Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121111

Financial Crisis
»Chinese, Indian Economies to Overtake West Before Long
»Obama Has Led US to £338bn Bill — and to the Edge of a Financial Abyss
»Active-Duty Service Members Disenfranchised by Fla. Voter Purge
»Blasphemy: The First Order of Business
»Carny Nation
»Citing Voter Fraud, Petition at White House Web Site Demands Recount of Election
»Clinton Refuses to Testify on Benghazi, Cites Scheduling Conflict
»Col. West Continues With Recount
»Cover-Up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
»Elections Do Have Consequences
»Election Clerks Once Again Miss Federal Absentee Ballot Deadline
»Inspector General Says DOD, FVAP Failed to Implement MOVE Act Registration Offices
»Is Obama’s Cybersecurity Executive Order Imminent?
»Johnson, Schuette Sue to Count Late Military Ballots
»Not With a Bang But a Whimper
»Obama Welfare Vote Buying Hits $1 Trillion Before Re-Election
»Police Say Jogger Groped in NYC’s Central Park
»President Obama Received 106,258 Votes — Only 98,213 Eligible Voters. It’s Not Humanly Possible to Get 108% of the Vote
»Senator: Defense Department Not Complying With Election Law
»Teen Gropes Woman, 24, in Central Park
»The Convenient Resignation of General Petraeus
»What Went Wrong I
»Why Did CIA Director Petraeus Suddenly Resign … And Why Was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Murdered?
»Jury Convicts Toronto Man Who Slashed Throat, Stabbed Wife
Europe and the EU
»Breivik Complains “Violation of My Human Rights”
»Brussels Bans ‘Offensive’ Christmas Tree for Muslims
»Exhibition Brings Black Germans’ Stories to Light
»Fungal Disease Threatens Europe’s Ash Trees
»Italian Radical Party Organizes Marijuana Sit-In
»Italy: A2A Profit Gains 48% in First 9 Months, Plans to Slash Debt
»Italy: Generali Profits 37.3% Up
»Italy: Berlusconi Witnesses Deny Sums Received Were Sex Payments
»Polish Police Repel Ultranationalists
»Sweden: ‘Millennium’ Books Keep Making Millions
»Sweden: Teenage Boy Reports Group Rape
»UK: Crime Isn’t Falling, It’s Just That More and More Evil Acts Are No Longer Crimes at All
»UK: Millions May Face Blank TV Screens Caused by New 4G Mobile Phone Masts
»UK: Pensioner, 73, Stabbed to Death After ‘Disturbing Intruder During Burglary’
»UK: The First Fifty Shades Divorce: High-Flyer Splits From Husband Who Refused to Spice Up Their Love Life With That Book
Middle East
»Bahrain: Manama Revokes Citizenship of 31 Activists and Opponents
»Britain Prepares Squads to Assassinate Assad in Syria
»Iranian Parliament Looks Into Suspected Torture Death
»‘My SAS Hero Has Been Betrayed’: Wife’s Torment After Special Forces Husband is Jailed for ‘Illegally Possessing’ Pistol Given to Him by Iraqis for Outstanding Service
Sub-Saharan Africa
»White South Africans Move to Townships
Latin America
»Mexican Drug Cartel Assassins Bought Guns From U.S. Border Patrol
Culture Wars
»Eurispes Reports Italy Governed by Male Gerontocracy
»Sweden: Teachers Need to Learn to Tackle Racism: Report
»Dead of Two World Wars Remembered Around Globe
»‘Designed to Fail’ Electronics a Global Problem

Financial Crisis

Chinese, Indian Economies to Overtake West Before Long

China and India are expected to become the economic superpowers of the not-too-distant future, the OECD says in a new study. The West will quickly fall behind, and so will Germany despite its strong industrial base.

The size of the Chinese economy will surpass the entire eurozone’s gross domestic product by the end of this year, claimed a Friday report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a club of 34 industrialized and mostly western democracies.

And that would only be the beginning of a huge shift in global economic power as a number of emerging countries looked set to take over the lead, the study maintained.

The OECD said the Chinese and Indian economies together would be bigger than the combined economic might of the US, Japan and the 17-member eurozone. China on its own was predicted to race past the US to become the world’s biggest economy in 2030 at the latest.

By that time, China and India together would account for 39 percent of global output, compared with 34 percent for the US, Japan and the euro area.

The report also noted that China would have the highest growth rate of any country for another eight years to come, before being overtaken by India and Indonesia due to a fast-ageing population in China.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Obama Has Led US to £338bn Bill — and to the Edge of a Financial Abyss

New York votes Democrat. It took for granted that Barack Obama would get a second term, and did not look much beyond that.

Now, though, all America is having to peer into an abyss — or, to use the metaphor of the moment, over a ‘fiscal cliff’.

It describes the moment on January 1 when, unless the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat President come to an agreement, huge tax rises will be accompanied by some deep federal spending cuts that experts fear will tip the country into recession.

The plan is that $136 billion (£85.5 billion) in cuts — 0.8 per cent of GDP — will come in at the same time as $532 billion of tax increases, taking a total of $668 billion out of the deficit, or four per cent of GDP.

The cuts include defence and unemployment benefits; the tax rises reverse all the Bush-era tax cuts, and will hit the middle classes. They will also hit employers by increasing payroll taxes…

This is a deeply divided country: divided not between Democrats and Republicans, or even liberals and conservatives, but, it seems, between givers and takers.

On the one hand there are the wealth creators and the self-reliant, who want the state out of their lives and a fair chance to rebuild business, enterprise and their bank balances after the debacle of the banking collapse of 2008.

On the other is the coalition of minorities put in place by President Obama, and which he exploited to secure his victory. Many of these people depend upon the welfare culture he has created — what the state calls ‘entitlements’.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Active-Duty Service Members Disenfranchised by Fla. Voter Purge

CBS News: “Tampa-area resident and Navy captain Peter Kehring has spent more than 30 years in the U.S. military. But due to Florida GOP Gov. Rick Scott’s recent purge of voter rolls, Kehring will not be able to cast a vote on Election Day, reports Tampa CBS affiliate WTSP…And he’s not alone: Kehring is among 30 active and reserve service members in the Tampa area who have contacted the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office, according to WTSP.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Blasphemy: The First Order of Business

Just hours after President Obama is re-elected, the “anti-Islam” filmmaker is sentenced to prison.

Just hours after President Obama delivered his victory speech to throngs of starry-eyed supporters overwhelmed by the thrill of four more years, the federal government wasted no time moving “forward”. Inside of a Los Angeles courthouse, Mark Basseley Youssef, the man behind the world-renowned internet clip “Innocence of Muslims”, was sentenced to a year in jail. His film, which mocked the prophet Mohammed and the religion of Islam through low-budget actors and a shoddy stage set, was initially fingered by the Obama Administration as the catalyst behind the September 11th assault on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This account was widely repudiated, but condemnations of the film still poured in from the president on down in the two weeks that followed. During that sideshow, Muslim outrage over what was seen as blasphemy boiled over and led to killings, bombings, riots, and pillaging all over the world.

The prosecutors who presided over the case stressed the verdict had nothing to do with the content of the film, instead they insisted it stemmed from “probation violations” authorities had discovered after one of Youssef’s aliases appeared in the credits. The Egyptian-born Coptic Christian was then questioned about his involvement when officers showed up at his home in the late hours of the night. Not long after that, an activist judge decided he was a “flight risk” and he was taken to jail. While Americans spent the next few weeks torn over watching the presidential debates and the World Series, Youssef remained in custody. Revelations even surfaced from the father of Tyrone Woods — one of the Navy SEALs murdered in Benghazi — that jail time for the filmmaker was promised to him by Secretary Clinton.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Carny Nation

The Democrats have built themselves a pyramid scheme of Babel and it’s fools, suckers and marks all the way down, Popular culture, the media and politics becomes one.

A scam like the Democratic Party needs suckers. It needs millions and millions of the dumbest people that can be found outside of specially supervised group homes. And then it needs to appoint people to watch over them, give them the occasional food and minor check, and drive them in vans to the polls after two or four years so that the con artists can keep their manicured paws on the local treasury.

These people have to be stupid, yes, but like all marks, they have to be greedy. They have to be the kind of people who relish taking someone else’s money without working for it. The kind who grin at the idea of putting something over someone else. The kind who think that they are smart because they decided that the world owes them a living. They think that they’re smart, but they’re only the marks in a con. And when the con is done, like the guy depositing a check from Nigeria’s Prince Uscamo, they are going to be the ones left holding the bag…

Last year in Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, the price of three eggs ran to 100 billion dollars. A beer cost 150 billion dollars and a roll of toilet paper, well it was just cheaper to use million dollar bills. We are talking about Zimbabwean dollars here, not American dollars, but eventually there will be no difference. Zimbabwe yesterday. America tomorrow. Money isn’t magic and there comes a point when no amount of words can increase its value. Eventually it becomes cheaper to print out presidential speeches on the bright economic future and use them as toilet paper.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Citing Voter Fraud, Petition at White House Web Site Demands Recount of Election

Citing allegations of voter fraud, a petition posted Saturday at the White House “We the People” web site demands a recount of Tuesday’s election.

“In one county alone in Ohio, which was a battleground state, President Obama received 106,258 votes…but there were only 98,213 eligible voters. It’s not humanly possible to get 108% of the vote,” the petition says.

According to the petition, if voter ID laws had been in place across the country, a recount would be unnecessary.

A post at American Third Position says that Obama lost every state that required photo ID, but the National Conference of State Legislatures says that Michigan law requires voters to “show a photo ID or sign an affidavit attesting that he or she is not in possession of photo identification.” Obama won Michigan in Tuesday’s election.

Obama also won New Hampshire and Hawaii. Both states, according to the NCSL, ask for photo ID, but make allowances for voters who say they have none.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Clinton Refuses to Testify on Benghazi, Cites Scheduling Conflict

The Republican-led House Foreign Affairs Committee asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to testify at an open hearing next week about the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

While the State Department responded that Clinton will be traveling abroad next week, the invitation to the Nov. 15 hearing signaled a post-election renewal of a politically charged debate over the attack resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Other State Department officials plan to provide closed- door briefings for lawmakers, including a session with the Senate intelligence committee on Nov. 15, department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters today.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Col. West Continues With Recount

I have not yet begun to fight

Representative Allen West and his supporters should serve as steadfast examples of tenacity in face of insurmountable odds and beacons of hope to negative doomsayers who are already lamenting America’s passing as if a cold stiff corpse lay in state. Through his actions, buoyed by the honor and diligence of friends and supporters, Col. West’s group have successfully monitored a recount in a contentious polling district which has restored West’s lead to 198 and forced a recount for all ballots. How many more examples of this exist nationwide? How about the 141% voter turnout in St Lucie County?

Col. West and his supporters embody what made America the only truly free nation earth has ever known, and summoned such epitaphs to greatness as John Paul Jones’ famous quip that titles this article.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Cover-Up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

According to two well-vetted sources with intimate knowledge of the CIA operations and events in Benghazi, the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus is directly related to the testimony he was expected to provide before a closed-door hearing next week before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Sources close to the controversy, citing the need for anonymity due to their positions, stated that Barack Hussein Obama was aware of the CIA director’s indiscretions “long before” the November 6, 2012 elections, and knew about the FBI’s investigative findings weeks before the election, but “erected a firewall” to prevent any disclosure before November 6th.

“What I do know is that an integral part of that firewall involved having information on Petraeus that would potentially damage his career, legacy and marriage. A sort of political blackmail, if you will. What I don’t know, but suspect, is that Petraeus was placed in the unenviable but self-inflicted position of having to choose between providing truthful testimony under oath and having his professional and personal life destroyed while systematically being impeached due to this incident, or keeping quiet before the Senate Intelligence Committee,” stated one source.

A second intelligence source stated that “the announcement [of Petraeus’ resignation] was carefully timed. It was announced in a Friday afternoon news dump three days after the election, and days before the Senate Intelligence Committee was to hear his testimony, despite the President having knowledge of these events weeks ago. Friday’s announcement served two purposes; it kept controversy from emerging before the election, while allowing the administration to buy time regarding testimony by a federal official about CIA’s involvement in Benghazi.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Elections Do Have Consequences

What will we see in the coming years because of the results of this election? It will be frightening at best. The re-elected president is a man who was raised to believe that Marxism is the answer to all the world’s problems and America’s capitalistic free market system is the cause of all the world’s problems. He has exhibited total disdain for what has made America the greatest nation the world has ever seen.

Let’s look at what is coming to America because we decided to re-elect a man who was raised a Marxist and one who believes that the very few, the elite, are far better to make your decisions for you because you are not qualified to do it yourself. Granted there are a few that qualify and that is their right but the majority of Americans, I believe, are capable of better decisions than our re-elected president.

EPA regulations which Obama told the EPA to hold off announcing until after the election. These regulations will cost Americans $700 billion and will prevent any new plants from being built. Our power grid is aging and needs massive updates but these regulations will only make that worse. Obama’s re-election will also allow the EPA to continue its attack on coal and all other fossil fuels and promote the so-called ‘green energy’ that has failed in all counties where it has been established and mandated…

How about Obama cancelling the Day of Prayer celebration at the White House but holds a celebration for Ramadan? Then all of the attacks on the religious community from forcing religious organizations to supply birth control which is against their beliefs. Strange enough on that matter Muslims don’t have to participate in Obamacare because it is against their religious beliefs but Protestants and Catholics do have to even though it is against their religious beliefs.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Election Clerks Once Again Miss Federal Absentee Ballot Deadline

MADISON — “More than three dozen local election clerks appear to have missed a federally mandated deadline for sending out absentee ballots to military and overseas voters, according to the Government Accountability Board.

“Election officials had until this past Saturday to send out ballots requested by military and overseas voters who want to vote in the Aug. 14 primary in which Republicans will choose a U.S. Senate candidate to face the Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, in the race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. The number of clerks who missed the deadline may change, as some 265 municipal clerks still haven’t told the GAB if they had any ballot requests, and GAB staff believe that some of the clerks who did respond to a survey might have responded incorrectly.

“But it nevertheless marks another in a string of elections in which Wisconsin has failed to comply with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Inspector General Says DOD, FVAP Failed to Implement MOVE Act Registration Offices

“In a report released yesterday, the DOD Inspector General goes after the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) on multiple fronts, including the finding of a failure to comply with the MOVE Act by not establishing voter registration offices at military installations. In a nutshell, DOD is only about halfway through the job, three years after the passage of the MOVE Act.

“First, we have DOJ failing to enforce the MOVE Act until the fiasco of 2010. Now, with less than 70 days to the Presidential election and military voting participation rates plummeting, this IG report criticizes FVAP and DOD for not complying with the most significant military voting legislation in 20 years. This report is going to send shock waves throughout the political and elections arena. Politico predicts a nasty showdown between House Republicans and the Obama Administration on the delay and foot-dragging in implementing the registration part of the MOVE Act. ELC predicts more of a bipartisan outcry from the Congress.

Questions to ponder: When has the Obama Administration ever laid down on the job on requiring full compliance with voter registration laws at public assistance or DMV offices in any number of states that have been sued? Why is it that military voter registration offices get short thrift under the watch of the Obama Administration?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Is Obama’s Cybersecurity Executive Order Imminent?

Flush with electoral capital, President Barack Obama is spending it like mad in pursuit of his radical power consolidating agenda. Over the past few days we have chronicled the fast-tracking of a UN gun control treaty, the prosecution of another alleged espionage case, another deadly drone attack, approval of a planned UN invasion of Mali, etc.

The latest stop of the Barack Obama Worldwide Tour of Tyranny may be the issuing of a long-awaited and regularly leaked executive order exerting control over the Internet in the name of cybersecurity…

Despite the uncertainty of the timetable, what is certain is that once President Obama signs his name to that edict and assuming compliance with its mandates changes from voluntary to involuntary, he will possess powers only dreamed about by the most ambitious dictators of history.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Johnson, Schuette Sue to Count Late Military Ballots

LANSING, Mich. — “Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced they are filing suit against 24 communities to require local clerks to extend the counting deadline for ballots that were not sent by the deadline set by Michigan election law so the voices of military and overseas voters are heard.

“The men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms must be able to participate in our democracy,” Johnson said. “While the vast majority of local clerks met the deadline, we must ensure that all military and overseas voters’ voices are heard in the Nov. 6 election.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Not With a Bang But a Whimper

“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd President of the United States

First things first: Mitt Romney did not lose the election, it was stolen from him. All the the finger pointing and “blame game” rhetoric aside, Obama’s win was in no small part accomplished through massive election fraud. Common sense suggests it, history supports it, and pre-election numbers confirm it.

The corrupt propaganda outlets, otherwise known as the “news media,” started their spin stories immediately — blaming Romney’s loss on Karl Rove, the Tea Party, Romney’s liberalism, Romney’s conservatism, Hurricane Sandy, bad karma and fell stars. All of which serve as smoke and mirrors to obfuscate the elephant in the room — massive election fraud.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Welfare Vote Buying Hits $1 Trillion Before Re-Election

Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. government is distributing a record amount of public assistance and new report reveals that it’s much worse than previously imagined because the Obama administration is spending more than the median national income to provide each impoverished household with welfare, a public-interest watchdog group reported on Halloween, the day of trick-or-treat.

According to a disturbing report released by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), a group with a staff of about 900 lawyers, economists and scientists who conduct research and analysis for the United States Congress.

The report reveals that in 2011 the U.S. government spent $1 trillion for welfare benefits, including $746 billion in federal funds and $254 in matching state funds.

The incredible amount of taxpayer money doesn’t include Medicare and Social Security, which are paid for by recipients throughout the working years, but only handouts like food stamps, cash welfare, Section 8 housing, and medical insurance known as Medicaid, the report indicates.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Police Say Jogger Groped in NYC’s Central Park

NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a woman jogging in New York City’s Central Park was confronted by a group of teenagers who asked her for a kiss, and 1 of them groped her when she rebuffed them.

Police were seeking the accused groper Saturday. He’s believed to be about 14.

Police say the 24-year-old woman was running near the northern edge of the park around 8:30 p.m. Friday when five teens approached her seeking a kiss. Officers say one teen then touched her groin and ran off.

           — Hat tip: Van Grungy[Return to headlines]

President Obama Received 106,258 Votes — Only 98,213 Eligible Voters. It’s Not Humanly Possible to Get 108% of the Vote

That is exactly why GOP electors in PA, OH, WI, VA and Florida must file a formal request to their Secretary of State challenging the outcome. Millions of Americans have become very aware and knowledgeable about vote fraud and obviously have done some fact checking since Tuesday. I keep saying it, but in the hurry to declare a winner, races are called in less than an hour; the presidential race averages about 4 hours. Hawaii is like 7 hours behind DC.

Oh, that’s right, “Based on our predictions and exit polls…” The best number I can come up with from visiting a half dozen sites, the number of precincts in this country ranges from 30,000 to perhaps a little higher. You tell me ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and all the rest have exit polls for even half that number. They don’t.

GOP electors have legal standing to challenge the vote.

1 — A hand recount of the ballots is absolutely critical. That means provisional ballots, absentee ballots AND military ballots even if they came in after Nov. 6th because we know the big problem there. Those machines have been proven inaccurate and way too many verifiable reports are already on the books from Tuesday about machines going down, only to be brought up later with a candidate winning before the machines went down and then losing. I’ve seen it over and over for nearly two decades.

We know certain models of those machines can be accessed remotely and it only takes two minutes to switch out a chip. For those who haven’t seen this nine minute video — here is a computer programmer testifying under oath how he was ordered to write a program to rig an election. He testified that the program he wrote would be invisible: [video]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Senator: Defense Department Not Complying With Election Law

It’s bad enough that the administration has repeatedly cut defense spending in the midst of fighting a war but it now appears it is also shirking its duty to make sure those serving in that war are able to vote and have their vote counted. At the end of last week, Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta reminding the Pentagon chief that the department has a positive obligation under a 2009 law (Military Overseas Voter Empowerment Act) to collect and, if need be, express mail absentee ballots from the men and women serving overseas in time for those ballots to be counted prior to Election Day. But, according to the senator, “Recent communication from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, as well as an internal review by the military postal system, indicates that DoD is not complying with the law.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Teen Gropes Woman, 24, in Central Park

Police sketch of suspect in Central Park grope of 24-year-old woman. The suspect is described as a black male between 12 and 14, who is about 5-foot-5 and has large front teeth. He was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt and backpack at the time of the assault.

           — Hat tip: Van Grungy[Return to headlines]

The Convenient Resignation of General Petraeus

By Robert Spencer

Apparently overcome with guilt over an extramarital affair, General David Petraeus abruptly resigned as director of the CIA Thursday. A suddenly socially conservative Barack Obama accepted his resignation Friday, as Petraeus explained in a statement made public Friday afternoon (the time when all stories that the administration wants to bury are released). But Petraeus’s statement simply didn’t hold water — not only because it assumed an Obama as strait-laced as Pat Robertson, but also because it comes just after the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked him to testify in its investigation of the Benghazi jihad attack and subsequent Obama administration cover-up.

“Yesterday afternoon,” Petraeus wrote, “I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA. After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.”

Parson Obama, that well-known moral crusader who praised Ted Kennedy as an “extraordinary leader” and Barney Frank as “a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice,” may indeed have been so indignant over Petraeus’s affair that he accepted his resignation with alacrity. On the other hand, maybe his willingness to see the last of Petraeus had something to do with the statement that the CIA issued onOctober 26: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

This came after Fox News had reported that same day that “sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. consulate and subsequent attack several hours later on the annex itself was denied by the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators twice to ‘stand down’ rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.”

But if it wasn’t Petraeus who ordered that no help be given to Ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff when jihadists attacked the embassy, the order would have had to come from someone who outranked even the director of the agency. Thus Petraeus’s denial that the order had come from him pointed the finger directly at Barack Obama. And while the mainstream media buried that fact before the election, probably the House Foreign Affairs Committee would have asked Petraeus just who did give the order.

For surely it was just a coincidence that Petraeus resigned on Thursday, the very same day that Fox News reported that the Foreign Affairs Committee was planning to call him to testify at their Benghazi hearings, along with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Surely that had nothing to do with Petraeus’s decision to submit his resignation. This couldn’t have had anything to do with his quitting…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

What Went Wrong I

The GOP neglected its base and frantically tried to show that they were more responsible Democrats, but with a deep love of free enterprise. The Democrats focused on turning out every single rotten member of their 2008 coalition and getting them to the polls.

The GOP chased the voters it didn’t have. The Democrats chased the voters they did have and made sure as many of them as possible showed up to vote.

The GOP softened its message. The Democrats hardened theirs. The GOP tried to be moderate. The Democrats tried to be extremist.

Guess which plan worked?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Why Did CIA Director Petraeus Suddenly Resign … And Why Was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya Murdered?

While the GOP is attacking (and Dems defending) the Obama administration in connection with the murder of the U.S. ambassador to Libya, there is a deeper story.

Sure, it is stunning that the State Department never requested backup or that people such as Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer allege that President Obama personally watched in real time the attacks as they occurred via video feeds from drones flying over the Benghazi consulate.

But these claims only can be assessed — and the whole confusing mess only makes sense — if the deeper underlying story is first exposed: Many Syrian Terrorists Come from Libya

The U.S. supported opposition which overthrew Libya’s Gadaffi was largely comprised of Al Qaeda terrorists.

According to a 2007 report by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center’s center, the Libyan city of Benghazi was one of Al Qaeda’s main headquarters — and bases for sending Al Qaeda fighters into Iraq — prior to the overthrow of Gaddafi:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Jury Convicts Toronto Man Who Slashed Throat, Stabbed Wife

A Toronto man who stabbed his wife and slashed her throat four years ago was found guilty of second-degree murder on Sunday.

Peer Khairi, 65, sobbed quietly with his head down when the verdict was read in court, days after the jury first began its deliberations last Thursday.

His wife, Randjida Khairi, died in March 2008. She was 53 years old.

Assistant Crown Attorney Robert Kenny said the jury heard four weeks of evidence during the trial, including three days of testimony from Khairi himself.

“We’re very happy with all the hard work that the jury went through and with the way the evidence came out,” he told reporters outside court on Sunday.

Kenny credited the investigative work that police did in bringing the case to court.

“They were the ones who actually got the accused to speak the night of the murder and actually got a lot of the details of what had happened…which is what allowed us to take circumstantial evidence and to be able to tell the jury our theory of what had happened,” he said.

“And I think by their verdict, they accepted that.”

Toronto police Det. Sgt. Michael Barsky, who attended the scene on the day of the killing, said he was pleased with the verdict.

“Obviously things went very, very badly in that household for this to happen in the first place and those frustrations must have come to a head on March 18, 2008,” Barsky told reporters.

“But I think Mr. Khairi was aware of what he was doing and why he was doing it and as a result we have this verdict today.”

Sentencing to come

Following the verdict, defence lawyer Christopher Hicks was asked how Khairi reacted to the verdict.

Hicks told CBC News that Khairi is “not happy” and that it was evident that he had reacted “physically and emotionally to the decision.”

During the trial, Khairi had claimed that he killed his wife in self-defence, alleging that she had tried to attack him with a knife.

The Crown argued that Khairi was angry with his wife and children for adopting more Western values after coming to Canada from Afghanistan.

Khairi had not revealed his claim that he was attacked prior to the trial, including when questioned by police.

In court, Khairi said that he had been waiting for his trial to tell the full story.

Barsky said that the jury’s verdict is a point where the Khairi family can begin to “turn the page” on a difficult chapter of their lives.

But he said that the Khairi children will still move forward without their parents in their lives.

“This is a difficult time for a family. They’ve lost both parents, essentially in one act,” he said Sunday.

           — Hat tip: RP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Breivik Complains “Violation of My Human Rights”

(AGI) — Copenhagen, Nov. 8 — Anders Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in Oslo and Utoya, has written a letter to the Norwegian prison authorities in which he protests against the way he is treated in jail, calling his treatment a violation of human rights. The news of the letter, which was written several weeks ago, was published by newspaper Vg, which quotes Breivik’s lawyer Tord Jordet. Breivik complains that the fact that he is kept in complete isolation violates Norwegian law, the European Convention of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention against Torture. In reality the 33-year-old Norwegian extremist is not held in complete isolation, but he has been the only inmate in the high-security section of the prison in Ila, west of Oslo, for the past 15 months. The only contact he has with other people is when he sees his guards for a few minutes per day. He is also alone when he is allowed to go out into a patio for an hour per day.

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

Brussels Bans ‘Offensive’ Christmas Tree for Muslims

Government officials in Brussels, Belgium banned Wednesday a popular Christmas tree exhibit out of concerns that the local Muslim population found it “offensive.”

An “electronic winter tree,” will take the place of the traditional Christmas Tree and Nativity scene at the city center of Grand Place, reports Brussels News.

The electronic sculpture will stand 25 meters (82 feet) tall and consists of a set of television screens, reports Brussels Expat. “During the daytime you can climb to the top of the tree where you will be able to enjoy a panoramic view of the city,” the website explains. “As soon as it becomes dark the tree turns into a spectacle of light and sound. Every ten minutes an amazing show will unfold.”

City councilwoman Bianca Debaets believes a “misplaced argument” over religious sensitivities has moved Brussels to put up the light sculpture. She points to the fact that it display not be referred to “Christmas” in any way to make her point.

“I suspect that the reference to the Christian religion was the decisive factor” in replacing the tree, she told reporters. “For a lot of people who are not Christians, the tree there is offensive to them.”

Many cities in Belgium have thriving Muslim populations. A 2008 study showed Muslims make up 25.5-percent of the population of Brussels, 3.9-percent of Flanders, and 4.0-percent of Wallonia.

Two Muslims elected to the Brussels city council last month have vowed to turn Belgium into a Muslim state based on Sharia law, as previously reported.

“Must a historic city like Brussels be sensitive to traditions? And should be a multi-religious city like Brussels not leave room for the individuality of every philosophy?,” Debaets asks.

Other city officials insists the move was not made to placate Muslims or other groups. Nicolas Dassonville, spokesman for Mayor Thielemans (PS), said the Nativity scene will remain at Grand Place

The tree’s sponsor, electricity generator Electrabel, made the move to put up the electronic sculpture this year, Dassonville said.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Exhibition Brings Black Germans’ Stories to Light

An exhibit gives voice to the histories of Africans, African-Americans and Afro-Germans from the past 300 years of German history. It presents a differentiated perspective on the lives and histories of blacks in Germany.

Asked what comes to mind when they think about Germany, many foreigners conjure up stereotypical images of Oktoberfest, the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall.

But these images of Teutonic culture and society do little to reflect the diversity of the contemporary, multiethnic Federal Republic of Germany where one fifth of the population has an ethnic minority background, according to an exhibition that opened Saturday (3.11.2012) at Cologne’s Alte Feuerwache.

Jonas Behre, director at the Initiative for Black People in Germany (ISD), helped organize the exhibit titled “Homestory Deutschland: Black Biographies from History and the Present” and which provides a collective self-portrait, giving voice to the complex and varied histories of Africans, African-Americans and Afro-Germans from the past three centuries of German history.

“Even though black people have lived in Germany for hundreds of years, it is not viewed as a reality of everyday life,” said Behre, who was born in Eritrea but has lived for virtually all of his life in Germany. “And that can be seen in the discrimination and exclusion in daily life, and that’s what we hope to tackle with this exhibition.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Fungal Disease Threatens Europe’s Ash Trees

A dangerous fungal disease is spreading across the continent, affecting ash trees. But there is hope that the species won’t disappear altogether, says Danish biologist Ditte Olrik.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italian Radical Party Organizes Marijuana Sit-In

MP shows her cannabis harvest in front of parliament

(ANSA) — Rome, November 9 — Radical Party members staged a protest in front of Rome’s parliament building Montecitorio on Friday asking for marijuana cultivation for medicinal purposes to be decriminalized in Italy.

Radical Party MP Rita Bernardini carried marijuana plants and handed out “samples” that she had cultivated on her Rome terrace, posting daily pictures on her Facebook page.

“I received a lot of advice like the correct sun exposure, the type of fertilizer used for flowering…and the result is great,” Bernardini said.

The event, dubbed ‘Cannabis: Italy calling the US’ was organized after some American states announced the legalization this week of marijuana for therapeutic and recreational purposes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: A2A Profit Gains 48% in First 9 Months, Plans to Slash Debt

Company stock surges 4% after financial results are released

(ANSA) — Milan, November 8 — A2A, Italy’s biggest municipal utility by market value, said on Thursday that profit in the first nine months of the year gained 48% to 169 million euros.

Ebitda, or earnings before interest taxation depreciation or amortization, gained 20% to 776 million euros, as sales gained to 4.9 billion euros. Net consolidated debt rose to 4.58 billion euros, whilst it fell to 3.5 billion euros excluding the deconsolidation Edipower.

The company’s board approved A2A’s new business plan, which aims to cut debt to 1.4 billion euros by 2015.

The company’s stock gained 4% to 0.39 euros after the results were released.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Generali Profits 37.3% Up

In line with market expectations

(ANSA) — Milan, November 9 — Italian insurance giant Generali on Friday reported profits of 1.1 billion euros in the first nine months of the year, 37.3% up on the same period in 2011 and in line with market expectations.

Generali chief Mario Greco said he was confident the group would “reach an operating result of over four billion at the end of the year”.

This year’s devastating quake in the Emilia Romagna region had a 156-million-euro impact on results.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Witnesses Deny Sums Received Were Sex Payments

Three women confirm receiving funds, but not for prostitution

(ANSA) — Milan, November 9 — Three young women testifying in a Milan court Friday admitted to receiving sums regularly from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, but denied they were related to prostitution activities. Prosecutors say Berlusconi allegedly had sex with 33 prostitutes at his Arcore villa in northern Italy over the course of several months. One of the alleged prostitutes at the centre of the sex procurement scandal is Karima ‘Ruby’ El Mahroug, a Moroccan-born belly dancer who was underage at the time. Ioana Visan, who reportedly took part in the evenings at Berlusconi’s Arcore villa, said she received about 2,000 euros a month from the businessman-turned-politician. Similar information was provided by Aris Espinoza who says Berlusconi sent her monthly bank transfers of about 2,500 euros.

Espinoza was answering questions by Judge Annamaria Gatto.

Visan told prosecutor Antonio Sangermano that whilst Berlusconi provided guests with cash at the parties, these were not “payments for sexual acts”. During the proceedings Elisa Toti, a presenter on Berlusconi’s private television network Mediaset, told the court that she received 2,500 euros a month from the ex-premier starting January 2011. “Berlusconi also helped me by lending me a deposit on a house and he is also helping me to pay my mortgage,” she said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Polish Police Repel Ultranationalists

Warsaw has seen police fire rubber bullets and tear gas at right-wingers as Poland marked its independence day. Several policemen were injured.

Polish authorities say two police officers were injured Sunday and several extremists detained for throwing stones and metal objects. The right-wingers disturbed one of the many marches which took place in Warsaw to mark 94 years since Poland regained sovereignty at the close of WWI after over 120 years of foreign rule.

“Today public life is poisoned by excessive rows,” Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski had said at the beginning of the day. “We should be critical, but criticism should not mean mutual destruction.”

Thousands walked peacefully in a march led by Komorowski.

As demonstrators gathered for the right-wing rally, however, young men with their faces covered by scarves chanted nationalist and anti-Jewish slogans. Police used truncheons to break up a crowd of extremists pelting them with firecrackers and concrete.

Thousands of police were deployed to hold the right-wing extremists back.

It was the second year that the celebrations have degenerated into violence, underlining the deep gulf between those who want a conservative, religious society that rejects foreign influenc

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: ‘Millennium’ Books Keep Making Millions

Revenues stemming from Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy of crime novels continue to pour in, bringing in nearly 100 million kronor ($14.8 million) in the last year.

Moggliden, the company set up to receive income related to the sale of books by the late Swedish crime writer, has reported revenues of 91 million kronor for the last fiscal year, the Expressen newspaper reported.

The continued success of the Millennium books, which sold tens of millions of copies and spawned Hollywood and Swedish-produced films, has generated a total of 288 million kronor in profits in the last three years, including 82.4 million in the last fiscal year.

While revenues for the last year remained strong, they decreased substantially compared to the 135.5 million kronor generated the previous year.

“Sales of the books has peaked and have levelled off somewhat,” Stieg Larsson’s brother Joakim told the paper, adding that the books were first published seven years ago.

“There will also be income, but not at the same levels. They will likely be at a much lower level in the future.”

The late author’s brother and father, who together manage Moggliden and the Stieg Larsson estate, have decided to take 10 million kronor in dividends from the company to support causes championed by the late author.

“Eight million of it will go to the Steig Larsson foundation and the remaining two million to the magazine Expo’s foundation,” Joakim told Expressen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Teenage Boy Reports Group Rape

A 17-year-old boy has reported that he was raped by several men near a churchyard in central Växjö in southern Sweden on Friday night, according to a report in the local Smålandsposten daily.

The teenager has been examined by a doctor and was interviewed on Saturday by police. No one has yet been arrested on suspicion of the offence.

According to the teenager’s report, some 5-6 men were present at the time of the alleged rape.

The 17-year-old was on his way home from a party in the Söder area of Växjö and was heading towards the town centre when he the men attacked him.

Police on Saturday conducted a forensic inspection of the suspected crime scene.

A wide area around the Tegnér churchyard in central Växjö and the railway tracks remained cordoned off on Sunday in case further investigation and forensic inspection were to be required.

Aside from the rape, the teenager is reported to not have suffered any further violence.

Several people have been interviewed by police as potential witnesses, but reports indicate that they hadn’t seen anything.

Växjö police have appealed for any further witnesses to the alleged crime to come forward.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Crime Isn’t Falling, It’s Just That More and More Evil Acts Are No Longer Crimes at All

Has anything been happening while much of our media have been obsessed with a foreign contest between two mediocrities for a post that isn’t as important as it looks?

Well, how about this blood-freezing statistic? More than 50 rapists have been let off with cautions, without ever facing a trial.

No doubt you thought that cautions were the sort of thing they gave to teenagers found drunk and flat on their faces in the street. But rape? Isn’t that important?

I plan to put a much fuller version of this scandal on my blog in the next few days, drawn from the jaw-dropping report by the Magistrates’ Association which should by now have been on every newspaper front page in the country.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Millions May Face Blank TV Screens Caused by New 4G Mobile Phone Masts

Millions of television screens could be blacked out by the new 4G mobile phone technology, it was feared today.

Ofcom believes up to 2.3 million homes could be affected with almost 40,000 likely to lose their Freeview TV signal altogether.

Now leading Tory MP John Whittingdale has demanded trials to check the risks of blank screens before next year’s nationwide launch of the superfast mobile broadband.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Pensioner, 73, Stabbed to Death After ‘Disturbing Intruder During Burglary’

The pensioner murdered in his own home during a suspected violent burglary was stabbed to death, a post mortem has revealed.

Police named the victim, who was found badly beaten, as Joseph Lewis Griffiths, 73.

The married father-of-two is thought to have disturbed an intruder before he was attacked.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: The First Fifty Shades Divorce: High-Flyer Splits From Husband Who Refused to Spice Up Their Love Life With That Book

A high-powered City businesswoman is divorcing her husband after he refused to play along with the erotic themes in the raunchy blockbuster, Fifty Shades Of Grey.

The wife, a 41-year-old banker who earns more than £400,000 a year, bought the bestseller almost as soon as it was published last year, and decided to use it to pep up the couple’s staid sex life.

But when her husband failed to respond to the novel’s themes, which include bondage and S&M, she petitioned for divorce.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bahrain: Manama Revokes Citizenship of 31 Activists and Opponents

They are charged with being a “threat to State security”. Four people suspected of involvement in November 5 attacks, in which two people died, arrested. The Sunni monarchy blames Hezbollah and Tehran of fomenting the uprising.

Manama (AsiaNews/agencies)-The Bahrain Government has revoked the citizenship 31 activists, charged with “threatening State security”. The move was confirmed today by the Ministry of the Interior, in conjunction with the news of the arrest of four people suspected of links in various ways with bomb attacks November 5 in the capital Manama, where two Asian immigrants died. Among the personalities whose citizenship has been revoked are prominent figures of domestic opposition, such as Saaed Shehabi, Member of the Bahrain Freedom Movement (Bfm), the former lawmaker Jalal Fairooz and Hasan Mushaima, head of the Haq movement, among the most important in combating internal leadership.

The Government decided to revoke their right to citizenship, for an alleged violation of article 10 of the Citizenship Act, which authorizes this measure in the case of individual “damage” or “threats to the security of the State”. Meanwhile the news has spread in Bahrain of the arrest of four terrorist suspects, implicated in five bomb attacks that have hit the capital two days ago, killing two foreign workers. The local security chief has pointed the finger at the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, held responsible for the violence.

The Interior Ministry has made serious accusations against Iran: Tehran State TV would in fact be supporting internal uprisings in Bahrain, while the local militants are using “tactics” outlined by the Iranian Supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Iranian Government rejects these allegations, denying any involvement in the uprising in Bahrain promoted by Shiite faction, the majority in terms of population, but virtually devoid of political and economic power.

The same Lebanese movement Hezbollah denies promoting its interests or activities in Bahrain and, at the same time, spares no criticism of the Sunni monarchy, which holds the reigns of command, for the way it’s managing the crisis. Instead, its ties with the United States and Saudi Arabia remain solid, among the most important allies of the ruling Sunni monarchy in Bahrain, both commercially and militarily.

Since February 2011 Bahrain has been rocked by demonstrations and protests calling for political reforms and greater space for the population of Shi’a confession. The Sunni Government of Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa—whose Royal family has held power since 1971- has responded with repression, helped also by Saudi military. So far at least 3 thousand people have been arrested and five have died from torture during captivity. There have been 80 victims in clashes since April 2012 without counting the detention or charges against human rights activists.

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

Britain Prepares Squads to Assassinate Assad in Syria

Saudi and Qatari funded Free Syria Army and al-Qaeda terrorists are being trained to assassinate Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and his military leaders, the Daily Star reports today.

The newspaper reports British SAS, SBS and troops from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment are inside Syria “helping show insurgents how to use new weapons and explosives” and “train rebel assassination squads to target President Assad and his warlords.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Iranian Parliament Looks Into Suspected Torture Death

Iran’s parliament says it has launched a probe into a blogger’s death. The country keeps hundreds of opposition figures in custody, among them politicians, journalists and lawyers.

Activists say Iranian authorities tortured Sattar Beheshti to death for criticizing the regime. Opposition groups say that his family was asked on November 7 to collect his body from the Kahrizak detention centre in Tehran, where he had been held since being arrested at the end of October after criticizing the government.

“The national security commission is aware of this case and has begun an investigation,” Deputy Parliament Speaker Mohammad Hassan Abutorabi said. “I have asked the head of the commission, Aladin Borujerdi, to inform parliamentarians and the public once the investigation is completed,” he added.

In the last blog he wrote before he was arrested, Beheshti said he was being constantly harassed by security services.

“Yesterday they threatened to tell my mother that she would soon be wearing black if I did not shut up,” he wrote in one post.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘My SAS Hero Has Been Betrayed’: Wife’s Torment After Special Forces Husband is Jailed for ‘Illegally Possessing’ Pistol Given to Him by Iraqis for Outstanding Service

The wife of an SAS soldier has accused Army chiefs of ‘betrayal’ after he was jailed for illegally possessing a pistol given to him for his work in Iraq.

Sally Nightingale spoke out as her husband Danny, a special forces sniper, began an 18-month sentence in military detention.

He was presented with the ‘war trophy’ 9mm Glock by the Iraq Army for his outstanding service after training a secret counter-terrorism force called The Apostles…

The weapon was packed and put in a container that was sent to the SAS HQ in Hereford and then onto his his home where it remained unopened until 2010, according to the Telegraph.

A year earlier Sgt Nightingale collapsed into a three-day coma while taking part in 200-mile charity trek in Brazil.

He suffered a serious brain injury which left him with severe memory loss, according to two expert witnesses.

The judge accepted he had suffered severe memory loss, but did not believe he could not remember having the pistol.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

White South Africans Move to Townships

Being white in South Africa was once associated with prosperity and living in an upmarket neighborhood. Such stereotypes are now becoming less and less true as poverty-stricken whites move into the townships.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Mexican Drug Cartel Assassins Bought Guns From U.S. Border Patrol

A Mexican assassin who turned protected government witness against an accountant for the Sinaloa cartel has revealed in testimony that the cartel purchased weapons from the U.S. border patrol, according to Revista Contralinea (see translation from Spanish here).

Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla, known as the Sinaloa Cartel’s “logistics coordinator” and who faces drug charges in the United States, claims the Fast & Furious operation was not not about tracking guns, but supplying the Sinaloa Cartel with weapons to eliminate rivals.

Business Insider reported in October that emails leaked from Stratfor cited a Mexican diplomat as stating the U.S. government works hand-in-hand with the Sinaloa cartel. Stratfor’s intelligence corroborates a claim by a Sinaloa insider that cartel boss Joaquin Guzman works for the U.S. government and that the cartel was “given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Eurispes Reports Italy Governed by Male Gerontocracy

(AGI) Rome, Nov. 8 — A Eurispes report, compiled in association with Who’s Who in Italy, paints a picture of an overwhelmingly male gerontocracy, which leaves little room for women, young people and the reconciliation of professional and private life.

The survey analysed the data on 5,560 powerful and famous individuals, identified as the people who “count” in Italy.

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

Sweden: Teachers Need to Learn to Tackle Racism: Report

Swedish schoolteachers should be trained on how to handle racism in the classroom, according to a new report into xenophobia presented to the government on Friday.

The report, entitled “Främlingsfienden inom oss” (literally: The xenophobe within us), calls for some 650 million kronor ($95 million) to be spent on teacher training within human rights issues over the next five years.

“When a pupil wants to challenge and say something racist the teachers often don’t know how to handle the situation,” the report’s author, former Liberal Party leader Bengt Westerberg, said to the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

The report concludes that the greatest threat to vulnerable groups in Sweden comes not from extreme right groups but from everyday intolerance and racism.

While it was recognized that extensive work was being undertaken to tackle the problems of xenophobia within public authorities, councils and voluntary groups, the report highlighted a number of problems.

“The initiatives are often diffuse and lack an overview. There is also a lack of counter-measures against xenophobia on the internet.”

The Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) and the Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsman) would be respectively tasked with monitoring and analysing the development of racism and how the work to tackle it is progressing.

The report and recommendations were handed over by Bengt Westerberg to integration minister Erik Ullenhag on Friday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Dead of Two World Wars Remembered Around Globe

Remembrance ceremonies for allied dead of the two world wars have been held in locations including France, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and New Zealand. November 11 marks the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.

In a novelty for remembrance of Britain’s war dead, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny laid at wreath at Enniskillen in Northern Ireland on Sunday.

Kenny’s gesture, which remains controversial in Ireland because of British troop abuses, came on the 25th anniversary of a 1987 bombing by the outlawed Irish Republican Army that killed 12 people in the town.

In a further sign of reconciliation, Deputy Premier Eamon Gilmore became the first Irish minister to attend a Remembrance Day service in Belfast.

Tens of thousands of Irish fought for Britain against German-led axes in both world wars, but independence-seeking Irish remained aloof.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘Designed to Fail’ Electronics a Global Problem

Many companies deliberately shorten product lifespans to ensure consumers continue spending. ‘Built-in’ or ‘planned obsolescence’ may be a savvy business strategy, but it hurts consumers and people in poorer countries.

Has your printer or coffee machine died shortly after the warranty period expired? Have you ever tried changing the constantly-tired battery of your smart phone? Or was a replacement for your Notebook supposedly more expensive than the current, new model?

If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, you know what ‘planned obsolescence’ is: the process of becoming obsolete; that is, outdated or no longer usable.

It makes good business sense for companies to create a product with a limited life span. For the manufacturer, it means the production process is cheaper and ensures that in future the consumer will need to purchase new products and services that the manufacturer offers as replacements for the old ones.

But the business practice has devastating consequences. Customers are constantly forced to toss out defunct gadgets and parts, and buy new ones. The environment suffers from an increased use of resources, and the throw-away mentality means more toxic electronic waste from industrialized countries piling up in the landfills of developing ones.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]