@kaylabow No need to feel sorry! I was really hoping for someone to ask me about NK lol so thank you for asking <3

North Korea and Malaysia’s diplomatic meltdown

North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving the country on Tuesday, sparking tit-for-tat action by Malaysia, as police investigating the murder of Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur sought to question three men hiding in the North Korean embassy.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak accused North Korea of “effectively holding our citizens hostage” and held an emergency meeting of his National Security Council.

The United Nations called for calm between Malaysia and North Korea and urged them to settle their differences through “established diplomatic practice.”

The moves underscored the dramatic deterioration in ties with one of North Korea’s few friends outside China since the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13.

Malaysia said the assassins used VX nerve agent, a chemical listed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

Police have identified eight North Koreans wanted in connection with the murder, including two of the three believed to be hiding in the embassy - a senior North Korean diplomat and a state airline employee.

The only people charged so far are a Vietnamese woman and an Indonesian woman, accused of smearing the victim’s face with VX. He died within 20 minutes.

North Korea’s foreign ministry issued a temporary ban on Malaysians leaving the country, “until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved,” state-run Korea Central News Agency said.

“In this period the diplomats and citizens of Malaysia may work and live normally under the same conditions and circumstances as before.”

For more info: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-malaysia-kim-idUSKBN16E0FE


To stop terrorism against Americans, Donald Trump should ban Americans from America

  • The Trump administration is considering banning visas from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
  • Terrorism in the U.S. is a primarily homegrown phenomenon. Trump’s order does nothing to counter this.
  • In 2015, the New York Times reviewed the backgrounds of 20 Islamic extremist attackers in the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001, and found that half of the assailants were born in the United States. 
  • An additional five attackers were fully naturalized citizens, while just three were in the U.S. with green cards and one held a tourist visa.
  • Since 2015, the trend hasn’t changed in high-profile attacks. Omar Mateen, Pulse nightclub shooter in Orlando, was born in New York. 
  • Ahmad Khan Rahami, the man who detonated bombs which wounded 29 in New York on Sept. 17, was born in Afghanistan in 1988 but was a naturalized citizen since 2011. 
  • Esteban Santiago Ruiz, the 26-year-old U.S. military veteran who killed five and wounded six others at Ft. Lauderdale Airport on Jan. 6, was a U.S. citizen.
  • Of the high profile terror attacks in 2016, only 18-year-old Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State University student who wounded 11 people on Nov. 28, might have been impeded by Trump’s order,
  • But only by preventing him from entering the country while he was a child, long before he was radicalized. Artan was a Somali refugee.
  • What about 9/11? Of the 19 total 9/11 attackers, 15 were from Saudi Arabia, two came from the United Arab Emirates, and one each from Egypt and Lebanon. None of which are included in Trump’s list.
  • In June 2015, the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security reported, based on surveys of 382 law enforcement organizations, that:
  • “Law enforcement agencies in the United States consider anti-government violent extremists, not radicalized Muslims, to be the most severe threat of political violence that they face.”
  • Since most U.S. terror attacks are committed by homegrown extremists, not foreigners, and perceived persecution is a commonly cited motivation among terror suspects… 
  • Trump’s order could do little to prevent attacks but perpetuate the narrative of civilization-scale conflict that groups like the Islamic State, also know as ISIS, rely upon to radicalize new converts. Read more
Interview with Nabilah Razak Marican, a Muay Thai fighter and boxer from Singapore

One thing I really love about this blog is that it allows me to meet so many beautiful and inspiring Muslim women from around the world.

I recently was able to connect with Nabilah Razak Marican, a wonderful sister from Singapore who you’ll find out has an enormous heart… perfect for an aspiring Muay Thai fighter and boxer!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I work in an advertising agency - Saatchi & Saatchi in the account management department. I am a Singaporean and I live here, in the concrete jungle. I am half Indian and half Malay. My dad is a Singaporean Indian Muslim and my mom is a Singaporean Malay. 

How did you find yourself being interested in / competing in Muay Thai? Was it difficult to start?

I have always been interested in martial arts, but I never had the time, or I didn’t manage to find time nor I had the money to do so. It wasn’t difficult to start, I enjoyed it and looked forward to it everyday. With the help of my ex-boyfriend then, a rachademern champion, he made it easier (but of course the training was hard). I started competing after 4 months of learning Muay Thai.

What was it like to train in Thailand? What are some things you learned there?

Training in Thailand is great. I trained in sitmonchai and everyone feels like family. I am a village girl at heart and I felt at home when I was there. It was a kanchanaburi.Training itself is pretty hard. You wake up at 6 am to go for a run before hitting 5 or more rounds of pad. After which you do your bag work and drills. After training you shower, eat and rest. At about 3pm you start running again and come back to hit another 5 rounds of more on the pad, followed by clinching and sparring. Its different when compared to training in Singapore because you can get sufficient rest and there’s not much of work stress. Plus the greenery around the area is beautiful.

What was your first fight like? What did you learn from it?

I was defeated during my first fight. I fought a lady who was about 4kgs heavier than I am and so much taller. She was more experience than I was too.I knew what I was getting into. But I’ve got a big heart.

Every fight is hard. There was never an easy fight and I definitely learn from every fight.

What is the typical training regiment for a Muay Thai fighter?

I am not a full time Muay Thai fighter, if I was it would be different. I wish to be though if it could pay the bills! Lol. My normal regiment if I have an upcoming fight was run in the morning before going to work. Try to finish work on time to make it for training. Short run before training, skip and hit the bags and pads. Followed by clinching and sparring. After training I eat and sleep. Wake up early the next day and repeat.  I will have 1 or two days off training each week.

What was the transition like to go from Muay Thai to boxing? What was that fight like?

It was difficult was the stance, head movements and footwork are different. I miss kicking when I train for the boxing fight. I had two weeks, and that was it to prepare. I did my best in the ring. It was definitely not an easy fight. My opponent was more experienced in boxing. She was a tough opponent but Alhamdulillah, I won the fight!

What are your goals with Muay Thai and boxing? Where do you hope to go with each sport?

I hope to represent the country in both sports and go pro in Muay Thai. If given the choice, I want to live in Thailand to be a full time Muay Thai fighter.

Do you have any inspirational words for any sisters looking to start Muay Thai or boxing?

Do it! It’s always mind over matter and most importantly, you must have a massive heart.

Thank you Nabilah! May Allah (SWT) bless you in your journey to be a Muay Thai fighter.

Times Square Crash Driver Had Troubled Past, Including Navy Prison

New York: The driver of the car that careened through New York City’s Times Square on Thursday was a US Navy veteran who had been arrested at least four times before for offences including drunk driving and threatening someone with a knife, according to police officials and public records.

Richard Rojas, 26, plowed into people on the sidewalk in his burgundy Honda sedan and sped three blocks through one of the city’s busiest areas, killing one pedestrian and injuring 22 others before crashing into a metal stanchion, police said.

Rojas returned from his Navy service with a drinking problem and had posted “crazy stuff” on social media, said a friend, Harrison Ramos, speaking to Reuters outside the apartment building where Rojas lives in New York City’s Bronx borough.

Don’t make him out to be a terrorist or something,“ Ramos said. "He served his country and when he came back, nobody helped him.”

Rojas attended college and works in real estate, Ramos said.

“He went through a real tough time,” Ramos said, adding that he had lost contact with Rojas. “That’s my friend. I care about him, and it hurts.”

Only a week ago, Rojas was arrested at his apartment in the Bronx for threatening another man with a knife.

“Do you feel safe? You stole my identity,” Rojas told the man, grabbing his neck in one hand while brandishing the knife in the other, according to a police spokeswoman. She did not have additional details about the incident.

He was charged with menacing and possession of a weapon, according to court records. He eventually pleaded guilty to harassment, a violation, and was not sentenced to any prison time.

Rojas was also charged with drunken driving in 2008 and 2015, according to New York City police.

The state motor vehicle department confirmed he was convicted of driving while impaired in both cases but still had a valid driver’s license as of Thursday.

As of 5 p.m. (2110 GMT) on Thursday, police had not yet announced formal charges against Rojas in the Times Square incident, and he had not yet appeared in court. It was not immediately clear whether Rojas had a defence lawyer.

Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011. He served as an electrician’s mate fireman apprentice, mostly based in Florida.

While stationed in Jacksonville, Rojas was arrested for battery and resisting an officer without violence, both misdemeanours.

An arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said Rojas yelled at an officer, “My life is over,” and threatened to kill police after his release from jail. He also told the officer that he had beaten a cab driver to whom he owed money and had been drinking at the time of the arrest, according to the report.

Court records indicate the charges may have been dropped.

Navy records show he spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013 but do not specify why.

He left the service in May 2014, according to records, which do not offer any additional details.

A few hours after the Times Square incident, about 20 police officers and detectives occupied the sidewalk outside the six-story red brick building where Rojas lives.

A woman who used to live in the building, Fati Razak, said she occasionally sees Rojas when she returns to visit her mother.

“We don’t have anything in common except to say ‘hi,’” said Razak, who works as a hairdresser next door. She said Rojas’ family is Dominican and that his mother is a “sweetheart” who sometimes makes food or coffee for the beauty salon’s workers.

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Man who lost fingers to frostbite in trek to Canada gets refugee status

WINNIPEG — More than five months after he almost froze to death walking across the Canada-United States border, eventually losing his fingers to frostbite, Razak Iyal was granted refugee status Tuesday.

“If I go back to Ghana, I might lose all my life. But here I am, I just lost my fingers, but I’m still part of the society,” Iyal, 35, said after his closed-door Immigration and Refugee board hearing.

“I thank God that I’ve been accepted to stay in Canada, to be a Canadian. And what I have in me, I’ll make sure I share it with the community, with the people.”

Iyal was among the first in the recent wave of refugee-claimants sneaking across the border from the United States out of fear of being deported back to their home country.

After meeting up with another man from Ghana, Seidu Mohammed, at a bus station in Minneapolis, the two men took a bus to Grand Forks, N.D., and then a taxi to an area near the border.

It was Christmas Eve and the overnight windchill dipped to —30 C as the men walked though snowy fields in the darkness for hours. They were not dressed for such an excursion, and suffered severe frostbite before being noticed by a trucker after crossing into Canada.

They would spend weeks recovering in hospital. Iyal lost all his fingers but kept his thumbs. Mohammed lost all ten digits.

“I can do a lot of things that people who have fingers can do,” said Iyal, who dreams of bringing his wife to Canada and opening an electronics business similar to one he had in Ghana.

Iyal said he fled Ghana because his five siblings were out to kill him in a dispute over the inheritance of his late father’s property. A local politician was involved, he said.

After he arrived in Canada, some media reports in Ghana said he was a homosexual. It’s not true, he said, but the reports added to the danger he would face if returned home due to the African nation’s treatment of gays and lesbians.

“There is no place in Ghana, which is geographically a very small country, that he could ever be safe,” his lawyer, Bashir Khan, told reporters.

Iyal and Mohammed both had their claims for asylum rejected in the United States, so they would have been turned back at an official border crossing under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.

Like hundreds of others in recent months, they opted to try to sneak across the border, knowing that they would get a refugee hearing if they made it on to Canadian soil before turning themselves in.

Mohammed, who is bisexual and a professional soccer player, had his refugee claim approved last month.

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press

Donald Trump blasts OSU attacker, says Somali refugee shouldn’t have been in the U.S.

  • Trump tweeted early Wednesday that ISIS was taking credit for the attack at Ohio State University by student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, and that Artan, who was a refugee from Somalia, “should not have been in our country.”
  • Artan was a legal permanent resident of the United States with no history of violence or allegiance to terrorist organizations. 
  • Artan and his family fled Somalia for Pakistan in 2007 and came to the U.S. in 2014.
  • ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, but preliminary investigations suggest the attack was a “lone wolf” situation inspired. but not backed, by ISIS. 
  • Artan took to Facebook shortly before the attack to criticize the United States for “interfering with other countries” and stated, “if you want us Muslims to stop carrying lone wolf attacks, then make peace." 
  • ISIS was not mentioned in the post. Read more

In related Trump news, he’ expected to name billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary and hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

Omari Akhmedov decisions Razak Alhassan

Allow me to briefly map out the fight for ya. Akhmedov circles against the cage and then Razak Alhassan blisters him with power shots. The two flurry and then the flurry ends with Akhmedov grabbing onto a leg and diving in for a takedown. He gets it, he hits some ground and pound and rinse, wash and repeat. Hopefully Alhassan learns something about takedown defense because what he was doing isn’t going to cut it. A lot of skills and tools in the arsenal of Razak Alhassan and Akhmedov continues to be one of the tougher guys walking God’s green Earth.

Towers Two reminds me a lot of Legend of Zelda

I’ve been gearing up to run Towers Two for the past week or so. For those unfamiliar with it, it’s the old school adventure written by the late frontman of GWAR, Dave Brockie. It was published posthumously by LotFP, with the writing being completed by Jobe Bittman.  

Towers Two is one of my favourite kinds of adventure books. It’s a modestly sized sandbox that could be inserted into any ongoing campaign: It’s small enough for the Referee to easily remember all of its parts, but just big enough to be the focus of an entire campaign if the players wished. 

Its characters are all unique and easily recognizable (It’s almost as if giving your NPCs easily spelt/spoken names lends them verisimilitude and being remembered. How bout that shit). It trades in generic fantasy tropes like orcs and giants and castles, but manages to make them feel fresh and inviting. 

And for those who are squeamish, its “GWARness” can easily be toned down or stripped out. That said, it’s more fun to play its abundance of gore/filth/sex/death straight.

Reading it over again, the whole layout and trappings of the adventure remind me a lot of The Legend of Zelda

I’d really like to run it with this in mind. More details below.

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