Sunni leader calls for steps to disband militias

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsAdnan al-Dulaimi, a Sunni who heads the Iraqi Accordance Front political party, called on Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, to take a first step by honoring a pledge to disband militias. “We hope the government carries out what it pledged and disbands militias and considers them terrorist organizations,” al-Dulaimi said. His party is Iraq’s largest Sunni Arab political bloc and holds 44 seats in the 275-member parliament. “Their presence is deteriorating the situation and bringing more troubles to the political atmosphere,” al-Dulaimi said of militias. “We call upon all religious authorities to raise their voices and demand militias be disarmed.” Police said 60 of the bodies were found overnight around Baghdad, with the majority dumped in predominantly Sunni Arab neighborhoods. All the bodies were bound, bore signs of torture and had been shot, police said. Such killings are usually the work of death squads who kidnap people and usually torture them with power drills, or beat them, before shooting them execution-style with a bullet to the head. BAGHDAD, Iraq – The leader of Iraq’s biggest Sunni Arab group demanded Wednesday that the beleaguered Shiite-led government take steps to disarm militias after police said the bodies of 65 tortured men were dumped in and around Baghdad. On a violent day even by the standards of Baghdad, car bombs, mortars and other attacks also killed at least 39 people and wounded dozens. Two U.S. soldiers also were killed, one in enemy action in restive Anbar province on Monday and the other in a roadside bombing south of Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military command said. The attacks have been unrelenting despite a security crackdown around the capital by 12,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops. The more than 1,500 violent deaths last month at the height of the joint operation speak to the difficulties in restoring any semblance of security to this sprawling city of 6 million people. Although Sunni Arabs operate some death squads, the vast majority are run by Shiite militias and gangs. Shiite political groups, including those in power, claim that armed militias have nothing to do with them and that their own military wings were disarmed months ago and turned into social and humanitarian groups. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 Derby: Promotion-chasers fail to go above Aston Villa

first_imgTwo strikes from Lucas Joao saw Sheffield Wednesday beat promotion-chasing Derby 2-0 at Hillsborough.The victory was manager Jos Luhukay’s first league win since taking charge, putting a temporary halt on their drop towards the relegation zone.The result saw Derby fail to put the pressure on second-placed Aston Villa and leave them with only one win from their last five games.Joao tucked away the first goal clinically, then scored with a stunning solo effort two minutes into the second half. The travelling team applied the pressure early on, but the Owls defended resiliently to cling onto just their fourth home clean sheet of the season.Wednesday, who were seeking back-to-back home wins over Derby for the first time since 1987, made seven changes from Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Barnsley, as Luhukay continued the search for his first three points.The changes seemed to have an impact, as the Owls started brightly and 21-year-old Sean Clare, who impressed on his first league start, flashed a shot wide before Frederico Venancio nodded a corner straight at ‘keeper Scott Carson.The home side then took the lead after a swift move, when Adam Reach lofted a pass into the box towards Jack Hunt. Hunt calmly laid the ball off to Joao (18) who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner with his first touch.Andreas Weimann wasted Derby’s best chance of the half, when he headed Chris Baird’s cross narrowly wide of the front post.Hillsborough erupted just after the break, when Joao (47) doubled his side’s advantage from 25 yards. The Portuguese striker drove inside unchallenged and unleashed a powerful driven shot into the bottom corner from distance.The visitors, having not lost a league game since November, responded strongly. Bradley Johnson first had a penalty appeal waved away, after going down under pressure from Clare, then David Nugent headed high and wide before Tom Huddlestone saw his ambitious first-time shot blocked in the area.Weimann had another golden chance to put Derby on the scoresheet, as Matej Vydra rolled in behind, but Wednesday stopper Joe Wildsmith stood strong and thumped the stinging effort out for a corner.Sky Bet Championship’s top goal-scorer, Vydra, was next to be thwarted by Wildsmith. Almost inside the six-yard box, the striker looked set to score but Wildsmith managed to keep him at bay with his legs.The Rams continued to waste chances as Nugent selflessly released Johnson into the box and he scuffed his shot well wide. Weimann nearly got one back at the end. 1 Luhukay took over as Wednesday manager in January last_img read more

NATS prepares for busiest day of the year as summer holidays begin

first_imgOlderHilton London Heathrow Airport launches new meetings packages NATS is preparing for what looks to be the busiest summer on record as schools across the country break up for the holidays.On a normal day, controllers handle just over 7,000 flights a day in UK airspace, but this increases for the summer months to well over 8,000 as people jet off on their holidays. In fact, this summer has already seen the busiest day on record, with 8,863 flights handled by controllers on July 5th.Of the 8,800+ flights expected to depart and arrive in the UK today, more than 15 per cent will be going through Heathrow (approx. 1,395 flights), while Gatwick (approx. 930 flights) and Stansted (approx. 650 flights) will be the second and third busiest airports respectively. Luton is expecting around 460 flights, and London City approximately 270 flights. ADVERTISEMENTNorthern hub Manchester will handle around 670 flights, while Birmingham is predicted to manage 350 flights.Scottish transport hubs Glasgow and Edinburgh are expected to manage 300 and 460 flights respectively.NATS predicts the busiest time of day for handling flights today will be 06:40 to 07:40, with up to 650 aircraft in Britain’s skies during this single hour.NATS has spent months planning for possible delays caused by strikes, staff shortages and bad weather across Europe in order to maintain safety and manage this surge in flights while minimising delay for passengers. However, the biggest challenge as traffic continues to grow, will be the network of routes in UK airspace, which is on course to be modernised to accommodate future growth.Juliet Kennedy, operations director, NATS, said: “Our air traffic controllers right across the UK are working harder than ever to ensure that we maintain our safety standards and get everyone away on their holidays without delay, but we need to modernise our airspace if we want to meet growing demand and reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.” NewerKorean Air launches new cloud command centrelast_img read more