Saturday, January 11, 2003

News Feed 20110520

Financial Crisis
»New Economies Challenge EU Claim to IMF Throne
»Spain: Treasury Bond Auction Falls Short of Targets
»Caroline Glick: Obama’s Abandonment of America
»Crews Tow Man in Boat With Suspicious Device to Shore
»GOP Blocks Radical Judge With Soros Ties
»Let Them Eat Birth Certificates
»Man Chained to Black Box in Inflatable Raft on James
»Police: Drunk Man in Custody After Incident Near Surry Nuke Plant
»Suspicious Situation Reported on James River
Europe and the EU
»Border Region Fears Danish Border Checks Will Hit Commerce
»‘Europe Shouldn’t Prematurely Give Up IMF Influence’
»Europe Supports Obama Over Israeli Return to 1967 Borders
»Fears of Disruptions: Spain Bans Protests Ahead of Sunday Vote
»Ongoing Protests Rock Spain Ahead of Vote
»Scottish Wind Farms Paid to Shut Down Generation
»Spain: ‘Indignados’ Continue Their Protest, Spreads to Europe
»Swedish Man Accused of Sex With Sheep
»UK: ‘Chemical Cosh’ Boom: Demand for ADHD Drugs Soars 70% in Five Years”
»UK: Defence Chiefs Launch Probe Into Soldiers’ Far-Right EDL Photos
North Africa
»African Migrants Fleeing Libya in Distress
»Libya: NATO Attacks Gaddafi’s Navy to Protect ‘Civilian Population’
»Libya’s Top Diplomat in Berlin: ‘I Am No Longer Gadhafi’s Ambassador’
»Tunisia: Spectre of Terrorism Over Jasmine Revolution
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel’s Netanyahu Rejects Obama Proposal on Borders
»New PA Law to Grant All Convicted Terrorists Monthly Pay
»Rabbi: ‘The President of the United States is Asking for Ethnic Cleansing’
»Shomron Liaison Office: Obama’s ‘Homeland’ Preposterous
»Video: Hamas MP: Jews Ingathered for US to Annihilate Them
Middle East
»Iran Says Obama’s Speech is Sign of ‘Despair’
»‘Nothing New’ & ‘Arrogant’ Is Syria’s Comment on Obama
»Obama’s Marshallette Plan: Baby Steps for a Tentative Statesman
»Rising Literacy and a Shrinking Birth Rate: A Look at the Root Causes of the Arab Revolution
»Turkey: Election: Harems, Lies and Videotape
»Uprisings: Obama: Other Leaders Will Fall, Repression Useless
Far East
»China: Explosion Rips Through ‘Cursed’ IPad Factory in China Dubbed ‘Suicide Express’ After String of Worker Deaths
Australia — Pacific
»‘Hit-and-Run’: Subaru Driver Charged
»Police Say a Driver Charged Over the Hit-Run Death of an Elderly Man Has Shown Little Remorse
»Australia: Asylum Seekers Pretending to be Teenagers for Faster Processing
»Immigrant Students Get ‘Negro’ Swedish Lesson
»‘Many More’ Migrants to be Expected [In Malta]
»Migrants Continue to Arrive, 3 Drowned Yesterday
»Smuggling Migrants in Freight Trucks Hits a New Low (Or High)
»The French Experiment: Integration Worries Threaten to Upend Cultural Harmony in Marseille
»Turkish Judge and Asylum Seeker Questioned by Dutch Court
Culture Wars
»Gay Columnist: Let’s Face it, We Want to Indoctrinate Children
»UK: Outrage as Dance School Offers Pole-Dancing Lessons for Children as Young as 12
»Al-Jazeera’s “Exclusive” Relationship With Al-Qaeda

Financial Crisis

New Economies Challenge EU Claim to IMF Throne

Brazil, China, Russia and Turkey have indicated they want their people to run for the top job at the International Monetary Fund despite EU claims to exclusive ownership.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain: Treasury Bond Auction Falls Short of Targets

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MAY 19 — In the general climate of uncertainty provoked by the potential restructuring of Greek debt, the Spanish Treasury today pushed through the issue of 10- and 30-year bonds for a total of 3.2 billion euros, reaching 80% of the maximum target of 4 billion euros established for the auction. Demand for shares was down on previous auctions.

According to figures from Spain’s central bank, 741.29 million euros in 30-year bonds were placed, with an average rate of interest of 6.002%, compared to the figure of 5.875% in the previous sale of March 17. The Treasury also placed 2.495 billion euros in bonds expiring in 2021 with an average yield of 5.395%, below the 5.472% rate of the last issue on April 20.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Caroline Glick: Obama’s Abandonment of America

I was out sick yesterday so I was unable to write today’s column for the Jerusalem Post. I did manage to watch President Obama’s speech on the Middle East yesterday evening. And I didn’t want to wait until next week to discuss it. After all, who knows what he’ll do by Tuesday?

Before we get into what the speech means for Israel, it is important to consider what it means for America.

Quite simply, Obama’s speech represents the effective renunciation of the US’s right to have and to pursue national interests. Consequently, his speech imperils the real interests that the US has in the region — first and foremost, the US’s interest in securing its national security.

Obama’s renunciation of the US national interests unfolded as follows…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Crews Tow Man in Boat With Suspicious Device to Shore

SURRY, VA (WTVR) — Virginia Marine Police say they are towing the boat of a man with a suspicious device attached to himself to shore.

Officials say the man is in a nine foot inflatable boat that was in the middle of the James River, just south of the Ghost Fleet between Surry Nuclear Power Plant and Ft. Eustis. The man had a chain wrapped around his neck attached to a 2 foot by 1 foot black box.

Virginia Marine Police’s John Bull says the man, who was first spotted by a commercial crabber around 7 a.m., made no demands, appeared incoherent and disoriented, but at other times was also cooperative.

According to the Daily Press, Bull said the man provided no information other than to ask people to stay away from him.

“We don’t know who he is, and we don’t know how he got here,” Bull said. “We don’t know why he has a chain around his neck. We don’t know why the chain is attached to a black box, and we don’t know what’s in the black box either. We are approaching this with an abundance of caution so that a very strange situation doesn’t become more serious than it already is.”

As of 11:15 a.m. Friday, the Coast Guard, the Virginia State Police, Newport News Police Dept. and Fire Dept are responding, as well as Va. Game and Inland Fisheries, are on the scene.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

GOP Blocks Radical Judge With Soros Ties

Goodwin Liu chaired the radical American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) which receives funding from George Soros’ Open Society Institute and other left wing sugar daddies.

In a hearing Liu admitted to Sen. Kyle that he served on and chaired the board of the leftist American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) which according to Discover the

“Through its “International Law and the Constitution” working group, ACS disparages American law as antiquated and inequitable, and calls on judges to make American jurisprudence subservient to United Nations treaties and European Court of Human Rights decisions. Co-chairing this group are Jamil Dakwar, a former Human Rights Watch staffer who currently directs the ACLU’s Human Rights Program; Catherine Powell, a Board member of Human Rights Watch; and Cindy Soohoo, Director of the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Domestic Legal Program.”

Sen. Kyle quoted a speech to ACS where Liu said the Obama administration would allow the advancement of a “progressive vision” of the constitution and law:

“ACS has the opportunity to actually get our ideas and the progressive vision of the constitution and of law and policy into practice.”

Its no surprise that big donors to ACS read like a list of left wing sugar daddies including George Soros’ Open Society Institute.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Let Them Eat Birth Certificates

by Diana West

One feature that marks a totalitarian regime is media that serve as the government’s information service. TASS, Radio Berlin, Voice of Hanoi — these were all government entities that conveyed what the dictatorship wanted. The handout comes, the handout is published. The real danger point arrives when propaganda no longer rankles, but flows naturally. That’s when authority carries more weight than evidence, and peer pressure suppresses independent thinking. It’s also when captives become subjects.

Watching our free, First-Amendment-protected media react to the surprising release of President Barack Obama’s long-form birth certificate, I have to wonder: What exactly is the difference? I exaggerate, but not much. It’s been three weeks since Obama first made his long-form birth certificate public on April 27, 2011. Why, suddenly, did he do this, and not in 2008, 2009 or 2010 when this first of the missing bona fides became a focal point of deep national consternation? Why did Obama send lawyers to courtroom after courtroom to keep this simple document hidden — and now mass-produce it on Obama 2012 campaign t-shirts? Why did Obama prefer to see Army Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin throw away his military career and go to prison for five months rather than, presto, authorize the document’s release? The answers have something to do with political inroads Donald Trump was quite unexpectedly making simply by asking natural, obvious questions about Obama that neither Big Media nor someone of un-ignorable celebrity had ever asked before. But that’s not the whole story.

We have the long-form birth certificate now — or at least another highly questionable PDF of a scan of a copy of a document to stare at online (and, almost ghoulishly, on those Obama 2012 campaign T-shirts) — but we don’t have all the answers. Certainly we didn’t get them from the “off camera and only pen and pad, not for audio” White House briefing on the document’s release. That’s because the media don’t think, can’t think to ask for them. Having spent years fending off the rare query about the long-form birth certificate like angry cats snarling that the president had already released his birth certificate, they didn’t even seem to notice what chumps the new Obama document — the one they said had already been released — showed them all to be.

Either that, or they channeled their anger at … Donald Trump. At that moment the non-declared GOP presidential front-runner, Trump got off his helicopter in New Hampshire also on April 27 to discuss his big coup, which is how he viewed the release of this first document in Obama’s hidden paper trail. To say the media didn’t share Trump’s positive views on transparency is the understatement of the year…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]

Man Chained to Black Box in Inflatable Raft on James

SURRY, VA — Right now, the Virginia Marine Police, along with several other agencies, are looking into a suspicious situation. Police say a man has a chain around his neck which is attached to a black box in the middle of the James River in between Ft. Eustis and the Surry Nuclear Power Plant.

The Virginia Marine Police are now towing the boat and the man off the river to the Surry County side of the James.

This is happening in the middle of the James River.

VA Marine Police tell us this all happened around 7 this morning. We’re told crews do not know why the man is on a 9 foot inflatable boat with the chain and box. Crews have tried to talk to the man on the boat, who is in his mid-30’s, but crews say he is pretty disoriented.

The Coast Guard, along with State Police, the bomb squad, tactical team and other emergency crews are on scene.

Crews say they were called to the area because a crabber saw the man around 7 this morning and offered to help. But, the man told the crabber to back away and the crabber called 911.

The airspace around the incident is closed. Also, boaters are being rerouted around the scene.

It does not appear that the man has any other weapons other than the box, but crews stress they are not sure exactly what is on the boat.

Nicole Bell is heading out to the scene now. She’ll bring you updates as soon as they become available.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Police: Drunk Man in Custody After Incident Near Surry Nuke Plant

[Video at link]

SURRY, VA (WTVR) — Virginia State Police say a 32-year-old Williamsburg man is in custody after he caused a bit of a commotion near the Surry nuclear plant Friday.

Crews towed the man, who has been in a nine foot inflatable boat with a chain wrapped around his neck attached to a 2 foot by 1 foot black box for hours, to shore around 12:35.

Police say the man, who was drunk, is now under medical observation.

Virginia State Police bomb techs x-rayed the black box. It turned out to be full of wet sand…

[Return to headlines]

Suspicious Situation Reported on James River

UPDATE: Coast Guard authorities report that crews are towing the suspicious subject and his boat to shore.

The man is in his thirties, and has chain wrapped around his neck. The other end of the chain is attached to a one by two foot black box.

Coast Guard officials said the subject has not made any threats or demands.

A man on a raft is creating a suspicious situation near the Surry Power Plant on the James River in Surry County.

According to the Virginia Marine Police, a man on a boat in the James River between the Surry nuclear plant and Fort Eustis has a chain wrapped around his neck attached to a black box.

The man reportedly has not made any demands, and at times is unresponsive.

Authorities from several agencies including Virginia Marine Police and Virginia State Police are responding, as well as the Coast Guard. Authorities said marine traffic is being routed around the situation.

8News has a crew on the way to the scene and will bring you updates as they become available.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Border Region Fears Danish Border Checks Will Hit Commerce

Germans living in the region near Denmark fear the thriving cross-border trade and traffic will be significantly affected by the re-imposition of border controls recently announced by the Danish authorities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘Europe Shouldn’t Prematurely Give Up IMF Influence’

China, Brazil and India would like a non-European to be the next head of the International Monetary fund. But politicians in Europe have once again laid claim to the position. That, say German commentators on Friday, is a good thing.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Europe Supports Obama Over Israeli Return to 1967 Borders

(AGI) Rome — Obama’s appeal to Israel to return to its 1967 borders is welcomed by the major European leaders. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union, Catherine Ashton, “welcomes the important statement delivered by President Obama that the borders between Israel and Palestine have to be based on those prior to 1967 with reciprocally agreed swaps, with secure borders recognised by both parties.” Angela Merkel expressed the same view.

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

Fears of Disruptions: Spain Bans Protests Ahead of Sunday Vote

With the protest movement in Spain growing, Spanish authorities on Friday banned demonstrations this weekend as regional and municipal elections take place. Youth are protesting in the country against high unemployment and austerity measures, with protests in Madrid even being compared to Tahrir Square in Cairo.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Ongoing Protests Rock Spain Ahead of Vote

A wave of ongoing protests has shaken Spain’s political establishment ahead of upcoming regional and municipal polls, with the country’s electoral commission opting to ban further street action this weekend.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Scottish Wind Farms Paid to Shut Down Generation

In April, six Scottish wind farm companies were paid £300,000 (US$485,000) to shut down generation. The problem? Over a two-day period they were producing too much electricity. UK wind power groups were cock-a-hoop. At last, a good news wind energy story not built on the quicksand of fanciful claims to “free” energy, for once based on the hard math of actual production.

Unfortunately, the apparent “success” story turns out instead merely to reinforce serious concerns over the volatility of base load supply to power grids from highly variable generation sources; not to mention highlighting yet another ‘hidden’ public subsidy necessary to cope with the problem.

According to the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), the amount of public cash paid to the companies amounts to a staggering 20 times the value of the electricity that would have been generated.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Spain: ‘Indignados’ Continue Their Protest, Spreads to Europe

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, MAY 19 — The rain that felt continuously last night, nor the assembly ban imposed by the provincial council of Madrid, Granada and Seville were able to stop the young ‘indignados’ of the peaceful movement ‘Democracia real ya’ (Real democracy now). On the fifth day of the protest, 72 hours before the local elections of May 22, several hundreds continue their occupation of Puerta del Sol, the zero-kilometre point in Madrid and symbol of the protest. Several sit-ins are also in progress in squares in Barcelona, Granada and Seville. Meanwhile the protest is spreading to other European capitals.

Demonstrations have been called for tomorrow in nine Italian cities, as well as in London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Copenhagen. Decisions at Puerta del Sol are taken by participatory assemblies during the day. There are seven commissions, each responsible for a need or service: commissions for food, communication, cleaning, infrastructure, legal affairs and internal coordination. But there is also a sickbay commission, one for lost objects and one for basic necessities. The solidarity shown by the inhabitants of the square is surprising.

They help the demonstrators with food and water. In an assembly held today, the fifth day of the protest, the protesters prepared a draft list of demands. The list, 24 points, will be discussed in another session at 6 pm today. The demands range from open lists and single constituency to the number of seats in proportion to the number of votes.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Swedish Man Accused of Sex With Sheep

A Swedish man in his fifties who was allegedly caught having sex with a sheep near Alingsås in western Sweden denies being guilty of animal cruelty.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Chemical Cosh’ Boom: Demand for ADHD Drugs Soars 70% in Five Years”

Soaring numbers of hyperactive children are being given controversial drugs to control their behaviour.

Prescriptions for Ritalin and similar medications for ADHD have risen by 70 per cent in the past five years, with more than 12,000 written out each week.

But some doctors fear that parents are simply using the drugs to sedate unruly children without knowing enough about the potential risks.

The drugs, nicknamed ‘chemical coshes’, can cause nausea, fatigue and mood swings and have also been linked to suicides.

Department of Health figures show last year 661,500 prescriptions were written out for Ritalin and similar drugs such as Concerta — up from 382,000 in 2005.

Most will have been handed out to those under the age of 19 diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder, with symptoms including an inability to concentrate and restless or impulsive behaviour.

Experts say Ritalin and similar drugs contain the same chemicals as speed and cocaine…

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Defence Chiefs Launch Probe Into Soldiers’ Far-Right EDL Photos

Defence chiefs are investigating a claim that soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment have been photographed showing their support for a far-right anti-Islam group.

Several pictures are under investigation.

One shows soldiers from regiment — which recruits in Cumbria — posing next to the flag of the English Defence League (EDL) at a homecoming parade for the regiment in Blackburn last year.

Eight soldiers are seen standing next to the flag, bearing the words: “EDL supports Duke of Lancaster Regiment.”

Another more controversial picture shows a uniformed solider, allegedly in Helmand Province, his face hidden by a black scarf as he brandishes a pistol and stands in front of before the EDL flag.

An active branch of the organisation hit the headlines in Carlisle last month when one of their members was jailed for publicly burning the Koran in the city centre.

The pictures — which have not yet been confirmed to be genuine — could help radicalise some Muslim, and inflame divisions between Islam and the West.

A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman yesterday confirmed that an investigation was now underway, but suggested that some of the soldiers who appear in the photos may have been hoodwinked into posing next to the EDL flag.

“Individuals are free to join political parties but they’re not permitted to take an active role in political campaigning and must abide by our values and standards in all they do,” she told the News & Star.

“Instances of unacceptable behaviour in the armed forces are investigated, and appropriate action taken — up to and including dismissal.

“An investigation is already underway into allegations that individuals have breached army regulations through their involvement with the EDL.”

Kevin Caroll, 41, who is joint EDL leader, said the organisation was opposed to racism, but the Cumbrian branch is currently publishing an on-line video crammed with anti-Islamic slogans.

The first of these shows a medieval crusader in battle armour, under the slogan: “Jihad works both ways.” Another slogan tells viewers: “Let the crusade begin.”

Patrick Mercer, a former chairman on the Commons counter terrorism sub-committee, urged servicemen to steer clear of the EDL. He said the pictures could be used as propaganda by extremists in Afghanistan. “That could only damage our cause,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

African Migrants Fleeing Libya in Distress

BENGHAZI, Libya — Thousands of migrant workers who fled fighting in Libya are stranded in a remote desert town in northern Chad, in what an international aid group warned Friday could become a humanitarian catastrophe.

More than 3,800 Chadians are stuck in Zouarke, a small town in Chad’s arid mountainous region near the border with Niger, after traveling for days through the extreme heat of the Sahara desert, the International Organization for Migration said. The migrants are said to include 310 women and children. Dozens are sick or injured, and at least four people have died after drinking water from contaminated wells.

“The situation in Zouarke could become a catastrophe,” IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy told reporters in Geneva.

The Africans, who were working in Libya when the revolt against ruler Moammar Gadhafi erupted, had to endure a tortuous road journey via Niger, crammed onto overloaded trucks, hungry, thirsty, some injured. Two children are believed to have died from suffocation, and at least four people have died from contaminated water, the IOM said.

They are the latest among hundreds, probably thousands, who have died in desperate attempts to get away from the fighting — and escape charges that they were fighting for Gadhafi as foreign mercenaries.

Many of the 2.5 million foreign workers in Libya, including 1 million Egyptians, fled by air, road and sea in the first weeks after the Feb. 17 uprising against Gadhafi’s four-decade rule.

Soon flights were canceled, and then a no-fly zone imposed by the United Nations to prevent Gadhafi’s forces from bombing civilians halted the airlifts.

More than 10,000 who took to the seas in overcrowded vessels have arrived on islands off Italy, telling horror stories of hundreds who died along the way. Some said they were forced to board non-seaworthy vessels at gunpoint by Gadhafi’s soldiers.

Gadhafi’s regime has said it cannot patrol its own seas because of NATO bombing strikes. NATO fighter jets on Friday bombed the three ports in western Libya.

It’s not known how many migrants remain trapped in Libya, which is just across the Mediterranean Sea from southern Europe.

Those who have fled, including Libyans, number about 339,000 in Tunisia, 262,000 in Egypt, 17,000 in Algeria and 61,200 in Niger, with smaller numbers in Italy, Malta and Sudan, the migration organization has said.

The IOM said the plight of the Chadian workers is especially serious.

“With no one to help them … many are famished and suffering from exposure to extreme heat and dust. Water is also a key issue with the nearest well seven kilometers (about four miles) away.”

Chad shares a border with Libya, but land mines along the Aouzou strip, left over from a war in the 1970s, make it too dangerous to cross there. Instead, the migrants searching for safety are forced to travel a roundabout route through neighboring Niger.

An IOM team carrying emergency medical supplies is en route to the group. They have been traveling since before April 20, when they started arriving at the border. The trucks are expected to reach Zouarke in a day or so.

This might be just the beginning.

IOM spokesman Chauzy told The Associated Press that up to 25,000 Chadians are believe to be poised to leave the southern Libyan town of Gatroun in the coming days.

“We are already struggling to cope with less than 4,000 people in this small town in northern Chad,” he said. “What will happen if more people arrive from Libya? They could be completely overwhelming the limited facilities.”

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Libya: NATO Attacks Gaddafi’s Navy to Protect ‘Civilian Population’

Tripoli, 20 May (AKI) — Nato early Friday attacked eight ships belonging to the Libyan Navy in air strikes on vessels in Tripoli, Al Khums and Sirte.

Nato said the night-time strikes were undertaken because Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s navy was increasingly used to launch attacks on the North African country’s civilian population.

“All Nato’s targets are military in nature and are directly linked to the Gaddafi regime’s systematic attacks on the Libyan people,” said Rear-Admiral Russell Harding, Deputy Commander Operation Unified Protector, in a statement on Friday.

Nato is carrying out a United Nations mandate to keep the Libyan military from targeting civilians. The coalition is widely considered using the mandate to remove Gaddafi from power.

The statement said Gaddafi’s forces on 29 April “used maritime assets to mine the entrance to the port of Misrata.”

“On a further three occasions, pro-Gaddafi maritime assets have been intercepted by Nato ships. This included an incident where Nato interdicted a booby-trapped vessel leading to the discovery and subsequent destruction of one tonne of explosives at sea.”

Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday said Nato attacks were causing Gaddafi’s forces to suffer, causing them to become more isolated every day.

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

Libya’s Top Diplomat in Berlin: ‘I Am No Longer Gadhafi’s Ambassador’

Libya’s ambassadors to the United Nations, the US and India renounced the Gadhafi regime long ago. But the country’s ambassador to Germany, Jamal El-Baraq, kept quiet. Now he has distanced himself from the dictator in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: Spectre of Terrorism Over Jasmine Revolution

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, MAY 19 — If Avenue Bourghiba, the main road of Tunis, is the head and heart of the new Tunisia, its belly is formed by the alleys, underground stations and cubbyholes where cigarettes and newspapers are sold. In these places many people are discussing the crude images that tell the story of the first two terrorism victims in Tunisia after the Jasmine revolution: an army colonel and corporal, who are already celebrated as martyrs. It is a rude awakening today, because yesterday’s fragmented news is today surpassed by details in which a terrorist group, suspected of having links to al Qaeda in the Maghreb, intercepted and annihilated at Rouhia, is held responsible for several plans for attacks in the country’s tourist areas, as if trying to hit the heart of the still unsteady Tunisian economy. In the past days several real or alleged terrorists have been arrested. Several were found in the possession of explosion belts, ready to carry out a suicide attack. Others only had fake passports and large sums of money, of which they could not explain the origins. The many parties that mark the political transition that is in progress in Tunisia have all made statements against terrorism. They have issued warnings and addressed mainly young people, who may be most attracted to the all-absorbing and salvific message of Islamic fundamentalism. Since yesterday helicopters of the Tunisian armed forces continue overflying the capital and nearby areas. They are looking for a third terrorist, who is on the run, but also want to remind citizens that Tunisia wants avoid a chaos from which many people could take advantage.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel’s Netanyahu Rejects Obama Proposal on Borders

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday bluntly rejected President Barack Obama’s vision for the borders of a future Palestinian state, opening up one of the deepest divides in years between Washington and the Jewish state.

In an unusually sharp rebuke to Israel’s closest ally, Netanyahu told Obama his endorsement of a long-standing Palestinian demand to go back to Israel’s 1967 boundaries — meaning big concessions of occupied land — would leave Israel “indefensible.”

“Peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle East reality,” an unsmiling Netanyahu said as Obama listened intently beside him in the Oval Office.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

New PA Law to Grant All Convicted Terrorists Monthly Pay

A new Palestinian Authority law grants a monthly salary to all Palestinians and Israeli-Arabs imprisoned in Israel for terrorism, a media watchdog says in a report being released on Friday.

While Palestinian car thieves in Israeli prisons will not receive a salary, Hamas and Fatah terrorist killers will, the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) report says.

Those serving sentences of more than 20 years will receive higher salaries, according to the new PA law. Salaries are to be paid from the day of arrest until release.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Rabbi: ‘The President of the United States is Asking for Ethnic Cleansing’

President Barack Obama has made an unprecedented demand on Israel, Jewish leaders said Thursday, after the president called for Israel to redraw its borders to where they were in 1967 before the Six Day War. One rabbi said Obama was, in essence, asking for “ethnic cleansing” of thousands of Jewish families.

“It’s immoral in that basically the president of the United States is asking that 500,000 people who live, work, and raise families around Jerusalem — Jewish families — that they be uprooted, resettled, deported from their homes, have their families broken,” Rabbi Aryeh Spero, founder of Caucus for America, told

“The president of the United States is asking for ethnic cleansing,” said Rabbi Spero. “It’s ironic that the president, who speaks in humanitarian tones regarding the Palestinians, doesn’t have any humanitarian concerns toward 500,000 Jewish people and families that will be uprooted and deported from their homes.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Shomron Liaison Office: Obama’s ‘Homeland’ Preposterous

Yaakov David Ha’ivri, Director of the Shomron Liaison Office, responded Thursday to US president Barack Obama’s mideast policy speech, saying Obama’s definition of of a Jewish homeland is “preposterous.”

“We welcome President Obama’s strong statements on the requirement of the Jewish State’s security,” Ha’ivri said in a statement. “But categorically reject his call for dialogue with the internationally recognized terror organization Hamas.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Video: Hamas MP: Jews Ingathered for US to Annihilate Them

Yunis al Astal, a member of the Palestinian Authority parliament, spelled out his organization’s vision for the genocidal annihilation of the Jewish people in a television interview last week. The interview was broadcast on Hamas Al Aqsa TV and monitored by incitement watchdog group MEMRI. Al Astal described the ingathering of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel in terms of a divine plan that would give the Arabs “the honor” of annihilating “the evil of this gang.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iran Says Obama’s Speech is Sign of ‘Despair’

(AGI) Tehran — Iran has said that Obama’s speech on the Middle East was a sign of “despair” and racist policies. According to the ayatollah’s regime the American president’s speech was not appreciated and emphasized the “contradictions” in Washington’s position. “The despair, the contradictions and the lies are clearly visible in Mr. Obama’s speech,” said Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief negotiator and the Secretary of the Supreme Council for National Security. “His support for the Jewish state,” added Jalili, avoiding any mention of Israel, since Tehran does not even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, “clearly indicated the racist nature of United States policies.” .

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

‘Nothing New’ & ‘Arrogant’ Is Syria’s Comment on Obama

(AGI) Damascus — The Syrian regime gives thumbs down to Obama’s comments yesterday on the Middle East saying there’s “nothing new”. During his speech, the US American President in fact re-iterated US support to Israel and was thought to be “arrogant” for asking Bashar el Assad to step down. The comment was reported by the official press agency Sana, according to which “in the US President’s speech on the Middle East there is nothing new on the American policy on the (Israel-Palestine) peace process, the situation in Iraq or the region’s security and stability”.

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

Obama’s Marshallette Plan: Baby Steps for a Tentative Statesman

US President Barack Obama took a long time to come up with his response to the wave of revolution in the Arab world. In a keynote speech, he announced a kind of Marshall Plan for the region. But his goals are modest in comparison to the US’s vision in 1947.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Rising Literacy and a Shrinking Birth Rate: A Look at the Root Causes of the Arab Revolution

In a SPIEGEL interview, French social scientist Emmanuel Todd discusses the demographic roots of the Arab revolution, which he argues was spurred by rising literacy and rapidly shrinking birth rates. He also muses on the ghost of Osama bin Laden, arguing “al-Qaida was already dead,” and on why he believes Germany is not a part of the “core West.”

(See link for news story)

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Turkey: Election: Harems, Lies and Videotape

(ANSA) — ANKARA, MAY 19 — On a day of widespread youth events in the country’s stadiums on the anniversary of the birth of Ataturk, Turkey has taken a few hours out from the election campaign ahead of the parliamentary elections of June 12, which, along with the clearer messages sent out by controversial clashes and sex scandals, is showing some signs of the Prime Minister’s moderate Islamism.

The most obvious sign, albeit one often overlooked in reports by a Turkish media that is now used to the scene, is the make-up of the supporters who flock to the rallies of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who all surveys suggest to be the certain winner. Women, all of them wearing veils, are placed immediately in front of the stage in a sector reserved especially for them and known in Turkish as a “haremlik”. The word is etymologically linked to the word “harem”, the “inviolable place” in the home that is reserved for the private life of women in Islam and that, in squares where rallies for Erdogan’s Justice and Development (AKP) party are taking places, forbids them from mixing with men, who are relegated to the back of the squares where the meetings take place. The Prime Minister, almost always in shirt sleeves, often addresses “his” admirers: winking and smiling through his moustache, he receives rapturous applause and acclaim, a feature spotted by the television cameras.

The AKP, though, aims to represent the whole of Turkey, including the secular part of the country, which today fixed the red flag with white crescent and star to its balconies, underlining the link with the founder of the secular state, Kemal Ataturk. This ambition to cater to all sectors of the society are shown not just by the recent comments of the Prime Minister (“we will not interfere” with how Turkish people dress or what they eat) but also by the party logo appearing at the back of all of Erdogan’s stages: a shining, stylised light bulb, but one without any religious motifs. The streets are also full of various manifestos in which the Prime Minister, who gazes into the distance in a way reminiscent of Ataturk in photos from the 1930s, is shown next to a veiled woman in one poster, and in another next to a young man with messy, untied hair.

Islamic morals, however, are also playing a part in the electoral repercussions of the “kasetler” scandal, the secretly recorded tapes showing various members of the country’s third largest political group, the nationalist MHP party, cavorting with lovers and prostitutes. The party, a moderate Islamic rival to Erdogan, holds the balance in deciding whether the Prime Minister will be able to carry out the planned constitutional reforms announced alone or after drawn out negotiations.

And while analysts and observers have underlined that the issues of Europe and the Constitution are absent from debate, the media has focussed extensively on the insults and barbs traded between Erdogan and his main opponent, the leader of the social democrat (CHP) party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. The Prime Minister responded to accusations of recommendations made to one of his ministers by calling him “a walking lie”. Kilicdaroglu in turn responded by refusing to get to his feet when Erdogan entered a room, an affront that in 2004 was carried out only by a general now in prison for his role in a attempted coup against the government.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Uprisings: Obama: Other Leaders Will Fall, Repression Useless

(ANSA) — NEW YORK, MAY 19 — Repression will not stop the Arab uprisings and “other leaders will fall”. This is the warning of the US President, Barack Obama, in his highly anticipated speech on the Middle East. With regard to the Israel-Palestine issue, Obama said that “the time” has come for two “states for two peoples” capable of living side by side in peace and security, according to the 1967 lines and with a Palestinian state “demilitarised”. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on those agreed in 1967, with secure and recognised borders established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign state,” Obama said, calling on both sides to resume negotiations. The “status quo” between Israelis and Palestinians “is no longer sustainable,” the President added. Obama also repeated that Yemen’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, “must” respect the commitments undertaken with regard to the handover of power, and issued an ultimatum to the Syrian President, Bashar Al Assad, saying that he should either lead democratic transition or stand down. With regard to Libya, Obama defended the intervention of the “coalition of the willing” and of NATO. Obama pointed out that Gaddafi had threatened to kill rebels “like rats”. Finally, in reference to Egypt and Tunisia, he said that “two leaders have already gone, others will follow”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Far East

China: Explosion Rips Through ‘Cursed’ IPad Factory in China Dubbed ‘Suicide Express’ After String of Worker Deaths

The scandal-hit factory where Apple makes its iPads faced a fresh probe today after an explosion ripped through the building killing two people.

A blast rocked a compound at the building in southwest China earlier this evening, sending dozens of workers fleeing into the streets as flames engulfed the electronics inside.

The fire is the latest disaster to hit the cursed Foxconn factory — dubbed Suicide Express — where a string of workers have killed themselves amid appalling working conditions.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

‘Hit-and-Run’: Subaru Driver Charged

A man has been charged after an elderly man died in a suspected hit-and-run incident in Sydney’s inner west yesterday, police say.

About 6.20am yesterday, police and paramedics were called to Liverpool Road after a motorist found the 76-year-old victim lying injured on the road.

The man was taken in critical condition to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for treatment of severe head injuries but died a short time later.

A 27-year-old Indian national from Auburn went to Parramatta police station about 9am today, police said.

He was taken into custody and was questioned by the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit.

He was charged with failing to stop and assist after a vehicle impact causing death.

He has been refused bail and will appear in Parramatta Local Court tomorrow.

His vehicle, a silver-coloured, 1993-model Subaru Liberty has been seized for forensic examination.

Police appealed for anyone with more information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

           — Hat tip: LAW Wells[Return to headlines]

Police Say a Driver Charged Over the Hit-Run Death of an Elderly Man Has Shown Little Remorse

A DRIVER charged over the hit-and-run death of an elderly man has showed little remorse, police say.

Yaseen Mohammed, 27, handed himself into Parramatta police station about 24 hours after allegedly hitting 67-year-old Arthur Ranson in Croydon, in Sydney’s inner west, on Wednesday.

According to a police, the Indian national said he felt “collision with something” and when he looked into the rear vision mirror saw “what may have been clothing on a human person”.

Mohammed did not stop his car and allegedly told police he only knew Mr Ranson was dead after hearing media reports.

Police said the Mohammed showed no real remorse during the interview and only handed himself in because of intense media interest.

He has been charged with failing to stop and assist after vehicle impact causing death and was granted bail in Parramatta Local Court today.

The matter was adjourned to next month.

           — Hat tip: LAW Wells[Return to headlines]


Australia: Asylum Seekers Pretending to be Teenagers for Faster Processing

IMMIGRATION detainees are pretending to be teens to get their visa applications processed quicker and live in better conditions.

Victoria’s biggest youth immigration detention centre in Broadmeadows is filled with many asylum seekers claiming to be under 18 to escape the tougher regulations for adults, an investigation has discovered.

Secret photos obtained by the Herald Sun reveal men with obvious signs of ageing, including crow’s-feet, wrinkles around their eyes and receding hairlines.

Experts say the men are more likely to be aged in their 20s.

Several Immigration Department sources have confirmed the con.

Immigration officials lack time and resources to investigate people’s ages so they deliver them to youth detention centres with “a wry smile”, a whistleblower said….

there is a good picture to go a long with the story

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

Immigrant Students Get ‘Negro’ Swedish Lesson

A class of immigrant students in southern Sweden was given a Swedish grammar lesson using the Swedish word for Negro.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

‘Many More’ Migrants to be Expected [In Malta]

Malta should expect many more migrants this year and possibly even in next year, Frontex said yesterday.

The EU’s border control agency has just carried out an in-depth analysis into the latest migration trends and developments on the economic and geopolitical front.

The report was released a few hours before a boat bearing more than 300 immigrants reached Malta last night.

As the ongoing crisis in North Africa, particularly in Libya, continues to unfold, the analysis shows that many involved in the conflict, including hundreds of thousands of sub-Saharan Afri­cans and even Libyans, would probably try to cross over to the EU in order to find new pastures.

The improving economic situation in the EU, with demand for labour increasing, is expected to act as a pull-factor.

“We think that after a lull last year, particularly on the Central European Route, which involves Malta, illegal migration is expected to pick up once again,” a Frontex official told The Times yesterday.

“With the economy clearly picking up, the EU is looking much more attractive than it was last year and so we are expecting a new influx. Malta and Italy, being the two main countries on the periphery, will obviously feel the pressure much more than those countries which aren’t on the border,” he said.

Besides the global recession, which according to Frontex played an important part in discouraging illegal immigration in the past two years, the analysis shows that the Libyan-Italian patrols started in 2009 and boosted in 2010 practically stopped the flow from Libya.

Last year fewer than 100 illegal immigrants landed in Malta — the lowest figure in years.

However, as Libyan conflict started, the joint-patrol agreement between Italy and Libya fell by the wayside and the Libyan coastline is now almost a “free for all”.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Migrants Continue to Arrive, 3 Drowned Yesterday

(ANSAmed) — PALERMO, MAY 20 — A barge carrying some 70 migrants, many of whom were minors, was intercepted off the coast of Sicily by local police. The “old wreck”, an old 15 metre fishing boat which was probably Egyptian, became stranded near the beach, enabling several passengers to swim to the shore and disappear. Up until now, 46 have been tracked down and taken to Pozzallo. Many of these were minors, aged 10-15. The remaining fugitives are being searched for. Another landing yesterday on the coast of Torretta Granitola, in the province of Trapani, ended tragically. Two smugglers ordered the passengers to jump 100 metres away from the shore; it was the middle of the night, the waves were high, the water freezing, and it was pitch black. Yet they were told to jump in and swim, that the shore was just a few strokes away. Seventeen Tunisians jumped. Three died less than 20 metres from shore. The survivors claim they come from Libya. Clearly, departures from Tunisia have begun again, with small vessels which escape the local army’s notice, and from Libya with old fishing boats whose value on the human trafficking market is much higher.

A vessel carrying 208 people reached Lampedusa the previous night, including 23 women and 3 children. Then another barge brimming with people was spotted some 20 miles to the southeast.

The local police rescued the passengers, who were then taken to the island. There were 500 of them, of whom 38 were women and 9 were children from several countries. Many of the passengers were African, but some were Asian, having left Libya on Tuesday after waiting for weeks. The echo of another barge sounded from Malta, a vessel carrying 320 people, also from Libya, having been rescued by the Maltese marine.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Smuggling Migrants in Freight Trucks Hits a New Low (Or High)

Illegal Alien Trade is a Global Problem

MEXICO — US — Those in Europe who are concerned about the illegal entry of immigrants will be staggered by the scale the problem sometime reaches across the Atlantic. With the free movement of EU nationals across borders the difficulties of only allowing genuine asylum cases from outside the European economic zone have been exacerbated. A recent discovery in two trucks declared as carrying freight across from Mexico into the United States this week illustrates just how massive the scale of the problem compared with the pathetic individuals who attempt to stowaway on vehicles crossing the Channel or similar international borders.

With the current state of flux in North Africa and the Middle East, Coast Guards and Customs officials on the EU borders are well used to vessels arriving packed with refugees of all types but this latest discovery must surely rate a mention in the record books. Police in the Mexican state of Estado Libre y Soberano de Chiapas, the southern most state of the country and bordering Guatemala, turned out just two trucks to find a staggering five hundred and thirteen illegal immigrants crushed inside.

The unfortunate individuals were found to be in poor condition despite ventilation holes drilled in the floors and roofs of the trailers. People were clinging to ropes to remain upright and others crammed between their legs on the floors. Many were dehydrated and when interviewed claimed they had each paid around $7,000 to be transported to Puebla City and thence to America.

Four alleged people smugglers fled the scene but were captured after a police chase and the nationalities of the recovered migrants reveals the scale of the problem with Japanese, Nepalese and Indian citizens held together with the bulk of Central and South American nationals.

We have written before on the increased trade flowing across the US — Mexican border and it seems better detection equipment is now being used to discover offenders within Mexico after a rash of allegations against immigration officials including prostitution and people trafficking claims. This latest find tops the previous record for a similar discovery in the state of Chiapas which was 219 souls found rammed into a single vehicle just four months ago.

These were not cases which concern the honest haulage boss or his drivers, but the sad fact is that stowaways who worm their way into an illegal passage can often cause innocent parties any amount of grief. Last year we saw the confusion which can arise when an unauthorised passenger is found aboard a truck highlighted by the Road Haulage Association (RHA). Hauliers are reminded they should ensure they take all precautionary measures possible to ensure they are not victimised for a crime they were unaware of.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

The French Experiment: Integration Worries Threaten to Upend Cultural Harmony in Marseille

For decades, the southern French port city of Marseille has been a model of successful integration. But with the debate over immigration now flaring up around France, the era of harmony could be coming to an end.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Turkish Judge and Asylum Seeker Questioned by Dutch Court

At the request of Turkey, a Turkish judge who has applied for asylum in the Netherlands has been questioned by a Dutch examining judge on his alleged violation of Turkish criminal law, according to De Volkskrant newspaper. Turkish judge Çagatay Cetin has been involved in the asylum procedure in the Netherlands since January 2010. At the beginning of February, he was sentenced in absentia by a Turkish court to 17 years in jail. In March, he was questioned by the Dutch examining judge in Lelystad, who confronted him with the allegation that he had insulted the ‘Turkish nationality and state’. Due to this allegation, Cetin had fled Turkey. He said earlier in De Volkskrant that he spoke with colleagues in a private meeting in a cafe about the ‘Armenian question’ and the word genocide was also used in this connection.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Gay Columnist: Let’s Face it, We Want to Indoctrinate Children

As the same-sex “marriage” battle heats up again in New York, one writer at a prominent gay news source is questioning why his lobby refuses to admit that the gay agenda involves “indoctrinating” schoolchildren to accept homosexuality.

Queerty contributor Daniel Villarreal criticized [url] (WARNING site contains inappropriate images) the homosexual movement’s knee-jerk reaction against accusations of meddling in public schools. Villarreal pointed to a recent National Organization for Marriage (NOM) ad launched in New York that points out how homosexual indoctrination has been introduced in Massachusetts and California schools.

While gay activists usually deny that they want to indoctrinate children, said Villarreal, “let’s face it—that’s a lie.” “We want educators to teach future generations of children to accept queer sexuality. In fact, our very future depends on it,” he wrote.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Outrage as Dance School Offers Pole-Dancing Lessons for Children as Young as 12

A dance school has been criticised for offering pole-dancing lessons to children as young as 12.

The Art of Dance pole dance and burlesque school in Plymouth, Devon, has been accused of teaching children to ‘parade like strippers’.

But it insists that the classes are simply aimed at making the youngsters fitter and stronger.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Al-Jazeera’s “Exclusive” Relationship With Al-Qaeda

Living up to its reputation as the “terror TV” channel, Al-Jazeera has run an “exclusive” story announcing the name of the new al-Qaeda chief replacing Osama bin Laden. He is Saif al-Adel, who is on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted terrorists.

He is wanted for “Conspiracy to Kill United States Nationals, to Murder, to Destroy Buildings and Property of the United States, and to Destroy the National Defense Utilities of the United States.”

Here’s how Reuters news agency reported the news: “Al Qaeda has appointed an Egyptian militant as temporary leader and named a new head of operations following the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. commandos, al Jazeera reported on Wednesday, citing its own correspondent…The channel is seen as having good contacts with militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan and was the main conduit for bin Laden to release messages to the media.” (emphasis added).

Indeed, one of Al-Jazeera’s correspondents was convicted and sentenced to prison in Spain for being an agent of al-Qaeda.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]