Gates of Vienna News Feed 6/10/2013

The financial crisis in Spain is leaving more and more children hungry. According to the latest figures, 1.7% of the school population is undernourished. Unemployment at home and cutbacks in school canteens mean that many children just aren’t getting enough to eat.

In other news, two boys in Afghanistan were beheaded for “spying” after accepting food from the police.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, TG, 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
» Austerity Leads Greeks to Obesity, Experts Say
» Florist Sets Self Ablaze, Jumps From Mayor’s Office Window
» Greece: Tax Crackdown on Lawyers and Doctors
» Italian Firms ‘Could Get German State Loans’
» Italy: Serracchiani to Almunia, EU Aid Should Not Disadvantage FVG
» Italy: OECD Confirms ‘Positive Change’ In Italian Economy
» Malnourished Children in Spanish Schools
 
USA
» Breaking: New PRISM Slide Leaked by the Guardian: NSA Has Direct Access to Servers of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and Others
» Can Obama be Impeached?
» ‘Crazy Ants’ Feast on Electronics, Cannot be Killed by Standard Insecticide
» Do Treaties Trump the Constitution?
» Government Lab Reveals it Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years
» Gunman Shot Dead by Police After Six Die in California Shooting Spree
» It’s RICO Time! How to Stop the Obama Administration Crime Wave
» Leaker’s Employer Became Wealthy by Maintaining Government Secrets
» Man Charged With DUI Despite Blowing .000 During Breathalyzer Test
» Military Told Not to Read Obama-Scandal News
» Monster Mosquitoes With Nasty Bite Descend on Florida
» Ron Paul Warned US About Computer Surveillance in 1984 (Video)
» Ron Paul: Government Spying: Should We be Shocked?
» Stealth Motorcycle for Special Forces Being Tested
» U.S. State Department Cover-Ups Range From Prostitution Charges to Drug Rings
» Virtuous Men Hesitating
 
Canada
» Canada Has Program to Eavesdrop on Its Citizens, Too
 
Europe and the EU
» Bilderberg Secrecy Exposed During Parliamentary Debate
» Greece: Survey: NEA Dimokratia Confirmed First Party
» Intelligence Report: Number of Islamists in Germany Grows
» Italian Metal Company Probed for ‘120-Mn-Euro Tax Evasion’
» Italian Marines Defend Innocence on Armed Forces Day
» Italy Opens First ‘House of Memory’ To Honour Foibe Victims
» Italy: Renzi Says Idiot Could Do Job of Constitutional Experts
» Italy: Marino Leads Centre-Left Sweep With Rome Triumph
» Sweden: Male Train Drivers Wear Skirts After Shorts Row
» The Bilderbergs 2013 Meeting Over “Africa’s Challenges”
» Thousands Flee in Eastern Germany as Dam Bursts
» UK: ‘Police Must Acknowledge Pakistani Sex-Grooming Issue’
» UK: Cultural Traditions Are No Excuse for Sex Crimes, Minister Warns
» UK: Ex-Muslim’s Facebook Group Comes Under Attack
» UK: Grooming Victims ‘Still Being Failed’, Say MPs
» UK: Islamic Extremists Who Plotted to Kill EDL Members at Rally Are Jailed for Up to 19 Years Each as Judge Blames ‘Freely Available Material’ For Their Radicalisation
» UK: Lincoln Anti-Mosque and Counter Protests Proceed Peacefully
» UK: London Islamic School Fire: Four Held as Police Set Up ‘Ring of Steel’
» UK: Muslim Cleric Who Was Top Terror Suspect Sues MI5 for £50,000 Compensation Over House Arrest
» UK: Man Arrested After Home-Made Bomb is Thrown Through Window of Outspoken Tory MP’s Constituency Office
» UK: MPS Call on Local Asian Leaders to Tackle Issue of ‘Sexist Behaviour’
» UK: Part-Time Women Doctors Are a Real Problem. Why is it Sexist to Say So?
» UK: Police and Social Workers Must Recognise Issue of Sexual Grooming by Pakistani Men — MPS
» UK: Pakistani Men Who Groom Girls for Sex Should Not be Ignored for Fear of Racism, Say MPS
» UK: Rochdale Grooming Scandal Report: Ex-Council Boss Told to Give Back £76k Golden Handshake
» UK: Stop Tip-Toeing Around Race of Grooming Gangs, Say MPS: Committee Says Police and Prosecutors Must be Able to Raise Issue Without Being Accused of Racism
» UK: Will This Paedophile Ever be Jailed? Gym Coach Who Abused Girls for 40 Years is Spared Prison for a Second Time… Despite Solicitor General’s Plea for a Harsher Sentence
» UK: West Yorkshire Police Launch Campaign to Target Grooming
 
Mediterranean Union
» Italian Exports to Morocco +90% in 10 Years
 
North Africa
» Alaa Al Aswani: Egypt of Today’s Issues in My New Book
» Cracking the Code Behind Egypt’s NGO Crackdown
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» The Two-State-Solution: A Fatal Trap
 
Middle East
» At Least 13 Killed in Triple Car Bombings in Iraq’s Diyala
» Jordan Wargames: Patriot Batteries, F-16s and 4,500 US Troops Near Syrian Border
» One-Third of Turks Are Poor or Needy, Ministry’s Report
» Syrian Rebels ‘Execute Teenager’ In Aleppo
» Turkey: Latest Survey Shows Erdogan is Losing Votes
» Turkish Premier Lashes Out at Protesters, Calls Them Vandals
» Turkish Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Demonstrators in Ankara
 
Russia
» Rock Samples Suggest Meteor Caused Tunguska Blast
 
South Asia
» Afghanistan: Militants Launch Suicide Attack Near Kabul Airport
» Attacker in Afghanistan Hid Bomb in His Body
» Horrific Death of the Young Indian Nurse Who Had Acid Flung in Her Face as She Waited on a Train Platform
» India: Tripura: Christian Man Beheaded for Not Converting to Hinduism
» India: Like the United States, New Delhi Enveloped in Web and Phone Spying Scandal
» Ranger Killed in Southern Thailand Bombing
» Stray Violence Marks Bangladesh’s Largest Islamist Party Enforced Hartal
» Taliban Beheads Two Boys for Spying
» White-Mask Anti-Gov’t Movement Spreads Across Thailand
 
Far East
» Japanese Economy Takes Off, But Country Needs Nuclear Power
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria: Boko Haram Gunmen Kill 13 People in Borno State
» Nigeria: Thisday Office Was Bombed to Appease Allah, Witness Tells Court
» Somalia: Puntland VP Alleges Federal Govt is Supporting Conflict in Kismayo
 
Immigration
» Italy: 68 Egypt Migrants Picked Up in Calabria
» Jeddah: Indonesian Immigrants Storm Their Consulate for Visa, One Dead and Three Injured
» You Could Lose All Your Guns Before 2035 Under the Amnesty Bill Before the Senate
 
Culture Wars
» In Reversal: Obama to End Effort to Restrict Morning-After Pill
» No More Father’s, Mother’s Day? School Nixes Celebration in the Post-Nuclear Age
 
General
» GMO Papayas (Papaw) Approved in US and Canada But Not Europe
» Why Socialism Survives
 

Austerity Leads Greeks to Obesity, Experts Say

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JUNE 10 — Austerity has led to Greeks gaining instead of shedding pounds, according to experts at the Hellenic Medical Association for Obesity (HMAO) who have warned of the health risks of an increase in the consumption of cheap fast food. As daily Kathimerini reports, a study carried out by the HMAO on primary school children last year revealed that 40% were overweight compared to 30% in 2003. The increase is similar for adults who have changed their shopping habits to save money.

“One would expect that, due to the crisis, consumption would fall but the opposite is happening,” the general secretary of HMAO, Efthimios Kapantais told Kathimerini, noting that Greeks were buying “cheap, bad quality food with a high calorie count.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Florist Sets Self Ablaze, Jumps From Mayor’s Office Window

Dies in hospital, shopkeepers mount protest

(ANSA) — Ercolano, June 10 — A florist in southern Italy died Monday after setting himself on fire inside the local mayor’s office then jumping from the window. Witnesses said Antonio Formicola, 60, forced his way inside the building wielding a knife, then doused himself with gasoline before setting himself alight inside the office of the mayor of Ercolano, which is outside Naples. He died of cardiac arrest at the hospital. Another person was hospitalized after being struck on the street below by a fire extinguisher which was thrown from the same first-storey window. Soon after hundreds of protesters gathered around the office building shouting insults such as “murderer” at the mayor, who was not present at the time of the incident.

Many of the demonstrators were reportedly shopkeepers from the area, which like much of the south has been hard-hit by Italy’s ongoing economic crisis. Demonstrators who knew the shopkeeper described him as kind and always eager to help those in need.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Greece: Tax Crackdown on Lawyers and Doctors

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JUNE 10 — A recent crackdown by agents of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) on Greek doctors and lawyers has highlighted widespread tax evasion with a handful of professionals having concealed millions of euros in income, Kathimerini reported.

According to SDOE, three of the worst alleged offenders — two lawyers and a doctor — failed to declare some 12.5 million euros to tax authorities. A well-known Athens labor lawyer, involved in several high-profile trials, concealed 7 million euros in income, another Piraeus-based lawyer failed to declare 3.47 million euros, and a surgeon from Thessaloniki hid 2.1 million euros in income, SDOE’s investigation revealed. The findings of the SDOE agents confirmed the suspicions of International Monetary Fund officials who have long pressed the Greek authorities to pay particular attention to the legal and medical sectors — and to members of other professions whose assets do not tally with their declared income — in their tax evasion crackdowns. Checks by SDOE agents in Attica revealed that 22 businesses issued nearly 2,500 bogus invoices to cover nonexistent transactions worth some 55 million euros. Most of the businesses were manufacturers of agricultural pesticides and household detergents, according to sources. One company on the list compiled by SDOE, whose chief representative is currently in jail, is alleged to have issued 9 million euros in bogus invoices to various businesses.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italian Firms ‘Could Get German State Loans’

Small business owners in Italy could soon be eligible for German government loans, as part of a plan by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to help support southern European economies hurt by the eurozone crisis.

If Schäuble’s plan goes ahead, a credit scheme already planned for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Spain would be extended to cover Portugal and Italy, he was quoted as saying Sunday.

Under the Spain programme, which Schäuble recently presented to parliament, Germany’s KfW public investment bank will offer €800 million (about $1 billion) in loans to businesses via Spain’s ICO bank.

“I have told my Portuguese colleagues already: you can have all this too,” Schäuble was quoted as telling weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

The report said Germany would extend the same offer to Italy.

Schäuble is set to meet the Italian and French finance and labour ministers in Rome on Friday.

The report said launching the programme for Greece would initially be more difficult because it lacked a similar development bank, although a partner institution could be set up.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Serracchiani to Almunia, EU Aid Should Not Disadvantage FVG

Attention to regions next to ‘higher aid intensity areas’

(ANSA) — TRIESTE — Europe must pay a particular attention in order not to worsen the economic situation of the regions which are ‘next’ to areas where is recorded a high differential in Eu aid intensity, a situation that Friuli Venezia Giulia has already dealt with in regard to Slovenia and will happen again soon in correspondence to Croatia’s entry into the EU”, said the president of the FVG, Debora Serracchiani, in a note sent to Vice-President and EU Commissioner for Competition, Joaquin Almunia.

In the note, Serracchiani informs that the Region is following with “ extreme caution” the negotiations upon the revision of the European guidelines concerning national aids for Regions in the period 2014-2020. “ The international economic crisis — she said — is seriously affecting even the sectors of excellence in our region, including the districts of Forniture and Chair, with a multitude of small and medium-sized firms that have heavily suffered from the effects of credit crunch and are late in terms of implementation of new market strategies.” Serracchiani then asks Almunia “to introduce in the new guidelines some orientations in order not to disadvantage some territories, such as Friuli Venezia Giulia, which may suffer because of the meaning which is usually assigned to the definition of a “border region”. It ‘true that we do not share a border with Croatia, but this border is only 30 kilometres away from our territory.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: OECD Confirms ‘Positive Change’ In Italian Economy

Signs of recovery surfacing throughout eurozone

(ANSA) — Rome, June 10 — The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Monday confirmed the “positive change” taking place in Italy’s economy already noticed in April and May.

The OECD noted in its June index of leading indicators signs of improvement in Italy.

In addition it cited “moderate growth improvement in most big economies”. The Paris-based organization said signs of recovery were continuing to manifest in the eurozone and that Germany’s growth was returning to trend. The United States and Japan were the only countries where growth is firming, the report said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Malnourished Children in Spanish Schools

(ANSAmed) — Madrid, June 6 — Catalonia, once the industrial powerhouse of Spain, is feeling the impact of the economic crisis with cuts to education and school canteens.

Malnourished children have become such a reality in Catalan schools that the Barcelona council last December ordered an inquiry into 500 public and recognised schools to determine the extent of the problem.

According to the inquiry’s findings released today, at least 2,865 students — or 1.7% of the school population — were undernourished.

“In the last two years we have had serious cases with one child fainting in the classroom and on two other occasions we had to call an ambulance due to the malnutrition of other students,” Francesc Freixanet, director of a public school in the popular area of Les Roquetas told the daily El Pais.

Children who have difficulties with concentration or stomach pains due to food deficiencies in some cases are forced to scrounge snacks from friends because their families cannot make up for the cuts in school canteens.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Breaking: New PRISM Slide Leaked by the Guardian: NSA Has Direct Access to Servers of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and Others

(NaturalNews) Breaking news — this is one of the biggest stories of our lifetime — it is critical for all internet users to read and understand this. The Guardian has just released a new slide today from its collection of 41 PRISM slides detailing the top secret NSA spy program that has, for years, granted the U.S. government “back door” access to the servers of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, AOL, Facebook and others. The new slide, shown below, reveals that every one of these companies has been blatantly and viciously lying to its users over the last several days as they have denied the government has any sort of “direct access” to their servers.

In a brilliant move of strategic journalism, the Guardian held on to this revealing PRISM slide until today, allowing all these tech companies to dig themselves into deep holes of denial regarding participation in the NSA spy program. Once all the companies were on the record claiming government has no “direct access” to their servers, the Guardian slapped down this jaw-dropping top secret slide image shown below. It reveals, in plain English, that the NSA’s “FAA702” operations engage in “collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

That slide, originally published by the Guardian, is shown here:

[…]

In one fell swoop, the credibility of the top U.S. technology companies as well as the federal government has now been shattered. They’ve all been lying to us. Maliciously… destructively… demonically!

It is now obvious that Facebook is a massive spy network whose primary purpose is to get you to upload and post all your personal information so that all that information can be data-mined by government spooks. The primary purpose of Gmail is not to provide a free email services, but rather to get people to send and receive emails through an online service that’s directly scanned by the NSA.

All these tech giants — Hotmail, YouTube, Apple, AOL, Yahoo Mail — exist to spy on you and turn over your information to government spooks… in total violation of U.S. law and basic human dignity.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Can Obama be Impeached?

I fully understand and even agree with the claim that Barack Hussein Obama (aka Barry Soetoro) gained access to the Office of President via massive fraud, including identity fraud, campaign fraud and campaign finance fraud, just for starters.

I further agree that Mr. Obama’s acts during his unconstitutional and illegal seizing of the Oval Office, as well as his unconstitutional acts while in office, rise to the level of impeachable offenses, high crimes, usurpations and likely even treason.

But I do not agree that Obama/Soetoro cannot be removed from office via impeachment. In fact, I believe that Obama can only be removed from office via impeachment. Here’s the basis for my belief…

James Madison explained the requirement for impeachment during the debates of the Constitutional Convention of 1787: “Some provision should be made for defending the community against the incapacity, negligence, or perfidy of the chief magistrate. He might pervert his administration into a scheme of peculation or oppression. He might betray his trust to foreign powers.”

In Federalist Paper No. 65, Alexander Hamilton explained that “impeachment of the president should take place for offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to society itself.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

‘Crazy Ants’ Feast on Electronics, Cannot be Killed by Standard Insecticide

“Crazy” ants are terrorizing the U.S. from Texas to Florida as they eat their way across the country, affecting everything from livestock to electrical equipment.

Growing quickly, these insidious creatures are wiping out a previous mortal enemy, the red ants.

This strand of insect is called “crazy” because of the erratic trail they have left as they gobble their way across the country.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Do Treaties Trump the Constitution?

Many people who don’t care for our constitution or are totally ignorant of it are peddling this notion that treaties will trump the constitution. It is true that the constitution states in what has become known as the “Supremacy Clause” that:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

However, just like laws that the federal level passes, treaties must be made: “in pursuance” of the Constitution’s delegated powers as well. To do otherwise is a serious usurpation of the very nature of our Constitutional Republic. To allow foreign law to trump the Supreme Law of the Land leaves the people of this nation in a precarious situation at best with their liberties.

It is important to remember that what was stated before the constitution was ratified is what takes precedence when divining the meaning of the constitution. Why? Because this was the basis of ratification, this is what the people of each state understood to be the law when they agreed to the new Constitution. The thing most people forget is if there is ever a conflict between what the Framers said versus the assurances they gave to the Ratifiers, it is the latter which holds the most weight because it was these assurances that swayed the ratifiers to approve this new constitution.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Government Lab Reveals it Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years

One of the dreams for security experts is the creation of a quantum internet that allows perfectly secure communication based on the powerful laws of quantum mechanics.

The basic idea here is that the act of measuring a quantum object, such as a photon, always changes it. So any attempt to eavesdrop on a quantum message cannot fail to leave telltale signs of snooping that the receiver can detect. That allows anybody to send a “one-time pad” over a quantum network which can then be used for secure communication using conventional classical communication.

That sets things up nicely for perfectly secure messaging known as quantum cryptography and this is actually a fairly straightforward technique for any half decent quantum optics lab. Indeed, a company called ID Quantique sells an off-the-shelf system that has begun to attract banks and other organisations interested in perfect security.

These systems have an important limitation, however. The current generation of quantum cryptography systems are point-to-point connections over a single length of fibre, So they can send secure messages from A to B but cannot route this information onwards to C, D, E or F. That’s because the act of routing a message means reading the part of it that indicates where it has to be routed. And this inevitably changes it, at least with conventional routers. This makes a quantum internet impossible with today’s technology.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Gunman Shot Dead by Police After Six Die in California Shooting Spree

SANTA MONICA, California (Reuters) — A gunman killed at least six people in Santa Monica, California, on Friday before he was shot dead by police at a library of a community college, Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said.

Seabrooks said a second individual she described as a “person of interest” had been taken into custody in connection with the violence, which unfolded a few miles from where President Barack Obama was attending a political fundraiser.

Authorities also found two people dead at the scene of a nearby house fire, but police said it was not immediately clear whether the fire and the shooting incident were related.

Earlier, a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol had told Reuters that officers had received a report of a man armed with multiple weapons, including a shotgun, firing at passing cars and a bus at two locations near the college campus just west of Los Angeles.

Students at the campus library described a scene of pandemonium as the sounds of gunfire rang out, sending students scurrying for cover.

One student inside the library, Cyrus Jabari, 19, said he could see through a window a man dressed in black with a buzz-style haircut carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle.

“The only thing between me and him was a glass door,” he told Reuters.

At a house fire a half mile away from the shooting, authorities found the bodies of two people, but it was not immediately clear if their deaths were related to the campus shooting…

           — Hat tip: TG [Return to headlines]
 

It’s RICO Time! How to Stop the Obama Administration Crime Wave

Urgent. While some Tea Party groups testified at the House Ways and Means Committee Hearing last week over the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) abuse of power for targeting and harassing them and approximately 500 other conservative groups when they sought tax-exempt status, if you are looking for a political judicial solution, such as congress, impeachment or a special prosecutor to solve the tsunami of unlawful acts coming out of Washington, you are looking in the wrong place.

What the IRS did tilted President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election in his favor.

The bottom line is this. You can’t get justice within the political system in America anymore because the politicians own it. What stopped the mob? The Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). What will stop the Obama administration? RICO…

The best part of RICO is that it “provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.” That means State and local lawyers, sheriffs, attorney generals, and prosecutors can bypass the corrupted Federal justice system and start throwing down the gauntlet now. From there it will spread up into D.C. “The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering. It allows the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because he did not actually do it.”

What stopped the mob? RICO. What can stop the Obama administration? RICO.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Leaker’s Employer Became Wealthy by Maintaining Government Secrets

WASHINGTON — Edward J. Snowden’s employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, has become one of the largest and most profitable corporations in the United States almost exclusively by serving a single client: the government of the United States.

Over the last decade, much of the company’s growth has come from selling expertise, technology and manpower to the National Security Agency and other federal intelligence agencies. Booz Allen earned $1.3 billion, 23 percent of the company’s total revenue, from intelligence work during its most recent fiscal year.

The government has sharply increased spending on high-tech intelligence gathering since 2001, and both the Bush and Obama administrations have chosen to rely on private contractors like Booz Allen for much of the resulting work.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Man Charged With DUI Despite Blowing .000 During Breathalyzer Test

Arizona authorities charge a man for driving under the influence despite him blowing a .000 on a breathalyzer test.

KNXV-TV reports that 64-year-old Jessie Thornton — a native of Ohio — was recently pulled over by Surprise police after he recently left an LA Fitness gym. Thornton then says the officer accused him of driving drunk.

“He walked up and he said ‘I can tell you’re driving DUI by looking in your eyes,’“ Thornton told KNXV.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Military Told Not to Read Obama-Scandal News

Verizon phone records story off-limits to airmen

President Obama has said the outrage over the federal government’s decision to monitor citizens’ phone activity is all “hype.”

He might want to share his opinion with the U.S. Air Force, which is ordering members of the service not to look at news stories about it.

WND has received an unclassified NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that warns airmen not to look at news stories related to the data-mining scandal.

The notice applies to users of the Air Force NIPRNET (Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network), which is the only way that many troops stationed overseas and on bases in the U.S. are able to access the Internet.

The last line of the executive summary states:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Monster Mosquitoes With Nasty Bite Descend on Florida

Mega mosquitoes, whose bites “feels like getting stabbed,” are scheduled to invade Florida this summer. As if sinkholes weren’t enough to deal with, now Sunshine State residents have to fend off mutant insects.

According to Click Orlando, Florida’s mega mosquitoes, called gallinippers or even “hairy-legged zebras,” are about 20 times the size of a normal mosquito. Fox 35 reports that the mutant insect can penetrate through multiple layers of clothing and will bite anything from people to pets; they’ve even been known to feed on fish and tadpoles.

Like other mosquitoes, only the female mega mosquitoes feed on animal blood. They feed day and night, using a saw-like jaw to drill down into a target’s skin. The pain associated with a mosquito bite happens when the mosquito withdraws its straw-like jaw — one researcher described it as “like pulling a hook out of the skin.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Ron Paul Warned US About Computer Surveillance in 1984 (Video)

As the U.S. House Representative from Texas’s 22nd district in 1984, Ron Paul discussed the millions of dollars being used at the time on computer surveillance.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Ron Paul: Government Spying: Should We be Shocked?

Last week we saw dramatic new evidence of illegal government surveillance of our telephone calls, and of the National Security Agency’s deep penetration into American companies such as Facebook and Microsoft to spy on us. The media seemed shocked.

Many of us are not so surprised.

Some of us were arguing back in 2001 with the introduction of the so-called PATRIOT Act that it would pave the way for massive US government surveillance — not targeting terrorists but rather aimed against American citizens. We were told we must accept this temporary measure to provide government the tools to catch those responsible for 9/11. That was nearly twelve years and at least four wars ago.

We should know by now that when it comes to government power-grabs, we never go back to the status quo even when the “crisis” has passed. That part of our freedom and civil liberties once lost is never regained. How many times did the PATRIOT Act need renewed? How many times did FISA authority need expanded? Why did we have to pass a law to grant immunity to companies who hand over our personal information to the government?

It was all a build-up of the government’s capacity to monitor us.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Stealth Motorcycle for Special Forces Being Tested

As if the government wasn’t sneaky enough already!

Zero Motorcycles has created a stealth motorcycle for use by U.S. Special Operations Forces: The MMX.

The all-electric off-roader features a nearly silent powertrain, full blackout capability, wiring for infrared lighting systems and a keyless ignition for quick starts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

U.S. State Department Cover-Ups Range From Prostitution Charges to Drug Rings

Uncovered documents show the U.S. State Department may have covered up allegations of illegal behavior ranging from sexual assaults to an underground drug ring.

CBS News reports that is has unearthed documents from the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), an internal watchdog agency, that implicate the State Department in a series of misconducts worldwide.

The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Virtuous Men Hesitating

If you are only just hearing about the NSA don’t beat yourself up over it. It was SUPPOSED to be a secretive agency. In fact, it was SO secret for a while that it was jokingly said that its initials — NSA — actually stood for: “No Such Agency.”

Here’s another point that seems to have been missed by the media coverage. “By law, NSA’s intelligence gathering is limited to foreign communications, (Emphasis mine) although domestic incidents such as the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy have occurred.”…

Even though we had no National Security Agency, this very same discussion was ongoing in the early days of our republic:

“Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free.” (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, No. 8.)

I submit to you that THAT is exactly what America has done.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Canada Has Program to Eavesdrop on Its Citizens, Too

Canadian citizens are subject to similar warrantless surveillance of their telephone communications as Americans have been since 2007, a Canadian newspaper reported Monday morning.

The Globe and Mail alleged that under the direction of Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay in November 2011, Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) renewed a defunct surveillance program comparable to the National Security Administration’s collection of telephone communication data from its own citizens.

The program, like the one in the U.S., amasses huge amounts of telephone “metadata”: not the actual content of a call but instead the details of who called whom, the location of each party, and the duration of the call. Many have noted that on a large scale, metadata could paint pictures of entire social networks and patterns of communications.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Bilderberg Secrecy Exposed During Parliamentary Debate

Unprecedented insight opens up conflict of interest charges

The secrecy of the Bilderberg Group was blown wide open during a Parliamentary debate in the House of Commons today when Ken Clarke was forced to defend himself against potentially damaging evidence of a conflict of interest surrounding his role as a steering committee member of the clandestine organization.

MP Michael Meacher asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, an attendee to the confab, to make a statement regarding Bilderberg.

However, the question was answered by Bilderberg steering committee member Ken Clarke, who was forced to embarrassingly claim he had “forgotten” that the organization’s meetings were paid for by funds raised by the Bilderberg Association.

Despite acknowledging he had been on the steering committee for 10 years at the start of his response, Clarke later claimed he had “forgotten” that he was trustee of the British steering group and was now, “checking with the aid of my constituency secretary, whether I put that in.”

Clarke’s failure to declare his his trusteeship of the body that funds the organization is a clear conflict of interest and is set to cause even more spotlight to be thrown on Bilderberg following an explosive live appearance by Alex Jones on the BBC.

The majority of the House of Commons debate was a juvenile affair that gave Clarke and fellow Bilderberg member Ed Balls the opportunity to whitewash the organization as a mere talking shop, despite innumerable examples of Bilderberg setting the consensus for policy years in advance.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Greece: Survey: NEA Dimokratia Confirmed First Party

Racism concerns over 70% of Greeks

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JUNE 10 — Nea Dimokratia (ND), the centre-right party led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, came out as the first party among Greek would-be voters in a survey carried out by polling institute Mrb Hellas for weekly Realnews.

ND obtained 22,1% of support against the 20,3% recorded by radical left-wing party Syriza led by Alexis Tsipras. Stable in third place with 10,6% came the neo-Nazi Greek party Chrysi Avgi (golden dawn) followed by Independent Greeks with 5,5%, Pasok (Socialists) with 5,1%, the Democratic Left with 4,9% and the Communist Party with 4,6%.

Answering to a question on who is the best prime minister for Greece now, 43,2% of would-be voters polled chose Samaras against 23,7% who chose Tsipras; 31,6% of respondents thought NS was the best party to handle the crisis against 21,1% who chose the other major party, Syriza, while 38,5% answered ‘neither’.

As far as racism and racist hate crimes are concerned, 70,7% of respondents said the problem is ‘quite serious’ while 67,7% said crime and illegal actions by immigrants are the most serious problem for Greece. Some 41,1% called for harsher laws to protect society against crimes carried out by illegal immigrants. Finally, the survey highlighted that the growing popularity of neo-Nazi party Crysi Avgi, according to 48,0% of those polled, is due to the economic crisis and the inability of the political system to force the guilty parties to take responsibility rather than neo-Nazi or racist sympathies of voters.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Intelligence Report: Number of Islamists in Germany Grows

In its annual report on extremist activity in Germany, the country’s domestic intelligence agency has identified a surge in support for Islamists and growth in the number of influential neo-Nazi music groups.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Italian Metal Company Probed for ‘120-Mn-Euro Tax Evasion’

Accused of buying primary materials at inflated prices

(ANSA) — Rome, June 10 — A leading Italian company in the lead- and zinc-working sectors is being probed for allegedly evading more than 120 million euros in taxes, investigators said on Monday.

Finance police in the province of Rome believe that the metal company, which belongs to a Swiss holding company, padded tax deductions over a period of years by inflating the cost of primary materials bought from within the group, thus shifting taxable revenues toward territories with a lower tax burden. The Italian subsidiary aroused the suspicions of finance police in Rome because it has never declared a profit — only substantial losses — despite its importance on an international level and profits reported by its Swiss parent. An analysis of the company’s commercial transactions with its Swiss parent revealed that the Italian company allegedly acquired primary materials from across the border — but within the same corporate group — at prices well above market rate.

Investigators found the company’s reported results were inconsistent with the company’s real functions within the group and risks assumed in Italy. The Italian company in question has manufacturing facilities in a depressed mining and metal-production zone in southwest Sardinia called the Sulcis-Inglesiente basin.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italian Marines Defend Innocence on Armed Forces Day

‘We continue to swallow bitter pills, but with dignity’

(ANSA) — Rome, June 10 — The two Italian marines on trial in India for alleged double homicide issued a statement Monday insisting they were innocent despite the “many bitter pills” they have been forced to swallow. “In this long period spent in India, we have swallowed and continue to swallow many bitter pills, but with dignity and pride we will continue to push on so long as God gives us the strength, respecting this country and demonstrating our innocence,” said Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone in a letter written for Italy’s Armed Forces Day. The pair is currently waiting for a new investigation to be completed by India’s NIA anti-terrorism police into charges of shooting and killing fishermen Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly mistaking them for pirates while guarding a merchant ship off the Kerala coast in February 2012.

The two countries have been in a diplomatic row and relations have been tense since the incident.

Italy has contested India’s claim that it has jurisdiction over the case, arguing that the deaths occurred in international waters.

But Rome agreed to send the pair back to India after home leave to vote when India said they would not face the death penalty.

At the height of the spat, when Italy reneged on a pledge to return the marines following the election permit, India blocked the Italian ambassador from leaving the country and the BRICS nations were said to be considering sanctions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy Opens First ‘House of Memory’ To Honour Foibe Victims

Rome Mayor Alemanno inaugurates museum

(ANSA) Rome, June 6. Italy on Thursday inaugurated its first museum to honour thousands of Italians slaughtered by Yugoslav strongman Marshal Josef Tito’s partisans by being thrown alive or dead into gorges called Foibe in northwestern Yugoslavia at the end of WWII.

“Troubled is the nation that loses pieces of its memory”, said Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno after inaugurating the museum in the Italian capital’s S. Teodoro street. Antonio Ballarin, president of the Venezia Giulia and Dalmatia national association thanked the mayor for “having kept his promise, as this House of Memory is the first of its kind in Italy”.

The museum also commemorates the mass forced emigration of Italians from Istria and Dalmatia after the war.

As many as 15,000 Italians were tortured or killed by Yugoslav communists who occupied the Istrian peninsula during the last two years of the war.

Many of the victims were thrown into the narrow mountain gorges during anti-Fascist uprisings in the area.

The exact number of victims of these atrocities is unknown, in part because Tito’s forces destroyed local population records to cover up their crimes.

The Foibe atrocities were for decades a divisive issue in Italian politics, with right-wing politicians accusing the Left of trying to airbrush the massacres out of history and focusing exclusively on the crimes committed by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime.

But in recent years several centre-left politicians agreed that the Foibe massacres constituted a brutal and neglected episode in Italian history.

Some, however, still insist most of the victims were Fascists and other supporters of Mussolini. They also argue that the massacres were the direct result of the violent anti-Italian sentiment created by Fascism’s crimes in the region, which had been brutally “Italianised” by Mussolini.

In 2005 Italy instituted a Day of Memory on February 10 to commemorate the Foibe atrocities and the tens of thousands of Italians forced out of Istria and Dalmatia when these lands were given over to Yugoslavia after World War II.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Renzi Says Idiot Could Do Job of Constitutional Experts

Florence mayor says reform consultants will state the obvious

(ANSA) — Florence, June 7 — Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, the rising star of Italian politics, said Friday that an idiot could do the job a group of Constitutional experts has been tasked with to help frame reforms to make the country easier to govern.

This week Premier Enrico Letta’s left-right administration named a group of 30 ‘wise people’ who will help a panel of 40 parliamentarians draft the reforms that will be voted on in parliament.

These will include a new electoral law, cuts to the number of MPs and stripping the Senate of its equal status to the Lower House.

“The experts will tell us things we already know, that the bureaucracy must change, but an idiot could do that, you don’t need a wise man,” Renzi, a member of Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD), said on Italian radio.

Renzi has said several times that there is a risk the government will end up prevaricating and failing to deliver reforms that are widely considered vital to ending years of ineffective administration.

Law-making is slower in Italy than other countries because the Senate has the same powers as the House.

The current electoral law, meanwhile, has been widely criticised because it does not let voters pick their MPs and tends to produce different majorities in the two houses, as happened in February’s general election which led to two months of deadlock. Letta’s government has set itself an 18-month deadline to have the reforms in place. Renzi, a telegenic 38-year-old who has been compared to the young Tony Blair, is considering running to be the leader of the PD at a party congress later this year.

The PD is the biggest group in parliament but it has been ravaged by internal divisions after former party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani squandered a big lead in the polls before February’s election with a colourless campaign. This culminated with the PD coming first by a narrow margin in the vote and not having a working majority in parliament, which eventually forced it to form an alliance with the centre-left People of Freedom (PdL) party of bitter rival Silvio Berlusconi.

Renzi said the PD needed to have fewer qualms about trying to reach out to disillusioned centre-right voters the next time the country goes to the polls. “The next time we vote the PD should not turn up its nose, it should go and get the votes of the centre right,” said Renzi, who came second to Bersani last year in the primary to select the centre-left’s premier candidate.

“Now we have a broad coalition government, not a centre-left government. During the primaries I said we had to go and get the votes of disappointed centre-right supporters.

“(We didn’t try that) and, instead, we ended up with centre-right ministers”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Marino Leads Centre-Left Sweep With Rome Triumph

Letta says coalition govt reinforced by local elections

(By Paul Virgo) (ANSA) — Rome, June 10 — Ignazio Marino registered a big win in the run-off of the contest to elect Rome’s new mayor on Monday to lead a centre-left clean sweep of the provincial capitals up for grabs in an important round of Italian local elections.

Marino of the centre-left Democratic Party took 63.9% of the vote in the capital, compared to 36.1% for centre-right incumbent Gianni Alemanno.

In the first round of voting two weeks ago, former agriculture minister Alemanno, a member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party, came around 10 points behind Marino.

The centre-left also took Brescia, Iglesias, Imperia, Treviso and Viterbo and it held the five other provincial capitals, Ancona, Avellino, Barletta, Lodi and Siena, of the 67 cities that held run-offs on Sunday and Monday.

The result is a huge boost for the PD, which appeared in danger of imploding after it failed to win February’s general election.

It should also strengthen the position of the PD and Premier Enrico Letta within the alliance that is supporting Italy’s coalition government.

Berlusconi and the PdL have been emboldened by the PD’s recent troubles and their rise to first place in the opinion polls and have made a series of demands about the policies that the unprecedented left-right government should adopt.

The PD is the biggest group in parliament but it has been ravaged by internal divisions after former party secretary Pier Luigi Bersani squandered a big lead in the polls before February’s election with a colourless campaign.

This culminated with the PD coming first by a narrow margin in the vote and not having a working majority in parliament, which eventually forced it to reluctantly form a seemingly unnatural alliance with their bitter rivals in the PdL to end two months of deadlock.

“It seems that overall this result reinforces the system of a broad coalition government,” said Letta, who has repeatedly reiterated that his government was the only way out of the impasse. “That’s how I read it. It’s a result that spurs me and us to keep working”.

Alemanno’s popularity was hit by probes into alleged corruption in recruitment for city agencies during his time as mayor and, for the first time, centre-left candidates also captured all the boroughs that make up Rome.

“With an extended squad we’ll take back the history of Rome. This city will dream again. I want to see people smile again,” said Marino, a surgeon who has an unorthodox style and prevailed despite not being a native of the capital Beppe Grillo’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which captured around a quarter of the vote in the general election, was largely absent from the run-offs after suffering a big fall in support in the first round of voting The turnout for the run-offs, however, fell dramatically, which experts see as another sign the Italian public is extremely disillusioned with its political class.

The interior ministry said less than half of eligible voters bothered to take part in the run-offs, 48.5%. This is down from 59.7% in the first round, which was already a big drop on the equivalent local elections in 2008. In Rome less than half of the people eligible, 44.93%, took part in the run-off after just 52.81% voted in the first round.

“It’s an alarming signal,” said Letta. “I think everyone has to reflect on this”. Marino, 58, also commented on the low turnout and disenchantment with politics. “Rome is the capital. It’s from here that we have to revive its role as the country’s moral guide,” said Marino. “We have to involve those who didn’t vote and convince them that politics is not about positions (for politicians), it’s about service. “I’m excited about this responsibility and I thank those who believed in me”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden: Male Train Drivers Wear Skirts After Shorts Row

A dozen male train drivers in Sweden have circumvented a ban on shorts by wearing skirts to work in hot weather.

The workers, who operate the Roslagsbanan line north of the capital Stockholm, have been wearing skirts to work for the past two weeks. Employer Arriva banned the drivers from wearing shorts after taking over the running of the line in January. But the company has given the men its blessing to wear skirts, according to local newspaper Mitti. “Our thinking is that one should look decent and proper when representing Arriva and the present uniforms do that. If the man only wants [to wear] a skirt then that is OK,” Arriva communications manager Tomas Hedenius told the paper. “To tell them to do something else would be discrimination.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

The Bilderbergs 2013 Meeting Over “Africa’s Challenges”

The shadow global government is tightening its grip

The Bilderbergs have met June 6-9, 2013 at the Grove Hotel in Watford. The secretive society of ministers, CEOs, financiers, heads of state, journalists, and politicians are hiding behind the Great Wall of Watford, “a concrete-and-wire security fence encircling the hotel.”

Shell, BP, Goldman’s Sachs, Google, and Amazon chairpersons, vice-chairmen, and directors, Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund, and other invitees were protected by anti-terrorism zones, identity checkpoints, and no-parking signs in the vicinity of the venue.

The locals showed little concern about the content of the conference or the fact that elite powers shape the world without any input from the global masses whose lives are fundamentally altered by the decisions of a few billionaires interested only in their power, control, and financial gain.

The Bilderberg summit was attended by 140 people from 21 countries and included “ the head of the IMF, the president and a vice-president of the European Commission, the prime minister of Holland, a dozen other ministers, any number of transnational CEOs and bank bosses, the chairmen of the Swiss and Dutch national banks, and our own chancellor of the exchequer.”

Sadly, it is a summit of policy discussions for the entire planet yet it does not have the blessing, knowledge, or benefit of the voters/taxpayers who will be affected by these secret discussions, later translated into national and international policies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Thousands Flee in Eastern Germany as Dam Bursts

BERLIN, June 10 (Xinhua) — A dam near Saxony-Anhalt state capital Magdeburg in eastern Germany burst overnight on Monday despite attempts to stabilise it, forcing the authorities to ask more than 20,000 people to leave their homes.

The dam breach happened at a village 40 km northeast of Magdeburg, regional disaster management authorities said, and hundreds of local residents were immediately asked to evacuate. Water levels in the Elbe river rose to a record 7.4 metres over the weekend, more than 5 meters higher that the normal reading of 2 meters…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: ‘Police Must Acknowledge Pakistani Sex-Grooming Issue’

A pattern of Pakistani-heritage men grooming young white girls for sex does exist and authorities must acknowledge it without fear of being labelled racist, a report into the organised sexual abuse of children has concluded. The Home Affairs Select Committee’s findings support concerns raised by former Keighley MP Ann Cryer, who faced a fierce backlash when she suggested underlying cultural attitudes might be a factor in such offending, which she was worried was happening in her constituency.

The panel heard from Ms Cryer in January, when she told members the problem had gone unchecked because authorities were “terrified of being called racist”. Her successor Kris Hopkins supported her view, telling the committee: “Since that time, many more children have been abused because of the failures of the agencies and of the communities to address what was happening.” The model of offending identified in the report featured in a number of recent high-profile cases, including in Rotherham, Rochdale, Derby and Oxford…

[JP note: See also Alison Pearson on this subject in May 2013 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10060570/Oxford-grooming-gang-We-will-regret-ignoring-Asian-thugs-who-target-white-girls.html ]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Cultural Traditions Are No Excuse for Sex Crimes, Minister Warns

Cultural and religious differences cannot be used as a defence for men from ethnic minorities linked to sex crimes against young girls in Britain, a minister has warned.

Damian Green, Police and Criminal Justice Minister, said men linked to sex crimes such as female genital mutilation and selling underage girls for sex must learn to obey Britain’s laws and customs. “If you come and live in 21st-century Britain then you obey the laws and observe the conventions of 21st-century Britain. And the law says that exploiting children for sexual purposes is a serious and disgusting crime,” Mr Green told The Times.

Mr Green challenged the suggestion that some offenders think it is acceptable to have sex with a young because under Muslim religious law puberty is the age at which it is permissible for a girl to marry. He added: “The age of consent may be puberty in other parts of the world, but it is not in this country. And in this country it is not acceptable to regard anyone else as being in some way less then human because they may not share your religious views or your race. We are all equal under the law. If you are abusing children sexually then that’s criminality and I am not prepared to accept, as a plea in mitigation, the argument that in some parts of the world this would be regarded as acceptable. It’s not acceptable in Britain in 2013.”…

[JP note: One law for Muslims, crumbs for the rest.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Ex-Muslim’s Facebook Group Comes Under Attack

by Sarah AB

Saif Rahman was raised a Muslim, but gradually began to question his faith, He found it difficult to believe in a God whose existence couldn’t be proved, and was particularly troubled by reactions to Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses. He describes here how a conversation with his cousin helped make him realize that he could no longer consider himself a Muslim, and how the questions his cousin couldn’t answer formed the basis for his book The Islamist Delusion. And here’s an interesting shorter piece he wrote for The Commentator, ‘Islamism as a memeplex’…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Grooming Victims ‘Still Being Failed’, Say MPs

Victims of child sexual exploitation and street grooming are still being failed, despite a series of high-profile trials, MPs have said.

The Home Affairs Committee said exploitation was an increasing “large-scale nationwide problem”. It said police forces, social services and the Crown Prosecution Service must bear responsibility for failings. The NSPCC called for “a culture change among police, CPS, the judiciary, and all child protection professionals”. There have been at least a dozen major criminal investigations into grooming in recent years, some of which are continuing. The MPs began taking evidence on sexual exploitation and grooming after nine men from Rochdale were convicted in 2012. Seven men are currently awaiting sentencing after being convicted last month of involvement in a major sex trafficking ring in Oxford…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Islamic Extremists Who Plotted to Kill EDL Members at Rally Are Jailed for Up to 19 Years Each as Judge Blames ‘Freely Available Material’ For Their Radicalisation

Six Islamic extremists who planned to spark ‘a tit-for-tat spiral of violence and terror’ with an attack on an EDL rally have today been jailed for up to 19-and-a-half years.

The Al Qaeda-inspired cell were plotting to attack an Armed Forces Day rally in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, with weapons including nail bombs, machetes and sawn-off shotguns

Judge Nicholas Hilliard QC told the men: ‘How was it that you became involved in a crime of this gravity?

‘At least part of the answer to that question must come in the tide of apparently freely available extremist material in which most of you had immersed yourselves.’

[…]

Police had no intelligence on the plan and only caught the plotters by ‘pure chance’ when one of their cars was stopped for being uninsured.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Lincoln Anti-Mosque and Counter Protests Proceed Peacefully

Hundreds of people took to the streets of Lincoln on Saturday, June 8, for a protest against plans to build a mosque in Lincoln, as well as a separate anti-racism demonstration. Around 250 anti-mosque protestors were in the City Square area, while around 100 people took part in the counter-demonstration in Cornhill. There was a strong police presence in the city throughout the day, with Lincolnshire Police getting assistance from Thames Valley and Metropolitan Police forces. No arrests were made…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: London Islamic School Fire: Four Held as Police Set Up ‘Ring of Steel’

Police are mounting a ring of steel across the capital after arsonists torched one of Britain’s largest Islamic boarding schools. The Metropolitan Police has launched the round the clock surveillance operation at ‘vulnerable’ sites across the capital. The move comes after intruders set the Darul Uloom Islamic boarding school in Chislehurst alight on Saturday evening as more than 100 teenagers slept inside.

Police asked the city’s 32 boroughs to identify high profile danger spots in the wake of the Woolwich attack. Police last night refused to confirm the number of sites guarded under the massive security operation but it is thought the scheme could total hundreds of the city’s top mosques and Islamic sites.

The Met said in a statement: “There is an increased police presence around potentially vulnerable locations in the borough of Bromley and across London, including additional patrols to provide reassurance and deter crime.” The news came as Boris Johnson branded the fire at Chislehurst’s Durgal Uloom school on Saturday night as ‘shocking’ and called for police to come down heart on the culprits…

[JP note: Boris Johnson — all heart and no trousers.]

[Reader comment by Dwayne-Bogle-Johnson-Flimflam on 10 June 2013 at about 9:30 am.]

You can bet the Police have been told to “ find them, or else “. Only in this Country would you find the enemy within has 24hour protection.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Muslim Cleric Who Was Top Terror Suspect Sues MI5 for £50,000 Compensation Over House Arrest

A Muslim cleric is demanding £50,000 compensation from the Home Office after he was placed under house arrest over his suspected links to Al-Qaeda.

The alleged hate preacher was put under a control order for three years after MI5 reportedly suspected him of being one of the greatest terror threats to national security.

His movements were restricted, he was banned from using the internet or a mobile phone and prevented from studying science at college.

The man, who lives in Britain with his wife and children, was also forbidden from contacting a ring of alleged extremists linked to a British mosque.

But the control order, made in 2006, was quashed by the High Court when the security services refused to reveal more of the evidence against him after a request from the Iraqi cleric’s lawyers, it was reported by The Daily Mirror.

The man, who can only be referred to as AE because an anonymity order prevents him being named, is one of at least four former terror suspects who courts have given the go-ahead to sue for ‘illegal detention’.

In a court document detailing its evidence, MI5 alleged AE had ‘extremist and criminal’ contacts in the UK.

During a search of his home in August 2005, MI5 said his computer revealed he had ‘visited websites selling toy remote-controlled helicopters and cars’.

It alleged he had also looked into buying lowlight pinhole cameras and had been involved in identity fraud on behalf of his extremist contacts.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Man Arrested After Home-Made Bomb is Thrown Through Window of Outspoken Tory MP’s Constituency Office

The offices of an outspoken Tory minister have been targeted by a home-made explosive.

Two small explosions were heard outside the Conservative Party headquarters in the small south Lincolnshire market town of Bourne between 12.20 and 1.30am today.

A window was smashed by shrapnel from one of the devices and scorch marks were left on the pavement outside the building which is the constituency office for Grantham and Stamford MP Nick Boles.

Lincolnshire Police said a 24-year-old man had been arrested and was helping police with their inquiries.

But a spokesperson said early indications suggested the incident was not linked to any wider issues or recent events in the county.

The coalition Planning Minister last month criticised immigration for helping to fuel rises in house prices that are preventing young people from owning their own home.

Mr Boles told the Mail: ‘I have become much more critical of immigration. A very substantial contribution to housing need comes from the level of immigration in the past two decades.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: MPS Call on Local Asian Leaders to Tackle Issue of ‘Sexist Behaviour’

The local Asian community has been called upon to do more to prevent grooming after a Government report found it was a problem within the Pakistani community. An influential group of MPs today released a report into child sex exploitation, which refers to a number of recent cases in the Bradford and Keighley areas. It says that while grooming is not confined to the Asian community, more needs to be done by that community to challenge those within it who feel it acceptable to target young girls…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Part-Time Women Doctors Are a Real Problem. Why is it Sexist to Say So?

For sure, there are many things going wrong with the NHS that cannot be laid specifically at the door of women doctors.

Its intractable problems are rooted in the fact that it cannot now deliver the unlimited expectations being laid upon it.

This has been exacerbated still more by an erosion of the idea of public service among GPs in general, causing many of them to refuse to provide a personal out-of-hours service.

Dr Mitchell claimed Ms Soubry had blamed the failings of the health service — which came in fact from ‘decades of political mismanagement’ — on women doctors.

But the Health Minister had said no such thing. All she had done was agree that Anne McIntosh was making an important point about the unintended consequences of part-time working which were putting the NHS under a lot of pressure.

Doctors themselves have said much the same thing. Indeed, it is nothing other than a statement of the obvious.

The problem here is that the make-up of the medical profession is rapidly changing. The proportion of women entering medicine has increased by 50 per cent since 2001. And in the next decade, women doctors are expected for the first time to outnumber their male colleagues.

These numbers do indeed have serious consequences. An estimated quarter of those women doctors choose to work part-time for a few years at least while their children are small. And a startling 60 per cent leave the profession altogether.

This loss of medical manpower is putting many surgeries under severe strain.

Dr Mitchell claimed two female (or male) doctors working a 50/50 job share due to family commitments were more productive than a single doctor.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Police and Social Workers Must Recognise Issue of Sexual Grooming by Pakistani Men — MPS

Social workers and police must acknowledge that there is a pattern of men from Pakistani backgrounds grooming young white girls for sex, MPs warn today.

Some officials have been reluctant to draw attention to the problem for fear of being labelled racist and inflaming community tensions, the Home Affairs Select Committee found. The MPs expressed shock that the sexual abuse of vulnerable children by organised gangs is continuing in every part of the country, and condemned the “inexcusable” postcode lottery that means offenders are more likely to escape justice in certain regions.

They said senior council managers had to take responsibility if their departments failed to protect girls from abuse, and called on the former chief executive of Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council to repay his £77,000 redundancy payout.

The committee released its report less than a month after seven men, most of them of Pakistani heritage, were found guilty at the Old Bailey of a litany of child sex crimes over a seven-year period in Oxford. Nine out of 10 of the social workers responsible for the girls they raped knew that they were being groomed for sex by Asian men who gave them drugs, the trial heard…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Pakistani Men Who Groom Girls for Sex Should Not be Ignored for Fear of Racism, Say MPS

THE problem of Pakistani men sexually exploiting young white girls should not be ignored by the authorities out of fear of being labelled racist, an influential group of MPs has said.

Police, social workers and others must acknowledge the issue, which featured in recent high-profile grooming cases in Rochdale and Oxford, the Home Affairs Select Committee said. After its inquiry into the problem the committee said it believes there are still places in the UK where victims are being failed by the authorities. Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: “This has been a harrowing inquiry in which we have heard of children being treated in an appalling way, not just by their abusers but because of catastrophic failures by the agencies that society has appointed to protect them.” In May 2012, nine mostly Asian men from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, were found guilty of grooming offences…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Rochdale Grooming Scandal Report: Ex-Council Boss Told to Give Back £76k Golden Handshake

Roger Ellis left his post as chief executive of Rochdale council in April last year, just weeks before a gang of men were jailed for exploiting vulnerable teenage girls for sex.

A council boss who retired with a £76,000 payoff at the height of the child sex grooming scandal in Rochdale should be forced to pay back the money, a committee of MPs demanded today. Roger Ellis left his post as chief executive of Rochdale council in April last year, just weeks before a gang of men were jailed for exploiting vulnerable teenage girls for sex.

A report into the scandal, compiled by the parliamentary home affairs committee after an enquiry, accused Rochdale council of being ‘inexcusably slow’ to realise that ‘widespread and organised’ sexual abuse of children was taking place on its ‘doorstep’. The committee found ‘catastrophic failings’ in agencies appointed to protect children — and said abuse was still happening in all parts of the country. The damning dossier said the situation in Rochdale was allowed to develop because of a ‘woeful lack of professional curiosity or indifference’ on the part of Mr Ellis, who headed the council for 12 years.

The committee said it was ‘deeply shocked’ that he received a total redundancy payout of £76,798.20. Mr Ellis, 58, claimed to have known nothing about the issue during his first decade in the post, despite an independent enquiry published last month finding that the council was told the girls were at risk several times by a crisis intervention team, the report concluded.

Nine men were jailed in May last year for exploiting girls as young as 13 — centred around takeaways in Heywood. The victims, some of them runaways or in the care of social services, were routinely plied with drink and drugs and passed around for sex…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Stop Tip-Toeing Around Race of Grooming Gangs, Say MPS: Committee Says Police and Prosecutors Must be Able to Raise Issue Without Being Accused of Racism

Public officials must stop ‘tip-toeing’ around race when tackling child sex gangs, MPs said last night.

A dangerous trend of Pakistani men grooming young white girls does exist, according to a Commons home affairs committee report.

Police, prosecutors and social workers must be able to raise the issue without fear of being accused of racism, the committee said.

But it warned against stereotyping offenders because there is no straightforward link between race and child sexual exploitation. In shocking conclusions to a year-long inquiry, MPs said there were still areas where victims were being failed by the authorities.

[Comment: Still tiptoeing…it’s not race…Pakistani Christians were not the culprits.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Will This Paedophile Ever be Jailed? Gym Coach Who Abused Girls for 40 Years is Spared Prison for a Second Time… Despite Solicitor General’s Plea for a Harsher Sentence

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

A renowned gymnastics coach who abused students as young as six over 40 years has avoided jail for the second time.

Robert ‘Bob’ Bellew, 66, admitted attacking girls at schools and gyms across the country, but was given a 15-month suspended prison sentence in April after a judge said he had shown remorse.

The pensioner, who served on a committee planning London 2012, admitted seven counts of indecent assault and one of sexual activity with a child.

His victims were outraged and the Crown Prosecution Service then appealed to try to get him thrown in jail.

But three senior judges at London’s Appeal Court have now rejected a bid by the Solicitor General, Oliver Heald QC, to jail Bellew at the second time of asking and to increase his sentence, because they believed his 15-month suspended term ‘was not unduly lenient.’

Speaking after the hearing, one of Bellew’s victims and her family slammed the courts for ‘favouring’ the abuser over those he had ‘scarred for the rest of their lives’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: West Yorkshire Police Launch Campaign to Target Grooming

A major campaign was launched today across West Yorkshire to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation. ‘Know the Signs’ highlights signs of the crime, particularly to parents and carers. Hard-hitting radio adverts are being broadcast throughout the county, informing people of what to look out for and how to report suspicions. A dedicated section of the West Yorkshire Police website has been created to offer information and advice surrounding the subject, at westyorkshire.police…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Italian Exports to Morocco +90% in 10 Years

‘Ample growth in Italian PMI, SRM study

(ANSAmed) — Rome, June 6 — Italy’s small and medium businesses are looking to Morocco for growth after a dramatic increase in exports there in the past decade.

This is the conclusion of ‘Italian business in Morocco’ a study conducted by SRM, which produces socio-economic research on the Mediterranean, presented today at the International Institute of Business (IAI) in Rome.

The data presented some significant and unexpected results. “Morocco has been seen traditionally as a location for holidays, not to do business,” said Pier Luigi D’Agata, director-general of Confindustria Assafrica and the Mediterranean.

However Massimo Deandreis, director general of SRM said: “Italy is one of the principal commercial partners of the kingdom, the fourth among European nations. The first for obvious historical and cultural reasons is France”.

Compared to the French, Italian companies have been able to gain margins for growth in Morocco both for products and joint ventures to penetrate the African continent.

“Between 2000 and 2012 Italian exports to Morocco nearly doubled — the rate of growth was 90%,” said Luca Forte, head of the Mediterranean Observatory of the SRM.

This positive trend was also confirmed in the early months of 2013.

“Compared to the same period of 2012, the first quarter of of the current year saw an increase of 24%,” the research said.

In terms of percent, Italy has done better than France which between 2000 and 2012 grew around 30%.

But if we look at total value, “Italian exports were worth 1.4 billion euros compared to 4 billion for the French”, according to the research.

There is an important message for economic policy with the comparison to the French as there are interesting prospects for Italy in Morocco, particularly in relation to agricultural and food products.

The study surveyed all 140 Italian companies operating in Morocco that account for 8% of the foreign firms there and have a total of 7,000 employees.

Their total turnover is around a billion euros a year while the French have around 1,000 firms with a total turnover of nearly 24 billion euros.

The stability of Morocco and the rate of growth in both the population and GDP — expected to rise 5.5% in 2013 — are the main attractions for Italian companies to Morocco.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Alaa Al Aswani: Egypt of Today’s Issues in My New Book

Tamarod signatures ‘most creative idea in past two years’

(ANSAmed) — ROME, JUNE 7 — “I would say that some of the issues in my new novel are the same as those of the Egypt of today. There is a relationship between the book and the revolution, even though I started to write it a few years ago and I only realised this as I was writing the last chapter,” the Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswani told ANSAmed in an interview.

The novel by the writer best known at the international level for The Yacoubian Building — (‘Automobile Club’, 600 pg., published by Shourouk) — is being translated for Feltrinelli into Italian after meeting with resounding success in Egypt. Set in the 1940s before the Nasser-led 1952 revolution, the novel focuses on the arrival in Egypt of the first cars, on the Europeans who drove them and on their servants from Egypt’s poor southern regions.

“Two societies are thus represented,” Al Aswani said, “that of foreigners and that of their dark-skinned servants.” And while this is the main theme, he continued, “within it another issue arises: is everyone prepared for the revolution? If the choice is between being oppressed by a dictator or living free but insecurely, which would they choose?”.

This is very clearly a prominent issue in the Egypt of today, where Mubarak’s ouster was followed not only by two years of political instability but also worsening security and a reduced police presence in the streets. “Freedom is not a Christmas gift,” he underscored, “there is a price to pay for it.” Many among especially the older generations note that perhaps the country was better off before. “Yes, but you have to look at history,” he replied. “All revolutions are carried out by a minority, usually around 10-15% of the population. In Egypt this figure was higher — at 20 million of an estimated 90-95 million people.” Egyptian society is now divided into three parts, he said: “between the ‘fulul’, the old regime, the revolutionaries and the ‘passive masses’, those 65 million people who did not take part in the revolution and are now conditioned by counterrevolutionary forces”.

Most importantly, the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood was the start of a regime that Al Aswani does not hesitate to call ‘fascist’, against which it would be more appropriate to use the word ‘resistance’ instead of ‘opposition’, in his opinion, as the latter term must be used “in relation to a full-fledged democracy”.

“We have a president who was — yes — elected in a legal manner,” he said. “But then he violated the Constitution and his police have shown themselves to be more brutal than Mubarak’s. At least four cases of sexual violence against male detainees have been documented.” And it is no longer true as it once was, he continued, that the Muslim Brotherhood holds influence over the poor. “It has become clear to all that they are liars, incompetent and corrupt. A PhD isn’t required to understand that.” Nevertheless, this new regime must be defeated in a peaceful and democratic manner, he stressed: such as through the only weeks-old Tamarod (‘Rebels’) movement, which aims to collect 15 million signatures of no confidence in Morsi. The signatures will then be taken to the presidential palace on June 30, exactly one year after he took office, to demand that early presidential elections be held.

“The ‘Rebels’ idea is the most intelligent and creative of the past two years,” the writer said enthusiastically, who was one of the founders of the opposition movement Kefaya! (‘Enough!’) in the Mubarak period. “It is an idea some young revolutionaries came up with.” As to what sort of legal basis the initiative would have, the writer said that “if Egypt had an elected parliament,” in reference to the People’s Assembly dissolved by the Constitutional Court and for which new elections have not yet been held, “a two-thirds majority could demand early presidential elections. But if there is no Parliament, the power returns to the people. If we get more signatures than the number of people who voted for Morsi (13.2 million, Ed.), there is the right to ask for new elections. The ‘Rebels’ will turn to the Constitutional Court to ask for precisely this. However, if the legal battle does not produce any results, he concluded, the 15 million signatures would carry enough political weight that Morsi “could not but obey”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Cracking the Code Behind Egypt’s NGO Crackdown

Why is the international community seemingly so shocked with the verdict issued yesterday by the Egyptian criminal court’s sentencing 43 NGO workers to prison? It is not as if the Egyptian legal code had suddenly been reformed and transformed after the Egyptian revolution of January 2011. Or that the powers that be have become any more open to any whistle blowing, international or otherwise, on their human rights records.

One of the NGO workers to receive a five year sentence was Nancy Okeil, an IDS alumni and a much esteemed former doctoral student in the Participation Team. Okeil had served as director of Freedom House’s office in Egypt. The ruling against her was made in absentia as she and many others had already left the county. Fortunately, however, the case is not over, since they have the right to appeal…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

The Two-State-Solution: A Fatal Trap

John Forbes Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States on February 1, 2013. Kerry now is set, since assuming office, to embark on his fifth visit to Israel and to the so-called Palestinian Authority to push for a Two-State-Solution.

But this is yet another appalling euphemism which in reality will spell out the eventual destruction of the reconstituted Jewish state and the extermination of its people by a Muslim world that will never accept a non-Muslim nation and will wage eternal war against it — the Dar al-Harb — until it is utterly destroyed. This is what Islam requires of its adherents. Remember that other evil euphemism — the Final Solution? There is no difference in what it portends for the Jews. The Nazi’s “Final Solution” served to usher in the Holocaust. The “Two-State-Solution” ushers in the eventual destruction of the Jewish state.

Of course the morally compromised world opinion would consider that if Israel declared its justified rejection of the Two-State-Solution, such a statement of the truth would be considered inflammatory and guaranteed to provoke another Palestinian Arab outburst of violence and bloodletting (dignified by the Arabic term intifada). But isn’t that what is happening on the roads of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) with almost daily outrages committed by Arab thugs against Jewish civilians?

[…]

Secretary Kerry even suggests giving an immediate $4 billion of U.S. taxpayer’s money to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians but as Yoram Ettinger, retired Israeli ambassador and leading demographer, has written:

“Kerry overlooks the impact of the $400 million in annual US aid which has fueled an all-time-high Palestinian corruption (Mahoud Abbas’ nickname is “Mr. 20%), hate education, terrorism, anti-US incitement, oppression, in general, and discrimination against Christians, in particular, and the Palestinian affinity toward America’s enemies and adversaries: Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Iran. The PA follows in the footsteps of previous Arab leaders who sided with the Nazis, the Communist Bloc and Khomeini.

“Why don’t the Arab oil-producing countries provide $4 billion to the PA, which they could easily afford in view of their robust $100 per barrel economy?”…

Without retaining the hill country, that runs like a spine north and south through Judea and Samaria, Israel’s pitifully narrow 9 mile wide coastal plain, which includes Netanya, Ben Gurion airport and Tel Aviv, will be at the mercy of the Palestinian Arab thugocracy just as southern Israeli towns and villages endure relentless aggression from the Hamas occupied Gaza Strip. That is why the Two-State-Solution peddled by the EU, the UN, the Obama Administration and much of the world will usher in a new Final Solution.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

At Least 13 Killed in Triple Car Bombings in Iraq’s Diyala

BAQUBA, Iraq, June 10 (Xinhua) — At least 13 people were killed and 39 others wounded in three car bomb explosions at a marketplace in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala on Monday, police said. The blasts took place during the morning rush hours when three car bombs exploded at a vegetable wholesale market in the town of Jedidat al-Shutt near Diyala’s provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of Baghdad, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Jordan Wargames: Patriot Batteries, F-16s and 4,500 US Troops Near Syrian Border

Multinational military exercise ‘Eager Lion’ has been launched in Jordan amid condemnation from neighboring Syria and its ally Russia. The US brings Patriot missile batteries to the Syrian border, which could remain deployed afterwards.

The exercises will last for 12 days, bringing together about 8,000 personnel from 19 countries, mostly Arabic, but also including the US and Europe. The maneuvers will also involve some 3,000 Jordanian and 500 British troops.

‘Eager Lion’ — which is being conducted only 120km from the Jordan-Syria border — is aimed at training personnel for the possibility of the Syrian civil war spilling into neighboring countries.

Russia has raised concerns over the deployment of US Patriot missile batteries and F-16 fighter jets to Jordan: “We have more than once stated our opinion on this — foreign weapons are being pumped into an explosive region,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich said last week.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

One-Third of Turks Are Poor or Needy, Ministry’s Report

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, JUNE 7 — Almost one-third of Turks are poor and needy, according to the 2012 social assistance statistics released by the Family and Social Policies Ministry reported today by daily Hurriyet. More than 23.6 million people from 6.7 million households are listed as poor and needy in an online data inventory of the ministry, according to written data the ministry has released. The country’s population reached 75.6 million in 2012, according to data released by the Turkey’s statistical authority, TurkStat. More than 6.3 million people from 2.1 million households are receiving social assistance, according to the statistics. More than 19.5 billion Turkish Liras are allocated for social assistance, according to projections. The ministry’s data said the rate of poverty decreased for seven years after 2002. Hunger poverty decreased to 0.48% in 2009 from 1.35% in 2002. The report listed no one in hunger poverty in 2010 and 2011. Those living on under 1 dollar a day totaled 0.01% in 2005 and the report cited no one in this category since that year. The rate of both hunger poverty and poverty not caused by food decreased to 18.08% in 2009 from 26.96% in 2002, according to the ministry’s 2012 social assistance statistics. The ministry stated that a serious improvement had been seen in the lives of those living on less than 4.3 dollars a day. Those spending only 4.3 dollars a day were 30.30% in 2002, while this rate was 2.79% in 2011, the ministry’s data said. More women benefit from social assistances, totaling 70%, according to the data.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Syrian Rebels ‘Execute Teenager’ In Aleppo

Rebels fighting the Syrian regime have shot dead a 15-year-old boy in front of his parents and siblings after accusing him of blasphemy, an activist group said.

Al Jazeera was told that the boy, a street vendor selling coffee, was from the Shaar neighbourhood of the northern city of Aleppo. He has been named locally as Mohammad Kattaa.

Reports indicated that he was arguing with another boy on Saturday and used the name of Prophet Muhammad in a common phrase used by Syrians at which point he was picked up by fighters, beaten, and then shot.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Turkey: Latest Survey Shows Erdogan is Losing Votes

Ruling Islamic party AKP at 38.5%, against 50% in 2011

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — If elections were held now in Turkey, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Islamic nationalist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan would get 38.5% of the vote, down from 50% in 2011, a Gecizi Institute survey showed on Monday.

The first opinion poll conducted since nationwide anti-government protests began puts the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) at 31.8%, followed by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) at 19.5% and the pro-Kurd Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) at 8.2%. The survey was published by pro-opposition Sozcu daily newspaper.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Turkish Premier Lashes Out at Protesters, Calls Them Vandals

Ankara, Turkey — In a series of increasingly belligerent speeches to cheering supporters Sunday, Turkey’s prime minister launched a verbal attack on the tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who flooded the streets for a 10th day, accusing them of creating an environment of terror.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the most inflammatory of his speeches as he arrived in the capital of Ankara. Erdogan belittled the protesters, again calling them “capulcu,” the Turkish word for looters or vandals. He made his speech in Ankara on an open-top bus, which then drove into the city in a motorcade…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Turkish Police Use Tear Gas to Disperse Demonstrators in Ankara

ANKARA, June 9 (Xinhua) — Turkish police on Sunday used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Ankara as nationwide protests against the pro-Islamic government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved on. Thousands of protesters gathered at Kizilay Square in the capital to support the events in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, but the police intervened with tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, said witnesses…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Rock Samples Suggest Meteor Caused Tunguska Blast

Grains from Siberian peat bog may be remnants of the biggest Earth impact in recorded history.

They came from outer space. Fragments of rock retrieved from a remote corner of Siberia could help to settle an enduring mystery: the cause of the Tunguska explosion.

On 30 June 1908, a powerful blast ripped open the sky near the Podkamennaya Tunguska river in Russia and flattened more than 2,000 square kilometres of forest. Eyewitnesses described a large object tearing through the atmosphere and exploding before reaching the ground, sending a wave of intense heat racing across the countryside.

At an estimated 3 to 5 megatonnes of TNT equivalent, it was the biggest impact event in recorded history. By comparison, the meteor that struck the Russian region of Chelyabinsk earlier this year ‘merely’ packed 460 kilotonnes of TNT equivalent.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Afghanistan: Militants Launch Suicide Attack Near Kabul Airport

Heavily-armed Taliban gunmen launched a dawn raid on Kabul airport on Monday, occupying nearby buildings and forcing flights to be diverted elsewhere.

It is the latest in a series of high-profile attacks against key targets in the Afghan capital as militant groups try to undermine Western efforts to hand security to local forces. Officials said the gun battle ended some four hours after it began, leaving seven attackers dead and two civilians wounded.

Dawood Amin, Deputy Kabul police chief, said two blew themselves up with suicide vests and five were shot and killed by police. Loud explosions and bursts of small arms fire were heard around the airport, which is both a civilian and military facility and contains a large base for the US-led Nato coalition. Two American Black Hawk helicopters circled overhead as the gun battle raged on…

[JP note: Appeasers of Allah.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Attacker in Afghanistan Hid Bomb in His Body

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s spy chief, Asadullah Khalid, was taking no chances.

A man had crossed into Afghanistan from Pakistan with important information he said he would only deliver personally to Mr. Khalid, who had just taken over as the head of the National Directorate of Security. Mr. Khalid’s aides took the visitor to an armored room in the basement of a safe house in Taimani, an upscale neighborhood in the capital city, for a security screening. They were no doubt mindful of what happened in September 2011 when a Taliban peace emissary was allowed to meet with a prominent Afghan peace envoy and then killed him with a bomb hidden in his turban.

Watching the man over closed-circuit television, they ordered him to strip naked, which he did. Satisfied, they let him get dressed and took him to see their boss upstairs. Then he blew up. The suicide bomber killed only himself, but Mr. Khalid sustained severe abdominal wounds as well as injuries to his hands and arms. Now, months after that attack, on Dec. 6, a spokesman for the National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Tahiri, confirmed that the attacker had hidden the bomb inside his rectum…

[JP note: Rectal appeasement of Allah.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Horrific Death of the Young Indian Nurse Who Had Acid Flung in Her Face as She Waited on a Train Platform

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

An Indian woman who was the victim of an acid attack as she stood at a Mumbai train station has died from her injuries.

Preeti Rathi was targeted as she stood alongside her father Amar Singh Rathi at the station on May 2.

She had travelled to the city to take up a coveted position as a military nurse, beating thousands of other candidates.

The attack left the 24-year-old blinded and disfigured and she was unable to speak before dying last weekend.

Ms Rathi was attacked by a man who was wearing a cap and scarf and her family told a newspaper they believed the attacker could have been hired to follow her…

In an online petition, her father described his daughter’s state following the attack.

He wrote: ‘She suffered severe injuries on her face and internal organs.

‘Her eyes were damaged, her liver and kidneys got infected and she endured crucifying pain for almost a month.

‘She put up a brave fight but eventually gave in to her injuries and infection. She left us after suffering a cardiac arrest.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

India: Tripura: Christian Man Beheaded for Not Converting to Hinduism

After he married a tribal girl, her father pressured him to change religion. After a prayer ritual, a shaman performed the murder. His wife now fears for her life and that of their son.

Mumbai (AsiaNews/Agencies) — A 35-year-old Christian man was beheaded for refusing to convert to Hinduism. Indian media that covered the affair revealed that the man, Tapas Bin, was killed by his own father-in-law in the village of Teliamura (West Tripura District), in the north-eastern part of the country, where the victim’s body was found a few days ago in a stream.

According to police, three years ago Bin married Jentuly, the daughter of 55-year-old Gobinda Jamatiya, the member of a local tribal religion. The Christian man had been a private tutor of Gobinda’s daughter, and the couple had a one-year-old son.

Since the marriage, Gobinda had been pressuring Bin to abandon Christianity and join his tribal religion. When Bin persistently refused, Gobinda decided to kill his son-in-law with the help of an ojha (shaman), Krishnapada Jamatiya (no relation), and dispose of the body.

Police arrested the 42-year-old shaman but were unable to find Gobinda, who works at the West Tripura Science and Technology Department, and is thought to be on the run.

Khrishnapada confessed to the crime, providing detailed information about the killing. For example, he said that before the assassination, Gobinda and he had performed a puja, a ritual prayer.

Bin’s wife Jentuly told police that her father did not recognise their marriage and had pressured Bin to convert. What is more, “My father might kill me and my son too,” she said.

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

India: Like the United States, New Delhi Enveloped in Web and Phone Spying Scandal

According to activists, the central monitoring system recently approved is a “threat to privacy and freedom of expression.” It allows the state to monitor phone calls, text messages and use of the web. Limits of competencies and application conditions nebulous. Recent cases of arrests increase concerns.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The new web and phone control system adopted by India to combat terrorism and crime, is a “threat to privacy and freedom of expression.” This is what Human Rights Watch (HRW) activists denounce. They claim the central monitoring system (CMS), recently approved by the government of New Delhi, is likely to turn into a kind of “Big Brother” that violates the basic rights of the citizen.

The story echoes the recent events in the United States, following a complaint from some media that the Agency for National Security has been checking (for years) phones, web and even credit card use of citizens. The controversy provoked by the complaint are likely to overwhelm the Obama administration now accused of having “lost all credibility”.

In force since April, the CMS allows the State to monitor phone calls, text messaging and the use of the web of citizens. A system that exploits the controversial Information Technology Act 2008, which allows “phone tapping” in cases of unspecified “conditions of necessity” such as national security or public order.

HRW activists call the system desired by the government “chilling”. New Delhi has so far provided little information about the rules over who is authorized to monitor this information and what the standards will be to guarantee privacy.

Among the many cases of abuse in recent years thanks to the law on technology and the media, the case of a business man aged 46, who was arrested last October for a tweet critical of the son of the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. In April, however, a teacher ended up in jail over a satirical cartoon on the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

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

Ranger Killed in Southern Thailand Bombing

BANGKOK, June 10 (Xinhua) — A ranger was killed and another injured on Monday by a bomb explosion in Thailand’s restive far South, police said. The incident occurred in Yarang district of Pattani province about 10:30 a.m. local time.

A team of rangers was on patrol along a road when a 4-kg-bomb, buried under the road, was detonated. Two rangers were injured by the explosion and then rushed to a nearby hospital. One of them was pronounced dead later. Since early 2004, thousands of people, including military personnels and civilians, have been killed or injured in the frequent attacks instigated by armed insurgents in Thailand’s southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Stray Violence Marks Bangladesh’s Largest Islamist Party Enforced Hartal

DHAKA, June 10 (Xinhua) — A dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced by Bangladesh’s largest Islamist party, protesting imprisonment of its leaders by a war crimes tribunal for contempt of court, crippled the normal life and business across the South Asian country Monday.

Three Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party leaders, including a member of parliament, were sentenced to three months’ imprisonment and fined 3,000 taka (about 39 U.S. dollars) each, in default, to suffer two more weeks imprisonment for their derogatory and provocative comments about the war crimes tribunals.

Monday’s strike was so far relatively peaceful in Dhaka, with no reported casualties despite unknown miscreants have exploded a handmade crude bomb in front of the International Crimes Tribunal- 2, set up to try the crimes against humanity committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War. The traffic movements in Dhaka’s usually busy streets, however, remained thin as most private vehicles were kept indoors.

Stray incidents of clashes, explosions of dozens of cocktails, torching and vandalism of vehicles were reported elsewhere in the country…

[JP note: Stray appeasement of Allah.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Taliban Beheads Two Boys for Spying

Two Afghan boys believed to have accepted food from police were beheaded by the Taliban for spying, officials told BBC News.

The bodies of the boys, aged 10 and 16, were found in the Kandahar province on Monday morning, one day after the pair was abducted.

The 10-year-old boy often was given food by the police to take home to his family, BBC News reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

White-Mask Anti-Gov’t Movement Spreads Across Thailand

BANGKOK, June 10 (Xinhua) — Anti-government movement featured by the white masks has recently developed into a nationwide campaign in Thailand, mounting pressure on the Yingluck Shinawatra administration which is accused of corruption and incompetence.

The new campaign was launched in the capital Bangkok earlier this month when about 700 white-masked protesters took to the street to oppose what they call “Thaksin Shinawatra’s regime”. They believed the government was controlled by the fugitive former prime minister who is also elder brother of Prime Minister Yingluck. They also demanded the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi for making insulting remarks against opponents…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Japanese Economy Takes Off, But Country Needs Nuclear Power

For the Asahi Shimbun, the population is confused on the reopening of nuclear power plants which are fundamental to the national industrial production: on one hand the “Fukushima effect” is still feared the other, the number of those who support the Prime Minister Abe and his energy policy is growing. In Korea, the closure of facilities creates social tensions: the Church invites everyone to remain calm and dialogue.

Tokyo (AsiaNews) — The energy crisis that hit the Far East after the closure of nuclear power plants in Japan is having a “huge impact” on the economies of Japan and South Korea This is revealed by a survey conducted among Japanese people by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun : according to data collected by the newspaper 60% of the population does not want to see nuclear plants reopened, but 51% expect “economic growth” from the government.

The closure of the all reactors was ordered by the executive after the Fukushima disaster, which occurred in March of 2011. The structures were reinforced and subjected to rigorous security checks, but they are still shut: the government led by Shinzo Abe announced that it will reopen them by the summer to bring down energy prices and restart industrial production.

The data collected show by Asahi depict a sharply divided country. 27% of the population approve of the use of nuclear energy for economic growth, but 58% do not want to reopen the plants. At the same time, 51% say they agree with the policies of Abe for economic recovery, even though the vast majority of respondents said that the national economy “has not improved” since the government took office in December 2012 . According to the National Cabinet, however, from January to March 2013, the economy grew by 1% compared to the previous quarter.

The tragedy of Fukushima has created a snowball effect in South Korea and Taiwan, nations that have been using atomic energy for several decades. The Seoul government was forced by public opinion to “freeze” the national plants “review them”, and last month — to control energy prices — it approved the construction of alternative power plants.

One of these, near the city of Miryang, is not acceptable to the local population who believe it is useless and harmful. The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) proceeded in construction work until a group of protesters chained themselves to the gates on the 24th of May. To try to calm the waters, South Korea’s Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace has called “both sides for calm.”

The President of the Commission, Msgr. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, has sent a message to the protesters and to the Kepco leadership, “Nothing is more important than human life, therefore a construction that damages the residents cannot be justified. However, the issue must be addressed with wisdom: stop the construction and resume the dialogue, so that we can resolve the issue in a peaceful manner. “

Instead Taiwan is in the grips of heated debate over the “Nuke 4”, the fourth power plant under construction in New Taipei. Although the island aims to become fully sustainable by 2025, the government now intends to proceed with the construction of the facility to keep energy costs low. But the decision has created several domestic disputes.

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

Nigeria: Boko Haram Gunmen Kill 13 People in Borno State

Unknown gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members who hid their guns inside a coffin, on Friday, launched an attack against a group of vigilantes in Maiduguri , the Borno State capital, , killing 13 of the youths before being shot by security forces…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Nigeria: Thisday Office Was Bombed to Appease Allah, Witness Tells Court

Abuja — The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, heard how alleged kingpin of the Boko Haram sect, Mustapher Umar, bombed office of Thisday Newspaper in Kaduna State with 12 camp gas cylinders in a bid to appease Allah.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Somalia: Puntland VP Alleges Federal Govt is Supporting Conflict in Kismayo

Garowe — Puntland Vice President Abdisamad Ali Shire accused the Somali Federal Government (SFG) that they had a part in the 2 day clashes that led to over 15 dead in Kismayo, Garowe Online reports. Vice President Abdisamad who returned to a warm welcome by Puntland Ministers in Garowe discussed his trips to Qardho and Bossaso in a press conference in Garowe on Sunday. He thanked the residents of those cities for their cooperation and their welcome. He then spoke about the heavy clashes in the port city of Kismayo between Jubaland state forces and what Jubaland state officials alleged was Al Shabaab fighters. Abdisamad said he “believed” that the SFG had a role in the clashes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: 68 Egypt Migrants Picked Up in Calabria

All in good condition

(ANSA) — Bovalino, June 10 — Italian police on Monday picked up 68 migrants from Egypt on a Calabrian beach.

The migrants, including 51 minors, had come off a fishing boat that ran aground a few metres from shore, police said.

All were in “good health,” police said.

Police opened a probe into migrant-trafficking.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Jeddah: Indonesian Immigrants Storm Their Consulate for Visa, One Dead and Three Injured

At least 12,000 workers were waiting to regularise their position. A combination of heat, red tape and inefficient service sparked unrest with the building attacked and set on fire. After the case of the woman beheaded in 2011, immigration to the Saudi kingdom is back in the news.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — A woman is dead, three people are slightly injured and dozens more fainted during yesterday’s attack against the Indonesian consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, closed by local authorities for security reasons.

In recent days, thousands of Indonesian migrant workers had camped inside the building, waiting to regularise their position and get the necessary permits to avoid expulsion. However, the slow pace of operations and excessive red tape proved too much for many immigrants who went on a rampage, throwing stones and other objects and setting partitions and walls on fire.

For the first time in its history, an Indonesian diplomatic mission has been the object of violence, something that has caused dismay and concern at home, but did not surprise those who know the inner workings and shortcomings of Indonesia’s bureaucracy, notorious for its corruption, bribes and favours, for passport applications or other documents, both at home and abroad.

The situation has worsened in Indonesian diplomatic offices in Saudi Arabia, because of Saudi crackdown on migrant workers. Since 1 April, at least 180,000 illegal workers (380,000 since the start of the year) have left the country, taking advantage of a special “immunity” that allows them to leave the country without the payment of a penalty.

When violence broke out, some 12,000 people were waiting at the consulate to fill out the paperwork to get a residence permit after the Saudi government set a 3 July deadline for applicants.

The looming deadline prompted workers to storm the building, which could not contain such a large crowd. Heat, lack of water and ventilation did the rest, causing some people to faint and others to protest until some revolted.

The question of residence permits is part of a bigger picture, which touches the lives of Indonesian citizens across the Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan, where they are appreciated for the quality of their work and their “low-cost” but where they are also victims of abuse and violence.

The issue of migrant workers has repeatedly caused tensions between Jakarta and Riyadh as well as Indonesia and Malaysia. The beheading of Ruyati Binti Satubi Saruna in 2011 and more recent cases of abuse, sexual violence and violations of Saudi Arabia’s immigration law have exacerbated the problem.

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

You Could Lose All Your Guns Before 2035 Under the Amnesty Bill Before the Senate

Contact your Senators and urge them to vote against the anti-gun immigration amnesty bill.

We’ve written you before about the immigration amnesty bill that will be debated on the Senate floor beginning June 10.

We had just been through a hard fight to stop gun bans and registration. And some of you may have even felt the immigration amnesty was not a “gun” issue.

But if the amnesty bill is passed, within 20 years, Washington could be as anti-gun as Albany, Hartford, and Sacramento.

This is because the bill will create at least 11,500,000 new citizens — but probably closer to 20,000,000 — and, if history is any guide, they will vote 71% of the time for far Left Democrats like Barack Obama.

Impartial analysts have determined that Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and probably Arizona will never vote for Republicans again. Given this, for the rest of your life, the White House will be occupied by someone who is just as anti-gun and just as liberal as Barack Obama.

Conservatives in the Senate think that they can woo new immigrants to their side of the aisle. But it is informative that, after the last amnesty bill (the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli bill signed by Ronald Reagan), those people given citizenship were LESS LIKELY to vote for more conservative and constitutional candidates.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

In Reversal: Obama to End Effort to Restrict Morning-After Pill

The Obama administration has decided to stop trying to block over-the-counter availability of the most popular morning-after contraceptive pill for all women and girls, a move fraught with political repercussions for President Obama.

The reversal by the government means that anyone, no matter how young, will soon be able to walk into a drugstore and buy the pill, Plan B One-Step, without a prescription.

The Justice Department had been fighting to prevent that outcome, but said late Monday afternoon that it would drop its appeal of a judge’s order to make the drug more widely available. In a letter to Judge Edward R. Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the administration said it would comply with his demands that the Food and Drug Administration be allowed to certify the drug for nonprescription use.

[Return to headlines]
 

No More Father’s, Mother’s Day? School Nixes Celebration in the Post-Nuclear Age

A Nova Scotia school is causing controversy after deciding to stop celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, instead opting to recognize the International Day of Families instead.

The Dartmouth elementary school said it is aiming to celebrate diversity and inclusivity while avoiding making children who are part of non-traditional families feel left out.

“Children can be isolated in a classroom if they’ve lost their mom or are in a family without a dad or in a family with two moms or two dads,” Education Minister Ramona Jennex recently told CTV Atlantic, adding that it’s up to the individual schools to decide how to celebrate mothers and fathers.

As part of the family day celebrations, which took place May 15, students at Astral Drive Elementary School were asked to write the names of all the people who supported them in their lives, on a large tree hung in the gymnasium.

Some parents have applauded the move to not celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day as a sign of a more inclusive environment, while others have said the school is taking political correctness too far.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

GMO Papayas (Papaw) Approved in US and Canada But Not Europe

Papaya ringspot (PR) viruses are a major problem in papaya cultivation and can lead to a drastic loss of yield. In Hawaii during the 1990s, half of the papaya harvests were lost due to PR virus infections. This problem gave birth to GM papayas with the development and cultivation of virus-resistant papayas. To do this, certain viral genes encoding capsid proteins were transferred to the papaya genome. The first GM virus resistant papayas were commercially grown in Hawaii in 1999 and they were so successful that by 2010, 80% of Hawaiian papaya plants were genetically modified. Transgenic papayas now cover about one thousand hectares, or three quarters of the total Hawaiian papaya crop. The long-term health effects of GM papayas have not been studied and will only be known after decades of consumption by mass populations…

In 2011 Philippine researchers reported they by intergeneric hybridisation between carica papaya and Vasconcellea quercifolia they had developed conventionally bred, non genetically engineered papaya that are proving resistant to PRV.

A recent amendment inserted into the 2013 Farm Bill passed by the House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee last week will revoke the ability of individual states’ lawmakers to pass GMO-labeling laws, meaning you may never know if you are eating a GM payapa.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Why Socialism Survives

Socialism has survived only because of unchallenged false claims that “Socialism has never succeeded.”

Never tolerate any claim Socialism has never succeeded.

Always respond, “Socialism has always succeeded, every where it has been tried, to the extent it has been tried.” Challenge, defy anyone who says socialism has never succeeded to name one place where it did not succeed.

Socialism has succeeded in Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, China, Nazi Germany, England, Europe, everywhere in the world, including the US, where it is still being implemented. Socialism requires policies of poverty, oppression, destruction and death to achieve utopia

When people name socialist countries alleging the disaster of socialism as proof of lack of success. Challenge them. Socialism requires policies of poverty, oppression, destruction and death to achieve utopia. The policies continue but socialist utopia never arrives. Ask them why they are lying, as they obviously know that socialism succeeded everywhere they mentioned. The consequences are the intention of socialists.

The consequences have never changed.

When socialists claim good intentions to benefit everyone, have no mercy no matter what you believe is the person’s “intentions.” They are giving socialism, evil, a moral sanction. Call them liars, because they know the true consequences of socialism. When they try to excuse themselves, claiming they are only responding to what socialists claim, you can always say ‘you understand now.’ ‘You are rejecting objectively perceivable evidence to give a moral sanction to socialism.’ ‘You are using allegations, claims, and propaganda of others to morally sanction socialism, as a second-hander, like Peter Keeting, in The Fountainhead.’ ‘You are promoting socialists’ propaganda and rejecting the reality of socialism in practice.’ ‘You are advocating and morally sanctioning evil.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

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