Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/30/2013

As I write this, the federal government is a few minutes away from its much-ballyhooed shutdown. The Senate refused to accept a funding bill sent by the House that included a delay in financing ObamaCare. The Senate sent it back to the House, and that’s where the impasse stands.

In other news, the IHP halal poultry abattoir has become the first company in Britain to be certified and monitored by the Sharia halal board.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, Mary Abdelmassih, Steen, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

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

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

Financial Crisis
» Doomsday Rhetoric Surrounding ‘Government Shut Down’ Mirrors Bailout Fearmongering
» Europe’s Biggest Engineering Firm Siemens to Cut 15,000 Jobs Across Europe in the Next Year in Bid to Save £5billion
» Atty General Holder Threatens to Sue Every State That Passes Voter ID Laws
» Boehner Covering for Obama … or for Himself?
» Does the Government Only Label Bad Guys as Terrorists?
» Don’t Fall for the Con-Con CON
» ‘Government Shut Down’ Won’t Actually Shut Down Government
» House Passes Another Budget Bill That Delays Health Law
» International Media Begins Covering Exclusive Missing Nuke Report
» John McAfee Reveals Details on Gadget to Thwart NSA
» Justice Department to Sue North Carolina Over Voting Law
» Movies and Books, Inequality for All
» NSA & Its British Counterpart GCHQ No Threat to Terrorists at Large
» Obama Criticizes House Republicans
» Orwell’s Pigs
» Reid to Boehner: “Stop Trying to Force a Government Shutdown”
» School Apologizes for Propagandizing Students to Love Obama (Video)
» Senate Rejects House Budget Offer With Shutdown Near
» Shutdown Closer as Senate Rejects House Bill and Sends it Back
» South Texas Store Owner Arrested After Killing Robber
» State Police Running Illegal ‘Traffic Checkpoints’ In Texas
» They’re Lying to You: Appropriations and “Shutdown” Lies
» Train Mysteriously Runs Loose in Chicago, Injuring Dozens
» US Police Obtaining Military Vehicles to Aid Hunt for Criminals
» Willful Blindness to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Threat
» Former Edmonton Cop Derek Huff Blows Whistle on Brutality, Corruption
Europe and the EU
» 7.9% of Educated Italians Live Abroad, OECD Study Shows
» Analysis: New Trial for Boeing as Norwegian Demands 787 Repairs
» Burka Ban Approved in Italian-Speaking Switzerland
» Democracy and Liberty Die in Europe
» Eurocrats Squander £2billion on Advertising
» EU’s £2.4bn Ad Budget is Bigger Than Coca-Cola’s
» Gang Members to Serve Sentences Outside Denmark
» Greece: New Auction for the Construction of Athens Mosque
» Greece: Golden Dawn MPS Knew About Killing, Calls Show
» Hate Preacher Who Recruited Nairobi Mall Massacre Killers Warns of Attack on British Soil
» Iceland to Get Its First Mosque
» Italy: Grillo Blames President Napolitano for Government Impasse
» Italy: Twitter Mocks Deputy PM Being Pro-Berlusconi in ‘Own Way’
» Italy: Air France-KLM May Hike Alitalia Stake to 50%, Report Says
» Italy: Brunetta Says Government Will Fall if VAT Rises
» Italy: Polls Suggest Support Slipping for Letta
» Italy: Northern League Leaders Blast ‘Voodoo Ritual’ In Congo
» Italy: Berlusconi Promises to Cut Property, VAT Taxes Within a Week
» Norway’s New Government Concedes on Oil, Immigration for Support
» Oxford Professors: Robots and Computers Could Take Half Our Jobs Within the Next 20 Years
» Roma: A French Obsession
» Sweden: State’s Tight Surveillance on Roma
» Sweden: Masked Robbers Attack Stockholm Vehicle
» Swiss Military Simulates French Attack
» UK: Halal Abattoir First to be Certified
» UK: It’s Not Just the Tories Who Ought to Fear UKIP — Labour and the Lib Dems Should Too
» UK: To Tackle Islamophobia in Britain, We Need to Fight Clever
» Western Female Furies for Jihad
North Africa
» Coptic Bishop Escapes Assassination Attempt in Egypt
» Egypt: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Eased
Middle East
» 3 Killed in Armed Clashes in Eastern Lebanon
» American Foreign Policy Missteps in the Middle East
» CNN’s Iranian Propaganda Campaign
» Deadly Clashes Erupt in Eastern Lebanon
» Erdogan Paves Way for Islamisation of Public Institutions in Turkey
» Football: Qatar: 159 Indians Reported Dead Since Start 2013
» Iraq: Suicide Bomber Kills 40 at Iraq Mosque
» Kuwait: Fake Degrees Phenomenon
» Obama’s Naive Hopes for Peace Deal With Sham “Moderate” Rouhani
» Remembering the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo
» Syria: Kurds Battle Al-Qaeda Along Turkish Border
» Turkey: Blasphemy: Pianist Fazil Say Sentenced to 10 Months
» Turkey to Produce Local Tear Gas Out of Fears of Embargo
» Turkish Boys Don Skirts to Protest Ban
South Asia
» 11 Killed in Check-Post Attack in W. Afghanistan
» Pakistan Condemns Latest U.S. Drone Strike in North Waziristan
» Pakistan: JI Local Leader Axed to Death at Mosque
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Al Shabaab is a Threat to the World at Large
» Al-Shabaab Involved in Ivory Trade
» Kenya: Not in Our Religion’s Name, Muslims Tell Terrorists
» Mali: Suicide Bombing Kills 4
» Muslim Cleric Says Nairobi Mall Attack ‘Right Thing to Do’
» Nigeria: Boko Haram Suspected in Mass Murder of Students
» Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills Village Head, 26 Others in Borno
» Uganda: Muslims Threaten KCCA on ‘Noisy’ Call to Prayers
Latin America
» Brazil Tells UN That U. S. Spying ‘Violates Sovereignty’
» Flour Made From Insects Will Feed Underfed Populations
» Another 400 Migrants Land in Sicily in the Last 24 Hours
» Debunking Hypocrisy About Immigrants in the Classroom
» Italian Navy Has Rescued 3, 293 Migrants So Far This Year
» NASA Finds Ingredient for Plastic on Saturn’s Moon Titan
» Robotics Revolution to Replace Most Human Workers in Three Generations; Labor Class to be Systematically Eliminated

Doomsday Rhetoric Surrounding ‘Government Shut Down’ Mirrors Bailout Fearmongering

Some of the doomsday rhetoric surrounding the consequences of a government shut down sounds an awful lot like the fearmongering that was used to scare lawmakers into passing the 2008 bailout bill, which quickly turned out to be a cynical bait and switch.

Democratic Senator Tom Harkin has warned that if Republicans refuse to cave in, the situation will be “as dangerous as the breakup of the Union before the Civil War.”

Lindsay Siler, the issues campaign director for Barack Obama’s Organizing for Action, warns that, “a government shutdown will shutter crucial services the American people depend on and wreak havoc with our economy.”

Such dire rhetoric is patently part of a ploy to try and force Republicans to back down on their demand that Obamacare be delayed for a year before a bill securing government funding is passed.

As we documented earlier today, the ominous “government shut down” is nothing of the sort. It would be the 18th time it has happened since 1977. In no previous case did such circumstances lead to anything even approaching the apocalyptic hype being bandied about by Harkin and his ilk, nor did it significantly impact the economy in any way.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe’s Biggest Engineering Firm Siemens to Cut 15,000 Jobs Across Europe in the Next Year in Bid to Save £5billion

Europe’s biggest engineering firm is to slash 15,000 jobs in a £5billion cost-cutting drive.

Germany-based Siemens will shed the jobs over the next year, a third of them in Germany and the rest abroad, in a move that will save about 6billion euros.

The cull represents about 4 per cent of its 370,000-strong workforce but it says it is aiming to avoid compulsory redundancies, according to a spokesman. The company employs 13,000 in Britain.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Atty General Holder Threatens to Sue Every State That Passes Voter ID Laws

By Daniel Greenfield

His Majesty, Protector of Illegal Aliens, Provider of Assault Rifles to Mexican Druglords and Keeper of the Keys to the Cold Medicine Prescription Cabinet of America has spoken. No laws that restrict Obama voters from illegally voting will be tolerated. Ever. Under any circumstances.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Boehner Covering for Obama … or for Himself?

GOP’s inaction on Benghazi brings accusations back on speaker

As House Speaker John Boehner continues refusing to approve a select committee to investigate the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, some are beginning to speculate the Ohio Republican has reasons of his own to suppress what really happened on Sept. 11, 2012. Over the weekend, former Democrat pollster Patrick Caddell and former Republican Congressman John LeBoutillier, co-hosts of the Fox News Channel’s “Political Insiders,” suggested Boehner may indeed be involved in a “cover-up.”

“John Boehner [has] been purposefully suppressing anything on Benghazi because he knew what we found out this week, and he approved it,” Caddell speculated. “These CIA teams on the ground [were] sending weapons from Libya through Turkey to Syrian rebels without congressional approval.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Does the Government Only Label Bad Guys as Terrorists?

Preface: Whether you believe this is a conspiracy by the government — or just over-reaction, incompetence or cronyism — the end result is idiotic … and counter-productive.

Former NSA boss Michael Hayden compared privacy advocates to terrorists:

“If and when our government grabs Edward Snowden, and brings him back here to the United States for trial, what does this group do?” said retired air force general Michael Hayden, who from 1999 to 2009 ran the NSA and then the CIA, referring to “nihilists, anarchists, activists, Lulzsec, Anonymous, twentysomethings who haven’t talked to the opposite sex in five or six years”.

“They may want to come after the US government, but frankly, you know, the dot-mil stuff is about the hardest target in the United States,” Hayden said, using a shorthand for US military networks. “So if they can’t create great harm to dot-mil, who are they going after? Who for them are the World Trade Centers? The World Trade Centers, as they were for al-Qaida.”

Hayden provided his speculation during a speech on cybersecurity to a Washington group, the Bipartisan Policy Center, in which he confessed to being deliberately provocative.

Similarly, Slate reported last year:

If you’ve ever cared about privacy while using the Internet in public, you might be a terrorist. At least that’s the message from the FBI and Justice Department’s Communities Against Terrorism initiative.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Don’t Fall for the Con-Con CON

The Con-Con idea has recently resurfaced as a result of Mark Levin’s latest million-seller, The Liberty Amendments, in which Levin proposes ten (10) new amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The book is an open call to Tea Party activists to push state legislators to apply to Congress for a Con-Con and the call is catching fire with Tea Party Patriots and other groups in search of a solution…

In short, the notion that American conservatives can force and control a Con-Con today is just plain insane. Levin, who holds a degree in law and proclaims himself a “constitutional expert”, should have done the simple math before suggesting a plan that most constitutionally-minded Americans are smart enough to avoid at all cost.

The current budget debate in which the Republican controlled House is attempting to defund ObamaCare as the Democrat controlled Senate runs blocker for the Obama administration, provides a much needed glimpse into reality, for those who think they can control a Con-Con at a time in history when leftists control everything in America, including that which is under the sole authority of the House…

I agree that our government must be altered before abolishing it altogether is the only solution left. However, the Rights already belong to the people and their states. If two-thirds of the state legislatures had the good sense and backbone to stop the runaway Federal Government from destroying the entire nation, they would simply pass and enforce The Balance of Powers Act in their state and begin to stop unconstitutional acts by the Federal Government without any need for a Con-Con.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

‘Government Shut Down’ Won’t Actually Shut Down Government

It turns out that the ominous “government shut down” isn’t so apocalyptic after all since it won’t actually shut down government because the vast majority of federal services and activity will continue as normal.

In addition, the same thing has happened — without dire consequences — no less than 17 times over the past three decades.

The dispute over Obamacare means it is “99.9%” certain that the US government will “shut down” on October 1st because lawmakers have failed to pass legislation that will authorize the government to spend money to fund its operations from the beginning of the new fiscal year.

However, as the Washington Post highlights, the same “shut down” has occurred 17 times since 1977. Most of the previous shut downs lasted from a few hours to a few days. The longest ran for 21 days from December ‘96 to January ‘97 during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

House Passes Another Budget Bill That Delays Health Law

With hours to go before the federal government runs out of money, the House voted 228-201 on Monday night to pass a bill linking further government financing to a weakening of President Obama’s health care law.

With the vote, the House effectively made its last offer before a government shutdown at midnight. The bill demands a one-year delay in the health care law’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance and denies federal subsidies to members of Congress, Capitol Hill staff members, executive branch appointees, White House staff, the president and the vice president, who would be forced to purchase their health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s new exchanges.

Senate Democratic leaders announced they would immediately take up the spending bill, strip out the health care language and send it back to the House free of policy prescriptions.

[Return to headlines]

International Media Begins Covering Exclusive Missing Nuke Report

International media picks up on exclusive high level military intelligence that alrted us to a secret nuke transfer among warnings of nuclear strike by Senator Lindsey Graham later on the same day.

I recently joined The Truthseeker program, which reaches 85 million homes in the United States alone, to discuss the exclusive high level intelligence reported on by Alex Jones and I regarding the secret transfer of nuclear warheads from Texas to South Carolina. Specifically, I honed in on the fact that Senator Lindsey Graham warned just hours after the leak that a ‘nuclear strike’ could actually hit South Carolina in the event that the US did not initiate a war with Syria.


Here is an excerpt from the original article on the high level missing nuke intelligence now being picked up by the media:

“A high level source inside the military has now confirmed to us that Dyess Air Force base is actively moving nuclear warheads to the East Coast of the United States in a secret transfer that has no paper trail. The brief report from the top level military source, which was written in a rush to get the information out, reads:

‘Dyess is beginning to move out nuclear war heads today. I got a tap from DERMO earlier. He said it was the first time they have been even acknowledged since being put there in the 80s. No signature was required for transfer… There was no directive. He said that Dyess Commander was on site to give authority to release. No one knew where they were going really, but the truck driver said to take them to South Carolina and another pick up will take them from there.‘“

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

John McAfee Reveals Details on Gadget to Thwart NSA

John McAfee lived up to his reputation Saturday as tech’s most popular wild child, electrifying an audience with new details of his plan to thwart the NSA’s surveillance of ordinary Americans with an inexpensive, pocket-size gadget.

Dubbed “Decentral,” the as-yet-unbuilt device will cost less than $100, McAfee promised the enthusiastic crowd of about 300 engineers, musicians and artists at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Justice Department to Sue North Carolina Over Voting Law

The Justice Department will sue North Carolina on Monday over the state’s new voting law, according to a person briefed on the department’s plans, the latest move by the Obama administration to counter a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that officials have said threatens the voting rights of minorities.

The suit, to be announced at a Washington news conference, follows the department’s decision last month to sue Texas over that state’s new voter-identification measure. And it comes after a recent warning from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. that the administration “will not hesitate to take appropriately aggressive action against any jurisdiction that attempts to hinder access to the franchise.”

Under the new law, North Carolina residents are required to show a photo ID at polling places. The law was signed by the state’s Republican governor last month, and civil right groups moved quickly to challenge it. They said that the law’s requirements will make it harder to vote and that racial minorities will be disproportionately affected because they are less likely to have the forms of photo ID required by the law.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Movies and Books, Inequality for All

History has shown when Leftists seize power, they introduce slavery, terror, famine, concentration camps, and mass murder

A friend has mentioned recently how insidious and malicious is the work of progressives in this country who have one goal in mind, to destroy our culture. They should be called regressives since they are fond of shaping society in their warped view of reality, not building it up.

The Democracy for America opened Robert Reich’s film “Inequality for All” in theaters across the country, inviting interested Americans to organize movie nights with friends and “meet other progressives in your neighborhood, and build our national community.”

As the Campaign Manager for Democracy for America describes it, “This powerful and entertaining movie takes a closer look at the American economy and what we can do to make it work for everyone.”

How are we going to build the national community? Will it be on the ashes of the formerly successful capitalist economy brought to its knees by liberals who have destroyed every sector of the economy and every level of our education system?


One of the goals of global governance was to destroy books published before 1979, starting with children’s books — an easy way to erase history from future generations and to feed them manufactured, revisionist history in line with the progressive agenda.

In the past, discarded library books were donated to various organizations or sold to the public to raise money for local libraries strapped for cash. The Washington Post reported that Fairfax County Public Library System in Virginia has “tossed” 250,000 books as a plan to “reduce costs and bring the county’s library system into the digital age.” Previously, books have been donated to a group called Friends of the Library but no such donations had been made in seven months. County Supervisor Lynda Smyth, who investigated the claim, found a dumpster full of books.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NSA & Its British Counterpart GCHQ No Threat to Terrorists at Large

NSA/GCHQ tactics are turned inward on citizens, and no one knows that better more than world-roving terrorists.

Odious as it is, it’s not wholesale spying on John and Josephine Q. Public by the National Security Agency that is its biggest crime. It’s that the NSA, funded by billions to protect the public against a terrorist enemy, spends more of its time spying on ordinary citizens than it does on terrorists.

Watching every move of every citizen with impunity while terrorists, moving freely from country to country, are having a field day.

When it comes to terrorism, the intelligence agencies of western countries are, United Nations-like, fast asleep at the switch.

The Westgate Mall attack, in which 72 people were killed and hundreds more injured, proves that NSA’s British equivalent GCHQ fails the terrorist tracking smell test.

The abysmal failure of both spy agencies, floated by billions of taxpayer dollars, can be clearly seen in the history of two top world terrorists still at large.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Criticizes House Republicans

President Obama castigated House Republicans for failing to perform one of the most basic functions by not providing money for the government. He said a shutdown would harm the economic recovery.

“The idea of putting the American people’s hard-earned progress at risk is the height of irresponsibility and doesn’t have to happen,” he said. “Let me repeat that: It does not have to happen. All of this is entirely preventable.”

Mr. Obama urged Republican lawmakers not to make “extraneous and controversial” ideological demands in exchange for keeping the federal government open and said the impact of a shutdown on Tuesday would be harmful to millions of Americans.

“One faction of one party in one house of congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government,” Mr. Obama told reporters Monday afternoon at the White House. “You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job.”

The president scolded opponents of the Affordable Care Act for insisting that the law be delayed or rolled back.

[Return to headlines]

Orwell’s Pigs

The media in America, which is controlled by just six corporations, has been in the process of radical transformation during the last several years. There is no longer even the pretense of ideological diversity. It is Big Brother and the Ministry of Truth, 24/7 on just about every television program and most of radio, with few exceptions. Although the media has been in the business of lying to the America people from its inception, it now becomes one big lie, all day long. Senator Ted Cruz’s twenty one hour filibuster on the Senate floor provided one of those rare glimpses of truth on CSPAN because it was live, unedited, and uninterrupted.

Senator Cruz actually explained in simple and understandable terms the game that Republicans, Democrats, and the media have been playing for decades. The most explosive revelation came from Cruz’s willingness to shine the light of day on the dirty little game that the Republicans play with the help of the media and what some people perceive as the conservative media. It is not what Cruz said about Obamacare which was so revealing, it was what he said about the Republican Party! Cruz, unlike the media which avoids a single coherent thought at all costs, explained how the Republicans work in collusion with the Democrats by voting no and voting yes on all kinds of bills that will not help the American people, but will simply allow them to keep up the masquerade that they are actually doing something to help our nation. What Cruz did, which is what the media never does and that includes a large percentage so-called conservative media, is to communicate the truth of what is really happening in simple terms.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Reid to Boehner: “Stop Trying to Force a Government Shutdown”

In the latest volley in Congress’ negotiations over government funding, the Senate on Monday afternoon passed legislation to keep federal operations running for a few more months, once again leaving the prospect of a government shutdown in the hands of the Republican-led House.

By a party-line vote of 54 to 46, the Democratic led Senate passed the spending bill after stripping Republican language that would have repealed and delayed parts of Obamacare.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

School Apologizes for Propagandizing Students to Love Obama (Video)

A Wisconsin school is accused of employing 1940s-style German propaganda tactics after it played a video of celebrities proselytizing an intense love for the state, and in particular the Obama Administration, at a school assembly last week.

During the Hudson School District’s Peace One Day event — an occasion meant to build peace awareness and promote the notion of global unity — the school played a YouTube video from Oprah Winfrey’s “I Pledge” campaign launched soon after President Obama took office.

The video shows actors Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Alyssa Milano, P Diddy and Cameron Diaz, to name a few, pledging to make the world a better place through the adjustment of certain behaviors.

But it was the video’s overarching political thrust that had parents, students and faculty upset.

At one point in the video, Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis says, “I pledge to be of service to Barack Obama,” and at the end of the video, Demi Moore states, “I pledge to be a servant to our president…”

“It looks a little bit 1940s Germany,” one person told a KMSP reporter during a man-on-the-street interview…

Watch the videos below to see how public schools have in the past encouraged the wholesale idol worship of Obama.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Senate Rejects House Budget Offer With Shutdown Near

The Senate on Monday quickly rejected a House proposal to fund the government only if Democrats agreed to delay or undo parts of the 2010 health law as House Republicans gathered in the Capitol to plot their response in the escalating budget fight.

Within minutes of convening just after 2 p.m., the Senate on a 54 to 46 vote followed through on Democratic threats to strip the health care provisions from a measure passed by the House early Sunday morning and send it back to the House.

But House Republicans showed no sign of backing down, signaling a readiness to shut down the federal government over the health law.

[Return to headlines]

Shutdown Closer as Senate Rejects House Bill and Sends it Back

The Senate swiftly voted Monday night to kill new House legislation tying further government funding to the Republicans’ latest effort to block President Obama’s health care law, sending a spending bill free of policy prescriptions back to the House just an hour after the House approved it.

The Senate’s action, 54-46 along party lines, left House Republican leaders just two hours to find a final response before large parts of the federal government were to run out of money at midnight.

[Return to headlines]

South Texas Store Owner Arrested After Killing Robber

The owner of a South Texas convenience store has been arrested for murder after shooting a man attempting to steal beer from his shop.

Rodney James Duve was being held Sunday in the Nueces County jail with bond set at $35,000. Corpus Christi police say a 39-year-old man came into his store Saturday evening and took a 12-pack of beer before attempting to flee.

The 52-year-old Duve was arrested at the store. The robbery suspect, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital where he died.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

State Police Running Illegal ‘Traffic Checkpoints’ In Texas

Infowars has been receiving a torrent of complaints regarding the illegal, unconstitutional checkpoints being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) along the South Texas border in what the DPS calls an attempt to confirm drivers are “complying with license, insurance and vehicle safety regulations.” The DPS director addressed the public’s complaints today claiming the “traffic regulatory checkpoints” are in response to “various criminal activities and unsafe driving behaviors” in South Texas.

DPS says 15 percent of all “no driver license” citations have been issued in the same three counties, Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy, which are all located in the Rio Grande Valley.

The checkpoints, which have been in effect since Sept. 15, have caused outraged citizens to set up Facebook pages warning the public of the time and location of the illegal checkpoints. One complaint submitted anonymously told Infowars, “People are scared to go into the streets and businesses are deserted.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

They’re Lying to You: Appropriations and “Shutdown” Lies

As Democrats and Republicans squabble over federal funding and a partial shutdown of the federal government looms, many in the press are mindlessly parroting Democratic Party’s talking points about the shutdown. But what’s the reality? Following are three false claims regarding the looming shutdown, and why they are lies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Train Mysteriously Runs Loose in Chicago, Injuring Dozens

(CNN) — A Chicago commuter train that was parked in a service yard somehow moved onto a rail line and smashed into an oncoming train early Monday, injuring dozens of people.

How it happened is a mystery.

“I don’t know the last time, if ever, that this has happened” on the Chicago Transit Authority system, spokesman Brian Steele said.

There are “more questions than answers” about the incident in Forest Park, Illinois, he said.

At least 48 people were injured; 33 of them were transported to hospitals, Forest Park Mayor Anthony Calderone told CNN affiliate WLS. They are believed to have minor injuries.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were aboard the train.

Investigators are not characterizing the incident as a runaway train at this point, Steele said.

A central question: whether anyone had climbed on board the empty train and set it in motion.

“In order for a train to move, it has to be energized,” said Ronald Ester, vice president of CTA Rail Operations.

“We call it unlocking the master controller,” he said. The train would have needed to be placed in power position manually.

Authorities are looking at video feeds from the platforms and from some rail cars. They’re also interviewing workers who were nearby.

It’s unknown whether there were criminal activities, Steele said. Authorities did not immediately find windows broken, doors pried open or graffiti on the train.

The train that caused the accident had four cars; the one with passengers aboard had eight.

The incident took place about 8 a.m.

Train service continued but did not stop at Harlem, near the site of the crash. Shuttle buses were made available.

Steele emphasized that the CTA has “a very strong safety record.”

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

US Police Obtaining Military Vehicles to Aid Hunt for Criminals

Don’t mess with Texas has assumed a whole new meaning in Dallas.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Fort Hood this month to acquire its own bona fide military vehicle — the International MaxxPro MRAP tactical vehicle — courtesy of a Department of Defense surplus program.

According to The Dallas Observer, the sheriff’s office obtained the 19-ton, diesel-operated behemoth with bullet-proof doors and tires, designed by Navistar Defense.

[Comment: Militarization of local police continues…]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Willful Blindness to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Threat

A Review of The Brotherhood: America’s Great Next Threat by Eric Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck is an American original. A product of Northeast Philadelphia, son of a 101st Airborne Screaming Eagle vet, high school basketball champion who is now a living treasure in the American and international counter jihad community. A budding sportswriter of note following graduation from Holy Family University in Philadelphia, he had a minor epiphany after 9/11 and changed career paths. We and most Americans are glad that he did…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Former Edmonton Cop Derek Huff Blows Whistle on Brutality, Corruption

A former cop with an exemplary record is going public about what he calls corruption in Edmonton police ranks, after he tried internally to expose what he believes is organized brutality, but got no results.

“I stood up for what’s right, and I just got run out of the police service,” said Derek Huff, 37. “I still can’t even really believe it.”

Huff is a 10-year-veteran who resigned in February, three years after he said he and his partner watched — stunned — as three plainclothes officers viciously beat a handcuffed man while he was down.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

7.9% of Educated Italians Live Abroad, OECD Study Shows

Brain drain afflicts mostly Africa, South America, the Caribbean

(ANSA) — Paris, September 30 — At least 7.9% of university-educated Italians, equal to 400,000 people, live and work abroad, according to a migration study by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released Monday.

Of this brain drain, 6.5% or 173,000 are women, according to the study based on 2011 data.

Worldwide, the number of highly educated migrants to OECD countries has risen by 70% over the past decade, reaching 27 million people in 2011. Countries with the most brain drain lie in Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, with the island of Haiti losing 73.6% of its university-educated people, the study showed.

In Europe, the countries most afflicted by brain drain are Albania (26.7%), Romania (18.4%) and Ireland (17.4%).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Analysis: New Trial for Boeing as Norwegian Demands 787 Repairs

(Reuters) — The brochure for Boeing Co’s aircraft repair service makes a simple assertion: “No one knows Boeing airplanes better than Boeing.”

Now that claim is being put to a visible test as budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA grounded a brand new, $212 million 787 Dreamliner over the weekend. The airline demanded Boeing fix the state-of-the-art jet, saying it needs repairs after less than 30 days in service.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Burka Ban Approved in Italian-Speaking Switzerland

Ticino has become the first Swiss canton to approve a ban on face-covering headgear in public places, following a vote on Sunday. It will now be up to the federal parliament to accept the change to Ticino’s constitution.

According to official estimates, only about 100 women in Switzerland wear burkas. The full-body cloaks worn by some Muslim women are few and far between in the southern Swiss canton.

And yet about 65 per cent of voters in the Italian-speaking canton voted in favour of the change to the law.

The Ticino initiative did not explicitly target Muslims — the phrasing voted on was “nobody in public streets or squares may veil or hide their face” — but in practice it means women in burkas. The law would apply to burkas and niqabs, face coverings with a slit for the eyes often worn as part of a full-body covering, but not to headscarves.

Until Sunday, burka bans hadn’t stood a chance in Switzerland. The force behind the initiative, which was handed in in March 2011 with 11,767 valid signatures, is the political campaigner and former journalist Giorgio Ghiringhelli, who has already proven in other cases that he knows how to get the majority of the public behind him.

“Preventative character”

For Ghiringhelli, the initiative had a “preventative character”. He told that it was important to send a clear signal that the people are against “militant Islamism”, and hoped other cantons would follow suit.

The government in Ticino only went as far as opposing the idea of adding a ban to the constitution, but presented a counterproposal to change the law on public order. This was accepted by 60 per cent of voters…

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

Democracy and Liberty Die in Europe

Europe will never enjoy sustained economic growth until it learns to protect individual liberty. The European Commission, the actual ruler of Europe, is an unelected bureaucracy that supplants democratically adopted laws in each member state with bureaucratically imposed directives from the European Union in Brussels. Over 50% of all laws governing each of 28 nations in Europe are not the product of the member states elected leaders but are imposed by the EU bureaucracy in Brussels. National identity and individual liberty are fleeting in a once vibrant, diverse, and largely democratic Europe. In a recent edition of my radio program, Truth Trial (see, Robert Oulds, the Director of the Bruges Group in London, explained that the EU is stealing Britain’s identity, subjecting domestic issues and disputes to foreign control and resolution, harming Britain’s economy, and robbing Brits of their economic and political liberty. He says discontent is so great that he predicts a forthcoming referendum on whether the UK should remain in the European Union will be decided against continued membership.

After six quarters of economic contraction, European Union member states have just emerged from a long recession. The recovery is anemic with lackluster Gross Domestic Product figures the order of the day and unemployment remaining very high, particularly in Italy, Spain, Greece, and Ireland. Robert Oulds places primary blame on regulations imposed by the EU.

[Comment: Be sure to check out the quote from a speech Thatcher gave at Bruges on September 20, 1988.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Eurocrats Squander £2billion on Advertising

It pours £2billion into advertising — more than Coca-Cola spent in 2008 — according to the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

And ferrying MEPs and their offices between the European Parliament buildings in Strasbourg and Brussels costs another £150million a year.

Officials have frittered away pots of cash on other barmy projects, such as a £160,000 fitness centre for dogs that is still not open. Another £15million has gone on a European Parliament visitor centre, which was £5million over budget and three years late.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

EU’s £2.4bn Ad Budget is Bigger Than Coca-Cola’s

The European Union spends more on advertising than the drinks giant Coca-Cola, according to a new analysis of how Brussels uses our money.

Its budget for promoting itself and all its works comes to £2.4billion a year.

That compares to the £2.13billion spent in the same year by the soft drinks company on promoting its brand around the world.

The vast scale of the EU’s self-promotion was set down in a new ‘fiscal factbook’ designed to shed light on how Brussels spends the billions it receives from Britain and other member countries.

Small-scale bills highlighted in the report include £160,000 paid towards a yet to open fitness and rehabilitation centre for dogs in Hungary.

And on a larger scale the report details how the ambitions of EU diplomacy has seen 44 diplomats stationed in Barbados, one of Europe’s less-troubled trading partner nations.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Gang Members to Serve Sentences Outside Denmark

Gang members wanting to start new lives will benefit from serving prison sentences far from the criminal environment argues justice minister

Former gang members should be allowed to serve their jail sentences in other Scandinavian prisons in order to help them move on from their lives of crime.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Greece: New Auction for the Construction of Athens Mosque

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — Greek Infrastructure Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis announced last Tuesday the fourth auctioning of the project for the construction of a mosque in the Votanikos area of Athens. This is the fourth attempt to find a construction company to build Athens’s first mosque will be made next month after three failed tenders have led to some firms claiming they withdrew because of fears of intimidation. The three previous competitions concerning the construction of the mosque took place on July 9, 18 and 26 but have failed to attract a suitable bid as GreekReporter website writes.

The Ministry of Infrastructure decided to amend the competition’s conditions so that bigger companies will be able to participate. “We consider that the companies of the 7th order, because of the fact they are engaged in big projects, do not have a problem with any reactions. I think that this time, the project will be done and even faster, due to the capability of these companies,” the General Secretary of Public Works, Stratos Simopoulos, stated to the daily Kathimerini.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greece: Golden Dawn MPS Knew About Killing, Calls Show

Incriminating evidence against Golden Dawn mounted Monday, as six of its deputies prepared to face a magistrate on criminal charges from Tuesday, with extracts of a leaked prosecutor’s report offering insights into GD’s modus operandi and illicit activities while transcripts of wiretapped phone conversations between members of the extreme right-wing party appeared to implicate the grouping in the murder of a leftist rapper last month.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Hate Preacher Who Recruited Nairobi Mall Massacre Killers Warns of Attack on British Soil

A hate preacher wanted for recruiting killers to the group that massacred civilians at a mall in Nairobi warned yesterday that Britain was the next target.

Abubaker Shariff Ahmed, who is known to his followers by the nickname Makaburi, meaning graveyard, said terrorists are planning to murder innocent Britons on their mission to impose Sharia law across the world.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily Mail, he named David Cameron as a specific target for the Al-Shabaab terrorist group, which attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, last Saturday.

Asked if terror would be brought to Britain, Makaburi said: ‘Yes. The British will be targeted personally. That means tourists on the streets will be killed. You will all die.

‘The British should be taken out. Your presidents and your cabinets, they are guilty. Obama is a mass murderer. I would give my life to get his.

‘Same thing with David Cameron. Yes, they should be killed.’

Makaburi’s claims came as Mr Cameron revealed he had ordered security and intelligence chiefs to draw up plans to deal with a terrorist attack on British shopping centres.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Iceland to Get Its First Mosque

The Muslim Association of Iceland now admits that foreign donors will be paying for the mosque’s construction costs.

The Reykjavík City Council has approved a building permit for the construction of the first mosque in Iceland. The mosque will be built in Sogamýri, an upscale district near downtown Reykjavík on a highly desirable plot of land that was granted to Muslims free of charge, courtesy of Icelandic taxpayers. Members of the city council — which is led by Reykjavík Mayor Jón Gnarr, who identifies himself as an anarchist — say they hope the prime location will make the mosque a prominent landmark in the city. Critics of the mosque, however, say the project is being financed by donors in the Middle East who are seeking to exert control over — and radicalize — the growing Muslim community in Iceland…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Italy: Grillo Blames President Napolitano for Government Impasse

(AGI) Rome — Beppe Grillo wrote on his blog that President Napolitano must resign, since he’s to blame for the government impasse ..

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

Italy: Twitter Mocks Deputy PM Being Pro-Berlusconi in ‘Own Way’

(AGI) Rome, Sept 29 — Comments by Deputy Prime Minister and PDL secretary Angelino Alfano that he will support Berlusconi ‘differently’ and ‘in his own way’ in the ‘new’ party were greeted on Twitter by a wave of sardonic tweets with the hashtag diversamente berlusconiano (“differently pro-Berlusconi”). Many users asked for explanations, and most mocked the statement with tweets such as: “Just to be clear: Ruby isn’t the niece but just a good friend of Mubarak”; “Alfano: Silvio, I’m leaving you because I love you too much”; “Today is ‘differently’ Saturday”; “From Schettino’s notes: ‘I’m innocent, the ship was differently floating”.

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

Italy: Air France-KLM May Hike Alitalia Stake to 50%, Report Says

Partners with already 25% stake mulling possible increase

(ANSA) — Rome, September 20 — Air France-KLM is prepared to increase its stake in Italian flagship carrier to 50%, according to a report on the website of French newspaper La Tribune.

The board of directors of the two companies are meeting on Monday to decide whether to participate in a planned capital increase. Air France-KLM holds 25% of company shares.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Brunetta Says Government Will Fall if VAT Rises

PdL House leader says finance minister has ‘duty’ to lower taxes

(ANSA) — Rome, September 20 — The centre-right People of Freedom (PdL) party of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, newly rebranded under its original name Forza Italia, again threatened on Friday to bring down Italy’s fragile coalition government if it fails to avert a 1% rise in the top band of VAT.

PdL House whip Renato Brunetta said that the finance minister “has a duty” to find the money to stop VAT rising from 21% to 22% even though Fabrizio Saccomanni has said that to do so could create too large a deficit.

“Saccomanni has a duty to ….(meet) the commitments made by the government and for which the government has gained the trust,” of other parties in the coalition, Brunetta — architect of PdL tax initiatives — told Radio Anch’io. “I do not like Saccomanni’s diktats,” he said, adding that the minister’s Democrat Party (PD) pledged to find the money to avoid the VAT increase but has since said there isn’t enough cash in the kitty to do so without breaching EU deficit limits.

Therefore, “in October if they are unable to avoid the VAT increase as we are committed, the government falls”. One day earlier, European Commission sources warned that Italy will need to take corrective budget measures if the government’s updated economic blueprint due on Friday forecasts a deficit-to-GDP ratio above the 3% threshold allowed by the European Union.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Polls Suggest Support Slipping for Letta

46% want snap vote if govt falls

(ANSA) — Rome, September 20 — Confidence in Premier Enrico Letta’s fragile coalition government fell in recent days, amid heated talk of another political crisis, according to public opinion poll results released Friday.

Confidence in Letta’s government dropped by four points to 25% as ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi fought to keep his Senate seat last week, triggering demands from his followers in the People of Freedom (PdL) party that Letta’s Democrat Party support Berlusconi.

The findings come in the latest survey by SWG, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday for Agora Estate and published by state broadcaster Rai.

They contrast with Letta’s earlier high of 29% support among those surveyed a week earlier.

SWG also found that if Letta’s government were to fall, almost half of Italians surveyed (46%) would prefer another national election, rather than efforts to cobble together another coalition.

Among that 46% who were supporting a new election, more than two out of three people (70%) surveyed identified with the maverick 5-Star Movement (M5S).

The survey of 1,500 adults who agreed to participate has a margin of error plus or minus 2.9%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Northern League Leaders Blast ‘Voodoo Ritual’ In Congo

Interview with Minister Kyenge’s father fuels political tension

(ANSA) — Milan, September 25 — Prominent members of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party on Wednesday blasted a purification ritual reportedly conducted in the Congo — Integration Minister Cecile Kyenge’s country of origin — to rid Northern League Senator Roberto Calderoli of evil spirits.

Calderoli likened Kyenge to an orangutan in a public gathering last June, sparking calls for his resignation but also a long string of racist attacks, sometimes with violent references, against Kyenge from leaders or members of his party.

Kyenge has called on the leadership of the Northern League to halt to the attacks.

The Congo ritual was mentioned in the Italian tabloid Oggi, which published an interview with Kyenge’s father. “This is Minister Kyenge’s culture of origin. Exorcisms are all right in the Congo and in the hut, but I hope it is not the future of Italy,” said Matteo Salvini, deputy secretary of the Northern League on the margins of a conference in Milan.

“The voodoo-type ritual celebrated in Congo by Kyenge-popes dressed as chief sorcerer by her community officially to eradicate evil spirits from the body of League Senator Calderoli — but whose true magical ends are unknown — is to say the least worrying,” said Mario Borghezio, a Northern League MEP.

“If I were my friend Roberto, a little thought to a (Catholic) exorcist, or at least a good counter-blessing,” quipped Borghezio.

Kyenge responded on Wednesday that she learned of the ceremony reading the magazine interview.

“I wasn’t at that ceremony. I read about these things like all of you,” she said.

The article shows a picture of people identified as Kyenge’s family who appear to perform a ritual with the photo of Calderoli. Kyenge has confirmed that her father appears in the photo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Promises to Cut Property, VAT Taxes Within a Week

Then back to the vote, former premier tells his MPs

(ANSA) — Rome, September 30 — “For the good of the country, within a week we will cancel the second IMU (property tax) payment, vote in favor of the stability law as long as it doesn’t raise taxes, and cancel the VAT tax. We will then hold new elections, and we will win”, Silvio Berlusconi told MPs from his People of Freedom Party (PdL) on Monday.

“The ministers handed their resignations in to me two days ago”, the former premier explained. “I then decided to accept those resignations, all on my own. They then went public because they were rightfully concerned. We are aiming for new elections, because we can’t carry out real reform this way. We must remain united”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Norway’s New Government Concedes on Oil, Immigration for Support

(Reuters) — Norway’s Conservative leader Erna Solberg said she would form a minority cabinet with the populist Progress Party after talks with two centrist parties broke down on Monday, giving ground on oil exploration and immigration.

“We were very close to finding good solutions… This is the second best option,” said Solberg, who is set to become Norway’s second female premier after winning elections earlier this month. “This is not the end of cooperation between the four parties.” She now faces a difficult alliance with the right wing, anti-immigration Progress Party, which will enter government for the first time.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Oxford Professors: Robots and Computers Could Take Half Our Jobs Within the Next 20 Years

What are human workers going to do when super-intelligent robots and computers are better than us at doing everything? That is one of the questions that a new study by Dr. Carl Frey and Dr. Michael Osborne of Oxford University sought to address, and what they concluded was that 47 percent of all U.S. jobs could be automated within the next 20 years.

Considering the fact that the percentage of the U.S. population that is employed is already far lower than it was a decade ago, it is frightening to think that tens of millions more jobs could disappear due to technological advances over the next couple of decades. I have written extensively about how we are already losing millions of jobs to super cheap labor on the other side of the globe. What are middle class families going to do as technology also takes away huge numbers of our jobs at an ever increasing pace? We live during a period of history when knowledge is increasing an an exponential rate. In the past, when human workers were displaced by technology it also created new kinds of jobs that the world had never seen before. But what happens when the day arrives when computers and robots can do almost everything more cheaply and more efficiently than humans can?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Roma: A French Obsession Paris

Clearing a Roma camp close to Lille, in northern France, in September 2013


Three years after Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s socialist government has in turn been accused by the EU of anti-Roma discrimination. A French journalist explains that the recurrent controversy is prompted by an issue that has become a flashpoint for a range of problems faced by the country. Excerpts.

Eric Dupin

Everyone is predicting — and just because it is regrettable does not make it any less likely — that the question of the Roma is going to take centre stage in the upcoming campaigns [for French municipal elections in March 2014, and European elections in May, 2014]. As it stands, several municipal election candidates have seized on the problem in their bid to win the favour of local populations. According to Interior Ministry estimates, there are only 20,000 Roma in the country. However, no less than 70 per cent of poll respondents say they “are concerned about the Roma presence in France.”……

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

Sweden: State’s Tight Surveillance on Roma

Dagens Nyheter, 27 September 2013

“Roma were registered ‘full-Z’,” annonces the front page headline of Dagens Nyheter, which reveals further details of the monitoring of Roma by Swedish authorities. According to a government white paper on Sweden’s treatment of the Roma to be published in 2014, of which the daily has seen a copy, authorities in the country, and in particular in the Stockholm area, kept records on “hundreds and perhaps thousands” of Roma between 1959 and 1996.

Considered, in the early 20th Century, to be a “social vermin” that “debased the Swedish race,” Roma were not allowed access to Swedish territory until 1954, the newspaper explains. The lifting of this ban was accompanied by a police census “of all of the country’s gypsies, both settled and nomadic, which also included persons of mixed-race,” which was conducted in line with a government directive to this effect.

In 1959, authorities in Stockholm appointed a “gypsy unit”, with a brief to “keep records and conduct evaluations of Roma. Every aspect of their lives was examined: intelligence, school performance, hygiene and behaviour. […] Records on individuals and families were stamped with a “Z-code”, in which “Z” represented the first letter of zigenare, which is Swedish for gypsy. In the system, people who were the subject of records along with their families were listed as “full-Z”, “1/2-Z”, “1/4-Z” and “non-Z”. These codes were also used by healthcare and social services up until 1981.

Initially, explains Dagens Nyheter, the goal of the system —

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

Sweden: Masked Robbers Attack Stockholm Vehicle

Police in Stockholm are on the hunt for three armed men who robbed an armoured security van in northern Stockholm on Monday morning.

(See link for news story)

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Swiss Military Simulates French Attack

The Swiss army carried out a military exercise in August based on the premise of an attack by a fractured, financially stricken France, according to a Lausanne-based daily.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: Halal Abattoir First to be Certified

Halal poultry abattoir IHP has become the first company to be certified and monitored by the Sharia halal board.

The abattoir, which slaughters around 300,000 chickens per week, is one of the largest halal poultry abattoirs in the UK.

The announcement was made last week at a press conference, and came after a two-year struggle for the board to canvas and monitor all halal slaughter. IHP managing director Simon Atkinson said: “We are very proud to be the first company of its kind, to be certified and monitored by Sharia Halal Board. We believe the time is right and the future now requires full monitoring of halal production.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: It’s Not Just the Tories Who Ought to Fear UKIP — Labour and the Lib Dems Should Too

by Nigel Jones

Listen! The sound you hear in the damp Tory grassroots as they gather in Manchester for the party conference this weekend is not the noise of a questing vole, but the first, faint squeals of panic as the General Election nears and the cry goes up : ‘What on earth are we going to do about Ukip?’

Already, commentators of a Cameroon bent have started to scratch their heads and gnaw their knuckles as they contemplate the awful truth: without those lost Ukip votes the Conservative party will not win re-election, yet if Cameron remains as their leader, that support will never be forthcoming. Last week the Telegraph’s Iain Martin concluded a column in which he grappled with this conundrum by admitting that he didn’t know what the Tories can do about Ukip; and this week the Spectator’s James Forsyth and Toby Young have both put their minds to the same problem and effectively come up with the same answer: the two parties must unite.

Well, I have news for the siren voices trying to lure those thousands of departed Ukip voters back on to the Tory rocks: we won’t have David Cameron and his catastrophic clique, not at any price. As Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage has repeatedly said — why should we have any truck with a man who has so often demonstrated his contempt not only for our party and its voters, but for his own as well?


           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: To Tackle Islamophobia in Britain, We Need to Fight Clever

by Matthew Goodwin

Islamophobia is firmly back on the radar of British politics. The increase in attacks against mosques and renewed support for far-right groups reminds us of the need to think seriously about how to root out anti-Muslim sentiment. Today, few serious commentators cling to the bankrupt idea that Islamophobia is not an issue, or is the product of oversensitive British Muslims…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Western Female Furies for Jihad

by Giulio Meotti

July 7, 2005. Germaine Lindsay, a British citizen, a Christian who converted to Islam, blows himself up in the subway at Russell Street, in the center of London, causing the death of twenty-six citizens. His widow, Samantha Lewthwaite, who also converted to Islam, says in an interview released to The Sun: “My husband was a simple and generous man. They poisoned his brain. The last night he entered in the room of Abdullah (the son of 17 months) to kiss him. Then I received a message on the mobile: ‘We always will live together’“…

Samantha is like Erna Petri, married to a senior SS officer, who was returning home after a shopping trip in town when she saw six naked boys huddled in terror by the side of the road. She had heard about some Jews who had escaped from a train taking them to an extermination camp. Erna took the youngsters home, calmed them down and gave them food. Then she led six of them into the woods, lined them up on the edge of a pit and shot them one by one in the back of the neck.

The last photograph of Samantha in western clothes is from the time she attended the Grange Secondary School. That girl poses for the camera in a white blouse and black tie. Then she vanishes into her burqa and declares war on the world of her father, a soldier who fought terrorism in Northern Ireland. These converts to Islam executed people in Kenya if they didn’t know the name of Mohammed’s mother, just like Erna Petri did in the woods with the six Jewish children. Oh, my sick sick Europe.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Coptic Bishop Escapes Assassination Attempt in Egypt

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — Bishop Anba Makarios of Minya was the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempted this morning. The Bishop was driving into the town of el-Sario in Abou Qorqas, Minya province, when his car came under a hail of bullets from several unidentified persons. The Bishop’s driver was able to drive away and he brought the Bishop to the home of a local Copt, where the Bishop took refuge. But the gunmen followed, surrounded the Copt’s house and shot at it for over 90 minutes, causing extensive damage to its windows, doors and walls.

Minya security were contacted immediately but they arrived 90 minutes after the shooting stopped.

The head of Minya security told the media the Muslim people in the village were angry because they thought the Bishop had come to reopen St. Michael’s church, the only church in the village, which was closed 10 years ago for security reasons.

“In other words,” said Coptic activist Mark Ebeid, “Muslims were angry because of the presence of a church in the village and the police do not want any trouble with them, and therefore Copts have to go without prayers just to appease the Muslims.”

The Coptic rights group Maspero Youth Union (MYU) issued a statement this afternoon warning officials of the spread of hardline guerrilla warfare led by Muslim Brotherhood members against Christians. MYU said what took place today was an assassination attempt, not, as was claimed by the Minya police, Muslims shooting in the air.

MYU demanded an immediate investigation into the behavior of the Minya security services, not only because of their slow response to the emergency call of the Bishop, but also because of their attitude towards the Copts in general and the “ongoing attacks on them, such as the burning of homes and property in Zakaria village in Minya and the expulsion of a Christian family from the village (AINA 9-29-2013).

MYU called on the President and the Prime Minister to stop the systematic violence against Christians, who are targeted by spreading rumors or incitements in mosques to generate chaos against them and loot their property, in the complete absence of law and security, and “reconciliation” meetings that deprive the Copts of their rights.

The province of Minya has suffered most after the ousting of former president Morsi, where over twenty churches have been looted and torched. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and abroad, especially the UK, issued threats of assassination against many public figures, including Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih [Return to headlines]

Egypt: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Eased

Starting Saturday for a week, toll-free numbers for consumers

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 27 — Egyptian Trade Minister Mohamed Abu Shadi has decided to ease prices on basic fruit and vegetable produce after major price hikes were reported in particular in the past few months. Starting Saturday for a week, prices for a number of products will be set by the ministry with minimum and maximum tariffs. Two toll-free numbers will be available to consumers so they can report irregularities. If retailers will not comply with the measure, the ministry said it will impose set prices.

The measure was passed after recent price hikes regarding basic fruit and vegetable products such as tomatoes, potatoes, bananas and beans. Beans, for example, were sold in stores for about 24 Egyptian lira per kilo, about 2,50 euros, from a maximum tariff which has now been between 2 and 5 liras, some 20-40 cents.

The Egyptian government is now discussing a minimum salary for state employees, starting at approximately 1,200 liras, about 139 euros a month.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

3 Killed in Armed Clashes in Eastern Lebanon

BEIRUT, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) — Three people were killed and two injured in armed clashes that erupted on Saturday in the Bekaa city of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon, triggering the army deployment in the area, according to state-run media. The clashes broke out when youths from the Shiyyah clan opened fire at Hezbollah members in a market, leaving three people killed and two injured, according to the official National News Agency ( NNA)…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

American Foreign Policy Missteps in the Middle East

by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (October 2013) With Jonathan Schanzer and Shoshana Bryen

On August 21, 2013, a sarin gas chemical weapons attack in the eastern Damascus suburb of Jobar killed an estimated 1,429 including men, women and 400 children. It was the latest calumny in a 28 month long civil war in Syria pitting forces of the Assad regime against internal warring rebel forces. Those include the allegedly moderate Free Syria Army and Islamist groups, Jabhat al Nusra (Nusra Front) and the al Qaeda affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and the

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

CNN’s Iranian Propaganda Campaign

Even before CNN falsely claimed that Iranian President Rouhani had denounced the Holocaust by name during his interview with Christiane Amanpour, Fareed Zakaria was peddling the notion that the Ayatollah of Iran, Ali Khamenei, was an intellectual.

In reality, the evidence suggests he is a Russian agent trained by the KGB whose ultimate goal is to get United Nations help in disarming Israel.

Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent, interviewed Rouhani during his trip to the U.N., and portrayed his comments as moderate and groundbreaking.

But the real power in Iran is Ali Khamenei, “the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution” and the designated successor to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Deadly Clashes Erupt in Eastern Lebanon

A gun battle erupted between Hezbollah fighters and local residents in the city of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon on Saturday, killing at least three people — including two Hezbollah members — and leaving several others wounded.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Erdogan Paves Way for Islamisation of Public Institutions in Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister announces that his government will lift ban on wearing headscarves in public institutions as part of reforms to boost rights.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Football: Qatar: 159 Indians Reported Dead Since Start 2013

Guardian denounced casualties among Nepalese workers

(ANSAmed) — DOHA — Foreigners who have died on the job while working in the construction of venues for the 2022 Fifa World Cup to be held in Qatar are not only from Nepal, as denounced Thursday by a Guardian report on the local exploitation of immigrant workers. In the month of August alone, 27 Indian citizens working in the emirate died, the Indian embassy in Doha said on Friday. Overall, 159 Indians died in Qatar since the beginning of the year after the 237 Indian casualties reported in 2012.

The data was released after the Guardian’s expose’ of violation of Nepalese workers’ rights in Qatar. Abuses included confiscated passports, being unpaid for months and being denied access to free drinking water in extreme heat and were linked to the high number of casualties among workers. Documents released by the Nepalese embassy in Doha revealed that at least 44 workers died between June 4 and August 8 this year, more than half due to a heart attack or accident on the job. Nepal’s Ambassador to Doha, Maya Kumari Sharma, was ordered back home on the same day the report was published because her behaviour had not complied with diplomatic standards.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Iraq: Suicide Bomber Kills 40 at Iraq Mosque

(Reuters) — At least 40 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shi-ite Muslim funeral in a southern Iraqi town on Sunday.

The blast brought down the ceiling of the mosque in Mussayab, 60km (40 miles) south of the capital Baghdad. Police said some bodies were still trapped beneath the debris. At least 50 people were wounded…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Kuwait: Fake Degrees Phenomenon

By Abdullah Buwair

It is strange to see that academic degrees continue to be bought and sold in Kuwait. This problem came to light in the late 1990s, and since then has only been on the rise. Today, it has become an extremely dangerous phenomenon. I personally know of a citizen who works in the public sector and, until now, only had a high school degree as his top academic qualification.

Suddenly and without any prior notice, I learned that he had obtained a PhD in a field that I know is not amongst his interests. I believe this is one example of many cases where people ‘import’ degrees from abroad and receive them right at their desks without any trouble whatsoever. A local daily recently reported that the Ministry of Higher Education refused to accredit higher degrees of many Kuwaiti citizens from universities in the Philippines.

Fake degrees come from many sources — there are many people ready and willing to help anyone looking for one — and soon after, these people were given the green light to take full advantage of their degrees. The Ministry of Education has continued to be irresponsible. In the same way that they had previously encouraged the rapid increase in private tuition, they now encourage people to obtain fake degrees.

I’ve heard of certain “conditions” that need to be met for obtaining a higher degree outside Kuwait, which include helping an instructor obtain a work permit and a decent job in Kuwait, in addition to giving them valuable “gifts” amongst others. Moreover, even though all the universities in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries teach only on weekdays, there is a group of new “graduates” in Kuwait who have managed to obtain degrees from a GCC country taking classes on weekends.

These practices must not be encouraged and I leave you with a quote to reflect upon: Allah the Almighty says in the Holy Quran: “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” (39:9).

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Obama’s Naive Hopes for Peace Deal With Sham “Moderate” Rouhani

Three days after being snubbed at the United Nations by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, President Obama made a hurriedly arranged telephone call to Rouhani last Friday as the Iranian president was heading to the airport to return to Tehran. This followed what Secretary of State John Kerry had described as his own “constructive” meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif the previous day.

Obama couldn’t wait to tell reporters after his call with Rouhani how optimistic he was at the prospect of new talks with Iran over its nuclear program. He looked forward to resolving this issue, which “could also serve as a major step forward in a new relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, one based on mutual interests and mutual respect.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Remembering the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo

This fall marks the fortieth anniversary of the Arab oil embargo, a painful episode in American history that had a profound effect on both the economy and psyche of the United States. It began in mid-October 1973, following the US decision to resupply Israel with weaponry after Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.

In response to President Nixon’s decision, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries, the Arab members of OPEC, declared an embargo and cut off oil supplies to the United States and its allies.

In the three months after the embargo was announced, oil prices quadrupled, from $3 to $12 per barrel. Yes, twelve bucks would be a monumental bargain in these days of $100-a-barrel crude, but back then it sent shock waves through developed country economies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syria: Kurds Battle Al-Qaeda Along Turkish Border

For control of north, as jihadists forge grand pact

(by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 26 — A war within a war is being waged at the Turkey border between Kurdish militias and al-Qaeda groups vying for control of northern Syria.

Syrian Kurds from the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and combatants from al-Qaeda proxy ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) are fighting for control of the border town of Atma, Turkish media reported.

Al-Qaeda insurgents last week put Turkey on high alert when they seized the strategic town of Azaz, located just five kilometers from Turkey, from their former Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies.

The FSA was formed by officers and generals who defected from Assad’s forces, and are the only rebel front the West recognizes.

The jihadist conquest of Azaz came after ISIS and another al-Qaeda proxy, the al-Nusra Front, launched a summer offensive in the northern Kurdish regions of Syria.

In Turkey, both Kurds and the opposition accuse the government of Islamic nationalist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a Sunni Muslim, of aiding jihadists who joined the Sunni-led rebellion against Damascus.

Erdogan is willing to aid anyone who will bring down his former friend, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, they say. He also uses the possibility of a future autonomous Kurdish state in northern Syria.

“Ankara uses these gangs to fight us, providing them with artillery and munitions. We can prove it: they cleared a minefield east of Serekaniye to guarantee their safe passage to the border,” PYD leader Salih Muslim told Turkish daily Taraf.

“They do so in the light of day. They openly aid these people who cut prisoners’ heads off and eat their hearts, who rape women.” Reports of torture, executions, kidnappings and sackings are flowing in from jihadist-held zones, with French daily Le Figaro gathering eyewitness reports from Christian refugees fleeing towards Turkey. Along with Assad’s Alawite sect, Christians are the most hated by jihadists. Muslim has called on Erdogan to “withdraw his dogs and jackals from Rojava”, or Syrian Kurdistan. Erdogan has been playing with fire, and now Ankara could suffer a boomerang effect, analysts said. Turkey “cannot tolerate an organization that is a threat to the nation and to the world” at its doorstep, President Abdullah Gul, increasingly the moderate ‘anti-Erdogan’ face of the ruling AKP Islamic party, warned yesterday.

The press has also called on the government to change course.

“Those who cut heads off are now our neighbors,” Sozcu daily wrote today. Concern is rising, writes Cumhuriyet daily, after al-Qaeda yesterday announced it has forged a pact with another 13 Islamic rebel groups who broke away from the FSA. Their stated objective: to impose sharia Islamic law in Syria, as of tomorrow.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Blasphemy: Pianist Fazil Say Sentenced to 10 Months

On charge of ‘insulting religious beliefs’ for tweets on Islam

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL — World-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison for blasphemy in April, was again sentenced to 10 months by an Istanbul court today in a retrial, Hurriyet online reports quoting Dogan News Agency.

Say had received a suspended 10-month prison sentence on charges of “insulting religious beliefs held by a section of the society,” for re-tweeting several lines, which are attributed to poet Omar Khayyam. Say’s lawyers had demanded his suspension be canceled. His demand had been accepted by the court, and the court had paved the way for Say to be re-tried.

The 19th Istanbul Peace Court sentenced Say to 10 months in prison but since Say has no criminal record, the court suspended the sentence and ordered supervised liberty. If Say does not commit another crime within two years, the case will be dropped.

Say was found guilty of ‘insulting religious values’ under article 216 of the Turkish criminal code for a few tweets in which he joked about the hasty call to prayer of a muezzin at a mosque in Istanbul — ‘22 seconds ..: why such a hurry? A lover? Raki (Turkish anisette)?’. And on Islamic heaven he quoted a great Persian poet from 1100, Omar Khayyam: ‘You say rivers of wine flow in Paradise: Is it a celestial pub? And that two virgins are awaiting every believer, is Paradise a celestial brothel?’.

Three Islamic activists reported Say who was subsequently indicted by prosecutors in Istanbul.

The musician, 43, a self-proclaimed atheist and leftist, is a well-known opponent of the government of Islamist premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and one of the most renowned Turkish intellectuals. The pianist and composer is considered a’Turkish Mozart’ in Germany. Many Turkish artists and intellectuals have supported him. In a message sent after the first sentence to the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Fay said freedom of expression is increasingly at risk in Turkey and the country is living through ‘a difficult period as those who try to consolidate their power exploiting religion are oppressing people’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkey to Produce Local Tear Gas Out of Fears of Embargo

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 30 — International calls to suspend tear gas shipments to Turkey following police brutality during the Istanbul’s Gezi Park protests could soon prod the country into producing its own tear gas domestically, daily Hurriyet reports quoting officials. The Police Department, which recently received a report from the country’s science watchdog TUBITAK about the possibility of domestically producing the crowd control mechanism, is already preparing to begin talks with companies next year. After receiving the green light on production with the report, the department has kicked off tender preparations to decide the company that will undertake the production of “national tear gas.” The secret report, which was prepared on the request of Police Department, includes the results of TUBITAK’s opinions and examinations on production and other expenses. In an effort to suppress country-wide protests that began in Taksim’s Gezi Park in late May, police used about two years of stocks in just a few weeks. Before the Gezi incidents that began at the last days of May, the directorate had enough stocks to last until 2015. Due to the consumption of the stocks, the Police Department had to make an unplanned purchase of 150,000 gas bomb cartages from Brazil and the United Kingdom in June. Turkey’s decision to produce its own tear gas came two weeks after Amnesty International’s call on countries providing Turkish police with anti-riot equipment, including tear gas and armored vehicles, to suspend all shipments on September 12.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkish Boys Don Skirts to Protest Ban

After Antalya high school forces girls to wear trousers

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 25 — A number of male Turkish high schoolers took to the streets in skirts in solidarity with their female counterparts of a high school in the southern province of Antalya that last week imposed a grey-trouser-only dress code. This latest protest by young Turks against what they see as progressive Islamicisation of the country under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was conducted Tuesday .

The ban on skirts sparked a flurry of heated debate, especially since Antalya — the tourist capital of Mediterranean Turkey — is by no means a bastion of the religious no-conservatism promoted by the prime minister: the mayor is from the opposition, many foreigners walk the streets and every summer massive numbers of Western tourists come to visit. Nevertheless, many see this move by the Gazi Anatolya High School as yet another sign of the ‘re-Islamicisation’ of the country by ‘sultan’ Erdogan. The female students of city thus decide to demonstrate in the central Kazim Ozalp Sokak against the decision, shouting “No to the skirt ban’, while their male counterparts, some of whom belong to the ‘revolutionary high schoolers’ movement Dev-Lis, which challenges the traditional machismo of Turkish men, accompanied them in mini-skirts. The school’s director, Hayri Bas, denied any religious or ideological intentions behind the new dress code, saying that it was to enable “our children to feel more at ease” as well as “to avoid problems while using the stairs” — such as in a mini-skirt, which thousands of girls wear in most Turkish cities. More and more women are, however, now using a ‘charsharf’, an Islamic outfit consisting of a headscarf, baggy pants and a curve-concealing overcoat. But the spirit behind the Gezi Park protests in June — in which hundreds of thousands of young Turks rose up against Erdogan and his ‘authoritarian leadership’ and Islamic tendencies to the battle cry of ‘We are the soldiers of Ataturk’ (the founder of modern, secular Turkey) — is strong. “The problem is that those with reactionary personalities view the female body as a sexual stimulant. If women wear short skirts, then men have the right to gaze at them and rape them.

Such a mentality has caused the present ban of skirts in our schools,” said Hande Büyükacar, one of the protestors.

The protest, she said, will go on.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

11 Killed in Check-Post Attack in W. Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — Eleven people were killed early Monday morning when the militants raided a security check-post in western Afghanistan’s Herat province, said a district police source…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Pakistan Condemns Latest U.S. Drone Strike in North Waziristan

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 30 (Xinhua) — Pakistan on Monday condemned a latest strike by American spy aircraft in the country’s North Waziristan tribal region which killed three people and injured four others.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Pakistan: JI Local Leader Axed to Death at Mosque

KARAK: Unidentified men axed to death a local leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) inside a mosque here on Saturday night, local sources said on Sunday. The sources said that eminent religious scholar and JI Isak Chountra Union Council president Maulana Shah Amin, 65, was attacked by some assailants armed with axes and knives.

It was learnt that Maulana Shah Amin, a resident of Shagi Lawagher, was found dead in his room inside the mosque in Dabb when the local people came to the place of worship for Fajr prayer. Family sources said the Maulana had remained associated with JI throughout his life and held various party offices…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Al Shabaab is a Threat to the World at Large

by Jerry Gordon

The Nairobi swarming attack is a clear indication that Al Qaeda is not on the run and that al Shabaab has a global reach. The US Refugee Resettlement and counter terrorism programs must address the possible threat from Somalis (and other Shariah compliant Muslim refugee groups) for this country to be safe from possible homegrown swarming attacks. That is the lesson from the Nairobi Westgate Mall attack.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Al-Shabaab Involved in Ivory Trade

(AGI) Johannesburg — Environmentalists say Somalia’s al-Shabaab resorts to the ivory trade to finance its operations .

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

Kenya: Not in Our Religion’s Name, Muslims Tell Terrorists

MUSLIMS have joined Kenyans in mourning those who died in the Westgate Mall attack. During yesterday’s prayers at the Jamia Mosque in Nairobi, Muslim leaders condemned the attack. “The biggest problem we have as Muslims is when certain criminals do evil in the name of Islam,” said Sheikh Ibrahim Lethome, a member of the Jamia Mosque Committee. He said Islam protects the sanctity of human life…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Mali: Suicide Bombing Kills 4

At least four people have been killed and several others wounded in a suicide bomb attack in northern Mali. Officials say a car bomb went off Saturday near a military camp in Timbuktu, killing both of the vehicle’s occupants and two civilians nearby. The powerful explosion damaged several buildings in the area. The attack follows an announcement Thursday that separatist Tuareg rebels were pulling out of peace talks with the government…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Muslim Cleric Says Nairobi Mall Attack ‘Right Thing to Do’

?by Panorama, BBC

Kenyan authorities have been keen to move against the cleric because of his efforts to recruit fighters for the militant al-Shabab group in Somalia.

But as the BBC’s Panorama program explains, he remains free because he has broken no law.

Watch the video above for the full story.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Boko Haram Suspected in Mass Murder of Students

Suspected members of Islamist militant group Boko Haram shot dead dozens of students, some of them while they slept, at a college in northeastern Nigeria in the early hours of Sunday morning.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills Village Head, 26 Others in Borno

Twenty seven people were killed in two separate attacks by suspected members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect in Gamboru/ Ngala, the border town with Cameroon and Chad…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Uganda: Muslims Threaten KCCA on ‘Noisy’ Call to Prayers

If you are a Muslim or you live within a few kilometres of a mosque, hearing the 5am call to prayer must be a sound you have come to expect. But if the Kampala Capital City Authority gets it way, city dwellers may have to forget this Adhan, The Observer can reveal. KCCA is reportedly moving to ban the Adhan so as to control noise pollution…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Brazil Tells UN That U. S. Spying ‘Violates Sovereignty’

(AGI) New York — Brazil considers the programme of global surveillance set up by the U.S. a “violation of sovereignty” .

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

Flour Made From Insects Will Feed Underfed Populations

A team of MBA students were the recipients of the 2013 Hult Prize earlier this week, providing them with $1 million in seed money to produce an insect-based, protein-rich flour for feeding malnourished populations in other countries. The product is called Power Flour.

“It’s a huge deal because we had a very ambitious but highly executable five-year plan in place,” said team captain Mohammed Ashour, whose team hails from McGill University in Montreal. “So winning this prize is a great step in that direction.”

Ashour, along with teammates Shobhita Soor, Jesse Pearlstein, Zev Thompson and Gabe Mott, will be immediately working with an advisory board to recruit farmers and workers in Mexico, where a population of roughly 4 million live in slum conditions with widespread malnutrition.

“We will be starting with grasshoppers,” Ashour said.

He noted that the insect is already familiar to the local diet and currently sells at a premium because of a three-month harvesting season and because grasshoppers are typically hand-picked. But farmers have already expressed interest in raising grasshoppers on a mass level, according to Ashour.

While for Americans the idea of eating bugs remains mostly a novelty, in other areas of the world they are a common form of protein. The kinds of insects people consume from country to country varies, with the people of Ghana preferring palm weevils and in Botswana, caterpillars. The Power Flour product will vary ingredients according to those habits, adjusting production to the breeding cycles and nutritional profile of each culture.


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Another 400 Migrants Land in Sicily in the Last 24 Hours

(AGI) Palermo, Sept 28 — Over 400 migrants have been rescued in the Sicilian Channel during the last few hours. Late on Friday evening a dinghy going adrift with 67 people was intercepted by the CP 304 Coast Guard patrol boat 30 miles from Pozzallo. The men were of Afghan, Bengali and Indian nationality and were taken to Portopalo. Shortly before 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, 117 people were taken ashore by the same patrol boat. Another 230 migrants on a boat were rescued 50 miles south of Lampedusa by two patrol boats and the army ship SS Vega.

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

Debunking Hypocrisy About Immigrants in the Classroom

Native students perform worse in classes with immigrants. Study of primary two pupils shows headteachers place non-natives with children from less well-off families

Sweeping issues under the carpet instead of experimenting objectively with the fastest, most effective integration strategies at school is of little benefit to immigrants or natives. A study this writer carried out with Rosario Ballatore and Margherita Fort (“The Tower of Babel in the Classroom”, ) shows that if you replace a native student with an immigrant peer in a primary-two class, the proportion of INVALSI questions answered correctly by natives falls by 12% in Italian and 7% in mathematics (figures from 2009-10). The good news is that this tangible negative effect — comparable to having both parents unemployed or with secondary-school qualifications only — has disappeared by primary five. Italy’s schools manage to integrate non-natives but only over the relatively long term, a timescale that absolutely must be shortened.

Astonishingly, the country takes sides. On the one hand are those who rail against immigration, forgetting that there are on average fewer than two non-native students per class and that only 6% of classes exceed the threshold of 30% immigrants, while others deny, or feel obliged to deny, that when even one non-native joins a class, there is no magic wand for instant integration. An impact on learning by other pupils is a possibility that is anything but remote. You risk being accused of racism if you suggest that it might not be a good idea to pitch immigrants into classes without guidance or that it might be better to follow the example of other countries and design a range of step-by-step integration strategies, to be applied according to individual situations.

The hypocritical impact of this side-taking is that headteachers, hoping perhaps to avoid ruffling feathers, place non-natives mainly in classes where native students’ families are less well-educated and less well-off. It should be noted that this goes on within individual schools and not just among schools in different districts. The figures confirm this upsetting surprise. Non-natives at school end up in classes where parents are less likely to protest if their darling Pierino or Caterina is not learning very much because the kids at the next desk are called Wladi, Amina or Ramon. Officially, this is impossible because classes are formed randomly, which is equally ridiculous because it would be much better to set hypocrisy aside and form classes on the basis of available information about the students. But the worst possible, and ethically totally unacceptable, solution is to put natives and non-natives from the least favourable family backgrounds together…

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

Italian Navy Has Rescued 3, 293 Migrants So Far This Year

(AGI) Rome — The Italian Navy has assisted and rescued 3,293 migrants so far this year .

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

NASA Finds Ingredient for Plastic on Saturn’s Moon Titan

For the first time, a chemical essential for the creation of plastic on Earth has been found in a far-off part of the solar system: Saturn’s largest Titan. The discovery, made by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft currently orbiting Saturn, found that the atmosphere of Titan contains propylene, a key ingredient of plastic containers, car bumpers and other everyday items on Earth.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Robotics Revolution to Replace Most Human Workers in Three Generations; Labor Class to be Systematically Eliminated

…To the typical naive citizen, all this talk about robots taking over menial labor jobs sounds futuristic and exciting. “We can all sit back and relax!” they’ll say. “The robots will do all the work for us!”

Except for just one thing: the only real reason laborer populations are tolerated by the rich and powerful who really control the world is because laborers are needed to run the economy. Someone needs to pick the crops, sweep the floors and do the dry cleaning, in other words. Once capable humanoid robots transition into all the jobs currently carried out by flesh-and-blood humans, there will be no further need for a large segment of the human population.

This, combined with the terrible cost the world population is accruing in terms of environmental destruction and use of dwindling resources, already has world leaders like Bill Gates talking about population control… also called “depopulation” solutions. Global depopulation technologies have been under development for decades, running the gamut from mild to aggressive. Here are the three main types of depopulation technologies that exist right now:

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]