Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20101019

Financial Crisis
»French Riot Police Clash With Students as Petrol Stations Run Dry
»Sarkozy Committed to Pushing Through Pension Reform Despite French Protests Turning Violent
»Attorney for Mosque Opponents Slams Feds
»Democrats Activate Maniacal Pre-Election Smear Machine
»Federal Authorities Defend Tennessee Mosque
»Frank Gaffney: Why New START is a Non-Starter
»Is the EPA Trying to Murder the USA?
»My View — A Vote for a Liberal Democrat is a Vote for United Nations Control of America
»Obama Gives US Marxism 101
»Oberstar [D] Has One Donor in District
»Official: Shooting at Pentagon Appears to be a ‘Random Incident’
»Poll Indicates Animus Toward Islam
»Republicans Undergoing a Tectonic Shift
»Sharia? What Sharia?
»‘Unindicted Co-Conspirator’ Defending Accused Imam
»Wife of Clarence Thomas Reaches Out to Anita Hill Over 1991 Episode
Europe and the EU
»Dutch Anti-Islam MP Just ‘The Messenger’: Lawyer
»Dutch Anti-Islam MP Been Denied Fair Trial — Lawyer
»EU Backs Down Over Threat to Discipline France for Expelling 8,000 Roma Gypsies
»EU to Back Sale of Meat and Milk From Cloned Animal Offspring
»Germany: Wulff Condemns ‘Blanket Judgement’ of Turks
»Germany: Turkish Hackers Attack CDU Websites
»German Prosecutors File Terrorism Charges Against 8 for Allegedly Spreading Propaganda
»Go Back to Where You Are Happy
»Italy: Homer and Bart Simpson Are Catholics, Says Vatican Daily
»Italy: ‘Ndrangheta Boss Turns Informant
»Italy: Woman Informant Killed, Dissolved in Acid
»Netherlands: Who Says Islam is Totalitarian?
»Netherlands: Anti-Islam Lawmaker Asks for Hate Speech Acquittal
»Pictured Together, Happily Sharing a Cocktail: The Gay Saudi Prince and the Manservant He Beat to Death in a London Hotel Room
»‘Stateless’ Extremist Preacher Abu Hamza in Bid to Keep British Passport… Using Myra Hindley and John Venables’ QC
»Stone Age Humans Liked Their Burgers in a Bun
»Tribalism Returns to Europe
»UK: ‘Don’t Blame Racism for Your Problems’: Archbishop John Sentamu Urges Young Black Men to Work Hard for Success
»UK: Anti-Islam Extremists EDL Spread Their Tentacles
»UK: Launch of Books for Schools in Blackburn Cathedral
»UK: Tube Travellers Forced to Escape Through Pitch Black Tunnels AGAIN
»UK: Thug Branded ‘Lethal Human Cocktail’ For Drunken Attacks Spared Jail Despite Fears He Will Re-Offend for Decades
»UK: Tube Bombers Posed as the a-Team in Text Messages Just Hours Before 7/7 Attacks
»UK: Theresa May Under Pressure to Sack Top Adviser in Row Over Ban on Muslim Preacher
Middle East
»Frattini Warns of Mideast Anti-Christian Feeling
»Plan to Bury Turkey’s ‘Cancer City’
»Turkey Objects to NATO Missile Shield Targeting Iran
»Planned Mosque Sparks Controversy in Russia
»Grozny Attack Underscores Chechen Insurgents’ Military Capabilities
South Asia
»High-Level Talks Aim for an End to the Afghan War
»Pakistan Intelligence Services ‘Aided Mumbai Terror Attacks’
»Sprung! Taliban General Released From Custody
Far East
»China Halts Shipments to U.S. of Tech-Crucial Minerals
»Nobel Peace Prize Inspires Chinese Dissidents
Latin America
»Luis Fleischman: Correa’s Ecuador, Defending an Autocracy
»Berlin Pushes for Integration of Immigrants
»Denmark: Police Call for Tightened Border Control
»Germany: Immigration About Skills, Not Faith, Minister Says
»Germany: Angela Merkel Says the Unsayable
»O’Malley’s Weak Pander to Illegal Immigrants as “New Americans”
»Turkish Pres: Germany Must Help Turks Integrate
»UK: Foreign Worker Numbers Surge to a Record 2.4m as Eastern Europeans Return to Britain
Culture Wars
»Child-Rape Victim’s Story Prompts Probe for More
»Facebook in Privacy Breach
»How a Kinsey Victim Lives With Molestation Trauma
»Screen Violence ‘Desensitises Teenage Brains’
»Cyber Terrorists Who Can Knock a Jet Out of the Sky
»Enormous Ring is Developing on the Sun

Financial Crisis

French Riot Police Clash With Students as Petrol Stations Run Dry

French riot police and students fired tear gas and petrol bombs at each other while truckers blocked roads and almost 3,000 petrol stations ran dry, as nationwide protests intensified.

Despite claims that it had petrol provision “under control”, the government said it had activated an emergency crisis cell charged with maintaining fuel supplies.

The opposition Socialists criticised François Fillon, the prime minister, for failing to speak to the unions over proposed pension reforms, which would raise minimum and full retirement ages to 62 and 67.

“We have a prime minister who thinks he is Churchill but who is only Thatcher,” said Harlem Désir, the Socialists’ deputy leader. “He is trying to make us think he is carrying out great reforms to save our economy but in fact he is smashing our social model.”

The Socialists, like the unions, want to allow the French to continue to retire at 60 despite rising life expectancy, saying the shortfall could be filled by increasing tax on capital and the number of years a person paid into the system.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sarkozy Committed to Pushing Through Pension Reform Despite French Protests Turning Violent

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared it his ‘duty’ to push through hugely unpopular reforms to the country’s pension system despite nationwide strikes and violent protests.

France is facing another day of chaos today as unions continue their demonstrations against the government’s plans.

The powerful CGT union has called for a second day of national strike action on Tuesday, with officials hoping as many as three million people will take to the streets to demonstrate against President Sarkozy’s proposals.

Protests across France have turned violent during the last six days, with train passengers and commuters facing huge delays as a result of the ongoing blockade of oil refineries.

Mr Sarkozy remains defiant, however, and announced during a press conference earlier that the blockades ‘cannot exist in a democracy’ where ‘there are people who want to work’.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Attorney for Mosque Opponents Slams Feds

Statement Comes Day After Federal Briefing Defends Islam

[Must see video at link]

A day after the U.S. Attorney’s office released a briefing that defending Islam as a religion, the attorney for the opponents of the Rutherford County Islamic Center fired back.

Attorney Joe Brandon announced Tuesday in front of the county courthouse that he and his three plaintiffs won’t accept the federal briefing and standby their position that Islam is not a religion.

“The real question I think becomes who is the federal government representing in this particular situation? They claim that the United States takes this position. I can assure you that the three plaintiffs in this case, who are U.S. citizens, do not accept the position that the federal government is attempting to shove down their throat,” said Brandon.

U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin of Nashville said Monday his office would not sit by while mosque opponents raise questions in court about whether Islam is a recognized religion. Martin said in a statement that to suggest otherwise “is quite simply ridiculous.”

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Democrats Activate Maniacal Pre-Election Smear Machine

One of the most extraordinary and consequential races to be decided Nov. 2 is one you’ve probably never heard of — the challenge to powerful 12-term “progressive” Rep. Peter DeFazio by renowned scientist Art Robinson in Oregon’s 4th Congressional District.

There’s been little press on this race. Dick Morris and Karl Rove, during their nightly election-race analyses on “Hannity,” don’t mention it. And the Republican National Committee hasn’t even given a cent to the Republican challenger.

Why? Because they’ve all considered Robinson’s race against DeFazio unwinnable.

Until now.


But there’s much more at stake here than a House seat.

This particular congressional race epitomizes everything that is rotten — and wonderful — about America today, and about the historic choice Americans will make Nov. 2.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Federal Authorities Defend Tennessee Mosque

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Federal attorneys have jumped into a court battle over the construction of a Tennessee mosque by arguing that Islam is a recognized religion entitled to constitutional protection.

U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin of Nashville said on Monday that his office would not sit by while mosque opponents raise questions in court about whether Islam is a recognized religion. Martin said in a statement that to suggest otherwise “is quite simply ridiculous.”

Martin’s office filed a brief saying as much in a state lawsuit brought by mosque opponents against Rutherford County for granting permission for construction of the building.

Mosque opponents are challenging whether the county acted properly in granting the construction permit.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Frank Gaffney: Why New START is a Non-Starter

President Obama must be frantic. Among his most important personal and political priorities is ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Toward that end, he wants the U.S. Senate to rubber-stamp a seriously defective bilateral strategic arms control accord with Russia by which he hopes to set an example for other nuclear powers to disarm.

This so-called “New START” Treaty was in trouble even before it became clear that the window for Senate approval would be the short, post-election lame-duck session. The expected influx next year of conservative Republicans— to say nothing of the prospect that one of them, Sharon Angle, may replace the Majority Leader Harry Reid, let alone the possibility that Mr. Reid’s party may no longer be in the majority after November 2— all but ensures New START will face even-greater skepticism in the next session of Congress.

Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, the prospects for getting what will soon be yesterday’s Senate to go along with his radical disarmament agenda have been seriously diminished in recent days.

There are 41 Republican Senators today and— thanks to the importance the Framers attached to the Senate’s responsibility for providing quality control on international treaties— just 34 of them can prevent ratification…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]

Is the EPA Trying to Murder the USA?

Day after day the news arrives regarding some new announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency that is often so bizarre that it seems a parody of regulation, science, and common sense.

Most people don’t have time to pay attention to the cast of characters setting the agency’s agenda but these days that includes the president’s top environment advisor, Carol Browner, a former EPA director under Bill Clinton, and Lisa Jackson, the current administrator, an acolyte of Browner and, if possible, more obsessed with destroying the nation than her former boss.

Browner is a dedicated Socialist, but Jackson is a bounce-off-the-walls enviro-wacko for whom real science is a great nuisance while pseudo-science is a blunt instrument with which to impose a regime that will destroy the economy and take down the whole nation.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

My View — A Vote for a Liberal Democrat is a Vote for United Nations Control of America

Please! Fellow citizens, do not give the corrupt, power-mad liberals more time in Congress—their goal is to destroy our Constitution, and our Country and be ruled by United Nations tyrants.

And this message is also for the other members of the Democratic Party that do not necessarily believe in the unorthodox methods and beliefs of their three radical leaders, Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Many are good Americans, like my father, who believed in America first and Party second. If his choice was to vote with his Party for a program that would saddle our country with huge debt and taxes on our citizens just to say that they could do it, he would vote against it. Those kind of Democrats are rare today.

Last Sunday (10/17) John Lillipop wrote a brilliant summation of the evils that the current Administration and its accomplice liberal Democrats in Congress have been and are still planning to inflict on our country. I was so impressed with the urgency and truth of what he detailed in his column here on Canada Free Press on Sunday, October 17, 2010, that I was moved to write this column of total agreement and further warnings to good, honest Americans who still love freedom and want to keep our country the same.

As this is being written, Obama and his State Department hatchet-woman, Hillary Clinton, are in the process of giving the United Nations total unilateral control over all of the weapons in the hands of all Americans. They are trying to do this WITHOUT even giving the citizens of America a chance to refuse such a treacherous and traitorous action. How dare they accommodate people who would scuttle us in a gnat’s whisker of time? This dictatorial conduct must not be allowed to go unpunished.


For all those of you who doubt this or are in agreement with the traitorous liberal Democrats, many of whom are being duped unconsciously, please do an Internet search with the words, “Obama Clinton UN Gun Control.” You will be amazed at the sneakiness and outright unfaithful conduct both our usurper president and his willing accomplice Secretary of State would inflict on our unsuspecting country.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Gives US Marxism 101

Chilling as it may be to hear the President of the United States of America resorting to the lexicon of Star Wars to gin up the crowds in Ohio, there is an upside.

Obama’s “The empire is striking back” speech yesterday is Marxism Dialectic 101—right there on YouTube as indisputable proof to teach your children.

Parents from coast to coast should use the 1-minute video of Barack Obama in Ohio to teach their children what a real Marxist looks like when the mask comes off.

“They’re fighting back. The empire is striking back. To win this election they are plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups. They are running misleading negative ads all across this country,” was Obama’s Sunday night screed in Ohio.


Marxism is demonic in its deceit.

One of its recognizable principles is the practice of its followers to to turn the tables around, blaming the enemy for the very things they have done and are doing.

Textbook example of Marxist lies by omission uttered from Obama’s lips. “The enemy is plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups.”

That is precisely what Obama’s largest financier George Soros is doing, “Plowing tens of millions of dollars into front groups.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Oberstar [D] Has One Donor in District

Jane Robbins of Pine City gave Oberstar $500 on Aug. 22.

Other than that, all of his contributions came from political action committees, Native American tribes or individual donors in other districts and states.

In all, the veteran Iron Range Democrat, first elected in 1974, collected just $233,102 in receipts over the time period. By comparison, fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann, a Republican firebrand, pulled in $5.4 million between July 1 and Sept. 30.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Official: Shooting at Pentagon Appears to be a ‘Random Incident’

Washington (CNN) — A Pentagon official said he believes the shooting early Tuesday at the U.S. Defense Department headquarters was a “random incident.”

“We are looking at all the possibilities,” Steven E. Calvery, director of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, said at a news conference late Tuesday morning. “What we have is an isolated incident, so far.”

Pentagon police officers, as well as several construction workers in the area, heard at least five shots fired around 4:50 a.m., Pentagon officials said.

As of midday Tuesday, authorities had discovered two bullet fragments in third- and fourth-floor windows on the south side of the building, said Calvery. That part of the Pentagon was empty at the time of the shooting, as it is in the process of being renovated. The bullets shattered but did not go through the windows, which are bulletproof, according to Calvery.

The incident prompted a 40-minute shutdown of the entire Pentagon, and authorities conducted an interior sweep of the building shortly after 6 a.m.

Calvery said authorities were unsure who fired the shots and with what kind of gun, though he said he believes they came from a rifle.

A portion of Interstate 395 — which runs along the south side of the Pentagon — was also shut down temporarily to conduct a search in the investigation. Maj. Chris Perrine, a public affairs officer for Defense Press Operations, said that other temporary road closures may be necessary as the probe continues.

Several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Pentagon police, are looking at surveillance footage and doing ballistics tests of the bullets found thus far, among other measures.

Tuesday’s shooting follows a similar incident overnight Sunday at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Virginia, near the entrance of Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Lin Ezell, the museum’s director, told CNN Tuesday that investigators have determined that one or more assailants used rifles to fire 10 bullets at the building — five hitting glass windows, the rest hitting metal panels. Authorities haven’t pinned down exactly where the shots were fired from, though they believe they came from Interstate 95 or nearby.

No one was hurt in that incident, which occurred between 12:15 a.m. and 5 a.m. when the building was unoccupied, Ezell said. No one has claimed responsibility and there were no known threats prior to the shooting, she added. Military police and the Prince William County Police Department are investigating that incident.

Asked if there were any ties between that and the Pentagon shootings, a law enforcement official said that “except for the similarity in the incidents — windows shot out at military facilities — there is nothing to connect these incidents at this point.”

Both shots appeared to have been fired from high-velocity rifles, the official said. But the FBI, which is helping with ballistics tests related to the Pentagon shooting, has yet to see evidence from the Marine Museum shooting.

Tuesday’s shooting was the first such incident at the U.S. Defense Department headquarters since March, when John Patrick Bedell pulled a gun from his pocket and began shooting. Bedell, who had a history of mental health problems, was later shot and killed, while two Pentagon police officers received superficial injuries in the incident.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Poll Indicates Animus Toward Islam

Nearly twice as many Republican poll respondents in the United States as Democrats said Islam encourages violence, a Pew survey indicated.

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center indicated older Americans and Republican voters asked said they viewed Islam as violent. The survey indicated that 54 percent of Republican respondents said they had an unfavorable view of Islam compared with 27 percent of Democrats.

Nearly half of the Americans surveyed over the age of 65 said they had an unfavorable view while around 30 percent of Americans aged 18-33 reported similar views regardless of party affiliation.

Opponents of plans to build a mosque in central Tennessee filed a lawsuit to block its construction, arguing in part that Islam isn’t a valid religion. A similar dust-up concerns plans for an Islamic center about two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center in New York.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Republicans Undergoing a Tectonic Shift

The Republican Party is probably facing its most serious challenge in decades. At the heart of this challenge is a deep division between those who want to get along with what they describe as the educated class and those urging the party to return to the nation’s roots and reaffirm the founding principles of the Constitution. The former call themselves “moderate Republicans,” while the latter group is made up of Tea Party types.

That’s not where the vortex ends. The debate has begun to involve establishment Republicans like Carl Rove, who are displeased with recent Republican primary races that resulted in Christine O’Donnell of Delaware and Alaska’s Joe Miller. Rove was particularly upset with O’Donnell’s victory over Mike Castle, who was the official GOP candidate for the senate.

This situation has resulted in heated debates across the nation with one side claiming that the current crop of Washington politicians are “elitists” who feel entitled to their congressional seats and the other claiming that knuckle dragging, uneducated troglodytes are taking over the party and attempting to impose their unsophisticated views on the country.

Debate of this type is healthy in that both sides have a valid point. What’s being lost, however, in the heated frenzy to redefine the party is that in the final analysis we’re all Americans and the radical policies of the Democrats has put the nation at risk. Republican intellectuals like David Frum are urging fellow Republicans to be realistic in terms of social changes like gay marriage that are a part of the inevitable transformation of the social landscape. Conservatives who also happen to be social conservatives are denouncing Frum and his ilk for selling out to liberal elites.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sharia? What Sharia?

As Sharron Angle, Newt Gingrich and others have started making Islamic law (Sharia) part of the national debate, and Oklahoma actually moves to outlaw it, there is a new attempt to confuse the American people about the nature of the threat we face. It’s a large-scale mainstream media effort to deny both that there is any attempt to bring Sharia to the United States, and that Sharia is anything to be concerned about in the first place. Unfortunately, there is plenty of evidence of attempts to establish the primacy of Islamic law over American law, and much to indicate that Sharia is anything but benign.

Characteristic of the media campaign was a Saturday Religion News Service story by Omar Sacirbey, which asserted that “no one in Oklahoma, Michigan or anywhere else is calling for Shariah — including and especially Muslims.” Sacirbey quoted Ibrahim Hooper of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) — without noting, of course, CAIR’s status as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas funding case, the jihad terror convictions of various former CAIR officials, or the Islamic supremacist statements made by Hooper and CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad. Hooper said: “This is another right-wing fantasy that started on the hate blogs and worked its way into the mainstream media. Where is the evidence of the takeover?”

The RNS story goes on to cite as evidence the New Jersey judge who declined to charge a Muslim with sexual assault on his wife because under Sharia, a woman may not deny sex to her husband at any time under any circumstances. This remarkable introduction of Islamic law into American jurisprudence was overturned, leading those who would dismiss the threat of Sharia to claim that its spread in the U.S. is simply a matter of one lone example. Unfortunately, there are more.

There have been successful attempts by Muslim workers at meat packing plants in Nebraska and Colorado to force their employers to restructure the work schedule to give them special breaks at times for Islamic prayer. These efforts initially met with protests from non-Muslim workers, who complained to no avail that the special breaks given to Muslims forced the non-Muslims to work longer hours, and thus discriminated against them. The result? Muslims in these plants have special privileges that other workers do not have — in accord with the privileged status Muslims enjoy over non-Muslims in Sharia societies.

Another example of Sharia insinuating itself into American life are the footbaths that have been constructed in airports and schools for the ablutions prescribed before Islamic prayers. Imagine the outcry if holy water fonts were being placed in airports for Catholic travelers — but Islamic footbaths have been dismissed as non-religious, on the pretext that anyone can use them. It would be interesting to see what would happen if a non-Muslim tried.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

‘Unindicted Co-Conspirator’ Defending Accused Imam

Muslim leader led ‘jihad’ rally, testified for convicted terrorist

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is condemning the federal government’s arrest on immigration fraud charges of a prominent imam who once led an anti-Israel “jihad” rally calling for “Zionist blood” that featured Hezbollah flags and also vouched for a Muslim leader later convicted of terrorism.

Imam Ibrahim Dremali — former imam of the Islamic Center of Boca Raton and the Islamic Center of Des Moines, Iowa — was arrested Oct. 6 with his wife, Safaa Rashad Eissa, at their Arlington, Texas, home, according to the Iowa Independent

CAIR’s Iowa chapter posted a statement on Facebook urging supporters to call the office of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, to help stop the couple’s ordered appearance Wednesday in Des Moines and “have the charges dropped.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Wife of Clarence Thomas Reaches Out to Anita Hill Over 1991 Episode

Virginia Thomas, the wife of Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, left a message last weekend on the voice mail of Anita Hill, who accused her husband of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings, a spokeswoman for Ms. Thomas confirmed on Tuesday.

In a message left at the office of Ms. Hill, who is now a professor at Brandeis University, Ms. Thomas apparently brought up Ms. Hill’s accusations against her husband during the 1991 hearings.

Andrew Gully, senior vice president of the Brandeis University communications office, confirmed that Ms. Hill had received the message and that she had turned it over to the campus department of public safety. That office, in turn, passed it on to the F.B.I.

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Dutch Anti-Islam MP Just ‘The Messenger’: Lawyer

A defence lawyer rejected accusations of hate speech and xenophobia against Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Tuesday, urging judges not to “shoot the messenger”. “In his eyes, Islam is a totalitarian ideology,” the politician’s lawyer Bram Moszkowicz told judges of the Amsterdam district court on the first day of defence pleadings broadcast live via the Internet. “He is trying to prevent violence from being committed with the Koran in hand,” the lawyer said, adding: “Don’t shoot the messenger.” Wilders, 47, went on trial on October 4 for inciting hatred by calling Islam “fascist” and likening the Koran to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”. The prosecution service asked the court for his acquittal last Friday, saying his criticism, though hurtful, was not criminal. On Monday, Muslims told the court that Wilders was “dangerous” and his utterances were dividing a multicultural society that used to cohabit peacefully. But Moszkowicz cited the right to freedom of speech, adding: “Wilders’s conscience dictates that he does not close his eyes … dictates that he places this discussion on the political agenda.” “As a politician, Wilders does not have to be silent,” said the lawyer. Wilders “has criticism, and expresses that criticism. Regardless of the danger to his own life, he speaks about the dangers he sees around him that result from immigration.” The lawyer stressed, however, that his client “never said that the multicultural society should be abolished.” “This is about Dutch people, assimilated Muslims included, versus the sowers of hatred,” said Moszkowicz. “It is not Wilders versus the Muslims.”


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Dutch Anti-Islam MP Been Denied Fair Trial — Lawyer

Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, charged with inciting hatred against Muslims, was being denied a fair trial because his right to the presumption of innocence had been breached by a court ruling ordering him to stand trial, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Wilders faces prison or a fine on charges he insulted Muslims by comparing Islam to Nazis, in a case seen as a test of freedom of speech in the Netherlands.

“If Wilders is convicted, there will always be the thought that … he never got the chance to a fair trial. There will always be the conclusion that he was not presumed innocent and this will forever stain the conviction,” Bram Moszkowicz said.

Wilders was only placed on trial after an appeals court ordered prosecutors to press charges, overruling their original stance that the MP was protected by the right to free speech.

Moszkowicz said in his closing address to the court that the appeals court had shown bias, lost sight on the presumption of innocence right and urged the trial court to dismiss the prosecution’s case.

“Wilders did not deserve such a ruling. No suspect deserves that ruling,” the lawyer said.

Prosecutors last week called on the court to acquit Wilders saying politicians have the right to make statements about perceived problem issues in society and that he was not trying to create a violent divide in society.

The new Dutch minority government, made up of Liberals and Christian Democrats which took office last week, is reliant on support from Wilders’ anti-immigration Freedom Party.

Moszkowicz’s statement comes after lawyers representing Muslim groups argued on Monday that Wilders was sparking intolerance in the nation and urged the court to order Wilders pay symbolic damages of 1 euro ($1.39).

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

EU Backs Down Over Threat to Discipline France for Expelling 8,000 Roma Gypsies

France has expelled some 8,000 Roma gypsies to Romania and Bulgaria this year, against widespread criticism from human rights groups, the Roman Catholic Church and the UN.

EU law allows states to expel citizens of another member if they pose a risk to public safety or burden the welfare system, but such expulsions must be proportionate and avoid targeting any ethnic group.

The EU Commission had given France until last Friday to explain how it would bring its legislation into line with European law or face possible court fines.

France said last week a new immigration package would address the commission’s criticism.

One diplomat said today: ‘There will not be any infringement procedure open against France this month.’

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said the measures were a necessary part of crackdown on crime, but opposition politicians had accused him of attempting to bolster his popularity at a time of budget austerity.

His government was compared to the Nazis over the handling of the expulsions.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding initially accused France of discrimination against the Roma, but later backed down, saying France’s main failure was to poorly align its regulation with the bloc’s rules.

‘Viviane Reding will propose this afternoon … freezing the disciplinary procedure,’ the EU diplomat said.

A Commission spokesman declined to comment.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

EU to Back Sale of Meat and Milk From Cloned Animal Offspring

The sale of meat and milk from the offspring of cloned farm animals is set to be backed by EU Commissioners despite mass consumer opposition.

A huge majority of the public is against clone animal farming, according to studies in Britain and across Europe.

Concerns surround the ethics of the process, the welfare of the animals and a lack of research on food safety. However, a leaked report to be discussed by the EU’s College of Commissioners today comes out in favour of food from the offspring of clones.

Alarmingly, it appears this food would not have to be labelled, leaving families completely in the dark about what they are putting in their mouths.

Specifically, the report proposes a temporary five-year ban on the sale of meat and milk from clones, but there would be no ban on food from their offspring.

If this policy is adopted, European farms could be populated by cloned supersize animals used as breeding stock for cows, pigs and sheep that are reared for food.

Clones themselves can suffer a range of painful conditions, including malformed organs and gigantism. Many die in the womb or soon after birth.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Germany: Wulff Condemns ‘Blanket Judgement’ of Turks

President Christian Wulff on Tuesday attempted to tone down Germany’s simmering integration debate, slamming “blanket judgement” of Turkish immigrants at the start of his state visit to Turkey.

In the wake of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s tough rhetoric at the weekend, when she claimed that multiculturalism had “utterly failed,” Wulff stressed that Germany was not condemning an entire community.

“I consider it wrong to claim that a whole group cannot and does not want to integrate,” he told Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, in an interview published Tuesday. “I am against any blanket judgement.”

Wulff’s remarks seemed to take particular aim at Bavarian premier and Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer, who suggested recently that Germany should consider stopping immigration from Muslim countries.

Wulff also called on Turks living in Germany to learn the German language, become familiar with the constitution and respect German social standards.

“State and society must offer the possibility to integrate,” he said.

The offer however must be grasped by individuals to whom it was being made, he added. Immigration to Germany had produced problems.

“In strictly religious milieus, there are unacceptable instances of isolation and ideas on this important theme that are not compatible with our legal system,” he said.

Wulff will on Tuesday become the first German president to address the Turkish parliament in Ankara.

His four-day trip is also the first visit by a German president to Turkey in a decade. Wulff is due to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan before he gives his speech in the Turkish parliament.

Germany has four million Muslims among its 82 million inhabitants. Turks form the largest ethnic minority with a 2.5-million-strong presence. While many later generation Turks have integrated with German society, large sections have never learned German and live in closed communities.

In a speech this month, Wulff said Islam was “now part of Germany” but also urged his countrymen and immigrants to make an effort at integration.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Turkish Hackers Attack CDU Websites

Two regional websites for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) were hacked on Tuesday by unknown perpetrators claiming to be Turkish following controversial comments by her conservatives on immigration.

Police and domestic intelligence agencies are now investigating in both the city-state of Hamburg and the northern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania after CDU officials said their party sites were paralysed overnight when hackers replaced their homepages with a black background featuring a Turkish crest and critical comments.

Hackers “GHoST61” and “Emre Y” had left their mark claiming responsibility for sabotaging the site, with the comment, “Hi Hamburg: We are from Turkey.”

In Hamburg the CDU took its website offline by mid-morning on Tuesday, spokesperson Anna Christina Hinze said.

The Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian arm of the CDU had a similar experience, discovering that their website had been replaced with an Ottoman Empire crest and some pointed questions about the party’s immigration policies. Their site was repaired by afternoon.

The hackers left a message asking: “Where is the money for integration? Where is the money for mosques?” and “Where is the tolerance? Where is the freedom of religion?”

The cyber-attacks appear to have been sparked by anti-immigrant statements from conservatives such as Bavarian premier Horst Seehofer, who said last week that Germany should halt immigration from Turkey and Arabic countries. Over the weekend he also said that multiculturalism was dead in Germany. Chancellor Merkel agreed the concept had “completely failed” and demanded immigrants accept “Christian values” when they come to Germany.

At the end of the hacker missive they wrote, “Mrs. Merkel, we await you in Hamburg,” — a possible reference to Merkel’s plans to visit integration projects in the city in early November.

The chancellor’s parliamentary district is in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In early 2008, hackers made a similar attack on the state of Schleswig-Holstein’s CDU website, putting Turkish flags and slogans on several local party chapter pages. The IP address was traced to Ankara, Turkey.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

German Prosecutors File Terrorism Charges Against 8 for Allegedly Spreading Propaganda

German federal prosecutors said Tuesday they have charged eight people with supporting al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations by allegedly spreading propaganda on the Internet. The suspects, aged between 17 and 30, were members of the German section of the Global Islamic Media Front, the federal prosecutors said. The charges were filed in a Munich court on Sept. 22. There was no immediate word on when a trial might open. Authorities say the group used blogs and Internet forums to spread propaganda, some of which was aimed at securing new members or supporters for al-Qaida. The alleged offences were committed between August 2006 and March 2008. Four of them — German citizens identified only as Tarek Alexander H., Daniel P., Renee Marc S. and Jonas T. — face charges of supporting al-Qaida, al-Qaida in Iraq and Ansar al-Islam, and membership in a criminal organization. Another four face those charges and additionally are accused of trying to recruit members or supporters for al-Qaida or al-Qaida in Iraq. In keeping with German privacy rules, they were identified only as Harun Can A., Salim Mohammed A. and Vivian S., all German citizens; and Emin T., a Turkish national. The key figure in the founding and organization of the German section of the Global Islamic Media Front was a man identified only as Mohamed M., who was sentenced to four years in prison in neighbouring Austria in March 2008, prosecutors said in a statement. Mohamed M. was found guilty by a Vienna court of involvement in a March 2007 video threatening Austria and Germany with attacks if they did not withdraw military personnel from Afghanistan. Prosecutors said one of the men now charged, Renee Marc S., had intended to go to an al-Qaida camp for training. They said he travelled in May 2007 to Tehran but, after failing to reach a smuggler who was supposed to help him get from there to the camp, which they did not further identify, returned home a few days later.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Go Back to Where You Are Happy

[Some unusually straight talking from a German author who believes that Europeans will violently resist Islam.(said near beginning of the video)]

Immigration tensions are rising in Germany following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that multiculturalism has failed in the country.

Udo Ulfkotte, a noted German journalist and author, known for his severe criticism of Islam, shared with RT his view on what is behind the integration dispute and where it may lead.

“What I believe is there is a place for Muslim in this world and for their culture, they have a place to live in,” Ulfkotte told RT. “And there is a place for European and Western culture to live in. What I don’t believe is they will live peacefully together. We have a clash not only of civilizations and religions, we have a clash of ideologies, like we had a clash between communism and capitalism. Now we have a clash because Islam is also an ideology. I believe that Islam is not going to win a battle.”

The journalist claimed that he does not believe that Muslims will overrun Europe. “Because I believe that what we have done in the past several times — the people will stand up and say ‘We are fed up, we don’t want that any more,’ and try to push them back. And that will be violent. I belong to Europe and to European culture and the Muslims belong to the places where they came from. Because whenever I ask the majority of Turks I speak to, and I ask them, ‘Are you German or are you Turkish?’ Even if they are second or third generation, they will say, ‘I’m Turkish.’“

“The Palestinians: if they live in Saudi Arabia as workers, they say, ‘I’m a Palestinian and my home is Palestine.’ I don’t blame them for that,” said Ulfkotte. “I just say, ‘Okay. So if as they say they have their roots there, they are happy there, all the best. Take your suitcases and go back to where you are happy. I will be happy, you will be happy.”

Some parts of the Koran ask Muslims not to integrate, claimed the writer. In confirmation of his words he quoted Sura 3, verse 110 of the Koran: “It says, as a believer, as a Muslim, you should not learn from an unbeliever, you are not allowed. You are the ones who rule and decide what is good and what is bad because you are Muslims, and it’s not unbeliever to whom you should listen. You should obey Islam and Muslims. You should not learn in unbelievers’ schools.”

“So we have 30 per cent of Muslims, of Turkish Muslims, in Germany leaving school without learning anything. They don’t have a diploma or anything. This is going to cause conflicts. This is going to cause big problems,” he claims.

Another important but little-known issue, Ulfkotte stated, is the traditional for Islam culture problem of incest.

“You could never publicly, and especially not in the media, you could never talk about incest in the Islamic culture that people who are relatives, cousins, if they marry — and it is common in Pakistan, common in Turkey, common in Morocco — if they marry and if they do incest it will not be good, because they will have schizophrenia, they have diseases — we have to talk about that,” Ulfkotte maintains.

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Italy: Homer and Bart Simpson Are Catholics, Says Vatican Daily

Show praised for making religion, God recurrent themes

(ANSA) — Rome, October 18 — For all their high jinks and misbehaving, Homer and Bart Simpson are members of the Catholic flock, Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano said in an article praising the hit comedy cartoon.

“Not many people know it, and he does everything he can to hide it. But it’s true, Homer J. Simpson is Catholic,” read an article in Sunday’s edition of the newspaper.

The piece, entitled ‘Homer and Bart are Catholics’, is inspired by a paper by Jesuit priest, Father Francesco Occhetta, published in the latest edition of Italian Catholic magazine La Civilta Cattolica.

“The Simpsons are one of the few TV programmes for children left in which Christian faith, religion and questions about God are recurring themes,” said Occhetta.

“The family say a prayer before their meals and, in their way, believe in the afterlife”.

In his paper, Occhetta focuses on a 2005 episode in which Bart enrols at a Catholic school after being expelled from Springfield Elementary, which leads to Homer converting to Catholicism. L’Osservatore Romano praised The Simpsons for ditching the simple distinction between good and evil typically seen in Disney productions and poking fun at modern life in the Western world, in the process addressing issues regarding the quality of life and its meaning.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Ndrangheta Boss Turns Informant

Antonino Lo Giudice claims bombing campaign

(ANSA) — Reggio Calabria, October 15 — A top boss in the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia has started working with police and has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks including one bomb against Reggio Calabria’s main courthouse and another against a top prosecutor.

In the wake of the attacks, the Italian government earlier this month sent in the army to guard judicial buildings in Reggio.

Boss Antonino Lo Giudice is the second ‘Ndrangheta capo to turn informant in a month after Roberto Moio, key breakthroughs in the fight against the criminal organisation which is tighter-knit than Sicily’s Cosa Nostra.

Reggio Prefect Luigi Varratta confirmed reports that ‘Ndrangheta bosses were worried about the success of recent operations against them.

“The extraordinary work of judges and police is bothering the clans. The mafiosi are keyed up, and reacting nervously”.

‘Ndrangheta is believed to have eclipsed Cosa Nostra as Italy’s most powerful crime group and has stretched its reach to Rome, Bologna, Milan and European cities as it invests its huge cocaine profits.

Reggio Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone said anti-mafia prosecutors were evaluating Lo Giudice’s statements to assess whether he could be admitted to Italy’s witness protection programme, but the signs were “good”.

In particular, on the basis of one of Lo Giudice’s first tip-offs, police found a weapons cache including 11 kalashnikovs and some small arms.

A Reggio public-safety panel called in the troops on October 6 after a string of incidents including threats and bombs against Prosecutor General Salvatore Di Landro, and a bazooka sent to Pignatone. On October 5 an anonymous caller told police to look near the city’s anti-mafia HQ for “a surprise” for Pignatone.

Police found a disarmed Yugoslav-made M80 bazooka under a mattress.

Pignatone had previously been the object of threats on May 27 when a letter containing three bullets was sent to him.

Then, on June 16, Di Landro’s driver found the bolts on his car loosened.

Two months later, on August 26, a bomb damaged the entrance to Di Landro’s city-centre home, blowing out windows in the vicinity.

The campaign of intimidation, which police attributed to the success of the recent crackdown on ‘Ndrangheta and the unprecedented ‘turning’ of a boss, began on January with a firebomb that scorched the entrance to Reggio’s main courthouse.

‘Ndrangheta, whose name means ‘virtue’ or ‘courage’ in a local form of ancient Greek, once dealt mainly in kidnappings and extortion and fed off the pickings of public tenders, having developed a broad net of political contacts.

That network has strangled swathes of the region, investigators say, with ‘Ndrangheta able to buy off friends and enemies thanks to their chokehold on the European cocaine trade.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Woman Informant Killed, Dissolved in Acid

Lea Garofalo ‘lured into trap’ by ex-companion, ‘Ndrangheta boss

(ANSA) — Milan, October 18 — An informant against the Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta mafia was murdered and her body dissolved in acid in the countryside not far from Milan last November, Italian police said Monday.

Lea Garofalo, 35, who had been giving evidence since 2002 but who lost her protection detail in 2006, was apparently lured into a trap by her ex-companion, ‘Ndrangheta boss Carlo Cosco, on the pretext of keeping up ties with their grown daughter, police said.

Cosco and an accomplice, Massimo Sabatino, are accused of persuading the woman to come to Milan to talk about the relationship on November 24.

At the time, Cosco and Sabatino were in jail for attempting to kidnap Garofalo in May.

Two other mafiosi, whose names were not released, allegedly kidnapped Garofalo.

The actual killing and the disposal of the body were allegedly carried out by two of Cosco’s brothers, Giuseppe and Vito.

Police said there was evidence that Garofalo had been “questioned” in a warehouse before she was murdered and put into an acid bath on waste ground on the night of November 24-25 outside a small town near Monza, San Fruttuoso.

In all, prosecutors issued six arrest warrants in connection with the case, including the ones served on Cosco and Sabatino in jail.

It was not clear why Garofalo was no longer in the witness protection programme or why she had not been reassigned a bodyguard after the May attempted kidnapping.

The six who were served warrants are all connected to ‘Ndrangheta clans based near the Calabrian city of Crotone, on which the dead woman had been providing information.

Garofalo’s disappearance was reported by her daughter and police set in motion the investigation that ended Monday.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Who Says Islam is Totalitarian?

Who says Islam is a totalitarian doctrine? Well, Geert Wilders does, of course. As the editors point out in Monday’s superb National Review Online editorial, the Dutch parliamentarian has even had the temerity to compare Islam with Nazism. Strong stuff indeed, and for speaking it, Wilders has earned the disdain not just of the usual Muslim Brotherhood satellite organizations but even of many on the political right.

Though they support free-speech rights, and thus grudgingly concede that Wilders should be permitted to say such things, they want you to understand they find his sentiments deplorable. Taking the politically correct view, they assure you that Islam is not a problem at all — it’s just those bad extremists and Islamists who have, as the Bush-era refrain went, “hijacked one of the world’s great religions.”

Emblematic is the estimable Charles Krauthammer, who has described Wilders’s views as “extreme, radical, and wrong.” Dr. K.’s complaint, expressed on Fox News back in March (and published on the Corner), was that Wilders conflates “Islam and Islamism.” The latter, Krauthammer insists, is “an ideology of a small minority which holds that the essence of Islam is jihad, conquest, forcing people into accepting a certain very narrow interpretation [of Islam].” As I take a backseat to no one in my admiration of Dr. K., I wonder what he’d make of Bernard Lewis’s take on this subject. Professor Lewis is the distinguished scholar widely and aptly admired, including by Wilders’s detractors, as the West’s preeminent authority on Islam. At Pajamas Media, Andrew Bostom has unearthed a 1954 International Affairs essay in which Professor Lewis quite matter-of-factly compared Islam with Communism. The essay, in fact, was called, “Communism and Islam.”

In it, Lewis considered “the very nature of Islamic society, tradition, and thought,” and concluded that its principal defining characteristic is the “authoritarianism, perhaps we may even say the totalitarianism, of the Islamic political tradition.” Expanding on this, he wrote:

There are no parliaments or representative assemblies of any kind, no councils or communes, no chambers of nobility or estates, no municipalities in the history of Islam; nothing but the sovereign power, to which the subject owed complete and unwavering obedience as a religious duty imposed by the Holy Law. . . . For the last thousand years, the political thinking of Islam has been dominated by such maxims as “tyranny is better than anarchy,” and “whose power is established, obedience to him is incumbent.”

But what about the conceit that undergirds current American foreign policy, the notion that Islam and Western democracy are perfectly compatible? Lewis dismissed the idea as so much elite wishful thinking:

Many attempts have been made to show that Islam and democracy are identical — attempts usually based on a misunderstanding of Islam or democracy or both. This sort of argument expresses a need of the uprooted Muslim intellectual who is no longer satisfied with or capable of understanding traditional Islamic values, and who tries to justify, or rather, restate, his inherited faith in terms of the fashionable ideology of the day. It is an example of the romantic and apologetic presentation of Islam that is a recognized phase in the reaction of Muslim thought to the impact of the West.

Clearly, the ensuing half-century has found Western intellectuals — regardless of political bent — joining romantic forces with their uprooted Muslim counterparts. Thus the accusation by Dr. Krauthammer, to take a prominent but by no means singular example, that Wilders fails to perceive the distinction — I’d call it a hoped-for distinction — between Islam and Islamism. Yet this accusation itself conflates Islam with Muslims, as well as Islamists with violent jihadists. This confusion leads Krauthammer to surmise both (a) that only a small minority of Muslims believe jihad is “the essence of Islam,” and (b) that because most Muslims in the West are not terrorists, it should be “obvious” that they are not Islamists.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Anti-Islam Lawmaker Asks for Hate Speech Acquittal

Lawyers for a Dutch politician who has harshly criticized Islam argued at his trial Tuesday that he has the right to issue warnings about the religion’s spread in Europe and should be acquitted of inciting hatred and discrimination. Geert Wilders, one of the Netherlands’ most popular politicians, is charged with violating hate speech laws by equating Islam to Nazism, calling for a tax on “head rags” and advocating a ban on the Quran. His film “Fitna” argued that Islam is a violent and intolerant religion — drawing protests from Muslims around the world. Lawyer Bram Moszkowicz said Wilders is exercising his right to freedom of speech and compared him to historical figures who were willing to voice unpopular opinions, including Winston Churchill and Galileo. “Wilders makes the hate of others known, and warns about it vigorously,” Moszkowicz said. “Don’t shoot the messenger.” Prosecutors had initially declined to press charges against Wilders, but were ordered to do so by an appeals court. After concluding their evidence last week, prosecutors said Wilders’ statements were part of legitimate political debate, acknowledged they could not prove a case against him, and called for his acquittal. But judges could still convict him. A verdict is expected Nov. 5. If convicted Wilders could face up to a year of prison, though a small fine is more likely. Alleged victims testified on Monday that Wilders’ remarks have poisoned opinions against Muslims, leading to a range of problems including verbal abuse against women wearing headscarves, Moroccan youth having trouble finding jobs, and mosque burnings. Moszkowicz said that not only should Wilders be acquitted, but the whole case should be dismissed. He argued that the appeals court that ordered the trial had failed to presume Wilders innocent. Wilders’ trial is being closely watched in many European countries, where immigration has created a backlash of anti-Muslim sentiment and boosted nationalist parties that are outspokenly negative toward Islam and Muslims. With support from Wilders, a new minority Cabinet formed in the Netherlands this month plans to ban face-covering burqas and force immigrants to pay for their own mandatory citizenship classes. It also plans to tighten asylum procedures and make it harder for immigrants to marry spouses from outside Europe.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Pictured Together, Happily Sharing a Cocktail: The Gay Saudi Prince and the Manservant He Beat to Death in a London Hotel Room

A gay Saudi prince today faces a life sentence for beating and strangling his servant to death in the culmination of a campaign of ‘sadistic’ abuse.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud was found guilty at the Old Bailey of murdering Bandar Abdulaziz in a ‘brutal’ assault at their five-star hotel suite.

The prince was fuelled by champagne and ‘sex on the beach’ cocktails when he bit the 32-year-old hard on both cheeks during the attack in February.

They had just returned from a Valentine’s Day night out when Saud launched the ferocious assault.

When he was arrested he at first wrongly believed he had diplomatic immunity but his special status as a Saudi royal could not save him from British justice.

The 34-year-old, a member of one of the world’s richest and most powerful dynasties, was found guilty of murder today by the jury after just one hour and 35 minutes of deliberation.

Saud showed no reaction as the decision was announced.

The verdict means a lengthy jail term for the prince and the end to his luxury playboy lifestyle, funded by his wealthy family, in which he dined in fine restaurants and secretly entertained gay escorts in his plush hotel room.

In court his lawyers tried to cover up evidence of his homosexuality.

If he ever returns to his home country he faces the possibility of execution — not because of the killing but because being gay is a capital offence there.

The murder of Mr Abdulaziz was the final act in a ‘deeply abusive’ master-servant relationship in which the prince carried out frequent attacks on his aide ‘for his own personal gratification’.

Jurors heard that by the early hours of February 15, Mr Abdulaziz was left so worn down and injured — having suffered a ‘cauliflower’ ear and swollen eye from previous assaults — that he simply let Saud kill him without a fight.

The prince then spent hours on the phone to a mysterious contact in Saudi Arabia trying to work out how to cover up what he had done.

He calmly ordered two glasses of milk and bottled water on room service as he set about dragging the body into the bed and trying to clean up the blood.

It was only about 12 hours later, after chauffeur Abadi Abadella received a call from Saudi Arabia telling him to go to the hotel, that the body was discovered in room 312.

The prince claimed he had woken in the afternoon to find he could not revive his friend — now stiff with rigor mortis — and explained his injuries by saying he had been attacked and robbed of 3,000 euros in London’s Edgware Road a few weeks before…

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

‘Stateless’ Extremist Preacher Abu Hamza in Bid to Keep British Passport… Using Myra Hindley and John Venables’ QC

Extremist preacher Abu Hamza is using human rights laws to try and keep his British passport.

Home Secretary Theresa May wants to remove Hamza’s citizenship, but he is arguing that he has been disowned by his native Egypt — so would be left stateless.

The hook-handed cleric, who acquired a British passport through marriage, is serving seven years in maximum security Belmarsh Prison after being convicted for inciting murder and racial hatred in 2006.

The Home Office is now seeking to remove the British citizenship he received in 1986 so he can be deported.

But the 52-year-old is fighting to stay in Britain and today a high-powered team of legal eagles — funded by the taxpayer — argued his case.

A leading QC and team of lawyers are all acting for Hamza, along with a special advocate appointed by the court.

Hamza’s QC Ed Fitzgerald, who was not present for the start of today’s hearings but is due to be present for all of the evidence, has represented clients including Moors Murderer Myra Hindley and the killer of James Bulger, Jon Venables.

Hamza claims that he is no longer considered a citizen by Egypt, so taking away his UK nationality would leave him ‘stateless’ in contravention of Human Rights law.

Today lawyers representing him at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission claimed that Egypt has officially cut ties with their client.

Even if authorities in the North African country had not followed all procedures required there to remove his nationality, they have still behaved in such a way as to leave him as solely a British citizen, it is argued.

Hamza, a former preacher at Finsbury Park mosque in north London is also battling extradition to the U.S. on terror charges in a separate legal fight at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Amanda Weston, another barrister acting for Hamza, told the tribunal in Central London: ‘We say there are two things, there are an accumulation of circumstances tending to show that whatever action required by the (Egyptian) authorities has been taken (to remove his citizenship) if not publicised.

‘In our alternative proposition we say that in any event, Egypt’s treatment of the appellant is inconsistent with somebody who holds nationality, regardless of what formal action may or may not have been taken by the Egyptian government.

‘We cite the way in the international legal test regarding who is a stateless person — someone wherein the country to which he claims to be a national isn’t considered as a national by that state.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Stone Age Humans Liked Their Burgers in a Bun

Forget the idea that hunter-gatherers lived on low-carb meat diets. Palaeolithic mammoth burgers were eaten with a bun.

Anna Revedin of the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence and colleagues analysed the wear-marks and traces of plants on 30,000-year-old grindstones found in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic.

This showed that they had been used as mortars and pestles to grind plants like cat’s tail and fern roots, which packed a starchy, high-energy punch. The find suggests that Stone Age humans across Europe even knew how to make flour — a complex process involving harvesting roots, then drying, grinding and finally cooking them to make them digestible. Revedin says the development of flour may have helped hunter-gatherers survive changes in the climate, from chilly winters to parched summers.

The reason Palaeolithic humans were thought to have lived solely on wild meat, says Revedin, is that previous plant evidence was washed away by overzealous archaeologists as they cleaned the tools at dig sites. “This is the first time anybody has tried to find vegetable material on them,” she says.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tribalism Returns to Europe

Is Europe’s adventure in international living about to end?

At Potsdam, Germany, this weekend, Chancellor Angela Merkel told the young conservatives of her Christian Democratic Union that Germany’s attempt to create a multicultural society where people “live side by side and enjoy each other” has “failed, utterly failed.”

Backing up her rueful admission are surveys showing 30 percent of Germans believe the country is overrun by foreigners. An equal number believe the foreigners come to feed off German welfare.

Merkel had in mind the Turks who came as gastarbeiters, guest workers, in the 1960s. Some 2.5 million now live in Germany.

Arabs and East Europeans have come more recently. One survey puts the Muslim population at 5 million.


What is happening in Europe partakes of a global trend. Multiracial, multi-ethnic, multicultural nations are disintegrating.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Don’t Blame Racism for Your Problems’: Archbishop John Sentamu Urges Young Black Men to Work Hard for Success

The Archbishop of York has urged young black people to stop blaming racism for their problems.

Dr John Sentamu warned that prisons, mental health units and young offender institutions held too many black people.

He told a new generation: ‘Your future success does not lie in guns, gangs and knives or in the worship of celebrities.’

Instead, they should ‘work hard’ and ‘stay focused’, he said.

The Ugandan-born Archbishop, second in the hierarchy of the Church of England, also criticised African nations for too readily trying to blame their former ‘colonial masters’ for their difficulties.

He pointed to African corruption and lack of democracy and warned that nations were squandering their opportunities.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Anti-Islam Extremists EDL Spread Their Tentacles

Right-wing EDL embarrasses British Jewish leaders — and seeks to make friends with the Tea Party

By Jack Bremer

The image of the English Defence League (EDL) is very ugly and very straightforward: a group of right-wing extremists out to prevent “Islamic supremacism” in Britain, and prepared to take on police and beat up young Asians to get their point across.

But there is increasing concern that a group previously dismissed as thugs and nutcases is growing in influence.

The EDL appears to be spreading its tentacles in two particular directions. First, as part of its effort to demonise British Muslims, it purports to support Israel. To the huge embarrassment of Jewish community leaders in Britain it has even formed a “Jewish division”.

Second, the EDL appears to be making connections with right-wing extremists in America, including anti-jihad groups associated with the Tea Party movement (patron saint: Sarah Palin).

Jewish community leaders in Britain are horrified at being associated with the EDL, who 10 days ago started a riot in Leicester where 1,000 supporters indiscriminately attacked local Asians and threw firecrackers and Army-issue grenades at police horses.

[Return to headlines]

UK: Launch of Books for Schools in Blackburn Cathedral

35 Church of England Primary Schools in the Blackburn Diocese are excited to be receiving “Books for Schools” primary resource packs from the Muslim Council of Britain, donated by Fountain of Abundance. The Dean of Blackburn, The Very Reverend Christopher Armstrong, along with Anjum Anwar, the Dialogue Development Officer, are delighted to be working in partnership with the MCB to make this possible. The presentation will take place at Blackburn Cathedral on Wednesday 13th October at 5.00pm.

Miss Lisa Fenton, The Senior Adviser to Schools for Blackburn Diocese Board of Education, said that ‘This is a wonderful opportunity for our schools to receive quality resources which lead to quality Religious Education. Resources which enable children to explore, encounter and experience the authentic voice of world religions will enhance the learning experience. We are very grateful to MCB and to Fountain of Abundance for their contributions..”

Farooq Murad, the secretary general of the MCB, said: “It is essential that we promote and protect tolerance, understanding and respect between different sections of our community. Schools are an ideal place to do this, so our young people grow up with an understanding of those around them. I am grateful to Fountain of Abundance for their support of these teaching materials.”

[JP note: More UK Dhimmitude in action. Shame on the Church of England Blackburn Diocese and shame on Lisa Fenton!]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Tube Travellers Forced to Escape Through Pitch Black Tunnels AGAIN

Tube travellers had to be led along tracks through an underground tunnel for the second day in a row today because of fresh disruption to services.

Around 400 passengers on London Underground’s Victoria line were stuck in a tunnel near Seven Sisters after a defective train caused huge delays in the rush hour.

There were also delays on other parts of the system, including the Northern and Circle lines, because of signal failures and track problems.

The Tube delays followed yesterday’s power failure on the Jubilee line which led to thousands of passengers being stranded in tunnels before being led to safety along the tracks.

Some passengers caught up in the latest breakdown posted messages on Twitter, including: ‘People stuck for 2 hours underground on Victoria Line as another new train breaks down. Have to walk the tracks. This is becoming a scandal’, and ‘Made it to the office, eventually — the Victoria line is consistently awful.’

The RMT said an ongoing ban on overtime by thousands of workers in a long-running row over job cuts was having an effect on services.

The union, and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), has already held two strikes and is threatening fresh walkouts next month, claiming Transport for London is planning to cut almost 2,000 jobs.

Talks between the two sides will be held today at the conciliation service Acas.

RMT leader Bob Crow said: ‘Once again this morning the transport system in London has been reduced to chaos through a combination of mismanagement, financial cuts and a withdrawal of goodwill by Tube staff who are furious at the ongoing threat to another 2,000 jobs. Those job losses would plunge travellers even deeper into the black hole of unsafe and unreliable services.’

‘The Mayor, who is responsible for transport in this city, appears to have gone AWOL and his officials at Transport for London have now resorted to barefaced misinformation and distortion when it comes to admitting the scale of the shambles that has developed on their watch.’

‘As the system lurches from crisis to crisis we have a golden opportunity at the Acas talks today to reach a settlement that protects long-term safety and security on the Tube and which maps a way forward out of this mess.’

A Transport for London spokesman said: ‘We apologise for the disrupted journeys that some passengers will have faced this morning, caused by a signal failure on the Circle line, a track problem on the Northern line and a defective train on the Victoria line.’

‘We apologise to custom02ers for any inconvenience they have experienced during this morning’s problems, which also demonstrate the need for ongoing investment in our Tube services and infrastructure, which is of such importance to London and the wider UK economy.’

‘The RMT leadership’s overtime ban was only a factor in delays on the Metropolitan line, where the RMT leadership is continuing to try to hamper routine maintenance. We have given the unions cast-iron assurances that our staffing changes are being delivered with no impact on safety, no compulsory redundancies and no pay reductions, that every station with a ticket office will retain one and that all stations will remain staffed. We will be happy to repeat these assurances to the unions’ leaderships when we meet at Acas.’

The RMT later announced that Tube maintenance staff will launch industrial action short of a strike from next Tuesday, October 26, after they voted in favour of the move in a row over spending cuts.

Mr Crow said: ‘We have warned repeatedly that LU’s cuts plans are playing fast and loose with safety and will turn the Tube into a death trap. It is a scandal that the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and his transport officials have chosen to ignore those warnings.’

‘The anger of our members who carry out the safety-critical function of maintaining the Tube fleet, at the cuts being imposed from above, is reflected in this massive vote for action.’

‘The closure of District line services, and the shortage of rolling stock on other lines, has been a damning indictment of London Underground’s cuts plans which has rammed home the consequences of ripping up the rule book on fleet maintenance.’

‘RMT members have been forced into a position where they have no choice but to take action on behalf of Londoners who depend daily on a safe transport system.’

These developments follow a major power outage on the system yesterday when thousands of London Underground passengers were forced to leave trains and walk along tracks to reach station platforms.

More than 4,000 passengers were affected when five Tube trains broke down, leaving many claiming they were traumatised by having to walk through pitch black tunnels.

Commuters on three Jubilee Line trains — a total of around 2,000 people — were forced to abandon the carriages and walk along the track lit only by the torches of staff, the Evening Standard reported.

Many more were stuck underground for hours in cramped and airless conditions during one of the worst network breakdowns in the network’s history at the height of rush hour this morning.

Engineers were still working to establish what cause the fault this afternoon and said they hoped to get the lines running again this evening, but could not put a time on when that might happen.

There are currently still severe delays on the Circle line and minor delays on the District, the Hammersmith & City and the Metropolitan lines.

Three of the trains affected were stranded between Baker Street and St John’s Wood, one was halted at Swiss Cottage and another was stuck at Westminster.

Passengers stuck at Swiss Cottage and Westminster were simply asked to get off the trains after the drivers pulled into stations.

Amazingly, commuters on the Swiss Cottage train were made to pay for their journeys by touching out on their Oyster cards as they left the station.

Other passengers suffered major delays and cancellations on the Central, District, Northern, Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines.

A power supply fault at 8.50am brought both directions of the Jubilee line to a halt between Finchley Road and London Bridge, leaving the trains stuck in tunnels.

Recruitment consultant Sarah Khan, 24, who was on the southbound Jubilee line train between St John’s Wood and Baker Street, said people were getting more and more distressed and felt that there was ‘not any air’ on board.

She said: ‘We didn’t get out until 11am. It was horrendous. There was a pregnant lady who was very upset, and another man who was carried to the front of the train where there was a doctor who helped.

‘After two hours they said we would have to get off and walk back to St John’s Wood. I was just relieved to be off the train. I haven’t been able to go to work because I was so traumatised.

‘I did not want to get back on a Tube. I understand it broke down, but why did it have to take so long?’

Another passenger said: ‘We were left for so long, and we couldn’t get out. Finally when the staff came we could get out and breathe some air. It was very scary as we were walking right next to the rails.’

Passenger Joan Lockwood, on the train stranded at Swiss Cottage, said: ‘I didn’t have a seat and there was hardly room to breathe in the carriage.

‘We tried to lighten the mood by joking about how we’d only get 50p compensation from TfL but everyone was nervous and scared. It was horrific, everybody was freaking out. We couldn’t believe the guards made everybody touch out on their Oyster cards.’

A spokesman for TfL said: ‘London Underground would like to apologise to customers whose journeys were disrupted this morning, particularly those who were on the stalled trains.

‘An investigation is currently under way to establish the cause of the power failure.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

UK: Thug Branded ‘Lethal Human Cocktail’ For Drunken Attacks Spared Jail Despite Fears He Will Re-Offend for Decades

A drunken and violent robber was spared jail yesterday — despite a judge calling him a lethal human cocktail likely to reoffend for decades to come.

Rory Fagan left a teenager traumatised after mugging him and attacked a supermarket worker during a theft.

After hearing the 21-year-old thug had learning difficulties and an alcohol problem, Judge Peter Moss said: ‘Put the two together and he becomes a lethal cocktail.

‘He can appear very frightening.’

He went on: ‘I can envisage you in 21 years’ time still drinking and committing this sort of offending again and again.’

But despite this, the judge gave Fagan a community sentence, saying: ‘He’s not a well lad.

‘Prison is just the wrong place.’

The judge added that he was ‘taking a leap of faith’ and that he hoped his prediction for Fagan’s future did not come true.

Last week the Daily Mail told how thousands of career criminals — with at least 50 convictions — have avoided jail and instead been given community sentences or fines.

MPs and experts said the alarming figures showed why Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke should be seeking to imprison more, rather than fewer, convicts.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Tube Bombers Posed as the a-Team in Text Messages Just Hours Before 7/7 Attacks

[WARNING: Graphic content]

Two of the 7/7 bombers posed as characters from The A-Team in jokey text messages on the eve of their suicide attacks, it has been disclosed.

In bizarre exchanges, Mohammed Sidique Khan and Jermaine Lindsay pretended to be Face and B.A. Baracus, two of the US commandos-turned-soldiers of fortune featured in the cult 1980s TV drama, which was turned into a Hollywood movie this year.

Using the ‘operational’ mobile phones they bought specially to plan the atrocities, they also referred to A-Team character Murdock and repeatedly quoted B.A. Baracus’s catchphrase, ‘I ain’t getting on no plane’.

There is no suggestion that the plotters were intending to target aircraft, and this could be a reference to the final preparations for the July 7 2005 attacks on London’s transport network.

The inquests into the deaths of the 52 innocent victims of the attacks have heard that the bombers laughed and shared jokes as they travelled to the capital on their deadly mission.


Earlier, the court heard that injured victims of the attacks were left to die in agony because of health and safety protocols.

Victims on the Aldgate train were screaming in pain for up to 40 minutes before emergency services were allowed near the bomb site,a survivor claimed yesterday.

Michael Henning, 43, said he saw firemen waiting on the platform at Aldgate, as the wounded lay dying barely 150ft away.

The injured insurance broker screamed at the 999 workers: ‘Why aren’t you down there, people are dying down there?’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Theresa May Under Pressure to Sack Top Adviser in Row Over Ban on Muslim Preacher

A court hearing starting tomorrow will apparently lay bare attempts by Charles Farr, the director of the Office of Security and Counter Terrorism, to undermine Mrs May’s decision to ban Dr Zakir Naik, an Indian television preacher, from the UK. Mrs May banned Dr Naik from entering the UK for a lecture tour in June, saying his presence “would not be conducive to the public good”.

However, hours after the ban was announced, Mr Farr told one of Dr Naik’s supporters in an email that he would try to help Dr Naik’s case to enter the UK, according to emails seen by The Daily Telegraph. Conservative MPs last night said it suggested “civil servants are actively working to undermine ministers’ decisions”, and said that Mr Farr should stand down. Nick Boles MP, who is close to Prime Minister David Cameron, said: “This email appears to confirm that civil servants are actively working to undermine ministers’ decisions. This is outrageous. If true he [Mr Farr] should be removed from any position where he is responsible for combating terrorism.” Robert Halfon, another Conservative MP said: “This underlines what I have been saying that there are too many people who seem to be appeasing extreme Islamism, rather than confront it. “I welcome Theresa May’s robust response to it and extreme Islamism. This man should be removed from the Home Office. He is not suited to do this role. Why on earth is someone in the Home Office trying to help bring an extreme Islamist into the UK?” Mr Farr has been director general of the Home Office’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism in July 2007. Once tipped to be the next head of MI6, his responsibilities reportedly include running security for the 2012 Olympics. When she banned Dr Naik in June 18, Mr May cited reported comments from Dr Naik such as “every Muslim should be a terrorist” and, on Osama Bin Laden, that “if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him” when she decided to ban him. However, later that same day, Mr Farr told one of Dr Naik’s supporters that he wanted to find a way to get the Muslim preacher into the UK. According to emails, due to be disclosed at the High Court, Inayat Bunglawala, the chairman of lobby group Muslims4UK, asked Mr Farr whether he could “agree a form of words which makes it clear that Naik totally disassociates himself from the kind of extremism that the right wing press have — very unfairly in my view — accused him of, and thereby allow the governments to show that progress has been made in resolving the issue of problematic statements from the past”.

Mr Farr replied: “Of course I agree. We are aiming to do just that. I am getting this process underway next week and will see it through myself. To be frank with you, the more time you can give us to try to get this right in private the better. Any ideas of course please have a word.” Two weeks earlier, at a meeting on 3 June with Dr Naik’s representatives Mr Farr allegedly said he would “if necessary [he would] ‘put himself on the line’ as he felt ‘to exclude Dr Naik would be wrong’“. Dr Naik had been due to arrive in the UK on 18 June, with his wife and three children, to give “presentations on Islamic and religious themes” at the Sheffield Arena, London Wembley Arena and the Birmingham NEC, between 25 and 27 June.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Frattini Warns of Mideast Anti-Christian Feeling

Italy ‘backs Synod’s action to safeguard Christian presence’

(ANSA) — Rome, October 19 — Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini on Tuesday warned of a wave of anti-Christian feeling in some Middle Eastern countries and urged Italy’s European Union partners to get behind its proposed United Nations resolution safeguarding religious minorities.

Citing a recent US report that said 75 of 100 recent religiously motivated killings had been of Christians, Frattini said Italy’s foreign policy saw the promotion of religious freedom as a “fundamental point”.

“Anti-Christian feeling is a growing and ever-more concrete risk,” he said in Rome city hall, at a conference on the sidelines of a Vatican Synod (meeting) of Middle East bishops.

He stressed that Christian communities in Iraq, Lebanon and several other Arab countries were suffering and “persecuted”.

“All countries must remain vigilant on this issue to prevent intolerance,” Frattini said.

“Italy agrees with the Synod’s action to safeguard the Christian presence in the Holy Land,” he added.

The Italian diplomatic chief voiced regret that “not all” EU countries appeared to be supporting the proposed UN resolution on protecting religious minorities which Italy plans to present to the General Assembly before the end of the year.

“I say that with a little sadness,” the minister said, voicing the hope that the whole of the EU would rally to the 30 or so countries worldwide who have so far voiced support.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Plan to Bury Turkey’s ‘Cancer City’

A village that has become known as Turkey’s ‘cancer city’ could be knocked down and buried under 13 feet of dirt in an attempt to halt high rates of mesothelioma, lung problems and cancer among residents of the region.

Tuzkoy village in central Anatolia, Turkey, is surrounded by large deposits of erionite, a fibrous mineral found in volcanic rocks.

The main cause of mesothelioma, a painful lung cancer, is erionite dust.


Amid calls for the village to be destroyed, Mr Tuncer said that burying the buildings was not the only option and that people should simply be kept away from them.

There are already plans under way to move 80 per cent of the town’s residents to new homes built one mile from the site of the eronite deposits.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Turkey Objects to NATO Missile Shield Targeting Iran

Turkey has imposed hurdles to Nato’s planned anti-ballistic missile shield in Europe by demanding proof that the system would not exclusively target Iran.

The development raised further concerns that Turkish foreign policy was tilting outside the sphere of the Western alliance towards alignment with its eastern neighbour.

A Turkish official said Ahmed Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, had opened “negotiations” on the targeting of the missiles at a preliminary meeting in Brussels last week.

Turkey said it does not want the system to exclusively target any neighbouring country.

“Within this frame, we do not lean towards the idea of defining countries like Iran, Syria and Russia as threats,” a foreign ministry official said. “The minister has conveyed our opinion on the subject.”

Nato’s policy of operating by consensus would mean that a formal Turkish objection would scupper the US project to place anti-missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Planned Mosque Sparks Controversy in Russia

The leaders of Moscow’s 1.5 million strong Muslim community say they desperately need more places of worship. But a plan to build a new mosque has run into local opposition which is being fuelled by nationalists calling for a “clean Moscow” without Muslims and foreigners.

Small trees are supposed to be keeping the Muslims out of Tekstilshchiki, a district in south eastern Moscow. A young man sets to work with his shovel, pushing it into the earth with a determined kick. Then he places a seedling into the hole and sprinkles earth over it. Using her watering can, Maria Sotova pours some water onto the seedling. “We want a park here and not a mosque or a church or anything else,” says the mother who is here with her six-year-old son. There are about a hundred residents of Tekstilshchiki gathered on this lawn —and they want to prevent the start of construction on an Islamic religious center.

The Moscow media have already christened this patch of green “the Russian Ground Zero” in a reflection of strife over the mosque being built near Ground Zero, the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood in New York before the terror attack of 9/11. The country’s largest online newspaper,, drew parallels with other European controversies surrounding Islam: The burqa ban in France and the immigration debate now raging in Germany. Europeans are frightened of Islam because the religion’s values are utterly foreign to them, the article said. “Now we are experiencing something similar in Moscow and St. Petersburg.”

According to estimates by the Moscow council of muftis (equivalent to a council of deacons in the Christian faith), up to 20 million Muslims live in Russia today. Muslims have dominated some parts of the country for centuries. While the predominantly Muslim Republic of Tatarstan in the Volga region is regarded as moderate, guerrillas are fighting to set up an Islamic state in the northern Caucasus. Islamic extremists were behind the suicide bomb attacks that shook the Russian capital this March and killed 40 people.

Extreme Right Wing Subtlety

Up until recently only political non-entities, extreme right wingers and ultra-orthodox Christians were openly Islamophobic. Since state authorities have started cracking down on Russia’s far-right scene, the groups involved have begun resorting to more subtle tactics. In Tekstilshchiki, an organization of former neo-Nazis is trying to stir up local sentiment against the mosque by citing arguments that people find easier to relate to than abstract words or ideologies: they claim to be opposing the mosque because they want to protect Moscow’s green areas.

The planned mosque would only be the fifth in Moscow, even though this metropolis of 10.5 million has more than 1.5 million Muslim residents. In comparison, Berlin, which has a proportion of Muslims amounting to less than a sixth of Moscow’s, has at least six large mosques. That is why the Moscow council of muftis wants more mosques to be built and says Moscow should have up to 40.

Recently a huge crowd of Muslims gathered outside Moscow’s largest mosque on Prospekt Mira avenue. Tens of thousands of worshippers were trying to get into their house of prayer to celebrate the end of Ramadan. “You had to know the imam personally to clinch a place in the mosque,” Rustem, a student from Uzbekistan, recalls. Like many others, he simply unrolled his prayer carpet on the street in front of the mosque. Others placed theirs in between tram tracks in order to kneel upon them. Cries of “ Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great”, rang through the streets while Moscow drivers were tormented by long detours through the traffic.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Grozny Attack Underscores Chechen Insurgents’ Military Capabilities

Special forces stand outside the parliament building in Grozny. At least six people were killed in the militant attack.

There has not yet been any claim of responsibility for this morning’s suicide attack on the parliament building in Grozny. But there can be little doubt that it was planned and carried out by the same group of veteran Chechen field commanders who were responsible for the equally audacious attack seven weeks ago on Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov’s home village of Tsentoroi, in which up to 15 of Kadyrov’s men were killed.

The August 29 raid on Tsentoroi included a squad of 10 suicide bombers. According to Russian media reports, this morning’s attack was the work of three, possibly four fighters, including at least one suicide bomber. Muslim Gakayev, the brother of then-Eastern Front commander Khuseyn Gakayev, told RFE/RL’s North Caucasus Service last year that the insurgency had trained 20 suicide bombers, presumably in preparation for just such attacks. That information was not used for broadcast.

In this morning’s attack, one fighter reportedly blew himself up outside the parliament building. The other fighters then forced their way into the building and opened fire. All have reportedly been killed.

Today’s attack, timed to the minute to coincide with parliament members’ arrival for the day’s session, appears to have been as meticulously and professionally planned as the Tsentoroi raid. “Chechenews” in September posted a video clip of Khuseyn Gakayev, whom the fighters have since designated Chechen leader, and the Arab commander Mukhannad standing by a maquette of the village and indicating which fighters should target which building from which angle.

This morning’s attack also raises the question of possible connivance on the part of the pro-Kadyrov police and security forces: how otherwise could the attackers have managed to drive through numerous police checks and right up to the parliament building?

Khuseyn Gakayev and Mukhannad, together with veteran fellow commanders Aslambek Vadalov and Tarkhan Gaziyev, withdrew their oath of allegiance to North Caucasus insurgency commander Doku Umarov in mid-August. They have since criticized his authoritarian leadership style and, implicitly, his unilateral decision in October 2007 to jettison the cause of Chechen independence and proclaim a Caucasus Emirate.

Umarov responded in video footage last week in which he excoriated the breakaway emirs. The website, which functions as his press service, has reported this morning’s attack. But it did not claim responsibility, identifying the attackers simply as “a group of militants.”

It is not clear how many Chechen fighters sided with the “moderate” faction against Umarov. Over 20 unit commanders have been identified by name as having pledged allegiance to the Gakayev/Vadalov/Gaziyev grouping at a meeting in mid-August. Video footage of their tent camp suggested that at least that number of fighters were present. Assuming that each individual fighting unit numbers between six and eight men, their total strength would be in the region of 120-160.

In video footage recorded last month, Gakayev, Vadalov and Gaziyev jointly appealed for the support of all Chechens, both in Chechnya and abroad, who unequivocally espouse their vision of a free Chechnya under Islamic law.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

South Asia

High-Level Talks Aim for an End to the Afghan War

Talks to end the war in Afghanistan involve extensive, face-to-face discussions with Taliban commanders from the highest levels of the group’s leadership, who are secretly leaving their sanctuaries in Pakistan with the help of NATO troops, officials here say.

The discussions, some of which have taken place in Kabul, are unfolding between the inner circle of President Hamid Karzai and members of the Quetta shura, the leadership group that oversees the Taliban war effort inside Afghanistan. Afghan leaders have also held discussions with leaders of the Haqqani network, considered to be one of the most hard-line guerrilla factions fighting here; and members of the Peshawar shura, whose fighters are based in eastern Afghanistan.

[Return to headlines]

Pakistan Intelligence Services ‘Aided Mumbai Terror Attacks’

Militant arrested last year described dozens of meetings between ISI officers and senior Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives

Pakistan’s powerful intelligence services were heavily involved in preparations for the Mumbai terrorist attacks of November 2008, according to classified Indian government documents obtained by the Guardian.

A 109-page report into the interrogation of key suspect David Headley, a Pakistani-American militant arrested last year and detained in the US, makes detailed claims of ISI support for the bombings.

Under questioning, Headley described dozens of meetings between officers of the main Pakistani military intelligence service, the ISI, and senior militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sprung! Taliban General Released From Custody

Expected to be part of discussions with Afghan rebels

The Pakistani military has released Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, regarded as the supreme commander of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and expectations are that he will be used in backchannel discussions with the United States, reliable regional sources are telling Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

The U.S. military has given growing indications that the solution to the impasse in Afghanistan is to negotiate with the Taliban and integrate members into the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Just last week, the Obama administration reversed itself and said that talks should go forward. Previously, the administration position was that talks with the Taliban should occur only if the U.S. had the upper hand militarily.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Far East

China Halts Shipments to U.S. of Tech-Crucial Minerals

A nasty trade dispute appears to have prompted Chinese customs officials to block shipments of rare earth minerals to the U.S.

The move underscores a deepening U.S. vulnerability because of its dependence upon China for tech-crucial rare earth minerals (also known as rare earth elements). Small but significant amounts of the minerals go into creating everything from PCs and cellphones to wind turbines and hybrid cars, as well as U.S. military technologies such as missile guidance systems.

This latest news came from three rare earth industry officials cited by the New York Times. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of backlash from China.

China currently controls about 97 percent of rare earth production, and has the only facilities capable of processing rare earth minerals after they have been mined. Rare earth minerals are not exactly rare, but the mining and refining processes can be costly and time-consuming.

Official Chinese plans have called for China to reduce rare earth mineral exports to meet its own rising industrial demands. That already indicated to many industry experts that countries such as the U.S. would have to find alternate supplies soon.

U.S. rare earth companies have begun looking to reopen old mines and search for new deposits, but industry experts say that relaunching an independent U.S. supply chain could take 15 years.

The latest Chinese action follows a similar move last month, when China halted shipments to Japan during a political dispute over Japan’s arrest of Chinese fishermen. Among the affected Japanese companies was Toyota, maker of the popular Prius hybrid cars which incorporate the rare earth element neodymium, among others.

But Japanese companies such as Toyota are believed to keep larger stockpiles of rare earth minerals compared to Western companies, according to the New York Times. It added that China’s action comes after American officials announced an investigation last Friday into whether China was violating international trade rules by subsidizing its clean energy industries.

Industry experts have suggested that China hopes to attract Western companies to set up shop near its rare earth mineral supply. China may also be aiming to export finished products which use rare earth minerals, rather than just sell the minerals.

China has openly denied blocking any rare earth mineral shipments. But its recent string of moves in reaction to political and trade disputes may very well alarm other countries enough to fast-track their own rare earth industries.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Nobel Peace Prize Inspires Chinese Dissidents

By Andreas Lorenz in Beijing

The Chinese government’s efforts to conceal the news about dissident Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize from the population have not been successful. Young people have been disseminating Liu’s “Charter 08” reform manifesto. Even veteran Communist Party functionaries are calling for more freedom.

Professor Xia Yeliang is an economist with a talent for practical solutions. He recently explained to regional broadcaster Shenzhen TV how it would be possible to effectively reduce Beijing’s massive traffic jams and the widespread traffic chaos in the capital. For the most part, though, the 50-year-old expert teaches economic theory at Peking University; hundreds of students listen to him when he lectures on Adam Smith and John Maynard Keynes.

Together with his wife, Xia owns an apartment in northern Beijing, and the couple has a son who is studying in the US. Normally, the professor would have every reason to be completely satisfied — if he weren’t convinced that something is totally wrong in China. This view has put a conspicuous dampner on his career over the past couple of months.

Xia helped draft the “Charter 08” reform manifesto, which calls for a fairer and freer country. The document, which advocates an end to Communist one-party rule, made leaders in Beijing nervous two years ago. Xia’s friend Liu Xiaobo, the main author of the charter, was sentenced to 11 years in prison late last year, but was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

‘Crazy Ideas’

“The prize will help make Liu Xiaobo and Charter 08 well-known in China,” says Professor Xia. Over the past few days, however, the government has endeavored to prevent precisely that from happening. The wife of the Nobel Prize winner, Liu Xia, has only been allowed to leave her apartment with a police escort. Other critics have been sequestered in guesthouses or questioned by state security officials.

On the propaganda front, the Chinese Communist Party has allowed itself a relapse into darker days: Liu Xiaobo is a common criminal with “crazy ideas,” according to the Global Times, a government mouthpiece. The paper claims that Liu receives support from forces abroad that are waging “endless ideological wars” against China.

“Ridiculous,” says Xia. The party should allow a debate on Liu Xiaobo and the ideas contained in Charter 08, he argues. But the functionaries are trying to prevent the Chinese from showing solidarity with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, or possibly perpetuating the demands of Charter 08.

Xia believes that this tactic has not succeeded, at least not over the past week. He says that, shortly after the news from Oslo, many people spontaneously signed Charter 08, which can still be found in niches on the Internet, despite all the censorship. The number of signatories has now grown to some 20,000, says Xia.

Young people have been disseminating the subversive document, including secretly stuffing copies of the Charter into bookstore shelves. When Xia asked his students if they knew who had won this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, hundreds of them said yes, he says. “Only a handful hadn’t heard anything about it.”

Open Letter to Chinese Leaders

Will the award for Liu spark a debate about political reforms in China? Even intellectuals who are loyal to the Communist Party have recently started demanding that political transformation must follow China’s economic reforms.

The party itself is no longer immune, either: Twenty-three elderly comrades around Mao Zedong’s former personal secretary, Li Rui, submitted an open letter to the National People’s Congress, China pseudo-parliament, in the beginning of October. “Abolish censorship and realize citizens’ rights to freedom and freedom of the press,” it read.

No less a figure than Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao recently addressed the contentious issue. Without political reform, China “may lose what it has already achieved through economic restructuring,” he warned in August. Then, in an interview with CNN earlier in October, he pledged: “I will not fall in spite of the strong wind and harsh rain, and I will not yield until the last day of my life.”

Nobody knows what exactly is behind this initiative by the third most powerful man in the Chinese administration. Is it an attempt by an old man to go down in history as a reformer, like the liberal late party leader Hu Yaobang, whose legacy has been officially hushed up — and whom Wen has frequently mentioned of late?

It’s important to remember that when Chinese functionaries talk about “democracy,” they often mean something different than Western politicians. They are at most referring to the right to elect village mayors or have a say in the selection of party cadres, rather than freedom of the press or an independent judiciary.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Luis Fleischman: Correa’s Ecuador, Defending an Autocracy

On September 30, something important happened in Ecuador.

A rebellion by police officers took place in protest against cuts in their bonuses and salaries. The discontented police threw tear gas that directly reached President Rafael Correa who was lightly harmed. Correa reacted by inviting protesters to kill him if they so wished but vehemently reaffirmed that he would not back off from his economic measures. Correa was taken to the Police hospital immediately after. Meanwhile, countries in the region, along with the United States and European countries treated these events like a coup d’état. All of them including the U. S Administration expressed full support for President Correa and democracy.

President Correa, a strategic ally of Hugo Chavez, was reported having been kidnapped by the police. In fact, he was given a room where he was well taken care of and where he received cabinet members, Congressmen, journalists, and Venezuelan advisors. It was from the hospital that Correa declared a state of emergency, mobilized the military, and called regional and world leaders to complain about the coup d’état. It was also in his hospital bed that he took control of radio and TV stations, where only pro-government broadcasters were permitted to speak, while others were not allowed to do so. The government called on the population to mobilize in order to free the president and fight against those who were trying to overthrow him. Finally, President Correa was “rescued” by the military and “freed” back to the palace of government.

For those regional and world countries that know well that coup d’états are unacceptable their reaction seemed natural. There was no question that defending democracy must and should be the priority. However, the question is whether Ecuador under Correa’s leadership is still a full fledged democracy. As was the case with (Manuel) Zelaya’s Honduras fifteen months earlier, the case of Correa is another example of perverted democracy that the world often tends to ignore, intentionally or unintentionally…

           — Hat tip: CSP[Return to headlines]


Berlin Pushes for Integration of Immigrants

The Berlin government is set to introduce laws to encourage the immigration of skilled workers, while also stepping up measures to promote integration of migrants into German society.

The measures, to be discussed in cabinet for the first time next week, follow the startling weekend admission by Angela Merkel, chancellor, that multicultural integration in the country had “utterly failed”.

Conservatives in Ms Merkel’s ruling centre-right coalition want to step up pressure on Muslim immigrants, in particular, to learn German and adapt to German society. But liberals in the government, especially in the minority Free Democratic party, are adamant that Germany should remain open to further immigration.

The government is simultaneously proposing measures to recognise foreign qualifications of migrants to work in Germany, while proposing rules to impose legal penalties on practices such as forced marriages for Muslim girls. Steffen Seibert, government spokesman, said on Monday that measures to promote integration would be put before the cabinet next week.

“We live happily in a country that is very open to the world with hundreds of thousands, indeed with millions, of well-integrated people who have foreign roots,” he said. “But we also recognise, and we are saying it much more clearly than a few years ago, that there are problems with integration among some groups of foreigners, and some quite openly reject it. So this society must act in the interests of everyone, and the government will do so.”

The chancellor’s speech has stoked an already heated debate over the lack of integration of Muslim immigrants, among whom the largest number came to Germany as Turkish migrant workers.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Denmark: Police Call for Tightened Border Control

Border control officers say large numbers of illegal immigrants come to Denmark via Sweden

Border control police at Copenhagen Airport say they are frustrated at the amount of illegal immigrants who enter Denmark each day from Sweden due to a lack of border control, reports Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

Airport police believe that a lack of border control means that between 300-400 people illegally enter the country each day.

According to the police, illegal immigrants come to Denmark on the train from Malmö, Sweden.

The figures, according to police, have been compiled during an effort to prevent illegal immigration that started in February 2009.

As part of the effort, five officers board the train at Copenhagen Airport. On average, they are able to identify five illegal immigrants by the time the train arrives at the next stop.

The police also point out that illegal immigrants are likely to be travelling by car over the Øresund Bridge.

Airport police have proposed putting 200 police officers into a control department in the capital, which would then monitor activity and make arrests if necessary.

The move has already received backing from the right-wing Danish People’s Party.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Immigration About Skills, Not Faith, Minister Says

Recognition of foreigners’ professional credentials could be a key to promoting integration, Education Minister Annette Schavan said Tuesday, as she pushed a plan to attract 300,000 skilled migrants.

The minister told broadcaster ZDF it was a “sign of respect,” to immigrants, when the German government and employers accepted the value of their professions.

Schavan defended Bavarian premier and Christian Social Union leader Horst Seehofer, who has said he sees no need for immigration from other cultures. Seehofer wanted only a targeted immigration system — a goal everyone agreed on, Schavan said.

“So we’re talking about qualifications and not about religion,” she said.

Other countries had made more of an effort to attract skilled workers, she added.

In Monday’s issue of daily Financial Times Deutschland, Schavan, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, said Germany could expect to gain 300,000 new skilled migrants by improving the system by which their credentials are assessed.

Schavan wants a new law guaranteeing that foreigners’ applications to have their qualifications recognised will be dealt with within three months. These qualifications must be assessed by the relevant chambers of commerce or professional associations.

Furthermore, the criteria for assessment should be simplified, she said. People who had not worked in the job for which they were qualified for a long time could combine their existing qualifications with supplementary training or education.

Schavan backed a points system for targeting qualified immigrants, along the lines of that proposed by Economy Minister Rainer Brüderle. That meant their professional qualifications would be counted along with their German language skills and other qualities, she explained.

However Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière was less impressed by the suggestion of a point system. There was no professional group that was prevented from coming to Germany by the existing law, he said.

“The existing law is very migrant-friendly, if you use it cleverly,” he said.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, meanwhile, blamed industry for the skills shortage, saying that businesses should stop complaining about the lack of skilled migrants and take more care to stop the emigration of German workers to other countries.

“This is clearly not a problem of the German immigration law or the policy, but rather of the attractiveness of work and wage conditions,” he told the Passauer Neue Presse.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Angela Merkel Says the Unsayable

A few years ago, when I visited some of the Turkish neighbourhoods of Berlin, it was obvious that the German experiment with multiculturalism was in trouble. Many of Germany’s four million Turks lived in a parallel society. The kids were doing badly in school and jobless rates were high. Girls were ruled by their patriarchal families. Muslim immigrants had become increasingly religious. A brisk trade in brides and grooms from backward parts of the old country ensured that nothing was likely to change soon. Yet few officials dared to raise these awkward facts in public. And the German political class has gone out of its way to avoid a serious debate on immigration.

But now the tipping point has come. In a speech delivered Saturday, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, declared that multikulti (as it’s known in Germany) has been an abject failure.

“Immigrants should learn to speak German,” she said. “We kidded ourselves a while, we said: ‘They won’t stay, some time they will be gone,’ but this isn’t reality. And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other … has failed, utterly failed.”

Ms. Merkel was careful to say she doesn’t oppose immigration altogether, or that people who don’t speak German when they arrive are not welcome. Even so, plenty of the European media — and plenty of German politicians — have interpreted her remarks as a lurch to the hard right in the face of recent economic woes. In fact, she merely said what most Germans already believe. She said exactly what I had heard in Berlin from social workers, teachers and government officials who had worked with the Turkish community for years.

The belief that multiculturalism has failed is now widespread across Europe, and it crosses party boundaries. In Germany, a recent survey found that 55 per cent of respondents think Muslims are a burden on the economy. Another study found that nearly a third of Germans agreed that “foreigners come to abuse the welfare state” and that immigrants might “overrun” the country.

How fast things change. As recently as August, controversy exploded over a new book published by Thilo Sarrazin, a member of the Germany’s central bank. In Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany is doing away with itself), he demanded a curb on immigration from Muslim and Arab countries, and claimed that Germany is becoming more stupid because its immigrants are poorly educated. “The failure of integration in Germany is due to the attitude of the Muslim immigrants,” he wrote. The book — along with his inflammatory remark that “all Jews share a certain gene” — caused such an uproar that Mr. Sarrazin quit his bank post.

Like Canadians, Germans have been swamped by official propaganda celebrating the joys of ethnic diversity. In both countries, expressing doubts over immigration policy has been socially verboten. As the German journalist Sabine Beppler-Spahl explains in the online magazine spiked!, “Being ‘pro-immigration’ and ‘pro-multiculturalism’ in Germany today is like a lifestyle choice, a way of proving that you are culturally refined and cosmopolitan, unlike the supposedly uncultured, racist working classes.”

The history and composition of immigration in Canada are sharply different from the situation Germany. But our tipping point is arriving too. And once it does, there’s no turning back.

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

O’Malley’s Weak Pander to Illegal Immigrants as “New Americans”

Did I hear Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, D, right during his second debate with former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich? Did O’Malley call illegal immigrants “new Americans”?

Good thing I recorded that debate on a DVD. I replayed it Saturday night, and O’Malley’s exact quote was this, part of his response to a question about illegal immigration.

“There is this nativism rising up and this desire to blame new Americans for the problems in our economy.”

Yeah, he said it. And Ehrlich was quick to pounce on the gaffe.

“If somebody breaks in my house, is that a new member of my family that night?”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Turkish Pres: Germany Must Help Turks Integrate

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president on Tuesday urged politicians in Germany not to exploit the issue of immigration for political gain and said they should instead help Turks better integrate.

Abdullah Gul was speaking at a joint news conference with German President Christian Wulff who is paying a five-day visit to Turkey while his country is increasingly debating the integration of millions of foreigners.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has long been skeptical of the idea of a nation of immigrants and at a recent party congress declared that the idea of a “multicultural society” in Germany had failed. She insisted that immigrants living here must learn the language and accept the nation’s norms.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats have a history of trying to rally supporters around pledges to be tougher on immigration, despite a lack of skilled workers in Germany who many argue can only be brought in from abroad due to an aging population.

“Instead of using the issue of integration politically, everyone must help reach a solution,” the Turkish president told reporters.

Gul said Turks living in Germany should learn to speak German “for their own sakes, for the sake of their families, and so that they may be of use for their environment and society.”

The Turkish president said however, both Germany and Turkey had failed to provide sufficient guidance to Turkish immigrants, many of whom went to Germany as “guest workers” in the 1960s to help rebuild postwar Germany.

“We should not blame them,” he said. “Many went to German cities (from Turkish villages) without even having seen a (Turkish) city. Neither we nor you were able to provide the necessary leadership.”

Wulff said that many immigrants had successfully integrated in Germany but said Germans’ fears over “religious fundamentalism and terrorism” could not be ignored.

He said immigrants had to learn German from a “very early age.”

Wulff later addressed Turkey’s parliament where he praised the Turkish “guest workers’“ efforts to rebuild Germany. At the same time, he urged cooperation to overcome the problems of integration.

“Nobody is expected to give up their cultural identity or deny their roots,” said Wulff, who is the first German president to address Turkey’s parliament. “It is about respecting and protecting the rules and laws of our life together in our society.”

“That includes our constitutions and the values that it enshrines: above all else, human dignity, but also freedom of expression and equality between men and women and the religious and ideologically open, neutral state,” he said.

Germany is home to an estimated 5 million Muslims, including some 3 million Turks.

Many immigrants speak little or no German, work in low paying jobs or live off of government handouts at the same time the country faces an aging population and a shortage of highly skilled workers.

Wulff, in his speech, also praised Turkey’s recent efforts to improve relations with its neighbors, and urged Turkey to take more steps toward normalizing ties with Armenia.


Associated Press Writer Melissa Eddy in Berlin contributed to the report.

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Associated Press Writer

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president on Tuesday urged politicians in Germany not to exploit the issue of immigration for political gain and said they should instead help Turks better integrate.

Abdullah Gul was speaking at a joint news conference with German President Christian Wulff who is paying a five-day visit to Turkey while his country is increasingly debating the integration of millions of foreigners.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has long been skeptical of the idea of a nation of immigrants and at a recent party congress declared that the idea of a “multicultural society” in Germany had failed. She insisted that immigrants living here must learn the language and accept the nation’s norms.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats have a history of trying to rally supporters around pledges to be tougher on immigration, despite a lack of skilled workers in Germany who many argue can only be brought in from abroad due to an aging population.

“Instead of using the issue of integration politically, everyone must help reach a solution,” the Turkish president told reporters.

Gul said Turks living in Germany should learn to speak German “for their own sakes, for the sake of their families, and so that they may be of use for their environment and society.”

The Turkish president said however, both Germany and Turkey had failed to provide sufficient guidance to Turkish immigrants, many of whom went to Germany as “guest workers” in the 1960s to help rebuild postwar Germany.

“We should not blame them,” he said. “Many went to German cities (from Turkish villages) without even having seen a (Turkish) city. Neither we nor you were able to provide the necessary leadership.”

Wulff said that many immigrants had successfully integrated in Germany but said Germans’ fears over “religious fundamentalism and terrorism” could not be ignored.

He said immigrants had to learn German from a “very early age.”

Wulff later addressed Turkey’s parliament where he praised the Turkish “guest workers’“ efforts to rebuild Germany. At the same time, he urged cooperation to overcome the problems of integration.

“Nobody is expected to give up their cultural identity or deny their roots,” said Wulff, who is the first German president to address Turkey’s parliament. “It is about respecting and protecting the rules and laws of our life together in our society.”

“That includes our constitutions and the values that it enshrines: above all else, human dignity, but also freedom of expression and equality between men and women and the religious and ideologically open, neutral state,” he said.

Germany is home to an estimated 5 million Muslims, including some 3 million Turks.

Many immigrants speak little or no German, work in low paying jobs or live off of government handouts at the same time the country faces an aging population and a shortage of highly skilled workers.

Wulff, in his speech, also praised Turkey’s recent efforts to improve relations with its neighbors, and urged Turkey to take more steps toward normalizing ties with Armenia.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Foreign Worker Numbers Surge to a Record 2.4m as Eastern Europeans Return to Britain

The number of foreigners working in Britain has hit an all-time high despite the fragile state of the recovery.

This summer, the total topped 2.4million for the first time after thousands arrived from abroad in the spring.

Some of them were Poles and other Eastern Europeans who began to return to the UK. The number of Eastern European workers also reached a record — of 551,000.

It means the workforce of foreigners has surged by more than a million in only seven years.

By contrast the number of Britons in jobs fell by hundreds of thousands during the recession.

The growing total of foreign workers comes at a time of deepening concern over the five million British adults who do not work and the intensification of Government efforts to persuade many that jobs are preferable to a life of benefits dependency.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Child-Rape Victim’s Story Prompts Probe for More

Lawyers seek ‘justice’ for children targeted in 1940s sex ‘research’

Editor’s note: The following report is part of WND’s ongoing, multipart investigation into alleged crimes committed by sex-research pioneer Alfred Kinsey and his Kinsey Institute.

WASHINGTON — Liberty Counsel, a Virginia-based public-interest law firm, is “seriously looking” at initiating legal action — including possibly a class-action lawsuit — against the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

Pioneering sex scientist Alfred Kinsey, widely considered the father of the sexual revolution whose influential research helped transform America’s morals and sex laws, has been accused by critics of shoddy scholarly standards and, much more shockingly, participating in or encouraging the sexual molestation of hundreds of children to gather “research data.”

“Kinsey and the Kinsey Institute should be held accountable for the massive fraud they’ve perpetrated on the United States and the world,” said Mathew Staver, attorney and founder of Liberty Counsel.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Facebook in Privacy Breach

Many of the most popular applications, or “apps,” on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information — in effect, providing access to people’s names and, in some cases, their friends’ names — to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.

The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to Facebook’s strictest privacy settings. The practice breaks Facebook’s rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users’ activities secure.

The problem has ties to the growing field of companies that build detailed databases on people in order to track them online — a practice the Journal has been examining in its What They Know series. It’s unclear how long the breach was in place. On Sunday, a Facebook spokesman said it is taking steps to “dramatically limit” the exposure of users’ personal information.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

How a Kinsey Victim Lives With Molestation Trauma

‘Esther White’ interview exposes ‘evil’ scientific research: Part 2

[WARNING: Graphic content]

Editor’s note: Yesterday, WND published the first part of an exclusive interview with “Esther White” (a pseudonym). In it, she described the sexual molestation she suffered at the hands of her father and grandfather during the course of the famed Kinsey sex research, and revealed that Kinsey and his colleagues were aware that she was being abused, and indeed witnessed her father being paid by Kinsey. The balance of the interview explores how the molestation affected White throughout her life, her stunning spiritual conversion and why she came forward to speak out about Kinsey.

WND: How has being abused affected you emotionally?

EW: I think what’s bothered me most in my life is that they used me. I was an experiment. They used me as an experiment. I don’t want to be used by anyone. It’s dehumanizing.


I really want the government to investigate the Kinsey Institute for what they’ve done and what they’re probably doing now. I think the Kinsey Institute has files there that need to be opened by the government.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Screen Violence ‘Desensitises Teenage Brains’

Violent films and video games really do numb the brains of teenagers, with repeated viewings making them less sensitive to aggression, according to a new study.

The researchers used brain scans to show how they become less emotionally responsive to violence the more they see.

They say it is among the first hard physiological evidence for the theory that on-screen violence leads to real-world aggression.

For years campaigners have argued that watching violent films and playing games like Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Modern Warfare makes youngsters more prone to violence. In the Grand Theft Auto series, players become characters who win points for carjacking, killing prostitutes and running over pedestrians.

Summarising his findings, Dr Jordan Grafman, of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, US, said: “Exposure to the most violent videos inhibits emotional reactions to similar aggressive videos over time and implies that normal adolescents will feel fewer emotions over time as they are exposed to similar videos.”

He added: “Continued exposure to violent videos will make an adolescent less sensitive to violence, more accepting of violence, and more likely to commit aggressive acts since the emotional component associated with aggression is reduced and normally acts as a brake on aggressive behaviour.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Cyber Terrorists Who Can Knock a Jet Out of the Sky

A new breed of ‘cyber criminals’ has the capability to cause a British airliner to ‘fall out of the sky’, security sources have warned.

The computer hackers would be engaged by terror cells and hostile foreign states to crack sophisticated on- board computer systems and force a plane packed with people to crash.

They could also target critical infrastructure such as nuclear power stations and electricity supplies.

The warning of a new threat to our skies — which would avoid the need for any potential murderer to board a plane — was highlighted on the day of the publication of David Cameron’s long-awaited National Security Strategy.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Enormous Ring is Developing on the Sun

What is this strange ring that has been developing on the Sun during 16-Oct?

Sunspot 1112, located in the southeast quadrant, has been the source of a giant filament that is currently stretching 400,000 km across the surface of the Sun.

However, today, there appears to be development of a enormous circular ring which looks to be linking with the huge magnetic filament of sunspot 1112. Most of today’s various wavelength images of the Sun all show this feature over at the SDO (Solar Dynamics Observatory) — NASA website. today reports,

A vast filament of magnetism is cutting across the Sun’s southern hemisphere today. A bright ‘hot spot’ just north of the filament’s midpoint is UV radiation from sunspot 1112. The proximity is no coincidence; the filament appears to be rooted in the sunspot below. If sunspot flares, it could cause the entire structure to erupt. This active region merits watching…

What concerns me is that if indeed this is a huge magnetic filament nearly encircling the entire Sun, it is now currently directly facing the Earth. If sunspot 1112 does erupt, could the entire filament explode into a massive CME?

This particular phenomenon will be all over in a few days as it rotates around the Sun, but it serves to remind us that there are more and more events happening on the Sun as we transit into the next solar cycle maximum (peaking ~ 2012 into 2013).

CME is short for coronal mass ejection, a plasma made up of mostly electrons and protons.

Basically, a CME is electromagnetic radiation that is ejected from active regions of the sun.

CMEs directed at Earth can interfere with radio communications, harm satellites, and even damage electrical power transmission circuits and infrastructure, potentially causing widespread power grid failure. The biggest threat to human civilization is the later, a massive power grid failure, which could take months or even years to repair. This circumstance would require an extremely powerful CME, which fortunately do not occur on a regular basis.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]