Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/10/2013

The European Union expressed its support for Russia’s offer to mediate a transfer of Syria’s chemical weapons to international supervision. Meanwhile, President Obama rushed to claim the idea as his own, and asked Congress to postpone a vote on the Syrian war until after diplomatic efforts had run their course.

In other news, recently revealed information indicates that while the IRS was investigating and harassing Republican groups during last year’s election campaign, it gave special treatment to black groups, who received official advice on how far they could go in campaigning for President Obama without running afoul of the law.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, JP, Steen, 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
» Over One in 10 Italians Suffer Material Hardships, EU Says
» Poland: ‘Mazovia is Bled Dry’
» Spain: 1 Mln ‘Irregular’ Workers , Illegal Economy 18, 6% GDP
» “I Hate White People”: Media Downplays Brutal Racial Attack
» Bus Rider’s Face Smashed in During ‘Racial Attack’ In Manhattan
» Caught on Camera: Deputy Brutalizes a Family
» De Blasio Has Wide Lead in Democratic Primary for New York Mayor
» Indiana Woman Fends Off Carjackers With Gun
» IRS Gave Black Nonprofits Preferential Treatment
» Obama ‘Letting Muslim Brotherhood Run Anti-Terror Ops’
Europe and the EU
» 1,000 Lifers in Greek Prisons, Report
» Centre-Right Wins Norway Election
» Centre-Left Damaging Italy to Get Berlusconi, Says Alfano
» Erna Solberg Replaces Jens Stoltenberg as Norway’s Prime Minister as Centre-Right Bloc Takes Power
» Europe’s Only FGM Help Clinic Opens in Berlin
» France Braced for Day of Strikes and Protests
» France: Rules Promote Secularism in Schools
» German Elections 2013: ‘In 10 Years We Will be in Government’
» Hanson Baldwin on the World War II “Second Front Debate” And the Loss of Eastern Europe
» Italy: Freed Journalist ‘Ducks for Cover’ At Sound of Planes
» Italy: PDL Says Govt Will Fall if Panel Votes on Berlusconi Tuesday
» Italy: Parents Yank Kids From School Over Roma Peers
» Malmo: Muslim Mob Attacks Negro, Tries to Throw Him Off Bridge, Swedish Media Tries to Portray it as “Hate Crime” Committed by White Racists
» Netherlands: Former PVV Councillor Launches Islamic Party
» Netherlands:13% of Office Buildings Are Unoccupied
» Plastic Pounds: Bank of England Considers Replacing Paper Money With Plastic Bank Notes
» Report Reveals Italian Prisons Seriously Overcrowded
» Sicily: US Increases Number of Marines at Sigonella Base
» Sweden Mourns Death of Anna Lindh Ten Years on
» Sweden: ‘Pure Luck’ No Bystanders Hit in Malmo Shooting
» Swiss Institutes Among ‘World’s Top 20 Unis’
» Teacher Slams French Education in Suicide Note
» UK: Boy, 8, Falls Asleep 20 Times a Day After Mother Claims Swine Flu Jab Gave Him Narcolepsy
» UK: Birmingham College Bans Muslim Students From Wearing Religious Veils for ‘Security Reasons’
» UK: Labour Leader ‘Determined’ To Reform Union Links
» UK: Mosque Plan Dropped But EDL Protest to ‘Go Ahead’ In Sheffield
» UK: Translation Table Explaining the Truth Behind British Politeness Becomes Internet Hit
» What Does the Fox Say? Norway’s Ylvis Brothers Go Viral With the Answer
» Montenegro’s Member of Pink Panther Gang Arrested in Hungary
North Africa
» Egypt: Troops Pound Islamic Extremists Near Gaza
Israel and the Palestinians
» Jewish Settlers Storm Aqsa Mosque Compound
Middle East
» America, Syria, Russia, Analysis and Prophecy
» EU Welcomes Russia’s Proposal on Syria
» In the Fashion of a True Narcissist
» Iraq: 12 Killed in Bomb Attacks in Iraq’s Diyala
» Kidnapped Teacher: Rebels Said Assad Not Behind Chemical Weapons Attack (Video)
» McCain & Graham Seize on ‘Peace’ Initiative to Push War
» Number of Americans Against Syria Intervention Rises
» Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure
» Obama Asks Congress to Postpone a Vote on Syria Action While Diplomacy is Pursued
» Precious Little Girl Dismembered While She is Still Alive by Obama’s Psychotic Syrian Rebels
» Quirico: “It is Madness to Say I Knew it Wasn’t Assad Who Used Gas”
» Sudden Plan for Syria
» Syria Hostage Ordeal Over for Reporter Quirico
» Syria: Damascus Citizens Relieved as US Attack Recedes
» Syrian Rebels Plan Chem Attack on Israel From Assad-Controlled Territories
» Turkey: Clashes Demonstrators-Police, One Dead
» Turkey Risks War With Assad, Peace With Kurds
» Turkey: British Mother ‘Shot Dead by Gardener’ During Family Holiday in Turkey
» U. S. Bishops Call for Protests Against Syria Intervention
» White House Agrees to Talks on U.N. Resolution on Syrian Chemical Arms
South Asia
» 7 Killed as Roadside Bombing Hits Bus in E. Afghanistan
» Bangladesh: Four ‘Anti-Islam’ Bloggers Sentenced
» Faisalabad: Pakistan’s (Anti-Christian) Romeo and Juliet Story
» Four Men Convicted in Rape Case That Transfixed India
» One in Four Men Surveyed in Asian Study Say They Raped
» Boat Carrying 91 Eritreans Found Off Lampedusa Coast
» Border Patrol Officer Association Warns of 20 Million Illegals in US
» No EU Help for Bulgaria on Syria Refugees
» Pope Francis Visits Refugees at Jesuit Center in Central Rome
Culture Wars
» Even Military Becoming Hostile to Christians
» Germany: Man Who Gave Birth Faces Court Battle to be Father
» Kevin Rudd, Homosexuality, And Love
» Plans to Smuggle Pro-LGBT Propaganda Into Russia and Disrupt Olympics Revealed at “Gay” Journalists Convention in Boston.
» UK: Revolution in Attitudes to Homosexuality is Biggest Change in Generation
» Cell Phone Use May Damage Salivary Glands

Over One in 10 Italians Suffer Material Hardships, EU Says

Report drawn up by commissioner highlights EU inequality

(ANSA) — Brussels, September 9 — Some 11% of Italians suffer “serious material hardships”, a report released by the European Union said on Monday. Italy is the only large country in core Europe that suffers from hardships such as cutting back on heating and meat consumption, according to the report prepared by EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy Tonio Borg of Malta. The number of Italians suffering these types of material hardships is in fact double those suffering them in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the report said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Poland: ‘Mazovia is Bled Dry’

Gazeta Wyborcza

Poland’s richest region Mazovia, which includes the capital Warsaw, is being pushed to the verge of bankruptcy by its requirement to pay a “solidarity fee” subsidy to poorer regions, writes Gazeta Wyborcza.

Out of the region’s annual budget of 3bn zlotys (€700m), Mazovia must transfer 660m zlotys (€154m) to its impoverished neighbours.

The region’s officials have long complained that the fee, introduced in 2003, places too great a burden on Mazovia — already struggling amid the ongoing global financial crisis — and announced they will officially suspend payment on September 16.

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

Spain: 1 Mln ‘Irregular’ Workers , Illegal Economy 18, 6% GDP

Tax evasion for 60 billions, according to Caixa study

(by Paola Del Vecchio) (ANSAmed) — MADRID, SEPTEMBER 10 — One million workers in Spain do not have a regular contract with an underground economy worth at least 18,6% of the country’s GDP which mostly concerns entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized companies, according to a study by La Caixa released on Monday and based on the annual report drafted by Austrian Professor Friederich Schneider on the illegal economy in Europe. Tax evasion was estimated at 60 billion euros. Though still hard to quantify, estimates on Spain’s underground economy are increasingly accurate. ‘In a country like Spain, where 6 million are unemployed, if social protests have not exploded yet it is mostly due to the existing underground economy’, Antoni Garrell of the Fondacio Gremi de Frabricants was quoted as saying Monday by La Vanguardia newspaper.

The report stressed the high level of evasion in social security payments, estimated to be around at least 8% of GDP, the equivalent of one million full-time jobs. The impact on state coffers, said Avelino Hernandez, the director of Caixa’s financial markets who coordinated the research, is significant.

And the government of Mariano Rajoy will not be able to ignore the phenomenon in drafting the tax reform announced for 2014.

The legalization of irregular employment would enable the state to recuperate between 60 and 80 billion euros in fiscal and social security revenues. The total provided by ‘regular’ workers in 2012 was worth 347 billion euros.

Experts cite among causes for the high levels of evasion the complex labour laws and red tape involved in giving a worker a regular contract but, most of all, the high cost of social security payments for entrepreneurs who are the ones mostly evading taxes. According to Hernandez, a factor significantly contributing in the phenomenon of evasion is that it is not condemned by society. Significant sanctions, incentives for companies to become regular, cutting red tape and maybe a fiscal amnesty in the future are the instruments to fight the phenomenon, according to the expert.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

“I Hate White People”: Media Downplays Brutal Racial Attack

More black-on-white violence largely ignored by the mainstream media

UPDATE: After being in a coma since the attack, Jeffrey Babbitt died tonight from his injuries.

Another unprovoked black-on-white attack in the wake of the George Zimmerman trial has received little national media attention even though it is being investigated as a hate crime.

In New York City last Wednesday, LeShawn Marten, 31, reportedly beat retired train conductor Jeffrey Babbitt, 62, while shouting “I hate white people” and “the next white person who walks by I’m going to [expletive].”

Marten cracked Babbitt’s skull and left him “brain dead,” according to the Washington Times.

“His fist went in and the man’s head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground,” one witness said to CBS New York.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Bus Rider’s Face Smashed in During ‘Racial Attack’ In Manhattan

An attacker pummeled a bus passenger so hard he smashed the bones in his face after calling the victim a “cracker” in Manhattan — marking the second time in two days that people appeared to be randomly targeted in racial tirades against white people, authorities said.

In the latest incident, the suspect passed a 31-year-old rider on the M60 bus riding through Harlem, on West 127th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive, around 2:45 p.m., Friday, when he shouted the racial slur and punched the victim in the face, breaking his nose and eye socket, cops said.

The victim was treated for facial fractures at New York Presbyterian Hospital and released, police said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Caught on Camera: Deputy Brutalizes a Family

Harris County investigators said Deputy Jimmy Drummond was caught on dash cam video brutalizing a family.

Drummond followed the son home because he said he was speeding. As other family members approached the scene, they were all beaten.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

De Blasio Has Wide Lead in Democratic Primary for New York Mayor

Bill de Blasio, who ran for mayor promising to address concerns about income inequality and controversial police practices, won far more votes than any other candidate in New York’s Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday, according to an exit poll.

But it was not immediately clear if he had won the 40 percent needed to avoid a runoff with the second-place finisher, either William C. Thompson Jr. or Christine C. Quinn.

[Return to headlines]

Indiana Woman Fends Off Carjackers With Gun

“(He said), ‘Oh s***’ and they ran”

Last week, an Indianapolis woman was able to defend herself and her property by having a firearm at her disposal when she needed it most.

“Kari Bird just started law school and continues to work full time,” reported Indiana’s Fox 59. “Bird got home at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and when she got out of her car, a group of three or four young guys approached her.”

Bird says one of the men smiled before pulling a gun on her, then demanded her keys.

As she turned over her keys, she realized her costly possessions were about to be forfeited. It was then, Bird says, she remembered the firearm stored in her car’s center console.

Bird says she grabbed her gun and pointed it at them.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

IRS Gave Black Nonprofits Preferential Treatment

At the same time the IRS harassed Republican nonprofit groups during the 2012 political campaign, it selectively advised black churches and other Democrat nonprofits on how far they can go in campaigning for President Obama and other Democrats.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama ‘Letting Muslim Brotherhood Run Anti-Terror Ops’

New book documents infiltration, putting extremists in power in Mideast

The Obama administration allowed into government agencies Islamic groups and activists tied to the Muslim Brotherhood who now influence U.S. anti-terrorism policies and endanger the nation, charges a newly released book. In “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office,” New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott document Obama not only aided the rise to power of Islamic extremist groups in the Middle East but ushered likeminded extremists into the gates of the White House, with Muslim Brotherhood groups serving on important national security advisory boards…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

1,000 Lifers in Greek Prisons, Report

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, SEPTEMBER 9 — Greece, with a population of less than 11 million, seems to have the largest number of lifers than any other European country, recording an unprecedented figure of 1,000 as GreekReporter website writes.

Other European countries have only a few dozen lifers, such as the Netherlands (with a population of 17 million) which has only 90 lifers and Germany (83 million) which has 140. Other European countries have only a small number, except for Italy (less than 60 million) which has 1,600. The new Penal Code which will be submitted to a vote in the Greek Parliament provides a limit on the imposition of life imprisonment. The imposition of life sentence and the fact that this is the maximum sentence for most offenses — mostly economic offenses in recent years — has increased the number of life prisoners, who have reached 1,000.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Centre-Right Wins Norway Election

Norway’s centre-right opposition has swept into government with a clear majority, ending eight years of Labour rule. The Conservative party and its allies won over voters with promises of tax cuts, better health and elderly care, and stricter rules on immigration.

With 99.7 percent of the votes counted, the four right-wing parties were projected to win 96 seats, compared to 72 won by the out-going centre-left coalition, well beyond the 85 needed to secure a majority in parliament.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Centre-Left Damaging Italy to Get Berlusconi, Says Alfano

(AGI) Rome, Sept 10 — “We are appalled by the behaviour of the Democratic Party yesterday in the committee. In order to eliminate a long-time political enemy by legal means, they are happy to cripple the country,” said the secretary of the centre-right PDL, Deputy Prime Minister Angelino Alfano. Mr Alfano was commenting on Monday’s meeting of the Senate Committee responsible for deciding whether to expel Silvio Berlusconi from the Senate.

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

Erna Solberg Replaces Jens Stoltenberg as Norway’s Prime Minister as Centre-Right Bloc Takes Power

Conservative Party leader Erna Solberg — nicknamed “Iron Erna” — will become Norway’s new prime minister as the leader of a centre-right coalition government likely including an anti-immigration party.

Preliminary results from the oil-rich Nordic country’s parliamentary elections shows the Conservative Party got 26.8 per cent of votes, the best result for the party in 28 years. Solberg, who will be Norway’s second female prime minister after Gro Harlem Brundtland, thanked the voters on Monday for a historic victory. “The voters had the choice between 12 years of red-green government or a new government with new ideas and new solutions,” Solberg said. The current prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, who has led Norway for eight years, conceded defeat, saying his Labor Party tried “to do what almost no one has done, to win three elections in a row, but it turned out to be tough.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Europe’s Only FGM Help Clinic Opens in Berlin

Europe’s first clinic dedicated to treating women who have suffered female genital mutilation opened on Wednesday in Berlin. The Desert Flower Centre will offer both surgical and psychological care for those who have had the procedure.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France Braced for Day of Strikes and Protests

Hundreds of thousands of anxious French workers will take to the streets on Tuesday in protest against the Socialist government’s planned pension reforms. Organisers say the strike will be only the first of many protests against the reform.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

France: Rules Promote Secularism in Schools

‘No religious signs in classes’. Muslims: ‘we are targeted’

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — One of the key principles on which the French Republic is founded is that schools are secular, everyone is free to believe in God or not but no religious signs, like a cross, Jewish kippa or Islamic veil can be displayed. And in order to strengthen these principles, which make French citizens proud, a ‘Secularism Charter’ has become effective in all state schools as of Monday — 15 articles to remind students from elementary to high school the fundamental principles on which the Republique is based.

‘Secularism is ‘a fight so as not to divide different communities and oppose those who want to divide them’, said Education Minister Vincent Peillon, presenting the text in a high school near Paris, in the town of Ferte-sous-Jouarre. The charter, which has a symbolic but not a legal value, recalls that ‘the nation gives schools the mission to make students participate in the values of the Republic’. Article 1 in particular states that ‘France is an indivisible, democratic, social and secular Republic’, while article 2 says that the ‘State is neutral regarding religious confessions’. Moreover, ‘everybody is free to believe or not believe’ in God, continues article 3 and secularism in schools is aimed at protecting ‘any type of proselytism and pressure which would not allow everyone to make their own choices’.

The articles also state that secularism guarantees gender equality and ‘refuses any type of violence and discrimination’ (article 12) and that ‘it is prohibited to exhibit religious signs or clothing through which students parade their religion’ (article 14).

According to Jean-Pierre Obin, an honorary inspector general of the national education system, the charter ‘calls for rights in a pedagogic form and without legal jargon’. Schools will have to hang the charter in a ‘place visible to all’, possibly in areas where students are ‘welcomed and of passage’, said Peillon.

For his part, the president of the French Council of the Islamic faith, Dalil Boubakeur, criticized the initiative: ‘90% of Muslims will have the impression they are targeted by this text while instead, in 99% of cases, they don’t pose any problem to secularims’. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen criticized ‘the umpteenth media initiative which does not confront the real relevance of the problem’ which is the ‘worrying development of communitarianism and political-religious demands’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Elections 2013: ‘In 10 Years We Will be in Government’

Polityka Warsaw

In the legislative elections of September 22, one voter in 10 will be of foreign origin. That’s more than 5.5 million votes that the parties are competing for as they, very tentatively, open up their lists to candidates from immigrant backgrounds.

Filip Ganczak

The scene is the Kronprinzenpalais garden in Berlin, host to the summer festival of the Christian Democrats (CDU). Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer is striking a traditional pose with a Bavarian beer mug, but Chancellor Angela Merkel is obviously after a different slice of the electorate: lit up by photographers’ flashes, she is cutting meat for a kebab.

It’s a clear sign of the approaching September 22 elections, when Germans go to the polls to choose the members of the new Bundestag [Parliament]. “Immigrants are becoming more and more important to the political parties,” notes Orkan Kösemen, political scientist at the Bertelsmann Foundation and author of a study on the electoral behaviour of immigrants. Already one citizen in 10 with the right to vote has origins outside Germany. No less than 5.5 million votes are at stake.

At the end of the Cold War, the political preferences of immigrants were easy to determine. Voters from a Polish or Soviet background traditionally voted for the Christian Democrats. The CDU of the time, headed by Helmut Kohl, and the Bavarian CSU under Franz Josef Strauss, symbolised anti-communism. On the other hand, the former Gastarbeiter, working-class immigrants from Turkey and Arab countries, were closer to the Social Democrats of the SPD. While these divisions persist, immigrants’ votes are being solicited more openly by the Greens, and even by the extreme post-Communist left.

Germany’s self destruction

German environmentalists are today led by Cem Özdemir, son of a Circassian father and a Turkish mother from Istanbul. It is the Greens who have put forward the largest number of candidates from an immigrant background (23 persons) on their electoral lists. Environmentalists are already represented in the Bundestag by members born in Turkey, in Iran or, as in the case of Agnieszka Brugger and Jerzy Montag, in post-war Poland….

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

Hanson Baldwin on the World War II “Second Front Debate” And the Loss of Eastern Europe

by Andrew Bostom

Hanson W. Baldwin (d. 1991), a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, was the 1943 Pulitzer Prize winning military-affairs editor for The New York Times, and prolific author. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on military and naval affairs during the World War II (WWII), and Cold War eras, Baldwin’s remarkably compendious 1950 monograph, Great Mistakes of the War, remains one of the most esteemed post-mortem assessments of U.S. WWII politico-military strategy.

As I have discussed elsewhere (here; here), Baldwin’s Great Mistakes of the War indentified four “great—and false premises” which undergirded certainly the crucial political component of U.S. “politico-military” policies, vis a vis the Soviet Union, pursued during the WWII-era: 1) that the Soviets had jettisoned their aggressive drive for global Communist totalitarian hegemony, via “revolution”; 2) Stalin was a benevolent leader and true U.S. ally; 3) even during the latter stages of the war, the Soviets might seek a separate peace with a (then retreating) Nazi Germany; 4) entreating the Soviets, unnecessarily, to join the war against a tottering Japan, oblivious to the dangers of Soviet hegemonic pursuits in Asia. Baldwin is pellucid in identifying the fundamental (and willful) delusions upon which these false premises were based:…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Italy: Freed Journalist ‘Ducks for Cover’ At Sound of Planes

Quirico says US intervention in Syria would be ‘serious error’

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — After 152 days in often-brutal captivity, veteran war correspondent Domenico Quirico, who returned to Italy on Monday, said he instinctively “ducked for cover” at the sound of airplanes overhead when he woke up in his own bed on Tuesday.

“Only after a few moments did I realize I was not in Syria, I was home. It was a beautiful sensation,” he said in an interview with television network Sky TG24.

Quirico, a long-time journalist for La Stampa daily, celebrated his first day of freedom Monday after five months of captivity in Syria along with Belgian academic Pierre Piccinin.

The 61-year-old reporter, who returned five kilos lighter but in good health, said that his captors did not treat him well.

“I was scared. The revolution betrayed me,” he said.

“Maybe this sounds too moralistic, but truly, in Syria I met the country of Evil,” he said. Quirico warned against United States intervention in Syria.

“The Americans have made many errors over the last years.

But to carry out an action like this would only strengthen jihadist forces…it would be a serious error.

“Our captors were happy at the idea of an American bombardment,” he said.

Quirico said that he believed they had originally been captured and sold by the Syrian Free Army.

“We were beaten daily and — I am duty-bound to say this — were only treated well by an al-Qaeda group.

“They were 152 days of imprisonment, small dark rooms where we were fighting against time, fear, humiliation, hunger, lack of pity, two mock executions, two failed escape attempts, the silence of God, family, of others, of life. I was a hostage in Syria, betrayed by the revolution that no longer exists and has become fanaticism and the work of bandits” he said.

Of the many events that took place during his six months as a hostage, he said he was “very intrigued” by Premier Enrico Letta’s recently forged left-right government.

“I was received by Premier Letta and I never would have imagined that (PdL Secretary Angelino) Alfano would be standing next to him…but this too is politics,” he said.

A government based on a precarious alliance between traditional foes — Letta’s own centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party — was forged in April to break a stalemate that left Italy without a government for two months.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PDL Says Govt Will Fall if Panel Votes on Berlusconi Tuesday

Senate committee looking at stripping ex-premier of seat

(ANSA) — Rome, September 9 — Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party has said Premier Enrico Letta’s government will fall if a Senate panel votes later on Tuesday against petitions it has presented objecting to a move to strip the centre-right leader of his parliamentary seat.

The panel is looking at ejecting three-time premier Berlusconi from the Senate after the supreme court last month upheld a four-year tax-fraud conviction — three years of which have been commuted due to an amnesty — making it definitive.

On Monday a PdL Senator presented three motions calling for the decision on Berlusconi’s parliamentary status to be put on hold.

Berlusconi risks losing his Senate seat under the terms of an anti-corruption law approved in 2012, which the PdL says is unconstitutional. After a heated meeting on Monday of the panel, on which members of the centre-right PdL are a minority, its president said a vote on the three petitions would take place late Tuesday.

The PdL says this means the panel is rushing a decision on highly technical legal matters. Letta’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) has said it intends to vote for Berlusconi to be stripped of his status as Senator on the panel and so have representatives of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S).

The PD and the PdL are traditional foes but they were forced to form a grand coalition in April to make Letta’s executive possible and end two months of deadlock after February’s inconclusive general election.

The PdL has repeatedly said it will not be able to continue the alliance if the PD votes for its leader to be turfed out of parliament. “If the Democratic Party, together with the M5S, decides this evening to vote against the petitions, the Democratic Party will cause the Letta government to fall,” PdL House whip Renato Brunetta told state broadcaster Rai.

“Either the panel is a body of jurisprudence, in which case it should take its time to have doubts, and read and evaluate the documents; or it behaves in a political way. “If it decides to behave in a political way and take Berlusconi out of political life, in a political way, outside the realm of the law and the Constitution, outside the doubts that have been expressed, it is obviously taking a political decision.

“This would break the alliance and, at this stage, the PD would sent the Letta government packing”. A full Senate vote is required to make the ban effective but the PdL says it will not come to that if the PD votes against Berlusconi on the panel.

The PdL claims the anti-corruption law is being applied retroactively in Berlusconi’s case, although it became effective before his definitive conviction for fraud on film rights for his Mediaset empire on August 1. The PdL says the offences for which Berlusconi was convicted took place before the law was passed, and so it is being applied retroactively, which they say is against the Italian Constitution. The PD has dismissed arguments from jurists sympathetic to the PdL as “quibbling” and says the law must be applied to Berlusconi as it would be to anyone else. Berlusconi has appealed to Italy’s Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights against the ban from the tax-fraud conviction, which he blames, like his many other cases, on persecution by magistrates he says are left-wing.

Letta said Monday that he was hopeful the PdL would “decide for the best” and not sink the government, with the country still not out of its longest recession in over two decades.

But the premier also warned at the weekend that he would not “tread water” at the helm of government and would only continue if the parties gave him enough support to effectively wield power.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Parents Yank Kids From School Over Roma Peers

‘We can’t convince them to stay’ says Italian mayor

(ANSA) — Novara, September 10 — Parents were yanking their children from classrooms in the town of Landiona in northern Italy after complaining of the number of ethnic Roma kids in the elementary school, the major said Tuesday.

“We tried to convince them to leave their children, but they preferred taking them to Vicolungo, the town nearby,” said Mayor Marisa Albertini.

Landiona, which has about 600 inhabitants and is located in Piedmont, has a history with Roma families, sometimes referred to as Gypsies.

About a decade ago, residents invited Romas to send their children to the local school to save it from closure due to low enrolments at that time.

But now, the school faces renewed problems between locals and Roma families.

The mayor says about 25 Roma children are enrolled at the school, compared to about a dozen Italian kids.

The situation has divided the small town with a local council calling it one of “absolute gravity”.

The story appears to “discredit the whole community, but we are not racist,” said Councillor Francesco Cavagnino.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Malmo: Muslim Mob Attacks Negro, Tries to Throw Him Off Bridge, Swedish Media Tries to Portray it as “Hate Crime” Committed by White Racists

On Sunday evening, Yusupha Sallah was beaten. Here is his version of the incident that police are calling a hate crimes with “great callousness”:

At 7 pm on Sunday night Yusupha Sallah, 32, and his one-and-a-half year old son were walking from their home on Sörbäcksgatan to the playground on the other side of Hyllievägen. On the bridge over the road, they encountered a group of three women and one man.

“Then the man kicked the toy from my son’s hand. I asked what he was doing. He said, ‘You

ing black man, I want to kill you and your son,’ then he pushed my son down.

Then Yusupha was struck several times by the three women and the man.

“I desperately tried to defend myself from them, then six more men arrived and helped them.”

Yusupha dropped to the ground.

“My son started crying and tried to grab my leg while they beat me. Then I lost consciousness.”

When Yusupha regained consciousness, ten people held him and tried to lift him over the steel railing on the walkway, five meters above the car road below.

“I grabbed the metal railing while they hit me on the hands with their shoes, but I forced myself to climb up again. Then they continued to beat me in the face, one of the men knocked my front teeth out”.

The assault was interrupted by police sirens. According to several witnesses, people ran from the scene. Now the incident has been classified as aggravated assault and is being investigated as a hate crime by the Malmö police, a factor that could lead to stricter penalties for those convicted.

Source: Aftonbladet

Note here there is no mention of the fact that the perpetrators were Middle-Easterners. Nor is there in any of the other reports in the Swedish press.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Former PVV Councillor Launches Islamic Party

A former councillor for the anti-Islam PVV in The Hague has launched a political party founded on Islamic principles.

Arnoud van Doorn converted to Islam after being thrown out of the PVV at the end of 2011 because of ‘financial irregularities’.

The new party will be based on ‘Islamic norms and values’ and open to everyone without segregation, Van Doorn said using the microblogging service Twitter.

Dishonest headline: “Norway election results: Anti-immigrant party with links to mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik set to enter government under Conservative leader Erna Solberg”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Netherlands:13% of Office Buildings Are Unoccupied

The Netherlands has the highest percentage of empty office buildings in Europe with 13% of offices unoccupied, according to Dutch university researchers.

Among capital cities, Amsterdam ranks second highest with 18% of offices unoccupied. The Greek capital Athens is the highest with 20%.

The figures come courtesy of a survey by the universities of Twente and Amsterdam quoted in free newspaper Metro.

The researchers also discovered that areas around train stations, usually considered the most attractive locations and where office buildings are still being constructed, are remaining empty because supply is outstripping demand.

They found one case of a ten-year-old building on a prime location along the A12 where the rent has dropped from its original rent of €200 per square metre to €70.

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

Plastic Pounds: Bank of England Considers Replacing Paper Money With Plastic Bank Notes

Britain is pondering plastic pounds. The Bank of England is considering replacing paper money with polymer bank notes which are billed as cleaner, stronger and more secure.

The bank said Tuesday it will hold a public consultation, bringing samples of plastic money to shopping centers so that members of the public can feel the difference.

Polymer bank notes — made from transparent plastic film coated with layers of ink — are used by countries such as Australia, Mexico and Canada.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Report Reveals Italian Prisons Seriously Overcrowded

(AGI) Rome, Sept 9 — There are 64,835 inmates in Italy’s 206 prisons, which only have room for 47,703 inmates, according to an Aug. 31 report from Italy’s prison administration (Dipartimento dell’Amministrazione Penitenziaria). At least 22,878 inmates are foreigners, 11,785 are being held while awaiting trial and 39,571 are serving their sentences.

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

Sicily: US Increases Number of Marines at Sigonella Base

(AGI) Washington, Sept 10 — The U.S. has enlarged its quick reaction task force at the Sigonella base in Sicily, on the eve of the first anniversary of the attack on the Benghazi consulate in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died. After deploying 200 marines to Sigonella in May, an additional 250 have been moved from Moron in Spain to the Sicilian base.

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

Sweden Mourns Death of Anna Lindh Ten Years on

A decade on from Lindh’s assassination her life and legacy is being celebrated in a series of events and a new documentary about her career and premature death.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: ‘Pure Luck’ No Bystanders Hit in Malmo Shooting

At least five shots were fired and a 23-year old man was seriously injured in Malmö on Monday night. The incident took place in the Bellevuegården area towards 11pm and one shot entered a nearby apartment. “We don’t know how many bullets hit the man,” police officer Hans Nilsson told news agency TT, adding that it was “pure luck that no innocent bystander was hit.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swiss Institutes Among ‘World’s Top 20 Unis’

Switzerland’s two federal institutes of technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL in Lausanne, are among the top 20 universities in the world, according to a report released on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Teacher Slams French Education in Suicide Note

Colleagues and politicians have reacted with shock and sadness after a dedicated school teacher in Marseille killed himself on the eve of the new school year. Pierre Jacque left a suicide note containing fierce criticisms of France’s education system.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Boy, 8, Falls Asleep 20 Times a Day After Mother Claims Swine Flu Jab Gave Him Narcolepsy

The family of an eight-year-old boy with narcolepsy are blaming the swine flu vaccine for his sleep disorder.

Ben Foy suddenly falls asleep up to 20 times a day and often collapses without warning.

His mother Lindsey, 33, and grandfather Brian Hamilton, 60, say he has also become bad tempered and blame his condition on the swine flu jab Pandemrix…

‘It was only when I read about narcolepsy and its possible link to the swine flu jab that the penny dropped.

‘As soon as we saw it we just knew that was it. It was like someone was describing Ben.

‘The doctors had to carry out their tests before they could make an official diagnosis but it didn’t come as a shock at all when they told us he had narcolepsy. We already knew it.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Birmingham College Bans Muslim Students From Wearing Religious Veils for ‘Security Reasons’

Muslim students have been banned from wearing religious veils into a college because of fears regarding security.

Teenagers at Birmingham Metropolitan College have been told to remove any items of clothing covering their faces so they are ‘easily identifiable at all times’.

But while some students welcomed the move, arguing it keeps them safer, others called it ‘disgusting’.

The ban of the niqab, a veil which leaves a thin slot for the eyes, has caused some female students enroll at different college.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Labour Leader ‘Determined’ To Reform Union Links

British opposition leader Ed Miliband said Tuesday he was “absolutely determined” to reform the Labour party’s historic financial links with trade unions, as he addressed delegates in a key speech.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Mosque Plan Dropped But EDL Protest to ‘Go Ahead’ In Sheffield

Proposals to turn a Sheffield pub into a mosque have been dropped — but the English Defence League still plans to hold a protest at the site.

Firth Park Cultural Centre had made enquiries about buying the former Pheasant pub at Sheffield Lane Top, which is for sale, and rename it Firth Park Masjid. But the group now says the £330,000 price tag is ‘too expensive’ and it will be looking for an alternative site. The English Defence League, which last gathered in Sheffield in June to lay a wreath ‘in tribute’ to murdered soldier Lee Rigby, has organised a protest against the plans. The ‘peaceful’ demonstration is to take place outside The Pheasant on Saturday, September 21 — and anti-fascist protesters are planning a presence…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Translation Table Explaining the Truth Behind British Politeness Becomes Internet Hit

The British trait of being too polite to speak one’s mind has led to a table translating numerous hollow English phrases becoming an internet hit.

The table sheds light on just how difficult it can be for a foreigner to understand what the British really mean when they’re speaking — especially for those take every word at face value. Phrases that prove the trickiest to decipher include ‘you must come for dinner’, which foreigners tend to take as a direct invitation, but is actually said out of politeness by many Britons and often does not result in an invite. The table also reveals that when a person from Britain begins a sentence “with the greatest respect …’, they actually mean ‘I think you are an idiot’…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

What Does the Fox Say? Norway’s Ylvis Brothers Go Viral With the Answer

Ylvis’ music video “The Fox” raises a series of questions about pop culture. How can a video of a guy wearing a fox suit singing “wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow” get more than twelve million views on YouTube in less than a week?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Montenegro’s Member of Pink Panther Gang Arrested in Hungary

PODGORICA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — Hungarian police on Monday arrested David Vujovic from Podgorica who is suspected that, as a member of the criminal group Pink Panther participated in several robberies, Montenegrin police Department confirmed. Vujovic was arrested by international warrant of Interpol, and Podgorica’s Interpol Department was informed about that from the colleagues from Budapest. “NCB Interpol Podgorica, through the international police cooperation was informed by the NCB Interpol of Budapest that D.V. from Podgorica was arrested in Hungary on the basis of an international arrest warrant from NCB Interpol of Bern, Austria,” the Montenegrin Police Department stated. Vujovic was arrested within Interpol project “Pink Panther” because of the theft of luxury jewelry in several countries, media reported…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Troops Pound Islamic Extremists Near Gaza

EL-ARISH, Egypt — Egyptian troops and tanks backed by helicopter gunships swept through villages in the northern Sinai Peninsula near the border with the Palestinian Gaza Strip on Monday, the third day of a major offensive against Islamic extremists, a military official said. So far, some 20 suspected militants have been killed and 20 captured in the operation, he added. Explosions rocked el-Mahdiya and Naga Shabana, two of several villages south of the town of Rafah, the official said, where the military hit targets and shelters used by militants wanted for the killing and abduction of Egyptian soldiers over the past year. A day earlier, an al-Qaida-inspired militant group based in the area claimed responsibility for last week’s failed assassination attempt on Egypt’s interior minister, describing the Cairo attack as a “suicide” car bomb…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Jewish Settlers Storm Aqsa Mosque Compound

About 150 Jewish settlers stormed the compound early Tuesday as Israeli police looked on, according to eyewitnesses

Dozens of Jewish settlers, under the protection of Israeli police, stormed the Aqsa Mosque compound in the city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Tuesday. According to eyewitnesses, about 150 Jewish settlers stormed the compound early Tuesday as Israeli police looked on.

Hundreds of additional settlers are currently waiting to enter the compound, witnesses said.

The incident came after Israeli Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said that Jews enjoyed “an undisputed right” to enter the compound, which they consider a holy place. Jews refer to Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site, as the “Temple Mount,” which they claim had been the site of two earlier Jewish temples. Jewish extremists believe their messiah will not arrive until a third Jewish temple is built on the same site.

The Aqsa Association for Religious Endowments (Waqf) and Heritage voiced concern over Danino’s remarks, saying they justified violations of the holy site by Israeli settlers. Eyewitnesses said that the settlers roamed the mosque compound, with some performing Jewish rituals which provoked Muslims present within the mosque. Last Friday, scores of Israeli police stormed the mosque compound following weekly Muslim Friday prayers, firing stun grenades at worshipers inside. Scores of worshippers suffered gas inhalation due to the excessive use of teargas, according to eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses said that clashes erupted when Israeli police broke through the Maghariba Gate and besieged worshippers inside the mosque compound…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

America, Syria, Russia, Analysis and Prophecy

The global financial elite have a huge stake in the oil supplies in Syria. Russia now controls the oil coming out of Syria and is being sold throughout Europe and China. However, there appears to be a battle for the control of that oil.

According to Steve Quayle, “The Nabucco Agreement was signed by a handful of European nations and Turkey back in 2009. It was an agreement to run a natural gas pipeline across Turkey into Austria, bypassing Russia again with Qatar in the mix as a supplier to a feeder pipeline via the proposed Arab pipeline from Libya to Egypt to Nabucco (is the picture getting clearer?). The problem with all of this is that a Russian backed Syria stands in the way.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

EU Welcomes Russia’s Proposal on Syria

(AGI) Brussels, Sept 10 — The European Union welcomed Russia’s proposal to place Syria’s chemical arsenals under international control to avoid military action. Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said the EU was open to any proposal that might help reduce violence in Syria and put an end to the use of illegal chemical weapons. Mr Mann added that it was crucial for the proposal to be a serious one all parties would agree to.

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

In the Fashion of a True Narcissist

When Obama took office, the national debt was $10.6 trillion. Today, that debt stands at a whopping $16.7 trillion. In four years, eight months, Obama has spent $6.1 trillion. It took 233 years to rack up the first $10.6 trillion!

Are the American people better off today than they were ten years ago? Not by a long shot

Rahm Emanuel, Obama chief of staff, February 9, 2009,

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

And if one isn’t available to serve the purposes, create one, like claiming that striking Syria is the humanitarian thing to do. As Obama claimed, in 2002, Bashar el-Assad “poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Iraq: 12 Killed in Bomb Attacks in Iraq’s Diyala

BAQUBA, Iraq, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Twelve people were killed and 27 injured in separate bomb attacks in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala on Tuesday, a police source said. In one attack, five people were killed and 13 wounded when a car bomb detonated near a coffee shop in a village near the provincial capital city of Baquba, some 65 km northeast of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. In a separate incident, three people were killed and five wounded in a roadside bomb explosion near their car in Baquba’s eastern suburb of Bawiyah, the source said. Meanwhile, a roadside bomb went off at a marketplace in the village of al-Salam, some 30 km northeast of Baquba, killing four people and wounding nine others, the source added…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Kidnapped Teacher: Rebels Said Assad Not Behind Chemical Weapons Attack (Video)

“It is a moral duty to say this”

A Belgian teacher who was kidnapped by rebels in Syria said he overheard the militants acknowledging that President Bashar Al-Assad was not responsible for last month’s chemical weapons attack.

Speaking French, Piccinin tells RTL that he overheard rebels acknowledging that Assad was not behind the chemical weapons attack.

Pierre Piccinin da Prata was kidnapped along with Italian war journalist Domenico Quirico back in April near Damascus. According to Quirico, the two were subjected to torture, humiliation and mock executions by the western-backed rebels. They were freed yesterday and flown to Rome after the Italian Foreign Ministry managed to secure their release.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

McCain & Graham Seize on ‘Peace’ Initiative to Push War

Senators claim promise to give up chemical weapons should encourage Congress to authorize attack on Syria

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have seized upon a potential path to peace — Syria giving up its chemical weapons — and managed to turn it into an avenue for war.

Reacting to Russia’s proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and then have them destroyed, Graham and McCain swiftly cited the development as an incentive for Congress to authorize air strikes…

While many praised Vladimir Putin for his geopolitical cunning in seizing upon Secretary of State John Kerry’s apparently off script comments about Assad giving up his chemical weapons in order to checkmate the US, others fear that disarming Syria of its WMD could merely be a prelude to an attack.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Number of Americans Against Syria Intervention Rises

(AGI) Washington, Sept 9 — Increasing numbers of Americans are against President Obama’s proposed “limited” military intervention in Syria. A Reuters/IPSOS poll carried out between Sept. 5 and 9 showed that 63 percent of Americans were against military action, up 10 percent since Aug. 30. Only 16 percent were in favour, a fall of four percent.

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

Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure

The president may look incompetent on Syria. But his behavior fits his strategy to weaken America abroad.

The key to understanding what Mr. Obama has pulled off is the astonishing statement he made in the week before being elected president: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” To those of us who took this declaration seriously, it meant that Mr. Obama really was the left-wing radical he seemed to be, given his associations with the likes of the anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright and the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, not to mention the intellectual influence over him of Saul Alinsky, the original “community organizer.”

So far as domestic affairs were concerned, it soon became clear — even to some of those who had persuaded themselves that Mr. Obama was a moderate and a pragmatist — that the fundamental transformation he had in mind was to turn this country into as close a replica of the social-democratic countries of Europe as the constraints of our political system allowed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Asks Congress to Postpone a Vote on Syria Action While Diplomacy is Pursued

President Obama, facing an almost certain defeat in obtaining Congressional support for a military strike against Syria, made the case for that strike to the nation Tuesday night, but said he would give serious consideration to a proposal by Russia that international monitors take over and destroy Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons.

In a televised address, the president said he asked Congress to delay action on authorizing military action in Syria while diplomatic efforts were pursued.

Describing the sort of military campaign he would pursue, President Obama said, “I will not put American boots on the ground in Syria. I will not pursue an open-ended action like Iraq or Afghanistan. I will not pursue a prolonged air campaign like Libya or Kosovo. This would be a targeted strike to achieve a clear objective: deterring the use of chemical weapons and degrading Assad’s capabilities.”

[Return to headlines]

Precious Little Girl Dismembered While She is Still Alive by Obama’s Psychotic Syrian Rebels


Should the United States be allied with radical Islamic jihadists that dismember little girls while they are still alive?

That question sounds ridiculously absurd, but that is precisely what Barack Obama is proposing. Obama wants the United States to go to war so that it will be easier for al-Qaeda Christian killers to take over Syria. What you are about to read should absolutely shock you. Please send it out to your friends and share it everywhere that you can. If America willingly sides with psychotic, murderous savages that behead little children, it will bring a curse upon our nation. It is imperative that the American people be told the truth about this.

Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib is a Catholic nun and mother superior of St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria. She has been living in the country for about twenty years, and she has been very active in reporting what has actually been happening on the ground inside Syria.

Posted below is an excerpt from what she told RT the other day. According to her, the Syrian rebels have been brutally beheading people wherever they go and they even dismembered one little girl with a frame saw while she was still alive

It is also very important to note that a high percentage of these “rebels” are actually foreigners. In fact, as Business Insider reported back in January, a lot of them are actually death row inmates that Saudi Arabia set free and sent into Syria to wage jihad

“A leaked internal memo shows how Saudi officials commuted 1,200 death row inmates under the condition they go and fight against Assad in Syria, according to the Assyrian International News Agency.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Quirico: “It is Madness to Say I Knew it Wasn’t Assad Who Used Gas”

La Stampa’s veteran war correspondent was released Sunday after being kidnapped in Syria in early April

“We heard some people we didn’t know talking through a half-closed door. It’s impossible to know whether what was said was based on real fact or just hearsay,” says La Stampa’s veteran war correspondent Domenico Quirico, who was released Sunday after being kidnapped in Syria in early April.

“It’s madness to say I knew it wasn’t Assad who used gas,” Quirico said after hearing about a statement made by Pierre Piccinin — the Belgian teacher who was also kidnapped in Syria — and the interpretations that are being given.

Quirico was eager to give his version of what happened during his and Piccinin’s kidnapping, in order to specify what information he has at his disposal.

“During our kidnapping, we were kept completely in the dark about what was going on in Syria, including the gas attacks in Damascus”, Quirico said. “But one day, we heard a Skype conversation in English between three people whose names I do not know. We heard the conversation from the room in which we were being held captive, through a half-closed door. One of them had previously presented himself to us as a general of the Syrian Liberation Army. The other two we had never seen and knew nothing about”.

“During the Skype conversation, they said that the gas attack on the two neighbourhoods in Damascus had been carried out by rebels as a provocation, to push the West towards a military intervention. They also said they believed the death toll had been exaggerated,” Quirico said in his statement.

“I don’t know if any of this is true and I cannot say for sure that it is true because I have no means of confirming the truth of what was said. I don’t know how reliable this information is and cannot confirm the identity of these people. I am in no position to say for sure whether this conversation is based on real fact or just hearsay and I don’t usually call conversations I have heard through a door, true,” Quirico said.

“You must bear in mind the conditions in which we were; we were prisoners and heard things through doors. I have nothing to judge whether the things that were said are true or not. I am used to checking my facts before I speak and confirm something as true. In this case I was unable to check anything. It is madness to say I knew it wasn’t Assad who used gas,” Quirico added.

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

Sudden Plan for Syria

The sudden developments broke into the open when Russia’s foreign minister, seizing on what appeared at the time to be an off-the-cuff remark by Secretary of State John Kerry, appeared in Moscow alongside his Syrian counterpart and proposed the chemical weapons turnover and destruction. The Syrian quickly embraced the idea, and before long U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon did, too…

The proposal from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came just hours after Kerry told reporters in London that Assad could avoid a U.S. attack and resolve the crisis surrounding the use of chemical weapons by surrendering control of “every single bit” of his arsenal to the international community by the end of the week.

The State Department sought to tamp down the potential impact of Kerry’s comments by calling them a “rhetorical” response to a hypothetical question and not “a proposal.” But their importance became more clear as the day progressed.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria Hostage Ordeal Over for Reporter Quirico

‘Held by three groups, only treated well by al-Qaeda’

(ANSA) — Rome, September 9 — Veteran La Stampa war correspondent Domenico Quirico celebrated his first day of freedom Monday after five months of often-brutal captivity in Syria along with Belgian academic Pierre Piccinin.

Quirico told Rome prosecutors he had feared for his life, especially at the start.

Quirico, 61, told the prosecutors, who are obliged to treat the case as a criminal one under Italian law, that he and Belgian academic Pierre Piccinin were stopped in April by armed men on two pick-up trucks.

“We were blindfolded for the first few days: I was afraid I would be killed,” he said.

Quirico said he thought he and Piccinin were held captive by three rebel groups, alternately.

He confirmed that he was subjected to two mock executions after two failed escape bids.

He said he never saw his captors’ faces.

Quirico said the pair were sold by the Syrian Free Army.

“We were beaten daily and — I am duty-bound to say this — were only treated well by an al-Qaeda group”. Quirico landed in Rome early on Monday. He disappeared in Syria on April 9. The reporter landed at Rome’s Ciampino airport soon after midnight and appeared tired but in good health. “I have lived the past five months as if I were on Mars,” he told reporters who welcomed him at the airport together with Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino. “They did not treat me well and I was scared’, he said of his abductors. ‘The revolution betrayed me’.

Quirico’s wife and two daughters said “thank heaven Domenico is back…it’s been a nightmare. You can tell he went through a lot, just look how thin he is, almost emaciated…but we’re so glad he’s in relatively good shape”.

Quirico told prosecutors he had lost four kg during his time in the rebels’ hands.

Italian government sources first revealed on Sunday night that the reporter had been released and was already on board a plane taking him back to Italy. The news came after two weeks of fear mixed with hope for good news. La Stampa editor-in-chief Mario Calabresi welcomed the news as ‘wonderful’, confirming he had been informed directly by Premier Enrico Letta, by the foreign minister and by Quirico’s family, his wife and daughters Metella and Eleonora, who last June launched a moving appeal for their father’s release.

“We are excited and happy..we can’t wait to hug him,” Eleonora Quirico told ANSA.

Quirico entered Syria from Lebanon on April 6 saying he would be out of touch for a few days. On April 9 he made his last phone call before going missing.

On June 6 he made a brief call to his wife Giulietta from where he was held captive, leading to hopes his release was imminent. Concern was high lately due to possible US-led military intervention in Syria after allegations of chemical-weapons use by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Piccinin, a Belgian national abducted with Quirico, also landed in Rome with the reporter before returning to Belgium.

He said he had overheard rebels talking about using chemical weapons, and not their being used by the Syrian regime, but Quirico dismissed this report, saying “we were in the dark about everything”. “Hope never left us,” said Premier Letta while the presidential palace praised in a statement the foreign ministry and intelligence services.

The ordeal for Quirico, a veteran reporter who was already briefly abducted in 2011 in Libya with three Italian colleagues, started in April as he was trying to reach Homs, a key city in the anti-Assad uprising. He was travelling from the Lebanese border in his fourth trip to Syria to report on the civil war. He made his last call on April 9 before disappearing. His family and newspaper kept quiet for over 20 days at the recommendation of authorities so that possible contacts with his abductors were not jeopardized.

But on the 30th of that month, given the void of information on the reporter’s fate, the newspaper made the news public. The initial silence surrounding the abduction led many to fear for the reporter’s life but his family, newspaper and authorities never gave up hope, especially after his wife spoke to him in June.

In the past few weeks Bonino had been “cautiously confident”, a sentiment she did not express in the case of another Italian abducted in Syria, Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was reported missing in the war-torn country in July.

“I remained not just determined but confident because bad reports emerge immediately on that side of the world,” she said at the end of August.

Copasir — Italy’s parliamentary committee on intelligence and security — had been recently briefed by the director of DIS — the Department for Information and Security — Giampiero Massolo, who said the reporter was believed to be in the hands of an ordinary criminal gang and that negotiations were ongoing.

Negotiations for Quirico’s release reportedly benefited from the good relations established by Italian diplomats and intelligence officials with Syrian insurgents. Moreover, the reporter was reportedly not in the hands of jihadist rebels after a certain point. No ransom was paid for his release, according to initial reports.

Bonino told broadcaster Sky-Tg24 this is no time for details. “There will be time,” she assured.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syria: Damascus Citizens Relieved as US Attack Recedes

‘Now we have extra time to seek asylum, our lives are at risk’

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT — As the winds of a Western attack on the Syrian regime abate, life in Damascus continues amidst daily shelling and dozens of deaths, albeit with a certain relief. “Life in Damascus never stopped, even when the US strike seemed imminent. The mortar fire hasn’t stopped either,” Raja told ANSAmed over the phone from her home in Muhajirin, on the slopes of Mount Qasiun in the western part of the city. “Every day when we go out, we don’t know if we’ll be coming home.” In the Old City, says Maha, “the atmosphere is still the same. Obviously there was fear of an American attack, and right now we feel it has been postponed…but we have no illusions. We have other problems: our children’s safety, and rising prices of basic goods and services.” “Traffic is still the same,” Raja went on, adding that “all the people who fled to Lebanon in fear of American bombings will be back in the city soon.” The inhabitants of the Ghuta suburb, a rebel stronghold for over a year which has come under daily fire from Assad’s artillery and aviation, have nowhere to run.

Ghuta is also where the August 21 poison gas attack that killed hundreds of men, women and children took place, and some here criticize those who wanted to “punish Assad”.

Others are sarcastic. “We were looking forward to comparing Russian Migs and American F16s. Now we’re stuck with the Migs,” said Thair, an opposition activists in Zamalka, east of Damascus. Near Abbasids Square, which is one of the hottest “contact lines” between Jawbar rebels and loyalists, the Ramez family carries on as usual, albeit with some relief.

“We were ready to pack our bags, but hadn’t found a country to give us asylum. Now we have some extra time to look around, contact our friends abroad,” says Ramez. “We’ll leave anyway.

Neither we nor our children have a future in Syria any more.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Syrian Rebels Plan Chem Attack on Israel From Assad-Controlled Territories

A chemical attack may be launched on Israel by Syrian rebels from government-controlled territories as a “major provocation,” multiple sources told RT.

The report comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed that Syria puts its chemical weapons arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction in order to prevent a possible military strike against the war-torn republic.

Moscow also urged the Syrian authorities to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The offer has already been passed over to the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met Lavrov in Moscow for talks on Monday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Clashes Demonstrators-Police, One Dead

First victim since June protests, ‘hot fall’ feared

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 10 — A man died on Monday night during a demonstration in Antioch marred by violent clashes with police. The demonstration, Hurriyet online reports, was organized Monday to express support for students at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara (Odtu) who are opposed to the construction of a new highway which would lead to the destruction of a wood. The students have repeatedly clashed with police over the past few days.

The victim, Ahmet Atakan, is the first demonstrator to die since a major police crackdown on anti-government protests last June which caused five victims and hundreds of injuries, many of them serious.

The recent demonstrations somehow connected to the Gezi Park movement which saw over 2 million people take to the streets in June against Islamic Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are reputed by a number of observers to anticipate a ‘hot fall’ in Turkey. Police brutality against young demonstrators in June was harshly criticized worldwide. Many demonstrators, and several journalists, were severely injured by tear gas fired directly at the crowd by anti-riot police. According to Turkish press reports, the crackdown on peaceful demonstrations in June was one of the causes that led to the defeat of Istanbul’s candidature to host the 2020 Olympics won by Tokyo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey Risks War With Assad, Peace With Kurds

Erdogan deploys troops on the border, 72% Turks against attack

(by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 10 — Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just been through the negative outcome of Istanbul’s competition to host the 2020 Olympics. Now two fronts are opening up and they are both risky. Ankara is deploying troops and tanks on the border with Syria and is getting ready for a possible war against the Assad regime just as the peace process in Kurdistan is at risk. The withdrawal of PKK militants towards northern Iraq has paused.

Erdogan has sided, since the beginning of the crisis, with Syria’s Sunni rebels and against his ex ally, President Bashar al-Assad. He is one of the main supporters of US President Barack Obama’s plan for military intervention against Damascus.

The Turkish Islamic premier has said he is ready to participate in ‘any coalition’ against Assad and has been long campaigning for international intervention, not only a ‘punitive’ one of limited duration, but a major strike ‘like in Kosovo’, to topple Assad. For a week now Ankara has concentrated its efforts along the Syrian border moving men, tanks and surface-to-air Stinger missiles. The army is building a new base on Mount Kal, which dominates the Syrian Mediterranean coast of Lattakia and the ‘Alawite’ country, until the Russian base of Tartus. This part of the Mediterranean is extremely crowded with Russian, US, British, French and Iranian warships.

But the activism of the Islamic government on the Syrian front — the opposition has accused Erdogan of going as far as helping the al Qaeda-linked al Nusra Front -is not backed by the public opinion. According to a recent survey, 72% of Turkish nationals oppose military intervention against Damascus. And growing doubts concerning allegations that the regime used chemical weapons against civilians on August 21 risk to further strengthen the anti-war front. Statements by Belgian professor Pier Piccinin, who was held hostage for five months by Syrian rebels along with Italian veteran war correspondent Domenico Quirico, is boosting suggestions that rebels might have ‘provoked’ with an attack aimed at leading the international community to intervene against Damascus.

Erdogan, whose image has already been marred abroad by the brutal crackdown on anti-government protests in June — which contributed to the doomed candidature of Istanbul to host the 2020 Olympics — risks paying a very high political price with a conflict in Syria whose outcome is uncertain. The ‘sultan’ is gearing up for three high-risk local, presidential and political elections in the next 18 months. And the situation has become even more complex in the past few hours with the PKK’s decision to stop withdrawing its 3,000 militants from the Turkish territory towards northern Iraq as part of peace talks conducted with the Erdogan government by historic Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan. Kurdish rebels accuse the Islamic premier od not respecting agreements. In exchange for the truce agreed in March and the withdrawal of rebels, Ankara should have implemented political and cultural reforms to guarantee more democracy and autonomy in Turkish Kurdistan and start freeing thousands of Turkish politicians, journalists, unionists and activists who are still in jail. These measures have yet to be implemented.

The PKK has now issued a warning. The truce however is still in place. At least for now.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: British Mother ‘Shot Dead by Gardener’ During Family Holiday in Turkey

A British mother celebrating her birthday on holiday in Turkey was killed in a gun attack that left two other members of her family fighting for their lives.

Catherine Bury, 56, was shot dead while enjoying a poolside party at a luxury villa in Dalyan on the country’s south coast early yesterday. The gunman, reported to be a local gardener who had earlier argued with the family, allegedly also fired his pump action shotgun at Mrs Bury’s mother Cecille, 87, and son Alex, 24, who are now seriously ill in hospital. The British holidaymakers, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, had complained about the gardener to the Turkish jandarma, a branch of the military that enforces public order…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

U. S. Bishops Call for Protests Against Syria Intervention

(AGI) Vatican, Sept 10 — U.S. Catholic bishops, who have backed Pope Francis against military action in Syria, have asked young people, and university students, to organise non-violent protests, reported Vatican news agency Fides.

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

White House Agrees to Talks on U.N. Resolution on Syrian Chemical Arms

A bipartisan group of eight senators and the White House joined the international diplomatic momentum on Tuesday to avert an American military attack on Syria over its use of chemical munitions in that country’s civil war, responding positively to a Russian proposal aimed at securing and destroying those weapons.

The group of senators, including some of President Obama’s biggest supporters and critics, were drafting an alternative Congressional resolution that would give the United Nations time to take control of the Syrian government’s arsenal of the internationally banned weapons.

If the alternative resolution gained political traction, it could stave off a Congressional vote — and possibly a debilitating defeat for the Obama administration — in the coming days on a more immediate resolution authorizing the use of force, which a majority of Americans appear to oppose. That resolution, approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, had been losing ground in both parties in recent days. Passage appeared increasingly difficult in the House and possibly the Senate as well.

At the same time, a senior White House official said Tuesday that administration officials had begun working with American allies at the United Nations to further explore the viability of the Russian plan, in which the international community would take control of the Syrian weapons stockpile. The official said the discussions, including possible elements of a Security Council resolution, followed discussions between President Obama, President François Hollande of France and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain.

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7 Killed as Roadside Bombing Hits Bus in E. Afghanistan

GHAZNI, Afghanistan, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Seven Afghan civilians were killed and 17 others wounded Tuesday when a long-distance bus was struck by a roadside bomb in the country’s eastern province of Ghazni, police said. “A passenger bus touched off a roadside bomb, causing a powerful explosion at around 7:00 a.m. local time. Seven passengers were killed and 17 others wounded. Seven injured sustained serious injuries. They are in critical conditions,” deputy provincial police chief Assadullah Insafi told Xinhua.

Three children were among the killed in the incident which took place in Muqur district, just southern part of the provincial capital Ghazni city, 120 km south of national capital Kabul, the police official added. More than 40 people were aboard the vehicle, which was travelling from southern Kandahar province towards Kabul, he said. The injured along with the dead were shifted to a hospital in neighboring Gilan district.

No group has claimed the responsibility for the incident. Taliban militants have been largely relying on roadside bombing and suicide attacks in fighting Afghan security force and NATO-led troops based in Afghanistan, often causing civilian casualties, officials said. More than 1,300 Afghan civilians were killed and over 2,500 injured in conflict-related violence in the first half of this year, a 23 percent rise in overall civilian casualties compared with last year, according to a UN report released in Kabul in July. The UN report attributed 74 percent of the civilian deaths to the attacks of Taliban insurgents and other armed groups opposing the Afghan government.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Bangladesh: Four ‘Anti-Islam’ Bloggers Sentenced

According to human rights activists, those arrested are the latest cultural and political victims of the clash between Islamic fundamentalists and the government. Under current law they face from 7 to 14 years in prison.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) — A court in Dhaka has sentenced four bloggers for having “insulted Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and other religions” through “offensive posts” on the internet. As explained by Judge Zahurul Haque, the young people violated the Information and Communications Technology Act and risk a sentence from 7 to 14 years in prison.

Arrested in April last year, the bloggers are Asif Mohiuddin, Subrata Adhikari Shuvo, Moshiur Rahman Biblop and Rasel Parvez and declare themselves atheists. At the time of their arrest, the police claimed they had “ample evidence” and seized computers, modems and external hard drives. However Jotyrmoy ​​Barua, their lawyer says the allegations were fabricated to frame the young people.

Bangladesh authorities have been monitoring all “anti-religious activities” for months now, with a particular focus on blogs that have become very popular places of debate. In fact, they are used in particular by lay Shahbag activists, a movement that takes its name from a district of Dhaka, where it held its first peaceful demonstrations against the war crimes committed by the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami in 1971. The secular nature of Shahbag and the request not to use religion for political purposes has attracted the ire of supporters of the Islamist party, which is targeting the bloggers to target the government.

Tension mounted further following the murder of Asif Mohiuddin, one of the leaders of the movement, stabbed during a protest on January 14.

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

Faisalabad: Pakistan’s (Anti-Christian) Romeo and Juliet Story

A young Christian man converts to Islam to marry a 21-year-old widow, but their families are opposed to the marriage. After months of accusations and mutual complaints, her family seized the groom’s 13-year-old sister. For a human rights activist, “The marriage is valid and legal. There are no grounds to cause a row and abduct the child.”

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) — A romantic getaway, conversion to Islam, marriage and the opposition of the families are the ingredients of a new Romeo and Juliet story. He is Christian, she is Muslim and the two are at the centre of a family feud in Pakistan. However, there is one victim: the groom’s 13-year-old sister who was abducted by the bride’s parents to get back at the groom’s family. Almost three months since the teenager was seized, her father and several human rights activists slam the Muslim family, guilty of an “intolerable and unjustifiable” act.

The story began at the end of last year, when Farooq Masih, a 19-year-old Christian man from Daud Nagar (Faisalabad) fell in love with Anam Naz, a 21-year-old Muslim widow living in Awais Nagar (Faisalabad).

The two ran away together and got married before a justice of the peace on 12 December 2012. In order to marry a Muslim, the young man converted to Islam.

After their nuptials, the newly wed hid out in a village near the city, but three days after their union, they were discovered by the groom’s family, who took the bride back to her parents.

A week later, the two lovers fled again and managed to find a safe haven for six months.

Following the escape, Muhammad Sadiq and his wife Musarrat Bibi (Anam Naz’s parents) filed a suit against the members of Farooq Masih’s family for kidnapping a Muslim woman.

The police stormed the Christian family’s house and arrested Yousaf Masih, the groom’s brother. All other members went into hiding. Meanwhile, the young man was held in prison for five months for a crime he did not commit.

The first week of June, Anam Naz’s family, with the help of the police, seized the couple in the village of Mutthianwala. However, once they arrived at the police station, the police chief realised that the marriage certificate was valid, and let the couple go. “They are legally married,” he told the bride’s parents, “and I cannot take any legal action against them.”

According to several human rights activists, the problem is largely cultural. “In order to marry the Muslim widow, the young Christian converted,” Christian activist Suneel Malik told AsiaNews.

“In doing so, he gave back to her society’s respect since widows tend to be seen as bearers of misfortune and bad luck,” he explained. “There should not have been any opposition [to their marriage] and the Muslim family’s reaction, with the girl’s abduction, is intolerable.”

The role of the police, he added, “is grotesque. It seems that the law was created only for the rich, whilst minorities and marginalised communities are denied justice.”

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

Four Men Convicted in Rape Case That Transfixed India

Four men were convicted Tuesday in the rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman who was attacked when she boarded a bus in New Delhi last December, bringing a bitter close to a case that tore open the subject of sexual violence in this rapidly changing society.

The last and most urgent question — whether any of them will receive the death penalty — was not answered on Tuesday. The family of the victim has demanded death sentences, much of the public seemed to share their anger, flooding the streets last year to demand swift punishment in the case. The police in New Delhi were braced for aftershocks that might follow the sentencing.

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One in Four Men Surveyed in Asian Study Say They Raped

Almost one in four men surveyed in Asia said they committed rape at least once, in a study that may encourage renewed steps to prevent sexual violence.

Researchers interview more than 10,000 men at nine sites in Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka in the first multi-country survey on the prevalence of rape, said Rachel Jewkes of South Africa’s Medical Research Council, one of the authors of the article published today in The Lancet Global Health journal.

One in 10 men said they had raped a woman who wasn’t their partner, the researchers found. When partners were included, the figure rose to 24 percent. Just under half of the perpetrators said they had raped more than one woman. The rates of violation differed between the sites: 11 percent of men questioned in Bangladesh said they had committed rape, compared to 60 percent in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea.

“We really need to understand more,” Jewkes said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Bangladesh is not a particularly violent country, but the prevalence of non-partner rape is far higher than one would presume.”

The findings should encourage steps to prevent rape, such as supporting better parenting and promoting a more gender-equitable view of masculinity, the authors wrote. The gang rape and murder of a student on a bus in New Delhi last year shocked India and drew attention to the scale of sexual violence against women. Four men accused in the assault were found guilty by an Indian court today.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boat Carrying 91 Eritreans Found Off Lampedusa Coast

Migrants airlifted to hospital in Agrigento

(ANSA) — Lampedusa, September 10 — A boat carrying 91 Eritreans was intercepted 30 miles off the coast of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Tuesday, port authorities said.

The migrants, 21 of whom are women and 14 children, were accompanied to shore and airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in the city of Agrigento.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Border Patrol Officer Association Warns of 20 Million Illegals in US

“The more likely figure is 18-20 million and rising daily,” Zack Taylor, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, Inc., said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

No EU Help for Bulgaria on Syria Refugees

Brussels Monday turned down a request from Bulgaria for aid in handling an increase in Syrian refugees, reports Novinite. Bulgaria expects up to 10,000 Syrian refugees this year. Technical assistance from the EU border agency Frontex in coping with the humanitarian situation and for border surveillance will be available, however.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Pope Francis Visits Refugees at Jesuit Center in Central Rome

ROME — The pope has welcomed refugees at center in Rome as part of his mission to extend solidarity to migrants fleeing war and hardship for Europe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Even Military Becoming Hostile to Christians

For several years, an atheist humanist organization called the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has been mounting lawsuits against any Christian displays on government property. Now, a Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) is specifically targeting Bible believers in the military.

Its founder, Mikey Weinstein, a vehement anti-Christian and former Air Force advocate general, has surfaced in the discussion of military religious freedom. This was alarming because he recently stated in a Huffington Post column that evangelical Christians are “monsters of human degradation.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Germany: Man Who Gave Birth Faces Court Battle to be Father

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth to a baby is fighting a court battle to call himself a father rather than a mother.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kevin Rudd, Homosexuality, And Love

A video of Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has gone viral, as a Christian pastor asks the Prime Minister, who supports homosexual “marriage” and also identifies as a “devout Christian,” why he doesn’t believe what the Bible says about the sinfulness of homosexuality. You can hear his response here:…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Plans to Smuggle Pro-LGBT Propaganda Into Russia and Disrupt Olympics Revealed at “Gay” Journalists Convention in Boston.

Homosexual activists in the U.S. are working with media groups, “out LGBT athletes,” and both the US and Canadian Olympic hockey teams in a secret plan to smuggle rainbow flags, homosexual propaganda, etc. into Russia. Their intent is to disrupt the 2014 Winter Olympics with homosexual symbolism, according to a presenter at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Convention in Boston on August 24. The planned disruption is a retaliation by the homosexual movement to Russia’s recent ban on the public promotion of homosexuality.

They are also talking about “utilizing diplomatic channels” to help smuggle the homosexual flags and other materials into Russia…

Here is what Patrick Burke said in his presentation about the plan to infiltrate the Olympic Games and embarrass the Russian government:

“We’re going to have three weeks of sustained media presence there. We are going to have out LGBT athletes there. We are going to have very vocal and visible allies there.

“We’ve spoken with the Canadian and U.S. hockey teams. We’re going to be doing work with both of those teams.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: Revolution in Attitudes to Homosexuality is Biggest Change in Generation

A transformation in attitudes to homosexuality ranks as the most dramatic change in British public opinion in a generation, according to the biggest study of its kind.

Almost two thirds of the British public opposed same-sex relationships because they believed they were morally “wrong” 25 years ago. But, according to the latest British Social Attitudes survey, only one in five people now disapproves of gay or lesbian relationships in principle. The speed of change is all the more striking given that during the 1980s the number of people who objectedto homosexuality was on the rise.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Cell Phone Use May Damage Salivary Glands

The radio frequency electromagnetic fields generated by cell phones are potentially problematic to human health, especially when held in close proximity to the head for extended periods of time. A new study has documented significant free radical damage in the saliva of regular cell phone users, along with impaired function of the salivary glands.

The research used 20 individuals with 8 — 15 years of cell phone use averaging 30 hours per month, compared to a control group. Since cell phones are held in close proximity to the salivary gland when a person is speaking into them, the researchers analyzed saliva to determine potential problems. Unfortunately, they found rather dramatic adverse changes. The flow of saliva was significantly reduced as well as the amount of salivary amylase enzymes (needed for carbohydrate digestion). Multiple markers of free radical damage were detected.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

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