Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/2/2013

According to the latest polls, public support in Serbia for joining the EU has fallen to 41%, the lowest figure in eleven years. Most of the political parties in parliament want Serbia to join the EU, but popular sentiment is now against it.

In other news, President Obama arranged a photo-op in which he was seen shooting skeet with a shotgun, in an attempt to change his image as an opponent of guns.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, KGS, Mary Abdelmassih, Steen, Vlad Tepes, 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
» A Century of Income Taxation: Vastly More Revenue, Even Vaster Debt
» Court Summons Bank of Italy Officials Over MPS
» Italy: Prosecutors to Investigate Central Bank, Consob in MPS Case
» Party Leader Questions Independence of Bank of Italy
» Shocking Numbers That Show the Media is Lying to You About Unemployment in America
» The Netherlands Nationalises Financial Services Group SNS Reaal
 
USA
» Another Potential School Tragedy Avoided… by Armed Guard
» Biden: “Obama Sends Me Places Where He Doesn’t Want to Go”
» Department of Homeland Security Targets Gun Collector
» Designers Help Make Young Muslims Hip in Their Hijabs
» Dr. On Healthcare for Muslims
» Enviros Respond to Obama’s Inaugural Call With “History’s Biggest Climate Rally”
» Government and Top University Studies: Fluoride Lowers IQ and Causes Other Health Problems
» Hollywood’s Intentional Ignorance of the Crimes of Communist and Muslim Regimes
» Is Martial Law the Ultimate Goal?
» Mark Levin Explodes: ‘The Muslim Brotherhood Has Infiltrated Our Gov’t — It’s Called Barack Obama’
» McCain and Schumer Move to Force Americans to Use Biometric ID for Employment
» MSNBC Urges Viewers to Boycott Gun Manufacturers
» Muslims Feel Targeted After Phila. School Kidnapping
» Obama Closing Air Defense System on U.S./Mexico Border: America More Vulnerable to Low Altitude Attack
» Obama and the Communists: How They Censored Their Own Website to Protect the President
» Obama Pushing Aspartame on Grade Schoolers
» Ready or Not
» State Department Uses Muslim Brotherhood Front Groups to Recruit Foreign Service Officers
» The Most Romantic Train Station in the World Turns 100
» The Voice of Moderate Muslims
» Video: Ted Cruz on Fire! “Slaughters” Chuck Hagel, During Defense Sec. Confirmation Hearings
» White House Releases Photo of President Skeet Shooting in an Attempt to Silence Gun Lobby Critics
 
Europe and the EU
» Extreme Right Radicals Seeking More Visible Presence in Finland
» Francois Hollande to Remove Word ‘Race’ From French Constitution
» Italian Banking Association Appoints Mussari’s Replacement
» Italy: Mafia Boss May be Buried in Corleone Mayor’s Tomb
» Italy: Sybaris Authorities Appeal for Help After Recent Flooding
» Italy: Pompeii Protesters March Against New Tourist Bus Tax
» Italy: Milan’s Historic San Babila Theatre to Close
» Italy: Building Managers Who Shame Tenants Can be Sued, Court Rules
» Italy: Leftist Party Declares “Revolution” Against Criminal Assets
» Italy: Former German Officer Stork Accused of Ordering 117 Executions
» Italy: Centre Left’s Lead Over Berlusconi Narrows, New Poll Shows
» Italy: Berlusconi Files Impediment Claim in Sex Trial
» Italy: Monti on F35s: “Populism Has No Place in Defence Issues”
» Lavazza Unveils Big ‘Espression’ Espresso Push in U.K.
» Norwegian Muslim Leaders: Jewish-Run Media ‘Ruins’ Muslims’ Reputation
» Over-Charged Water Bills to be Reimbursed in Italy
» Poland: ‘The Church’s Hidden Sin’
» UK: ‘Monday: Got Stalked, Again’: Facebook Fears of Schoolgirl, 12, ‘Before She Was Abducted by Two Men’
» UK: ‘Blinded by a Contact Lens’: Mother Has Left Eye Removed After Contracting Aggressive Infection
» UK: British Muslims Honoured at Celebration Event
» UK: Conservative Councillor Suspended for Alleged Racism Against Muslims
» UK: Divorce Cases Could be Settled by Sharia and Religious Courts After Landmark High Court Ruling Over Jewish Couple’s Dispute
» UK: Girls in East Lancashire Take Part in World Hijab Day
» UK: Girl Had Sex Encounters With “Hundreds” Of Men, Old Bailey Hears
» UK: How Serious is the Conspiracy to Bring Down Prime Minister David Cameron?
» UK: Hijab for a Day: Non-Muslim Women Who Try the Headscarf
» UK: Man in His 20s Stabbed in Court by Masked Gang When He Got Stuck in Revolving Door as He Tried to Flee Armed Youths
» UK: New Street Protest Movement to Hold Demo Against Abu Qatada?
» UK: Paranoid Schizophrenic With History of ‘Extreme Violence’ Stabbed Man 17 Times With Samurai Sword While on Trial Release Because He Believed Victim ‘Was Reading His Thoughts’
» UK: PM Defends Osborne as Anger Grows
» UK: Save it, Dave
» UK: Tycoon is Found After Eight Months Missing… With ‘Thief’ Carved Into His Forehead
» UK: Times Reveals High Court’s Shock Sharia Decision
 
Balkans
» Serbia: Support for EU Adhesion Falls to 41%
 
North Africa
» Abducted Egyptian Christian Girl Possibly Smuggled to Libya
» Al-Qaida in North Africa Not About to Quit
» Egypt: Marches in Alexandria Head Towards Local Municipality
» Egypt: Protesters Clash With Security Guards Outside Presidential Palace
» Islamists Chase Nuns From Libya, People Pray for Their Return
» Minister Must Go Over Egyptian Beating: Opposition
» One Dead in Clashes Outside Egypt’s Presidential Palace: Media
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: About the Next Government
» From Italy and France ‘Musical Bridges’ For Palestinian Kids
 
Middle East
» 46-Year-Old Kidnapped in Lebanon’s Metn
» A Report Confirms Israeli Attack on Possible Syrian CW/BW Complex
» Iran: Is Iran’s Space Monkey a Fake?
» Saudi Arabia: Riyadh: A Wall to Divide Women and Men Working in Lingerie Shops
» Saudi Preacher Gets Off Light for Raping, Killing Daughter
» Society: Turkish Families Get Smaller, Survey Shows
» ‘Syria Falling to Pieces’, Special Envoy Brahimi Says
» Terror Attack on U.S Embassy in Turkey: Westerners Warned to ‘Be Vigilant’ As Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up at Security Gates
» Turkey Says Tests Confirm Leftist Bombed U.S. Embassy
» Turkey: Suicide Bomb Outside US Embassy in Ankara
» US Ambassador to Turkey: ‘We Will Fight Terrorism Together’
 
South Asia
» India: Karnataka: Hindu Fundamentalists Convention: The Fears of Christians
» Malaysia’s Port Klang to Become Southeast Asia’s Largest Transit Hub for Islamic Products
» Scientist: Hijacking Risk to Pakistan Nukes
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Mali: Dispatch: Inside Timbuktu, The City Freed From Its Al-Qaeda Tormentors
» Nigeria: 17 Boko Haram Members, Soldier Die in JTF Raids
» Uganda: Five Terrorists Still Missing — Police
 
Latin America
» Falkland Islands: Malvinas Self-Determination Referendum ‘Illegal’: Argentina
» UK Accuses Argentina of Becoming ‘Fanatical’ Over Falklands as They Say No to Discussions With William Hague Over Future Because Islanders Will be Present
 
Immigration
» Immigration Reform — Why Immigrate to the U.S.
» Schumer: Legalizing Illegal Immigrants Won’t be Stopped by Border Security Needs
» Swedish Minister: Immigrant ‘Volumes’ Too High
» UK: The Town That’s Had Enough: We Visit the Place With the Country’s Biggest Influx of East Europeans
 
Culture Wars
» Al Gore and Eugenics
» Rest in Peace, Boy Scouts of America
» UK: Big Brother to Log Your Drinking Habits and Waist Size as GPS Are Forced to Hand Over Confidential Records
» UK: Peter Smith: The Next Step in Equality — — Protecting the Freedom to Differ
» UK: The Same-Sex Marriage Folly is Symptomatic of the Coalition’s Inability to Manage Its Affairs
» UK: This Equality Obsession is Mad, Bad and Very Dangerous
 
General
» Have You Been Hacked on Twitter? Global Alert as More Than a Quarter of a Million People Have Their Personal Data Stolen by Hackers in Cyber Attack
» Microsoft’s 64GB Surface Pro Will Only Have 23GB Usable Storage

A Century of Income Taxation: Vastly More Revenue, Even Vaster Debt

On February 3, 1913 — just a few days shy of 100 years ago — the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, enabling Congress to impose a graduated income tax on Americans. Since that time, reports CNSNews.com, federal revenues have grown by an astounding 267,869 percent, in large measure as a result of this revenue stream.

CNSNews.com’s parent organization, the Media Research Center, asked Pete Sepp, executive vice president of the National Taxpayers Union, to calculate how much federal revenue had increased in the era of the income tax. “He found that the U.S. government estimates it collected $921 million in direct revenues for tax year 1912, compared to the $2.468 trillion it collected in 2012,” the website writes. “That outlandish increase would be even bigger if you take out postal receipts, which accounted for about $250-$275 million for 1912.”

Of course, the dollar was far more valuable in 1912 than it is today. In terms of 2012 dollars, the federal government took in just $21.4 billion in 1912, making the increase in revenue over the last century 11,533 percent in real terms — still an almost unfathomable amount.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Court Summons Bank of Italy Officials Over MPS

Lazio Regional Administrative Court wants ‘clarification’

(see related story) (ANSA) — Rome, January 31 — The Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR) said on Thursday that it had called senior Bank of Italy officials to report on the situation at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank, which has been hit by a major derivatives scandal.

The TAR said it had summoned Bank of Italy Director-General Fabrizio Saccomanni and the central bank’s head of supervision, Luigi Signorini, to appear on Saturday.

It said it wanted the officials, or their representatives, to provide “documents of clarification” about controversial plans to give the troubled bank a loan of 3.9 billion euros of public money.

The court move comes after a petition by consumers’ association Codacons.

On Wednesday prosecutors in the southern city of Trani opened an investigation into the supervisory actions of both the Bank of Italy and market watchdog Consob regarding MPS.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutors to Investigate Central Bank, Consob in MPS Case

Second probe to focus on regulation of troubled Italian lender

(ANSA) — Trani, January 30 — Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the supervisory actions of both the Bank of Italy and market watchdog Consob over troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), consumer group Adusbef said Wednesday.

The probe — the second thus far — comes amid a financial and political scandal with as many twists and turns as a medieval street in the Italian hill-town of Siena where MPS, the world’s oldest bank, was founded. And the crisis has not only drawn in major financial market players and Italian politicians, but also some of Europe’s leading banking authorities.

This latest prosecutors’ probe will review actions by Mario Draghi, current chief of the European Central Bank and former head of the Bank of Italy, which has supervisory responsibilities over banks.

Adusbef’s complaint asks Trani prosecutors to review just how the Bank of Italy and market regulator Consob failed to see huge financial risks at MPS, Italy’s third-largest bank.

Focus will be trained on the controversial takeover by MPS of a smaller bank, Antonveneta, in 2008, at what many say was an inflated price and led to many of the current problems.

In its defence, the Bank of Italy said that as early as 2010 it sought daily reports from MPS on its liquidity levels, and a week ago noted that MPS had hidden documents, making it impossible for regulators to understand the “true nature” of the bank’s financial situation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Party Leader Questions Independence of Bank of Italy

(AGI) — Milan, Feb 1 — Roberto Maroni, leader of the regionalist Northern League party, has questioned the independence of the Bank of Italy. “It seems that the Bank of Italy has allowed MPS to do as it pleased,” he said, referring to the financial scandal involving the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. “If this turns out to be the case, the Bank of Italy should be completely reformed and we should create a truly independent authority,” he continued. His party will ask for a “commission that will investigate the banks as well as the lack of control exercised by the Bank of Italy.” .

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

Shocking Numbers That Show the Media is Lying to You About Unemployment in America

Did you know that the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed has continually been falling since 2006 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Did you know that the increase in the number of Americans “not in the labor force” during Barack Obama’s first four years in the White House was more than three times greater than the increase in the number of Americans “not in the labor force” during the entire decade of the 1980s? The mainstream media would have us believe that 157,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January. Based on that news, the Dow broke the 14,000 barrier for the first time since October 2007. But if you actually look at the “non-seasonally adjusted” numbers, the number of Americans with a job actually decreased by 1,446,000 between December and January. But nowhere in the mainstream media did you hear that the U.S. economy lost more than 1.4 million jobs between December and January.

It is amazing the things that you can find out when you actually take the time to look at the hard numbers instead of just listening to the media spin. Back in 2007, more than 146 million Americans were employed. Today, only 141.6 million Americans are employed even though our population has grown steadily since then. When the government and the media tell you that we are in a “recovery” and that unemployment is lower than it was a couple of years ago, I encourage you to dig deeper. The truth is that even the government’s own numbers tell us that the percentage of the U.S. labor force that is employed continues to fall and that the U.S. economy is heading into a recession. The Obama administration and the media have been lying to you about unemployment and about the true condition of our economy. After you see the numbers that I have compiled in this article, I think that you will agree with me.

First of all, let’s take a look at the percentage of the civilian labor force that has been employed over the past several years. These numbers come directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you can see, this is a number that has been steadily falling since 2006…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Netherlands Nationalises Financial Services Group SNS Reaal

Dutch bank and insurance group SNS Reaal, in trouble because of heavy losses on its property finance division, is to be nationalised, the Dutch finance ministry announced on Friday.

Finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the state bailout was needed to prevent the Netherlands’ fourth-largest bank from collapsing.

The nationalisation means two of the four biggest Dutch banks are now in state hands. ABN Amro was nationalised following its abortive takeover by an international banking consortium.

‘Today, SNS Reaal has been fully taken over by the Dutch state. Without finding a solution, there was an immediate and dangerous situation for financial stability,’ Dijsselbloem told an early morning news conference. ‘I had to conclude that nationalisation was inevitable.’

Shareholders

The takeover means shareholders will probably lose all their investments. Retail savers with deposits up to €100,000 are protected under the guarantee scheme.

The direct costs of the nationalisation amount to €3.7bn, including a capital injection of €2.2bn. The state is also providing some €6bn in loans and guarantees for future operations.

Earlier this week, it emerged investment group CVC was interested in taking over the healthy parts of SNS Reaal. But that deal would have involved the state taking a major financial risk without having a say in decision-making, Dijsselbloem told reporters.

Boardroom changes

The nationalisation also means all change among top executives. Chief executive Ronald Latenstein, finance head Ference Lamp and head of the supervisory board Rob Zwartendijk are all out. Gerard van Olphen, CFO at health insurance group Achmea, will take over as CEO.

SNS is the fourth largest banking and insurance group in the Netherlands. In 2008, SNS received a state bailout of €750m which it has not yet repaid.

Earlier efforts to involve the other three big banks, ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank, in the rescue were scuppered by Brussels because ABN Amro and ING themselves have had state aid.

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

Another Potential School Tragedy Avoided… by Armed Guard

So here’s the news story that those on the left don’t want you to hear. Whenever someone goes crazy or someone with evil intentions starts shooting, the result is usually tragic, and the reaction of the left is to disarm the population. However, at an Atlanta middle school, after one child was shot, the shooting came to an end… because of an armed guard.

That’s right. There was not a mass killing spree in Atlanta on Thursday, but there could have been. We’ll never know. And thankfully so, because an armed guard stepped in.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Biden: “Obama Sends Me Places Where He Doesn’t Want to Go”

(AGI) Munich — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Obama sends him to places where he doesn’t want to go .

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

Department of Homeland Security Targets Gun Collector

KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico, reports that the Department of Homeland Security — the federal agency initially established to protect the United States from terrorists and respond to natural disasters — has used its ICE division to bust a gun collector.

Federal Homeland Security Investigation agents raided the home of Robert Adams on Thursday and seized 548 handguns and 317 rifles from the collector. They also raided his business and took an additional 599 handguns.

KRQE reports that Adams did not violate any laws and was not charged with any crimes. It said the DHS, however, is not finished with Adams and he may be charged with gun smuggling, tax evasion and violating importation laws.

The government spent yeas surveilling the gun collector and argues that his weapons are “not properly marked possibly to make the guns more valuable and to avoid paying high import taxes.”

KRQE reports the federal government is concerned “that no markings on the guns and missing documents mean the guns are not traceable by law enforcement.”

New Mexico does not regulate or specifically restrict the possession of firearms. Owners are not required to register or license firearms with the state.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Designers Help Make Young Muslims Hip in Their Hijabs

Islamic clothing is getting a bit more hip.

Southern California, home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the nation, has become fertile ground for a new generation of designers crafting clothes for women who are limited by faith and conviction from flashing too much skin. Although Muslim women have been dressing fashionably for years, many in the U.S. say they still face tricky challenges when getting dressed — and especially dressed up.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Dr. On Healthcare for Muslims

A doctor from the UCMC won an award for his work studying how Islamic ethics intersect with modern medicine.

Dr. Aasim Padela, director of the University of Chicago Medical Center’s Initiative on Islam and Medicine, was awarded the 2012 Ibn Sina Award for Islamic medical ethics this past December. The award, presented by the Compassionate Care Network, a Chicago-based non-profit that aims to increase access to health care services, recognizes him for his years of work to discover obstacles to health care access for Muslim communities and efforts to advance Islamic bioethics through interdisciplinary cooperation…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Enviros Respond to Obama’s Inaugural Call With “History’s Biggest Climate Rally”

Far left environmental groups, fomenting for societal change and headed full-speed for a gathering they describe as “the largest climate rally in U.S. History” and “history’s biggest climate rally” will take their place on the world stage in Washington, D.C., 12 noon to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 17.

That’s the day when Sierra Club USA, along with 84 other activist groups, is pulling out all the stops and calling for ‘peaceful’ civil disobedience.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Government and Top University Studies: Fluoride Lowers IQ and Causes Other Health Problems

Dentists Haven’t Read the Studies

Preface: This post doesn’t discuss any conspiracy theories. It simply presents a scientific review of the studies by mainstream sources on fluoride.

Why do dentists push fluoride, even though an overwhelming number of scientific studies conclude that cavity levels are falling worldwide … even in countries which don’t fluoridate water?

And even though the scientific literature shows that — when fluoridation of water supplies is stopped — cavities do not increase (but may in some cases actually decrease)? See this, this, this, this, this and this.

And even though many prominent leaders of the pro-water fluoridation movement have recently admitted publicly that they were wrong? That includes:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Hollywood’s Intentional Ignorance of the Crimes of Communist and Muslim Regimes

by Norman Berdichevsky

Two of the most honestly gruesome films of barbaric atrocities in modern times ever made are the Russian film The Chekist and the Polish film Katyn.

The Chekist was directed by Aleksandr Rogozhkin (1992 Cannes Film Festival Award) but hardly rated mention anywhere in the United States. The unbelievable atrocities of torture and mass execution seen in the film were all confirmed by factual articles in Pravda itself in 1921-22.

Katyn is the true story of the slaughter of 22,000 Polish officers on April, 1940 by Stalin’s henchmen and based on the book Post Mortem: The Story of Katyn by Anderzj Mularczyk. It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. The Russian leadership has admitted the guilt of Stalin in the Katyn massacre, finally turned into a dramatic film in the 2007 Polish production. It is an emotionally horrifying and draining experience to view these films. Both these films’ producers and actors have been brutally honest enough to graphically portray the unvarnished horror of the Communist regimes to their fellow citizens in Poland and Russia, something no Hollywood producer has dared to do and about which, most of the American public shows no interest.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Is Martial Law the Ultimate Goal?

With everything happening to this country of ours it is getting harder and harder to maintain a cool head and not jump to conclusions but if we sit back and view the last four years as well as what’s happening now an image is starting to appear of what might possibly be our future.

During President Obama’s first term he laid the ground work. President Obama issued over 144 executive orders, many dealing with martial law. As the Supreme Court already opinioned when looking at President Lincolns use of martial law, “Martial law … destroys every guarantee of the Constitution.”. This means when martial law is declared we as Americans have no rights at all.

During President Obama’s first term he wrote Executive Orders granting the government the power to take over all communications media, electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals. He also wrote an Executive Order where the government can take over all modes of transportation and control of the highways and sea ports. That means Obama can confiscate your horse, your donkeys, your bicycle or even your riding lawn mower. All forms of transportation. Executive orders signed by Obama also include railroads, inland water ways, public storage facilities, airports and airplanes including commercial planes can all be taken over by the government.

Think that’s bad, well it gets worse, much worse.

Executive Orders have also been signed allowing the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision. To take over all health education and welfare functions. To allow the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate and establish new locations for populations, AND grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders, to institute Industrial support, to establish judicial and legislative liaison, to control all aliens, to operate penal and correctional institutions, and to advise and assist the President.

If that doesn’t scare you then look at this…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mark Levin Explodes: ‘The Muslim Brotherhood Has Infiltrated Our Gov’t — It’s Called Barack Obama’

ON his radio show last night, Mark Levin went off on President Obama’s decision to send F-16 planes and tanks to assist President Mohamed Morsi’s Egyptian government, calling the president a Muslim Brotherhood “sympathizer.”

“What the hell’s happening? Now we back the Muslim Brotherhood?” Levin said of the administration’s decision to aid Morsi…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

McCain and Schumer Move to Force Americans to Use Biometric ID for Employment

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Thursday they back a plan to force all Americans to use a biometric Social Security card as part of a “comprehensive immigration reform” scheme that will be used to legalize millions of illegal aliens.

“I’m for it,” McCain told a Politico Playbook breakfast earlier this week when asked if he supports “a super Social Security card that would have some sort of biometric thing like a fingerprint.”

If Schumer and McCain have their way, American citizens will need to submit to the government fingerprints or other biometric information if they want to be legally employed. In other words, citizens will not only be required to get government permission to work, they will also be obliged to submit biometric data to the surveillance state.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

MSNBC Urges Viewers to Boycott Gun Manufacturers

Economic warfare as new form of gun control

News network MSNBC — which is effectively owned by arms manufacturer General Electric — put out a tweet yesterday urging its viewers to financially boycott gun manufacturers, in another example of how gun control is being advanced under the radar.

“Do you know where your $$ is? Maybe it’s invested in the #gun business. Use your wallet to support #gunlimits,” the network tweeted, adding a link to a story about NYC mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio pressuring investment firms to remove funding from gun companies…

Last month, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter threatened gun makers and firearms sellers with what amounted to economic sanctions unless they followed draconian new gun control regulations. Nutter warned that the city would take “economic divestment actions” unless gun retailers hosted “semi-annual gun buy-back programs to retire weapons from general public circulation,” amidst a deluge of other mandates.

Nutter’s move is being mirrored by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the man who once called for a ‘no gun buy list’ similar to the no fly list, who announced that he would, “ask all his city’s pension funds to investigate whether they have any holdings in assault weapons makers and sellers, a step toward divesting of those companies.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Muslims Feel Targeted After Phila. School Kidnapping

WEST PHILADELPHIA — February 1, 2013 (WPVI) — The Muslim community in Philadelphia held a meeting venting frustrations over people committing crimes dressed in traditional Muslim garb. “We have a right to wear a face veil if we choose to, that’s our right, our God-given right,” said Alia Walker. Muslim women in West Philadelphia are becoming increasingly fearful. This as the pressure mounts for the capture of the woman dressed in Muslim garb and her accomplice, who kidnapped a 5-year-old girl from her classroom and brutally assaulted her…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Obama Closing Air Defense System on U.S./Mexico Border: America More Vulnerable to Low Altitude Attack

On January 17th, 2013, Exelis Systems Corporation sent out an email (see email below) to all of its employees informing them that on March 15th, 2013 all TARS Air Defense Mission Operations will permanently cease. These TARS Air Defense sites were under the control of the United States Air Force. On January 15th, 2013, the Air Force informed Exelis (the defense contractor running the TARS sites) that the TARS sites will be shut down. Exelis tried to then negotiate with the Department of Homeland Security to see if they would take over the vital project, but it seems as though those negotiations have failed. What does this mean?

This means the southern border of the United States of America will be more vulnerable to attack from low flying aircraft, low altitude missiles, and other infiltrations such as smuggling.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one Exelis employee had this to say about the announced closure of the TARS sites:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama and the Communists: How They Censored Their Own Website to Protect the President

The Communist Party USA is very protective of its long time friend and ally Barack Obama.

The Communist Party knows they are on to a good thing with Obama. His policies are, in most areas, in lockstep with their own.

However, they don’t want to embarrass their “friend” by making the relationship too public.

Sensitive to criticisms of Obama’s Marxist past and socialist policies, the communists have even gone to the length of censoring their own website to protect the President.

Below is a screen shot of an article entitled “Special District Meeting on African American Equality,” taken as it appeared on the Communist Party USA website as of December 30, 2007. Note the reference to Communist Party support for Obama in the 2004 U.S. Senate primaries.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Pushing Aspartame on Grade Schoolers

The Obama administration’s Department of Agriculture has released nutrition standards for “competitive” foods and has outlawed snacks considered unhealthy by the nanny state federal government.

“Regular soda is out, though high-schoolers may have access to diet versions,” The Hill reports.

That’s right — the government is recommending our kids drink soda laden with the deadly neurotoxin aspartame.

As usual, the right hand of government has no idea what the left hand is doing… or maybe it does.

Aspartame is so dangerous and detrimental to health, even the FDA has failed to approve it — for two decades running.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ready or Not

If you have been paying attention to everything that has been going on lately, it is all sort of a whirlwind, very hard to decipher what is truth, what is fake, what is hype, what is reality. We have found that the best way to handle it is to take each event as a piece of a puzzle, research it, throw out the hype and then try to put the puzzle together from the remaining pieces. I am going to lay out the pieces we have researched and found to be fact and you draw your own conclusions from there. We have researched and verified every one of the following facts.

First of all, I was not originally aware of this one. Three days after the 911 attack, President Bush issued a state of national emergency, but he never repealed it. It actually expired last year, but rather than let it expire, Obama actually extended it. Were we really in a state of national emergency last year? No, we were not. So what does that mean? Simply put, it gives Obama the ability to, at his discretion; declare martial law for any areas that he deems necessary. So again, what does that mean to us? Under a state of martial law, the military would be in complete control, all constitutional rights would be suspended to the point that American citizens could be imprisoned or even fired upon. This would normally be employed in the face of great civil unrest or catastrophe.

Second, in the last few days there have been ongoing drills in several large population centers, Miami and Houston to name a couple. These drills have been conducted as a cooperative between DHS, military, the US Marshall service and local law enforcement. Now if you know your constitution, you know that it is illegal for the military to operate on United States soil, unless in a state of martial law.

Third, the DHS and US Marshall service has been actively recruiting local law enforcement officers for a special unit. They would be paid by the state, but equipped and armed by the federal government and would also report directly to DHS.

[Comment: Very informative article, well worth reading.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

State Department Uses Muslim Brotherhood Front Groups to Recruit Foreign Service Officers

Now that Hillary Clinton has left the State Department will the Muslim Brotherhood presence deepen? Remember Secretary Clinton’s personal chief of staff, Huma Abedin with her family’s deep connections to Wahhabist Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood? At the State Department you have Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Rashid Hussain, and Kashmir born Farah Pandith, Special Envoy to Muslim Communities. Will the State Department now further the recruitment of potential Foreign Service officers through attendance at Muslim Brotherhood front group conventions? The recent investigations by Judicial Watch targeted State Department recruitment efforts at Muslim American Society and Islamic Circle of North America conventions. The State Department continues using Muslim Brotherhood outreach for recruiting young American Muslims. The disastrous Egyptian elections last June that led to adoption of a Shariah Constitution in Egypt and draconian measures by President Mohamed Morsi including MB and Salafist attacks on our Embassy in Cairo should have sent shock waves back to Foggy Bottom. Egypt totters on the brink of becoming a failed state. Recruiting American Muslims infused with MB Islamic doctrine as Foreign Service Officers by our State Department could be very problematic .

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

The Most Romantic Train Station in the World Turns 100

by Harry Mount

Grand Central Station in New York turns 100 today. It may not have the history of King’s Cross or the architectural wonder of St Pancras, but it makes your heart pound like no other station on earth. That central concourse is not only huge — you also get spreading, aerial views of it from either end of the hall. What a tonic to the spirits it is coming up from the dark, dingy train tunnels of Midtown to that impossibly high-ceilinged hall. It’s almost built for films; it isn’t surprising that it’s starred in so many, from North by Northwest to Godfather to the Superman…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Voice of Moderate Muslims

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder and chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations, will hold a discussion on religious moderation at the Buchanan Chapel in the new Gratz Center of Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Video: Ted Cruz on Fire! “Slaughters” Chuck Hagel, During Defense Sec. Confirmation Hearings

Texas junior Senator Ted Cruz “slaughters” far leftist, former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel, during Defense Secretary confirmation hearings.

If Mitt Romney had gone after Barack Obama like this, he’d be POTUS today.

Perhaps one day Ted Cruz will be.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

White House Releases Photo of President Skeet Shooting in an Attempt to Silence Gun Lobby Critics

[Great comment to the article from a British citizen: (reposted here in case it gets deleted)]

Comment: WH must think the American public are stupid.

The 2nd Amendment is not about Hunting or indeed ‘sport’ like Skeet shooting. It is about a population having as much firepower as their government, to stop said government getting too big for its boots and becoming a tyranny. We Brits might not like to hear it, but King George III was what today would be called a despot, a tyrant. Guns kicked him out of America and rightly so. All around the ‘modern’ world, we have seen dictators rise and supress their people with Stasi and machine guns. If the American government ever dared try this, 300 million armed Americans would hand them their heads. Like it or not, Americans (and Swedes) are the only people who could say ‘No’ to a tyrannical government and have the means to back it up. We Brits however, are not allowed to even defend ourselves properly, and get jailed if we ‘hurt’ poor burglars. So let’s not lecture ordinary Americans on how to run their country, when ours is upside down and we’re scared to go out at night

- What Really Happened , Manchester, United

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Extreme Right Radicals Seeking More Visible Presence in Finland

A report issued by The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) last August highlighted the threat of anti-jihadism. This is an ultra rightist view which claims Islam poses a threat to Europe and that the power elite are responsible for immigration and problems linked to it. Anti-jihadists believe democratic means can no longer solve the problem.

SUPO’s report concentrated on the violent actions of Anders Behring Breivik in Norway and considered whether Finnish extremists could perpetrate similar terrorist attacks. The report concluded that they could.

“Breivik should not be considered as a crazy lone wolf. He probably carried out his deadly attacks by himself but he was not alone with his ideological views,” writes SUPO researcher Maria Paaso in the report.

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

Francois Hollande to Remove Word ‘Race’ From French Constitution

Francois Hollande is to have the word “race” removed from the French Constitution’s guarantee that all citizens will be treated equally.

The French president declared “there is no place for race in the Republic” in March last year while campaigning against his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy. Mr Hollande’s election commitment will be honoured before the summer, aides told Le Figaro on Friday, as part of a wider programme of constitutional reform…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italian Banking Association Appoints Mussari’s Replacement

Former chief stepped down following MPS scandal

(see related stories) (ANSA) — Rome, January 31 — The executive of Italian banking association ABI appointed Antonio Patuelli as its new president on Thursday after Giuseppe Mussari reigned as chief following a financial scandal at his troubled former bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).

Mussari stepped down last week after it emerged that shady derivatives operations conducted before he left the helm of the bank last year had led to losses of hundreds of millions of euros. He is said to have personally authorised at least one of the derivative operations at the centre of the furore. He denies any wrongdoing. The MPS scandal has rocked the Italian financial system as Italy’s banks were thought to have avoided the type of risky operations that put lenders in the United States and Britain in difficulty in recent years. But Patuelli, who is also the president of the Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna bank group, stressed that in Italy “obligations must prevail, distant from the models of the most risky capitalism of the other side of the ocean”. Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli has said that there was no evidence other Italian banks were in the same plight as MPS.

“We believe in, and work for, healthy prudent management of banks, which are the most complex of companies, with rigour and the precision of the physical and mathematical sciences,” Patuelli said.

The new ABI chief also said he believed banks should be “absolutely independent, distant and distinct from the political world and from any risk of interference and conflict of interest”.

This is significant as the MPS scandal has become an election issue because local authorities run by the main centre-left Democratic Party have a big presence in the foundation that controls the Tuscan bank.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Mafia Boss May be Buried in Corleone Mayor’s Tomb

Remains could be those of Calogero Bagarella

(ANSA) — Palermo, January 29 — Sicilian prosecutors are exploring the possibility that remains found in the tomb of a former Corleone mayor could in fact belong to a local mafia boss, it emerged on Tuesday.

Investigations began after the town council reported that a skull found in the tomb of ex-mayor Bernardino Verro may be that of Calogero Bagarella, a close associate of former Cosa Nostra chiefs Toto’ Riina and Bernardo Provenzano, who is believed to have been shot dead during the so-called Viale Lazio attack on Palermo Mafia boss Michele Cavataio in December 1969.

Tests are now being carried out on the remains to establish if they can be dated to around the same period as the massacre. Verro, the first socialist mayor of Corleone and a symbol of the peasant struggle against the Mafia, died and was buried in Corleone in 1915 but his remains were moved to the family tomb in Palermo many years ago. It was the late mafioso-turned-informant Antonino Calderone who first suggested that Bagarella might be buried in his original tomb.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Sybaris Authorities Appeal for Help After Recent Flooding

Remains of Ancient Greek colony could be compromised

(ANSA) — Cosenza, January 29 — The mayor of Cassano allo Jonio in the southern region of Calabria on Monday appealed to President Giorgio Napolitano for help in tackling the emergency at the local Sybaris archaeological site due to recent flooding.

The ancient remains were overrun by 200,000 cubic metres of water on January 18 after the nearby river Crati burst its banks following heavy rainfall.

Since then the fire and civil protection departments have been working to pump the water out of the site but there is concern over the remaining mud, which could become difficult to remove. Meanwhile numerous individuals and associations have offered to help with clean-up operations and Italy’s academic community has also rallied in support of the site, whose remains testify to the three successive settlements, the Greek colonies of Sybaris and Thurii and the Roman city of Copia, that once stood there. There is concern particularly for the Roman remains (2nd century BC-7th century AD), which lie closest to the surface and are rich in frescoes and mosaics. Here “the force of the water, which covered five hectares in the Parco del Cavallo area, even caused walls to crumble,” site director Silvana Lupino said. The priority now is to quantify the damage, with the cost of restoration possibly running to hundreds of thousands of euros. Lupino said it would “take months” to remove the mud with the help of “specialised teams” in support of the site’s technical staff. The excavations have been temporarily closed to the public although the management hopes they will reopen in time for the summer tourist season.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Pompeii Protesters March Against New Tourist Bus Tax

Shop owners and citizens complain duty will discourage arrivals

(ANSA) — Naples, January 29 — Shop owners and citizens of Pompeii, home to the world-famous ruins, on Tuesday held a protest march to complain against a new tax on buses which is seen as discouraging tourist arrivals.

Shop owners say the new tax, 80 euros per bus, will be an extra burden on tourists who are already straying from the town because of its poor parking facilities.

New pedestrian zones have also hurt arrivals, businesses and shop owners citizens claim. The protestors, numbering some 200, marched under a banner reading “shop owners and citizens of Pompeii united for their future”.

The protesters’ march was to end at town hall, where the protesters were to hand the mayor the keys to their stores, as a symbol of the town’s current economic difficulties.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Milan’s Historic San Babila Theatre to Close

Venue to cease activities due to eviction notice

(ANSA) — Milan, February 1 — The historic San Babila theatre in Milan will be closing ahead of the upcoming season, according to an announcement made by its director Gennaro D’Avanzo on Friday.

The plan to cease activities was drawn up after an appeals court overturned a first degree sentence which had quashed an eviction notice to the theatre by the owners of the building it operates in. An association created to protest the destiny of the theatre called “Comitato Spontaneo Pro Teatro San Babila” has received the backing of actors Anna Mazzamauro and Massimo Dapporto.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Building Managers Who Shame Tenants Can be Sued, Court Rules

Condo head in Italy guilty of defaming tenants behind on bills

(ANSA) — Rome, January 29 — Italy’s supreme Court of Cassation on Tuesday ruled that building managers who attempt to publicly shame tenants into paying their condominium dues can be sued for defamation.

Italy’s highest appeals court issued its ruling following the case of a condominium manager who put a notice on his building’s elevator listing the names of those who were overdue with their fees and warning them that if they did not pay within two days their water would be shut off. One of the building’s tenants pressed charges, claiming that part of the missed payment regarded a previous tenant, and the notice harmed his reputation.

Two previous courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The Cassation Court said the landlord should have “been more careful about the content of the information” in his warning.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Leftist Party Declares “Revolution” Against Criminal Assets

(AGI) — Rome, Jan 29 — Antonio Ingroia, leader of the leftist Civil Revolution election list, has announced a “revolution” to confiscate properties from the Mafia and tax evaders. Ingroia, a former Palermo prosecutor, is working on a draft law based on the 30-year-old ‘Rognoni-La Torre’ anti-Mafia law, in cooperation with the son of Franco La Torre, the son of Pio, and a candidate on his electoral list.

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

Italy: Former German Officer Stork Accused of Ordering 117 Executions

(ANSA) — Rome, January 31 — A survivor of the massacre of thousands of Italian soldiers on the Greek island of Cephalonia in World War II testified in Rome Thursday in a case against former German officer Alfred Stork. Stork, 90, is accused of ordering the execution of “at least 117 Italian officers” after they surrendered, according to Rome prosecutors, who cite a 2005 confession in which he told German prosecutors he was a member of one of the two execution platoons.

That confession, however, is inadmissible as testimony since a defence attorney was not present. In the first testimony in the case on Thursday, Bruno Bertoldi, 94, recounted that in 1943 the German soldiers “were unfettered for 48 hours, grouping Italians together and killing them by firing squad”. Bertoldi, who was born in Austria and lives in German-speaking Bolzano, said he was likely allowed to live because of his origins.

“They just kicked me and sent me away,” he testified. He is not believed to have been directly in contact with Stork, or near the executors of the Italian officers. That incident was just one part of a much larger massacre which came after the 1943 armistice between Italy and the Allies that instructed Italian troops to switch sides.

After news filtered across to the island on September 14, 1943, General Antonio Gandin told each of his men in the Acqui division to follow his own conscience and choose between three alternatives: fight on alongside the Germans, surrender his weapons, or keep them and resist German attacks.

Over the next eight days, 1,300 men died in battle, 5,155 were shot after being taken prisoner, and 3,000 drowned when a ship carrying them to Nazi concentration camps sank.

The bodies of 200 men were tossed down a well, from which they were only recovered and sent back home a few months before former Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi’s visit in 2001.

To the outrage of Italy, a German court cleared then 86-year-old former lieutenant Otmar Muhlhauser of war-crime charges in 2006.

Deceased in 2009, he was believed to be the last survivor of the Werhmacht regiment which carried out the massacre, and he reportedly admitted he had personally ordered the execution of hundreds of soldiers including General Gandin.

The incident forms the backdrop to the best-selling 1994 novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which became a film in 2001 starring Nicholas Cage and Penelope Cruz.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Centre Left’s Lead Over Berlusconi Narrows, New Poll Shows

Bersani weakened by MPS scandal

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Italy’s centre left headed by Pier Luigi Bersani saw its lead narrow to just five points over Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition, which has gained in popularity less than a month before elections, the latest SWG poll said Friday. The centre left had 32.8% of the projected vote after losing 1.3% compared to last week’s poll by the independent group. Bersani, who heads the Democratic Party (PD), saw support for his coalition weaken after a derivatives scandal came to light at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, which has historic ties to his party. Ex-premier Berlusconi, who is seeking his fourth term in office, saw support grow for the centre right by 1.2%, giving his coalition a projected 27.8% of the vote.

The centrist coalition headed by outgoing Premier Mario Monti was up 1.4% with 14.2% of projected votes. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement (MS5) of comic Beppe Grillo stood at 18%, up 0.8% on the week. Civil Revolution, a new party led by Palermo anti-Mafia magistrate Antonio Ingroia, was down slightly to 5%, still above the 4% threshold needed in order to qualify for seats.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Files Impediment Claim in Sex Trial

(AGI) — Milan, Feb 1 — Silvio Berlusconi’s lawyers have filed a ‘legitimate impediment’ claim to allow the former premier not to appear in court on Monday for his sex-for-hire trial.

Juvenile Court prosecutor, Annamaria Fiorillo, is scheduled to give details about the night teenage dancer Ruby was stopped and taken to police headquarters in Milan.

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

Italy: Monti on F35s: “Populism Has No Place in Defence Issues”

(AGI) Rome, Feb 2 — Prime Minister Mario Monti commented on the proposed spending cuts for Italy’s controversial and costly acquisition of F35 jets. During an interview for the “Presadiretta” program, which will air on Sunday, February 3, at 9.30 p.m., he stated: “When dealing with defence and in choosing military equipment, one must avoid resorting to easy and somewhat populist answers.” .

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

Lavazza Unveils Big ‘Espression’ Espresso Push in U.K.

Italian coffee powerhouse to open 400 locations over 10 years

(ANSA) — London, January 29 — Italian coffeemaker Lavazza, a standard-bearer for espresso, is preparing to do battle in the UK with international giants like Seattle, US-based Starbucks.

The family-controlled company, based in Trieste, is planning to open up to 400 coffee shops in the UK over the next 10 years, a clear sign that it sees international expansion as one of its main future growth drivers.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the company said it was opening 50 new locations over the next two years. Currently Lavazza has only one shop in the UK, at the Trafford Centre in Manchester, as well as a concession in London’s Harrods. Over the coming months five “Lavazza Espression” locations are scheduled to open: one each in Derby, Leeds, Newbury and two in London.

Plans call for opening a further 50 over the next two years and up to 400 over the next 10 years.

In the statement, Lavazza said that — following the guidelines of the company’s 2013-2015 strategic plan, presented in December — the coffee shop business development plan will focus on indirect management deals, including master agreements and concessions with specialized operators.

The Italian coffee powerhouse won’t manage the locations but will supply the coffee and will partner with local management in developing the retail concept, including selecting food and training staff.

The company said it had partnered with Catalyst Retail Limited for its launch into the UK.

Among other responsibilities, Catalyst will be charged with selecting locations for the “Lavazza Espression” cafe’s.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norwegian Muslim Leaders: Jewish-Run Media ‘Ruins’ Muslims’ Reputation

(JTA) — Two leading Norwegian Muslims blamed Jewish influence for Christian hostility to Muslims.

Nehmat Ali Shah, the imam at Norway’s largest mosque, and Ghulam Sarwar, the mosque’s chairman, told the daily Dagsavisen that the fear Jews instilled in others explained fraught Muslim-Jewish relations as well as the Holocaust. Jewish influence caused Norwegians to have a negative view of Islam, the men said in an interview at Oslo’s Jamaat-e Ahl-e Sunnat mosque, which has over 5,000 members. “People are ignorant because they get their information from the media, and the media only write negatively about Islam,” said Ali Shah. “Judaism has a better grip on the media.” He added: “The Jews control the media and that’s detrimental.” Sarwar, agreeing, referred to “The Innocence of Muslims,” an anti-Muslim film produced by an Egyptian American Christian Copt. “A handful of people without means were behind the movie about Mohammed in the U.S. So who was financing them?” he said. Jewish-Muslim relations have “never been good,” Sarwar said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Over-Charged Water Bills to be Reimbursed in Italy

State energy authority approves refund procedures

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Procedures to reimburse over-paid water bills throughout Italy in 2011 were approved on Friday, the State Energy Authority announced.

After consulting with the Council of State administrative appeals court, the authority said that refunds would be issued for over-charged bills issued from July 21 to December 31, 2011.

According to the authority, the decision was due to “non-coherent calculations” in billing during the specified time frame.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Poland: ‘The Church’s Hidden Sin’

Polska The Times, 1 February 2013

“There could be thousands people in Poland who have been sexually abused by paedophile priests,” writes Ekke Overbeek, a Dutch journalist based in Poland, in his book Lekajcie sie (Be afraid).

“Is this a ticking bomb in the Church?” wonders the daily, noting that the author not only describes broken lives of 12 sexually abused people, but also strongly condemns the still influential Polish Church for not acting “effectively enough” to eradicate paedophilia in its ranks.

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

UK: ‘Monday: Got Stalked, Again’: Facebook Fears of Schoolgirl, 12, ‘Before She Was Abducted by Two Men’

Two men have been arrested on suspicion of abduction after a 12-year-old girl who had complained of being stalked went missing from her home.

Kerry Goddard vanished at 10pm last night and her family raised the alarm when she failed to return to her home in Fownhope, Herefordshire.

After an extensive search, police found her at a house in Hereford and arrested two 19-year-old men in connection with the incident.

Just days before she vanished, Kerry posted on Facebook that she was ‘scared’ and being followed.

She told her 217 friends: ‘Sunday: Got into town for a while…. Got followed…. Stalked.

‘Monday: Got stalked, again. Tuesday: Stalked…. at school. I’m f***ing scared….’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Blinded by a Contact Lens’: Mother Has Left Eye Removed After Contracting Aggressive Infection

[WARNING: **Graphic photos**]

A mother lost her left eye after suffering a rare infection she believes was caused by her contact lens.

Jacqui Stone endured 22 operations and more than 17 weeks in hospital after wearing a disposable lens from a popular brand.

Doctors had to remove her eye because of fears the rare but aggressive fungal infection would penetrate her optic nerve and enter her brain.

The maths teaching assistant bought the Focus Dailies All-Day Comfort Lenses from a UK website last May to help her see the whiteboard better in the classroom. The mother of two, who has worn contact lenses ‘on and off’ for 20 years, said everything seemed normal when she put the lenses in.

She added: ‘I am one of those people who doesn’t take risks — I know I washed my hands when I put them in. It wasn’t until I got home at 5pm that I thought “these feel awful” and had to take them out.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: British Muslims Honoured at Celebration Event

British Muslims who have made a significant contribution to UK society were honoured during a celebration evening in Manchester this week.

Winners of the first national British Muslim Awards 2013, which were held at the Sheridan Suite, included Olympic hero Mo Farah, former Dragons’ Den star James Caan and in Nazir Afzal, the north-west head of the Crown Prosecution Service. The event honoured the success and achievements of Britain’s Muslim individuals, groups and business people and highlighted the significant role Muslims play in contributing to a better Great Britain…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Conservative Councillor Suspended for Alleged Racism Against Muslims

Chris Joannides, a councillor in Enfield, is said to have compared women wearing burqas to rubbish bags

A Conservative councillor has been suspended and is under investigation after allegedly making anti-Muslim comments and sectarian remarks on a social media website, the Guardian has learned. Chris Joannides’s Facebook page contained material comparing Muslim women who wear the burqa to rubbish bags. Another post included sexual remarks in a discussion about a flasher, and a comment that his work as a councillor was getting in the way of his social life. Joannides is a councillor in Enfield, north London…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Divorce Cases Could be Settled by Sharia and Religious Courts After Landmark High Court Ruling Over Jewish Couple’s Dispute

Divorce cases could be settled by Sharia and religious courts after a landmark High Court ruling.

The settlement of a young Jewish couple was approved under the rabbinical court of Beth Din, which is said to be the first time that an English family judge has sent a divorce dispute to a religious court.

Mr Justice Baker quoted the former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who said in 2008 that ‘citizenship in a secular society should not necessitate the abandoning of religious discipline’.

The Muslim Council of Britain praised the judgement, with a spokesman telling The Times: ‘If it leads to the eventual acceptance of Sharia court divorces then Muslims will be very encouraged.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Girls in East Lancashire Take Part in World Hijab Day

GIRLS of all faiths across East Lancashire have been taking part in World Hijab Day to understand and appreciate the muslim culture.

Female staff and pupils at Pleckgate High School wore the traditional headscarf yesterday to better understand the garment and its meaning.

A religious studies group from Nelson and Colne College also took part in the awareness day.

Shahiesta Raja, head of RE and citizenship at Pleckgate High School, said: “Staff and pupils, Muslim and non Muslim wore the hijab all day as a way of increasing understanding and promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural and social awareness of our pupils.”

Shahiesta, who started wearing a hijab full time two years ago, heard about the annual event through Facebook.

She said: “A lot of the girls at the school already wear a hijab, and we have one as part of the school uniform.

“I asked the head if we could ask all the girls to take part and around a third did. We also had a number of staff take part.

“I think World Hijab Day helps us to understand how muslim women feel and more about their beliefs and faith.

“A lot of the girl were excited about taking part and many saw it as a fashionable thing and quite light hearted, while still getting the message across.

Amir Saeed, student and community development officer at Nelson and Colne College said: “I’m glad the college has been involved and hopefully next year we will do it on a bigger scale and get everyone involved.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

UK: Girl Had Sex Encounters With “Hundreds” Of Men, Old Bailey Hears

AN UNDERAGE girl had sex encounters with “hundreds” of men, the Old Bailey heard this morning. The unnamed witness, known as Girl 1, overcame illness to take the stand for the sixth day at the trial of nine men accused of involvement in a child abuse gang in Oxford. She claims she was raped and sold for sex by Kamar Jamil and the Dogar brothers Akhatr and Anjum, between 2004 when she was 12 and 2007 when she was 15. She also claims Assad Hussain, who she picked out in an ID procedure last year, abused her…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: How Serious is the Conspiracy to Bring Down Prime Minister David Cameron?

by James Kirkup

For many Tory MPs, their leader is dooming the country to disaster and the Conservative Party to extinction

From the dizzying top of the Shard, the Palace of Westminster is a distant blur. But few of the peers and MPs attending a reception hosted by the ambassador of Qatar on Wednesday night found time to give more than a casual glance to the stunning views. Crowded on to the viewing platform of Britain’s tallest building, 1,016 feet above the capital, they huddled in corners and snatched whispered conversations over the canape’s. Among those present were Alan Duncan, the dapper and well-connected minister for international development, along with Bill Wiggin, an Eton contemporary of David Cameron, Andrew Rosindell, the Right-wing campaigner from Essex, and Andrew Robathan, the defence minister and former SAS officer who was among the first to back Mr Cameron’s leadership bid in 2005. In keeping with the traditions of the Gulf emirate, no alcohol was served, but the politicians needed no encouragement to loosen their tongues and trade speculation about the only subject galvanising Tory politicians this week.

Anyone eavesdropping would have heard, carried on the wind, the name Adam Afriyie repeated again and again, passing from one group to another. To one of those present, the scene recalled the conspiratorial huddles in the Winter Gardens that marked the 2003 Tory conference in Blackpool that precipitated the fall of Iain Duncan Smith. Quite how a little-known MP who has left few footprints since he entered the Commons in 2005 has kicked off such a frenzy of speculation about Mr Cameron’s future is a study in the current febrile state of the Conservative Party at Westminster…

[Reader comment by twistedrama on 2 February 2013 at about 10 am.]

Get the UK Borders Authority to deny him entry on his return from looking a prat in Africa.

[Reader comment by bobbydionysus on 2 February 2013 at about 10 am.]

Judging by the comments there is something about Cameron that people find deeply unpleasant. Normally it is policy not personality that is important and there is a great deal about this govt’s policies that is objectionable. But time and again it is the man himself who induces feelings of revulsion. There is little chance of this govt being re-elected but with Cameron there is absolutely no chance.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Hijab for a Day: Non-Muslim Women Who Try the Headscarf

World Hijab Day calls on non-Muslim women to try out life under the traditional head scarf. Can it lead to more religious tolerance and understanding?

“Because I’m not very skilled I’m wearing what you could call a one-piece hijab — you just pull it over your head. But I’ve discovered the scope is endless. There are all sorts of options.” So says Jess Rhodes, 21, a student from Norwich in the UK. She had always wanted to try a headscarf but, as a non-Muslim, didn’t think it an option. So, when given the opportunity by a friend to try wearing the scarf, she took it…

[JP note: World Heebie Jeebies Day might be more appropriate.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Man in His 20s Stabbed in Court by Masked Gang When He Got Stuck in Revolving Door as He Tried to Flee Armed Youths

A man in his 20s was stabbed at court today by a gang of masked youths in a suspected revenge attack.

The victim saw the gang jump out of a car as he was leaving Inner London Crown Court and tried to run back inside but got stuck in the revolving door.

They knifed him in the stomach in front of security and then fled, while police and the London Ambulance Service treated him on the floor of the security hall.

The man is thought to be the friend of a defendant who was in court in connection with a gang attack at a London hospital.

The gang, who were wearing scarves over their faces, were able to get to him before the metal detectors and X-rays that everyone entering the court must pass through.

The victim is now in hospital with wounds to the stomach or ribs and police are still looking for his attackers, who are thought to be part of a Brixton street gang.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: New Street Protest Movement to Hold Demo Against Abu Qatada?

You may recall that Britain First, a far-right groupuscule headed by former BNPers Jim Dowson and Paul Golding, organised a unity meeting in Dartford last month to discuss plans for a new anti-Islam street protest movement to replace the declining and fragmenting English Defence League…

The ENR’s first event is scheduled for tomorrow, 2 February, with a planned march through Stanmore to the house of Abu Qatada. Whether it will in fact take place is as yet unclear, as Qatada’s lawyers have applied to the High Court for an injunction to prevent the demonstration going ahead…

Update: The court has granted Abu Qatada and his family a temporary injunction against the English National Resistance, Britain First, English Defence League, South East Alliance, English Democrats and March for England. The relevant section of the judgement reads…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Paranoid Schizophrenic With History of ‘Extreme Violence’ Stabbed Man 17 Times With Samurai Sword While on Trial Release Because He Believed Victim ‘Was Reading His Thoughts’

A paranoid schizophrenic with a history of ‘extreme violence’ killed an innocent man after stabbing him 17 times with a Samurai sword because he thought the victim was ‘reading his thoughts’.

Marc Carter, 46, had been placed in a care home on ‘trial release’ from a secure hospital in Horfield, Bristol, last year when the unprovoked attack took place.

He had been drinking cider before he stabbed fellow resident Gino Nelmes, 32, because he believed the father-of-two was ‘reading his mind and repeating his thoughts’.

[…]

Bristol Crown Court heard how Carter had a history of violent offences stretching back more than 20 years including assaulting a police officer.

But despite his record, mental health bosses had released him from Fromeside secure hospital days earlier to live in a ‘halfway house’ which was attended by carers during the week, but not at the weekend when Mr Nelmes was killed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: PM Defends Osborne as Anger Grows

GEORGE Osborne has insisted he is getting on with the job of helping Britain’s economic recovery, and David Cameron made clear he has “full confidence” in his Chancellor as rumours continue to swirl of plots against the Conservative leadership.

Tory backbenchers critical of Mr Osborne’s performance at the Treasury are said to be considering writing a letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to sack the Chancellor…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Save it, Dave

THE hot North African sun seems to have gone to the Prime Minister’s head.

Not content with racing around the region getting Britain ever more deeply involved in another conflict, David Cameron vows to keep giving away billions of our money in foreign aid for decades ahead. This is arrogant. And it is not what the country wants to hear. It also illustrates the increasing muddle at the heart of Government policy. Mr Cameron is cutting the Armed Forces, yet pledging to fight more wars. He is axing benefits, yet showering money on foreign countries like India who don’t need our help. One week he makes a defining speech on Europe. The next, Europe apparently forgotten, he is making speeches in Liberia promising to end world poverty with British money. On aid, the PM is out of step with many of his colleagues, much of the Tory Party and most of the country. It is a certain vote-loser. Mr Cameron wasn’t elected to save the world.

He was elected to save Britain.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Tycoon is Found After Eight Months Missing… With ‘Thief’ Carved Into His Forehead

A businessman who vanished for eight months has turned up again, claiming he was kidnapped and tortured by Russian gangsters and the IRA.

Kevin McGeever had the word ‘thief’ carved into his forehead, apparently with a penknife.

An Irish property developer during the country’s economic boom, Mr McGeever, 68, claims to have been imprisoned in a cargo container for months — because he owed the criminal gangs money.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Times Reveals High Court’s Shock Sharia Decision

Yesterday the Jewish Chronicle carried a report (“Jewish divorce ruled OK in landmark High Court decision”) of a decision by a High Court to refer a Jewish divorce case to a Beth Din (rabbinical court) for arbitration, at the request of the couple involved in the divorce.

Here, you might think, would be an opportunity for some responsible reporting in the mainstream press on the subject of religious courts, showing how they can play a legitimate role in civil cases and countering the ignorant bigotry commonly displayed over the issue of sharia councils. Of course, a responsible press is precisely what the UK lacks. Instead, we have newspapers ever eager to promote an “Islamification of Britain” narrative. So it’s no surprise that the story has made the front page of today’s Times under the headline “High Court opens way to Sharia divorces”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Serbia: Support for EU Adhesion Falls to 41%

Lowest level in 11 years, official survey shows

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, JANUARY 29 — Serbian support for EU adhesion fell to 41% last year, the lowest level in the past 11 years, according to a December 2012 survey by the state office for European integration published by Danas daily on Tuesday. Support for joining the EU fell by 8% in the second semester of 2012, according to the survey. In June 2012, 49% of respondents were in favor of being in the EU and 25% were against it, the data showed.

The government has been conducting periodic surveys of popular sentiment about the EU since 2002. A peak of 72% in favor (with just 8% against) was registered in December 2003, and consensus has been eroding since then. “Almost all parliamentary parties are in favor of EU adhesion, while popular support has fallen to just 41%,” commented Predrag Simic, president of the international relations forum of the European movement in Serbia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Abducted Egyptian Christian Girl Possibly Smuggled to Libya

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — Hundreds of Christian Egyptian girls having been abducted and forced to convert to Islam and marry Muslim men since the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. But the case of 14 year old Sarah has become symbolic, bringing to confrontation Muslims groups, whose members are implicated in the kidnappings, and the Coptic Church and human rights organizations.

On Sunday, September 30 Sarah Ishaq Abdelmalek, born on August 1, 1998 in the town of el-Dabaa, 130 kilometers from Mersa Matrouh, was on her way to school with her cousin Miriam, when they stopped at a bookshop. Miriam went ahead of Sarah to school, leaving Sarah behind. Sarah never made it to school and no one has seen her since then. Her father was hesitant at first to contact the authorities for fear of harm to his family and his other children by the Salafi Muslims, who have a large presence and influence in Mersa Matrouh and Alexandria. He finally filed a report with the police on October 20, accusing 27 year old bookshop keeper and Salafist Mahmoud Abu Zied Abdel Gawwad, a married man and father of children, of abducting Sarah and marrying her against her will (AINA 11-2-2012).

“Sarah was smuggled across the borders to Libya with the help of the Interior Ministry,” said Ebram Louis, founder of the Coptic non-governmental organization Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearance (AVAED), which handles cases of abducted Coptic minors. Louis blamed the interior ministry for all the disappearances of Coptic minors, saying the ministry colludes with the Muslims.

The recently elected Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II said the kidnapping and forced conversion of Sarah is a “disgrace for the whole of Egypt.” During a meeting with a delegation of the Journalists Syndicate Council at Anba Bishoy Monastery in Wadi Natrunon on November 12, he said “Can any family accept the kidnapping of their daughter and her forced conversion?”

The Pope dismissed the term “emotional ties” for what is happening among young men and girls from different religions, cited as the apparent cause of conversions by the Salafists. In an interview with Al Ahram Daily he said it is “sentimental coercion of girls who have not reached adulthood.” The Pope said it is now common among Coptic families not to send their daughters to school because of fear kidnapping and forced conversion. Anba Pakhomios, the bishop of Mersa Matrouk, said Coptic families are increasingly choosing not to send their girls to public schools, making them study at home and only go to school during the examinations.

The Muslims accused the Coptic Church of causing sedition, because they claim Sarah left home, embraced Islam and married a Muslim of her own free will. They have denied that she is a minor.. “When they talk of adulthood, it is not adulthood in the legal sense (18 years old),” says Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, “but according to their concept that a girl reaches adulthood when she starts menstruating.”

The Coptic Church and several rights organizations, including the Egyptian National Council for Women, categorically regard Sarah as a minor and insist on upholding the law and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified by Egypt, including the Minimum Age Convention, which clearly declares anyone below the age of 18 as a minor.

Dr. Ahmed Rifaat, a law professor at Beni Suef University confirmed that Sarah is a minor in the eyes of the law, hence she may not copulate nor marry until she reaches the age of 18 and any talk about her marriage or change of her religion is completely against the law; her marriage is considered void and she must get divorced . Also the authorized Islamic marriage registrar (mazoun) and her husband bear full responsibility as they knew she was a minor. Al-Azhar also stipulates a minimum age of 18 years for changing one’s religion to Islam.

Reverend Bigemi Anba Paula, from the Mersa Matrouh dioceses, where Sarah attended church, replied to the Salafist accusations that the church is meddling, saying “If the State did its work, the church would not have been pushed into the problem. We reported the case to the director of security, central security, military security, minister of interior, heads of Bedouin tribes and NGOs. We also hand delivered a complaint to President Morsy on October 18 during his visit to Mersa Matrouh. The prosecutor in Alexandria ordered the arrest of the Muslim husband, but no action was taken by the police.” He accused the authorities of siding with the Salafists, “all the time security knew where Sarah was, I wonder whether security are afraid of a confrontation with the Salafists?”

In a statement, Salafist Front made clear that they will not hand over Sarah under any circumstances. They claim that “When we take up the issue of the girl Sarah, our response is purely in terms of her human rights.” Their spokesman, Khaled el Masry, said that once a girl has embraced Islam she has no Christian guardian and can therefore get married without consent.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih [Return to headlines]

Al-Qaida in North Africa Not About to Quit

Analyst: Terror groups committed to freeing blind sheikh held in U.S. prison

Intelligence reports coming from North Africa say al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, the North Africa affiliate of al-Qaida, is seeking more “Western” targets.

Analysts also say the target search includes Western diplomatic facilities as well as other soft targets such as refineries and natural gas plants.

American Enterprise Institute Middle East analyst Michael Rubin says he’s not surprised by the reports. Rubin says more AQIM attacks like the recent attack on the Amenas gas plant in Algeria are inevitable.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Marches in Alexandria Head Towards Local Municipality

Hundreds on Friday in Alexandria participated in two marches headed to the city’s local municipality and to Sidi Gaber Station Square as part of the “Friday of Salvation” demonstrations. The protesters chanted anti-Muslim Brotherhood slogans and held banners calling for sacking both the chief prosecutor general and the “cabinet of disasters”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Protesters Clash With Security Guards Outside Presidential Palace

Egyptian protesters throwing stones and petrol bombs clashed with security forces firing tear gas and water cannons at the presidential palace in Cairo on Friday as the country’s political violence extended for an eighth day.

Around 6,000 protesters massed outside Morsi’s presidential palace in an upscale district of the capital, banging on the gates and throwing stones and shoes into the grounds in a show of contempt. Multiple firebombs were thrown through the gates as crowds chanted, “Leave, leave,” addressing Morsi…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Islamists Chase Nuns From Libya, People Pray for Their Return

A growing presence of Islamic extremists in Cyrenaica. Sister Celeste Biasolo, former superior of the Convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna, speaks of a widespread climate of fear, which affects the Libyan people. The monastery was closed in October because of threats from a group of extremists. “The people of Derna miss us and often contact us imploring us to return.”

Rome (AsiaNews) — “Islamic extremists threatened us to leave, not the Libyan people, who instead protected us by coming to visit every day until our departure”, Sister Celeste Biasolo, former superior of the convent of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Derna tells AsiaNews. In October she was forced to leave Libya with four other sisters, because of the spread of Islamic extremists in Cyrenaica. The situation described by the religious is also confirmed by Msgr. Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, who recently pointed out that two other religious communities will leave Cyrenaica after having been threatened by Islamists: the Franciscan Sisters of the Infant Jesus of Barce and the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Beida.

Sister Celeste Biasolo describes a climate of fear in Cyrenaica, which is especially affecting the Libyan people: “The same Muslim population is being terrorized by this situation. The people of Derna miss us and often contact us imploring us to come back. At Christmas more than 100 families called to our monastery in Spoleto with greetings for us”. “In Cyrenaica — she explains — the Islamists do not want to attack the Church as such, but the West, and unfortunately we are seen as foreigners. This is because the country is without a government and can not even guarantee the security of its citizens”.

The presence of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Spoleto in Libya dates back to 1921. The founder of the Institute, Blessed Peter Bonilli, wanted to open a mission in Cyrenaica, in the city of Derna. Sister Celeste notes that until their departure, the mission of the religious and the Church in Libya has focused primarily on health care and care for the elderly. “In these years — she says — we have tried to show joy of his own life of Christians and the Gospel through our presence and humanitarian work.” According to the religious this struck the Muslim population who continue to consider the sisters a fundamental part of their community.

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

Minister Must Go Over Egyptian Beating: Opposition

CAIRO: Egypt’s opposition on Saturday called for Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim to resign after security forces were seen on television beating and dragging a naked man at a Cairo protest. “The horrible and degrading images showing the central security officers and police beating and dragging a naked man near the presidential palace should lead to the interior minister’s immediate resignation,” said Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the National Salvation Front (NSF)…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

One Dead in Clashes Outside Egypt’s Presidential Palace: Media

CAIRO, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — At least one person was killed in clashes outside Egypt’s presidential palace between protesters and security forces, official al-Ahram online reported on Friday evening. Till late Friday, the Egyptian health ministry said some 24 people have been injured in the clashes near the presidential palace in Heliopolis of Cairo, while denying any deaths have taken place. Earlier, tens of thousands of people, urged by opposition parties, took to the streets across the country in protest of the government and the newly-written constitution, according to al- Ahram…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: About the Next Government

It is still difficult to assess how Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will govern in his next government. The public has little interest in begging the Palestinians to return to negotiations. But then the Israeli public has rarely had much interest in pursuing fruitless deals with unreformed Palestinian terrorists. The only reason we continue to chase deals with them is because the US is obsessed with supporting Palestinian anti-Israel demands in the name of peace.

To a significant, if not necessarily determinative degree, whether the Palestinians will continue to be a salient issue in the coming years will be a function of events in the wider Arab world. The collapse of the Egyptian state, Syria’s civil war, and the potential collapse of the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan will all limit President Barack Obama’s ability to press Israel to give away land to the Palestinians.

At the same time, Netanyahu’s assault on his own political camp, starting with Likud and moving to Naftali Bennett and the Bayit Yehudi indicate that at a minimum, Netanyahu will do nothing to advance Israel’s position vis-à-vis the Palestinians. He is unlikely to permit significant new construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria or significant Jewish building in Jerusalem. He is unlikely to undertake any democratic reforms in the Justice Ministry or the court system. He is unlikely to take any steps to boost Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria or to undermine the terrorist-led Palestinian Authority.

Where the next government is likely to move ahead are in two other significant, if under-discussed areas: economic reform, and religious reform….

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

From Italy and France ‘Musical Bridges’ For Palestinian Kids

Program involved 5,500 Palestinian kids since 2010

(ANSAmed) — RAMALLAH — To build a musical bridge between the Palestinian Territories, Italy and France by promoting music as an educational tool: this is the objective of the ‘Music Bridges West Bank, Italy and France’ project.

Founded in 2010, the program has involved more than 5,500 Palestinian kids aged 6-9 years in the Qualandia, Al-Amari and Jalazone refugee camps, 130 Palestinian music teachers, and dozens of music teachers from all over Europe. Music Bridges also involved Italian and French elementary schools and music schools, organizing meetings and seminars in Europe and the West Bank. The project ended with the recording of a CD collection of 13 French, Italian and Palestinian folk songs.

“Music frees children’s minds from the constant pressure of military occupation, giving them new tools to perceive reality, themselves, and their condition as human beings,” Davide Amurri from Terres des Hommes Italy, which created the program in collaboration with Palestinian music association Al Kamandjati, told ANSA.

Music Bridges was sponsored by the EU and the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

46-Year-Old Kidnapped in Lebanon’s Metn

BEIRUT: A 46-year-old Lebanese man was snatched Friday morning in front of his home in the Metn town of Mansourieh which overlooks Beirut, security sources said. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Daily Star that four individuals in Mansourieh kidnapped Fadi Mitri, the owner of auto parts shop in Sin al-Fil, Beirut. The four individuals were seen in a burgundy-colored car, the sources said. An investigation is under way to determine the circumstances behind the kidnapping.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

A Report Confirms Israeli Attack on Possible Syrian CW/BW Complex

In our earlier post we speculated whether a Syrian CW/BW complex near Jamarya might have been destroyed as alleged by statements from the Assad regime. On Friday, Time Magazine reported confirmation from a US intelligence official that one of the targets hit by the IAF raid was Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) with equipment for deployment of CW/BW. Moreover, we noted in our earlier post the strident statements of the Russian Foreign Minister that criticized Israel for invading the sovereignty of its waning ally Syria. Russia has exposure vis a vis supply of advanced weapons such as the SA-17 anti-air mobile missile system reported to have been in a convoy attacked by the IAF near the Lebanese border. The Russian Foreign Minister’s statement may reflect fear of collateral damage involving some of the estimated 30,000 Russian citizens in Syria. Some of whom might have been engaged in collaborative research. Middle East threat reduction requires a far more aggressive and comprehensive approach to deter the proliferation of biological weapons. In my view, any new threat reduction paradigm must have a component wherein ultimately we take out those scientific teams. BW is heavily underpinned by knowledge transfer and we need to be prepared right now to target and take out their scientific teams as has been done in Iran with several of their nuclear scientists. It is imperative that we don’t let that opportunity slip by as we could immediately face an array of bio-chem armed terrorist organizations.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Iran: Is Iran’s Space Monkey a Fake?

Iran’s triumphant claim that it successfully sent a monkey into space may have been nothing more than hot air.

Tehran chalked up a victory against its Western detractors this week by presenting — with considerable fanfare — its first simian space traveller. Iran claimed to be one small monkey step away from manned space flight…

[JP note: Cheeky monkeys.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh: A Wall to Divide Women and Men Working in Lingerie Shops

Retailers will have 30 days to comply with the legislation. The wall will serve to allow women to work in lingerie, cosmetics and clothing shops, according to the dictates of sharia. Provided 44 thousand new jobs for women. The monarchy sets new limits on “Mutawa” religious police. An end to interrogations, searches and summary arrests.

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) — A concrete wall will divide women and men employed in lingerie and cosmetics shops. It’s the latest idea of ??the Saudi government to combat 35% unemployment amongst women, and comply with the Islamic Sharia, which imposes strict separation between persons of opposite sex who do not have blood ties. All lingerie, cosmetics or clothing boutiques will have 30 days to adapt to the measure, with a penalty, and in severe cases the closure of the business. The wall should not be less than 1.6 meters high. Sources claim that the Ministry of Labour opening to women in shops will lead to about 44 thousand new jobs.

The “muttawa”, the fearsome religious police responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of Islamic law among the population, will be in charge of implementing the law. Yesterday, the Saudi monarchy set new limits on the powers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the muttawa), for the benefit of the police. The agents of the notorious Mutawa can no longer carry out interrogations, searches or summary arrests. The possibility of arrest applies only to crimes in flagrante delicto. Among them are the harassment of women, the consumption of alcohol and drugs and witchcraft.

In Saudi Arabia, women are prohibited from various jobs. Those few who have jobs, including those operating in high finance, must always be under the control of a male “guardian”. Because of these restrictions, about 1.7 million women are without a job, even if more than 50% have a university education. The Gulf kingdom is the only country in the world that forbids women to drive a car, vote in elections and demands they have permission of a man to work, travel or open a bank account.

First proposed in January 2012, the Saudi religious authorities took a year to approve the law allowing women to work in beauty shops, clothing, footwear and bag stores. The measure was approved only in January 2013. Imams and other religious figures have examined every loophole in the light of the dictates of sharia, trying out the “novelty” in some shops of the major Saudi cities, before extending the measure to the entire country. In the past, women who went to buy underwear were served by male staff. King Abdullah recently announced that 30 women will be part of the Shura Council, which will be voted on in the coming months. Even in this case the two sexes will be divided by a wall and have separate entrances.

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

Saudi Preacher Gets Off Light for Raping, Killing Daughter

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

A Saudi preacher who raped his five-year-old daughter and tortured her to death has been sentenced to pay “blood money” to the mother after having served a short jail term, activists said on Saturday.

Lamia al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns, the activists said. She died last October 22.

According to the victim’s mother, hospital staff told her that her “child’s rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Society: Turkish Families Get Smaller, Survey Shows

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, JANUARY 28 — The average size of Turkish families is getting smaller as the shrinkage is accompanied by a fall in unemployment, according to a regional official of TUIK, the state-run statistics body. The size of a Turkish family fell to 3.8 people in 2011 from 4.5 in 2000, said Yavuz Uyar, the regional director of TUIK in an area covering Siirt, Batman, Sirnak and Mardin. Uyar said the size in his region had dropped to 6.9 in 2011 from 7.7 in 2000. These are among Turkey’s least developed and poorest provinces. The statements, as daily Hurriyet reports, come amid the government’s renewed pushes to increase the number of children that couples have. During a wedding ceremony in the southeastern province of Gaziantep on January 20, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told citizens to have more than three children for economic growth. There is a sharp narrowing in the size of families in the given region even it is limited in Sirnak, Uyar told Anatolia news agency. The general outlook on families in the country usually consists of parents and one child, while the number of children increases to around four in this region, Uyar added. Unemployment in this specific region dropped to 11.8% in 2010 from 14% in 2009, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

‘Syria Falling to Pieces’, Special Envoy Brahimi Says

(AGI) — New York, Jan 29 — On Tuesday, the UN and Arab League’s special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said “Syria is falling to pieces before our very own eyes” and “there is no progress to speak of.” Brahimi also added that Assad’s regime is in a position to hold on to power despite having lost all legitimacy. Brahimi’s words come 22 months from the start of the uprising and subsequent civil war which has claimed 60,000 lives.

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

Terror Attack on U.S Embassy in Turkey: Westerners Warned to ‘Be Vigilant’ As Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up at Security Gates

Westerners in Turkey have been warned to be vigilant after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive today in front of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

The blast in the capital killed the bomber and a guard at the entrance gate before the British mission in Istanbul made clear officials feared there could be further outrages.

The White House condemned the attack on the U.S. Embassy as ‘an act of terror’ while the British embassy warned Westerners to ‘be vigilant’.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Turkey’s interior minister, Muammer Guler, said the bomber was likely connected to a domestic left-wing militant group. He did not explain why.

A police official, meanwhile, said the bomber is most likely a suspected member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey Says Tests Confirm Leftist Bombed U.S. Embassy

ISTANBUL (Reuters) — A member of a Turkish leftist group that accuses Washington of using Turkey as its “slave” carried out a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. embassy, the Ankara governor’s office cited DNA tests as showing on Saturday.

Ecevit Sanli, a member of the leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), blew himself up in a perimeter gatehouse on Friday as he tried to enter the embassy, also killing a Turkish security guard.

The DHKP-C, virulently anti-American and listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and Turkey, claimed responsibility in a statement on the internet in which it said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was a U.S. “puppet”.

“Murderer America! You will not run away from people’s rage,” the statement on “The People’s Cry” website said, next to a picture of Sanli wearing a black beret and military-style clothes and with an explosives belt around his waist.

It warned Erdogan that he too was a target.

Turkey is an important U.S. ally in the Middle East with common interests ranging from energy security to counter-terrorism. Leftist groups including the DHKP-C strongly oppose what they see as imperialist U.S. influence over their nation.

DNA tests confirmed that Sanli was the bomber, the Ankara governor’s office said. It said he had fled Turkey a decade ago and was wanted by the authorities.

Born in 1973 in the Black Sea port city of Ordu, Sanli was jailed in 1997 for attacks on a police station and a military staff college in Istanbul, but his sentence was deferred after he fell sick during a hunger strike. He was never re-jailed.

Condemned to life in prison in 2002, he fled the country a year later, officials said. Interior Minister Muammer Guler said he had re-entered Turkey using false documents.

Erdogan, who said hours after the attack that the DHKP-C were responsible, met his interior and foreign ministers as well as the head of the army and state security service in Istanbul on Saturday to discuss the bombing.

Three people were detained in Istanbul and Ankara in connection with the attack, state broadcaster TRT said.

The White House condemned the bombing as an “act of terror”, while the U.N. Security Council described it as a heinous act. U.S. officials said on Friday the DHKP-C were the main suspects but did not exclude other possibilities.

Islamist radicals, extreme left-wing groups, ultra-nationalists and Kurdish militants have all carried out attacks in Turkey in the past.

The DHKP-C statement called on Washington to remove Patriot missiles, due to go operational on Monday as part of a NATO defense system, from Turkish soil…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Suicide Bomb Outside US Embassy in Ankara

A suicide bomber allegedly belonging to an extremist Leftist group killed himself and a Turkish security guard yesterday outside the United States Embassy in Ankara.

The alleged bomber was identified by local media as 30-year-old Ecevit Sanli, a member of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Turkish security forces have arrested a number alleged members of the group in recent weeks, as well as lawyers who defended the suspects in court. The group has been designated a terrorist organisation by the US but had been relatively quiet in recent years…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

US Ambassador to Turkey: ‘We Will Fight Terrorism Together’

The US ambassador to Turkey thanked the Turkish people for their support after two people were killed and several people wounded in an explosion outside the US embassy in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

US Ambassador Francis Ricciardione thanked Turkey for its support on Friday following a suspected suicide bombing outside the US Embassy in Ankara. The bomber detonated an explosive device at the entrance to the embassy in the Turkish capital killing himself and one other person, police said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

India: Karnataka: Hindu Fundamentalists Convention: The Fears of Christians

100 thousand activists of the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to gather in Mangalore, the group behind anti-Christian violence in the country. The Global Council of Indian Christians demands State protection for places of worship and life of the minority.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — There is great concern among the Christian community in Karnataka for the forthcoming meeting of the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu ultranationalist group chiefly responsible for violence towards ethnic and religious minorities in India. The convention will be held in Mangalore on 3rd February and Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), has asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the chief minister of the state “to ensure special protection for Christians: their lives, their property and freedom of worship, in public and in private. “

Since 2008, Karnataka has been governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a party close to ultra-nationalist Hindu groups such as the RSS, which are often behins violence and persecution against the Christian minority. In three months the people are due to vote to elect a new government, and according to Sajan George “the BJP wants to use the conference to consolidate its electoral base and reassert its nationalist identity.”

“In Karnataka — says the GCIC president — there are already attempts to inculcate Hindutva [Hindu ideology], from textbooks. at least 100 thousand followers Rss are expected at the conference: this mobilization could turn into attacks on Christians”.

In 2008, coinciding with the anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa, Karnataka registered attacks on churches and local communities, and has long been one of the most “dangerous” states for the minority. According to a report by GCIC on data relating to anti-Christian persecution, Karnataka has “excelled” in 2012, with 41 cases of violence out of a total 135 attacks across India.

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

Malaysia’s Port Klang to Become Southeast Asia’s Largest Transit Hub for Islamic Products

PORT KLANG, Malaysia, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) — The Port Klang Free Zone, Malaysia’s integrated freeport and commercial and industrial park, is set to give regional free ports a run for their money as it is turning into Southeast Asia’s largest transit hub for the international Islamic market. The 1,000-acre Port Klang Free Zone provides facilities for international procurement, green development and Islamic product manufacturing and distribution, targeting mainly Chinese and Southeast Asian investors. The free trade zone, situated along the Melaka Straits, could connect Islamic product manufacturers in China to the growing global halal market, sole lease facilitator, SM International Wholesale Centre Sdn Bhd, said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Scientist: Hijacking Risk to Pakistan Nukes

Warns of increasing focus on nuclear weapons for tactical use

(ZeeNews) London: Increasing radicalisation within Pakistan’s military could lead to its nuclear weapons being hijacked by radical Islamists, a Pakistani scientist has warned.

“Safety and security of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is of a major concern.

The growing radicalisation within the military, given attacks on its own internal bases, could lead to these nuclear weapons being hijacked by radical Islamists,” said Pervez Hoodbhoy, who was here for the London launch of his book ‘Confronting the Bomb’.

The nuclear physicist and defence analyst estimated Pakistan’s arsenal to be similar to India’s, at around 120-130 warheads.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Mali: Dispatch: Inside Timbuktu, The City Freed From Its Al-Qaeda Tormentors

by David Blair, Timbuktu

The image of a severed hand lying beside a bloodied sword was passed from one mobile phone to the next.

The 25-year-old man had been held down while the hand was cut off before a crowd of appalled onlookers, recalled Mousa Ag-Mohammed, 29, who witnessed this punishment.

“Some people said that he stole something, but it was not true,” he said. “They wanted to do this just to frighten people, for the people to be scared of them.” Whatever the reason, the footage showed how the Islamist overlords of the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu had united high technology with medieval cruelty during their occupation. Indeed terror was Mr Ag-Mohammed’s dominant memory of the 10-month occupation of Timbuktu that ended with a lightning French assault on Monday. This desert city in northern Mali, where strings of donkeys trot through winding alleys swirling with Saharan sand, has experienced one of the most tumultuous weeks in its long history…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: 17 Boko Haram Members, Soldier Die in JTF Raids

A series of raids launched by the Joint Task Force (JTF), code named Operation Restore Order (ORO) in suspected camps of the Boko Haram sect, has claimed 17 terrorists and a soldier. The task force, which confirmed the casualty figure yesterday, said the victims died during gun battles in two special operations supported by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter gunship. In a statement issued yesterday by the JTF spokesman, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, he said the raids were launched to dislodge Boko Haram terrorists’ camps in Sambisa Game Reserve in Bama Local Government Area and Farin-Ruwa forest in South-West/East of Demboa Local Government of Borno State on Wednesday and Thursday…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Uganda: Five Terrorists Still Missing — Police

The five suspected terrorists who sneaked across the eastern border into Uganda last month (Jan), are still missing, police say. Deputy police spokesperson Vincent Sekate told The Observer that the suspects were on the international wanted list and the international Police (Interpol) has been following them. “Interpol are doing everything possible with the assistance of other countries to make sure that the terrorists who entered here are arrested,” Sekate said. He added that the hunt was still on for Ali Salah Adan, Nam A. Amur, Abdullah Ahmed, Abderaouf Jdey and Mohamed Nor Ali, whom he described as foreign fighters aligned to the Somalia-based Al-Shabab terror group, responsible for the 2010 twin terror attacks in Kampala…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Falkland Islands: Malvinas Self-Determination Referendum ‘Illegal’: Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — Argentinean Foreign Minister Hector Timerman Friday said a planned referendum that would let Malvinas Islanders decide whether to remain under British protection is “illegal.” The referendum, set to take place March 11 and 12, is “illegal, because that is what the United Nations decreed when it said ( islanders) do not have the right to self-determination, since they are a transplanted community,” Timerman told local C5N channel…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK Accuses Argentina of Becoming ‘Fanatical’ Over Falklands as They Say No to Discussions With William Hague Over Future Because Islanders Will be Present

Britain accused Argentina of becoming ‘fanatical’ about its demands for the Falklands yesterday after the country’s foreign minister refused to meet islanders.

Foreign Secretary William Hague invited counterpart Hector Timerman to a meeting when he visits London next week to discuss issues relating to the islands.

But Mr Hague was snubbed on the grounds that members of the Falkland Islands government, which Buenos Aires refuses to recognise, would also be present.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Immigration Reform — Why Immigrate to the U.S.

The U.S. is no longer about freedom, opportunity. Immigrants believe that the source of wealth and prosperity IS the government.

Why do immigrants, legal or illegal, still want to come here? What do we have to offer that nobody else can offer them? Mexico has 4.7 percent unemployment, why cross the border into the U.S. where unemployment is in the double digits?

We no longer have economic freedom; there is no longer an opportunity for the best and the brightest but for quotas, this minority group and that minority group. The many agencies of the federal government split us into so many groups that we are no longer just Americans. We are divided on purpose by the color of our skin, geographic origination, gender, age, religious preferences, ethnicity, and sexual preferences. There are euphemistic and politically correct categories invented by liberals just so nobody is offended.

The government has suffocated the productive layers of society, rewarding sloth and welfare dependency, while taxing the middle class to the max in the name of the “rich paying their fair share.” And the rich are laughing all the way to their offshore investments where their wealth is secure.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Schumer: Legalizing Illegal Immigrants Won’t be Stopped by Border Security Needs

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said securing the nation’s borders should not be used as “a barrier” to giving illegal immigrants living in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship.

“We want the border to be secure. It’s more secure than it was several years ago, but it has a ways to go. And different sectors need different types of security. It’s a lot different having security in the Tucson sector than off the stretch in Texas, which is bounded by the Rio Grande,” Schumer said on Thursday.

“But we’re not using border security as an excuse or block to the path of citizenship. We just want to make sure — and this is very important both substantively and politically — that there is a secure border, and we’re going to work for that. But it’s not — and Dick [Durbin] and I and Bob [Menendez], as well as our three Republican friends, want to make sure the border’s secure but not to use it as a barrier to prevent the 11 million from eventually gaining a path to citizenship.”

[Comments: Deja-vu. Democrats gets Republicans to agree to legalizing illegals with promises — which NEVER gets implemented — to secure the borders. Any Republican politician that agrees to this is a fool.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Swedish Minister: Immigrant ‘Volumes’ Too High

Sweden’s immigration minister has told a newspaper that Sweden needs to tighten rules for asylum seekers and other would-be immigrants to reduce the number of people coming into the country.

“Today Sweden is one of the countries that receives the most immigrants in the EU. That’s not sustainable,” Tobias Billström told the Saturday edition of the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The minister’s Moderate Party, a conservative group and the largest member of Sweden’s centre-right coalition government, has tasked Billström with looking at ways to lower the “volumes” of immigrants entering the Scandinavian country, he said.

The party wants the country’s immigration policy to remain “humane,” he added.

Some of those applying for residency are covered by Sweden’s maintenance requirement, which says applicants must be able to support themselves and have

a home to be eligible.

But Billström claimed the policy only covered one percent of those applying for visas on family reunification grounds.

“Today, people are coming to households where the only income is support from the municipality. Is that reasonable?” he said.

The anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats said in a statement it welcomed Billström’s “awakening.”

“One thing is clear, the Sweden Democrats are influencing the debate in the right direction,” it said.

The Sweden Democrats entered parliament in 2010 after winning 5.7 percent of the vote, and polls currently put its support at just under 10 percent.

The number of residence permits issued by Sweden rose to an all-time high last year, with refugees accounting for most of the 19 percent rise.

In total, Sweden received just under 44,000 asylum applications in 2012..

Only two European countries received more: France (60,000) and Germany (64,000), according to the Swedish Migration Board.

The number of Syrians seeking asylum rose 12-fold, and the agency said in December it expected to receive up to 18,000 Syrians this year.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

UK: The Town That’s Had Enough: We Visit the Place With the Country’s Biggest Influx of East Europeans

They’ve stopped mincing their words in these parts. Even the social workers and the worthiest public sector grandees have given up dancing around one of the great taboos of our age and realise that it needs to be addressed head-on.

Hence there is little talk of ‘multi-culturalism’ here in Boston, the Lincolnshire cabbage capital.

Instead, everyone in this handsome old market town simply talks about ‘immigration’ — none more so, it seems, than the immigrants themselves.

For as Britain prepares to open up the workplace and the welfare state to the people of Bulgaria and Romania at the start of next year, none will feel the impact more than all the recent arrivals from Poland, Latvia and Lithuania who have made Boston the most Eastern European town in Britain.

Ziedonis Barbaks, leader of Boston’s substantial Latvian community, points out: ‘The Romanians and Bulgarians will just repeat what happened before.

‘The [employment] agencies and gang-masters will start hiring them, at a lower cost, instead of the Polish and Latvians and Lithuanians. Then what?’

If that happens, Britain could find itself with a new welfare bombshell — supporting all those migrants displaced from the workplace as well as all the indigenous British who are out of it already.

Some EU newcomers — no one seems to know how many — have already plugged in to the benefits system (as they can after just three months).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Al Gore and Eugenics

“I think, first of all, scientists now know that there is, in human nature, a divide between what we sometimes call ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives,’“ Gore told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And it gives an advantage, you can speculate, to the human species to have some people who are temperamentally inclined to try to change the future, experiment with new things, and others who are temperamentally inclined to say, ‘Wait a minute, not too fast, let’s make sure we don’t do anything rash here.’“

This is eugenics and prepping the way for ‘ getting rid’ of conservatives. It should scare the very crap out of you. The mask is coming off — entirely.

This is the language of George Bernard Shaw, Margaret Sanger and Hitler. We have come full circle. This is the Fabian Socialist/Progressive movement in all its full hellishness.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rest in Peace, Boy Scouts of America

Iconic institutions like the Boy Scouts of America are destroyed through social engineering.

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America fought to live up to those ideals. No more. After standing for moral and physical purity for more than a century, the organization apparently is prepared to surrender to the dark side of our society. The full BSA board must vote on this, but a statement by the group this week reads as follows: “There would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs.”

For those of us who remember our days in Scouting, it is sad to see the perverse sexualization of the Boy Scouts. And make no mistake: like everything else associated with the pro-homosexual agenda, that is exactly what this is.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Big Brother to Log Your Drinking Habits and Waist Size as GPS Are Forced to Hand Over Confidential Records

GPs are to be forced to hand over confidential records on all their patients’ drinking habits, waist sizes and illnesses.

The files will be stored in a giant information bank that privacy campaigners say represents the ‘biggest data grab in NHS history’.

They warned the move would end patient confidentiality and hand personal information to third parties.

The data includes weight, cholesterol levels, body mass index, pulse rate, family health history, alcohol consumption and smoking status.

Diagnosis of everything from cancer to heart disease to mental illness would be covered. Family doctors will have to pass on dates of birth, postcodes and NHS numbers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Peter Smith: The Next Step in Equality — — Protecting the Freedom to Differ

Peter Smith is a lawyer who works in central London. He has previously worked in Parliament, for Edward Leigh MP.

The move to bar direct and indirect forms of discrimination over the past 50 years has been, to a great degree, welcome progress. Without doubt it is perniciously unfair to discriminate against people on grounds of their race, and the same is largely true of discrimination because of sex, age or disability (although valid qualifications exist, such as the current ban on women in the infantry, which may yet change).

What has become apparent, however, is that when it comes to sexual orientation, many people consider homosexual acts to be morally wrong. I accept this is a blunt statement for many reasons, but the essence of this view stems from a wider understanding of the magnificence of heterosexual acts in the promises of lifelong marriage, complementarity between the sexes, and the creation and nurturing of new human life. For many people, such views stem from orthodox religious beliefs, and they may be mediated through appeals to historical tradition, reason, nature, and experience…

[Reader comment by tarpapershack on 2 February 2013 at about 9:30 am.]

We are going through a period in which Christianity is open to ridicule, mockery and displays of contempt and flagrant discrimination. Those who wish that their right to practise it be protected are not equal under the law. This process is deliberate and will no doubt result in it being outlawed completely. Of course this attack on religion only affects Christianity…the real fun will begin when we get serious conflict of interest between various minority interest groups, like homosexuals, and other religions, but of course people are not thinking of that.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: The Same-Sex Marriage Folly is Symptomatic of the Coalition’s Inability to Manage Its Affairs

by Norman Tebbit

I have no wish to go over once again the arguments for and against the concept of changing the nature of marriage to allow couples of the same sex to “marry”. However, and I say this with great regret, the manner in which the Government was committed to the policy is all too typical of so many other policies. The policy was never subjected to detailed scrutiny within Cabinet or at cabinet committees. I do not know to what extent civil servants were involved in drawing up draft legislation but I suspect that they were not brought into the discussions, such as there were…

[Reader comment by colinharrow on 2 February 2013 at about 10:30 am.]

I’m getting increasingly annoyed at the way in which certain media outlets, particularly the BBC, try to give the impression that opposition to gay marriage is exclusively confined to “the Tories”. Lord Tebbit may be right to suggest that in party political terms Cameron has the most to fear in terms of loss of support from active party members and Conservative MPs because of his support for it. But I live in a traditional Labour area and believe me many voters who already feel disenfranchised by the party’s move from the socialist to the liberal-left are very much against any change in the definition of marriage. The working class are actually very conservative, with a small “c” on the issue and it has nothing to do with homophobia.

Unfortunately they feel that with the change to “New” Labour their voices are now no longer heard or represented on so many issues where the new obsession with minority rights and diversity has supplanted the old Utilitarian aim of the greatest good for the greatest number. And gay marriage is just one such issue. But Milliband doesn’t have to worry in the way Cameron does because he will pick up votes from the liberal-left while retaining those of an albeit diminishing number of traditional Labour voters (you only have to look at the at recent elections to see how the turn-out has gone down) who literally have nowhere else to go.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: This Equality Obsession is Mad, Bad and Very Dangerous

by Charles Moore

The great doctrine of our time is pursued at all costs — but it reduces our freedoms

Last week, I appeared on the panel of the BBC’s Any Questions? in Guildford. We were asked whether we thought women should be allowed to take part in full front-line combat roles in the Armed Services. I said I didn’t think that it would be an advance in human civilisation if women abandoned their traditional association with peace and started killing people as men do…

[Reader comment by la catholic state on 2 February 2013 at about 9:30 am.]

That’s the whole point….to reduce our freedoms, turn us into serfs….and fill our minds with obvious lunacies and untruths. Just like the USSR of old. And only the Catholic Church has any chance of knocking this evil tyrannical system on its ugly head!

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Have You Been Hacked on Twitter? Global Alert as More Than a Quarter of a Million People Have Their Personal Data Stolen by Hackers in Cyber Attack

As many as a quarter of a million Twitter users may have had their personal details stolen by hackers, after the social media giant became the latest victim in a string of high-profile cyber attacks.

Twitter, which has over 200 million active users worldwide, admitted in a blog posting earlier this week it had detected attempts to gain access to its user data.

While the site shut down one attack moments after it was detected, it discovered the ‘extremely sophisticated’ hackers may have managed to access user names, e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords belonging to 250,000 users.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Microsoft’s 64GB Surface Pro Will Only Have 23GB Usable Storage

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet, due on February 9th, will have a smaller amount of storage space than expected. A company spokesperson has confirmed to The Verge that the 64GB edition of Surface Pro will have 23GB of free storage out of the box. The 128GB model will have 83GB of free storage. It appears that the Windows 8 install, built-in apps, and a recovery partition will make up the 41GB total on the base Surface Pro model.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

 

3 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/2/2013

  1. Mr Obama seems to be of the Tony Blair school of public servitude; ie, a socialist bent on implementing his warped ideas as rapidly as possible, and to try to ensure that they cannot be reversed. I find Tony Blair – everything he says, does and doesn’t do – repugnant.

    • Obama is the same sort of breed as the traitor Blair. Obama is far more ambitious, he wants to take down the entire US and reshape it
      into a New World Order. He is the Star Student of the NewYork
      AshkeNAZI Elites. He’s got 4 years, should be interesting viewing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>