Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) battled Syrian rebel forces in a Damascus neighbourhood on Monday, bringing the extremists closer than ever to the centre of the capital, a monitoring group said.
Isil militants fought street battles against Islamist rebels in Asali, part of the capital’s southern Qadam district, after seizing two streets there over the weekend, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“This is the closest Isil has ever been to the heart of Damascus,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
He said Isil had advanced from the adjacent Al-Hajar Al-Aswad neighbourhood, where they have been based since July 2014.
A Syrian military official confirmed the clashes and said he was “very happy that they are fighting”.
“But we are ready to react if they try to advance into government-held territory,” the official told AFP.
According to the Observatory, opposition-held Qadam has been relatively quiet since a truce between rebel groups and regime forces there a year ago.
It said fighting in the district on Sunday left 15 fighters dead, but it could not specify how many were from Isil and how many were Islamist rebels.
Mr Rahman said the “fierce street battles” had forced civilians to flee the area.
Since its expulsion from the Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus last year, Isil has used Al-Hajar Al-Aswad as a base for attacks on the capital.
Forget the printing press. In readying for the rollout of Islamic State’s new money, goldsmiths and silver smelters have been toiling away.
The jihadist group on Saturday touted “the return of the gold dinar” in an hour-long video issued by its media wing, al Hayat. Islamic State’s policy-making Shura Council last year tasked its Beit al Mal, or treasury, with minting the coins, which come in several denominations made of gold, silver and copper.
The currency is meant to break the shackles of “the capitalist financial system of enslavement, underpinned by a piece of paper called the Federal Reserve dollar note,” the group said in the video. It didn’t explain where the coins were being minted, nor how they’ll be distributed or replace currencies circulating in the territory the group occupies in parts of Iraq and Syria.
Islamic State first announced its intention to issue its own money in November, five months after it seized the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced a caliphate. The move was seen by analysts as part of the group’s efforts to build the institutions of a functioning state.
The jihadists have amassed a war chest of millions of dollars, partly through collecting taxes, and by seizing oil refineries. Bank and jewelry store robberies, extortion, smuggling and kidnapping for ransom are other important sources of revenue for the group, which metes out brutal punishment to anyone who opposes its rule, including beheadings and crucifixions.
Baghdad-based economist Basim Jameel said the announcement is an attempt to boost the morale of Islamic State fighters, who have suffered battlefield setbacks in recent months, including the loss of Tikrit in March.
The group said its 21-carat 1-dinar coin weighs 4.25 grams, while the 21-carat five-dinar coin weighs double that. Three dominations of silver dirhams and two of copper coins were minted for smaller transactions, it said.
Each coin bears an inscription that reads, “The Islamic State, a caliphate based on the doctrine of prophecy.” The 1-dinar coin also shows seven stalks of wheat, which the group said is meant to represent “the blessing of spending in the path of Allah.” The five-dinar coin bears the image of a map of the world.
“Ban on Infidels to get housing in an apartment building in Toronto where city government entered in an agreement with mosque that only Muslims will reside in this building” against which one Canadian citizen named Ezra Levant have launched a petition.
The issue surfaced in limelight when one Canadian citizen Mr. Austin Lewis aged 21-year and paralyzed, (confined to a wheelchair) needed public housing.
Mr. Lewis applied to live in a taxpayer-subsidized apartment on Finch Avenue in Toronto but he was told that he wasn’t allowed — because he wasn’t a Muslim!
Not only did the City of Toronto knew about this ban on non-Muslims, they approved it in a special contract with the Muslim mosque that runs the place. So taxpayers of all religions are forced to subsidize a special apartment building just for Muslims.
A 6-year-old boy’s dreams came true when he ambitiously asked his parents for a Transformers birthday cake. But this isn’t just your average Optimus Pastry.
YouTube user Russell Monro and his wife teamed up to make their kid a cake that actually transforms. Using a 3D printer, Monro created a moving platform that holds the cake, which was made by his wife.
The final result brought Optimus Prime to life in moving cake form. (Not to mention the sheer joy on his son’s face.)
If that wasn’t jaw-dropping enough for the 6-year-old and his birthday party guests, his dad even built a speaker into the platform to make Optimus Prime say one of his famous quotes: “At the end of this day, one shall stand, one shall fall!”
Due to the overwhelming attention, Monro wrote on Thursday in his YouTube comments that he would soon write about the process (though it won’t be a tutorial) and maybe even share the file used for 3D printing the platform. Which is great news for all the parents of 6-year-olds who have seen what “that kid’s dad” can do.
On Saturday, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said illegal immigrants are treated better than Wounded Warriors and veterans in America.
Speaking in Nashville at a National Federation of Republican Assemblies event, Trump said that “illegal immigrants, in many cases–not in all cases, but in many cases–are treated better than our veterans, who are the greatest people we have.” Trump spoke about some of the horrors veterans have had to face in accessing basic medical care and services and vowed that veterans would be treated like first-class citizens under a Trump administration.
After mentioning that illegal immigrants and DREAMers were protesting outside of the event, Trump asked, “What about our children?… Why can’t our children that are in the country… Why can’t they be the dreamers?”
Trump added, “nobody ever talks about them… we talk about the DREAMERs… we talk about the illegal immigrants, who, by the way, are treated better than the vets.”
Texas podcast that called for the lynching of white people and the killing of cops appears to have been taken down from their page. While links to the program, “Sunshines F**king Opinion Online Radio” can still be found, the program’s page is no longer there. The podcast called for people to kill cops just days prior to the execution of a Harris County sheriff’s deputy.
The Texas-based radio show’s guests called for lynching white people and taking pictures of them hanging in trees. Another caller spoke of the need for blacks to kill cops to “turn the tide.”
Friday night, when the Harris County sheriff’s deputy was murdered, Sheriff Ron Hickman said that the only motivation for the shooting, so far, appears to be the fact that the deputy was wearing a uniform.
On the Texas-based radio show host’s Twitter page, @LOLatWhiteFear, there appears to be no mention of the murder. There is also not any indication from her that the radio show account has been taken down. However, all links on her Twitter and Instagram account to the program produce “404 Errors” that say “We couldn’t find that page. Seriously, we looked everywhere.”
The Internal Revenue Service must turn over any White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, a federal judge ruled Friday.
The IRS cannot cite taxpayer confidentiality laws to avoid turning over the information requested by Cause of Action, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled. Cause of Action has waged a two-year battle to discover whether Obama administration officials had any hand in the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profits.
The IRS cannot cite privacy protection “to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit,” the judge said Friday, according to the Washington Times.
This is not Salon, but Yahoo, that just republishes this inaccurate race-baiting dreck that they got from the site Take Part. The most offensive paragraph quoted below:
Decades before 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot to death for looking suspicious as he walked home with a can of Arizona Iced Tea and a pack of Skittles—before 17-year-old Jordan Davis was gunned down at a gas station because his rap music was too loud, and before 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, after being stopped for not walking on the sidewalk—the death of another African American teen, killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman, forced America to realize that black lives matter.
Trayvon Martin was of course, not shot for ‘looking suspicious as he walked home with a can of Arizona Iced Tea and a pack of Skittles’. He was shot after he attacked George Zimmerman, beating his head into the concrete.
Mike Brown had just committed a robbery at a convenience store which the officer realized. Evidence showed he struggled with the officer at his police car and according to the officer, tried to grab his gun, and then subsequently refused to stop but moved at the officer. Both local and federal authorities found the evidence matched the officer’s account rather than the false accounts of ‘hands up don’t shoot’ that had been spread by media.
In none of the cases cited in the paragraph was there any evidence that race factored into the shootings. Except of course in the case of Trayvon Martin, who referred to George Zimmerman as a ‘creepy ass cracka’.
The article also links to post promoting Black Lives Matter.
Give Josh Barro credit for candor. When it comes to guns, the New York Times correspondent makes no bones about the kind of draconian, Second Amendment-defying approach he thinks is necessary. Forget about expanded background checks or other such measures. The only way to have a “big impact on violent crime,” according to Barro, is to emulate Australia and “really take away massive amounts of guns that people have, reduce the rate of gun ownership substantially.” Barro made his comments on MSNBC’s Up With Steve Kornacki this morning [with Jonathan Capehart guest-hosting] during a discussion prompted by the on-air shootings of two TV station employees in Virginia.
A statue of Jefferson Davis has been removed from its place on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin after a failed appeal by a Confederate heritage group.
Crews could be seen Sunday morning removing the statue of the Confederate president from its place near the university’s iconic clock tower.
University President Greg Fenves recently said the statue would be moved to a museum.
The statue has been a target of vandalism as well as criticism that it is a symbol of racism and discrimination. Confederate symbols nationwide are being re-considered following the recent mass shooting of members of a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
A judge last week ruled against the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which sued to stop the university from moving it.
President Barack Obama on Monday will officially restore Denali as the name of North America’s tallest mountain, ending a 40-year battle over what to call the peak that has been known as Mount McKinley.
The symbolic gesture comes at the beginning of a three-day trip to Alaska where Obama hopes to build support for his efforts to address climate change during his remaining 16 months in office.
The peak was named Mount McKinley in 1896 after a gold prospector exploring the region heard that Ohioan William McKinley, a champion of the gold standard, had won the Republican nomination for president.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has emerged as a leading Republican presidential candidate in Iowa and is closing in on frontrunner Donald Trump in the state that hosts the first 2016 nomination balloting contest.
The latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll shows billionaire Trump with the support of 23 percent of likely Republican caucus participants, followed by Carson at 18 percent. When first and second choices are combined, Carson is tied with Trump.
Trump finds himself in a vastly better position than when the previous Iowa Poll was taken. He has become a credible presidential candidate to many likely Republican caucus-goers. The real estate mogul is rated favorably by 61 percent and unfavorably by 35 percent, an almost complete reversal since the Iowa Poll in May. He finds his highest ratings among those planning to attend the caucuses for the first time (69 percent) and limited-government Tea Party activists (73 percent). Just 29 percent say they could never vote for him, a number cut in half since May.