Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120129

Financial Crisis
»Eurozone Will Collapse This Year, Says Nouriel Roubini
»Elliot Abrams’ Lies About Newt Are the Latest in Abrams’ 26-Year History as a Serial Liar
»Pagan Mother’s Fury After Son Brings Home Bible From School But Witchcraft Books Are Banned
»Jury Finds Afghan Family Guilty in Honor Killings
»Teens Put Lego Man in ‘Space’ (Actually Stratosphere)
Europe and the EU
»Finland in the Deep Freeze All This Week
»Italy: Policeman Killed by SUV — Two Arrests
»Now German Implants Spark Cancer Fears for 20,000 British Women
»Sex Trafficking Victims Reveal Horror of Witchcraft and Torture Being Used to Enslave Women in Scotland
»Sicily and Sardinia Top Regional Pay Table
North Africa
»Islamist Egyptian MP Calls for Zawahiri’s Return
Middle East
»It’s Vogue for the Veiled! Turkish Fashion Magazine Created for Women Who Wear Headscarves
»UAE: Too Much English, Arabic Risks Extinction
South Asia
»Afghan President Hamid Karzai ‘Plans Talks With Taliban’
»Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image
»Indian Girl, 7, Had Liver Cut Out For Sacrifice
»Pakistan Knew Where Bin Laden Was All Along
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Juju Voice Predicts Zebra Win
»Sierra Leone: Voodoo and Cannibalism During Election Season
»South Africa: Mob Kills Elderly Couple Accused of Witchcraft
»South Africa: Uproar Over Witchcraft
»Finland: More Asylum Seekers Returning Home by Choice
»Norway: Government Backs Ethiopians’ Departure
»One Born Every Minute — Hiding the Third World Colonisation Catastrophe Through MSM Propaganda
»UK: ‘Fewer and Better’ Immigrants Plan
Culture Wars
»Archbishop of York Tells David Cameron Not to Overrule the Bible and Allow Gay Marriage
»UK: Labour MP: Smacking Ban Led to Riots Because Parents Fear Children Will be Taken Away if They Discipline Them

Financial Crisis

Eurozone Will Collapse This Year, Says Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini, the economist credited with having foreseen the credit crunch, has warned that the eurozone will collapse within the year — with Greece and Portugal leaving

“The eurozone is a slow-motion train wreck,” Mr Roubini said. “Countries — and not just Greece — are insolvent. I think Greece will leave the eurozone in the next 12 months, and Portugal after.” The New York University professor of economics was speaking at one of the final sessions of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

“There is a 50pc chance that the eurozone will break up in the next three to five years. This doesn’t look like a G20 world it looks like a G-Zero world because there is no agreement on global imbalances, how to change the international monetary system, international trade, banking regulation, on all the fundamental issues.” The economist also warned that if the US and Iran went to war, oil prices would spike 50pc and there’ll be a global recession.

“In the UK there is recession, even the US is not doing great, in India there’s a slowdown and they’re worried about that. In China, exports, infrastructure investment, real estate is slowing down, so there’ll be a significant slowdown in China this year,” he concluded.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Elliot Abrams’ Lies About Newt Are the Latest in Abrams’ 26-Year History as a Serial Liar

I had my own experience with Elliot Abrams when I was working for the Heritage Foundation back in 1986. I was in my 20s back then. I had written a paper for Heritage in January of that year titled: “RHETORIC vs REALITY: How the State Department Betrays the Reagan Vision.”

This was the paper that provided the ammunition for what Newt was saying in his speech on March 21,

Elliot Abrams told the same lie about me that he told about Newt . . . this one 26 years ago, on exactly the same subject!

The problem for Elliot Abrams is that what he’s saying is a provable lie . . . by a proven liar who was even convicted of, well, lying (that is, convicted of unlawfully withholding important information from Congress). So this guy has zero credibility. Why any publication would give any credence to anything Abrams writes, even publish it without checking it, is a mystery.

Many Republican primary voters in Florida will be confused, will wonder if Newt was really anti-Reagan in the 1980s — a charge that could not be more false — a charge Elliot Abrams knows is false, a charge that National Review should have known was false before they published Abrams’ article.

In fact, National Review was expressing the very same concerns at that time about the State Department undermining Reagan’s anti-Soviet foreign policy that Newt was articulating in his 1986 “special order” speech. Don’t the current editors at National Review read their own magazine?

It will be tough for Newt to get the truth out there in the next 48 hours to every Republican primary voter in Florida.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Pagan Mother’s Fury After Son Brings Home Bible From School But Witchcraft Books Are Banned

A school is being accused of not letting students practice religious freedom after they refused to let a pagan student’s mother give out spell books, despite allowing bibles to be distributed.

Ginger Strivelli, from North Carolina, who practices Witchcraft, a form of Paganism, said she was upset when her 12-year-old son came home from North Windy Ridge intermediate school with a Bible.

The Gideons International had delivered several boxes of the sacred books to the school office. The staff allowed interested students to stop by and pick them up.

But when Mrs Strivelli showed up at the school with Pagan spell books, she was turned away, despite being assured by the principal the school would make available religious texts donated by any group.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


Jury Finds Afghan Family Guilty in Honor Killings

KINGSTON, Ontario (AP) — A jury on Sunday found three members of an Afghan family guilty of killing three teenage sisters and another woman in what the judge described as “cold-blooded, shameful murders” resulting from a “twisted concept of honor,” ending a case that shocked and riveted Canadians.

Prosecutors said the defendants allegedly killed the three teenage sisters because they dishonored the family by defying its disciplinarian rules on dress, dating, socializing and using the Internet.

The jury took 15 hours to find Mohammad Shafia, 58; his wife Tooba Yahya, 42; and their son Hamed, 21, each guilty of four counts of first-degree murder. First-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

After the verdict was read, the three defendants again declared their innocence in the killings of sisters Zainab, 19, Sahar 17, and Geeti, 13, as well as Rona Amir Mohammad, 52, Shafia’s childless first wife in a polygamous marriage.

Their bodies were found June 30, 2009, in a car submerged in a canal in Kingston, Ontario, where the family had stopped for the night on their way home to Montreal from Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The prosecution alleged it was a case of premeditated murder, staged to look like an accident after it was carried out. Prosecutors said the defendants drowned their victims elsewhere on the site, placed their bodies in the car and pushed it into the canal.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Robert Maranger said the evidence clearly supported the conviction.

“It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable, more honorless crime,” Maranger said. “The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameful murders was that the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honor … that has absolutely no place in any civilized society.”

In a statement following the verdict, Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson called honor killings a practice that is “barbaric and unacceptable in Canada.”

Defense lawyers said the deaths were accidental. They said the Nissan car accidentally plunged into the canal after the eldest daughter, Zainab, took it for a joy ride with her sisters and her father’s first wife. Hamed said he watched the accident, although he didn’t call police from the scene.

After the jury returned the verdicts, Mohammad Shafia, speaking through a translator, said, “We are not criminal, we are not murderer, we didn’t commit the murder and this is unjust.”

His weeping wife, Tooba, also declared the verdict unjust, saying, “I am not a murderer, and I am a mother, a mother.”

Their son, Hamed, speaking in English said, “I did not drown my sisters anywhere.”

Hamed’s lawyer, Patrick McCann, said he was disappointed with the verdict, but said his client will appeal and he believes the other two defendants will as well.

But prosecutor Gerard Laarhuis welcomed the verdict.

“This jury found that four strong, vivacious and freedom-loving women were murdered by their own family in the most troubling of circumstances,” Laarhuis said outside court.

“This verdict sends a very clear message about our Canadian values and the core principles in a free and democratic society that all Canadians enjoy and even visitors to Canada enjoy,” he said to cheers of approval from onlookers.

The family had left Afghanistan in 1992 and lived in Pakistan, Australia and Dubai before settling in Canada in 2007. Shafia, a wealthy businessman, married Yahya because his first wife could not have children.

Shafia’s first wife was living with him and his second wife. The polygamous relationship, if revealed, could have resulted in their deportation.

The prosecution painted a picture of a household controlled by a domineering Shafia, with Hamed keeping his sisters in line and doling out discipline when his father was away on frequent business trips to Dubai.

The months leading up to the deaths were not happy ones in the Shafia household, according to evidence presented at trial. Zainab, the oldest daughter, was forbidden to attend school for a year because she had a young Pakistani-Canadian boyfriend, and she fled to a shelter, terrified of her father, the court was told.

The prosecution said her parents found condoms in Sahar’s room as well as photos of her wearing short skirts and hugging her Christian boyfriend, a relationship she had kept secret. Geeti was becoming almost impossible to control: skipping school, failing classes, being sent home for wearing revealing clothes and stealing, while declaring to authority figures that she wanted to be placed in foster care, according to the prosecution.

Shafia’s first wife wrote in a diary that her husband beat her and “made life a torture,” while his second wife called her a servant.

The prosecution presented wire taps and mobile phone records from the Shafia family in court to support their honor killing allegation. The wiretaps, which capture Shafia spewing vitriol about his dead daughters, calling them treacherous and whores and invoking the devil to defecate on their graves, were a focal point of the trial.

“There can be no betrayal, no treachery, no violation more than this,” Shafia said on one recording. “Even if they hoist me up onto the gallows … nothing is more dear to me than my honor.”

Defense lawyers argued that at no point in the intercepts do the accused say they drowned the victims.

Shafia’s lawyer, Peter Kemp, said after the verdicts that he believes the comments his client made on the wiretaps may have weighed more heavily on the jury’s minds than the physical evidence in the case.

“He wasn’t convicted for what he did,” Kemp said. “He was convicted for what he said.”

[Return to headlines]

Teens Put Lego Man in ‘Space’ (Actually Stratosphere)

That’s one giant leap for Lego. Two Canadian highschoolers have wowed the Web with their video of a Lego toy taking a balloon ride to near-space. The video, made by Toronto 17-year-olds Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, shows a tiny Lego man holding a Canadian flag with the blue curve of the Earth far below and the black of space above. It is the latest example of do-it-yourself near-space photography by an amateur balloon launching team.

The teens used a weather balloon to carry the Lego minifigure and set of cameras, one with a fish-eye lens, into to the stratosphere, ultimately reaching a height of nearly 80,000 feet (24,384 meters) before the balloon burst, according to the Toronto Star. Once the balloon popped, the Lego man and its attached cameras fell back to Earth under a homemade parachute.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Finland in the Deep Freeze All This Week

Global Warming Blues:

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) predicts severe cold to continue until at least next weekend. Early Sunday, a new cold record for this winter was set in Taivalkoski, near Kuusamo, where the mercury plunged to -35.3 degrees Celsius.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Italy: Policeman Killed by SUV — Two Arrests

Two Sintis traced through mobile phone and arrested on French border. Officer Savarino was 42

MILAN — Two Sinti-Romas have been detained at Ventimiglia on the French border. The two are believed to be responsible for the death of municipal police officer Nicolò Savarino, 42, who was run over and killed in Milan on Thursday afternoon. Savarino was attempting to stop a SUV, which had injured a pedestrian. The two Sintis, one 19 and the other 17 years of age, were detained in Liguria with a vehicle registered in their name. They are thought to have been located through their mobile phone signal. At the time of the arrest, the two were attempting to cross the border into France.

SUV TRACKED DOWN — During the night, municipal police officers tracked down a SUV believed to be the vehicle that ran over and killed officer Savarino in Via Varè in the Comasina district. It was located at 4 am and is reported to match the description of the vehicle being sought. Milan’s municipal police headquarters confirmed that the SUV, a BMW X5 with Milan number plates, is dark bronze and not black or metallised grey, as witnesses reported on Thursday evening. Initial checks indicate that the vehicle was not stolen. Traces of human blood and green paint from the officer’s bicycle were found on the SUV. On Thursday afternoon, the vehicle made off at high speed after running over Officer Savarino, who later died in Niguarda hospital.

GRANELLI — However, Milan’s cabinet member for security, Marco Granelli, said on TGCom24 news: “I categorically deny any arrest. I have been with the commander and the operational group since yesterday evening. We have a number of leads to work on but we do not yet have anything certain. We have not detained anyone”.

SEQUENCE OF EVENTS — A phone call from a member of the public late on Thursday afternoon reported a camper with several Italian Sintis in a parking area. Two municipal police officers arrived to check out the report and a man with a crutch got out of the vehicle. That was when a passing vehicle grazed the man. One of the officers managed to get in the way of the fleeing vehicle but the driver struck him full on, dragging him along for about 200 metres.

AT THE SCENE — Milan’s cabinet member for security Marco Granelli and municipal police commander Tullio Mastrangelo rushed to the scene. An evidently shaken Granelli said: “I want to express solidarity with the family of our officer and with all his colleagues who every day do their job with such dedication, putting their lives at risk.” Milan’s mayor Giuliano Pisapia, who was also at the scene, said: “The guilty will not go unpunished. This is unacceptable.”

REACTIONS — Provincial authority chair Guido Podestà said: “I extend my deepest condolences and affectionate embrace to the family of an officer who in the discharge of his duties fell victim to a senseless, irresponsible act of crime”. The Democratic Party (PD) security spokesman Emanuele Fiano said: “The way it’s been told, this looks to be yet another instance of the meaningless urban violence to which we are all too often witness”.

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

Now German Implants Spark Cancer Fears for 20,000 British Women

One of the country’s top private hospital chains has warned surgeons not to use a second type of breast implant because of fears it could be linked to cancer.

Following the scandal over faulty PIP implants, a senior manager at Nuffield Health has written to doctors advising them not to offer patients a product called Silimed and to quarantine existing stocks. The Silimed implants, which may already have been fitted in as many as 20,000 women in the UK, have a coating which previous studies have found could release a cancer-causing toxin into the body over a number of years.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Sex Trafficking Victims Reveal Horror of Witchcraft and Torture Being Used to Enslave Women in Scotland

Sex trafficking victims reveal horror of witchcraft and torture being used to enslave women in Scotland

In one of the testimonies to a Glasgow charity, a 21-year-old told how she was branded and forced to take a “witchcraft oath” to prevent her escaping.

She said: “I had to take the oath. I was given this mark on my hand. I was told that this mark, if you tell anyone what has transpired, you are going to die.

“They gave me a razor blade to eat, they took my armpit hair, they removed my nails from my toes and my fingers.

“They removed the hair on my body, they tied it up and put it in this shrine, then they tear my body and told me that if I tell anyone, ‘you will just die’. When I saw the shrine, it was so big, I was so scared.”

“When men came, the trafficker would unlock the door and take my daughter away.

sex trafficking Image 1

“While I was with these men I could hear my daughter crying in the other room. It was terrible. When the men were finished they would use the bathroom and then leave.”

Women from Africa described their traffickers as powerful people within tribal communities who had connections with corrupt officials.

The EHRC report said: “These women report being controlled using oaths or juju magic.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Sicily and Sardinia Top Regional Pay Table

Cuts for Vendola (Puglia) and Chiodi (Abruzzo) but Cota (Piedmont) gets €1,779 more than Bresso five years ago

ROME — Sicily’s regional chair Raffaele Lombardo says even mentioning “wage cages” [regional wage differentials — Trans.] “disgusts” him. A laudably consistent politician, Lombardo heads a region with almost the same number of residents as Veneto, but with a 9.4% lower cost of living, trousering 43% more in pay and allowances than his Veneto colleague Luca Zaia. Lombardo banks €170,319 after tax as opposed to Zaia’s €118,703, according to the official figures posted on the conference of regional chairs’ website ( And this doesn’t even take into account the enormous difference in wealth of the two territories. According to the ISTAT statistics institute, Veneto’s GDP is 75% higher than Sicily’s.

The fact is that the only wage cages — the once-popular system of paying reduced wages in areas where the cost of living was lower — in existence in Italy are the ones that apply to politicians. They’re “reverse wage cages”, of course. Does it really make sense for a regional councillor in Molise, with a 32.8% lower cost of living, to rake in €10,125 every month when a colleague in Liguria gets €8,639? We will ignore the fact that Molise has a fifth of Liguria’s population and 37% less wealth per head.

What is the point of a regional councillor in Emilia Romagna receiving half the net remuneration of a counterpart in Sardinia (€5,666 in comparison with €11,417)? Or that the annual pay of the Calabrian regional chair, even after a cut of €27,000, should be €43,000 higher than the remuneration of the Tuscan authority’s chair?

We know all the argument that people drag out to justify their own particular status quo: figures, even official ones, need to be handled with care. True enough, but even after all due precautions have been taken, some of these numbers are jaw-dropping. The chair of the Bolzano provincial authority Luis Durnwalder may be convinced that he deserves his monthly hand-out of €25,620 in wages and allowances. After all, he works from early morning to late at night. Yet US president Barack Obama also puts in the hours only to take home €2,600 less than him.

We should applaud the claim of Sardinia’s regional chair Ugo Cappellacci that he waived “some time ago the chairman’s allowance and the official car to send out a personal signal at a difficult time for all” yet it is impossible to forget that every resident in Sardinia has to fork out at least six times as much as a citizen in Lombardy or Emilia Romagna for the upkeep of the regional council. Simply by putting pay in the 20 regional parliaments on the same level, taxpayers could save the far from trivial sum of €606 million a year. It’s hard to see why the regional councils of Emilia Romagna and Lombardy get by nicely on about €8 per resident when the Sicilian regional assembly needs almost €35 and Valle d’Aosta’s council a lavish €135.

All too often in Italy’s regions, the impact of autonomy has no logic, creating a jungle of privileges that cries out for order. The need to cut the cost of politics could have provided an opportunity to harmonise allowances and expenses. Instead, the exact opposite occurred and the jungle is if anything even more entangled. It’s instructive to compare the maximum emoluments of regional chairs and councillors five years ago with today’s figures, both taken from the same source, We compared the maximum monthly salaries published by the conference of regional chairs in summer 2007, and reported by the Corriere della Sera on 2 August of that year, with figures updated to 23 January 2012. “Maximum salary” includes the maximum permitted allowances and expenses.

The biggest cut among regional chairs was taken by Abruzzo’s number one. Roberto Chiodi is entitled today to emoluments, expenses included, totalling €8,450 a month, €5,394 less than the 2007 pay of his Centre-left predecessor Ottaviano Del Turco. Then there’s Puglia. The chair of the regional executive takes home €14,595 a month, a figure that shows Nichi Vendola has trimmed his pay cheque by €4,290. In third place is Veneto, where the Northern League chair, Luca Zaia, has a pay packet €2,724 slimmer than predecessor Giancarlo Galan’s. Similar cuts were taken by their colleagues Vasco Errani (Emilia Romagna, -€2,238) and Giuseppe Scopelliti (Calabria, -€2,224). These are the most obvious instances, to which must be added the even more substantial downsizing of councillors’ pay in Emilia Romagna (-€5,387), Abruzzo (-€7,283) and Piedmont (-€8,975). In all three regions, the pay of rank and file regional councillors has shrunk by more than half. Judging by the figures supplied by the conference of regional authority chairs, the unhappy councillors in Puglia have had to digest a €3,398 monthly pay cut. Nor are their counterparts any more cheerful in Lazio, where monthly pay was trimmed by €2,747. In this last case, however, the cut in practice affects just one councillor, Antonio Cicchetti, the only one without another post that brings in a supplementary allowance.

These are the most severe haircuts because some regions have done little more than trim a few split ends. In Sicily, Raffaele Lombardo today takes home just €136 a month less than Totò Cuffaro five years ago and in Basilicata, the chair’s monthly salary has been reduced by €285 from €9,506 to €9,221. In Lombardy, Roberto Formigoni’s pay fell by €325 from 2007 to 2012 while a councillor currently pockets €12,523 a month, a mere €32 less than five years ago. One cup of coffee a day. Taking expenses into account, Lombardy councillors pocket more than any other region. In addition, Lombardy and Puglia have a system for calculating severance pay that is 2.4 times more favourable than that in force in other regional assemblies, the Italian parliament or for ordinary mortals. For every five-year legislature, councillors are entitled to one year’s salary.

Other regions, like Sardinia, have maintained pay levels over time and some have even managed to ease them upwards. The conference of regional authority chairs’ website reveals that Piedmont’s Roberto Cota is entitled today to a net allowance (€5,506) and expenses (€7,543) totalling €13,049. The figure is €1,779 higher than five years ago, when the regional council was chaired by Mercedes Bresso. The Umbrian chair has enjoyed a rise of €501 a month, leapfrogging Tuscany, which has slipped to last place in the regional pay table. Marche has rounded up pay by €184 a month while in Friuli Venezia Giulia, ordinary councillors have broken the €8,000-a-month barrier thanks to a €685 pay hike. It’s a similar story in Basilicata, where the hike was more than €1,000 a month.

It still brings a wry smile to your lips to recall that many of Italy’s regional authority chairs are better — and in some cases considerably better — paid than the governors of US states.

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

North Africa

Islamist Egyptian MP Calls for Zawahiri’s Return

A member of the newly elected Egyptian parliament has called for al Qaeda’s emir to return to the country “with his head held high and safely.” Aboud al Zomor, who served as the first emir of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and was later imprisoned for his role in President Anwar Sadat’s assassination, said that he welcomes Ayman al Zawahiri’s return to Egypt and that he would be given safe haven, according to a report published yesterday in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. The report was translated from Arabic by the Foundation For Defense of Democracies.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

It’s Vogue for the Veiled! Turkish Fashion Magazine Created for Women Who Wear Headscarves

A magazine for the modern, fashion-conscious Muslim woman is proving that when it comes to Turkey, you don’t need bikinis, breasts and legs to sell issues.

Outraged when he saw photos of transsexuals in a magazine, devout Muslim Ibrahim Burak Birer, 31 decided to create a magazine in Istanbul that would contest the ‘diktat of nudity’.

With his friend Mehmet Volkan Atay, 32, he created Alâ, a magazine described as the avant-garde of ‘veiled’ fashion.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

UAE: Too Much English, Arabic Risks Extinction

Anglophone school curriculums increasingly popular

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, JANUARY 23 — After decades in pursuit of the best of the western world — education, lifestyle and business — the United Arab Emirates is dealing with the price it has paid until now: a minority presence in their own country, a distorted national identity and a dying language. The process of Emiratisation, a political and economic objective for the past few years that aims to restore control to the native Emirati people, must shift its sights ever further downstream to schools, pre-schools, and the first years that children are educated, say linguists and educators. A government-commissioned study on early childhood revealed that only 2% of workers in pre-schools are native Emiratis. Another 5% come from another Arab country, a figure that is “too low to guarantee an appropriate development of the language”, denounced Samia Kazi, one of the consultants that conducted the study for the Social Affairs Ministry. The most highly sought-after curriculum programmes by Emirati parents are the British Early years and the Montessori method, also conducted in English. This trend continues in subsequent school years, during which, in order to assure the best possible future, Arabic seems to be increasingly taking a backseat to English, which is seen as a certain ticket for success at home and in the world. If measures are not taken immediately — warned linguist Christopher Morrow, a teacher at Al Ain University, during a recent interview — Arabic, which is even one of the six official languages of the UN, risks becoming a mere language of religion and folklore in the UAE. A more conscious turn towards Arabic has begun to be undertaken by the publishing houses, especially those for children, which are starting to turn out more desirable literature. While preserving the Arabic educational, moral and literary content, the graphic aspect is changing, with lighter page layouts and more attractive pictures to compete with western books in English, much more popular with Emirati teens. The return to Arabic for older readers has already been undertaken, although in a much more gradual way: Arabic menus are offered by law next to English versions in restaurants, while roads are being given their original names back, although transliterated with the Latin alphabet, and bilingual forms are appearing in government offices.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghan President Hamid Karzai ‘Plans Talks With Taliban’

The Afghan government is planning to meet the Taliban in Saudi Arabia in an attempt to jump-start peace talks, the BBC has learned. The landmark meeting will come in the coming weeks, before the establishment of a Taliban office in Qatar, according to Western and Afghan officials. The Taliban have refused previously to recognise the government of President Hamid Karzai.

Senior officials in Kabul say the Taliban have agreed to the meeting. The militant group, contacted by the BBC, refused to comment on the move. The Taliban have so far insisted they would only talk to the US and other allies of the Kabul government. A senior Afghan government official told the BBC: “Even if the Taliban office is established in Qatar, we will obviously pursue other efforts in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey.”

He continued: “Saudi Arabia has played an important role in the past. We value that and look forward to continued support and contact with Saudi Arabia in continuing the peace process.”

President Karzai was angered by US and Qatari efforts to kick-start the peace process without consulting his government fully. In December, he recalled the Afghan ambassador in Doha. A delegation from Qatar is expected to arrive in Kabul shortly in an attempt to mend fences.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Emboldened Taliban Try to Sell Softer Image

Still, the only time in recent history when opium cultivation was nearly eradicated in Afghanistan was in 2001—when Taliban leader Mullah Omar imposed a ban on poppies, in an attempt to gain international recognition that collapsed after the Sept. 11 attacks.

[From Egghead: Some claim that the USA commenced war in Afghanistan in order to get the opium growing and flowing again. If that were the plan, then the plan worked. Hmmm.]


Six times a week, thousands of local boys and girls—sometimes together, more often separately—gather in scores of village mosques across the district at the break of dawn, sitting through 90 minutes of math and Afghanistan’s national languages of Pashtu and Dari. An additional 30 minutes a day are taken by Islamic studies, taught by the local mullahs following a textbook written by Mr. Qalamuddin and approved by the Afghan authorities.

[From Egghead: So, one fourth of their studies (paid for by non-Muslim GERMANS) are Islamic studies that tell them to violently murder the non-Muslim infidel. Hmmm.]

           — Hat tip: Egghead[Return to headlines]

Indian Girl, 7, Had Liver Cut Out For Sacrifice

This seven-year-old Indian girl was murdered and had her liver cut out by two farmers in a ritual sacrifice to a Hindu ‘mother goddess’ to ensure a bumper harvest.

Local reports from the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh suggest her throat was cut and her organs offered to Durga, a Hindu goddess, with the hope a bumper harvest would follow.

If a victim is under 12-years-old, then local mythology believes crops will flourish following a sacrificed. Police initially thought the girl’s father had carried out the suspected rape and murder.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Pakistan Knew Where Bin Laden Was All Along


Pakistan knew where Bin Laden was all along, Leon Panetta admits as he reveals intelligence source for Osama raid

Pakistan officials must have known that terror chief Bin Laden was holed up in a remote compound in Abbottabad, claims Pentagon chief Leon Panettta.

The Defence Secretary has publicly hit out at the Pakistani government who he says ‘must have had some sense’ of Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts.

He said he remains convinced they must have known someone of interest was hiding out in the safe-house in an interview for CBS’s ‘60 Minutes’, but added he has no proof.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Juju Voice Predicts Zebra Win

According to online “The Voice” portal, the Zebras appear to have the gods on their side as the well-known 35-year old sangoma (or witchdoctor) has predicted. The traditional doctor, also called Snake Poison has boldly predicted a sensational victory in their Afcon debut.

The bold prediction appears to have the backing of world renowned Nigerian prophet TB Joshua, who in his sermon last Sunday forecast that the Black Stars of Ghana would lose 2-0 to a ‘small’ team in the Afcon. But how did “Snake Poison” come to the conclusion?


According to “The Voice”, Snake Poison sat his underground shrine, threw the bones three times to make sure that the message he was receiving was accurate.

And then the results came: “We are going to win 2-1. The bones say that at half time it will be 1-1 and there will be injuries and misunderstandings, but I don’t know why. I think we are going to win the game against Ghana because they will look down upon us. I pray that this really comes true.”

He was asked what would happen in their second game against Guinea on 28th January. He said: “The bones say two different things, one says that we are going to win and the other says that it will be a draw. If we are going to win, we are going to struggle before scoring.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Sierra Leone: Voodoo and Cannibalism During Election Season

(January 29, 2012) Whenever it is elections time in Sierra Leone, ritual murders and allegations of cannibalism increase in the country. Most of the episodes occur in the strongholds of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP). Historically, this is a stigma that has accompanied the SLPP since its formation in the 1950s. Even after elections , ritual murder becomes very rampant if the SLPP is in power as politicians believe that they can consolidate their power only through these witchcraft practices.

The practice of ritual murder involves the kidnapping and butchering alive of unfortunate human beings whose parts are extracted and used in voodoo rituals with the belief that it will invoke the favour of “the gods “ and help the culprits to gain political power. The murderers remove the hearts, livers, tonguse, lips and private parts of the victims which are then carried to a juju man (Witch doctor ) who performs secret voodoo rituals on them

Recently, a famous SLPP stalwart and ex-presidential aspirant, Mr. John Ernest Leigh resigned from the party for the following reasons he gave in a press statement : “Clearly, while many fine personalities continue as loyal, hard working party members nationwide and abroad, someone with my background, experience and upbringing cannot belong to a political party fronted by ex-junta personalities and under the sordid influence of those I personally know as nation-wreckers, money-grubbing lying rogues, false pretenders for money and such-like characters; not to mention the widespread acceptance in secret and off-camera of voodoo juju-swear ceremonies as part and parcel of the party’s unofficial ‘democratic’ process in selecting its leadership.” ( John Ernest Leigh ) .

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Mob Kills Elderly Couple Accused of Witchcraft

AN elderly South African couple was set alight and killed by a mob of people who accused them of practicing witchcraft, police said on Thursday.

The mob had apparently accused the man, 66, and woman, 60, of killing their granddaughter through trickery and burying her in their yard. The granddaughter, 16, had died in hospital a week earlier after overdosing on pills.

A police investigation has been opened, but so far no arrests were made.

Police told the SAPA news agency they arrived at the house in the middle of the night to find it ablaze. The husband was found killed on the street, while the wife was burned to death in their bedroom.

The belief in “muti,” or magical powers, is widespread in the country and traditional healers often garner much respect. There are also hundreds of reported incidents of witchcraft each year, some turning violent.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Uproar Over Witchcraft

The meeting, which was also attended by the police from Malamulele police station, was to report on the community’s demand that a Mozambican woman they accused of witchcraft be expelled from the area.

“If the civic is not telling us that the witches are going, they must go,” a villager said.

Sowetan understands that the witchcraft accusations follows claims that a woman took some soil from a graveyard on the day a woman who was her neighbour was buried.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


Finland: More Asylum Seekers Returning Home by Choice

About one tenth of asylum seekers in Finland return to their home countries voluntarily. In the past couple of years, the greatest number of asylum seekers heading home have been Iraqis. The Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) is setting up a permanent system to facilitate such moves, known as Assisted Voluntary Return.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Norway: Government Backs Ethiopians’ Departure

Norway has signed an agreement with Ethiopia enabling nationals to return home, officials say.

The new deal means will enable around 400 paperless Ethiopians living in Norway illegally from authorities’ point of view to go back. Deputy Minister of Justice Pål K.. Lønseth encourages them to return to Ethiopia voluntarily, giving them 40,000 kroner.

“We will not be using the option of forcible returns before the 15th March, meaning they have the opportunity to apply for a voluntary one soreturn. So the can return to Ethiopia under general conditions,” he tells NRK.

According to him, 15,000 kroner is “if they choose to reintegrate themselves in Ethiopia”, the rest is financial support towards measures after their arrival.

Approximately 100 Ethiopians went on hunger strike last February, locking themselves inside Oslo Cathedral, in protest against their treatment by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

Those demonstrating at the time felt their lives were in danger because of Ethiopia’s political situation. The hunger strike lasted a week and the protesters gathered support from people in Oslo and Stavanger.

Calling the new agreement following 20 years of negotiation “good for Norway”, Deputy Minister Lønseth is now hoping deals can be made with other countries, and that “police and immigration authorities use it effectively.”

However, watchdog the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) personnel express concern about how the government has handled matter, particularly regarding children.

Secretary General Ann-Margrit Austenå says, “A number of Ethiopian children have lived in Norway for quite some time, and we believe their situation must be addressed. The government must postpone cases and make a new assessment if it is serious about their best interests.”

“I fear we will see some incidents of imprisonments [when Ethiopians have returned], and at the very worst torture, as well as destruction of individuals and families. Ethiopia’s regime is extremely authoritarian, with human rights violations having got worse over the past year. Many of them have been engaged in political opposition whilst living in Norway, and it will have consequences for some,” she concludes.

           — Hat tip: The Observer[Return to headlines]

One Born Every Minute — Hiding the Third World Colonisation Catastrophe Through MSM Propaganda

The true extent of the mainstream media collaboration in the carefully concealed obliteration of the indigenous people of Britain which is being accomplished through the broadcasting of lies, half truths and pure fantasy is evident again in the Channel 4 series ‘One Born Every Minute’ — a supposed reality TV depiction of child birth in Britain.

While appearing to purposely ignore official statistics showing that 1 in every 4 births in Britain are to foreign-born mothers, figures which shockingly rise to more than 3 in 4 births in some heavily affected areas and which do not include births involving British born non-indigenous mothers, and ignoring the latest official figures from 2005* which showed that even then ethnic ‘minority’ births accounted for more than one third of all births in Britain, the producers of this Channel 4 show have indulged the MSM passion for lies, fabrication and sham in presenting their own ‘whitewashed’ version of child birth in Britain.

*As hospitals have this yearly data at their fingertips, it seems strange that officially available figures are 6 years out of date on this issue and will cause suspicion as to the current percentages of non-indigenous births in Britain.

Just as the same media try to downplay the connection between mass Third World immigration and rising levels of crime, rising rates of diseases which are prevalent in Third World countries, rising costs of housing and other necessities, falling education standards and rising unemployment numbers, they now plunge to new levels of mendacity by presenting a ‘reality’ programme where ethnic faces are few and far between and a maternity ward in our overburdened NHS was an oasis of calm and tranquillity where the almost entirely indigenous nursing staff far outnumbered the almost equally entirely indigenous mothers-to-be.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Fewer and Better’ Immigrants Plan

Britain will give priority to the “brightest and the best” immigrants under new plans to cut the number of foreigners settling in the UK, the Immigration Minister has said.

Britain will give priority to the “brightest and the best” immigrants under new plans to cut the number of foreigners settling in the UK, the Immigration Minister has said.

Damian Green is this week expected to outline the principles behind the Government’s new “selective” immigration policy that will give preferential treatment to investors, entrepreneurs and world-class artists, dancers, musicians and academics.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Archbishop of York Tells David Cameron Not to Overrule the Bible and Allow Gay Marriage

Ministers should not overrule the Bible by allowing same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of York has said.

David Cameron would be acting like a ‘dictator’ and overruling the Bible if he legalises gay marriage, Dr John Sentamu has warned.

He told the prime minister that he will face a rebellion if he pushes ahead with plans to allow fully-fledged gay marriages.

Dr Sentamu said: ‘I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just (change it) overnight, no matter how powerful you are.

The Church’s lawyers last month said that weddings will have to be offered to same-sex couples under any scheme to open the full privileges and title of marriage to gays and lesbians.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Labour MP: Smacking Ban Led to Riots Because Parents Fear Children Will be Taken Away if They Discipline Them

The ban on smacking children must be overturned to help prevent a repeat of last summer’s riots, according to a senior Labour MP.

Former Education Minister David Lammy, who represents the Tottenham area of North London where the disturbances started, says working-class parents need to be able to discipline their children physically to deter them from joining gangs and getting involved in knife crime.

Calling for a return to the Victorian laws on discipline, Mr Lammy said parents were ‘no longer sovereign in their own homes’ and lived under constant fear that social workers would take away their children if they chastised them.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]