Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121014

Financial Crisis
»Swedish Banks ‘A Safe Haven’ From Euro Crisis
»Arlen Specter: Former Senator, Dead at 82; Played Role in Supreme Court Nominations
»Can the United States Constitution Destroy Itself?
»Church Leaders Sense Timing Right to Turn Back on Israel, Urge Members of Congress to Follow Suit
»Min. Terzi at NIAF: Italo-Americans Boost ‘Made in Italy’
»Nuclear Submarine Collides With Cruiser Off US Coast
»Radical Islam at the Door — In the House
»Skydiver Goes Supersonic in Epic Jump From Edge of Space
»Skydiver Felix Baumgartner Lands Highest Ever Jump
»The Great Ethanol Scam — Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High
»The Growth of Homeland Security’s Domestic Intelligence Enterprise
»Understanding Biden’s Debate Rudeness: Marxist Rebels Undermine Manners, Too
Europe and the EU
»Fiat CEO Backtracks on Calling Florence ‘Poor and Small’
»Italy: Basilicata Region Offices Searched in Funding Probe
»One Europe, Many Tribes
»Pupils to Learn About 200 Key British Figures From Anglo-Saxons to Winston Churchill as ‘Politically Correct’ National Curriculum in History is Scrapped
»UK: Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago, Reveals Met Office Report Quietly Released… And Here is the Chart to Prove it
»UK: Muslims Protest Outside Google London HQ
»UK: Our Chance to Break EU Stranglehold
»UK: Savile’s Secret is Finally Out. But What About All the Other Lies?
North Africa
»Egypt: Cairo: Young Democrats and Muslim Brotherhood Clash. Hundreds of Wounded
Israel and the Palestinians
»Murdoch: Obama’s Victory is a Nightmare for Israel
Middle East
»Iran Mass-Producing Over 35 Nano-Tech Laboratory Equipments
»Lebanese Christians Against a Turkish Film That Incites Religious Hatred
»Netanyahu Again Offers the Golan Heights to Syria?
»Syria: Turkis PM Calls for Reform of UN Security Council
»Turkey Bars Syrian Civilian Flights From Its Airspace
Far East
»Philippines: 200 Muslim Guerrillas Led by Elusive Chieftain Arrive in Manila for Peace Pact Signing
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Mali: Islamists: We’ll ‘Open Doors of Hell, ‘ Slaughter
»Escaped Murderer of the Honduran President’s Nephew Can’t be Deported From UK — Because of His Human Rights
Culture Wars
»Gay/Lesbian Club Stormed in Moscow, 4 Women Injured
»Is America Turning Away From Christianity?
»The Most Inappropriate Show of Support: Madonna, 54, Dedicates Onstage Striptease to Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban
»The Other Side of the Culture War
»Nuclear World Order Triggers Uncertainty in 2012

Financial Crisis

Swedish Banks ‘A Safe Haven’ From Euro Crisis

Swedish and Norwegian banks say they have seen an influx of foreign investors looking for a safe haven from the turmoil of the troubled eurozone.

But while financial institutions in the Scandinavian countries may be as safe as houses, frothy real estate markets have pushed consumer debt to record levels.

In Stockholm’s trendy Vasastan district, a 10 square metre home once used to house the building’s caretaker last month sold for 1.35 million kronor ($204,000).

For investors, the case for placing money in Sweden and Norway is largely based on the fact that their currencies are seen as less risky than the beleaguered euro. Neither country is a member of the eurozone, and Norway is not even a member of the EU.

Moreover, their export-driven economies have been doing well, their financial systems have been largely unscathed by the international crisis, and Norway’s oil industry has been cheered by rising prices and a string of oil and gas finds over the past year.

At Norway’s largest bank DNB, a special unit has been set up to deal with the growing number of inquiries from overseas.

“Over the past year we’ve seen growing interest from foreign clients not just in private banking but also from regular retail and corporate banking customers,” said Ingrid Tjønneland, DNB’s head of private banking, which targets high net worth individuals.

The trend began two years ago with a growing number of German investors depositing money in Norwegian banks, but has spread to investors from all over

the eurozone, she added.

A spokeperson for Scandinavia’s largest bank Nordea said that although the phenomenon is more pronounced in Norway, some central banks have raised their

Swedish krona-denominated holdings in the wake of the euro crisis.

The Norwegian property market has risen by almost 25 percent in the past five years, making it the strongest performer in the industrialised world.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, consumer debt has spiked. Swedish households’ average debt as a share of their disposable income rose to almost 170 percent

last year. The Norwegian ratio crossed the 200 percent mark earlier this year.

Sky-high property prices are increasingly putting the squeeze on middle class families in the major cities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Arlen Specter: Former Senator, Dead at 82; Played Role in Supreme Court Nominations

Arlen Specter, the irascible senator from Pennsylvania who was at the center of many of the Senate’s most divisive legal battles — from the Supreme Court nominations of Robert H. Bork and Clarence Thomas to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton — only to lose his seat in 2010 after quitting the Republican Party to become a Democrat, died Sunday at his home in Pennsylvania. He was 82.

The cause was complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his son Shanin said.

Mr. Specter was a part of American public life for more than four decades. As an ambitious young lawyer for the Warren Commission, he took credit for originating the theory that a single bullet, fired by a lone gunman, had killed President John F. Kennedy.

In the Senate, he led the Judiciary Committee through one of its most tumultuous periods, even while battling Hodgkin’s disease. Yet he may be remembered best for his quixotic party switch in 2009 and the subsequent campaign that cost him the seat he had held for almost 30 years.

[Return to headlines]

Can the United States Constitution Destroy Itself?

This is a question we must ask ourselves today. Is there anything in the United States Constitution which supports its own demise, and the demise of America?

The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Clearly we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech. But what happens when one religion wants to destroy another religion? What happens when one religion wants to take away freedom of speech? Who does the Constitution protect?

The Fourteenth Amendment (Section 3)

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President or Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

This Amendment tells us that those who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution are not allowed to engage in an insurrection against it, or to give aid or comfort to the enemies of the Constitution. Who is an enemy to the Constitution, and to America, today?

Let’s take a look at the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) Manifesto for the United States:


“4- Understanding the role of the Muslim Brother in North America:

The process of settlement is a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.”

Ah, now we have it. Their true goal: eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging our miserable house by our hands and by the hands of the believers (Muslims) so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Does this sound like sedition to you? Treason? Does the United States Constitution support this plan? Let’s go on:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Church Leaders Sense Timing Right to Turn Back on Israel, Urge Members of Congress to Follow Suit

Leaders of several major US Christian denominations — including Protestants, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans and Methodists — have asked members of Congress to reconsider US aid to Israel in light of “widespread Israeli human rights violations.” In a letter dated October 5, the signatories say “unconditional US military assistance” to Israel is a factor in “deteriorating conditions in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories” that threaten the “realization of a just peace.”

The letter was criticized by US Jewish groups and, in protest, the Anti-Defamation League pulled out of a scheduled interfaith conference set for later this month and urged other Jewish organizations to do likewise.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Min. Terzi at NIAF: Italo-Americans Boost ‘Made in Italy’

(AGI) Washington — Italo-American communities “ are an element of great strength in the relations between Italy and the USA because “they project topmost representatives in institutions and in the world of business, science and culture and promote the image of Italians in America in “an extraordinary way”. The statement was made by Foreign Miniister Giulio Terzi in his address to the annual gala dinner in Washington of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), which represents 20 million Italo-Americans.

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

Nuclear Submarine Collides With Cruiser Off US Coast

Investigation under way as LA-class submarine USS Montpelier collides with cruiser USS San Jacinto

A nuclear submarine has collided with a cruiser during routine operations off the east coast of the US.

The US Fleet Forces Command said the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Montpelier and the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto collided at about 3.30pm on Saturday.

No one was injured, and the extent of any damage to the vessels was not clear on Saturday evening, said Lieutenant Commander Brian Badura.

“We have had circumstances where navy vessels have collided at sea in the past, but they are fairly rare as to how often they do take place,” Badura told the Associated Press.

Navy officials said the collision was under investigation, but declined to give details on where the incident took place or what would happen next.

“If we do have an incident that does take place, there are folks that swing into action … to help us make a better, more conclusive explanation of exactly what happened,” Badura said.

The news release said overall damage to both ships was being evaluated and that the sub’s propulsion plant was unaffected by the collision.

Both ships are based at Norfolk, Virginia, and are operating on their own power.

The Pentagon said late on Saturday it was investigating how the collision had taken place.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Radical Islam at the Door — In the House

“The American mediocre mind is no match to 14 centuries of Islamic deception…” — Walid Shoebat, former Islamic Terrorist

In order to understand where the radical Muslims at work here in the United States want to take this nation, we need only look to Egypt. Their m/o is to build a solid but hidden governing framework which is ready to be moved into place once they cause chaos. That is exactly what happened in Egypt. Democracy was used to turn a terrorist into a diplomat. While many in the West were heralding the “Arabic Spring,” those with eyes to see and ears to hear knew that an Islamic winter was soon to come.


The Arab Spring is nothing but a effort to establish a Caliphate. The Muslim Brotherhood is pushing Shari’a the hardest and most aggressively. They use whatever means necessary, including deception, or taqiyya, which is obligatory lying for the faith, to achieve their goals. It’s nothing more than situational ethics. They live here among us to learn how we think, and how we can be overcome.

Mursi himself came to the U.S. to get his Ph.D. He taught college here for three years at California State University, Northridge. He understands the western mind far better than we can understand what makes him tick. They have infiltrated our country at every level; our educational institutions, our legal system, our government.

The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan Al Banna who said, “it is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated; to impose its laws on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet. In 1998, they were one of several Muslim organizations calling themselves “The Global Front” declared war against “Jews and the people of the cross.” Their creed: “Allah is our objective. The prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” This should be familiar as it is what Mursi said that night in Cairo during his speech at the university.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Skydiver Goes Supersonic in Epic Jump From Edge of Space

Preliminary data also suggest that Baumgartner did break the sound barrier during freefall, said Brian Utley, a representative from the National Aeronautic Association, during a press conference held today by the Red Bull Stratos team, which sponsored the jump. His reported maximum velocity on the way down was 1342.8 kilometres per hour, or Mach 1.24. Utley said he will now submit the figures for international certification.

The mission started at 9:30 am with the picture-perfect launch of Baumgartner’s capsule, which was connected to a giant high-altitude helium balloon. Over the course of the next 2 and a half hours, millions tuned in to watch the live stream as the balloon lofted him toward the edge of space.

Baumgartner kept in constant contact with the NASA-style mission control via a voice link with Joe Kittinger, the former US Air Force test pilot who set the record for highest freefall jump in 1960.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner Lands Highest Ever Jump

Austrian Felix Baumgartner has broken the record for the highest ever skydive by jumping out of a balloon 128,000ft (24 miles, 39km) above New Mexico.

The 43-year-old was hoping also to break the sound barrier during his descent — although that mark awaits confirmation.

Video cameras relayed the moment Baumgartner stepped from his balloon capsule to begin his fall to Earth.

It took just under 10 minutes for him to reach the desert surface below.

Only the last few thousand feet were negotiated by parachute. Once down, he fell to his knees and raised his fists in triumph. Helicopter recovery teams were on hand moments later.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Great Ethanol Scam — Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High

The idea behind ethanol is that it reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and, in doing so, it saves the Earth from global warming/climate change, but CO2 plays no role in climate change, and shows up well after any increase or decrease of temperatures. Ethanol is bad science. It is bad for the engines of cars that must use such a gasoline blend. It increases the cost of gasoline and all other corn-based products. It actually increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. And it reduces the mileage a car can achieve with pure gasoline.

An authority on the U.S. oil industry is Sel Graham, the author of “Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High”. He is a man with more than fifty year’s experience, first as a petroleum reservoir engineer and later as an oil and gas attorney. He is also a graduate of West Point.

Here’s what Graham has to say about the current gas prices:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Growth of Homeland Security’s Domestic Intelligence Enterprise

A page from the 2012 DHS Intelligence Enterprise Product Line Brochure details several varieties of Customs and Border Protection intelligence products available to those with the proper clearance.

The Department of Homeland Security’s production of domestic intelligence has increased substantially over the last few years according to a brochure of “intelligence products” published last month by Cryptome. The 2012 DHS Intelligence Enterprise Product Line Brochure is “a standardized catalogue of intelligence reports and products that represent the full breadth” of the agency’s analytical capabilities. It provides descriptions of each type of product created by the DHS Intelligence Enterprise as well as the classification level and instructions on how DHS “customers” can obtain the products.

The brochure describes more than fifty intelligence product lines from seven DHS components including the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and the Secret Service. The classifications of the products range from unclassified to Top Secret with more than thirty product lines being produced with classified material.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Understanding Biden’s Debate Rudeness: Marxist Rebels Undermine Manners, Too

What Biden offered was not just a rejection of Ryan’s ideas, but a wholesale repudiation of his standing as a gentleman, symbolized by Biden’s boorish insults and refusal to even acknowledge his opponent in closing. Such status attacks are well-recognized in Marxist circles as a way of marking out victims for future outlawry or elimination.

As Michael Medved wrote,

“…The oddest aspect of his patronizing performance involved the complete disconnect between his derisive laughter and anything that Paul Ryan actually said. The debate became queasy, unpleasant, uncomfortable to watch, not because Biden overpowered his opponent on substance (he emphatically did not), but because the normal, reassuring, ritualized sense of congeniality and decorum seemed altogether lacking.”

Medved well captures the anti-authority spirit of crazy Joe’s stunt. This posture illuminates the Heart of Darkness at the center of all socialist movements. Leftists do not accept humans as special because people are neither made in the image of God, nor have they souls. Therefore, being rude to a mere animal because of bad behavior is perfectly acceptable.


What was the Cultural Revolution? Archie Brown in The Rise and Fall of Communism, describes it as a war between Mao and the Chinese Communist Party, waged mostly by youths. Many elites were denounced, removed and humiliated and 3 million killed. The BBC describes it:


It is a regular characteristic of Marxists to reject manners and treat people they oppose like dung. In fact, progressives believe only those agreeing with them deserve decency or any politeness. An example is refusal to dialogue with opponents, but instead simply claim their foes are too foul to communicate with (think Limbaugh). These misanthropes are deemed “outrageous” and censured for their sins. Yet, Conservatives simply do not approach their political opponents in such a disgraceful manner.

[WARNING: Article has graphic content of the horrors of Mao’s “Great Leap”.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Fiat CEO Backtracks on Calling Florence ‘Poor and Small’

‘Remarks out of context, city is great and important’

(ANSA) — London, October 12 — Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne on Friday backtracked on remarks he made about Florence, calling the central Italian city “small and poor” earlier this week. “They were taken out of context,” said Marchionne while visiting the Italian chamber of commerce in London. “In order to adequately describe the importance and greatness of the city it would take me the entire day and not the 15 minutes I have today”. Marchionne was caught making his comments Wednesday at a closed-door meeting with students in Brussels, where his comments were aimed at Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, whom he called “a bad copy of Obama”. Renzi had criticized Marchionne for shipping plants overseas while closing factories in Italy, where the auto market has drastically shrunk amid the recession.

Renzi, 37, may become Italy’s next premier.

He is currently leading primary polls if Italians turn out in large numbers, according to SWG statistics.

He would replace Premier Mario Monti, whose tenure as head of a technocratic government ends in April.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Basilicata Region Offices Searched in Funding Probe

Latest in string of enquiries across Italy

(ANSA) — Turin, October 12 — Italian police on Friday searched party offices at the southern Italian Basilicata regional administration in the latest probe into suspected over-spending by various caucuses in Italy’s regions.

The probe was the latest in a string of anti-corruption moves after a wave of funding scandals across Italy including Lazio where Governor Renata Polverini was forced to quit last week.

Financial police have now been in the offices of regional administrations in Piedmont, Marche, Emilia, Campania, Molise, Sicily and Lombardy, where the regional government is threatened both by corruption probes and a mafia investigation in which a councillor was arrested for allegedly buying votes from the Calabrian-based ‘Ndrangheta mafia.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

One Europe, Many Tribes

By Peter Coy

Italy, unified in 1870, is newer than Nevada. Spain was split down the middle by a civil war as recently as the 1930s. And reunited Germany, dating back only to 1990, is younger than two of the Jonas Brothers. Just a reminder that, for all their claims to antiquity, many of the nations of Europe have been nations for only the briefest of times. For most of history they were rivalrous territories, kingdoms, duchies, principalities, and city-states. They were bound by language and culture—and riven by tribalism.

As Europe’s financial crisis drags on, the tribes have returned with a vengeance. It’s not just Greece vs. Germany. Today it’s Sicily vs. Lombardy, Berlin vs. Bavaria, Andalusia vs. Catalonia. Keep this in mind as optimists point to the successes of the campaign for “more Europe,” such as the European Central Bank’s agreement on Sept. 6 to support the bonds of hard-pressed countries that comply with deficit reduction agreements. Europe is boiling over with regional grievances. Money is the issue—who gives it and who gets it. The 1999 launch of the euro has forced an unwanted intimacy on Europeans in flagrant disregard for Robert Frost’s poetic dictum: “Good fences make good neighbors.” And the euro entices separatists to strike out on their own, figuring even small nations can survive if they share a currency. (Malta, a euro-zone nation, has fewer people than Dublin or Dresden.)

Barcelona is the latest flash point. Each year on Sept. 11, Catalonia commemorates the 1714 defeat of its troops at the hands of the Spanish king, Philip V. This year more than a million Catalans flooded the boulevards and medieval alleyways of Barcelona, some waving or wearing the striped flag of Catalonian independence, others carrying signs with slogans like, “Catalonia Is Not Spain.” They blame redistribution of their wealth to poor regions for Catalonia’s financial stress, which has forced it to seek a €5 billion ($6.5 billion) loan. Catalonian President Artur Mas said he would push for independence from Spain unless the central government allocated it a bigger share of tax revenue. “If we cannot reach a financial agreement, the road to freedom for Catalonia is open,” he vowed.

The secession threat may not be a bluff. Even if it’s averted and Mas succeeds in reducing what Catalonia pays to Madrid, Spain’s financial squeeze will worsen and it will need even more help from the rest of Europe. That will intensify the anger toward Spain in the contributing nations, such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Finland, undercutting the efforts of European leaders to keep the 17-nation euro area intact…

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

Pupils to Learn About 200 Key British Figures From Anglo-Saxons to Winston Churchill as ‘Politically Correct’ National Curriculum in History is Scrapped

History lessons will be rewritten to include 200 key figures, such as Winston Churchill, and events which shaped Britain under a new national curriculum drawn up by education secretary Michael Gove.

The current syllabus, previously attacked for being too politically correct, will be scrapped with the intention of giving children a deeper understanding of history.

Under new plans school children will learn a narrative about British history and key international developments, including the fall of the Roman Empire, the union that created Britain and the decline of its power.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago, Reveals Met Office Report Quietly Released… And Here is the Chart to Prove it

The world stopped getting warmer almost 16 years ago, according to new data released last week.

The figures, which have triggered debate among climate scientists, reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012, there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures.

This means that the ‘plateau’ or ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996. Before that, temperatures had been stable or declining for about 40 years.


Not that there has been any coverage in the media, which usually reports climate issues assiduously, since the figures were quietly release online with no accompanying press release — unlike six months ago when they showed a slight warming trend.

The answer to the third question is perhaps the most familiar. Your bills are going up, at least in part, because of the array of ‘green’ subsidies being provided to the renewable energy industry, chiefly wind.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Muslims Protest Outside Google London HQ

Thousands of Muslims have pledged a series of protests against Google HQ for a “hateful and offensive” anti-Islam video, saying they now live in an “age of mockery”.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

UK: Our Chance to Break EU Stranglehold

Important and pressing subjects are often snootily ignored by the mainstream, and noisily taken up by the passionate and the eccentric. And so they are assumed to be the concerns of a cranky minority, and ignored all the more.

It turns out that the fringe elements were right about Europe. European Union edicts unceasingly order Ministers to do things they do not like, or prevent them from doing things they like.

Then there is the invasion of domestic law by the European Convention on Human Rights — not an EU body, but sharing similar continental concepts.

In the latest Human Rights absurdity, a man who has actually been convicted of murder in his homeland is now using Human Rights to escape deportation.

To what extent can we be said to control our own destiny if we do not make our own laws, and cannot deport a convicted killer who should never have been here in the first place?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Savile’s Secret is Finally Out. But What About All the Other Lies?

What else are they keeping from you? I now discover that I am almost the only journalist who didn’t know that Jimmy Savile was a child molester.

If they all knew, why didn’t they tell you? And what, exactly, is the point of the police investigating the misdeeds of a corpse? What will they do if they find a case to answer? Refer it to the CPS? Put his cadaver on trial and send it to prison?

Well, let them explain all that. What’s much, much more important is that you now know that there is a lot going on that nobody tells you.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Cairo: Young Democrats and Muslim Brotherhood Clash. Hundreds of Wounded

The two demonstrations took place simultaneously in the historic Tahrir Square. The situation degenerated when a group of Islamists attacked the stage of the young liberals with stones, Molotov cocktails and pellet guns. The young liberal parties protest against the Constituent Assembly dominated by Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood against the acquittal of 24 members of the former regime of Mubarak, the alleged perpetrators of the “battle of the camels.”

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Violent clashes with hundreds of casualties yesterday in Tahrir Square during a double protest by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and militant democratic movements. The first was a protest against the courts verdict which acquitted 24 officials of the former regime of Mubarak believed to be responsible for the “Battle of the Camel” during the Jasmine Revolution. The Young Democrats instead took to the streets to challenge the first 100 days of President Mohammed Morsi and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood accused of monopolizing the institutions of the Constituent Assembly and the courts, upholding justice only for their affiliates. The violence broke out when a group of Morsi supporters attacked and burned the stage set up by young liberals and progressives. In a short time the entire area surrounding the square was turned into a battlefield with stone throwing on either side, cars set on fire and barricades.

According to members of the democratic April 6 movement, born during the Jasmine Revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood did not have permission to demonstrate. “Our sit-in — said one of the young people — was authorized by the police several months ago. The verdict of ‘battle of the camels’ dates to 11 October.” According to witnesses, members of the Brotherhood have occupied the square with their coach trying to disrupt the demonstration against the Constituent Assembly. The assault on the stage which was starting the rally sparked the anger of young people who took it out on vehicles parked on the sides of the square. The police clashes believe the clashes were caused by groups of thugs hidden among protesters.

“Everyone always blames these thugs — said one of the protesters — but who are they? We reacted when the Muslim Brotherhood began throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at us for no reason, some even had guns with lead pellets, which have hurt some guys the legs. Ours was an exasperated reaction. “

Ali Abdel-Menoim, another young man, said: “I am against those who burn buses, but also against the Muslim Brotherhood, which came to a peaceful protest with stones, sticks and guns.” Ali says that he traveled overnight from Upper Egypt to participate in the demonstration against the Constituent Assembly. “I have traveled thousands of miles to make my voice heard — he says — I do not want the constitution to be monopolized by a group of extremists.” In the early hours of this morning, the square was still occupied by the protesters, who after the flight of the Muslim Brotherhood began to chant anti-Morsi slogans, comparing him to former President Mubarak.

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

Israel and the Palestinians

Murdoch: Obama’s Victory is a Nightmare for Israel

(AGI) Washington — Rupert Murdoch attacked on Twitter the Democratic ticket, directly participating to the red-hot presidential campaign. Murdoch leveled both barrels against the outgoing president Barack Obama, but concentrated his wrath on the vice-president, Joe Biden, openly siding with the Republican candidate Mitt Romney. “It will be a nightmare for Israel if Obama wins,” Murdoch stated in one of his four tweets written. The media mogul recently survived a lurid scandal, AKA ‘Tabloid Gate,’ on illegal wire tapping in the United Kingdom.

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

Middle East

Iran Mass-Producing Over 35 Nano-Tech Laboratory Equipments

According to The Secretary of Iran’s Nanotechnology Initiative Council, Saeed Sarkar, Iran has been mass producing more than 35 types of nanotechnology laboratory equipments designed and made by Iranian researchers.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Lebanese Christians Against a Turkish Film That Incites Religious Hatred

Costing 17 million dollars and acclaimed at home, Fetih 1453 speaks of the fall of Constantinople. For many Lebanese, the film is a provocation full of falsehoods. Church and religious parties have organized various events to promote a boycott. The director shows Christianity as a corrupt and violent religion. Silence on the massacres perpetrated by the Turks during the siege of the city.

Beirut (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The film about the fall of Constantinople “Fetih 1453” is accused of being historically inaccurate and worse, of inciting conflict between Christians and Muslims. With its release scheduled for September 27 in movie theaters in Beirut, the film has sparked harsh criticism from the Lebanese Christian community who are asking the public to boycott the film, which is now in danger of censorship. On September 29, the al-Mashriq party, formed by young Orthodox Christians, and other Christian associations organized a demonstration against the release of the Turkish, blockbuster which cost the enormous sum of 17 million dollars.

Directed by Faruk Aksoy, “Fetih 1453” describes the capture of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453. Lasting 160 minutes, the film opens with a “flashback” in which Muhammad, in exile in Medina, promises happiness to those of his followers who conquer the Byzantine city, renamed Istanbul. The Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II takes up the appeal made by prophet 800 years ago and sets out to conquer the city. This historical episode that sees the power of the Byzantine Empire linked to a saying of the prophet is a source of pride for many Turks who in February crowded cinemas to enjoy the movie. However, many critics argue that it is full of glaring historical errors, which only serve to enhance the image of Islam and the political and religious leadership of the sultan.

Rodrigue Khoury, the founder of al-Mashriq, was among the first to have seen the movie premiere and was shocked by the lies it proposes. Khoury sent a detailed letter of the erroneous historical references to the Surete General, in charge of censorship in Lebanon, drawing the ire of many journalists who instead want the film shown in the name of freedom of expression. “The film — says Khoury — speaks of the battle between two empires, but in reality it is about a struggle between two civilizations: the Christian and Muslim. The first is described in grotesque as the source of all evil, the second is shown as perfect and incorruptible. “

For Lebanese youth, this film is nothing more than a propaganda operation to harness the political and religious conflict between Christians and Muslims. According to Fr. Abdo Abou Kassem, information officer for the Catholic Church of Lebanon, “the falsehoods shown by the authors of” Fetih 1453 “denigrate the Christian religion, presented as a corrupt faith.” The priest said that in a scene Mehmed II entered the Hagia Sophia, among thousands of people who fled in terror. In a sign of protection the Sultan embraces and sooths a child, saying the conqueror will protect you. “We know this is not the case — said the priest — when the Sultan entered the basilica he gave orders to massacre all the Christians — over 3 thousand — and made his soldiers rape women and then converted it into a mosque.” Fr. Kassem said that this version is supported by historical documents and can not be distorted for propagandistic purposes.

The controversy over “Fetih 1453” comes a few weeks after protests against the blasphemous film about Muhammad and the cartoons published by the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The protests have spread around the world, causing more than 50 deaths and hundreds of injuries. After these things the Muslim religious authorities, but also those of other faiths, launched an appeal to the UN to put an a limit to freedom of expression against religions. However, many Lebanese journalists and film critics are opposed to censorship proposed by the Christian parties. The association “journalists against violence,” has called for the unconditional release of the film. “If some people believe that there are prejudices or historical errors — says the association- they can have their day in court and expose the parties concerned, including the Turkish authorities.” “The debate — they add- must be after we have watched the movie, not before, and all parties must respect the freedom of expression.”

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

Netanyahu Again Offers the Golan Heights to Syria?

Shimon Shiffer reports in Yedioth Ahronoth that in secret talks in 2010 via U.S. government mediator Frederic C. Hof, Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed in principle to a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights to the June 4, 1967, lines in return for the “expectation” of Bashar al-Assad cutting ties with Iran, and that the nearly-completed negotiations ended because of the anti-Assad uprising that began in January 2011.

How plausible is this claim?

Here is a summary of the report published by Yedioth Ahronoth:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Syria: Turkis PM Calls for Reform of UN Security Council

(AGI) Istanbul — Turkish PM Erdogan on Saturday once again criticized the UN Security Council for not taking action in Syria. He also called for reform of the Council to avoid similar situations from occurring in the future because of the right of one or two of its members to veto resolutions. “If we wait for one or two members of the permanent five at the United Nations security council, then the future of Syria will be in great danger,” Erdogan said referring to the three resolutions Russia and China vetoed.

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

Turkey Bars Syrian Civilian Flights From Its Airspace

Turkey has barred its air space to Syrian civilian flights.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday that Turkey had made the decision because the Syrian regime was ‘abusing’ civilian flights by transporting military equipment.

Last week, Turkey forced a Syrian plane to land and confiscated what it said was military equipment on board. Russia said the plane was carrying spare radar parts, while Syria accused Turkey of piracy.

Syria announced on Saturday that it was closing its air space to Turkish flights.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Far East

Philippines: 200 Muslim Guerrillas Led by Elusive Chieftain Arrive in Manila for Peace Pact Signing

MANILA, Philippines — About 200 Muslim rebels led by their elusive chief arrived in the Philippine capital on Sunday for the signing of a preliminary peace pact aimed at ending one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s decades-long rebellion has killed tens of thousands of people and held back progress in the south, where Muslims make up a sizable minority. Government and rebel negotiators forged the framework peace agreement Oct. 7 in Malaysia after 15 years of tough negotiations.

The pact’s signing on Monday will be witnessed by President Benigno Aquino III, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and rebel chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, who will set foot for the first time in Manila’s Malacanang presidential palace, where officials have prepared a red-carpet welcome.

Murad has seldom appeared in public in past years. Aquino met Murad secretly in Tokyo for the first time last year to underscore their commitment to settle the rebellion.

About 300 Muslims from Manila and southern provinces held a noisy rally outside the palace on Sunday in support of the preliminary accord, yelling “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great.” They called for more development in the resource-rich but impoverished southern Mindanao region, the homeland of minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

Security has been tightened in the capital, although no disruptions were expected.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Mali: Islamists: We’ll ‘Open Doors of Hell, ‘ Slaughter

Al Qaeda-linked Islamists in Mali threatened on Saturday to “open the doors of hell” for French citizens if France kept pushing for armed intervention to retake the rebel-held north. The renewed threats against French hostages and expatriates came as French-speaking nations met in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where French President Francois Hollande was expected to urge the rapid deployment of an African-led force to rout the Islamists. Hollande said the threat would not deter France’s determination to quash the Islamists in Mali.

“If he continues to throw oil on the fire, we will send him the pictures of dead French hostages in the coming days,” said Oumar Ould Hamaha, a spokesman for Islamist group MUJWA, in apparent reference to the six French nationals still held by armed groups after being seized in the region.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Escaped Murderer of the Honduran President’s Nephew Can’t be Deported From UK — Because of His Human Rights

A convicted murderer has avoided deportation from Britain by claiming it would breach his right to a family life.

Cesar Castillo Torres fathered four children after fleeing to the UK from Honduras when he was accused of killing the nephew of the country’s former president.

He was found guilty in his absence and moves to deport him began when he was traced to the North East of England.

But the 38-year-old has won his appeal to stay on the grounds that it would be against his human rights to kick him out.

Last night the family of victim Gabriel Gaborit condemned the decision.


Torres’s victim was the nephew by marriage of Rafael Leonardo Callejas, Honduran president from 1990 to 1994.

Mr Gaborit’s family said he was shot 11 times — eight times with a .38 revolver and three times with a shotgun.

They claimed Torres had a professional relationship with the victim and the murder motive was financial.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Gay/Lesbian Club Stormed in Moscow, 4 Women Injured

(AGI) Moscow, Oct. 12 — A homophobic attack was launched against a gay club in the center of Moscow where 4 people were injured, 3 of which hospitalized for concussion. On Thursday evening, a group of 20 skinheads dressed in black stormed the “7freeday” club where around 70 activists of the LGBT movement were celebrating the International Coming Out Day, on which people are encouraged to accept their own sexuality, eliminating the need to conceal it. Event Organizer Andrei Obolensky told Ria Novosti that the aggressors first threatened the security staff at the entrance of the club with a gun and then stormed inside yelling “did you order a riot?” and started to destroy everything in sight, also hitting the people present, mostly women. A girl’s eye-glasses were broken and another was kicked in the head. The police arrived on the spot of the incident an hour later but no arrests were made.

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

Is America Turning Away From Christianity?

The decline of the Christian faith in America is accelerating. The results of a new survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life were just released, and the numbers are staggering. The percentage of all U.S. adults with no religious affiliation at all is nearly up to 20 percent. Even more frightening, 32 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 have no religious affiliation whatsoever. Meanwhile, the percentage of the U.S. population that is Protestant has hit an all-time low.

Sadly, this new survey just confirms what a whole bunch of other surveys have shown over the past few years. The truth is that America is very clearly turning away from Christianity. Right up front I will disclose that I am a Christian, so I consider this to be a very bad thing. Others that are reading this may consider the statistics below to be wonderful news.

But what we should all be able to agree on is that the long-term trends clearly show that Americans are increasingly rejecting the Christian faith. So what does this mean for the future of our nation? Where does America go from here? Those are very interesting questions.


15. According to a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Kentucky, there were approximately 1,200 mosques in the United States back in the year 2000. Now there are more than 2,100.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Most Inappropriate Show of Support: Madonna, 54, Dedicates Onstage Striptease to Pakistani Girl Shot by Taliban

Clearly not content with flashing a nipple and ‘ironically’ calling Barack Obama a Muslim, Madonna has decided to wade in on the shooting of a Pakistani girl after she spoke out against the Taliban.

Madonna continued to use her ‘MDNA Tour’ to make yet another controversial statement by strip-teasing to ‘show her support’ for Malala Yousafzai, who was shot on a schoolbus for writing a blog about how important education is.

On her Wednesday night performance in the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, the singer began by telling her audience that she wanted have a ‘serious talk’.


But her attempt to make a stand in the name of Malala backfired after furious Pakistanis discovered her act.

There was a chorus of disapproval from Twitter users, who branded her performance a shameless attempt to garner attention, Entertainment Today reported.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Other Side of the Culture War

Marching under the banner of “rationality,” cultural progressives fear the public influence of religion—and often dislike religious people themselves Interview by Bradley Wright

Who is fighting the culture wars? Sociologists George Yancey and David A. Williamson have attempted to answer an important, but perhaps overlooked part of that question in What Motivates Cultural Progressives? Understanding Opposition to the Political and Christian Right (Baylor University Press). The book explores the characteristics, attitudes, and motivations of those people on the liberal side of the culture wars, whom they term “cultural progressives”—a group they say has received relatively little study. Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, spoke with George Yancey about what the authors found and why it matters.

What was your reason for writing this book?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Nuclear World Order Triggers Uncertainty in 2012

The nuclear stalemate between the US and the USSR 50 years ago kept the Cuban missile crisis from becoming a war. Today there are many nuclear powers with various interests. But just how stable is the new world order?

The world held its breath on October 14, 1962, when US fears were confirmed. The Soviet Union had stationed medium-range nuclear missiles in Cuba, a mere 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the US coastline of Florida. The Soviets therefore not only threatened the US military base Guantanamo in Cuba, but also directly the populous east coast of the United States.

When US President John F. Kennedy demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the missiles in a television address on October 22, the strategic air force forces were already in “defense condition 2” — just one step below the beginning of combat operations. The world had probably never been so close to a nuclear war before than at that point in time.

Experts say the fact that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev caved in on October 28 and the Cuban crisis didn’t end in a nuclear disaster was mainly a result of the nuclear stalemate between the US and the USSR, the two decisive powers in the world order at the time. Neither of the two superpowers could be sure that the opponent wouldn’t have the capability to undertake a second strike after a nuclear attack. The decades of nuclear armament therefore had a stabilizing effect.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

Re: "UK: Our chance to break EU strangehold":

It is part of the U.K.'s unwritten constitution that no parliament of the United Kingdom can bind a subsequent parliament.

Therefore we do not need to ask the EU to return some of our laws to us, we can simply tell them those laws will no longer apply to the UK.

Britannia, be tough!