Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Lee Kuan Yew: Singapore holds funeral procession


Singapore is bidding farewell to its founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday aged 91.

Despite torrential rain, thousands lined the streets to view the funeral procession carrying Mr Lee’s coffin from parliament, where it has been lying in state, across the city.

A state funeral attended by world leaders is now taking place, ahead of a private family cremation ceremony.

One million people have visited tribute sites this week, say local media.

More than half a million people – 12% of Singaporean citizens – visited Parliament House to see Mr Lee’s coffin, while at least 850,000 others went to community sites to pay tribute.

Sunday’s Headlines:

The warning signs straight-A student was on road to Syrian Isis stronghold

The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef – and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

Spotlight on far right in French local election runoff

The Real Reason for China’s Massive Military Buildup

Cyberbullying’s Got a New Target: Big Companies

  The warning signs straight-A student was on road to Syrian Isis stronghold

 Twitter account in the name of radicalised medical student Lena Mamoun Abdel Gabir showed support for Charlie Hebdo killers and radical cleric Ahmad Musa Jibril

Marga Zambrana, Mark Townsend and Emma Graham-Harrison

The warning signs were clear months before British medical student Lena Mamoun Abdel Gabir left for Syria to volunteer in Islamic State-controlled areas – if anyone had thought to look.

Between pictures of flowers and cupcakes, jokes about Nutella and getting married, a Twitter account, apparently run by the 19-year-old, had followed Isis-supporting accounts, re-tweeted her support for the Charlie Hebdo killers, and, last August, shared a video by a radical cleric hugely popular with European and North American jihadists.

The content was deceptively dull, a lecture on whether Muslims should vote in council elections. The real message was the desire to share the thoughts of Palestinian-American preacher Ahmad Musa Jibril. He has been identified as the leading online cheerleader for foreign jihadists in Syria, according to a pioneering academic study published by King’s College London, exploring how radical preachers inspire and guide British and other western Muslims who go to fight.

 The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef – and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

 Palestinians say increasing restrictions on the water they use have led to economic collapse – and deadly assaults

Kim Sengupta Gaza Sunday 29 March 2015

The underwater rock formations provide the best fishing grounds off Gaza, but they are just beyond the limit set by the Israelis for local boats. Tawfiq Abu Riyala dreamt up an ingenious plan to solve this problem; but it may have ended up costing him his life.

The 32-year-old fisherman had built up his own artificial rock with planks of wood, tyres, and bits of metal, seemingly well within the area in which he and his colleagues are allowed to operate. It was while he was adding to this pile that an Israeli gunboat opened fire, wounding him fatally.

 Spotlight on far right in French local election runoff

 French voters are going to the polls to choose thousands of local councilors in run-off elections. The vote is being seen as a barometer of the far-right National Front’s growing popularity.


The  second round of balloting will see the election of 4,108 local councilors who have limited powers over roads, schools and social services

The vote is not normally the focus of much attention in France. This time, however, the challenge posed by the anti-immigrant, anti-EU National Front under Marine Le Pen (center in photo above) has made the election a litmus test for the popularity of the two main parties.

Although the conservative UMP party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to dominate Sunday’s runoff after its victory in the first round last week, the National Front, which won 25 percent of the vote to come second last week, is thought likely to increase its growing hold on grassroots politics.

 The Real Reason for China’s Massive Military Buildup

  History haunts China-and could be driving its A2/AD strategy.

    Harry J. Kazianis March 29, 2015

Over several different articles, I have been exploring the dynamics of the budding U.S.-China security dilemma-a high-tech drama pitting anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) against what we used to refer to as Air-Sea Battle (ASB)-and have offered several different ways to lessen the possibility of such a dynamic from becoming cemented into the Asia-Pacific’s security architecture. However, China’s development and implementation of A2/AD clearly has various origins. One such origin that deserves to be explored is the “historical nightmare” of China’s subjugation at the hands of various colonial and Asian powers.

In many respects, China is trying to solve a centuries-old problem that never went away: how to defeat in battle military forces that are at least in a symmetrical sense superior to its own and will be for some time to come. If we alter our perspective and take a much longer view of Beijing’s own military obsolescence, a strategy that emphasizes anti-access makes tremendous sense.

Cyberbullying’s Got a New Target: Big Companies


  By Javier E. David

In the Wild West of the Internet, social media is often credited with giving a voice to the average citizen and helping to introduce democracy and activism to turbulent parts of the world. Yet on the flip side, online grievance campaigns have become an increasingly frequent phenomenon-with even big companies now tasting the wrath of angry swarms of web activists.

Cyberbullying isn’t something normally associated with large corporations. However, in the last week alone social networking played a big role in humbling two culturally influential institutions: Starbucks and DC Comics. Both companies beat a hasty retreat from planned campaigns, and in the process learned a painful lesson in frontier Internet justice.

They join a gallery of big companies that have learned the hard way that hell hath no fury like a Twitter user scorned. So has social media ushered in the age of cyber-bullying of big companies?

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