Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/15/2013

The secretary of the Arab League praised the Russian-U.S. accord on Syria’s chemical weapons, saying that it puts the region on track to a political solution. Meanwhile, with the likelihood of a military attack decreasing, Syrian students have returned to school. The rebels, however, are angry about the agreement.

In other news, thousands of Muslims joined a demonstration on the streets of Montreal yesterday to protest the Quebec government’s ban on the wearing of religious garb by public employees.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, Kitman, RR, 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
» ‘Europe’s Financial Tax Plan Hits Wall’
» Dianne Feinstein Trying to Eliminate Protections for Alternative Media With Amended ‘Free Flow of Information Act’
» Georgia’s Own Doomsday Stonehenge Monument
» Here’s How to Clean Out Bad Politicians
» Lawrence H. Summers Withdraws Name for Job of Federal Reserve Chairman
» Transhumanism Researcher Has Been Hacked, Attacked, And Burned to the Ground!
» Thousands of Muslims Protest Quebec Clothing Ban
Europe and the EU
» Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Deputy Rudolf Hess ‘Murdered by British Agents’ To Stop Him Spilling Wartime Secrets
» Bank of England’s Plastic Bank Notes Will be a ‘Breeding Ground’ For Superbugs, Say Researchers
» Britons Lack Foreign Language Skills, Says EC
» CSU Wins Bavaria Election According to Exit Polls
» France: Disneyland Paris Feels Fury of Disenchanted Customers as More Than 5,000 Visitors Sign Petition Demanding Higher Standards
» German Elections 2013: Energy, an Election Issue and Luxury
» Italy: Almost One Billion Euros Approved for Venice Dam Project
» Italy: CIA Spy Requests Pardon for Milan Imam Kidnapping
» Italy: Letta Says Stability Law Will Not be Drafted by Brussels
» Italy: PDL Member Rejects New Rules for Berlusconi Ballot
» Italy: Brit-Style Rules in Back-to-School Trends
» Italy: PD’s Renzi Hopes Berlusconi is Stripped of His Seat Soon
» Organised Crime Surge in EU: Smuggling: Counterfeit and Internet Abuse — All in a Day’s Work for Europol
» ‘Polish Demographic Drama’
» SAS Assassinated Diana by Shining Light Into Her Driver’s Face
» Spies Taped Diana’s Crash and Bugged Her Phone
» UK: David Cameron Would Support a Ban on Muslim Veils at His Children’s School
» UK: Holloway Teen Jailed for Knifepoint Robbery of Muswell Hill BBC Correspondent
» UK: Operation Bullfinch: Zeeshan Ahmed Charged With Perverting Course of Justice in Bullfinch Trial
» UK: Will Judge Lift Muslim’s Veil of Secrecy?
» UKIP Surge Hammers Tories in Key Marginals — Poll
North Africa
» Libya: Two New Gas Fields Discovered in Ghadames and Murzuq
Middle East
» Al-Qaeda Confirms U. S. Drone Killed Al-Dhahab
» Arab League Praises U. S.-Russia Chemical Weapons Agreement
» China Welcomes Russia-U. S. Agreement on Syria
» Feckless Obama Embarrasses the Nation
» Fresh Attacks Kill 16 People in Iraq’s Hilla
» Iran Says Russia-U.S. Accord on Syria Sign of Rationality
» Iraq: Baghdad Official Escapes Assassination Amid Attacks
» ‘Mars Invasion’ — 142 Kuwaitis Want to Live on Red Planet
» Russian FM Says China Will Send Fleet Off Syria
» Schools in Syria Reopen as Threat of U.S. Strike Subsides
» Sir Halford Mackinder’s 1904 Paper and the Proxy War in Syria
» Syrian Rebels Furious at U.S.-Russian Deal
» Syria: Maaloula’s Cathedral and Churches Empty of Christians as Syria’s Latest Front-Line Fight Takes Its Toll
South Asia
» 2 Police Killed in Eastern Afghan Explosion
» ENI Starts Pumping From Huge Kazakh Oil Field
» India Tests Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
Far East
» Philippines: Guns, Clans, Rogue Muslim Rebels Undermine South Philippine Peace
» The Real Fukushima Danger
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Nigeria: Nasarawa Violence — Scores Killed, Houses Razed, 30,000 Displaced
» Tanzania: Will These Dastardly Acid Attacks in Zanzibar Ever Stop?
» Uganda: When Will New Katikiro Visit Kibuli Mosque?
Culture Wars
» Student Exodus in Michigan School District Where Teachers Defended Child Molester

‘Europe’s Financial Tax Plan Hits Wall’

Financial Times

The EU’s controversial “Tobin Tax” on financial transactions has been dealt a severe blow after the EU Council’s legal service judged the proposal “infringes” EU treaties and is “discriminatory” to states which do not take part, reports the The proposal, which has the backing of 11 Eurozone states including France, Germany and Spain, has lost momentum in recent months due to concerns over implementation and a legal challenge by the UK.

The legal service advice is not binding but claims that a key clause, which seeks to tax institutions according to the geographic location of their HQs rather than where the trade is completed, “exceeds member states’ jurisdiction for taxation,” reports the daily –

It added that the measure “is not compatible” with the EU treaties “as it infringes upon the taxing competences of non-participating member states”.

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

Dianne Feinstein Trying to Eliminate Protections for Alternative Media With Amended ‘Free Flow of Information Act’

(NaturalNews) In response to growing public dissent against the federal occupying powers, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has sponsored a bill known as S. 987, or the Free Flow of Information Act of 2013, which will purportedly protect news reporters from being harassed or otherwise maliciously compelled by the federal government to disclose information about their private sources — this is, after all, how honest media outlets are able to keep the government in check and act as whistleblowers when necessary to shine the light on corruption. But Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has successfully added an amendment to this Trojan Horse bill that strips these protections from the alternative media and others she deems as not being “real reporters.”

The online free speech and privacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) notified the world about Sen. Feinstein’s initial attempts to shred the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as it pertains to honest media members back in August. In a report entitled “Why Sen. Feinstein Is Wrong About Who’s a ‘Real Reporter,’“ EFF explained how Feinstein was pushing for an amendment to S. 987 that would limit freedom of the press protections only to “regular” journalists, at the exclusion of independent journalists, citizen journalists and others who do not meet her accepted criteria.

“Her amendment … not only retains the problematic requirement that a person ‘regularly’ engage in journalism to enjoy shield law protections, but moreover adds new requirements that would make it especially difficult for self-publishers such as independent bloggers and citizen journalists to be protected under the law,” writes Morgan Weiland for EFF. “Indeed, her new requirements for being either salaried or at least affiliated with a news ‘entity’ seem to purposefully target these self-publishers.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Georgia’s Own Doomsday Stonehenge Monument

“Planned genocide has begun,” read the Facebook entry on one of the groups I browse daily. The link: a picture of five monoliths looming like an American Stonehenge over a lush and lonely hill in remote Elberton, Georgia. I was only an hour away at the time, and decided to visit them in person.

The nearly twenty-foot granite slabs, known as the Georgia Guidestones, have sparked controversy around the world — praised by Yoko Ono, defaced by conspiracy theorists, featured on the History Channel, and the subject of the conspiracy web series Guidestones. The monument — five upright stones topped by a capstone — weighs nearly 240,000 pounds and is inscribed in eight languages with ten instructions for humans post-apocalypse. Three decades after being erected, the monument’s true purpose is still being argued, and its quasi-commandments can seem either sincere or satanic.

The most controversial instruction is the first: that humanity should be maintained under half a billion. Nearly as controversial is the sixth instruction, which proposes that nations resolve disputes in “a world court.” The stones also boast a few odd astronomical features — a hole through which you can see the North Star each night; a slot through which you can watch the sun rise during the summer or winter solstice; and a hole on the capstone which functions as a solar calendar at noon.

“Let these be Guidestones to an Age of Reason” reads the capstone in classical Greek, Sanskrit, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Babylonian cuneiform.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Here’s How to Clean Out Bad Politicians

Agenda 21 is the master plan to destroy personal property rights and control the way we live in favor of the toxic ‘sustainable’ living being shoved down our throats by the evil doers. The one thing the power brokers do not want is for the states to flex their sovereign power and reject what’s coming out of Washington. The shadow government does not want the other 49 states to do as Alabama did in June last year: Pass a law stopping Agenda 21 and UN for their whole state.

This last session, we tried to get the Republican controlled Texas State legislature to do what Alabama did. In July 2012, I wrote a Working Paper and provided exhibits even though the candy store didn’t go back into session until January 2013. A waste of time. What did the “Don’t Mess With Texas” in our legislature do? Why, they passed House Joint Resolution 587 telling everyone how bad Agenda 21 and ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) is and it should be rejected. That toothless resolution says in part:


Gus Hall, life long communist and head of the Communist Party USA wrote a book titled Ecology: Can We Survive Under Capitalism. The destruction of private property and ownership has always been the goal of the Reds. The first plank of the Communist Manifesto written by Karl Marx:

1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.


Agenda 21 and ICLEI is being sold at the local level. Outrageous “laws” as seen above at the state houses. Americans in 19 states don’t have to wait for the corrupted ballot box — they have recall

“Recall differs from another method for removing officials from office — impeachment — -in that it is a political device while impeachment is a legal process. Impeachment requires the house to bring specific charges, and the senate to act as a jury. In most of the 19 recall states, specific grounds are not required, and the recall of a state official is by an election. Nineteen states permit the recall of state officials: Alaska, Kansas, New Jersey, Arizona, Louisiana, North Dakota, California, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Georgia, Montana, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Wisconsin and Illinois.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Lawrence H. Summers Withdraws Name for Job of Federal Reserve Chairman

Lawrence H. Summers, one of President Obama’s closest economic confidantes and a former Treasury secretary, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the position of chairman of the Federal Reserve amid rising opposition from Mr. Obama’s own Democratic allies on Capitol Hill.

In a statement released by the White House on Sunday afternoon, Mr. Obama said he accepted the decision by Mr. Summers even as he praised him for helping to rescue the country from economic disaster early in the president’s tenure.

Mr. Summers appeared to have been the White House’s favored candidate to succeed Ben S. Bernanke as chairman of the Fed, though Mr. Obama had repeatedly said he had not yet made a final decision between Mr. Summers, Janet L. Yellen, a vice chairman of the Fed, or someone else.

[Return to headlines]

Transhumanism Researcher Has Been Hacked, Attacked, And Burned to the Ground!

Are ‘Forces’ Trying To Silence Researcher?

On January 4, 2011, Tom Horn had spent the day preparing to leave for Oklahoma City where he and Gary Stearman were planning to record a show on ‘transhumanism’ for the syndicated Prophecy in the News television ministry (transhumanism is a growing intellectual and cultural movement that envisions the use of new sciences such as genetic modification to enhance normal humans with the goal of eventually transforming mankind to ‘posthuman’ [aka BORG]).

Before he could get out the door, Tom heard a series of “pops”, which at first sounded like small firecrackers going off in unison. Listening closer, Tom then heard something similar to arc-welding, a hot electrical burning somewhere in the walls. He rushed to shut off the breakers to the house while his wife dialed 9-11. The first fire-truck arrived within 15 minutes, but that crew said they could not get the pump to turn on. By the time a second crew of firefighters, trucks, and equipment arrived 10 minutes later, the house was fully involved. Over 45,000 gallons of water could not stop the inferno, and the Horn’s lost everything inside the house including thousands of pages of documents and research materials into the subject of transhumanism and GRINS technology (genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology), emerging fields of science that Tom believes could, in the hands of transhumanist aspirations, result in the annihilation of mankind.

While Tom Horn’s opinion of transhumanism and GRINS may sound daring, he is not alone in his worries. Well-known academics, including the former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics during the Bush administration, Leon Kass have publicly discussed what they see as serious dangers related to these matters. Bioethicist Wesley Smith, philosopher and political economist Francis Fukuyama, and numerous other persons of name have expressed similar concerns. Fears exist among some pro-transhumanists, too. Professor Hugo de Garis, a famous artificial brain designer and author of The Artilect War sees the death of billions of humans before the end of the 21st Century as a result of GRINS and transhumanism (what de Garis calls “Cosmism”).

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Thousands of Muslims Protest Quebec Clothing Ban

Thousands of mostly Muslim protesters took to the street in Montreal to express anger Saturday at a plan to ban public sector workers from wearing religious garb in Quebec.

The prohibition of headscarves, turbans and other religious garments is part of a proposed overhaul of the Canadian province’s “Charter of Values.” “No to the charter,” the demonstrators shouted, while also chanting “Quebec is not France,” — a reference to a similar law which has been in force in that country for more than two years.

The planned measure, soon to be presented to parliament, has sparked a raging debate since details were leaked to the media a few weeks ago. It would ban public sector employees from donning “conspicuous religious symbols,” including headscarves, yarmulkes, turbans, and large crosses at work, but allows certain religious jewelry, as long as it is “not very visible.” The proposal also requires people receiving state services “to make their faces completely visible” — a measure aimed at banning some traditional head-to-toe garments worn by Muslim women…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Deputy Rudolf Hess ‘Murdered by British Agents’ To Stop Him Spilling Wartime Secrets

Written two years after Hess’s death in 1987, the classified document outlines a highly-sensitive inquiry into the claims of a British surgeon who had once treated Adolf Hitler’s deputy that, rather than taking his own life, the elderly Nazi was killed on British orders to preserve wartime secrets.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

Bank of England’s Plastic Bank Notes Will be a ‘Breeding Ground’ For Superbugs, Say Researchers

Wipe-clean plastic bank notes earmarked to replace paper cash are a ‘breeding ground’ for superbugs, scientists claim.

More durable than the cotton currently used for £5-£50 notes, polymer provides a welcome home for diseases such as E.coli and the MRSA superbug.

The findings completely contradict Bank of England claims that hygiene lies at the core of their proposal.

In a bombshell study on currency and bacteria, Turkish and Dutch scientists lathered seven currencies with bacteria including the euro, US dollar, Croatian kuna, and Romania’s polymer leu.

While the euro proved the cleanest — with no sign of passing bacteria — polymer leu notes held traces of MRSA for up to 24 hours, 21 hours longer than any other currency.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Britons Lack Foreign Language Skills, Says EC

(AGI) Brussels — Britons have the poorest foreign language skills in Europe, the European Commission has said ..

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

CSU Wins Bavaria Election According to Exit Polls

(AGI) Berlin — Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU) has won Bavaria’s regional election, according to exit polls ..

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

France: Disneyland Paris Feels Fury of Disenchanted Customers as More Than 5,000 Visitors Sign Petition Demanding Higher Standards

Theme park enthusiast starts petition after being shocked by closed attractions and ‘re-heated food in one of the most expensive restaurants’

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

German Elections 2013: Energy, an Election Issue and Luxury

Der Spiegel Hamburg

The “energy transformation” is getting more and more costly for the Germans, who are increasingly unwilling to go along with it. Der Spiegel explains why electricity prices are rising and what have been the main mistakes made till now. Excerpts.

Frank Dohmen | Michael Fröhlingsdorf | Alexander Neubacher | Tobias Schulze | Gerald Traufetter

Long journeys start with small steps. That’s not merely German folk wisdom. Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier knows it too. And so the CDU politician has marshalled into a handy guide some tips on how everyone can promote the energy transition a little bit more in their everyday life, this “project of the century” that the Chancellor so likes to talk about.

And so one must ensure that the citizens are informed in good time of ways to trim their electricity bills: according to government forecasts, the share of eco-electricity costs, which is stated in every bill, is going up from its current 5.3 cents per kilowatt hour to between 6.2 and 6.5 cents. This is an increase of about 20 per cent on what are already the highest electricity costs in Europe.

The price hike can be traced back in the most part to new levies, surcharges and taxes dreamt up by the state. Yet neither pension nor Hartz IV [unemployment] payments are automatically adjusted for rising electricity costs, and every year power is cut off to more than 300,000 households because of unpaid bills. Caritas and other social organisations have invented a word for it: Stromarmut, or “voltage poverty”.

For society as a whole, the costs have already reached a magnitude similar only to that for the euro bailouts. Consumers this year are being forced to pay more than €20bn for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants, the market price of which barely tops €3bn. And when one takes into account the collateral damage and follow-on costs of the chaotic expansion of eco-power into the system, the power cannot be worth even this much.

The wrong kind of power

Because the solar panels and wind turbines sometimes generate a great deal of power and sometimes very little, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions, there is no shortage of absurd cases of too little, too much, and the wrong kind of power. If there is too much power in the grid, wind turbine propellers must be slowed down and brought to a stop — and yet the theoretically generated phantom power must be paid for. In the event of a sudden slowing of the wind and when darkness falls, on the other hand, the lights go out. And that’s when antiquated oil and coal-burning power plants have to be fired up to turn them back on, which is why Germany’s energy producers have pumped out more climate-damaging carbon dioxide into the air last year than the year before….

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

Italy: Almost One Billion Euros Approved for Venice Dam Project

Controversial MOSE needed for protection of city, says CIPE

(ANSA) — Venice, September 10 — Almost one billion euros in infrastructure funding has been pledged for a dam project under construction in Venice due to its “strategic” value, officials said Tuesday.

The latest funding for the MOSE project, announced by the Ministry of Infrastructure, is the largest single tranche of funding for the massive project and is expected to help advance the work so it may be completed by 2016.

The government’s Inter-ministerial Committee for Economic Planning (CIPE) said the work is crucial “for the protection of the lagoon and the city of Venice”.

The first phase of the controversial MOSE retractable-dam system between Venice and the Adriatic Sea, designed to protect the city from floods, was recently completed.

The 5.4-billion-euro project was conceived in 1984 and since then MOSE, which in Italian is a play on the name Moses, has been controversial, with environmentalists saying it will interrupt the natural ecosystem and some experts questioning its effectiveness in protecting the city.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: CIA Spy Requests Pardon for Milan Imam Kidnapping

Says Italian government ‘involved’ in extraordinary rendition

(ANSA) — Rome, September 12 — The CIA’s former top spy in Milan has requested a pardon from Italy for his role in the 2003 abduction of Muslim cleric Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr under the controversial U.S. “extraordinary rendition” program, claiming that Italian officials were involved. Robert Seldon Lady, former CIA Milan station chief, was among 22 CIA agents whose convictions were upheld in Italy’s top court of appeals, the Cassation Court, last September for kidnapping Nasr in the world’s first judicial examination of the controversial US practice in the so-called war on terror during the administration of president George W. Bush. In his written appeal for clemency to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, Lady said that the abduction took place “following orders from US officials” but was “in collaboration with high-ranking members of the Italian government”. He also stressed that the US gave “millions of dollars” to Italy to fight al-Qaeda, which helped “stop many terrorist plots”.

Lady, who was sentenced in absentia to nine years in the case, faced extradition in July when he was detained by Panamanian police for irregularities regarding an entry fee into Costa Rica and handed over to Interpol.

But authorities in Panama, which does not have an extradition agreement with Italy, released him in the same day and he flew back to the US, which, according to Milan prosecutor Ferdinando Pomarici, was “exerting pressure in all directions”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Letta Says Stability Law Will Not be Drafted by Brussels

(AGI) Rome — Prime Minister Letta has said the Stability Law will not be drafted by Brussels and Italy now has greater flexibility .

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

Italy: PDL Member Rejects New Rules for Berlusconi Ballot

(AGI) Rome, Sept 14 — Renato Schifani, PDL leader in the Senate, commenting on the requests of M5S and of the Democratic Party for an open vote in the Berlusconi ballot, said: “Nobody must hastily introduce new rules. After the unusually quick decision of the council, this would be yet another unacceptable provocation. The PDL will firmly oppose any attemt to modify the rules which have so far ensured the correct operating of the Senate”.

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

Italy: Brit-Style Rules in Back-to-School Trends

Italian kids go retro for autumn

(By Sandra Cordon) (ANSA) — Florence, September 12 — This fall, Italian kids are heading back to school with styles influenced by British prep schools, along with some retro American television thrown into the mix.

Students are sporting colourful tartan for fun during recess, reminiscent of school uniforms in Britain with a bit of country-chic favoured by mothers everywhere.

Harry Potter and his mates might enjoy some of the classic uniforms presented with a modern twist by fashion outlets such as Bon Chic, Fun & Fun, Il Gufo, and H & M, produced in a range of fall colours including the classic red, green and navy blue.

But these are given a fresh appeal through the addition of such colour zingers as orange, lime green and cream, in tartans that are showing up on jackets and coats in insets into the garment providing flashes of colour and design.

Traditional fall fabrics including cotton fleece, shaved wool, and stretch jersey are being fattened up with alpaca and other kinds of soft wool aimed at providing comfort and warmth against children’s skin.

Parents are searching out “green” products that won’t irritate or harm their kids, even splashing out on 100% pure merino wool, baby alpaca wools, silk, cashmere, and ultra-soft organic cottons.

The British influence continues in the fine details on jackets, shirts and T-shirts with such traditional references as the Union Jack appearing alongside diamond-patterned cardigans and slacks, corduroy suits and blazers, and even coats of arms from historic families in Scotland.

In short, the preppy style “so named for high-end and often expensive prep schools” is back.

But at the same time, hip students are turning to popular American television programs for some fashion inspiration.

For these fashion-conscious kids, Happy Days has never gone out of style; nor has Dawson’s Creek, while the more contemporary TV hit Gossip Girl remains a source of fashion inspiration. Blended with this is a bit of London punk-style through T-shirts that are coupled with a serious motorcycle theme, with biker-style denim as well as the classic jean jacket adding some punch to wardrobes.

When the school bell rings, watch out for a few rebellious kids imitating Fonzie (aka television creation Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days) lounging by his motorcycle in a leather bomber jacket and suitably worn and distressed jeans.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: PD’s Renzi Hopes Berlusconi is Stripped of His Seat Soon

(AGI) Sesto San Giovanni — PD member Matteo Renzi hopes Berlusconi will be stripped of his Senate seat by next week .

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

Organised Crime Surge in EU: Smuggling: Counterfeit and Internet Abuse — All in a Day’s Work for Europol

Europe’s criminal intelligence agency is fighting unprecedented levels of crime across several fronts as gangs capitalise on new technology.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Polish Demographic Drama’


In the first half of the year, the number of Poles who died exceeded the number of those who were born by 20,000, laments Rzeczpospolita, stressing the country’s demographic situation has not been so bad since World War II. According to the daily –

Poles don’t have children as they are afraid of the crisis, insecurity, unemployment, and they lack a feeling of stability.

Meanwhile, the state treats children as “luxury items” and fails to provide the necessary incentives to encourage young people to have children, adds Rzeczpospolita. “A pro-family policy is not an extravagance but the country’s raison d’État. With a birthrate of 1.3 children per woman, Poland holds 212th position out of a total of 224 countries.

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

SAS Assassinated Diana by Shining Light Into Her Driver’s Face

An SAS soldier claimed Princess Diana was killed after a member of the elite unit shone a light in her driver’s face causing him to crash, it has been claimed.

The man, known only as Soldier N, is said to have made the astonishing allegations to his wife after taking Prince William on an advanced driving course in 2008.

Scotland Yard reportedly decided to review the historic case 16 years after Diana’s death in a Paris underpass, after interviewing the woman who insists her former husband was telling the truth.

And in a dramatic twist, the investigation could unearth recordings of the crash after security experts today revealed Diana’s phone was bugged.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Spies Taped Diana’s Crash and Bugged Her Phone

A key UK security industry source who served in the military told the Sunday Express that GCHQ remotely switched on recorder modes right up to the moment the couple took their fatal Paris car trip.

If made public, the phone recordings could help throw light on sensational claims by former SAS serviceman Soldier N that Diana was murdered by an SAS assassination squad.

The bugging claim came as a separate Sunday Express investigation revealed that film footage of Diana’s last hours was “kept secret”. An exhaustive inquiry in the French capital has confirmed the existence of CCTV records of the night Diana died in August 1997.

Many belong to private companies who used France’s strict privacy laws to avoid having to hand them over to the police.

Just as crucially, a key traffic camera overlooking the scene of the crash in the Alma Tunnel was said to be switched off or malfunctioning.

However, one operator contacted 16 years on said: “Images would have been available if people wanted them to be. The truth is that every excuse possible was made to make sure that live film could be kept secret.

“This suited lots of powerful people, especially those who wanted to dismiss the crash as a simple traffic accident.”

The operator, who asked not to be identified because he “fears for my safety”, said he was convinced that all available film was “rounded up and hidden or destroyed”.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: David Cameron Would Support a Ban on Muslim Veils at His Children’s School

David Cameron would support a ban on Muslim veils at a school attended by one of his children, Downing Street has said, as a prominent bishop called for religious face coverings to be outlawed in the classroom.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that Mr Cameron supports the right of schools to set their own uniform policies following a row over a Birmingham college’s decision to ban veils. Birmingham Metropolitan College was accused of discriminating against Muslims when they ordered all students, staff and visitors to remove any face coverings so individuals are “easily identifiable at all times”. However, the college on Thursday backtracked after a petition attracted 8,000 signatures in 48 hours and their policy brought criticism from politicians…

Meanwhile, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, called for a ban on full-face veils in the classroom. He said that the Government should strengthen current guidance on veils, warning that schools should not be left to make decisions on religious clothing themselves. Bishop Nazir-Ali said that female pupils should not be allowed to wear the niqab, a veil that leaves only a slot for the eyes. “I would say that the niqab and the full-face covering should not be [allowed],” he said. He said tha people should be “permitted to wear it for their own private lives” but that the veils can cause problems with security as well as “professional interaction in education”…

[Reader comment by welshtruth on 14 September 2013.]

It is a shame our craven politicians will not recognise that allowing Muslims from dirt poor parts of Pakistan into our country unchecked has created a sub sector of society that is opposed to everything we hold dear in the west. We are told that their “religion” is peaceful — yet all empirical evidence points to the contrary. They hate democracy; science, homosexuals, other religions, non believers; and most of all they hate women.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Holloway Teen Jailed for Knifepoint Robbery of Muswell Hill BBC Correspondent

A masked teenager who mugged a BBC news correspondent at knifepoint yards from his Muswell Hill home has been jailed for four years.

Tom Symonds, 42, a home affairs correspondent for the BBC, was approached by 19-year-old Jason Harewood as he made his way home at 10.40pm on March 15 this year.

He later wrote an article on the experience, saying he “did the right thing” and handed over his phone and wallet, “desperately trying not to raise the temperature of the encounter” near Fortis Green, Muswell Hill.

           — Hat tip: Kitman [Return to headlines]

UK: Operation Bullfinch: Zeeshan Ahmed Charged With Perverting Course of Justice in Bullfinch Trial

CHILD sex exploitation police have accused a man of intimidating girls ahead of the Oxford grooming gang trial. Zeeshan Ahmed, 28, was yesterday charged with two counts of perverting the course of justice. The charges relate to incidents before the 18-week trial started at the Old Bailey in January. Ahmed will appear at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on September 30.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Will Judge Lift Muslim’s Veil of Secrecy?

A senior judge will come under pressure on Monday not to set a “dangerous” legal precedent by allowing a Muslim defendant to wear a full veil in a criminal trial.

The case comes amid a growing row over the wearing of niqabs and burkas in schools and colleges as well as in the court room.

An alliance of Islamic groups and Left-wing activists have been accused of conspiring to put pressure on institutions to overturn existing bans on the wearing of full-face coverings.

In a London courtroom tomorrow, lawyers acting for a 22-year-old Muslim woman will argue her right to religious freedom will be breached if Judge Peter Murphy orders her to remove her veil. Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, is understood to be monitoring the case closely, while senior figures in his ministry firmly believe “it is in the interests of justice for a jury to see the face of the accused”.

The woman’s lawyers are likely to bring an action against the court for breach of Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights if the judge rules her trial — for intimidating a witness — should go ahead in November with her face visible to the court…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UKIP Surge Hammers Tories in Key Marginals — Poll

The rise of the UK Independence Party is squeezing Conservative support in key marginal constituencies around Britain and could put Ed Miliband in 10 Downing Street, a new opinion poll shows.

The survey by Lord Ashcroft, the former Conservative deputy chairman, gives Labour a 14-point lead in the 32 seats which have the smallest current Tory majorities over Mr Miliband’s party. Labour’s 14-point advantage in their target seats compares with a national lead of five points (35 per cent to 30 per cent) over the Tories in a “comparison” poll covering the whole country also undertaken by the peer.

The huge marginals poll on the eve of the party conference season, which covers nearly 13,000 voters in 40 Conservative-held constituencies, does offer some comfort to David Cameron, who is seen as a better choice as prime minister by 13 points over Mr Miliband. It also suggests that at the next election, in May 2015, the Tories will hold seats where they are currently defending narrow majorities from Liberal Democrats in second place.

However, it is the surge by Ukip, taking votes from the Conservative and letting in Labour, which is causing the most disquiet at 10 Downing Street and Conservative Campaign Headquarters. No political party currently has the money to compile regular polls in key marginals on the scale of today’s survey by Lord Ashcroft, the first of its kind for two years…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Libya: Two New Gas Fields Discovered in Ghadames and Murzuq

Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) made the announcement

(ANSAmed) — TRIPOLI, SEPTEMBER 12 — Prospectors have discovered two new natural gas fields, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) made known. Algerian oil company Sonatrach discovered a deposit near the oasis town of Ghadames, which lies at the Algeria and Tunisia border. The second was found in the southern Murzuq district by the Polish Oil & Gas Company.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Al-Qaeda Confirms U. S. Drone Killed Al-Dhahab

(AGI) Dubai, Sept 15 — Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula confirmed that a U.S. drone killed al-Dhahab, one of the leaders of an active group in Yemen, reported the SITE Intelligence Group, which specialises in monitoring Islamic sites.

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

Arab League Praises U. S.-Russia Chemical Weapons Agreement

(AGI) Cairo — Sept 15 — The Arab League Secretary General, Nabil al-Arabi, has praised the U.S.-Russia agreement on Syrian’s chemical weapons arsenal. In a statement he said that the deal would help to solve the political crisis and marked a step towards a political solution.

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

China Welcomes Russia-U. S. Agreement on Syria

(AGI) Beijing, Sept 15 — China welcomed the agreement between Russia and the U.S. on Syrian chemical weapons. The agreement will “facilitate the easing of tension in Syria” said Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi. Beijing has also announced that China is sending a naval group to the Mediterranean.

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

Feckless Obama Embarrasses the Nation

In an effort to comprehend President Obama’s policy toward the use of chemical weapons in Syria — which now involves our pretending that Russia will disarm a country it has been arming nonstop for 55 years — please journey with me to a time before recorded history, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

That would be back, back, back… to one week ago Saturday.

– From scrolls unearthed by archaeologists and translated from cuneiform, we know that Barack Obama said on that day, Aug. 31, that he would take military action against the tyrannical Assad regime in Syria to punish its use of the chemical weapon sarin against its own people.

But although Obama acted as if this were a very important matter indeed, there remain a few curious facts scholars cannot account for.

For example, one hieroglyph of a television with an empty chair in front of it suggests to scholars that Obama First delivered this message to his fellow Americans at 1:15 in the afternoon on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, when only shut-ins and lunatics are inside.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fresh Attacks Kill 16 People in Iraq’s Hilla

(AGI) Baghdad, Sept 15 — Bombings across Iraq have claimed another 26 lives. The deadliest attack was in Hilla, where two car bombs killed 16 people.

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

Iran Says Russia-U.S. Accord on Syria Sign of Rationality

(AGI) Dubai, Sept 15 — The Russia-U.S. agreement on Syria is a sign of U.S. “rationality”, said Iran. “We are hopeful that American politicians have some rationality so they avoid extremist behaviour”, Iran’s speaker of parliament, Ali Larijani, stated during a press conference.

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

Iraq: Baghdad Official Escapes Assassination Amid Attacks

BAGHDAD: The head of Baghdad provincial council escaped assassination when a car bomb hit his convoy on Sunday, part of a wave of nationwide violence that left eight people dead. The attacks were the latest in a surge in unrest in recent months that has sparked concern Iraq is slipping back into the all-out sectarian bloodshed that plagued the country in 2006 and 2007.

The car bomb against the convoy of Riyadh al-Adhadh, the chief of the provincial council and a Sunni lawmaker belonging to the party of the national parliament speaker, killed two people and wounded four others, according to police and a medical source. Adhadh was unharmed but one of his bodyguards was killed in the bombing, which struck in the Waziriyah neighbourhood of north Baghdad. Attacks south of Baghdad — in Karbala, Nasiriyah, Hilla and Hafriyah — as well as the predominantly Sunni cities of Abu Ghraib and Mosul left six others dead…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

‘Mars Invasion’ — 142 Kuwaitis Want to Live on Red Planet

KUWAIT: A total of 1,259 Gulf residents have applied to join a program that is aiming to establish the first human settlement on Mars by 2023, with the majority coming from Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for the Dutch company behind the ambitious project exclusively told Arabian Business. The Mars One Astronaut Selection Program received more than 202,586 applications from people around the world seeking to be among the first to obtain a one-way ticket to live on the Red Planet. Organizers said applicants come from over 140 countries, with the largest coming from US (47,654), India (20,747), China (13,176), Brazil (10,289) and Great Britain (8,497).

A spokesperson for Mars One told Arabian Business a total of 1,259 residents from the six GCC countries applied to join the program. With 477 applications, the majority of would-be Gulf astronauts seeking to blast into space came from Saudi Arabia. Bahrain registered 421 applicants, followed by Kuwait with 142 and Qatar with 122. Just 52 UAE-based residents applied, and only 45 were willing to swap Oman for the Red Planet.

The deadline has now closed for applications and all 202,586 applicants will go forward to the Mars One Selection Committee, which will select prospective Mars settlers in three additional rounds spread across two years. By 2015, six to ten teams of four individuals will be selected for seven years of full-time training. In 2023, one of these teams will become the first humans ever to land on Mars and live there for the rest of their lives. The initial section process is expected to take several months, the company said.

Any Gulf based candidates selected for the next round will be notified by the end of this year. The second round of selection will start in early 2014, where the candidates will be interviewed in person by the Mars One Selection Committee. The project was launched in April by Stitching Mars One, a Dutch non-for-profit foundation. In the coming years, a demonstration mission, communication satellites, two rovers and several cargo missions will be sent to Mars. These missions will set up the outpost where the human crew will live and work and it is planned to have a human settlement on the Martian surface by 2023. US is already in the early stages of plans to land humans on the surface of Mars in 2036, Charles Elachi, head of NASA’s missions to the Red Planet, told delegates at the Arabian Business Forum 2012 in Dubai in November. “We don’t have a program [to send a man to Mars] but we are starting to plan,” Elachi, who heads up the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Pasadena-based NASA agency that constructs and operates robotic planetary spacecraft, said. “Interestingly enough we can go to Mars every four years or so. Every 18 years they get very close. We are thinking not for 2018 but 2036 [for a human mission],” he added.

Elachi’s team at JPL successfully masterminded the landing of a one-ton vehicle — called ‘Curiosity’ — in a deep crater on the surface of Mars in August 2012. The rover has now begun a two-year mission to look for evidence that the Red Planet may once have supported life, but Elachi said plans to send humans to Mars is possible. “It is a challenge as it takes nine months to get there. Imagine if you are sending three people for 18 months, how much food and garbage and water you have to take. It is a massive engineering challenge but it is it is feasible. “We are in the early stages. 2036 — that is the target,” he said. Lebanon-born Elachi still retains his ties with the Gulf region via a board position of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and the King Fahd University of Petrochemicals and Minerals, both in Saudi Arabia.

Last month it was the one-year anniversary of Curiosity’s landing on Mars and its findings have so far concluded that the planet could indeed have supported microbial life, the primary goal of the mission. “The stunning thing is that we found it all so quickly,” California Institute of Technology geologist and lead project scientist John Grotzinger told Reuters in August. Now scientists hope to learn whether life-friendly niches on Mars are common and whether any organic carbon has been preserved in the planet’s ancient rocks. Curiosity is expected to be joined next year by another NASA robotic probe, called MAVEN, which will remain in orbit to assess how and why the planet is losing its atmosphere. —

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Russian FM Says China Will Send Fleet Off Syria

(AGI) Moscow, Sept 15 — Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, announced that China will also be sending its naval forces to the Mediterranean. Minister Lavrov believes it is a ‘comprehensible’ move. There are already U.S. French, Russian and British warships off Syrian shores. The Italian destroyer Andrea Doria is positioned off Libyan waters.

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

Schools in Syria Reopen as Threat of U.S. Strike Subsides

(AGI) Damascus — Schools in Syria reopened following a deal negotiated by the United States and Russia .

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

Sir Halford Mackinder’s 1904 Paper and the Proxy War in Syria

Wise commentary from noted theologian, historian and colleague at the NER Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein regarding the great game being played out in what he calls the proxy war in Syria and Obama’s inept leadership.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Syrian Rebels Furious at U.S.-Russian Deal

With major deadlines now pushed off until next year and Assad appearing to come out smelling of (slightly tarnished) roses with his ‘compromise’ agreement with Russia (and the US) to join the chemical weapons treaty, not only is Israel now a major focus but the Syrian rebels — as one might expect — are not happy. As Reuters reports, the head of the opposition Syrian Supreme Military Council said on Saturday a U.S.-Russian agreement to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons was a blow to the two-and-a-half-year uprising to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power.

Crucially, General Salim Idris notes that this allows Assad “to escape being held accountable,” and, while unverified for now, Idris added, “we have told our friends that the regime has begun moving a part of its chemical weapons arsenal to Lebanon and Iraq. We told them do not be fooled.” But another military council official, Qassim Saadeddine, was a little more aggressive: “Let the Kerry-Lavrov plan go to hell. We reject it and we will not protect the inspectors or let them enter Syria.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: Maaloula’s Cathedral and Churches Empty of Christians as Syria’s Latest Front-Line Fight Takes Its Toll

Its churches are empty, its monasteries deserted, many pitted and holed by the battles raging around them.

On Sunday thousands of Christians should have filled its streets for the festival of the Holy Cross. But instead the streets of Maaloula are filled with soldiers and tanks, spent bullet casings and the noise of Syria’s latest front-line fight. Maaloula is a special place. It has been a safe haven for Christians for 2,000 years — until now. It was a place of refuge so secure in its rugged mountain isolation that a dialect of the language of Christ, Aramaic, is still spoken here. But not today.

Its Christian community of 2,000 has fled. In the tight alleyways and streets that wind up the Maaloula’s mountainside their language has been replaced by the Arabic of two bitter enemies: rebels from three Islamist groups and the soldiers of President Bashar al-Assad.

Some 70,000 tourists a year used to come here from all over the Middle East, Europe and America to marvel at the Christianity carved into its rock. But the “Welcome to Maaloula” sign as I drove in seemed almost laughable. There was hardly time to notice the white statue of Christ the Redeemer on the hillside before we were fired on, bullets aimed at our van, blowing our tyre and holing the chassis. We screeched to a halt and scrambled clear…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

2 Police Killed in Eastern Afghan Explosion

MEHTARLAM, Afghanistan, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — Two policemen were killed and three police wounded early Sunday morning in bombing in eastern Afghan province of Laghman, the authorities said. One Afghan National Police (ANP) vehicle with five people aboard touched off a roadside bomb in Islamabad area of the Alishing district early Sunday morning. The blast killed two officers and wounded three others, the provincial government said in a statement. “They were traveling to Salab area of the district to respond to a militants’ attack on an Afghan Local Police (ALP) checkpoint, “ it said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

ENI Starts Pumping From Huge Kazakh Oil Field

Barrels in the hundreds of thousands expected per day

(By Emily Backus) (ANSA) — Rome, September 11 — Crude oil production has begun in the massive Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan, located in the northern Caspian Sea, Italian gas and oil company ENI announced on Wednesday.

Kashagan is one of the largest oil fields discovered over the past 40 years, with estimated reserves of about 35 billion barrels of oil in place. Discovered in 2000 and originally scheduled to be active by 2008, the project’s original operator was ENI’s Agip KCO, but the project suffered a series of delays, forced cost increases and friction with local authorities. In October 2008, the Kazakh government came to an agreement with consortium companies to form the North Caspian Oil Company (NCOC), which took over the operator role from Agip KCO. The co-venturers in the original consortium were made shareholders in NCOC, each holding the same participating interest held in the preceding project agreement.

However, Royal Dutch Shell took control of second-phase development planning from ENI at the start of 2009, according to a 2010 article on Energy-pedia News. Shell radically simplified second-phase design, slashing $18 billion from the estimated cost, reducing it from $68 billion to $50 billion, the energy website said.

ENI, ExxonMobil, Shell, Total and KazMunaiGas each have a 16.81% stake in the project. Inpex owns 7.56%, while ConocoPhillips held a 8.4% stake until earlier this year, when the Kazakh government exercised preemptive rights to acquire it. The Chinese CNPC then bought a 8.33% stake from the government in a deal valued at about five billion euros, according to press reports.

Production is set to ramp up to 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the first phase, and 370,000 bpd in the second, a statement from ENI said.

“Considering the dimensions as well as technical, environmental and logistical characteristics, Kashagan represents one of the most complex and challenging industrial projects carried out in the world,” said a statement. In 2010, production capacity was projected to be 450,000 bpd in the first phase and one million bpd in the second, Energy-pedia reported.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

India Tests Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

(AGI) New Delhi, Sept 15 — India has tested an Agni-V inter-continental ballistic missile capable of striking Asia and Europe. The missile was launched on Sunday morning on Wheeler Island, off the eastern coast of India, Defence Ministry sources reported. The Agni-V missile is 17 metres long, weighs 50 tons and can hit a target at a distance of 5,000 km.

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

Philippines: Guns, Clans, Rogue Muslim Rebels Undermine South Philippine Peace

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines, Sept 15 — A week of violence in the southern Philippines has undercut hopes of lasting peace in the resource-rich region and exposed the government to criticism for underestimating rogue Muslim rebels who feel ignored by a landmark deal last year.

The agreement signed by President Benigno Aquino and the biggest Muslim rebel group last October was meant to pave the way for a revival of southernmost Mindanao island after 40 years of conflict, giving Muslims there more autonomy in the Catholic-majority country.

That deal, with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), remains on track, but the assault on the commercial hub of Zamboanga City by hundreds of armed rebels has underlined fears that the region’s volatile mix of guns, clans and disgruntled rebel factions could yet derail the process.

The army said 61 people, including 51 members of the breakaway faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), had been killed in the fighting, now in its seventh day. Ninety people have been wounded. Aquino, who visited the city on Friday to face one of the biggest security crises of his three-year rule, must decide whether to crack down on the group — risking spreading violence — or open talks that could complicate the peace process…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Real Fukushima Danger

The fact that the Fukushima reactors have been leaking huge amounts of radioactive water ever since the 2011 earthquake is certainly newsworthy. As are the facts that:

  • Tepco doesn’t know how to stop the leaks
  • Scientists have no idea where the cores of the nuclear reactors are
  • Radiation could hit Korea, China and the West Coast of North America fairly hard

But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much bigger problem.

Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.

If one of the pools collapsed or caught fire, it could have severe adverse impacts not only on Japan … but the rest of the world, including the United States. Indeed, a Senator called it a national security concern for the U.S.:

“The radiation caused by the failure of the spent fuel pools in the event of another earthquake could reach the West Coast within days. That absolutely makes the safe containment and protection of this spent fuel a security issue for the United States.”

Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen and physician Helen Caldicott have both said that people should evacuate the Northern Hemisphere if one of the Fukushima fuel pools collapses. Gundersen said:

“Move south of the equator if that ever happened, I think that’s probably the lesson there.”

[Comment: The full dangers of Fuklushima outlined in this horrifying article…]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Nasarawa Violence — Scores Killed, Houses Razed, 30,000 Displaced

The communal clash between the Ombatse and Alago tribes of Nasarawa state that began on Friday continued on Saturday, with the crisis extending to Obi local government main town and Assakio area of Lafia east. The crisis, which started on Friday as a result of the resistance by Ombatse militia to the arrest of their member caught with weapons through a tipoff by Alago youths, has consumed the entire town of Assakio in Lafia east and part of Obi local government area as at the early hours of Saturday.

In Obi, the resident of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) North Central Zonal Chairman, Yusuf Ayitogo, was razed just like that of a former Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, Salihu Iyimoga. The properties were reportedly touched by members of the Ombatse militia group. Two cars belonging to the PDP chieftain were also vandalized.

The youth spent the morning hours of Saturday attacking Obi village after which they proceeded to Assakio without any hinderance from security agencies as they spent close to three hours in both towns spraying petrol before starting fires.

Scores of dead bodies littered the town of Obi as residents remained afraid to evacuate bodies of victims for fear of been attacked. Witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES the fully armed boys moved in a group chanting anti-police slogans, and then attacking anyone in sight. They then bolted in motorcycles…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Tanzania: Will These Dastardly Acid Attacks in Zanzibar Ever Stop?

ON Friday this week, the nation experienced yet another shameful act of acid attack. This time around, it was yet another Roman Catholic Priest who fell victim to the hideous acid attack in Zanzibar. Indeed, the place is becoming notorious for such shocking, inhuman attacks, and the perpetrators seem to draw some sanguinary satisfaction from their despicable actions. For a long time Zanzibar had been considered as a place home to tranquility, a place to go for a quiet relaxation. Alas, the atmosphere has dramatically changed now, slowly transforming into a no go area. It is a sad development to say the least, taking into consideration the effects of such events…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Uganda: When Will New Katikiro Visit Kibuli Mosque?

Every year, when the Baganda celebrate the restoration of their kingdom, the recall the role of Prince Badru Kakungulu

The newly appointed Prime Minister of Buganda kingdom, Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga deserves praise for visiting places of worship after his appointment in the high post by the Kabaka Sabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. The Katikiro first visited Rubaga Cathedral for a very well attended service conducted by Catholic Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga. Next he visited Namirembe Cathedral to another well attended service conducted by Bishop Kityo Luwalira.

After Rubaga and Namirembe, the Katikiro visited the Seventh Day Adventist Church at Najjanankumbi on Entebbe Road and recently he visited the Orthodox Church at Namungoona where he attended a service conducted by His Eminence Archbishop Yona Lwanga. He also visited the Born Again Christians at Ndeeba Victory Christian Centre. The Katikiro was well received by the Christians in all these places and the Church leaders said they will support his plans of developing Buganda and eradicating poverty.

The people are happy with what the Katikiro has done to visit those Christian missions but are unhappy because up to now he has not visited Kibuli Mosque for prayers with the Muslims. People are asking, especially here in Buganda, why and when will the Katikiro visit Kibuli Mosque for the Juma prayers?


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Student Exodus in Michigan School District Where Teachers Defended Child Molester

Enrollment appears to be nosediving in a Michigan school district where several teachers publicly supported a former colleague who admitted having sex with a middle school student.

The student body count in the West Branch-Rose City district, in northeast Michigan is down unofficially some 87 students following a tumultuous summer in which angry parents blasted seven teachers for writing letters in support of former teacher Neal Erickson. The letters urged a judge to be lenient in sentencing Erickson, who admitted to sexual misconduct with an underage, male student from 2006 to 2009. When the school board declined to take action against the teachers, many parents vowed to pull their kids out of the public schools, which have a total enrollment of just over 2,000.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]