Norway’s infamous Mullah Krekar said in an interview that Muslims need a state of their own, possibly led by Osama Bin Laden. Meanwhile, the Yemeni government says that there is increasing evidence that Iran is arming the Shiite rebels in the north of the country, on the Saudi border.
In other news, a magistrate in Rome has opened an investigation into alleged money-laundering by a Vatican bank.
Thanks to C. Cantoni, Diana West, Esther, Insubria, JD, JP, Sean O’Brian, Steen, TB, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
– – – – – – – – –
||Best Buy Ad Touting Muslim Holiday Sparks Debate
||Congress Must Stop KSM Trial!
||Diana West: Clemency for Terrorists But Not for Our Soldiers?
||FBI Swoops in to Halt Return of ‘Muslim Mafia’ Documents
||Hearing for Homeschooler Forced Into Gov’t System
||How the Pilgrims Progressed
||Illegal Alien Burns Elderly Woman Alive, Now Gets Life
||John Stossel: We Pay Them to Lie to Us
||Michelle Obama — Google Won’t Remove Distorted Michelle Obama Image From Search Engine
||Michelle Obama Orders Thigh-High French Boots
||Pastor Sees Pure Evil in Obama
||Rehab Ranch’s Operator is Jailed Over Living Conditions
||Reviving the 10th Amendment
||Senator to Demand Probe of Global-Warming ‘Fraud’
||Top Republican Lawmakers Not Attending State Dinner
||Washington to Pay 13.7 Million to Mistreated Protesters
||GlaxoSmithKline Recalls H1N1 Vaccine in Canada Over ‘Life-Threatening’ Allergy Risk
||Jihadist Lit: At a Library Near You
||Welcome to Caledonia, Where Flying the Flag is Asking for a Fight
Europe and the EU
||Christopher Monkton: The Criminal Conspiracy of Global Warming
||Denmark: Coca Cola Puts Kibosh on State’s Health Campaign
||Czech Muslims Want to Talk With Wilders
||EU Parliament Building
||EU’s Top Executive Refuses to Rule Out Brussels Tax
||Greece: Church Refuses Alms to the State
||Hamas Incites Children to Kill Jews
||Italy: ‘Spiked Cocaine Killed Marrazzo Pusher’
||Italy: Escort to Release New Book on Berlusconi
||Italy: Berlusconi to Decide Inheritance Says Eldest Son
||Norway: Muslims Need a State of Their Own, Says Krekar
||Obama to Ask NATO for 5,000 ‘Missing’ Troops
||Spain: Vocation Crisis, Half Parishes Without Priests
||Spanish Jews Denounce Resurgence of Anti-Semitism
||Swedish Firm Settles Over Offensive Job Interview
||Tracking Dogs Are Major Dutch Export Product
||UK: Brown Agrees to Investigate Claim Extremists Received Public Funding
||UK: Female? Black? Gay? All Three? Then You’re More Likely to Become an MP Under Controversial New Plans
||UK: Gove Defends Tory Decision to Raise Hizb Ut-Tahrir School Issue
||UK: Gordon Brown Challenged on Public Cash for ‘Extremist Muslims’
||UK: Islamic School Funds Investigated
||UK: No 10 Denies Firm Plan to Change Royal Succession Laws
||UK: Political Row Over ‘£100,000 of Public Money Given to Schools Linked to Muslim Extremists’
||UK: Teenager Who Tried to Rape Girl, 11, Avoids Jail in ‘Pathetic’ Ruling
||UK: Vile Thug Spits in Pensioner’s Face and Beats Her After She Bumps Into Him on Moving Bus
||UK: What Kind of Country Arrests Innocent People to Boost Its DNA Database?
||Vatican Bank Probed for Money Laundering
||Algeria: New Health Regulations for Festival of Sacrifice
||Algerians Fleeing Egypt
||Turkey-Libya: Libyan PM Appreciates Turkey’s Role With Arabs
Israel and the Palestinians
||PNA: EU Finances Training to Empower Unions
||Defence: Israel to Ship Newest Herons to Turkey in 2010
||Economics: Italy-Syria Launch Economics Training Course
||Report: Obama’s Muslim Grandmother Among Mecca Pilgrims
||Rights Group Rejects Saudi Witchcraft Charges
||Saudi Arabia: Obama’s Grandmother in Mecca for ‘Hajj’ Ceremony
||Turkey: Poverty Prevents Civil Servants From Having Children
||Turkey: 42% Pct of Women Targets of Violence, Survey
||Turkey: Dervishes Museum Undergoing Largest-Ever Restoration
||Turkish Foreign Ministry Says Far-Right Dutch MP ‘Unwelcome’ In Turkey
||Turks Divided Over Wilders Visit
||Yemen Sees ‘Mounting Evidence’ Iran is Arming Rebels
||Russian Officials Beheaded in N. Caucasus — Ifax
||Ahmed Rashid: Pakistan Conspiracy Theories Stifle Debate
||Indonesian Muslims Surf Internet for a Sacrifice
||Malaysian Woman Tries to Reverse Muslim Conversion
||NATO Seeks Italy OK on Troops
||Violence Against Afghan, Pakistani Women Escalates in 2009
Australia — Pacific
||Man Who Raped Woman Who Was Eight Months Pregnant Given Leniency Due to Race and Deprived Background, Court of Appeal Rules
||Pirates Kill Sailor in Attack on Oil Tanker Off Benin
||Somali Captors Free Australian and Canadian Reporters
||Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill Causes Commonwealth Uproar
||Honduras: Minister Seeks ‘Legitimacy’ For Coup Govt
||Honduras: Iran a ‘Danger’ To Region, Says Minister
||Frattini: Point Based Citizenship Not to Discard
||French Border Police Discover 12 Lorries Packed With British-Bound Migrants
||Ireland: Permission to Challenge State on Non-EU Dependant Refused
||Italy Calls for EU Help Against Illegal Immigration
||Italy: Northern League’s White Christmas
||Finland: Mealtime Prayer at Schools Questioned
||Obama Appoints “Anti-Jesus” Jurist
||Dennis Sewell on Charles Darwin’s Dark Legacy
||Hiding Evidence of Global Cooling
||The Architect as Totalitarian
Best Buy Ad Touting Muslim Holiday Sparks Debate
A Best Buy ad with a Muslim theme is raising questions of how retailers should mark religious holidays.
The ad on BestBuy.com wishes Muslims a happy Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday that lasts three days and happens to fall on the extended Thanksgiving weekend.
A BestBuy.com message board has been filled with mixed responses since the ad was posted, MyFoxTwinCities.com reports.
One says, “Thank you Best Buy for the Eid Greetings!! I plan to spend more money at BB (Best Buy.) Thank you for being inclusive of various cultures.”
Congress Must Stop KSM Trial!
The U.S. Constitution can rescue us from the Obama administration’s latest push toward “remaking America.” Our Constitution is on the people’s side to stop Obama from turning the judiciary into a platform for America’s sworn enemies to spread their propaganda and even use our own laws against us.
Our Constitution’s framers foresaw the probability that power-hungry men would try to take over the judiciary. So, they gave us the tools to maintain a government based on the separation of powers.
Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, has announced that he will move the trial of the confessed 9/11 terrorist mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, known as KSM, from a military court (where he ought to be tried) to a civilian court in New York City. Even worse, Holder plans to reward this terrorist with all the constitutional rights of any ordinary U.S. citizen defendant accused of an ordinary crime.
KSM fits the statutory definition of a terrorist: an “unlawful enemy combatant” who engaged in premeditated, politically motivated violence against noncombatant targets. He’s not a U.S. citizen, and he was arrested outside the United States.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to override this Obama-Holder outrage. Congress can and should prevent this travesty, and the sooner the better.
We don’t need any 2,000-page legislation — a single sentence will suffice: “Federal district courts shall have no jurisdiction over any case involving unlawful enemy combatants, as that term is defined in the United States Code (Title 10, Section 948a).”
Constitutional authority is clear. Article III, Section 1, states, “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”
Before Holder became attorney general, he and other Justice Department lawyers were in law firms that represented detainees at Guantanamo. Those lawyers should all be disqualified — they shouldn’t have ever been hired by the Justice Department.
Diana West: Clemency for Terrorists But Not for Our Soldiers?
This week’s column is indeed a “holiday” column, although celebratory it is not. These are not celebratory times — despite the robber-baron scale of entertaining going on in Washington as the Obamas find the 140-seat state dining room inadequate for the 400 guests they entertained last night under an elaborate tent constructed on the South Lawn for their first State Dinner.
Actually,”robber-baron” is the wrong term. Robber barons were stuffed with money, which they lavishly spent. What we are seeing today is stimulus-baron entertaining on borrowed money and time.
Still, it is Thanksgiving tomorrow, and with Thanksgiving, Americans give thanks. This column asks that we give pause also, and remember the brave men who answered the call of this country and now languish in prison for doing so. Upsetting? Do something about it. Letters, both to the men themselves and to government and military officials, help (some addresses in links below).
And one correction to column: Happily, one of the men in the “Fort Leavenworth Ten,” Raymond Girouard of Sweetwater, TN, was released last month.
During the Thanksgiving season especially, Americans should give thanks to our brave men in uniform, and women, too, fighting in hostile lands under atrocious conditions.
But there’s another duty upon us as Americans with a debt of gratitude to our armed forces.
We must recognize and protest the travesties of military justice that have tried, convicted, jailed and denied clemency to all too many brave Americans, the same brave Americans who have fought our wars only to be unfairly charged with “murder” in the war zone.
Readers of this column will recall the crushing conviction of Sgt. Evan Vela, a young Ranger-trained sniper and father of two from Idaho, for executing his superior’s 2006 order to kill an Iraqi man who at the time has been compromising his squad’s hiding place in the pre-”surge” Sunni triangle. Ten years in Fort Leavenworth, ordered not-so-blind justice. (There is evidence that Evan’s harsh sentence was a blatant political offering to Iraq’s government.) One reason behind my intense distaste for George W. Bush — my own personal Bush Derangement Syndrome — is the former president’s callousness toward such Americans as Sgt. Vela, who served their commander in chief well in these difficult times of war. As the Bush administration came to an end, talk of a presidential pardon for Vela leaked to the media, no doubt elating the Vela family, but, cruelly, nothing came of it.
It never does…
FBI Swoops in to Halt Return of ‘Muslim Mafia’ Documents
New subpoena in conflict with judge’s order on papers captured in undercover investigation
WASHINGTON — While attorneys representing the co-author of “Muslim Mafia” were preparing late today to honor a federal court order to return documents obtained from the Council on American-Islamic Relations in an independent undercover operation, FBI agents served a warrant on a Washington, D.C., law office for the same documents.
The FBI agents entered the capital law offices of Cozen O’Connor tonight and issued a warrant for thousands of pages of documents as well as audio and video recordings gathered by P. David Gaubatz and his son Chris in a daring and lengthy undercover penetration of CAIR in which the younger Gaubatz served as an unpaid intern for the group that was labeled an unindicted terrorist co-conspirator in last year’s Holy Land Foundation trial.
Hearing for Homeschooler Forced Into Gov’t System
Judge: ‘Lost opportunity’ if child’s Christian views not challenged in public setting
The New Hampshire Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of a 10-year-old homeschool girl who has been ordered into a government-run school because she was too “vigorous” in defense of her Christian faith.
As WND reported, a girl identified in court documents as “Amanda” had been described as “well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level.”
Nevertheless, a New Hampshire court official determined that she would be better off in public school rather than continuing her homeschool education.
The August decision from Marital Master Michael Garner reasoned that Amanda’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.”
The recommendation was approved by Judge Lucinda V. Sadler, but it is being challenged by attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund, who said it was “a step too far” for any court.
Simmons said the court wrongly interfered with Amanda’s education plan after admitting the child was sociable and “academically promising and intellectually at or superior to grade level.“
“[B]ut then it ordered her out of the homeschooling she loves so that her religious views will be challenged at a government school,” Simmons explained. “That’s where the court went too far.”
Now the New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear the case. ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson said the lower court is setting a dangerous standard.
“We are concerned anytime a court oversteps its bounds to tread on the right of a parent to make sound educational choices, or to discredit the inherent value of the homeschooling option,” Johnson sad. “The lower court effectively determined that it would be a ‘lost opportunity’ if a child’s Christian views are not sifted and challenged in a public-school setting. We regard that as a dangerous precedent.”
How the Pilgrims Progressed
[Comments from JD: Article has little known fact about the Pilgrims and that makes it worth reading. ]
As America embarks on a bold leeward lurch toward centralized power and massive redistribution of wealth in addressing its economic problems, it might be time to take a step back and learn a lesson from our forebears, the Pilgrims.
But first we must familiarize ourselves with the historical truth of their experience — something that has been in short supply in the media and our schools.
Kids often learn today that the Mayflower gang were pretty incompetent — bad farmers, bad fishermen, bad hunters. They came to the New World unprepared for the hardships they would face in the wilderness.
They were rescued by the friendly native Americans who taught them the survival skills they would need, so the story goes. The first harvest festival was a time of rejoicing and giving thanks to their saviors — the Indians who befriended them and guided them to a better way of life.
That picture is totally wrong.
Here’s the real story…
Illegal Alien Burns Elderly Woman Alive, Now Gets Life
[Comments from JD: WARNING: Article contains graphic descriptions.]
An illegal alien has been sentenced to life in prison for breaking into an 83-year-old woman’s home, grabbing her by the throat, smashing her head into furniture, saturating her with gasoline and setting her body on fire while she was still alive — all to cover up his check-fraud scam after she hired him to cut her lawn.
Ramon Alvarado, 33, and his cousin, Jose Alvarado, 37, were hired to do yard work for Lila Meizel at her home in Wheaton, Md. They worked for the woman for two years, and Meizel often gave the men soda, food and extra tips.
Jose’s wife, Ana Rodas, 33, was also arrested in connection with the murder that took place the day before Thanksgiving last year. Ramon was convicted of murder, arson and conspiracy in October. On Monday, he was sentenced to two consecutive life terms — one without parole — plus an additional 30 years for arson.
John Stossel: We Pay Them to Lie to Us
When you knowingly pay someone to lie to you, we call the deceiver an illusionist or a magician. When you unwittingly pay someone to do the same thing, I call him a politician.
President Obama insists that health-care “reform” not “add a dime” to the budget deficit, which daily grows to ever more frightening levels. So the House-passed bill and the one the Senate now deliberates both claim to cost less than $900 billion. Somehow “$900 billion over 10 years” has been decreed to be a magical figure that will not increase the deficit.
It’s amazing how precise government gets when estimating the cost of 10 years of subsidized medical care. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bill was scored not at $850 billion, but $849 billion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her bill would cost $871 billion.
How do they do that?
The key to magic is misdirection, fooling the audience into looking in the wrong direction.
I happily suspend disbelief when a magician says he’ll saw a woman in half. That’s entertainment. But when Harry Reid says he’ll give 30 million additional people health coverage while cutting the deficit, improving health care and reducing its cost, it’s not entertaining. It’s incredible.
Michelle Obama — Google Won’t Remove Distorted Michelle Obama Image From Search Engine
“It’s offensive to many people, but that alone is not a reason to remove it from our search index,” Google spokesman Scott Rubin said. “We have, in general, a bias toward free speech.”
A crudely altered photograph of Michelle Obama, which often comes up as the first result on a Google image search of her name, will not be removed from the company’s search process despite protests that the depiction is racist and repugnant.
“It’s offensive to many people, but that alone is not a reason to remove it from our search index,” Google spokesman Scott Rubin said. “We have, in general, a bias toward free speech.”
Michelle Obama Orders Thigh-High French Boots
Michelle Obama has kicked aside controversy over her expensive French sports shoes and ordered thigh-high luxury boots from the same country, according to
VALENCE — Robert Clergerie said the US first lady had chosen a black pair with flat heels as well as another pair of calf-length boots in soft beige buckskin, both in size 41 (US size nine-and-a-half, British size seven).
The order was sent in by a retailer in the Obamas’ hometown Chicago after Michelle could not find the exact style she wanted. One of the pairs was modified slightly from the catalogue model at her request.
In April, Obama attracted a flurry of comment after she wore a fashionable 540-dollar (360-euro) pair of Lanvin trainers (sneakers) when she handed out food to the poor at a Washington food bank.
Pastor Sees Pure Evil in Obama
A New York pastor claims Barack Obama is pure evil, not an American citizen, and therefore has no right to run the country.
A pastor in one Harlem church has been sending out political messages that have been causing much controversy in the US. Former prisoner-turned-pastor James David Manning, who also has his own radio show, is not a fan of the US President.
Offensive and what some call hate-filled messages fly out of his church on a daily basis.
“I believe [Barack Obama] represents pure evil. He is an evil, evil man — spiritually,” Pastor Manning is convinced.
He claims that both the police and the secret service have visited him because of his messages. Manning says he expects to be arrested soon for his political beliefs, which he insists would be an infringement of free speech.
Rehab Ranch’s Operator is Jailed Over Living Conditions
Superior Court Judge John Trice ordered the 66-year-operator of Sunny Acres, a self-styled rehab program for some of the Central Coast’s toughest cases, to serve 90 days in jail. He was also fined $1,000.
Trice said he had little choice because De Vaul has repeatedly refused to bring the living arrangements at his ranch up to code despite the offers of county officials to help him. On Monday, he even refused an offer of probation.
“This is not about the homeless,” Trice said. “This is about a landowner’s refusal to comply with law and with land restrictions in the county.”
A defiant De Vaul stretched out his arms and let deputies place handcuffs on him before being led out of the San Luis Obispo courtroom. About 30 of his supporters, some of them Sunny Acres residents, stood and applauded as De Vaul was taken into custody.
“Thank you, Dan!” they shouted. Some broke into tears.
A jury in September convicted De Vaul on two misdemeanor charges of violating health and safety codes at Sunny Acres, finding that an illegally built stucco barracks posed a fire danger to De Vaul’s clients. The convictions culminated years of attempts by county officials to get De Vaul to fix up his property.
The rancher has operated a sober-living program for eight years, housing up to 70 people in mobile homes, tents, garden sheds and an aging Victorian home. Most of the living arrangements are unsafe and unsanitary, county code enforcement officials have said.
De Vaul has also stored mounds of tires and dozens of passenger and commercial vehicles on his property, tearing some apart for scrap. Neighbors have complained about the eyesore.
In an interview before Monday’s sentencing, De Vaul said he was prepared to go to jail because accepting probation would mean he could no longer provide shelter for about 30 people who still reside at his 72-acre ranch, set among rolling hills west of the city limits.
“The first condition of probation is obey all laws,” he said. “I’m proud to go to jail for housing the homeless.”
At the sentencing, attorney Jeff Stulberg argued that the county was unfairly singling out De Vaul for punishment. But prosecutor Craig VanRooyen said De Vaul had a long pattern of ignoring safety problems at his ranch.
Before it was shut down by county officials last year, the stucco dormitory had unsafe electrical wiring, including an exposed line that ran along the ceiling of a shower, according to the prosecutor.
“Was the county supposed to turn a blind eye because those people are needy?” VanRooyen said.
Darcene Clayton, 55, said De Vaul’s program was a haven for people trying to kick drug and alcohol addictions who had nowhere else to live. De Vaul has said that he charges a nominal rent for some and provides free shelter to those who can’t pay.
Clayton, a recovering addict, said she’s been offered an apartment in the year she’s stayed at the ranch.
“I choose to stay there to fight the fight with Mr. De Vaul,” she said.
Trice said he doesn’t doubt De Vaul’s good intentions. But the rancher’s conduct over the years “can only be viewed as irresponsible and arrogant,” the judge said.
Juror bails out San Luis Obispo rancher jailed over conditions at his housing for the homeless
It won’t be three hots and a cot on Thanksgiving day for San Luis Obispo rancher Dan De Vaul, who was sentenced to 90 days in jail earlier this week for illegally housing tenants on his property.
De Vaul, 66, will enjoy turkey with all the trimmings after being bailed out Tuesday by one of the jurors who convicted him of two misdemeanor violations. Mary Partin, who posted De Vaul’s $5,000 bail, told local reporters that she regretted her guilty votes and wanted to help him.
His release at 6:15 p.m. came a day after a San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge ordered him to serve 90 days in jail for unsafe conditions at his Sunny Acres ranch.
Under California law, if a person is convicted of a misdemeanor and has filed an appeal, he can post bail, prosecutors said.
A jury in September convicted De Vaul for building a three-story dormitory without a permit and for housing residents of his sober-living program in unsafe conditions, including exposed electrical wiring. He also has illegally stored junked autos and trucks, officials have said.
County code enforcement officials have been trying to get De Vaul to clear up his violations for seven years.
Judge John Trice sent him to jail after De Vaul refused probation conditions that the rancher said would have required him to remove the 30 tenants on his 72-acre property.
De Vaul contends that the residents, homeless addicts and alcoholics, don’t have anywhere else to go. But the judge and prosecutors say De Vaul has been given several opportunities to bring his property up to code and has refused to do so.
De Vaul was in a celebratory mood Wednesday. He considered refusing Partin’s offer, he said, but agreed to the bailout so he could field numerous media requests for interviews, including calls from the New York Times, “Good Morning America” and the Larry King show.
“All we want to do is have a clean and sober program,” he said. “If public support can get the county off of our back, terrific.”
Reviving the 10th Amendment
America is dramatically different. America started out as 13 different countries; colonies, as they called themselves. Because, unlike Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, those 13 American “countries” spoke the same language and were ethnically identical, it was easy to suppose, “Well, this new America is another country, like Canada, Mexico etc.” We drew up a “marriage contract” nailing down rules as to how we would live together. That contract, of course, is the Constitution. As America grew and more countries were added, that fact of American birth and American life didn’t change. America is far from a “plain old country.” America is a union of 50 different sovereign states! So, what’s the big deal?
The big deal, and it’s a very big one, is that, wherever you live in America, you are in a sovereign state connected to 49 other ones. Interesting coincidence: The territory between Great Britain and the Ural Mountains has 50 sovereign states. We call it “Europe.” The territory between Canada and Mexico also has 50 sovereign states. It’s called “America.” Wrap your mind around that concept and hang on tight. It’s going to get bumpy.
Educated Europeans are more than amazed — staggered is more like it — by the freedoms of our “states” to make their own laws about driving, drinking, marrying, building, farming, taxes and a whole lot more. Sure, there are “divisions” inside their own countries, but here’s the difference: No Canadian, French or German “province,” no Norwegian “fylkring,” no Swedish “lan” has a fraction of the freedom inherent in the American “state.” The lines on the maps inside those other countries are mere “administrative zones” set off by arbitrary borders for housekeeping convenience. The American state is sovereign.
In a recent radio interview with the head of the “10th Amendment Foundation,” my spirits soared. Strother Smith, whose devotion to the Constitution approaches religiosity, detailed his mission, starting with an embarrassingly necessary reminder as to what exactly the 10th Amendment really says. If you know that the first 10 amendments to the Constitution are the “Bill of Rights,” you pass the course. To get an “A,” however, you have to know that the 10th Amendment provides that powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states by the U.S. Constitution are reserved to the states or the people.
Senator to Demand Probe of Global-Warming ‘Fraud’
‘They cooked the science to make this thing look as if it was settled’
The Senate’s leading global-warming skeptic says he plans to demand an investigation into the allegedly fraudulent data manipulation unveiled at a highly influential British research center, and another prominent analyst says he’s heard enough and there should be prosecutions.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a guest on the Washington Times morning radio show, said he knew scientists were “cooking” information years ago. The e-mails, he said, were the proof, and now something needs to be done.
Top Republican Lawmakers Not Attending State Dinner
While the White House is mum about who will be among the 300 or so lucky invitees to President Obama’s first state dinner Tuesday night, word is already leaking out about who’s not going to be there.
Chief among the non-attendees: top Republican lawmakers.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner was invited but won’t be there; he’s on Thanksgiving break and home in Ohio. His deputy, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, didn’t get an invitation to the dinner.
The president didn’t invite his 2008 rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, even though Mr. Obama the candidate pledged a post-partisan presidency.
Washington to Pay 13.7 Million to Mistreated Protesters
WASHINGTON — The city of Washington has agreed to pay 13.7 million dollars to some 700 demonstrators and bystanders mistreated by police during demonstrations against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in 2000.
“We think it’s an historic settlement. It’s the largest settlement for a protest case in Washington D.C. and we believe in the country,” Partnership for Civil Justice, which filed the class action lawsuit, said in a statement.
GlaxoSmithKline Recalls H1N1 Vaccine in Canada Over ‘Life-Threatening’ Allergy Risk
The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline says it has advised medical staff in Canada to not use one batch of swine flu vaccine for fear it may trigger life-threatening allergies.
GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Gwenan White said Tuesday the company issued the advice after reports that one batch of the swine flu vaccine might have caused more allergic reactions than normal.
Jihadist Lit: At a Library Near You
When police rounded up 18 terror suspects around Toronto in 2006, they found cash, detonators and videos that showed some of them yelling “God is Great” as they trained in the snow with guns.
Police also found copies of manifestos with such titles as The Book of Jihad, The Virtues of Jihad, Fundamental Concepts Regarding Al-Jihad and 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad.
Such reading materials now enjoy “influence and popularity” in Canada, says a secret government study that identifies the ideologues whose writings it says are promoting “violent jihad” among Canadians.
The report by the Integrated Threat Assessment Centre names Sayed Qutb, Abdullah Azzam and Ibn Taymiyah as the “key ideologues whose works have contributed to Islamist radicalization in Canada.”
Welcome to Caledonia, Where Flying the Flag is Asking for a Fight
Natives who routinely and sometimes violently broke the law but nonetheless played the victim; police who wouldn’t police, but dispensed private cellphone numbers and calming hugs instead; and a small town where flying the Mohawk Warrior flag was deemed perfectly fine, but doing the same thing with the Canadian flag was held to be provocative: Welcome to Caledonia, Ont., circa 2006.
The true story of the alchemy which began to occur in that small southwestern Ontario town that spring is unfolding here in the courtroom of Ontario Superior Court Judge Thomas Bielby.
A Caledonia family — Dave Brown, Dana Chatwell and their teenage son Dax — are suing the Ontario government and the OPP for a total of $7-million for effectively abandoning them to the lawlessness surrounding a native occupation of a former development site called Douglas Creek Estates.
The family’s home is bordered on two sides by the site, part of a simmering Six Nations land claim.
It was first seized in February of that year by natives from the nearby reserve. It remains occupied by them to this day, effectively if informally ceded to them by the province which later that summer bought out the developer for $12-million purely, it appears, to allow the occupiers to stay unmolested.
It may have been just a slip of the tongue the other day when David Feliciant, the government’s lawyer, referred to the site as “the DCE Reserve,” but the land, in all but name, has become just that.
The world of Mr. Brown and Ms. Chatwell, and to a lesser degree that of other Caledonia residents whose homes were also close to the site, was Kafkaesque, a bewildering place where black was white, right was wrong, up was down.
By the fall of that year, audiotapes of some of Mr. Brown’s many calls to the OPP reveal a startlingly agreeable man — he invariably called the female police dispatchers “hon,” began all conversations with a cheery “Hi, how ya doing?” and thanked them before hanging up — but with a rising fear and sometimes outright panic in his voice.
Some nights, he phoned back repeatedly, begging for help, sometimes asking for officers to be sent to his home, other times too afraid to be seen with them. “I really don’t want to be walking out there,” he said once.
But the OPP, it was clear, would not enter the occupied land, would not make arrests as they would in the usual course, and had actually “negotiated” with the natives that the lone cruiser which was posted by the DCE entrance was not allowed to respond to calls from residents like Mr. Brown, and that only a “roving” squad car could do that.
The roving squad car, of course, roved only around the edges of DCE, never entering it, either in pursuit of suspects or to make arrests.
Once or twice, the tapes showed, when Mr. Brown would call back asking where the police were, the dispatcher would explain that the call had been routed through London, and that if he wanted better service he should always ask for the “Caledonia Resettlement Unit” of the OPP.
One night, when he asked that the OPP station a car near his house, he implored the dispatcher, “Just don’t ignore my calls okay? It’s unsafe here, if you ask me. They’re shining spotlights all over, all around the perimeter.” Police notes duly stated that “Occupiers are in multiple vehicles, shining lights everywhere.”
When an officer showed up, as requested, Mr. Brown phoned back and asked the dispatcher to have the officer call him: “I just want to say thank you,” he said.
And as it was then, so it remains, as an exchange between Mr. Feliciant and Mr. Brown yesterday illustrates.
The lawyer was playing a piece of the family’s homemade videotape, now an exhibit, from some time that summer. Mr. Brown and Ms. Chatwell were outside, discussing whether they should call the OPP; there were natives, in a couple of trucks, again shining spotlights into their home. It was to capture that act that Mr. Brown got out his camera in the first place, to prove it had happened.
Suddenly on the tape, a native woman could be heard shouting: “Stop harassing us! Put your camera away! You’re violating our rights!”
“Yeah okay,” Mr. Brown said, but he muttered, “Unbelievable.”
“Did you hear that?” Mr. Feliciant asked yesterday. “You can hear someone from the site yelling at you to stop.”
“Yes, I heard that,” Mr. Brown said.
“You continued to film?” Mr. Feliciant asked. Mr. Brown agreed that he had.
“Why wouldn’t you have put your camera down?” Mr. Feliciant asked. “Clearly, you’ve agitated them.”
“Why?” Mr. Brown asked, disbelieving even after all this time. “I’m looking at that spotlight that is staring at you on the screen,” he said. “My house is being lit up.”
Mr. Feliciant is using OPP call records, incident reports and notes, two years worth of the family’s MasterCard records and Ms. Chatwell’s diary in his cross-examination of Mr. Brown. Several times yesterday, in his scrutinizing of the family’s spending, the lawyer pointed out liquor purchases.
Mr. Feliciant appeared to be trying to demonstrate that contrary to Mr. Brown’s evidence, the OPP did respond to him. Indeed they did, but from the notes and tapes yesterday, that response was usually to try to “calm down” Mr. Brown or his wife.
As Christmas of 2006 approached, with Mohawk Warrior flags all over the DCE and on Mr. Brown’s street, Caledonia residents had had enough, and decided they would carry or hang a Canadian flag. Mr. Brown decided to fly one in his front yard.
“Weren’t you at all concerned about instigating a confrontation with protesters?” Mr. Feliciant asked.
“By hanging a Canadian flag?” Mr. Brown asked, furious.
“The Canadian flag was not allowed to be flown,” he said. “I’m a very, very proud Canadian. I’m proud of my country. This was my opportunity and my right to believe we still live in this country.
“The OPP was not concerned with the Mohawk flags all around my property and on all the telephone poles. They were agitating me. You didn’t concern yourself with that,” he told Mr. Feliciant. “You didn’t care that they were agitating me at that time, [did] you?
“And you’re telling me that I’m provoking someone by hanging a Canadian flag?”
Mr. Brown’s flag was stolen a few days later, and, he told the lawyer, he stood with his uncle, three police cruisers in his driveway, as the “OPP let them [the natives] stand there with my Canadian flag.”
Christopher Monkton: The Criminal Conspiracy of Global Warming
This is what they did — these climate “scientists” on whose unsupported word the world’s classe politique proposes to set up an unelected global government this December in Copenhagen.
An unelected global government with vast and unprecedented powers to control all formerly free markets, to tax wealthy nations and all of their financial transactions, to regulate the economic and environmental affairs of all nations, and to confiscate and extinguish all patent and intellectual property rights.
The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the “global warming” fraud — for fraud is what we now know it to be — tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures.
One of the thousands of emails recently circulated by a whistleblower at the University of East Anglia, where one of the world’s four global-temperature datasets is compiled, reveals that data were altered so as to prevent a recent decline in temperature from showing in the record. In fact, there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years — and there has been rapid and significant cooling for nine years.
Worse, these arrogant fraudsters — for fraudsters are what we now know them to be — have refused, for years and years and years, to reveal their data and their computer program listings.
Now we know why: As a revealing 15,000-line document from the computer division at the Climate Research Unit shows, the programs and data are a hopeless, tangled mess. In effect, the global temperature trends have simply been made up.
Unfortunately, the British researchers have been acting closely in league with their U.S. counterparts who compile the other terrestrial temperature dataset — the GISS/NCDC dataset. That dataset too contains numerous biases intended artificially to inflate the natural warming of the 20th century.
Finally, these huckstering snake-oil salesmen and “global warming” profiteers — for that is what they are — have written to each other encouraging the destruction of data that had been lawfully requested under the Freedom of Information Act in the UK by scientists who wanted to check whether their global temperature record had been properly compiled.
And that procurement of data destruction, as they are about to find out to their cost, is a criminal offense. They are not merely bad scientists — they are crooks. And crooks who have perpetrated their crimes at the expense of British and U.S. taxpayers.
I am angry, and so should you be.
Denmark: Coca Cola Puts Kibosh on State’s Health Campaign
Soda company fears trademark infringement by state organisation after it launches anti-soda canmpaign
Coca-Cola didn’t take kindly to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) co-opting a similar logo to its own when advising of the ill-effects of soda.
The DVFA launched a million kroner campaign advising children and young people to drink ‘max a half litre a week’ of juice and soda.
Czech Muslims Want to Talk With Wilders
Czech Muslim organisation Libertas Independent Agency is planning to invite MP Geert Wilders to show his short anti-Islam film Fitna and discuss its message with members, news agency ANP reports on Wednesday.
The agency says earlier this week other Czech political parties rejected a proposed invitation to Wilders from the ruling centre right Civic Democratic Party.
But Libertas spokesman Lukas Lhotan told ANP showing the film and an open discussion is the best way to tackle anti-Islam sentiment. ‘We have seen what happens when prejudices are ignored, as anti-Semitism was ignored in the 20th century,’ he told ANP.
Meanwhile, there is confusion about a planned visit by an all-party group of MPs to Turkey in January. A Turkish newspaper reported yesterday that Wilders would not be welcome if he joined the group as planned.
And later ANP quoted a spokesman for the Turkish foreign ministry who said Wilders is a ‘fascist and a racist who is not welcome in Turkey’.
The parliamentary European affairs commission agreed immediately to cancel the visit if Wilders is not allowed to play a full part in the planned talks. However, there is no official word from the Turkish government about any banning order.
Wilders said earlier he planned to use the visit to Turkey to explain why he is totally opposed to Turkish membership of the EU.
In an article in the Volkskrant earlier this month Wilders said no Muslim country should be a member of the EU. Any ‘more importation of that backward Islamic culture is undesirable,’ he wrote. ‘Western civilisation is so much better than a society based on Islamic imperialism and barbarism.’
EU Parliament Building
Ever since its completion on December 14 1999, the EU parliament has raised eyebrows and questions regarding its structure. The main tower, called the “Louise Weiss” building, looks peculiar and modernist. Why does it look unfinished? Promoters say it reflects the “unfinished nature of Europe”. However, some research on the subject reveals the dark and deep symbolism of the building. Exposing the real source of inspiration behind the Louise Weiss building is exposing the esoteric beliefs of the world elite, their dark aspirations and their interpretation of ancient scriptures.
We’ll go straight to the point: the Louise Weiss building is meant to look like painting “The Tower of Babel” by Pieter Brueghel the Elder in 1563. Story says that the Tower of Babel was never completed. So, the UN Parliament is basically continuing the unfinished work of Nimrod, the infamous tyrant, who was building the Tower of Babel to defy God. Do you think this is a good source of inspiration for a “democratic institution”?
Symbolism of the EU Parliament
So the construction of the EU Parliament in the image of the Tower of Babel sends the message that Nimrod had the right philosophy and his Tower of Babel was a good idea. So we are looking for:
1. A gradual introduction of tyranny 2. The elimination of the worship of God to introduce dependence on power 3. All people speaking the same language and the same religion 4. Rejecting God while trying to become gods
You know what? Those are major precepts of the esoteric beliefs of the world elite (see Educate Yourself section). They are not Christians or anything related.
EU’s Top Executive Refuses to Rule Out Brussels Tax
STRASBOURG — The European Union’s top executive on Tuesday refused to rule out a bloc-wide tax on its half-billion population, in remarks sure to raise eurosceptic hackles.
Jose Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, said he would look at raising direct EU taxation — a debate that has sparked anger especially in fiercely sovereign Britain.
Speaking during a regular question-time session in the European Parliament, Barroso was asked if he agreed with the bloc’s incoming president, current Belgian premier Herman Van Rompuy, who is on record for proposing direct taxation.
“I intend to look at all issues of taxation in the EU, we have to look at this, we have to look at all resources of the EU,” Barroso said, pointing out that tax proposals were the domain of his commission.
“We have promised it to the parliament, the programme with which I was elected was to look at possible ‘own resources’ and this is in the programme that was adopted by this European Parliament.”
In Barroso’s successful pitch in September, setting out priorities for his second five-year term, the former Portuguese prime minister said Brussels “cannot shirk the issue of ‘own resources’.”
Criticising a system of EU financing that has “evolved piecemeal into a confusing and opaque mix of contributions and rebates,” he said in that document that Brussels could not rely forever on member state funding alone.
“We need to see how the EU can find a more efficient and transparent way of financing its policies, and to simplify delivery in order to maximise the impact of spending while safeguarding the principles of sound financial management,” he underlined then.
Negotiations on the next EU seven-year budget, set to come into force in 2014, are due to start in 2011 but they have already been the subject of commission proposals urging a radical shift in priorities away from the traditional main rump of spending on agriculture.
The EU is also launching a massive so-called external action service, beefing up its diplomatic and foreign services with thousands more staff scattered across the globe.
Before his nomination by EU heads of government and state, Van Rompuy raised the possibility of a European ‘green tax’ which could eventually reduce state levels of funding for the European pot.
Hostile eurosceptic elements within the English media led a counter-attack on a new European figurehead they characterised as a Machiavellian manipulator with one overarching aim — to centralise the tax take for Brussels.
Greece: Church Refuses Alms to the State
In response to a major public spending deficit, Greece’s socialist government wants to impose a tax on the assets of the country’s Orthodox Church, the Church of Greece (CoG). But the powerful institution, which is Greece’s largest property owner and a state within the state, has turned a deaf ear to the government’s demands.
In the wake of the socialist government’s attempts to impose a one-off tax of approximately 600,000 euros on CoG property, relations between the CoG and the state—two institutions that are not separated—have reached a new low, with the CoG simply refusing to pay. “The Church of Greece contributes to the state when it works. There is no reason for any other contribution,” announced Bishop Theoklitos of Ioannina [in the northwest of the country]. The Bishop who chairs the CoG’s financial affairs committee insists that “the tax would encumber some members of the the clergy with excessive debt.” He sees no reason for the tax, “because there is no war or disaster that requires our contribution. Instead, we are being called on to contribute because of failed economic policies. We refuse to foot the bill for other people’s mistakes!”
Theoklitos also pointed out that in the past, “the state has already seized CoG assets on several occasions”—most recently in 1952, when a contract stipulating the obligations of both parties, which is still in force, was signed between the two institutions. As it stands, the latest estimates from the Bank of Greece, evaluate the CoG’s property portfolio—which represents just four percent of the holdings it had 60 years ago—at over 700 million euros, and its share portfolio at nine million euros.
In Greece, priests are public servants
Today, the state is once again attempting to tax the clergy with divisive results. The CoG is not refusing to pay taxes, but insisting that taxes be established on cultivated or serviceable land. The government’s decree “is a request for charity, but our institution is not simply a charity,” explained Theoklitos. The clergy also believe that the initiative is unfair, because it fails to take into account the fact that “the Church operates 800 establishments for the needy.”
The battle lines have been drawn: the CoG will not provide charity for the state, and this is the underlying reason for its refusal to pay the one-off tax. But it may not be enough to fend off a further attack from the government, which is having difficulty making ends meet. The Minister of Finance has described the situation of the country, where the public spending deficit has reached 12% of GDP, as “critical.” The CoG is still Greece’s largest property owner, and as such, it will remain in the frontline. Like his predecessor Costas Simitis—who overcame opposition from the clergy in 1999 when mention of religious beliefs was removed from Greek identity cards—socialist Prime Minister, Georges Papandréou, is determined not to shy away from conflict with the CoG.
Perhaps it would be preferable to “separate the church from the state,” said Bishop Theoklitos. “We might not have as many priests, but we would have priests and not public service employees [the clergy of the CoG are paid by the state]. But we should not be forced to take all the blame for the fact that politics have been forced on to the pulpit,” he concluded. However, a definitive separation between the CoG and the state is not likely to happen anytime soon, and until then, the debate will remain ongoing.
Hamas Incites Children to Kill Jews
From Norwegian: The Al Fateh site, thought to be a Hamas site, incites children to kill Jews. The site has moved in recent years from Russia to Malaysia and is now in the UK
Italy: ‘Spiked Cocaine Killed Marrazzo Pusher’
Governor transsexual prostitute supplier may have been murdered
(ANSA) — Rome, November 24 — A lethal cocktail of cocaine laced with ‘masked’ heroin killed a pusher involved in a sex scandal that toppled a top Italian politician last month, police sources said Tuesday.
According to preliminary lab results, they said, the cocaine found beside the body of pusher Gianguerino Cafasso in a Rome hotel in early September contained “enough heroin to kill him”.
The heroin, they said, appeared to have been treated with some sort of masking agent so that the powder would not arouse suspicion.
A transsexual prostitute who was with Cafasso when he died has reportedly told police that she refused to have any of it “because it smelled funny”.
The sources said prosecutors were waiting for “definitive” lab results in order to open a murder investigation.
A post-mortem exam found Cafasso died of a heart attack.
Police initially suspected the peddler, who was obese and had other health problems, had inadvertently taken an overdose.
Cafasso died after unsuccessfully trying to peddle a video of a transsexual prostitute with Piero Marrazzo, the former governor of Lazio, the region around Rome.
The centre-left official resigned last month after it emerged he had been blackmailed by rogue cops who were also in possession of the video, which is said to show him with a transsexual called Natalie, his governor’s badge placed next to some cocaine.
Cafasso is one of two people linked to the Marrazzo case who have now died.
A prostitute known as Brenda was found dead on Friday in her flat, apparently of smoke inhalation after a fire.
Police are already treating the death as murder and tests are being completed on her laptop, found doused with water in her sink, to see if it contains any other potentially compromising material.
Brenda was one of several prostitutes Marrazzo has reportedly admitted to having frequented, although he said he could not provide a fully reliable account because of the cocaine he took.
Police are looking for a set of keys and two cellphones stolen from Brenda days before her death.
Her death has heightened speculation about a second video she told police she destroyed, and whether she was silenced to prevent her disclosing the identities of other clients of the transsexuals, who live in the same small area of northern Rome.
Italy: Escort to Release New Book on Berlusconi
Rome, 23 Nov. (AKI) — Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is expected to come under renewed pressure on Tuesday when prostitute Patrizia D’Addario publishes a book about their alleged sexual encounter at his official residence in Rome. D’Addario was to due to release her biography on Tuesday with further revelations about the premier’s life.
D’Addario, 42, has called her book “Prime minister, take your pleasure”, a reference to a famous scene in a Federico Fellini film, Amarcord, in which a prostitute climbs into bed and invites an Italian aristocrat to have his way with her.
In the new book she reportedly recounts how she was asked to attend two of the prime minister’s private parties by Giampaolo Tarantini, a businessman from the southern town of Bari under investigation for procuring prostitutes, drug trafficking and corruption, as well as Berlusconi’s “needs for cuddles.”
“The prime minister needs cuddles. Having been an escort I thought I’d seen a fair few things, but this I’d never seen, 20 women for one man. Normally in an orgy you have roughly the same number of men and women, otherwise people get upset. But here the other men had no say. There was just one man with the right to copulate and that was the prime minister,” said an excerpt in D’Addario’s book.
Ahead of the book’s publication, Italian conservative daily ‘Il Giornale’, owned by the Berlusconi family, on Monday attacked D’Addario and accused her of seeking to blackmail the premier. The daily said the proof was in the book.
Tarantini has told prosecutors he supplied more than 30 women for parties at Berlusconi’s homes in Rome and Sardinia in 2008 and early 2009.
Some of them were paid 1,000 euros for “sexual services” while others were paid expenses only. The prime minister has always denied paying women for sex or any other impropriety, and he is not under investigation.
D’Addario — who claims to have slept with Berlusconi in exchange of money and favours — said the premier “knew” that she was a prostitute and tapes of their alleged encounters were released in July.
The Bari escort and other showgirls spoke about parties hosted by the 73-year-old Berlusconi at his private residences in Rome and Sardinia attended by dozens of young women, many of them allegedly prostitutes.
Italy: Berlusconi to Decide Inheritance Says Eldest Son
Monte Carlo, 19 Nov. (AKI) — Italian prime minister and media magnate Silvio Berlusconi will determine the future of his estimated 8 billion euro fortune, his eldest son Piersilvio said on Thursday. Piersilvio Berlusconi refused to be drawn on how his 73-year-old father would divide his fortune between the five children from his two marriages.
Berlusconi is one of Italy’s wealthiest men and the future of his wealth is currently a major issue among his children because his second wife Veronica Lario is seeking a divorce.
“Whatever my father does is just fine by me,” said Piersilvio Berlusconi, vice-president of the Berlusconi Mediaset broadcasting empire.
He was speaking to journalists at an event in Monte Carlo where was presenting Mediaset’s latest satellite TV subscription deals.
At the event, Mediaset forecast double-digit growth in pay-TV clients and boosted its product offering in a new move against rival News Corporation’s Sky Italia.
Berlusconi’s children from his first marriage — Piersilvio and his sister Marina — are expected to inherit half of their father’s fortune.
His three children from his second marriage with Veronica Lario, are reportedly due to receive the remaining 50 percent.
Lario last week asked for a legal separation from Berlusconi and is reportedly keen to ensure their three children — Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi — receive an equal share of the inheritance.
The main point of contention in any divorce settlement will be his Fininvest media empire.
Lario has requested that Berlusconi pay all the expenses for the couple’s legal separation.
“The request for her legal expenses to be paid is a clear attempt to draw the judge’s attention to the spouse’s serious behaviour within the family,” said family lawyer Anna Galizia Danovi, cited by Italian daily Corriere Della Sera.
Berlusconi has in recent months been at the centre of embarrassing allegations that he slept with prostitutes, threw parties attended by escorts at his various residences, and dated under-age girls.
Barbara Berlusconi, his daughter, has said she is not worried about the division of Fininvest between her siblings and half-siblings and said that her father “is a fair and equitable man.”
But Marina, Berlusconi’s eldest daughter from his first marriage, who runs Italy’s largest publisher, Mondadori — and her brother, Piersilvio, are expected to argue they have added value to Fininvest and have contributed to the group’s growth.
Norway: Muslims Need a State of Their Own, Says Krekar
Interestingly enough, in his book Krekar, who considers himself a true Muslim scholar, is very dismissive of Osama bin Laden and most other ‘leaders’ whom he thinks do not really know Islamic law. And yet, here he suggests Bin Laden as the next Caliph [ie, Mohammed’s stand-in].
The entire interview is available on YouTube (in Arabic).
In a new interview Mulla Krekar says that he wishes Osama bin Laden and other radical Islamist leaders will be heads of an Islamic super-state.
“The Muslims will become like the Jews in Europe, right until they establish a caliphate [ed: Islamic state]. Without a state we have no value,” says mulla Krekar in a new interview with the al-Hiwar TV channel.
The interview was broadcast on the Arab satellite channel in October, and is accessible on YouTube. Neither the Norwegian nor the international press mentioned this interview earlier.
In the interview mulla Krekar speaks with the Islamist scholar Azzaz Tamimi. In the long interview conducted in the mulla’s home in Grønland, Oslo, he also deals with the conditions for dialog with the West. In this context Krekar clarifies what he thinks of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
“When we have an Islamic state, lead by one like Osama Bin Ladne, with a foreign minister like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar or Ayman Al-Zawahiri, then we can speak with then [ed: the West], as equal parties,” says Krekar.
Hekmatyar is the leader of the Taliban-allied party Hezb-e Islami in Afghanistan. Al-Zawahiri is bin Laden’s deputy in the al-Qaeda terror network.
The interviewer Tamimi, who like Krekar has a background in the Islamist movement the Muslim Brotherhood, confronts the mulla saying his statement will make the Norwegians afraid.
“This, that you hope for an Islamic state led by Osama bin Laden, it makes the Norwegians scared?,” asks Tamimi.
“Yes… even if it scares them — good!”
Krekar doesn’t regret the interview with the Arab TV channel.
“What do I have to lose in this interview? I get attention from south and north regardless. This interview doesn’t hurt me,” Krekar said in commentary to VG Nett.
Q: Do you support Osama bin Laden?
A: I describe him as he is, I compare him. If I supported al-Qaeda, I would say it without fear,” says Krekar and repeats that he has no connections with the terror network.
In the interview Krekar uses the word “Caliphate” to describe the state where he sees the al-Qaeda heads as leaders.
“The Caliphate is the final station for this movement. Jihadists think that all borders are illegitimate. With the exception of the Islamic emirate under the Taliban, no state today is legitimate in their eyes. The Jihadis are engaged in winning territorial control, doesn’t matter where, and establishing emirate they think will expand and overlap each other and then grow together into an over-national unit,” says terrorism expert Brynjar Lia of the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment.
“But they’re less clear on what this will be and how it should look.”
Q: Krekar says that when such a Caliphate is founded, it can be relevant to have dialog?
A: This is not so different from what Zawahiri and others have said. If the USA pulls back from the Islamic world and Israel stops to exist, the Jihadists can consider dialog. The West can continue to exits as long as they accept the Caliphate as a dominating power in the world. They have offered a ceasefire several time to the Americans and Europeans, but not to Israel and the Jews.
In the interview Krekar says that he won’t rule out that in 20 years there can be an Islamic state led by Osama bin Laden, and suggest that Muslims should treat the est in the same way the West treats Muslims.
“Which of our enemies aren’t like us? Why are we not proud of those who stand in the middle of the battle and frightens the world’s biggest superpower?” asks Krekar rhetorically and points to the fact that Israeli and American leaders also boast of their own efforts in war.
In the interview he also claims that the Jihadist Islamist group Ansar al-Islam continues to fight against the Americans in Iraq and controls several areas there, though he admits that the resistance has weakened after the Americans allied with the Sunni Muslim tribe leaders in order to limit the uprising.
“Thank God,” says Krekar to VG Nett about Ansar al-Islam’s ongoing activities.
Q: Do you have any connection with them today?
A: “I have nothing to do with them,” says Krekar and end the short telephone interview with VG Nett.
Obama to Ask NATO for 5,000 ‘Missing’ Troops
From Norwegian: A Norwegian researcher thinks Obama will probably use his Nobel Peace Prize trip to ask NATO for an additional 5,000 soldiers.
Spain: Vocation Crisis, Half Parishes Without Priests
(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 24 — The Spanish Church is not only concerned about the government’s laic offensive, but also about the apparent lack of priests. Half of Spain’s parish churches have no priests, and the future looks dim because the average age of the priests is 63.3 years, in some regions even higher than 72. This warning was issued at the opening of the assembly of Spanish bishops, by Monsignor Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, president of the CEE (Episcopal Conference of Spain) and archbishop of Madrid, and quoted by the press. There are fewer priests than in the past years and the ones that are there are older, said Rouco. Of the 23,286 parish churches in Spain, 10,615 had to do without the regular presence of a priest. The average age of bishops is also high, the president of CEE explained, a figure that requires adequate decisions. Within the framework of the Sacerdotal year, opened by Pope Benedict XVI on June 19 of this year, the archbishop of Madrid underlined that the arrival of new priests depends mostly on the renewal of the Church and, therefore, of the whole society. The crisis in vocation, according to the bishops, reflects the moral and economic crisis Spain is going through, said Rouco Varela. Rouco also mentioned the crisis of values. The economic, social and political causes must be analysed, according to the president of Spanish bishops, but that will not be sufficient. The financial and economic system, he added, has been damaged by “failing ethics, due to people’s conduct. Development is impossible without honest people. Unfortunately corruption and unlawfulness are part of the behaviour of people in economics and politics, in rich and poor countries, now and in the past”, he added.(ANSAmed).
Spanish Jews Denounce Resurgence of Anti-Semitism
(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 20 — Spanish Jews are denouncing the resurgence of anti-Semitism more than five centuries after Catholic kings expelled Muslims and Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. It emerged at the second International seminar on anti-Semitism held at the Complutense university in Madrid, where the results of a study by the Pew Research Center, a U.S. research institute were presented. The 2008 study shows that Spain is among the countries were feeling of refusal against Muslims and Jews has increased the most in the last four years. The study, cited today by the newspaper El Pais, reports that 46% of Spaniards see Jews in an unfavourable light compared to 36% of Poles, 34% of Russians, 25% of Germans and 20% of French. There needs to be space left for criticism of the Israeli government without crossing the red line, admonished Ana Salome, special ambassador for EU relations with Jewish organisations. It is fundamental to differentiate political criticism from anti-Semitic defamation, observed Alejandro Bear, a professor at the Complutense university and the coordinator for the seminar. According to José Juan Toharia, president of Metroscopia, anti-Semitism exists in Spain, but is not worrying. Toharia pointed out that Spanish penal code considered racial hate an aggravate, but until now the application of this article has been irrelevant, given that here are nearly no anti-Semitic groups to prosecute in the courts. (ANSAmed).
Swedish Firm Settles Over Offensive Job Interview
A 56-year-old man from Gothenburg has been awarded 60,000 kronor ($8,600) in compensation after being asked an insulting question during an employment interview.
When the man arrived at the company, located on the outskirts of Gothenburg for his scheduled employment interview, the first question he received caught him by surprise.
“Do you oppress women?” asked the head of the company.
The 56-year-old said he was “shocked” by the question and promptly reported the matter to Sweden’s Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen — DO), Aftonbladet newspaper reports.
The job seeker nevertheless answered no and did his best to change the subject.
“I really felt discriminated against; I’m sure he asked the question because of my origins and my skin colour,” the man wrote in his complaint.
“You can take it for granted that all Oriental men are the sort who oppress women and look down on them.”
After involving the ombudsman, the man reached a settlement with the company, which agreed to pay the 56-year-old 60,000 kronor.
Tracking Dogs Are Major Dutch Export Product
The Netherlands is the world’s largest supplier of tracking dogs. ‘We’re a nation of dog lovers.’
By Freek Schravesande
From the explosives dog sniffing around Barack Obama’s car, to the drugs dog discovering a cocaine shipment on the Mexican border, wherever dogs are at work around the world, there is a good chance they came from the Netherlands. The Netherlands is the world’s largest supplier of tracking dogs. Here they are bred and raised, and then sold for up to 6,000 euros to police forces, customs services and even armies from around the world.
Piet van den Broek (54) is the former head of Nato’s tracking dogs division. After the Cold War ended, Van den Broek’s job was on the line, and he started his own company, K9 Dogcenter. (Many dog companies have K9, short for canine, in their name.) Soon he was exporting dogs to Greece, Mexico, Egypt, the US. “They didn’t know anything about dogs,” says Van den Broek, “if it had a head and a tail they would buy it.”
US army in Iraq, Afghanistan
This naiveté has since disappeared, but the demand for tracking dogs from the Netherlands has only gone up. “We have waiting lists,” says Gerard Dashorst, director of K9 Midden-Nederland, one of the four biggest tracking dogs companies in the Netherlands. “A lot of them are going to the US army in Iraq and Afghanistan these days. But we also ship dogs to France, China, Germany, Dubai, Egypt, Colombia — some 400 dogs go to 33 different countries every year.”
In fact, demand is so high that the Netherlands is running out of dogs. In order to meet demand Dutch companies now buy puppies from traders who get them from Eastern Europe. After they are ‘socialised’ in the Netherlands, they go abroad for specialised training as tracking dogs.
Why are dogs from the Netherlands so popular? Van den Broek: “The Netherlands domesticated dogs centuries ago. We are a nation of dog lovers, unlike many other countries where dogs were kept out of sight.” Because of this, he suspects Dutch people have developed a special sense for dogs. “I think it’s in the tone of voice. In the US policemen will just tell a dog ‘good boy’ and that’s it. We put more emotion in our voices when we talk to the dogs.”
Another aspect is choosing which dogs to crossbreed, says Sandra Blonk, a dog trainer for S&R Policedogs. “Just like with horses and cows we started crossbreeding dogs much sooner than anyone else. Dogs were used here very early on for guarding cattle.”
Competition from China
There is competition from abroad: China has recently opened its own breeding stations. Van den Broek: “But they are too large-scale; the dogs don’t get enough attention. Dogs, like people, needs to experience things to become socialised. They need to go to sidewalk terraces , the shopping mall. The best tracking dogs are from private owners who have taken the time and the trouble to educate them.”
A good tracking dog has to be in touch with his primal instincts, says Van den Broek. “They have to be strong-willed. A dog breathes in and out four times per second. In places where the air is dry and warm, they tire easily. If a dog still wants to track in those conditions he has what it takes.”
But they also need to be social. Van den Broek challenges them with the craziest behaviour to see how far he can go without the dog biting him. “That’s part character, part education,” he says. They also need to comfortable with smooth surfaces. “Many dogs who grew up outdoors are afraid of airport floors.”
In his training Van den Broek uses tennis balls impregnated with the smell of hashish, gunpowder or other explosives. “The dog will look for the ball, not the drugs. He’s thinking: that’s my toy. As soon as he finds the ball he sits down. A good dog will take four months to train. Explosives dogs take a bit longer; they have to be more careful.”
Van den Broek’s own biggest catch was in Düsseldorf, during the search of a house belonging to a RAF terrorist suspect. “Behind one of the cellar walls was an entire arsenal of grenades and kalashnikovs.”
Demand is only on the rise in the Netherlands. “We are getting more requests from private companies. They’ll ask us to check temp workers for soft drugs, or cruise ships or dock workers.”
A new phenomenon is asylum seekers trying to hide aboard container ships. Van den Broek: “If they are caught the shipping companies risk big fines.” So his company is hired on a regular basis by shipping companies in Dutch and Belgian ports. “With daily success,” says Van den Broek.
UK: Brown Agrees to Investigate Claim Extremists Received Public Funding
PM agrees to request by David Cameron to look into claims that a ‘front organisation’ for Islamist extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir had received money from the taxpayer
Gordon Brown today agreed to investigate claims that two schools backed by the Islamist extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir have received money from the taxpayer. The prime minister made the commitment after David Cameron cited the case in the Commons and claimed that it was evidence that the government “has not got a grip on the issue of Islamic extremism”.
The Tories want to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, a non-violent extremist group, although ministers have in the past insisted that the evidence does not justify the organisation being proscribed. During prime minster’s questions, Cameron said that two schools set up by the Islamic group ISF had secured £113,000 from the government. Some of the money had come from the Pathfinder fund set up to combat violent extremism, he said. Cameron, who did not name the schools, said that ISF was “a front organisation for Hizb ut-Tahrir”. Calling for a wider inquiry, he went on: “We have got a government that says it wants to prevent extremism, yet it is funding extremism.”
Brown said he would look into “every detail” of the allegations, which Cameron said the Tories had raised in a letter to the schools minister a week ago. But he also warned the Conservative leader to take care not to stigmatise Muslims. “The vast majority of Muslims in this country are part of the law-abiding majority,” Brown told Cameron. “I do not want it to be said that people who are citizens of the Muslim faith are being held responsible for acts of terrorism.” Telling Cameron that he might “regret” some of the remarks he had made, Brown also said that he thought it was a matter of all-party consensus that organisations should only be banned on the basis of evidence that was “clearly proven” relating to advocating violence. “That is the position that both parties accepted. That is the position we will continue to follow,” Brown said.
UK: Female? Black? Gay? All Three? Then You’re More Likely to Become an MP Under Controversial New Plans
Controversial plans were unveiled yesterday to force political parties to make Parliament less white, male, middle-class and heterosexual.
Under proposals backed by Commons Speaker John Bercow, but labelled as ‘insulting’ by former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe, parties will be made to declare publicly how many women, ethnic minority, gay and disabled applicants they reject as potential Parliamentary candidates.
Parties also face demands to ensure at least half the MPs leaving Parliament at the next election — in what is expected to be the biggest exodus since 1945 — are replaced by women.
The proposals have emerged from a crossparty review set up by former Commons Speaker Michael Martin — and taken forward by his successor, Mr Bercow — on how to make the chamber more representative.
In an interim report published yesterday, the panel said parties must be made to be more transparent about the people putting themselves forward as would-be MPs.
The report said: ‘The fact remains that, at present, the House of Commons continues to be largely white, male, middle-aged and middle-class: people from under-represented groups who are putting themselves forward for selection are still proportionately less likely to be selected.’
The report goes on to call for half of the MPs leaving Parliament at next year’s election to be replaced by women and to support a big increase in black, Asian, disabled and gay MPs.
UK: Gove Defends Tory Decision to Raise Hizb Ut-Tahrir School Issue
Mr Gove defended the Conservative decision to raise the issue of public funding for two schools allegedly also backed by Hizb ut-Tahrir, despite not having received a reply to his letter on the subject to Ed Balls. “I haven’t yet received a reply from Ed Balls, but I’m confident that I’ll get one today,” he said.
He said that the issue is “genuinely worrying”, and added that Tony Blair had called for the organisation to be proscribed four years ago despite fears doing so would drive it underground. “It’s a matter of public debate and public record the Prime Minister wanted four years ago to proscribe this organisation,” he said. “What worries me is Ofsted and the Charity Commission that have allowed these organisations to run schools without checks been made.”
UK: Gordon Brown Challenged on Public Cash for ‘Extremist Muslims’
The Prime Minister agreed today to investigate claims by Tory leader David Cameron that an “extremist” Islamic organisation had benefited from public funds. Mr Cameron asked why the Government had failed to ban Hizb ut Tahrir and claimed that two schools had been established, with the help of public funding, by an “extremist” organisation linked to it. Criticising the Government’s record on Islamic extremism, he asked Mr Brown when he was going to “get a grip” on the issue.
The Prime Minister promised to look into the claims “very carefully” and warned Mr Cameron that he may come to regret some of the remarks he had made at Commons question time. Mr Cameron said he had first asked two years ago about the “extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir and why, despite an explicit promise by Tony Blair that it would be banned, it still hasn’t been banned”.
He said the organisation’s constitution stated that non-muslims were “‘combatants in the battle field. Their blood is lawful as is their property’.” Mr Cameron added: “While you haven’t been able to ban them, can you assure me that this extremist group hasn’t received any public money?”
Mr Brown said he wasn’t aware of this happening and asked the Opposition Leader to give him any evidence he had. Mr Cameron said the shadow schools secretary Michael Gove had written to the schools minister a week ago about the issue. “Two schools have been established by an extremist Islamist foundation, the ISF, that is a front organisation for Hizb ut Tahrir. They have secured a total of £113,000 of Government money, some of which was from the Pathfinder scheme, whose objective is meant to be preventing violent extremism. Can you explain how this completely unacceptable situation came about?”
Mr Brown replied: “This will be looked into in every detail. But I’m told the two schools you referred to have been inspected. I will look at what the results of these inspections are and write to you. I shall look at this very, very carefully.”
UK: Islamic School Funds Investigated
Schools Secretary Ed Balls has rejected claims of any “inappropriate use of public funds” in payments to two independent Muslim schools.
Conservative leader David Cameron had asked the prime minister to examine the funding of schools which he claimed had links to a radical Islamic group. “Where there is abuse it will be investigated,” Mr Brown replied. But Mr Balls says there is no evidence either of the schools, in Haringey and Slough, do not meet required standards. “We take the issue of ensuring there is no extremist teaching in both maintained and independent schools very seriously,” says Mr Balls. Mr Balls also highlighted the fact that the Islamic group at the centre of the allegation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, was not a banned organisation.
Mr Cameron, speaking in the House of Commons, had accused the government of allowing the funding of extremism. “How can you have an anti-extremist fund that results in a Labour local authority handing out money to extremists? They have secured a total of £113,000 of government money, some of which was from the Pathfinder scheme, whose objective is meant to be preventing violent extremism.” In response, Mr Brown promised to examine this “very, very carefully”. Mr Cameron said the Conservatives had been seeking replies from the government over funds given to the two schools, run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation.
In a letter, the Conservative schools spokesman, Michael Gove, had asked about alleged links between the schools, the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, and Hizb ut-Tahrir. He also claimed he could find no record the schools were properly registered or had been inspected by Ofsted. In reply, Mr Balls gave links to the published registration entries and gave details of Ofsted’s reports.
He said both schools had been inspected in 2007 and found to be meeting “the independent school standard for the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of pupils”. He added: “In those and subsequent inspections, no evidence has been found to support allegations that the schools are teaching anti-Semitic or anti-Western values.” Nor was there any evidence the schools were using public funding to “further radical Islamist aims” as Mr Gove had alleged.
Haringey council has said that funding for one of these schools has been suspended, pending an investigation. But so far the council said that “no evidence was found to suggest inappropriate content or influence in the school”. It also reports that the school has written to the council to say it “no longer has any links with any of the individuals who are alleged to have connections with Hizb ut-Tahrir. We are waiting for evidence from the school that the reported connections have been completely severed,” says a statement from the council. In the Commons the Conservative leader also challenged Mr Brown as to why he had not banned Hizb ut-Tahrir, which describes itself as a “global Islamic political organisation”. Mr Brown said that “proscription should be on the basis of evidence, that was clearly proven, about advocating violence. That is the position that both parties accepted. That is the position we will continue to follow.”
UK: No 10 Denies Firm Plan to Change Royal Succession Laws
Downing St has played down suggestions that laws discriminating against women and Catholics in the succession to the throne are set to be changed.
Gordon Brown said at Question Time that these laws were “outdated” and the topic would be discussed with Commonwealth leaders “in due course”
But No 10 said this did not mean he would be raising the issue at this weekend’s Commonwealth summit.
A spokesman said it might be discussed on the fringes of the Trinidad meeting.
Commonwealth members would be asked to approve any changes to the 1701 Act of Settlement, which bars any Catholic or anyone married to a Catholic from ascending the throne.
‘Out of place’
The law also gives precedence to male heirs in the succession.
Opponents have long called for changes to these laws, claiming they are out of place in the 21st Century.
Earlier this year, it was reported Mr Brown had had preliminary discussions with Buckingham Palace over possible reforms to the laws of succession but no specific proposals have been put forward.
Mr Brown’s comments during prime minister’s questions were no different from views he had previously expressed, No 10 insisted, adding that the prime minister would not be using the Commonwealth meeting in Trinidad to urge change.
The Prime Minister made his remarks in the Commons when he was responding to a question by the Lib Dem MP Evan Harris.
Earlier this year, the government killed Mr Harris’s private members’ bill amending the 1701 Act of Settlement but promised come forward with its own proposals.
Mr Brown said: “The Act of Succession [sic] is outdated. Most people recognise the need for change. Change can only be brought about by not only the UK but all the realms where Her Majesty is Queen.
“That is why it is important to discuss this with all members of the Commonwealth, including countries such as Australia and Canada. That is the process which will be undertaken in due course.”
UK: Political Row Over ‘£100,000 of Public Money Given to Schools Linked to Muslim Extremists’
A row has broken out over claims that over £100,000 of taxpayers’ money has funded schools with links to Muslim extremists.
David Cameron yesterday accused Gordon Brown of failing to ‘get a grip’ on Islamic extremism during angry Commons exchanges.
Mr Cameron claimed that two schools had benefited from public funds despite being linked to the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has called for a global Islamic superstate.
Government grants totalling £113,000 were paid last year to the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, which runs schools for three to 11-year-olds in Waltham Forest, East London and Slough, Berkshire.
Mr Cameron said it was ‘completely unacceptable’ the schools had received public funding.
UK: Teenager Who Tried to Rape Girl, 11, Avoids Jail in ‘Pathetic’ Ruling
A teenager who subjected an 11-year-old girl to a horrific sexual attack has escaped a prison sentence in a ruling branded ‘pathetic’ by the victim’s family.
The 15-year-old boy sexually assaulted the youngster as she was playing near her home.
He attempted to rape the schoolgirl — leaving the victim frightened and deeply traumatised.
However, after admitting his crime, the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was handed a 12-month referral order — meaning his punishment includes reporting to a panel of local volunteers to ‘address his offending behaviour’.
It could mean that he has to meet his victim and her family to apologise for the attack.
The maximum sentence for attempted rape of a child is life imprisonment.
The girl’s mother, who also cannot be identified, said she was ‘disgusted’ the teenager had not received a harsher punishment.
UK: Vile Thug Spits in Pensioner’s Face and Beats Her After She Bumps Into Him on Moving Bus
A thug spat in an elderly woman face then repeatedly punched her after she accidentally fell into him on the bus.
Steven Johnston, 23, swore at grandmother Patricia Robinson when she stumbled after the driver braked suddenly.
As the pair were getting off the bus, Mrs Robinson, 69, confronted the man over his outburst.
He then turned and punched the pensioner several times before spitting in her face and walking away.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told how the August 19 attack — which happened in broad daylight and in front of other passengers — has left Johnston’s victim afraid to leave her house.
UK: What Kind of Country Arrests Innocent People to Boost Its DNA Database?
Throughout the 12 years since New Labour began its assault upon our civil liberties, the response to those of us who publicly vented our dismay was straightforward: ‘If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.’
So, by that logic, we were invited to embrace the ugly stacks of CCTV cameras that crawled across our High Streets and which, surprise, surprise, did nothing to reduce general levels of crime and lawlessness.
By the same token, we were encouraged to say ‘Amen’ to the multi-billion-pound ID cards scheme, or ‘entitlement cards’ as Tony Blair’s old flatmate Lord Falconer used soothingly to call them when he was a minister in the Home Office.
This gigantic New Labour bung to foreign-owned IT companies is now discredited, though still being ‘rolled out’ as a voluntary scheme in Manchester to save the Government’s face. Arrested
But the most grotesque and brazen undermining of our freedoms, we now know, is the theft of our very essence. This week we have learned that police are routinely arresting innocent people specifically to secure their DNA samples.
Britain now boasts the largest DNA database in the world, with samples logged from 5.6 million people, of whom almost a million are known to be entirely innocent of any offence.
The authorities who monitor the database are fully aware of these people’s innocence, yet they resist at every turn any attempt to have those samples erased.
Vatican Bank Probed for Money Laundering
Identity of executors of IOR accounts in Unicredit unknown
(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — A probe has been opened by Rome magistrates to determine whether the Vatican bank, the Istituto Opere di Religione (IOR), violated Italian laws against money laundering.
The probe is focusing on one or more accounts IOR opened with Unicredit, Italy’s biggest bank, through which some 60 million euros transited over the past three years.
In particular, the investigation will seek to verify whether a 2007 Italian law on transparency in regard to the identity of the account holder or executor was violated.
The possibility that the Vatican accounts violated this law was brought forward by the Bank of Italy special ‘financial intelligence’ unit which passed the information to the Finance Guard which, in turn, forwarded the case to the Rome justice department.
Judicial sources said the probe is currently centered on clarifying the “opaque screen” which hid the identity of the person, persons or organizations that had actual control over the IOR accounts.
Investigators are also trying to discover the beneficiaries of checks and bank drafts issued from the IOR accounts and who ordered them. The accounts were opened at a branch of Unicredit, then Banca di Roma, located on the avenue which leads into St Peter’s Square, via della Conciliazione, in Italian territory.
Algeria: New Health Regulations for Festival of Sacrifice
(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS, NOVEMBER 24 — A few days before the Festival of Sacrifice, known as Aid El Adha or Aid El Khebir, which is held on November 27, Algerian authorities have launched an awareness campaign to avoid health risks and to attempt to convince the population to slaughter animals in butcher shops and not at home or in the streets, as is traditionally done. On the day of the most important festival in the Muslim world, “butcher shops will be open and available for use by the people,” referring to a statement issued by the Agricultural and Rural Development Ministry, reported by the Algerian press. Furthermore, “the municipal hygiene offices will remain open to inspect the health of the animals.” The main source of preoccupation is still a possible spread of ovine hydatid cysts and other diseases that could be transmitted to humans. Almost the entire population kills an animal in the courtyard or on the terrace of their homes and before consuming the meat, and no hygienic inspection is done. About 3-3.5 million rams, announced officials in the agricultural sector, will be slaughtered this year in Algeria on the Festival of Sacrifice, which commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice in the bible, when God asked him to offer his son Ishmael, according to the Koran, and Isaac in Genesis. (ANSAmed).
Algerians Fleeing Egypt
From French: Dozens of Algerians, mostly students, are fleeing Egypt due to the violence and hate unleashed by the recent Egypt-Algeria WC qualifier matches.
Turkey-Libya: Libyan PM Appreciates Turkey’s Role With Arabs
(ANSAmed) — TRIPOLI, NOVEMBER 25 — Libyan prime minister, Baghdadi Mahmudi, praised on Wednesday Turkey’s relations and cooperation with the Arab world, as Anatolia news agency reports from the Libyan capital. “I would like thank my counterpart, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for his courage to support and attach importance to the integration among Arab nations, to relating issues of this region and particularly in Palestinian issue, and to the cooperation between Turkey and the Arab world,” Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi told Wednesday a joint press conference after a meeting with Erdogan in Tripoli. Erdogan, for his part, said that his visit to Libya was very productive, adding that Turkish and Libyan ministers would further develop the cooperation process henceforth. “Our talks in Libya focused on ways to increase our trade volume which is currently standing at 1.4 billion USD. We expect it to rise to 2 billion USD till the end of the year. We want to increase our trade volume with Libya up to 10 billion USD in the next five years,” Erdogan said. (ANSAmed).
PNA: EU Finances Training to Empower Unions
(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, NOV 24 — The EU is working on the training of palestinian unions, funding a project for protecting trade union rights and uniting efforts to influence socio-economic policies. Among activities there is the organisation of training courses for Palestinian unionists, the last one on national budget analysis and economic, social and cultural rights in the West Bank. The training — according to the Enpi site (www.enpi-info.eu) — involved people from the Health Services Employees’ Union, Governmental Employees Union, South Electricity Company Union, Financial Sector Employees’ Union, Common Services Council in Tulkarem, Tourism Workers’ Association, State Audit and Administrative Control Bureau and the Federation of Unemployed Young Graduates. Aim of the course, to give union activists the knowledge and tools to elaborate a position on the Palestinian Authority National Budget, and influence policies related to the National Budget in order to serve the interests of the trade unions representing various economic sectors at the national level. (ANSAmed)
Defence: Israel to Ship Newest Herons to Turkey in 2010
(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 25 — Israel will deliver 10 advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to Turkey in the first quarter of 2010, Anatolia news agency reports adding that that the matter was assessed during the formal talks of Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Binyamin Ben Eliezer in Ankara. Turkey signed a deal with Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) and Elbit in 2005 to buy 10 Heron UAVs for over 180 million USD. However, Israeli firm missed the deadline for delivery. Thus, Turkey accelerated manufacturing of its own UAVs. Officials said efforts are underway on projects to enhance abilities of Turkish UAVs that will be included in the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces next year or the beginning of 2011 the latest. Turkish-made UAVs will be able to take pictures from 10 kilometers high. (ANSAmed).
Economics: Italy-Syria Launch Economics Training Course
(ANSAmed) — DAMASCUS, NOVEMBER 23 — Consolidating economic cooperation between Italy and Syria, is the scope of the training course for officials and executives working in the Export Development Promotion Agency (EDPA). The course was opened in Damascus by Italian Ambassador Achille Amerio, said the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) in Damascus. The course modules, which were chosen according to the training needs of the newly created Syrian agency, are as follows: econometrics, data analysis and organisation of economic analysis, international marketing, financial support and insurance for export, quality management and certification of quality. (ANSAmed).
Report: Obama’s Muslim Grandmother Among Mecca Pilgrims
Jeddah — Sarah Obama, US President Barack Obama’s 87-year-old Kenyan grandmother, has arrived in Mecca to perform the Muslim pilgrimage of hajj, the Saudi daily Okaz reported Wednesday. Sarah Obama, one of her grandchildren and 10 people from her village in Kenya made the pilgrimage at the invitation of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the newspaper reported.
The Saudi monarch invites Muslims from around the world to make the pilgrimage at his expense each year.
Rights Group Rejects Saudi Witchcraft Charges
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — An international human rights group has urged a Saudi court to overturn a death sentence imposed on a Lebanese man convicted of practicing witchcraft.
Human Rights Watch has urged the Saudi government in a statement released late Tuesday to halt the increasing use vaguely defined “witchcraft” charges.
Ali Sibat, a psychic who made predictions on a satellite TV channel from his home in Beirut, was sentenced by a Saudi court on Nov. 9. He was arrested in Medina in May 2008 by members of the religious police who recognized him from the TV show.
Saudi Arabia: Obama’s Grandmother in Mecca for ‘Hajj’ Ceremony
Mecca, 25 Nov. (AKI) — The grandmother of US president Barack Obama has arrived in Saudi Arabia for the ‘Hajj’ or Islamic pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, a Saudi daily said on Wednesday. Sarah Obama, 87, is being accompanied by a nephew and Obama’s cousin, Omran.
On Wednesday Sarah Obama was in the valley of Mina with an African delegation, according to the Saudi daily Okaz.
Obama, the mother of the American president’s father, lives in a village in Kenya and is one of the many guests of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud.
About two million Muslims converge on Mecca each year for the Hajj pilgrimage but Saudi officials were expecting fewer pilgrims this year due to the threat of the H1N1 virus known as swine flu.
Crowds of pilgrims have been converging on the holy city of Mecca in recent days, and started the Hajj rites on Wednesday.
At the weekend, Saudi health authorities said that four people attending the Hajj had died from the H1N1 virus but sought to play down the risk.
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is an obligation for all able-bodied Muslims to attend at least once during their lives, provided they can afford it.
Turkey: Poverty Prevents Civil Servants From Having Children
(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 24 — In Turkey, poverty prevents families who work as civil servants from deciding to have a child, Hurriyet daily reports quoting the results of a research conducted by the opinion poll company Pi Group in cooperation with the Independent Educators Union, or IEU. The study shows that families with members who are employed by the state refrain from having children because they do not have enough money, and unmarried civil servants are afraid of getting married. “People who become state employees are regretful. But on the other hand, people who are not able to become state employees are regretful too,” said Gurkan Avci, chairman of the IEU. He also said eight out of 10 state employees have a second job and on average one employee has six credit cards with 40% of them falling victim to these credit cards as a result of accumulating debt. The research shows that civil servants can afford to buy a newspaper only on Sundays. Also, they pay close attention to the price and expiration date when shopping for foodstuffs. Only two out of 10 state employees have cars and among the civil servants who have cars, nine of 10 have LPG tanks installed in order to save money. Eight out of every 10 civil servants get their basic supplies from their hometown. In terms of second jobs, there are thousands of officials who sell bagels and lemons, work as waiters or taxi drivers, are writing a thesis, or are selling cheese, olives and grape molasses in public institutions. There are even officials who work in hotels during summers, work as laborers in their villages and work as salesmen after office hours. The state employees spend their holidays gathering fruits and vegetables, harvesting, plucking rice and picking corncobs. (ANSAmed).
Turkey: 42% Pct of Women Targets of Violence, Survey
(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, NOVEMBER 24 — Forty-two percent of women in Turkey become targets of physical or sexual violence, a staggering statistic which along with others will be the focus of events held on the occasion of tomorrow’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. As Today’s Zaman reports quoting data by the Directorate general on status of women, one of every four married women who are targets of violence is injured to the point of requiring medical attention. One of every three women who face violence from a husband or boyfriend attempts suicide. One in every five women, married and single, face violence from their relatives or peeple at school or the workplace. In recent years, some changes to the country’s human rights laws have been made as Turkey inches along it its bid to join the European Union, but for many women who for various reasons end up in custody or behind bars, the situation is desperate. In the past 12 years, 74 women have been raped while in custody, and with allegations that have not yet been proved, this number climbs to over 300. In the past year only 15 women have complained of sexual abuse while in custody. There have been positive developments in recent years regarding this topic with sexual abuse gaining legal status as a crime, the range of the laws on rape being expanded and the sentencing deductions for “honor” killings and killings as part of tribal feuds abolished. (ANSAmed).
Turkey: Dervishes Museum Undergoing Largest-Ever Restoration
(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — Turkey’s third most visited museum after Topkapi Palace and Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia) in Istanbul, the Mevlana Museum located in the central province of Konya is undergoing its largest-ever restoration, as Anatolia news agency reports. The Mevlana Museum, also known as the Green Mausoleum or Green Dome, is the original lodge of the Mevlevi whirling dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim group. It contains the tomb and shrine of the Mevlana, or Jalaluddin Rumi, founder of Sufi order. As part of restoration works launched three months ago, restoration of the minaret was completed and now dervish cells will be restored to the original state as in the 16th century. Experts will also replace peeled tiles with new ones and fix old and damaged tiles in the inner part of the dome, the Kubbe-i Hadra, or the Green Dome which is the symbol of the historical monument. Lighting fixture and courtyard of the museum will also be renovated, museum officials said. Museum’s director Yusuf Benli said that restoration works are expected to be completed in two years. “Usually, museums are closed during restoration works in the world but we preferred to keep the museum open,” Benli said. The museum was visited by two million people in 2008 and visitors are still welcome despite restoration works. (ANSAmed).
Turkish Foreign Ministry Says Far-Right Dutch MP ‘Unwelcome’ In Turkey
Far-right Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, a vocal enemy of Islam, is “unwelcome” in Turkey, a foreign ministry spokesman said Tuesday following reports that the controversial politician plans to visit the mainly Muslim country.
“We reject the racist views of this person. … He is unwelcome in many European countries as well,” spokesman Burak Özügergin told AFP.
Wilders, who leads the Party for Freedom, reportedly plans to join a delegation of Dutch parliamentarians expected to visit Turkey in January.
Arguing that Europe is under the threat of Islamization, he has compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf,” called for the Koran to be banned and described Islamic culture as “retarded.”
Turks Divided Over Wilders Visit
The proposed visit of a Dutch parliamentary delegation to Turkey is now in some doubt as the Turkish government has announced that it doesn’t want Geert Wilders to be included in the party. The other members of the Dutch delegation have declared their solidarity with the leader of the Freedom Party, and have indicated that if the Turks don’t change their position they will call off the visit.
Mr Wilders wants to go to Ankara in January to explain why he is opposed to Turkish membership of the European Union. But according to politicians there, Mr Wilders — whose party lies in second position in Dutch opinion polls — is a racist and a fascist. On the streets of Istanbul, people’s opinions appear to be mixed.
Yemen Sees ‘Mounting Evidence’ Iran is Arming Rebels
Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) — Yemen sees increasing evidence that Iran is arming Shiite Muslim rebels who seized territory on the 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) border with Saudi Arabia, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said.
“There is mounting evidence but we are dealing with it very responsibly,” al-Qirbi said in an interview in Berlin today after meeting with German government officials. He declined to say what measures Yemen or its allies might take in response.
Russian Officials Beheaded in N. Caucasus — Ifax
MOSCOW, Nov 24 (Reuters) — A police investigator and a court bailiff were found beheaded in a car trunk in Russia’s mainly Muslim region of Kabardino-Balkaria, Interfax said on Tuesday, underscoring spreading violence on Russia’s southern flank.
The killings follow a spate of attacks on power stations and police posts in Kabardino-Balkaria, which is close to the Ingushetia region where rights group say Islamist militants and government forces are effectively at war.
Ahmed Rashid: Pakistan Conspiracy Theories Stifle Debate
Guest columnist Ahmed Rashid reports on how the real problems facing Pakistan are being sidelined by a surge of conspiracy theories.
Switch on any of the dozens of satellite news channels now available in Pakistan.
You will be bombarded with talk show hosts who are mostly obsessed with demonising the elected government, trying to convince viewers of global conspiracies against Pakistan led by India and the United States or insisting that the recent campaign of suicide bomb blasts around the country is being orchestrated by foreigners rather than local militants.
Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face — the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.
The answer is nowhere.
One notable channel which also owns newspapers has taken it upon itself to topple the elected government.
Another insists that it will never air anything that is sympathetic to India, while all of them bring on pundits — often retired hardline diplomats, bureaucrats or retired Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers who sport Taliban-style beards and give viewers loud, angry crash courses in anti-Westernism and anti-Indianism, thereby reinforcing views already held by many.
Collapse of confidence
Pakistan is going through a multi-dimensional series of crises and a collapse of public confidence in the state.
Suicide bombers strike almost daily and the economic meltdown just seems to get worse.
But this is rarely apparent in the media, bar a handful of liberal commentators who try and give a more balanced and intellectual understanding by pulling all the problems together.
The explosion in TV channels in Urdu, English and regional languages has brought to the fore large numbers of largely untrained, semi-educated and unworldly TV talk show hosts and journalists who deem it necessary to win viewership at a time of an acute advertising crunch, by being more outrageous and sensational than the next channel.
The army has not helped by constantly insisting that the vicious Pakistani Taliban campaign to topple the state and install an Islamic emirate is not a local campaign waged by dozens of extremist groups, some of whom were trained by the military in the 1990s, but the result of foreign conspiracies.
At present, the principal obsession is when and how President Asif Ali Zardari will be replaced or sacked, although there is no apparent constitutional course available to get rid of him except for a military coup, which is unlikely.
The campaign waged by some politicians and parts of the media — with underlying pressure from the army — is all about trying to build public opinion to make Mr Zardari’s tenure untenable.
Indonesian Muslims Surf Internet for a Sacrifice
Muslims no longer have to purchase sacrificial goats and cattle for Idul Adha in person, but can arrange for them to be delivered to their home or slaughtered in their name via the Internet.
In the days prior to Idul Adha, most Muslim families of sufficient means purchase livestock at their neighborhood mosque or at tethering stalls on the side of the road.
On the holiday itself, the majority of them bring the animals to halal slaughterhouses for butchers to sacrifice, but some others, who know how to kill animals humanely following the Koran’s edicts, take matters into their own hands.
The main purpose of the slaughter is to feed the needy, who receive portions of meat. However, it is not always easy to find a healthy animal, a halal butcher and bona fide poor people.
Aiming to simplify the process, a number of Indonesian-based halal livestock sellers have begun operating online.
Malaysian Woman Tries to Reverse Muslim Conversion
A Malaysian woman is fighting to be recognized as a Hindu after being converted to Islam when she was a child, in the latest interfaith dispute to hit Muslim-majority Malaysia, her lawyer said Wednesday.
The case threatens to further anger non-Muslims who have complained that their religious rights are being sidelined, and could further erode minority support for the government.
Lawyer Gooi Hsiao Leung said Banggarma Subramaniam, 27, and her three siblings were under the care of a government orphanage in northern Penang state when she was converted to Islam by welfare officials in 1989 when she was seven years old.
NATO Seeks Italy OK on Troops
Rasmussen sees Berlusconi to discuss Afghanistan
(ANSA) — Rome, November 25 — Italy will consider a request from the US to commit more troops to the Afghanistan mission, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Wednesday ahead of a meeting between NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Premier Silvio Berlusconi to discuss the issue.
“ Italy is already the third European contributor of forces to the mission in Afghanistan. We have done a lot while there are others who have done little,” he told a TV talk show.
“However, should the US ask us for more troops we will consider doing so in order to send a positive message to NATO,” he added. “Still, it’s too early to talk about numbers (of troops) and formulas. The coalition began the mission together and has to get its work done together. And as (US) President Barack Obama has said, we can’t leave Afghanistan in the hands of terrorists”.
The minister stressed that “we should not be talking about numbers without mentioning objectives and a timetable”.
Frattini, who was in Kabul last week for the inauguration of re-elected President Hamid Karzai, said the Afghan leader had told him he expected to “have full control of his country within five years”.
NATO spokesman James Appathurai told a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday that Rasmussen would ask Berlusconi to confirm the additional 400 soldiers Italy deployed in Afghanistan to boost security in the drawn-out presidential electoral campaign.
Italy has some 2,800 troops deployed with the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan and holds the allied command in the west.
The Rasmussen-Berlusconi meeting came a day after Obama vowed on Tuesday to “finish the job” in Afghanistan. The US is expected to announce an increase of an extra 30,000 troops next week.
Asked about an exit strategy from the eight-year-old war, the White House said on Wednesday the US would no longer be in Afghanistan eight or nine years from now.
Violence Against Afghan, Pakistani Women Escalates in 2009
The FINANCIAL — KABUL, Human rights activists have noted a large-scale growth in violence toward Afghan women, hundreds of whom are beaten, intimidated or sexually assaulted by men daily.
According to figures from an Afghan independent committee on human rights published on Wednesday, 1,700 cases of violence toward women were officially registered since the end of March 2009. Last year, a total of more than 2,000 incidents were officially recorded.
International Day on the Elimination of Violence against Women is observed November 25.
According to the latest statistics released in a separate biannual report by Aurat Foundation, a total of 4,514 incidents of violence against women were reported in neighboring Pakistan in four provinces and the capital of Islamabad during January to June 2009.
According to the Aurat report, there were 691 registered cases of murder, 293 cases of honor killing, 1,046 cases of abduction, 332 cases of domestic violence, 388 cases of suicide and 466 cases of rape and gang rape.
Man Who Raped Woman Who Was Eight Months Pregnant Given Leniency Due to Race and Deprived Background, Court of Appeal Rules
AN ABORIGINAL man who raped a pregnant woman was given leniency because of his race and background, the Court of Appeal ruled today.
Justices Marcia Neave and Robert Redlich said the sentence imposed on Rodney Daryl Moore, who raped a woman who was eight months’ pregnant, was “manifestly inadequate”.
They upheld an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecutions, who argued that too much weight was given to his background and that Aboriginal offenders should not be sentenced more leniently than non-Aboriginal offenders.
“It appears that his Honour, for reasons of compassion, gave too much weight to the offenders deprived and tragic circumstances,” said Justices Neave and Redlich.
“The sentence imposed on Mr Moore is so disproportionate to the objective gravity of the offence as to shock the public conscience.”
Moore, 24, was originally sentenced in the County Court at Mildura to four years and six months in jail, with a non-parole period of two years and six months, after pleading guilty to rape and aggravated burglary.
He was re-sentenced today to five years and six months with a non-parole period of four years.
Justices Neave and Redlich said Judge Michael Bourke recognised that Moore’s Aboriginality had contributed to his disadvantaged background of alcohol, drug abuse and violence.
But this had to be balanced against the gravity of the offence, general and specific deterrence, community protection and the respondent’s prospects of rehabilitation.
The DPP argued in the appeal that legal precedent dictated that race should play no part in sentencing.
Justices Neave and Redlich said a previous appeal decision had stated “in sentencing persons of Aboriginal descent, the court must avoid any hint of racism, paternalism or collective guilt”.
In the judgment, the court said Moore broke into the home of his 21-year-old victim in the early hours of January 10, 2006.
The night was extremely warm and the woman, who lived alone, was lying naked on a mattress on the floor to keep cool.
Justices Neave and Redlich said that after he raped her Moore said “everyone f***s you” which suggested he regarded her as nothing more than an object for his sexual use.
Moore told a psychologist who examined him that he regarded the victim as a “slut”.
He had prior convictions for aggravated burglary, the appeal judges said, and for offences involving violence.
Moore had previously received two community based orders and Judge Bourke found that his prospects for rehabilitation were not good.
“The attack was a violent one,” Justices Neave and Redlich said.
“The appellant (Moore) invaded the victims home in the early hours of the morning and raped her while she was in an advanced state of pregnancy.
“Not surprisingly, the victim was terrified and the rape has had lasting effects on her. (His) impaired mental functioning could not substantially eliminate his responsibility for the offending.”
Pirates Kill Sailor in Attack on Oil Tanker Off Benin
Pirates have attacked an oil tanker off the coast of west Africa, killing a Ukrainian seaman, the commander of Benin’s naval forces says.
Cdr Fernand Maxime Ahoyo says the Cancale Star’s chief engineer was killed and one other crewman wounded.
The pirates attacked the vessel some 18 nautical miles (33km) off the coast of Benin, in what correspondents say is the country’s first such attack.
One pirate was overpowered by the crew, but the others managed to escape.
Benin-based journalist Esther Tola told the BBC that the pirates were thought to be from Nigeria.
The commander said naval forces had rescued the crew from the tanker and brought them into port.
There were 24 seamen of different nationalities on board the Liberia-flagged vessel, including Filipinos, Lithuanians and Ukranians, Cdr Ahoyo told AFP news agency.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) says piracy in the waters of west Africa is on the rise, with 100 such incidents recorded last year.
The IMB has previously warned of heightened piracy risks along shipping routes in Nigeria and Ghana, to the east and west of Benin.
It said attacks usually took place while ships were at anchor or close to coastal areas, unlike in eastern Africa, where Somali pirates strike ships hundreds of miles out to sea.
More than 10 ships and 200 hostages are currently being held by pirates operating in waters off Somalia.
An international force of about 40 warships has been stationed around the Gulf of Aden, in an effort to clamp down on piracy in some the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
Somali Captors Free Australian and Canadian Reporters
Two foreign journalists kidnapped in Somalia by militants in August 2008 have been freed by their captors.
Canadian Amanda Lindhout and Australian Nigel Brennan are reported to be in a hotel in the capital, Mogadishu.
Ms Lindhout told Canadian media that the kidnappers had tortured her and that a ransom had been paid for the pair’s release.
Somalia has been without an effective government since 1991, and journalists and aid workers are frequently seized.
Ms Lindhout told Canada’s CTV that the pair had been taken by gunmen and held in a variety of houses during their 15-month captivity.
She was forced to make calls to media outlets throughout her ordeal, as her captives wanted a ransom to be paid quickly.
“There were times that I was beaten, that I was tortured,” she said.
A man purporting to be one of the kidnappers told AFP news agency that the ransom of $1m (£600,000) had been paid.
Somali MP Ahmed Diiriye gave very few details about how the release was secured but said the hostages had been handed over by militiamen.
The pair are due to fly to Kenya on Thursday.
The freelance journalists had been working for Western media organisations when they were captured.
Photojournalist Mr Brennan had only been in the country for a week when the kidnapping happened.
He told Reuters the pair feared they would be sold to other militants and had been kept apart from each other.
He said both had been “through a pretty rough time”.
“Being pistol-whipped is sort of torture, being completely stripped of everything and then locked in a room, no-one to speak to, is a form of torture really.”
Uganda’s Anti-Gay Bill Causes Commonwealth Uproar
The Commonwealth convenes for a summit this week amid growing furor over a proposed law that would impose life imprisonment on homosexuals in Uganda, whose President is chairing the gathering.
The law, proceeding through Uganda’s Parliament and supported by some of its top leaders, would imprison anyone who knows of the existence of a gay or lesbian and fails to inform the police within 24 hours. It requires the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” — defined as any sexual act between gays or lesbians in which one person has the HIV virus.
Honduras: Minister Seeks ‘Legitimacy’ For Coup Govt
Rome, 24 Nov. (AKI) — Honduras’ acting foreign minister Dr. Carlos Lopez Contreras has arrived in Rome in a bid to seek greater legitimacy for his government which assumed power in a military coup in June. Contreras was visiting the Italian capital ahead of presidential elections to be held in the Central American country on Sunday.
“We are here in an attempt to break the isolation to which Honduras has been subjected during the past five months,” Contreras (photo) told Adnkronos International (AKI) in an exclusive interview.
“We want to make our presence felt in the countries where we have diplomatic relations with both governments and cultural organisations.”
President Manuel Zelaya was deposed in the bloodless coup that took place in the country’s capital, Tegucigalpa, on 28 June and his party colleague and former head of the congress, Roberto Micheletti, was installed as leader.
Contreras said that the people of Honduras saw the coup d’etat as a positive thing, but it had been “misunderstood” outside the country.
He said relations between Honduras and Italy had been suspended and he accused foreign countries of persecuting Honduras.
“It is a type of ‘persecution’ in the sense that it attempts to identify the government of Honduras as the product of a repressive military coup,” Contreras told AKI.
“In the first place, it is not a military coup and it is by no means repressive. It happened as a precautionary measure.”
“The previous government of Zelaya was taking Honduras on a path that would have destroyed constitutional order. Action was taken by institutions to prevent that.”
The political crisis emerged in Honduras after Zelaya tried to hold a non-binding referendum to ask people whether they supported moves to change the country’s constitution.
On 28 June, Zelaya was deposed and forced out of the country at gunpoint.
He returned to Honduras in September and has since been living in the Brazilian embassy in the capital Tegucigalpa.
Zelaya’s opponents said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of leftist Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
On Monday Zelaya said that the United States had weakened efforts to reverse the coup that ousted him.
Zelaya told the Radio Globo station that the presidential elections were an attempt to legitimise his ouster, and said whoever was elected would be as illegitimate as Micheletti.
In an open letter to the presidents of the region, Zelaya called on the region’s leaders “not to adopt ambiguous or imprecise positions like the one shown now by the United States, whose final position has weakened the effort to reverse the coup, illustrating the division in the international community.”
A number of Latin American countries, however, have openly stated they would not recognise elections carried out under the Micheletti government, including Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Honduras: Iran a ‘Danger’ To Region, Says Minister
Rome, 24 Nov. (AKI) — Iran’s move to strengthen relations with Venezuela is a threat to the stability of Central America, according to a key minister from the region. Honduras’ acting foreign minister Carlos Lopez Contreras was speaking as Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad concluded an official visit to Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia, on Tuesday.
“We currently see the Iran-Venezuela-Central America bridge as being something very dangerous,” Contreras told Adnkronos International (AKI), adding that the recent rapproachement between the Zelaya government and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez played a role in the the military coup which deposed Zelaya.
“That also played a role in the ‘reaction’ by Honduran ‘institutions’ so that the country would not fall under the influence of the so-called 21st century socialism regimes, which sometimes are not socialist, nor are they democracies, nor do they belong to the 21st century,” Contreras said.
Contreras was in Italy in a bid to bolster support for the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti, who assumed power in a bloodless military coup from president Manuel Zelaya in June this year.
He was visiting the Italian capital ahead of presidential elections to be held in the Central American country on Sunday.
Zelaya is expected to play a role in the new government after the weekend polls but Contreras expressed concern about the former president’s overtures to Iran before the coup.
“We see it as a worrying trend the rapprochement between the Zelaya government and Iran, because we have always seen Iran as a dangerous state when it comes to matters of international peace, technology developments, nuclear weapons and the promotion of terrorist actions in the world,” Contreras said.
On Monday Ahmadinejad visited Brazil where he met president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
He was due to arrive in Venezuela on Tuesday to meet controversial leftist leader Hugo Chavez after a short visit to Bolivia to meet president Evo Morales.
For Ahmadinejad, the official visit was an opportunity to expand Iran’s relations in a region where he already has a firm ally in Chavez.
Brazil, which has adopted a much more conciliatory line over Iran’s nuclear ambitions than its Western allies, has supported dialogue with Iran in a bid for progress on the nuclear issue and Middle East peace.
On the other hand, Venezuela’s Chavez believes Iran, China and Russia, are the key to weakening United States influence in Latin America, and has moved to establish ever closer ties with Tehran in recent years.
Frattini: Point Based Citizenship Not to Discard
(ANSAmed) — ROME, NOVEMBER 24 — The idea of recognising citizenship through a points based system “seems interesting’, and is an idea that “should be explored, and not thrown out immediately”, stated Italy’s foreign minister Franco Frattini this morning on Mattino 5 in reference to the proposal made by his colleague Maurizio Sacconi. “I think that citizenship for an immigrant is the attainment of a goal, not the beginning”, explained the head of foreign affairs. “It is not possible to imagine only arriving in Italy and it is for this reason that the idea of the right to become Italian has matured. One can do so after a long path passing through work, the respecting of laws, our Constitution and our rules”. “There are countries”, Frattini concluded, “where the points system, like Canada and the United States, is already in vigour for the recognition of long-term work permits, which are the first step on the path to citizenship”.(ANSAmed).
French Border Police Discover 12 Lorries Packed With British-Bound Migrants
This is the moment when British-bound migrants hiding in lorries bound for Dover were flushed out in a police swoop.
The two would-be illegal immigrants were among 30 arrested in yesterday’s dawn raids on 12 trucks just before they set off for a ferry from Calais.
The mainly Eritrean and Somali men and women sneaked aboard the vehicles in the early hours while their drivers were sleeping.
Ireland: Permission to Challenge State on Non-EU Dependant Refused
AN IRISH man, his Chinese-born wife and their two Irish-born children have been refused permission to bring a High Court challenge to the State’s refusal to allow her widowed mother to live with them in Ireland.
Mr Justice John Edwards ruled yesterday that the Moylan family had failed to make out the “substantial” grounds necessary under law in asylum and immigration proceedings before judicial review proceedings may be brought.
The action by the Lusk, Co Dublin-based family, all Irish citizens, was regarded as a test case relating to the rights of Irish citizens to have their non-EU dependent relatives live with them here.
John Moylan, who works in RTÉ, and his wife, Tingting, a naturalised Irish citizen, wanted her mother, Lihua Wang, in her 50s, to live with them as a dependant. They said they would pay all her costs, including private health insurance, so she would not be any burden on the State.
Mr Justice Edwards said the family had effectively alleged “reverse discrimination” in that they were being treated differently from non-Irish EU nationals who live here and were entitled under an EU directive on freedom of movement to have their dependent parents reside with them here.
For there to be reverse discrimination, two people must be in a situation of equivalence and one must be treated differently, but that was not the case here.
Tinting Wang was not in a position equivalent to that of a non-Irish EU worker who came to Ireland to take up a job and wished to have a non-EU dependent mother come to live with them, Mr Justice Edwards added. The non-Irish EU worker was exercising their freedom of movement rights under EU treaties and that was not the case here.
He also found there was no prima facie evidence the right to family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights was engaged. He was not satisfied the family had shown substantial grounds for their claim that the Minister, in refusing their application, failed to have proper regard to the exercise of his discretion under the Immigration Act.
Italy Calls for EU Help Against Illegal Immigration
ROME, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) — Italy’s Interior Minister Roberto Maroni on Tuesday urged the European Union (EU) to help Mediterranean countries deal with illegal immigration, local media reported.
Addressing a summit of Mediterranean interior ministers, Maroni said more resources were needed to combat migratory pressure at its root and enable transit countries to effectively manage the large number of African migrants who enter Mediterranean countries en route to Europe.
The daylong conference in Venice was attended by the EU’s Mediterranean countries as well as five North African states: Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania.
“It is to be hoped the Mediterranean will receive enough resources and attention to help it deal with the great challenges posed by immigration to this area,” Maroni said.
“In order to better manage legal immigration, the procedures for fighting illegal immigration and human trafficking must first be strengthened,” he added.
Italy’s centre-right government has put the fight against illegal immigration at the top of its agenda and has introduced measures such as deporting illegal migrants intercepted in international waters.
Italy, as with most Mediterranean countries, faces high numbers of illegal immigrants arriving along its frontiers and has repeatedly urged a European burden-sharing approach to solve related issues following several tragedies at sea.
Maroni said the EU’s home affairs policy for the next five years, the so-called Stockholm Program, which is expected to be finalized and signed at the EU summit in mid-December, provided a “historic” opportunity to reduce pressure caused by illegal immigration.
Meanwhile, at a bilateral meeting held in Rome on Tuesday, the illegal immigration issue was also discussed between Italian Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi and his Spanish counterpart, Celestino Corbacho.
Both agreed on the need for “more robust cooperation in tackling migration flows” and reiterated calls for “a coordinated European immigration policy”.
Ahead of Tuesday’s conference, Maroni also exchanged views with French Immigration Minister Eric Besson on migration matters.
Sources said the two sides agreed during the meeting to raise joint proposals for additional resources at the next European council of interior ministers at the end of November.
Italy: Northern League’s White Christmas
In Italy, the local council of Coccaglio is dreaming of a “White Christmas”. Such is the name of a seasonal police operation against illegal immigrants launched by its Northern League mayor. Between now and 25 December, police will be knocking on the doors of the 450 non-EU families to check on their residency permits—and best wishes for the New Year.
For John, the high point of last year’s white Christmas was a Gospel music concert in the parish of Santa Maria Nascente. He remembers the long evenings of rehearsals with his Ghanaian friends—who, like him, live in the historic centre of Coccaglio—and the choristers from the Senegalese community, many of whom live in council flats in a town where virtually everyone lives in small villas and detached houses. As John says, “Last year’s White Christmas was a celebration for me too, because I am also a Christian. We organized the concert because we knew the Italians don’t have many opportunities to hear this kind of music, which they only know from television. But this year, we are being told that we have to leave before Christmas.”
In Coccaglio, in the municipality of Brescia (northern Italy) where the “White Christmas” immigrant purge is now in progress, John and his friends currently represent a fifth of the population. In the local town hall, one of the walls bears a graph showing the increase in the number of migrants, which has prompted so much ethnic change over the last ten years—177 foreigners in April 1998, 1,583 in April 2009—in a town with less than 7,000 residents. In spite of this hike in migration, not much appears to have changed in this ancient backwater with its old centre, which has remained untouched for centuries, and its Roman fort festooned in fairy lights. Everything seems as it should be outside the old church, where Mass is occasionally said, and by the monument to the 16th century author of madrigals, Luca Marenzio, which dominates the central square of the same name and cuts the town in two.
No comment from the local mayor
Although the immigrant purge is the talk of the town, many politicians are reluctant to discuss the subject. Umberto Bossi, the leader of the populist and xenophobic Northern League party, which plays a key role in the governing majority in Rome, simply asserts that “the municipality is just applying the law, even if there was no need to call the initiative ‘White Christmas.’ They could have called it ‘Christmas ID verification.’“ Mayor Franco Claretti and Claudio Abiendi — the local councillor in charge of security — “both of whom are long-standing members of the Northern League,” prefer not to comment . However, Agostino Pedrali, council delegate for social affairs, cannot resist the temptation: “Since we took over the town hall in June, we have spent €89,000 on immigrants than and only €43,000 for Italians.” “Pure propaganda,” retorts centre-left opposition leader Claudio Rossi: “only two of the 150 dwellings that were filled were allocated to foreigners.”
But it is not hard to find people who have plenty to say about the measure. You just have to stop by the May Day café and tobacconist’s on the outskirts of the town. Though it is known as “the Kosovars café,” the man behind the counter Andrea Cavallini, “is Brescian born and bred.” In the brief moments when he and his wife are not serving grappa and battling with the expresso machine for the Italian, Albanian, Macedonian and Kosovar customers, he explains his views on the immigration issue: “All of them have jobs, some of them work in the factories, and the others are on the building sites.” Andrea, who is a friend and something of a father to the young Slavs at the counter, retained ownership of the tobacco side of the business when he sold the bar, where he still works, to the immigrants. He takes a dim view of the Northern League initiative: “I find it very disturbing. The method is disgraceful. They send you a letter, and if you don’t reply they come round to your house to see if you are hiding illegals. That’s the way they used to behave under Mussolini, and under Stalin too. Do we really want to go back to those times?” When you ask the young Kosovars what they think of operation “White Christmas,” they break off their game of table football, and their smiles suddenly vanish.
Unemployment could mean deportation
“The ID checks are not the problem, and it doesn’t make much difference what name you want to call it,” says Mergan, “the timing is the real issue. Right now, if you lose your job, you can’t renew your papers. It’s true that you can lodge an appeal on the basis that you’ve been made redundant, but you are only allowed to do that once. What happens second time round? What do you do with your wife, and your children that were born here in Coccaglio?” Mergan, 38, was single when he moved to the Brescia region 11 years ago. Now he is married and the father of four boys. Stories like his are common among the immigrants in the region. Most were able to get work on the building sites of Bergame and Brescia, at the Scab furniture factory, making coffee machines for the famous Bialetti brand, or at one of the dozens of small engineering companies in the region. But times have changed, “I have no more work. The Italians just aren’t calling me anymore,” says Mergan. “If the situation doesn’t change soon, one day they will come knocking on my door to check my papers. What will happen then?”
Finland: Mealtime Prayer at Schools Questioned
The State Provincial Office of Western Finland is looking into meal-time prayers at schools in the municipalities of Kokkola, Pietarsaari and Kruunupyy. An inquiry filed with the office claims that prayers could facilitate religious propaganda.
Researcher and writer Raoul J. Granqvist filed the inquiry with the State Provincial Office. He said that mealtime prayers are contradictory to schools’ stance on impartiality. He said that Christian traditions and practices could possibly bring Christian propaganda to schools.
The State Provincial Office has asked the municipalities for a reply. According to the Finnish National Board of Education, schools are allowed to organise religious activities. However, they cannot force students to participate, reports the newspaper Österbottens Tidning.
Obama Appoints “Anti-Jesus” Jurist
[Comments from JD: as well as globalists seeking to remove Bill of Rights and the Constitution. See highlighted sections.]
David Hamilton, who interned as a law clerk for Judge Richard Cuhahy of the 7th Circuit in 1983-84 after graduating from Yale Law School in 1983, became an associate at the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg until 1994. With absolutely no judicial experience, then President Bill Clinton appointed Hamilton to the federal bench. Hamilton is now known as the anti-Jesus judge. In 2005 Hamilton ruled that the Indiana legislature could not begin its sessions with prayer in which Christian invocations that used the name “Jesus Christ” or even sectarian terms like “Savior” were used. However, prayers which use the words “Allah,” “Gott,” “Theos” or “Elohim,” were acceptable. In other words, only the name “Jesus Christ” was banned. In his decision, Hamilton wrote: “All are free to pray as they wish in their own houses of worship or in other settings. Those who wish to participate in the practice of official prayer must be willing to stay within constitutional bounds.”
Too bad Judge Hamilton didn’t. The Constitution of the United States is written in simple, straight-forward words that anyone who can read a third grade primer can legally understand. In words even a lawyer should be able to understand, the 1st Amendment to the Constitution says: “hands off!” The Founding Fathers carefully crafted into the Constitution an amendment that specifically denies the States or the federal government any power to reinterpret what it says, or to make any laws or edicts that in any way interfere with the inherent rights of people—particularly Christian people—to worship as they please, when they please, and where they please without interference from those who disagree with their religious beliefs, or from local, county, State or federal governments or courts. The 1st Amendment is so sacrosanct that it is the only amendment which states that no governing body may alter it.
On Oct. 12, 2004, then National Rifle Association Vice President Wayne LaPierre debated the George Soros-funded International Action Network of Small Arms CEO Rebecca Peters, England’s leading advocate of global disarmament. In his opening statement, LaPierre told Peters, “If you can’t bring yourself to respect the Bill of Rights, at least keep your hands off it. The Bill of Rights is what makes America the freest nation on Earth.”
With respect to the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Peters replied that she “…favors global standards.” She quoted George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” citing a phrase in the book which says “…all animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Mr. LaPierre,” she said, “would say that Americans are created even more equal. No. Americans are people just like everyone else on Earth. They should abide by the same rules as everyone else…American citizens should not be exempt from the rules that apply to the rest of the world.” Peters concluded that the Bill of Rights should be repealed because, she said, Americans should not have rights not possessed by everyone else in the world.
I mentioned Peters remark because it is part of a global strategy to dilute the Constitution and, specifically, the Bill of Rights by getting federal and State court judges to incorporate international court decisions into their decisions, thereby codifying international law into the US Code by merging the the 1st Amendment with Articles 13 and 14 of the UN International Covenant on Human Rights. It is this coupling with a UN decree that now makes judges think they now have the authority to abrogate Christian rights if they offend non-Christians because Article 13 of the Covenant on Human Rights decrees: “Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations that are prescribed by law.” Since Muslims and Jews object to references of Jesus Christ, the federal judiciary simply erased the use of Jesus’ name as a right protected by the 1st Amendment even though the 1st Amendment says no one can infringe on that right.
By the way, British citizen Rebecca Peters, who led the attacks in England and Australia that resulted in the gun bans in those countries, is now part of the Obama Administration. Peters and Gun Czar John Podesta head Obama’s efforts to repeal the 2nd Amendment—or sidestep it, or simply ignore the 2nd Amendment and legislate guns out of existence by attacking not the gun owner but the manufacturers and sellers of firearms. Once the American people are disarmed, world government will happen within 90 days.
Dennis Sewell on Charles Darwin’s Dark Legacy
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and Nov. 24 marks the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, the landmark work in which Darwin laid forth his theory of natural selection. While celebrations have emphasized the British naturalist’s giant role in the advancement of human progress, British political journalist Dennis Sewell is not convinced. In a new book, The Political Gene: How Darwin’s Ideas Changed Politics, he highlights how often — and how easily — Darwin’s big idea has been harnessed for sinister political ends. According to Sewell, evolution is scientifically undeniable, but its contribution to human well-being is unclear.
Q: Should we reassess Darwin’s legacy? A: Bicentennial celebrations have portrayed Darwin as a kindly old gentleman pottering around an English house and garden. What that misses is the way his ideas were abused in the 20th century and the way in which Darwin was wrong about certain key issues. He asserted that different races of mankind had traveled different distances along the evolutionary path — white Caucasians were at the top of the racial hierarchy, while black and brown people ranked below. [Racism] was a widespread prejudice in British society at the time, but he presented racial hierarchy as a matter of science. He also held that the poor were genetically second-rate — which inspired eugenics.
Q: We understand now that eugenics was an illegitimate science, so why even worry about it today? A: The thinking behind eugenics is still present. Many senior geneticists point to a genetically engineered future. As the technology for this falls into place, there has also been an explosion of the field of evolutionary psychology that tries to describe every element of human behavior as genetically determined. What we will begin to see is scientists arguing for the use of genetics to breed out certain behavioral traits from humanity.
Q: Is it that you oppose artificial selection in principle, or that you feel scientists are still too far away from a full understanding of genetics to be making such decisions? A: Who is going to make the value judgment of what is human enhancement and what makes a human better? I don’t feel comfortable with such judgments being left to scientists.
Hiding Evidence of Global Cooling
Scientific progress depends on accurate and complete data. It also relies on replication. The past couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations about the baloney practices that pass as sound science about climate change.
It was announced Thursday afternoon that computer hackers had obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England. Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims.
There is a lot of damning evidence about these researchers concealing information that counters their bias. In another exchange, Mr. Jones told Mr. Mann: “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone” and, “We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.” Mr. Jones further urged Mr. Mann to join him in deleting e-mail exchanges about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) controversial assessment report (ARA): “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re [the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report]?”
In another e-mail, Mr. Jones told Mr. Mann, professor Malcolm K. Hughes of the University of Arizona and professor Raymond S. Bradley of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst: “I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!”
The Architect as Totalitarian
Le Corbusier’s baleful influence
Le Corbusier was to architecture what Pol Pot was to social reform. In one sense, he had less excuse for his activities than Pol Pot: for unlike the Cambodian, he possessed great talent, even genius. Unfortunately, he turned his gifts to destructive ends, and it is no coincidence that he willingly served both Stalin and Vichy. Like Pol Pot, he wanted to start from Year Zero: before me, nothing; after me, everything. By their very presence, the raw-concrete-clad rectangular towers that obsessed him canceled out centuries of architecture. Hardly any town or city in Britain (to take just one nation) has not had its composition wrecked by architects and planners inspired by his ideas.
Writings about Le Corbusier often begin with an encomium to his importance, something like: “He was the most important architect of the twentieth century.” Friend and foe would agree with this judgment, but importance is, of course, morally and aesthetically ambiguous. After all, Lenin was one of the most important politicians of the twentieth century, but it was his influence on history, not his merits, that made him so: likewise Le Corbusier.
A terminal inhumanity-what one might almost call “ahumanity”-characterizes Le Corbusier’s thought and writing, notwithstanding his declarations of fraternity with mankind. This manifests itself in several ways, including in his thousands of architectural photos and drawings, in which it is rare indeed that a human figure ever appears, and then always as a kind of distant ant, unfortunately spoiling an otherwise immaculate, Platonic townscape. Thanks to his high-rise buildings, Le Corbusier says, 95 percent of the city surface shall become parkland-and he then shows a picture of a wooded park without a single human figure present. Presumably, the humans will be where they should be, out of sight and out of mind (the architect’s mind, anyway), in their machines for living in (as he so charmingly termed houses), sitting on machines for sitting on (as he defined chairs).
Le Corbusier does not belong so much to the history of architecture as to that of totalitarianism, to the spiritual, intellectual, and moral deformity of the interbellum years in Europe. Clearly, he was not alone; he was both a creator and a symptom of the zeitgeist. His plans for Stockholm, after all, were in response to an official Swedish competition for ways to rebuild the beautiful old city, so such destruction was on the menu. It is a sign of the abiding strength of the totalitarian temptation, as the French philosopher Jean-François Revel called it, that Le Corbusier is still revered in architectural schools and elsewhere, rather than universally reviled.