I’ve been snowed under at work today, unfortunately, so posting has been light. However, nothing has been lost — all our tipsters have been beavering away as usual, and all the material is presented here. Not every article has a headline, so keep scrolling.
- White Americans to be Minority by 2042
- The Rotten State of Denmark?
- City Report ‘Insane’ Says Cameron
- Sweden OKs Coca-Cola As Baby Name
- Recession Stalks Europe As Economy Shrinks
- Italy: Vatican Distances Itself From ‘Fascism’ Claims
- Johann Hari: We Need to Stop Being Such Cowards About Islam
- Zero Privacy
- The Perfect Wrong War
- Philippines Retakes Farmlands From Rebels
- Reports on U.S. Tourist’s Murder False, Claims Source
- South Africa: Whites Leaving SA in Droves
- Stockholm Population Reaches Highest Level Since 1960s
- Italy: More Than 100 Illegal Immigrants Arrive Off Coast
- “Anti-Semitic” Video Lands YouTube in Hot Water
- Wikipedia Wins Dismissal of Baseless Defamation Claims
- For the Love of Christ
Thanks to C. Cantoni, El Inglés, Fjordman, Gaia, Henrik, Insubria, JD, TB, VH, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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White Americans to be Minority by 2042
White Americans will be a minority in their country before the middle of the century, according to US government projections.
of the century, according to US government projections.
Higher birth rates among minority residents, especially Hispanics, is accelerating the demographic changes brought by immigration and will lead to an end of the US’ white majority around 2042.
“The white population is older and very much centered around the aging baby boomers who are well past their high fertility years,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “The future of America is epitomized by the young people today. They are basically the melting pot we are going to see in the future.”
The Census Bureau released projections through 2050, based on rates for births, deaths and immigration.
The US’ 305 million population is expected to grow to 400 million in 2039 and 439 million in 2050.
White non-Hispanics make up about two-thirds of the population, but only 55 percent of those younger than 5.
By 2050, whites will make up 46 percent of the population and blacks will make up 15 percent, a relatively small increase from today. Hispanic will account for 30 percent in 2050, double their current share.
Asians, which make up about 5 percent of the population, are projected to increase to 9 percent by 2050.
The population 85 and older is projected to more than triple by 2050, to 19 million.
— Hat tip: TB
Georgia Crisis ‘Should Prompt Swedish Military Rethink’
The current crisis in Georgia provides a timely reminder of Sweden’s need to more effectively defend its borders and offshore territories, particularly the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, writes security expert Bo Pellnäs.
During the Cold War, Sweden played a stabilizing role in northern Europe. But today the Swedish military has been almost entirely dismantled and it is hardly likely that the countries in our immediate vicinity view us as any sort of serious actor in terms of security policy, either in the Baltic region or northern Europe.
We have consciously deprived ourselves of the majority of the military resources, which, in the long term, could contribute to peace and stability in the region.
This has happened as a result of successive military advisory committees focusing on short-term threats and avoiding any discussions concerning long-term security measures. In the short-term perspective, the sky is always blue, which helps keeps things nice and cheap.
But has Carl Bildt’s description of the conflict in Georgia perhaps produced a little grey rain cloud in the sky above the parliamentary defence committee?
— Hat tip: TB
The Rotten State of Denmark?
An awkward member state might prove to be the perfect case study for things to come in the EU.
Denmark has transformed in the last few years. It has been a silent revolution with dramatic undertones that just might present a perfect case study for other EU countries. Denmark’s economy is doing fine despite worldwide wobbles, unemployment remains comfortably low and the Danes are the happiest people on the planet according to several pseudo-scientific studies. Yet the country seems uneasy about its role in the world, grumpy about the EU and outright hostile towards immigrants. Is there something rotten in the state of Denmark after all?
The kingdom used to be known for its liberal politics, tolerance and sound economics. Being one of the EU’s richest members with one of the lowest unemployment rates in decades certainly back up the latter claim. Much of the success has to do with the famed “flexicurity” — a Danish cocktail of a flexible labour market and generous social security flavoured with rights and obligations for the unemployed. Hiring and firing remains easier than in most other EU countries and gives the Danes a comparative edge.
It is the liberal politics and tolerance that might seem a bit anachronistic in the Danish society of 2008. The country has been run by the liberals (Venstre) and their high-profile Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen since 2001; they won an unprecedented third term last November. Together with the conservatives as junior coalition partner, Rasmussen has set out to reform the tax system and hopes to secure a climate-change deal at the United Nations climate summit that he will host in Copenhagen next year. All fine and nice — were it not for the Danish People’s Party (DF) and its anti-immigrant, right-wing platform, which scored third place in the 2007 poll with 13.8%. It is not part of the coalition but supports the government from the outside.
— Hat tip: TB
City Report ‘Insane’ Says Cameron
David Cameron has described as “insane” a report by a right-leaning think tank, which suggested some cities in northern England were “beyond revival”.
The Tory leader, who is on a visit to target seats in the north, said his party wanted to renew northern cities.
The Policy Exchange report said coastal cities like Sunderland and Liverpool had “lost much of their raison d’etre”.
Labour’s former deputy leader and Hull East MP John Prescott said the report was “insulting and ignorant”.
The report suggested current regeneration policies were failing and mass migration to London, Cambridge and Oxford would stop people becoming “trapped” in poorer areas.
— Hat tip: El Inglés
Sweden OKs Coca-Cola As Baby Name
Within a few years, Swedish classrooms could be filled with children named anything from Pepsi to Pizza Hut— if that’s what their parents want, according to a press report Tuesday.
After decades of regulation, Swedish authorities have relaxed a ban that prevented parents from naming their children after fast-food chains, rock bands, or even their favorite brand of beer, Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC News, reported.
“There is nothing negative about a name like Coca-Cola or McDonald’s,” CBC quoted tax authority spokesman Lars Tegenfeldt as saying.
According to Tegenfeldt, the naming guidelines developed in the 1970s were less relevant today.
But Swedish authorities have left some rules standing — they will refuse any request by parents to name their children God, Allah or Devil, and officials will overrule parents who try to give their children swear words for names, CBC News reported.
— Hat tip: TB
Recession Stalks Europe As Economy Shrinks
Europe has swung towards recession, with the eurozone economy shrinking for the first time and inflation hovering at a record high as the sharp global downturn takes hold, new figures showed Thursday. The 15-nation eurozone economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the second quarter, the EU’s official Eurostat agency reported.
That figure heightened analysts’ fears that recession — two consecutive quarters of contraction — is on the way, a prospect now pushing down the euro. “Today’s releases suggest that this probability has risen, probably to over 50 percent now,” said Sunil Kapadia, European Economist for UBS Investment Research.
Recent data from Britain and Japan also suggest leading economies are flirting with recession; and the International Energy Agency says energy and other data signal the US economy is most probably heading towards recession. The eurozone economy had previously never registered anything worse then zero growth over a quarters, and that was back in 2003. […]
— Hat tip: VH
Italy: Vatican Distances Itself From ‘Fascism’ Claims
Rome, 14 August (AKI) — The Vatican has distanced itself from claims by a weekly Catholic magazine that Italy could face ‘a return to fascism’, under the leadership of Silvio Berlusconi.
“Famiglia Cristiana (the magazine), is an important publication about the Italian Catholic reality, but it is not qualified to speak on behalf of the Holy See, nor the Italian Bishops Conference,” Father Federico Lombardi, chief of the Vatican press office told Adnkronos.
The row erupted when the magazine criticised the Italian government for what it called a ‘fake security emergency’ after the government declared a nationwide state of emergency over the arrival of immigrants in July.
Centre-right politicians later criticised the publication for being “Catho-Communist”.
The critique was followed by an editorial by author Beppe Del Colle who said he hoped that a ‘suspicion that a new Fascism is being born was not true’.
Del Colle was citing a report by French religious organisation ‘Esprit’ in which it canvassed a potential return to authoritarian rule in Italy following the government’s deployment of 3,000 troops in major cities to detere crime.
The editorial also discussed the fingerprinting of Roma Gypsies, harsher penalties for illegal immigrants and swifter deportation procedures, following an election pledge by the new government to stop illegal immigration.
The claims by Del Colle stirred up emotions among Italian politicians across the political spectrum.
Most centre-right politicians have attacked the publication, while some centre-left politicians support what was said by Del Colle.
However, the director of the monthly Muslim magazine ‘Famiglia Musulmana’ Nizar Ramadan, was more cautious in its critique of the Berlusconi government, saying that “100 days are not enough to judge a government that will last for five years.”
“It is true that immigration and security are not the priority for a country that has a more pressing economic problem, and (low) salaries,” he said.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Vatican Intervenes in Magazine Row
Famiglia Cristiana does not express the Holy See’s views
(ANSA) — Vatican City, August 14 — The Vatican on Thursday intervened in a polemic between the Catholic magazine Familia Cristiana and the Italian government to clarify that the weekly did not express the views of the Church nor those Italian Bishops conference (Cei).
‘‘Famiglia Cristiana is an important Catholic publication but it is not a mouthpiece of the Holy See nor the Italian Bishops Conference,’’ the director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardo, told ANSA.
‘‘The views it expresses are exclusively those of its editorial staff,’’ he added.
Published by the Paulist Fathers, Famiglia Cristiana has recently been critical of the conservative government of Premier Silvio Berlusconi, especially in regard to its decision to use the military in a policing role and to fingerprint gypsy children.
The weekly said the fingerprinting of children brought to mind a famous photo of a Jewish child in the Warsaw ghetto showing the Nazi identification number tattooed on his arm. Leading members of the government coalition responded by accusing the weekly of being ‘‘Catholic-Communist’’ and being out of touch with Italian citizens who want greater security.
— Hat tip: Insubria
Johann Hari: We Need to Stop Being Such Cowards About Islam
This is a column condemning cowardice — including my own. It begins with the story of a novel you cannot read. The Jewel of Medina was written by a journalist called Sherry Jones. It recounts the life of Aisha, a girl who was married off at the age of six to a 50-year-old man called Mohamed ibn Abdallah. On her wedding day, Aisha was playing on a see-saw outside her home. Inside, she was being betrothed. The first she knew of it was when she was banned from playing out in the street with the other children. When she was nine, she was taken to live with her husband, now 53. He had sex with her. When she was 14, she was accused of adultery with a man closer to her own age. Not long after, Mohamed decreed that his wives must cover their faces and bodies, even though no other women in Arabia did.
You cannot read this story today — except in the Koran and the Hadith. The man Mohamed ibn Abdallah became known to Muslims as “the Prophet Mohamed”, so our ability to explore this story is stunted. The Jewel of Medina was bought by Random House and primed to be a best-seller — before a University of Texas teacher saw proofs and declared it “a national security issue”. Random House had visions of a re-run of the Rushdie or the Danish cartoons affairs. Sherry Jones’s publisher has pulped the book. It’s gone.
In Europe, we are finally abolishing the lingering blasphemy laws that hinder criticism of Christianity. But they are being succeeded by a new blasphemy law preventing criticism of Islam — enforced not by the state, but by jihadis. I seriously considered not writing this column, but the right to criticise religion is as precious — and hard-won — as the right to criticise government. We have to use it or lose it.
— Hat tip: Gaia
The British government is taking extraordinary new powers to monitor everyone’s emailing, internet browsing and phone calls
The recent report by the Interception of Communications commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy notes that 519,260 requisitions of communications data from telephone companies and internet service providers were made in Britain last year. It is very mysterious who is doing the bulk of this spying, since no statistical breakdown is offered. But Sir Paul suggests the procedures may be a bit much for local authorities and things ought to be made easier for them.
The Home Office is busy doing just that. It is shortly to compel telecoms companies and internet service providers to keep details of all your emailing, browsing and phonecalls for up to 24 months. And it will specify in what form the information is to be kept. It is heartening that press and public have woken up to this snoopers’ charter just as the final piece of the picture is hammered into place. It is being introduced in the form of a Statutory Instrument enforcing an EU directive — which means it is unlikely to be even debated in parliament and cannot be amended by our elected representatives. Perhaps that is why this is being released while MPs are on holiday. They don’t matter to the process.
The Home Office is taking the maximum powers allowed under the directive — which shouldn’t be a surprise, as the directive itself was inspired by lobbying from Charles Clarke in the council of ministers when he was home secretary. The minimum six months’ retention is probably what we will see in Germany, which resisted the exercise; the Home Office is taking powers for four times as long…
— Hat tip: JD
Algeria: Religious CDs Beat Rai Music, Media Survey
(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS, AUGUST 13 — Tapes and CDs with Koran reading and religious speeches are selling as hot cakes in Algeria where non official statistics show that their sales are ten times higher than the sales of Rai music, the most popular Algerian music genre exported throughout the world by Cheb Khaled, Echuruk daily reported quoting a survey made in the first six months of 2008 among local distributors and record companies. The newspaper writes that the young people were the main buyers of products of religious character. While the reading of the Koran recorded by great interpreters coming from Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, the speeches of the imams and the religious courses are scoring growing success among the population, the sales of music CDs are constantly falling, according to the survey. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Banks: Tunisia; Request for Opening of Second Islamic Bank
(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, AUGUST 13 — Tunisia could soon have its second Islamic bank after Best Bank, which is already working in the country. Tunisian businessman Mohamed Sakher El Materi has recently filed a request for authorisation at the Bank of Tunisia. According to speculations, the name of the new bank will be Ezzitouna. The Islamic banks are fully compatible with the Tunisian laws and enjoy no special privileges, experts of the sector recall. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Iran MPs Slam Ahmadinejad’s Aide Over Pro-Israeli Remarks
More than 200 conservative Iranian lawmakers lashed out yesterday at a top aide to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his controversial remarks that Iranians are “friends with Israelis.” The MPs issued a strongly-worded statement calling on Ahmadinejad to take action against his deputy, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaie.
“Mr Mashaei does not have the right to take such a disgraceful stance and he is not competent to hold such a responsibility,” according to the statement read out in parliament by one of the MPs. “Condemning this regretful position, we deputies ask Dr Ahmadinejad to deal with him seriously,” he told the 290-seat assembly.
Rahim Mashaie, vice president in charge of tourism, is one of Ahmadinejad’s closest allies and earlier this year his daughter married the president’s son. “I have said before that we do not have any hostility against the Israeli people and I still say the same thing proudly,” he said in remarks published in several local newspapers on Monday. […]
— Hat tip: VH
The Tsar’s Sabres
“DO YOU UNDERSTAND GEORGE? THE UKRAINE IS NOT EVEN A STATE!
What is the Ukraine? Part of its territory is in Eastern Europe. On the other hand, we gave them the most important part of their country!”
When last April 4th Vladimir Putin spoke these words to his “dear American friend”, some of the leaders around the table at the NATO summit in Bucharest thought that the cold Russian chess player had slipped up. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was a calculated provocation, one of those learned in a beginner’s course in Russian intelligence schools.
With a few sentences, staring directly into George W. Bush’s eyes, Putin stamped the meaning of his first — and perhaps not last — eight years as President of Russia. His meaning: we are once again a great power and it would be best for everyone, friends, false friends and enemies, to take careful note of this, starting with the Ukraine, which together with Georgia continues to knock on NATO’s door. Russia, warns Putin, is capable of destroying these countries. Should Kiev and Tbilisi really join the Atlantic Pact, they would do so as small and diminished states; the Ukraine without Crimea (previously part of the Federal Russian Socialist Soviet Republic, lent free of charge in 1954 by the Ukrainian Khrus?c?ëv to Soviet Ukraine) and its more pro-Russian eastern regions, Georgia without Southern Ossetia and Abkhazia, semi-annexed by Putin with one of his last directives. To be absolutely clear, Moscow has strengthened its military formations in the secessionist Abkhaz Republic. Peacekeeping, swears the Kremlin. Piecekeeping, the White House fears.
Not that Moscow intends to unleash its now rather dilapidated armoured divisions. This is no longer fashionable, although a simple provocation is sufficient for setting alight Georgia and the entire Caucasus. Other more subtle means can be used for the same objective, ranging from the energy lever to fifth columns embedded among his unruly neighbours. Bush knows this well. Above all so do his unreliable French, German and Italian allies who have obliged the American leader to take back his promise made to the Ukraine and Georgia, and postpone to more a auspicious occasion the start-up of Atlantic integration. Of course, assures NATO, the doors will be open. In the meantime however, the door remains closed. Putin’s tactics worked. His ‘no’ divided the westerners; confirming that Russia has resumed its status as an unavoidable factor in the equation of Euro-Asian, and hence global, power, that it had for a couple of centuries.
And there is more. The lesson that Putin inflicted on Bush, seen within the context of all that the restorer of the Russian empire has said and done during his two presidential mandates, helps illustrate the strategic question: now that the new/old Russia has recovered its sovereignty and power, how does it intend to use it? The ambitious Project Russia currently the policy at the Kremlin and Russian corridors of power, can be summarised in three points…
— Hat tip: Insubria
The Perfect Wrong War
By Walid Phares
By now, days after Georgian forces stormed the capital of south Ossetia and Russian units counter attacked across the breaking away province and beyond; a devastating war has spread across the Caucasus causing death, destruction and displacement of populations. All wars are terrible — even the legitimate ones where country, freedom and survival at are at stake. But this war is particularly unnecessary, could have been avoided and above all is wrong; in fact I call it the perfect wrong war.
Unfortunately, when battles are raging with tanks, artillery, bombs and all sort of firepower, it becomes more difficult to see the substantive issues clearly than before the confrontation began. For example, it becomes more pressing to reach a cease fire, provide medical attention, create Red Cross corridors, stop ethnic cleansing, human rights breaches and take care of refugees, than to investigate who began the hostilities, what provoked it, what are the local claims and what international equation has permitted such an onslaught. And to make it more complicated, rushed journalistic reporting — often biased — confuses public opinion endlessly. In short, once the bullets fly, media sensationalism explodes and political agendas creep in.
Let’s review the battle of arguments in the South Ossetia conflict and try to analyze the essence while keeping an eye on the bigger picture, the one that affects democracies’ national security and international efforts against terror forces…
— Hat tip: Fjordman
Iranians Flock to Muslim Malaysia, Not West
A number of Iranians are flocking to Malaysia, attracted by a fellow Islamic country with a relatively low cost of living, instead of pursuing their dreams in traditional exile hubs such as Canada or Sweden.
— Hat tip: TB
Religion: the Big Switch
Chinese religions here [Singapore], specifically Taoism, have been trying to stem the bleed of believers from their ranks, but their followers are still abandoning them for Christianity. Seven in 10 here considered themselves Taoist nearly 90 years ago, but recent census figures have charted their declining ‘share’ — from 30 per cent of the population in 1980 to 22.4 per cent in 1990 and 8.5 per cent in 2000.
Christianity, on the other hand, has grown its flock to 14.6 per cent of the people here in 2000, up from just 5.2 per cent in the 1920s to 10.1 per cent in 1980 and 12.7 per cent in 1990. With most of the other religions holding steady, this is where the migration seems to have been.
With the next census not due till 2010, The Straits Times commissioned a study aimed at uncovering trends in religious conversion and why people switch from their childhood faiths. The ST survey, which polled 1,000 people aged above 15 and representative of the population, found that 20 per cent of adults here abandon the religion they were born into before age 30. Back in 1990, these ‘switchers’ made up only 11.5 per cent.
The drift is leaving Taoism, for one, with relatively older followers. Six in 10 Taoists, for example, are above 40. One in four who grew up in Taoist homes says he has left the faith. In contrast, Buddhism is holding strong. Over 80 per cent who were born Buddhist are staying Buddhist. And it was the fastest growing religion between 1990 and 2000, growing to 43 per cent of the population in that decade.
Buddhists are seeing a revival in their faith — a revival also being played out in South Korea, which is similarly multi-religious and Asian. There, Buddhism is also mounting a fight for believers amid a dramatic surge in Christianity. Christians form close to 30 per cent of the population there, and Buddhists, 22.8 per cent.
In Singapore, where Christianity is not native, half the faithful are converts, that is, not born into the religion. Christianity has grown here amid an evolving social context: The population has become more educated. English has also grown in use, and brought with it a Western world view and culture. Language appears to be the biggest factor accounting for Christianity’s expansion here, said Associate Professor Phyllis Chew, a linguist at the National Institute of Education.
National University of Singapore sociologist Alexius Pereira confirmed it: ‘There’s a ‘leakage’ from traditional Chinese religions, which don’t seem to have the same appeal to younger people.’ He added that over the last 40 years, Christianity has drawn the educated, English-speaking Chinese whose parents followed traditional religions. […]
Sociologists like Dr Pereira feel that Christianity’s expansion will eventually peak and reach a saturation point. One reason could be as young Christian converts marry and set up their own families, they are likely to bring up their own children as Christians. The conversion rate will probably slow down.
As National University of Singapore sociologist Tong Chee Kiong put it in his book on the subject published last year: ‘To an extent, in a multi-religious society experiencing rapid social change in the religious scene, a zero-sum game is being played between religions, and conversion becomes an integral part of the game.’
— Hat tip: VH
China Warns of ‘Life and Death’ Battle With Terror
The leader of China’s restive far-western region of Xinjiang has warned of a ‘life and death struggle’ against terrorism, following a series of attacks that raised fears of threats to the Olympic Games. The oil-rich region, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been hit with three separate attacks on government posts in the past two weeks that authorities blame on Muslim separatists seeking to disrupt the Games.
Xinjiang Communist Party secretary Wang Lequan ‘pointed out that leaders at all levels must deeply understand that the struggle against the ‘three forces’ is one of life or death”, Thursday’s Xinjiang Daily said, refering to terrorism, separatism and religious extremism, forces China says are threats to its security and unity.
It accused extremists in Xinjiang, more than 3,000 km (1,860 miles) from Beijing, of seeking a separate state of East Turkestan, but critics charge such threats have been exaggerated by a regime bent on controlling the culture and religion of the minority ethnic Uighurs who populate the region. ‘In Xinjiang, the fight against separatist forces is long-term, arduous and complex,’ the newspaper quoted Mr Wang as telling a leadership meeting.
Security forces must ‘stick to a strategy of seizing the initiative to strike pre-emptively, closely guard against and attack separatist sabotage by the three forces and never allow our enemies to gain strength’. He said an attack on Aug 4 in the region’s Silk Road city of Kashgar that killed 16 police was ‘planned, organised and premeditated terrorist violence’.
‘After the incident, relevant authorities handled it according to law, preserved social stability and the normal order of work and life,’ Mr Wang said. The suspects, both Uighurs, were arrested on the spot. […]
— Hat tip: VH
Philippines Retakes Farmlands From Rebels
Tens of thousands of displaced Catholic farmers were returning to their homes in the southern Philippines yesterday after troops took control of the area from Muslim rebels following three days of fighting, army officials said.
Major-General Armando Cunanan, a military commander in Mindanao, said troops had driven out rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) from villages they had occupied in North Cotabato province on Mindanao island.
Our troops have virtually liberated these areas,” Cunanan told reporters, adding the rebels had been forced to move back to the marshlands or deeper into the mountains in adjacent Shariff Kabunsuan province. “We’re sending our bomb disposal teams to make sure all the villages are safe from booby traps and landmines that were left behind by the retreating rebels.
Around 160,000 displaced farmers, clutching cooking pans and a few possession, started walking back to their homes on Wednesday, escorted by dozens of troops backed by armoured vehicles. “About half of them have returned and we hope that the rest can go back to their homes the day after tomorrow,” Defence Secretary Gilberto Teodoro told reporters while touring several temporary shelters in the province. […]
— Hat tip: VH
Reports on U.S. Tourist’s Murder False, Claims Source
A source in Beijing says that the murder in Beijing of American Todd Bachman and the wounding of his wife Barbara and their Chinese tour guide were committed by someone other than the individual identified in China’s state-run press.
The three were attacked on August 9 while visiting the Drum Tower, a popular Beijing tourist site. The next day, Xinhua reported that they had been murdered by a 47-year-old factory worker named Tang Yongming who had recently been thrown out of work. Tang was said to have committed the murder out of hopelessness and rage at society, and then to have committed suicide by jumping 150 feet to the concrete below.
According to the Epoch Times’ source, however, a local store clerk saw something different.
Immediately after the murder a witness came out of one of the stores nearby where she works, shaken at what she had seen. According to this store clerk, the murderer was a very tall Chinese man between 30 and 40 years old in a business suit. The killer was said to be very agile and quick and used a double-bladed military knife to commit the murder.
The clerk says that there were security guards within 20 feet of the murder who did nothing to stop or apprehend the killer. While she and other witnesses were too shocked to react, the killer quickly ran away.
The subsequent press coverage in the state-run media has been strange. After the murder, the Chinese regime mouthpiece Xinhua published an article about the life of Tang, explaining why he committed the murder. However, that article has been deleted from the Web site, and no follow-up report on the murder has been published.
After the murder, the U.S. .Volleyball Team, whose coach is an in-law of the victim, held a press conference. After the press conference, the notes and photos of Chinese media were confiscated by regime officials…
South Africa: Whites Leaving SA in Droves
The number of white South Africans who give emigration as the reason for selling their home has shot up in recent months as high crime levels and political and economic uncertainty spur the flight of whites from the Rainbow Nation.
A survey by South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) showed the proportion of homeowners who said they were putting their homes on the market because they were emigrating had doubled between the last quarter of 2007 and the second quarter of 2008, from 9 percent to 18 percent.
Foreign embassies in South Africa report a jump in emigration applications from mainly white South Africans in recent months, amid growing disillusionment over high levels of violent crime and the populist slide within the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
A power crisis that has made blackouts a feature of life in a country that prides itself on having first-world infrastructure, and a recent outbreak of xenophobic violence have also added to sense of doom and gloom fuelling emigration.
On Monday, a plane carrying 100 Jewish immigrants landed at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on the first ever specially-chartered aliyah (Jewish immigration to Israel) flight from South Africa. According to the Jewish Agency, the body that manages immigration to the Jewish state, the number of South African Jews interested in making Israel their home is set to double in 2008. From 178 last year, their number is set to reach over 300 this year.
The Agency said the political situation and crime and violence were behind the trend. […] South Africa’s Institute for Race Relations estimates that around 800 000 whites emigrated in the decade from 1995 to 2005.
— Hat tip: VH
UN Slams Sweden’s Deportation Policy
United Nation refugee agency UNHCR has criticized Sweden’s decision to deport Afghan refugees to Kabul even if they have no social or family ties in the capital city.
The criticism comes after the Swedish Migration Court of Appeal earlier this summer allowed a man who originated from a very unstable part of the country to be deported to Kabul.
“It is not reasonable to believe that somebody will survive on their own in Kabul,” said Hans ten Feld, head of the UNHCR in the Nordic and Baltic regions. The UN body has expressed its opinions on the matter in a letter to the court.
— Hat tip: TB
Stockholm Population Reaches Highest Level Since 1960s
Sweden’s population grew by 32,094 during the first half of this year amid continued high immigration, while population figures for Stockholm municipality passed the 800,000 mark for the first time since the 1960s.
According to a new report by Statistics Sweden, Sweden’s total population hit 9,215,021 at the end of June.
The main reason for the increase in Sweden’s population is that immigration sharply exceeds emigration. During the first six months of 2008, 44,957 people moved to Sweden while 21,998 left the country. The largest group of immigrants after Swedish citizens are Iraqis and Poles.
— Hat tip: TB
Voters Supported Immigration Halt in 2006
Between 35% and 40% of mainstream political party supporters supported a total ban on Muslim immigration at the 2006 election, according to a new report by the national statistics office CBS.
Some 74% of people who voted for Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV [Party for Freedom] backed a ban as did 5% of GroenLinks [Green Left] voters, the CBS says. The report on voters’ views in advance of the November 2006 general election also shows there was little public support for an end to mortgage tax relief or suggestions that social security provisions be reduced to pay for a tax cut.
It also shows growing cynicism with politics. Some 42% of the voters in 2006 felt that ministers were looking after their own interests, compared with 32% of voters 30 years ago. And 93% thought that politicians promised more than they could deliver, up from 79% in 1977.
— Hat tip: VH
Italy: More Than 100 Illegal Immigrants Arrive Off Coast
Lampedusa, 13 August (AKI) — More than 100 illegal immigrants arrived off the southern Italian coast near the tiny island of Lampedusa on Wednesday.
A rubber dinghy was spotted carrying 36 people as it entered the port of Lampedusa, south of the island of Sicily, while another carrying 21 arrived near the deserted Conigli island, near Lampedusa.
Another 60 illegal migrants arrived overnight on Tuesday. They were spotted by an aircraft of the Italian Finance Police, 20 nautical miles off the Sicilian town of Portopalo.
All have been transferred to a temporary reception centre on the island.
Also on Wednesday, 28 other illegal migrants reportedly bound for Italy were rescued in Maltese territorial waters.
Thousands of illegal immigrants make the dangerous sea voyage from North Africa to Italy and other southern Mediterranean countries each year.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
“Anti-Semitic” Video Lands YouTube in Hot Water
A French Jewish group said Thursday it is suing the YouTube video-sharing website over a clip showing a host of Jewish public figures to the soundtrack of a pre-war anti-Semitic song.
The video posted on the U.S. site YouTube and its French rival Dailymotion shows a slideshow of more than 150 French politicians, TV stars, journalists, writers, philosophers, actors, singers and comedians.
It is set to the sound of a song recorded before World War II, called “Rebecca’s wedding,” which describes the guests at a Jewish wedding as dirty, rude and dishonest.
— Hat tip: TB
Wikipedia Wins Dismissal of Baseless Defamation Claims
In a victory for free speech and user-generated content, a New Jersey judge has dismissed baseless defamation claims against the operator of Wikipedia. In a recent ruling, the judge correctly found that federal law immunizes the Wikimedia Foundation from liability for statements made by its users.
This case began when literary agent Barbara Bauer sued Wikimedia, claiming the organization was liable for statements identifying her as one of the “dumbest of the twenty worst” agents and that she had “no documented sales at all.” EFF and the law firm of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton represented Wikimedia, and moved to dismiss the case in May, arguing that under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, operators of “interactive computer services” such as Wikipedia cannot be held liable for users’ comments.
Section 230’s blanket protection of sites like Wikipedia does not mean that alleged defamation on the Internet cannot be challenged in court. Instead, the law requires that litigants direct their efforts at the speakers themselves and not the forums where statements were made. This means that sites like Wikipedia, Craigslist, and other online communities can continue to include user-generated content without living in fear of costly lawsuits.
Since it was signed into law over a decade ago, courts across the country have consistently applied the protections of Section 230 broadly, fulfilling Congress’ intent to foster online interactive communications. We’re pleased to add this case to the list.
— Hat tip: Henrik
For the Love of Christ
I’m a Christian Zionist, a Christian feminist and a Christian socialist. But the Christian part has become the most important
First of all, let me tell you what this isn’t. It’s not some “I-was-lost-and-now-I’m-found” sob story. These days, many people reach out to faith “to find peace”. I had too much peace in my life already. In faith, I was looking to be troubled — on behalf of other people. Every film and pop starlet, trawling after a reason to exist, says, “I’m not religious — but I am spiritual”. I don’t have a spiritual bone in my body; but what I am, is religious. I believe, literally, in the God of the Old Testament, whom I understand as the Lord of the Jews and the Protestants. I’m a Christian Zionist, as well as a Christian feminist and a Christian socialist. But over the past two decades, almost without me knowing it, the Christian part has become the most important…
— Hat tip: Gaia