- UNC Student Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder
- George Clooney Plans to Film Story of Bin Laden’s Driver
- Finnish Islands Cause Headache for EU Treaty Approval
- Terror Trial Begins in Copenhagen
- BP Shuts Two Energy Pipelines in Georgia
- Islam: Milan Mosque; Egypt MPs Ask for Ambassador Withdrawal
- Darfur Withers As Sudan Sells Food
- Mauritania: Al-Qaeda Warns Muslims Over ‘Unbeliever Democracies’
- Mideast: Hamas Blames Egypt for 8 Dead Palestinians in Tunnel
- Nuclear Energy: Syria, No to New IAEA Inspections
- So You Want to Boycott Israel?
- Campaign to Silence Dissent in West Bank, Gaza
- Senior Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Pakistan
- Nigeria: Mob Kills 50-Year-Old Man for ‘Blasphemy’
Thanks to C. Cantoni, Henrik, Insubria, Latté Island, no2liberals, TB, VH, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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UNC Student Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — A student accused of driving through a gathering spot on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and hitting nine people has pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder.
Mohammed Taheri-Azar (TAH’-her-ee AH’-zar) entered the plea Tuesday morning. He was originally charged with nine counts of attempted murder and nine counts of felonious assault in connection with the March 3, 2006 attack. As part of his plea, the assault charges were dismissed.
At the time, Taheri-Azar said his motive was to avenge Muslim deaths around the world.
None of the people hit in the area known as the Pit had to be hospitalized overnight.
George Clooney Plans to Film Story of Bin Laden’s Driver
George Clooney, already one of Hollywood’s leading liberal voices, has embarked on what may be one of his most controversial projects: the story of Osama bin Laden’s driver.
Clooney’s production company, Smokehouse, has bought the rights to a book about [Muslim Terrorist] Salim Hamdan, an inmate at Guantánamo Bay who last week was sentenced to jail for his role in helping the al-Qaeda leader. The book, The Challenge, is by journalist Jonathan Mahler and tells the story of Hamdan’s capture and trial, defended by a US navy lawyer, Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift.
Last week Yemen-born Hamdan, who has already spent seven years in US custody, received a surprisingly light sentence of just five and a half years for being bin Laden’s driver in Afghanistan. Prosecutors had billed the case as a key plank in the ‘War on Terror’, designed to show that terrorists could be dealt with by Guantánamo. They had described Hamdan as a member of bin Laden’s inner circle who had knowledge of his terrorist plans.
Defence lawyers, however, portrayed him as a simple man who had taken a high-paying job in order to feed his family. Clooney is believed to be interested in playing the role of [defence] lawyer Swift. Last week, during Hamdan’s sentencing, Swift appealed to the court to let him go back to his family in Yemen: ‘The best chance for him to rehabilitate is to reunite with that family. He won’t put them at risk again.’
— Hat tip: VH
Islam: Mosques Moratorium But for Statute — Muslim Intellectual
(ANSAmed) — ROME, AUGUST 11 — A moratorium on the opening of new halls of prayer “as long as this period is effectively used to define the judicial statute of the Muslims in Italy”. This is the opinion of Ahmad Gianpiero Vincenzo, president of the Italian Muslim Intellectuals and former director of the Inter-religious Dialogue Department at the Mixed Group at the Senate. Referring to a proposal advanced yesterday for Emilia Romagna by regional PDL councillor Andrea Leoni, after the discovery of a presumed Jihad cell in Bologna and Romagna, Vincenzo said he favoured a moratorium of two years also on the entire national territory, but on that condition. Not only an agreement between the State and Islam as stipulated by the Constitution is lacking, he explained, “but also any alternative form of legalization of the mosques. In this situation there is a risk to favour those who move in illegality, while it would be enough at least to launch series of consultations with the only entity so far recognized by the State, that is the Great Mosque of Rome.” The Muslim intellectual also returns on the idea, launched in the past days by Carlo Ripa di Meana, of a Biennial of the Islamic dissent on the model of the one of the intellectuals critical of the Soviet regime held in Venice in 1977. Saying ¿in principle always agree with initiatives dedicated to dialogue¿, Vincenzo specifies however he has “not few doubts” on the idea that it could be coordinated by Magdi Allam. “There would be the danger to plan the initiative as a provocation against the Islam, which he himself, after the conversion to Catholicism, considers violent,” he said. “We set up the association Muslim Intellectuals exactly with the purpose to save the Islamic community from the influence of fundamental authors such as al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb and to rediscover the principles of a Mediterranean civilization in which to find again the roots of all religious traditions of the family of Abraham,” he concludes. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Finnish Islands Cause Headache for EU Treaty Approval
The Finnish autonomous Aland Islands are causing headaches for the Finnish government by demanding certain concessions from Helsinki in return for ratifying the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.
— Hat tip: Henrik
Terror Trial Begins in Copenhagen
The trial of two men accused of plotting a bomb attack began in a Copenhagen court with video evidence from the intelligence services
The trial of two men accused of planning a bomb attack began in a Copenhagen court on Monday.
Two men of Pakistani and Afghan background are alleged to have produced a bomb using the same kind of explosives that were used in the London bombings in 2005.
Both men have pleaded not guilty, but admitted making triacetone triperoxide, or TATP, saying it was to be used for fireworks.
The prosecutor in the so-called ‘Glasvej’ case presented video evidence from the Danish Intelligence Service (PET) to the court.
The video was secretly filmed inside the home of one of the young men, after PET was tipped off in May last year that the man had attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.
The video shows the 22-year-old Pakistani man sitting on the floor of his apartment, allegedly mixing chemicals and singing about martyrdom.
TV2 news reports that the police were able to recover deleted photographs from a mobile phone, which show him in the company of people holding automatic weapons, mortars and missiles.
Other footage showed the men leaving the room, followed by the noise of an explosion off camera. Prosecutor Lone Damgaard said that the accused were testing TAPT in a residential area of Copenhagen on 1 September last year, three days before they were arrested.
Neither man can be named due to a court order.
— Hat tip: TB
Italy: Jihadist Terror Suspects Deny Accusations Against Them
Bologna, 12 August (AKI) — Three suspected jihadist terrorists accused of sending fighters to Afghanistan and Iraq on Tuesday denied all accusations against them when they appeared before a judge in the northern city of Bologna.
The three North African immigrants rejected evidence against them gathered from police phone taps, claiming the taped phone conversations had been taken out of context.
The suspects also said money collected at local mosques (zakat or alms in Arabic) had only been used for the mosque and to help fellow Muslims facing economic hardship — not to fund Jihad (holy war) as investigators allege.
Some of the zakat had been given to Tunisian national Khalil Jarraya, who was unemployed and in Italy illegally as he did not have a valid permit of stay, the suspects said.
Investigators claim Jarraya was the ringleader of the alleged international terrorist cell, five of whose members were arrested on Saturday.
Investigators also allege that the suspected cell members sent money to Bosnian groups with links to terror organisations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
BP Shuts Two Energy Pipelines in Georgia
British energy giant BP said Tuesday that it has closed two more oil and gas pipelines in Georgia because of the ongoing conflict with Russia. “We have closed two other pipelines in Georgia — Baku-Supsa and the South Caucasus pipeline, which is a gas pipeline,” a BP spokesman told AFP.
The key Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline, which BP also operates, was shut last week after a blast occurred in a pump at a section in eastern Turkey.
Russia’s armed forces on Tuesday denied deliberately targeting the strategic BTC conduit running through Georgia after Tbilisi claimed it had been attacked by the Russian air force. “The oil pipeline was never a target that needed to be bombed,” deputy chief of general staff Anatoly Nogovitsyn said. He did not explicitly rule out the possibility that the pipeline might have been hit accidentally.
Georgia’s security council chairman said that Russian warplanes had targeted the BTC pipeline, which is used to transport oil from the Caspian Sea to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, but could not confirm any damage.
“Russians bombed the BTC pipeline south of the city of Rustavi,” said Alexander Lomaia. “We don’t know yet whether it was damaged. It’s the second attempt to bomb this pipeline since August 10.”
BP operates the 1,774-kilometre (1,109-mile) BTC pipeline — the world’s second largest — that carries oil from Azerbaijan to Western markets via the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
— Hat tip: VH
Islam: Milan Mosque; Egypt MPs Ask for Ambassador Withdrawal
(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, AUGUST 12 — Requests to withdraw the Egyptian Ambassador in Rome and to “expel Italy’s envoys to the Arab countries” were presented by a group of Egyptian MPs in a note sent to Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif, to the Islamic Research Centre of Al Azhar and to the Religious Heritage Minister, in retaliation for the decision of Milan’s authorities to move the location of the Friday prayer from the Islamic Centre in Viale Jenner to other structures. The news was reported today on the front page of Egyptian weekly in English language ‘Egyptian Mail’, specifying that the MPs belong to the government party, the National Democratic Party, and to independent and Islamic groups (the Muslim Brotherhood in particular). “It is clear that the Europeans are launching a negative campaign against Islam and the Muslims, despite their requests for inter-religious dialogue and respect for the other person,” Muslim MP Mohssen Radi stated. Affirming that this “unfriendly” measure must be tackled with firm steps, Radi added that “expelling the Italian Ambassadors from Arab countries and boycotting European products is the minimum that we can do to respond to this hostility”. “It is a very disrespectful way to treat the Muslims, by offending their feelings and disheartening them,” he added. The newspaper recount speaks incorrectly of “closure of the Mosques in Milan”, while the decision of police chief Gian Valerio Lomardi concerns the moving of the prayer from the centre in Viale Jenner to other locations. The matter was discussed in a recent meeting in Milan with Muslim representatives, especially in view of the difficulties which might arise for the next holy month of Ramadan (when the Islamic fasting starts, scheduled for the September 1, 2008). (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Islam: Milan Mosque; We Have Never Been Intolerant — De Corato
(ANSAmed) — MILAN, AUGUST 12 — “Every Friday 3,000 Muslims pray in Milan without anyone putting in discussion their faith. Our city has never shown intolerance and I ask myself how many other cities in Europe, of dimensions similar to those of Milan, would give five locations for Islamic prayer.” This is the reassuring message which Milan’s deputy mayor Riccardo De Corato launched to a group of Egyptian MPs who had asked their government to recall the ambassador in Italy to protest against the transfer of the mosque on Jenner street. The deputy mayor of Milan specified that the centre in Jenner street “has not been entirely closed”, given the fact that waiting for a final transfer, the cultural activities of the institute led by Adbel Hamid Shaari continue there. “For the time being it was decided to move the prayer in a place more in accordance with the Muslim believers,” De Corato said. In addition, the deputy mayor reminded that, apart from Palasharp (where the prayer in Jenner street has been temporarily moved) there are another four locations in Milan bound for Islamic worship: in Meda street, in Quaranta street, in Iseo street and in Cambini street. “I don’t understand this reaction of the Egyptian MPs unless it is the result of a wrong information or an inadequate in-depth discussion with the consulate authorities in Milan and with those of the embassy in Rome,”De Corato concluded. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Nuclear: Algeria Supports Iran, ‘No’ to Double Standards (2)
(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS, AUGUST 11 — Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika reiterated in his speech delivered in Tehran that all signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty “have the legitimate and conventionally recognised right to have access to nuclear technology for civil and peaceful purposes”. “And within this framework comes the solidarity of Algeria which recognises the legitimate right to nuclear power of all countries, including Iran,” APS quoted Bouteflika as saying. On the other hand, the Algerian head of state launched an appeal “to make the Middle East like Latin America and Africa, an area with no nuclear armament”. “The peace and security of the Middle East return to the game the vital issue with nuclear proliferation, an issue that involves only one state — Israel,” the president added. Algeria launched over an year ago a programme for development of civil nuclear power. After signing an agreement with the United States in June 2007, the North African country signed another agreement for development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes with France. The agreement, signed in June during the visit of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to Algiers, envisages training programmes, transfer of technologies and common research as well as the creation of an Institute for Nuclear Infrastructure. Algeria already has two small nuclear reactors in Draria, near Algeria, built by Argentine, and in Ain Oussera (250 km south of the capital) built by China, but according to many, the agreement with Paris could pave the way for the construction of new nuclear power plants. Another agreement on nuclear energy should be signed in the next few months with Moscow. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Darfur Withers As Sudan Sells Food
ED DAMER, Sudan — Even as it receives a billion pounds of free food from international donors, Sudan is growing and selling vast quantities of its own crops to other countries, capitalizing on high global food prices at a time when millions of people in its war-riddled region of Darfur barely have enough to eat.
A camp for displaced people on the outskirts of Khartoum. Similar camps have been set up in the Darfur region, where United Nations and Western aid feeds more than three million people.
Farmers plowed a field last month before planting sorghum in Gezira, south of Khartoum, Sudan. Although Sudan receives food aid, it exports many of its crops.
Here in the bone-dry desert, where desiccated donkey carcasses line the road, huge green fields suddenly materialize. Beans. Wheat. Sorghum. Melons. Peanuts. Pumpkins. Eggplant. It is all grown here, part of an ambitious government plan for Sudanese self-sufficiency, creating giant mechanized farms that rise out of the sand like mirages.
But how much of this bonanza is getting back to the hungry Sudanese, like the 2.5 million driven into camps in Darfur? And why is a country that exports so many of its own crops receiving more free food than anywhere else in the world, especially when the Sudanese government is blamed for creating the crisis in the first place?
African countries that rely on donated food usually cannot produce enough on their own. Somalia, Ethiopia, Niger and Zimbabwe are all recent examples of how war, natural disasters or gross mismanagement can cut deep into food production, pushing millions of people to the brink of starvation.
But here in Sudan, there seem to be plenty of calories to go around. The country is already growing wheat for Saudi Arabia, sorghum for camels in the United Arab Emirates and vine-ripened tomatoes for the Jordanian Army. Now the government is plowing $5 billion into new agribusiness projects, many of them to produce food for export.
— Hat tip: Latté Island
Mauritania: Al-Qaeda Warns Muslims Over ‘Unbeliever Democracies’
Nouakchott, 12 August(AKI) — Mauritania’s military junta consulted the United States, France and Israel before toppling elected president Sidi Cheikh Ould Abdallahi in last week’s coup, Al-Qaeda’s North African arm has claimed.
“The latest coup in Mauritania could never have succeeded without the agreement of America, France and Israel,” said a statement posted on Tuesday to Islamist websites.
The message is signed by Abdel Malik Droukedel, leader of the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb and dated 10 August.
Several Al-Qaeda cells are believed to be present in Mauritania. The country’s security forces in April recaptured five suspected Al-Qaeda militants including a fugitive accused of killing four French tourists last December, officials said.
The 24 December killing of the French tourists and a shooting attack against the Israeli embassy in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott in February raised fears of a rise in Islamist militant violence in the Saharan state
“For this reason, we warn Muslims to be wary of all forms of unbeliever democracy, because they are just a ploy by the Zionist-Crusader alliance to trick you,” read the statement.
“O people of Mauritania, you need to get back to Islam and and don’t hesitate to wage holy war (Jihad) to fight the Jews and the Christians together with the apostate governments,” the message continues.
The military junta set up a ‘State Council’ which has promised to hold free and fair elections in Mauritania “as soon as possible.”
The ‘State Council’ is led by the head of Abdallahi’s presidential guard, Mohamed Abdel Aziz.
Mauritania has had a long history of military coups since it gained independence from France in 1960.
In 2005, a military junta overthrew authoritarian President Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, who had ruled the country since 1980.
But the junta only ruled until the country’s first presidential election in 2007 and did not stand in those polls.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Mideast: Hamas Blames Egypt for 8 Dead Palestinians in Tunnel
(ANSAmed) — GAZA, AUGUST 11 — Islamist group Hamas blamed Egypt today for being responsible for the death of eight Palestinians. According to Hamas, Egypt sealed off a network of tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip by using gas and explosives, thus trapping the Palestinians. Medical sources report that three Palestinians died today in the collapse of a tunnel under the border. Another five suffocated to death on August 1, again in an underground tunnel. Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghsain criticized Egypt’s anti-smuggling policy defining it dangerous. “Egypt shares the blame with Israel,” Ghsain said. “We understand the American and Israeli pressure on Egypt but that does not justify the killing of people in such a manner,” he added. Egyptian security sources confirmed the use of gas in the tunnels before sealing them off, with the purpose to impede Palestinians from entering the underground galleries. They added that the gas used was not dangerous and the Palestinians were warned after the sealing of the tunnels. Hamas had allowed the transit of Palestinians in the tunnels under the border at Rafah in order to get stock of supplies. The USA and Israel had asked Egypt to seal off the tunnels as they consider them the centre of weapons smuggling. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Nuclear Energy: Syria, No to New IAEA Inspections
(ANSAmed) — DAMASCUS, AUGUST 11 — Syria will not authorise new inspections by representatives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of an alleged nuclear reactor site, even if it is ready to continue cooperating with IAEA, official news agency Sana reported yesterday, quoting the Foreign Ministry in Damascus. IAEA’s inspectors had visited in June the site of Al-Khbar, in central-eastern Syria, where a nuclear reactor was suspected to have been built with the help of North Korea and then destroyed in September 2007 by the Israeli aviation. The June mission was the first IAEA inspection even carried out in Syria. “Syria fulfilled its commitments and if IAEA wants further clarifications we are ready to supply them”, the Foreign Ministry informed. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
So You Want to Boycott Israel?
[introduction translated from Dutch]
So you want to boycott Israel? Okay, but then do it good! (“Dus jij wilt Israël boycotten? Oké, maar doe het dan wel goed!”)
By Lodewijk Nasser
Lodewijk Nasser was able to catch a video in which the tips & tricks are being explained. A very handy and instructive video full of useful tips for Nazis, Leftards and Islamists.
Enjoy! 🙂 — VH
— Hat tip: VH
Campaign to Silence Dissent in West Bank, Gaza
A West Bank professor is thrown into a police jeep and beaten with pipes. Detainees in Gaza are prevented from seeing lawyers. Club-wielding troops in the West Bank break up a peaceful march, and their counterparts in Gaza keep journalists from covering a police raid.
It’s all part of a widening crackdown on political opponents, both by the Western-backed Fatah movement in the West Bank and by the Islamic militant Hamas in Gaza.
The crackdown began after a July 25 beach-side bomb killed five Hamas militants in Gaza. Hamas blamed Western-backed Fatah and rounded up scores of Fatah activists in Gaza. Fatah-allied security forces in the West Bank responded by seizing dozens of Hamas supporters.
The U.S. and Europe have said little about violations in the West Bank, even as they’re spending millions of dollars on police training to help lay the foundations of a democratic Palestine. The foreign trainers say the abuse isn’t carried out by security forces under their supervision.
Both Hamas and Fatah portray the sweeps as security measures, and play down rights violations as isolated. However, leading intellectuals in the West Bank told Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad last week that they’re worried about diminishing liberties.
Since Hamas violently wrested control of Gaza from Fatah in June 2007, each side has been trying to assert control over its territory. Two human rights groups reported last month that as part of that effort, security forces in both territories systematically tortured detainees.
Despite the internal rifts, most Palestinians reject the idea of civil war, but the crackdowns raise the specter of armed conflict between the two sides. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah’s role in the escalating tension is cutting into his support.
Israel for its part has said that no peace agreement can be implemented until Gaza and the West Bank are reunited under Abbas’ rule, but the reciprocal animosity is pushing that goal away.
In the meeting with Fayyad, Mamdouh al-Aker, head of The Independent Commission for Citizens’ Rights, a Palestinian group, said “We have warned of (the West Bank government) turning into a security regime, and there are indications that we are heading in that direction.
[…] As we all know, Hamas is not only working in Gaza, it works in the West Bank, too. Therefore, I cannot act as if nothing has happened.’’
— Hat tip: VH
Saudi Imam Arrested for Burglary: Report
Saudi authorities arrested an imam — Islamic preacher — who is suspected of carrying out several burglaries, a press report said on Tuesday.
“The Saudi man is suspected to have been involved in burgling several shops and engaging in some other illegal activities,” a local police source told Arab News.
Authorities refused to name the imam from a mosque in the western city of Baha, pending an investigation, the English-language daily reported. But the paper quoted an unnamed source as saying that the man was a 33-year-old Saudi who also worked as a teacher in a local school.
Nasser Badran, the director of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs for Baha province confirmed the imam’s arrest and vowed to take the necessary action.
“If the allegations against [the imam] are proved … appropriate action would be taken,” Badran told Arab News. Depending on the severity of the crime, punishment could range from a cut in the imam’s monthly salary to jail time, Arab News said.
An imam that leads Friday prayers usually earns about 3,000 Saudi riyals (800 dollars) per month. Imams that do not lead Friday prayers earn roughly half of that amount.
The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Propagation and Guidance interviews all imams in the kingdom and conducts periodic inspection and assessments, the paper said.
— Hat tip: TB
Before the Gunfire, Cyberattacks
By JOHN MARKOFF
Weeks before bombs started falling on Georgia, a security researcher in suburban Massachusetts was watching an attack against the country in cyberspace.
Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks in Lexington noticed a stream of data directed at Georgian government sites containing the message: “win+love+in+Rusia.”
Other Internet experts in the United States said the attacks against Georgia’s Internet infrastructure began as early as July 20, with coordinated barrages of millions of requests — known as distributed denial of service, or D.D.O.S., attacks — that overloaded and effectively shut down Georgian servers.
Researchers at Shadowserver, a volunteer group that tracks malicious network activity, reported that the Web site of the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, had been rendered inoperable for 24 hours by multiple D.D.O.S. attacks. They said the command and control server that directed the attack was based in the United States and had come online several weeks before it began the assault.
As it turns out, the July attack may have been a dress rehearsal for an all-out cyberwar once the shooting started between Georgia and Russia. According to Internet technical experts, it was the first time a known cyberattack had coincided with a shooting war.
But it will likely not be the last, said Bill Woodcock, the research director of the Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit organization that tracks Internet traffic. He said cyberattacks are so inexpensive and easy to mount, with few fingerprints, they will almost certainly remain a feature of modern warfare.
“It costs about 4 cents per machine,” Mr. Woodcock said. “You could fund an entire cyberwarfare campaign for the cost of replacing a tank tread, so you would be foolish not to.”
Exactly who was behind the cyberattack is not known. The Georgian government blamed Russia for the attacks, but the Russian government said it was not involved. In the end, Georgia, with a population of just 4.6 million and a relative latecomer to the Internet, saw little effect beyond inaccessibility to many of its government Web sites, which limited the government’s ability to spread its message online and to connect with sympathizers around the world during the fighting with Russia.
— Hat tip: no2liberals
Senior Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Pakistan
Senior al-Qaeda commander Abu Saeed al-Masri has been killed in recent clashes with Pakistani forces in a Pakistani region near the Afghan border, a security official said on Tuesday.
“He was believed to be among the top leadership of al-Qaeda,” the senior security official said on condition of anonymity.
Al-Masri, which means Egyptian, was the most senior al-Qaeda operative to have been killed in Pakistan’s tribal belt since the death of his compatriot, Abu Khabab al-Masri, a Qaeda chemical and biological weapons expert, last month.
Television channels identified the dead man as Mustafa Abu al-Yazid and said he was also known as Abu Saeed al-Masri.
— Hat tip: TB
Khan’s Wife Says Musharraf Lied
The wife of Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan said President Pervez Musharraf lied about her husband’s role in the country’s nuclear program.
In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel, Hendrina Khan said her husband had only carried out government orders by shipping centrifuge tubes used to enrich uranium to North Korea in 2000, among other activites.
“It is too late for (the concerned government and Musharraf) to ‘confess’. The consequences for the country would be too drastic … especially from the Americans who have been supporting Musharraf through thick and thin,” Hendrina Khan said.
Abdul Qadeer Khan, whose health is deteriorating, is under house arrest.. Musharraf, in his 2006 memoir, “In the Line of Fire,” wrote that neither he nor his government nor any member of Pakistan’s Army had any knowledge of A.Q. Khan’s alleged nuclear network.
— Hat tip: VH
Nigeria: Mob Kills 50-Year-Old Man for ‘Blasphemy’
A 50-year-old Muslim man, who allegedly made a blasphemous statement against Prophet Muhammad, was beaten to death in Kano on Saturday.
The man was killed at Sheka Aci Lafiya quarters when some angry Muslim youths besieged his house and beat him to a state of coma.
He died shortly after a team of police and Hisbah officials rescued him from the mob, the police said. The man died as he was being rushed to the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital.
Witnesses told Daily Trust that the man, though a Muslim, made a statement residents considered as blasphemous against the Holy Prophet after his relatives denied him his share of the estate left by their deceased father.
He was beaten and left unconscious before the police intervened and dispersed the crowd.
But for the quick intervention of the police and Hisbah officials, a full-scale crisis would have erupted, residents said.
A witness said, “Many youths carrying various types of dangerous weapons have started grouping themselves for further action over the issue before the police and Hisbah men dispersed them.”
He said the victim made the alleged blasphemous statement Friday night and repeated same on Saturday morning.
When the news spread to the neighborhood about the man’s statement, a group of youths mobilized and attacked him.
A witness, Ali Muhammad, told our correspondent that the man was beaten with sticks and other local weapons and was left “in the pool of his own blood.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer SP Baba Mohammed confirmed the incident. Mohammed said the man was rescued alive but later died while the police were conveying him to the hospital. He said investigation is still onby the police to trace the persons responsible for the attack.
Mohammed said no arrest has been made yet, adding that the police had restored law and order in the area.
— Hat tip: TB
Gypsies: Barra, Rome Situation Worse Than Uganda
(AGI) — Rome, 12 Aug. — Vaccination levels in school age children very low, terrible living conditions, “In Uganda I saw a better situation”. This is how Massimo Barra, president of the Italian Red Cross, defines the situation in the gypsy camps around Rome when addressing AGI. Placating the controversy of recent weeks work proceeds and will be concluded as foreseen by half way through October: “We will be able to do it”, Barra says. Volunteers are keeping busy with the encampments and all of the invisible people who often live in conditions of unimaginable degradation: “I recently went to visit a group of HIV positive women who live in the suburbs of Kampala, I found them in better conditions”, explains Barra. Identification continues according to established procedures. The gypsies are asked to fill out a simple form with the help of a volunteer giving their name, age, sex, nationality and vaccinations had.
They then are all issued a card that gives them access to free medical care at two Italian Red Cross centres in Rome. The men and women of the Red Cross are met with kindness by the gypsies who trust them. The “Roman Model” is working — Barra goes on to explain — and soon could even be loaned to other European countries like France”.
— Hat tip: Insubria