Saturday, May 02, 2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/2/2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/2/2009A 62-year-old “person of French background” was murdered and beheaded in Lyons, France. The ethnic background of the suspected murderer was… well, three guesses. Go and look at his name.

In other news, the emergency room at a hospital in England had to be shut down because of gang fights that left one stabbing victim dead and another injured.

Thanks to Gaia, Insubria, JD, Nilk, Paul Green, TB, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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Financial Crisis
The New Capitalism: Where Theft is Legal
 
USA
CDC Laboratories Revealed as Incapable of Accurate Count of H1n1 Influenza Infections, Deaths
DNA Databases Prelude to Return of Eugenics?
Gates: 100 at Gitmo Could Wind Up in U.S.
Getting Real About Torture
Glossy Internet Magazine Targets Americans for Jihad Training
The Right Needs to Play as Dirty as the Left
Welcome to USSR, 1920
 
Europe and the EU
Beheading in Lyons
Britain Pays to Keep Suspects From U.S. Hands
Fisheries: Tuna, Brussels Talks to Limit Italian Catch
Sweden: Protests Against Nationalist March in Helsingborg
UK: Gang Fight Shuts A&E for Six Hours
UK: Prince Charles Rebuffed by Qatar Royal Family Over Modern Flats
 
Middle East
EU-GCC: Still Deadlock Over Free Trade Agreement
Iran Helicopters Strike Iraqi Kurd Villages
Iraqi Kills US Soldiers in Mosul
Turkey-Italy Friendship Union Opens Representation in Rome
U.S. Sending Missiles to Arab States
 
South Asia
Petraeus: Next Two Weeks Critical to Pakistan’s Survival
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
Somali Pirates Keep German Ship as Elite Force is Withdrawn
 
Immigration
Fishing Vessel Saves Rubber Boat Off Sicily
Maltese Patrol With Migrants Near Lampedusa
 
Culture Wars
31 Horsemen of Talk Radio’s Apocalypse?
Doctors Face Orders to ‘Kill on Demand’
Officials Strong-Arm Conservative Students
Stealth Lessons on Homosexuality
 
General
Islam: OIC Law Academy is Split on Religious Freedom

Financial Crisis

The New Capitalism: Where Theft is Legal

Listening to Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, we get a sense of the “new capitalism” our new Democratic leadership tells us America needs.

Frank recently praised Bank of America chairman (now ex-chairman) Ken Lewis for acting in “the public interest” for caving in to bribes and threats from former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke regarding B of A’s takeover of Merrill Lynch.

Lewis wanted to back out the deal last year when he discovered the massive scope of Merrill’s losses. But Paulson and Bernanke decided that Merrill shouldn’t fail, so they bribed Lewis with $20 billion of taxpayer funds, instructed him to conceal the agreement from his shareholders, and told him his job would be on the line if he didn’t play ball — which he did.

These sordid details have come to light in an investigation being conducted by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

USA

CDC Laboratories Revealed as Incapable of Accurate Count of H1n1 Influenza Infections, Deaths

(NaturalNews) Much to the annoyance of some critics, NaturalNews has been publicly questioning the “official” statistics reporting infections and deaths from H1N1 influenza. In stories published this week, we noted that the CDC’s official numbers are suspiciously low — the agency claimed only 7 deaths from H1N1 even while Mexico had officially announced 161 deaths.

Today, NaturalNews has learned why the CDC numbers are so low. It turns out that CDC labs are inadequate testing facilities that are utterly overwhelmed with too many influenza samples to test. Thus, the reason why official CDC “confirmed” H1N1 death numbers are so low is simply because the CDC laboratories can’t test very many flu samples in the first place.

And remember this: The CDC doesn’t count any death unless its own lab confirms the infection. But its own lab can only test 100 flu samples a day, we’ve learned!

CDC labs are “swamped,” reports the Associated Press. “The specimens are coming in faster than they can possibly be tested,” reports epidemiologist Dr. Jeffrey P. Davis, according to AP.

Other astonishing facts worth noting:

• New York has had to limit its testing of influenza because too many samples are coming in. “Sure, we’d want to diagnose every case, but we don’t have that resource,” said Dr. Don Weiss.

• U.S. states have no way to test for H1N1 on their own. They must send samples to the CDC, and the CDC lab can only test about 100 samples a day. (Source: Michael Shaw, associate director for laboratory science at the CDC.)

• “Many labs are overrun,” says AP, to the point where they are only testing samples that come from people who traveled to Mexico. Other samples are simply ignored or thrown out.

• AP also reports this quote: “The capacity of the state laboratories to test all the swabs is being exceeded…” — Dr. Paul Jarris of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

• The acting director of the CDC has admitted it may stop testing influenza samples altogether! Why? They say it’s more important to focus on detection of community outbreaks than to get an exact count of H1N1 deaths. Thus, the “death count” becomes an abandoned number that loses any scientific credibility at all.

Why the CDC cannot produce accurate numbers

From all this, it should be abundantly clear that not only was NaturalNews correct in stating that the CDC’s numbers are artificially low, but also that the CDC is incapable of determining accurate numbers due to the severe limitations of its laboratories. In fact, the CDC openly admits this fact…

[Return to headlines]


DNA Databases Prelude to Return of Eugenics?

Warning issued over ‘full genomic scans’ on babies

An organization that has been battling Minnesota state procedures in which DNA from every newborn is collected and warehoused says virtually all states do the same thing, and the alarming trend eventually could lead the United States back into eugenics.

The report from Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council on Health Care,says, “Throughout history, proponents of eugenics have focused on the reproduction of children, either through encouraging the ‘healthy’ to reproduce or discouraging the ‘unhealthy’ from procreation. This focus has been evidenced in history by 29 state sterilization laws … and the horrific Nazi campaign aimed at ridding Germany of the ‘unfit’ — the Jews, the physically deformed, the mentally retarded, the ‘feebleminded,’ the inferior, the epileptic, the deaf, the blind, ‘those suffering from hereditary conditions,’ the deviant ‘asocial’ and the politically dissident.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Gates: 100 at Gitmo Could Wind Up in U.S.

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates suggested Thursday that as many as 100 detainees would be held without trial on U.S. soil if the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were closed, a situation that he acknowledged would create widespread, if not unanimous, opposition in Congress.

The estimate was the most specific yet from the Obama administration about how many of the 241 detainees at Guantanamo could not be safely released, sent to other countries or appropriately tried in U.S. courts.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Getting Real About Torture

by Mark Tapson

Since our country’s having a heated conversation about torture, and especially since that conversation seems certain to devolve into a parade of politicized, self-flagellating show trials that will broadcast our divided weakness to the world, it’s time to get some perspective on what torture is and isn’t, and who does it and who doesn’t.

Let me state for the record that I firmly believe America should not torture. But I’m at ease about that, because America does not torture. Do we use harsh interrogation techniques? Of course we do, and why not? This is war — why should we treat captive enemy combatants to a rejuvenating stay at the Four Seasons? Some of these maniacs plotted the devastation of 9/11, all cheered it, and if given the chance, all would gleefully saw your head off and then post a video of it on the Internet as inspiration for others of their fanatical ilk. Many of them might have information that could prevent further mayhem here and abroad — information they’re not going to volunteer simply because we’re congenial hosts.

But liberals presumably would prefer that we sit down with the captives (after bowing to them, of course), and engage in mutually respectful “dialogue” — the left’s favorite and only way of confronting evil — which will yield no life-saving information, but which will enable them to air their grievances. After we promise to make things right, we can let them return to the battlefield and take up arms against us again. This makes for a pathetic, brainless wartime strategy, but hey, national self-preservation and victory against violent jihad are far less important to liberals than providing our guests with civil rights that the Islamists themselves want to deprive us of.

           — Hat tip: Paul Green[Return to headlines]


Glossy Internet Magazine Targets Americans for Jihad Training

It’s been likened to Al Qaeda’s “Vanity Fair,” a new English-language Internet magazine called “Jihad Recollections” that focuses on the terrorist group, its founder, Usama Bin Laden, and how to commit jihad. It also predicts the demise of the United States.

“This is designed for Americans,” says noted terrorism expert Steven Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project on Terrorism in Washington, D.C., and author of the book “American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us.”

“It’s not for Brits, not for Germans, not for jihadists in the Middle East. It’s designed for Americans and it’s designed to get them to convert to Islam or to carry out jihad acts of terror,” he said.

“What started off as some angry kids in their basement has transformed over the past several years into a robust Al Qaeda propaganda outlet right here in our backyard,” says Jarret Brachman, an Al Qaeda specialist and author of the new book, “Global Jihadism.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


The Right Needs to Play as Dirty as the Left

When I was in college, I studied Southern Long Fist Kung Fu for more than a year and my teacher told me something that I never forgot. He said that when you’re being attacked, the aggressor sets the rules and if you want to survive, you have to play by those rules. In other words, if your opponent is trying to cut your head off with a sword while you’re trying not to hurt him, chances are that you’re going to end up dead. This is a lesson that conservatives can and should apply to politics.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Welcome to USSR, 1920

When the president announced last week that he would “cut out the middleman” and make direct government loans to students, he laid bare his contempt for free enterprise. He is fulfilling a campaign promise by overhauling the system through which he claims, “Private lenders are costing America’s taxpayers more than $15 million dollars every day and provide no additional value except to the banks themselves.”

Consider the philosophy behind his statement. If government cuts out the middleman and performs the service instead, it will be cheaper and more efficient, he reasons. Apply this same reasoning to, say, the entire banking industry. Government’s direct involvement in the banking industry can eliminate all those bonuses paid to greedy executives and profits earned by greedy share holders, and make sure that loans are extended to low-income borrowers whether they qualify or not. Direct government control of the banking business will surely make it fairer and more efficient.

What a fantastic idea! Someone should have thought of this before.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Beheading in Lyons

It has happened in England, Canada, and the United States. It was bound to happen in France. An innocent Frenchman was found decapitated in Lyons. This report is from Le Progres, via François Desouche:

A victim atrociously mutilated on the 12th floor. A suspect who lived on the 5th floor. The entire affair is concentrated on #5 of a large complex of residences, 65, rue de Saint-Cyr in Lyons. On Saturday afternoon (April 25), Raymond Arveuf, 62, was found decapitated (note: the head was missing) in his apartment on the top floor of the building by his brother who was concerned that he had not been present at the usual family dinner on Saturday. The night before he had been watching a soccer match with friends in a bar in Valse.

The police inquiry was quickly oriented to a lower floor. Traces of blood were followed, leading police to feel that the victim’s head had been thrown into the trash and carried off the next day by waste removal services. Moreover, the inter-regional judicial police ran into Youcef Djellouli, 29, a neighbor on the 5th floor, whose speech was confused. Taken into custody, this oldest member of a family of four children did not delay in admitting to the murder. The young man spoke, in substance, of a sudden desire to kill. According to his initial statements, it was indeed he who had been heard at 2:30 a.m., he who struck, slit the throat of and decapitated the bachelor who apparently had lived a quiet life. The presumed weapon, a kitchen knife, was found in his home. The reason for his actions were still not understood.

Several local residents described the young man as disturbed, thin, with a ungainly walk, and changeable behavior. A mental weakness had suddenly exploded, without anyone being certain if some quarrel with the victim had pulled him in this direction.

“A judicial investigation is to begin on Monday, and experts will examine the man’s personality to better understand,” confided a judicial source.

[Return to headlines]


Britain Pays to Keep Suspects From U.S. Hands

The British government has paid nearly $900,000 in legal fees on behalf of three associates of Osama bin Laden who have fended off attempts by the U.S. government to extradite them for a decade, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The three al-Qaeda suspects were arrested in London shortly after the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people. British authorities pledged to extradite them swiftly to the United States to stand trial for their alleged roles in the attacks.

But the cases have plodded through the British bureaucracy with no end in sight, undermining transatlantic cooperation on counterterrorism and highlighting how easy it can be for international terrorism suspects to elude the reach of U.S. prosecutors.

The stalled extraditions have proved expensive for British taxpayers. In Britain, as in the United States, the government covers legal expenses for criminal defendants who cannot afford lawyers. Critics say the combination of free lawyers and a byzantine legal system enables al-Qaeda sympathizers in Britain to file frivolous appeals and avoid deportation or extradition.

According to documents obtained by The Post under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act, the U.K. Legal Services Commission has paid the equivalent of $371,207 in legal fees for Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi citizen who served as bin Laden’s public relations representative in London from 1994 until his arrest in 1998.

U.S. officials charge that Fawwaz played a key role in recruiting “military trainees” for al-Qaeda, served as a communications go-between, and gave logistical support to terrorist cells in Africa and Afghanistan. He is also accused of supplying bin Laden with a satellite phone that the al-Qaeda leader used to call Fawwaz and other associates in London more than 200 times.

The documents show that British taxpayers have covered $163,420 in legal bills for Adel Abdel Bary, an Egyptian confidant of al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

The Legal Services Commission said it also paid $323,149 in legal costs for Ibrahim Eidarous, another Egyptian fighting extradition to the United States. Eidarous died of leukemia in July while under house arrest in London. The commission did not provide a breakdown of the fees or disclose who received them.

According to U.S. court documents, investigators in London found fingerprints belonging to Abdel Bary and Eidarous on a fax sent to news organizations asserting that al-Qaeda was responsible for the 1998 embassy bombings.

U.S. officials have tried for years to speed up the extradition of terrorism suspects from Britain. In 2003, after acknowledging that its laws were cumbersome and arcane, Britain negotiated a new extradition treaty with the United States and passed a law designed to “fast track” extraditions to several countries.

Since then, however, Britain has handed over only one terrorism suspect to the United States: Syed Hashmi, a U.S. citizen charged with supplying military equipment to al-Qaeda training camps in Pakistan. He was transferred to U.S. custody in May 2007 and is awaiting trial.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]


Fisheries: Tuna, Brussels Talks to Limit Italian Catch

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, APRIL 22 — Talks are underway between Italian fisheries representatives and the European Commission: Brussels has called on Italy to step up efforts to reduce the number of large tuna fishing ships which concentrate their catches on the Mediterranean. So said to ANSA, sources close to the European Commission’s Fisheries Cabinet which meets in Luxembourg tomorrow. According to the sources, these will be technical discussions without any binding outcomes. While recognising the efforts Italy has made in limiting its red-fin tuna catch, stocks of the fish “are giving rise to growing concern due to their severely deteriorated condition” said Fisheries Commissioner, Joe Borg, today in getting a new round of sector reforms underway. Italy opened its new red-fin fishing season on April 15 with a flotilla of 49 large fishing vessels using encircling nets. This compares to the 68 used in during the 2008 season: a reduction of 28% in the number of ships whose tonnage is slightly below that approved by France, whose flotilla has sunk its numbers from 36 to 28.(ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Sweden: Protests Against Nationalist March in Helsingborg

Almost 20 individuals were taken into custody in connection with a demonstration by nationalists in central Helsingborg on Friday. Police intervened when counter-demonstrators tried to protest.

Nationalists of Skåne’) have been granted permission to hold at Konsul Olssons square in central Helsingborg at lunchtime.

Considerably more counter-demonstrators, who regard the nationalists as nazis, arrived at the square. The police blocked off the area and called for reinforcements to prevent conflicts.

“For the most part, we were able to keep the groups away from each other,” police spokesperson Charley Nilsson told TT.

Helsingborgs Dagblads newspaper nevertheless reported several skirmishes and that leftist demonstrators had also directed hostility towards the police. In total, 24 people were taken into custody and transported to the Helsingborg police station.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


UK: Gang Fight Shuts A&E for Six Hours

A fight erupted in the grounds of a London hospital after a man was stabbed to death and another injured in a suspected gang attack.

Two police officers were hurt as they tried to intervene in a dispute involving the friends and family of the dead man. A woman constable is believed to have suffered broken ribs.

The disturbance forced police to seal off Ealing General Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department for about six hours yesterday.

At about 1pm police were called to Willow Tree Lane in Hayes, where they found a 21-year-old suffering stab wounds after a suspected gang attack. He was taken to Ealing hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

An hour later, as members of the dead man’s family and friends gathered outside the hospital, police were called again to reports of a disturbance.

At the same time a 28-year-old man arrived at the hospital suffering from stab wounds which police believe were inflicted during the fight in Hayes.

He was treated but later released and is now under arrest on suspicion of murder.

Up to 30 members of the dead man’s family and friends had gathered outside the hospital when the disturbance erupted.

At first it appeared that the 28-year-old man had been stabbed near the hospital in retaliation for the murder.

One man, who refused to be named, said: “We have lost somebody we loved very much. You cannot imagine how we feel.”

The Accident and Emergency department was closed to walk-in patients until the early evening.

At the original incident on Willow Tree Lane, locals said they believed that the dead man was stabbed up to eight times. One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “In the past five years this area has become terrible. I’m afraid to leave my home some nights.

“These gangs are everywhere and are always fighting. Who knows what weapons they are carrying?

“There was some sort of fight on Wednesday night. People were chasing each other around the streets with dogs. Today’s stabbing may well have been linked to that.”

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]


UK: Prince Charles Rebuffed by Qatar Royal Family Over Modern Flats

The Prince of Wales has been rebuffed by the Qatar Royal Family in his battle to stop a £1 billion modern flats development in a historic part of London.

The Qataris, who had been reported to be on the verge of backing down in the face of the onslaught from the Prince, have instead reaffirmed their commitment to the luxury apartments development on the site of Chelsea Barracks.

The Prince had written to the Prime Minister of Qatar appealing to him to scrap the modern steel and glass development. He also asked to be involved in the discussions over the future of the site.

But the Prince’s hopes that the scheme would be withdrawn are at an end after the Qatari Diar, the development arm of the country’s royal family, issued a statement confirming it’s commitment to the scheme.

The statement said: “The owner and developer of the Chelsea Barracks site is concerned that several recent reports in the media have either stated or implied that it is actively considering abandoning the scheme which it submitted for planning to Westminster City Council February 27, 2009. As a direct consequence of these reports, we have written to Westminster City Council confirming wholehearted commitment to the scheme.”

The Prince of Wales may be regretting the timing of his intervention as he wrote to the Qatar Prime Minister more than a week after the application was lodged with Westminster City Council.

He proposed instead a more traditional design by one of his favourite architects, Quinlan Terry. The Prince has described the design by Lord Rogers as “unsympathetic and unsuitable” for the area. The clash is a rerun of their battle over the proposed extension of the National Gallery 25 years ago when the Prince memorably described the design by Lord Rogers as a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much loved and elegant friend”.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Middle East

EU-GCC: Still Deadlock Over Free Trade Agreement

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, APRIL 30 — No progress in sight in the negotiations over a free trade agreement between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): the respective representatives of foreign affairs policies who met yesterday in Oman for their annual summit did not get beyond an announcement of their “intention to restart talks”, without giving a timeframe for the resumption of meetings, said local press. The two ongoing issues to untangle, according to journalists, are the clauses relating to human rights imposed by the EU, and export taxes imposed by the GCC countries. After 18 years of seesaw negotiations, an agreement seemed to be imminent at the end of 2007, but it ran aground over the same issues which are still under discussion today. “There needs to be more flexibility on both sides,” commented European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who pointed out the importance of the Gulf region, with which Europe has a volume of export equal to 61 billion euro per year. The 27 members of the EU are the biggest market for the oil-producing block, while the six countries of the GCC — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman — represent Europe’s the fifth-largest trading partner. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Iran Helicopters Strike Iraqi Kurd Villages

Iran uses aircrafts despite US control of Iraqi airspace

Iranian helicopters attacked three Iraqi Kurdish villages in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, a senior border guard official said, the first time Iran has used aircraft against Kurdish rebels.

“At 4 am (0100 GMT) they attacked with artillery the villages of Kani Saif, Jomarasi and Kara Sozi, that belong to the Panjwin district,” a senior Iraqi border guard official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“After the attacks at 9 a.m. three Iranian helicopters attacked these areas again,” he said. “This is the first time they have used helicopters.”

The official added that the area was not considered a stronghold of the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an Iranian Kurdish separatist group that appeared to have been the target of the raid.

But Al Arabiya TV correspondent in Arbil, Iraq said there were other local reports that Iranian fighter jets, not helicopters, carried the attacks and that they flew at low altitude possibly to avoid U.S. radars detection.

Since its invasion of Iraq, the United States has exercised full control of Iraqi airspace. It is widely thought that the United States gave the green light for Turkish fighter jets to strike Kurdish rebels inside Iraq in many occasions.

The Iraqi border guard official said the Kurdish fighters tend to operate near the village of Qalat Dizah further north and that the Panjwin area has only been shelled twice in the past year, much less than areas closer to Iraqi Kurdistan’s borders.

The attack came a week after 26 people were killed in a fierce gunbattle between Iranian police and Kurdish rebels near the Iraqi border, but it was not immediately clear if the events were linked.

Eighteen of those killed in the April 24 clash were Iranian policemen and eight were PJAK fighters, Iranian provincial justice Chief Allahyar Malekshahi said on Saturday.

“Five people suspected of participating in this terrorist attack have been arrested and are under investigation,” he said.

Western Iran, which has a sizeable Kurdish population, has seen deadly fighting in recent years between Iranian security forces and PJAK rebels operating out of rear-bases in neighboring Iraq

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]


Iraqi Kills US Soldiers in Mosul

A man wearing an Iraqi army uniform has shot dead two US soldiers and injured three others in the northern city of Mosul, US military officials say.

Reports said the man, who was killed after the attack, opened fire on a group of soldiers at a combat outpost south of the city.

Saturday’s casualties bring the US death toll in Iraq up to 20 for the month of April, the highest so far this year.

“We have reports of a small-arms fire attack in Hamam al-Alil, 20km south of Mosul,” Major Derrick Cheng, a spokesman for the US military in Mosul and surrounding Ninawa province, said.

“According to initial reports, an individual dressed in an Iraqi army uniform fired on the coalition forces and was killed in the incident.”

Witness accounts

A police officer in Mosul identified the assailant as Hassan al-Dulaimi, a soldier who also served as the imam of a mosque at an Iraqi army training centre south of Mosul, the capital of Ninawa.

He said the American soldiers were doing exercises in the training centre’s yard at the time of the attack. He said he had no knowledge about the fate of the assailant.

Saad Ali al-Jubouri, mayor of Hammam al-Alil, said he saw US helicopters hovering over the area and that the roads leading to the training centre had been sealed off.

US and Iraqi military commanders say Mosul is the last remaining urban stronghold of al-Qaeda in Iraq and about a dozen other Sunni anti-government groups.

Some of these groups have infiltrated Iraqi forces in the past.

US troops could stay in Mosul beyond a June 30 deadline for withdrawing from Iraqi cities if Baghdad requests it, according to a Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa) concluded between the two states in November.

“We really look at trends, we don’t look at single events, because whatever we do for a strategy is a months-long strategy,” Major General David Perkins said on Friday.

He admitted, however, that US commanders were negotiating with their Iraqi counterparts over Mosul and that the question of whether US troops would remain there past the June 30 deadline was “undecided.”

Past attacks

An Iraqi soldier went on the rampage last November at a joint security station in Mosul, shooting dead two US soldiers and wounding six.

The US military blamed the attack on al-Qaeda in Iraq.

In December 2007, an Iraqi soldier opened fire on US troops during a joint patrol in Mosul, killing two and wounding three.

In all, at least 4,283 members of the US military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an AFP count based on an independent website.

Civilian deaths in Iraq in April were also higher than previous months following a series of bombings that killed more than 200 people.

At least 355 Iraqi civilians and Iraqi security forces were killed in violence in April, according to a monthly death toll issued by various Iraqi government ministries.

There are currently about 142,000 US troops stationed in Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Paul Green[Return to headlines]


Turkey-Italy Friendship Union Opens Representation in Rome

(ANSAmed) — ROME, APRIL 24 — The Turkish-Italian Friendship Union has opened a representation in Rome on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Turkey’s Ambassador in Rome Ugur Ziyal and Italy’s Ambassador in Ankara Carlo Marsili, as Anatolia news agency reports. Carmelo Messina, co-chair of the union, delivered the welcoming speech at the ceremony. Turkish co-chair of the union, Omer Engin As, was also present. Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Ziyal said that there are hundreds of Turkish associations in Italy. “The Turkish-Italian Friendship Union could be an umbrella organization for these Turkish associations in Italy,” Ziyal stressed. Ambassador Marsili, on the other hand, said that he is pleased to see the development of relations between Turkey and Italy. “I believe that the union could make important contributions to Turkish-Italian relations,” Marsili also said. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


U.S. Sending Missiles to Arab States

Concern over potential Israel-Iran conflict cited

The United States quietly is providing advanced Patriot missile systems and other defensive technologies to Arab countries in the Persian Gulf in anticipation of any retaliatory response from Iran should Israel launch a military strike against its nuclear facilities, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Petraeus: Next Two Weeks Critical to Pakistan’s Survival

Gen. David Petraeus said he is looking for concrete action by the Pakistani government to destroy the Taliban in the next two weeks before determining the United States’ next course of action.

“The Pakistanis have run out of excuses” and are “finally getting serious” about combating the threat from Taliban and Al Qaeda extremists operating out of Northwest Pakistan, the general added.

But Petraeus also said wearily that “we’ve heard it all before” from the Pakistanis and he is looking to see concrete action by the government to destroy the Taliban in the next two weeks before determining the United States’ next course of action, which is presently set on propping up the Pakistani government and military with counterinsurgency training and foreign aid.

Petraeus made these assessment in talks with lawmakers and Obama administration officials this week, according to individuals familiar with the discussions.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Somali Pirates Keep German Ship as Elite Force is Withdrawn

The German government pulled back the elite combat force GSG 9 from storming the pirate-held ship Hansa Stavanger at the last minute, it was reported at the weekend.

Politicians pulled back the force amid fears that an attempt to free the ship would end in a blood bath.

The container ship, captured by pirates off the Somali coast at the beginning of April, complete with 24 crew, including five Germans, was in the sights of a 200-man strike force, according to reports in the weekly magazines Spiegel and Focus.

They had been aboard the US helicopter carrier ship USS Boxer near the Hansa Stavanger and were ready to try to board and seize the 170-metre long ship, when they received orders to turn back.

The German government had asked the Americans for military support of efforts to regain control over the ship, and although the GSG 9 force is being hosted on the US ship, it needed explicit US government permission to launch an operation.

This was not issued, and a crisis meeting in Berlin called off the action, the magazines report.

An attempt to free the Hansa Stavanger three weeks ago ended in failure after the pirates managed to flee to a harbour on the Somali coast.

The GSG 9 force will now return to Germany, the reports say.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Immigration

Fishing Vessel Saves Rubber Boat Off Sicily

(ANSAmed) — PALERMO, APRIL 30 — A Tunisian fishing vessel, the Mostar’, rescued a rubber boat carrying dozens of migrants last night after its engine quit when the boat ran out of fuel. The emergency signal, which was initially received by the Coast Guard in Lampedusa, was then redirected to Maltese authorities: the boat was actually located in international waters, Maltese jurisdiction for SAR search and rescue operations. In recent days, Italy and Malta have been at the centre of a diplomatic misunderstanding regarding the responsibilities connected to SAR operations following the Pinar’ ordeal, the Turkish merchant ship that was blocked for four days in the Sicilian Channel after having rescued 144 migrants. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Maltese Patrol With Migrants Near Lampedusa

(ANSAmed) — PALERMO, APRIL 30 — A Maltese coastguard is 15 miles south of Lampedusa, at the limits of the Italian border, waiting for authorisation to land. The patrol boat took 66 migrants on board, including two women, who were rescued last night by a Tunisian fishing boat from a rubber drifting dinghy. The operation took place around 23 miles south of Lampedusa and 120 from Malta, in waters under Maltese jurisdiction for Search and Rescue operations. In any case, the Valletta authorities, which undertook the coordination of operations, maintain that the immigrants should be taken to the nearest port, that is, Lampedusa. At the moment there are also two Italian patrols in the area, one belonging to the Coast Guard and one to the Financial Police Authority, who are monitoring the Maltese Coast Guard. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

31 Horsemen of Talk Radio’s Apocalypse?

FCC anoints ‘diversity’ panel with ‘Fairness Doctrine’ mission

The Federal Communications Commission has announced the roster of a new advisory committee on “diversity” in communications, a move many critics have warned would mark the beginning of government regulation of talk radio and a reinstallation of the “Fairness Doctrine” by another name.

As WND reported, a think tank headed by John Podesta, co-chairman of Obama’s transition team, mapped out a strategy in 2007 for clamping down on conservative talk radio by requiring stations to be operated by female and minority owners, which the report showed were statistically more likely to carry liberal political talk shows.

Therefore, the report concluded, the best strategy for getting equal time for “progressives” on radio lies in mandating “diversity of ownership” without ever needing to mention the former FCC policy of requiring airtime for liberal viewpoints, known as the “Fairness Doctrine.”

Now, Michael J. Copps, acting chairman of the FCC has announced that the “Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age” will meet at the FCC headquarters on May 7 with a purpose closely paralleling step one of Podesta’s plan for “balancing” talk radio.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Doctors Face Orders to ‘Kill on Demand’

New assisted suicide law requires physicians to act

Physicians in Montana could be facing “kill-on-demand” orders from patients who want to commit suicide if a district court judge’s opinion pending before the state Supreme Court is affirmed.

The case has attracted nominal attention nationwide, but lawyers with the Christian Legal Service have filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the pending case because of what it would mean to doctors within the state, as well as the precedent it would set.

The concern is over the attack on doctors’ ethics and religious beliefs — as well as the Hippocratic oath — that may be violated by a demand that they prescribe deadly chemicals or in some other way assist in a person’s death.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Officials Strong-Arm Conservative Students

Administration overrules call for independent audit of ‘hijacked’ election

Administrators at California’s American River College are blocking an independent audit into a student association election that some students believe was defrauded to oust pro-traditional marriage students from office.

As WND reported, student association presidential candidate George Popko is a key member of the incumbent team, which earlier adopted resolutions in support of traditional marriage and against a pro-homosexual “Day of Silence.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Stealth Lessons on Homosexuality

California districts teach, but don’t tell parents

A California school district that has launched a website to “meet the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth” is just the tip of the iceberg of the agenda in the state’s schools to teach children alternative sexual lifestyles, according to an activist.

“Opponents of Prop 8 claimed that legalizing same-sex marriage would have no impact on school curriculum. But this proves that even with the traditional definition of marriage in the constitution, school curriculum uses a false definition,” said Karen England of Capitol Resource Institute.

“Homosexual activists lost at the ballot box, but now they are using schools to re-define marriage — while excluding parents,” she said.

[…]

England said her organization went further, reviewing what California schools are teaching children as young as kindergarten about homosexuality, and the results are concerning.

“Parents need to know what is going on, because this has gone as far as lesson plans for kindergarteners and it is spreading across the state,” she said.

[…]

“This curriculum does not allow for differing viewpoints on controversial issues like homosexuality and ‘gender changes,’“ she said.

She said in kindergarten through third grade classes, students read “My Two Uncles.” Elly, the young protagonist, is anticipating her grandparents’ golden wedding celebration — and she is sad because her grandfather will not invite her uncle’s homosexual partner. In the end, the grandfather softens a little.

Students are taught by lesson’s end that “families include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.”

The students are warned against “bigoted” values by learning to define “homophobia” and “prejudice,” England said.

“What kindergartner isn’t going to walk away believing they are bigoted or homophobic when their teacher tells them traditional values they are taught at home are hateful?” questioned England.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

General

Islam: OIC Law Academy is Split on Religious Freedom

(ANSAmed) — ROME, APRIL 30 — In a session on religious freedom, at the ongoing International Islamic Fiqh Conference hosted by Sharjah, Muslim scholars from around the world yesterday debated how apostates should be treated according to Islamic law, Arab News website reports. More than 200 delegates representing 60 countries are discussing diverse issues in the light of Shariah in the event organized by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), an offshoot of the Jeddah-based Organization of the Islamic Conference. While several scholars demanded a review of the punishment for apostates in the light of the changing modern values, others refuted their argument saying the original Islamic texts call for harsh punishments. “Religious freedom is a right that should be guaranteed to every human being. We have come here to present and discuss different viewpoints and we should do it in order to reach the right solution,” said Mahmoud Zaqzouq, Egypt’s minister of endowments, as reported by Arab News. Some participants doubted the validity of texts quoted in support of the beheading of apostates. On the other hand, several others were adamant in their refusal to the demand for a lighter approach toward apostates in the name of freedom of religion. “The view that Islamic scholars of the past had different views on how to punish apostates is incorrect. They only disagreed on how soon apostates should be executed; should it be done in three days, one week or few months. The waiting time is left to the discretion of the ruler,” said Muhammad Al-Nujaimi, a professor at the Higher Institute of Law in Riyadh. Referring to criticisms from international human rights organizations, he said: “These groups will never stop attacking Islam even if we were to agree to all their demands. Their lack of sincerity is clear from their attitude to the atrocities committed by the Israeli government in occupied Palestinian territories. We will never allow others to dictate our religion to us.” Abdul Salam Al-Ebadi, secretary-general of the IIFA, said the topic of religious freedom was given priority in yesterday’s deliberations because several countries, particularly the ministries of Islamic Affairs and Foreign Affairs in OIC member countries, demanded a clarification on the correct stand toward apostates. He said a six-member committee of scholars has been entrusted with the task of studying the issue and submitting recommendations. OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and IIFA Chairman Saleh Bin-Humaid, who is also chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Judicial Council, are participating in the forum. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

5 comments:

Kevin said...

A mental weakness had suddenly exploded...Makes it sound like he was a recent convert...

heroyalwhyness said...

re: Beheading in Lyons . . .(quote)"It has happened in England, Canada, and the United States. It was bound to happen in France."It happened before:

The 2003 murder of Sebastian Sellam, 23, a disc jockey at a Parisian night club, killed in an underground parking lot by a Muslim neighbor who slit his throat twice and mutilated his face with a fork, even gouging out his eyes. The assailant announced to Sellam's horrified mother, "I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven." He has been hospitalized for mental illness and apparently will never stand trial.********
(quote) "Several local residents described the young man as disturbed, thin, with a ungainly walk, and changeable behavior."No surprise, again, MUSLIM INBREEDING CAUSING SURGE IN BIRTH DEFECTSnot to mention that sudden jihad syndrome appears to be written off systematically as a [funda]mental[ist] disturbance.

M said...

Mohammed killed his own allah.
Allah does not speak.
allah has no spirit.
allah is no sign of life

laine said...

"I have killed my Jew. I will go to heaven." He has been hospitalized for mental illness and apparently will never stand trial...
---------------
Well, there we have it. The French legal system has classified Muslim belief widely preached in mosques as mental illness on the one hand while the government is still allowing immigrants with the same mental illness to pour in.

Rocha said...

Very Interesting...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-3X5hIFXYU&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ewvwnews%2Enet%2F&feature=player_embedded