|TRANSATLANTIC TIMES: World News Report
Friday, May 26, 2017
A. Wars and Famine: Does Anybody Care Anymore or is Love now Waxing Cold
B. Finding A Doctor and Health Care Specialist Online
C. Turkey To USA End Kurdish Support in Syria and Iraq
D. Modular Towers Now on Tallest Buildings
Wars and Famine: Does Anybody Care Anymore or is Love now Waxing Cold
Yemen's Civil War, Rohingya Refugees and South Sudan’s Famine
With world headlines focused on North Korea’s nuclear tests, Russia’s ties to the Trump administration and landmark elections in France, it’s easy to forget about three ethnic conflicts that show no sign of going away in 2017.
The ongoing civil war in Yemen, the continuing massacre of Rohingya Muslim refugees in Myanmar and escalating bloodshed in South Sudan — the world’s newest country — add new dimensions of suffering to what the United Nations is already calling the worst humanitarian crisis it’s seen in decades.
Long overshadowed by the fighting in Syria and Iraq, Yemen’s ongoing civil war has killed 10,000 people and wounded another 40,000 in the last two years, according to the United Nations, although the actual figure may be even higher.
Yemen was already the poorest nation in the Arab world — even before March 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government. That government, led by Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, came to power in 2012 under a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council after an Arab Spring uprising forced longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. But three years later, Hadi’s government was forced into exile by Houthi rebels, who have long chafed under Sunni majority rule. The military campaign has aligned the Saudis, other Sunni Gulf Arab countries and the United States against Houthi rebels backed by Shiite Iran and allied with Saleh’s ousted forces.
Peace talks have gone nowhere and extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State have moved in to take advantage of the vacuum.
In January, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the U.N. special envoy for Yemen, met with Hadi and other top officials in Aden to address the dire humanitarian situation.
“The current political stalemate is causing death and destruction every day,” the U.N. official said in a statement. “The only way to stop this is through the renewal of the Cessation of Hostilities followed by consultations to develop a comprehensive agreement. Yemen’s political elites have a responsibility to shield people from further harm, protect their country’s future and commit to a peaceful settlement.”
Yet there’s no sign of any letup in the violence. In fact, the U.N. recently warned that 7 million Yemenis face the threat of famine in what has become “one of the worst hunger crises in the world.” The world body has appealed for $ 2.1 billion in 2017 to reach 12 million people with life-saving assistance in Yemen. Only 6 percent of that funding has been received. So many people are dying that the Red Cross is now donating morgues to Yemeni hospitals that couldn’t cope with the influx of corpses.
Hospitals themselves have come under increasing attack. After Saudi fighter jets bombed a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders, the NGO withdrew its staffers from six Yemeni hospitals; that attack prompted the State Department to condemn such bombings for the first time.
While both sides have committed atrocities, Saudi Arabia in particular has been criticized by human rights groups, the U.N. and members of Congress for indiscriminately targeting civilians. Last October, following a Saudi airstrike that killed 140 people at a funeral in Sanaa, the Obama White House announced it would reconsider U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition. (In May, Obama quietly suspended the transfer of cluster munitions to Riyadh after reports of civilian shelling.)
Under President Donald Trump, however, the Pentagon will likely expand its cooperation with Saudi Arabia to fight the Houthis and, by extension, counter Iranian influence in the region.
On Jan. 29, eight days after taking office, Trump authorized a raid on a Yemeni village that he later proclaimed was “highly successful.” But eyewitnesses say it killed over two dozen people — including a Navy SEAL as well as women and children — and that the mission was anything but successful.
In fact, everything that could’ve gone wrong during the risky commando raid — which Trump reportedly approved over dinner — did. Locals were tipped off about the mission beforehand, a messy gunfight ensued and a $70 million Osprey aircraft had to be destroyed because of a crash landing.
Officials told NBC News that the trove of data retrieved by the raid has yielded no significant intelligence so far. Meanwhile, Trump promptly blamed the botched raid on his generals and his predecessor.
The controversy hasn’t deterred Trump from pressing ahead with a more aggressive military posture in the region, in contrast to Obama’s more deliberative, judicious use of force. Some defense officials complained that Obama took too long to scrutinize operations, allowing plans to languish for weeks or months. Trump is reviewing ways to hand more authority over to the CIA and military brass to speed up the use of drone strikes and other targeted-killing ops around the world. Already in March, the U.S. unleashed a punishing aerial blitz against al-Qaeda targets in Yemen that eclipsed the annual bombing total during any year of Obama’s presidency. Trump has also suggested loosening restrictions on Saudi arms sales.
Critics worry that Trump is rushing into a convoluted battlefield he doesn’t fully comprehend. On the one hand, Yemen has become a proxy war between Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and its Shiite rival Iran.
Cohen noted the huge amount of oil and petrochemical traffic in the region, and the importance of the southern port of Aden in controlling the Bab al-Mandab, a narrow strait through which millions of barrels of oil transit weekly.
“The fact that the alleged Houthi rebels fired anti-ship missiles against maritime traffic suggests that the Iranians provided those missiles, and trained and equipped the rebels to disrupt seaboard trade. But possibly it was the Iranians themselves. Therefore, we need to take this very seriously.”
Cohen added that this is not just about “supporting our Saudi allies” in their fight against Iranian proxies.
“There’s a war in Yemen against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and we need to engage them with drone strikes and special forces,” he warned. “Al-Qaeda and ISIS [Islamic State] remain the principal radical Islamist enemies of the United States and the free world at large.”
Yet Mareike Transfeld, writing for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says claims of Iran’s influence over the Houthis have been overblown.
“Although Iran sees cooperation with non-state actors as an integral part of its foreign policy to protect and expand its influence in the region, its support for the Houthis has been marginal,” she wrote. “The military support Iran has provided to the Houthis since at least 2011 has largely been limited to training and mostly channeled through Lebanese Hezbollah.”
Story by Larry Luxner
TTimes World Subtitled
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Turkey To USA End Kurdish Support in Syria and Iraq
Erdoğan Asks US to End Support for Kurdish Militias, Hand Over Cleric
Atlantic Council Meet in Istanbul
Ashish Kumar Sen
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking at the Atlantic Council’s Istanbul Summit on April 28, urged the United States to end its support for Kurdish rebels in Syria and to extradite a cleric Turkey says orchestrated a failed coup attempt in July of 2016; he also accused some European countries of harboring terrorists.
Read More on Atlantic Council Global news
Modular Towers Now on Tallest Buildings
Whare Architecural Meets Telecom
1 Modular hits the heights
Europe’s tallest modular tower, designed by HTA Design LLP, has seen its final module lowered into place in north London. The 29-storey structure is a student accommodation scheme developed by Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems. The development is being funded by GCP Student Living plc, a closed ended fund, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and already owns a number.
Apex House in Wembley is made up of 679 modules and delivering over 580 rooms that will be ready for students to move into in September. The development will also include communal facilities, such as a cinema, and an outdoor courtyard.
The total build time was 12 months, with the modules being stacked up in just 13 weeks to the height of 90m. Apex House will be managed by Scape, a student housing operator, and was designed by architects HTA Design LLP. The building has a BREAAM rating of Excellent.
Prior to this project, Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems also held the title for the tallest modular tower in Europe with a 25-storey student accommodation scheme in Wolverhampton that was completed in 2009.
Apex House will be the fourth modular scheme that Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems have completed in Wembley with HTA Design LLP. There is Grand Felda House, another student accommodation scheme providing 802 beds, an onsite gym and swimming pool. Also, there is Olympic Way, a residential development providing 158 homes, Felda House providing over 450 student rooms, and the 237 room Novotel hotel.
Christy Hayes, chief executive officer at Tide Construction, said: “We are delighted that both the housing minister Gavin Barwell and London mayor Sadiq Khan have made off-site construction a priority in the capital to help ease the strain on London’s housing supply. Modular construction provides a much faster alternative to traditional construction without compromising on the quality of the building, or the versatility of the design. Modular produces 80% less waste, requires fewer onsite workers and provides certainty of cost and time.
Architectural landscape are increasingly merging their designs with IT functionality. Read more about this on Today's WorldArchitecturenews.com