Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jundallah insurgent leader hanged in Iran

Islamic Republic executes Sunni leader Abdulmalik Rigi whose group carried out bombing attacks which killed dozens in country's southeast, after months of interrogation, trial

Leader of the Jundallah insurgent group, Abdulmalik Rigi was hanged Sunday after months of interrogation and trial, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Death by hanging

Rigi, whose insurgency in the southeast had destabilized Iran's border region with Pakistan, was hanged Sunday morning in the presence of the families his group had terrorized, IRNA reported.

The hanging came after authorities exhausted legal requirements after months of interrogation and trial on charges of "being corrupt on earth" for waging a bloody campaign in Iran's southeast.

Rigi was arrested in February by Iranian intelligence agents when he was flying over the Persian Gulf en route from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan.

Rigi's younger brother Abdulhamid was executed last month in Zahedan. He had been captured in Pakistan in 2008 and extradited toIran.

IRNA said Rigi pleaded guilty to charges of armed attacks against targets that included civilians, armed robbery, creating insecurity and engaging in a disinformationcampaign against Iran.

Jundallah had already claimed responsibility for bombing attacks that have killed dozens in recent years, including five senior commanders of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard last year.

The group, which Iran claims is linked to al-Qaeda, gained notice six years ago after it launched a campaign of sporadic kidnappings and bomb attacks that killed dozens.

Jundallah claims minority Sunni tribes in southeastern Iran suffer discrimination at the hands of Iran's Shiite leadership.

Iran has accused the US and Britain of supporting Jundallah in an effort to weaken the Iranian government, a charge they deny.


On a night dedicated to the "Ultimate Fighter", former competitors highlighted the finale show as well, topped off with Matt Hamill outworking Keith Jardine to get a majority decision win in the light heavyweight division.

With his back against the wall looking down the barrel at a possible fourth loss in a row, Keith Jardine knew he had to come out of the gate strong in his fight on Saturday night and he did exactly that. Firing off quick jabs and leg kicks, Jardine battered Hamill in the first round.

The mistakes for Jardine came in the 2nd round as he started to get into big exchanges with Hamill, who landed big shot after big shot, while also taking the fight to the ground and opening a huge cut on his opponent's forehead. As the fighters traded shots on the feet after working their way up from the mat, Jardine looked to push Hamill away but in the process jammed a thumb into his eye.

The fight was paused, and referee Herb Dean deducted a point from Keith Jardine due to the eye poke.

It turns out the eye poke only played an incidental role in the decision as Hamill kept pushing forward, crashing Jardine with power shots, and working away at the cut on his head that continued to give him a crimson mask throughout the fight. Two exhausted fighters closed out the third round with a few more strikes, but the damage caused by Hamill was likely a deciding factor.

"I'm not really happy with my performance, I thought he did really good, I don't know what happened I'm going to have to go home and review it, and study my mistakes," Hamill said emotionally after the fight.

For Keith Jardine, the questions now begin as he's lost 4 fights in a row, and 5 out of his last 6. Will the UFC keep the tough as nails light heavyweight? That question will likely be answered in the next few days.

It's been five years since Chris Leben was a competitor on the "Ultimate Fighter" reality show, but he returned home on Saturday night where he TKO'd previously unbeaten Arizona fighter Aaron Simpson to pick up his second win in a row.

Simpson, a former NCAA All-American wrestler, came after Leben hard in the first round, slamming the Hawaii based fighter down to the mat twice with takedowns, but couldn't keep the fight on the ground very long. Maintaining his composure, Leben bided his time looking for an opening, and that came in the second round as Simpson's cardio started to fade.

Trapping Simpson against the cage, Leben popped Simpson in the jaw with a straight left hand, and followed it up with more strikes. Simpson survived momentarily, but turned his back on Leben as they stood up and took a few more shots as they separated. Trying to avoid more damage, Simpson stumbled across the cage to get away from Leben, and referee Josh Rosenthal saw enough, stopping the fight and giving Leben the TKO win.

"I hit him in the face, cause that's my job," Leben said after the win while dedicating the fight to his longtime friend Ed Herman, who lost to Simpson in 2009.

Bouncing back from a loss in his last fight, Russian born Dennis Siver got the better of Spencer Fisher for three rounds to get a unanimous decision win, his fifth in the Octagon.

It was a game of who could throw the bigger power punch and land it for the most part, and Siver got to the punch just a little quicker than Fisher did in the latter part of the fight. A clash of heads in the first round saw Siver get a good sized gash opened over his eye, but luckily the cut was dealt with between rounds and never caused him much of a problem in the fight.

Fisher, who worked with Mark Dellagrotte for this fight, showed good quickness in moments, but just couldn't put together the combinations to hurt Siver. To his credit, Siver used good footwork, mixed with strong punches and some stinging body kicks to get the judges' nod in the end.

A broken arm stopped Rich Attonito during the eleventh season of the "Ultimate Fighter" but time to heal and a win over Jamie Yager probably helped soothe some of those wounds from not getting a chance to win the show's championship.

Giving up considerable reach, Attonito had to avoid Yager's strikes in the first round, and the American Top Team fighter seemed to struggle to get to the inside. Yager kept Attonito away from him, but didn't unload any big shots.

The time between rounds woke Attonito up, and he got Yager down on the mat and immediately showed his dominance on the ground. Flattening Yager out on his stomach, Attonito opened a barrage of strikes to his opponent's head, and left only to throw up an arm to defend, referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in to stop the punishment.

Jackson fans will moonwalk in motion-sensing game

Ubisoft has announced the development of a new video game inspired by Michael Jackson. The upcoming game will include tracks from Michael Jackson’s extensive catalogue such as Beat It and Billie Jean, as well as an array of his dance moves for players to learn and emulate within the game. Additionally, fans will be able to sing along and test their vocal skills. Players will step into the shoes of Michael Jackson and re-live iconic performances.

John Branca, co-executor for The Estate of Michael Jackson:

“Michael always pushed every limit when it came to technology to give his fans unforgettable entertainment experiences, whether it involved his videos, his recordings or his concerts. Now, with this interactive product, we have the chance to bring Michael, the artist, into households around the world in a perfect match of Michael’s artistry and the family entertainment which he always highly valued. Kids, their parents, extended family members and friends will now have an opportunity to all come together and experience Michael’s music and dance in an innovative, exciting and fun way.”

Michael Jackson Estate Co-Executor John McClain:

“No artist can energize a dance floor in the spirit of fun like Michael Jackson. His God-given gifts for music and dance are something new generations of fans will appreciate even more. This game is a natural extension of what he would be doing today to raise his artistry to even greater heights for his fans of all generations. It is a game that the entire family can experience and enjoy together and this is something that would please Michael tremendously.”

Yves Guillemot, chief executive officer at Ubisoft:

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to develop a game based on the songs and moves of one of the world’s most incredible performers of all time. We expect the game to bring Michael Jackson fans, families and friends together with the energetic song and dance of The King of Pop.”

Ohio State Recruit Jamel Turner Shot, Tracy Banks Murdered in Shooting..Melvin Shaw Suspected

Written by: Robert Littal

Jamel Turner
Jamel Turner

As many of you know I am a proud alum of The Ohio State University, so when I started to hear reports that an OSU recruit had been shot, it immediately got my attention, when I started to research the details an all to familiar scene came to the forefront. Here is a description of the tragic events:

A talented OSU football recruit is in a hospital in his hometown, the victim of an overnight shooting that killed the teenage girl he was visiting. According to NBC 4’s sister station in Youngstown, WFMJ, Jamel Turner told 911 operators he had been shot early Saturday morning. Medics found him suffering multiple wounds at a corner near the house where they found Tracy Banks, 17, who was fatally shot.

Police told reporters Banks had been baby-sitting for a 4-year-old girl who was found unharmed.

The child reportedly told police she heard Tracy arguing with her boyfriend, Melvin Shaw, before the gunfire. Shaw is considered a suspect, say police, but is not in custody. Turner is in critical condition at a Youngstown hospital. He reported being wounded in a drive-by shooting in Youngstown in April; those injuries were not serious.

You see this everyday on the news, young people being shot and murdered over minor disagreements, jealousy, money, drugs, women and etc. What is more disturbing about this particular story is that a 4 year old child possibly witnessed a person being killed.

No one knows exactly if Turner was just at the wrong place at the wrong time, but this is the second time he has been shot in the past three months meaning if he gets through this and I pray that he does, he has to make better decisions about the company he keeps.

I lived in Columbus, Oh for five years and had many friends from Youngstown and let me tell you when you go to Youngstown you would think it was 1975, not 2010. It is a very downtrodden and rough city. Violence is high throughout the city and murders like these happen daily.

All we can do is pray that our young people realize that whatever the dispute is about, it is never serious enough to take someone’s life, it just isn’t. Very sad story, very sad situation and my heart goes out to the Banks’ family. I pray that Turner makes it through and realizes you can only gamble with your life for so long before you crap out.

Hayward Heads Home to Yacht Race

At first when I saw this I thought the headline was a joke. But it would seem not.

Fresh off apparently being taken off Gulf Spill duty, BP CEO Tony Hayward is spending today on the Isle of Wight watching his yacht "Bob" participate in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

The most shocking detail might be that Hayward named his yacht "Bob".

Manute Bol dies at 47: Bol's sprit of giving not well known

Manute Bol
Former Golden State Warriors player Manute Bol (who also played with the Philadelphia 76ers, Seattle Supersonics, and Washington Bullets) sadly passed away Saturday at the young age of 47 and do to complications from "Stevens - Johnson syndrome," which Bol reportedly contracted while in Sudan.

Bol is being celebrated as one of the NBA's best defensive players in history, but Bol's also praised for his work in the sprit of giving. The Kansas City Star reported in May - as Bol was in the hospital for the condition that would ultimately take his life - that Manute Bol's charitable work for Sudan was not well-recognized by the public.

Bol's focus was helping those less fortunate in his home country of Sudan. One of the organizations Bol supported is called "Alliance For The Lost Boys of Sudan."

Alliance For The Lost Boys is an organization that supplies medical and dental coverage as well as educational funding and school supplies for the boys of Sudan. Specifically, the estimated 27,000 Sudanese boys who were displaced from their families during the Second Sudanese Civil War. A war where Bol himself lost several hundred family members. A war that saw 2 million killed; 3,800 boys were orphaned in America, mostly in the State of Arizona, Chicago and the State of Florida.

(That Arizona has Sundanese orphans makes one wonder if they too are being harmed by that states' Hitler-like illegal immigration law and the intense racism expressed by some there.)

This comment summed up Bol's thoughts: "There’s no way I can put the money in my pocket while my people are getting beat up. Whatever I can do to help my people I will do. I feel whatever I make here I make for my people."

The Kansas City Star 's Sam Mellinger wrote that Bol "has given so much and received little in comparison." And in a set of paragraphs that makes any one want to cry, Mellinger wrote:

He was once lured back to his home country with the promise of a cabinet post, only to find out he would be required to convert to Islam. When he refused, he was stranded for nearly five years. His trust and good intentions have been abused so many times.

Even while playing, he went into war zones to help the Lost Boys and other refugees. Sometimes, those visits were interrupted by bombings from warlords who viewed Bol as a threat.

His family was wiped out by Darfurians, but when that country became victims, Bol was one of the first Sudanese to speak out in support. A Christian, he told his people that extremists were the enemy, not Muslims.

he uncomfortable part of this is that we’ll appreciate Bol, 47, more when he’s gone, whenever that comes.

You know, there are times when I have said "I wish someone would have told me about that; I'd have done what I could to help." Manute Bol's story is one of those times I wish someone had contacted me. A person's story is a collection of small contributions; that's one I would have certainly made.

Manute Bol's in a better place. And, while it's after his passing, we should stop to celebrate Manute Bol's time on Earth.

God bless Manute Bol.