Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/8/2013

The Italian energy giant ENI has discovered a major natural gas field in southern Pakistan. It is expected that when this field is fully developed, it will go a long way towards alleviating Pakistan’s energy shortage.

In other news, Boris Johnson, the “Conservative” mayor of London, paid a visit to a mosque in Old Kent Road, and took the opportunity to celebrate London’s vibrant multicultural community.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Insubria, JD, JP, McR, TV, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

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

Financial Crisis
» 11 Reasons Why the Federal Reserve Should be Abolished
» Europe Wants New Italian Govt’s Economic Plans
» Italy: Audit Court Criticizes Monti’s Former Caretaker Government
» Italy: Spread Falls to 256
» Bill Ayers and His Media Groupies
» D.C. Police Chief: We Will Arrest Adam Kokesh and Open Carry Protesters
» Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein on the Jewish Surrender Syndrome
» Eyewitnesses: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Did Not Shoot Boston Cop
» Honoring the Office
» Ray Harryhausen [Obituary]
» Ray Harryhausen, Special Effects Pioneer Behind Films Including Clash of the Titans, Dies at 92
» Statists Use Twisted Logic to Attack the Bill of Rights
» Texas House Blocks Federal Gun Control 102-31
» The U.S. Government is Monitoring All Phone Calls, All Emails and All Internet Activity
» U. S. Contemplates a U-Turn on Sunbeds
» White House Refuses to Address Questions on Benghazi Stand Down Order
» Zero Tolerance and Zero Common Sense
Europe and the EU
» Are the French Lazy? Perhaps Not, But They Exhibit a Definite Preference for Leisure
» Europe to Risk Being “Global Spectator”: NATO Chief
» Federal Europe Will be ‘A Reality in a Few Years’, Says Jose Manuel Barroso
» ‘Italy Second in World for Solar’
» Italy’s Only Option: Cooperation With Germany, Not Confrontation
» Italy: Berlusconi 4-Year Fraud Term Upheld
» Italy: Retired Pornstar Rizzo Probed in International Tax Scam
» Italy: Driver for TAV Construction Company Injured by Stone Attack
» Protestors Clash With Police at U.S. Military Site in Sicily
» UK: Alex Ferguson Retires as Manchester United Manager
» UK: BBC Responds to Leyton Sharia Council’s Criticism of Panorama Exposé
» UK: Boris Johnson Visits Old Kent Road Mosque
» UK: Can UKIP Become a Truly National Party?
» UK: David Cameron: I Can’t Legislate for an EU Referendum
» UK: David Cameron Blasted in Full-Page Times Ad by ‘Disillusioned’ Tory Voter
» UK: Eddy Shah Accused of Raping Girl of 14: Tycoon ‘Had Sex Sessions With Child and Prostitute’
» UK: Muslim Leaders Back Campaign Against Street Grooming Gangs
» UK: Nigel Lawson Calls Time on the Three-Pint Eurosceptic Heroes
» UK: The Queen’s Speech and Immigration: A Pig-Wrestler’s Call to Arms
» UK: The Euro Charade: Nigel Lawson’s Absolutely Right. The Idea That We Can Renegotiate With the EU is Pure Fantasy — And Voters Will Never Fall for it
» UKIP Could Get to be Really Quite Annoying
» World Jewish Congress President Says Sorry for Criticizing Hungarian PM
North Africa
» Benghazi: Libyans Couldn’t Protect Americans They Didn’t Know Were in Libya
» Egypt: Morsi Appoints Nine Islamists to Key Ministries
» Folding to Pressure, Libya PM to Reshuffle Government
» Libyan Defense Minister Resigns Amid Armed Protests
» Video: ‘Islamic Hotel’ Opens on Egyptian Red Sea Coast
Israel and the Palestinians
» Jerusalem Mufti Detained Over Temple Mount Riots
Middle East
» Iraq: 3 Car Bomb Attacks Hit Kurdish Security Forces in Iraq
» Menendez Offers Bill to Arm Syrian Rebels
» See for Yourself: Syrian Government Likely Did Not Use Chemical Weapons
» Syria: Philippine Government Condemns Abduction of Filipino UN Peacekeepers in Golan Heights
» Syria: U.S. Arms Butchers Who Use Chemical Weapons on Civilians … and Then Tries to Frame Someone Else
» US Army Chief Suggests Military Intervention in Syria Before End of Summer
South Asia
» Bangladesh Clear Air on “3,000 Dead” Rumors in Crackdown on Islamists
» For Catholic Analyst, Malaysian Spring Will Follow Botched Poll
» Gas and Oil Giant Discovers New Field in Pakistan
» India: Jesuit: Minorities Are Second-Class Citizens in Gujarat
Australia — Pacific
» Holocaust Hero Becomes First Honourary Australian
Sub-Saharan Africa
» 2015 — It’s Either a Northerner or No More Nigeria — Farouk Adamu Aliyu
» Kenya to Release 15,000 Inmates to Reduce Prison Crowding
» Italy: Arab Migrants Including Boys Rescued From Stricken Boat
» Italy: Police Find 12 Immigrants Walking on Road Near Agrigento
» Melanie Phillips: My Immigrant Family Were Proud to Assimilate. I Despair That Too Many Today Expect Britain to Adopt Their Culture
» Obama Comments on Mexico Deceptive, Say Law Officers
» Report: Legalizing Illegal Immigrants to Cost $6.3 Trillion
» The Road to Nowhere
» UK: Landlords Told: Vet Migrant Tenants
» UK: Queen’s Speech: Jeremy Hunt ‘Unable’ To Explain How New Immigration Laws Will Work
Culture Wars
» Christianity Still a Leader in America, Except in Our White House
» City of Brotherly Love Goes Too Far With National Masturbation Month Celebration
» How the ‘Gay’ Child-Sex-Abuse Cover-Up Kills Young Men
» Newsman Becomes Newswoman
» UK: Dangers of Freedom

11 Reasons Why the Federal Reserve Should be Abolished

If the American people truly understood how the Federal Reserve system works and what it has done to us, they would be screaming for it to be abolished immediately. It is a system that was designed by international bankers for the benefit of international bankers, and it is systematically impoverishing the American people. The Federal Reserve system is the primary reason why our currency has declined in value by well over 95 percent and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger over the past 100 years. The Fed creates our “booms” and our “busts”, and they have done an absolutely miserable job of managing our economy. But why do we need a bunch of unelected private bankers to manage our economy and print our money for us in the first place?

Wouldn’t our economy function much more efficiently if we allowed the free market to set interest rates? And according to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Congress is the one that is supposed to have the authority to “coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures”. So why is the Federal Reserve doing it? Sadly, this is the way it works all over the globe today. In fact, all 187 nationsthat belong to the IMF have a central bank. But the truth is that there are much better alternatives. We just need to get people educated.

The following are 11 reasons why the Federal Reserve should be abolished…

#1 The Greatest Period Of Economic Growth In The History Of The United States Happened When There Was No Central Bank

Did you know that the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was between the Civil War and 1913? And guess what? That was a period when there was no central bank in the United States at all.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe Wants New Italian Govt’s Economic Plans

Queries on ‘reorganization of govt and growth’

(ANSA) — Brussels, May 8 — The Eurogroup wants Italy’s new finance minister to meet with its members Monday to explain his government’s plans for boosting economic growth while sticking to its reform agenda, a source said Wednesday.

Fabrizio Saccomanni is expected to explain “what are the plans on the reorganization of the government and…those for growth,” a source said.

He will also be asked to outline the Italian government’s economic priorities.

A new government was sworn in in late April and is expected to make economic growth and job creation in Italy a high priority.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Audit Court Criticizes Monti’s Former Caretaker Government

Warns that in the final quarter of 2012, government was careless

(ANSA) — Rome, May 8 — Italy’s caretaker government under former premier Mario Monti was financially careless in its final months, the Audit Court said Wednesday.

The government’s fiscal decrees in the last quarter of 2012 were “incoherent” and did not include the proper fiscal safeguards to ensure revenues actually matched earlier estimates, said the court.

The caretaker government was appointed in November 2011 to cope with Italy’s financial mess, and operated until late April once a two-month, post-election stalemate was broken and the left-right coalition government of Enrico Letta was sworn in.

The Monti government’s financial stability law, approved late last year, was unreliable and operated in a piecemeal fashion, the court added.

The court reviewed the government’s financial measures for the final three months of last year, and found numerous failings.

Wednesday’s comments were consistent with earlier warnings from the court made last February, when it warned that further tax increases would worsen, rather than improve, public finances.

It noted that tax hikes and spending cuts introduced by Monti’s emergency technocrat government have boosted the national accounts, raised investor confidence in the country and eased pressure on its borrowing costs.

But it noted those have also deepened the recession, adding that the tax burden was already “out of line” and that the hikes would create “the conditions for further recessionary effects”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Spread Falls to 256

Yield 3.85%

(ANSA) — Rome, May 8 — The spread between Italian and German 10-year bonds fell to 256 points Wednesday amid continued optimism over Italy’s new government and positive reactions to a successful German bond auction.

The yield fell to 3.85%.

The spread is an important gauge of market sentiment towards Italian sovereign debt, at 132% of GDP the second-biggest in the eurozone.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Bill Ayers and His Media Groupies

Bill Ayers’ claim that the Weather Underground bombed property, not people, in order to protest the Vietnam War, is two lies in one. First, they specialized in anti-personnel bombs using heavy metal staples. Second, Ayers and his wife Bernardine Dohrn were not opposed to the war, only to a U.S. victory.

As reported by Jim Mackinnon of the Akron Beacon Journal, Ayers maintained, during a speaking appearance, “No one died in the Weather Underground bombings.” He was trying to claim that the Weather Underground was different from the Islamic terrorists in the Boston bombings case.

Of all the media covering Ayers’ newest charges, only Fox News interviewed Larry Grathwohl, an FBI informant in the Weather Underground, who said “Ayers told him personally that fellow Weather Underground member and future wife Bernadine Dohrn set the bomb that killed San Francisco Park Police Sergeant Brian McDonnell in 1970.”…

On the claim about Ayers being opposed to the Vietnam War, Grathwohl notes, “The Weather Underground was not an anti-war group. They saw themselves as part of an international revolution with connections in Cuba, China and North Vietnam. They believed they were going to be part of a revolution that would cause the collapse of the United States. Plans for the creation of camps for ‘re-educating’ Americans — and the elimination of 25 million people — were discussed with the belief that protecting the NEW order from a counter-revolution justified wholesale murder.”…

This is the problem we face today — the U.S. Government is run by associates of these terrorists and lunatics.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

D.C. Police Chief: We Will Arrest Adam Kokesh and Open Carry Protesters

District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier says she will arrest Adam Kokesh and any other protesters who violate the district’s gun laws.

“Passing into the District of Columbia with loaded firearms is a violation of the law and we’ll have to treat it as such,” she told NewsChannel 8.

Kokesh plans to have 10,000 open carry activists march on the Capitol. Over 2,000 have so far pledged on Kokesh’s Facebook page to attend the July 4th event.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein on the Jewish Surrender Syndrome

This is an NER interview with Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein, noted theologian, historian, former university president and author of acclaimed works, After Auschwitz, The Cunning of History and Jihad and Genocide. Dr. Rubenstein is a colleague and contributor to the New English Review.

In light of recent episodes where Jewish theological groups and defense organization have engaged in outreach and collaboration with Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America, most recently in Florida blocking important human rights legislation, American Law for American Courts,

Dr. Rubenstein’s insights are an important warning of delusional and myopic views about Jewish accommodation of radical Islamic groups, the latter intent on using them to further Stealth Jihad in this country. Rubenstein condemns Jewish organizations in the diaspora for their reflexive obsession with the surrender syndrome as it is self destructive and delusional.

Dr. Rubenstein discusses the origins of the Jewish surrender syndrome from the loss of the Temple in 70C.E. and the demise of the Jewish Republic in 135 C.E. that resulted in the loss of Jewish sovereignty until the re-establishment of the Jewish nation of Israel in 1948. Israelis unlike their coreligionists understand the necessity of eternal vigilance as the veritable canary in the mines of fundamentalist Islam seeking its destruction…

[JP note: Suicide by interfaith.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Eyewitnesses: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Did Not Shoot Boston Cop

Eyewitnesses to the shootout involving the alleged Boston bombers have thrown up another contradiction to the official narrative, asserting that MBTA Transit Police Officer Richard H. Donohue Jr. was not shot by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev but by other cops in a friendly fire incident.

Previous media reports had blamed the Tsarnaev brothers for the shootings of both MIT campus police officer Sean Collier and Donohue, feeding the narrative that the suspects were engaged in a desperate attempt to flee police by returning fire and throwing improvised bombs.

However, as we previously highlighted, footage from the raid suggests the brothers may have been trying to surrender as they came under a barrage of gunfire. Audio from the scene captures the suspects yelling, “chill out” and “we didn’t do it,” as bullets seem to fly in one direction only.

Add this to the claim of the aunt of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, that the footage which emerged of police arresting a naked uninjured man was her nephew, contradicting the official narrative that Tsarnaev was critically injured in a shootout and suggesting he may have been killed while in custody, and it’s easy to see why some are questioning whether the raid unfolded exactly as authorities claimed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Honoring the Office

“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.” — Theodore Roosevelt

I have been exposing this administration on my radio show for years concerning their criminal conduct.

I once had a radio station manager approach me because I was calling out Obama’s corruption on the air ( He admitted that he knows President Obama is “un-American, reckless, ignorant, dangerous, and even corrupt.” And, of course, I agreed with him.

But then he went on to say, “He is still the president of the United States, and we need to honor him and his office as such.”

I said, “Honor him as such? You’ve got to be out of your mind to think that I am going to honor any individual in any office that steps on the sacrifice of our veterans who ratified the Constitution of the United States with their blood.” (Which, by the way, is the same Constitution those in office swear to uphold.)

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ray Harryhausen [Obituary]

Ray Harryhausen, who has died aged 92, was a special-effects maestro whose pioneering stop-motion animation techniques brought monsters to life on screen in countless films, from Jason and the Argonauts to Clash of the Titans.

Stop-motion animation involves photographing models, then fractionally moving them to be photographed again, so giving the appearance of continuous movement once the images are projected at speed. Though apparently outdated in today’s computer age, the painstaking process has been adopted in recent years by Nick Park, creator of Wallace and Gromit. “When Jason and the Argonauts appeared on the television for the first time, that was a big, pivotal moment for me,” Park has said.

Harryhausen used stop-motion to bring to life a variety of creatures, mythical and otherwise, including dinosaurs, visiting aliens and, on at least one occasion, fighting skeletons. His single-minded devotion to his films was seen by some of his colleagues as “obsessive,” and it was not unusual for Harryhausen to work seven days a week on a project, often until two or three in the morning, for periods of many months. “I had this strange notion,” he recalled, “that I was wasting my time if I wasn’t doing something constructive every minute of the day. I began to think that I was a little abnormal.”

Raymond Frederick Harryhausen was born on June 29 1920 in Los Angeles to Fred and Martha Harryhausen. As a child he was fascinated by the models of sabre-toothed tigers and mammoths at the La Brea Tar Pits and spent much of his time trying to recreate the diorama displays he had seen. Among the first films he saw was The Lost World, an animated adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel which featured, among other wonders, dinosaur fights…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ray Harryhausen, Special Effects Pioneer Behind Films Including Clash of the Titans, Dies at 92

The man responsible for bringing films like Jason And The Argonauts and The Clash Of The Titans to life with his special effects has died.

Ray Harryhausen, a special effects master whose sword-fighting skeletons, a giant octopus, Cyclops and other fantastical creations were adored by film lovers and admired by industry heavyweights, has died. He was 92.

Biographer and longtime friend Tony Dalton confirmed that Harryhausen died yesterday at London’s Hammersmith Hospital, where the special effects titan had been receiving treatment for about a week…

Harryhausen’s method was as old as the motion picture itself: stop motion.

He sculpted characters from 3 to 15 inches tall and photographed them one frame at a time in continuous poses, thus creating the illusion of motion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Statists Use Twisted Logic to Attack the Bill of Rights

In the war for the continued existence of our Nation’s Constitutional principles, I had long wondered whether statists were simply confounded by the Bill of Rights and ignorant of its function or whether they were maliciously inclined, knowing exactly what it means but seeking its destruction anyway. In recent years, I have decided it is a combination of both faults.

Statists are people who view every aspect of society through the lens of government power. If you want to know the primary difference between Constitutionalists and anti-Constitutionalists, you have to understand that some people in this world only want control over their own lives, while other people desperately clamor for control over other people’s lives. Why do they do this? Usually, it’s fear. Fear of the persistent unknowns in life. Fear that they do not have the intelligence or the will to take responsibility for their own futures. Fear that they will be forced to take care of themselves. Fear that their ideologies will be found lacking. Fear that if others are allowed freedom, they will one day indirectly suffer for it.

This fear makes statists easy to manipulate by the establishment and easy to use as a tool for the expansion of government dominance. Because statists are so weak-minded and fainthearted, they become very comfortable with the idea of other people making their decisions for them; and they will always attempt to answer every perceived problem with more government control.

When confronted with a proponent of liberty, the statist typically reels in horror. He has so invested himself in bureaucracy that he sees himself as a part of it. To attack the bureaucracy is to attack him. To deny the validity of the bureaucracy is to deny the validity of his existence. His very personality and ego are tied to the machine, so he will spit and rage against anyone who refuses to conform. This is why it is not uncommon at all to find a wild collection of logical fallacies within the tirades of the average statist. Statists act as though they are driven by reason; but in reality, they are driven by seething bias.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Texas House Blocks Federal Gun Control 102-31

Introduced by Representative Matthew Krause, House Bill 928 is among the many pro-Second Amendment pieces of legislation that have either been passed or are currently going through the legal system around the nation. In fact, an entire website has been created to show the states that have introduced or passed legislation blocking federal forms of gun control.

The final vote count was 102-31.

Originally created in Montana, it all started with legislation known as The Firearms Freedom Act (FFA) — a bill that blocks the federal government from altering gun laws inside the states themselves.

As for House Bill 928, which received an overwhelming amount of support from both sides of the two party system, it restricts the feds from coming in and regulating everything from firearms to firearm accessories. A selection from the bill itself specifies how state employees may not aid federal officials in the confiscation of any firearm-related items:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The U.S. Government is Monitoring All Phone Calls, All Emails and All Internet Activity

Big Brother is watching everything that you do on the Internet and listening to everything that you say on your phone. Every single day in America, the U.S. government intercepts and stores nearly 2 billion emails, phone calls and other forms of electronic communication. Former NSA employees have come forward and have described exactly what is taking place, and this surveillance activity has been reported on by prominent news organizations such as the Washington Post, Fox News and CNN, but nobody really seems to get too upset about it.

Either most Americans are not aware of what is really going on or they have just accepted it as part of modern life. But where will this end? Do we really want to live in a dystopian “Big Brother society” where the government literally reads every single thing that we write and listens to every single thing that we say? Is that what the future of America is going to look like? If so, what do you think our founding fathers would have said about that?

Many Americans may not realize this, but nothing that you do on your cell phone or on the Internet will ever be private again. According to the Washington Post, the NSA intercepts and stores an astounding amount of information every single day…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

U. S. Contemplates a U-Turn on Sunbeds

(AGI) Washington, May 8 — The U.S. is contemplating a U-turn on sunbeds. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the country’s drug and food safety watchdog, has suggested stepping up risk warnings on the use of sunbeds. The American Academy of Dermatology has said that people exposed to ultraviolet rays from sunbeds run a 75 percent higher risk of melanoma, the most deadly of all skin cancers. The risk rises with use.

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

White House Refuses to Address Questions on Benghazi Stand Down Order

State Department Refuses To Answer Questions About Whistleblower Testimony

In a remarkable exchange Monday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney failed to directly address questions regarding explosive claims by a whistleblower that US Special forces personnel were ordered to stand down as the attack on the US embassy was taking place.

During a press conference, the senior White House correspondent for Fox News Channel, Ed Henry pressed Carney on the issue, stating:

“Why is Greg Hicks, who was the number two to Ambassador Stevens, now going to tell the Congress and the American people that there were US special forces who were in Tripoli, ready to board a plane, come to Benghazi to help these Americans, and they were told to stand down?”

In several attempts to dodge the question, Carney referred Henry to The Department of Defense, stating “I don’t have access to the interviews that I think have been referred to and some of the news reports.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Zero Tolerance and Zero Common Sense

The 7-year-old classmates pointed pencils at each other and made shooting noises — innocent play between friends, the mother of one said.

“They were pretending they were in the military,” Wendy Marshall said.

What she called harmless fun was considered threatening behavior by the Suffolk Public Schools. The boys, second-graders at Driver Elementary, were suspended [for 10 days] because of Friday’s pencil-pointing incident.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Are the French Lazy? Perhaps Not, But They Exhibit a Definite Preference for Leisure

by Lara Marlowe

When a bank holiday falls on Tuesday or Thursday, French employees take the Monday or Friday off as well. The practice is known as a pont or bridge.

This year, May provides a bonanza for the leisure-loving French: a viaduc— that is, a five-day break which began after office hours yesterday and will continue until next Monday morning.

Officially, there are 36 paid holidays in France, the same number as in Britain, Sweden and Spain; seven more than in Germany. However, French civil servants take an average 44 days off annually, according to the statistics institute INSEE.

Most holidays can be traced to France’s former status as “the eldest daughter of the Church” or to her passion for historical commemoration. May 1st has been a holiday since Charles IX received a sprig of lily of the valley in 1561. In 1889, the socialist international, meeting in Paris, dedicated May 1st to the struggle for an eight-hour day.

Most of the French people I asked could not tell me that today’s bank holiday commemorates victory in the second World War, or that tomorrow’s is the Feast of the Ascension, as well as Europe Day. Though Friday is not technically a bank holiday, millions will take the day off to make a viaduc , while nominally observing a national day of remembrance for the horrors of the slave trade.

May 20th will serve as a reminder of the difficulty of breaking the holiday habit. Former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin tried to abolish the Whit or Pentecost Monday holiday. Though it is no longer enshrined in law, most employers still give their staff the day off, to keep social peace.

No point

Renovating an apartment between April and September is a hazardous endeavour. One builder told me there was no point beginning work in May, because of all the ponts. June is relatively safe, but another builder refused to start the job in July because he couldn’t be certain of finishing before the sacrosanct grandes vacances in August.

Statistics show the average full time French employee works 1,679 hours a year. That’s 225 hours fewer than a German, and 177 hours less than a Briton. The French enter the labour market later and leave earlier, are better paid and take more sick leave, than their European colleagues.

Conservative deputy Jérôme Chartier has published a book, In Praise of Work , in which he blames post second World War “left-wing intellectuals” for spreading the belief that work is bad because it merely enriches the bosses.

Since 1970, working hours in France have diminished significantly more than elsewhere in the industrialised world. The socialist President François Mitterrand gave the French five weeks of paid holidays in 1981, though professions with strong unions can get up to 12. He also reduced the working week to 39 hours, which the socialist labour minister Martine Aubry further reduced it to 35 hours in 2000. Mitterrand also lowered the legal retirement age from 65 to 60.

But in the land of l’égalité , the best conditions are reserved for the dwindling number who benefit from contracts of indefinite duration, known as CDIs.

The French, to use the words of Olivier Blanchard, the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, have a “preference for leisure”, which means they are willing to sacrifice income for more time off.

Nice work if you can get it.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Europe to Risk Being “Global Spectator”: NATO Chief

BRUSSELS, May 6 (Xinhua) — Europe will risk becoming “a global spectator” if European nations continue to slash their defense expenditures due to the current economic slowdown, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned on Monday. “Europeans must understand that soft power alone is really no power at all. Without hard capabilities to back up its diplomacy, Europe will lack credibility and influence,” Rasmussen said while addressing the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Federal Europe Will be ‘A Reality in a Few Years’, Says Jose Manuel Barroso

A fully fledged federal Europe may seem like “political science fiction” today but will soon become reality for all European Union countries whether inside or outside the euro, Jose Manuel Barroso has said.

The president of the European Commission has fanned the flames of British debate over EU membership by insisting that fiscal union in the eurozone will lead to “intensified political union” for all 27 member states. “This is about the economic and monetary union but for the EU as a whole,” he said. “The commission will, therefore, set out its views and explicit ideas for treaty change in order for them to be debated before the European elections.” “We want to put all the elements on the table, in a clear and consistent way, even if some of them may sound like political science fiction today. They will be reality in a few years’ time.” Mr Barroso’s announcement that he will set out plans for a European federation next spring, before elections to the European Parliament in May 2014, will further deepen Conservative divisions over the EU…

[Reader comment by brocus on 7 May 2013 at 11:12 am.]

I actually welcome Barroso’s comments. At least they are open and straightforward, rather more so than the weasel words of Clegg, Ed and the other Euro-obsessives. We now see the real agenda here and can have a grown up debate followed by an in/out referendum before the next election.

[JP note: Jose Manuel Barroso: one of the world’s worst nightmares, evil personified, malevolentia perverso.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

‘Italy Second in World for Solar’

Trails Germany in active photovoltaic capacity

(ANSA) — Rome, May 8 — Italy ranks second only to Germany in active solar-energy capacity, according to a national report Wednesday.

The economy ministry’s energy services department (GSE) issued data that says 478,331 photovoltaic plants were in use in Italy, putting out 16,420 megawatts and 18,862 gigawatt hours of energy in 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Only Option: Cooperation With Germany, Not Confrontation

Let’s imagine the eurozone as a strategic space where a succession of arms-race and disarmament phases is taking place. No doubt this is a largely misleading comparison, yet it may help policymakers focus on their next moves as they weight the “appropriate” amount of austerity they should pursue.

As is the case in real military confrontation, the euro area presents moments of détente and disarmament followed by strains and more-or-less open retaliation. An example of disarment emerged last year, when Angela Merkel did not oppose the ECB’s decision to stand ready to buy unlimited amounts of distressed sovereign bonds. It was a costly political move for the chancellor, as German voters are deeply suspicious of an interventionist ECB. However, Merkel opted for “disarmament” as she could point to similar behavior on the other side of the strategic divide. Under prime minister Mario Monti, Italy was committing to a line that, in German eyes, looked cooperative: the Rome government acknowledged the country’s own problems, tried to consolidate public finances, and promised reform. That cooperative game yielded an outcome that still allows Bund-Btp spreads to be comparatively low today.

The pact unraveled when Italian elections marked a defeat for Merkel. A majority of Italians disowned Monti’s “disarmament”, thus confirming views in Berlin that Italy is not to be trusted. Retaliations followed, in a non-cooperative game that now spreads throughout the area: Germany is slowing down the banking union process and opposes moves by the ECB that could help credit to euro-periphery SMEs; the Constitutional Court in Portugal ruled some key reforms illegal; anti-German rhetoric is mounting among French socialists even as the France is losing competitiveness to core Europe; and the new Italian government debates tax cuts with no mention of spending cuts to match them…

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

Italy: Berlusconi 4-Year Fraud Term Upheld

(ANSA) — Milan, May 8 — Silvio Berlusconi’s four-year conviction for tax fraud on TV rights bought by his Mediaset TV empire was upheld Wednesday. The three-time premier and media magnate will appeal to the supreme court.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Retired Pornstar Rizzo Probed in International Tax Scam

Prosecutors seeking indictment of 45 people for evasion

(ANSA) — Pescara, May 8 — Prosecutors from the Adriatic city of Pescara submitted an indictment request for 45 people, including retired pornstar Jessica Rizzo, following investigations of alleged international tax fraud.

The defendants, mostly businessmen and professionals, are being probed for fraudulent invoicing to dodge tax payments.

Finance police have seized 36 million euros in property and cash since investigations began last September.

Rizzo has built a lucrative adult-entertainment empire that includes films, videos, a satellite channel, magazines, sex chat lines, lingerie, toys, erotic aids, nightclub appearances by celebrity performers and even sex seminars for Italians worried about their own performance, and in 1997 sponsored both a women’s soccer club and a second-division rugby team.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Driver for TAV Construction Company Injured by Stone Attack

Police believe opponents to high-speed rail line responsible

(ANSA) — Turin, May 8 — A driver was injured by a group of hooded attackers late Tuesday evening as he was leaving a work site for the controversial high-speed TAV rail line near the Piedmont city of Turin.

Police said that the group began pummelling the man’s truck as he was leaving the Maddalena construction site where he works as a driver for Martina Service. The high-speed rail line will eventually connect Turin to Lyon.

Some critics of the rail link, which Italy and France say they will begin building in 2014, have staged violent protests denouncing its high cost and claiming it will cause environmental damage.

The driver, who suffered light injuries to his hand, was released from the hospital shortly after being treated.

“This is a vile act of intimidation, using violence to instill a climate of terror,” a company spokesman said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Protestors Clash With Police at U.S. Military Site in Sicily

Hearings on the MUOS satellite project set for Friday

(ANSA) — Niscemi, May 8 — More violent protests erupted Wednesday at the site of a new United States satellite communications base under construction in Sicily.

About 50 members of the local committee opposed to the site clashed with police, leaving three officers bruised.

Protesters tried to prevent a routine shift change of guards at the construction site.

Construction of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) site by the US military has stirred controversy in Sicily.

A hearing date has been set for Friday in the dispute over permits for the site, after the regional government withdrew its authorization for construction of the controversial site.

While opponents say MUOS will threaten world peace, the environment, and the health of locals, Italy’s defence ministry defended the system as “essential for NATO operations in the Mediterranean and therefore, for national security”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Alex Ferguson Retires as Manchester United Manager

Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of this season, Manchester United have announced.

As exclusively revealed by Telegraph Sport last night, United manager Ferguson said: “The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time. “It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one. Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world. Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both Director and Ambassador for the club. With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: BBC Responds to Leyton Sharia Council’s Criticism of Panorama Exposé

The BBC has said it fully stands by its secret filming of an Islamic council which mediates on Muslim marriages after the centre criticised the corporation for being “underhand”. The Islamic Sharia Council, in Francis Road, Leyton, was investigated by the BBC’s Panorama documentary series last month following allegations it was ruling on cases it had no legal authority to get involved in. An undercover BBC reporter posed as a woman complaining of domestic violence and captured staff on camera advising her only to go to the police as a “last resort”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Boris Johnson Visits Old Kent Road Mosque

Mayor of London Boris Johnson visited the Old Kent Road Mosque on Friday.

The Mayor was accompanied by his deputy, Sir Edward Lister. The mosque, at the corner of Old Kent Road and Rowcross Street, is run by the Muslim Association of Nigeria. The Mayor gave a speech extolling the virtues of London as a multicultural city and argued that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games had shown the capital at its best.

“This mosque is an example of the kind of institution that helped to create that effect in the summer of 2012,” said Mr Johnson. In his speech the Mayor drew on his own background as the descendent of an immigrant from Turkey.

He said: “You may not believe this, but my great grandfather came to London — and he was a Muslim. He knew the Koran off by heart in Arabic. I think he would have been absolutely astonished to find that his great grandson had become Mayor of London… I end on that point because it shows that this is a city that can welcome anybody from any background and they can achieve whatever they want in their life.”

[JP note: Islam über Alles.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Can UKIP Become a Truly National Party?

by Henry Hill

Henry Hill is a British Conservative and Unionist activist, and author of the blog Dilettante.

UKIP: A national party?

“The scale of the advance of Ukip has shocked both the two main parties. As expected, it seems to have taken votes primarily from disgruntled Conservatives, but it is also establishing itself in traditional Labour areas. As Tim Congdon has pointed out, if that trend should continue Mr Farage would be able to claim that his was the only truly national party with strong support across the whole of England.”

Above is Lord Tebbit, temporarily forgetting that Alex Salmond has yet to win the 2014 referendum campaign. I know that Anglonats read this column but individual opinions aside, UKIP is very explicitly the United Kingdom Independence Party. It contests Scottish and Welsh elections. It even managed to beat the Conservatives to an MLA in Northern Ireland.

The problem is that, despite its clearly British sentiments, UKIP doesn’t appear to have a game plan for outside England. It continues to poll poorly in elections to the devolved chambers. It at least beat the Liberal Democrats to an MEP in Wales, and former two-term Conservative MEP for North Wales and so-called “Celtic Iron Lady”, Beata Brookes, recently announced her defection. Yet despite being in the unique position of being able to focus their resources on a single council, the Welsh wing of UKIP didn’t even put up a fight for Isle of Anglesey council…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: David Cameron: I Can’t Legislate for an EU Referendum

David Cameron has said he is powerless to introduce Government legislation guaranteeing a European Union referendum in the next Parliament.

The Prime Minister said that his Coalition deal with the pro-European Liberal Democrats means the Government cannot introduce legislation paving the way for a vote on Europe after the next election. Mr Cameron’s comments on legislation, in a private letter to Conservative MPs, come only days after he dropped a pre-election hint that he was prepared to consider the option.

The admission came as the Conservative debate about Europe intensified over a suggestion from Lord Lawson of Blaby, a former Chancellor, that Britain should now leave the EU. Mr Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on the UK relationship with the EU in the next Parliament, if he is re-elected. That promise has not curbed the rise of the UK Independence Party, and some Conservative MPs say that is because voters do not believe Mr Cameron’s pledge…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: David Cameron Blasted in Full-Page Times Ad by ‘Disillusioned’ Tory Voter

George Osborne also comes under fire in ‘desperate and expensive cry for help’ that will have cost up to £16,000

An anonymous “disillusioned” Tory voter has splashed out an estimated £16,000 for a full-page advert in the Times to beg David Cameron and George Osborne to learn about the “unpleasant realities of the real world”. The advert in Tuesday’s Times takes the form of a letter to the prime minister and the chancellor and is signed simply as “Martin, full name and address supplied”.

“Martin” takes Cameron to task over the ballooning national debt and gives him a three-point plan to get the economy working again: get rid of a quarter of all senior civil servants; remove unnecessary health and safety departments; and review all capital expenditure projects whose return does not materialise for several years. He suggests that only capital expenditure projects that have at least 50% UK labour content should be considered and warns that bolting foreign trains together in a British plant “is hardly the same”.

News International declined to divulge the advertiser’s identity, but said the advert was placed by “an ordinary individual who was not affiliated to any party or any company”. The cost of a black and white full-page advert is £16,645 according to the company’s website, though this “rate card” price is not likely to have been paid. The ad appears on page 20, opposite Nigel Lawson’s opinion piece calling for the UK to leave the EU…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Eddy Shah Accused of Raping Girl of 14: Tycoon ‘Had Sex Sessions With Child and Prostitute’

[WARNING: Disturbing Content.]

Former newspaper owner Eddy Shah repeatedly raped a 14-year-old girl during sex sessions with a prostitute, a court heard yesterday.

Shah, founder of the now defunct Today newspaper, raped the teenager on six occasions in the early 1990s, it was alleged.

He paid prostitute Susan Davies for sex in ‘smart hotel rooms’, and she brought along the girl, the Old Bailey was told.

On one occasion, the youngster claims Shah told her while raping her that he had ‘planned this since I was a little girl’, it was said.

Yesterday Davies, 53, sat in the dock alongside Shah, 69, for the start of their four-week trial.

She is charged with child cruelty and with aiding and abetting the rape and indecent assault of the schoolgirl by Shah. She is also accused of pimping out the youngster to a second man, businessman Anthony Pallant, who is accused of rape and indecent assault.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Leaders Back Campaign Against Street Grooming Gangs

MUSLIM organisations and civil rights groups are to meet in West Yorkshire to launch a community campaign against sexual grooming by gangs. Led by the Islamic Society of Britain and civil rights movement Hope not Hate, the Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE) is being launched in Bradford on Friday. Speakers from West Yorkshire Police, Bradford Council of Mosques and Bradford Council will attend.

A spokesperson for the new group said: “While there is a great deal of good work focusing on child exploitation, more needs to be done against scourge of on-street grooming by gangs. Local and national grass roots and faith organisations are often best-placed to reach out into the communities most beset by this problem. Working across child protection services, with local authorities, schools, faith communities and the police, CAASE will develop a proactive response to the growing problem of on-street grooming, raising awareness, educating and developing community-led responses. CAASE will meet head-on the communal challenges raised by child sexual exploitation of vulnerable young girls and women.”

The initiative is supported by the Muslim Council of Britain, Muslim Youth Helpline, Muslim Community Helpline, Federation of Muslim Organisations, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, the Christian Muslim Forum, City Sikhs Network, and the Church of England, plus women’s rights groups. Julie Siddiqi, of the Islamic Society of Britain, said: “There are few crimes more horrific than the sexual exploitation of young women: these girls have been let down by everyone. I have been sickened reading about these cases. There should be no excuse, no hiding place, for those who perpetrate such crimes.”

Nick Lowles, of Hope not Hate, said: “The evil that is abuse happens across all areas of society. This is not an issue of race or religion. We want to encourage all our partners to help us remove the veils of secrecy and control that allow abuse to flourish. We also need to ensure that the media, and far-right groups, do not promote an anti-Muslim agenda over so-called ‘grooming’ trials either. Hope not Hate will focus on busting myths that groups such as the English Defence League and British National Party like to promote in their quest for hate and division.”

Shayka Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “This is an appalling and abhorrent kind of behaviour which is totally unacceptable regardless of race or religion. Some of those perpetrators who have recently been convicted happen to be from the Muslim community, so we need to be at the very front of the voice that is condemning this. It is important that leaders of religious communities speak out against this deplorable and abhorrent behaviour by adults toward vulnerable children.”

The Community Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation has issued a ‘call to action’ ahead of Friday’s launch at Manningham Mills Community Centre, Bradford. The group wants zero tolerance for abuse and wants faith and community leaders to speak out. It says “abuse is not a single-community issue and should not be used to promote hatred.” It intends to raise awareness through campaigning across all communities. And it will produce training kits for faith and community leaders, so they can speak out with confidence. It will produce “myth-busting material to counter extremist groups who might attempt to exploit the issue in order to divide communities and stir up hatred.” The group wants to promote itself in areas where on-street grooming is a problem. Supporters will be encouraged to report incidents and promote the work of child protection agencies.

[JP note: Casa Futile.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Nigel Lawson Calls Time on the Three-Pint Eurosceptic Heroes

by Nigel Farage

The former Tory chancellor is right about leaving the EU, and closet sceptics will have to accept it, says Ukip’s leader

It’s a lot less lonely now. When a group of unknown political players set up Ukip in 1993, the idea that the UK might someday re-establish its independence and leave the European Union was at best a minority pursuit. Now, no less a man than Lord Lawson advocates the idea, and validates Ukip’s arguments. Clearly nobody now doubts that it is a valid position. The reaction to Lord Lawson’s view has been to ask what damage it will do internally, to David Cameron’s embattled Conservative Party, and there has been speculation about the timing of the statement…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: The Queen’s Speech and Immigration: A Pig-Wrestler’s Call to Arms

by James Kirkup

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That was Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity. It comes to mind today when considering the Queen’s Speech and the Conservative Party’s broader response to the recent advance of the UK Independence Party. The settled view among most Conservatives is that Ukip’s rise is a story of Europe and immigration. Let’s take that at face value.

Start with Europe.

Earlier this year, David Cameron made a big speech about Europe. A very big speech. In it, he junked years of British policy on Europe and went against his own instincts to promise a referendum on membership. I repeat, this was a very big deal for the PM. He agonised over the decision for months, and some of his aides regarded it as the biggest gamble of his premiership. And how much difference did that speech make? Have a look at the Ukip poll figures for an answer: more or less unchanged this year, thank you very much.

Now think back to the Eastleigh by-election. The Tories took another big decision there, the decision to fight Ukip on its chosen turf, Europe and immigration. They even handed our purple leaflets, for goodness’ sake. How much difference did that campaign make? Have a look back at the Eastleigh result: Ukip beat the Conservatives.

Today it’s immigration. Building on another Big Speech by the PM about immigration, the Government is today using the biggest speech of all, the Queen’s, to talk about immigration: a whole raft of pledges, promises, and other offers all meant to make you think that ministers are tackling an issue you see as a problem.

You can see how No 10 and friends drew up this plan. This is, after all, how conventional wisdom says the game is played: 1) Voters express concern about something. 2) politicians promise to do something about it. 3) Voters stop worrying and move on to something else. 4) Some voters feel that the politicians responded to their concerns and vote for them. Now, a quick look at the examples of the European speech and the Eastleigh by-election suggests that something has broken down in that process, a rupture arising somewhere between steps 2 and 3. Whatever could it be?


I started with Einstein. I’ll close with George Bernard Shaw: “Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.” This isn’t a Queen’s Speech. It’s a pig-wrestler’s call to arms.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: The Euro Charade: Nigel Lawson’s Absolutely Right. The Idea That We Can Renegotiate With the EU is Pure Fantasy — And Voters Will Never Fall for it

Nigel Lawson played a role in bringing down Margaret Thatcher, largely because of her resistance to Britain joining the Exchange Rate Mechanism, which she regarded as the precursor to the European single currency.

How things change. Twenty-three years later, the former Tory Chancellor not only accepts that Lady Thatcher was right about the euro, but he also argues that Britain would be better off outside the European Union.

Lord Lawson’s views are not especially unusual in today’s Conservative Party.

Though David Cameron wants to remain in the EU, albeit on new terms, 72 per cent of Tory voters and 84 per cent of party members say they would vote to leave tomorrow.

They evidently believe that any renegotiation would be, as the extraordinarily sharp 81-year-old peer puts it, ‘inconsequential’.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UKIP Could Get to be Really Quite Annoying

by Iain Martin

I like Nigel Farage. I like his tireless grassroots campaigning. I like his penchant for a pint, his smoking and the jovial manner in which he annoys the old parties. And as a friend of mine remarked the other day, it is good, no matter what one makes of his views, to see a leading politician once again wearing an overcoat. This overcoat point (a covert coat with a velvet collar in Nigel’s case) is more important than it sounds. The leaders of the big parties have no need of overcoats, because when they are not being waited on in offices maintained at the perfect shirtsleeves temperature, they are in chauffeur-driven cars maintained at the perfect shirtsleeves temperature. Sometimes a railway station is involved and they might need to walk from the car to the train, but this is survivable without an overcoat in all bar the coldest temperatures.

Those of us who travel regularly on public transport, or who have to walk to work (or lunch), know how changeable the British weather is. Which is why we have coats. Unless we hail from Newcastle, where coats are illegal, for much of the year we err on the side of caution and put on a coat unless the forecast says hot sun and no rain. In contrast to Milicamclegg, Farage always puts on his coat (even at weekends), pops a trilby on his head, lights up a fag and walks to the pub to continue devising policies. The rumour that Farage is always photographed with the same pint, which he carries around for publicity purposes, is almost certainly a falsehood got up by Notting Hill types.

Part of the British public is obviously falling in love with Farage, in a Goodwood-Festival-of-Speed-and-membership-of-the-National-Trust-is-such-good-value type way. He is on what Nick Clegg, channeling Simon Cowell, would call “ a journey”. It is the natural way of these things that once the fuss has died down, and Britain has voted to stay in the EU, Farage will become the jovial darling of the conservative end of the British middle classes. In five years time BBC One will launch a new series: The Great British Farage, followed by Nigel Farage’s Balloon Safari. Long before then he will appear as a guest on BBC Top Gear, fronted by Jeremy Clarkson. By the way, Clarkson must be annoyed at recent developments. Before Farage there was only one leader of the Clarksonist party — motto: end the war on the British motorist. Now Clarkson is in danger of being left in the slow-lane by Farage doing 110mph in a Triumph Stag. The “common-sense” classes have a new hero.

But for all Nigel Farage’s considerable appeal, I do think it is already apparent that the rest of Ukip could get quite quickly to be very tiresome and really quite annoying. To that end, by far the worst habit of the hardened Ukipper is to claim to speak for The British People, a phrase laden with Marxist undertones, as though The People are one body that can be drilled. “The British People are fed-up with… etc.”…

[JP note: See also by Iain Martin — ]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

World Jewish Congress President Says Sorry for Criticizing Hungarian PM

BUDAPEST, May 7 (Xinhua) — The 14th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress(WJC) ended in Budapest on Tuesday with a closing address by WJC President Ronald Lauder who said he was sorry for criticizing Prime Minister Viktor Orban following the opening of the congress for not cracking down on Hungary’s far-right Jobbik party…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Benghazi: Libyans Couldn’t Protect Americans They Didn’t Know Were in Libya

Urgent. Another layer has been peeled off the giant onion that is Benghazi as we search for the truth that keeps leading us to Syria and the missing Libyan weapons that have shown up in Syrian rebels’ hands — the next phase of the Obama-Clinton regime’s so-called Arab Spring that does not serve America’s interests. Let’s call it what it is.

How many Americans were working in Libya when the terrorist attack killed four Americans, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, and Sean Smith, on September 11, 2012? According to a well-placed source that was working with the staff at the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) which was established after Col. Muammar Gaddafi was killed, at that time, the talk there was very surprising. Apparently the Libyans thought America had only a handful of people in Eastern Libya and Benghazi. They were surprised to learn the real number. According to my source the number of Americans was far more than the TNC had been apprised of. Are we talking a couple thousand, a couple hundred, what’s the real number and how many witnesses need to be questioned if America is to be told the truth? What I can report with certainty is the number exceeds the number of witnesses who will testify today in the Oversight & Government Reform Committee hearing. As I was told, there weren’t enough seats on one plane to bring them all home. Libya’s TNC was shocked because how could they possibly help to protect the Americans if they didn’t know they were there? Is that why the Obama-Clinton regime did not send help, because no one was supposed to know that they were there?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Morsi Appoints Nine Islamists to Key Ministries

The controversial decision is met with criticism, including from the president’s Salafist allies. Justice, Economy and Finance ministries are among the departments reshuffled. For the first time, the Ministry of Antiquities will be run by an expert in Islamic culture, and by not an archaeologist. Journalist André Azzam talks about the first effects of the Islamisation of government. Ordinary Egyptians increasingly hate Morsi.

Cairo (AsiaNews) — Justice, culture, economy and religion are key areas now under the direct or indirect control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Yesterday, President Mohamed Morsi presented the members of his new cabinet, giving nine ministries to figures affiliated with the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), including Finance, Investment, Justice and Culture. Hisham Kandil, a technocrat, remains prime minister. The new ministers were sworn in at the presidential palace.

The cabinet shuffle has proven controversial though. Pro-democracy parties and secularist groups view the new cabinet as further proof of the Muslim Brotherhood consolidating its hold on power. Unexpectedly, several pro-government Salafist MPs also criticised the president’s action, calling it a partisan cabinet with a technocratic veneer.

In an interview with AsiaNews, Egyptian journalist André Azzam said that the president chose the new cabinet members for their loyalty, not their abilities. “He wants to change the country,” he said, “but until now has only been able to boost hatred against himself among ordinary Egyptians.”

The Finance portfolio went to Fayyad Abdel-Moneim, a specialist in Islamic finance and a member of the Freedom and Justice Party. Yehia Hamed, the new Investment minister, is a prominent Brotherhood member. Ahmed Suleiman, who is close to the Islamist movement, gets the Justice Ministry, replacing Ahmed Mekky, who criticised the president’s plan to reform the justice system, and retire 13,000 judges, including the presidents of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court

According to Azzam, the Muslim Brotherhood plans to take over culture as well, gradually. In fact, Morsi appointed Ahmed Eissa Ahmed, an expert on Islamic and Coptic culture, as minister of Antiquities. This goes against the long-established practice of appointing internationally recognised intellectuals and archaeological experts to the department.

“The story that is being written is an old one,” Azzam said. “Like in other places, the Muslim Brotherhood wants to places its members everywhere, especially in government, in order to rule even if they should lose political support.”

In recent months, Morsi’s changes are having their first disruptive effects. The most striking example is the resignation of Mazhar Shaheen, the imam of Omar Makram Mosque on Tahrir Square.

He was a leading figure in the Arab Spring of 2011 and was well liked by the Protestant community with whom he had close ties of friendship. However, he was forced out of office last month by an order of the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Shaheen was removed against the wishes of Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of Al-Azhar, who has always been critical of President Morsi and the Islamist establishment.

In recent months, the grand imam and other members of al-Azhar University have also come under attack in the media over alleged food poisoning of 500 students at the Islamic institution. (S.C.)

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

Folding to Pressure, Libya PM to Reshuffle Government

(AGI) — Tripoli, May 8 — Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has given in to pressure from militant groups surrounding key buildings in Tripoli and announced a government reshuffle will take place over the next few days. In a press conference Zeidan defended the militants, calling them revolutionaries who fought to overthrow Gaddafi in 2011. He also asked the militants to withdraw.

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

Libyan Defense Minister Resigns Amid Armed Protests

After two ministries were surrounded by armed protesters within a week, Libya’s defense minister has resigned. He had served under former dictator Gadhafi — a fact that was also set to cost him his job. Mohammed al-Bargathi’s resignation on Tuesday was not exactly how he would have preferred to address the issue posed by gunmen who have beseiged two government ministries in recent days…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Video: ‘Islamic Hotel’ Opens on Egyptian Red Sea Coast

A new “Islamic hotel” has opened up on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, which hopes to offer something different to tourists. There is no alcohol at the hotel and men and women stay on separate floors. In an area that traditionally caters for European and Russian tourists, its owners think that this could be the start of a new trend.

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

Jerusalem Mufti Detained Over Temple Mount Riots

Mufti detained a day after Muslim worshipers riot, injure two.

Police detained Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein for questioning Wednesday morning over suspicions that he was involved in disturbances at the Temple Mount on Tuesday. Some fifteen Muslim worshipers threw chairs at security forces Tuesday, lightly injuring two police officers after they arrested an Arab youth who allegedly disturbed the peace and yelled at Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iraq: 3 Car Bomb Attacks Hit Kurdish Security Forces in Iraq

KIRKUK, Iraq, May 8 (Xinhua) — Two suicide car bombers and a car bomb struck Kurdish security forces in Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk on Wednesday, killing at least two and wounding more than 29, a local police source said. The attacks occurred in the morning when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into the entrance of the office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, a Kurdish party headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, in central city of Kikruk, some 250 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Menendez Offers Bill to Arm Syrian Rebels

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) on Monday introduced a bill that would provide arms to vetted rebel groups.

Menendez’s legislation would give arms and military training to opposition groups that had been vetted, as well as provide $250 million for basic services and security in a post-Assad Syria.

The bill also includes new sanctions against those providing arms or oil to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

See for Yourself: Syrian Government Likely Did Not Use Chemical Weapons

Haaretz reported on March 24th, “Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria”.

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte said that there is strong evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but that there is not evidence that the government used such weapons:

But the U.S. is blaming the Syrian government for the attacks in Syria.

So who’s right?

The Global Post reported on April 30th:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: Philippine Government Condemns Abduction of Filipino UN Peacekeepers in Golan Heights

MANILA, May 8 (Xinhua) — The Philippine government condemned on Wednesday the abduction of four Filipino UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights and urged for their immediate and safe release. The foreign affairs department said in a statement the illegal detention of peacekeepers is a “gross violation” of international law. The department called on the Security Council to “exert all efforts and use its influence” for the quick and safe release of Filipino peacekeepers.

The Philippine government is also urging the Security Council to ensure that the “freedom of movement and safety and security of peacekeepers in all UN peacekeeping missions are observed.” The four peacekeepers were abducted on the Golan Heights on Tuesday by an armed group believed to be the same one to have abducted 21 Filipino peacekeepers two months ago. These Filipino peacekeepers are part of the UN Disengagement Observer Force ( UNDOF). After four days of negotiations, they were released by the rebels…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Syria: U.S. Arms Butchers Who Use Chemical Weapons on Civilians … and Then Tries to Frame Someone Else

UN investigator Carla Del Ponte said that there is strong evidence that the rebels used chemical weapons, but that there is not evidence that the government used such weapons:

This is not surprising. Haaretz reported on March 24th, “Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria”.

The “rebels” in Syria that the U.S. has been arming and otherwise supporting are Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

US Army Chief Suggests Military Intervention in Syria Before End of Summer

“The next three, four months, we probably have the capability to do it”

The U.S. Army’s top officer has said that the window of opportunity for a military assault on Syria is within the next three to four months and that budget cuts would render intervention after the end of summer unlikely.

Speaking with reporters yesterday Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, warned that planned training cutbacks due to the sequester meant that if the Obama administration wanted to give the green light for intervention it would have to act quickly…

However, recent victories by Assad’s forces, including the re-taking of central areas of Homs, are being seen by some as a reason for the west’s increased urgency to arm rebel fighters.

Odierno acknowledged the presence of terrorists amongst the FSA ranks, but attempted to downplay their role as comparatively minor.

Rebels have been routinely caught ransacking Christian churches, burning US flags, chanting anti-American slogans and singing the praises of Osama Bin Laden as they glorify the 9/11 attacks, while also espousing their desire to fly the Al-Qaeda flag over the White House.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh Clear Air on “3,000 Dead” Rumors in Crackdown on Islamists

DHAKA, May 8 (Xinhua) — A day after late night crackdown on thousands of Islamist protesters who were camped in Dhaka’s key commercial district, Bangladesh Police Wednesday brushed aside rumors of “3,000 people dead” in the raid amid a blackout. Over the last two days, at dinner tables, family gatherings, business meetings and even tea stalls, Bangladeshis were asking about the raid of the early Monday when 10,000 law enforcers swept away thousands of Islamist protesters who have been demanding a stricter anti-blasphemy law…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

For Catholic Analyst, Malaysian Spring Will Follow Botched Poll

Fr Andrew Lawrence, SJ, editor of the Catholic Herald Malaysia, speaks about election irregularities that cast a shadow on the ruling party’s “narrow” victory. Tomorrow, the opposition will hold a demonstration. A battle to “restore truth and freedom” is underway to lift the country out of the “quagmire of dirty politics”.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) — “The elections were botched,” said Fr Andrew Lawrence SJ, editor of the Catholic Herald Malaysia, about last weekend’s vote, which re-elected, albeit by a slim margin, the outgoing coalition government of Prime Minister Najib Razak. However, “There are many cases of illegal voters brought to the polling booths,” especially with regard to votes from abroad, which favoured the victory of Barisan Nasional (the National Front or BN).

For the clergyman, “This amounts to an act of treason” against the will of the people “by those responsible of uncivil and illegal acts on 5 May.” In fact, the opposition has called for a demonstration tomorrow to denounce the fraud and challenge the election outcome as announced by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

According to the Electoral Commission, the prime minister’s party won 133 seats out of 222, its worst result ever, but enough for its 13th consecutive win since the country gained independence from Britain in 1957. The opposition movement won 89 seats, seven more than in the previous legislature. The turnout was 80 per cent, 10 million out 13 million registered voters.

Shortly after the official announcement, thousands of voters changed their avatar on social media to a black stamp as a sign of protest.

Prime Minister Najib Razak was sworn in yesterday for another term, but few are betting that the next five years will be free of obstacles. Even within his own party, some have been disappointed by the narrow victory and would like to see changes in the leadership.

Opposition supporters reiterated allegations of fraud, posting images and banners (pictured) complaining about “voting box[es that] can fall from the sky” or “disappear for a few hours” in a country where “police and anti-riot” units “protect government” bodies, “not the people.”

Speaking to AsiaNews about the vote, Fr Lawrence also has doubts about the legitimacy of the outcome. In some cases, he explained, the ruling party was “aided by the so-called postal vote “, which kept afloat incumbents and helped the ruling party retain power.

Nevertheless, for the editor of the Catholic Herald Malaysia, “The Malaysian Spring has truly begun.” Tomorrow, a large gathering of people will challenge the results of the election because the “Voice of the people is sacred”.

For Fr Lawrence, “Najib will not last long” because “a struggle to establish truth and freedom” has begun.

“We are confident,” he said, “that we can, with the support of the people, emerge out this quagmire of dirty politics and be free again.”

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

Gas and Oil Giant Discovers New Field in Pakistan

Rome, 6 May — Italy’s oil and gas company Eni said Monday it had made a new gas discovery in southern Pakistan that should ease acute gas shortages for industry and transport in the Asian country.

The Sukhpur Block located 270 kilometres north of the sprawling port city of Karachi in Sindh province, was uncovered by Eni in a joint-venture with Pakistan Petroleum Ltd and Kuwait’s Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company.

The resevoir has “excellent” potential and in exploratory drilling produced gas flowed up to a rate of 33 million standard cubic feet per day, Eni said in a statement.

Eni said an early production scheme would enable the field to start supplying gas only three years after the block was awarded in 2010.

The joint-venture plans to drill another exploration well within next twelve months.

Eni has been present in Pakistan since 2000 and is the largest oil and gas producer among the foreign companies operating in the country.

In 2012, the company’s hydrocarbon production averaged approximately 57,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, Eni said.

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

India: Jesuit: Minorities Are Second-Class Citizens in Gujarat

Fr. Cedric Prakash comments on the latest report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which analyzes the situation of the Indian state. The anti-conversion law in Gujarat imposes the civil authorities permission to change religion. For years, the U.S. deny head of the government a visa, for his role in the massacres of 2002.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — “In 2013 minorities are still treated as second-class citizens in Gujarat “: the complaint comes from Fr. Cedric Prakash, director of the Prashant Jesuit Centre in Ahmedabad for human rights, justice and peace, commenting on the latest report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Published two days ago, the report has added India to level 2 of its ranking among the countries where the violations and religious persecution are growing, focusing on the situation in the State of Gujarat.

The priest noted that “the anti-conversion decree [Gujarat Freedom of Religion Law 2003] of our state is one of the most draconian laws across the country, because it forces anyone who wants to convert to first ask the civil authority. Nowadays in different areas of Gujarat police visit Christian churches and asks to examine the baptisms records”.

Besides the current situation, the Jesuit recalls attention to the fact that “the victims and survivors of the massacres of 2002, are still struggling to get justice.” On 27 February 2002 the Sabarmati Express carnage took place at Godhra when a group of Muslims attacked and set fire to the train, on board which the Hindus returning from Ayodhya were traveling. Ayodhya is the site of an ancient mosque seized by Hindus years ago . The attack — which killed 58 people — sparked violent riots in Gujarat, in which the Islamic community paid the highest price, with nearly 2 thousand victims.

In this regard, he stresses, “the UCIRF renewed its request to the U.S. government to ban the entry visa to Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, explaining that there is sufficient evidence that connects him to the 2002 massacres”. Modi has long been accused of conspiring in the fighting, for not taking any action to stop it and failing to establish any investigation. The U.S. denies him a visa to enter the country under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), which denies visas to those individuals who have committed a serious infringement of religious freedom.

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

Holocaust Hero Becomes First Honourary Australian

Australia officially made Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg its first honourary citizen on Monday in recognition of the thousands of Jews he saved from the Holocaust, many of whom came to live Down Under. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the citizenship was “an expression of deep gratitude for all that our nation gained when so many saved by Wallenberg came to these shores”. “We are here today to celebrate something exceptional in the human spirit,” she told a ceremony in Canberra…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

2015 — It’s Either a Northerner or No More Nigeria — Farouk Adamu Aliyu

Again, the issue of Nigeria and her governance took a centre stage yesterday, with the threat by a former member of the House of Representatives and a chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, Hon. Farouk Adamu Aliyu that ‘it is either a Northerner as President in 2015 or there will be no more Nigeria.

Aliyu’s outburst in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Abuja was a direct response to the ex-Niger Delta militant and leader of Niger Delta Volunteer Force, Mujahid Asari Dokubo declaration on Sunday that ‘there will be no peace in the country, if Jonathan was denied a second term’.

Aliyu, who was the 2011 CPC governorship candidate in Jigawa State, said it is unfortunate and sad that Dokubo is still walking the streets a freeman after making such unguarded statement. He warned that “if Jonathan, Dokubo and their people want to destroy this country, then we are willing accomplices”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Kenya to Release 15,000 Inmates to Reduce Prison Crowding

The Kenyan government has announced plans to free up to 15,000 prisoners across the country to reduce prison congestion and facilitate rehabilitation of inmates, Kenya’s The Standard reported Monday (May 6th). “We need to create space. Currently, we have more than 51,000 inmates in all prisons countrywide, which is quite a big number and overwhelming to the government compared to the resources allocated,” said National Community Service Order Committee National Co-ordinator Lawrence Mugambi…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italy: Arab Migrants Including Boys Rescued From Stricken Boat

Cariati, 7 May (AKI) — Coastguard intercepted a boat with 70 Arab migrants on board, including many boys, off southern Italy late on Monday.

The migrants, who included a large number of boys aged around 16, are from Egypt, Syria and the Palestinian territories, and are all in good health, officials said.

The boat was spotted drifting in the Ionian sea between Cariati on the Calabria region’s eastern coast and the Puglia region’s province of Corigliano, according to coastguard.

On 30 April, Italian coastguard rescued a boat off the Sicilian coast with 78 people aboard who claim to be Syrian.

The 35 men and 44 boys were all reported to be in good health. An aerial patrol had spotted their boat adrift off the eastern Sicilian coastal city of Syracuse and a coastguard vessel towed it into port.

Italy’s coast is a common destination for migrants seeking to enter Europe and the number of people-smuggling boats making the dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean rises in the Spring and summer.

Tens of thousands of migrants have headed for Italy’s southern coast since the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings broke out in North Africa in 2011, and at least 1,500 perished that year, the the deadliest on record, according to activists.

Italy drew international criticism for its policy of turning back migrant boats in the Mediterranean as well as severe overcrowding on the southernmost island of Lampedusa, which was inundated with ‘Arab Spring’ arrivals in 2011.

According Human Rights Watch, up to as many 13,500 migrants have died since 1998 while attempting to make the perilous crossing to Europe, as a result of shipwreck, harsh conditions and a lack of food and water.

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

Italy: Police Find 12 Immigrants Walking on Road Near Agrigento

Group believed to have landed near Punta Bianca

(ANSA) — Agrigento, May 8 — Twelve immigrants near the Sicilian city of Agrigento were found walking along the state highway 115 on Wednesday, police said.

Police believe that the twelve were part of a larger group of at least 20 immigrants that were left off the coast near Punta Bianca.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Melanie Phillips: My Immigrant Family Were Proud to Assimilate. I Despair That Too Many Today Expect Britain to Adopt Their Culture

As far back as 1989, I’d grasped that the drive towards multiculturalism (the doctrine which held no culture could be considered superior to any other because that was ‘racist’) could well be a threat to liberty. At the time, the Church of England was proposing that the blasphemy law, which applied only to Christianity, should be replaced by a new offence of insulting or outraging the religious feelings of any group in the community.

I had no doubt that this would become a weapon enabling Islamic militants to destroy freedom of expression. In fact, such a challenge was already being mounted.

Just weeks earlier, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini had issued his notorious fatwa calling for the murder of the author Salman Rushdie for the purported offence to Islam given by his novel, The Satanic Verses. In fear of his life, Rushdie was forced to live in hiding.

The Church’s shameful response was not to withdraw its ludicrous plan to widen the scope of blasphemy laws, but to carry on and, in effect, surrender to a medieval lynch mob.

The Rushdie affair outed other waverers, too. You’d have thought that all decent people in Britain would be united in outrage at a foreign tyranny putting a bounty on the head of a British citizen.

But when Rushdie’s book was publicly burned, a number of Labour MPs took part in this horrifying auto-da-fe, despite its disturbing historical echoes.

They were nervously glancing over their shoulders at their Muslim constituents, worried they might lose their seats.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Comments on Mexico Deceptive, Say Law Officers

During President Barack Obama’s press conference in the White House press room, he was asked by a Latino reporter about both the immigration debate in the U.S. Congress and the U.S.-Mexican “war on drugs.” Obama stated he planned to meet with Mexico’s new leader, President Enrique Pena Nieto, on his trip to Mexico City to discuss joint police and anti-drug strategies.

But, Obama failed to mention a small problem with his drug cartel-busting plan: Mexico has notified U.S. officials that its federal police and military are terminating the unfettered access it gave to U.S. police and security agencies in fighting drug traffickers and organized crime gangs, characterized by many U.S. law enforcement personnel as narco-terrorists.

“The president’s press conference was jammed with half-truths, evasions and out-and-out misrepresentation, some so stunning that even mainstream reporters took to snarking in their tweets. The tone of condescension was striking,” said the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Report: Legalizing Illegal Immigrants to Cost $6.3 Trillion

The Heritage Foundation said Monday that legalizing illegal immigrants would cost taxpayers a net $6.3 trillion over the next 50 years — releasing a report that ignited a venomous battle over an immigration bill and who is truly representing the conservative movement in the debate.

Driving the costs in the Heritage report are simple demographics: Illegal immigrants are more likely to lack a high school education, and more than a third of households headed by illegal immigrants live below the poverty line, meaning those households consume more in services than they pay in taxes.

Heritage said legalizing them improves the situation in the short run but leaves a big hole over the longer term, when they access public health programs and, eventually, Social Security and Medicare benefits.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Road to Nowhere

The country is not importing workers, it’s importing voters

The Heritage Institute report estimates that under amnesty the average legalized illegal household will take in $43,900 in benefits while paying a little over a third of that in taxes. Those numbers are grim from the standpoint of a tottering economy being asked to take on an even bigger pile of debt and they reveal an even grimmer view of the future.

Set aside the political debates, the tensions over multiculturalism, entitlements and the great political divide, and those numbers reek of a country whose only future is poverty.

Subsidized poverty, even if we had the ability to continue subsidizing it forever, is still poverty. A Food Stamp Nation made up of slums full of bodegas and check cashing places does not offer any kind of future. Its only growth industries are in expensive government jobs or cheap service jobs leading to an economy of two tiers; one for workers and another for political workers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Landlords Told: Vet Migrant Tenants

Private landlords will be legally responsible for ensuring that they only let properties to people allowed to be in Britain under immigration laws to be announced in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech.

Almost two million buy-to-let property owners will be responsible for checking the immigration status of potential tenants, with fines running into thousands of pounds for those breaking the law. Employers will also face “more substantial” fines for taking on illegal immigrants.

The measures are likely to prompt questions over whether ordinary people and employers are being made responsible for policing the immigration system after repeated failures by the UK Border Agency. They are included in an Immigration Bill which will also limit the ability of European immigrants to claim benefits and ensure that the right to reside in Britain on the basis of family commitments is not abused by criminals.

Temporary migrants will also be charged for using the NHS and only those who have lived in an area for at least two years will qualify for social housing. The legislation has been drawn up as the Coalition struggles to contain the electoral threat posed by the UK Independence Party, which has wooed voters with its hard-line immigration policies…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Queen’s Speech: Jeremy Hunt ‘Unable’ To Explain How New Immigration Laws Will Work

Plans to make landlords legally responsible for ensuring that they do not let properties to illegal immigrants were mired in confusion today after Jeremy Hunt refused to explain how the rules will actually work.

Just hours before the new immigration laws are announced in the Queen’s Speech Mr Hunt, the Health Secretary, failed to answer a series of questions about how private landlords could effectively become responsible for policing the immigration system. In an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Hunt struggled to explain how the new laws will be enforced but denied the Government is legislating without having thought the plans through…

[JP note: It never rains but it pours for the Tories.]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Christianity Still a Leader in America, Except in Our White House

Obama is clearly in the process of making our military forces a “faithless” total entity by decreeing the removal of any expression or manifestation of faith within the ranks of the U.S. military.

On Wednesday, May 01, 2013, a national event was held in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. It probably did not get your attention as these events intended for nationwide consumption as designed initially to do, but because of its subject there seems to be an enormous effort to act effortless and downplay the whole program.

Why? Well, it’s all about religion and this world of Obama religion is an enigma or a puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation; it could even represent a topic sponsored by a Muslim who is supposed to be a Christian. The topic is really the National Day of Prayer which has been a puzzle for millions of Americans for a few years now under this president.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

City of Brotherly Love Goes Too Far With National Masturbation Month Celebration

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

The name Philadelphia literally means ‘loving — philos and brother- adelphos, or brotherly love. It seems these days that definition is being taken too far. Perhaps the name of the city should be Sodom or Gomorrah.

As if our nation could not fall any further into sexual debauchery, it seems we have sunk to a new low and ground zero is focusing its attention on the City of Brotherly Love — Philadelphia. Believe it or not, someone somewhere has managed to declare May to be the National Masturbation Month. To celebrate the hedonistic event, Philadelphia Magazine is reporting that city is home to the first Masturbate — a — Thon.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How the ‘Gay’ Child-Sex-Abuse Cover-Up Kills Young Men

Exclusive: Judith Reisman reviews science that contravenes ‘born that way’ canard

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

The battle for “gay” marriage clings for life to a “born that way” mythology fathered by the psychopathic Al Kinsey’s claims that we are 10 percent to 37 percent homosexual. (See my law review article, “Crafting Bi/Homosexual Youth.”)

While a “gay gene” lay undiscovered in hopeful cadavers, tears, handedness and such, “gay” child sex abuse has a long cross cultural etiology of precipitating non-normative identity.

In fact, an analysis of the groundbreaking 1983 book, “One Teenager in Ten: Writings by Gay And Lesbian Youth,” finds 38 percent of these teens reporting personal “gay” child sex abuse. The vulnerable youngsters were counseled that their abuse was their own fault, for they were really “born that way.”

By July 2000, “Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement — Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics, A NIBRS Statistical Report” found massive increases in child sexual abuse. Moreover, “14 percent of sex assault victims reported to law enforcement agencies were under age 6.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Newsman Becomes Newswoman

Top ABC News producer Don Ennis walked into his Manhattan office on Friday in a “little black dress” and a brunette bobbed wig and announced to colleagues that from now on, he would like to be known as Dawn.

The 49-year-old father of three said he’s splitting from his wife of 17 years to become a woman, or Dawn Stacey Ennis, as she is now known on her governmental records.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Dangers of Freedom

by Marina Kim

Marina Kim is a Kazakhstan-born journalist now living and working in London. Her website is

“People who read books will always be in charge of people who only watch TV,” I’ve always found this phrase very reassuring. Clever people will be in charge, and the order will prevail. Even if these “clever people” do not always take good decisions, it has always seemed they will nonetheless do a better job than the rest of us.

But the more I watch TV, the more worried I become what might happen when those who only watch TV become a majority, a majority who will vote into Number 10 people they deem as “clever”. The new British generation brought up on “Big Brother” and “The Only Way is Essex”. Or brought up abroad, sometimes with values very different from the western ones. What is “right” for them?…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/8/2013

  1. Boris Johnson himself is a symbol of multiculturalism. Like Cameron and Clegg, he probably has more non-English blood than English and is another cosmopolitan with no real ties to the blood and soil of England. He has a large dollop of German blood with royal connections. However, more importantly his grand-father or great-grandfather was Turkish and I believe his father chose to change the family name. This means that he is 100% behind the entry of Turkey into the EU and obviously has some islamic sympathies. Our minister in chapel the other day was asking what kept us all going despite the dreadful state of the world – ten times worse than when I was born in the 1950s and we know who is behind it all – with wars, violence, upheaval and the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming prime minister. We laughed nervously because even Tory voters see him for what he is, namely a prize buffoon. However, this act of submission to Islam is really frightening. Hopefully, he has cooked his goose in view of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the British, like their continental cousins, feel that Islam is incompatible with our way of life.

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