Putin Says Russia Will Fight Terrorists Until All Are ‘Eliminated’

Putin Says Russia Will Fight Terrorists Until All Are ‘Eliminated’

ria novosti

Vladimir Putin in his New Year’s celebratory address

Vladimir Putin in his New Year’s celebratory address  © RIA Novosti. Alexey Nikolskiy

KHABAROVSK, December 31 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that his country would continue to battle terrorists until all are eliminated.

“Dear friends, we bow our heads before the victims of cruel terrorist attacks. We will continue fighting terrorists in a confident, tough and relentless manner until they are completely eliminated,” Putin said in his New Year’s celebratory address to residents of the Russian far-eastern city of Khabarovsk.

Putin on Tuesday paid a surprise visit to Khabarovsk, which had been hit by devastating floods in late August and early September.

Two separate suicide bombings in the southern Russian city of Volgograd ripped through Volgograd’s railway terminal on Sunday and a trolleybus on Monday, killing a total of 34 people.

Another attack by a female suicide bomber on a commuter bus in Volgograd in October killed six people and injured 37.

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Suicide Bombers Trained Using Trauma of Homosexual Rape

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The National Directorate of Security (NDS) claimed in a statement this week that based on investigations there was reason to believe Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse the young boys they recruit into their training programs. 

Samiullah, now 16 years old and a resident of Seyah Gerd District of Parwan province, was supposed to kill the Khost Governor in a suicide attack, but was arrested by security forces alive.

Sami used to work in one of the hotels of Khost city, where he was taken from by a Haqqani Network recruiter to Miramsha, Pakistan.

“I was raped four nights in women’s clothes and was beaten too,” Samiullah said. “A friend of mine named Muhammad was also raped.”

The NDS confirmed the report that Sami was arrested while attempting to kill the Khost Police Chief with a gun.

“One of the Haqqani commanders gave me the gun in Meramshah and told me to kill the police chief when he comes to the clinic,” Samiullah said.

Terrorist and insurgent use of young pre-adolescent and adolescent boys for suicide bombings and other attacks has become routine knowledge. Madrasas in Pakistan are well-known for recruiting or forcing uneducated kids into their training programs.

The young, inexperienced assailants are often caught by security forces and returned to their families or detained for an extended period of time.

This marks the first time, publically, a captured would-be assassin has admitted to having been sexually abused by his extremist mentors.

Sami’s story in many way resembles the experience of Bacha Baazi, which is a ancient practice in the region involving pedophilia and dressing young boys as girls for the entertainment of older men.

There has been a recent push by human rights activists to fight the practice of Bacha Baazi in Afghanistan. Yet according to most experts it still exists around the country and is often supported by powerful figures.

Bacha Baazi

Egyptian Authorities Intensify Saudi Proxy War Against Qatari Interests

[Have the Saudis annexed Egypt, as they have done in Bahrain and are currently attempting in Yemen and Syria?  The Saudis are revealing their true intentions to use their money to buy the entire Middle East.  In this regard, the Iranians stand-out as obstacles to Saudi ambitions.  So far, the Saudis have repeatedly projected their own evil personality characteristics upon the Iranians and their allies, whenever speaking publicly they describe their own evil, as if they were describing Iran.]

Four Al Jazeera journalists detained in Egypt, accused of illegal ties to Muslim Brotherhood

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CAIRO — Egypt’s government has detained four journalists working for the Qatar-based Al Jazeera English news channel, arresting them during raids on a five-star hotel and at least one private residence Sunday night.

The reporters, including one Australian national, are accused of “harming national security” through links to the recently banned Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

 

 

The arrests are the latest development in a rapidly escalating crackdown against the Brotherhood, an Islamist group that the government last week declared a “terrorist organization.”

Egyptian police said the Al Jazeera English bureau — which had been broadcasting from a suite at the Marriott hotel following the closure of its Arabic-language sister channel during a military coup in July — was being used as a meeting point and press center for members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egypt’s military-backed government has long accused Al Jazeera, whose Qatari patrons are allies of the Brotherhood, of being a mouthpiece for the organization.

The hotel occupants were “broadcasting news that threatens internal security and spreading false news,” the Interior Ministry said. Police said they also found literature that implicates the journalists for helping to organize recent protests that were illegal under a new law that sharply restricts public demonstrations.

Al Jazeera English identified the reporters who were detained as correspondent Peter Greste, an Australian national; producers Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy.

Greste is an award-winning journalist who previously worked for Reuters, CNN and the BBC, Al Jazeera said. Mohamed and Fawzy are Egyptians. Fahmy holds both Canadian and Egyptian citizenship, according to biographical information in a book he wrote in English, titled “Baghdad Bound: An Interpreter’s Chronicle of the Iraq War.”

In a statement posted to its Web site, Al Jazeera demanded the immediate release of the journalists.

Security forces have arrested hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters in recent weeks as fresh demonstrations and an uptick in militant attacks have again reignited the battle between the Islamist movement and the state.

The interim cabinet declared the group a terrorist organization last week following a deadly car bomb attack on a security building north of Cairo, for which the Sinai-based jihadist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis claimed responsibility. Government officials have since admitted they do not have direct evidence linking the Brotherhood, whose leaders are in jail, to the bombing.

The terrorist designation has given rise to tensions ahead of a referendum on Egypt’s new constitution, planned for next month. Authorities had hoped the vote would advance the country’s transition to a new government and usher in a period of stability.

In a report released Monday, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, a press advocacy group, named Egypt one of the most dangerous places to work as a journalist in 2013.

 

Sharaf Al-Hourani contributed to this report.

Incompetent Japanese Govt. Using the Homeless for Fukushima Clean-Up

[SEE: China says Japan PM not welcome after visit to war shrine ;  US Risking War With China To Defend Imperial Japan’s War Conquests  ; Looming battle: China vs. Japan]

SPECIAL REPORT- Japan’s homeless recruited for murky Fukushima clean-up

Reuters

Homeless recruited for Fukushima at minimum wages

* Labor brokers skim their pay; charge for food, shelter

* Some say better homeless than going into debt by working

* Little oversight on companies getting clean-up contracts

* Gangsters run Fukushima labour brokers; arrests made

By Mari Saito and Antoni Slodkowski

SENDAI, Japan, Dec. 30 (Reuters) – Seiji Sasa hits the train station in this northern Japanese city before dawn most mornings to prowl for homeless men.

He isn’t a social worker. He’s a recruiter. The men in Sendai Station are potential laborers that Sasa can dispatch to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.

“This is how labor recruiters like me come in every day,” Sasa says, as he strides past men sleeping on cardboard and clutching at their coats against the early winter cold.

It’s also how Japan finds people willing to accept minimum wage for one of the most undesirable jobs in the industrialized world: working on the $35 billion, taxpayer-funded effort to clean up radioactive fallout across an area of northern Japan larger than Hong Kong.

Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami leveled villages across Japan’s northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.

In January, October and November, Japanese gangsters were arrested on charges of infiltrating construction giant Obayashi Corp’s network of decontamination subcontractors and illegally sending workers to the government-funded project.

In the October case, homeless men were rounded up at Sendai’s train station by Sasa, then put to work clearing radioactive soil and debris in Fukushima City for less than minimum wage, according to police and accounts of those involved. The men reported up through a chain of three other companies to Obayashi, Japan’s second-largest construction company.

Obayashi, which is one of more than 20 major contractors involved in government-funded radiation removal projects, has not been accused of any wrongdoing. But the spate of arrests has shown that members of Japan’s three largest criminal syndicates – Yamaguchi-gumi, Sumiyoshi-kai and Inagawa-kai – had set up black-market recruiting agencies under Obayashi.

“We are taking it very seriously that these incidents keep happening one after another,” said Junichi Ichikawa, a spokesman for Obayashi. He said the company tightened its scrutiny of its lower-tier subcontractors in order to shut out gangsters, known as the yakuza. “There were elements of what we had been doing that did not go far enough.”

OVERSIGHT LEFT TO TOP CONTRACTORS

Part of the problem in monitoring taxpayer money in Fukushima is the sheer number of companies involved in decontamination, extending from the major contractors at the top to tiny subcontractors many layers below them. The total number has not been announced. But in the 10 most contaminated towns and a highway that runs north past the gates of the wrecked plant in Fukushima, Reuters found 733 companies were performing work for the Ministry of Environment, according to partial contract terms released by the ministry in August under Japan’s information disclosure law.

Reuters found 56 subcontractors listed on environment ministry contracts worth a total of $2.5 billion in the most radiated areas of Fukushima that would have been barred from traditional public works because they had not been vetted by the construction ministry.

The 2011 law that regulates decontamination put control under the environment ministry, the largest spending program ever managed by the 10-year-old agency. The same law also effectively loosened controls on bidders, making it possible for firms to win radiation removal contracts without the basic disclosure and certification required for participating in public works such as road construction.

Reuters also found five firms working for the Ministry of Environment that could not be identified. They had no construction ministry registration, no listed phone number or website, and Reuters could not find a basic corporate registration disclosing ownership. There was also no record of the firms in the database of Japan’s largest credit research firm, Teikoku Databank.

“As a general matter, in cases like this, we would have to start by looking at whether a company like this is real,” said Shigenobu Abe, a researcher at Teikoku Databank. “After that, it would be necessary to look at whether this is an active company and at the background of its executive and directors.”

Responsibility for monitoring the hiring, safety records and suitability of hundreds of small firms involved in Fukushima’s decontamination rests with the top contractors, including Kajima Corp, Taisei Corp and Shimizu Corp, officials said.

“In reality, major contractors manage each work site,” said Hide Motonaga, deputy director of the radiation clean-up division of the environment ministry.

But, as a practical matter, many of the construction companies involved in the clean-up say it is impossible to monitor what is happening on the ground because of the multiple layers of contracts for each job that keep the top contractors removed from those doing the work.

“If you started looking at every single person, the project wouldn’t move forward. You wouldn’t get a tenth of the people you need,” said Yukio Suganuma, president of Aisogo Service, a construction company that was hired in 2012 to clean up radioactive fallout from streets in the town of Tamura.

The sprawl of small firms working in Fukushima is an unintended consequence of Japan’s legacy of tight labor-market regulations combined with the aging population’s deepening shortage of workers. Japan’s construction companies cannot afford to keep a large payroll and dispatching temporary workers to construction sites is prohibited. As a result, smaller firms step into the gap, promising workers in exchange for a cut of their wages.

Below these official subcontractors, a shadowy network of gangsters and illegal brokers who hire homeless men has also become active in Fukushima. Ministry of Environment contracts in the most radioactive areas of Fukushima prefecture are particularly lucrative because the government pays an additional $100 in hazard allowance per day for each worker.

Takayoshi Igarashi, a lawyer and professor at Hosei University, said the initial rush to find companies for decontamination was understandable in the immediate aftermath of the disaster when the priority was emergency response. But he said the government now needs to tighten its scrutiny to prevent a range of abuses, including bid rigging.

“There are many unknown entities getting involved in decontamination projects,” said Igarashi, a former advisor to ex-Prime Minister Naoto Kan. “There needs to be a thorough check on what companies are working on what, and when. I think it’s probably completely lawless if the top contractors are not thoroughly checking.”

The Ministry of Environment announced on Thursday that work on the most contaminated sites would take two to three years longer than the original March 2014 deadline. That means many of the more than 60,000 who lived in the area before the disaster will remain unable to return home until six years after the disaster.

Earlier this month, Abe, who pledged his government would “take full responsibility for the rebirth of Fukushima” boosted the budget for decontamination to $35 billion, including funds to create a facility to store radioactive soil and other waste near the wrecked nuclear plant.

‘DON’T ASK QUESTIONS’

Japan has always had a gray market of day labor centered in Tokyo and Osaka. A small army of day laborers was employed to build the stadiums and parks for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. But over the past year, Sendai, the biggest city in the disaster zone, has emerged as a hiring hub for homeless men. Many work clearing rubble left behind by the 2011 tsunami and cleaning up radioactive hotspots by removing topsoil, cutting grass and scrubbing down houses around the destroyed nuclear plant, workers and city officials say.

Seiji Sasa, 67, a broad-shouldered former wrestling promoter, was photographed by undercover police recruiting homeless men at the Sendai train station to work in the nuclear cleanup. The workers were then handed off through a chain of companies reporting up to Obayashi, as part of a $1.4 million contract to decontaminate roads in Fukushima, police say.

“I don’t ask questions; that’s not my job,” Sasa said in an interview with Reuters. “I just find people and send them to work. I send them and get money in exchange. That’s it. I don’t get involved in what happens after that.”

Only a third of the money allocated for wages by Obayashi’s top contractor made it to the workers Sasa had found. The rest was skimmed by middlemen, police say. After deductions for food and lodging, that left workers with an hourly rate of about $6, just below the minimum wage equal to about $6.50 per hour in Fukushima, according to wage data provided by police. Some of the homeless men ended up in debt after fees for food and housing were deducted, police say.

Sasa was arrested in November and released without being charged. Police were after his client, Mitsunori Nishimura, a local Inagawa-kai gangster. Nishimura housed workers in cramped dorms on the edge of Sendai and skimmed an estimated $10,000 of public funding intended for their wages each month, police say.

Nishimura, who could not be reached for comment, was arrested and paid a $2,500 fine. Nishimura is widely known in Sendai. Seiryu Home, a shelter funded by the city, had sent other homeless men to work for him on recovery jobs after the 2011 disaster.

“He seemed like such a nice guy,” said Yota Iozawa, a shelter manager. “It was bad luck. I can’t investigate everything about every company.”

In the incident that prompted his arrest, Nishimura placed his workers with Shinei Clean, a company with about 15 employees based on a winding farm road south of Sendai. Police turned up there to arrest Shinei’s president, Toshiaki Osada, after a search of his office, according to Tatsuya Shoji, who is both Osada’s nephew and a company manager. Shinei had sent dump trucks to sort debris from the disaster. “Everyone is involved in sending workers,” said Shoji. “I guess we just happened to get caught this time.”

Osada, who could not be reached for comment, was fined about $5,000. Shinei was also fined about $5,000.

‘RUN BY GANGS’

The trail from Shinei led police to a slightly larger neighboring company with about 30 employees, Fujisai Couken. Fujisai says it was under pressure from a larger contractor, Raito Kogyo, to provide workers for Fukushima. Kenichi Sayama, Fujisai’s general manger, said his company only made about $10 per day per worker it outsourced. When the job appeared to be going too slowly, Fujisai asked Shinei for more help and they turned to Nishimura.

A Fujisai manager, Fuminori Hayashi, was arrested and paid a $5,000 fine, police said. Fujisai also paid a $5,000 fine.

“If you don’t get involved (with gangs), you’re not going to get enough workers,” said Sayama, Fujisai’s general manager. “The construction industry is 90 percent run by gangs.”

Raito Kogyo, a top-tier subcontractor to Obayashi, has about 300 workers in decontamination projects around Fukushima and owns subsidiaries in both Japan and the United States. Raito agreed that the project faced a shortage of workers but said it had been deceived. Raito said it was unaware of a shadow contractor under Fujisai tied to organized crime.

“We can only check on lower-tier subcontractors if they are honest with us,” said Tomoyuki Yamane, head of marketing for Raito. Raito and Obayashi were not accused of any wrongdoing and were not penalized.

Other firms receiving government contracts in the decontamination zone have hired homeless men from Sasa, including Shuto Kogyo, a firm based in Himeji, western Japan.

“He sends people in, but they don’t stick around for long,” said Fujiko Kaneda, 70, who runs Shuto with her son, Seiki Shuto. “He gathers people in front of the station and sends them to our dorm.”

Kaneda invested about $600,000 to cash in on the reconstruction boom. Shuto converted an abandoned roadhouse north of Sendai into a dorm to house workers on reconstruction jobs such as clearing tsunami debris. The company also won two contracts awarded by the Ministry of Environment to clean up two of the most heavily contaminated townships.

Kaneda had been arrested in 2009 along with her son, Seiki, for charging illegally high interest rates on loans to pensioners. Kaneda signed an admission of guilt for police, a document she says she did not understand, and paid a fine of $8,000. Seiki was given a sentence of two years prison time suspended for four years and paid a $20,000 fine, according to police. Seiki declined to comment.

UNPAID WAGE CLAIMS

In Fukushima, Shuto has faced at least two claims with local labor regulators over unpaid wages, according to Kaneda. In a separate case, a 55-year-old homeless man reported being paid the equivalent of $10 for a full month of work at Shuto. The worker’s paystub, reviewed by Reuters, showed charges for food, accommodation and laundry were docked from his monthly pay equivalent to about $1,500, leaving him with $10 at the end of the August.

The man turned up broke and homeless at Sendai Station in October after working for Shuto, but disappeared soon afterwards, according to Yasuhiro Aoki, a Baptist pastor and homeless advocate.

Kaneda confirmed the man had worked for her but said she treats her workers fairly. She said Shuto Kogyo pays workers at least $80 for a day’s work while docking the equivalent of $35 for food. Many of her workers end up borrowing from her to make ends meet, she said. One of them had owed her $20,000 before beginning work in Fukushima, she says. The balance has come down recently, but then he borrowed another $2,000 for the year-end holidays.

“He will never be able to pay me back,” she said.

The problem of workers running themselves into debt is widespread. “Many homeless people are just put into dormitories, and the fees for lodging and food are automatically docked from their wages,” said Aoki, the pastor. “Then at the end of the month, they’re left with no pay at all.”

Shizuya Nishiyama, 57, says he briefly worked for Shuto clearing rubble. He now sleeps on a cardboard box in Sendai Station. He says he left after a dispute over wages, one of several he has had with construction firms, including two handling decontamination jobs.

Nishiyama’s first employer in Sendai offered him $90 a day for his first job clearing tsunami debris. But he was made to pay as much as $50 a day for food and lodging. He also was not paid on the days he was unable to work. On those days, though, he would still be charged for room and board. He decided he was better off living on the street than going into debt.

“We’re an easy target for recruiters,” Nishiyama said. “We turn up here with all our bags, wheeling them around and we’re easy to spot. They say to us, are you looking for work? Are you hungry? And if we haven’t eaten, they offer to find us a job.”

Israel Holding Hezbollah To Blame for Sunni Terrorist Attacks

Dangerous new strategic reality taking shape around Israel

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Even though Israel’s military believes Sunni jihadists could be behind Sunday’s rocket attack, Netanyahu blames Hezbollah.

 

Sunday’s Katyusha rocket fire from Lebanon has created a certain lack of clarity in the Israeli defense establishment.

No organization took responsibility for firing the rockets, most of which fell on the Lebanese side of the border. The cautious and non-committal assessment of military sources is that it seemed to be the work of a Sunni Jihadist faction, meaning one of the extremist factions identified with a loosely-connected network that intelligence officials call Global Jihad.

In addition to its enmity for Israel, Global Jihad devotes most of its time to the battle to depose Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria and engages in lengthy tit-for-tat murderous attacks with Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently doesn’t share the cautious view. At the outset of Sunday’s cabinet meeting, he informed the media that there were two entities that should be seen as the address regarding the rocket fire: the Lebanese government, which bears responsibility for any attack from Lebanese territory, and Hezbollah, which has thousands of missiles and rockets positioned within the civilian population of southern Lebanon.

Confiscatory Socialism Alive and Well In Hollande’s Effete Empire

napoleon-hollande

Sacrebleu! Top French court approves 75% ‘millionaire’s tax’ on country’s highest earners

daily mail

 

By This Is Money Reporter

 

 

A controversial tax of 75 per cent on the highest earners in France has been approved by the nation’s top court.

A key policy of President Francois Hollande, a new ‘millionare’s tax’ will levied on companies that pay salaries of more than €1million-a-year after it was approved by France’s Constitutional Council today.

The tax was ruled ‘unconstitutional’ by the same council just last year, but it has now been given the green light after it was changed so that the tax was levied on employers rather than individuals.

Policy: The new tax is a key policy of Francois Hollande's.Policy: The new tax is a key policy of Francois Hollande’s.

 

It was originally designed as a 75 percent tax to be paid by high earners on the part of their incomes exceeding €1million euros.

This prompted outrage, with celebrities such as iconic actor Gerard Depardieu leaving the country in protest

2nd Wahhabi Bomber Strikes Volgograd In Two Days

[Stop the Russian Suicide-Bombers At Their Source–The next time that a Wahhabi suicide bomber hits in Russia Mr. Putin should bomb the state sponsors of the Chechen terrorists in Riyadh. After all, Bandar admitted that the Saudis controlled Doku’s mass-murderers.]

Fatal Bomb Blast Shatters Volgograd Trolleybus

ria novosti

An explosion went off on a trolleybus in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd

VOLGOGRAD, December 30 (RIA Novosti) – A fatal bomb explosion ripped apart a trolleybus in Volgograd on Monday morning, killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens, in the second terrorist attack in the southern Russian city in less than 24 hours.

Several of the 28 wounded, who officials said included a six-month-old infant, are in serious condition, meaning the death toll could still rise.

Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said investigators believe a male suicide bomber was responsible for the attack, which he said was linked to another fatal bombing in Volgograd one day earlier.

Authorities believe an explosion at a railway station on Sunday afternoon that killed 17 people and injured over 40 others was also the work of a suicide bomber.

Markin said that remains of both suspected bombers, which were recovered at the scenes, are undergoing DNA testing.

Monday’s blast marks the third such attack in Volgograd in two months, and comes just weeks before Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in February in the city of Sochi.

The bomb tore through the trolleybus packed with morning commuters at about 8:10 a.m. (0410 GMT), the Investigative Committee said.

Television footage filmed near a market in the city’s Dzerzhinsky district showed debris strewn across the street around the blackened shell of the trolleybus, its roof blown outward by the explosion.

State television said the force of the blast also blew out the windows of the nearby houses.

Local resident Sergei Stukalov told RIA Novosti that passengers began getting off buses and trams and walked to work after hearing about the explosion.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered a tightening of security in Volgograd, Moscow and throughout the country after the back-to-back attacks, and met with the heads of Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry on Monday.

Putin also asked to receive daily reports from the National Anti-Terrorism Committee on measures to bolster security in Volgograd, a committee spokesman told journalists.

Terrorist incidents have persisted in southern Russia despite the authorities’ efforts to step up security precautions ahead of the Olympics starting in February.

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games – a major prestige project for Putin and Russia – open on February 7 in Sochi. The city located about 430 miles (690 kilometers) from Volgograd, which was formerly known as Stalingrad and remains best remembered for the grueling siege it endured during World War II.

Six people were killed and 37 injured in another terrorist attack in Volgograd in late October, when a bomb carried by a young woman from the southern republic of Dagestan went off while she was traveling on a crowded commuter bus.

On Friday, a car bomb killed three people in the city of Pyatigorsk, which is 530 kilometers south of Volgograd and 270 kilometers east of Sochi.

The cities blighted by the latest attacks are located in and near the North Caucasus, a volatile multiethnic region that suffers frequent attacks on officials, police and civilians by local Islamist militant groups.

The persisting violence has its origins in a separatist struggle in the unruly republic of Chechnya in the early 1990s that has evolved into an Islamist insurgency that has spread to neighboring predominantly Muslim republics, particularly Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.

Most of the militants responsible for terrorist attacks in Russia over the last decade – including female suicide bombers who have taken part in 20 attacks claiming at least 780 lives since June 2000 – have come from Dagestan.

Updated with number of dead and injured, information about suicide bomber, quotes, background detail throughout