Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121102

Financial Crisis
»Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why
»Greece: Landlords Struggling Due to Lack of Tenants
»Obama’s Layoff Bomb
»Sweden Runs Out of Jobs, Points Youth to Norway
»The Whole Truth About Obamanomics
»Arab World Discenchantment, Obama Lesser of 2 Evils
»Caroline Glick: Obama and the Politics of Contempt
»General Asks, ‘Would I Want [Obama] With Me in Combat?’
»Las Vegas Review-Journal Destroys Obama
»Last Minute Anti-Romney Dirty Tricks Target Filmmaker
»New Jersey Town to Ala. Volunteer Utility Crew: Don’t Help With Sandy Unless You’re Unionized
»New York City Marathon Will Not be Held Sunday
»Obama’s Inauguration Reverend: All Whites Are Going to Hell
»Romney’s Strategy Not Obama’s Doctrine Will Advance Freedom in the Middle East
»U.S. Military to Truck Fuel to Region Hit by Hurricane Sandy
»US Officials: CIA Ran Benghazi Consulate
Europe and the EU
»Italy: Camorra ‘Sold Toxic Waste as Fertiliser to Farmers’
»Italy: Former Neo-Fascist Leader Rauti Dies
»Klondike in Lapland: Mining Companies Swarm to Finland’s Far North
»Scotland: Suspended Doctor Accused of Lying to NHS Grampian
»Scotland: Stuart Rodger Sentenced for Shouting at David Cameron
»Scotland: Dr Muhammad Ishaque Faces GMC Hearing Over Lying Claim
»The Latest Polls Confirm Everyone’s Worst Fears About the Golden Dawn in Greece
»UK: Clarke’s Soft Justice Will Lead to Thousands Fewer Criminals Being Jailed
»UK: Fifth UK Drug User is Infected With Anthrax
»UK: Gamlin: Ex-Spin Doctor Spared Jail for Child Porn Haul
»UK: Grading Fiasco of Scandal-Hit English GCSEs is Blamed on Cheating Teachers
»UK: Mother ‘Beat Son, 7, To Death Then Set Fire to His Body’ Because He Struggled to Learn the Koran Off by Heart
»UK: Police Launch Hunt for ‘Racist’ Chelsea Fan
»UK: Racist Rant on Woolwich Arsenal to Abbey Wood Train: Slade Green Woman Charged
»UK: The BBC Has Never Been Neutral on Anything
Mediterranean Union
»Tunisia: EIB Undertakes 200 Million Euro Support to Banking
North Africa
»CIA Describes Effort to Rescue Americans in Libya Attack
»Coptic Christian Girl, 14, Abducted by Muslim in Egypt
»Tunisia: Imams Accuse Ennahda of Helping Salafis
»Tunisia: Imam Calls Jihad, Salafites to Prepare Shrouds
Israel and the Palestinians
»Number of Illegal Infiltrators in South Nears Record Low
»Palestine — Falk’s Failed Philosophy Guarantees Continuing Conflict
Middle East
»Abu Dhabi: Patient Murders Indian Doctor for Slow Treatment
»Euro-Deputies Express “Worry” Over Human Rights in Emirates
»Syria: Last Christian in Homs Killed
South Asia
»Mob Burns Girls’ School in Pakistani City Over Alleged Blasphemy
»Criminals Can Stay in UK to Avoid ‘Shame’, Malaysian Criminal Avoids Deportation After Claiming it Breaches Her Human Rights
»Massachusetts Mayor Bans the Word ‘Illegal’ For Illegal Immigrants
»Swiss Ecopop Group Forces Immigration Referendum
Culture Wars
»Spanish Youths Attack Catholic School, Threaten to Burn Priests Alive
»UK: Number of Children in Married Families Drops 1 Million in Ten Years
»The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism

Financial Crisis

Billionaires Dumping Stocks, Economist Knows Why

So why are these billionaires dumping their shares of U.S. companies?

After all, the stock market is still in the midst of its historic rally. Real estate prices have finally leveled off, and for the first time in five years are actually rising in many locations. And the unemployment rate seems to have stabilized.

It’s very likely that these professional investors are aware of specific research that points toward a massive market correction, as much as 90%.

One such person publishing this research is Robert Wiedemer, an esteemed economist and author of the New York Times best-selling book Aftershock.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Greece: Landlords Struggling Due to Lack of Tenants

The number of unlet homes is close to 300,000 and rising

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, OCTOBER 26 — Hundreds of thousands of property owners are getting increasingly desperate as property market professionals estimate that the number of unlet homes is close to 300,000 and rising. Given that there are some 1 million houses in the rental market around the country, that means that about one in every three houses and apartments for rent is standing empty, as daily Kathimerini notes.

Owners are unable to lease them even at considerably reduced rates, while it is virtually impossible to sell in the current economic climate as demand is nonexistent. Worse still, the taxes that owners have to pay are much higher today than in previous years, placing an extra burden on landlords with empty properties. The only category of properties that manage to attract tenants relatively easily is one-bedroom apartments and small houses up to 65 square meters. Larger houses, which entail higher maintenance costs etc, remain empty, as is the case with tens of thousands of commercial spaces — offices and stores — owing to the closure of thousands of enterprises.

Furthermore, many tenants have fallen behind on their rent.

According to recent data compiled by the Panhellenic Federation of Property Owners (POMIDA), almost 50% of tenants around the country are between two and six months behind on their payments, and in some cases even up to a year. The economic crisis and the high unemployment rate mean thousands of tenants are unable to pay their rent; in most cases in Athens, tenants have not paid their rent for two months, while in Thessaloniki, four out of five tenants have not paid for up to five months. The phenomenon of unreliable tenants is of course nothing new, but before the crisis, they only comprised 15 to 20% of the total. In the last couple of years, however, their number has increased threefold.

Many landlords with tenants are today opting to reduce their rates, based on the relationship they have built over time, as well as to avoid the risk of not being able to find a tenant at all. All this creates huge problems for landlords, as besides the lack of tenants or major delays in rent payment, they also have to pay tax on rents they have not yet collected. The imposition of the special property tax levied via electricity bills has effectively deducted two to three monthly rents from every property on an annual basis, rendering properties a tax burden for owners rather than a form of income.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Layoff Bomb

In June, a diffident and self-deluded President Obama claimed that “the private sector is doing fine.” Last week, the private sector responded: Speak for yourself, buster. Who needs an “October Surprise” when the business headlines are broadcasting the imminent layoff bomb in neon lights?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Tuesday that employers issued 1,316 “mass layoff actions” (affecting 50 workers or more) in September; more than 122,000 workers were affected overall. USA Today financial reporter Matt Krantz wrote that “(m)uch of the recent layoff activity is connected to what’s been the slowest period of earnings growth since the third quarter of 2009.” Some necessary restructuring is underway in response to the stagnant European economy. But more and more U.S. businesses are putting the blame — bravely and squarely — right where it belongs: on the obstructionist policies and regulatory schemes of the blame-shifter-in-chief.

Last week, Ohio-based auto parts manufacturer Dana Holding Corp. warned employees of potential layoffs amid “looming concern” about the economy. President and CEO Roger Wood specifically mentioned the walloping burden of “increasing taxes on small businesses” and the need to “offset increased costs that are placed on us through new laws and regulations.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sweden Runs Out of Jobs, Points Youth to Norway

Sweden’s national employment office has come up with a plan for jobs in the Swedish town of Soderhamn: send people out of the country to look for jobs in Norway. They have designed a program to send young workers up to 28 years old to Oslo on “Job Journeys” to hopefully find a job in their new city. The government will pay for their plane tickets and a place to stay for a month while they search for work. The Daily Telegraph reported that the town of Soderhamn has an unemployment rate of over 25 percent.

Nima Sanandaji published a study on “The Surprising Ingredients of Swedish Success” for the Institute for Economic Affairs in August 2012. Sanandaji showed that Sweden’s rise in tax revenues have devastated the job market in the country in the last 50 years. Starting at 21 percent of GDP in 1950, taxes increased by a percentage point every year for the next 30 years. In addition to extremely high unemployment, especially among young people, Sweden has witnessed an overall economic decline in relation to other countries. Sanandaji wrote: “The rapid growth of the state in the late 1960s and 1970s led to a large decline in Sweden’s relative economic performance. In 1975, Sweden was the 4th richest industrialized country in terms of GDP per head. By 1993, it had fallen to 14th.”

The Swedish people have tremendous human capital — American Swedes outperform native Swedes by 50 percent, but even so they cannot create jobs in an atmosphere of suffocating big government.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

The Whole Truth About Obamanomics

What’s not so obvious is that the only real sector making up the .58% growth in GDP is public sector growth, through new jobs and contracts with the federal government. The federal government is now by far the single largest employer in the United States. Via both direct employment and contract employment, no enterprise in America employs as many Americans, almost all of them union members.

That also explains how the government workers unions have become the most powerful political force in America today, giving 99% of political donations to the Democratic Party, leftist causes or Democrat politicians. It is a self-perpetuating political force— money taken from taxpayers, most of whom are conservatives and Republicans, spent by the government to employ union workers who pay union dues that end up funding the Democratic Party which continues to grow government under the guise of stimulating the economy.


Obama’s 2013 budget is the worst of all. After holding back on 2012 government growth due to the election cycle, their 2013 budget explodes in federal spending and government growth. In the end, Americans should be learning through this experience that free-market capitalists do not invest in wealth redistribution, the common modern name for Marxism. This explains why despite trillions in so-called stimulus spending, the economy is not rebounding at all, nor will it.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Arab World Discenchantment, Obama Lesser of 2 Evils

Honeymoon with Obama long faded after 2009 Cairo speech

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 2 — The honeymoon between President Barack Obama and the Arab world has faded, and opinions are mixed on the possible outcomes of the upcoming US presidential elections.

Welcomed at first with relief that the era of Bush and military aggression were over, Obama inspired many with his June 2009 speech in Cairo, where he was hosted by Al-Azhar and Cairo universities.

“The cycle of suspicion and discord must end,” the US president said that day. “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” “A new phase has begun,” was the initial, enthusiastic response by representatives from Al-Azhar, the highest Sunni Muslim authority in the country.

But since then, US policy towards Israel and the Palestinian question has not changed substantially, as the Arab world had hoped, and public opinion has shifted. A September survey by international internet-based market research firm YouGov showed 63% of Middle Eastern respondents do not trust the US, while June data from the Pew Research Group shows public support for Obama in the Arab world has shrunk; in Egypt and Jordan, public perception of the US is unchanged with respect to the Bush era.

“Mitt Romney makes you think of an ambiguous, contradictory foreign policy. At the same time, the Arab world is disappointed in Obama and won’t be optimistic if he is re-elected,” former Egyptian ambassador to the US, Nabil Fahmy, told Al-Ahram Egyptian newspaper. The Gulf oil monarchies are disappointed in Obama for not supporting their ally and friend, toppled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, Fahmy added. “As Arabs we are interested in how will a Democratic president deal with our problems. Will he free himself of the Jewish lobby?” Bahraini analyst Ahmed el Morched opined on his blog.

Syrian activist Faissal Shawki wrote on Twitter that Washington “allows the Syrian murderer to crush the revolution, because the US fears democracy, it is not in their interests.” Obama has also taken flak from moderate and secular leaders for uncritically supporting the new, post-Arab Spring Islamist governments in the interests of regional stability — not that this has conquered the hearts and minds of Islamic factions. “We don’t care who wins, Obama or Romney,” Ali Abdel Fatah from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood told ANSAmed. “They have the same principles but with different methods. Their attitude towards the security of Israel to the detriment of Palestinians is the same. What we want is to reinforce our sovereignty. We do not want outside interference in our internal affairs, and we do not want the US to be Egypt’s obligatory ally.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Obama and the Politics of Contempt

“Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy.”

So begins the now famous official Barack Obama for President campaign ad that was released last week. The ad depicts a young woman named Lena Dunham, who is apparently a celebrity among Americans in their teens and 20s.

After that opening line, Ms. Dunham continues on for another minute and a half discussing how having sex for the first time and voting for Barack Obama for president are really the same thing, and how young women don’t want to be accused of either being virgins or of having passed up on their chance to cast their votes for Obama next Tuesday..

I’ve never been particularly interested in so-called “women’s issues.” It never seemed to me that any party or politician was particularly good or bad for me due to the way they thought of women. That all changed with the Dunham ad for Obama.

With this ad, Obama convinced me he is a misogynist..

The Obama campaign’s use of a double entendre to compare sex — the most personal, intimate act we engage in as human beings, with voting — the most public act we engage in as human beings — is a scandal.

It is demeaning and contemptuous of women. It reduces us to sexual objects. When called on to vote, as far as Obama is concerned, as slaves to our passions, we make our decisions not based on our capacity for rational choice. Rather we choose our leaders solely on the basis of our sexual desires.

Beyond the ad’s bald attempt to impersonalize, generalize and cheapen the most personal act human beings engage in, the ad is repulsive because it takes for granted that what happens in our private lives is the government’s business.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a totalitarian position.

THE WHOLE point of liberal democracy is to put a barrier between a person’s personal life and his or her government. A liberal democracy is founded on the notion of limited government. It assumes there are a lot of places where government has no role to play. And first and foremost among those places is the bedroom…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

General Asks, ‘Would I Want [Obama] With Me in Combat?’

Joe Biden said today, “My guy…Barack Obama has character.” But Major General Patrick Brady, retired from the U.S. Army and recipient of the Medal of Honor, has a different view of the president.

“Would I want this man with me in combat?” Gen. Brady asks.

Gen. Brady writes that “economically, Obama, all by himself, is a target-rich environment.” His economic record should seal the election in Romney’s favor, the general says, but “economics pales in the face of Obama’s emasculation, socialization and feminization of our military.”

Gen. Brady believes that Obama’s weakening of our military is a greater threat to our future than economic miseries.

Consider this, for example:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Las Vegas Review-Journal Destroys Obama

In one of the most blistering denunciations of Barack Obama ever penned, the Las Vegas Review Journal published an editorial today that excoriated Obama not only for his ineptitude in the Benghazi attack, but also his duplicity afterward and the cooperation of a supine press:

The Obama administration sat by doing nothing for seven hours that night, ignoring calls to dispatch help from our bases in Italy, less than two hours away. It has spent the past seven weeks stretching the story out, engaging in misdirection and deception involving supposed indigenous outrage over an obscure anti-Muslim video, confident that with the aid of a docile press corps this infamous climax to four years of misguided foreign policy can be swept under the rug, at least until after Tuesday’s election … The official explanation for why Obama administration officials watched the attack unfold for seven hours, refusing repeated requests to send the air support and relief forces that sat less than two hours away in Italy? Silence.

The RJ also charged Obama with impotence as he flew off to Las Vegas instead of dealing with the attack.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Last Minute Anti-Romney Dirty Tricks Target Filmmaker

A controversial anti-Obama filmmaker has had his private financial accounts hacked into and the information used by a George Soros-linked journalist who may be part of a “dirty tricks” campaign against GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Joel Gilbert says that “private company information” was illegally obtained in an effort to intimidate those who have made possible the distribution of millions of copies of the DVD of his film, Dreams from My Real Father. His firm is a private media company that produces and distributes films and is not a political action committee or affiliated with any political campaign.

The controversial film, which has been mailed to millions of voters in swing states and is available on Netflix, examines Obama’s relationship with Communist Party member and suspected Soviet espionage agent Frank Marshall Davis, and Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers. The film claims that Davis was not only Obama’s mentor but his real father.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

New Jersey Town to Ala. Volunteer Utility Crew: Don’t Help With Sandy Unless You’re Unionized

Utility crews from several states East of the Mississippi River hit the road this week to volunteer their time and talents in Northeastern states hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. But crews from Alabama got the shock of their lives when other workers in a coastal New Jersey town told them they couldn’t lend a hand without a union card.

Derrick Moore, who works for Decatur Utilities in Decatur, Ala., told WAFF-TV in Huntsville that crews in Seaside Heights, N.J. turned him and his crewmates away, saying they couldn’t do any work there because they’re not union employees.

As a result, crews from Decatur and Huntsville left the Jersey shore and headed to Long Island to pitch in.

WAFF’s Mark Thornton reported that Moore and his coworkers “are frustrated being told, in essence, ‘thanks, but no thanks.’“

[Return to headlines]

New York City Marathon Will Not be Held Sunday

After days of pressure from runners, politicians and the general public to cancel the New York City Marathon in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, city and marathon officials decided it would not be held Sunday, according to a person familiar with the decision.

[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Inauguration Reverend: All Whites Are Going to Hell

All white people are going to hell, longtime African-American civil rights advocate Rev. Joseph Lowery told an audience at a get-out-the-vote event held Oct. 27 in Georgia.

Lowery, who gave the benediction at the January 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama, told the audience of up to 300 African-Americans “that when he was a young militant, he used to say all white folks were going to hell. Then he mellowed and just said most of them were. Now, he said, he is back to where he was,” according to an Oct. 31 report in the Monroe County Reporter newspaper.

“I don’t know what kind of a n—— wouldn’t vote with a black man running,” Lowery also told the audience in the St. James Baptist Church in Forsyth, Ga., according to the Reporter.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Romney’s Strategy Not Obama’s Doctrine Will Advance Freedom in the Middle East

As Governor Romney and President Obama continue to debate foreign policy and national security, voters would be wise to evaluate the “Obama Doctrine” against the current combustible state of affairs that it has led to in the Greater Middle East.

In less than four years, the Obama administration’s policies have transformed the region into a powder keg with a hairpin detonator that could be set off by the slightest diplomatic misstep, engulfing the region and the world in war. And, as if an economy on the brink wasn’t daunting enough, the current administration’s feckless diplomacy in the Arab world have begotten a near-impossible foreign policy conundrum that Mitt Romney will be forced to attend to from the moment he is sworn in as the forty-fifth President of the United States.

In order to help voters see clearly where unfolding events in the region are headed, I have summarized the salient facts and provided a brief analysis below.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

U.S. Military to Truck Fuel to Region Hit by Hurricane Sandy

As long lines persisted at gas stations in the New York metropolitan area, federal authorities moved Friday to restore supplies, turning to the Defense Department to deliver 24 million gallons of extra fuel to the region and lifting restrictions on deliveries by foreign-flagged ships.

With the reopening of the New York port to tankers on Thursday, and the return of a critical Northeast fuel pipeline to full capacity on Friday, the biggest outstanding problems are the lack of power at hundreds of gas stations and continued panic buying by the public, industry officials said.

As of Friday, according to AAA, only about 40 percent to 50 percent of the gasoline stations in New York City and New Jersey were operating, and even fewer on Long Island, most of them out of service because of power failures.

In conjunction with Friday’s move, the Pentagon was authorized by the Department of Energy and the White House to tap the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve.

[Return to headlines]

US Officials: CIA Ran Benghazi Consulate

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 (UPI) — The CIA was the real commanding agency at the attacked U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, not the State Department, senior U.S. intelligence officials said.

In addition, two of the four men who died in the Sept. 11 attack — former Navy SEAL commandos Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty — were actually CIA contractors killed defending the mission, not State Department contract security officers, as originally publicly identified, the officials told several news organizations on condition of anonymity.

Also killed in the attack were U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith.

The intelligence officials said that within 25 minutes of being alerted to the attack in a desperate phone call, the CIA rushed a half-dozen security operatives to the mission from a secret base about a mile away.

The operatives, who arrived at the mission about 25 minutes after that, joined State Department security agents in a futile search through heavy smoke and enemy fire for Stevens, the officials said in the most thorough account to date of the assault and of the CIA’s authoritative role at the consulate.

The operatives evacuated mission personnel and took control of an unarmed U.S. military drone to map possible escape routes, the officials said. The MQ-1 Predator drone, used by the CIA for reconnaissance, began providing video surveillance.

In the midst of the assault, the operatives also dispatched an emergency reinforcement team from Tripoli, the capital, and chartered aircraft that ultimately carried surviving U.S. personnel to safety, the officials said.

The militant assault went quiet around 1 a.m., the officials said in a written account that said the pause lasted until almost daybreak and apparently led CIA and State Department officials to think the danger had passed.

But just before dawn — and not long after the CIA-led reinforcement team, including two military commandos, arrived from Tripoli — the militants launched a brief but deadly mortar attack that surprised the Americans, the officials said.

Two CIA security officers defending the base from a rooftop — Woods and Doherty — were killed in the attack, the officials said.

Of the more than 30 U.S. officials evacuated from Benghazi, only seven worked for the State Department, officials briefed on the intelligence told The Wall Street Journal. Nearly all the rest worked for the CIA, under diplomatic cover, which was a principal purpose of the consulate, the Journal said.

Most public criticism for consulate security lapses has so far been directed at the State Department, not the CIA. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last month she took responsibility for what happened.

The new information does not address the Obama administration’s various depictions of whether the assault was a protest that turned violent or a planned terrorist attack. But the officials reiterated early intelligence was patchy and often contradictory. They said talking points for members of Congress and senior administration officials did not at first discuss possible links between the attackers and al-Qaida because the information was classified.

“It wasn’t until after the points were used in public that people reconciled contradictory information and assessed there probably wasn’t a protest around the time of the attack,” a senior U.S. intelligence official said in a statement.

Congressional investigators say it appears the CIA and State Department weren’t on the same page about their respective security roles at the consulate, which the Journal said raised questions about whether the Benghazi security arrangement was flawed.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Italy: Camorra ‘Sold Toxic Waste as Fertiliser to Farmers’

Company linked to ‘Gomorrah’ clan

(ANSA) — Caserta, October 29 — The Neapolitan Camorra mafia sold toxic waste to farmers claiming it was fertiliser, Italian police said Monday.

Two people were placed under investigation in a probe into a waste-treatment company linked to the Casalesi clan, exposed in Roberto Saviano’s 2006 book Gomorrah.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Former Neo-Fascist Leader Rauti Dies

Ex-Mussolini diehard ran MSI before defeat by Fini

(ANSA) — Rome, November 2 — Pino Rauti, former leader of Italy’s main postwar neo-Fascist party, the Italian Social Movement, (MSI), died in Rome at 86 Friday.

Rauti, a diehard soldier in Benito Mussolini’s puppet regime of Salo’, joined the MSI in 1946 and was its leader off and on until 1987 when he was defeated by Gianfranco Fini who gradually moved the party into mainstream politics as the National Aliance.

Fini, now House Speaker, eventually became first an ally and later a party colleague of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi before an acrimonious split two years ago.

Rauti, a rightist intellectual, was at various times linked to extremist tendencies and even terrorism but the claims never stuck.

His daughter is married to Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno, a leading member of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Klondike in Lapland: Mining Companies Swarm to Finland’s Far North

Mining companies are flocking to northern Finland as new deposits of gold, nickel and other minerals promise vast profits. But the area’s fragile wetland ecosystem is paying the price. Conservationists are so far fighting a losing battle.

Riikka Karppinen used to catch pike as long as her arm here. She and her brother would spend days exploring the marshy wilderness. It was eight years ago, when Riikka was just 10 years old, that she saw the first red sticks stuck into the ground. To begin with, there were only a few but before long there were hundreds. “No one cared much back then,” Riikka Karppinen recalls.

In the mean time, though, the red markers have given way to the machines. “You can hear the noise of the drills day and night,” says Karppinen. Anglo American (AA), one of the world’s biggest mining companies, went treasure hunting in Finnish Lapland, 120 kilometers north of the Polar Circle. And deep below the marshlands of Viiankiaapa are nickel deposits that AA has hailed as the find of the century.

Karppinen’s childhood paradise has now become a symbol of the rush for precious metals and minerals that has overcome the entire country. Foreign mining companies are flocking to Finland to mine its treasures. Here, in some of the oldest rock formations in Europe, lie reserves of valuable raw materials, with geologists describing the ore deposits as among the richest in the world.

Hoping for new jobs and investment, the Finnish government is welcoming prospectors, identifying and mapping the deposits and generously granting data and mining rights at cheap prices, even in sensitive areas. Gold, nickel and uranium hunters are even reaching into tourist and conservation areas in the country.

Some 40 companies are now carrying out hundreds of exploration projects across the country. The town of Sodankylä in Lapland is essentially surrounded by mining claims with several mines already in operation — and their tailings seeping toxins into surrounding lakes and rivers.

Long-suffering as Finns may be, resistance is growing. Fifty-three companies in the tourist sector are protesting against a huge gold mine in Kuusamo in north-eastern Finland, where Australian company Dragon Mining is conducting test drilling in full view of a popular ski resort. Containing 4.9 grams per ton of rock, the gold content is high, but so is the uranium content. Much of the radioactive element would likely end up in nearby lakes during processing. Moreover, vast quantities of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are released when the ground’s peat layers are dug up during drilling.

“The cost to the environment will exceed the profits from the gold mines,” warns the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation.

“The extent of the mining operations is gigantic and pollution is inevitable,” says geologist Matti Saarnisto, pointing out that Lapland’s waters are in danger of being contaminated with toxic elements such as arsenic, uranium as well as sulfates, cyanides and phosphates. Saarnisto and economics professor Olli Tahvonen are also critical of the sell-out of mining rights and are calling for a mining tax on the exploitation of raw materials.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Scotland: Suspended Doctor Accused of Lying to NHS Grampian

A doctor who worked at two of NHS Grampian’s biggest hospitals has been suspended after being accused of lying about his qualifications.

Dr Muhammad Ishaque — who worked at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Dr Gray’s at Elgin — claims to be a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. The Pakistani national also said he had a master’s degree from a US university. However, the General Medical Council (GMC) alleges this is all false.

It is the second time serious concerns have been raised about the health board’s recruitment in little over a year.

Last night, patient groups and politicians said the incident raised “serious concerns” about how bosses were vetting staff, and the Scottish Government said it was monitoring the situation closely.

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Scotland: Stuart Rodger Sentenced for Shouting at David Cameron

A man who shouted “no public sector cuts” at David Cameron during a speech in Glasgow has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service.

Stuart Rodger, 23, hid in a toilet at the Grand Central Hotel before bursting into a room where the prime minister was addressing Conservatives.

He was tackled by aides before being led away by Special Branch.

Rodger, from Fife, was previously fined £200 for hitting Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg with blue paint in Glasgow.

During an appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court, the former Lib-Dem political activist admitted behaving in a threatening or abusive manner by violating a security cordon, shouting and failing to desist, attempting to approach Mr Cameron and causing fear and alarm.

He was handed a community payback order with the condition he has to carry out 100 hours of community service.

Security cordon

This was reduced from 150 because of his guilty plea.

Procurator fiscal depute John Slowey told the court Rodger hid in a toilet prior to making his entrance on 31 July.

It was heard he shouted “No ifs, not buts, no public sector cuts.”

Mr Rodger’s lawyer said the “security cordon” he got past was someone asking if he had a pass, and Mr Rodger had only gone a few metres into the room.

Rodger was previously fined £200 after breaching the peace by hitting Mr Clegg with blue paint during a visit to Glasgow earlier this year.

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Scotland: Dr Muhammad Ishaque Faces GMC Hearing Over Lying Claim

A doctor who worked for NHS Grampian has been accused of lying about his qualifications.

It is claimed Dr Muhammad Ishaque falsely said he was a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and that he had a masters degree from an American university.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service will also hear claims he gave two different dates of birth.

Dr Ishaque will appear at a fitness to practice hearing later this month.

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

The Latest Polls Confirm Everyone’s Worst Fears About the Golden Dawn in Greece

The latest polls confirm: Golden Dawn is by far the hottest political party in Greece right now.

Golden Dawn is currently polling in third place with the support of 11.5 percent of voters according to a poll released yesterday and 14 percent according to a poll conducted two weeks ago.

In the June 2012 elections, Golden Dawn only got 6.9 percent of the vote. In other words, in less than five months, the party has expanded its support by somewhere in the range of 67-103 percent, depending on which poll you look at.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Clarke’s Soft Justice Will Lead to Thousands Fewer Criminals Being Jailed

The Ministry of Justice has revised down its estimated prison population levels as a result of the changes in sentencing Mr Clarke introduced when he was the Justice Secretary.

Mr Clarke was accused of implementing a swathe of lighter justice including the scrapping of the indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPPs) and encouraging more out of court punishments.

As a result of those changes and fewer people even going to court, the MoJ now estimates there will be up to 4,500 fewer offenders in prison at any one time by 2017 compared with previous estimates.

That will effectively mean tens of thousands fewer criminals going to jail over the next half a decade.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Fifth UK Drug User is Infected With Anthrax

A drug user in Oxford is recovering from an anthrax infection after injecting heroin, say health experts.

The case comes after two people who injected drugs died from anthrax infections in Blackpool in August and September.

The Health Protection Agency said there was an ongoing outbreak of anthrax infections amongst drug users in Europe with 12 cases so far, five in the UK.

The HPA says heroin can be contaminated by anthrax spores.

There have now been three cases in England (one of which was fatal), one in Scotland and one in Wales.

Four cases have also been seen in Germany, two in Denmark and one in France, but health experts are still waiting to see if these are connected.

However the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) have concluded that heroin users in Europe are still at risk of exposure to anthrax.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Gamlin: Ex-Spin Doctor Spared Jail for Child Porn Haul

Newcastle — A former Labour spin doctor caught with indecent photos of children as young as 12 was in contact with the suspected controller of an ‘extreme’ website for paedophiles. Samuel Gamlin, 20, chatted online with Dominic Shaw and attempted to access Shaw’s vile site, Southwark Crown Court heard today (THUR). Gamlin’s discussion with the Shaw was uncovered after police discovered two films and 34 explicit pictures on his laptop.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Grading Fiasco of Scandal-Hit English GCSEs is Blamed on Cheating Teachers

The GCSE grade fiasco was caused by widespread cheating among teachers, a damning report reveals today.

This summer’s English results triggered a scandal after grade boundaries were raised, leading to complaints from schools that marks fell short of expectations.

But exams watchdog Ofqual has found that grade thresholds were toughened because teachers were engaging in ‘tactical operations’ to try to ensure good results.

Their inquiry uncovered ‘widespread over-marking’ in GCSE English coursework by teachers desperate for less able pupils to scrape crucial C grades.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Mother ‘Beat Son, 7, To Death Then Set Fire to His Body’ Because He Struggled to Learn the Koran Off by Heart

A mother brutally beat her seven-year-old son to death with a stick then set his body on fire because he was struggling to commit passages from the Koran to memory, a court was told.

Sara Ege, 32, is alleged to have beaten Yaseen Ali ‘like a dog’ for failing to recite passages from the religious text, before burning his body at the family home in Cardiff to try and cover up what she had done.

The youngster’s death was initially believed to be a tragic accident following the blaze at the house in Pontcanna, until a post-mortem examination revealed Yaseen had died before the fire broke out, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Ege is also accused of abusing her son in the months leading up to his death, allegedly beating him with a hammer and locking him in a shed for falling behind with his Islamic studies.

The trial at Cardiff Crown Court heard how the university graduate and her husband Yousuf Ege had enrolled Yaseen in advanced classes at their local mosque and hoped he would become Hafiz — an Islamic term for someone who has memorised the Koran.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Police Launch Hunt for ‘Racist’ Chelsea Fan

English football’s battle to eradicate racism suffered another blow on Thursday as police launched an investigation into allegations that a Chelsea supporter made a racist gesture towards a Manchester United player.

A photo of the fan making a “monkey” action, which appeared to be targeted at United’s Danny Welbeck during a League Cup match that Chelsea won 5-4, was published in a British newspaper Thursday

Chelsea has launched its own investigation into the matter and has already promised to assist the police in any way possible.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police read: “Today, Thursday, November 1, police have received a complaint regarding alleged racist behavior at Stamford Bridge last night, Wednesday, October 31.

“An investigation has been launched. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Racist Rant on Woolwich Arsenal to Abbey Wood Train: Slade Green Woman Charged

A Slade Green woman has been charged after a video was uploaded to YouTube appearing to show passengers being racially abused on a train.

Jacqueline Williams, of Snipe Close, was charged with a racially aggravated public order offence.

The 47-year-old is due to appear at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on November 9.

The incident is believed to have taken place onboard a Woolwich Arsenal to Abbey Wood train on Tuesday (October 30) at around 3.20pm.

British Transport Police officers arrested Williams after issuing an appeal.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: The BBC Has Never Been Neutral on Anything

AS THE BBC twists in the wind over the Savile affair there is an old BBC veteran out in Buckinghamshire watching with neither surprise nor distress.

Forty-five years ago at 28 I was the Beeb’s Assistant Diplomatic Correspondent.

One of the great abiding myths of our society is that the BBC is always editorially neutral, unbiased and impartial. It is utter poppycock. On any major issue the BBC will soon have an editorial “line to be followed”, usually that of the prevailing Establishment view. From that point on, its own hierarchy will only favour those who report that view — as I learned to my cost.

In 1967 Eastern Nigeria, homeland to the Ibos, pulled out of the federation of states that makes Nigeria and declared itself independent under the name Biafra.

The Lagos government promptly declared war to force the secessionist province back into the federation.

Starting with our High Commissioner in Lagos and moving up through the Commonwealth Office, the Wilson government adopted a passionately pro-Lagos view and imparted this to the BBC.I was given a lengthy briefing on all this and sent down there to cover the federal victory.

On my arrival I discovered absolutely everything I had been told was rubbish.

I reported this. Outrage, horror, he must be biased.

Asked to recant, I repeated what I was seeing — no federal victories. The opposite, they were a rabble. I was recalled at once and busted back to reporter.

By the by, the two-week war lasted two-and-a-half years and cost a million children their lives by starvation.

So what has this to do with Savile? Patience.

Much more recently the Beeb became wholly enamoured of the EU and our slavish relationship within it. Every interviewee or contributor on radio or TV who was pro- EU was treated with courtesy, allowed to waffle on uninterrupted; every speaker even mildly sceptical of the EU was treated with undisguised contempt, interrupted every dozen words and generally by a nasty piece of work.

Once again the “suits” at the BBC, including those who rule the News And Current Affairs Division, the real “voice” of the Beeb, will hear only what they want to hear.

Now to Savile. Can 200-300 victims really never have produced a single one who complained? Of course not. George Entwistle, the new DG, only ever has one expression on his face: utter bewilderment.

As a BBC “lifer” it has never occurred to him that anyone could contradict the BBC line and get away with it.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Tunisia: EIB Undertakes 200 Million Euro Support to Banking

(ANSAmed) — Tunisia, October 26 — The European Investment Bank (EIB) is errogating 200 million euros to support the Tunisian banking system through the FEMIP financial instrument. FEMIP stands for for the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership.

EIB Vice President Philippe de Fontaine Vive made the announcement on Friday. “If all goes as planned, a first payment of 100 million euros will be released by the end of 2012 and I will come in December to sign the loan contract,” said Fontaine Vive.

It will be FEMIP’s sixth line of credit toward Tunisia, given strong demand from banks and leasing companies that operate in the country.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

CIA Describes Effort to Rescue Americans in Libya Attack

By John Walcott

Central Intelligence Agency officers in Benghazi, Libya, sent a security team to the U.S. diplomatic mission there less than 25 minutes after the post was attacked by Islamic militants, according to a timeline provided by a senior U.S. intelligence official.

The first call reporting the Sept. 11 attack came into the CIA base in an annex to the mission in Benghazi at around 9:40 p.m., said the official, who spoke last night on condition of anonymity because intelligence reports are classified.

Charges that the Obama administration failed to respond to requests for additional security in Benghazi and at the American Embassy in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, have grown harsher and become part of the Republican campaign to unseat President Barack Obama, and the CIA has suffered collateral damage from the allegations.

Responding to accusations aired on Fox News and picked up elsewhere that officials in Washington had refused to approve military strikes or rescue efforts, the official said no one in the White House, the State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA or any other organization second-guessed decisions made in Benghazi, and there were no orders to anyone providing support to stand down.

The intelligence officers at the annex in Benghazi responded to the situation as quickly and as effectively as possible in the face of heavy enemy fire, the official said. In particular, the security officers, one of whom was killed, were genuine heroes, the official said.

Risked Lives

The officers attempted to rally local support to reinforce militiamen hired to guard the compound and obtain heavier weapons, and when they were unable to do so within minutes, they still risked their lives by going to the aid of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues in the main part of the compound, the official said.

Contradicting other reports and allegations, the official said everyone from the senior officers in Libya to the top officials in Washington were fully engaged in trying to provide whatever help they could.

Officials in Washington monitored the events in Benghazi from message traffic and video shot by an unarmed aerial drone that was diverted from another mission elsewhere in Libya and arrived over the compound at 11:11 p.m., the official said.

By 11:30 p.m., all U.S. personnel except for Stevens, who was missing, left the mission under fire for the annex about 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) away, the official said. For the next 90 minutes, the annex was hit by sporadic small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenade rounds. The security team returned fire, and the attackers dispersed at about 1 a.m., according to the timeline the official provided.

Libyan Permission

At about the same time, the official said, a team of additional security personnel from the embassy in Tripoli, including two members of the U.S. military, landed at the Benghazi airport, where they began negotiating for transportation into town. A second official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified matters, said the reinforcements also had difficulty getting Libyan officials’ permission to leave the airport grounds.

When they learned that Stevens was missing and that the attack on the annex had subsided, the group from Tripoli focused on locating the ambassador and trying to secure information on the security situation at the Benghazi Medical Centre. Local Libyans had taken Stevens to the hospital, which was where a doctor later interviewed by Bloomberg News pronounced the ambassador dead.

Armed Escort

Still in the pre-dawn darkness, the U.S. security team at the airport finally secured transportation and an armed escort. Having learned that Stevens was almost certainly dead and that the security situation at the hospital was uncertain, they headed to the annex to help evacuate remaining personnel there, according to the timeline provided by the senior official.

The two security officers who had been at the mission when the first attack started almost eight hours earlier took up positions on the annex’s roof and were killed by mortar fire, the official said, although that attack lasted only 11 minutes.

Finally, about an hour later, a heavily armed Libyan security force arrived at the annex and began helping evacuate about 30 Americans to the airport, along with the bodies of Stevens and the other three Americans who were killed.

           — Hat tip: DS[Return to headlines]

Coptic Christian Girl, 14, Abducted by Muslim in Egypt

by Mary Abdelmassih

(AINA) — Although the abduction and forced Islamization of Coptic Christian minor girls in Egypt is quite common (AINAÂ 8-11-2009), especially with the rise of Islamists in Egypt after the Muslims Brotherhood took over governing the country, the case of 14-year old Sarah has caused a stir.

Sarah Ishaq Abdelmalek, born on August 1, 1998 in the town of el-Dabaa, 130 kilometers from Mersa Matrouh, was on her way to school with her cousin Miriam on Sunday, September 30, when they stopped at a bookshop. Miriam want ahead of Sarah to school, leaving Sarah at the bookstore. No one has seen Sarah ever since.

After filing a missing person report with the police, her father received a call to tell him that he will never see his daughter again.

Anba Pachomius, acting Coptic Pope is Bishop of Marsa Matrouh, and Sarah is one of his congregation. Pachomius has said in many interviews that Sarah is only a child and has to be returned to her family without delay.

On October 18 President Morsi was on an official visit to Mersa Mahrouh and the Copts in the region. Bishop Anba Pachomius instructed Father Bigem, supervisor of the Matrouh churches, to deliver a petition to Morsi, informing him of Sarah’s abduction and accusing Mahmoud Selim Abdel Gawad, who owns a bookshop next to the school, of abducting her. Abdel Gawad is the son of a Salafist leader in the area.

Father Bigem said that the girl’s father is concerned because Abdel Gawad is a Salafist. “Security knows her whereabouts,” said Father Bigem, “and they make promises to resolve the crisis, but it’s just words.”

Security officials in Matrouh sought the help of the Salafist Sheikh Borhamy from Alexandria, however, he told them that the Salafists in Matrouh are not from the same school he belongs to, and he was unable to help.

Human rights and other civil organizations, together with the National Council of Women, lobbied for Sarah to be reunited with her family without delay. The Council declared its rejection and condemnation of the issue of child marriage, especially as the law criminalizes the act and punishes the offender.

The Salafist Front issued a statement on October 28, warning human rights organizations, especially the National Council for Women, not to attempt to return Sarah to her family, as she has converted to Islam and married a Muslim man. They said “Attempts of the church and human rights organizations to put pressure on the Interior Ministry to return the girl is rejected in form and substance, confirming that the girl has full freedom to convert to Islam and have full freedom to marry as long as ‘she has reached puberty and can withstand marriage with its consequences and responsibilities.’ We will address in any way, attempts to force Sarah to do anything against her freedom.”

This was rejected by the church. Bishop Pachomius, in his appearance on the program In The Light on the Coptic channel CTV, said that the church will not be silenced by the threatening statements from the Salafists.

“Does the law allow a girl of this age to marry?” said Bishop Pachomius. “Have you asked the opinion of the girl’s family before marriage since she is minor? Did the girl receive session of advice and guidance?” These sessions were obligatory in cases of conversion since 1851, until they were stopped by Mobarak’s minister of Interior in 2004. In these sessions a priest or a sheikh would interview a potential convert to make sure of the decision. Copts have been calling for the return of these sessions, while Islamists are refusing.

In another statement, the Salafist Front said that there is no truth to what the girl’s family says about her age. To prove her right age the Coptic Association of Victims of Abduction and Enforced Disappearance (AVAED) published a copy Sarah’s birth certificate, proving she was born on August 1, 1998. AVAED vowed to pursue the matter even if they take the case to international human rights organizations responsible for protecting children’s rights.

Yesterday the Salafists issued a statement saying that if Sarah returns to her family, she will be “killed” by her father. This was denied by her father, who said “I want my child back in my arms, even if she became a Muslim.”

Dr. Naguib Gabriel, head of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organization, delievered a memorandum to the Minister of Interior from Anba Pakhomius, stating that that the acting Patriarch is infuriated by the disappearance of the child who has to return to her family in order to achieve “justice, security and peace.” The memo warned of the outbreak of sectarian strife if the matter remain unsolved.

Most Copts believe that Sarah has to return to her family, even if they have to go on strike. “If we let this matter go, none of our girls will ever be safe again,” commented Coptic activist Mark Ebeid.

           — Hat tip: Mary Abdelmassih[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Imams Accuse Ennahda of Helping Salafis

Mosques turned into extremists’ arsenals, they accuse

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, NOVEMBER 2 — The union of Tunisian imams on Friday accused the ruling Ennahda party of failing to stop Salafi violence and called for Minister of Religious Affairs Noureddine Khademi to resign. The imams accuse the government of allowing a process of religious radicalization throughout the country, spearheaded by violent Salafi attacks including sometimes fatal arson and firebombing attacks on mosques, hotels and bars that sell liquor, art galleries and union offices. The imams are the latest addition in a long series of protests by artists, representatives of the Constituent Assembly, unions and civil society against this rising tide of fundamentalist violence, which they say is part of a government plan to create a theocracy in Tunisia.

Among the imam’s complaints, is the fact that at least 100 of the country’s 6,000 mosques have become de facto Salafi lairs that are off-limits to police, where they hide wanted criminals and stockpile weapons such as swords, machetes, and Molotovs.

A case in point is Nasreddine Aloui, the new imam of the al-Nour mosque in the town of Douar Hicher, who during a television talk show on Thursday night called on Tunisian youths to prepare to give their lives in the fight against Ennahda. His predecessor, Khaled Karaoui, died on Thursday after sustaining injuries during a Salafi attack on two police posts earlier in the week.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Imam Calls Jihad, Salafites to Prepare Shrouds

He replaced cleric killed in assault on Doaur Hicher barracks

(ANSAmed) — Tunis -The new imam of the Nour mosque appointed after his predecessor Aymen Amdouni was killed in an assault on National Guards barracks, called for jihad inviting young Salafites to prepare their shrouds.

Nasreddine Aloui, the new imam of a mosque considered the centre of Salafites in Douar Hicher, participated in a talk show in which he called on young Salafites to engage in a holy war against the unfaithful and against the Ennahdha party accused of following ‘Washington’s orders’.

The young cleric was speaking on the eve of the funerals of the second victim of the assault on the Douar Hicher barracks which are scheduled to take place this afternoon in a tense climate.

Speaking at the talk show and addressing Tunisia’s Interior Minister Ali Laarayedh, a leading member of Ennahdha who was also participating, Aloui showed his shroud saying that all Salafites needed to prepare theirs in view of their martyrdom.

‘The interior minister and the other leaders of Ennahdha have mistaken the US for God as they establish the laws and write the Constitution’, he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Number of Illegal Infiltrators in South Nears Record Low

One of the less heralded, but more successful, projects that have been undertaken recently in Israel is the security fence on the country’s southern border. In October, only 54 illegal African refugees entered Israel — one of the lowest numbers in many years, and a far cry from the 1,000 to 2,000 and more that entered the country each month over the past few years.

Last October, for example, 2,100 illegals were estimated to have entered Israel. Only a few were caught as they crossed the then-wide open border. Since then, the security fence on the border with Sinai has rapidly been built, and currently some 80% of the border is protected. In areas where construction is going on, the IDF has sharply increased patrols. At this point, the vast majority of illegals are caught before they enter Israel, and are immediately taken into custody for deportation to their homelands. Word that Israel’s gates are closing tight has apparently seeped back to Sudan, Eritrea, and other African countries, and now there are far fewer attempts to cross the border.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Palestine — Falk’s Failed Philosophy Guarantees Continuing Conflict

A breathtaking display of arrogance by Professor Falk.

Professor Richard Falk — United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 — has returned to world headlines with another controversial annual Report.

Falk this time round has encouraged a boycott of United States industry giants Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett Packard and Motorola, Israeli cosmetic firm Ahava, Cemex of Mexico, Veolia Environment of France, G4S of the United Kingdom and Volvo Group of Sweden, among others, and for civil society to join that effort.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Abu Dhabi: Patient Murders Indian Doctor for Slow Treatment

Abu Dhabi, Nov 2 (Emirates 24X7) : An Indian doctor working at a private Abu Dhabi hospital was brutally murdered by his patient on Thursday evening in his hospital cabin.

Dr. Rajan Daniel, 62, urologist, was killed after his throat was slit by his Pakistani patient.

Staff at the Al Ahalia Hospital said they were shocked to see a man trying to leave the hospital with a knife in his hand and blood all over his body.

One of the hospital staff told Emirates 24l7 that the patient, Mohammed Abdul Jameel, 46, was undergoing treatment from the doctor for the last three months. “The incident occurred at around 6.30pm. The man entered the doctors cabin, locked the room from inside and immediately slit the doctor’s throat. He then simply walked out of the room, located on the fifth floor. Staff were shocked to see a man trying to leave the hospital with a knife in his hand. He was completely soaked in blood,” the staff said.

“The hospital staff managed to catch him on the first floor and immediately alerted the police. The doctor was found dead, lying on the floor in his cabin,” he added.

The Arabic language daily Alkhaleej said: “The patient has been to the hospital for treatment before….he came this time with a knife and stabbed the doctor in the neck and other parts of the body many times.” It said police arrested the killer while the hospital was shut briefly after the incident. The daily said that the patient was maddened by the slow treatment process.

The accused is an employee of a private company in Mussaffah, Abu Dhabi.

Dr Daniel who is from Trivandrum in Kerala, India has been working in the hospital since 2007. His wife Geeta George lives with him in the UAE. The doctor is also survived by his only daughter Junu.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Euro-Deputies Express “Worry” Over Human Rights in Emirates

Call for reforms to tackle abuse of immigrant workers

(ANSAmed) — Strasbourg, October 26 — European Union deputies expressed “great worry” on Friday for human rights in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The European parliament in Strasbourg passed a resolution that said human rights activists in the UAE are subject to “assault, repression and intimidation”. The European parliament also condemned the country’s death penalty and use of torture. The euro-deputies also underlined the necessity of improving the conditions of life and work for thousands of immigrants across the UAE, especially women. The resolution calls on the UAE government to pass reforms to tackle abuse of immigrant workers.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Syria: Last Christian in Homs Killed

Elderly man refused to evacuate to look after his disabled son

(ANSAmed) — Vatican City — The last Christian who was in the centre of Homs was killed, after the civilian population was evacuated due to widespread fighting.

According to the Vatican’s Fides news agency, 84-year-old Elias Mansour, a Greek-Orthodox Christian did not want to leave his home on Wadi Sayeh street — even though he knew his life was in danger — because he had to take care of his handicapped son, Adnane.

The Wadi Sayeh area, inhabited by both Christians and Sunni Muslims, is still at the centre of clashes between the army and rebel troops. The rebels have barricaded themselves in the areas of Khalidiyeh, Bab Houd, Bustan diwan, Hamidiyeh and the streets of Wadi Sayeh and Ouret al shayyah, surrounded by regular army forces. A Greek-Orthodox priest told Fides that Elias Mansour was killed yesterday. In the days preceding his murder, Mansour reportedly said that nothing would induce him to leave his home, adding that, if he met the rebels, “He would remind them about the Ten Commandments and the Holy Scriptures.” The funeral will be celebrated today in an Orthodox church. Meanwhile, an Orthodox priest is trying to track down his disabled son, his fate remains unknown. According to Fides, the convent of the Jesuits in the Hamidiyeh area was also hit during ongoing fighting. The structure has undergone minor damage but no victims have been reported. The Jesuits and the displaced people who are sheltering within said that they have experienced moments of fear, but are unharmed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Mob Burns Girls’ School in Pakistani City Over Alleged Blasphemy

A mob attacked a girls’ school in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, Wednesday, demanding that teachers hand over the principal and a teacher, after rumors emerged that the teacher had insulted the prophet Muhammad.

Though it is unclear just what the teacher said, more than 200 people ransacked the school, set a nearby car on fire, and graffitied the phrase “school management are blasphemers” on the wall of the Farooqi Girls’s High School, which is considered one of the better schools in Lahore.

The police arrested the principal, Asim Farooqi, on blasphemy charges, which carries the death sentence in Pakistan. The accused teacher, Arfa Iftikhar, has reportedly gone into hiding.

Analysts say that the fact that that the incident happened in Lahore, the cultural capital of Pakistan, raises serious concerns about the lack of control Pakistani authorities have over extremist elements even in progressive parts of the country.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


Criminals Can Stay in UK to Avoid ‘Shame’, Malaysian Criminal Avoids Deportation After Claiming it Breaches Her Human Rights

A Malaysian criminal avoided deportation after claiming it breached her human rights because she would be stigmatised in her homeland for her offences.

Ai Vee Ong, 34, was jailed for four years after 20 illegal immigrants were found working at two restaurants she managed.

She was also caught laundering money and conspiring to sell counterfeit goods.

Ong lodged an appeal against automatic deportation on her release, which was rejected.

But she took her case to the Upper Tribunal [Immigration and Asylum Chamber] which overturned the decision.

The tribunal heard having to return to Malaysia would be against her right to a family life as she would be disowned by her relatives if they knew about her conviction. She also argued she faced being shunned by the wider ‘community’.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Massachusetts Mayor Bans the Word ‘Illegal’ For Illegal Immigrants

The mayor of Somerville, Mass., has banned the use of the term “illegals” when referring to illegal aliens.

Mayor and Alderman Joe Curtatone announced the new policy at a local board meeting last week, according to the Somerville Journal.

The decision was made after a “team of youths” urged the city to stop using the “hurtful” term. “I hadn’t given it a thought until they brought to my attention how hurtful that term is,” Board President Tom Taylor said

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Swiss Ecopop Group Forces Immigration Referendum

A group of Swiss environmentalists has collected enough signatures to force a national referendum on immigration.

The Ecopop group says natural resources are under increasing pressure from overpopulation.

It wants annual population growth through immigration capped at 0.2% and a tenth of foreign aid to be used for birth control measures abroad.

Switzerland now has a population of eight million people — almost a quarter of them foreigners.

Ecopop gathered a petition with 120,700 certified signatures — easily passing the 100,000 threshold needed for a referendum on the proposed new law.

“The pressure on land, nature and the countryside is considerable, and quality of life is continuously deteriorating due to a lack of living space,” said Ecopop member Philippe Roch, a former director of the Swiss environment department.

The group insists it is opposed to all forms of xenophobia and racism but says Switzerland must limit immigration to avoid urbanisation and to preserve agricultural land.

Under the Swiss system of direct democracy, referenda take place up to four times a year.

Correspondents say the initiative reflects growing concern in Switzerland about overcrowding. The population has risen by more than 140% since 1990.

In April, the Swiss government agreed to re-impose immigration quotas on workers from central and eastern EU countries — a decision criticised by EU officials.

Until 2011, Switzerland had a quota of 2,000 residency permits per year for citizens of the so-called “A8” nations, which joined the EU in 2004.

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which blames rising rents and crowded transport on immigration, has also gathered enough signatures to force a referendum on tougher immigration quotas.

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Spanish Youths Attack Catholic School, Threaten to Burn Priests Alive

Madrid, Spain, Oct 19, 2012 / 10:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A group of young people shouting, “Where are the priests? We’re going to burn them at the stake,” attacked the Mary Help of Christians Salesian School in Merida, Spain, leaving one teacher wounded.

According to the Salesian Press Office in Spain, the incident occurred at 1:20 p.m. local time on Oct. 18, when “some 100 young people entered the premises of the Mary Help of Christians Salesian School in Merida.” Nearly 1,000 K-12 students attend the school.

“Custodial workers and some teachers at the school tried to stop the group, but 10 of them were able to gain entrance to the school building, shouting insults against the institution, pushing staff members who were in their way and attempting to disrupt the normal school day,” the Salesians said.

Principal Marco Antonio Romero told the newspaper El Mundo that the young people’s intention was to pull down the crucifixes. “More public education and less crucifixes,” they shouted.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Number of Children in Married Families Drops 1 Million in Ten Years

The number of children being brought up by unmarried cohabiting couples has doubled since 1996 to more than 1.8million, official figures said yesterday.

And the number of youngsters in married families has dropped by a million in little more than a decade.

The rise of cohabitation and the continuing increase in single-parent families means two children are now growing up outside a married family for every three with traditionally married parents, according to the breakdown by the Office for National Statistics.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism

by Bruce Thornton

The murder of four Americans in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and the subsequent attempts by the Obama administration to blame the attacks on a YouTube video critical of Islam, exposed the delusional assumptions of Obama’s foreign policy. This notion that Western bad behavior——whether colonialism, support for Israel, or insults to Islam and Muhammad——is responsible for jihadist violence, however, has vitiated our approach to Islamist terrorism for over a decade now. Our main mistake has been the belief that al Qaeda and other jihadist groups are outliers among Muslims, a tiny minority of fanatics who have “hijacked” the faith that under both Republican and Democratic administrations has been called the “religion of peace,” and so we must reach out to that majority of moderate Muslims and convince them how much we admire and respect their religion. But this desperate search for these moderates has lead to dangerous policies, such as considering the Muslim Brotherhood “moderate Islamists,” an oxymoron that blinds us to the Brotherhood’s long-term goal to recover the global dominance that is Islam’s divinely sanctioned birthright.

Andrew Bostom, a professor of medicine at Brown University, has for a decade relentlessly exposed the distortions of history and Islamic theology that have accompanied these policies. In The Legacy of Islamic Jihad, he exposed the lie that jihad is merely a spiritual struggle to be a good Muslim, amassing evidence from Islamic theology, scripture, and jurisprudence to show that jihad has in fact predominantly denoted the use of violence to subject unbelievers to Muslim hegemony. In The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism, he swept away the rationalizations for widespread Jew-hatred among Muslims that blamed it on imported Western anti-Semitism, once more letting Islamic texts speak for themselves to show that since the 7th century, Jews have been hated, despised, massacred, and subjugated in both Islamic theology and practice. Now Bostom, in the 43 essays collected in his new book, Sharia Versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism, has turned to the totalitarian foundations of Islam codified in shari’a law, the totalizing system that controls every dimension of human life——political, economic, civic, familial, and personal.

The great virtue of Dr. Bostom’s work is the collection of primary documents and secondary commentary that taken together provide a more accurate picture of Islam than the fantasies concocted from ignorance or political expediency, or the postmodern propaganda manufactured by Edward Said and his followers. The notion of jihad, for example, has been distorted by apologists like Georgetown professor John Esposito, who wrote in the Washington Post that in the Koran jihad “means ‘to strive or struggle’ to realize God’s will, to lead a virtuous life, to create a just society and to defend Islam and the Muslim community.” Under the Bush administration, the National Counterterrorism Center similarly advised its employees never to use the term “jihadist,” since “jihad means ‘striving in the path of God’ and is used in many contexts beyond warfare.” But these assertions cannot stand next to the abundant evidence Bostom collects, such as Al-Tabari’s 10th century “Book of Jihad,” which shows that for 14 centuries jihad refers to war waged against the unbelievers, the “harbis” (denizens of Dar al Harb, the “House of War”) whom it is legal to kill, enslave, and plunder.

Even those, like the influential scholar Bernard Lewis, who accept the martial meaning of jihad sometimes assert that such wars are conducted under limitations similar to the Western laws of war, limitations so-called Islamist extremists ignore. Yet Islamic jurists such as the 8th century founder of the Hanifi school of Islamic jurisprudence, Abu Hanifa, Bostom writes, affirm “the impunity with which non-combatant ‘harbis’——women, children, the elderly, the mentally and physically disabled——may be killed.” According to Hanifa, there is nothing wrong with using catapults against “the polytheists’ fortresses . . . even if there are among them a woman, child, elder, idiot” or anyone suffering from a physical disability.

Illustrating the continuity of modern Islamist ideology with traditional Islamic theology and jurisprudence, Bostom quotes Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the “spiritual” leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Jazeera television star whose program reaches 60 million people: “It has been determined by Islamic law that the blood and property of people of Dar Al-Harb . . . is not protected . . . in modern war, all of society, with all its classes and ethnic groups, is mobilized to participate in war.” Hence even those not actually fighting are fair game, an argument similar to the one bin Laden made after 9/11 when he justified attacking civilians. These traditions give the lie to the “religion of peace” claim made by apologists, and also explain why, as Bostom quotes Samuel Huntington, “Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors.” Moreover, jihadist raids and attacks across those borders were, Bostom writes, “designed to sow terror” in order to make future conquests easier by breaking the spirit of the enemy, as recorded by the 17th century historian al-Maqqari when discussing such attacks: “Allah thus instilled such fear among the infidels that they did not dare to go and fight the conquerors; they only approached them as suppliants, to beg for peace.” Such passages suggest how the Islamists interpreted Obama’s 2009 groveling Cairo speech: as the supplications of the infidel begging for peace.

Bostom provides a similar correction to the oft-repeated claims that anti-Semitism is not inherent in Islam…

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