Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/4/2013

Several years after the scandal of melamine-tainted powdered milk, Chinese parents are still wary of domestic brands of baby milk. There is a huge demand for European powdered milk, which is smuggled into the country via Hong Kong. The Chinese government is now cracking down harder on milk smuggling than it does on cocaine traffickers.

In other news, sources say that yesterday’s air attack by Israel against a storage warehouse at the Damascus airport targeted surface-to-surface missiles that were being supplied by Iran to Hezbollah.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JLH, JP, Papa Whiskey, RR, Vlad Tepes, 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
» Brewer Stops Plans to Make Gold, Silver Legal Tender in Arizona
» Italy: Unemployed Man Leaps Six Storeys to Death Near Pisa
» Italy: Govt 40-Bln-Euro Payback to Have ‘Limited Impact’
» Italy: EC Boosts Italy Deficit Fight With New Data
» Comprehending the Incomprehensible
» Deadly Nuclear Waste Leaking From Nation’s Largest Nuclear Storage Facility in Washington State
» Democrats Move to Exploit Terror Watch Lists in New Attack on 2nd Amendment
» DHS Seeks Millions More Rounds of Ammunition
» Docs Show Napolitano Thanked Missouri Governor for Breaking State Law
» Don’t Forget Misha
» Exclusive: Victims of Boston Police State Lockdown Speak Out (Video)
» How Obama Obstructs Justice in the Search for a Communist Terrorist
» Islam Coexists?
» Jay Carney: ‘Benghazi Happened a Long Time Ago’
» Jump in Suicides Among Middle-Aged Americans
» Kipling: ‘Better Late Than Never’ Wrong Response to Terror
» Lock Down Garden Grove: Dangerous Mental Patient on the Loose
» Obama Hints at Possible Executive Order on Gun Control in His Speech in Mexico
» Politics of International Diffusion: Our Common Future
» Ron Paul: Police Manhunt for Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Scarier Than Attack
» Will Barack Obama Ever Stop Apologising for America?
Europe and the EU
» Divided EU to Preach Religious Freedom Abroad
» Italian Teenagers Who Smoke Marijuana Remains 20%
» Italy: ‘Copper Thieves’ Arrested
» Italy’s Prisons Third Most Overcrowded in Europe
» Italy: Probe Opened Into Web Threats on House Speaker
» Italy: Martyred for Christ: 800 Victims of Islamic Violence Who Will Become Saints This Month
» Police Seize 3 Mln Euros From Italian Solar Plant
» Scientists’ Hope for HIV Cure
» Scotland: Xbox Player, 13, Slashed Friend’s Throat With Knife After They Met Online Playing Ultra-Violent Game Gears of War 3
» Three Killed in Apartment Building Explosion in Sweden
» UK: Former East London Mosque Trustee on Bangladesh War Crimes Charges
» UK: Fridges Could be Switched Off Without Owner’s Consent to Reduce Strain on Power Stations
» UK: How the Conservatives and UKIP Can Kiss and Make Up
» UK: Local Elections: David Cameron’s Eton Mess
» UK: Mosque Will be ‘Inclusive’
» UK: Tories Must Start Listening to Ordinary Voters, Not Their Old School Chums
» UK: The Establishment Feels the Power of the People
» UK: Why Has Abdul Hakim Murad Not Been Sacked by Cambridge University?
» UK: What Can David Cameron Do? Have a Referendum in This Parliament
» UK: Woman Who Had Acid Thrown in Her Face by Stranger on Her Own Doorstep as Her Sister Says She is in a ‘Bad Way’
North Africa
» 3 Egyptians Killed in Fight Over Insulting President on Facebook
» Benghazi: Names of ‘Whistleblower’ Witnesses Revealed
» Cairo — Egyptian Islamists Target Security HQ
» Egypt: Cairo Opera House in Decay, The Oldest in Mideast
» Libya: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Benghazi
» Two Arrested in Tunisian Airport for Illegal Viagra Imports
Israel and the Palestinians
» Facebook Causes ‘Psychotic Episodes and Delusions’, Claims Study
Middle East
» An Irrelevant Middle East
» Israeli Airstrike in Syria Targeted Missiles From Iran
» Israel Launches Air Strike on Syria
» Israeli Warplanes Strike Syrian Weapons Facility, US Official Says
» Japan Signs Turkey Nuclear Deal
» Lipstick Ban for Hostesses of Increasingly ‘Islamic’ Turkish Airlines
» Lipstick-Free
» Saudis Allow Some Girls’ Schools to Offer Sports
» Syria: Sunni Village ‘Massacred’ In Alawaite Heartland
» Moscow Cracks Down on NGOs, Targets Religious Communities
» Chechnya is Safer Than England, Says Chechen President
» Russian City Visited by Boston Bomber a Nest of Terror, Violence
South Asia
» 2 Civilians Killed in Restive S. Thailand
» Burma: Buddhists Are Wising Up to Jihad; BBC Doesn’t Like it
» India: Karnataka: With Hindu Fundamentalists in Govt, Violence Will Grow, Christian Leader Says
Far East
» China: After Melamine Milk Scandal, Powder Milk Smuggled From Europe and Hong Kong
» China Food Scandal: Rat Meat Sold as Lamb Meat
» Next Asian Crisis Arrives: Chinese Soldiers Make Military Incursion Into India — India Considers Response
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria: Borno Elders, Security Chiefs in Emergency Meeting Over Ali Monguno’s Kidnap
» Nigeria: After Baga, JTF Lost in a Maze of Rocks and Hard Places
» Somalia Famine Killed 258, 000 in 2011
Latin America
» Chilean ‘Cult Leader’ Ramon Castillo Found Dead
» Obama Blames American Guns for Mexican Deaths: ‘Most of the Guns Used to Commit Violence Here in Mexico Come From the United States’
» Italy’s Minister for Integration Calls for Citizenship
» Onslaught of Illegal and Legal Immigrants Lining Up for Amnesty
» US Tightens Student Visa Rules After Boston Marathon Bombings
Culture Wars
» ‘Redneck Day’ At Arizona High School Causes Uproar
» Five Daily Prayers Nourish Muslims’ Souls as They Take Time Away From Busyness
» Rolling Stones Face Pay Cut as Poor Sales Force Them to Slash US Ticket Prices

Brewer Stops Plans to Make Gold, Silver Legal Tender in Arizona

Gov. Jan Brewer refused Thursday to make Arizona the second state in the nation to declare privately minted gold and silver coins, bars and ingots to be legal tender in the state.

In vetoing the measure, Brewer said she shares the concerns of proponents that the dollar isn’t worth what it used to be. And she said it’s likely to get worse “as a result of an unsustainable federal deficit.” Click here to find out more!

But the governor said she’s not ready to take the plunge — one that so far only Utah has taken.

The legislation would have essentially done two things.

First, it would have put these precious metal coins and even bullion on the same legal footing in Arizona as dollars printed by the Federal Reserve Board.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Italy: Unemployed Man Leaps Six Storeys to Death Near Pisa

Laborer commits suicide after two years without work

(ANSA) — Pisa, May 3 — A 45-year-old man, after two years without work, plunged off the sixth floor of building in Ponsacco, near the northwestern Italian city of Pisa, police said Friday.

Police believe unemployment drove the laborer into deep depression and led to his suicide at the home of relatives.

The man was married and lived in another town nearby.

Recent studies have pointed to the recession, which is expected to last until next year, as driving a rising number of suicides in the country.

A triple suicide in the Marche region in May was one of the most dramatic recent effects of the grim economic times.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Govt 40-Bln-Euro Payback to Have ‘Limited Impact’

Unicredit says boost equal to 0.1% of 2013 GDP

(ANSA) — Rome, May 3 — An announced reimbursal of 40 billion euros the Italian state owes private firms will not provide a significant stimulus to the Italian economy, according to a report released by Italian bank Unicredit on Friday.

Italy’s government in March announced plans to pay back the sum to private firms in a bid to jump-start economic growth in the eurozone’s third-largest economy, which has been mired in recession for the past two years. The measures will give a “push that is limited by the uncertainty tied to the current economic outlook,” which in turn will lead the companies to avoid making investments with a large portion of the funds in question, said Italy’s largest commercial bank. Unicredit said the measures would bring benefits equivalent to 0.1% on Italy’s 2013 gross domestic product, and 0.4% in 2014. When the measures were announced by then-premier Mario Monti, the government indicated it hoped the step would positively impact 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.2%, 2014 GDP by 0.7% and 2015 by 0.3%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: EC Boosts Italy Deficit Fight With New Data

Infraction procedure likely to be stopped

(ANSA) — Rome, May 3 — The European Commission on Friday boosted Italy’s deficit fight with new figures showing it would meet a key European Union-mandated target this year.

Italy’s budget deficit will be 2.9% in 2013, the EC forecast Friday, below the 3% limit set by EU treaties.

It will drop to 2.4% in 2014, the EC said, making it likely that Italy will soon be cleared of busting deficit targets.

The new forecast “facilitates” the closure of a deficit-infraction procedure but the Commission still needs to see the details of the new government’s deficit-curbing measures, the EC said.

Brussels expects Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni to present that plan “in the next few weeks” so the issue can be resolved at a June 27-28 summit. Italy’s bloated national debt is expected to exceed the 130% threshold to reach 131.4% in 2013 and 132.2% in 2014, the EC added.

The EC previously forecast Italian sovereign debt reaching 128% in 2013 and 127% in 2014.

European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn warned that Italy’s sovereign debt is so high the country must work on bringing accounts under control even after any deficit reduction.

Rehn said Italy needed to regain competitiveness and economic growth.

Italian Premier Enrico Letta has said his unprecedented right-left government is racing against time to cut Italy’s “unbearable” tax burden and stoke growth while maintaining fiscal discipline.

In talks with Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development chief Angel Gurria in Rome Thursday, Letta also said Italy would help the EU fight “nightmarish” youth unemployment.

He said Italy would abide by its deficit and debt-reduction commitments to the European Union after meeting EC President Jose’ Manuel Barroso.

Letta saw Barroso at the end of a European tour in which he called for the bloc to put as much emphasis on promoting growth as it has on fiscal consolidation so far during the eurozone crisis.

New data this week showing unemployment at a record high of 12.1% or 19 million people out of work in the 17-nation eurozone offered frightening new figures on youth unemployment.

One out of four under-25s was on the dole in the EU in March but almost two in three in Greece and Spain and nearly four out of 10 in Italy.

Letta stressed that growth is not an alternative to “rigorous” budgetary consolidation.

“I think there is a need, together with maintaining our commitments, for a strong policy promoting jobs and growth”, Letta said. “I think this part needs to be implemented now: it is not an alternative to rigour”.

Letta again stressed the need “to make up for the time lost” between elections at the end of February and the formation of the government which was sworn in on Sunday.

On the thorny issue of property-tax IMU, the OECD risked irking ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party by saying that scrapping it should not be a priority for the new government.

The PdL is threatening to pull its support from Letta’s executive and sink it unless the widely despised tax is abolished.

Berlusconi also wants the 2012 revenues collected from IMU returned to taxpayers to respect the key pledge he made in the run-up to February’s general election.

Letta, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) that had been in bitter combat with the PdL for two decades before the inconclusive election result forced them to form an unnatural alliance, has said that June’s IMU payments would be suspended as part of a review of the tax.

But he has not promised to abolish it completely.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Comprehending the Incomprehensible

Why, so many who have seen these red flags wonder, would the administration, corrupt as it is, precipitate as situation wherein we are at risk for widespread attack by Islamists within our own borders?

I believe the answer is simple, and lies in a design I feared from the day Obama won the 2008 election. Barack Obama was positioned where he is in order to exponentially further the socialist agenda in America. His ability to do this where perhaps another individual might not have been able to has a great deal to do with his ethnicity; Obama’s benefactors and colleagues believed that the race card would be invaluable to them relative to shielding him from both criticism and scrutiny — and they were right. The cult of personality that was crafted around him and timing also played parts in this dynamic.

In order to complete the power transfer to the degree that socialist power players desire, it will become an imperative for Obama to declare martial law at some point. This is in part why efforts to dismantle the Second Amendment have been so aggressive since Obama’s re-election. The disadvantages to a well-armed populace in the event of martial law being declared under questionable or illegal circumstances should be obvious.

In any case, there are a number of contingencies in play that may serve the administration in this regard. A coordinated upswell in jihadi activity within the US — just enough to terrify, but not too much to suppress — would be the perfect pretext under which martial law might be declared. Whether this would coincide with, or might catalyze some other social or economic catastrophe remains to be seen.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Deadly Nuclear Waste Leaking From Nation’s Largest Nuclear Storage Facility in Washington State

(NaturalNews) “Hanford Determines Double-Shell Tank Leaked Waste From Inner Tank.” This headline on a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) press release from last October is bigger news than it first appeared. For the first time, the massive storage tanks built to hold some of the most radioactive nuclear waste in the world were found to be slowly leaking.

The United States campaign to build a giant arsenal of nuclear weapons during the Cold War created an environmental disaster at Hanford Site in Washington State. Highly radioactive sludge being leaked threatens to contaminate the region’s water supply.

In February, federal and state officials said six giant underground tanks holding a toxic brew of highly radioactive wastes are leaking at the 570-square-mile Hanford Reservation. The location of this nuclear waste site is right on the Columbia River in South Central Washington State.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Democrats Move to Exploit Terror Watch Lists in New Attack on 2nd Amendment

Having failed miserably to reduce the Second Amendment to an endangered species, the gun grabbers are busily working on a new angle — making sure Americans on government terror watch lists cannot purchase firearms.

Following the failure of Manchin-Toomey in the Senate and the attack in Boston last month, the anti-Second Amendment activist and New York Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney has led the charge. Appearing on MSNBC earlier this week, Maloney claimed gun laws would have prevented the Boston terror attack despite the fact explosives were used in the attack.

“As it stands right now, Tamerlan, as we know now, was on the terrorist watch list, so we know a gun check would stop him, if there was a background check,” she said. Maloney went on to say that gun shows are used by terrorists to buy firearms with “no questions asked.”

The Democrat failed to note that the alleged Boston bombers, according to media reports, did not have government gun permits and probably acquired their weapon — allegedly a 9 mm Ruger handgun — through illegal means. However, although we were told Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was heavily armed, he did not have a gun when he was arrested following the Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts lockdown.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

DHS Seeks Millions More Rounds of Ammunition

The Department of Homeland Security has released a market survey asking companies if they are able to provide 2 million rounds of ammunition within a short time period, increasing concerns that the federal agency is continuing its arms build up in preparation for domestic unrest.

With the DHS already having committed to purchasing over 1.6 billion bullets over the course of the last year, a “request for information” on “reduced hazard training ammunition” posted on the FedBizOpps website quizzes bullet manufacturers on how fast they can supply large quantities of ammo;

– Are you capable of producing large quantity orders of any training caliber specified with a short turnaround time of 30-60 days?

– What would your lead time be for an order of 2 million rounds of a single type listed above?

– If you were awarded a contract for some of the calibers listed above, submitted a production lot of one million rounds and that lot or portion of the lot was not accepted, would you be able to replace that order with an additional one million rounds within 60 days?

The DHS’s apparent urge to find companies that can supply them with millions of rounds of ammunition within a short time frame will do little to calm concerns that the federal agency is making contingency plans for riots or some form of social dislocation.

The federal agency’s need to find companies that can commit to manufacturing large quantities of bullets quickly also lends credence to claims made by a firearms manufacturer who called into the Michael Savage show in March that the DHS is trying to exhaust ammunition supplies as part of an end run around the Second Amendment.

The market survey also indicates that the DHS is interested in purchasing ammunition that will safely fragment when fired against an “armor steel plate,” which will only serve to stoke fears that the feds are gearing up to use the ammunition in an offensive manner.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Docs Show Napolitano Thanked Missouri Governor for Breaking State Law

Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon told reporters he had no knowledge of a letter he reportedly received from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano during March 2010.

“I have not seen the letter you’re talking about,” Nixon said. “I honestly don’t know. It’s hard for me to comment on a letter I have not seen.”

On Thursday, Russ Oliver, the attorney opposing the Department of Revenue, released a memo from former Department of Revenue Director Alana Barragan-Scott to Nixon’s office referencing the letter.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Don’t Forget Misha

The mainstream media are absent on the Misha story, preferring to let the discussion of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s possible mentor devolve into hearsay reporting rather than to delve in-depth into the background of this Islamist. Perhaps he undermines the narrative that this was a couple of self-radicalized kids who were just taking out their anger at America for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Who is Misha? “Misha was an Armenian native and a convert to Islam and quickly began influencing his new friend, family members said,” according to the Associated Press. “Under the tutelage of a friend known to the Tsarnaev family only as Misha, Tamerlan gave up boxing and stopped studying music, his family said. He began opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He turned to websites and literature claiming that the CIA was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Jews controlled the world.”

“Tamerlan loved music and, a few years ago, he sent Khozhugov [his brother-in-law] a song he’d composed in English and Russian,” continues the AP. “He said he was about to start music school.” Then, after talking with Misha, he decided that Islam could not support his musical goals…

Last weekend, Christian Caryl, a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, located Misha, also known as Mikhail Allakhverdov. “He confirmed he was a convert to Islam and that he had known Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but he flatly denied any part in the bombings,” reports Caryl.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Exclusive: Victims of Boston Police State Lockdown Speak Out (Video)

On the heels of prestitute Lawrence O’Donnell labeling Ron Paul a “liar” when he called the manhunt and door-to-door searches in Watertown, Mass. a martial law exercise, Infowars reporter Dan Bidondi went to interview residents who were forced from their homes.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How Obama Obstructs Justice in the Search for a Communist Terrorist

If the FBI wants to find Joanne Chesimard, who has just been added to the “Most Wanted Terrorists List,” it could begin by wiretapping President Obama’s friends, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, and other members of the Weather Underground. The Weather Underground helped Chesimard — a convicted cop-killer — escape from a New Jersey prison in 1979 and flee to Cuba.

Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, was involved in the “execution style” murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster. The attack on Foerster in a gun battle also took the life of Chesimard’s associate, Zayd Shakur. Ayers and Dohrn named one of their children after Zayd Shakur, who now goes under the name of “Zayd Dohrn,” and is a playwright.

The doubling of the reward from $1 million to $2 million for information leading to her capture and return to New Jersey was made on the 40th anniversary of Foerster’s brutal murder.

However, Chesimard is still today being protected by a support network of “progressive” activists, lawyers and the Cuban government…

Her escape to Cuba was not surprising. Former FBI informant Larry Grathwohl points out that the Weather Underground was a virtual project of the Cuban intelligence service, the DGI. His book, Bringing Down America, has been updated and republished…

Wiretaps on Chesimard’s associates in the U.S. could be justified, but are not likely, since Eric Holder, a former “black power” activist, runs Obama’s Department of Justice. He was deputy attorney general in the Clinton Administration and was involved in pardons for members of the Weather Underground. As Attorney General, he approved the early release from prison of communist terrorist Marilyn Buck, a member of the Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army involved in Chesimard’s escape from prison. The Obama/Holder Justice Department falsely claimed that Buck had repented for her terrorist ways.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Islam Coexists?

There is an enormous irony contained in the Boston Marathon bombing. When the jihadi Tsarnaev brothers car jacked a Mercedes, it had a Coexist bumper sticker.

The Coexist bumper sticker is the religious symbol of the multicultural crowd — — you know — all religions are the same. Well, the leading symbol of those who want to Coexist is the star and crescent Islam. And exactly how well has Islam coexisted with all of the others? What kind of neighbor has Islam been over history?


All of the world’s religions have an ethical code that is rooted in the Golden Rule. Islam does not have a Golden Rule. Mohammed’s life is the perfect example of how not to be a good neighbor. How do you coexist with a neighbor who has the ethical choice of jihad of murder and deceit?

What do religious leaders in American think about coexisting with Islam? They love it. Coexist is the mental mush that fills the heads of the useful idiots that go to the Family of Abraham religious dialogues. The ministers and rabbis who go to these dialogs know as much about Islam as what is found on the Coexist bumper sticker. Really, their ignorance is astounding. They are there to coexist and the imam is there to dominate. Dhimmi Christians and Jews want to tie, the Muslim wants to win.

But the mental mush of coexistence is not just in the heads of the dhimmi religious leaders, it also fills the heads of law enforcement and military. Under Bush and Obama, all of those who actually know something about Islam inside the military and law enforcement have been eliminated. FBI and military training files have been purged to satisfy the Muslim Brotherhood. So our protectors are forbidden to study the war doctrine of political Islam. They are prevented from naming the enemy and studying them.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Jay Carney: ‘Benghazi Happened a Long Time Ago’

This week, at a White House news conference, Obama was asked if there were any efforts to prevent witnesses from testifying before Congress.

“I’m not familiar with this notion that anybody has been blocked from testifying,” Obama said. “So what I’ll do is I will find out exactly what you’re referring to.”…

On my radio show, Toensing said that the questions to the president about blocking testimony weren’t properly framed.

“The question was not asked precisely enough, so he was allowed to wiggle out of it,” she said. “The issue is why won’t the State Department provide a process for clearing lawyers so that I can talk to my client and get classified information.

“It’s a Catch-22,” Toensing said. “My client is not allowed to provide classified information, and in order to tell the complete story, she or he must be able to provide me that classified information. But unless the State Department blesses that arrangement and says I’m cleared to hear it, my client is violating the law.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Jump in Suicides Among Middle-Aged Americans

(AGI) — New York, May 3 — Suicides among middle-aged Americans have grown at a surprising rate in the last decade. Overall, the suicide rate rose 28 percent between 1999 and 2010, with points in the 40 percent range among white Americans. The data reveals that more people have taken their own lives that those who died in car accidents, and the increase, according to information from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, can be attributed specifically to adults in the age group from 35 to 64. The most dramatic increase was for those over 50, the tend of the so-called baby-boom generation, born after World War II. Experts consider such an elevated number of suicides in that age-group a “fluke” particular to that generation (demonstrated by the unusually high rate of suicides during the same group’s adolescent years). It is more probable, however, that the abrupt rise is due to the economic crisis of the last few years, something which has always occurred in difficult economic times.

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

Kipling: ‘Better Late Than Never’ Wrong Response to Terror

Sad comment on President Barack Obama’s diligence

Seen as part of ever-expanding terrorism, Boston and the planned Canadian train horror are bone-chilling enough. However, if a 50-year tally of all committed, attempted and merely intended terror acts directed at the United States alone were laid out for the public to ponder, empty reassurances would have no chance as cover for misjudgment, incompetence and political miscalculations in high places.

Terrorism is waging war on us, but few national leaders are prepared to meet it; and shunning sacrifice to prevent worse has a long history.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lock Down Garden Grove: Dangerous Mental Patient on the Loose

Should the residents of Garden Grove, California expect their city to be locked down? After Boston was locked down as cops pursued an unarmed teenager, it may be a possibility.

– From NBC in Los Angeles:

A man who has threatened young children and is obsessed by the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School escaped from a mental health facility in Orange County Friday, and police were warning the public to be on the lookout for him.

Garden Grove police said Norris Phuoc Nguyen, 23, poses a danger to the community, police said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Hints at Possible Executive Order on Gun Control in His Speech in Mexico

Speaking of Americans, Obama stated,

“We recognize that most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States. In America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms, and as President I swore an oath to uphold that right — and I always will. At the same time, as I’ve said back home, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common sense gun reforms that keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people — reforms that will save lives in both our countries. Meanwhile, we’ll keep increasing the pressure on the gun traffickers who bring illegal guns into Mexico, and we’ll keep putting these criminals where they belong — behind bars.”

However, in truth, if Mr. Obama were interested in pursuing those who illegally aid in the supply of the “military-style assault weapons” that he and his administration so loathe, he would not cloak Attorney General Eric Holder in executive privilege to shield him from prosecution in his role in Fast and Furious which pumped thousands of weapons to drug cartels.

Instead, President Obama never mentioned Fast and Furious or his administration’s role in the violence that haunts Americans and Mexicans near the border. The investigation of the ATF operation that resulted in hundreds of deaths in Mexico and the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry has been stonewalled by officials within the Obama Administration, but documents show that the ATF tried to use the operation to make the case for stricter gun regulation. While the potential false-flag operation failed due to the operation’s exposure, President Obama has still cited gun violence in Mexico as a compelling reason for stricter gun control measures.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Politics of International Diffusion: Our Common Future

“It’s one-world now” — so said Leslie Gelb on the Charlie Rose Show (4 May 1993). President emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, Dr. Gelb concedes that transnational paradigm shift is well underway.[1] Indeed, the language of globalism is so deeply ingrained in American culture that definitions, and agendas supporting them, attract little attention beyond a knowing nod of placid approval. Whereas “national sovereignty,” “free enterprise capitalism,” and “traditionalism” are eschewed as “snarl” words, folks affirm as “purr” words “globalization,” “harmonization,” and “sustainability.”

“International Diffusion” Purrs Pretty

To study a broad range of inter-related topics, professors, practitioners, and students from around the world recently gathered in San Francisco for the Fifty-fourth Annual Convention of the International Studies Association. Added to more than five thousand convention attendees were representatives from universities, non-profit organizations, publishing companies, and businesses from near and far. The ISA is a United Nations-recognized, nongovernmental organization[2] that links directly to major UN conferences through which life altering global policies are determined.

The theme of this April 2013 convention — i.e., international diffusion — purrs pretty. A respectably scientific term, “diffusion” is the physical process whereby individual particles within a fluid move randomly from high concentration to lower concentration areas until, in the end, they’re distributed evenly throughout the space. In like fashion, with equality its intended outcome, political-cultural diffusion spreads linguistics and cultural practices/ innovations from one community to another.

Given Robin Hood-style wealth diffusion, America’s unprecedented “economic revolution” is fast fading under the shadow of global socialism. Absent a tangible utopia, hopeful humans tend to seek an ideological counterpart. Enter, universal enlightened production,[3] called “god-money in action” (Randall Baer). Purportedly guided by an inner voice, a worker bee need only “follow his bliss” to produce whatever product or service will be best — and, therefore, in great demand — for the global community…

Be sure the one-world reality is no friend to our constitutional republic. Internationalists[5] dis sovereignty of nation-states[6] and require cosmic citizens to pledge their allegiance to a world community[7] restructured around natural eco-systems[8] (with surprisingly mystical nuances).[9] Federalized global government redistributes the world’s resources,[10] thereby concentrating wealth and power into the hands of few.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ron Paul: Police Manhunt for Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Scarier Than Attack

Former Rep. Ron Paul said the law enforcement that swarmed around Boston in the days following the marathon bombings was scarier than the actual terrorist attack. “The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city,” he said on the Lew Rockwell website, Politico reported.

“This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.”

“He was discovered by a private citizen, who then placed a call to the police,” he said. “And he was identified not by government surveillance cameras, but by private citizens who willingly shared their photographs with the police.”

[Comment: This forum has excerpts of a Washington Times article that was removed the Times website. Forum comments make interesting reading.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Will Barack Obama Ever Stop Apologising for America?

by Nile Gardiner

I’ve just watched this extraordinary clip of Barack Obama’s speech in Mexico City earlier today, where the president blames the United States for the out of control gun violence in Mexico, a frankly ludicrous assertion. RealClear Politics has a partial transcript:

“Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States,” President Obama said during a speech at Mexico’s Anthropology Museum. “I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will.But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do,” Obama added.

Is there no end to the apologies that President Obama has made for his own country?


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Divided EU to Preach Religious Freedom Abroad

Trouw Amsterdam

The EU is preparing guidelines for European diplomats on how to advance religious freedom and the separation of church and state when working abroad. The mission has its share of pitfalls, since the EU itself is divided and ambiguous when it comes to the subject.

Leonoor Kuijk

Not many EU countries are neutral when it comes to religion. The Queen of England is head of the Anglican Church, the Dutch euro coins bear the text “God be with us”, and the European Court of Human Rights does not object to crucifixes in Italian public schools. Despite much tolerance for the strong links between the Church and member states, EU diplomats visiting foreign countries will soon have to observe a set of guidelines aimed at promoting religiously neutral government that safeguards religious freedoms. Various participants concluded yesterday that a debate on religious freedom in the European Parliament was an exercise in sanctimony.

First define the European identity

“We must first define a European identity before trying to export it”, said Lorenzo Zucca, a legal expert connected to King’s College in London, who was invited to the debate. “Everyone knows how difficult it is to talk about religion at a European level.” The current uproar concerning the Hungarian government, which has imposed Roman Catholicism on public institutions, and the emotional debate about the reference to the ‘Jewish—Christian tradition’ of Europe in the rejected European constitution, are prime examples of this….

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

Italian Teenagers Who Smoke Marijuana Remains 20%

CNR report says youth drug use steady

(ANSA) — Rome, May 3 — Drug use among Italian teenagers remains relatively unchanged from the previous years at roughly 20% and is concentrated on marijuana use, according to a study released on Friday.

Over 500,000 smoke marijuana out of a population of 2.5 million adolescents, said an Italian report for the European School Project on Alcohol and other Drugs (ESPAD), conducted by the clinical physiology arm of Italy’s national research centre CNR.

Researchers found a 0.6% increase in marijuana consumption compared to the previous survey.

Roughly 60,000 Italian teenagers used cocaine and 30,000 consumed opiates, the survey found. Heroine use remained steady, edging up by 0.1%. Stimulants gained somewhat in popularity. Of those surveyed, 3.8% said they had popped a stimulant at some point in their lives and 2.6% said they had within the last year. In the preceding survey, 3.6% had tried uppers at least once and 2.4% admitted to popping within the previous year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Copper Thieves’ Arrested

Romanians acted in Marche, Lazio, Abruzzo

(ANSA) — San Benedetto del Tronto (Ascoli Piceno), May 3 — Italian police on Friday busted a gang of Romanian copper thieves suspected of stealing the lucrative metal from solar panels in Marche, Lazio and Abruzzo. Copper worth some 55,000 euros was recovered, the proceeds of the gang’s last two robberies near Macerata, police said.

Copper thefts have risen in Italy’s longest recession for 20 years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Prisons Third Most Overcrowded in Europe

Behind Serbia and Greece

(ANSA) — Strasbourg, May 3 — Italy’s jails are the third most overcrowded in Europe behind Serbia and Greece, the Council of Europe said Friday.

There are 147 inmates for every 100 beds in Italy, the 47-nation human rights organisation said, compared with a European average of 105.

Italy is also third for the number of inmates awaiting trial, after Ukraine and Turkey.

As many as one third of prison inmates are at high risk of developing a mental illness, Italian psychiatrists told a conference in Rome last month.

About 20,000 of the 70,000 inmates in Italian prisons have developed diseases such as psychosis, depression, severe anxiety, and bipolar disorder, they said.

Some were mentally unwell before prison; others developed disorders once inside what some have described as “hell,” according to the psychiatrists.

Prison inmates are nine times more likely to attempt suicide than in the general Italian population — and that rate is quickly climbing.

Since 1960, a 300% increase in prison suicides has been reported.

Guards dealing with prisoners are also becoming less mentally healthy, the experts say: between 2000 and 2011, 68 suicides were reported among Italian prison workers.

Overcrowding, a key factor in the problem, has been tackled by successive Italian governments but little has improved.

New Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri said Thursday she would address the “very delicate and very important issue” of prison suicides.

“It’s a serious issue that we want to address with determination, but first of all we need to understand it thoroughly,” Cancellieri said during a visit to Rome’s Regina Coeli prison.

Roughly 60 prisoners in Italy commit suicide each year, or roughly 20 times the average for the general population, according to a December 2012 Permanent Observatory on Prison Deaths report.

The country’s prison conditions have long been the source of criticism from human rights groups.

In January the European Court of Human Rights harshly criticized authorities for holding prisoners in crammed cells. In April Italy challenged a ruling that orders it to correct the “degrading and inhumane conditions” in its prisons and to pay 100,000 euros in damages to seven inmates.

The inmates had fewer than three square meters of space each.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Probe Opened Into Web Threats on House Speaker

Postal police remove messages and photo montages

(ANSA) — Rome, May 3 — The Rome prosecutor’s office opened a probe on Friday into the mountain of Internet-based threats directed at Italian House Speaker Laura Boldrini as well as grotesque, graphic photomontages that have accompanied some of the threats.

Prosecutor Luca Palamara is investigating charges of threats, defamation and violation of privacy.

Postal police have already removed the photos and threatening messages from the web.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Martyred for Christ: 800 Victims of Islamic Violence Who Will Become Saints This Month

by Damian Thompson

The cathedral of Otranto in southern Italy is decorated with the skulls of 800 Christian townsfolk beheaded by Ottoman soldiers in 1480. A week tomorrow, on Sunday May 12, they will become the skulls of saints, as Pope Francis canonises all of them. In doing so, he will instantly break the record for the pope who has created the most saints. I wonder how he feels about that. Benedict XVI announced the planned canonisations just minutes before dropping the bombshell of his own resignation. You could view it as a parting gift to his successor. Or a booby trap.

The 800 men of Otranto — whose names are lost, except for that of Antonio Primaldo, an old tailor — were rounded up and killed because they refused to convert to Islam. In 2007, Pope Benedict recognised them as martyrs “killed out of hatred for the faith”. That is no exaggeration. Earlier, the Archbishop of Otranto had been cut to pieces with a scimitar…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Police Seize 3 Mln Euros From Italian Solar Plant

Public funds ‘received illegally’

(ANSA) — Brindisi, May 3 — Italian finance police seized funds and goods for a total of 3 million euros in southern from a solar power plant for allegedly acquiring public funds illegally.

Authorities found 2 million euros in bank accounts and seized land and real estate in the town of Francavilla Fontana.

Some 13 businessmen and landowners are part of the investigation, according to police. The 10 MW plant, laid out on 28 hectares, was set up by 10 companies: Sun System, Puglia Tech, Solar Energy, Solar Technology, Sun Power, Alfa Energy, Beta Sun, Gamma Tech, Delta Sun, Heliantu.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scientists’ Hope for HIV Cure

Researchers are working on “novel strategies” to find a cure for HIV, with the first results expected “within months”.

Danish scientists are hoping for results that will show that “finding a mass-distributable and affordable cure to HIV is possible”.

They are conducting a clinical trial to test a “novel strategy” in which the HIV virus is “reactivated” from its hiding place within human DNA and potentially destroyed permanently by the immune system.

The move would represent a step forward in the attempt to find a cure for the virus, which causes Aids.

The scientists are currently conducting human trials on their treatment, in the hope of proving that it is effective. It has already been found to work in laboratory tests.

The technique involves unmasking the “reservoirs” formed by the HIV virus inside resting immune cells, bringing it to the surface of the cells. Once it comes to the surface, the body’s natural immune system may be able to kill the virus.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Scotland: Xbox Player, 13, Slashed Friend’s Throat With Knife After They Met Online Playing Ultra-Violent Game Gears of War 3

Video games have been accused of fuelling youth violence after a 13-year-old boy slashed a friend’s throat following an online row.

Police believe the attack, in Clydebank, Scotland, was influenced by the teenager’s use of violent video games.

He had only known his 14-year-old victim for a few months after they met online while playing Xbox game Gears of War 3…

The High Court in Glasgow heard the boys had a falling-out, which resulted in the victim being slashed. Popular: the X-box game is very popular with young people

Popular: the X-box game is very popular with young people

Then, in a scene reminiscent of violent video games — the accused sneered at his victim: ‘Don’t die,’ before calmly walking off. The accused, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted assault.

The victim is now traumatised and his attacker — already a father — faces being locked up when returns to the dock later this month.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Three Killed in Apartment Building Explosion in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, May 3 (Xinhua) — Two children and a man were killed in an explosion in an apartment building north to Stockholm of Sweden, local media reported on Friday. The explosion happening early Friday morning made the backside of the building buckled and several windows were damaged, the Swedish television SVT reported. When the police and the rescue team arrived, they were met with a fully developed fire and three bodies were found in the building covered by rubble. The cause of the explosion remained unknown but police suspected the accident to be murder.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Former East London Mosque Trustee on Bangladesh War Crimes Charges

A former trustee of the East London Mosque has been indicted in Bangladesh for an alleged role in killing 18 people during the 1971 War of Independence.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin could face extradition on May 12 when his case goes before a War Crimes tribunal in Dhakar, accused of being in the Al-Badr Islamist group which killed pro-independence activists. But he strongly denies any role in the murders.

Chowdhury arrived in Britain after Bangladesh broke away from West Pakistan in 1971 and was active in the émigré community. He was involved with the East London Mosque from 1978 as honorary secretary, then Vice Chairman until he stepped down from the Trust in 2009. But the mosque this week insisted he was no longer connected to the centre in Whitechapel Road. Spokesman Salman Farsi said: “He hasn’t been a trustee for four years—he is no longer the ‘vice chairman’ as incorrectly stated in some media outlets.”

Chowdhury is currently director of Muslim Spiritual Care in the NHS and a trustee of the Muslim Aid charity.

His lawyer Toby Cadman has rejected the war crimes allegations and has accused the Tribunal of prejudice and “gross defamation”.

Mr Cadman insisted: “For the Tribunal’s chief investigator to make public comment that there is evidence of being involved in killing raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation and whether a fair trial is guaranteed. The decision to bring charges is by the Prosecutor—not an investigator. A declaration of guilt breaches ‘presumption of innocence’ when the Law Minister states that Chowdhury was an instrument of killing—it’s for the courts to determine guilt and to ensure a fair trial with presumption of innocence.”

An estimated 500,000 people were killed in the 1971 war of independence. The new Bangladesh state accused the Pakistan army and its Razakar and Al-Badr Islamist allies of massacres. The tribunal has already charged 12 suspects with war crimes and sentenced two to death. But human rights groups have criticised the tribunal for being politically motivated and lacking international standards. Chowdhury’s case is reported to be due in the court on May 12, when a request could be made for his extradition.

[JP note: See also and ]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Fridges Could be Switched Off Without Owner’s Consent to Reduce Strain on Power Stations

White goods such as electric ovens would be affected by the proposals to fit all new appliances with sensors that could shut them down when the UK’s generators struggle to meet demand for power.

The measures proposed by the UK’s National Grid, along with its counterparts in 34 European countries, to install the controversial devices are backed by one of the European Union’s most influential energy bodies.

They are pushing for the move because green energy sources such as wind farms are less predictable than traditional power stations, increasing the risk of blackout.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: How the Conservatives and UKIP Can Kiss and Make Up

by Paul Goodman [Editor, conservativehome]

The next general election will not be concentrated in the counties, but it will decide the government. For this reason, voters will return to the two major parties, the Conservatives and Labour, one of which must lead in forming an administration, if not win outright. Turnout will rise, UKIP’s share of the vote will fall, and the best course that David Cameron can take, in the meanwhile, is to hold his nerve, build on his recent conference speeches, and promote a strong, mainstream, sensible programme, for government and for the future. In short, no single, silver bullet will slay the Farage werewolf…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Local Elections: David Cameron’s Eton Mess

David Cameron needs to “break the impression of being privileged and out of touch”, according to a senior Tory, if he wants to recover from a drubbing in this week’s local elections, which saw the UK Independence Party become a major political force.

In an article for the Telegraph, David Davis, who previously challenged Mr Cameron for the Conservative leadership, urged the Prime Minister to bring forward the planned European Union referendum and to introduce “serious tax breaks” for married couples…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Mosque Will be ‘Inclusive’

NEIGHBOURS are welcoming plans for a new mosque in Earley as a hub for the whole community. A Muslim group is hoping to convert the De Boves House office block at the Sutton Seeds roundabout in a £2.25m project to create a more spacious place to pray. Jamme Masjid Reading, which has already tried to build a new mosque in Green Road, says that it reached an agreement to buy the building on March 28.

Trustees of the group, currently based in a cramped, converted Victorian house in Alexandra Road, calling on members of the Muslim community to help raise the £400,000 needed to refurbish the building. Nassir Mir, whose garden backs on to the proposed mosque, said: “I’m very positive about it. They are going to be praying first thing in the morning when there’s little traffic about anyway so it’s not going to have a huge impact apart from Friday prayers, which is only once a week.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Tories Must Start Listening to Ordinary Voters, Not Their Old School Chums

by David Davis

When Ukip gave the Conservative leadership a fright at the Eastleigh by-election, the knee-jerk response from the hierarchy was: “There will be no lurch to the Right!”

On the subsequent Sunday, the newspaper front pages were dominated by wild headlines about improbably populist policies such as withdrawing from the European Convention and cutting health care for immigrants. They emanated from Conservative headquarters, probably from the same people who did so much damage a decade ago by wittering on about the “nasty party”. These so-called “Right-wing” policies had very little chance of ever happening, and even less chance of working. Their authors had clearly not learnt the first lesson of politics: if you treat the public as fools they are very likely to return the favour…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: The Establishment Feels the Power of the People

Ukip’s Nigel Farage is an anti-politician who embodies many of the characteristics that people feel are absent from his mainstream rivals

The one consolation for David Cameron from Thursday’s elections in England is that the outcome could have been worse. Indeed, in the past it has been: far worse. In the same set of shire contests in 1993, the Tories were reduced to control of a single county, Buckinghamshire. Last night, they were either still running or were the dominant party in two dozen authorities and remain by far the biggest force in local government.

But that is where the good news stops. The inroads made by Ukip present Mr Cameron with a serious problem at the next general election. Even if, as is likely, Ukip’s support falls markedly when the country comes to choose a new government, it may still win enough votes to deny the Tories an outright majority, thereby letting in Labour or a Lab-Lib Dem coalition. How the Conservative leadership responds to the remarkable success of Ukip will be crucial to the governance of the nation. The dilemma for Mr Cameron is whether, in trying to win back Tories who have gone over to Ukip, he ends up putting off voters he needs to attract in order to gain the 40 per cent or more of the popular vote required for an overall Commons majority.

The most important task, therefore, is to understand the nature of Ukip’s appeal. To dismiss the party merely as a repository for protest — though it undoubtedly is — misses the point. Its advance reflects a wider disillusionment with institutions right across Europe. Here in Britain, this animus is directed towards mainstream political parties, the police and judiciary, the BBC and the media in general, local and national government. Politicians such as Kenneth Clarke who caricatured Ukip’s members as “clowns” simply make their point for them by displaying a lofty disdain for the ordinary voter, an infuriatingly elitist “we know best” attitude.

Nigel Farage has brilliantly tapped into this disaffection. He is an anti-politician who embodies many of the characteristics that people feel are absent from his mainstream rivals: he appears blunt, forthright, authentic, patriotic, principled and charismatic. However, the reason he can project himself in this way is because his party has never before been taken seriously. Now that it must be, after winning around one quarter of the vote on Thursday, its programme will be subjected to far greater scrutiny. Its economic policies, in particular, are unlikely to survive close examination…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Why Has Abdul Hakim Murad Not Been Sacked by Cambridge University?

by Douglas Murray

Abdul Hakim Murad is the Islamic name of a convert to Islam called Tim Winters. He is a lecturer and tutor and director of studies at Wolfson College, Cambridge University. Over recent years he was the sort of fellow who was forever being produced as a ‘moderate’, enlightened Muslim scholar. I always had doubts about this claim.

For instance, a couple of years back, on a BBC radio programme, I pressed him on the fact that all the main schools of Islamic law still mandate the death sentence as penalty for leaving Islam. Abdul tried to pick me up on this. ‘Are you sure of that’ he pressed. I said I was. At which point he revealed that he had recently been at a seminar in Jordan where a number of muftis had discussed the idea of ‘maybe a custodial sentence — certainly not the death penalty’ as punishment enough for leaving Islam. ‘Too kind’ I remember replying. [6 mins 30 here]

It seemed then — and seems to me now — unthinkable that a Christian chaplain (for instance) and pastoral tutor at a Cambridge college who thought that imprisoning students who left Christianity was a progressive step would go down all that well. One would like to think that on campus there would be a certain amount of opposition to such a figure. Certainly a pro-imprisonment of ex-Christians chaplain would be unlikely to be promoted by the British government and other authorities as a voice of progressive Christianity.

So it is not a surprise to me — at any rate — that Tim has just been rumbled in a scandal involving a pile of anti-gay stuff. On a video which appeared — and has now disappeared — from the internet Tim Winters / Abdul Hakim Murad of Cambridge University attacks homosexuality as ‘an inexplicable aberration’ and much more. It is clear that the speaker really doesn’t like gays.

The sermon is still available to buy online. But I was lucky enough to watch it while it was up for free. The video showed a speaker much exercised about the people of Lut — the story in the Koran which copies the Bible’s story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Tim is swaying slightly as he speaks and is clearly in great perturbation of mind. He rants about the ‘sins’ of the people of Lut. He says:

‘Stretch your imagination as you might, you cannot conceive of any abuse of the form which Allah has given human beings which is more extreme, more blasphemous, a denial of its manifest created purpose than the crime of the people of Lut.’

Since the video first came back to light in recent days there has been an attempt at damage-limitation. Abdul / Tim has apologised and said the video is at least 15 years old and a ‘youthful enthusiasm’ (if it was 15 years ago that would have made him 37 at the time). Cambridge University is pitching it further back and saying the video is nearly 20 years old. Some doubt has already been cast on these claims, and there appears to be a possibility that this video was in fact recorded only two years ago.

I know that complaining about such statements made by such a pasty-white convert only makes one a racist ‘Islamophobe.’ But oughtn’t one to be troubled by this? Were a Christian man called Timothy to have said such things he would almost certainly have been sacked by Cambridge University by now. Students, LGBT groups, unions — everyone wanting to make a stand against bigotry — would be screaming about this. But Timothy is so lucky. Because he became Abdul I think he’ll be just fine.

[Reader comment by Teddy Bear on 3 May 2013.]

I think the term to explain the Cambridge University stance is DHIMMITUDE. Like we see from the BBC, our government, even the Church who should be raising awareness of the Muslim persecution of Christians throughout the Islamic world. We can expect these kind of Muslims to keep pushing our buttons so long as those in power keep ‘looking the other way’ under the pretence of tolerance or multiculturalism.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: What Can David Cameron Do? Have a Referendum in This Parliament

by Charles Moore

Prime Minister David Cameron should be ready to leave the EU if he does not get the reforms he wants

Our local Ukip candidate in this week’s council elections was the former head of a special school, a former science teacher and the founder and chairman of a long-standing horse rescue concern. He served in the Merchant Navy and in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

I did not vote for him on Thursday. When I heard him speak at a public meeting at the last general election, he said: “Most of you will remember the war.” In fact, you have to be almost 75 to achieve this, which makes you one of less than 10 per cent of the population. I felt he had not quite kept pace with the country that he clearly loves. Nevertheless, I mention his background to show how offensive it is for Conservatives like Kenneth Clarke to pillory such people. Whenever they do so, they are attacking their own natural base of support — patriotic people with strong local attachments, small-business experience and a record of public or charitable service.

I got home in time to vote in Sussex, where I supported our excellent sitting Tory councillor. I cannot honestly say, however, that I feel displeased by Ukip’s nationwide success. I had just returned from a visit to Bishop Auckland, County Durham, and there, for the first time, I noticed Ukip cutting into the Labour vote. In conversation with a youngish, local Labour, upper-working-class man, the name Ukip came up unprompted. He said that Labour regarded his part of the world as its own rotten borough. He felt nothing but contempt for the Liberal Democrats because of their broken promise about tuition fees. He wouldn’t dream of voting Tory. Ukip, he thought, sounded as if they were on his side. A quarter of those voting in the South Shields by-election seem to have thought the same…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Woman Who Had Acid Thrown in Her Face by Stranger on Her Own Doorstep as Her Sister Says She is in a ‘Bad Way’

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

A woman was left badly burned after a man knocked on her door and hurled acid in her face.

Tara Quigley, 28, is being treated in a specialist burns unit following the attack by a man with a foreign accent.

Her dog, which she was carrying at the time, was blinded and may have to be put down.

Her sister, 30-year-old Tina Quigley, said: ‘She’s in a bad way. About a third of her face was badly burned. She’s finding it very tough and struggling to come to terms with it.

‘It’s really bad. We fear she’s going to be left really badly damaged. I have been with her at the hospital ever since it happened. We just have no idea why anyone would want to do this.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

3 Egyptians Killed in Fight Over Insulting President on Facebook

CAIRO, May 3 (Xinhua) — Three people were killed in Egypt after a Facebook overnight spat over President Mohamed Morsi turned into a bloody fight, state-run Al-Ahram news website reported Friday. The bloody episode, which took place at a village in the Nile Delta governorate of Sharqiya, 65 km north of the capital Cairo, started after a 28-year-old person allegedly insulted Morsi on Facebook, provoking a spat with a 22-year-old student, a supporter of Morsi and son of a local member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party.

Shortly afterwards, the spat turned into a bloody fight in which the armed student shot dead his opponent and killed another man who intervened to stop the fight. In the absence of the police, some angry villagers managed to catch the escaped student after setting fire to his house and beating him to death.

The incident is a reminder of increasing insecurity and disorder overwhelming the country over the past two years following the 2011 uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, as well as growing public dissatisfaction with the performance and policies of the first elected civilian president.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Benghazi: Names of ‘Whistleblower’ Witnesses Revealed

Their identities have been a well-guarded secret, known only to their high-powered lawyers and a handful of House lawmakers and staff. But now Fox News has learned the names of the self-described Benghazi “whistleblowers” who are set to testify before a widely anticipated congressional hearing on Wednesday.

Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

At the time of Stevens’s death, Hicks became the highest-ranking American diplomat in Libya.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cairo — Egyptian Islamists Target Security HQ

Egyptian security forces fired tear gas to disperse a small group of hardline Islamist protesters who were attempting to scale the walls of the state security headquarters in a Cairo suburb late Thursday night.

The protesters, some waving the black-and-white al Qaeda flag, chanted slogans against Mursi

They tore down Interior Ministry flags and erected several al Qaeda flags and set off fireworks.

A small group had earlier on Thursday evening attempted to break down a door on the headquarter’s perimeter but gave up before causing damage to the door. A Jewish Star of David was drawn on the wall’s perimeter.

The protesters had marched from a nearby mosque after evening prayers. Some chanted to onlookers in apartments on streets clogged by the march “come down from your houses, state security is Mubarak”.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Cairo Opera House in Decay, The Oldest in Mideast

President Abdel Dayem, less foreign orchestras, more Arab music

(by Cristiana Missori) — CAIRO, MAY 3 — Cairo’s Opera House is losing international standing due to a poor budget, the loss of sponsors and a drastic reduction of performances by foreign orchestras and troupes, Ines Abdel Dayem, president since December 2011 of Egypt’s prestigious 144-year-old institution told ANSAmed in an interview. ‘Our programme has changed significantly in the last two years and so has our public’, said the president. It is very difficult to invite internationally acclaimed artists and companies to perform in Cairo right now, noted Abdel Dayem: ‘Cancelling a performance at the last moment would cost us a fortune. We can offer guarantees and host only small companies’. Funds are scarce ‘because we have lost many sponsors’ including Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris.

The oldest opera house in the Middle East, whose construction was ordered by Khedive Ismail in 1869 for the inauguration of the Suez Canal, the original building was destroyed in a fire in 1971. Today’s building complex which includes theatres, a museum, two galleries and two areas which host exhibits was re-built with funding from the Japanese government.

‘Although our activity has significantly decreased, we try to survive by devising all possible strategies’, continued Abdel Dayem. ‘I have asked for the help of all embassies, foreign cultural centres and art institutions in the country to try and work together’. The motto is ‘survival’. ‘We must survive to the cultural and political decay of this country in this long transition phase whose outcome is still unknown’, said the president. ‘Up until now nobody could take hold of this historic institution, we will see what the future has in store’, said Abdel Dayem, a flute player with a degree from Cairo’s conservatory, a Phd at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, and a former vice president of the fine arts academy and a symphonic orchestra director in Cairo.

The public is also changing, noted the director: ‘The public is mostly from Egypt, with many young people are getting interested in this art’. The National Arab Music Ensemble and the Heritage Ensemble for Arab Music of the Opera House are performing the most along with connected theatres — Gomoreyya, Maad el Musica, Damanhour and Alexandria’s Opera. ‘We are investing a lot in our artists, on modern and traditional Arab music, dedicating many concerts to great composers and singers from the past such as Abdel Halim, Abdel Wahab and Om Kalthoum to whom the Opera House for the first time in its history is dedicating a concert every month. ‘Everything is sold out for some performances’, said the Abdel Dayem. ‘We are trying not to lose hope and do everything possible so that Egypt’s opera house will not die’. ‘Every day I am here in my office where I spend my days’, concluded the director. ‘Then I go back home and watch the news ion television and all of a sudden all the day’s efforts are gone’.

Ines Abdel Dayam will soon be in Rome to perform at the Egyptian academy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Libya: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Benghazi

Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:

QUESTION: Just a question on Benghazi. Since the Office of the Legal Advisor issued the letter with the roadmap for private counsel representing whistleblowers to seek security clearances, has anyone applied for the security clearances?

MR. VENTRELL: Yes. We’ve had an individual who’s been out there on TV making some unfounded and patently false accusations in previous days that she or her partner had contacted the State Department, which they hadn’t. This person suggested on TV that they had been processed for a clearance but — had not been processed for clearance, before she ever had even requested one. And so we repeatedly have this person saying that their — they had a whistleblower who’s been held back from telling their story, and we’re not aware of this individual or anyone who’s asking to tell their story. My understanding is that since these developments overnight, this person has been in contact with us and is now going through the procedures to get a security clearance. But this individual was on TV repeatedly saying that they were being held back from getting a security clearance before they’d even picked up the phone to call us…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Two Arrested in Tunisian Airport for Illegal Viagra Imports

Pills would have covered country’s needs for one month

(ANSA) Tunis, May 3; Two people of North African origin were taken into custody at Tunis International airport on Friday after being found in possession of 40,000 Viagra pills by law enforcement officials. The two were allegedly attempting to import the medicine into the nation illegally, hidden in their suitcases.

Viagra sales have been liberalized in Tunisia over the past few years. The quantity of pills would have covered the needs of the entire country for a whole month, customs authorities said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Facebook Causes ‘Psychotic Episodes and Delusions’, Claims Study

Facebook and other social networking sites can actually send you mad, according to scientists in Israel.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University have linked psychotic episodes in patients to internet addiction and delusions caused by virtual relationships cultivated on social networking sites.

The study took an in-depth look at three of Dr Nitzan’s patients.

The studies found a direct link between psychotic episodes and their internet or Facebook communications.

All three of Dr Nitzan’s patients sought refuge from a lonely situation and found solace in intense virtual relationships.

Although these relationships were positive at first, they eventually led to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and invasion of privacy.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

An Irrelevant Middle East

Thanks to oil discoveries elsewhere, the region is losing its geostrategic clout.

By Victor Davis Hanson

Since antiquity, the Middle East has been the trading nexus of three continents — Asia, Europe, and Africa — and the vibrant birthplace of three of the world’s great religions.

Middle Eastern influence rose again in the 19th century when the Suez Canal turned the once-dead-end eastern Mediterranean Sea into a sea highway from Europe to Asia.

With the 20th-century development of large gas and oil supplies in the Persian Gulf and North Africa, an Arab-led OPEC more or less dictated the foreign policy of thirsty oil importers like the United States and Europe. No wonder U.S. Central Command has remained America’s military-command hot spot.

Yet the Middle East is becoming irrelevant. The discovery of enormous new oil and gas reserves along with the use of new oil-recovery technology in North America and China is steadily curbing the demand for Middle Eastern oil. Soon, countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran are going to have less income and geostrategic clout. In both Iran and the Gulf, domestic demand is rising, while there is neither the technical know-how nor the water to master the new art of fracking to sustain exports.

The recent Boston bombing reminded the West that nearly twelve years after 9/11, most terrorism still follows the same old, same old script, acted out by angry young men with Muslim pedigrees claiming to act on radical Islamist impulses, without much popular rebuke from the Muslim world.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Israeli Airstrike in Syria Targeted Missiles From Iran

WASHINGTON — The airstrike that Israeli warplanes carried out in Syria was directed at a shipment of advanced surface-to-surface missiles from Iran that Israel believed was intended for Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese organization, American officials said Saturday.

It was the second time in four months that Israel had carried out an attack in foreign territory intended to disrupt the pipeline of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, and the raid was a vivid example of how regional adversaries are looking after their own interests as Syria becomes more chaotic.

Iran and Hezbollah have both backed President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, now in its third year. But as fighting in Syria escalates, they also have a powerful stake in expediting the delivery of advanced weapons to Hezbollah in case Mr. Assad loses his grip on power.

Israel, for its part, has repeatedly cautioned that it will not allow Hezbollah to receive “game changing” weapons that could threaten the Israeli heartland after a post-Assad government took power.

And as Washington considers how to handle evidence of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government, a development it has described as a “red line,” Israel is clearly showing that it will stand behind the red lines it sets.

“The Israelis are saying, ‘O.K., whichever way the civil war is going, we are going to keep our red lines, which are different from Obama’s,’ “ said Ehud Yaari, an Israel-based fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The missiles that were the target of the raid had been sent to Syria by Iran and were being stored in a warehouse at Damascus International Airport when they were struck, according to an American official.

Two prominent Israeli defense analysts said military officials had told them that the targeted shipment included Scud Ds, which Syrians have developed from Russian weapons and have a range up to 422 miles — long enough to reach Eilat, in southernmost Israel, from Lebanon.

But an American official, who asked not to be identified because he was discussing intelligence reports, said they were Fateh-110s.

The Fateh-110 is a mobile, accurate, solid-fueled missile that represents a considerable improvement over the liquid-fueled Scud missile. American officials have said it has the range to strike Tel Aviv and much of Israel from southern Lebanon…

[Return to headlines]

Israel Launches Air Strike on Syria

Israel has carried out an air strike against Syria, saying it targeted a shipment of “game changing” advanced missiles bound for Hizbollah fighters.

The officials say the shipment was not of chemical arms, but of “game changing” weapons bound for the Lebanese militant group. The airstrike took place early on Friday, but did not say where it took place…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Israeli Warplanes Strike Syrian Weapons Facility, US Official Says

A Syrian weapons facility was struck early Friday by Israeli warplanes, a U.S. official told Fox News.

A source told Fox News that it is not clear whether the warplanes crossed into Syrian airspace or whether the missiles were fired from across the border.

The strike was confirmed by Israeli officials who said the country’s air force targeted a shipment of “game changing” weapons bound for the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group.

One official told The Associated Press the target was a shipment of advanced, long-range ground-to-ground missiles but was not more specific.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Japan Signs Turkey Nuclear Deal

The Turkish government has signed a deal with a Japanese-French consortium to build a new nuclear power station.

The $22bn (£14bn) contract is Japan’s first successful bid for an overseas nuclear project since a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima power station.

The deal was signed by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would transform relations with Japan into a “strategic partnership”.

“What happened at Fukushima upset all of us. But these things can happen. Life goes on. Successful steps are being taken now with the use of improved technology,” the Turkish prime minister added.

The deal comes as part of renewed efforts to promote Japanese nuclear technologies abroad, despite concerns over safety.

One of the Japanese firms included in the consortium is Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, one of the companies behind the Fukushima plant damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Turkey is also prone to earthquakes, and the government cited Japan’s expertise in earthquake protection as one of the factors in signing the deal.

The other firms are Itochu Corporation and French utility group GDF Suez.

Japan is looking to boost exports of its technological expertise as it attempts to increase economic growth and escape two decades of near stagnation.

Fast-growing Turkey, meanwhile, is planning to invest in domestic energy generation to reduce its dependence on imports as the economy expands.

The new nuclear plant will be Turkey’s second. It is currently dependent on imported oil and gas to meet 97% of its energy needs.

           — Hat tip: JLH [Return to headlines]

Lipstick Ban for Hostesses of Increasingly ‘Islamic’ Turkish Airlines

The decision is part of the airline’s new aesthetic code. For months, the female flight attendants have been wearing a new uniform with either a veil or fez. Secular parties accuse Prime Minister Erdogan’s ruling party of wanting silently Islamize society.

Ankara (AsiaNews) — The Turkish Airlines lashes out against “make-up” and bans its hostess from wearing flashy lipsticks. The measure is part of the national airline’s new aesthetic code. The decision has sparked controversy amongst the population, which accuses the government of wanting to silently Islamize society. In the past few days women have posted photos of themselves wearing bright red or pink lipstick on social networks.

The “lipstick” ban is the latest in a series of precautionary measures taken by the airline. Gursel Tekin, vice-president of the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, CHP, the main opposition party, stated that “this measure is a perverse act.” Turkish Airlines has responded to criticism of the secular world, claiming that the new aesthetic code serves to give more elegance to the hostess, using pastel colors for clothes and make-up.

The change in the airline rules reflects the directives of the pro-Islamic Government of the Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan Tayyin, in power for over a decade. The State owns 49% of the company and in recent months has launched a series of restrictions to make its flights more “Islamic” through the prohibition of alcohol, as well as the rule that hostesses must wear a headscarf or fez in Neo-Ottoman style, with skirts to there ankles.

Since the rise to power of Erdogan, the country has begun a slow return to Islam and religion, after decades of Kemalist secularism. The number of women who choose to wear the veil, still banned in public offices, has increased, while the number of places the sale of alcohol is banned is multiplying.

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


It was surprising for me that the Turkish Airlines has banned their hostesses from wearing bright-colored lipstick. To me, thanks to the flood of serials we have been watching on our channels over the past decade, I was under the impression that the Turks are very liberal. Actually, their serials had immensely influenced society everywhere in the Middle East. In Jordan, taxi drivers are narrating or waiting for this or that Turkish serial to start. The same is the case with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon too.

Everyone is affected and becomes a fan of the Turkish soap operas. I am sure all of you have heard of Noor and Mohannad. How famous did Mohannad become in the Arab World? He has become a star. Girls put his pictures everywhere — in their rooms, cars or on the walls of their cabinets. He is their dream man. The same applies to Noor and other serials from Turkey.

I cannot recall their names because I myself am not a soap opera fan, but sometimes it is forced on me. Once I was in a taxi in Amman riding with my sister. The driver was in a rush and was speeding. He said he was late to take his mother to watch her favorite soap opera. My editor heard me and said that the same happens in Bulgaria. She said, “When the Turkish soap opera starts, the country almost comes to a standstill, waiting for its favorite characters.” People in the office also exchange the latest news from the episodes as if they are discussing their own families’ troubles.

These soap operas reflect the real life of a country and the people’s habits, clothes and all. It gave the impression that Turkish people live in a very liberal atmosphere. It was surprising to find out that Turkish Airlines can ban its hostesses from using sexy lipstick colors.

If it were to happen in case of a Saudi Airline, I would have understood the change. What’s it with the lipstick? Does it freak out the passengers or the children? Why the ban? Is it considered indecent make-up? Are they afraid of an assault from passengers who could possibly be mesmerized by the hostesses’ lip color? Or are they trying to avoid clashes on the plane as passengers squabble over airhostesses, and want to play it safe and ensure a smooth flight? This news reminded me of a theatre play called: “No Sex Please, We’re British.” Now, I say: “No lipstick please, we’re Turkish!” Whatever you decide, Turkish Airlines, I wish you good luck!

By Badrya Darwish

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Saudis Allow Some Girls’ Schools to Offer Sports

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s official press agency says private girls’ schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in the kingdom, “according to the rules of Shariah.”

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Shariah, or Islamic law. It still prohibits sports lessons in government-run girls’ schools, and female sports clubs are banned.

The agency said Saturday the Education Ministry ordered private girls’ schools to provide appropriate places and equipment for sports. Students must adhere to “decent dress” codes and Saudi women teachers should be given priority in supervising.

The ministry said some private girls’ schools have been holding sports activities without rules protecting the interests of the students and their health.

Two Saudi females competed for the first time in last year’s Olympics wearing a modified veil agreed by Olympic officials.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Syria: Sunni Village ‘Massacred’ In Alawaite Heartland

Scores of people including civilian men, women and children were killed after a Sunni village in the heart of Syria’s Alawite heartland was stormed by militias loyal to the Assad regime, relatives have claimed.

What began as a battle between opposition rebels and government troops in the mountain village of Bayda turned into a scene of revenge killing, that locals and opposition activists have termed a “massacre”. As the first details of what happened in Bayda on Thursday began to emerge, one Syrian woman with family in the village told The Daily Telegraph: “My aunt and uncle were stabbed to death in the stomach and their necks were slashed. Their three children were slaughtered in the neck.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Moscow Cracks Down on NGOs, Targets Religious Communities

Under Russia’s new ‘Foreign Agents Law’, the authorities have carried out thorough inspections of religious organisations, including Muslim associations, Catholic parishes, Pentecostal communities and Jehovah’s Witnesses, all except one, the Russian Orthodox Church, to the complaint of some.

Moscow (AsiaNews) — With a headline that read “Inspectors go to church”, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper published a long article on the impact of government inspections on non-profit organisations (NGOs), including religious communities, carried out across the country in February and March.

Some religious leaders note that every religious group, from the Catholics to the Pentecostals, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and Muslims, was inspected, everyone except the Russian Orthodox Church.

Officially, inspections are designed to see if these organisation respect a new law adopted in late 2012 that requires NGOs to register as “foreign agents” if they receive foreign funding. Failure to comply with the law entails hefty fines and up to two years in prison.

One in four NGOs visited by the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Agency and police was religious in nature, reported, including 400 local Jehovah’s Witnesses assemblies

Pavel Chikov, head of the Agora human rights organisation and a member of the Federal Council for the Development of Civil Society, told Nezavisimaia Gazeta that the list was drafted based on information from the NGOs themselves, the press and police.

Catholic organisations were not spared. On 1 April, the Caritas centre in St Petersburg was visited, as reported by its director Natalya Pevtsova. Police also visited Caritas offices in Moscow.

Unconfirmed reports by the Russian Bishops’ Conference indicate that Caritas offices were also inspected in Vladimir, Vologda, Berezniki, Kaluga, Perm, Tula, Tver, Smolensk, Orel, Kursk, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad, Murmansk and Novgorod.

Officially, inspections were also meant to check for the presence of terrorists and extremists as well as to see if the buildings met the necessary health and safety standards.

A parish in Novocherkassk, southern Russia, was in fact fined for violating fire regulations. The parish priest, Fr Alexei Polisko, who has to pay a fine of 450,000 ruble (US$ 15,000), slammed the authorities, calling their action incomprehensible. With only 9,200 rubles in the parish coffers, “with such a fine, they want to kill us,” the clergyman said.

Other parishes in Saratov and the Rostov region-Volgodonsk, Azov, Rostov-on-Don and-were inspected as well.

According to reports by the Secretary-General of the Russian Bishops’ Conference, Fr Igor Kovalevsky, even Catholic churches were inspected in Orel and Kirov. But for now, none were penalised.

In its article, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, i.e. the Mormon community, were also visited.

The inspectors inspected the Muslim organisation ‘Mercy’ in Butovo, just outside Moscow, and the Russian Church of Christians of Evangelical faith, as reported by its director, Rev Ivan Borichevskiy.

Konstantin Bendas, of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians, said that religious organisations in 40 different regions of Russia were inspected.

According to Dmitri Lavrov, secretary of the Advisory Committee of the Protestant Churches in Russia, “everyone was inspected, except our brothers of the Russian Orthodox Church.”

Pavel Chikov of Agora said that Justice Ministry figures indicate that the Moscow Patriarchate received the most foreign donations.

“This means that the authorities had reason to check only some NGOs that received foreign funds,” said Aleksandr Verkhovsky, director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis on minorities and intolerance.

“Why religious groups were included in the list of NGOs to inspect is not clear, and perhaps we shall never know,” Verkhovsky added. “Nevertheless, it is a form of pressure” on such groups.

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

Chechnya is Safer Than England, Says Chechen President

(AGI) Grozny — Chechnya’s pro-Russian President Ramzan Kadyrov has invited foreign tourists to come to his republic .

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

Russian City Visited by Boston Bomber a Nest of Terror, Violence

When Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev got off a plane in Dagestan’s capital last year, he found himself in one of the most radicalized and dangerous cities on Earth, a place where, battle-hardened Muslim warriors driven out of Chechnya mingle with Middle Eastern jihadis, where terror attacks are a daily occurrence and a shadowy terror organization runs a state within the state.

There has been much speculation about whether the 26-year-old former boxer had already embraced a violent brand of Islam when he arrived for a six-month stay in Makhachkala, where a brutal terror group known as the Caucuses Emirate is entrenched. And whether or not Tsarnaev met up with members of the emerging terrorist network, his time on their turf could only have sharpened his radical world view — and given him ample opportunity to learn how to act upon it.

Experts who know the dusty port city on the Caspian Sea say it is well known for only two things: terror and sports. And they often go hand in hand.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

2 Civilians Killed in Restive S. Thailand

BANGKOK, May 4 (Xinhua) — Two people were killed in separate drive-by shootings in restive southern province of Pattani and Narathiwat on Saturday…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Burma: Buddhists Are Wising Up to Jihad; BBC Doesn’t Like it

by Christina McIntosh

This is an extraordinary ‘let’s feel sorry for the poor little Muslims’ who are being attacked by the Big Bad Buddhists’ propaganda piece that manages to spend a lot of time criticising Buddhists (and Christians) whilst stepping delicately around the oceans of blood, towers of skulls and mountains of corpses — the ‘broad line of blood’, as William Gladstone once famously put it — that has accompanied Islam from the very beginning throughout its entire history to the present day.

I would be fascinated to know, however, exactly who chose the photograph that heads the article: a Burmese Buddhist monk at a demonstration, holding up a hand-lettered placard that states, bluntly, defiantly, and entirely truthfully, “The World Is Not Only For Muslims”. For that placard reveals that at least some Buddhists have fully grasped Islam’s core agenda — to Islamise the whole world- which agenda is in turn ‘justified’ by the extraordinary thesis that the whole world and everything in it really belongs as of right to Muslims and that all non-Muslims qua non-Muslims have no right whatsoever to either life or property…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

India: Karnataka: With Hindu Fundamentalists in Govt, Violence Will Grow, Christian Leader Says

Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), talks about anti-Christian attacks perpetrated by Hindu nationalists. Under the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Government of Karnataka supports extremist groups. Statewide elections are scheduled for this Sunday.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — “Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationalist party or BJP) came to power in Karnataka, attacks against Christians have multiplied and all religious minorities in the state feel threatened,” Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews, two days before Karnataka’s state elections. On Sunday in fact, voters in the Indian state will choose a new chief minister and the BJP is leading a campaign based on its alleged support for minorities.

However, the party, which has ruled Karnataka since 2008, is openly in favour of groups that belong to the Hindu Sangh Parivar, a ultranationalist movement that has perpetrated acts of violence and persecution against Christians and other minority communities.

“In 2012,” George said, “the GCIC recorded 41 cases of anti-Christian attacks. In 2013, we are already at seven. However, these figures refer only to destroyed churches, and imprisoned or assaulted Christians. If we were to account for every episode of intimidation, harassment, insults or temporary detentions, the number would be much higher. “

“Their hidden agenda,” the GCIC president noted, “is aimed at getting political support from militant Hindutva and is the main reason behind attacks against Christians and other minorities in the state.” Hindutva is an ideology that views Hinduism as an exclusive ethnic, cultural and political identity.

At the same time, George said, “these extremist forces feel strong because of the political protection they receive and so persecute Karnataka’s vulnerable minorities. Often, the primary responsibility for the violence lies with the police, which guarantees immunity to these groups.”

A striking example is the case of the Justice Commission headed by retired judge BK Somashekhar, which was set up by the BJP to investigate the anti-Christian violence that occurred in 2008.

“In its report,” the GCIC president said, “the commission exonerated police, government and Hindu fundamentalists of all charges, ignoring the dozens of witnesses who claimed the opposite. What is more, it called for the creation of a registry of Church properties and the monitoring of activities by parishes, pastors and their sources of income.”

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

China: After Melamine Milk Scandal, Powder Milk Smuggled From Europe and Hong Kong

Chinese parents who can afford it, try to buy European brands online or smuggle them in from the former British colony. So much so that now a purchase limit has been put in place. Clamp down on milk smugglers tighter than cocaine smugglers.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — The scandal of melamine-tainted milk, which destroyed the marketing of milk powder in 2008 and cast serious doubts on the industrial food production in China, is still having a massive effect on the market: despite Beijing’s attempts to silence the issue, in fact, five years on Chinese parents still do not trust domestic products and will do everything they can to buy in foreign ones.

The first to realize the opportunity to be made were the European suppliers, on the back their supermarkets literally being raided by wealthy Chinese tourists who have recently become parents. To the extent that different brands have imposed a purchase limit and have had to apologize to European customers for the inconvenience. Danone, the food industry giant, writes in a statement: “We know that the growth in demand comes from unofficial exports to China, due to Chinese parents who want foreign brands for their children”.

The proximity of Hong Kong with Mainland China has made it the main gateway for “smuggling” imported milk. The restrictions on the purchase and export of milk powder came into force on 1 March: since April 23, border police have arrested 879 people with a total of 8,841 pounds of illegal milk powder. In the past year only 420 smugglers in heroin, cocaine and ketamine have been arrested.

To try to calm the waters, the Chinese government has published reports noting the improvements in quality and standards of the home produced milk powder and sold at a much cheaper price than the international brands. However, the fact that the research was commissioned by the Association of Chinese dairy industry and then published in the government Beijing Times has failed to convince the majority of consumers.

The melamine milk scandal — chemical used in the plastics and glue — exploded in China in 2008, when the untimely death of 6 infants and excruciating pain reported by other 300 thousand children forced the authorities to open an investigation on industrial production in the food that ended with some arrests but without any sweeping reform.

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

China Food Scandal: Rat Meat Sold as Lamb Meat

(NaturalNews) When it comes to lying, cheating, deceiving and scamming people about their food, no country is more accomplished than China, home of the melamine infant formula scandal and foods contaminated with high levels of heavy metals.

Now a new scandal adds one more milestone to the list: Chinese authorities say they broke up a 900-person criminal ring that harvested meat from rats and other animals to be modified and sold as lamb meat. This “rat meat” appeared in markets in Jiangsu province and Shanghai.

Unwitting consumers routinely purchased the meat, not knowing they were eating “rat steaks” at home…

To date, Natural News is the only publication to tell the full story on why this is happening. Perhaps that’s because I speak a fair amount of Chinese and previously lived in Asia. I know the Chinese and Taiwanese cultures better than most.

And the simple truth behind all this is that China is a nation of spiritually void athiests who have no morals or ethics. Religion is outlawed in China, and as a result there is absolutely no moral compass taught to the Chinese people. I’m not saying organized religion is the answer to all of society’s ills, but at least at a basic level, religion teaches a moral compass that simply doesn’t exist in Chinese culture…

Remember, China is a communist military dictatorship — essentially a police state. They do not have a Bill of Rights. They do not allow freedom of religion or even spiritual practice of any kind. They quite literally arrest, torture and execute people who practice meditation (Falun-Gong) and yoga.

China is a country of tremendous government evil, and that’s exactly where Obama is trying to push America — into a state of moral relativism where those who believe in moral values are attacked, demonized and eventually even arrested. This is why the Pentagon recently announced it will court martial soldiers who profess their Christian faith.

In fact, a top athiest consultant to the Pentagon unleashed an astonishingly evil rant against those of Christian faith that mirrored exactly the kind of condemnation you’d normally hear in China. He said:

“We face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Next Asian Crisis Arrives: Chinese Soldiers Make Military Incursion Into India — India Considers Response

A platoon of Chinese soldiers slipped across the boundary into India in the middle of the night, according to Indian officials. They were ferried across the bitterly cold moonscape in Chinese army vehicles, then got out to traverse a dry creek bed with a helicopter hovering overhead for protection. They finally reached their destination and pitched a tent in the barren Depsang Valley in the Ladakh region, a symbolic claim of sovereignty deep inside Indian-held territory. So stealthy was the operation that India did not discover the incursion until a day later, Indian officials said. China denies any incursion, but Indian officials say that for two weeks, the soldiers have refused to move back over the so-called Line of Actual Control that divides Indian-ruled territory from Chinese-run land, leaving the government on the verge of a crisis with its powerful northeastern neighbor.

Indian officials fear that if they react with force, the face-off could escalate into a battle with the powerful People’s Liberation Army. But doing nothing would leave a Chinese outpost deep in territory India has ruled since independence. “If they have come 19 kilometers into India, it is not a minor LAC violation. It is a deliberate military operation. And even as India protests, more tents have come up,” said Sujit Dutta, a China specialist at the Jamia Milia Islamia university in New Delhi. “Clearly, the Chinese are testing India to see how far they can go,” he said.

That is not China’s stated view. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday that Chinese troops had been carrying out normal patrols and had not crossed the boundary. “China is firmly opposed to any acts that involve crossing the Line of Actual Control and sabotaging the status quo,” she said at a daily briefing in Beijing as she was repeatedly questioned about the dispute. Hua said talks to defuse the dispute were ongoing and that it should not affect relations. “As we pointed out many times, the China-India border issue is one which was left over from the past. The two sides reached important consensus that this issue should not affect the overall bilateral relations,” Hua said.

Local army commanders from both sides have held three meetings over the crisis, according to Indian officials. India’s foreign secretary called in the Chinese ambassador to register a strong protest. Yet the troops did not move, and even pitched a second tent, Indian officials said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Borno Elders, Security Chiefs in Emergency Meeting Over Ali Monguno’s Kidnap

The governor said Mr. Monguno is 92-years-old and not 87 as reported earlier.

The Borno Elders led by Ambassador Gaji Galtimari are currently having an emergency meeting with the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, and security chiefs. The meeting is about the kidnap of a former minister, Shettima Ali Monguno, who was kidnapped after the Friday Jumat prayers. The meeting is being held at the family house of Mr. Monguno adjacent the Borno Government House.

Mr. Galtimari, who is chairing the meeting, confirmed to reporters that Mr. Monguno was kidnapped as he was leaving the mosque. In his reaction before the closed door meeting started, the governor said that it was “inhuman for anybody to kidnap a 92-year-old man,” indicating that Mr. Monguno is 92 and not 87 as earlier reported…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: After Baga, JTF Lost in a Maze of Rocks and Hard Places

When Nigeria’s Joint Security Task Force (JTF) responded to the distress call that insurgents had stationed themselves in Baga, the quiet town on the edge of Lake Chad on Friday 19th April, they didn’t bargain for the use of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launchers by the insurgents. It’s also likely that the members of the Jama’a Ah Al Sunnah Li Da’wa Wa Al-Jihad — Boko Haram — also assumed that the area around the mosque wouldn’t be attacked by the JTF.

As such, when the fight escalated, the insurgents merged with the residents in order to gain a foothold against the army. The options left for the JTF were either to beat a hasty retreat and fight another day or to stay and dislodge the insurgents from Baga. They took the latter decision. It is my assumption that the insurgents, understanding the army’s rules of engagement, knew that the JTF were caught between a hard rock and a hard place…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Somalia Famine Killed 258, 000 in 2011

(AGI) Nairobi — The famine in Somalia killed 258,000 people in 2011, half of them children under five .

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

Chilean ‘Cult Leader’ Ramon Castillo Found Dead

Police in Peru say the body of a Chilean man accused in the ritual killing of a three-day-old boy in his homeland has been found hanging from a rope in an abandoned house.

Police Gen. Javier Avalos told reporters that the body of 36-year-old Ramon Castillo was found overnight in a house in the highlands city of Cuzco. Reports suggested he had committed suicide. “There is no evidence of anyone else taking part in this death,” Cuzco police chief Juvenal Zereceda told Chile’s La Tercera newspaper.

Police in neighbouring Chile had been searching for Castillo and two other members of the sect that he led for their alleged participation in the baby’s death in the Valparaiso region Nov. 23. The child’s mother was arrested last week.

Chilean police say the baby was thrown onto a bonfire because Castillo and his followers believed the child was the antichrist. Castillo was thought to be the child’s father. He believed he was a god and expected the world to end on Dec 21, 2012.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Obama Blames American Guns for Mexican Deaths: ‘Most of the Guns Used to Commit Violence Here in Mexico Come From the United States’

President Obama used a speech at Mexico’s Museo Nacional de Antropologia — the National Anthropology Museum — to claim that ‘most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States.’


Obama … did not mention the more than 2,000 firearms that his Department of Justice ‘walked’ across the Mexican border as part of Operation Fast and Furious, a federal law enforcement project that aimed to track weapons to drug traffickers.

Those guns have been connected to the deaths of at least 300 Mexican citizens. And U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry died in December 2010 when a so-called ‘Fast and Furious gun’ was recovered at the scene of his murder during a routine patrol in Arizona.

An ensuing Congressional investigation led to the first-ever citation of a sitting cabinet member — Attorney General Eric Holder — for contempt of Congress. Holder declined to provide most of the more than 140,000 documents subpoenaed by a House committee, although the Department of Justice did selectively turn over thousands of others.

[Barry Hussein is just propagating the line of desinformatsiya Fast and Furious was originally designed to support by salting Mexican crime scenes with American-bought guns. As well as continuing his standard practice of currying favor with foreign audiences by smearing America. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Minister for Integration Calls for Citizenship

(AGI) Modena — Italy’s newly appointed minister for integration called for citizenship for immigrants .

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

Onslaught of Illegal and Legal Immigrants Lining Up for Amnesty

Senate Bill 744, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, promises the most prolific invasion of America since Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. But with one deadly difference: those storms subsided so we could repair the damage.

If S744 passes, we face endless immigration numbers to the tune of a minimum of 33 million immigrants within the first decade. Passing that bill means an increase of legal immigration from its current 1 million annually to 1.5 million annually. All totaled with immigrants, their offspring, chain migration and diversity visas, a mind numbing 100 million immigrants will land on America within 37 years — by 2050. (Source:; US Population Projections by Fogel/Martin; PEW Research Center)

Even more sobering, we face a total population growth via “population momentum” of 138 million people to grow from 316 million in 2013 to 438 million people by 2050.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Tightens Student Visa Rules After Boston Marathon Bombings

The Department of Homeland Security, criticized for failing to check the student status of a Kazakh man charged in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, has tightened procedures for admitting foreigners with student visas, a US official said on Friday.

The Department’s Customs and Border Protection issued a memo ordering agents “effective immediately” to check all students against the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System database of international students and schools, according to an official who had seen the memo. The department is under fire for not properly checking the student status of Azamat Tazhayakov, a friend of one of the bombing suspects, when he entered the country illegally on a student visa in January…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

‘Redneck Day’ At Arizona High School Causes Uproar

An Arizona high school has come under fire from civil rights groups for holding a spoof “Redneck Day” to build team spirit ahead of Saturday’s end-of-year dance.

The event at Queen Creek High School, near Phoenix, split the school community, upset Black students, angered civil rights activists and unleashed a debate about free speech and racial stereotypes. The teenage student council, whose plans were approved by school officials, insist that their only intention was to satirise Duck Dynasty, a reality TV show about a family of long-bearded, rural Louisianans who have made millions from their duck-hunting business…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Five Daily Prayers Nourish Muslims’ Souls as They Take Time Away From Busyness

The five daily prayers are an obligatory rite on every Muslim after reaching puberty and are essential to being a Muslim. Islam is built on five pillars: professing there is no God worthy of worship but God and that Mohammed is God’s messenger, five daily prayers, fasting the month of Ramadan, paying elm and performing the pilgrimage once in one’s life time.

Muslims believe the five prayers are a gift from God. They were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during his celestial journey to heaven. At first, he was told by Almighty Allah that Muslims must pray 50 times, but Prophet Moses (pbuh) urged Muhammad (pbuh) to return to God and ask for less number of prayers. Allah Almighty reduced the prayers to 10 times; again Moses (pbuh) persuaded Muhammad (pbuh) to ask for less. Finally, Muhammad (pbuh) was told that Muslims must pray five times a day, and Allah added, “I have enforced My obligation and made it light for my servants. He who prays these five prayers will be rewarded as if he had prayed fifty. What I decree cannot be changed.”…

[JP note: It will all end in tears.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Rolling Stones Face Pay Cut as Poor Sales Force Them to Slash US Ticket Prices

The rock giants are taking desperate measures to ensure full houses for their anniversary US gigs

Could it be the tour too far for the Rolling Stones? Insiders are even speculating that the band will have to renegotiate the huge guaranteed fees for their American tour, which opened on Friday, as ticket prices are radically reduced in light of poor sales. A perfect storm of management hubris, fan indifference and technology change is threatening to turn the tour into a disaster.

Last week the band said it was dropping the price of thousands of premium seats — “flexing” in industry parlance — rather than play to half-empty arenas. The situation was so dire, one insider revealed, that the band’s own allotment of tickets was released because of a lack of requests.

“Total disaster. Too expensive and no vibe on the shows … it’s a terrible way to go out,” a source said. He added that the band could hardly refuse if their reputed $20m fees for the tour were revised. “What’s the band gonna do? Say we’re not going to play if you touch our gross?”

In the UK, by contrast, tickets for the groups’s two Hyde Park shows, priced from £95-£300, quickly sold out, although £750-plus hotel package tickets remain.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/4/2013

  1. The translator added his own comment: “I wonder what inspired them to travel to Syria and commit atrocities in the name of Allah?”

    I would bet that many of the Scandinavian Muslims fighting with the Syrian rebels did not go there with the intention to commit atrocities, and have not committed any atrocity. At least, none that goes beyond the run of the mill stuff that is the way of civil wars in all eras and both sides.

    The comment is a nakedly pro-regime aside, and the regime has committed atrocities of its own. Who, after all, has nerve gas to play with? And while it’s not an atrocity to shell a rebel-held area of a city, it’s certainly a tactic sure to produce mostly civilian casualties and it’s unsavory. And what are we to make of ballistic missile attacks on such neighborhoods? They serve no tactical military purpose at all. The only halfway rational military purpose is to terrorize the civilians and kill them, with a view to grinding down the morale of the insurgents. And history records that this just stiffens their resolve. That leaves sheer, murderous malice.

    The fight against the Assad regime is not one that can be dismissed as the work of “jihadis”. From some perspectives, it’s a just people’s liberation war against a tyrant, and in Islam, there’s a word that fits: jihad.

    • Jihad is a people’s liberation war against…a tyrant? Good one, Sam—you got a self-taykiya/Marxist thing going there.

      I hope you’re not waxing nostalgic for little bang up holiday in a Arab backwater.

      Better the little devil we know than the big, metastasizing demon we also know even better, and have been observing for a millennia.

  2. The COEXIST bumper sticker has been debunked. It’s attached to the WRONG car.

    Bing/ Google is your friend.

  3. Off topic: Who helps and who educates Politicans to be straight forward clear thinking and caring Souls, that such gain the first time, or win back to be true Representatives of the People… to rule and govern wise and with love —-
    Sure God helps …… and we should assist him and spun the chances for help so bitter needed in the hearts of those who are more close to the “matters of stone” than to human hearts.

    So tomorrrow in front of the White House and before the Congress get in the row everyone whith his billboard with the name of the Politican of whom he andor she thinks needs help to develope a human mentality –

    THEY SHOULD EXPERIENCE THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE IN A DAY BY DAY ADVANCE during their job hours and if necessary also in extra hours – e.g. at night: Police, Hospitals, ….aso ……. Instead of siting around, lobbying, discussing inside the “glasshouse” and so often only producing this: Nonsense and even more evilnesses….. or do the Obama thing: Holiday on Holiday … they should get the ground back below their feet.

    Democracy was not invented to have such guys and maidens inventing their new sort of Aristocracy only to look in the eyes of the people in advance to be hypocrite to us ……….

    So go on: Make your billboard and search the chance to get life really improved !

    Most politicians minds are that sucked with lies that they have not a clue how humble clear solutions can be !

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