News Feed 20130118

Financial Crisis
» Does This Look Like a Recovery?
» German Economy, Europe’s Last Hope, Begins to Slump
» How Big is “Big”?
» Italy: Bersani to Lower Taxes ‘If Possible’
» Italy: Bersani Rules Out New Wealth Tax, To Concentrate on Imu
» Italy: Spread Opens on 255
» The “Big Three” Banks Are Gambling With $860 Billion in Deposits
» The Great Systemic Rig of 2012 is Now Ending
 
USA
» 33-Year-Old Martin Luther King Charged in Jax Triple Shooting, 1 Death
» 47 States Revolt Against Obama Gun Control
» ACLU’s Communist Origins
» Additions to be Made to Gun Laws for Law Enforcement
» As NSA Pairs With Banks to “Fight Hackers”, Will it Also Gain Access to Every American’s Financial Secrets?
» Democrats See Political Opportunity in Newtown Deaths
» DHS Says Gun Owners Are Terrorists
» Django Unchained Movie Review
» Drill Characterizes “Disgruntled” Second Amendment Advocates as Terrorists
» Gun Control, Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto Laws
» Gun Permit Forms Question Possible Affiliation With “Anti-Government” Organizations
» Infowars Analysis of Obama’s War on Guns
» Interview With Cliff Kincaid: Stopping Al-Jazeera America
» Man Who Doesn’t ‘Believe’ In Guns Rescued From Armed Robbery by Two Good Samaritans With Guns
» Many More Sheriffs Vow Not to Enforce Federal Gun Control Laws
» Mayor Predicts “Waco-Style Standoff” In Response to Obama Gun Confiscation
» Obama’s Disgusting Use of Kids as Pawns
» Obama’s Gun Control is Not About Gun Control. Read This.
» Obama’s War Against Mental and Physical Health in America
» Obama Executive Orders Vastly Empower Psychiatry While Gutting Patient Rights
» Obama Warns Cameron Britain Must Stay in a ‘Strong EU’ Hours Before Algerian Hostage Crisis Forces PM to Abandon Big Speech
» Other Tyrants Who Have Used Children as Props
» Sen. Rand Paul on Executive Orders: ‘Obama May Have This King Complex Developing’
» The Truth Behind the Influenza Death Rates and the CDC Manipulation
» Treason? Obama’s Plans to Disarm America
» Video: Huffpost Parrots Communist Propaganda
» Video: New York Democrats Plan for Gun Confiscation
» West Point Center Cites Dangers of ‘Far Right’ In U.S.
 
Europe and the EU
» Italian Police Attacked 2,290 Times in 2012
» Italy: Police: Politicians Accused in Puglia Mafia Trials
» Italy: Actress: Showgirl Injured Parties in Berlusconi Case
» Italy: Former Parma Mayor Put Under House Arrest in Graft Probe
» Italy: Northern League Offices Searched in Milk Quota Probe
» Italy: Berlusconi-Led Coalition Closes Gap on Centre Left
» ‘Ndrangheta, Camorra Reap 70% of Mafia Revenues in Italy
» Raped and Left for Dead, Model Returns to Spain to See Attacker Jailed
» UK: Ethnic Cleansing in Rotherham — YouTube
» UK: Hooded ‘Muslim Patrol’ Vigilantes Remove Alcohol From Drinkers and Tell Women to Cover Up as They Stalk London Suburb
» UK: Is Red Ed the New Margaret Thatcher?… No. Miliband Shouldn’t be Allowed Within 100 Miles of Number 10 Downing Street
» UK: Police Hunt Sick Animal-Hater Who Has Been Scattering Cooked Sausages Spiked With Nails Across Dog Walking Areas
» UK: Pensioner is Hauled to Court After Taking His Air Rifle to a Squirrel
» UK: Scotland Yard Launch Criminal Investigation Into Historic Claims ‘Senior Aide of Former Prime Minister Had Links to Paedophile Ring’
 
North Africa
» Algeria: France Justifies Gov’t Handling of Hostage Crisis
» Algeria: Second Army Raid Ongoing, Unconfirmed Fatalities
» Algeria Desert Siege: 100 of 132 Foreign Hostages Freed
» Al-Nusra: A Jihadist Brigade That Scares Syrian Rebels
» Al-Zawahiri’s Brother Attends Anti-French Protest in Cairo
» American Hostages to Jihad in Algeria: 1640 to Present
» Muslims Attack Christians in Egypt on Rumor of Sexual Assault
» Saif Gaddafi Appears in Court Charged With Trying to Escape Jail and Insulting New Libyan Regime’s Flag
» Up to 12 Britons ‘Dead or Injured’ In Oil Plant Hostage Crisis: David Cameron Sends SAS and Hostage Negotiators to Algiers But Saharan State Still Refuses Help
 
Middle East
» Iran: A Muslim Who Converted to Christianity Risks the Death Penalty
 
South Asia
» India: Five Years After the Orissa Pogroms, Christians Still Live in Appalling Conditions
 
Far East
» Italy: Fiat Inks Deal With Mazda to Make Alfas in Japan
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Chinese Migration to Angola Tops 250,000
 
Immigration
» Are We Losing Our Country?
» Czech National Flew to Pakistan to Marry Three Times in Four Months in UK Immigration Scam
» UK: NHS is Too Generous to Migrants, Says GPs as Many Refuse to Treat Those Who Entered the Country Illegally
 
Culture Wars
» Casey Legler, The World’s First Female Model to be Signed to a Male Modelling Agency Lands Shoot for Allsaints … and She’s Modelling Men’s and Women’s Clothes
» Italian Play Based on Relationship Between Gay Fascist, Jew
» Vatican: Church Defends Freedom of Conscience Against the “Dictatorship of Relativism, “ Mgr Mamberti Says
 
General
» Dreamliner in Meltdown as Hi-Tech Boeing Jets Are Grounded in Europe and U.S. Amid Fears Its Electric ‘Car Batteries’ Can Trigger Fires
» Mohammed’s Greatest Discovery, Part 1

Financial Crisis

Does This Look Like a Recovery?

Now, I’m an optimistic guy… and there are plenty of good news stories around the world. But just looking at the numbers, it’s clear that there is a major disconnect between sentiment and reality.

On one hand, western governments and mainstream media sources tell people that their economies are recovering and moving forward. Sentiment is high, confidence is growing.

Unfortunately the data show a completely different story:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

German Economy, Europe’s Last Hope, Begins to Slump

German economy, Europe’s last hope, begins to slump. Despite a drumbeat of optimistic forecasts from economists and upbeat statements from various European leaders, the actual news on the economy continues to be grim, with figures released Tuesday showing that Germany, the continent’s flagship economy, contracted by about 0.5% in the final months of last year.

Combined with a flurry of disappointing results in other major economies, the stumble raised questions about Europe’s ability to escape recession.

Portugal’s central bank cut its economic forecast for the year on Tuesday, saying its economy will contract more steeply than expected. France said it was likely to miss its target for narrowing the budget deficit, raising the prospects of deeper spending cuts and additional taxes. Last month, Britain said its austerity budgets would extend three extra years, to 2018, because of weaker than expected growth.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How Big is “Big”?

“Repression” is what Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Fed, called “the injustice of being held hostage to large financial institutions considered ‘too big to fail.’“ He sketched out the destructive impact of these TBTF banks that, as “everyone and their sister knows,” were “at the epicenter” of the financial crisis — “whose owners, managers, and customers believe themselves to be exempt from the processes of bankruptcy and creative destruction.” These banks “capture the financial upside” of their bets but are bailed out when things go wrong, he said, “in violation of one of the basic tenets of market capitalism.”

In his speech, “Ending ‘Too Big to Fail’: A Proposal for Reform Before It’s Too Late,” he offered a “simple” plan that would allow the nation to come to grips with these banks. But in the process, he did something else: he defined BIG.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bersani to Lower Taxes ‘If Possible’

Centre-left leader also wants to boost investment

(ANSA) — Rome, January 18 — Democratic Party (Pd) leader and centre-left candidate for premier Pier Luigi Bersani on Friday said that a future centre-left government would lower taxes if the situation allowed.

“If there are the margins to do it I think it is necessary to reduce fiscal pressure, starting with work, pensions, personal income tax, the lowest income levels, and boost investment,” Bersani said in an interview with Radio 24 of Italy’s leading business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Italians are due to vote for a new parliament at the end of February.

Currently a PD-led centre-left coalition is leading the polls followed by a centre-right formation led by the People of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi and a smaller centrist grouping promoted by the outgoing technocrat Premier Mario Monti.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Bersani Rules Out New Wealth Tax, To Concentrate on Imu

‘I’m no Robespierre’ says PD leader

(ANSA) — Rome, January 18 — Democratic Party (PD) leader and centre-left candidate for premier Pier Luigi Bersani on Friday clarified his position over the possible introduction of a controversial wealth tax, saying that his coalition would concentrate on reforming the existing IMU property tax introduced by the technocrat government of Mario Monti.

“I do not intend to be a Robespierre,” Bersani told Radio 24 of Italy’s leading business newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore in reference to the French revolutionary who instituted a reign of terror. “We already have a wealth tax and it is IMU,” he continued. “We want to work on this, making it progressive in support of those in greatest difficulty”.

The introduction of a wealth tax has been at the centre of public debate since Monti took office to try to save the struggling economy in November 2011. Such a tax has broad support among left-wing politicians but meets with opposition from moderate members of the centre-left and the centre-right.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Spread Opens on 255

Yield down to 4.18%

(ANSA) — Rome, January 18 — The yield spread between Italian and German 10-year bonds, a gauge of market confidence in Italy’s ability to pay down its debt, opened Friday on 255.2 points, down from 258 at Thursday’s close.

The yield edged down to 4.18%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The “Big Three” Banks Are Gambling With $860 Billion in Deposits

A week ago, when Wells Fargo unleashed the so far quite disappointing earnings season for commercial banks (connected hedge funds like Goldman Sachs excluded) we reported that the bank’s deposits had risen to a record $176 billion over loans on its books. Today we conduct the same analysis for the other big two commercial banks: Wells Fargo and JPMorgan (we ignore Citi as it is still a partially nationalized disaster). The results are presented below, together with a rather stunning observation…

And this is how the consolidated deposit and loan data for the Big Three banks looks: some $858 billion, or nearly half of the $2 trillion in total excess deposits over loans in the entire US commercial banking system (speaking of Too Big To Fail).

Why is all of the above important? Because as we have explained repeatedly in the past several weeks, the “excess deposit cash over loans” is nothing more or less than additional prop trading capital, that banks can use as they see fit. The traditional regulatory explanation is that the cash is to be used for safe, responsible investment. Alas, as the JPM CIO debacle taught us, said cash is used for anything but, and is in fact used to fund prop trading operations deep inside these commercial banks.

But don’t take our word for it. Take the word of the Task Force charged with explaining away the 2012 CIO Losses, released yesterday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Great Systemic Rig of 2012 is Now Ending

Europe’s banking system has been on the ropes for years.

It’s a little known fact that the largest recipients of US bailouts were in fact foreign banks based in Europe. Also bear in mind that the biggest beneficiaries of QE 2 were European banks. Things got so bad in mid-2012 that the whole system lurched towards collapse. The only thing that pulled the EU back from the brink was Mario Draghi’s promise of unlimited bond buying (a promise and nothing more as the EU has yet to do any of this).

However, these efforts, like all cover?ups, will not last. Indeed, by the look of things, Europe’s banking system is breaking down again….

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

USA

33-Year-Old Martin Luther King Charged in Jax Triple Shooting, 1 Death

1 of 3 men shot last week in Northwest Jacksonville dies

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Police in Jacksonville have arrested 33-year-old Martin Luther King on a murder charge and two counts of aggravated assault after they said he shot three men last week, killing one.

Andrew Stephens, 36, was initially said to be in life-threatening condition after the Jan. 9 shooting at West 25th Street and Spires Avenue. He died later that day at a hospital, according to a police report obtained Thursday.

Investigators said the victims were playing dominoes in a vacant lot when King drove up, got out of a car with an assault rifle and mask and started shooting.

Police said he opened fired from the opposite side of the street where the three victims were sitting. Of the two others shot, another also suffered life-threatening injuries, and both survived.

Two other homes were struck by the gunfire, police said.

Police said King was looking for payback after someone shot up his wife’s grandmother’s house on Christmas Day, and he believed one of the men who was wounded was involved.

King told a witness about the shootings, and that witness came forward and told police information that led to the identity of the suspect. In addition, one of the victims saw King take his mask off after the shootings, police said.

King made his first appearance in court Thursday. He’s being held in the Duval County jail without bail.

           — Hat tip: Paul Green [Return to headlines]

47 States Revolt Against Obama Gun Control

Fed-up Americans: ‘We’re not going to accept this. We’re against it’

Thousands of gun owners across America have had enough of the Obama administration’s attack on the Second Amendment — and they’re preparing to take their concerns to the capitols in at least 47 states this Saturday, Jan. 19, at 12 p.m.

Texan Eric Reed, founder and national coordinator of the “Guns Across America” rallies, told WND he’s irritated about all the talk of new gun-control regulations and overreach by the federal government in violation of our Second Amendment rights.

“I was trying to figure out why people weren’t being more proactive about this, Reed said. “Then I realized I’m part of the problem. It takes somebody to stand up and say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to accept this. We’re against it.’

“We want Americans who feel the same way to come out. We want to stand up, be united and get our point across.”

Comment from Devvy Kidd (www.devvy.com/):

That’s nice, but where’s your plan? Do you have a working paper with critical supporting legal information to reconstitute the constitutional militia?

I know those folks are sincere, but what good does a rally do? Ask your legislature to protect your Second Amendment rights? Where is the teeth in that?

Constitutional Militia is not the National Guard. See Devvy.com for more information.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

ACLU’s Communist Origins

The origins of the American Civil Liberties Union are deeply entangled with Communism. Not the idealistic “liberals in a hurry” stuff of fellow-travelling fairy tale, but the bloody-minded sedition and revolutionary terror of hard historical reality.

[ACLU founder Roger] Baldwin’s radicalism caught the eye of the FBI, which quoted him in a 1924 report as having said: “The right to advocate a violent revolution, assassination, and proletarian Red guard, are all clearly within scope of free speech …”

The ACLU founder traveled to Stalin’s Russia in 1927 and wrote a book titled “Liberty Under The Soviets” the following year, which defended the Lenin’s and Stalin’s repression of dissent because they “are weapons in the transition to socialism.”

[Comment: before suppression of dissent, populations were disarmed.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Additions to be Made to Gun Laws for Law Enforcement

NEW YORK (WABC) — A troubling oversight has been found within New York State’s sweeping new gun laws.

The ban on having high-capacity magazines, as it’s written, would also include law enforcement officers.

Magazines with more than seven rounds will be illegal under the new law when that part takes effect in March.

As the statute is currently written, it does not exempt law enforcement officers.

Nearly every law enforcement agency in the state carries hand guns that have a 15 round capacity.

A spokesman for the governor’s office called Eyewitness News to say, “We are still working out some details of the law and the exemption will be included, currently no police officer is in violation.”

The Patrolman’s Benevolent Association President released a statement saying, “The PBA is actively working to enact changes to this law that will provide the appropriate exemptions from the law for active and retired law enforcement officers.”

State Senator Eric Adams, a former NYPD Captain, told us he’s going to push for an amendment next week to exempt police officers from the high-capacity magazine ban. In his words, “You can’t give more ammo to the criminals”

           — Hat tip: Paul Green [Return to headlines]

As NSA Pairs With Banks to “Fight Hackers”, Will it Also Gain Access to Every American’s Financial Secrets?

Just because there was not enough encroachment by the government into virtually every corner of private life, here is another “collaboration” that will further enmesh big brother into every aspect of private life, in this case private financial life, because as the WaPo reports, “major U.S. banks have turned to the National Security Agency for help protecting their computer systems after a barrage of assaults that have disrupted their Web sites, according to industry officials. The attacks on the sites, which started about a year ago but intensified in September, have grown increasingly sophisticated, officials said. The NSA, the world’s largest electronic spying agency, has been asked to provide technical assistance to help banks further assess their systems and to better understand the attackers’ tactics.”

And while we salute the great diversionary pretext that “Iranian hackers” pose a greater risk to the stability of the US financial system than, say, the ongoing monetization of US debt at a pace of $85 billion per month, which has made the Fed’s DV01 rise to a mindboggling $2.75 billion, or idiot pundits who claim all American problems can be resolved with one coin, we can’t help but wonder what happens when the most intrusive of US spy agencies, one which as reported last year is free “to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store” virtually every electronic communication in the entire world, now has full explicit access to all bank data, and, incidentally, every American’s financial snapshot at any given moment?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Democrats See Political Opportunity in Newtown Deaths

Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania Governor and influential Democrat, drew no gasps of surprise or shocked response from his fellow liberal travelers when he recently articulated the left’s position that “the good thing about Newtown is, it was so horrific that I think it galvanized Americans to a point where the intensity on our side is going to match the intensity on their side.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DHS Says Gun Owners Are Terrorists

Following Obama’s choreographed attack on the Second Amendment earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security announced it will join the administration, the Justice Department and the FBI in a renewed attack on firearms.

Under the guise of preventing what is largely unpreventable short of disarming the entire country — eliminating “active shooter” situations — DHS boss Janet Napolitano announced on Wednesday she will work to “identify measures that could be taken to reduce the risk of mass casualty shootings,” in other words, disarming law-abiding gun owners.

The DHS is not dedicated to preventing “future mass casualty shootings,” as Napolitano recently stated, but is assigned the critical task of attacking political enemies considered a threat to the globalist status quo. From lurid fictional claims about “rightwing extremists” to shepherding a national effort to undermine and destroy an idealistic Occupy movement, the DHS has repeatedly demonstrated that it is a political secret police.

The “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” document leaked to the alternative media in 2009 set the stage for demonizing gun owners and Second Amendment advocates in addition to a panoply of other political groups derisively tagged as “rightwing extremist” by the government.

It is now obvious what is going on in the wake of Sandy Hook — the establishment is finally pulling out the last remaining stops in its long envisioned disarmament of the American people in accord with its ultimate plan to usher in a one-world government and financial system. A well-armed and educated populace prevents the global elite from realizing this objective.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Django Unchained Movie Review

You have only to consider what audiences would make of a film that enthusiastically praised the ethnic cleansing of black people by whites, to realise there’s a kind of inverse racism going on here.

And Tarantino still isn’t any good at deepening character. The relationship between Django and his wife is fumbled badly.

It’s the relationship between the two bounty hunters that drives the picture, and blatantly the only human contact in which the director is really interested.

Tarantino remains fatally obsessed with pastiche. His film is a loose remake of a little-seen 1966 film, the spaghetti-western Django. But the inferior second half borrows most obviously from Mandingo, a 1975 exploitation film notorious for its bad taste.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Drill Characterizes “Disgruntled” Second Amendment Advocates as Terrorists

A safety exercise involving police, national guard and emergency management officials in Portsmouth, Ohio was centered around the premise that individuals “disgruntled over the government’s interpretation of the Second Amendment” plotted to use weapons of mass destruction to terrorize the local community.

The exercise, which took place yesterday, was run by the Ohio Army National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit, Scioto County first responders as well as local law enforcement.

The portrayal of pro-second amendment advocates as violent terrorists is sure to raise some eyebrows amidst a national debate about gun control following the Sandy Hook school massacre.

However, as we have exhaustively documented in the past, this is by no means the first time that Americans with constitutionalist political views have been demonized as dangerous radicals by both federal and state authorities in the context of so-called safety drills.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gun Control, Dick Act of 1902, Bills of Attainder and Ex Post Facto Laws

The latest round of rubbish flooding our in boxes is an ignorant rant claiming that the Dick Act of 1902 (which respects our Right to be armed) can’t be repealed because to do so would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws.”…

Our Framers were all for an armed American People — they understood that arms are our ultimate defense in the event the federal government oversteps its bounds. See, e.g., what James Madison, Father of Our Constitution, writes in the second half of Federalist Paper No. 46! The reason the Citizens — the Militia — are armed is to defend ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods, communities, and States from an overreaching, tyrannical federal government.

Furthermore, the federal government is nowhere in the Constitution granted authority to restrict, in any fashion whatsoever, guns, ammunition, etc. Thus, ALL laws made by Congress, ALL regulations made by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco (BAFT), are unconstitutional as outside the scope of the powers granted to Congress and to the Executive Branch by our Constitution. Regulation of arms and ammunition is NOT one of the “enumerated powers” delegated to Congress or the Executive Branch.

Furthermore, all pretended regulations made by the BAFT are also unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, Sec. 1, U.S. Constitution, which vests ALL legislative powers granted by the Constitution in CONGRESS. Executive agencies have no lawful authority whatsoever to make rules or regulations of general application to The People!

[…]

And the assertion that Congress can’t repeal the Dick Act because a repeal would “violate bills of attainder and ex post facto laws” shows that whoever wrote that doesn’t know what he is talking about. He obviously has no idea what a “bill of attainder” is, and no idea what an “ex post facto law” is.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gun Permit Forms Question Possible Affiliation With “Anti-Government” Organizations

In good old McCarthy-style questioning, several state- and local firearm permit application-forms have — besides questioning potential alcohol- and drug-use and previous criminal convictions — included the question whether the applicant is, or has ever been, part of an organization “advocating”, or “approving” a violent overthrow of the United States government.

In the South-Carolina concealed weapons permit application several questions are being put to the applicant. Among the questions asked, the following one jumps out:

“Are you a member of any group with a purpose to control, seize or overthrow the government of the United States, any state or political subdivision by any means?”

The same question is being put to applicants from New Jersey, albeit in a more elaborate way (question 28):

“Are you presently, or have you ever been a member of any organization which advocates or approves the commission of acts of force and violence, either to overthrow the Government of the United States or of this State, or which seeks to deny others their rights under the Constitution of either the United States or the State of New Jersey? If yes, list name and address of organization(s).”

Although it’s standard practice to pose such questions in application-forms for government positions and jobs relating to law enforcement, putting forward these kinds of questions for gun permits seems somehow to undermine the reason why the Second Amendment was included in the US Constitution in the first place. After all, the Second Amendment was not intended for hunting-purposes or shooting empty cans from garden tables. The right to own a firearm is, among other things, intended to make sure the people arm themselves in case government turns tyrannical.

As Kurt Nimmo wrote in his July 26, 2012 article Second Amendment: It’s Not About Hunting, It’s About Tyranny:

“Obama supporters and other lovers of the state recoil at the prospect of armed resistance to a tyrannical centralized federal government and refuse to accept that this is what the Second Amendment is all about.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Infowars Analysis of Obama’s War on Guns

Barack Obama’s bold use of executive orders to ‘take action without Congress’ amounts to an outrageous unconstitutional overreach of powers, and is impeachable action on its face. And Obama isn’t even done; he has vowed to push Congress on a new assault weapons ban along with other legislative restrictions on the guaranteed Second Amendment, which “shall not be infringed.”

But worse, the 23 executive orders issued by Obama make clear that the vast medical bureaucracy centralized under ObamaCare will be used to profile and harass Americans in order to disqualify them for gun ownership based on “mental health” history.

At least 7 of the 23 executive orders relate to mental health reporting that includes “clarifying” the role of doctors and health care providers in “asking their patients about guns in the home,” reporting “threats of violence” to authorities, and screening for “mental health” will create the backbone for a “no buy” list that disbars Constitutional rights from flagged individuals without due process. At least 8 executive orders relate to new rules on background checks and weapons sales & ownership restrictions.

The numbers on the list relate to the summaries of the executive orders reported earlier today by the Washington Times. The titles used are shorthand language by this author, with a fuller reference in the cited article.

[Comment: Good summary of the executive orders and their implications.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Interview With Cliff Kincaid: Stopping Al-Jazeera America

Editor’s Note: The following is an interview that AIM’s Cliff Kincaid gave to RadicalIslam.org National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro. The introduction and interview are included in their entirety.

Cliff Kincaid is the president of America’s Survival, Inc. and the director of the Accuracy in Media (AIM) Center for Investigative Journalism. AIM set up a website, StopAlJazeera.org, to stop the Islamist television network that is based in Qatar from coming to the U.S.

Kincaid calls Al-Jazeera an “enemy propaganda network that has served as a mouthpiece for terrorist groups” including Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the extremist spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has his own show on Al-Jazeera.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Man Who Doesn’t ‘Believe’ In Guns Rescued From Armed Robbery by Two Good Samaritans With Guns

(NaturalNews) He doesn’t own a firearm and says he “doesn’t believe” in guns at all. But now he’s grateful a couple of other locals did not share his values.

According to Houston-area station KHOU-11, the man had just been victimized at gunpoint by a robber when a pair of good Samaritans came to his rescue recently.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Many More Sheriffs Vow Not to Enforce Federal Gun Control Laws

Oregon law enforcers lead national fight against Obama gun grab

Following Oregon Sheriff Tim Mueller’s lead, three more Sheriffs in parts of Oregon announced Wednesday in letters to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that they would refuse to enforce any federal gun laws that are unconstitutional.

Crook County Sheriff Jim Hensley told local reporters “I’m going to follow my oath that I took as Sheriff to support the constitution.”

“I believe strongly in the Second Amendment,” Hensley added, urging “If the federal government comes into Crook County and wants to take firearms and things away from (citizens), I’m going to tell them it’s not going that way.”

Hensley told KTVZ.COM that he read Sheriff Mueller’s letter and it spurred him to make a stand. “I said, you know what? It’s a clear statement. He hit the nail right on the head,” Hensley said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mayor Predicts “Waco-Style Standoff” In Response to Obama Gun Confiscation

Expressing his opposition to the New York SAFE Act, Gloversville Mayor Dayton King has sensationally warned that any federal gun confiscation program could lead to a “Waco-style standoff” in rural areas of America.

“Most people are law-abiding citizens and may go ahead and sell those or turn those over, but you’re going to have a fraction of people that are going to take a stand, and I can just predict a Waco-style standoff in some rural area and it’s not going to end well,” Mayor King told Fox 23 News.

During the Waco siege in April 1993, after failing to execute a search warrant against the Branch Davidians, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) burned down the Mount Carmel Center, slaughtering seventy-six men, women and children.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Disgusting Use of Kids as Pawns

Diana West hits BHO for using human emotions ‘to drive his own power grab’

Not one of the 23 executive orders President Obama signed — flanked by schoolchildren whom none of us want to see murdered and before an audience that included relatives of murdered schoolchildren — would have prevented the massacre at Sandy Hook.

Did the main idea of the sentence above come through — that the president’s latest orders would not have stopped the heavily armed monster who entered a Connecticut school last month and killed 20 children and six adults? Or was your brain overwhelmed by anxiety signals arising from the imagery of vulnerable youngsters?

The overwhelming imagery is no accident. It’s emotional manipulation, and I’ve never seen a more lowdown exercise of it than the White House’s “gun violence” event this week. What President Obama put the nation through was the propaganda equivalent of a slasher movie, a disgustingly crude attempt to jam our emotional buttons and frighten us into surrendering more of our rights to live free of centralized government surveillance and control.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Gun Control is Not About Gun Control. Read This.

In essence what is being proposed is to alter and further conditioning of your future generations. You see they already know total control is unachievable for our generation. All this is meant as total RESTRICTION FOR MOVEMENT for your children. Your children are the ones who are going to be victims of your inaction.

There really is no point in stressing anymore because it is guaranteed almost 99% out there will never actually read the specifics hidden behind those nicely worded, politically correct clauses. I mean as it is we are the generation of fools who don’t like to read anything anymore. They have stupefied you by means of iPads, internet and TVs so as not to react when the real SHTF gets implemented for your next generation. If you’re that lazy to read, just copy the document into Word and do a FIND (CNTRL+F) to find the main points (see running commentary below). Always remember to read between the lines — don’t fall for politically correct niceties…

Now coming back to the document: The document states the following:

Background Checks on Gun Sales:

Anyone who is classified with a criminal record (this could be even you with a speeding ticket /DUI) will not be allowed by the system to own a gun.

The document says:

“Addressing unnecessary legal barriers in HEALTH LAWS that prevent some states from making information available about those prohibited from having guns”

What do those words “health laws” mean? It means that if you have taken anti-depressants, your doctor can declare you unfit to own a gun. Do you see where this is going? It is not about just taking your gun. It is to further impose restrictions in movement, decision-making and your God-given freewill to decide for yourself. It is restriction in freedom.

Next —

“Improving Mental Health Services”

“Make sure students with signs of mental illness get referred (by teachers) to treatment:

So that means children can be sent straight to the school’s recently hired covert “psychiatrist” without any parental consent. And if the “psychiatrist” wants the child to be dependent on Xanax and Prozac. Hey, more sales for pharma and more insurance sales on Obamacare (whoopee doodah). And more sales for mental healthcare system Obama is now proposing.

Oh but you thought this was all about gun-control, right?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s War Against Mental and Physical Health in America

America we must stand now! Obama’s announcement about deputizing Mental Health professionals and Doctors in general regarding guns and their patients is beyond dangerous — beyond unethical — beyond legal and beyond the U.S. Constitution. It will create much more danger and promote killings because the people who actually need treatment in the early stages of a dangerous cycle won’t seek treatment. They will just quietly get worse and worse and then go drive into a schoolyard, poison their boss or steal a gun and kill a bunch of people from a tower somewhere.

I am a national talk show host and have an earned Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University. My emphasis and original research was in alcohol and drugs with female alcoholics and I have been a crisis counselor for over 20 years, while building a talk radio career and raising a family http://www.therothshow.com. I am a mental health expert with a Ph.D. a talk show host and a proud gun owner. This is war against me as a gun owner and war against me as a mental health provider

Dictator Obama not only uses children to hide behind, but now mental health professionals and Doctors of all kinds. They are to be his new spies to get guns and gun rights from law-abiding citizens. Now, the ‘deputized’ mental health professionals and Doctors of all kinds are to ask about guns in the home and questions that would target any ‘violent’ tendency, depression, fear, perhaps an episode of spousal abuse or vandalism.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Executive Orders Vastly Empower Psychiatry While Gutting Patient Rights

(NaturalNews) The history of psychiatry has been one of egregious abuses against its patients. The several-hundred year history of the state mental hospital system is proof of that. Until the states found the giant lockups too expensive and began arbitrarily throwing the inmates out, millions of people were deprived of their liberty and all human amenities, humiliated, abused, and finally tortured with treatments like lobotomy, insulin comma, and shock treatment. The only reason we don’t have thousands of lobotomies being perpetrated yearly in America today is that I took several years out of my life to fight against organized psychiatry to stop the return of psychosurgery in the early 1970s.

Psychiatry has always sought increasing control over its patients and resisted any attempt to increase patient rights. Although the size of the state hospitals has declined, organized psychiatry has found another way to treat people against their will. Untold numbers of citizens in 44 states are subjected to outpatient commitment. They can live in their own homes and walk about in the community, but if they don’t show up at the clinic for their regular long-acting shots of brain-paralyzing antipsychotic drugs, they can be forced back into the hospital or thrown down and injected with drugs inside their homes.

In the last several decades, psychiatry has joined forces with the pharmaceutical industry and the result is the mass drugging of adults and children. With a huge influx of money from the drug companies, psychiatry has enormously increased its influence in the government and society.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Warns Cameron Britain Must Stay in a ‘Strong EU’ Hours Before Algerian Hostage Crisis Forces PM to Abandon Big Speech

Barack Obama last night warned Britain must remain part of a ‘strong European Union’ as David Cameron raised the prospect of ‘drifting towards the exit’.

The US President used a call to London to stress the EU’s role in spreading ‘peace, prosperity, and security’ around the world.

The warning from the White House against Britain severing ties with Brussels came hours before Mr Cameron dramatically called off his long-awaited Europe speech to deal with the Algeria hostage crisis.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Other Tyrants Who Have Used Children as Props

Obama’s shameless exploitation of children as set pieces is hardly new or original. In fact, tyrants and dictators have used kids as props down through the ages.

Here are a few more recent examples:

[Add to the list: Saddam Hussain patting the head of the small American boy on TV.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sen. Rand Paul on Executive Orders: ‘Obama May Have This King Complex Developing’

(CNSNews.com) — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), arguing that President Barack Obama may be developing a “king complex,” said that he plans to introduce a bill next week that “will nullify anything the president does that smacks of legislation.”

Paul said Obama has “a history of arrogance” in trying to legislate from the Oval Office. He mentioned Obama seeking a cap-and-trade program “through regulatory fiat” and ordering U.S. military strikes on Libya without congressional authority.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Truth Behind the Influenza Death Rates and the CDC Manipulation

(NaturalNews) In the last few weeks there has been significant talk of the so called “flu epidemic” that is sweeping the nation. The majority of what you’re hearing about in the media deals with death rates from the disease. Along with these details comes an assortment of statistical analysis from every big name organization you can think of. However, how accurate are the statistics and what is the truth behind the flu related deaths the media scares us with? (The following information was taken directly from the governmental website for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Treason? Obama’s Plans to Disarm America

The Obama Administration’ s number one priority is the destruction of US defensive capability. If this is allowed to occur, the United States and indeed the entire West, will be at the mercy of the combined military might of Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, radical Islam and all of their growing army of allies.

Of course, all these sworn enemies of the United States would never use that overwhelming advantage to obliterate a disarmed America would they? And the Lion is about to lie down with the Lamb?

If Obama succeeds and America loses its military edge over its enemies, there is very little chance of recovery. A military rebuild would take many years with a healthy economy. How long might it take after Obama has wreaked four more years of economic havoc? Where is the infrastructure, the skill base?

When they finally have America just where they want her, will the rulers of Russia, China and Iran sit on their hands and allow the Unites States to slowly rebuild its military?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Huffpost Parrots Communist Propaganda

Huffington Post “ debate” moderator, Alyona Minkovski (ex-Kremlin propaganda channel Russia Today), discusses communism in today’ s America with two Communist Party USA leaders, a socialist blogger and one brave conservative commentator…

To the public, the Communist Party USA tries to appear moderate and even occasionally at odds with Obama and the Democrats. In reality, the Communists and Democrats are working hand in glove, mainly through the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

To their own membership, the communists emphasize their commonality and call Obama their “ friend.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: New York Democrats Plan for Gun Confiscation

Democrats in New York ran for cover in response to fallout after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said confiscation is the goal of new gun laws introduced in the state legislature. “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option,” Cuomo said in December.

The plan was shelved after it was estimated it would cost over a billion dollars to “buyback” around a million so-called assault weapons in the state.

“The cost of confiscation would make it impracticable, if there’s anything approaching a million of them, putting aside the other issues that would be involved,’’ a Cuomo administration source told the New York Post.

But despite the budget-busting cost of a mandatory buyback, Democrats in the state are determined to confiscate firearms from law-abiding New Yorkers, as the video below demonstrates.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

West Point Center Cites Dangers of ‘Far Right’ In U.S.

By Rowan Scarborough

A West Point think tank has issued a paper warning America about “far right” groups such as the “anti-federalist” movement, which supports “civil activism, individual freedoms and self-government.”

The report issued this week by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., is titled “Challengers from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right.”

The center — part of the institution where men and women are molded into Army officers — posted the report Tuesday. It lumps limited government activists with three movements it identifies as “a racist/white supremacy movement, an anti-federalist movement and a fundamentalist movement.”

The West Point center typically focuses reports on al Qaeda and other Islamic extremists attempting to gain power in Asia, the Middle East and Africa through violence.

But its latest study turns inward and paints a broad brush of people it considers “far right.”

It says anti-federalists “espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government. Extremists in the anti-federalist movement direct most their violence against the federal government and its proxies in law enforcement.”

The report also draws a link between the mainstream conservative movement and the violent “far right,” and describes liberals as “future oriented” and conservatives as living in the past…

           — Hat tip: DS [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Italian Police Attacked 2,290 Times in 2012

Aggressor drunk or high 35% of the time

(ANSA) — Forli’, January 18 — Police officers in Italy experienced 2,290 attacks in 2012, traffic police association Asaps said on Friday.

The figure was 2.7% more than in 2011 and refers to attacks perpetrated against street police and other law officers. In 22.6% of cases the attack involved the use of a weapon and in 35% of cases perpetrators were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the association that has monitored the phenomenon of violence directed at the police for the last decade. In 43.9% of cases the attack was perpetrated by a non-Italian.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Police: Politicians Accused in Puglia Mafia Trials

Violence, fraud, extortion, usury, weapons charges

(ANSA) — Bari, January 16 — Nine people were ordered Wednesday to stand trial in April on charges arising from an alleged plot between the Puglian mafia, local political leaders and businesspeople in the town of Altamura near Bari.

Charges range from violence to extortion, usury, illegal possession and use of firearms and explosions, and fraud.

Two police officers are among those accused of assisting the mafia in the case that also involves local politicians and lawyers.

Puglia’s Sacra Corona Unita (United Holy Crown) is Italy’s fourth and smallest mafia after the Sicilian-based Cosa Nostra, the Naples-based Camorra and the Calabrian-based ‘Ndrangheta.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Actress: Showgirl Injured Parties in Berlusconi Case

‘Freedom, human dignity’ harmed in ‘prostitution cover-up’

(ANSA) — Bari, January 16 — Italian actress Manuela Arcuri and showgirl Sara Tommasi are among 26 injured parties in a prostitution case in which former premier Silvio Berlusconi is a defendant, court filings showed Wednesday. Prosecutors are investigating claims that Giampaolo Tarantini, an entrepreneur from Bari, attempted to extort money from Berlusconi, at the time still Italy’s premier, in exchange for telling prosecutors that Berlusconi had no idea the girls at parties held in his Rome residence in 2008 and 2009 were paid escorts.

Many of the other injured parties are professional escorts.

In a statement, the judge called the women victims whose “freedom and human dignity” had been harmed. A preliminary hearing is scheduled February 8.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Former Parma Mayor Put Under House Arrest in Graft Probe

Accused of corruption, misappropriation of public money

(ANSA) — Parma, January 16 — The former mayor Parma, Pietro Vignali, was among four people placed under house-arrest on Wednesday in a graft probe.

Pietro Vignali, a 44-year-old who served as mayor of Parma from 2007 to 2011 on the centre-right ticket, is accused of misappropriation of public money and corruption. Investigators believe he illegally used city money for electoral-campaign spending and was involved in relatives and friends obtaining jobs in public bodies.

From 2001 to 2007, Vignali was Parma’s executive councillor for environment and transportation. He was forced to resign on September 28, 2011 after a number of city officials and members of his city executive were implicated in a corruption probe.

Vignali’s resignation led to early elections in May 2012 won by Parma’s current mayor, Federico Pizzarotti, a member of comedian Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Northern League Offices Searched in Milk Quota Probe

Dairy co-op suspected of bribery, corruption

(ANSA) — Milan, January 16 — Italian finance police have raided the Milan and Turin offices of the regionalist Northern League for members who are suspected of taking bribes from dairy farmers. Late Tuesday, police confiscated evidence in connection to an investigation into a dairy co-op called La Lombarda that went bankrupt with 80 million euros in debt. Police suspect managers of the co-op were paying bribes to public officials and politicians who would intervene on their behalf to delay fines for exceeding European Union milk-production quotas.

In particular, prosecutors questioned the League’s Milan-based administrative secretary Daniela Cantamessa and its Turin secretary Loredana Zola, whose homes were also searched. Northern League founder Umberto Bossi and current leader Roberto Maroni were present at the time of the search in Milan, as were other party bigwigs. Bossi’s son Renzo was also reportedly questioned Tuesday. Bossi and the League, which has faced a slew of corruption charges in the last year, were instrumental in putting off milk-quota fines when the party was a key political ally to Silvio Berlusconi during his last term in office, which ended in November 2011. “The League has nothing to do with the investigation,” said Maroni. “It regards a company that has nothing to do with the League. They haven’t found anything…We’re a third party and therefore the issue is closed”.

(photo: Northern League founder Umberto Bossi)

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi-Led Coalition Closes Gap on Centre Left

Grillo’s M5S in third place followed by Monti grouping

(ANSA) — Rome, January 18 — The centre-right coalition led by ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party closed the gap on the centre-left on Friday, less than six weeks before Italians were due to go to the polls to elect their new parliament.

The centre-left coalition led by the Democratic Party (Pd) and its secretary Pier Luigi Bersani continued to top the weekly SWG opinion poll at 33%.

However this was a 1.9% drop over the same day last week due to a fall in support for both the Pd and its main ally, Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) of Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola.

The centre-right coalition came in at 27.2%, compared with 25.3% last week — a 1.9% gain.

The rise in support was largely due to a 2% increase in the popularity of PdL, which offset a slight drop in support for its regionalist coalition partner Northern League. The centrist grouping led by outgoing technocrat Premier Mario Monti remained stable at 13.7%, just over three percentage points behind the populist and anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) of Genoa comedian Beppe Grillo.

After weeks of negative performance by the M5S a 0.9% rise in popularity took it to 16.8%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Ndrangheta, Camorra Reap 70% of Mafia Revenues in Italy

50% of ‘Ndrangheta wealth garnered in north

(ANSA) — Milan, January 16 — The Calabrian mafia ‘Ndrangheta and the Neapolitan Camorra together rake in nearly 70% of all organized-crime revenues in Italy, according to a study commissioned by the Italian interior ministry and presented at a conference in Milan on Wednesday.

The study, called the Mafia Presence Index (IPM), provides an assessment of mafia presence across Italy and was carried out by the Transcrime Inter-university Centre of the Universita’ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, headed by professor Ernesto Savona. The study found that Sicily’s Cosa Nostra ranked a distant third to the ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra in terms of revenues from organized crime, garnering 18% of the national total.

Roughly 50% of ‘Ndrangheta’s revenue is raised in northern Italy, the study found, whereas other mafia groups tend to concentrate business activities in their territory of origin. ‘Ndrangheta receives an estimated 23% of its revenues from its native Calabria, but nets 21% and 16% in Piedmont and Lombardy, respectively. It also has significant business activities in Emilia-Romagna, Lazio and Liguria.

In an examination of 19,987 assets seized from mafia suspects from 1983 to 2011, more than half — or 52.3% — were real estate properties. Other physical assets and equities accounted for 18.4% and 8.7% of the total, respectively.

In terms of businesses, criminals preferred to invest in limited companies, which made up 46% of total business investments. Only 2% of mafia-linked business investments were made in listed companies.

The mafia groups tended to take stakes in low technology enterprises, especially wholesale and retail firms, which constituted 29.4% of the total and construction, which made up 28.8%. Crime bosses’ third favorite category was hospitality. Hotels and restaurants together made up 10.5% of all mafia-linked businesses seized.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Raped and Left for Dead, Model Returns to Spain to See Attacker Jailed

A model who was raped and left for dead in Magaluf has returned to Spain to face her attacker in court.

Cheryl Maddison moved from Houghton-le-Spring to Majorca for work but days after she arrived she was raped and stabbed after being followed home.

She suffered multiple stab wounds and a collapsed lung, and the attack only came to an end when she pretended to be dead.

A neighbour heard her cries but thought it was a couple having an argument so chose not to call the police.

The 25-year-year collapsed outside her apartment in a pool of her own blood following the attack.

Moroccan waiter Mohamed Fadel el Anssari, 31, is alleged to have raped the 25-year-old before stabbing her and leaving her for dead in May 2008.

Miss Maddison flew to the island this week to give evidence in court against the man accused of attacking her…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

UK: Ethnic Cleansing in Rotherham — YouTube

This is a pattern of behaviour that has been described repeatedly by Europeans living in Muslim-colonised areas: the Muslims harass the Europeans to try and drive them out of their home so they can purchase it and islamise the areas further. Here is a previous account of a different but similar case here. The video above is from the BNP and shows a first-person account of the harassment in Muslim-enriched Rotherham.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

UK: Hooded ‘Muslim Patrol’ Vigilantes Remove Alcohol From Drinkers and Tell Women to Cover Up as They Stalk London Suburb

Police are investigating reports a gang claiming to be Islamic vigilantes have been confronting members of the public and demanding they give up alcohol and women cover their flesh in their ‘Muslim area’.

The hooded men, who call themselves Muslim Patrol, have been filmed walking London’s streets and calling white women ‘naked animals with no self respect.’

The group is also shown taking ‘evil’ booze from revellers and film a cyclist being treated after a road accident, claiming they were injured because they were unclean.

In one exchange a member of the group says: ‘We don’t care if you are appalled at all’, before calling themselves ‘vigilantes implementing Islam upon your own necks’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Is Red Ed the New Margaret Thatcher?… No. Miliband Shouldn’t be Allowed Within 100 Miles of Number 10 Downing Street

As I have explained previously, I only read the Guardian so you don’t have to. I also make a point of listening to the political interviews on Radio 4’s Today programme to save you the early morning upset of hurling your bowl of cornflakes at the wireless.

I know, I know. It’s a dirty and dangerous job, but someone’s got to do it. There’s no need to thank me. And occasionally the time I invest in this drivel pays off in spades.

Take yesterday, for instance. The Guardian devoted four pages to the proposition: ‘Could Ed be Labour’s Thatcher?’

Under the headline: ‘Rise of the Iron Man,’ the paper concluded that: ‘The Labour leader might just be the next radical Prime Minister the country has been waiting for.’

Before I’d finished laughing at this preposterous attempt to draw parallels between milksop Miliband and the Iron Lady, up popped the boy himself on Today to demonstrate precisely why he shouldn’t be allowed within 100 miles of No.10 Downing Street.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Police Hunt Sick Animal-Hater Who Has Been Scattering Cooked Sausages Spiked With Nails Across Dog Walking Areas

An animal-hater is spiking sausages with nails to scatter them on playing fields for dogs.

Police issued a warning today after dog walkers discovered the sausages embedded with nails as their pets sniffed the deadly treats.

The dog hater littered a popular dog-walking spot in Abergavenny, South Wales, with cooked cocktail sausages, each one spiked with nine metal nails pushed inside.

Vet Ben Hynes was warned about the cruel campaign of terror by concerned dog owners.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Pensioner is Hauled to Court After Taking His Air Rifle to a Squirrel

After watching it raid his garden bird table once too often, Bill Worthington decided enough was enough.

The retired civil servant set a trap for his bushy-tailed foe and lay in wait.

It didn’t take long for the grey squirrel to take the bait and, with the animal cornered in the make-shift cage, the 75-year-old from Stockport, Greater Manchester, shot it twice with his air rifle.

He went shopping but, when he returned two hours later, the animal was still alive so he shot it a further three times.

Yesterday it emerged Worthington is facing up to six months in jail or a £5,000 fine after being hauled before the courts for causing unnecessary suffering to the squirrel.

Speaking afterwards, he said: ‘I cannot believe I have been taken to court over this one grey squirrel, which, frankly, has been a pest and vermin. It does seem over the top.

‘I just wanted to keep my garden nice and feed the birds, yet these squirrels kept coming in and taking all the food.

‘They seem to wait in the trees until I’m not in the garden before striking. They dig up my garden and they eat the bird feed. In my mind they are a real problem.

[…]

The grey squirrel originated in North America but was introduced to the UK throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

Larger and more robust than the native red squirrel, it has now spread across England, Wales and Scotland and is regarded as a pest.

The red squirrel used to be common but the population crashed because of greys spreading disease and taking their habitat.

Black squirrels, the same species as greys, are now also thought to be increasing in number.

Wild animals such as the grey squirrel are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Scotland Yard Launch Criminal Investigation Into Historic Claims ‘Senior Aide of Former Prime Minister Had Links to Paedophile Ring’

Allegations that members of an ‘Establishment’ paedophile ring sexually abused boys in council care during the 1980s are to be investigated by police, it emerged yesterday.

Former ministers, senior MPs, top police officers and those with links to the royal household are alleged to have indecently assaulted vulnerable, under-age males.

Claims that showbusiness celebrities were part of the same ring will also be investigated.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: France Justifies Gov’t Handling of Hostage Crisis

(ANSAmed) — PARIS/ROME/TUNIS — More than half of the 132 foreign hostages at the In Amenas gas field have been freed, Algerian news agency APS cited security sources as saying on Friday. A total of 650 hostages have been freed, of which 573 are Algerian, APS reported. Army special forces are looking for a peaceful way to free more hostages still being held by gunmen at the gas field, which has been secured so the terrorists can’t blow it up, according to APS.

French government authorities on Friday abstained from criticizing the way Algeria handled the hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas field yesterday.

“It was a complex situation, given the number of hostages.The Algerian authorities believed they had no choice but to raid the site,” foreign ministry spokesperson Philippe Lalliot said, adding that the assault on the gas field by an al-Qaeda-linked brigade “confirms the presence of terrorist groups” in the Sahel and is “a challenge to the international community as a whole.” “When facing terrorism, when fighting it together, I invite everyone to be cautious with their criticism, because those involved are Algerian,” said Interior Minister Manuel Vals. “Of course some Westerners are involved, but Algerians are those who have lost tens of thousands of their own over the years.” Also on Friday, the justice ministry announced it has opened an investigation into the hostage-taking showdown at In Amenas, as it does in all situations in which French citizens get in harm’s way abroad.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Algeria: Second Army Raid Ongoing, Unconfirmed Fatalities

Terrorists want an end to Mali war and a prisoner exchange

(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS — Algeria has begun a second military operation to rescue foreign hostages still being held by al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists at the In Amenas gas field, Algerian security and official sources in Paris said Friday.

The kidnappers, which hail from the Mulathameen (The Masked Ones) brigade, called on France to negotiate an end to the war in Mali, and on the US to trade two of its prisoners for some of their American hostages: Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, 74, aka The Blind Sheikh, who is from militant Islamic group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and is currently serving a life sentence for inspiring the 1993 World Trade Center bombings; and Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, aka Lady al-Qaeda, who is serving 86 years for assaulting her US interrogators in Afghanistan.

A spokesman for the terrorists also warned Algerians to “stay away from the installations of foreign companies as we will strike again,” Mauritanian news agency ANI reported.

The number of hostages and fatalities is still unconfirmed, with Al Jazeera reporting 30 hostages, including seven foreigners, killed in the first army raid, and Algerian security sources stating that 18 terrorists were killed. Official APS Algerian news agency cited security forces as saying that 600-700 hostages had been freed, of which about 100 foreigners. Escaped Irish hostage, Stephen McFaul, told reporters he was made to wear a Semtex explosive belt and to act as a human shield.

“The terrorist threat has been eliminated from part of the plant, but the danger remains in another part,” British Premier David Cameron explained, adding that the situation is still “fluid” and “dangerous”.

“The terrorists have no place to hide in Algeria, North Africa or anywhere else,” said US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

Japan expressed “deep concern” over the bloody rescue attempt by Algerian special forces. France abstained from criticizing the operation, but opened an investigation into the hostage-taking since French citizens were affected.

The In Amenas field has been secured so terrorists can’t blow it up, French officials said earlier on Friday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Algeria Desert Siege: 100 of 132 Foreign Hostages Freed

AIN AMENAS, Algeria (AP) — The bloody three-day hostage standoff at a natural gas plant in the Sahara took a dramatic turn Friday as Algeria’s state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants had been freed.

That number of hostages at the remote desert facility was significantly higher than any previous report, but it still left questions about the fate of over 30 other foreign energy workers. It wasn’t clear how the government arrived at the latest tally of hostages, which was far higher than the 41 foreigners the militants had claimed previously.

Yet the report that nearly 100 workers were safe could indicate a breakthrough in the confrontation that began when the militants seized the plant early Wednesday.

The militants, meanwhile, offered to trade two captive American workers for two terror figures jailed in the United States, according to a statement received by a Mauritanian news site that often reports news from North African extremists.

U.S. officials in Washington noted, however, that the Obama administration rejects any trade of hostages for convicted terrorists.

The Friday report from the Algerian government news agency APS, citing a security official, did not mention any casualties in the battles between Algerian forces and the militants. But earlier it had said that 18 militants had been killed, along with six hostages — two in the initial attack Wednesday and four on Thursday.

It was not clear whether the remaining foreigners were still captive or had died during the Algerian military offensive to free them that began Thursday.

The desert siege erupted Wednesday when the militants attempted to hijack two buses at the plant, were repulsed, and then seized the sprawling refinery, which is 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) south of Algiers. They had claimed the attack came in retaliation for France’s recent military intervention against Islamist rebels in neighboring Mali, but security experts have said it must have taken weeks of planning to hit the remote site.

Since then, Algeria’s government has kept a tight grip on information about the siege.

The militants had seized hundreds of workers from 10 nations at Algeria’s remote Ain Amenas natural gas plant. The overwhelming majority were Algerian and were freed almost immediately.

Algerian forces retaliated Thursday by storming the plant in an attempted rescue operation that left leaders around the world expressing strong concerns about the hostages’ safety.

Militants claimed 35 hostages died on Thursday when Algerian military helicopters opened fire as the Islamists transported the hostages around the gas plant.

On Friday, trapped in the main refinery area, the militants offered to trade two American hostages for two prominent terror figures jailed in the United States. Those the militants sought included Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheikh who was convicted of plotting to blow up New York City landmarks and considered the spiritual leader of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist convicted of shooting at two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

But U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said there would be “no place to hide” for anyone who looks to attack the United States.

“Terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge, not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere,” Panetta said Friday.

Workers kidnapped by the militants came from around the world — Americans, Britons, French, Norwegians, Romanians, Malaysians, Japanese, Algerians…

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

Al-Nusra: A Jihadist Brigade That Scares Syrian Rebels

Close to al-Qaeda, the group is connected with those who carried out the university attack in Aleppo. Al-Nusra and other Islamist groups are using force to impose their control on the opposition, ready to kill anyone standing in the way of an Islamic state in Syria.

Damascus (AsiaNews/ Agencies) — The Free Syrian Army (FSA), the military force that is fighting Bashar al-Assad, has a new foe: the extremist militias coming into Syria to set up an Islamic state. Once the old regime has fallen, the opposition could be the new target of groups like the al-Nusra Brigade, a movement close to al-Qaeda and its affiliates.

In a series of interviews with al-Jazeera and the BBC, members of the group clearly state that their goal is the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria and for this they are willing to fighting other revolutionaries who stand in their way.

Some members claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack at Aleppo University that left 87 people dead and hundreds of wounded. In fact, currently, the largest group is in Aleppo with hundreds of Islamist fighters.

Fearing reprisals, the rebels have denied it but they cannot hide the fact of their presence on the ground. Pickups and cars with black flags with religious inscriptions are visible in the streets. And black is al-Qaeda’s colour and that of other Jihadist groups.

So far, al-Nusra has fought alongside dozens of rebel groups trying to overthrow the Assad the regime. However, “after the fall of the regime, they will try to impose their views on the Syrian people,” said Saqr Idlib, a 24-year-old FSA fighter. “Their goal is for Syria to be an Islamic state and the Free Syrian Army is the opposite of that.”

After secretly reaching Syria, the Jihadist militia is now in the open. Even though it is on the US terrorist list, members of the group have given interviews in print and on tape to international media.

Their main area of influence is Idlib province, but affiliated groups are operating in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and other parts of the country.

In Idlib, Mustafa, their spokesman, told al-Jazeera that they are willing to die in this conflict-the honour of martyrdom.

Al-Nusra fighters are all Sunni Muslims. They include Syrians but also outsiders from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Turkey and Afghanistan. Some fighters do not speak Arabic and are helped by comrades to communicate.

“Syria . . . will be an Islamic and Sharia state,” said Khattab, who has little knowledge of Arabic but fought in Afghanistan. “We will not accept anything else. Democracy and secularism are completely rejected.”

Quoted in a Reuters report on Islamist groups in Aleppo, he warned anyone who might stand in the way. “We will fight them,” he said, “even if they are among the revolutionaries”.

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

Al-Zawahiri’s Brother Attends Anti-French Protest in Cairo

(AGI) Cairo — Al-Zawahiri’s brother is among those taking part in a protest being held in Cairo against French intervention in Mali ..

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

American Hostages to Jihad in Algeria: 1640 to Present

By Andrew Bostom

Early Wednesday (1/16/13) jihadists seized a gas field in Amenas, eastern Algeria, near the border with Libya, taking hostage just under 200 workers, predominantly Algerians, but also some forty foreigners, among them an undisclosed number of Americans. Speaking to France 24, an unnamed hostage claimed the prisoners were being forced to wear explosive belts. The hostage added that their captors were heavily armed and had threatened to detonate the base should the Algerian army attempt to storm it.

The jihadist attackers, in a statement sent to ANI, a Mauritanian news agency, claimed “the operation was a response to flagrant interference of Algeria, [which] opened its airspace to the French Air Force [who] bombed areas of northern Mali,” and demanded the “immediate halt of the aggression against our own in Mali.” Reference was also made to “the participation of Algeria in the war with France,” as “being a betrayal of the blood of the martyrs of Algerians who were killed in the fight against French colonialism.” Al Mulathameen (“The Masked Brigade “), who apparently prepared the announcement, is associated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African affiliate of Al Qaeda. The group insisted it was holding more than 40 “crusaders” —a prototypical jihadist reference to non-Muslims — “including seven Americans, two French, two British as well as other citizens of various European nationalities.” Algeria’s interior minister, Daho Ould Kablia, maintained the raid was orchestrated by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian who fought Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s and has reportedly established his own group in the Sahara

Initial reports Thursday 1/17/13 (here, here ) indicated that perhaps half of the ~ 40 foreign workers, including some of the Americans, as well as ~30 to 40 of the ~ 150 Algerians held captive may have escaped their jihadist kidnappers. An ominous AP story then reported the jihadist captors claimed 35 hostages, and 15 of their members were killed, after Algerian helicopters attacked the gas facility in a strafing run. Reuters subsequently reported thirty hostages were killed, including seven foreign hostages, along with eleven of their jihadist captors, during the Algerian military assault. Following the violent conclusion of the standoff, US Today later repeated both Algerian claims that 600 hostages in total had been freed, and the insistence by the jihadists that 35 of the hostages had been killed, purportedly including 5 Americans. But ABC News, citing unnamed “U.S. officials,” claimed five Americans who were at the Algerian natural gas facility when it was raided by the jihadists are now safe, and believed to have left the country…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Muslims Attack Christians in Egypt on Rumor of Sexual Assault

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — Thousands of Muslims from Marashda and surrounding villages attacked eight Coptic homes and businesses, including five pharmacies, which were looted and torched. Coptic-owned cars were also torched. The attack on the Christians was caused by rumor that a 55-year-old Coptic man, Nader Masoud, sexually assaulted a 6-year-old Muslim girl.

The Attacks on the village, which has a majority Christian population, started yesterday after 10 PM, when several Coptic businesses were torched, and Church of Abu Fam had its cross demolished and its glass smashed.

Anba Kyrollos, Bishop of Nag Hammadi, said that a medical check of the Muslim girl proved her “virginity,” but the attacks “took place after the Muslims knew of the medical verdict and the sexual assault was only a rumor.”

The Bishop said Nader Masoud has surrendered to the police for his own safety.

Clashes broke out for the second time today in Marashda between security forces and the Muslim protesters, after the police arrested 10 Muslims who tried to storm the church this morning and who torched a police car.

A mob of over 2000 Muslims had gathered this afternoon on the village bridge to prevent the police from transporting those Muslims who arrested. The mob prevented police vehicles from passing through and tried to break into the police cars to get the suspects out of the vehicles. This led security forces to call for reinforcement troops from the Central Security Directorate in Qena which fired teargas on the protesters.

According the newspaper Aldostor-Assly, the Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafists groups denied any involvement in the Marshada events, stressing that they have formed human shields to protect the village church

A relative calm now prevails in the village after a friendly meeting took place at the church; the meeting was attended by the church pastor, security officials, the Muslim girl’s family and Muslim elders. It was decided that the case will be left for the court to resolve.

Some Muslims are demonstrating in front of the police station where the accused Coptic man is being held.

Copts are staying in their homes for fear of attacks. The Coptic Church cancelled tonight’s evening service celebrating the feast of Epiphany.

Security forces are still present in the village.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih [Return to headlines]

Saif Gaddafi Appears in Court Charged With Trying to Escape Jail and Insulting New Libyan Regime’s Flag

The son of former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi has appeared in court today charged with attempting to escape jail, harming state security and insulting the new regime’s flag.

Saif-al Islam, who had been considered the most natural successor to his father before the fall of his regime in 2011, appeared in court in the western town of Zintan where he is being held by militiamen, according to the official Libyan news agency LANA.

The trial is said to be linked with his meeting in June with an International Criminal Court delegation accused of smuggling documents to him.

His ICC appointed lawyer, Australian Melinda Taylor, was herself arrested and held for three weeks on suspicion of handing her client documents that could endanger national security.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Up to 12 Britons ‘Dead or Injured’ In Oil Plant Hostage Crisis: David Cameron Sends SAS and Hostage Negotiators to Algiers But Saharan State Still Refuses Help

Up to 12 British citizens are feared dead or injured after a botched rescue attempt at a BP compound in Algeria where they were being held by Al Qaeda terrorists.

David Cameron revealed that ‘less than 30’ British workers are unaccounted for as he gave terrifying details of the ‘ongoing’ hostage crisis in the Saharan desert. It is now understood that 12 Britons are among the casualties.

In an extraordinary development, Algeria today refused repeated offers of help to bring its worst terror attack on Westerners under control. But the Prime Minister is to send specialist Met Police negotiators and SAS forces to the capital city Algiers in the hope Britain can step in.

Norway, who also has citizens caught up in the crisis, will be sending its own special forces to the BP plant, regardless of whether the Algerians agree to it, sources say.

In a statement to MPs the Prime Minister blasted the Algerian government for staging the secret ‘all guns blazing’ rescue mission despite offers of SAS help and his demands to be told of any operation that could put British lives at risk.

‘We were disappointed not to be informed of this in advance… this is a large and complex site and they are still pursuing terrorists and possibly some of the hostages in other areas of the site,’ he said.

‘We will continue to do everything we can to hunt the people down who are responsible for this and for other such terrorist outrages’.

In the worst terror attack on Britons since 7/7, the UK has been plunged into a diplomatic crisis when at least 30 hostages were killed in the Sahara Desert, with at least two Britons among the dead after Algerian troops attacked their captors.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iran: A Muslim Who Converted to Christianity Risks the Death Penalty

Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen of Iranian origin, is accused of undermining national security. The trial will begin on January 21. Judge will be Pir-Abbassi Abbas, responsible for various human rights violations.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen of Iranian origin who converted to Christianity arrested in September on a trip to his native country risks the death penalty. The man, 32, is accused of undermining national security. His wife Naghmeh Abedini has reported the news. According to the woman, her husband’s trial will begin on January 21 and will be chaired by Abbas Pir-Abassi, a judge of the revolutionary court accused of human rights violations for the harsh sentences handed down to the young protagonists in the 2009 demonstrations against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2010 he condemned Jila Baniyaghoob, journalist and human rights activist to 30 years in prison.

Born in Iran, Saeed Abedini has lived for years in the States with his wife and two children, but has maintained close ties with his country of origin. The problems with the Iranian authorities began in 2009 after his conversion to Christianity.

During a visit the police arrested him, but released him after a few months, making him sign a document where the man promised not to proselytize or carry out religious activities. After this episode Abedini visited Iran nine more times, without any problems. In recent years he was helping some friends to build an orphanage in a small town in the north of the country. During the last trip in September 2012, the police again arrested him, accusing him of violating the agreement.

In recent months, Victoria Nuland, spokesperson for the American Secretary of State, urged the Iranian government to grant the man a lawyer. But according to his wife, no lawyer has ever visited her husband.

The Iranian Constitution recognizes the rights of some religious minorities, including Christians, but also punishes Muslims who change religion with death.

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

South Asia

India: Five Years After the Orissa Pogroms, Christians Still Live in Appalling Conditions

The victims of the anti-Christian violence in 2007 and 2008 are still denied justice and assistance. Hundreds of people are still without identity papers or title deeds. Violence remains an ever present problem, especially for Dalit Christian girls and women.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Five years after they were the victims of pogroms in Kandhamal District, in the Indian state of Orissa, Christians still live in appalling conditions, enduring discrimination, extreme poverty, without proper access to the justice system, basic resources or help, subject to threats, not to mention unreported violent acts against teenage Dalits, this according to Fr Nithiya Sagayam, a Capuchin priest and executive secretary of the Office of Human Development of the Federation of Asian Bishop Conferences (FABC).

Activists from the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, the National Alliance of Women (NAWO), the Odisha Forum for Social Action and some young people from Kandhamal took part in a mission that visited five villages-Tiangia, Simanbadi, Daringbadi, Badagaon, Sarangoda and Tikabali. After spending months interviewing locals, they drafted a report on the current situation as well as recent episodes of violence. The report was released on 10 January.

From Church sources, we know that at least 100 people died and 54,000 were displaced in attacks and acts of violence caused by Hindu nationalist at Christmas 2007 and then in August 2008. Almost 300 churches were destroyed, plus scores of convents, schools, hostels and welfare facilities.

Although homes were rebuilt in some villages through the intervention of the local Church, the life of the community has not returned to normal. Making matters worse is the fact that during the pogroms most Christians also lost their papers, identity papers, drivers licence and title deeds, which are crucial to exercise basic constitutional rights.

Because of widespread government corruption, the poor have not been able to get new papers. In recent months, Fr Nithiya’s group succeeded in getting local authorities to issue new papers to more than 400 families.

The group’s volunteers have also been successful in providing victims psychological support as part of a neurolinguistic programme. More than a thousand people have been helped this way.

Activists have also helped survivors get access to the Right to Food Scheme and other projects designed to provide pensions to the elderly and financial aid to widows, single mothers and children, both Christian and Hindu, thus bringing unity and peace in various villages.

Taking advantage of the Right to Information Act, the group wants to organise over the coming months seminars to inform the public of their rights, breaking the cycle of threats and vengeance associated with widespread illiteracy in many communities. Village chiefs and local leaders are also expected to participate in these seminars.

However, the situation in courts for crimes committed during the pogroms and afterwards remains critical. Various acts of violence were recorded in the five villages covered by the report. They include recent cases of rape and murder involving Dalit girls.

In each case, volunteers found slow investigations, police neglect and no medical and psychological support by the state or government departments for the victims. Instead, the latter’ families have been forced to take them out of school to protect them from further violence.

The report slammed the Orissa government for failing to shield the victims from such violence or bring to justice offenders when violence did take place. This, according to the volunteers, is even more apparent than in the case of New Delhi gang rape, which caused outrage and led to protests across India about violence against women.

Although Orissa’s chief minister “stayed away from New Year celebrations in solidarity with the recent victim of rape in Delhi,” said Namrata Daniel, from the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, “we wonder what he has done in response to [. . .] inhuman acts of sexual violence on young Dalit girls in Kandhamal.”

In proven cases of rape in Kandhamal District, the victim was paid 5,000 rupees (US$ 90) in compensation. In case of murder, that went up to 10,000 rupees (US$ 180). By comparison, in the case of the New Delhi rape victim, the government offered 1.5 million rupees (US$ 27,500).

Speaking to the volunteers, the Kandhamal District collector justified the low amount saying that “we do not have the money to compensate rape victims and their families.”

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

Far East

Italy: Fiat Inks Deal With Mazda to Make Alfas in Japan

Production at Hiroshima plant to start for global market in 2015

(ANSA) — Milan, January 18 — Fiat and Mazda signed an accord Friday for the Japanese carmaker to make a new Alfa Romeo two-seater roadster for the global market in Japan.

The car will be made in Mazda’s Hiroshima plant from 2015, a joint statement said.

The agreement, which follows an announcement in May, will help Fiat subsidiary Alfa Romeo reach its goals by 2016, the companies said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Chinese Migration to Angola Tops 250,000

(AGI) — Luanda, Jan 15 — Chinese migration to Angola has reached a new high with 21,225 visas being issued by the Angolan embassy in Beijing over the last six months, bringing the number of Chinese workers in the west African nation to over 250,000. The Angolan embassy reports the work visas concern reconstruction development projects in Angola.

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

Immigration

Are We Losing Our Country?

I write about the four major ethnic tribes now gathering their numbers to dominate America in this century: Mexican tribe to become the new majority in 35 years, Muslim tribe headed toward 20 million, European tribe diminishing its numbers and the African tribe holding on for dear life. We could include the importations of millions of Asians who will force their way into power as they gather more numbers. We already experience incredible separation, anger, racial bias and cultural incompatibilities developing: poverty levels, baby production levels on public welfare, illiteracy levels accelerating, prison populations exploding, religious conflict especially with Muslims and more.

And to think we remain steadfastly on course to add another 100 million legal immigrants to this already toxic cauldron of our society within three decades! Why am I one of the few to see the demise, the destruction, the degradation of our civilization and most others don’t? We allow our own citizens to be displaced in favor of illegal alien migrants, legal green card-holding immigrants and millions of their babies.

At some point, we will not house enough intelligent, hard working Americans to keep this country operating on a first world level. States like California feature more people on welfare than are working. It’s a multicultural disaster zone in 2013. They also feature 113 separate languages that our tax dollars must cater to in schools and business. The great philosopher Kant said, “The two great dividers are religion and language.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Czech National Flew to Pakistan to Marry Three Times in Four Months in UK Immigration Scam

A Czech national flew to Pakistan three times in four months as part of an elaborate immigration scam to allow Pakistani men to live in the UK, a court heard.

Eva Holubova, 19, flew to Pakistan with her boyfriend, also 19, to take part in fake marriage ceremonies and was ‘married’ three times in the space of four months.

She told police Pakistani men offered her £250 for photos to pretend they were married so they could get visas to go to the UK.

Her boyfriend Peter Pohodko, from Slovakia, also took part in the scam and was paid £300 for ‘marrying’ a 28-year-old Pakistani woman he claimed to have met on his wedding day.

Miss Holubova was among more than 20 Czech or Slovak brides flown to Pakistan by a sham marriage gang based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire that set up fake weddings to dupe immigration services into letting Pakistani men into the UK.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: NHS is Too Generous to Migrants, Says GPs as Many Refuse to Treat Those Who Entered the Country Illegally

Most GPs think that NHS treatment for migrants is ‘too generous’ and are refusing to register some patients who are in this country illegally.

Some doctors warn that surgeries ‘can’t cope’ with the rising numbers of overseas patients coming in for free care, a poll has found.

Last year new NHS guidelines told GPs they had to register all foreigners including tourists on short holidays, students and illegal immigrants.

Once signed up, they would be entitled to the same NHS care as all other patients and can receive free blood tests, jabs and — in some cases — free prescription drugs.

But a poll of 229 family doctors by Pulse magazine found that 58 per cent believe these rules are too generous.

And 36 per cent will refuse to register patients they suspect are living here illegally — even though they are breaching these new guidelines.

One unnamed doctor warned the health service would come under increasing strain next year when thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians arrive to find jobs.

It is estimated that as many as 70,000 migrants from these two countries will come to Britain when temporary controls on their numbers expire.

[Photo] Migration: Bulgarian nationals queuing up outside the British Embassy in Sofia for visa applications in 2006. Up to 70,000 Bulgarians and Romanians are expected to arrive in the country.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Casey Legler, The World’s First Female Model to be Signed to a Male Modelling Agency Lands Shoot for Allsaints … and She’s Modelling Men’s and Women’s Clothes

She made headlines when she became the first female model signed exclusively to pose in menswear and now Casey Legler is to star in a series of photos commissioned by British high street brand, AllSaints.

The 6’2” former Olympic swimmer and photographer stars in the high street brand’s new Portraits of a Collection series, which will run exclusively on the AllSaints website.

Designed to highlight some of the world’s coolest up-and-coming creatives — as well as the AllSaints spring/summer collection of course — the photos also feature British artist Barry Reigate and Sonja Kinski, daughter of German actress Nastassja Kinski.

French-born Legler, 35, was signed up by the men’s division of New York-based Ford Models last summer.

The AllSaints images show Leger on typically androgynous form and staring moodily away from the camera, her hair styled into a trendy quiff.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Play Based on Relationship Between Gay Fascist, Jew

‘The Human Race’ marks 75th anniversary of racial laws

(ANSA) — Cosenza, January 16 — The efforts of a gay Italian Fascist to hide and protect a Jewish friend during the Second World War era are the subject of a new book and play written by journalist Mario Campanella.

Titled The Human Race, the novel will be published this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the introduction of Italy’s racial laws, says Campanella, who hails from Italy’s southern Calabria region.

The idea was hatched from a chance meeting between the journalist and some survivors of the period.

Campanella says that seven years ago, a friend who lived near Tarsia, where an internment camp was based, repeated an old story told by his grandfather. Efforts to find supporting documents were fruitless but he eventually met some of the principle actors in the events that inspired his work.

“It is a beautiful story because it is deeply Italian and full of beautiful contradictions,” says Campanella.

“The Fascist hosting the Jew, but also the homosexual who is forced to live in silence” about his sexual orientation.

Italy’s racial laws of 1938 focused on the Jewish population, stripping members of Italian citizenship.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Vatican: Church Defends Freedom of Conscience Against the “Dictatorship of Relativism, “ Mgr Mamberti Says

Speaking about recent rulings by the European Court of Human Rights, the secretary for Relations with States said that states that ban individuals and institutions from exercising conscientious objection in the name of freedom and pluralism could open the door to intolerance and forced uniformity. He also talks about state-Church relations.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) — “The Church seeks to defend individual freedoms of conscience and religion in all circumstances, even in the face of the ‘dictatorship of relativism’,” which tends to impose a “new social norm” and “undermine the foundations of individual freedom of conscience and religion,” this according to Mgr Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, who spoke about recent rulings by the European Court of Human Rights in four cases involving freedom of conscience and religion in the United Kingdom, which by their very nature transcend national boundaries.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Mgr Mamberti discussed two cases involving the right of two workers to wear a cross around the neck in their workplace and the right of two other employees not to perform civil unions or provide counselling to gay couples.

“These cases show that questions relating to freedom of conscience and religion are complex, in particular in European society marked by the increase of religious diversity and the corresponding hardening of secularism. There is a real risk that moral relativism, which imposes itself as a new social norm, will come to undermine the foundations of individual freedom of conscience and religion. The Church seeks to defend individual freedoms of conscience and religion in all circumstances, even in the face of the “dictatorship of relativism”. To this end, the rationality of the human conscience in general and of the moral action of Christians in particular requires explanation. Regarding morally controversial subjects, such as abortion or homosexuality, freedom of consciences must be respected. Rather than being an obstacle to the establishment of a tolerant society in its pluralism, respect for freedom of conscience and religion is a condition for it. Addressing the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See last week Pope Benedict XVI stressed that: “In order effectively to safeguard the exercise of religious liberty it is essential to respect the right of conscientious objection. This “frontier” of liberty touches upon principles of great importance of an ethical and religious character, rooted in the very dignity of the human person. They are, as it were, the “bearing walls” of any society that wishes to be truly free and democratic. Thus, outlawing individual and institutional conscientious objection in the name of liberty and pluralism paradoxically opens by contrast the door to intolerance and forced uniformity.”

“The erosion of freedom of conscience also witnesses to a form of pessimism with regard to the capacity of the human conscience to recognize the good and the true, to the advantage of positive law alone, which tends to monopolize the determination of morality. It is also the Church’s role to remind people that every person, no matter what his beliefs, has, by means of his conscience, the natural capacity to distinguish good from evil and that he should act accordingly. Therein lies the source of his true freedom.”

At present, the European Court is also examing two other cases that involve state-Church relations. Speaking about them, Mgr Mamberti said, “The Church has always had to defend herself in order to preserve her autonomy with regard to the civil power and ideologies. Today, an important issue in Western countries is to determine how the dominant culture, strongly marked by materialist individualism and relativism, can understand and respect the nature of the Church, which is a community founded on faith and reason.”

“The Church is aware of the difficulty of determining the relations between the civil authorities and the different religious communities in a pluralist society with regard to the requirements of social cohesion and the common good. In this context, the Holy See draws attention to the necessity of maintaining religious freedom in its collective and social dimension. This dimension corresponds to the essentially social nature both of the person and of the religious fact in general. The Church does not ask that religious communities be lawless zones but that they be recognized as spaces for freedom, by virtue of the right to religious freedom, while respecting just public order. This teaching is not reserved to the Catholic Church; the criteria derived from it are founded in justice and are therefore of general application.

“Furthermore, the juridical principle of the institutional autonomy of religious communities is widely recognized by States which respect religious freedom, as well as by international law. The European Court of Human Rights itself has regularly stated this principle in several important judgments. Other institutions have also affirmed this principle. This is notably the case with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and also with the United Nations Committee for Human Rights in, respectively, the Final Document of the Vienna Conference of 19 January 1989 and General Observation No. 22 on the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion of 30 July 1993. It is nevertheless useful to recall and defend this principle of the autonomy of the Church and the civil power.”

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

General

Dreamliner in Meltdown as Hi-Tech Boeing Jets Are Grounded in Europe and U.S. Amid Fears Its Electric ‘Car Batteries’ Can Trigger Fires

Boeing’s revolutionary plane, the Dreamliner, was grounded around the world yesterday over fears that its leaky batteries could cause fires on the aircraft.

Safety regulators in Europe, America and Asia banned the plane from taking off after one of them was forced to make an emergency landing.

Fears over its lithium ion batteries come after the 787 Dreamliner was hit by a series of incidents in the past few weeks, including two fuel leaks, brake problems and a fire.

European air safety bosses acted hours after America’s Federal Aviation Authority issue an ‘emergency airworthiness directive’ to halt lights of teh planes — the first time a fleet of aircraft has been grounded across the globe in 34 years.

The FAA’s directive said the action was ‘prompted by recent incidents involving lithium ion battery failures that resulted in the release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage and smoke on two aircraft’.

It said: ‘The cause of these failures is under investigation. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment.’

[…]

‘Unfortunately, what Boeing did to save weight is use the same batteries that are in the electric cars, and they are running into the same problems with the 787 as the problems that have shown up in electric cars,’ said Paul Czysz, professor emeritus of aeronautical engineering at St. Louis University.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mohammed’s Greatest Discovery, Part 1

by Kenneth Roberts

What causes a Muslim woman to honor-kill the children she has borne and raised? The explanation is ‘the Stockholm Syndrome’. It is one of the secret keys of political Islam and Mohammed’s greatest discovery.

The Stockholm syndrome or ‘capture bonding’ is a psychological paradox in which hostages develop empathy and positive feelings towards their captors, even to the point of adopting the captor’s oppressive ideology. One would expect captives to experience resentment and hatred towards an abuser, but that is not what occurs in the Stockholm syndrome.

Rather, the Stockholm syndrome takes hold in a few days as a result of captors performing small acts of kindness towards their doomed captives. The threat of certain death in contrast with kind gestures is thought to bring about the syndrome. The confused captive soon begins to identify with the cruel psyche of the captor in order to survive.

This push-pull dynamic of terror alternating with moments of relative benevolence produces this delusion in the mind of the captive. The captive then begins to believe the far-fetched justifications for brutality and murder that bend the minds of her or his terrorist captors.

The Stockholm syndrome is a severe form of a psychological phenomenon known as dissociation. It is the mind’s survival mechanism, the way trauma victims convince themselves that “this isn’t happening”. Mohammed discovered it by accident…

           — Hat tip: EG [Return to headlines]

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