World View: Vietnamese protest China's plans for military command in South China Sea

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
  • Al-Qaeda linked terrorists destroy historic shrines in Timbuktu, Mali
  • Turkey angrily denies WSJ report on Syria's attack on Turkish jet
  • Turkey suspends dialog with EU as presidency passes to Greek Cyprus
  • Turkey scrambles jets as Syrian helicopters approach border
  • Cyprus's financial bailout request taints its role in EU presidency
  • Hong Kong celebrates 15th anniversary of end as British colony
  • Vietnamese protest China's plans for military command in South China Sea
  • Orbitz steers Mac users toward pricier hotels

Al-Qaeda linked terrorists destroy historic shrines in Timbuktu, Mali

In Timbuktu, Mali, Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group, are using shovels, hoes and chisels to destroy Sufi Muslim shrines and mosques that were built centuries ago. Horrified residents could only watch, since the terrorists are armed. Timbuktu and the rest of northern Mali was captured by Tuareg rebels earlier this year, and declared as the independent state of Azawad. However, the Ansar Dine terrorists followed the Tuareg rebels, and took control of Timbuktu and other large cities in northern Mali. Timbuktu has a rich world history. Founded between the 5th and 11th centuries by Tuareg desert nomads, Timbuktu became a meeting point between north, south and west Africa and a melting pot of black Africans, Berber, Arab and Tuareg desert nomads. The trade of gold, salt, ivory and books made it the richest region in west Africa and it attracted scholars, engineers and architects from around Africa, growing into a major centre of Islamic culture by the 14th century. Timbuktu is home to nearly 100,000 ancient manuscripts, some dating to the 12th century, preserved in family homes and private libraries under the care of religious scholars. It's feared that the Ansar Dine terrorists will move on to destroy all the ancient manuscripts and buildings. The attacks are reminiscent of Taliban terrorists blowing up the giant Buddhas of the Bamiyan valley in Afghanistan -- an ancient Buddhist shrine on the Silk Road and a world heritage site -- in 2001 after branding them un-Islamic. AFP

Turkey angrily denies WSJ report on Syria's attack on Turkish jet

Turkish officials are angrily rejecting a report in the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed U.S. defense officials who claim that the Turkish jet plane shot down last week by Syrian forces was in Syrian airspace at the time it was shot down, close to the Syrian border. Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the paper of "cowardice," and demanded to know who the unnamed sources are. Hurriyet (Ankara)

Turkey suspends dialog with EU as presidency passes to Greek Cyprus

Turkey will suspend all dialog with the EU presidency for the next six months, as Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias takes his turn in the rotating EU presidency. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said when Greek Cyprus assumes the presidency, Turkey would continue to collaborate with the EU but would not attend any event that Greek Cyprus presides over. Zaman (Istanbul)

Turkey scrambles jets as Syrian helicopters approach border

Four Turkish F-16 warplanes took off on Saturday from Incirlik airbase after Syrian helicopters flew 6.5km closer to the border than is normal. There were three incidents but there had been no violation of Turkish airspace. Relations are extremely tense on the border between Turkey and Syria, after Syria downed a Turkish jet last month. AFP

Cyprus's financial bailout request taints its role in EU presidency

Cyprus takes over the rotating European Union presidency for the next six months, just days after it became the fifth eurozone country to request a financial bailout. In Germany, a business group linked with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party says it is unacceptable that a country seeking a bailout should lead the E.U. And several hundred Turkish Cypriots demonstrated this past week, arguing the Nicosia government ignores the rights of the Turkish minority. VOA

Hong Kong celebrates 15th anniversary of end as British colony

On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong ended its 99 years as a British colony, and came under rule by China. On Sunday, there were carefully controlled celebrations with visiting Chinese president Hu Jintao. Hong Kong residents have enjoyed much greater freedom, including freedom of speech and freedom to protest, than mainland Chinese, but that the same time, Hong Kong residents have expressed growing contempt for the mainland. Hu Jintao expressed confidence in Hong Kong, but in a veiled threat, he added, "While we recognise Hong Kong's achievements 15 years after the handover, we must also be conscious of the deep disagreements and problems in Hong Kong society," Guardian

Vietnamese protest China's plans for military command in South China Sea

Military authorities in Japan are considering establishing a military presence in the Spratly Islands, known in China as the Nansha Islands. China is taking the step pursuant to its claim to have full sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, including areas historically belonging to other countries. In Vietnam, hundreds of protesters gathered in Hanoi and Saigon to protest China's claims of sovereignty in the South China Sea. Xinhua and VOA

Orbitz steers Mac users toward pricier hotels

Orbits is steering Mac users to pricier hotels than PC users, based on spending habits discovered by one of the site's algorithms. "What we have found is ... that Mac users are 40% more likely to book four- or five-star hotels than PC users," according to an Orbitz spokesman. "That lines up with (the fact that) Mac users are typically more willing to spend more money on higher-end computers." In 2009, the Senate Commerce Committee found that Orbitz is one of 15 online e-commerce sites that are scamming users. "How Priceline, Orbitz, FTD, 1-800-Flowers, Pizza Hut, and Continental Airlines are scamming you online"

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