News Feed 20121013

Financial Crisis
» Danish Wind Turbine Company That Received Over $50 Million in Stimulus Lays Off 800 Workers
» Greece’s Largest Company Leaves for Switzerland
» Ron Paul: Government Dependency Will End in Chaos
» Switzerland Arming in Preparation for European Meltdown?
» This Land: Donna’s Diner: At the Corner of Hope and Worry
» Warning Signs: FedEx to Slash Thousands of Jobs Citing “Weak Global Economic Conditions”
 
USA
» Anti-DEA Rants on Facebook Spark Criminal Prosecution
» ATF Whistleblower Fired in Denny’s Parking Lot for Exposing Corruption
» Bernards Mosque Debate a ‘Complex Situation, ‘ Islamic Society Head Says
» Bungled SWAT Raid Leaves 12-Year-Old Girl Badly Burned, No Meth Lab Found
» Caught on Tape: Obama Campaign Staffers Say It’s “Okay” To Vote Twice
» Challenging Sharia Law Means Challenging Islam as a Religion
» Disabled Vet Labeled “Terrorist” For Investigating Cost of Surveillance Cameras
» Florida Passes Plan for Racially-Based Academic Goals
» If Anti-Muslim Ads Are Protected, So Must be My Free Speech Right to Protest
» Let This be a Warning America: When the Riots Start the Government’s Response Will be Brutal [Video]
» Mind-Control Engineers Now Drugging Children for “Social Justice”
» No Voting Fraud? Not So, Says John Fund at AIM Conference
» Obama Taught “Destroy Middle Class”
» Obamacare Could Cost 35,000 Elderly Patients Their Lives Every Year
» Political Profiling of a “Constitutionalist” Turns Simple Domestic Call Into Full on SWAT Raid
» Pushback Against Growing Islamophobia
» Will the Election Results Cause Massive Riots to Erupt All Over America?
 
Europe and the EU
» BBC is Being Shaken to Its Core by an Enormous Sex Abuse Scandal
» Catholic Church in France May Become Mosque
» EU: Disorder and Corruption in a New World Order
» Europe Cocaine Seizure Means More Bananas for Zoo
» First All-Sicilian Electric 4WD Car Presented to the Press
» France: Marseille Police: Crime, Corruption and Cover-Up at the Highest Level
» France: Prosecutors Appeal as Gang Rapists Get Off Lightly
» French Rightwing Hijacks the Pain Au Chocolat
» French Prosecutors to Appeal ‘Catastrophic’ Gang Rape Verdicts
» Italy: Manservant’s 16-Year Sentence Upheld for Murdering Countess
» Italy: Move to Stop Alcohol Sales to Under-18s
» Italy: Guzzanti Ordered to Pay 40,000 for Defaming Former Minister
» Italy: Gondoliers Warn Venice Has More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
» Italy: Grillo Swims Messina Strait to Launch Electoral Campaign
» Linguistic Differences Color Belgian Vote
» More Deaths Amounting From Meningitis Contaminated Shots
» Mussolini Painting at Italian High School Sparks Local Ire
» Nobel Win Offers Chance for Deeper Union, Say EU Officials
» Poland to Invest 12.5 Billion Euros in Shale Gas by 2020
» Police Bust Wine Merchants for Tax Evasion
» Producers of Profane Stuff Destroying World Peace, Swedish MP
» UK: Girlington Mosque for 21st Century is Planned
» UK: Innocence of Islam Protest: Community Leaders Address the Crowd — Video
» UK: Jimmy Savile Plaque Removed by Jewish Welfare Service
» UK: Judge Brands His Sentencing Powers ‘Pathetic’ As He Jails Thug for Less Than Three Years for Paralysing Aerospace Engineer
» UK: Muslim Backers of West Ham’s ‘Mega Mosque’ Outline Development Plans
» UK: Newcastle United, Wonga.Com and Muslims
» UK: Polish Thug Who Left 8-Week-Old Girl With Brain Damage After Fracturing Her Skull and Breaking Her Legs is Jailed for Ten Years
» UK: Rubbish Like Jewish Mum of the Year is Bad for Us
» UK: US Filmmakers Banned From Britain Over Anti-Mohammed Video
» Was Mossad Behind the Alps Murders?
 
Balkans
» Christians Flee Bosnia Amid Discrimination, Islamization
 
North Africa
» Beck Walks Through Libya Timeline and Describes ‘Massive Cover-Up…Bigger Than Watergate’
» CBS Reporter Says Islamic Terrorists Are Winning
» Demands Rising for Morsi to Bring Justice to Egypt
» Egypt’s Islamists and Secularists Clash in Cairo
» Libya: UN Urges Protection of Civilians Following Deadly Clashes in Bani Walid
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Qaradawi Urges Muslims to Support Jerusalem’s Cause
» Subway Ads Generate Controversy in NYC
 
Middle East
» Iraq Buys Russian Weaponry for 4.2 Billion Dollars
» Journalists: BBC Leads Training Jordanians and Palestinians
» Mecca: 900 Ugandan Pilgrims Denied Visas Over Ebola
» Monti Prepares Mission to Gulf Countries
» Mystery Surrounds Death of British Lawyer in Yemen Who Died ‘After Answering His Door Covered in Blood’
» Qatar’s Ulterior Motive for Removing Al-Assad
» Turkey Scrambles Fighter Jets as Fighting Threatens to Engulf Syrian Border
» Turkey is Hell Bent on Provoking War in the Middle East
» Turkey Vows to React ‘Without Hesitation’ If Syria Violates Its Border Again as Tensions Mount
» Western Spies Get Discreetly Involved in Syria
 
Russia
» “October Surprise” — Will Obama Attack Iran?
» Russians Arrest Imam Shooting Suspect
 
South Asia
» Arrest of Royal Marines in Afghanistan Murder Case Raises Backlash Fears
» Blasts in Southern Afghanistan Kill 2 Afghan Policemen, 3 Intelligence Officers
» Defence Chiefs Draw up Plans for Faster Withdrawal From Afghanistan
» Indonesia: The Bali Bombings Revealed That Islamist Thinking Isn’t That Different From Modern-Day Liberal Miserabilism
» Indonesian Raped Girl Suspended From School
» Pakistan: Policeman Killed Outside Peshawar Mosque
» Support Grows for Seven Royal Marines Arrested in Afghanistan Over ‘Execution of Taliban Prisoner After Police Found Video on Laptop’
» Terrorism is Affecting the Mental Health of Pakistanis
» Will George Osborne Stamp His Influence Across Britain’s Afghan Policy?
 
Far East
» Philippines: Basilan Bishop Welcomes Deal With MILF, Wants Respect for Christians
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Angola Planning to Attract 4.6m Tourists by 2020
» Gabon Set to Snub French and Promote English as Nation’s Second Language in Bid to ‘Improve Opportunities’ For Its People
» Nigeria: How Boko Haram Started — Governor Aliyu
» Terrorism Poses Major Challenge to Nigeria
 
Latin America
» Marines Protected U.S. Embassy … in Barbados
» Shots Fired as Police Swoop 10 Minutes Before 100 Followers of Brazilian Doomsday Cult Were Due to Commit Mass Suicide Over End of the World
 
Immigration
» Serbians Must Stop False EU Asylum Claims
 
Culture Wars
» 70% of Italy’s Gynecologists Refuse to Perform Abortions
» Gay Marriage Draft Bill Goes to French Cabinet
» UK: Why Contemporary Art Worships Ugliness
 
General
» Biotech Scientist: It’s ‘Awesome’ That GMOs Cause Infertility, Death (Video)
» Global Internet Tax Gaining in UN
» The Right to Offend? Mehdi Hasan Denies ‘Absolute Right’ To Freedom of Speech
» We Are Just Dumb

Financial Crisis

Danish Wind Turbine Company That Received Over $50 Million in Stimulus Lays Off 800 Workers

A Danish wind turbine company whose subsidiaries received over $50 million in U.S. stimulus dollars announced on Friday it has cut more than 800 jobs in the United States and Canada this year and may be forced to lay off another 800 employees in North America.

This is yet another green energy company that received wasteful stimulus funds and does not even have anything to show for it.

According to Reuters, Vestas, the wind turbine maker, saw its order intake go down by 24 percent during the first half of the year.

“The U.S. wind industry has slowed, largely due to the uncertainty surrounding the Federal Production Tax Credit extension,” said Martha Wyrsch, head of Vestas-American Wind Technology, Inc.

Vestas said without more tax credits and stimulus funds, the company will have trouble competing.

Vestas executives, according to Reuters, told investors that “it would stop non-profitable projects,” especially in Europe and America, where demand for its products have plummeted.

[NOTE: Energy derived from Wind turbines is increasingly unpopular in the U.S.]

[Return to headlines]

Greece’s Largest Company Leaves for Switzerland

Coca Cola Hellenic has confirmed it will shift its corporate base from Greece to Switzerland. The move of Greece’s largest company is another blow to the nation which stands to lose millions in revenues.

The biggest company in Greece, Coca Cola Hellenic, announced on Friday that it will leave the country in search of a more stable business and taxation environment. CCH has the largest market value of all firms active in Greece and has a capitalization of roughly 6 billion euros ($7.7 billion).

The company confirmed that it will move its corporate headquarters to Switzerland and transfer its primary listing from Athens to the London Stock Exchange.

“The main reason for the move is taxes and the fact that since Greek banks are waiting to be recapitalized, they no longer have money to lend to companies,” the firm said in a statement.

The Greek Coca Cola unit has been the firm’s second-largest bottler, serving 28 countries mostly in northern and eastern Europe. Management said the production facilities themselves would not be affected, but the government stood to lose more than 20 million euros annually in tax revenues.

Greek Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said he was not happy about the departure. “But I cannot dictate to each company what moves it should make or not,” he said. “What we can do beyond the fiscal measures is continue down the road of structural reforms.”

Earlier this week, the Greek dairy giant FAGE announced it was moving its headquarters to Luxembourg, also in search of lower and more predictable taxes and a low-volatility corporate base.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: Government Dependency Will End in Chaos

Government does not create resources when it taxes people and prints money; it merely redistributes the wealth, while supporting a massive, wasteful bureaucracy along the way. Government is a giant, blood-sucking parasite on our otherwise healthy economy. For too long we have entrusted too much economic power and influence to irresponsible politicians in Washington. It’s the chaos that ensues after they run the system into the ground that will be so painful for so many people. But realigning our economy with the free market and away from government mandates and handouts must happen in order for it to thrive again.

The answer is not to keep asking government to do more. The answer is to extricate our economy and ourselves from the grasp of Washington DC as much as possible now, before our dependency becomes our downfall.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Switzerland Arming in Preparation for European Meltdown?

The Swiss Army is preparing contingency plans for violent unrest across Europe. A nation mostly famous for its banks, watches and chocolate fears it may face a massive influx of European refugees in the near future.

One of the world’s richest nations openly expressed concerns over the possible outcome of Europe’s continuing financial troubles, and is currently conducting army exercises against the possibility of riots along its borders.

In September, the Swiss military conducted exercises dubbed ‘Stabilo Due,’ with scenarios involving violent instability across the EU.

Switzerland has maintained an avowedly neutral stance for decades, and refused to join the eurozone when presented with the opportunity.

Bern’s biggest fear is likely the disorganization of neighboring nations’ armies that would follow general instability; the eurozone crisis and the severe austerity measures in the EU are forcing member-states to significantly slash their military budgets. If protest continues to spread across Europe, police and armed forces may find themselves ill-equipped to manage the unrest.

“I will not rule out that we will need the army in the coming years,” Swiss Defense Minister Ueli Maurer said last Sunday.

The Swiss Defense Ministry has pressed ahead to modernize the country’s army despite political opposition. With its multibillion-Franc military budget and an army of around 200,000 soldiers, the country also plans to purchase new ‘Saab Gripen’ jet fighters.

Professor Schindler predicts that, “if the next Anders Brievik were to target Muslims, not fellow Europeans, things could get unimaginably ugly very quickly,” which could trigger widespread Muslim uprisings in Europe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

This Land: Donna’s Diner: At the Corner of Hope and Worry

In a special report beginning Sunday in The New York Times, the columnist Dan Barry visits Donna’s Diner in Elyria, Ohio, a place where the recession and other issues are lived as much as discussed. Elyria, Mr. Barry writes, is a city where the past improves with distance, the present keeps piling on and a promising future is practically willed by its resilient residents. It is also the kind of place where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney each hope that his promise of a restored American dream will resonate.

Through the eyes of the diner’s owner and her customers, Mr. Barry reflects on why, in places like Elyria, that American dream can seem like a tease.

[Return to headlines]

Warning Signs: FedEx to Slash Thousands of Jobs Citing “Weak Global Economic Conditions”

One key measure of global economic health is how much freight — raw materials and manufactured goods — is being shipped around the world and in the United States. In July of this year the Balctic Dry Index, a measure of the price to pay for the movement of raw materials by sea, hit a record breaking low and signaled a steep decline in global manufacturing and consumption.

This was a key indicator for where the economy was headed on a global scale.

Just a few months later we’ve received confirmation of this trend from FedEx, one of the largest shipping companies in the world.

Yes, Americans are still shopping, but they aren’t shopping at the same pace they were five years ago. Their jobs have been eliminated, wages reduced and credit has been restricted. FedEx’s latest earnings report is proof positive of this:

[Return to headlines]

USA

Anti-DEA Rants on Facebook Spark Criminal Prosecution

Anti-government rants on Facebook can land you in a heap of trouble.

A federal judge has given the green light to the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution of an Indiana man who allegedly posted incendiary remarks about police.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Lawrence in Indiana rejected requests by the defendant, Matthew Michael, to throw out the charges on the grounds that no specific Drug Enforcement Administration agent or other individual had actually been named in the posts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ATF Whistleblower Fired in Denny’s Parking Lot for Exposing Corruption

Special Agent Vince Cefalu has worked for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms for more than 25 years. On top of successfully placing dozens of hard criminals behind bars throughout his career, Cefalu has received promotions and consistently positive evaluations. When he started raising his voice about ATF corruption and illegal wiretapping in 2005, things changed.

Tuesday evening, Cefalu was asked to meet Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco Field Division Joseph Riehl at a Denny’s Restaurant near Lake Tahoe. When he arrived, he was served termination papers in the parking lot. Classy move. The exchange was secretly recorded by a confidential source. David Codrea has more:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bernards Mosque Debate a ‘Complex Situation, ‘ Islamic Society Head Says

Bernards — Passions are running high around a proposal to build a mosque in what residents call a historic section of the town. But the president of the group trying to build the house of worship says he’d rather just stick to the legal issues. Ali Chaudry, president of the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, said he does not want to speculate about why so many residents seem opposed to the mosque — about 120 reportedly attended a recent meeting, and the Star-Ledger recently reported some residents are posting signs urging people to “Preserve Liberty Corner.”

[…]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Bungled SWAT Raid Leaves 12-Year-Old Girl Badly Burned, No Meth Lab Found

An early morning SWAT team raid on an alleged meth house produced no meth lab or arrests and instead left a 12-year-old girl badly burned by a flashbang grenade.

Damage done to both the house and the girl were photographed by Mrs. Fasching and provided to the Gazette. One image depicts the indention produced by the grenade on the bedroom wall. Another shows the extent of Fasching’s daughter’s burns.

Although the Billings police department was clearly in the wrong, police chief St. John stated they would not admit their mistake until a formal investigation was concluded. “If we’re wrong or made a mistake, then we’re going to take care of it,” St. John said. “But if it determines we’re not, then we’ll go with that. When we do this, we want to ensure the safety of not only the officers, but the residents inside.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Caught on Tape: Obama Campaign Staffers Say It’s “Okay” To Vote Twice

Controversial investigative journalist James O’Keefe (of ACORN hidden video fame) is at it again, and this time he’s caught some volunteers and employees of the Democratic National Committee assisting would-be voters with registering and voting in multiple states.

When undercover reporters visited various locations across the country they received the same response from Obama campaign staffers — that it’s basically okay to vote multiple times if you happen to be registered in two or more states.

In Houston, Texas, for example, the Project Veritas reporter made her intentions known, and rather than being rebuffed for her planned illegal activity, she was provided assistance with obtaining the proper forms to be registered in two states and was told to say “I don’t know” if the double-voting ever became an issue.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Challenging Sharia Law Means Challenging Islam as a Religion

There are more efforts underway to stop Sharia Law from becoming in the this country. So far, efforts have failed:

Federal court blocks Oklahoma ban on Sharia — January 10, 2012[url]

[…]

Let’s start with the definition of Sharia Law:

“Sharia is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia deals with many topics addressed by secular law, including crime, politics, and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, and fasting. Though interpretations of sharia vary between cultures, in its strictest definition it is considered the infallible law of God—as opposed to the human interpretation of the laws (fiqh).

“There are two primary sources of sharia law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Where it has official status, sharia is interpreted by Islamic judges (qadis) with varying responsibilities for the religious leaders (imams). For questions not directly addressed in the primary sources, the application of sharia is extended through consensus of the religious scholars (ulama) thought to embody the consensus of the Muslim Community (ijma). Islamic jurisprudence will also sometimes incorporate analogies from the Quran and Sunnah through qiyas, though Shia jurists prefer reasoning (‘aql) to analogy.”

[…]

And, speaking of mosques, this little booklet is in almost all mosques in the U.S.: Jihad in Islam. Do check page 5 of the 37 page booklet[url]: “But the truth is that Islam is not the name of a ‘Religion’, nor is ‘Muslim’ the title of a ‘Nation’. In reality Islam is a revolutionary ideology and programme which seeks to alter the social order of the whole world and rebuild it in conformity with its own tenets and ideals. ‘Muslim’ is the title of that International Revolutionary Party organized by Islam to carry into effect its revolutionary programme. And ‘Jihad’ refers to that revolutionary struggle and utmost exertion which the Islamic Party brings into play to achieve this objective.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Disabled Vet Labeled “Terrorist” For Investigating Cost of Surveillance Cameras

A 55-year-old disabled veteran was labeled a “terrorist” by three county commissioners after he photographed security cameras at the Elbert County administration building in Colorado as part of an investigation, a designation the man claimed was retribution for him filing multiple open-records requests.

Elbert County resident Don Pippin took pictures of the security cameras back in April as part of an open-records request that sought to discover the cost of the surveillance system. An employee immediately reported Pippin to the commissioners for engaging in suspicious activity.

[…]

Pippin charges that the commissioners were attempting to frame and demonize him as a terrorist as a reprisal for his routine filing of open records requests.

Pippin and his attorney are now seeking $2.4 million in damages from the three commissioners who characterized him as a terrorist, $1 million for emotional distress, $500,000 for loss of enjoyment of life and $900,000 for impairment of future earning capacity.

“It’s been a very emotional thing for him,” Pippin’s attorney, Terry Wallace, told the Denver Post. “When that county judge said, ‘You’ve been accused of being a terrorist — are you aware of that?’ That’s when it set in.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Florida Passes Plan for Racially-Based Academic Goals

The Florida State Board of Education passed a plan that sets goals for students in math and reading based upon their race.

On Tuesday, the board passed a revised strategic plan that says that by 2018, it wants 90 percent of Asian students, 88 percent of white students, 81 percent of Hispanics and 74 percent of black students to be reading at or above grade level. For math, the goals are 92 percent of Asian kids to be proficient, whites at 86 percent, Hispanics at 80 percent and blacks at 74 percent. It also measures by other groupings, such as poverty and disabilities, reported the Palm Beach Post.

The plan has infuriated many community activists in Palm Beach County and across the state.

“To expect less from one demographic and more from another is just a little off-base,” Juan Lopez, magnet coordinator at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Riviera Beach, told the Palm Beach Post.

JFK Middle has a black student population of about 88 percent.

“Our kids, although they come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, they still have the ability to learn,” Lopez said. “To dumb down the expectations for one group, that seems a little unfair.”

Others in the community agreed with Lopez’s assessment. But the Florida Department of Education said the goals recognize that not every group is starting from the same point and are meant to be ambitious but realistic.

[…]

[Return to headlines]

If Anti-Muslim Ads Are Protected, So Must be My Free Speech Right to Protest

by Mona Eltahawy

I support freedom of speech — even Pamela Geller’s right to her Islamophobic subway posters. But I will always challenge hate

Five days after I spraypainted over a racist and bigoted advertisement in the New York subway, a man set fire to my brother’s local mosque. He struck just a few hours after the mosque’s kindergarten had been filled with children at Sunday school, including my four nieces and nephews. It was a coincidental correlation but there was nothing casual about either the hate speech on the walls of the subway — which a judge declared “protected political statement” — or the arson in Ohio, which was described as an “act of terrorism” by officials who announced federal hate crime charges against the suspect…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Let This be a Warning America: When the Riots Start the Government’s Response Will be Brutal [Video]

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

July 4, 1776

Last week, when hundreds of thousands of people in Madrid, Barcelona and throughout Spain protested, rioted, rebelled and called for the forced resignation of every one of their parliamentary representatives and the formation of a new government, the silence from global mainstream media was deafening.

With jobless rates for those between the ages of 20 and 35 exceeding 50%, further social spending measures promised by the government, and tens of billions in handouts being transferred to large financial institutions in the broader Euro Zone, those impoverished by the economic collapse of the last four years would not be silenced.

They took the streets in droves. They rushed their parliament building, forcing representatives to barricade themselves inside. They confronted their government head on. And for their transgressions, they were indiscriminately fired upon, beaten, and bloodied by riot police; men, women, young, old, it mattered not to the policing arm of the global elite.

Let this be a warning, America, because these riots will soon be making their way across the Atlantic ocean to our shores.

Video compliments of Alexander Higgins (with narration by Judge Andrew Napolitano) via Above Top Secret:

The people of Europe have not yet seen the full brunt of their government’s capabilities. Neither have Americans.

We need only look to the middle east for a taste of what is to come should things really go critical. As we noted during the Egyptian uprising last year, it is best to stay home once the rioting starts (graphic video), because bullets will be flying and government enforcement officials will stop at nothing to regain control.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that police or military personnel will take the side of the American people. Some may. But history and current events suggest otherwise — of course they will fire on American citizens. And if you’re caught out in the open, you’ll be on your own.

[Return to headlines]

Mind-Control Engineers Now Drugging Children for “Social Justice”

It’s the latest thing. Psychiatrists are now giving children in poor neighborhoods Adderall, a dangerous stimulant, by making false diagnoses of ADHD, or no diagnoses at all. Their aim? To “promote social justice,” to improve academic performance in school.

The rationale is, the drugged kids will now be able to compete with children from wealthier families who attend better schools.

Leading the way is Dr. Michael Anderson, a pediatrician in the Atlanta area. Incredibly, Anderson told the New York Times his diagnoses of ADHD are “made up,” “an excuse” to hand out the drugs. [url]

“We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid,” Anderson said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

No Voting Fraud? Not So, Says John Fund at AIM Conference

The issue of voter fraud is on the minds of many, as we are less than 30 days from the presidential election. John Fund has been one of the nation’s most prolific writers and commentators on the subject, and recently spoke at Accuracy in Media’s conference, “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth.”

Fund refutes what he refers to as “the constant mantra we hear from the critics of voter integrity laws, and that is ‘There is no voter fraud. It’s not a problem.’ All of these efforts, whether they be voter ID laws, whether they be cleaning up absentee ballot procedures, cleaning up voter registration rolls, are unnecessary. They’re a solution in search of a problem. There is no voter fraud.”

In his speech to the conference, and in his latest book, Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk, co-authored by Hans Von Spakovsky, Fund cited numerous examples which put the lie to the narrative.

Fund has written many articles about electoral irregularities for The Wall Street Journal and The New Republic. Currently he is the national affairs columnist for National Review magazine and a senior editor of The American Spectator. He’s also a frequent commentator on cable news networks such as CNBC and Fox News. In 1995 he became a member of the Journal’s editorial board where he served until turning to the role of columnist on opinionjournal.com. He also worked as a reporter for the syndicated columnists Evans and Novak.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Taught “Destroy Middle Class”

Barack Obama is desperate to make people believe that he really cares about “the middle class.” After four years, his actions speak louder than words. Some 85% of the middle class say they are worse off today than they were ten years ago. According to the Wall Street Journal, from the time Obama took office in 2009, “The Obama years have been brutal on middle-class incomes” wiping out “$4019 in real income” for families. The report goes on to say, “The last time incomes fell this fast was during the late 1970s under Jimmy Carter, and it’s no coincidence that economic policies then and now are so similar. If Mr. Obama succeeds in convincing voters that he really is the tribune of the middle class, it will be the political conjurer’s trick of the century.”

The financial loss and burden imposed by Obama will be greater on all workers, including Black, Hispanic, Asian and White, when looming tax hikes go into effect January 2013 along with Obamacare’s vast array of hidden taxes set to further rip family budgets apart. The question is—why has the middle class been hit so hard by Obama? Is it an ideological grudge?

Obama had two doggedly radical mentors that shaped both his ideology and his current policies. One was a committed hardcore Communist and the other was renowned as a hardcore Socialist. Neither man stressed American values, but taught the opposite—that America with its free enterprise, republic based, God-worshipping system is the enemy of the people. Frank Marshall Davis, a reported pedophile, race mongerer and strident Communist, was Obama’s family friend and was recruited by Obama’s grandfather to educate young Barry in the ways of the world. It was, however, Obama’s educational mentor, that stressed that if “real power” is to be gained, it must be done at the expense of the American people and the economy.

[…]

Alinsky: Key to destroying the middle class is to create a failed economy that destroys private sector jobs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obamacare Could Cost 35,000 Elderly Patients Their Lives Every Year

In recent remarks to the AIM conference, “ObamaNation: A Day of Truth,” Betsy McCaughey said that the regulations and cuts in Barack Obama’s healthcare law could lead to the deaths of 35,000 hospital patients who otherwise might have recovered, had they received the care available at a higher spending institution.

McCaughey, the former Lt. Governor of New York and an expert on the new healthcare law, cited the drastic cuts to Medicare in detailing how seniors will suffer under the provisions of the law. McCaughey is the author of two books on Obamacare: Obama Health Law: What It Says and How to Overturn It and Decoding the Obama Health Law: What You Need To Know.

McCaughey cited a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which shows that over a four year period, in California, “nearly 14,000 seniors with common conditions—stroke, pneumonia, heart attack, congestive heart failure, hip fractures, and others, died in low-spending hospitals—bottom quintile—but would have survived and recovered and gone home had they received the care available at a higher spending hospital.” She said, “despite this evidence—in fact, in disregard of this evidence—the Obama administration is pushing hospitals in all 50 states to imitate the low-spending hospitals where the death rates are higher!” McCaughey concluded that “It is reasonable to predict, based on this evidence, that the regulations and cuts in this law will cost at least 35,000 elderly patients their lives every year. 35,000 patients in hospitals, dying, who could have recovered had they received the care available at a higher spending institution.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Political Profiling of a “Constitutionalist” Turns Simple Domestic Call Into Full on SWAT Raid

A farming family in Letha, Idaho recently had their house raided and were assaulted after a neighbor called the police when overhearing a verbal argument between the husband and wife who owned the house.

In any other situation they would have had a simple knock on their door and the police would check in to make sure that no one was being hurt.

However, Marcella Cruz and Michael Gibbons were flagged in the police department’s database as dangerous individuals because one or both of them identified as “constitutionalists”.

Due to this identification their simple domestic disturbance call was met with a full on swat raid, with the officers scouring the house for evidence of Marijuana.

[…]

In a recording that surfaced after the raid it is explicitly stated that this couple is being targeted because of their political beliefs. The recording shows the following exchange:

“Are you familiar with these guys?” asked a deputy identified in the 911 recordings as “Officer 57.”

“Negative,” answered another deputy designated “Officer 56.”

“I am, and it’s affirmative, there is [sic] weapons,” continued Officer 57. “He is — or at least was — anti-law enforcement. We’ve had issues with him. He’s a Constitutionalist.”

It seems that the only “issues” that they had with him were the ones that were mentioned, his political beliefs, because otherwise Gibbons has a totally clean record.

According to a recent article about the altercation, the only run in that Gibbons has had with police in this area, is when he was the victim of a theft and they refused to help him.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pushback Against Growing Islamophobia

WASHINGTON, Oct 12 2012 (IPS) — Faced with a rise in anti-Muslim sentiment and a well-funded campaign to promote Islamophobia, a coalition of faith and religious freedom groups Thursday said it will circulate a new pamphlet on frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Islam and U.S. Muslims to elected officials across the United States. The initiative, which coincides with the appearance in subway stations in New York City and Washington of pro-Israel ads equating the Jewish state with “civilised man” and “Jihad” with “savages”, is designed to rebut the notion that Muslims pose a threat to U.S. values and way of life. “Nothing gives weight to bigotry more than ignorance,” said Rev. Welton Gaddy, a Baptist minister who is president of the Interfaith Alliance, a grassroots organisation of leaders representing 75 faith traditions. “The FAQ enables people to be spared of an agenda-driven fear and to be done with a negative movement born of misinformation…”

[…]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Will the Election Results Cause Massive Riots to Erupt All Over America?

Will the most divisive campaign in modern American history culminate in massive riots in our major cities? Right now, supporters of Barack Obama and supporters of Mitt Romney are both pinning all of their hopes on a victory on November 6th. The race for the presidency is extremely tight, and obviously the side that loses is going to be extremely disappointed when the election results are finalized. But could this actually lead to violence? Could we actually see rioting in communities all over America? Well, the conditions are certainly ripe for it. A whole host of surveys over the past few years have shown that Americans are very angry and very frustrated right now. In fact, a Pew Research Center poll from late last year found that86 percent of all Americans are either angry or frustrated with the federal government.

We have seen this frustration manifest in protest movements such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street, but right now things are fairly calm as liberals and conservatives both look forward to November 6th. Many Republicans started the countdown to the next election literally the day after John McCain lost back in 2008. All of their hopes of getting Obama out of the White House are riding on a Romney victory. For many Democrats, Barack Obama is a “once in a generation” icon. Just the thought of Mitt Romney replacing Obama in the White House is enough to push many of them to the brink of insanity. In recent years we have seen horrible rioting erupt in cities after major sports championship games. How much worse could the rioting potentially be if this bitterly contested election is decided by a very narrow margin — especially if there are allegations that the election is “stolen”?

The election is nearly four weeks away, and many Obama supporters are already threatening to riot if Obama loses. The following are some very disturbing messages that were posted on Twitter recently that have been reposted on Twitchy.com…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

BBC is Being Shaken to Its Core by an Enormous Sex Abuse Scandal

What’s happening right now in the U.K. can probably be compared to the scandal that engulfed Penn State and Jerry Sandusky earlier this year… The BBC has just announced that it will be holding two internal investigations into widespread allegations of sexual abuse by the late television star Sir Jimmy Savile.

Savile was one of the U.K.’s most famous and long-running television hosts, presenting the weekly music show “Top of the Pops” for 20 years, and later his own show, “Jim Will Fix It,” where he helped children achieve their dreams. He was well-known for his charity work — one obituary estimated he had raised over £40 million ($64 million) for charity, and given away as much as 90 percent of his own considerable wealth.

Savile died last year at the age of 84 after almost five decades of fame, but it was only this month that allegations hit the press that he sexually abused both children and adults during the peak of his fame. British police now say that they have over 340 leads, with 12 allegations officially recorded, and that number is expected to grow.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Catholic Church in France May Become Mosque

A church in the central French town of Vierzon may be converted to a mosque, as Muslims across Europe are converting empty churches to fit their faith — but some locals are worried about the threat of radicalism. Vierzon has six churches, and in order to balance the books, the diocese is selling one of them off. A Moroccan organization is in talks to convert the church of St. Eloi into a mosque, although a final decision has yet to be reached. With a nave of 26 meters, it can accommodate 200 people and is up for sale for €170,000.

Alain Krauth, the pastor of Notre Dame de Vierzon, explained to weekly newsmagazine Le Nouvel Observateur, “We must keep the buildings; Vierzon has experienced a population decline in recent years, the Christian community is not as important as it used o be in the past. The church is modern and easy to re-arrange — it will be easy to sell,” he added.

Father Krauth explained that questionnaires have been distributed to the community about the proposed sale. “Some of the faithful rejoice that the place will be bought by members of the Muslim community — by believers in moderate Islam — but others were offended and fear radical Islam,” the priest reflected. With about six per cent of EU citizens today identifying as Muslim, and that number set to grow, more and more churches are set to become mosques…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

EU: Disorder and Corruption in a New World Order

Romania: My journey of discovery and reportage into the new world order of capitalism infected by neo-communism of European lineage.

The rental lot gate keeper required a small bribe to let me in. The employee who handed me the key to the car spent an inordinate amount of time presenting all the features on the car, treating me gingerly as if I was incapable of comprehension. I probably drove more vehicles and more years than he had imagined or I cared to admit. The VW Jetta would be my means of transportation for the next 12 days — no crowded trains, buses, metro, trolleybuses, or trams. I had spent an extra $55 on a GPS, knowing that it would be my lifeline between being utterly lost and finding where I wanted to go. Road signs, I learned the hard way last year, were scarce and incomprehensible at best. I never knew when roads ended sharply onto pastures as far as my eyes could see.

With a condescending smirk on his face, the Avis attendant allowed me to drive off, not before tipping the gate attendant again. Because remuneration is so miserly for most people, they supplement wages with bribes. Little has changed since the communist regime. And thus began my journey of discovery and reportage into the new world order of capitalism infected by neo-communism of European lineage.

[…]

State owned enterprises are scavenged by various interested parties who are appointed to run them, with total disregard for public/private ownership or accountability. Those running and/or managing the plant become “ticks” that “suck” the plant’s resources to bolster their own private companies, just like they used to do under the communist regime.

Case in point, Oltchim S.A., one of the largest chemical companies in Romania with over 3,300 employees, has not paid its employees in months and is now bankrupt.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe Cocaine Seizure Means More Bananas for Zoo

A major cocaine seizure in Europe has turned out to be good news for the animals at Rotterdam’s zoo.

The drugs were hidden among boxes of bananas, and the fruit was later donated to the monkeys and other creatures at the Blijdorp zoo.

Dutch prosecutors said Friday more than eight tons of cocaine was hidden among the bananas on a ship from Ecuador. The drugs were seized Monday in the Belgian port of Antwerp, while the bananas were allowed to continue on to Rotterdam — the shipment’s final destination. Dutch police arrested a Belgian truck driver and four Dutch men on Tuesday.

Dutch authorities say the seizure is the biggest ever in the Netherlands or Belgium.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

First All-Sicilian Electric 4WD Car Presented to the Press

(AGI) — Palermo, Oct. 9 — Formerly host to one of FIAT’s largest auto manufacturing plants, the town of Termini Imerese today set the scene for the presentation of the first-ever all-Sicilian 4WD electric car, called ‘Florio’. The car was jointly designed and developed by an engineering company in conjunction with Rome University’s POMOS sustainable mobility department and by ‘Targa Florio’ Foundation. With FIAT having shut down its Sicily operations, a statement issued by the car’s developers underscores that the car is production-ready.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

France: Marseille Police: Crime, Corruption and Cover-Up at the Highest Level

One of the biggest scandals in the history of the French constabulary has emerged in Marseille, with allegations of murder and an alleged cover-up at the highest levels. Henry Samuel reports.

It began as a simple sting operation to snare a group of corrupt police officers operating in the southern French city of Marseille, a rump of racketeers extorting drugs and cash from the criminal underworld. After months of surveillance, investigators made their move last week, searching a police station and finding €800 (£644), a kilo of cannabis and a few dozen watches hidden behind a false ceiling. While it hardly represented a King’s ransom, what has unravelled since has been truly extraordinary; one of the biggest corruption scandals in the history of the French constabulary, allegations of murder and an alleged cover-up at the highest levels.

A total of 30 policemen have now been suspended, representing around half of the elite anti-crime squad — known as the BAC (Brigade anti-criminalite) Nord — that operated in Marseille’s drug and crime infested northern district. Prosecutors have already said there is “overwhelming proof” of their involvement in a massive extortion racket alleged to have made the ringleaders thousands of euros per month; cash that funded luxury lifestyles of swimming pools and fast cars for officers supposedly earning public sector wages. Some were so sure they operated above the law that they would brazenly waltz into restaurants in Marseille’s old port, eat and “tell the boss they weren’t paying”, it was alleged…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

France: Prosecutors Appeal as Gang Rapists Get Off Lightly

French prosecutors said Friday they will appeal the acquittals and light sentences handed down to 14 men accused of repeatedly gang-raping two teenage girls in a run-down Paris suburb.

The court decision on Wednesday sparked widespread outrage in France, with one feminist group saying it sent a “catastrophic message” that rape is permissible.

Ten men were acquitted in the case while four defendants were handed down sentences ranging from one year in prison to three years suspended for raping one victim, identified only as Nina, now aged 29.

Prosecutors had called for eight of the accused to be given sentences of between five and seven years. They made no sentencing recommendations for the other six accused.

“The verdict is too far from the prosecution requests, both on the sentences given and certain acquittals. It does not take into account how the crimes were committed,” said Nathalie Becache, chief prosecutor for the Paris suburb of Creteil.

She said the verdict also did not take into account the “particularly serious physical and mental damage” done to the two victims.

The two victims said they had seen a “judicial disaster” after the verdict in the attacks, committed in the poverty-stricken housing schemes of Fontenay-sous-Bois between 1999 and 2001.

They said they were repeatedly raped in sordid places — in basement cellars, stairwells and car parks. One of the victims said she was a virgin when she was first attacked one night when she was returning from the cinema.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Rightwing Hijacks the Pain Au Chocolat

First Cornish pasties shook Westminster, now Paris faces its own baked-goods political storm after the humble pain au chocolat was hijacked by rightwing politics. It began at a rally on the Côte d’Azur this weekend when the hardline Jean-François Copé, fighting a tough race to take over Nicolas Sarkozy’s rightwing UMP party, served a pastry-related anecdote that has been repeating on him ever since. Having already complained of what he called “anti-white racism” on French estates, Copé said he identified with “exasperated” parents who, after a hard day’s work, got home to find their child had had his pain au chocolat “snatched” from him outside the school gates by “thugs” who said: “There must be no eating during Ramadan.” He then tweeted: “There are neighbourhoods in France where children can’t eat their pain au chocolat because it’s Ramadan.” Outrage and cries of absurdity followed, from both left and right. The Socialist prime minister slammed what he called a “stigmatising” discourse against minorities. The former Sarkozy minister François Baroin, supporting Copé’s opponent François Fillon, warned against “toxic and dangerous little phrases”. Christian Estrosi, mayor of Nice, devoted Sarkozy ally and Fillon supporter, laughed nervously as he joked on radio: “Pain au chocolat is an inalienable right of all French children.”

[…]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

French Prosecutors to Appeal ‘Catastrophic’ Gang Rape Verdicts

French prosecutors announced Friday they would appeal the lenient verdicts in a gang rape trial as public outrage over acquittals and soft sentencing grows. Women’s organisations called the verdicts “catastrophic” and decried a culture of “impunity”.

Lenient sentences and acquittals for 14 men accused of gang raping two teenage girls are causing a stir in France, where women’s organizations decry what they call a culture of impunity and even politicians from the governing party have expressed shock at the ruling. The prosecutor’s office said Friday it would appeal.

On Thursday, a court in Creteil convicted four of the men of repeatedly gang raping one of the girls in a tough neighborhood outside Paris more than 10 years ago. The 10 others were acquitted, including all those accused of raping the second girl.

Most of the prison time handed out was suspended. The longest term was for five years, four of which were suspended. The lightest term was for three years, all suspended.

Clothilde Lepetit, a lawyer for the victims, called the verdict a “slap in the face,” according to the Sipa news agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Manservant’s 16-Year Sentence Upheld for Murdering Countess

Cold case reopened after 20 years

(ANSA) — Rome, October 9 — The Filipino former manservant of an Italian countess killed in 1991 has had his 16-year sentence for murder upheld by an appeals court in Rome.

The case of Countess Alberica Filo della Torre was one of Italy’s most celebrated cold cases before it was reopened on DNA evidence last year, and ex-manservant Manuel Winston confessed.

After years of inaction, the Filipino was put in the frame by DNA taken from a bloodstained bed sheet and from his trousers. Prosecutors, who had asked for a life sentence, said the countess, a well-known Roman socialite, intended to report Winston for theft and he reacted by killing her on July 10, 1991.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Move to Stop Alcohol Sales to Under-18s

Parliament amendment after string of youth binge-drinking cases

(ANSA) — Rome, October 10 — The Italian parliament passed an amendment Wednesday aimed at stopping alcohol sales to under-18s.

Pubs and retail outlets that do so would get fines ranging from 250 to 1,000 euros.

The penalties would be doubled, and the premises shut for three months, in case of repeat offences, the amendment said.

Youth drinking has been on the rise for years in Italy and this year cases of teenagers being hospitalised after binge-drinking have claimed headlines.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Guzzanti Ordered to Pay 40,000 for Defaming Former Minister

Comedian suggested sexual impropriety in 2008 tirade

(ANSA) — Rome, October 10 — An Italian court has ordered comedian and actress Sabina Guzzanti to pay 40,000 euros in damages for defaming a former cabinet minister.

Guzzanti acknowledged her comments caused offence to former equal opportunities minister Mara Carfagna, but said she was only being sarcastic in her 2008 parody.

In a political tirade in Rome’s Piazza Navona, Guzzanti gave a modern twist to an old song about sexual practices by hinting at improprieties in Carfagna’s role in the cabinet of former premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Guzzanti said she hoped Carfagna would give the libel payment to charity. Carfagna, who was embarrassed by the incident, declined to comment, saying only that “the judgement speaks for itself”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Gondoliers Warn Venice Has More Holes Than Swiss Cheese

Lagoon city ‘falling apart’

(ANSA) — Venice, October 10 — A lack of proper maintenance means the famous city of Venice is crumbling so badly that it resembles a slice of Swiss cheese, gondoliers said Wednesday.

And city council is urging more funds be invested in shoring up the foundations of structures that are being eroded by time and water pollution.

The alarms follow the collapse of part of a bank in the area of Piazzale Roma, near the modern Calatrava Bridge, which geologists say is damaging the foundation under its weight. “Just turn around a boat in the canals and you’ll realize at once that the old town is like Swiss cheese,” said Aldo Reato, head of the gondoliers association.

Alessandro Maggioni, Venice’s councillor for public works, has called on the Italian government to invest 60 million euros in routine maintenance.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Swims Messina Strait to Launch Electoral Campaign

On landing refers to Garibaldi and makes ‘V’ for victory sign

(ANSA) — Rome, October 10 — The leader of the populist Five Star Movement (M5S) Beppe Grillo kicked off his electoral campaign by swimming the Messina Strait connecting the Italian mainland to the island of Sicily.

Comic and activist Grillo posting on his blog wrote, “I landed in Sicily! This is the third landing in Sicily in 150 years”. Grillo cited the landing of Italian unification leader Garibaldi, the Americans during WWII “who brought the Mafia” and himself as the third. “But neither Garibaldi or Lucky Luciano swam to Sicily,” Grillo wrote.

Upon his arrival, Grillo raised his arm and spread his fingers in the ‘V’ for victory salute, that can also be interpreted as an ‘f-you’ sign in Italy when the hand is turned.

Grillo has spearheaded several national and international campaigns orbiting around the ‘V’ sign, including the Vaffa’ day (f-off) calling for the removal of Italian parliament members who have criminal convictions of any kind from their office.

Grillo told a crowd waiting for his arrival that Italian Premier Mario Monti “is the liquidator of a company that is called Italy and that has failed. If the country does not stop the debt, the debt will stop the country”. “We need to think of a new culture. We are the only alternative,” Grillo, whose party is third in the polls, said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Linguistic Differences Color Belgian Vote

Linguistic and cultural splits run deep despite changing demographics in Belgian communities. The rise of nationalist parties is also playing into the lead-up to Sunday’s municipal elections in Belgium.

In Antwerp, outspoken Flemish nationalist Bart de Wever is using his tilt at the mayorship to kick-start a campaign that could end in the dissolution of Belgium. Meanwhile in the outer suburbs of Brussels, a more subtle Belgian drama is being played out. A look at one town shows that in these municipalities, the language people speak and the context in which they speak it is front and center of the political campaign.

The Brussels Metro Line 1 rumbles east from the headquarters of the European Commission out to the city limits. Several stops and 10 minutes later, it approaches the invisible border between the mainly French-speaking greater Brussels and the officially Dutch-speaking Flanders.

This is where modern demographic trends and traditional political tribalism clash, making Sunday’s poll an event of national significance.

In the municipality of Kraainem, nestled between the Brussels border and the city’s ring road, there is no shortage of French being spoken — despite the fact that it lies in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking region.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

More Deaths Amounting From Meningitis Contaminated Shots

We reported on October 9th that contaminated steroids have sickened 105 people with a noncontagious but deadly form of fungal meningitis, with 8 people dying. Steroids contaminated with fungus have claimed two more victims since Wednesday. In total, 14 have died and 170 have been sickened from a rare fungal meningitis in 11 states since the outbreak.

Though the condition is not transmitted from person-to-person, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that about 13,000 patients may have been injected with the contaminated steroid. The steroid in question is a painkiller, typically administered to relieve back pain.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found fungus in sealed vials of the steroid, which was produced by New England Compounding Center (NECC). Late last week, the NECC voluntarily recalled all of its products and removed its own license to operate until the investigation’s completion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mussolini Painting at Italian High School Sparks Local Ire

Restored 1937 portrait depicts dictator on white horse

(ANSA) — Ascoli Piceno, October 12 — A restored portrait of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has sparked the ire of locals after it was returned to a high school in Italy.

The painting depicts Mussolini riding a white horse and brandishing a sword.

It was originally created for exposition at the Umberto I Technical Institute in the town of Ascvoli Piceno in central Italy after it was built in 1937.

Headmaster Arturo Verna said he sees the painting as “an allegory of Mussolini, or better still of the school system reform that the fascist movement wanted”.

Local citizens have called for the portrait to be removed, calling it “unconstitutional”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Nobel Win Offers Chance for Deeper Union, Say EU Officials

The European Union’s Nobel Peace Prize win is an opportunity for further integration, EU figures said on Friday.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, said the 27-member bloc should move towards closer political union.

“I see it as an invitation to bring European integration forward. It is a call to us to build Europe further, and not neglect Europe,” he said.

Romano Prodi, a former European Commission president and a two-time Italian prime minister, stressed that the EU had been important in keeping the peace.

“Europe is full of monuments for those who died in battle. And we must be grateful to them, for their sacrifice. Now, for three generations, we are in pace. We are happy,” he said.

“You saw what happened in Yugoslavia and you see what’s happening in North Africa now. So long live a peaceful Europe.”

[…]

There were also many critics of the Nobel Committee’s decision. Czech President Vaclav Klaus slammed the award as “a tragic mistake”.

“The Nobel Prize has always been given to individuals, to individual people who have been dedicated to some special case and have shown some specific unique effort in that case. To give it to a bureaucratic institution makes it a void award,” Klaus said.

           — Hat tip: LH [Return to headlines]

Poland to Invest 12.5 Billion Euros in Shale Gas by 2020

Poland will invest 50 billion zlotys (15.5 billion euros) in the exploration of shale gas by 2020, Finance Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski said Saturday.

Investment over the next two years will total five billion zlotys (1.2 billion euros, $1.6 billion), which includes a 409-million-euro shale gas deal agreed in July by five Polish energy and mining groups, Budzanowski told the press.

“With the Russian gas accord terminating at the end of 2022, we must be well prepared to noticeably boost the exploitation of our own gas fields three years earlier,” he said, adding that state money as well as private investment would be involved.

Poland which has a population of 38 million has extractable shale gas deposits estimated at 1,920 billion cubic metres, according to an official report published in March.

The National Geological Institute (PIG) said Poland’s shale gas deposits are the third largest in Europe after those of Norway and the Netherlands.

Its extraction could make the country independent of Russian imports.

Poland burns 14 billion cubic metres of gas a year, two-thirds of which come from Russia.

The government expects extraction to begin in 2014.

The gas is extracted from rock through hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the drilling of underground shale rock formations by injecting chemicals and water to release the trapped natural gas.

Opponents say it causes pollution of the ground water but energy groups say it provides access to considerable gas reserves and drives down the price.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Police Bust Wine Merchants for Tax Evasion

German and Italian authorities investigating customs workers

(ANSA) — Alessandria, October 9 — Police arrested 14 people in Italy and one in Germany who claimed that their commercial operations selling wine and other alcoholic beverages operated outside of the European Union to avoid paying EU taxes.

Authorities seized seven companies, real estate and bank accounts worth 15 million euros as part of probes. Three officials for the Italian customs agency in Naples and Bari are also being probed.

Investigators said that ring members could be charged with international tax evasion and criminal association. The operation was carried out by Italian customs agents together with German police.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Producers of Profane Stuff Destroying World Peace, Swedish MP

Lahore

NASIM Malik, a Swedish social democrat politician, has asked those who genuinely stand for the world peace to unite against those who produce sacrilegious, baneful material and who, in the name of freedom of expression, are bent upon destroying the little hope the humanity today has for peace.

While talking to The News from Sweden on Wednesday, Nasim Malik, an elected reserve member of the Swedish Parliament, expressed great concern over the ongoing highly deplorable acts of provocation against Muslims of the world. He said that the Muslim world deplored the brazen act of blatant provocation by the production of an anti-Islam film.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

UK: Girlington Mosque for 21st Century is Planned

by Kathie Griffiths

Plans are underway to demolish a Bradford mosque and build a bigger one in its place. Girlington Muslim Welfare Association (GMWA) wants to tear down its present Durham Road mosque and for the new one to be built next to its current site on green space it bought from Bradford Council. The new three-storey building would have prayers areas, a mosque school, a computer room, rooms for functions and space for a youth centre, taking the mosque into the 21st century…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Innocence of Islam Protest: Community Leaders Address the Crowd — Video

Hafiz Amjid of Rhodes Street Mosque has addressed the crowd at the Halifax protest against the Innocence of Islam film. He told them this was a peaceful protest over the disturbing movie released in the US Innocence of Islam and also the publication of cartoons. He said: “By peacefully demonstrating in Halifax we’re showing the country and the rest of the world we will not tolerate blasphemy to The Prophet. Any insult to The Prophet of Islam, we will not tolerate and will protest. Freedom of expression comes with limits. We are not here to incite and I hope that message is clear.” Readings form the Koran have also featured.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Jimmy Savile Plaque Removed by Jewish Welfare Service

A memorial to Sir Jimmy Savile was removed from the Leeds Jewish Welfare Board (LJWB) building on Thursday morning. The gold leaf plaque, on the LJWB’s honorary Tree of Life, was removed this week in the wake of the child sexual abuse allegations made against the dj and tv presenter. An executive LJWB member was unavailable for comment. Another Savile memorial was attacked by vandals in Scarborough, north Yorkshire, who scrawled the words “rapist” and “paedophile” on the plaque. Sir Jimmy died last year, aged 84, and the Metropolitan Police are currently pursuing 120 lines of inquiry into the alleged abuse.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Judge Brands His Sentencing Powers ‘Pathetic’ As He Jails Thug for Less Than Three Years for Paralysing Aerospace Engineer

A judge lamented his ‘pathetic’ sentencing powers as he jailed a drunken yob who left an aerospace engineer paralysed from the neck down for less than three years.

Matthew Edmonds, 33, was left with only some limited movement in his arms after he was punched in the street by Samuel Evans.

Thug Evans was already subject to a suspended jail term for a previous assault when he lashed out at Mr Edmonds, causing him to fall and hit his head on a concrete floor, Gloucester Crown Court heard.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Backers of West Ham’s ‘Mega Mosque’ Outline Development Plans

The team behind plans for Newham’s so called ‘mega mosque’ have met the Recorder for the first time to spell out their vision.

At the site of the proposed development in Canning Road, West Ham — also known as the Abbey Mills Mosque — were four of the prime proposers. Solad Mohammed, one of three trustees, was with project volunteers, including their spokesman, Yousuf Aslam, to show us around last week. As we walked across the former industrial site, close to historic Abbey Mills Pumping Station, they explained how they hope to transform the grounds into a tranquil and peaceful place for Muslim worshippers and the wider community…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Newcastle United, Wonga.Com and Muslims

The Facts

On 12 October, the Independent ran a story headlined “Newcastle’s Muslim stars told: Don’t play in new ‘Wonga’ tops”. It began “Newcastle United’s £24m shirt sponsorship deal with Wonga was engulfed in fresh controversy last night when the club’s Muslim players were warned that wearing the new shirts would infringe Sharia law.” The story suggested that the Muslim Council of Britain and its Assistant Secretary General Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra had issued this warning. The media has subsequently reported this as fact, even though no warning, or demand was made. The Independent had called Shaykh Mogra to give an overview on Islamic viewpoints on interest, and then went on to ask about the Wonga.com deal.

Here is Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra’s full response. Being a body whose constituents make up a diverse collection of Islamic schools of thought, the Muslim Council of Britain does not issue ‘fatwas’ and makes no demands on anyone, Muslim or non Muslim. It seeks to reflect views amongst British Muslims, and provide a platform to common views held in our community.

Further FAQs can be found here.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Polish Thug Who Left 8-Week-Old Girl With Brain Damage After Fracturing Her Skull and Breaking Her Legs is Jailed for Ten Years

An evil thug who savagely beat a little baby girl — breaking both her legs, fracturing her skull and leaving her with permanent brain damage — has jailed for 10 years and nine months.

Polish-born Grzegorze Lis, 35, even bit the tiny eight-week-old’s arm as he inflicted an horrific catalogue of injuries, the court heard.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Rubbish Like Jewish Mum of the Year is Bad for Us

Inherent in programmes like Channel 4’s dreadful “Jewish Mother of the Year” and “Jews at Ten” is a trap common to many other manifestations of antisemitism: if Jews complain that their religion and culture is being trashed, they must be humourless. Thus Jews are twice ridiculed, once for their putative ugliness as a people, and again for not being willing to laugh at it. Television production companies like Shine and Princess Productions (who made this series) have dedicated development departments to think up ideas for new programmes. I have worked in both companies’ development teams, and know well how ideas like this tend to be created. The disproportionate amount of attention our tiny community is getting on TV — including six recent ‘affectionately’ derisory comedy shows — marks a worrying trend. A peculiar hybrid of “The Apprentice” and “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding”, this unimaginative series reinforces many negative stereotypes about Jews by mocking a selection of eccentrics who just happen to be Jewish. Their willing involvement is the fig leaf for the stereotyping…

[JP note: If it’s bad for the Jewish community then it is bad for all of us not just Jews.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: US Filmmakers Banned From Britain Over Anti-Mohammed Video

Two filmmakers behind the controversial video “Innocence of Muslims”, which denigrates the Prophet Mohammed, have been banned from setting foot in Britain over fears they could incite violence.

The Daily Telegraph can also reveal that a Pakistani cabinet minister who offered a reward for anyone killing the producers of the amateurish video has also been told by British officials that he is not welcome. A trailer for the film posted on YouTube provoked angry demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. The amateurish clip, produced on a tiny budget by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Egyptian Coptic Christian resident in the United States, depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a fool and sexual deviant. As a result of the controversy, Nakoula was arrested for violating probation terms for a pre-existing fraud offence which barred him from using the internet. The worst of the protests were in Pakistan, where 20 people died in clashes between anti-film protesters and police during a day of protests last month…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Was Mossad Behind the Alps Murders?

‘Saad [al Hilli] was a very passionate guy and this was something that concerned him,’ he says. ‘He thought the Jews were taking over America and the world, and tried to get me interested in a book about the atrocities committed by the United States on Arabs.’

After 9/11, he recalls, [Saad’s] views became still more extreme. In one breath he would say it was ‘pay-back time’; in the next he would venture that Israel had blown up the Twin Towers to provoke the U.S. into waging war on the Arab world.

All of which brings us to the theory advanced by a respected Middle East security analyst, who declined to be named. He believes the al-Hillis and the French cyclist could have been conspirators in a plot to supply nuclear material to Iran — and been eliminated by state-sponsored Israeli assassins.

At first blush, this may sound the stuff of conspiracy theorists and spy thriller writers. But one commentator who thinks it is plausible is Roger Howard, author of several authoritative books on Middle Eastern affairs, the next of which will examine a chilling assassination programme carried out on European soil by the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad.

Though the French police have declared themselves open to the possibility that Sylvain Mollier, not Mr al-Hilli, was the intended victim, no one has openly suggested that they might have been associates, and therefore jointly targeted.

Mollier was not merely a keen mountain bike rider. He held a senior post with Cezus, a company based in the nearby small town of Ugine and owned by Areva, the giant multi-national that leads the way in the research and development of nuclear power.

A spokesman told us he had been employed for many years as a senior production manager specialising in nuclear fuel cladding made from zirconium — one of the metals Iran wishes to amass for its feared nuclear programme.

‘Iran is unable to produce certain key materials and metals that are critical to its nuclear and ballistic missiles programmes,’ says Mark Fitzpatrick, of the ISS defence think-tank.

‘Export controls and sanctions have made it difficult to procure them, but Iranian agents are trying to exploit black-market niches — and access to advanced research and development work on specialty metals will help advance Iranian [nuclear] capabilities.’

Sylvain Mollier undoubtedly enjoyed such access, and given his professional contacts, Mr al-Hilli would surely have known where to find him.

The Iraqi Shia Muslim would also have been aware of the Frenchman’s potential value to a cash-rich Middle Eastern power — though, as Roger Howard says, given the hatred he vented towards Israel in those chatrooms, money may not have been his motive.

Just supposing al-Hilli’s hastily-arranged family holiday was a cover for a meeting with Mollier, the reason why he had stashed up to £1 million in a secret bank account, 40 miles away in Geneva, would begin to make sense. Walkers on the remote 3 km track to the scene of the attack outside the nearby village of Chevaline where Mr Saad al-Hilli, and his family were murdered.

           — Hat tip: LH [Return to headlines]

Balkans

Christians Flee Bosnia Amid Discrimination, Islamization

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA (BosNewsLife)— Christians are massively leaving post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina amid mounting discrimination and Islamization, according to a new report released Friday, October 12.

“Many believers leave the country since war raged 20 years ago,” said Netherlands-based advocacy and aid group Kerk in Nood, or ‘Church in Need’, in the report obtained by BosNewsLife.

There are just 440,000 Catholics left in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure, the group said.

The report came on the heels of talks between the cardinal of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic,and European Council President Herman van Rompuy about difficulties faced by Bosnia’s Christians.

Mosques Build

Puljic reportedly complained that while dozens of mosques were build in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches.

“The cardinal already waits 13 years on permission to build just a small church,” Church in Need said. Authorities so far refused to return hundreds of nationalized church buildings, despite a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to do so, according to Christian officials.

Additionally tens of thousands of people, many of them Catholic Croats, have been prevented from returning home following the war, Church in Need said. These obstacles violate the Dayton peace accords that ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian War, which split the nation between a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation.

“Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism,” Puljic said, who added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were “persecuted for centuries” after European powers “failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire.”…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Beck Walks Through Libya Timeline and Describes ‘Massive Cover-Up…Bigger Than Watergate’

From Glenn Beck and The Blaze. I said the very same thing on the magnitude of the cover-up in my article last weekend: Spooks in the Machine Speak Up. A chronology of crucial moments leading up to and in the aftermath of the attacks is provided below courtesy of the Heritage Foundation:

April 6: IED thrown over the fence of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

April 11: Gun battle erupts between armed groups two-and-a-half miles from the U.S. Consulate, including rocket-propelled grenades.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

CBS Reporter Says Islamic Terrorists Are Winning

CBS News correspondent Lara Logan is making big news by accusing the Obama Administration of lying about progress in the war on terrorism. She also urged the administration to avenge the murders of four Americans in Libya, and declared that Islamist terrorists want to destroy the West and the American way of life.

An FBI investigation is not the best way to handle the murders in Libya, she said. “I hope to God that you’re sending in your best clandestine warriors to exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil, that its ambassadors will not be murdered and the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”

It appeared to some commentators that she was arguing for a stronger U.S. military response, which was certainly true in the case of the murdered Americans in Libya, but it is also clear that she sees Pakistan, an Islamic state with nuclear weapons, as one of the main problems facing the U.S. and the region that few political leaders want to address. Pakistan is considered by many politicians, Democrats and Republicans, to be a U.S. ally, and it receives billions of dollars in foreign aid.

In a sensational charge, Logan said that “Pakistani lobbying money” was behind the “narrative” that the U.S. can withdraw from the region and even negotiate a peaceful solution with the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. She implied that U.S. policymakers were being bribed to have the U.S. leave the region under circumstances that would only benefit Islamist forces who seek a world-wide Islamic state, or “caliphate.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Demands Rising for Morsi to Bring Justice to Egypt

With a general amnesty for revolutionaries and moves to replace the prosecutor general, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is trying to re-position himself as a promoter of human rights. But many doubt his sincerity.

Pressure is building on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to bring justice to the many revolutionaries imprisoned since 2011. Thousands of people were arrested during the bloody street battles that took place at the height of the revolution, and many were arbitrarily arrested, beaten and made to face military tribunals that often ignored legal principles and gave few a fair trial.

Ibrahim, a 26 year old arrested in February of this year during a street fight with riot police, described how brutal the police can be. “We had already been beaten by the time we arrived at the police station,” he said. “It got to the stage where I didn’t feel the blows anymore. At first they hit us on the head and arms. Then we got to the Interior Ministry, where we were tortured.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Islamists and Secularists Clash in Cairo

Supporters of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi clashed with secularists and liberals opposed to his regime in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday night, leaving more than 100 people injured, officials said.

Thousands of supporters and opponents of Egypt’s new Islamist president clashed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday in the first such violence since Mohammed Morsi took office more than three months ago, as liberal and secular activists erupted with anger accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of trying to take over the country.

The two sides hurled stones and chunks of concrete and beat each other for sticks for several hours, leaving more than 100 injured, according to the state news agency. Two buses used by the Brotherhood to bring in supporters were set aflame behind the Egyptian Museum, the repository of the country’s pharaonic antiquities, in scenes reminiscent of last year’s clashes between protesters against the regime of then-leader Hosni Mubarak and his backers.

The melee erupted between two competing rallies in Tahrir. One was by liberal and secular activists to criticize Morsi’s failure to achieve promises he had made for first 100 days in power, the other had been called by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

The clashes come as criticism among leftists, liberals and secularists against Morsi has been growing since he was inaugurated more than three months ago as Egypt’s first freely elected president. His opponents accuse Morsi, the Brotherhood and other Islamists of trying to impose their dominance and Islamize the state, including through the writing of a new constitution.

Some Egyptians are also frustrated that Morsi, a longtime Brotherhood figure, has not done more to resolve the multiple problems facing the country — from a faltering economy and fuel shortages to tenuous security and uncollected piles of garbage in the streets.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Libya: UN Urges Protection of Civilians Following Deadly Clashes in Bani Walid

The United Nations today voiced concern over the impact of recent security developments, including loss of life and injury, amid deadly clashes between armed groups in the Libyan town of Bani Walid. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the North African nation, Georg Charpentier, reminded all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and meet their basic needs…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Qaradawi Urges Muslims to Support Jerusalem’s Cause

Al Quds (Jerusalem) and its holy mosque are being desecrated and violated daily by the Israeli Jews, so Muslims and Arabs should hurry to its support, Islamic scholar Dr Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi urged yesterday.

In his Friday sermon at Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Mosque, he recalled that “when a Jew burned a small portion of a pulpit of Al Aqsa mosque back in 1969, all Muslims and Arabs of the world hurried to create what came to be known as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference to deal with the issue”. “However, now many excavations are being undertaken by Israel under the holy mosque and attacks have become a regular occurrence and yet Muslims are unaware of what is going on,” Qaradawi exclaimed. He urged all Muslims and Arabs to unite and adopt the cause of Al Quds and Al Aqsa. He also called on “all honourable and free people” in the world to support such a cause…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Subway Ads Generate Controversy in NYC

An interview with Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

As the controversy continues to escalate over the placement of ads in New York City subways that call for a moral outcry against jihad and the pernicious deeds of radical Islamists around the world, Israel National News sat down with Pamela Geller, a co-founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization that has spearheaded this ad campaign.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iraq Buys Russian Weaponry for 4.2 Billion Dollars

(AGI) Baghdad — The Iraqi government bought weapons from Russia. Moscow is now the second military supplier after the US. In particular, Russia will deliver to Iraq 30 attack helicopters, the last generation Mi-28NE with counter rotating rotors and 42 self-propelled batteries of anti-aircraft missiles Pantsir-S1. In Washington, the State Department did not show any worries about the sale, reminding the all together Iraq signed 467 defense contracts with US providers, worth some 12,3 billion dollars.” .

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Journalists: BBC Leads Training Jordanians and Palestinians

Media professionals can apply until 23 October

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 12 — The BBC is leading a series of workshops for those working in the media in Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territory, as part of the EU-funded Media Neighbourhood Project, in the areas of professional journalism, new media and management. Media professionals have until 23 October to apply. Workshops, according to the Enpi website (www.enpi-info.eu), will be led by senior journalists and highly-experienced trainers from the BBC, AFP and the other international media organisations in the consortium. The training will be practical and hands on. Those applying should select one of the three workshops available in each country and are invited to send a CV and a letter outlining their experience and suitability to media.neighbourhood@bbc.co.uk by 23 October 2012. They should specify the course they are applying for. Media Neighbourhood is a three-year training programme for journalists, editors and managers from broadcast, print and online. It is funded by the European Union and has two main aims: to strengthen the professional capacity of journalists, particularly in the areas of media independence and online media; to improve the reporting of EU social, economic and political policies within the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Caucasus.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mecca: 900 Ugandan Pilgrims Denied Visas Over Ebola

Over 900 Ugandan Muslims, who had planned to travel to Mecca for pilgrimage, are stranded after Saudi Arabia maintained a ban following the recent outbreak of Ebola. The intending pilgrims, who should have left on October 10, had booked air tickets and made the necessary legal clearances for travel. The Uganda Muslim Supreme Council pilgrimage leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Kiirya, said they received information through the Saudi Arabian consulate in Kampala that all Ugandan pilgrims were not cleared due to the Ebola outbreak.

The epidemic broke out in Kibaale district in July but was controlled and the country declared free of the Ebola last month. Rukia Nakamatte, the public relations officer of the Ministry of Health, said they presented a report that declared Uganda free of Ebola to the Saudi Arabian government.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Monti Prepares Mission to Gulf Countries

(AGI) Rome — Prime Minister Mario Monti met with Arab financial experts and entrepreneurs for a working lunch today in view of the Italian government’s mission to Gulf countries, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Italy is inviting Arab countries to increase investments in all that is Made in Italy, while Italian exports to the area have increased resulting In Italy becoming the UAE’s first trade partner.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Mystery Surrounds Death of British Lawyer in Yemen Who Died ‘After Answering His Door Covered in Blood’

A lawyer has died in mysterious circumstances at his home in Yemen.

Roger Stokes, formerly of Gosforth in Newcastle, died on Sunday morning after being found injured in his flat.

Mr Stokes, who lived alone in the southern city of Aden, had just moved into a flat overlooking the harbour because it was ‘secure’.

Mr Stokes’ sister, Helen Williams, said they do not yet know how the 49-year-old came to be injured.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Qatar’s Ulterior Motive for Removing Al-Assad

Providing money and arms to remove Syrian president

According to Middle East analyst Pepe Escobar in the Asia Times, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, wants to run a natural gas pipeline to Europe which now would have to through Iraq and Turkey.

Iraq, however, poses a problem because it has an Iranian-backed Shi’a government under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, thereby becoming an obstacle because of his and Iran’s support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

As an alternative, the pipeline would be diverted to Jordan where the gas could be picked up in ships in the Gulf of Aqaba, and they would then head to the Gulf of Suez and into the Mediterranean.

“It’s clear what Qatar is aiming at — to kill the ten billion dollar Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline, a deal that was clinched even as the Syrian uprising was already underway,” Escobar said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey Scrambles Fighter Jets as Fighting Threatens to Engulf Syrian Border

Turkish and Syrian forces confronted each other in the air over the frontier between the two countries as fighting threatened to engulf the border area and spread into a wider regional conflict.

Two Turkish F-16 fighter jets were scrambled after a Syrian army helicopter approached the border town of Azmarin and fired down onto rebel lines. The helicopter left shortly after the Turkish planes arrived, but according to one official, two Syrian jets were seen in the distance immediately afterwards. Nato leaders are warning Turkey against escalating its diplomatic offensive against Syria, which has already seen it send artillery fire into Bashar al-Assad’s territory in retaliation for mortar fire from the Syrian side. The crisis entered a new phase on Wednesday when Turkey forced down a Syrian passenger plane over Ankara, claiming it was carrying Russian arms for the Assad regime. Moscow admitted on Friday that the plane was carrying radar equipment to Syria, but insisted that did not justify Turkey’s behaviour…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Turkey is Hell Bent on Provoking War in the Middle East

Confirmation that Turkey is hell bent on provoking conflict with Syria that could easily escalate into a regional war arrived last night when the Turks intercepted a Syrian commercial airliner bound for Damascus, falsely claiming the plane was carrying military equipment.

Despite the fact that the Turks could have asked to inspect the plane’s cargo and had it land in Turkey by consent, they instead chose to unleash a show of force by having Turkish Air Force F-16 jets aggressively intercept the plane and force it to land in Ankara as soon as the airliner crossed into Turkish airspace.

The airliner was en-route from Moscow with 30 passengers, 17 of which were Russian. Russia reacted angrily to the incident, saying it was refused access to the citizens for 8 hours and that their lives were put in danger.

Turkey initially claimed it had intelligence suggesting weapons were on board the plane but later admitted that all it had seized was communications equipment. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu claimed the confiscated equipment was “illegal cargo,” a term that was later watered down to “objectionable” cargo.

According to passengers, masked men boarded the plane when it landed and proceeded to beat four people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey Vows to React ‘Without Hesitation’ If Syria Violates Its Border Again as Tensions Mount

Turkish foreign minster Ahmet Davutoglu warned Syria today it would retaliate ‘without hesitation’ if its border was violated again.

Turkey’s armed forces have repeatedly responded in kind over the past few weeks to gunfire and shelling spilling across from Syria.

Now they have promised a more forceful military retaliation if the violence is not contained.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Western Spies Get Discreetly Involved in Syria

Western intelligence agencies are quietly at work supporting the Syrian opposition from Turkey. While governments officially deny involvement, media reports paint an ever clearer picture.

Experts are convinced that intelligence services are active in Syria, although Western governments have denied taking any military action there. Discretion is the primary precaution to ensure intel operations are not too widely publicized in a country that has been torn apart by violence for 18 months.

It’s been clear for some time that CIA agents in Turkey have been monitoring weapons transfers to Syrian rebels. Experts said they suspect the British intelligence service is also involved, observing the situation in Syria from Cyprus and passing on strategically important information to rebels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Russia

“October Surprise” — Will Obama Attack Iran?

I’ve been telling audiences around the US for some time, that I think that President Obama’s much feared “October Surprise” could be a US led attack on Iran.

I think that if it happens, it will not be all out war, but a comparatively small, surgical assault. Here is my logic.

Obama loves Russia. Moscow loves Obama, because he is destroying the United States military, just as Moscow has always wanted. If Obama gets four more years, America’s once mighty military will become nothing more than a strike force for the United Nations — which is effectively controlled by Russia and China.

Russia wants Obama to win this election to finish off the US military as an effective counter force to Moscow and Beijing’s joint program for world domination.

Russia is allied with Iran, through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and through their shared hatred of the United States.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russians Arrest Imam Shooting Suspect

Russian security services have arrested a 35-year-old man suspected of the attempted murder of an imam in northern Sweden in February, according to a report in the Kvällsposten daily.

A well-known religious leader and political dissident Nazarov, who fled his central Asian homeland and came to Sweden 2006, is not viewed positively by the Uzbek regime, which is known to see deeply religious regime critics as terrorists.

Nazarov came to Sweden along with scores of other political refugees after a 2005 crackdown by Uzbek government troops in Andijan in which hundreds of protesters were killed, although the exact number of casualties remains in dispute.

Today he is internationally wanted by Uzbekistan. After the assassination attempt Nazarov received life-threatening injuries. His has still not regained consciousness.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Arrest of Royal Marines in Afghanistan Murder Case Raises Backlash Fears

LONDON — Seven British Royal Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder — an unusual case that could cause a backlash from Afghans and further erode efforts to provide political stability to Afghanistan…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Blasts in Southern Afghanistan Kill 2 Afghan Policemen, 3 Intelligence Officers

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials say three blasts in southern Afghanistan have killed two Afghan policemen and three national intelligence officers. Insurgents frequently target Afghan security forces and government officials in an effort to weaken the government…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Defence Chiefs Draw up Plans for Faster Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Defence chiefs are drawing up plans for a faster withdrawal from Afghanistan, after George Osborne challenged their strategy and suggested that all troops should come home immediately.

The Daily Telegraph has learnt that at a recent Whitehall meeting on withdrawal, the Chancellor questioned the purpose of continuing Britain’s Afghan mission for another two years.

David Cameron has promised that British combat operations will be over by the end of 2014. Ministers and military commanders are in discussions over how quickly to reduce troop numbers as the deadline approaches, with Armed Forces chiefs having to draw up new options for a bigger withdrawal next year than was being considered. No decisions about withdrawals in 2013 are now expected to be made until the new year. The Chancellor challenged the Army’s presence in Afghanistan at a meeting of the National Security Council last month, attended by senior ministers, military commanders and intelligence chiefs. At the meeting, commanders briefed ministers on the operations that will involve thousands of troops over the next two years. Mr Osborne is understood to have responded to the military presentation by calling into question the proposed plan for withdrawal, asking why British forces should not come home now…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: The Bali Bombings Revealed That Islamist Thinking Isn’t That Different From Modern-Day Liberal Miserabilism

by Brendan O’Neill

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, including 28 Britons and 88 Australians. Many of the victims were young or youngish holidaymakers, drawn to Bali for its famously fun nightlife. The bombs, detonated inside a bar called Paddy’s Pub and directly outside a thumping nightclub called the Sari Club, were clearly an expression of disgust against such nightlife, an attack on those who have the temerity to be hedonistic.

Although the bombings tend to get overshadowed in most people’s minds by the earlier and more deadly 9/11, and by Britain’s own terror nightmare, 7/7, they provided a searing insight into Islamist violence. They revealed two important things. First, that modern Islamist violence is not, as some of the West’s borderline apologists for al-Qaeda have claimed, driven by political grievances over Palestine or Afghanistan or whatever; rather, it is underpinned by a virulent anti-modernism, by a kind of super violent Victorianism and strait-laced hatred of anyone who dares to drink, dance or fornicate. And second, the bombings revealed, pretty shockingly, that some liberal miserablists over here share the joy-killing, priggish outlook of hotheaded haters over there, even if they don’t go so far as to plant a bomb in a bar.

The most striking thing about the Bali attack was its naked loathing of what the terrorists no doubt considered to be “Western decadence” but which most of us would think of as “having a good time”. After a year in which radical observers had desperately tried to convince us that the attacks on America in September 2001 were driven by political anger (summed up in the Observer’s later description of bin Laden as “a resilient, cunning, wonderfully briefed politician”), here was an attack which laid bare the anti-sex, anti-youth, anti-booze fury of the finger-waggers of the modern Islamist set.

Such Islamist killyjoyism dolled up as radical politics has reared its ugly head again and again over the past 10 years, including in attempted attacks in Britain. Who can forget the British-born plotters who wanted to blow up the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London and its “slags, dancing around”? The same plotters also drew up plans to poison that other community that is much loathed for its raucous behaviour: football fans. They discussed selling cans of beer laced with poison outside football stadiums. In 2007, Islamists parked two cars packed with 60 litres of petrol and loads of nails outside the Tiger Tiger nightclub in central London on Ladies’ Night — another attempted mass murder of “slags”. Thankfully, some tipsy youths outside the club spotted that the car was smoking and informed the police; yes, that’s right, Britain was saved from a potential Bali-style massacre by the binge-drinking yoof we so often frown upon. From Bali to Tiger Tiger, Islamism has revealed itself to be a movement, not of political principle, but of haughty disgust.

The Bali bombings also revealed, in black and white, that some Western observers share Islamists’ fear and loathing of the “slags” who make up modern society. In a New Statesman article at the end of 2002, population-control campaigner David Nicholson Lord fumed over Bali — not so much over the behaviour of the bombers as the behaviour of the victims. He said the kind of Western tourism that takes place in Bali “smells” — it smells “of moral casuistry, of self-indulgence, even of that much-debated commodity, decadence”. He described youthful tourists who go looking for hedonistic larks in the East as “the shock troops of development and post-colonialism”, which means “it’s not really surprising… that they find themselves targeted by anti-Western militants”. In short, they had it coming, these scantily-clad, beer-swilling “troops” from the decadent West. In green magazine The Ecologist, the Guardian writer Ros Coward described Bali as a “clubbers’ colony” and labelled youthful Western tourism as “a form of casual imperialism”. So if you blow up tourists, is that anti-imperialism? A far-Left magazine said out loud what others had only hinted at — that the “drunken, obnoxious, young(ish)” tourists were “a hated symbol of Western imperialism for many [Balinese]”.

How striking that some observers looked at the horrors in Bali and found themselves more repulsed by the antics of Western youth than by the extreme violence of Islamist activists. This revealed today’s very uncomfortable, mostly unspoken crossover between Islamists’ hatred of “slags”, football fans and debauched revellers and prim Western liberals’ disdain for the very same constituencies. Ten years on from the terrible attacks in Bali, it should be pretty clear that modern Islamism isn’t seriously political or “anti-imperialist” — it’s just a far more violent version of the loathing of mass society and its inhabitants that is pretty commonplace these days.

[Reader comment by Morgoth on 12 October 2012 at 5:35 pm.]

“He described youthful tourists who go looking for hedonistic larks in the East as “the shock troops of development and post-colonialism”“

Well, what would that make Muslim immigrants in the West ? Would they not be “ Shock troops of regression and colonialism” The Liberals O’Neil is describing are in fact, defending the intolerance of Islam. Muslims who want to kill people for drinking, dancing and running around in bikini’s is fine, however, if anybody in the West raises an objection to the plethora of Islamic irritations we are subject to then they will be carted off to the Understanding Diversity boot camp by those very same Liberals.

I’m fascinated in the way Liberal/Lefties have painted themselves into a corner in regards to Islam. They have spent years herding all their precious identity groups into one force only to discover one of them is intent on killing off the others, women’s rights is out, Jews are on the run, Gay free Zones are on the rise, “hedonists”!, my money is on the secularists being next. The Liberals have a cuckoo in the nest and they don’t have any idea what to do about it.

(Edited by author 12 hours ago)

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Indonesian Raped Girl Suspended From School

A 14-year-old girl has been suspended from a private school in Indonesia since she was raped by traffickers, according to activists. The girl allegedly “polluting the school’s reputation.”

Indonesia’s National Commission for Child Protection has said it will contact the Department of Education and request that the school’s state revision.

“The girl was the victim of human trafficking. The school should have helped her deal with the trauma”, says Commission President Arist Merdeka Sirait.

[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Policeman Killed Outside Peshawar Mosque

PESHAWAR, Oct 12: A policeman was gunned down outside a mosque in Bakhshi Pul area on Charsadda Road during Friday prayer.

A spokesman for police said Hukam Khan, an official of the special police force, was doing his duty at Abu Bakar Masjid in Bakhshi Pul area during Friday prayer when two people riding a motorcycle showed up and opened fire on him. He said the policeman got critically injured and later died at Lady Reading Hospital. The spokesman said a search operation had been conducted in Khazana area, but no arrests could be made. He said local residents saw attackers but were reluctant to share information about them with police fearing for their safety. He, however, said efforts were underway to get clue about attackers…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Support Grows for Seven Royal Marines Arrested in Afghanistan Over ‘Execution of Taliban Prisoner After Police Found Video on Laptop’

More than 31,500 people have joined a Facebook group set up to ‘support’ seven Royal Marines arrested on suspicion of murder following an incident in Afghanistan last year.

The group, ‘Support the 7 Royal Marine Commandos arrested for murder in afghanistan’ (sic), was launched on Thursday, the day the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced the arrest of the personnel.

They are believed to be members of 3 Commando Brigade, which served in the country between April and October 2011.

[…]

The inquiry will once again focus attention on the rules of engagement which stipulate the circumstances when British forces are allowed to open fire.

Decisions often have to be made in a split-second and troops are aware they may face prosecution if they make mistakes.

Afghan veterans point out the ease with which enemy fighters can drop their weapons and switch in an instant from armed insurgent to blending in with the civilian population.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Terrorism is Affecting the Mental Health of Pakistanis

According to health professionals, the number of people suffering from depression and other mental health problems is increasing in Pakistan — a country struggling with Islamist militancy and a dysfunctional economy.

Mental health experts say Pakistanis have become more intolerant and violent because of aggravating mental and emotional health in recent years.

Imran Murtaza, a health expert at the Fountain House medical center in Lahore, told DW that most of the population felt insecure about the future.

“The ongoing insurgency, lawlessness and suicide bombings have made lives miserable for most Pakistanis. Other than that, price hikes and unemployment have made things worse,” Murtaza said.

The 65-year-old nation’s economy is heavily dependent on the World Bank and the IMF. Inflation and unemployment are currently higher than ever, and a lot of young people are desperate to leave the country in search of work.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Will George Osborne Stamp His Influence Across Britain’s Afghan Policy?

by Peter Hoskin

It’s Osborne-a-rama in the newspapers this morning. When the Chancellor isn’t outlining the “triple threats” that face the global economy, he’s blaming Germany for the death of the proposed BAE-EADS merger. When he isn’t writing letters to Andrew Tyrie about banking reform, he’s urging energy companies to rethink their price rises. And there’s more: the Financial Times even contains a hatful of articles about Mr Osborne’s “shares for rights” policy.

But the most significant Osborne-related story in today’s papers is surely this in the Daily Telegraph. Apparently, at a recent National Security Council meeting, he asked defence chiefs why British troops couldn’t just come home from Afghanistan now. The report quotes sources who suggest that this was merely a “provocation” on the Chancellor’s part — and that he agrees with the government’s current plan for withdrawal — but it’s striking nonetheless. Mr Osborne had previously pushed for more troops than the agreed-upon 500 to be taken out of the country this year. He certainly appears to be agitating for a faster pace to proceedings…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Far East

Philippines: Basilan Bishop Welcomes Deal With MILF, Wants Respect for Christians

Mgr Martin Jumoad, bishop of Isabela (Basilan), backs the new Bangsamoro autonomous region for the local Muslim majority. Along with the diocese of Cotabato, Isabela has one of the largest concentrations of Christians on the island. At the same time, he calls for vigilance, asking Muslims to respect religious minorities.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews) — Mgr Martin Jumoad, bishop of Basilan, is in favour of the creation of a new autonomous entity on Mindanao. The historic result achieved by the Filipino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was announced yesterday at the end of talks between the two sides held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

“I welcome the move because it is a step towards peace. We have suffered a lot and any small step towards peace is a sign of hope,” Bishop Martin Jumoad said.

The See of the Diocese of Basilan is in the city of Isabela, where Christians are about half of the population. Together with Cotabato, it has one of largest concentrations of Christians in the would-be Bangsamoro Autonomous Region.

Both cities have been the scene of many attacks by Muslim extremists, the last one on 5 July 2009 that left five people dead.

Speaking to AsiaNews, local sources, anonymous for security reasons, said that many Christian families are already leaving their homes for safer areas, a trend that can only accelerate with the creation of the Autonomous Muslim Region.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sharia will be enforced in the new region, but only for Muslims. At the same time, the two cities will be attached to Bangsamoro only after a referendum in 2013.

“We have to be vigilant. At the same time, we explain to people the workings of the agreement, showing the risks and the opportunities that come from voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’,” Mgr Jumoad explained.

The prelate hopes there will be respect for minority religions and groups in the proposed Bangsamoro Region, noting however that “Islam believes in a theocratic form of government.”

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Angola Planning to Attract 4.6m Tourists by 2020

(AGI) — Luanda, Oct. 9 — Angola’s tourism ministry has set itself the target of attracting 4.6 million visitors by 2020.

The figure has been announced in the lead-up to Luanda’s hosting of the first edition of the Angola International Tourism Bourse between October 11 and 14. Running under the tile “Tourism as a driver of economic development and a national heritage promoter”, the event is to boast the attendance of 200 Angolan and international exhibitors. With Angola prey to civil war until 2002, Luanda has invested millions in the tourist industry, funding the construction of hundreds of hotels throughout the country. In line with the government agenda pledges, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has set its sights on ensuring that the country’s tourist industry “acquires a strategic economic development role,” creating “one million direct jobs” by 2020.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Gabon Set to Snub French and Promote English as Nation’s Second Language in Bid to ‘Improve Opportunities’ For Its People

The French-speaking African country of Gabon is moving on from the language of its former colonisers and introducing English across the nation.

Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Odimba spent last week in Rwanda, where a similar move has proved a success.

[…]

President Bongo Odimba has made his move just ahead of the 14th summit of the Francophonie, which will see 56 countries’ representatives descend on the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon’s next-door neighbour.

President Bongo Odimba sees English as a ‘necessary working language’. It may later become the official second language.

Gabon is one of France’s closest African allies and a vital channel for French influence in the continent.

The spokesman added: ‘Gabon wants to develop and give itself the best opportunities.

‘When you leave the French-speaking space, if you don’t know English you are almost handicapped. It’s a question of diversifying our partnerships, ensuring that the people of Gabon are armed and better armed.’

Gabon’s president Ali Bongo Odimba, left, is promoting the English language just as Rwandan president Paul Kagame did before

He pointed out that even French President Francois Hollande, who will attend Friday’s summit, is turning towards English in some circumstances.

           — Hat tip: LH [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: How Boko Haram Started — Governor Aliyu

Minna — Notorious leader of the radical Islamic fundamentalist sect, Boko-haram, Abubakar Shekau started his ‘ministry’ in an expansive land located within a remote village in Niger state a few years ago before they were dislodged by the state government. Abubakar Shekau, the acclaimed spokesman of a factional group of the sect led by, Abubakar Kaka who is believed to have been killed by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri were dislodged from the then, Daru-Islam by security operatives in the year, 2009. Niger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu who made this known in Minna when he met with traders at the government house also confirmed that the pictures of both Shekau and Abu Kaka posted regularly on the sects websites and published in newspapers are the same with the ones the security agents captured before the duo were dislodged from Niger state…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Terrorism Poses Major Challenge to Nigeria

The Islamist militant sect Boko Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria’s population for almost two years, sapping economic development in the north of the country. The south appears more resilient.

Cries of “welcome, welcome!” greet visitors to the Kantin Kwari market in the northern Nigerian city of Kano. The greeting is meant in earnest. Not so long ago, traders from all over Nigiera and neighboring countries would come here to buy textiles, but since the terror attacks in January, the market isn’t as busy as it used to be. The militant Islamist sect Boko Haram detonated several bombs simultaneously in the city killing almost 200 people.

29-year-old Biljaminu Ahamad has a small shop at the market where he sells colorful fabrics from all over West Africa. But since the blasts, sales have dropped by a half. “The security situation has got to improve,” he says. “Otherwise the customers will simply stay away.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Latin America

Marines Protected U.S. Embassy … in Barbados

(CNS News) When terrorists attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11 of this year and killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, there were no U.S. Marines deployed in Libya to defend U.S. diplomats, diplomatic facilities and classified information and equipment.

However, says the State Department, a Marine Security Detachment was deployed on that day to carry out those duties at the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados.

“U.S. Marine Security Guards serve at the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, and at other diplomatic missions around the world, to protect and safeguard American diplomacy,” Rebecca Ross, the U.S. Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Counselor for Public Affairs, said in a statement to CNSNews.com.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Shots Fired as Police Swoop 10 Minutes Before 100 Followers of Brazilian Doomsday Cult Were Due to Commit Mass Suicide Over End of the World

Police swooped on a Brazilian doomsday cult just 10 minutes before more than 100 followers were about to commit mass suicide by drinking poisoned soup

Elite troops burst into a building where self-proclaimed prophet Luis Pereira dos Santos had barricaded himself in after predicting the world would end at 8pm yesterday.

There was believed to be an exchange of gunfire between the group and police who used gas bombs and pepper spray during the assault. No casualties have been reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Immigration

Serbians Must Stop False EU Asylum Claims

Dacic, relaxed visa laws under threat

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, OCTOBER 9 — The number of false asylum claims made by Serbians in EU countries has fallen considerably.

But they still threaten relaxed visa laws granted to Serbia in 2009, according to Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dai. Dacic who met with Belgium’s Asylum and Immigration State Secretary Maggie De Block in Belgrade, said that 17,000 Serbians — mostly ethnic Roms and Albanians living in the south of the country, claimed asylum in EU countries in 2010; a number that has halved in 2011.

“We have made huge efforts to abolish visas, but we could easily be deprived of that facility”, Dai said. According to Dai, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Luxembourg and Switzerland are top of the most requested countries, for economic rather than political reasons. Maggie De Block claims that if the number of false asylum seekers doesn’t drop, Serbia’s relaxed visa laws could come under serious threat. She personally visited communities in south Serbia to explain that new requests for EU asylum would not be accepted. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

70% of Italy’s Gynecologists Refuse to Perform Abortions

Conscientious objectors top 80% in many southern regions

(ANSA) — Milan, October 9 — Abortions may be falling in Italy, but much of that trend may be influenced by the high number of medical personnel who refuse to perform them, a study suggested Tuesday. The number of conscientious objectors among Italy’s gynecologists rose from 58.7% in 2005 to 70.7% in 2009 and remained nearly stable at 69.3% in 2010, according to a parliamentary report Health Minister Renato Balduzzi submitted on Tuesday.

Conscientious objectors among Italy’s anesthesiologists rose from 45.7% in 2005 to 50.8% in 2010.

Non-medical personnel refusing to facilitate abortions rose from 38.6% to 44.7% in the same period.

The trend is particularly acute in southern Italy, where in some regions the percentage of gynecologists who will not perform abortions is over 80%.

For anesthesiologists, the highest percentage of abstainers are in Sicily, at 78.1%.

Regions least resistant to abortion appear to be Tuscany and the northwestern region of Valle D’Aosta, where 27.7% and 26.3% of anesthesiologists avoid abortion procedures, respectively.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gay Marriage Draft Bill Goes to French Cabinet

(AGI) Paris — On October 31, a draft bill on the legalisation of gay marriages will be presented to the French cabinet. In announcing the draft bill, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault reiterated his determination to make progress on this issue, emphasizing that in the new law, marriage will be redefined as “a contract between two people of the same or different gender.” The law envisages the possibility for gay couples to adopt children, but this right will not immediately be extended to unmarried couples, nor will IVF treatment. Both these aspects will be regulated at a later date.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

UK: Why Contemporary Art Worships Ugliness

by Harry Mount

A Martian landing in Regent’s Park this weekend would be jolly confused. There are two Frieze art shows on. One — Frieze Masters — has works of great beauty by Cranach, Brueghel, Zurbaran and Degas. The other — the contemporary Frieze show — has various bits of distended metal, mutilated pornography and a few messages scribbled in children’s handwriting. Guess which one is packed…

The most beautiful thing in the contemporary show was a Regent’s Park tree, with its changing autumn leaves. It had been covered by the temporary structure of the gallery and so was accidentally included in the show along with all the tat. No one was looking at it.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

General

Biotech Scientist: It’s ‘Awesome’ That GMOs Cause Infertility, Death (Video)

The debate as to whether or not genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are causing serious health issues like infertility and even death is proclaimed as ‘heated’ and ‘inconclusive’ by the mainstream media, but even the very scientists working behind the scenes appear to acknowledge the reality of their effects. In one such communication I received from a very angry biotech scientist who proclaimed it was ‘awesome’ if GMOs were causing mass infertility and death, it becomes tragically clear that even many of the scientists working in the biotech field know full well that GMOs are causing significant bouts of disease across the globe.

Independently verified by both our team and a separate team of experts, this biotech scientist who works for a well-known firm was either apathetic or ignorant to ways in which you can conceal your identity through more advanced methods than what he utilized. Using profanity and a few words in all capital letters, it’s easy to see just how outraged this scientist is that in my article I deemed those who create GMOs and unleash them on the public without proper warning to be ‘traitors to humanity’. It appears he must have also read the comment section, where readers voiced their own (oftentimes stronger) opinions on these scientists.

In the email, the biotech scientist known as ‘Ed’ explains how he thinks it’s absolutely ‘awesome’ that GMOs are contributing to infertility, as he believes the world is overpopulated. He also attacks me personally for my work on warning the public over the dangers of GMOs (particularly the latest news over the research linking GMOs to organ failure and tumor development). As of right now we have not released the full name of ‘Ed’ nor his organization, but we may in the future after considering the legal concerns.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Global Internet Tax Gaining in UN

Proposals to expand the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) authority over the Internet could come up at a treaty conference in Dubai in December. European telecommunications companies are pushing a plan that would create new rules that would allow them to charge more to carry international traffic.

The proposal by the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association could force websites like Google, Facebook and Netflix to pay fees to network operators around the world.

[US Ambassador Terry] Kramer said the idea of an international Internet fee is “gaining more interest in the African states and also in the Arab states.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Right to Offend? Mehdi Hasan Denies ‘Absolute Right’ To Freedom of Speech

Mehdi Hasan, political director of The Huffington Post UK, called for a crackdown on the culture of Islamophobia and argued freedom of speech was not an “absolute right” during a debate on Thursday. Speaking opposite Times columnist David Aaronovitch at a HuffPost/Polis debate, on the right to offend, Mr Hasan argued free speech was being “fetishized” and claimed many free-speech campaigners in the west were guilty of “brazen hypocrisy.” “We have a civic duty not to offend others,” he told the a packed audience at the London School of Economics. How can you construct a civilised, cohesive society if we go round encouraging everyone to insult each other willy nilly?”

[…]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

We Are Just Dumb

“So what do you want? Dumb Growth?” this feller yelled at me from across the meeting room. He thought he was smart. (I thought that smart was probably only the first half of his handle.) I was supposed to be instantly shamed into silence. I wasn’t. “Why yes I do,” I replied. “If you mean by that-dumb is what we want to do with our lives and property and smart is what you want to make us do. Under that definition, dumb is what built this country. If dumb means the people’s freedom to choose, then dumb is better.”

He was a government trained facilitator. He was not supposed to lose control. But he did. He slammed his briefcase shut and stormed out of the room. By now folks had figured out what he was really up to anyway, so for him, that might have been smart.

We, on the other hand, are just dumb. Lots of smart people say so. The government tells us so and you know they wouldn’t lie to us. The news media thinks we’re dumb too. They think we are so dumb that they have to tell us what we just heard someone say one minute ago on live TV. When they explain what we should have heard if we were smart, instead of what we actually heard, this is called “spin.” The environmentalist’s think we’re dumb too. They believe that we are too dumb to know what we should do with our own property.

People who are really smart and are therefore qualified to tell other people what to do are called Socialists.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One thought on “News Feed 20121013

  1. Of all the news this night, the one that got me thinking was This Land: Donna’s Diner.

    Having been in business myself before joining the police force because I could no longer ‘afford’ to remain as a self employed person in a business that in better times(early 1990s) should have been able to support my enthusiastic goals – to provide for my immediate family – my heart goes out to Donna and everyone like her who just want a normal life, are prepared to do the hard yards, but find the odds against them.

    I salute you, and I pray that you can somehow survive in what has become, a very hostile environment.

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