Saturday, January 11, 2003

News Feed 20110530

Financial Crisis
»After Social Security
»Brussels: Outside Agency for Greek Sell-Off Would Threaten Sovereignty
»Danish Deficit Grows
»Greece: Govt Close to Shutting 200 State-Run Agencies
»Greece: Nine in 10 Parents Would Urge Child to Work Abroad
»Interview With EU Currency Commissioner Rehn: ‘There is a Certain Aid Fatigue in Northern Europe’
»Looming Economic Disaster
»Save US From the Tyranny of Bankers
»Tensions Worsen Between Berlin and European Central Bank
»American Muslim Clerics Sign Up for Evolution
»Big Sis Pre-Crime System to Scan Americans for “Malintent”
»Free Speech? ‘Kick the Sh— Out of Every Last’ Worker
»Hawaiian Hot Spot Fuels Volcano Debate
»Hillary Clinton Releases Video Celebrating a Millennium of Muslim Inventions… What Inventions?
»Memorial Day 2011: Honoring a Fading History?
»U.S. Energy Policy Held Hostage by OPEC and Politicians
Europe and the EU
»Doomed Flight AF 447: Questions Raised About Airbus Automated Control System
»EU’s Van Rompuy Says No Contradiction Between Islam and Democracy
»Germany: Nuclear Phaseout is an ‘Historic Moment’
»Germany Pledges to Shut Down All Its Nuclear Plants by 2022 Following Fukushima Disaster
»Historian Uncovers New Account: Document Suggests Hitler Knew of Hess’ British Flight Plans
»Italy Appeals to Court Over “Divisive” EU Patent Project
»Italy: Centre Left Hail Local Election Results
»Spain: Indignados: Crowd Returns to Puerta Del Sol Republic
»Sweden: Europe’s Happy Rubbish Collectors
»Sweden: Narcolepsy Cases Rising After Swine Flu Vaccine
»Sweden’s King Denies Everything
»Swedish Police Called to Fight Beaver Invasion
»UK: ‘Bradford is Very Inbred’: Muslim Outrage as Professor Warns First-Cousin Marriages Increase Risk of Birth Defects
»UK: Burglar Freed by Human Rights to Look After His Children Threatened Headmistress
»UK: Professor Risks Political Storm Over Muslim ‘Inbreeding’
North Africa
»Algeria: During 2010, 177 Kidnappings for Extortion
»Egyptian Islamo-Nazism and “Omar Amin” Von Leers
»Egyptian Group Says it Will Form Nazi Party
»Egypt Will Return Muslim Brotherhood Funds Seized by Mubarak
»Morocco: EU Appeal: Stop Use of Force Against Demonstrators
»NATO Failing in Libya, Media Hiding the Truth, Says Prof Del Boca
»North Africa Revolutions Spotlight EU Policy Further South
»Tunisia: Court Orders Block on Porn Sites
Israel and the Palestinians
»Gaza Flotilla ‘Emboldened’ By Obama’s Mideast Speech
»Hostage Case Hangs Over EU-Hamas Relations
Middle East
»Iranian Ayatollah: Open Plan Kitchens Are Un-Islamic
»Iraq: Othodox Christian Shot to Death in Mosul
»Libya-Syria: Pillay (UN): ‘Shocking’ Repression
»Netanyahu: Sinai Could Get Out of Hand
»Saudi Arabia: Two Men Decapitated for Murder
»Saudi Arabia: USA Concerned About Moves Against Shiites and Iran
»Syria and Yemen: Army Attacks Protesters, Dozens of Deaths and Injuries
»Yemeni Government Jets Bomb Al-Qaeda Strongholds
»Closure of an Important Islamic Centre. Moscow Seeks Control of Islam
»Ukraine: Muslim Girl: 19, ‘Stoned to Death After Taking Part in Beauty Contest’
South Asia
»Afghanistan: ‘Five Italians Wounded, 1 Seriously’ In Attack
»India: Orissa: False Accusations of Conversion to Oppress Tribals
»UK’s £400m Aid for India Schools ‘Squandered’ After Education Standards Fall
Far East
»Malta Says Yes in Divorce Referendum
»Tension Rises in Inner Mongolia With Martial Law in Force
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Vuvuzelas Spray Millions of Spit Particles
»25 Egyptian Illegal Immigrants Repatriated
»70% of Science Award Finalists Are Children of Immigrants
»Close to 400 Migrants Escorted to Sicily’s Pozzallo Port
»Moroccan Business Owners in Italy on the Rise
»Paedophile Illegal Immigrant is Finally Thrown Out of Britain After Claiming Deportation Would Breach His Human Rights
Culture Wars
»NY Queers for Jihad
»A Century and a Half of Colour Photography
»Technology: Charging Towards the Superbattery
»The Dawn of the Anthropocene Era: ‘We Are the Top Predator on Earth’

Financial Crisis

After Social Security

Social security remains a sacred cow, but a sacred cow that is on its last leg. Expenditures now top receipts by over forty billion dollars and the losses will mount to the tens of trillions in the next 70 years. Many politicians, like Nero, smile and fiddle while social security burns. The more prudent course is to confess that the promise made by the government was a lie from the start, to adopt a private sector alternative, and to ween the nation of this weighty burden before it sinks the new generation in a sea of debt and increased payroll taxes.

Social security expenditures exceeded social security receipts for the first time in 2010 by a whopping $49 billion. This year, another $46 billion will be added to that figure. As the baby boomers continue to create an enormous financial drain on the system, the nation will be forced either to increase payroll taxes by 15 to 20% or make drastic cuts in benefits offered. In short, social security “as we know it,” the very thing leading proponents of it now tout in Congress as what they will preserve, cannot be sustained. It will have to change; it is unaffordable. Once we accept that reality we may maturely address how it should be changed.

In the next 73 years, social security and medicare will cost about $103.2 trillion, while receipts from payroll taxes will equal only $57.4 trillion. To sustain the current system the government will have to add taxes equal to $45.8 trillion or it will have to cut benefits by that same amount or rely on a combination of both. If taxes are increased to that enormous extent on the youthful, productive elements of our society, the result will be devastating to productivity—resulting in far greater unemployment, less job creation, and less capital available to sustain economic growth. In short, we cannot afford to keep social security “as we know it.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Brussels: Outside Agency for Greek Sell-Off Would Threaten Sovereignty

The European Commission has warned that an international body taking charge of Greece’s €50 billion privatisation programme — an idea that is being pushed by the Netherlands and Luxembourg — would threaten the country’s sovereignty.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Danish Deficit Grows

Denmark will break the EU’s convergence criteria for the next two years.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Govt Close to Shutting 200 State-Run Agencies

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MAY 30 — Under pressure from officials from the troika (IMF, EU, ECB) who are calling for “less state” as a guarantee to distribute the fifth tranche of 12 billion euros (part of the aid package granted to Greece a year ago to deal with their debt problem and for a possible new 60 billion-euro loan for 2012-2013), the Greek government is close to presenting a bill that will call for the merger or definitive closure of nearly 200 of the over 1800 state-run enterprises that are in the red, with many layoffs as a result. The troika considers the closure of several state-run enterprises a necessity, and according to the Greek press, they have reportedly even indicated which ones to close because they are agencies that “produce nothing other than a deficit”, according to the representatives of Greece’s creditors. Speaking about the problem, Finance Minister Giorgio Papaconstantinou admitted that several public enterprises must close. “It is not easy,” said the minister while speaking to TV Mega, “to close a state-run enterprise. But it is necessary and this is also something that will be done. No one closes a company for symbolic reasons, it is closed for substantial reasons”. Finance Under Secretary Filippos Sachinidis, interviewed by Greek daily Ta Nea, said that “the government’s objective is not to lay people off. The government, however, has the duty of assessing all of the state-run enterprises and companies in order to see what they are offering the people”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greece: Nine in 10 Parents Would Urge Child to Work Abroad

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, MAY 30 — With jobless rates soaring and the economy in its third year of recession, 95% of Greek parents said that they would urge their children to head abroad to work, daily Kathimerini reports citing a recent survey. The survey, put together by Stedima Business Consultants, found that the respondents would encourage their child to work in a western European country, the US or Australia. Next on the preferred destination list are Balkan countries and eastern European states, with little interest being shown in the possibility of working in an African nation, according to the survey. As the country’s fiscal woes deepen and business sentiment falls to record lows, Greece’s growing army of jobless workers jumped to 15.9% of the workforce in February, from 15.1% in the previous month, advancing for an eighth straight month. Younger workers continue to pay a hefty price for the deteriorating labor market conditions, with 40% of those aged between 15 to 24 out of work.

The study also found that the prospect of working for the public sector has lost its shine. Only 4% of respondents said that they see the government as a likely workplace for their child, the study found.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Interview With EU Currency Commissioner Rehn: ‘There is a Certain Aid Fatigue in Northern Europe’

Many in Europe assume that Greece will ultimately have to default on a portion of its debt. In an interview with SPIEGEL, European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, however, insists that debt restructuring is not on the agenda. He also discusses reports that Athens is considering a return to the drachma.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Looming Economic Disaster

It’s a fundamental principal of economics that if one person knows far more than another about a job and will work for much less, that first person will be awarded the job. Currently, relatively few American high school students are taking such subjects as both physics and calculus. However, according to Bob Compton (producer of the DVD “2 Million Minutes”), there are in China and India about 50 million high school students who are taking four years of each of the following: biology, chemistry and physics, with the senior year integrating all three subjects. Moreover, they take four years each of algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus, with the subjects integrated every year!

Other nations are serious about education and we are not. At least one high school in China with 10,000 students begins at 6 A.M. with calisthenics, and students don’t leave until 10 P.M. This is while American youth seem more interested in playing video games.

What is actually happening is a global transformation to a techno-feudal Socialist future, depicted by this photo taken recently in China showing a modern skyscraper occupied by a technical or business elite while two women cut the building’s grass with scissors. On the one hand, a Chinese company, BYD, after making cars only five years beat Detroit with the first mass-produced electric car and at only about half the cost. While at the same time another Chinese factory making baby clothes for an American company maximizes productivity by incentivizing workers to remain at their work stations even when they need to go to the restroom (there were no restrooms on site and the place reeked of urine).

Just as American companies have specialized divisions within them, in China entire towns have specialized. Shengzhou produces half the world’s neckties, and Putian is the largest shoe manufacturer in the world. One Chinese city, Shenzhen has 100,000 factories producing a majority of the world’s laptops, cell phones, jeans, etc. The U.S., however, is losing control over its industries. Amoco’s profits go to England, Purina’s and Gerber’s profits go to Switzerland, and TransAmerica’s profits go to The Netherlands. Sound-recording industries here are 97% foreign-owned, metal or mining 65%, motion-picture and video industries 64%, book publishers 63%, plastic products 51%, etc.

Why is all this being allowed to happen? First of all, Americans are woefully ignorant when it comes to economics, and I have covered this in an article on the Internet titled “Suckernomics.” Secondly, in an era of globalization, it is almost impossible for Americans to compete with the wages paid forced or child labor in countries like China, India, Myanmar, Brazil, Bangladesh and the Philippines. According to a recent CNN report, “The United States has lost a staggering 32% of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000… Manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.


Only ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s, but in April 2011 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that by 2016 the Chinese economy will surpass that of the U.S. in real terms.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Save US From the Tyranny of Bankers

We hope all of our appearances on Greek TV, radio and in the press have helped the educational process and to allow the Greeks to identify who the real culprits are, and what to do about it. It has just been over a year since this tragedy became reality, but we reported on Greece and Italy ten years ago. They both bent the rules to enter the euro zone. We knew then that Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase were assisting them by creating credit default swaps. There were a few Europeon journalist who reported on the issue, but the elitists control the media and few noticed that Greece and Italy were beyond bogus. The events of the past year remind us of the onslaught of the credit crisis, which unfortunately is still with us. What finally brought about trouble for Greece and other euro zone countries was the zero interest rate policy of the Fed and slightly higher rates by the EC. These policies encouraged speculation and caused problems that would have never happened otherwise. I n addition, the stimulus measures by both banks were embarked upon to save the financial sectors and in that process promote speculation by the people who caused thee problems in the first place. That began with QE1 and stimulus 1, which we now recognize as our inflation drivers. Wait until QE2 and stimulus 2 appear next year. It will be very shocking.

Just to show you what a loser lower rates are just look at economic progress. There has been no recovery under either QE1 or QE2. Even 4.60% 30-year fixed rate mortgages have not encouraged people to buy homes. They are either broke or they don’t know whether they will be employed five-months or even one year from now, so how can they buy a house? Consumer spending is falling along with wages. The small gains you see are for the most part the result of higher inflation.

Growth moved from the fourth quarter of 2010 of 3.1% to 1.8% in the first quarter of 2011. We had forecast 2% to 2-1/2% growth for 2011. That is little to show for a minimum of $1.8 trillion spent in QE2 and stimulus 2. Without that we probably would have been at a minus 2%. Just think about that. Trillions of dollars spent with little results. Obviously such programs do not work very well. You would have thought the Fed would have found a better way after two such failures. They know what the solution is, but they won’t put it into motion and that is to purge the system and face deflationary depression. That will happen whether they like it or not, but in the meantime the flipside is 10% inflation headed to 14% by yearend and another greater wave next year, and another in 2013. Unimpressive results is not the word for it. It has been a disaster and the Fed keeps right on doing it. As a result of the discounting of QE3 we wonder what the stock market has in store for us? We w ould think that a correction would be in the future. If that is so could that negatively affect the economy? Of course it could. All the good news coming, further stimulus by the Fed, will have been discounted. What does the Fed do for an encore? Create more money and credit — probably? Does that mean hyperinflation, of course it does. If the Fed stops the game is over. We are also seeing fewer results from additional stimulus. It is called the law of diminishing returns. In the meantime the dollar goes ever lower versus other currencies, but more importantly versus gold and silver.

[Return to headlines]

Tensions Worsen Between Berlin and European Central Bank

What’s best for Greece and Europe — a soft debt restructuring or billions of euros in loans for years to come? Berlin and the ECB are deeply divided over the best way to handle the crisis. A number of influential Germans fear the threat of austerity measures could be greater than a “haircut” of Greek debt.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


American Muslim Clerics Sign Up for Evolution

Almost 13,000 Christian clergy have done it. Nearly 500 Jewish rabbis have too. Now, Islamic teachers, or imams, have begun signing an open letter declaring that there is no clash between their religious faith and evolution. The Imam Letter, launched this week in the US, is the latest challenge to fundamentalists of the three Abrahamic religions who reject evolution in favour of creationism. The Clergy Letter was launched in 2006 and now has 12,725 signatures, followed three years ago by the Rabbi Letter, which has 476 signatures. Like its predecessors, the Imam Letter explains why it’s OK for believers to accept the truth of evolution. It also calls for a ban on creationist teaching in science classes.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Big Sis Pre-Crime System to Scan Americans for “Malintent”

Chilling technology straight out of Minority Report that would subject Americans to pre-crime interrogations and physiological scans to detect “malintent” at sports stadiums, malls, airports and other public places has moved closer to being implemented after Homeland Security’s FAST program passed its first round of testing.

“Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programme designed to spot people who are intending to commit a terrorist act, has in the past few months completed its first round of field tests at an undisclosed location in the northeast,” reports Nature.

The system works by using a computer program that studies physiological indicators of a person, such as heart rate and the steadiness of a person’s gaze, and then uses the data to make a judgment on whether that individual has “malintent”.

Of course, the mere sight of TSA goons conducting grope-downs, radiation-firing body scanners, iris-scanning devices and the routine stresses of travel are all likely to raise heart rates and cause anxiousness in people, so the program will undoubtedly snag innocent travelers. The well-trained, cool and composed terrorist will slip right through, rendering the entire exercise obsolete.

But this isn’t really about catching terrorists, if it was then the DHS would mimic Israel’s highly effective human intelligence system that is far more likelier to spot real bad guys. This is about guilty until proven innocent, and forcing every American to prove that they are a well-behaved drone who won’t complain about a low grade pervert sticking his hand down their pants.

Remember, the TSA already has “behavior detection officers” whose job it is to watch for people who express dissatisfaction at being groped, including not smiling. Not enjoying having your junk fondled by a complete stranger is now a “suspicious activity”. FAST’s primary purpose is to chill dissent about harassment dished out by TSA goons, by intimidating travelers into thinking they will be prevented from flying, taking the train, entering a mall or a sports stadium, unless they accept the grope down or the body scan with complete subservience.

[Return to headlines]

Free Speech? ‘Kick the Sh— Out of Every Last’ Worker

Book suggests crackdown on ACORN ‘stormtrooper’ tactics needed

When AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, an ally of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, told members of the United Mine workers in Illinois to “kick the [expletive] out of every last” worker violating picket lines, the question was raised about just exactly how far “political” speech can go, according to a new book.

Perhaps, not that far, suggests the stunning new publication, “Subversion Inc.,” by award-winning investigative journalist Matthew Vadum.

Vadum, senior editor at Capital Research Center, a think tank that studies left-wing advocacy groups and their funders, has assembled the information from nearly three years of research and hundreds of interviews.

The book suggests ACORN’s “anti-democratic, un-American activities are not legitimate political advocacy protected by the First Amendment. They cry out for prosecution under federal racketeering laws.”

Significantly, the book reports, the push for a racketeering probe got a boost last month when ACORN was convicted in a massive voter fraud conspiracy in Nevada.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Hawaiian Hot Spot Fuels Volcano Debate

Textbook picture of Earth beneath Hawaii may be wrong.

The plumbing of Hawaii’s volcanoes might not be as straightforward as scientists thought. Rather than being fuelled by a vertical plume of magma rising from deep within the Earth, a new study suggests that volcanic activity in the region is fed by a massive hot pool of rock lurking in Earth’s mantle some 1,000 kilometres to the west of the islands.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Hillary Clinton Releases Video Celebrating a Millennium of Muslim Inventions… What Inventions?

How did we manage all these years without those wonderful contributions by Muslim inventors?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bent over backwards to appease Muslims in her video remarks for the “1001 Muslim Inventions” program. The State Department program is dedicated to the wonderful inventions by Muslims that make our everyday lives so much easier. From the State Department:…

           — Hat tip: Egghead[Return to headlines]

Memorial Day 2011: Honoring a Fading History?

As political correctness (a.k.a. cultural Marxism) envelops public-school civic and history curricula, after having captured most of the universities and much of the media, the stories of America’s wartime heroes and those who laid down their lives for the Republic fade.


Veterans: The Numbers

In 2010, the United States had an estimated 22.7 million living U.S. veterans out of an estimated 2010 adult population of over 235,000,000.

But the number of veterans in the Congress continues to decline. The Congressional Research Service reports:

“…”[T]here were 298 veterans (240 Representatives, 58 Senators) in the 96th Congress (1979-1981); and 398 veterans (329 Representatives, 69 Senators) in the 91st Congress (1969-1971)…”At the beginning of the 112th Congress, there were 118 Members…[who were veterans]…”


“Getting The Stories of Our Veterans Back in the Public Arena”

The Telegraph (London) has a splendid and regular chronicle of the achievements of British and other distinguished soldiers through their finely written and well researched obituary section.

Here is a brief selection of military obituaries from The Telegraph. Notice those who fought in the same theaters as U.S. fighting men and women: Burma, New Guinea, Korea, and of course western Europe.

Apparently our ruling-class culture discourages similar US military obituaries — chronicling what must be many parallel US exploits — from appearing routinely in our publications.

[NOTE:See URL for links to the Telegraph report and the British military obituaries]

[Return to headlines]

U.S. Energy Policy Held Hostage by OPEC and Politicians

While the Environmental Protection Agency recently declared that oil companies could once again obtain leases to explore and drill for oil domestically, the Department of Energy continues to stonewall any progress in creating an energy independent United States.

According to political strategist Mike Baker, the Obama Administration is making it more, not less difficult to achieve oil and gasoline independence.

For example, Baker points to how part of the $789 billion economic stimulus package in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided the Energy Department with an additional $38.3 billion for fiscal years 2009 and 2010, adding about 75 percent to Energy’s annual budgets. Most of the stimulus spending was in the form of grants and contracts.

“When President Jimmy Carter and the U.S. Congress created the U.S. Department of Energy in 1977, little did Americans know at the time that pencil-pushing bureaucrats would slowly and silently create a colossus centralized government power,” said Baker.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Doomed Flight AF 447: Questions Raised About Airbus Automated Control System

It took just three-and-a-half minutes for Air France flight AF 447 to plunge 11,000 meters into the Atlantic two years ago. An initial analysis of the plane’s data recorder hints at errors made by the pilots. But questions have also been raised about the A330’s automated control systems.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU’s Van Rompuy Says No Contradiction Between Islam and Democracy

Representatives from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim religions meet in Brussels (With photos) BRUSSELS, May 30 (KUNA) — About twenty senior representatives from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim religions as well as from the Buddhist communities met in Brussels Monday at the invitation of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and co-chaired by Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament and Herman Van Rompuy, President of the EU. They discussed effective ways to build a partnership for democracy and shared prosperity between Europe and its neighbourhood. Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Van Rompuy said: “let us not forget history. It is on the march in North Africa and the Arab world.” “These revolutions are not the work of fanatics or extremists. On the contrary they prove that there is no contradiction between Islam and Democracy, “ he stressed.

This was the seventh in a series of annual meetings launched by Barroso in 2005. This is the second time that the meeting takes place in the context of the Lisbon Treaty which foresees that the EU maintains an “open, transparent and regular dialogue” with religious communities in Europe.

On his part, Barroso said: “our task and ambition is to promote democracy, pluralism, the rule of law, human rights and social justice not only in Europe but also in our neighbourhood.” “And when we speak about freedom, of course we speak also about religious freedom.. The freedom to have a religion — this is more important than ever when we see some of the transitions that are now taking place,” he added.

Buzek said that “religious communities are of paramount importance for the social fabric in EU countries. The European Parliament always stressed that the freedom of religion or belief is one of the most fundamental human rights.” Shaykh Dr. Mustafa Ceric Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina told the press conference that he was very glad that the fugitive Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic has been arrested.

“My community suffered genocide at the end of the 20th century as a Muslim community,” he said.

Ceric said Islam teaches that all religious minorities in Muslim countries have five basic rights, the right to life, religion, freedom, property and dignity and urged Muslim-Christian reconciliation in Egypt.

He noted that Bosnian Muslims five centuries ago saved Jews from Spain who were persecuted there.

“As far as I am concerned I am proud of my religion, and contribution of my community to freedom in Europe,” stressed Ceric.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Germany: Nuclear Phaseout is an ‘Historic Moment’

Angela Merkel’s government has decided to phase out nuclear power by 2022, in a reversal of its previous policy. German commentators are split over the wisdom of the decision, with one newspaper comparing the move to the fall of the Berlin Wall and another saying it will harm future generations.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany Pledges to Shut Down All Its Nuclear Plants by 2022 Following Fukushima Disaster

Germany will shut down all its nuclear reactors by 2022 in a dramatic reversal of its nuclear policy following the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Officials immediately shut down seven of the country’s oldest plants in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.

Environment minister Norbert Roettgen has now announced that it will shut all 17 of its power stations over the next 11 years.

Chancellor Angela Merkel set up a panel to review the future of nuclear energy in the aftermath of the Japanese disaster.

Mr Roettgen said: ‘It’s definite: the latest end for the last three nuclear power plants is 2022. There will be no clause for revision.’

The oldest eight nuclear reactors will remain permanently shut — seven were closed temporarily following Fukushima and another has been off the grid for years.

Six more will close in 2021 and the remaining three, Germany’s newest plants, will remain open until 2022 as a safety cushion to ensure there is no disruption to supply.

Mrs Merkel backtracked in March on an unpopular decision just months earlier to extend the life of ageing nuclear plants in Germany, where the majority of voters oppose atomic energy.

Her Christian Democrats, their Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union and junior coalition partner the Free Democrats met on Sunday to discuss the nuclear future after an ethics commission ended its deliberations this weekend.

Some politicians had wanted a clause allowing for the agreement to be revised in future.

The Free Democrats wanted a flexible window for the exit, plus the option of bringing back at least one of the seven oldest nuclear reactors in case of emergency.

The coalition has agreed to keep one of the older reactors as a ‘cold reserve’ until 2013, if the transition to renewable energies cannot meet winter demand and if fossil fuels are not enough to make up for a potential shortfall.

The German decision on the future of nuclear energy still needs to go through parliament — and it could yet face opposition from the utilities that run the plants.

The announcement could be seized upon by nuclear opponents around the world amid post-Fukushima safety fears.

Juergen Grossmann, chief executive of the biggest power provider, RWE, has lobbied for nuclear plants to stay open longer, arguing that a quick exit would cost energy-intensive industry dearly and could threaten Germany’s industrial base.

Before Mrs Merkel shut down the oldest plants for three months, Germany got 23 percent of its power from nuclear plants.

Her about-turn has done little to regain her support, but has drawn scorn from the opposition and from within her own party ranks.

Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against nuclear energy at the weekend all across Germany.

Nuclear policy is heavily disputed in Germany and the issue has helped boost the Greens, who took control of one of the CDU’s stronghold states, Baden-Wuerttemberg, in an election in March.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Historian Uncovers New Account: Document Suggests Hitler Knew of Hess’ British Flight Plans

Was Rudolf Hess’s infamous flight to Great Britain in 1941 coordinated with Adolf Hitler? Although historians have long believed that the Nazi Party’s second-in-command was acting on his own, newly revealed statements by a senior Hess adjutant may suggest otherwise.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy Appeals to Court Over “Divisive” EU Patent Project

(AGI) Brussels- Italy as well as Spain is appealing to the EU Court of Justice for the annulment of the new singe European patent. The patent has been devised by 25 EU members who decided to proceed with the ‘enhanced cooperation’ formula, without Italy and Spain. Grassi, who represents Italy on the Competitiveness Council, commented: “It is one of the most divisive pages in the history of the EU. We doubt its legality.”

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

Italy: Centre Left Hail Local Election Results

Milan, Naples wins hurt Berlusconi, they claim

(ANSA) — Rome, May 30 — Italy’s centre-left opposition hailed local election results Monday they claimed struck a blow against Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government.

“The results have gone beyond the rosiest predictions,” said the largest opposition force, the Democratic Party, announcing a celebration Monday night at ancient Roman monument the Pantheon in Rome.

With few votes left to be counted both Milan, a conservative bulwark for the last 20 years, and Naples, a key southern Italian battleground, appeared to be heading for upset wins for the centre left.

The margin of victory appeared higher than expected with leftwinger Giuliano Pisapia holding a 55%-45% lead over incumbent mayor Letizia Moratti in Milan and ex-prosecutor Luigi De Magistris overpowering Berlusconi’s Naples candidate Gianni Lettieri by 65% to 45%.

Berlusconi had campaigned fiercely in the two cities and commentators have said there may be ructions in the ruling coalition between Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party and its partner the Northern League.

The government has dismissed all speculation that Berlusconi’s grip on power might be slipping but the media have again started naming possible future successors including Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti.

The centre left gained other key cities in the elections, the first test of public opinion since Berlusconi was hit by a storm of legal proceedings for alleged corruption, fraud and having sex with an underage prostitute.

Most pundits agree that, though weakened by the polls, the premier will seek to last out the government’s term which ends in 2013.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain: Indignados: Crowd Returns to Puerta Del Sol Republic

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MAY 30 — After 6 days of relative calm, yesterday thousands of people returned to Puerta del Sol in the heart of Madrid to take part in assemblies held by the ‘indignados’ (the indignant) who have been occupying this symbolic square in the capital for two weeks, the zero-kilometre mark for all roads in Spain, and where late in the evening they decided continue with their occupation. The youth movement — as well as others — which has played a key role in the ‘Spanish Revolution’ reached a turning point. Since Saturday in the cities throughout the country that have been occupied in recent weeks, the assemblies have been considering whether to continue with their encampments — which at times only involve a few dozen people — or to pursue other forms of protest against political corruption, the involvement of the banks, widespread unemployment and the lack of any prospects for a decent life. Yesterday in Toledo the indignados decided to end their occupation of Plaza Zocodover and to proceed with weekly neighbourhood assemblies. In Barcelona, young people of the ‘Democracia real Ya!’ movement, cleared out by force by Catalan police on Friday, re-established the ‘libertarian stronghold’ in Plaza Catalunya and have decided to stay there for now. On Saturday night they made human barriers to protect their encampment from the tens of thousands of fans of the Barcelona football club who were celebrated in the square and the Ramblas after the team’s victory in the Champions League final. But all of Spain had their eyes on Puerta del Sol, the spark that ignited the occupations by the indignados and since then the crucial point of the movement, where the assemblies discussed the future, and whether they should stay or leave. And in the end, with a show of hands the decision was made to stay, and without setting an end date.

The small “libertarian republic” of Puerta del Sol has turned into an actual town with the passing of time. Banquets, stands, homes, kitchens, open-air meeting rooms, tents and blue tarps occupy the entire square from Calle Arenal to the Puerta de Alcala’ have provoked increasingly hostile reactions from store and hotel owners, who have reported that business is down by 80%. The Madrid city and regional governments led by the People’s Party have asked Spanish Premier Jose’ Luis Zapatero to order the camps to be dismantled for safety and hygienic reasons. But Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Alfredo Rubalcaba, the future successor of Zapatero as the leader of the socialists, who has proposed a renewal of the party for those who are disappointed with socialism, does not seem to have any desire to go against the youth movement by sending in the police to remove them by force.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Europe’s Happy Rubbish Collectors

Polityka Warsaw

While some local authorities are struggling to cope with the burden of domestic waste, their colleagues in other countries see it as an opportunity for financial gain. Polish weekly Polityka reports on Sweden’s booming waste industry.

Tomasz Walat

Almost exactly 100 years ago, Sweden opened its first waste incineration plant. Since then, waste reprocessing has become the main source of energy in the country, where it now outranks oil and gas and produces more power than nuclear and hydroelectric combined.

Biomass, composed of plant, animal and also human waste, is widely used to produce heat and electricity. It also provides fuel for transport and a raw material for industry. Most of Sweden’s cities are heated by thermal power stations that either burn waste or biogas produced from waste processing.

Today, most of the power required to heat the Swedish capital is provided by the Högdalen cogeneration plant and a number of secondary installations, located close to residential areas. So what about protests by angry locals?

In fact, there never have been any. The managers of the Högdalen plant are fond of explaining that the gas that rises from its chimneys contains about the same quantity of toxic substances as the smoke exhaled by three smokers in the street — an assertion affirmed by the local environmental protection agency.

In Sweden, only one percent of waste is not recycled — mainly highly toxic substances which are stocked in sealed containers to prevent any ground water or atmospheric contamination.

Green cities

In 2010, Stockholm became the first city to be designated as the European Green Capital, and the environmentally sustainable Hammarby Sjöstad redevelopment has since become a visiting card for ecological urbanism that is presented to experts and tourists alike. The neighbourhood, which is home to tens of thousands of residents, will soon be self-sufficient in energy.

All of its domestic waste and waste water is processed by treatment centres in the immediate area, where it is transformed into bio-fuel for the nearby thermal power station. Powerful heat pumps are used to extract heat from the surprisingly cold waters of the canal that links Lake Mälaren, which is just west of the capital, to the Baltic Sea. And all of this energy production takes place in the former harbour and industrial area just four kilometres from downtown Stockholm.

The waste management business, which benefits from very favourable tax conditions, has become so successful, that the country is running short of waste to process. For many years, Göteborg imported waste from the Norwegian oil capital Stavanger. But now, even though it has extensive oil and gas reserves, Norway has also begun to make use of waste as an energy source.

So the Swedes have turned their attention to Naples, which in recent years has been literally inundated by waste. What amounts to a burden for the Italians could soon become a goldmine for the the Swedish-Norwegian company which is planning to buy one million tonnes of Italian waste a year, at a cost of 90 euros per tonne. So almost 60 years after the eponymous cult movie starring Sophia Loren, waste is on the way to becoming “The Gold of Naples.”

The HEM energy company, in Halmstad (south of Göteborg), is eager to resolve waste management crises not only in Naples, but also in other European cities, explains senior manager, Per Aalund. In Europe, approximately 150 million tonnes is dumped in breach of European legislation. “We would like to take it on,” he says.

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

Sweden: Narcolepsy Cases Rising After Swine Flu Vaccine

Ninety-three people in Sweden, most of them children, have been diagnosed with narcolepsy since taking the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix last winter, according to figures from the Swedish Medical Products Agency (Läkemedelsverket).

In 88 of the 93 cases, the agency has identified a direct correlation between the vaccine and the onset of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder causing extreme drowsiness and daytime sleep attacks.

According to the Swedish Association of Persons with Neurological Disabilities (Neurologiskt handikappades riksförbund — NHR), the agency is examining a further 135 cases involving children and will present its full findings later this summer.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sweden’s King Denies Everything

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf has denied all reports of alleged visits to strip clubs and contact with the criminal underworld, in an interview with the TT news agency on Monday afternoon.

“It is difficult to comment on something which one has not seen and which no one else has seen either,” the King told the TT news agency referring to reports of compromising pictures which are at the centre of recent revelations.

The King’s denials come after an extended period of turbulence and revelations over his private life and in the wake of polls indicating that support among the Swedish people had declined declining sharply.

Broadcaster TV4 reported recently that it had viewed the pictures which it confirmed featured the King in a strip club in the same picture as two women having sex, prompting questions over the king’s private life and the company he was keeping.

[Return to headlines]

Swedish Police Called to Fight Beaver Invasion

Police were called to help a homeowner deal with a wayward Swedish beaver that had found its way into the caller’s garage.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Bradford is Very Inbred’: Muslim Outrage as Professor Warns First-Cousin Marriages Increase Risk of Birth Defects

Inbreeding among British Muslims is threatening the health of their children, a leading geneticist warned yesterday.

Professor Steve Jones, from University College London, said the common practice in Islamic communities for cousins to marry each other increased the risk of birth defects.

‘There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful,’ he told an audience at the Hay Festival.

‘We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.

‘Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.’

Studies have shown that 55 per cent of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins — and in Bradford, this rises to 75 per cent.

Other research has found that children of first cousins are ten times more likely to have recessive genetic disorders and face deafness, blindness and infant mortality.

But Prof Jones’s comments provoked anger among some Muslim groups yesterday.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, which promotes the image of Muslims in Britain, said: ‘I know many Muslims who have married their cousins and none of them have had a problem with their children.

‘Obviously, we don’t want any children to be born disabled who don’t need to be born disabled, so I would advise genetic screening before first cousins marry.

‘But I find Steve Jones’s comments unworthy of a professor. Using language like “inbreeding” to describe cousins marrying is completely inappropriate and further demonises Muslims.’

Concern about the risks to children from first-cousin marriage has been described as the last great taboo.

Former environment minister Phil Woolas was rebuked by Downing Street in 2008 for saying British Pakistanis are fuelling rates of birth defects by marrying their cousins, with the spokesman for then prime minister Gordon Brown saying the issue was not one for ministers to comment on.

Mohammed Saleem Khan, chief executive of the Bradford Council for Mosques, said: ‘It is important to discuss these issues, but I just do not know of any firm evidence backing up Professor Jones’s claims. I think we need more conclusive studies so we can know for certain if there is any genuine risk.

‘Marriages between cousins is certainly common within south Asia, but it is becoming less so in Britain and also in Bradford. Islam allows you to marry anyone you want, so in many ways Islam promotes diversity.’

In his talk, Prof Jones said inbreeding was not confined to Muslims, and historically had occurred in every part of society, including the royal family.

He said: ‘We are all more incestuous than we realise. In Northern Ireland lots of people share the same surname, which suggests a high level of inbreeding.

‘There’s a lot of surname diversity in London but if you look at the Outer Hebrides there are rather fewer surnames in relation to the number of people.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

UK: Burglar Freed by Human Rights to Look After His Children Threatened Headmistress

The burglar let out of jail because it breached his family’s human rights has a history of aggressive behaviour, it emerged yesterday.

Wayne Bishop, 33, left a headmistress fearing for her own and her pupils’ safety after storming in to his son’s school and threatening to smash up ‘every car in the car park’ in a row over a bracelet.

A court heard the father of five — who was released a month into his fourth jail term on Friday following the Appeal Court’s astonishing judgment — went berserk after head Dora Wood confiscated the jewellery from his five-year-old son.

Bishop had been called to the school in October 2008 to discuss why his son repeatedly wore the bracelet in defiance of school rules. But Bishop blocked the school drive with his car and told Miss Wood: ‘I’m going to do you over.’

Nottingham magistrates heard Bishop began swearing at the headmistress in her office, adding: ‘I’m not sticking to the rules. My son’s not sticking to the rules.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Professor Risks Political Storm Over Muslim ‘Inbreeding’

Prof Steve Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, has warned that the level of inbreeding among the nation’s Muslims is endangering the health of future generations.

The geneticist said that it was common in the Islamic world for men to marry their nieces and cousins.

He said that Bradford has a particular problem and warned that it could affect the health of children born into these marriages.

Prof Jones, who lectures at University College London, is likely to find himself at the centre of controversy in the wake of the comments.

Similar remarks made by Phil Woolas, a Labour environment minister, in 2008 resulted in calls for him to be sacked from the government.

Prof Jones, who writes for the Telegraph’s science pages, told an audience at the Hay Festival: “There may be some evidence that cousins marrying one another can be harmful.

“It is common in the Islamic world to marry your brother’s daughter, which is actually closer than marrying your cousin.

“We should be concerned about that as there can be a lot of hidden genetic damage. Children are much more likely to get two copies of a damaged gene.”

He added: “Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.” Research in Bradford has found that babies born to Pakistani women are twice as likely to die in their first year as babies born to white mothers, with genetic problems linked to inbreeding identified as a “significant” cause.

Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins.

Separate studies have found that while British Pakistanis make up three per cent of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses. Prof Jones also said that incest was more common than is often realised in every part of society, adding that it had been particular prevalent among royalty and suggested it is still continuing.

“Royal families are the human equivalent of fruit flies because they do all the sexual experiments you can think of and there are some examples of inbreeding.

“Royalty did it to keep the heritage within the family line.

“Inbreeding doesn’t apply particularly to our own royal family, but there is some.”

He explained that Prince Charles and Diana could both be traced back to Edward I, with Prince Charles being able to do this through 3,000 “lines” — overlapping connections between people in his family tree — and his former wife being able to do it through 4,000, making the Princess of Wales “from stronger aristocratic heritage” than her husband.

“Their parents had much ancestry in common,” he said.

“We are all more incestuous than we realise.

“In Northern Ireland lots of people share the same surname which suggests a high level of inbreeding.

“There’s a lot of surname diversity in London but if you look at the Outer Herbrides there are rather fewer surnames in relation to the number of people.”

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: During 2010, 177 Kidnappings for Extortion

(ANSAmed) — ALGIERS, MAY 26 — During 2010 in Algeria, 177 people were seized in order to extract money from their families. This figure has emerged during a presentation of themes relating to law and order which is taking place in Tizi Ouzou.

Of the 177, 36 were women. The kidnappers often asked for moderate amounts of money in exchange for the victim’s freedom and the ransom was often met by the townsfolk of the victim.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egyptian Islamo-Nazism and “Omar Amin” Von Leers

Wednesday May 25, 2001 a group of Egyptians, led by founding member Emad Abdel Sattar proclaimed [3] the establishment of “a contemporary frame of reference” Nazi Party.

Sattar reportedly stated [3] that the party, whose founding deputy is a former military official, would bring together prominent figures from Egyptian society, and vest all powers in a “carefully selected” president.

The Egyptian Leftist publication Al-Masry Al-Youm, at its English website, further contends [3] the Nazi party operated clandestinely during the Mubarak regime which had prevented party leaders from carrying out their activities in the open. Two Facebook pages which appeared [3] recently under the title of “the Egyptian Nazi Party,” may confirm the party’s public emergence since Mubarak was deposed.

Whether or not the inchoate new Egyptian Nazi Party, operating within a “modern framework,” becomes a significant political force, Nazism and its ugly resonance with the country’s Muslim masses, has a prolonged, disturbing legacy in Egypt.

Aribert Ferdinand Heim, was a member of Hitler’s Waffen-SS, and a psychopathic “medical doctor” who committed [4] the most heinous atrocities at the Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen concentration camps, including: the performance of operations on prisoners without anesthesia; removing organs from healthy inmates, who were then left then to die on the operating table; injecting poison, including gasoline, into the hearts of others; and taking the skull of at least one victim as a “souvenir.”

As revealed in this February 4/5, 2009 New York Times story [4], Heim, like many Nazi war criminals, lived safely in Egypt, perhaps for up to three decades, following his flight from Europe in 1962…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom[Return to headlines]

Egyptian Group Says it Will Form Nazi Party

The Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm reported that a group of Egyptians have announced their intent to establish a Nazi party with “a contemporary frame of reference,” according to an independent Egyptian news website. The paper said that the leftist news portal Al-Badeel, in its posting yesterday, quoted founding member Emad Abdel Sattar as saying that the new party would bring together prominent figures from Egyptian society. The party’s founding deputy is a former military official.

The party believes in vesting all powers in the president after selecting him or her carefully, Abdel Sattar said, adding that preparations are underway to choose the most competent person to represent the party, according to the report. The Nazi party operated secretly under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime prevented party leaders from carrying out their activities freely, said the paper.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Egypt Will Return Muslim Brotherhood Funds Seized by Mubarak

The attorney for the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt said that the state has agreed to return some of the funds seized by the Mubarak regime, on the claim of money laundering, and that the total seized from the movement was €2.8 million.

Source: Al-Yawm Al-Sab’a, Egypt, May 26, 2011

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Morocco: EU Appeal: Stop Use of Force Against Demonstrators

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, MAY 30 — The European Commission has expressed its “concern at the violence” used to repress street protests in Morocco in recent days and has called on the Rabat government to “abstain from the use of force and to respect fundamental liberties”. This is according to Natasha Butler, the spokesperson for the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule. Butler has been answering questions from journalists in Brussels about the police repression carried out in recent days against protests deemed illegal.

“Freedom of assembly is a democratic right,” the EU Commission spokesperson said. “We are following the situation very closely and encourage peaceful dialogue from both sides to resolve the issues raised by the protesters”. The EU Commission acknowledges that the Moroccan authorities have undertaken a significant process of reforms and invites them to “continue down this road, for the benefit of all citizens”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

NATO Failing in Libya, Media Hiding the Truth, Says Prof Del Boca

For Angelo Del Boca, journalist and Libya expert, the high costs of the No Fly Zone have reduced to nothing any hope to see the blitz against Gaddafi succeed. Instead, the war might last several months because the Libyan leader still has troops, weapons and personal assets worth more than a billion Euros. The president of South Africa is in Libya to try a last moment deal with the Libyan government.

Rome (AsiaNews) — “The high costs of the operation against Gaddafi have turned a blitzkrieg in a media-led phony war. What NATO expected to obtain with the No Fly Zone is now gone,” Prof Angelo Antonio Del Boca told AsiaNews. A journalist and university scholar, Prof Del Boca has studied Libya and its leader for more than 30 years. According to the historian, “Gaddafi still has more than a billion Euros and the war could still last several months.”

Citing statements by a top Libyan official, Del Boca said that NATO destroyed less than 30 per cent of Libya’s military hardware. Great Britain and France no longer have the means to maintain the No Fly Zone. “The only alternative to unfreeze the situation is a land attack, which is banned by UN Resolution 1973, the historian said. This is why France and Great Britain are sending two ships with helicopters to comply with the UN resolutions.”

Today, South African President Jacob Zuma is set to meet Libyan leaders to discuss a ceasefire, but many are sceptical about the chances of success of his visit. For Del Boca, none of the countries involved in this war is interested in a peaceful resolution to the conflict. In fact, “the real reasons of this war are control over the oil fields and US$ 200 billion in Libyan government funds deposited in foreign banks.”

“The war is now illegal. Libya is still a sovereign country,” Del Boca said. “Europe intervened in a war, backing part of the population against the other, despite UN resolutions that ban third countries from intervening in civil wars.”

For the historian, the main problem is NATO’s arbitrary support for the Transitional Council that recently asked for more money to pursue the war.

“No one knows the Benghazi rebels. According to local sources, the cities of Cyrenaica have become a refuge for criminals, spies and members of extremist groups, many from other countries,” the historian said.

According to Tunisian media, two border guards were killed in a gun battle with nine armed men, from an extremist movement, who were trying to join the Benghazi rebels.

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

North Africa Revolutions Spotlight EU Policy Further South

The recent wave of pro-democracy revolutions in north Africa and the implications for EU relations with the wider continent are among the thorny topics set to dominate an EU-Africa meeting next week.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Court Orders Block on Porn Sites

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, MAY 26 — The Court of First Instance of Tunis has ordered all pornographic websites on the Internet to be blocked. The decision comes following a complaint filed recently by three lawyers. Pornographic websites which were blocked during the years of the Ben Ali presidency had become visible again in Tunisia immediately following the revolution.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Gaza Flotilla ‘Emboldened’ By Obama’s Mideast Speech

Organizers call on president to ‘protect’ ship named after his 2006 book

The organizers of an American activist flotilla setting sail later this month for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have appealed to President Obama to “protect” their ship.

The ship is named “The Audacity of Hope,” the namesake of Obama’s 2006 book and his 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. Obama himself took the name from the title of a sermon, “Audacity to Hope,” given by his controversial pastor for more than twenty years, Jeremiah Wright.

Several of the ship’s endorsers and fundraisers have been close associates of Obama’s.

The new flotilla is attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Jewish state maintains the blockade to ensure against Hamas arming itself at sea. The terrorist group had been caught several times attempting to smuggle weapons, including rockets and advanced missiles, into Gaza by sea.

In a letter to Obama, flotilla organizer Ray McGovern said the president’s major Middle East address from two weeks ago “emboldens me to claim your protection as we set out to put flesh on your rhetoric.”

“I write you for assurance of your support and protection as we try to embody your rhetoric,” wrote McGovern.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Hostage Case Hangs Over EU-Hamas Relations

Freeing captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit would increase EU support for Palestine’s bid for UN recognition in September, diplomatic sources say. But Hamas has ruled out any unilateral move.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iranian Ayatollah: Open Plan Kitchens Are Un-Islamic

Senior ayatollah Javadi-Amoli said at a conference of Iranian engineers that open plan kitchens contravene the teachings of Islam because the women of the household are exposed to the gaze of guests.

Source: Mehr (Iran), May 26, 2011

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Iraq: Othodox Christian Shot to Death in Mosul

Arkan Jihad Yacob, vice director of a cement factory, was married and a father of four. Twice before he had escaped kidnapping attempts, but this time, his attackers were able to stop and kill him on his way to work. The guns used had silencers. Fear continues to grip the Christian community.

Mosul (AsiaNews) — Iraq’s Christian community has been the victim of another targeted killing. This morning, an Orthodox Christian was killed in Mosul, northern Iraq. The dead man had been the victim of two attempted ransom abductions in the past, but in both cases, he was able to escape from his attackers. This time, the murderers waited for him as he went to work, firing at him several times in cold blood.

Sources, on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told AsiaNews that Arkan Jihad Yacob was an Orthodox Christian, and the vice director of a cement factory.

Born in 1948 in Mosul, the married father of four was the victim of two previous abduction attempts, ostensibly to extort ransom from his family. In both cases, he was quick enough to thwart his attackers.

This morning however, the men who went after him meant to kill and they succeeded. Arkan Jihad Yacob was shot several times as he made his way to work in an execution-style cold-blooded murder. His killers used a silencer.

The local community took part in Arkan’s funeral in Mosul’s Syro-Orthodox cathedral. With his death, Iraqi Christians find themselves again under attack from Muslim extremists.

The previous incident goes back to 16 May, in Kirkuk, when the body of a Christian man was found. He had been killed after being abducted, his body mutilated, because his family could raise US$ 10,000 to pay for the ransom (see “Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded,” in AsiaNews, 16 May 2011).

Speaking to AsiaNews, sources in Iraq say that Christians continue to endure an atmosphere of tensions and fear, as they continue to be targeted for abductions, which end in blood when they are unsuccessful. (DS)

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

Libya-Syria: Pillay (UN): ‘Shocking’ Repression

(ANSAmed) — GENEVA, 30 MAY — The UN’s High Commissionary for Human Rights Navi Pillay has qualified the brutality of repression in Lybia and Syria as “shocking”. “Brutality and the extension of provisions taken by the government in Lybia and now also in Syria are particularly shocking due to their total disregard of fundamental human rights”, said Pillay in a speech at the UN Council on human rights, which met at Geneva. Pillay also criticized “the heavy-handed repression of demonstrations, up to the inclusion of lethal measures, in Bahrain and Yemen”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Netanyahu: Sinai Could Get Out of Hand

(ANSAmed) — JERUSALEM, MAY 30 — Egypt is finding it increasingly difficult to impose its rule over the Sinai desert and it follows that various terroristic organisations are teeming in the area. So said premier Benyamin Netanyahu speaking today at the Parliamentary Commission for Foreing Affairs and Defence. As proof for his statement the premier mentioned two explosions that ocurred in the past months in the northern region of Sinai and which caused the interruption of natural gas supply from Egypt to Israel and Jordan. Netanyahu then pointed out that Israel is worried about the growing relations between Hamas and both the groups active in the Sinai and Egyptian leaders. He went on to say that Israel considers the “democratic trend” manifesting throughout the Arab world as positive, but it is unclear when this will actually mature. In the meantime its main concern is to ensure that “the peace borders with Egypt and Jordan” stay as such. Referring to the recent meeting with US president Barack Obama, Netanyahu told the deputees that he had put forth a political vision which he thinks is shared by the majority of the parties represented at the Knesset (parliament): the recognition of Israel as the State of the Jewish people; the opposition regarding the withdrawal from lines preceding the 1967 war; Israeli military presence on the Jordan river; a solution regarding Palestinian refugees outside Israeli territory.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Two Men Decapitated for Murder

(ANSAmed) — RIYADH, MAY 24 — Two men sentenced to death for murder were decapitated yesterday in Taef, in Saudi Arabia, taking to 20 the number of executions carried out in 2011 in the oil-rich kingdom. The Interior Ministry said last night that the first man had been sentenced to death after fatally stabbing a man during an argument, while the second had shot another man dead. There were 27 executions in 2010 in Saudi Arabia, where current procedure sees those sentenced to death decapitated with a sabre.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: USA Concerned About Moves Against Shiites and Iran

(ANSAmed) — NEW YORK, MAY 27 — Today the Wall Street Journal writes that the United States is concerned about the recent moves made by Saudi Arabia against Iran. According to the newspaper, Riyadh is forming an informal alliance between Sunnite Muslim countries to contrast the growing influence of Shiite-controlled Iran.

Saudi Arabia, according to the article, is in contact with countries like Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and some states in Central Asia in an attempt to obtain diplomatic support (and possibly also military support) to stem a Shiite uprising in Bahrain, controlled by the Sunnite minority.

Washington is particularly worried about Pakistan, because Saudi Arabia’s head of national security, prince Bandar bin Sultan al Saud, US ambassador for a long time, has reportedly asked him to support the generals that are in control of the powerful Pakistani armed forces.

The New York Times writes that Riyadh is stepping up its financial aid to the Arab world to try and stop the Arab spring, helping the ruling regimes. For example, around 14 billion has been allocated to the Egyptian military, support has been offered to Yemen, while Jordan and Morocco have been asked to join a union of Gulf monarchies.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Syria and Yemen: Army Attacks Protesters, Dozens of Deaths and Injuries

In Yemen the army attacks the crowd who have occupied Liberty Square in Taiz four months, and al-Qaeda groups occupy a city. In Syria, helicopters and tanks surround and attack the cities Rastan and Talibsa. International diplomacy absent, risk of civil war increases.

Sanaa (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Last night in Yemen, the army attacked thousands of people who have peacefully occupied Liberty Square (pictured) in the southern Taiz for four months, demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Meanwhile Syria has authorised military interventions against the population.

In Taiz the protesters say the army removed the barricades with a bulldozer, attacking with guns, tear gas and water cannons and setting some tents on fire, killing at least 20 demonstrators and wounding 150 others. The crowd responded by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. News agencies reported the statements of al-Sadek Shugaa, head of a field hospital, according to whom soldiers indiscriminately fired on the crowd.

Previously more than 3 thousand people protested before the Government Palace, also near Taiz’ Liberty Square, demanding the release of six protesters arrested May 26. According to Al Jazeera, some soldiers had joined the protesters.

Since January, people have been protesting against the government, supported by some influential tribal leaders, but President Saleh has made no concessions and refused to sign an agreement obtained through mediation by the Arab Gulf States, for the transition to democracy. The fear is that the prolonged conflict favours the penetration of Islamic terrorists. Army sources claim that four soldiers were killed today and dozens were injured near the city of Zinjibar, in an attack by militants from al-Qaeda. Apparently the city is under the control of more than 300 armed rebels, possibly al-Qaeda since May 27.

Tension is building in the country, last week there were violent clashes between the army and the Hashed tribal militias who support the opposition.

Meanwhile, yesterday morning the Syrian army surrounded and attacked the cities of Rastan and Talbisa with dozens of tanks and helicopters. In Talbisa there was a large demonstration against the government on May 27. The troops then began a house to house manhunt to arrest opponents of the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Protesters say the military first cut water, electricity and communications in the cities and report at least seven civilians dead (11 according to other sources), and over 100 wounded, while the military says it is carrying out an operation against “ armed terrorist groups.” But it is difficult to get objective news, after the authorities expelled foreign journalists. The two cities have been the scene of protests since March, at first with a demand for democratic reforms, and later demands for the resignation of Bashar, which have continued despite the crackdown by armed forces. There is also talk of more than 1000 deaths and 10 thousand arrests. The authorities say 143 soldiers have been killed by armed rebels.

In both countries the situation is beyond the control and the government trying to regain supremacy with progressive violence. But this is leading to an escalation of armed clashes, with the population and tribal groups who arm themselves with a growing risk of outbreaks a real civil war. Tomorrow at Antalya in Turkey 3-day conference of Syrian opposition groups will begin.

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

Yemeni Government Jets Bomb Al-Qaeda Strongholds

(AGI) Aden — Witnesses say Yemeni government jets have bombed Al-Qaeda strongholds in the Southern coastal city of Zinjibar.

They also said that the city simultaneously came under heavy artillery fire. Previously, an armed Al-Qaeda command had killed four Yemeni soldiers and injured another seven. Five Yemeni civilians were killed on Sunday in a battle between the regular army and Al-Qaeda militants in Zinjibar.

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


Closure of an Important Islamic Centre. Moscow Seeks Control of Islam

The Supreme Court ordered the Centre linked to the Council of muftis, to cease all activities. According to analysts and members of the Centre, the Kremlin wants to bring the Muslim community under the control of a single organization loyal to the state.

Moscow (AsiaNews) — According to analysts administrative irregularities, but also political motives are behind the Supreme Court decision to close, a popular Islamic organization with offices throughout Russia last week. They also maintain that the closure of the Centre for Islamic culture is linked to the Kremlin’s desire to bring the large Muslim community in the country under the control of a single organisation loyal to the state.

On 25 May, the Supreme Court upheld the Ministry of Justice decision to close the center for “multiple violations of financial regulations.” “This is a bureaucratic order given by people who want a puppet representatives for Muslims,” the leader and founder , Abdul-Wahid Niyazov, told Russian media. He explained how documentation submitted by the Ministry for Justice was obtained under pressure from the Security Service (FSB), the notorious Russian secret services. Niyazov added that several directors of the Centre resigned following threatening phone-call by the FSB. The intention now is to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Given the public arm of the Council of muftis — one of four organizations representing Russian Muslims — the Centre for Islamic Culture held exhibitions, press conferences, seminars and conferences with religious authorities. Its closure has been greeted positively by the ‘rival’ Muftis body of the whole of Russia, established last December with the active support of the Kremlin. According to the president of that organism, Mukhammedgali Khuzin, the Centre was also damaging to the community and interfaith dialogue, but he added no further explanation.

Alexander Soldatov, journalist, expert on religion columnist for the site, the central government did not appreciate the Centre’s initiative in organizing a mass prayer inside and outside the central mosque in Moscow in November on the feast of Eid al -Adha. “Immediately after that event — Soldatov said — the Kremlin was frightened and established the body of Muftis in direct competition with the Council.” Also, the Council is the main promoter of the construction of new mosques in the capital — where there are four — to meet the needs of the growing Muslim community. But both the city administration, the federal government does not seem willing to give up, especially after clashes between ethnic Russian Christians and Caucasians Muslims which erupted in the city in December.

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

Ukraine: Muslim Girl: 19, ‘Stoned to Death After Taking Part in Beauty Contest’

A teenage Muslim girl was stoned to death under ‘Sharia law’ after taking part in a beauty contest in Ukraine.

Katya Koren, 19, was found dead in a village in the Crimea region near her home.

Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes and had come seventh in a beauty contest. Her battered body was buried in a forest and was found a week after she disappeared.

Police have opened a murder probe and are investigating claims that three Muslim youths killed her claiming her death was justified under Islam.

One of the three — named as 16-year-old Bihal Gaziev — is under arrest and told police she had ‘violated the laws of Sharia’.

Gaziev said he had no regrets about her death because she had violated the laws of Islam.

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South Asia

Afghanistan: ‘Five Italians Wounded, 1 Seriously’ In Attack

Herat, 30 May (AKI) — A suicide attack in the western Afghanistan city of Herat on Monday wounded five Italian soldiers, according to Italian defense minister Ignazio La Russa.

One of the Italian’s wounds are considered serious, he said.

“It was a captain who was wounded in the abdomen,” La Russa said.

At least 4 people died and 27 were wounded by the attack that took place near the base overseen by the Italian Nato contingent, according to reports.

Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemari Bashary said two suicide bombers launched their attack near the joint civilian/military Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) base. He gave no details on casualties.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said four suicide bombers had attacked the base, though the militant group often exaggerates on details of

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

India: Orissa: False Accusations of Conversion to Oppress Tribals

Dozens of tribals arrested on false charges of trying to convert Hindu villagers. Members of the upper castes and the Hindu radicals are trying to block the battle against the caste system.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) — Two Christian lawyers in Orissa have reported false allegations of conversion from Hinduism in the village of Bada Saara Sahi, near Khurda. On May 8, three men were arrested on charges of practicing forced conversions in the village. While another 55 people were arrested on 22 and 23 May in episodes related to the first event. The two lawyers, Manas Ranjan, human rights activist, and Rasmi Ranjan Jena, have conducted an investigation on the spot. Accusations of forced conversion or proselytism are often used by militant Hindu organizations against Christians, who are accused of attempting to increase their numbers through bribes, favours, and charitable aid.

The Catholic bishops have challenged these accusations many times demanding evidence of these forced conversions, but so far no facts have been presented. Campaigns against forced conversions, however, are behind many episodes of anti-Christian violence, as well as the pogrom against Christian institutions in Orissa in 2007 and 2008.

The indictment, filed by Kailash Pradhan, is as follows: those arrested, along with others, are charged with trying to convince the plaintiff and others to abandon the worship of Hindu gods and goddesses, and to embrace another, non specified, religion. All the defendants are tribal, and considered “untouchable.” The two lawyers have spoken with them and other people of the village.

“There is anger on their part to the natural rule untouchability. They do not wish to be part of the Hindu religion, but at the same time said they have not converted to any religion. They try to influence other members of their community to oppose the caste system, but they will not convert anyone to another religion, “say the two lawyers.

The accused are part of an anti-caste organisation, the “Samajika Nyaya Macha”, or “Manvabadi. The lawyers also spoke with a police official in Khurda, who defined the allegations of conversion as “false and frivolous” and stated that “there is no involvement of any religious group in the incident.” The two lawyers conclude that the complaints come from members of the upper castes, who are opposed to the struggle of the tribals and untouchables against discrimination. But the two Christian lawyers also suggest the role played here by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, national voluntary organization), the militant movement of the radicals be investigated.

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

UK’s £400m Aid for India Schools ‘Squandered’ After Education Standards Fall

Hundreds of millions of pounds in British aid has been squandered on schools in India where standards have fallen.

Britain has pumped £388million into the Indian education system over the past eight years, and is due to spend another £117million by 2013.

But an investigation has revealed that much of the money has been wasted and that standards of reading, writing and arithmetic have dropped.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Far East

Malta Says Yes in Divorce Referendum

(AGI) La Valletta — The government announced that Malta has voted yes in the divorce referendum. The result now leaves the Philippines as the only country in the world not to recognise divorce.

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

Tension Rises in Inner Mongolia With Martial Law in Force

(AGI) Beijing — Tension is still high in Inner Mongolia where the Chinese authorities have imposed marshal law in various areas of the autonomous region and have ordered a new deployment of police forces along the streets and in the squares of the capital Hohhot. Mongols have, however, planned further protests. The news was reported by the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center which believes that new protests will be held today all over the region.

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

Sub-Saharan Africa

Vuvuzelas Spray Millions of Spit Particles

The vuvuzela, that ear-splitting horn beloved by soccer fans and despised by everyone else, now has another count against it: it spews aerosolized spit like no other. And you know what travels in aerosolized spit? Germs. An enterprising researcher wondered whether the technicolor trumpets had contributed to the spread of flu in South Africa during the World Cup.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


25 Egyptian Illegal Immigrants Repatriated

Rome, 30 May (AKI) — Twenty-five Egyptian illegal immigrants were deported on a flight from the Sicilian city of Catania to Cairo, Italy’s interior ministry said.

Most of the migrants had arrived last week on Italy’s southernmost island of Lampedusa by boat from Libya, according to the ministry.

The migrants had claimed to be Iranian and minors under 18 years of age, but officials managed to establish that they were in fact Egyptian adults.

The interior ministry said. 412 Egyptian illegal immigrants have been repatriated from Italy since January.

Over 30,000 people have come ashore aboard ships that had set sail mostly from Tunisia and Libya, where patrols were interrupted amid popular uprisings.

Italy in March signed a deal with Tunisia under which up to 60 illegal Tunisian immigrants can be deported each day.

In Libya, the revolt which began in mid-February has become a civil war between rebels and forces loyal to longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi which has displaced close to a million people, including many Egyptian and other immigrant workers.

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

70% of Science Award Finalists Are Children of Immigrants

Immigration is a boon to American science and math, a new report asserts, noting that 70 percent of the finalists in a recent prestigious science competition are the children of immigrants. The report by the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonprofit research group in Arlington, Va., states that many immigrant parents emphasize hard science and math education for their children, viewing those fields as paths to success. Statistics supporting that belief: According to a recent Georgetown University study on the value of undergraduate majors, the lifetime median annual income for someone with a bachelor’s degree in engineering is $75,000, compared with $29,000 for a counseling or psychology major.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Close to 400 Migrants Escorted to Sicily’s Pozzallo Port

(AGI) Ragusa — Some 400 migrants, including an estimated 50 women and children, are to land in Pozzallo. The fishing boat ferrying them to Italian shores was spotted this afternoon by the Italian coast guard, who are currently escorting them to the port of Pozzallo. The party will undergo ID checks and will be hosted at temporary holding facilities.

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

Moroccan Business Owners in Italy on the Rise

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, MAY 24 — The number of Moroccans who decide to go it alone and start their own businesses is on the rise. This community of migrants, the third largest in Italy with 400,000 in total, has over 50,800 business owners, a figure that increased by 5.7% last year. The situation was discussed by the Milan Chamber of Commerce which hosted a conference on the topic yesterday. Geographically, business owners from Morocco seem to prefer the Lombardy and Piedmont regions to start up their businesses, and they are active in sectors ranging from social assistance to translations, retail trade and construction. Nine out of ten of these businesses are run by men, and in three out of five cases the men are between the ages of 30 and 49. These businesses not only contribute to Italy’s economy, but can also play a role in the development of their home country through the investment of remittances into business projects, it was explained during the conference. In order to encourage these dynamics, in recent months the Coordination Committee for Voluntary Service (COSV), together with other groups, launched an information and support project aiming to assist Italian entrepreneurs interested in cooperating in projects in Morocco. Trade is also flourishing between the two countries. According to the most recent data from the Chamber of Commerce, in 2010 trade amounted to nearly 2 billion euros, an increase of 9.2% compared to 2009, with over 1.4 billion euros in exports and 520 million in imports.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Paedophile Illegal Immigrant is Finally Thrown Out of Britain After Claiming Deportation Would Breach His Human Rights

A paedophile illegal immigrant has finally been thrown out of Britain after a long court battle in which he claimed that deporting him would breach his human rights.

Zulfar Hussain, 48, has cost the taxpayer up to £100,000 with his legal battle to remain in Blackburn, Lancashire.

He had been jailed for five years and eight months in August 2007 after he was convicted of child abduction, sexual activity with a child and supplying youngsters with ecstasy after he lured two girls into a sex trap.

He was allowed to stay in Britain after winning a court case in 2010, using the ‘right to family life’ argument under Article Eight of the Human Rights Act, because he has a wife and two children here.

But the Home Office appealed against the decision and kept Hussain in an immigration detention centre after his release from prison.

It emerged today that Hussain had been sent back to his native Pakistan at the weekend after he lost his case following a series of court hearings.

Police who investigated him hailed the decision as ‘a victory for common sense’.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: ‘We will not accept foreign nationals like Zulfar Hussain breaking our laws.

‘Those who commit serious offences should be removed at the earliest possible opportunity.

‘We will do all we can to protect the public from those who abuse their right to be here.’

The legal costs and the £110-a-day bill for keeping Hussain in the detention centre will be met by the public purse.

Hussain was originally arrested in 2007 after picking up two girls aged around 15 both of whom were in the care of Blackburn with Darwen Council social services.

The first lived at a children’s home in Lancashire and the second had been placed with foster parents but — because of her persistent truancy — she was moved to a children’s home in Wales.

The girls had become involved in sexual relationships with Hussain and his accomplice Qaiser Naveed, 34, in around October 2005 — they would often spend the night together at a home in Blackburn.

One night in February 2006, the first girl was picked up by the pair in Hussain’s BMW.

The alarm was raised by social services after the girl was reported missing from her children’s home.

A social services team leader, obtained a mobile phone number for Hussain and informed the older pair that the girl was under 16 and was officially missing.

Hussain and Naveed were driving to Wales, with the youngster, to pick up the second girl, at an Asda store when the pair insisted over the phone that the girls were not with them.

After they travelled back to Blackburn, Naveed had sex with the first girl on the back seat of the car while the second girl remained in the front of the vehicle with Hussain.

The girls were given ecstasy tablets throughout the night by the two men, along with alcohol, the court was told.

The BMW eventually ended up at the house in Blackburn and while Naveed spent time with another older teenage girl, who they had picked up in Burnley, Hussain went on to have sex with the second girl.

Later she told police that she had felt uncomfortable about having sex with him and had called out to her friend because she was afraid of him.

At Preston Crown Court in August 2007 Hussain, of Blackburn, and Naveed, of Burnley, admitted abducting a child, sexual activity with the same child and supplying the youngsters with ecstasy.

They were ordered to sign the sex offender’s register for life and banned for life from associating with girls aged under 16. In 2010 Hussain was due to be released from jail and faced being deported along with his accomplice.

He argued his right to a family life in the country based on his British citizen wife of 21 years and children living in Blackburn for 10 years and a judge backed his case after lawyers used the Human Rights Act.

His lawyers also said Hussain had expressed remorse and had been well-behaved in prison and that he had no previous convictions in Pakistan or Britain.

But the UK Borders Agency won an appeal in January and detained Hussain.

After several failed re-appeals, during which he sacked his legal team, UKBA officers fast-tracked his deportation and emergency travel documents were obtained, with Hussain sent back to Islamabad on Saturday night.

A UKBA spokesman said it was not known if his family — who stood by him during his sentence and visited him in prison — had joined him in his native country.

He added: ‘Our priority is to protect the public and we strongly believe foreign law breakers should be removed from the UK at the earliest possible opportunity.

‘The UK Border Agency will automatically seek to deport any foreign national criminal who has been jailed for a serious offence.’

Det Sgt Mark Whelan, from Lancashire Police said: ‘The impact on the victims in this case will be reduced following this successful appeal by the UK Borders Agency.

‘Knowing he’s back in Pakistan will mean they are able to feel safe and draw a line under this whole episode.’

Naveed — also a Pakistani national — did not oppose his deportation.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

NY Queers for Jihad

Queers Against Israeli Apartheid” exercised their hard-won right to hold their meetings at New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Center. Their right to hate and to be grossly misinformed was, as usual, presented as a free speech right and as yet another victim-driven Intifada (uprising).

This meeting followed the long campaign to vilify City University Trustee Jeffrey Wiesenfeld for daring to dissent from Tony Kushner’s anti-Israel views; Kushner, who happens to be both gay and Jewish, is nevertheless being given an honorary doctorate this week. These two events are intimately connected to each other and have been further empowered by President Obama’s shameful and dangerous actions towards the Jewish State.

We have all seen black and white footage of people dancing the night away, even as the crematoria or the machetes did their deadly work somewhere off camera. We understand that people elsewhere continue eating, having babies, buying first homes, going on vacations, even as genocidal wars rage on camera, even as tornadoes, nuclear plant meltdowns, and savage flash floods destroy whole communities elsewhere, also on camera.

Right now, in my little neck of the planet, Manhattan, the weather has turned gloriously sunny and summery; people are enjoying this respite from the unending rains and freezing winter weather. As people amble through leafy city streets, the world is preparing to slaughter the Jews again. As if the Muslim Brotherhood and the Gama’a al-Islamiyya in Egypt were not enough, a new swastika-flying Nazi party has emerged in Egypt—Egypt, Israel’s friendly neighbor; Egypt, which on Saturday opened the Rafah crossing to admit even more weapons and terrorist fighters into Gaza in the unending Arab war against the Jews; Egypt, where many are demanding an end to the cold peace treaty with Israel.


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A Century and a Half of Colour Photography

In 1861, the physicist James Clerk Maxwell announced his discovery of the three-colour process on which the technology of colour photography is still based. To mark the anniversary, New Scientist looks at the inventors, tinkerers and pioneers who made colour photography possible.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Technology: Charging Towards the Superbattery

Lithium-ion technology is bringing us closer to solving energy and transport problems.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Dawn of the Anthropocene Era: ‘We Are the Top Predator on Earth’

Global warming, rising sea levels, mass extinction of species: Mankind is changing the planet to such an extent that an increasing number of scientists wants to proclaim a new geological epoch. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, British geologist Jan Zalasiewicz makes his case for the Anthropocene era.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]