Tunisia beach attack linked with earlier attack, British police say (The Times of Israel)

British police found strong evidence linking a deadly terror attack at a Tunisian hotel in June with an earlier attack at the national museum in March.

The coroner had been advised of the findings, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

A gunman opened fire on beach goers in June in the coastal resort city of Sousse, killing 38 people, mostly British tourists.

Three months earlier, gunmen killed 21, mostly foreign tourists, at the country’s national museum in Tunis.

The Islamic State took responsibility for both attacks.

The gunmen of the two attacks had been trained at the same time in a jihadi camp in Libya, Tunisian authorities said last week.

Tunisia has arrested 150 people for involvement in the attack and passed a controversial anti-terror law that some claimed endangered human rights.

The new law raised the amount of time police can hold a suspect without charge and without contact with a lawyer from six days to 15.

The attacker of the Sousse attack was identified as Seifeddine Rezgui, a 24-year-old graduate of Tunisia’s Kairouan University where he had been living with the other students. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.

The June attack constituted the most serious attack on the British since 52 people were killed in attacks targeting London’s transport network in July 2005.

AP contributed to this report.

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Incredulous UN Bans Criticism of Islam (Alternative-News.tk)

The Human Rights Council at the United Nations has now banned any criticism regarding Sharia Law and human rights in the Islamic World

According to President Doru Romulus Costea – and following the efforts of delegates from Egypt, Pakistan and Iran – the Council will no longer tolerate criticism of either Sharia or specific fatwas in the name of human rights.

In many parts of the Islamic world, it is becomingly increasing clear not only that the Koran (the written record of the original oral transmissions of Mohammad’s life teachings) and the Hadith (the later delineations of those teachings) are considered sacrosanct in their perfection, but also the various implementations of these teachings, known as Sharia Law.

No evolution or refinements are required. No matter that nearly every multitudinous Muslim sect or group has a differing interpretation of this God-given Sharia Law. Nor that the stoning to death of women, beheading of men, and all the 6th century niceties of feudal Arabia are still part and parcel of the immovable Islamic tradition. Never mind that Sunni will decimate Shia – and vice versa – over differences of interpretations far more modest than those between (modern) Catholics and Protestants, between Hindus and Buddhists. Islamic sect can war on Islamic sect, Arab can criticize Arab.

Because Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and all other religions are imperfect, they are fair game for any and all attacks. Since Israel, Zionism, America and the Western World were created and developed outside the Islamic World and its divine perfection, they are likewise subject to criticism.

Now, not only has the Islamic God forbidden outside criticism of the Sharia Law, but the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) is its enjoined messenger on earth.

Of course, observers of the HRC should not be surprised. The ostensibly prestigious body has become a revolving door for countries with an ambivalent (or even well nigh invisible) relationship with freedom and democracy. In the two years following its replacement of the equally dictatorship-friendly Human Rights Commission, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia have all been elected to the Council. As a majority of the Council’s resolutions are concerned with Israel, it would effectively cease functioning were it not for its compulsive focus on the Jewish state.

Due to this resolution the Council – and thus, perversely, the UN – is endorsing a worldview in which human interpretation and understanding has been placed beyond the pale of critical thinking and investigation as long as it’s part of Sharia Law or the Islamic tradition. Perhaps we should rename the United Nations and call it the “Nations of Islam – United in Unique and Ineffable Perfection.” Sounds appropriate.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Leslie Sacks is an art dealer and gallerist in Los Angeles. Feedback: editorialdirector@familysecuritymatters.org

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Scott Gration: Visit critical in resetting Kenya and US ties (Daily Nation (Kenya))

Mr Scott Gration was one of the earliest supporters of Barack Obama’s bid for the American presidency. A retired major general, Mr Gration served as Special Assistant to the President at the White House and as ambassador to Kenya. He spent his childhood in eastern Africa, learned Kiswahili, and spent years in Kenya as a professional military officer and diplomat. He now serves as executive chairman of Champion Afrik Limited and its group of companies. He offered perspectives to the Sunday Nation about President Obama’s historic visit.

On the importance of the visit in shaping US-Kenya and US-Africa relations

I believe President Obama’s visit to Kenya is critical to resetting the US-Kenya relationship.

While the historical ties between the two countries have continued to be very strong with aligned shared values and mutual objectives, the 2008 post-election violence and subsequent International Criminal Court indictments resulted in a slight diplomatic chill.

The United States is still deeply concerned about protecting human rights and preventing ethnic-based violence.

However, President Obama’s visit sends the warm message that the United States is working closely with Kenya to build a brighter economic future for this country and the entire continent. I believe we are witnessing a change in the international community’s engagement with Africa.

President Obama’s focus on entrepreneurs continues the positive shift from historical political-military relationships in Africa to a new series of economic-centric associations on the continent.

To be truly successful, his visit must translate into substantial results that are sustained beyond the visit itself.

Like our company (Champion Afrik) is doing, US investments must focus on real-time economic development in marginalised areas to improve living and working conditions, to increase irrigation in semi-arid areas, to develop mini-grids to electrify rural communities, and to improve the logistics infrastructure.

President Obama’s visit to Kenya is one more important step in America’s changing economic priorities in Africa.

On the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and Kenya’s place in the world

I am very bullish about Kenya and I’m excited about this country’s future. The economic fundamentals are strong and Kenya is moving in a positive direction. While it’s important that President Obama and President Kenyatta headline the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit, interesting discussions about innovative ideas are not enough¦ Africans need tangible economic opportunities and more real jobs.

Kenya is rich in natural resources and blessed with a superb geographical location and expanding infrastructure. The Kenyan people are a treasured asset – they are an educated and motivated work force; they are tolerant of religious and cultural diversity; and they are comfortable speaking English, using mobile banking, and absorbing new technologies.

I’m banking on Kenya’s human resources to drive our large-scale agriculture, medical tourism, mining, manufacturing and value-added processing, healthcare, and infrastructure development programmes. Kenya’s natural and human resources make me confident its economic growth will reach double-digit levels in the near future.

On measures needed to improve the business environment in Kenya

Smart investors see the economic potential of Kenya and its neighbours. Compared to the historical magnets for international investment in Africa, Kenya is emerging as a bright spot for exciting economic partnerships on the continent.

American companies wishing to be part of the African growth story now view Kenya as a highly attractive partner with enormous potential. This perception also informed my decision to start a company in East Africa.

Kenya is Africa’s new front door and a logical base of operations for a corporation wanting to work in Africa. While we continue to face challenges with security, bureaucracy, and corruption, I’m confident that these can be tackled with greater transparency brought about by increased computerisation of records and services, e-procurement for large-scale purchases, tax reforms, and streamlined bureaucracy.

In addition, we can accelerate growth by creating economic superzones, encouraging manufacturing, investing in commercial agriculture and increasing areas under cultivation, bringing in new technology to hugely increase productivity, improving infrastructure, and by publicly rewarding efficiency and merit.

I’m pleased and proud to be part of building Kenya’s bright economic future by aggressively participating in these key initiatives. I enthusiastically welcome my American friends to join our company in Kenya.

On thorny subjects such as corruption which are expected to feature in talks as they did in 2006 when then Senator Obama assailed corrupt leaders during a trip in which Mr Gration accompanied Mr Obama

Yes, I was there when then Senator Obama said Kenya would never find its true economic potential unless the nation abandoned its entrenched government corruption and deep-seated tradition of tribal politics.

I heard him challenge his listeners to reject the assumption that corruption is part of Kenyan culture and to stand up and speak out against injustices.

I listened as he recommended the Kenya government pass laws and regulations to prevent individual bureaucrats from twisting the rules to suit their own desires.

Almost a decade later, President Kenyatta has demonstrated strong and bold leadership to reduce corruption, to govern with national priorities rather than an ethnic agenda, and to develop Kenya’s true economic potential.

There is no need to worry about a delicate national dilemma on this visit; I believe presidents Kenyatta and Obama are in total agreement on fighting corruption, promoting regional economic growth, and creating jobs.

On the security challenges in the region and Al-Shabaab

Acts of terror can take place anywhere and at any time.

Terrorists have struck targets across the globe – in the US, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Tunisia, Kuwait, Kenya, and many more. No country is immune from these cowardly attacks.

Therefore, the international community and all Kenyans must work together to protect our national infrastructure and institutions, and to minimise threats and risks to our communities, personnel, and property.

In addition to supporting the Government of Kenya’s direct efforts to increase safety and improve security, we must continue to counter religious fanaticism and ideological extremism by developing a vibrant economy that reaches to the chronically underemployed, those living in poverty and squalor, and those who have been historically marginalised.

Innovative agricultural techniques that enhance commercial farming on large areas of currently unproductive land will significantly improve food security and will put high-value wholesale and retail products into local and overseas markets. It is this economic delivery that will help Kenyans root out the scourges of crime, corruption, and terrorism.

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IVD Has Overcome All Obstacles Encountered Earlier (sihem Ben Sedrine)

The Truth and Dignity Commission (French: IVD) has overcome all the obstacles it has encountered earlier, President of IVD, Sihem Ben Sedrine said on Wednesday. Speaking at a press conference on the stat of individual hearings of victims of violations, Ben Sedrine pointed out that the Commission had signed last Monday an agreement with the Office of the Presidency of […]

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President Caid Essebsi Meets ATFD Delegation

Activities of the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women (French: ATFD) and ways to consolidate women’s rights were discussed as President Beji Caid Essebsi met, Monday, with an ATFD delegation led by its president Saida Rached. Mrs. Rached told reporters the meeting focused on ways to strengthen ATFD’s action, according to a press release from the information and communication office of […]

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Child Declaration for Road Safety Signed

The Child Declaration for Road Safety, drafted by children from different countries in the world, under the auspices of the United Nations, was signed Saturday in Tunis. The Declaration, which is a commitment to make every effort to ensure the safety of children on roads, was signed by the ministers of health and education as well as the secretary of […]

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6th Arab Child Literature Encounters Start in Tunis

The 6th Arab Child Literature Encounters placed under the slogan “Challenges of Literature in View of Current Changes,” began Friday in Tunis. Tunisian and Arab experts present at the event deemed essential to pay special attention to Arab child literature, saying children have fallen under the influence of scriptures from foreign cultures. Source : Tunis Afrique Presse

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Former UGET Militants Pledge to Lift Their Hunger Strike Saturday

Former members of the General Union of Tunisia’s Students (UGET), who have been observing a hunger strike since last March 15, pledged, Friday, to lift their protest on Saturday. A working session, held Friday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Habib Essid, decided the creation of a joint committee that will undertake to examine, case by case, the files of […]

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