Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2018 Contents A21
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Israeli air strikes against Syria 'biggest since 1982'
Israel says it has inflicted huge
damage on Syrian air defences
after one of its ighter jets was
brought down during a raid over
The response was the "most sig-
ni icant attack" of its kind against
Syria since the 1982 Lebanon war,
said senior Israeli air force general
The F 16 jet went down during
a mission that followed an Iranian
drone launch into Israeli territory,
Israel says. The two pilots para-
chuted to safety before the crash
in northern Israel.
Israel says it responded with
a second wave of strikes on both
Syrian and Iranian military targets
operating inside Syria.
Later on Saturday, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held
a meeting with his military chiefs.
He said Israel wanted peace but
would defend itself "against any
attack against us or any attempt by
Iran to establish itself against us in
Syria." In other developments, a
Turkish helicopter was shot down
as the country continued its of-
fensive against Kurdish ighters
in northern Syria. Two soldiers
on board were killed, the Turkish
UN Human Rights Commis-
sioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said
the past week was one of the
bloodiest in Syria since the conflict
began in 2011---with at least 277 ci-
vilian deaths reported.
Israel's military says one of its
combat helicopters downed an
Iranian drone in iltrating Israel. It
tweeted footage of the incident.
Israeli aircraft then attacked Syr-
ian and "Iranian targets in Syria",
the military says.
Syria's state media say air de-
fences opened ire in response to
an Israeli attack on a military base,
hitting more than one plane.
The damaged F 16 came down
in an empty ield near the town of
Harduf in northern Israel.
It is unclear how exactly the
plane was brought down. Gen Bar
said it faced massive anti-aircraft
ire, forcing the two pilots to eject.
He said the crew did not report
being hit before abandoning the
They were taken to hospital,
one of them "severely injured",
the Israeli military said.
second Trump aide to
quit over abuse claims
A speechwriter has become
the second White House aide this
week to resign amid allegations of
David Sorensen denies his for-
mer wife's allegations he was vio-
lent and emotionally abusive.
His departure comes just days
after another Trump of icial, Rob
Porter, quit over allegations of
abuse from two ex-wives, some-
thing he denies. Questions have
been raised over how long it took
the White House to act on the ac-
cusations facing Mr Porter.
Sorensen's ex-wife Jessica Cor-
bett told the Washington Post that
he was physically abusive to her
while they were married. She said
that on separate occasions her
former husband ran a car over
her foot, threw her against a wall
and extinguished a cigarette on
Sorensen released a statement
in which he said he had "never
committed violence of any kind
against any woman in my entire
life" and that instead it was he
who had been physically abused.
He said he was considering legal
action, but said he quit because he
"didn't want the White House to
have to deal with this distraction".
White House of icials said they
learned of the accusations by Mr
Sorensen's wife late on Thursday.
Brazil Carnival in crisis
Rio de Janeiro is home to the
world famous annual Carnival,
which has become a magnet for
tourists. Pictured is Maryane
Hipolito, lead dancer for Academ-
icos do Cubango samba school in
the 2017 Rio Carnival
Rio carnival organisers are voic-
ing concerns on the eve of this
year's world-renowned parade,
that the show might not stack up
to the grandiose proportions of
The ive-day festival, which of i-
cially starts on Friday has faced an
uphill struggle to get on the road
due to drastic subsidy cuts.
The crisis has been com-
pounded by a wave of violence in
Rio de Janeiro caused by drug traf-
icking gangs that forced the tem-
porary closure this week of three
major motorways linking Tom
Jobim international airport and
threatened the safety of hundreds
of thousands of tourists arriving to
party during the festivities.
Bosses of the top tier samba
schools claim this year's celebra-
tion has been the toughest they've
ever put on because they've had
to modify their special effects,
reduce the size of their floats and
use less expensive materials --
which some suggest has impacted
on the 'wow' factor.
In June last year, Rio Mayor
Marcelo Crivella, made the shock
announcement that multi-million
pound funding for the world's big-
gest party would be slashed in half
as the authority was facing a huge
inancial crisis and couldn't afford
to foot the total bill of 24 million
Alexandre Louzada, art direc-
tor of Mocidade Independente de
Padre Miguel school, last year's
joint winners, told Focus On
News: 'In 34 years I have never
faced such a serious crisis.
'We want to put on a beautiful
carnival, but the reality to do so
has been tough.
'We have done what we can with
what we have and in the end, we
didn't have to go to a Plan B and
it will still be a carnival for cham-
of my ideas. I was forced to reduce
the giant sculptures and minimize
the mechanics and automated
movements. Our display, this year,
will be more simpler and not as
ostentatious and as incredible as
last years. It's not as I would have
liked,' he admitted.
Luiz Fernando do Carmo,
known as Laila, director of 13
times champion Beija-Flor samba
school, complained: 'The coun-
try's inancial crisis has made
things extremely dif icult for the
biggest audio visual spectacle in
'This year the samba schools
don't have the money to inject
into anything. We normally give
costumes away to people living
in the (favela) where the school is
based, but this year it was dif icult
to do as we need every cent we
'It's also been dif icult to pay our
staff. This year they had to take
wage cuts and complete the con-
struction of the floats in less than
half the time.
'I'm worried about how this is
going to affect the show on the
weekend as it's been hard to main-
tain our dreams and to make ends
meet,' the carnival chief lamented,
adding Beija Flor still intends to
put on a great procession with
'enthusiasm and joy'. (Daily Mail)
Cash strapped Rio struggling to throw world's biggest party Oxfam boss
'deeply ashamed' of
Oxfam has defended its han-
dling of a sex workers scandal after
allegations that staff hired pros-
titutes during their work in Haiti
following the devastating 2010
earthquake. Alleged misconduct
by former Oxfam staff members
included the use of prostitutes,
downloading pornography, bul-
lying and intimidation, according
to an investigation by The Times.
Oxfam chief executive Mark Gol-
dring apologised yesterday, saying
he was "deeply ashamed of Ox-
"Everybody---the 25,000 staff
and volunteers---are compromised
by this, the hundreds of thousands
of people who support Oxfam
every month are compromised by
this, and to everybody I apologise.
There is not a single organisation
in which there has not been sexual
abuse and exploitation and Oxfam
is certainly no worse than most
other international organisations
and actually has tried in many
ways to be better."
The charity said it investigated
the allegations in 2011 and perpe-
trators were all sacked or resigned.
Rio de Janeiro is home to the world famous annual Carnival, which has
become a magnet for tourists. Pictured is Maryane Hipolito, lead dancer for
Academicos do Cubango samba school in the 2017 Rio Carnival.
The fighter jet was carrying out strikes on Iranian targets in Syria, Israelis say.
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