The Events

Bergdahl’s release spark controversy in the US (updated)

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'Don't come back to Afghanistan. You won't make it out alive next time': A Taliban fighter speaks to Sgt. Bergdahl, in eastern Afghanistan ahead of the handover

‘Don’t come back to Afghanistan. You won’t make it out alive next time’: A Taliban fighter speaks to Sgt. Bergdahl, in eastern Afghanistan ahead of the handover

By Amarachi Udonsi

President Barack Obama said Thursday he “absolutely makes no apologies” for seeking the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in a prisoner swap with the Taliban, vigorously defending an exchange that has caused a furor in the United States and has dogged the president on his European trip this week.

When it comes to getting soldiers back from war, Obama said, “We don’t condition whether we make the effort to get them back”, reported the Associated Press

He also said Bergdahl’s health had been deteriorating and that “We were deeply concerned about it.”

His release after five years of captivity has sparked a controversy in the US, particularly among Republican lawmakers.

It provoked an angry backlash in Congress among lawmakers over the Obama’s administration failure to notify them in advance.

The 28-year-old native of Hailey, Idaho, was released in a prisoner exchange that saw the transfer of five senior Taliban prisoners from a US detention facility in Guantanamo bay, Cuba.

US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel had said the decision to strike the deal with the Taliban was unanimous in the White House because it was believed Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl’s life was “in peril”.

His hometown has cancelled plans for a celebration later this month, citing security concerns after it was inundated with negative emails and angry phone calls.

Review the circumstances 

US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martian Dempsey has said the military would review the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s 2009 capture following allegations that he deliberately left his post in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika.

A black hawk helicopter waiting for Bergdahl

A black hawk helicopter waiting for Bergdahl

A 17-minute video clip, which bears the insignia of al-Elmara, the Taliban’s primary media arm, was emailed to media organizations on Wednesday, four days after Bergdahl was handed over to US forces in the eastern Afghan province of Khost near the Pakistan border.

Written by talking12

June 5, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Posted in Us & Europe

Tagged with , ,

Fighting rages in Slaviansk as G7 meets

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Fighting has raged for 24 hours. The area is a strategically located separatist stronghold. Pix: wikimedia.org

Fighting has raged for 24 hours. The area is a strategically located separatist stronghold.
Pix: wikimedia.org

A hastily-arranged summit in Brussels, by the G7 industrial nations, say they will impose more damaging economic sanctions on Russia over its ‘systematic infringement’ of Ukraine’s sovereignty.

The G-7 leaders sat down to their first meeting without Russia in 17 years, since Russia was expelled from the group following its annexation of Crimea in March.

On the sidelines of the meeting, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, will meet Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin today and advise him to end Russia’s meddling in Ukraine.

The Prime Minister will hold face-to-face talks with the Russian leader in Paris ahead of the 70th D-Day anniversary commemorations.

US President, Barack Obama has met key European allies Thursday, with the Ukraine crisis top of the agenda.
While in Ukrainian, government forces battled separatists with artillery and automatic weapons in and around Slaviansk, forcing many residents to flee.

Anti-terrorist operation

The government, trying to break rebellions by pro-Russia separatists, said over 300 rebels had been killed in the past 24 hours in the “anti-terrorist operation”, thought the rebels denied this, saying losses among the Ukrainian forces exceeded theirs.

Yahoo news reports that at an army checkpoint on the edge of town, heavy artillery shelling could be heard while a plume of black smoke rose above the outskirts. Automatic gunfire rattled out from nearby fields.

Families fled the fighting through a barbed-wire checkpoint with only as much as they could carry. “It’s a mess,” sobbed a young woman as she clutched her husband’s arm. “It’s war.”

INews a while back reported that Russia was ready to go to war over Crimea.

 

Written by talking12

June 5, 2014 at 1:19 pm

POSITIVE RESPONSIBILITY: RIGHT PILL TO OUR NATION’S ILLNESS

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By Amarachi Udonsi

 

Pix: Wikimedia commons

Positivity, in thinking and in attitude cannot be over emphasized in the journey of great change in all endeavours of life, and to us, in our great nation Nigeria. Pix: Wikimedia commons

There is often a misguided concept about positivity and how it affects us as individuals and as a nation in a whole.

Most are tempted to assume that it implies seeing the world through rose coloured lenses by ignoring the negative sides of life.

The truth is that positivity involves working towards best results even in potentially bad situations.

William James  said, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Most Nigerians take life as passionless as the word passionless is. Majority do not have the drive to succeed through hard work.

We have taken religion as a shield and hidden our lazy minds behind it and yet have not fully understood the implications of it.
We say we have faith, but yet the Holy writ tells us that faith without work is void; we proceed to attribute our mishaps to the will of certain deities.

Fall from the pockets
While we go on believing that our destinies fall from the pockets of our prosperous relatives, and we will stay hungry, if they refuse to provide; the American believes that every man’s destiny is his to choose. This attitude is what we carry into our educational system, work and even relationships. The teacher doesn’t teach, it becomes the teacher’s fault if we fail. We forget that we fail ourselves if we fail to read without our teachers, and cannot become leaders if we refuse to think and act in the absence of our leaders. We play the victims rather than take responsibility for our own actions.

Headed to the grave
In this new world era, Nigeria is not headed to the grave yet but there is a possibility of falling into it if we fail to rethink and rightly position our nation for this 21st century challenges. Our inability to rethink and re innovate our way into being the world’s frontier is our utmost challenge.  We have to realize that we have harmed ourselves as individuals and as a nation by our inability to move at the same pace with the rest of the world and stagnancy is death.

Like Charles Swindoll rightly said, The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company…a church…a home………….”.
One man, the right thinking, and the right attitude still remains the best approach to a new Nigeria.

 

 

Written by talking12

June 4, 2014 at 6:25 pm

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