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Showing posts from January, 2016

New study shows a glass of red wine each day is beneficial to type 2 diabetics

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A new study shows that moderate consumption of red wine can help people with type 2 diabetes to manage their cholesterol and cardiac health as well as controlling the blood sugar levels.

Type 2 or "adult onset" diabetes contrasts with type 1 or gestational diabetes. The main types are set out inWikipedia: Type 1 DM results from the pancreas's failure to produce enough insulin. This form was previously referred to as "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" (IDDM) or "juvenile diabetes". The cause is unknown.[3]
Type 2 DM begins with insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly.[3] As the disease progresses a lack of insulin may also develop.[6] This form was previously referred to as "non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" (NIDDM) or "adult-onset diabetes". The primary cause is excessive body weight and not enough exercise.[3] Gestational diabetes, is the third main form and occurs when pregnant …

Criticism of Libyan Government of National Accord mounting

The internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) based in the eastern Libyan city of Tobruk has only a few more days to give a vote of confidence in the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA).
While the GNA formation has been announced, although 48 hours after a deadline, it is facing increasing opposition with two members of the senior body of the nine-member Presidency Council not signing and suspending their membership in the body. The rival General National Congress government has not accepted the GNA either. Some of the problems with the GNA and its 32-member cabinet are outlined in a critique byOmar Al-Aswad, one of two members who did not sign. He accused other members of the Council of acting dishonestly, and of moral and political corruption. He also claimed that not only was the government too big but the members were chosen on the basis of cronyism not competence. When the Council had originally failed to meet the deadline for announcing the GNA, Al-As…

Foreign military intervention in Libya increasing with more likely to come

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As the Islamic State launches more attacks in Libya, there is an increasing likelihood that there will be further foreign military intervention to confront the group.
The U.S. top general,Joseph Dunford, chair of the US military Joint Chiefs of Staff, is reported by the New York Times as having said in Paris:  “Unchecked, I am concerned about the spread of ISIL in Libya…You want to take decisive military action to check ISIL’s expansion and at the same time you want to do it in such a way that’s supportive of a long-term political process.” Dunford said action was likely to be within weeks rather than hours. General Joseph L. Votel, commanding general of the Joint Special Operations Command, noted that fighting the Islamic State would not be all about Iraq and Syria but concerned Libya as well. Apparently a large meeting in Rome last week was not just about bringing humanitarian and other aid to Libya but about security and military options. Military intervention in Libya has long been…

Saudi Grand Mufit says chess is "the work of Satan" and is forbidden

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Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Sheikh responded to a question on a Saudi television show saying that chess was "the work of Satan," as were alcohol and gambling.
Chess is believed by many scholars tohave originated in Indiain the sixth century AD. It spread to Persia and when the Arabs conquered Persia, they adopted the game and the game spread throughout the Muslim world and from there to southern Europe. During the Cold War, Russia was dominant in the game except for a period when the American,Bobby Fischer, became a U.S. hero for a time beating the Russians. He beat the Russian Boris Spassky in 1973 in a tournament held in Reykjavik Iceland. He refused to defend his title when chess authorities refused to meet his demands. Later he became anti-American and ended up in Iceland where he died in 2008:  During the 1990s and early 2000s, Fischer lived in Hungary, Germany, the Philippines, Japan, and Iceland, and made increasingly anti-American and anti-semitic remarks on vario…

Israeli herbicide spraying damages and destroys Gaza crops

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Israel is spraying herbicide along the border with the Gaza strip for what Israeli army officials claim is for "security reasons."
On January 7, the spraying by a low-flying agricultural aircraft eradicated or damaged up to 162 hectares of crops along the fence area on the Israeli border.Anwar Assi, manager of the chemical laboratory at the Ministry of Agriculture, said : "Herbicides are sprayed in high concentrations. Thus, they remain embedded in the soil, and then find their way to the water basin. This constitutes a real hazard for the population," The spraying is along a buffer or "no-go" zone unilaterally imposed by Israel. The zone represents an estimated 17 percent of the territory of the tiny Gaza Strip and a third of the agricultural area, passing through some of Gaza's most fertile soils. Last week, Yousef Shahin, who was having trouble as it was sustaining his farmland, had his water tank targeted by an Israeli raid. The tank supplied not o…

Anti-Haftar forces growing in eastern Libya

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In a dramatic turn of events, the official spokesperson for General Khalifa Haftar, the commander in chief of the Libyan National Army, resigned and launched a bitter attack on Haftar.
Colonel Mohamed Hejazispoke on TV, including a station that supports Operation Dignity, Haftar's own operation launched back in May of 2014. Operation Dignity was meant to rid Libya of Islamists including the Libya Dawn, the main forces supporting the rival General National Congress (GNC), located in the west in Tripoli. The internationally-recognized government, the House of Representatives (HoR) is located in the east in Tobruk and the Libyan National Army is associated with the HoR. The Libya Herald reports that Hejazi said of Haftar: ".. he claimed that Hafter had deliberately stretched out the fighting in Benghazi, had targeted civilian areas, had set up a secret department to kill his opponents, had set fire to their homes and stolen their belongings, had diverted money from the Libyan arm…

Islamic State sets oil storage tanks onf fire at Ras Lanuf Libya

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The Islamic State(IS) has launched more attacks on oil terminals, this time at the Ras Lanauf — sometimes spelled Ras Lanuf or Ras Lanouf — export terminal. Four more oil tanks have been set on fire.
The chair of the Tripoli-based National Oil Company,Mustafa Sanalla, described the resulting fires as a disaster. As many as three million barrels of oil could be set on fire. Obviously, IS is not seeking to use the oil facilities as a source of revenue. They are seeking to deprive the Libyan new UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA), or the two rivals, the internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk or the western-based General National Congress (GNC) of any revenue from oil. Sanalla claimed firemen had been unable to reach the fires because of battles between the Islamic State fighters and the Petroleum Facilities Guard (PFG) militia led by Ibrahim Jadhran. The Libyan National Army commanded by Khalifa Haftar appear not to be involved as Jadhran is…

International community backs the UN-brokered Libyan Government of National Accord

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Since the formation of the UN-brokered Government of National Accord (GNA) the international cheerleaders are lining up with their rhetorical chants of support for the Libyan GNA the UN and international power brokers are anxious to see up and running.
Among the cheerleaders is the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) in Libya and head of the UNSMIL.Kobler strongly welcomed the formation of the GNA, which he sees as a significant step forward toward ending political divisions and armed conflict in Libya: "This is a sterling opportunity for Libyans to come together to build their country. The formation of the Government of National Accord (GNA) is one important leap on the path to peace and stability in Libya, I congratulate the Libyan people. Hard work lies ahead “SRSG Martin Kobler said. The creation of the GNA if anything has deepened divisions. Kobler fails to mention that two members of th…

British-Iranian BBC reporter not allowed to board flight to US.

Rana Rahimpour, a dual Iranian-British citizen was stopped from boarding a plane at Heathrow airport about to fly to New Jersey. She was told she needed a visa and was not eligible to fly under the visa waiver program since she was an Iranian citizen.

Rahimpour is a presenter with the BBC's Persian service based in London. Legislation was just recently passed by the US Congress that forces some dual citizens of some countries to obtain visas, whereas previously they could visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a visa. The new regulations will apply to all dual Iranian nationals. Previously, the waivers could be obtained through theElectronic System for Travel Authorization(ESTA).
After she was stopped, Rahimpour tweeted: 3 days after lifting #Iran sanctions, #US denied #ESTA/visa waivers for me and another 2 #British citzns cos we have Iranian nationality too.
The law will also apply to those of UK and other nationalities who have visited Iran in the last 5 years. One commentator…

GNA still needs vote of confidence from House of Representatives before its term starts

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The Presidency Council of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) has named 32 members of the cabinet. However, only seven of the nine-member Council voted, two having suspended their membership before the vote.
One member who suspended his membership wasAli Gatrani, who was one of the designated deputy ministers, and the other was Omar Al-Aswad, a Presidency Council minister. According toReuters: Late on Monday, one of the council members who did not sign the document naming the new government, Ali Faraj al-Qatrani, announced he was withdrawing from the process, saying eastern Libya was under-represented and there was not sufficient support for the armed forces allied to the eastern government.The GNA government names must be submitted to the House of Representatives (HoR), the internationally recognized Libyan government located in Tobruk in eastern Libya. The rival General National Congress (GNC) government is located in Tripoli in the west. After a vote of confidence by the …

New Libyan Government of National Accord announced

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The announcement of the formation of the Libyan Government of National Accord(GNA) was made early this morning. The declaration was signed by only seven of the nine members of the Presidency Council, the senior officials of the GNA.
Two members, Ali Gatrani, a designated deputy minister and Omar Al-Aswad, a Presidency Council minister, had earlier suspended their membership of the Council. According to theLibya Herald: They did so in support for General Khalifa Hafter, demanding that the Libyan Political Agreement clause that the Presidency Council take over as supreme commander of the armed forces be dropped and, reportedly in opposition to the appointment of Al-Mahdi Ibrahim Al-Barghathi as defence minister.CIA-linked General Haftar is the commander in chief of the Libyan National Army associated with the internationally-recognized House of Representatives (HoR) based in Tobruk and Bayda. Bayda has demanded that the HoR leave the city. Most of the government offices are there rather …

Deputy Minister in GNA resigns prior to vote on cabinet by Presidency Council

As the midnight deadline approaches for the announcement of the formation of the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA), a senior official has resigned.
Ali Al-Gatrani is one of the deputy prime ministers in the government of prime minister designate Faiez Serraj. His resignation is reported in theLibya Herald.The reasons for his resignation have not yet been made public. Al-Gatrani had threatened to resign two weeks ago along with another deputy prime minister, Fathi Majbri. An official told the Herald then that the threats were simply a negotiating tactic. The Herald did not know whether Majbri also resigned. Even this one resignation will create problems for Serraj as he attempts to meet the deadline tonight. The Libyan Political Agreement required the announcement to have been made last Saturday but the Presidential Council unilaterally extended the time for formation of the GNA by 48 hours. The Herald claims that the number of ministries in the GNA may be reduced. As of this …

According to terms of LPA commander in chier Haftar on LNA lost his job back on December 17

At last, the UN has actually published the English text of the Libyan Political Agreement signed on December 17 in Skhirat, Morroco. There are some changes from the earlier draft of July 2, 2015.
The draft as of July 2 has long been available on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL)website.I was surprised the draft as it was when signed by members of the Libyan Dialogue, including some from each of the rival governments, has just been published in English on the UN website. The draft was signed in Skhirat, Morocco on December 17, 2015. Publication of the English text is a welcome move towards some transparency by UNSMIL. I was particularly interested in seeing whether the status of Khalifa Haftar, the commander in chief of the Libyan National Army associated with the internationally-recognized House of Representative (HoR) located in Tobruk in eastern Libya, had changed. The rival General National Congress (GNC) government is located in the west in Tripoli. Once the GNA…