Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121117

Financial Crisis
»China Among Top Gold Holders
»Greece: Bouncing Cheques Exceed 1.1 Bln Euros
»Spain Set to Lose 20 Bln in 2020 EU Budget
»Spain Asks Former Latin American Colonies for Investment to Help it Through Financial Crisis
»Allen West Wins Full Recount: Saturday Morning
»Attorneys: Obama’s ‘Secret’ Cyber Security Law May Allow ‘Military Deployment Within the U.S.’
»Bosnian Refugee Sentenced in NYC Subway Bombing Plot
»Fla. Election Official Admits ‘Mistakes Were Made’
»Gun Store: Obama Voters Not Welcome
»Islamic Center is Seeking to Move to Riverpark Area
»Maryland’s Endemic Corruption: An Object Lesson for the Nation
»New Technologies Drive Oil Boom in U.S.
»New York City Will Demolish Hundreds of Storm-Hit Homes
»‘Shirtless FBI Agent Picture’ Was a Joke
»The House Committee on Homeland Security Released a Report Detailing How Hezbollah Has Expanded in Latin America.
»Turkey Causes Power Outage in Sheboygan County
»What Obama Knew and When About Benghazi
Europe and the EU
»62% of Italians Not in Favour of Second Monti Term
»Bank Accounts Emptied by Phone Trojan
»Berlusconi Says 70% of Italians Are Disgusted With Politics
»Europe’s Jerry Sandusky?
»France: Death Making — Muslim Community in France
»France: Mayan Doomsday ‘Safe Zone’ Shut Down
»Italian Police Block White Supremacist Website
»Italy: Woman, 89, ‘Hid Cocaine in Bra’
»Italy: Couple Pretends to be Blind, Swindles 183,000 Euros
»Italy: ‘Cagliostro Ghost Sightings’ Spook Arezzo
»Jews Lambast Norway for Awarding Medal to Notorious Anti-Semite
»Spain’s Stolen Babies and the Families Who Lived a Lie
»Sweden: 87-Year-Old Woman Brutally Beaten by Gang While Trying to Defend Puppy
»UK: 1 in 5 Boys at Primaries Have No Male Teachers While Some Could Go Through Their Entire Education Without One
»UK: Blackburn Islamic Centre Gets Go-Ahead
»UK: Crawley Man Admits Stabbing Pregnant Girlfriend
»UK: Fat Lady Furore …
»UK: Gove: More Children Should be Taken Into Care to Stop Them Suffering ‘A Life of Soiled Nappies, Scummy Baths, Chaos and Hunger’
»UK: Islamophobia Awareness Month Launch Event at the London School of Economics
»UK: Jimmy Savile & the Dead Bodies
»UK: Keep Your Filthy Tribal Hands Off the Archers, Polly
»UK: Landslide Victory for Voter Apathy: The Nation’s Crushing Verdict on Elections for Police Chiefs… A Turnout of Only 14%
»UK: Mosque Visits Aim to Stop Kitchen Blaze Tragedies
»UK: Many Teenagers ‘Can’t Read GCSE Exam Papers’
»UK: Men in White Van Stalking Lone Girl Pupils Outside Mirfield Schools
»UK: Manhunt After String of Sex Attacks on Women in Plymouth
»UK: Number of Children Reported Missing in Essex Doubles in Four Years
»UK: Pressure on Cameron to Block EU Army HQ Plans
»UK: Solved: The Mystery of the Money Chest: How David Bell Sits on the Charity Bankrolling His Own Campaign
»UK: Sex Gangs Report ‘Will Play Down Threat of Pakistani Men Targeting White Girls’
»UK: Tube Racist Deserves to be Jailed, Says Judge
North Africa
»Egypt: Get Ready for Coptic Christian Refugees
»Egypt: Morsi ‘Will Not Attend’ Coptic Pope Ceremony
»In Troubled Egypt, Copts Turn to Beloved Saint
»Libya: Failed NATO Mission Exposes U.S. Generals
»Tunisia: Breeders Hit by Crisis, Tozeur Camels at Risk
»Tunisia: State Fills Up Coffers With Ben Ali’s Assets
»Tunisia: Second Islamist Dies in Tunisian Prison After Hunger Strike
Israel and the Palestinians
»Barack Obama Has Gone AWOL Over Hamas Terrorist Strikes on Israel
»Benjamin Netanyahu Talks of a Battle ‘Between the Modern and the Medieval.’ …
»Christian Palestinianism Focus
»Gaza Crisis: Israel Air Strikes Hit Hamas HQ
»Islamic Forum Europe Calls for the Eradication of Israel
»Israeli-Hamas Conflict Set to Top Agenda of International Security Forum in Canada
»Israel Launches 180 Airstrikes on Gaza Overnight
»Israeli War Planes Strike Tunisian Primary School in Gaza: Media
»Israel and Syria Exchange Fire in Golan
»Palestinians Inspect a Destroyed Mosque …
»Some Questions for the Apologists of Hamas
Middle East
»Is the Muslim Brotherhood Behind Protests for a Change in Jordan?
»Turkish Prime Minister Vows in Speech in Cairo Support for Palestinians in Gaza
»Nazi Propaganda to be Banned in Russia
South Asia
»Afghanistan: How Will All the Sacrifice be Remembered?
»Afghanistan: John Baron MP: Now is the Time to Talk to the Taliban — Some of Them, Anyway
»Bomb Kills 17 Civilians in Afghanistan
»India: Orissa’s Tribals: If You Are a Christian, You Can Not Have a Caste Certificate
»Thailand: Man Enlarges Penis, Gets Cancer
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Nigeria: Nollywood Actor, Pete Eneh Dies in Enugu
»Tanzania: Sheikh Ponda Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ Once Again
»Charities Demand Action on Crisis in Italy’s Refugee Service
»EU Wants Migrants to Take Our Jobs
»Illegal Immigrant and Failed Asylum Seeker Handed £24,000 by Human Rights Judges After ‘British Law Failed to Protect Her From Slavery’
»Small Town Australia Says No Thanks to Refugees Moving in
Culture Wars
»Demoted Christian Wins Legal Fight After Facebook Post
»The Sex-Change Sweethearts: How a Pageant Princess and Colonel’s Son Fell in Love After Both Had Transgender Treatment
»UN Population Report Cites Discredited ‘Freakanomics’ Abortion Study
»UN Report: Religious Objections to Contraception and Abortifacients Violate Human Rights
»US Appeals Court Strikes Down Michigan Ban on Affirmative Action
»1434 AH: Happy New Islamic Year
»Something Curious is Happening to Sunni Islam

Financial Crisis

China Among Top Gold Holders

Gold imports rose six-fold since 2010. Gold prices dropped in September. Chinese fear domestic inflation against a backdrop of possible hyperinflation in the United States.

Beijing (AsiaNews) — The Hong Kong Census Bureau has reported that mainland China has imported 69.7 metric tonnes of gold, and is now among the top sovereign holders of gold. In the past few months, Beijing has taken advantage of lower gold prices to boost imports, averaging 50 to 60 tonnes a month, a six-fold increase from 2010.

This year, China has now imported 582 tons of gold, more than the official holdings of India at 558 tonnes, placing it among the Top 10 largest sovereign holders of gold.

Leading the pack are the United States (8,133 tonnes), Germania (3,395), the International Monetary Fund (2,814), Italy (2,451), and France (2,435). China follows with 1,054 tonnes.

Analysts believe that China’s gold spree is due to two factors: a sharp drop in prices, from US$ 1,920.30 a troy ounce in September to a three-month low of US$ 1,534 an ounce later in the month, and as a hedge against inflation.

The Chinese government is buying gold to protect its assets, using its huge foreign currency reserves (US$ 3.3 trillion), against possible action by US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke that might cause hyperinflation and recession.

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

Greece: Bouncing Cheques Exceed 1.1 Bln Euros

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, NOVEMBER 16 — The suffocating conditions of the market in recession-riven Greece are illustrated by the huge sum of bouncing cheques and unpaid bills of exchange in the year’s first 10 months, amounting to over 1.3 billion euros, according to data released on Thursday by Teiresias, the register of insolvent borrowers. In the January-to-October period, as daily Kathimerini reports, there were 112,232 bouncing cheques adding up to some 1.17 billion euros. However, in October alone there was a 34% decline in bad cheques compared with October 2011. Compared with September 2012, their number dropped by 1.87% and their value grew by 0.73%. The value of the 105,767 unpaid bills of exchange came to about 165.4 million euros in the year to October, according to Teiresias. This constitutes a major increase of 22.6% in value and 26.5% in units from September, although compared with October 2011 there has been a 9.75% decline in value and a 5% drop in units. This phenomenon not only deprives the market of much-needed liquidity for its operation, but also increases suspicion in everyday transactions in Greek commerce.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain Set to Lose 20 Bln in 2020 EU Budget

Source, mostly to cohesion and agricultural aid

(ANSA) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 16 — Spain will lose about 20 billion euros in the EU 2014-2020 budget, according to diplomatic sources close to the talks quoted by Spanish media outlets. The cuts will be mostly to cohesion funds and agricultural aid. For the first time Spain will be a net contributor in the five-year budget.

Although the EU-27 have not yet come to an agreement, a possible loss of 20 billion in EU cohesion funds is yet another blow to a Spanish economy suffering from a 1.5% recession this year with the same forecast for the next, with a steadily rising unemployment rate at almost 25% and the looming spectre of a bailout for the economy after that of the banking sector.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain Asks Former Latin American Colonies for Investment to Help it Through Financial Crisis

Spain’s prime minister has joined its king in asking former Latin American colonies to help the EU nation overcome a deep financial crisis by channeling investments its way.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Spain had invested heavily in Latin America when it had suffered a crisis 10 years ago, and now that the roles were reversed, he called upon those nations to increase their participation in his country’s economy.

Rajoy said “Spain receives Latin American investment with open arms.”

Rajoy was speaking at the Iberoamerican summit being held in Spain’s southwestern port of Cadiz, once the country’s gateway for importing Aztec and Inca treasure.

King Juan Carlos had made the same plea Friday, saying “our eyes turn to you, we need more Latin America.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Allen West Wins Full Recount: Saturday Morning


           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Attorneys: Obama’s ‘Secret’ Cyber Security Law May Allow ‘Military Deployment Within the U.S.’

The White House on Wednesday receieved a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (PDF link) from two attorneys with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), demanding that President Barack Obama release the text of what they called a “secret” new cyber security law that appears to enable “military deployment within the United States.”

The FOIA was filed in response to an article that appeared in The Washington Post this week, claiming that Obama issued a secret directive shortly before the elections that empowers the military to “vet any operations outside government and defense networks” for cyber security purposes.

[Return to headlines]

Bosnian Refugee Sentenced in NYC Subway Bombing Plot

He must have come here as a child as one of over 100,000 Bosnian refugees we admitted during and after Bill Clinton’s Bosnian War. No magical melting pot for Medunjanin.

From the New York Daily News:

A Queens man whose hatred of America inspired him to join the Taliban and become a wanna-be subway suicide bomber was sentenced to rot in prison for the rest of his life — plus 95 years.

Adis Medunjanin, the son of hard-working Bosnian refugees who had fled war and repression in their homeland, sang verses from the Koran and denounced capitalism and democracy before the sentence was imposed.


Medunjanin was convicted last May of traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 2008 with two friends from Flushing High School so the radicalized trio could fight coalition forces. They received terrorist training and were recruited by high-ranking al Qaeda operatives to carry out an attack in the New York City subway system in September 2009.

We love death more than you love life!

Law enforcement officials have never publicly revealed how they were tipped off to the plot because the details remain classified. They were in the advanced stages of producing bombs and days away from carrying out the attack when they were arrested by the FBI and NYPD.

“He is not a great warrior or a celebrated martyr as he hoped,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Bitkower said. “He is a convicted criminal, and we ask the court to treat him as such.”

The prosecutor was referring to Medunjanin’s last act of jihad before his arrest — crashing his car at high speed into another vehicle on the Whitestone Expressway while screaming to a 911 operator, “We love death more than you love life!” [Gee, guess that means he isn’t thankful for the opportunity we gave him for the good life in America—-ed]

We’ve had a bunch of news over the years about problems with Bosnian refugees. One of my favorites is this one from 2008 when I first became aware of the fact that politicians (Bill Clinton in the 2008 post about Iowa meatpackers) help supply their business friends with cheap labor through this program. For more stories on Bosnians, just type ‘Bosnian refugees’ into our search function.

[Return to headlines]

Fla. Election Official Admits ‘Mistakes Were Made’

Florida Rep. Allen West is threatening a Bush v. Gore-style legal brawl after a county election official admitted “mistakes” in his still uncalled race. …

But West’s supporters aren’t the only ones frustrated with the St. Lucie County elections board and its supervisor, Gertrude Walker. The Florida secretary of state’s office announced this week that it is launching an audit of the county’s vote-tabulating process, saying that it was “concerned” about the results. …

In a news conference, [Walker] said officials had shown “too much haste” in trying to get complete results to the public on election night and that “mistakes were made.”

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo[Return to headlines]

Gun Store: Obama Voters Not Welcome

The owner of an Arizona gun store said he will not sell weapons to customers who voted for President Obama because “you have proven that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”

Cope Reynolds, owner of the Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, Ariz., posted the new store policy in a newspaper advertisement — as well as on a sign posted on the front door.

“If you voted for Barack Obama your business is not welcome at Southwest Shooting Authority,” the ad reads. “You have proven that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”

The Southwest Shooting Authority is a family-owned, family-run business that Reynolds opened in 2004. He told Fox News that he’s absolutely serious about the new policy.

“I’m a small business owner,” he said. “If you are dumb enough to vote for Obama again — after four years of this — I don’t think you are responsible enough to own a firearm. I don’t care who it makes mad.”

Reynolds acknowledged that folks coming into his store probably didn’t vote for Obama anyway, but he’s still making a statement. He said he’s concerned about how President Obama’s policies could impact his small business.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Islamic Center is Seeking to Move to Riverpark Area

A single-family home on RiverPark Boulevard is slated to be converted to a community center for the Islamic Center of Ventura County, California. The north Oxnard site won’t be a mosque — from the outside, it will look the same as it does now — but will provide a spot for the group to pray and meet. The house, landscaped in front with palm trees and a lush lawn, is bordered by the Paseo Santa Clara apartments on one side and an alley on the other. Next door, a boarded-up property bristles with brown, untended grass. Chris Williamson, a principal planner with the city, said religious institutions are allowed in Oxnard’s residential areas, although he’s unaware of any examples in which a group converted a house. The proposal, which requires a special use permit from the Oxnard Planning Commission, will be discussed at an informational workshop Monday evening and likely will go to the commission in December or January…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Maryland’s Endemic Corruption: An Object Lesson for the Nation

Maryland is one of the most corrupt states in our nation. Nowhere is this fact more evident than with the state’s treatment of illegal aliens. Maryland politicians have literally become lawless in their efforts to cultivate illegals, and this lawlessness flows downhill from the very top. I will focus on a few of the more egregious examples.

In 2011, we published a report on CASA de Maryland, a Silver Spring-based illegal immigrant advocacy group that parrots ACORN in both its methods and associates—which include the Communist Party USA, FMLN, (a former Salvadoran communist guerilla group, now a political party), ACORN and others. Yet it is one of the most influential organizations in the state.

CASA receives significant state government funding, while Director Gustavo Torres and his wife, Sonia Mora both hold influential positions within that same government. Torres is a member of the Governor’s Council for New Americans and served on Governor Martin O’Malley’s transition team. Mora sits on the Governor’s Hispanic Affairs Commission and manages Montgomery County’s Latino Health Initiative. This is unseemly if not illegal. Torres’ primary source of income is CASA de Maryland, and CASA owes its inordinate influence to its many supporters in state government.

[Return to headlines]

New Technologies Drive Oil Boom in U.S.

Oil production in the U.S. is increasing, often driven by new ways of getting the black stuff out of the ground. Start-up companies are trying out new techniques, while larger, established players are giving a second look to older methods that weren’t profitable years ago.

The high price of fuel is one reason. The late 1990s saw a glut of oil, with the average (inflation-adjusted) price dropping to about $17 per barrel. In 2012, the average has hit $93, and could go higher.

The International Energy Agency concluded, in a new report released earlier this month, that the United States could overtake Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading oil producer in five years, becoming an oil exporter by 2030. Some experts think this is overly optimistic, though, because unconventional oil production can drop off faster than traditional oil.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

New York City Will Demolish Hundreds of Storm-Hit Homes

About 200 homes in the neighborhoods hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy will be razed after a grim assessment of the storm-ravaged coast revealed that many structures were so damaged they pose a danger, the reporter William K. Rashbaum writes in Sunday’s New York Times.

The homes will be bulldozed in the coming days, city officials said, almost all of them one- and two-family houses on Staten Island, in Queens and in Brooklyn. That is in addition to 200 houses that are already partially or completely burned down, washed away or otherwise damaged; those sites will also be cleared.

In addition, the Buildings Department is still inspecting nearly 500 other damaged structures, some of which could also be demolished, according to the commissioner, Robert L. LiMandri.

[Return to headlines]

‘Shirtless FBI Agent Picture’ Was a Joke

The Seattle Times got its hands on that much-hyped “Shirtless FBI Agent” photo, and it’s not at all what we were led to believe. Apparently the photo was a joke the agent sent out to multiple friends, including Jill Kelley and a Seattle Times reporter, back in 2010. It shows the agent outside of MacDill Air Force Base, posing in between two SWAT target dummies that look a lot like him. The caption reads: “Which One’s Fred?”

The Seattle Times, which also interviewed the shirtless agent (real name: Frederick Humphries), reports:

The picture, which was sent to a reporter at The Seattle Times in 2010, was taken following a “hard workout” with the SWAT team at MacDill Air Force Base. He’s posed between a pair of target dummies that have a remarkable likeness to the buff agent. The caption on the photo, which was sent from a personal email account, reads, “Which One’s Fred?”

Humphries, 47, said he sent the photo to Kelley and others in the fall of 2010, shortly after he had transferred to the Tampa office from Guantánamo Bay, where Humphries had been an FBI liaison to the CIA at the detention facility there.

Indeed, among his friends and associates, Humphries was known to send dumb-joke emails in which the punch line was provided by opening an attached photo.

[Retired FBI agent Charlie] Mandigo confirmed he received a copy of the photo as well and described it as “joking.” The photo was sent from a joint personal email account shared by Humphries’ wife. Humphries said that, at one point, his supervisor posted the picture on an FBI bulletin board as a joke and that his wife, a teacher, has a framed copy.

Unless there’s more to this, the FBI has some explaining to do. Not only is Humphries being investigated for by the Office of Professional Responsibility for what now appears to be a non-issue, but anonymous FBI sources have also spent days dragging his name through the mud by implying the photo was inappropriate and a sign he was “obsessed” with Jill Kelley. Again, maybe there’s something we’re missing, but it’s starting to sound like his infraction was simply being a whistle-blower to Congress. Considering President Obama’s professed support for national security whistle-blower protection, it will be interesting to see what the White House has to say about this.

           — Hat tip: DS[Return to headlines]

The House Committee on Homeland Security Released a Report Detailing How Hezbollah Has Expanded in Latin America.

South America has a huge Lebanese population and they are one of Hezbollah’s biggest supporters. As such, they have managed to incorporate themselves in the lucrative cocaine business. In 2008, the US and Colombia dismantled a cocaine organization that allegedly helped fund Hezbollah activities. The organization made millions and gave 12% of the profits to Hezbollah. Prosecutors in Virginia charged Ayman “Junior” Joumaa for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and money laundering charges. The indictment said 85,000 kilograms of cocaine was sold to the Los Zetas drug cartel from 2005-2007.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Turkey Causes Power Outage in Sheboygan County

Maybe this turkey was trying to launch a pre-emptive strike before Thanksgiving.

Utility officials say a turkey flew into a power line in Sheboygan County on Saturday morning. A Sheboygan Press report ( ) says the contact knocked out power for about 1,500 people.

We Energies spokeswoman Cathy Schulze says the outage was reported just before 8 a.m. She says power was restored to all but a handful of homes and businesses within an hour.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

What Obama Knew and When About Benghazi

Jennifer Rubin in her Washington Post “Right Turn” blog yesterday, cited an investigative report by John Solomon of The Washington Guardian that President knew that Ansar al Shariah, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Libya and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb were the jihadis behind the attack on the US consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, “The President knew the truth About Benghazi” . Solomon is an ex-AP and Washington Post journalist.

Now we know that General Petreaus, the defamed formel Director of Central Intelligence, knew that as well, as leaked from yesterday’s Capital Hill select Senate and House Intelligence Committee hearings, although he went along with the ‘edited’ time-line charade. Solomon that to reveal same would ‘jeopardize’ sources, see this Washington Examiner report, “Talking Point Editred to Play Down Terrorrism”. We await public hearings to address what the US consulate and especially the CIA Annex were doing in Benghazi. The explanation by Petreaus’s paramour, Army Reserve Major Paula Broadwell at a University of Denver alumni presentation on October 26th that the CIA annex was used for interrogation of captured Ansar al Shariah terrorists appears to have been denied by the CIA.

Perhaps, the CIA annex and the consulate were used for other matters, including coordination on arms filtering to Syrian opposition forces with the “absent’ Turkish Consul General who the late Ambassador. Stevens dined with that evening. We note that the media, whether in Turkey or in the West, have yet to track down and interview the Turkish General Consul. Those are the speculations by Clare Lopez, Senior Fellow at in a CounterJihad report, and Steve and Shoshana Bryen, the husband and wife team in a PJ Media, article. Steve Bryen is a former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Shoshana Bryen is Senior fellow at the Washington, DC-based Jewish policy Center…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

62% of Italians Not in Favour of Second Monti Term

22% in favour, poll says

(ANSA) — Rome, November 16 — The majority of Italians are not in favour of seeing Premier Mario Monti serving a second term of office after parliamentary elections next spring according to an opinion poll released Friday. The survey conducted by the SWG statistics institute on behalf of Italian state broadcaster RAI showed that 62% of people interviewed rejected the idea of a second Monti term compared to 22% who were in favour.

The remaining 16% were undecided. In a different survey SWG also revealed that on Friday popular confidence in the technocrat premier stood at 36%, one percentage point up on the same day last week. In November 2011, when Monti was brought in to save the debt-ridden Italian economy in the wake of the euro crisis, his popularity stood at 71%.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Bank Accounts Emptied by Phone Trojan

Text messages from bank containing TAN numbers ‘caught or diverted’ by virus

(The Local) Berlin state police warned on Tuesday that “bank customers using the SMS-TAN/mTAN process have become victim of fraudulent money withdrawals.” Several people have reportedly had their bank accounts emptied in the past few weeks, the police said in a statement.

“In all cases, the SMS containing the mTAN for the online banking system was caught or diverted,” the statement said. “Up until now, those affected have been customers using a Smartphone with an Android operating system.”

[Return to headlines]

Berlusconi Says 70% of Italians Are Disgusted With Politics

‘Courage to change is required’, says former premier Berlusconi

(ANSA) Carnago (Verese), November 16; More than two-thirds of Italians are “disgusted” by the nation’s politics, said former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in an interview on Friday. “The Sicilian elections confirmed that which all the polls were reporting: 70% of Italians are disgusted by these politics, by these parties, and by the current protagonists,” Berlusconi said. “Courage to change is required, let’s see what can be done between now and the elections”.

Italians are set to cast their ballots in general elections next year at a time that the eurozone’s third-largest economy has contracted for a fifth consecutive quarter, according to data released by Italian national statistics office Thursday. In the Sicilian regional election last month, only 47% of the electorate went to vote, compared to just under 60% in 2008.

Berlusconi stepped down last November as the nation he was running risked falling into a spiralling debt crisis in the wake of a similar one in Greece, and as economic growth slumped. He was replaced by Mario Monti, who is currently serving as prime minister.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Europe’s Jerry Sandusky?

In the Jerry Sandusky case Penn State officials closed their ears for years to rumors about his behavior. In the Netherlands, the alleged pedophile Joris Demmink, Secretary-General of the Dutch Ministry of Justice, has had a close friend thwart official investigations into his behavior. That friend? Himself. This cozy arrangement may be about to come to an end.

In the mid 1990s in Turkey, Demmink sexually assaulted numerous boys between the ages of 12 and 16, according to the Dutch attorney for two of the victims. They now demand prosecution. Attorney Adele Van Der Plas says one victim was 12 at the time he was brought by a police officer to Demmink’s chambers, where he was repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Now, three Dutch and three Turkish citizens have come forward publicly to identify Demmink as their molester. Van Der Plas cites four police reports that name him as a suspect. Yet, whenever official investigations have been launched, they ended up lacking “evidence,” for Demmink’s office had the last word on such investigations. His senior position in the government has caused other officials to close ranks when each investigation was abruptly terminated.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

France: Death Making — Muslim Community in France


This week’s episode is an interview with Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, about the challenges faced by the Muslim community in France, which is estimated to have reached 6 million and is considered as the largest in Europe. The episode discusses how extremist ideas are leaked to parts of this community and what is its negative impact on the vast majority regarding the behavior of some of its members? Will the rates of racist incidents against Muslims in France increase whenever al-Qaeda or other extremist groups attack or threaten western countries? How can the Muslim community in France succeed in providing positive role models that interact with the European community as a whole, in an effort to turn around negative images developed by extremists?

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Mayan Doomsday ‘Safe Zone’ Shut Down

Citing fears that doomsday believers, curiosity seekers, and “above all” journalists will flood a French mountaintop on Dec. 21, the supposed day of the Mayan apocalypse, local officials are banning access to the mountain.

The spot, Pic de Bugarach, is rumored to be one of the only safe places on the planet on Dec. 21, according to Raw Story. On that date, a major cycle of the Maya Long Count calendar ends. The calendar is split into several chunks, including 400-year spans called b’ak’tuns. Dec. 21, 2012 on our calendar marks the end of the 13th b’ak’tun and the beginning of a new cycle.

The calendar change would not have been seen as the end of the world by the ancient Maya, scholars agree. But in New Age and other online subcultures, believers have come to expect something major on that day, with predictions ranging from a new dawn of peace and harmony to an explosive doomsday.

One online rumor holds that on this day of destruction, Pic de Bugarach will open up to reveal an alien spacecraft, which will save believers nearby. That has local officials worried.

“We are expecting a few visionaries, a few people who believe in this end of the world, but in extremely limited numbers,” state official Eric Freysselinard told Raw Story. “We are expecting greater numbers of people who are just curious, but in numbers we cannot determine. Above all, we are expecting lots of journalists.”

In response, officials will call in 100 police and firefighters on Dec. 21 to seal off approaches to the mountain, Freysselinard told Raw Story.

Other areas are welcoming the doomsday attention. In Belize, the Chaa Creek resort is trying to lure tourists with a seven-day, all-inclusive “Maya Winter Solstice” package, which includes workshops on Maya crafts, traditional Maya garb and names of guests inscribed into a giant stele that will be erected on Dec. 21.

In Guatamala, the national tourism bureau is organizing all sorts of festivities, including a “New Dawn for Humanity” summit in Tikal, a major ancient Maya city. Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and U2 will provide entertainment.

Mexico is aiming for the action, too, launching a tourism campaign called “Mayan World 2012” and encouraging visitors to seek out sites in southern Mexico, where the ancient Maya once built complex cities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italian Police Block White Supremacist Website

ROME (AP) — Italian police have blocked access to a white supremacist website and arrested four people for allegedly inciting racial hatred and spreading anti-Semitism.

Authorities on Friday blocked Stormfront, a white supremacist website based in the United States, and shut down its Italian-language forum.

They also confiscated knives, batons and baseball bats as well neo-Nazi and Fascist propaganda, including pamphlets and banners emblazoned with swastikas, in searches of properties mostly in northeastern Italy.

Prosecutors in Rome launched the investigation after the group published blacklists of religious leaders, politicians, journalists and judges citing their support of immigrants. They also published lists of prominent Jewish citizens.

The four were arrested in the northern city of Milan and in Frosinone and Pescara in central Italy.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Woman, 89, ‘Hid Cocaine in Bra’

50 of son’s doses concealed during raid, police say

(ANSA) — Taranto, November 12 — An 89-year-old woman was cited in this Puglia city Monday for hiding 50 doses of cocaine in her bra.

Police arrested her son, who they said gave her the drugs when officers came to search their home on reports he was a pusher.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Couple Pretends to be Blind, Swindles 183,000 Euros

Fake invalids caught receiving social benefits illegally

(ANSA) — Ragusa, November 12 — A couple in their early 60s has been caught swindling 183,000 euros in social benefits over the past nine years by pretending to be ill and blind.

The couple, accused of aggravated fraud, was nabbed by finance police in Ragusa, a city in Sicily.

A woman, 60, claimed to have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which left her completely blind, while her husband, 62, allegedly also suffered from multiple sclerosis. The disease left him unable to walk or function normally.

However, police say the couple was filmed leading a “normal” life, including shopping independently, carrying their own purchases, and checking out their appearances in mirrors while trying on clothing.

The couple, which had been assigned public housing, appeared at medical examinations with crutches and wheelchairs.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Cagliostro Ghost Sightings’ Spook Arezzo

Spectre of 18th-century alchemist reported near Duomo

(ANSA) — Arezzo, November 15 — Italian paranormal-phenomena experts have been called to the Tuscan hilltown of Arezzo to probe a dozen alleged sightings of the ghost of legendary 18th-century alchemist, adventurer, con-man and occult dabbler ‘Count’ Cagliostro.

“We aren’t here to ‘bust’ any ghosts, we simply study phenomena which appear strange,” said Massimo Merendi of the National Ghost Uncover (NGU) association.

The sightings, “of a two-metre-tall cloaked figure” have occurred in the centre of the town, near its famous Duomo, between March 2011 and last month, Merendi said. An alchemist, fake physician and necromancer, Cagliostro became extremely rich selling miraculous cures and elixirs of youth, also posing as the founder of an occult branch of freemasonry. Although he was an impostor, his daring and ingenuity briefly made him the darling of Europe.

He was wined and dined by high society across the continent and wound up marrying a member of a high-born Roman family.

His real name was Giuseppe Balsamo and he was born to a poor family in Palermo in 1743. Wanted for a number of petty crimes, he fled Sicily and embarked on extensive travels that were to take him to such far-flung places as Greece, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, Rhodes, and Malta. In France, he became a close friend of the influential Cardinal de Rohan but scandal eventually led to his downfall and he was slapped into the Bastille and later banished from the country.

Arrested for heresy in Rome in 1789 he was condemned to death but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment and he died unsung in a prison in the hilltop town of San Leo near Urbino in 1795. He was 51. Legend has it that he placed a curse on the town but townspeople regularly assure outsiders they are protected by St.

Francis. Every year on August 26, the anniversary of his death, a bouquet of flowers is found in Cagliostro’s former cell, reputedly put there by a mysterious lady in black.

Cagliostro’s travels and exploits have been described in his memoirs and those of other adventurers including Casanova, inspiring writers such as Alexandre Dumas, but he has not been previously linked to Arezzo.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Jews Lambast Norway for Awarding Medal to Notorious Anti-Semite

Jewish groups have harshly criticized Norway’s King Harald V for his decision to award a royal service medal to Trond Ali Linstad, an activist who has been influential in promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories regarding Jewish world domination and publicly advocating for Arab terrorism against the State of Israel.

Trond Ali Linstad has been nominated to receive Norway’s Royal Medal of Merit which recognizes service in the fields of art, science and industry and outstanding public service.

While the award was intended to recognize Linstad’s work in education for immigrants, his website,, warns his readers to “beware the Jews,” and the “influence they have in newspapers and other media, in many political organs.”

Linstad has also expressed “Thanks to Johan Galtung,” a Norwegian academic and proponent of the anti-Semitic forgery, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, asking whether Jews in positions of power used “manipulative and undemocratic methods” to influence world events. He further stated that “every president in the U.S. must adapt to the Jewish lobby,” in which he argued, determines U.S. foreign policy.

“This shocking award is not only insulting to Jews, but potentially dangerous as well,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Spain’s Stolen Babies and the Families Who Lived a Lie

Spanish society has been shaken by allegations of the theft and trafficking of thousands of babies by nuns, priests and doctors, which started under Franco and continued up to the 1990s.

I first met Manoli Pagador in Getafe, in a working-class suburb of Madrid. She was attending a meeting for people affected by the scandal Spaniards call “ninos robados” — stolen children.

After months of requests from the BBC, the Spanish government finally put forward Angel Nunez from the justice ministry to talk to me about Spain’s stolen children.

Asked if babies were stolen, Mr Nunez replied: “Without a doubt”.

“How many?” I asked.

“I don’t dare to come up with figures,” he answered carefully. “But from the volume of official investigations I dare to say there were many.”

Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.

The practice of removing children from parents deemed “undesirable” and placing them with “approved” families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.

At that time, the motivation may have been ideological. But years later, it seemed to change — babies began to be taken from parents considered morally — or economically — deficient. It became a money-spinner, too.

The scandal is closely linked to the Catholic Church, which under Franco assumed a prominent role in Spain’s social services including hospitals, schools and children’s homes.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: 87-Year-Old Woman Brutally Beaten by Gang While Trying to Defend Puppy

HELSINGBORG. A 87-year-old confronted an immigrant gang of five who was assaulting a helpless puppy outside a grocery store. The gang then turned their attention to her, beating her to the ground and then brutally kicking and punching her until she started bleeding. The sadistic attack is now sending shock-waves through the once-idyllic small town of Helsingborg, southern Sweden.

The woman, who was discovered in her home several days after the attack with heavy bleedings from her abdomen, says in an interview with Swedish Radiothat she ‘couldn’t help but ask them to stop — maybe it was stupid of me but I just couldn’t stand watching them torture a small animal’.

On November 12, she was just on her way to the local grocery store in central Helsingborg to buy coffee as she was confronted with the horrific scene.

‘When I went outside I heard something howling just like a small child crying. I continued a few steps and saw a few men standing in front of me. I realized that they were beating a small dog, a black one with a white chest..’

As the 88-year-old grandmother asked the men, who were ‘speaking a language that she couldn’t understand’, to stop what they were doing and told them that ‘they should be ashamed of themselves’, they immediately responded by knocking her down to the ground.

‘One of them came up to me and hit me on the right side of of my head and I fell to the ground. One of the others forced my legs down and then they started kicking me while I was lying down.’

‘I thought they were going to break my legs because they were bending them apart while kicking straight ahead’

Helsingborg, which was once an idyllic and sleepy industrial small town in the heart of Sweden’s southernmost province, has gone through a rapid transformation to the worse during the last decade. It is now plagued by a surge in gang-related crime and a deteriorating social situation.

In other parts of what politicians hail as the ‘New Sweden’, too, elderly people are daily reminded of the fact that the safe and friendly country of their youth may be gone forever.

In an eerily similar case in Gothenberg in March this year, a 61-year-old pensioner was beaten so savagely that he fell into a coma. His crime? Trying to protect his dog from being harassed by an immigrant gang outside a supermarket in Kortedala.

The 88-year-old vicim of this week’s attack apparently still had some hope for her fellow citizens — despite the turn society has taken.

‘I’ve heard about all the rapes and all this misery, but — I am an old woman’, she told Swedish Radio.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

UK: 1 in 5 Boys at Primaries Have No Male Teachers While Some Could Go Through Their Entire Education Without One

Nearly one in five boys is being taught in a primary school without a single male teacher on the staff.

Official statistics compiled for the first time reveal how 360,485 boys aged four to 11 are attending schools which have only women teachers.

Of these, 61,060 are eligible for free school meals because of low household income.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Blackburn Islamic Centre Gets Go-Ahead

FINAL plans for a major open-to-all Islamic community hall in Blackburn are due to get the go-ahead next week. The 1,500 sq ft building at the Naqshbandiyya Aslamiyya Spiritual Centre in Queen’s Park is now set to be constructed next year. The £1 million purpose-built hall with underground car parking will occupy vacant land on the corner of Pringle Street and Whitendale Crescent provided it gets approval from Blackburn with Darwen planning committee next week. Extensions to the existing centre have already been given permission by planners and next week’s decision is the final piece of the jigsaw to cater for growing numbers of worshippers at the mosque and for the wider community…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Crawley Man Admits Stabbing Pregnant Girlfriend

A 25-year-old man has admitted stabbing his pregnant partner at their home in West Sussex.

Shahid Mahmood pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to commit grievous bodily harm at Lewes Crown Court.

His 23-year-old victim was stabbed four times in the neck and upper body at the house in Northgate, Crawley, on 26 May.

Mahmood, of The Parade, Northgate, was accused of attempted murder but his plea to the lesser charge was accepted. He will be sentenced on 21 December.

His partner was six months pregnant at the time of the attack.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Fat Lady Furore …

The celebrity chef claims getting lost in a “ghetto” was “the most frightening experience of my life” in her new book


[JP note: It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Gove: More Children Should be Taken Into Care to Stop Them Suffering ‘A Life of Soiled Nappies, Scummy Baths, Chaos and Hunger’

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he thinks thousands more children should be placed in care or adopted to prevent them suffering neglect and mistreatment.

In a speech in London yesterday, Mr Gove said the state had exposed children to ‘a life of soiled nappies, scummy baths, chaos and hunger’.

This was because, Mr Gove added, the state was ‘preoccupied with the rights of biological parents.’

He wants social workers to be ‘more assertive with dysfunctional parents, courts to be less indulgent of poor parents, and the care system to expand to deal with the consequences’.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Islamophobia Awareness Month Launch Event at the London School of Economics

Islamophobia Awareness Month launch event @ LSE

Tuesday, 20th November 2012, 6pm At the Quad, East Building, LSE Students’ Union, Houghton Street, WC2A 2AE

With Islamophobia entering the mainstream of politics across Europe and with increasing concerns over the penetration of Islamophobia in universities, the LSE Students’ Union is providing a forum for discussion on the nature and extent of the problem and what can be done to challenge it.


  • Myriam Francois-Cerrah: Journalist and Academic
  • Dr Leon Moosavi: University of Liverpool
  • Aaron Kiely: National Union of Students

There will also be an exhibition on Islamophobia in the Quad from Monday 19th November until Friday 23rd November.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Jimmy Savile & the Dead Bodies

SICKO Jimmy Savile had an unhealthy interest in corpses, it was claimed last night.

Fellow DJ Paul Gambaccini made the most shocking claim yet about the pervert’s double life.

He told BBC Radio 5 Live Savile was well known to be a necrophiliac — someone who is sexually attracted to dead people. He claimed Savile’s interest in corpses dated back 50 years.

Savile is known to have made unaccompanied visits to the morgue at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where officials have launched an inquiry into his past activities.

The comments of “Gambo”, 63, who worked with Savile from 1973, shocked host Nicky Campbell, 52, who tried to stop the conversation.

Campbell said: ‘That particularly lurid accusation you have brought to people’s attention is one that has not been in the public domain.”

Gambaccini asked: “Why not?” before adding: “Who vetted the knighthood? Coco the clown?”

The veteran DJ said he became aware Savile had a taste for under-age girls shortly after going to work for Radio 1.

He added: “The expression I came to associate with Savile’s sexual partners was either one used by production assistants or one I made up to summarise their reports … under-age subnormals. He targeted the institutionalised, the hospitalised, and this was known.

“Why did Jimmy go to hospitals? That’s where the patients were.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Keep Your Filthy Tribal Hands Off the Archers, Polly

by Ruth Dudley Edwards

It’s no good. I’ve tried and tried to resist the temptation to write about Polly Toynbee, because being ridiculed in The Daily Telegraph might only encourage her, but I’ve caved in. It’s one thing to have her writing crazy articles denouncing Tories for their deplorable baby-eating, granny-murdering practices, but she mostly does that in the privacy of The Guardian and it does little harm…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Landslide Victory for Voter Apathy: The Nation’s Crushing Verdict on Elections for Police Chiefs… A Turnout of Only 14%

Voters delivered a crushing rebuke to Britain’s political class yesterday.

Apathy swept the country as just 14 per cent of voters turned out for the first ever elections for police and crime commissioners — the worst in British political history for a nationwide poll.

In a further sign of public contempt for the major parties, the turnout in the Manchester Central by-election was just 18 per cent, the lowest recorded for a Parliamentary by-election since 1942 at the height of the Second World War.

Where they did turn out, a record number of independent candidates swept to victory at the expense of the major parties.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Mosque Visits Aim to Stop Kitchen Blaze Tragedies

FIRE service staff have been visiting mosques across Staffordshire to warn people of the dangers of cooking while wearing loose clothing after a Burton pensioner died when her headscarf caught fire…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Many Teenagers ‘Can’t Read GCSE Exam Papers’

Thousands of UK teenagers cannot read well enough to understand their GCSE exam papers, a large-scale analysis of pupils’ reading ability suggests.

Data on 29,000 teenagers in 1,100 schools in England suggests they have an average reading age of 10 or 11.

But GCSE materials and papers were found to be pitched at the correct levels.

Its findings, based on the 29,000 children using its software, suggest 15 and 16-year-olds in England have an average reading age five years lower than their actual age.

This is surprising because both primary school and secondary school results have been rising year on year. Nearly nine out of 10 children in England are deemed to have met the required levels in reading at age 11.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Men in White Van Stalking Lone Girl Pupils Outside Mirfield Schools

PUPILS and parents have been warned to look out for two men in a van who have been attempting to abduct lone girls.

The white van has been spotted numerous times waiting outside Mirfield schools before and after school since the beginning of term, according to reports from pupils and parents.

The van, believed to be a Volkswagen, has been seen outside Mirfield Free Grammar (MFG), Castle Hall School and Crowlees First School.

It is believed the occupants, described as Asian, have been stalking lone female pupils.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Manhunt After String of Sex Attacks on Women in Plymouth

A MANHUNT has been launched after a spate of sex attacks on young women which police believe could be linked.

Officers have launched an operation — codenamed Kingsand — to investigate whether the same man or men are responsible for molesting drunk females walking home alone after a night out.

All the attacks have happened in the North Hill and Greenbank areas.

In the latest, a young woman was followed home by a man who forced his way into her home and sexually assaulted her.

Officers are reviewing a series of sex attacks and other incidents over the last year as the offenders have similar descriptions and method of attack.

The attacks have happened around 3am and 4am on the weekend nights of Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Descriptions of the assailants have roughly matched, with victims describing one as either black or Asian, in his mid to late 20s, around 5ft 7ins or 5ft 8ins tall.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Number of Children Reported Missing in Essex Doubles in Four Years

THE number of children reported missing in Essex has more than doubled in the past four years, according to new statistics.

A Freedom of Information request to Essex Police reveals 2,372 children were reported missing last year, compared to 1,163 in 2008.

Andy McCullough, Head of Strategy and Policy at Railway Children, which supports vulnerable young people alone and at risk on Britain’s streets and made the FOI request, said: “It is alarming to see that the numbers of children reported missing in Essex has risen so significantly year on year. “Of those who are reported missing, the majority are young people who have run away from home or care.

“Children run away for many reasons, usually to escape things they find stressful such as problems at school or home.

“However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Anecdotal research indicates that as many as two thirds of young people who run away from home are not even reported missing and may be too vulnerable and afraid to seek help from official services.”

“In fact, we estimate that every five minutes in the UK a child under 16 runs away from home — that’s 100,000 children every year — a far greater number.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Pressure on Cameron to Block EU Army HQ Plans

David Cameron faces a looming political battle to defend Britain’s veto over defence policy after France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Poland urged the creation of a new European Union military command “structure”.

The powerful group of countries, Europe’s largest, also welcomed plans to hold a special Brussels summit next year to “confirm our ambitions for security and defence policy” in a move that poses a major headache for the Prime Minister as the EU climbs the domestic political agenda. Known as the “Weimar group”, the five countries met in Paris on Thursday evening to launch a new offensive to create an EU military operations headquarters, after Britain used its veto last year to block similar proposals…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Solved: The Mystery of the Money Chest: How David Bell Sits on the Charity Bankrolling His Own Campaign

One of the mysteries surrounding the Media Standards Trust (which spawned Hacked Off) has been how it finances itself.

Today, the Mail can reveal that over the past seven years, the Trust has received £440,000 from a body called the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation — one of the largest independent grant-giving charitable trusts in the UK.

A study of how it operates provides a tantalising glimpse of how Leftish lobby groups can infiltrate such bodies to finance their own often ideological causes.

The early Foundation was run on an ad-hoc basis but its scale and nature changed dramatically in 1999 when Prudential bought M&G, creating a windfall of £625 million.

It was the time of New Labour and the Third Way, and this was reflected in the people running the Foundation.

In 2003 Jeremy Hardie, a FTSE-100 figure and classic Blair-era big businessman, became its chairman.

A champagne socialist, he had twice stood as an SDP parliamentary candidate before joining the Labour Party.

Mr Hardie was succeeded in 2007 by the current chairman and even more eminent SDP-turned-New Labour figure, Viscount Chandos.

The current SMF chairman is journalist Mary Ann Sieghart, self-regarding liberal commentator and an outspoken critic of popular journalism. Her brother is William Sieghart who, along with Lib Dem peer Baroness Linklater, is a trustee of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation under Chandos’s chairmanship.

What a small world

Even smaller when Sir David Bell and his Media Standards Trust (MST) are taken into account.

Mention of a £150,000 MST grant appears in the ‘Education and Learning’ sector of the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation’s 2009 accounts report.

Its use is explained thus: ‘Towards core costs over three years to raise awareness about news standards.’

Asked by the Mail why it had made such a generous donation to the MST, the Foundation declined to answer.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Sex Gangs Report ‘Will Play Down Threat of Pakistani Men Targeting White Girls’

An official inquiry into child sex gangs will fail to highlight the targeting of white girls by Pakistani men.

Instead the year-long Government-backed investigation will say that child sex abuse is a problem caused by men of all backgrounds in towns and cities across the country.

The findings of the inquiry by Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England, are likely to anger ministers and provoke disbelief among those who have observed and investigated cases of abuse of teenage girls in towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Tube Racist Deserves to be Jailed, Says Judge

Palmers Green, Finsbury Park, North London

A female Tube passenger who hurled ‘fascist’ insults at commuters was told she deserves to be sent to prison for her crime. But a judge said he was powerless to hand Rebecca Afeigan, 29, a jail term and instead had to give her a ‘derisory’ £210 fine. Afeigan forced the suspension of the Piccadilly line as she hurled abuse at fellow passengers.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Get Ready for Coptic Christian Refugees

by Dexter van Zile

Eventually, the refugee crisis inside Egypt will spill over its borders and become an international problem

There is a refugee crisis taking place inside Egypt. This became apparent on October 5th, when Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi met with a group of Coptic Christians who had been driven from their homes by Muslim extremists in Rafah, a city located on Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip. Morsi met with the families in El Arish, a town approximately 30 miles from Rafah in an attempt to reassure them that the threats and violence they endured before fleeing their homes would never happen to them again. “What happened is an individual case which represents neither Egypt nor its children, Muslim or Christian,” he said. “It’s a crime for which the perpetrators must be held responsible.” Morsi intimated to his Coptic audience that he would work to find new homes and livelihoods for them elsewhere in Egypt. This prompted an angry response from the Coptic families who complained that they had already established their lives in Rafah — the city where they had just been driven from and where Christians had been living for close to two millennia…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Morsi ‘Will Not Attend’ Coptic Pope Ceremony

AFP - Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi will not attend the enthronement of the new Coptic pope, a man said to be open to dialogue with Islam but opposed to a religious state, the bishop organising the ceremony said on Friday. Instead, Morsi will “send a representative” to Cairo’s St Mark’s Cathedral for Sunday’s enthronement of Bishop Tawadros, Bishop Baula was quoted by state news agency MENA as saying, without saying why the president would not attend…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

In Troubled Egypt, Copts Turn to Beloved Saint

MAR GIRGIS MONASTERY, Egypt — There was no mention of churches torched or Christians killed, but the prayer neatly written on a tiny piece of paper and placed atop an icon of St. George in the chapel of a desert monastery left no doubt about the growing fear and despair of Egypt’s Coptic Christians. “Oh Lord, for the sake of all the saints of the church, raise high the banner of the cross and vanquish our enemies, the enemies of the church,” it read. “Make our enemies realize their weakness, foil their actions against us, bring joy to our hearts, increase our profit and make us victorious.”

There were folded slips of paper all over the icon of the Christian knight rearing on his steed and skewering a dragon with his spear. Tucked into its frame, piled on a small table below it, spilling on the floor around it, all pleas to God for health, fertility, wealth, happiness — and protection. Copts stood motionless in prayer before the image. Others broke into hymns praising his valor. Wanting to linger in the saint’s presence, families picnicked on the chapel floor, gossiping and eating sandwiches. The past week, hundreds of thousands of Copts from across the country flocked to the monastery of Mar Girgis, as St. George is known in Arabic, in one of the biggest and most exuberant events of the year for Egypt’s Christians. The annual pilgrimage at the walled monastery in the deserts of southern Egypt overlooking the Nile is a festival of faith, a time to pay homage to the 3rd Century saint who is one of the most revered figures of Christianity’s oldest Church. It is also an opportunity for Christians to exult in their identity in an atmosphere away from the daily discrimination — large and small, subtle and blatant — that they say they increasingly face in this nation where the Muslim majority has been growing more conservative for decades.

At this year’s pilgrimage, Christians’ sense of siege is stronger than ever, after Muslim hardliners gained political dominance, vowing to rule Egypt by Islamic law. Many Christians are convinced they are enduring the worst sectarian persecution any of them can remember. Some even speak of an imminent second “age of martyrdom,” recalling the era of persecution of Christians under Roman rule that remains burned into Copts’ historic memory nearly 2,000 years later. “Without a divine intervention that is both visible and strong, I think we are moving toward a confrontation that will have grave ramifications for Egypt,” said Bishop Bieman, a charismatic church leader in the southern province of Qena. “I am not worried about us Christians on the long term, but I am seriously concerned about what happens to us on the short term. Efforts to impose a religious state are accelerating.”

The Church itself is undergoing a major transition: A new pope, Tawadros II, is to be enthroned in Cairo on Sunday, succeeding Shenouda III, the man who led the Church for 40 years and was revered by Copts as their protector until his death in March. Egypt’s Christian minority, about 10 percent of the population of more than 80 million, has long complained of discrimination. But Christians fear things are reaching a crisis point since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak nearly two years ago and the subsequent rise to power of Islamists.

Over the past 20 months, dozens of Christians have been killed, churches torched or vandalized, and Christian-owned stores trashed and looted. In several villages, Christian families were driven out of their homes after personal disputes turned into anti-Christian riots. Ultraconservative Muslim clerics preach that Muslims cannot be friends with Christians or frown on overt shows of Christianity, an attitude that soaks down to villages and towns where Christians live.

In recent weeks, there have been several cases of Muslim women forcibly cutting the hair of Christian girls, who unlike almost all Egyptian Muslim women don’t wear headscarves.

“We are like gold, we must be burned so we can become purer,” said Romani Abdullah Fakhouri, a 47-year-old math teacher who has been volunteering to help at the pilgrimage since he was 11. He bitterly recalled an incident of anti-Christian sentiment that his firstborn child, Peter, confronted several years ago. A third grader at the time, Peter came home crying and kept asking his parents what was wrong with being a Christian. His best friend at school, a Muslim boy called Moaz, refused to drink the water Peter brought him from home because his mother had told him not to. “I tried to explain it away. I told him perhaps his mother thought that because we are poor our water may not be clean,” said Fakhouri, a slender man with the bronze complexion of Egyptians of the deep south. “I was very upset.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Libya: Failed NATO Mission Exposes U.S. Generals

by Horace G. Campbell

The extramarital affair cited for the resignation of CIA chief Gen Petraeus is insignificant by far compared to his belonging to a section of US military and intelligence elite pursuing a complex right-wing global agenda.

Carter Ham has been removed as head of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM). General Petraeus resigned from the CIA on November 9. Rear Adm. Charles M. Gaouette was reassigned on October 26 as the commander of the USS John C. Stennis strike group. These three changes at the top of the US military establishment are all related to the failed NATO intervention in North Africa and the subsequent war and killings that have been unleashed by militias in Libya, especially in Benghazi. These changes exposed the new autonomy and war fighting capabilities that were being experimented where the CIA and the leaders of the military command structures such as AFRICOM and Central Command (CENTCOM) made policy independent of the executive branch and civilian leadership. This experiment shattered with devastating consequences for the entire military apparatus ensnaring generals, financial speculators, media specialists on the military and politicians…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Breeders Hit by Crisis, Tozeur Camels at Risk

Traditional farming too expensive, owners sell animals

(ANSAmed) — Tunis, November 15 — The first thing tourists see when visiting Tozeur, an important tourism destination in the Tunisian desert, are camels pasturing near their hotels who will take them for a ride on the sand. But this local tradition is at risk.

These peaceful animals have been living in Tozeur forever, even before men settled in this part of Tunisia. They soon became the primary means of transport as well as providers of milk and meat. But traditional farming has become too expensive in the current crisis. The president of Tozeur breeders, Belgacem Kirza, told Aps that farming according to century-old traditions is impossible. Breeders have been selling their herds in the past two years. Hundreds of camels from this prestigious breed are being sold to Libya, which offers higher prices than local buyers.

The price of barley, for example, used to feed camels has become extremely expensive, one of the reasons why breeders sell and young people choose other professions.

Moreover, illnesses cannot be treated effectively due to the lack of drugs so that for example smallpox has recently killed many animals. Breeders have also not responded to a request by authorities to brand animals so it very hard to establish the number of herds right now. According to the most precise estimate available, camels in the Tozeur area are 2,500.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: State Fills Up Coffers With Ben Ali’s Assets

Banks and dealers in ‘treasure’ of ex dictator’s family

(ANSAmed) — Tunis, November 16 — Tunisia is about to boost state coffers after assets by the powerful clan of former dictator Zine el Abindine Ben Ali were confiscated.

A first tranche concerns 60% of the capital of Ennakl (the dealer in Tunisia of the most important German carmakers, from Volkswaghen to Porsche), 25% of mobile phone company Tunisiana, 13% of the shares of the Bank of Tunisia and 100% of the International school of Carthage.

Another operation concerns the shares of the dealer of Korean carmakers Kia, which will be divided up: 66.70% will be sold while 30.75% will go public with shares sold at the Tunis stock Exchange. This process, aimed at attracting foreign investors, should be completed by the end of 2012.

These procedures have been regulated by two decrees (one passed in March 2011 and the second in May the same year) regulating the complex management of the treasure — including homes and assets — seized to Ben Ali, his family, including wife Leila Trabelzi and her family, and his aides, the extent of which shocked the country in the wake of the fall of the former dictator.

The difficulties faced by state bureaucracy in managing the ex dictator’s great wealth was expressed by Jamel Belhaj, the director general of the holding company to manage national assets CDC (Caisse de depots et Consignations). ‘There is a category of companies which are neither prospering nor having difficulties but simply in full expansion which the government planned to entrust to a holding in charge of confiscations’, he said, adding however that ‘the state cannot be responsible fo these companies and guarantee their development’.

Some 30 companies seized — operating in tourism, agriculture and real estate — will be entrusted to the CDC so the state can sell part of their capital while remaining an owner. For each one of them the CDC will draft a specific plan.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Second Islamist Dies in Tunisian Prison After Hunger Strike

TUNIS (Reuters) — A second Tunisian Salafist held in custody since protesters ransacked the U.S. embassy in Tunis in September has died after a hunger strike, his lawyer and the Justice Ministry said on Saturday. Muhammed Bakhti died in hospital on Saturday, two days after 26-year-old student Bechir Gholli. They were among dozens of Salafists, hardline Muslims, on hunger strike over prison conditions. “It’s a shame that Tunisians die in prison after the revolution,” Bakhti’s lawyer, Anouar Aouled Ali, told Reuters…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Barack Obama Has Gone AWOL Over Hamas Terrorist Strikes on Israel

by Nile Gardiner

It has been a busy week for the freshly re-elected president of the United States. Barack Obama gave his first news conference since March, launched his controversial tax the rich initiative targeting the top two percent of American earners, and furiously began to try and dig his way out of the Benghazi debacle, while defending his hapless UN Ambassador Susan Rice. He also found time to meet with the victorious Olympics gymnastics squad at the White House. But he hasn’t yet made any effort to publicly address the escalating tensions in the Middle East, especially the wave of rocket attacks by Hamas on Israel, including strikes on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Aside from a few words from Jay Carney on board Air Force One, a brief statement by the State Department, and a short phone call from the president to the Israeli prime minister, the leader of the free world has been remarkably silent on the terrorist attacks on Israel. And so has his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who has barely addressed the issue. In marked contrast, British Foreign Secretary William Hague has been vocal in his support for Israel following the Hamas offensive…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Benjamin Netanyahu Talks of a Battle ‘Between the Modern and the Medieval.’ …

by Nile Gardiner

The Israeli prime minister’s speech before the United Nations in September is a must-read for anyone who cares about the defence of freedom in the Middle East, and the wider war against Islamist terrorism. Netanyahu laid out in stark terms what he views as an epic “battle being waged between the modern and the medieval,” between the forces of freedom and “the medieval forces of radical Islam.” As Netanyahu declared at the UN General Assembly


This is not just Israel’s war, it is ours too. The threat Israel faces from the Jihadists is the same threat the West faces on the streets of London, Paris, Washington or Berlin. Al Qaeda, which has had significant ties in the past to Hamas, will be closely watching the outcome of Israel’s military campaign. An emphatic defeat for Hamas will be a huge blow not only to the Islamist dictatorship in Tehran, but to the followers of Bin Laden as well.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Christian Palestinianism Focus

The following resources are being brought to you by kind permission of Paul Wilkinson who has done some excellent research on Christian Palestinianism and the anti-Israel Crusade. The following Video presentation was filmed at the Berean Call Conference 2011. Below this is a link to 54 page pdf document titled “Prophets Who Prophesy Lies in My Name” [pdf] based on the same subject. The follow up article “The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint” is also available. All documents are available as free downloads.

In response to the second ‘Christ at the Checkpoint’ Conference in Bethlehem (March 2012), where many of the world’s leading pro-Palestinian ‘Evangelicals’ gathered to strengthen their ongoing crusade against Israel, Paul Wilkinson wrote the following document: “The Church at Christ’s Checkpoint” [pdf]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Gaza Crisis: Israel Air Strikes Hit Hamas HQ

Israel has targeted the headquarters of Hamas leaders and other key facilities in Gaza, on the fourth day of Israeli air strikes in the coastal enclave.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniya’s office, which Egypt’s PM had visited on Friday, was among the buildings destroyed. At least 38 Palestinians and three Israelis have died since Israel killed Hamas’s military chief on Wednesday. Israel earlier put 75,000 reservists on stand-by amid speculation of an impending ground invasion…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Islamic Forum Europe Calls for the Eradication of Israel

by Lucy Lips

From the Islamic Forum Europe Facebook page:

… our message was simple:

1. Free Free Palestine
2. Palestine will be free — from the river to the sea
3. Palestinians are in a win win situation — either Martyrdom or Freedom

The Islamic Forum Europe is the British section of the extremist Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, which was responsible for horrendous war crimes in Bangladesh in the 1970s.

It was founded by Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a man who is accused by Bangladesh of having abducted, tortured and murdered a number of Bangladeshi intellectuals and patriots, who were seeking self-determination and independence for Bangladesh. After 1971, he escaped to the United Kingdom, and set about radicalising its British constituency. Its base, the East London Mosque and London Muslim centre was famously the venue for a number of talks addressed by the late Al Qaeda recruiter, Anwar Al Awlaki. Like Hamas, the Islamic Forum Europe would like to see Israel eradicated. It is quite happy, as you can see, that Palestinians should die, to that end. The IFE’s latest call echoes that of Junaid Ahmed, the Deputy Chair and Trustee of London Citizens: who calls Hamas “heroes” and Haniyeh “our leader”. London Citizens is an umbrella organisation which brings together Islamist extremists with assorted community groups, including a number of clueless and ill-used Rabbis.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israeli-Hamas Conflict Set to Top Agenda of International Security Forum in Canada

OTTAWA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — The escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas was expected to top the agenda of an international security forum in Halifax, the capital of Canada’ s most populous Atlantic province of Nova Scotia. Opening the three-day, fourth annual meeting of defence and security experts on Friday, Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay said “We continue to bear witness to atrocities across the Middle East, and the possibility of even greater atrocities if Iran successfully builds a nuclear bomb.” He said the forum came against the backdrop of terrorist strikes in Israel and terrorist networks in Africa’ s Sahel region, the increased tension in the Middle East, among others…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel Launches 180 Airstrikes on Gaza Overnight

Israel ramped up its military offensive in Gaza on Saturday, striking more than 180 targets including the offices of the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israeli War Planes Strike Tunisian Primary School in Gaza: Media

TUNIS, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) — A Tunisian primary school in the Gaza strip was struck by an Israeli air raid shortly before Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem visited the coastal enclave on Saturday, Shems FM reported. No reports have emerged on eventual casualties. Abdesslem, who arrived in Gaza on Saturday morning as the head of a Tunisian delegation, denounced Israeli attacks on the Palestinian enclave as “against international law.” He is expected to hold talks with the Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haneya, later in the day…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and Syria Exchange Fire in Golan

Israel artillery has fired back at Syria after gunfire hit an Israeli military vehicle in the Golan Heights. The incident comes amid high tensions in the region as Israel is waging an offensive against Gaza while civil war continues in Syria.

No one was injured in the exchange of fire on Sunday, the Israeli military said. This has been the latest spillover of violence from Syria, where rebel fighters are trying to topple the regime of Bashar Assad.

“Shots were fired at IDF (Israeli army) soldiers…in the central Golan Heights,” an army spokeswoman told AFP. “Soldiers responded with artillery fire towards the source of the shooting.”

The Israeli military however did not know if they were attacked by Syrian rebels or forces of the Syrian government.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Palestinians Inspect a Destroyed Mosque …

Palestinians inspect a destroyed mosque after an Israeli air strike in Bureij in the central Gaza Strip November 17, 2012. Israeli aircraft pounded Hamas government buildings in Gaza on Saturday, including the prime minister’s office, after Israel’s cabinet authorised the mobilisation of up to 75,000 reservists, preparing for a possible ground invasion. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA — Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION)

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Some Questions for the Apologists of Hamas

by Douglas Murray

The latest offensive between Israel and Hamas may only just have begun. But already a set of the usual lies have entered the British coverage. Let me pose a few questions to the people who are propagating them…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Is the Muslim Brotherhood Behind Protests for a Change in Jordan?

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was rocked by four days of protests, a death, and more than 280 arrests culminating in a massive rally in Amman following Friday prayers. Is this a reflection of economic issues, the failure of Egypt to deliver cooking gas or ‘change’. If the case, is the Muslim Brotherhood poised to take over if King Abdullah II and the Hashemite Kindom falls? Is the US quietly holding behind the scene discussions? If the Arab Spring comes to Jordan and the Hashemite Kingdom falls, Israel’s peace treaty will be in immediate jeopardy. Moreover, should secular Jordanian Palestinian opponents like Mudar Zahran fail in an effort to counterbalance the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Jordan, we only have ourselves and the Obama Administration to blame for another act of moral capitulation in the Middle East. Israel will truly be the canary in the mines of radical Islam, surrounded by mortal Jihadist enemies on all of its borders. Pity!…

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]

Turkish Prime Minister Vows in Speech in Cairo Support for Palestinians in Gaza

Turkey’s prime minister has vowed support for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Egypt’s uprising that ousted longtime autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak from power last year as a point of hope for Palestinians. The Turkish leader delivered his remarks in a speech at Cairo University Saturday.

He also met President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo for the first time since the Egyptian Islamist leader was elected late June.

The Turkish leader is in Egypt with a delegation of 12 ministers and 350 businessmen.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people protested outside the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, where Arab foreign ministers are meeting to discuss Israel’s expanded fierce air assault on rocket operations in Gaza, which is run by the Islamic militant Hamas group.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Nazi Propaganda to be Banned in Russia

Russian senators are drafting a bill on prohibiting the glorification of Nazi crimes and the usage of any Nazi or similar symbols and gestures in the country.

Violation of the law will be punishable by a fine from 300,000 rubles (about US$9,500), corrective labor or up to two years in jail.

The will be submitted to the State Duma by the end of the year, writes Izvestia daily.

So far, Russia has had no specific anti-Nazi law.

“This issue has not been given due attention within the past 20 years,” one of the authors of the legislation, Konstantin Dobrynin, told the paper. As a result of that, Nazism has become an everyday thing and many people equate it to patriotism.

The lower house of parliament has welcomed the initiative as timely. MP from the State Duma’s Committee on Nationalities Mikhail Markelov believes the lawmakers should go even further and prohibit free distribution of books which glorify Nazism. Only specialists and historians should have access to such literature, he stated.

“Unfortunately, many youngsters use [Nazi] symbols — having no idea what they are — for self-affirmation or to show their national superiority, which is unacceptable for Russia,” Markelov observed.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: How Will All the Sacrifice be Remembered?

Nearly all of the 9,000 UK troops still stationed in Afghanistan will be brought home over the next two years. The BBC’s defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt has just returned from Helmand Province and says there are conflicting messages about what can still be achieved in the months to come.

A lone Afghan policeman stands silhouetted on a rocky outcrop, above a fort cut deep into the Afghan stone. Legend has it that this fort — in the hills of Nahr-e-Saraj — was built by Genghis Khan, when his armies swept across Afghanistan…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: John Baron MP: Now is the Time to Talk to the Taliban — Some of Them, Anyway

John Baron is the Member of Parliament for Basildon and Billericay and a Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

It has been abundantly clear for some years now that NATO forces, despite winning individual skirmishes, are nevertheless losing the ‘long game’ in Afghanistan. Opinion-formers on all sides of the debate — not least the Secretary of State for Defence — are recasting the preconditions before our 2014 withdrawal of combat forces. Writing in The Times yesterday, Lord Ashdown suggested Britain should bring troops home from Afghanistan ‘as soon as decently possible’, noting that staying any longer would only result in further deaths ‘for no purpose’. Lord Ashdown, a former soldier himself, lends his voice to the ever-increasing number of us who have been advocating a change in policy for far too long. Any success in our intervention in Afghanistan has been undermined by two key early failures: confusion as to the mission, and confusion as to the enemy.

The original motivation for invading Afghanistan was to defeat al-Qaeda and international terrorism. This limited mission was achieved many years ago, as both intelligence reports and the Secretary of State for Defence confirm. Since then, the mission has morphed into one of nation-building, with the accompanying goals of democracy, freedom of speech and universal respect for human rights. These are all laudable aims, but are quite distinct from our original grounds for sending in our troops. Taken together, they produced mission creep which has kept our soldiers in harm’s way far longer than the original objective necessitated. This incohesion is illustrated by a conditions-based objective having been set against a 2014 deadline…

[JP note: Numpty.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Bomb Kills 17 Civilians in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — A roadside bomb killed 17 civilians, most of them women and children, on Friday as they traveled to a wedding in western Afghanistan. It was the third time in less than 10 days that a bomb claimed the lives of civilians…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Orissa’s Tribals: If You Are a Christian, You Can Not Have a Caste Certificate

Active discrimination in some communities Kandho in Kandhamal district. The victims are Christians, or intermarried with Christians, or Dalits. Without the document, citizens have no access to social and economic rights. Monfortian Missionary: “Cases on the rise.” President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): “Persecution of Christians by the official authorities.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Certificates of caste denied because you are Christian, or a close relative of Christians, or married with Dalits: this is the case in some tribal communities in Kandho the district of Kandhamal (Orissa). The complaint comes to AsiaNews from Brother KJ Markos, a Monfortian Missionary, lawyer and human rights activist. In the last five months there four cases have come to light, but Brother Markos warns: “There are many similar stories and the number is growing.”

Originally from the village of Pikoredi (Tikabali block), Prakash Pradhan, a tribal Kandho, presented the application for the certificate of caste in order to get a scholarship for his children. In four months, the man returned to the office at least 10 times. In the end, the official told him he could not release the document because he was a Christian. The same thing happened to his brother, Bali Pradhan: although a Hindu, he could not get the certificate because related to a Christian.

Kautilya Pradhan, K Nuagam, submitted an application for the certificate in June. To date, he has never received anything, he is not a Christian, but her mother is.

Jacob Pradhan, of Bogadi (near K Nuagam), is a Christian minister who has been trying in vain for four months to obtain the document, which is required to qualify for a scholarship for his children. Even with recommendations from some local authorities, he is not even able to get the certificate. Then, the discovery: the delay depends on his wife. The woman is a Dalit, and consequently their children can not be considered tribal.

For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), it is “an official persecution of Christians in Kandhamal by the authorities,” who “feeds on the vulnerability of the minority.” “The government — he adds — is making fun of tribal Christians, and prevents the community from enjoying their constitutional rights.”

A “urgent” concern, says the president of the GCIC, “is the Vishwa Hindu Parishad [VHP, Hindu ultra-nationalist group, ed], which is at the forefront when it comes to opposing the rights of tribal Christians. In Orissa, the VHP are threatening to launch a campaign calling for the Christian deputies to resign from the government. “

Caste certificates are important because they give holders access to social and economic rights, such as obtaining a scholarship. Compared to the members of Scheduled Caste (SC) — which is recognized only in the cases of Hindus, Sikhs or Buddhists — those of Scheduled Tribe (ST) can all — in theory — enjoy their rights, without distinction of religion.

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

Thailand: Man Enlarges Penis, Gets Cancer

Doctors have warned people to avoid using the services of illegal clinics after a man was admitted to hospital with a possibly fatal genital infection, a consequence of a penis enlargement procedure.

A 50-year-old man whose name was withheld was admitted to the police hospital for treatment because his genitalia had swollen to the size of a coconut, a doctor said.

Pol Capt Dr Surat Kittisup-porn of the Police General Hospital said the man underwent a procedure to enlarge his penis at an illegal clinic about five years ago.

He was injected with olive oil, the doctor said.

The man’s genitals were working “just fine” until about six months ago. He suffered a cut to his penis and without proper treatment the wound became infected.

“He was ashamed to visit a doctor, but the pain and the infection grew so he had no choice,” the doctor told reporters.

He was admitted to a private hospital, where doctors found out that cancer has spread in the region. They suggested he move to a government hospital to save on the cost of treatment.

Doctors had no choice but to remove his penis, but the cancer spread towards his abdomen and his testicles.

Doctors have been able to bypass his urethra to his anus, allowing him to control his urine, but they are not optimistic about his future.

“The cancer and the wound was so severe when they brought him in,” Dr Surat said “There is a good chance that the cancer will spread again in the future,” he added.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Nollywood Actor, Pete Eneh Dies in Enugu

Enugu — The Nigerian movie industry otherwise known as Nollywood recorded another setback, Thursday, when it lost one of its veteran actors, Pete Eneh to the cold hands of death…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Tanzania: Sheikh Ponda Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ Once Again

MKADAM Swalehe appeared before the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court for the second time on Thursday, joining the Secretary of the Council of Muslims Organization, Sheikh Ponda Issa Ponda, and his 49 followers who are facing five charges. Sheikh Ponda, and his 49 followers, denied all charges in connection with committing conspiracy, trespass, criminal possession and stealing materials worth 59.6m/- from Agritanza limited. Before the arraignment of Swalehe, Sheikh Ponda was facing the fifth charge of inciting people to commit an offence alone.

All accused persons denied all charges once again yesterday and were bailed out except for Sheikh Ponda and Swalehe. The defence lawyer, Mr Juma Nassoro, explained that the defence side understands that Tanzania Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata) is a council that leads some Muslims. It should not be believed that Bakwata leads all Muslims in Tanzania. “Bakwata is there but it should not be understood that it is there to lead all Muslims across the nation. It is there for a certain group of Muslims,” he said. Mr Nassoro further said that his client deserved to be treated with dignity and was entitled to human rights as any other accused person. Therefore, he asked the court to stop bringing Sheikh Ponda to court in handcuffs…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Charities Demand Action on Crisis in Italy’s Refugee Service

Social groups say rising refugee tide tests Italian response

(ANSA) — Rome, November 12 — Leading Italian social welfare groups are demanding government action to deal with what they call a refugee crisis.

Numerous North African refugee claimants seeking help from Italy are not being assisted, charity groups Caritas and Fondazione Migrantes said Monday.

And the situation will only worsen as continuing waves of immigrants arrive on Italian shores.

“The realistic prospect of new flows towards Italy of people who…escape for political and religious reasons, does not allow continuation of existing precarious structures,” designed to cope with humanitarian crises, they said.

The agencies are especially worried by the looming deadline of December 31, when emergency provisions to cope with North African immigrants ares scheduled to end.

As many as 60% of refugee claimants are still waiting for their cases to be resolved by the Italian government, according to surveys conducted by Caritas.

Many refugees run into “the hardships and the many bureaucratic difficulties” of launching their claims, as well as hitting the economic crisis that is threatening social centres, parishes, and other host communities that normally assist refugees, the two organizations said.

They noted that the Italian government has promised to develop a new procedures for dealing claimants seeking help on humanitarian grounds.

However, what’s needed is better coordination and cooperation across agencies dealing with refugees and immigrants, the groups said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

EU Wants Migrants to Take Our Jobs

EURO MPs will today call for even looser border controls to encourage a fresh wave of immigration into Europe — and Britain.

They will claim that many areas of the Continent face acute labour shortages that need to be filled with foreign workers.

Proposals include a relaxation of employment regulations so that millions more migrants — asylum seekers among them — can take up jobs within the EU, including the UK.

The Euro MPs also want Brussels to discuss further “social security co-ordination” to give migrants greater access to welfare benefits.

The proposals last night triggered fears that Britain will be hit by another population surge that will wreck the Government’s attempt at restricting annual net immigration.

Tim Aker, of the Eurosceptic campaign group Get Britain Out, said: “While we are in the EU we don’t control our borders, Brussels does. This shows they don’t care about our unemployed, who face more competition for British jobs due to mass immigration.

“If you want to get more jobs and control of our borders, we have got to quit the EU.”

Mr Aker added: “Already the UK is seeing net immigration remain over 200,000 per year. This new EU plan will be little consolation for the one million young unemployed Brits facing more competition for jobs.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Illegal Immigrant and Failed Asylum Seeker Handed £24,000 by Human Rights Judges After ‘British Law Failed to Protect Her From Slavery’

The Ugandan came to Britain illegally on a false passport, became a care worker and was free to leave the house where she worked, the European Court of Human Rights heard.

Police investigating the 33-year-old’s case decided she was a criminal and a British judge cast doubt on her credibility, describing her story as ‘implausible’.But the Strasbourg judges ruled that the woman, whose identity they shielded, suffered a breach of her rights as there was no UK law at the time specifically banning slavery. They ordered the Government to pay her £23,500, made up of £7,000 in compensation and £16,500 in expenses and costs.

The judgment marks another case in which Britain has been told that Acts of Parliament and common law have been inadequate to meet European demands.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Small Town Australia Says No Thanks to Refugees Moving in

by acorcoran

It wasn’t too long ago that we told you about the small town in Sweden that was resigned to the arrival of refugees to be housed in a historic mansion in their town, here. And, LOL!, then remember the refugees said, ‘get me out of here, there are ghosts!’

Now, a small town suburb of Melbourne, Hawthorne, Australia, is balking at a proposal for 100 refugees to “transition” while living on a “heritage street.”

By the way, everyone remembers when immigrants went to big cities, but this is a growing practice in the West—-trying to get refugees moved to small cities and towns. The refugee industry advocates probably think they are thusly teaching the local hicks how to be “welcoming” and to get used to multiculturalism. However, jobs and housing become an issue for such immigrants—-not to mention the antipathy some rural folks have to change (and why should they be forced to change?)

Here is the story from the Herald Sun:

COMMUNITY pressure has all but crushed plans for asylum seekers to be housed in a former aged care home in Hawthorn.

Neighbours are divided over a proposal to use the Uniting Church centre on Manningtree Rd as accommodation for up to 100 refugees on bridging visas.

The furore began when refugee services agency AMES, which has a six-month lease on the property, sent a letter to locals on October 30, introducing “some new residents in your neighbourhood”.


[NOTE: In Sweden, citizens “resign” themselves to an unwelcome invasion. In Australia, citizens fight back. Read the rest at URL above. — D]

[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Demoted Christian Wins Legal Fight After Facebook Post

A Christian who was demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook has won his breach of contract action against his employer.

Adrian Smith lost his managerial position, had his salary cut by 40%, and was given a final written warning by Trafford Housing Trust (THT) after posting that gay weddings in churches were “an equality too far”.

The comments were not visible to the general public, and were posted outside work time, but the trust said he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers.

Mr Smith brought breach of contract proceedings, saying the trust acted unlawfully in demoting him. And today Mr Justice Briggs ruled in his favour at London’s High Court.

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

The Sex-Change Sweethearts: How a Pageant Princess and Colonel’s Son Fell in Love After Both Had Transgender Treatment

To the casual observer, this young couple look just like any other teenagers in love.

But pretty Katie Hill and her boyfriend Arin Andrews share a unique bond — they were both born as the opposite sex.

Katie, 18, spent the first 15 years of her life as Luke, son of a Marine colonel, while Arin, 16, was born a girl called Emerald who excelled at ballet dancing and won beauty contests.

Both struggled with their sexuality all through their childhoods and were teased and bullied but their lives were changed when they both began hormone therapy and later met at a trans support group in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and instantly fell in love.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UN Population Report Cites Discredited ‘Freakanomics’ Abortion Study

NEW YORK, November 16, 2012, ( — A flawed study that claimed abortion is responsible for reducing U.S. crime rates is listed as a source in the United Nations Population Fund’s annual report.

Its inclusion in the report, “By Choice, Not By Chance,” is puzzling, as the UNFPA document is putatively about birth control, not abortion.

John J. Donohue III and Steven D. Levitt wrote “The Impact of Abortion on Crime” for Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics in 2001. “Legalized abortion appears to account for as much as 50 percent of the recent drop in crime,” they concluded.

Levitt made the same observations in his 2005 book, Freakanomics.

His controversial findings were promptly debunked by the wider academic community.

Statistician David Murray found that nations have a large increase in crime at about the time the aborted children would become young adults.

Ted Joyce of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Carnegie-Mellon Professor Alfred Blumstein, director of the National Consortium on Violence Research, were among many who said Donohue and Levitt ignored important contributing factors — like the expansion of the nation’s prison system — in their analysis.

Two economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston caught data programming errors in their calculations, as well. The article is listed in the bibliography but not cited by name in the body of the report, which contains a long section touting the alleged benefits of mass contraceptive usage.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UN Report: Religious Objections to Contraception and Abortifacients Violate Human Rights

NEW YORK, November 16, 2012, ( — A newly released United Nations Population Fund report calls on governments to counteract “religious” objections to “emergency contraception,” which the report says stand in the way of fundamental human freedoms.

The UNFPA’s 2012 annual report, which declared birth control a “human right,” was released this week.

It states that UN general comments are “the authoritative interpretation of the standards” that “help translate the right to family planning at the abstract…level into policies and programs.”

The committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights in its General Comment Number 14 ruled that one of the “normative elements” is “acceptability.”

According to the report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception — including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ — are viewed as acceptable.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

US Appeals Court Strikes Down Michigan Ban on Affirmative Action

A federal appeals court has invalidated Michigan’s 2006 ban on race-conscious admissions at the University of Michigan and other public colleges in the state, ruling that the prohibition violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

The Sixth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati voted 8 to 7 on Thursday to invalidate Proposal 2, a state constitutional amendment that barred race-based affirmative action programs in public education.

Michigan voters approved the amendment 58 percent to 42 percent in a state-wide referendum in November 2006.

The Sixth Circuit decision invalidates the result of that vote and denounces the ballot initiative as a form of political manipulation that placed excessive burdens on minority interests.

“We conclude that Proposal 2 targets a program that inures to the benefit of the minority and reorders the political process in Michigan in a way that places special burdens on racial minorities,” Judge R. Guy Cole wrote in the 36-page majority opinion.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]


1434 AH: Happy New Islamic Year

With about a month and half for the Gregorian calendar to end, Muslims have already eneterd a new year 1434 Anno Hegirae [Hijriyya/Islamic calendar.] This stems from the fact that the Islamic calendar has fewer days in a year. The number of days in each of the twelve months is not fixed because the months are dependent on the appearance and or disappearance of the moon. Aside this vast difference, the Islamic [Hijriyya] and Gregorian calendars, a few similarities exist: amongst others: seven days a week and twelve months constituting a calendar year. Regrettably however, keeping track of Islamic dates is virtually nonexistent in the lives of most Muslims except at particular times of the year; times of the year that are usually tied to festivities in the Muslim life…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Something Curious is Happening to Sunni Islam


Something very interesting is happening within Sunni political Islam. As its religiosity increasingly becomes an externalized, very visible, almost secularized outer projection — one associated, on the one hand, with public social good works; and, on the other, with an emphasis on the external aspect of texts, law, and its collectivized manifestation of Islamic ‘identity’ (for example in the wearing of Islamic dress and public display of piety) — it may appear that movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood are placing themselves increasingly at odds with secular modernity. This has become almost axiomatic in the western understanding of what is happening in the Middle East today.

But on closer examination, however, this axiom turns out to be quite wrong. Quietly, almost unnoticed, mainstream Sunni Islamism has been, over the years, preparing — not some withdrawal from secular modernity into some inner sanctum — but its Islamist takeover, as the means to establish a new, pan-national, social sphere: an umma (a global ‘nation’ of believers) grounded in the social media of the Internet era, that ultimately will bring to fruition the notion of a modern Islamic state, in Muslim majority societies.

To this end, the Brotherhood and its allied movements have been doing things that might surprise westerners. They have been de-ideologizing Islam: that is to say, the Brothers have been unobtrusively, but deliberately, de-linking from Islam’s intellectual tradition, by creating in its stead, an undefined, ambiguous, non-doctrinal ideological framework. And they have been using this de-ideologized, essentially social framework as the umbrella by which pragmatic, frankly secular initiatives have been pursued — with an eye to their non-doctrinal socioeconomic ends, and as the best route for the achieving of secular power.

This Sunni current is, unlike its Shia and Sufi counterparts, quite plainly severing itself from what we might call ‘interiority’, from an actualized knowledge arising from within the human, in favor of mounting an externalized Islam of collective political action, in which mainly secularly-educated Islamists are proud to appropriate the ‘tools of modernity’ for their purpose in creating a new Islamic social sphere…

[JP note: Same old Islam — main objective to confuse dhimmis while robbing them or worse.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]