We begin by droning on with RT:
Spy with it & Kill with it: New drone era undermines privacy & security concepts
Drone technology has become so accessible these days that some people have resorted to making their own remote-controlled machines and are having fun with it.
Another drone, another casualty, via United Press International:
Important al-Qaida member Umar Farooq believed dead after drone strike in Pakistan
- At least five people were killed in the suspected U.S. drone strike
A drone strike was reported in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan on Sunday, and it is believed an important al-Qaida member was killed.
The strike was aimed at a hideout for soldiers in the village of Khara Tanga, according to local media, and two missiles killed at least five and injured at least two.
Pakistani intelligence officials have informed CNN Umar Farooq was killed, who has been an al Qaeda spokesman and was believed to be an integral leader in the group, possibly running al Qaeda’s operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The U.S. military has claimed no drone strikes occurred in Pakistan on Sunday.
An interesting claim, via the Guardian:
Israeli jets bomb Syria, says Damascus
- Syrian state TV claims Israel has bombed two installations, one near Damascus and one near the Lebanese border
Syria accused Israeli jets of bombing two installations inside the country on Sunday, one near the capital, Damascus, and the second in a town near the Lebanese border.
The report by Syrian state television described the attack as “an aggression”. It said the air raids occurred near Damascus’s international airport and in the town of Dimas.
The state news agency Sana said: “The Israeli enemy attacked Syria by targeting two safe areas in Damascus province, namely the Dimas area and the area of Damascus international airport.” It said no casualties were reported.
There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.
The Guardian again, with a handover:
US military hands over senior Taliban commander to Pakistan
- Latif Mehsud among three detainees transferred to Pakistan
- Move highlights improving relations between US, Pakistan and Afghanistan
The US military in Afghanistan says it has handed over three Pakistani detainees to Islamabad, including one who Pakistan intelligence officers say is a senior Taliban commander.
The US did not name the prisoners but two Pakistani intelligence officials say Latif Mehsud was among them. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The US said in a statement Sunday that the transfer happened Saturday.
CBC News covers Canadian incitement:
John Maguire, Ottawa man fighting for ISIS, urges attacks on Canadian targets in video
- Identified as Abu Anwar al-Canadi, Maguire calls for lone-wolf attacks
ISIS has released a video featuring an Ottawa man calling on his fellow Muslim countrymen to carry out lone-wolf attacks on Canadian targets.
John Maguire, who was already reportedly under investigation by the RCMP after travelling to Syria to join ISIS as a foreign fighter in January 2013, appears in the slickly produced six-minute, 13-second video. The 23-year-old is identified in the video as Abu Anwar al-Canadi and speaks in English.
Standing in the ruins of an unidentified area, Abu Anwar warns Canadians that the country’s participation in the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group will lead to revenge attacks.
Another lone wolf via the Guardian:
Dubai stabbing suspect inspired by ‘terrorist ideology’ found on the internet
- Crimes are ‘the result of a personal instigation and a lone terrorist act’
- Investigation shows woman planned to attack a foreigner at random
A United Arab Emirates woman who killed an American teacher was inspired by “terrorist ideology” acquired through the internet but investigators have found no links to militant groups, a state news agency reported on Sunday.
Attacks on westerners are rare in the UAE, a wealthy western-allied oil exporter and tourism hub, but concern has been rising following a spate of attacks in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and after a warning in October about a jihadist web forum calling for attacks on American teachers in the region.
Police on Thursday said they had arrested the UAE national last week after the kindergarten teacher, identified as Romanian-born Ibolya Ryan, a mother of 11-year-old twins, was stabbed and killed in a toilet at an Abu Dhabi shopping mall.
The unidentified woman also placed a makeshift bomb outside the front door of an apartment of an Egyptian-American doctor living in the UAE less than two hours after Monday’s killing, police said, adding that the bomb was safely dismantled.
And the Guardian again, with allegations:
Britain accused of complicity in Kenyan death squad terrorism suspect killings
- Kenyan intelligence members also claim they receive training and intelligence from Britain’s military and officials
Britain is facing fresh allegations of complicity in the executions of terrorism suspects carried out by Kenyan death squads.
The claims come from members of Kenyan intelligence and special police units who say they carry out extrajudicial killings. They also say they have received training and intelligence from Britain’s military and other officials as part of their fight against terrorists.
The members of the so-called death squads are speaking out not as whistleblowers because they believe the killings are wrong, but because they believe Kenya faces little choice as it faces a vicious Islamist insurgency.
The claims come in an al-Jazeera investigation programme to be broadcast on Monday.
Sky News covers insecurity in Athens:
Hundreds Of Anarchists Held After Greek Riots
Police arrests nearly 300 people after a night of violent protests to mark the anniversary of the police shooting of a teenager.
Greek police have rounded up 296 anarchists in connection with violent riots that ripped through the Greek capital and five other cities across the country overnight.
The violence – among the worst witnessed in years – erupted from what initially looked like a peaceful protest march marking the sixth anniversary of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager, Alexandros Grigoropoulos.
Black-clad anarchists penetrated the march, launching attacks against riot police and going on a rampage in the centre of Athens.
From the Guardian, an overseer:
Watchdog named for Australia’s new national security laws
- Former judge Roger Gyles to fill the vacant role of independent national security legislation monitor, with his first task examining whether the laws with impact on journalists
A former judge with more than three decades’ legal experience has been named Australia’s new watchdog for national security legislation.
Roger Gyles will fill the vacant role of independent national security legislation monitor and begin examining the federal government’s new counter-terrorism legislation as soon as possible.
His first task will be to examine whether the first suite of laws – introduced in response to the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – will impact on journalists.
Pyongyang plays cute with the hack of the year, via the Japan Times:
North Korea denies ‘righteous’ hack of Sony but hints at ‘supporters’
North Korea denied involvement Sunday in the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, but praised it as a “righteous deed” potentially carried out by its supporters to protest a film featuring its leader Kim Jong Un.
“The hacking into the Sony Pictures might be a righteous deed of the supporters and sympathizers with the (North) in response to its appeal,” the North’s top military body, the National Defense Commission, told the state-run KCNA news agency.
“The Interview” — a comedy by Sony involving a fictional CIA plot to assassinate Kim — has infuriated Pyongyang, which has warned of “merciless retaliation”.
The NDC slammed Sony for producing the film and “abetting a terrorist act while hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership of the (North).”
On to Hong Kong as the Occupy eviction draws closer, via South China Morning Post:
CY Leung says authorities ready for ‘furious resistance’ ahead of Occupy clear-out
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying warned yesterday that “furious resistance” is expected from some protesters in the Admiralty Occupy camp when police help bailiffs execute a court order to clear part of the protest site.
He also rejected a student leader’s call to restart the political reform process, saying it would effectively mean overturning Beijing’s controversial framework for the 2017 election. But Joshua Wong Chi-fung, convenor of the student group Scholarism, insisted such a move would not violate the Basic Law.
A police source said the exact date for executing the injunction order and whether officers would clear areas not covered by the order are to be decided tomorrow in a joint meeting with the plaintiff and bailiffs, though it could take place as early as Wednesday.
Police recently estimated that the number of protesters remaining in Admiralty between 8am and 9am was just over 100. The source said 1,000 to 2,000 officers would be deployed to clear the site during the bailiffs’ working hours between 9am and 5pm.
Insular legality from Want China Times:
Retired PLA general urges soldiers to study international law
The scenario of a Chinese takeover of disputed islands in the East and South China seas was discussed in a new book written by retired Chinese general Zhu Wenquan, the former commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s Nanjing Military Region, according to our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.
Facing rising tensions with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, China needs to establish new strategies to successfully pull off a takeover, Zhu writes in The Theory of Island Warfare. He also said China’s military must know its enemy well before the outbreak of conflict, a common trope taken from the ancient Chinese military handbook The Art of War.
Zhu said China must change its traditional strategic thinking which favors fighting on the ground. He believes that it is time for China to establish an advanced information integration platform. This will improve the coordination between the PLA air and naval forces in battle. The retired general said that it is very important for landing forces to become familiar with the location of any amphibious assault it plans to launch.
And Global Times covers culture war:
China releases online videos documenting Nanjing Massacre
China’s State Archives Administration (SAA) released a 10 minute video on its website on Sunday documenting the Nanjing Massacre.
The video, which includes residents’ diaries and photos taken by foreign residents at the time, is the first of a seven-part video series scheduled to be released one per day. Sunday’s video also features photos taken by invading Japanese troops at the time.
The archives are valuable documents revealing Japanese troops’ crimes against humanity, which urge the world to permanently end anti-human atrocities, an accompanying statement said.
And it’s not just video, as CCTV America reports:
World’s first encyclopaedia on Nanjing massacre released
China will mark its first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims on Dec.13. China’s State Archives Administration is releasing a series of seven-part videos one per day documenting the Nanjing Massacre from Dec.7 to to Dec.13.
More Chinese perspective from Global Times:
Abe’s denial of history panders to ultra-right
The issue of “comfort women” has caused quite a stir within Japan. In early August, the Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s biggest left-leaning newspapers, made a public statement that its past reports on “comfort women” were based on false testimony by Seiji Yoshida. Therefore, the paper retracted the articles and apologized publicly. Inevitably, it has encountered fierce attacks by other Japanese media outlets and right-wing groups. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also denounced this newspaper on many occasions.
In October, Japan required the amendment of a 1996 UN special rapporteur’s report on “comfort women.” This report described “comfort women” forced into prostitution in wartime Japanese military brothels as “sex slaves” and called on the Japanese government to apologize and pay compensation to victims. The Abe administration claimed part of the content was “false” and asked author Radhika Coomaraswamy to revoke it. But the request was denied.
It is Abe’s attitude toward the “comfort women” issue that has decided Tokyo’s frequent maneuvers in recent months. Abe believes the reports based on testimony by Yoshida solicited undue criticism from the rest of the world and therefore Japan must rehabilitate its reputation. To this end, he even tabled a plan to review the 1993 Kono Statement though he said previously he would not deny the landmark apology for sexual slavery before and during WWII.
And in Japan, insularity from Kyodo News:
Overseas experience viewed as negative for handling state secrets
The Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office warned government offices before a state secrecy law takes effect on Wednesday that people who have studied or worked abroad have a higher risk of leaking state secrets, government documents obtained by Kyodo News showed Sunday.
According to the 2011 documents released upon request by Kyodo News, the office of the Cabinet Secretariat, which supervises the controversial law to toughen penalties on leakers of state secrets, pointed to the need to check educational and employment records in examining which public servants are deemed eligible to handle sensitive information.
Under the secrecy law, which was enacted in December last year, civil servants and others who leak sensitive information on foreign policy, defense, counterterrorism and counterespionage face up to 10 years in prison.
To close, Furry terrorism? From the Guardian:
Furries convention interrupted by chlorine gas that sickens 19 people
- Annual ‘Anthrocon’, where many attendees dress in costume to celebrate anthropomorphic animals, is evacuated as police suspect foul play
Chlorine gas sickened several people and forced the evacuation of thousands of guests from a suburban Chicago hotel early Sunday, including many dressed in cartoonish animal costumes for an annual furries convention who were ushered across the street to a convention center that was hosting a dog show.
Nineteen people who became nauseous or dizzy were treated at local hospitals, and at least 18 were released shortly thereafter.
The source of the gas was apparently chlorine powder left in a ninth-floor stairwell at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, according to the Rosemont public safety department. Investigators believe the gas was created intentionally and are treating it as a criminal matter.