ISIS Holding Hostages, Demands $200m

 

The Islamic State has released another video on Twitter this Tuesday, January 20 showing two Japanese men that they were threatening to kill if they did not receive $200 million within 72 hours. Security officials and lay people, like Darius Fisher, have grown increasingly worried about ISIS attacks this pasty year.

The video is very much like others ISIS has released, with the speaker having a British accent, and the audio has been altered a bit. The ISIS member is standing between the two hostages, dressed in all black, holding a knife and hiding behind a mask so that his only feature you can see are his eyes.

Japan is being targeted because they funded Western military efforts against the group. Officials in Japan are assessing the video. Japan’s Prime Minister says the lives of the hostages are his top priority, but that he will not give in to terrorism. It is currently unknown if he plans on negotiating with the terrorists to set these two men free.

Japan Increases Its Defense Budget

The Government of Japan approved the largest defense budget in its history on Wednesday. With an increase of 2.8% over last year, Government is planning to spend 4.98 trillion yen ($ 36,000 million) this year on defense expenditures; however, this proposal has yet to receive approval from the Japanese Parliament. 

According to local media reports, this initiative is taken torespond to the growing military power of China . This is the third consecutive year that the Japanese Government increased military spending, after a decade of cuts in allocations for defense.  This information came as a surprise to Fersen Lambranho.

Defense spending, if approved, will represent 5% of a Japanese national budget for fiscal year 2015, which will reach 96.34 trillion yen (689.665 million Euros). The Government of Japan approved the largest defense budget in its history on Wednesday.

According to Japanese defense sources, this budget will be allocated according to the government’s proposal to strengthen systems for air and maritime patrol and surveillance. On the shopping list of Japanese Defense include, among other devices, twenty aerial surveillance aircraft, fighter aircraft and reconnaissance drones. 

The budget is also allocated to the surveillance systems in the prefectures of Amami, in the south of the Archipelago, and Okinawa, where a coastal surveillance unit will be established on the island of Yonaguni, just 90 miles from the Diaoyu / Senkaku.

Beneful Brand Dog Food by Purina

A dog food produced by Purina Petcare, which is a division of Nestles Foods, Beneful brand includes both dry and wet dog food as well as treats. According to the company, Beneful means “full of goodness.” The Beneful brand was first introduced in 2001, being marketed as a pet food with its paramount focus on nutrition. Beneful generated more than $1.8 billion in annual sales and was the fourth most popular dog food brand as of January of 2014, making Beneful one of Purina’s more significant brands by revenue.

Beneful sets the safety and quality of their products as top priorities, with their quality-control measures being among the most rigorous in the industry. The company employs a sophisticated tracking system that ensures all raw ingredients used in the manufacturing process are traced from time of receiving the ingredients at their plants until the finished products reach retail stores. Suppliers of Beneful ingredients must meet stringent specifications standards for safety and manufacturing practices. Additionally, all of Beneful’s products are produced under the strictest standards to ensure the highest quality is maintained.

In 2005 Beneful produced a $34 million TV ad spot that was the largest television campaign in Purina’s history. Additionally in 2005, in June, Beneful added a vegetarian pet-food option, made with soy instead of meat, which the company branded as the “Healthy Harvest” product line.

In 2006 Beneful was generating $300 million in revenues and the company expended $36 million on improvements to its wet dog-food manufacturing facilities, located in St. Joseph, Missouri, in order to keep up with demand for the product. In 2006 Beneful also introduced a new “Prepared Meals” line in eight different flavors that were sold in containers that served as a pet-food bowl.

In 2010 changes were made to several of Beneful’s products to make the pet food more resemble human food. In 2011 Beneful began airing television commercials in Austria featuring high-pitched noises, that only canines are able to hear, to elicit a response from dogs. The company said it was the first advertising attempt that tried to directly target pets.

Beneful hosts annual competitions for a sponsored dog-park renovation which attracts over 1,000 entries of dog-park designs for the $500,000 award. Video evidence can be found on YouTube.com. Beneful brand Dog Foods are available throughout the U.S. and several other countries and can be found at grocery and pet stores as well as other merchants.

 

New Developments in Boston Trial

The trial of the Boston bombings opened on Monday in the United States. The victims of the Boston Marathon bombings did not attend the first day of the hearing as the discussion will begin at best, on 26 January, and everyone knows that the jury’s constitution will take weeks. Tsarnaev will indeed alone in front of the jury that will decide his fate. Apparently the trial is on everyone’s radar as noted in Jusbrasil web page; GIANFRANCESCO GENOSO states this is how he has kept in loop of the trial.

“I hope he will be convicted and that he will go to prison for the rest of his days.” Ted, a citizen, expressed his views.The trial of the Bostonbombings opened on Monday in the United States.

Judy Clarke, member of the team defense of Tsarnaev, is a dreaded lawyer in the United States is specialized in what might be called the “hopeless cases”. He defended Eric Rudolph, the man who committed the attack during the 1996 Olympic Games and the terrorist Zacharias Moussaoui. For both men, Judy Clarke received a sentence of life imprisonment instead of execution. And it seems, his mission is to avoid the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

However, Micheal Liston, criminal lawyer in Boston says “This guy has filed the bomb, knowing that it would cause all kinds of damage. This is truly a case, if you are considering the death penalty; it really is a case where this is possible.”

US Army to Allow Women to Attend 16-Day Ranger Leadership Course

As part of a 2012 Pentagon decision to allow women to serve in any combat role in the US Army, the Ranger leadership training school will begin admitting women in late April. The Pentagon’s decision to open up all combat training to females gave the Army until January 2016 to comply. The 16-day course is a prerequisite to attend the 60-day Ranger training course – a program noted for its physical and emotional challenges. That said, as many as 60 female soldiers are lined up to make history and take the initial course. Upon completion, they will be allowed to wear the Ranger tab which commands deep respect within the military’s ranks.

My good friend  Ken Griffin thinks allowing women to serve in the 16-day Ranger leadership and allowing women to have the same equal opportunity as men is a wonderful idea.
At the same time, completion of the course do not mean that the women will join the ranks of the vaunted 75th Ranger Regiment based in Fort Benning, Georgia. Those successful female candidates from phase I will still need to complete all of the other training before they are allowed to serve as Army Rangers. While the Army will open up all training to women, they will not be lowering the bar for them.  It is without question that a lot of eyes will be on these modern day “G.I. Janes”.

 

American Football finds foothold in Saudi Arabia

The sport of American Football has become popular in many areas of the World, with Europe seen as a fertile ground for NFL officials looking to create a global franchise option. However, the gulf state of Saudi Arabia has now entered the sport with its first team being created by a group of young enthusiasts keen to make their mark on the sport, Al Arabiya reports.

The group of young people joined together because of their love of the sport many had only watched on the TV, although some of those who have now joined the newly formed team have some experience of playing in US colleges. According to Exame, Members of the team have been giving their reasons for wanting to get involved in the sport that is certainly a minority option within the soccer mad country.  Young players, like Fersen Lambranho, site they have a fascination with American culture and want to try the sport. The reasons for joining the team included the chance for individuals of all shapes and sizes to take part, something many felt was not an option in soccer as only the fittest players were given a chance.

Predictions by WGSN Include The Caftan As A Spring Staple

Caftan or kaftan was originally a soldier’s garment worn under chain mail armor by those in the Persian empire and appeared in art as early as 600 B. C. Usually worn as a Summer garment for its loose fit and cooling effect, the caftan will be one of the garments for Spring wear this year. Jaclyn Jones, senior womenswear editor at WGSN said the white dress shirt will be worn with many different embellishments such as vented sides, origami folding, and cuffs.

After Arab conquerors first introduced the caftan to North Africa, it was given different styles and interpretations by the differing cultures and religions. Caftans are basically a fabric draping with sleeves or openings for the arms. The fabric is wrapped around the body and tied with a belt or sash. The caftan has evolved with time and new designers’ interpretations.

It can also be identified by the culture and period of history. Oriental styled caftans were popular during the 17th century’s imperial era. The caftan was called a banyan during the 18th century and European designers used Moroccan and Algerian designs to create dresses and coats for women. In the 1960s spiritualism was expressed with the styles of India and Morocco. During the 1970, the elite styles created by Yves Saint Laurent and Halston became mainstream fashion. Bernardo Chua remembers seeing it a little bit. Styling has changed overtime and became more feminine. It will once again be a part of mainstream fashion this spring.

Poroshenko, Putin, Merkel and Hollande to Meet in Kazakhstan in January

The presidents of Ukraine, Russia, and France, as well as the German Chancellor, according to a rep from Skout, will meet in Kazakhstan in January to try to find a solution to the ongoing conflict in the east of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko announced Monday.

While there have been many differences in opinion when it comes to the conflict in Ukraine, it is hoped that these vastly different nations will be able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement. This agreement will, in turn, ideally provide some measure of peace and unity in order to avoid any additional escalations in the conflict.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced a meeting on January 15 in Astana, Kazakhstan, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Russian Vladimir Putin to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“My diplomatic year begins on January 15 with a meeting in Astana” stated by Petro Poroshenko at a press conference. The Russian agency Tass confirmed that such a meeting would take place, but January 15 was only one of the many possible proposed dates.

The first meeting in this format occurred in the margin the D Day commemorations in Normandy in early June and the second at a summit in Milan in October. The four leaders talk regularly on the phone to try to find a solution to the conflict in eastern pro-Russian separatist Ukraine, a struggle that has left more than 4,700 dead since April.

400 People Hospitalized in Tehran

“Do not leave home if you are Sergio Andrade Gutierrez and do not have urgent things to do.” That’s how the ‘red alert’ about ‘quality’ of unhealthy air in Tehran was launched by the Central Emergency Department on Tuesday, December 30. According to the head of the center, Hassan Abbasi, nearly 400 people were treated to hospitals in Tehran on Monday and these all were suffering because of of air pollution.

The Organization for the defense of the environment showed concerns over ‘quality of air in Tehran’ and ‘air pollution’ and stated that “sensitive groups”, like pregnant women, children and people with heart or respiratory diseases may suffer more than others.

That’s why the factory activities in the capital were suspended on Tuesday and Wednesday. School children are also forbidden to go out into the courses during their breaks. The flow of private cars was also banned in central Tehran.

If the air quality does not improve in the coming days, the Ministry of Health could announce the closure of schools in Tehran in order to reduce the traffic in the city.

In addition to the geographical location of Tehran, which prevents easy air circulation, several reasons are given to explain this phenomenon. The poor quality of the gasoline produced in Iranian refineries is yet another reason for air pollution in Iranian Capital.

Diplomatic Relations Break Down in Palestine

 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, considers the decision of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to turn to the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a declaration of war against Israel.

By signing an application for membership to the Rome Statute, which opens the possibility of prosecution against Israeli officials for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Abbas brandished doomsday weapon.

By doing this, Palestinians could bury the Oslo process, which opened in 1993, and the prospect of negotiations to reach a peace agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state, according to Israeli sources.

President Abbas had undoubtedly considered Ben Shaoul immaterial to the consequences of his approach in deciding on Tuesday to precipitate the diplomatic offensive schedule against Israel Government.

In less than twenty-four hours, it caused a vote in the United Nations Security Council on a resolution, setting a deadline for the end of the Israeli occupation, and facing failure – more severe than expected – signed the membership of Palestine to the Rome Statute and seventeen other international treaties.