Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/20/2013

Now that the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings is in custody, Americans are struggling to understand why the two young Chechens might have committed such atrocities. According to family members, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was led astray by his more radical older brother, Tamerlan, who is in turn said to have been radicalized by unspecified outside “mentors”.

Russian TV has reported (and the FBI has confirmed) that the Bureau was informed by Russian intelligence back in 2011 that Tamerlan was a potential terrorist. The FBI interviewed the elder Tsarnaev brother, but found no reason to believe he was dangerous, and dropped the investigation.

In other news, air pollution has reached an alarming level in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

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

Thanks to AC, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Paul Green, Steen, TV, 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
» Beware the Internet Sales Tax
» David Stockman: Ben Bernanke is the Most Dangerous Man in US History (Video)
» ‘Denmark Set to Breach EU Rules’
» Italy Has 31,000 Fewer Companies at End of First Quarter
» Italy Against Tobin Tax on Public Debt Transactions
» “Contractors” At Boston Marathon Stood Near Bomb, Left Before Detonation
» Analysis Finds 55% Ground Beef, 39% Chicken Contaminated With Superbugs
» Battlefield USA: De Facto State of Martial Law Declared in Boston *Pics From the War Zone* (Photos)
» Boston Marathon: Tamerlan Tsarnaev ‘Interviewed by FBI in 2011’
» Boston Bomber Controlled by FBI
» Boston Bombing Suspect Arrested
» British Man ‘Flew to Florida to Have Sex With an Underage Girl, Get Her Pregnant, And Raise Children From Birth to be Sexually Abused’
» Broadcasters Worried About People Abandoning TV? It’s Their Own Fault!
» California Gun Confiscation Bill Passes, Approves $24 Million to Expedite Illegal Gun Seizure
» City of Boston Gave ‘Subsidy’ To Bombing Suspects’ Radical Mosque
» ‘Dangerously High Pesticide Levels’ Found in Celestial Seasonings Teas
» DARPA Robots Now Use Tools
» European Strategic Intelligence & Security Center: Profiles of the Boston Bombers
» FBI Casting Set Stage for Boston Marathon Bombing, Shootout, Charade
» Glenn Beck Says Obama is Covering Up Truth of Boston Bombing
» Glenn Beck Delivers Ultimatum to the Obama Administration.(Video)
» Grusome Death Photo of Boston Suspect Emerges
» Revealed: ‘Relaxed Boston ‘Bomber’ Partied With College Friends Two Days After Marathon Massacre
» Security Theater Moves to Act Two Following Arrest of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect
» Students Told to Take Viewpoint of the Nazis
» Tangling With the Death Cult
» The FBI Needs to Explain Why it Failed to Monitor Boston Bombing Suspect Despite a Clear Warning
» The Media Want Arabs Exonerated
» Uncle: Mentors ‘Radicalized’ Older Boston Bombing Suspect
» Watertown, Mass. Homeowner on Cigarette Break Finds Smoking Gun in Boston Bombing Case Hiding in His Boat
» Why? Search for a Motive in Boston Marathon Bombings Under Way
» NDP Resorts to Spin and Lies to Cover True Intentions
» Quiet Diplomacy Toward Our Predetermined Future
» Report Confirms Renewable Energy Costs Soar
Europe and the EU
» Bad Old Days Live on for Women of Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta Crime Network
» Cyprus: Citizenship for Sale
» EU Commission to Defer Italy to Court for Campania Rubbish
» French Artist Makes Art of Faulty Breast Implants
» Germany: No New Investigation Into RAF Prison Deaths
» Halal Salami ‘Pork Free’: Slovenian Authorities
» Italy: Renzi’s Popularity Continues to Rise
» Pictured: Strolling in the Sunshine, The IRA Brighton Bomber Who Tried to Murder Lady Thatcher
» Pope Scraps Allowance for Vatican Bank Cardinals
» Spain: Madrid Air Pollution Reaches Alarming Levels
» Swiss Will Have to Give Up Bank Secrecy: Expert
» UK: Horror of Slave Kept in £2million Home Who Was Raped While Being Passed Between Three Middle Class Families
» Serbia and Kosovo Sign Historic Agreement
North Africa
» Tunisia: Salafists Attack Young Women With Stones and Bottles in Tunis Student Hostel
Middle East
» Kyrgyzstan: Central Asian Mosques Supplying Young Muslims for Syrian War
» Syria: Blast Destroys Church of Capuchin Friars
» US to Provide Syrian Rebels $123m More in Aid
» Boston: Suspected Attackers May Have Trained in Chechen Islamic School
» Why Chechens Think the Tsarnaev Brothers Were Framed
South Asia
» Crowds Protest After Child is Raped, Tortured in India
» India: Five-Year-Old Girl ‘Raped for Four Days’ After She Was Kidnapped by Neighbour in Third Delhi Paedophile Crime This Month
» India: Goa Strives to Save Tourism
Far East
» China: The Case of Anne Zhang “Is the Storm That Awakens the People’s Conscience”
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria Pushes Amnesty Plan for Islamist Militants
» Asylum Seekers’ Hunger Strike Growing in Sweden
Culture Wars
» Boy Scouts Proposal: Let in Gay Youth, Keep Out Gay Adults
» Common Core — Worms Milking the System
» K-12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents
» Special Report: Baby Fought for Its Life in Toilet!
» Tory Donors Defecting to UKIP Over Gay-Marriage Fanaticism

Beware the Internet Sales Tax

The Internet sales tax is back, and it could be the next big vote in the Senate.

The proposed law would enable states to force businesses to collect sales tax from customers who live in their state — even when the businesses have no connection to that state.

As Heritage President Jim DeMint has said, this violates the classic American principle of “no taxation without representation.” Retailers would be forced to act as tax collectors for states in which they have no voice.

States are struggling with their own budgets — but they should have to make the hard decisions to manage their budgets, rather than trying to collect taxes from citizens of other states to help cover their expenses. As DeMint said:

“Politicians want this bill passed to raise new tax revenue for broken state governments facing budget shortfalls. But legislators in state capitals don’t want to make the hard decisions to cut spending or raise taxes on their constituents — they fear the voter backlash. So they’d like their allies in Washington to make it legal for them to tax people who can’t vote against them.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

David Stockman: Ben Bernanke is the Most Dangerous Man in US History (Video)

Obama Ben Bernanke is to America what Osama bin Laden was to Islam: poison.

The Federal Reserve has exhausted its legitimacy. It is a morally, legally, and politically bankrupt entity.

“What I do know is that this market lives and dies by the last word of the Fed and the people at the Fed have no clue what they’re doing. Bernanke is the most dangerous man ever to hold high financial office in the history of the United States.” — David Stockman, former Director of the Office of Management and Budget (1981 — 1985).

Video Title — David Stockman: Ben Bernanke Is The Most Dangerous Man In US History.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Denmark Set to Breach EU Rules’

Berlingske Tidende, 17 April 2013

At a time when it is negotiating its 2014 budget with Brussels, the Danish government has been obliged to cut its forecast for growth in 2013, from 1.25 per cent to 0.75 per cent.

In view of this situation, “the country’s public spending deficit may exceed the 3 per cent of GDP authorised by the Fiscal Stability Treaty,” notes the daily, which continues —

As early as 2010, the EU recommended that Denmark reduce its deficit by 1.5 per cent before the end of 2013. […] In view of the decline in growth, it appears that, for the first time, the country is not going to comply with recommendations.

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

Italy Has 31,000 Fewer Companies at End of First Quarter

Figure the lowest since 2004, Unioncamere says

(ANSA) Rome, April 19. Italy had a net total of 31,000 fewer companies at the end of the first three months of the year, the lowest total since 2004 when the data first started to be calculated, according to figures released Friday from the national union of chambers of commerce Unioncamere.

The total amount of companies in Italy fell by 0.5% at the end of the first quarter of the year compared to the previous quarter, as more companies closed down and fewer entrepreneurs opened new ones. Companies run by artisans where the ones to pay the highest toll for the economic recession in the period, as there were 21,185 less at the end of the third quarter compared to the end of 2012. They made up about 67.7% of the total decline in the period. In the first quarter of 2012, there were some 15,000 fewer craft companies compared to the previous quarter. The overall reduction in total artisan-run companies was 1.5% compared to December 2012.

Total construction companies dropped 1.4%, or by 12,507 companies, in the period, while manufacturing companies slumped 0.9%, or by 5,342 companies in the period, and trade companies dropped 0.6%, equal to 9,151 units. “The number of companies that are closing down underline the importance that urgent measures be introduced to boost growth and employment,” Unioncamere President Ferruccio Dardanello said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Against Tobin Tax on Public Debt Transactions

Ambassador to EU says issue ‘non-negotiable’

(ANSA) — Brussels, April 19 — Italy will veto any form of taxation on financial transactions involving government debt, Italian ambassador to the European Union Ferdinando Nelli Feroci said Friday.

“Transactions on State debt must be excluded from taxable items” on which to apply the so-called Tobin Tax, Nelli Feroci said. He added this point was “non-negotiable” for Italy.

EU finance ministers gave their backing to enhanced cooperation for the introduction of the so-called Tobin Tax — named after Nobel economics laureate James Tobin — in 11 European countries including Italy, Germany, France, Greece and Spain at an Ecofin meeting in Brussels in January.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

“Contractors” At Boston Marathon Stood Near Bomb, Left Before Detonation

What appear to be private contractors, wearing unmarked, matching uniforms and operating an unmarked SUV affixed with communication equipment near the finish line of the Boston Marathon shortly after the bomb blasts — can be seen beforehand, standing and waiting just meters away from where the first bomb was detonated.

The contractor-types had moved away from the bomb’s location before it detonated, and could be seen just across the street using communication equipment and waiting for similar dressed and equipped individuals to show up after the blasts.

The men, numbering between 6-8 then begin tearing up the skirting around temporary bleachers erected for the event, opposite the explosion, before taping it off. Then, what appears to be an FBI bomb squad truck pulls up directly behind the contractor-types’ SUV, with a woman clearly wearing the letters F.B.I. on her tactical vest emerging and speaking with the contractor-types. Together they disappear from the scene, leaving their vehicles behind.

Several questions must be answered by the FBI, leading the investigation on behalf of we, the American people. The first question is who these men were, with large, black bags in the direct vicinity of where a bomb would detonate, moving away before the blast, and appearing directly across the road afterward. Who hired them and what was their function? Why were they moving amongst the crowd in a semi-covert fashion when all other public servants present were wearing proper uniforms and clearly identified? Did police, firefighters, event organizers, and medics know these men were present and what they were doing?

Why did it appear that the FBI was fully aware of their presence, and in fact working with them, specifically with what looks like a bomb squad unit? Were these contractors specialists in explosives, and if so, what is the significance that at least two of them were spotted just meters from where the blast occurred?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Analysis Finds 55% Ground Beef, 39% Chicken Contaminated With Superbugs

Would you still eat that turkey burger if you knew it contained antibiotic resistant bacteria? Maybe not. But if you eat turkey, there’s a good chance you are ingesting some of these potentially lethal “super bugs”. The same holds true for beef, chicken, and pork, according to a recent analysis from the Environmental Working Group.

The EWG analyzed tests recently released from the federal government, and what they found was that a great deal of American meat is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. More specifically, the EWG found the following contamination levels:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Battlefield USA: De Facto State of Martial Law Declared in Boston *Pics From the War Zone* (Photos)

This is what America looks like under martial law:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Boston Marathon: Tamerlan Tsarnaev ‘Interviewed by FBI in 2011’

Officials told the Associated Press, Reuters and CNN that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died in a shootout with police outside Boston on Friday morning, was interviewed by federal officers.

The matter was closed when it did not produce any derogatory information.

One official told AP that the FBI shared its information with the foreign government. The official did not say what country made the request about Tamerlan Tsarnaev or why.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Boston Bomber Controlled by FBI

Zubeidat K. Tsarnaeva, the mother of Boston bombing suspects Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, said Friday that her eldest son Tamerlan was under the control of the FBI.

“He was controlled by the FBI, like for three, five years,” she told Russia Today during an interview. “They knew what my son was doing, they knew what actions and what sites on the Internet he was going [to], they used to come… and talk to me…they were telling me that he was really a serious leader and they were afraid of him.”

“How could this happen?…They were controlling every step of him, and they are telling today that this is a terrorist attack,” she added.

According to Business Insider, the FBI will soon make public its relationship with Tsarnaeva. A spokesperson would not confirm or deny that the agency had any previous contact.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Boston Bombing Suspect Arrested

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham is demanding that the Constitution be discarded and the suspect be treated as an enemy combatant despite the fact he is American citizen. Graham said Tsarnaev should not be afforded the protection of the Fifth Amendment and suggested he be tortured to extract information.

The Law of War allows us to hold individual in this scenario as potential enemy combatant w/o Miranda warnings or appointment of counsel.

— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) April 20, 2013

The goal is to gather intelligence and protect our nation which is under threat from radical Islam. #Boston

— Lindsey Graham (@GrahamBlog) April 20, 2013

It appears the Justice Department has decided to follow Graham’s advice. Tsarnaev was not read his Miranda rights under the public safety exception. The federal government’s high value detainee interrogation group will be responsible for questioning him, according to ABC News.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

British Man ‘Flew to Florida to Have Sex With an Underage Girl, Get Her Pregnant, And Raise Children From Birth to be Sexually Abused’

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

Authorities in Florida have arrested a British national who they say traveled to the US hoping to get an underage girl pregnant and then sexually abuse her children.

Shuhel Manhboob Ali, 39, was taken into custody over the weekend in North Brevard County. He now faces a charge of using a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity.

‘It is truly unimaginable that monsters exist and walk among us with the purpose of victimizing our most precious citizens,’ Sheriff Wayne Ivey said.

‘I want this message to be absolutely crystal clear: We will use every lawful resource we have in our possession to find and remove you from society if you try to harm a child, no matter where you may be on this planet.’

If convicted, the British citizen could face a minimum sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000, Florida Today reported.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Broadcasters Worried About People Abandoning TV? It’s Their Own Fault!

Ah, so the poor TV broadcasters are worried about how to respond to people dumping cable in favor of the Internet? Cry me a river.

They have no one to blame but themselves, and they’ve been working at this for a long time now.

According to an April 7 report from the Dissociated, er, sorry, Associated Press, “a growing number of (people) have stopped paying for cable and satellite TV service, and don’t even use an antenna to get free signals over the air. These people are watching shows and movies on the Internet, sometimes via cellphone connections. Last month, the Nielsen Co. started labeling people in this group “Zero TV” households, because they fall outside the traditional definition of a TV home. There are 5 million of these residences in the U.S., up from 2 million in 2007.”

That’s a big, quick jump in people saying “screw you” to the networks, though so far it’s only a trickle. But it wouldn’t surprise me if this trickle becomes a tsunami as people realize they don’t have to spend $100 or more a month to get a bunch of channels they don’t want in order to watch a few shows they do.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

California Gun Confiscation Bill Passes, Approves $24 Million to Expedite Illegal Gun Seizure

The California state legislature passed a bill Thursday approving $24 million to expedite the confiscation of the estimated 40,000 handguns and assault weapons illegally owned by Californians.

SB 140, authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), seeks to remedy the gun-confiscation backlog that has left thousands of illegal guns on the streets, including those owned by those with criminal convictions or serious mental illness.

“We are fortunate in California to have the first and only system in the nation that tracks and identifies individuals who at one time made legal purchases of firearms but are now barred from possessing them,” Leno said in a statement. “However, due to a lack of resources, only a few of these illegally possessed weapons have been confiscated, and the mountain of firearms continues to grow each day.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

City of Boston Gave ‘Subsidy’ To Bombing Suspects’ Radical Mosque

Suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended a Massachusetts mosque that made a controversial deal with a Boston city agency that allowed it to buy land at a lower-than-market price in exchange for various token services to the Boston community, despite the mosque’s links to some radical anti-American figures

The 19-year-old Tsarnaev attended mosque at the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Daily Caller reported Friday that the ISB hosted at its satellite cultural center a book signing April 6 featuring British journalist Victoria Brittain, who has criticized the United States and United Kingdom for waging a “war against Islam” in its anti-terrorism efforts.

Ads by GoogleThe construction of that cultural center, which opened in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 2004 near Roxbury Community College, was marked by a controversial apparent “government subsidy” from the city of Boston to the ISB.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority, which is the city’s municipal planning agency and which is comprised of mayoral appointees, conveyed the land for the ISB’s purchase in 2000 at more than $400,000.

However, the city of Boston only charged ISB $175,000 for the land, with an agreement that the ISB perform other services for the city to make up the $225,000 remainder. The ISB agreed to deliver a series of lectures at Roxbury Community College, to assist the Roxbury Community College Foundation in its fundraising efforts, and to maintain a Boston “play area.”

The deal was later described in media coverage as “an apparent financial handout” and a “possible government subsidy” from the city of Boston to the ISB.

The ISB has raised concerns in the past for its ties to radical figures in the Muslim world.

Ads by GoogleIslamic cleric Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, who said in a 1995 speech that Islam would “conquer America” and “conquer Europe,” reportedly appeared on IRS forms as one of the ISB’s trustees.

ISB trustee Walid Fitaihi, who wrote that Jews “would be punished for their oppression, murder and rape of the worshippers of Allah,” helped broker the ISB’s deal with the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

‘Dangerously High Pesticide Levels’ Found in Celestial Seasonings Teas

A scathing new report on Celestial Seasonings teas and parent company Hain Celestial, shows 91% of the samples of Celestial Seasonings teas tested contained pesticides in levels that exceed U.S Federal limits. High pesticides in 91% of samples 10 out of 11 varieties of Celestial Seasonings teas, one of the largest specialty tea manufacturers in North America, were found to contain excess pesticides including Antioxidant Max Blood Orange and Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape. From great beginnings…

Started in 1969, Celestial Seasonings was “founded on the belief that all-natural herbal teas could help people live healthier lives.” However, the tests conducted by EuroFins, a leading independent analytic testing company, determined that many varieties of Celestial Seasonings teas contained potentially dangerous levels of multiple pesticides.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DARPA Robots Now Use Tools

Huge leaps forward in droids that experts warns will be used to “kill people”

DARPA, the technological arm of the Pentagon, has developed a robotic arm that can perform precise actions using tools, a huge leap forward in the evolution of robotics, but one that comes with potentially destructive implications.

Extremetech reports that, unlike many other robotics developers out there, DARPA has developed a cheap robotic hand, for under $3000, that can “almost match human performance in dexterous activities, like changing a tire.”

The report warns that the development could be “ominous”, in that our biggest advantage over other forms of life on Earth is that we have the ability and intellect to precisely use tools.

As highlighted in the following video, the DARPA robotic arm can perform detailed tasks such as using a pair of tweezers to pick up objects.

DARPA also notes that the developments shown in the video are now outdated, and that the latest models are much more advanced, performing tasks such as threading a nut onto a bolt, opening a zipper, and recognizing objects by touch.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

European Strategic Intelligence & Security Center: Profiles of the Boston Bombers

Profiles of the suspects

Claude Moniquet

  • The two Boston bomb suspects have been identified as Russian nationals from Northern Caucasus. Surviving Boston bomb suspect who is still at large, was identified as an ethnic Chechen, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19. The slain terrorist has been identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26.
  • On his Youtube account Tamerlan Tsarnaev shared numerous videos with propaganda of radical Islam.
  • According to his Vkontakte (Russian social network) profile information, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is a Boston resident, for a long time he lived in Dagestan (Makhachkala) and in Kyrgyzstan. The brothers were legal permanent residents in the US since 2011. Before their arrival to the US the brothers lived in Turkey and both probably have Turkish passports.
  • Both brothers were listed among the recipients of Cambridge scholarships in 2011. Both have Massachusetts driving licenses. According to Russian media, Brothers Tsarnaev moved to the US in 2011 or 2012. Both had a status of refugees as people who arrived from the zone of military conflict.
  • In 2009 Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been arrested for an attack on his girlfriend.
  • In the interview to the media, the uncle of Tsarnaev brothers revealed that Tamerlan earlier numerous times expressed Islamist extremist views, while Dzhokhar, radicalized recently as he felt lonely in Boston and could not find friends.
  • According to Russian media sources, brothers Tsarnaev received military training in Chechnya before arriving to the US.

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

FBI Casting Set Stage for Boston Marathon Bombing, Shootout, Charade

Update: CBS reveals in their report, “CBS News: FBI Interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev 2 Years Ago,” that the FBI initially attempted to deny any contact prior to the Boston bombings with slain suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. It was only after Russia’s RT publicly pursued the story that the FBI finally admitted officially it had.

The implications are that the FBI knows Russia both possesses information on the case and is prepared to go public with it. For those involved in America’s terror racket, now would be a good time to divest. For those involved specifically in the Boston Marathon bombing, now would be a good time to come forward with information. Any and all involved, in whatever capacity, wittingly or unwittingly, stand to become scapegoats in order to save the FBI, DHS, TSA, and other federal agencies clearly engaged in a massive coverup…

The Wall Street Journal now reports that the FBI had interviewed at least one of the two Boston bombing suspects as early as 2011. In their article, “Renewed Fears About Homegrown Terror Threat,” WSJ reports that:

“The Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed suspected marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011 at the request of the Russian government, but didn’t find evidence of suspicious activity and closed the case, an FBI official said Friday.”…

RT would report that the mother of the suspect claimed the FBI had been monitoring her sons ever since, and led them along “every step of the way.” In an article titled, “‘They were set up, FBI followed them for years’- Tsarnaevs’ mother to RT,” it stated of the suspects’ mother:

“But her biggest suspicion surrounding the case was the constant FBI surveillance she said her family was subjected to over the years. She is surprised that having been so stringent with the entire family, the FBI had no idea the sons were supposedly planning a terrorist act.”

Interestingly enough, the WSJ also stated that:

“The profile of the Boston bombing in many ways resembles a number of the recent foiled plots, a federal law-enforcement official said. They have been small with little or no intelligence chatter, and have involved suspects who have been in the U.S. for several years and appeared to have assimilated. “

What the WSJ categorically fails to mention is that these “foiled plots” were from start to finish engineered by the FBI itself, with suspects, just as Tsarnaevs’ mother had claimed of her sons, under “constant FBI surveillance,” and in fact led along every step of the way in the lead up to high-profile arrests. What is also subsequently left out by the WSJ is that during these undercover operations, real vehicles, weapons, and explosives are involved, and usually switched out for inert items right before the final attack and arrests are made…

The FBI in fact was presiding over the terrorists who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The role of the FBI leading up to the deadly attack would most likely have gone unreported had an FBI informant not taped his conversations with FBI agents after growing suspicious during the uncover operation. The New York Times in their article, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” reported:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Glenn Beck Says Obama is Covering Up Truth of Boston Bombing

“You have til Monday to come clean”

Almost immediately following the Boston bombings, radio and former Fox News host Glenn Beck’s news site The Blaze chimed in attempting to ridicule Alex Jones and Infowars for labeling the events a false flag attack, running articles like, “With Absolutely No Evidence, Alex Jones Calls Boston Marathon Explosions a ‘False Flag’ Operation Conducted by the Gov’t.”

However, Beck himself now seems to be the “conspiracy theorist,” saying he knows something “those at the highest echelons of government” don’t want unearthed. One can only take that to mean Obama and his administration.

Beck says he’ll give “somebody in Washington” til Monday to come clean about the actual origin of the deported Saudi national. He says something to the effect of, “It would sound better coming from you than me.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Glenn Beck Delivers Ultimatum to the Obama Administration.(Video)

Yes thats right folks, It would seem Glen Beck has given the Obama administration an ultimatum to tell us all the truth about the Boston Marathon bombing, or he will. Beck claims to have information on who the Saudi National is. Beck seemed quite crushed in the presentation, Describing the Saudi as a “very, bad, BAD, bad, man” but left us all hanging till Monday. I guess waking the entire population of America ( and the world) to the arrogance and evilness could wait till Monday.

Now I know it would seem like I’m coming across fairly abruptly towards Glen Beck, But in all seriousness in the world we all live in, whistle blowers in this game tend not to make it far when when they come out with info or word gets out, Take Andrew Breitbart for instance.

[embedded youtube video]

[ Comment posted on 20-4-2013 @ 04:54 AM by benrl If he had real information that mattered he would release it, hell it would be foolish of him not to if the government was as corrupt as Beck claims, otherwise he might not make it to Monday.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Grusome Death Photo of Boston Suspect Emerges

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

A grusome picture of the suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev has emerged online. It is not known who leaked the picture, but the hospital where he was taken has denied responsibility, with a spokesperson saying that the image “was not taken during the medical procedures or when the medical team had control of the body.”

The graphic photo shows gunshot wounds to Tsarnaev’s body as well as a large thorocotomy incision on his chest. Additionally, portions of Tsarnaev’s face and right shoulder reflect a discoloration.

Click here for the picture — WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Revealed: ‘Relaxed Boston ‘Bomber’ Partied With College Friends Two Days After Marathon Massacre

The 19-year-old Chechen terror suspect partied with college friends on Wednesday night and was said to ‘look relaxed’.

Hours before the deadly shootout which claimed his brother’s life Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev was seen on a night out on campus.

A fellow University of Massachusetts student told the Boston Globe: ‘He was just relaxed’.

Tsarnaev’s nonchalant attitude — a possible attempt to cover his tracks — in the wake of Monday’s horrific terror attack was also witnessed on his Twitter page.

At 5pm on Monday — just hours after he and his older brother were caught on surveillance footage coolly walking away from the bomb site — he tweeted: ‘Ain’t no love in the heart of the city, stay safe people.’

The next day he replied to a tweet claiming one of the fatalities in the bombings was a woman whose fiance was proposing to her.

‘Fake story’ he wrote on the social media website.

The same day he added: ‘I’m a stress free kind of guy.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Security Theater Moves to Act Two Following Arrest of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect

I’m trying to get a grip on the full spectacle of the police state theater we have all just witnessed in Boston. Where to begin?

Do we begin with the “lockdown” order that forced 400,000+ Bostonites to stay off the streets and hide in their homes while nobody admits it’s actually martial law?

Do we begin with the militarized masses of armed-up police rolling down the streets of Boston in bomb-proof assault vehicles, all in the hunt for one teenager? Click here for astonishing pictures of martial law in Boston.

Or do we even attempt to examine the spectacle of the mainstream media’s agenda-scripted coverage of all this and its failure to try to blame the bombing on so-called “right-wing extremists?”

In examining the events of the week, a rational person can’t help but conclude that only a small part of what’s being officially reported about the Boston marathon bombers has any basis in fact. And even after the announced arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the remaining survivor of the supposed terrorist bombing duo, we still have:

  • No images or video of this person placing any bomb on the ground
  • No acknowledgement of the existence of the “Craft” military spooks who all carried large backpacks at the marathon and were found moving away from one of the bombs just minutes before it went off
  • No apology from the mainstream media for its week-long rampage against “right-wing extremists” who it vilified as the probable bombers
  • No explanation for why it takes thousands of heavily-armed police, armored assault vehicles and federal agents to find and arrest one teenager
  • No reply from the FBI on just how much the FBI controlled and manipulated these suspects over the last few years, as has been described by their mother.
  • No legal justification for the “lockdown” martial law declaration that has been illegally forced upon the people of Boston

But don’t hold your breath on any of this. The last thing the public would ever get in any of this would be real answers.

My working theory on what really went down

Here’s my theory on what actually happened:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Students Told to Take Viewpoint of the Nazis

The assignment — first reported by The Times Union of Albany — prompted an embarrassed reaction from school district administrators, who were alerted to it by a concerned parent on Wednesday night.

[Comment posted on 13-4-2013 @ 02:01 PM by burntheships

Think like a Nazi?

Yet, that is exactly what the assignment was, to make an “abhorrent argument”, pledging loyalty to to the Third Reich. Accordingly, as part of the exercise, the students were encouraged to argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda.

There is another aspect to this story that is not so obvious in these news articles, which is the fact that all of these students are also monitored, and tracked now and the results of this are to be logged into a data base that has been funded by Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and other “elites” , as part of The Common Core Standards.

Now back to the assignment, students were encouraged to watch and read Nazi party propaganda materials. They were told to imagine their instructor as a Nazi government official who was demanding proof of their loyalty.

This is not the first highly controversial assignment as of late…

“another recent, controversial assignment in Manhattan, where an elementary school class was given math problems featuring the whipping and killing of slaves”

Think on this: Hitler first targeted the Poles, then the Jews, then the Jehovah’s Witnesses, then the Roman Gypsies, then the homosexuals, then the disabled, the Christians, the Catholics… and he had the black children sterilized.

IMO is utterly sick that this kind of curriculum and tracking of students has been brought into U.S. Schools, its not the teachers fault entirely, (the teacher has under disciplinary action) although any sane thinking teacher would not have followed through with this, even if it is in the teachers guides.

And most parents think they are still sending their children to school for an education!?

This is all part of the new Common Core curriculum, the creation of Bill Ayers, Bill Gates, and President Barack Obama…the architects and the driving force behind the take down of literacy, liberty and freedom in The United States.

History is repeating itself… The future is soon…Nazi-esque with an Orwellian twist. ]

[Comment: The “Commie Core” database will be used to adjust and fine tune the brainwashing and social indoctrination techniques that will be used on the students. The propaganda “it’s to improve education” of children is a “blind”.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Tangling With the Death Cult

Campaign of Islamophilia being used by global socialists to balkanize the United States

(ERIK RUSH) As I finish writing this, authorities in Boston are closing in on the last Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, believed to be brother of another bombing suspect, who was killed late night in a shootout with police. — ER

As a result of a sarcastic tweet on my part on Monday referencing Muslims, an online fatwa of sorts against Yours Truly was issued by the far left press, liberals, and angry Muslims with marginal computer skills. It’s been a bit inconvenient, but it goes with the territory. In the aggregate, these reactions have served to underscore some extremely important facts. These have to do with the history of Islam and, if known by most Americans, we would live in a much safer country right now, and probably a much safer world.

The reason that they are not known by most Americans is due to the leftist propaganda which abounds in our society, as well as the campaign of Islamophilia being used by global socialists to balkanize the United States.

I am not an historian, but I have been a researcher, and I do know how to read. Everything I am saying can be easily verified through countless reliable sources.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The FBI Needs to Explain Why it Failed to Monitor Boston Bombing Suspect Despite a Clear Warning

The FBI needs to explain in more detail why it failed to realize that the older Boston bombing suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was a terrorism risk.

By the FBI’s own admission, the FBI was warned about Tsarnaev in 2011 by a foreign government (presumably Russia).

The foreign government told the FBI that Tsarnaev had become “a follower of radical Islam and a strong believer and that he had changed drastically … as he prepared to leave the United States for travel to the country’s region to join unspecificied underground groups.”

In response to this warning, the FBI says it checked databases and interviewed Tsarnaev and other family members in the summer of 2011 but found no evidence of “terrorism activity.”

Then the FBI says it “requested more information” about Tsarnaev from the foreign government but never received it.

Less than two years later, Tsarnaev is suspected of masterminding a successful terrorist attack on the city of Boston that killed three people and injured nearly 200.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Media Want Arabs Exonerated

In discussing the letters reportedly laced with the poison ricin, which followed the Boston bombings, correspondent Andrea Mitchell claimed on the NBC Nightly News on Wednesday night that there was an “eerie coincidence” to the anthrax letters that followed the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and killed five people. However, she quickly added that the anthrax letters were “unrelated” to the 9/11 attacks, a claim that remains completely unsubstantiated. She is covering for FBI incompetence.

It is still not known, officially and by adjudication in a court of law, who sent the post-9/11 anthrax letters because the FBI completely mishandled the case. They ended up paying $6 million in damages to an American scientist, Steven Hatfill, who was falsely termed a “person of interest” and hounded by federal agents. The FBI later argued that another U.S. Government scientist, Bruce Ivins, was the lone culprit, and “closed” the case. But Ivins was also hounded by federal agents, and took his own life. His attorney, Paul Kemp, has strongly argued that the FBI falsely blamed Ivins and never proved its case against him. No charges were filed in what the FBI called the “Amerithrax” case.

In fact, the evidence suggests the letters were linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the al-Qaeda operatives behind them…

Before the bombings, Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) had drawn critical attention in a report to Obama’s recent decision to allow some Saudis to “bypass normal passport controls at major U.S. airports.”

Walid Shoebat reports that the Saudi national who was being detained belongs to a clan that consists of several al Qaeda members and that high-level Saudi government officials have intervened on his behalf.

There are powerful political and foreign interests who do not want such reports to be highlighted or pursued by U.S. authorities. That is why the liberal media will now begin attacking Emerson, Shoebat, and others questioning the official handling of the case.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Uncle: Mentors ‘Radicalized’ Older Boston Bombing Suspect

The uncle of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects told TODAY Saturday that he believes Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were pawns in a deadly scheme.

“I strongly believe they were just puppets and executors of something of bigger scale,” Ruslan Tsarni told Savannah Guthrie.

He said Dzhokar, the younger of the brothers, was “used by his older brother. He’s just another victim of his older brother. He victimized others, but he’s been used by his older brother.”

Tsarni, a Maryland resident who is the brother of the suspects’ father, believes Tamerlan, 26, who died in a confrontation with police early Friday morning, was radicalized by others. He noted that the suspects were in his house as children, and recalled a surprising transformation the last time he saw Tamerlan in 2009… The suspects’ parents told NBC News they believe their sons were framed. Tsarni said a family acquaintance told him there was an outside influence on Tamerlan.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Watertown, Mass. Homeowner on Cigarette Break Finds Smoking Gun in Boston Bombing Case Hiding in His Boat

David Henneberry, an avid boater and member of the Watertown Yacht Club, walked outside to smoke a cigarette just after Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick lifted the curfew on Boston residents at 6 p.m. Friday.

Puffing away, Henneberry noticed the tarp that covered his rare, 22-foot pleasure cruiser—a white Seahawk with blue trim and a fiberglass hull, reported the New York Daily News—wasn’t on correctly.

“Then he saw that one of the straps was hanging loose,” his stepson Robert Duffy told the Daily News. “He picked it up and saw it had been cut. He found it incredibly odd.”

Henneberry got a small ladder, climbed up to reach the boat deck, and flipped back his tarp “and saw a pool of blood,” Duffy added. “And then he saw what he thought was a body…

[ED. Note: Let’s hear it for the smokers…]

[Return to headlines]

Why? Search for a Motive in Boston Marathon Bombings Under Way

CNN) — With one suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings dead and the other in custody, authorities on Saturday turned their attention to questions about a possible motive in the attack and whether the brothers had help in their alleged plot.


“Why did these young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks? And did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers,” President Barack Obama said Friday in a televised address.

[This is pure taqqiya on Barry Hussein’s part. As a former pupil at a Qur’anic school, he knows damn well why they acted as they did: becuse the ignoble Qur’an commands it. And he has done everything in his power to obfuscate the motivations of Muslim terrorists. — PG]

           — Hat tip: Paul Green [Return to headlines]

NDP Resorts to Spin and Lies to Cover True Intentions

Tom Mulcair: Hardcore Communist platform messaging

Guess we’re all expected to throw in with the NDP now since its party members at a recent policy convention voted to soften their hardcore Communist platform messaging. Of course there was no resolution at said convention to actually denounce or abandon the destructive ideology behind the messaging.

Rather the NDP’s secret weapon in preparation for taking the reins of federal power in 2015, is to filter their platform so it’s easier for the snake-oil susceptible public to digest. Seems the power of demagoguery — so perfected by Obama for America organizers — is trickling into NDP campaign strategy, and surely NDP party members had many ah-ha take-away moments when said Obama organizers shared their rules for radicals with convention attendees over the weekend. By adopting this cynical, patronizing, deceptive bait-and-switch approach to platform development, NDP leader Tom Mulcair has shown he is as big a charlatan as his socialist soul-mate in America.

What can be said about a party that espouses principles so horrifying that they cannot be spoken of openly? Indeed it is the outspoken, proud and righteous that fear not trumpeting their values and beliefs. The one who understates is neither a true-believer nor honest to themselves or to others. How can the NDP expect to be taken into the collective Canadian bosom, when they are so insecure about their own platform? Why the need for deception and misdirect? And isn’t there something diabolical about the NDP collaborating with leftist activists rabble rousers, operating on behalf of a foreign government within our sovereign territory, attempting to influence our elections? And what impression do we get when a party lies to us even before they are elected?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Quiet Diplomacy Toward Our Predetermined Future

Founded in 1998, the Quebec-based Forum for Democratic Global Governance (FIM) claims to know what you and I need. In a word, we need producers to provide for non-producers. To flesh out what that entails, this purportedly non-advocacy, non-partisan, and non-governmental organization is hosting an event in Sao Paulo this March (2013).[1]

In Brazil, UN-empowered special interest groups (civil society) will be afforded increased authority to regulate good, global citizens. The guiding principle of socialist, government-managed development, called sustainable development, calls for revamping the very infrastructure of nations away from private ownership and control of property to nothing short of national zoning systems. To ensure adequate oversight, folks need to be herded out of the suburbs and into urban clusters. You know, for the common good.


Civil Society Democratizing the United Nations — i.e., “Nongovernmental” Governance Management behind the UN concept of sustainable development, NGOs (nongovernmental organizations, or civil society) sets the ideological agenda to save the earth, empower women, protect children, eradicate poverty, and feed the poor.[5] So, then, what’s not to like?

First off, NGOs are nongovernmental and non-elected private organizations. The operative word is “non-elected.” Make no mistake. The United Nations alone designates official NGOs, whose legal status of “management” spans all levels of government — international, national, state, and (yes) local. Even now, the UN is designating NGOs in every community (yours, too) to serve as watchdogs for violators of UN treaties that threaten to supersede even the supreme law of our land, the US Constitution.

[Comment: A MUST read article.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Report Confirms Renewable Energy Costs Soar

NORTH BAY — A recent study done for the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) confirms huge costs from heavily-subsidized renewable energy are being added to Ontario hydro bills.

It suggests renewable energy makes up 17 per cent of the Global Adjustment charge (Toronto Star, April 19, 2013.)

“Just last year, the Liberals were still saying renewables only made up about five per cent of energy costs. This means the portion of green energy related to your monthly hydro bill continues to skyrocket,” said Fedeli.

“The Ontario Energy Board recently reported the Global Adjustment is now $8.8 billion, up from the $6.3 billion cited in this report. That means heavily-subsidized renewable energy projects are adding $1.5 billion to hydro costs in Global Adjustment alone.”

The Liberal government’s own 2010 fall economic update, which warned hydro bills would jump 46 per cent over five years, said renewable energy would be responsible for 56 per cent of that increase.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bad Old Days Live on for Women of Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta Crime Network

In the southern Italian region of Calabria, the organized crime syndicate known as the ‘Ndrangheta is known for its cruelty and ever more central role in the international drug trade. But in his book Rebelling Sweethearts, journalist Lirio Abbate is focused on a largely untold chapter in ‘Ndrangheta’s story: its women.

Abbate, an award-winning chronicler of the Sicilian Mafia, describes an even more backward, feudal society in Calabria. It is a shock in modern Italy to see such conditions, where the absolute power of life and death is exercised by men over women. Abbate explicitly compares it to the Taliban.

The image of this hell-on-earth is of an old and fierce woman trapped in her black scarf that is the Calabrian version of the burqa — the destiny of the women of the ‘Ndrangheta is to pass on the “values” to their descendants that keep the society, and the criminal organization, in control.

It is a system that imposes no less than the death penalty on women who don’t follow the rules. So, at almost 90 years-old, a certain Nonna Giuseppina isn’t disturbed at all when her own granddaughter is condemned to death because of an adulterous relationship. Abbate describes the images captured from a prison in the city of Reggio Calabria where the elderly woman confirms the sentence with the gesture of her index finger running from one side of the neck to the other, mimicking the dirty work of a knife. These are family values for the “Pesce di Rosarno” clan.

Facebook is forbidden

Reading the book, we must ask how it is possible that a system like this can exist in a western country? The answers may lie in the isolation in this corner of Italy, of living in a self-sufficient society and growing up with the deceptive myth of a failing state. It’s what Sicily struggled with a half-century ago.

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

Cyprus: Citizenship for Sale

Cyprus’s President Nikos Anastasiades intends to reward wealthy Russian investors in his country with citizenship. But other EU countries also make it easier for the very wealthy to become citizens.

Money can’t buy love, but if you can afford it, it can get you the citizenship of an EU member country. It’s desirable for anyone who wants to leave a crisis area or wants to travel around the world more easily. Many visa restrictions fall away.

With EU citizenship, it is also significantly easier to do business in Europe. In future, to get a passport in Cyprus, you have to invest three million euros ($4 million) there. At least that is what President Nikos Anastasiades announced on Sunday (14.04.2013), trying to placate Russian businessmen at their annual business meeting in Limassol.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Commission to Defer Italy to Court for Campania Rubbish

Country faces sanctions

(ANSA) — Brussels, April 19; The European Commission will defer Italy to the European Court in May or June over its waste-management practices for the second time, according to information provided by diplomatic sources on Friday.

The deferral is expected to trigger sanctions for the eurozone’s third-largest economy over the country’s management of rubbish in the southern Italian region of Campania.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

French Artist Makes Art of Faulty Breast Implants

Nestled inside flimsy black fishnet stockings drooping from the ceiling, breast implants made by a firm whose faulty products sparked a global health scare have been turned into an art installation in the French city of Marseille.

The aptly punned “PIP Show” by artist Camille Lorin, which opens late on Saturday, comes just days after France launched a high-profile trial against five managers from the PIP company who stand accused of using sub-standard, industrial-grade silicone implants.

An estimated 300,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have received the implants, which some health authorities say are twice as likely to rupture as other brands.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: No New Investigation Into RAF Prison Deaths

German prosecutors have rejected a request for a new investigation into the 1977 prison deaths of three members of extreme-left militant group the Red Army Faction (RAF), citing a lack of fresh evidence.

The RAF, also known as the Baader-Meinhof Gang, mounted a bloody campaign of shootings, bomb attacks and kidnappings against what it saw as the oppressive capitalist state of West Germany from 1977 to 1982. The group officially disbanded in 1998.

Three of the RAF’s early members — Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe — died in a high-security prison in Stuttgart on the night of October 18,1977. Authorities ruled the deaths suicides, but Ensslin’s brother Gottfried and an author have challenged this.

However prosecutors in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, where the prison is located, said in a statement that “investigations will not resume into the RAF case” because “no new evidence was submitted that would raise questions about the original findings.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Halal Salami ‘Pork Free’: Slovenian Authorities

Slovenia’s National Veterinary Institute has cleared a local food producer of accusations that its halal-labelled salami contained pork, as Swedish authorities had claimed, and the food producers behind the sausage claim innocence, too.

The National Veterinary Institute of the Ljubljana Veterinary Faculty analysed the salami produced by food manufacturer TMI kosaki and confirmed that it meets the requirements of Muslim dietary rules, reported news agency APA.

Sweden’s National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) had found that halal-labelled salami for sale in Sweden contained over 10 percent pork, which observant Muslims do not eat. It said the pork meat came from Slovenia.

“It is unacceptable that products that are labelled halal contain pork meat,” agency spokeswoman Louise Nyholm said in a statement after the agency tested 99 food products for pork DNA and found that nine tested positive.

Eight of the samples contained less than one percent pork and of those seven had less than 0.1 percent.

“There are a lot of people who absolutely do not want to eat pork meat, so it’s important that companies take responsibility and verify that their products are not sold on false grounds,” Nyholm said.

After the Food Agency’s findings Slovenian food producer TMI kosaki presumed that the Austrian company Krainer was responsible for any pork ending up in the salami aimed at Muslim consumers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi’s Popularity Continues to Rise

Florence mayor 32 points ahead of centre-left leader Bersani

(ANSA) — Rome, April 19 — Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) saw his popularity rise still further on Friday with over twice the rating of party secretary and centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani, the SWG polling agency said.

The 38-year-old local administrator was polling 61%, up 5 points over the previous week.

This compared to the 29% registered by Bersani, who nonetheless also saw his popularity rise by 2%.

The PD secretary was followed by Beppe Grillo, the firebrand leader of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), and ex-premier and leader of the centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party Silvio Berlusconi, who were neck-and-neck at 28%.

Outgoing technocrat Premier Mario Monti, leader of the small centrist and reformist platform Civic Choice, trailed at 23%.

The latest figures came against a backdrop of ongoing political deadlock after inconclusive general elections at the end of February led to a hung parliament and disagreements over the election of Italy’s next president. Renzi’s standing has grown since he publicly urged the PD and PdL to strike a deal or go back to the polls, while Bersani has been hurt by a perceived insistence on wanting a precarious PD-led minority government amid rising tensions within his party.

Many now see the Florence mayor as a possible answer to the impasse, possibly at the helm of a broad coalition government supported by left and right.

Renzi has also been boosted by Bersani’s perceived mishandling of the presidential vote, after he allowed Berlusconi to pick a candidate, ex-Senate Speaker Franco Marini, who exposed deep divisions in the PD.

The party has now swung behind two-time premier Romano Prodi, a former European Commission chief, in the hope that the rifts can be papered over.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pictured: Strolling in the Sunshine, The IRA Brighton Bomber Who Tried to Murder Lady Thatcher

The man who came within inches of murdering Margaret Thatcher was back in England yesterday — just two days after her funeral.

Brighton bomber Patrick Magee, 61, who was given eight life sentences for killing five prominent Tories, now travels around the world lecturing on peace and reconciliation.

Yesterday he made a speech on the subject at the University of Huddersfield where, remarkably, he insisted he was ‘not a violent person’.

Magee was freed from jail in 1999 as part of the Good Friday Agreement after serving just 14 years behind bars.

But he has never apologised for trying to wipe out Mrs Thatcher and her Cabinet during the Tory party conference in 1984.

Following her death, he has declined to answer any questions about his role in one of Britain’s worst terrorist outrages.

He was pictured in Belfast on Thursday, where he spends much of his time in pubs doing crosswords and sudoku puzzles.

In the city, where Magee enjoys hero status among hardline republicans, sources advised the Daily Mail not to approach him directly as this could ‘upset’ some of his supporters.

In 1986 Magee was described by an Old Bailey judge as being ‘a man of exceptional cruelty and inhumanity’, and told he must serve a minimum of 35 years in jail.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pope Scraps Allowance for Vatican Bank Cardinals

Latest break with tradition to see a ‘poor church’

(ANSA) — Vatican City, April 19 — Pope Francis made another break with tradition on Friday by cancelling the allowance normally paid to members of the oversight commission of cardinals of the controversial Vatican Bank, sources told ANSA.

Consequently the five cardinals in question will go without the stipend of 25,000 euros a year in keeping with the new Argentinian pontiff’s determination to pastor “a poor Church for the poor”. The Vatican Bank, officially known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), has come under scrutiny for alleged money laundering and is now working with the Council of Europe’s Moneyval agency to bring it in line with international standards.

A progress report is expected in December.

Pope Francis was elected by a conclave of cardinals to replace Benedict XVI on March 13 after the latter abdicated in February due to diminishing physical and mental strength. Sources said Thursday the pope was scrapping customary “new pope” bonuses for Vatican staff.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: Madrid Air Pollution Reaches Alarming Levels

You don’t have to step into the street for Madrid’s roads to pose a hazard to your health: air pollution from cars in the city might just knock you over. Scientists are finding links between the gases and disease.

Pollution is not quite a top-ten killer — in Western Europe, lifestyle choices such as smoking, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy diet pose a bigger risk. Yet strikingly, the diseases linked to particulate air pollution may be the hardest to avoid if you cannot avoid the pollution itself.

In Madrid, three quarters of air pollution comes from motor vehicles. On bad days, a brown cloud sits on top of the city — prompting residents to call the smog cloud “boina” or beret because it looks like the city is wearing a cap.

More objective measures of the city’s air pollution show that it regularly exceeds European-mandated levels of gases and particles.

Madrileños — or Madrid residents — walking around Atocha, one of the city’s biggest roundabouts, offer a variety of solutions for tackling the pollution problem.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swiss Will Have to Give Up Bank Secrecy: Expert

Switzerland will likely have no choice but to give up its cherished bank secrecy practices amid mounting international pressure to fight tax evasion, a top scholar of banking law said in an interview published Saturday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Horror of Slave Kept in £2million Home Who Was Raped While Being Passed Between Three Middle Class Families

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

An Indian woman who was kept as a slave and passed between three middle class families has spoken of her traumatic ordeal where she was beaten, burned and raped.

The 40-year-old Indian woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was kept prisoner for six months by the Obhrai family on their £2million estate in Middlesex.

She was passed between two other families — who cannot be named for legal reasons — where she was forced to work for £2 an hour and raped several times by butcher Enkarta Balapovi.

Her passport was taken away and she was forced to work 17-hour shifts seven days a week, fed only on out-of-date food and the chewed leftovers of their three children.

When the woman, who could only speak Hindi, tried to contact police on multiple occasions but she was returned to her abusers and they were used as interpreters.

The woman, who is illiterate, came to Britain in 2005 in search of a better life, but was left wheelchair-bound after being injured so badly by her ‘employers’ over a three-year period.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Serbia and Kosovo Sign Historic Agreement

Under pressure from the EU, Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to a normalization of relations, although not to diplomatic ties. But even so, many hurdles remain on the path toward Europe.

Both sides have spent months on this agreement. Just a few days ago, their tenth round of negotiations also seemed poised to fail. If this had happened, Serbia’s path to Europe would be blocked for years.

The upcoming Luxembourg meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday (22.04.2013) served as a deadline. The European prospects of Serbia and Kosovo depend on their evaluation. Without a normalization of relations between the two Balkan peoples, there would be no opportunity for rapprochement with the EU. This time pressure perhaps gave the two sides a push.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton hailed the agreement: “What we are seeing is a step away from the past and, for both of them, a step closer to Europe.” Serbia can now expect that the EU heads of state and government will give it a date for the opening of accession negotiations by June. And Kosovo can hope for a start to negotiations on a stabilization and association agreement, a precursor to accession talks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Salafists Attack Young Women With Stones and Bottles in Tunis Student Hostel

Female university students had started a dance and music show when dozens of Salafists attacked them with stones and bottles whilst police stood idly by.

Tunis (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Armed with bottles, sticks and stones, a group of Islamists attacked female students staying at the Bardo district hostel. The attack took place Wednesday evening. Although police were present, they did not move to stop the fanatics.

Local sources said that the students were just starting a weekly show of dance and music on Wednesday evening when dozens of Salafists broke into the premises after a neighbour complained, smashing windows and throwing stones and bottles at the students. The attack lasted about an hour.

“This is unacceptable . . . . The police were present and did not move. It just raises anger and fear,” said Ameni, a student. The Interior Ministry, which runs the police, had no immediate comment.

Hostel administrator Raja Madyouni said the university has tightened security. Salafists had previously threatened female students because of their Western dress and in some cases smoking and relations with young men, according to Madyouni.

The hostel incident is the latest in a spate of Salafist assaults in the North African state, long among the most secular in the Arab world, over the past year.

Last week, Islamists burst into a secondary school and assaulted its principal after he barred entry to a teenage girl wearing an Islamic face veil.

Police fired at Islamists, killing one, after their station came under attack in a southern town.

Many Tunisians accuse Islamists of setting up a religious police to terrorise people and impose Sharia.

In recent months, Islamic radicals have attacked wine sellers, tobacco shops, cafe’s, hairdressers, beauty salons, cultural centres.

In several cities, Salafists have disrupted concerts and plays because they are considered contrary to Islam.

Habib Kozdhogli, head of the arts faculty at Tunis University, goes on trial on 2 May after he was charged for slapping a veiled student in 2012 when she insisted on entering a class last year. For Salafists, he abused the student, but according to several other witnesses, the student was pushed by some Islamists to throw herself violently against the professor.

After the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islamist Ennahda party came to power, Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring of 2011, has been turned into a battlefield between secularist and Islamist groups. This has plunged the country into political, economic and social turmoil.

Tensions reached a climax on 7 February with the murder of Chokri Belaid, a charismatic opposition leader and coordinator of the Democratic Patriots’ Movement.

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the murder, but Islamic extremists are suspected.

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

Kyrgyzstan: Central Asian Mosques Supplying Young Muslims for Syrian War

Some parliamentarians demand greater clarity on the alleged recruitment of young Islamist volunteers for the Syrian conflict. Mosques in the south of the country inspected.

Bishkek (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Over 20 young Islamists are believed to have left southern Kyrgyzstan to join the rebel front in Syria. The episode was reported by the Ata-Jurt conservative nationalist party member Dastanbek Dzhumabekov, who on 17 April asked parliament to open an investigation.

According to the MP, the youth were recruited in mosques in southern Kyrgyzstan and flown to Syria through Turkey. Mametbek Myrzabaev, an official of the State Committee for Religious Affairs, confirms that last month 7 young people between the ages of eighteen and twenty years left the Batken region in the south of the country.

Recruitment attempts by the Syrian Islamist fringes have also been reported in many Middle Eastern countries and beyond. Last month, the Tunisian government opened an investigation into the alleged militancy of dozens of Tunisians among rebel groups. The young Islamists left the country on tourist visas for Libya or Turkey, from where they can then easily enter Syria.

Similar incidents have also occurred in Europe, where data published by the King’s College of London reported that since the beginning of March 2011, more than 600 activists from 14 countries have joined the Islamist brigades in the fight to Assad. On 16 April, the Brussels police made forty-six checks for suspected involvement in terrorist activities.

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

Syria: Blast Destroys Church of Capuchin Friars

(AGI) Beirut — A violent explosion has demolished the church and convent of the Capuchin friars in Deir Ezzor, Syria.

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

US to Provide Syrian Rebels $123m More in Aid

The United States is providing Syrian rebels with $123 million in new nonlethal aid that may include armor and other types of supplies that haven’t been part of the assistance package in the past.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the additional money will double the nonlethal assistance to the Syrian opposition as well as increase humanitarian aid.

Speaking Saturday in Istanbul, Kerry says the situation in Syria is at a critical moment and that the bloodshed needs to stop.

Foreign ministers from the main supporters of the rebels trying to topple the Syrian government are meeting in Istanbul over the weekend to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar to step down.

The United Nations estimates that the fighting in Syria has killed more than 70,000 people.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boston: Suspected Attackers May Have Trained in Chechen Islamic School

The United States celebrates the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a Chechen immigrant and brother of the main suspect in the attack on the Boston Marathon. The Russian news agencies dig into the past of the two young men. Tamerlan, the eldest, who was killed yesterday in a firefight, had a page on Youtube with links to sites close to Islamic terrorism.

Boston (AsiaNews / Agencies) — A Youtube site linked to pages glorifying terrorism, a certificate of attendance at a school in Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan (Chechnya), and several references to the Islamic religion: this is the profile of the Tsarnaev brothers, prime suspects in the Boston massacre on April 14 last, both defined by the press as “devout Muslims”. The revelations have already spread on U.S. media and arrived in Russia reported by Interfax news agency. The Moscow based network of has investigated the recent past of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26 years old, killed yesterday by U.S. security forces and Dzhokhar, his younger brother, 19 years old, captured by police last night, after a massive man hunt. The young man was wounded and had taken refuge in a boat in Watertown. In a statement to the nation, President Obama said that the U.S. would not give in to terrorism “but there are still so many questions to be answered.”

Both of Chechen origin, but born in Kyrgyzstan, the two brothers had immigrated to the United States in 2003 and lived in Cambridge, a suburb of Boston. The eldest, Tamerlan, was a former engineering student. In 2012 he opened a page on Youtube with his name. According to the data of the account in the Russian language, the young man navigated suspicious sites, close to radical Islam. Among the films uploaded, many touch on “conversion to Islam” and “Islamic terrorism.” From 1999 to 2001, the young man is reported to have attended a school in Dagestan. In his application he is reported to have made reference to his devotion to Islam. However, the latter source is yet to be verified.

Instead Dzhokhar attended a medical school in one of the universities in Boston. The characteristics of the two suspects have sparked headlines that already blame the attack on Islamic extremism of a Caucasian matrix. Last night, Ed Davis, head of the Boston Police pointed out that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was considered very dangerous: “We think he is a terrorist. We believe that this is a man who has come here to kill”.

Despite police statements calling for caution, the wider public has jumped to hasty conclusions. Today, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on the media not to speculate on the past of the two brothers and their alleged and still not certain ties with Islam to avoid deflecting investigations onto ideological prejudices rather than the facts.

The allegations of the U.S. media on Caucasian terrorism, was immediately condemned by Chechen prime minister Ramzan Kadyrov, The Russian republic is one of two areas of Muslim majority, along with Dagestan. He pointed out that the suspects lived only for a few years in Makhachkala, while they were mainly educated in the United States. “According to Kadyrov,” the roots of this evil are to be found in the United States and nowhere else. “

After the so-called “pacification” of Chechnya, Dagestan has become the most unstable among the republics of the Russian Caucasus, where after installing the pro-Russian Kadyrov in Grozny, Moscow continues to fight Islamist insurgents who are fighting for the creation of an emirate. In recent years a real bombing campaign has been waged against religious officials, in response to their explicit criticism of radical Islam in local mosques, at the request of the Kremlin.

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

Why Chechens Think the Tsarnaev Brothers Were Framed

Even paranoids have real enemies. Especially in Russia.

The Tsarnaev brothers’ forceful and charismatic aunt, Maret Tsarnaeva, had barely begun her lecture to the press that had gathered outside her Toronto house this morning when she crossed the line:

“I’m suspicious that this was staged. The picture was staged,” she said.

And she suggested dark motives behind framing her nephews.

“When you are blowing up people and you want to bring attention to something for some person — you do that math,” she said.

The men’s father said more or less the same thing: “Someone framed them. I don’t know who exactly did it, but someone did. And being cowards, they shot the boy dead. There are cops like this.”

The Tsarnaevs may sound like the craziest figures of the American fringe. But they come by their paranoia honestly: Russia’s cynical and brutal governments have, for centuries, murdered their citizens in general, and their Chechen citizens and subjects in particular, under any number of pretexts.

Even the Chechen Republic’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, included a bizarre note of paranoia in the words he posted to Instagram, a note of doubt about the suspects’ guilt — and about one suspect’s death.

“It is evident that the special services needed to calm society by any means possible,” Kadyrov, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, wrote.

This may sound paranoid. But paranoids can have real enemies. And you don’t have to be crazy to believe Chechen allegations of baroque and brutal government conspiracies — at least, not when they’re directed at the Russian government.

Reasonable people have directed truly horrendous allegations at President Vladimir Putin and his security services. Former Washington Post reporter David Satter argued convincingly in his 2003 book on Russia, Darkness at Dawn, that the Russian government had directed deadly and incomprehensible bombings of Russian apartment buildings in 1999, which killed 300 people — to justify a new invasion of Chechnya and to speed Putin’s rise.

“They are ascribing to America things that are familiar to them at home,” Satter told BuzzFeed Friday, of the sort of incident that fringe lunatics in the United States claim as “false flag” attacks and that Russians call “provocations.” “It’s not surprising that people have reacted that way,” he said.

Indeed, Tsarnaeva cited her experience back home in making her strange intimations of conspiracy.

“I am used to being set up. Before I left former Soviet Union countries, that’s how I lived,” she said.

That does not, of course, have any bearing on what appears to be an extremely clear case against Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsaraev. It speaks, instead, to what it means to be a citizen of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

“The evidence against these characters is overwhelming,” Satter said. “And also — we just don’t do that kind of thing. Our institutions and our society and our values all work against it, whereas in Russia it’s par for the course.”

           — Hat tip: AC [Return to headlines]

Crowds Protest After Child is Raped, Tortured in India

Hundreds have taken to the streets of New Delhi to protest the handling of a missing girl case. The five-year-old girl was held in captivity, raped and tortured for two days earlier in the week.

Activists said a young rape victim’s parents had asked police for help after their daughter went missing on Monday, but that police refused to register the case. The five-year-old girl went missing on Monday and was found by neighbors on Wednesday who heard her crying in a room of the same building where she and her family live.

“The police did nothing. They did not register a complaint, the first step before they can begin investigations,” said Ranjana Kumari, a women’s rights activist and social scientist. “This heinous crime could have been prevented if police had begun investigations promptly.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

India: Five-Year-Old Girl ‘Raped for Four Days’ After She Was Kidnapped by Neighbour in Third Delhi Paedophile Crime This Month

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

A five year old girl is fighting for her life after she was raped by a neighbour in Gandhi Nagar, east Delhi, who held her captive for four days.

The girl was kidnapped while playing outside her home and locked in her neighbour’s flat for days before someone heard her cries for help.

Doctors reported finding ‘foreign objects’ inside the girl’s genitals as the details of her horrific ordeal began to unfold.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

India: Goa Strives to Save Tourism

A recent series of sexual assaults on women in India has raised alarm. Goa, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is no longer the tourist paradise it once was.

For the last three years, Jane Kramer — whose name has been changed for this article — an IT professional from Sydney, has been periodically visiting the idyllic state of Goa along with her friends, drawn by the sunshine, the sea and the warmth the place exudes.

Kramer always enjoyed a carefree time while vacationing on the state’s beaches, going for long solitary walks and visiting bars that were normally packed with young people and tourists. But things have changed, she told DW.

“Most Indians are welcoming and nice people, but somehow this time around, I have a feeling that men are discreetly taking pictures of women in bikinis and they look at you differently — some even hostile, especially in the bars when the night falls,” Kramer said.

There are others like Kramer who share similar thoughts.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China: The Case of Anne Zhang “Is the Storm That Awakens the People’s Conscience”

The Communist regime arrested a ten-year-old girl and banished her from school, “guilty” of having a dissident father. His case shocked the Chinese web world, which began a campaign of unprecedented solidarity. This is a clear sign that people’s conscience has not died. Here is the analysis of the great Chinese dissident.

Washington (AsiaNews) — Many friends do not know who Anne Zhang is. As the youngest political victim in China, she is already a celebrity on the Chinese Internet. Only because of the Internet blockade by the Communist regime, as well as the self-censorship by most of the Chinese media in Hong Kong, Taiwan and overseas, most people in China do not know it.

It started with Anne’s father, Zhang Lin. More than one decade ago, Mr. Zhang worked for one year in my office in New York. Later on, he engaged in pro-democracy work with Dr. Wang Bingzhang. During a clandestine action returning to China, Mr. Zhang was arrested due to a traitor, yet was slandered as being arrested due to prostitution through some Communist agents within the democracy ranks. Thus, Mr. Zhang was excluded from the list for international rescue and suffered the torment in prison. After his release, Zhang Lin still would not change his mind and he continues his pro-democracy activities. He became a thorn to the Chinese Communist Party.

Little Anne was born into such a family of a determined democracy fighter. She is only ten years old, and has not had enough time to receive the revolutionary teachings of her fathers. She is only an elementary school student not knowing too much. However, the Communist regime does not treat her as a little pupil. In order to threaten Mr. Zhang Lin and to control his activities, out of expectation the Chinese Communist regime holds little Anne as hostage. It kicked her out of her school and detained her. Then it illegally held both father and daughter for one day and sent them back to their original home. This little girl became the youngest political prisoner, even several years younger than Chinese President Xi Jinping was when he received criticism like a young political prisoner during the political campaigns of the Cultural Revolution.

Many people say, “The Cultural Revolution had ended,” in a tone as if the relentless persecution by the Communist Party has ended. The persecution against those old “rightists” who have been tamed may have ended. Maybe one could even cheer that intellectuals could stand tall and live well above the average people. But has the persecution in China really ended? Is it not true that many dissidents and rights-defenders who fight for average Chinese’s human rights are still receiving relentless persecution? Is it not true that many religious people and Qi Gong groups are still receiving relentless persecution just because they adhere to their own faith? Even a ten-year-old girl is persecuted altogether. Can it be said that the Cultural Revolution has ended?

That Cultural Revolution led by Mao Zedong is indeed over. The Communist regime was also forced to reform the Stalinist planned economy. But the Marxist one-party dictatorship did not change, and the origin of evil did not change. It still remains in the Chinese constitution, and has been executed as the essential principle of the autocratic politics of the Communist Party. Evil crimes still continue; the only difference is that slaves’ basic necessities of life have improved some. Well, even with better food and better clothing, slaves are still slaves without the rights of humanity.

For the rights of human beings, Mr. Zhang Lin is struggling. For the rights of human beings, millions of Internet users in China have joined the struggle. Unwilling to be exploited, indignant people are standing in the forefront of the struggle. Mr. Liu Weiguo, a human rights lawyer from Shandong, began an indefinite hunger strike for Anne’s rights to study. The volunteers in Anhui Province organized a candlelight vigil and hunger strike relay. They have received the solidarity and support of netizens across China.

It is worth mentioning that not only U.S. citizens are willing to take care of the schooling and living expenses of little Anne, but also the human rights and democracy leaders in Taiwan have expressed their willingness to arrange for Anne to go to Taiwan for her schooling. These offers make a stark contrast to the ruthless brutality of the Communist authorities. They also make a stark contrast to the cowardice in the school where Anne studies — they did not dare to accept Anne to continue her schooling. By the way, I want to point out that under the circumstance that the KMT authorities in Taiwan are actively moving closer to the Communist regime, these human rights leaders in Taiwan who came out to help Anne also bear no small risk. They are not as some people have said, simply staging up a free show.

From the storm caused by this Anne Zhang event, it clearly reflects the awakening of the Chinese people. Even as recently as last year, Chinese were discussing the reason that nobody cared when an old person fell on the roadside. People resent moral degeneration in China. This itself illustrates that the conscience of the people has not died out. Now, tens of thousands of netizens who never met Anne speaking up for her and put their words into action. It is not just that the conscience has not died out, but the conscience is awakening.

Over these years, there were a lot of pessimistic friends saying to me: “Mr. Wei, do not bother, there is no hope in China. Its resources are completed depleted; its environment is destroyed; and most importantly is people’s morals have degenerated. Even if China were to become democratic, it cannot be saved. What hope is there?” But I was always recalcitrant. I do not believe that the Chinese nation has become so depraved to the bottom. I am always full of confidence.

The Little Anne Event proved that there is a base for my confidence. The people’s conscience cannot be completely destroyed. It will awaken rapidly when the conditions are suitable. The harsh environment can only force the seeds of conscience into a dormant state, but it cannot stifle the vitality of conscience. This vitality that cannot be stifled is exactly the source of hope for us the Chinese, and the source of strength for humanity to triumph over evil. These hundreds of thousands of netizens banding together against the common enemy, and the figures of the warriors standing in the forefront, are the evidence of this hope.

Who says that there is no hope for China? The corrupt officials and their offspring who fled to the western paradise believe that there’s no hope. But I do not believe it. The righteous people who will speak out against injustice do not believe it. The Internet provides broader range and more timely information to the ordinary people who are helping each other. This is a people’s war that the dictators who hired hundreds of thousands of Internet police cannot prevent. Just like the old saying: this is a vast ocean; one who follows the current shall prosper, while those who push against it shall perish. This irreversible trend is the hope for China. That is our common hope.

However, hope alone is not enough. Action is also needed. When more people awaken, when more people take action for this wonderful hope, hope is about to be realized. The road from hope to its realization is not far. The measurement of that distance is the actions we take. With a firm confidence and active action, hope will no longer to be a dream, but a soon realized reality.

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

Nigeria Pushes Amnesty Plan for Islamist Militants

Nigeria has formed a panel to create an amnesty program for Islamist extremists to try to quell a campaign of bombings and shootings which has killed hundreds of people in the mainly Muslim north of the country.

The 26-person panel, created by President Goodluck Jonathan, has a 60-day deadline to come up with an offer for fighters belonging to the Islamist extremist network Boko Haram and other groups now fighting against government forces and killing civilians with apparent impunity.

There is no guarantee that Boko Haram, or any other group, would accept any such offer, but a similar program in 2009 worked to halt the majority of attacks by militants in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Asylum Seekers’ Hunger Strike Growing in Sweden

Eleven Afghanis and Iranians have gone on hunger strike in the north of Sweden after their asylum applications were turned down.

Six people from Afghanistan and Iran went on hunger strike on Sunday in an asylum seekers’ residence managed by the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) in Holmsund, Västerbotten county.

On Thursday, five Afghani men started a hunger strike protest outside the offices of the Migration Board in Boden, Norbotten county.

The Afghani men in Boden have taped their mouths shut to demonstrate that they are refusing to eat or drink, reported local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten (NSD).

They have been in Sweden between two and four years but recently received notice that they will not be granted the right to remain.

“They are prepared to keep up their hunger strike until they get residence permits or until they die,” said Ajmal Zadran, a spokesman for the Afghanis.

There are between 100 and 150 Afghanis in Boden and Zadran said that more men are prepared to join the hunger strike.

The six Afghani and Iranian asylum seekers in Holmsund are also protesting against their deportation orders. Two of them were taken to hospital late Thursday night as their condition worsened, reported Sveriges Television (SVT).

The Migration Board called in extra staff to the asylum seekers’ residence in Holmsund.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boy Scouts Proposal: Let in Gay Youth, Keep Out Gay Adults

The Boy Scouts of America on Friday proposed lifting a ban on gay scouts but maintaining a prohibition on gay adults from leading troops, a compromise that attempts to end a fight that has split the century-old American institution into bitter factions.

Reaction from scouting supporters ranged from outrage to limited approval. The biggest organization in scouts, the Mormon Church, said it was studying the proposal, leaving uncertain the outcome of a May vote by scout leaders that will set policy. Gay rights groups said continuing to bar gay adults was unacceptable, but they welcomed the change for youths.

“The general feeling is that this is a bad move,” which could precipitate a major crisis, A.J. Smith, president of the Association of Baptists for Scouting, wrote in a website post, attempting to summarize Baptists’ views. “This is about a concerted effort to bring down a cultural icon. We must brace ourselves for the long haul on this one.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Common Core — Worms Milking the System

Time and time again we find these “worms” slithering around in the name of “improving” the education of our children. Their latest attack on our children is coming under the name of Common Core (CC) and it is so filled with these worms by their endorsements and greed that it and everything they touch is “rotten to the core.”

We can only hope the gig is up on Michelle Rhee and some of the other cronies who have their fingers in this massive “take-over” of the education of our children.

The Washington, D.C. test results Rhee used as the Holy Grail to base her empire on were fraudulent. The adults cheated and Michelle Rhee and her successor and Teach for America buddy/alumni Kaya Henderson, Chancellor of the D.C. public schools, covered it up.

I hope you know what Teach for America is! That’s Wendy Kopp’s organization that takes newly graduated college student’s whether they are Education grads or not, puts them through 5 weeks in the summer of training and then trades them off to various school systems to be placed in low-income areas for bottom line pay with parents expecting their children are being taught by an educator. Another scam!


I am married with a blended family of 8 children, 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson and you can readily understand why I chose Education or the “lack thereof” and Human Trafficking as my passions for the past 4 years.

I have witnessed the decline in the scholastic achievement levels of our children brought about by the interference of the Federal DOE and individuals/businesses who choose to use our children as “human collateral” for their own financial gains. In the process they are leading them into a Communist agenda to be overseen by the United Nations.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

K-12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents

(Reuters) — An education technology conference this week in Austin, Texas, will clang with bells and whistles as startups eagerly show off their latest wares.

But the most influential new product may be the least flashy: a $100 million database built to chart the academic paths of public school students from kindergarten through high school.

In operation just three months, the database already holds files on millions of children identified by name, address and sometimes social security number. Learning disabilities are documented, test scores recorded, attendance noted. In some cases, the database tracks student hobbies, career goals, attitudes toward school — even homework completion.

Local education officials retain legal control over their students’ information. But federal law allows them to share files in their portion of the database with private companies selling educational products and services…

The database is a joint project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided most of the funding, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from several states. Amplify Education, a division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, built the infrastructure over the past 18 months. When it was ready, the Gates Foundation turned the database over to a newly created nonprofit, inBloom Inc, which will run it.

States and school districts can choose whether they want to input their student records into the system; the service is free for now, though inBloom officials say they will likely start to charge fees in 2015. So far, seven states — Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Massachusetts — have committed to enter data from select school districts. Louisiana and New York will be entering nearly all student records statewide.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Special Report: Baby Fought for Its Life in Toilet!

[WARNING: ** Disturbing Content **]

The horrifying trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell is being severely under reported by the media as more details emerge of a Philadelphia women’s clinic that was a literal house of horrors, routinely performing “post-birth abortions” late into the third trimester and murdering live babies in insane and ghastly ways.

“On the last day of testimony before the prosecution rests in the murder trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, a former worker at Gosnell’s clinic testified that she saw one late-term baby who survived an abortion ‘swimming’ in a toilet and ‘trying to get out,’“ CNS News reported Thursday.

The New American wrote of “the remains of 45 infants dumped in milk jugs, juice cartons, and pet food containers — all stored in a refrigerator and freezer on the premises.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Tory Donors Defecting to UKIP Over Gay-Marriage Fanaticism

UK Conservative Party finances are reeling with the revelation that at least five key Tory donors have defected to UKIP, their rival to the right, over Prime Minister David Cameron’s nonsensical obsession with gay politics.

The grass-roots of the Conservatives are becoming increasingly alarmed at Cameron’s relentless drive on the issue and the party is beginning to noticeably hemorrhage inside support, especially since their 3rd place finish in the recent Eastleigh by-election where they were beaten by UKIP who finished an impressive 2nd.

Edmund Costelloe, formerly chair of the Somerton & Frome Constituency Conservative Association said “David Cameron and a group of colleagues have utterly lost touch with the grassroots of the Conservative Party, the majority of whom are outraged by this attack on natural and historic family values.”

Outrage is one thing, money is essential and the Conservatives are losing key financial backers at an alarming rate. A number of Conservative donors who once paid £50,000-a-year, to dine with David Cameron and Cabinet ministers as members of the ‘leaders group’, have defected to UKIP. Despite this there appears to be no concern, overtly anyway, from the central party leadership.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]