Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 3rd 2016 Contents A29
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Turkey---The Turkish president's office said
Friday that Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not
advocating a Hitler-style government when
he called for a state system with a strong
A statement from Erdogan's office said the
Turkish president has declared the Holocaust,
anti-semitism and Islamophobia as crimes
against humanity and that it was out of the
question for him to cite Hitler's Germany as a
Speaking to reporters last Thursday,
Erdogan was asked whether a presidential
system which he has long advocated could
exist within a "unitary state." Erdogan cited
Hitler's Germany as one example in history.
However, Erdogan's office said the
president had cited the era as a negative
example to explain that bad rule can emerge
in all political systems.
"Whether it is parliamentary system or a
presidential system, bad rules that end in
disasters can emerge if the system is
misused, as it was by Hitler's Germany," the
"It is unacceptable to reflect the president's
statement as a positive reference to Hitler's
Fireworks explode over the River Thames and the Palace of Westminster's Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, as the New Year's Day
celebrations begin in London, last Friday. AP PHOTO
Erdogan's office denies advocating Hitler-style rule
Saudi Arabia said yesterday it had exe-
cuted 47 people in a single day, including
a dissident Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, who
had repeatedly spoken out against the gov-
ernment and the Saudi royal family.
Nimr had been convicted of inciting sec-
tarian strife, sedition and other charges fol-
lowing his 2012 arrest.
Human rights group Amnesty Interna-
tional had called the charges against Nimr
vague and pronounced his death sentence
"appalling." The group said the case against
him was part of a systemic effort by the
majority Sunni government to crush dissent
among the nation s Shiite Muslim minor-
ity.Iran, Saudi Arabia s regional rival, sum-
moned the Saudi ambassador in Tehran to
condemn the execution, the state-run IRNA
news agency reported. The Shiite-majority
nation also issued a statement yesterday
deploring the execution and warning that
Saudi Arabia would pay a heavy price for
"The execution of a personality such as
Sheikh Nimr who had no means other than
speech to pursue his political and religious
objectives only shows the depth of impru-
dence and irresponsibility," Press TV cited
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi
European Union High Representative for
Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini also issued
a statement reacting to the executions, saying
Nimr s case in particular raised "serious
concerns regarding freedom of expression
and the respect of basic civil and political
"This case has also the potential of
enflaming further the sectarian tensions
that already bring so much damage to the
entire region, with dangerous consequences,"
Mogherini said in the statement.
However, Saudi ally Bahrain---a majori-
ty-Shiite nation led by a Sunni King that
has struggled with dissent of its own---
issued a statement supporting the execu-
"Saudi Arabia s efforts to confront who-
ever seeks to undermine the Nation s security
and stability and wreak havoc on Earth
through misguided ideology and actions
that are rejected by Religion and the Islamic
Shari a are widely appreciated," said Prime
Minister Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khal-
ifa.Saudi officials said yesterday that the 47
executions were carried out at 12 sites after
convictions for terror acts.
The condemned believed in extremist ide-
ology and were members of terror groups,
the ministry said in a statement.
Some were convicted of plotting and car-
rying out attacks against civilians going back
as far at an attack on the US consulate in
Jeddah in 2004. (Al Jazeera)
Saudi Arabia executes 47 The worst of the dangerous, deadly winter flood is over
in the St Louis area, leaving residents of several water-
logged communities to assess damage, clean up and
figure out how to bounce back---or in some cases, where
Farther south, things were getting worse: Record and
near-record crest predictions of the Mississippi River and
levee breaks threatened homes in rural southern Missouri
and Illinois. Two more levees succumbed Friday, bringing
to at least 11 the number of levee failures.
The flood, fuelled by more than ten inches of rain over
a three-day period that began last weekend, is blamed for
22 deaths. Searchers were still looking for four missing
people---one teenager in Illinois, two men in Missouri and
a country music singer in Oklahoma.
On Friday, water from the Mississippi, Meremec and
Missouri rivers was largely receding in the St Louis area.
Two major highways---Interstate 44 and Interstate 55---
reopened south of St Louis, meaning commuters who
return to work tomorrow won't have hours-long detours.
Some evacuees were allowed to return home.
But in the far southwestern tip of Illinois, the 500 or so
people living behind the Len Small levee, which protects
the hamlets of Olive Branch, Hodges Park, Unity and rural
homes, were urged to move to higher ground after the
Mississippi began pouring over the levee.
Alexander County Board Chairman Chalen Tatum said
sandbagging efforts were cut off because it was simply
too dangerous for the volunteers. Far more water is to
come before today's crest. "It's going to get ugly," he said.
A French prosecutor says investigators see no
links between a man who rammed his car into four
soldiers guarding a mosque and "a terrorist
network or terrorist act."
A soldier and an elderly man were injured at the
mosque in the southeastern city of Valence on
Prosecutor Alex Perrin said yesterday that "so far
it seems to be the act of an individual."
Perrin said the 29-year-old French citizen of
Tunisian descent was a practicing Muslim not
reported as radicalised. His motives remain unclear.
The man, who is still in hospital, could be charged
with "attempted murders against persons holding
The injured passerby was a 72-year-old man who
was hit in the calf by a stray bullet shot by the
soldiers, Valence mayor Nicolas Daragon said.
Attack on French troops 'no terror act'
Towns brace for Mississippi floods
Four militants and at least two soldiers have been
killed in an attack on an Indian air force base near the
Pakistani border, officials say.
Security forces say the operation to secure the
Pathankot base is now over, after a battle lasting hours.
The heavily-armed gunmen entered the base dressed
in Indian army uniforms.
The attack came days after the Indian and Pakistani
leaders, Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif, met in Lahore
to launch a surprise peace initiative.
No group has said it carried out the attack, which is
being seen as an attempt to undermine those efforts.
All of India's Punjab state has been placed on alert.
Soldiers are combing the area around the base looking
for more militants.
"We want peace but if terrorists carry out attacks on
Indian soil we will give them a befitting reply," said
Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
Pakistan condemned the attack and called it a
"terrorist incident", adding that it remained committed
to peace efforts with India. (BBC)
Gunmen attack India air force base
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