Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dymphna's Whackety Packet o' News May 17

How anyone ever gets addicted to pain medication is beyond me. This stuff is awful. But the cracked ribs are worse, so for the nonce, blogging will be random and raggedy, not to mention sparse. I spent a few hours today studying the Tamil situatioin in Sri Lanka, but my mind is on drugs. A mind on drugs doesn't do paragraphs very well.



For today's news, hat tips are due for the Frozen North, JD, and Insubria…

Since it is Constitution Day, we have news of Norway. And Italy is on the list because of the brouhaha it is causing by refusing to be overrun by illegal immigrants. They've set up a deal with Libya about asylum seekers.

There is also some Canadian nanny state news, and another story about Canada getting tough with the EU.

The BNP is set to strike, and the US Republican party is toast for the next “40 years”. Guess they’ll need a Moses to lead them on that meander through the political desert.

The swine flu waxes and wanes, and Catholics like Obama even with his abortion views.

Hezbollah is getting set for a visit in Moscow. Somehow those two make a nice couple.
- - - - - - - - -
Security police intervene against fundamentalists

The security branch of the Norwegian police (PST) say they have uncovered plans for terrorist attacks against targets in Norway, and that they have intervened against 25 Muslim fundamentalists that they believe planned terrorist acts against Norway and other nations.

- I can truly say that we have on several occasions sent persons out of the country who were about to do things that could have turned out to be very serious, says PST chief Joern Holme to NRK.

He says that they have also interviewed several persons who have been stopped and warned by the PST.

- We have said that we do not accept that they continue their activities in their extreme, violent circles, Holme says.

- It is important for us to prevent Norwegian youth from going on so-called Jihad-travels, which could mean that one carries out terrorist acts, and is willing to offer one’s own life in terrorist acts, says Holme.

Holme says to NRK that he is talking about Norwegian as well as foreign citizens.

According to NRK, of the 25 persons young men referred to earlier in the story, none of them are of ethnic Norwegian background.

No ethnic Norwegians? Well, maybe Mr. Butt’s friends are in on this? Oh…of course not. As he says, Muslims don’t promote terrorism.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The Oslo Jewish cemetery vandalised

The old cemetery of the Mosaic Religious Community in Oslo has been vandalised. Several gravestones have been defaced with Nazi symbols. The vandalism has been reported to the police.

The vandalism was discovered Thursday afternoon. On one gravestone was written: “Krigen er ikke over” (The war is not over).

The old Jewish cemetery in Oslo was established in 1869. It is now a heritage site.

More non-ethnic Norwegian activity.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Believers in the Norse gods get their own graveyard

The religious fellowship that worship the old

Norse gods, the Aasatrufellowship Bifrost, will soon have their own burial place in Oslo. This has been approved by the authorities, according to Aftenposten.

The new grave site will be shaped like the outline of a ship, and may only be used for cinerary urns, the newspaper writes.

According to their home page, the asatrufellowship Bifrost is a religious fellowship for modern asatru founded on Norse custom, the pre-Christian religious traditions. Since 1996 the Bifrost fellowship has been an officially recognised religion by Norwegian authorities.

It goes on to say that “Our goal is to gather those who want to worship the old Norse gods and keep the old traditions alive. We want to create a living forum for everybody interested in asatru and to increase the understanding of art, culture and traditions with roots in the pre-Christian time. We want to take care of the heathen cultural heritage and keep it alive and updated through practice based in the study of sources and innovation in the heathen understanding of history, myths and the forces.”

Heathens? Those who lived on the heath, then? The good thing about this is that it is based on a people’s history and traditions.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Woman cuffed for not holding escalator handrail

Anyone who has ridden an escalator and bothered to pay attention has seen - and likely ignored - little signs suggesting riders hold the grimy handrail.

In Montreal’s subway system, the friendly advice seems to have taken on the force of law, backed by a $100 fine.

Bela Kosoian, a 38-year-old mother of two, says when she didn’t hold the handrail Wednesday she was cuffed, dragged into a small holding cell and fined.

“It was horrible, disgusting behaviour [by police],” said Ms. Kosoian, a 38-year-old student of international law. “I did nothing wrong. They should go find the guys who stole my tires off the balcony.”

Ms. Kosoian, who studies at the Université du Québec à Montreal, was riding an escalator down to catch a 5:30 p.m. subway from the suburb of Laval to an evening class downtown when she started rifling through her backpack looking for a fare.

Ms. Kosoian, who grew up in Georgia when it was still part of the Soviet Union, says she didn’t catch the officer’s instruction to hold the rail when he first approached.

When he told her again to hang on, she says she replied, “I don’t have three hands.” Besides, she had been sick and feared catching a new bug.

That’s when the officer demanded identification so he could write her ticket, she said.

Ms. Kosoian started arguing. The officers handcuffed her and threw her into a small holding cell. The officers searched her bag and gave her a $100 ticket for failing to hold the banister and another $320 ticket for obstruction.

The handcuffs bruised Ms. Kosoian’s wrists and an officer’s boot scraped skin off the top of her foot.

She intends to fight the tickets.

Société de transport de Montréal regulations say “it is forbidden for all persons to disobey a directive or a pictogram posted by the Société.”

Hmmm…seems like the Nanny State can easily morph into the Mean Daddy state. Just ask Mark Steyn.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Catholic community in schism on Obama presidency

Notre Dame is a Catholic university, and Mr. Obama supports a woman’s right to an abortion. As well, he lifted the ban on research using embryonic stem cells. At least five dozen bishops from across the United States have condemned the university for inviting such a man.

A recent poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life revealed that 54 per cent of Catholics thought it was right of the university to invite Mr. Obama and confer the degree, while 38 per cent thought it was wrong.

But among Catholics who attended church at least once a week, 45 opposed the invitation and only 37 per cent supported it.

“As a Catholic university, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth,” local Bishop John D’Arcy wrote in an open letter, calling the decision to invite the President “shocking.” He and other clergy will be boycotting the service.

Yet Catholics voted for Mr. Obama over Republican challenger John McCain 54 per cent to 45 per cent.

And the Pew study showed 67 per cent of American Catholics approve of how Mr. Obama is doing his job, a level four percentage points higher than the general population.

The schism within the Catholic church contrasts with the unity of white evangelical Protestants, with those opposing letting Mr. Obama speak at Notre Dame outnumbering supporters two to one.

Schism? Hardly. In order to have a schism, you have to have more control over your adherents. This is just Catholic in-fighting. As for Notre Dame, a school that would invite Tariq Ramadan to teach there is not going to have a problem with a President who believes in partial birth abortions.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Hands Off Our Arctic

In London, the lions of Trafalgar Square share space with the towering image of an Inuit woman and her child. In Paris, an inukshuk greets people leaving the Metro. In Oslo, Ottawa is opening an Arctic political office. And in Brussels, officials are fanning out to promote the image of a cold, northern Canada.

The Harper government has launched an aggressive campaign across Europe to brand Canada as an “Arctic power” and the owner of a third of the contested land and resources of the Far North. Ministers and ambassadors have been instructed to deliver a strong message, through every channel available: Canada owns it; hands off.

This new assertiveness has caught European and Russian officials off guard as Ottawa pushes to fend off attempts by other northern powers and the European Union to claim stakes in the Northwest Passage and the open seas of the High Arctic.

While this involves hard diplomacy, such as Canada’s leading role in a move to exclude the EU from sitting on the Arctic Council, Mr. Harper’s officials have also ordered embassies abroad to mobilize their cultural resources to deliver this policy message, to create a visual image of a fully Arctic Canada.

The stakes are high. Yesterday, Russia released a report arguing that Arctic resources could spark military confrontations, and Canada recently released a major atlas of the Arctic, the result of research intended to back claims of Arctic land ownership under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“Canada is an Arctic nation and an Arctic power,” Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon told European leaders in Tromso, Norway, at the end of April, while directing his diplomats to adopt an assertive new language around Canada’s Arctic possessions. Under his instructions, the new phrase “Arctic power” has begun appearing in communiqués and speeches.

The message for Europe’s leaders and citizens is simple and abrupt: The Arctic is not up for grabs. “Through our robust Arctic foreign policy,” Mr. Cannon said, “we are affirming our leadership, stewardship and ownership in the region.”

The word ownership is key. As Arctic jurisdictional disputes make their way through the United Nations, Ottawa wants to assert its claim to be owner of a third of Arctic land, ice and water, as well as any oil and minerals that happen to lie below.

That is by no means a settled matter. The European Parliament recently stated that it is interested in an international treaty on the Arctic, like the one that governs the Antarctic. The United States and Europe both dispute Canada’s claim that the Northwest Passage is purely in Canadian territory. France now has a polar ambassador, former prime minister Michel Rocard, even though France’s northernmost point is 1,500 kilometres from the Arctic Circle.

And Canadian officials believe that Europeans are hearing a far stronger message from Russia, which has aggressively industrialized and militarized the Far North and claims ownership of the North Pole, than they are from Canada.

Mr. Cannon led the fight to deflect the EU’s attempt to become a “permanent observer” on the Arctic Council, which includes the eight Arctic nations: Canada, the United States, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia. While Europe’s ban on Canadian seal exports was the excuse, officials said there are worries that the 27-nation EU will try to interfere with agreements among the Arctic nations.

Ottawa is also about to open a Canadian International Centre for the Arctic Region in Oslo. This will be an overtly political institution, designed to counter the messages being sent by Europe and Russia. Mr. Cannon announced that the centre, which will also play a research role, will primarily serve to “promote Canadian interests” and “influence key partners” on Arctic-sovereignty issues.

Now this will be fun. I love it when the Canadians stand up for themselves.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Nigerian militants destroy oil pipelines

Nigeria’s main militant group said Sunday it destroyed two oil pipelines in the southern Niger Delta, the latest attack amid the worst outbreak of violence to hit the region in months.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta gave no further details on the attack. A private security official, however, said attackers threw dynamite and fired early Sunday upon an oil installation run by Royal Dutch Shell’s local joint venture.

A Shell spokeswoman had no comment on the attack. The security official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The militants also said two Filipino sailors kidnapped from an oil industry service boat died when the Nigerian military attacked its camp Friday where 15 Filipino sailors were being held.

The military earlier said it had rescued six Filipino hostages and recovered their oil boat in its attack on the camp run by militant leader Government Tompolo.

There was no word on the fate of other Filipino hostages.

The Nigerian military sent helicopter gunships and gunboats against the camp after militant fighters had clashed earlier in the week with security personnel and hijacked the oil boat carrying the Filipinos.

The violence was the worst since September, when militants destroyed several oil pipelines after clashes with government forces.

Many militant camps from various factions dot the creeks and swamps of the Niger Delta, where crude oil is pumped in Africa’s biggest producer. Militants say they’re fighting to force the federal government to send more oil revenues back to the southern oil region, which remains desperately poor despite six decades of oil production.

The government says the militants are mostly interested in stealing oil.

After years of militant activity and lack of maintenance on crucial oil infrastructure, Nigeria produces about 1.6 million barrels of crude a day, or about one quarter less than its stated capacity.

This is probably America’s fault. Everything else is. Or maybe Dutch Shell is to blame. At any rate, the Nigerians are obviously blameless for the ruin of their petroleum infrastructure. Just ask them.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Italy’s Immigration Bill

The government’s new security bill cleared parliament’s Lower House on Thursday and headed for the Senate but criticism from the center-left opposition, the Church and even groups like Amnesty International showed no signs of subsiding.

The bill, among other things, makes illegal immigration a criminal offense, extends to six months the period immigrants and would-be asylum seekers can be kept in detention centers, authorises civilian patrols - which critics have likened to vigilante groups - and sets a maximum three-year jail term for landlords who rent to illegal aliens.

‘‘This law was absolutely necessary and I believe we needed to tackle these questions using common sense and a sense of justice as well as with determination,’’ Premier Silvio Berlusconi said after the final House vote.

‘‘We couldn’t carry on with a situation created by the Left that offered incentives for illegal immigration. It was important to send a strong signal,’’ he added.

‘‘By approving this security bill we also sent a message to organized crime saying we cannot accept immigrants who have no skills or talents to enter our labor market and thus end up filling the ranks of organised crime,’’ Berlusconi observed.

The premier also said that he knew of no criticism from the Catholic Church or the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) to his policies The CEI on Wednesday, after the government pushed through the bill three major amendments by confidence vote, complained that the bill failed to address the integration of foreigners and risked separating the children of illegal immigrants from their parents.

The passage of the bill was hailed by the Northern League party of Interior Minister Roberto Maroni which had made limiting immigration one of its battle cries.

[…]

A Catholic association dedicated to helping immigrants and the homeless, CNCA, observed that should the measure be passed by the Senate without modification, ‘‘it will be remembered as one of the most shameful bills ever passed in our country’’.

The bill, CNCA added, ‘‘violated several international treaties, the spirit of our own Constitution and basic ethical principles which we thought we all shared’’.

‘‘With this bill the government in one move has succeeded in pitting us against the United Nations, sparking outrage in the international community and provoking repeated condemnation from authorities in the Catholic Church. But much worse it has fueled the fire of fear and rage,’’ CNCA said.

A statement from the Italian branch of Amnesty international said that ‘‘what we are witnessing in Italy is a progressive erosion of the respect of human rights for groups which are already vulnerable like migrants, minorities and those seeking asylum’’.

Well, if Amnesty international is involved, you know the Italians must be heartless villains for wanting to maintain their sovereignty. The very idea!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Meanwhile…

Ambassador takes patrol boats, rebuts UN criticism

Libya can process requests from asylum seekers who might otherwise have presented them in Italy, Libyan ambassador Hafid Gaddur said Thursday.

‘‘The asylum requests can be assessed in Libya, we already host many political refugees from many countries,’’ Gaddur said at a ceremony where Italy handed over the first three of six patrol boats to be used to stop boat people setting off from the north African country.

‘‘Libya is a country which hosts two million undocumented immigrants. Anyone who wants to, can stay with us and may do so in peace unless they commit a crime’’.

‘‘Libya has always hosted people who have had problems in their countries of origin and will continue to do so’’.

Asked whether Tripoli would sign up for the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention, Gaddur replied: ‘‘We are evaluating it’’.

He also said that all the world’s countries have embassies in Libya and there is also a United Nations bureau.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has criticised Italy’s new policy of taking rescued sea migrants back to Libya, saying it is against international law and criticising Libya’s alleged lack of facilities and its failure to sign up to the convention.

Asked whether he thought the so-called ‘push-back’ policy would continue, the ambassador said: ‘‘We have an accord with Italy, signed on December 29 2007 with a centre-left government and we are applying it with a centre-right government’’.

Since last Friday Italy has turned back more than 500 migrants despite criticism from the UN, the Catholic Church and humanitarian organisations.

The three boats, belonging to Italy’s Finance Guard, were handed over at a ceremony in this port between Rome and Naples which saw the participation of Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni and the commander of the Finance Guard, Cosimo D’Arrigo. The three boats, explained D’Arrigo, ‘‘will be used in joint patrols in Libyan territorial water and international waters in conjunction with Italian naval operations’’. ‘‘Members of the Libyan coast guard will also be stationed at our command station on the island of Lampedusa and will take part in patrols on our ships,’’ he added. The patrols, D’Arrigo said, ‘‘will be carried out based on standard operating procedure with priority given to the search and rescue of persons in distress at sea’’. A crew of 41 Libyan sailors have been training in Gaeta for the past two weeks on the three boats. Italy plans to give Libya another three boats in a few weeks’ time. The Finance Guard has sent a team of ten specialists to the Libyan coast guard base in Zuwarah, which will serve as the base of command on the Libyan side. The joint Italian-Libyan patrolling mission will last an initial three years.

Maroni said the European Union must step in and help member states which bear the brunt of illegal immigration in the Mediterranean.

‘‘Italy is a frontline state against illegal immigration and invests its own funds to protect other European countries but we want the EU to take decisions which it has so far avoided and help countries which face this problem,’’ he said. The minister said Italy was putting strong pressure on the EU to deal with the issue.

Don’t hold your breath on help from the EU, Mr. Maroni. They don’t believe in sovereignty, remember? No more countries now, just “regions”. Or there will be if they can get those pesky Irish to sign the Treaty and be done with it. On the other hand, it's hard to see the benefit in this for Libya. Maybe it's just one more Libyan Whim Theory operation.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Hezbollah in Moscow if It Wins Election

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that he saw “no obstacle” to some Hezbollah members taking part in the Moscow peace conference on the Middle East, should the Shiite movement win the Lebanese election. The Itar-Tass press agency reports today. Lavrov had been taking questions from journalists on his return flight from the United States as to whether an Hezbollah victory in the June 7 elections would make preparation for the Middle East peace conference difficult. Hezbollah is currently the biggest minority party in the Lebanese parliament and part of the national unity government.

Hezbollah, you’ve come a long way, dudes. Only a few thousand bodies and a bajillion broken promises later, and here you are on your way to Moscow. You’ll definitely fit in.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Democrats Will Dominate for 40 Years

James Carville, the man who masterminded Bill Clinton’s first election victory, has predicted the Democratic Party will dominate American politics for the next four decades due to “seismic shifts” in demographic voting patterns.

He said the party’s emphatic win last year demonstrated long lasting, built-in electoral advantages over the Republicans, who had made a huge mistake by retreating to their conservative base under George W Bush.

“Unless Republicans figure out how to deal with the new demographics in this country it’s going to be very, very tough going for them,” said Mr. Carville, the fast-talking Louisianan known as the “Ragin’ Cajun”.

“Republicans shouldn’t be worried. They should be in agony. They should be throwing up. The Republican brand is the worst political party brand in history.”

History, he argues, is on his side.

“There have been long periods where one party generally has the upper hand. You never win every election - the Democrats won’t win every election - but for 40 years the underlying dynamics in demographics stay with them,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

From 1896 to 1932 there was just one Democratic president and from 1932 to 1968 just one moderate Republican, Eisenhower. Since 1968 the Republicans have generally held sway, exploiting the backlash to the liberal society.

But in the first decades of the 21st century, young voters have swung heavily to the Democrats, a crucial advantage given that voting behaviour in the US is generally set when people are in their 20s.

Hispanics and blacks are growing as a percentage of the population, while white men and Christians, who have voted heavily Republican for the past 40 years, are declining.

“It’s the kind of seismic shift we have never seen before,” he said.

As an unashamedly partisan Democrat, Carville rejoices in Republican misfortune, but also claims that none of his high-powered Republican friends - congressmen, pollsters and columnists - disagree with his hypothesis.

The Republicans are a feckless bunch at this point, but the Democrats appear thuggish. And what with the Pelosi meltdown in Congress and the stimulus attack, the 2010 elections may prove interesting. You thought John Kerry was going to have an easy win, too, didn’t you, Mr. Carville? Let's see what 2010 brings.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

BNP set to win seats as support surges

The British National Party is on course to make significant gains in the local elections in England in two weeks time, according to a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph today.

It shows that seven per cent of voters are ready to back the far-Right party and that 24 per cent have considered voting BNP in the past or are thinking of doing so now.

In the eyes of almost three-quarters of potential BNP supporters, Britain “almost seems like a foreign country”.

The poll underlines the recent warning from Margaret Hodge, the employment minister, that white working-class families felt so neglected by the Government and angered by immigration that they were deserting Labour and flocking to the BNP.

Mrs Hodge told The Sunday Telegraph that eight out of 10 white people in her east London constituency of Barking were threatening to vote for the BNP on May 4.

The surge in support for the BNP - which displaced the National Front as Britain’s main far-Right party in 1982 - could damage the Conservatives in the local elections, which will be David Cameron’s first electoral test since becoming Tory leader.

The poll suggests that the BNP draws its support more from the Conservatives than from Labour - and is gaining ground at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and UK Independence Party.

It confirms that Mr Cameron’s brief honeymoon with the voters is over. Labour remains in the lead despite the damage caused by the “loans for peerages” scandal and the financial crisis in the NHS. It is on 35 per cent (down one point since March), the Conservatives on 33 (down three) and the Liberal Democrats on 17 (down one).

A majority still believes that, despite having a new leader, the Conservatives have not changed all that much and even more reckon it is no longer very clear what the party stands for.

But the “loans for peerages” row has further damaged trust in Labour. Sixty two per cent of voters agree that it gives the impression of being “very sleazy and disreputable” - putting the party on a similar “sleaze” rating to John Major’s ill-fated Tory administration.

The strong showing for the BNP, which has already achieved more success than any other far-Right party, will alarm all the mainstream parties. At the general election last year, the BNP won 4.3 per cent of the vote across the 116 seats it contested. It polled 16.9 per cent in the Barking constituency.

The poll confirms the fears of Labour MPs that Mrs Hodge’s warning about the support for the BNP among white working-class voters has given the party a valuable boost. In recent months, almost no one had been telling YouGov they would vote BNP, but publicity following her comments has highlighted the party’s existence.

[…]

The BNP has said it is putting up more candidates than ever before - 356 - for the local elections. At present it has 15 councillors across England and hopes to win up to 40 seats on May 4.

Lord Tebbit, the former Conservative Party chairman, in a letter to The Daily Telegraph today, challenges the widely held view that the BNP is an extreme Right-wing party. He said that he was unable to find evidence of “Right-wing tendencies” in its 2005 manifesto.

I thought their domestic program was in support of a statist, welfare economy. But our Brit readers will chime in on this, I hope.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Swine flu: 101 cases now confirmed in Britain

Six adults and eight children were among the latest cases in London, the south east, and the east of England, the Health Protection Agency said.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in Britain to 101.

Two of the people had recently returned from Mexico, the source of the outbreak, while a further 11 had been in contact with patients already suffering from the virus.

How the final person contracted the disease is still under investigation, the HPA said.

The latest cases follow updated advice from the Foreign Office, telling British travellers that they should feel free to go to Mexico, following a fall in the number of new swine flu cases.

Holidaymakers and business travellers had, until Friday, been advised against all non-essential travel to the country.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “This change follows a decline in new cases of swine flu reported in Mexico since a peak on April 26 and takes into account information and advice from a variety of sources, including the UK Health Protection Agency.”

Tests on the virus have suggested that the strain is less virulent than first feared, and the World Health Organisation is not recommending any global travel restrictions.

In Mexico more than 60 people have died as a result of the H1N1 virus, with most cases reported in Mexico City.

Around the world, 39 countries have reported more than 8,400 cases of the infection.

This is a disease that won’t go away and won’t grow up. It’s been up-graded and down-graded several times now. Wash your hands, everybody, and forget that vacation in Mexico. If the germs don't kill you, the drug lords will hold you for ransom.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Swine flu has become deadly in New York City

The Queens assistant principal stricken with the now-deadly H1N1 virus succumbed to the illness late today, the first known fatality in the city from the disease, hospital officials said.

Mitchell Wiener, 55, died at 6:17 p.m., just hours after his family optimistically told The Post his condition had stabilized.

The somber news came as city officials ordered five more schools closed today in an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly virus - bringing the total number to 11 citywide that will be shuttered this week.

“We were treating him very aggressively,” said Flushing Hospital spokesman Ole Pedersen.

“He was in critical condition. His family was saying that he had not, in fact, deteriorated, which was true, but he was still extremely critical.”

Wiener is the sixth person in the US to die from the highly contagious disease.

The assistant principal at IS 238 in Jamaica Estates first fell ill more than a week ago, but didn’t seek help at the hospital until his symptoms became severe early Wednesday morning.

[…]

The additional schools ordered closed today, all in Queens, are IS 158Q in Bayside, Our Lady of Lourdes, a private parochial school in Queens Village, and IS 25Q, World Journalism Preparatory School and PS 233Q, all of which share the same Flushing campus.

“We think it will help stop transmissions throughout the city,” the mayor said today.

The decision to close the schools was made after high numbers of students at each building reported flu-like symptoms.

At IS 158Q, 41 students out of a total population of 1,127 reported the symptoms, the Health Department said. At the three- school IS 25Q complex, 27 felt sick out of a total of 825 students, and at Our Lady of Lourdes, 37 students were ill out of a total population of 424.

[…]

Health officials were at a loss to explain why the outbreaks have occurred overwhelmingly in Queens.

The mayor’s handling of the swine flu crisis drew criticism today from city comptroller Bill Thompson, who’s running for mayor.

“We went from ‘This is a crisis’ to ‘Don’t pay attention’ to ‘OK, it’s a crisis again,’ “ Thompson said.

Well, duh. That’s exactly what the rest of the world is doing, too.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

New England Journal of Medicine Swine Flu Map

This is a cool map. You can click on any country and see the incidence of the swine flu cases. You can also use a button on the bottom right to show the changes over time.

10 comments:

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Dymphna

The Telegraph article your BNP item was based on ... is more than three years old. Last updated April 06.

As such, it's meaningless in relation to the British politics of today. To give just one example: latest polls show the Conservatives on 44% support; Labour down to 23% support. BNP figures are just as out of date.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

The chart on the Telegraph page put BNP support at just 7%. The most recent 60 by-elections the BNP has contested right across the country, support has varied from less than 5% to as high as over 43%. It has averaged at 14.3% across the whole country, and across all 60 by-elections.

Kenny said...

Here's a survey I found by ComRes, which is up to date:

Link.

Homophobic Horse said...

The biggest problem with the BNP is not that they would inaugurate the 4th Reich, it is that they would repeat all the mistakes of the Labour party after world war 2. They would run Britain's economy into a late 70's torpor.

Anonymous said...

Please lets remember that the BNP is NOT a Far Right party, it is Far Left. In just the same way that Hitler's party was National Socialist. The idea that Hitler was far right owes itself to the Soviet Spin Doctors from about 1942 onwards.

The BNP is all for the policies that failed Stalin.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

They are willing to listen, though. On the other hand they seem to now be listening to the environmentalists and have issued statements to say they're jumping on that bandwagon as well.

I wouldn't call them far left. They aren't far anything. They're probably more accurately described as old left, the patriotic sort of left that seems so rare these days. But, as I've said, on a number of policy issues I cannot vote for them, but neither do I condemn anyone who does. While we still have the freedom to vote we should vote with our conscience and not just for the big party that our parents and grandparents voted for.

Abu Abdullah said...

And how's Britain's economy now, Homophobic Horse? If you recall, Gordon Brown recently went on a tour of the Mid-East to beg the Arab oil sheikhs for investment money. In effect, Brown is telling them "We'll make more money for you so that you'll have more money for Jihad to subvert and destroy my country and its culture." What a brilliant way to grow the economy!

Dymphna said...

Sir henry--

That's why it said "Whackety Packet" for the news.

People sent things and in my drug addled state I put in as many as pain would permit.

Seeing as how my news isn't...news, I mean, I think we'll just skip it till the Baron returns and runs these items thru his magic parser.

Then we'll be back to fair and balanced instead of addled and unbalanced.

Sir Henry Morgan said...

Hi dymphna

I wasn't criticising you over it - I just thought someone had pulled a fast one on you. I apologise if it came over as criticism. I was 'just saying', as we say here in the UK.

And I hope you are well soon. I'm in a similar sort of state - taking so much medication that I rattle when I move. It's reached the point where some of the things I take to sort one problem are giving me worse - if different - problems elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

CRACKED RIBS?

Ouch! Had that once. Please G-d you will heal quickly.