News Feed 20120726

Financial Crisis
» Citigroup: 90% Chance Greece Leaving Euro
» Draghi Sends Strong Signal of Support on Euro
» ECB Ready to Do ‘Everything to Save Euro’
» Europe Must Face Up to Ongoing Euro Crisis
» Spain: Bankia Case: Responsibility for Mistakes
» Blue-Eyed Devil: Ramadan a Month for Meditation, Brotherhood, Empathy
» Diana West: Gold-Medal Dhimmitude
» Expansion of Edmond Mosque Causing Controversy
» Henrico Approves Plan for Short Pump Mosque
» Mitt Romney’s ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Gaffe: The Mainstream Media Will Not Let This Go
» Muslims Gain Seats at Dems ‘Big Tent’ Convention
» President Obama Pledges to Enact ‘Common Sense’ Gun Laws
» Storobin Urges Bloomberg to Rexamine Voorhies Mosque
» Tea Party Leader Says All Muslims a ‘Threat’ To U.S.; Seeks Recall of McCain
» Top U.S. Islamic Group Calls for ‘Gun Control’
» Voorhees to Hear Mosque Project
» We Won’t Get Fooled Again
» Who is Huma Abedin?
» Daniel Greenfield: The Great Muslim Cover Up
Europe and the EU
» EU Commission Still ‘Very Worried’ About Romanian Democracy
» Failing to Take Far Right Violence Seriously
» France: 8-Year-Old Boy Attacks Police With Pepper Spray
» Italy: Venice Hotels Ask Highest Price, Palermo Lowest
» Italy: Prosecutors Move to Try Puglia Governor
» Mars One Plans Suicide Mission to Red Planet for 2023
» Sweden: Two Injured in Suspected Malmö Arson Attack
» Swedish Pastor Admits to Serving as Stasi Spy
» Switzerland: Cows Attack Woman Hiking in Alpine Meadow
» Tax-Evasion Agreement Signed by Major European Countries
» Tony Blair: ‘The West is Asleep on the Issue of Islamist Extremism’
» UK: Brixton Muslims Celebrate Ramadan at Gresham Road Mosque
» UK: Muslim Leader Loses Sharia Law Fight Over Divorce Settlement
» UK: Mohammed Amin: Islamophobia — A Trap for Unwary Muslims
» UK: Muslim Anger as Water Cut Off During Ramadan Fast
» UK: NHS Issues Special Advice to Help Fasting Muslims
» UK: Sutton Council Receives Application for Mosque in Worcester Park
» UK: The Government is Asking Britons to Behave Like Soviets
» UK: You Can’t Use Sharia Law in Divorce Deal: Muslim Hospital Consultant Told to Pay Ex-Wife Maintenance Despite Claims He Owes Her Nothing Under Islamic Rules
» US Still Bringing Home WWII Dead
» Young Swedes Nab Jobs From Norwegian Youth
North Africa
» Five Italian Fishing Vessels Seized in Egypt
» Morocco Scraps Free Education for All Model
» Teargas in Protests for the Cost of Living Hike in Tunisia
Middle East
» Aleppo: Syrian Rebels Storm and Burn Down Police Station
» ‘Bars for Ramadan’ List Sparks Protest in Dubai
» Detentions of Activists Are Reported in U.A.E.
» Dubai Police Chief Talks of ‘International Plot’ To Overthrow Gulf Governments
» Govt Rejects Kuwaiti Muslim Brethren Request
» Syria: Battle Intensifies in Aleppo
» Syria: Al Qaeda-Allied Islamic Rebels in the Fight Against Assad
» UAE: The Grandeur of a Mosque
South Asia
» Afghanistan: America and NATO Misadventures
» ‘Auschwitz-Like’ Afghan Military Hospital Investigation ‘Delayed’
» In Indonesia, A Debate Over Holy Volume Knobs
» India: Mosque Row: ASI Gets Cop Cover, Will Dig After Rains
» Myanmar Muslims Killed for Not Converting to Buddhism: JI
» Pakistan Taliban Against Myanmar, Vow Revenge Over Rohingya Blood
Far East
» China: Bo Xilai’s Wife Charged With Murder
» Chinese Firms Warn EU Against Solar Trade War
Australia — Pacific
» Council Rejects Mosque Plea
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Escalating Violence in Nigeria Kills 5 Police, 1 Civilian
» Ethiopia: Muslim Students Say They Are Not “Radical”
» Police Pick Up 125 Migrants Off Puglia Coast
Culture Wars
» French Senate Adopts ‘Transphobia’ Legislation

Financial Crisis

Citigroup: 90% Chance Greece Leaving Euro

New study says Italy and Spain likely to be bailed out

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, JULY 26 — Citigroup analysts say there is a 90 percent chance Greece will leave the eurozone in the next 12-18 months. In a new study on the crisis, Blommberg reports, the bank reviewed its previous forecast according to which Athens’ chance of leaving the euro was estimated between 50 and 75 percent.

Citigroup analysts estimated Greece’s exit could occur on January 1, 2013, though stating that is not a forecast of a specific date.

The bank also said that despite the bailout of Spanish banks, it is likely that Italy and Spain will need some form of full bailout by the end of this year.

“Our base case is for prolonged economic weakness and financial market strains in periphery countries, spilling over into renewed recession for the euro area as a whole this year and the next” , the bank said, cited by Bloomberg.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Draghi Sends Strong Signal of Support on Euro

ECB chief Mario Draghi Thursday pledged strong support for the euro. “Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough,” he told an audience in London, with borrowing costs in Spain and Italy at unsustainable levels.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ECB Ready to Do ‘Everything to Save Euro’

Italian spread falls below 500

(ANSAmed) — London- The European Central Bank (ECB) is willing to do all it takes to save the turmoil-hit euro, President Mario Draghi said on Thursday.

“The euro is irreversible and the ECB is ready to do everything necessary to save the single currency,” Draghi said at the Global Investment Conference in London.

Draghi also praised the progress the European Union has made this year towards finding a solution to the eurozone crisis, which is in its third year.

European leaders in March signed a treaty creating a Fiscal Compact with stricter budget rules and agreed to measures that will put the eurozone on the path towards a banking union at a summit in June.

It was also decided at the June summit to allow European rescue funds to be used to buy the bonds of countries facing soaring borrowing costs. “In that last six months, the eurozone has shown extraordinary progress,” Draghi said. The yield spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark dropped below the 500-point mark on Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said his body was “ready to do everything necessary” to save the euro.

The spread, a barometer of Italy’s borrowing costs and an indicator of investor confidence in the country’s ability to weather the eurozone crisis, dropped from 519 points to 495 after the statement. Italy’s bonds have been under pressure amid speculation that Spain may need a bailout and on Tuesday the spread hit 537 points — a level not seen since November, when Italy’s ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi was forced from office.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Europe Must Face Up to Ongoing Euro Crisis

By Anne Applebaum

Like the bass line in a pop song, the euro zone keeps pumping out bad news, even while the world is distracted by other themes. On a typical day this week — Tuesday, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Britain — one could learn that Moody’s, the rating agency, had just lowered its outlook on Germany from stable to negative; that there were “alarming signs for Italy in the bond markets”; that Spanish 10-year bond yields had hit a euro-era record high; and that the entire euro zone was suffering from a manufacturing slump. Besides all that, European stock markets had not yet recovered from the previous day’s crash, which had itself been caused by rumors that Spain would soon need a full-scale bailout.

Another day, another set of crisis headlines — but there is a silver lining: Finally, Europeans are being forced to face up to decades’ worth of fundamentally dishonest politics. Since the 1970s, one government after the next has spent, borrowed and then inflated its way out of the subsequent debt. Then they recovered — only to spend, borrow and inflate once again. Not coincidentally, this cycle was most severe in countries with weaker democracies. Spain ceased to be a dictatorship only after Franco’s death in 1975, Greece was ruled by a military junta from 1967 to 1974, and Italy has had more than 60 governments since World War II. Successive leaders in all of those countries have tried to “buy” the electorate with elaborate pensions, state-sector employment and other perks. Banks across the continent and around the world have greedily facilitated them.

Now they can’t. Though no one recognized it at the time, joining the euro was like adopting the gold standard: It meant that individual governments couldn’t inflate their way out of trouble anymore nor pass on to the next generation the bill for today’s expenditures — as they still can in the United States and Britain. All along, it has been a mistake to describe the euro zone’s difficulties as a “currency crisis.” In fact, it’s a political crisis, caused by an addiction to debt, and it requires a political solution. Electorates have learned the truth: They are bankrupt. Whatever decisions the European Union now makes, future recovery depends on how much of the plain facts ordinary people can bear to absorb…

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

Spain: Bankia Case: Responsibility for Mistakes

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JULY 24 — Mistakes have been made in the Spanish banking sector and those responsible must be held into account, the former secretary of state for the economy in the Zapatero government, Jose Manuel Campa, told the congress commission on the Bankia case today. According to Campa “it is necessary not to mix up the obstacles found and mistakes made in the financial reform” which he said is “correct”.

According to the undersecretary, after a EU bailout package of up to 100 million euros, “it is necessary not to lose the objective of stability in the financial sector”.

“We have banks which in the majority of cases continue to be solvent” said Campa.

Today the audition of the former governor of the Bank of Spain, Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez is also scheduled while on Thursday the commission will listen to former Bfa-Bankia president Rodriguo Rato and former Economy Minister Elena Salgado.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]


Blue-Eyed Devil: Ramadan a Month for Meditation, Brotherhood, Empathy

As the sun set last Friday evening at the Baton Rouge central mosque, Mesjid ar-Rahman, I took my place in the prayer line. Mesjid ar-Rahman, literally translated, means the Mosque of Mercy — and on this night, the first night of the holy month, it seemed an entirely appropriate name. It was the first iftar of Ramadan 2012, the first breaking of the fast. The air was alive with a sort of meditative tension, a weary goodwill. As the hall filled with hundreds of people from every corner of the earth, I took note. The brothers from West Africa were there, in their bright sapphire robes and matching skull caps. They were joined by Arabs in bleach white thobes and Pakistani men in ankle length trousers and thin, hastily wound turbans. The Americans were amongst them, myself included, in a motley mix of jeans and polo shirts and purple-and-gold baseball caps turned backward so the bill wouldn’t get in the way when your forehead hits the ground in prayer.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Diana West: Gold-Medal Dhimmitude

The stilted conversation the world is having over the IOC refusal to permit a minute of silence at the opening of the 2012 London Olympic to mark the Munich massacre 40 years ago is a turning point in the Islamization of the international arena.

As the Chicago Tribune reports:

The idea of a remembrance has gained more traction this year than ever before. The White House is for it. The U.S. House and Senate have supported it in resolutions. So have the Canadian and German parliaments, the German foreign minister and 30 German athletes. And the government of Israel, from its prime minister to deputy foreign minister, has for the first time become publicly involved in asking for a minute of silence.

President Obama threw his support behind an online petition for the minute of silence that now has more than 103,000 signatures.

“Yes, we absolutely support the campaign for a minute of silence at the Olympics to honor the Israeli athletes killed in Munich,” said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

But the answer from the IOC is “no.”

Think of it: The United States, Canada, Germany and Israel have insufficient international influence to obtain, in the sporting arena of international “brotherhood,” one minute of respect for the memory of 11 Israeli victims of what we persist in calling “terrorism.” In fact, this was an early attack of resurgent jihad.

And therein lies the problem. What we are witnessing is more than a measure of the clout of nations in which the United States and a pathetically small handful of allies come up short. It is the definition of “terrorism” itself that is under contention…

           — Hat tip: Diana West [Return to headlines]

Expansion of Edmond Mosque Causing Controversy

Neighbors complaining about planned expansion

EDMOND, Okla. — There is a controversy in Edmond involving the expansion of a local mosque. The small mosque, which has been in Edmond for 20 years, sits across from the University of Central Oklahoma. Officials have requested permits to expand the building to five times the size it is now. When neighbors were notified about the expansion plan, letters of complaint began coming in. In a hand-written note the writer asked planning commissioners to look at recent events in Murfressboro, Tenn., and “what our grandchildren are going to face.” A 50,000-square-foot mosque is under construction in that small town where the Muslim population continues to grow. In one letter the sender called the mosque near UCO, “a headquarters for terrorist affiliate organizations.”


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Henrico Approves Plan for Short Pump Mosque

HENRICO, Va. — After hearing neighborhood residents complain about potential safety problems and other issues, the Henrico County Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved plans for a mosque in the Short Pump area. The West End Islamic Center plans to build a 35,141-square-foot mosque with space for worship, a day-care center, classrooms, a kitchen, office space and a conference room. Representatives for the center said construction is probably about three years away as the center raises funds for the $3.5 million building on about 4.8 acres where Shady Grove and Twin Hickory roads intersect. The mosque is the third to earn approval from Henrico’s planners. Ground was broken recently for a 10,500-square-foot mosque on 3.6 acres on Impala Drive near Hilliard Road. A 30,277-square-foot mosque on a 5.2-acre lot on Hungary Road near Wiltshire Drive has been approved.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Mitt Romney’s ‘Anglo-Saxon’ Gaffe: The Mainstream Media Will Not Let This Go

by Tim Stanley

Someone on the Romney staff needs to be sacked — fast and publicly. On Tuesday, a campaign insider told the Daily Telegraph that Mitt wants to heal the divide between America and Britain that has emerged under Obama’s watch. “We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage,” they said, “and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special. The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.” Of such gaffes are a million mainstream media headlines made.

There are two problems with the “Anglo-Saxon” bomb. First, the extent of the division between our nations is up for debate. Yes, Obama took the Churchill bust out of the Oval Office and hasn’t been super supportive during Britain’s spat with Argentina. But David Cameron’s last visit to the White House was a veritable love-in (“Get a room, guys”), and Obama’s popularity in the UK is undiminished. Many Brits love him because they see him as an antidote to the misdirected machismo of the Bush years. Few of us are keen to revive an alliance that led to the bloody mess of Iraq and Afghanistan.

More importantly, the adviser has a terrible way with words. The emphasis upon the “Anglo-Saxon” identity of the Atlantic alliance is out of date. Both countries are more multicultural than ever before, and both have forged alliances with countries that are decidedly un-Anglo-Saxon: the US is part of a trading bloc with Mexico and the UK is trapped in the engine room of the EU Titanic.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Muslims Gain Seats at Dems ‘Big Tent’ Convention

by Nadia Hussain

The Democratic National Convention will take place September 3-6 as the country gets ready to elect its next president. Held every four years since 1832, the convention’s primary goal is to nominate a candidate for president and vice president, adopt a party platform, and unify the party. Among the 4,000 delegates expected to go to the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Muslim Americans overcame significant barriers to earn their seat at the table. Muslims make up one of the most complex and diverse groups in the United States. According to the State Department, 34 percent of Muslim Americans are South Asians, 26 percent are Arabs, 25 percent are Africans, and 15 percent are from other backgrounds.

Due to these diverse identities, it has been difficult to gauge the number of Muslim Americans currently living in the U.S. The Council on Foreign Relations estimated that Muslims make up approximately 2 percent of the population, or 7 million people. The Pew Research Center reported that 81 percent of Muslims in the US are citizens. Despite these numbers, historically, Muslim Americans have not been very active in getting elected to office. The first Muslim member of Congress, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, was elected only 6 years ago. Yet, national efforts, led by organizers such as Dr. Agha Saeed, have pushed to make Muslims more politically and civically engaged. Almost 20 years ago, Saeed began a movement called the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights & Elections (AMT). AMT is now the largest coalition of Muslim organizations in the country.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

President Obama Pledges to Enact ‘Common Sense’ Gun Laws

(AGI) New Orleans — In the wake of the Denver shootings, Barack Obama vowed to achieve ‘common sense’ gun control. Speaking at the National Urban League Convention in New Orleans, the American president said “I’m going to continue to work with members of both parties and with religious groups and with civic organizations to arrive at a consensus around violence reduction.” Addressing the gunfire violence, Obama said “Every day and a half the number of young people we lose to violence is about the same as the number of people we lost in that movie theater,” adding his understanding — “like most Americans” — of Second Amendment rights which “guarantee an individual the right to bear arms.” Obama signalled, however, “I think we recognise the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation — that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.” The President went on to assess that “I think we recognise the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation — that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.

But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals — that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.” Addressing the controversial nature of the debate, Obama acknowledged that “Too often those efforts are defeated by politics and by lobbying and eventually by the pull of our collective attention elsewhere.” .

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

Storobin Urges Bloomberg to Rexamine Voorhies Mosque

State Senator David Storobin sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, urging the city to reexamine alleged zoning issues surrounding the planned Islamic mosque and community center at 2812 Voorhies Avenue. Storobin sent the letter on June 28, saying that planners failed to provide parking, and will cause traffic and parking issues in the residential area.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Tea Party Leader Says All Muslims a ‘Threat’ To U.S.; Seeks Recall of McCain

A prominent Phoenix tea party leader who believes Muslims cannot be trusted to be loyal to the United States and should not be working for the federal government is incensed with U.S. Sen. John McCain’s defense of a top State Department official and is eying a recall drive against Arizona’s senior senator. Wes Harris, the founder and chairman of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, said he plans to take out a recall petition against McCain. While Harris has many problems with McCain, a mass email he sent out focused solely on the senator’s recent defense of Huma Abedin, a top aide to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Harris accused Abedin of having ties to an Islamic extremist group, and he objected to the fact that a Muslim was working for the State Department in the first place. Harris said he believes Muslims’ loyalty to the U.S. is questionable because their ultimate loyalty is to the Quran and Islam, which he described as “more a fascist type of organization.”


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Top U.S. Islamic Group Calls for ‘Gun Control’

Fresh off of handing a “diversity” award to outspoken Jew-hater Dawud Walid, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is moving on to a new outrage by launching an attack on the U.S. Constitution.

The current issue of ISNA’s bi-monthly magazine Islamic Horizons carries an article about ISNA’s demand for gun control.

Specifically, the article, with the unambiguous title “ISNA Seeks Gun Control,” cites the shooting of Trayvon Martin to explain their opposition to S. 2188, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012,” and S. 2213, the “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012.”

An April 13th action alert on ISNA’s website directs their supporters to contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to have him stop the legislation from becoming law.

The same action alert states that ISNA is part of the Brady Center’s “Faiths United to Oppose Gun Violence,” and the Islamic group signed onto the Brady Center’s “Faith” group letter to Reid demanding he block the legislation.

This is not the first time that ISNA and the Brady Center have united to oppose the Second Amendment.

As noted by The Truth About Guns in February 2011, ISNA was one of the original founding groups of the “Faiths United to Oppose Gun Violence” when it was rolled out by the Brady Center.

Nor is the Second Amendment the only constitutional freedom under assault by ISNA and its leaders.

As reported by Neil Munro at the Daily Caller back in October, a group of representatives from many of the Obama administration’s favored Islamist groups met with Tom Perez, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

During the meeting, the Muslim leaders, including those from ISNA, called for a redefinition of anti-discrimination laws to punish criticism of Islam:…

           — Hat tip: alcade [Return to headlines]

Voorhees to Hear Mosque Project

VOORHEES — The proposed expansion of a mosque here has drawn opposition reminiscent of an earlier controversy over the worship site’s construction. The Muslim American Community Association tonight is to request permission from the township zoning board to add a two-story, 21,000-square-foot building to its existing site at Haddonfield-Berlin Road and Lafayette Avenue. The existing mosque, which covers about 5,700 square feet, would remain in use. A flier circulating in the township opposes the project, citing concerns over traffic, parking, and funeral preparations. And that the expansion, which would be used as a mosque, community center and learning center, would be “out of scale in terms of both size and use with the surrounding neighborhood.” The flier contends residents will experience “discomfort in having funeral preparations take place in our neighborhood.”


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

We Won’t Get Fooled Again

As I was weighed my options on whether or not to write this piece, I’m all too aware that when the profound sense of loss and grieving begins to dissipate, the victims’ loved ones will want truthful answers on why this tragedy took place. The lens of history clearly points to this fact as the Pat Tillman family still wants answers, thousands of 9/11 victims loved ones still want answers, and families and friends of the Oklahoma City Bombing victims still want answers and people profoundly impacted by the Columbine High School tragedy are still asking questions about why their loved ones had to die. Families and friends of the Dark Knight movie massacre victims deserve the truth and I do not believe, from the early media returns, that the real truth is going to be forthcoming. In that spirit, I add my voice to the chorus of voices in saying that the public explanations, related to this unspeakable tragedy, do not add up.

The Background

PhD candidate, James Holmes, 24, residing in Aurora, Colorado, acting with the precision and sophistication of a well-trained, killing-machine commando killed 12 people and wounded 59 as he opened fire at a Batman movie premiere The Dark Night Rising. Yet, as many mainstream media outlets, including the BBC, are reporting that James Holmes had no criminal arrest record and had absolutely no military training in his known background, yet, Holmes had every detail of “what the police call tactical equipment. He wore a ballistic helmet, a flak jacket and gas mask, but also the gloves and breeches you would expect from a Swat team.”

Many More Questions Than Believable Answers

Where would an incredibly busy PhD student find the time to learn how to booby trap his apartment?

Why would a mass murderer randomly shoot dozens of innocent people and then mysteriously warn authorities that he had meticulously booby trapped his apartment if his intention was to commit mass murder?

Where did a 24 year-old, PhD student who has spent his entire young adulthood in academia, with absolutely no military training, develop sophisticated commando tactics and applicable skills with very elaborate and very expensive military grade equipment?

Why was the mainstream media so quick to learn and subsequently tell the viewing public the name of the perpetrator and then subsequently blame the Second Amendment for the event before any of the facts could possibly have been known? How was it that the swarms of FBI agents appeared almost immediately at the scene of the crime as well as the mass murder’s apartment?

What do you think any knowledgeable construction worker would say about how those theatre grade, fire-rated security doors, equipped with fire inspected alarms, which would have sounded if the door was opened in the rear of the theatre?

Why is the media so intent on painting Holmes as a mentally ill mass murder when a professional psychological examination has not even been performed and the results released to the media and the public?

The most common second-hand diagnosis being offered for Holmes mental health condition is paranoid schizophrenia in which the afflicted person can potentially hear voices, or act on delusional beliefs devoid of logical connection with reality which commands or compels the sufferer to commit random acts of violence. On the night of the mass murder, was Holmes’ behavior consistent with classic symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia?

What Is Known

One of the most unbelievable explanations that I heard regarding this crime is the fact that this college student with no military training was able to booby trap his apartment, to such a degree of sophistication, that the ATF and FBI took several hours to gain entrance to his apartment. It has been suggested that this bright graduate student learned how to construct booby traps from the Internet. As implausible as it seems to me, I have to wonder if the Internet also taught this young terrorist how to shoot straight and master a multitude of weapons as well as the learning and the execution of advanced commando skills? Where did Holmes practice to learn the skills and more importantly, how did this PhD student find the time to train to such a level of sophistication that the Israeli commandos at the raid on Entebbe would be envious at the skill and precision displayed by Holmes in this gruesome attack? How did Holmes gain entrance into the highly secured rear doors of the movie theater, armed with alarms, without inside help? The short answer to all of these questions is, that he couldn’t and he didn’t.

I find it interesting that a starving graduate student, living in a modest apartment, could afford very expensive weaponry, a bulletproof vest, a modern gas mask, groin and neck protectors, complicated bombs and tear gas. This was a well-funded operation and there doesn’t seem to be any plausible explanation as to how this very expensive operation was funded and the goods ended up in the hands of such a person of meager means.

The media has hung its hat on two analyses and subsequent explanations for Holmes’ actions: (1) Holmes is a mentally ill mass murderer who was suffering from paranoid schizophrenic delusions; and, (2) this horrible tragedy could have been averted if only effective gun control measures were in place. First of all, there doesn’t seem to be any history of serious mental illness with regard to what the media is stating that Holmes most likely suffers from. Secondly, the paranoid schizophrenic argument loses steam because the killer abruptly stopped killing when he got outside the theatre where the perpetrator calmly sat down and peacefully surrendered to authorities as if to say “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” Are these actions consistent with a crazed mass murderer? I do not believe so. If the murderers intent was to kill as many innocent people as possible, then it appears likely that this rage would have continued outside the movie theater. Adrenaline alone, would’ve accounted for several more minutes added on to the killing rampage unless, of course, someone literally or metaphorically flipped a switch, MK Ultra style, which caused Holmes to shut down and passively surrender. Thirdly, the delusional beliefs and subsequent behavior of paranoid schizophrenics does not follow a calm, rational, predictable and methodical pattern of behavior which is exactly what we see in Holmes’ homicidal actions on that fateful night. The manifested behaviors of paranoid schizophrenics are normally preceded by disorganized and delusional thinking which causes the person to appear and act in an illogical and irrational manner. This is the opposite behavioral pattern of what we saw from James Holmes who carried out his act with the precision of a well-trained professional killer.

Amazingly, the FBI was warned two months ago about terrorism coming to American movie theaters. Yet, they seem to have mysteriously ignored these warnings. I suggest visiting the preceding URL as soon as possible as this link most assuredly will disappear from the net courtesy of the police state surveillance grid. Why wasn’t this warning acted upon? And why do several URL’s keep disappearing from the net, related to this FBI warning, causing truth-seekers to continually repost this information? Many people have been puzzled by the rapidity of the FBI’s presence on the crime scene which even preceded many of the Aurora police officers arriving on the scene, despite the fact that the Aurora police maintain a substation in the mall less than 100 yards away from the crime scene. A reasonable person might be inclined to ask, what did the FBI know that the Aurora police did not?

If this was a plot, why would anyone do such a thing? Ironically, on July 27, 2012, President Obama and Hillary Clinton are going to sign the UN gun control treaty. Obama only needs a few more senators to sign the treaty to make it the law of the land. Of course, the public is supposed to believe that this tragedy and the immediate media calls for more stringent gun control, and the coincidence with the UN gun control treaty signing date, following this tragedy, is merely one big coincidence!

Gun control and undermining the Second Amendment was what FAST and FURIOUS was all about as Obama and Holder shipped guns into Mexico resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of Mexicans and over 200 Americans including Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The covert FAST and FURIOUS program blew up in the administration’s face as Holder is facing potential criminal prosecution for his related actions. Therefore, it seems logical that the Obama administration would invoke Plan B. If these globalist minions would stage FAST and FURIOUS, then why should it be hard to believe that the same thugs would stage the Aurora, Colorado movie massacre at the showing of the Dark Knight Rising? It’s interesting to note that Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, myself as well as many other awake Americans have been predicting a major false flag attack which would lead to the justification for Obama to enact draconian, UN-sponsored gun control legislation.

[Return to headlines]

Who is Huma Abedin?

by Visi R. Tilak

Huma Abedin, longtime aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was recently singled out by Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who said that three of Ms. Abedin’s family members — her late father, her mother and her brother — were connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. The former Minnesota state senator and fellow Republicans Trent Franks (Arizona), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Thomas Rooney (Florida) and Lynn Westmoreland (Georgia) jointly signed letters sent to inspectors general of five government agencies responsible for national security, demanding that they investigate infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood into the highest reaches of the federal government.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]


Daniel Greenfield: The Great Muslim Cover Up

Over in Toronto, a Muslim cleric with the unwieldy name of Al-Hashim Kamena Atangana had a great idea. Al-Hashim’s idea was for Toronto to pass laws forcing women to wear Burkas. “Cover up or get raped”, was the implied message. Toronto only has an estimated 5.5 percent Muslim population so the Toronto Taliban probably won’t be getting their way until they have higher double digit numbers, but they can wait.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

EU Commission Still ‘Very Worried’ About Romanian Democracy

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding on Wednesday (25 July) said she remains ‘very much worried’ about the state of democracy in Romania, noting that Bucharest has yet to fulfill the reform promises it has made.

“I am still very much worried about the state of democracy in Romania and so is the commission,” Reding said during a press conference in Brussels.

The EU commission last week set out an 11-point to-do list for the Romanian government so it could “come back to an equilibrated democratic behaviour”, but “nothing new” has happened since, Reding said.

“We will look at the facts, not at the promises. We will look at the laws and the implementation of the laws, not at the letters,” she said, adding that a report will be issued before the end of the year. “Until then the situation will be under very narrow observation.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Failing to Take Far Right Violence Seriously

by Robert Lambert

The threat of far right terrorism and political violence ought to be taken at least as seriously as the radical Islamic one. Obstacles include the false belief that far right violence is local and not globally connected.

For at least four decades a small number of specialist academics have pointed to a failure by governments in Europe to take the threat of far right terrorism and political violence sufficiently seriously. This selective blindness has become all the more striking during the decade of the war on terror when the same governments have paid endless attention to the threat of another kind of home grown terrorism and political violence.

Indeed, unintentionally but not unforeseeably, much government rhetoric aimed at home grown ‘radical Islamists’ in European countries has helped feed far right propaganda that demonises the same targets. This is not to argue that extremist Muslim threats of terrorism and political violence do not exist and do not deserve to be treated seriously. To the contrary, I argue that governments should be alert to both threats and should respond to them in the same way. To be blind to one and overzealous to the other is to risk fuelling both.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

France: 8-Year-Old Boy Attacks Police With Pepper Spray

An eight-year-old boy in Nantes in western France greeted two police officers with pepper spray and a hammer blow after they were called out to intervene in a routine neighbourhood dispute.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Venice Hotels Ask Highest Price, Palermo Lowest

Accomodation up over 9% in the lagoon city since 2011

(ANSA) — Rome, July 24 — Hotels in Venice, one of Italy’s top tourist destinations, have jacked up prices and are now the most expensive in the entire country, tourist portal Business Price Radar said in a report on Tuesday.

In respect to 2011, prices have gone up 9.12%, meaning that a room costs 147 euros a night on the average.

In contrast, Rome prices have dropped by 5% in respect to 2011, bringing the bill down to 109 euros per night.

For budget-wary travellers, the Sicilian city of Palermo beats them all with an average of 76 euros per night.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Prosecutors Move to Try Puglia Governor

Vendola accused of abuse of office

(ANSA) — Bari, July 24 — Bari prosecutors called for Italian left-wing politician and Puglia Governor Nichi Vendola to come to trial in an abuse-of-office probe. An investigation into alleged irregularities in the transfer of 45 million euros in regional funding to a local hospital was opened in March. The allegations were tied to suspicions regarding the appointment of a local chief of surgeons, Paolo Sardelli, at Bari’s San Paolo hospital in 2010.

Vendola has denied any wrongdoing. He has said that the “resentment-fed” accusations were based on testimony against him from Lea Cosentino, the former head of Bari’s health board whom Vendola fired in 2010 after she was placed under house arrest during a graft investigation.

Cosentino was also called to trial on Tuesday. A preliminary-hearings judge will decide whether Vendola should stand trial on September 27.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mars One Plans Suicide Mission to Red Planet for 2023

There’s an old joke about sending someone you hate on a one-way trip to Mars. Now, a Dutch entrepreneur has formed a company around this concept — and it’s no joke.

Bas Lansdorp, the 35-year-old founder of Mars One, told his company is serious about a one-way mission. The company will hold a worldwide lottery next year to select 40 people for a training team. They will then set up a mock colony in the desert, possibly somewhere in the U.S., for three months. This initial team will be reduced to ten crew members.

They will then be sent to Mars, never again to return.

“We will send humans to Mars in 2023,” he told “They will live there the rest of their lives. There will be a habitat waiting for them, and we’ll start sending four people every two years.”

The habitat will consist of several housing structures that Mars One will launch before 2023. In 2016, the company plans to launch the first supply vessel. In 2018, it plans to send a rover.

Lansdorp says his four-person company will coordinate the launches, but it will work with suppliers for the ship and rockets. For example, Mars One might use the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, which is currently being developed as a launch system for larger spacecraft.

To help fund the project, Lansdorp says there could be a reality show based on the selection process and test colony. Paul Römer, the co-founder and executive producer of the show “Big Brother,” is an adviser for Mars One. Other advisers include Nobel Prize winner Dr. Gerard ‘t Hooft and Brian Enke, an analyst at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., who studies space missions.

Even with the complexities of sending a human to Mars, attention has centered on the one-way trip. Those selected won’t come back to Earth, although a return mission to retrieve the explorers might not be out of the question.

“In theory, it is less complex to get people back to Earth once you have a sustainable settlement on Mars,” Lansdorp told “However, our astronauts will be offered a one-way trip. We have no idea when it will be possible to offer return tickets.”

Norbert Kraft, a former NASA researcher who studied group psychology for long-term human missions, says the Mars One crew will have to be carefully selected by psychiatrists and prepped to deal with psychological factors like how to collaborate in stressful situations and anticipate problems.

Meanwhile, NASA has maintained that future missions will probably involve robots. That said, in late 2010, a director of NASA’s Ames Research Center in California did make an off-hand comment about a DARPA project to send a spaceship with humans on a 100-year mission to Mars.

Buzz Aldrin, the lunar module pilot with Neil Armstrong who landed on the moon, has maintained for years that the only way for humans to reach Mars is to plan a one-way mission.

Still, the Mars One project faces some tough issues. Lansdorp says colonists would have to grow plants using a chemical process called hydroponics, which does not use soil. The spaceship design will have to be large enough to accommodate passengers and the fuel needed to reach the Red Planet, which is about 34 million miles from Earth at the closest launch point and orbital position. And, if there are any delays in developing the rockets or technology needed for the trip, Mars One would suffer.

Enke says scientists have learned more about the Martian climate and geography in recent years. He says scientists view a trip to Mars as safer and more affordable now than in the past. Missions that involve only robots will not capture the public’s attention as much as a human mission.

“Over those next ten years, NASA has planned a series of highly complex robotic missions to return a small sample of Martian regolith back to Earth. The cost of these missions will easily exceed $5 billion. When judged in terms of cost-benefit ratio or chances of mission success, these uber-expensive and risky robotic missions now have a hard time competing with simplified human missions,” says Enke.

Enke and Lansdorp both argued that a human can explore in a way a robot can’t. There’s a six-minute delay between communications from Earth to the robot, so the robots would need to be highly autonomous and pre-programmed. Yet, a human can make decisions and judgments as needed.

Enke, who prefers the term “extended stay” mission, says round-trip missions are much more complex because of the need for a contingency return trip. The mission to Mars, he says, removes 90 percent of the uncertainty. “Most of the complexity in short-stay missions involves creating fuel for the return trip, landing and launching an ascent vehicle for the return, orbital rendezvous, or returning to Earth.”

Still, Lansdorp has not quite announced how the Mars One lottery will work. The selection process will start next year, he says. Unfortunately, you can’t make any suggestions.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Two Injured in Suspected Malmö Arson Attack

Two people had to be taken to hospital after a serious fire broke out in a Malmö parking garage on Thursday morning in an incident described by witnesses as an “explosion”.

“We can’t confirm that there was a blast but when we got to the scene there was billowing smoke and some ten vehicles were on fire,” said Gustaf Sandell of the local emergency services to daily Aftonbladet.

The fire started just before 4am on Thursday morning and the smoke soon spread from the garage to a residential building nearby.

Two people, a man and a woman, both residents in the house, had to be taken to hospital to receive medical attention.

Police believe that the unknown perpetrator may have torched one car in the garage, and that the fire spread to nearby vehicles.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swedish Pastor Admits to Serving as Stasi Spy

A Church of Sweden pastor in the diocese of Luleå has admitted to having worked as an “elite spy” for the East German Stasi during the Cold War, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Cows Attack Woman Hiking in Alpine Meadow

A woman is being treated in hospital for injuries after being attacked by cows while hiking through a pasture above Saint-Gingolph, a Valais town on the south bank of Lake Geneva.

The incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon when the hiker and a female companion, accompanied by a dog, walked through a field near the Lac de Lovenex, Valais cantonal police said.

For a reason not yet explained, a herd of cows moved toward the couple, knocking over and injuring one of the hikers in the head, police said.

A Rega rescue team arrived on the scene by helicopter and treated her on the spot before flying her to Lausanne’s university hospital (CHUV).

Her condition is not believed to be life threatening, police said.

Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

Hikers in the Swiss Alps often encounter cows, which spend summers wandering Alpine meadows, many of them traversed by hiking paths. While attacks are are rare, they are not unknown.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tax-Evasion Agreement Signed by Major European Countries

Italy, France, Germany, UK and Spain on board

(ANSA) — Rome, July 26 — Five European countries on Thursday signed an information-exchange agreement that aims to help governments combat tax evasion.

The agreement — signed by Italy, France, Germany, the UK and Spain — is “an important step in efforts to combat international tax evasion through the automatic exchange of information,” said Italian Economy Ministry Vittorio Grilli.

The deal, according to a ministry statement, follows European countries’ efforts to improve tax collection and comply with the impending application of the US’s new FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) rules, which require foreign banks to report and disclose US interests in foreign financial institutions and is aimed at preventing tax avoidance by wealthy US citizens.

The new agreement tells financial institutions what types of information related to financial accounts they need to communicate to their relevant national authorities.

The information is then to be exchanged automatically on the basis of bilateral tax treaties or on existing information-sharing agreements.

The agreement is open to other countries, the statement said. “Cooperation will continue with the aim of reaching equivalent levels in reciprocal information exchange as well as the greatest uniformity in the technical application of the agreed information exchange,” it said. “More detailed guidelines will soon be made available”.

The new agreements — among European countries and between European nations and the US — will respect double-taxation treaties limitations, according to the statement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tony Blair: ‘The West is Asleep on the Issue of Islamist Extremism’

by Charles Moore

The former Labour prime minister talks about religion and politics, lessons from the financial crisis and the future of the euro

Tony Blair is vigorous proof of life after political death. He is back in London, looking well, smartly dressed in the combination of blue suit and brown shoes that, traditionally, is the mark of being not quite a gentleman. “I’ve put my tie on for The Daily Telegraph,” he says. He will be at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday. But today , he has a different purpose. The Westminster Faith Debates, chaired by his former home secretary Charles Clarke, will close with a conversation tonight between Mr Blair, the Archbishop of Canterbury and me. The subject is religion and society.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Brixton Muslims Celebrate Ramadan at Gresham Road Mosque

Ramadan started last week for Brixton’s Islamic community, and the Brixton Mosque, Gresham Road, will be serving up nighttime meals from jerk chicken to Somalian dishes. Omar Jamaykee, imam at the mosque, described the main activities of a typical Ramadan day: “The mosque will be open most of the time, during the day and night, for people to come in, pray and read if they want. At the time of Iftar, the breaking of the fast, we’ll provide a light meal of dates, water or milk, and after the prayers there’ll be a full proper meal.

“Because we’re very multicultural, we cook traditional dishes from various countries, so sometimes Caribbean, sometimes north African, Somalian, Eritrean, Asian.”


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Leader Loses Sharia Law Fight Over Divorce Settlement

A MUSLIM leader who ignored a divorce judge’s order to pay his ex-wife £60,000 maintenance has been told by the Appeal Court that he cannot rely on Muslim tradition to absolve him of his financial responsibilities. In a test case clash of Muslim and UK matrimonial law, Lord Justice Ward ruled that a belief that maintenance payments to spouses are ‘illegitimate or illegal according to Islamic culture’ is no defence to orders made in English divorce courts. Dr Zaid Al-Saffar, a consultant rheumatologist at Scarborough Hospital and the head of the town’s Islamic society, married academic Hanan Al-Saffar in April 2000. They had two children before splitting in 2008. The couple’s row over finances came before District Judge Alan Jones at the County Court, Blackburn, where Mrs Al-Saffar, who is in her 30s, now lives, in May 2008.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Mohammed Amin: Islamophobia — A Trap for Unwary Muslims

Mohammed Amin is Vice Chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum. He is writing in a personal capacity.

There are some statements with which almost everyone in our society agrees:

  • Every citizen in our country should have the same civil and legal rights.
  • Everyone should be able to walk down the street without fearing being beaten up or being spat at.
  • Everyone should be free to walk around without having verbal abuse shouted at them.
  • Subject to some basic rules about decency and security, everyone should be free to dress as they want.
  • Nobody should face discrimination in employment or the provision of goods and services on the grounds of age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage or civil partnership status; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; or sexual orientation. (This list is an almost verbatim reproduction of the Equality Act 2010 section 4, amended only to permit a grammatical sentence.)

There are a few people, such as racists or religious extremists, who reject some or all of the above rights, but such rejectionist views are generally regarded as being “beyond the pale.”


[Reader comment by David J on 26 July 2012 at about 12:30 pm.]

I hope I’m tolerant of all religions. But I must say that Muslims in the UK appear to want to be exempt from some of our national laws: unwilling,or unable, to learn our language or customs; unwilling to intergrate with the majority population. Part of this problem is that we allowed immigration from the Indian sub-continent of people who had no knowledge of our way of life, language or traditions. What a dreadful mistake and let us admit we were wrong. Muslims must intergrate with the host population, or the problem will get worse. And why on earth do we need a “Conservative Muslim Forum”, we may as well have a Conservative Bird Watchers Forum?

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Anger as Water Cut Off During Ramadan Fast

FASTING muslims preparing for their pre-dawn meal were left high and dry after water supplies were shut off without warning. Thirsty worshippers observing Ramadan — the month in which believers of the Islamic faith fast during daylight — flocked to Texaco in Bath Road in the early hours of the morning when they were left without running water on the hottest day of the year. Supplies were disrupted by engineers from Severn Trent carrying out routine checks at about 2am yesterday.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: NHS Issues Special Advice to Help Fasting Muslims

HEALTH officials fear Muslim patients could be putting themselves at risk — because they wrongly think they are not allowed prescription drugs during Ramadan. They have advised district nurses and other community health staff in North Staffordshire to refer the patients to their religious elders if they refuse to take the vital medications during the fasting period which lasts until August 19.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Sutton Council Receives Application for Mosque in Worcester Park

Plans for a controversial new mosque in Worcester Park have been met with fierce opposition. Businesses and residents have joined forces to sign a petition to ensure the plans do not go ahead. Petitions have been seen in various shops along Central Road which claim the increased traffic would bring the area to a stand still. Sutton Council has received a submission for a place of worship at numbers 2-4 Green Lane. Although the council are yet to confirm plans are for a mosque, the drawings which have been submitted include plans for a male and a female prayer room.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: The Government is Asking Britons to Behave Like Soviets

by Cristina Odone

I’m married to a former Moscow correspondent. He is incandescent at what he considers the Sovietisation of Britain. Most obvious, during these Olympics, are the Games Lanes: just as in Soviet Russia, the nomenklatura can roar down a specially-designated lane to their destination (be that the women’s volley ball finals or the five bedroomed house in Notting Hill); while ordinary people (or peasants) inch their way to and from work through traffic. We have yet to see what is routine in Moscow (the illicit purchase of fake sirens, which for a small fortune drivers can place on top of their cars, in order to get preferential treatment on the road), but already, the “special lanes” send out a clear message: our time is of no importance; theirs is precious.

Far more sinister, though, is the news that HMRC are trying to encourage our children to snitch on tax-evaders. Setting child against parent is another old trick of the Soviets. It resulted in inter-generational misery, as children programmed to inform on their family were left as orphans when mummy and daddy were banished to the Gulag, suspected of unpatriotic behaviour. We don’t have the Gulag, and Dave doesn’t model himself on Stalin (just on Obama, according to US Republicans), but HMRC has set up special modules to teach children as young as 11 about paying their fair share of tax. It also asks: “What do students think of those who refuse to pay tax or try and defraud the benefits system? Can they think of any example they may have heard of in their local area?” The revenue doesn’t actually spell out, “tell Uncle Joe if you know anyone who’s not paying taxes” — but that may be in a forthcoming module. In the meantime, parents everywhere, beware: your little treasure is being taught to spy on you, and hand you over to the authorities.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: You Can’t Use Sharia Law in Divorce Deal: Muslim Hospital Consultant Told to Pay Ex-Wife Maintenance Despite Claims He Owes Her Nothing Under Islamic Rules

A Muslim hospital consultant was told yesterday that he must pay his ex-wife maintenance even though under Islamic rules he believes he owes her nothing.

A judge told Dr Zaid Al-Saffar that he must follow ‘the rule in this country’ and share his money.

The Appeal Court decision means Dr Al-Saffar must pay £60,000 to his former wife, academic Hanan Al-Saffar.

The ruling sounded a warning to Muslim couples who believe their marriages are ordered according to sharia law and agree to be bound by Islamic courts.

Lord Justice Ward told Dr Al-Saffar: ‘The rule in this country is that you share and the starting point is equal division.

‘You came out of the marriage without having made your wife any substantial capital payment.’

He added: ‘Life is sometimes hard; do not be consumed with bitterness.’

But Dr Al-Saffar said after the case: ‘By playing the system and pretending to be a victim she got everything, which I think is totally unfair.

‘Family law in this country is biased against Muslim people.’

The consultant rheumatologist at Scarborough Hospital in North Yorkshire, who is also the head of the Islamic Society in the resort town, was married for eight years, and the couple had two children.

The marriage was formalised following the Islamic tradition of Mahr, under which the groom pays a gift to his bride.

Because of this, his wife had signed away her share of the couple’s home in Belvedere Road, in Scarborough.

Dr Al-Saffar also assumed he had no obligation to make maintenance payments, and that, following Islamic practice, his former wife’s family would support her.

However, after the marriage fell apart in 2008, a county court judge ordered him to pay £60,000 to his wife in a hearing to settle the legal terms of their break-up.

Dr Al-Saffar made payments for only four months but then contested the decision.

In the Appeal Court, he told Lord Justice Ward that he had stopped paying because he had heard his former wife had inherited £250,000 from her father and had become ‘very, very well off’.

Dr Al-Saffar, who represented himself, told the court: ‘I have nothing but respect for the court’s order, but I only stopped paying because all her family were telling me she’s got millions. She doesn’t need it.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

US Still Bringing Home WWII Dead

This month, an archeological team is excavating a site in Belgium in hopes of recovering the remains of American airmen whose bomber went missing during the Battle of the Bulge. Their efforts highlight a massive US military mission that is becoming increasingly important as time goes by.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Young Swedes Nab Jobs From Norwegian Youth

A steady stream of keen young Swedes over the border has made it more difficult for young people in Norway to get part-time or summer jobs, according to a new study.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Five Italian Fishing Vessels Seized in Egypt

(AGI) Palermo — Five Italian fishing vessels from Mazara del Valle were seized in Egypt late this afternoon about 22 miles off Alexandria. They are the “Flori”, the “Eros”, the “Atlantide”, the “Ghibli I” and “Luna Rossa, as reported by the president of the Mazara Fishing district, Giovanni Tmbiolo, who had been informed by the skippers. Tumbiolo immediately contacted the Italian Ambassador in Cairo, Claudio Pacifico.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata has also been informed and only a few hours earlier had received the President of the Republic of Egypt. Minister Terzi immediately ordered the intervention of diplomatic authorities in order to follow matters attentively. The Italian Consul in Alexandria, Mario Vinci, is working with the local authorities and will be there to receive the crews when the vessels reach the port of Alexandria. Tumbiolo has also contacted Egypt’s Minister for Fishing, Fathy Osman .

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

Morocco Scraps Free Education for All Model

Only the poorest won’t pay; investments from France, Russia

(ANSAMed) — TUNIS, JULY 24 — Morocco is about to scrap its free education for all policy in favor of a sliding scale system, with the richer kids paying tuition and the poorest paying none,Higher Education Minister Lahcen Daoudi announced on Monday.

Teachers’ unions are already in an uproar over the new system, which will be in place beginning in the 2013-2014 academic year, and which does away with seniority-based promotions in favor of merit-based advancement, following the US publish or perish model.

The reform especially affects students fo higher learning institutions, which so far have been completely free of charge.

The government is also looking at creative financing methods, such as foreign investments in Morocco’s education system. France is a probable partner given its past colonial relationship with Morocco, while Russia is planning to open a multidisciplinary, 14-department university in Casablanca, with courses taught in English and Russian.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Teargas in Protests for the Cost of Living Hike in Tunisia

(AGI) Sidi Bouzid — A new outburst of protest is ongoing in Tunisia, where clashes are reported between the Police and protesters. Protesters have taken to the streets in an outcry against the hike in the cost of living. According to reports by eye-witnesses of France Press, dozens of persons surrounded the city’s Administration offices this morning crying slogans against the Government and setting fire to several cars. The Police responded by dispersing the protesters with tear-gas canisters and firing warning shots.

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

Middle East

Aleppo: Syrian Rebels Storm and Burn Down Police Station

(AGI) Nicosia — Free Syrian Army forces stormed and set fire to a police station in Aleppo, in the Shaar district. News media present at the scene report that the insurgents killed at least two officers and wounded several others, while other officers were captured and taken away.

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

‘Bars for Ramadan’ List Sparks Protest in Dubai

London (CNN) — An English-language magazine in Dubai has been accused of disrespecting Islam by recommending places to drink during Ramadan. Time Out Dubai, a popular city guide in the Emirate, published the offending article in its Ramadan issue, which promised to help readers “make the most of the Holy Month.” The story, headlined “5 to try: bars in Ramadan,” listed bars in the city that were remaining open throughout Ramadan, giving their hours of operation.


[JP note: Mustafa Beer.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Detentions of Activists Are Reported in U.A.E.

DUBAI — In the early hours of Tuesday morning, Mohamed al-Roken drove toward his local police station here to report that his son and son-in-law were missing. Along the way, he found himself surrounded by plainclothes security officers and detained, according to his family.

Mr. Roken, along with his son, Rashid, and son-in-law, Abdulla al-Hajeri, are 3 of at least 14 Emiratis who have been arrested since Monday morning by the United Arab Emirates state security apparatus, human rights advocates and family members said. Nearly two dozen activists are now being held by the authorities.

The arrests are part of a widening crackdown on U.A.E. citizens, some of them Islamists but also academics and stateless people known as bidoon.

“This may be a way to frighten opposition on all sides,” said Christopher Davidson, an expert on Gulf issues at Durham University in England.

This week’s crackdown comes days before the expected start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and highlights an increasingly public conflict in the Emirates.

Unlike many Arab countries, the Emirates have emerged largely unscathed from the unrest that has spread across the region from the Arab Spring that began 18 months ago.

But a debate on free speech and political freedom among Emiratis has emerged, as the leaders here try to maintain a balance between the more conservative character of their neighbors and a desire to preserve their status as a Western-style business hub.

While the trend among natives is still to keep quiet and enjoy the comfortable life provided by the rulers, a small group of activists is agitating for greater political participation — and drawing the attention of the authorities.

Bushra al-Roken, Mohamed al-Roken’s daughter, said the family received a phone call from her father at 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

“We couldn’t understand that much,” she said, “but we could hear voices and my father saying, ‘They’re taking me.”‘

On Sunday, the state media issued a statement saying the authorities were investigating “a group of people who established and ran an organization which aims to commit crimes against the security and constitution of the country.” Members of this group have “connections with foreign organizations and agendas,” the statement added.

Mr. Roken, a lawyer, was defending several Emiratis who had been arrested on charges of threatening state security. Many of those arrested are members of Al Islah Reform and Social Guidance Association, which holds beliefs similar to those of the Muslim Brotherhood, the mainstream Islamic organization.

Many of these activists say they would like to see Islam play a more prominent role in everyday life in the Emirates, and they have also called for a more democratic political system in the country, a group of seven principalities ruled by hereditary emirs.

The authorities regard Al Islah as a homegrown proxy for the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that they see as gaining influence in the region — especially after the recent election of a Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi, as Egypt’s president.

The families of those detained are scrambling to find them. Asma al-Siddiq said her husband, Omran al-Redhwan, was arrested Monday morning at the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank in Sharjah, where he works as a legal consultant. Ms. Siddiq said she had not heard from the authorities about the reason for her husband’s arrest or where he was being held.

“I am looking at social media sites, Twitter to try to find information,” she said…

[Orwellian, as usual! The arrests of Islamic brothers are not interesting to the NYT; they focus on the concurrent arrest of a few activists for the so-called stateless Arabs (bidoon, not Bedouin)… a different opera although maybe orchestrated again by the M** brothers. Horrible. — RR]

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Dubai Police Chief Talks of ‘International Plot’ To Overthrow Gulf Governments

DUBAI: Dubai’s top police official has warned of an “international plot” to overthrow the Gulf Arab countries’ governments. Dahi Khalfan, who has been outspoken on his criticism of Islamic governments in the region and at the same time continues a crackdown of opposition activists in the United Arab Emirates. “There’s an international plot against Gulf states in particular and Arab countries in general … This is preplanned to take over our fortunes,” Khalfan told reporters at a gathering late on Wednesday marking the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. “The bigger our sovereign wealth funds and the more money we put in the banks of Western countries, the bigger the plot to take over our countries … The brothers and their governments in Damascus and North Africa have to know that the Gulf is a red line, not only for Iran but also for the Brothers as well.” Almost all the detainees in the UAE since April are considered conservative Muslims and have been targeted since the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt and an Islamic group in Tunisia.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Govt Rejects Kuwaiti Muslim Brethren Request

KUWAIT: A few members of the Kuwaiti Muslim Brethren group recently urged the government to issue a clear statement to refute what they considered rumors regarding their involvement in terrorist organizations arrested in UAE, including Kuwaitis, said informed sources. The sources added that the request was rejected by the Kuwaiti government, which clearly shows the government’s rejection on grounds that accusing any political bloc would eventually be an insult to Kuwait.

Further, the sources highlighted that the Kuwaiti government refused to interfere in the case as it was purely UAE’s domestic concern. The sources also stressed that UAE has not officially declared the involvement of Kuwaitis in the arrested organization and that Kuwait would never tolerate any violation of its law or involvement in security-threatening organizations.

On commencing her tenure as minister of planning and development, Minister Dr. Rola Dashti held a monthly meeting with undersecretaries of the ministries concerned with the development projects to handle any impediments in executing the development plan and saving time in solving problems.

In this regard, informed sources said that Dashti received a green light from the Cabinet on this subject and was asked to push concerned ministries to the meetings’ decisions and recommendations since they would be approved by relevant ministers already represented at the meeting by their undersecretaries.

Economically, a court yesterday adjourned the hearing of a case filed demanding nullification of Kuwait Finance House (KFH)’s general assembly and postponing it to a hearing on August 14. Notably, a KFH shareholder had filed case number 2236/2012 against the minister of commerce and industry and others requesting nullification of two KFH board members’ membership as well as that of the whole board.

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Syria: Battle Intensifies in Aleppo

Fighting in Aleppo raged through the night and into Thursday, a monitoring group said, after the army and rebels rushed in reinforcements for what is seen as a decisive battle for Syria’s second city.

Clashes also erupted on Thursday in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp in Damascus, activists said, as regime forces set about mopping up last pockets of rebel resistance in the capital.

The battles in Aleppo followed a day of heavy fighting in the northern city in which at least 19 civilians, three rebel fighters and an unknown number of soldiers died, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “There are clashes (on Thursday) in the Muhafaza district and shelling on the Mushhad and Sheikh Badr neighbourhoods, which killed a child and injured seven people,” the Britain-based Observatory said. Aleppo’s Salaheddin neighbourhood, scene of fierce fighting for days, was also bombarded by regime troops during the night, the watchdog said.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Syria: Al Qaeda-Allied Islamic Rebels in the Fight Against Assad

Photos, videos and claims of attacks confirm the presence of hundreds of militants on Syrian territory. Most come from foreign countries, including Russia, Somalia and Mali. British organization for the defense raises the possibility of a military coup led by Western countries.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) -, Rebels fighting against the Assad regime in the northwest of Syria have found an exceptional ally: al-Qaeda and hundreds of Islamists from foreign countries. The most representative states are Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan. But there are also members from Russia (Chechnya), Ukraine, Mali and Somalia. The presence of the extremists is confirmed by several videos that have appeared on jihadist websites that show men with covered faces, lauding the holy war, brandishing machine guns, bombs and waving the black flag of al-Qaeda. In a film that appeared a few days ago on Youtube a voiceover shouts “we’re forming cells of suicide bombers to continue the holy war in the name of God.”

To date, the opposition has denied the presence of Islamic extremist groups among its ranks, but according to experts, the borders with Turkey and Iraq have become veritable collection centers for militants from around the Sunni Muslim world. Some have described the Syrian scenario as a “magnet” for al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Witnesses say that hundreds of foreigners have come to Bab al-Hawa checkpoint on the Turkish border to support the Free Syrian Army in the battle for Aleppo. What drives these people across Asia and North Africa, is not a desire for democracy, but the exemplary punishment of “nusayrs” (heretics) a derogatory name for the Alawites, the Shiite sect of Bashar al-Assad.

The intensifying of battles in the northern province of Aleppo has also attracted hundreds of jihadists from Iraq. This is confirmed by a recent Iraqi government survey which finds that the militants operating on Syrian territory are part of the same group that claimed responsibility for bombings that have shaken Iraq in recent months. “Our lists of suspects — says Izzar al-Shahbandar, advisor to the Prime Minister — have the same names — they match those of the Syrian authorities.”

Pictures that appeared on some forums with links to Al-Qaeda also show groups of veterans of the war in Libya. According to Lebanon news agency Naharnet, some show men dressed in black brandishing a banner that reads: “The revolutionaries of the Tripoli brigade.” The confirmation of hectic activities of Islamic extremists on Syrian soil comes from the same number of attacks claimed by al-Qaeda. Since December, there have been at least with 35car bomb attacks and 10 suicide attacks on Syrian soil. Of these 4 were claimed by the “Front Nusra” of Al Qaeda.

The presence of jihadi groups from the Syrian free Army raised many controversies on a diplomatic level. Yesterday Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, has accused the United States policy of supporting anti Asssasd Islamist insurgents. He criticized the position of Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, who never condemned the attack in Damascus last July 18 that claimed the lives of several prominent members of the regime, calling instead for the imposition of new sanctions.

Meanwhile, the possibility of an armed intervention to depose President Assad is gaining ground. A study by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), a British organization specializing in issues of international politics and defense, warns of a likely clash between Sunni groups supported by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states and Shi’ite militias, including Hezbollah and the Syrian army, backed by Iran. In addition, there is the threat of chemical weapons in the hands of the Syrian regime. The presence of chemical weapons worries Israel which has already begun distributing gas masks in the towns on the border with Syria. In recent days, Shimon Peres, Israeli president, said that the likely use of unconventional weapons by the Damascus regime poses a serious risk to the security of Israel. In the event of a fall of the regime, Peres fears the potential transfer of Syrian heavy weapons or chemical weapons arsenal to Lebanese Shiite fundamentalist Hezbollah or Iran, but also their theft by Islamic groups linked to al-Qaeda.

According to Michael Clarke, head of RUSI, a Western military intervention is necessary before the war degenerates. “ We are not moving towards intervention, but intervention is moving towards us.” Clarke argues that the events of recent days have created a radical change in the situation which leaves little possibility for a diplomatic solution to the conflict. The head of RUSI suggests the intervention of special forces in support of rebel groups, already used in Afghanistan in 2001 and Libya in 2011. These operations may also include a coup against the regime.

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

UAE: The Grandeur of a Mosque

As darkness falls marking the time for the evening prayer, Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque welcomes worshippers into a pool of light.

Though many days are left for the final week of Ramadan when mosques worldwide are filled as at no other time of the year, thousands are already beating a path to the vast courtyard and marble halls of the UAE’s Grand Mosque. They walk briskly through the mosque grounds, equal in size to roughly five football fields, towards the collection of domes and minarets glowing softly at their centre.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: America and NATO Misadventures

By Abid Mustafa

“The West has already failed in Afghanistan, just as the Soviets failed in the 1980s and the British way back in the nineteenth century.” — John Humphrys

After having fought for more than a decade in Afghanistan, America has yet to show any considerable gains for its brutal occupation. Nonetheless, there are some diehard American strategists who beg to differ, and argue that America has achieved its primary objective, which was to establish a few military bases in Afghanistan to counter Russia, China and the future Caliphate state for the eventual supremacy over Eurasia. But, even this lofty ideal when measured against the reality on the ground appears too remote to be categorized as a worthy accomplishment. On the contrary, the rampant instability in Afghanistan not only puts into jeopardy the viability of such strategic objectives, but more importantly raises questions about how long can America afford to stay stuck in the Afghan quagmire and continue to report failure after failure.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

‘Auschwitz-Like’ Afghan Military Hospital Investigation ‘Delayed’

An investigation into “Auschwitz-like conditions” at Afghanistan’s top military hospital was allegedly delayed by a top US general for political reasons, Congress has heard.

When inquiries were first made into Nato’s support of the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) medical system, the US Medical Training Advisory Group (MTAG) described “horrid conditions at the Afghan National Military Hospital in Kabul, the ‘crown jewel’ of the ANA medical system,” said retired Colonel Gerald Carozza in testimony. On a visit by Colonel Mark Fassl, the Inspector General of the Nato Training Mission, to the Dawood National Military Hospital, “what he found was horrifying,” said Col Carozza. “Patients were lying in filth, in some cases starving and with grotesque bed sores.” Col Carrozza said the advisory team found one patient who “was on the brink of starving to death” and who died “despite intense efforts led by the US Medical Advisory Group to save him.” Besides the atrocious conditions pervading the country’s best military hospital, the Inspector General of the Afghan Defence Ministry said staff would “not tend to patients unless the patients were from their clan or they were able to pay gratuities for the care,” Col Carozza said.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

In Indonesia, A Debate Over Holy Volume Knobs

by Patrick Winn

Are minaret sound systems cranked too loud?

The Islamic call to prayer, broadcast through speakers installed in minarets, is as essential to the Indonesian soundscape as songbirds, traffic noise and street kids busking with out-of-tune ukeleles. Anyone near civilization should expect to hear the “azhan” (prayer call) five times per day in Indonesia. But during Ramadan festivities, mosques broadcast prayer recitations more than usual. And the ongoing celebration of Islam’s holy month has revived a debate over the sheer loudness of some mosques’ sound systems.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

India: Mosque Row: ASI Gets Cop Cover, Will Dig After Rains

NEW DELHI: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told the Delhi high court on Wednesday that it’s facing a law and order problem at the site in Subhash Park where it was asked to investigate if a mosque lies underneath. The ASI has also sought continuous protection from the Delhi Police and added that it would prefer to begin digging work at the site after the monsoon as trenches will be flooded. A special bench comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri, Justice S K Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher instructed the police to provide protection and said all stakeholders will maintain peace. Recording the undertaking given by everyone before the LG a day before, HC made it clear it won’t tolerate any attempts to politicize or communalize the situation.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Myanmar Muslims Killed for Not Converting to Buddhism: JI


JAMAAT-e-Islami Syed Munawar Hasan has expressed grave concerns that Myanmar Muslims were being massacred after they rejected the Buddhist pressure to convert to Buddhism. He appealed to the world community, especially the Muslim rulers, to exert diplomatic pressure on Myanmar government to stop its atrocities on Muslim population and protect their basic human rights. He said this in a statement after a three-member delegation of Myanmar Muslims called on him at Mansoora on Wednesday and apprised him of the plight of Myanmar Muslims and the brutalities being perpetrated on them. Syed Munawar Hasan said tens of thousands of Myanmar Muslims were lying at the borders of Burma and Bangladesh. They badly need financial assistance. He said they were being tortured by the state machinery and the armed forces. But unfortunately, the world community, the media and the so-called human rights bodies were completely silent.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Pakistan Taliban Against Myanmar, Vow Revenge Over Rohingya Blood

Extremist movement Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) threatens to strike at Myanmar targets in Pakistan and abroad. Extremists tell Pakistani government to break off diplomatic relations and close Myanmar’s embassy in Islamabad. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation intervenes in the matter.

Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Extremist Muslim group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) threatened to attack Myanmar to avenge crimes against Muslim Rohingya, unless Pakistan breaks off relations with that country and shuts its embassy in Islamabad. In a rare statement on the plight of Muslims abroad, the TTP described itself as a defender of Muslims in Myanmar, promising to “take revenge of your blood”. The Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also sent a letter to Myanmar President Thein Sein, calling for an end to violence against the ethnic minority in the basis of international law.

TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan told the Pakistani government to cut ties with Myanmar and close its embassy; “Otherwise we will not only attack Burmese interests anywhere, but will also attack the Pakistani friends of Burma one by one.”

Although the TTP has frequently claimed attacks on security forces in Pakistan, it is unclear whether it can operate abroad or not. For US officials however, there is evidence the group was behind a failed 2010 attempt to bomb Times Square in New York.

OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu also intervened in the matter, writing to Myanmar’s president to seek assurances with regards to the safety and security of the Rohingyas as Myanmar citizens. In his letter, Ihsanoglu called on Thein Sein to take the appropriate for rapid and effective investigations into the atrocities committed against Rohingya Muslims in the past few weeks.

Copies of the OIC letters were also delivered to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

In June, the District Court in Kyaukphyu, Rakhine State, sentenced three Muslim to death, after they were found guilty in the rape and killing in late May of Thida Htwe, a young Arakanese Buddhist, sparking violent sectarian clashes between Muslims and Buddhists. In one incident, an angry mob killed ten Muslims on a bus who were totally unconnected to the violence. The spiral of hatred has resulted in unrest that left 29 people dead, 16 Muslims and 13 Buddhists, as well as 38 wounded.

According to official sources, at least 2,600 homes have been burnt. Hundreds of Rohingya have tried to seek refuge in coastal Bangladesh, but were turned away by the local authorities.

Myanmar is composed of more than 135 ethnic groups, who have not always easily coexisted. In the past, the military junta has used an iron fist against the most recalcitrant of them.

Myanmar Muslims constitute about 4 per cent of a population of 60 million people, some 750,000 of them are Rohingya, according to the United Nations, mostly in Rakhine State.

Another million or more are scattered in other countries such as Bangladesh, Thailand and Malaysia.

After coming to power over a year ago, Thein Sein has been moving the country from military dictatorship to a limited form of democracy. For the first time since he took office, the president recently declared a state of emergency in the aforementioned area.

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

Far East

China: Bo Xilai’s Wife Charged With Murder

Indictment confirmed by the People’s Court of Hefei. Kailai Gu and the butler Zhang Xiaojun, charged with poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood in his hotel room.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The People’s Court of Hefei has charged Kailai Gu, the wife of Bo Xilai, the former head of the Communist Party in Chongqing, for the murder of Neil Heywood, a British citizen and family advisor. The court also accused the butler Zhang Xiaojun, of aiding and abetting in Heywood’s murder. According to China’s main news agency Xinhua, there is substantial evidence against the two. Kailai Gu and Xiaojun are believed to have poisoned the man to prevent revelations about murky family affairs abroad, and threats against her son Bo Guagua.

The announcement comes a week after the decision French architect Devillers Patrick, close to the Bo family, to participate in the trial against the former communist leader.

Suspicions surrounding the murder of Neil Heywood emerged in February. In March, the case of Bo Xilai broke, seriously undermining the Chinese Communist Party. His fall is one of the most spectacular political dramas in China since Tiananmen. Upon until his removal, on March 15, he was seen as a successful man, destined to join the Politburo Standing Committee. His populist campaign to revive Maoism distributing wealth to the poor was shared by several fringes of the party, including several “princes” such as Xi Jinping, the successor of President Hu Jintao. In his attempt to “clean Chongqing” of mafia triads, he used illegal methods and also arrested hundreds of party members.

The façade of Maoist populism did not stop Bo and his family however from amassing enormous wealth at home and abroad. According to rumors, Heywoods’ threat to reveal the proportions of this wealth, sealed his fate, hitherto regarded as “an old family friend.”

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

Chinese Firms Warn EU Against Solar Trade War

This week, a group of European solar panel firms asked the European Commission to levy punitive tariffs on their Chinese rivals, who they accuse of selling products at unfairly low prices. Chinese manufacturers are outraged, warning on Thursday that a trade war could be brewing.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Council Rejects Mosque Plea

A Muslim leader has accused the City of Gosnells of religious discrimination over its rejection of a planned prayer hall in Thornlie. In a scathing attack on the council yesterday, Australian Islamic College Thornlie campus imam Burhaan Mehtar said the 5-4 vote on Tuesday night to again refuse continuing community use of an assembly hall as a mosque was disappointing. Imam Mehtar said in the almost two-year battle in the State Administrative Tribunal the college had “bent more than backwards” by agreeing to onerous conditions he claimed were not imposed on any other religious group.


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Escalating Violence in Nigeria Kills 5 Police, 1 Civilian

(AGI) Abuja — Three policemen were killed when their patrol was attacked this morning by armed men in Bauchi State in northeastern Nigeria. The government reports that on Wednesday night, armed men attacked a police station in Borno State, killing two policemen and a civilian. In another attack on the same day, two Indian citizens were killed in an attack on a factory in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State. A third Indian was injured and is in a local hospital in serious conditions.

Local government officials have blamed yesterday’s incidents on Boko Haram, an Islamic terror group based in Borno State. At the beginning of July in Maiduguri, nine local employees of an Italian, Angelo Landoni, were murdered. His company was rebuilding the mosque in the city’s center. Maidaguri is the seat of the ‘shehu’ of Borno, the second most important person in Nigerian Islam after the sultan of Sokoto. (AGI) .

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

Ethiopia: Muslim Students Say They Are Not “Radical”

CAIRO: A group of Muslim activists from Ethiopia lashed out at the international coverage of protests in the country that have seen police violence meted out against Muslims in the East African nation. In an email to, the activists, who said they were “concerned Muslim Ethiopians,” argued that the current protests are not about a specific Islam being pushed, but the overall need for Ethiopia to maintain freedom of religion. “We are a group of university students and we are frustrated with much of the coverage that has been existing in the international media concerning the protests that have been taking place in our country,” the email began. “As Muslims living in Ethiopia we would like the world to know that we are not against Christians, but are against the government’s efforts to crackdown on our community and attempt to tell us which version of Islam we should be following. The police have attacked and even killed Muslims at mosques for not complying with the government on our faith. This is unacceptable and we would like to bring the international attention to our situation and warn against labeling us Muslims as radical. We are not. We are simply citizens who want to practice our faith as we want,” the statement continued.

Internationally, reports have suggested that “radical Islam” is battling the government in a push toward violence. The university students say this is simply not true and a “fear tactic against Islam.”


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]


Police Pick Up 125 Migrants Off Puglia Coast

‘Women, children, entire families on board’

(ANSA) — Gallipoli, July 26 — Italian authorities picked up 125 immigrants off the southern coast of Puglia on Thursday. The immigrants, many of whom self-identified as Pakistani, were aboard a fishing vessel that departed from Greece four days ago, police said. Passengers included 40 women and 30 children and consisted of entire families.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

French Senate Adopts ‘Transphobia’ Legislation

The French parliament has voted to make the harassment and discrimination of transgender people a criminal offence, as part of a bill addressing sexual harassment.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

One thought on “News Feed 20120726

  1. The lengthy article about James Holmes, the Colorado shooter, gives him way too much credit.

    In describing him as a “PhD candidate” the article gives the implication that he has been admitted to candidacy, meaning that he has passed all of his qualifying exams. Everything that I have read indicates that Holmes was fairly new to the program and thus had probably not taken any of those exams. He was a PhD student, but I have seen nothing to indicate that he was a PhD candidate.

    Doctoral students have very little supervision. In describing him as a “busy PhD student,” that assumes that he was continuing his studies right up until the time of the attack. That seems very unlikely. Much more likely, he abandoned his studies several months ago, but his support continued, giving him time, support, and perhaps even research funds to use in developing his attack plans. This attack was not put together on the spur of the moment, but rather was developed over a lengthy period. He would have had that time and the means to do it.

    He had long been a “top science student” so it does not take much more than some simple chemistry and a bit of basic physics to rig some bombs for his apartment. This is really not hard to do, especially with all the information available on the internet.

    He had time, money, and the ability to do everything that he did with relative ease. There is really no surprise here, other than to ask how his mind became so badly warped.

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