Philippine military rejects Daesh claim of Manila attack

Associated Press
Fri, 2017-06-02 21:50

MANILA: The Philippine military has rejected the Daesh group’s claim of responsibility for an attack on a Manila casino complex in which 36 people died.
A gunman entered the Resorts World Manila complex early Friday and set fire to the gambling tables, unleashing smoke that killed patrons and casino employees. The gunman fled with $2 million in stolen casino chips, then forced his way into a room in an adjoining hotel and killed himself.
Police say they believe it was a robbery gone wrong.
The Daesh group claimed responsibility, saying one of its supporters entered a “gathering of Christian fighters” in the casino and “carried out killing and hurting.”
Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla rejected the claim, saying the attack “does not have the slightest signature of terrorism whatsoever.”
“As in previous incidents, this group is prone to claim and admit every criminal incident and label it as its own,” Padilla said.
Metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said the 36 bodies were found in the smoky gambling room by firefighters and all died from suffocation and smoke inhalation. None of the bodies had gunshot wounds.

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Belgian charged with leadership role in 2015 Paris attacks

Associated Press
Fri, 2017-06-02 21:42

BRUSSELS: Belgian prosecutors say a suspect in the attacks in Paris in 2015 has been charged with being a leader of the extremist cell that killed 130 people.
The 30-year-old Belgian national, Yassine Atar, has been charged with “terrorist assassinations” and of being “a leader in the activities of a terrorist group.”
The federal prosecutor’s office said Friday that he has been remanded in custody for one month. The cases of extremist suspects in Belgium are reviewed monthly until their trials, so such periods of custody are almost always extended.
Prosecutors declined to provide more information.
Atar was arrested on March 27, 2016, five days after suicide bombers attacked the Brussels airport and subway, killing 32 people.
He was a cousin of two of those bombers, the brothers Ibrahim and Khalid Bakraoui.
Atar is also the brother of one of the supposed masterminds of the Paris plot, Oussama Atar.
The Daesh group claimed responsibility for the attacks on Nov. 13, 2015, which hit a rock concert, the national soccer stadium and bustling sidewalk cafes. Hundreds of people were also injured.

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Iran complying with nuclear deal

Iran has stayed within key limits on its nuclear activities imposed by a 2015 deal with world powers but is close to once again breaching a ceiling on its stock of one chemical, a report by the UN atomic watchdog showed today. The report was the second since the January inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has called the pact between six powers and Iran “the worst deal ever negotiated” and branded Tehran an enemy in contrast with his predecessor Barack Obama. Read:  Trump is fostering chaos in the Middle East Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium as of 27 May was 79.8 kilogrammes, well below a 202.8-kilogramme limit, and the level of enrichment did not exceed a 3.67 per […]

Eni lets FLNG contracts to produce Coral South off Mozambique

and Mozambique signed drilling, construction, and installation
contracts for project implementation of Coral South LNG in Rovuma
basin’s Area 4. A 3.4-million tonne/year floating LNG (FLNG) vessel will
produce Coral South—roughly 50 km offshore near the Tanzania border in
2,000 m of water—starting in 2022.

Saudis: OPEC May Discuss Deeper Cuts In November

OPEC and the non-OPEC producers that are part of the production cut deal may consider deepening the output cuts at the cartel’s next meeting in Vienna in November, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in an interview with Russia’s TASS news agency on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday. “If for whatever reason we need to do more we will consider doing more. I’ve said that before that we will do whatever is necessary, including extensions, including deeper cuts,”…

Trump is fostering chaos in the Middle East

In his first “historical speech to the Islamic world” US President Donald Trump spoke about the “battle between good and evil”, noting that from Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, “Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region”. Chaos is indeed a major feature of the present-day Middle East. According to data provided by the US State Department, “incidents of terrorism” increased by 6,500 per cent since George W. Bush started the “War on Terror” in 2001. Half of these “incidents” have been registered in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US invasion of the latter in 2003 is still rightly or wrongly often perceived as “also a consequence of 9/11”. This is despite the fact that […]