Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/22/2008

Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/22/2008An important story to watch concerns the BNP in the UK. After a list of BNP members was leaked on the internet, the government began persecuting people whose names were found on the list. A backlash has already begun — the British hate bullies and tend to support the underdog — so the BNP is bound to gain in strength.

Thanks to Aeneas, Archonix, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JD, PB, Steen, TB, VH, Zenster, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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USA
Communist Party USA is Giddy About ‘Great Changes’ Coming With Obama
Decline of American Power
Elementary School on Long Island Changes Name to “Barack Obama Elementary”
Ex-Silicon Valley Engineers Sentenced to 1 Year
The Government is Making Suckers of US All
U.S. Court Says Shell Can’t Drill Near Alaska
 
Europe and the EU
Anger Over Norway’s Fighter Plane Rejection
Energy: Spain; Government & PP, Say No to Gazprom in Repsol
Exposed: the Sinister Secrets of Labour’s Party List
Germany Bans Hezbollah’s Television Station
Oil: Zapatero, it is Good if Repsol Has Spanish Flag
Repatriation Agreement Signed With Bulgaria
UK: Boris Johnson Calls for Illegal Immigrants Amnesty
UK: BNP Leaked List Claims First Victims
War in Brussels: Police Give in
 
Balkans
Bosnia: Wife Urges Algerian Guantanamo Inmates’ Release After US Judge’s Ruling
 
Mediterranean Union
Italy: Masters Project for Young Managers of Southern Med
 
North Africa
Egypt: More Bedouin Protests at Israeli Border
Egypt: Gov’t Sends Condolences to Bedouins, Tension Over
 
Israel and the Palestinians
Gaza: Nobel Prize Winner Maguire, Expel Israel From UN
Iran Executes Man in Israeli Spy Case
Rocket Hits Israeli City, Gaza Still Sealed
 
South Asia
Islamabad, Law in Parliament to Give “Equal” Rights to Women
Pakistan: Al-Qaeda-Friendly Militants Operating in Karachi, Warns Top Advisor
U.S. Strike in Pakistan Kills Wanted British Militant
Yoga Banned for Muslims in Malaysia: Official
 
Far East
China ‘Using Cyberwarfare to Challenge US Power’
China: This Spells Trouble
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
Somali Piracy: Islamic Militants ‘Attack’ Pirates Over Hijacked Saudi Tanker
 
Immigration
Immigration: New Landing in Canary Islands of 61 People
Italy: Over 569 Illegal Immigrants Arrive on Island
 
Culture Wars
Musician Defends Sony Game Song
Netherlands: Govt Subsidises ‘Homosexuality Healers’
Netherlands: Two-Thirds of Violence Against Gays by Ethnic Perpetrators
 
General
Exposing the Fallacy of Collectivism
Interview With Notorious Lawyer Jacques Vergès
Michael Jackson Converts to Islam
The Capitalist Manifesto
Where’s Gen. Patton When You Need Him?

USA

Communist Party USA is Giddy About ‘Great Changes’ Coming With Obama

Statement of the National Committee of the Communist Party USA at its November 15-16th 2008 meeting in New York

The National Committee of the Communist Party USA calls on all of those concerned about the crisis that has gripped our country and the world to close ranks; unite and fight for the election mandate.

We hail the 10’s of millions who came to the polls and registered an historic defeat of the ultra right. These voters saw through the direct and indirect appeals to racism and voted for Obama. We salute those who rejected the Republican anti-communist, anti-immigrant attacks and numerous other slanders and voted their hopes and not their fears. Their votes represent the highest expression of patriotism.

Our party has a proud history in the fight against racism, for unity and full equality. We fully appreciate what this election represents in term of the ongoing freedom struggle.

[…]

This election shows that our country may have never been a center-right country and is presently moving towards politics that are far more progressive. This was a landslide victory that is realigning our nation politically.

[…]

Labor and peoples organizations are already making plans which include the following:

-A stimulus package of a half trillion or more including massive public works creating millions of new jobs. It means emergency help for the victims of the borrowing crisis including those caught in the sub prime scam.

-It’s time for action to pass the “Employee Free Choice Act.”

-We need a concrete time table for pulling out our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan as rapidly as possible.

- We need an immediate effort to preserve and improve both Medicare and Medicaid, to step up the campaign to pass HR 676. We need to push to extend SCHIP and unemployment compensation.

- We need emergency aid to cities and states on the verge of bankruptcy.

-All Bush executive orders need to be thoroughly researched and repealed were necessary.

-We need to step up the efforts to repeal the Patriot Act.

-United actions are needed against California’s Prop. #8.

-United actions are needed against racist violence.

-Labor leaders are meeting and there is talk of a large labor demonstration in spring ‘09.

While we act, we must take part in the important conversations on the future of the country including the socialist alternative. Building the Party and the Young Communist League has to be a basic part of what we do in these changing times. We must build the People’s Weekly World/ Nuestro Mundo as well as our internet presence.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Decline of American Power

CAIRO — A US intelligence report has predicted the decline of the United States as the world’s dominant power to the rising Asian giants China and India in a multi-polar world, reported The New York Times on Friday, November 21.

“The unipolar moment is over, or certainly will be over by 2025,” Thomas Fingar, chairman of the National Intelligence Council, said in a briefing on the “Global Trends 2025 — A World Transformed” report.

“We’re projecting a multipolar world.”

The report, drawn up every four years to serve as a guidepost for the new administration, predicted that the US would lose its dominant role in the new world order…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Elementary School on Long Island Changes Name to “Barack Obama Elementary”

ABC News’ Matt Jaffe Reports:A New York elementary school has been re-named in honor of President-elect Barack Obama. Ludlum Elementary School in Long Island’s Hempstead Union Free School District was re-named at a board meeting Thursday, at the request of numerous school students.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Ex-Silicon Valley Engineers Sentenced to 1 Year

China pair stole chip design, tried to smuggle to homeland for government-backed startup

Two engineers from China were sentenced to a year in prison today for stealing computer chip designs from their Silicon Valley employers and trying to smuggle the secrets to their homeland to launch a government-backed startup there.

Fei Ye, a U.S. citizen, and Ming Zhong, a permanent resident of the U.S., had pleaded guilty in 2006, becoming the first people convicted of the most serious crime under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. They were accused of trying to benefit China with their stolen chip designs, though prosecutors did not allege that the Chinese government knew of their illegal activities.

Ye and Zhong could have gotten 30 years, but prosecutors asked for less because the men cooperated with investigators. Both engineers apologized in court today.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


The Government is Making Suckers of US All

Did you buy a house you could actually afford? Do you pay your mortgage on time every month? Do you sacrifice some of your material desires so that you can put away a little money for a rainy day? Man, are you dumb.

You could have bought a bigger house than you could afford, taken out a home equity line of credit to pay for a couple BMWs, a great cruise to Cozumel, a new pool and hot tub in the backyard and still be in great shape. How? We’re from the government and we’re here to help.

(Cue infomercial music and crazy sales guy.)

Are you 90 days late on your home mortgage? Do you still owe 90 percent, 100 percent, even 110 percent or more of what your home is actually worth? Did you get your loan from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or one of 27 other government-approved loan companies? Then today is your lucky day!

“Come on down to the Streamlined Modification Program! We can reduce your monthly payment to be no more than 38 percent of your monthly income. That includes your principal, interest, taxes, insurance and even your homeowner association dues. But wait — there’s more!

This plan is based on your current income, not your assets. The lower your income, the better your monthly payment plan. We can extend the term of your loan up to 40 years. Your interest rate can be as low as 3 percent. If you qualify and act right now, we can even reduce the principle (Although you will have to pay that principle when you sell or refinance your home. See the fine print. Your circumstances may vary).

This is really happening. It’s not a gag. It’s all backed by the government and funded with your money. Here’s the kicker: Loan officers are getting paid $800 per homeowner they talk into taking this great deal. Wow.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


U.S. Court Says Shell Can’t Drill Near Alaska

Decision: Permit issued to company without doing environmental study

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday blocked Royal Dutch Shell from drilling oil wells off Alaska’s North Slope after finding that the Interior Department had failed to conduct an environmental study before issuing the company’s drilling permit.

In a long-awaited ruling, the court said that the Minerals Management Service, the U.S. government agency in charge of offshore leasing, had violated the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act by failing to take a “hard look” at the impact that offshore drilling would have on bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea as well as indigenous communities on the North Slope.

The decision canceled Shell’s permit to drill at a prospect called Sivulliq, about 16 miles off northern Alaska, and ordered the agency to begin the process from scratch.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Anger Over Norway’s Fighter Plane Rejection

A former Saab executive lashed out at the Norwegian government on Friday over its handling of a decision to reject the Gripen in favour of the American F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“We are really surprised about how this was handled, what happened yesterday, and about the justification,” said Jan Nygren, who served as Saab’s deputy CEO until two years ago, to the TT news agency.

Since leaving his post, Nygren has served as a consultant for Saab on the Norway deal and as a result has plenty of insight into what was said and done in the lead up to Thursday’s rejection of the Gripen.

“It went very fast and we didn’t get any advance warning, maybe an hour and a half, and with that I’m being generous,” he said.

“And besides, we are just a tad surprised to say the least that they so unabashedly chose to criticize the Gripen, despite the fact that all of us involved know that the Gripen is a better fit for the functional demands laid out in the documentation included in the proposal request.

“I can’t criticize Norway for deciding to buy an American airplane. It’s obvious if there are two competitors that only one can win. But we are confused by the justification. Why is it necessary to sit in a press conference and state that the Gripen doesn’t meet a number of operational demands?” asked Nygren.

As he continued to vent his frustration, Nygren wondered further why Norway would subject the Gripen to such harsh public criticism.

In announcing the decision on Thursday, Norway’s defence minister Anne-Grethe Ström-Erichsen presented a detailed technical review in which she detailed how the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) outclassed the Gripen in almost every area.

“The JSF is considered to be better than the Gripen in every major requirement for a combat aircraft — spying and surveillance, as well as combat against targets in the air, on land, and at sea,” she told the Norwegian news agency NTB.

The public dismantling of the Gripen’s capabilities by the Norwegian defence minister was also a sore point for Nygren.

“We’re wondering why a neighbouring country like Norway took the liberty of choosing this way to describe an airplane which is actually in operation in our air force,” he said.

“It will probably mean that Saab will request to look at the documentation. And I’m assuming that the government and the Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) are just as interested. Because this isn’t just some minor attack, if I can use that expression.”

Jan Nygren said he had never believed that Norway was simply playing to the gallery when it requested a Swedish tender.

“No, I have not wished to harbour any such suspicions. We have endeavoured to view our Norwegian friends as a group that was serious and had thought this through.

“Of course, having seen all this, I will now have another think. What happened yesterday may cause me to have some doubts.”

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Energy: Spain; Government & PP, Say No to Gazprom in Repsol

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 13 — The Spanish Government is treating a possible stake-holding by Gazprom in Repsol with a wary eye. The Russian giant has been showing interest in purchasing a 20 pct stake in Spain’s leading oil company from leading shareholder, Sacyr Vallehermoso. The main misgivings about such an operation, according to sources close to the Government, cited in the on-line edition of El Pais, revolve around “Gazprom’s state and monopolistic nature”, which could come into conflict with national interests. The sources further stressed that even though it belongs to a strategic sector, Repsol is nonetheless a private company and so Sacyr-Vallehermoso is free to sell to whomever they should wish. The Chair of Spain’s opposition Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy, has also come down “radically opposed to the notion that a Russian company, a publicly-owned monopoly, should get hold of 20 pct of Repsol”. In a statement given on radio Cadena Ser, Rajoy expressed confidence that “the idea of sanctioning the operation would not even occur to the Government”. Underlining that both Government and opposition “are watching over the general interest”, the PP leader pointed out that the 20 stake in Repsol was acquired by property groupp Sacyr for 6 or 7 billion euro and that, if “the shares go for less or the promoter sells without a decent taking, that’s their look-out”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Exposed: the Sinister Secrets of Labour’s Party List

First it was the BNP. Now the personal details of members of other political parties have been posted on the internet, in a move likely to lead to widespread embarrassment.

The data is believed to have been left on a train by a drunken civil servant, along with the records of 21 million NHS patients, the contents of the mainframe computers at the DVLA and the Department of Social Security, and the identities and ex-directory phone numbers of every single member of MI5.

Last night’s revelation of such sensitive private information shatters the illusion that Labour is a broad-based movement. Back in 1997, Tony Blair claimed that the party was nothing less than the political wing of British people as a whole.

Cabinet Ministers flanked by party members at the last Labour Conference : Information on party members has been leaked on the internet

But the list of members posted on a website shows it to be a declining rump of lecturers, school teachers, social workers, trade union officials and former councillors.

Many of them have never had a proper job in their lives and harbour dubious histories, in some cases descending into outright criminality.

They include a significant number of extremists, including plenty who previously belonged to an assortment of Trotskyite and Communist organisations — facts they have tried to conceal from the public.

Some people may be shocked at the news that one of Labour’s most senior figures had been involved in a massive pensions swindle and is also wanted in connection with the disappearance of billions of pounds’ worth of Britain’s gold bullion and foreign exchange reserves.

Approached by reporters, he refused to answer questions and blamed everything on the Americans.

Another leading light is a serial offender who obtained a mortgage by deception, was guilty of an outrageous stamp duty scam and was sacked for selling passports.

He is also suspected of using his previous position at the European Commission to do favours for a businessman who has been linked with the Russian underworld in exchange for lavish hospitality.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]


Germany Bans Hezbollah’s Television Station

Germany’s interior ministry has banned al-Manar satellite television, the mouthpiece of the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, a ministry spokesman said on Friday, in a move denounced by the station.

The station, which the United States designated a “terrorist organization” shortly before banning it in 2004, was also barred in France.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said the ban was introduced because the channel did not promote international understanding and violated the German constitution.

In a statement posted on a website affiliated with Hezbollah, the managment denounced Germany’s decision as a “blatant attack on press freedoms,” calling it a “political decision without any legal validity that will not dissuade al-Manar from performing its professionlal duty.”

The statement said the station has been the target of unjust American and “Zionist” policies and aserted that the ban violates international human rights and media laws, according to the statement posted on the website Promise (Wa3ad).

The ministry said the restrictions covered al-Manar advertisements, fund-raising for its studios and the reception of the satellite television station in hotels. Private homes will still be able to view the channel.

Al-Manar is Hezbollah’s mouthpiece and played a major role in forcing an end to Israel’s 22-year occupation of south Lebanon.

Hezbollah funds Al-Manar, its sister radio station Al-Nour and the parent company Lebanon Media Group.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Oil: Zapatero, it is Good if Repsol Has Spanish Flag

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 20 — “The government considers that it is good for Repsol to have the Spanish flag”. This was stated today by the prime minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, quoted by news agencies, who was commenting on news that the Russian company Lukoil is interested in purchasing a share of around 30% of the Spanish oil group Repsol YPF. At the same time, the leader of the executive assured that the executive must respect the interests of the company and any negotiations that it starts to integrate new members. Unlike what it did in the case of the Russian state group Gazprom, the executive is not giving its opinion on Lukoil’s interest which “is a private company, the main shareholder of which, with a 20% holding, is the United States group that is the sector leader”, said Zapatero, referring to Conoco Philips. Even so, the executive will supervise the matter to make sure that any transaction has “a favourable result for the strategic interests of Spain and those of a company such as Repsol”. Lukoil, the second-largest private Russian oil company after Rosneft, with market capitalization of 20 billion euro, is said to be interested in the acquisition of 30% of Repsol YPF, the legal limit beyond which it would be forced to launch a takeover bid. According to sources quoted by EFE, the company has maintained contact with Sacyr Vallehermoso, the construction group which owns 20% of Repsol’s shares and the majority shareholder, which in turn sounded out the government to ask its opinion on the transaction. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Repatriation Agreement Signed With Bulgaria

Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf has signed a revised repatriation agreement with Bulgaria during a two-visit to the country.

The accord will make it easier for both governments to repatriate people, and allows Switzerland to return to Bulgaria third-country nationals who transit the Balkan state.

The justice ministry said the accord matches those Switzerland has with other European Union member states.

Bulgaria and Romania became EU members at the beginning of June 2007.

Widmer-Schlumpf said she was confident the Swiss electorate would choose to extend the Swiss-EU free movement of people treaty to Romania and Bulgaria when the issue comes to a nationwide vote in February 2009.

Together with the Bulgarian interior minister, Mihail Mikov, Widmer-Schlumpf called for closer cooperation between the law enforcement authorities in both countries to combat human trafficking.

Widmer-Schlumpf said Switzerland was not “indifferent to the exploitation of Bulgarian women”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


UK: Boris Johnson Calls for Illegal Immigrants Amnesty

London mayor Boris Johnson has called for an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Mr Johnson believes granting illegal immigrants official status will be a revenue bonus for the country as they can then be taxed Photo: PA

Mr Johnson estimated there are around 700,000 illegal immigrants in the country, with 400,000 of them in the capital.

He said there is no prospect of them being removed and wants those who have been here for more than five years and can demonstrate a commitment to the country to be “regularised”.

The comments will infuriate David Cameron, as the Conservatives are opposed to an amnesty. A position they share with the Home Office.

Mr Johnson angered the Tory leadership when he made a similar proposal during the mayoral election campaign earlier this year and the party was quick to distance itself from the latest comments.

Amnesties in European countries have resulted in attracting more illegal immigrants who think they will be allowed to stay when the next amnesty is announced…

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]


UK: BNP Leaked List Claims First Victims

The first public sector employees are waking up to the fallout from the leaking of the BNP membership list yesterday.

Although the list was removed from its original blog home it has reappeared at several mirror sites, on bittorrent and on Wikileaks. Wikileaks uses encryption to protect its sources and is widely distributed across legal jurisdictions, making it all but impossible to get documents removed. Efforts to put the genie back in the bottle are now likely to be fruitless.

Meanwhile the list is being pored over by anti-fascists and hacks who have found several government employees, police officers and serving soldiers.

[Return to headlines]


UK: Councils to be Banned From Using Anti-Terror Powers to Snoop on People

The Government is planning action to stop local councils using surveillance powers designed for terrorism and serious crime to deal with trivial offences like dog-fouling, a Home Office minister said today.

Vernon Coaker admitted that council snooping on people who overfill bins or drop litter was undermining public support for the anti-terror law, and promised action ‘in the near future’.

Mr Coaker also defended the scale of the national DNA database, which contains samples from 7.39 per cent of the UK population — more than in any other country in the world — and includes those detained by police but released without charge.

He told the House of Lords Constitution Committee that in the four years after a change in the law in 2001 which allowed police to retain DNA from people who have not been convicted or charged, some 6,290 of these individuals were linked to serious crimes including murder, rape and other sexual offences.

           — Hat tip: PB[Return to headlines]


UK: Failed Nail Bomber Blames ‘War on Islam’

Brit convert injured himself when he couldn’t open bathroom stall, devices exploded

A failed suicide nail bomber left a note blaming the “disgusting” behaviour of Britons and the “war on Islam” for his attack, a court has heard.

Nicky Reilly, 22, from Plymouth, last month admitted attempted murder and preparing an act of terrorism at Exeter’s Giraffe restaurant in May.

The Muslim convert’s note insisted he was not “brainwashed or indoctrinated”.

On Friday, a court put back Reilly’s sentencing until 30 January to allow doctors to assess his mental state.

Defence barrister Kerim Fuad said several doctors were concerned that Reilly’s extremist views, which had appeared to have dissipated, could be triggered again in the future.

[…]

Reilly, of King Street, Plymouth, has learning difficulties and Asperger’s syndrome and police said after his conviction he had been “preyed upon and radicalised by others”.

But the court heard that his red ink note said: “I have not been brainwashed or indoctrinated. I am not insane.”

Instead, Reilly claimed he was simply doing “what God wants from his mujahideen”.

His note attacked drunkenness and sexual immorality as well as the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail.

It read: “In the name of God most gracious, most merciful: why I did it.

“Everywhere Muslims are suffering at the hands of Britain, Israel and America. We are sick of taking all the brutality from you.

“You torture and destroy Muslim lives by taking a father or a son or a brother, even you torture Muslim women.

“In Britain it’s OK for a girl to have sex without marriage and if she gets pregnant she can get an abortion so easily.

“When you are getting drunk on Friday and Saturday night your behaviour is worse than animals.

“You have sex in nightclub toilets. You urinate in shop doorways. You shout your foul and disgusting mouth off in the street.

“It is unacceptable to Allah and the true religion Islam.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


War in Brussels: Police Give in

In a stunning article in a Flemish magazine, police officers confirm the existence of so-called “no go-zones” in Brussels, “neighbourhoods where the police barely dares to patrol. Neighbourhoods where gangs of immigrants rule the streets, where officers risk their lives when they go there alone and where firefighters are pelted with stones.” The officers are on the verge of despair: “There’s a war In Brussels, and we’re losing.”

According to the police officers, there are nine of these “no go-zones” in Brussels. The article gives an overview of a large number of intimidations and acts of violence against police officers. Not only when they are on duty, but also on their way home.

“The soft approach does not help anymore. Judges may say: ‘Give these youngsters a second chance,’ but we are confronted every day with them, and I assure you that these guys are lost. Youngsters that attempt to kill police officers and attack police vehicles need harsh punishments,” one of the Brussels officers states. Therefore, a policy of zero-tolerance has to be applied.

Additional places in prisons and detention centers have to be created. The Department of Justice has to be reformed, police forces need more manpower. Vlaams Belang demands these changes for years. Brussels is not lost yet, but it seems that the traditional parties have given up on the city. Much courage will be needed to retake the Brussels neighbourhoods from “the scum,” as the French president Sarkozy once called them.

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]

Balkans

Bosnia: Wife Urges Algerian Guantanamo Inmates’ Release After US Judge’s Ruling

Sarajevo, 21 Nov. (AKI) — Bosnian politicians and media had no comment on Friday on the decision of an American court to free five of six members of the so called “Algerian group”, suspected of terrorism activities. The suspects have been held in the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the wife of one Algerian, Nadja Dizdarevic, said they were arrested illegally and should be freed immediately.

US District Judge Richard Leon said the US Government had failed to prove the prisoners had planned to go to Afghanistan to fight US troops.

Leon ordered the US government to take all necessary and diplomatic steps to facilitate the release of the five “forthwith,” said media reports.

The six Algerians were arrested in Bosnia shortly after the 11 September attacks against the US in 2001.

They were sent to Guantanamo in 2002 and have been detained there without ever being charged. Many have complained of abuses.

After their detention in 2002, US President George W. Bush said the Algerians had been plotting a bomb attack against the US embassy in Sarajevo.

The Algerians were allegedly among thousands of mujahadeen who came to Bosnia from Muslim countries to fight on the side of local Muslims.

Many remained in the country after the war, married local women and acquired Bosnian citizenship.

But US authorities could continue to detain a sixth man, Belkacem Bensayah, in the detention centre in Cuba, Judge Leon ruled.

The US government had established he was “more likely than not” planning to go to Afghanistan, said Leon.

Dizdarevic, who had fought a legal battle for years to free the Algerians, told media “Bosnian authorities should now fulfil their obligation and officially demand their liberation”.

She said the group was arrested “illegally and without any evidence”.

Dizdarevic said if Bosnian authorities did not act immediately, she would turn to the human rights court in Strasbourg on Monday to demand the release of the five acquitted members of the group.

Following western intelligence report that some former mujahadeen were involved in terrorist activities in Bosnia and kept close ties to Al-Qaeda, Bosnian authorities have reviewed thousands of citizenships granted to foreigners during the war and about 400 of them have allegedly been revoked.

Bosnian Authorities are planning to deport those people whose citizenships have been denied or revoked, back to their home countries.

However, their families in Bosnia have been fighting a legal battle to let them stay, arguing that their lives would be in jeopardy if they are expelled.

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

Mediterranean Union

Italy: Masters Project for Young Managers of Southern Med

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, NOVEMBER — Yasmine, 22 years old, has come to Italy from Algeria and will return home with “possible new fields of activity” to look into;; Yazan (29) will go back to Jordan with the idea of starting up a business importing and exporting Italian food; Lamia (29), from Egypt, is sure that he has learned many new skills. These are just three of the testimonies of the twenty students that this morning received the ‘Euro-Mediterranean Manager’ qualification in Milan. Today ceremony in the Milan Chamber of Commerce signalled the end of the third ‘Introduction to entrepreneurship’ which was held in Milan and Venice and followed a group of postgraduates from ten countries on the southern coast of the Mediterranean and several Italians. The initiative could now develop into a full university masters course. “We have already received interest from several economics universities” announced Bruno Ermolli, president of the Promos-Milan Chamber of Commerce, one of the groups involved in the project. Right now, the school cannot meet growing demand for places: “This year there were over 100 applications and we could only answer 20”, said Ermolli. Furthermore, explained Giorgio Vittadini, President of the Subsidiarity Foundation, another promoter of the initiative, “we expect to widen the scope of the project to include Balkan countries on the Adriatic coast”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: More Bedouin Protests at Israeli Border

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 13 — More protests took place this morning to urge for a fast trial against the police officers who two days ago killed three Bedouins in Sinai: men who belong to the tribes of the ones who were killed demonstrated in an area close to the Israeli border. The agreement reached yesterday with the vice-head of Egyptian secret services to restore calm and put an end to tension between the police and local populations is therefore off. According to sources in Sinai, 500 Bedouins in 40 pick-up trucks carried out a demonstration near the border area and in the centre of Sinai. Some armed men fired into the air close to police patrols: a policeman was injured, taking the toll of injured Egyptian policemen to 29 (three in serious conditions) during protests that started early on Tuesday, after the first shootout in which one Bedouin died and another was wounded. In Ismailiya, the Court of Assizes extended the detention of 12 Bedouins accused of having participated in a series of attacks in Sharm El Sheik on July 23, 2005 (4 explosions that killed 90 people) by another 45 days. For this episode, others from a group of 62 accused of attacks in Dahab (April 24, 2006) and in Taba (October 7, 2004), in Sinai, have also been accused. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Egypt: Gov’t Sends Condolences to Bedouins, Tension Over

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, NOVEMBER 13 — Yesterday evening a meeting between Bedouin tribal chiefs, in particular that of Al Tarabin, and a police delegation led by the deputy chief of the Egyptian secret services, who expressed the government’s condolences for the three Bedouin killed yesterday, led to an agreement which has put an end to the tensions which had lasted 48 hours, triggered by the killing of three Bedouin by the police. And so the protests along the border with Israel have stopped, and calm has once again settled on the northern Sinai. According to sources on the Sinai, during the meeting the Bedouin chiefs pledged to refrain from any further killings in revenge, not to demand the hand-over of the policemen involved and not to continue attacking police. Yesterday afternoon 50 policemen were released, along with their commander, a colonel, who had been taken hostage the morning after the Bedouin had surrounded the police station. The hostages were then taken and held for a few hours in an inaccessible stronghold — among the mountain gorges and dry Wadis (river beds) of the desert — of the Al Tarabin, in Wadi el Omar, heavily guarded by armed men. The protests and violence began with a shootout between Bedouin and police in the night between Monday and Tuesday when a Tarabin was killed and another injured by the police. The latter claimed that those killed had been drug traffickers who had shot at the police first, whereas Bedouin sources denied that there had been either weapons or drugs on their jeep. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Gaza: Nobel Prize Winner Maguire, Expel Israel From UN

(ANSAmed) — ROME, NOVEMBER 21 — “Israel should be suspended from the United Nations for having regularly ignored UN resolutions”: this was said from Gaza — as reported by missionary agency, Misna — by Maired Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1976 for work done in Northern Ireland between Catholics and Protestants. During a press conference, Maguire stated that Israel should be punished for the crisis provoked by the prolonged siege of the Gaza Strip. The block, added Maguire, whose statements were carried by most of the Israeli press, “does not allow the flow of humanitarian aid and starves the civilian population”. In an interview released two days ago to Misna, Maguire, contacted a few hours before her arrival in Gaza on board ‘Dignity’, a boat of international pacifists opposed to the siege, had said that “there is nothing more illegal and immoral that the collective punishment that is being applied against the Palestinian population every day and indiscriminately by the authorities of the Israeli state”. Yesterday, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon had asked Israeli Prime minister, Ehud Olmert to allow the delivery of aid. Until now, in two weeks, only on last Monday the boarders were opened for about an hour, to allow the passage of 33 vehicles to let in aid. (ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Iran Executes Man in Israeli Spy Case

Iran has executed a man found guilty of spying for Israel, state media reported Saturday. Tehran’s Revolutionary Court convicted Ali Ashtari, 45, in June of spying for Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, in exchange for money.

While Ashtari was put to death by hanging on Monday, the execution was officially announced by the government Saturday.. “Evidence of Ashtari’s crime was overwhelming,” Iran’s intelligence ministry director told Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency.

According to Ashtari’s “confession,” published by the news agency Fars, Ashtari was a salesman who obtained high-end but security-compromised electronic equipment from Mossad and sold them to military and defense centers in Iran. During the trial prosecutors displayed spying tools that Mossad had allegedly provided, Iranian Student’s News Agency said. […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


Rocket Hits Israeli City, Gaza Still Sealed

Palestinians fired a rocket at an Israeli city near the Gaza Strip on Friday but caused no casualties, police said, as the Israeli military continued its closure of all crossings into the coastal territory because of ongoing rocket fire.

Early Friday’s rocket landed in an industrial zone in Ashkelon, about 11 miles inside Israel, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Israel allowed a trickle of key supplies into Gaza during a five-month truce with Gaza’s Hamas rulers, then shut the crossings after the truce began breaking down Nov. 4 in a flurry of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes. […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Islamabad, Law in Parliament to Give “Equal” Rights to Women

Today, the husband has much more extensive rights in the family. The council for Islamic ideology proposes innovations to permit the woman to ask for a divorce, and to preserve her property. But extremist groups accuse it of “creating confusion.”

Islamabad (AsiaNews) — There’s an uproar over proposals by the council for Islamic ideology (CII), to reform Islamic law concerning the family, in order to provide greater rights for women in the case of divorce. Current law recognizes divorce declared “verbally” by the husband, in private, and grants few economic rights to the wife.

The CII (a significant constitutional group with a legal consulting role in parliament and the government, set up in 1962) is also proposing that the wife should be able to ask for a divorce, in writing, with an obligation for the husband to accept the request within 90 days. After this period of time, the marriage would be dissolved anyway, unless the woman withdrew the request. It is also advised that women should declare their property at the time of their marriage, because after divorce many husbands strip their wives of their own property.

Asma Jahangir, president of the Pakistani commission for human rights, explains to AsiaNews that, in any case, women have a legal right to divorce, but the real problem is that often the husband does not provide any economic support for her or her children. She recalls that many husbands throw their wives and children out of the house, without even divorcing or giving them anything.

Muslim lawyer Hifza Aziz adds that today, the man can remarry without even telling his new wife about his previous divorce.

The proposal has prompted widespread opposition in the Islamic world, and the mufti Munibor Rehman, a prominent religious leader, accuses the CII of “wanting to invent a new sharia” and “to create anarchy and chaos in the country.”

Hanif Jalandhry, secretary general of the alliance of organizations of Islamic schools, accuses the CII of “exceeding its constitutional role, with the proposal to introduce non-Islamic reforms into the law.” Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, president of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami, says that the council “is sowing confusion among the people, with mistaken interpretations of sharia.”

These accusations are rejected by S.M. Zafar, president of the Pakistani society for human rights, who reiterates that “the right of the woman to ask for a divorce is already practiced under the principle of the Khula, and the CII only wants to formalize this practice.”

The CII is not withdrawing the proposed law, which will be examined by parliament. On November 18, Hamid Saeed Kazmi told the national assembly that the government “does not support” these proposals, which are being advanced by the CII on its own initiative. The minister for law and justice, Farooq H. Naek, has specified that parliament will not approve a law that is in contrast with the holy Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Another controversial point is the CII’s proposal to allow women to make the pilgrimage of the Hajj (which Muslims must make at least once in their lives) without a Mahram (“guardian”), in respect of the constitutional right to travel without restrictions.

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


Pakistan: Al-Qaeda-Friendly Militants Operating in Karachi, Warns Top Advisor

Karachi, 21 Nov. (AKI) — By Syed Saleem Shahzad — Various militant organisations are present in the southern port city of Karachi and may figure in the terror network’s plans. This is what the the Government’s top advisor for interior affairs, Rahman Malik, told Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday.

Rahman Malik briefed Zardari in a high profile meeting in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city and the country’s financial capital.

Several militant organisations especially the anti-Shia Lashkar-i-Jhangvi have regrouped in Karachi, according to Malik.

He said that militants are taking refuge in Karachi after fleeing from the anti-Taliban operations being carried out by the military in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan in northwest Pakistan.

Sindh province’s home minister Zulfiqar Mirza has categorically denied Karachi is being ‘Talibanised’. The claim was made by a coalition partner in the Sindh provincial government, the Muttehida Quami Movement (MQM).

Malik said however that everyone entering Karachi needs to be screened.

The city is home to 3,000 out of the country’s 17,000 Islamic seminaries, Malik noted.

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


U.S. Strike in Pakistan Kills Wanted British Militant

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) — Rashid Rauf, a British militant with al Qaeda links, was killed along with an Egyptian by a suspected U.S. missile strike in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, Pakistani television channels and intelligence officers said.

Rauf, the suspected ringleader of a 2006 plot to blow up transatlantic airliners using liquid explosives, was among five victims of an attack believed to have been launched by a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft in the North Waziristan tribal region.

The plot, which was uncovered with the help of Pakistani intelligence, had the potential to kill on the scale of the September 11, 2001 al Qaeda attacks and resulted in tighter controls on cabin luggage hand-carried on board by air passengers worldwide.

Intelligence officers in northwest Pakistan, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that Rauf, who escaped from custody after appearing in an Islamabad court last December, had been killed, though there was no official confirmation.

They named the dead Egyptian as Abu Zubair al-Masri. Arab casualties are usually taken as a sign of an al Qaeda presence…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Yoga Banned for Muslims in Malaysia: Official

Outraged Malaysians were told by the country’s top Islamic council Saturday to avoid yoga because it uses Hindu prayers and encourages a union with God that is blasphemous.

“Yoga is forbidden for Muslims. The practice will erode their faith in the religion,” Abdul Shukor Husin, chairman of the government-backed National Fatwa Council, told reporters.

“Yoga is forbidden for Muslims. The practice will erode their faith in the religion. “

Top Islamic chief Yoga, an ancient Indian aid to meditation dating back thousands of years, is a popular stress-buster in Kuala Lumpur.

“There are other ways to get exercise and a peace of mind,” Husin said, adding “you can go cycling, swimming and eat less fatty food.”

Husin said yoga involved physical and religious elements of Hinduism including the recitation of mantras he also said the ban would not be implemented on non-Muslims.

“For us, yoga can destroy a Muslim’s faith. But this is not a matter for the non-Muslims to be concerned about because it’s not imposed on them. We are looking out for the Muslim community,” he said, noting Egypt and Singapore had issued similar rulings.

Islam is the official religion of Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of the population of 27 million are Muslim Malays who practice a conservative brand of the religion.

The new ruling comes hot on the heels of another edict against young Muslim women wearing trousers after the council said that by wearing trousers, girls risked becoming sexually active “tomboys.”

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Far East

China ‘Using Cyberwarfare to Challenge US Power’

China is using cyberwarfare to challenge American power and distorting economic policy to exert political influence over other countries, according to a hostile congressional report.

The report accuses China of using its foreign exchange reserves, built up through “heavy-handed government control” to buy influence.

In one recent example, a government sovereign wealth fund agreed to use the reserves to loan money to Costa Rica in return for its dropping diplomatic recognition of China’s rival, Taiwan.

Meanwhile, it has built up its army of cyber-spies to such an extent that it can launch attacks “anywhere in the world at any time”.

The number of attacks on US government, defence companies and businesses rose by a third in 2007, to 43,880 incidents affecting five million computers, according to the claims by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.

Some were so sophisticated that they might be impossible to counteract, or even detect. Meanwhile, its space programme, targeted at what one Chinese military strategist called “America’s soft ribs”, was steadily increasing the vulnerability of US assets.

“China is intent on expanding its sphere of control even at the expense of its Asian neighbours and the United States,” it said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


China: This Spells Trouble

While we as a nation retreat into our own economic misery, confronting a meltdown that can only be made worse by the collective and continued mismanagement of our leaders, spare a thought for China — not least because what is happening there cannot but help impact on us, in diverse but as yet unknown ways.

According to The Times and other sources, between 130-230 million migrant workers are poised to go back to their rural homes. As the manufacturing economy collapses, they are deserting the cities and returning to their roots, in a huge exodus that is set to dwarf even the scale of the “Down to the Countryside Movement” of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

So massive is this movement of people that the Chinese government is setting up an emergency programme in a bid to stem the tide. It has laid down new ordinances requiring large state-owned enterprises to reduce salaries first before dismissing staff while they and even medium-sized local companies need official approval before they can make redundant more than 50 people.

Provincial governments, it seems, are particularly alarmed at the inflow of displaced — and very often penniless workers back into their districts. Many of the rural areas have not shared in the relative prosperity of the manufacturing boom and what economic dynamism has come their way has resulted from the production of higher-value agricultural products to feed the burgeoning middle classes and the higher-paid factory workers.

With less demand for more profitable products and more mouths to feed, rural areas — already under stress — will find it difficult to adjust. Thus, with no realistic chance of employment in their home towns, both central and provincial governments are worried that jobless returnees might add to the social tensions already affecting many of the provinces, while even the limited unemployment insurance funds face bankruptcy.

In a huge country with vast tracts not covered by the western media and a totalitarian government which has almost complete control over local media, it will be difficult to pick up early signs of any nascent unrest that will most certainly result if the flood of workers is not stemmed.

Already though, we have seen significant signs of unrest, and concerns at the effects of slowing growth. Unlike many commentators, therefore, we have been suggesting that China is a nation on the brink…

           — Hat tip: Archonix[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Somali Piracy: Islamic Militants ‘Attack’ Pirates Over Hijacked Saudi Tanker

Fears were growing for the safety of the 25 crew on board the hijacked supertanker Sirius Star moored in Somali waters on Friday as fierce factional fighting and political violence erupted across Somalia.

Armed Islamic militants were reported to have entered the port of Haradheere close to where the ship is moored and home to many of the pirates behind her hijacking. A spokesman for the Islamists said his group was angry pirates had attacked a ship owned by Muslims. The Sirius Star is owned by a Saudi-controlled company. “The Islamists say they will attack the pirates for hijacking a Muslim ship,” an unnamed local tribal elder said.

It is common for Somali pirates to booby-trap vessels they have seized raising the prospect of the Sirius Star being blown up if Islamists start a firefight with those who seized her. […]

           — Hat tip: VH[Return to headlines]


Swiss Alarmed by Surge in Somali Piracy

With 30 per cent of Swiss-bound goods passing through the Gulf of Aden, the sharp rise in Somali pirate attacks is “alarming”, warn the federal authorities.

The Swiss merchant navy is at risk, according to the Federal National Economic Supply Office. Swiss-based ship owners and shipping companies are also worried by the surge in Somali piracy.

According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), there were 264 piracy attacks around the world in 2007. By September this year there had been 199. But in the Gulf of Aden and off war-torn and lawless Somalia and its breakaway region of Puntland, the number of attacks doubled to 60 in 2007 and has soared to 92 so far this year.

Eight vessels have been seized in the past two weeks alone, including a massive Saudi supertanker loaded with $100 million (SFr122 million) worth of crude oil. Several hundred crew are now in the hands of Somali pirates.

Landlocked Switzerland has one of the most modern merchant navies in the world: 33 privately operated tankers, container ships and bulk cargo carriers fly under the Swiss flag in international waters. They are operated by six Swiss shipping companies and can transport up to 900,000 tonnes.

“Like others, Swiss ships often travel through the Gulf of Aden or along the Somali coasts, so they too are at risk,” Michael Eichmann, director of the Federal National Economic Supply Office, told swissinfo.

His office is responsible for overseeing the supply of goods to Switzerland and can decide what use the Swiss merchant navy can be put to, if necessary…

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Immigration

Immigration: New Landing in Canary Islands of 61 People

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 21 — Migrant landings in the Canary Islands seems to be without end: a vessel with at least 61 people on board, six of whom are minors, landed last night just after midnight on the beach at Santiago on the island of Santa Cruz, the Red Cross informed quoted by the EFE agency. Two of the immigrants, of sub-Saharan origin, were taken to hospital with symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration. The last landing on the Canaries was last November 18th when a vessel with 136 non-EUs reached the port of Los Cristianos, again on Tenerife. One of the immigrants is still in coma, after having suffered from cardiovascular arrest on the pier in the port at the moment of arrival. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Italy: Police Arrest Six Suspected People Smugglers

Agrigento, 21 Nov. (AKI) — Police arrested six suspected people smugglers in Italy’s southern region of Sicily. Aged between 23 and 60, the suspects include a Palestinian, two Egyptians, a Tunisian, and a Moroccan. Police believe the suspects sailed a boat with over 200 illegal immigrants on board which reached the southern Italian island of Lampedusa earlier this month.

Also on Friday, police in Sicily carried out a swoop in which 15 people were arrested on suspicion of exploiting illegal immigrants.

Some of those arrested are suspected of employing illegal immigrants without a contract and without paying their health, social security and pension contributions. Others are suspected of corruption and perverting the course of justice.

Those arrested include a public official, business people and several professionals. The arrests were made in the towns of Syracuse, Ragusa, Caltanissetta and Catania.

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


Italy: Over 569 Illegal Immigrants Arrive on Island

Lampedusa, 21 Nov. (AKI) — A total of 569 illegal immigrants have landed on Italy’s southernmost island of Lampedusa on Friday, aboard four boats. The fourth and latest arrival of 200 immigrants on Friday was intercepted by Italian naval authorities 26 nautical miles off Lampedusa.

Coastguard early on Friday intercepted the first boat with nine illegals on board after a tip-off from inhabitants of the tiny island. An hour later, an Italian tax police patrol boat reached the second people smugglers’ boat with 294 people on board, some 10 nautical miles south of Lampedusa, and accompanied it into port. The second boat’s passengers included 18 women and 21 minors.

A third boat with 66 illegal immigrants on board including eight women. After preliminary health checks, the illegal immigrants were taken to Lampedusa’s identification and expulsion centre.

Lampedusa is closer to Africa than the European continent and a favourite drop-off point for the people smugglers.

Most of the people-smuggling boats set sail from North Africa. But the majority of illegal migrants (63 percent) enter Italy by land or plane, according to the Interior Ministry.

Also, Italy has the European Union’s longest coastline — 4,500 kilometres — making it difficult to police and a preferred destination for migrants.

The would-be migrants usually travel aboard people smugglers’ boats, typically paying thousands of dollars for their passage. Scores drown or die of dehydration, hunger and/heatstroke on the perilous journey.

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

Culture Wars

Musician Defends Sony Game Song

The Malian musician whose song is being removed from a Sony video game because of concern it may offend Muslims has denied the music was blasphemous.

Grammy award-winning Toumani Diabate said the song celebrated the Koran.

“In my family there are only two things we know — the Koran and the kora [West African harp],” he told the BBC.

The release of the much-anticipated LittleBigPlanet was delayed when it was found that a background music track included two phrases from the Koran.

Copies of the game are being removed from shops around the world.

Diabate, a Muslim, said it was normal in Mali to mix religion and music.

“I’m really sad and I’m disappointed,” he said.

“I don’t want anybody to joke with Islam and to not respect Islam.”

Warning

The game’s creator, Media Molecule, said it was alerted to the problem by a Muslim gamer who had been playing a trial version.

The gamer had warned in an e-mail that mixing music and words from Islam’s most holy text could be considered deeply offensive by Muslims.

A Sony spokesman said earlier this week that the company had decided on global recall to make sure there was “no possible way anyone may be offended by the music in the game”.

At the time, a spokesman for the Muslim Forum think-tank praised Sony for its decision, saying the Koran should not be set to music because the words are seen to have come directly from God.

Diabate said his song, Tapha Niang, was recorded in 2004.

It was released on the album Boulevard de l’Independance in 2006.

The changed version of LittleBigPlanet will now go on sale on 3 November in the UK and 29 October in the US.

           — Hat tip: Zenster[Return to headlines]


Netherlands: Govt Subsidises ‘Homosexuality Healers’

THE HAGUE, 22/11/08 — Emancipation Minister Ronald Plasterk subsidises two Christian organisations that see homosexuality as a curable complaint.

Plasterk recently announced he would give subsidies to Christian gay organisations with the goal of making homosexuality discussible in these circles. But according to De Pers newspaper, these organisations work with therapists that are supposed to ‘cure’ homosexuals of their proclivity. They also only accept homosexuality when it is not actually practised.

Refo Anders is receiving 84,000 euros. “Homosexual feelings, okay. But we reject practising,” confirmed chairman Johan Quist in De Pers. Dealing with homosexual feelings means either celibate living or becoming heterosexual, is also the view of Johan van de Sluis, board member of the Onze Weg (Our Way) foundation, which is receiving 50,000 euros.

Gay interests organisation COC chairman Wouter Neerings is astonished. “Minister Plasterk is normally a man of sound judgement. It looks like a political compromise with ChristenUnie.”

In a reaction, Plasterk said: “These organisations have access to circles where there would otherwise be no homo-emancipation at all. Of course I do not support the aims completely, but they have taken important hurdles. For example, the recognition that there are homos in Christian circles.”

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Netherlands: Two-Thirds of Violence Against Gays by Ethnic Perpetrators

AMSTERDAM, 22/11/08 — In Amsterdam, there were at least 250 and possibly more than 1000 cases of assault on homosexuals last year. Two out of three perpetrators came from immigrant backgrounds, researchers from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) concluded in a study of anti-gay violence in Amsterdam.

There were 67 reports of physical violence against homosexuals in Amsterdam last year. The researchers claim, however, that the actual figure is much higher, because 75 to 95 percent of the victims do not go to the police.

White Dutch people are responsible for 36 percent of the violent incidents in Amsterdam. Moroccans, who form 16 percent of the population of the capital city, are also responsible for 36 percent. The other 28 percent of the attacks were committed by people from other ethnic backgrounds.

The researchers explained the over-representation of Moroccans by the fact that they frequently hang about the streets. Religious motives played practically no role in anti-gay violence, they claimed.

The UvA researchers spoke to perpetrators, sent questionnaires to school students and studied police files. One of the researchers was beaten up himself during the project because he is homosexual.

“It is a serious problem and more extensive than we had thought,” Home Affairs Minister Guusje ter Horst said in reaction to the report during a debate in the Lower House. “Homophobic violence is very serious and must be completely eradicated.”

The Home Affairs Ministry and Justice Ministry announced on Monday that the police had received 150 reports of violence against homosexuals throughout the country in the first half of this year. In 14 percent of these cases, the victim stated explicitly that the perpetrator was from an ethnic group. In the other cases, the ethnicity was not registered or the victim indicated that the perpetrator was white.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

General

Exposing the Fallacy of Collectivism

John Edwards was right: There are two Americas. The division is not between the rich and poor, nor between red states and blue states, nor between Democrats and Republicans. The division that really matters is the division between the people who believe government should regulate the behavior of people, and those who believe that people should regulate the behavior of government.

This nation was founded upon the principles of freedom set forth in the Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Even then, a significant number of people believed this form of government was wrong, that society would be better served by a government with unlimited power to impose whatever restrictions and regulations the government deemed best to serve the public.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Interview With Notorious Lawyer Jacques Vergès

‘There Is No Such Thing as Absolute Evil’

He has met Mao Zedong, Pol Pot and Che Guevara. He defended ‘Carlos the Jackal’ and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie. Jacques Vergès, 83, is probably the world’s most notorious attorney. His latest client is Khieu Samphan, the former head of state of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, who is on trial for war crimes.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Michael Jackson Converts to Islam

MICHAEL JACKSON has become a Muslim — and changed his name to MIKAEEL.

The skint superstar, 50, donned Islamic garb to pledge allegiance to the Koran in a ceremony at a pal’s mansion in Los Angeles, The Sun can reveal.

Jacko sat on the floor wearing a tiny hat after an Imam was summoned to officiate — days before the singer is due to appear at London’s High Court where he is being sued by an Arab sheik.

Ceremony … pop king Jacko

A source told last night how Jacko, brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness, decided to convert as he used a studio at the home of his chum to record a new album.

The star — whose hits include The Way You Make Me Feel — was spotted looking “a bit down” by a producer and a songwriter who had both embraced Islam.

Shahada

The source said: “They began talking to him about their beliefs, and how they thought they had become better people after they converted. Michael soon began warming to the idea.

“An Imam was summoned from the mosque and Michael went through the shahada, which is the Muslim declaration of belief.” Mikaeel is the name of one of Allah’s angels.

“Jacko rejected an alternative name, Mustafa — meaning “the chosen one”.

           — Hat tip: Aeneas[Return to headlines]


The Capitalist Manifesto

Now that Senator Obama has won the elections amidst a crisis in capitalism, it is timely to write what I call the Capitalist Manifesto. Senator Obama is without a doubt a Socialist with long time ties to the radical left in America. He has talked about “spreading the wealth”. The Democrats are poised to expand their control in Congress and will be able to pass any law they wish.

As Thomas Sowell said, an Obama victory will likely bring America to the point of no return. America is going Socialist like most of western Europe. It will have a welfare state inspite of the fact that Europe’s welfare state is not sustainable given its ageing population and lavish welfare spending.

Therefore, it is timely to write about the inherent injustice of Socialism and make the case for capitalism…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Where’s Gen. Patton When You Need Him?

As I read the ominous headlines: “Somali pirates demand $25 million ransom for supertanker”; “Somali pirates seize 9 vessels in 12 days”; “Yemen powerless to combat Somali piracy”; “Maersk says re-routing some of fleet due to piracy” ? I nearly fell into despair. Then I listened to America’s modern-day prophet Elijah, Dr. Michael Savage, rallying the troops on his radio show earlier this week, and my soul was revived.

What did Savage say? While reading about the latest acts of naked piracy by these Islamic radicals who are causing an international catastrophe in the Gulf of Aden, Savage gave one of his classic impromptu monologues of which I can only paraphrase thusly:

Who is this Admiral Mullen? What does he mean he was “stunned” at the rise in piracy in that area? Is he crazy? Has he been on “The View” TV show or taking a cruise off the coast of California? Oh yeah, that’s right Admiral Mullen is one of those Harvard-MBA-type military leaders that calls in his military commands on his trusty iPod.

After Savage’s fire-and-brimstone diatribe, I fell into a somewhat melancholy mood and silently uttered this Socratic soliloquy to myself: “Where are the real men? Where are the great generals like George Washington, William Tecumseh Sherman, Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall?… Where is Gen. George Patton when you really need him?”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

8 comments:

talnik said...

"Approached by reporters, he refused to answer questions and blamed everything on the Americans."

Zenster said...

Musician Defends Sony Game Song

The gamer had warned in an e-mail that mixing music and words from Islam’s most holy text could be considered deeply offensive by Muslims.

Amid its state of eternal high dudgeon, I wonder when Muslims will ever realize how "deeply offensive" Islam itself is to the entire civilized world.

babs said...

"After a list of BNP members was leaked on the internet, the government began persecuting people whose names were found on the list"

I find this curious. Here in the U.S. voter rolls are public record. No one has to "leak" a person's party affiliation.

Am I missing something? Is BNP an underground organization? They just won a council seat or something. How could they be underground?

Joshua said...

The BNP has been branded a racist organization. Police are barred from joining on the pretext of it being bad for race relations or some other garbage, and most people don't want to be thought of as racist.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Generally speaking, political parties are under no obligation to release their memberships to the public. Unlike the electoral role, which doesn't record a voter's preference, the party memberships are considered to be a private affair.

islam o' phobe said...

"Approached by reporters, he refused to answer questions and blamed everything on the Americans."

Boo hoo. The Democratic Party since FDR have been dedicated to spreading liberal ideas in Europe and all over the world. Every silly idea the Democrats come up with is exported with gusto and incorporated in Finland, Sweden etc.

The Republican Party have never and will never lift a finger to export conservative ideas to any non-American country because that might violate the religious doctrine of American exceptionalism.

islam o' phobe said...

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I'm certain Gen. Patton would not have responded in this manner. I don't even think he would have granted a "press conference" because he would have been too busy blowing these Somali pirates to hell.

General Patton spoke fluent French. I'm confident the average contemporary blogger/commenter would decry him as a cheese-eating pussy and/or a Eurofascist-leaning psychotic maniac.

islam o' phobe said...

I don't know about you, dear reader, but I don't think dead American heroes would endorse contemporary NATO policy on the basis that kicking ass justifies itself by its sheer total awesomeness.