The notorious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or sometimes the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, had taken over Iraq’s biggest oil field in Baiji, taken over several towns, committed summary executions against defenceless Iraqi soldiers and weakened the Iraqi military morale. However, this terrorist group is not hiding from the internet, as it uploads updates from the frontlines through its social media networks.

However, the ISIS or ISIL is using several account swapping applications that allow them to keep information flowing out and avoid censorship from social networks, especially with the gruesome media they upload in the internet.

Social networks allow the terrorist group to receive empathy and compassion from supporters and would-be supporters. They also use the information uploaded in the internet to threaten and intimidate their opponents, specifically about their personal attitudes regarding the efforts of different military and government groups.

According to Dr. Andrew Philips, a Senior International Relations Lecturer in Queensland University, jihadists use social media as a means to allow them to reach out to scattered people who can heed the message and appeal to them for support.

Their online presence and recognition will prove to be invaluable as the raw information sent by the terrorist group regarding individual experiences from their own soldiers and fighters can help them gain support, while giving the public a good look at the reality they face in the frontlines.


US President Barack Obama plans to do a visit to Europe in the coming week to encourage US allies in Europe to continue putting pressure and maintaining their stand against Russia.

Obama is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time in the past few months since the start of the Ukraine crisis. Both will be attending a luncheon and ceremony in Normandy.

Obama focuses his trip to reassure his allies that the United States will ensure their security and that they must keep up with cornering Russia.

The US President will be visiting Central European leaders from the Baltic States, Poland, Germany, France, UK and Norway.

In Poland, Obama plans to visit a Warsaw Airport Hangar, which includes American pilots in its ranks. The visit is to reassure the increased joint air and training missions should Russia intervene at a crucial level in Ukraine.

However, European, Middle Eastern and Asian leaders are quite sceptical about Obama’s overseas reassurance tours and the “truthfulness” of his reassurances to the public.

Obama will urge other countries to maintain sanctions firmly against sectors of Russia’s economy. As Russia did not interfere with the Ukrainian Elections, the US fears that European countries may downplay Russia’s actions during the Ukraine crisis and take the country as it was before the crisis.


We might think that banks should have learned their faults by now after the PPI compensation package had reached £22 billion at present. The biggest PPI scandal has a “scandal within itself” in the words of former financial expert and now-journalist Cliff D’Arcy. Alternative redress allowed banks to save millions from unfairly recompensing consumers their PPI premiums.

With alternative redress, more commonly known as comparative redress, banks could assume a consumer who complained about a single-premium PPI made a mistake in their purchase, and have instead purchased a regular-premium PPI, which costs less than a single-premium. This could mean your £2780 average payout from a PPI might not always be right.

According to observers, there had been lacking numbers of complaints regarding alternative redress. Most consumers assumed their bank had already paid out what they repaid in the last few years.

Lloyds had used the regulatory provision from February 2013, RBS and National West had used it since January 2013. Barclay used it from October 2012-2013. If you submitted a PPI claim template letter and received your refund within the given timeframe, you might have a lacking insurance repayment.

You could contact a claims management company or the Financial Ombudsman to help you reclaim your complete refunds.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that after weeks of searching for the missing MH730 flight, the country had come to a conclusion that the flight crashed and had disappeared in the Indian Ocean. Prime Minister Razak said that “our thoughts and deepest sympathies continue to be with the families and loved ones of those abroad.”

Boeing had also expressed its condolences to the families of passengers and crews on board the MH370. They also said that they were saddened by the announcement of Prime Minister Razak, but they will assist in future search operations by other parties.

Prime Minister Razak said that the satellite data from Inmarsat or International Maritime Satellite and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch concluded that the MH370 had its last position in the middle of the Indian Ocean near Australia.

Chine Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng had asked Malaysia’s ambassador to provide “detailed evidence” that MH370 indeed crashed into the Indian Ocean. China demanded that Malaysia provide the evidence and all information related to the situation as a satellite analysis will not suffice for the explanation of its disappearance.

Several theories, from technical towards far-fetched theories, had been born in many areas of the internet because of the sudden disappearance of flight MH370.


Russia had said in a statement that it is mobilising its troops to protect its Russian speakers and its interests by armed force. With Crimean government buildings and other infrastructures being captured by men of Russian origin, who were also raising flags in government buildings, the Interim Prime Minister described the Ukraine-Russian relationships heading towards the brink of disaster.

According to a Maidan/ Independence Square protester, Ukraine is their homeland and Crimea is part of their country. He said that Russia has no right to take the country by armed force or even send their forces into the country. He affirmed that he and other protesters are ready to die for their country.

He also said that the protests began as being against the decision of the Ukrainian government to be integrated with Russia instead of the EU. Then it became a fight for their personal lives because of the attitude of their government as they protested in the square. The police were handling the protesters without any concern. Ex-president Viktor Yanukovych had even eliminated some protesters in the square by government sniper fire.

However, he said that many protesters also do not trust the interim government simply because they belong in the same political circle as the others who had left.


Protesters in Kiev continue to fight against Ukraine police, destroying police cordons that disallow passage into government offices and buildings. According to the police, the protesters are using anything their hands could get as weapons against authorities. Protesters have also burned police cars and buses in the area.

Opposition forces disowned the violent protests, which authorities claim to have been organized by groups of Ukraine radicals. The protesters have carried with them bats, chains and sticks to fight against the riot police defending official buildings and issuing control over the area.

The police threw teargas and stun grenades against protesters, who covered their faces with Soviet-era gasmasks and cloth. The freezing temperature and the police’s use of the water cannon against protesters did not deter them from continuing their attack, which had lasted a total of 10 hours.

The protesters had also set fire using Molotov cocktails to five police buses and two trucks. Almost every vehicle except one of the trucks were destroyed. Police fired guns with rubber bullets in retaliation. According to protesters, the use of rubber bullets injured dozens of protesters.

The protests against Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych began when the government refused to sign a deal with the EU due to pressure from Russia. Protesters became furious when Yanukovych signed an economic deal with Russia instead. Yanukovych argued that it will be very expensive for Ukraine to handle the EU deal.


China reacted with fury as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a visit to Yasukuni shrine, which honors Japan’s soldiers who died in the war. This was Abe’s recent visit in seven years.

The Chinese foreign ministry said that Abe’s actions were “intolerable” because it tries to “beautify” Japan’s military aggression during the second world war. China summoned Tokyo’s ambassador and delivered a “strong protest” to Japan. South Korea also expressed its anger and disappointment in Abe’s act.

The Yasukuni shrine holds the 2.5 million “top” war criminals of Japan during the second world war, including the leaders and political figures responsible for waging the Asian front of the war.

Local Japanese news groups had televised Abe’s entry to the shrine. Abe said that some people criticise the visit to Yasukuni as paying tribute to the war criminals. However, he said that his visit was to renew his pledge that Japan will never wage a war with any other country ever again.

Aside from the furious statement of China regarding Abe’s visit to the shrine, the Chinese-Japanese conflict regarding the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands continues to mount progress in the increase in conflict in the stand off.

According to South Korea’s spy agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un may have had his uncle fired from a top military post and also executed several associates of his uncle. Seoul’s National Intelligence Agency’s statement said that Jang Song Thaek, the uncle, was who Kim Jong Un removed from the North Korean National Defense Commission.

According to the NIA, Jang’s closest aides, Lee Yong-ha and Jang Soo-keel, were executed in mid-November.

Experts and analysts of North Korea had said that the execution of the uncle is highly possible. Honorary Senior Fellow Aiden Foster-Carter from the University of Leeds said that they had the activities of Jang Song Thaek and his wife on almost a daily basis. The lack of information from the couple may indicate his execution.

Jang Song Thaek is married to Kim Jong II’s sister, who is the father of the current North Korean leader. Jang has been highly influential in North Korean politics and governance according to intelligence reports

According to South Korean researchers, Jang was especially removed because of his economic initiatives, which often clashed with military motives.

North Korea had not made an official statement regarding Jang’s execution. If confirmed, it is one of the biggest power shuffles in the history of North Korea.


Saudi Arabia turned down an offer by the United Nations on giving it its own Security Council seat, but it rejected the offer unsatisfied by the capability of the Security Council in its performance on the Palestinian and Syrian conflicts.

Saudi Envoy to the UN Abdullah al-Mouallimi wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Saudi Arabia is declining the Security Council seat and is instead giving way for Jordan to take its place. He also reaffirmed the Saudi’s disapproval of the council’s actions regarding the Syrian conflict.

Jordan’s officials confirmed that they are open to getting the Security Council seat, but are still not confirming whether they are positive in taking the seat. Jordan had also withdrawn its candidacy from the race for a UN Human Rights Council position previously. Experts said that Jordan is still considering its position in the Syrian conflict before it takes up the seat in the Security Council.

Saudi Arabia was deeply disappointed with the UN Security Council’s inaction and inability to act in the 32-month old Syrian war. It also has a dispute with the United States  regarding its withdrawal of probable military action should the Syrian Regime prove to use chemical weapons.

Saudi had also said the existing deadlock in Syria was the evidence it needed to say that the UN Security Council is failing to fulfil its duties and responsibilities.


The Financial Ombudsman recently found that it had received 266,238 PPI complaints in the last two months. They also said that 8 out of 10 PPI claims were in favour of consumers. Chief Ombudsman Natalie Ceeney said that banks and financial companies are still not fulfilling their duties in redressing PPI properly.

PPI is designed to repay loans in case consumers cannot provide repayments because they were sick, injured or financially unstable. Banks sold the insurance policy indiscriminately to consumers, making PPI the biggest mis sold financial product in the United Kingdom. If you were mis sold PPI, you could calculate your possible refunds through a PPI calculator you could find with claims management companies.

The Financial Conduct Authority confirms the FOS findings revealing that only 6 out of 18 banks were giving PPI complaints proper redress. They said that one of the 12 banks will be referred for enforcement action while the remaining may be fined as consequence.

The FCA pointed out banks did not consider the exclusions of the insurance policy properly, failed to consider the circumstances of their consumers and did not have a valid reason for delays in giving decisions for PPI complaints.

Anybody mis sold PPI could consult with reputable claims management companies such as for legal advice.

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