State Dept: Israeli Settlements, Lack Of Hope Drive Palestinian Violence

“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank…” Continue reading

The post State Dept: Israeli Settlements, Lack Of Hope Drive Palestinian Violence appeared first on MintPress News.

Shooting during block party leaves man wounded in West Park

A shooting during a block party early Saturday morning left a man wounded in West Park. 

Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Gina Carter said deputies found the man at 4812 SW 20th St., near the Carver Ranches Recreation Center.  

A witnesses said that when he heard the shots about 3 a.m., he thought they were firecrackers. 

The victim was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. Carter said his injuries were life-threatening.

Detectives were asking anyone with information to call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Caring For Our Veterans

In this country we have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a result of the fine men and women who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. These freedoms are not free, they often come at a high price for the soldiers, and their families.  Native Americans serve at […]

The post Caring For Our Veterans appeared first on Native News Online.

Fatal crash shuts down SB lanes of Palmetto Expressway near NW 122nd street

A fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer shut down the southbound lanes of the Palmetto Expressway Saturday morning. 

The crash happened overnight near Northwest 122nd Street. The right three lanes are blocked as police investigate the scene. Delays are being experienced back to the Big Curve. 

The identity of the victim was not immediately known. 

This is a developing story. Stay with Local 10 and for updates. 

Local 10’s Peggy Phillip contributed to this story. 

Friendly fire kills 16 Afghan police

Sixteen Afghan police officers were killed in an airstrike in Helmand province on Friday, a provincial government spokesman said on Saturday.

The friendly-fire deaths occurred during a US-supported Afghan National Defense and Security Forces operation targeting militants in Gereshk district.

“Aerial fires resulted in the deaths of the friendly Afghan forces who were gathered in a compound,” US Forces-Afghanistan said.

Two other officers were injured in the incident, Omar Zwak, a provincial government spokesman, said.

Helmand, a sprawling province in southern Afghanistan, has been the scene of much combat in the long Afghan war.

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families affected by this unfortunate incident,” US forces said in a statement. “We have notified Afghan officials of this incident. An investigation will be conducted to determine the specific circumstances that led to this incident.”

Friendly fire attacks, when forces are accidentally struck by their own side, and insider attacks, when members of Afghan security forces deliberately target the troops, have occurred on occasion during the long Afghan conflict.

Militant groups such as the Taliban, the Haqqani network and ISIS, foes of the Afghan forces, have posed a stiff challenge in the war.

Afghan and US forces launched an offensive against ISIS in early March. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, has pledged to drive the terror group out of the country by the end of 2017.

Unlike elsewhere in Afghanistan, where US troops primarily serve a training and supporting role, US Special Operations Forces have been directly engaged in the offensive against ISIS in Afghanistan, conducting raids and strikes in the country’s eastern provinces.

Philippines extends martial law in Mindanao until the end of the year

The Philippines Congress has granted President Rodrigo Duterte’s request to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao until the end of the year — a move that contravenes the country’s constitution.

The constitution only allows for martial law to be declared for 60 days at a time, but Duterte says the five-month extension is necessary to quell a rebellion by ISIS-affiliated fighters in the besieged city of Marawi, which is on Mindanao.

After debating for six hours in a special joint-session on Saturday, lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the President’s request — in a vote of 16-4 in the Senate and 245-18 in the House of Representatives — to keep Mindanao under martial law until December 31.

President Duterte initially declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23, after fighters from militant groups that have pledged allegiance to ISIS invaded Marawi and took control of several government buildings in the city and set fire to others.

For more than two months, Philippines forces have been trying to root out the fighters, mainly from a local militant group known as Maute, who are being commanded by Isnilon Hapilon, the leader of the notorious Abu Sayyaf Group.

Duterte’s first order for martial law was set to expire on Saturday.

Official figures from the Philippines military show as of July 20, 427 militants, 99 government forces and 45 civilians had been killed in the fighting.

Nearly 350,000 people in the city and surrounding areas have also been forced to flee — creating a humanitarian crisis authorities have been struggling to contain.

The Philippines government estimates only a few dozen militants remain in Marawi, but in his letter to Congress on Monday when he asked for the extension, Duterte said the militants’ leadership remains “largely intact.”

On Thursday, Duterte made his first visit to Marawi since the fighting began, to visit troops who are battling the remaining fighters. His visit to the Marawi operational center at Camp Ranao took place “amidst the sound of gun and artillery fire (in) the background,” a report by the state-run Philippines News Agency (PNA) said. Duterte, dressed in military camouflage, was visibly emotional as he talked about the dead and wounded.

When he first declared martial law in Mindanao in May, Duterte had warned the order could last up to a year.

“If it would take a year to do it, then we’ll do it,” he said at the time. “If it’s over within a month, then I’d be happy.”

Duterte also suggested he could expand the order nationwide in order to fight ISIS.

“If I think ISIS has already taken foothold also in Luzon and terrorism is not really far behind, I might declare martial law through the country to protect the people,” he said at a news conference on May 24.

Under the 1987 constitution, the President is allowed to place the country under martial law, but for no more than two months.

The provision was made a year after former dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted from power. Marcos had ruled the Philippines under martial law for 14 years.

Hawaii to test nuclear warning system amid North Korea’s threats

Hawaii is set to become the first state in the US to test an “attack- warning” system in the event of a North Korean nuclear missile strike.

Starting in November, Hawaii’s disaster warning plan will include a new protocol in case of a nuclear attack, CNN affiliate KNHL reports. But some are concerned the announcement will scare off tourists from visiting the island.

A “guidance summary” from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says residents will be alerted of nuclear detonation through siren alarms and flashing white lights. An Emergency Alert System will broadcast over television and radio frequencies as well.

There are 4,661 miles of ocean between Hawaii and North Korea, making the island one of the closest US territories to Kim Jong Un’s regime after Guam and Alaska.

Despite plans for testing a nuclear warning system, there is no need to panic, Vern Miyagi, an administrator with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, told the affiliate.

“When I see stuff like, ‘Hawaii prepares for nuclear attack,’ that’s way overboard. We’re not preparing for a nuclear attack,” he said. “This is just a hazard, like tsunamis and hurricanes that Hawaii faces. It’s not impending.”

Miyagi added the threat of a nuclear strike is “not mature.”

‘Odds are so small right now’

Despite the alert system’s label as “just a hazard,” some are wondering why it was announced at the height of Hawaii’s tourist season.

“The odds are so small right now and the possibility of this happening is so remote,” Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa told the affiliate. “It’s not worth getting everybody into a major economic situation to plan for a major attack.”

Hawaii is a critical outpost for the US military, hosting naval and air force bases. US Pacific Command, the military’s headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region, is on the island of Oahu.

While Hawaii is the first state in the US to prepare for a North Korean attack, it’s not alone on the world stage. Japan implemented a similar alert system after four North Korean missiles landed off its northwest coast in March, one landing just over 100 miles from the city of Oga.

Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association president Mufi Hanneman told the affiliate that the system should only make tourists more comfortable traveling to the island.

“We certainly have marketed ourselves as one of the safest places to visit if not in America, in the world,” he said. “If I were a visitor, I’d be pleased to know that Hawaii is taking steps and that I can continue to go there and feel safe.”

In case of an actual nuclear strike, residents are instructed to go inside and remain sheltered for 14 days or until they are told it is safe to leave. While in shelter, residents should listen to local AM-FM radio stations for official information.

But despite the possibility of a decline in tourism, Miyagi says it’s still worth testing the new system, even if an attack isn’t imminent.

“Probability is low,” he said. “But we just want to get ahead of it.”