Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/8/2013

The Pentagon has revised its plans for the Syrian war, and now reportedly intends to extend the air bombardment to three days. In related news, the German government is alarmed by intelligence reports indicating that more and more “Germans” are becoming mujahideen and traveling to Syria to fight in the jihad.

In other news, a Danish mosque plans to broadcast the programming of the Al Aqsa TV channel, which is owned and operated by Hamas. If the plan goes through, it may violate Danish terrorism laws.

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

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

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

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

Financial Crisis
» ‘London and Berlin Got Rid of Portuguese Debt After Portas and Gaspar Resigned’
» The Number of Private Sector Jobs Fell by 278,000 Last Month But the Economy is Getting Better?
» Buyer Beware: “Extreme” Genetically Engineered Synbio Coming to Natural Products
» Congress Members Who Have Seen Classified Evidence About Syria Say it Fails to Prove Anything
» Farmington Valley Muslims Partner With CT Episcopal Diocese to Establish Interfaith Center
» Little Rock School District Will Now Make Teachers Wear Underwear
» Merck Vaccine Developer Admits Vaccines Routinely Contain Hidden Cancer Viruses Derived From Diseased Monkeys
» Muslims Seek More Space to Worship
» NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data
» NSA Can Reportedly Access iPhone, Android and Blackberry Data
» Obama Administration Had Restrictions on NSA Reversed in 2011
» Stand Up to Million Muslim March in D.C!
» The Curse of Liberalism
» The Terrifying Search Engine That Finds Internet-Connected Cameras, Traffic Lights, Medical Devices, Baby Monitors and Power Plants
» Why I Don’t Support “Conservative” Organizations
Europe and the EU
» Denmark: Hamas TV to Broadcast From Copenhagen
» EU: 70% Favor Direct Election of Commission President
» Italian Reporter Domenico Quirico Released in Syria
» Italy: Open Primaries Would Have Won PD Elections, Says Renzi
» Italy: Beppe Grillo Criticises President for ‘Snub’ To Dario Fo
» Italy: ‘Every Action’ Legitimate Against TAV, Activist Tells Radio
» Italy: Belgian Author Pierre Piccinin Da Prata Released Too
» Italy: Silvio Berlusconi Appeals to Human Rights Court Over Parliamentary Ban
» Name-Calling an Offence, Says Italy’s Top Court
» No Dutch Protection for Egyptian Christians
» Norway in a Quandary Over Its Wealth
» Norway: the Cargo Ship Whose Hull is a Giant Sail
» Sharia Law Riding High in Britain
» Sweden: Gothenburg Hit by New Shooting
» UAE Builds $2 M Mosque in Scotland
» UK: Anti-Islam English Defence League Marches on London Mosque
» UK: Arrests in Tower Hamlets
» UK: Deputy Speaker Accused of Raping Young Man ‘Will Not Resign Even if He is Forced to Stand Trial’
» UK: EDL Leader Tommy Robinson Charged With Public Order Offences
» UK: Grooming Awareness Campaign 2013
» UK: We Can’t Pretend the World Didn’t Change After September 11
» UK: What Are We Supposed to Say When a Grooming Ring Comes to Light?
» United Nations’ War on Free Speech Continues
North Africa
» Anti-Terrorist Squad Dismantles Network Sending Tunisians to Libya to Join Training Camps
» Benghazi Whistleblower: I’ve Been ‘Punished’ For Speaking Out (Video)
» Egypt is Becoming a ‘Failed State’
» Thousands of Tunisians Contest the Islamist Government
Israel and the Palestinians
» Civil Engineers Haskoning Pull Out of Israel Water Treatment Project
Middle East
» 4 Questions for Supporters of a Strike Against Syria
» After Gezi Park: Where is Erdogan’s Turkey Heading? An Activist Speaks Out
» Al Jazeera? Among the Last in the Ratings for Arab Spring Countries
» Are Obama’s Sarin Videos Released to CNN Propaganda?
» Breast Cancer 600% Higher in Women With Low Vitamin D
» Depravity Redefined: Selling US Slaughter in Syria
» Fears About Syria’s Bio Warfare Threat Reach Mainstream Media
» German Islamists Increasingly Going to Syria
» Kerry: ‘Our Friends, The Saudis’ Support Attack on Syria
» Pentagon Adjusts Plans for More Intense Attacks on Syria
» PM Letta Heeds Pope’s Appeal and Fasts for Peace in Syria
» Report: Syria Chemical Weapons Attack ‘Not Ordered’ By Assad
» Syrian Rebels Take Control of Christian Town of Maalula
» UAE: Sharia at Workplace: What is Prohibited and Why
» Just What Did Slaughter Nine Hikers on Siberia’s Death Mountain in 1959?
South Asia
» New Head of Italian Task Force in Afghanistan
» Taliban Bombers Hit Afghanistan Wardak Intelligence HQ
» Taliban-Led Suicide Attack Kills 10, Wounds 120 in Afghan Town
» Troops Deployed to Quell Deadly Communal Clashes Between Hindus, Muslims in North India
Australia — Pacific
» Australia’s PM-Elect Abbott Vows Quick Action on Asylum
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Italy: ENI Finds More Gas Off Mozambique
» Mali: North Africa’s Widening Arc of Jihad
» Zanzibar Acid Victim Describes ‘Agony’ Of Unprovoked Attack
Latin America
» Brazil Independence Day Marked by Mass Protests
» Cyprus Braces Itself for Syrian Refugee Influx
» Thirty-Nine Tunisian Immigrants Flee After Rescue in Sicily

‘London and Berlin Got Rid of Portuguese Debt After Portas and Gaspar Resigned’

Diário de Notícias

German and British investors respectively sold more than €1.8bn and €450m worth of Portuguese treasury bonds between May and June, triggering a sharp rise in interest rates.

Portuguese bond interest rates rose from 5.3 per cent in mid-May to 7 per cent in June, writes Diário de Notícias, a situation that got steadily worse due to the country’s weak economy and the deepening political crisis in July, when Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar and Foreign Minister Paulo Portas resigned.

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

The Number of Private Sector Jobs Fell by 278,000 Last Month But the Economy is Getting Better?

Have you heard about the “wonderful” employment numbers that were just released? Last month, the unemployment rate declined to 7.3 percent. Somehow this happened even though the percentage of working age Americans with a job actually declined and the number of private sector workers fell by 278,000. So how did the federal government magically produce a drop in the unemployment rate even though less people have jobs? Well, they did it by pretending that more than half a million Americans “dropped out of the labor force” last month. If the government is to be believed, the number of Americans that want to work dropped by an astounding 516,000 in a single month even though the population of our country is constantly increasing. The federal government continues to feed us absolutely absurd numbers month after month, and at this point “the official unemployment rate” is essentially meaningless.

But that doesn’t mean that Barack Obama is about to drop the charade. In fact, he continues to insist that the economy is getting better. The following is an excerpt from one of Obama’s recent weekly radio addresses…

Over the past four and a half years, we’ve fought our way back from the worst recession of our lifetimes. And thanks to the grit and resilience of the American people, we’ve begun to lay a foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth.

Oh really?

Does he actually believe that anyone is still buying what he is saying?

The cold, hard truth is that the U.S. economy has not recovered while Obama has been in the White House.

[Comment: Recommended reading.]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Buyer Beware: “Extreme” Genetically Engineered Synbio Coming to Natural Products

Buyer Beware: “Extreme” Genetically Engineered Synbio Coming To Natural Products As a consumer, I do depend on the term “natural” to identify products I feel comfortable feeding my family. I do read labels. Even my kids read labels. I trust in ingredients I can pronounce and have heard of before. Vanilla, is obviously, one of those ingredients that gives me assurance over the synthetic, gluten containing vanillin. Now, the FDA is poised to approve an “extreme” genetically engineered version of vanilla called Synbio that could be allowed in products labeled “natural”. What is Synbio Vanilla? Friends of the Earth (FOE) explains: “A new ingredient straight out of a petri dish is about to enter the global food supply in many of our favorite foods including ice cream. And like many of the products of genetic engineering, it won’t be labeled — instead it is being marketed as “natural”. But this ingredient is anything but “natural”…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Congress Members Who Have Seen Classified Evidence About Syria Say it Fails to Prove Anything

Classified Syria Intelligence Fails to Prove Assad Used Chemical Weapons

The administration’s public case for chemical weapons use by the Syrian government is extremely weak, and former high-level intelligence officers say that publicly-available information proves that the Syrian government likely did not carry out the chemical weapons attacks.

The Obama administration claims that classified intelligence proves that it was the Assad government which carried out the attacks.

But numerous congressional members who have seen the classified intelligence information say that it is no better than the public war brief … and doesn’t prove anything.

Congressman Justin Amash said last week:

“What I heard in Obama admn briefing actually makes me more skeptical of certain significant aspects of Pres’s case for attacking”

He noted yesterday, after attending another classified briefing and reviewing more classified materials:

“Attended another classified briefing on #Syria & reviewed add’l materials. Now more skeptical than ever. Can’t believe Pres is pushing war.”…

Congressman Alan Grayson points out in the New York Times:

“Once we leave, we are not permitted to discuss the classified summary with the public, the media, our constituents or even other members. Nor are we allowed to do anything to verify the validity of the information that has been provided.

“And this is just the classified summary. It is my understanding that the House Intelligence Committee made a formal request for the underlying intelligence reports several days ago. I haven’t heard an answer yet. And frankly, I don’t expect one.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Farmington Valley Muslims Partner With CT Episcopal Diocese to Establish Interfaith Center

The center will be located at the former Christ Episcopal Church site on Harris Road in Avon.

Christ Episcopal Church closed December of 2012 and the question has remained for the better part of this year what would become of the church property. Now The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut has announced the decision to partner with the newly formed Farmington Valley American Muslim Center (FVAMC) organization to turn the Harris Road church into an interfaith hub. The partnership will bring interfaith educational programming to the facility, which the Diocese plans to lease to the FVAMC. The move aligns with the Diocese’s renewed effort in “recommitting itself to interfaith initiatives in new ways,” the Diocese said in the press release…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Little Rock School District Will Now Make Teachers Wear Underwear

The school district in Little Rock, Ark. has announced plans for a dress code that will require teachers to wear underwear.

Every single day!!!!

Female teachers will have to wear bras, too.

An Aug. 29 letter from the Little Rock School District’s Office of the Superintendent to all employees explains that the dress code will officially go into effect in the fall of 2014.

“Foundational garments shall be worn and not visible with respect to color, style, and/or fabric,” the letter reads. “No see-through or sheer clothing shall be allowed, and no skin shall be visible between pants/trousers, skirts, and shirts/blouses at any time.”

T-shirts, patches and other clothing containing slogans for beer, alcohol, drugs, gangs or sex will also be prohibited. Other verboten garments will include cut-off jeans with ragged edges, cut-out dresses and spaghetti-straps if teachers aren’t wearing at least two layers.

Flip-flops will be banned. “Tattoos must be covered if at all possible.” No jogging suits, either (though gym and dance teachers do get a pass on this one).

And the very worst of all: No spandex.

Organized labor vocally opposes the new universal underwear requirement and the rest of the non-draconian dress code.

Teachers union president Cathy Koehler wrote her own letter to the rank-and-file detailing her position, according to Arkansas Times, a local alternative rag.

In the letter, Koehler explains her fear that “if an employee refuses to go home and change they can be considered insubordinate and risk losing their job based on an opinion.” She also notes that things could be a lot more restrictive. Teachers can still wear tennis shoes, for example, and male teachers don’t have to wear shirts and ties.

The union president made some limited attempts to soften the new dress code around the edges, which did not sit well with every union member.

“During the past few weeks, there were a few members who felt that I should be very vocal on this issue and taken a firm public stand,” Koehler wrote.

As notes, this minor kerfuffle in Little Rock is far from the only teacher dress-code dustup of recent vintage.

In 2012, teachers in the beachside hamlet of Hampton, N.H. called an attempt to prevent teachers from wearing jeans, tank-tops and flip-flops “derogatory and condescending.”

This year, in Lewis County, W. Va., teachers pitched a fit because the local board of education voted to prohibit them from wearing blue jeans, faded jeans and shorts to work.

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]

Merck Vaccine Developer Admits Vaccines Routinely Contain Hidden Cancer Viruses Derived From Diseased Monkeys

(NaturalNews) If you haven’t yet realized the truth about how vaccines contain hidden cancer viruses, prepare yourself to be shocked by the admission you’re about to hear. Decades ago, one of the most prominent vaccine scientists in the history of the vaccine industry — a Merck scientist — made a recording where he openly admitted that vaccines given to Americans were contaminated with leukemia and cancer viruses.

In hearing this admission, his colleagues (who are also recorded here) break into laughter and seem to think it’s hilarious…

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Muslims Seek More Space to Worship

It was midday, and congregants made their way up a dirt road toward a modest doublewide manufactured home in time for Friday’s prayer service. They slipped off their shoes before coming into the house and finding a spot on the soft caramel-colored carpet and quietly prostrating in prayer. For about five years, Muslims have used the house east of Hancock Road near Clermont as a place of worship. Interior walls have come down over the years to make room for the ballooning congregation. But the Islamic Center of Clermont has run out of walls to tear down. Leaders say they’re in desperate need of space to accommodate a growing Muslim population in south Lake…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

NSA Can Spy on Smart Phone Data

The United States’ National Security Agency intelligence-gathering operation is capable of accessing user data from smart phones from all leading manufacturers. Top secret NSA documents that SPIEGEL has seen explicitly note that the NSA can tap into such information on Apple iPhones, BlackBerry devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system.

The documents state that it is possible for the NSA to tap most sensitive data held on these smart phones, including contact lists, SMS traffic, notes and location information about where a user has been.

The documents also indicate that the NSA has set up specific working groups to deal with each operating system, with the goal of gaining secret access to the data held on the phones.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

NSA Can Reportedly Access iPhone, Android and Blackberry Data

The US National Security Agency has the ability to access data from iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices, according to a German magazine. Smart phone content from emails to text messages has reportedly been monitored.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Administration Had Restrictions on NSA Reversed in 2011

The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans’ communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years — and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban — at the government’s request — on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Stand Up to Million Muslim March in D.C!

Christians and Jews need to come to the nation’s capital and in effect take Washington, D.C., by storm Sept. 11 to counter the planned Million Muslim March, recently renamed the American March Against Fear by its organizers, the American Muslim Political Action Committee (AMPAC).

According to the organizers of this antagonistic outrage, the gathering of virulent anti-Semites and anti-Christians who purport to be peacemakers is intended to combat prejudice and bigotry against Muslims. However, it is clear that this is not the real purpose at all. The AMPAC website plainly states, “… [b]ut as the 12th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we now know that there is nothing to fear. The whole ‘terrorist threat’ is a hoax invented by fear-mongering politicians to control our minds and pick our pockets.” In fact, AMPAC calls al-Qaida a “joke” and boasts that the Islamic terrorist threat is a “pure hallucination.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

The Curse of Liberalism

“Liberalism has become an ugly blend of sanctimony, self-interest, and social connections,” writes Fred Seigel whose credentials include being a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He has written “The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class”, but you won’t be able to read it until it is published in January. As a reviewer, I received an advance copy from Encounter Books.

It hardly needs to be said that today’s liberals and conservatives loathe one another, nor that the nation is as sharply divided politically as in the days before the Civil War. Politically, America has swung back and forth between liberal and conservative administrations as evidenced by the elections of the previous century and this new one.

Moreover, many have noticed that there is often scant distance between Democrat and Republican administrations. Both have been led by patricians, often the graduates of Harvard and Yale. Seigel refers to them as the “clerisy” defined as educated people being a class unto themselves…

“Liberalism has been dedicated to preserving the problems for which it presents itself as the solution.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

The Terrifying Search Engine That Finds Internet-Connected Cameras, Traffic Lights, Medical Devices, Baby Monitors and Power Plants

Marc Gilbert got a horrible surprise from a stranger on his 34th birthday in August. After the celebration had died down, the Houston resident heard an unfamiliar voice coming from his daughter’s room; the person was telling his sleeping 2-year-old, “Wake up, you little slut.” When Gilbert rushed in, he discovered the voice was coming from his baby monitor and that whoever had taken control of it was also able to manipulate the camera. Gilbert immediately unplugged the monitor but not before the hacker had a chance to call him a moron. The monitor lets users monitor audio and video over the Internet from anywhere in the world. Months earlier security researchers had discovered software flaws in the product that allowed attackers to take control of the monitor remotely or to sign into its stream if they used the user name “admin.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Why I Don’t Support “Conservative” Organizations

Someone sent me an email the other day:

“Jim DeMint Town Hall Meeting (Very Inspirational): If you were unable to attend the Jim DeMint Town Hall, I have attached the video for your viewing. Let’s ban together and start putting the pressure on our legislators (either inside their offices or outside their offices). We can do this, but we need everyone’s help.”

Jim DeMint [R] was a U.S. senator from the State of South Carolina. In all the years he was in the House and Senate never once did he introduce a bill to kill the cancers destroying this republic. DeMint was a Band Aid pusher [1], [2]. As a “conservative” DeMint was popular because of his position on issues like abortion and the Second Amendment. He also voted consistently to kill American jobs:

Voted YES on promoting free trade with Peru. (Dec 2007) Voted YES on free trade agreement with Oman. (Jun 2006) Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005) Voted YES on implementing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. (Jul 2004) Voted YES on implementing US-Singapore free trade agreement. (Jul 2003) Voted YES on implementing free trade agreement with Chile. (Jul 2003) Voted NO on withdrawing from the WTO. (Jun 2000)

Keep good paying jobs that used to belong to Americans going in communist China, India and other countries while Americans stand in unemployment lines…

We therefore call for prompt repeal of the Goals 2000 program and the School-To-Work Act of 1994, which put new federal controls, as well as unfunded mandates, on the States. We further urge that federal attempts to impose outcome- or performance-based education on local schools be ended.

Of course, just the opposite has taken place and, in fact, the goals for creating the “New Communist Man” was given a huge boost with President Bush’s deceptive “No Child Left Behind” program. As for the repeal of the School-To-Work Act of 1994, Council of Foreign Relations kingpin Henry Hyde explained it this way:

“When carried to its logical extreme, it chooses careers for every American worker. Children’s careers will be chosen for them by Workforce Development Boards and federal agencies at the earliest possible age …Statewide Workforce Development Boards have formed to study which labor skills are needed in each state to determine “human resources” training requirements. Of course, this will decide also where these human resources will reside.”

Chilling to say the least — and it gets worse when one reads Bush’s Executive Order, signed June 20, 2001, titled “21st Century Workforce Initiative.” The blueprint for forced labor is now being implemented quietly while parents and politicians scream, “More money for education.” Essentially they are asking Americans to pay for the rope to hang their own children.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Denmark: Hamas TV to Broadcast From Copenhagen

A new mosque in Copenhagen may break anti-terror legislation if it allows Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV to broadcast from its premises

Hamas-controlled TV station Al-Aqsa TV will broadcast from Copenhagen’s new mosque, according to the media spokesperson of the Muslim organisation Dansk Islamisk Råd.

Hamas is recognised as a terror organisation by the EU and because Al-Aqsa is owned and operated by the group, their broadcast from Denmark may break anti-terror legislation.

This legislation was recently used to revoke the broadcast licence from Kurdish TV station ROJ TV because of its connection to the separatist organisation the PKK, which is also on the EU’s list of terror organisations.

Broadcast from mosque’s media centre

Mohamed al Maimouni, the media spokesperson for Dansk Islamisk Råd — the 25,000-member organisation that was responsible for constructing the mosque — confirmed that Al-Aqsa would broadcast from a media centre in the mosque.

“We have already worked with Al-Aqsa when they have asked us to provide them with news footage from Denmark,” al Maimouni told The Copenhagen Post. “Last year, we agreed to shoot a small segment about the daily life of a Palestinian family in Denmark.”

He added that their relationship with Al-Aqsa was “strictly professional”.

“We have decided to keep working for Al-Aqsa as long as what they report is in line with our viewpoint,” al Maimouni said. “If they try to move their content into a political direction that we do not agree with, we will decline.”

In 2008, Al-Aqsa aired an episode of the children’s programme ‘The Pioneers of Tomorrow’, in which the show’s large pink rabbit Assud promoted the killing of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and said he would “bite and eat” Danes if they insulted the prophet Mohammed again.

Paid for by Qatar

The 6800sqm mosque on Rovsinggsgade in the Nordvest district is Denmark’s largest and was built using a 150 million kroner donation by the former ruling emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

As ruler, Al-Thani reportedly maintained business connections with Israel but has also supported Hamas, most recently in 2012, when he offered $400 million of aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Concern from the City Council

The news that Al-Aqsa would be broadcasting from the mosque confirmed the fears of Lars Aslan Rasmussen (Socialdemokraterne), a member of the City Council and spokesperson for the city’s social affairs committee.

“A few weeks ago, Dansk Islamisk Råd said that there would be no connection (to Qatar) and we can now see that is a lie,” Rasmussen said. “The mosque is a gift from Qatar but it’s not free. I have always said that they will expect something in return, and this shows that they are making some claims for their money. This will not be a moderate mosque and it will present integration problems.”

Aslan, who himself has a Turkish background, welcomed mosques being built in Copenhagen, but not the baggage from Qatar and Hamas.

“There’s nothing wrong with mosques, it’s just a problem that it already has a negative reputation.”

Qatar-based Al Jazeera and Egyptian channel Huda TV will also reportedly broadcast from the mosque’s media centre.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU: 70% Favor Direct Election of Commission President

Latest Eurobarometer ahead of June 2014 EP elections

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS — At least 70% of Europeans favor direct European Commission presidential elections and see fighting unemployment, social inequality and public debt as priorities, according to the European Commission’s latest Eurobarometer survey released Friday.

The survey of 26,000 respondents was conducted in June to assess public opinion ahead of 2014 European parliamentary elections. It showed that while just 39% feel they have a voice in Europe, 50% feel being in the EU is a positive thing.

Seven out of 10 respondents said directly electing the Commission president would make EU decisions more legitimate and make the Union more democratic.

More than one in two respondents said they would go to the polls more willingly “if the great European families presented a candidate for European Commission president based on a common program”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Reporter Domenico Quirico Released in Syria

(AGI) Rome, Sept 8 — Italian reporter Domenico Quirico, who was kidnapped in Syria in April, has been released. He is on his way to Italy by plane, newspaper La Stampa wrote on its website.

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

Italy: Open Primaries Would Have Won PD Elections, Says Renzi

(AGI) Livorno, Sept 6 — The Democratic Party would have won the elections if it had held open primary elections first, Matteo Renzi said. “If the party decides to hold a congress we will be able to decide how to turn dreams into reality within two months,” the mayor of Florence said. “Last time not everybody was allowed to participate, which made me angry. I’m convinced I would have lost anyway, but I’m also certain that the PD would have won the elections,” Renzi added.

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

Italy: Beppe Grillo Criticises President for ‘Snub’ To Dario Fo

(AGI) Rome — Beppe Grillo has criticised President Napolitano for not having put Dario Fo on the shortlist of senators for life ..

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

Italy: ‘Every Action’ Legitimate Against TAV, Activist Tells Radio

Ex-Lotta Continua militant justifies violence in Susa Valley

(ANSA) — Turin, September 3 — An ex-militant of the 1970’s radical leftwing group Lotta Continua (Continuous Struggle) told radio listeners on Tuesday that “every action” is legitimate in the fight to prevent high speed TAV rail from being built in the Susa Valley, between Lyons and Turin. “If someone puts your life in danger, all you can do is fight to the bitter end and sabotage the work. Every action is legitimate,” the writer and activist Erri De Luca told Radio 24 on a programme called Zanzara (Mosquito).

To a question about the use of violence against police by militant protesters, De Luca replied,”Wounded police? For now I think the losers are those of the valley who see their territory raped and militarily occupied”. Anti-TAV activists have organized a series of protests against the high-speed rail link throughout Italy over the last few years, some of which included violent clashes with police, vandalism, threats and disruption of highway traffic. The motorway in Piedmont’s Susa Valley was blocked in early August following the arrest of three protesters and the detention of 17 others.

Some of the ‘No TAV’ activists sprinkled hundreds of nails on the motorway and four vehicles suffered punctures.

Senator Stefano Esposito, known for his support for the controversial TAV line, received a third threatening letter in early August.

In August, a group of activists were put under investigation for suspected terrorism offences in relation to protests at TAV construction sites in mid-July.

Several members of the anti-TAV movement — who oppose the cost and environmental damage of the railway between Lyon and Turin — were given prison terms for 2010 protests.

Supporters of the link maintain that it will save money and decrease pollution by reducing highway transportation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Belgian Author Pierre Piccinin Da Prata Released Too

(AGI) Rome, Sept 8 — Along with Italian reporter Domenico Quirico, Belgian author Pierre Piccinin da Prata was also released in Syria. The news was confirmed by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo on his Twitter account.

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

Italy: Silvio Berlusconi Appeals to Human Rights Court Over Parliamentary Ban

Silvio Berlusconi has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights against an Italian law that could see him ousted from parliament, even though his party voted for it.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Name-Calling an Offence, Says Italy’s Top Court

Calling a colleague ‘liar’ is a type of abuse

(ANSA) — Rome, September 3 — Calling a colleague a liar is an insult and a kind of abuse, Italy’s top appeal court ruled Tuesday.

In a case involving municipal police officers in the Abruzzo coastal city of Chieti, one called another a liar in front of several colleagues, the Court of Cassation said.

And that constitutes abuse, it ruled, upholding lower court decisions.

The case involved a police captain who called a colleague a liar in front of a group of police officers in an argument over workloads.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

No Dutch Protection for Egyptian Christians

THE HAGUE, 23/08/13 — The cabinet sees no reason in the present situation for a special asylum scheme for Coptic Christians from Egypt. “There is no question of an organised religious cleansing.”

Dozens of churches and other properties of Christians in Egypt have been set on fire in the past week. Small Christian party ChristenUnie wants the cabinet to make more specific efforts on behalf of the Coptic religious minority, for example by designating them a ‘risk group’ as part of asylum policy. They would then be able to obtain temporary asylum in the Netherlands more easily.

But the cabinet is not in favour of this for now, and is also not prepared to relax its visa policy. Every visa application will be considered on its merits, but the visa procedure is not intended for people who want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days, Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans says in a letter to parliament.

ChristenUnie is disappointed. “Coptic Christians appear to be outlawed,” according to MP Joël Voordewind.

Timmermans says in his letter that “individual Egyptians” have used the unrest to commit violent acts against Christians, but that it cannot be established with any certainty that there is organised viiolence by political movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood. The attacks against this Christian minority are “unacceptable,” but “there is no question of an organised religious cleansing.”

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

Norway in a Quandary Over Its Wealth

Sparkling fjords, breathtaking scenery, piles of cash: There’s not much Norwegians can complain about as they go to the polls Monday to elect a new parliament. But, what are voters to do when they have everything?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norway: the Cargo Ship Whose Hull is a Giant Sail

A Norwegian engineer has designed a ingenious ship whose towering aerodynamic hull functions as a giant sail, saving 60 percent of the fuel that would be used in a normal cargo vessel.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sharia Law Riding High in Britain

by Ann Marie Waters

LONDON. Nahla Mahmoud came to the UK seeking freedom and security. What she found was sharia law, death threats, and a frightened establishment that refused to defend her. Welcome Nahla — to multicultural Britain.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Gothenburg Hit by New Shooting

One person was hospitalized on Sunday morning after having been shot in the leg in a shootout in the suburb of Hisingen in Gothenburg, the third shooting in the city in recent days.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UAE Builds $2 M Mosque in Scotland

The UAE has built a new mosque in the Scottish city of Dundee, at a cost of over $2m, the WAM news agency reported.

The £1.35m ($2.11m) Al Maktoum Mosque near Al Maktoum College of Higher Education (AMCHE) campus in Dundee was opened by UAE Ambassador to the UK Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al Mutaiwee. The mosque was built under the patronage and generous contribution of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance. The three-storey mosque is around 650m2 in size and located on a plot of 1,650 sqm. The mosque is designed to accommodate 160 male and 100 female worshippers and also includes a hall for meetings and events. Present at the opening ceremony were Mirza Al Sayegh, chairman of the AMCHE’s Board of Trustees, Dr Ahmed bin Hazeem, Director of Dubai Courts, Lord Elder, Chancellor of AMCHE and Hussein Halawa, Imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Anti-Islam English Defence League Marches on London Mosque

The English Defence League, the EDL, are back in the capital, London with the usual controversy — and counter protests.

The far right group had wanted to march through Tower Hamlets. This London borough in the East End has the largest Muslim population in the country. The EDL had planned to pass the large east London mosque and end up here in the Altab Ali park. The move sparked outrage — because this park is named after a young Bangladeshi man killed in a racist attack back in 1978.

But instead — it was thousands of anti-fascist demonstrators that filled the park. Fearing the provocative route would cause serious public disorder, the police had put restrictions on the EDL march. In response, the EDL took the police to court to get the restrictions removed — but they lost. Almost 37% of tower hamlet’s residents are Muslims. At the east London mosque, assistant executive director, shaynul khan, told me the mosque regularly reaches out to the entire community…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Arrests in Tower Hamlets

by Sarah AB

I think it was reasonable to place some restrictions on yesterday’s EDL march, preventing them from marching through the heart of Tower Hamlets, but I don’t agree with those calling for an outright ban on such demonstrations. The day ended with a number of arrests, including that of Tommy Robinson. The Guardian report gives some details but does not refer to the many arrests of anti-fascist demonstrators.


[Reader comment by Funzarian on 8 September 2013 at about 3 pm. JP — some punctuation/grammar amended.]

The question of the EDL is a tricky one… we can all sit in our ivory middle class university educated towers and mock, sneer and denounce the EDL for the drunken loutery that the BBC and the Guardian would have us believe … but that completely ignores a swathe of the general public that feels it is being ignored and sees what is happening in schools and in hospitals and feels powerless to do anything about it.

I’m not a supporter of the EDL, but I understand their frustrations. The traditional voice of the working class is gone — Labour is a centrist shower of ***** no different to the Conservatives and only slightly different to the Jew haters in the Liberal Democrats. Communities have changed — and not for the better. New immigrants aren’t being encouraged enough to assimilate and existing cultures being forcibly told to assimilate with ‘alien’ cultures. Obviously the people doing the telling are not located in inner city boroughs or housing estates in Sunderland … instead, from nice leafy or gated communities where their child isn’t one of a handful of English speakers in the class.

I’m not a racist, Im not pro-EDL … Im Jewish, grew up on a council estate in Borehamwood and was lucky enough to have parents, both east end born, to guide me and inspire me through university and into a comfortable middle class life, But I look around at what the UK has become and is becoming and I see the propaganda and ‘diversity’ being forced down peoples throats by the ruling elite.

When my grandparents escaped real fascism in the 30’s.not speaking a word of English. They had to work, and work harder than the locals to succeed. There was no translation service for welfare or in hospitals … yet when my sister gave birth in Northampton a few years ago … from 16 expecting mothers on her ward, she was one of only 2 that could speak English … 7 different translators brought in and paid for by you the taxpayer. Tell the working class man (it isn’t a swear word!) looking at that, that he is a fascist for being upset about that or tell the working class man in Borehamwood that he is a fascist because his kid is one of only 6 non-Somalis/Afghanis/Rwandans out of 24 in the kindergarden.

People are ****** off. People are sick and tired of politicians and the BBC/Guardian dictating what others should think and screaming fascist if they think otherwise. I heard first hand stories from family members involved in the battle of Cable street … to make a comparison between that and the EDL march is a disservice to those that fought against genuine fascism. We as a nation can’t continue to scream fascist or swivel-eyed loon at anyone that doesn’t follow the same ********* party line of Labour, Conservatives and the Jew-hating Liberal Democrats. We live in a society where Qatar/Saudi Arabia money dictate way too many things and a society which is fragmenting way too quickly… condemn the EDL all you want …. but they, like millions of other good ordinary decent folk need to be listened to.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Deputy Speaker Accused of Raping Young Man ‘Will Not Resign Even if He is Forced to Stand Trial’

The Commons deputy speaker accused of rape will learn on Tuesday if police are going to press charges.

Nigel Evans was arrested in May on suspicion of five counts of rape and sexual assault, all involving men in their 20s.

The alleged incidents were said to have taken place in Lancashire and London between 2003 and 2011.

The Tory MP for Ribble Valley, Lancashire, has kept his position, and £103,000-a-year salary, but has stepped down from his duties which are being shared by his two fellow deputy speakers.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

UK: EDL Leader Tommy Robinson Charged With Public Order Offences

Last updated Sun 8 Sep 2013UK EDLTower Bridge The Met have confirmed that the leader of the English Defence League has been charged with public order offences after a rally yesterday.

Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, tweeted about his charges earlier in the day.

Just been released, charged with inciting a crowd to commit public order? My speech apparently. In court October 22nd.

FROM @EDLTROBINSON ON TWITTER: (about 16 hours ago) Bail conditions not to enter tower hamlets,court on 22nd of October at Thames magistrates which is in tower hamlets

FROM @EDLTROBINSON ON TWITTER: (about 10 hours ago)

Over 160 people were arrested for a variety of offences after the far-right group’s march through central London yesterday.

Most of the arrests were for breaching the conditions police had set down for where the rally could take place, and included people from rival anti-racist and anti-fascist groups who were prohibited from coming in to contact with the EDL’s route.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

UK: Grooming Awareness Campaign 2013

With the recent High profile sexual abuse cases related to street grooming gangs the Sikh Helpline is launching a “Grooming Awareness Campaign”. We are aiming to reach as many young people and family members as possible and make them aware of the dangers of street and online grooming.

The Sikh Helpline (UK) is aiming to do this by providing information , creating multimedia resources, and encouraging family members and young people to discuss these issues openly so that there is fewer young people vulnerable to these malicious gangs. You can help by reading the information, sharing it with others, doing a presentation in your local area and above all speaking to young members of your own family so they can be aware.

As Sikhs we believe in a saying from our scriptures “treat other women as your mothers, sisters and daughters accordingly”, so it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of young girls regardless of their race, religion or colour as they are also someones daughter or sister.”

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: We Can’t Pretend the World Didn’t Change After September 11

by Matthew d’Ancona

Our political class is ignoring the great question of the post-9/11 globe: how to ensure the regions that spawned Islamic terror are stable and denied WMD

After Britain was reportedly dismissed as a “small island” by a Russian official last week, David Cameron took the steering wheel and sped off to compose his response. For security reasons, prime ministers are not normally supposed to drive. But at the G20 summit in St Petersburg, there were electric cars to ferry the participants from one location to another. Cameron decided to commandeer one such buggy, and give his officials, Craig Oliver, Liz Sugg and Helen Bower, a lift to the press conference.

Occasionally hair-raising as Cameron-Cabs turned out to be, the team was calm enough to help the driver draw up his inventory of British accomplishments, which the PM duly rattled off to the media when they arrived — ending, correctly, with a quip: “If I start talking about this ‘blessed plot, this sceptred isle, this England’, I might have to put it to music, so I think I’ll leave it there.” His mini-speech is indeed going viral, with a variety of added soundtracks. This is modern political rhetoric in action…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: What Are We Supposed to Say When a Grooming Ring Comes to Light?

by Rod Liddle

It is a tragedy that some of us are born in the wrong times. According to that increasingly gobby conduit of right-on morality, the NSPCC, girls these days feel compelled to act like porn stars in order to ingratiate themselves with boys. I am not sure quite what, in day to day life, this involves. I only know that they made no similar attempts during my adolescence, or if they did I didn’t notice. I vaguely recall one young lady in my school class telling me, when I was 14, that she had engaged in sexual intercourse the previous night with a boy from a neighbouring town. ‘What was it like, Debs?’ I asked, wide-eyed. ‘Didn’t touch the ******* sides,’ Debs spat with all the contempt she could muster. I suppose that’s quite a porny thing to say, in retrospect. She was cute and scary, Debs, and I was terrified of her. But I never felt that there was an ingratiation process going on; quite the reverse, really. Girls held the whip hand when I was a teenager: it is a tragedy that some of us are born in the wrong times.

Back then, girls were less likely to be seen as ‘victims’ of male sexual aggrandisement, either because nobody cared if they were victims or not, or because they really were not victims to such an extent as they seem to be today, if you follow my drift. They were the ‘gatekeepers’ of their sexuality, and those gates were — in most cases, if not Debs’s — guarded with rather more vigilance than is the case now.

It is also true that back then we did not have gangs of semi-educated Muslim men preying on young white girls on the basis that since they were not Muslim their degradation did not matter one jot in the eyes of Allah. Because they were already in a state of degradation as an unfortunate consequence of not being Muslim — so no harm, then. As we now know, white working-class girls suffered years and years of serial sexual abuse in our frowsy and dilapidated north-western former mill-towns — Rochdale, Blackburn, Burnley, Oldham and so on — the crimes even encroaching into what is these days called the south-east of England, i.e. Oxford. As we have come to learn, political correctness prevented earlier action being taken against the vile and half-witted men who perpetrated these crimes; and even now to suggest that there is a specific cultural problem in the way in which some, perhaps a great many, Muslim men view women from faiths which differ to their own, is to be labelled a racist in some shrill and mentally deficient quarters.

You are certainly required, as a journalist, to point out, when reporting yet another repulsive incident of what has come to be called the ‘grooming’ and subsequent assault of underage white girls by Muslim men, that the majority of sexual offences against children in this country are carried out by lone white males of various religious denomination. The reason for this absurd caveat is simply crowd control — and also a wish on behalf of the spineless journalist to make clear that while Muslims can from time to time behave naughtily, we whitey Christians are even more naughty, really.

Which is, in the case of sexual abuse against underage girls, deluding, because according to the 2001 census data only 2.7 per cent of the population of the UK is Muslim. You may find this figure surprising, given the amount of attention Muslim stuff gets in the press. But this is either because we are wholly irrationally prejudiced against Muslims much more than we are prejudiced against the adherents of every other religion, or that when it comes to bad stuff, Muslims punch way above their weight. One of the two, then — you call it. No, really, I’d rather it came from you. I hope you understand.

The latest report of the grooming of a non-Muslim girl comes not from the white working class, who were always treated with suspicion when they took their complaints to the impeccably liberal middle-class authorities, and marked down as racists, but from the Sikhs — who had an even harder time of it convincing the Old Bill, and the social services, that something seriously remiss was going on. The authorities seem to have decided that the Sikhs were racist too. So a bunch of some 50 Sikh men reportedly trashed a Muslim-run restaurant in the multicultural nirvana of Leicester after having failed to gain redress through the more appropriate and official channels. (The restaurant was adjacent to an apartment at which some of the abuse took place, apparently.) Some of these Sikh men have since been arrested. So, too, at last, have some of the Muslim men said to have been involved in the grooming ring.

It may be a consolation to you that Sikhs are regarded as no less fair game than girls from nominally Christian backgrounds. Self-appointed Muslim community leaders have dutifully condemned the sexual abuse but insisted that it would be wrong to blame an entire community for these horrible crimes. Well, indeed it would. Blame instead something lurking deep within the ideology, the religion, of that community; its implacability, its absolutism, its antipathy to everything which is other than itself. Be ruthless in your introspection, you community leaders, so that we might be a little less so.

[JP note: For background see and ]

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

United Nations’ War on Free Speech Continues

by Andrew Harrod

German federal authorities have responded to earlier criticism by the United Nations’ (UN) Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) of lax German hate speech measures with troubling proposals to restrict further freedom of expression. These developments in a case previously documented here demonstrate once again the dangers for freedom that foreign organizations can present, especially in light of international campaigns against “Islamophobia.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Anti-Terrorist Squad Dismantles Network Sending Tunisians to Libya to Join Training Camps

Tunis — Units of the anti-terrorist squad has dismantled in the recent days a network sending young Tunisians to Libya to join training camps, the Ministry of the Interior said on Saturday. These training camps are supervised by “religious extremist groups,” the Ministry of the Interior said in a statement, specifying that 21 people were arrested in connection with this case including a foreigner.

On another hand, the ministry announced that national security units seized 3 hunting guns, 43 9mm cartridges, a pistol and ammunition as well as a large quantity of 12mm cartridges at a raid in a house in El Ghazala district.

The owner of the house was placed in custody, the same source added.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Benghazi Whistleblower: I’ve Been ‘Punished’ For Speaking Out (Video)

Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya who testified before Congress about the 9/11 attacks on an American diplomatic facility earlier this year, believes he has been “punished” for speaking out about the Obama administration’s response the night of the attack.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Egypt is Becoming a ‘Failed State’

Timur Kuran talks to Giancarlo Bosetti

To what extent does the Islamic past still affect the economies and institutions in North African and Middle Eastern countries? Timur Kuran, who has scientifically analysed the region’s past and present, says “a great deal. And one should be attentive to the fact that in the region, democracy is an absolute novelty while civil society remains weak.” Kuran is a scholar who has studied the “divergence” between the economies of Western Europe and the Middle East. A professor at Duke University in North Carolina, a New Yorker by birth and a Turkish-American, he is the author of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (Princeton University Press, 2011). His works weave economics with political science, legal studies, and historical studies. He is considered a great authority in the field of comparative global economics and is gaining attention in .in Arab countries, where his works are now appearing in translation. The historical backdrop of the “divergence” comes to mind when one now Turkey’s prime minister attack the excessive use of credit cards. One wonders whether profound difference exist even in Turkey, where the lengthy domination of Kemalist secular culture ignored the Islamic aversion towards interest.

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

Thousands of Tunisians Contest the Islamist Government

(AGI) Tunis, Sept 8 — Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets in Tunis, demanding the resignation of the government led by Ennahda Islamists. The protests coincided with the 40th day of mourning for the murder of the opposition leader, Mohamed Brahmi on July 25 ..

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

Civil Engineers Haskoning Pull Out of Israel Water Treatment Project

Dutch civil engineering group HaskoningDHV has pulled out of a project to develop a waste water treatment plant in Jerusalem after the foreign ministry said it could conflict with international law.

In a statement the company said ‘in the course of the project, and after due consultation with various stakeholders, the company came to understand that future involvement in the project could be in violation of international law.’

The waste water project included the construction of a sewage treatment plant in occupied East Jerusalem.

The government’s advice was greeted by anger in Israel, because the treatment plant would benefit Silwan, a large Palestinian neighbourhood in Jerusalem, as well as the Jewish settlement, Dutch media reported.

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

4 Questions for Supporters of a Strike Against Syria

Ask anyone still thinking of supporting an attack on Syria to explain why the U.S. started supporting the Syrian opposition years before any uprising had occurred there.

And ask them to explain why 4-Star General Wesley Clark was told — right after 9/11 — that Pentagon officials planned to attack 7 countries in 5 years … including Iraq, Libya and Syria:


It came back to me … a 1991 meeting I had with Paul Wolfowitz…

In 1991, he was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy — the number 3 position at the Pentagon. And I had gone to see him when I was a 1-Star General commanding the National Training Center.

And I said, “Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm.”

And he said: “Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn’t … But one thing we did learn [from the Persian Gulf War] is that we can use our military in the region — in the Middle East — and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes — Syria, Iran, Iraq — before the next great superpower comes on to challenge us.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

After Gezi Park: Where is Erdogan’s Turkey Heading? An Activist Speaks Out

Umuth Turk interviewed by Alexander Damiano Ricci

Freedom, equality of opportunities, defense of collective goods: eventually Turkey found its ideals. With one strike, the country lying in between the western and eastern world experienced its own “Occupy” movement and “Spring” turmoil. Erdogan and ten years of controversial governance were at the core of the protest which put Istanbul and the whole country on fire. In the streets there was a whole generation: some call it generation “Y”. Umuth Turk, Turkish, 26 years old, just graduated from the University of Milan, Italy, and went back to his country to join the protest. He has lived in Italy for four years, between Milan and Pisa. He developed his own critical view about his country of origin, but also with respect to the neo-liberal policies born in the western world. We conducted an interview with him in order to better understand which political forces triggered the mobilization, the social context of Turkey and which goals have been achieved so far by the protest.

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

Al Jazeera? Among the Last in the Ratings for Arab Spring Countries

by Alma Safira

Al Jazeera has started to show signs of weakness and this has taken place in the network’s own country where the channel expressed offence and amazement when a Doha newspaper dared publish data that did not suit the Emir’s network. According to the most recent report on “Media use in the Middle East” by the Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), very few countries that experienced the Arab Spring consider Al Jazeera as a real source of information.

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

Are Obama’s Sarin Videos Released to CNN Propaganda?

At least celebrated investigative journalist Jake Tapper admits that the Obama videos depicting sarin attacks in Syria, released by CNN 8 p.m, last night could not be verified for authenticity.

“CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of these videos but we’re reporting on them because we have verified the Obama administration is showing them to members of congress as they hope to build a case to support military strikes against the Assad regime.” (CNN, Sept. 7, 2013).

If CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of these videos, then why are they showing them?


Sarin, estimated to be 500 times more toxic than cyanide, is fatal within one minute.

Why do the first responders, whoever they are, seem unaffected? Even a person’s clothing can release sarin for about 30 minutes after an attack.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Breast Cancer 600% Higher in Women With Low Vitamin D

(NaturalNews) Vitamin D deficiency is a major cause of breast cancer among women, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study, authored by a team of scientists from various organizations, reports that women in Saudi Arabia who have low vitamin D levels have six times the risk of having breast cancer than women with higher levels. Researchers urge others to increase vitamin D intake for a myriad of life-saving health benefits.

The case-control study analyzed data from 120 breast cancer cases and an equal amount of controls. The study found that Saudi Arabian women in the lowest vitamin D category, less than 25 nmol/L (10 ng/ml), had six times the risk for evasive breast cancer as people in the highest category of vitamin D status, greater than 50 nmol/L (20 ng/ml). Women in Saudi Arabia, even though they reside in a high UV sunlight exposure area, have very low levels of vitamin D. This is due to a modern indoor lifestyle, darker skin types, cultural practices of dress and the fact that the food supply is not fortified with vitamin D like it is in Canada and the USA.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Depravity Redefined: Selling US Slaughter in Syria

The corporate interests driving the United States, its resources, and policy, have invoked dead children in the latest and grisliest propaganda campaign yet, directed at the American public to build support for an otherwise unjustified and universally unwanted war with Syria…

Yet it appears that mostly women and children were the victims of the attack — apparently killed in the middle of the night while they slept.

The US and its collaborators expect the world to believe: that the Syrian government risked using chemical weapons in Damascus, under the nose of UN inspectors, to clear out stalwart “opposition” fighters, and only managed to mass murder women and children in the process while giving the West a long-desired justification for military intervention. And despite “employing nearly all of its conventional weapons systems” and allegedly also sarin nerve gas, the Ghouta area was still under terrorist control after the attack.

It should be noted that Ghouta is on the very edge of Damascus, facing open country that stretches to the Al Qaeda infested Syrian-Iraqi border and the extremist hotbed of Al Anbar province in Iraq — implicating another, and the most likely culprit, Al Qaeda…

What does it mean when the combined, multi-trillion dollar defense and intelligence resources of the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others are categorically incapable of providing a single shred of credible evidence to make their case? That evidence does not exist? Or that it does, but simply points the finger unfavorably in another direction?

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Fears About Syria’s Bio Warfare Threat Reach Mainstream Media

by Jerry Gordon

About ten days ago, Dr.. Jill Bellamy van Aalst received an email from Washington Post (WaPO) journalist, Jobe Warrick requesting an interview. Warrick writes about Middle East diplomacy and national security for the national edition. That request was triggered by Warrick’s research and discoveriy of our NER interviews with Dr. Bellamy van Aalst and articles by her in our blog and Webzine. After reading her original 2008 NER interview in 2012, Professor Barry Rubin of the GLORIA Center in Israel called the scope of her revelations about the Syrian bio warfare (BW) program, ‘breathtaking”. Since our latest interview in January 2013, there have been a number of opinion pieces by her published in The Jerusalem Post, Israel Hayom, among Israeli and other media outlets in Israel. The WaPO report published in the Sunday edition, “As Syria deteriorates, neighbors fear bioweapons threat” marks a breakthrough, as Warrick’s article is the first serious mainstream media treatment of this potentially catastrophic threat to, Israel, the Middle East and the World. As we are on the verge of the 12th anniversary of 9/11, the White House is trying to gain the support of Congress for an attack on the Assad regime in retaliation for a series of nerve agent gas attacks on the country’s citizens. Unlike, Chemical Warfare, Bio Warfare poses potentially far more globe girdling pandemic threats. Moreover, as Dr. Bellamy van Aalst the portability, training and development in dual use laboratories of Class A Pathogens gives rise to concerns of intelligence agencies in the West that Syria, Iran and terrorist proxies Hezbollah and Al Qaeda may have been transferred those capabilities. Americans should recall the Anthrax attacks that occurred across the country within a month following 9/11 that shut down Capitol Hill and resulted in the deaths of Americans from contact with the pathogen sent by mail…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

German Islamists Increasingly Going to Syria

Germany’s domestic security agency has recorded what experts regard as an alarming trend. A growing number of young Germans are traveling to Syria to aid the opposition, potentially getting radicalized along the way.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Kerry: ‘Our Friends, The Saudis’ Support Attack on Syria

Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday that Saudi Arabia has agreed to support a U.S.-led military “strike” in Syria, and that other Arab governments are prepared to sign a statement denouncing the use of chemical weapons in Syria and blaming it on President Bashar al-Assad.

After a three-hour session here with nine Arab foreign ministers and Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby, Kerry said that “a number of countries” had agreed to the denunciation approved last week by more than half of the Group of 20 leading industrial nations on the sidelines of last week’s summit in Russia.

The “G-20 side statement” as Kerry referred to it, is fast becoming the administration’s vehicle of choice for international support in verifying that the chemical attack took place…

The meeting officially was a session to brief the Arabs on progress on ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. But that issue, in which Kerry has invested considerable time and energy since taking office early this year, has been overshadowed by the Syria crisis.

And what form will that Saudi support take? Why they’re willing to fight Bashar al-Assad to the last American soldier….

[Return to headlines]

Pentagon Adjusts Plans for More Intense Attacks on Syria

U.S. war planners are preparing for three days of attacks on Syria, a longer bombardment than originally envisioned.

By David S. Cloud

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is preparing for a longer bombardment of Syria than it originally had planned, with a heavy barrage of missile strikes followed soon after by more attacks on targets that the opening salvos missed or failed to destroy, officials said.

The planning for intense attacks over a three-day period reflects the growing belief in the White House and the Pentagon that the United States needs more firepower to inflict even minimal damage on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces, which have been widely dispersed over the last two weeks, the officials said.

Two U.S. officers said the White House asked for an expanded target list in recent days to include many more than the 50 or so targets on the initial list. As a result, Pentagon planners are weighing whether to use Air Force bombers, in addition to five warships now on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, to launch cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles from hundreds of miles offshore, well out of range of Syrian air defenses.

Syria is also within range of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Red Sea, which includes one cruiser and three destroyers, all capable of firing cruise missiles.

“There will be several volleys and an assessment after each volley, but all within 72 hours and a clear indication when we are done,” said one officer familiar with the planning.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

PM Letta Heeds Pope’s Appeal and Fasts for Peace in Syria

(AGI) Cernobbio, Sept 7 — Prime Minister Enrico Letta heeded the Pope’s appeal and fasted for peace in Syria over lunch in Cernobbio on Saturday.

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

Report: Syria Chemical Weapons Attack ‘Not Ordered’ By Assad

German intelligence sources suggest that last month’s alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus was not ordered by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Bild am Sonntag has reported.

Forces loyal to President Assad had been asking him for four months to use chemical weapons against the rebels, but they still received no approval from the Syrian leader.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Syrian Rebels Take Control of Christian Town of Maalula

(AGI) Beirut, Sept 8 — Syrian rebels took control of the historic Christian town of Maalula on Sunday, reported the SOHR and local sources. Loyalist troops left the area during the night and rebels took control, according to eyewitness reports.

The town, which is considered a symbol of Christian Syria, and where many inhabitants still speak Aramaic, is calm, said a local, who wished to remain anonymous.

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

UAE: Sharia at Workplace: What is Prohibited and Why

Dubai’s RTA organises a lecture on Sharia prohibitions in relation to work

The Legal Affairs Department at the Strategic and Corporate Governance Sector at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in cooperation with the Islamic Affairs Department and Charity Work in Dubai recently organised an exceptional lecture entitled ‘Sharia Prohibitions in Relation to Work.’ The lecture, delivered by Sheikh Abdullah Al Kamali, aimed at spreading awareness and educating employees on the importance of loving, affinity and altruism in the workplace…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Just What Did Slaughter Nine Hikers on Siberia’s Death Mountain in 1959?

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

Peering through the windswept snow on a dark February day, the rescue party finally came on the first sign of life — the flapping remains of a tent pitched on ski poles on an uppermost slope of Kholat Syakhl, ‘Mountain of the Dead’ in the native language of northern Siberia.

But where were the nine young Russian students who should have been sheltering beneath the canvas?

Curiosity turned to mystery as human tracks were seen in the snow heading downhill away from the tent in single file for a third of a mile… barefoot human tracks.

In temperatures of minus 24! And mystery became horror when an inspection of the tent showed its front flaps still buttoned tightly together but huge knife slashes down the sides — through which the occupants apparently fled.

Inside was like the Mary Celeste, with everything intact — warm clothes, waterproof jackets, blankets and sweaters that would have been essential to survive in the Siberian weather; plus cameras, diaries and cooking utensils, all apparently abandoned in a moment of madness…

Some of this group had broken bones and terrible internal injuries but, strangely, no external wounds, not even scratches on the skin.

Stranger still, odd bits of their clothing contained higher than normal levels of radiation.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

New Head of Italian Task Force in Afghanistan

(AGI) Herat, Sept 8 — Colonel Luigi Adiletta handed over control of Task Force Fenice to Colonel Antonio Giovanni Villani at Herat’s Camp Arena airport on Sunday. The military task force is responsible for the helicopters deployed by the Regional Command West (RC-W), a multinational contingent under Italian command. It was founded in 2007 during the Afghan war, and uses CH-47 Chinook, HN-90 and A-129 Mangusta helicopters, and is a fundamental component of the RC-W.

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

Taliban Bombers Hit Afghanistan Wardak Intelligence HQ

At least four Afghan intelligence staff have been killed after suicide bombers attacked offices of the provincial intelligence department in Wardak.

Five suicide bombers were shot dead in the series of co-ordinated attacks, an hour away from the capital Kabul. More than 100 people — mostly civilians — were injured, police said. Separately a Nato air strike on Saturday in the eastern province of Kunar killed 15 people, including nine civilians, Afghan officials said. But a Nato spokeswoman told the BBC that a precision attack had killed 10 insurgents and that she had no reports of civilians dying…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Taliban-Led Suicide Attack Kills 10, Wounds 120 in Afghan Town

MAIDAN SHAHR, Afghanistan, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) — Ten people, including six suicide attackers, were killed and 120 civilians injured as a group of suicide bombers stormed a compound of National Directorate for Security (NDS), the country’s intelligence agency in Wardak’s provincial capital Maidan Shahr 35 km west of Kabul on Sunday, the provincial government said in a statement released here…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Troops Deployed to Quell Deadly Communal Clashes Between Hindus, Muslims in North India

LUCKNOW, India — Hundreds of troops have been deployed to quell deadly riots and clashes between Hindus and Muslims sparked by the killing of three villagers who had objected when a young woman was being harassed in northern India. Police say the clashes in Kawal village left nine people dead, including an Indian broadcast journalist and a police photographer. Another 50 people were injured. The clashes broke out Saturday after tens of thousands of Hindu farmers called for justice in the Aug. 27 killing of three men who had spoken out when a woman was being verbally harassed. The violence spread to neighboring villages in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh. The head of the state’s home ministry, R.M. Srivastava, says a curfew has been imposed and soldiers are searching homes for weapons Sunday.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Australia’s PM-Elect Abbott Vows Quick Action on Asylum

Australia’s PM-elect Tony Abbott has said his top priorities are to abolish a tax on carbon emissions and to stop asylum-seekers arriving by boat. Mr Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition ended the Labor party’s six-year rule in a landslide victory on Saturday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: ENI Finds More Gas Off Mozambique

Could contain almost 250 bn cubic metres

(ANSA) — Rome, September 3 — Eni made a new gas find off Mozambique Tuesday, the 10th in the Area 4 field, keeping up a 100% exploration success rate there.

The Agulha find is believed to contain 176-247 billion cubic metres of gas, the Italian fuels giant said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mali: North Africa’s Widening Arc of Jihad

If outside military intervention has managed to extinguish the jihadist brush-fires in Northern Mali, a wider arc of terror seems to be radiating in northward and eastward, in and out of the larger North Africa region. With the swearing-in of Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta as president last Wednesday, Mali has achieved the closest thing to a new lease on the future. Jihadist formations which had taken over northern Mali were no match for the French troops of Operation Serval and their West African allies. Pro al-Qaeda groups, such as al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar al-Dine and the “Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa” (MUJAO) were prevented from descending on Southern Mali and for the moment, forced to lie low.

The challenges for the new authorities in Mali are huge. They include starting a “national dialogue” and a reconciliation process based on the June 2013 Ouagadogou agreement with representatives of the rebellious populations of Northern Mali…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Zanzibar Acid Victim Describes ‘Agony’ Of Unprovoked Attack

One of two 18-year-old victims of an unprovoked chemical attack in Zanzibar last month has described how they “screamed in agony” as they were doused in battery acid.

Kirstie Trup was walking to a restaurant with best friend Katie Gee one evening when two men on a moped pulled up beside the pair and carried out the attack. One of the men lifted a jerry can from the side of the moped and swung it in the direction of the women, soaking them in car battery acid.

She wrote in the Sunday Times: “We felt our flesh being seared. Our screams were so loud they could be heard by revellers at the Africa House hotel, which was several minutes’ walk away from us. “My entire upper body was burning, especially my right shoulder and torso. So were my feet, my face and my eyes. The skin on my right forearm looked as though it had had red paint thrown at it and I immediately noticed some discolouration on my torso and shoulder.” Miss Trup describes how one man, who appeared to be a tourist, attempted to soothe their burns with a bottle of water before they tore off their clothes and jumped into the sea.

She wrote: “The pain was rapidly intensifying at a much faster pace than I could reach each burning area of my body. I felt my right arm swelling; it was becoming discoloured and looked like greyish-green clay.” The acid created “purple and grey patches” in the girls’ skin and left Kirstie clawing at her face in pain. She wrote: “Locals, men and women, some in religious Islamic clothing, were slack-jawed as they watched me writhe on the ground in pain. “I caught the eye of a military officer, who was among those gathered, but he just stared at me without offering to assist. Dressed in a red beret and military uniform, the soldier seemed indifferent to my cry for help.”

They were taken to hospital by taxi where they were placed on a drip while a student from Liverpool University on a medical placement attended to their injuries. The hotel was ill-equipped to treat them, however, and after making contact with the British consulate, the pair flew to the larger city of Dar es Salaam to receive care. En route from the airstrip to the hospital, the pair were left screaming as the doors to the ambulance flew open.

They gave detailed accounts of the attack to police and were visited the following day by the president of Tanzania who apologised for the attack as they rested in Aga Khan Hospital. They then flew back to the UK where they were reunited with their family and taken to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for treatment.

Trup required a skin graft operation on three main areas: her upper right arm, the right side of her back and a smaller area on her right shoulder. She dismissed rumours that she had known the men prior to the attack. She wrote: “There have even been baseless rumours published that Katie and I were attacked after turning down the men’s advances. Rubbish. We had never seen those men before.”

She plans to return to the island next year to do more voluntary work.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Brazil Independence Day Marked by Mass Protests

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to scatter anti-government protesters who interrupted an independence day military parade in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday, and demonstrations in dozens of other cities led to some scuffles between marchers and police.

Authorities said they arrested at least 10 people in Rio, and at least six marchers were injured.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Cyprus Braces Itself for Syrian Refugee Influx

As the humanitarian situation in Syria becomes increasingly dire, Cyprus is preparing for an influx of asylum seekers. DW looks at how the tiny Mediterranean island is looking to cope.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Thirty-Nine Tunisian Immigrants Flee After Rescue in Sicily

(AGI)Trapani — Thirty-nine immigrants, mostly likely all of Tunisian nationality, were rescued off the coast of Sicily on Saturday .

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