Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/3/2013

A former CIA station chief in Milan was sentenced in absentia by an Italian court to seven years in prison after being convicted of arranging the abduction of a Muslim cleric from the city. The extraordinary rendition of the imam eventually sent him to a prison in Cairo for four years, where he says he was tortured.

In other news, a suicide bomber in Kenya experienced a premature climax, as his bomb exploded while he was still en route to the intended target. Only the bomber himself was killed, although several passersby were injured.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Derius, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Kitman, Mary Abdelmassih, Paul Green, SD, 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.

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
» Greece: Property Investment No Longer a Safe Bet
» Hundreds of Thousands of Master’s Degree Holders, PhDs on Food Stamps
» Italian Prosecutors Talk to Ex-Vatican Banker About MPS
» Italy: M5S Leader Criticises Napolitano Over MPS Secrecy
» Mass Vanishing From Workforce Linked to Alien Abduction
» Most Italians Eating Into Savings Every Month
» UK: Fury at £3bn Rise in Our Aid Budget
 
USA
» Bill Gates Backs ‘Better Than Cash Alliance’ To Usher in Cashless Society
» Enemies of the Constitution
» How the GOP Committed Political Suicide in 1982
» Is Chuck Hagel Simply Ignorant? Or Worse?
» Resurrecting Communism’s Glory Days
» Texas: Author of “American Sniper” Among the Dead at Rough Creek
» Texas: Home Invasion Suspect Arrested After Woman Opens Fire
» Twitter Turning Over Huge Amounts of User Data to U.S. Government
» Two Political Parties That Operate as One
» What Planet Does John Kerry Live on?
 
Europe and the EU
» Former CIA Chief in Italy Sentenced to 7 Years
» German Customs Stop Iranian With 50 Million Euro Cheque
» Greece: Junta General Dertilis Hailed as ‘Hero’ At Funeral
» Ireland: Rapist Told Woman He Was HIV Positive as He Laughed at Her
» Italy: Ex-Genoa Mayor Probed for Fraud in Deadly Flood Case
» Italy: Party Leader: President Tries to Cover Up MPS Scandal
» Italy: Outgoing PM Monti Denies ‘Inventing’ So-Called IMU Tax
» Italy: Cinque Stelle Leader Grillo Says PD in MPS Scandal
» Italy: Monti Says His Goverment First to Cut F35 Programme
» MEPs Urged to Block BNP and Europe’s Nationalist Parties From £300,000 EU Funding
» Naomi Oni: Dagenham Acid Attack Victim, ‘Wanted to Die’
» Nazi Gun Control Laws: A Familiar Road to Citizen Disarmament?
» Slovenia: Political Crisis, 80% Against Premier Jansa
» Spain: Former PP Treasurers Deny Secret Payments
» UK: A Show of Hands! That’s How the Socialist Workers Party Cleared a Comrade of Rape
» UK: Google is Sued by Dozens of Customers After ‘Snooping on 10million’
» UK: Man Accused of Stabbing Wife Before Running Her Over
» UK: Police Smash Gang’s £10m Fakes Empire
» UK: The Father of Murdered Toddler James Bulger 20 Years After His Little Boy’s Murder Horrified Britain
 
North Africa
» Egyptian Christian Girl, 13, Abducted by Muslims
» Morocco’s Ruling Islamists Target Risky Reforms
» Tunisia: Emigrants Source of Investment, Not Only Remittances
 
Middle East
» Obama Rejected Clinton-Petraeus Plan to Arm Syrian Rebels
» Saudi Preacher Gets Light Sentence for Killing Daughter
» Saudi Preacher Spared After Raping, Killing Daughter
» Why Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment Upgrade May be a ‘Game Changer’ (+Video)
» Yemeni Coast Guard Stops Ship Carrying Iranian Missiles
 
South Asia
» Blast Wipes Out Family and Two Police Die in Afghanistan
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Inside Gao Where Arab Jihadis Took Bloody Sharia Retribution on Mali’s Black Africans
» Kenya: Bomb Explodes Before the Bombing and Kills the Terrorist
 
Latin America
» A French-Peruvian-Spanish Team Discovers a Chamber in Machu Picchu
 
Immigration
» EU Green Lights Illegal Immigrants Control Plan
» Tories Warned Not to Discriminate Against Romanians and Bulgarians
 
Culture Wars
» Is Fatherhood Being Killed So the State Can Play God?
» The Three Types of People You’ll Meet in Liberal Hell
» UK: 40,000 Teachers Risk Jobs Over Gay Row
» UK: Rebels Line Up to Jilt Dave Cameron at the Gay Altar
 
General
» A 5-Point Plan for a New Globalism
» Islam and Islamism in the Modern World: An Interview With Daniel Pipes
» Whistleblower: Monsanto Wants to Kill the Bees to Make Way for Its Super-Bee

Greece: Property Investment No Longer a Safe Bet

Real estate taxes rising steadily, better to rent

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JANUARY 31 — Before the economic crisis brought Greece to its knees, investing in real estate was always seen as the safest bet. Now, instead, the situation has been turned on its head and buying property has become unprofitable. According to several local economic analysts, the first reason concerns the government’s chronic inability to fight tax evasion. As many of them point out, over the past few years every failed attempt by the government to crack down on tax evaders invariably led to an increase in real estate taxes. The figures speak volumes: in 2012 Greeks paid 2.75 billion euros in real estate taxes, compared with the 526 million paid in 2009, while in 2013 the government hopes to be able to bring in 3.2 billion to state coffers: six times what taxpayers paid in 2010.

The National Property Owners Confederation (POMIDA) has said that there are 40 different taxes on real estate in Greece.

Meanwhile, from the 2,059 Greek citizens with secret accounts in Switzerland (most likely undeclared on tax returns) on the ‘Lagarde list’, the internal revenue service has not been able to recover a single euro. “Since 2009,” chairman Stratos Paradias said at the 30th national POMIDA conference, “several economic and other measures have been brought in which are destructive and against the interests of property owners and which led to a collapse of the real estate market and the impoverishment of owners, who have seen all profits slip away during the economic crisis — while at the same time finding themselves unable to pay the steadily rising taxes.” A typical example of the dramatic situation the sector finds itself in is the fact that many owners would like to get rid of the burden of taxes that being a property owner entails in by selling their real estate.

According to a survey conducted by the Kappa Research institute on a sample of 1,414 people throughout Greece, 54% of Greeks will this year not be able to pay real estate taxes and will have to choose between three possibilities: selling one of their properties to pay the taxes on the others, request a bank loan, or let the State seize the property. The same percentage (54%) of Greek real estate owners said that they no longer earned any profit from their properties but still had to continue paying taxes. One in four Greeks (25%) have fallen behind on loan payments, while 48% say they are certain that they will soon no longer be able to pay off their bank loans. The survey also noted that the vast majority of Greeks (82.7%) believe that it is no longer worth it to own real estate, or that it is counterproductive, while over half of those surveyed said that it is better to rent a home than own it.

In a meeting with Finance Undersecretary Giorgos Mavragannis, the high-ranking members of POMIDA warned that the State may not be able to bring into its coffers the latest property taxes.

“If the government continues its unreasonable policy of taxing real estate of all kinds, it will end up in an economic disaster, wiping out entirely all those property owners unable to pay the new taxes,” POMIDA chief Paradias said at the end of the meeting.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Hundreds of Thousands of Master’s Degree Holders, PhDs on Food Stamps

(NaturalNews) Shelling out tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for higher education may no longer be the surefire path to a great career that it used to be. A recent report compiled by the education resource group OnlineColleges.net found that more than 300,000 Americans with either Master’s degrees or Ph.D.s were receiving food stamps in 2010 — and many more are likely on some form of government assistance today as economic conditions since that time have only continued to worsen.

To give a point of reference as to how bad the situation truly is, there were fewer than 100,000 Americans with Master’s degrees or Ph.D.s on food stamps in 2007, which means the overall number of people with extensive college educations on government assistance more than tripled in just three years. And if this trend continued at the same rate between 2010 and 2013, the total number of college educated on government assistance today has easily eclipsed more than half a million, and with no end in sight.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italian Prosecutors Talk to Ex-Vatican Banker About MPS

Gotti Tedeschi questioned over takeover of Antonveneta

(see related story) (ANSA) — Rome, January 31 — The former head of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, was questioned on Thursday by prosecutors investigating suspect operations at the troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank.

The prosecutors wanted to talk to Gotti Tedeschi about MPS’s nine-billion-euro acquisition of Antonveneta in 2008 from Spanish bank Santander.

Gotti Tedeschi was in charge of Santander’s operations in Italy before becoming president of the Vatican Bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), in 2009.

The IOR’s board ousted him from that post last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: M5S Leader Criticises Napolitano Over MPS Secrecy

(AGI) Bologna, Feb 2 — Five Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo spoke at a rally in Bologna, commenting on the Monte dei Paschi di Siena affair. “Your President, actually ‘their’ President, said privacy is important, but all he wants to do is shelve this scandal. This in unacceptable, this country is falling to pieces”. Grillo called the MPS affair “the greatest scandal in history, together with the Parmalat and Banco Ambrosiano crashes”.

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

Mass Vanishing From Workforce Linked to Alien Abduction

With over 8 million people mysteriously disappearing from the US workforce during President Barack Obama’s first term, experts are working on a number of theories to explain this riddle, the most commonly mentioned reason being alien abductions occurring throughout the US on an extraordinarily massive scale.

According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the number of people disappearing from the US workforce rose from 80.5 million when the president took office in 2009 to the current 89 million, while unemployment has remained steady near 8-9%. In other words, 8.5 million people have simply vanished in a way that can’t be explained by the usual retirement or disability trends.

“Since we can’t blame it on the economy, the only conceivable explanation is that someone is taking people out of the labor market by force,” said Malcolm Lenivie, noted economist for the DC-based Center for Keynesian Economics. “The President has spent $6 trillion in stimulus packages and all our studies indicate that his plan is working, so something else must be at play.”

Early theories included abductions by Mexican drug cartels, but leading security experts agree that it would be impossible to move eight million people across the US border undetected.

“Our border is extremely secure,” said border security analyst Jared Contrabandzis of the American Progressive Initiative, a non-partisan think tank. “No one can cross our southern border in any direction without our knowledge. The Border Patrol catches them all and reports them to the authorities.”

[NOTE: Visit URL above to find out what President Obama plans if immediate action isn’t taken…]

[Return to headlines]

Most Italians Eating Into Savings Every Month

80% living paycheck to paycheck, study finds

(ANSA) — Rome, January 31 — Over 60% of Italians are eating into their savings every month amid the economic crisis, a study by the Eurispes research institute said Thursday. “Some 60.6% of Italians, three out of five, are forced to eat into their savings to get to the end of the month, and 62.8% have great difficulty coping with the fourth, if not also the third, week,” the research group said. The study, which called the start of 2013 “bleak”, said 79.2% of survey responders are unable to put money aside, “which means only one in five is able to save”. Italians, whose penchant for saving has been a pillar of the national economy, are being battered by a recession and the strain of government austerity measures. Those aged 45-64 were struggling the most economically, the study said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Fury at £3bn Rise in Our Aid Budget

BRITISH taxpayers are to plough an extra £2.65billion into foreign aid payments.

The increase this year, part of David Cameron’s lavish plan to commit 0.7 per cent of Britain’s gross national income to international aid, last night angered MPs who claim the funds should be spent on clawing back cuts in the defence budget.

Former defence minister Gerald Howarth said: “I haven’t met a Conservative in this country that has supported the cuts in defence spending or the increase in overseas aid. It is something we just do not understand under our current financial constraints.”

On Friday Mr Cameron reiterated his pledge on aid, committing Britain to a further 20 years. Other nations facing austerity measures have cut their contributions.

Under Coalition plans, Government spending on aid has jumped from £8.6billion last year to £11.3billion this year. Next year it will rise further, to £11.7billion, while keeping to the Government’s 0.7 per cent ­target.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Bill Gates Backs ‘Better Than Cash Alliance’ To Usher in Cashless Society

It appears that while Bill Gates was content to play the role of Microsoft innovator and billionaire philanthropist early on, he has decided that the second half of his life deserves a more open and slightly more honest twist. Indeed, in recent years Bill Gates and his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have funded a variety of initiatives aimed at reducing population, promoting toxic vaccinations, and now hyping and funding the development of the cashless society. In a recent article by Peter McCoy published in Bloomberg Businessweek, McCoy reveals that Bill Gates is opposed to physical cash currency because, like vaccine-free populations who are able to determine their own reproduction rates, it hurts poor people (according to Gates).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Enemies of the Constitution

It is the only thing that stands between us and a tyrannical government run by Progressives, Liberals, and Marxists.

Perhaps the stupidest idea given an airing in a recent edition of The New York Times is Prof. Louis Michael Seidman’s opinion, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.”

According to his commentary, Prof. Seidman has “taught constitutional law for almost 40 years” and he was “ashamed” it took him that long to conclude that it was an outdated, “bizarre” document.

Apparently President Obama, who was a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School, arrived at that conclusion more swiftly. His disregard for the Constitution recently got a slap down from the courts that ruled his recess appointments to the labor relations board were unconstitutional insofar as the Senate was not in recess.

I am not a constitutional scholar, but it should be self-evident that the oldest living constitution in the world has served to create and maintain the greatest republic in the world. Prof. Seidman asserts that Americans have “an obsession” with the Constitution and that is a very good thing indeed. Without it, we would likely have fallen prey to tyranny.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How the GOP Committed Political Suicide in 1982

[Comment: GOP: Grand Old Party aka Republicans.]

Democratic National Committee v Republican National Committee [url]

Case No. 09-4615 (C.A. 3, Mar. 8, 2012)

“In 1982, the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) entered into a consent decree (the “Decree” or “Consent Decree”), which is national in scope, limiting the RNC’s ability to engage or assist in voter fraud prevention unless the RNC obtains the court’s approval in advance. The RNC appeals from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey denying, in part, the RNC’s Motion to Vacate or Modify the Consent Decree. Although the District Court declined to vacate the Decree, it did make modifications to the Decree. The RNC argues that the District Court abused its discretion by modifying the Decree as it did and by declining to vacate the Decree. For the following reasons, we will affirm the District Court’s judgment.

“During the 1981 New Jersey gubernatorial election, the DNC, the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (“DSC”), Virginia L. Peggins, and Lynette Monroe brought an action against the RNC, the New Jersey Republican State Committee (“RSC”), John A. Kelly, Ronald Kaufman, and Alex Hurtado, alleging that the RNC and RSC targeted minority voters in an effort to intimidate them in violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (“VRA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 1971, 1973, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The RNC allegedly created a voter challenge list by mailing sample ballots to individuals in precincts with a high percentage of racial or ethnic minority registered voters and, then, including individuals whose postcards were returned as undeliverable on a list of voters to challenge at the polls. The RNC also allegedly enlisted the help of off-duty sheriffs and police officers to intimidate voters by standing at polling places in minority precincts during voting with “National Ballot Security Task Force” armbands. Some of the officers allegedly wore firearms in a visible manner.

“To settle the lawsuit, the RNC and RSC entered into the Consent Decree at issue here. Rest at link above.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stop it:

Supreme Court declines to hear Republican voting challenge.[url]

[…]

Why do you think the Democratic/Communist Party USA and the American Communist Lawyers Union (ACLU) fight so hard to defeat voter ID laws? To allow illegals and non eligible individuals into the voting booth.

Now you know why the GOP and Romney didn’t challenge the massive vote fraud. They all knew about that lawsuit, but most of us only found out shortly after the election. I wonder if big donors would like to get their millions back?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Is Chuck Hagel Simply Ignorant? Or Worse?

We’ll soon entrust our nation’s security to a U.S. Secretary of Defense who wholeheartedly trusted Fidel Castro.

“Elian is now where he belongs.” (Senator Chuck Hagel after Elian Gonzalez was shanghaied at U.S. gunpoint from his American family at Fidel Castro’s command and without a warrant.)

“To me,” wrote Hagel in a New York Times Op-Ed just after the armed raid on the Gonzalez family’s Miami home, “this case has always been fundamentally about a father-son relationship. … the point of the raid — to reunite Elián with his father when those housing him had repeatedly refused to hand him over…The boy is where he belongs.”

Why did this Republican Senator accept the word of a Stalinist dictator whose lifelong dream was to nuke Hagel’s homeland over that of the most loyal Republicans in modern U.S. history: (Americans of Cuban heritage)?

Some background:

During the dawn of April 22, 2000 on the orders of Janet Reno — acting on the orders of her Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton, acting under the threat of blackmail by Stalinist dictator Fidel Castro — armed INS agents maced, kicked, and gun-butted their way into Lazaro Gonzalez’s Miami home, wrenched a bawling 6-year-old child from his American family at (genuine) assault weapon-point and bundled him off to Castro’s Stalinist fiefdom, leaving 102 people injured, some seriously.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Resurrecting Communism’s Glory Days

Communism: A socially desolate, evil doctrine, and that communists were pathologically covetous, deceitful, craven, lazy, and murderous.

In his February 1 column [url], Dr. Steven Lambert reprinted in part a section of testimony that was given before the House of Representatives in 1963; this cited 45 declared goals the Communist Party in America had in their strategy for taking the country over. The entire reprint is available in several places online, so I won’t use up space to include them here.

What’s chilling is that while reading them, it quickly becomes apparent that most of the 45 goals have been achieved, in whole or in part, and they are well on the way to realizing those that have not. Given the stated goals of compromising the press and their practice of obscuring their own political roots and motives with semantics (i.e., changing labels such as “liberal,” “progressive,” and so forth), it becomes easier to understand how millions of Americans — perhaps a majority — have no idea whatsoever of what is transpiring. A majority of those to the right of center, who most definitely perceive the symptoms of the malady, are unable to make an accurate diagnosis of the condition.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Texas: Author of “American Sniper” Among the Dead at Rough Creek

A former Tarleton State University student who wrote the best-selling book, “American Sniper,” was one of two victims shot and killed at Rough Creek Lodge Saturday.

Chris Kyle, 38, and another man were found dead at Rough Creek’s shooting range between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday, according to Sheriff Tommy Bryant.

Eddie Ray Routh, an Iraqi war veteran, was arrested hours later after a manhunt led authorities to Lancaster where Routh was taken into custody just before 9 p.m. Saturday.

Routh, 25, is expected to be charged with capital murder.

Investigators had not released the name of the second victim at press time, but reports indicate he may have been Routh’s neighbor.

Bryant said the three men were at the shooting range Saturday when Routh shot the victims at point-blank range before fleeing in Kyle’s truck .

Kyle was a former Navy SEAL who served four tours of duty in Iraq, where he was given the nickname “The Devil of Ramadi” by insurgents.

In 2008, he made his longest successful shot after he spotted an insurgent with a rocket launcher near a U.S. Army convoy at a range of 2,100 yards (1.2 miles).

Kyle was recently honored by the Tarleton Alumni Association as the Outstanding Young Alumnus for 2013.

“Our hearts go out to Chris’ family and friends at this tragic moment,” Tarleton State University President, Dr. Dominic Dottavio, said. “We are proud of his exemplary service to our nation and are deeply saddened to hear the news of this tragic event.”

Kyle leaves behind a wife, Taya, and two children.

           — Hat tip: SD [Return to headlines]

Texas: Home Invasion Suspect Arrested After Woman Opens Fire

Suspect arrested at hospital

MAGNOLIA, Texas — A home invasion suspect was arrested at a hospital after a mother shot him during the crime at a Montgomery County home, deputies said Wednesday.

Erin, who asked to be identified only by her first name, told Local 2 she was putting her 6-year-old son to bed when she heard a loud noise coming from her bedroom on Mink Lake Drive Friday night.

“I threw the cover over my son and I took off running, screaming to the living room to let my dogs out,” she said.

Quick Clicks

Deputies: Mom surprises home invaders with gun

Erin said she turned around and saw three masked men, pointing a gun right at her.

“When I saw three of them, I knew I was in a lot of trouble. I said, ‘The TV is the most expensive thing I own. You could take that through the front door and go with it,’ and they said, ‘No, the money, the money,’“ said Erin.

Erin said she had to think fast as the men headed towards her son’s room. The mom said she distracted the men as she rushed to get her gun.

“Somehow the way it happened, as they were going down the hallway, I told them sometimes I keep money under the mattress, which is not true. But I needed to get to where my gun was,” she said.

The men followed her to her bedroom.

“I was pretending to move the mattress. It’s really heavy, so I was trying to move their attention to the mattress because they wouldn’t take their eyes off of me. I needed a split second for them to take their eyes off of me. I said, ‘It might be under here.’ They started talking to each other in Spanish and then a roll of duct tape came out,” said Erin.

At this point, Erin said she prayed for something to distract them so she could grab her gun. She said her prayers were answered when her dogs ran in and started barking.

“They all turned around and looked. I grabbed my gun, cocked it, I turned and shot him right in the stomach,” said Erin.

Two of the men escaped. Erin said she pointed a gun at a third suspect, but he went after her before she could shoot.

“We wrestled around in my bedroom and he came after me. I had my gun like this. He kneed me in the face. He just jerked the gun right out of my hand and took off,” she said.

Next, Erin rushed to her son’s room.

“I looked and saw Kaden and he had the covers up to his eyes,” said Erin.

She grabbed her son, got another gun and called 911. The mother said her story would have ended much differently if she didn’t have her pistol.

“Protecting yourself goes into our Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. And thousands of people died to give me the right that saved my life,” said Erin.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said Adrian Granados-Yepez, 27, of Tomball, was arrested at Memorial Hermann Hospital Monday night, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound.

Anyone with information on the other suspects is asked to call Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 800-392-STOP.

           — Hat tip: Paul Green [Return to headlines]

Twitter Turning Over Huge Amounts of User Data to U.S. Government

(NaturalNews) Social networking giant Twitter has released a new report outlining all subpoenaed, court ordered, and search warranted requests made by the U.S. government for private information about the site’s users throughout the past year. And based on the figures, not only is the overall number of such requests steadily expanding, but Twitter is also increasingly being coerced into releasing this confidential data without legitimate probable cause or warrant.

During the first and second quarters of 2012, Twitter received a total of 849 requests for information, according to the report, about 80 percent of which came from the U.S. Roughly 12 percent of the requests made during this time came from Japan, while the remaining came from Canada, the U.K. and elsewhere. Overall, Twitter responded to 63 percent of these requests by providing some or all of the information requested, and rejected the other 37 percent.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Two Political Parties That Operate as One

America has always operated under a two party system. From the Founding unto today they have evolved into a single system that seems to be moving towards the same goal, the removal of our Constitution and the elimination of our Bill of Rights.

This may sound extreme but when you look at the facts there is no other conclusion. I have watched the political theater in America turn into something that I never dreamed. We think that there are two distinct parties that care more about our Constitution and the rights it gives the people than anything else but what we have seen, especially over the last 15 years, is a government that take more and more of our rights away from us demanding more and more control over our lives and everything we do.

One Party, The Democrat Party, has approximately 70 of its members that are card carrying members of the Democrat Socialists of America. ( If you want a full list send me an email and I will give you the list as of 2010.) Some of the members are very well known. These members are:

[…]

We used to be a nation of laws and our Congress’ and our Presidents adhered to them and demanded that our laws be upheld. Rep. Pete Stark out of CA was caught on video tape stating that when Congress passed laws they ‘paid no attention to the Constitution when doing so’. How long can we stay a free strong nation when ore so-called leaders ignore our laws and do whatever they want.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

What Planet Does John Kerry Live on?

The two-day old tenure of Secretary of State John Kerry got off to a flying start today with an astonishing statement from his ambassador to Egypt, Anne W. Patterson, at a joint ceremony in Cairo to mark the delivery of four American-made F-16 aircraft:

Today’s ceremony demonstrates the firm belief of the United States that a strong Egypt is in the interest of the U.S., the region, and the world. We look to Egypt to continue to serve as a force for peace, security, and leadership as the Middle East proceeds with its challenging yet essential journey toward democracy. … Our thirty-four year security partnership is based upon shared interests and mutual respect. The United States has long recognized Egypt as an indispensible partner.

Comments:

(1) Is not anyone in the Department of State aware that Egypt is now run by an Islamist zealot from the bowels of the Muslim Brotherhood whose goals differ profoundly from those of Americans?

(2) Willfully ignorant, head-in-the-ground statements like this are the embarrassment and ruin of American foreign policy.

(3) What a launch for Kerry, whose mental vapidity promises to make Hillary Clinton actually look good in retrospect. (February 3, 2013)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Former CIA Chief in Italy Sentenced to 7 Years

Fellow operatives get six years in Muslim cleric snatch case

(ANSA) — Rome, February 1 — Milan’s Court of Appeal on Friday sentenced the CIA’s former Italy chief, Jeff Castelli, to seven years in prison for involvement in the abduction of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr from the city in 2003, while a separate court in Perugia acquitted the former head of Italian secret services for illegal spying charges in the case. Castelli and fellow CIA operatives Betnie Medero and Ralph Russomando were acquitted on the grounds of diplomatic immunity in a 2009 trial that led to 23 US officials being convicted. The other two agents were sentenced to six years in prison on Friday. None of the CIA operatives have ever appeared in court here.

The case was the first judicial examination of extraordinary rendition, one of the controversial practices of America’s war on terror, first authorised by Bill Clinton, widely used under George W. Bush, and extended by Obama on the condition that torture was stopped.

Also on Friday, Italy’s former SISMI secret service chief Nicolo’ Pollari was acquitted for alleged breach of protocol and illegally obtaining files in the case.

At a preliminary hearing in Perugia, former official Pio Pompa was also acquitted of the charges but was then indicted on separate charges of unauthorized espionage, to be tried October 17.

The two were accused of obtaining a confidential disc with unauthorized files on magistrates, officials and journalists which pertained to the extraordinary rendition of the Muslim cleric.

The former head of SISMI said through his lawyer that he was “relieved, despite the fact that a State-secrecy injunction prevented him from fully defending himself”.

Pollari and his ex-No.2 Marco Mancini are awaiting a retrial in the Milan Court of Appeals on separate charges in the case. The two have repeatedly been acquitted on appeal in the past because of the State-secrecy injunction.

In a separate case, Pollari faces corruption charges in an alleged State-property scam. Nasr, an Islamist wanted in Italy on suspicion of recruiting jihadi fighters, disappeared from a Milan street on February 17, 2003 and emerged from an Egyptian prison four years later claiming he had been tortured.

The cleric, who is also known as Abu Omar, has not attended the trials.

Prosecutors said he was snatched by a team of CIA operatives with SISMI’s help and taken to a NATO base in Ramstein, Germany, en route to Cairo.

(Photo: Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr)

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Customs Stop Iranian With 50 Million Euro Cheque

(AGI) Germany — There appears to be a mysterious triangle also involving Iran and Venezuela linked to a cheque carried by a former governor of the Bank of Iran.

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

Greece: Junta General Dertilis Hailed as ‘Hero’ At Funeral

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JANUARY 31 — Nikolaos Dertilis was buried in Athens Thursday amid controversy as Bishop Amvrosios of Kalavryta praised the late junta collaborator comparing him to Theodoros Kolokotronis, an icon of Greece’s War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, as well as ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. “Dertilis was a hero like Kolokotronis and Socrates,” said Amvrosios who conducted the funeral service. The funeral — as Kathimerini online reports — was attended by several deputies and supporters of Golden Dawn, the country’s neofascist party which earlier this week saluted Dertilis, who was the last surviving member of the 1967-74 military dictatorship’s hierarchy, as “an exceptional Greek and a soldier who shed his blood for his country on the battlefields.” Gunshots were fired amid cheers and applause from the crowd as the late general was put to rest. Reports said police detained one person after he was found carrying 5 bullet shells. Authorities were investigating his home, reports said. After the restoration of democracy, Dertilis was sentenced to life in prison for shooting dead of a young protester during the bloody suppression of a student uprising in 1973. He died on Monday at the age of 94.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ireland: Rapist Told Woman He Was HIV Positive as He Laughed at Her

A man who laughed in a woman’s face as he pinned her to a bed and raped her and then told her that he was HIV positive and had hepatitis C has been jailed for nine years with two years suspended.

Lovemore Dube (25), who was born in Zimbabwe, has a South African passport and came to Ireland in 2005, pleaded guilty to raping the woman in her home in Cork, and to the theft of house keys, on July 23rd, 2012.

At the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Carney said Dube had abused the woman’s hospitality by returning to rape her when she was alone in the house less than an hour after she and her fiance had invited him in for coffee as it was raining.

“When he was left alone with his victim, he effected a long, gratuitously violent and gratuitously insulting rape which left the victim severely injured and severely traumatised,” Mr Justice Carney said.

Earlier this week, the woman, in her victim impact statement, told how she feared that Dube was going to kill her when, after biting her on her breasts, he put his hands on her neck and began to choke her as he raped her in the bedroom of her house.

“I couldn’t breathe as I was being strangled and I thought I was going to die. I didn’t want to die like this and I thought his face would be the last thing I would ever see in this life. I felt I was seconds from death and I couldn’t do anything about it.

“I thought I would never see my lovely family again and never see the love of my life again. I dreaded my family finding me dead like this and worried about the trauma they would go through.

“His eyes looked evil and they bored into me and he seemed to enjoy my suffering as he kept laughing. I felt humiliated, powerless, and his smell repulsed me.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Ex-Genoa Mayor Probed for Fraud in Deadly Flood Case

Prosecutors say documents tampered with

(ANSA) — Genoa, January 30 — The former mayor of Genoa is being investigated by city prosecutors for suspected slander and manipulating documents in an investigation surrounding the 2011 deadly Genoa flood, ANSA sources said Wednesday. Ex-mayor Marta Vincenzi appeared before prosectors with her lawyer at a police court in the northwestern city. According to prosecutors, documentation regarding the precise timing of when the city launched a flood alert in the fall of 2011 were tampered with by city officials.

In November of that year, the Po River overflowed in Genoa and killed six people, including two children, and caused extensive damage. Last October five people in the case were listed under investigation for fraud.

Details surrounding the slander allegation were not available.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Party Leader: President Tries to Cover Up MPS Scandal

(AGI) — Milan, Feb 2 — Roberto Maroni, leader of the regionalist Northern League party, believes Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is trying to cover up the scandal involving MPS bank. Talking to journalists during an electoral rally in Milan, Maroni said: “The president has intervened strongly, asking journalists not talk about the scandal.” Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest bank, is currently involved in a scandal over loss-making derivatives contracts and alleged fraud.

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

Italy: Outgoing PM Monti Denies ‘Inventing’ So-Called IMU Tax

(AGI) Rome, Feb 1 — During a Friday evening television interview, outgoing prime minister Mario Monti described his government’s ‘IMU’ ramped up property tax scheme as a direct consequence of “past bad government, waste, corruption and unrealistic electoral pledges.” Monti acknowledged the scheme’s unpopularity, saying “I can’t, however, claim to have invented it.” With the worst of Italy’s debt crisis “behind us, it is now possible to start amending the IMU [scheme] — with an eye to first-home owners, families with children and lowest income earners.”

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

Italy: Cinque Stelle Leader Grillo Says PD in MPS Scandal

(AGI) Bologna — Cinque Stelle party leader, Beppe Grillo, said the entire Pd party is involved in the Monte Paschi scandal .

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

Italy: Monti Says His Goverment First to Cut F35 Programme

(AGI) — Rome, Feb 2 — Mario Monti spoke about military spending in an interview with “Presadiretta “. He said, “It is useful to remember that Italy adhered to the F35 programme in 1999 under the D’Alema government, confirmed her participation with Berlusconi’s government in 2002 and then took further steps under Prodi and Berlusconi in 2009. Our government is the only one to reduce the number of F35s — from 131 to 90…” The programme will air on Sunday February 3rd at 9:30 p.m. .

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

MEPs Urged to Block BNP and Europe’s Nationalist Parties From £300,000 EU Funding

The ultra-nationalists parties at the European Parliament, including the British National Party, could be barred from receiving around £330,000 worth of funding from the EU, if around 70 more MEPs support a change in the funding rules.

The cash, which is due to be awarded in a fortnight, , is the subject of a campaign by British anti-fascist movement Hope Not Hate, who are trying to get MEPs to block far-right groups in The Alliance of European National Movements from being granted the money.

Parties in that group include the BNP, Hungary’s Jobbik party and France’s Front National.

The group received €300,000 in 2012, prompting calls that they be banned from future funding from tax-payers.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Naomi Oni: Dagenham Acid Attack Victim, ‘Wanted to Die’

A woman has said she did not want to live when she saw herself for the first time after having acid thrown in her face near her home in east London.

Naomi Oni, 20, said she was attacked by a person wearing a veil covering their face after getting off a bus in Lodge Avenue, Dagenham, on 30 December.

She said: “I’ve never been so scared in my life. I just knew it was acid.

“The first time I looked I was shocked. I didn’t want to live after I saw my face.”

Miss Oni, who worked at the Victoria’s Secret lingerie store in Westfield, Stratford, is recovering after undergoing surgery for burns sustained in the attack.

‘That person failed’

When she first saw herself in the mirror she said: “My head was 10 times the size, my face was black, my eyes were swollen and my eyes were cutting out.

Naomi Oni said her whole head was swollen after the attack “I thought I was going to go blind. I was terrified.”

Determined to stay positive despite her injuries, she said things could have been much worse.

“That person failed, whatever their aim was they failed.

“God has given me a life for a reason and that’s what keeps me going.”

She told BBC London she was making her way home from work when the attack happened at about 00:40 GMT.

“I got off the bus stop of my house and was about to cross the road, I felt a presence behind me so I decided to look back.

“I saw what seemed to be a lady wearing what I think is a hijab (sic), which was mostly black.

“I remember being startled and shocked, thinking ‘I don’t remember her getting off the bus with me, I didn’t hear footsteps behind me’.

“The person was just staring back at me.”

‘Screaming hysterically’

Miss Oni said as she turned her head back she “felt something being thrown at her and felt a splash”.

Miss Oni worked in Victoria’s Secret in Westfield Stratford “I ran home down the road screaming hysterically shouting on the phone to my boyfriend telling him to call 999.

“I got to my door and was shouting acid, acid, acid.

“Before I could feel it burning, I just knew it was acid, I thought OK someone is out to… kill me.”

Relatives helped her flush her face with water before paramedics arrived at the house.

Miss Oni said: “I was scared, I was shaking, I’ve never been so scared in my life.”

She has since been released from hospital having undergone skin grafts.

And she says while she feels lucky not to have been blinded, she has no idea why she was targeted.

“I have no clue why someone would do this to me.

“I still ask myself the same question every day, Why me? What have I done? I didn’t understand.”

The Metropolitan Police have said officers were keeping an open mind as to the motive. No arrests have been made.

           — Hat tip: Derius [Return to headlines]

Nazi Gun Control Laws: A Familiar Road to Citizen Disarmament?

A more journalistic and dispassionate piece might present some of the gun control laws passed in Germany before and during Hitler’s reign of terror.

Such a survey is the purpose of this article. If there are similarities between German disarmament laws that cleared the way for the seizure of absolute power by the Nazi party and contemporary American gun control proposals, they will become apparent to the reader, regardless of personal prejudices or predetermined outcome.

First, in 1919 (about nine years before the rise of the National Socialists), the German post-World War I government passed the Verordnung des Rates der Volksbeauftragen über Waffenbesitz (Regulations of the Council of the People’s Delegates on Weapons Possession). A reaction to the increasing presence of communists in Germany, this gun control law mandated, “All firearms, as well as all kinds of firearms ammunition, are to be surrendered immediately.” Anyone who was found in possession of a gun or ammunition could be punished by up to five years imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 marks.

As agents of the German military enforced this law throughout Germany, in order to accelerate the seizure of all weapons and ammunition, the decision was made to install what might be called in modern political parlance a “Disarmament Czar.” Call for a gun control czar. Sound familiar?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Slovenia: Political Crisis, 80% Against Premier Jansa

46% for early vote, 40% in favour of cabinet with new Premier

(ANSAmed) — LJUBLJANA, JANUARY 28 — Some 80% of Slovenian voters would still back the government headed by conservative premier Janez Jansa who was left without a majority in Parliament last week, according to a survey published by the local press on Monday, exactly a year after Jansa’s government was sworn in. After reports revealing alleged irregularities by Jansa, the centrist liberal civic list DI backing the cabinet left the government majority and another two minor parties have announced they will do the same. Jansa has however refused to step down saying he will move ahead with a minority government to implement a number of anti-crisis measures.

According to the survey, Slovenians are divided over ways to solve the crisis with 46% of those interviewed hoping for early elections even if anti-crisis measures would slow down while 40% said the government should stay but without Jansa.

The survey published by the daily Delo showed that 62% of those polled did not believe the cabinet could govern without a majority and the premier had to demand a vote of confidence from parliament. The Slovennian constitution provides for a vote of confidence only if the government asks for it while lawmakers can give a premier a vote of no-confidence only if they are able to appoint a new prime minister during the same vote.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: Former PP Treasurers Deny Secret Payments

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JANUARY 31 — Former Popular Party (PP) treasurer Luis Barcenas has today sent a statement to the EFE agency saying that in the years in which he held the position, he had never made any payments to leaders not recorded in the official accounts, and that nor was there any record of expenditure and revenue other than the official ones. Barcenas’s predecessor as party treasurer, Avaro Lapuerta, has also issued a statement saying that he did not agree with what was reported in the article on the issue published in El Pais today.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: A Show of Hands! That’s How the Socialist Workers Party Cleared a Comrade of Rape

Ordinarily, we would not bore you with the interminable machinations of the far Left. This scandal, though, goes beyond militant politics because it involves an allegation of rape against a senior figure in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) by a more junior colleague.

Decisions by the committee have to be ratified at the annual conference. Hence Miss Udwin’s address in Hammersmith earlier this month.

‘We [on the disputes committee] are here to protect the interests of the party and to make sure that any inappropriate behaviour of any kind by comrades is dealt with, and we do that according to the politics of a revolutionary party,’ she said.

Even, it seems, when the ‘dispute’ involves the aforementioned allegation of rape. Not just sexist or misogynistic behaviour, but rape.

Instead of calling in the police, it now transpires the claims were dealt with internally by Candy Udwin and her comrades on the disputes committee. The SWP insists it was the alleged victim herself who chose not to involve the police, but that does not excuse the charade that ensued.

No one on the committee knew the young woman, but all seven knew the ‘accused’ — who, it must be said, has vehemently denied the allegations against him. He was referred to as Comrade Delta throughout what can only be described as the kangaroo court hearing that followed.

Five of the committee had even worked alongside him at the SWP. That revelation alone would have immediately disqualified any potential juror from trying a case in the British courts.

It was not the only shortcoming. Comrade Delta was given a copy of his accuser’s statement before the hearing, but she did not see ‘his evidence against her’. The woman was also subjected to embarrassing questions about her sexual history and relationships with men.

The SWP, just to remind you, is the party which often boasts of its proud record on women’s rights.

What verdict then did the ‘disputes committee’ eventually reach?

They exonerated Comrade Delta. The decision was unanimous and was approved by conference. Party members voted to accept the panel’s findings by 231 votes to 209, before retiring to enjoy a buffet supper.

Could there be anything more distasteful — or plain wrong — than asking for a show of hands to ‘decide’ whether a young woman had been raped?

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Google is Sued by Dozens of Customers After ‘Snooping on 10million’

Google is being sued by dozens of customers in Britain who claim it secretly monitored their computers and phones.

More than 100 Apple product users are seeking compensation in a lawsuit over claims the internet giant tampered with security software in order to access their personal information.

Some claimants said they felt as if they were being ‘stalked’ after they were bombarded by phone calls and emails advertising clothes, magazines and bank loans connected to the websites they had visited on their iPhones, iPads and laptops.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Man Accused of Stabbing Wife Before Running Her Over

Enfield, North London

A man accused of stabbing his wife before running her over with his car appeared at the Old Bailey today (Thurs). Minta Adiddo, 37, allegedly knifed Akua Agyueman, 23, up to 20 times in the chest, stomach and buttocks.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Police Smash Gang’s £10m Fakes Empire

Fake designer labels, buttons and logos were added to cheap goods — imported from China — at The Late Shop in Greatstone Road, Stretford. They were then sold as designer goods from The One Shop, in Bury New Road, Cheetham Hill.

The court was told the Late Shop was raided by police in November 2011 and a huge number of items worth £500,000 were found.

All six defendants were charged with conspiracy to distribute and supply good with false trademarks.

Sarwari Dlague, 33, who was said to be the principal organiser.pleaded guilty. The court heard Dlague, of Ballater Walk, Cheetham Hill, had links to clothing companies in China and dealt with a supplier known only as ‘Lilly’. He was jailed for three years.

Record keeper Mahmood Shah, 44, of Hilton Crescent, Prestwich, who was found guilty after trial, was given two years behind bars. Abdul Jalil, 34, of Duffield Court, Hulme, who dealt with customers, and who was also found guilty after a trial, was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence.

Agha Khan, 27, of Ballater Walk, Cheetham Hill, was jailed for one year. Taiba Parsa, 26, of Drake Street, Rochdale, and Ayesha Sarwary, 30, of Alexandra Road, were both handed community service orders.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: The Father of Murdered Toddler James Bulger 20 Years After His Little Boy’s Murder Horrified Britain

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

James Bulger was two years old when he was killed on February 12, 1993. Here his father Ralph tells his version of the events for the very first time

James ‘Jamie’ Bulger was two years old when he was abducted and brutally murdered by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson (both 10 yrs old).

[…]

His killers had brutalised him, battered, kicked and tortured him before carrying his blood-soaked body to the track and laying him across it. He was still wearing his coat, but his lower body, which was further down the tracks, was naked…

On that long walk to James’s death, Thompson and Venables had plenty of opportunities to walk away from him, to let him live. But they never once showed an ounce of compassion for him, or any feeling for a little boy whose life had barely started.

They were happy to abuse, hurt and kill James, leaving him alone to be dismembered by a train. Their only concern was to cover up their crime and their only regret was that they got caught.

It may oversimplify the arguments, but that to my mind makes them evil beyond belief.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egyptian Christian Girl, 13, Abducted by Muslims

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — On December 23, 2012, 13-year-old Agape Essam Girgis from the village of Nahda, el-Ameriya, near Alexandria, went to school as usual. Failing to return home, the family knew that she went out of school accompanied by the Muslim social worker Heba and two teachers, one of the them a Salafist. She stayed missing for 9 days during which the family and sympathizers organized a sit-in in front of the renowned Alexandria Library. The Coptic Church in Alexandria also organized a conference on December 30 on the abduction of Coptic girls, with focus on Agape, which was attended by journalists and the public.

On December 31 state security contacted Bishop Pachomios and told him that they have the kidnapped girl. She was handed over to her family and the church priest where she stayed with his family for some time due to the terrible ordeal she experienced during her abduction.

Bishop Pachomios said in an aired interview with Al Balad TV that what happened to Agape is “heart-breaking.” He said that she went in a taxi with her school’s social worker Heba and two men, and that she was drugged and awakened to find herself in a secluded place with an elderly woman. He said that after she returned home he spoke to her and she said that the Salafists tried to convert her to Islam.

Activist Ramy Attia Zakaria, of the April 6 Liberal Movement in Alexandria, interviewed Agape upon her return and said it is now confirmed that her Muslim social worker Heba was behind the abduction. “Agape left school with her and two teachers. The girl was drugged in the car to wake up in a secluded house with two sheikhs and an elderly woman,” Ramy said. He added that Agape stayed there for about eight days until three sheikhs came and spoke with one of the sheikhs she was staying with, telling him that Agape has to returned to her family as they are making demonstrations for her return. Agape said that during her stay with the Salafis sheikhs they tried to make her convert to Islam by saying the “Islamic Two Faith Confessions” but she refused. They forced her to wear the full veil and took photos of her in this dress. Agape said that she was beaten two or three times when she refused to convert to Islam.

After her release she was taken to el-Ameriya police station where she was told to say that “she has left home and went to el-Ameriya, where she found a sheikh and she told him that she wants to convert to Islam,” continued Ramy. When her family received her from the police station, her father, who works as a tailor, said they do not wish to accuse anyone in this case as he was pleased to get his daughter back. “Besides I have a younger daughter and I fear for her safety” said her father. Agape’s father and their church priest decided that she will not go back to school. Activist Ramy said that most of the Coptic inhabitants of Alexandria are refusing to send daughters older than 9 to school. He accused the Salafist Sheikh Sherif el-Hawary in el-Ameriya of being behind all abductions of Coptic girls in Alexandria and surrounding areas. “When a girl is abducted we go and get her from this sheikh,” said Ramy.

“From the beginning of the Egyptian Revolution on January 25, 2011 until January 26, 2013, over 500 girls have been abducted,” says 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. “There is hardly a day which passes by without a Coptic girl disappearing.”

According to Louis it is Salafists sheikhs who are behind nearly all abduction cases, especially in Alexandria (AINAÂ 7-13-2011) and Mersa Matrouh. “In every Egyptian province there is a Salafist association which handles the kidnapping of Coptic girls.. They have homes everywhere where they keep them.” He added that “if we inform the police where the kidnapped girl is being kept, they inform the Salafists, who then move her away to another home and then we lose all trace of her.”

Attorney Said Fayez, who also works for AVAED, said the reason for the escalation of cases of adduction and forced Islamization of girls since the 2011 Revolution is that before the ousting of the Mubarak regime the then so-called State Security was carrying out these abductions for political reasons, and the Salafists at the time were doing the kidnapping on their behalf. “After the Revolution and with the dissolving of the State Security, it is the Salafists now that are abducting the girls.” Fayez said that whenever a girls goes missing the new central security directs us to ask certain Salafist sheikhs on her whereabouts, depending on the area where the kidnapping took place. “We have observed that the age of the abducted girls is growing younger — 13, 14 years old. A girl disappears until she is 18 years old, which is the legal age for marriage and conversion of religion.” He said that they were directed by security to go to the Salafist leader of the area, Sheikh Sherif el-Howary. Attorney Fayez confirmed that this is an organized operation which includes Salafist leaders, parliamentarians and the police.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih [Return to headlines]

Morocco’s Ruling Islamists Target Risky Reforms

AFP — Morocco’s ruling Islamists are pushing ahead with much-needed reforms, notably of an unsustainable subsidies system and pension fund, to plug the hole in its budget, at the risk of alienating key supporters.

A year after coming to power, the moderate Justice and Development Party (PJD) of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane is battling sharp inflation and deteriorating public finances.

Benkirane told parliament this week that the pension system was not working, that the pension fund had dipped into the red, and that it would not be viable by the end of the decade unless drastic measures were taken.

With the number of people benefiting from the fund now outweighing contributions, the government’s plan to raise the retirement age, from 60 to 67, is seen as the only way out.

“I will not abandon this reform… whatever the price to be paid,” Benkirane insisted.

Weighing more heavily than the problem of pensions, however, is the pressing issue of subsidy reform, described by the International Monetary Fund as “urgent” during a recent visit.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Emigrants Source of Investment, Not Only Remittances

1,000 jobs created in 2012, diaspora key to recovery

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JANUARY 31 — Remittances are only a part of the story as concerns the money that Tunisian emigrants bring back to their country. Money transfers from abroad to their home country by the Tunisian diaspora stood at 3.5 billion dinars last year (about 1.7 billion euros), a 23% rise on 2011. However, the “contribution” made by Tunisian emigrants to their homeland cannot be summed up only in terms of money transferred. According to statistics from the government office tasked with the diaspora, there were 157 industrial projects completed thanks to the efforts of emigrants, who put up 22 million dinars (5.5 million euros) and created some 1,000 jobs in the process. In 2011 the figure was 764 jobs created by emigrants’ initiatives in the country, and the previous year 622 (with an investment of 3 million euros). The figures show that the trend has been rising for quite some time, and that Tunisian emigrants do not simply think about supporting their own families in their country of birth, but also about transforming the money they’ve saved through their work abroad into investment in Tunisia. Houcine Jaziri, Secretary of State for Immigration and Tunisians Abroad, feels that this is only the latest proof that the diaspora, despite many years of living far away, do not forget their bonds with the homeland. “These efforts,” Jaziri told TAP, “reflect the spirit of responsibility and citizenship of the Tunisian community and their desire to help build a democratic Tunisia.” However, Tunisians abroad would like more than simply a pat on the back. They would like to see the government try to reduce the taxes they have to pay (in the countries in which they are living) to transfer the money. They say that if the rates were lower, they could send to Tunisia the equivalent of what they manage to save. Tunisia’s central bank is trying to help, but given the differences in currency regulations among foreign countries, many stumbling blocks remain.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Obama Rejected Clinton-Petraeus Plan to Arm Syrian Rebels

(AGI) Washington, Feb 3 — Barack Obama rejected Hillary Clinton’s plan to arm the Syrian rebels in 2012. According to The New York Times, the plan was supported by then CIA director, David Petraeus. The Clinton-Petraeus plan proposed to monitor some rebel groups in order to verify their reliability before providing them weapons. The final goal was to cement useful alliances with key players in post-Assad Syria.

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

Saudi Preacher Gets Light Sentence for Killing Daughter

Saudi has been sentenced to pay blood money after having served a short jail term

Riyadh: 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.

Lama 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.

Fayhan Al Gamdi, an Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim television networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group “Women to Drive” said in a statement.

They said the father had doubted Lama’s virginity and had her checked up by a medic.

Randa Al Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said the girl’s back was broken and that she had been raped “everywhere”, according to the group.

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: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Saudi Preacher Spared After Raping, Killing Daughter

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.

Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim television networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group “Women to Drive” said in a statement.

They said the father had doubted Lama’s virginity and had her checked up by a medic.

Randa al-Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said the girl’s back was broken and that she had been raped “everywhere”, according to the group.

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.”

The activists said that the judge had ruled the prosecution could only seek “blood money (compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law) and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama’s death suffices as punishment.”

Three Saudi activists, including Manal al-Sharif, have raised objections to the ruling.

The ruling is based on Islamic laws that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives, activists said.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Why Iran’s Nuclear Enrichment Upgrade May be a ‘Game Changer’ (+Video)

If Iran succeeds in installing next-generation enrichment centrifuges at Natanz, as it reportedly has told the UN’s atomic agency it is doing, it could shorten Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear weapon.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful. The United States and its allies fear Iran is actually developing weapons under the guise of building up civilian reactor technology.

In this context, is the centrifuge news a big deal? Yes, it may be — if Iran is actually able to install the finicky machines and get them to work.

“Iran’s installation of more efficient centrifuges at Natanz could be a game changer,” tweeted Mark Fitzpatrick, director of the nonproliferation and disarmament program at the Institute for Science and International Security, on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Yemeni Coast Guard Stops Ship Carrying Iranian Missiles

(AGI) — Sanaa, Feb 3 — The Yemeni Coast Guard intercepted a ship loaded with missiles and explosives from Iran. The load was heading to Shiite rebels, Yemeni authorities reported. “The ship was headed to the port of Al-Mukha” and the weapons were destined for the Huti rebels in Sadaa. The ship was intercepted with the support of American vessels in the area.

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

Blast Wipes Out Family and Two Police Die in Afghanistan

(AGI) — Kabul, Feb 3 — Two bombs wiped out a family with two daughters aged eight and nine, their driver and two policemen have died in the province of Helmand, in southern Afghanistan.

“The blast was so powerful that nothing was left of the bodies; they are shattered into small pieces”, said Shah Mahmoud, the governor of the district of Khnishin. The two policemen were killed in a separate attack, which was an ambush in the Musa Qala district.

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

Inside Gao Where Arab Jihadis Took Bloody Sharia Retribution on Mali’s Black Africans

The people of Gao endured nine months of amputations and floggings under the rule of Islamist rebels — much of it aimed at ethnic groups

The jihadis carried out amputations in the sandy square where the residents of Gao used to watch basketball. The men who ruled Gao for nine months, until French and Malian troops drove them out last weekend, replaced the words “Place de l’Indépendence” in the green, red and yellow of the national flag with simple white on black: Place de la Sharia.

A thief would lose his right hand. Those accused of burglary would lose both their right hand and left foot. On 21 December last year, people were assembled, as they had been several times before, and told to watch.

“No one was allowed to speak,” said Issa Alzouma. “Then they cut off my hand with a knife.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Kenya: Bomb Explodes Before the Bombing and Kills the Terrorist

(AGI) — Nairobi, Feb 3 — A suicide bomber was killed in Kenya after the bomb he was carrying exploded before he could reach his target. The explosion, which injured several by-standers, occurred in Wajir late on Saturday evening. “The bomber was presumably headed towards his target, but didn’t make it”, reported an anonymous source in the security forces. The area targeted is mainly inhabited by Somalians.

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

A French-Peruvian-Spanish Team Discovers a Chamber in Machu Picchu

For more than fifteen years, Thierry Jamin, French Archaeologist and adventurer, explores the jungles of South Peru in every possible direction, searching for clues of the permanent presence of the Incas in the Amazonian forest, and the legendary lost city of Paititi.

After the discovery of about thirty incredible archeological sites, located in the North of the department of Cuzco, between 2009 and 2011, which include several fortresses, burial and ceremonial, centers, and small Inca cities composed by hundreds of buildings, and many streets, passages, squares…, Thierry Jamin embarks on an incredible journey in Machu Picchu.

A few months ago, Thierry Jamin and his team think they have realized an extraordinary archaeological discovery in the Inca city discovered by Hiram Bingham in 1911. This discovery was made possible thanks to the testimony of a French engineer who lives in Barcelona-Spain, David Crespy. In 2010, while he was visiting the lost city, David Crespy noticed the presence of a strange “shelter” located in the heart of the city, at the bottom of one of the main buildings.

For him, there was no doubt about it, he was looking at a “door”, an entrance sealed by the Incas. In August, 2011, David Crespy, found by chance an article about Thierry Jamin and his work in the French newspaper the Figaro magazine. Immediately he decided to contact the French researcher.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Green Lights Illegal Immigrants Control Plan

Two-year civilian mission, with training and consultancy

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS — EU foreign ministers green-lit a program to help Libya set up more effective clandestine migration controls, officials said Thursday.

With an initial two-year mandate, EU experts will train border officials in Tripoli and then the rest of the country, in a phased mission that will include consultancy on border control via land, air and sea. “A civilian mission to set up border management in Libya is essential not only for the country but for the entire region.

The EU plan was discussed in detail with Libyan authorities, and their management of the program is crucial,” said EU High Foreign Affairs Representative Catherine Ashton.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tories Warned Not to Discriminate Against Romanians and Bulgarians

Lib Dems say citizens from both nations should be treated as everyone else when they gain travel rights across EU next year

The Liberal Democrats are warning their Tory coalition partners against acting in a discriminatory manner as ministers draw up plans to impose welfare restrictions when Romanians and Bulgarians are given full travel rights across the EU next year.

As MEPs from the two countries claimed they were being treated as “second-class Europeans”, Lib Dems said Britain must act within EU law which says that Romanians and Bulgarians must be treated like all EU citizens from next year.

One Lib Dem said: “The issue of Romanians and Bulgarians is a red herring. There is EU law. Anything you do would have to apply to all EU member states.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Is Fatherhood Being Killed So the State Can Play God?

Is there a master plan for the subjugation of the human race? If so, it must perforce include a strategy for the removal of the single most influential figure in history — the Father. Complete sabotage of families and marriage would also be necessary to pull off this coup. From a purely secular standpoint, the health of a society can be measured by the vitality of fatherhood, according to relevant statistics. More importantly, the health of a society can be best measured from its ability to grasp the concept of God, the Father. For example, a society which merely accepts the God concept without differentiating between the elements of the Trinity is devolving towards paganism. But who would desire such a purge?

Trenchantly, Jim Sheridan — director of the academy-award-winning “In the Name of the Father” — once stated, “If you want to destroy a society, remove the fathers.” The presence and activity of dads in a culture is so important that they cannot be removed without precipitating collapse, according to David Popenoe in Fathers, Marriage, and Children in American Society. Statistics clearly illustrate this claim. America is now increasingly fatherless. Popular sentiment, along with social engineering, academic pseudo-scholarship, and religious heresy all add to an unprecedented assault upon marriage and fatherhood.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Three Types of People You’ll Meet in Liberal Hell

First they came for the Cakemakers.

Over in Oregon, two lesbians came to Sweet Cakes and demanded a wedding cake. The owner let them know that he only does cakes for men and women looking to get married. No sooner did the door close than the Oregon Department of Justice, which had already solved all the other crimes in the state, began an investigation.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, their 3 kids and their little cake shop (caramel pecan cheesecake available) had run afoul of the political establishment. “I’d rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in,” Klein said, “then to see him bow down because one person complained.”

Bowing down is the expected position these days. You either bow down or get fined and prosecuted to death.

The latest wave of laws on abortion and gay marriage are meant to make it impossible to hold beliefs, religious or otherwise, in contradiction to those of the state. That’s a somewhat new phenomenon in the United States, but a familiar one in Europe. And the consequence of these Orwellian measures is the stratification of these societies into three categories…

The P.C. police are not likely to storm into a Muslim cake shop because the owners refused to sell to a gay couple. And on the rare occasions when they do, the whole thing usually ends badly because both the Party and Muslims wield the core tool of enforcement, which is force.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: 40,000 Teachers Risk Jobs Over Gay Row

MORE than 40,000 teachers say they will risk the sack rather than teach “the importance of gay marriage” a damning new survey has revealed, writes Marco Giannangeli.

It comes as rebel Tory MPs face defeat in tomorrow’s Second Reading of the Government’s controversial Equality Marriage Bill, aimed at legalising gay marriage.

A poll, carried out by ComRes on behalf of the Coalition for Marriage campaign group, found that more than half of the 440,000 primary and secondary school teachers in England and Wales were “very concerned” that any opposition to the new law outside the classroom would severely hinder their professional careers. A further 17 per cent said they would toe the line reluctantly, while half said parents should have the right to withdraw their children from social education classes where the subject would be raised.

The Coalition for Marriage said: “Tens of thousands of teachers face the real prospect of being disciplined or sacked over the Government’s proposals to redefine marriage.”

But Education Secretary Michael Gove told a Sunday paper teachers who tell pupils marriage should be between a man and woman will not be disciplined. He said if the vote goes in favour teachers have a duty to explain that gay weddings are legal — but do not have to agree with them.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Rebels Line Up to Jilt Dave Cameron at the Gay Altar

Few votes have set Tory MP against Tory MP as bitterly as this Tuesday’s vote on gay marriage.

There’s even dark speculation in the tea rooms that those with skeletons in their cupboard who vote against will find these skeletons tumbling out on to the front pages. A growing number of MPs are simply refusing to discuss the matter with their colleagues.

It is a free vote, meaning Tory MPs are — officially — allowed to vote however they want. The Bill will comfortably pass through the Commons given the vast majority of Liberal Democrat and Labour MPs who are in favour of it.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

A 5-Point Plan for a New Globalism

[Comment: Here is an elitists (aka globalist) view of how to implement their dream of globalism.]

Fourth, a global system must continually demonstrate legitimacy. Today, this goes beyond mandates based on democratic principles; it includes clear objectives and concrete results. We undoubtedly have a delivery problem. And since promised actions are not fulfilled, we also have a trust deficit with governments, international organizations, and business.

Finally, our global governance system must embrace the notion of global citizenship. In an interconnected world, it is in the interest of nation-states to strive for solutions to truly global challenges, such as climate change. Today, we not only need a Charter of Human Rights, but must also expand this notion to include responsibilities.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Islam and Islamism in the Modern World: An Interview With Daniel Pipes

I interviewed Pipes shortly before Christmas, when the Egyptians were voting on their new constitution. I started out by saying that the number of Muslims in the U.S. has doubled since the 9/11 attacks.

DP: My career divides in two: before and after 9/11. In the first part I was trying to show that Islam is relevant to political concerns. If you want to understand Muslims, I argued, you need to understand the role of Islam in their lives. Now that seems obvious. If anything, there’s a tendency to over-emphasize Islam; to assume that Muslims are dominated by the Koran and are its automatons — which goes too far. You can’t just read the Koran to understand Muslim life. You have to look at history, at personalities, at economics, and so on.

TB: Do you see the revival of Islam as a reality?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Whistleblower: Monsanto Wants to Kill the Bees to Make Way for Its Super-Bee

Soon to be whistleblower who worked for Monsanto will be releasing documents detailing how Monsanto planned to kill off bee colonies in order to introduce a “new and improved” species of bee that will only pollinate Monsanto crops.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

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

  1. “In other news, a suicide bomber in Kenya experienced a premature climax, as his bomb exploded while he was still en route to the intended target. Only the bomber himself was killed, although several passersby were injured.”

    Scored an own goal!

  2. I’m glad to see you’re back, but you might want to remove the link to WordPress and not to clue them in to your existence – don’t forget that WordPress did the same thing to “Bare Naked Islam” that Blogger/Google did to you: They shut it down and forced it off their server. So, WordPress might try to sue you or some such for using its interface, if they know you’re around.

    Geller says she’s had no problem with TypePad, just in case you run into difficulty.

  3. No Dhimmi tool –

    You don’t understand. We are not hosted by WordPress.

    To set up this site we acquired a domain and purchased private hosting for it, which included a licensed copy of WordPerfect software to use for the blog.

    WordPress can no more take down this site than Microsoft can make someone delete an Excel spreadsheet from their hard drive. WP has no legal claim whatsoever on what we do here.

    Now, if the Obama administration and Eric Holder ever realize their fondest wishes, what I say in this space may become illegal. But that will also be true for U.S. citizens who use TypePad or any other hosting service.

    Until then, we will be O.K.

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