#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States on Friday confirmed that North Korea has detained a third American and called on the communist state to release the trio.
“We are aware that a US citizen has been detained by North Korea,” State Department spokesman Marie Harf told reporters, adding: “We continue to actively seek the release of all three.”
Ms Harf said that she could not confirm the detainee’s name due to privacy considerations.
(The official Korean Central News Agency identified him as Jeffrey Edwards Fowle)
North Korea, which has no diplomatic relations with the United States, said it had detained Fowle for “hostile activities” and was questioning him.
Japanese news agency Kyodo, citing diplomatic sources, said the detainee had been part of a tour group and was held in mid-May after he left a Bible at a hotel.
Kim Jong-Un‘s totalitarian regime tightly controls all religious activity.
Another of the detained Americans, Kenneth Bae, was described by a North Korean court as a militant Christian evangelist.
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – May 13 – The United States has deployed manned surveillance aircraft over Nigeria and is sharing satellite imagery with the Nigerian government to find more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist insurgents, a senior Obama administration official said on Monday.
Washington has sent military, law-enforcement and development experts to Nigeria to help search for the missing girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants from a secondary school in Chibok in remote north-eastern Nigeria on April 14.
“We have shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government’s permission,” the U.S. official said.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news briefing on Monday that the U.S. was providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support. She said U.S. teams on the ground “are digging in on the search and coordinating closely with the Nigerian government as well as international partners and allies.”
Two U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States was also considering deploying unmanned, drone aircraft to aid the search.
One of the U.S. officials told Reuters the United States had carried out the manned surveillance flights “for a few days” but did not elaborate.
Last week, U.S. Under-Secretary for Africa Linda Thomas-Greenfield told Reuters in an interview that Nigeria had requested surveillance and intelligence from the United States.
#AceNewsServices – CAIRO – May 11 – Ansar Bayt Al-Maqdis (ABM) has now been designated as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the US State Department on Wednesday according to a press release.
The group has attempted various terrorists attacks and assassinations in Egypt, such as against Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and the head of the his technical office. ABM also claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing targeting the South Sinai Security Directorate with a death toll three and at least 45 injured.
In a first reaction, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry
welcomed the decision. Spokesperson Badr Abdel Aaty said this move comes within the recent framework of positive communication and intensive sustained efforts by foreign and Egyptian embassies, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm
Abdel Aaty told Asharq Al-Awsat
newspaper that the Foreign Ministry has communicated with both the United States
, United Kingdom
and other countries to give a clear vision about the severity of international terrorism
and how it threatens Egypt and the whole world and needs speedy movements to combat these groups and dry up their funding sources.
“ABM attacked a military helicopter in a missile attack five soldiers on board, and claimed responsibility for four attacks involving car bombs and hand grenades in Cairo, which left six people dead and over 70 wounded, many of them civilian bystanders. The group claimed responsibility for the bombing of a tour bus in the Sinai Peninsula
too, killing the Egyptian driver and three South Korean
tourists in February 2014,” the statement reads.
The statement also noted that claimed that the group declared responsibility for a rocket attack In August 2012 on the southern Israeli city of Eilat, and in September 2012 they have attacked an Israeli border patrol, killing one soldier and injuring another.
The press release read that the consequences of the designation include a prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with this organization, and the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that is in the United States, or come within the United States or the control of US persons.
#AceWorldNews – YEMEN – May 11 – Three gunmen killed in attack on checkpoint in Yemen
Three gunmen were killed attempting to attack a security checkpoint in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, the country’s Interior Ministry said.
The attack comes a couple of days after gunfire near the presidential palace in Sanaa and an apparent assassination attempt on the defense minister.
American tour guide and Christian missionary imprisoned in North Korea, Kenneth Bae, has been returned to the labour camp after a stay at the hospital, his sister told the AP. She learned the news from the US Dept. of State.
This development has prompted worries about his health condition, as he has reportedly lost about 25 kilograms since his arrest in 2012. He was then sentenced to 15 years hard labour for unspecified offences. All outside calls for his release have yet to be answered. “He’s back to eight-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week hard labour,” Bae’s sister said. “We can’t help but be concerned about that.” On the same day, however, a news report emerged in a pro-regime newspaper based in Japan – Choson Sinbo.
It states that a US envoy is due to visit Bae. The State Department has given no comment. Calls for his release have now spread to the White House, which desires a full pardon on humanitarian grounds.