Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20100919

Financial Crisis
»20 Signs That the Economic Collapse Has Already Begun for One Out of Every Seven Americans
»Globalists Plan to Dismantle Middle Class With UN Tax
»October DC March Against Free Will
»States Working Harder to Collect Online Sales Taxes
»Chicago Police Officers Stage Mass Protest Against Supt. Weis
»Florida Couple Pleads Guilty to Abusing Filipino Workers
»Message to Muslims: I’m Sorry
»‘Obama Has Underestimated the Frustration in the Country’
»Obama and Minions Call Constitutionalists ‘Extremists’ And ‘Crazy’
»Obama Urges Blacks to Vote and ‘Guard the Change’
»Pennsylvania Homeland Security Targeted Tea Parties
»Postulants Not Kicking the Habit
»The War on Home Appliances
»TV Station Fires Veteran Anchor for ‘Misconduct’
Europe and the EU
»Dutch Anti-Semitism Reaches Record High
»France: Roma: Sarkozy, We Will Continue to Dismantle Camps
»Netherlands: Rotterdam Calls for Help Housing Bulgarians
»Netherlands: Rightwing Coalition Agrees on Minimum Sentences
»Roma: Commissioner Reding’s Statements Unacceptable, Zapatero
»UK: Daily Mail Comment: Pope Gives Britain a Lesson in Candour
»Radical Islam on Rise in Balkans
Mediterranean Union
»Citizens From Both Shores Suffer From Stereoypes
»North and South Hope for Positive Effects
Israel and the Palestinians
»Air Force Confirms Choice of F-35 Fighter Jets
»Netanyahu for ‘Slow’ Colonisation, Press Reports
»PNA: EU Launches Nablus Security Compound Construction
»West Bank: Wanted Hamas Man Killed, Different Versions
Middle East
»Bahrain: Elections, Step Back for Women in Politics
»Iran Denies Detaining Seven U.S. Troops
»Iraq: Arrest Warrants for 100 Officials Issued Over ‘Torture’
»Lebanon: UNICEF Italy, Stay at School Project Started
»Moscow’s Measures Against “Extremist Sects”
South Asia
»Italian Officer Killed in Afghanistan
»NATO Wants More Italian Trainers in Afghanistan
Far East
»China: Pictures: Impressed Chicoms Come Out With Latest Oba-Mao Wear
Australia — Pacific
»It’s Un-Australian … Rally Condemns Push to Ban Burqa
Latin America
»US Couple Accused of Trying to Sell Nuclear Secrets to Venezuela
»Australia: Compensation for Injured Asylum-Seekers
»Spain: ‘Mecca’ Disco Changes Name After Threats
Culture Wars
»America’s Sexual Revolution: Engineered by Pedophiles
»UK: Teenagers to be Awarded ‘GCSE in Sex’
»UK: What Do You Think Made You Become a Heterosexual? Just One of the Bizarre Questions Council Chiefs Are Asking Staff on ‘Diversity’ Course
»Video: Obama Drops ‘Creator’ From Declaration Quote
»The New York Times and BBC; Just the News They See Fit to Print

Financial Crisis

20 Signs That the Economic Collapse Has Already Begun for One Out of Every Seven Americans

For most Americans, the economic collapse is something that is happening to someone else. Most of us have become so isolated from each other and so self-involved that unless something is directly affecting us or a close family member than we really don’t feel it. But even though most of us enjoy a much closer relationship with our television sets than we do with our neighbors at this point, it is quickly becoming undeniable that a fundamental shift is taking place in society. Perhaps you noticed it when two or three foreclosure signs went up on your street. Or perhaps it got your attention when that nice fellow down the street lost his job, and he and his family seemingly just disappeared from the neighborhood one day. The Census Bureau made front page headlines all over the nation this week when they announced that one out of every seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009. Every single day more Americans are getting sucked out of the middle class and into soul-crushing poverty.

Unfortunately, most Americans don’t really care because it has not affected them yet.

But this year, millions more Americans will discover that the music has stopped playing and they are left without a seat at the table.

Meanwhile, neither political party has a workable solution. They just like to point fingers and blame each other.

The Democrats blame Bush for all the poverty and advocate expanding programs for the poor. Not that there is anything wrong with a safety net. But the “safety net” was never meant to hold 50 million people on Medicaid and 40 million people on food stamps. The number of Americans on food stamps has more than doubled since 2007. So do we just double it again as things get even worse?

The truth is that welfare programs are only short-term solutions. Unfortunately, the Democrats do not understand this. What Americans really need are good jobs.

The Republicans are so boneheaded that they don’t even like to talk about poverty because they think it is a “liberal issue”. Some conservative commentators have even been so brutally cold as to mock the “99ers” (those who have been unemployed so long that even their extended federal benefits have run out).

Instead of showing some compassion and being the party of the American worker (as they should be), the Republicans are often very uncompassionate and they allow the Democrats to be “the party of the poor” by default.

Both political parties need a big wakeup call. There is a tsunami of poverty sweeping the United States, and somebody better wake up and do something about it. More handouts will help people get by in the short-term, but there is no way that the federal government can financially support tens of millions more poor Americans.

How long is it going to be before the “safety net” simply collapses under the weight of all this poverty?

The path we are on is not sustainable.

The economy is falling apart, and somebody better wake up and do something before even more Americans find themselves drowning in poverty.

The following are 20 signs that the economic collapse has already begun for one out of every seven Americans…..

[Return to headlines]

Globalists Plan to Dismantle Middle Class With UN Tax

Globalists representing 60 nations will meet at the UN this coming week to push a tax on world financial transactions in the name of solving poverty and climate change, formally launching a massive program to bankrupt the middle class and enrich the coffers of global government.

“Spearheaded by European Union countries, the so-called “innovative financing” proposal envisages a tax of 0.005 percent (five cents per $1,000), which experts estimate could produce more than $30 billion a year worldwide for priority causes,” reports CNS News.

As Ira Stoll, editor of, points out, new taxes always start off small so as to not be resisted by the people forced to pay them, and are then always gradually increased.

“When people suggest taxes, they always start out ‘small,” said Stoll.

“But once the door is opened to the idea of ‘global taxes,’ you can bet they won’t end small. Never mind all the issues about whether development aid actually helps poor countries or just winds up empowering corrupt local dictators and their cronies.”

The call for a global transaction tax arrives in the aftermath of a leaked UN blueprint which outlined how elitists plan to re-brand global warming in an effort to dismantle the middle class by instituting a “global redistribution of wealth” via carbon taxes.

The aim is to “limit and redirect the aspirations for a better life of rising middle classes around the world,” in other words to reduce the standard of living for the middle classes in Western Europe and America.

[Return to headlines]

October DC March Against Free Will

For years, we have been telling American citizens that the Communist Party USA and Socialist Party USA members joined forces in an operation known today as the Democratic Socialists of America. Instead of working outside the two party systems, they established DSAUSA to work inside the two party system.

We have documented that both the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus are legislative apparatuses of the Democratic Socialists of America, all of which is openly documented on the DSAUSA site. The communist are not coming folks, they are already here, and they are the most effective political juggernaut in America today!

On October 2, 2010 — The Democratic Socialists of America have organized a March on DC to defend public sector labor unions for government employees paid for by your tax dollars. In other words, they are marching against every American taxpayer.

SEIU, now the nation’s largest labor union, is openly promoting the Democratic Socialist event on 10.02.10 and just wait to see which politicians show up in support.

Labor unions represent only 17% of the nation’s work force, only 9% of the nation’s population. Yet through their unified and well organized efforts, they run this country today, via their Progressive and Black Caucuses and today’s Democratic Socialist Party, the DNC.

Who represents the other 91% of the nation, the other 83% of American workers who still believe in FREE WILL and the right to work, earn, own and pass down, without the tyranny of labor union thugs and an abusive government?

There are only 22 right to work states left in America. They are the most fiscally sound and individually prosperous states in our union. The 28 forced unionization states are the most bankrupt states in our nation.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

States Working Harder to Collect Online Sales Taxes


Sales taxes or similar levies have always been in place on most online purchases in most states. But they are almost never paid. And with their budgets in crisis, states are more determined than ever to get their share.


The confusion boils down to who does the collecting and when. As with everything involving tax legislation, there are exceptions and other complications from state to state. For example, if you live in Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire or Oregon, which have no sales taxes, none of this applies.

Online retailers like typically don’t add the tax, except in the states where they’re based or where they have physical facilities like warehouses or distribution centers. Amazon, for example, collects sales taxes only in Washington (its home state), Kansas, Kentucky, North Dakota and New York.

The tax is still supposed to be paid, however. And if the seller’s not responsible, then you, the buyer, are. In general, you’re supposed to voluntarily file your own report and pay the standard tax on your out-of-state online purchases. (The appropriate forms are available on state tax agency websites, revenue officials are happy to remind you.)

South Carolina, like most states, relies on consumers to be honest. But if you happen to be audited and you haven’t paid up, you could be in for a world of hurt.

“The Department of Revenue realizes that there is concern and there are issues with collecting the use tax,” Fairwell said. “But we aggressively go after that.”

Numerous other states are considering legislation or studying proposals that would crack down on non-payment of online taxes:

•The Alabama Department of Revenue is sending letters to random taxpayers, telling them to review their last three years of online purchases and send in a check. •In February, Colorado enacted the so-called Amazon law, declaring that online retailers were part of an “economic nexus” with state residents. Under the law — which has been challenged in federal court — Amazon and other online retailers are required to calculate the sales tax on every transaction and tell their customers how much they have to pay the state. They’re also required to disclose the identities of their customers and how much they spent, which has set off a fierce dispute over Coloradans’ privacy rights. Amazon says the law was enacted “over our strong objections.”

‘Amazon laws’

States that are currently considering requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes on online transactions:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Source: research/Alex Johnson

[Return to headlines]


Chicago Police Officers Stage Mass Protest Against Supt. Weis

The Chicago police officers’ union protested Wednesday outside the Chicago Police Department’s South Side headquarters against Police Superintendent Jody Weis.

Approximately 250 officers some chanting “Jodi Weis is a coward,” marched to protest what its members say is a dangerous manpower shortage, and to show their displeasure with the way their boss has run the department.

The officers, many of which were off-duty according to the officers’ union, carried signs that read “More Police No Weis”, “Free Cozzi”, “Resign”, “No Manpower No Weis”, and “Dump Weis”. The signs all appeared to have been made by the same printer.

Weis said Tuesday he wasn’t not concerned by the protest, and that he would not resign.

[Return to headlines]

Florida Couple Pleads Guilty to Abusing Filipino Workers

Sophia Manuel, 41, and Alfonso Baldonado Jr., 45, were owners of a labor contracting service based in the Florida city of Boca Raton.

Manuel and Baldonado “conspired to obtain a cheap, compliant and readily available labor pool, by making false promises to entice the victims to incur debts,” read a Department of Justice statement, quoting court documents.

“The defendants then compelled the victims’ labor and services through threats to have the workers arrested and deported, knowing the workers faced serious economic harm and possible incarceration for nonpayment of debts in the Philippines.”

Once the workers arrived at Manuel and Baldonado’s Florida residence, the couple confiscated their passports, then “housed them in overcrowded, substandard conditions without adequate food or drinking water; put them to work at area country clubs and hotels for little or no pay; required them to remain in the defendants’ service, unpaid when there was insufficient work.”


[Return to headlines]

Message to Muslims: I’m Sorry

By Nicholas D. Kristof

Many Americans have suggested that more moderate Muslims should stand up to extremists, speak out for tolerance, and apologize for sins committed by their brethren.

That’s reasonable advice, and as a moderate myself, I’m going to take it. (Throat clearing.) I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.

I’m inspired by another journalistic apology. The Portland Press Herald in Maine published an innocuous front-page article and photo a week ago about 3,000 local Muslims praying together to mark the end of Ramadan. Readers were upset, because publication coincided with the ninth anniversary of 9/11, and they deluged the paper with protests.

So the newspaper published a groveling front-page apology for being too respectful of Muslims. “We sincerely apologize,” wrote the editor and publisher, Richard Connor, and he added: “we erred by at least not offering balance to the story and its prominent position on the front page.” As a blog by James Poniewozik of Time paraphrased it: “Sorry for Portraying Muslims as Human.”

I called Mr. Connor, and he seems like a nice guy. Surely his front page isn’t reserved for stories about Bad Muslims, with articles about Good Muslims going inside. Must coverage of law-abiding Muslims be “balanced” by a discussion of Muslim terrorists?

Ah, balance — who can be against that? But should reporting of Pope Benedict’s trip to Britain be “balanced” by a discussion of Catholic terrorists in Ireland? And what about journalism itself?…

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo[Return to headlines]

‘Obama Has Underestimated the Frustration in the Country’

The Tea Party movement has enjoyed a comet-like rise since last year. It provides a haven for voters for whom the mainstream Republican Party is not conservative enough, and its popularity is widely attributed to dissatisfaction with US President Barack Obama and frustration with the lackluster US economy. Many observers expect its rise will force the Repubican Party to move further to the right.

On Thursday, German editorialists look at what the latest victory means for US politics.

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

“The spectacular successes of the grassroots conservative movement could turn out to be a political boomerang for the opposition Republicans, whose chances for the midterm elections were looking good or even very good. The Republicans will now be drawn further and further towards the right, meaning that they will no longer be an option for non-ideological voters who are disillusioned with the Democrats. In this way the Republicans could jeopardize their own future success. The Democrats’ best campaigner isn’t Obama, but rather the anti-establishment front of its opponent.”

The conservative daily Die Welt writes:

“This sort of nomination is intended as a putsch against the Republican establishment, but it doesn’t solve the Democrats’ problems. They are threatened by a massive loss of support in the midterm elections, where the whole House of Representatives and a third of the Senate and a large chunk of the governor posts are up for grabs. But the Republicans’ goal is to regain the majority in both houses of Congress. If they fail to accomplish this double whammy, the Democrats can breathe a sigh of relief.”…

[Return to headlines]

Obama and Minions Call Constitutionalists ‘Extremists’ And ‘Crazy’

Taking the lead from other despotic totalitarian leaders, their lackeys and adherents, The Obama and his minions have launched an all-out battle campaign against any—the majority of us—Americans (soon to be known and “Obama-ians” if the Marxists have their way) who believe the US Constitution should be followed by those who govern. Note: I suspect that as Obama & Co rules rather than governs, The Obama believes it doesn’t apply to him.

It is now “radical” and “crazy” to follow US law and not the emerging sinister ObamaLaw. A prime example of this is the Obama’s and his DOJ’s refusal to support US laws protecting US citizens and our country’s Southern border from foreign invaders and then suing the States (think Arizona) and Sheriffs (think Sheriff Joe Arpaio) who do so. Note: The ObamaLeft is again using lapdog Alan Colmes who appeared on Megyn Kelly’s FNC show 17 September and called Conservative candidate for Nevada Senator Sharron Angle “crazy,” “extreme,” and “paranoid.” Poor simple Alan hasn’t had a successful gig since Hannity & Colmes folded.

Even the Democrat plants and ruling elite within the Republican Party (aka “RINOs”) are now openly fighting against We-the-People who want to restore our Republic to its Constitutional and God given rights roots.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Urges Blacks to Vote and ‘Guard the Change’

President Barack Obama, seeking to fire up an important part of his support base ahead of November’s elections, told black leaders on Saturday he wanted their support to “guard the change” he was delivering.

“I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, and your workplaces, to your churches, and barbershops, and beauty shops. Tell them we have more work to do. Tell them we can’t wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now,” he told the Congressional Black Caucus.

The words of America’s first black president showed a deliberate effort to recapture the enthusiasm that had helped him win the White House in 2008, after polls showed African- Americans much less likely to vote than whites this year.

“It’s not surprising that a lot of people may not be feeling that energized or that engaged right now,” he told an annual awards ceremony hosted by the organization representing black members of the U.S. Congress.

“A lot of folks may be feeling like politics is something they get involved in every four years when there’s a presidential election, but they don’t see why they should bother the rest of the time,” he said.

[Return to headlines]

Pennsylvania Homeland Security Targeted Tea Parties

In November, Pennsylvania’s Homeland Security issued a bulletin stating that two Tea Party rallies against illegal immigration might attract “white nationalists.” The report was issued by the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response, an Israeli company. “I think it is one of the more bizarre things I’ve ever heard,” Karen Kiefer, a Tea Party activist from Scottdale, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Saturday. “A lot of people say they never feel safer than at a Tea Party rally. They got $103,000 in taxpayers’ money to compile these bogus lists? That is absolutely shocking.”

Appearing on the Alex Jones Show on Thursday, investigative journalist Wayne Madsen discussed the involvement of the Israeli company in an effort by Pennsylvania’s Homeland Security to spy on activists exercising their First Amendment.

[Return to headlines]

Postulants Not Kicking the Habit

A handful of Roman Catholic convents are contradicting the decades-long slide in the number of women choosing to devote their lives to the sisterhood. And at least two of them are doing it by sticking to tradition, including the wearing of habits.

The number of nuns in the U.S. has dropped dramatically over the last several decades as more women in religious life approach retirement and are not replaced with younger sisters.

But the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville have remained an exception for years. The order has 27 postulants entering the convent this fall, likely the largest group of new nuns in training in the country, according to religious scholars.

Sisters at St. Cecilia’s and other thriving U.S. orders typically are younger, which makes them closer in age to potential newcomers. These orders also emphasize traditional practices, like wearing long, flowing black-and-white habits, and educating students.

In 1965, there were 179,954 U.S. religious sisters, while today that number is around 57,544, according to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

More than nine in 10 women religious, who have taken final vows, were 60 or over in 2009. At St. Cecilia’s, the median age for the 272 sisters in the order is 36; the youngest sister is 18, the oldest 101.

Potential postulants see “young vibrant women, obviously happy with what they’re doing” at St. Cecilia’s and other growing orders, said Mary Gautier, senior research associate at CARA.

[Return to headlines]

The War on Home Appliances

[In] Europe, where bureaucrats systematically are targeting the conveniences of modern life [plan] to fight the imaginary problem of global warming — sorry, “global climate disruption” — the European Commission has before it a proposal to reduce the electricity used by the humble family vacuum cleaner, the London Telegraph reported. It’s only a matter of time before the bureaucracy on our side of the Atlantic sucks up this bad idea.


…If vacuums have less suction, homeowners will need to spend more time vacuuming, and the supposed “energy savings” will never materialize. The same thing happened in 1992 when congressional plumbers decided to redesign America’s commodes. Government-mandated low-flow toilet models were so ineffective that they required multiple flushes on each use, resulting in no net savings in water use.


Congress already has regulated light bulbs, toilets, shower heads and washing machines. It’s only a matter of time before it adopts Europe’s forthcoming ban on fully functional vacuum cleaners. Forcing the public to return to push brooms and washcloths is not going to save the polar bears any more than Mr. Carter’s temperature austerity contributed to world peace. The new House and Senate should make repeal of these pointless appliance regulations a priority next year.

[Return to headlines]

TV Station Fires Veteran Anchor for ‘Misconduct’

Doug McKelway was placed on indefinite suspension in late July after his run-in with ABC7’s news director and general manager, Bill Lord. In a letter to McKelway this week, the station said it was terminating his contract immediately, citing insubordination and misconduct.

Amid the ongoing BP oil spill in July, McKelway covered a Capitol Hill demonstration by environmental groups protesting the influence of oil-industry contributions to members of Congress.

In his piece, McKelway said the sparsely attended event attracted protesters “largely representing far-left environmental groups.” He went on to say the protest “may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP.”

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Dutch Anti-Semitism Reaches Record High

According to Dutch police statistics, the 48% increase represented 209 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.

That accounted for 9.4% of discrimination- based incidents in the Netherlands, although Jews constitute only 0.3% of the country’s 16.6 million people.

In 2008, the police registered 141 anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-gay attacks rose 13% in 2009 when compared to the previous year, and amounted to 35% of all discrimination-based incidents.

There were 428 anti-homosexual incidents in 2009; in 2008, 308 incidents were registered.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel said in its statement that “In January 2009 alone, CIDI — an independent watchdog organization — documented 98 attacks against Jews. This figure included nine physical assaults. The remaining incidents were threats and hate speech.

“During the whole of 2009, CIDI documented 167 anti-Semitic incidents — constituting an increase of 55% compared to CIDI’s 2008 report. Out of these, 35 were serious incidents, involving violent attacks or threats of violence, damaging synagogues and monuments and anti-Semitic graffiti of Jewish- owned buildings.”

The rise in attacks prompted human rights groups to urge the Dutch government to take action.

“CIDI and the gay rights organization COC called on the upcoming government of the Netherlands — whose makeup is being determined in coalition talks following a recent election — to address the growing anti-gay and anti- Jewish trends apparent in the report,” CIDI noted in its statement.

Dutch observers say that the Netherlands’ 1 million Muslims (about 5% of the population), largely from Morocco, coupled with anti-Israel leftists have contributed to a hostile climate for Jews in the Netherlands.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

France: Roma: Sarkozy, We Will Continue to Dismantle Camps

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 16 — France will continue to dismantle “the illegal camps” on its territory, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a press meeting in Brussels after the EU summit.

“France has acted and will continue to act in the spirit of the EU directive”, Sarkozy added. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Rotterdam Calls for Help Housing Bulgarians

Rotterdam city council needs urgent assistance in housing hundreds of immigrants from central and eastern Europe, city council executive Hamit Karakus says in Friday’s NRC.

In particular the arrival of Bulgarians with little chance of finding work is taxing city housing, Karakus says.

Despite earlier assurances, the government has not done what it should, leaving the council struggling to cope with the influx, Karakus said

Low skilled

City council research published on Friday shows most Bulgarian newcomers are low-skilled, arrive in groups and rely on the ‘grey and illegal’ jobs market.

Despite being party of the EU, people from Bulgaria and Romania need a work permit to get a job in the Netherlands.

Some 4,000 Bulgarians live in Rotterdam, mostly Turkish-speaking, the research shows.

In 2007, Rotterdam organised a special summit of local authority leaders to discuss the ‘problems’ being caused by the influx of Polish workers.

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

Netherlands: Rightwing Coalition Agrees on Minimum Sentences

THE HAGUE, 18/09/10 — The conservatives (VVD), Christian democrats (CDA) and Party for Freedom (PVV) have reached agreement on the main points of justice policy. Under their accord, there will be statutory minimum sentences to which judges must adhere.

Minimum sentences do no currently exist in the Netherlands. VVD, CDA and PVV have however agreed that a floor should be introduced for certain crimes if the suspect is found guilty. This was an emphatic PVV wish.

The three parties expect to conclude negotiations shortly on a VVD-CDA minority cabinet to receive ‘tolerance support’ from parliament from the PVV. The accord on security policy has been obtained by TV programme Nieuwsuur (formerly Nova).

Under the accord, the incoming cabinet also wants to add 3,000 extra police officers. The Netherlands currently has around 50,000. They must also be on the beat more and less burdened administratively.

Additionally, the three parties want the number of regional police corps to be cut to 10 from 25. They will then be in line with the court regions, of which 10 are also to survive.

These 10 police corps will come directly under the responsibility of a Security Minister. This post is now called the Justice Minister, but will be expanded with the inclusion of responsibility for the police, which currently still lies with the Home Affairs Minister.

The VVD will likely supply the Security Minister. One of the candidates being named is MP Fred Teeven, who was a top prosecutor in an earlier life.

The three parties also want a stricter regime for psychiatrically disturbed criminals. They will have fewer opportunities to leave so-called TBS clinics for escorted or unescorted leave.

The Dutch police union (NPB) is sceptical. “Since Columbus, I have heard in every cabinet formation that there are to be extra police,” says spokesman Jan Willem van der Pol. “This always fails to happen; we are only confronted with cutbacks.”

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

Roma: Commissioner Reding’s Statements Unacceptable, Zapatero

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 16 — Spanish Prime Minister Jose’ Luis Zapatero — talking during a press conference after the EU summit — has called the statements made by the vice president of the European Commission, Viviane Reding, “unacceptable. Reding has drawn a parallel between the expulsion of Roma from France and events that took place during the Second World War.

These “words are out of place”, added Zapatero.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

UK: Daily Mail Comment: Pope Gives Britain a Lesson in Candour

He attacked the aggressive atheism in British society. Confronting his Hitler Youth past, he described his first-hand observations of how the Nazis’ contempt for religion allowed this most evil regime to take root.

He apologised for the child abuse scandal. But he was critical of our age’s addiction to instant gratification — our obsession with alcohol and sex and money were causing great harm to our society, he said.

Yesterday, he followed this with a stirring attack on attempts by the politically correct Left-wing establishment to prevent the celebration of Christmas, for fear of offending other faiths.

What a contrast to our own Archbishop of Canterbury, who is so petrified of appearing irrelevant in the modern world that he utters barely a word about the critical moral issues facing this country.

Witness how yesterday, when delivering prayers alongside the Pope at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop offered only theological vagaries about the dark ages of Christianity.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Radical Islam on Rise in Balkans

An online music video praising Osama bin Laden has driven home a troubling new reality: A radical brand of Islam embraced by al-Qaida and the Taliban is gaining a foothold in the Balkans.

“Oh Osama, annihilate the American army. Oh Osama, raise the Muslims’ honor,” a group of Macedonian men sing in Albanian, in video posted on YouTube last year and picked up by Macedonian media this August. “In September 2001 you conquered a power. We all pray for you.”

Although most of Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian minority are Muslims, they have generally been secular. But experts are now seeing an increasing radicalization in pockets of the country’s Islamic community, particularly after armed groups from the ethnic Albanian minority, which forms a quarter of the population of 2.1 million, fought a brief war against Macedonian government forces in 2001.

It’s a trend seen across the Balkans and has raised concerns that the region, which includes new European Union member Bulgaria, could become a breeding ground for terrorists with easy access to Western Europe. Many fear that radicalized European Muslims with EU passports could slip across borders and blend into society.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Citizens From Both Shores Suffer From Stereoypes

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 15 — European citizens and citizens of the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean suffer from distorted and stereotyped views of one another. This is one of the conclusions of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s ‘Euromed Intercultural Trends 2010’ reports, which was presented in Brussels today.

The study is based on the first Gallup inquiry which involved 13,000 people in the area, across thirteen different countries: Bosnia Herzegovina, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Sweden and Great Britain in the north, and Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey for the southern and eastern Mediterranean.

The report states that one in three people had some contact with a citizen from another country in the region last year. There is, however, an incorrect perception and a lack of mutual understanding, particularly with regards to values.

Almost six out of every ten people interviewed in the southern and eastern Mediterranean think that the most important value for European parents to teach their children is that of learning to be independent (57%), which was only considered a priority for one in five Europeans, followed by curiosity (44%), which was of prime importance for only 13% of Europeans.

On the other hand, Europeans underestimated the value of religion, which is fundamental for 62% of those interviewed in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, as well as curiosity (7% in Europe against 19% on southern and eastern shores), independence (14% against 20%), and obedience (28% against 35%).

Family solidarity, which those in the Mediterranean believe is value for 17% of Europeans, is actually a factor that links both sides of the sea, and constitutes a priority for 56% of those interviewed in Europe and for 41% of those in the southern and eastern Mediterranean. Obedience is also fundamental for 23% of inhabitants of the Old Continent, against 36% of their counterparts. A large divide is immediately apparent in terms of respect for other cultures: this is in first or second position in the value table for 58% of Europeans, but only for 18% of those interviewed on the southern and eastern Mediterranean. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North and South Hope for Positive Effects

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SEPTEMBER 16 — A project like that of the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) will bring about positive effects in the world of innovation and business for example, according to nearly half of the people from the north and south shores, while one-third say do not rule out the possibility of helpful consequences. At the same time, the majority of people see the region as a potential source of conflicts, according to the key points found in the report, ‘Euromed intercultural trends 2010’ presented by the Anna Lindh Foundation in Brussels. The study is based on the first Gallup poll conducted on 13,000 people in 13 countries: Bosnia Herzegovina, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Sweden and Great Britain for the north shore; Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey for the south and east shore of the Mediterranean. According to the report, between 34% and 48% of those interviewed think that the Union for the Mediterranean could result in advantages for their respective societies, while between 22% and 38% believe that it is a possibility. The minority of those interviewed did not believe that they will benefit at all from the UFM in various areas: 8% believe that there will be no positive consequences in regards to innovation and business, 16% regarding individual liberties and rule of law and 25% in terms of moral values. Regarding the expected effects in their respective regions, over 45% of people from the south and east shore believe that they will see a growing focus on environmental issues and 46% expect for the power of the younger sector of the population to increase. For 46% of the people in the north shore countries and 46% for people in the south, one of the effects will be a greater respect for cultural diversity.

One-third of Europeans think that effects will boost entrepreneurship and social solidarity and 30% believe that greater importance will be placed on environmental issues. In terms of the image of the region, those who were interviewed often had a positive outlook: over three-fourths believed that the distinguishing traits are hospitality, lifestyle and food, a common cultural legacy and creativity. But for the majority of people, the Mediterranean is also identified as an area that is a potential source of conflict. In this case, a difference of perception is more evident between the two shores. Europeans more often associate the region with lifestyle and food compared to the residents of the south and east (90% north compared to 75% south), but at the same time they see a potential source of conflict (73% north compared to 61% south), in particular among Germans (83%), Swedes and Greeks (82%), who have a different outlook compared to the French (62%). A preoccupation that is shared by 75% of Lebanese citizens and 69% of Moroccans, but which is much less of a worry in Turkey (41%). As for intelligence, the creativity factor is the most distinctive element in the area for Moroccans (86%), followed by the English, Germans and Greeks (85%). (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Air Force Confirms Choice of F-35 Fighter Jets

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, SEPTEMBER 17 — Israel’s Air Force announced that the F-35 fighter of US company Lockheed-Martin has been selected as its future fighter plane.

The choice was confirmed by premier Benyamin Netanyahu, according to a government statement. The premier stated that “The purchase of this fighter, the most advanced in the world, is a major step in Israel’s military growth”.

One of the characteristics of the F-35 is its ability to operate at a distance without being detected by radars.

The statement did not provide the number of aircraft that will be purchased, but in recent weeks the local press reported a number of 20 and that the order is worth 2.75 billion dollars.

The first aircraft should be delivered to the Israeli Air Force in 2015. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Netanyahu for ‘Slow’ Colonisation, Press Reports

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, SEPTEMBER 13 — On the eve of the Sharm El Sheik summit (Egypt) with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli premier Benyamin Netanyahu is preparing to opt for “slow colonisation” which would calm the apprehensions of his government’s nationalist ministers but not give rise to a crisis in talks with the Palestinian Authority. According to today’s press, at the end of September — when the 10-month moratorium on new Jewish building projects in the West Bank expires — Netanyahu will be tacitly adopting the policy drawn up by his predecessor Ehud Olmert (Kadima): the annual construction of about 2,000 housing units for settlers, 90% of which in homogenous zones of Jewish settlement within the West Bank.

Yesterday Netanyahu told Likud ministers that 19,000 housing units “are on the table”. He added that Israel would not agree to a total settlement freeze, but that it is not necessary to carry out all the projects. “Between 0 and 1 there are intermediate options,” he said. An extension to the freeze on Jewish building projects in the West Bank is one of Mahmoud Abbas’s priority requests. In Sharm El Sheik tomorrow, Netanyahu, on the other hand, will be reiterating the request that Palestinians recognise the Jewish character of Israel as part of definitive peace accords.(ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

PNA: EU Launches Nablus Security Compound Construction

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, SET 17 — The construction of seven buildings in Nablus for the national security forces, the ministry of Interior, the Governorate, the prisoner reform and rehabilitation Centre, and the palestinian civil police has began.

According to the Enpi website (, the security compound (Muqata’a) is due to be be ready in the first quarter of 2012. “The rule of law — the European Union representative, Christian Berger — is a cornerstone for a future Palestinian state. The Palestinian Authority has made significant achievements in this sector in the previous year”.

This contribution represents the European Union’s support to security sector reform of the Palestinian Authority. All designs for the buildings have been developed by the ministry of Public Works and Housing in close cooperation with the involved parties. EUPOL COPPS — the EU Mission supporting the Palestinian Police and rule of law sector — assisted in the design reviews for the prison reform and rehabilitation Centre. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

West Bank: Wanted Hamas Man Killed, Different Versions

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, SEPTEMBER 17 — The killing of a well-known member of the armed wing of Hamas, Ayad Abu Shaalbya, 38, last night in a village in the West Bank during an operation run by the Israeli army, is the subject of contradicting versions. The incident took place in the village of Nur a-Shams, in the province of Tulkarem, while an Israeli military unit was carrying out arrests of a dozen wanted Palestinians. An Israeli military spokesman reported that Ayad Abu Shaalbya (who had in the past spent several years in prison in Israel) “ran towards the servicemen in a suspicious manner, hiding his arms behind his back.” The spokesman said that the man had ignored repeated warnings to stop and the soldiers, feeling threatened, had opened fire in his direction, killing him. But Abu Shaalbya’s brother told the Ynet website that the Hamas member “was killed in his own bed, with a shot to the neck and two to the chest.” According to this version, the man was alone at home. The other arrests in Nur a-Shams took place without incident. Today’s incident — on which the Israeli army has already opened an inquiry — took place while the border posts for transit between Israel and the West Bank remain closed, on the occasion of the Jewish fasting of Kippur which begins this evening and lasts one day. For its part, daily paper Maariv reports that another leader of the armed wing of Hamas Nassat al-Karmi, 33, is also being actively looked for in the West Bank. It is believed that al-Karmi (who operates in the area of Hebron) and Abu Shaalbya were part of the same illegal cell. Al-Karmi, explains Maariv, is suspected of having organised two attacks in which four Israelis were killed in Hebron and two people were injured in Ramallah 20 days ago. Al-Karmi has been repeatedly detained in Israel and he was released at the beginning of the year. It seems that he had been operating underground since then. The armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, has resumed its activity to coincide with the resumption of the peace talks between Israel and the PA, in an attempt to make them fail. Over recent days, the commander of the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Ahmed Jaabri, has repeated from Gaza that his organisation is opposed to any negotiations with Israel and instead practices “all-out Jihad (holy war).”“ (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bahrain: Elections, Step Back for Women in Politics

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI, SEPTEMBER 16 — Parliamentary elections in Bahrain will have a small female presence: just hours before the closing of the registration period less than 10 women submitted their names, a remarkable step back compared to the legislative elections held in 2006, when there were 23 female candidates. On that occasion only one woman, Latifa Al Gaud, made it into parliament, the first in all Arab countries of the Gulf.

Al Gaud, who will also run on October 23, emphasised that “women should be really involved in the Country’s politics and not limit their participation during the elections”.

However, this is not an easy task. Of the three main political fronts in Bahrain, Al Asala systematically stated its objection to women in politics, while Al Wefaq, the predominant party in parliament, and Islamic Menbar both admitted to the potentially negative impact on voters of female candidatures. For now the only party with a woman running for election, Munira Fakro, is Waad, traditionally Bahrain’s most liberal movement.(ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Iran Denies Detaining Seven U.S. Troops

The semi-official Fars news agency reported earlier in the day that border guards had detained seven U.S. troops as they tried to illegally enter the Islamic state. The agency later withdrew the story, which had given no source.

Iran’s Arabic-language television al-Alam quoted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, in charge of Iran’s border security, as denying that any such incident had happened in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

In Washington, a U.S. Defense Department spokesman said: “Reports by state-run Iranian media that seven U.S. soldiers were detained after crossing into Iran are false.”

A spokesman for NATO-led forces in Afghanistan, U.S. Captain Ryan Donald, said no U.S. soldiers were missing…

[Return to headlines]

Iraq: Arrest Warrants for 100 Officials Issued Over ‘Torture’

Mosul, 17 Sept. (AKI) — Judges on Friday issued arrested for 100 military and police officials suspected of torturing prisoners in the northern Iraqi city Mosul.

“Severe beatings” were used to coerce confessions from prisoners, according to Deldar el-Zibari, a senior local official who spoke with German news agency dpa.

“There are official documents and evidence confirming the occurrence of torture,’ he said in the Friday dpa report.

El-Zibari said the Iraqi defence ministry was slack in enforcing accountability creating a delay in getting arrest warrants issued.

London-based human rights group Amnesty International on 13 September released a report which estimates 30,000 Iraqis are being held in Iraqi prisons without trial.

Many of the detainees are tortured and held in secret prisons, according to the report.

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

Lebanon: UNICEF Italy, Stay at School Project Started

(ANSAmed) — ROME, SEPTEMBER 17 — The objective of a project by the Italian arm of UNICEF, begun yesterday under the direction of its Chair, Vincenzo Spadafora, is to reduce the number of those who leave off their education early in twenty Lebanese schools over the coming three years.

“The direct beneficiaries of this project during its first year of activity will be the more than one thousand students aged between 7 and 11. This will then be extended to cover a total of 2,000 students over the planned three years, up to the end of the project”. Spadafora was addressing a press conference held at Shama today at the base of the UNIFIL command, under the direction of Italy’s Garibaldi Brigade, a conference also attended by the country’s Deputy Education Minister, Fadi Yarak and by Italy’s General Giuseppe Nicola Tota.

The project, entitled “Schools friends of the children” will also involve the donation of sports equipment, which is to take place over the coming weeks. “Like UNICEF Italia,” Spadafora said, “we have already transferred 90,000 euros last month, collected by our volunteers in Italy, and I am pleased to announce that a further 200,000 euros are about to be transferred from the country’s income tax-free donations scheme, ‘5 in a thousand 2009”‘.

Also on next Monday, 32,000 Palestinian children attending the 75 schools run by UNRWA in Lebanon will be donated kits of study materials supplied by UNICEF. The mission will continue to the Rashidieh camp, where projects linked to micro-credit will be presented and to the villages of Deir Dalloum and Fnaidek, and then on to the Nahr el Bared camp.(ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Moscow’s Measures Against “Extremist Sects”

An initiative of the Department of Labour and social security in the region of Khanty-Mansiisk: establishing a militia of volunteers and checkpoints to ensure that members of “totalitarian” sects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Protestants, Scientologists, can not carry out their activities.

Moscow (AsiaNews) — Measures to combat “extremist sects” are being implemented at a local government level in Russia. These include the idea of creating an army of volunteers to monitor activities in cultural institutions, to establish a sort of checkpoint in cultural centres, cinemas, so that these places give no space to representatives of “totalitarian cults.” They are all directives contained in a letter that the Deputy Director of the Department of Labour and Social Security of the autonomous region of Khanty-Mansiisk sent to directors of local cultural institutions, which can be viewed on the website

The letter explains that “destructive sects and groups whose activities are causing irreparable damage to society and the individual” are spreading across Russian Federation territory. The department has thus prepared material “to combat the participation of members of these sects in cultural and social events”.

In addition to initiatives already mentioned, the authorities intend to carry out a media information campaign and make clinics and hospitals record cases of refusal of medical treatment based on “sectarian motivation.”

Two lists were attached to the letter: one of the organizations deemed extremist in the Russian Federation and that of the “best known totalitarian groups that have substantial activities in the country. Among them — 265 in all — appears “Herbalife”, “Amway” and “Word of Life,” which is duly registered at the Federal Ministry of Justice. The list also includes Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, the Church of Scientology and the Seventh-day Adventists.

The initiative of the authorities of Khanty-Mansiisk confirms the difficult situation of certain religious bodies in Russia, faced with actions that behind the justification of fighting extremism, have a character of persecution. Federal justice has particularly targeted Jehovah Witnesses who are accused of being a “cult” with an “unfriendly attitude towards other churches.” Authorities probably do not like some of their practices such as conscientious objection to military service, the refusal to use weapons, to surrender to blood transfusions and the demand for total devotion of followers to the community.

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

South Asia

Italian Officer Killed in Afghanistan

Special forces casualty in firefight with insurgents

(ANSA) — Rome September 17 — One of the two members of Italy’s special forces in Afghanistan wounded Friday in a firefight with insurgents has died, defense ministry sources have told ANSA.

The casualty was named as Lt. Alessandro Romani of the 9th Col. Moschin assault regiment.

The firefight took place in the Bakwa District, in the western Farah Province, after a group of insurgents had planted a roadside bomb, military sources said. The special forces were called into action when an Italian drone spotted the insurgents planting the bomb. They came under fire as they were landing their helicopter, the sources added. Initially, Lt. Romani and a private were said to have only suffered minor shoulder wounds, one more seriously than the other.

Lt. Romani’s death was later confirmed by the Italian command headquarters in Herat.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

NATO Wants More Italian Trainers in Afghanistan

‘Ready to comply’, defence minister responds

(ANSA) — Rome, September 17 — NATO would like Italy to send more instructors to Afghanistan as part of the build-up of Afghan military forces, Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said Friday after meeting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Rome.

La Russa said the armed forces were ready to comply with the request if the government approved it.

He said the increase “would be quantitative rather than qualitative because we’re already top quality”. The role of military trainers was crucial to the goal of starting to hand command to Afghan forces “from every standpoint” by the end of 2011 and complete it by 2014, La Russa said. Italy has some 3,300 troops in the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan, slated to rise to around 4,000 by the end of the year. It is also part of the European Union-led EUPOL police training mission.

In other remarks after his talks, La Russa said Italy wants to keep its forces in western Afghanistan, where it has been based since the start of its mission in 2004.

If they were sent to other parts of the country, the redeployment should be limited to neighbouring areas and command should stay in Italian hands, the minister said.

La Russa added that the Italian zone could be among the first to be completely handed over to Afghan command after insurgents are driven out or defeated.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Far East

China: Pictures: Impressed Chicoms Come Out With Latest Oba-Mao Wear

The Chicoms continue to be impressed with the example set by our American President. The UPI reported on the latest Obama wear on the streets of China.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

It’s Un-Australian … Rally Condemns Push to Ban Burqa

Islamic values are superior to “flawed” Western secular values and non-Muslims are in no position to lecture Muslims about the oppression of women, a speaker said yesterday at a Sydney rally against proposals to ban the burqa.

“Despite the intense negative propaganda against Islam and in particular the lies about its treatment of women, the number of Western women embracing Islam continues to rise at a rapid rate,” said Fautmeh Ardati, a member of the Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir. “By turning their backs on this flawed way of life, it is testament of the superiority of Islamic values over Western values.”

Women did not wear Islamic dress out of freedom of choice, Ms Ardati told the Lakemba rally.

“Because to use freedom of choice as a justification, then we are also accepting of women who undress out of this same freedom of choice, and we can never do this as Muslim women. We dress like this because it is the command of Allah, not any man.”

Women had two options, she said. “The Western secular way of life, which robs a woman of her dignity, honour and respect, where she is considered little more than a commodity to be bought and sold, or the option of Islam, where a woman’s dignity, respect and honour are priceless.”

Later she cited high rates of rape and domestic violence and said: “They are in no position to be lecturing us about oppression and subjugation.” Ms Ardati was one of five speakers at the rally, held at Parry Park, in reaction to a recent unsuccessful attempt by the NSW MP Fred Nile to introduce a bill banning the burqa.

The Premier, Kristina Keneally’s recent statement re-affirming the right of Muslim women to wear the burqa was welcomed but Ms Ardati said the support of key politicians did not mean Muslims could “relax”.

“Even if this bill is not passed in NSW now, who knows what will happen in one week, one month or one year?” Ms Ardati said.

There were about 2000 people at the rally, with men and women segregated by a row of plastic markers. Male speakers spoke to the crowd from a podium at the front. The two female speakers spoke from the women’s section, meaning most of the men had their backs turned to them.

Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman said Muslims loved Australia but rejected interference in the practice of their religion. “Keep away from our affairs,” he said.

Umm Jamaalud-Din said Mr Nile’s “un-Australian” bill had “open[ed] the floor to racist elements that exist within Australian society” who would now feel they could vilify, abuse and possibly assault Muslim women.

“I feel empowered by the knowledge that I am in control of displaying my beauty to whom I choose,” she said.

“I can move freely throughout society without being subjected to the eyes of every Tom, Dick and Harry and not be judged on face value but rather for who I am as a person.”

Earlier, organisers had told people not to speak to the media. One woman wearing a burqa said she would have to ask her husband before speaking to the Herald. When asked if she needed her husband’s permission to speak, she said: “We are allowed but we choose not to.”

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Latin America

US Couple Accused of Trying to Sell Nuclear Secrets to Venezuela

Couple caught in an FBI sting by an agent posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government

An American nuclear scientist and his wife were arrested yesterday, accused of conspiring to sell atomic secrets to Venezuela after allegedly being caught in an FBI sting by an agent posing as a representative of the Venezuelan government.

The pair worked at the Los Alamos nuclear research establishment and had security clearances. Venezuela, whose leader Hugo Chávez, has a strained relationship with the US, was not involved.


According to the indictment, he offered in 2008 to provide information to help build within 10 years a secret underground plant for plutonium, needed for a bomb, and an above-ground facility that would look as if it was a civilian power plant.

The US justice department in a statement claimed Pedro Mascheroni delivered to a “dead drop” post box a disc with a coded 132-page document with “restricted data” relating to nuclear weapons. He allegedly asked for $793,000 (£503,000) and in June last year received $20,000 from an undercover agent.

Originally from Argentina but a naturalised US citizen, he allegedly adopted as his codename “Luke” and asked about Venezuelan citizenship.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Australia: Compensation for Injured Asylum-Seekers

Dozens of asylum-seekers have received a total of $5.4 million in compensation payouts from taxpayers for injuries they suffered while in detention.

Official figures obtained by News Ltd reveal that more than 50 immigration detainees have pocketed an average of $100,000 each over the past two years.

News Ltd says the federal government has refused to detail the reasons for the multi-million-dollar payouts to detainees, saying only they were related to wrongful detention or injuries suffered in detention.

A Department of Immigration spokesman said compensation payouts and disease outbreaks are “inevitable” given the large number of asylum-seekers in detention.

“This is a department that deals with 26 million interactions with human beings every year — border crossings, visas, compliance,” spokesman Sandi Logan said.

“It’s the law of averages — some may well choose to litigate against us or, in some rare cases, we may be at fault and have to pay out under Comcare and Comcover.”

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Spain: ‘Mecca’ Disco Changes Name After Threats

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, SEPTEMBER 16 — Threats in Arab, English and Spanish increased on the internet by Islamic radicals, including videos inciting a boycott of Spanish interests. In the end the owners of the trendy ‘Mecca’ discotheque in Aguilas (a tourist location in the Murcia province) caved in and decided to change the name of the club, which reopened on June 18 after being shut for a decade. They will also remove the cupola on the roof reminiscent of the minaret. The report was made by the club promoters, five members who rented the premises to renovate and reopen it with the same name and fittings it had when established in 1987. Problems began to emerge on September 2, when a construction worker of Moroccan origin refused to work on the club’s renovation because of its appearance and name, the Mecca, deeming it offensive for Muslims. The episode immediately led to the controversial position of Mohamed Hamed Ali’, the president of the Spanish federation of Islamic religious bodies (Feeri), who supported the worker for what he defined “a lack of respect towards Islam and Muslim people”. The businessmen initially downplayed criticism. “It is the same as saying that the basque people offend the Christian religion because they refer to the Bilbao stadium as the Cathedral”. But they soon had to change idea when the club’s website was flooded with threats, which have been reported to the police.

In the end they addressed representatives of Murcia’s Islamic community to seek mediation. Yesterday Mohamed Reda el-Qady, secretary of the Union of Islamic Communities in Murcia (Ucid), one of the Spanish regions with the highest rate of Maghreb immigrants, visited the club premises with the owners to ascertain on location what led to such forceful complaints. Today, during a press conference, the owners announced the decision to change the name of the club and to root out certain decorations, such as the crescent moon on the cupola and the minaret. The Ucid secretary believe in the need to “Remove the offending decorations” to end the controversy. Reda el Qady condemned the internet threats and emphasised that “the disco has been there with that name for a long time” without anyone being offended in the past. He also hoped that, in light of the agreement, threats and attacks will cease. The owners commented that in the end it is only a disco. In future it will be named ‘the Garden’ or ‘the Tower’ or one of the other 2,000 suggestions posted on the club’s website in response to an online survey carried out by the club owners to defuse controversy. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

America’s Sexual Revolution: Engineered by Pedophiles

How 1 secretly twisted scientist destroyed nation’s morality laws

[Comments from JD: WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A shocking report at WND’s “Taking America Back” conference in Miami, Fla., contends the sexual revolution of the 1960s and beyond was manufactured by a single pedophile with deep financial backing.

Dr. Judith Reisman, author of “Sexual Sabotage: How One Mad Scientist Unleashed a Plague of Corruption and Contagion on America,” unveiled at the confab a hidden history of scandal and scientific fraud that she says convinced not only America’s legal system but also its culture to unjustifiably embrace sexual deviancy.

Reisman explained how Dr. Alfred Kinsey, a scientific pioneer who was lauded in the 1950s for his research and who launched modern-day sexology, received his financial backing from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1941 and used it to twist science and law to fulfill his licentious agenda.

For example, Kinsey’s landmark study from 1941-1945 claimed to describe the “normal” sexual practices of “everyday” Americans. Reisman contends, however, that Kinsey didn’t have access to the majority of “normal” American men and women, who were engaged with World War II at the time, and so he used a tainted sample.

“Eighty-seven percent of his subjects,” Reisman stated, “were sex addicts, homosexuals, criminals, rapists, prostitutes, pedophiles and prisoners.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Teenagers to be Awarded ‘GCSE in Sex’

Teenagers will learn how to use a condom and obtain the morning after pill as part of the first GCSE-style qualification in sex.

Pupils will be able to gain the equivalent of a D grade under the new course which has been devised to raise awareness of issues surrounding relationships, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Government-funded qualification is being offered in nine schools and colleges for the first time this term with plans to expand it across the country.

Last night, the move sparked outrage among families’ groups who claimed it legitimised sexual promiscuity and failed to make any reference to marriage.

But Suzanne Cant, research manager at the qualifications provider NCFE, which is running the course, said: “Sexual health education should play a part in the curriculum for all young people.

“The latest figures show teenage pregnancy rates are falling, but not falling at a fast enough rate to meet Government targets. Meanwhile, annual diagnoses for sexually-transmitted diseases are already in the hundreds of thousands — and increasing all the time.

“Part of the way to tackle these issues is through education and [the] qualification offers a formal way to assess and certificate learners to help ensure the right messages are being delivered and understood.”

NCFE — which used to stand for Northern Council for Further Education — formally launched the Level 1 award in sexual health awareness this week following official accreditation by Ofqual, the exams regulator. Level 1 examinations are equivalent to low-level GCSEs graded D to G.

The course, which is aimed towards students who are not yet ready to take full GCSEs, and takes just nine hours to teach,asks pupils to give the names of male and female sexual organs, describe two examples of “risky sexual behaviour” and outline two methods of contraception “that would be suitable for a young person”.

Students, who will be encouraged to take the course between the age of 14 and 16, are taught about the age at which someone can access sexual health services “without parental consent”.

Another question asks pupils to outline “two things it’s important to remember when using a condom” and list two places where emergency contraception, such as the morning after pill, may be obtained.

A further section focuses on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Pupils are asked how HIV can be transmitted and to outline one possible consequence of not having Chlamydia treated.

Norman Wells, from the Family Education Trust, said: “In spite of its name, this new qualification is more about promoting sexual experimentation and the use of contraception by children than it is about promoting sexual health.

“The only sure way of avoiding sexually transmitted infections is to keep sexual intimacy within a faithful lifelong relationship, yet this course makes no mention of marriage or of commitment and faithfulness.

“Instead, the focus is on telling pupils how to use contraceptives and how they can access them behind their parents’ backs. Schools exist to assist and support parents in the education of their children, not to undermine them in this way.”

A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “There are hundreds of qualifications that are accredited by Ofqual for a plethora of different ages, abilities and settings. We rightly trust heads to choose what is best for their pupils.”

Most students already receive sex education at secondary school, although Labour dropped plans to make lessons compulsory in primaries earlier this year as part of the Parliamentary “wash-up” before the General Election.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: What Do You Think Made You Become a Heterosexual? Just One of the Bizarre Questions Council Chiefs Are Asking Staff on ‘Diversity’ Course

The quiz, devised by managers at Buckinghamshire County Council, is part of an equality and diversity course called ‘Respecting Sexuality’.

Questions, which are described as a ‘twist’ on those routinely asked of homosexuals, include ‘What do you think caused your heterosexuality?’, ‘Is it possible your heterosexuality stems from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?’, and ‘If you’ve never slept with a person of the same sex, how do you know you wouldn’t prefer it?’

The course, which encourages staff to ‘have a better understanding’ of the challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues, includes a film which follows the experience of four fictitious employees.

The film is said to ‘build in intensity’ and can provoke a variety of reactions. Trainers’ notes state: ‘Initial reactions to the stories vary widely, with heterosexual (straight) people often dismissing the stories as exaggerated or rare and homosexual (gay people) immediately recognising the issues and emotions explored here as honest and relevant.’

The Buckinghamshire council course is just one of a series of publicly funded equality and diversity sessions uncovered in a series of Freedom of Information requests by The Mail on Sunday.

Cardiff, Slough and Cheshire West and Cheshire councils have also incorporated quizzes in their sessions. In Slough, employees ask colleagues questions from a specially prepared grid such as ‘Can you sing a few lines from a Supremes song?’ and ‘Do you read The Guardian?’

Staff at Cardiff City Council are challenged to name the inventor of the ‘great British classic car the Mini’, and to identify the symbol used to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Matthew Sinclair, director of the TaxPayers Alliance, said: ‘With huge pressure on the public finances, and council tax nearly doubled over the last decade, it is vital that councils show they can start cutting back on waste to keep down taxes and avoid unnecessary pressure on services.

‘To see councils wasting money on such a ludicrous, politically-correct exercise in that environment is disgusting. ‘Ensuring that councils don’t discriminate doesn’t require such insane attempts at a superficial understanding of different communities.’

A spokesman for Buckinghamshire County Council said its quiz was devised to help staff in its adoption service. He was unable to say how many had taken part or at what cost.

‘The questions from the quiz are not used as a quiz directed at individuals, but some of the questions are used as a tool during the course to provoke the attendees’ thought process and to enable the attendees to put themselves in someone else’s shoes,’ he added.

Last week, The Mail on Sunday revealed that managers at Brighton and Hove City Council had taken part in a diversity seminar called Adventures in Lesbianandgayland which invited them to imagine they had now woken up in a world where homosexuality was dominant.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Video: Obama Drops ‘Creator’ From Declaration Quote

President gives no credit to author of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness

President Obama removed the reference to the “Creator” from the Declaration of Independence when he quoted a portion at a meeting of the Congressional Hispanic Congress.

Obama said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

But the the actual quotation is:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The video, where the reference appears shortly past the 22-minute mark:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


The New York Times and BBC; Just the News They See Fit to Print

The most influential book written about why intelligent, dedicated and noble men with the highest motives fell under the hypnotic spell of Communism remains The God That Failed, a collection of thirteen essays by Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, Richard Wright, Andre Gide, Louis Fischer, Stephen Spender, R. H. S. Crossman and the book’s editor Steven Engerman. The essays chronicle the noble motives that drew these individuals to the Party, its cynical manipulation of their idealism and their ultimate disillusionment and sense of betrayal.

I underwent a similar experience with respect to lesser but still enormously powerful gods in the realm of ideas and a world-view that boasted, like the Kremlin, of being the “vanguard” of progressive humanity and the ultimate reference guide for any political question or doubt. I refer to the two media organizations that for some remain idols in the pantheon of news gathering and interpretation. No evidence to the contrary, no matter how persuasive or corroborated by independent investigation, can match the unearned epithets of praise or the mantra of authority conferred on a statement by …”I read it in The New York Times” or “I heard/saw it on the BBC.”


…The New York Times, precisely because of its Jewish ownership, large readership and many reporters and employees, did not want to be seen to take the lead in pleading any special or parochial Jewish cause. This remains largely true to this day with a few notable exceptions.

What is also almost comical however is that this same newspaper today pleads for special consideration on behalf of Muslims among America’s immigrant population who may be suspected of either being illegal immigrants or sympathetic to terrorism and Muslim extremism. So eager is the paper to avoid the taint of being accused of racism, that it bends over backwards to find extenuating circumstances to excuse extremist opinion among American Muslims or in any way holding them suspect of not being patriotic.


For The New York Times, their audience is global and they seek to portray events from what they consider a “global perspective”. Their employees are recruited world wide and are aware of the line their employers pursue. This means first and foremost NOT to appear as presenting an identifiable American identity. The same conclusion can be made “in spades” regarding the BBC! Anyone who still has a warm, glowing positive recollection of the BBC from World War II’s memories of the blitz and the noble RAF should remain locked in their time machine with the dial permanently set at 1939-45.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]