FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O HAD NO RIBBONS TO CUT AT GROCERY STORE OPENINGS SO INSTEAD HE'S GOING TO A TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL IN WORCESTER.
THE STUNT WILL COST THE CITY OF WORCESTER OVER $200,000 AND WILL SHUT DOWN SIX MILES OF STREES FROM "TWO THIRTY TO SIX O'CLOCK."
REACHED FOR COMMENT THIS MORNING AFTER HIS FACIAL, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT THE COSTS WERE WORTH IT "BECAUSE THEY'RE GOING TO SEE ME, THEY'RE GOING TO MARVEL OVER ME AND, FACE IT, I AM WORTH IT. I WILL ADD MEANING TO THEIR OTHERWISE DULL LIVES."
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
In Iraq, the day began with this alarming headline: "Gunmen control several districts in Mosul, The governor sneaks out of the city." Mosul was hardly the only area that was, to put it nicely, in flux. NINA reports rebels "seized control of government and security buildings in al-Hawija and districts of al-Zab, al-Riyadh, al-Abbasi and Rashad" in Kirkuk. NINA also reports rebels have seized "full control of the city" of Sharqat "and completely destroyed the security centers in the village Aouijilyah left side of Sharqat." In addition, NINA notes rebels "dominated on Tuesday a checkpoint at the northern entrance of Tikrit, and the island of Albu-Ajeel east of Tikrit."
AFP's Prashant Rao Tweets:
Just when you thought Iraq couldn't get any worse, word comes through that militants have taken control of parts of Kirkuk province.
Now back to Mosul. Liz Sly and Ahmed Ramadan (Washington Post) report Mosul is under the control of rebels, "Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, overran the entire western bank of the city overnight after Iraqi soldiers and police apparently fled their posts, in some instances discarding their uniforms as they sought to escape the advance of the militants." Mohammed Tawfeeq, Jomana Karadsheh and Laura Smith-Spark (CNN) report:
Speaking at a news conference in Baghdad, Osama al-Nujaifi appeared to point the finger at the central government, accusing security forces of abandoning Mosul when the fighting began.
Al-Nujaifi said security forces "abandoned their weapons, their tanks and their bases and left them to terrorist groups, even Mosul airport." He also said gunmen had taken over ammunition storage facilities.The speaker, whose brother Atheel al-Nujaifi is the governor of Nineveh province, said the central government had been warned over the past few weeks that militant groups were gathering but had taken no preventive action.
Atheel al-Nujaifi, the provincial governor told al-Arabiyah satellite channel that "the gunmen took control of the left and right sides of Mosul except for small pockets." The left and right sides of the city refer to east and west banks of the Tigris River which bisects the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
Nujaifi said that the top army officers who came recently from Baghdad to supervise the battles suddenly withdrew with their troops from the left side which was under control of the security forces.
Mitchell Prothero and Hannah Allam (McClatchy Newspapers) quote Mosul teacher Zaid Mohammed stating, "I asked one soldier I know why he was leaving. He told me, 'We came here for salaries, not to die'." Ziad al-Sinjary (Reuters) notes corpses of security forces were "littering the streets" and quoted an unnamed military officer stating, "We can't beat them. We can't. They are well trained in street fighting and we're not. We need a whole army to drive them out of Mosul. They're like ghosts: they appear, strike and disappear in seconds."
Alsumaria reports Nouri has ordered military commanders to arrest all security forces who abandoned their posts. NINA adds that the Ministry of Defense has announced "al-Taji Camp, north of Baghdad," is where the arrested security forces will be held. After the 2003 invasion, the US military used that camp and called it Camp Cooke. Military.com notes it is located 30 kilometers from Baghdad. While security forces ran, All Iraq News notes, "More than 70 female students are stuck inside the University of Mosul after the control of the ISIL elements on the city."
It should be noted that Al Mada's actually spoken with an officer with the federal police, an officer who deserted Mosul, and he tells the news outlet that leadership ordered the federal police to drop their weapons and evacuate. Al Mada also reports that the first security forces to desert in Mosul were the Iraqi army forces.
In addition to ordering security forces arrested, All Iraq News reports Nouri has also promised, "The security forces will re-control Mosul city within 24 hours."
Wait. There's more. RT notes, "Eyewitness accounts describe the scenes of chaos on the streets of Iraq’s second-largest city as people fled for their lives. A number of reports say that militants are freeing detainees from police stations, while AL RAI Chief International Correspondent Elijah J Magnier tweeted that the ISIS had freed over 2000 inmates from a 'counter terrorism prison'." Dentist Mahmoud al-Taie tells Ali A. Nabhan and Matt Bradley (Wall St. Journal), "The whole of Mosul collapsed today. We've fled our homes and neighborhoods, and we're looking for God's mercy. We are waiting to die." AFP's WG Dunlop Tweets the following:
In Nouri's Iraq, it can always get worse (and usually does).
All Iraq News reports that Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi declared at a press conference today, "The ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] elements controlled the IA [Iraqi Army] helicopters and security forces withdrew from Shurqat Airport in Mosul."
Well thank goodness the White House hasn't been supplying Nouri with weapons, helicopters and F-16s . . .
They have been supplying Nouri with those things. In fact, Nouri got his first F-16 last week.
Doesn't look smart, does it?
The White House supplying a government with weapons the government can't even secure?
Maybe Barack can next press the Congress to okay plutonium being shipped to Nouri?
Mitchell Prothero (McClatchy Newspapers) notes:
Iraqi provincial officials confirmed reports from ISIS media outlets that at least one major Iraqi military base had fallen and with it, huge amounts of American-supplied military equipment, including possible attack helicopters. ISIS-linked Internet accounts were filled with credible appearing photos of large amounts of captured and destroyed U.S.-built armored vehicles.
The New York Times words it this way, "The insurgent fighters who routed the Iraqi army out of Mosul on Tuesday did not just capture much of Iraq’s second-largest city. They also gained a windfall of arms, munitions and equipment abandoned by the soldiers as they fled -- arms that were supplied by the United States and intended to give the troops an edge over the insurgents."
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