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Yemen’s separatists vow revenge for government assault on Aden

By Mohammed Mukhashaf

ADEN, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Southern Yemeni separatists on Thursday vowed revenge against government forces for their assault on Aden and dispatched reinforcements from elsewhere as fighting between the nominal allies in a Saudi-led coalition showed no sign of abating.

Yemen’s foreign minister accused the United Arab Emirates, which backs the separatists, of carrying out air strikes on government positions in Aden. A Yemeni official said over 30 soldiers were killed by air strikes on the eastern outskirts of Aden.

Reuters could not independently confirm the report and UAE officials did not immediately respond to requests for agen Dominoqq comment.

The separatists and the internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are supposed allies in the Saudi-led coalition in its four-year-old war against Iran-aligned Houthis, who hold Yemen’s capital Sanaa in the north and most of the country’s populated areas.

But the United Arab Emirates has fallen out with Hadi’s side because it includes a party the UAE sees as close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Gulf state has been fighting across the Middle East and North Africa.

Hadi’s government said on Wednesday it had captured Aden airport and controlled most of the southern port city, an assertion quickly disputed by the separatists.

On Thursday, the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) said some of its troops positioned on the outskirts of the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, which is under Houthi control, had returned to Aden to join the battle against Hadi’s forces.

“To whoever said the Southern Resistance has fled, I say: We are here,” Hani Ben Brik, STC’s vice-president, said in a video shared on social media showing him with dozens of his fighters outside Aden’s airport building.

The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis after the group ousted Hadi from power in Sanaa in late 2014. Aden is the temporary seat of Hadi’s government.

A brigade of the STC’s Giants Brigades had arrived in Aden from the Hodeidah theatre to support the fight against government forces, an STC statement said. A U.N.-brokered ceasefire has been in place in Hodeidah since December.

A Yemeni official said Saudi Arabia and the UAE had made contact with both sides to try to defuse the conflict but more fighters were seen arriving in Aden and the other southern provinces of Shabwa, Lahej and Abyan.

“COMMITTED TO REFORMS”

“The Coalition remains committed to supporting reforms in the legitimate government, tackling corruption, encouraging inclusiveness towards to all Yemeni factions, in order to ensure representation of all Yemenis in the future of the country,” said UAE National Media Council director Jaber Al Lamki.

There were sporadic clashes across Aden on Thursday with gunmen on both sides patrolling deserted streets, residents said. Shops, restaurants and businesses were closed.

Government forces recaptured Zinjibar, the capital of the neighboring Abyan province, on Monday, after securing most of the oil-producing Shabwa region and its liquefied natural gas terminal in Balhaf.

The separatists seek to restore the South Yemen republic which merged with the north in 1990. They had clashed occasionally with government forces for several years before major new hostilities erupted this month.

Saudi Arabia has called for a summit to end the standoff, which has roiled U.N. efforts to end a war that has driven Yemen to the brink of famine and is widely seen as a proxy struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia for regional dominance.

But Hadi´s government has said it will not participate until separatists cede control of sites they seized earlier in August.

(Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Utah cop DENIES downloading explicit photos of blackmailed student

A Utah police officer has denied saving explicit photos of a college student who provided them as evidence of being blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend. 

University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, 21, confided in campus cops in October 2018 that she was being extorted by her sex-offender ex, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who said he had access to some of her personal images and was threatening to release them if she didn’t pay him $1,000.

Terrified by the demand, McCluskey paid Rowland the money, and then sent copies of his threatening messages and the pictures in question to police as evidence.

Officer Miguel Deras then allegedly saved the compromising photos of the young track star onto his phone, before showing them to at least one male colleague and bragging about being able to ogle at them any time he wanted.

Just nine days after filing the report, Rowland shot McCluskey dead on campus, and then turned the gun on himself. The promising athlete had ended the relationship a month earlier after discovering Rowland was a registered sex offender who had lied about his name, age and criminal history. 

Deras’s lawyer, J.C. Jensen, has strongly denied the accusations made against his client in the Lake Tribune article.   

‘No evidence. No physical evidence. Not a single picture was downloaded to his personal cell phone,’ Jensen told KSL TV. ‘I want the public to step back and read the article and realize there are flaws in the article.’

University of Utah student Lauren McCluskey, 21, confided in campus cops in October 2018 that she was being extorted by her sex-offender former boyfriend, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, who said he had access to her personal files and was threatening to release them if she didn’t pay $1,000

Terrified by the demand, McCluskey paid Melvin Rowland (right) the money, and then sent copies of the messages and pictures in question to police as evidence.

McCluskey is said to have given the photographs to Deras, who is now a police officer with the Logan City Police Department, as evidence against Rowland’s actions. 

Deras has been accused of downloading the images to his phone and showing them to another officer. His lawyer said the photos were on his phone as he used it for work – but that they were in an email and nowhere else on the device. 

He said that Deras showed the photo to a senior member of the department in order to push the case forward, but did not make any ‘disparaging remarks’. 

An independent investigation by the university found that there was no evidence to support the allegations made. However, the college’s new police chief has decided to start another based on the ‘seriousness of the accusations, the thoroughness of the report, and to avoid any perception of bias.’    

‘The people who were supposed to be helping and protecting Lauren were actually exploiting her,’ Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother, told the Tribune. ‘I wish that Deras had used his time to arrest the man who was committing crimes against Lauren.’

Along with her husband Matt, the McCluskey family filed a $56 million lawsuit over police handling of the case, after an independent review found Deras did very little to investigate McCluskey’s complaints.

On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to lure her out of her dorm. Deras never passed that information along to anyone else in the department and hours later she was shot dead.

‘This latest revelation makes me wonder when we’ll hit bottom,’ Matt McCluskey, told the Tribune.

Another officer confirmed to campus police that he had been shown the images by Deras, with another confirming he had heard the conversation taking place.

The first officer told investigators in September 2019 that he had been sitting next to Deras during a briefing in between shifts, when Deras leaned over towards him and started scrolling through the images on his phone.

Deras, who now works for Logan Police 85 miles away, declined several requests to comment, the paper said. Campus police say the officer who was shown the images has not been disciplined because he didn’t ask Deras to see them.

While the university confirmed that Deras had in fact saved and shared the images, the revelation only came to light when the Tribune started asking to access records, officials said.

‘He was long gone before we had any inkling that that incident with the photo being shown had occurred,’ Lt. Jason Hinojosa told the paper. ‘We did identify one person who could confirm. He came forward after the investigation [had] begun.’

In their lawsuit filed last October, the McClusky family (left to right: Dad, Matt; Mom, Jill) accused the school of failing to protect their daughter or for taking responsibility for her death. They’re seeking $56 million in damages but say the money would go to a trust designed to improve campus safety

The university claims to have no physical evidence of Dera’s misconduct. In July 2019, investigators attempted to download data from Deras’ cellphone, but anything yielded was either corrupted or from after the McCluskey case. This was partly because Deras got a new cellphone after McCluskey’s death and didn’t transfer all of his files to the new device.

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Sharing or displaying a compromising photo of someone without the person’s consent could be prosecuted under Utah’s revenge porn laws. The first offense can result in a misdemeanor charge. Because the statute requires proof that a victim was harmed, McCluskey’s death could complicate a prosecution.

Also complicating matters, the university claims to have no physical evidence of Deras’s misconduct.

In July 2019, investigators attempted to download data from Deras’s cellphone, but anything yielded was either corrupted or from after the McCluskey case. This was partly because Deras’s got a new cellphone after McCluskey’s death and didn’t transfer all of his files to the new device.

Major Scott Stephenson, who oversees all police training in the state under the Utah Department of Public Safety, said the discovery could be grounds for action against Deras’s police certification.

‘It’s very alarming to me,’ Stephenson told the Tribune, suggesting it might be a ‘policy violation’ for the incident having not been reported earlier.

In their lawsuit filed last October, the McClusky family accused the school of failing to protect their daughter and for failing taking responsibility for her death. They’re seeking $56 million in damages but say the money would go to a trust designed to improve campus safety.

‘This latest revelation makes me wonder when we’ll hit bottom,’ Matt McCluskey (pictured above with Lauren), told the Tribune

On the morning of October 22, McCluskey called Deras to report that Rowland was trying to lure her out of her dorm. Deras never passed that information along to anyone else in the department and hours later she was shot dead.

McClusky was said to have madbee as many as 20 police reports about Rowland before her death. Her friends also reported concerns to dormitory officials, the lawsuit said, but they were ignored

The lawsuit alleges that officials missing the warning signs of dating violence and made no effort to stop Rowland’s harassment or ban him from being on campus. 

McCluskey was said to have made as many as 20 police reports about Rowland before her death. Her friends also reported concerns to dormitory officials, the lawsuit said, but they were ignored.

An independent review was commissioned by the university and found that the school indeed missed warning signs of abuse before McCluskey was found shot in a car after returning from a night class.

However, university president Ruth Watkins says there’s no reason to believe Rowland could’ve been stopped.

In response the lawsuit, UofU has pledged to run more frequent checks to identify ex-convicts and investigate on-campus complaints more thoroughly.

They’ve also hired more officers, increased training, and streamled communications between housing officials and police.

McCluskey received a track scholarship following a standout high school career in Pullman, Washington. She finished second in the state for the 100 hurdles and fifth in the high jump in her senior year. She specialized in jumping events in college and ranks 10th all-time at Utah in the pentathlon.

Read more:

University of Utah police officer showed off explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey to his co-worker – The Salt Lake Tribune

The way to Guide: Acana Necessities For Newbies

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ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA announces to join in Adventure Travel Trade Association

Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market as well as operates and promotes sustainable adventure travel as well as trusted tour operators online. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers.

Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive conferences, the ATTA provides professional support, development, education, research, marketing, career building, networking and cost-saving resources to its members.

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA) is a Vietnam Tour Operator, who offers a wide selection of Vietnam, Laos, blog du lich (www.bdatrip.com) Cambodia and Myanmar adventure tours, including hiking and trekking, biking, motorcycling, overland touring and family travel packages.

Their packages and custom itineraries will take you through exotic destinations to really experience the culture, history and nature of Asia. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy an unforgettable active vacation. They run the most adventure tours available in the area. Their active trips are designed for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts, real people seeking real fun and adventure

ATA joined in ATTA to promote and grow the sustainable and responsible adventure travel market especially in Australia, Euro and North America as well as spread of their brand name to global adventure travel network.

To be the member of ATTA, ATA expressed their effort to serve clients with the best services which is guaranteed, responsible and sustainable. Additionally, ATA is very happy to work with other Tour Operators, Travel Agencies, and Wholesales….as their partners for a mutually beneficial co-operation.

To be the clients or partners of ATA, you are all always welcome to their promisingly policies, unique adventure products and real experiences in the different way “ACTIVELY EXPLORING HIDDEN LANDS…”

Eric – ACTIVETRAVEL.ASIA