News Updates from CLG
2 January 2015

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Previous edition: American helicopters drop boxes of weapons in ISIL-held areas in Iraq

Note: CLG’s webhoster has (hopefully) fixed the CLG Newsletter duplicates problem. Thank you, everyone, for your patience!

Palestinian president signs up to join international criminal court –Move will anger Israel and US [<g>] and paves way for court to take jurisdiction over crimes committed in Palestinian territories 31 Dec 2014 The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has moved dramatically to join the international criminal court, setting Palestinians on a diplomatic collision course with Israel and the US. Abbas signed the Rome treaty governing the court and 19 other international agreements on Wednesday evening following the rejection by the UN security council of a Jordanian-backed resolution calling for the end of the Israeli occupation by 2017. At the end of 24 hours of high diplomatic tension, Abbas – under pressure from other members of the Palestinian leadership – followed through on the threat to join the ICC, which would open the way to Palestinians pursuing Israel for war crimes in the court of last resort, based in The Hague.

Palestine files ‘Israeli war crimes’ probe request with accession letter to ICC – report 2 Jan 2015 Along with the letters of accession to the ICC, Palestine has reportedly filed a request to the Hague to investigate Israeli war crimes during the 50-day war in Gaza last summer. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas signed the request to probe IDF’s use of force starting June 13, 2014, along with the letters of accession to the International Criminal court on Wednesday night, an unnamed NGO worker told Haaretz. On Friday the batch of newly signed documents and the petition are expected to be received by the UN Secretary-General.

F-35 stealth jet ‘will not be able to fire its guns until 2019’igs/DemocRATs slashed $93M from Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) in the ‘CRomnibus’ — but there’s 532M available for this lunacy?] 30 Dec 2014 The United States Congress has notified a 532 million civilian [sic] assistance package for Pakistan under the Kerry-Lugar Act, said US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson during a meeting with Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar. An official statement issued here on Monday said that Olson discussed with the minister the breakup of assistance being given for different sectors such as energy, defence against terrorism, economic growth, community building, education and health.

31 Dec 2014 America’s much-vaunted new F-35 stealth jet has reportedly suffered the latest in a series of problems with the discovery of a software glitch which prevents the use of its on-board cannon. The jump jets — 14 of which have been ordered by Britain — are costing US taxpayers nearly 400 billion and are due to enter service next year. The news will cause further embarrassment for the programme, which has been dogged by delays, soaring costs and glitches since its inception in 2006. Billed as the world’s most advanced — and expensive — fighter jet, the cost per plane has doubled to 161.1 million and it will be six years late in entering full production.

AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes dumped 944,800 shares one day before flight disappeared 29 Dec 2014 AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes dumped 944,800 shares in Tune Insurance Holdings Bhd, the organization that provides travel insurance for AirAsia passengers, just days before the disappearance of Flight QZ8501. The day the airline disappeared, the stock fell by 7%: do you believe in coincidences? On December 26, the Malaysian Insider reported that Fernandes, the founder of Tune Group Sdn Bhd which owns AirAsia, had sold a total of 944,800 shares in Tune Insurance Holdings Bhd, with 850,000 shares being dumped on December 22, and the other 94,800 being sold the day after.

Doomed AirAsia plane soared ‘as fast as a fighter jet’ then dived into sea in maneuvers that ‘border on the edge of logic’ –Craft soared up at ‘unprecedented’ rate before falling almost vertically 1 Jan 2015 The AirAsia jet which plunged into the Java Sea rose up as fast as a fighter jet and then dropped almost vertically into the water as if being thrust down by a giant hand, crash experts agreed today. Their conclusion is that the Airbus 320-200 was in the grip of weather so freakishly extreme that there was nothing the pilots could have done to save the jet and all 162 people on board. The plane behaved in ways ‘bordering on the edge of logic,’ Indonesian aviation analyst Gerry Soejatman said after examining figures leaked from the official air crash investigation team.

Radioactive leak at major Ukrainian nuclear plant – report 31 Dec 2014 A radioactive leak has been detected at Ukraine’s Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, the largest in Europe, a media report says, citing the country’s emergency services. Ukrainian officials have denied the report. LifeNews published what it claims is a leaked report by the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, which denies an earlier assessment by the plant’s authorities that the radiation at the facility is equal to the natural background following an incident on Sunday.