I’m trying a little experiment here.
We get so many news tips nowadays that we are unable to use more than 5% of them. A lot of the stories I leave out are interesting and important, but I don’t have time to write posts about them.
However, I do have time to clip the URL, the headline, and a snip from each and paste it into a text document. This morning I wrote a script that reads the text document and makes it into a post, in a format that will at least be readable and have links to the sources.
It’s not the most esthetically appealing way to display the information, but it does keep the tips from going to waste. I’ll include anything I judge to be even moderately significant. These are in no particular order.
Let me know if you don’t think this is a good use of this space.
The stories below are from yesterday’s batch; late tonight I’ll attempt to do the same with today’s material.
Thanks to Insubria, C. Cantoni, Steen, TB, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.
MIDEAST: OLMERT CABINET RE-EXAMINES ISRAEL-HEZBOLLAH ACCORD
(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, JULY 8 — The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be summoned again next week to discuss the prisoner swap agreement with the Lebanese Hezbollah mediated by Germany. The principle agreement has already been signed, but according to today¿s media, Israel is not satisfied with the report of Hezbollah on the destiny of Ron Arad, the Phantom pilot who was reported missing after falling in the area of Sidon in 1986. According to media speculations, Hezbollah write they have investigated the accident in detail and believe that Arad died in Lebanon many years ago. They claim they still do not know where he was buried. Israel insists on receiving more information such as the list of people questioned by Hezbollah in the process of writing the report. Meanwhile the exhumation of the bodies of 190 Hezbollah militants continues in a cemetery in the Galilee. In the middle of next week, if no other obstacles appear, the remains will be returned to Lebanon together with five prisoners: Druse Samir Kuntar and four Shiites. In exchange, Israel will receive two soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah two years ago, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Hezbollah has so far refused to give any details on their destiny, but Israel presumes they are dead. (ANSAmed).
This country to so pro-Muslim it is giving succour to the extremists who would destroy us
by Melanie Phillips
Three years after the London Tube and bus bombings, it is alarming beyond measure to record that Britain is even now sleepwalking into Islamisation. Some people will think this is mere hyperbole. However, that’s the problem. Britain still doesn’t grasp that it is facing a pincer attack from both terrorism and cultural infiltration and usurpation.
Italy: New sites canvassed for Milan’s crowded mosque
Milan, 7 July (AKI) — Uncertainly surrounding the future of one of Italy’s main mosques continued on Tuesday as the northern region of Lombardy canvassed new sites for its relocation.
The Lombardy Region, which surrounds the city of Milan, produced a list of around 50 possible new locations for a larger mosque in the city and surrounding areas.
Middle East: Investment bank expands operations in region
Riyadh, 8 July (AKI) — One of the world’s largest investment banks, UBS, will expand its operations in the Middle East by opening a new office in Saudi Arabia and applying for a licence to operate in Qatar.
The bank was granted ‘conditional authorisation’ by the Saudi Capital Market Authority, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
France to extradite ex-terrorist. Sarkozy urges Berlusconi to have Petrella pardoned
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(ANSA) — Tokyo, July 8 — French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed on Tuesday that France will extradite to Italy a former member of the Red Brigades (BR) terrorist group who was arrested in a Paris suburb last August.
Marina Petrella, 54, was convicted by an Italian court in 1992 of the 1981 murder of a police officer and was wanted for other crimes, including kidnapping and armed robbery.
Spain: Funding for new Afghan unit to fight Taliban
Madrid, 8 July (AKI) — Spain is to spend 22 million euros in the next two years for the creation of an Afghan battalion to fight the Taliban.
Firsts in sectarian conflict
An illicit affair between a 17-year-old Coptic man and an 18-year-old Muslim married woman from the town of Tamiya in Fayoum resulted in Muslim demonstrations and the torching of Copts’ property last week. A Coptic-owned supermarket, timber store, and kiosk were torched, an attempt was made to set a gas station aflame but the fire was quickly put out. Two Coptic-owned cars were damaged, and two young men attacked.
SPAIN: ‘NO’ TO RELIGIOUS STATE FUNERALS ABOLITION, ZAPATERO
(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JULY 8 — Spanish Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is committed to turn into law the progressive principles approved by the 37th Socialist congress on secularity, immigration and abortion, but stopped the Socialist proposal to abolish the Catholic rite in state funerals. The socialist Prime Minister yesterday opposed a proposal ruled polemical, defending “the right of the families” of the deceased to taking last leave of their bodies “with the solemnity conferred by the religious acts” to the state funerals, El Pais wrote today on its front page. Zapatero, however, announced that he will prepare the necessary acts for the removal of the religious symbols from schools and public offices. The first initiative which will be turned into a law is that related to the granting of voting rights to immigrants. However, a law that will renew the twenty-year legislation on abortions will be prepared by 2010, introducing law terms and meanwhile the Socialist government will approve a decree to protect the privacy and identity of the women who undergo voluntary pregnancy termination. (ANSAmed).
IMMIGRATION: LAMPEDUSA RECEPTION CENTRE RISKS COLLAPSE
(ANSAmed) — LAMPEDUSA (AGRIGENTO), JULY 8 — After the arrivals in the past hours of three boats carrying illegal immigrants the first reception centre in Lampedusa is again on the brink of collapse. The facility is about to admit the last 318 immigrants rescued this morning by the coast guard. This brings to over 1,200 the number of immigrants in the centre, almost double its maximum capacity. A plan for their transfer is about to be launched as on June 28, 2008 when, in one day alone, some 900 illegal immigrants were transported by air to other reception centres throughout Italy. Following the latest arrivals the number of immigrants in the reception centre has reached 1,256. No transfers are planned for today despite the overcrowding of the structure. The prefecture of Agrigento has prepared a plan which envisages for tomorrow the transfer of at least 100 immigrants on the ferry to Porto Empedocle. Again tomorrow, at least three flights will take off for other reception centres in Italy. Some 600 illegal immigrants arrived on the island today over a period of a few hours, in three groups. The first one included 290 non-EU citizens, who were sighted by an Atlantic airplane, while they were 50 miles off the coast, crowded in a boat. They were rescued by the Vega della Marina ship, and then were escorted at the port by a patrol boat of the Finance Guard. A few hours later another wooden boat with 318 illegal immigrants aboard, including many women and children, was intercepted and rescued some 20 miles south-east of the island by two units of the Coast Guard. A total five immigrants in poor health, including two women and two children, were transported on a quick patrol boat; the others were transferred to the ship Saetta headed to the port. Some 47 illegal immigrants, including nine women, who were approaching Lampedusa aboard a boat, were rescued some 40 miles south of the island by patrol boat Vega della Marina Militare, the same boat which in the night had rescued 290 immigrants intercepted by the Atlantic airplane. Finally, another boat carrying other 26 immigrants landed in the island this afternoon. The immigrants were rescued by the Coast Guards. (ANSAmed).
Netherlands Completes Lisbon Treaty Ratification
THE HAGUE, 09/07/08 — Dutch approval of the Treaty of Lisbon has become a fact. After the Lower House, the Upper House also voted for the treaty yesterday.
Only the Socialist Party (SP), small Christian party SGP and the Party for the Animals (PvdD) refused to lend their approval. The Party for Freedom (PVV) was also against it, but it is not represented in the Upper House.
Italy: Iranian student leader to thank Rome mayor
Rome, 8 July (AKI) — Ali Afshari, one of Iran’s prominent student leaders, will arrive in Rome on Wednesday to thank Rome’s Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, for his support for jailed student activists.
He will also meet members of the media at a press conference organised by Giuseppe Marra Communications at its Rome headquarters and moderated by deputy-director of Adnkronos International, Ahmad Rafat.
TURKEY: NO TO MOSQUE, ST SOPHIA TO REMAIN MUSEUM
(ANSAmed) — ROME, JULY 8 — St Sophia of Istanbul, a former Christian basilica converted in a mosque in 1453 and transformed into a museum by Ataturk in 1934, will remain a museum open to all visitors, despite the proposal to be made mosque again.
Swiss nationalist force referendum on minaret ban
GENEVA (AP) — Swiss nationalists are forcing a popular vote on whether to ban the construction of Muslim minarets — a proposal that, if approved, could clash with Switzerland’s constitutionally protected right to freedom of religion.