Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 18th 2014 Contents A21
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BEIRUT---The United States yes-
terday confirmed that Islamic State
group had beheaded Peter Kassig,
releasing a video Sunday showing
a masked militant standing over
the severed head of the former US
Army Ranger-turned-aid worker
who was seized while delivering
relief supplies in Syria last year.
President Barack Obama con-
firmed Kassig s slaying after a US
review of the video, which also
showed the mass beheadings of a
dozen Syrian soldiers.
The 26-year-old Kassig, who
founded an aid group to help Syrians
caught in their country s brutal civil
war, "was taken from us in an act
of pure evil by a terrorist group that
the world rightly associates with
inhumanity," Obama said in a state-
He denounced the extremist
group, which he said "revels in the
slaughter of innocents, including
Muslims, and is bent only on sowing
death and destruction."
The slain hostage s parents, Ed
and Paula Kassig, said they were
"heartbroken" by their son s killing,
but "incredibly proud" of his
humanitarian work. Kassig "lost his
life as a result of his love for the
Syrian people and his desire to ease
their suffering," the parents said in
a statement from Indianapolis.
With Kassig s death, the Islamic
State group has killed five Westerners
it was holding. American journalists
James Foley and Steven Sotloff were
beheaded, as were British aid workers
David Haines and Alan Henning.
Unlike previous videos of slain
Western hostages, the footage
released Sunday did not show the
decapitation of Kassig or the
moments leading up to his death.
"This is Peter Edward Kassig, a
US citizen...who fought against the
Muslims in Iraq," said the black-
clad militant, who spoke with a
British accent that was distorted in
the video, apparently to disguise his
identity. Previous videos featured a
militant with a British accent that
the FBI says it has identified, though
it hasn t named him publicly.
The high-definition video also
showed the beheadings of about a
dozen men identified as Syrian mil-
itary officers and pilots, all dressed
in blue jumpsuits. The black-clad
militant warns that US soldiers will
meet a similar fate.
Kassig, who served in the US
Army s 75th Ranger Regiment, a
special operations unit, deployed to
Iraq in 2007. After being medically
discharged, he returned to the Mid-
dle East in 2012 and formed a relief
group, Special Emergency Response
and Assistance, to aid Syrian
In a statement issued as he flew
back to Washington from the Asia-
Pacific region, Obama said Kassig
"was a humanitarian who worked
to save the lives of Syrians injured
and dispossessed" by war. The pres-
ident offered prayers and condo-
lences to Kassig s family.
"We cannot begin to imagine their
anguish at this painful time," he
British Prime Minister David
Cameron said he was "horrified by
the cold-blooded murder," saying
that the Islamic State group had
"again shown their depravity."
The Islamic State group still holds
other captives, including British
photojournalist John Cantlie, who
has appeared in several videos deliv-
ering statements for the group, likely
under duress, and a 26-year-old
American woman captured last year
in Syria while working for aid
groups. US officials have asked that
the woman not be identified out of
fears for her safety. (AP)
Ebola dies in
OMAHA---A surgeon who con-
tracted Ebola in his native Sierra
Leone yesterday died while
being treated in a biocontain-
ment unit at a Nebraska hospi-
tal, the facility said.
Dr Martin Salia died of the dis-
ease shortly after 4 am, at the
Nebraska Medical Center
spokesman Taylor Wilson said.
"Dr Salia was extremely critical
when he arrived here, and unfor-
tunately, despite our best efforts,
we weren t able to save him," said
Dr Phil Smith, medical director
of the biocontainment unit.
Salia, 44, had advanced symp-
toms when he arrived at the hos-
pital Saturday, including kidney
and respiratory failure, the hos-
pital said in a statement. He was
placed on dialysis and a ventilator,
and was given several medications
to support his organ systems.
Salia was given the experimen-
tal drug ZMapp on Saturday. He
also received a plasma transfusion
from an Ebola survivor---a treat-
ment that is believed to provide
antibodies to fight the virus.
"As we have learned, early
treatment with these patients is
essential. In Dr Salia s case, his
disease was already extremely
advanced by the time he came
here for treatment," Smith said.
Two other Ebola patients have
been successfully treated at the
Omaha hospital. Of 10 people to
be treated for the disease in the
United States, all but two have
recovered. Thomas Eric Duncan,
of Liberia, died at a Dallas hospital
in October. Salia s wife, Isatu
Salia, said she and her family were
grateful for the efforts made by
her husband s medical team. (AP)
NAIROBI---The grainy mobile
phone video shows a mob of
Kenyan men surround a woman
and grab, grasp and yank her
clothes until she is naked.
Several such videos have emerged
recently of attacks by males who
deem a woman to be provocatively
dressed. The attacks have created a
groundswell of anger that saw mostly
women protesters flood downtown
The hashtag #MyDressMyChoice
is trending in Kenya s social media,
as this East African country sees a
clash between new, Western lifestyles
and traditional African ways.
The attacks are not overtly reli-
gious in nature, though this is a con-
servative, mostly Christian country.
The women at the march described
"normal" levels of sexual harassment
over the years and said that peers
will warn other women that "you re
gonna get undressed" for wearing a
Women play an active role in
Kenyan society. The country s foreign
minister is a woman, though few
women hold high-ranking elected
office. Parliament is a virtual men s
club, unlike in neighbouring Rwanda,
where more than half of parliament
After the recent attacks, elderly
Kenyan women are said to have res-
cued the naked victims by giving
them a shawl to cover up.
About ten per cent of the approx-
imately 1,000 people marching
through the streets were men.
Just 100 metres (yards) from the
march s meeting point, park worker
Ulda Akinyi looked at the demon-
stration with disdain, and said she
has instructed her three daughters
to dress conservatively for fear of
attracting unwanted attention.
"Wearing miniskirts is the devil s
work," said Akinyi.
Men gathered against a nearby
fence. Most said they didn t support
the cause. A man who gave only his
first name, John, said he didn t want
Kenya s women to "seduce" him by
wearing revealing clothing.
"It s like three-quarters naked if
you are wearing one of those short
skirts," said David Ndongo, who
works on one of Kenya s mini trans-
port buses, where women can also
face harassment. (AP)
ASSIUT---Egyptian health officials
say a woman who was diagnosed
with bird flu has died, the second
fatality from the H5N1 virus this year
in the country.
Egypt has reported seven bird flu
cases so far in 2014. Most victims
have been women and children who
are traditionally tasked with caring for
Ahmed Abdel-Hamid, in the
southern city of Assiut, said the
woman was a 19-year-old who raised
chicken at home. He says she was
admitted to hospital on November 10
and died yesterday.
Health Ministry official Amr Kandil
said the earlier fatality was in June.
Since 2006, there have been 64 bird
flu deaths in Egypt.
The H5N1 virus is hard to catch but
has remained a threat. Most cases
have been linked to contact with
Bird flu claims 2nd Egyptian victim
Dr Martin Salia was diagnosed
with Ebola on Monday, and
landed at Eppley Airfield in
Omaha, Nebraska, on Saturday.
Obama on latest Isis killings
Kenya women seek right to wear mini-skirts
Kenyan women protest for the right to wear the clothes they want at a
demonstration in downtown Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday. A recent incident in
which a mob of men surrounded a woman and tore her clothes off, leaving
her naked on the street at a bus stop after alleging she was improperly
dressed, sparked the action. AP PHOTO
American aid worker, former soldier Peter Kassig.
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