Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121116

Financial Crisis
»French Officials Lash Out at the Economist
»French Fury at Economist’s ‘Time-Bomb’ Warning
»Greece: Monemvasia Leads Drop in Hotel Rates
»Rich From Mideast Revive Turkish Banks
»Not The Little Mosque on the Prairie
»Capital Mosque Receives FBI Leadership Award
»Community Visits New Madison Mosque During Open House
»Four Dead as Train Slams Into Parade for Wounded Veterans
»From Jihad to Hasbara
»High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown
»‘Jihad’ Ads on CTA Buses Spark Outrage
»Media Panic to Control Exposure of Agenda 21 Takeover
»Now it Gets Ugly — Riots, Marxism, Mass Demonstrations
»School Districts Deny Petitions to Close School on Muslim Holidays
»Three High School Boys From Queens: Adis Medunjanin, Najibullah Zazi, Zarein Ahmedzay
»Useful Liberal Idiots and Vote Fraud
»Video: Nancy Pelosi, Constitutional Scholar
»Customer Sues Muslim Barber for Refusing to Cut Her Hair
Europe and the EU
»“Islam Needs a Fair Chance in Germany”
»Alleged Polygamy Sparks Swiss Mosque Ruckus
»Berlusconi Calls Results of This Government Disastrous
»Brahe Myths Are Disproved, But Secret Remains Buried
»Bulgarian Arrested After Trying to Abduct 3-Year-Old
»Italy: Five Arrested for Bankrupting Firms to Buy Blood Diamonds
»Italy: Four Arrests as Italian Neo-Nazi Web Site Shut Down
»Pompeii Collapses ‘Exaggerated’ By Media, Site Chief Says
»The Explicit Racism of a British Journalist
»The Swedish Sex Law That Shook the World
»UK: Anger at ‘Politically Correct’ Sex Gangs Report
»UK: BBC Apologises After Chief Rabbi Blames Iran for Gaza Conflict
»UK: BBC Crisis Reveals the New Face of the Establishment
»UK: Blackburn School Will Close if Islamic Primary Takes All Pupils
»UK: Fury at TV Chef Clarissa Dickson Wright’s Comments About Muslims in Leicester
»UK: Grooming: An Open Letter to Nick Lowles
»UK: Hundreds Descend on Kensington to Protest Over Violence in Middle East
»UK: Keighley MP Kris Hopkins Comes Under Fire for Sex Abuse Comments
»UK: Kris Hopkins: Muslim Gangs Are Raping White Girls
»UK: Michael Mates Under Investigation for Alleged Racist Remark
»UK: Our Government Must Not Give Cover for Murder …
»UK: Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Israel Protests in London
»UK: SAS Gun Sentence ‘A Miscarriage of Justice’
»UK: SAS Veterans Ask PM to Intervene Over “Monstrous” Jailing of War Hero
»UK: Turn Kensington Into a War Zone
North Africa
»Tunisia: Local Held Over U.S. Embassy Attack Dies in Hunger Strike
Israel and the Palestinians
»BBC News Runs Fake Palestinian Casualty Spin Footage
»Egypt’s Premier Visits Gaza; Israel Masses Forces
»Egypt PM Hisham Qandil Decries Gaza ‘Disaster’
»Gaza Conflict: Israel Mobilises Troops as Rockets Hit Tel Aviv
»Hamas Fires First Rockets at Jerusalem
»Hamas Armed Wing Fires Long-Range Rocket at Israeli Parliament
»Israel Poised on the Brink of War in Gaza: “Pray for All of US”
»Israel Launches Fresh Air Strikes on Gaza
»Israel’s First Duty Must be to Defend Its Citizens
»Merkel Asks Egypt to Help Moderate Hamas
»Morsi Warns Israel Will Pay Heavy Price
»Pallywood on BBC News
»Pallywood, And the Stench of an Ancient Score Being Settled
»Sayyed Nasrallah: Fajr-5 a Huge Achievement in Resistance Against ‘Israel’
»The Commonsensical Israeli View
Middle East
»Iran Set to Sharply Increase Nuclear Activities, UN Says
»London Conference Showcases New Syrian Opposition
»Qatar Fund Backs Swiss Mega-Mining Merger
»Resentment Strains German-Russian Relations
»Russian Camps: ‘Losing Freedom is a Lesser Evil’
»Siemens Secures Lucrative Deal With Russian Railways
South Asia
»India Textbook Says Meat-Eaters Lie and Commit Sex Crimes
»Lord Ashdown: Get Out of Afghanistan Quickly
Far East
»China’s Great Shame
»Okinawans Struggle With US Military Presence
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Ethiopia: Govt Increasingly Intolerant of Islam Risks Radicalizing Muslims
»Nigeria: Boko Haram — U.S. Raises Concern Over Extra-Judicial Killings
»Uganda: Shia Muslims Construct 11 Mosques This Year
Culture Wars
»Greece: Gay Jesus Play Faces Blasphemy Charges
»UPS Delivers Blow to Boy Scouts: Ends Donations Under New Pro-Gay Philanthropy Policy
»Farthest Known Galaxy in the Universe Discovered
»Jews — Still Running the World, Implies the Guardian
»UN to Seek Internet Kill Switch Next Month, Documents Show

Financial Crisis

French Officials Lash Out at the Economist

French officials are pouring scorn on a report by The Economist magazine that sharply criticizes France for failing to take the action needed to restore its economy. The British magazine is calling France “the time-bomb at the heart of Europe” in its 14-page “special report”, published on Friday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

French Fury at Economist’s ‘Time-Bomb’ Warning

France’s industry minister (pictured, right) has slammed British weekly The Economist after it published a cover story describing the French economy as the biggest danger to Europe’s single currency.

France’s minister of industry slammed famed British weekly The Economist after it ran a 14-page special report calling the country’s economy a ticking time bomb and the biggest threat to the euro currency’s stability.

The Economist has published “caricatures that are worthy of Charlie Hebdo,” minister Arnaud Montebourg told Europe 1 radio on Friday, referring to a French satirical magazine notorious for publishing a cartoon of a nude Prophet Mohammed in September.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Monemvasia Leads Drop in Hotel Rates

-19% compared with last year

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, NOVEMBER 15 — The medieval town of Monemvasia in the Peloponnese is leading Greek destinations in terms of decling online hotel rates, according to travel website, which surveys accommodation costs for its visitors.

Monemvasia hotel rates have dropped 19% on average compared to the same month last year, with the mean rate for a twin room at 57 euros per night, against a nationwide average of 79 euros.

The average decline year-on-year in hotel rates this month has come to 7%, with hotels in Athens hotels dropping prices by 7.3%, in Thessaloniki by 11.1% and in the city of Rhodes by 7% as daily Kathimerini reports

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Rich From Mideast Revive Turkish Banks

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL, NOVEMBER 15 — Some USD 770 million flowed into Turkey’s private banking sector in the last year alone, said Saltik Galatali, the private banking head of Turkish lender Akbank, as daily Hurriyet reports. The money came largely from Middle Eastern and developing Far Eastern countries, the very same sources interested in Turkey’s real estate sector, which is increasing thanks to a recently enacted regulation that facilitated foreigners’ access to the local market. Citizens of Middle Eastern countries, particularly Dubai and Qatar, are very willing to acquire property in Turkey, Galatali said in Singapore, where he received the ‘Best Private Bank in Turkey’ award on behalf of Akbank from The Banker, a leading global financial publication. Akbank opened a private banking office at the beginning of the year in Dubai to tap into the potential in the region, he said, adding that Akbank Private Banking aims to reach an asset size of 1 billion Turkish Liras (435 million euros) in the region.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Not The Little Mosque on the Prairie

by Janet Levy

When Islamic advocate Ahmed Bedier traveled to Santa Clara County a few months ago to lend support for a proposed Islamic center, he declared that opposition to the mosque was “Islamophobic” in nature. He disingenuously compared objections against a mosque south of San Jose with the Washington, D.C. exposé of the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration of the U.S. government, led by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Bedier, the former communications director for CAIR — an unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas terrorism financing trial — painted both events as blatant evidence of endemic discrimination against Muslims in America, even though those events were distinctly different.

The work by five brave members of Congress to uncover an inside-influence operation in Washington is miles apart geographically and politically from the genuine environment and land-use concerns of a rural community. Yet those local concerns were swept aside and portrayed as part of broader anti-Muslim attitudes in order to secure approval of the Cordoba Center in San Martin. Accusations of anti-Muslim attitudes or “Islamophobia” are a tool currently being used over and over again across the country as Muslims undertake a nationwide campaign of mosque-building. The mosque in Santa Clara County is yet another example of how elected officials, rushing to portray themselves as open-minded and fair, are actually yielding to Muslim efforts of Islamization of the United States…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Capital Mosque Receives FBI Leadership Award

A Sacramento mosque has won FBI Director Robert Mueller’s community leadership award for its efforts to prevent violence and educate the public. The Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims — considered one of the most progressive mosques in the nation — was nominated by Herb Brown, special agent in charge of the Sacramento FBI office. “SALAM’s established and maintained a dialogue with the FBI and welcomed crime prevention programs such as the FBI Citizens Academy and cyber safety awareness presentations,” Brown said during an award ceremony this week. “SALAM’s openness and commitment to the community as a whole, regardless of faith, makes them a shining example of community leadership.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Community Visits New Madison Mosque During Open House

Since opening over the summer, the Magnolia Islamic Center has fostered religious discourse, education about the Islamic faith and positive relationships between local Muslims and community members. Past concerns and opposition directed at the 11,000-square-foot mosque have gone away. Neighbors, law enforcement and county leaders have established positive relationships with members of the Mississippi Muslim Association. State Rep. Rita Martinson, who initially opposed the plans for the mosque, citing zoning concerns, said those concerns and others dissipated when she visited the mosque for a tour and lunch with MMA…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Four Dead as Train Slams Into Parade for Wounded Veterans

A train crashed into a parade float carrying veterans in the US state of Texas on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others.

The float was carrying veterans and their wives as part of the annual Show of Support parade in the town of Midland, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reported. According to the newspaper, 10 of the injured are in critical condition. Seven are in stable condition. City of Midland spokesman Ryan Stout said the crash happened at a Union Pacific railroad crossing around 4:30 pm local time. National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said the agency is investigating. Union Pacific has not yet made a statement. The parade was supposed to end at a “Hunt for Heroes” banquet. The wounded service members were then going to be treated to a deer-hunting trip this weekend.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

From Jihad to Hasbara

“Who here is Jewish?” Kasim Hafeez asked the audience. Nearly all of the several hundred raised their hands. “Seven years ago,” he added, “I would have wanted to see all of you dead.” The audience knew where this was heading, which didn’t make his words any less startling. Hafeez, 28, a British-born Muslim of Pakistani descent, grew up in Nottingham, England, and quickly added that now, seven years after his youthful fling with violent jihad, he stands firmly with Israel.

He spoke at the annual StandWithUs (SWU) “Israel in Focus” conference, sponsored by Gila and Adam Milstein. SWU, an Israel-advocacy group headquartered in Los Angeles, held the gathering at Santa Monica’s Sheraton Delfina hotel Nov. 9-11, and it included talks about ways to advocate for Israel. Funny, articulate and self-assured, speaking without notes, Hafeez talked about his early years in a Pakistani neighborhood in England. “In my house, there was always mistrust of Jews and Israel,” he said. “The attitude was: ‘Jews are always up to something …’ My father was blatant about it. ‘Hitler was a good man. He didn’t go far enough; he didn’t kill enough Jews.’“


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown

by David Solway

Jamie Glazov’s previous book, Showdown with Evil, was a collection of interviews he’d conducted over the years with resonant figures in the political world and authors of international standing. Glazov has now followed suit with High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown, a collection of symposia, dating from 2008 to 2011, which he hosted and then compiled. These consist in the main of erudite and compelling discussions treating of the major issues of the day: the threat of radical Islam (a blatant pleonasm), Communism and the heritage Left, the waning of American power and influence, and the gradual but accelerating atrophy of the Judeo-Christian faith community which formed the bedrock of Western civilization…

In Symposium 12 (“Radical Son: The Ten Year Anniversary”), for example, Philip Terzian proposes that radical leftism “constitutes a mental, rather than political, syndrome, explained better by psychiatry than philosophy”; and Paul Hollander broaches the “ancient question” of the inexplicable differences in people’s “moral sensibilities, or thresholds of moral indignation.” Glazov introduces Symposium 8 (“The Fear that Wilders Is Right”) by pointing out what should be obvious but is generally suppressed or denied, namely, that “‘moderate Islam’ is nowhere to be found; no school of Islamic jurisprudence exists that counsels Muslims to renounce the Qu’ran’s teaching on Islamic supremacism and the obligation of violent jihad”; and by attempting to explain why such stalwart conservative figures like Glenn Beck and Charles Krauthammer have attacked the noble and embattled Geert Wilders. In Symposium 11 (“The World’s Most Wanted: A ‘Moderate Islam’“), Danish psychologist Nicolai Sennels documents the perverse sexual trends in the Muslim world, the devaluation of women, and the striking frequency of pedophilia, rape, and bestiality, concluding that “no other culture prevents emotional maturity more than the Muslim.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

‘Jihad’ Ads on CTA Buses Spark Outrage

The controversial ads unveiled on the back of 10 CTA buses Wednesday read, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” They conclude with the words, “Support Copts. Defeat Jihad,” referring to friction between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt. Within hours of the buses’ first runs, messages appeared on Facebook and Twitter denouncing the campaign. Many said degrading a spiritual tenet of Islam — one that refers to a Muslim’s personal quest to become a better person — amounts to hate speech.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Media Panic to Control Exposure of Agenda 21 Takeover

Opponents of Agenda 21’s local implementation in the United States have begun mounting a notable resistance. At state capitals and city councils, activists are showing up to educate and lobby their elected representatives about the implications of this United Nations’ plan for sovereignty, property rights and the future development of the country.

It has become such a widespread phenomenon that media outlets everywhere are spinning into damage control in effort to ridicule the anti-Agenda 21 movement, hoping that it will go away before the general population understands the issue.

But their efforts are fruitless. Coverage across the country begrudgingly notes that groups are opposing local “sustainability” initiatives and fighting back against plans to concentrate growth into dense urban centers under emerging “mega-regions.”

Now, a case in Georgia has triggered an all-out media frenzy, after a local group convinced the state’s Senate Majority Leader, Chip Rogers (R — Woodstock), to hold an information session on Agenda 21 attended by several other GOP senators and representatives. Conspicuously negative coverage is being used to pressure these politicians to avoid supposedly fringe elements in their constituency.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Now it Gets Ugly — Riots, Marxism, Mass Demonstrations

During a recent press conference, Obama was unable to answer a correspondent’s question addressing whether he had attempted to render aid to the beleaguered personnel in Benghazi on September 11. His obfuscation would have been taken as the mutterings of a mental defective were it any other individual. Obama’s faux chivalry in his defense of UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who blanketed the media with the fairy tale tying the Benghazi attack and other Middle East uprisings to an anti-Islam video, was rife with petulance, comical challenges, and self-contradiction. One can almost hear the scrambling of feet as White House and intelligence operatives scurry to prepare their CYA briefs.

Now, Americans who made an effort to educate themselves as to the origins, nature, and designs of this President are asking themselves if half of the electorate are really that intellectually compromised, so unaware of the dynamics of the last four years they appear to be. It is painfully obvious at this point that those who don’t have a handle on Barack Obama being a committed Marxist are either dangerously deluded or stupid; there’s no middle ground here.

Obama’s intention has always been to raze America to the ground (in the operative sense), and supplant our system with the Marxist paradigm. This has become exponentially more apparent only days after his re-election, yet, not an eyebrow is raised when he casually addresses the press using rhetoric right out of Marx’s The Communist Manifesto and Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Now he claims to have a mandate to raise taxes to the tune of over $1 trillion to fund a cyclopean government that is already about to collapse in on itself.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

School Districts Deny Petitions to Close School on Muslim Holidays

by Dilshad Ali

Growing up in North Dakota and later in Maryland, any time a Muslim holiday rolled around (Eid ul Fitr or Eid ul Adha), I took off from school to celebrate it. As I got into higher grades, there were times I just took a few hours off to attend Eid prayers and then headed back to school so I wouldn’t miss an important test or assignment. Being in Advanced Placement and honors classes in high school, even missing one day made it tough to catch up. Back then, there also weren’t as many activities planned on Eid other than the open house parties my parents would take me too, so I didn’t feel as compelled to take the day off.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Three High School Boys From Queens: Adis Medunjanin, Najibullah Zazi, Zarein Ahmedzay


NYC man to be sentenced in terror plot

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking life behind bars for a New York City man convicted earlier this year of conspiring to form a three-man terror cell with two of his former high school classmates and spread death on the subways as suicide bombers — a foiled plot that authorities called one of the closest calls since the Sept. 11 attacks…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Useful Liberal Idiots and Vote Fraud

Among the responses to my recent article on Democrat vote fraud were those of liberals who were happy to hear no evil, see no evil, and be the evil. Their rationalization-aided attitudes ranged from accusing traditionalists of being sore winners to equating 2012 with Bush-Gore in 2000 to simply denying hard evidence. Does it matter at all to you, liberals, that Democrats were actually caught on video facilitating and promising to engage in vote fraud? Rhetorical question, I know. And the denial much reminds of what ex-KGB Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov said about people born of the process of “demoralization”: even if you took them to the USSR so they could see the gulags with their own eyes, they would not believe what you were showing them.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Video: Nancy Pelosi, Constitutional Scholar

‘Is it the 11th Amendment? 14th? Whatever …’

(BREITBART) House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds her regular weekly press briefing and displays a disturbing lack of knowledge of the constitution she has sworn for decades to protect and defend.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Customer Sues Muslim Barber for Refusing to Cut Her Hair

TORONTO (RNS) In case of competing rights, a Toronto woman has lodged a complaint against a barber who refused to cut her hair because he’s Muslim. In June, Faith McGregor requested a man’s haircut at the Terminal Barber Shop in downtown Toronto. Co-owner Omar Mahrouk told her that his Muslim faith prohibits him from touching a woman who is not a member of his family. All the other barbers in the shop said the same thing. “For me it was just a haircut and started out about me being a woman,” McGregor, 35, told the Toronto Star. “Now we’re talking about religion versus gender versus human rights and businesses in Ontario.” She has filed a complaint with Ontario’s Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario because the incident made her feel like a “second-class citizen.” McGregor is not seeking monetary damages, but wants the tribunal to force the shop to offer men’s haircuts to both genders.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

“Islam Needs a Fair Chance in Germany”

by Soeren Kern

The most controversial part involves a commitment by the city government to promote the teaching of Islam in the Hamburg pubic school system. The agreement grants the leaders of Hamburg’s Muslim communities a determinative say in what will be taught by allowing them to develop the teaching curriculum for Islamic studies. Muslim officials will also be able to determine who will (and will not) be allowed to teach courses about Islam in city schools — meaning that only Muslims will be allowed to teach Islam. Muslims, for their part, are hoping the Hamburg treaty will establish a precedent for the rest of Germany to follow.

Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, has concluded a “historic treaty” with its Muslim communities that grants Muslims broad new rights and privileges but does little to encourage their integration into German society.

The November 13 agreement, signed by Hamburg’s Socialist Mayor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of four Muslim umbrella groups, is being praised by the proponents of multiculturalism for putting the northern port city’s estimated 200,000 Muslims on an equal footing with Christian residents.

But critics say the agreement, the first of its kind in Germany, will boost the growing influence of Islam in Hamburg and will encourage the perpetuation of a Muslim parallel society in the city.

The most controversial part of the accord involves a commitment by the city government to promote the teaching of Islam in the Hamburg public school system. The agreement grants the leaders of Hamburg’s Muslim communities a determinative say in what will be taught by allowing them to develop the teaching curriculum for Islamic studies.

Moreover, Muslim officials will also be able to determine who will (and who will not) be allowed to teach courses about Islam in city schools. In practice, this means that only Muslims will be allowed to teach Islam and that pupils will not be exposed to any critical perspectives about the religious, social and political ideology of Islam.

At the national level, the SPD has said it would like to see Islam recognized as an official religion in Germany. In an interview with the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, SPD politician Dieter Wiefelspütz said: “It would be an important signal to the four million Muslims in Germany, if the state recognizes Islam as a religious community.” He added: “Islam needs a fair chance in Germany.”

Why are Germany’s Socialist politicians, who are usually militantly proud of their secular credentials, bending over backwards to accommodate Islam? The SPD hopes to unseat German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the German elections in the fall of 2013, and Muslim voters may very well determine the outcome.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Alleged Polygamy Sparks Swiss Mosque Ruckus

A married religious leader at a Lausanne mosque is being accused of polygamy after tying the knot with another woman in a religious ceremony.

The imam of the Islamic centre near the city’s main train station has a relationship with a Swiss woman who converted to Islam and married him in a religious ceremony, 20 Minutes reported on Friday, citing several unnamed sources.

The woman however, is married, although separated, while the imam is also legally married.

The situation is being regard as a scandal by many members of the Islamic centre, 20 Minutes said.

“The people are very shocked,” one member told the newspaper.

“Some of them are no longer going to the centre because of these practices.”

The legitimate husband of the woman allegedly having a relationship with the imam said her regular visits to the Islamic centre tore apart their marriage, 20 Minutes reported.

Both the imam and the converted woman are separated but not divorced.

“She often went to the mosque without me,” the husband is quoted as saying.

“Each time she returned we had problems and the imam always returned to the discussion.”

The woman in question told 20 Minutes she did not want to discuss “details of my private life”.

She said, like others, she was a “student” of the imam.

“I cannot say any more than that.”

The Imam also declined to comment on his situation.

“I prefer not to speak about it,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Berlusconi Calls Results of This Government Disastrous

(AGI) — Carnago (Varese), Nov. 16 — Silvio Berlusconi has said that “the results of one year of technocrat government are disastrous.” Talking to journalists after meeting with the players of football club Milan, the former Premier went on to say that “I believe we have to change the economic policy imposed by Europe and by the German hegemony. It is not social and does not have the good of everybody in mind, only the good of itself. I believe we must turn this policy around.” .

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

Brahe Myths Are Disproved, But Secret Remains Buried

Scientists have disproved the prevailing myths that Tycho Brahe died of mercury poisoning and that his prosthetic nose was made of silver, but the question of how he died remains a mystery

On Thursday, a Danish-Czech team of scientists released the results of their two-year investigation into the death of famed Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who died suddenly in Prague over 400 years ago.

A chemical analysis of Brahe’s exhumed remains indicated that they contained a normal level of mercury, disproving the popular myth that Brahe died from mercury poisoning.

Furthermore, tests on his prosthetic nose, something Brahe chose to wear after it was cut off at the age of 20 in a fencing duel over a disagreement about a mathematical equation, indicated that it was not made silver, as previously believed.

“Tycho Brahe didn’t die from mercury poisoning and he hadn’t taken any considerable doses of medicine that he could die from,” Jens Vellev, an Aarhus University scientist who led the study, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “The investigations surprisingly show that the prosthesis wasn’t made from precious metals. The tests did reveal equal traces of copper and zinc, suggesting instead that it was made of brass.”

Despite two Brahe myths succumbing in one day, the shroud of mystery surrounding Brahe’s untimely demise while in exile in Prague continues to remain intact. But Vellev is leaning towards Brahe’s own written observations at the time.

“It states that Brahe attended a party at the (Holy Roman) emperor’s castle. They were drinking heavily and, out of politeness, Brahe refused to go to the toilet to relieve himself. He was struck with a fever and died 11 days later. That is essentially a urinary tract infection,” Vellev said, adding that he thought it doubtful that this could be proved using existing forensic technology.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Bulgarian Arrested After Trying to Abduct 3-Year-Old

Mother’s reaction caused him to flee

(ANSA) Naples, November 16; Police on Thursday arrested a Bulgarian national of Roma origin after he tried to abduct a three-year-old girl from a parked car in Sant’Antimo near the southern city of Naples. The man, 57, armed with a stick, opened the door to the vehicle while the child’s mother was ringing the intercom at a nearby dance school.

However, the woman reacted promptly, causing him to flee.

The man has reportedly refused to speak to police or an interpreter and the motives for the attempted abduction remain unclear.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Five Arrested for Bankrupting Firms to Buy Blood Diamonds

‘Defrauded State of millions’

(ANSA) — Milan, November 16 — Five people were arrested in Milan Friday for allegedly picking the bones of bankrupt companies to buy blood diamonds in Africa.

The five are accused of defrauding the State of millions of euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Four Arrests as Italian Neo-Nazi Web Site Shut Down

Stormfront branches raided in north-east, other parts

(ANSA) — Rome, November 16 — Italian police on Friday arrested four people after shutting down the Italian Web site of neo-Nazi group Stormfront.

The four are accused of inciting racial and ethnic hatred on the site, which has regularly posted anti-Semitic and white supremacist propaganda.

The arrests were made in Milan, Frosinone and Pescara while 17 searches were carried out across the country, most in the north-east. ‘Nazi-Fascist’ propaganda and weapons were found. Last December Rome prosecutors launched a probe into Stormfront’s blacklisting of religious figures, politicians, journalists and judges.

The Italia branch of Stormfront is part of an international body founded by former head of the Ku Klux Klan, Don Black.

The blacklist included: Turin Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia; Riccardo Pacifici, the President of the Jewish Community in Rome; Adel Smith, the President of the Muslim Union of Italy; and journalists Gad Lerner and Maurizio Costanzo.

According to media reports, those on the list were targeted because of their support for immigrants.

Stormfront also targeted Italo-Ghanaian soccer striker Mario Balotelli after he revealed on a visit to Auschwitz that one of his adoptive parents was Jewish.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Pompeii Collapses ‘Exaggerated’ By Media, Site Chief Says

Efforts to protect ancient city ‘progressing’

(ANSAmed) — Paestum, November 16 — Recent collapses at the ancient city of Pompeii had been exaggerated by the media and efforts to protect the site are progressing, according to the Special Archaeological Superintendent for Naples and Pompeii, Teresa Elena Cinquantaquattro.

Cinquantaquattro was speaking along with other senior archaeological officials from the culture ministry at the 15th annual Mediterranean Archaeological Tourism Exchange in Paestum on how to conserve sites in southern Italy in a climate of shrinking government funds. “Problems exist at Pompeii but they have been exaggerated by negative journalists,” Cinquantaquattro told ANSA.

After recent falls of structures in the past two years there has been growing concern about Italy’s ability to protect the 2,000-year-old site from further degradation and the impact of the local mafia, the Camorra. In April this year a wall surrounding an ancient villa at Pompeii collapsed just two weeks after the Italian government launched a joint 105-million-euro project with the European Union to save the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The joint project is for the ‘preservation, maintenance and improvement’ of the site to ensure its future as a tourist attraction.

Cinquantaquattro said the EU funds were being provided in six stages and the conservation project was expected to be completed by 2015.

Funds are for protecting buildings at the archaeological site, building a better water drainage system and better staff training and management.

Figures released at the exchange by the culture ministry showed that 44% of archaeological sites in the Magna Grecia area of southern Italy were closed to the public due to lack of funds or adequate staffing.

Pompeii was destroyed when a volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Vesuvius buried the city in ash in 79AD and it now attracts more than 2.5 million visitors a year. In October 2011, torrential rainfall caused serious damage to the world famous archaeological site, while violent storms had already caused its partial collapse in 2010.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

The Explicit Racism of a British Journalist

Here’s an altered quote by a journalist who works for a British newspaper.

“The blacks of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them. Any criticism of the policies of African countries is regarded as racism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a black backlash. Whites are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the blacks are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against blacks? Alas, yes.”

Outrageous, isn’t it? Morally indefensible, don’t you think? Such naked racism should get this journalist fired, wouldn’t you say? Ok, here’s the exact quote by a London Evening Standard journalist named Mira, as quoted in Haaretz.

The Jews of today scare me and I find it almost impossible to talk to most of them, including relatives. Any criticism of the policies of Israel — including the disgraceful treatment of Holocaust survivors as well as refugees from murderous regimes — is regarded as treason and/or anti-Semitism. Most papers and journals will not even publish articles on the subject for fear of a Jewish backlash. Goyim (gentiles ) are often treated with ill-concealed contempt, yet the Jews are always the victims. Am I prejudiced against Jews? Alas, yes.”

While writing posts at this blog on what we believe is antisemitism at the Guardian, our contributors often have to argue why particular narratives, tropes and passages should be interpreted as consistent with the EU Working Definition of antisemtism. Reasonable people can, of course, disagree with our analysis of what constitutes antisemitism, and we take the task of making persuasive arguments about the nature of anti-Jewish racism — especially when it concerns morally gray areas — very seriously. To those critics of ours who argue that they are indeed opposed to “real” antisemitism, but simply disagree with us on what constitutes such bigotry, the case of Mira Bar-Hillel presents a completely unambiguous example to test your assertion. If you sincerely oppose antisemitism, and believe that racism should not be tolerated within the UK journalism profession, then you must acknowledge that a woman stating clearly, and without qualification, that she is, in fact, ‘prejudiced against Jews’ should not be employed by a British newspaper. It is that simple.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Swedish Sex Law That Shook the World

Sweden had long pimped the notion of criminalizing buyers of sexual services prior to 1999 legislation which was first laughed off, but has since become a hot political export, The Local’s Christine Demsteader discovers.

Backbench giggles and front row guffaws echoed around the European Parliament when Marianne Eriksson first proposed the concept of criminalizing those who pay for sex.

The then MEP, representing Sweden’s Left Party, brought the matter to the attention of her peers in the mid-1990s.

“There wasn’t usually so much to smile about in plenary,” she tells The Local.

“People thought it was hilarious and afterwards journalists asked me how it felt to be ridiculed. But, as the expression goes, I would have the last laugh.”

Prohibition for buyers had been on the political agenda in Sweden for some time, as far back as the 1970s.

It was seen as a culture shock to commentators who referred to the country’s swinging 60s reputation when the term “Swedish Sin” became synonymous with free love and sexual liberty.

“All through history prostitution has been solely about women, but we turned it on its head,” Eriksson adds.

“Responsibility remains with those who demand because they are the ones that really have a free choice. To buy or not to buy — that is the question. But I would ask why the hell do you want to pay for something you can get for free?”

Sweden’s feminist movement agreed and backed the introduction of the law in terms of tackling violence against women. In 1999, the Purchasing of Sexual Services Act came into effect.

“We shocked the world by adopting this law,” Eriksson says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Anger at ‘Politically Correct’ Sex Gangs Report

A REPORT on Britain’s child abuse epidemic will deny a problem with Pakistani men targeting white girls — for fear of being seen as racist.

England’s deputy children’s commissioner Sue Berelowitz is to publish the bombshell report next week saying kids are facing abuse in every town and city. But, in an explosive move, she will not state there is a specific problem with Pakistani men grooming and abusing vulnerable white girls. Instead, Ms Berelowitz will argue that young girls are abused by men from all ethnic backgrounds. Police and social services have already been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual abuse by Pakistani gangs in Rochdale, Lancs, and Rotherham, South Yorkshire. One Whitehall source said: “It’s important we don’t take a politically-correct approach and pretend there is not a real problem here. “Obviously abuse has been carried out by men from all sorts of ethnic background. But that doesn’t mean we cannot say there is an issue about groups of Pakistani men systematically targeting young white girls.”


[JP note: See also Muslim gang ‘white rape’ claim prompts row.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: BBC Apologises After Chief Rabbi Blames Iran for Gaza Conflict

The BBC has apologised to Lord Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, after he suggested the conflict in Gaza was fuelled by tensions over Iran when caught off guard on live radio.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: BBC Crisis Reveals the New Face of the Establishment

The BBC’s search for a new D-G is more about political machination than broadcasting excellence

The drama of the BBC’s current crisis has been driven by two parallel narratives. But the argument will be won by the new Establishment, which comprises highly paid public sector executives who owe no loyalty except to each other. “I’m an old Leftie, so you won’t hear me join the anti-BBC bandwagon,” a friend explained when I spoke to him yesterday. Indeed so, and good for him. All of our individual attitudes to the BBC involve personal political bias.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Blackburn School Will Close if Islamic Primary Takes All Pupils

PARENTS and governors are gearing up to fight to save a Blackburn school facing closure to make way for East Lancashire’s first state-funded Islamic primary. Sacred Heart RC Primary School is likely to close because the opening nearby of the Olive Islamic School for more than 600 pupils will leave it with too many empty desks. It has been announced that Blackburn with Darwen council and the Tauheedul Foundation have agreed the land transfer for the ‘free’ junior and infants to go with its boys and girls’ high schools.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Fury at TV Chef Clarissa Dickson Wright’s Comments About Muslims in Leicester

A celebrity chef has come under fire after making “hurtful” comments about the city’s Muslim community. In her new book, Clarissa Dickson Wright describes a visit to Leicester “as one of the most frightening experiences of my life”.

The 65-year-old dedicates a chapter of Clarissa’s England: A Gamely Gallop Through the English Counties to each county in England, discussing their culinary, cultural and historical merits. On Leicestershire, she writes of the city’s “ghetto”. She describes coming off the ring road to escape a traffic jam and becoming lost. “I found myself in an area where all the men were wearing Islamic clothing and all the women were wearing burkas and walking slightly behind them,” she wrote. She said the men would not talk to her “because I was an English female and they don’t talk to females they don’t know”. She said: “Here I was, in the heart of a city in the middle of my own country, a complete outcast and pariah. If multiculturalism works, which I have always been rather dubious of, surely it must be multicultural and not monocultural. I can only hope that in generations to come there will be a merging of the cultures and not the exclusion zone that is the ghetto.”

Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, and a city imam, said: “How is she judging an entire community on her one-off rare time of getting lost in Leicester? I find it very hurtful to read because everybody is working so hard to create a peaceful and happy Leicester. It showed a complete lack of appreciation of the fact we are almost two million in this country, doing our bit for our country. When she says that she was in the centre of a city in the centre of her own country, I take objection. This is also my country and this is also my city. I would like to call on Leicester people to be even more welcoming and hospitable than we’ve been so far.”


[JP note: Pray you do not experience Muslim hospitality anytime soon.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Grooming: An Open Letter to Nick Lowles

HOPE not Hate have initiated a debate on grooming, here Liz Fekete, long-time anti-fascist campaigner responds.

‘We have known each other for a long time (as anti-fascists in the 1990s) and I approached your article ‘Grooming — an issue we cannot ignore’, with interest. Like you, I am very concerned at the way in which the far Right is using the issue of sexual abuse, exploitation and violence towards young girls in Rochdale and other northern towns to further the cause of racism and Islamophobia. (I am aware that more arrests are yet to come.) I write to you now in response to your call for an ‘open and honest discussion’.

Given the current climate, in which the far Right accuses the anti-racist lobby of imposing a conspiracy of silence about Muslim involvement in ‘on-street grooming’, I was quite surprised to see you similarly accuse the ‘left’ and anti-racists of being ‘too quick to try and silence any discussion’ and of turning a blind eye to the fact that the bulk of perpetrators of what you describe as ‘on-street grooming’ come from the British-Pakistani community. But what I really take issue with is your uncritical, and occasionally slanted, take on Ministry of Justice crime statistics.

There is, as you will know, a long history of racialising sex crimes in this country — Jews being associated with paedophilia in the 1930s, West Indians with pimping in the 1950s and now the focus has shifted to Muslim ‘groomers’. And statistics (just like attitude surveys) are not scientific and neutral but can be manipulated to suit an argument. The way you have broken down Ministry of Justice figures on convictions of sex offences as a whole (8 per cent of which were Asian) to isolate the specific offence of ‘on-street grooming’ so as to reveal a 28 per cent Asian conviction rate (which rises to a 45 per cent conviction rate three lines later in the article) filled me with dismay. It recalled for me the time in the 1980s when the media and the fascists were creating the spectre of the ‘black mugger’ and the Metropolitan police added to the moral panic by isolating ‘assault or threat of violence upon a person, especially with intent to rob’ from all street crime and then providing the ethnicity of the perpetrators. Then, young African-Caribbean men were being accused of racially-motivated attacks on ‘little white old ladies’ in much the same way as Muslims as a whole are accused of anti-white sex crimes. But would we have said, ‘yes the National Front has a point, young black men are muggers — it’s in Jamaican culture, to be violent. Look here are the stats.’ No, as anti-fascist/anti-racist educators, we tried to show how racialised moral panics were created and how statistics could be used to bolster them. Back then we also pointed to the links between ethnicised police statistics and institutionalised racism, via racial profiling in police operations. This is a link again made forcefully today in relation to the Rochdale cases by criminologists Ella Cockbain and Helen Brayley. They warn that the current obsession with ‘Asian sex gangs’, and the ‘Pakistani groomer’ could be used to justify racial profiling of the entire British-Pakistani community for the crimes of a tiny minority — something that would not only be abhorrent in and of itself, but would do nothing to help the victims of sex crimes, since a whole host of other offenders would go overlooked.

Not only have you turned away from the tradition we tried to establish, of questioning the use of police and government statistics to ‘prove’ an already racist point, but, forgive me, you seem to have engaged in some statistical conjuring yourself. For though you concede that the Ministry of Justice could not provide statistical evidence of the ethnicity of 38 per cent of on-street groomers, you ignore this rather salient fact to magic up your (sensationalist figure) of 45 per cent of all convicted ‘groomers’ being Asian. And then, in another leap you say the bulk of on-street groomers are from the British-Pakistani community (seemingly unaware that the category Asian in police and census statistics includes at least the whole of south Asia).

Of course I wholeheartedly support your call for more reflection, learning and action — at a grassroots level — to prevent on-street grooming and to challenge the power, privilege and patriarchal culture that allows men to treat girls as sexual commodities, but cannot concur when you isolate and ethnicise one group as though the only culture we should be concerned about is that of British Pakistanis. Power and culture always provide the context for violence towards and grooming of vulnerable girls (and boys) for sexual exploitation/prostitution. (Didn’t Jimmy Saville and his associates also commit their crimes in a cultural context, that defined by class, power and privilege?)

Yes, all communities — including the British Pakistani one — must examine the aspects of culture, class and power that allows for sexual abuse — and, yes, we should get behind the projects in the Asian community that you mention. But, paradoxically, focusing on the ethnicity of the abuser rather than the fate of the abused, actually militates against this. In these desperate times, when we face the biggest spending cuts since the 1920s, we would be foolish not to see that, as more and more families are rendered homeless and more and more youngsters are thrown on the scrapheap of unemployment, sexual abuse and the prostitution of powerless, discarded youngsters will grow. Instead of ethnicising crime, progressives and anti-fascists could be uniting to create a future for young people free from abuse. Children deserve a life rooted in dignity and respect where, when they go to the authorities to report their horrors, they are listened to, and action is taken.’

[JP note: Mindless gibberish from a leading light of the dhimmi race relations industry.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Hundreds Descend on Kensington to Protest Over Violence in Middle East

Hundreds of protesters descended on the Israeli embassy today in response to escalating violence in the Middle East. Police cordoned off the west bound lane of High Street Kensington where protesters were penned in after being removed from Palace Green in front of the embassy. The heavy police presence of more than 200 officers and around a dozen riot vans divided the crowd and kept a smaller pro-Israeli protest separate from Pro- Palestinian groups which included Free Palestine, Stop the War Collation and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The activists, many of whom had been there since 5pm, held banners and chanted. Shumon Chakraborty, 29, a musician from Ealing, said: “It’s great that we are protesting about what is happening in the Middle East here in London. “It is important to have an impact and make our voices heard. Israel seems to have been quite strategic in their actions, and they have provoked a reaction from Hamas, so tensions are obviously running high.” Olivia Jardine, 21, and Georgia Rigg, 22, travelled from Brighton today to take part in the protest against the Israeli air strikes. Miss Rigg, who is a student at the University of Sussex, said: “I went to Palestine this summer where I was working for a university. I feel like I understand much more about the conflict and I have come today to show the Government that we are disgusted about what has happened in the Middle East and that we are not going to be quiet about it. We must take some responsibility.” Miss Jardine added: “Palestine is a big issue and I’m glad we came to the capital today to show that we care.”

Rabbi Jacob weisz, from the activist group Jews United Against Zionism, said: “We as Jews feel strongly that we should stand up for the humanitarian justice of the Palestinian people.

“We are deeply embarrassed about what is happening in Israel. The Jews and Judaism does not equate to Zionism. We want world leaders to understand this.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Keighley MP Kris Hopkins Comes Under Fire for Sex Abuse Comments

Mosque leaders last night questioned why Keighley MP Kris Hopkins did not do more on the problem of child sex abuse when he was leader of Bradford Council. On Tuesday, the Conservative MP told Parliament that “gangs of Muslim men were going around raping white kids” and claimed there was a fundamental problem in some British Pakistani households of women being treated as being inferior and “subservient”. He also criticised the community of peers for not doing enough to change Muslim attitudes towards women which he described as being “a cultural thing that has set in right at the beginning”. In response, a spokesman for Bradford Council for Mosques said it made it clear that it condemned any form or sexual exploitation or abuse but it also accused Mr Hopkins of overstepping his remit.

The spokesman said: “All of us, Muslim or non-Muslim, are equally appalled by the activities of criminals amidst our society. To suggest that the Muslim community does not care is grossly libellous. Kris Hopkins is right to draw the attention to the activities of the criminals and the plight of the victims but he has overstepped his remit. “He has the right to be angry but, equally, a man of his position should be more discerning in what he says and how he says it. He should not overlook the fact that he went around pleading for votes from the same Muslim faith institutions that he so arrogantly dismissive of. Kris Hopkins, prior to being elected as an MP, was the leader of Bradford Council, a position that afforded him plenty of opportunities to tackle some of the issues that he has alluded to. He then found it convenient to remain tight-lipped. Perhaps now he feels that this type of outburst and candy martyrdom will secure him votes.” The spokesman explained that “candy martyrdom” meant falsely professing or acting for a cause only to serve one’s own purpose and not through genuine belief…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Kris Hopkins: Muslim Gangs Are Raping White Girls

A TORY MP has sparked a race row after claiming gangs of Muslim men are “going round and raping white kids”.

Kris Hopkins, 49, triggered fury by his outspoken comments in the House of Commons. He told MPs during a debate that the “sexist” Muslim culture encouraged the abuse of females. And the Conservative MP for Keighley, West Yorks, added: “We should not get away from the fact that gangs of Muslim men are going round raping white kids at this moment in time.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Michael Mates Under Investigation for Alleged Racist Remark

Michael Mates, the former Cabinet minister who is the lead contender to be declared police commissioner for Hampshire tomorrow, is being investigated after the force he wants to supervise received allegations that he used racist language on a Home Office election website. The 78-year-old Conservative politician has been accused of breaching equality laws by referring to “problems created by gypsies and travellers” on an official website designed to help voters choose their candidate. Hampshire Police confirmed that it had received two complaints about the use of alleged racist language and had passed them for investigation to the Thames Valley force to avoid any conflict of interest…

[JP: Waiting for Robespierre.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Our Government Must Not Give Cover for Murder …

Muslim Council calls for a peaceful and dignified protest against current aggression

The Muslim Council of Britain today voiced its concern at the inability of the UK Government to condemn the Israeli government for its attacks on Palestinians in Gaza. Dr Shuja Shafi, the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Israel has attacked and killed innocent civilians in Gaza. Our Foreign Secretary has said that Israelis “have the right to live without fear of attack from Gaza”. So do Palestinians, where the casualties are far higher. In the last 48 hours, 115 civilians have been killed or injured, including 26 children and 25 women. Our government rightly condemns the Syrian government for its actions. Surely it must hold the Israeli government to the same standard? It is time for our Government to be an honest broker in this process and not side with a government clearly guilty of murder.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Pro-Palestinian and Pro-Israel Protests in London

Hundreds of protesters crowded the streets of South Kensington, close to the Israeli Embassy, on Thursday night in two demonstrations — one shouting “Free Palestine”, the other singing “Od Avinu Chai”. Gary Sakol from the Zionist Federation, who organised the pro-Israel rally said: “It went really well. There were 250 of us, the other side of three police vans from the main rally.” Demonstrators wore Israeli flags and sang traditional songs. Speakers included Jonathan Hoffman and Ari Sofer. Further down Kensington High Street, separated from the road of the Israeli Embassy by a wall of police and iron gates, was the pro-Palestinian protest. An estimated 300 to 400 demonstrators wore Palestinian flags, carried loudspeakers and chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: SAS Gun Sentence ‘A Miscarriage of Justice’

The imprisonment of a member of the Special Air Service found with a Glock pistol amongst his belongings has been labelled a “monstrous miscarriage of justice” by a group of SAS veterans. Sergeant Danny Nightingale, an 11-year veteran of the SAS, has been sentenced to serve 18 months at a military detention centre after pleading guilty to the illegal possession of a firearm at a court martial earlier this month. Now, former 22 SAS commander Lieutenant Colonel Richard Williams, former SAS Operations Officer Colonel Tim Collins, and Bravo Two Zero veterans Andy McNab and Chris Ryan are calling for Nightingale to be released on licence and the case reviewed. “We say this prosecution should never have happened,” they wrote in an open letter to the Prime Minister. “Furthermore, we say he was bullied into a guilty plea. And lastly, we say the custodial sentence is completely disproportionate to the alleged crime.” The men called on Cameron to release Nightingale and review his case with “the utmost haste”.

The group say that Sergeant Nightingale was presented with the 9mm Glock pistol by Iraqi troops in 2007. Shortly afterwards, two of his close friends and colleagues were killed in a helicopter crash and Sgt Nightingale returned to the UK to help organise their funerals. His belongings were sent later after being packed by colleagues, and the gift pistol was included in the package without Sergeant Nightingale’s knowledge. He later suffered severe overhydration during a charity marathon in the Amazon in 2009, which left him in a coma for three days and led to long-term memory problems. When West Mercia Police found the pistol, still said to be in its locked presentation box, at Nightingale’s barracks in Herefordshire, he said he could not remember having the firearm.

On 7 November Sergeant Nightingale pleaded guilty at a court martial and was sentenced to 18 months’ detention. His lawyers are now appealing the sentence on the basis that he had been told by Judge Advocatae Alistair McGrigor on 6 November that the sentence would be five years if he pleaded not guilty and was found guilty. Patrick Mercer MP said the sentence seemed to be “very, very harsh” and that he had asked Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to give him a “clear explanation” of the circumstances and “perhaps review the case”. In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: “It would be wrong to comment on this courts martial case, its findings, convictions or sentences of the court which may be subject to appeal.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: SAS Veterans Ask PM to Intervene Over “Monstrous” Jailing of War Hero

David Cameron has been urged to intervene to secure the release of a former SAS sniper who was jailed for possessing a pistol given to him as a present by Iraqi soldiers he trained.

Four high-profile British special forces veterans have written to the Prime Minister appealing for help to overturn a “monstrous miscarriage of justice” in the case of Sergeant Danny Nightingale. They compared his treatment by the judicial system to that given to Abu Qatada, the extremist cleric who was released on bail this week after winning an appeal against his extradition to Jordan. A court martial last week sentenced Sgt Nightingale, a married father-of-two, to 18 months in military detention after he pleaded guilty to illegally possessing the “war trophy” 9mm Glock pistol…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Turn Kensington Into a War Zone

In the wake of Israel’s efforts to defend herself against constant attacks from Gaza anti Israel and/or anti Jewish demonstrations have been called in many cities outside Israel and the Middle East. One such was called for this evening in West London near the site of the Israeli Embassy in West London. Another demonstration is due in Cardiff on Saturday and a vigil in Wrexham. Wrexham is a market town in North Wales notable for a cornflake factory and a football team which now plays in the Conference League. Quite how the local branch of Barclays Bank will compare with the Israeli Embassy in London I am sure the good people of the town will find out.

The call to demonstrate in the Kensington district of London was a violent one, which is why the publishers of Indymedia hid it quickly.

“Israel has just attacked Gaza so we are calling on everyone to get down to Kensington High street for 5:30pm tonight for a big riot. Bring petrol bombs rocks etc.Turn Kensington into a war zone!”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Tunisia: Local Held Over U.S. Embassy Attack Dies in Hunger Strike

Tunis — Béchir El Golli, 23, held over the attack of the US Embassy in Tunis, died on thursday of a heart failure after 57 days of hunger strike over prison conditions, his lawyer Adelbasset Ben Mbarek confirmed to TAP news agency.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

BBC News Runs Fake Palestinian Casualty Spin Footage

Have a look at this footage running on BBC News of a Palestinian “casualty” being carried away, apparently injured. Then keep watching:


See the whole package here. Lazarus has been found alive and well in the Holy Land!

UPDATE: This just in from a BBC spokesman:

To the best of our knowledge the pictures do not show any kind of ‘staged’ event — and were run in good faith. The footage shown by BBC News was edited from a longer sequence provided by the Reuters news agency in which the man in question is shown being lifted from the ground. He is then given attention at the roadside, before appearing later having recovered. We ran a shorter edit of those pictures, and would point out that some re-uses of our output by others online have compressed the sequence further. Steps have been taken to ensure any re-broadcast reflects the full sequence so that it is absolutely clear to our audiences.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Premier Visits Gaza; Israel Masses Forces

Egypt’s premier has visited Gaza as conflict between Palestinian militants and Israel raged for a third day. Hisham Kandil said Egypt is striving for a “lasting truce.” Israel denied staging airstrikes during the visit.

Kandil spoke at Gaza City’s Shifa hospital after being shown the body of one of two people said by Palestinian sources to have been killed by Israeli planes in the Nazila area of northern Gaza.

“Egypt will not hesitate to intensify its efforts and make sacrifices to stop this aggression and achieve a lasting truce,” Kandil said.

Before Kandil’s arrival, Ismail Haniyeh — the leader of the Hamas movement, which runs Gaza — had urged neighboring Egypt to do more to help the Palestinians.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Egypt PM Hisham Qandil Decries Gaza ‘Disaster’

Egypt’s prime minister has condemned Israeli attacks on Gaza as a “disaster” during a short visit to the territory.

Hisham Qandil, who went to a hospital and talked to Hamas political leaders during his three-hour visit, said Israel’s “aggression” must stop. The Israeli military struck at more than 130 targets overnight and militants fired 11 rockets from Gaza. At least 20 Palestinians and three Israelis have been killed since Israel began its offensive on Wednesday. Militants and civilians, including at least five children, were among the Palestinian dead, Palestinian officials said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Gaza Conflict: Israel Mobilises Troops as Rockets Hit Tel Aviv

Israel has mobilised troops on its border with Gaza after rockets fired from the territory came close to hitting its commercial capital, Tel Aviv.

At least a dozen trucks carrying tanks and armoured vehicles were seen moving toward the border area, while buses ferried soldiers, as Israeli forces moved closer to a ground war against the radical Islamist group Hamas. Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, also approved the call-up of 30,000 reservists as the confrontation intensified. The two rockets fell just short of Tel Aviv, the furthest they have ever reached inside Israel. One hit the town of Rishon Lezion, seven miles away, while a second, an Iranian Fajr-5 missile, fell into the sea off the coast of Jaffa, just to the south of the city. It was the first attempted attack on Tel Aviv since the Gulf War in 1991. Air raid sirens sounded in the city for the first time in 20 years and sent residents running for shelters. Israeli officials had earlier indicated a strike against Tel Aviv would be a “red line” which could trigger a ground war…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Hamas Fires First Rockets at Jerusalem

After reaching Tel Aviv metropolitan area, missile range extended to Israel’s capital as well. Air raid siren sounded in Jerusalem area shortly after Palestinian organization promises ‘surprise’. Rocket lands in Gush Etzion area; no injuries or damage reported

After Tel Aviv metropolitan area, capital under fire too: An air raid siren was sounded in Jerusalem and surrounding communities early Friday evening. After residents reported hearing blast sounds, security forces confirmed that one rocket had landed in the Gush Etzion area.

This was the first air raid siren sounded in the area since the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip. Air raid sirens were sounded in southern communities throughout the day and a barrage of missiles hit the area.

On Friday afternoon, an air raid siren sounded in Tel Aviv, followed by an explosion caused by a missile landing in an open area.

Shortly after the air raid siren sounded in Jerusalem, Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the rocket fired at the capital area. according to the organization, it fired a homemade rocket called Qassam M76.

The rocket Hamas fired at Tel Aviv is nicknamed Qassam M75.

Shortly before the rocket hit the Jerusalem area, Hamas’ military wing promised “a surprise in a short while.”

At the same time the rockets were fired at Jerusalem, a factory in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel sustained a direct hit. There were no reports of injuries.

The rocket, which sounded at 4:45 pm, caught Jerusalem residents off guard just before the start of Shabbat. Residents of Tel Aviv and southern communities, who fled to Jerusalem, were surprised to hear the siren.

“We were sitting together and listening to music, when suddenly the siren sounded,” said two 16-year-old Jerusalem residents, Denise and Inbar. “The first feeling was shock. We thought it wouldn’t happen to us.”

Gil, 27, who lives in the Mevasseret Zion area, said he heard three explosions. “We heard one boom during the siren and two afterwards. We ran into the fortified room, my girlfriend and I. It reminded us of the days of the first Gulf War.”

Roi and Matan, students who live in Tel Aviv, returned to their parents’ home in Jerusalem to relax from the rockets fired at Tel Aviv.

“I guess the safest place in Israel is in Nablus,” said Matan, who was surprised by siren sounds twice in the past 24 hours. “Yesterday I was shocked by the siren in Tel Aviv, and today it chased me to Jerusalem.”…

[Return to headlines]

Hamas Armed Wing Fires Long-Range Rocket at Israeli Parliament

GAZA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — The armed wing of Hamas, Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, said Friday that it has fired a long-range rocket at Israel’s Knesset (parliament). There has been no immediate comment from Israel. Hamas al-Aqsa satellite channel reported that this is the first time that Hamas fires a rocket of this range, considering the attack on the Israeli Knesset “a surprise.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel Poised on the Brink of War in Gaza: “Pray for All of US”

With the burial of three Israelis, two men and one woman in Kiryat Malachi and launch of rockets from Gaza triggering wailing warning sirens in Tel Aviv, more than 3 million are within deadly range of the deadly terror rockets supplied by Iran. Iron Dome Batteries and pinpoint IAF air strikes and offshore naval bombardments can only do so much. A fifth Iron Dome battery should be in place this weekend. Targeted assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jabari and similar threats to its political leaders have not deterred the rocket terrorists in Gaza. It is time for a definitive ground operation. Zahal has mobilized reservists, the Armored Corps and elite brigades are in position to enter Gaza to finish the job left undone after Operation Cast Lead in January 2009. Kol Hakavod to the courageous soldiers, airmen and sailors of the IDF. May Ha Shem protect them as they are poised to vanquish Hamas and islamic Jihad so that all Israelis can live without fear of the red alerts giving them less than 15 seconds warning to seek shelter.

[Return to headlines]

Israel Launches Fresh Air Strikes on Gaza

Israeli war planes carried out multiple new air strikes as dawn broke on Friday after a sleepless night punctuated by rocket fire on the Gaza Strip.

The strikes included several direct hits on Gaza City. “There have been 130 strikes overnight until now,” Hamas interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan said, citing “tens of strikes” across Gaza on Friday morning, as international journalists in Gaza City reported multiple raids. In response, Palestinians fired 11 rockets back at Israel overnight. Mr Shahwan said the strikes destroyed a building belonging to the interior ministry and used for administrative issues like passport renewals in the Gaza City neighbourhood of Tel al-Hawa.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel’s First Duty Must be to Defend Its Citizens

HAMAS has only itself to blame for the latest Israeli military strikes in Gaza and the sooner the international community accepts this — rather than indulging in another round of knee-jerk condemnation of the Jewish state as an aggressor — the sooner an element of reality will return to Middle East peace efforts.

While calls for caution and restraint are justified, Hamas’s culpability is clear. Israel has an unequivocal duty to protect the lives of its citizens against deadly attacks by a terrorist organisation that steadfastly refuses to even acknowledge its right to exist. Since last weekend more than 120 lethal rockets — many supplied by Iran and Syria — have been fired from Gaza, indiscriminately targeting population centres in Israel. That’s more than 800 fired by Hamas and associated terrorist groups such as Islamic Jihad this year, and 8000 since Israel withdrew from Gaza in a significant act of goodwill and in a gesture towards peace in 2005. At any time, a million Israelis are within range of the rockets and they have less than a minute to find shelter…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Merkel Asks Egypt to Help Moderate Hamas

(AGI) — Berlin, Nov. 16 — German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has asked Egypt to use its influence on Hamas to ease tensions on the Gaza Strip. “The federal chancellor calls on the Egyptian government to use its influence on Hamas to push it towards a moderation of the violence,” said deputy spokesman Georg Streiter at a press briefing during the visit of Egyptian Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, to the Palestinian enclave.

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

Morsi Warns Israel Will Pay Heavy Price

Egyptian president sharpens his tone against Israel, threatening: ‘If I see the homeland in danger, I won’t hesitate to take unusual steps.’ He vows that his country will ‘stop this brutal aggression’

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi sharpened his tone against Israel on Friday, while Palestinian terrorists continued to fire rockets into southern Israel and Tel Aviv.

After concluding the Friday prayer at a mosque in Cairo, Morsi warned Israel of the consequences of its strikes in Gaza. According to the al- Shorouk newspaper, Morsi tweeted on his Twitter page: “We have the power to uproot the aggressiveness just like it uprooted exploitation.

“I don’t want to take unusual steps,” Morsi added, “but if I see that the homeland is in danger, I won’t hesitate.”

Morsi said earlier that “Gaza will not remain alone as it was,” adding that the aggressors “know they will pay a heavy price is they continue their aggression.”

He further said that the post-Mubarak Egypt was completely different and that all Egyptians were determined to stop the offensive on the Gaza Strip.

According to Morsi, “The blood spilled over there will not get the other side peace and will serve as a curse on them. It will incite all the people of the region against them.”

Morsi added that the Egyptian prime minister’s visit to Gaza stressed the message stressed by revolutionary Egypt and will “stop this brutal aggressiveness.”

He also said that “the Egyptians throughout their history were not an aggressive people, but they are capable of stopping any attack.”

The Egyptian president also said that “Egypt doesn’t want to fight and constantly calls for peace, but real peace is not just for one side at the expense of another side, so that one side enjoys the good life while the others suffer from attacks and ongoing killing.”…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Pallywood on BBC News

Compare Israel’s pinpoint strike on Ahmed Jabari, Head of Hamas’ military wing to Hamas’ indiscriminate killing of three Israeli citizens this morning. The Israeli Defence Forces have always taken great care to ensure that collateral damage is kept at a minimum, as has been reiterated by Israeli PM Netanyahu in a news conference this afternoon. This is in stark contrast with the Jew-hating blood-lust that Hamas and other terrorist groups operating in Gaza have for the citizens of Israel.

The facts do not suit everyone.

Have a look at a BBC interview with Jonathan Sacerdoti of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy, a London-based think-tank on Middle Eastern affairs. BBC producers (whether knowingly or not) show footage of a supposedly injured man being carried away, only for the man to reappear in good condition in a later clip. It’s not known if the BBC checked its sources on the footage (a problem in other areas of the Corporation) but it raises questions on how impartial the Beeb are being. ‘Pallywood’ is a term given to propaganda released by pro-Palestinian activists that often manipulate media or show unjust emphasis on suffering designed for the viewer to blame Israel. When in fact, the IDF shows considerable constraint and the suffering of Palestinians has much to do with their leaders than Israel…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pallywood, And the Stench of an Ancient Score Being Settled

by Melanie Phillips

Hamas and its acolytes are committing crimes against humanity twice over. They are deliberately targeting Israeli civilians with their rockets and missiles, trying to kill as many of them as possible including women and children. They are also using their own people as human shields, having deliberately hidden their rocket launchers among Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, thus deliberately exposing ordinary Gazans to the severe risk of being killed. In addition, the Hamas are committed not just to the destruction of Israel but also, by their own religious authority, to the genocide of the Jews, and indoctrinate their children accordingly into deranged, Nazi-style Jew-hatred.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sayyed Nasrallah: Fajr-5 a Huge Achievement in Resistance Against ‘Israel’

Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah assured in a speech he delivered on the first night of Ashura in Sayyed Al-Shuhadaa complex in the southern suburb of Beirut that “we in Lebanon are concerned to follow up the events in Gaza, because this is not only the battle of Gaza but of all of us”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Commonsensical Israeli View

An Israeli Assessment: Conventional Military Threats Have Diminished

via Spengler by David P. Goldman on 11/15/12

Speaking on background this week, a senior Israeli official said that the threat of conventional war against Israel had fallen sharply due to instability in the Arab world.

The official predicted that the twenty-two members of the Arab League would split into 28 to 30 countries during the next five years as the so-called Arab Spring turns out to be an “Islamist winter.” Those who expected a democratic resurgence after the Arab revolts of 2011, he argued, “have no understanding of history and no understanding of the social circumstances of Arab countries. It isn’t like Eastern Europe after the fall of Communism. Eastern Europe had the experience of democracy between the wars, and it also had a great culture. Above all, it didn’t have a political religion dedicated to conquest.”

What the official characterized as “the implosion of the Arab world” would make it much harder for Arab countries to mount a conventional threat against the Jewish state, he said. “Between the alternative of having our enemies divided or united, we prefer to have them divided,” he added. “The states put together after World War I by Mr. Sykes and Mr. Picot won’t hold together. We are finding out that Arab countries aren’t really countries in the first place. Libya turns out to be not a country, but a collection of 140 tribes. And we hardly need talk about what is happening in Syria.”

He added, “The clout of the Arab League is falling, and Arab oil is becoming less important.” After the 1967 war, he observed, the Arabs consoled themselves for their defeat by asserting that time was on their side. “Now, no-one can say that time is on the side of the Arabs. They are in danger of disintegration. Time is on nobody’s side. Time is on the side of whoever prepares best for the future.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iran Set to Sharply Increase Nuclear Activities, UN Says

Iran has stepped up its uranium enrichment activities, having now installed all of 2,800 centrifuges at its Fordown enrichment site, meeting the site’s maximum capacity, according to a UN report on Friday.

Iran is ready to sharply expand its uranium enrichment in an underground site after installing all the centrifuges it was built for, a U.N. nuclear report showed on Friday, a development likely to fuel Western alarm over Tehran’s nuclear aims.

The Islamic state has put in place nearly 2,800 centrifuges that the Fordow enrichment site, buried deep inside a mountain, was designed for and could soon double the number of them operating to almost 1,400, according to the confidential International Atomic Energy Agency report obtained by Reuters.

Tehran has produced about 233 kg (512 pounds) of higher-grade enriched uranium since 2010, an increase of 43 kg since August this year, according to the report issued in Vienna.

The Iranians have used 96 kg of the uranium refined to 20 percent of fissile purity for conversion into fuel for its medical research reactor in Tehran, the report said.

Such conversions make it harder for the material to be processed into 90 percent, or bomb-grade, enriched uranium and could be a step by Tehran meant in part to counter Western suspicions of a covert atomic bomb programme.

But the IAEA report also said that “extensive activities” at the Parchin military compound — an allusion to suspected Iranian attempts to remove evidence — would seriously undermine an agency investigation into indications that research relevant to developing a nuclear explosive were conducted there.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

London Conference Showcases New Syrian Opposition

New coalition could be a turning point in civil war

The international conference underway today in London provides the Syrian opposition’s brand new coalition an opportunity to showcase itself to its sponsors. Formed on Nov. 11 in Doha, Qatar, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces is a kind of stepchild of the many Western and Arab governments that had been calling for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to step aside. France was the first Western country to recognize the coalition; Turkey did so Thursday. “Working with the Syrian opposition is a high priority,” the U.K. Foreign Office tweeted Thursday, quoting Foreign Secretary William Hague. The weekend meeting in Doha and now this U.K.-sponsored gathering are supposed to focus on emergency aid. But it also marks “the beginning of an important shift on the part of the United States and its European allies to a more hands-on approach to help the opposition put its act together,” Fawaz Gerges, who heads the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Poltical Science (LSE), told CBC News…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Qatar Fund Backs Swiss Mega-Mining Merger

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund said on Thursday that it will vote in favour of commodities giant Glencore’s bid to merge with Swiss mining group Xstrata, giving a major boost to the deal.

Qatar Holdings, which is the second largest shareholder in Xstrata with 12 percent of its equity, had been holding out for 3.25 Glencore shares for one Xstrata share, but it said it now accepted the 3.05 final offer.

“QH continues to see merit in a combination of the two companies and is satisfied with the terms of the proposed merger, having secured the improved exchange ratio of 3.05 new Glencore shares for every one existing Xstrata share,” the fund said in statement.

The Qatar fund’s rejection in June of Glencore’s original offer of 2.8 of its shares for each Xstrata share had been a major blow to the proposed merger.

The fund also announced that it would abstain on proposals to retain top Xstrata top executives in the new merged company out of deference to corporate governance concerns in Britain where both companies are listed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Resentment Strains German-Russian Relations

From charges of election fraud to a harsh sentence for Pussy Riot members, recent months have seen ample tension in German-Russian ties. As leaders from both countries begin talks, DW looks at the chronology of events.

For the first time since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency, German-Russian government consultations are to take place on Friday (16.11.2012). German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and attend a conference of the Petersburger Dialogue, a civil society forum taking place in the Russian capital.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Russian Camps: ‘Losing Freedom is a Lesser Evil’

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot are doing time in remote labor camps, which may become home to many more opposition members. Former inmate Svetlana Bakhmina spoke to DW about life in the camps.

Svetlana Bakhmina has a sense of how Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina feel since the two young women were transported to remote labor camps to serve two-year prison terms for their “punk prayer” against President Vladimir Putin in Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. Their convictions for hooliganism took Tolokonnikova to a camp in Mordovia, some 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Moscow and Alyokhina to the province of Perm, 1,200 kilometers northeast of the Russian capital.

“It is a depressing place,” said Bakhmina of Mordovia.

Bakhmina knows from experience what it’s like. She spent two and a half years there on charges of fraud and tax evasion. She has written a letter to Tolonnikova to express her support.

“The sky there is lead grey. I also arrived in October, on the same day as Nadezhda,” she told DW. “The sky is grey, the wall around it is grey, just as all those women in their jackets and with their grey scarves,” she added, referring to a photo published by Russian daily Izvestia that showed Tolokonnikova wearing a grey headscarf and green jacket during a walk with other inmates at the Mordovia camp.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Siemens Secures Lucrative Deal With Russian Railways

Germany’s engineering giant Siemens will strengthen its position on the Russian market by producing hundreds of locomotives for the state-owned railway system. A corresponding letter of intent has been signed in Moscow.

Engineering heavyweight Siemens on Friday secured a multi-billion-euro deal with state-owned Russian Railways (RZD) involving the delivery of high-tech locomotives.

In the framework of a visit to the Kremlin by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Siemens signed a letter of intent on the delivery of close on 700 locomotives worth 2.5 billion euros ($3.2 billion).

The German company is to produce the locomotives in a joint venture with Russian partner Sinara.

More to come

Siemens reported it had signed an additional contract with the Russian Federal Grid Company on the future delivery of transformers to be used in the national electricity grid.

Moreover, Russian engineering company Uralvagozavod announced it was planning to use controlling software from Siemens. No details were given about the volume of the contracts.

With the deals ushered in on Friday, Siemens looks set to considerably strengthen its position on the lucrative Russian market. The German company already secured contracts on the delivery of Velaro high-speed trains to Russian Railways in 2009. The trains are fitted with special insulation to resist extreme temperatures and have a maximum speed of 250 kmh (155 mph).

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India Textbook Says Meat-Eaters Lie and Commit Sex Crimes

Meat-eaters “easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes”, according to a controversial school textbook available in India.

New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, is printed by one of India’s leading publishers.

Academics have urged the government to exercise greater control.

But the authorities say schools should monitor content as they are responsible for the choice of textbooks.

“This is poisonous for children,” Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi told the BBC.

“The government has the power to take action, but they are washing their hands of it,” she said.

It is not known which Indian schools have bought the book for their students, but correspondents say what is worrying is that such a book is available to students.

“The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables,” reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?

The chapter details the “benefits” of a vegetarian diet and goes on to list “some of the characteristics” found among non-vegetarians.

“They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes,” it says.

The chapter, full of factual inaccuracies, refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as “lazy, sluggish and short-lived”, because they live on “a diet largely of meat”.

It adds: “The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work.”

The publishers, S Chand, did not respond to the BBC’s requests for a comment.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Lord Ashdown: Get Out of Afghanistan Quickly

The headline on Lord Ashdown’s piece on Afghanistan in today’s Times (£) will please Lib Dem strategists. ‘This awful mistake mustn’t claim more lives.’ It allows the Lib Dems to play the anti-war card: we are the party that will bring Our Boys (and Girls) home. The strategists could take plenty of other lines from Ashdown’s quotable article. ‘All that we can achieve has been achieved. All that we might have achieved if we had done things differently, has been lost… Our failure in Afghanistan has not been military. It has been political.’


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

China’s Great Shame

By Yang Jisheng

THIRTY-SIX million people in China, including my uncle, who raised me like a father, starved to death between 1958 and 1962, during the man-made calamity known as the Great Famine. In thousands of cases, desperately hungry people resorted to cannibalism.

The toll was more than twice the number of fallen in World War I, and about six times the number of Ukrainians starved by Stalin in 1932-33 or the number of Jews murdered by Hitler during World War II.

After 50 years, the famine still cannot be freely discussed in the place where it happened. My book “Tombstone” could be published only in Hong Kong, Japan and the West. It remains banned in mainland China, where historical amnesia looms large and government control of information and expression has tightened during the Communist Party’s 18th National Congress, which began last week and will conclude with a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Okinawans Struggle With US Military Presence

Tensions in the Japanese prefecture of Okinawa are running high after a spate of incidents involving US servicemen. Residents also say their health is jeopardized by unbearable noise, amid safety fears about aircraft.

Nearly 1,200 civilians living near the United States Marines Corps’ Futenma Air Station, one of the largest US military facilities on the strategically important Japanese island of Okinawa, filed a law suit demanding in compensation for years of unrelenting aircraft noise.

Ginowan has grown up around the perimeter wire of a base that can trace its history back to the US invasion of the islands towards the end of World War II. Residents are now demanding some 470 million yen (5.9 million US dollars; 4.65 million euros) in damages over high noise levels measured since July, 2009.

The amount of noise pollution, the plaintiffs claim, is worse than sitting in a constantly moving underground train.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia: Govt Increasingly Intolerant of Islam Risks Radicalizing Muslims

The Ethiopian constitution provides for freedom of religion and requires the separation of state and religion. However, the Muslim community in Ethiopia has, for more than a year now, been holding protests at mosques around the country against what is perceived as government interference in religious affairs.

The protesters are demanding that the current members of the Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (Majlis) be replaced by elected representatives and that elections for Majlis representatives be held in mosques rather than in the Kebeles. Some members of the Muslim community accuse the Ethiopian Government of controlling the Majlis and sponsoring the propagation of Al-Ahbash, a little known sect of Islam.

The Ethiopian Government accuses the protesters of being led by extremists who want to establish an Islamic state in place of the current secular federation. The Ethiopian Government responded against some protests in 2012 with deadly force, most recently in Assassa in April and Gerba in October, resulting in the death of at least seven protesters, a large number of injuries, and the imprisonment of a number of protesters on terrorism charges.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Boko Haram — U.S. Raises Concern Over Extra-Judicial Killings

The United States Government has raised concerns over the alleged extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detention of suspected members of the Boko Haram sect by Nigeria’s security forces. The US’ observation is coming on the heels of a similar allegation recently made by Amnesty International, which accused Nigerian security agencies of rights abuses. The US government cautioned Nigerian security agencies against rights abuses in the fight against terror, adding that the international community would not sit idly and watch such breaches.

The Islamic sect, which the military estimates has killed over 3,000 people since it began its insurgency in 2009, also suffered a major setback yesterday as the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State claimed it had killed one Ibn Saleh Ibrahim who allegedly led the attack on one of the nation’s civil war heroes, Major General Mohammed Shuwa. US Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Mr. Michael Posner, raised the issue during a visit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, in Abuja.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Uganda: Shia Muslims Construct 11 Mosques This Year

The Muslim community of the Shia sect has this year acquired 11 more mosques in various parts of the country. The mosques were constructed by Ahlul Bait Islamic Foundation, bringing the total number of mosques owned by the sect in Uganda to 65. In an interview with New Vision on Wednesday, Sheikh Dactoor Abdu Kadir Muwaya, who heads the sect in Uganda, said the move is aimed at improving the image of their worshipping centres, especially in areas where their mosques were in a sorry state…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Greece: Gay Jesus Play Faces Blasphemy Charges

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, NOVEMBER 16 — The Athens’ public prosecutor’s office on Friday charged the organizers, producers and cast of ‘Corpus Christi’ with blasphemy following a lawsuit filed by Bishop Seraphim of Piraeus, as Kathimerini on line reports. Directed by Albanian-born Laertis Vasiliou, Terrence McNally’s play had been staged at the Hytirio Theater in down town Athens. The play depicted Jesus Christ and his Apostles as gay. Protests by members of far-right Golden Dawn and religious groups had cancelled the play’s Athenian premiere on two difference occasions, before the production had been pulled down entirely following more reaction from extreme nationalist and religious groups. “It was not our intention to provoke ‘religious sentiment’ or to create tensions,” noted the play’s organizers in a statement following the end of the performances.

A trial date has not yet been set. If found guilty, Vasiliou and the other defendants could face several months in jail.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UPS Delivers Blow to Boy Scouts: Ends Donations Under New Pro-Gay Philanthropy Policy

As part of its campaign, Scouting For All called on both UPS and Intel to live up to their “100 percent ranking” with the homosexual lobby Human Rights Campaign. Each year, HRC rates companies on a pro-homosexuality scale in its “Corporate Equality Index” (CEI). As AFTAH has reported, HRC annually ratchets up the criteria in the Equality Index so that a “100 percent” CEI rating in, say, 2011, requires a much greater commitment to homosexual and transgender activism than it did in, say, 2005.

To get a 100 percent CEI rating, as both UPS and Intel have, companies must meet all of the “gay” lobby group’s criteria. But naturally, the system is rigged: any corporation that gives grants to organizations like AFTAH, the National Organization for Marriage, and the BSA that are at odds with the homosexual activist agenda loses points in its CEI score.

It is easy to see how media-sensitive like UPS are manipulated using Human Rights Campaign’s CEI “shakedown” numbers: below are two criteria from the 2010 Equality Index:

  • Criterion 5: [Corporation] engages in appropriate and respectful advertising and marketing or sponsors LGBT community events or organizations;
  • Criterion 6: Employer exhibits responsible behavior toward the LGBT community; does not engage in action that would undermine LGBT equality

In the last few years, Criterion 5 has propelled an explosion of major corporate grants to homosexual activist groups like HRC (as well as “gay pride” parades, etc.) — while Criterion 6 requires zero donations to groups that oppose “gay” activism (read: the Scouts).

The UPS and Intel capitulations are only the latest in a long string of homosexual activist actions targeting the Boy Scouts. Ever since 2000, when the Boy Scouts of America won its U.S. Supreme Court case (5-4) preserving its right to follow its own moral creed (which disallows openly homosexual Scoutmasters), the LGBT Lobby has waged an aggressive, unrelenting and strident campaign against the Scouts — demonizing the venerable boys organization as “bigoted,” “homophobic,” etc.

It should be remembered that the Scouts’ Supreme Court case (Boy Scouts of America vs. Dale) arose out of a homosexual activist’s lawsuit that flowed from a pro-”gay” New Jersey “sexual orientation” nondiscrimination law. Thus, homosexual “nondiscrimination” codes — both in government and in the private sector — have been the “Gay” Lobby’s tool of choice to mobilize against and punish the BSA.

Nationally, “sexual orientation nondiscrimination” laws have been used against other people and institutions that oppose homosexuality — ranging from Christian wedding photographers to bed-and-breakfast owners to conservative Christian employees who don’t toe the politically correct corporate line on “gay rights.” (AFTAH Board Member Matt Barber was fired by Allstate Insurance Co. in 2005 — after publishing, on his own time, an online column critical of the homosexual agenda.)

[Return to headlines]


Farthest Known Galaxy in the Universe Discovered

A new celestial wonder has stolen the title of most distant object ever seen in the universe, astronomers report.

The new record holder is the galaxy MACS0647-JD, which is about 13.3 billion light-years away. The universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old, so this galaxy’s light has been traveling toward us for almost the whole history of space and time.

Astronomers spotted the object using NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, with the aid of a naturally occurring cosmic zoom lens as well. This lens is a huge cluster of galaxies whose collective gravity warps space-time, producing what’s called a gravitational lens. As the distant galaxy’s light traveled through this lens on its way to Earth, it was magnified.

“This cluster does what no manmade telescope can do,” Marc Postman of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., said in a statement unveiling the discovery today (Nov. 15). “Without the magnification, it would require a Herculean effort to observe this galaxy.” Postman leads the Cluster Lensing And Supernova Survey with Hubble (CLASH), which performed the study.

The distant galaxy is just a tiny blob, and is much smaller than our own Milky Way, researchers said. The object is very young, and it also dates from an epoch when the universe itself was still a baby, just 420 million years old, or 3 percent of its present age.

The mini galaxy is less than 600 light-years wide; for comparison, the Milky Way is 150,000 light-years across. Astronomers think MACS0647-JD may eventually combine with other small galaxies to create a larger whole.

“This object may be one of many building blocks of a galaxy,” said the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Dan Coe, who led the study of this particular galaxy. “Over the next 13 billion years, it may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of merging events with other galaxies and galaxy fragments.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Jews — Still Running the World, Implies the Guardian

by Brendan O’Neill

What is the message of this cartoon in the Guardian this morning? (See screen grab above.) That Jews are the puppet-masters of Western politicians? Do people still believe in that old, poisonous conspiracy theory?

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UN to Seek Internet Kill Switch Next Month, Documents Show

As Americans focused on the U.S. presidential election, the United Nations and a wide swath of its autocratic member regimes were drafting a plan to give a little-known UN agency control over the online world. Among the most contentious schemes: a plot to hand the International Telecommunications Union a so-called “kill switch” for the Internet that critics say would be used to smash free speech.

The ITU’s proposals to “reform” the Internet, drafted in secret and quietly published online last week, revealed a broad plan to rein in what, up until now, has been a largely unregulated tool allowing people all over the world to freely express their views at little to no cost financially. Unlike dictatorships such as the communist regime ruling over mainland China and the governments of Muslim-dominated countries, most Western-style governments have been unable or unwilling to regulate the Web apart from minor restrictions on subjects such as child pornography and the like.

However, that could all change soon — at least if the UN and its tyrannical member states get their way, with a broad coalition of Islamist autocrats and communist despots joining forces to quash freedom of expression for everyone. Representatives from almost 200 governments and dictatorships will be meeting behind closed doors next month at the “World Conference on International Telecommunications” (WCIT) in the United Arab Emirates to discuss handing complete control over the internet to the ITU.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Anonymous said...

Why do they say the attacks on Israel are by "Hamas", but the ones from Israel are against "Palestinians"?