Friday, October 19, 2018

Afghans Go To The Polls Today (Saturday) To Vote For a New Parliament




BBC: Afghanistan election: Voters cast ballots amid heavy security

Voters in Afghanistan are casting their ballots in the long delayed parliamentary elections, amid heavy security and threats from the Taliban.

More than 2,500 candidates - including many women - are vying for 250 seats.

But more than 30% of polling stations are shut because of security concerns - 10 candidates have been killed in the lead up to the vote.

Meanwhile voting in Kandahar province has been delayed by a week after the assassination of a top police chief.

Gen Abdul Raziq was shot dead by a rogue bodyguard on Thursday.

The Taliban claimed the attack, which came after a high-level security meeting. US commander Gen Scott Miller narrowly escaped unhurt.

Read more ....

More News On Afghans Going To The Polls Today (Saturday) To Vote For a New Parliament

Voting begins in Afghan parliamentary polls despite threats -- AP
Afghans vote amid chaos, corruption and Taliban threats -- Reuters
Afghanistan braces for militant attacks as voters go to the polls -- AFP
Afghans set to vote despite Taliban threats, corruption -- AP
Afghanistan braces for militant attacks as polling centres open -- AFP
Afghanistan violence raises uncertainty over elections, Kandahar vote delayed -- DW
Afghanistan election: Polling in Kandahar province delayed amid violent attacks -- ABC News Online
A look at Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections on Saturday -- Rahim Faiez, AP
Stakes high in Afghan election as US seeks peace pact -- Kathy Gannon, AP
Afghanistan's elections: All you need to know -- Al Jazeera

First Russian Has Been Charged By The U.S. Justice Department For Attempting To Meddle In The U.S. Election





The Guardian: US charges Russian woman with interfering in 2018 midterms

Elena Khusyaynova accused of using social media to sow discord and stoke conflict among voters on controversial topics

Russian woman has been charged by the US government with interfering in the 2018 midterm elections.

Elena Khusyaynova is accused of playing a senior role in an online campaign that worked to promote Donald Trump’s agenda, stoke conflict among Americans and discredit the Trump-Russia investigation by Robert Mueller, the special counsel.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Trump has responded .... Trump: Charged Russian national 'had nothing to do with my campaign' (CNN).

More News On The First Russian Being Charged By The U.S. Justice Department For Attempting To Meddle In The U.S. Election

The Latest: Russian woman charged with US election-meddling -- AP
Russian woman charged in first 2018 election meddling case -- AP
US charges Russian woman for interfering in 2018 midterm election -- DW
Russian woman charged with attempted US election meddling -- BBC
Russian charged with conspiring to interfere in U.S. congressional elections -- Reuters
US indicts Russian woman for interfering in 2018 election -- AFP
Russian national charged with interfering in US political system, 2018 elections -- FOX News
US indicts Russian over attempt to interfere in November election -- Al Jazeera

Saudi Arabia Admits That Jamal Khashoggi Died In Their Saudi Consulate In Istanbul -- News Roundup



Daily Mail: Saudi Arabia says Jamal Khashoggi died in an unexpected 'FISTFIGHT' in Saudi consulate in Turkey, arrests 18 and fires five intelligence officials but will not comment on journalist's missing body - and Trump says he finds the explanation CREDIBLE

* Saudi Arabia has finally admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead
* Saudi attorney general says Khashoggi died after a fight at the consulate
* 18 suspects - all Saudi nationals - have been held in connection with the case
* Saudi Arabia fired the deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, the royal court adviser regarded as very close to the Crown Prince
* Country is to restructure its intelligence agencies under Prince Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of Khashoggi
* White House said in a statement it is 'saddened' by the death of the Saudi
* President Trump said explanation for Khashoggi's killing is credible

Saudi Arabia has finally admitted that journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead after offering various explanations for his disappearance two weeks ago.

The country has carried out its own investigation into what happened to the 60-year-old at its own consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and claimed Friday evening he died following an altercation on October 2.

This is the latest claim made by the kingdom, which earlier said Khashoggi had left the consulate alive and well.

Read more ....

WNU editor: This appointment tells me that Crown Prince Salman, who many suspect ordered this operation, will not be replaced .... Saudi King Salman orders formation of committee headed by crown prince: SPA (Reuters). More Here .... Saudi prince MBS put in charge of intel purge following Khashoggi death (RT).

Saudi Arabia Admits That Jamal Khashoggi Died In Their Saudi Consulate In Istanbul -- News Roundup

Saudi Arabia's statement on Jamal Khashoggi's killing in full -- Al Jazeera
The Latest: Trump: I do find Saudi explanation credible -- AP
Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates -- Al Jazeera
Silenced forever: Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi is dead -- AP
Saudi Arabia says journalist Khashoggi died after fight in consulate -- Reuters
Jamal Khashoggi died in fight at Istanbul consulate, Saudi state TV claims -- CNN
Saudi Arabia says journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after 'fist-fight' at consulate -- DW
Jamal Khashoggi case: Journalist 'died after fight' - Saudi TV -- BBC
Saudis blame ‘fistfight’ for Jamal Khashoggi’s death -- AP
Saudi officials reportedly confirm Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi is dead -- Business Insider
Saudi Arabia claims Khashoggi died in accidental ‘fistfight’ inside the consulate -- RT
Saudi Arabia admits Jamal Khashoggi killed in Istanbul consulate -- Al Jazeera
Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in consulate, Trump says Saudi explanation credible -- Reuters
18 Saudi citizens detained in connection with murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi: Report -- ABC News
Saudi crown prince had no knowledge of 'specific' Khashoggi operation: source -- Reuters
Trump: Saudi arrests in Khashoggi death a ‘good first step’ -- AP
Trump: Saudi explanation of Khashoggi death credible, 'important first step' -- AFP
Trump says Khashoggi death ‘unacceptable’, but he ‘prefers’ to keep defense contracts with Saudis -- RT
Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia's claim that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fight inside consulate is credible -- ABC News Online
US 'saddened' Saudi journalist dead, no mention of action -- AFP
White House calls for justice in Khashoggi case, lawmakers criticize Saudi statement -- Reuters
Senator Graham says he's skeptical of Saudi explanation on Khashoggi -- Reuters
World reacts to Saudi confirmation of Jamal Khashoggi's killing -- Al Jazeera
Who is Ahmed al-Asiri, the sacked Saudi intelligence official? -- Al Jazeera
Jamal Khashoggi: Who's who in alleged Saudi 'hit squad' -- BBC
Why are Arab leaders silent over Khashoggi's disappearance? -- Al Jazeera

Tonight's Movie is 'Operation Petticoat'



From Wikipedia: Operation Petticoat is a 1959 American World War II submarine comedy film in Eastmancolor from Universal-International, produced by Robert Arthur, directed by Blake Edwards, that stars Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

Read more ....

The Saudis Need American Weapons And Know-How More Than The U.S. Needs Saudi Investments

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with US President Donald Trump. Reuters

Michael Hirsh, Lara Seligman, Foreign Policy: All Alone Now, the Saudis Will Entice Trump With Big Contracts

The president doesn’t seem to realize that the embattled crown prince needs American weapons and know-how more than the U.S. needs Saudi investments.

After weeks of siding with the Saudi royals—and sending his secretary of state to grip-and-grin with the king—U.S. President Donald Trump finally bowed to public outrage on Thursday and pulled Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s dwindling “Davos in the Desert” conference next week. Later, Trump acknowledged for the first time that “it certainly looks” like Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead. “It’s very sad,” the president said.

They were the first indications that Trump may be siding with Turkish officials’ conclusion that Mohammed bin Salman and his security team are responsible for killing Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, on Oct. 2, an act that has left the Saudi regime almost totally isolated on the world stage.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The Saudis are currently politically isolated with the West. And while countries like Russia and China are more than happy to step in, especially on arm sales, that is a road that the Saudi Kingdom has no interest to pursue right now. The big question that remains is what happens to MBS .... Intel: Can the Khashoggi case really spell the end of MBS? (Al-Monitor).

U.S. Planning To Tell Russia It Is About To Withdraw From The Russian Nuclear Arms Treaty

The expected decision to leave the I.N.F. treaty would mark the first time President Trump has scrapped a major arms control treaty. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times

New York Times: U.S. to Tell Russia It Is Leaving Landmark I.N.F. Treaty

The Trump administration is planning to tell Russian leaders next week that it is preparing to exit the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to American officials and foreign diplomats.

President Trump has been moving toward leaving the three-decade-old treaty because Russia has been violating it for years and because it is constraining the United States from deploying new weapons to counter the growing arsenal of intermediate-range weapons that China has deployed in seeking greater influence in the Western Pacific.

The White House said that no official decision had been made to leave the treaty, known as I.N.F., which was signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and was considered a critical step in defusing Cold War tensions. In the coming weeks, Mr. Trump is expected to sign off on the decision, which would mark the first time he has scrapped a major arms control treaty.

Read more ....

Update #1: John Bolton pushing Trump to withdraw from Russian nuclear arms treaty (The Guardian)
Update #2: US reportedly poised to abandon key arms control treaty with Russia (Defense News)

WNU Editor: Sighhhh .... This is a big mistake.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 19, 2018

VOA: Inter-Korean Military Pact Leaves Washington Uneasy

WASHINGTON — A gap is growing between Washington and Seoul over an inter-Korean military pact that Washington worries might weaken South Korea’s defenses against a North Korea attack.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed discontent when she spoke to him after Seoul outlined plans to sign a military agreement with Pyongyang at the third inter-Korean summit in September.

Pompeo’s concern over Seoul’s military agreement with Pyongyang comes as relations cool between South Korea and the United States. The growing distance is the result of inter-Korean ties that seem to be getting warmer and faster than the North is making progress in denuclearization.

Read more ....

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- October 19, 2018

The US and South Korea are canceling another major military exercise -- AP

Mattis: US, Japan, South Korea must work together against China on South China Sea -- The Hill

'We will not be intimidated' — Mattis doubles down on US vow to counter China's attempts to dominate the South China Sea -- Business Insider

US urged to counter Chinese aggression with strong military partnerships in Asia -- SCMP

US general says he doesn't believe he was target of attack in Afghanistan -- The Hill

Top US Afghan commander drew his sidearm during this week's attack: report -- The Hill

Mattis reacts to deadly attack in Afghanistan; Taliban says it targeted top U.S. commander -- Military Times/AP

Jim Mattis talks reconciliation as Taliban try to assassinate top US general -- Washington Examiner

Trump lacks legal authority to send military to U.S.-Mexico border -- CBS

Pentagon: We have not been asked to move troops to the border -- The Hill

X-37B Military Space Plane Wings Past 400 Days on Latest Mystery Mission -- Space.com

Handgun designed for the military now available to law enforcement and civilians -- FOX News

U.S. Military Wants to Fix Its Relationship with China, But Russia Has Already Stepped In -- Newsweek

The U.S. Military Has a Management Problem -- Bloomberg editorial

Can Trump Rebuild The Military As Deficits Balloon? -- Daniel Goure, Breaking Defense

The military draft is making a comeback in Europe -- Washington Post

Navy veteran charged with sending toxic letters to Pentagon, White House -- The Hill

Navy captain charged with steering defense contracts to her own company -- Navy Times

Russia to Send More Military Trainers, Equipment to Central African Republic -- Reuters

Russia: NATO should be 'wise enough' to avoid war -- Washington Examiner

Russia is ‘ahead of competition’ with latest weapons, but won’t use nukes first, Putin says -- AP

A First: China, EU Launch New Combined Military Exercise -- The Diplomat

Saab technology picked for British Royal Navy communication testing -- UPI

Top Canadian general takes aim at new reports of military sexual assault -- National Post/Canadian Press

Canada’s military mission in Mali includes 1,000 hours in the air -- iPolitics

Lockheed named preferred bidder for Canadian navy bid -- UPI

Finland moves to boost its naval power in the Baltic Sea hotspot -- Defense News

White House Official Insults Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

President Trump welcomes Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau to the White House in 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Washington Examiner: White House official called Trudeau 'that little punk kid running Canada'

Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow says a White House official called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a "little punk kid running Canada."

In remarks Wednesday night at a dinner hosted by the conservative American Spectator magazine on Capitol Hill, Kudlow boasted about the Trump administration’s governance of the economy, saying that President Trump has ended the “war on business” and ushered in an economic boom. He defended the administration’s efforts to overhaul taxes and reduce regulations, as well as Trump’s efforts to overhaul trade deals.

Read more ....

Update: White House official says colleague called Trudeau 'that little punk kid running Canada': report (The Hill)

WNU Editor: The leadership and administrations from both countries have been sparring at each other for the past year. Even though there is a new trade agreement, there is bad blood here.

U.S. And South Korea Have Suspended Upcoming Joint Air Defense Drills To Give North Korea Diplomacy A Chance

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, assigned to the 36th Fighter Squadron, participate in an elephant walk during Exercise Vigilant Ace 18 at Osan Air Base, South Korea on Dec. 3, 2017. (Staff Sgt. Franklin R. Ramos/U.S. Air Force)

Reuters: U.S., South Korea suspend more drills to bolster North Korea diplomacy

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea have suspended upcoming joint air defense drills to give diplomatic efforts with North Korea “every opportunity to continue,” the U.S. military said on Friday.

The Pentagon said the decision to suspend Exercise Vigilant Ace, which had been scheduled for December, was taken by U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo, who met in Singapore on Friday.

Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement that the decision had been taken to “give the diplomatic process every opportunity to continue.”

“Both ministers are committed to modifying training exercises to ensure the readiness of our forces. They pledged to maintain close coordination and evaluate future exercises,” White said.

She added that Mattis had spoken with his Japanese counterpart as well on the issue.

Read more ....

More News On The U.S. And South Korea Suspending Upcoming Joint Air Defense Drills To Give North Korea Diplomacy A Chance

US, South Korea suspend more military exercises -- Military Times
Pentagon Cancels Large-Scale Vigilant Ace Exercise with South Korea -- Military.com
US cancels major military exercise with South Korea -- CNN
US suspends military exercises with South Korea to help North Korea talks -- The Independent
US, South Korea cancel another military exercise -- The Hill

MH-60 Seahawk Crashes On The Flightdeck On The USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier Injuring 12 Sailors



USNI News: USS Ronald Reagan Resumes Flight Operations After Helicopter Crash; Some Injured Sailors Sent Ashore for Treatment

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan has resumed flight operations following a Friday crash of an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter on the carrier’s flight deck, according to a statement from U.S. 7th Fleet.

Reagan was operating in the Philippine Sea when the Seahawk made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff at about 9:00 A.M. local time.

“Service members injured in the crash are in stable condition for non-life threatening injuries that ranged from minor abrasions and lacerations to fractures,” according to the Navy. “The most seriously injured were medically evacuated off the ship to a hospital in the Philippines while remaining injured are under evaluation by Ronald Reagan medical staff.”

Four aircrew were aboard the Seahawk and 12 sailors were injured in the crash, according to a report in Stars and Stripes.

Read more ....

More News On Today's MH-60 Seahawk Crash On The Flightdeck On The USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier

12 sailors injured in carrier helo crash -- Navy Times
Carrier Reagan Resumes Flight Ops After Sailors Injured in Helicopter Crash -- Military.com
US Navy helicopter crashes on board USS Ronald Reagan -- CNN
U.S. Navy helicopter crashes on USS Ronald Reagan in Asia, sailors hurt -- NBC
Copter crashes on USS Ronald Reagan in Asia, sailors hurt -- AP
USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier Crash Latest: MH-60 Seahawk Crashes On Flight Deck -- Newsweek
US Navy helicopter crashes on USS Ronald Reagan flight deck, sailors hurt -- FOX News
A dozen sailors injured in helicopter crash on aircraft carrier deck -- The Hill

Venezuela: Lessons From A Failed State

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures next to Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel during their meeting at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela, May 2018. Marco Bello / REUTERS

Moisés Naím and Francisco Toro, Foreign Policy: Venezuela’s Suicide

Lessons From a Failed State

Consider two Latin American countries. The first is one of the region’s oldest and strongest democracies. It boasts a stronger social safety net than any of its neighbors and is making progress on its promise to deliver free health care and higher education to all its citizens. It is a model of social mobility and a magnet for immigrants from across Latin America and Europe. The press is free, and the political system is open; opposing parties compete fiercely in elections and regularly alternate power peacefully. It sidestepped the wave of military juntas that mired some Latin American countries in dictatorship. Thanks to a long political alliance and deep trade and investment ties with the United States, it serves as the Latin American headquarters for a slew of multinational corporations. It has the best infrastructure in South America. It is still unmistakably a developing country, with its share of corruption, injustice, and dysfunction, but it is well ahead of other poor countries by almost any measure.

Read more ....

Update: ‘I’ll walk in my broken shoes’: Mom, daughter flee Venezuela (AP)

WNU Editor: My must read commentary/analysis for today.

Huge Crowd Of President Trump Supporters Show Up To a Rally In Montana


WNU Editor: The main stream media is ignoring this news story, but every place that President Trump shows up attracts massive crowds. I do not live in the U.S. and I could be wrong, but my gut is telling me that all of this coverage and talk of a "blue-wave victory" for the Democrats is not true.

Saudi King Asserts Authority. Checks Son's Power

A handout picture released by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (R) chatting with deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of the King Faisal Air Academy at King Salman airbase in Riyadh on January 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Reuters: As Khashoggi crisis grows, Saudi king asserts authority, checks son's power: sources

DUBAI (Reuters) - So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

Last Thursday, Oct. 11, the king dispatched his most trusted aide, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, governor of Mecca, to Istanbul to try to defuse the crisis.

World leaders were demanding an explanation and concern was growing in parts of the royal court that the king’s son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to whom he has delegated vast powers, was struggling to contain the fallout, the sources said.

During Prince Khaled’s visit, Turkey and Saudi Arabia agreed to form a joint working group to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance. The king subsequently ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to open an inquiry based on its findings.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Whatever hope there was of Saudi Arabia modernizing and de-radicalizing is going to be set back now.

Editor's Note

I am traveling today. Blogging will return later today.

Uighur Americans Who Speak Out Against China’s Internment Camps Are Now Learning That Their Relatives In China Are Disappearing



WRAL/New York Times: Uighur Americans Speak Against China’s Internment Camps. Their Relatives Disappear

Speaking last month at a Washington think tank, Rushan Abbas relayed tales of suffering she had heard about China’s repression of ethnic Uighur Muslims — including the detention of members of her husband’s family in a widespread system of mass internment camps.

Within six days, Abbas’ ailing sister and elderly aunt disappeared from their homes in northwest China. No family members or neighbors have heard from them in more than a month.

Abbas is an American citizen and Virginia resident; her sister has two daughters and both live in the United States. They all assume the women are being detained in the camps, which Western analysts estimate hold up to 1 million people.

Abbas said they had fallen victim to the persecution against which she had been campaigning — and because of her.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Can't say that I am surprised. China has a policy that if you do not criticize the government, they will leave you alone. But if you do, be prepared for the consequences. What bothers me is how the Western media and political class are reacting to China's treatment of the Uighurs. A Saudi journalist disappears in a Saudi consulate in Turkey and there are calls for severe economic and political actions against the Saudi government. A million Uighurs are put in labor camps .... and aside from a few news stories, all we hear are crickets from our governments.

China's New Foreign Policy Tactic Is To Play The 'Victim Card'



David Bandurski, The Guardian: China’s new diplomacy in Europe has a name: broken porcelain

Beijing’s message to Sweden and beyond – criticise us, and we’ll topple your agenda – won’t win it any hearts and minds

Two days after Sweden’s election in September, a bizarre statement appeared in English on the website of the Chinese embassy in Stockholm. A “small handful of Swedish forces, media and individuals”, it said, had made “unwarranted claims” of Chinese interference in the Swedish vote. These were “groundless accusations”, and a “malicious attack and smear against China”. The strangest thing of all: no one in Sweden  had the slightest inkling what the statement referred to.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The sad part is that this Chinese tactic of playing the "victim" is working. It distracts the foreign media and governments to focus on these manufactured events, while bigger events are ignored. The Chinese also use this to whip their own population base, and to reinforce their message that the world is envious of China's success, and are putting roadblocks to its future.

Amnesty International Accuses Nicaragua Of Extrajudicial Executions

In Nicaragua at least 322 people have been killed and 2,000 others injured – mostly by the police and pro-government paramilitary groups Photograph: Oswaldo Rivas/Reuters

The Guardian: Nicaragua used 'weapons of war' to kill protesters, says Amnesty International

More than 300 have been killed and 2,000 injured since protests over social security reforms began in April

Weapons of war have been used to indiscriminately kill and injure anti-government protesters in Nicaragua, as part of the ongoing violent crackdown ordered by the upper echelons of government, according to an Amnesty International investigation.

At least 322 people have been killed and 2,000 others injured – mostly by the police and pro-government paramilitary groups – since demonstrations over social security system reforms began in April.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: 332 killed. 2,000 injured. Thousands in prison. Nicaragua is now Venezuela II.

More News On Amnesty International Accuses Nicaragua Of Extrajudicial Executions

Nicaragua: Authorities stepped up strategy for repression, committing grave human rights violations during ‘clean-up operation’ -- Amnesty International
Amnesty International points to extrajudicial killings in Nicaragua -- Reuters
Daniel Ortega unleashes Orwellian repression as Nicaragua accused of torturing protesters -- The Telegraph
Nicaragua intensified crackdown on protesters: Amnesty -- Al Jazeera

Comoros Government Sends In The Military To Quell Growing Unrest

Al Jazeera: Comoros: Civilians flee strife-torn city on Anjouan island

Government sends in more troops, and cuts power and water in Mutsumudu to quell unrest against constitutional changes.

Security forces in the Comoros have intensified their crackdown against anti-government protesters on the island of Anjouan, with witnesses reporting heavy gunfire and residents fleeing amid a wave of unrest against constitutional changes.

President Azali Assoumani on Thursday sent in reinforcements to quell a nascent uprising on the opposition stronghold as clashes continued for a fourth day between security forces and armed protesters.

Read more ....

More News On The Growing Unrest In The Comoros

Water, power supplies cut off on strife-torn Comoros island -residents -- Reuters
Comoros clashes worsen despite official claims -- AFP
Gunfire in Comoros as government tightens crackdown -- EWN
Troops kill two amid unrest in Comoros over constitutional change -- Reuters
UN chief voices concern over political strife in Comoros -- Xinhua
African Union calls for talks to end 'crisis' in Comoros -- AFP
The emerging dictatorship in Comoros threatens civil society -- Kerry Dimmer, IOL