Thursday, February 23, 2017

BBC News: Mosul offensive: Iraqi forces recapture airport in bid to retake city

I saw this on the BBC News App and thought you should see it:

Mosul offensive: Iraqi forces recapture airport in bid to retake city
The airport is a key location in the government's bid to drive IS militants from Iraq's second city.

Iraqi security forces have recaptured Mosul airport, a key part of the government's offensive to drive the so-called Islamic State (IS) from the western half of the city.
The operation took four hours. IS continued to fire mortars at the airport from further inside the city after losing the ground to the army.
The jihadists have also entered a nearby military base amid further clashes, a military spokesman said.
Eastern Mosul was retaken last month.
The airport's runway has been destroyed by IS, but BBC Middle East Correspondent Quentin Sommerville, who is embedded with Iraqi federal police units, says it still has value.
It's a large piece of land, and controlling it will help secure southern routes to west Mosul, our correspondent says.
■   Follow Quentin Sommerville at the scene
■   Western Mosul will be toughest fight yet
■   Battle for Mosul: The story so far
■   Mosul images reveal IS airport damage
The assault began with overnight air strikes by the US-led coalition before armoured columns advanced to the airport's perimeter.
An Iraqi lieutenant was killed by one of the roadside bombs planted in the area by IS, the BBC has learned. 
Iraqi forces also came under fire from IS militants who had holed up inside airport buildings, reports said.
■   Iraq gaining momentum against IS
■   Islamic State group: The full story
Foreign troops from the US-led coalition were with the attacking troops, officials told AP, without specifying their nationality.
The airport and the al-Ghazlani base are on Mosul's southern outskirts on the western side of the Tigris river.
Thousands of Iraqi troops, backed by artillery and air power, are involved in the assault to retake Mosul.
Leaflets warning residents of an imminent offensive were earlier dropped over western Mosul, where military officials say narrow winding streets could make retaking the area particularly difficult.
Although slightly smaller than the east, western Mosul is more densely populated and includes districts seen as pro-IS.
The UN has voiced concern about the welfare of civilians trapped in the city, amid reports that they could number up to 650,000.
More than 160,000 people have already fled their homes in and around the city.
The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians.Iraq forces seize Mosul airport from IS
All bridges linking the east and west of the city, across the Tigris river, have been destroyed by air strikes.
IS jihadists overran Mosul as they spread across much of northern and western Iraq in 2014.

Disclaimer: The BBC is not responsible for the content of this email, and anything written in this email does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the email address nor name of the sender have been verified.


Sent from my iPhone by Nick Iqbal Quidwai Newbury Park CA

Iraqi forces retake Mosul airport + base

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/iraqi-forces-control-mosul-airport-170223082538235.html

"This is one of the major achievements that the Iraqi forces were hoping to get in the first phase of going towards the Western side of the city," said Al Jazeera's Osama Bin Javaid, reporting from Erbil.

"This area is about 30 kms away from the western edge of the city, and Iraqi forces now say that they are in full control.

"They say that the two main buildings of the city have been destroyed by ISIL and they have found a number of car bombs parked on strategic locations in the entry points and along the runway of Mosul International Airport."

The airport and military complex, which includes barracks and training grounds and sprawls across an area close to the Baghdad-Mosul highway was captured by ISIL fighters when they overran Mosul in June 2014.

The advances come days after Iraqi forces officially launched the operation to push ISIL out of Mosul's western half.

The operation to retake Iraq's second largest city was officially launched in October and in January its eastern half was declared "fully liberated."

A US-led coalition has been providing close air support throughout the campaign to retake Iraq's second-largest city.

US special operations forces are embedded with some Iraqi units and thousands of US troops are in  Iraq providing logistical and other support.

US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis was holding discussions with US and Iraqi officials, a week before he is expected to present a new strategy to President  Donald Trump for defeating ISIL .

Trump has repeatedly vowed to eliminate the group but has provided few details about how his approach might differ from that of the  Obama  administration, which had partnered with Syrian and Iraqi forces to drive ISIL out of several towns and cities.

The  battle for western Mosul , the group's last major urban bastion in Iraq, is expected to be the most daunting yet.

The streets are older and narrower in that sector of the city, which stretches west from the River Tigris, forcing Iraqi soldiers to leave the relative safety of their armoured vehicles.

WATCH: Will latest Iraqi offensive mean end of ISIL in Mosul? 

The presence of up to 750,000 civilians  also poses a challenge .

Two suicide car bombers struck army and paramilitary forces west of Mosul on Monday, killing and wounding a number of troops, two army officers said, without specifying the number of casualties.

A third suicide car bomber was blown up before reaching the troops, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media.

ISIL claimed responsibility for two attacks in an online statement, saying the attackers were British and Iraqi.



Sent from my iPhone by Nick Iqbal Quidwai Newbury Park CA

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

​Trump Administration Rescinds Protections For Transgender Students

sOME LOCAL POLS ARE delighted!!!! nICK q

The Obama administration tried to stop schools from discriminating based on gender identity.

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President Donald Trump's administration announced on Wednesday that it will no longer bar schools from discriminating against transgender students, rescinding a policy put in place by the previous administration. 

"The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. "Congress, state legislatures, and local governments are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue. The Department of Justice remains committed to the proper interpretation and enforcement of Title IX and to its protections for all students, including LGBTQ students, from discrimination, bullying, and harassment."

In May, under President Barack Obama, the departments of Education and Justice issued guidance mandating that any school that receives federal money must treat a student's gender identity as his or her sex. Schools, for example, would therefore have to allow transgender individuals to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth.

The federal government said at the time that transgender students were covered under Title IX, the statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. This interpretation had been on hold, however, after more than a dozen states sued the Obama administration and a judge issued an injunction in August. 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was reportedly against rescinding the order and initially resisted signing off on it, but Sessions pushed her to do so because both departments had to agree in order to move forward.

In a statement Wednesday, DeVos said she considered protecting all students, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students, "not only a key priority for the Department, but for every school in America."

"This is an issue best solved at the state and local level. Schools, communities, and families can find ― and in many cases have found ― solutions that protect all students," she added. 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer argued during his press briefing earlier Wednesday that Title IX does not apply to transgender issues because there was no discussion of gender identity when the statute was passed in 1972. Judges and justices, however, often interpret laws and the Constitution to apply to new issues that arise.

Spicer also said there were no disagreements between DeVos and Sessions.

NIKKI KAHN/THE WASHINGTON POST VIA GETTY IMAGES
Transgender teen Gavin Grimm sued the Gloucester County School Board after it barred him from the boys bathroom.

The Trump administration's announcement is the latest in its shift away from the protection of transgender rights that became a legacy of the Obama era. The new administration also recently announced it would not appeal the August ruling. Under Obama, the Justice Department tried to argue that the ruling should appeal only to the states that were part of the suit rather than to all states. 

Trump has tried to portray himself as a defender of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, pledging in his Republican National Convention speech that he would protect its members from terrorist attacks. The president has said, however, that he does not support marriage equality even though he considers the issue settled law because the Supreme Court ruled on the matter. During the campaign, Trump said he supported a North Carolina law that barred cities from putting protections for LGBTQ individuals in place. His administration has also been considering at least two anti-LGBTQ executive orders. 

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Spicer said Tuesday that the president considered transgender rights to be "a states' rights issue and not one for the federal government." 

"I find it obscene that Mr. Spicer would characterize the well-being, the health and the very safety of transgender young people as an issue of states' rights," responded Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. "The fact is that no child in America should have their rights subject to their zip code." 

Transgender students experience a significant degree of bullying in school.

The majority of respondents to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey who were out or perceived as being transgender while in school (K-12) reported being verbally harassed (54 percent), physically attacked (24 percent) or sexually assaulted (13 percent) because they were transgender.

"I worry that in the backlash and response, people are forgetting that these are children who fundamentally just need to go to school and have a right to be educated and not being able to use the bathroom that accords with their gender identity has profound consequences on their ability to actually receive an equal education. I feel like the human face of this has gotten lost in this," Vanita Gupta, who at the time was the head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, told The Huffington Post in December.

The Trump administration's latest decision could also affect the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender teenager in Virginia who sued his school for the right to use the boys bathroom. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on March 28, and the rescinding of the federal guidance could give the court an excuse to throw it back to the lower court. 

LGBTQ advocates emphasized Wednesday that even though the Trump administration rescinded the Obama administration's Title IX guidance, the legal foundation that interpretation was built upon is still solid. 

"While it's disappointing to see the Trump administration revoke the guidance, the administration cannot change what Title IX means," said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union who is lead counsel for Grimm. "When it decided to hear Gavin Grimm's case, the Supreme Court said it would decide which interpretation of Title IX is correct, without taking any administration's guidance into consideration. We're confident that that the law is on Gavin's side and he will prevail just as he did in the Fourth Circuit."  

Ryan Reilly contributed reporting.

This story has been updated to reflect the administration's official announcement of the policy change.

Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here.

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Nolo's Free Dictionary Of Law Terms and Legal Definitions - Nolo.com | Nolo.com

Nolo's Free Dictionary Of Law Terms and Legal Definitions - Nolo.com | Nolo.com:



'via Blog this'

Sunday, February 19, 2017

your elephant rides AND

Feast or famine Drought or floods?


More storms in sight for Ventura County this upcoming week

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More rain is on the horizon for soggy Ventura County this week with the arrival of a large storm system expected to wreak havoc in Northern California.

"Northern California will be getting the bulk of the next system," said meteorologist Curt Kaplan with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. "We're just getting the tail-end of it."

The county is expected to receive a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch of rainfall, with up to 1.5 inches in the western mountains between Sunday night and Tuesday morning, according to Bonnie Bartling, a weather specialist with the weather service.

The first storm system is expected to arrive early Monday morning with a 70 percent chance of rain, according to weather service forecasts. The chance of precipitation drops to 40 percent in the afternoon as the storm leaves the area.

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Forecasts anticipate a second storm system from Monday night through Tuesday morning. The rain will slowly taper off Tuesday until the chance of precipitation drops to 20 percent late in the day, according to the forecast.

Highs are expected to be in the lower to mid-60s through Wednesday, while low temperatures will range between the mid-40s and mid-50s.

"Overall we'll have a nice cool weather pattern for the week, with a few storm systems coming through," Kaplan said.

Another weak rain pattern is expected Wednesday before returning to dry weather on Thursday and Friday. A possible rain system could take place Saturday and Sunday, but forecast models are unsure of the severity this far out, he said.

In anticipation of the heavy rain up north, the Ventura County Fire Department was expected to deploy a team of up to ten firefighters Sunday night to provide swift-water rescue help along with firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said spokesman Steve Swindle.

The weather service plans to issue a high surf advisory for the upcoming storms. In addition, people will need to be careful when they're driving, Bartling said.

"Mud and rock slides come down after the rain," Bartling said. "So keep your eyes open."

Ahead of the storm, authorities remind motorists to slow down, leave enough room to come to a complete stop on slick roads and turn on headlights when the windshield wipers are in operation.

The upcoming rain continues a weather pattern seen over the weekend, which featured some of the heaviest rainfall for the region in years. Rain totals by the National Weather Service for Thursday through Saturday ranged from 2.32 inches to 10.13 inches with most of the rain falling Friday.

Staff writer Jean Cowden Moore contributed to this report.



the true commandments of God unlike satanic actions, pronouncements of the criminal terrorists from my facebook page

the true commandments of God unlike satanic actions, pronouncements of the criminal terrorists from my facebook page Iqbal
Najam A Najmi
​   lives in Los Angeles area​

QUESTION ABOUT KILLING AND VIOLENCE IN THE NAME OF RELIGION!

AsSalamu Alaikum Br. Najam,

My question is about killing and sectarian and religious violence against innocent people in Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Myanmar, Kashmir, and now in the USA and Canada and many other places.

Please answer in the light of Qura'n and Sunnah.

Thank you.

ANSWER

WaAlaikum AsSalam,

AlHamdu Lillaah, and peace and blessings be upon last and final messenger and prophet of Allaah, his family, his companions, those who came after them and all those who follow the correct guidance and refrain from the deliberate disobedience of His ordained limits.

Regardless of the faith, creed or any other difference, all people have the fundamental right to life, safety and security of person and property, religious practices and sentiments.

Any act of violence, harm and killing of innocent people is against all divine teachings, and those involved in such acts are not the true believers of faith they proclaim.

There are many ayat of Glorious Qura'n and verses of all other divine annunciations and the practices of all Prophets (peace be upon them) strictly prohibiting, killing or harming any innocent person, regardless of his (her) faith.

In Chapter An-Nisa (4:92), Almighty Allaah ordained that: "It is not for a believer to kill a believer except by mistake; and whosoever kills a believer by mistake, (it is ordained that) he must set free a believing servant and a compensation (blood-money) be given to the deceased's family, unless they forfeit it. If the deceased belonged to people at war with you, and he was a believer, the freeing of a believing servant (is ordained); and if he belonged to people with whom you have a treaty of mutual alliance, compensation (blood-money) must be paid to his family, and a believing servant must be freed. And whosoever finds this (the penance of freeing a servant) beyond his means; he must fast for two consecutive months and seek repentance from Allaah. And Allaah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise."

In Chapter Al-Maidah (5:32), Almighty Allaah says: "……if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, and or spread mischief in the land - it is considered as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. And indeed, there came to them Our Messengers with clear proofs, evidences, and signs, even then after that many of them continued to exceed the limits in the land!"

In Chapter Al-Anaam (6:151), Almighty Allaah says: "Say (O Mohammed): Come, I will narrate what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join nothing in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to shameful sins, whether committed openly or covertly and kill not anyone whom Allaah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to due process of law). This He has commanded you that you may understand."

Dispatching Muslim forces to fight the enemy, Sayedina Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (RA) ordered the commanders and said: "Do not to betray or be treacherous or vindictive. Don't be spiteful or unjust. Do not mutilate the corpses. Do not kill the children, the aged or the women. Do not kill or fight the enemy until they are ready to fight you. Do not cut or bum palm trees, or fruitful trees. Don't cut a dead tree if it has a green leaf on it. Don't slay a sheep, a cow or camel except for what's enough for your food. You will come across people who confined themselves to worship in hermitages, leave them alone to what they devoted themselves for."

These heinous crimes of oppression, suppression, suicide bombing, destroying property and killing of innocent are the results of anger generated and inflamed by the malicious political and religious rhetoric of so-called "leaders."

Fact remains that arrogance, ignorance, lack of education and jobs; poverty and impatience during hard times make people react brutally. The criminal elements of the society and the blind followers of religious and political leaders take law into their hands and evil acts are committed only against the feeble that can't stand up against the mob.

No matter, how angry we get in any situation; The Most Beneficent Allaah teaches in Chapter Aal Imran (3:134) Almighty Allaah says: "...who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allaah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the good-doers)."

In Chapter Al-Maidah (5:8), Almighty Allaah says: "O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allaah as truthful witnesses (in beliefs and actions); and let not the animosity and rancor of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety; and fear Allaah. Verily, Allaah is Well-Acquainted with what you do."

In Chapter Al-Aaraaf (7:199-200), Almighty Allaah says: "Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the insane (don't follow the evil advice). And if an evil whisper (thought) comes to you from Shaitan (Satan), then seek protection with Allaah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower."

In Chapter Fussilat (41:34-35), Allaah The Almighty says: "The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one, which is better (Allaah orders the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger) then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. However, none is granted it (this excellent quality) except those who are patient, and none is granted it except the owner of the great share (of happiness in the Hereafter for a high moral character) in this world."

In Chapter Ash-Shura (42:42-45), Almighty Allaah says: "The way (blame) is only against those who oppress men and wrongfully rebel in the earth, for such there will be a painful torment. And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives that would truly be from the things ordained by Allaah. And whomsoever Allaah sends astray, for him, there is no Wali (protector, helper or guardian) after Him. And you will see the Zalimun (oppressors): when they behold the torment, they will say: "Is there any way of return (to the world)? And you will see them brought forward to Hell, humbled by disgrace, (and) looking with stealthy glance. And those who believe will say: "Verily, the losers are they who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, the Zalimun (oppressors) will be in a lasting torment."

Saheeh Al-Bukhari quoted Sayedina Abdullaah Ibn Omar (RA) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "A believer continues to guard his Faith (and thus hopes for Allaah's Mercy) as long as he does not shed blood unjustly."

Undoubtedly, all divine religions strictly forbids killing of innocents. There can't be any justification to oppress or kill any human because of the person's faith, belief or creed, let alone an individual or a group attack, destroy property, places of worship, schools, seminaries, and injure or kills anybody using the name of The Almighty God.

Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim quoted the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allaah is not kind to him who is not compassionate to people."

Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim quoted Sayedah Aisha (RA) that the prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Allaah is Forbearer and loves forbearance in all matters."

Saheeh Muslim quoted Sayedina Jabir bin Abdullah (RA) that the prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who is deprived of forbearance and gentleness is, in fact, deprived of all good."

Sunan Abi Dawood and Tirmidhi Ash-Shareef quoted the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying: "Those who are kind and considerate to Allaah's creatures, Allaah bestows His kindness and affection on them. Show kindness to the creatures on the earth so that Allaah may be kind to you."

The prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Anyone who has been in a position of authority (power) over people will be brought shackled on the Day of Resurrection, until the justice (by which he dealt with people) loosens his chains or tyranny (he practiced) brings him to destruction."

In another Hadeeth the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) gave the severe warning and said: "He who harms (let alone kills) a non-Muslim citizen, I will be his adversary on the Day of Judgment.

Those who claim themselves to be believers on God and followers of His Prophet (peace be upon them) must first read and understand how Prophets dealt with the people under their authority. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) wrote a letter to the Christian subjects of his nation.

The following English translation is taken from the book, "Muslim History – 570 – 1950 C.E" by Dr. A. Zahoor and Dr. Z. Haq, ZMD Corporation P.O. Box 8231 Gaithersburg, 20898-8231.

"This is a message from Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily, I, the servants, the helpers and my followers defend them (Christians), because Christians are my citizens; and by Allaah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.

No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure against all that they hate.

No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented her church to pray.

Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world.)" (End Quote).

I am a sinful follower and cannot comment or add to what the "mercy to mankind and all things exist" has already declared.

I shed tears whenever I hear, read or watch a news item regarding some lost souls stupid arrogant followers encouraged by their vicious "leader(s)" to hurt, burn, kill and cause disturbance using the name of nationalism, God or any of His Prophet.

I hope this answers your question. I request you to forward this reply to others as you see befitting.

May Almighty Allaah continue to guide, bless, protect and forgive you and your loved ones.

AND ONLY ALLAAH KNOWS BEST.

Thank you, WaSalamu Alaikum,

Najam

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Khawaja Shahid
Khawaja Shahid Brother I have a bad news to share with you, my sister has passed away yesterday, may ALLAAH rest her soul in peace Aameen. Please do Remember her in your prayers.
Kenneth Dotson
Kenneth Dotson May I share this?
Mutahir Kazmi
Mutahir Kazmi Protecting human lives must be greatest deed of all good deeds. 
You are preaching sanctity of human life brother Najmi. God bless you
Mumtaz Khan
Mumtaz Khan Thank you brother Najam A Najmi sahib, a comprehensive post on a very important question and fitna of the time. Allah bless you. With your permission i would like to share this post. 
Wasalam.
Haroon Rashid
Haroon Rashid Right on brother Najam A Najmi. Muslim on Muslim killing is probably thousand folds more than killing non-Muslims at least in my life time . So I doubt that this mass murder like the one in Syria has anything to do with religion . To be frank , several...See More
Najam A Najmi
Najam A Najmi Dear Prof. Mutahir Kazmi, your encouragement, participation and comments are well cherished and highly appreciated, thank you and best regards.
Najam A Najmi
Najam A Najmi Br. Haroon Rashid, I highly appreciate your participation and comments. 
Regardless of the rhetoric we hear from all sides including satanic tyrants and dictators and their disciples; more Muslims are being killed by the terrorists and those " fighting" them in the name of combating terrorism.
Serious considerations and dialogs and real actions are "Past Due!"
KA Islam
KA Islam Those who use violence, lies and kill in the name of religion as justifications for their actions have no religion....
Unlike · Reply · 3 · 19 hrs
Carol Flint
Carol Flint We must stop worshiping God as a thing apart and begin to take on his mind and intent. We worship and turn away to our own evil habits and thoughts.
Like · Reply · 2 · 15 hrs
Iqbal Quidwai
Iqbal Quidwai Thanks for taking the time to write, to write so well!!!
Like · Reply · Just now