Gates of Vienna News Feed 3/21/2014

The Crown Prosecution Service in the UK is prosecuting a hospital doctor and another man for performing female genital mutilation surgery. Although thousands of such mutilations are acknowledged to occur each year in Britain, this is the first such prosecution.

In other news, Libyan militants attacked the airport in Tripoli with missiles, blowing two craters in the runway and forcing the cancellation of flights. The airport later reopened after returning an old disused runway to service.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, 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
» Do Not Make Fun of Those That Have Fallen Out of the Middle Class — You Could be Next
» Investors Now Fear China More Than Janet Yellen: Barclays Survey
» Italy: Grillo Confident M5S Will Win European Elections
 
USA
» ABC Family Channel; Pilot About Saudi Kidnapping of American Girl: The Truth is More Damning Than Fiction
» Black Students More Likely to be Suspended — Even in Preschool
» Charlie Rangel on GOP, Tea Party and White Crackers
» Clueless People Blindly Sign Petition Calling for More Fluoride (Video)
» Connecticut State Police: No Door to Door Gun Confiscations
» Conservative Prof Who Was Denied Promotion Wins First Amendment Lawsuit
» Delaware Supreme Court Throws Out Gun Ban
» Detroit Plans Mass Water Shutoffs Over $260m in Delinquent Bills
» Friends, Family Doubt Arrested Dearborn Man Was on Way to Join Hizballah
» IRS Currently Employing Convicted Terrorist Associate
» ‘It Works, Why Are We Fixing It?’: U.S. Cedes Control of Internet Domains
» Middle School Assignment: Second Amendment Requires Gun Registration
» Mississippi Gun Protection Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk
» Nearly One Million ObamaCare ‘Enrollees’ Have Never Paid Any Premiums
» NSA Employee Brags About How “Cool” And “Awesome” Spying on Innocent People is
» Oklahoma Cop Shoots, Kills Family Dog, Says it Was ‘Awesome’
» Private Space Taxis on Track for 2017 Launch, NASA Says
» Recovering Alcoholic Has Guns Seized by Connecticut Police
» Senator Pressured State Health Insurance Bureaucrats to Lie About Numbers
» U.S. Navy Tracks Civilian Traffic Tickets
» University Sports Jerseys and Key Chains Contaminated With Toxic Heavy Metals That Promote Neurological Damage
 
Canada
» Syngenta Halts GMO Corn Seed Sales in Canada Due to Importer Resistance
 
Europe and the EU
» A Neglected Genius
» Britain to Prosecute First Female Genital Mutilation Cases
» Denmark No Longer Self-Sufficient in Energy
» Denmark: Is Personal Information Safe From Foreign Governments?
» Doctor Becomes First Person in Britain Charged With Performing a Female Genital Mutilation Procedure
» Dutch Society Rounds on Geert Wilders for Anti-Moroccan Cheerleading
» ‘Fewer, Fewer, Fewer!’: Far-Right Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Creates a Storm With Anti-Moroccan Chant
» FGM: UK’s First Female Genital Mutilation Prosecutions Announced
» First Mosque in Slovenia to be Built in Three Years’ Time
» France is Fighting for Its Fungi
» German Chancellor Talks Gas Supply at EU Summit
» German AfD Tries to Shake Off ‘Tea Party’ Tag
» How Civilisations Die
» Italy: Local Elections May 25, Same Day as European Parliament Vote
» Italy: Genoa’s Gas Supply Cut Off by Landslide
» Norway: Youth Leader Who Fled Utøya to Step Down
» Norway PM Briefs Party Members on NATO Top Post
» Renzi Says No Conflicts With Italy, EU
» Sweden: Police Detain Extreme-Left Suspect in Kärrtorp Riot
» Swedes Milk Profits From China Dairy Market
» Sweden: Truck Collapse Sends 200 Frozen Pigs Flying
» The Terrifying Video That Reveals Just What it’s Like to Ride a Motorbike Around the Isle of Man’s Famous TT Course
» UK: Blackburn Men Picked Up Teens and Raped Them, Court Told
» UK: End This Obsession Over Climate Change: It Stops us Tackling Floods and Storms Now Say Experts
» UK: Fascist Group Entering Mosques and Handing Out Inflammatory Literature
» UK: Keighley Mosque Turns Its Focus on Fairtrade Work
» UK: Mary Konye Jailed for Acid Attack on Naomi Oni
» UK: Muslims Dismayed Over Store’s Alcohol License Fearing Anti-Social Behaviour
» UK: Protester Crashes Live BBC Broadcast to Warn of Pedophile Rings
» UK: Shot in the Neck, But Hero Soldier Carried on the Taliban Firefight: Lance Corporal Who Battled on for 90 Minutes Despite Injury is Among 117 Servicemen Awarded Medals for Gallantry in Latest Operational Honours List
» Wilders Under Fire Over Moroccan Chanting, 40,000 Like Facebook Page
 
North Africa
» Egypt: University Expels Students Who Hoisted Al Qaida Flag
» Egypt Air Halts Flights to Libya After Attack on Tripoli Airport
» Libya: Tripoli Airport Closed After Missile Attack
» Tunisia: Abou Ayoub Reveals Jihadi Plans
 
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: The Worst Alternative
» Israel Says it Has Unearthed ‘Longest-Ever’ Gaza ‘Terror’ Tunnel
» Muslims Throw Puppies at Israeli Police
 
Middle East
» British Jihadis in Syria Urge Other Muslims in UK to Join Them
» Clashes in Northern Lebanon as Syrian Conflict Spills Over
» Erdogan Defies Quagmire of Scandal in Turkey
» FIFA Seeks ‘Clear Picture’ On Workers’ Human Rights in Qatar
» Gunmen Ram Explosives-Laden Tanker Into Iraq Police HQ, Killing 15
» Iran: Woman Sentenced to Stoning, Pardoned
» Killing of Crimean Tatar Alarms Turkey
» Qatar, The Despotism That Funds “Anti-Autocratic” Movements
» Turkey Blocks Twitter, After Erdogan Vowed ‘Eradication’
» Turkey: From Gul Onward Everyone Bypasses Twitter Ban
» Turkey’s Erogan Faces Backlash Over Twitter Ban
» Turkish Attempt to Ban Twitter Appears to Backfire
» Twitter Takes Action and Hires Lawyer Against Turkish Ban
» USA ‘Worried’ Over Twitter Ban in Turkey
» When Women’s Issues Hide Humanity’s Problem
 
Russia
» New Ukraine Province in Play as Ethnic Russians Push New Secession Referendum
» Russian President Vladimir Putin Signs Laws Completing Annexation of Crimea
» S&P Revises Russia’s Outlook to Negative
» Ukraine’s Interim Prime Minister Yatsenyuk Signs EU Association Agreement
» Will London Close the Door to Rich Russians?
 
South Asia
» Kabul Attack Proves Afghanistan is Far From Secure
» Pakistani Officials Reject Claims of ISI Handling Bin Laden
» Thailand’s Top Court Rules Results of General Election Invalid
 
Far East
» Beijing Hotel Workers Already ‘Fed Up’ With Obama Entourage in 3400-Square-Foot, $8,350-Per-Night Suite
» Olympics: S.Korea to File Judging Complaint Over Skating Star Kim
 
Australia — Pacific
» New Mosque Plan for Penshurst
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Kenya: Uproar as MPs Pass Bill Promoting Polygamy
» Nigeria: Woman Donates Mosque to Guidna Community
 
Latin America
» Awash in Cash, Drug Cartels Rely on Big Banks to Launder Profits
» Venezuela’s U.S. Dollar Shortage Puts Health Sector in Intensive Care
 
Immigration
» Conservatives Fear Discrimination Against Whites
» ‘Immigration People’ Won’t Find Out About Illegal Relatives if You Enroll in ObamaCare
» Italy: Northern League Seeks to Prevent Pavia Arrival of Refugees
» Spain: Meningitis Alarm in Melilla Migrant Centre
 
Culture Wars
» Students See Many Slights as Racial ‘Microaggressions’
» Transgender Insanity Defense: Serial Killer ‘Donna’ Blames Pre-’transitional’ Douglas
» UK: Ofsted Chief: We Don’t Want ‘Lefty’ Child-Centred Teaching
 
General
» Experts Warn the Next Carrington Event Will Plunge us Back Into the Dark Ages
» ‘Invisibility’ Cloak May Hide Things From Sonar
» Record Breakers! Travellers Make History by Visiting Five Continents in One Day
» Sea Anemones Are Half-Plant, Half-Animal, Gene Study Finds
» Solving Sleep Issues
» The Grand Fromage! Swiss Emmentaler is Named Best Cheese in the World, But Wisconsin is Close Behind at the 2014 Championship
 

Do Not Make Fun of Those That Have Fallen Out of the Middle Class — You Could be Next

There are millions of American families that once lived very comfortable middle class lifestyles that have lost it all. When you are unemployed and you can’t find a decent job, it can crush your soul. Every day you can see the disappointment or the disapproval in the eyes of your family and friends, and it can be really easy to want to give up completely. And then there are always those that choose to actively vocalize their disdain for those that are down on their luck.

But telling people “to get a job” or shaming them for being on welfare isn’t going to solve anything in an economy where there simply are not enough jobs for everyone. Only a small minority of welfare recipients are actually trying to abuse the system. Most people just want to work hard and take care of their families. Unfortunately, that is much harder to do than it was before the last financial crisis.

At this point, our economy has stabilized at a much lower level than it was at before. For example, 32 million Americans were on food stamps when Barack Obama took office, and subsequently that number shot up to about 47 million. Fortunately, that number has been relatively stable for the last couple of years, but there has been no recovery. This can be seen in lots of other economic statistics as well.

If we were going to have an “economic recovery”, it should have happened by now.

Unfortunately, it has not materialized, and now the next downturn is coming.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Investors Now Fear China More Than Janet Yellen: Barclays Survey

Who’s afraid of Janet Yellen?

Not investors, according to the latest Barclays Global Macro Survey. Instead, the poll of 970 market players found the biggest reason to lie awake staring at the ceiling is the fear of weaker Chinese and emerging-market growth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Grillo Confident M5S Will Win European Elections

Euroskeptic, anti-austerity parties expected to do well

(ANSA) — Rome, March 21 — While Premier Matteo Renzi was at a European Summit on Friday, Beppe Grillo said his anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) will win more votes than Italy’s ruling Democratic Party (PD) at upcoming European Parliament elections. “And then the PD will have to face the consequences. In Italy, there’s no Renzi government, just Renzi,” said Grillo in interviews with several Italian dailies. Already Italy’s second-biggest party, the M5S is among a number of Euroskeptic parties across Europe expected to do well at EP elections in May. Grillo’s admittedly populist appeal helped launch the party to national prominence in last year’s general election on an anti-austerity ticket. “When you start touching people’s pensions, people don’t vote for you anymore,” said Grillo, commenting on Renzi’s plan to cut top-bracket social-security payments. The comedian-turned-politician said the M5S platform was to “say no” to the fiscal compact, an EU treaty that imposes budget discipline on EU members if their deficits become too high.

“We’ll propose eurobonds,” he added, referring to bonds issued at an EU level. “And we’ll win if we seat just one MEP more than the PD”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

ABC Family Channel; Pilot About Saudi Kidnapping of American Girl: The Truth is More Damning Than Fiction

Creeping Sharia (CS) has featured our NER articles and Iconoclast posts on kidnapping of American children by Saudi Fathers. See An American Child Kidnapped in Accordance with Sharia and An American’s Rescue from Abduction to Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday, CS posted on an InsideTV/ Entertainment Weekly story about CAIR’s demand to control an ABC Family pilot about a fictional abduction by Saudi relatives of an American girl and her eventual escape. That pales by comparison with the truth about real episodes of such kidnappings.

We wonder what both Professor Margaret McClain and Yasmeen Alexandria Davis would say regarding this latest attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood front. They are seeking to intimidate the pilot’s producers and the cable TV channel for daring to unveil Sharia intrusion on the fundamental Constitution rights of American citizens, women and children. We believe that Professor McClain’s story portrays Sharia Islamic law practiced by Saudi men denying basic liberties under our Constitution in violation of state and federal laws, as well as, international conventions against parental kidnapping. As portrayed in our interview with Ms. Davis, our State Department did little to rescue her. Instead, it was left to the resourcefulness of her mother and grandmother to accomplish that feat. Ms. Davis’ resistance to physical abuse by her Saudi Father for her refusal to convert to Islam was a living nightmare. A nightmare that is still very real and palpable. Her Saudi father, who made threats to kill her, still keeps tabs on her via lawyers’ letters and attempts to visit her by an ex-FBI agent. They continually ask her if she would refrain from invoking an outstanding Interpol warrant for her father’s arrest for his abduction of her. He is seeking to bring children by another marriage from Saudi Arabia on a visit to Disney World.

That is the ultimate chutzpah of Sharia, practiced by fundamentalist Muslims both here and abroad. Sharia, when intrudes on our laws, should be deterred from recognition in state legal systems, including Florida. American Law for American Courts legislation is currently making its fourth attempt at passage in the Florida legislature. Perhaps this latest attempt by CAIR to muzzle free thought, coupled with stories of Sharia’s war on American women and children, can aid in securing passage in the 2014 session of the Florida state legislature. We shall see.

Our thanks to the team at CS for pointing out this related story and the cases of both Professor McClain and Ms. Davis. Sending those stories to the ABC Family producers of the fictional pilot might embolden them to tell the truth about what lies behind the medieval barbarity of Sharia. If so inclined you might Tweet at hashtag #AliceinArabia to protest CAIR’s move or call ABC Family President Tom Ascheim at 818- 460-7477. Let him know that the pilot needs to rebut CAIR’s intimidation by revealing the truth of these cautionary testimonies by Professor McClain and Ms. Davis.

Here is the CS post…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]
 

Black Students More Likely to be Suspended — Even in Preschool

Black students are more likely to be suspended from U.S. public schools — even as tiny preschoolers. The racial disparities in American education, from access to high-level classes and experienced teachers to discipline, were highlighted in a report released Friday by the Education Department’s civil rights arm. The suspensions — and disparities — begin at the earliest grades.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Charlie Rangel on GOP, Tea Party and White Crackers

In an interview on NY1, the democrat blamed Republicans for blocking federal programs meant to restore the failing infrastructure in his community, the Daily Caller reported.

“This is the president’s program,” Rangel said of the proposed programs. “It’s hard for me to explain how you work with a president that thought he could really deal with the Republican leadership. He really thought — and maybe it’s the water they drink at Harvard — that he could deal with the Tea Party!”

“They are mean, racist people,” he added. “Now why do I say that? Because in those red states, they’re the same slave-holding states! They had the Confederate flag. They became Dixiecrats, they had the Confederate flag. They’re now Tea Party, they still got the Confederate flag!”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Clueless People Blindly Sign Petition Calling for More Fluoride (Video)

To illustrate just how mentally challenged many people in modern society have become, a duo from HealthConspiracy.com recently walked the streets of Las Vegas, asking passersby to sign a petition authorizing the addition of more fluoride chemicals to the water supply. And even though it was clearly explained to each person that what they were signing would ultimately make children dumber, roughly half of those asked went ahead and signed the petition anyway, apparently without any conscientious awareness of what was occurring…

Even after being told verbally that fluoride chemicals are toxic and lead to lowered IQ in developing children, nearly half of the people approached proceeded to jot their names down anyway, alongside their dates of birth and zip codes, in support of adding more fluoride to drinking water. These same gullible signers obviously ignored or mentally blocked out the wording of the petition itself as well, which hilariously indicts each signer as the substantial equivalent of a brain-dead zombie.

“By signing this petition, I hereby fully support the adding of more toxic and dangerous fluoride to the drinking water of American people,” reads the short petition. “I am aware of the dozens of side effects fluoride has on the human body and mind. I am selling out the physical and mental well being of the American population and believe America needs more idiots (like myself).”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Connecticut State Police: No Door to Door Gun Confiscations

Following a backlash by several second amendment groups, the new head of the Connecticut state police has promised that there will be no door to door gun confiscations targeting residents who have refused to register their firearms with authorities.

Earlier this month, second amendment group Connecticut Carry called on the government to either enforce a January 1 law which mandates residents register assault weapons or high capacity magazines by going ahead with mass gun confiscations or repeal the law altogether.

“There’s no plan in place nor has there been any execution of a plan where we would, for example, go door-to-door and be actively involved in the confiscation of weapons,” Dora Schriro, new head of the state police, told NBC Connecticut.

[Comment: No plan in place…yet.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Conservative Prof Who Was Denied Promotion Wins First Amendment Lawsuit

First Amendment enthusiasts are thrilled that Mike Adams, a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, won his lawsuit against administrators who denied him a promotion because of his conservative, Christian views.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Delaware Supreme Court Throws Out Gun Ban

On March 19th the Delaware Supreme Court ruled that the Wilmington Housing Authority’s (WHA) gun ban “is unconstitutional.”

The case — Jane Doe v. Wilmington Housing Authority — was filed in 2010.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Detroit Plans Mass Water Shutoffs Over $260m in Delinquent Bills

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has a message for Detroit residents and companies more than 60 days late on their water bills: We’re coming for you.

With more than half of the city’s customers behind on payments, the department is gearing up for an aggressive campaign to shut off service to 1,500-3,000 delinquent accounts weekly, said Darryl Latimer, the department’s deputy director.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Friends, Family Doubt Arrested Dearborn Man Was on Way to Join Hizballah

Friends and family of a Dearborn man reacted with tears and disbelief following his arrest at Metro Airport where federal officials charge he was about to depart for the Middle East to join the terrorist group Hizballah.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

IRS Currently Employing Convicted Terrorist Associate

While IRS officials were targeting Tea Party groups for special scrutiny of their 501(c)3 tax exempt applications, the IRS also hired a policeman who had been prosecuted by the Justice Department — and convicted in federal court — of using his access to the FBI’s NCIC system to tip off a terror suspect about the bureau’s surveillance. The leak wrecked a major terror investigation.

He is still at the IRS.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

‘It Works, Why Are We Fixing It?’: U.S. Cedes Control of Internet Domains

Judge Andrew Napolitano sat down with Elisabeth Hasselbeck this morning to weigh in on the Obama administration’s move to cede U.S. control of the management of Internet domains.

Here’s some background on the move from the Wall Street Journal:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Middle School Assignment: Second Amendment Requires Gun Registration

A workbook handed out to seventh grade students in Springfield, Ill., states that all Americans must register their firearms in order to have a Second Amendment right.

Provided to the Illinois Gun Owners Rights Facebook page by a local parent, the required reading makes several blatantly false statements regarding the right to gun ownership.

“This amendment states that people have the right to certain weapons, providing that they register them and they have not been in prison,” the workbook states.

Along with an open ended statement regarding the right to “certain weapons,” the assignment also excludes mention that Americans have the right to “keep” and bear arms.

The parent, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the assignment to Storyleak and detailed their child’s initial reaction.

“My son was given a workbook at school that is a compilation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. When they covered the 2nd Amendment, he saw that they were stating that only ‘certain guns’ could be owned and that they had to be ‘registered,’ which he knew was false,” the parent said. “He bought this to my attention as he felt it was wrong to teach these things that aren’t true. I’m extremely proud of my son for his actions.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Mississippi Gun Protection Bill Headed to Governor’s Desk

A Mississippi bill that would safeguard gun-owner rights during natural disasters and from local municipalities seeking to regulate gun possession is now headed to the governor’s desk for signature.

The bill, HB314, forbids confiscation of legally owned firearms in the event of emergency or natural disaster as well as provides for guns in public housing, passed the state Senate with amendments by a 40-11 vote and was confirmed in the House by a 103-18 vote on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Nearly One Million ObamaCare ‘Enrollees’ Have Never Paid Any Premiums

(NaturalNews) It won’t be long before the March 31 Obamacare enrollment deadline arrives, and the latest data still show that very few people have signed up for the scheme. In fact, according to recent figures put out by the Obama administration, there have only been about 4.2 million total enrollments logged in healthcare exchanges across the country, and of these only 3.3 million enrollees have actually paid their premiums.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

NSA Employee Brags About How “Cool” And “Awesome” Spying on Innocent People is

The latest leak to come from the Edward Snowden treasure trove of NSA documents shows how those working for the NSA really feel about spying on people who have done nothing wrong — they love it.

Public comments by NSA officials usually run along the lines of how unfortunate it is that the agency has to collect so much data and analyse it to look for bad guys. However, in private, as we will see, some who work for the NSA think it’s actually a great thing because it means NSA can spy on whoever they want, whenever they want.

The following screen shot emphasizes this, as one hacker working for the NSA literally brags about how good he thinks trawling masses of data is, describing the ability as “down right cool” and “just plain awesome”…

The arrogant tone of the posts, which even come complete with “current mood” emoticons, reads like that of a teenage hacker operating in his mom’s basement. One post is signed off with “Current mood: devious,” while another states “Current mood: scheming.” The writer frequently uses common internet slang such as ‘pwn’, ‘skillz’, ‘zomg’, and ‘internetz’.

In reality, however, this hacker has the US government and every tool that comes with it fully behind him.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Oklahoma Cop Shoots, Kills Family Dog, Says it Was ‘Awesome’

An Oklahoma police officer shot and killed a family’s dog and later laughed about it to a responding animal control unit, reports claim.

On Wednesday, Ardmore resident Sarah Jo Ellen Brown reportedly arrived home to news that her family’s pit bull dog “Cali” was dead.

“When the owner, Sarah, got there, the officer said, ‘We shot your dog, she’s dead,” a Change.org petition launched in Cali’s honor states.

According to multiple sources, Ardmore Police Sergeant Brice Woolley responded to a call regarding a dog that had escaped and was wandering the neighborhood.

“I’m not waiting for animal control,” Sgt. Woolley allegedly stated as he grabbed his shotgun to confront the doomed pooch.

As pictures show, Sgt. Woolly, who works the day shift patrol in Ardmore, next shot the dog, killing it immediately. “She had done nothing to provoke the officer,” the Change petition, which has been signed over 2,900 times, notes.

“Did you see her collar fly off when I shot her? That was awesome,” Brown claims Woolly bragged to the responding animal control officer, who supposedly replied, “We’ll just write in the report that it tried to attack you and others in the neighborhood.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Private Space Taxis on Track for 2017 Launch, NASA Says

The United States should be able to launch its astronauts to space using homegrown commercial spacecraft by 2017, NASA officials say.

The four private companies NASA is counting on to develop manned spaceships — Boeing, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) and SpaceX — are notching the many milestones set by the space agency’s commercial crew program (CCP), officials said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Recovering Alcoholic Has Guns Seized by Connecticut Police

Amidst fears that Connecticut police may be preparing for gun confiscation, a recovering alcoholic had his firearms seized by CT police as a result of authorities claiming the man was depressed.

Jonathan Hall posted the adjacent picture on his Facebook page alongside the words, “My guns being seized by the CT state police.” In a previous post, Hall complained, “Well Connecticut state police are on their way to seize all of my firearms… what the happened to my 2nd amendment. … this is unjustified. … and this is no bullshit either… they are really on their way with a court order for me to hand over my firearms!”

According to other posts on his Facebook page, Hall was a recovering alcoholic in detox, which in the eyes of Connecticut authorities meant he was “depressed”.

In answer to a question about why his guns were taken, Hall responded, “Because I went through a medical detox program to straighten my life and not be drunk and hungover all the time and said I was slightly depressed … but I was only depressed cause I was coming off a drinking binge… and I referred my self to get better.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Senator Pressured State Health Insurance Bureaucrats to Lie About Numbers

In yet another accusation of government corruption and deceit connected with President Barack Obama’s so-called signature legislation dubbed Obamacare (Affordable Care Act), a U.S. senator pressured bean-counters in his state to be footloose and fancy free with the numbers of Americans losing their health insurance in his state, according to a disturbing investigative report by Sarah Hurtubise in Wednesday’s Daily Caller.

Emails obtained by Hurtubise reveal that incumbent Senator Mark Udall, D-Colo., repeatedly harassed and intimidated that staff at the Colorado Department of Insurance to fabricate the numbers released to the American people about health care insurance plans that were canceled in his state due to ObamaCare…

The senator’s staff attempted to strong-arm the Department of Insurance into lowering the released numbers of insurance cancellations by up to 70%, according to the ConservativeCampaign.org.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

U.S. Navy Tracks Civilian Traffic Tickets

A parking ticket, traffic citation or involvement in a minor fender-bender are enough to get a person’s name and other personal information logged into a massive, obscure federal database run by the U.S. military.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

University Sports Jerseys and Key Chains Contaminated With Toxic Heavy Metals That Promote Neurological Damage

(NaturalNews) College sports jerseys, key chains, seat cushions and other memorabilia have been found to contain shockingly high levels of toxic heavy metals like lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.

The toxic products were sold by stores like Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, and they represent the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University and many other universities.

* Shockingly, a University of Michigan Deluxe Key Ring was found to contain over 1,200 ppm of mercury, a potent neurotoxin.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Syngenta Halts GMO Corn Seed Sales in Canada Due to Importer Resistance

What happens when more people hear about the damaging effects of GMO? You run out of a viable market for your goods. That’s what is happening to Agro-giant, Syngenta, who halted its commercial sales of a new GMO corn strain due to lack of approval for their genetically modified goods.

The company has already been accused of wire tapping a prominent scientist who let the world know just how bad one of their widely-used chemicals, atrazine, was for the endocrine system. Apparently even stalking an honest researcher isn’t enough to prevent a black-listing of their own genetically modified corn containing the Agrisure Duracade trait, which supposedly protects crops from rootworms.

This corn was to be ready for planting the first time this year, but now without overseas importer’s OK — including Japan, Mexico and South Korea — Syngenta is left holding their proprietary seeds themselves. Syngenta’s corn has also not been approved for two larger markets it was hoping to woo, China or the European Union.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

A Neglected Genius

by Theodore Dalrymple

The Great War, of course, smashed to smithereens the old world that Zweig so esteemed. But Zweig clung fast to his prewar ideals, in a climate increasingly hostile to them.

Hitler was defeated, only three years after Zweig’s death. Freedom returned, at least to the West. But I doubt that the modern world would have pleased Zweig very much. The shrillness of our ideological debates, the emotional shallowness, the vulgarity of our culture, would have appalled him.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Britain to Prosecute First Female Genital Mutilation Cases

London — A London doctor and another man will become the first people to be charged in Britain over female genital mutilation, state prosecutors announced on Friday.

Dr. Dhanoun Dharmasena is accused of re-performing an FGM procedure on a woman who gave birth at his hospital in November 2012 following damage caused by labour. Another man, Hasan Mohamed, is accused of intentionally encouraging an offence of FGM, and of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Dharmasena to commit the offence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Denmark No Longer Self-Sufficient in Energy

For the first time in 18 years, Danish society is consuming more energy than its energy industry can produce, according to a new report from the energy authorities, Energistyrelsen. The report showed that the degree of self sufficiency fell to 93 percent in 2013 — the first time it has dropped below 100 percent since 1996.

In 2013, the production of raw oil and natural gas fell by 13 percent and 17.7 percent respectively, while the production of sustainable energy increased by 2.7 percent compared to 2012.

Sustainable energy now accounts for almost a fifth of the total energy produced and a fourth of all energy consumed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Denmark: Is Personal Information Safe From Foreign Governments?

The world has gone cyber and the government has decided to join other countries by pushing ahead with a new law regarding cybersecurity.

However, several experts and politicians are now questioning whether the law would make it easier for the government to hand over personal information to foreign intelligence services like America’s NSA.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Doctor Becomes First Person in Britain Charged With Performing a Female Genital Mutilation Procedure

The first ever prosecutions under the Female Genital Mutilation Act have been announced by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Dr Dhanoun Dharmasena from the Whittington Hospital in North London and another man Hasan Mohamed, are to be charged in connection with an incident following a birth at the hospital in 2012.

It is alleged that the doctor carried out the procedure after being encouraged and aided by Mr Mohamed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Dutch Society Rounds on Geert Wilders for Anti-Moroccan Cheerleading

Politicians, media organisations, church groups lined up to condemn the Freedom Party (PVV) leader’s increasingly inflammatory rhetoric. One of the party’s MPs, Roland van Vliet, resigned from the group on Thursday, describing Wilders’s latest outburst as “the last straw”.

Dutch-Moroccan organisations urged people to report Wilders to the police or prosecution service (OM). A Facebook page entitled: “I’m filing a complaint against Geert Wilders” had attracted nearly 80,000 likes by Friday lunchtime.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his Liberal (VVD) party would no longer work with Wilders’s Freedom Party (PVV) at the national level until its policies on migrant groups changed. “As long as these are the policies of the PVV, co-operation is not possible,” said Rutte.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

‘Fewer, Fewer, Fewer!’: Far-Right Dutch Politician Geert Wilders Creates a Storm With Anti-Moroccan Chant

Geert Wilders, the leader of the fourth largest party in Dutch politics, has caused commotion by leading a gathering of his followers in an anti-Moroccan chant.

The chant took place in the wake of local elections, during an address in the Hague on Wednesday evening. Wilders asked supporters of his Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom) whether they wanted more, or fewer Moroccans, both in their city and in the country as a whole. His followers responded by chanting: “Fewer, fewer, fewer!”. Wilders concluded: “Then we’ll see to that.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

FGM: UK’s First Female Genital Mutilation Prosecutions Announced

The first UK prosecutions over female genital mutilation have been announced by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Dr Dhanuson Dharmasena, 31, of Ilford, east London, will be prosecuted for an alleged offence while working at the Whittington Hospital in London. Hasan Mohamed, 40, of Holloway, north London, faces a charge of intentionally encouraging female genital mutilation…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

First Mosque in Slovenia to be Built in Three Years’ Time

The construction of the first mosque in Ljubljana is likely to be finished in three years’ time, and this place of worship will cater for the needs of some 40,000 Islamic believers in Slovenia, the secretary of the Islamic community in the country, Nevzet Poric, told the web portal of Slovenian Telecom. “We have secured some 60% of the necessary funds for this purpose, and we expect believers to make further contributions,” Poric said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

France is Fighting for Its Fungi

With rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns threatening truffle supplies of France and Italy, Chinese truffles are moving in.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

German Chancellor Talks Gas Supply at EU Summit

There is some uncertainty due to Ukraine conflict, says Merkel

(ANSA) — Brussels, March 21 — German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Friday that there is “some uncertainty” about European gas supplies as tensions grow over the crisis in Ukraine.

“So far, we have not had a negative experience,” Merkel said at the end of a European Union summit where sanctions against Russia were on the agenda.

“(However) if I look at some of my colleague’s discussions, there is a certain degree of uncertainty (among them),” about future natural gas supplies, she said.

During the two-day summit, the chancellor warned Russia about the possibility of escalating sanctions should there be no resolution to the Crimean situation and asked for a “determined response of Europe and its partners”. European Union leaders have said they intend to reduce reliance on Russian energy supplies after Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly signed a document ratifying a treaty making Crimea a part of Russia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

German AfD Tries to Shake Off ‘Tea Party’ Tag

Germany’s newest party, the euroskeptic “Alternative für Deutschland,” is routinely dismissed as the German Tea Party. While the AfD balks at the comparison, its “party of reason” approach is not convincing pundits.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

How Civilisations Die

by Paul Weston

Such has been the speed of the liberal left revolution that one no longer needs be very old to feel civilisational change. People over the age of fifty will recognise they come from a different moral milieu than today’s young. What was immoral in their youth is now moral, and what was moral is now immoral. The Western world is now divided by a mere few decades into the pre-revolutionary and the post-revolutionary generations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Local Elections May 25, Same Day as European Parliament Vote

‘To save money, drive turnout’ says Italian cabinet

(ANSA) — Rome, March 21 — Local administrative elections are to be held in Italy on May 25, the same day as European Parliament elections, the government decided in a cabinet meeting Friday. In the event of a runoff, the polls will open again on June 8. Holding both elections on the same day is meant to drive voter turnout and save public funds.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Genoa’s Gas Supply Cut Off by Landslide

Prosecutors open probe after pipeline cut

(ANSA) — Genoa, March 21 — Public Prosecutor Alberto Landolfi opened an investigation Friday into a landslide that cut off Genoa’s gas supply.

Residents of Genoa and 15 surrounding communities were ordered to stop using gas on Thursday after a landslide broke a gas pipeline in Serra Ricco.

Landolfi’s probe aims to find responsibility for the disaster. Residents were still without gas on Friday as technicians from gas service provider Snam worked to repair the pipeline.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Norway: Youth Leader Who Fled Utøya to Step Down

Eskil Pedersen, the Labour party youth leader sharply criticised for fleeing Utøya when Anders Breivik attacked in 2011, has announced that he is stepping down from the role.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Norway PM Briefs Party Members on NATO Top Post

Former Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg has briefed fellow MPs from Norway’s Social Democrat party about the upcoming vacancy for the Secretary General of Nato job, reports VG. VG expects him to resign as party leader next week in order to take over the job in September after Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Renzi Says No Conflicts With Italy, EU

‘I’ll never go to Europe with cap in hand’

(see previous) (ANSA) — Brussels, March 21 — Premier Matteo Renzi said Friday after an EU summit in Brussels that Italy’s relationship with Europe “does not seem to bear any conflict,” and stressed that Italy has no reason to come with “cap in hand”. “We have great faith in European institutions and a great desire to invest in Europe, which represents not our past but our future,” he said. He added that EU-imposed austerity measures since the start of the economic crisis and other penalties did not mean Italy should feel ashamed. “We are Italy, I have never and never will have this downtrodden and subordinate attitude of coming to Europe with cap in hand,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden: Police Detain Extreme-Left Suspect in Kärrtorp Riot

A suspected extreme-left activist has been detained in absentia on suspicion of attempted manslaugher during the Kärrtorp clash with neo-Nazis that left Sweden shocked.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Swedes Milk Profits From China Dairy Market

New figures reveal that the Chinese and Middle Eastern markets have put a swing in the step of Sweden’s giant milk cooperative Arla.

Among other growth markets, Oman buys milk powder from Arla, before turning into an array of dairy products that are sold on to the rest of the Middle East. Milk powder does not need to be stored in a cold container, making transport easier in countries with warmer climates.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Sweden: Truck Collapse Sends 200 Frozen Pigs Flying

Bystanders were left in shock when a truck collapsed in central Sweden, sending more than 200 frozen pigs flying across the road.

“I’ve worked for forty years as a policeman and have never seen a truck that’s just collapsed like this, and definitely not with pigs inside,” Anders Wallin of the Örebro police told The Local. “Everything went everywhere — it truly was flying pigs.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

The Terrifying Video That Reveals Just What it’s Like to Ride a Motorbike Around the Isle of Man’s Famous TT Course

For a motorcycle rider, it is the ultimate adrenaline rush — and for anyone else, the most terrifying (and dangerous) motorsport event in the world.

This new video reveals the astonishing risks taken by competitors in the Isle of Man’s famous annual TT road race.

It shows a helmet eye view from racer Michael Dunlop as he negoaties the course known as the most dangerous in the world — and which has claimed 240 rider’s lives since it began in 1907.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Blackburn Men Picked Up Teens and Raped Them, Court Told

TWO men picked two teenage girls up off a Blackburn street and took them to a house where one was raped, a court has heard. A jury was told that Imran Khan, 36, and Zhaid Mohmmed, 45, refused to let the girls, who were 14 and 15, leave the house in Chester Street, Blackburn, and ‘took advantage of them sexually’.

Robert Golinski, prosecuting, told Preston Crown Court that the girls said they had told the men how old they were while in a silver Honda, which was being driven by Mohmmed, of Tenby Close, Blackburn…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: End This Obsession Over Climate Change: It Stops us Tackling Floods and Storms Now Say Experts

Obsessing over climate change is distracting politicians from dealing with floods and storms, experts warned yesterday.

Trying to link all extreme weather to man-made global warming ‘has been a social and policy disaster’, they said.

Instead, the focus should shift towards dealing with the impact of fierce weather, which will happen regardless of climate change, argued David Schultz and Vladimir Jankovic.

The academics from the University of Manchester said flood defences must be given greater priority to avoid a repeat of the impact of this winter’s storms…

And UN executive Christiana Figueres prompted fury when she said the floods had a ‘silver lining’ as they forced climate change on to the political agenda.

But Professor Schultz, an expert in meteorology, and Dr Jankovic, a climate historian, said that it was almost impossible to link any one weather event to global warming.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Fascist Group Entering Mosques and Handing Out Inflammatory Literature

A group purporting to be on a ‘Muslim anti-grooming campaign’ are entering mosques and handing out inflammatory literature. In the latest video posted on the Britain First website members of the group can be seen standing inside a mosque in Bolton. They then hand over inflammatory and anti-Muslim leaflets to a mosque member…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Keighley Mosque Turns Its Focus on Fairtrade Work

Keighley’s most prominent place of Muslim worship wants to become the town’s first “fairtrade mosque”. The Markazi Jamia Mosque, in Emily Street, kicked off its campaign to promote ethical trading by linking up with Keighley school pupils.

The Year 9 University Academy Keighley citizenship students invited mosque committee members to participate in a Dragons’ Den-style event. This was designed to convince the committee members to commit themselves to following fairtrade principles…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Mary Konye Jailed for Acid Attack on Naomi Oni

A woman who threw acid in the face of a friend while wearing a veil as a disguise has been jailed for 12 years.

Naomi Oni, 22, suffered burns to her face and chest in the attack near her home in Dagenham, east London, in December 2012. Mary Konye, 22, of Canning Town, allegedly attacked Ms Oni because she had called her ugly…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Muslims Dismayed Over Store’s Alcohol License Fearing Anti-Social Behaviour

MEMBERS of the Muslim community have been left “upset and angry” by West Berkshire Council’s decision to allow a new supermarket to sell alcohol next door to Newbury Mosque, Pound Street. The secretary of the mosque, Shamim Ahmed, has warned that the decision may well prompt them to look at moving to another area…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Protester Crashes Live BBC Broadcast to Warn of Pedophile Rings

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A protester crashed a live BBC News broadcast to warn of “institutional pedophile rings” operating in the United Kingdom.

BBC reporter Norman Smith was scheduled to conduct an interview with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg but moments earlier Clegg was forced to flee the scene in central London after he was confronted by a protester, who according to Norman “spoiled the occasion”.

The same protester, Bill Maloney, then hijacked the BBC broadcast to proclaim, “institutional pedophile rings operating in this country now, I just asked Nick Clegg a question…” before directors cut the live feed and crossed back to the main BBC anchor who offered his “apologies” for the incident.

In the earlier incident where Maloney confronts Clegg during a photo-op, he asks the Deputy Prime Minister, “Four years I asked you what you were going to do about institutional pedophile rings operating in this country now, your reply to me Nick was ‘I don’t know what you mean by institutional pedophile rings’, do you understand what I was talking about four years ago?” Clegg replied that he was there to talk about taxes and walked away before being pursued by Maloney and journalist Sonia Poulton.

Since the exposure in 2012 of entertainer Jimmy Savile as a pedophile who sexually molested hundreds of children over decades, information suggesting that Savile was merely one member of a much wider pedophile network that included influential power brokers has emerged.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Shot in the Neck, But Hero Soldier Carried on the Taliban Firefight: Lance Corporal Who Battled on for 90 Minutes Despite Injury is Among 117 Servicemen Awarded Medals for Gallantry in Latest Operational Honours List

Shot in neck, with blood spilling over his throat, machine-gunner Simon Moloney knew he had to return to the fight or his comrades would be over-run by the Taliban.

So, just minutes after thinking he had been fatally wounded, he was back in the heat of battle and helping to repel a ferocious attack.

He only quit 90 minutes later after being ordered to by his commanding officer.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Wilders Under Fire Over Moroccan Chanting, 40,000 Like Facebook Page

By Thursday afternoon, over 43,000 people had liked a Facebook page set up to encourage formal police complaints against Geert Wilders for disseminating hatred against Dutch Moroccans.

The Facebook page ‘Ik doe aangifte tegen Wilders’ was set up in the wake of comments made by the anti-immigration party leader during Wednesday night’s local elections. During the PVV celebrations in The Hague, Wilder asked his supporters ‘and do you want more or fewer Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands?’ To which the crowd chanted ‘fewer, fewer, fewer’. ‘We’ll arrange that,’ Wilders said when the chanting died down.

Criticism

Party leaders from across the political spectrum have condemned Wilders for spreading racial hatred. Halbe Zijlstra, leader of the parliamentary Liberal party VVD, said the comments were ‘sick-making’ and it would be up to the courts to decide if Wilders has gone too far. Broadcaster RTL news took the unprecedented step of publishing an editorial, saying Wilders should be deeply ashamed and accusing him of being well aware he would attract comments about Hitler and the Jewish deportations.

Several dozen people have already made formal complaints to the public prosecution department. A spokesman told the Volkskrant the complaints were coming in from all over the country and it was not possible to estimate how many had been made.

Wilders himself told reporters he did not understand the commotion. ‘I’ve said nothing wrong. I’m not going to apologise. We’ve been saying this for years,’ Wilders said.

Courts

Wilders has stated several times in recent days there should be fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. Many commentators noted this is the first time he has referred to a nationality, rather than ‘Muslims’ or ‘Moroccan criminals’.

‘Wilders has crossed his own boundary,’ the Volkskrant said in an analysis. ‘Until now, Wilders has always managed to balance on the dividing line between what is and is not discrimination in the eyes of the law.’

In 2011, Wilders was found not guilty of charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and non-westerm immigrants by judges in Amsterdam. The court ruled that some of Wilders’ statements were insulting, shocking and on the edge of legal acceptibility, but that they were made in the broad context of a political and social debate on the multi-cultural society.

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

Egypt: University Expels Students Who Hoisted Al Qaida Flag

23 also accused for clashes in Wed demonstrations

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, MARCH 21 — Cairo University expelled 23 students accused of clashes and of hoisting the al-Qaeda flag during demonstrations called by the Muslim Brotherhood last Wednesday in the Egyptian capital, university sources told ANSA.

The director of the university, Gaber Nassar, had asked security and investigators to view videos taken by facility surveillance cameras to identify the perpetrators of the act.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt Air Halts Flights to Libya After Attack on Tripoli Airport

Cairo — Egypt Air Company halted its flights to Libya on Friday after two rockets had hit the Tripoli Airport runway. Two flights headed to and coming from Libya today were cancelled, said an Egypt Air official.…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Libya: Tripoli Airport Closed After Missile Attack

Airport may reopen in the afternoon using old runway

(ANSAmed) — ROME, MARCH 21 — The Tripoli airport was closed today after the main runway was struck by missiles. Incoming flights were diverted to the Mitiga airport, others were canceled, local media reported. The blasts caused two craters at the end of the principle runway; and the airport will be reopened in the afternoon using an old runway, a source told the Libya Herald.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Tunisia: Abou Ayoub Reveals Jihadi Plans

Tunis — Tunisian security forces on Saturday (March 15th) captured the number-two man in the Ansar al-Sharia terrorist organisation. Abou Ayoub Ettounsi (real name Slim Kantari) entered Tunisian territory from Libya, the interior ministry said.

“The arrest of Abou Ayoub came as a result of security co-operation between Tunisian and Algerian intelligence services,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui told Magharebia. “This is not the first time that we hit hard terrorist groups, thanks to Tunisian-Algerian co-operation, a co-operation that never stopped, not even for one day,” he said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Caroline Glick: The Worst Alternative

PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas must have gotten a kick out of it on Monday when he visited the White House and President Barack Obama praised him as “somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security.”

After all, the same day the men met, Abbas’s regime continued its week-long celebration of the deadliest Palestinian terrorist attack on Israel to date.

On March 11, 1978, PLO terrorists commandeered a passenger bus on the coastal highway and massacred 37 people, including 12 children.

Dalal Mughrabi, a female terrorist, led the raid. Ever since, she has been lionized by the PLO.

While he met with Obama, Abbas’s adviser Sultan Abu al-Einein proclaimed that Mughrabi was the ultimate role model for Palestinian women…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]
 

Israel Says it Has Unearthed ‘Longest-Ever’ Gaza ‘Terror’ Tunnel

Military officials say they have discovered one of the largest ever underground passages meant to transport militants from Gaza into Israel

The Israeli army claimed it had discovered a highly sophisticated “terror” tunnel leading from Gaza into southern Israel on Friday, raising the possibility of further military operations against the coastal enclave just a week after an outbreak of violent clashes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Muslims Throw Puppies at Israeli Police

By Daniel Greenfield

This is a horrifying and disgusting story. There is no independent media verification of it, but animal abuse is routine in the Muslim world and dogs are particularly hated because Mohammed had ordered them killed. Muslim taxi drivers in the West refuse to transport blind people accompanied by seeing eye dogs because they believe dogs make them impure…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

British Jihadis in Syria Urge Other Muslims in UK to Join Them

“We send you the greetings of Islam from the blessed lands of al-Sham. By the grace of Allah […] he has enabled us to enter the blessed lands. The lands which the kuffar back home always tell you that if you plan to reach there will be a consequence for you.”

In reality, it is unlikely that there will be any consequences forthcoming. The British have already allowed 250 Muslims who waged jihad in Syria to return home. Not to have done so would have been “Islamophobic.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Clashes in Northern Lebanon as Syrian Conflict Spills Over

There has been fighting in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli between Sunni and Alawite communities. The conflict in neighboring Syria has exacerbated tensions between the groups.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Erdogan Defies Quagmire of Scandal in Turkey

The Turkish political scandals of the last few months have many anticipating the municipal election on March 30. But the risk that Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party will lose the election appears low.

As Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces his worst political crisis ever, the Turkish people are preparing for municipal elections on March 30. Ever since the Gezi Park protests began last May, demonstrators have taken to the streets on an almost weekly basis to protest against Erdogan and his ruling AKP party.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

FIFA Seeks ‘Clear Picture’ On Workers’ Human Rights in Qatar

FIFA has said it will take a closer look at conditions on construction sites in Qatar ahead of the 2022 World Cup. The Gulf state has been accused of abusing the rights of migrant workers involved in building projects.

Qatar’s “kafala” system, which gives employers a considerable degree of authority over employees — allowing them, for example, to withhold passports — has been criticized by rights groups as a form of modern-day slavery.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Gunmen Ram Explosives-Laden Tanker Into Iraq Police HQ, Killing 15

(Reuters) — Scores of gunmen took over a federal police headquarters in northern Iraq on Friday before ramming a tanker laden with explosives into the building, killing at least 15 people, a government official said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Iran: Woman Sentenced to Stoning, Pardoned

by Shadi Paveh

Ms. Ashtiani’s lawyer, Houtan Kian, was subjected to torture, such as being repeatedly burned with cigarettes on his genitals, until he made a televised confession. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison along with being barred from practicing law for five years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Killing of Crimean Tatar Alarms Turkey

Turkey has warned against provocations that could cause further tensions in Crimea following the killing of a Crimean Tatar.

Many Tatars are thought to oppose unification with Russia, fearing their rights as a minority will be eroded. Turkey, a NATO ally, has said 12 percent of Crimea’s population consists of Turkish-speaking Tatars who are Sunni Muslims, like the majority of Turks.

Crimea was part of the Ottoman Empire until it was conquered by Russia in the late 18th century.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Qatar, The Despotism That Funds “Anti-Autocratic” Movements

Qatar continues to fund Syrian rebels, including those deemed by the West as beyond the pale.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Turkey Blocks Twitter, After Erdogan Vowed ‘Eradication’

Bribe scandal documents appear on social network

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL — Turkey has blocked access to Twitter, hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to close down the social media platform as daily Hurriyet online reports. “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic,” Erdogan said at his campaign rally in the western city of Bursa on March 20, 10 days before the upcoming local elections.

The Press Advisory of the Prime Ministry has later in the night clarified Erdogan’s statement, arguing that Twitter officials currently “ignore” some court rulings in Turkey, which order the social media platform to “remove some links” as per the complaints filed by Turkish citizens.

Just before midnight, access to Twitter was already blocked in Turkey. The Communication Technologies Institution (Btk), which was given extraordinary powers with the recently passed Internet law, lists three court rulings and one prosecutor decision on its website as the reason of the outage.

During the Gezi Park protests last June, Erdogan described the microblogging website as a “trouble,” claiming that “unmitigated lies are there (on Twitter).” After the explosion of a bribe scandal in the Bosphorus involving dozens of members of the current regime, Erdogan removed thousands of police officers and hundreds of magistrates, among them those who were responsible for investigations into corruption. According to opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who has denounced an authoritarian turn and called for the immediate resignation of the premier, Erdogan is “ready to do anything” to remain in power and bury the anti-corruption investigations, which the premier had defined as “an attempted coup d’etat” orchestrated by ex-allies of the Muslim Brotherhood of Fethullah Gulen. The corruption scandal dominates the campaign for crucial administrative elections March 30, which could be decisive for Erdogan’s political future. Last month, Erdogan had already threatened to block Facebook and Youtube. Last night, the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes condemned the blocking of Twitter in Turkey. The ban against Twitter in Turkey is “groundless, pointless, cowardly,” wrote Kroes. The Turkish people and the international community will see this as censorship, which it truly is, added Kroes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Turkey: From Gul Onward Everyone Bypasses Twitter Ban

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, MARCH 21 — The ban on Twitter taken by Turkish Premier Tayyip Erdogan is proving to be ineffective thanks to the many technical ways to circumvent it, the Turkish press reported.

Even President Abdullah Gul and Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc have used the social network today — the first to declare himself against against the ban, the second ‘more neutral’, but perhaps as critical, supplying his work agenda for the day. According to Hurriyet online, which cited Twittturk statistics, the number of Tweets this morning did not undergo a significant decline. In the first ten hours after the Twitter ban ordered by the premier, half a million Tweets were posted by Turkish users.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Turkey’s Erogan Faces Backlash Over Twitter Ban

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, is looking increasingly isolated after being attacked on all sides, including by his oldest ally President Abdullah Gul, after the country imposed a ban on Twitter.

President Gul joined millions of Turks who have flouted the blocking of the social media platform since it was imposed on Thursday night, using his Twitter account to tweet out messages that the closure is “unacceptable”. “The shutdown of an entire social platform is unacceptable,” he tweeted. “Besides, as I have said many times before, it is technically impossible to close down communication technologies like Twitter entirely. I hope this measure will not last long.”

Turkey restricted access to Twitter hours after Mr Erdogan gave a fiery speech in which he vowed to “root out Twitter”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Turkish Attempt to Ban Twitter Appears to Backfire

Turkey’s attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government.

Turkey in the past has blocked access to YouTube, but this is the first ban on Twitter, which is hugely popular in the country — to the point where Turkish hashtags routinely appear in global trends. The social network was instrumental in organizing flash protests against the government last year.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Twitter Takes Action and Hires Lawyer Against Turkish Ban

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, MARCH 21 — Twitter has taken action against the Turkish government’s blocking of access to it and hired a lawyer expert in litigations related to cyberlaw as daily Hurriyet online reports. Lawyer Gonenc Gurkaynak has confirmed that he was meeting with officials from Turkey’s Telecommunications Authority (Tib) in Ankara on behalf of Tweeter, adding that discussions for finding a legal solution were ongoing. In the past, Gurkaynak had worked on the legal case against the ban on YouTube. Meanwhile, The Union of Turkish Bar Associations (Tbb) filed a petition March 21 to an Istanbul court for the lifting of the ban. In a written statement, TBB head Metin Feyzioglu said the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office had lost all its authority with the recent legal changes removing specially authorized prosecutors and therefore could not rule to implement such a ban. “With the ban, the TTB and millions of citizens cannot access Twitter for reasons we still do not know,” the statement read. “A total ban on Twitter access is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Turkish Constitution and Law 5651 that includes Internet regulations. The TTB has applied to the courts for the immediate lifting of the ban. In addition, criminal complaints have been filed for those responsible for the ban ruling and the officials who applied the ban,” Feyzioglu said in the statement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

USA ‘Worried’ Over Twitter Ban in Turkey

President Gul disapproves, deputy premier bypasses ban

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL — The US State Department expressed “worry” after the Turkish government’s decision to block the social network Twitter, Turkish media reported. “We are very worried” by any hypothesis of closure of social networks, said a note delivered by US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki to Turkish correspondents. Democracies are strengthened by the diversity of voices expressing themselves in public, the note added.

The European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, last night condemned the Turkish government’s decision to block Twitter, calling the ban “groundless, pointless, cowardly”. The Turkish people and the international community will see this as censorship, which it truly is, Kroes added.

Disapproval for the government decision was also expressed by the Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, who publicly criticized the decision taken last night by Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter itself.

“A total closure of social networks can not be approved,” Gul said on his Twitter account. “I hope this situation does not last long,” he added.

Turkish Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc also circumvented the Twitter ban, publishing his work agenda for the day on the social network, press in Ankara reported. Several techniques for getting around the ban have already been developed in the country, wrote the Hurriyet online. It is not clear, the journal said, if Arinc’s gesture is an implicit criticism of the Twitter ban, decided by Erdogan after publication of documents and records on the social network that implicated the premier in corruption scandals shaking the country on the eve of crucial administrative elections March 30.

Considered a moderate in the Islamic Turkish government, Arinc has already had differences with the head of the government, in particular during the Gezi Park revolts, when Arinc attempted to open a dialogue with demonstrators despite the intransigence of the premier.

Meanwhile, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey this morning sent a message to Turkish users explaining how to bypass the social network ban. In a ‘tweet’ on the official account of the social network (@policy), Dorsey advised sending SMS messages from cellular phones through the operators Avea and Vodafone, beginning with START and addressing them respectively to the numbers 2444 and 2555, wrote the Hurriyet online.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

When Women’s Issues Hide Humanity’s Problem

by Diana West

“About two dozen” women — a brave handful — demonstrated in Baghdad against new, sharia-based legislation now before Iraq’s parliament. Known as the Ja’afari Law after an early Shiite imam, the legislation would allow Iraq’s Shiite Islamic clergy to control marriage, divorce and inheritance. Among other things, this would permit marriage between a man and a 9-year-old girl, according to the marital example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed.

Guess who has approved of this child rape legislation — some den of social outcasts? No, the ministers of Iraq’s cabinet. They preside, of course, over a government created in large measure by great expenditures of U.S. blood and treasure. The draft law now awaits a parliamentary vote.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

New Ukraine Province in Play as Ethnic Russians Push New Secession Referendum

As Ukraine appears to have all but conceded Crimea to Moscow, Ukranians in Kherson, the province just north of the peninsula, are believed to be pushing a secession vote of their own in what a local leader angrily denounced as “treason.”

The province has a huge Russian speaking population, and a vote — particularly with politicking from Russia — could go against Kiev as did last Sunday’s referendum in Crimea. In addition to a major push from ethnic Russian politicians, the proposal in Kherson could be boosted by the presence of Russian soldiers, pro-Moscow protesters and the kind of propaganda Ukraine accused Moscow of engaging in before the Crimea vote.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Russian President Vladimir Putin Signs Laws Completing Annexation of Crimea

President Vladimir Putin has signed legislation to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation. This formally ends the process of the annexation of the Ukrainian territory.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

S&P Revises Russia’s Outlook to Negative

Credit rating agency S&P just revised its outlook on the Russian Federation to negative.

“The outlook revision reflects our view of the material and unanticipated economic and financial consequences that EU and U.S. sanctions could have on Russia’s creditworthiness following Russia’s incorporation of Crimea, which the international community currently considers legally to be a part of Ukraine,” they said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine’s Interim Prime Minister Yatsenyuk Signs EU Association Agreement

Ukraine’s interim prime minister has signed a long-awaited association agreement with the European Union. This came as the Russian president signed legislation approving the country’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Will London Close the Door to Rich Russians?

Britain is the EU country with the most to lose from the sanctions currently being imposed on officials and politicians by the EU and the US. London is Europe’s biggest and most open financial center and the UK provides a second home for hundreds of wealthy Russians and a safe haven for their billions.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Kabul Attack Proves Afghanistan is Far From Secure

The deadly attack on Kabul’s luxury hotel was the second large-scale assault on foreigners this year. As things stand now, experts say one thing is clear: Afghanistan’s future is more uncertain than ever.

“It actually shows the weakness of the government and its security forces,” General Mohammad Mohsen Mukhtar, a retired Afghan military officer, told DW. “The Afghan security forces are defenseless because the Taliban have been able to infiltrate the army and the police,” Mukhtar added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Pakistani Officials Reject Claims of ISI Handling Bin Laden

ISLAMABAD: Top Pakistani intelligence officials on Wednesday rejected claims made by a British journalist that the ISI ran a special desk to handle former Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. The journalist, Carlotta Gall, further claims in her upcoming book “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014” that then-ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha also knew of bin Laden’s presence in the country. An excerpt from the book, which is coming out next month, was published in the New York Times on Wednesday.

“There is no truth in New York Times story,” intelligence officials, who wished not to be named told Dawn.com. “The claims are totally baseless.” Nobody in Pakistan knew about presence of Osama bin Laden, the officials said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Thailand’s Top Court Rules Results of General Election Invalid

Thailand’s top court has ruled that the country’s recent general election was invalid. The snap polls were an attempt by the prime minister to quell an ongoing political crisis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Beijing Hotel Workers Already ‘Fed Up’ With Obama Entourage in 3400-Square-Foot, $8,350-Per-Night Suite

Michelle Obama and three of her family members are staying in a $8,350-per-night Beijing presidential suite, but despite a 24-hour butler and other perks that come with the lodging, her entourage has inconvenienced ‘pretty much everyone’ and made the hotel staff ‘fed up,’ a well-placed hotel staffer has told MailOnline.

The sumptuous pad at the Westin Beijing Chaoyang hotel — its website calls the room ‘an oasis of comfort — is a 3,400-square-foot masterpiece including a private steam room, ‘corner sofas with silk pillows,’ and in-room dining for six.

But the Obamas’ stay has already affected staff and guests at the hotel, with the Westin front-desk veteran alleging that Mrs. Obama’s mother Marian Robinson has been ‘barking at the staff since she arrived.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Olympics: S.Korea to File Judging Complaint Over Skating Star Kim

SEOUL (AFP) — South Korea’s Olympic body said on Friday it would file a complaint with the international governing body for figure skating over controversial judging which saw Olympic defending champion Kim Yu Na relegated to silver at the Winter Games.

The Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) said it would send a joint letter with the Korea Skating Union (KSU) to the International Skating Union (ISU) calling for an investigation into the composition of judges for female singles competition in Sochi.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

New Mosque Plan for Penshurst

A MORE modest set of plans for the Bosnian mosque at Penshurst will go before Hurstville Council in May.

Australian Bosnian Islamic Council spokesman Enes Topalovic urged the community to show reason and understanding so the church’s Bosnian European heritage could be alllowed to integrate into “this great country, which has been built on multiculturalism”. “We have put our application forward as we would like to be recognised for our contribution to the community and to maintain our Bosnian Muslim heritage,” Mr Topalovic said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Kenya: Uproar as MPs Pass Bill Promoting Polygamy

Nairobi — Members of the National Assembly extended Thursday’s sitting to pass controversial amendments to the Marriage Bill despite spirited opposition from female MPs. Male MPs ganged up to delete the clause that had required a husband in a customary marriage to seek consent from his wife before marrying a second wife…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Nigeria: Woman Donates Mosque to Guidna Community

A mosque donated by a philanthropist, Amirat Hajiya Talatu Usman Bala Ibrahim, to the Guidna community, a settlement in the Abuja Municipal Area Council of the FCT, has been commissioned.

Speaking at the occasion, the Director of the organization that facilitated the gesture, Mallam Ja’afaru Alhassan, said it was difficult for the residents to perform the Friday (Juma’a) prayer due to absence of a mosque in the community.

He said the Muslims faithful in the community used to trek for about six miles for their daily prayers. Ibrahim noted that with the presence of the mosque in the area, the excuse of lateness to prayers was over, even as he called for a regular cleaning of the mosque and its facilities to ensure adequate and proper maintenance…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Awash in Cash, Drug Cartels Rely on Big Banks to Launder Profits

The Sinaloa Cartel, headquartered on Mexico’s northern Pacific Coast, is constantly exploring new ways to launder its gargantuan profits. The reports that Mexican trafficking organizations earn between $19 and $29 billion every year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines on the streets of American cities.

And Sinaloa is reportedly the richest, most powerful of them all, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The capture last month of the Mexican druglord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman has cast a spotlight on the smuggling empire he built.

One key to the Sinaloa Cartel’s success has been to use the global banking system to launder all this cash.

[Comment: TV show Miami Vice has one episode (The Prodigal Son) where there was collusion between drugs and banks. Check out Miami Vice episode Season 2 episode 1 in which Sonny and Tubbs go to New York. Watch it online here for free at : //www.hulu.com/watch/14837 or using link to Xfinity on this page: //www.tv.com/shows/miami-vice/watch/the-prodigal-son-part-1-1591394/ details of episode here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0647107/?ref_=tt_ep_ep1. Enjoy, it’s a classic episode.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Venezuela’s U.S. Dollar Shortage Puts Health Sector in Intensive Care

(Reuters) — While hemophilia sufferer Sergio Tovar lay in agony for five days at a hospital in Venezuela, his friends and family scoured hospitals and pharmacies looking for life-saving drugs. Eventually a cousin, Jenny Sequeda, helped find a substitute for the protein coagulant Tovar needs for his blood condition.

Almost everywhere they went in the southwestern state of Apure it was the same story: a lack of dollars meant importers had stopped purchasing the medicine. “Everyone who has hemophilia, their life is at risk,” said Sequeda, whose 6-year-old son also suffers from the illness.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Conservatives Fear Discrimination Against Whites

From outside the conservative bubble, the Republicans’ Caucasian march into a multiracial century looks like political malpractice — terminal short-sightedness or possibly the onset of madness. But resistance is deeply rooted in conservatism. It’s clear from House Speaker John Boehner’s repeated efforts to bring up immigration reform that he desperately wants to clear the party’s path to the future. Trouble is, that future is the stuff of conservative nightmares.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

‘Immigration People’ Won’t Find Out About Illegal Relatives if You Enroll in ObamaCare

As part of his Obamacare enrollment pitch, President Obama assured a Hispanic audience that the immigration status of family members will not be flagged as part of the process.

“If you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information,” Obama said on Locura Deportiva, a radio show on the sports channel Univision Deportes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Northern League Seeks to Prevent Pavia Arrival of Refugees

Activists block entry into hotel awaiting immigrants

(ANSA) — Pavia, March 21 — Northern League activists demonstrated on Friday to protest the arrival of a group of North African refugees, due to be sheltered in a local hotel in the town of San Genesio in the Pavia area south of Milan.

The regionalist Northern League demonstrators protested the arrivals and sought to prevent the group of about 30 migrants from entering the hotel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Spain: Meningitis Alarm in Melilla Migrant Centre

Prevention and isolation protocol launched for 226 people

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MARCH 21 — A meningitis alarm has arrived on top of an emergency caused by the massive arrivals of migrants in recent days in Melilla, the Spanish enclave in Morocco. A case of meningitis was recorded in the centre for temporary detention (CETI) that has forced health authorities to launch a prevention and quarantine protocol for 226 people, between Sub-Saharans and facility personnel.

According to health sources cited by the media, a 19-year-old Sub-Saharan held in the CETI was hospitalized in critical condition for meningitis in the intensive care unit of the Melilla hospital. Local government representative Abdelmalik El Barkani assured local media that it was “an isolated case” and that “to say that it is an epidemic would create alarm and would not be responsible”. Barkani explained that a plan was launched to transfer immigrants to other centres on the peninsula, which will depend on availability of places. The municipal department of health acquired 200 vaccines against meningitis to be administered to personnel working in the CETI. The Federal Police Union just yesterday denounced the saturation of the immigrant centre after the mass arrival of 500 Sub-Saharans during an assault last Tuesday on the border of the autonomous city.

There are currently 1800 migrants in the temporary detention centre, which has a 472 person capacity. The Red Cross has installed 17 tents to house additional migrants, and army has set up another 10 tents to handle the overcrowding.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Students See Many Slights as Racial ‘Microaggressions’

A tone-deaf inquiry into an Asian-American’s ethnic origin. Cringe-inducing praise for how articulate a black student is. An unwanted conversation about a Latino’s ability to speak English without an accent.

This is not exactly the language of traditional racism, but in an avalanche of blogs, student discourse, campus theater and academic papers, they all reflect the murky terrain of the social justice word du jour — microaggressions — used to describe the subtle ways that racial, ethnic, gender and other stereotypes can play out painfully in an increasingly diverse culture.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Transgender Insanity Defense: Serial Killer ‘Donna’ Blames Pre-’transitional’ Douglas

A transgender “woman” (a biological male) who had gender reassignment surgery now says it’s her former man self who killed three prostitutes in Washington state.

Donna didn’t do it, said Donna Perry, 62, who is charged with the 1990 murders, ABC News reported. Douglas did — and that’s actually what led in part to the gender reassignment surgery, she said, court documents indicate.

Detectives asked her in 2012 why the killings stopped, to which she reportedly responded: “Douglas didn’t stop. Donna stopped it.” “I’m not going to admit I killed anybody, I didn’t. Donna has killed nobody,” she said, according to ABC.

Perry — who had the gender-changing operation in Thailand in 2000 as a “permanent way to control violence” — was recently linked via DNA evidence to the three cold-case killings, ABC reported.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Ofsted Chief: We Don’t Want ‘Lefty’ Child-Centred Teaching

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, says that 60s-style “child-centred’ teaching damaged generations of schoolchildren as he unveiled a major overhaul of the inspection system

The head of Ofsted has pledged to root out inspectors who champion trendy teaching amid warnings that progressive methods had damaged generations of schoolchildren. Sir Michael Wilshaw said so-called “child-centred” learning — a characteristic of many classrooms in the 60s and 70s — would form no part of the assessment process…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Experts Warn the Next Carrington Event Will Plunge us Back Into the Dark Ages

Most people have absolutely no idea that the Earth barely missed being fried by a massive EMP burst from the sun in 2012, in 2013 and just last month. If any of those storms would have directly hit us, the result would have been catastrophic.

Electrical transformers would have burst into flames, power grids would have gone down and much of our technology would have been fried. In essence, life as we know it would have ceased to exist — at least for a time. These kinds of solar storms have hit the Earth many times before, and experts tell us that it is inevitable that it will happen again. The most famous one happened in 1859, and was known as the Carrington Event. But other than the telegraph, humanity had very little dependence on technology at the time. If another Carrington Event happened today, it would be a complete and utter nightmare. A study by Lloyd’s of London has concluded that it would have taken a $2,600,000,000,000 chunk out of the global economy, and it would take up to a decade to repair the damage. Unfortunately, scientists insist that it is going to happen at some point. The only question is when.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

‘Invisibility’ Cloak May Hide Things From Sonar

Cloaking devices, a staple of science fiction (think Harry Potter), are getting closer to reality. Researchers at Duke University have built a structure that would hide anything under it from sonar — at least in air.

Made of sheets of perforated plastic, the pyramid-shaped cloak changes the shape and speed of sound waves as they hit it. Those changes make the sound waves appear to reflect off the surface the pyramid is standing on, as though it wasn’t there.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Record Breakers! Travellers Make History by Visiting Five Continents in One Day

Two intrepid travellers have made it into the Guinness World Records books after visiting five continents in one day. College friends Adrian Butterworth and Gunnar Garfors made history by stopping off in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, and South America. They only used commercial planes, and were banned from flying in private jets — and they could only spend £1,100 of their own money.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Sea Anemones Are Half-Plant, Half-Animal, Gene Study Finds

The sea anemone is an oddball: half-plant and half-animal, at least when it comes to its genetic code, new research suggests.

“Since the sea anemone shows a complex landscape of gene regulatory elements similar to the fruit fly or other model animals, we believe that this principle of complex gene regulation was already present in the common ancestor of human, fly and sea anemone some 600 million years ago,” Michaela Schwaiger, a researcher at the University of Vienna, said in a statement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

Solving Sleep Issues

Sleep issues affect a very large percentage of the population. While some sleep problems may be minor and intermittent, others can be a chronic, night after night occurrence that may ultimately lead to serious health concerns, and prompting the individual to seek medical attention which often comes in the form of a prescription sleep medication. Many of these sleep medications can become habit forming and are often associated with dangerous side effects. In addition, they do not address the underlying cause of sleep disturbances which is usually a lack of or an imbalance in the body’s natural sleep hormones and neurotransmitters.

Most individuals with persistent sleep disturbances can be critically low in the key hormones and brain neurotransmitters that regulate sleep which are known as Melatonin, GABA and Serotonin. The brain neurotransmitter Dopamine also plays a role in sleep in that when depleted it can drag down Serotonin levels. Other issues such as high stress can elevate other anti-sleep hormones like cortisol and adrenalin that may cause frequent waking throughout the night. These hormones must be brought into proper balance to obtain proper sleep. People that have used prescription sleep medications for many months are often severely depleted in the normal sleep hormones and as a result become addicted to their use. Just as in drug & alcohol abuse, the body stops producing the normal hormones and becomes dependent on the drug. To break this cycle, we must re-train the brain by eliminating the medications and restoring the normal balance of melatonin, serotonin and GABA.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The Grand Fromage! Swiss Emmentaler is Named Best Cheese in the World, But Wisconsin is Close Behind at the 2014 Championship

A Swiss Emmentaler has been named the top cheese at an international competition in Wisconsin, handing the nation its fourth win in the past five years. Cheese maker Gerard Sinnesberger took top honors at the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest with his Original Schweizer Rohmilch Emmentaler, a large format, big wheel Swiss cheese.

An Austrian entry, called Erzherzog Johann, was second. Another Swiss entry, Gruyere AOP, was third.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]
 

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