Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/10/2013

Indian Mujahideen, the terror group that claimed responsibility for last Sunday’s bomb attack on the sacred Buddhist site Bodh Gaya, says that its next target will be Mumbai. Four men have been detained for questioning in connection with the nine blasts, based on CCTV footage of the Mahabodhi Temple just before the explosions.

In other news, the Danish People’s Party is demanding that the dates of Ramadan in Denmark be changed so that the holy month always falls in the summer holiday, thereby avoiding the problems that inevitably arise when it falls during the school year.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, 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
» Iranian Currency Collapse Mainly Affects Health Care
» Loans Further Contract in May, Bank of Italy Says
» Adam Kokesh Raided by “Storm Trooper” Cops
» Biden Slips and Reveals True Aim of Government “Studies”
» Death Valley Tourists Get Egg Warning
» Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests
» Exclusive: San Francisco Jetliner Crash Caused by Airlines Turning Pilots Into ‘Computer Geeks Who Can’t Fly’ Says Commercial Pilot
» Generic Drug Companies Granted Total Immunity Against All Lawsuits From Patients Harmed by Side Effects
» George Zimmerman Trial: Media Incites Nationwide Violence
» How Fed Food Assistance Fattens Corporate America
» Navy Vet Asks if NSA is Spying on Him — NSA Says It’s None of His Business
» Parmigiano-Reggiano Sales Jump 50% in U.S.
» Pepsi Still Contains Cancer-Causing Ingredient
» Pixelated Moon: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Gets First View of Charon
» Plans Afoot to Make the Moon Obama’s Biggest Poster
» Sheriff Joe Obama ID Fraud Investigator in High-Level Meetings in Washington DC
» Suspect in Boston Bombing Pleads Not Guilty on All Counts
» The NSA Has Inserted Its Code Into Android OS, Or Three Quarters of All Smartphones
» Zimmerman Trial is This Year’s Duke Lacrosse Case
Europe and the EU
» Denmark: DF: Ramadan Should be Adjusted to Fit School Calendar
» Doctors Develop $260 Infertility Treatment for Poor World
» Former Sicily Governor, Son Probed for Vote Buying
» France’s LVMH Buys Italy’s Luxury Cashmere Producer
» France: Satirical Charlie Hebdo’s Provocative Egypt Cover Criticised
» Italy: PdL Proposes Jailing Those Who Interfere With Rallies
» Spain Increasing Halal Options to Attract Muslim Tourists
» UK: ‘NHS is Extremely Bad at Getting Rid of People’: Thousands of Untrained Carers Are Putting Patients’ Lives at Risk, Report Warns
» UK: Just One More NHS Statistic: She Devoted Her Life to the Health Service, But When Nurse Gillian Begged NHS Direct for Help, It Failed Her
» UK: London’s 4,000 Boris Bikes Cost Taxpayers £1,400 for Each Bicycle Every Year Despite Sponsorship From Barclays
» UK: Parents’ Fury After Schoolchildren Living in Town Popular With Eastern European Migrants Are Taught Song in Lithuanian
» UK: Rania Alayed Disappearance: Brother-in-Law and Husband Charged With Murder of Missing Mother
» UK: SAS Sniper Found Guilty of Possessing a Pistol and Ammunition as Court Martial Rejects His Medical Evidence
North Africa
» Ahmed Assem: The Egyptian Photographer Who Chronicled His Own Death
» Egypt: Prosecutor Resigns, Blasts Growing Brotherhood Role
» Tunisia Calls for Reinstatement of Former President Morsi
» Widely Hailed Egyptian TV Series to Air During Ramadan, Highlight Jews’ Historical and Contemporary “Treachery and Conspiracies”
Middle East
» Can Erdogan’s Enemies Kill Him With Their Minds?
» Chemical Weapons Could be Seized by Al Qaeda-Backed Rebels in Syria, British Spy Chiefs Warn
» Iraq: ‘Kidnapped Christian’s Body Found in North’
» Qatar: Helium 2 Plant Inaugurated
» Russia Says Syrian Mercenaries Behind Chemical Attacks
» Saudi Arabia: Riyadh Tells Foreign Workers to “Respect Ramadan or be Expelled”
South Asia
» Indonesia: Ramadan in Jakarta, The Extremists Announce a Raid “Against Alcohol and Pornography”
» Mumbai is Our Next Target After Bodh Gaya, Claims IM
Latin America
» Los Zetas and Hezbollah: A Deadline Alliance of Terror and Vice
» Ruthless Mexican Drug Cartel Recruiting in U.S.; Los Zetas Looks to Prisons, Street Gangs
» UN Warns: Mexican Border ‘Global Pathway’ To U.S. For Illegals From Horn of Africa
» A Road Paved With “Good Intentions”
» Catholic Weekly Calls for Italian Immigration Reform
» Italian Navy to Rescue 207 Migrants at Sea
» Italy: Northern League Member Says He’s Glad When a Migrant Boat Sinks
Culture Wars
» Italy: House Committee Approves Bill Against Homophobia
» Parental Rights Amendment: Selling You, Your Kids Out to Big Government
» The Core Problem: Corruption Skyrockets Globally
» UK: Irn-Bru Advert That Shows Mother Trying to Seduce Her Teenage Son’s Friends is ‘Not Irresponsible’, Watchdog Says

Iranian Currency Collapse Mainly Affects Health Care

The rial drops following the latest round of economic sanctions. The public health sector is the most affected, with drug prices rising 76 per cent. For many Iranians, medicine is no longer affordable.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Tehran’s attempts to counter the collapse of its national currency are having serious implications for the national health sector. The Iranian central bank, which until last week subsidised exchange rates applied to basic necessities, like food and medicines, de facto lifted them last Saturday. As a result, the Iranian currency has appreciated, making it nigh impossible for most Iranians to buy many imported drugs.

When the central bank opened on Monday, the new exchange rate was 102 per cent higher than on Saturday, 24,777 vs 12,260 rials, Tehran-based Etemaad newspaper reported yesterday.

Iran’s parliament approved the removal of the old subsidised exchange rate on the condition that the government compensate patients and the Health Ministry, the country’s biggest importer of medicines, for the rise in prices. However, the details of the compensation plan have yet to be worked out.

“A national health insurance [scheme] would be the best option to solve the medicine subsidies problem,” Mohammad Hossein Qorbani, a member of the Iranian parliament’s healthcare committee, told the Fararu news website. “But the Health Ministry and Social Security Organisation could not execute the necessary means.”

Qorbani suggested that private insurance companies could play a role in the government’s plans to compensate patients, but some reports indicate that several insurance companies have refused to refund fully policyholders for medicines that jumped by 40 to 90 per cent.

The economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States have increased financial pressure on the Islamic Republic with the aim of dissuading Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme.

The latest round of sanctions, the ninth of the Obama administration, kicked in on 1 July targeting Iran’s national currency.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the new sanctions target Iran’s currency “by authorising the imposition of sanctions on foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct or facilitate significant transactions for the purchase or sale of the Iranian rial, or that maintain significant accounts outside Iran denominated in the Iranian rial.”

If sanctions were not enough, Iran has had to cope with unprecedented inflation, with its currency losing two-thirds of its value in just two years, going 16,000 rials per US dollar in early 2012, to 36,000 on 30 April of this year.

“The idea is to cause depreciation of the rial and make it unusable in international commerce,” said David Cohen, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

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

Loans Further Contract in May, Bank of Italy Says

-2.4% for companies, -0.9% to families year-on-year

(ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — Bank loans to private companies contracted 2.4% on the same month in 2012, further shrinking from the 2.2% registered in April.

Loans to households went down 0.9% year-on-year, from the 0.8% drop registered in April, the Bank of Italy said on Wednesday. Loans to non-financial companies went down 3.6% also on an annual basis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Adam Kokesh Raided by “Storm Trooper” Cops

Days after Adam Kokesh staged an open carry protest by loading a shotgun in Washington DC, “storm trooper” police raided the former Marine’s home last night, smashing in his door and deploying a flash bang grenade before arresting Kokesh.

According to a press release issued by Kokesh’s Adam vs the Man media team, “Numerous police vehicles, including a light armored vehicle and two low-flying helicopters barricaded Adam’s street. More than 20 armored SWAT team members surrounded the house, as well as a number of detectives, and plainclothes officers. Assault rifles were aimed on all members of the team as they were handcuffed without being told why they were detained. Masked and armored police in full “Storm Trooper” gear flooded in and ransacked the residence. The team was cordoned in a front room, while Adam was pulled aside for questioning.”

Roads around Kokesh’s home, which also contains his broadcast studio, were blocked off and other residents were told to stay indoors. The raid was conducted by Herndon police as well as US Parks Police, an arm of Homeland Security.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Biden Slips and Reveals True Aim of Government “Studies”

Occasionally, a politician makes an off-the-cuff remark that reveals more about Washington than thousands of speeches ever could. With one sentence, Joe Biden recently let the cat out of the bag and affirmed the true intentions of the flurry of proposals for government studies on violent media that have propagated in the time since Newtown shootings: that is that they are purely political studies with a purely political intent to create pseudoscientific cover for a brazenly unconstitutional agenda.


Ah, yes. The Study. When it comes to Washington lobbying and public relations, nothing ads credibility to your position like a study confirming the validity of your position. Never mind that your position is in direct violation of the Constitution. Get the results you want from a study, publish it, run a PR campaign, get the media on board and eventually weak-kneed politicians will succumb to your “scientific evidence”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Death Valley Tourists Get Egg Warning

Tourism authorities in the Death Valley National Park, the hottest places on earth, have been told to refrain from frying eggs on the ground.

The park, which lies up to 86 metres below sea level, is the lowest and driest part of North America, and holds the record for the highest recorded air temperature on Earth.

Its scorching reputation means that visitors regularly try to fry eggs on the ground, but the practise had reportedly led to a growing problem with litter.

Last week David Shukman, a BBC correspondent, attempted the stunt with limited success. He followed the lead of a Death Valley National Park employee, however, and broke his egg directly into a frying pan, rather than onto the ground.

A spokesman for the park explained on its Facebook page: “An employee’s posting of frying an egg in a pan in Death Valley was intended to demonstrate how hot it can get here, with the recommendation that if you do this, use a pan or tin foil and properly dispose of the contents

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Documents Obtained by Judicial Watch Detail Role of Justice Department in Organizing Trayvon Martin Protests

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained documents in response to local, state, and federal records requests revealing that a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Exclusive: San Francisco Jetliner Crash Caused by Airlines Turning Pilots Into ‘Computer Geeks Who Can’t Fly’ Says Commercial Pilot

(NaturalNews) When flight 214 crashed last week at the San Francisco airport, killing two people and injuring dozens, many people were in a state of disbelief. How could a Boeing 777 — the “Titanic” of commercial airliners — be piloted so carelessly that the pilot seemingly flew it into the seawall and caused the accident?

But that’s the problem, you see: There are no more pilots flying these planes. The real pilots have nearly all retired, leaving a bunch of “computer geeks” who have almost no flying skills and only know how to operate the computerized, automated flight equipment which is subject to catastrophic failure.

That’s what “Pilot X” told me in a phone interview. His identity is being secret for his own protection, but he recently retired from over two decades of flying Boeing’s largest aircraft for major U.S. airlines. He has received more actual flight time than 99% of today’s active commercial pilots, and he’s an expert in Boeing flight automation equipment. His testimony, below, reveals insider details that only a real commercial pilot would know.

“The bigger the plane, the worse the pilot,” he told me. “The airlines are trying to dumb down most of the entire fleet, and the pilots are losing all their flying skills. They don’t want pilots; they want computer geeks instead of someone who can actually fly. The stick-and-rudder skills go to hell in a hand basket when you don’t actually fly the plane.”

The SFO flight 214 accident was likely caused by the pilot relying on the auto-throttle, Pilot X explained to me. “There’s too much reliance on the auto-throttle. If you’re a real pilot, you can do much better than the auto-throttle by running the power yourself to stay in line with whatever approach you’re making.”


“The air traffic controllers do what they call a slam dunk,” Pilot X continued. “They make you go fast [during the approach], they are trying to move numbers instead of safety. They are trying to slam dunk everybody and push airplanes through as quickly as they can to get the next one on the ground instead of worrying about spacing, which should be increased. Sometimes it causes you to exceed your flap speed and limitations on the airplane for their convenience instead of what you should be doing as a pilot.”


Air traffic control treats pilots like they were a “yo yo,” he explained. “I view air traffic control and the FAA as a big threat to aviation… giving up safety for convenience and statistics, and moving numbers. The speeds are too high, they make you fly high speed, 180 knots to the marker. That’s too fast, no matter what kind of airplane you’re in, you don’t have time to slow it down, you’re trying to get the gear out and everything else, so instead of worrying about landing the plane in front of you, you have to worry about the guy behind you, they’re trying to rush you to move numbers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Generic Drug Companies Granted Total Immunity Against All Lawsuits From Patients Harmed by Side Effects

(NaturalNews) You may want to think twice before taking any more generic copies of brand-name pharmaceutical drugs, thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling that effectively eliminates manufacturer liability in injury cases resulting from negative side effects. In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court recently overturned a $21 million judgment awarded to a New Hampshire woman injured by a generic pain drug, declaring in the process that generic drug manufacturers cannot be sued when the drugs they produce injure patients.

Since generic drugs are mere replicas of brand-name drugs that, at one time, were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as “safe,” generic drug manufacturers are exempt from being held liable in the event of injuries caused by harmful side effects. This is the opinion of the majority of the Supreme Court anyway, which has now made it that much harder for members of the public to seek remedy for injuries caused by pharmaceutical drugs.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

George Zimmerman Trial: Media Incites Nationwide Violence

The media and the liberal left are coming unhinged. In their minds, since they figure they have the power to control everything, this trial against George “Creepy-# Cracker” Zimmerman should have been a slam-dunk.

Poor little innocent Trayvon Martin, of whom President Obama says if he had a son the kid would look like Trayvon, was the victim of a mean racist attack. We are being told that Zimmerman hunted down and killed the poor child because poor, innocent Trayvon Martin was black. And now, as the wheels come off, and it is beginning to look like Zimmerman is going to walk because his story that Trayvon attacked him and his was a fight of self-defense, the Left, through politicians and the media, are inciting race riots. They want this to be the Rodney King riots, on steroids.

As the testimonies pile up, it is becoming more and more clear that Zimmerman’s story is the true one, and any witness that is supposed to help the case of Trayvon Martin, is actually hurting him…

What is being realized now is that there never was a case. The prosecution has bad witnesses on the stand, and no leg to stand on, because this case was purely political. They wanted to scare Zimmerman into a guilty plea, and he refused, and now they have no evidence to put him away. In fact, the arrest warrant is even laced with fraud.

It is like the Duke Lacrosse case all over again.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How Fed Food Assistance Fattens Corporate America

No doubt the executives at J.P. Morgan, Affiliated Computer Services, and eFunds are thrilled.

In 2009, as part of the “stimulus package,” the Obama administration also suspended the the food stamp program’s work requirements for able-bodied adults. Welfare reform enacted 1996 mandated that after three months of food stamp participation, able-bodied recipients had to be engaged in some kind of work activity for at least 20 hours a week. In 2010 and 2011, Obama requested the suspension be extended. Yet as is often the case with this president, Obama did not wait for Congress to act. The USDA issued waivers, and the number of able-bodied SNAP recipients went from 1.7 million people in 2009 to 3.9 million in 2010. Moreover, the administration has allowed the waivers to continue, despite the reality that they were only supposed to be temporary.

The trio of companies mentioned above certainly don’t mind. The lion’s share of their revenues come from the total number of people enrolled in the SNAP program on a monthly basis. This “Cost Per Case Month (CPCM)” is a fee for each individual enrolled in the program. It ranges from $0.65 to $1.45 depending on the state, with higher fees for the contracting company if the state combines multiple welfare services, such as SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), on a single EBT card. The corporations also make money on monthly fees garnered from Point of Sale (POS) machines that are used to make EBT purchases and transmit purchase information to the government, ATM machines that take EBT cards for cash withdrawals, card replacement fees for lost or stolen cards, and customer service charges for calls made by EBT users.

In other words, a combination of Americans’ dependency and sense of entitlement is quite profitable. So much so that JP Morgan’s donations to members of Congressional Agriculture Committees have more than doubled, from the time they entered the EBT services market, through the 2010 election cycle. And for those who invariably associate Wall Street banks with the Republican party, it should be noted that JP Morgan contributed $345,505 to John McCain during the 2008 election cycle. Obama received $807,000 from the bank.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Navy Vet Asks if NSA is Spying on Him — NSA Says It’s None of His Business

Since whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked information the National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting metadata on all US citizens, including emails, cell phone calls, internet browsing history, wouldn’t you like to know what was collected on you? Clayton Seymour, a Navy vet from Hilliard, OH, sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the agency. The IT specialist was interested in knowing if the NSA was collecting data on him. He was met with a letter telling him he wasn’t entitled to that information…

It seems that even benign data culled from citizens like Seymour, who are no threat to national security, have had their data classified by the NSA. Seymour’s’ rejection letter can be viewed here.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Parmigiano-Reggiano Sales Jump 50% in U.S.

Counterfeit cheese also on the rise

(ANSA) — Reggio Emilia, July 9 — Sales of Italy’s iconic Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese have jumped by 50% in the past five years in the United States amid surging interest across North America, producers say. However, the greater interest also means more counterfeit products are hitting markets and food shows, as criminals try to cash in on the rising interest.

One case involves sales at New York’s prestigious Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, which boasts more than 20,000 visitors, 180,000 products and 2,400 exhibitors from more than 80 countries around the world. The Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano discovered three cases of fraud there — cheese that was not authentically produced and certified.

Protecting the brand is crucial to the organization, says chairman Riccardo Deserti. Last year, exports of Parmigiano cheese totalled 7,200 tons, a jump of 6.1% compared to 2011.

“Today, Americans spend almost $150 million a year to buy Parmigiano-Reggiano, thanks to a consolidated and well-designed image of our product”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Pepsi Still Contains Cancer-Causing Ingredient

(NaturalNews) Last March, a third party watchdog group, the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found dangerous levels of a carcinogen in the caramel coloring of Coke and Pepsi products.

The carcinogen, 4-methylimidazole, is a byproduct created during the production of caramel coloring. As the caramel coloring goes under high pressures and temperatures, sugars react with ammonia and sulfites, forming the 4-MEI byproduct.

When animal studies showed “clear evidence” that 4-MEI was a toxic carcinogen, including thyroid, liver, and lung cancer incidents, the National Toxicology Program threw up red flags.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Pixelated Moon: Pluto-Bound Spacecraft Gets First View of Charon

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, now en route to Pluto, got its first glimpse of the dwarf planet’s largest moon, Charon, in this image released July 10.

Pluto is the bright spot in the center of the image. Charon is the faint smudge up and to the left. New Horizons snapped the picture at about 900 million kilometers from Pluto—six times the distance between Earth and the sun. At that distance, the light from Charon and Pluto takes about 48 minutes to reach New Horizons’s cameras. Charon is roughly the size of Texas, but to the approaching craft it appears no wider than a U.S. quarter seen from 17 kilometers away

Until 2005 Charon was Pluto’s only known moon. Since then astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have discovered four more: Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx. Kerberos and Styx are the smallest, each only about a dozen kilometers across; they received their official names just last week.

Launched in early 2006 New Horizons is scheduled to pass within 13,000 kilometers of Pluto in July 2015.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Plans Afoot to Make the Moon Obama’s Biggest Poster

Two House Democrats have proposed legislation that would establish a national historical park on the surface of the moon to mark where the Apollo missions landed between 1969 and 1972. (Guess all those planted American flags don’t really count).

The farfetched — if not downright loony — bill is for real:

“The bill from Reps. Donna Edwards (D-Md) and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) would create the Apollo Lunar Landing Sites National Historical Park. The park would be comprised of all artifacts left on the surface of the moon from the Apollo 11 through 17 missions.” (, July 9, 2013).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Sheriff Joe Obama ID Fraud Investigator in High-Level Meetings in Washington DC

Mike Zullo gives an interview to independent Tea Party radio. Looks like there are still legs to this investigation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Suspect in Boston Bombing Pleads Not Guilty on All Counts

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, pleaded not guilty on all counts Wednesday to charges that he used a weapon of mass destruction to kill three people and wound more than 260 others near the finish line of the 117th running of the marathon on April 15.

Under tight security at his arraignment, Mr. Tsarnaev stood before a federal magistrate judge, Marianne B. Bowler, and at least three dozen victims and survivors in his first appearance in public since he was captured hiding in a boat in a Boston suburb on April 19.

[Return to headlines]

The NSA Has Inserted Its Code Into Android OS, Or Three Quarters of All Smartphones

Over a decade ago, it was discovered that the NSA embedded backdoor access into Windows 95, and likely into virtually all other subsequent internet connected, desktop-based operating systems. However, with the passage of time, more and more people went “mobile”, and as a result the NSA had to adapt. And adapt they have: as Bloomberg reports, “The NSA is quietly writing code for Google’s Android OS.”

Is it ironic that the same “don’t be evil” Google which went to such great lengths in the aftermath of the Snowden scandal to wash its hands of snooping on its customers and even filed a request with the secretive FISA court asking permission to disclose more information about the government’s data requests, is embedding NSA code into its mobile operating system, which according to IDC runs on three-quarters of all smartphones shipped in the first quarter? Yes, yes it is.

Google spokeswoman Gina Scigliano confirms that the company has already inserted some of the NSA’s programming in Android OS. “All Android code and contributors are publicly available for review at” Scigliano says, declining to comment further.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Zimmerman Trial is This Year’s Duke Lacrosse Case

This week, instead of attacking a Hispanic senator, Marco Rubio, I will defend a Hispanic citizen, George Zimmerman, on trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. (Zimmerman would make a better senator.)It’s becoming painfully obvious why no charges were brought against Zimmerman in this case — until Al Sharpton got involved. All the eyewitness accounts, testimony, ballistics and forensics keep backing up Zimmerman. We should send a big, fat bill for the whole thing to Sharpton, courtesy of MSNBC.

With the prosecution’s witnesses making the defense’s case, the inquisitors’ last stand is to claim that, if the races were reversed, the black guy would have been instantly charged with murder. As explained in The New York Times:

“Had Mr. Martin shot and killed Mr. Zimmerman under similar circumstances, black leaders say, the case would have barreled down a different path: Mr. Martin would have been quickly arrested by the Sanford Police Department and charged in the killing, without the benefit of the doubt.” (Also, CNN could have dropped the “white” and referred to Zimmerman exclusively as “Hispanic.”)

The people who say this are counting on the rest of us being too polite to mention that it is nearly impossible to imagine such a case in a world where half of all murders and a majority of robberies are committed by blacks. To reverse the races with the same set of facts, first, we’re going to need a gated, mixed-race community, similar to the Retreat at Twin Lakes, that has recently experienced a rash of robberies by white guys. The only way to do that is to enter “The Twilight Zone.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denmark: DF: Ramadan Should be Adjusted to Fit School Calendar

Muslims in Denmark should ignore tradition and agree that a sacred holiday fall only during the summer break, says Dansk Folkeparti

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time of fasting for Muslims worldwide. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of the Islam religion, and Ramadan was the month in which the initial verses of the Koran were said to be shown to the Prophet Mohammed.

The dates that Ramadan falls on each year are not fixed, due to the fact that it is a moving holiday which is dependent on the moon. It moves forward 10 or 11 days every year. This year, Ramadan falls conveniently during the summer holidays and ends on August 7 with the Eid celebration.

But according to Dansk Folkeparti (DF), Muslims living in Denmark should break with their brethren across the globe and agree that the holy month always falls during the summer break.

“If Ramadan always fell in the summer break, the conflicts it creates every year could be avoided,” DF’s integration spokesperson, Martin Henriksen, told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

Henriksen called on Muslims to voluntarily adopt what he called a “practical solution to a real problem”.

“Every time Ramadan comes up during the school year, there are problems because the children aren’t eating and are unfocused,” he said. “There are debates as to whether there should be a special Ramadan holiday in Denmark, which of course should not happen.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Doctors Develop $260 Infertility Treatment for Poor World

Belgian doctors have developed a low-cost version of test-tube baby technology for use in developing countries, where sophisticated Western systems are unaffordable for most couples.

The researchers said on Monday their simplified process cost around 200 euros ($260) per cycle of treatment and delivered results that were not much different to those seen with conventional in-vitro fertilization (IVF) program.

The price is just 10 to 15 percent of the current cost of Western-style IVF and suggests infertility care could one day become universally accessible, Elke Klerkx from the Genk Institute for Fertility Technology told a medical meeting.

Around 5 million babies have been born around the world since the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978 — but the treatment remains largely the preserve of developed countries because of its high cost.

“Infertility care is probably the most neglected healthcare problem of developing countries, affecting more than 2 million couples according to the WHO (World Health Organization),” Klerkx said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Former Sicily Governor, Son Probed for Vote Buying

Raffaele Lombardo quit amid slush-fund claims

(ANSA) — Catania, July 9 — Former Sicily Governor Raffaele Lombardo and his son have been placed under investigation on suspicion of vote buying, prosecutors said Tuesday.

They are suspected of promising jobs for votes in last year’s regional elections.

Lombardo was among several governors to step down amid slush-fund scandals last year.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France’s LVMH Buys Italy’s Luxury Cashmere Producer

Loro Piana brothers say jobs protected despite company sale

(ANSA) — Quarona, July 9 — Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana say that although they have sold their cashmere brand to French luxury dealer LVMH, its heart will remain in Italy.

“Even if the property is no longer Italian, it will remain a company and a brand that is Italian,” the brothers said in a statement Tuesday.

LVMH (Louis Vuitton) bought 80% of the family-owned cashmere clothing brand Loro Piana for 2 billion euros and says that Loro Piana is the largest Western manufacturer of cashmere.

The brothers say that jobs will be protected at the operation.

“We would not have made a decision like this if we were not convinced that it is the best for our people,” said Sergio Loro Piana.

“Ours was not a random choice, we are convinced that in this way, will be protected the identity of the brand.

“The company is Italian and will remain Italian…(LMVH)is the guarantee that Loro Piana is the Italian representative for those who like to excellence”. Sergio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana will hold onto 20% of the family business and reserve their posts as directors.

LVMH is the world’s largest luxury group.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

France: Satirical Charlie Hebdo’s Provocative Egypt Cover Criticised

By Arab websites, anti-Islam vignette a ‘sales stunt’

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JULY 10 — The latest cover of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo has drawn negative reactions from the Arab world, while Arab media call for the public to keep a cool head on the matter. Islam&Info, for example, wrote that there is no need to “waste time on this bunch of foolishness”. In the eyes of the site Afriquinfos, in attacking Islam Charlie Hebdo has found “a chicken with golden eggs” enabling it to triple its sales. Afriquinfos opted to publish Charlie Hebdo’s front page with the anti-Koran vignette. The French-language site said that the stunt had worked like a charm, as it had on September 19, when the weekly published another vignette considered blasphemous by many Muslims. Many also happened to note that it was published in the very hours in which the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PdL Proposes Jailing Those Who Interfere With Rallies

Bill comes after anti-Berlusconi counter-protests

(ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — Anyone who tries to break up a political rally should be thrown in jail for up to three years, says proposed legislation presented Wednesday by a member of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party.

The proposal comes after clashes during a party-sponsored rally in Brescia held in support of Berlusconi last month and his numerous battles with the courts. PdL member Ignatius Abrignani said a fine of up to 2,500 euros should also be slapped on anyone interfering with a political rally.

And jail terms of up to five years could apply if a public official interferes with a rally, added Abrignani.

The bill comes as supporters of Berlusconi are again gearing up for protests against Italy’s criminal courts for convicting the ex-premier of having sex with a minor and abusing his office to cover up the affair.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain Increasing Halal Options to Attract Muslim Tourists

Growing number of visitors from the Gulf region

(ANSAmed) — MADRID — Benefiting from the crises in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries currently going through a transition, Spanish tourism facilities are focusing on offering halal services to attract ever more travelers from Islamic countries. The Industry, Energy and Tourism Ministry announced programmes at Dubai’s Arabian Travel Market in May to increase promotional activities for what the country has to offer in cultural, nature-based, business and congress tourism to wealthy Gulf states, where most of new visitors are from. An example of the purchasing power of tourists from these markets is seen in the hotel price index, a reservations web page which shows that Middle Eastern visitors spent the most in Spain in 2012: an average of 145 euros per person per room, per night, equal to a 31% increase on 2011. The amount spent was even more than that by Japanese tourists (121 euros on average per room) and Australians (119 euros). The growth strategy for Islamic markets is reliant on an increase in flights from Dubai and Qatar to Madrid and Barcelona.

“There have been two flights per day with Emirates to Madrid and direct daily flights to Barcelona since 2012, with an occupancy rate of 75% of the seats available,” said the tourism promotion coordinator for Spain in the Gulf region, Carlos Hernandez, in statements to the media. The Iberian peninsula is being seen ever more as an attractive holiday destination especially for upper and upper-middle class families, he said. Many couples opt for Spain for their honeymoons, as well, and stay for lengthy periods of at least a month. The choice is usually one of the traditional destinations for ‘sol y playa’, such as the Costa del Sol e Andalucia, as well as Barcelona and Madrid. In order to foster the trend, the Spanish government has sped up procedures for the issuing of Schengen visas. One of the decisive factors for tourists from the Gulf region and the Middle East is the possibility to combine a number of different destinations in a single trip, with travel to Morocco and Portugal as well as Spain, for example. “There are a number of reasons for this,” Hernandez said, who is also the director of the Spanish bureau of tourism in Rome (OET), “such as city tours, with a chance to see both tradition and modernity, as well as culture, art, cuisine, shopping, sport, nature and — of course — the Arab legacy in the Iberian peninsula.” In order to meet the needs of the new visitors, the sector offers halal services (in compliance with Islamic precepts) and ones adapted to the specific needs of Arab travelers. In hotels, for example, “it is important to offer large rooms with communicating doors between them, since wealthy families often travel with their children and servants: an average of seven people,” Hernandez said. “Details like a small ‘Islamic chapel’ or an indication of the direction of Mecca in hotel rooms can make a big difference.” As concerns cuisine, halal menus are important, or at least “recommendations of dishes that combine fish, vegetables and fruit translated into Arabic,” he added. Estimates say that over the next few years 14% of international trips will be taken by Muslim tourists, according to a report presented by Dinar Standard in Berlin. Based on a survey of a thousand regular travelers from Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and America, the report underscores that the main requirement indicated by respondents was a halal menu (67%). The reports recommends that tour agencies interested in getting a share of the Muslim tourist market offer prayer rooms and other special services during Ramadan, such as meals before sunrise. The hotels that are 100% halal do not offer alcoholic drinks and have certified menus, separate lodgings for women and prayer rooms. According to the estimates reported by the Dinar Standard Institute, Muslim tourists spend about 98 billion euros on trips every year, and the outlook shows that this figure is expected to rise to 149 billion in 2020, a 52% increase.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘NHS is Extremely Bad at Getting Rid of People’: Thousands of Untrained Carers Are Putting Patients’ Lives at Risk, Report Warns

Patients’ lives are being put at risk because thousands of healthcare assistants in hospitals across the country receive no training at all, an inquiry has found.

A third of trusts do not even check whether the assistants, who carry out a range of vital caring tasks instead of nurses, can read or write properly, according to a government-commissioned study.

The only training some staff received before caring for the sick was watching a DVD.

Report author Camilla Cavendish warned the NHS is ‘extremely bad at getting rid of people’, damaging public confidence in the entire health service.

‘I think what you need is proper leadership and management, which is in every care home and every hospital the employers are held responsible for the quality of those staff and they are held responsible for meeting certain basic standards of competence and care,’ she told BBC Radio 4.

The situation is so dangerous because on most wards there are more healthcare assistants than fully-trained nurses.

The Cavendish review was ordered in the wake of the Mid Staffs scandal in which hundreds of patients are thought to have died needlessly as a result of poor care and neglect.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Just One More NHS Statistic: She Devoted Her Life to the Health Service, But When Nurse Gillian Begged NHS Direct for Help, It Failed Her

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A retired nurse died in agony two hours after being refused an ambulance by NHS Direct even though she was screaming with pain.

Gillian Given could be heard howling in the background of a harrowing phone call made by her husband James which was played to an inquest.

NHS Direct nurse Deborah Evans, who took the call, asked him a series of computer-prompted questions then told him: ‘I appreciate she is in pain but she doesn’t need an ambulance.’

Even when Mrs Given herself begged the nurse for help Mrs Evans refused to send an ambulance but told her to take painkillers and wait for her GP.

Mrs Given, 58, died minutes before the doctor arrived after suffering a massive heart attack due to a blockage in an artery.

Yesterday, after a coroner ruled human error amounting to neglect played a part in her death, Mr Given said his ‘caring’ wife — a former hospital sister — had been dedicated to the NHS for 22 years, but was failed by it when she needed it most.

He believes she would be alive today if an ambulance had been sent.

‘She was effectively begging for her life, crying on the telephone because she was in so much pain, but still they refused to send an ambulance,’ he said.

‘My wife was fit and healthy until that day, but now she is just another statistic. I’ve had no apology, nobody in the Health Service seems to care.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: London’s 4,000 Boris Bikes Cost Taxpayers £1,400 for Each Bicycle Every Year Despite Sponsorship From Barclays

The Boris bike scheme is costing taxpayers a staggering £11million to run every single year, it has been revealed.

Around 8,000 bikes are in operation across London — meaning each one costs £1,388 a year to run despite sponsorship from Barclays.

The astonishing figure has sparked criticism over London Mayor Boris Johnson’s failure to secure a better sponsorship deal with the bank which pays just a sixth of the total cost.

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Taxpayers are being landed with a massive bill to subsidise these bikes and the London Mayor must work to reduce that cost.

‘He should examine how similar schemes elsewhere are delivered at far better value to taxpayers and do the same in London.

‘The bikes may be iconic, but the last thing anyone wants is for them to end up representing a permanent drain on scarce resources.’

As the scheme has been running for three years, each bike has so far cost Transport for London (TfL) — and therefore the taxpayer — more than £4,000.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Parents’ Fury After Schoolchildren Living in Town Popular With Eastern European Migrants Are Taught Song in Lithuanian

Angry parents have launched a protest over a primary school’s plans to make their children sing songs in Lithuanian and Polish.

A third of pupils at the Peckover Primary School in Wisbech — a Cambridgeshire town popular with eastern European families — are from migrant backgrounds, but some parents claim their children came home in floods of tears because they did not understand the words to the songs.

Children were being taught the lyrics for an upcoming international singing festival, but mother Clare Eve, 48, who has launched a petition in protest, said: ‘The whole school is getting taken over by these cultures and I don’t think it’s right.’


‘If your child is upset then surely you have the right for freedom of speech to voice your opinion.

‘It’s happening all the time — at Christmas a nearby infants’ school had their nativity play in a foreign language. The parents said it was like being in another country.

‘We don’t want that here

‘I wouldn’t have objected if all the Lithuanian kids had sung a Lithuanian song and all the Polish kids sung a Polish song. That would have been different,’ said the 48-year-old, who has two children, Alfie, nine, and Libby, eight.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Rania Alayed Disappearance: Brother-in-Law and Husband Charged With Murder of Missing Mother

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

The husband of a missing mother-of-three and his brother have both been charged with her murder.

Rania Alayed, 25, was reported missing from her Manchester home on July 2 but police believe she may have disappeared more than a month ago.

Her husband Ahmed Khatib, 33, and his brother Muhanned Mahmood Al Khatib, 38, have now both been charged with murder and perverting the course of justice.

Muhanned Mahmood Al Khatib is due to appear before Manchester magistrates today.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: SAS Sniper Found Guilty of Possessing a Pistol and Ammunition as Court Martial Rejects His Medical Evidence

SAS sniper Danny Nightingale, 38, has been convicted by a court martial board of possessing a Glock 9mm pistol and 338 rounds of ammunition, which were found in his bedroom in September 2011.

The 38-year-old has been on trial at the court martial centre in Bulford, Wiltshire, for the past week.

The haul was recovered by civilian police in September 2011 in the rented house the father-of-two shared with another SAS soldier, known only as Soldier N.

Police were acting on a tip-off from Soldier N’s estranged wife who said there might be a gun stored at the three-bedroom house…

Describing his brain injury, Sgt Nightingale said: ‘It’s a horrible place to be thinking what was that reality — was it fact or fiction?

‘When I came back from Brazil one of the specialists (in court) claimed there wasn’t much of an effect.

‘I came back from Brazil without the realisation that I was married to my wife, without the realisation that I had my first child.

‘Since then I have developed things in my head that weren’t fact. Still some times now I have difficulty recognising family members. So to say there is no effect is quite shocking really.’

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Ahmed Assem: The Egyptian Photographer Who Chronicled His Own Death

He fires more than once and then, suddenly, turns the rifle and points toward the camera lens.

The film ends — and so too ended the life of Ahmed Samir Assem.

The 26-year-old photographer for Egypt’s Al-Horia Wa Al-Adala newspaper was among a least 51 people killed after security forces opened fire on a large crowd that had camped outside the Egyptian army’s Republican Guard officers’ club in Cairo, where Mohammed Morsi, the deposed president, was believed to be in detention.

Mr Assem had been on the scene as the pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters knelt for prayer shortly before dawn on Monday morning.

According to friends and relatives, the moment of his own death was captured as the grainy film culminates.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Prosecutor Resigns, Blasts Growing Brotherhood Role

Close to Mubarak, he had been ousted by Morsi then reinstated

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — The time has come to curb the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, outgoing prosecutor general Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, a man close to the ousted Mubarak regime, said in a statement, a copy of which was obtained by ANSA. The prosecutor was talking about the Brotherhood’s attempt to allegedly impose its own political and cultural vision in the country.

The statement released by the general prosecution’s office in Cairo, said ‘the forces of evil are involved in a plot against Egypt to sow an uprising (fitna)’. Then it quoted the outgoing prosecutor general as saying that ‘we must end the attempt to turn Egypt into a Brotherhood fiefdom (akhwana)’.

The prosecutor was removed last fall by ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. But judicial authorities had accepted his plea to be reinstated and, after a long legal battle, Mahmoud was recently reintegrated in his role. He handed his resignation at the beginning of a trial in which Muslim Brotherhood affiliates are accused of insulting magistrates including himself to avoid a conflict of interest.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Tunisia Calls for Reinstatement of Former President Morsi

Joint statement issued; ‘learn from Egyptian experience’

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JULY 10 — The three-party government majority in Tunisia issued a joint statement Wednesday calling for Egypt to “respect the people’s will”, “return to legitimacy” and hold “national dialogue”.

The statement was issued by Ennahdha, Ettakatol and the Congress for the Republic despite the summons received by the Tunisian ambassador to Cairo by the Egyptian foreign ministry and the Egyptian government’s annoyance with official statements by Tunisia’s government majority in support of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The stance taken seems more of a message meant for domestic consumption, however, since it underscores Tunisia’s need for national dialogue and the introduction of a new constitution as soon as possible in order to call elections “in an atmosphere of social and political peace”.

The three government parties urged all Tunisian political groups to comply with the transition process and “learn a lesson from the Egyptian experience”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Widely Hailed Egyptian TV Series to Air During Ramadan, Highlight Jews’ Historical and Contemporary “Treachery and Conspiracies”

by Oren Kessler

Egyptian television during Ramadan has long leaned toward the anti-Semitic, but this year’s sampling is virulent even by the country’s usual standards.

Set to broadcast during the season is the Egyptian television series “Khaybar”. The title is a reference to a Jewish oasis that in the 7th century was conquered by Mohammad’s army. The town’s Jews were subjugated and ultimately expelled. Chants gesturing toward Khaybar and implying future massacres have become increasingly prevalent at Islamist rallies, including in Egypt.

According to Yusri al-Gindi, the director of the new series, Jewish “treachery and conspiracies” remain current in contemporary life. He adds that, “These people have not changed one bit.”

Since March, the series has been profiled on a number of mainstream Egyptian television channels. Speaking to the station Al-Akhbar Al-Youm, series actor Ahmad Abd Al-Halim says that Jews think exclusively about “accumulating money.”

On Rotana Masriya, part of the Arab world’s largest entertainment company, the Rotana Group, actor Ahmad Maher says, “These people are oppressors, who do not honor their agreements. History shows that they are the people who disputed Allah. They are the slayers of prophets.”…

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

Can Erdogan’s Enemies Kill Him With Their Minds?

Recently, I asked whether Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan believed his own conspiracy theories about the anti-government protests that began in an Istanbul park at the end of May. His appointment this week of a new chief adviser suggests Erdogan may have embraced a dark fantasy world.

The new man with the prime minister’s ear, Yigit Bulut, previously was the editor-in-chief of the television station Kanal 24, and has been a point man for conspiracy theories about the Gezi Park protests. His analysis has included the following interesting ideas:

— That the German airline Lufthansa was behind the protests, because it feels threatened by Erdogan’s plans to build a third airport for Istanbul that would be the largest in Europe and would compete with Frankfurt, Lufthansa’s hub, for air traffic between Europe and the East;

— That “In many centers there is work going on to kill Erdogan from afar, through methods such as telekinesis”;

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Chemical Weapons Could be Seized by Al Qaeda-Backed Rebels in Syria, British Spy Chiefs Warn

Chemical weapons stockpiled by the Assad regime in Syria could fall into the hands of rebels Al Qaeda-linked rebels, British spy chiefs have warned.

Spooks warn of potentially ‘catastrophic’ consequences of extremists gaining access to sarin, ricin, mustard gas and VX — described as ‘the deadliest nerve agent ever created’.

Extremist elements in Syria represent ‘the most worrying terrorist threat’ to the UK and its allies, the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Iraq: ‘Kidnapped Christian’s Body Found in North’

Al-Tarmiyah, 10 July (AKI) — The body of an Iraqi Christian was found late Tuesday inside the truck he was driving 27 May when he was abducted in the al-Tarmiyah area north of Baghdad, the Assyrian Christian news agency AINA reported.

AINA cited police as saying they believed Salem Dawood Coca, an Assyrian from Betnaya in the multethnic northern Nineveh province, was killed after he refused to carry out a suicide bombing, as the truck was rigged with explosives.

The kidnappers had contacted Coca’s family but had not demanded a ransom and called him a “Christian infidel,” AINA reported.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled Iraq amid the sectarian violence that has flared since the fall of late strongman Saddam Hussein in 2003.

There are only an estimated 330,000 to 350,000 Christians left in Iraq, compared with around1.2 million living in the Middle East country in the early 1990s.

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

Qatar: Helium 2 Plant Inaugurated

Country becomes top liquid gas exporter worldwide

(ANSAmed) — DOHA, JULY 9 — Qatar has become the top exporter and second main producer in the world of liquid helium. The emirate, known for being the greatest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), thanks to its third-largest reserves after Russia and Iran, inaugurated its second helium refinery Helium 2 Plant. Qatar’s total helium production thanks to its two refinery plants will reach 2 billion cubic feet and cover 25% of global helium demand, Qatar’s gas giant RasGas said. Great satisfaction for the production was expressed by the emirate’s Energy and Industry Minister Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada who called the project ‘proof of Qatar’s strategy to create added value through a strong development and maximum exploitation of its natural resources’.

Helium is mostly used in high-teh markets and its global consumption is led by electronic production in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. From 2000 until today helium demand worldwide has increased by 20%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Russia Says Syrian Mercenaries Behind Chemical Attacks

According to Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, the Syrian mercenaries supported by the CIA and funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar are behind chemical attacks in Syria. The Russians claim the weapons used include the poison gas sarin.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said a Russian scientific team accessed the site of an attack in Khan al-Assal where 26 people were killed and 86 injured during a chemical attack on March 19. The weapon used in the attack, an unguided Basha’ir-3 rocket, was produced by the Free Syrian Army, according to the Russian team.

“Therefore, there is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal,” Churkin said.

Following Churkin’s remarks, the United States expressed doubt the mercenaries had used chemical weapons.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Riyadh Tells Foreign Workers to “Respect Ramadan or be Expelled”

In timidly reforming Saudi Arabia, the Interior Ministry imposes strict observance of fasting on non-Muslims. Food, water, cigarettes and chewing gum are banned from public areas from dawn to dusk. “Non-Muslim residents” must respect “the holiness of Ramadan and the feelings of Muslims,” said an interior ministry statement, or be expelled.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Anyone, Muslims and non-Muslims, caught eating, drinking, smoking or chewing gum in daylight hours during Ramadan could be imprisoned, whipped and expelled from the kingdom, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said in a statement issued on the eve of the holy month, which begins today in Saudi Arabia.

According to Islamic tradition, the month of Ramadan marks Allah’s revelation to Muhammad of the first verses of the Qur’an. Every person above puberty and in good health has to fast from dawn to dusk. Compliance with these rules is one of the five pillars of Islam, a basic duty for every Muslim. Ramadan, the month in prayer, is also associated with peace initiatives and charity.

The measure, adopted by the Interior Minister and confirmed by sources in the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the muttawa or religious police), primarily affects 8 million foreign workers, mostly Asians, who are living at present in the country.

Foreigners caught breaking the fast in public “will be subject to deterrent measures that include terminating their employment contracts and expelling them from the kingdom,” the ministry said. “Companies, corporations and individuals are required to inform their employees” of the rules.

In Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Sunni Islam, Sharia is strictly enforced. After he came to the throne in 2005, King Abdullah instituted a timid programme of modernisation, but has met with a tough conservative religious establishment that still exercises wide powers and enjoys strong support in the population.

For the start of Ramadan, more than 30,000 men will be deployed around the Grand Mosque in Makkah “to ensure the safety and security of the guests of God

The Interior Ministry has also instructed the muttawa to intensify checks on the streets.

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

Indonesia: Ramadan in Jakarta, The Extremists Announce a Raid “Against Alcohol and Pornography”

The Islamic Defense Front (FPI) announces attacks on “sinful” bars and locales during Islam’s holy month. The police sequester and send in smoke drinks and DVDs, in an atmosphere of increasing intolerance. IDF Leader: “Our activists on the streets of the capital, will ensure compliance with the rules.” High alert among religious minorities and non-Orthodox Muslims.

Jakarta (AsiaNews/agencies)- Indonesian Muslims have started celebrations for the holy month of Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer for Islam. The extremist fringe of Islam, strong off the Supreme Court’s decision in recent days that has blocked the sale of alcoholic beverages, has already announced raids and attacks on bars and “sinful” public places; meanwhile, the police have seized large quantities of alcohol and pornographic material, in a climate of growing intolerance.

The Islamic holy month is used as a pretext by extremists in Indonesia to take aim at nightclubs, bars and shops selling alcohol, whose consumption is forbidden under sharia law. This year the situation may be even worse, following the series of attacks on religious minorities and Muslims who are not in line with orthodoxy.

Habib Idrus Algadri, head of the FPI in the Depok district, on Jakarta’s outskirts, promised “decisive actions against the circulation of alcohol, prostitution and naked dancing”. Already a few days ago, on the eve of Ramadan, Front leaders made several punitive missions against those who violated the rules. And in the coming days, adds the fundamentalist leader, at least 50 members will be circulating at night in the most critical points of the capital, to ensure compliance with the directives. “We will not hesitate”, he concluded, “to carry out our raid, if we see that the police and the authorities are not able to do their job”.

Last weekend the police in Jakarta have destroyed (pictured) thousands of bottles of alcohol manufactured and sold to the public without licensing, as well as pornographic and pirated DVDs.

Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world and, while ensuring among the constitutional principles basic personal liberties (including that of worship), it is becoming increasingly the scene of violence and abuses against minorities, be they Christians, ahmadi Muslim or of other faiths. In Aceh province — unique in the archipelago — Islamic law rules and in many other areas the influence of the Muslim religion is becoming more radical and extreme in the lives of citizens. Among the various prohibitions, especially with regard to customs, that which requires women to sit astride the motorcycle or to wear jeans or miniskirts. The compliance is ensured by the presence on the streets of “moral police”, a special body that punishes violations.

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

Mumbai is Our Next Target After Bodh Gaya, Claims IM

A Twitter account purportedly belonging to terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s Bodh Gaya serial blasts and also warned that the next target would be Mumbai.

More than 12 hours after the early morning blasts, a tweet by @IndianMujahidin — which claims to be the IM’s official Twitter handle — said: “9 Dhamake Humne Karay (We carried out the nine blasts)”.

The tweet about Mumbai —dated July 6, a day before the Bihar blasts — reads: “Hamara Agla Target Mumbai Hai. Rock Sago Toh Rock Lo, 7 days Left (Our next target is Mumbai. Stop us if you can. Seven days left)”.

The National Investigation Agency and other security agencies are probing the authenticity of the account that, according to sources, originated in Canada. “We will definitely look into who is behind this Twitter account,” said a senior NIA official.

“Each and every terror threat in the country is thoroughly probed, though almost all of them turn out to be fake or a prank,” said a security official.

Meanwhile, the Patna police on Tuesday detained four people in the city on the basis of CCTV footage of the temple complex.

The suspects were identified as Anand Prakash, Gunjan Patel, Hassan Mallik and Priyanka — all in their 20s.

“The footage showed them moving suspiciously in the temple premises early Sunday. We are working on circumstantial evidence,” said a police officer.

A National Investigation Agency team scanned records of hotels close to the Mahabodhi Temple and zeroed in on the four. Sources said they checked out of Hotel Tathagat around 6am, minutes after the blasts.

They are being interrogated at an undisclosed location, sources said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Los Zetas and Hezbollah: A Deadline Alliance of Terror and Vice

by Terence Rosenthal

When Americans think about the illegal drug trade and black markets in Mexico, it is probable that they do not associate them with terrorism, or Islamic fundamentalism. One would think that drug cartels like Los Zetas, the most sophisticated and second most powerful drug cartel in Mexico would have enough allies and connections not to need the assistance of an organization like Hezbollah based half way across the world in Lebanon. However, there is proof that Hezbollah, as well as elements of the Iranian Quds force are functioning with cartels like Los Zetas, the most sophisticated drug cartel in Mexico. The combination of power hungry cartels like Los Zetas, and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah who want a presence in North America, in or near the United States inhibit U.S. companies from wanting to conduct business in Mexico, and should not remain unnoticed.

The question is, how did this deadly alliance come into existence? For decades, immigrants, legal and illegal, have been arriving in Mexico from Lebanon. This population has been growing steadily, and has a certain level of favorability with Hezbollah…

[Return to headlines]

Ruthless Mexican Drug Cartel Recruiting in U.S.; Los Zetas Looks to Prisons, Street Gangs

A Mexican drug cartel known for kidnapping random civilians and beheading its rivals has expanded its operations into the U.S.

The gang known as Los Zetas is recruiting U.S. prison and street gangs, and non-Mexicans, for its drug trafficking and support operations in Mexico and the U.S.

An FBI intelligence bulletin notes that “multiple sources” reported the shift in Los Zetas recruiting. The cartel sought to maintain a highly disciplined and structured hierarchy by recruiting members with specialized training, such as former military and law enforcement officers.

“The FBI judges with high confidence that Los Zetas will continue to increase its recruitment efforts and establish pacts with non-military trained, nontraditional associates to maintain their drug-trafficking and support operations, which may increase violence along the Southwest border posing a threat to U.S. national security,” the bulletin says.

The expansion of Los Zetas operations across the southwestern border has long been a concern of U.S. authorities. Trained as an elite band of Mexican anti-drug commandos, Los Zetas evolved into mercenaries for the infamous Gulf Cartel, unleashing a wave of brutality in Mexico’s drug wars.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UN Warns: Mexican Border ‘Global Pathway’ To U.S. For Illegals From Horn of Africa

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently released a report, “Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean,” that identifies both Mexican cartels and street gangs as conduits for individuals from Africa and Asia entering the U.S illegally. The report identifies the Islamic terrorist haven of Somalia as being one of the nations from which the illegal U.S. bound border-crossers are originating.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

A Road Paved With “Good Intentions”

On the immigration front, the bad news is that the scoundrels (including 14 Rinos) in the U.S. Senate succeeded in passing an amnesty bill (S744). The good news is that in order for their “comprehensive immigration reform” to become law, it will have to get though the House. Can that happen? Yes, but it is unlikely to any time soon,provided enough Americans exert pressure on their congress critters in the House to reject any and all attempts at forcing amnesty on their unwilling constituents.

Why do those who perpetually advocate the rewarding of alien lawbreakers, persist in those efforts, despite such high levels of opposition to amnesty? In short, they’re doing everything they can to wear down the public. The last serious attempt at amnesty came at about this time six years ago, and while that attempt died in the Senate (it was close), this time they have moved the ball further down the field. Incrementalism is the game, and unfortunately it’s working all too well for globalist/progressive forces(think gay marriage, gun control, etc.). These forces will never give up their efforts to transform the country into something very different from what our founders envisioned.

The result in the Senate this time was not exactly unexpected. With the dems voting in lockstep, it took only a few of the usual GOP suspects (McCain, Graham and new Rino poster boy Marco Rubio to name a few) to enable this horrible bill’s passage by a 68-32 vote. The margin would have been considerably less however, had a few more Republicans not been swayed by an amendment from fellow Republican senators John Hoeven of North Dakota and Bob Corker of Tennessee — one that would purportedly bolster border security.In reality it will do nothing of the sort. Logically,if this bill’s intent was in fact enforcement, securing the border would be its highest priority. The fact that it creates a “pathway to citizenship” before any enforcement should be all the proof one needs that the bill is all about amnesty and has zero to do with “enforcement” or “border security”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Catholic Weekly Calls for Italian Immigration Reform

‘Better treatment of newcomers needed’

(ANSA) — Rome, July 9 — It’s time the Italian government eliminated the crime of illegal immigration and did more to support newcomers, the Catholic weekly Famiglia Cristiana said Tuesday.

In comments published one day after Pope Francis visited the immigration centre on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, the newspaper called for “serious reform” of Italy’s immigration laws: “If not now, when?”.

Calling the laws of illegal immigration “cruel”, the newspaper says the pope has set a powerful example.

“Now that the pope has explained that immigration is not an emergency but a normal (situation) the time has come to abolish the stigma,” it said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Navy to Rescue 207 Migrants at Sea

Boats adrift 100 miles off island pope visited

(ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — Two boats carrying 207 immigrants were located by the Italian Navy on Wednesday in the Sicilian strait some 100 miles off the tiny Lampedusa island. Some 167 people are believed to be on one boat while the other is carrying 42 migrants, the Navy said. A Navy patrol ship is reportedly on its way to rescue the migrants together with two Coast Guard cutters and a towboat.

Lampedusa, which Pope Francis visited on Monday in his first trip away from the Vatican, is a main point of entry for immigrants trying to reach Italy from North Africa. Arrivals pick up in the summer months when weather conditions improve but many die while attempting the crossing, often crowded in unsafe vessels.

According to the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR) more than 18,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean over the last 15 years.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Northern League Member Says He’s Glad When a Migrant Boat Sinks

Milan, 10 July (AKI) — Northern League party politician Erminio Boso on Wednesday sparked controversy when he said he was “happy” when a migrant boat sank in the Mediterranean.

“I am happy when a migrant boat sinks,” he told the popular La Zanzara programme aired on Italy’s Radio 24 station.

“I couldn’t care less about the Pope, in fact I ask him to donate funds and property to house immigrants in,” added Boso, a former Northern League senator and MP, who unashamedly admits to being a racist.

Boso was referring to Pope Francis’ visit to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, on Monday where he urged Italians to welcome migrants and deplored what he called “the globalisation of indifference” towards their plight.

Boso’s remarks drew immediate criticism from a well-known Italian priest and author, Farther Enzo Biagi, who called them “shameful”.

But a senior politician for the conservative People of Freedom party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi said Italy had to deal with the reality of illegal immigration and must not lower its guard.

“A religious sermon is one thing but the Italian state’s handing of such a difficult and complex phenomenon is quite another….we cannot lower our guard and passively acquiesce in these ruthless operations,” said Fabrizio Cicchitto.

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

Italy: House Committee Approves Bill Against Homophobia

Harsher penalties for hate crimes, debate on July 22

(ANSA) — Rome, July 10 — The Lower House’s justice committee has approved the text of a draft law which formally recognizes for the first time homosexuality and raises penalties for anti-gay provocations and hate crimes. The House will start examining the bill on July 22.

The text approved by the justice committee late on Tuesday provides for those found guilty of crimes against gays to be given the same penalties as in racial discrimination cases — up to four years in jail for violence and up to three years for inciting violence or promoting sexual discrimination.

The text approved by the committee recognizes for the first time in an Italian law the gay identity. Sexual orientation, the draft law says, should be intended as “the attraction towards a person of the same gender, different gender or both genders”. Gender identity is also defined as “the perception a person has of herself or himself as belonging to the female or male gender, even if such perception is the opposite of the effective biological gender”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Parental Rights Amendment: Selling You, Your Kids Out to Big Government

If politicians introduced a bill mandating the slaughter of all human babies under the age of two years; but called it, “The Little Babies Protection Act,” establishment conservatives and unthinking people all over the Country would be clamoring for its passage.

We have become a shallow and easily deceived people. If it sounds good on the surface, we are all for it. We assume the proposal will live up to its name. [1] We don’t trouble ourselves to actually read proposals and analyze them before we clamor for passage.

The name, “parental rights amendment” (PRA), sounds so good! But it actually strips parents of their God-delegated authority over their children, and transfers that authority to the federal government.

In order to understand this, you must first learn about “enumerated powers.”…

Let us now read it. Here it is from the website of the deceptively named, [6]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Core Problem: Corruption Skyrockets Globally

According to a survey released Tuesday [by the international anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International], a majority of people across the globe feel that corruption has worsened in their countries, and that their governments are ineffective in combating it.

According to the survey, more than one in four people reported paying a bribe in the past year.


The survey asked respondents to rate the corruption level of their countries’ institutions on a one-to-five scale, in which five meant “extremely corrupt.”

Political parties were considered to be the most corrupt globally, with an average score of 3.8 out of 5.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Irn-Bru Advert That Shows Mother Trying to Seduce Her Teenage Son’s Friends is ‘Not Irresponsible’, Watchdog Says

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

An Irn-Bru advert showing a curvaceous mother discussing her cleavage with her horrified teenage son has been deemed acceptable by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) despite 176 complaints.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/10/2013

Comments are closed.