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The Editor, 21/08/2012
COUP ATTEMPT IN ERITREA?
It appears a coup attempt may be unfolding in Asmara, Eritrea's capital. Dissident soldiers have reportedly taken over the Eritrean Ministry of Information facility and possibly the country’s central bank. Tanks and troops loyal to Eritrean President Isayas Afewerki are reportedly headed toward the ministry to retake the building, the site of the country's sole television station. Eritrean opposition radio outlet ERENA has reported that Afewerki, his wife and some army officers have been arrested.
The extent of Afewerki's control in Asmara is not clear, but if a coup is under way it is likely an internal military power grab triggered by the president's poor health. Afewerki, who has in the past traveled abroad for closely guarded medical treatment, may finally have died. Rather than let events spiral beyond their control, army officers who had been the foundation of the Eritrean regime may have launched a power grab to avoid a breakdown in order or to prevent a rival military or political faction from securing power.
See also ...
IRANIAN PASTOR JAILED FOR PLANTING HOUSE CHURCHES
An Iranian-American pastor has been jailed for eight years in Iran for planting house churches “intended to undermine national security”.
Saeed Abedeni (32), who hails from Iran but is now a US citizen, was sentenced on Sunday (27 January) following a trial last week. His lawyer will appeal the ruling.
The pastor was arrested last September while visiting his homeland, where he has been trying to establish an orphanage. The charges against Saeed relate to his work in starting a house-church movement following his conversion from Islam to Christianity in 2000.
FREE CHURCH CONTINUING WRITES TO THE QUEEN
Press Release – 5th February 2013; on behalf of the Moderator of the 2012 General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
Rev James Gracie, Moderator of the most recent General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland(Continuing), has, in the light of the continued pursuit by both Holyrood and Westminster Governments of a policy of legalising same-sex marriage, now written to Her Majesty the Queen on the subject.
Mr Gracie’s action has been taken on behalf of the denomination, which holds that same-sex marriage is incompatible with the teaching of the Bible.
RUSSIAN FIGHTERS IN JAPANESE AIRSPACE?
Two Russian fighter planes briefly crossed into Japanese airspace off Hokkaido on Feb. 7, Japan's Defense Ministry said, Kyodo reported.
The Japanese government has asked the Russian government to investigate the incident, the Ministry said. Two Russian Su-27 fighter planes crossed into Japanese airspace for roughly one minute at 2:59 p.m. local time, causing Japanese F-2 fighter jets to scramble to the scene, the Ministry said.
Russia has denied the incident took place, Reuters reported.
BOMB PLOT FOILED IN N. IRELAND
Officers seize four primed mortars minutes before dissident republicans planned to blitz a police station in Northern Ireland, according to detectives.
Three men held in Derry bomb scare (G)
Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) officers closed in on a van close to Derry city centre in an apparent undercover operation.
Two men were detained at the scene and a third was held later in follow-up searches. All three are in their 30s.
RALLY FOR REAL MARRIAGE
The following comes from 'Anglican Mainstream' -
Rally for Real Marriage; Gathering against Gay Marriage
The message below comes from Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream. It contains details of a a demonstration in support of marriage and against same-sex 'marriage'. If possible please publicise the details in your church notices.
Rally for Real Marriage; Gathering against Gay Marriage
Parliament Square, Westminster: 2 - 5pm on Sunday 24th March
You may remember that in January around a million people - including many thousands of students and young people - demonstrated on the streets of Paris against their government's proposals to redefine traditional marriage to include same sex couples.
Hundreds of the demonstrators were UK-based French residents who boarded the Eurostar to Paris to join their compatriots.
What is less well known is that on the same day a further 600 French residents refrained from traveling to Paris but demonstrated instead outside the French Embassy in west London.
These UK-based French protesters are now organising another London demonstration, but this time in Parliament Square at Westminster.
As before, they are planning this to take place on the same day as the next Paris demonstration, Sunday 24th March, at which 2 million protesters are expected to march along the Champs-Elysees!
The UK-based protesters have invited other non-French UK residents to join them in Parliament Square, and to make this a joint protest against both the UK and the French governments' plans to redefine marriage.
We think this is a great idea and, along with other UK organisations such as Christian Concern, Anglican Mainstream fully supports it and plans to be there.
Please encourage your churches, families, friends and contacts to join us and make a loud statement to the UK and French governments. Anglican Mainstream will supply the posters. Just turn up. If you can, bring young children for a family-friendly outing and as a visible sign against the sterile adult-centred nature of same sex marriage.
GREECE: BOMB EXPLODES
A bomb exploded near the Acropolis in central Athens on March 27, Greek police said, AP reported. It is not yet clear what the target was or if anyone was hurt, the police added.
March 27, 2013 | 1931 GMT
PHILIPPINES STAND WITH U.S. AGAINST N. KOREA
The Philippines would support the United States if a military conflict breaks out between the US and North Korea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Friday.
"I think as treaty allies, if there is an attack, we should help one another, which is what the treaty alliance is all about," said del Rosario referring to the Mutual Defense Treaty signed by the Philippines and US on August 30, 1951.
JIHADIST ALLIANCE FORMING
A recent announcement confirms suspicions that the Syrian civil war would create opportunities for transnational jihadists to coalesce in the region.
On April 9, the Islamic State of Iraq, an offshoot of the al Qaeda core, announced that it would merge with Syrian jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra. The statement will further concern those already apprehensive of jihadist proliferation in a post-al Assad Syria.
See also report:
SYRIA: REBELS ARE HOLDING 4 U.N. PEACEKEEPERS
In an ominous development and according to a Reuter report Syria's Martyrs of Yarmouk brigade is holding four U.N. peacekeepers who were monitoring the cease-fire line between Syria and the Golan Heights, the brigade and a U.N. spokeswoman said today.
According to the brigade's statement, the peacekeepers are being held for their own safety. In March, 21 U.N. observers were detained by Syrian rebels for a three-day period near the location of the May 7 incident.
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