Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20100928

Financial Crisis
»Shut Down the Fed
»UK: Revealed: Wind Farm Power Twice as Costly as Gas or Coal
»Election Panel Dismisses Complaint Against SEIU, Clears Way for Union to Amass War Chest
»FBI Investigates Prominent Labor Leader Andy Stern
»Guilty Plea Expected by Ex-N.Y. Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi in Corruption Case
»Will the Truth Catch Up to Bill Ayers and His Comrades?
Europe and the EU
»Chat King Leno Describes Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen to Millions as ‘A Drunken Moron’
»‘Europe’s Worst Sex Fiend’ Admits Raping or Assaulting More Than 1,000 Women During 22-Year Crime Spree
»Italy: Bossi S.P.Q.R. ‘Roman Pigs’ Row
»Italy: CIA Imam Snatch Damages Frozen
»Jyllands-Posten Target for Terrorists
»Lars Vilks to Fulfill Uppsala Lecture
»Multi-Attack Terror Plot on European Cities
»‘Mumbai Style’ Terror Attacks Planned on UK, France and Germany Are Foiled
»Netherlands: Recession Fuels Fear of Foreigners and Lurch to Right
»UK: Every Parent Will End Up on Vetting Database Unless it is Scrapped, Warns Think Tank
»UK: Modern-Day Fagins Who ‘Sent 200 Romanian Children to Beg and Steal in UK’
»Kosovo: Amnesty Urges EU to Stop Forcible Return of Roma
Middle East
»Iranian Woman ‘Will be Hanged for Murder’ Despite Having Never Been Charged
South Asia
»Karzai’s Tears: Afghan President Breaks Down on National TV Over Fears ‘Next Generation’ Will Flee War-Torn Country
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Bolton: Crisis Point Dead Ahead in Sudan
Latin America
»Lula & Dilma: Marxist Criminals Rape Brazil
»UK: Eight Years for Man Who Raped London Journalist in Notorious Immigrant Calais Shanty Town the Jungle
»Why Brussels Will be Blamed
Culture Wars
»The 5 Biggest Lies About Liberalism
»Video: Jury Clears Christians Who Dared to Preach to U.S. Muslims
»Genetically Modified Soy Diets Lead to Ovary and Uterus Changes in Rats
»UN Seeks Control of Planet’s Drinking Water

Financial Crisis

Shut Down the Fed

I apologise to readers around the world for having defended the emergency stimulus policies of the US Federal Reserve, and for arguing like an imbecile naif that the Fed would not succumb to drug addiction, political abuse, and mad intoxicated debauchery, once it began taking its first shots of quantitative easing.

My pathetic assumption was that Ben Bernanke would deploy further QE only to stave off DEFLATION, not to create INFLATION. If the Federal Open Market Committee cannot see the difference, God help America.

We now learn from last week’s minutes that the Fed is willing “to provide additional accommodation if needed to … return inflation, over time, to levels consistent with its mandate.”

NO, NO, NO, this cannot possibly be true.

[Return to headlines]

UK: Revealed: Wind Farm Power Twice as Costly as Gas or Coal

The true cost of Britain’s massive expansion of wind farms has been revealed.

It costs nearly twice as much to generate electricity from an offshore wind farm as it does from a conventional power station, a scientific report has concluded.

And while the price of wind power is expected to fall in the coming decade, the researchers admit there is a slight chance it could rise even further.

The study comes amid Britain’s ‘dash for wind’ — one of the biggest engineering projects of the last few decades.

Over the next ten years, the Government wants up to 10,000 new wind turbines to be built at sea and on land to meet tough climate change targets.

The report, from the UK Energy Research Centre — a Government funded academic think tank — said the costs of offshore wind power were underestimated in the mid-2000s.

Instead of costs falling as predicted, in the last five years the cost of buying and installing turbines and towers at sea has gone up by 51 per cent.

Once the bill for building and maintaining an offshore wind farm is spread over the 25-year lifespan of a typical farm, each kilowatt hour of electricity now costs 15p.

That’s nearly twice as expensive as electricity from conventional coal and gas power stations, which costs 8p a unit, and more than nuclear, which costs 10p a unit.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Election Panel Dismisses Complaint Against SEIU, Clears Way for Union to Amass War Chest

Despite a finding by the Federal Election Commission’s general counsel that the Service Employees International Union violated election law when it required local affiliates to contribute to its political action fund, the FEC’s full board nonetheless quietly voted to overrule its staff attorney and dismissed the original complaint — clearing the way for the union to squeeze its locals to amass a $9 million war chest for the next election.

Moreover, the group that filed the complaint, the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF), didn’t receive a full explanation of the FEC’s decision in the case until after 111 days had passed, ensuring that its right to file an appeal had lapsed.

“They can’t do that,” said foundation president Mark Mix, who is vowing to challenge the commission’s actions. “We will pursue the appeals process. We are working on it now,” adding that he’s prepared to file a new complaint, if necessary.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

FBI Investigates Prominent Labor Leader Andy Stern

The FBI and the U.S. Labor Department are investigating prominent labor leader Andy Stern in their probe of corruption at the Service Employees International Union, according to two people who have been interviewed by federal agents.

The two organized labor officials met with federal agents this summer to answer questions about a six-figure book contract that Stern landed in 2006 and his role in approving money to pay the salary of an SEIU leader in California who allegedly performed no work.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation. The FBI and the Labor Department’s office of inspector general declined to comment for the record.

The disclosure about the federal inquiry of Stern — who abruptly resigned as president of the 2.2-million member SEIU in April — comes just weeks ahead of contentious congressional elections in which the union is spending an estimated $44 million to support its favored Democratic candidates.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Guilty Plea Expected by Ex-N.Y. Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi in Corruption Case

Alan G. Hevesi, the former state comptroller, is poised to plead guilty to a felony corruption charge after a lengthy investigation into his office’s rewarding of pension investment business to firms that provided financial benefits to Mr. Hevesi and his aides, people with knowledge of the case said.

Barring an 11th-hour change of heart, Mr. Hevesi will become the highest-ranking state official convicted in the case and most likely to serve time in prison: In 2006, he pleaded guilty to a separate felony after admitting he had used state workers to chauffeur his ailing wife, but avoided jail time in that case after he agreed to resign.

[Return to headlines]

Will the Truth Catch Up to Bill Ayers and His Comrades?

Christopher G. Kennedy, chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, led the effort to deny Bill Ayers the title of professor emeritus because Ayers had written a book dedicated in part to the killer of his father, Robert F. Kennedy. But this “book,” titled, Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, had been written back in 1974. Let’s hope that Christopher Kennedy’s expression of disgust can not only lead to a review of what Ayers said but what he did—in the form of eyewitness testimony that Ayers had knowledge of a bombing plot that took the life of San Francisco Police Officer Brian V. McDonnell back in 1970. The case is still open and will be the subject of an October 21 conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.


Former FBI agent Max Noel, a member of the Weatherman Task Force in San Francisco, was among those who discovered the Weather Underground bomb factory in that city. He has told me in a recent interview that while FBI agents found dozens of copies of Marxist-Leninist books and pamphlets in the bomb factory, they did not locate any “anti-war” literature. Again, the point is that Ayers and Dohrn were not anti-war activists. They were communist revolutionaries dedicated to the destruction of America and its allies. Their ideology has never changed.

What’s more, they haven’t given up; they have simply taken the “struggle” into new directions, such as “education.” But why, for example, have Ayers and Dohrn been traveling to Marxist-ruled Venezuela? Why have they been meeting with former members of the West German terrorist group, the Red Army Faction (RAF)? The Weather Underground had the support of Cuba, while the RAF received critical support from the East German intelligence service.


Another U.S. group that was reportedly targeted in the recent raids was Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the name of the old 1960s organization that spawned the terrorist Weather Underground. There is now a “new SDS” that has emerged under the guidance of Ayers and Dohrn and their comrades in the Movement for a Democratic Society.

However, instead of going after Ayers and Dohrn and other remnants of the Weather Underground, the FBI is going after what appear to be small fry in the U.S.-based communist movement. Could this be due to the fact that Ayers and Dohrn are politically connected to the President of the United States?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Chat King Leno Describes Irish Prime Minister, Brian Cowen to Millions as ‘A Drunken Moron’

THE world’s most-famous chat show star has dubbed Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen a “drunken moron”.

Jay Leno made the comments after he showed his Tonight Show audience the now infamous picture of an under-the-weather Cowen.

He told the crowd that the man in the picture was not a bartender, but “the Prime Minister of Ireland” to uproarious applause.

Leno showed the dishevelled-looking Mr. Cowen, asking the question: “Looking at that guy. How many think he is a bartender?”

He then asked if the audience thought he was a “nightclub comedian” or a “politician” — before revealing he was the “Prime Minister of Ireland” to loud applause and laughter.


“He’s Brian Cowen, the Prime Minister of Ireland. Oh God, it’s so nice to know we’re not the only country with drunken morons, isn’t it?” the star said.

Mr Cowen has been widely ridiculed since his infamous ‘Garglegate’ appearance on RTE’s Morning Ireland radio show two weeks ago.

He gave a less-than-coherent performance and it emerged the Taoiseach had been up until after 3am the night before at the Fianna Fail think-in at the Ardilaun hotel in Galway.

The Tonight Show regularly attracts audiences of nearly four million viewers.

Impressionist Mario Rosenstock told a Sunday newspaper that Mr Cowen’s reputation had been damaged and that he would begin to lose his “moral authority” if he continued to be the butt of jokes.

“When the Taoiseach starts becoming the butt of jokes, there is a problem. People will start taking his role and that of his office much less seriously,” said the man famous for Today FM satire Gift Grub.

“If the image of a drinker stays, then he will begin to lose his moral authority.

“This will get in the way of his job and undermine his credibility as a leader.”

He added: “All of that would have been aided by the fact the satire will have stuck to him.”

In the wake of the controversy over the radio interview, Mr. Cowen promised to be more cautious in his social life.


He said he would have to be more careful about his behaviour in future.

“I think such is the atmosphere of politics today perhaps, and the way people interpret things and how things can go off on a tangent very quickly.

“I would be a bit more cautious in terms of that aspect of how I conduct my social life,” he said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin conceded in the wake of the affair, which made headlines around the world, that it had been damaging to the Government.

“I think we have to really organise ourselves in a way that matches the mood of the people,” he said.

No one from the Government was available today to comment.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

‘Europe’s Worst Sex Fiend’ Admits Raping or Assaulting More Than 1,000 Women During 22-Year Crime Spree

The trial has begun in Germany of Europe’s biggest sex offender — a man who raped or sexually assaulted 1,000 women in a crime spree spanning 22 years.

Joerg P — whose last name has not been revealed in accordance with German law — used a trick stolen from The Silence Of The Lambs to lure his victims into feeling sorry for him.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Italy: Bossi S.P.Q.R. ‘Roman Pigs’ Row

Outspoken federalist sparks ire with wisecrack

(ANSA) — Rome, September 27 — Northern League leader Umberto Bossi raised a ruckus Monday when he recycled an old joke saying the S.P.Q.R. motto linked to Rome stood not for Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Senate and Roman People) but for “Sono Porci Questi Romani” (“These Romans Are Pigs”).

Bossi is known for his anti-Roman tirades but this time, Rome Mayor Alemanno said, “he has really gone beyond the pale”.

Alemanno, who is in Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom (PdL) party, said he would ask the premier to rein in the outspoken federalist leader and reforms minister, whose political career has been based on an anti-Rome stance.

“Not only has he insulted the Rome of today but also that of the past, dusting off a hackneyed old joke from a comic book”.

This was a reference to the French comic Asterix, where plucky Gauls of the type Bossi identifies with regularly get the better of Roman invaders.

Bossi made his remarks at a beauty contest elimination stage for ‘Miss Padania’, the League’s name for the north of Italy.

He was restating, among other things, the League’s opposition to a planned Rome Formula One Grand Prix which would allegedly clash with the historic Italian GP at Monza, and the party’s belief that certain key ministries should be moved north from Rome, seen as a seedbed of corruption. The centre-left opposition latched onto the latest outrageous comment from Bossi, who has long depicted the central government as “thieving Rome” and whose anti-patriotic stance was exemplified, a few years ago, when he said the Italian flag should be used as toilet paper.

“Bossi’s insults against Rome and its citizens are extremely serious because they come from a government minister,” said Vannino Chiti, Senate deputy whip for the largest opposition group, the Democratic Party (PD).

An MP from the centre-left opposition Italy of Values party, Silvana Mura, said: “Describing the citizens of the Italian capital as ‘pigs’ is inadmissible”.

Nicola Zingaretti, the PD head of the Rome province, said “We’re tired of Bossi’s quips against Rome and the Romans”.

“Instead of playing the comedian he should get on with his job as minister”.

A PD MP, Jean-Leonard Touadi, said Bossi should apologise to Romans or resign.

A Facebook group soon sprang up, Rome Is Suing Bossi. Centrist Catholic opposition leader Pier Ferdinando Casini said: “The League only knows how to insult and launch PR stunts, instead of solving the country’s problems”.

For the government, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini of the PdL said “this time (Bossi) really put his foot in it…but he’s a sensible person and he’ll be able to get the Romans to forgive him”.

Youth Minister Giorgia Meloni, also of the PdL, stressed that “the one-liners that the Northern League leader fires off during his speeches are often annoying but fortunately do not constitute a policy”.

Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, a League heavyweight seen as the institutional face of the League, said he had “nothing to say” about the episode.

Renata Polverini, the centre-right governor of Lazio, the region around Rome, said “Rome and its citizens deserve more respect”.

But PdL MP Margherita Boniver said: “Much ado about nothing. It makes you smile, the vehemence with which people are responding to the wisecracks of the old League leader, who only repeated a joke which made us chuckle when we were in elementary school”.

The S.P.Q.R tag, coined soon after ancient Rome became a republic and still used when it turned into an empire, is seen all around the capital, not only on Roman monuments but also on modern municipal plaques, fountains and even sewer caps.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: CIA Imam Snatch Damages Frozen

Two Italian spies let off 1.5-mln-euro payment

(ANSA) — Milan, September 28 — An Italian judge on Tuesday froze a damages payment by two Italian former spies to an Egyptian cleric snatched by the CIA from Milan in a high-profile 2003 ‘extraordinary rendition’ case.

The judge suspended the payment of 1.5 million euros to former Milan imam Hassan Mustafa Omar Nasr and his wife by ex-military intelligence officers Pio Pompa and Luciano Seno. But he turned down a similar request from five CIA agents and the former commander of a US air force base on the grounds that they carried out the abduction while Pompa and Seno were only guilty of aiding and abetting.

An appeals trial for the kidnapping is set to open on October 12 and is expected to last a couple of months.

At the end of the first trial, on November 4, 22 CIA agents and a US Air Force colonel were convicted in absentia, with most given five-year jail sentences.

Italy’s top two former spies, former SISMI (now AISE) chief Nicolo’ Pollari and his ex-No.2 Marco Mancini, were acquitted.

The two-year trial was the first, long-awaited judicial examination of the controversial US rendition policy.

The top US defendant, former CIA Milan station chief Jeff Castelli, saw his diplomatic immunity plea granted.

Two other CIA agents, Betnie Medero and Ralph Russomando, were also granted immunity.

Among those found guilty were the CIA’s ex-Rome station chief Robert Seldon Lady, who received an eight-year sentence, and a former US consular official prosecutors said was an undercover agent, Sabrina De Sousa.

Pollari and Mancini were acquitted because of a state-secrecy injunction but Pompa and Seno got three years.

Nasr, an Islamist wanted in Italy on suspicion of recruiting jihadi fighters, was awarded one million euros in damages while his wife was awarded 500,000 euros.

The cleric, who is also known as Abu Omar, did not attend the trial because he was unable to leave Egypt.

Nasr disappeared from a Milan street on February 17, 2003.

Prosecutors said he was snatched by a team of CIA operatives with SISMI’s help and taken to a NATO base in Ramstein, Germany.

He emerged from an Egyptian prison four years later, claiming he was tortured and threatened with rape.


The case caused friction between Italy and the United States, which voiced its “disappointment” with the verdict.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said after the verdict he sympathised with US concerns, noting that the judiciary in Italy was independent but despite this, the Italian government had obtained the secrecy injunction.

He also voiced confidence that none of the Americans risked serving time.

Some of the agents had said they were worried they would become international fugitives but Frattini said: “I don’t think those US operatives will go to jail”.

“Judges’ decisions have to be respected even when you don’t agree with them,” he said.

Extraordinary rendition was first authorised by Bill Clinton in the 1990s and stepped up when George W. Bush declared war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks by Al-Qaeda.

Successive Italian governments denied all knowledge of the case and consistently ruled out the possibility of extradition.

During the trial the CIA refused to comment and its officers were silent until Lady, the ex-Rome chief, told an Italian daily in August 2009 that he was only following orders.

Lady, who has now retired, said from an undisclosed location that he was “a soldier…in a war against terrorism”.

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and his predecessor Romano Prodi obtained the Constitutional Court secrecy ruling, which also exempted them from testifying.

The trial of Nasr claimed headlines worldwide and stoked discussion of rendition, which was extended by President Barack Obama in 2008 under the proviso that detainees’ rights should be respected.

The Council of Europe, a 47-nation human rights body, called Nasr’s case a “perfect example of rendition”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Jyllands-Posten Target for Terrorists

Suspects in Norway had the Danish newspaper in sight

Norwegian police have confirmed that a man arrested in July on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack had targeted the offices of Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

According to police, Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak, 37, confessed under interrogation that the newspaper responsible for the 2005 publishing of drawings of the prophet Mohammad.

Bujak was arrested in Duisberg, Germany in July in a coordinated action that saw three other men arrested in Oslo at the same time. All three Norwegian arrests involved permanent Norwegian residents.

Danish intelligence agency PET confirmed the announcement, adding that the attack was most probably not imminent, as the suspects had been under surveillance by Norwegian police prior to the arrests.

The announcement marks the second time this month that Jyllands-Posten has emerged as a possible terrorist target.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Lars Vilks to Fulfill Uppsala Lecture

Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist who courted controversy by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog, will repeat his lecture at Uppsala University, where he was attacked in May, the university confirmed on Monday.

“Artist Lars Vilks has been invited to finish his lecture at Uppsala University. The date has now been set for October 7th,” the university, one of Sweden’s oldest, said in a statement.

Vilks was delivering a lecture on freedom of speech and art in front of some 250 students on May 11th when he was head-butted by a man as an angry group

of about 20 people offended by a film he was showing stormed up to attack him.

Police had evacuated the lecture hall but some demonstrators resisted, and officers used tear gas. Two people were arrested.

“That a university lecture is interrupted by violence is a serious thing, regardless of the opinion that provoked the reaction,” Folke Tersman, the head of the university’s philosophy department, said in Monday’s statement.

“It is incompatible with the basic values democracy is based on. It is to uphold these values that we are inviting him again,” he added.

Four days after he was attacked at Uppsala University, Vilks’ home in the south of Sweden was fire-bombed by two Swedish brothers of Kosovar origin.

They have been convicted and were given jail sentences of two and three years.

Vilks has faced numerous death threats and a suspected assassination plot since his drawing of the Muslim prophet with the body of a dog was first published by Swedish regional daily Nerikes Allehanda in 2007.

It illustrated an editorial on the importance of freedom of expression.

The drawing by Vilks prompted protests by Muslims in the town of Örebro, west of Stockholm, where the newspaper is based.

Egypt, Iran and Pakistan also made formal complaints about the drawing.

           — Hat tip: Freedom Fighter[Return to headlines]

Multi-Attack Terror Plot on European Cities

Intelligence agencies have intercepted a terror plot to launch Mumbai-style attacks on Britain and other European countries, according to Sky News sources.

Sky’s foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said militants based in Pakistan were planning simultaneous strikes on London and major cities in France and Germany.

He said the plan was in the advanced but not imminent stage and the plotters had been tracked by spy agencies “for some time”.

Intelligence sources told Sky the planned attacks would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai.

Then, Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba killed 166 people in a series of gun and grenade attacks in the Indian city.

Marshall said the European plot had been “severly disrupted” following intelligence sharing between Britain, France, Germany and the US.

It is not known whether the attackers are already in Europe.

News of the planned strikes came as the Eiffel Tower in Paris was evacuated because of a bomb scare for the second time in two weeks.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean it was a target, but it shows how nervous the French are,” added Marshall.

When the terror plan came to light, the US military began helping its European allies by trying to kill the leaders behind the plot in Pakistan’s Waziristan region.

There have been a record 20 missile attacks using drone aircraft there in the past 30 days.

“I am led to believe a number of these attacks were designed against the leadership of this particular plot, which had an al Qaeda and possibly some sort of Taliban connection projecting into Europe,” Marshall added.

“And they have killed several of the leaders — which is why the terror threat has not risen.”

Britain’s terror threat level remains at ‘severe’ following the underpants bomber’s attempted attack on Detroit airport last Christmas.

           — Hat tip: ICLA[Return to headlines]

‘Mumbai Style’ Terror Attacks Planned on UK, France and Germany Are Foiled

A terror plot to launch murderous Mumbai-style attacks in UK cities has been disrupted by the security services.

Intelligence sources revealed that militants based in Pakistan, thought to be linked to al Qaeda, were planning simultaneous strikes on London and other European cities.

The attacks would have been similar to the commando-style raids carried out in Mumbai in 2008 which killed 166 innocent people, MI5 sources said.

The latest plot is believed to target the UK, France and Germany, and was unearthed after intelligence sharing between spy agencies from all three countries and the U.S.

Intelligence sources said the plot was in the ‘advanced but not in the imminent stages’ and the plotters had been tracked by spy agencies for some time.

A senior US military official told the Wall Street Journal: ‘There are some pretty notable threat streams’ and that this was an unusually serious threat.

The revelations may be linked to yesterday’s evacuation of the Eiffel Tower in Paris because of a bomb scare for the second time in two weeks.

Last week, French authorities said that they had uncovered a suicide bombing plot to attack the Paris subway linked to al Qaeda’s North African affiliate.

They said the threat might be connected to France’s recent vote to ban the wearing of burqas.

In Britain, the current threat level from international terrorism is severe. This means that a terrorist attack is highly likely.

There are five levels of threat. Severe is the forth highest and critical, which means an attack is imminent, is the highest.

Mumbai was at the centre of a terror siege in November 2008 when gunmen launched ten simultaneous attacks at popular landmarks including the Taj hotel, cafes, a train terminal and a Jewish centre.

It was carried out by nine terrorists from the Pakistan-based Islamist group Lashkar-e-Taiba which has committed previous attacks in India.

This month American forces have intensified missile strikes against militants in Pakistan from unmanned drones, suggesting they were pre-empting an attack.

It is feared an al Qaeda linked group may have been planning an attack on the West from a lawless tribal area of Pakistan.

The CIA has launched at least 20 drone strikes so far this month in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas neighbouring Afghanistan, the highest monthly total in the past six years.

The latest known drone strike occurred on Monday, hitting a house in Northwestern Pakistan, killing four people.

Not all of the drone strikes in the latest wave are connected to the suspected European plot. But many have targeted militants who are part of the Haqqani network, a militant group connected to al Qaeda.

If the Haqqani network were involved in a European terror plot, it would be the first known instance where it sought to launch attacks outside of South Asia.

The group controls a key region abutting Afghanistan, where U.S. defence and intelligence officials believe Osama bin Laden could be hiding.

In recent weeks, intelligence officials in the UK have issued warnings that the Al Qaeda threat remains high.

Only one of the nine gunmen who perpetrated the attacks in Mumbai was captured alive. Under interrogation he said they had planned to kill 5,000 people.

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Recession Fuels Fear of Foreigners and Lurch to Right

It is a common sight, repeated hundreds of times a week on the leafy streets of Amsterdam: police, on bicycles or on foot, stopping passersby to conduct random checks of passports and visa papers.

In the Netherlands, traditionally one of the most tolerant and open of European societies, the uneasy tension between recession and immigration is a visible, everyday reality.

Three months after an election in June, the Dutch are still without a government after the main parties failed to win a workable majority and the extremist anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders emerged as a new political force.

A fragile right-wing minority coalition is expected to finally coalesce this week under the leadership of Mark Rutte, the prime minister-designate and economic hardliner. However, final negotiations and horse trading are centred firmly on the severity of promised budget cuts: originally slated at €18 billion ($25 billion) , minor coalition partners are angling for a rollback and a slower phasing-in of a later retirement age.

John Monks, the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, in Brussels, acknowledges the human propensity to “blame the foreigner” in times of insecurity, but insists that people remember the 1930s and will ultimately turn their back on racism and nationalism.

“Immigration is an issue in Europe, no doubt, and it is a serious issue even in tolerant nations … rich countries where you would not expect to see it, like the Netherlands, Sweden.”

The Dutch cuts form part of the €200 billion Europe-wide campaign of austerity measures that have galvanised workers to take to the streets in protest in several countries — and prompted a backlash against immigrant workers. Thousands will converge on Brussels tomorrow in a continental show of trade union muscle to protest against the measures.

The resurgence of xenophobic attitudes and outright racism in Europe is another, perhaps more hidden, aspect of the economic crisis within the 27-member European Union.

As the push to slash burgeoning national deficits in the wake of bank bailouts and expensive fiscal-stimulus programs bites deeper, unemployment and insecurity have begun to fuel voter anger. Electoral disillusionment is triggering ever more populist political responses that have seen governments resort to easy, vote-grabbing policies — from expelling Gypsies in France to electoral gains by anti-Islamic parties in Denmark and Hungary.

Such a backlash poses not just a human tragedy but an economic one, too. Since the early 1990s, when economic boom times and ageing populations created huge demand for workers, migration has been a staple of economic growth and stability.

Workers have flocked from Asia and Africa, central Europe and former eastern bloc nations to do fruit-picking in the Mediterranean, and to work in construction in Britain, Ireland and Spain, manufacturing in Germany and tourism in Italy and France.

Whether they came with papers or illegally, they endured low wages, awful living and working conditions and terrible insecurity in the hope of improving their lot. Millions sent back wages, helping educate children as far away as the Philippines and Poland.

Europe’s great boom of recent years has been sustained by cheap labour. Its streets are cleaned by immigrants, its sewers are manned and repaired by foreign workers — the great majority of dirty, difficult jobs are done by men and women who work without papers and without complaint.

Now times have changed.

Even those for whom racism is anathema are increasingly fearful of the future. Foreign workers are being accused of petty crime, and of driving wages and conditions down.

In Italy’s poorer south, furious locals have turned on a perceived black threat. In Denmark there has been a right-wing resurgence in the People’s Party. In Belgium the extremist Vlaams Belang has helped trap the nation in ungovernable limbo, while in France Nicolas Sarkozy’s removal of Gypsies from the periphery of Paris continues unabated.

The National Front and the UK Independence Party in Britain have made inroads into national and local government, and the far-right Jobbik party has picked up votes in Hungary.

In Italy, which received more immigrants last year than any other EU country, the right-wing, anti-migration Northern League is gaining power and influence.

Even in Sweden, just days ago, an anti-immigration party that has campaigned against Islam made significant electoral gains.

The notion of xenophobia-driven politics is nothing new to Europe. But the economic crisis has created a new tension that is seeing post-war pledges never to repeat the horrors of the past thrown out the window in the scramble to win votes.

“But Europe has been successful in respecting the rights of minorities in past decades … I am hopeful,” Mr Monks said. “There are localised problems, yes. But I never cease to be agreeably surprised at the relaxed reaction of most people. Just look at the changing face of London.”

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

UK: Every Parent Will End Up on Vetting Database Unless it is Scrapped, Warns Think Tank

A national anti-paedophile database is “poisoning” relations between generations and even increasing the risk to children, a report has warned.

The controversial vetting system, designed to check adults who work with children, has become so out of control that it could eventually cover the majority of the population because most people come in to regular contact with youngsters, think tank Civitas predicts.

The system, which is under review by the Government, also threatens to undermine David Cameron’s desire for a “Big Society”.

Unless the rules are dramatically scaled back, the report warns that volunteering will plummet.

Adults will also become less willing to intervene when children are misbehaving, or help those in distress for fear of being seen as potential child abusers.

The proposed Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) was created by the last Labour Government and would involve at least nine million people who want to work with children or vulnerable adults having to register on a database and have criminal record checks.

The plan was met by a wave of intense criticism amid claims it was over restrictive and would even hit parents who signed up for driving rotas for weekly sports events or clubs.

[Return to headlines]

UK: Modern-Day Fagins Who ‘Sent 200 Romanian Children to Beg and Steal in UK’

A gang of modern-day Fagins brought almost 200 Romanian children into Britain to steal and beg for their criminal masters, a court heard yesterday.

The youngsters, some as young as eight, were said to have been trained in their home country to pick pockets, snatch bags from bars and restaurants, shoplift and beg at home.

Then they were packed off to the UK, many with forged documents.

Their bosses, all Roma gipsies, coerced families into giving up their children, saying that they would find them work and send money home.

But in actual fact the youngsters, who were each making up to £100,000 a year, were sold as ‘slaves’ to other gang members and forced to hand over every penny of their earnings to their masters.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Kosovo: Amnesty Urges EU to Stop Forcible Return of Roma

Belgrade, 28 Sept. (AKI) — Human rights advocacy group Amnesty International has called on European Union countries to stop the forcible return of Roma to Kosovo. The returnees were at “risk of persecution or violence,” Amnesty said in a new report issued on Tuesday.

“EU countries risk violating international law by sending back people to places where they are at risk of persecution, or other serious harm,” said Sian Jones, Amnesty International’s expert on Kosovo.

“The EU should instead continue to provide international protection for Roma and other minorities in Kosovo until they can return there safely,” she said.

The forced repatriations are taking place under bilateral agreements negotiated, or under negotiation, between the Kosovo authorities , EU states and Switzerland, Amnesty noted.

Almost 10,000 Roma are reported to be at risk of being forcibly repatriated to Kosovo from Germany alone, Amnesty said.

The Roma were being forced to return to Kosovo “often in the early hours of the morning with nothing but the clothes they are wearing,” Amnesty stated.

Few receive any assistance on their return to Kosovo, including access to education, healthcare, housing and social benefits, 97 percent of the Roma remaining jobless.

Roma communities are twice as likely as other ethnic groups to be amongst the 15 per cent of Kosovo’s population who live in extreme poverty.

They are also the target of inter-ethnic violence and “widespread and systematic” discrimination in majority ethnic Albanian Kosovo.

Largely Serbian-speaking and often living in Serbian areas of Kosovo, the Roma are perceived to be associated with the Serb minority.

Some 200,000 Serbs and Roma fled Kosovo after NATO bombardments in 1999 drove Serbian forces out of Kosovo amid ethnic fighting and gross human rights abuses during a two-year war with guerrillas.

It is believed that tens of thousands of Roma illegally settled in Switzerland and EU countries.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia two years ago and the Pristina government has agreed under pressure to accept the returnees from EU countries.

But it has been estimated that around half of the Roma who are forced to return to Kosovo will leave again.

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

Middle East

Iranian Woman ‘Will be Hanged for Murder’ Despite Having Never Been Charged

A Iranian woman has been told that she could be hanged for the murder of her husband, despite never being formally convicted or charged for the offence.

The case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, 43, sparked worldwide fury after she was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery.

When she originally pleaded guilty to having an illicit relationship with two men in May 2006, after the death of her husband, Mrs Ashtiani received 99 lashes as punishment.

But when a separate court prosecuted one of the two men on charges of killing her husband four months later, she was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

And last month she confessed on state-run television that she had been an accomplice in her husband’s murder and had committed adultery with his cousin.

But her lawyer has insisted that she made the statements under duress, having been tortured for two days.

Mrs Ashtiani told the Guardian, through an intermediary, that Iranian officials were lying about the murder charge, and other key details have been disputed.

In addition, Iran’s chief prosecutor contradicted earlier statements by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by saying that Mrs Ashtiani could, in theory, still be stoned to death for her crime.

Ahmadinejad last week denied during an interview on U.S. show ‘This Week’ that Ashtiani was ever sentenced to stoning, saying the ‘news was made up’.

But Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei stressed that Mrs Ashtiani is more likely to be hanged for murder, instead of receiving a stoning sentence — a Shiite Islamic punishment for adultery.

Quoted in the Washington Post Mohseni-Ejei, a former minister of intelligence, said: ‘In regard to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, such a verdict [stoning] has been issued, but the case must finish its process and stages.

‘In the holy religion of Islam the methods to prove extra-marital affairs is very hard,’ he continued, explaining that a conviction for murder weighed more heavily than one for adultery.

‘Retribution [death by hanging] has priority over Islamic punishment [stoning].’

The case has led to global opposition, even sparking a war of words between an Iranian state newspaper and the wife of the French president, Carla Bruni.

The paper called Nicolas Sarkozy’s wife a ‘prostitute’ for publicly supporting Mrs Ashtiani case.

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Karzai’s Tears: Afghan President Breaks Down on National TV Over Fears ‘Next Generation’ Will Flee War-Torn Country

Speaking on national television, he identified members of a peace council that will attempt to seek a political rather than a military solution to the Taliban insurgency.

And he spoke of his fears that the problems in the country could drive his son Mirwais away from his homeland.

He said: ‘I do not want Mirwais, my son, to be a foreigner, I do not want this.

‘I want Mirwais to be Afghan. Therefore come to your senses… you are witnessing what is happening on our soil and only through our efforts can our homeland be ours.’

Mr Karzai spent many years in exile in Pakistan while fighting against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s and later during Taliban rule.

He was speaking in front of an audience at an international literacy day in a Kabul school.

This year has been the bloodiest since the conflict began in 2001 when U.S. forces overthrew the Taliban weeks after the September 11 attacks.

But with the insurgency gaining strength despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops, there is a growing sense that talks may be the only route to peace.

In June, Mr Karzai summoned a peace jirga, or traditional gathering of tribal and community leaders.

But the Taliban have rejected the idea of talks, saying all foreign forces must leave Afghanistan.

The new council will have more than 68 members including two former presidents, at least two former Taliban officials, as well as clerics and women.

It will try to help mediate peace talks with Taliban-led insurgents.

Its members were agreed after deliberations with tribal chiefs and power brokers, some of whom sided with the U.S. in toppling the Taliban in 2001.

He said: ‘The government of Afghanistan with further seriousness… should take vigorous steps for bringing peace to this soil as soon as possible.’

Mr Karzai’s plan involves luring Taliban foot soldiers away from the battlefield with cash and job incentives while seeking reconciliation with senior militant leaders by offering them asylum in Muslim countries and striking their names off a UN blacklist.

Donor nations, most of them in Western countries, have pledged to provided tens of millions of dollars for bringing over the foot Taliban soldiers.

Mr Karzai has set an ambitious target of 2014 for Afghanistan to take over security responsibility from U.S. and NATO forces.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who will conduct a war strategy review in December, also plans to begin a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from July 2011 if conditions allow.

Washington’s NATO allies are increasingly uneasy about the unpopular war and are eager to shift security responsibilities to Afghan forces.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Bolton: Crisis Point Dead Ahead in Sudan

Obama appeasement may rekindle genocide

“Ticking time bomb” is the entirely accurate way Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton recently described Sudan. There is every indication the country is nearing a breakup, almost certainly into its northern and southern halves, and perhaps additional fragments…

…President Obama is increasing the risk this time bomb will explode. His efforts to appease President Omar Hassan al-Bashir’s government in Khartoum have increased Mr. Bashir’s perception of U.S. weakness and reinforced his inclination and willingness to use military force to suppress Sudanese opposition in the South, Darfur and elsewhere.

Although the conflict between Khartoum and Darfur has dominated the news in recent years, the proximate cause for dissolving the country now is the postponed but still simmering conflict between Mr. Bashir’s Islamicist central government and the Christian and animist South.


[Predicting GENOCIDE?? Gasp! Somebody tell Roger Simon]

[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Lula & Dilma: Marxist Criminals Rape Brazil

Why Lula’s Party is Unstoppable

1) They have a populist demagogue leader. Most people don’t have a clue. Lula is surfing on the reforms of the former administration, which ended 20 years of high inflation. He and his party were against these reforms, but now he takes credit for them. He is also benefiting from a long term commodity boom which helped the economy. The former administration created the food stamps program: Lula can be seen in youtube making a statement against it, when he was in the opposition.

Now, he says he was the one who created it. Lula is portrayed in the international press as a humble worker who made it. This couldn’t be further to the truth. In fact, he worked in the plant for a couple of years. After that, he became an union leader and never worked again. Dilma follows his footsteps. She has also never worked in the private sector, and was always held a sinecure created for her by a leftist politician. Her only real work experience has been as a little shop owner, which went bankrupt in one year. This is the next President of Brazil.

2) They have mobilized everywhere. Need a credit card statement to bash an opponent? A bank employee will give you one. Need the tax return of an adversary? A public servant will give it to you. And so it goes. They have hijacked the universities (Brazil now doesn’t have one school among the best 200), the newspaper newsrooms, the state companies. The Unions now get one day of salary of every worker, even the non unionized, and are not obliged to tell where the money goes (Lula pushed a law for it). The common citizen doesn’t have the time and money to leave work to go to a political meeting, but the Party has thousands of professional agitators, and can easily pack 100 buses with their Nazi brown shirts within one day of notice.

3) They have bought off the capitalists. The Party uses the BNDS, (federal bank) to borrow money from the banks at 12% and lend it to business owners at 3 to 5%. In the process, they make the banks happy and also get all the support they need from large companies. It is a fascist economy. This (US$ 100 BI this year) has tripled the internal public debt, but it gave a boost in the economy in times of election.

4) Because of the military government, and 30 years of brainwashing, people are afraid to sound conservative, and there is virtually no opposition. It is the victory of Antonio Gramsci’s strategy of social and cultural infiltration. Gramsci is a Marxist author who makes Machiavellli look like a kindergarten teacher. Only leftist writers get reviews in the papers, only leftist movie makers get funds for production, etc. The Ministry of Culture has just chosen the movie with Lula’s (fake) biography, a piece of propaganda that flopped at the theaters, to represent Brazil in the Oscars. I will not be surprised if it wins.

Unfortunately, the scandals have only scratched the surface of Dilma’s candidacy. It seems we will have the first terrorist, bank robbing, murderer president of Brazil. People don’t know that the last thing these Communists want is to help the poor.

In fact, they have destroyed Brazil’s education system, and illiteracy is higher than when Lula took power. The ranking of Brazilian students in the world has dropped. Basic sanitation (sewerage) is in the same level. Health service is a disaster. 50,000 Brazilians die violent deaths, most because of drugs and guns that are brought into Brazil by the Colombian terrorist organization FARC, a friend and ally of the Party for decades.

What people don’t understand is that Marxist parties don’t want to play the democratic game. The want power, and once power is achieved, they will never leave the throne. Their goal is total control of society. There is no alternation of power with Marxists. There are also no ethics, since this end justifies any means. They lie, they murder, and yet they feel good about it, because they do it for a “cause”. Like diabolical maniacs, they really don’t know what they will do once they get there, but get there they will.

[Return to headlines]


UK: Eight Years for Man Who Raped London Journalist in Notorious Immigrant Calais Shanty Town the Jungle

A people smuggler was tonight sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of raping a London journalist.

A jury of five men and four men sitting at St Omer in northern France convicted Sher Hassan Jabar Khel, 20, following a two day trial.

He had pleaded not guilty to attacking his victim, now 31 and identified only as Victoria, on a notorious stretch of wasteland in Calais.

Victoria had brought her camera to cover the case against her attacker, who was born in Afghanistan but comes from a Pakistani family.

He beat Victoria around the face while carrying out the rape in The Jungle, a notorious stretch of wasteland which acted as a magnate for thousands of migrants heading for Britain.

Victoria, who was a student at the time of the August 2008 attack, today testified against Khel at the Pas de Calais Correctional Court.

Khel had denied rape, but the jury took just an hour-and-a-half to convict him.

Isabelle Pauwels, barrister for Victoria, confirmed that she was now a fully fledged journalist and intended to produce a photo report on the trial, which was otherwise being held behind closed doors.

Ms Pauwels added: ‘She is viewing the three days of the trial calmly, at least as far as possible considering what happened.’

Khel, who first tried to get to the UK himself as a 15-year old before spending a year in prison in France for people smuggling, attacked Victoria in a makeshift hut surrounded by would-be migrants to Britain.

He originally met Victoria after she ignored police warnings and started a research project in the Jungle, which was finally razed by riot police a year ago.

Khel claimed that Victoria, who was born in Canada but who has spent most of her life in Britain, consented to sex after the two became friends while she was staying in a Calais youth hostel.

He was finally arrested in September 2008 following a gang fight in which he bit a policeman. DNA later provied he had had sex with Victoria.

Referring to two years Khel has already spent on remand, his barrister Valerie Devos-Courtois said: ‘He doesn’t understand what he is doing in the dock, why he has spent two years in prison. He admits having had sex, but for him it was not rape. Not all migrants are savages.’

Ms Devos Courtois said her client, who does not have any official papers, was born in Afghanistan to a Pakistani family.

His father died in the war against Anglo-American forces, and he also lost a brother in the conflict, before fleeing to Pakistan, and then heading towards Britain to try and claim asylum.

After failing to get across the Channel as a 15-year-old he became a people smuggler, charging up to 1000 pounds a time for a passage to the UK. He spent a year in prison in 2006.

After the rape Khel, who uses a number of aliases including the name Afsnar Navaz, was finally arrested at a motorway service station in Grande-Synthe, some 20 miles from Calais.

He was involved in a gang fight with up to 10 other migrants who are believed to have attacked him following a dispute about payments to get to Britain, the court heard.

Soon after being caught Khel claimed he was ‘just another migrant’ whose ‘only dream was to get to Britain’.

Counsel for the victim requested that the entire trial was held in camera, but details were made available to journalists.

There are currently around 300 mainly Iraq, Afghani, Somali and Indian refugees living rough in Calais, despite the closure of the Sangatte Red Cross hostel in 2002.

Many make daily attempts to get aboard ferries, lorries and Channel Tunnel trains to Britain, but the situation has been much improved thanks to increased Anglo-French security measures.

The destruction of ‘The Jungle’ also led to a vast reduction in the number of migrants massing in Calais.

Khel was also ordered to pay the equivalent of 15,000 pounds in compensation to his victim, and will be banned from French soil when he completes his sentence.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Why Brussels Will be Blamed

By Hugo Brady

Liberal Sweden elects an explicitly anti-immigrant party to parliament for the first time. France’s president and the European Commission lacerate each other in public over deportations of Roma. A former German central banker publishes a bestseller warning that immigration is diluting the nation’s human stock. And even Britain moves forward with plans to cap economic immigration. The last three weeks have been a startling illustration of how immigration has come to dominate European politics.

At first, the EU seemed only a marginal player in this drama. The European Commission cannot dictate how many immigrants member countries let in, how many refugees they accept or how host societies should integrate newcomers. EU powers over the issuing of work visas are limited. But, as the row between President Sarkozy and Viviane Reding, the EU’s justice commissioner, demonstrates, the Union has become a central player in immigration policy, even when governments point to public safety to defend their actions. This is mainly because the Commission is legally obliged to protect the mobility rights of citizens under a ‘free movement’ directive agreed by governments in 2004. (The law aims to make sure that EU nationals can move to each others’ countries without the need for work or residency permits, a commitment originally laid down in the EU’s founding treaties.)

This responsibility is unlikely to make the EU any more popular with the public, however. It means EU law limits the powers of national governments to tighten immigration policy in response to popular demand during tough economic times. Britain, for example, will set a cap on the numbers of new immigrants coming to the UK starting next year. But the cap seems largely cosmetic, given that citizens from EU countries will continue to be able to seek work there under free movement rules. Voters tend to value control and security over the freedoms they either do not use or take for granted. And there are a number of reasons to think that — in the febrile political atmosphere created by the 2009 recession — they may begin to regard the EU as part of the problem rather than the solution to immigration challenges.

For starters, EU officials should remember that what they often doctrinally dismiss as merely ‘free movement’ is immigration in anyone else’s language, including Europe’s politicians. Tensions over immigrants were evident in Western Europe long before the onset of global recession. And they are bound to continue because the east-west European migration that followed the EU’s 2004-2007 enlargement has yet to run its course. Germany and Austria will lift transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers from eight Central and East European countries next year. All EU countries must do the same for Bulgaria and Romania by 2014.

Second, the Commission has plans to toughen up the application of EU rules on asylum seekers over the next two years. It will propose higher standards for the treatment and accommodation of refugees and access to the job market for those who wait a long time for their claims to be heard. But like few other issues, the cost of maintaining asylum seekers touches a very raw nerve, especially in countries that are faced with budgetary austerity. The Sweden Democrats owe their electoral success in part to widespread public concerns over the country’s recent generosity to thousands of Iraqi refugees. However high-minded the intention, the cost implications of the Commission’s proposals may further erode public support for the EU especially as governments are likely to portray such measures as being imposed by Brussels.

Third — as Commissioner Reding has already made clear in the case of France — she wants EU rules on free movement to be more strictly enforced in every member-state, and is prepared to take miscreant countries to court, if necessary. Reding’s zeal to apply the law is laudable: EU rules must be uniformly implemented across the 27 member-states to be effective. However she also risks opening a Pandora’s box of national discontent at the wrong time. Several EU countries grumble that the free movement directive is too broad in scope, especially after a 2008 court ruling expanded free movement rights even to non-EU nationals in certain circumstances. Faced with a further ultimatum by Reding, governments might be tempted to support a proposal from Italy to water down the directive and allow governments greater leeway to refuse residency based on economic circumstances or security concerns…

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

The 5 Biggest Lies About Liberalism

Multiculturalism, Feminism, The Poor, Pro Peace, Patriotism

If you haven’t seen the billboards yet, liberals love multiculturalism, they embrace all races and religions because they believe in diversity. True? Nope.

Liberals follow the left’s paradigm of waging class warfare. Their interest in minorities extends only to enlisting some disenfranchised groups in their class warfare. Contrary to all the multicultural billboards, liberals are primarily interested in unsuccessful minorities, because they can frighten them, exploit them and farm them as voting blocks. Successful minorities such as Asians, Indians and Jews are wanted only as window dressing. And get the short end of the stick when a real issue comes up.

Multiculturalism is really only class warfare disguised as opposition to bigotry. Take away all the historical revisionism about the Democratic party’s ugly civil rights history and the empty slogans about diversity, and what you have left is naked political opportunism. The Democratic party trafficked in racism when it suited them (and still does) and dons the halo of tolerance when it suits them now. The left was equally at home working both sides of the street, and the views of great socialists from Jack London to Karl Marx on race, differed little from those of the Nazi party.

Multiculturalism isn’t a philosophy, it’s a political organization tactic to bring the groups they consider part of the working class under one umbrella. It’s the same old class warfare organizational tactics applied to race and ethnicity. The goal of these tactics is not empowerment, but to create a voting bloc of people who have been convinced that they’re doomed to helplessness, without the leadership of the left “fighting” on their behalf.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Video: Jury Clears Christians Who Dared to Preach to U.S. Muslims

‘My clients were there to evangelize, change minds and challenge Islam’

Jurors in Michigan have rejected the concept of a “dhimmi” status for Christians, ruling that four evangelists who went to an Arab festival not just to be present but to “change minds” did not commit a breach of peace as police had claimed.

The word comes from the Thomas More Law Center, which defended the four Christians after they were charged for being at an Arab festival June 18 in Dearborn, Mich.

The verdict came from a jury of six Dearborn residents late Friday, who concluded that Nabeel Qureshi, Paul Rezkalla, Negeen Mayel and David Wood were not guilty of breach-of-peace charges.

The issue strikes directly at the heart of what many fear is developing across the nation: Muslims given special treatment that subjects those of other faiths to second-class status.


The organization also noted the public condemnation for the Christians despite the acquittals. It reported Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly “continued his ongoing and unprecedented personal attacks on the Christian evangelists, accusing them of being anti-Muslim bigots.”

The mayor’s statement, the law center said, “was clearly an attempt to curry favor with Dearborn’s large Muslim population, which also explains the police department’s alarming mobilization to arrest the four Christians.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Genetically Modified Soy Diets Lead to Ovary and Uterus Changes in Rats

If you’re still eating genetically modified (GM) soybeans and you plan on having kids, a Brazilian study may make you think again about what you put in your mouth. Female rats fed GM soy for 15 months showed significant changes in their uterus and reproductive cycle, compared to rats fed organic soy or those raised without soy. Published in The Anatomical Record in 2009, this finding adds to the mounting body of evidence suggesting that GM foods contribute to reproductive disorders (see summary at end).


Dr. Ewen speculated on the significant hormonal changes in the rats and their implications for women who eat GM soy. He said that the proliferative growth (hyperplasia) of the (endometrial) cells lining the uterus implies changes in important reproductive hormones. There might include excessive production of estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone, or even damage to the pituitary gland itself.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UN Seeks Control of Planet’s Drinking Water

This past week was a busy one in New York City’s United Nations building. Besides the speeches by Iran’s president and the U.S. president, there were meetings and conferences regarding the future of planet earth. While all eyes were on the speeches and pomp and circumstance of world leaders, the denizens of U.S. newsrooms ignored what one observer termed “The Mother of All Power Grabs.”

The United Nations General Assembly is considering a historic resolution recognizing the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation” initiated by the Bolivian government. Other UN members have been consulted on the resolution and the final text is expected to be presented to the President of the General Assembly.

In a letter sent today to all UN Ambassadors and permanent missions, global water advocate and Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow urges a decisive and swift passage of the resolution.

“It’s time politics caught up with reality,” says Barlow, noting that nearly two billion people live in water-stressed areas of the world and three billion have no running water within a kilometre of their homes. “It’s time states finally recognize water as essential to life and a fundamental human right.”

But this latest moved — backed by U.S. progressives — is viewed as disturbing by conservative activists such as political strategist Mike Baker.

“This is the Mother of all power-grabs on a global level and will surely be detrimental to U.S. sovereignty. And the news media are totally ignoring what should be the biggest news story of the year,” said Baker.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]