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BREAKING: Santa Claus Costume-Wearing Attackers; ‘Many Wounded’ in Istanbul’s Reina Nightclub

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Footage appears to show a number of ambulances and police vehicles outside the Reina nightclub, in the Besiktas area of the city.

NTV says two attackers were involved, with CNN Turk reported they were dressed in Santa costumes.

Istanbul had been on high alert for any terror attacks, with some 17,000 police officers on duty in the city…

Developing..

Source: BBC News

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Around 50 people injured

Around 50 people have been injured according to the latest reports.

Armed police are on the scene at the Reina club.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Pentagon Official: ‘Even in the Best-Case Scenario in an Unstable Country We Never Have 100 Percent Accountability’

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Pentagon Loses Track of $500 Million in Weapons, Equipment Given to Yemen

Craig Whitlock reports: The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.

With Yemen in turmoil and its government splintering, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the whereabouts of small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles and other supplies donated by the United States. The situation has grown worse since the United States closed its embassy in Sanaa, the capital, last month and withdrew many of its military advisers.

In recent weeks, members of Congress have held closed-door meetings with U.S. military officials to press for an accounting of the arms and equipment. Pentagon officials have said that they have little information to go on and that there is little they can do at this point to prevent the weapons and gear from falling into the wrong hands.

“We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone,” said a legislative aide on Capitol Hill who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

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[Yemen Arms View Graphic] 

U.S. military officials declined to comment for the record. A defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon, said there was no hard evidence that U.S. arms or equipment had been looted or confiscated. But the official acknowledged that the Pentagon had lost track of the items.

“Even in the best-case scenario in an unstable country, we never have 100 percent accountability,” the defense official said.

Yemen’s government was toppled in January by Shiite Houthi rebels who receive support from Iran and have strongly criticized U.S. drone strikes in Yemen. The Houthis have taken over many Yemeni military bases in the northern part of the country, including some in Sanaa that were home to U.S.-trained counterterrorism units. Other bases have been overrun by fighters from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Auditors with the Government Accountability Office found that Humvees donated to the Yemeni Interior Ministry sat idle or broken because the Defense Ministry refused to share spare parts. (Government Accountability Office)

Auditors with the Government Accountability Office found that Humvees donated to the Yemeni Interior Ministry sat idle or broken because the Defense Ministry refused to share spare parts. (Government Accountability Office)

As a result, the Defense Department has halted shipments to Yemen of about $125 million in military hardware that were scheduled for delivery this year, including unarmed ScanEagle drones, other types of aircraft and Jeeps. That equipment will be donated instead to other countries in the Middle East and Africa, the defense official said. Read the rest of this entry »


Three More Beheaded Under New Saudi King

New Saudi King Salman attends a ceremony following the death of the late Saudi King at the Diwan royal palace in Riyadh

Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded two more of its citizens and a Pakistani, continuing the strictest punishment under new King Salman.

Omar bin Yahya bin Ibrahim al-Barkati was tried and convicted of incest, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

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“He was executed as punishment for his crime and as a lesson to others,” the ministry said, adding that authorities carried out the sentence in southwestern Asir region.

In a separate case, Yassir bin Hussein al-Hamza was executed in northwestern Jawf region after his trial and confession for smuggling amphetamine pills, the ministry said.

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A third convict, Latif Khan Nurzada, a Pakistani, was executed for trafficking heroin into the kingdom. He was executed in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, the ministry said in another statement. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Melchior: Records Show Feds Kept Mt. Rushmore Closed During Shutdown to ‘Make it Hurt’

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For more on Jillian’s report on the Department of Interior’s decision to keep Mount Rushmore closed, read her latest piece, “Inflicting Pain for Political Gain.”

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Gerard Baker, superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Memorial (Kristina Barker/ Rapid City Journal)

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