Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/13/2013

Christopher Dorner, the fugitive ex-cop who is thought to have killed three people in the Los Angeles area and wounded several others, was surrounded by police in a remote cabin, and is now believed dead after the cabin burned to the ground. Some reports indicate that the suspect committed suicide, but there is controversy centering around a report that police were heard on the radio scanner giving orders to burn the cabin down.

In other news, the government of Qatar handed over control of the Syrian embassy in that country to the main opposition group in Syria, the Syrian National Coalition.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Erick Stakelbeck, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, The Observer, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» An Army of One and Fiscal Uncertainty
» Berlusconi Says Italian Business Suicides Linked to Taxes
» Egypt: Moody’s Downgrades Bonds on Social Tensions
» Italian Spread Eases on Successful Treasury Bond Issue
» Italy: Narrowing Spread No Thanks to Governments, Says Berlusconi
» Petrogold: Are Russia and China Hoarding Gold Because They Plan to Kill the Petrodollar?
» Prosecuting the Messenger: Chief Greek Statistician Threatened With Jail
» Boards of American and US Airways Are Said to Approve a Merger
» CNN Cuts Live Feed of Dorner Standoff: Special Report
» Did Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department Violate the First Amendment?
» Did Police Order Media Blackout to Cover Up Plan to Kill Dorner?
» Fugitive Ex-La Cop Believed Dead After Gun Battle, Fire
» Heart Problems Linked to SSRI Antidepressants
» How Many Wallets With ID Cards in Them Did Dorner Own?
» Kerry Took More Security on Trip to Arlington, Va., Than State Dept. Posted in Benghazi
» LAPD Audio From Dorner Siege: “Burn This M*********er”
» LAPD Pulls ‘Waco’ On Christopher Dorner to Silence Him Forever
» Lobbyists Jump on Dorner Standoff to Promote Drones
» Muslim Infiltration in Public Education
» Next Door to a Mosque, Church Learns to Minister to Muslims
» Obama’s ‘Bipartisan’ State of the Union Paints Republicans as Anti-Science, Job-Hating Neanderthals
» Obama Placed Embargo on Press Over Secret Cyber Security Executive Order
» Rand Paul Gives Tea-Party Response to Obama (Video)
» Report: Realistic Urban Training is DHS and DOD “Conducting Desensitizing Exercises”
» She Survived Hitler and Wants to Warn America
» State of the Union: Obama Backs Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal With EU
» States: A Time for Choosing — A Time for Action
» The Ruthless State of the Union: The Current Crime Boss Speaks
» Top Economic Advisers Forecast War and Unrest
» TSA Breaks World Renowned Cellist’s $20,000 Bow
» Will Obama Take Control of the Internet This Week?
Europe and the EU
» Frenchman Self-Immolates Over Unemployment Benefits
» French Communist Party Drops Hammer and Sickle
» Germany: Muslims Plan to Convert Hamburg Church Into Mosque
» Hamas MPs in Ground-Breaking Bulgaria Visit
» How Islamism Tainted France’s Presidential Election
» Italian Lawyer Demands Public Prosecutor Investigate Bilderberg Group
» Italy: Vatican Credit-Card Crisis Over
» Italy: Lombardy Governor Hits Back at Result of Healthcare Probe
» Italy: Monti Says Political Involvement in Economy ‘Depressing’
» Italy: Monti Vows ‘Radical’ School Reform, Cost Reduction
» Money Scandal Behind Papal Coup d’Etat
» Norway: Right-Wing Extremist Believed Behind Bomb Threat Against Parliament
» Now It’s British Horsemeat in Takeaway Burgers and Kebabs: Police Raid UK Abattoir at Centre of Crisis
» Sanremo Song Fest Starts With Furore, High Ratings
» The Horsemeat Scandal is Now Europe Wide With More Twists Than a Crime Novel
» UK: ‘Catch Me if You Can!’ Violent Criminal on the Run From Police Taunts Officers on Facebook With String of Pictures of Him Breaking the Law
» UK: Antiques Dealer, 56, Found Dead in Home With Severe Head Injuries as Man is Questioned Over His Killing and Theft of Gold and Silver
» UK: Cops Raid House After Man Posts Image of Toy Mortar on Facebook
» UK: French Far-Right Leader to Speak in Cambridge
» UK: Ken Clarke: Compensation Payments Fund Terrorist Groups
» UK: Lib Dem Misrule on Eastleigh Council
» UK: Mosque and Community Centre Plans for Gloucester
» UK: Operation Bullfinch
» UK: Respected Teacher Hounded Out of Job: Career Ruined by 7-Year-Old Boy’s Unfounded Assault Claim
» UK: Stephen Fry’s Bafta Performance Fails to Impress BBC Veterans
» UK: Sex Abuse of Pupils at Top Music School Where Suicide Violinist Was Abused ‘Goes Back 40 Years’
» UK: When Will We See a Danny Boyle-Style Pageant Showing Nurses Mistreating Their Patients?
» UK: Waitrose ‘Beef’ Meatballs That Are Made With Pork: Frozen ‘Essentials’ Range Removed From Shelves Raising Fears All Stores and Outlets Are Affected
» Vatican City: Pope Resigns: Peter Turkson Reveals Vision for the Church and ‘Alternative Lifestyles’
North Africa
» Al Azhar: Now Relations With Vatican Based on Respect
» Egypt: Global Protest Against Sexual Violence in Tahrir Sq.
» Egypt: Major Tourism Decline Due to Acts of Violence
» Egypt: Anti-Opposition Salafi Released on Bail
» Sexual Violence in Egypt Takes on Political Dimension
» The Commander in Chief Was AWOL During Benghazi Attack
Israel and the Palestinians
» Barack Obama ‘To Tell Israel to Hold Back Talk of Strike on Iran’
» New Stakelbeck Show With Itamar Mayor Moshe Goldsmith
» Palestinian Arab Converting to Judaism
Middle East
» Better That They’re in Syria Than in the Netherlands
» Bulgaria Urges Lebanon to Arrest Suspects in Burgas Bus Blast: Official
» How Mossad Took Down Hezbollah Terrorist Mastermind Imad Mughniyah
» Iran Hangs Murderer in Public
» Lebanon Signs Parliamentary Protocol With Belgium
» Satellite Images Reveal Unscathed SSRC Facility in Syria
» Syria: Qatar Hands Embassy to Main Opposition Group
» Turkey: Car Bomb: Syrian Conflict is Getting Closer
» Turkey: First Shelter for Male Domestic Violence Victims
» Turkish Poem Censored Over Word ‘Beer’
South Asia
» Bangladesh : Islamists Stealing Christian Children to Train as Suicide Bombers
» India: Govt Under Fire Over Terrorist’s ‘Rushed’ Execution
» India: More Anti-Christian Violence Threatens Lent Celebrations
Far East
» Chinese Pig Farms Breed Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Australia — Pacific
» “Rise Up Australia” Political Party Launched
» Anti-Muslim Campaigner Coming to Australia
» Is Coke Addictive? Coroner Takes on Soft Drinks Giant
» New Zealand: Prosser Apologises to Muslims
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Chrysler’s South Africa CEO Shot in Robbery
» Doctors Struggling to Fight ‘Totally Drug-Resistant’ Tuberculosis in South Africa
» Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Cripple Northern Region’s Economy
» Russia Sends Arms to Mali and Plans to Send More
» The Gang Rape That Horrified South Africa
» Denmark Sends Somalis Back Home, U.S. Takes More in
» Napolitano at Immigration Hearing: US Borders Have ‘Never Been Stronger’
» Obama’s SOTU Address: How to Make the Immigration Crisis Worse
» The Asylumist: A Good Source for Info. On What Else? Asylum
» UK: Nick Boles Says He is ‘Nervous’ About Influx of Romanian Migrants
Culture Wars
» UK: ‘Culture Wars’ Warning From Church Over Same-Sex Marriages
» UK: Blind Pensioner, 97, Jumped Into Harbour and Drowned Soon After Doctors Told Him He Had Cancer ‘Because He Didn’t Want to be a Burden’
» White Male Feels Dispossessed & Betrayed

An Army of One and Fiscal Uncertainty

In a January 24, 2013 breakfast speech, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno warned his audience that “Today, the greatest threat of our national security is fiscal uncertainty.”

Our volunteer army has over 88,000 soldiers deployed, 56,000 in Afghanistan alone, thousands in Kuwait, Qatar, Kosovo, Sinai, Horn of Africa and 91,000 soldiers stationed in 150 countries. In the last twelve years, 1.5 million men and women have deployed overseas and half a million of these soldiers served on multiple tours, some 2-5 times. My friend’s daughter Bonnie served four tours. It is a strong, well-trained, remarkable, and honorable army. But no army and exceptional training in the world can protect and serve our country’s needs without proper funding.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote a letter on January 14, 2013 to Congress leaders expressing angst over the future readiness of our Armed Forces in light of the current budget conditions.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Berlusconi Says Italian Business Suicides Linked to Taxes

Monti’s government raised taxes amid austerity measures

(ANSA) — Rome, February 12 — Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Tuesday that high taxes in Italy were literally killing people as they were causing members of the business community to commit suicide.

“Some entrepreneurs have taken their lives because they could not find the money to pay the taxes,” the three-time Italian premier, who is leading the centre-right’s campaign for the February 24-25 general election, told ANSA. Outgoing Premier Mario Monti’s emergency technocrat government introduced a series of tax hikes as part of austerity measures to steer Italy out of its debt crisis. Monti is standing for office on a reform platform backed by centrist parties. photo: Ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi with ANSA Editor-in-Chief Luigi Contu.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Moody’s Downgrades Bonds on Social Tensions

Government’s inability to secure IMF loan also an issue

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK, 12 FEB — Moody’s downgraded Egyptian government bonds from ‘B2’ to ‘B3’, the ratings agency said Tuesday in a communique.

The downgrade reflects “the economic impact of intensifying social tensions, as shown by the recent decree announcing a state of emergency,” the communique said. Moody’s also cited continuing uncertainty as to the Egyptian government’s ability to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Spread Eases on Successful Treasury Bond Issue

Interest rates fall on 15 and 30-year bonds

(ANSA) — Rome, February 13 — The Italian bond spread eased after the Italian treasury’s held some successful bond auction on Wednesday. The spread between the 10-year Italian bond and the German benchmark — considered an important gauge of the cost of Italian debt — slid six basis points during the day to 278.

The yield on Italian 10-year-bonds on the secondary market was down at 4.45%.

The Italian treasury sold 3.449 billion euros worth of three-year bonds on Wednesday, at an interest rate of 2.3%, up from 1.85% last January Longer term bond offerings were more encouraging however.

Italian 15-year bonds sold at an average yield of 4.55%, down from a 4.75% rate at last issue in December. The Italian treasury also sold 30-year bonds for the first time since May 2011. The treasury auctioned off 888 million euros of 30-year paper. The average yield was 5.07%, down from 5.43% in May 2011. The long term bonds were oversubscribed by a factor of 1.97.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Narrowing Spread No Thanks to Governments, Says Berlusconi

Ex-premier says bond improvements driven by ECB President Draghi

(ANSA) — Rome, February 12 — The narrowing spread between 10-year Italian bonds and their German benchmark is not because of governments’ efforts, but “thanks to European Central Bank President Mario Draghi,” ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said on Tuesday.

The leader of the center-right coalition told an ANSA forum that “governments have no influence on the financial markets”.

The spread between 10-year Italian bonds and the German benchmark, a key measure of investor confidence in Italy.

When outgoing Premier Mario Monti replaced Berlusconi as premier in November 2011, Italy’s debt crisis looked in danger of spiralling out of control and the bond spread was over 500 points.

Monti, a respected economist, has been credited with steering Italy from financial catastrophe and helping narrow the bond gap.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Petrogold: Are Russia and China Hoarding Gold Because They Plan to Kill the Petrodollar?

Will oil soon be traded in a currency that is thousands of years old? What would a “gold for oil” system mean for the petrodollar and the U.S. economy? Are Russia and China hoarding massive amounts of gold because they plan to kill the petrodollar? Since the 1970s, the U.S. dollar has been the currency that the international community has used to trade oil around the globe. This has created an overwhelming demand for U.S. dollars and U.S. debt. But what happens when the rest of the globe starts rejecting the increasingly unstable U.S. dollar and figures out that gold can be used as a currency in international trade?

The truth is that it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure that out. Demand for the U.S. dollar and U.S. debt would fall off the map and there would be a rush into gold unlike anything we have ever seen before. So are Russia and China accumulating unprecedented amounts of gold right now because they eventually plan to cut the legs out from under the petrodollar and they want to gobble up huge stockpiles of gold before the cat is out of the bag? Of course they will never admit this publicly, but there are rumblings out there that this is exactly what is happening.

Not that you can really blame any nation that wants to get into gold right now. News outlets all over the globe are telling us that we are in the midst of a “currency war” as central banks all over the planet race to devalue their currencies.

So why would anyone want to be in paper in such an environment?

And of course the Federal Reserve is one of the biggest offenders. The Fed has been printing money like it is going out of style, and nobody at the Fed or in the U.S. government really seems too concerned that all of this money printing could be endangering the petrodollar.

[Comment: Read the whole article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Prosecuting the Messenger: Chief Greek Statistician Threatened With Jail

By Georgios Christidis in Athens

He was hired to bring Greece’s debt statistics in line with European norms. Now, chief statistician Andreas Georgiou faces jail time for allegedly producing inflated budget deficit numbers. He says he was merely being honest, and he has plenty of support in Europe.

The hour was late, but Andreas Georgiou was still at his office last Friday evening. He sounded calm and poised, certain that he had done his duty. But Georgiou, 53, also sounded dumbfounded. “It strikes me as odd,” he says, “that we are being prosecuted in a European Union member state for actually following European law.”

When Georgiou decided in the summer of 2010 to take over leadership of the revamped, newly independent Greek statistics service ELSTAT, he never imagined that the position could land him a jail sentence. But at the end of January, felony charges were filed against Georgiou and two senior ELSTAT staffers for allegedly inflating the 2009 deficit. In other words, at a time when the rest of the world was furious that Greece had artificially improved the country’s budget statistics, Greek prosecutors are accusing Georgiou of doing the opposite. Prosecutors acted after a 15-month investigation into allegations made by a former ELSTAT board member. If found guilty, Georgiou faces five to 10 years in prison.

At stake in the ELSTAT case is more than the credibility of a senior statistician, one who previously worked for 20 years at the International Monetary Fund. The entire bailout of Greece was based on the numbers provided by ELSTAT on the deficit figures for 2009 onwards. Any deal with the troika might unravel were the foundation of the agreement to be suddenly altered…

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

Boards of American and US Airways Are Said to Approve a Merger

Ending a yearlong courtship by US Airways, American Airlines agreed on Wednesday to merge with the smaller carrier, paving the way for the creation of the nation’s largest airline.

The boards of both companies met separately to approve the combination, according to two people with knowledge of the vote. A merger would bolster American’s domestic footprint, strengthen its presence in the Northeast and give it a bigger network to attract business travelers and corporate accounts.

The merger, the details of which will be announced Thursday morning, would create a rival with the size and breadth to compete against United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which have both grown through mergers of their own in recent years and are currently the biggest.

[Return to headlines]

CNN Cuts Live Feed of Dorner Standoff: Special Report

As it’s reported that suspected cop killer Christopher Dorner may be cornered in a cabin in the Big Bear mountain resort in California, CNN has announced that they will not broadcast a live feed of the event.

Alex breaks down CNN’s cutting of the feed:


CNN host Wolf Blitzer called the request to cut the live feed “unprecedented.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Did Brooklyn College’s Political Science Department Violate the First Amendment?

The co-sponsorship by the Brooklyn College political science department of an anti-Israel hate fest, from which pro-Israel students were excluded, may have violated the First Amendment. Had the event been sponsored only by student and outside private groups, their decision to exclude pro-Israel students and to prevent the distribution of anti-BDS leaflets would have been a private matter, that at worst may have violated the rules of the college. But the official co-sponsorship of the event by an academic department may have turned their exclusionary decisions into illegal “state action.”

For purposes of the First Amendment, the political science department is Brooklyn College, which is the City University of New York, which is the State of New York. It was the State of New York, therefore, that expelled pro-Israel students who wanted to distribute constitutionally protected leaflets and wanted to pose constitutionally protected political questions. Such state action violates the First Amendment and New York law.

Accordingly, the benighted action of the political science department in taking sides in the debate over boycotting Israeli academics and institutions, may now come back to haunt the City University of New York, which is taking this situation seriously. The Chancellor issued the following statement:

At last week’s event at Brooklyn College, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine and the College’s Department of Political Science, allegations were made by members of the college community who attended that they were impeded from expressing views either orally or in writing. There were reports that some said they were asked without cause to leave the event. If this were true, it was wrong and we need to understand exactly what the circumstances were. At the request of President Karen L. Gould, I have asked General Counsel and Senior Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs Frederick P. Schaffer to quickly investigate these allegations.[…]\


[Return to headlines]

Did Police Order Media Blackout to Cover Up Plan to Kill Dorner?

Authorities demanded Twitter, online scanner censorship before setting fire to cabin

Audio which indicates police involved in the siege against Christopher Dorner deliberately planned to set fire to the fugitive’s cabin was preceded by an attempt by authorities to impose a media blackout in an apparent effort to cover up the chain of events that led to Dorner’s death.

As the standoff reached its height, Big Bear-area police scanners were disabled online in order to “ensure officer safety.” However, the feeds were not cut until after police were clearly heard discussing plans to “go ahead with the plan with the burners,” while on another audio feed from a local news broadcast, cops were heard shouting, “burn this m**********r.”

At around the same time, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer announced that police had asked news networks not to film live footage of the scene.

Earlier in the day, the the LAPD issued a request to media outlets to “please stop tweeting” about unfolding events.

This was followed by a tweet, subsequently deleted, from the San Bernardino District Attorney which stated, “The sheriff has asked all members of the press to stop tweeting immediately. It is hindering officer safety.”

Luckily, journalist Max Blumenthal, who was listening live to police scanner feeds, defied the order and continued to tweet about how cops were talking about their plan to burn down the cabin, which led to Dorner’s death.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fugitive Ex-La Cop Believed Dead After Gun Battle, Fire

ANGELUS OAKS, California (Reuters) — A fugitive ex-cop accused of a grudge-fueled killing spree targeting police officers and their families is believed to have died in a mountain cabin that burned down in the climax to a massive weeklong manhunt across Southern California, authorities said on Wednesday.

Police were awaiting forensic analysis to confirm that charred human remains found in the smoldering ruins of the cabin in the snow-swept hills of the San Bernardino National Forest were those of 33-year-old Christopher Dorner.

Authorities including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the man who had barricaded himself inside the cabin during a standoff with police on Tuesday was almost certainly Dorner.

“We all are breathing a sigh of relief. We do believe it is the body of Christopher Dorner, but we don’t know for certain,” Villaraigosa told the CNN news network, adding that a positive, conclusive identification could be days or weeks away.

Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Lieutenant Andy Neiman said the LAPD had returned to “a normal state of operations,” but he said security details assigned to about a dozen officers and their families who had been threatened by Dorner would remain in place for the time being.

Dorner is suspected of killing four people, including a deputy sheriff who was shot on Tuesday.

He had been on the run since last Wednesday, when he was named as the prime suspect in the slaying of a couple in Irvine, south of Los Angeles.

The search intensified last Thursday after he was accused of killing of a Riverside policeman and wounding another officer in an ambush about 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

Law enforcement converged later that day in the San Bernardino Mountains after a pickup truck identified as Dorner’s was found abandoned and burning in the snow near the ski resort community of Big Bear Lake northeast of Los Angeles.

The ensuing manhunt, stretching from the desert north of the mountains to the Mexican border, was described by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck as the region’s most extensive ever.

An angry manifesto posted last week on Dorner’s Facebook page claimed that he had been wrongly dismissed from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2008. He vowed to seek revenge by unleashing “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” on officers and their families.

The cabin where Dorner is believed to have hidden before making his last stand was a short distance from a police command post, in an area where authorities had said they were conducting door-to-door searches of residences.

‘Burn it Down’

Tuesday’s climax to the manhunt began when two housekeepers encountered a man believed to have been Dorner inside a vacant cabin in the Big Bear area. The man tied them up and then took off in a purple Nissan parked near the cabin, authorities said.

One of the women freed herself and called police.

Villaraigosa said the housekeepers might end up qualifying for a $1 million reward that was posted for information leading to Dorner’s capture, the largest sum ever offered in a Southern California criminal investigation.

State game wardens spotted the stolen vehicle and gave chase. The suspect crashed that car, then commandeered a pickup truck at gunpoint from another motorist and traded gunfire with the game wardens as he sped away, authorities said.

Dorner ultimately abandoned the truck and fled into the woods to the cabin, from where he exchanged gunfire with deputies.

During a lull in the shooting, the cabin caught fire and was quickly engulfed in flames. It remained unclear on Wednesday how the blaze began.

Los Angeles-based CBS television affiliate, KCAL, and CNN, have broadcast an audio recording of what sounds like police radio chatter during the confrontation, in which voices purported to be officers shout, “Burn it down.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department declined on Wednesday to answer any questions from the media about the case until a news conference, which has been scheduled for 4 p.m. local time.

The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities had pumped tear gas into the cabin through smashed windows and called for the suspect to surrender but received no response. As police used a demolition vehicle to tear down the walls, they heard a gunshot from inside before the cabin burst into flames, according to the Times report…

[Return to headlines]

Heart Problems Linked to SSRI Antidepressants

In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert on the antidepressant Celexa,1 warning it can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of your heart, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythm and fatal heart attacks.

New research published in the journal BMJ2 has added further support for this warning after finding that Celexa and other antidepressants, including Lexapro and Elavil, may extend the electrical activity in your heart (known as a QT interval), potentially leading to abnormal heart rhythms, which in turn can lead to dizziness, fainting or even sudden death.

The new study, which involved data from more than 38,000 adults, found that patients taking Celexa or certain other antidepressants called serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) had a significantly longer QT interval, which is an indicator of abnormal heart rhythms. The disturbance increased with greater doses of the drugs.

In all, nearly one in five patients taking these drugs had longer QT intervals. In an updated drug safety communication from the FDA, it’s noted that Celexa “use at any dose is discouraged in patients with certain conditions because of the risk of QT prolongation.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How Many Wallets With ID Cards in Them Did Dorner Own?

The Washington Times notes a wallet and other personal items were found in the cabin which burned down after an intense, hours-long fire:

“One official with knowledge of the police investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity said investigators found a California driver’s license with the name Christopher Dorner on it, along with a wallet and various personal items, inside the cabin, according to The Associated Press.”

Questions regarding what type of flame-retardant material Dorner’s wallet must have been made of to withstand a fire that charred at least one person and consumed a whole cabin will be set aside for now for another blaring question:

How many wallets with ID cards in them did Dorner own exactly?

Multiple mainstream outlets have previously reported that Dorner’s wallet and identification had already been found near the U.S.-Mexico border.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Kerry Took More Security on Trip to Arlington, Va., Than State Dept. Posted in Benghazi

Secretary of State John Kerry took a larger detail of security agents on a trip to Arlington, Va., last week, when he went to visit—of all places—the headquarters of the department’s security bureau, than the State Department deployed to its compound in Benghazi, Libya, in the days leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.


when Kerry emerged from his limousine in suburban Virginia last week he had one more agent protecting him there than the State Department had protecting its compound in Benghazi last summer.

When Amb. Chris Stevens travelled from Tripoli to Benghazi on Sept. 10, he brought another two Diplomatic Security agents with him on his journey. Those two agents, who accompanied Stevens on his Tripoli-to-Benghazi trip, were half the number pictured with Kerry last week on his trip across the Potomac River.


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LAPD Audio From Dorner Siege: “Burn This M*********er”

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Police audio from the Christopher Dorner siege reveals a deliberate plan to burn down the cabin in which Dorner was trapped, with one LAPD officer heard to say, “****ing burn this m*********er,” before police discussed their intention to, “go ahead with the plan with the burners.”

The audio was captured on police scanners as well as being picked up by a local news broadcast. More than seven agencies, federal, state and local were involved in the final hours of the siege. The LAPD SWAT Team was airlifted in to carry out the final raid, with reports later confirming, “the SWAT team had the cabin surrounded.” The video above is from captured police scanner transmissions which were broadcast online shortly before authorities ordered them to be disabled…

As Mike Adams writes today, “If the LAPD is going to abandon its mission of public safety and function as an armed vigilante justice squad, dishing out death sentences to those it believes are guilty — without a trial or anything resembling due process — then they might as well throw away all their badges as just call themselves the LA Gang Squad. Because that’s how they’re acting.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

LAPD Pulls ‘Waco’ On Christopher Dorner to Silence Him Forever

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

The LAPD has pulled a Waco. Barely two hours after ordering the media to remove their helicopters from the area and cut all live feeds, the LAPD managed to set fire to the cabin occupied by Christopher Dorner and burn him alive inside it, according to media reports.

Mission accomplished for the LAPD, an organization that has run its manhunt more like a rampaging street gang than a professional police department. As Natural News has already documented, LAPD officers have engaged in attempted murder of innocent citizens in their freakish frenzy to try to kill Dorner.

Their motive explains why LAPD officers fired tear gas into the cabin where Dorner was staying, knowing it would ignite flammable materials in the home and set the place on fire.

“…tear gas was fired into the house before the fire broke out,” reports the Los Angeles CBS affiliate. This is the same sort of tactic that was used to burn down the Branch Davidian community in Waco, Texas in 1993. The Waco raid, we all know by now, was a politically-motivated ATF assault against innocent men, women and children, all conducted for the purpose of increasing the visibility and importance of the ATF by creating a crisis where none existed. Click here to see an informative video on the subject.

Law enforcement knows full well that tear gas rounds often set homes ablaze. In fact, a California fire department issued a report in 2012 that supports precisely that conclusion. As the San Jose Mercury News reported last year:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lobbyists Jump on Dorner Standoff to Promote Drones

Drone industry lobbyists have cynically seized upon the Christopher Dorner standoff with San Bernardino police, saying that if they had used UAVs, lives would have been saved.

Dorner is believed to have shot at least two police officers and killed one of them during the gun fight.

“Had a [drone] been able to be used in that environment, who knows what could have happened,” said Peter Bale, chairman of the board for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International,

Speaking at the organization’s annual program review in Virginia, Bale insinuated that privacy advocates were to blame for lives lost because they have “pulled the FAA into uncharted territory” by opposing the widespread roll out of drones.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Muslim Infiltration in Public Education

“This type of propaganda fosters an environment of hate, loathing and resentment toward Western culture, Christians, Jews, Shiites, secular Muslims and non-Muslims.” — Brigitte Gabriel, ACT! For America

If you thought the U.N. International Baccalaureate, federal No Child Left Behind, and federal Common Core educational schemes were bad enough, you might want to look a little deeper.

In light of the attacks on and after 9/11, you would think the current administration would use a little prudence if they were sincerely concerned about a radical Muslim threat.

When Obama took his oath of office, he instead defied America in numerous ways. He has given $1.5 billion to Muslim-led Egypt in foreign aid, shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood declared war on the United States. He has now offered them sixteen F-16s and 200 military tanks.

This is the same man that said America is “no longer a Christian nation” (though it is), followed by a reference that America may be described as a Muslim nation.

Muslim indoctrination in public schools

Interestingly enough, in recent years American public schools have been indoctrinated with the Muslim religion. Studies have shown over 500 historical errors in public school textbooks, giving an Islamic slant to our youth.

As a result, our youth are subject to the following teachings and practices:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Next Door to a Mosque, Church Learns to Minister to Muslims

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (BP) — Members of Grace Baptist Church have been well aware of the struggle in their community the last two years over the building of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro next door. At times they didn’t know what to do. At times, as the rhetoric — often led by Christians — grew strident, they became fearful and their numbers dwindled…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Obama’s ‘Bipartisan’ State of the Union Paints Republicans as Anti-Science, Job-Hating Neanderthals

by Tim Stanley

There was a slightly surreal context to this year’s State of the Union. First, some North Korean general had accidentally sat on a big red button and put the communist dictatorship in to the nuclear age. Second, America’s attention was diverted by the murderous rampage of a deranged ex-cop. Third, Ted Nugent had scored an invite to the speech despite having threatened the President on Twitter. To avoid breaking the laws of Washington DC, the Right-wing rocker left his weaponry at home. He complained to reporters of feeling “naked” — “I even turned in my knife! I feel like a little girl. I’d have to protect you with the leg of that table if something were to happen. I do have my flashlight.” Fortunately, Ted wasn’t forced to use any of his sweet moves on Tuesday night…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Obama Placed Embargo on Press Over Secret Cyber Security Executive Order

President drilled reporters not to cover secret order

Buzz Feed reported today that Obama secretly signed a long awaited executive order on Cyber Security, then issued an embargo to all news organisations NOT to cover the developments.

The report states:

Shortly before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, the White House emailed reporters that President Obama had signed a highly anticipated Executive Order aimed at protecting cyber security.

The order — setting up new programs aimed at stopping online espionage and terrorism — was already the law of the land, signed by the president. But it was also secret.

The document was “embargoed until delivery of the President’s in the State of the Union address” — despite the fact it had already been signed.

The report states that there was a “background briefing on the move”, involving members of the press.

Explaining that the embargo was not legally binding , Buzz Feed says it chose to break it and report the story because they “thought it appropriate to report on the unusual delay”.

Buzz Feed also revealed that in an email sent out regarding the development, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor attempted to explain the secrecy behind the executive order.

“We wanted to release the EO early on an embargoed basis because the subject matter is complicated and we knew you guys would have questions. It seemed more helpful for the press corps than sending it concurrent with the speech.” the email said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Rand Paul Gives Tea-Party Response to Obama (Video)

Senator delivers alternate rebuttal to president

While Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio gave the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, Sen. Rand Paul gave an alternate rebuttal on behalf of the tea party. Here are the Kentucky senator’s remarks as both video and text.

“I speak to you tonight from Washington, D.C. The state of our economy is tenuous but our people remain the greatest example of freedom and prosperity the world has ever known.

People say America is exceptional. I agree, but it’s not the complexion of our skin or the twists in our DNA that make us unique. America is exceptional because we were founded upon the notion that everyone should be free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

For the first time in history, men and women were guaranteed a chance to succeed based NOT on who your parents were but on your own initiative and desire to work.

We are in danger, though, of forgetting what made us great. The President seems to think the country can continue to borrow $50,000 per second. The President believes that we should just squeeze more money out of those who are working.

The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this Administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of this great nation. “…

Liberals complain that the budget can’t be balanced but if you cut just one penny from each dollar we currently spend, the budget would balance within six or seven years.


It is time Democrats admit that not every dollar spent on domestic programs is sacred. And it is time Republicans realize that military spending is not immune to waste and fraud.

Where would we cut spending; well, we could start with ending all foreign aid to countries that are burning our flag and chanting death to America.

The President could begin by stopping the F-16s and Abrams tanks being given to the radical Islamic government of Egypt.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Report: Realistic Urban Training is DHS and DOD “Conducting Desensitizing Exercises”

Just a couple years ago we reported that the U.S. military was involved in war gaming scenarios that included training for such things as large scale economic collapse and civil unrest. Photos from the training exercises showed simulated situations that included protesters holding up “We Need Food Now” signs. It was a clear sign that the government is preparing for just such an event, and that they were training military personnel to respond in the capacity of a domestic police force.

The warnings we and others issued were ignored by most of the population and dismissed by many as nothing more than conspiracy theory and fear mongering.

A few years on, the military continues to step up exercises focused on urban deployment and as recently as last month held live exercises in heavily populated US metropolitan areas.

Residents of Miami and Houston were treated to troop mobilizations, machine gun fire, and gunships flying over their cities. After concerned callers reported the activities to local news stations, the media quickly moved to calm fears of a terrorist attack or invasion. They smiled while they did it and shrugged off the unprecedented displays as just your average, everyday military exercise.

Except, of course, the US military, up until recently, has never openly trained in U.S. cities, and especially not in scores of cities with training spread over such a short period of time.

Which begs the question, why are the military and local law enforcement holding realistic urban training exercises on the streets of America when they could do it at any of the hundreds of training facilities around the world?


I spoke with a high-ranking, military source in DHS.

Preferring to remain unnamed for obvious reasons, he told me, “DHS and DOD are conducting desensitizing exercises all across the U.S.,” he paused, then added, “we’re being prepared for mass civil unrest in major U.S. cities. DOD will be expected to help — when we’re requested.”

I asked if there was a timeline for expecting civil unrest in our cities and why should we expect it to begin with.

I was told that there were many reasons, but that the continued devaluation of our currency, the predicted history-setting prices for gasoline this summer and the continued gun control debate are forming a perfect storm of civil discontent. When this storm hits, it will most assuredly produce mass casualties. When does DHS expect this to happen?

This summer.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

She Survived Hitler and Wants to Warn America

85-year-old Kitty Werthmann (left picture), grew up in Austria under Hitler’s regime, and felt the need to warn Americans about the dangers of a malicious socialism and overall political deception.

She explained the origin of the word “Nazi” (short for the German name of the National Socialist Workers Party) and punctuated each of her anecdotes with “That’s socialism!”

Werthmann said that Adolf Hitler spoke just like an American politician, and spoke ill of welfare, the nationalized health care system, and the employment of women, all leading up to a strange and sudden turn to militancy.

“What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or read in history books,” she likes to tell audiences.

“I am a witness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We voted him in. We elected him by a landslide — 98 percent of the vote,” she recalls.

[Return to headlines]

State of the Union: Obama Backs Trans-Atlantic Trade Deal With EU

Both Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron have long favored a potential trans-Atlantic free trade agreement. Though US President Barack Obama backed the idea in his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening, wrangling over the details could prove problematic.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

States: A Time for Choosing — A Time for Action

By now, it should be clear to everyone that the Obama administration is strategically destroying America. For those who don’t like America, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, our sovereign Representative Republic, this is no problem.

But for the rest of America, those who understand that America is the greatest free nation ever known to mankind, due to its firm foundations in Natural Law and inalienable rights, it’s a huge problem.

What can be done about it?

The Supreme Law of the Land

Contrary to leftist indoctrination, Barack Obama, congress and the Supreme Court, the federal government, is not the supreme law of this land. That lofty position belongs to the Charters of Freedom, our Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The people have no legitimate dispute with the federal government when that government functions within its constitutional authority, in a manner which protects and preserves freedom, liberty and justice for all. The federal government has not done that in decades!

When the federal government acts as it does today, in direct violation of the Charters of Freedom and in a blatant attempt to infringe upon the inalienable rights of the states and/or the people, the people and the states have a right and a duty to place the federal government back in check and balance, peacefully if possible, forcibly if not.

When a dispute over the “unconstitutional” acts of the federal government arises between a state and the federal government — the U.S. Constitution under Art. III — Sec. II — Clause II gives the U.S. Supreme Court original jurisdiction. No other court in the country has any jurisdictional authority whatsoever.

Original jurisdiction should not be confused with “final authority” which the court has tried to grant itself on numerous occasions. The people are the final authority in America, period!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Ruthless State of the Union: The Current Crime Boss Speaks

The droning of the laundry list is, of course, a reflection of the fact that big government has its paws and nose in every facet of our lives. I was waiting for Obama to talk about an adequate supply of toilet paper and paper towels in public-park restrooms, and the danger of pictures of guns brought to school.

And how about those unsightly vegetable gardens growing on front lawns? Would he bring in the FBI and the ATF and DHS to solve that problem?

Would he push for free sex-change operations for all college students? Radioactive body scanners in coffee shops? I think the system for assigning names to hurricanes and blizzards should be subjected to a task-force study.

When tonight Obama said the only way to make progress was for us all to work together, he didn’t just mean the Congress. He meant the American people, aka the television audience. But I’ve never understood that idea. What are we all working together to accomplish? What’s the program? Giving away more of our income to the federal government? Agreeing to more surveillance of our movements? Supporting the invasion of more countries? Refraining from photographing the police making arrests? Restricting our Facebook posts to happy faces and rainbows?

Are we all working together to surrender our guns in exchange for movie tickets and candy? Are we pretending to be overjoyed that the federal government wants to force everyone to get vaccinated and eat GMO food, and take SSRI antidepressants that demonstrably cause people to go crazy and kill others? Is that it?

Are we somehow working together to print endless amounts of money? Are we working together to push the percentage of Americans collecting free government money from 40 percent to 60 percent? Is that the glorious goal?

Are we working together to give money to alternative-energy companies so they can go broke and declare bankruptcy? Are we working together to protect and defend the World Trade Organization, so ravenous mega-corporations can export jobs to China and roam the global landscape, raping and pillaging resources and labor?

Are we working together to accept Obamacare, which will steadily eliminate natural-health alternatives and enroll more people in a medical system that kills 225,000 people (actually a lot more) every year like clockwork? Is that the goal?

Are we working together to pretend we have two very different major political parties in the country, instead of one party with two heads?

Are we working to assure that no bankster is ever sent to prison for scamming the American people out of trillions of dollars?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Top Economic Advisers Forecast War and Unrest

We’re already at war in numerous countries all over the world.

But top economic advisers warn that economic factors could lead to a new world war.

Kyle Bass writes:

Trillions of dollars of debts will be restructured and millions of financially prudent savers will lose large percentages of their real purchasing power at exactly the wrong time in their lives. Again, the world will not end, but the social fabric of the profligate nations will be stretched and in some cases torn. Sadly, looking back through economic history, all too often war is the manifestation of simple economic entropy played to its logical conclusion. We believe that war is an inevitable consequence of the current global economic situation.

Larry Edelson wrote an email to subscribers entitled “What the “Cycles of War” are saying for 2013″, which states:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

TSA Breaks World Renowned Cellist’s $20,000 Bow

One of the world’s top cellists had his rare and precious bow damaged after Transportation Security Administration workers at the airport in Chicago brutally and carelessly probed his cello case.

World renowned cellist Alban Gerhardt, a German musician who has performed with the Berlin and London Philharmonic Orchestras respectively, was traveling through Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on his way to a performance in Madison, Wisconsin when he discovered that his bow had been damaged.

“My bow must have moved out of its cover,” Gerhardt stated in an interview, adding, “and instead of putting it back in, they just slammed the case shut and broke the bow that way over the bridge.”

The rare bow, made by 19th-century German bow maker Heinrich Knopf and possibly damaged beyond repair, was reportedly snapped in half and held an estimated value of $20,000.

TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein, in an email, stated that “it truly is a shame about Mr. Gerhardt’s bow” and recommended filing a claim as soon as possible “so that the airport might be able to retrieve any potential videotape of his case being opened.”

Gerhardt, who has been lauded as “undoubtedly one of the most brilliant cellists of his generation,” called the damage his bow sustained “an act of brutal and careless behavior,” and said he will have a luthier in Berlin attempt to fix it, “although the odds of repair appear to be slight,” according to WQXR.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Will Obama Take Control of the Internet This Week?

As early as Wednesday, President Obama could issue an executive order granting the federal government expansive and unprecedented power over one of the few remaining outposts of uncensored information — the Internet.

Various news agencies are reporting that a cybersecurity executive order has been drafted and will be issued by the president this week. A story on NextWeb indicates that the president will address the issue (and announce the executive order) in Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Bloomberg adds credibility to the speculation, quoting “two former White House officials briefed on the administration’s plans” who corroborate the Wednesday release date for the executive order.

The Wall Street Journal reports that unnamed White House officials disclosed that the order will indeed be issued Wednesday and that it “would create a federal-government led group to work with the private sector to create and implement voluntary standards for companies running critical infrastructure. It would also take additional measures to improve information sharing and bolster cybersecurity through current regulatory authorities.”

Voluntary is a word — like so many others — that doesn’t have the same meaning in Washington, D.C., as it does in the rest of the country.

Given the the federal government’s penchant for vague language, however, it is likely that despite the denial of compulsory cooperation with the government there will be a loophole just large enough to force through a requirement of corporate cooperation with the intelligence agencies of the Obama administration.


CISPA is yet another example of the cooperation between industry and government that threatens to squeeze the life out of the Constitution and place every actual and virtual activity of every American under the constant surveillance of government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Frenchman Self-Immolates Over Unemployment Benefits

An unemployed man died after setting himself on fire in front of an employment agency in France’s western city of Nantes, police said Wednesday. He had threatened to do so after losing unemployment benefits.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

French Communist Party Drops Hammer and Sickle

The most widely-recognised symbol of communism worldwide — the Hammer and Sickle — will no longer appear on French Communist Party membership cards. The party faithful are worried the decision bodes ill for a party with deep roots in France.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: Muslims Plan to Convert Hamburg Church Into Mosque

PanARMENIAN.Net — Muslim plans to convert a former Lutheran church in the city of Hamburg into a mosque is generating controversy across Germany, according to From Berlin to Dortmund to Mönchengladbach, the gradual proliferation of mosques housed in former churches reflects the rise of Islam as the fastest growing religion in Germany. In the most recent case, the church would be the first converted into a mosque in the second-largest city in Germany…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Hamas MPs in Ground-Breaking Bulgaria Visit

(GAZA CITY) — A Hamas parliamentary delegation of three MPs arrived in Bulgaria on Wednesday in a groundbreaking visit to a European Union member state, a delegate told AFP.

“We arrived today in Bulgaria on our first official visit and we will meet state officials, MPs from the ruling party and the opposition to discuss cooperation and explain the Palestinian cause,” MP Ismail al-Ashkar said by phone from Sofia.

The EU lists Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, as a terrorist organisation.

Members of the militant group last year visited non EU-member Switzerland to attend a hearing by a committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, drawing harsh criticism from Israel, with then-foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman calling the IPU invite “an example of international hypocrisy”.

Ashkar said the trip to Bulgaria came in response to an invitation from cultural institutions which had set up several meetings as well as lectures at universities.

“There will be similar visits to foreign countries soon,” he added, without giving further details.

The Hamas trip comes in the wake of a February 5 announcement by Sofia that the Lebanese Hezbollah — like Hamas an enemy of Israel with strong ties to Iran — was behind a July bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and their local driver.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

How Islamism Tainted France’s Presidential Election

by Nidra Poller

What is Europe going to do about Islam? Submit? Resist? Or just wait it out, dimwittedly? The recent French presidential election offers insight into the way Islam, or more exactly the Islamist factor, may eventually play out in European politics.

Despite attempts by the Left to focus the debate on the economic crisis, Islam played a decisive role in the contest. The Socialist candidate, whose platform was tilted to favor the party’s Muslim clientele, could not have won without total support in the second round of voting from far Left parties marked by zealous anti-Zionism and a full range of anti-Western ideologies. The question of Islam-in-France was raised with unprecedented candor by incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy of the Movement for a Popular Majority (UMP). For the first time in France, a major party clearly advocated a push back against Islam (qualified of course with the adjective “radical”). This strategy fired up the enthusiasm of the base, mobilized voters, brought tens of thousands to party rallies, and led to a daily increase in Sarkozy’s polling figures. It would be fair to estimate that if he had had one more week to campaign he might have defeated Hollande during the second-round vote on May 6, 2012…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italian Lawyer Demands Public Prosecutor Investigate Bilderberg Group

Italian lawyer Alfonso Luigi Marra has requested that the Public Prosecutor of Rome investigate the secretive Bilderberg Group for criminal activity, questioning whether the elitist organization’s 2011 meeting in Switzerland led to the selection of Mario Monti as Prime Minister of Italy.

The Bilderberg Group is an annual confab of around 120 of the most influential power brokers on the planet from the world of politics, business, banking, academia, media, and even royalty. Mainstream press reports routinely downplay the significance of the meeting despite the fact that it has proven its kingmaker status on numerous occasions in the past and is clearly not just a “talking shop,” as some have characterized Bilderberg.

Marra’s full request that the Public Prosecutor of Rome investigate Bilderberg, a translation of which is posted here (original version in Italian here), identifies the organization as a “secret world government seeking to destabilize democracies through carnage,” that has relied on “institutional collusion” to keep its agenda largely secret.

Marra cites article 18 of the Italian Constitution, which explicitly bans secret societies from engaging in political activities.

Labeling the group a “unique, illegal brotherhood” of elitists who consider themselves to be “above the law,” Marra points the finger at Bilderberg for engineering wars, economic collapses, and arming dictators, activities which, “constitute an obvious, blatant violation, to say the least, of the articles of the Criminal Code.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Vatican Credit-Card Crisis Over

Deal with Swiss company ends freeze

(ANSA) — Rome, February 12 — A credit-card and ATM block that has plagued visitors to the Vatican since January is over, a spokesman said Tuesday.

“The system of electronic payments with ATMs and credit cards has been reactivated,” spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.

He said the new service was “guaranteed” by a deal with Swiss company Aduno Sa. On January 1 the Bank of Italy froze all credit-card and ATM transactions inside the Vatican City over its failure to fully implement international anti-money-laundering standards.

In late December, the central bank denied Deutsche Bank Italy, the Vatican’s former provider of electronic-payment services, a permit because of the Vatican’s shortcomings in financial controls and oversight.

The apparent tipping point that triggered the action was a Rome prosecutor’s investigation of possible money laundering in 2010 at the Vatican’s bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR).

The Holy See has been trying without success to join the ‘white list’ of states that meet international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Last July, the Council of Europe’s Moneyval department said in a report that the Holy See had made progress on financial transparency, but added that more reforms were needed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Lombardy Governor Hits Back at Result of Healthcare Probe

Hints timing of prosecutors’ conclusions politically motivated

(ANSA) — Milan, February 12 — Outgoing Lombardy Governor Roberto Formigoni on Tuesday hit back at Milan prosecutors who earlier in the day said he was part of a health-sector fraud.

In a statement late Tuesday, Formigoni hinted that the prosecutors’ announcement had political ends.

“The timing of the prosecutors is, as always, very efficient: how far is one willing to go to cover the scandal at MPS, which risks crushing the left?” Formigoni asked, referring to a fraud probe concurrently underway at lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which is closely associated with Italy’s left-wing political establishment.

Earlier Tuesday the prosecutors closed a multi-million-euro fraud investigation into the Pavia-based Maugeri healthcare foundation and suspects including Formigoni.

Formigoni, who denies wrongdoing, faces charges of criminal conspiracy related to health-sector contracts and allegedly pocketing eight million euros. He was among 17 suspects in the probe.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Says Political Involvement in Economy ‘Depressing’

Hopes to change things if gets future role, outgoing PM says

(ANSA) — Rome, February 13 — Outgoing Premier Mario Monti on Wednesday said political interference in the Italian economy was “depressing”.

The former European Union trust-buster cited an ongoing corruption probe involving government-controlled aerospace giant Finmeccanica and voiced the hope he might be able to change things if he had a continuing part in government following February 24-25 elections.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Monti Vows ‘Radical’ School Reform, Cost Reduction

Four-point plan calls for more resources, improved quality

(ANSA) — Rome, February 13 — Premier Mario Monti on Wednesday promised a “radical” plan for schools in Italy and to cut expenses for families. His four-point plan, which he outlined at an ANSA forum, includes more school resources, evaluating quality standards, new policies for staff, and “sustaining families by reducing costs incurred”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Money Scandal Behind Papal Coup d’Etat

Theories are abounding now that the first pope in seven centuries is resigning his office. But as usual, finding the truth behind the world’s oldest corporation is simply to follow the money: and specifically, Vatican Bank money.

First of all, let’s put to rest, the fallacy that “looming scandals” about child rape and coverup are behind Joseph Ratzinger’s resignation. That’s just the cover story.

Nobody in the church hierarchy is losing sleep over their standing, canon-law endorsed policy of concealing and protecting child rapists in their ranks. Even the International Criminal Court application about such crimes has been stymied by catholic-run legislators and jurists.

What sounded the death knell on Pope Benedict was his personal involvement in the bribery and money-laundering practices of the Vatican Bank, comically known as The Institute of Religious Works (IOR). That dirty connection gave the anti-Ratzinger faction in the College of Cardinals the needed leverage to dump the obstinate German from the papal throne.

[Return to headlines]

Norway: Right-Wing Extremist Believed Behind Bomb Threat Against Parliament

Newspapers VG and Aftenposten and several other Norwegian media outlets were reporting Wednesday afternoon that the man police arrested for making threats against the Norwegian Parliament earlier in the day is an anti-Islamist with ties to the ultra-right organization Norwegian Defence League. Police have confirmed that he has a police record and a history of making threats.

VG reported that it had secured confirmation from several sources that police are holding a 27-year-old right-wing extremist, which can help explain the massive police reaction to threats the man made while riding on a bus from Hønefoss to Sandvika Tuesday night. When the bus driver reported to police that he’d overheard the man threaten to bomb Norway’s Parliament (Stortinget), and police managed to identify him, their response was swift and, in their own words, drastic: A dozen police cars sent to the last place where the man was seen in a residential neighbourhood of Oslo, another dozen sent to the Parliament, the police helicopter in the air, heavily armed police on the streets and assistance from state police intelligence unit PST.

It was a right-wing extremist who bombed Norway’s government headquarters just up the street from the Parliament on July 22, 2011 and later unleashed a massacre on the island of Utøya, killing 77 persons. “We didn’t want to take any chances,” police staff chief Johan Fredriksen told reporters at a press conference while the hunt for their suspect was still going on.

‘Extremely racist’

The suspect, reports VG, has made several hateful remarks about Norwegian authorities, with Aftenposten reporting that he has called Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and the rest of the government’s ministers “traitors.” He has also published several slanderous comments about Norway’s Minister of Culture, Hadia Tajik, who is Muslim and has parents born in Pakistan.

Aftenposten reported that he published the following text on his Facebook profile just a few days ago: “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”

He is born and reared in Norway and comes from Hønefoss, a relatively small town located northwest of Oslo. One of his childhood friends told VG that the suspect has “become extremely racist recently. He has published many threats on Facebook, and threatens among other things to kill foreigners.”

The suspect also reportedly has published photos of himself holding a rifle pointed at the camera, with text reading that he intended to defend himself against “blacks and immigrants.”…

           — Hat tip: The Observer [Return to headlines]

Now It’s British Horsemeat in Takeaway Burgers and Kebabs: Police Raid UK Abattoir at Centre of Crisis

Meat from British horses was discovered in takeaway burgers and kebabs yesterday.

The shocking find, which implicates the UK for the first time in the food fraud scandal, came during police raids in Yorkshire and West Wales.

Until last night, foreign abattoirs and food manufacturers had been blamed for what ministers called an ‘international criminal conspiracy’.

But food officials say horses were slaughtered here and their meat sold to takeaways all over the country. The burgers were labelled as beef and the kebabs as lamb. The alarming twist suggests retired racehorses and ponies could have been sold on as regular meat.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sanremo Song Fest Starts With Furore, High Ratings

Comedian Crozza booed during Berlusconi impersonation

(ANSA) — Sanremo, February 13 — Italy’s historic and much-loved Sanremo song festival kicked off with high ratings and political controversy on Tuesday.

The opening night of the 2013 festival flirted with crisis when comedian Maurizio Crozza came on and started to do his famous impersonation of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Crozza was heckled by sections of the audience, with some shouting “no politics”. With the country due to go to the polls on February 24-25, media coverage of politics is restricted by strict pre-election rules. The audience eventually calmed down and Crozza went on to finish his act to warm applause.

Nevertheless, Berlusconi, who is leading the centre-right’s campaign, said Wednesday that the comedian’s number will turn out to have a “boomerang” effect for the centre-left of Pier Luigi Bersani, the frontrunner in the opinion polls. Berlusconi had previously said he did not think the festival should be held during the election campaign.

The controversy did not stop the opening night being a big hit with viewers.

Figures released Wednesday showed that 14.196 million people, 47.61% of Italian viewers, turned in to the first part of the show.

The second half, which included Crozza’s act, had a lower average viewer figure of 8.146 million, but a higher share of the overall audience, 53.54%, because it was later at night.

Indeed, the viewing figure hit a peak of over 17 million during Crozza’s performance. Berlusconi has suggested Italians might boycott payment of their TV licence fee if the festival, shown by state broadcaster RAI, provides a platform for left-wing views. The show is hosted by presenter Fabio Fazio and Turin comedian Luciana Littizzetto, both of whom are left-leaning. The Sanremo festival is an institution for Italian music fans and star-curious alike. The festival’s first edition was in 1951 with only two participants, but since then it has launched the careers of a number of Italy’s top singers like Eros Ramazotti and Laura Pausini.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

The Horsemeat Scandal is Now Europe Wide With More Twists Than a Crime Novel

EU Approved Romanian Horsemeat

At first angry fingers were pointed at Comigel, the French food manufacturer alleged to have supplied some of the supermarket brands that are in the affected stack ‘em high and sell ‘em cheap category. But now it seems half of Europe is about to go to court to sue a number of suppliers accused of the same fraud. Not to mention the UK food processors that are reported to have had their products fail the ‘all beef’ test, two of which are being raided just as this article goes to publication.

And it’s not just horsemeat. Waitrose, one of the UK’s most upscale supermarkets, has just pulled meatballs which are advertised as beef, but have traces of pork. It seems that as more is being tested, more problems are being found.

Investigating the supply chain is proving to be like trying to pick out several knots in a fine thread with a tiny pin. It spreads over several countries with everyone involved scrambling to shift the blame either up or down the chain. The animals may be grown in one country, processed in another, mixed in a third, packaged in a fourth and eaten back in the first, or second or. you get the idea…

So far, we have unknown meat stored at unknown temperatures and appearing everywhere and anywhere throughout Europe. Wait there’s more. It turns out equine meat may contain phenylbutazone or ‘bute’, an anti-inflammatory given to horses to treat pain and fever. It’s banned in the EU because it can cause cancer and has other lethal effects in humans.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Catch Me if You Can!’ Violent Criminal on the Run From Police Taunts Officers on Facebook With String of Pictures of Him Breaking the Law

A violent thug who is on the run from police has been poking fun at their attempts to catch him on Facebook — saying ‘Catch me if you can.’

Fugitive Alan Watkins, 24, began taunting officers after an urgent appeal for information as to his whereabouts was posted on Gwent Police’s Facebook page.

Watkins even posted the appeal on his own page, boasting: ‘Wow, I’m on the Gwent police site. You catch me if you can — do your f****** job’.

As well as his mocking posts, Watkins has also posted a picture of himself apparently urinating on a police car.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Antiques Dealer, 56, Found Dead in Home With Severe Head Injuries as Man is Questioned Over His Killing and Theft of Gold and Silver

A man was today being questioned over the murder of an antiques dealer whose body was found at his countryside cottage, possibly weeks after he died.

Police believe businessman Peter Battle’s profession may be a significant factor in his suspected murder after a number of high value and suspicious items were stolen after his death.

It is thought Mr Battle, 56, may have lain dead in the lounge of his home in Full Sutton, North Yorkshire, for weeks before his body was found last Thursday. He was last seen alive on Boxing Day.

Humberside Police broke in and made the grim discovery when a friend raised the alarm after not being able to contact the antiques dealer.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Cops Raid House After Man Posts Image of Toy Mortar on Facebook

Armed police who stormed to a house after reports of a mortar gun discovered it was an Action Man toy.

Police wielding submachine guns raced to the home of Ian Driscoll, 43, after he posted a new profile picture on Facebook.

Mr Driscoll’s picture showed an Action Man plastic figure and in the background was a toy mortar gun, around six inches tall.

The mortar gun was next to a TV remote control clearly showing its small size but someone who saw it contacted police.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: French Far-Right Leader to Speak in Cambridge

The leader of a far-right party and the editor of a broadsheet newspaper have been added to the Cambridge Union’s line-up. Marine Le Pen MEP, leader of the French Front National and former French presidential candidate, will be speaking at the debating society at 4pm on Tuesday, February 19…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Ken Clarke: Compensation Payments Fund Terrorist Groups

Compensation paid to terror suspects by the British government has ended up in the hands of terrorist groups, Kenneth Clarke has said.

The minister told a Parliamentary committee that it would be “naïve” to think that money given to people who claim to have been mistreated by British security forces has not helped fund extremist causes. Mr Clarke was explaining Government plans to change the law to allow some terrorist cases to be held in secret…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Lib Dem Misrule on Eastleigh Council

If the Lib Dems lose the Eastleigh byelection then they may wonder where they are safe. Eastleigh Borough Council has four Conservative councillors — the other 40 are all Lib Dems. No other local authority has that scale of Lib Dem dominance. In Sutton the Lib Dems have more councillors, 43, but that is against 11 Conservatives. The Lib Dems still have strongholds in South Lakeland and in Oadby and Wigston. But nowhere else in the country do they wallow in the sort of landslide dominance they enjoy in the Council Chamber in Leigh Road in Eastleigh. Yet while they swank and swagger, have they actually done a good job? They strike me as a left wing council with a casual approach to wasting their residents money — not least on politically correct gimmicks. Also an extravagant council with a culture of entitlement…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Mosque and Community Centre Plans for Gloucester

PLANS for a mosque and community centre shouldn’t cause alarm, said community centre leaders who want to work with their neighbours. The Ghousia Islamic Community Centre wants to demolish a flat-roofed toilet block to make way for a community centre to include worship at Charles Street, Gloucester…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Operation Bullfinch

Follow the most comprehensive Bullfinch coverage with stories of the morning and afternoon sittings of court every day, plus, subject to the Judge’s discretion, updates on a Live Blog and on our @TheOxfordMail twitter account…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Respected Teacher Hounded Out of Job: Career Ruined by 7-Year-Old Boy’s Unfounded Assault Claim

A deputy headmaster with an unblemished 41-year career has been forced to quit after an ‘uncontrollable’ seven-year-old boy accused him of assault.

Royden Cope, who had an ‘impeccable’ record as deputy head for 34 years, was ‘marched out’ of a Church of England primary school after the pupil claimed he hit him.

In March last year Mr Cope was alleged to have restrained the unruly pupil by his wrists before slapping him across the face.

He was charged with assault in May. But at the end of a four-month nightmare he was cleared by magistrates after grave doubts were raised about the case.

Now 63-year-old Mr Cope — who is thought to have suffered a minor heart attack since the court case — has decided not to return to his £44,000-a-year post.

Yesterday Mr Cope from Accrington, Lancashire, would say only: ‘I am sad to leave the profession after 41 years.’

It is believed the youngster who levelled the accusations at Mr Cope is still being taught at the school, St Bartholomew’s in Great Harwood, Lancashire.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Stephen Fry’s Bafta Performance Fails to Impress BBC Veterans

Stephen Fry, who hosted the Bafta awards, is criticised by broadcasting veterans including Sir Terry Wogan and Maureen Lipman.

The BBC’s increasingly bewildering obsession with Stephen Fry — the man who saw fit to make a leering reference to “water-soluble lubricant” as he compered the Baftas — was the talk of corporation veterans at The Oldie‘s annual awards at Simpson’s-in-the-Stand, in London. “I was actually the second choice to host this event,” joshed Sir Terry Wogan as he addressed the gathering. “But, mercifully, Stephen Fry was unavailable.” Maureen Lipman blamed Fry’s peculiarly ill-judged performance at the Baftas on the BBC top brass for allowing him too free a rein. “Who upstairs was checking the scripts?” she asked…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Sex Abuse of Pupils at Top Music School Where Suicide Violinist Was Abused ‘Goes Back 40 Years’


Sexual abuse at the music school attended by Frances Andrade dates back more than four decades, ex-pupils claim.

Mrs Andrade, 48, killed herself after cross-examination during the trial of choirmaster Michael Brewer, who assaulted her while she was at Chetham’s.

Since his conviction last week, other former pupils have come forward with allegations that the abuse began even earlier.

One, a mother in her 50s, claims she was sexually abused by eminent Chopin specialist Ryszard Bakst for five years.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: When Will We See a Danny Boyle-Style Pageant Showing Nurses Mistreating Their Patients?

by Paul Goodman

A recent British Future poll found that the three institutions which make people most proud to be British are, in reverse order, the Monarchy, the Armed Forces…and, topping the poll, the NHS. The survey thus suggests that Danny Boyle had his finger on the popular pulse when he portrayed those all-singing-and-dancing nurses in his Olympics spectacular. It can be claimed that the Mid-Staffs horror will transform this benign voter view of the NHS, for three main reasons. First, because the shaming details of how patients were treated will make them think again. Second, because the post-Francis Report reforms will work. And third, because Jeremy Hunt will change perceptions of the system through his campaigning as a patients’ champion.

I am sceptical. The appalling tales of what happened in Mid-Staffs — the women who arrived to find her mother’s hair covered with faeces, the old man forced to stay on a commode for 55 minutes wearing only a pyjama top — are unlikely, in themselves, to shift public attitudes formed over 65 years. This is not only because the left has a vested interest in championing the ideal of a centrally-planned system designed in an era when communism seemed to be the wave of the future. (Please note Paul Abbott’s brilliant blog on this site about the silence of 38 Degrees over Mid-Staffs.) It is also because voters’ views are partly shaped by fear. They value the NHS they know because they’re frightened of an alternative for which they might to pay upfront…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Waitrose ‘Beef’ Meatballs That Are Made With Pork: Frozen ‘Essentials’ Range Removed From Shelves Raising Fears All Stores and Outlets Are Affected

Waitrose meatballs labelled as being made from beef contained pork, it emerged last night.

The first batch of frozen packs of 16 beef meatballs from its Essentials range were removed from sale on January 30 and a second batch on February 4.

However, the store made no announcement at the time and put up a customer recall notice only yesterday — 13 days on.

The news raises fears that food has been mislabelled across all stores and outlets — and will worry those who avoid certain meats for religious reasons.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Vatican City: Pope Resigns: Peter Turkson Reveals Vision for the Church and ‘Alternative Lifestyles’

The cardinal who could become the first black pope said Tuesday that the Roman Catholic Church faces grave challenges in remaining relevant in the modern world even as he laid out a conservative vision of how to deal with society’s “alternative lifestyles”.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, a 64-year-old Ghanaian prelate, is the bookmaker’s early favourite to succeed Pope Benedict XVI. He told The Daily Telegraph Tuesday that his biggest challenge, should he be elected, would be to maintain an orthodox Catholic doctrine while “at the same time knowing how to apply it so that you do not become irrelevant in a world that has continuous changes”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Al Azhar: Now Relations With Vatican Based on Respect

Dialogue stopped after Benedict XVI’s defense of Christians

The Sheikh of the Al-Azhar University, Ahmed el-Tayeb (L) in an archive photo with the late head of the Coptic Church in Egypt, Pope Shenouda III (R)

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Al-Azhar, the premier seat of Muslim learning, hopes for ‘relations based on respect and reciprocal appreciation after the recent changes at the Vatican’ in a statement published by the Mena news agency on Wednesday.

Dialogue between the Church and Al-Azhar was severed in January 2011 after the pope called for the protection of Christian minorities following a suicide bombing on December 31, 2010, at a church in Alexandria.

After the attack in which 21 Christians were killed, Benedict XVI, the first pontiff to talk about ‘Christianophobia’ in a public speech, renewed a ‘pressing call’ to fight against ‘oppressions, discriminations and religious intolerance targeting Christians in particular’. He called on the ‘leaders of nations’ to go beyond ‘words’ to ‘a concrete and constant engagement’. His statements had been considered an inappropriate interference by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, sheik Ahmed El Tayeb who described them as ‘an unacceptable intervention in Egypt’s affairs’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Global Protest Against Sexual Violence in Tahrir Sq.

Uprising of Women in the Arab World and other NGOs mobilize

(ANSAmed) — ROME, FEBRUARY 12 — In support of Egyptian women’s struggle against “sexual terrorism” in Tahrir Square, activists and NGOs have called a protest Tuesday before Egyptian embassies around the world, to begin at 6pm local time. On several continents, organizations have heeded the call that went out on social media, mainly Facebook, from The Uprising of Women in the Arab World: in London and Rabat, Ramallah and Tunis, Amman and Copenhagen, Brussels and Paris, from Oslo to Washington, D.C., to Melbourne, Australia. On their web page, the Uprising activists accuse Egypt’s current and former governments, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood, of not doing enough to pass legislation punishing acts of violence against women. They also denounce that part of Egyptian society whose culture engages in blaming the victim. “Women and men have been attacked, stripped of their clothes and raped,” the webpage says, accusing the police “of not doing enough to protect Egyptian women from harassment and sexual violence.” On January 25, the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution that deposed Hosni Mubarak, “the Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment Assault NGO recorded 19 cases of rape near Tahrir Square alone,” the Uprising webpage said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Major Tourism Decline Due to Acts of Violence

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zazou said that the tourism industry is the most affected sector due to events that Egypt is currently witnessing which affect Egypt’s image abroad, thus negatively affect numbers of tourists coming to Egypt and cancel of flights. In statements, the minister made on Monday 11/2/2013 on the sidelines of a conference on tourism and incentive to revive it, which Cairo hosts in participation of representatives of some States, he said that he would discuss with Turkey the reasons for postponing its flights, scheduled to start in March and have been postponed to next September. Zazou added that he will also visit Milan Tourism Exchange to persuade the organizers of these flights to resume their flights, citing stability in touristic cities such as Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Anti-Opposition Salafi Released on Bail

Issued death fatwa against National Salvation Front leaders

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, FEBRUARY 13 — The Egyptian Salafi preacher Mahmoud Shabaane, who had issued a death fatwa against Egyptian opposition leaders Mohamed El Baradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi, was released on bail after questioning by the prosecutor on Wednesday. Police sources say that the bail had been set at 5,000 Egyptian liras (approximately 560 euros). The interior ministry stepped up security for the two political leaders after the death threats.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sexual Violence in Egypt Takes on Political Dimension

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Cairo Tuesday demanding an end to endemic sexual violence in the country, following comments by one lawmaker that women victims of sexual assaults in Tahrir Square were “100% responsible”.

Protesters took to the streets of Cairo and in capitals around the world on Tuesday demanding an end to endemic sexual aggression in Egypt that is taking on an increasingly political dimension.

The rally was the latest in a series of actions to protest against a ‘culture of impunity’ and follows harrowing reports of multiple sexual attacks, including one particularly savage rape, in and around Tahrir Square on the January 25 second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution.

The demonstrators were spurred on by comments on Monday by Egyptian lawmakers, which suggested that women were to blame for sexual attacks against them simply for being on the streets at night.

“Women know they are among thugs” when demonstrating in Tahrir Square, said Adel Afify, a member of the ultra-conservative Asala Party. “By getting herself involved in such circumstances, the woman bears 100 per cent responsibility.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Commander in Chief Was AWOL During Benghazi Attack

Following the Senate committee hearings with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate, many observers have arrived at the conclusion that the U.S. Commander in Chief, Barack Obama, was off duty and unavailable to make military decisions within the Chain of Command to rescue Americans under attack, according to Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely (U.S. Army- Ret.).

According to Gen. Vallely, who is a frequent Fox News Channel military analyst and reports regularly for television and radio stations across the nation, the cover up “appears to be a White House order to ‘Stand Down’ and not issue a rescue mission operational order. For over seven hours Obama did nothing.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Barack Obama ‘To Tell Israel to Hold Back Talk of Strike on Iran’

by Phoebe Greenwood

Barack Obama will deliver an unequivocal message to the Israeli leadership during his March visit that it must abandon all talk of a military strike on Iranian nuclear targets and support Washington’s diplomatic efforts with Tehran, Israel’s leading daily Yedioth Aranoth reported on Monday.

In the two and half days he will be in Israel and the West Bank, Mr Obama will meet with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Israeli president Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv and deliver public address at a rally in Tel Aviv. But on the eve of Benjamin Netanyahu’s spring deadline, beyond which he has claimed it will be impossible to prevent a nuclear Iran peaceably, the president’s “urgent” business is with the Israeli prime minister…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

New Stakelbeck Show With Itamar Mayor Moshe Goldsmith

The latest episode of the Stakelbeck on Terror show features an event I recently hosted in Nashville for Mayor Moshe Goldsmith and his wife, Leah. The couple are longtime residents of Itamar, a town in Israel’s Biblical heartland of Samaria, where Moshe serves as mayor.

In our interview, Moshe and Leah share the truth about Israel’s so-called “settlements” and why it is so important for Jews to settle this sacred land.

They also discuss dealing with the horrific massacre of Itamar’s Fogel family in 2011 and how their community came together in the aftermath stronger than ever..

Click the link above to watch.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck [Return to headlines]

Palestinian Arab Converting to Judaism

As more details on the story of an Palestinian Authority Arab ex-con on his way to converting to Judaism are revealed, the more astonishing it becomes.

Yaniv Ben-David, an Arab from the PA territories and Haifa whose official name until recently was Busmon Abu-Ras, found Judaism and G-d while serving a 12-year term in prison. The full miraculous story has come out in three interviews, including one with Arutz-7’s Hizky Ezra [which can be seen here, in Hebrew] and another on Radio Kol Chai with the head of the Civil Administration, Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, known as Poli.

Yaniv’s speech is liberally sprinkled with “May G-d’s Name be blessed” and the like, as if he had grown up all his life in a traditional Sephardic neighborhood. But in actuality, his story is very different. Without getting into details, he explains that he became involved in criminal activity of which today he is very ashamed, but that once in jail, no one in his family ever visited him. “My crime was not related to terrorism, Heaven forbid, chas veshalom,” he says, “but I don’t want to discuss it.”

“Some of the Jews in prison with me,” he relates, “began talking to me, and said things like, ‘There’s something special about you, something that doesn’t seem to belong to that world that you came from… You seem to have a spark of Jewishness… Specifically, one very special guy began teaching me about Judaism, and little by little, I began to enter the world of holiness and Torah and the Chosen Nation, etc., may G-d’s Name be blessed…”

At the same time, however, that he was undergoing changes in his religious outlook and identity, the prison authorities were preparing him for another change: Early release from jail, back into the areas of the Palestinian Authority — where he knew there were many who would seek to kill him for his connections with Jews and Israelis.

Here’s where Providence stepped in. Gen. Mordechai relates:

“I was driving shortly before midnight on Route 443 to Modiin where I live, when I saw a strange sight at the checkpoint, and I stopped; apparently, everything is truly from Heaven. I saw this young man, Yaniv, crying and sobbing at the checkpoint, and he told me an amazing story — of how he had come close to Judaism while in prison, and how all his requests and pleas to be recognized as a former prisoner whose life would be endangered in the PA were turned down, including from the Supreme Court. I had trouble believing this, but I saw him quoting Biblical verses and all… Meanwhile, he was stuck at the checkpoint; the soldiers wouldn’t let him cross, and he refused to enter the PA. I did some quick checking with the social worker in the prison and with the prison rabbi, and they said very complimentary things about him, such as that he had been released for good behavior, and how sincere he was… I had no immediate solution for him, but I was able to have him brought to a nearby IDF base for a couple of days, and then, after some not-simple struggles with the Shabak and other bodies, we were able to find a place for him…”

Yaniv is now studying and living at a yeshiva in Jerusalem, whose name and location he will not disclose…

[Return to headlines]

Better That They’re in Syria Than in the Netherlands

Dutch citizens are fighting in Syria: spy chief

Al-Arabiya-Feb 9, 2013

The chief of the Netherlands’ top intelligence agency is warning that dozens of Dutch citizens are fighting alongside opposition group in Syria …

[Reader comment by Christina McIntosh on 13 February 2013]

Memo to the Dutch government: if you know who they are, then cancel their Dutch passports and annul their Dutch citizenship. Make sure that — if they manage to avoid meeting a sticky end — they will never, never, never be able to return either to the Netherlands or to any other non-Muslim land. End of problem.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Bulgaria Urges Lebanon to Arrest Suspects in Burgas Bus Blast: Official

SOFIA, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Bulgaria has asked Lebanon to arrest and extradite the suspects in the attack that killed five Israeli tourists and their Bulgarian driver at Burgas Airport last July, an official said Tuesday. Stanimir Florov, head of the Bulgarian Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio that Lebanon has not cooperated on the case yet…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

How Mossad Took Down Hezbollah Terrorist Mastermind Imad Mughniyah

February 12th marked the fifth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah terrorist mastermind, Imad Mughniyah. Until 9/11 Mughniyah was the most-wanted terrorist by both the FBI and Interpol for a spectacular series of exploits that killed hundreds, if not thousands of American servicemen, Israelis, Argentine and Panamanian Jews across the Middle East, Europe and Latin America. Mughniyah’s terrorist exploits surpassed even those of Carlos the Jackal. In our 2011 NER report on the aftermath of 9/11 Islamic terrorism we noted: The presence of Imad Mughniyah, the Hizbullah terror chieftain, assassinated in Damascus in 2008, allegedly by Israel’s Mossad. Mughniyah was involved in the 9/11 planning. Until 9/11 Mughniyah was at the top of the FBI’s Most Wanted terrorist list for his involvement in the planning of the 1983 Marine and French paratrooper barracks and US Embassy attacks in Beirut that killed over 350. Then there was the killing of a US navy diver Robert Stethem in a 1985 skyjacking of a TWA flight, kidnapping of several westerners in Beirut and the torture and murder of CIA station chief, William Buckley. Israel had its own reasons to take out Mughniyah. He was the organizer of the 1992 Buenos Aries Israeli Embassy bombing that killed 29 injuring more than 242 persons and the bombing in 1994 of the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 injuring hundreds. Then there were the “Khobar Towers suicide bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996 (19 killed); the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 (223 killed); the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen (17 killed).” Nevertheless, Mughniyah’s assassination by Mossad, to use the Irish expression “tis a benefit”.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Iran Hangs Murderer in Public

TEHRAN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — Iran hanged a murderer in public in the capital Tehran on Wednesday morning, official IRNA news agency reported. The executed man, who was also referred to as the “hunter of girls,” had killed two young girls and wounded nine others with knife after robbing them, said the report. Crimes including drug trafficking, murder, adultery, rape and armed robbery are subject to death penalty in Iran.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Lebanon Signs Parliamentary Protocol With Belgium

BEIRUT, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) — Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berry on Tuesday signed with his visiting Belgium counterpart Andre Flahaut a protocol on parliamentary partnership between the two countries. Berry was quoted by the state-run National News Agency as saying that “the relations with Belgium were always strong,” referring to the “nine bilateral cooperation agreements between the two countries.” “There are too many resemblances between Lebanon and Belgium as for diversity and regionalism,” he said, stressing the “role of Belgium in supporting the Lebanese army and the reconstruction of the south.”…

[JP note: Both are well on the way to becoming fully-fledged Sharia cesspits.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Satellite Images Reveal Unscathed SSRC Facility in Syria

Today, Israel’s Channel 2 broadcast satellite images of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques) in Jamraya. The images, which were reportedly taken by DigitalGlobe, showed that the complex was unscathed despite claims by the Syrian regime that it was the target of an Israeli raid last week. A TIME report had also suggested that the facility had been “flattened.”

If the images, taken four days after the alleged bombing, are genuine, they all but confirm the belief among US officials that Israel’s primary target in last week’s raid was a convoy…[…]

[See images at URL]

[Return to headlines]

Syria: Qatar Hands Embassy to Main Opposition Group

(ANSAmed) — DOHA, FEBRUARY 13 — Qatar has handed over the Syrian embassy in Doha to the main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition (CNS), reported satellite broadcaster Al Arabiya. Nizar al-Haraki has been appointed ambassador, but it is not yet clear whether the embassy will be able to issue passports and visas after being inoperative for almost a year. “We have not yet formed a government, so what authority will the embassy have?”, a CNS member told ANSA.

The CNS has been recognized by several countries as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, but Qatar is the first to hand an embassy over to them. The CNS has appointed ambassadors to both France and Great Britain, but neither of the two countries have made diplomatic premises available.

It was in Doha last year that the first Syrian “elections” were held with which the coalition was formed, and several diplomats have defected to Qatar, including the Syrian ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and his wife, the ambassador to Cyprus.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Car Bomb: Syrian Conflict is Getting Closer

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, 12 FEB — A car bomb that exploded Monday at a border crossing between Syria and Turkey killing three Turks and 10 Syrians is a sign of the increased risk of Turkey being drawn into the Syrian civil war, Turkish media reports today.

It is still unclear who was responsible for the attack.

Pro government newspapers like ‘Sabah’ are pointing the finger at the Mukhabarat — Syria’s intelligence service, while opposition publications have denounced the support of Turkey to rebel Sunni insurgents, according to Cumhuriyet, and the “free passage” given to them at border crossings between the two countries. The moderate leaning ‘Post’ suggests three possible motives for the attack. One, that it was the work of the Syrian secret service; two, rebels made the bomb in Turkey but it exploded en route to Syria; three, it was the work of certain groups who are trying to ramp up tensions between the two countries.

Opposition sources say that the bomb was intended for a delegation of opposition leaders who were due to cross the border that day. Another paper, Bugan, supports the theory that the bomb was a result of Turkish support for the rebels — bombs are made in Turkey and brought into Syria, it said. There are also conflicting reports as to where the car came from. Bozcu says that it came from Syria and that it had Syrian number plates. Eye witnesses claim it arrived from Turkey. “Everyone is asking if it came from Turkey or Syria”, writes ‘Gunes.’

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: First Shelter for Male Domestic Violence Victims

Men victims of ‘psychological violence’, family minister says

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, FEBRUARY 12 — Turkish Family Minister Fatma Sahin on Tuesday announced the creation of the first public shelter for male victims of domestic violence, local media reported. The announcement came as a surprise in a country where on average, more than one woman per day is killed by a husband or an ex, and in which 39% of women have suffered some form of physical violence, according to a recent UN report. The first shelter with 30-person capacity will open in Istanbul, where most reports of men suffering domestic violence are filed. It will be in a secret location, under police protection and with bars on the windows, the minister explained.

“Women suffer physical violence, men suffer psychological violence, but to a far lesser degree than women,” Zaman daily online cited Sahin as saying.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkish Poem Censored Over Word ‘Beer’

Turkey’s ministry of education has censored two verses of a poem by Turkish poet Edip Cansever in school books because they feature the word “beer.” There is also an attempt to ban Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” because aspects are deemed “immoral.”

Two verses of the poem “Table,” which was written by renowned Turkish poet Edip Cansever, have been omitted from high school books since they include the word “beer.”

The omitted verses are as follows: “So many days he had wanted to drink a beer! He put on the table the pouring of that beer.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh : Islamists Stealing Christian Children to Train as Suicide Bombers


Training Christian children to kill Christians has been the Muslim way since the Janissary days. Now it’s making a comeback in Bangladesh.

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that 19 children, who were to be sold to fundamentalist Islamic boarding schools (madrassas), have been rescued. Traffickers lied to the children’s parents, saying they would take the children to Christian boarding schools in Dhaka, when in fact, they were intending to sell the children to various madrassas. Students from Dhaka University discovered the children and rescued them. This is not the first instance of Christian children being trafficked to madrassas, as upwards of 150 children have been rescued from similar situations since July 2012.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

India: Govt Under Fire Over Terrorist’s ‘Rushed’ Execution

The Indian government has rejected criticism that it rushed to execute Mohammad Afzal Guru for his role in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Lok Sabha Parliament and denied it was obliged to allow him any further appeals.

The hanging of Afzal Guru last Saturday has been widely criticised by human rights campaigners and Jammu and Kashmir state’s chief minister Omar Abdullah after it was revealed his family had not been told of his imminent execution or given a chance to say goodbye. His relatives instead received official notification by letter which arrived two days after he was hung in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. He was convicted for his role in helping Islamic militants in the raid in which ten people were killed…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

India: More Anti-Christian Violence Threatens Lent Celebrations

Three incidents take place in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in three successive days. Police complicity and the indifference of political authorities favour anti-Christian attacks by Hindu fundamentalists.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — In some areas of India, Christians are living in terror because of the lack of political will to stop anti-Christian violence and the complicity of police with criminals, this according to Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), who spoke to AsiaNews about the latest anti-Christian attacks last Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The worst attack occurred on Friday in Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh). At least 100 members from Hindu nationalist groups Bajrang Dal, Rashtritya Sawayamsevak Sangh (Rss) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) stormed a church where a Pentecostal community, the Indian Christian Mission (ICM), was holding a three-day prayer meeting (7-9 February).

Attackers beat up worshippers using iron rods, accusing them of forced conversions. More than 30 people ended up in hospital with major injuries. After treatment, the Christians were asked to leave by hospital staff who feared a possible attack by Hindu fundamentalists.

Those who were not injured filed a complaint with police, but the latter rejected their request and instead filed a counterclaim against the Church and its members.

On Saturday, a group of Hindu extremists led by the village chief in Nagpur (Jhabua District, Madhya Pradesh) attacked two Pentecostal clergymen during a prayer service.

The victims, Revs Jorder and Ilam, were taken to the Emergency Ward of the nearest hospital. In their case too, police refused to accept a complaint against the attackers, claiming that the church where the service was held was not registered as a place of worship.

The last attack took place on Sunday in Adilabad District (Andhra Pradesh) when members of the Hindu Vahini, a local Hindu nationalist organisation, filed a complaint against a Christian, Anand Rao, for forced conversions. The latter had come to deliver a lecture on the Bible.

Without checking on the veracity of the charges, police registered a complaint against the Christian man and took him into custody. He was released on bail the next day.

“With the start of Lent, Christians will meet on frequent occasions to pray and celebrate Mass, both in public and in private. For this reason, they should be protected,” GCIC president Sajan George said.

However, this kind of attack “shows that not only religious freedom and tolerance but also the rule of law are in danger,” he added.

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

Chinese Pig Farms Breed Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Half of all pigs live in China — and well over half of them eat feed laced with antibiotic “growth promoters”. Now Chinese and US researchers have found that this practice is spawning a tide of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Animals in crowded feedlots are constantly exposed to bacterial infections, so producers put low doses of antibiotics into their feed. The measure may boost profits, but it also favours the survival of bacteria with genes that help them resist the antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) can migrate between bacteria, creating superbugs that are hard or impossible to treat and that can infect people.

The European Union banned antibiotic growth promoters for this reason in 2006. But they are still permitted in the US, where recently released figures show around half of all samples of the food-poisoning bacterium salmonella, taken from retail poultry meat, are resistant to at least three antibiotics.

The impact of antibiotic growth promoters in China, where industrial pig production is expanding, has been unclear. China is the biggest antibiotics producer and consumer in the world, and feeds nearly half its production to animals.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

“Rise Up Australia” Political Party Launched

A Sri Lankan migrant has launched a political party that runs on an anti-multiculturalism platform.

Rise Up Australia already boasts about 1,500 members and plans to run 65 candidates in the upcoming federal election.

“Rise Up Australia Party, which is committed to keeping Australia for Australians, is utterly and completely opposed to multiculturalism,” says Rise Up Australia’s founder Daniel Nalliah.

The Sri Lankan-born pastor draws on his own migrant past in defence of assimilation.

His message has the backing of international figures. “If you come here, then follow Pastor Danny’s example and enjoy it and celebrate it and do not seek to destroy it,” says Christopher Monckton from the UK Independence Party.

The leader of the new party has come under fire in the past for anti-Islamic comments, but he wasn’t backing away from making controversial statements again today.

“True Muslims are radicals, unfortunately. If they practice the Koran, they’re radicals,” he said.

If elected, Rise Up wants to restrict the number of Muslims calling Australia ‘home’.

The party has 1,500 supporters across the country, and is putting forward 52 candidates in the Lower House and a dozen in the Senate in the upcoming federal election.

Many of the supporters are concerned about what they claim is the “Islamification of Australia”.

If elected, Rise Up wants to restrict the number of Muslims calling Australia ‘home’.

The party has 1,500 supporters across the country, and is putting forward 52 candidates in the Lower House and a dozen in the Senate in the upcoming federal election.

Many of the supporters are concerned about what they claim is the “Islamification of Australia”.

“If we’re not careful, we’re going to lose this country,” said a supporter. “I don’t want to see Sharia Law in Australia,” said another.

But Iqbal Patel from Muslims Australia says that’s far from happening.

“Nobody wants to impose Sharia law in Australia, I mean, far from it. That’s the last thing that anybody wants to do”.

The Vice-President of the Muslim association insists it’s a free country, and supporters of Rise Up can vote as they chose.

“If they want to try and get any mileage on the backs of Muslims, and blame Muslims for all the ills of Australia, then I think that itself is very short-sighted of them,” he said


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Anti-Muslim Campaigner Coming to Australia

Reporter: Tony Jones

Ahead of his visit to Australia, far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders talks to Tony Jones about his opposition to Muslim immigrants in his country.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Now to our guest.

Geert Wilders is the Dutch anti-immigration and anti-Islam MP. He’s the founder of the right wing Party For Freedom.

Next week, Geert Wilders arrives in Australia for a visit that’s been a long time in the making. He planned to come here about a year ago and drew early support from Liberal Senator Cory Bernadi who later distanced himself from the idea.

Now he’s being sponsored by the anti-Islamic group The Q Society, on a road trip that’s sure to fire debate over what constitutes free speech or hate speech.

Geert Wilders joins us now live from The Hague. Thanks for being there.

GEERT WILDERS, LEADER, PARTY FOR FREEDOM: Well, thanks for having me on your show tonight.

TONY JONES: Are you on some sort of global jihad against Islam?

GEERT WILDERS: Indeed. I am more on a global jihad to preserve our freedom. I believe that even though I have nothing against the people or Muslims or anybody for that reason, I believe that Islam and freedom are incompatible. And I believe that the mistakes that we made in Europe in the last decades by allowing so much mass immigration from Islamic countries is a warning that if Australia is not vigilant enough to preserve the freedom, what has happened here might happen to Australia in the next decades as well.

TONY JONES: So very precisely you plan to warn Australian audiences of what you see as the danger of Islamic migration, is that correct?

GEERT WILDERS: Well, yes, I believe that once again, Islam and freedom are incompatible. Islam is according to me, my party, not so much a religion as well as it is a totalitarian ideology. In Islam there is not much room for anything else but Islam.

Look how in societies today where Islam is dominant and prominent, how any non-Islamic person, whether it’s a Christian or an apostate or a woman or a critical journalist, how they are treated. This is in a very bad way, often with the death penalty or imprisonment or all those kind of terrible things.

I believe that what with the mass immigration to our free societies, our societies will change, and it will change for the worse. And I’m proud to say you are not a racist or a bigot or anything like that if you say that the Netherlands, as Australia, is a culture based on Christianity, on Judaism, on humanism, and it should not, nor ever will become a society based on Islamic failures. We should fight it, we should stop it, we should be proud of who we are and define what we are not.

TONY JONES: I’m going to pick you up on some of those points in a little while. But what do you actually know in the Islamic community in Australia. What you have heard about what is happening here, and Australian multiculturalism — which it seems to me could be quite different to multiculturalism in Holland?

GEERT WILDERS: Of course that’s the case. I’m not saying that it’s exactly the same. I know and I also spoke in the United States of America and in Canada and other countries already have good results with immigration, that it cannot be compared everything to Europe.

But I know where we today in Europe have enormous influx of… in the last decades of people from Islamic countries, that our society has changed. That it has worsened for that reason. That unfortunately non-Western immigrants, often Muslims, are over-represented in statistics of crime, of dependency on social benefits, that we have honour killings, that we have genital mutilation, that we have streets where women with headscarves and burqas are not the exception any more. And that it’s getting worse.

What I’m trying to do when I visit your beautiful country, Australia, is warn Australians that even though it might not be the case today, learn from the mistakes that we made in Europe: be vigilant and look at Islam for what it really is. Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is a totalitarian ideology…

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Is Coke Addictive? Coroner Takes on Soft Drinks Giant

A New Zealand coroner has taken on the world’s most valuable brand name in a case that is likely to reverberate around the world.

Southland coroner David Crerar has found that mother-of-eight Natasha Harris died from drinking too much Coke.

Ms Harris, of Invercargill, died aged 30 in February 2010. Evidence at her inquest showed she drank up to 10 litres of “classic” Coke every day — equal to more than twice the recommended safe daily limit of caffeine, and almost one kilogram of sugar.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Zealand: Prosser Apologises to Muslims

Muslim leaders have rejected an apology by Canterbury MP Richard Prosser over his call for Muslims to be banned from Western airlines. The list MP’s remarks provoked outrage yesterday, although NZ First leader Winston Peters refused to sack him and said he did not have to apologise…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Chrysler’s South Africa CEO Shot in Robbery

(AGI) — Johannesburg, Feb 13 — The CEO of Chrysler South Africa has been shot during a robbery. Trent Barcroft, who is American, was shot from behind after pulling over in his car in the outskirts of Johannesburg on Saturday. The robber managed to escape with his mobile phone. Mr Barcroft was being treated in hospital.

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

Doctors Struggling to Fight ‘Totally Drug-Resistant’ Tuberculosis in South Africa

In a patient’s fight against tuberculosis — the bacterial lung disease that kills more people annually than any infectious disease besides HIV — doctors have more than 10 drugs from which to choose. Most of those didn’t work for Uvistra Naidoo, a South African doctor who contracted the disease in his clinic. For those who contract the disease now, maybe none of them will.

A new paper published earlier this week in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal warns that the first cases of “totally drug-resistant” tuberculosis have been found in South Africa and that the disease is “virtually untreatable.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Cripple Northern Region’s Economy

Kano — Commercial activities in the northern trade hub of Kano are down by half since 2010 because of the campaign of violence waged by militant group Boko Haram and government efforts to curb it, says the Kano traders’ union. “The north is losing heavily due to the violence. When you destabilize Kano, which is the commercial nerve centre of the north, you are threatening the socioeconomic well-being of the north,” Nigeria’s Information Minister Labaran Maku told reporters in February 2012…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Russia Sends Arms to Mali and Plans to Send More

(AGI) — Moscow, Feb 13 — Russia has delivered a shipment of weapons to the Malian government and plans to send more to forces involved in the offensive against jihadist Ansar Dine rebels. “We have provided firearms, and the last delivery was made two weeks ago. Negotiations are under way over smaller additional supplies,” said Anatoly Isaikin, director of Russia’s arms sales agency, Rosobornexport.

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

The Gang Rape That Horrified South Africa


The brutal murder of a 17-year-old girl, who was gang-raped, horrifically mutilated and left to die on a building site, has sparked a national outcry in South Africa.

Anene Booysen was discovered by security guards on the site in the sleepy town of Bredasdorp, 80 miles east of Cape Town.

According to a Health Department spokesman, her injuries were so severe that her family asked authorities not to release the details.

However it was later revealed that her stomach had been slit open down to her genitals and that she had died from her injuries in hospital.

She managed to identify one of her attackers before her death and two men have appeared in court charged with rape and murder.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denmark Sends Somalis Back Home, U.S. Takes More in

Wow! And, it was only last September that Denmark sent a delegation to Minneapolis to see just how we are so “welcoming” here and how they might emulate us. Things must be going south fast in Copenhagen!

From The Copenhagen Post:

Immigration officials are contending that the security situation in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, has improved to such an extent that Somali asylum seekers can be sent back.

Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) made its decision on the basis of a joint Danish-Norwegian delegation that visited Mogadishu in October 2012, and reported that the Somali capital was safe to the point that rejected asylum seekers would not face persecution if sent back.

“The joint fact-finding mission to Somalia gave us new information that indicated that the security has been vastly improved,” Jakob Dam Glynstrup, the head of asylum at Udlændingestyrelsen, said in a press release. “There is also a new government in place and a rising number of Somalis are returning home.”

Udlændingestyrelsen pointed to Norway, which has already changed its protocol in regards to asylum seekers from Somalia.

But the Danish aid organisation Dansk Flygtningehjælp argued that the delegation’s assessment is incorrect and pointed to an evaluation by the UN asylum organisation, UNHCR, which said that security threats in Mogadishu and the rest of Somalia are still very high.

I don’t know why this is such a big deal. After all, the new President of Somalia is urging the folks to come on home and help rebuild their country.

No wonder the Danes are having second thoughts about that “welcoming” business:

According to Udlændingestyrelsen, the number of Somalis who were granted asylum in Denmark last year shot up to around 900. That is compared to only 18 in 2011 and 35 in 2010.

Readers, we’ve been talking a lot about asylum lately. These are asylum seekers meaning they got to Denmark on their own steam. We have one up on the Danes (they must be haters)—we are actually still putting Somalis on planes around the world and bringing them to us!

Holy-moly! If this map is correct we have already admitted over 2000 Somalis in the first three months of this fiscal year! If that trend continues, Obama will be on target to approach Bush’s best Somali-welcoming years of 2004, 2005 and 2006, here.

Denmark to send Somali asylum seekers back to Mogadishu!

[See URL for map and for links to some of many Somali groups in US…]

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Napolitano at Immigration Hearing: US Borders Have ‘Never Been Stronger’

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano insisted Wednesday that U.S. borders have “never been stronger” during testimony at a Senate hearing on immigration reform.

Napolitano sought to convince senators that they should agree to an immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants in the U.S. illegally in addition to border security.

“I often hear the argument that before reform can move forward, we must first secure our borders,” Napolitano said in her opening remarks to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“But too often, the ‘border security first’ refrain simply serves as an excuse for failing to address the underlying problems. It also ignores the significant progress and efforts that we have undertaken over the past four years. Our borders have, in fact, never been stronger.”

[Comment: The Audacity.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama’s SOTU Address: How to Make the Immigration Crisis Worse

In response to President Obama’s State of the Union address last night on his reckless stance on immigration that will make the crisis worse, following is an excerpt from Marinka Peschmann’s introduction in her latest book, Crime & Corruption: Guide to America’s Immigration Crisis available in paperback and e-book versions.

“The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.” — Deuteronomy 28: 43-44 (NJKV)

Immigrant voters played a pivotal role in President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election win with Latinos making up 10 percent of the electorate, and voting for President Obama over Mitt Romney 71 percent to 27 percent. As a result, comprehensive immigration reform was anticipated to be back in the news and on Washington’s agenda. And so it is. It is President Obama’s “top legislative priority for 2013.”

Once again Americans have been hearing lofty rhetoric from politicians on both sides of the aisle declaring that America’s immigration system is “broken,” and how they support “legal” immigration and reform. Recently, senior Obama administration officials told the New York Times, “President Obama plans to push Congress to move quickly … on an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system that would include a path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.”…

Let’s be honest and blunt here. This so-called immigration reform is a vote-grabbing attempt to pander to the immigrant voter bloc, not an attempt to do what is in the best interests of America.


In Mexico, “Illegal immigration is a felony, punishable by up to two years in prison.” Foreigners in Mexico who cannot support themselves or their dependents can be deported. As of November 2012, with the bloody drug war between rival drug cartels raging on, the death toll in Mexico neared 60,000 under President Felipe Calderon, and yet Mexico’s border with America remains unsecured.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Asylumist: A Good Source for Info. On What Else? Asylum

Yesterday I wrote about the “asylum seekers” arriving by the boatload to Australian shores and then had a look at The Asylumist, a website written,with some humor, by an immigration lawyer. I’d pretty much forgotten about the site (it is on our blogroll), but think I should check it out from time to time because it’s chock-full of information.

Worldwide, migrants are seeking asylum in ever-increasing numbers.

Readers, asylum seekers get to our borders on their own dime (refugees are selected and we fly them here) and often spend thousands and thousands of dollars to pay human traffickers (Some of these are the the OTMs—other than Mexicans—we often hear about from border watchers). So right off the bat these are not people without resources. However, if they are granted asylum they too get stuff, just as refugees do—social services, health care, food stamps, Section 8 housing, etc.

Here is my theory on why the number of asylum seekers coming to the US is (dramatically!) on the rise. The refugee numbers have been stagnating in recent years due largely to much stricter screening for terrorists; the ones coming are increasingly not finding employment; some refugee contractors and cities are overloaded; and we don’t take “refugees” from countries that are doing well economically or are relatively politically stable. Plus, I suspect asylum seekers know that if they can just get across our border, that one day Obama will achieve his fondest wish and grant them all amnesty. [LOL! that could solve some of the immigration court backlog!—-ed]

Here is an old post at The Asylumist about the dramatic increase in asylum seekers. A program once intended to help the occasional Soviet defecting ballet dancer, now dwarfs the refugee program itself.

A new report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (“UNHCR”) shows that asylum claims in industrialized countries have increased 20% from 2010 to 2011. The United States continued to receive the most asylum seekers among the countries surveyed: approximately 74,000 asylum seekers in 2011. This compares to approximately 55,500 asylum seekers for 2010, a 33% increase (among all countries, South Africa received the most asylum seekers).

The increase in asylum seekers to the U.S. is due largely to higher numbers from three countries: China (+20%), Mexico (+94%), and India (+241%).

The U.S. receives more asylum seekers from China than from any other country. In 2010, we received 12,850 asylum seekers from China. In 2011, we received 15,450 asylum seekers from China, an increase of 2,600 people or about 20%. The large numbers are probably due to special provisions in the Immigration and Nationality Act that provide for asylum for victims of forced family planning—these provisions were created specifically to assist people from China, and they certainly seem to have encouraged Chinese nationals to seek asylum here. Indeed, of the 24,400 Chinese asylum seekers worldwide, the U.S. received about 63% of all cases. This is a very high number, given our physical distance from China. If these numbers continue to rise, I wonder whether it will cause us to re-think our decision to grant asylum to victims of forced family planning.

[see links at URL]

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UK: Nick Boles Says He is ‘Nervous’ About Influx of Romanian Migrants

Nick Boles, the planning minister, has said he is “nervous” about the impact an influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants could have on British housing.

Mr Boles warned that the immigrants will put pressure on housing and backed moves by David Cameron and other senior ministers to try and limit the number of arrivals from the two countries when controls are lifted on January 1 next year. Twenty nine million Bulgarians and Romanians will gain the right to live and work unrestricted in Britain in 2014 under European “freedom of movement” rules…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Culture Wars’ Warning From Church Over Same-Sex Marriages

Legalising same-sex marriage will lead to “culture wars” as schools and other public services become battlegrounds for hardline campaigners, the Church of England has warned.

Leading Church figures said there would be unforeseen consequences resulting from the plans and expressed regret that the commonly held definition of marriage would be abolished. In evidence to MPs, William Fittall, the Church of England’s most senior official, urged the Government to rewrite the proposed laws to reduce the threat of litigation against teachers and other “people of faith” who object to the reforms. He also suggested that pro-Christian traditionalists would be likely to challenge the new laws…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Blind Pensioner, 97, Jumped Into Harbour and Drowned Soon After Doctors Told Him He Had Cancer ‘Because He Didn’t Want to be a Burden’

A blind pensioner determined not to be a burden on his family jumped into a harbour and drowned shortly after learning he had cancer.

Coastguards and paramedics desperately tried to save Reg White, 97, a former sailor from Aberystwyth, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

He was spotted going into the harbour near the lifeboat slipway at around 3.30pm last Wednesday.

Mr White jumped into the harbour six days after leaving hospital, where he had stayed for six weeks after doctors discovered he had cancer.

One of Mr White’s two sons, Brian, who runs an art shop in Pier Street, said: ‘My dad was well-known and well-liked.

‘He lived a full life and had his independence right to the end.

‘He had been in hospital the last six weeks and was very agitated when he came out and I don’t think he would have wanted to be a burden or lose his independence.’

‘We would like to thank the rescue services for their efforts and the hospital staff during his recent stay,’ said Brian White.

‘I know my dad wouldn’t have liked to impose on those who had to get him out of the water.’

[Comment: Culture Wars — the results: read the comments to the article. One person called his actions “heroic”; another saying “sad that he was unable to make such a choice in a more controlled way”.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

White Male Feels Dispossessed & Betrayed

“Diversity” and Affirmative Action have succeeded in emasculating and persecuting white males.

“I hate America. I have looked for ways to escape. No other countries have an Affirmative Action program for people like me. [Unlike America] they put their own first. … I am at my wit’s end. I have no purpose.”

[Below, response from the long-suffering wife of a white man. We should consider the history of whites in South Africa and Rhodesia in regard to our future.]

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One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/13/2013

  1. It might be worth having a discussion on the similarities and differences of Christopher Dorner, AB Breivik, also the defensive Ruby Ridge. Motives, sanity, grandiosity. I heard some emotional Dorner news on the radio but oddly it had no political orientation to it. Governing By Media seems unsure as to which side to take on this new one. The pressure for them is that they must politicize, but are they lost so far on how to get socialist mileage on this one?

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