Saturday, January 11, 2003

News Feed 20110603

Financial Crisis
»Dignity and Democracy: Escaping the Clutches of the Financial Markets
»Greece: Attacks on Politicians Multiply
»Italy: Prato GDF Finds a 11 Mln Euro Tax Evasion by China Firms
»National Debt is a Threat to National Security
»The Euro-Zone and Greece: Trichet’s Dream of a European Finance Ministry
»Americans Divided on Taxing the Rich to Redistribute Wealth
»Author: ‘Birth Certificate’ Prompts Departure of White House Counsel
»Eclipsed: Why the White Working Class is the Most Alienated and Pessimistic Group in American Society.
»Soros-Funded, Marxist-Led Group Pushes ‘Net Control’
»Strauss-Kahn Lawyers Accuse NYPD of Media Leaks
»The Phony Rightwing
»Two New York Hotels Give Housekeepers Panic Buttons
»Welcome to Shariamerica
»Gadhafi Ties Cloud Toronto Mosque
Europe and the EU
»Bulgarian Ethnic Turks Demand Having 2nd Mosque in Sofia
»France: Former Minister’s Allegation of Paedophilia Investigated
»French Socialists May Expel Member Speaking Out on Strauss-Kahn
»Italy: One Parent in Three Fails School Canteens
»MI6 Hits Al-Qaida in ‘Operation Cupcake’
»Sweden: Suicide Attack Could Happen Again: Prosecutor
»UK: It’s Time to Confront This Taboo: First Cousin Marriages in Muslim Communities Are Putting Hundreds of Children at Risk
»UK: Man Accused of Assaults at the Markazi Jamia Mosque in Emily Street, Lawkholme
»UK: Mother Yanks Knife Out of Her Own Head and Meditates to ‘Stay Conscious’ After Son Stabs Her
»Young Swedes Favour Dictatorship: Study
»YouTube: Israeli Deputy Minister Embarrasses Belgian Jewish Community
North Africa
»Bipartisan Congress Rebuffs Obama on Libya Mission
»Caroline Glick: The Real Egyptian Revolution
»Hamed Abdel-Samad: The Downfall of the Islamic World: A Blatant Lack of Objectivity
»Libya: Bombs Are Becoming Our Calvary, “ Says Tripoli Bishop
Israel and the Palestinians
»Who is Hidden Beneath the Burqa? An Appeal to the West
Middle East
»Fresh Battles Between Yemen Troops, Tribesmen
»Interfaith Leaders in Istanbul Pledge to Counter Extremism
»Muslim Brotherhood Riding the Crest of Arab Spring
»Soap Operas Increasing Iraqi Interest in Turkish Literature
»Suicide Bombing at Sunni Mosque in Iraq Kills 16
»The Coming Turkish-Led Caliphate
»Turkish PM Erdogan Creating ‘Society of Fear, ‘ Opposition Chief Says
»A Year in the Life of a Marsonaut
South Asia
»Home-Grown Militant: Terrorists Claim German Jihadist Dead in Afghanistan
»Malaysian Women Launch ‘The Obedient Wife Club’
»Pubs Bar African Nationals in Bangalore
Latin America
»Peru: Candidates on the Attack in Final Presidential Debate
»EU Report Confirms Lukewarm Reaction to Malta’s Appeal for Burden-Sharing
»Europe-Wide Immigration Agency Could Take Control of British Borders
»Maltese Patrol Boat Rescues 76 Migrants
»Some Immigrants Turn to Tea Party
»TAP: Over 270 Missing in Mediterranean
»UN Reports 150 Bodies Recovered Off the Coast of Tunisia
»UN: 150 Bodies Found in Tunisia Migrant Boat Wreck
»Heaviest Elements Yet Join Periodic Table
»Moving Mirrors Make Light From Nothing
»Rare ‘Midnight’ Partial Solar Eclipse Amazes Northern Skywatchers

Financial Crisis

Dignity and Democracy: Escaping the Clutches of the Financial Markets

In today’s Europe, the people are no longer in control. Instead, politicians have become slaves to financial institutions and the markets. We are partly to blame — and changes are urgently needed to nurse European democracy back to health.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Attacks on Politicians Multiply

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JUNE 3 — The number of episodes of violence and condemnation against politicians in Greece are dangerously increasing. After the attacks by a fringe group of “angry citizens” against several MPs a few nights ago outside of Parliament, another incident in Corfu has been reported, where stones were thrown at a group of Greek and European MPs. According to several witnesses present, the attack did not cause any injuries among the people who were attacked, a group that included one of the MEPs’ sons, who is a minor. The most recent attack took place yesterday in Argiroupoli, southeast of Athens, when a group of about 40 people threw stones and other objects, forcing the spokesperson of the socialist government, Giorgio Petalotis, to leave the room where he was holding a meeting. PASOK, the socialist party in power in Greece, has accused the leaders and supporters of the small left-wing party, Syriza, of instigating the violence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Prato GDF Finds a 11 Mln Euro Tax Evasion by China Firms

(AGI) Prato — Guardia di Finanza agents have discovered 2 fraudulent offences perpetrated by 2 Chinese companies. They shared the same template: shift the business activities from one company to another with the aim of avoiding paying taxes.

Howeer, the successful outcome of the system was foiled by the controls performed by the Italian Customs and Excise Police that, in one case, found a tax evasion worth 11 million Euros and, in the other case, seized over 450 tons of unreported fabrics and singled out 8 unauthorized workers.

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

National Debt is a Threat to National Security

National debt is the biggest threat to our national security. Most people’s eyes glaze over when discussion turns to business and economics. Americans know we have a huge debt with lots of zeroes but have no idea how it grew so exponentially large, where it came from, who owes it, who owns it, or how many zeroes a trillion has.

Do Americans care who is responsible for this debt, whether we can or should reduce it? Should they just change the channel when the business news flashes across the screen? Few people bother to look at the national debt, running at nano speed, showing second by second the total indebtedness of each taxpayer, man, woman, and child based on U.S. Congress’ policies and current spending of the U.S. government.

The national debt is like a disaster in a faraway place that does not affect or concern us; we can just turn off the news. Even fewer Americans realize that today’s economics is the continuation of politics by other means. Our politics and our economy are inexorably intertwined — to understand one, you must examine the other. The Federal Reserve System, our central bank, is never divorced from politics as they pretend. Its Chairman, Ben Bernanke, is a very powerful player as a monetary policy maker.


The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI), also known as inflation, has been stable for 200 years until the early 1900s. From 1971 to 2010, this price index has gone up 500%. Money printing and uncontrolled credit creation are the culprits. Lately, this administration’s economists have left out food and gasoline in their measurement of CPI in order to skew reality. This is disingenuous since all Americans are affected by the price of food and gas. According to professors Lawrence H. Officer and Samuel H. Williamson, it took $5.31 to buy in 2008 what it cost $1 in 1971, the year President Nixon ended the backing of the U.S. dollar by gold. Just to keep up with inflation, Americans would have to earn 5.31 times more income today than they did in 1971. Today’s dollar is only worth 19 cents when compared to 1971.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Euro-Zone and Greece: Trichet’s Dream of a European Finance Ministry

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet envisions a future in which Brussels can veto the budgets of debt-ridden euro-zone countries. It’s not likely to happen anytime soon, but the ongoing problems in Greece demonstrate the perils of business as usual.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Americans Divided on Taxing the Rich to Redistribute Wealth

Public is split over enacting heavy taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth

Americans break into two roughly evenly matched camps on the question of whether the government should enact heavy taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth in the U.S. Forty-seven percent believe the government should redistribute wealth in this way, while 49% disagree, similar to views Gallup found four years ago.

The question also provokes different reactions from men compared with women, whites vs. nonwhites, and upper-income vs. lower-income Americans. Consistent with their more Democratic political orientation, women, nonwhites, and lower-income adults are all more supportive than their counterparts of government redistribution of wealth via taxes.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Author: ‘Birth Certificate’ Prompts Departure of White House Counsel

Corsi says move ‘marks beginning’ of end of Obama eligibility cover-up

The author of the best-selling “Where’s the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible To Be President” charged today the resignation of White House counsel Bob Bauer is the result of his participation in the release of Barack Obama’s “Certificate of Live Birth,” which he fears would not stand up to the scrutiny of any serious investigation by the FBI, Congress or the media.

When the announcement about Bauer’s departure was made today, the AP said he was returning to private practice and to represent Obama as his personal attorney and as general counsel to Obama’s re-election campaign.


But Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., who authored the “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” book that debuted at No. 6 on the New York Times best-sellers list after reaching No. 1 several weeks earlier at, said, “I think Bauer’s resignation marks the beginning of the Obama eligibility cover-up starting to unwind.”

Corsi believes Bauer “felt compelled” to resign because of the growing substance to worries that the eligibility issue will blow up into a full-scale investigation.

“Bauer sent Perkins and Coie attorneys to Honolulu to pick up from the Hawaii Department of Health what he believed would be two certified copies of Obama’s 1961 long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate,” Corsi said.

“When the White House released to the public the birth certificate in the form of a PDF computer file obviously created on Adobe software and a Xerox copy, Bauer realized the Hawaii DOH had participated in the fraud,” Corsi charged.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Eclipsed: Why the White Working Class is the Most Alienated and Pessimistic Group in American Society.

The picture is changing, but whites who have not completed college remain the backbone of many, if not most, communities and workplaces across the country. They are also, polls consistently tell us, the most pessimistic and alienated group in American society. The latest measure of this discontent came in a thoughtful national survey on economic opportunity released last week by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project. If numbers could scream, they would probably sound like the poll’s results among working-class whites.

One question asked respondents whether they expected to be better off economically in 10 years than they are today. Two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics said yes, as did 55 percent of college-educated whites; just 44 percent of noncollege whites agreed. Asked if they were better off than their parents were at the same age, about three-fifths of college-educated whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics said they were. But blue-collar whites divided narrowly, with 52 percent saying yes and a head-turning 43 percent saying no. (The survey, conducted from March 24 through 29, surveyed 2,000 adults and has a margin of error of ±3.4 percent.)

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Soros-Funded, Marxist-Led Group Pushes ‘Net Control’

FCC caught colluding to expand Washington’s rules for Web

The Federal Communications Commission colluded with a George Soros-funded, Marxist-founded organization to publicly push a new plan to regulate the Internet under the government’s “net neutrality” program, according to just released documents.

The shock material was released in response to a Freedom of Information request from Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption.

The released documents include internal correspondence and emails evidencing some coordination between FCC officials and leaders of Free Press, a controversial nonprofit which petitions for more government control of the Internet and news media.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Strauss-Kahn Lawyers Accuse NYPD of Media Leaks

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers accused the New York Police Department Thursday of leaking details of their client’s sex assault case to the media, thereby damaging the former IMF chief’s chances of receiving a fair trial.

AP — Lawyers for former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn charged Thursday that leaks to the media could prevent their client from getting a fair trial in his attempted rape case, and they’re blaming the New York Police Department.

And lawyers William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said they themselves could release information that “would seriously undermine the quality of this prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant in this case,” though they didn’t elaborate.

Their complaint came in a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., whose office responded with a letter of its own criticizing the defense lawyers for going public with their claim to have information that could damage prosecutors’ case.

“We are aware of no such information,” wrote Manhattan assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, part of a team of prosecutors working on the case.

The scrap came as Strauss-Kahn spent his first full day in the latest locale for his high-priced house arrest, a $50,000-a-month town house in trendy TriBeCa.

The 62-year-old economist is accused of sexually attacking a hotel housekeeper May 14. He says he’s innocent.

The case has unleashed a swarm of sometimes minute-to-minute reporting by a fiercely competitive, international media presence.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers lambasted articles attributed to anonymous sources — in the police department, they say — as containing “a wide array of prejudicial information about Mr. Strauss-Kahn” and information his lawyers haven’t yet gotten themselves.

They noted articles in various outlets this week saying that Strauss-Kahn’s DNA was found on the 32-year-old maid’s clothing.

Various “information has now been recklessly injected into the public arena with the potential of permanently prejudicing potential jurors who are being exposed to these materials on a daily basis,” they wrote, suggesting they might seek court action if the leaks don’t stop.

The Police Department declined to comment.

Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers also asked Vance to give them scientific and police reports in the case, including the accuser’s statements to police…

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

The Phony Rightwing

A couple years ago one of my neighbors asked me to accompany her to a tea party meeting at the Maryville, TN library which is about 25 minutes from Knoxville. I said, “Sure, I’d love to go see what they’re doing.” There were several speakers and most of it was boring classroom beginner’s education for those that were just waking up to the fact that we’ve lost our country. We paid our two dollars and sat in the back of the room. The third speaker’s topic was “Where to go for information.” When they showed pictures of websites of Newt Gingrich and Heritage Foundation and others, I just shook my head and got up and left. I was absolutely appalled that any freedom loving American would send an audience of uneducated people into the hands of those that are worse enemies than the obvious Democrat Marxists. Remember folks, “A false friend IS MORE DANGEROUS than an open enemy.”

For several months I’ve mulled over the thought of exposing everyone they suggested, Newt, Heritage, Koch and a plethora of GOP candidates running for election in 2012 for POTUS. In a previous three part article, SAVING THE REPUBLIC?, I exposed a good deal of the Heritage background, but we will need to revisit and explore more deeply the deception of this allegedly conservative think tank which is anything but a constitutional foundation.

First we’ll start with Newt who masquerades as a rightwing conservative but is one of the most dangerous enemies of freedom now hoping to gain the presidency in 2012. Some friends have told me with all the bad press he’s dead in the water, but I saw McCain resurrected, not once but twice to win the primary in the 2008 elections, so we still need to know the truth about Newt.


Gingrich, who swore an oath 10 times to uphold and defend the constitution urges with his mentor Toffler, the very death of the American Constitutional system. Gingrich wrote the forward to Toffler’s book, “Creating a New Civilization.” As my friend, Constance Cumbey wrote in her recent article, the very best information on The Third Wave and Newt Gingrich was written by Steve Farrell. The entire 8 part series is here. If you never do any other reading, print this 8 part series out and read it carefully. It is a picture of what is happening to America.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Two New York Hotels Give Housekeepers Panic Buttons

After a new instance of alleged sexual assault on a hotel housekeeper, two New York City hotels have agreed to give their room-cleaning staff panic buttons that they can use if any guests act inappropriately.

Following two alleged instances of sexual assault on New York City hotel housekeepers in recent weeks, one swanky Manhattan hotel has agreed to implement a new safety system.

From now on, the cleaning staff of the Pierre Hotel will be equipped with panic buttons that they can press to set off an alarm should any guests act inappropriately.

The policy was agreed upon after the New York Hotel Workers’ Union, which represents hotel workers in New York City, pushed for greater protections.

In addition to the Pierre, a hotel located on Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side neighbourhood, the Sofitel New York — where former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of attempting to rape a room attendant — will also give its personnel the buttons.

The measure comes on the heels of a second accusation of sexual assault — this time at the Pierre.

Police arrested Mahmoud Abdel Salam Omar, a top executive from an Egyptian salt-producing company on Monday, after a housekeeper said he locked her in his room at the hotel and forced himself on her.

The two consecutive cases have shed new light on the unwanted sexual advances that hotel housekeepers are said to commonly face from guests.

To combat that, the hotel workers’ union has been drafting legislation that would require all New York hotels to give their workers the panic buttons.

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

Welcome to Shariamerica

Acts 17 Apologetics has posted a provocative U-Tube video in which David Wood welcomes listeners to what he dubs “SHARIAmerica.”[link] In it, Wood offers compelling reason why our government’s official position regarding the “Holy” Qur’an exemplifies religious duplicity. The postmodern term for “double standard” is “political correctness.” It entails unfair application of a principle, rule, or expectation to different groups—only one of which is condemned for the slightest offense. The other is treated far more leniently.

One would expect that, if a double standard were applied in “the land of the free,” it would favor Bible principles. Indeed, in 1892 the U.S. Supreme Court established that “our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of Mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent, our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.”

Even so, freedom of religion allows free exercise of the Christian faith while, at the same time, it gives place to those of differing persuasions. In his 1791 autobiography, Benjamin Franklin “did not disapprove” of a Pennsylvania meeting place designed to accommodate preachers of all religions. “Even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us,” Franklin added, “he would find a pulpit at his service.”[2]

Put another way: “Tolerant ‘R US,” and stats prove it. While the population of the United States exceeds 300 million, only three percent are Muslim; all the same, in addition to Islamic day- and weekend- schools, there are some two thousand mosques scattered across our nation.[3]

At taxpayer expense, the University of Michigan, Dearborn and the Indianapolis International Airport even provide footbaths for ritualistic Muslim washing! While Christian students are denied a moment of silent prayer in state schools and athletic fields, Muslim counterparts at Carver Elementary School, San Diego are granted fifteen-minute prayer breaks each afternoon. Double standard? You bet.[4]


In contrast, grown-ups in free society understand that being offended in the public arena is an inevitable price of free choice in matters of faith and morality. Fact is, Christians are well acquainted with the plethora of plaques, bumper stickers, slogans, and lyrics that daily offend.

Under a specious “wall of separation” principle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State repeatedly denigrate doctrines and symbols held sacred to countless Christian Americans expected to “eat it.” Yet, while sidestepping reference to Christians (or any other religionists, for that matter), our President commits to “fighting negative stereotypes against Islam wherever they appear.”[13]


In response to the question, “Can’t we all just get along?” administration officials have erased from the national security policy lexicon phrases like “Islamic extremism” and “jihad.” One former FBI agent claims that to speak up about the Islamist threat is to be pushed out of the agency. Not only the bad guys, but also the whistle blowers are likely to be targeted for internal investigation.[15]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Gadhafi Ties Cloud Toronto Mosque

The Toronto and Region Islamic Centre was established nearly two decades ago with thousands of dollars in funding from Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, but today a segment of that community believe the mosque has a moral duty to sever its ties to the Libyan ruler.

This is causing problems with members of the congregation near Highway 400 just north of Highway 401 in Toronto’s west end, including Ibrahim Momen, who worships there but is now demanding the mosque sever its ties to Gadhafi.

“This is God’s house. It is not a political place. What you are doing here, it’s not religious. It’s more political agenda for Gadhafi,” Momen said.

Momen and others are furious that the mosque’s president, Haroon Salamat, used the congregation’s newsletter to recently condemn NATO and Western efforts to defend Libyans from Gadhafi.

Despite his anti-Western comments, Salamat’s mosque is a federally registered charity receiving tax breaks, as well as thousands in donations from the dictator Canada is now at odds with.

This caught the attention of the Canada Revenue Agency, forcing it a few weeks ago to revoke the charitable status of the World Islamic Call Society, a charity that was used to channel Gadhafi’s money to all kinds of jihadist organizations and individuals in the West. The society also gave money to the Toronto and Region Islamic Centre.

[see video at link]

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Bulgarian Ethnic Turks Demand Having 2nd Mosque in Sofia

Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, is demanding to have a second mosque built in the capital Sofia.

The request to the cabinet and the City Hall was made in the Parliament Friday by the DPS Deputy Chair, Luytvi Mestan.

“You will hear from us good words about Mayor, Yordanka Fandakova, only after the procedure to build a second place for Muslim prayer is launched. This will resolve the issue with people praying on rugs on the sidewalk. We do not understand what is stopping the decision about having a second mosque or how is it possible to oppose the right to protest to religious freedoms,” Mestan said.

On behalf of his party, the MP appealed the executive and legislative power to not become in any way collaborators in attempts to conceal the truth about what happened on May 20, telling Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov and Culture Minister, Vezhdi Rashidov, who is from ethnic Turkish background, they know better the incident does not involve simply setting prayer rugs on fire.

The two Ministers were in the Parliament for the regular parliamentary control session.

On May 20, supporters of the far-right, nationalist Ataka party, led by party Chair, Volen Siderov, shocked Bulgaria as its rally protesting against the use of loudspeakers by the mosque in downtown Sofia got out of hand, and activists of Ataka assaulted praying Muslims in front of the mosque and set their rugs on fire.

“This has no precedent in the history of any other country. Even totalitarian regimes have not allowed such serious incidents. For us this fire equals an attempt to set ethnic peace in Bulgaria on fire,” Mestan declared.

The DPS Deputy Chair further demanded from Tsvetanov to answer what action the authorities are going to undertake, regarding Siderov’s threats, made on May 20, he was to bring next time thousand more, better dressed, people to attack the police.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

France: Former Minister’s Allegation of Paedophilia Investigated

France’s former minister of education, Luc Ferry (pictured), has spurred prosecutors in Paris to launch a preliminary inquiry after he alleged that another former government minister had sex with young boys at a Moroccan orgy several years ago.

AP — The French prosecutor’s office opened a preliminary investigation Wednesday after a former government minister alleged that another ex-minister had participated in an orgy with young boys in Morocco.

Former Education Minister Luc Ferry will likely be questioned after alleging during a television show that another minister was caught at an orgy in Marrakech, a judicial official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity since she wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The preliminary investigation is aimed at seeking more precise information from Ferry, the official said.

In France, a preliminary investigation is conducted to see if a case should be pursued.

Ferry, who was education minister from 2002 to 2004, did not name the minister or the government in which that minister had served, but said during a television show Monday that he heard about the case from a prime minister. He did not specify which one.

“Me, I know and I think I am not alone,” Ferry said on the show on Canal Plus cable TV debating the long-standing French tradition of respect for private lives.

The subject of privacy for public figures has taken a center-stage in the French media since the former leader of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a maid at a luxury Manhattan hotel. Strauss-Kahn was widely considered the likely Socialist Party candidate in next year’s presidential elections.

French journalists have long observed a tradition of respect for the private lives of politicians, but the Strauss-Kahn affair has led to soul-searching.

Ferry said the Marrakech incident was recounted to him “by high authorities of the state, in particular a prime minister.” However, he added that he wouldn’t name names because he has no proof and “if I give the name now … it’s me who would be (investigated). I would surely be convicted even if I know the story is true.”

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

French Socialists May Expel Member Speaking Out on Strauss-Kahn

Nine years ago, Anne Mansouret dissuaded her daughter from filing a legal complaint for attempted rape against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a prominent member of the Socialist Party in France and the former husband of one of her best friends.

But now she is speaking out about what happened and what other Socialist leaders knew. And some Socialists — deeply embarrassed by the allegations against the wealthy man who was likely to be their presidential candidate next year — have called for her expulsion from the party.

In a series of interviews, Mrs. Mansouret — by turns defensive, emotional, argumentative and uncompromising — said she did it to protect her daughter, Tristane Banon, now 31, and the party itself.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Italy: One Parent in Three Fails School Canteens

(AGI) Rome — According to 57% of parents school canteens are not up to scratch worth 1/3 asking for meals to be cooked at schools instead of being delivered by external sources, and would also like to see the expertise of a nutritionist added (9%). There is a rising demand for organically grown and local food with 23% of parents judging school meals inadequate.

Figures emerged from a survey proposed by the food website in cooperation with and

Not everyone disapproved an a number of areas of excellency clearly exist since over 25% of those voting judged the service provided by schools as being excellent.

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

MI6 Hits Al-Qaida in ‘Operation Cupcake’

LONDON, June 3 (UPI) — Britain’s cyberwar against al-Qaida took a sweet turn when intelligence officials hacked into a Web site, subbing bomb-making plans with a cupcake recipe.

The cyber operation was undertaken by MI6 and and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters to disrupt efforts by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula to recruit so-called lone wolf terrorists with the English-language Inspire magazine, The Daily Telegraph said.

The British publication did not indicate when the cyberattack on Inspire occurred. British and U.S intelligence had planned separate operations after learning the magazine was about to launch in June 2010, developing a number of cyber countermeasures, including computer viruses.

When visitors tried to download the Webazine, instead of getting instruction about how to “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom” by “The AQ Chef,” they got garbled computer code that was a Web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America.”

Among other things, the substituted text produced by Main Street Cupcakes in Hudson, Ohio, included recipes for a mojito cupcake and a rocky road cupcake, the Telegraph said.

The text was supposed to be a recipe for making a lethal pipe bomb with household items, intelligence officers said.

The cyberattack also deleted an article called, “What to Expect in Jihad,” by now-deceased al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Telegraph said.

Inspire is produced by the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula who lived in Britain and the United States, and an associate

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Suicide Attack Could Happen Again: Prosecutor

As a more complete portrait of the Stockholm suicide bomber emerges six months after he blew himself up in the Swedish capital, the country’s top prosecutor believes a future attack is still possible.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: It’s Time to Confront This Taboo: First Cousin Marriages in Muslim Communities Are Putting Hundreds of Children at Risk

The man wept as he told how his beautiful, dark-eyed child died in a hospital cot with medical tubes snaking from his frail body as nurses fought unsuccessfully to save him. Sick with pneumonia, the two-year-old gave up the battle for life.

A rare tragedy, you might think, in modern Britain, with all the advances of medical science.

But in the terraced streets of Bradford, Yorkshire, a child’s death is anything but rare. At the boy’s inquest, coroner Mark Hinchliffe said Hamza Rehman had died because his Pakistan-born parents (shopkeeper Abdul and housewife Rozina) are first cousins.


This is not the first time the distressing issue has been raised. Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for nearby Keighley, has said that cousin marriages are medieval, harm children and are arranged in order to keep wealth and property within families.


Sadly, the facts speak for themselves. British Pakistanis, half of whom marry a first cousin (a figure that is universally agreed), are 13 times more likely to produce children with genetic disorders than the general population, according to Government-sponsored research.

One in ten children from these cousin marriages either dies in infancy or develops a serious life-threatening disability.

While British Pakistanis account for three per cent of the births in this country, they are responsible for 33 per cent of the 15,000 to 20,000 children born each year with genetic defects.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Man Accused of Assaults at the Markazi Jamia Mosque in Emily Street, Lawkholme

A 59-year-old man has appeared in Bingley Magistrates Court (Thursday) charged with ten counts of assault at a mosque in Keighley.

The man was a teacher at the Markazi Jamia Mosque in Emily Street, Lawkholme, Keighley, when the alleged offences took place over four days in December 2010.

He faces three charges of assaulting persons unknown by beating were said to have taken place on December 6, three were alleged to have happened on December 7, one on December 9, and three on December 13.

The case was adjourned until July 7 at Bradford Magistrates Court and he was granted bail with conditions not to contact children or young people who attended the mosque in Keighley.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

UK: Mother Yanks Knife Out of Her Own Head and Meditates to ‘Stay Conscious’ After Son Stabs Her

A woman yanked out a kitchen knife embedded in her head after being attacked by her own son at a meditation session.

After pulling the knife free Mrs Nayyah Javed went ‘into a meditative state in order to remain conscious’ before being taken to hospital.

Mentally ill Mushtaq Javed, 23, plunged the blade in with such force it bent the blade before he fled the property and attacked three schoolgirls in the area.

A court heard how he attended a morning prayer and meditation session with his mother at a family friend’s house on July 8 last year.

Three others left at about 7.30am but Mrs Javed continued to meditate.

When the homeowner went upstairs, leaving just the two of them, Javed ‘almost immediately’ sprang to his feet.

He then attacked his mother with the knife he had smuggled out of her home earlier the same morning.

Mrs Javed had a 2cm laceration to her scalp and air in the tissue under the skin and has since recovered.

After the attack on his mother Javed, of Slough, Berks, prowled the streets and pounced on three schoolchildren.

He confronted a 13-year-old schoolgirl and told her to pull her trousers down, but she refused and called out for help.

About 10 minutes later he grabbed an 11-year-old girl. He then dragged a 15-year-old girl into a garden.

Each time fellow schoolchildren came to the help his victims and he ran off.

Police officers arrested Javed, who had no previous convictions, when he returned home at 8.45am.

Later in his cell he asked: “When will I know the condition of my mum, if she’s dead or in hospital?”

Recorder Peter Susman QC ruled that Javed was not fit to enter a plea and it would be left to the jury to decide whether or not they were sure he had committed the offences.

The jury at Reading Crown Court took less than half-an-hour to rule that he had and he was sent to a secure hospital for an indefinite period.

This was coupled with a restriction order to ‘to protect the public from serious harm’, meaning he cannot be released without the consent of the secretary of state.

He will also be placed on the Sex Offender’s Register.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Young Swedes Favour Dictatorship: Study

Over 25 percent young Swedes think that it would be “good or very good” for Sweden to be less democratic and ruled by a strong and dictatorial leader, according to a new study.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

YouTube: Israeli Deputy Minister Embarrasses Belgian Jewish Community

Ayoob Kara, a Druze and deputy minister in the Israeli government has embarrassed the Jewish Community of Belgium with his visit to the far right Vlaams Belang party of Belgium.

Filip Dewinter, leader of the Vlaams Belang, hosted Mr. Kara in the Flemish parliament followed by a visit to the heavily Muslim populated area of Antwerp North. At a joint press conference Dewinter explained the need to warn against the Islamization of the West. The Israeli embassy hurriedly distanced itself from the event and insisted this was a private visit by Mr. Kara.

Mark Regev, spokesperson to the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu confirmed this saying: “Deputy Kara is in Belgium in his personal capacity and his visit does not reflect government policy”.

The local Jewish community is up in arms as the visit that risks to severely embarrass the community and Israel. “This visit is very damaging for us”, says Michael Freilich, editor in chief of the local Jewish publication Joods Actueel. “Israel and the Jewish community are not at war with Islam, we are at war with extremists, and that’s a quite a different thing. Singling out a religion, as the Vlaams Belang does, inevitably brings back dark memories of a not too distant past where it was Jews who were persecuted because of their religion. Is this the message we want to send to Europe? That Israel follows the racist ideology of Europe’s most notorious bigots?”

“And what about the memory of all those who died in the Shoah?”, Freilich continues, “the Vlaams Belang only last month proposes a bill in parliament offering full clemency for collaborators during WWII. Furthermore, a convicted Holocaust denier sits in its board of deputies, is that the kind of people we need to associate ourselves with?”.

Voices in the community are now asking whether the Simon Wiesenthal Center will ask for the resignation of Ayoob Kara, for befriending a party with such a background. Only a few weeks ago the Center asked for the removal of office of Belgian Justice minister Stefaan Declerck, after he said in a television debate surrounding the amnesty question that it might be time to ‘forget the Holocaust’. Declerck later clarified his words saying he did not mean ‘forget’ but ‘to reconcile’.

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Bipartisan Congress Rebuffs Obama on Libya Mission

Crossing party lines to deliver a stunning rebuke to the commander in chief, the vast majority of the House voted Friday for resolutions telling President Obama he has broken the constitutional chain of authority by committing U.S. troops to the international military mission in Libya.

In two votes — on competing resolutions that amounted to legislative lectures of Mr. Obama — Congress escalated the brewing constitutional clash over whether he ignored the founding document’s grant of war powers by sending U.S. troops to aid in enforcing a no-fly zone and naval blockade of Libya.

The resolutions were non-binding, and only one of them passed, but taken together, roughly three-quarters of the House voted to put Mr. Obama on notice that he must explain himself or else face future consequences, possibly including having funds for the war cut off.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: The Real Egyptian Revolution

The coverage of recent events in Egypt is further proof that Western elites cannot see the forest for the trees. Over the past week, leading newspapers have devoted relatively in-depth coverage to the Egyptian military authorities’ repressive actions in subduing protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, particularly during their large protest last Friday.

That is, they have provided in-depth coverage of one spent force repressing another spent force. Neither the military nor the protesters are calling the shots anymore in Egypt, if they ever were. That is the job of the Muslim Brotherhood…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Hamed Abdel-Samad: The Downfall of the Islamic World: A Blatant Lack of Objectivity

In his new book, the Egyptian-German author Hamed Abdel Samad claims that the collapse of Islam and Arab culture is inevitable. Christian Horbach read the book and feels that the author lacks objectivity

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Libya: Bombs Are Becoming Our Calvary, “ Says Tripoli Bishop

Some of the capital’s southern suburbs were hit in six air raids overnight, damaging civilian buildings. Mgr Martinelli slams NATO’s indifference to a peaceful solution to the conflict. “In order to destroy Gaddafi, NATO is killing dozens of innocent people.”

Tripoli (AsiaNews) — NATO continues its bombing raids against Tripoli. Last night six planes hit some of the city’s southern suburbs, causing damage to civilian buildings. “Bombs are becoming our Calvary. In order to destroy Gaddafi, NATO is killing dozens of innocent people.”

Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the extension of NATO’s mission to Libya by another 90 days after Gaddafi refused to give up power. The NATO chief also suggested that Special Forces might intervene if rebels find themselves in difficulty.

“NATO remains loyal to its bombs,” Mgr Martinelli said. “Why aren’t other venues tried? It appears no one wants a peaceful solution to the conflict.”

The prelate noted that papal appeals for a truce have been ignored so far. This has left the Libyan people at the mercy of a war that is generating hatreds and divisions.

“The future is uncertain,” the bishop said. “The only strength that is left is faith to understand the mystery of this suffering.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations released a report yesterday that accuses Libyan government forces of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The UN mission also found that rebels committed acts that constitute “war crimes”. (S.C.)

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

Israel and the Palestinians

Who is Hidden Beneath the Burqa? An Appeal to the West

Sahar Khalifeh is considered one of the most prominent Palestinian writers. In this essay, she argues that Western imperialism is indirectly responsible for the return of mandatory veiling for women in the Islamic world

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Fresh Battles Between Yemen Troops, Tribesmen

Street battles raged Thursday between the army and opposition tribesmen in the capital Sanaa and dozens of people on both sides were killed and wounded. Elsewhere a thousands-strong force of tribal fighters fought to break through government lines on the northern outskirts of the city.

Sanaa airport was closed Wednesday night and remains shut for fear that planes could be hit in the heavy shelling around the city. The Defense Ministry issue a statement claiming the army stopped the tribesmen from entering Sanaa, but an army officer who defected from President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s military, said the fighting continues.

A resident of Amran, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of government reprisal, said warplanes were breaking the sound barrier as they flew over that city and in the al-Azreqain area, where the tribesmen are battling their way toward the capital.

Yemen says ‘ready’ to ink Gulf deal

Yemen’s government raised possibilities Thursday that Saleh is ready to ink a Gulf-brokered power transfer plan, as pressure mounted on him to quit amid raging violence. “Yemen is ready to finish the signing of the Gulf initiative which was signed by the General People’s Congress,” a government spokesman told state news agency Saba.

Saleh has baulked the signing of a Gulf-sponsored deal under which he will leave office within 30 days in return for a promise of immunity from prosecution.

“The date for the signing will be set soon based on consultations and coordination between the Yemen and the Gulf Cooperation Council states,” Saba said, quoting the unnamed government official.

The spokesman blamed violence ravaging the streets of the capital Sanaa as unrelated to the country’s political crisis but said it came after “outlawed armed elements resorted to violence and chaos.”

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

Interfaith Leaders in Istanbul Pledge to Counter Extremism

“We have the opportunity to turn 80 million Muslims into friends,” says Ayoob Kara who led the delegation from Israel comprised of rabbis, sheikhs and a priest.

A delegation from Israel comprised of rabbis, sheikhs and a priest resolved in Istanbul on Thursday to form an interfaith convention — along with their Turkish hosts — that will arbitrate disputes in the Middle East and Muslim world to counter religious extremism and promote peace.

The Israeli group arrived in Istanbul on Wednesday at the beckoning of Adnan Oktar, known also as Harun Yahya, a philosopher and theologian with a large following in the Muslim world. The delegation was led by Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee, Ayoob Kara.

Also taking part in it were Holon’s Chief Rabbi Avraham Yosef, who is the son of Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and part of the Chief Rabbinical Council; Rabbi Avraham Sherman of the Supreme Rabbinic Court; Chief Rabbi of Ohr Yehuda and Sha’ar Hanegev, Zion Cohen; Secretary of the Shas party, Rabbi Zvi Jacobson; the Vatican’s representative to the Middle East, Fr. Giries Mansoer; and Druse Sheikh, Yusuf Hirbawi.

“Through joint efforts, we must find the formula to cancel the legitimacy of people who use religion for religious extremism and bring disasters upon the world,” Kara said after the joint press conference wrapped up a round of meetings.

“When a supreme body that will force all to act according to the Creator’s will shall be formed, the level of religious extremism will drop since God commanded us to not murder and use his name in vain. These imperatives have become vague after certain people used God’s name in vain to break the most important commandment of not murdering, and turned the world into a killing field in the name of God,” he added.

It is Oktar who will be organizing the meeting in Turkey this year, which will host 1,200 religious leaders. A second meeting of the forum will be aimed at taking place in Jerusalem, where a peace accord will be announced along the lines of Oktar’s vision of the Turkish Islamic Union he is promoting — based in Turkey and including dozens of countries from the area, including Israel and other non-Muslim states, which will enjoy the protection of Turkey.

The religious leaders, rabbis and Mr. Oktar talked about peace and brotherhood in the region.

“There are no conflicts in religions,” Oktar’s assistant Seda Aral said. “That’s false propaganda from the point of Islam and Judaism. We are all children of Abraham, and there should be no problem with each other.

Oktar is trying to revive the feelings of brotherhood and compassion and love for each other, though there is cold tension at the moment.

“But [conflict] can’t be done away with political agreement — rather by reviving brotherly feelings and through understandings — which is why we need the involvement of religions leaders. One can’t end violence and terror and expect peace by making more conflict. You can only battle opinions with opinions — violence just breeds more violence. This is our ideological struggle. You can almost call it our jihad,” she added.

Kara told The Jerusalem Post, “we decided on forming an interfaith convention in Turkey that would deal with the surging religious radicalization; attended by Libya, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and any other Arab nation with religious problems … Israel as well. The convention will also form a religious court that will arbitrate on the disputes in the Middle East and Muslim world.”

Kara explained that the meetings focused on the dangers of religious radicalization and ways to counter it, initiated by Oktar, who also reiterated to the delegates that “Israel has a right to exist in peace, and with sustainable borders,” Kara said.

The meeting was an expression of the desire on both sides to see relations between Jerusalem and Ankara warm up, he continued.

“Turkey is eager to reestablish its ties with Israel. They realize how beneficial the relationship is to them,” he noted.

Acutely aware of the danger of standing out as a political figure amongst religious leaders, Kara — a Druse — said how flattered he was to have the trust of the spiritual leaders who took part in the visit.

Kara said this year’s delegation created hope.

“I am very encouraged by this visit, we have the opportunity to turn 80 million Muslims into non-enemies, and make them once again friends.”

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood Riding the Crest of Arab Spring

In my most recent book, “The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East” (completed July 4, 2010), I argue that civil societies in the Greater Middle East and Arab world had reached a “critical stage” in their repudiation of all authoritarian forms of government: regime, theocracy, military and ultra-nationalist.

The projections therein were based on a thorough study of antecedent Cedars and Green Revolutions in Lebanon (2005) and Iran (2009) respectively, both with limpid narratives, particularly online, and both auguring a continuation of bottom-up, regime-crumbling uprisings in the region.

Even before the region’s revolutionary meltdowns began, our findings were accompanied by a sober warning — a grueling contest would ensue between the dispersed and disorganized proponents of liberal democratic reform and the Islamists, led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Indeed, as soon as the uprisings erupted on the streets of Tunis and Cairo, the Islamist political machine went into high gear. With Al-Jazeera’s influential backing and the support of Qatar’s “diplomatic duo” and Turkey’s Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP) (English: Justice and Development Party), the region’s mostly-Sunni Islamist movements gradually rose from the bottom and seized the initiative.


Like the anti-Tsar Bolsheviks of the October Revolution and the anti-Shah Khomeinists of the Iranian Revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood are hampered in their own milieu by citizens’ knowing them well enough to see through their maneuvers.

In the West, on the other hand, the Ikhwan are supported by a vast army of apologist elites who obfuscate their mission by referring to them as “revivalists,” a misnomer that has been spoon-fed to the public and policymakers for years.


The U.S. and European decision to designate 40-billion dollars to the Arab Spring will ineluctably profit the Muslim Brotherhood who President Obama referred to in his speech as those who do not necessarily believe in “our view of representative democracy.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Soap Operas Increasing Iraqi Interest in Turkish Literature

The popularity of Turkish TV series on Arab channels, is attracting students at Iraqi universities’ Turkish literature departments. The Turkish Language and Literature Department has become one of the most popular faculties at Iraq University’s Foreign Languages Department. The phenomenon is part of a growth in Turkey’s ‘soft power,’ a sociologist says

It has long been known that Turkish television series aired in Arab countries have resulted in an increased interest in Turkish culture, yet the shows have also begun attracting more students to the discipline of Turkish literature, according to academics. In Iraqi universities, Turkish literature now trails only English literature in terms of popularity.

“The ever-developing relations between [Iraq and Turkey] and Turkish soap operas on Iraq TV have triggered this new trend. Students are eager to learn Turkish, while families also want their children to learn Turkish,” Professor Talib al-Qurayshi, the head of the Iraq University Foreign Languages Department, recently told Anatolia news agency.


When Turkish Literature and Language Department head Ziyad Tariq Abduljabbar took over his new department’s management in 2008, there were only 60 students but there are now 730 undergraduate students, 17 post-graduate students and three PhD students in the program.

Speaking about the links between Turkish soap operas and the country’s literature, Nilüfer Narli, a sociologist at Bahçesehir University, said Turkey had increased its “soft power” in the Middle East and Balkan countries.

“As the circulation of soap operas in the international arena has increased, learning Turkish language and culture have become very important in the Arab and Balkan countries. This is what we call ‘soft power,’ within the context of the culture industry,” she said.

Of course, there are other reasons for the increased interest in Turkish in Iraq, especially economic ones, said al-Qurayshi. “Growing investment and business opportunities draw people to learn Turkish in Iraq. Students are concerned about their future and the current investments have triggered the education in Turkish.”

Still, there are plenty of cultural reasons for the increased interest, Narli said. “Turkish contemporary Nobel Laureate writer Orhan Pamuk’s presence [on the scene] and the increasing translations of his books also affect this situation.”

As more Turkish novels are being translated into different languages, the interest in Turkish literature is being raised, Narli said. “The literature is not a part of the ‘soft power’ theme, but it is very important.”

Commenting on Turkish literature and its impact in the Balkans and the Middle East, Marmara University Turkish literature professor Nihat Öztoprak said: “Turkish soap operas such as Ask-i Memnu [Forbidden Love], Yaprak Dökümü [The Fall of the Leaves] are adaptations of famous classical Turkish literary works. People in foreign countries watch those series and they become interested not only in the series and the cast but also with the people who wrote them.”

As such, people become acquainted with writers such as Resat Nuri Güntekin and Halit Ziya Usakligil, according to Öztoprak.

“With the rising awareness in Turkish literature, the neighboring countries have realized that Turkey is not a ‘desert’ country,” he added.

People in Arab countries have started to do research on Turkish writers as they seek to learn more about people like Güntekin. This situation, according to Öztoprak, leads students to learn about the Turkish language and Turkish literature.

At the same time, Pamuk’s Nobel award greatly helped in spreading awareness of Turkish literature…

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

Suicide Bombing at Sunni Mosque in Iraq Kills 16

BAGHDAD — A suicide bomber detonated explosives at a Sunni mosque during Friday prayers, killing 16 people, including a police commander and a judge in Saddam Hussein’s hometown, officials said.

The bombing at the mosque, located inside a government compound, was the second major attack in as many days in Iraq and highlighted the difficulties Iraqi security forces face in protecting their own people as American forces prepare to leave by the end of the year.

Sixteen bodies were taken to the main hospital in Tikrit, said the province’s top medical official, Dr. Raeid Ibrahim. He said 54 people were wounded, indicating that the death toll could rise. Among the wounded was a provincial leader who escaped an earlier attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Sunni insurgents often target fellow Sunnis who work with the government because they perceive them to be collaborators with Iraq’s Shiite-led government. Many of the Sunni extremists view Shiites as infidels and non-Muslims.

One of the injured was a provincial council member, Mohammed Fadhil, who was in stable condition after an operation to treat a wound to his abdomen, Ibrahim said. Mohammed al-Asi, a spokesman from the governor’s office, confirmed that Fadhil was injured.

A police commander, a judge and the husband of a provincial council member were also killed in the blast, said the head of the Salahuddin provincial council Amar Yousef.

Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilometers) north of Baghdad, was Saddam’s hometown and remains home to many of the deposed leader’s relatives.

The city was the site of a vicious, well-coordinated attack earlier this year on the provincial council headquarters. Gunmen wearing military uniforms over explosives belts charged into the building on March 29 and fended off police for five hours before blowing themselves up.

The bloodshed ended with 56 people dead, including 15 hostages who were shot execution-style. Fadhil was in the building when the attack happened but managed to escape with a broken arm, said Ibrahim, who treated him at the time.

Since then, provincial officials have tried to protect themselves by scheduling meetings irregularly, often setting one time and location and then changing it at the last minute.

But for an insurgent intent on killing as many people as possible, Fridays are a favorite day; Muslims are usually at the mosque for midday prayers.

There were initial reports suggesting the blast was a bomb planted in the mosque, but Yousef and other officials later said a suicide bomber walked into the crowd of worshippers and blew himself up.

The mosque is inside a compound of palaces built during Saddam’s era.

The compound is nicknamed “the small Green Zone in Tikrit” after the Green Zone in Baghdad that is home to government buildings and some embassies, al-Asi said.

He said the compound consists of more than 100 buildings which are mainly occupied by government offices such as houses for high-ranking police, army and provincial officials, and security offices. Visitors generally have to have a special badge to enter the compound, al-Asi said. Officials were investigating how the bomber managed to get inside, Yousef.

On Thursday night, series of bombings ripped through the capital of Iraq’s western Anbar province, killing nine people, Iraqi officials said.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

The Coming Turkish-Led Caliphate

Several years ago, I began publicly stating that the world will witness the rise of a Neo-Ottoman Caliphate. With the Islamist party in Turkey poised to win yet another sweeping election victory next week, now is another appropriate moment to revisit the subject.

The first thing that the West must understand concerning the concept of the caliphate is that it is somewhat of a blank canvas for Muslims. To the Muslim socialist, it is through the concept of the caliphate that a socialist utopia will become a reality. For the moderate Muslim, it is in the idea of the caliphate that a tolerant Muslim empire will arise. For the radical Muslim, the caliphate is the means by which Islam will arise to supremacy in the earth. The point is that the dream of reviving a caliphate is a wide-ranging vision and is certainly not restricted to the radicals.

Second, the West must come to terms with the tectonic shift that has only recently taken place in the Middle East, beginning in 2003 in Turkey.


Instead of a military coup to remove the Islamist party, the Islamist AK party has successfully taken over the military. And they were masterfully successful.

Erdogan has also filled the courts with his own judges. Over 70 percent of the police are also Islamists. And finally, the Islamists have gone after the media. Erdogan’s son now runs one outlet, while a second company was hit with a $2.3 billion fine. There are more Turkish journalists in prison than any other nation in the world.

We are now nearing the conclusion of a perfectly executed plan to purge Turkey of its secular Kemalist system and ensconce the Islamists in power indefinitely.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Turkish PM Erdogan Creating ‘Society of Fear, ‘ Opposition Chief Says

Renewed controversy erupted Wednesday over the tape scandals plaguing Turkey when new audio recordings of a politician were made available almost immediately after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan predicted their release.

“The prime minister has been caught red-handed this time,” Gültan Kisanak, the alleged subject of the audio recordings and an independent deputy candidate backed by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, said Thursday.

“The recordings will hit the Web today or tomorrow,” Erdogan said during an election rally in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir for his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.

The prime minister claimed the recordings captured a BDP member saying the party is not strong enough in the region and support should thus be directed toward the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP.

Audio recordings containing such statements were released soon after Erdogan’s speech. The individuals heard on the tape are allegedly Kisanak, a former BDP co-leader, and BDP Elazig Provincial Chairman Baki Yildirim.

The two people recorded on the tape talk about ensuring the AKP does not make overall gains of parliamentary seats in Elazig during the June 12 general election. “If the [BDP] isn’t strong enough, we can vote for the MHP. The AKP cannot score five to nothing again,” the person who is allegedly Yildirim said on the tape.

‘Caught red-handed’

Kisanak released a written statement following the release of the recording, calling it a forgery and denying its authenticity. “It is a product of psychological warfare, of dirty propaganda,” she said, accusing the prime minister of being the one behind the plot, with the tape created and released on his demand.

Her statement that Erdogan was caught red-handed this time referred to a video-recording scandal that hit the MHP a few weeks ago.

Some 10 senior MHP officials had to resign from the party and withdraw from the election race after R-rated footage of them with women who were not their wives was released online. The perpetrators have yet to be identified in the scandal, which many opposition parties have claimed was orchestrated by pro-government figures trying to push the MHP below the 10 percent election threshold for representation in Parliament.

‘Illegal activities of the gov’t’

Criticizing Erdogan’s comments about the tape, main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, leader Kemal Kiliçdaroglu spoke during a rally in Bartin on Thursday about the “illegal activities of Erdogan’s government.”

“He knew about the recording before it was released. He watches them before their release, and then talks about it. He should be ashamed,” the CHP chief said. “You are the prime minister. How can you face the people and tell them an illegal recording is being released?”

Kiliçdaroglu further suggested people were afraid to talk on the phone due to the increasing number of illegal wiretappings. “There is a ‘state of emergency’ rule in Turkey and a society of fear is being created,” he said. “Creating a society of fear is a shame for the Turkey of the 21st century. This shame belongs to government officials.”

The biggest job in the situation falls on the shoulders of the media, Kiliçdaroglu added. “The reaction has not been enough. Everyone is too busy applauding him to protect them, but the media has a larger responsibility in the matter,” he said.

When asked for further comments on the issue, Kiliçdaroglu said: “You had better ask the prime minister and his wiretapping government.”

‘All allied against AKP’

Erdogan meanwhile continued his claims that all opposition parties were coming together against the AKP and were not hesitating about asking for cooperation from illegal gangs and from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK.

Using the alleged audio recording as evidence for his claim that the MHP and BDP were in an alliance, Erdogan said the participation of BDP supporters in CHP rallies in the Southeast was additional evidence to this end.

Speaking to the state-run Turkish Radio and Television, or TRT, late Wednesday, Erdogan said the CHP had previously gotten 157 votes in the southeastern province of Hakkari, but had more than 2,000 people show up to their recent election rally.

“They’re stuffing CHP flags in the hands of BDP voters, with no Turkish flag in sight. And all of the attacks by protesters are on the AKP’s offices,” the prime minister claimed. “The CHP, MHP and BDP are cooperating in the region to prevent the AKP from getting more seats in Parliament.”

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


A Year in the Life of a Marsonaut

Today six men from four countries are celebrating a bizarre anniversary that could become more normal in the future. These “Marsonauts” have spent exactly one full year simulating the journey to the Red Planet and back, mostly sitting inside a mock spaceship,. That still leaves another 165 days before they complete the 520-day Mars-500 isolation experiment, which is being run by the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow. But what have these wannabe interplanetary travellers achieved so far? For one, a Mars landing. In February, three crew members detached from the mother ship and made a beeline for the surface — in reality a room with a high, domed ceiling and a floor covered in reddish sand and rocks — in their simulated lander. In pairs, the three took turns exploring the Martian surface: planting Russian, Chinese and European Space Agency flags.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Home-Grown Militant: Terrorists Claim German Jihadist Dead in Afghanistan

A German jihadist has been killed in fighting with US soldiers in Afghanistan, a major terrorist organization in the region is reporting. The man from Essen appears to have been killed only two months after entering into the war-torn country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Malaysian Women Launch ‘The Obedient Wife Club’

A group of Malaysian Muslim women say they will fight divorce, domestic violence and other problems — by appealing to wives to be more obedient, according to one of the organisers.

AFP — Maznah Taufik said “The Obedient Wife Club” being launched Saturday is aimed at drawing women who will be taught how to please their husbands better to prevent them from straying or misbehaving.

“We just want to ask all the wives to be obedient wives so that there will be fewer problems in our society,” such as infidelity, divorce and domestic violence, she told AFP.

“Obedient wife means they are trying to entertain their husbands, not only taking care of their food and clothes,” Maznah said. “They have to obey their husbands. That’s the way Islam also asks.”

Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, with some 60 percent of the population practicing the religion, alongside large ethnic Chinese and Indian communities who are mostly Buddhist, Hindu and Christian.

According to local media, the country’s divorce rate doubled from 2002 to 2009, with rates higher among Muslims than non-Muslims.

Maznah said it was also the men’s responsibility to teach their wives to be obedient.

“Some wives, they just want to get married for leisure but they don’t know the responsibility,” she said.

“To entertain their husbands is compulsory. If she doesn’t do this, the husband will look for another woman… and the house will break down.”

Saturday’s launch near the capital Kuala Lumpur will include speeches and a show to demonstrate to women how to be good wives, Maznah said, adding that a similar club was set up in Jordan last month.

Maznah is already involved in another controversial venture — the Ikhwan Polygamy Club, which was launched in 2009 to promote polygamy. Muslim men in Malaysia can take up to four wives.

She is herself in a polygamous marriage, as the second of her husband’s two wives.

In 2010, a study by a Muslim activist group found men in polygamous relationships find it difficult to meet the needs of all their wives and children, and that the result is often unhappy and cash-strapped families.

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

Pubs Bar African Nationals in Bangalore

Pubs and bars in Bangalore are denying entry to nationals from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and other African countries citing security reasons, as the common belief is that all ebony-skinned people are ‘drug peddlers’, ‘scamsters’ and ‘trouble makers’. Bangalore has a sizeable student population from the African continent — 20-somethings from countries as diverse as Cameroon and Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania. However, at most of the city’s hep clubs, all dark-skinned people are strangely ‘Nigerians’ and to be avoided, though they don’t say it out aloud. At most of these bars and pubs, blacks are generally frowned upon. In most cases, a group of black males, unaccompanied by women gets responses varying from a polite — “sorry, prior reservation needed” to the outright rude — “please leave”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Peru: Candidates on the Attack in Final Presidential Debate

Presidential hopefuls Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori squared off in a bitter final debate on Sunday in Lima, one week before general elections that will decide the Andean country’s next president.

The run-off poll is pitting a leftist former soldier against the daughter of a shamed former president, with both candidates trying to convince voters they have broken with their pasts.

A survey published on Sunday by the trusted Ipsos Apoyo polling agency gave Fujimori 41% support to Humala’s 39%, with 8% of people surveyed saying they were undecided. Fujimori’s lead has narrowed by two percentage points from the previous week.

On Sunday, Humala attacked his rival by stating that it would not be her, but her shamed father, ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who would run the country from the prison he has been in since 2007. Humala has often repeated this claim during his campaign.

“I am the candidate, not Alberto Fujimori,” Keiko Fujimori shot back. “If you want to debate with me, challenge my ideas. If you want to debate with Alberto Fujimori you can go to the Diroes [prison]. If I am elected Peru’s president it will be me who makes the decisions,” she added.

At just 35, Keiko Fujimori could become the country’s first woman president and one of the world’s youngest ever heads-of-state. Since her father’s imprisonment for human rights crimes and graft, Keiko has become a congresswoman and has inherited his political allies and diehard support base.

Many Peruvians continue to admire Alberto Fujimori for stopping runaway inflation and routing the so-called “Shining Path” Maoist guerrillas in the 1990s. Her campaign party “Fuerza 2011” clearly harks back to her father’s “Peru 2000” presidential drive, while her platform defends the free-market economic reforms he implemented while in office.

Ollanta Humala won the first round of the presidential elections on April 10, drawing most of his support from the mostly poor and indigenous highlands. Since then he has seen Fujimori advance ahead of him in opinion polls.

Keiko Fujimori’s website

Keiko also hit hard on Sunday, accusing Humala of being anti-democratic and recalling his involvement in two former coup attempts in 2000 and 2005, the latter during former president Alenjandro Toledo’s tenure.

Humala defended his record, saying he had “always fought against the dictatorships. [Against] the Shining Path, which wanted to establish itself in this country, and Fujumori, with honour.”

During Alberto Fujimori’s tenure, Humala was an army captain that fought against the Maoist rebels.

The only candidate placed squarely on the political left, Humala has nonetheless made many efforts to cast a more moderate image among voters.

During the run-up to next Sunday’s elections, for example, Humala has backed away from talk about a state-owned pension-fund system to replace the Peru’s current private model.

Analysts have said that comparisons to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, which includes their military backgrounds, were key to Humala’s second-round defeat to President Alan Garcia in the 2006 presidential elections.

According to an online survey conducted by Peru’s leading daily El Comercio after Sunday’s debate, 16% of people said they would switch their vote, while 84% of people said they would not.

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


EU Report Confirms Lukewarm Reaction to Malta’s Appeal for Burden-Sharing

The European Commission has admitted there is no enthusiasm among member states to help Malta and Italy with the wave of asylum seekers coming from Libya.

A report taking stock of an intra-EU resettlement pilot-project, designed specifically for Malta, confirms the Commission’s analysis.

Speaking on BBC radio yesterday on the problem of illegal migration, especially in relation to Lampedusa and Malta, European Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom did not mince her words.

“We have been trying to help Italy and Malta, which bear the brunt of the Libyan conflict, by encouraging burden sharing among member states. However, it is true the mood in the EU is not enthusiastic about burden sharing,” she said.

Her admission confirms her earlier fears that, despite the “talk of solidarity”, the majority of member states still feel reluctant to relocate asylum seekers and refugees, this not being part of the EU culture.

According to the Commission’s Annual Report On Immigration And Asylum (2010), by the end of last year only 10 member states out of the 26 (excluding Malta) decided to participate in this project with the majority literally taking just a handful of refugees.

The report says that, since its launch in mid-2009 right up to the end of 2010, only 255 pledges were made, with the biggest being those of Germany (102) and France (93).

Four of the 10 participating member states (Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) had still to make their commitments and the UK — one of the largest member states — only offered to resettle 10 refugees.

The report says the project had cost the EU €2 million, allocated through the European Refugee Fund and each member state was getting an allowance of €4,000 per resettled refugee. The project has now been extended due to the Libyan crisis and, during a recent pledging conference, a minority of member states promised to take an additional 320 refugees or beneficiaries of international protection. Once again, the biggest offer was made by Germany, pledging to take another 100 people.

According to EU rules, member states are sovereign and Brussels cannot force them to resettle people enjoying international protection.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Europe-Wide Immigration Agency Could Take Control of British Borders

An EU immigration agency could one day be established to police our borders — putting an end to the UK Border Agency.

The proposal is that a EU Border Guard System should be adopted and its budget increased so it can buy planes, boats and other equipment needed to police Europe’s frontiers.

It would mean officers from the UK Border Agency could be deployed anywhere in Europe and the agency could set up immigration operations in Britain without the Government’s say-so.

Led by Maltese MEP Dr Simon Busuttil, the proposals suggest EU member states should contribute officers to a pool of border police guards and through a ‘solidarity clause’ take in a proportion of all the refugees arriving in the EU.

MEPs in the European Parliament’s home affairs committee approved a report into the existing border agency Frontex by 43 votes to seven.

Britain is not signed up to Frontex — based in Warsaw — which currently relies on member states for resources when carrying out operations.

Immigration has hit the headlines in recent weeks as thousands of refugees from North Africa flee uprisings in the Arab world.

According to the Daily Express, the report calls for analysis of “the need for further development of the EU Border Guard system and for the agency to employ independent guards acting under its instructions.”

Gerard Batten, Ukip MEP and immigration spokesman, told the newspaper: ‘It is obvious the EU is using the refugee crisis to further its ambition to create an operational military force.

‘There is no doubt that the EU will use this as a way of trying to force Britain to take in asylum seekers arriving elsewhere in Europe.’

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Maltese Patrol Boat Rescues 76 Migrants

VALLETTA — A MALTESE military patrol boat rescued 76 migrants from a boat in distress some 120km south-east of the Mediterranean island on Wednesday.

The Maltese armed forces said the boat was first spotted by NATO aircraft and was carrying migrants from Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Sudan, Bangladesh, and Chad.

The boat appeared to have left on Saturday from the Libyan port of Misrata, until recently the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of a three-month rebel uprising against Muammar Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.

For weeks forces loyal to Gaddafi had besieged and bombarded Misrata, some 200km east of the capital Tripoli, but about two weeks ago rebel fighters, with backing from NATO airstrikes, pushed Gaddafi’s troops out to the city’s outskirts.

Some of the migrants needed hospital treatment. The Maltese armed forces said that a man had died on the boat and was thrown overboard.

Thousands of people fleeing upheavals in North Africa have been heading to Italy on rickety boats in recent months, creating an immigration crisis in Lampedusa, an island situated half way between Tunisia and Sicily. — REUTERS

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Some Immigrants Turn to Tea Party

In Northern Virginia, many of the immigrants who have gravitated to the tea party have roots in socialist countries and are intensely afraid that the U.S. is headed down the same path. They embrace the tea party’s small government, socially conservative messages and say the only immigration they are for is the legal kind. They don’t bat an eye when it comes to the movement’s tough anti-illegal-immigrant rhetoric.

Munoz hosts a one-hour Spanish language radio show called “America Eres Tu” broadcast Saturday afternoons on WURA 920 AM out of a trailer in Dumfries, Va. He prints copies of the Constitution in Spanish and answers questions about U.S. politics from those who are new to the country.

“If the immigrants understood what was happening in America there would be a revolt against those politicians,” said Munoz, who became a citizen in 2008. “Obama’s talking one way and doing another and the Hispanics do not know about that hanky-panky.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

TAP: Over 270 Missing in Mediterranean

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JUNE 2 — At least 270 illegal immigrants, who were probably trying to reach the Italian coast by boat, are missing in the Mediterranean, reports Tunisian press agency TAP.

Even though current news is fragmentary, the people who are believed to be missing were probably travelling on the boat that was rescued during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday off the island of Kerkennah, in southern Tunisia, by the Tunisian Coast Guard and Army. The boat had about 700 people on board. The boat, with the immigrants on board who departed from Libya and who were originally from sub-Saharan Africa, had a mechanical problem in shallow waters which did not allow them to be helped immediately by the Tunisian military ships, which were forced to remain at a distance. Small and inflatable boats were able to reach the boat, and took care of initial rescue efforts and of transferring the immigrants, letting women and children go first. It is reportedly during this phase of the rescue that many of the immigrants, stricken by fear, tried to save themselves, abandoning the boat and drowning. The Tunisian military ships was able to bring about 570 immigrants to safety.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UN Reports 150 Bodies Recovered Off the Coast of Tunisia

(AGI) Tunis — A UN official reported that the bodies of 150 Africa refugees have been recovered off the coast of Tunisia. A number of boats that were heading to Italy capsized in heavy seas on Thursday.

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

UN: 150 Bodies Found in Tunisia Migrant Boat Wreck

GENEVA — The United Nations refugee agency says some 150 bodies have been recovered from the wreck of a ship that capsized off Tunisia carrying migrants fleeing the conflict in Libya.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says “we know that many women and children are among the 150.”

The Geneva-based agency says at least 578 of the estimated 850 people on board survived the sinking Wednesday.

Edwards said Friday that survivors are being taken to refugee camps where they will receive counseling and assistance.

He says the incident “appears to be one of the worst and the deadliest incidents in the Mediterranean so far this year.”

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]


Heaviest Elements Yet Join Periodic Table

Elements 114 and 116 have been officially added to the periodic table, becoming its heaviest members yet. They both exist for less than a second before decaying into lighter atoms, but they bring researchers a step closer to making even heavier elements that are predicted to be stable for decades or longer, forming a fabled “island of stability” in the periodic table.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Moving Mirrors Make Light From Nothing

Researchers claim to have produced sought-after quantum effect.

A team of physicists is claiming to have coaxed sparks from the vacuum of empty space. The researchers, based at the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, will present their findings early next week at a workshop in Padua, Italy. Nevertheless, scientists not directly connected with the group say that the result is impressive. “It is a major development,” says Federico Capasso, an experimental physicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who has worked on similar quantum effects. At the heart of the experiment is one of the weirdest, and most important, tenets of quantum mechanics: the principle that empty space is anything but. Quantum theory predicts that a vacuum is actually a writhing foam of particles flitting in and out of existence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Rare ‘Midnight’ Partial Solar Eclipse Amazes Northern Skywatchers

A “midnight” partial eclipse of the sun that, by a fluke of timing, began a day later than it ended provided spectacular views for skywatchers around the world lucky enough to catch the rare spectacle. The solar eclipse began early Thursday (June 2) over northeast Asia, but actually ended Wednesday night because its narrow path of visibility — where skywatchers could see the event — crossed the International Date Line. For amateur and professional astronomers who caught the eclipse, the view was spectacular. “Beautiful and impressive eclipse of midnight sun,” said Knut Joergen Roed Oedegaard, an astrophysicist at the Norwegian Centre for Science Education in Oslo, Norway. “This night northern Scandinavia witnessed the deepest eclipse of the midnight sun since 1985.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]