Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/30/2013

The American economy unexpectedly contracted during the fourth quarter of 2012, with economic output falling at an annual rate of -0.1%. Experts say a decline in exports coupled with reduced military spending contributed to the contraction.

In other news, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was given an award in Poland for helping to open Britain up to Polish immigration. Thanks to Mr. Blair’s efforts, more than half a million native Poles are currently residents of the UK.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Erick Stakelbeck, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, Lurker from Tulsa, McR, Nick, Seneca III, Steen, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.


Financial Crisis
» 50% of Spanish Families With No Savings
» Denmark: Minority Paying to Support Majority as Employment Level Plummets
» Fiat Sees Tough Times Continuing, But Italian Plants Safe
» Iceland Not Liable for Icesave Compensation After Landmark Ruling
» Italy: Finance Minister Rules Out Bailout for MPS
» Italy: Naples Buses Grounded Due to Lack of Fuel
» Italy: Naples’ Buses at Standstill, Unable to Pay for Diesel
» ‘Old Friend’ Russia Ready to Help Cyprus: President
» Siena Prosecutors Open Probe in MPS Case
» The Economy is a Lot Worse Than You Think
» U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Contracted in Fourth Quarter
» UK: SAS Units Threatened by New Defence Cuts
» Who Runs the World? Solid Proof That a Core Group of Wealthy Elitists is Pulling the Strings
 
USA
» 229 Sheriffs Saying ‘No’ To Obama Gun Control
» Chrysler Reports 2012 Profits of $1.7 Bn, Sales Up 20%
» First Genetically Engineered Flu Vaccine Now on the Market
» Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Indicted by Feds
» Fundamental Transformation of America Equals Turning Legal Civil Society Into Illegal One
» Grassley: Deer Don’t Shoot Back, Criminals Do
» Gun Laws Didn’t Stop Pothead Killer
» Interfaith Against ‘Islamophobia’
» Obamas’ Wahhabist Fundraising Empire
» Police State Gone Wild: Couple Facing 60 Days in Jail for Rescuing Injured Baby Deer
» Reagan’s Childhood Home to Become Parking Lot for Obama’s Library
» States Weigh Laws That Would Make it an Act of Terrorism to Report Abuses at Factory Farms
» US High School Allows Muslims Time for Prayer if They Earn Good Grades
» Washinton State Prepares Gun Control Nullification Bill (Please Contact Reps!)
» Why Are American Voters So Uninformed?
» Woman Sues Police Over ‘Flash Grenade’ SWAT Raid
 
Europe and the EU
» Authorities Blatantly Lied to Public Over Study Showing GMO Corn Causes Organ Damage and Cancer
» Belgian School’s Demise Symbol of a Euro Disease
» France: Two New Arrests Over Merah Shooting Spree
» Germany’s Most Annoying Jew
» Greece: Illegal Fuel Trade Shifts From Heating Oil to Ships
» Irish Homeowners to be Hit With Water Charge Based on Size of Their House
» Islamic Rebels Warn Mali Forces Not to Enter Kidal Region
» Italian Regulator Probes Share Sale at Oil-Services Saipem
» Italy: Berlusconi’s Party Slams Rehn’s Claims
» Italy: Rome Mayor ‘Not Investigated’ Over Trolley-Bus Case
» Rehn Says Berlusconi Failed to Respect EU Commitments
» The Breathtaking Moment Thrill-Seeking Surfer Catches ‘World’s Biggest Wave’ Off the Coast of Portugal
» UK: ‘Her Injuries Were Horrific, Her Throat Was Cut From Side to Side’: Judge Sentences Former Soldier to Life in Prison for Murder of Ex-Girlfriend’s Stepmother
» UK: ‘Why Should We Work? Our Parents Pay Tax So We’re Entitled to Benefits’: Couple Living Off £17,000 Handouts Say Working for the Minimum Wage is Unfair
» UK: Abdal Ullah and His New Power List of British Bangladeshis
» UK: Britain is No Place for Jews
» UK: Britain’s Little Anti-Semitism Problem
» UK: Chief Rabbi Weighs Into Sunday Times Scarfe Cartoon Row
» UK: Deceit, Treachery and Hypocrisy… it Was a Grubby Day’s Work for the Left
» UK: Fears Over New Generation of ‘Brat Pack’ Police Chiefs After Government Scraps Rules Forcing Recruits to Serve as a Beat Bobby
» UK: Gang of Thieves Stole Six Miles of Copper Wiring Worth £700,000 Bringing Down Telephone Services and Hitting the Rail Network
» UK: Labour Embraces Islamist Extremists
» UK: Muslim Patrols Could Become More Prevalent and More Violent, Warns Anti-Extremist
» UK: Now Thieves Who Escaped With a Caution Won’t be Barred From Jobs in Care Homes, Hospitals and Schools
» UK: Naked Man Who Beheaded His Mother Because He Thought She Was a Witch Made ‘Hannibal Lecter Noises’ When Arrested by Police
» UK: Obama’s Soft Threat to Democracy and Britain
» UK: Plans to Turn Waltham Oak Pub in Walthamstow Into a Mosque
» UK: Two in Three Complaints Against Banks Upheld as Record 15,000 Complaints a Week Lodged by Angry Customers
» UK: Tenant Stabbed Landlord to Death and Dismembered His Body After Being Asked About Rent Arrears
 
North Africa
» Algeria Doesn’t Need Lectures From Dave on Fighting Terrorism
» Egypt’s Al Nur Party Joins National Unity Government Calls
» Egypt: High-Schoolers Told Cannibalism Allowed
» Egypt: Rape Squads of Tahrir Square: Marauding ‘State-Backed Gangs’ Are Still Terrorising Female Protesters Two Years After Revolution
» Egypt: Islamic Scholar Gamal El-Banna Dies at 93
» Egypt: Opposition Calls for Immediate Talks With Morsi
» White House Urges Lasting Solution to Egyptian Unrest
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Britain’s Infernal Cocktail of Hate
» Stakelbeck on Terror Show: From Samaria: Israel’s Biblical Heartland
 
Middle East
» Erdogan Offers Mosque in Athens in Exchange for Istanbul Convent
» IAF Attacks Weapons Convoy on Syrian Lebanese Border Over Hezbollah Access to CW and Advanced Weapons
» Iran Moves to Secure Nuke Facilities
» Kalili: U.N. Won’t Deny Explosions at Iran Nuke Plant
» Lebanon: Civil Marriage Supporters Are Apostates, Grand Mufti
» Qatar: Banker to the Global Jihad
» Saudi Vice Police Order Shops Who Employ Men and Women to Put Up Segregation Walls to Keep Them Apart
» Saudi Arabia: Liebherr Builds Huge Sunshade for Grand Mosque
» Syria: Kidnappings Scourge Civilians Across Sectarian Lines
» Syria: Israel Air Force Hits Weapons Convoy Bound for Hezbollah
» Syria Says it Was Hit by Strikes From Israeli Planes
» Tunisia Asks Saudi Arabia to Extradite Ben Ali
» Turkey Offers Greece to Fund Athens Mosque
» U.S. ‘Backed Plan to Launch Chemical Weapon Attack on Syria and Blame it on Assad’s Regime’
 
Russia
» Russia to Cut Ukraine, EU Gas in ‘Next Few Days, ‘ Expert Predicts
 
South Asia
» Bangladesh’s Largest Islamist Party Calls Hartal in Protest Against War Crime Trials
» Danish Troops Out of Afghanistan by End of Next Year
» Malaysia: Pygmy Elephant Calf Desperately Tries to Wake Up Dead Mother Who Was One of Ten Animals Found Poisoned
» Pakistan: Punjab: Christian Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy Acquitted on Appeal
» Pentavalent Vaccine Killing Children in India, Vietnam
» Pentagon May Have Funded Iran Fuel Sales to Afghan Army
» Shah Rukh Khan Article Sparks War of Words Between India and Pakistan
 
Far East
» Hackers in China Attacked the Times for Last 4 Months
 
Australia — Pacific
» Aussie Muslims Lament Anti-Islam Hysteria
» Fiji: Muslims Reminded of Teachings
» Monash Councillors Approve Mosque, Call Opponents ‘Unaustralian’
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Mali War Won’t Stop the Music, Festival in the Desert on Tour
» Mali: Al Qaeda’s Timbuktu Prison Where Women Locked Up and Lashed for Being Immodest
» Mali: French Troops Reach Kidal Airport
» Mali: Confronting Al-Qaeda
» Mali: Britain ‘Risks Being Drawn Into Afghan-Style Conflict’
» Muslims Burn Catholics Alive in Nigeria
» Uganda: Muslims Want Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Declared Public Holiday
 
Latin America
» Argentina Rebuffs Israeli Anger Over 1994 Bombing Probe
» Brazil: Troops Bulldoze Homes, Leave Thousands Homeless
 
Immigration
» Blair Award for Helping Poles Move to UK
» Cost of Giving Illegal Immigrants Path to Citizenship Could Outweigh Fiscal Benefits
» Critics: Obama Has Already Installed ‘Amnesty’
» Malkin: Amnesty Gang Throws Law-Abiders Under the Bus
» Polish is Britain’s Second Language and Nearly One in Five People in London Only Speak English as a Second Tongue
» Rubio’s Amnesty a Path to Oblivion for GOP
» Tony Blair is a National Hero (If You Are Polish!)
» UK: They Say It’s Impossible to Cut Immigration. They’re Wrong
 
Culture Wars
» “Hidden Voices” Brings Awareness to LGBT Muslims
» Colonel Explains What Happens When Men, Women Are Together in Combat
» Governor Cuomo Promotes Unlimited Late-Term Abortions
» Late Term Abortion Procedure Which Governor Cuomo Promotes Expanding
» Study Shows Abortion Linked to High Breast Cancer Risk
» UK: Adultery Debate on This Morning Turns Nasty as Sex Therapist With Four Lovers Calls ITV Agony Aunt Denise Robertson a Battleaxe
 
General
» Insecticide ‘Unacceptable’ Danger to Bees, Report Finds
» The Murderer’s Honor

50% of Spanish Families With No Savings

But 26% saves up 3,000 euros a year, 1% saves over 20,000 euros

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JANUARY 29 — Half of Spanish families were unable to save a single euro in 2012, a 4% rise over the previous year, according to data released on Tuesday by Spanish ratings agency Axesor.

The 50% figure rises to 72% when taking into account families supported by someone aged 70+, which means pensions are barely enough to survive, the data showed.

Another 26% of families was able to put up to 3,000 euros into a savings account, and 14% were able to save 3-6,000 euros, or 250-500 euros a month. Another 11% said they saved more than 6,000 euros last year (-3% over 2011), while 1% of Spanish families stashed more than 25,000 euros away last year.

The Axesor data also showed that 56% of families supported by people aged 31-40 were able to save, against almost none headed by pensioners. More families with fewer members were able to save, with single-person families at the top of that list.

Single-earner families got a 13,500 tax cut, which helped single-person families the most. Bank deposits fell to 23% in 2012 from 41% the previous year, the Axesor numbers showed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Minority Paying to Support Majority as Employment Level Plummets

Pressure on council finances is increasing after study reveals that only three of Denmark’s 98 councils have a majority of residents in work

The number of councils with a majority of residents in work has fallen drastically in the past four years, according to study by the municipal policy research group Kora.

The Kora study found that only three of Denmark’s 98 councils currently have a majority of employed residents. This is a significant reduction from 2009, when 59 councils could boast that a majority of their residents were in work.

The out-of-work population includes children and students, but according to Kurt Houlberg, Kora’s head of research, it is the rising number of senior citizens and unemployed residents that poses the biggest threat.

“These are the greatest problems facing councils are facing both in the short and, even more pressingly, in the long term,” Houlberg told DR News, adding that fewer people in work meant less tax income for councils to spend.

“It could mean that welfare needed to be approached in a different way and that residents ought to lower their expectations about what level of welfare they can expect in the future.”

The economy minister, Margrethe Vestager (Radikale), said the study showed the importance of reducing the number of people receiving welfare and increasing the number of people in work.

“Our tax reform made it more attractive to work and now we are making it more attractive to set up, run and develop a business in order to create more jobs,” Vestager told DR, referring to the job plan the government is currently putting together.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Fiat Sees Tough Times Continuing, But Italian Plants Safe

European car market may not yet have ‘reached bottom’

(ANSA) — Grugliasco, January 30 — Fiat reiterated Wednesday that it has no intention of closing any of its plants in its Italian homeland, even though the slump in the European car market that has badly hit sales may not yet have bottomed out.

“I confirm that we will not close plants in Italy,” Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the opening of a new Maserati factory at Grugliasco, near Fiat’s Turin base.

“Perhaps the European car market has not touched the bottom”.

Marchionne’s comments were echoed by Fiat Chairman John Elkann, one of the heirs of the Agnelli family that founded the company and made it into an international auto giant.

“It’s been 10 years since my grandfather (former Fiat chief Giovanni Agnelli) passed away and since then our commitment to Italy and to Turin has never faltered,” Elkann said.

“That is because my family and Sergio Marchionne wanted this, despite the market difficulties. “We took tough decisions to be able to continue producing in Italy”.

Marchionne, who is also the CEO of Chrysler after the Italian firm took it over in 2009, said he was hopeful Fiat’s European business could break even by 2015 or 2016. “We are working at the speed of light to achieve this,” Marchionne said. photo: inside the new Maserati factory at Grugliasco.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Iceland Not Liable for Icesave Compensation After Landmark Ruling

BRUSSELS — Icelandic taxpayers are not liable to finance compensation of an estimated 350,000 British and Dutch citizens who lost their savings in the wake of the collapse of the country’s banking sector in 2008, following a landmark court ruling.

The Court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Iceland is a member, ruled on Monday (28 January) that Iceland had not broken the terms of the EU’s deposit guarantee scheme legislation.

By ruling that deposit guarantee legislation does not require governments to act as a guarantor of last resort, the court has also posed a difficult question for EU law-makers in advance of legislation to harmonise national deposit guarantee schemes as part of a proposed banking union.

In a statement, the EFTA court said that “the Directive did not envisage the alleged obligation of result to ensure payment to depositors in the Landsbanki branches in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in a systemic crisis of the magnitude experienced in Iceland.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Finance Minister Rules Out Bailout for MPS

But Bank of Italy sanctions ‘on the way’, Grilli says

(ANSA) — Rome, January 29 — Italian Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli on Tuesday ruled out a bailout for the country’s third-largest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), at the centre of an unfolding derivatives scandal.

“State intervention does not represent a rescue operation for an insolvent bank but rather the strengthening of its capital” according to European Banking Authority standards, said Grilli during a parliamentary hearing in reference to last week’s decision by Italy’s central bank to approve government bonds worth 3.9 billion euros to the Sienese lender to cover losses incurred in recent derivatives deals.

“One of Italy’s strong points is the recognised solidity of its banking system,” he continued.

“Our banks have shown unique abilities. Rescue operations are unnecessary. There is no need to sow doubt about the solidity of the system, it does not correspond to reality. Not even the problems of MPS alter this picture,” said Grilli.

But amid a probe into possible fraud, Grilli added that Bank of Italy sanctions were “on the way” because of past mismanagement at the Tuscan bank, in connection with 17 billion euros’ worth of bank transfers made in an 11-month period.

The world’s oldest bank came under fire early last week after it emerged that over 700 million euros had been lost in at least two derivatives deals that the Italian credit institution said it had only recently discovered.

The scandal has rocked the country’s financial establishment and also renewed criticism of the alleged mingling of banking and politics in Italy.

MPS, through its foundation, has historically been linked to the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), which has long been dominant in Siena and the rest of Tuscany.

The bonds, dubbed ‘Monti-bonds’ after outgoing Premier Mario Monti, must be paid back by MPS at market rates. If they are not, the State will take out shares in the bank.

MPS on Friday approved capital increases to pay back the bonds.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Naples Buses Grounded Due to Lack of Fuel

(AGI) — Naples, Jan 30 — Naples buses remained grounded half way through Wednesday morning because they had no fuel. A liquidity crisis has swept through Campania’s public transport sector following the cut in ad hoc allocations, which is partly due to the economic situation of local administrations.

Neapolitans woke up to a bitter morning, hearing news of the latest suspension in the bus service through social networks.

These reports said that buses were grounded because the fuel provider was demanding greater guarantees before refuelling.

The ANM-operated service was expected to resume at around mid-day on Wednesday.

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

Italy: Naples’ Buses at Standstill, Unable to Pay for Diesel

Transport authority blames 40% budget cuts

(ANSA) — Naples, January 30 — Buses in Naples were at a standstill on Wednesday for lack of funds to buy diesel fuel, the public transport system company said.

Almost the entire fleet of the public transport company — Azienda Napoletana Mobilita’ (ANM) — remained in the parking lot because ANM is no longer able to pay for fuel.

ANM said a number of buses began morning routes, but were forced to return when their tanks ran low. “Of the 600 buses that circulated a few years ago (2009), only 350 circulate today, because between state and regional (budget) cuts, the contributions that ANM receives to pay salaries, tax contributions, perform maintenance on vehicles and facilities, pay insurance, buy diesel, etc, have been reduced by 40%,” ANM wrote on its website.

“Obviously it is no longer possible to do the things that one did before” so the company is no longer in the condition to “guarantee more vehicles, maintain them, etc.,” ANM wrote.

“It is not a question of will or capability. It is a question of ability,” ANM concluded.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Old Friend’ Russia Ready to Help Cyprus: President

(NICOSIA) — Russia is ready to contribute with other international lenders in bailout package to rescue the island’s Greek-exposed economy, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias told reporters Wednesday.

Christofias said he had a ‘friendly’ telephone conversation with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday evening about Cyprus’ financial plight and the possible participation of Moscow in a rescue package.

“President Putin assured me that the Russian Federation is ready to contribute along with the European Union in loan deal for Cyprus,” said Christofias, whose remarks at a press conference during an official visit to Belgrade on Wednesday, were obtained by AFP from his office in Nicosia.

He said that as an “old friend” Russia wanted to help Cyprus, through cooperation with the EU, to offer financial support.

“I would like to warmly thank Vladimir Putin for his readiness to give a helping hand towards Cyprus thus honouring a traditional and close friendship,” said the island’s Russian educated communist leader.

Christofias said he hoped Russia’s participation in a bailout deal would “end positively”.

Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly said on Tuesday that Eurogroup finance ministers are studying the possibility of involving Russia in a bailout package for Cyprus.

Shiarly told state radio that the European Union was trying to ascertain whether Russia was able to participate with international lenders in a financial aid package for Cyprus and how much it could contribute.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Siena Prosecutors Open Probe in MPS Case

Focus on managers’ role in rescue of troubled lender Antonveneta

(ANSA) — Siena, January 29 — Prosecutors in Siena have opened a probe against the former head and other top managers of troubled lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).

According to judicial sources, prosecutors are probing former president Giuseppe Mussari as well as other executives for “fraud with respect to the shareholders of Montepaschi,” as the Siena-based bank — the world’s oldest — is called.

The new probe is based on a series of claims presented by some of the bank’s shareholders to Italy’s stock market watchdog, Consob, and to the Bank of Italy, from 2008 to 2011.

The claims focus on Montepaschi’s takeover of smaller lender Antonveneta, which, according to investor claims, was carried out with insufficient diligence, without the “necessary authorizations required by banking laws” and for a sum — nine billion euros — which allegedly overvalued it and caused a strain on MPS’s finances.

The Siena-based lender is also embroiled in a crisis over lossmaking derivatives trades which could cost it some 720 million euros.

The European Commission recently gave provisional backing to a 3.9-billion-euro Italian government bond issue for the bank “to preserve the stability of the Italian financial system”. Meanwhile, authorities confirmed Monday that the bank faces at least two tax audits.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Economy is a Lot Worse Than You Think

At some point this combination of increased taxes, low employment, and stagnant economic growth has to implode.

Most Americans know the economy is in bad shape even if a majority voted to reelect the man most responsible for making a bad economy worse. And, no, it was not George W. Bush who is responsible for the 2008 financial crash. It was the government with its housing programs that encouraged giving mortgage loans to those who could not afford them and then bundling those “toxic assets”, and selling them to banks who then found themselves in trouble for investing in them.

Another partner in the nation’s financial woes has been the Federal Reserve, a banking cartel given the right to literally print money. The Fed recently released the fact that its holdings in U.S. government debt has increased by 257 percent since President Obama took office! Those holdings are at an all-time record of $1,696,691,000,000 at the close of business on Wednesday, January 23. The other major holder of our debt is China at $1,170,100,000.000.

It’s worth taking a few minutes to see how the policies of President Obama, whether a deliberate effort to ruin the economy or just the result a lack of understanding of how the U.S. economy works, has put the U.S. on the precipice of failure comparable to what is occurring in Europe. It is a global, as well as national problem as the central banks of the EU desperately transfer billions among themselves to stave off a catastrophe that will destroy the wealth of their citizens.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Contracted in Fourth Quarter

The United States economy contracted unexpectedly in the final quarter of 2012, hurt by weaker exports, a drop in military spending and a slower buildup in inventories.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that economic output in the quarter fell at an annual rate of 0.1 percent, compared with growth at a 3.1 percent pace in the third quarter.

[Return to headlines]

UK: SAS Units Threatened by New Defence Cuts

The Telegraph understands that senior commanders fear that the quality of Britain’s world-class special forces could be undermined if defence spending is cut again in 2015. The potential threat has been discussed in Whitehall as the Ministry of Defence tries to fight off Treasury demands for more budget cuts.

The worries have emerged as David Cameron increased Britain’s military commitment to the fight against al-Qaeda in north Africa, deploying more than 300 troops. The Prime Minister will visit Algeria today for talks about security cooperation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Who Runs the World? Solid Proof That a Core Group of Wealthy Elitists is Pulling the Strings

Does a shadowy group of obscenely wealthy elitists control the world? Do men and women with enormous amounts of money really run the world from behind the scenes? The answer might surprise you. Most of us tend to think of money as a convenient way to conduct transactions, but the truth is that it also represents power and control. And today we live in a neo-fuedalist system in which the super rich pull all the strings. When I am talking about the ultra-wealthy, I am not just talking about people that have a few million dollars. As you will see later in this article, the ultra-wealthy have enough money sitting in offshore banks to buy all of the goods and services produced in the United States during the course of an entire year and still be able to pay off the entire U.S. national debt. That is an amount of money so large that it is almost incomprehensible. Under this neo-feudalist system, all the rest of us are debt slaves, including our own governments. Just look around — everyone is drowning in debt, and all of that debt is making the ultra-wealthy even wealthier.

But the ultra-wealthy don’t just sit on all of that wealth. They use some of it to dominate the affairs of the nations. The ultra-wealthy own virtually every major bank and every major corporation on the planet. They use a vast network of secret societies, think tanks and charitable organizations to advance their agendas and to keep their members in line. They control how we view the world through their ownership of the media and their dominance over our education system. They fund the campaigns of most of our politicians and they exert a tremendous amount of influence over international organizations such as the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. When you step back and take a look at the big picture, there is little doubt about who runs the world. It is just that most people don’t want to admit the truth.

[…]

These international bankers created the central banks of the world (including the Federal Reserve), and they use those central banks to get the governments of the world ensnared in endless cycles of debt from which there is no escape. Government debt is a way to “legitimately” take money from all of us, transfer it to the government, and then transfer it into the pockets of the ultra-wealthy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

229 Sheriffs Saying ‘No’ To Obama Gun Control

Sheriffs have risen up all over our great nation to stand up against the unconstitutional gun control measures being taken.

The following is a list of sheriffs and state sheriff’s associations from who have vowed to uphold and defend the Constitution against Obama’s unlawful gun control measures. I applaud these public servants for their courage and conviction.

I call on sheriffs all over this nation to add their voices to the growing numbers of faithful protectors of our freedom. -Richard Mack

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Chrysler Reports 2012 Profits of $1.7 Bn, Sales Up 20%

Fiat-controlled carmaker’s turnover ‘to reach $72-73 bn in 2013’

(ANSA) — New York, January 30 — Chrysler Group LLC closed 2012 with profits of $1.7 billion, a sharp rise from profits of $183 million in 2011, the company reported in a note on Wednesday.

Turnover at the Fiat-controlled carmaker increased by 20% to $65.8 billion in 2012 compared to $55 billion the previous year.

Chrysler forecast turnover in 2013 would rise to $72-73 billion, with profits reaching $2.2 billion.

“While we are pleased to have achieved strong financial results in 2012, the enterprise we are crafting is not complete,” Chrysler Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne said in the company statement.

“The goals we’ve set for the year ahead reflect a common desire by everyone from leadership to the shop floor to succeed and sustain the power of the house we are building. Our aim is meaningful, but it is not complicated, and only a preoccupation with quality can achieve it….Our continued achievement relies upon maintaining a humble spirit and an intense focus on the integrity of our work. And so we press on,” Marchionne said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

First Genetically Engineered Flu Vaccine Now on the Market

The newly approved Flublok vaccine also received financial backing from the US government. The HHS bailed out the small manufacturer, Protein Sciences, with a $147million investment, allowing it to create the first gene-based flu vaccine to win FDA approval. It certainly won’t be the last however. Two other genetically engineered flu vaccines are under development. According to Reuters, one of them, created by Novavax, will use “bits of genetic material grown in caterpillar cells called “virus-like particles” that mimic a flu virus.”

I for one am not looking forward to finding out what the side effects might be from this new generation of genetically engineered flu vaccines… Even worse, the HHS also has its eye on a “universal” flu vaccine that would cover any and all flu strains, and only require one dose every five to 10 years.

[…]

According to Robin Robinson, director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the HHS, it’s “a good hypothesis” that will hopefully work. The HHS is “keeping fingers crossed.” What could possibly go wrong by making your body attack genetically engineered virus structures that are normally hidden from immune system detection, right?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Indicted by Feds

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, now living in Frisco, Texas, was indicted on Friday with 21 criminal counts for bribery, honest service wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and filing false tax returns, according to federal law enforcement officials.

According to Friday’s federal grand jury indictment, between December 2004 and the present, Nagin and several other suspects participated in a conspiracy to commit bribery and honest services wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Nagin, as the mayor of New Orleans, devised a scheme to defraud the city and its citizens of his honest services through bribery and a kickback scheme in which the 56-year-old Nagin used his political office to provide favorable treatment, including awarding contracts, that benefited business and financial interest of businessmen providing him with bribes and kickbacks in the form of checks, cash, inventory, wire transfers, personal services, and free travel.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fundamental Transformation of America Equals Turning Legal Civil Society Into Illegal One

In the ongoing forced Battle Royale between a president and what he sees as his all but captured USA civil society, there’s no longer any mystique behind the “Fundamental Transformation of America”. It’s becoming more clear by day that the ‘Fundamental Transformation of America’ is a long-planned formula that is forcing legal civil society into a complete illegal society.

A new kind of segregation has returned. Decency, law-abiding, individual, God and liberty loving are being strategically culled from humanity’s herd. Goodness is punished by Marxists in control of government and those adjectives above is how they identify “the enemy”. With all the heady power of How the West was Won now centralized in one high-handed administration, President Barack Hussein Obama is creating a new society that can be described in three little words: illegals trumping legals. It makes no difference to the regime that theirs is no different than the Politburo, other than no people are being killed off openly—yet.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Grassley: Deer Don’t Shoot Back, Criminals Do

Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday claimed it would be Constitutional to outlaw numerous guns, ammunition and magazines if their restrictive new measures moving through Congress are passed into law.

“The Second Amendment is secure and will remain secure and protected,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during a standing room only hearing.

[Comments: “secure and protected”. Yeah, sure. Democrats/communist end goal is disarmament. Period. This is how it started in Australia, now in Australia they are seeking to ban bolt action rifles.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gun Laws Didn’t Stop Pothead Killer

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

The liberals continue to pretend that “gun control” laws will stop “gun violence,” even while providing the fuel, in the form of potent marijuana, which can spark violence and murder. A case in point is a Florida teenage gunman, Benjamin Bishop, the subject of a Tampa Bay Times article about how he became a zombie killer through the use of pot that caused him to fear “ghosts” speaking foreign languages. The killings occurred in October.

[…]

President Obama, a former pot smoker himself, proposes new “gun control” measures while ignoring the harm caused by marijuana.He recently told ABC News that he won’t authorize federal prosecution of marijuana offenders in Colorado and Washington, where the drug was legalized.

Obama was a member of what his biographer David Maraniss called the “Choom Gang,” a group of heavy marijuana users who practiced “total absorption” of the drug by inhaling the smoke fully into the lungs.

Although it’s long been known that marijuana adversely affects memory, intelligence, and learning, the connection of the drug to mental illness, violence and murder is not widely reported by the media. However, John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two guards at the Pentagon in March 2010, was a psychotic pothead who actually had a “medical marijuana” card in California.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Interfaith Against ‘Islamophobia’

by Ryan Mauro

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a group with Muslim Brotherhood origins, is again using its interfaith allies to accuse its opponents of being part of an anti-Muslim conspiracy. On January 15, the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington D.C. hosted an event about the “Islamophobia Network” that was sponsored by ISNA…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Obamas’ Wahhabist Fundraising Empire

Video report on Obamas’ Wahhabist Fundraising Empire

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Police State Gone Wild: Couple Facing 60 Days in Jail for Rescuing Injured Baby Deer

(NaturalNews) An Indiana couple saved a wounded baby deer and nursed it back to life, saving its life and giving it a home. They named it “Little Orphan Dani.” When Indiana state officials got word of this courageous act of compassion, they ordered the deer euthanized. (Because government wants to kill everything you love.)

When the deer “escaped” right before it was schedule to be killed — and yes, I think the couple probably set it free rather than have it killed — the man and woman were charged with unlawful possession of a deer.

They now face $2,000 in fines and 60 days in jail.

[…]

America is being divided into the “privileged” class versus the working class. The privileged elite are immune to virtually all prosecution of existing laws while the working class are subjected to every nit-picking technical violation of every law imaginable. Nearly every person alive today commits three felonies a day without even knowing it. In fact, that’s the title of an eye-opening book by Harvey Silverglate.

As the book’s description states:

“The average professional in this country wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats dinner, and then goes to sleep, unaware that he or she has likely committed several federal crimes that day. Why? The answer lies in the very nature of modern federal criminal laws, which have exploded in number but also become impossibly broad and vague. In Three Felonies a Day, Harvey A. Silverglate reveals how federal criminal laws have become dangerously disconnected from the English common law tradition and how prosecutors can pin arguable federal crimes on any one of us, for even the most seemingly innocuous behavior.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Reagan’s Childhood Home to Become Parking Lot for Obama’s Library

The University of Chicago Medical Center has announced plans to turn Ronald Reagan’s childhood home in Chicago into a parking lot for President Barack Obama’s library.

The Commission on Chicago Landmarks previously denied the Gipper’s home landmark status in 2012, according to The Washington Times, and the university subsequently scheduled demolition to begin in January. Officials claim the home does not reach landmark status because it is not architecturally significant and the nation’s 40th president did nothing notable while living there…

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]

States Weigh Laws That Would Make it an Act of Terrorism to Report Abuses at Factory Farms

(NaturalNews) How do you keep consumers in the dark about the horrors of factory farms? By making it an “act of terrorism” for anyone to investigate animal cruelty, food safety or environmental violations on the corporate-controlled farms that produce the bulk of our meat, eggs and dairy products.

And who better to write the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, http://www.greenisthenewred.com designed to protect Big Ag and Big Energy, than the lawyers on the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force at the corporate-funded and infamous American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).http://alecexposed.org/wiki/Environment,_Energy,_and_Agriculture

New Hampshire, Wyoming and Nebraska are the latest states to introduce Ag-Gag laws aimed at preventing employees, journalists or activists from exposing illegal or unethical practices on factory farms.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US High School Allows Muslims Time for Prayer if They Earn Good Grades

A high school near Washington DC has taken a rare step of accommodating Muslim prayer during class hours. Parkdale High School now allows a handful of its students to be excused to pray. The decision has made some Christian staffers “unhappy”. Prince George County High School Principal Cheryl J. Logan said the initiative is in response to the “needs of the growing Muslim community,” the Washington Post reported. To be able to leave class each day all you need is a parental permission and high grades, Logan said.

Currently, about 10 Muslim students have earned the right to pray, and are reportedly allowed eight minutes each day for a joint prayer on campus. Another high school student is working hard to raise his grades to join the group, all of whom belong to Muslim Students’ Association, Logan said. It is hoped that allowing prayer will motivate Muslim students to improve their overall school performance. The move has already upset several of the school’s Christian staffers, many of whom remember when the school was a Christian institution. US public schools are secular by law, but are legally allowed to accommodate religious students’ practices, Logan explained.”I’ve been real happy with how we’ve been able to deal with it without it becoming an increasingly big issue,” Logan said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Washinton State Prepares Gun Control Nullification Bill (Please Contact Reps!)

Over 90 Sheriffs have now come forward to say that they will uphold the Constitution and not enforce any new gun bans or measures. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant urged state lawmakers to immediately pass legislation that would make any unconstitutional order by the President illegal to enforce in Mississippi. A Texas lawmaker has taken it a step further, attempting to introduce legislation that would have federal officials arrested if they attempt to enforce new gun laws in the state. South Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana are drafting similar legislation as well.

Now in Washington State, Representatives have introduced HB 1371, The Washington State Firearms Freedom Act.

“Any federal law, rule, regulation, or order created or effective on or after January 1, 2013, shall be unenforceable within the borders of Washington if the law, rule, regulation, or order attempts to: (a) Ban or restrict ownership of a semiautomatic firearm or any magazine of a firearm; or (b) Require any firearm, magazine, or other firearm accessory to be registered in any manner,” the bill reads.

The bill leaves no important 2nd amendment right unchecked. “During the continuance of any state of emergency, neither the governor nor any governmental entity or political subdivision of the state shall impose any restriction on the possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition that is otherwise authorized or guaranteed by law,” pg 7 reads.

2nd amendment supporters are encouraged to contact Washington State Representatives and ask them to sponsor and support the bill. (//apps.leg.wa.gov/rosters/Members.aspx?Chamber=H) [no www. in url]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why Are American Voters So Uninformed?

The sad fact is that it appears completely rational to be ignorant about politics. The cost of being an ‘informed’ voter — as opposed to a bigotted closed-minded ignoramus — is high, from the time spent following (and interpreting) the news in the paper, online, and on the television. As the following clip notes, “becoming an informed voter is competing with a lot of other needs in your life,” from American Idol watching to eating Cheetos in the bath. Of course, the sad truth is that it has never been more important to be ‘informed’ and so the ‘bread-and-circuses’ will continue lest we stumble upon the truth — but perhaps this brief clip will sway a few more to the dark side of ‘the informed’ — though just because ‘you’ are better-informed does not mean politicians will do a better job — as the probability of your vote changing the outcome of an election is for all practical purposes, zero!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Woman Sues Police Over ‘Flash Grenade’ SWAT Raid

An Indiana woman falsely raided by a SWAT team is suing the city of Evansville and the police department after cops smashed down her door and threw flash grenades into her home in response to “threatening” Internet posts that she wasn’t even responsible for.

“Police came up empty-handed in a search for evidence about threatening Internet posts but only after damaging the house, handcuffing the woman and her granddaughter and seizing their computers, according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court at Evansville,” reports the Courier Press.

Police claim the raid, which occurred back in June, was justified due to Internet posts traced back to 68-year-old Louise Milan’s house which threatened to attack the police department, but the posts had been made by a suspected gang member who had hijacked Milan’s wi-fi connection because it was not password protected.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Authorities Blatantly Lied to Public Over Study Showing GMO Corn Causes Organ Damage and Cancer

It has been more than four months now since the most comprehensive study evaluating the health risks associated with a lifetime of consuming genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) was published in a credible, peer-reviewed scientific journal. And to this day, the mainstream scientific community is still busy manufacturing lies about the study in an attempt to discredit it.

In case you missed it, a French study back in September found that rats fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s GM NK603 corn developed severe organ damage and cancerous tumors, among other major health problems. The study is the only one, to date, to fully evaluate the effects of GMO consumption over a lifetime, as opposed to the typical 90 days maximum typically evaluated by the biotechnology industry. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

But the release of this timely and pertinent study has not been received well by those with a vested interest in promoting GMOs, not to mention scientists who benefit handsomely from industry-backed grants and other corporate financial support. Thus, there has been an onslaught of misinformation released regarding the study that aims to minimize and discredit its findings.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Belgian School’s Demise Symbol of a Euro Disease

by Emanuele Ottolenghi

The likely closure, in coming months, of the Maimonides Jewish school in Brussels — as reported earlier this week in the Times of Israel — comes as no surprise to those familiar with the local Jewish community and its vicissitudes. Put simply, the school is too close to trouble and too far from Jews to survive. Established in a once bustling Jewish neighbourhood near Brussels’ Gare du Midi station, Maimonides has bled for years as the Jewish population gradually moved to leafy suburbs reflecting its improved socio-economic standing.

But the replacement of Jews in the neighbourhood by Muslim immigrants has made matters worse for the school. As random assaults on Jewish pupils have multiplied, parents moved them to other institutions that were closer to their new homes and less exposed to intolerance. Much like elsewhere in Europe, Muslim immigrants have been disinclined to treat Jews the way they demand that Christians treat Muslims. While the sharp rise of antisemitic incidents in Western Europe since late 2000 is not attributable only to Muslims, a considerable percentage of episodes implicate immigrants of Muslim background…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

France: Two New Arrests Over Merah Shooting Spree

French police have arrested two men in connection with last year’s attacks by extremist gunman Mohamed Merah, whose shooting spree in and around the southern city of Toulouse left seven people dead.

A source close to the investigation said the two men, aged 28 and 30, were arrested on Tuesday in Toulouse and brought to Paris for questioning. Under French anti terrorism laws, they can be held for up to four days without charge.

A judicial source said the men were acquaintances of Merah and had been placed under surveillance at the weekend.

French police are investigating whether Merah had any accomplices in carrying out his attacks last March, with officials saying they doubt he acted alone.

A self-described Al-Qaeda sympathizer, Merah shot a rabbi, three Jewish schoolchildren and three French paratroopers before being shot dead in a police siege in Toulouse.

In early December, a 38-year-old man and his girlfriend were arrested in connection with the attacks but both were later released without charge.

Merah’s brother Abdelkader has been charged as as accomplice and remains in custody.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany’s Most Annoying Jew

Satirist and media gadfly Henryk Broder attacks his countrymen’s attitudes toward Israel and Jews

In May 2012, Germany and Israel together celebrated the 100th birthday of the media mogul Axel Springer. Springer, who died in 1985, was Germany’s William Randolph Hearst: He built a huge media empire that exerted enormous sway over German public opinion. And nothing was more important to Springer than the defense of Israel. At the ceremony honoring Springer, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that Springer “made it possible to build Israeli confidence in Germany”; and Avigdor Lieberman praised Springer as a voice of “freedom, truth, and justice.”

But not everyone in Germany loved Axel Springer. He was an ardent anti-communist who hounded the leftists of the 1960s in the pages of his many newspapers and magazines. When Rudi Dutschke, a leading student radical, was shot in 1968 by a right-wing extremist, leftists blamed the deed on Springer, whose newspapers had attacked Dutschke relentlessly. (In a towering irony, the Springer company’s skyscraper now stands at the corner of Axel Springer Street and Rudi Dutschke Street in Berlin’s Kreuzberg neighborhood.)

Enter Henryk Broder. The 66-year-old German Jew and author, most recently, of Forget Auschwitz! Before It’s Too Late (subtitled, with bitter wit, “The German Memory Craziness and the Final Solution of the Israel Question”), is one of Germany’s most celebrated journalists; he writes an influential column for a Springer newspaper, Die Welt.

Broder’s perspective was forged in the no-holds-barred battle between Springer and his radical New Left enemies…

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Greece: Illegal Fuel Trade Shifts From Heating Oil to Ships

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JANUARY 28 — Despite the leveling of the special consumption tax on diesel with that of heating oil, in Greece the illegal fuel trade’s turnover remains at high levels and the government is now being forced to take additional measures. As daily Kathimerini reports, in a meeting hosted on Friday at the Finance Ministry by Minister Yannis Stournaras with the participation of Development and Energy Minister Costis Hatzidakis, Merchant Marine Minister Constantinos Mousouroulis and two deputy ministers, the situation in the market was reassessed, resulting in an estimate that the illegal fuel trade has been halved from 600 million euros before the leveling of the taxes to 300 million. Shipping fuel is seen as the biggest problem area. A study by the Merchant Marine Ministry, presented during Friday’s meeting, confirmed market estimates regarding a shift in the illegal fuel trade from heating oil to oil for ships. The volume of shipping fuel appears to be unjustifiably high, which confirms the growth of smuggling in this type of fuel, which enjoys a privileged tax rate. In the meeting was decided in favor of a closer cooperation between the ministries of Finance and Merchant Marine to contain the phenomenon. The first step to that direction will be installing GPS systems on all fuel tank vessels and to establish specific mooring spots in ports for them to be better monitored.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Irish Homeowners to be Hit With Water Charge Based on Size of Their House

HOMEOWNERS face the controversial prospect of paying for their water based on the size of their home, rather than their estimated usage.

People with bigger houses face paying a higher temporary water charge than those with smaller homes from next year.

The Irish Independent has now learnt an “assessed charge” — which will have to be paid until water meters are installed — is likely to be based on the physical size of a home, rather than the number of people in it.

Sources involved in establishing the water tax say this is because it will be “impossible to police” the number of people living in a home, and it said “it is moving the way of property type”.

The charge could be as much as €400 ($520) a year, but “nobody will pay a flat rate”, one source said. Information on properties — and the initial tax to be paid — could be gleaned from databases that exist from the €100 ($130) household charge and the property tax, once it has been fully established from this summer.

Irish Water, the new body set up to collect the charges, will have access to records held by the Revenue Commissioners and the Local Government Management Agency.

However, the exact cost of the assessed charge and water metering will be decided independently by the Commission for Energy Regulation.

The bailout agreement with the troika compels the Government to bring in water charges next year. But the process of installing the meters only gets under way this summer, and will not be complete for three years.

To meet the terms of the bailout, the Government will have to bring in the assessed charge — but sources say this will almost certainly be pushed back until after the local elections, not scheduled to take place until mid-2014.

“It is a matter for the Government to decide the date it will be introduced,” one source said.

It is hoped as many as 500,000 meters will be installed by the summer of 2014.

The Irish Independent has also learnt a “lead-in time” for metering is being considered.

Under this proposal, being discussed in the Department of the Environment, homeowners will be able to monitor their water usage on a meter for a few months before paying the metered charge.

“That way, people could see what they’d be paying, and might be shocked by their bills,” a source said.

Irish Water will also be allowed access to the Department of Social Protection records, and it is understood certain welfare recipients, as well as people with acute medical needs, will not pay the full amount of the charge.

And it is now thought apartment blocks will have one meter installed which, will measure the usage of all occupants — then the charges will be divided up per apartment.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Islamic Rebels Warn Mali Forces Not to Enter Kidal Region

(AGI) — Bamako, Jan 30 — Islamic rebels in Mali have warned government and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forces not not to enter the region of Kidal in northeast Mali. The Islamic movement, Azawad, which broke away last week from the Ansar Dine movement, which had taken over northern Mali, issued the warning. The movement’s statement said the “only condition” permitting government annd ECOWAS forces in would be a “political solution” with the Malian government. “It is the only condition,” the statement said and appealed “to the international community and France.” .

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

Italian Regulator Probes Share Sale at Oil-Services Saipem

Huge number sold before company announced profit fall

(ANSA) — Milan, January 30 — The share value of Italian oil-service provider Saipem plunged Wednesday after regulators announced a probe of unusual share sales that occurred shortly before the company announced a dramatic drop in forecast profits. Financial market regulator Consob announced it would review the sale of almost 10 million shares in Saipem made after the close of trading on Monday, just hours before the company announced that its 2013 profits would be less than half the amount previously expected.

Shares in Saipem SpA, Europe’s biggest oil-service provider, plunged a record 39% by mid-afternoon Wednesday in Milan trading as a result, Bloomberg reported.

Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit offered to sell 9.97 million shares, equivalent to 2.3% of the company, on behalf of an institutional client after the close of trading on January 28, Bloomberg said. This is the second time in less than two months that Saipem has drawn regulators’ scrutiny.

In early December, share prices plunged after the company, whose largest shareholder is Italian energy giant Eni SpA, was implicated in a corruption probe related to contracts in Algeria.

Chief Executive Officer Pietro Franco Tali was replaced in early December by Umberto Vergine because of the probe.

Two other senior managers were also suspended from Milan-based Saipem.

The company’s board also ordered an internal investigation using outside consultants.

Tali, in his resignation statement, said he was not “in any way involved” in the case, but said his resignation would help the company.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi’s Party Slams Rehn’s Claims

‘Unacceptable interference,’ says PdL Secretary Alfano

(see related stories on Rehn) (ANSA) — Rome, January 29 — Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party expressed outrage on Tuesday after European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the media magnate’s last government failed to respect its EU commitments in 2011.

“It’s unacceptable that Olli Rehn, the vice-president of an independent institution like the European Commission, should intervene in the election campaign of a member state, and should do so with false, technically incorrect statements that are easy to refute,” said PdL Secretary Angelino Alfano.

“Such clear interference undermines the image of the European Commission and encourages populism and anti-European feelings at a delicate time for relations between the EU and the public of the individual countries”. Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani, an Italian who is a member of the PdL and one of the five EC vice-presidents, like Rehn, was angry too. “I disassociate myself from the statement about Italy by my colleague Olli Rehn, which threatens to make the European Commission appear not to be independent, and I am sorry about it,” said Tajani.

Renato Brunetta, the civil service minister in Berlusconi’s 2008-2011 government, said Rehn’s comments defamed Italy and called for a European Parliament inquiry. photo: Silvio Berlusconi and Angelino Alfano (right).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Mayor ‘Not Investigated’ Over Trolley-Bus Case

(AGI) — Rome, Jan 28 — Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, is not under investigation over the trolley-bus case, said the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The case involved potential irregularities in awarding contracts to supply 45 trolley-buses. Public Prosecutor Paolo Ielo has reported six suspects, under investigation in the register, for alleged corruption and fraud. During questioning businessman Edoardo D’Inca Levis said a part of the alleged 6,000 euros kickback was to go to “Alemanno’s administrative office”.

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

Rehn Says Berlusconi Failed to Respect EU Commitments

Result hit real economy, says European commissioner

(see related story) (ANSA) — Brussels, January 29 — European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn on Tuesday accused ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi of deliberately ignoring Italy’s commitments to the EU when he was still at the helm of government in autumn 2011.

Berlusconi resigned as prime minister in November 2011 when Italy’s debt crisis threatened to spiral out of control, making way for outgoing Premier Mario Monti’s emergency technocrat administration.

In the months leading up to his resignation, Berlusconi’s government was involved in tense negotiations with the European Commission over the measures Italy needed to take to emerge from the crisis. Rehn said the demise of Berlusconi’s third government showed looser fiscal policy would not help countries embroiled in the eurozone crisis.

“Italy made some promises of fiscal consolidation in the middle of the summer (of 2011), in part to facilitate the European Central Bank’s intervention with its programme of buying bonds on the secondary market,” Rehn said.

“The commitment started, the ECB intervened and for a brief period, the situation improved.

“But in the autumn (of 2011) Berlusconi’s government decided not to respect Italy’s commitments any more and the result was the drying up of loans, which suffocated growth…

“This situation led to the political crisis and the Monti government”.

The commissioner added that since then Italy has regained the confidence of the money markets, following austerity measures and economic reforms introduced by Monti, and borrowing costs have come down.

“This is an example of the effect of confidence in action,” said Rehn.

Berlusconi is leading the centre right’s campaign for next month’s Italian election, but he has said he will not be premier if his coalition wins.

The centre right is second in the polls behind Pier Luigi Bersani’s centre-left coalition, although a media blitz by Berlusconi in recent weeks has narrowed the gap considerably.

Monti is also standing on a reform ticket backed by centrist parties that is vying for third place in the polls at the moment with comedian Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment Five Star Movement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Breathtaking Moment Thrill-Seeking Surfer Catches ‘World’s Biggest Wave’ Off the Coast of Portugal

This thrill-seeking surfer was but a speck on this enormous wall of water as he appeared to set a new world record for the biggest wave ever ridden.

Surfing legend Garrett McNamara caught the towering wave — believed to have measured around 100ft — off the coast of Nazare, in Portugal, yesterday.

If the claims are verified the U.S. born athlete will have beaten his own record, which was also set at Nazare, when he successfully rode a 78ft high break at the end of 2011.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Her Injuries Were Horrific, Her Throat Was Cut From Side to Side’: Judge Sentences Former Soldier to Life in Prison for Murder of Ex-Girlfriend’s Stepmother

A former soldier who murdered his ex-girlfriend’s stepmother by slashing her throat has been jailed for life.

Barach Bandavad, 38, cut 58-year-old Judith Ege’s throat from ear to ear after flipping as her and her husband arrived at his house to collect her stepdaughter Samantha’s belongings following the couple’s split.

Bandavad had been polite to special needs teacher Judith and husband Augustine when they firs arrived at his Bristol home.

But the Ministry of Defence worker turned aggressive warning them he had a gun and two knives and chillingly telling them ‘there is a need for us all to die.’

The couple tried to flee the house in the Horfield area of the city but Bandavad attacked Judith in the back of the their hired car inflicting ‘horrific’ injuries.

Bandavad denied murdering Mrs Ege on June 30 last year, but was found guilty after a two week trial at Bristol Crown Court.

He was ordered to serve a minimum of 22 years behind bars.

Sentencing Bandavad, Mr Justice Lindblom said: ‘What you did to Mrs Ege was the terrible outcome of a plan gone wrong. Her injuries were quite appalling.

‘She was in the back of the car at the time, which by now had little room left on the back seat.

‘You forced her in the area between the front and back seat, where you attacked her. There was a large quantity of blood, suggesting you forced her into that part of the car.

‘Her injuries were horrific, her throat was cut from side to side.’

The court heard how Mr and Mrs Ege had travelled from Oxfordshire to Bandavad’s home in Bristol to collect Samantha Hines’ possessions after she broke up with him…

           — Hat tip: Seneca III [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Why Should We Work? Our Parents Pay Tax So We’re Entitled to Benefits’: Couple Living Off £17,000 Handouts Say Working for the Minimum Wage is Unfair

A young couple who receive more than £17,000 a year in benefits appeared on ITV’s This Morning to defend their taxpayer-funded lifestyle.

Danny Creamer, 21, and Gina Allan, 18, who live in a comfortable two-bedroom flat in Portsmouth with their four month old daughter, Talulah Rose, say they are better off on £17k benefits and argue that unless they are able to find jobs that pay £18,000 a year or more, there’s no point in working.

The couple also hit back at those who describe them as scroungers, arguing that because their hard-working parents have paid tax all their lives, they are entitled to claim some of the money back.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Abdal Ullah and His New Power List of British Bangladeshis

If medals were awarded for networking in Tower Hamlets politics, Labour’s Abdal Ullah would walk away with all the gold on offer in Dubai. A former member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, he was elected to the council in 2006 and immediately became the borough’s Grand Chief of anti-crime, a post he held until Lutfur Rahman became mayor in 2010. Since then he’s been busying himself on his other great passion: finding a seat in Westminster. Partly to that end, he established the Labour Faith Network, which has the backing of his former tutor Lord Glasman, in the past couple of years he has helped publish the British Bangladeshi 100. This list of 100 influential business people, politicians, celebrities and others in a celebration of the influence and success of the Bengali community in Britain.

The list, which was unveiled at a reception attended by Theresa May and Chukka Umanna last week, makes for fascinating reading. It’s not numbered so it avoids the squabbles of ranking, although it’s fair to say that Lutfur has been placed literally above Rushanara Ali for a reason…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Britain is No Place for Jews

by Caroline Glick

Since I came home from London, subsequent events have borne out my dim assessment of England, and done so at break-neck pace. As one of Britain’s great righteous gentiles Douglas Murray wrote in an essay published yesterday by the Gatestone Institute, England is no longer even trying to hide its anti-Semitism. At this point, to live well in the kingdom, Jews are required to accept or at least express minimal objection to the dominant narrative that Israel is the current Nazi Germany…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Britain’s Little Anti-Semitism Problem

by Douglas Murray

How bad must things get before people notice that their country has an anti-Semitism problem? Three striking stories from recent days go some way to demonstrating that though Britain may not admit it, we have a problem…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Chief Rabbi Weighs Into Sunday Times Scarfe Cartoon Row

The chief rabbi has warned of the dangers of “inflammatory” images such as Gerald Scarfe’s Sunday Times cartoon about Benjamin Netanyahu. Lord Sacks did not go so far as calling Mr Scarfe’s drawing antisemitic. It shows the Israeli leader wielding a weapon over a wall cemented together with the blood of Palestinians. Others have labelled it reminiscent of historic blood libels against the Jews. But the chief rabbi said that regardless of the intention, the danger of publishing this type of cartoon on Holocaust Memorial Day in a respected national newspaper was that such images “reinforce a great slander of our time: that Jews, victims of the Holocaust, are now perpetrators of a similar crime. “Not only is this manifestly untrue, it is also inflammatory and deeply dangerous.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Deceit, Treachery and Hypocrisy… it Was a Grubby Day’s Work for the Left

Liberal and Labour MPs defeated a proposal to trim the Commons by 50 MPs. It would have saved us millions and equalised constituency sizes.

The professional politicos of the Left hated the thought. French aristos do not vote for the guillotine.

Come the result at 4.18pm, Labour women screamed delight. A sharp, triumphant caw, it could have been the cry of countless peacocks. Victory! They had succeeded in protecting their rotten boroughs.

Ed Miliband was escorted into the Chamber to hear the result, heavies clearing a path for their man.

Labour people say changing the constituency boundaries would cost them 20 seats, such is the current pro-Labour bias. They are comfortable with that bent state of affairs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Fears Over New Generation of ‘Brat Pack’ Police Chiefs After Government Scraps Rules Forcing Recruits to Serve as a Beat Bobby

New police recruits will not have to serve as a bobby on the beat for the first time in Britain as the rule forcing them to be join as a PC was scrapped today.

The ‘brightest and best’ will instead enter at superintendent level as part of an overhaul of recruitment rules unveiled by policing minister Damian Green.

It has raised concerns Britain’s forces will produce a generation of senior officers ‘who haven’t felt the collar’ of a criminal and lead to ‘risks to the public’, the President of the Police Superintendents’ Association Derek Barnett has said.

[…]

This brat pack of talented police officers could also become chief constables by the time they are 30 under the new Government plans.

Foreigners can also join the British police for the first time while experienced individuals from other industries like politics, business and the armed forces can be given senior jobs.

[…]

Changes would also allow individuals like American supercop Bill Bratton, who tackled gang crime and reformed policing in New York and Los Angeles, to run the Metropolitan Police.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Gang of Thieves Stole Six Miles of Copper Wiring Worth £700,000 Bringing Down Telephone Services and Hitting the Rail Network

A gang of thieves stole nearly six miles of copper cables causing more than £700,000 worth of damage, a court heard today.

Christopher Cruz, 33, and his crew ripped the wiring from train tracks and telephone lines during a four-month crime spree across London, Hertfordshire, Essex, Leicestershire and Buckinghamshire in 2011.

Five members of the gang, consisting of six men from in Basildon, Essex, were today sentenced to 12 years in jail.

The gang carried out their night-time raids between May 1 and August 30, 2011, stealing six miles of cable, weighing 31,654 lbs, from Network Rail alone.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Labour Embraces Islamist Extremists

by Lucy Lips

This blog has chronicled numerous Labour MPs helping, promoting and whitewashing extremists. The problem goes right to the top of the party. Earlier this month Ed Miliband appeared at an “invitation only” Labour event for Muslims at the London Central Mosque. For party company he had Labour MPs Sadiq Khan and Andy Slaughter, two inveterate helpers of extremists.

So who did Labour invite from the “community”? One of the guests was Mohammed Ali Harrath, the CEO of Islam Channel, a broadcasting home for hate preachers. Harrath broadcasts haters because he is one himself. For example, here he is, all smiles, with the heroes of Hamas in Gaza during one of the pro-Hamas convoys organised by Interpal, the biggest UK funder of Hamas. He’s second from left. You will also see Harrath’s sidekick Carl Arrindell, a former Interpal PR man, on the right. Arrindell too was invited to Miliband’s big “community” event…

The Islamist student group FOSIS too was invited to the event, despite its record of championing some of the very worst extremists for years on end. In fact it has been shunned by the government precisely because it is plainly part of the extremist problem. Would Labour legitimise a white student group dedicated to the promotion of hatred? Another guest was Shazia Arshad, the parliamentary officer of the poisonous Islamist hate publishing operation Middle East Monitor, which is run by former MCB officer Daud Abdullah and Ibrahim Hewitt of Interpal. Would Labour grace a hate publisher of any other kind with invitation to a “community” event?

[…]

[Reader comment by Biscuit Barrel on 30 January 2013 at about 8 am.]

Is anyone even remotely surprised by this? If you create this mythical “Muslim community” complete with “community leaders” then you are practically begging Islamists to come forward and finagle their way into positions of influence. Add to that the plethora of Muslim organisations — there seems to be one for every single Muslim in the country — the lying and deceit that goes on when grants are being dished out so that even repugnant organizations like the East London Mosque get to appear respectable by being given taxpayers money to host hate preachers, the electoral shenanigans that go on which make politicians looking at ballot results nervous of not pandering to these “community leaders” and the conflation of the mythical concept of “Islamophobia” with racism then this is the obvious end result.

[Reader comment by Sarka on 30 January 2013 at about 11 am.]

I’d just add that one alarming aspect of all this is that in relation to Muslims (their self-appointed leaders and spokesman), mainstream UK politicians have been adopting what can only be called a “foreign policy” approach to a group of domestic citizens! After all, everyone knows that in foreign policy you have to relax your standards a bit as to who you talk to — you have to accept to some extent the credentials of those presenting to you as leaders or “representatives” of their country. Only rarely would you break off relations — not attend the diplomatic dinner etc… — just because x leader or leaders are known to have pretty unpleasant views, engage in some dodginess or worse, or perhaps not have a super-clean democratic basis to their leadership positions …. When you find yourself sliding towards behaving this way to a domestic “community” (as if it were a foreign state you have to get on with), alarm bells should be ringing!

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Patrols Could Become More Prevalent and More Violent, Warns Anti-Extremist

Muslim patrols stalking British streets could become “a lot more dangerous” and perhaps even willing to maim or kill, the head of an anti-extremism organisation has warned.

As British jihadists venture abroad to capitalise on the aftermath of the Arab Spring and then return to the UK, they are likely to bring a greater level of violence back home, Maajid Nawaz, the chairman of the Quilliam Foundation, suggested. His comments follow incidents in which groups of Muslim vigilantes, dubbing themselves ‘Muslim Patrols’ have approached Londoners and demanded they behave in an Islamic way by not drinking. They have also told women to put more clothes on, claiming they are entering ‘Muslim areas’.

Their actions could be “a sign of things to come” and are part of a pattern of extremism spreading across Europe in different forms, be it far right fascism or Islamism, Mr Nawaz said. Writing in The Times, he said: “While this street-level problem festers across Europe, al-Qaeda and its affiliates are busy capitalising on the chaos of the post-Arab Spring world…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Now Thieves Who Escaped With a Caution Won’t be Barred From Jobs in Care Homes, Hospitals and Schools

People who have been given police cautions for theft will be free to work in care homes, schools and hospitals despite their criminal past, under a human rights ruling.

Currently, anybody applying to work with children or vulnerable adults must disclose any convictions or cautions they hold.

The Criminal Records Bureau checks are designed to weed out applicants who could abuse positions of trust.

But in a bombshell ruling yesterday the Appeal Court said the system was a breach of Article 8 of Labour’s Human Rights Act, the right to privacy. And it applies whether the caution was received many years ago as a child or recently as an adult.

Judges found in favour of a woman who was blocked from taking a job in a care home eight years after she received a police caution for theft from a shop in Sheffield while in her early 40s.

The Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said the decision to bar her from the job had breached her human rights.

He ruled that ‘requiring the disclosure of all convictions and cautions relating to recordable offences is disproportionate’. Her identity was kept secret.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Naked Man Who Beheaded His Mother Because He Thought She Was a Witch Made ‘Hannibal Lecter Noises’ When Arrested by Police

[WARNING: EXTREMELY Disturbing Cntent.]

A paranoid schizophrenic who killed and decapitated his elderly mother because he believed she was a witch will spend the rest of his life in a secure mental ward.

Daniel Coriat, 44, was seen wandering the streets naked like ‘a zombie’ before police found him hiding in a wheelie bin in a train station following the murder.

He told officers he was the son of God and had been living in the bin since he ‘came down from the sky two months ago’, the Old Bailey heard today.

He made ‘Hannibal Lecter suckling noises’ before snarling at officers as he was arrested and put into a police van.

Emergency services found his mother Elizabeth,76, brutally murdered at the flat they shared together in Forest Hill, south London, in March last year.

She had suffered almost 50 separate injuries and her head had been cut off completely off, rotated 180 degrees, and placed back on her body.

‘His mother was found on her bed, fully clothed, decapitated and mutilated with various weapons embedded in her head and body,’ said prosecutor Sarah Plaschkes QC.

‘There were injuries to the wrists and ankles, suggesting a crucifixion-like pattern.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Obama’s Soft Threat to Democracy and Britain

by Peter Martino

In a high-stakes gamble, British Prime Minister David Cameron said last week, in his long anticipated speech about the European Union, that he would like the EU to be an open, internal market based on nation states rather than the centralizing and protectionist supranational European superstate currently in the making. To achieve this vision, the EU treaty, which explicitly calls for “an ever closer union,” needs to be revised. Cameron promised the British public that he would renegotiate the treaty to allow Britain to opt out of centralizing EU policies. He also committed to holding a referendum on Britain’s EU membership after the renegotiation, or by 2017 at the latest…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Plans to Turn Waltham Oak Pub in Walthamstow Into a Mosque

Plans to turn a Walthamstow pub into a mosque have been submitted to Waltham Forest Council. Ghulam Rabbani, of the Manchester-based Faizan-e-Islam Trust, has applied for change of use permission for the Waltham Oak in Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow. The plans include proposals for a community hall and two single-storey extensions at the rear.

Photographs appearing to show workmen from the trust gutting and renovating the interior of the building have been posted on website Facebook.com…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Two in Three Complaints Against Banks Upheld as Record 15,000 Complaints a Week Lodged by Angry Customers

Complaints to the banking watchdog have soared to unprecedented levels as banks refuse to settle thousands of customers’ PPI disputes.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is being swamped by 15,000 a week, two thirds of which are upheld, and is having to take on an extra 1,000 staff to cope with the deluge.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Tenant Stabbed Landlord to Death and Dismembered His Body After Being Asked About Rent Arrears

[WARNING: Extremely Disturbing Content.]

A former slaughterman has been sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering his landlord and mutilating the body because he was asked about rent arrears.

Karl Bestford, 35, stabbed to death Simon Meech at his rented flat in Bensham, Gateshead.

He denied the charge but a jury at Newcastle Crown Court took two hours to deliver a guilty verdict yesterday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Algeria Doesn’t Need Lectures From Dave on Fighting Terrorism

by Con Coughlin

David Cameron can expect a frosty reception from his Algerian hosts today when he becomes the first British Prime Minister to visit the North African country since it gained independence in 1962. Mr Cameron’s visit is in response to the al-Qaeda attack on the In Amenas gas complex earlier this month in which 68 people died, including three British workers. After the Algerians refused Mr Cameron’s offers of help to end the siege — including a SAS unit — the prime minister hopes to establish a better working relationship in fighting the growing Islamist menace that is taking root in North Africa. But rather being receptive to Mr Cameron’s advances, the Algerians are more likely to want to give him a piece of their minds for helping to create the mess in the first place. So far as they are concerned, the lawlessness that is now rife in North Africa is a direct result of Mr Cameron’s decision to back the overthrow of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi two years ago.

Gaddafi might have been a monstrous tyrant, but from the Algerians’ perspective he was a valued ally in fighting al-Qaeda and other Islamist terror cells. Algeria, remember, was involved in its own bloody civil war in the 1990s after the Islamic Salvation Front attempted to impose its Islamist rule on what is a predominantly secular country. An estimated 20,000 people perished in the decade-long struggle against Islamist militants, which the secularist National Liberation Front eventually winning the battle…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Al Nur Party Joins National Unity Government Calls

(AGI) — Cairo, Jan 30 — Egypt’s fundamentalist Salafi Al Nur party took observers by surprise on Wednesday, announcing their decision to join forces with Egypt’s biggest opposition group, the National Salvation Front, in calling for the establishment of a national unity government. Al Nur is the country’s second biggest party, having secured a 20 percent share of the vote at the last round of elections, behind the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

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

Egypt: High-Schoolers Told Cannibalism Allowed

University where Obama spoke instructs in ‘this type of violence’

[**WARNING: Disturbing Content.**]

The curriculum used to instruct young Egyptian students includes permission for them to use Christians and others as lunch, according to a startling report from Walid and Theodore Shoebat, on the website for Walid Shoebat, a former Muslim Brotherhood member who is now a peace activist.

“In the future, the Egyptian Islamists will not only be conducting systematic violence, but cannibalism against Christians and moderates,” they reported, citing a video interview from a man identified as “One Egyptian scholar” that is online.

The teachings are from the curriculum coming from Al-Azhar University, “the most reputable of all Islamic schools,” according to the report that includes video from the Eretz Zen Channel.

The scholar said, “Listen also to what they teach to kids … It says … We allowed the eating of the flesh of dead humans … under necessary conditions.”

[…]

The Shoebats reported also that other incidents in the history of Egypt bear out the use of such depravity.

“If one thinks that the Muslims have evolved into a modern mindset, one must remember what took place in Ramallah in which two Israeli soldiers were beaten and tortured to death, their bodies thrown down a window to the sounds of ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and their flesh then chewed by the crowd,” they wrote.

[also see: shoebat.com/2013/01/28/islam-and-cannibalism/ ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Rape Squads of Tahrir Square: Marauding ‘State-Backed Gangs’ Are Still Terrorising Female Protesters Two Years After Revolution

[WARNING: EXTREMELY Disturbing Content.]

Sex attacks on female protesters in Egypt’s Tahrir Square are premeditated and state-backed, claims an organisation that rescues sexually assaulted female activists.

Last Friday marked the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution and the highest number of sexual crimes against women in Tahrir Square to date.

Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault (OpAntiSh), set up to rescue victims from the Square received 19 reports of group sexual assaults, six of which resulted in hospitalisation, while the worst case involved the mutilation of a woman’s genitalia with a knife.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Islamic Scholar Gamal El-Banna Dies at 93

Gamal El-Banna, liberal Islamic scholar and younger brother of Muslim Brotherhood founder, dies aged 93

Prominent Islamic scholar and author Gamal El-Banna passed away on Tuesday morning aged 93. He had been suffering from pneumonia for several weeks. El-Banna wrote over 50 books that deal not only with Islam, but also with politics, economics and the trade union movement. He was known for his controversial religious views which were criticised by mainstream Islamic scholars. For example, El-Banna believed the veil is not a Muslim obligation and that Muslim women can marry Christian or Jewish men. El-Banna was the younger brother of Hassan El-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Opposition Calls for Immediate Talks With Morsi

CAIRO, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — A leading figure in the opposition National Salvation Front (NSF), Mohamed El-Baradie, called Wednesday for holding immediate talks with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to bring an end to the worsening political crisis in the country, the state-run TV reported. “I called for an immediate meeting with president Morsi, the ministers of defense and interior, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and leaders of the Salafist parties along with the NSF to discuss the escalated violent acts in the streets,” El-Baradie said on his twitter account…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

White House Urges Lasting Solution to Egyptian Unrest

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) — The White House on Tuesday called for a lasting solution to the unfolding unrest in Egypt. “We call on all Egyptian leaders across the political spectrum to make clear that violence and looting is not acceptable and to actively work to prevent further violence,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Nevada state. “Egyptians need to engage in a peaceful process in order to reach a lasting solution to the current unrest,” he said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Britain’s Infernal Cocktail of Hate

by Melanie Phillips

With the row then still raging over the Lib Dem MP David Ward’s attack upon Jews for not learning the lessons of the Holocaust and oppressing the Palestinians, the Sunday Times published last weekend a cartoon by Gerald Scarfe depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a demonic builder walling up Palestinians with cement stained red with their blood…

In a pointed comment, Britain’s cartoon establishment honoured Brown’s drawing by designating it Political Cartoon of the Year. Today, the LibDems have merely given David Ward a mild rap over the knuckles in a yellow card censure. Scarfe and Bell will continue to have their cartoons published, and will continue to be lionised, as if nothing had happened; and Britain’s intelligentsia, BBC and other media will continue to paint Israel as brutal aggressors and the Palestinians as their victims. When future historians come to record Britain’s tragic decline, they will surely place its sickening behaviour towards the Jewish people, first under its control in Palestine and then in the State of Israel, as both symptom and cause of its moral and civilisational collapse.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Stakelbeck on Terror Show: From Samaria: Israel’s Biblical Heartland

On this week’s edition of the Stakelbeck on Terror show…the world calls it the West Bank but we call it Samaria: Israel’s Biblical heartland.

We’re on the ground in the mountains where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked to bring you the truth about those so-called “illegal settlements” that Israel is being pressured to abandon.

Click the link above to watch.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck [Return to headlines]

Erdogan Offers Mosque in Athens in Exchange for Istanbul Convent

Turkish PM offers funds for Islamic holy site in Greek capital

The seminary of Greek Orthodox studies in Halki, on the Turkish island of Heybeliada in the Marmara Sea (near Istanbul)

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — With Muslims in Greece angered by the government’s failure to build a large mosque in Athens, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is said to have offered to pay for a proper place of worship for the Greek capital’s large Muslim community as well as the numerous tourists of the same faith who visit it every year. According to Greek media outlets, the offer was addressed to his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras in a 40-minute meeting yesterday in Doha, where they were both on official visits for talks with Qatari authorities, and is the latest move by the Turkish leader to appear ever more as “the guardian of the Arab and Muslim worlds”. Samaras reportedly replied that the plan to build the Athens mosque (in a city with a 300,000-strong Muslim community) had already been approved by Parliament in September 2011, after almost 40 years of proposals and plans discussed but never approved. In any case, several analysts say that Samaras is unlikely to take Erdogan up on the offer, given the age-old hostility between the two countries. Other observers instead claim that the Turkish prime minister’s offer might become part of diplomatic maneuvering (also aiming to promote Erdogan’s image as someone attentive to the problems of the Muslim world) to settle a number of unresolved issues between Ankara and Athens, including two of particular significance. The first is the seminary of Greek Orthodox studies in Halki, on the Turkish island of Heybeliada in the Marmara Sea (near Istanbul), shut down by Turkish authorities 42 years ago.

Ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I has been trying to get it reopened for many years. The second — to which Erdogan has given special attention since becoming premier — concerns the conditions of the Turkish minority living in Western Thrace. Numbering about 120,000, they speak Turkish but are considered by Greek authorities to be “Greek citizens of the Islamic religion”. Connected is also the dispute over muftis (Muslim judicial authorities) and imams (religious leaders) between the Greek government and its Turkish counterpart — both of whom claim the right to appoint the religious leaders of the minorities living in the other’s country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

IAF Attacks Weapons Convoy on Syrian Lebanese Border Over Hezbollah Access to CW and Advanced Weapons

IAF commander Eshel noted the rising concerns of CW and conventional arms threats posed by Hezbollah and other terrorist groups gaining access to Syrian armories: “There have been tectonic movements in Syria shifting it toward collapse.” Eshel said at the Israeli Air Force Center in Herziliya. “There is a massive weapons arsenal in Syria, some of which is very advanced and some that is unconventional. All that [weaponry] could find its way to our borders.” “Governments are falling apart and that’s bringing a resurgence of terrorist activity on our borders the likes of which we haven’t seen for decades. We need to deal with a very wide scope of threats, as of today we are faced with both the conventional and unconventional, from the knife to the nuclear weapon, both near and far,” he said “in the past we may have seen these threats as residing on our borders, today it is entirely different,” noting that terrorists today could use weapons “that can reach deep into Israel, be it in the form of ground to ground missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned drones and unconventional arms.”

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Iran Moves to Secure Nuke Facilities

JERUSALEM — Iran fears Western or Israeli sabotage operations against its nuclear facilities and is currently working to strengthen the protective measures around its nuclear sites, according to Egyptian security officials.

The Egyptian security officials said they did not have any confirmation that Iran’s nuclear facility at Fordow suffered an explosion, but they were continuing to look into the reports, which originated with a WND article.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Kalili: U.N. Won’t Deny Explosions at Iran Nuke Plant

The UN backtracks on its denial of the alleged Fordo enrichment facility explosion. Further, it will not disclose that whether it has inspected the underground cascade hall at Fordo burrowed deep into a mountain near Qom, Iran. This latest WND report by Reza Kahlili indicates that President Ahmadinejad has taken action against officials of the Iranian Atomic Development Agency. Now we need satellite imagery over several days to observe whether there have been possible changes to Fordo’s surface facilities and removal of bodies of victims and treatment of survivors. Ultimately, we need time date stamped stills from the CCTV system described in the last report by Kahlili.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Lebanon: Civil Marriage Supporters Are Apostates, Grand Mufti

Fatwa after first civil union celebrated on Lebanese ground

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JANUARY 29 — Lebanon’s highest Sunni authority, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani on Tuesday issued a fatwa, or ruling, that any administrative entity recognizing a civil marriage is an apostate.

This follows on the celebration of the first such marriage in Lebanon, whose government has not recognized the union. “Any Muslim authority, MP or minister supporting civil marriage is an apostate and is outside the Muslim faith,” Lebanese media quoted Qabbani as saying.

Lebanese adoption and inheritance laws vary according to religion. Couples opting for a civil union do so abroad, then register at the interior ministry.

Newlyweds Kholoud and Nidal, one a Sunni and the other a Shiite and both the children of mixed marriages, tied the knot in their homeland last week in defiance of Lebanon’s ban on civil unions. Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said the country would not recognize the marriage as valid, because there is no law to regulate it, while President Michel Sleiman said Lebanon should introduce civil unions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Qatar: Banker to the Global Jihad

The tiny Persian Gulf sheikhdom of Qatar exerts an international influence in financial, military, political and theological affairs that’s way out of proportion to its diminutive physical presence as a peninsular appendage of Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast. Thanks to its enormous wealth, courtesy of abundant oil and natural gas reserves, Qatar has been flexing its muscles both regionally and well beyond.

Independent since 1971, this former British protectorate that is led by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, a Sandhurst Military Academy graduate, not only has been on a major spending spree, snapping up prime properties from London to China, but is also reportedly bankrolling the global jihad movement.

Home away from home since 1961 for the Muslim Brotherhood’s senior jurist, the Egyptian Yousef al-Qaradawi, Qatar is the headquarters of Al-Jazeera television. Al-Jazeera is owned by the Qatar Media Corporation and is the broadcast outlet of choice for jihadist groups from Al-Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah to the Muslim Brotherhood. Seeking access to the U.S. market for a while, Al-Jazeera just got its foot in the door to propagate its anti-American, antisemitic, terror and violence agenda with the acquisition of former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV network this January.

During his long exile in Qatar, al-Qaradawi developed a massive following across the Muslim world through use of the internet and TV. His hugely popular TV program, “Life and Islamic Law,” which airs weekly on Al-Jazeera, is viewed by tens of millions of Muslims…

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]

Saudi Vice Police Order Shops Who Employ Men and Women to Put Up Segregation Walls to Keep Them Apart

Shops in Saudi Arabia have been ordered to put up walls to separate their male and female employees in accordance with the country’s strict vice laws.

The barriers need to be at least 5ft 3in high and will keep staff from seeing and communicating with workers of the opposite sex.

This follows Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islam which prohibits men and women who are not immediate relatives from socialising.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Liebherr Builds Huge Sunshade for Grand Mosque

German crane and lifting manufacturer Liebherr has said that it has signed a contract to build a giant, folding sunshade within the courtyard of Makkah’s Grand Mosque.

The shade will cover an area of approximately 2,400m2 when fully opened. Its membrane will open at a height of 30m and will have a span of 53m. It will be stretched by eight telescoping arms that will each have a heel piece and two hydraulically extendable parts. The company said the structure is “a technologically-demanding system with intricate controls” which it has development in-house. “The development of the components and the folding mechanism constituted a substantial challenge, with the extent of the moving weights, the manufacture of the large parts and the attachment of the membrane proving to be equally challenging.”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Syria: Kidnappings Scourge Civilians Across Sectarian Lines

War feeds on personal vendettas, clan feuds, common criminality

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT, JANUARY 29 — Divided along lines of creed and ethnicity, Syrians from every community live with not only the daily threat of the civil war, but also the threat of kidnapping.

A threat that does not even spare children, and which afflicts members of every group and faction in a war that also feeds on personal and clan vendettas, settling old scores, rivalries over scarce resources, profiteering, and common criminality.

In many cases, armed groups posing as rebels or loyalist militias kidnap for extortion purposes rather than ethnic or political reasons. “We are all potential kidnap victims. If you leave the house, you may not come back,” said Manal, a 38-year-old Damascus woman. Her two children no longer go to school, but her husband leaves for work every day. “He is forced to go out, but we all fear for his fate,” said Manal.

Ahmad Uthan, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy from the Yarmak refugee camp near the capital, has disappeared without a trace. In a picture his parents posted on a Facebook page dedicated to the disappeared, Ahmad smiles: one day he left, and never came back to the camp where he lives with his family, and which is being fought over by rebels and loyalists.

While most missing persons postings on the Internet do not reveal ethnicity, the locations bespeak the fact that kidnap victims belong to all creeds and origins: Sunnis, Shiites and Christians, Alawites and Druze, Kurds and Armenians.

In some cases, the kidnappings are driven by long-simmering local feuds that predate the civil war: in the town of Nubbol, north of the city of Aleppo, seven members of the same Shiite family have been held hostage for five months by a Sunni rebel brigade. “We were kidnapped for a prisoner exchange, which has yet to be negotiated,” one of the victims, Yahiya Zamm, told Al-Arabiya pan-Arab Saudi TV. Also near Aleppo, whose surrounding countryside is majority Sunni, a dozen Lebanese Shiites from the town of Azaaz have been held for almost a year by a Sunni rebel group, which most locals identify as “vulgar bandits”. In the same way, several Sunnis from the small city of Al-Qusayr, near Homs, have been kidnapped by Shiites living near the Lebanese border: for decades, they have been fighting over distribution of farmland with their hated “cousins” in the faith.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Israel Air Force Hits Weapons Convoy Bound for Hezbollah

Northern Israel on high alert

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JANUARY 30 — Israeli Air Force hits today a weapons convoy headed from Syria to the Lebanese region under Hezbollah control, Western and local sources say. Prior to the attack, Lebanon reported a number of Israeli jets flying over its territory during the night. The activity is routine, but seems to have been stepped up after the Israeli media raised concerns over the possibility that the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons might end up in the hands of Lebanese Shia militias.

Meanwhile, Israel has imposed a state of high alert in its northern sectors. Military radio has said that sophisticated weapons — but not necessarily chemical ones — might find their way to Hezbollah from Syria. Radio Jerusalem reports a substantial increase in people picking up gas masks from distribution stations — which had been set up months ago but for the most part ignored — in some areas of Israel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria Says it Was Hit by Strikes From Israeli Planes

The Syrian government said that Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike inside its territory on Wednesday, raising the risks that the two-year-old civil conflict in Syria could spread beyond the country’s borders.

A statement by the Syrian military said that a scientific research facility in the Damascus suburbs was hit, but the precise target was unclear. Earlier news reports, confirmed by an American official in Washington, said the Israelis were targeting a truck convoy inside Syria that was bound for Lebanon.

[Return to headlines]

Tunisia Asks Saudi Arabia to Extradite Ben Ali

Request from Constituent Assembly president Ben Jafaar

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JANUARY 30 — Tunisian Constituent Assembly president Mustapha Ben Jafaar has officially asked Saudi Arabia to extradite former Tunisian president Ben Ali. The request was made during a meeting between Ben Jafaar and a Saudi government delegation under Foreign Minister Saoud Al-Faysal, who confirmed that the former dictator did not have any registered assets in Saudi Arabia. He also noted that Ben Ali is banned from making any statements, a condition of his being allowed to stay in the country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey Offers Greece to Fund Athens Mosque

Athens is one of the few European Union capitals that have no mosques for Muslims whose numbers have been estimated to stand around 300,000.

Turkish premier has said he had offered his Greek counterpart to cover costs of a mosque to be built in Athens — if the Greek government sanctioned the construction of the Islamic prayer house. “I told him that Turkey could cover the costs of a mosque in Athens if necessary permissions are granted. And Mr Samaras showed a positive attitude and said the Greek parliament had approved such a plan. We have reached to a mutual agreement that these issues can be solved through good will,” Erdogan told reporters after his meeting with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Qatar’s capital, Doha. Athens is one of the few European Union capitals that have no mosques for Muslims whose numbers have been estimated to stand around 300,000. Asked whether the issue of the Halki (Heybeliada) Seminary in Istanbul could be handled the same way, Erdogan said, “Why not, that’s possible.”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

U.S. ‘Backed Plan to Launch Chemical Weapon Attack on Syria and Blame it on Assad’s Regime’

Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.

A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme ‘approved by Washington’ is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.

Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Russia to Cut Ukraine, EU Gas in ‘Next Few Days, ‘ Expert Predicts

BRUSSELS — Russia will cut gas flows to Ukraine “in the next few days,” impacting EU countries, but only if the weather stays warm, a Ukrainian expert predicts.

Mihail Gonchar — a director of the Sevastopol-based think tank, Nomos, and a go-to source for EU diplomats in Ukraine — told EUobserver on Monday (28 January) that a huge invoice sent last week by Moscow to Kiev is the prelude to a new “gas war.”

“According to Russia’s standard practice, we must expect an acceleration of events from their side. I mean, we must expect them to cut gas supplies in the next few days or next week at the latest,” he said.

He noted that Russia’s new Nord Stream pipeline to Germany means it can attack gas-transit-state Ukraine without hurting its main EU ally.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh’s Largest Islamist Party Calls Hartal in Protest Against War Crime Trials

DHAKA, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, demanding the release of its leaders who face charges of war crimes, Wednesday called a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal for Thursday. The Jamaat-e-Islami party said in a press release that it called the hartal for unconditional release of its detained top leaders including ex-Chief Ghulam Azam.

Jamaat also demanded immediately stopping of “the mockery in the name of so called trial”, and cancellation of two war crime tribunals. Apart from Azam, the party’s spiritual leader, about a dozen other party leaders, including its chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, and ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are now facing war crimes charges before two tribunals…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Danish Troops Out of Afghanistan by End of Next Year

After troop withdrawal, Denmark will support developing civilian institutions in Afghanistan with 530 million kroner in aid annually until 2017

Denmark will end its military presence in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and instead start to focus its efforts to support the civilian population according to the government’s new two-year plan for Afghanistan. According to the foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), the withdrawal of Denmark’s approximate 650 person contribution in southern Afghanistan is necessary if the country is to regain responsibility for its own security…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Malaysia: Pygmy Elephant Calf Desperately Tries to Wake Up Dead Mother Who Was One of Ten Animals Found Poisoned

[WARNING: Extremely Disturbing Content.]

In total, ten Borneo pygmy elephants have been found dead in three weeks at the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve.

The bodies were all near to each other and while poisoning appears to be the likely cause, it has yet to be determined whether it was intentional.

The animals still had their tusks, indicating that they had not been killed by poachers, and none had gunshot wounds.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Punjab: Christian Sentenced to Death for Blasphemy Acquitted on Appeal

After Rimsha Masih, the community celebrates the release of Barkat Masih, after 18 months in prison. He had been indicted on false charges, for having fulfilled his job. The joy of human rights activists and associations: another “important precedent”. Pakistani priest: it is time to review the laws and prevent abuse.

Islamabad (AsiaNews) — After the young girl Rimsha Masih, the Pakistani Christian community can celebrate the acquittal on appeal of a man sentenced to death — without evidence and on the basis of trumped-up charges — for blasphemy. The verdict may give new vigor and hope the other victims of the “black law”, including the 46-year old mother of five, Asia Bibi, still waiting for the appeal hearing to begin. Many, in fact, are calling for a “revision” of the law, which is often used to settle personal disputes and conflicts and which caused the brutal murders of Catholic Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti and Punjab Governor Salman Taseer in 2011.

Barkat Masih, 56 (pictured), was born to a Hindu family but converted to Christianity. A native of the city of Bahawalpur in Punjab province, he was involved (although innocent) in a case of blasphemy on October 1, 2011, and was sentence in the first instance to the death penalty.

Local sources said that the man, a security guard by profession, git caught up in a workers dispute, who wanted to illegally occupy a portion of land. He prevented them from entering an office, where property documents were stored. At his refusal, two Muslim workers — Muhammad Saleem and Muhammad Shoaib — insulted and threatened him, and promised to “make him pay.”

They reported him to police, who carried arrested him on charges of having insulted the Prophet Muhammad, a crime that can lead to the death penalty under Article 295 C of the Pakistan Penal Code. However, after spending 18 months in prison on 28 January, Judge Javed Ahmed of Bahawalpur High Court upheld the appeal and acquitted the accused because the crime does not exist.

Human rights activists and Christian leaders are satisfied with the judgment, a positive signal for many similar cases in the future. The NGO World Vision In Progress, which supported the man’s defense, is happy with the verdict and speaks of “the beginning of a change.” Haroon Barkat Masih, president of the Masihi Foundation, points out that the blasphemy laws are exploited to “target the marginalized communities” and that charges “are tantamount to a death sentence.” For this reason he hopes that the case is an important “precedent” and that “necessary changes” be made to the law. Finally, Fr. Nawaz George, a priest of the Diocese of Lahore, committed to defending the rights of Christians, expresses his “delight” at the release of an “innocent person” who kept “firm in his faith.” “We hope that this fact — he concludes — may bring new hope to people who are in prison, waiting for justice to be done.”

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

Pentavalent Vaccine Killing Children in India, Vietnam

(NaturalNews) A group of academics, professors, public health teachers and pediatricians concerned about deaths following the administration of the Pentavalent vaccine is requesting that health officials have it withdrawn from the vaccination schedule in India.

The vaccine, which is a combination of DPT, Hib and Hep B, was recently introduced in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in southern India, following a recommendation by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, according to the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, a private investigative agency specializing in “victims and witnesses of medical and scientific corruption.”

In a letter to national health officials, the group said there had been concern over the safety of the vaccine, so it was only introduced in two states, in order to monitor its safety.

[…]

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, the group of experts examined deaths following administration of the vaccine, reporting that they could not find an alternative cause for the deaths except the vaccine.

“It is for us as experts and the Union government to look at all these seemingly isolated instances of deaths in a comprehensive manner to see the underlying pattern and act if needed,” says the letter. “Considering that the vaccine is given to a large number of children who are well, it is crucial that they be completely safe.”

“As doctors, we are aware that most medicines have some side effects, but repeated instances of deaths as side effect from a vaccination program for a disease that itself can be treated with antibiotics cannot be acceptable,” said the group.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pentagon May Have Funded Iran Fuel Sales to Afghan Army

Sometimes, I wonder who is minding the store at the Department of Defense (DoD). Such is the case with a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on findings that between 2007 and 2012, the Pentagon funded $1.1 billion in fuel purchases for the Afghan National Army (ANA). Afghanistan gets nearly half of its fuel from Iran; the balance comes from Russia and Turkmenistan. Thus, the DoD may have inadvertently violated prohibitions under Economic sanctions against trade with the Islamic Republic for its pursuit of nuclear enrichment and weapons development. Congress will have a field day with this. I can just see CENTCOM and the State Department squirming while they are skewered by the SIGAR findings. Maybe we should have the Afghan government skim the ANA fuel costs off their take of the country’s massive drug trade. What the Pentagon has is an exploding SIGAR.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Shah Rukh Khan Article Sparks War of Words Between India and Pakistan

Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood superstar, has found himself caught in a verbal spat between India and Pakistan over security for Muslims.

The controversy erupted after Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik suggested that New Delhi beef up the actor’s security after Khan wrote an account of how it felt to be a Muslim in India. In the article, Khan wrote that sometimes he became “the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in India”. New Delhi reacted sharply to Malik’s comments, with Indian politicians and officials suggesting he should concentrate on the security of Pakistani citizens. “Malik would be better served bothering about the internal situation in Pakistan and introspecting about the minorities there,” said Manish Tewari, India’s information and broadcasting minister…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Hackers in China Attacked the Times for Last 4 Months

For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.

After surreptitiously tracking the intruders to study their movements and help erect better defenses to block them, The Times and computer security experts have expelled the attackers and kept them from breaking back in.

The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings.

[Return to headlines]

Aussie Muslims Lament Anti-Islam Hysteria

CAIRO — An umbrella Muslim body has lamented the hysteric public opposition to the building of mosques in Australia, calling for concerted efforts to promote a better understanding of Islam. “People are clearly fearful of Muslims and Islam,” Nazeem Hussain, a board member of the Islamic Council of Victoria, told Herald Sun on Tuesday, January 29. “And it’s easy to create that fear and hysteria in some ways.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Fiji: Muslims Reminded of Teachings

CHIEF Justice Anthony Gates highlighted the importance of Prophet Mohammed’s teaching during celebrations to mark the prophet’s birthday at the Fazal e Umar Mosque in Samabula yesterday. Justice Gates said the study of the life of the holy prophet would provide guidance on the strength and tolerance that civil and religious leadership must bring to bear to cool passions and reassure their people. “I see that the motto of the Jama’at is ‘love for all hatred for none’, it does not say ‘love for all Muslims and hatred for no other sects of Muslims,” Mr Gates said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Monash Councillors Approve Mosque, Call Opponents ‘Unaustralian’

MONASH councillors last night questioned residents’ hysteria regarding the Muslim faith as they approved a mosque in a Clayton street.

Several councillors said they were disappointed a proposal for a one-storey mosque in Beddoe Ave, Clayton, had been drawn into the public eye. The plans were brought before the council by Mulgrave ward Cr Robert Davies, who said the mosque would be built in an inappropriate location and impact adversely on residents. But the city’s other ten councillors disagreed, voting to approve the plans in front of a packed council chambers…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Mali War Won’t Stop the Music, Festival in the Desert on Tour

The yearly Tuareg-hosted event to resist Islamic extremism

(ANSAmed) — ROME — Nothing, not even the war, can stop the music in Mali. The yearly Tuareg-hosted Festival in the Desert, which is traditionally held every January in the fabled city of Timbuktu, will be an itinerant one this year, organizers told ANSAmed. Two caravans, one moving towards the east and one towards the west, will depart on February 7, stopping in Mauritania, Algeria, and Niger before meeting up in Burkina Faso. “We took this decision to show the extremists in the north of our country, who have banned every form of entertainment, music and dance, even forbidding people to laugh on the street, that the Festival in the Desert is not stopping. Our traditions cannot be erased,” festival director Manny Ansar told ANSAmed. Like fellow artists from northern Mali, many of whom have fled to the capital, Bamako, or to refugee camps, Ansar has not set foot in Timbuktu for years.

Founded to link northern and southern artists and open northern Mali to the world after the Tuareg insurrections of the 1990s, the festival has attracted legendary international musicians such as U2’s Bono and Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant, who called it “one of the cleanest events I’ve participated in for a long, long time.” But over the past 6 years, the festival has come under attack by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), driving festival-goers and performers away, Ansar explained.

“The festival became harder and harder to organize, because of AQIM’s threats against and kidnappings of Western tourists and music lovers,” Ansar said. This is why this year’s festival, in a reduced version featuring just 20 acts, meets up in Burkina Faso, which is safer for the Western public and artists alike.

“The government in Bamako and the international community are responsible for this. They did nothing for decades. They allowed the situation to degenerate,” Ansar accused. “Islamic extremists are a threat to the whole world. Not just the Sahara, the Maghreb and Mali, but Somalia and Yemen too. If they’re not stopped, they will soon take over all of Africa.” The Festival in the Desert may tour to Abu Dhabi or Qatar in March, and will definitely make its yearly summer stop in Florence. “We have many friends who have supported us for years in Florence and in Italy,” Ansar said. “This year, other Italian festivals and venues have made themselves available to us.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mali: Al Qaeda’s Timbuktu Prison Where Women Locked Up and Lashed for Being Immodest

A Malian woman has spoken of how she was thrown into an Islamist prison and given 15 lashes a day for letting a veil slip off her head.

Residents in Timbuktu have been speaking for the first time of a rule of fear under Al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels, who had controlled the city until it was re-taken by French and Malian troops at the weekend.

People have been openly smoking on the city’s streets for the first time in months — something that would have earned them swift retribution only a few days ago.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mali: French Troops Reach Kidal Airport

French troops have entered Kidal, the last major town in their lightning drive to rout Islamist fighters from northern Mali, military officials said Wednesday.

The arrival in Kidal comes days after the French-led capture of Gao and Timbuktu in a three-week offensive that Paris now hopes to wind down and hand over to African troops.

“French elements were deployed overnight in Kidal,” French army spokesman Thierry Burkhard told AFP in Paris. Several sources reported earlier that French troops had landed at the airport of Kidal. “We confirm that French aircraft are on the Kidal landing strip and that protection helicopters are in the sky,” said a regional security source…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Mali: Confronting Al-Qaeda

As we have seen in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, winning the war is the easy bit. Bringing political stability to a war-ravaged country is immeasurably more difficult

To date, the French military intervention in Mali can be judged to have been a success. More than a week into the campaign, the French have taken the historic city of Timbuktu without a shot being fired, and dispersed the groups of al-Qaeda fighters who only a few weeks ago were threatening to seize control of the country. There is still the possibility that French forces will encounter stiff resistance when they tackle the last rebel stronghold at Kidal, although the likelihood is that the insurgents will disappear into the desert to fight another day.

But, as we have previously seen in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, winning the war is the easy bit: bringing political stability to a war-ravaged country is immeasurably more difficult. The Government’s decision to send 240 military personnel as part of an EU mission to train Malian and West African forces is a recognition that, unless such support is forthcoming, the region has little hope of keeping al-Qaeda militants at bay once the French have completed their mission and withdrawn their forces…

[Reader comment by limeyexpat on 29 January 2013 at 6:23 pm.]

Rather than worrying about what is going on in yet another sand pit that means nothing to us, we should be spending the time, man power and resources to seek out and excise the Al Qaida scum we have festering in our own cities.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Mali: Britain ‘Risks Being Drawn Into Afghan-Style Conflict’

Britain risks being dragged into a drawn out Afghan-style conflict in Mali, MPs warned after David Cameron announced that up to 330 troops would be sent to north Africa in the fight against al-Qaeda.

In a significant escalation of Britain’s military commitment to the region, Downing Street said that up to 330 troops would go to Mali and neighbouring countries. Up to 40 will be based in Mali, training government troops as they support the French-led intervention against the country’s al-Qaeda-linked rebels. Another 200 will be sent to train soldiers in other African countries so they can join the assault. Britain will also share intelligence and offer a roll-on roll-off ferry to carry French equipment to Mali. A joint logistics headquarters could also be established with France…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Muslims Burn Catholics Alive in Nigeria

[WARNING: *** EXTREMELY DISTURBING CONTENT. ***]

Shameful U.S. media is asleep at the wheel again

I was gut punched and reminded yet again of the horrifying truth of Islam and its tactics worldwide. Thanks to Ruth White the fearless editor and publisher of BreakingNewsJournal[url] I saw the photo (WARNING: Graphic photo] below of those burned alive simply for not being Muslim and practicing a different faith.

Father Jaun Carlos Martos commented: “This is a brutal example of how far the struggle between Muslims and Catholics in Nigeria has reached. Muslims determined to impose their ‘religion’ all over Africa as well as in other continents and countries of the world have but one goal: rule the world at any cost!”

Ruth White tried to get the truth out of this International hate crime but was stunned at the response, basically nothing. She then trying to post the photo on Facebook but that didn’t work either. The photo was classified as ‘pornographic’ ‘violent’ or ‘inappropriate’, thus she was not allowed to publish it to provide proof of the unbelievable human rights violations going on as we speak in Nigeria. It is genocide against Christians of all kinds and where is the U.N?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Uganda: Muslims Want Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Declared Public Holiday

Last Thursday (January 24) was Prophet Muhammad’s birthday, which passed without many Muslims in the country noticing, apart from a few hundreds that gathered at Kibuli mosque, where the Maulid-al-Nabbi (the birth of the prophet) was commemorated. The day, which may be the equivalent of Christmas to Christians, falls on the 12th day of the third month of the Islamic calendar (Rabbi-ul-Awwal) and is marked as a public holiday in most Islamic countries. But because its observance lacks a basis in the Islamic teachings, many Muslims don’t attach much importance to it…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Argentina Rebuffs Israeli Anger Over 1994 Bombing Probe

BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) — Argentina said Tuesday that it “vehemently rejected” Israel’s demand for explanations on a joint commission set up by Argentina and Iran to probe the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires. “The attack suffered by our people on July 18, 1994 did not involve any Israeli citizen. The victims were mostly Argentine citizens and include six Bolivians, two Poles and a Chilean,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Earlier in the day, Argentina’s Ambassador Carlos Garcia to Israel was summoned to the foreign ministry for a clarification talk on the Memorandum of Understanding signed Sunday between Argentina and Iran…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Brazil: Troops Bulldoze Homes, Leave Thousands Homeless

Soldiers wearing U.N. logos evict whole towns in land grab

Thousands of poor Brazilian families are living in wretched conditions at make-shift refugee camps after being evicted from their homes at gunpoint by federal forces, some of whom were sporting United Nations logos, according to sources.

The massive operation, which left an estimated 7,500 or more people, including thousands of children, homeless was justified by authorities under the guise of creating an Indian reservation.

Towns literally have been wiped off the map, and no compensation was offered to the victims. About 400,000 acres of land were expropriated in the latest operation.

Leaders of the feeble resistance, meanwhile, are being hunted down by authorities for punishment.

Most refused to leave, but heavily armed Brazilian troops and federal police were too powerful for the poor farmers in the area to resist.

“The evicted victims are now living at schools in Alto da Boa Vista and camps, with some being sheltered by relatives,” Naves Bispo, a local resident and victim of the land-grab scheme, told WND, adding that the situation was dire and deteriorating.

“None of the people were relocated by the government, despite the government’s lies,” he noted. “There never existed a plan for these people, there was just an expulsion: brief, brutal and grotesque.”

Like other victims and analysts who spoke with WND, Bispo was unsure about why Brazilian authorities had decided to create an Indian reservation on land that was never occupied by Indians and was already lawfully owned.

[Comment: Long article, but well worth reading. This is a taste of what will happen in America if the 2nd amendment is ignored/removed. The situation in Brazil is Communism in action — remember under Communism all property belongs to the state. Twice in the last two weeks Communist China propaganda has called for disarming of Americans. The possibility of resistance is why communists in the US and around the world hate the 2nd amendment.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Blair Award for Helping Poles Move to UK

In Britain, there is anger at the legacy of Labour’s stance on immigration but in Poland, Tony Blair is being hailed.

Former prime minister Tony Blair has been given an award in Poland for helping its people come to work in Britain.

Mr Blair was honoured with a special prize for his support of Poland during the annual Polish Business Leaders’ Awards in Warsaw.

He was hailed for backing Polish efforts to join the European Union, opening up Britain to Polish workers and improving its trade links with the UK.

The prize will raise eyebrows given the criticism at home of Mr Blair’s approach to immigration during his time in Downing Street.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has recently admitted his party was wrong to relax controls, which allowed hundreds of thousands of foreigners to move to the UK.

Mr Blair was not at the ceremony and his trophy — a golden statuette — was accepted on his behalf by Britain’s ambassador to Poland, Robin Barnett.

The now Middle East peace envoy did record a video message for the audience of around 2,000 at the National Opera House in Warsaw.

He reportedly said: “I have a lot of admiration for Poland and the Polish people.”

He also praised the Business Centre Club, the group of 2,500 commercial leaders that organises the annual awards, for its “fantastic work” at a “tough time economically”.

The award, which is referred to as the “Special Prize”, has previously been given to Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton and Bertie Ahern.

It is always given to someone outside the business world who is considered to have helped Poland.

Mr Blair shared this year’s trophy with former defence minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz and former deputy prime minister Janusz Steinhoff.

The UK was one of only three EU member states to open up their labour markets to Polish nationals when Poland officially joined the group in May 2004.

Ministers at the time predicted only 15,000 Poles a year would move to Britain but this turned out to be a huge underestimate.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show the Polish-born population of the UK soared from 75,000 to 532,000.

Mr Blair recently defended his record on immigration, insisting: “Overall I would like to say that I thing immigration has been good for Britain.”

           — Hat tip: Nick [Return to headlines]

Cost of Giving Illegal Immigrants Path to Citizenship Could Outweigh Fiscal Benefits

“If anyone’s going to be deported, it’s going to be you! … Get out! We are the future. You’re old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you — leave like beaten rats. You old white people, it is your duty to die. Right now, we’re already controlling those elections, whether it’s by violence or nonviolence. Through love of having children we’re going to take over.”

—Augustin Cebada, information minister of Brown Berets, militant para-military soldiers of Aztlan shouting at U.S. citizens at an Independence Day rally in Los Angeles.

Judge Andrew Napolitano on the Jon Stewart Show, November 15, 2012: He is for open borders. Said people are born to move freely about. Right, judge. That includes rapists, murderers and terrorists.

You’ve probably heard there is yet another immigration “reform” agreement headed up by four members of the Democratic/Communist Party USA and four Republicans:

Schumer, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans McCain, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Earllier this date I called my unlawfully seated Senator, John Cornyn, and told his staff in DC and Lubbock, TX, this:…

[Return to headlines]

Critics: Obama Has Already Installed ‘Amnesty’

But Krikorian, writing about the illegal population in the U.S. that is estimated anywhere from 10 million to 20 million, earlier this month cited several actions already taken by the Obama administration.

First was the release of 8,500 illegal alien criminals over the past four years who committed “vicious crimes” and were supposed to be deported. The Boston Globe reported in December that the detainees — convicted of murder, rape and other crimes — were released mainly because their home countries would not take them back.

Then were was a “quasi-amnesty” that Obama implemented through his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which gives special privileges to illegal aliens under 30. One of the applicants for help was Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, an illegal-alien registered sex offender found to have been working for New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, Krikorian noted.

[Comment: The mass release of criminals into society is a communist modus operandi — it’s done to destabilize countries that are targeted for communist takeover.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Malkin: Amnesty Gang Throws Law-Abiders Under the Bus

President Obama and the bipartisan Gang of Eight in Washington who want to create a “pathway to citizenship” for millions of illegal aliens have sent a message loud and clear to those who follow the rules: You’re chumps!

Have you patiently waited for months and years for the State Department and Department of Homeland Security to slog through your application? You’re chumps!

Have you paid thousands of dollars in travel, legal and medical fees to abide by the thicket of entry, employment, health and processing regulations? You’re chumps!

Have you studied for your naturalization test, taken the oath of allegiance to heart, embraced our time-tested principle of the rule of law, and demonstrated that you will be a financially independent, productive citizen? You’re chumps!

Unrepentant amnesty peddlers on both sides of the aisle admit their plan is all about votes and power.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Polish is Britain’s Second Language and Nearly One in Five People in London Only Speak English as a Second Tongue

Polish is the now the second language in England and Wales with more than half a million speakers.

New figures from the 2011 Census also revealed 140,000 could not speak English at all.

More than one in five people in London said English was not their first language and in all but three London boroughs in the capital more than 100 main languages were listed.

Polish was the second most commonly reported main language in England and Wales with 546,000 speakers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rubio’s Amnesty a Path to Oblivion for GOP

Strangely, some Republicans seem determined to create more Democratic voters, too. That will be the primary result of Sen. Marco Rubio’s amnesty plan.

IT’S NOT AMNESTY! Rubio’s proponents cry. They seem to think they can bully Republicans the way the Democrats do, by controlling the language.

Rubio’s bill is nothing but amnesty. It isn’t even “amnesty thinly disguised as border enforcement.” This is a wolf in wolf’s clothing.

Despite all the blather about how Rubio demands “Enforcement First!” the very first thing his proposal does is make illegal aliens legal. (Don’t call them “illegal aliens”!)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Tony Blair is a National Hero (If You Are Polish!)

Former PM given award by country for helping thousands come to live in Britain

In Britain, his ‘open door’ immigration policies have been criticised by all sides.

But in Poland, which was transformed by entry into the EU, Tony Blair is feted as a hero.

And yesterday the former Prime Minister was handed a special award for helping hundreds of thousands of Poles come to live in the UK.

He was honoured with the gong at the annual Polish Business Leaders Awards ceremony in Warsaw.

[…]

Between December 2003 and December 2010 the Polish-born population of the UK increased from 75,000 to 532,000.

Latest census figures reveal that the number of Poles living in Britain now stands at 625,000.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: They Say It’s Impossible to Cut Immigration. They’re Wrong

What can be done about immigration? The accepted answer in many quarters is: nothing. Twenty years ago, there used to be a similar consensus in the Home Office about crime: it’s bound to go up, so all anyone in government can do is manage expectations, and try to persuade people to live with it. If you try to do anything else, you will fail.

This attitude is on show again in the latest report from the Institute for Public Policy Research. It predicts that after a small fall, net immigration (the total number of people arriving here, minus the total leaving) will rise inexorably as the Government “runs out of options for reducing immigration in any significant way”, not least because of the constraints of EU membership. The clear implication is that we had better get used to having around 200,000 additional foreigners coming to live here every year — or about a million extra people every five years, most of them squashed into the South East of England.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

“Hidden Voices” Brings Awareness to LGBT Muslims

The Union is presenting Midnight Madness this Thursday, January 31, from 6-12 pm inside The Union construction site. Students can walk around and see the progression of the dorms. Parking will be in the residency parking lot outside The Union. There will be a DJ, free food, games, and prizes! So come on by! “The Union is a very big deal for the University of Michigan-Dearborn because it is an opportunity to make life easier for students on campus,” says Steve Ostipow, General Manager of The Union…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Colonel Explains What Happens When Men, Women Are Together in Combat

Maginnis is not surprised that the military is already lowering standards to accommodate what he considers a policy dictated by cultural politics rather than what’s best for U.S. national security, noting that sliding standards have already been imposed at service academies, on submarines and in special forces.

“All these jobs have been gender-normed, and when you gender-norm something so that you can satisfy the weakest of the two, you end up with a weaker military,” Maginnis said. “We should not be trifling with national security. This is not about jobs. This is about a political agenda pushed by feminists so they can break the glass ceiling. They think the military is the last bastion in which that exists.

“But we all depend upon our armed forces, and the moms and dads of America need to understand the consequence of this is that their 18-year-old daughter will be registering for the draft just like their 18-year-old sons in the future,” said Maginnis, noting the only thing stopping that is the policy the Obama administration now wants to scrap.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Governor Cuomo Promotes Unlimited Late-Term Abortions

This bill, if passed, would allow unlimited late term abortions for reasons other than a life and death situation with the mother. As it stands currently, abortions are prohibited after 24 weeks in New York City.

With a dearth of doctors willing to perform abortions, this bill would allow any “licensed heal-care practitioner” to practice an abortion. Abortions are— despite what the Left tells us—a dangerous procedure for the woman. Allowing unqualified doctors to perform these procedures will ultimately harm more women.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Late Term Abortion Procedure Which Governor Cuomo Promotes Expanding

[****** WARNING: Extremely Disturbing Content. ******]

“After dilating the cervix, the physician will grab the fetus by its feet and pull the fetal body out of the uterus into the vaginal cavity. At this stage of development, the head is the largest part of the body. . . . the head will be held inside the uterus by the woman’s cervix. While the fetus is stuck in this position, dangling partly out of the woman’s body, and just a few inches from a completed birth, the physician uses an instrument such as a pair of scissors to tear or perforate the skull. The physician will then either crush the skull or will use a vacuum to remove the brain and other intracranial contents from the fetal skull, collapse the fetus’ head, and pull the fetus from the uterus.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Study Shows Abortion Linked to High Breast Cancer Risk

A study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention shows abortion increases the risk of breast cancer for women.

C. Yanhua of the First Peoples’ Hospital of Kunming in Yunnan province and his colleagues found the abortion-breast cancer association after comparing data from 263 cases of breast cancer and 457 controls without the disease. Their analysis covers the years 2009-2011.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Adultery Debate on This Morning Turns Nasty as Sex Therapist With Four Lovers Calls ITV Agony Aunt Denise Robertson a Battleaxe

What should have been a colourful debate on This Morning turned nasty today when the sex therapist invited onto the show unleashed a personal attack on the show’s resident agony aunt.

Louise van der Velde, who recently spoke out to slam marriage as ‘for mugs’ appeared on the breakfast show to defend her claims that marriage is an outdated concept — and that couples would be much happier if they were allowed to seek sexual satisfaction elsewhere.

But when the This Morning agony aunt Denise Robertson replied that she believed unless both couples agreed on an open marriage they should remain faithful, Louise van der Velde turned on her, calling her ‘out of touch’ and an ‘old battleaxe’.

[…]

The insult came about after Louise had spoken out to defend her choice to have four lovers. But as a single woman, Phillip argued Louise was welcome to have as many lovers as she liked.

Denise agreed, saying, ‘If a single person wants to have sex with 74 people in a week, it’s none of my business.

‘If a married couple agree they both want to have sex elsewhere, it’s none of my business. But when one person in a marriage wants to sleep with someone else but the other doesn’t, it can cause great pain.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Insecticide ‘Unacceptable’ Danger to Bees, Report Finds

Systemic insecticides known as neonicotinoids have become the fastest growing insecticides in the world. Two prominent examples, imidacloprid and clothianidin, are used as seed treatments in hundreds of crops. Virtually all of today’s genetically engineered Bt corn, for instance, is treated with neonicotinoid insecticides.

Bee colonies began disappearing in the United States shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed these new insecticides on the market, and a debate has since been raging over whether or not these chemicals are indeed contributing to the serious honeybee die-offs that have been occurring around the world.

[…]

The European Commission asked EFSA to assess the risks associated with the use of three common neonicotinoids — clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam — with particular focus on:

  • Their acute and chronic effects on bee colony survival and development
  • Their effects on bee larvae and bee behavior
  • The risks posed by sub-lethal doses of the three chemicals

One of the glaring issues that EFSA came across was a widespread lack of information, with scientists noting that in some cases gaps in data made it impossible to conduct an accurate risk assessment. Still, what they did find was “a number of risks posed to bees” by the three neonicotinoid insecticides.

[…]

Neonicotinoid insecticides are known as systemic chemicals because they disrupt the central nervous system of insects, leading to paralysis and death. It’s been suggested that even sub-lethal doses of the insecticides may be negatively impacting bees.

Because neonicotinoids are water soluble and very pervasive, they get into the soil and groundwater where they can accumulate and remain for many years and generate long-term toxicity to the hive. They enter the vascular system of the plant and are carried to all parts of it, as well as to the pollen and nectar. Neonicotinoids affect insects’ central nervous systems in ways that are cumulative and irreversible. Even minute amounts can have profound effects over time.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Murderer’s Honor

The story of Islam is a murder mystery. It’s not the kind of murder mystery where you wonder who did it, but when it will end. The detective peering with his magnifying glass at a scrap of fiber left behind on the carpet or a curly piece of hair caught in the door isn’t really trying to sort out who did it. He knows who did it. The great mystery that consumes him is how to make the killer stop.

The more the murderer is resisted, the angrier he becomes. The failure to kill forces him to take refuge in myth. He begins inventing glorious stories of his battles complete with poems and epic battles. There are sacred deaths with drops of blood falling like jewels and doves ascending into the sky. Every man becomes a lion and every enemy a monstrous eater of children. Eventually the story becomes his whole reason for being. It is a tale that is passed down through the tribe until countless of the murderer’s descendants derive their identity from the story. Until they are all murderers.

Having been thwarted, the murderer cannot stop. The failure to kill has left him powerless, no better than a woman or an infidel. It causes him to doubt the worth of his religion and his people. It robs life of its sweetness. The only way to heal his trauma is to finish what he started. The only way for him to be at peace is to be at war.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/30/2013

  1. no one really minds the poles being here.
    they will work and are freindly and polite, at least, that is my experience of them.
    we went to war for their liberty, they appreciate that even today.
    the problem(s) lay with others, who come here to live off our work whilst defiantly refusing to work themselves.
    a group of people whe seem to share a common religious heritage, a religion that is hostile to all that is civilised and reasonable.
    a group with which, one way or another, there will have to be a reckoning (without trying to sound like a certain fascist).

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