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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Colorado Rains Over, Floods Continue

The worst of the rains have abated in Colorado, and many of the state’s evacuees have begun to return home. The Colorado Office of Emergency Management confirmed at least eight people had died: four dead in Boulder County, two in Larimer County, one in El Paso County and one in Clare Creek County. Most of the flood waters have moved downstream, deluging massive tracts of prairie-land farms and oil well sites. Earlier today, officials announced the evacuation of Crook, a tiny riverside town in northeastern Colorado. The beginning of the flood is expected to reach the riverside town of Julesburg on the Nebraska border this afternoon.

Man Shot as He Swam to North Korea

As joint operations in the Kaesŏng industrial park resumed near the Korean Demilitarized Zone yesterday, South Korean soldiers shot and killed a man as he attempted to float across a river to North Korea. The motives for the unidentified man are unknown. It is not unknown for Koreans to illicitly pass from one Korea to another, especially during the 1990′s, when a number of North Koreans fled the country’s harrowing famine. Yesterday’s incident, near Imjingak park, a peace-themed resort in the city of Paju, northwest of Seoul, is a bit more rare. The resort is dedicated to Koreans unable to return home, due to the nominally closed borders between the two nations.

Mullah Re-Sentenced to Death

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has ruled that Abdul Kader Mullah, who was convicted of war crimes during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war this February and sentenced to life in prison, will instead be given the death penalty. The original conviction of Mullah triggered a wave a protests this year, which saw hundreds killed. The government appealed the war crimes tribunal’s sentencing to the supreme court; according to Prosecutor Ziad Al Malum, four of the five justices agreed that Mullah should die. Defence lawyer Tajul Islam told AFP he was “stunned” by the verdict, saying, “This is the first time in South Asian judicial history that a trial court sentence has been enhanced by a Supreme Court.”

Emirati Couple Charged with Torture and Filicide

An Emirati couple will stand trial over the death of their four year old daughter. The child died from a brain hemorrhage and skull fractures shortly after being admitted to hospital earlier this month because she was suffering breathing difficulties and vomiting. The father insists he was not involved in the care of his daughter and that he left this task to her mother. The mother told police she was only trying to instill manners in the four-year-old; she will be facing charges of torture in Abu Dhabi’s Criminal Court. The father has been charged with neglect.

This case recalls another tragic case last year, which saw an Emirati couple abuse and murder one of their two children. The father in that case was given the death penalty earlier this year. That case prompted the creation of Wadeema’s Law, a 72-article bill designed to provide for children’s welfare. Unfortunately due to a scheduling conflict the law has not yet been ratified by the Federal National Council, and thus is not yet in effect.

Al-Qaeda Boss Issues Style Guide for Jihad

For the first time Ayman al-Zawahri, leader of the al-Qaeda core, has issued guidelines on how mujahideen ought to conduct themselves, specifically in various nations around the Muslim world. While especially addressing jihad, al-Zawahri also took pains to emphasize the importance of missionary and charity work. “As far as targeting the proxies of America is concerned, it differs from place to place,” al-Zawahri said. Al-Zawahri’s guidelines acknowledged that conflicts in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were unavoidable. He even endorsed the right of jihadists to fight Russians in the Caucasus, Indians in Kashmir, and Chinese in Xinjiang, but said, “The basic principle is to avoid entering into any conflict with them, except in the countries where confronting them becomes inevitable.”

Al-Zawahri called on his mainly Salafist followers to avoid attacking other Muslim sects, and said if they were attacked, they should limit their response to those involved in fighting. According to al-Zawahri, a mujahid should also spare Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs living in Muslim lands; respect the lives of women and children; and refrain from targeting enemies in mosques, markets, and gatherings where those enemies mix with other people he is not fighting.

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