Friday, 25 July 2014

Gaza death toll hits 800 on 18th day of Israeli attacks

Fifteen Palestinians were killed Thursday when an Israeli shell slammed into a UN shelter where hundreds of civilians had taken refuge.


And fresh Israeli fire early Friday pushed the overall Palestinian death toll in Gaza to at least 800 despite world efforts to broker a ceasefire.


The Thursday strike hit a UN school sheltering some of the 100,000 Palestinians driven from their homes in search of a safe haven after weeks of deadly fighting between Israeli troops and Hamas.


The shell crashed down in the middle of the courtyard where people had set up camp, leaving the ground covered in bloodstains.


Gaza´s emergency services said at least 15 people had been killed and more than 200 wounded.


UN chief Ban Ki-Moon said: "Many have been killed -- including women and children, as well as UN staff."


He said he was "appalled" by the news and "strongly condemned" the attack which he said "underscores the imperative for the killing to stop -- and to stop now".


Washington said it was "deeply saddened and concerned about the tragic incident", without explicitly blaming its ally Israel for the shelling.


"We again urge all parties to redouble their efforts to protect civilians," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Cairo, where Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to negotiate a ceasefire.


Early Friday morning a shell hit a home in the southern Gaza town of Khan Yunis, killing at least one person and sending the Palestinian death toll from 18 days of fighting to 800. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bodies leave Ukraine war zone, truce called at MH17 crash site

A train carrying the remains of 280 people killed in the Malaysian plane disaster was finally allowed to leave a rebel-held region in eastern Ukraine as the militants declared a truce Tuesday around the crash site.


Five days after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot out of the sky, pro-Russian separatists conceded to a furious international clamour for the bodies and the plane´s black boxes to be handed over to investigators.


The devices, which record cockpit activity and flight data, were handed to Malaysian officials by the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People´s Republic, Alexander Borodai, in front of scores of journalists.


"We will order a ceasefire in an area of 10 kilometres around" the site of the disaster, which killed all 298 people on board the plane, he said.


Meanwhile, after days of bitter wrangling, the rebels released the bodies of the dead.


Loaded on a train, they will arrive in the government-controlled city of Kharkiv Tuesday before being put on a plane to the Netherlands, where the flight to Kuala Lumpur originated and which suffered the greatest loss, with 193 citizens killed in the crash.


The rebel concessions came after US President Barack Obama insisted that Moscow force the insurgents it is accused of backing to cooperate with an international probe into the disaster.


Moscow, which has drawn ire for failing to rein in the rebels, backed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the downing of the plane and demanding access to the crash site.


A senior Russian defence ministry official insisted that "Russia did not give the rebels Buk missile systems or any other kinds of weapons or military hardware".

Rebel attacks kill 18 in Philippines: Military

An escalation of fighting between the Philippine army and a breakaway Muslim rebel group in the country´s south killed 18 people in a single day of violence, the military said Tuesday.


Seventeen members of the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and one soldier were slain in the day-long violence Monday in the strife-torn southern island of Mindanao, Brigadier General Eduardo Pangilinan, the area´s military commander, said.


"One of our soldiers was killed during the (initial) attack. The 17 enemies were killed when our troops fired back and during the subsequent encounters," the general told reporters.


There was a lull in fighting on Tuesday but the military remained on alert, with helicopter gunships flying overhead and armoured vehicles parked on the streets of Cotabato City, a trading centre in the area.


"There have been no additional encounters but we are continuing our operations on the ground," Pangilinan added.


Fighting began in the early hours of Monday morning as BIFF guerrillas attacked military outposts in the violence-scarred province of Maguindanao.


The violence later spread to the neighbouring province of North Cotabato before the rebels pulled back, Pangilinan said.


BIFF spokesman Abu Misry Mama disputed the military´s version of events, saying only four of his fighters had been killed.


"Only four have died. We would never lie about our casualties because it is an honour to die as a mujahedeen," he said.


He said the BIFF had launched the attacks in retaliation for the military´s abduction of a Muslim father and son on July 3. The military has previously denied his accusation, branding this as propaganda.


Regional social welfare agencies said that at least nine civilians were wounded and over 300 families had been forced to flee due to the new fighting

Gaza toll hits 572 on day 14 of Israeli operation

The death toll in Gaza rose to 572 on Monday following the bloodiest day in the Palestinian enclave since 2009 where Israel is pressing a punishing military operation.


And the Israeli army said another seven soldiers had been killed in fighting in Gaza, raising the overall Israeli death toll to 27, all but two of them soldiers.


The announcement came a day after 13 soldiers were killed, making Sunday the highest one-day death toll sustained by the Israeli army since the 2006 Lebanon war.


Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said air strikes and shelling killed 55 people across the enclave on Monday, and another 68 bodies were pulled from the rubble in areas hit by heavy fighting a day earlier.


The army also said its troops had killed "more than 10 militants" who had infiltrated southern Israel through two tunnels, sparking a firefight that reportedly wounded several soldiers.


Militants killed inside Israel are not included in Qudra´s Gaza toll.


The latest deaths included six people killed in two artillery strikes, three of whom died in the southern city of Rafah and another three in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza.


Of the 55 people killed on Monday, around a third of them were children, Qudra said.


Seven children were among nine dead in an air raid on a house in Rafah, and another four children were killed in another strike on a house in Gaza City that killed nine people.


A nighttime air strike on a residential tower block in Gaza City killed 11 people, including five children, Qudra said, and a simultaneous strike in the central Strip killed another.


And Israeli tank shells slammed into a hospital in Deir al-Balah, killing four people, among them doctors, Qudra said, indicating at least 70 people were wounded.


Another 32 people were killed in a series of air strikes and tank shelling across the strip.


Of the 68 bodies recovered on Monday, 13 were from Shejaiya, hiking the death toll from a blistering Sunday attack to 74.


Qudra said the vast majority were women, children and the elderly.


Another 23 of the bodies were pulled from a three-storey house belonging to the Abu Jamaa family in the southern city of Khan Yunis which was hit on Sunday, raising the overall death toll from a single strike to 28, Qudra said.


So far, Palestinian figures show 572 Gazans have been killed and more than 3,350 wounded since the start of the Israeli campaign on July 8. 

Israel air strikes kill 7 in Gaza: Medics

A series of Israeli air strikes early Tuesday killed seven people in Gaza, including five members of the same family, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.


The deaths hike the total Palestinian toll to 583 since the Israeli military launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in a bid to stamp out rocket fire from Gaza.


Qudra said a strike on Deir el-Balah in central Gaza killed five family members, four of them women.


Another person was killed in a strike in nearby Nusseirat, and one more died in the southern city of Khan Yunis. Many of those killed in the relentless Israeli campaign of shelling and airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have been women and children, medics say. On the Israeli side, 27 soldiers and two civilians have been killed. World powers have urged Hamas to accept an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire and stop raining rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, demands it has so far resisted.

THE FUTURE: Meet Ugochukwu Nwaokobia

UGOCHUKWU NWAOKOBIA is a 25-year-old Delta State cum Lagos gentleman. He had his formative years in Ikorodu, Lagos with his siblings and parents. He has a very supportive mother who encourages him to chase his dreams and be the best he can be.  He is currently an Accounting student at the Lagos State University.
He is a multi-talented dude who not only sings but also plays the guitar and piano. 
Ugo’s favourite food is eba and vegetable soup. He is a fun-loving person and enjoys making new friends. He sees his magnetic memory and love for soccer as strength and his deepest fear is not reaching his full potential in life.
He aspires to change the current face of music by unifying the past generation and this present one through excellent music delivery. His music-oriented background drives him to be much more.
He sees Uncle Ben as an artist who constantly draws out the best in people. Winning Project Fame would translate into a success story for his friends, family, classmates, loved ones and of course for him.

His Unique Number is 18

Source :

Monday, 21 July 2014

Dutch investigators inspect MH17 bodies at east Ukraine station

Dutch investigators on Monday inspected bodies recovered from downed passenger airliner MH17 which had been loaded onto a train under rebel control not far from the crash site.

Each of the train wagons carrying the corpses was opened and examined by two men wearing masks and headlights. The stench from the wagon was overpowering and, contrary to claims that the carriages were refrigerated, there was little sign that the remains in black body bags were being chilled.