shot down. Turkish forces claimed it had violated the country’s airspace, despite as many as 10 warnings, on 24 November. The other man was later rescued by Russian and Syrian forces.

Russian authorities have dismissed claims warnings were issued before Turkish F-16s targeted the aircraft as “rubbish”.


US soldiers reportedly arrive in Syria to train Kurds fighting ‘Islamic State’

US soldiers have reportedly arrived in northern Syria – the first official deployment of US ground troops in the country. The troops are tasked with training Kurdish and Syrian opposition forces battling “Islamic State.”

The Britain-based monitoring group, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said on Thursday that “more than 50 American instructors” had arrived in northern and northeastern Syria in the past two days.

A Kurdish source told the AFP news agency that one group of instructors had been seen in Kobani, the town on Syria’s border with Turkey that was besieged by “Islamic State”(IS) until the jihadis were driven back in January.

The Observatory’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman, said US trainers had crossed over the border from Turkey and from the autonomous Kurdish region in neighboring Iraq. He added that most of them were sent to Kobani, where they’re expected to train a newly formed Arab-Kurd coalition backed by the United States. The other group was sent to Hasakeh province in the east.

A source with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) told AFP the American instructors would help plan offensives against the IS-held city of Jarablus and its de-facto capital, Raqqa.

Donald Trump’s racist rise presents ‘fascist’ threat to Republican Party

November 27, 2015 – 3:06PM

US correspondent for Fairfax Media

Washington: The attacks in Paris have had a bleak effect in America as the nation celebrates its most significant national holiday.

This week as 40 million Americans travelled interstate to join with family for Thanksgiving, crowds at many airports and train stations were watched over by police reinforced by soldiers.

The presidential primary campaign has been changed too, with national security becoming central to the debate.

This has prompted a new surge in support for Donald Trump, the tough-talking showman who has sworn to “bomb the shit” out of Islamic State.

It has also made his rhetoric darker, and perhaps even dangerous.

At Trump campaign events crowds of supporters cheer speeches laced with the candidate’s loaded reimagining of past events.

He has insisted time and again, with no evidence and against the historical record, that thousands of American Muslims gathered in New Jersey to celebrate as the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001.


Miss Canada lashes out at Beijing after contest snub


A Canadian beauty queen lashed out at Beijing on Friday, saying she was barred from boarding a flight from Hong Kong to China to compete in a pageant because of her human rights activism.

Chinese-born Anastasia Lin, a 25-year-old actress crowned Miss World Canada in May, said that China was blocking her from travelling to the seaside resort city of Sanya for the Miss World contest.

Lin, who told AFP late Thursday that Chinese authorities were suppressing people who “dare to speak their minds”, was speaking from Hong Kong’s international airport where she was blocked from taking a flight bound for mainland China.

Indonesia blasts Australia for pushing back boat

Jakarta denounces detention and deportation of asylum seekers without any notification from Canberra.

| Refugees, Australia, Human Rights, Indonesia, Politics

Indonesia challenged Australia on Friday over its detention and deportation of 16 asylum seekers without informing Jakarta after their boat was intercepted by the Australian navy a week ago.

The boat was seized on November 20 within 200 metres of Christmas Island, Reuters news agency reported.

Australian authorities held the asylum seekers – who hailed from Bangladesh, India and Nepal – for four days before sending them back to Indonesia, the official Antara news agency reported.

“We are concerned when some country like Australia … rather than informing us and working with us, they took unilateral action and pushed back the boat,” Hasan Kleib, an Indonesian foreign ministry official said.