Tagged: Syria

Mexican columnist is stabbed 21 times in front of family, underscoring deadly risks faced by journalists

(LOS ANGELE TIMES) — By Kate Linthicum

Carlos Dominguez was waiting at a traffic light in the northern Mexico border city of Nuevo Laredo with his son, his daughter-in-law and his grandchildren when men armed with knives flung open the car door.

Dominguez, a 77-year-old opinion columnist who had worked as a journalist for nearly four decades, was stabbed 21 times, according to Mexican authorities. They said he was attacked by at least three men who remain unidentified and at large.

The killing Saturday afternoon underscores the lethal risks faced by journalists in Mexico and the growing wave of violence gripping the nation.

Officials said they were investigating to determine whether the attack was connected to Dominguez’s work. He wrote frequently about politics, organized crime and occasionally their intersection — a perilous beat in a country that was second only to war-torn Syria in the number of journalists killed last year.

Eleven journalists were slain across Mexico in 2017, with no culprits arrested in most of those cases. Dozens of reporters have fled the country or gone into hiding.

In the Gulf Coast state of Tamaulipas, where Nuevo Laredo is located, 15 journalists have been killed since 2000, according to Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission. The commission, an independent government watchdog, has sent investigators to Nuevo Laredo to look into Saturday’s attack.

The organization Reporters Without Borders said it believed Dominguez was targeted because of his controversial columns.


Turkey has completed more than half of its Syria border wall

(WORLD TRIBUNE) — by World Tribune Staff, February 27, 2017

Turkey has finished construction on more than half of its 511-kilometer (317 miles) security wall along its border with Syria.

The wall is made from portable concrete blocks each weighing seven tons.

“The construction works are ongoing and we will complete it as soon as possible,” said Ergun Turan, president of Turkey’s state-owned housing agency TOKI.

Turkey shares a 900-kilometer (559 miles) border with Syria. Turkey has taken in more than 3 million Syrian refugees since conflict in the neighboring country erupted.

Ankara has been under pressure from the United States and Europe to seal its porous southern border, which has been used by the Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadist groups for smuggling weapons, supplies and fighters. After a military intervention into northern Syria in August, the Turkish military and allied rebel groups cleared ISIS from a section of the border.

Seeking to stem migration to Europe, the EU has remained largely silent about the wall’s impact on refugees.

Turan said 290 kilometers (180 miles) of wall is finished. The wall is made from portable concrete blocks each weighing seven tons. The blocks are 2-meters thick (6.5-foot) at the base and 3-meters (10-foot) high, topped by a meter of razor wire. Along the entire wall roads are being built for military patrols and watch towers are being erected.

The completed section covers the provinces of Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Kilis, Hatay, Mardin and Sirnak.