Tuesday, July 05, 2016
EDUCATED AND WELL OFF,DHAKA ISLAMIC-MUSLIM-QURANIC ATTACKERS DEFY USUAL PROFILE.
NEW DELHI - The young men had been missing for months. Their families sensed something was wrong. Some had come from privileged backgrounds, had grown up loved and were educated in top schools. They had bright futures.It wasn't until the horror of the weekend hostage crisis in Bangladesh's capital unfolded that they learned their sons had become radicalized as religious extremists and launched one of the country's deadliest attacks in recent years.The young men, armed with knives, bombs and automatic firearms, engaged in a gun battle with police, killing two and wounding more, then seized a popular restaurant in a Dhaka neighbourhood on Friday night and held some 35 people hostage. Over the next few hours, they would kill 20 of their captives — including nine Italians, seven Japanese, an Indian teenager and three students at American universities. A witness said some victims were tortured when they could not recite verses from the Qur’an."This is very painful. He killed innocent people," said the aunt of one of the attackers, Rohan Imtiaz, whose father is a leader in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's governing Awami League party."We sensed that Rohan was changing and his behaviour increasingly became different," she told the Associated Press in disbelief.When Imtiaz went missing on Dec. 31, as his mother and father were in India for medical treatment, the family asked the police to help find him."My brother went to everybody: police, ministers and higher authorities after he went missing," said Rohan's aunt, who refused to be identified by name. "He became just crazy after his son went missing. But nobody could help us."As details emerged of the men who laid siege to the Holey Artisan Bakery, it became clear that the attackers did not fit the typical profile for religious radicals coming from economically deprived backgrounds and latching onto extremist groups that promised a new future.Some analysts said that's what made them attractive as recruits; their backgrounds meant they would not raise suspicions."They do not fit the usual stereotype of the madrassa-educated youth," said Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, a former Indian diplomat and policy expert on Bangladesh for the Observer Research Foundation, a New Delhi think-tank . "My suspicion is that these young men were roped in by spotters or recruiters."He said their defiance of the usual militant profile gave credibility to claims the attackers were part of a campaign waged by extremist groups abroad."This is a conscious decision on their part that they will get this kind of people," Chakravarty said. "The shock value for the radical groups of recruiting educated, affluent people is huge. The government will never suspect them. The intelligence agencies will never suspect them. Because these boys were never under any kind of surveillance."Police released photographs of the bodies of five attackers killed by paramilitary forces who ended the hostage siege. They also released names — Akash, Badhon, Bikash, Don and Ripon — which did not match those given by family members. Police said only that militants often go by many names to obscure their identities. Another suspected attacker was captured and was being interrogated.The men, all younger than 30, belonged to the banned domestic group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB, according to police. Asked whether they might also have had Islamic State ties, police said authorities were investigating that possibility."It is difficult to imagine how they were radicalized. At least four come from very wealthy backgrounds," said Benazir Ahmed, head of the country's paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion, according to Indian broadcaster NDTV.Describing them as "flamboyant young men," he said some had also been frequent visitors to the same restaurant they attacked.The Islamic State, in claiming responsibility for the attack, had also published photos of the five smiling young men, each holding what appear to be assault rifles and posing in front of a black IS flag. The men in those photographs released by the Amaq news agency, affiliated with IS, also appear to match the police images of the dead assailants in the restaurant after the hostage crisis ended.Another attacker identified as Khairul Islam went missing six months ago, according to Bogra district police chief Mohammed Asaduzzman."The family is poor, and did not report his disappearance to police," Asaduzzman said.But while Islam's background seemed to fit the stereotype, his upbringing suggested otherwise. Islam was educated, having studied in a madrassa before enrolling in a public university in Dhaka.The family identified Islam as one of the attackers after seeing a photograph of his body on Facebook, he said. Authorities have detained his parents, sister and brother-in-law for questioning.At least some of the attackers had also known each other for years.Imtiaz had studied at the same English-language school as Meer Sameeh Mobashwer, whose family said he went missing on Feb. 29.Mobashwer's father, a businessman, and mother, an economics teacher, had planned to send their son to join his brother studying in Canada."I understood that my son had changed, something was wrong with him," his father, Meer Hayat Kabir, told the AP. "I was worried and tried to make him understand. But suddenly he went missing. I felt like the whole world crumbled around me."Police, contacted by Mobashwer's family for help, were unable to track him down."They told me maybe your son has gone somewhere with friends. He will come back. But he never came," Kabir said. He only found his son once police invited him to identify the body of one of the weekend attackers."We had lot of dreams," his father said. "I cannot believe my son was inside that restaurant, he was part of that. But that's the reality now.""My everything is over."___Associated Press writer Nirmala George contributed to this report.Follow Katy Daigle: —www.twitter.com/katydaigle
Japan's Uniqlo suspends most Bangladesh travel; others reviewing operations-[Reuters]-By Abhirup Roy, Promit Mukherjee and Chang-Ran Kim-July 4, 2016-YAHOONEWS
MUMBAI/TOKYO (Reuters) - Foreign companies with nationals working in Bangladesh's garment and building industries have suspended travel to the country and told workers there to stay at home after a deadly attack by Islamist militants on a restaurant in Dhaka on Friday.The hospitality sector is also seeing cancellations, hotels are tightening security and foreign embassies are looking at reducing staffing after the attack claimed the lives of nine Italians, seven Japanese, an American, an Indian and some Bangladeshi nationals.Fast Retailing Co <9983 .t="">, the Japanese owner of the Uniqlo casual-wear brand, said it would suspend all but critical travel to Bangladesh and had told staff there to stay indoors.Bangladesh's $26 billion garment industry has been bracing for the fallout of Friday's killings, fearing major retailers from Uniqlo to Marks and Spencer and Gap could rethink their sourcing plans after the latest attack targeting foreigners.One of the world's poorest countries, Bangladesh relies on garments for around 80 percent of its exports and for about 4 million jobs, and ranks behind only China as a supplier of clothes to developed markets like Europe and the United States.Uniqlo has 10 Japanese staff in Bangladesh, one of its major production hubs outside China, and was among the first to confirm it would tighten travel restrictions already in place after attacks last year. A spokeswoman said all but critical travel was suspended."Obviously this is generating a lot of concern with all the brands my company works with," said Shovon Islam, the head of Sparrow Group, which supplies top brands like Marks and Spencer and Gap.He said that after a foreigner was killed in Bangladesh last year, some overseas companies pared back travel to the country and asked for meetings to be held in Bangkok, New Delhi and Hong Kong instead."This time the intensity of the threat is much higher and we will definitely see companies altering their plans," Islam said.The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, a group of mostly European retailers, said it would review security measures for its staff in Bangladesh.While it is too early to say whether the group's signatories will shift production out of Bangladesh, it may affect travel restrictions for buyers coming to Bangladesh, a spokesman for the group said.-'HEARTBREAKING'-"There'll definitely be an impact on the garment industry," said Sudhir Dhingra, head of Orient Craft, based in the Indian city of Gurgaon. "I was just speaking to a top label which said its official who was supposed to visit Bangladesh to inspect an order has refused to go."Bangladesh garment exporters who dealt with some of those killed in Friday's attack were still coming to terms with what had happened. "I was doing business with six of the nine Italians who died. It's shocking and heartbreaking," said Meshba Uddin Ali, managing director of Wega Fashion Sweater Pvt Ltd.Amos Ho, a senior manager at Pou Chen, one of the world's largest makers of trainers for brands like Nike , Adidas and Puma , said: "We've urged our employees to be cautious. They have to pay attention to their personal safety."Industry analysts have suggested clothing brands may consider shifting out of Bangladesh to less unsettled countries in Asia, such as Cambodia and Sri Lanka. No major companies have yet signaled official plans."There are no plans on changing any sourcing, but we are following developments closely," Sweden's H & M said in a statement on Sunday echoed by other big retailers.Several others companies, including French retail group Auchan Holding , German clothing company Kik Textilien and European family-owned clothing retailer C&A, said they were monitoring the situation closely but had not made any plans to stop working in the country.Two foreign nationals who live in Bangladesh and work in the garments business said the attack could scuttle plans for business travel."I have so many big brands I do business with and in the last 48 hours, they've all called me. They're afraid, they're scared," said Robert, an American who has lived in Bangladesh for seven years. He did not wish to disclose his last name or the name of his firm.The foreigners said, however, said they personally did not intend to leave, noting that such attacks were not restricted to Bangladesh."In the last month, I went to Italy, Belgium, Germany, Amsterdam. If you look at where I went last month, where was there not a problem that's not equal to Bangladesh? Even USA,” said Robert.-REDUCING STAFFING-Both the United States and British embassies in Bangladesh may reduce staff numbers, one diplomatic source said, and ask only essential staff to stay on.Japanese construction companies Obayashi Corp <1802 .t=""> and Shimizu Corp <1803 .t="">, both with more than a dozen employees working on bridge projects in Bangladesh, said they advised staff to stay indoors.At least two five-star hotels in Dhaka, which cater primarily to business clients, said they had seen a spike in cancellations since Friday's attack."Whenever people book, it's usually within two or three days of their visit to Dhaka, and now nobody is doing any bookings at all," said a source at one of the hotels, noting this week is typically quiet because of the upcoming Eid celebrations.(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Jarrett Renshaw in New York, Ethan Lou in Toronto, Faith Hung in Taipei and Zeba Siddiqui in Mumbai; Editing by Ian Geoghegan and Peter Cooney)
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Bog fire closes highway, businesses south of Vancouver-[CBC]-July 4, 2016-YAHOONEWS
Smoke from a bog fire burning south of Vancouver is drifting across the region, and shut down a busy highway in Delta on Sunday afternoon.Officials expect Highway 17 and nearby Progress Way to be closed for the rest of day on Monday because of smoke from the fire.About 80 firefighters and three helicopters are fighting the stubborn fire, which is estimated to be about 70 hectares in size and is only about 10 per cent contained, said fire officials at a briefing on Monday morning.Located southeast of Vancouver, the 30-square-kilometre nature reserve is one of North America's largest peat bogs. The danger is fire can get under the dry peat and burn out of sight."Fire will get underground in the peat and can pop up anywhere," said Jackson.On Monday morning, smoke from the fire could be seen and smelled as far away as downtown Vancouver, but Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said no air quality advisory has been issued by Metro Vancouver.Traffic on Highway 17 in Delta — also called the South Fraser Perimeter Road — is being diverted to Highway 99 and Highway 91 and about 25 businesses in the Tilbury industrial area are still under an evacuation order.Fire officials said three helicopters will be used to fight the fire on Monday, but fixed-wing air tankers would remain on standby.-Fire broke out Sunday-The wildfire broke out just before noon on Sunday and quickly grew to over 50 hectares, despite the efforts of more than 100 firefighters from around the region and several air tankers.Smoke from the blaze eventually drifted across Highway 17, forcing police to evacuate the Tilbury industrial area in Delta.That evacuation order was later scaled down on Sunday to only include about 25 businesses on Progress Way, between 76 and 80 streets. River Road was also closed but was later reopened.Some sections of the the Fraser River were also closed to marine traffic so air tankers could scoop water, but those areas were reopened on Sunday night.-Bog fires difficult to put out-Officials have yet to say what might have caused the fire, but they have ruled out a lightning strike.The public is not officially allowed into the bog, but Jackson expressed concerns people still may be going in."What we have to do is ensure people don't go in there," said Jackson. "The peat layer can be thick or thin. What we don't want to happen is to have someone go through the peat."The geography of Burns Bog also presents a challenge for fire crews and officials are already predicting it could take up to a week to put out the fire.Yesterday, one firefighter was taken to hospital, but officials said it was for medical reasons not specifically related to the fire.In 2005, a fire in Burns Bog grew to more than two square kilometres and took more than a week to put out.
69 families still displaced after explosion in Mississauga, Ont.: firefighters-[The Canadian Press]-Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press-July 4, 2016-YAHOONEWS
Dozens of families were still unable to go home Monday as investigators worked to determine what caused an explosion west of Toronto that killed two people and injured nine others last week.Firefighters said 69 families — including 32 living in a low-rise apartment building — remained displaced nearly a week after the blast that rocked a neighbourhood in Mississauga, Ont., though some may be allowed a short visit to recover personal items.Tuesday's explosion rained debris over the area and forced hundreds from their homes. Many have since been able to return but the area closest to the blast site continues to be off-limits to residents."The damage that we have encountered as part of this explosion has been extensive," Fire Chief Tim Beckett said in a news conference Monday. "We have a number of addresses, 69 in total, that are still impacted by the explosion.""We will be working to get them back to their homes. Some of them will be able to enter their home on a 15-minute supervised visit to grab personal needs, the homes will then be turned over to their insurance companies so that they can be boarded up and secured," he said.Engineers and other experts will then take over until the homes are deemed safe, he said, adding that the two houses on either side of the explosion site would "likely be coming down."Police said they are working to determine what triggered the blast and they are looking into the possibility that it was a criminal incident.Peel Regional Police Sgt. Josh Colley could not say how long it would take to establish the cause.He said some of the evidence, including letters found strewn around the property, have been sent for analysis to find out whether they are linked to the home that exploded.Last week police identified two bodies found in the wreckage as Robert Nadler and Dianne Page, both 55 years old.Page was found the day of the explosion. Police discovered Nadler's remains on Thursday.Relatives confirmed to the Toronto Star that Nadler was convicted in a murder case in 1982 and released to a halfway house a decade later.
DRUG PUSHERS AND ADDICTS
1 PET 5:8
8 Be sober,(NOT DRUGED UP OR ALCOHOLICED) be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries (DRUGS) were all nations deceived.
21 Neither repented they of their murders,(KILLING) nor of their sorceries (DRUG ADDICTS AND DRUG PUSHERS), nor of their fornication,(SEX OUTSIDE MARRIAGE OR PROSTITUTION FOR MONEY) nor of their thefts.(STEALING)
Marijuana impairment 'a big concern' as RNC officer starts work on pot legalization-[CBC]-July 4, 2016-YAHOONEWS 1803>1802>9983>
<9983 .t=""><1802 .t=""><1803 .t="">A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer recently named to a task force on legalizing and regulating marijuana says one of the biggest hurdles they face is dealing with impairment."I do believe it's going to be a big concern," Supt. Marlene Jesso told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show."That's something we'll have to look at as a task force, and see if we can come up with certain ways and different ways to be able to do that, because that, I think, may be a major issue in relation to the legalization of marijuana."Jesso, a 33-year police veteran, is one of nine Canadians chosen to serve on the federal government`s task force for the legalization of the drug, an appointment she accepted last week from Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale."It's not everyday you get asked to change Canadian policy, so it is a big deal for me and I'll take the job very seriously," she said.-Add your voice-Jesso heads to Ottawa next week to hammer out her workload and schedule, which will include speaking to experts, special interest groups and ordinary Canadians.A major component of the task force will be sifting through people's feedback on a discussion paper that asks numerous questions such as keeping marijuana away from minors, organized crime, and how to best regulate its distribution.The discussion paper and feedback forms are posted on Health Canada's website."What we'll be doing is encouraging Canadians to go to the website, give us their perspectives and advice on the questions at hand, and we'll be doing consultations across Canada," she said.At the end of her role, Jesso and the other task force members will submit a paper with their recommendations on the issue to the federal government, expected in November.
Subdued business outlook for the next year, Bank of Canada poll says-[The Canadian Press]-Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press-July 4, 2016-YAHOONEWS
OTTAWA - Canadian businesses are anticipating only a minimal acceleration in sales growth over the next 12 months amid bleak expectations among firms linked to the energy industry, a new Bank of Canada poll suggests.The central bank's latest business outlook survey released Monday said that companies hit hard by the oil price slump reported that indicators of future sales, such as new orders, had seen scant improvement compared to a year ago."The moderation in future sales expectations was concentrated among firms in the Prairies, which see few signs of a recovery from the oil price shock," the bank's quarterly survey said.In other regions of the country, the poll said "steady, albeit modest, domestic momentum" supported brighter sales outlooks.The survey found that businesses outside the affected commodity industries and in the service sectors were more optimistic about the coming year. Rising demand from the United States and the past depreciation of the Canadian dollar remained key sources of stronger sales expectations, the poll said.The survey also suggested that overall, firms generally expected to add jobs over the coming year — but found hiring intentions remained below post-recession levels and diverged considerably by sector.Plans to reduce staff were prominent among companies in the goods sector, while firms in the service industries intended to boost their workforces to meet growing demand, the poll found."Hiring intentions remain modest overall," the bank said.Firms also remained cautious about business investment, with many companies tied to the energy sector budgeting for further cuts, the survey said. However, businesses in the service sectors were found to be more willing to invest and expand, it added.CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said the survey indicates that the repercussions from the fall in energy prices will continue to be felt."We're not out of the woods yet," Shenfeld said in a note to clients. "The energy shock dented Canada over the past 12 months, but the Bank of Canada's latest survey suggests that the tide isn't yet turning back in our favour."The Bank of Canada's survey of senior managers from about 100 companies was conducted between May 9 and June 8, and therefore doesn't reflect any potential changes in expectations linked to the United Kingdom's referendum to leave the European Union.National Bank senior economist Krishen Rangasamy said that companies' actual investment and hiring may end up being softer following the result of the so-called Brexit vote than the opinions reported in Monday's survey."Intentions to hire and invest remain weak, which does not bode well for economic growth in the second half of the year," Rangasamy wrote in a research note.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter.
This gay Toronto cop sent an open letter to Pride Toronto about the Black Lives Matter protest-[CBC]-JUly 4, 2016-YAHOONEWS
A gay Toronto police officer has sent an open letter to Pride Toronto to voice his concern about the organization's agreement with the activist group Black Lives Matter, which was given the status of Honoured Group for Sunday's Pride parade.The agreement includes commitment to increase representation among Pride Toronto staff, and to prioritize the hiring of black transgender women and indigenous people. But it's Pride Toronto's assent to a request that police floats and booths not appear in future Pride parades, marches and community spaces that Const. Chuck Krangle's letter singles out.Krangle opted not to be interviewed by CBC News for further comment, saying he preferred to have this letter stand on its own.Dear Pride Toronto, I am writing today to address concerns I have with your recent agreement with Black Lives Matter TO. I am particularly concerned with your willingness to remove all police floats and booths in future parades and community spaces. I should give you my background first.I am a Toronto Police Service Constable, and a homosexual. I have been on the job eight years. Prior to becoming a Police Officer, I served in the Canadian Armed Forces and completed a tour in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2006-07. I never "came out" while serving in the military. Though not for fear of persecution, I only told a select few about my orientation. I was still quite young and was simply not ready.It wasn't until 2012 that I decided to come out. I began to tell a few peers at work, and soon word spread. I can say with absolute pride that my peers, and my employers/senior management, have never made an inappropriate comment to me. I have never been made to feel discriminated against. This year, 2016, marked a first for me. My first Pride parade. I would be working, nonetheless it would be my first one in any capacity. Wow, what an event. What a spectacle, a joining of everyone. The 2016 pride events really opened my eyes to something. The support that I have from my peers and supervisors has been unwavering. When I saw all those floats and officers marching (hundreds), I realized that my employer fully supports this part of me, and so many others like me. As I stood post at Yonge and College, ensuring a safe atmosphere, Chief Mark Saunders came up to me. I had the opportunity to salute him, and I knew that I had a leader who was invested in this celebration of Pride. LGBTQ cops have struggled for decades. I am fortunate, because it is their struggles in the past, that have made my orientation an irrelevant factor in my workplace interactions. Members of police services, and their employers (like RBC, Telus, Porter, etc.) have just as much right to participate as any other group.Police officers are significantly represented in the LGBTQ community and it would be unacceptable to alienate and discriminate against them and those who support them. They too struggled to gain a place and workplace free from discrimination and bias. I do not speak for the police, and I do not speak for the LGBTQ community. I speak as an individual, one who saw his first Pride, only to be excluded from the next. Exclusion does not promote inclusion.Chuck Krangle. 1803>1802>9983>
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