Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120827

Financial Crisis
»Fury as Bank Says Printing Money Helps Pensioners and Savers
»Marc Faber: Global Recession is a 100 Percent Certainty
»Top Economists: Iceland Did it Right … and Everyone Else is Doing it Wrong
»UK: Middle Classes Forced Out of Private Education as Costs Rise at Twice Rate of Inflation Over 10 Years
»Unilever Cuts Package Sizes in Euro Crisis
»Weidmann: State Financing Leads to Drug-Like Dependency
»A Small Step for One Man
»Destroying Our Military From Within
»In Colorado, Tracing the Trail of a Loner Coming Apart
»Military Insider: Obama Manufactured Crises to Secure Presidency “By Any Means Necessary”
»Neil Armstrong: First Man on Moon, Dies at 82
»Neil Armstrong, First Man to Walk on Moon, Dies at 82
»Obama Has Millions of Fake Twitter Followers
»Social Security Administration Buys 174,000 Rounds of Hollow-Point Ammo
»State Department Considers Eliminating US Nuclear Arsenal
Europe and the EU
»French Police Shot in Urban Violence
»Germany: Athletics Official Dies After Javelin Accident
»Hospital Terror in Denmark
»Pierre Manent: City, Empire, Church, Nation
»Switzerland: Man Stopped at Customs for Carrying Hundreds of Dead Black Caterpillars Eats His Way Through Them in Front of Officials
»UK: A Masked Man on a Motorbike and My Chilling Brush With Surveillance Britain
»UK: British Nurse Who Returned From Australia to Work in NHS is Told: Take an English Test!
»UK: Heart Virus Kills Young Mother, 28, After Doctors Kept Saying it Was Indigestion
»UK: Junk-Food Makers Handed Millions of Your Cash to Develop Healthier Products
»UK: Son, 49, Beaten Into Coma After Telling Yobs to be Quiet Because They Were Keeping Awake His Elderly Cancer-Stricken Mother
»UK: Why Won’t the BBC Come Clean Over Its Bias Against Israel — A Moral Country That Deserves Our Support?
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israeli Army Welcomes North American Volunteers
»Rockets From Gaza Hit Southern Israel, 2 Factories Damaged
Middle East
»A Last Ditch Effort to Rescue the River Jordan
»British Paper Claims Western Troops Are in Syria
»Researchers Identify Present Day Turkey as Origin of Indo-European Languages
South Asia
»Dying Over the Truth: Murder Inside the Wire
»India: Man Accused of Hacking Up His Sister and Her Daughter, 3, And Dumping Their Remains in the Ganges in ‘Honour’ Killing
»Indian Political Correctness: Assam vs. Gujarat
»Indonesia: Campaign Against Chinese Christian Candidate in Jakarta Gubernatorial Race
»Iran or the US? India Caught in a Diplomatic Dilemma
»Key Pakistani Taliban Figure Killed in Afghanistan
»Making the U.S. Military Submit to Shariah
Far East
»China: Motorway Collapses Just Ten Months After Being Built
»China’s New Shadow Government, Cash for Organs, And the Threat to America
»Guy Sorman: Where Nationalism Still Matters
»North Korea’s New Image Shaped by Platform Shoes, Earrings and Cell Phones
Australia — Pacific
»Australia Deports Irish Conmen Over Shoddy House-Repair Spree
»Australia Foreign Minister Rules Out US Bases
»Rape Victim Alicia Gali Still Traumatised Three Years After She Was Raped and Jailed for Adultery in United Arab Emirates
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Mine Shootings Threaten South Africa Prez, Party
»Uganda: Thief Who Broke Into Isolation Ward to Steal Mobile From Dying Ebola Patient is Diagnosed With Deadly Virus
»Special Branch Interpreter ‘With Links to Islamic Extremists’ Sues Home Office After He Was Suspended for Five Years on Full Pay Then Sacked
»UK: Minister Raps Politicians’ Silence on Immigration
»DNA Could Have Existed Long Before Life Itself

Financial Crisis

Fury as Bank Says Printing Money Helps Pensioners and Savers

Claims by the Bank of England that pensioners and savers are better off as a result of its controversial money-printing policy were greeted with scorn last night.

Spencer Dale, the Bank’s top economist, said that while pensioners and savers had ‘much to be angry about’, they would have been even worse off if it had not pumped £375billion into the economy.

He even claimed the policy — called Quantitative Easing — had saved the economy from plunging into a deeper recession, with more firms going under and thousands of jobs being lost.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Marc Faber: Global Recession is a 100 Percent Certainty

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) — Marc Faber, managing director of Marc Faber Ltd. and publisher of the Gloom, Boom and Doom Report clings tenaciously to his prediction. He points out the fact that the world’s major economies, such Europe, the U.S., China and the emerging markets that are dependent on China for growth, asre all stagnant and struggling.

“Europe is already in recession,” he said. “Germany is still growing very, very slightly, but is likely to go into recession soon.”

Job creation and economic growth in the U.S. is also slowing down. “The U.S. economy has decelerated and I don’t see much growth in the next six to 12 months,” Faber said.

The Federal Reserve and other policy makers are hamstrung when it comes to turning the U.S. economy around.

“I think that if you look at the injection of liquidity and the intervention by the Federal Reserve and the Treasury with fiscal measures, it has already impoverished the U.S. economy,” he said.

Faber says that it would require “massive easing, a huge balance sheet expansion,” to boost economic activity in the U.S.

Adding to the gloomy prediction is the conviction that Faber has that no matter who wins the top position in November, the U.S. will still be at a standstill.

“The deficit is $1.3 trillion and, in my view, will go up,” he says.

Even corporate profits, the lone bright spot, look to be at risk. “The corporate sector has recovered remarkably since the trough in earnings in 2009 and we are at record high earnings,” Faber said, but added, “Corporate profits will disappoint over the next 12 to 18 months.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Top Economists: Iceland Did it Right … and Everyone Else is Doing it Wrong

Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz notes:

What Iceland did was right. It would have been wrong to burden future generations with the mistakes of the financial system.

Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes:

What [Iceland’s recovery] demonstrated was the … case for letting creditors of private banks gone wild eat the losses.

Krugman also says:

A funny thing happened on the way to economic Armageddon: Iceland’s very desperation made conventional behavior impossible, freeing the nation to break the rules. Where everyone else bailed out the bankers and made the public pay the price, Iceland let the banks go bust and actually expanded its social safety net. Where everyone else was fixated on trying to placate international investors, Iceland imposed temporary controls on the movement of capital to give itself room to maneuver.

Krugman is right. Letting the banks go bust — instead of perpetually bailing them out — is the right way to go.

We’ve previously noted:

Iceland told the banks to pound sand. And Iceland’s economy is doing much better than virtually all of the countries which have let the banks push them around.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Middle Classes Forced Out of Private Education as Costs Rise at Twice Rate of Inflation Over 10 Years

Thousands of middle-income families have been priced out of private schools by inflation-busting fee rises.

Average fees have risen at nearly twice the rate of inflation over the past ten years.

The increases mean that private schooling is now beyond average earners in well-paid occupations, including pharmacists, architects, IT experts, engineers and scientists.

A decade ago, these professionals would have been able to afford to pay fees out of earned income.

Now, however, they would struggle without funding from other sources, according to the study.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Unilever Cuts Package Sizes in Euro Crisis

Consumer goods giant Unilever is now offering smaller packages to keep pace with the thinner wallets of its European customers. The company says the strategy comes from the developing economies in Asia and is vital now that “poverty is returning to Europe,” as one manager says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Weidmann: State Financing Leads to Drug-Like Dependency

(AGI) Berlin — The ECB should be careful in acquiring bonds from countries in crisis as this constitutes state financing.

The practice can cause dependency like drugs Jens Weidmann affirmed in an interview to “Spiegel”, underlining that “one must not underestimate the danger that financing on the part of the central bank may render (countries) dependent, like a drug,” besides the fact that, “the manna of money from the central banks could awake lasting needs and lead to a pooling of risks. No-one is contesting that the central bank has the power to influence markets over the short term, but even a central bank is not omnipotent.” .

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


A Small Step for One Man

The death of Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, takes place in the shadow of the death of the space program. Last year Armstrong had called the dismantling of the space program under Obama, leaving behind a shadow space agency: “embarrassing and unacceptable”.

Armstrong had proposed not only future investments, but along with other astronauts had sensibly proposed retaining the space shuttle program until they were ready, instead of scrapping the shuttle program and distributing viable shuttles to museums. Armstrong was critical of the Bolden regime at NASA that had stripped the space agency of its best people and its ability to conduct manned space exploration or even reach the International Space Station without begging passage on Soviet Soyuz tubs.


NASA, like the rest of American exceptionalism, has become that empty shell in the throes of Obama’s Post-American national order. It exists to make Muslim boys feel good about imaginary Muslim inventions and to provide jobs to Russian engineers. In the last week NASA premiered a new song from one of Obama’s favorite musicians, and demonstrated a new “green” alternative to existing rocket fuels.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Destroying Our Military From Within

The greatest force for the defense of the nation and for freedom in the world is being reduced by a Congress and a White House who refuse to recognize the threats that exist in a dangerous world.

“Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.”— Ronald Reagan

If you want to know how President Obama feels about the U.S. military, consider that in all the years since D-Day 1945 there have been three occasions when a President failed to go to the D-Day Monument that honors the soldiers killed during the Invasion.

The occasions were: 1. Barack Obama 2010 2. Barack Obama 2011 3. Barack Obama 2012

For the past 68 years, all Presidents, except Obama, have paid tribute to the fallen soldiers killed on D-Day. This year, instead of honoring the soldiers, he made a campaign trip on Air Force 1 to California to raise funds for his reelection.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

In Colorado, Tracing the Trail of a Loner Coming Apart

AURORA, Colo. — The text message, sent to another graduate student in early July, was cryptic and worrisome. Had she heard of “dysphoric mania,” James Eagan Holmes wanted to know?

The psychiatric condition, a form of bipolar disorder, combines the frenetic energy of mania with the agitation, dark thoughts and in some cases paranoid delusions of major depression.

She messaged back, asking him if dysphoric mania could be managed with treatment. Mr. Holmes replied: “It was,” but added that she should stay away from him “because I am bad news.”

It was the last she heard from him.

About two weeks later, minutes into a special midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, Mr. Holmes, encased in armor, his hair tinted orange, a gas mask obscuring his face, stepped through the emergency exit of a sold-out movie theater here and opened fire. By the time it was over, there were 12 dead and 58 wounded.

Mr. Holmes, who was arrested outside the theater and has been charged in the shootings, has remained an enigma, his life and his motives cloaked by two court orders that have imposed a virtual blackout on information in the case.

Yet as time has passed, a clearer picture has begun to surface. Interviews with more than a dozen people who knew or had contact with Mr. Holmes in the months before the attack paint a disturbing portrait of a young man struggling with a severe mental illness who more than once hinted to others that he was losing his footing.

[Return to headlines]

Military Insider: Obama Manufactured Crises to Secure Presidency “By Any Means Necessary”

For the first time in over two years of ongoing interviews, a powerful and highly influential Wall Street insider allows for direct interview participation of a figure we will simply call “Military Insider”. What follows is the first of a two part interview with both of these individuals who are warning of an impending manufactured crisis within the United States by powers desperate to secure a second term for “the man calling himself Obama”. For those who have followed these insider interviews from the beginning — you know just how accurate they have proven to be. Please remind yourself of that as you read this latest discussion…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Neil Armstrong: First Man on Moon, Dies at 82

Neil Armstrong, a quiet, self-described nerdy engineer who became a global hero when as a steely-nerved pilot he made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step on the moon, has died. He was 82.

Mr. Armstrong died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures, a statement Saturday from his family said. It didn’t say where he died.

Mr. Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions. His first words after setting foot on the surface are etched in history books and the memories of those who heard them in a live broadcast.

“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,” Mr. Armstrong said.

[Return to headlines]

Neil Armstrong, First Man to Walk on Moon, Dies at 82

Astronaut and American icon Neil Armstrong, the first person ever to set foot on the moon, has died at the age of 82.

Armstrong, who stepped onto the lunar surface on July 20, 1969 as commander of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, died Saturday (Aug. 25). The news was first reported by NBC News and confirmed in a statement by the Armstrong family. He had undergone a cardiac bypass operation on Aug. 7, two days after his 82nd birthday.

“It saddens us to report that the first astronaut to walk on the moon has passed away,” NASA wrote in a statement.

The astronaut uttered one of the most famous phrases in human history upon making his extraterrestrial foray: “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong and Apollo 11 lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin spent 21 hours and 36 minutes on the moon and performed the first-ever moonwalk during their historic mission. Five more Apollo moon landings would follow before the program ended in 1972.

After returning to Earth, Armstrong taught aerospace engineering at the University of Cincinnati and later served as chairman of the Virginia-based Computing Technologies for Aviation, Inc., according to NASA. He and his wife, Carol, made their home in the Cincinnati area.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama Has Millions of Fake Twitter Followers

President Obama’s Twitter account has 18.8 million followers — but more than half of them really don’t exist, according to reports.

A new Web tool has determined that 70% of Obama’s crowd includes “fake followers,” The New York Times reports in a story about how Twitter followers can be purchased.

“The practice has become so widespread that StatusPeople, a social media management company in London, released a Web tool last month called the Fake Follower Check that it says can ascertain how many fake followers you and your friends have,” the Times reports.

“Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers,” said Rob Waller, a founder of StatusPeople. “We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Social Security Administration Buys 174,000 Rounds of Hollow-Point Ammo

“The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.” — Ronald Reagan

The Social Security Administration has purchased 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S. Is the Obama Administration planning to stop issuing Social Security checks? Do they expect violence?

Stories regarding the purchase of the ammo range from 20,000 Spetznazs (Russian commandos) having crossed over the Canadian border into the U.S. and being taken to the underground areas of Denver International Airport to… you name it. Are they true? Who knows?

We all need to understand that the reason the Obama camp needs to pit the poor against the affluent is because there are always more poor than there are rich — thus, more votes. He must make them feel like Romney is against them — when quite the opposite is true. That’s why Joe Biden told a group of low-income folks that the Romney-Ryan ticket was going to put them “back in chains.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

State Department Considers Eliminating US Nuclear Arsenal

Although President Obama’s current defense cuts are so drastic that even Rep. Nancy Pelosi is scared they might cost Democrats more seats in the House, State Dept. advisers are reportedly encouraging further cuts and even the all-out elimination of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. A State Dept. report addressing this issue justifies the suggestion on the grounds that possessing nuclear weapons drives other nations to “acquisition and/or use of nuclear weapons.”

In other words, as long as nations like the U.S., Israel, and Russia have nukes but rogue nations like Iran and North Korea don’t, Iran and North Korea will continually pursue them with a willingness to use them. Yet if we get rid of ours, they will stop the pursuit of theirs… and everybody can hug and get along, naturally.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

French Police Shot in Urban Violence

FRANCE has suffered a fresh outbreak of urban unrest, with three police officers wounded in an attack by a crowd firing shotguns and lobbing petrol bombs.

Two of the officers were wounded by shotgun pellets and the third by a firework used as a rocket in the incident that began late on Friday in the Grigny suburb of Paris, police said.

The unrest began after a police unit broke up a fight between around 20 people. The officers were set upon as they returned to their vehicles by a crowd, some of whom fired shotguns and threw petrol bombs.

Riot police were rushed to the area and used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The incident in Grigny came two weeks after rioting in the northern city of Amiens left 17 police officers wounded. The unrest there has helped place crime and security at the top of the political agenda in France.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Athletics Official Dies After Javelin Accident

An elderly athletics official measuring a javelin competition died on Sunday afternoon after being speared in the face and neck at a Düsseldorf contest.

The 75-year-old man seems to have set off up the field before the javelin had landed, witnesses suggested. Although he was taken to the nearest hospital, it was confirmed on Monday morning that he did not survive the night.

“He was hit in the head, in the cheek, and also sustained a wound to his carotid artery,” Michael Sandforth, spokesman for the Düsseldorf fire department told The Local on Sunday.

“He was bleeding very badly and lost a lot of blood. “Our emergency doctor administered first aid and then he was taken to hospital.” “There was a helicopter at the scene but the doctor made the decision that there was an urgent need to bring him back round so he was taken nearby to the university clinic in the emergency doctor’s vehicle,” said Sandforth.

Shocked onlookers needed counselling after witnessing the incident.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Hospital Terror in Denmark

It is a very dark, but little known, underside to the multicultural nightmare that western European societies are fast becoming. Hospitals, among the most respected institutions in Western societies due to their compassion and care of the sick and vulnerable, are turning more and more into places of immigrant violence.

The latest incident of such inexcusable savagery within the walls of a European public medical facility occurred last week in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. Danish newspapers report that about 70 men, some armed with “cudgels,” invaded the Odense University Hospital emergency ward, looking to further harm, even possibly kill, a man who had just been admitted in critical condition with a gunshot wound. Luckily, no hospital staff member was injured, and it was most likely the heroics of the police officers present that prevented the intruders from reaching the injured patient.

“There were pictures torn down from the walls. There were vases knocked into pieces. It was quite intimidating to both staff and police there, and several officers had to fire their guns to get them to disappear,” said one Danish police official in describing the chaos.

Another police official stated: “They poured in with clubs into the emergency room…The staff at the hospital had to jump for their lives, and several police officers had to pull their service weapons to force the group out…”

Frustrated at being unable to reach their target, the vandals then took their anger out on ambulances and police vehicles. In all, the Copenhagen Post reported that “one ambulance and four police cars were destroyed in the night’s events.”

The trouble apparently began earlier that evening between rival immigrant groups when two members of one group drove up to the other’s Eid al-Fitr celebration that was being held in a shopping center parking lot. After being identified as an enemy, one report states the 26-year-old victim wound up being shot at least twice in one leg and stabbed several times in the other, but several shots were fired at the car the two were in. It is also at the crime scene that two of the four police cars may have been destroyed, while an ambulance summoned for the injured man was also reportedly attacked.

The hospital invasion was so barbarous and disturbing to the Danish public that a “shocked”Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was compelled to comment on it, calling it “serious criminal behavior” at a news conference. But noticeably, although the Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim celebration that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, it does not appear she nor any police official, politician or newspaper identified the culprits as such. They limited their identification vocabulary simply to the word “immigrant.”

But there was no need for Thorning-Schmidt to be so “shocked,” if she had been observing the happenings in hospitals in other Western European countries the past decade or more. In Iserlohn, a city in Germany, the death of a Turkish man of heart failure in a hospital there, according to a report in the German newspaper Die Welt, caused the 40 members of his family, “out of rage and grief,” to lay waste to the facility’s Intensive Care ward. The reception area was ransacked, pictures torn from walls, chairs and treatment tables overturned, and medical equipment destroyed by wooden clubs.

The first police to arrive were greeted with “kicks and punches” and had to withdraw, using pepper spray and under “threats and insults,” to await reinforcements. Only a heavier police presence was able to calm the situation, after which charges were made.

Doctors and other hospital personnel are often victims of individual attacks as well. In his book The Spread of Islamikaze Terrorism In Europe: The Third Islamic Invasion, author Raphael Israeli writes: “In 2004, there were 145 attacks in hospitals in France, rising to more than 200 in 2006 in which medical staff had been attacked by Muslims.” A story in Le Figaro this year maintains that French hospital personnel are becoming “more and more victims of violence,” citing a report from the health ministry agency responsible for keeping track of violence in healthcare facilities.

Also in 2006, France’s medical establishment became very concerned about Muslims rejecting the secular nature of French hospitals after a colleague was punched by a Muslim husband who did not want him to examine his wife. As a result, the French National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians issued a declaration that rejected “any moves to undermine the principle that public hospitals are part of the secular state, in which patients must accept being examined by a doctor of the opposite sex.”

“Thirty years ago, Muslim women came into our hospitals without any alarm at being taken into care of doctors, most of whom were men, and there were none of these difficulties. Why are things going backwards? It is for Islam to adapt to the liberties that all must possess in a modern state,” the college stated.

Such a declaration was probably long overdue. In 1998, for example, Le Figaro reports a Muslim fundamentalist physically prevented a male doctor for 30 minutes from helping his wife during a difficult delivery. He didn’t want a man touching her. The fundamentalist finally acceded, but his baby was born handicapped. The doctor apparently did not have the time “to carry out the examination that would have prevented serious neurological complications.”

And things do not seem to have gotten better in French hospitals since the declaration. In her book Menaces religieuses sur l’hopital (Religious Threats to the Hospital), published last year, writer Isabelle Levy gives examples of how catering to religious sensitivities, and not just to Islam but to other religions as well, are affecting proper medical care and wasting valuable time and resources. It sometimes takes 45 minutes, for example, to convince a woman with an earache to lift her veil for an examination, while some mothers won’t let a male pediatrician examine their daughters.

“Some have forbidden access to their room to male hospital personnel, not hesitating to post a sign ‘Forbidden To Men’ on the door,” Levy writes.

Ironically, Levy is reported to have once worked acquainting healthcare workers with different religious rites and practices so that they could “better respond to the needs of the sick.” But after seeing the abuse of such tolerance, both by patients and hospital staff, Levy has now “gone over to the other side” and become a big defender of the secular hospital. But as with many other ills created by multiculturalism in Western Europe, her awakening may have come too late.

The maddening thing about the barbarism now being enacted in western European hospitals is that it was predictable. One only has to examine the behavior in the hospital systems in the countries of the immigrants’ origin to realize what they are acting out is nothing new. Hospitals are invaded by angry individuals, family and clan members in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Yemen, among others, who damage the facilities, beat up staff and maybe even kill a doctor. Even in supposedly secular Turkey, attacks against medical personnel are reported to be on the rise. This year, a parliamentarian from Turkey’s Peace and Democracy Party reportedly beat up a doctor after throwing a tantrum in an emergency room.

Looking back, it seems incredible that such cultures were not examined for their compatibility with Western values and standards before their members were allowed to immigrate in such large numbers to the West. This is turning out to be the multiculturalists’ greatest sin.

In response to the Copenhagen hospital attack, the Danish parliamentary Foreigner and Integration Policy Committee chairwoman “suggested” that those who wished to engage in such violence should “go home to their native country.” A pipedream! These barbarians will not voluntarily leave the welfare heaven of Western Europe, and leftist groups and human rights laws will prevent any effort to deport. Thus, such violence is in Western Europe to stay and will only increase with time. So the only option now is that one had probably better get building more hospitals.

Europe will be needing them.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Pierre Manent: City, Empire, Church, Nation

How the West created modernity

Europe produced modernity-and for a long time, Europe was the master and possessor of modernity, putting it to the almost exclusive service of its own power. But this transformative project was inherently destined for humanity as a whole. Today, Bacon and Descartes rule in Shanghai and Bangalore at least as much as in London and Paris.

Europe finds itself militarily, politically, and spiritually disarmed in a world that it has armed with the means of modern civilization. Soon it will be wholly incapable of defending itself. It has already been incapable of speaking up for itself for a long time, since it confuses itself with a humanity on the path to pacification and unification.

By renouncing the political form that was its own and by which it had attempted, with some success, to resolve the European problem, Europe has deprived itself of the means of association in which its life had found the richest meaning, diffracted in a multiplicity of national languages that rivaled one another in strength and in grace. What will come next?

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Man Stopped at Customs for Carrying Hundreds of Dead Black Caterpillars Eats His Way Through Them in Front of Officials

But one man was so determined that his rare but banned ‘delicacy’ would not be taken off him, he stuffed his mouth full and chomped through hundreds of the crunchy larvae in front of stunned airport border guards, who had discovered the haul in his luggage at Switzerland’s EuroAirport outside Basel.

African Adrian Onobanjo, 47, had more than 15 kilos of dead black caterpillars in plastic bags hidden in his luggage when he was stopped and searched after arriving on a plane from Togo.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: A Masked Man on a Motorbike and My Chilling Brush With Surveillance Britain

The man on the motorbike seemed to come from nowhere. One minute I was loading my car at the start of a bank holiday weekend, the next I was being photographed by a sinister figure in black who looked like a vigilante.

At first I thought he was wearing a balaclava beneath his motorcycle helmet, but it turned out that he had a scarf wrapped around his face, leaving just a slit for his eyes.

He didn’t engage in conversation. He simply took out a digital camera and snapped a photo of my car, which I had pulled out of its space further down the road, and — as there was a neighbour’s car outside my house — had parked half-overlapping her car and half-overlapping an empty motorcycle bay, so that I could load my suitcases.

Apparently this was an offence. The fine I received in the post a few days later was for ‘obstructing the street’, even though the street was deserted.

When I rang my local council to complain, a jobsworth told me that if someone had been taken ill and an ambulance had arrived at that moment it might not have been able to pass by at speed and they could have died.

I told them to get a grip. You could have got two buses through the space.

They didn’t care. I had been caught double-parked outside my own house, in an empty street, on a bank holiday for a minute-and-a-half — and they were going to throw the book at me.

Welcome to Surveillance Britain.

Yesterday, a report revealed just how much our freedoms are being trampled on by local councils and their new-found love of covert methods.

Town halls have launched an astonishing 9,600 spying missions on the public in the past three years, using laws meant for investigating terror suspects.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: British Nurse Who Returned From Australia to Work in NHS is Told: Take an English Test!

Brought up in Cambridge and boasting a degree in Latin and history, Katherine Broadbent could be forgiven for thinking her ability to speak English would be beyond question.

That was, however, until she tried to get a job with the NHS.

After returning from working as a nurse in Australia, the mother-of-one has been told she must sit a costly series of exams to prove her fluency before she is allowed on UK wards.

Despite being British, because she did her medical training outside of Europe, Mrs Broadbent will have to take an International English Language Test to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

By contrast, thanks to a European ruling in 2006, nurses who qualify in EU countries are exempt from the same tests to work here — even if they can barely speak English.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Heart Virus Kills Young Mother, 28, After Doctors Kept Saying it Was Indigestion

A young mother died after doctors misdiagnosed her inflamed heart as acid reflux, an inquest has heard.

Gemma Jones, 28, had been suffering from crushing pains in her chest, arms and abdomen months before she collapsed and died at her home in March.

An inquest heard Gemma had visited her GP three days before she died but he wrongly diagnosed her with acid reflux.

She was actually suffering from Diffused Viral Myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart caused by a virus.

The mother-of-one was found lifeless on the bed at her home in Daventry, Northamptonshire, by her fiancee Philip Medhurst on March 18.

Just three days earlier, Gemma had gone to Abbey House Medical Practice in the town, where she was again told she was suffering from acid reflux.

An inquest at Northampton General Hospital on Friday heard an autopsy showed ‘chronic inflammation’ of Gemma’s heart which would have been detected by a simple ECG test.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Junk-Food Makers Handed Millions of Your Cash to Develop Healthier Products

Some of the world’s biggest junk food makers are being paid millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to develop healthier snacks.

They are being handed grants by Vince Cable’s Business Department to meet pledges to cut the salt and fat content of their food.

Firms that have received the cash include the makers of Walkers Crisps, Wrigley’s chewing gum, Walls ice-cream and Pot Noodles.

The money is being used for research into new technologies and ingredients.

But critics have condemned the use of the public purse to help billion pound companies which already benefit from tax breaks available for carrying out research and development.

At least £2.9million has been handed over. While the work is done in tandem with academic researchers at universities, the projects are manufacturer-led and commercial gain is the prime consideration.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Son, 49, Beaten Into Coma After Telling Yobs to be Quiet Because They Were Keeping Awake His Elderly Cancer-Stricken Mother

A man was beaten unconscious after he asked a group of loud yobs who were plaguing his cancer-stricken mother to be quiet in the early hours of the morning.

Andrew Toseland, 49, is now in an induced coma in hospital as the result of the serious head injuries he suffered in the attack.

The 6ft 2in-tall warehouse worker had walked out of the flat he shares with his mother at 1am after hearing the revellers in a communal area.

He asked them to calm down and leave the building in Gosport, Hampshire, as they didn’t live there and was subjected to a brutal attack.

[Comments: Another example of yob culture. Fawlty (John Cleese) Finds Fault with England (]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Why Won’t the BBC Come Clean Over Its Bias Against Israel — A Moral Country That Deserves Our Support?

It’s time for the BBC to give up. We already know that it’s biased towards the Left. But the corporation looks ridiculous in its endless attempts to stop the publication of an inquiry into its coverage of Israel.

I mean, just how bad can it be?

Well, evidently it’s embarrassing enough to squander hundreds of thousands of pounds to keep it locked in a safe. In fact, a Freedom of Information request by The Commentator has revealed that the BBC has squandered £332,780.47 suppressing it.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israeli Army Welcomes North American Volunteers

As Israeli rhetoric about attacking Iran heats up, record numbers of North Americans have come to Israel to join the army. Some Israelis think the immigrants’ energy would be better spent outside the army.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Rockets From Gaza Hit Southern Israel, 2 Factories Damaged

(AGI) Jerusalem — Three rockets fired from Gaza hit southern Israel, damaging two factories in Sderot without causing injuries. The Israeli Defence Forces report that two rockets fell in the industrial area of the Israeli city, which is a kilometre from the border of the Palestinian enclave, while the third ended up in a field. Two Israelis have been treated for shock. The situation along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip has been under control in the two months since June when Palestinian militants launched 150 rockets and Israel responded with a series of raids that killed 15 people.

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

Middle East

A Last Ditch Effort to Rescue the River Jordan

Once a mighty river, the Jordan is now heavily polluted, reduced to a mere trickle. An NGO working with Israel, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank hopes to create a plan to restore the river back to health.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

British Paper Claims Western Troops Are in Syria

The British Daily Star has reported in their article, “SAS HUNT BIO ARMS,” that, “nearly 200 elite SAS and SBS troops are in or around Syria hunting for Assad’s weapons of mass destruction.” The Star also claims that the SAS are accompanied by British MI6, US CIA, and both French and American soldiers. This after US’ Barack Obama made comments claiming the US would military intervene if Syria so much as “moves them [unconfirmed WMDs] in a threatening fashion.”

Like Iraq, the West has provided no evidence that such weapons even exist, let alone prove that the weapons have or even would be used against terrorists operating across Syria. And like in Iraq, another false pretext is being developed through leaks, and limited hangouts in an attempt to prime the public for a desperate intervention designed to bolster the West’s collapsing terrorist front.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Researchers Identify Present Day Turkey as Origin of Indo-European Languages

By using novel methods developed for tracing the origins of virus outbreaks, researchers say they have identified present-day Turkey as the homeland of the Indo-European language family.

The international team, led by Quentin Atkinson, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, used computational methods analyzing words from more than 100 ancient and contemporary languages, as well as geographical and historical data. By doing so, the scientists say they have pinned down the origin, about 8,000 years ago, of the largest global language to the region of Anatolia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Dying Over the Truth: Murder Inside the Wire

by Diana West

Andrew Bostom gleans the buried truth deep in an unclassified May 2011 internal Pentagon “Red Team” report on murder “inside the wire”: It turns out that these Pentagon analysts actually lifted the official blinders a crack to note clash of civilizations as a driver behind the constant violent assaults by Afghan security forces on US and other Western forces, and even suggested US troops be instructed in an “objective and comprehensive assessment of the totalitarian nature of the extreme theology practiced among the Afghans.” Of course, that was only suggestion #40 out of 58, so, so much for the Red Team’s powers of priority-analysis.

Clearly, the team’s suggestion wasn’t taken as a February 2012 pocket reference guide (pictured above), “Inside the Wire Threats — Afghanistan Green on Blue,” demonstrates. The complete handbook on which this so-called smartcard is based inexplicably remains classified, but the gist is clear. 1) US troops are to walk on eggs and refrain from saying or doing anything that might set off their armed, “hair-trigger moderate,” Afghan counterparts: “Avoid public rebukes,” troops are told. “Counsel in private jointly with ANSF chain of command” (directions, surely, any self-respecting drill sergeant would roar at). 2) Worse, US troops are ordered to assume the age-old role of the dhimmis, those wretched, self-censoring non-Muslims repressed and stunted by Islamic law: “Respect Islam, Koran or a mosque; Afghan women, elders and children. Avoid arrogance; i.e., belief that ISAF culture is superior to Afghan culture.”

This, pure and simple, is code for submission to Islam’s culture and tenets, which, if the truth were taught in accordance with the Red Team’s sensible recommendation #40, directly conflict with and contradict “ISAF culture” — i.e., Judeo-Christian-humanist principles. The unspeakable fact is, “respecting Islam” and “avoiding arrogance” are impossible to do without surrendering these same Western principles. As much as Islam’s command to Muslims to slay the infidel, this fact, as the Red Team report perhaps inadvertently reveals, is probably at the heart of at least some of the “green-on-blue” attacks that are reported to have followed an “argument.”

To wit, this Red Team summation of interviews with US personnel:…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]

India: Man Accused of Hacking Up His Sister and Her Daughter, 3, And Dumping Their Remains in the Ganges in ‘Honour’ Killing

A mother and her three-year-old daughter have been murdered and hacked to bits in an horrific ‘honour’ killing in India.

News sources in the country say the woman’s brother is accused of having carried out the heinous crime and dumping their remains in the Ganges.

NDTV and Times of India both report that the woman had not seen her family since she married against their wishes four years ago.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Indian Political Correctness: Assam vs. Gujarat

Our enemies are exploiting civil society and academia’s leftist bias, Muslim appeasement.

[I spend a lot of time in India and have a great affection for that country. Closer and more enhanced relations between the United States and India are critical to defeat the existential threats that both nations face. Few Americans, however, realize that while India has maintained its status as,the world’s largest democracy despite constant terror attacks, hostile neighbors, and governments that have not always acted in the nation’s best interests; leftist pressures at work since the 1950s threaten India’s very existence in today’s dangerous world. RB]

In this world of political correctness, Indians often face public condemnation, government harassment, and almost certain career suicide for the “sin” of being politically incorrect. Elites in the media, academia, and elsewhere have built up a system of rewards and punishments to intimidate Indians who might even think about challenging their biased interpretation. People who engage in any sort of critical examination are quickly labeled as “dangerous” and “extremist.”

How severe is it in India?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Campaign Against Chinese Christian Candidate in Jakarta Gubernatorial Race

Voters in the capital will cast their ballot on 20 September for their new governor. Muslim groups have launched personal racist anti-Christian attacks. Imams and other religious leaders have called on residents to vote only for Muslims. Fears are growing about the campaign’s impact on Indonesia’s fragile social fabric.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Tensions are rising in Jakarta, Java, as the date (20 September) of the runoff in the capital’s gubernatorial election approaches. The race is very close and everything is good, even personal attacks, against other candidates. However, there is a risk that it might become an ethnic and social confrontation. Billboards, messages and video footage are being used to denigrate candidates running against the incumbent governor, especially against a non-Muslim Chinese-Indonesian who is running for the post of deputy governor. Imams and other religious leaders have also stepped into the ring, telling their co-religionists not to trust people who are not close to Islam.

Joko Widodo (aka Jokowi) and his running mate Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (aka Ahok) are going against outgoing Jakarta Governor Fauzi “Foke” Bowo. In the first round of voting, the challengers harnessed 42.6 per cent of the vote, whilst Bowo got only 34.05 per cent. The runoff is now an open match and the incumbent is not certain of re-election.

The campaign took on an incendiary note when attacks began aimed at Basuki, an ethnic Chinese from Solo (central Java) who also happens to be Christian.

The ongoing attempts to discredit him could however heighten tensions between religious groups and ignite sectarian violence in a campaign that is increasingly taking on a national dimension.

Jakarta has a history of majority Muslims attacking minority Chinese, both Christian and Buddhist. In May 1998, when Dictator Suharto still ruled the country, thousands of people were victims of vicious and unprecedented violent attacks that have regularly flared up ever since, evidence of the fragile social fabric of the world’s most populous Muslim country.

More and more voices can be heard, appealing to the population to vote for candidates that are ethnic Betawi, i.e. native Jakartans, and Muslim, like Governor Bowo, a moderate in the city’s politics.

Personal attacks against Basuki have come various quarters, including a musician. Similarly, during his sermon in a mosque, a religious leader urged Muslims not to vote for the Jokowi-Ahok ticket.

In a not so subtle message, a number of videos have been posted on the Internet, showing the sectarian violence that rocked Jakarta in 1998, reminding voters that this might happen again if an ethnic Chinese is elected.

For his part, Jokowi has been attacked as an anti-Islamic, pro-Zionist activist.

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

Iran or the US? India Caught in a Diplomatic Dilemma

International Relations experts say that India has a difficult task at hand to maintain friendly ties with Iran without offending the United States, which has put various sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as referring to Indo-Iranian relations as a “relationship among brothers” after a telephone call with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the beginning of the year.

Traditionally, India and Iran have had very close ties. Nonetheless, the last state visit made by an Indian prime minster was over a decade ago — in 2001 Atal Behari Vajpayee visited Iran.

“India is caught in a diplomatic dilemma,” Iran expert Qamar Agha told DW. The closer India and the US got — especially after the signing of the Indo-American nuclear deal in 2008 — the stronger the pressure became on India to distance itself from Iran.

“But India has always said that its national interests go before all else. And for the country’s rapidly growing economy, India needs energy and oil.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Key Pakistani Taliban Figure Killed in Afghanistan

(Associated Press) A NATO airstrike in eastern Afghanistan killed a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban who had close ties with al-Qaeda, dealing a blow to the militants who operate on both sides of the countries’ porous border.

Mullah Dadullah was killed Friday in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, which lies just across the border from the Pakistani tribal area of Bajur, the military alliance said. He was the Pakistani Taliban leader in Bajur, and NATO said Saturday that Dadullah also was responsible for the movement of fighters and weapons across the frontier as well as attacks against Afghan and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Making the U.S. Military Submit to Shariah

by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

Suddenly, a murderous threat has intensified in Afghanistan: American servicemen are being killed there at an accelerating rate by Afghans who ostensibly are their allies.

These attacks have been dubbed “green-on-blue” incidents, an antisceptic and deliberately inoffensive way of describing the treachery of Muslim natives (designated by the Islamic color green) against our folks (the blue forces). So serious a threat are such murders “inside the wire” deemed to be that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, went to Afghanistan last week to assess what is being done to prevent them in the future….

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

Far East

China: Motorway Collapses Just Ten Months After Being Built

At least three people were killed and five injured when this motorway bridge in Heilongjiang province in north east China collapsed today sending four huge trucks crashing 100ft to the ground below.

The bridge collapse is one of a number of horrifying accidents on China’s expanding road and rail networks in recent years — leading to fears that safety is being sacrificed for the speed of construction.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

China’s New Shadow Government, Cash for Organs, And the Threat to America

[Comment: WARNING: Disturbing content.]

Systematic murders of members of the Falun Gong, harvesting of their organs for transplant, and the billions of dollars made is shocking beyond description.

The scandal surrounding China’s former Chongqing Committee Secretary Bo Xilai isn’t the sort of thing the average American news consumer would have initially found terribly interesting, since scandals in governments around the world occur on a regular basis. Add in the fact that press coverage in the West was essentially the party line communicated by the Chinese government, and one has a fairly dull, cut and dried account indeed. The story also didn’t appear to possess the lurid qualities that Americans have been conditioned by the press to expect in “newsworthy” material.

This being the case, the average American news consumer wouldn’t have been aware that February 6, 2012 was the day the U.S. could have gone to war with the People’s Republic of China. It was also the day that the American President Barack Obama turned his back on a Christian trying to do the right thing and threw him to the wolves, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt to the authors of this article that he is not a Christian nor ever was. Christians don’t betray Christians.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Guy Sorman: Where Nationalism Still Matters

Asia’s simmering political tensions defy conventional wisdom.

Too often, we see East Asia only from an economic perspective, marveling at the undeniable success of China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, and South Korea. Yet these nations have another story to tell, one that owes less to current economic performance than to much older instincts: nationalism and ethnic resentment, the forces that kindled World War I in Sarajevo.

Today, those forces underlie disputes in places that we ignore or know nothing about, such as the Senkaku Islands, the Dokdo Islands, and the Spratly archipelago. And those disputes may spark military conflicts between rival Asian countries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Korea’s New Image Shaped by Platform Shoes, Earrings and Cell Phones

Attempting to forge a new image for himself and his country, North Korea’s youthful supreme leader Kim Jong Un is allowing women to wear pants, platform shoes and earrings, making more mobile phones available, endorsing previously banned foods like pizza, French fries and hamburgers — and he’s giving kids free trips to zoos and amusement parks.

The 20-something leader’s focus has been on the younger generation. Following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, he has announcing plans to create a “children’s heaven nation.”

“It’s all part of his image making to imitate a warm, fatherly impression like his grandfather,” said Dong Yong-Sueng, North Korea specialist at Samsung Economic Research Institute.

Kim Jong Un, who officially assumed the title of supreme leader on Dec. 28 last year following the state funeral of his father Kim Jong Il, wants to establish an image that harkens back to what some North Koreans nostalgically remember as better times in the 1970s under his grandfather, a time when the country was economically backed by the Soviet Union with sufficient food to feed the nation.

Kim Jong Un’s father, who had ruled since1994, was seen as a strong but cold leader.

The image of the supreme leader has significance in a tightly controlled society where people often refer to their leaders as the father of the nation with “everlasting love,” as well as other fanciful names like the sun, universe, eternal general, or dear leader.

Kim Jong Un has publicly sought to embrace the youthful energy of the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Australia Deports Irish Conmen Over Shoddy House-Repair Spree

THE NEW South Wales department of fair trading has released details of how dozens of travelling conmen, most of whom were Irish, were forced to leave Australia following a crime spree of shoddy house repairs.

Since last October, 39 men were either deported after being convicted of various offences, or fled the country once they knew the authorities were looking for them.

The people involved were part of organised Irish and British crime gangs who travelled to Australia intent on tricking homeowners into unnecessary repair jobs on their houses. The “repairs”, such as painting and guttering, were then carried out using shoddy material and workmanship, or not done at all.

In a typical case, a 70-year-old woman in Sydney’s exclusive Double Bay area gave an Irish man cheques worth a total of Aus$35,000 (€29,110). The man, who claimed to be a roofer, cashed $23,000 before fleeing the country. The roof was not repaired.

In another example, an Irishman convinced three elderly couples on Sydney’s well-to-do north shore that he was an engineer. After booking his services to do repair work on their homes they each paid him at least $4,000. All the work done was faulty, but complaints by the people he duped helped lead to his capture. The Irish national was fined $90,091 and deported.

New South Wales’s fair trading minister, Anthony Roberts, has overseen a crackdown on conmen over the past 10 months. As a result, 35 people have been prosecuted for more than 120 breaches of the law, and fines totalling more than $300,000 have been issued.

Mr Roberts says he will be working with Irish authorities and media to warn anyone thinking of coming to Australia to carry out similar scams that they will be caught and deported.

“The vast majority of Irish people in Australia, probably 99 per cent, are great people, but for those few bad apples that come here to rip us off, they are the scourge of the modern western world,” Mr Roberts told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“They don’t have any qualms about ripping off the elderly or the vulnerable and see nothing wrong or immoral about how they operate or the fact that they are very dangerous and violent.”

The gangs are said to travel to Australia in the southern hemisphere’s spring and summer months. With just days left in Australia’s winter, the authorities are braced for a new influx of conmen.

“It might be a $10,000 job but they say they can do it for $2,000 and then they use cheap water-based paint that will be running down the roof the first time it rains,” Mr Roberts said.

“They then tell the poor elderly homeowner that it will actually be $5,000 and they go from two nice smiling Irishmen to turning up with five threatening individuals who take you down to the ATM to get the money.”

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Australia Foreign Minister Rules Out US Bases

The United States will not seek permanent military bases in Australia and nor would hosting one be in Canberra’s interests, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Saturday.

SYDNEY (AFP) — The United States will not seek permanent military bases in Australia and nor would hosting one be in Canberra’s interests, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Saturday.

Australia has welcomed long-term ally Washington’s plans for an enhanced naval presence in the Pacific and last year agreed to allow up to 2,500 US Marines to be deployed to a barracks near the northern city of Darwin.

But Carr rejected the idea of a permanent US military base in Australia.

“In fact, the Americans will not seek it because of the cost involved at a time when they are going to have to produce more cuts in their defence spending,” he told Sky News.

“And second, because it doesn’t fit with the way they project power.

“But above all… it’s not in Australia’s interest.”

Carr said what Canberra liked about US troops training in the country was that it was “in and out”.

“They’re here, and they’re out,” he said, adding: “I don’t think Australians will be comfortable defining themselves with permanent American bases.”

Washington’s plan to bolster its military presence in the strategically vital Asia-Pacific comes amid concerns about China’s increasing assertiveness.

The deployment of US Marines to Darwin, the first of whom touched down in April on a six-month rotational basis, has irked Beijing, which has described the Marines’ presence as proof of a “Cold-War mentality”.

Carr said Canberra understood China’s military modernisation and accepted that its rise in economic power would be matched by a defence upgrade.

“But just as we accept that, you, the Chinese, must accept that we are a small population holding a large continent and will, as we have done historically, look to an alliance with the United States,” he said.

“But we reject utterly any notion of containing China. We look to engage with China.”

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Rape Victim Alicia Gali Still Traumatised Three Years After She Was Raped and Jailed for Adultery in United Arab Emirates

THREE years after returning home from the United Arab Emirates, where she was jailed for adultery after telling police she had been raped, Alicia Gali is still severely traumatised.

The Brisbane woman, 30, who spent eight months in jail, has been hospitalised three times in the past year, she still has flashbacks and nightmares and she will need more treatment.

She says that noises and smells that remind her of the “horrendous” conditions inside the squalid prison continue to trigger anxiety, panic attacks and flashbacks to her ordeal.

“It can be as simple as smells of bad body odour, certain foods, people talking in different languages, if I see something about an assault or about a prison,” she told The Sunday Mail last week.

“If I feel I’m in a space where I can’t get out, I’m trapped or confined in some way, I have panic attacks, very bad claustrophobia.”

Ms Gali, who worked as a beauty salon manager at a UAE resort in 2008, was jailed for adultery, after complaining to police that she had been drugged and raped by co-workers in resort staff quarters.

The last thing she remembered, before waking the next morning with painful injuries, was a staff member putting ice in her drink.

Ms Gali last year spoke exclusively to The Sunday Mail, after launching a legal claim against her ex-employer Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, part of the international Starwood Hotels and Resorts group.

Now she has spoken again to express her sadness and disappointment that the resort has failed to respond to requests by her law firm Maurice Blackburn to contribute $27,000 towards her medical expenses.

Ms Gali, who has been diagnosed with severe complex post traumatic stress disorder, is unable to work and has had to borrow from family and friends to pay for some of her hospital treatment and counselling.

“Alicia has been through an incredibly traumatic ordeal and she deserves much better than this from her former employers, who failed to provide her with a safe working environment,” Maurice Blackburn lawyer Michelle James said.

She said that the resort could help pay for Ms Gali’s treatment without making any admissions of liability.

“Before I was happy, I wanted to travel the world and experience new things and that’s what I was doing when I was over there. l loved my job,” Ms Gali said.

“My life will never be the same.”

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Mine Shootings Threaten South Africa Prez, Party

(USA Today) South Africa’s powerful trade unions are in turmoil following violence that killed 44 people at a platinum mine strike that has wide-ranging political implications.

Labor leaders charge that rivalry between new and old unions is an orchestrated plot to destroy South Africa’s labor movement. Others hint darkly at political manipulation. Some talk of collusion by mining companies.

What’s clear is that the fall-out from new union rivalry and the government’s violent reaction could affect the future of President Jacob Zuma and his African National Congress.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Uganda: Thief Who Broke Into Isolation Ward to Steal Mobile From Dying Ebola Patient is Diagnosed With Deadly Virus

He was the opportunistic criminal who swiped a phone from a dying ebola patient as he lay fighting for life in a hospital ward.

But his petty theft turned out to be a huge mistake.

The 40-year-old is now critically ill after he, too, contracted the highly contagious virus.

The man travelled just over a mile on from his home in Kibaale District, Uganda, before entering the isolation unit at Kagadi Hospital.

Once there he snatched the phone — worth around £15 (60,000 Ugandan shillings) — before leaving without being challenged by hospital guards.

The patient, who has since died, reported the theft to security staff as soon as he found it had gone.

Police were able to track him down after he started to use the phone.

But by that stage he was already desperately sick. He went to the hospital where he had stolen the phone and was diagnosed with ebola.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Special Branch Interpreter ‘With Links to Islamic Extremists’ Sues Home Office After He Was Suspended for Five Years on Full Pay Then Sacked

An immigration officer accused of having links to Iraqi terrorists was suspended on full pay for five years after the Home Office sacked him for being a risk to national security.

The Arabic interpreter, who helped Special Branch interview terror suspects, had his security clearance removed a month after returning from a year-long sabbatical in his native Yemen

The 44-year-old claims he was only suspected of associating with terrorists due to his race and Muslim religion and is suing the Home Office for discrimination and unfair dismissal.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Minister Raps Politicians’ Silence on Immigration

A minister has criticised the ‘failure of mainstream politics’ to discuss immigration as the Government launched a three-pronged crackdown on illegal migrants.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said for years it had been ‘almost impolite’ for politicians to raise concerns about unprecedented numbers flowing into the UK, a silence which he said had allowed extremist parties, such as the BNP, to harvest votes.

He spoke out as it emerged a university had become the first in the UK to be stripped of its right to educate foreign students.

A UK Border Agency audit found numerous failings at London Metropolitan University, including allowing students to take lessons without valid visas and failing to report that some who had been granted visas, then failed to enrol on or attend courses.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


DNA Could Have Existed Long Before Life Itself

THE latest twist in the origin-of-life tale is double helical. Chemists are close to demonstrating that the building blocks of DNA can form spontaneously from chemicals thought to be present on the primordial Earth. If they succeed, their work would suggest that DNA could have predated the birth of life.

DNA is essential to almost all life on Earth, yet most biologists think that life began with RNA. Just like DNA, it stores genetic information. What’s more, RNA can fold into complex shapes that can clamp onto other molecules and speed up chemical reactions, just like a protein, and it is structurally simpler than DNA, so might be easier to make.

After decades of trying, in 2009 researchers finally managed to generate RNA using chemicals that probably existed on the early Earth. Matthew Powner, now at University College London, and his colleagues synthesised two of the four nucleotides that make up RNA. Their achievement suggested that RNA may have formed spontaneously — powerful support for the idea that life began in an “RNA world”.

Powner’s latest work suggests that a rethink might be in order. He is trying to make DNA nucleotides through similar methods to those he used to make RNA nucleotides in 2009. And he’s getting closer.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]