Tipsy Australian ‘repels’ crocodile

A large saltwater crocodile shows aggression. File photoCrocodile numbers have increased in Australia since being declared a protected species in 1971

An Australian hunter says he has survived a crocodile attack – by poking the reptile in the eye.

Stephen Moreen, 20, said he waded into water in the Northern Territory to retrieve a goose he had shot when the crocodile grabbed and pulled him under.

When the hunter jabbed the 2m-long (6ft 6in) animal in the eye, it let him go.

The hunter’s cousin then shot the reptile. Mr Moreen admitted he had been “a little bit tipsy” at the time.

He said he drank some more beer to numb the pain from minor injuries as he waited for an ambulance.

“I have a scratch on my back, the rest (is) on my arm. He (the crocodile) ripped out a bit of skin and left me with two to three holes,” he was quoted as saying by Australia’s ABC broadcaster.

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The incident happened on Friday evening in Peppimenarti, about 320km (198 miles) south-west of Darwin.

Last month, a fisherman was killed by a giant saltwater crocodile as he waded into the Adelaide River, south of Darwin.

Crocodile numbers have increased since being declared a protected species in 1971. They are a common feature of Australia’s tropical north.

The Australian government rejected a controversial plan to allow crocodile safari hunting in the Northern Territory in March.

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New Zealand votes in ‘dirtiest’ poll

Prime Minister John Key gives the thumbs up outside his campaign bus during the National Party Bus TripPrime Minister John Key remains popular despite allegations of dirty politics and domestic surveillance

Voters in New Zealand have begun voting after what is being called the dirtiest campaign in the nation’s history.

Until very recently Prime Minister John Key looked set to easily win a third term.

But in recent weeks he has been forced to defend his National Party against allegations of dirty politics and planning mass domestic surveillance.

Mr Key’s personal popularity, however, remains strong among voters, polls show.

On Friday, a New Zealand Herald poll showed the National Party had 48% support. The main opposition Labour Party held 26%, with 11% for the Greens.

New Zealand’s proportional representation electoral system means a coalition government is more likely than any one party winning a majority.

My Key might be forced to rely on New Zealand First’s leader, Winston Peters, to form a government. Mr Peters, who has been in this position before, has not said which way his party will go.

Labour would need to form a coalition with the Greens, their old ally, New Zealand First and potentially the Internet-Mana Party which has been funded by Kim Dotcom, the online billionaire accused of copyright infringement in the US.

“Distractions”

Mr Key, a former banker, has campaigned on his strong economic track record and has pledged tax cuts.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has promised to narrow the wealth gap through a capital gains tax and raising the minimum wage.

Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Internet Party leader Laila Harre, Robert Amsterdam, Glenn Greenwald at Kim Dotcom's Moment of Truth rallyWhistleblower Edward Snowden and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange took part in Kim Dotcom’s rally via video links

However, the main policy issues have been somewhat overshadowed by allegations in a book Dirty Politics that National used bloggers to smear opponents. It resulted in the resignation of Justice Minister Judith Collins.

Then Mr Dotcom held an event featuring Edward Snowden, the US National Security Agency whistleblower, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who accused Mr Key of mass domestic spying.

However, Mr Key dismissed the allegations. “There’s been all these distractions and different issues going on but the polling hasn’t really moved,” he told reporters on Friday. “There’s just the natural tightening you get in any [campaign] cycle.”

Polling ends for the 3.4 million eligible voters at 19:00 local time (07:00 GMT) and initial results are expected a few hours later.

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Australia boosts parliament security

New South Wales Police and Australian Federal Police officers raid a house in Sydney, Australia, on 18 September 2014 Police conducted sweeping anti-terror raids in Sydney on Thursday

Security is being upgraded at the Australian parliament following “chatter” suggesting extremists could target it for attack.

PM Tony Abbot said Australian Federal Police would assume responsibility for security at the site in Canberra.

The move came a day after major anti-terrorism raids took place in Sydney.

They were aimed at thwarting an alleged plan by Islamic State (IS) supporters to carry out killings in Australia, including an on-camera beheading.

In recent weeks, IS – a militant Islamist movement which has seized vast areas of Iraq and Syria – has released video footage showing the beheadings of two American journalists and a British aid worker seized.

‘Unusual level of fanaticism’

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Abbott said parliament had been identified as a potential target.

“There certainly has been chatter amongst the terrorist support networks of an attack on government and government people, and Parliament House has been specifically mentioned,” he said.

As a result, an urgent security review had taken place.

“Subsequently we are placing the Australian Federal Police in charge of security, not just outside the building but inside the building as well,” he said.

Security has until now been handled by an in-house security team.

Asked about Thursday’s raids, Mr Abbott said that security officials had acted quickly to disrupt the alleged terror network “because we believed that a demonstration execution was likely quickly”.

More than 800 officers took part in the operation, which resulted in 15 arrests.

Terror suspect under arrest in Sydney (18 September 2014)Thursday’s raids have been described as Australia’s biggest anti-terrorism operation

Australian PM Tony Abbott in file image from 31 August 2014Mr Abbott said security officials had to act quickly in response to intelligence received

Australia media reports say the operation was triggered by an intercepted telephone call between the most senior Australian member of IS and domestic sympathisers in which he told them to carry out a series of random beheadings.

Two men have since been charged. One of them, 22-year-old Omarjan Azari, has been charged with conspiracy to commit acts in preparation of a terrorist act and financing terrorism, the AFP said in a statement.

Prosecutor Michael Allnutt said Mr Azari had planned to commit “extremely serious” offences that involved “an unusual level of fanaticism” and were “clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify” the public.

A 24-year-old man was charged with unauthorised possession of a prohibited weapon and possessing ammunition without a licence.

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Australia and foreign fighters:

Phil Mercer: Australia’s home-grown terror threat

Who are Australia’s radicalised Muslims?

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Australia last week raised its terror threat level from medium to high – the second highest rank – amid mounting concern over the impact of Australians fighting with Islamic militant groups in the Middle East on domestic security.

Officials say dozens of Australians have gone to fight for IS, which has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel group in Syria.

Australia has recently committed troops to combat IS in Iraq.

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Australia want Lions 2017 tour game

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver says he wants the British and Irish Lions to start their 2017 tour of New Zealand in Australia.

The Lions began their

successful tour of Australia last year

against the Barbarians in Hong Kong, although dates and fixtures for 2017 have yet to be announced.

“If they want preliminary games outside New Zealand then we would be a wonderful location for them. We would take it in a heartbeat,” Pulver said.

“That’s one of the conversations we’ve been having with them.”

The Lions were

whitewashed 3-0 by the All Blacks

on their last tour of New Zealand in 2005.

Lions

The British and Irish Lions triumphed 2-1 in Australia last year

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Australia in ‘beheading plot’ raids



A suspect is arrested in anti-terrorism raids

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Jon Donnison: “Authorities think an attack is not just possible but likely”

Police have carried out anti-terror raids in Sydney sparked by intelligence reports that Islamic extremists were planning random killings in Australia.

PM Tony Abbott said a senior Australian Islamic State militant had called for “demonstration killings”, reportedly including a public beheading.

The raids, with at least 800 heavily-armed officers, led to 15 arrests.

One man has been charged with planning an attack. Prosecutors said he planned to “gruesomely” execute someone.

Australian media reports said a plot involved beheading a random member of the public after draping them in an Islamic State flag.

Asked about the reports in a press conference, Mr Abbott said: “That’s the intelligence we received.”

“Direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL (Islamic State) to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country.”



Tony Abbott

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott says there was “intent” to carry out terror attacks


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Analysis: BBC’s Jon Donnison in Sydney

The news of an alleged plot to publicly behead a random Australian will shock many people here, including the vast majority of this country’s long-established moderate Muslim community.

Many Muslims are unhappy with what’s going on in Iraq and Syria but would never resort to violence. These raids risk antagonising the broader Islamic community.

But Australia, like many countries including Britain, is worried about the threat from Islamic State, not just abroad but at home. More than a decade on from Australia’s support for the US-led war in Iraq, the country finds itself embroiled in a conflict that is far from over.

Tony Abbott this week announced he is sending 600 troops to the Middle East to assist in the fight against Islamic State. Security forces clearly face a battle at home too.

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“So this is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.”

Mr Abbott did not name the Australian concerned. But local reports say an intercepted phone call involving Mohammad Ali Baryalei, a former Sydney bouncer described as Australia’s most senior IS member, and domestic IS supporters triggered the operation.

In recent weeks, IS has released video footage showing three foreign nationals seized in Syria being beheaded.

Terror suspect under arrest in Sydney (18 September 2014)Police say that at least 15 people were arrested in the early morning raids

Forensic experts collect evidence from a house in the Guildford area of Sydney on 18 September 2014Hundreds of officers were involved in the early-morning raids

‘Random attacks’

Police say the anti-terror operation was the largest in Australian history.

The raids began early on Thursday, with officers executing 25 search warrants across 12 Sydney suburbs.

One of the arrested men, Omarjan Azari, 22, later appeared in a Sydney court charged with conspiracy to prepare for a terrorist attack.

Prosecutor Michael Allnutt said Mr Azari planned to commit “extremely serious” offences “clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify” the public.

Other raids took place in Brisbane. Acting Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said they were not “directly linked” to the Sydney operation but related to a raid last week on an Islamic centre that led to two men being charged with terrorism offences.

Terror suspect under arrest in Sydney (18 September 2014)The arrests have been described as Australia’s biggest anti-terrorism operation

Police and other law enforcement agencies cordon off a street as forensic experts collect evidence inside a house in the Guildford area of Sydney  (18 September 2014)Police cordoned off a street as forensic experts collected evidence from a house in the Guildford area of Sydney

A police officer searches a house in Mount Gravatt, Brisbane (18 September 2014)Police also carried out raids in Brisbane

Last week, Australia raised its terror threat level to high amid concerns of the growing number of Australians “working with, connected to or inspired by” Islamist groups.

Officials say dozens of Australians have gone to fight in the Middle East for jihadist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (also known as the al-Nusra Front).

At least 60 Australians are believed to be fighting with jihadist groups in Syria and northern Iraq, and 15 Australians have been killed so far in these conflicts, including two suicide bombers.

About 100 more Australians are thought to be actively supporting these groups, police say.

Officials are worried about the impact of both returning fighters and supporters of these groups on domestic security.

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Australia and foreign fighters:

  • 21 Jul: Officials say Australian suicide bomber behind Iraq blast
  • 5 Aug: New legislation aimed at preventing people going to fight in the Middle East announced
  • 11 Aug: Image emerges of son of Australian fighter holding severed head of Syrian soldier
  • 27 Aug: New counter-terrorism units set up in airports to stop departing fighters
  • 10 Sept: Brisbane Islamic centre raided; two charged with terrorism offences
  • 12 Sept: Australia raises terror threat level
  • 14 Sept: PM Abbott commits 600 troops to fight against IS

Phil Mercer: Australia’s home-grown terror threat

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It is the first time Australia’s threat level has moved from medium to high – the second-highest rank – since the system was introduced in 2003.

“Medium” means an attack could occur. “High” means an attack is likely and “extreme” means an attack is imminent or has occurred.

Australia has also recently committed troops to the fight against Islamic State.

Mr Abbott, who has been spending a week in an indigenous area in northern Australia, is heading back south to see off departing troops.

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Australia launches anti-terror raids

Australian police. File photoAustralian police declined to provide any immediate further details of the operation

Australian police have made arrests in Sydney and Brisbane, in what they say is the nation’s biggest counter-terrorism operation.

More than 600 heavily armed officers raided properties in the two cities. Police said the operation was ongoing, giving no further details.

Last week the country raised its terror threat level from medium to high.

The move comes in response to growing concern over the domestic impact of militant conflicts in Iraq and Syria.

‘No specific intelligence’

Police said the raids were being carried out in the western parts of Sydney and Brisbane’s south.

Officials declined to say exactly how many people were arrested. Further updates are expected later on Thursday.

Separately, in one part of Sydney, death threats were shouted from a car bearing a flag of Islamic State militants near a church, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Map

A local priest was quoted as saying the people in the vehicle threatened to “kill the Christians”.

Last week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the country had raised its terror threat level to high amid concerns of the growing number of Australians “working with, connected to or inspired by” Islamist groups.

But he said: “I want to stress that this does not mean that a terror attack is imminent. We have no specific intelligence of particular plots.”

Officials say dozens of Australians have gone to fight for jihadist groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra (also known as the al-Nusra Front) in the Middle East.

Officials are worried about the impact of both returning fighters and supporters of these groups on domestic security.

At least 60 Australians are believed to be fighting with jihadist groups in Syria and northern Iraq, and 15 Australians have been killed so far in these conflicts, including two suicide bombers.

About 100 more Australians are thought to be actively supporting these groups, they say.

Last week, police raided an Islamic centre in Queensland and arrested two men.

It is the first time Australia has moved from medium to high – the second-highest rank – since the threat level system was introduced in 2003.

“Medium” means an attack could occur. “High” means an attack is likely and “extreme” means an attack is imminent or has occurred.

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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Australia to join anti-IS force

A member of Australia's Air Force carries out checks on a Super Hornet fighter jet - 11 August 2014The 600-strong force will include up to eight Super Hornet fighter jets, PM Abbott says

Australia says it is sending 600 troops to the Middle East ahead of possible combat operations against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the deployment, initially to the United Arab Emirates, was in response to a specific US request.

Nearly 40 countries, including 10 Arab states, have signed up to a US-led plan to tackle the extremist group.

France is hosting a regional security summit on Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris late on Saturday after a four-day tour of the Middle East trying to drum up support for action against IS.

Last week, US President Barack Obama presented a strategy to fight the group in both Iraq and Syria.

Speaking on Sunday, Prime Minister Abbott said Iraq had made it clear that it would “very much welcome” a military contribution to restore security.



US Secretary of State John Kerry with Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry and Egyptian President Sisi

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Barbara Plett-Usher says Egypt and the US are united against a common threat

He said the force, which will also include up to eight Super Hornet fighter jets, was part of “an international coalition” not simply an “American-Australian operation”.

Mr Abbott said no decision had yet been taken to commit the forces, which will begin deploying next week, to combat action.

The announcement comes two days after Australia raised its terrorism threat level from medium to high.

Security officials are thought to be concerned by the growing number of Australians “working with, connected to or inspired by” Islamist groups, Mr Abbott said on Friday.

Islamic State is now in control of large parts of Iraq and Syria and the CIA estimates that the group could have as many as 30,000 fighters in the region.

Members of a Shia militia launch rockets towards Islamic State fighters during heavy fighting near Tikrit in northern Iraq - 12 September 2014Iraqi forces are fighting alongside Kurdish fighters and Shia militias against Islamic State in northern Iraq

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt - 13 September 2014John Kerry has managed to secure the support of 10 Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar

US air strikes have targeted IS in Iraq in recent weeks and President Obama has vowed to “hunt down” the group after it beheaded two American journalists.

Late on Saturday a video was also released appearing to show the beheading of UK hostage David Haines.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

America seeks to emerge as a Hollywood-style hero battling a crisis of its own making”

End Quote
Admiral Ali Shamkhani
Senior Iranian official

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande will welcome diplomats from up to 20 countries for a conference on Iraqi security.

The talks come ahead of a UN Security Council meeting next week and a heads of state meeting at the UN General Assembly later this month.

Iran unimpressed

One country not attending is Iran, which voiced its unhappiness at not being on the “selective guest list” by dismissing the talks as “just for show”.

“What would interest Iran is a real fight against terrorism in the region and around the world, not this selective one,” deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told state television.

On Friday, Mr Kerry said the US would not be seeking the involvement of Iran in its coalition because of its “engagement in Syria and elsewhere”.

Iran has backed the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, while the US and several European and Gulf countries have supported the rebel factions fighting to overthrow him.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar west of Mosul, line up to receive food at a refugee camp - 13 September 2014The violence in Iraq in recent months is thought to have displaced an estimated 1.2 million people

The US stance was attacked in Iran, with one senior official accusing the US of playing a “central role” in “arming and training terrorist groups to topple the legal Syrian government”.

“In taking a big jump ahead of international bodies, America seeks to emerge as a Hollywood-style hero battling a crisis of its own making,” Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told state news agency IRNA.

In recent months IS has expanded from its stronghold in eastern Syria and seized control of more towns, cities, army bases and weaponry in Iraq.

The US has already carried out more than 150 air strikes in northern Iraq. It has also sent hundreds of military advisers to assist Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, but has ruled out sending ground troops.

Graphic of US air strikes on Iraq and Islamic State attacks

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Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29195689#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Australia to join anti-IS force

A member of Australia's Air Force carries out checks on a Super Hornet fighter jet - 11 August 2014The 600-strong force will include up to eight Super Hornet fighter jets, PM Abbott says

Australia says it is sending 600 troops to the Middle East ahead of possible combat operations against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the deployment, initially to the United Arab Emirates, was in response to a specific US request.

Nearly 40 countries, including 10 Arab states, have signed up to a US-led plan to tackle the extremist group.

France is hosting a regional security summit on Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris late on Saturday after a four-day tour of the Middle East trying to drum up support for action against IS.

Last week, US President Barack Obama presented a strategy to fight the group in both Iraq and Syria.

Speaking on Sunday, Prime Minister Abbott said Iraq had made it clear that it would “very much welcome” a military contribution to restore security.



US Secretary of State John Kerry with Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry and Egyptian President Sisi

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Barbara Plett-Usher says Egypt and the US are united against a common threat

He said the force, which will also include up to eight Super Hornet fighter jets, was part of “an international coalition” not simply an “American-Australian operation”.

Mr Abbott said no decision had yet been taken to commit the forces, which will begin deploying next week, to combat action.

The announcement comes two days after Australia raised its terrorism threat level from medium to high.

Security officials are thought to be concerned by the growing number of Australians “working with, connected to or inspired by” Islamist groups, Mr Abbott said on Friday.

Islamic State is now in control of large parts of Iraq and Syria and the CIA estimates that the group could have as many as 30,000 fighters in the region.

Members of a Shia militia launch rockets towards Islamic State fighters during heavy fighting near Tikrit in northern Iraq - 12 September 2014Iraqi forces are fighting alongside Kurdish fighters and Shia militias against Islamic State in northern Iraq

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt - 13 September 2014John Kerry has managed to secure the support of 10 Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar

US air strikes have targeted IS in Iraq in recent weeks and President Obama has vowed to “hunt down” the group after it beheaded two American journalists.

Late on Saturday a video was also released appearing to show the beheading of UK hostage David Haines.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

America seeks to emerge as a Hollywood-style hero battling a crisis of its own making”

End Quote
Admiral Ali Shamkhani
Senior Iranian official

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande will welcome diplomats from up to 20 countries for a conference on Iraqi security.

The talks come ahead of a UN Security Council meeting next week and a heads of state meeting at the UN General Assembly later this month.

Iran unimpressed

One country not attending is Iran, which voiced its unhappiness at not being on the “selective guest list” by dismissing the talks as “just for show”.

“What would interest Iran is a real fight against terrorism in the region and around the world, not this selective one,” deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told state television.

On Friday, Mr Kerry said the US would not be seeking the involvement of Iran in its coalition because of its “engagement in Syria and elsewhere”.

Iran has backed the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, while the US and several European and Gulf countries have supported the rebel factions fighting to overthrow him.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar west of Mosul, line up to receive food at a refugee camp - 13 September 2014The violence in Iraq in recent months is thought to have displaced an estimated 1.2 million people

The US stance was attacked in Iran, with one senior official accusing the US of playing a “central role” in “arming and training terrorist groups to topple the legal Syrian government”.

“In taking a big jump ahead of international bodies, America seeks to emerge as a Hollywood-style hero battling a crisis of its own making,” Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told state news agency IRNA.

In recent months IS has expanded from its stronghold in eastern Syria and seized control of more towns, cities, army bases and weaponry in Iraq.

The US has already carried out more than 150 air strikes in northern Iraq. It has also sent hundreds of military advisers to assist Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, but has ruled out sending ground troops.

Graphic of US air strikes on Iraq and Islamic State attacks

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29195689#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Australia to join anti-IS force

A member of Australia's Air Force carries out checks on a Super Hornet fighter jet - 11 August 2014The 600-strong force will include up to eight Super Hornet fighter jets, PM Abbott says

Australia says it is sending 600 troops to the Middle East ahead of possible combat operations against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the deployment, initially to the United Arab Emirates, was in response to a specific US request.

Nearly 40 countries, including 10 Arab states, have signed up to a US-led plan to tackle the extremist group.

France is hosting a regional security summit on Monday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris late on Saturday after a four-day tour of the Middle East trying to drum up support for action against IS.

Last week, US President Barack Obama presented a strategy to fight the group in both Iraq and Syria.

Speaking on Sunday, Prime Minister Abbott said Iraq had made it clear that it would “very much welcome” a military contribution to restore security.



US Secretary of State John Kerry with Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry and Egyptian President Sisi

Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Barbara Plett-Usher says Egypt and the US are united against a common threat

He said the force, which will also include up to eight Super Hornet fighter jets, was part of “an international coalition” not simply an “American-Australian operation”.

Mr Abbott said no decision had yet been taken to commit the forces, which will begin deploying next week, to combat action.

The announcement comes two days after Australia raised its terrorism threat level from medium to high.

Security officials are thought to be concerned by the growing number of Australians “working with, connected to or inspired by” Islamist groups, Mr Abbott said on Friday.

Islamic State is now in control of large parts of Iraq and Syria and the CIA estimates that the group could have as many as 30,000 fighters in the region.

Members of a Shia militia launch rockets towards Islamic State fighters during heavy fighting near Tikrit in northern Iraq - 12 September 2014Iraqi forces are fighting alongside Kurdish fighters and Shia militias against Islamic State in northern Iraq

US Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt - 13 September 2014John Kerry has managed to secure the support of 10 Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar

US air strikes have targeted IS in Iraq in recent weeks and President Obama has vowed to “hunt down” the group after it beheaded two American journalists.

Late on Saturday a video was also released appearing to show the beheading of UK hostage David Haines.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

America seeks to emerge as a Hollywood-style hero battling a crisis of its own making”

End Quote
Admiral Ali Shamkhani
Senior Iranian official

On Monday, French President Francois Hollande will welcome diplomats from up to 20 countries for a conference on Iraqi security.

The talks come ahead of a UN Security Council meeting next week and a heads of state meeting at the UN General Assembly later this month.

Iran unimpressed

One country not attending is Iran, which voiced its unhappiness at not being on the “selective guest list” by dismissing the talks as “just for show”.

“What would interest Iran is a real fight against terrorism in the region and around the world, not this selective one,” deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian told state television.

On Friday, Mr Kerry said the US would not be seeking the involvement of Iran in its coalition because of its “engagement in Syria and elsewhere”.

Iran has backed the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, while the US and several European and Gulf countries have supported the rebel factions fighting to overthrow him.

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence in the Iraqi town of Sinjar west of Mosul, line up to receive food at a refugee camp - 13 September 2014The violence in Iraq in recent months is thought to have displaced an estimated 1.2 million people

The US stance was attacked in Iran, with one senior official accusing the US of playing a “central role” in “arming and training terrorist groups to topple the legal Syrian government”.

“In taking a big jump ahead of international bodies, America seeks to emerge as a Hollywood-style hero battling a crisis of its own making,” Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told state news agency IRNA.

In recent months IS has expanded from its stronghold in eastern Syria and seized control of more towns, cities, army bases and weaponry in Iraq.

The US has already carried out more than 150 air strikes in northern Iraq. It has also sent hundreds of military advisers to assist Iraqi government and Kurdish forces, but has ruled out sending ground troops.

Graphic of US air strikes on Iraq and Islamic State attacks

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-29195689#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

Northern Ireland’s politician Ian Paisley dies

Belfast, Northern Ireland (CNN) — Northern Ireland’s former first minister and former Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley has died, his wife, Eileen, said in a statement Friday. He was 88.

Paisley, a Protestant preacher, was a key figure in ending three decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, making peace in the end after leading Protestants against compromise with Roman Catholics for years.

“My beloved husband, Ian, entered his eternal rest this morning,” his wife’s statement said.

“Although ours is the grand hope of reunion, naturally as a family we are heartbroken. We loved him and he adored us, and our earthly lives are forever changed.”

Paisley made his name as a hard-line pro-British politician during the Northern Ireland conflict and was leader of the Democratic Unionist Party for almost 40 years.

Click through to see people who passed away in 2014.Click through to see people who passed away in 2014.

Northern Ireland's former first minister and former Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley has died, his wife, Eileen, said in a statement on Friday, September 12. He was 88Northern Ireland’s former first minister and former Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley has died, his wife, Eileen, said in a statement on Friday, September 12. He was 88

Richard Kiel, the actor best known for playing the James Bond villain Jaws, died on Wednesday, September 10, at a California hospital, St. Agnes Medical Center spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez said. He was 74.Richard Kiel, the actor best known for playing the James Bond villain “Jaws,” died on Wednesday, September 10, at a California hospital, St. Agnes Medical Center spokeswoman Kelley Sanchez said. He was 74.

Joan Rivers, the sassy comedian whose gossipy can we talk persona catapulted her into a career as a headlining talk-show host, best-selling author and red-carpet maven, died September 4. She was 81. Joan Rivers, the sassy comedian whose gossipy “can we talk” persona catapulted her into a career as a headlining talk-show host, best-selling author and red-carpet maven, died September 4. She was 81.

Jimi Jamison, lead singer of the 1980s rock band Survivor, died at the age of 63, it was announced September 2.Jimi Jamison, lead singer of the 1980s rock band Survivor, died at the age of 63, it was announced September 2.

Acclaimed actor-director Richard Attenborough died on August 24, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing his son. Attenborough was 90.Acclaimed actor-director Richard Attenborough died on August 24, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing his son. Attenborough was 90.

Don Pardo, the man whose voice introduced the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live for decades, died at the age of 96, the network announced August 19.Don Pardo, the man whose voice introduced the cast of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” for decades, died at the age of 96, the network announced August 19.

Skateboarding legend Jay Adams died of a heart attack August 14 while vacationing in Mexico with his wife. He was 53.Skateboarding legend Jay Adams died of a heart attack August 14 while vacationing in Mexico with his wife. He was 53.

Ed Nelson, best known for playing a doctor in the 1960s nighttime soap opera Peyton Place, died on August 13, his family said. He was 85. Ed Nelson, best known for playing a doctor in the 1960s nighttime soap opera “Peyton Place,” died on August 13, his family said. He was 85.

Actress Arlene Martel, whom Star Trek fans knew as Spock's bride-to-be, died in a Los Angeles hospital August 12 after complications from a heart attack, her son said. Martel was 78.Actress Arlene Martel, whom “Star Trek” fans knew as Spock’s bride-to-be, died in a Los Angeles hospital August 12 after complications from a heart attack, her son said. Martel was 78.

Actress Lauren Bacall, the husky-voiced Hollywood icon known for her sultry sensuality, died on August 12. She was 89.Actress Lauren Bacall, the husky-voiced Hollywood icon known for her sultry sensuality, died on August 12. She was 89.

Actor and comedian Robin Williams died at his Northern California home on August 11. Williams apparently took his own life, law enforcement officials said. He was 63.Actor and comedian Robin Williams died at his Northern California home on August 11. Williams apparently took his own life, law enforcement officials said. He was 63.

Actor Charles Keating, who had been fighting lung cancer for several years, died on August 8, his son Sean Keating said. Charles Keating was known for his role of villain Carl Hutchins on the daytime drama Another World. He was 72.Actor Charles Keating, who had been fighting lung cancer for several years, died on August 8, his son Sean Keating said. Charles Keating was known for his role of villain Carl Hutchins on the daytime drama “Another World.” He was 72.

JJ Murphy, an actor who was set to join the Game of Thrones cast, died August 8, his agent said. He was 86. JJ Murphy, an actor who was set to join the “Game of Thrones” cast, died August 8, his agent said. He was 86.

James Brady, the former White House press secretary who was severely wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, has died, the White House said on August 4. He was 73. Later in the week, authorities told CNN they are investigating it as a homicide.James Brady, the former White House press secretary who was severely wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, has died, the White House said on August 4. He was 73. Later in the week, authorities told CNN they are investigating it as a homicide.

Theodore Dutch Van Kirk, the last crewman of the U.S. plane that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, died of natural causes on July 28, according to his daughter Vicki Triplett. He was 93.Theodore “Dutch” Van Kirk, the last crewman of the U.S. plane that dropped the first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, died of natural causes on July 28, according to his daughter Vicki Triplett. He was 93.

James Shigeta, a prolific and pioneering Asian-American actor whose 50-year career included the movies Die Hard and Flower Drum Song, died in his sleep in Los Angeles on July 28, his agent said. He was 81.James Shigeta, a prolific and pioneering Asian-American actor whose 50-year career included the movies “Die Hard” and “Flower Drum Song,” died in his sleep in Los Angeles on July 28, his agent said. He was 81.

Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in The Patriot, died July 19, at her home in Houston, her mother said Sunday. She was 21. While investigators didn't immediately determine a cause of death, Bartusiak had been suffering from epileptic seizures, according to her mother.Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter in “The Patriot,” died July 19, at her home in Houston, her mother said Sunday. She was 21. While investigators didn’t immediately determine a cause of death, Bartusiak had been suffering from epileptic seizures, according to her mother.

James Garner, the understated, wisecracking everyman actor who enjoyed multigenerational success on both the small and big screens, died of natural causes on July 19. He was 86.James Garner, the understated, wisecracking everyman actor who enjoyed multigenerational success on both the small and big screens, died of natural causes on July 19. He was 86.

Broadway legend Elaine Stritch died July 17. According to her longtime friend Julie Keyes, Stritch died at her home in Birmingham, Michigan, surrounded by her family. She was 89 years old.Broadway legend Elaine Stritch died July 17. According to her longtime friend Julie Keyes, Stritch died at her home in Birmingham, Michigan, surrounded by her family. She was 89 years old.

Blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter died July 16 in a Swiss hotel room, his representative said. He was 70.Blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter died July 16 in a Swiss hotel room, his representative said. He was 70.

Nadine Gordimer, a South African author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, died on July 13, according to her family. She was 90.Nadine Gordimer, a South African author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, died on July 13, according to her family. She was 90.

Renowned conductor Lorin Maazel died from complications of pneumonia on July 13, according to his family. He was 84.Renowned conductor Lorin Maazel died from complications of pneumonia on July 13, according to his family. He was 84.

Grammy-winning jazz bassist Charlie Haden, whose music career spanned seven decades and several genres, died July 11, according to his publicist. He was 76.Grammy-winning jazz bassist Charlie Haden, whose music career spanned seven decades and several genres, died July 11, according to his publicist. He was 76.

Drummer Tommy Ramone, the last living original member of the pioneering punk band The Ramones, died on July 11, according to the band's Facebook page. He was 65.Drummer Tommy Ramone, the last living original member of the pioneering punk band The Ramones, died on July 11, according to the band’s Facebook page. He was 65.

Eileen Ford, who founded the Ford Model Agency 70 years ago, died July 9 at the age of 92, the company said.Eileen Ford, who founded the Ford Model Agency 70 years ago, died July 9 at the age of 92, the company said.

Richard Percy Jones, the actor who gave Pinocchio his voice in the 1940 Disney movie, died at his California home on July 8. He was 87.Richard Percy Jones, the actor who gave Pinocchio his voice in the 1940 Disney movie, died at his California home on July 8. He was 87.

David Legeno, known for playing Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter movies, was found dead July 6, by hikers in a remote desert location in Death Valley, California. He was 50. It appears that Legeno died of heat-related issues, but the Inyo County Coroner will determine the final cause of death, read a press release from the Inyo County Sheriff's Department. There are no signs of foul play.David Legeno, known for playing Fenrir Greyback in the “Harry Potter” movies, was found dead July 6, by hikers in a remote desert location in Death Valley, California. He was 50. “It appears that Legeno died of heat-related issues, but the Inyo County Coroner will determine the final cause of death,” read a press release from the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department. “There are no signs of foul play.”

Rosemary Murphy, an Emmy Award-winning actress known for her roles in the movie To Kill a Mockingbird as well as TV soap operas All My Children and Another World, died July 5 at the age of 89. The New York Times cited cancer as the cause of death.Rosemary Murphy, an Emmy Award-winning actress known for her roles in the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” as well as TV soap operas “All My Children” and “Another World,” died July 5 at the age of 89. The New York Times cited cancer as the cause of death.

Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book and upcoming film Unbroken, died July 2 after a recent battle with pneumonia. The 97-year-old peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, according to a statement.Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini, the subject of the book and upcoming film “Unbroken,” died July 2 after a recent battle with pneumonia. The 97-year-old peacefully passed away in the presence of his entire family, according to a statement.

Walter Dean Myers, a beloved author of children's books, died on July 1 following a brief illness, according to the Children's Book Council.Walter Dean Myers, a beloved author of children’s books, died on July 1 following a brief illness, according to the Children’s Book Council.

Paul Mazursky, a five-time Oscar nominee who directed and wrote such films as Bob  Carol  Ted  Alice, An Unmarried Woman and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, died at the age of 84, his agent said July 1.Paul Mazursky, a five-time Oscar nominee who directed and wrote such films as “Bob Carol Ted Alice,” “An Unmarried Woman” and “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” died at the age of 84, his agent said July 1.

Actor Meshach Taylor died June 28 at his Los Angeles-area home, his agent, Dede Binder, said. He was 67. Taylor had fought a terminal illness and faded markedly in recent days, Binder said. His wife, children, grandchildren and mother surrounded him as he passed away.Actor Meshach Taylor died June 28 at his Los Angeles-area home, his agent, Dede Binder, said. He was 67. Taylor had fought a terminal illness and faded markedly in recent days, Binder said. His wife, children, grandchildren and mother surrounded him as he passed away.

Legendary soul singer Bobby Womack died June 27, according to Womack's publicist. He was 70. Legendary soul singer Bobby Womack died June 27, according to Womack’s publicist. He was 70.

Character actor Eli Wallach, seen here in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, died on June 24, according to a family member who did not want to be named. Wallach was 98.Character actor Eli Wallach, seen here in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” died on June 24, according to a family member who did not want to be named. Wallach was 98.

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died June 16 at the age of 54, according to a release from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Gwynn, who had 3,141 hits in 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres, had cancer.Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn died June 16 at the age of 54, according to a release from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Gwynn, who had 3,141 hits in 20 seasons with the San Diego Padres, had cancer.

Radio personality Casey Kasem died June 15. He was 82 and had been hospitalized in Washington state for two weeks.Radio personality Casey Kasem died June 15. He was 82 and had been hospitalized in Washington state for two weeks.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll died June 13. He had suffered from Alzheimer's and heart disease. He was 82. Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll died June 13. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s and heart disease. He was 82.

Ruby Dee, an award-winning actress whose seven-decade career included triumphs on stage and screen, died June 12. She was 91.Ruby Dee, an award-winning actress whose seven-decade career included triumphs on stage and screen, died June 12. She was 91.

Former baseball star Bob Welch passed away on June 9 after suffering a heart attack, according to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 57.Former baseball star Bob Welch passed away on June 9 after suffering a heart attack, according to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was 57.

British actor and comedian Rik Mayall, who appeared in the TV series Blackadder, died June 9 at the age of 56, his agent said. The cause of death was not immediately reported.British actor and comedian Rik Mayall, who appeared in the TV series “Blackadder,” died June 9 at the age of 56, his agent said. The cause of death was not immediately reported.

Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo code talkers credited with creating an unbreakable code used during World War II, died June 5 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Navajo Nation President said. Nez was 93.Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo code talkers credited with creating an unbreakable code used during World War II, died June 5 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Navajo Nation President said. Nez was 93.

Ann B. Davis, who played Alice the maid on The Brady Bunch, died from a subdural hematoma on June 1. She was 88.Ann B. Davis, who played Alice the maid on “The Brady Bunch,” died from a subdural hematoma on June 1. She was 88.

Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress, died at the age of 86, her literary agent said on May 28. Angelou was also a professor, singer and dancer whose work spanned several generations.Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress, died at the age of 86, her literary agent said on May 28. Angelou was also a professor, singer and dancer whose work spanned several generations.

Australian racing legend Jack Brabham died on May 19, according to Brabham's son David. Brabham, 88, was a three-time Formula One world champion.Australian racing legend Jack Brabham died on May 19, according to Brabham’s son David. Brabham, 88, was a three-time Formula One world champion.

Malik Bendjelloul, the Oscar-winning director of Searching for Sugar Man, died suddenly on May 13, police said. He was 36.Malik Bendjelloul, the Oscar-winning director of “Searching for Sugar Man,” died suddenly on May 13, police said. He was 36.

H.R. Giger, the Swiss surrealist artist whose works of sexual-industrial imagery and design of the eponymous creature in the Alien movies were known around the world, died on May 12. He was 74.H.R. Giger, the Swiss surrealist artist whose works of sexual-industrial imagery and design of the eponymous creature in the “Alien” movies were known around the world, died on May 12. He was 74.

Former professional tennis player Elena Baltacha died at the age of 30 after losing her battle with liver cancer on May 4. Before retiring in November, she had reached a career high of 49th in the world rankings.Former professional tennis player Elena Baltacha died at the age of 30 after losing her battle with liver cancer on May 4. Before retiring in November, she had reached a career high of 49th in the world rankings.

Al Feldstein, who guided Mad magazine for almost three decades as its editor, died on April 29, according to a Montana funeral home. He was 88.Al Feldstein, who guided Mad magazine for almost three decades as its editor, died on April 29, according to a Montana funeral home. He was 88.

Oscar-nominated British actor Bob Hoskins, known for roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mona Lisa, died April 29 at age 71, his publicist said.Oscar-nominated British actor Bob Hoskins, known for roles in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and “Mona Lisa,” died April 29 at age 71, his publicist said.

Hall of Fame basketball coach John Dr. Jack Ramsay, who became a television analyst years after winning a league championship with the Portland Trail Blazers, died on April 28, according to his longtime employer ESPN. Ramsay was 89.Hall of Fame basketball coach John “Dr. Jack” Ramsay, who became a television analyst years after winning a league championship with the Portland Trail Blazers, died on April 28, according to his longtime employer ESPN. Ramsay was 89.

Former Barcelona soccer coach Tito Vilanova, who had been battling cancer, died at the age of 45, the club announced April 25.Former Barcelona soccer coach Tito Vilanova, who had been battling cancer, died at the age of 45, the club announced April 25.

Country singer Kevin Sharp died from complications due to cancer on April 19, his mother told CNN. He was 43.Country singer Kevin Sharp died from “complications due to cancer” on April 19, his mother told CNN. He was 43.

Rubin Hurricane Carter, the middleweight boxing contender who was wrongly convicted of a triple murder in New Jersey in the 1960s, died April 20 at the age of 76, according to Win Wahrer, the director of client services for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the middleweight boxing contender who was wrongly convicted of a triple murder in New Jersey in the 1960s, died April 20 at the age of 76, according to Win Wahrer, the director of client services for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the influential, Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, passed away on April 17, his family and officials said. He was 87.Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the influential, Nobel Prize-winning author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera,” passed away on April 17, his family and officials said. He was 87.

Jose Luis Cheo Feliciano, a giant of salsa music and a Puerto Rican legend, died in a car crash April 18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to police. He was 78.Jose Luis “Cheo” Feliciano, a giant of salsa music and a Puerto Rican legend, died in a car crash April 18 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, according to police. He was 78.

Days after being inducted into World Wrestling Entertainment's Hall of Fame, WWE superstar Ultimate Warrior died April 8. Born James Hellwig, he legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993. He was 54.Days after being inducted into World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hall of Fame, WWE superstar Ultimate Warrior died April 8. Born James Hellwig, he legally changed his name to Warrior in 1993. He was 54.

Comedian John Pinette, 50, was found dead in a Pittsburgh hotel room on April 5. Pinette died of natural causes stemming from a medical history he was being treated for, the medical examiner's spokesman said. An autopsy will not be done because his personal doctor signed the death certificate.Comedian John Pinette, 50, was found dead in a Pittsburgh hotel room on April 5. Pinette died of natural causes stemming from “a medical history he was being treated for,” the medical examiner’s spokesman said. An autopsy will not be done because his personal doctor signed the death certificate.

Mickey Rooney, who started as a child star in vaudeville and went on to star in hundreds of movies and TV shows, died April 6 at the age of 93. Mickey Rooney, who started as a child star in vaudeville and went on to star in hundreds of movies and TV shows, died April 6 at the age of 93.

DJ Frankie Knuckles, a legendary producer, remixer and house music pioneer, died March 31 at the age of 59.DJ Frankie Knuckles, a legendary producer, remixer and house music pioneer, died March 31 at the age of 59.

Kate O'Mara, the British actress best known for playing Joan Collins' sister on the 1980s show Dynasty, died March 30. She was 74.Kate O’Mara, the British actress best known for playing Joan Collins’ sister on the 1980s show “Dynasty,” died March 30. She was 74.

Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the founder and longtime owner of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, died at age 95, the team announced March 25.Ralph C. Wilson Jr., the founder and longtime owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, died at age 95, the team announced March 25.

Gwar lead singer Dave Brockie died March 23 at the age of 50, his manager said. The heavy-metal group formed in 1984, billing itself as Earth's only openly extraterrestrial rock band. Brockie performed in the persona of Oderus Urungus.Gwar lead singer Dave Brockie died March 23 at the age of 50, his manager said. The heavy-metal group formed in 1984, billing itself as “Earth’s only openly extraterrestrial rock band.” Brockie performed in the persona of Oderus Urungus.

James Rebhorn, whose acting resume includes a long list of character roles in major films and TV shows, died March 21, his representative said. Rebhorn was 65.James Rebhorn, whose acting resume includes a long list of character roles in major films and TV shows, died March 21, his representative said. Rebhorn was 65.

L'Wren Scott, a noted fashion designer and girlfriend of musician Mick Jagger, was found dead of an apparent suicide March 17, according to a law enforcement official. She was 49.L’Wren Scott, a noted fashion designer and girlfriend of musician Mick Jagger, was found dead of an apparent suicide March 17, according to a law enforcement official. She was 49.

Drummer Scott Asheton, who co-founded and played drums for the influential proto-punk band The Stooges, died March 15. He was 64.Drummer Scott Asheton, who co-founded and played drums for the influential proto-punk band The Stooges, died March 15. He was 64.

Comedian David Brenner, a regular on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show, died after a battle with cancer, a family spokesman said March 15. He was 78.Comedian David Brenner, a regular on Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show,” died after a battle with cancer, a family spokesman said March 15. He was 78.

Actress Sheila MacRae, who portrayed Alice Kramden in a 1960s revival of The Honeymooners on The Jackie Gleason Show, died on March 6, according to her family. She was 92. Actress Sheila MacRae, who portrayed Alice Kramden in a 1960s revival of “The Honeymooners” on “The Jackie Gleason Show,” died on March 6, according to her family. She was 92.

Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia, seen here in 2006, died February 25 of an apparent heart attack. He was 66. De Lucia transformed the folk art of flamenco music into a more vibrant modern sound.Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia, seen here in 2006, died February 25 of an apparent heart attack. He was 66. De Lucia transformed the folk art of flamenco music into a more vibrant modern sound.

Actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, seen here on the far left with fellow Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, died at his Chicago-area home on February 24. He was 69. Other popular Ramis films include Stripes, Groundhog Day and Analyze This.Actor, writer and director Harold Ramis, seen here on the far left with fellow “Ghostbusters” Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray, died at his Chicago-area home on February 24. He was 69. Other popular Ramis films include “Stripes,” “Groundhog Day” and “Analyze This.”

Maria von Trapp, seen here posing with a photo of her family, was the last of the singing siblings immortalized in the movie The Sound of Music. She died February 18 of natural causes at her Vermont home, according to her family. She was 99.Maria von Trapp, seen here posing with a photo of her family, was the last of the singing siblings immortalized in the movie “The Sound of Music.” She died February 18 of natural causes at her Vermont home, according to her family. She was 99.

Journalist Garrick Utley died at age 74 following a long battle with cancer, his wife of 40 years said in February. Utley worked for CNN after his 30-year career at NBC News.Journalist Garrick Utley died at age 74 following a long battle with cancer, his wife of 40 years said in February. Utley worked for CNN after his 30-year career at NBC News.

Devo guitarist Bob Casale, known by fans as Bob 2, died February 17, his brother and band mate announced. Casale was 61.Devo guitarist Bob Casale, known by fans as “Bob 2,” died February 17, his brother and band mate announced. Casale was 61.

John Henson, the son of Jim Henson who is perhaps most notable for his portrayal of Sweetums on The Muppets, died after a sudden, massive heart attack, his family's company said on February 15. John Henson, the son of Jim Henson who is perhaps most notable for his portrayal of Sweetums on “The Muppets,” died after a “sudden, massive heart attack,” his family’s company said on February 15.

Veteran actor Ralph Waite died at 85 on February 13, according to an accountant for the Waite family and a church where the actor was a regular member. Waite was best known for his role as John Walton Sr. on 'The Waltons.Veteran actor Ralph Waite died at 85 on February 13, according to an accountant for the Waite family and a church where the actor was a regular member. Waite was best known for his role as John Walton Sr. on ‘The Waltons.”

Sid Caesar, whose clever, anarchic comedy on such programs as Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour helped define the 1950s Golden Age of Television, died on February 12. He was 91.Sid Caesar, whose clever, anarchic comedy on such programs as “Your Show of Shows” and “Caesar’s Hour” helped define the 1950s “Golden Age of Television,” died on February 12. He was 91.

Hollywood child star Shirley Temple, who became diplomat Shirley Temple Black, died February 10 at her Woodside, California, home. She was 85.Hollywood child star Shirley Temple, who became diplomat Shirley Temple Black, died February 10 at her Woodside, California, home. She was 85.

Joan Mondale, the wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died on February 3, according to a statement from the family's church.Joan Mondale, the wife of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died on February 3, according to a statement from the family’s church.

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said February 2.Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment of an apparent drug overdose, law enforcement sources said February 2.

Maximilian Schell died on February 1 in a Austrian hospital with his wife by his side, his agent Patricia Baumbauer said. He was 83. Schell was nominated for an Oscar three times. He won in 1962 for Judgment at Nuremberg.Maximilian Schell died on February 1 in a Austrian hospital with his wife by his side, his agent Patricia Baumbauer said. He was 83. Schell was nominated for an Oscar three times. He won in 1962 for “Judgment at Nuremberg.”

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, known for classics such as Where Have All the Flowers Gone and If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song), died of natural causes in New York on January 27, his grandson told CNN. He was 94.Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger, known for classics such as “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” and “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song),” died of natural causes in New York on January 27, his grandson told CNN. He was 94.

Ruth Robinson Duccini, who played one of the Munchkins in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, died on January 16. She was 95. Ruth Robinson Duccini, who played one of the Munchkins in the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz,” died on January 16. She was 95.

Former Playboy centerfold Cassandra Lynn Hensley was found dead at a friend's home in Los Angeles, the coroner there said on January 17. Hensley was 34. Her cause of death was not immediately known.Former Playboy centerfold Cassandra Lynn Hensley was found dead at a friend’s home in Los Angeles, the coroner there said on January 17. Hensley was 34. Her cause of death was not immediately known.

Hiroo Onoda, center, salutes after handing over his military sword on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974. Onoda, a former intelligence officer in the Japanese army, had remained on the island for nearly 30 years, refusing to believe his country had surrendered in World War II. He died at a Tokyo hospital on January 16. He was 91.Hiroo Onoda, center, salutes after handing over his military sword on Lubang Island in the Philippines in March 1974. Onoda, a former intelligence officer in the Japanese army, had remained on the island for nearly 30 years, refusing to believe his country had surrendered in World War II. He died at a Tokyo hospital on January 16. He was 91.

Russell Johnson, center, stands with Alan Hale Jr., left, and Bob Denver in an episode of Gilligan's Island in 1966. Johnson, who played the professor Roy Hinkley in the hit television show, passed away January 16 at his home in Washington state, according to his agent, Mike Eisenstadt. Johnson was 89.Russell Johnson, center, stands with Alan Hale Jr., left, and Bob Denver in an episode of “Gilligan’s Island” in 1966. Johnson, who played “the professor” Roy Hinkley in the hit television show, passed away January 16 at his home in Washington state, according to his agent, Mike Eisenstadt. Johnson was 89.

Ariel Sharon, whose half century as a military and political leader in Israel was marked with victories and controversies, died on January 11 after eight years in a coma, Israeli Army Radio reported. Sharon was 85.Ariel Sharon, whose half century as a military and political leader in Israel was marked with victories and controversies, died on January 11 after eight years in a coma, Israeli Army Radio reported. Sharon was 85.

Franklin McCain, seen center wearing glasses, one of the Greensboro Four, who made history for their 1960 sit-in at a Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter, died on January 10 after a brief illness, according to his alma mater, North Carolina AT State University. Franklin McCain, seen center wearing glasses, one of the “Greensboro Four,” who made history for their 1960 sit-in at a Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter, died on January 10 after a brief illness, according to his alma mater, North Carolina AT State University.

Larry Speakes, who served as President Ronald Reagan's press secretary, died January 10 at his home in Cleveland, Mississippi, following a lengthy illness, according to Bolivar County Coroner Nate Brown. He was 74.Larry Speakes, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary, died January 10 at his home in Cleveland, Mississippi, following a lengthy illness, according to Bolivar County Coroner Nate Brown. He was 74.

Poet Amiri Baraka, who lost his post as New Jersey's poet laureate because of a controversial poem about the 9/11 terror attacks, died on January 9, his agent said. Baraka was 79.Poet Amiri Baraka, who lost his post as New Jersey’s poet laureate because of a controversial poem about the 9/11 terror attacks, died on January 9, his agent said. Baraka was 79.

Sir Run Run Shaw, the media tycoon who helped bring Chinese martial arts films to an international audience, died at his home in Hong Kong on January 7 at age 106, the television station he founded said.Sir Run Run Shaw, the media tycoon who helped bring Chinese martial arts films to an international audience, died at his home in Hong Kong on January 7 at age 106, the television station he founded said.

Stage, TV and film actress Carmen Zapata, who founded the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts as a means of of introducing the rich and eloquent history of the diverse Hispanic culture to English-speaking audiences, died on January 5 at her Los Angeles home. She was 86.Stage, TV and film actress Carmen Zapata, who founded the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts as a means of of introducing “the rich and eloquent history of the diverse Hispanic culture to English-speaking audiences,” died on January 5 at her Los Angeles home. She was 86.

Portugal football legend Eusebio, who was top scorer at the 1966 World Cup, died from a heart attack on January 5 at age 71, said his former club, Benfica.Portugal football legend Eusebio, who was top scorer at the 1966 World Cup, died from a heart attack on January 5 at age 71, said his former club, Benfica.

Alicia Rhett, who had been one of the oldest surviving cast members of the classic film Gone With the Wind, died on January 3 in her longtime hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, a retirement community spokeswoman said. She was 98.Alicia Rhett, who had been one of the oldest surviving cast members of the classic film “Gone With the Wind,” died on January 3 in her longtime hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, a retirement community spokeswoman said. She was 98.

Singer Phil Everly, left -- one half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo the Everly Brothers -- died on January 3, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 74.Singer Phil Everly, left — one half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo the Everly Brothers — died on January 3, a hospital spokeswoman said. He was 74.


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Photos: People we lost in 2014Photos: People we lost in 2014

During decades of seemingly irreversible conflict between Northern Ireland’s Protestant and Roman Catholic communities, Paisley was considered an uncompromising figure. The unrest in the province killed at least 3,600 people and injured 36,000 over the years.

To the surprise of many, Paisley agreed to share power with his former sworn enemy, Sinn Fein. Paisley was elected Northern Ireland’s first minister in 2007, with former Irish Republican Army commander Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister.

Political opponents, but friends

McGuinness said Friday that he had learned of Paisley’s death “with deep regret and sadness” despite their long political rivalry.

“Over a number of decades we were political opponents and held very different views on many, many issues, but the one thing we were absolutely united on was the principle that our people were better able to govern themselves than any British government.

“I want to pay tribute to and comment on the work he did in the latter days of his political life in building agreement and leading unionism into a new accommodation with republicans and nationalists.”

In the brief time they worked together as first and deputy first minister, a close working relationship developed that turned in a friendship, McGuinness said, “which despite our many differences lasted beyond his term in office.”

UK Prime Minister David Cameron described Paisley as “one of the most forceful and instantly recognizable characters in British politics for nearly half a century,” adding that he would be greatly missed.

“Of course, Ian Paisley was a controversial figure for large parts of his career. Yet the contribution he made in his later years to political stability in Northern Ireland was huge,” he said.

“In particular, his decision to take his party into government with Sinn Fein in 2007 required great courage and leadership, for which everyone in these islands should be grateful.”

Irish PM: Divisive figure with legacy of peace

Northern Ireland’s current First Minister and Democratic Unionist Party leader Peter Robinson also paid tribute to his larger-than-life predecessor.

“Ian Paisley was one of the largest political figures in Northern Ireland and made a massive contribution, particularly to the process in which we are presently engaged,” he said.

“He had a personality we are hardly ever likely to see again.”

The Irish Republic’s Prime Minister, or Taoiseach, Enda Kenny said Paisley “was by any measure a major figure in the history of these islands,” as he sent his condolences to his family.

“I know that he treasured the peace and friendship that he had lived to see, and helped to build, between our traditions,” Kenny said.

“His devotion to his faith and to the Unionist people of Northern Ireland was deep and unshakeable. In time, history will come to a fuller judgment of his long career.

“And, while he was of course a divisive figure, his greatest legacy will be one of peace.”

People we’ve lost in 2014

Journalist Peter Taggart reported from Belfast, and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London.


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Article source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/edition_europe/~3/x-v-fUGOAm0/index.html

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