Saturday, January 11, 2003

News Feed 20110615

Financial Crisis
»As Greece is Hit by Strikes, The Prime Minister Reportedly Offers to Step Down for National Unity Government
»EU Finance Chiefs Inch Closer to Agreement on Greece
»Euro Crisis in Athens: Greek Prime Minister Papandreou Offers to Resign
»Eurozone Finance Ministers Still Split on Second Greek Bailout
»Four States Push Back Against ‘EU Semester’
»Organized Criminals Eye Vulnerable Greece for Illicit Enterprise
»UK: Pensioners Are ‘Left Penniless’ As Income Wiped by Basic Bills
»Agenda 21 and Obama’s Rural Council?
»Congress Opens Hearings on Violent Islam in Prison
»Everett, Washington: 13 Years for ‘Honor Killing’
»Ex-CIA: ‘Forged Document’ Released as Birth Certificate
»‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ Due to Popular Demand Returns to the US at the The Tech Museum
»Law Enforcement Officials at King Hearing Claim Radical Islam Infiltrating U.S. Prisons
»New Episode of Stakelbeck on Terror Show: Who’s Funding Our Enemies?
»Obama’s War on Oil, Coal, And America
»Oklahoma Mosque Flap Leads to TPD Chief Being Suspended
»Panettagate: A Real Scandal Involving National Security
»Radical Islam is ‘Infiltrating U.S. Prisons and is Making Sustained Effort to Indoctrinate Inmates’
»The Phony Rightwing (Part 3: Mitt Romney)
»Thomas Sowell: Seductive Beliefs
»White House Defends U.S. Role in Libya After Lawmakers Sue
Europe and the EU
»Alliance of Mistrust: Merkel’s Coalition Threatens to Fracture
»Belgium: One Year Later… for Nothing
»‘Berlusconi Has Nothing Left to Offer’
»EU Agrees Compensation Deal for Bacteria-Hit Farmers
»Farm Aid: EU Earmarks Millions for Crops Lost in E. Coli Crisis
»Germany: Treasure From the Trash: ‘Urban Mining’ Could Reduce Reliance on Metal Imports
»Germany’s Waning Influence: An Outsider on the Global Stage
»Greece: Clashes in Athens, Molotov Against Ministry Building
»Hundreds of London 2012 Tickets to Gaddafi, UK Embarrassed
»Italy: Opposition Leader Urges Berlusconi to Resign Over Referendum Defeat
»Netherlands: PVV Supporters Complain of Discrimination
»Sweden: Former Students Charged for Killing Teacher
»UK: Didn’t Get an Olympic Ticket? Well Hundreds Have Been Handed to Gaddafi’s Son
»UK: East London Mosque Promises: How They Work
»UK: Extremist IFE Sponsors a Man Who “Calls Jews ‘Germs’ And ‘Monkeys’“
»UK: Newborn Baby Died After 61-Hour Delivery Delay at Over-Stretched Maternity Unit
»Westerwelle Attacks Plan for Danish Border Checks
North Africa
»Libya Rape Victims Face ‘Honour Killings’
»Muslim Brotherhood to Establish Islamic Studies Center in Egypt
Israel and the Palestinians
»Al-Quds: France Issued Postal Stamp Honoring Palestinian Prisoner Al-Hamouri
»An Arab Knesset Member Wants the End of Israel
»Palestine — Unemployment in Gaza at 46 Per Cent, Highest in the World
Middle East
»Al-Manar: Iran Threatened to Harm Turkey and the Gulf States if They Assist in Toppling Assad
»Canadian Woman Wants to Live in Saudi Arabia, Say Reports
»Fashion Among Young Iraqi Men — Injecting Muscles With Animal Hormones to Enlarge Them
»Female Saudi Drivers: June 17: Protest Guidebook
»Hezbollah’s Rise Raises New Concerns Over Regional Stability
»Iran Asks Russia for Closer Aerospace Cooperation
»Iranian Police to Launch Dress Code Enforcement Campaign; Ayatollah: Unveiled Women More Dangerous Than Evil Animals
»Iraq Expels U.S. Congressmen on Account of Unfriendly Statements
»Lebanon’s New Government: A Bunch of Mercenaries and Terrorists
»Nervous Iraqis Buying More Assault Rifles, Pistols
»OPEC Torn Between Two Competing Forces
»Saudi Authorities Arrest Wajeha Al-Huwaidar, Colleague Who Tried to Help Canadian Woman in Saudi Arabia
»Soros Frontman Pushing for Muslim Brotherhood
»Yemeni Blogger Seeks Asylum in Sweden
»Russian Anti-Virus Guru Predicts Future Passports for Internet Access
»The Transnistrian Solution, Lost in Kievan Translation
South Asia
»5 CIA Local Informers Arrested in Pakistan
»Pakistan: Military Spy Agency ‘Arrests Five CIA Informants’
Far East
»Chinese Moon Probe Begins Deep Space Exploration
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Nigeria: Muslims Turn Christian Villages Into Cattleyard
»2,500 Illegal Immigrants a Week From North Africa Flooding Into Europe Through Italy
»EU: Italy Now Chief Route for Illegal Migration to Europe
»Frattini Says He Expects Libyan Rebels Will Soon Take Steps to Stop Migrant Departures
Culture Wars
»Swedish Church Members ‘Don’t Believe in Jesus’
»Jihadis Collaborate to Create “Center for Electronic Terrorism” Aimed at Virtually Attacking Infrastructure in U.S., U.K., France
»NASA’s Voyager 1 Probe May Exit Solar System Next Year

Financial Crisis

As Greece is Hit by Strikes, The Prime Minister Reportedly Offers to Step Down for National Unity Government

Clashes broke out in the Greek capital as thousands protested newly proposed tax hikes and spending cuts. Greece is straining under a mountain of debt, with unemployment at 16 percent and a three-year-long recession.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU Finance Chiefs Inch Closer to Agreement on Greece

EU finance ministers at an emergency meeting in Brussels on Tuesday made only partial headway in overcoming a public disagreement between the European Central Bank and Germany on how to handle the Greek debt crisis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Euro Crisis in Athens: Greek Prime Minister Papandreou Offers to Resign

On a day of protests and general strikes in Greece, Prime Minister George Papandreou offered to step down to pave the way for a unity government to lead the country through its current crisis. But Europe still hasn’t been able to agree on a new aid package for the deeply indebted country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Eurozone Finance Ministers Still Split on Second Greek Bailout

As Greek government bonds were hit with a major downgrade, crisis talks among eurozone finance ministers on a new bailout have proven inconclusive. Chief among the issues is the participation of private investors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Four States Push Back Against ‘EU Semester’

The European Commission has warned against a “watering down” of the new system of centralised oversight on national economic planning after the Hungarian EU presidency accused Brussels of steamrolling through the process and leaving no time to assess what is being proposed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Organized Criminals Eye Vulnerable Greece for Illicit Enterprise

Greece’s economic crisis has made it an inviting target for organized crime syndicates hoping to cash in on the flow of capital coming into the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Pensioners Are ‘Left Penniless’ As Income Wiped by Basic Bills

Millions of pensioners are having their weekly income wiped out by basic bills, without a single penny to spare, research revealed yesterday.

A typical couple receives a weekly income of £207.15 — but will spend £207.24 on food, fuel, housing and transport, it said.

This is before they have spent any money on the long list of other costs, such as a new pair of shoes, a holiday or a present for a grandchild.

The report — compiled by insurance giant Standard Life — highlights how rising inflation is hitting pensioners, and warns the situation will get worse.

[Return to headlines]


Agenda 21 and Obama’s Rural Council?

On June 9, 2011, an Executive Order established the White House Rural Council with 25 executive branch departments including Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, National Drug Control, Environmental Quality, Labor, Commerce, Interior, EPA, Housing, Health, Education to name just a few.

The order covers 16% of the American population who lives in rural counties because they “supply our food, fiber, and energy, safeguard our natural resources, and are essential in the development of science and innovation.”

“Strong, sustainable rural communities are essential in winning the future and ensuring American competitiveness in the years ahead.” What kind of future are we supposed to win? Are we losers right now? This is very vague, what years ahead?

A recent article in Washington Post appeared with the innocuous title, “What we need: Smarter growth plans.” The author is Roger K. Lewis, a practicing architect and professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. Who can possibly object to “smarter growth plans?” Except that “smart growth plans” is the euphemism used by the United Nations for its Agenda 21, a direct assault on private property rights and American sovereignty.


Agenda 21 sets up the global infrastructure to manage, count, and control assets. It is not concerned with protecting the environment or the world’s resources. Agenda 21 wants change from old sector-centered ways of doing business to new approaches. The “desired future state” should be to pursue “economic prosperity, environmental quality, and social equity.


There are four tiers to UN’s “sustainable development” plan:

1. Environmental sustainability
2. Economic sustainability
3. Socio-political sustainability
4. Cultural diversity.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Congress Opens Hearings on Violent Islam in Prison

WASHINGTON — Islamic radicalization in prisons continues to be a concern among law enforcement officials across the U.S., and countering it should not be a partisan issue, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security said Wednesday.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., led the second in what he’s promised to be a series of hearings on violent Islamic radicalization in the U.S. The first hearing, held in March, broadly looked at Islamic radicalization around the country and what the Muslim community is doing to combat it. That hearing drew days of protests and criticism from Democrats who said that King and the Republicans were unfairly singling out Islam.

“I would urge my Democratic colleagues to rise above partisan talking points,” King said during his opening remarks.

But the top Democrat on the committee, Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi, said there are few instances of Islamic radicalization in prisons, the subject of Wednesday’s hearing. Thompson said the vetting process of incoming mail and prison chaplains ensures that Islam — the fastest growing religion among prisoners in the U.S. — does not inspire violence.

The majority of the recent terror plots against the U.S. have involved people espousing a radical and violent view of Islam, making it difficult to ignore the role religion plays in this particular threat. But critics say focusing too closely on Islam and the religious motives of those who have attempted terror attacks threatens to alienate an entire community.

To King, the purpose of these hearings is clear: “It’s to show and remind people that the threat is here.” Law enforcement officials from New York and California who have handled cases of prison radicalization are slated to testify Wednesday.

King said he can’t blame people in the Muslim community for a person adopting a violent interpretation of their religion. But, he said, he can place blame if someone in the community knows of such a radical — for example, a prison chaplain who preaches a violent brand of Islam to impressionable inmates — and fails to point that person out to law enforcement or community leaders.

The White House, which pushed a message of religious tolerance ahead of King’s initial hearing on Islamic radicalization, had no comment this time around.

There isn’t an overwhelming number of cases in which terror suspects converted to Islam while in prison and plotted attacks against the U.S.

In his prepared opening remarks for the hearing, obtained by The Associated Press, King cites five examples since 2002 as well as a 2010 report by staff members on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, which indicated that dozens of ex-convicts who were radicalized in U.S. prisons have traveled to Yemen, possibly for terror training.

For years, law enforcement officials have said the prison atmosphere is ripe for recruitment for any extremist cause, from violent Islamist extremism to skinhead, white supremacist and Latino gangs.

Terror recruitment in prisons has been a concern of law enforcement and academics long before 2007 — so much so that the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons created a program in 2003 to improve intelligence collection, detection, deterrence and disruption of terrorist groups and other radicalization in prison.

One of the most cited examples of Islamic prison radicalization in the past decade is the plot in 2004 and 2005 to target military facilities, synagogues and other Los Angeles-area sites. The government said the ringleader, Kevin James, was a California State Prison inmate who converted to Islam while he was incarcerated for robbery. Three of James’ followers were arrested before they could carry out the attack.

A more recent case is that of a 2009 plot in New York to bomb synagogues and shoot down military airplanes. Two of the four suspects in the plot converted to Islam while in prison.

Adopting the Islamic faith while in prison is not a new phenomenon. Islam took hold in U.S. prisons in the 1940s, when members of the Nation of Islam were held for refusing to fight in World War II. Malcolm X was one of their most famous prison recruits.

Many chaplains and corrections officials credit the faith, when taught properly, with being a stabilizing force that can help inmates turn their lives around.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Everett, Washington: 13 Years for ‘Honor Killing’

Mehdi Matin beat and strangled his brother over a disparaging remark.

EVERETT — Mehdi Matin lugged around his heartbreak for more than two decades before exacting revenge through violent blows.

Matin in 2009 beat his brother, Isa Mehri, with a metal pipe and then strangled him with a rope. He called his actions an “honor killing.”

Matin had called off his marriage to an Afghan woman more than 20 years ago after an offensive remark his brother made about his bride-to-be. His decision tortured him.

Matin, 63, was sentenced Tuesday to 13 years in prison for killing his 60-year-old brother. He pleaded guilty earlier this month to second-degree murder.

Matin likely will be deported to his native Afghanistan after serving out his prison sentence.

Snohomish County prosecutor Travis Johnson asked for the mid-range sentence. Matin pleaded guilty and took responsibility for his actions, Johnson said. He also has limited criminal history.

Defense attorney Gabriel Rothstein urged the judge to find mitigating circumstances to support a five-year term, a sentence well-below the standard range.

Rothstein tracked down the woman Matin was engaged to marry. They were in love, but the defendant’s family worked hard to drive the two apart, Rothstein said. Matin felt he couldn’t marry the woman after his brother made disparaging comments about her honor.

“He never recovered,” Rothstein said.

Matin in 2009 came to visit Mehri at his Lynnwood home about a week before the killing to talk about buying a gas station together. Mehri mentioned the woman and again made a disparaging remark.

That’s when Matin attacked his brother. He killed him, washed the body and called police two days later.

Mehri’s daughter on Tuesday explained that she was out of the country when she learned of her father’s death. They had been rebuilding their relationship after a falling out. She assumed she’d see her dad again at the holidays.

“I was robbed of the opportunity to tell my dad I love him and I’m sorry,” the woman said. “I will regret that for the rest of my life.”

Before handing down the sentence, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Ronald Castleberry spoke to the woman. He encouraged her to bury her regrets.

“Trust me when I tell you every son and daughter has wished they had one more conversation with their beloved parent,” Castleberry said. “I suspect that he knows you love him. Do not feel guilty for things unsaid.”

Castleberry said over the years he has sentenced other men for killing their brothers. The common thread in these cases often is that the killers have perceived that they’ve been wronged. The hurt may be real, but there is no justification for the violence, Castleberry said.

“Quite frankly I think the defendant knows that,” Castleberry said.

The judge said he couldn’t find any grounds for a sentence below the standard range. Matin didn’t suddenly strike out. His actions were carried out over time.

“He realized he was wrong at the time and afterward,” the judge said.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Ex-CIA: ‘Forged Document’ Released as Birth Certificate

Gen. Paul Vallely: Congress afraid to probe ‘possible felony’ over fears of ‘black backlash’

Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, the chief of Stand Up America U.S., a national security expert and a Fox News contributor, says the “Certificate of Live Birth” released in April by the White House as “proof positive” of President Obama’s Hawaiian birth is a forgery, but the FBI is covering the fraud and no one in Congress is willing to tackle the situation because of fears of a “black backlash” if the failings of the nation’s first black president are revealed.

In an interview today with Greg Corombos for WND, Vallely, who previously has expressed concerns about whether the Obama administration is in violation of the U.S. Constitution, said, “His actual birth certificate has never been found in Hawaii nor released from Hawaii hospital there, Kapiolani hospital there, if it in fact did exist.”

“We’ve had three CIA agents, retired, and some of their analytical associates look at it, and all came to the same conclusion, that even the long-form was a forged document,” Vallely said.

“No members of Congress will take this on. The word I get out of Washington is that they don’t want to challenge this because it would be in fact a felony offense and in some cases may be even treasonous and [they are] afraid of a black backlash from some of the urban areas,” Vallely said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ Due to Popular Demand Returns to the US at the The Tech Museum

‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ also known as ‘Sultans of Science’, the global traveling exhibition created by Dubai and Cape Town based, MTE Studios returns revamped to United States due to popular demand. The highly interactive exhibits will be showcased at the world renowned The Tech Museum from Sept. 3, 2011 until end of February 2012 after its successful premiere at Liberty Science Centre in New Jersey. The exhibition was also hosted by Ontario Science Centre and The TELUS World of Science in Canada.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Law Enforcement Officials at King Hearing Claim Radical Islam Infiltrating U.S. Prisons

A former New York prisons official testified Wednesday that radical Muslims have made “sustained efforts” to indoctrinate inmates in America, at the second hearing on Islamic radicalization held by Rep. Peter King.


Patrick Dunleavy, a retired official in the New York State Department of Correctional Services, said radical Muslims have been trying to convert U.S. inmates to their cause for decades.

“Despite appearances, prison walls are porous,” he said. “Individuals and groups that subscribe to radical Islamic ideology have made sustained efforts to target inmates for indoctrination.”

Kevin Smith, former federal prosecutor in California, cited the case of Kevin James and Levar Washington, who pleaded guilty in 2007 to “conspiracy to levy war against the United States through terrorism.”

Smith called it a “seditious conspiracy” hatched inside California’s prison system.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

New Episode of Stakelbeck on Terror Show: Who’s Funding Our Enemies?

You can watch the new episode of the Stakelbeck on Terror show at the link above.

On this week’s episode, we take an exclusive look at Turkish imam Fetullah Gülen — a man who some have called the world’s most dangerous Islamist.

Gülen directs his global Islamic movement not from the Middle East, but from Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains.

Also, learn more about the Mideast funding sources behind the growing number of multi-million dollar mega-mosques being built throughout western Europe.

Plus, an American Muslim leader is confronted over his refusal to condemn the terror group Hamas. And in an on-the-ground report from Jerusalem, CBN News exposes the International Red Cross for sheltering Hamas terrorists.

And do you know where your investment dollars are going? Learn if you are unknowingly funding America’s enemies, and how to put a stop to it.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck[Return to headlines]

Obama’s War on Oil, Coal, And America

U.S. consumers,” said Graham “could save some $17.7 billion annually at the current price difference if U.S. oil replaced foreign oil.

If there is a single reason for defeating Barack Obama’s bid for reelection, it would be his energy policies, all of which have been aimed at denying Americans access to their domestic oil as well as our huge reserves of coal.

Both energy sources would generate thousands of jobs at a time when unemployment figures rival those of the Great Depression. At the same time, domestic oil production would reduce our obscene dependency on foreign oil while coal production would ensure that we can all enjoy the most affordable electricity insofar as coal is responsible for just over half of all electricity generated.


At the same time Investors Business Daily took note of the Environmental Protection Agency’s drive to impose new regulations on utilities that use coal. “The rules make sense only if you want less energy, higher prices, and fewer jobs.”

“We’re being systematically starved of energy,” said IBD, “and our economy is suffering. Just don’t ask the White House to help.” It estimated that the new EPA rules would cost electric utilities $184 billion by 2030 and kill 1.4 million jobs. They would, of course, increase the cost of electricity to everyone.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Oklahoma Mosque Flap Leads to TPD Chief Being Suspended

A Tulsa police captain who disobeyed an order to make officers attend a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day at a Tulsa mosque was suspended without pay for two weeks.

In February, Capt. Paul Fields was temporarily transferred from the Police Department’s Riverside Division to the Mingo Valley Division, and an internal investigation was launched into the matter.

Fields filed a federal lawsuit two days later, claiming his First Amendment rights were violated.

His suspension began June 12 and will end June 25, according to a personnel order signed by Police Chief Chuck Jordan.

Specifically, he was suspended 40 hours for violating the department’s rule on being obedient and another 40 hours for violating a rule on conduct unbecoming to an officer.

The personnel order states that his “actions and writings that were made public brought discredit upon the department related to furnishing officers to attend” the event.

The Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was held March 4 at the mosque of the Islamic Society of Tulsa. Jordan has said the Islamic Society scheduled the event to show its appreciation for the officers’ response to a threat against it. Officers have attended past events at that location.

Each of the Police Department’s three patrol divisions had been assigned to schedule at least six officers and three supervisors to attend the event.

In a Feb. 18 interoffice correspondence, Deputy Chief Daryl Webster told Fields that the event organizers needed to know how many personnel would be attending so that things such as food and tours could be arranged.

Webster said voluntary participation was preferred, “but should voluntary response not be up to task, assignment would be the next alternative.”

Fields said in correspondence with a superior that he considered the order to be “an unlawful order, as it is in direct conflict with (his) personal religious convictions, as well as to be conscience shocking.”

He also told his superiors that he would not require any of his subordinates to follow the order “if they share similar religious convictions.”

Initially, Fields’ lawsuit only named Webster as a defendant. However, in March he added the city of Tulsa and Jordan, the police chief, as defendants.

The revised lawsuit also had the Thomas More Law Center entering the case on Fields’ behalf.

The Thomas More Law Center is a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., that is involved in litigation “defending the religious freedom of Christians as well as countering the infiltration of radical Muslims in America,” Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel for the center, said in a previous statement.

Scott Wood, Fields’ attorney, said Tuesday that he will continue to pursue the lawsuit.

“Obviously, we are disappointed the department did not change its position. We are going to continue to pursue Paul’s grievance through the department and address the damages in a federal lawsuit,” Wood said.

Allison Moore, Islamic Society of Tulsa Community Relations Spokesperson, said that they had no comment specifically on the situation involving Fields. She did, however, praise the work of Tulsa police officers.

“We have just been thrilled with the Tulsa Police Department over the years. We have had a wonderful relationship with them,” Moore said.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Panettagate: A Real Scandal Involving National Security

Last Saturday and Sunday The Washington Post published two articles, with a total count of 2,192 words, about Sarah Palin’s emails. The Post had said in advance it wanted the help of the public in getting to the bottom of what was in them. I told The Daily Caller this was an example of a paper desperate for a Republican scandal and willing to exploit cheap or free labor. But if you get what you pay for, the Post got what it deserved. Palingate fizzled out.

But in the spirit of public service, which the Post is apparently encouraging, my friend and associate Trevor Loudon and I have dug into the background of CIA director and Secretary of Defense nominee Leon Panetta. It’s too bad that we didn’t have this material assembled before now, but better late than never. The evidence shows that Panetta had a close and personal relationship with a member of the Communist Party by the name of Hugh DeLacy, whose record included meeting with communist espionage agents. By any objective standard of journalism, this should be big news. But the question now is whether the media, liberal and conservative, will take time off from Weinergate to pay attention and examine the evidence.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Radical Islam is ‘Infiltrating U.S. Prisons and is Making Sustained Effort to Indoctrinate Inmates’

Radical Muslims have made ‘sustained efforts’ to indoctrinate U.S. inmates and prisons are ‘communities at risk’, officials said today.

A retired New York prison official and Los Angeles police official who have both handled cases of inmate radicalisation were speaking at a hearing.

Patrick Dunleavy said indoctrination attempts have been going on for decades and Michael Downing said it’s a problem of ‘high consequence’.

Mr Dunleavy said prison walls are ‘porous’ and radical Muslims ‘have made sustained efforts to target inmates for indoctrination’, reported Fox News.

Mr Downing described it as a ‘phenomena of low volume’ — but one with ‘high consequence’ because of the prison population size.

Top House Homeland Security Republican Peter King held his second of a series of controversial hearings on violent Islamic radicalisation today.

But the hearings were labelled ‘racist’ by Rep Laura Richardson and top Homeland Security Democrat Bennie Thompson said the threat is ‘small’.

He said the vetting process of incoming mail and prison chaplains ensures Islam — the fastest growing religion among prisoners in the U.S. — does not inspire violence.

Mr King said countering radicalisation should not become a partisan issue.

The first hearing, held in March, broadly looked at Islamic radicalisation around the country and what the Muslim community is doing to combat it.

That hearing drew days of protests and criticism from Democrats who said that Mr King and the Republicans were unfairly singling out Islam.

The majority of recent terror plots against the U.S. have involved people espousing a radical and violent view of Islam.

But critics say focusing too closely on Islam and the religious motives of those who have attempted terrorism could alienate an entire community.

Mr King said he can’t blame people in the Muslim community for a person adopting a violent interpretation of their religion.

But he would place blame if someone in the community knows of such a radical and fails to point out that person to officials or community leaders.

           — Hat tip: Nick[Return to headlines]

The Phony Rightwing (Part 3: Mitt Romney)

“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Norman Thomas (1884-1968) six time U.S. Presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. Norman Thomas and Gus Hall, the U.S. Communist Party Candidates, both quit American politics, agreeing that the Republican and Democratic parties had adopted every plank of the Communist/Socialist party and they no longer had an alternate party platform on which to run.

Willard Mitt Romney was born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan to former Governor of Michigan, George W. Romney and his wife, Lenore Romney. He was raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and attended Brigham Young University.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Thomas Sowell: Seductive Beliefs

One of the painfully revealing episodes in Barack Obama’s book “Dreams From My Father” describes his early experience listening to a sermon by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Among the things said in that sermon was that “white folks’ greed runs a world in need.” Obama was literally moved to tears by that sermon.

This sermon may have been like a revelation to Barack Obama but its explanation of economic and other differences was among the oldest— and most factually discredited— explanations of such difference among all sorts of peoples in all sorts of places. Yet it is an explanation that has long been politically seductive, in countries around the world.

What could be more emotionally satisfying than seeing others who have done better in the world as the villains responsible for your not having done as well? It is the ideal political explanation, from the standpoint of mass appeal, whether or not it makes any sense otherwise.

That has been the politically preferred explanation for economic differences between the Malay majority and the more prosperous Chinese minority in Malaysia, or between the Gentile majority and the Jewish minority in various countries in Europe between the two World Wars.

At various other times and places, it has been the preferred explanation for the economic differences between the Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, the Africans and the Lebanese in Sierra Leone, the Czechs and the Germans in Bohemia and numerous other groups in countries around the world.

The idea that the rich have gotten rich by making the poor poor has been an ideological theme that has played well in Third World countries, to explain why they lag so far behind the West.

None of this was original with Jeremiah Wright. All he added was his own colorful gutter style of expressing it, which so captivated the man who is now President of the United States…

           — Hat tip: Takuan Seiyo[Return to headlines]

White House Defends U.S. Role in Libya After Lawmakers Sue

WASHINGTON — Facing growing opposition on Capitol Hill, the White House insisted Wednesday that it’s within its legal rights to wage war in Libya without explicit authorization from Congress, essentially because no American lives are at risk.

The administration argued that its limited role in the allied air campaign against Libya means it’s not really the kind of escalating war that would require approval from Congress or an end to fighting after 60 days under the War Powers Resolution, passed in 1973 in response to the Vietnam War.

Even before the White House could send its arguments to Capitol Hill, 10 members of the House of Representatives — conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats — filed suit in U.S. District Court Wednesday challenging President Barack Obama’s right to wage the war, even if in a supporting role.

“We believe the law was violated,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, one of the effort’s leaders. “We have asked the courts to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies.”

In a 32-page report to Congress, the White House laid out its argument.

“U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors,” the White House said.

“We’re now in a position where we’re operating in a support role,” said a senior Obama administration official who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity under White House policy.

“We’re not engaged in sustained fighting. There’s been no exchange of fire with hostile forces. We don’t have troops on the ground. We don’t risk casualties to those troops. None of the factors, frankly, speaking more broadly, has risked the sort of escalation that Congress was concerned would impinge on its war-making power,” the official said.

The White House also warned Congress against questioning the U.S. commitment at a time when Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi may be on his way out. “Now is not the time to send mixed messages,” said spokesman Jay Carney.

The White House report also said the U.S. has spent $716 million through June 3 on bombs and other supplies since helping launch the allied air campaign on March 19, a cost expected to rise to $1.1 billion by Sept. 30. Aides said the money would come from other appropriated funds and would not require a new appropriation from Congress this year.

It was unclear how the memo would affect the debate in Congress over the military campaign…

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Alliance of Mistrust: Merkel’s Coalition Threatens to Fracture

A recent cabinet reshuffle was supposed to improve the mood within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government. But it hasn’t worked. Her coalition partners feel ignored and disrespected, her own party feels Merkel has lost her way and public support continues to fall.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Belgium: One Year Later… for Nothing

On 13 June 2010, Belgians went to the polls to elect a double majority: Flemish nationalists in the north, and Socialists in the south. Ever since, and in spite of numerous political initiatives, the country has remained without a government. The Belgian press reports on a sombre anniversary.

Exactly one year ago, Belgium was forced to endure what Le Soir terms “a slap in the face”: for the first time ever, Flemish nationalists had won a general election. With 27.8% of the vote, Bart de Wever’s Nieuwe-Vlaamse Alliantie (New Flemish Alliance, N-VA) had become the leading party in Flanders and in Belgium, while the south of the country was dominated by the Socialist Party which scored 37.6% of the vote in Wallonia.

Since then, the country has been torn between these two parties with radically differing views on how it should manage its Dutch and French speaking cultural communities. And in spite of numerous “reconciliation”, “mediation”, and other “exploratory” initiatives, 12 months have gone by without agreement on the formation of a government while day-to-day business has been conducted by a caretaker administration. Although many Belgians feel upset and drained by a situation that they believe is inextricable, most paradoxically remain confident in the ability of their leaders to find a solution to the crisis.

For the editorialist in Le Soir, Belgium has survived, but “it is just… a little less Belgian:…

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

‘Berlusconi Has Nothing Left to Offer’

The results of a quartet of referenda in Italy were unequivocal, and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was the clear loser. Still, he might hang on to power for some time to come. German commentators say, though, that the spell he cast over the Italian electorate has been broken.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU Agrees Compensation Deal for Bacteria-Hit Farmers

EU member states have agreed on a €210 million compensation package for farmers whose sales have suffered as a result of the E. coli outbreak in northern Germany. The death toll has climbed to 37 people, including the first child on Tuesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Farm Aid: EU Earmarks Millions for Crops Lost in E. Coli Crisis

The EU agreed Tuesday to reimburse farmers hit by the ongoing E. coli crisis with some 210 million euros in aid. But it will compensate for only about 50 percent of losses to farmers who suffered immensely after authorities warned consumers off lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and sprouts in their hunt for the outbreak source.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Treasure From the Trash: ‘Urban Mining’ Could Reduce Reliance on Metal Imports

The demand for special metals used in the manufacture of electronics is booming, but a few countries control much of the world’s supply. Germany is looking to reduce its reliance on imports by exploiting the metal that is thrown away in trash. Urban mining could become big business.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany’s Waning Influence: An Outsider on the Global Stage

Angela Merkel’s recent trips to India, Singapore and the US revealed a lot about Germany’s current international role. On her foreign visits, the chancellor is a listener rather than a talker, eager not to ruffle any feathers. In its desire not to offend, Germany is becoming increasingly marginalized on the global stage.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Clashes in Athens, Molotov Against Ministry Building

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — The official car of Greek prime minister Giorgio Papandreou became the target of oranges hurled by a group of demonstrators while he was about to enter the Parliament courtyard, according to reports by eyewitnesses. The entire Parliament building, which looks onto the Syntagma square in the heart of the city where thousands of ‘indignant’ citizens have been protesting all day, was surrounded by some 1,500 police agents in riot gear.

Clashes broke out between the police and demonstrators in front of the Ministry of Finance, which is located on the same square. Police agents intervened to break up a small group of demonstrators who were hurling Molotov cocktails against the building the Ministry is located in. Local TV networks reported the event and broadcast images of flames in front of the building.

The situation in front of Parliament also degenerated, with demonstrators hurling stones and yoghurt against police agents, who responded by firing tear gas.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Hundreds of London 2012 Tickets to Gaddafi, UK Embarrassed

(AGI) London — Tripoli’s regime has been assured hundreds of tickets for the 2012 London Olympic games. The news was disclosed by the Telegraph, explaining that the Chairman of the Libyan Olympic Committee is Muhammad, Muammar Gaddafi’s eldest son. Authorities fear that the big shots of the regime, should it still be in power next year, might decide to rely on a provocation — suggested by the Rais — and show up at the opening ceremony, thus embarrassing British Authorities.

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

Italy: Opposition Leader Urges Berlusconi to Resign Over Referendum Defeat

Rome, 13 June (AKI) — The leader of Italy’s largest opposition party Monday called on Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign after referendum voters overwhelmingly rejected government plans for nuclear energy, water privatisation and a controversial law helping shield the premier and other cabinet ministers from prosecution.

“By reaching the quota (of 50 percent of the electorate plus one voter), these were referendums on divorce: the goverment’s divorce from the country, “ said the centre-left Democrat Party’s leader Pierluigi Bersani.

The turnout for the four referendums held on 12-13 June was 57.02 percent.

With approximately one-third of ballots counted, 94.55 percent of electors voted against nuclear power in Italy and 95.64 opposed the privatisation of water, the interior ministry said.

With around one-third of ballots counted, a total 94. 94 percent of electors voted to overturn a law that permits ministers to not attend trials because of scheduling conflicts with official business. Billionaire Berlusconi is the target of four Milan trials over his business dealings, abuse of office and paying a minor for sex. He denies wrongdoing in all cases.

In a fourth referendum, with almost half of ballots counted, electors voted by 96.10 percent against water charges being proportionate to the investments made by the utility company.

“Our request is clear: Berlusconi should resign and open up a new phase in Italian politics,” said Bersani.

Italy’s administrative reforms minister Roberto Calderoli, a member of Berlusconi’s key coalition ally the Northern League, described the referendums as a “the second slap in the face” for the conservative government. Last month, it took a drubbing in municipal elections losing control of several cities including the financial capital Milan — Berlusconi’s home town — and Naples.

But the spokesman for Berlusconi’s ruling People of Freedom Party, Daniele Cappezzone, sought to downplay the referendum results.

“Italians were summoned to vote on specific questions. They certainly were not asked to say if they were for or against the government,” he stated.

“Now, we just need to listen to the electorate,” he said.

Berlusconi had advised voters to shun the ballot box, a move critics said was aimed at averting a fresh defeat after the May local elections.

Last week he lost an appeal to Italy’s constitutional court aimed at blocking the nuclear power referendum. But the court’s judges voted unanimously voted to let the plebiscite go ahead, in a decision welcomed by environmental groups.

Following this year’s accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant Berlusconi shelved the government’s plans to reintroduce nuclear energy, saying the current environment was too emotional and pledging to return to the issue in the future.

In a 1987 referendum, voters chose to close down Italy’s existing atomic power plants in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster. Referendum results are valid for five years in Italy.

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

Netherlands: PVV Supporters Complain of Discrimination

A number of supporters of the anti-Islam party PVV have reported to discrimination monitoring groups, saying they are being discriminated against, De Pers reports on Tuesday.

Last year 77 people complained of discrimination because of their ‘political convictions’, three times the 2009 total, the paper said.

By comparison, there were 2,000 complaints of discrimination on racial grounds and 500 because of age or sex.

The main cause for complaint by PVV supporters is ‘statements made to the press’. Others have complained about being likened to supporters of the Dutch national socialist movement.

In one case, a school pupil made a formal complaint after a school project was failed because the teacher disagreed with the PVV standpoints it contained.

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

Sweden: Former Students Charged for Killing Teacher

Swedish prosecutors have charged two former students along with a third accomplice for beating a high school to teacher to death in early April. The teacher, 54-year-old Tommy Johansson, was savagely beaten and killed in Hofors in eastern Sweden. According to the indictment, Johansson was subject to severe violence before he died. The trio also stole a computer and the teacher’s cash card before leaving the scene. Two men and a woman who had previously said Johansson was one of her favourite teachers, are suspected of breaking into his apartment, at which point they began beating and kicking him.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Didn’t Get an Olympic Ticket? Well Hundreds Have Been Handed to Gaddafi’s Son

Libya has been given ‘a few hundred’ tickets to next year’s Olympic Games — a move which is sure to anger those left without after the recent allocation of passes.

The revelation that the country’s National Olympic Committee has been given the passes could also pose awkward diplomatic questions for the government as Britain is currently part of Nato military action against Libya.

But a London 2012 spokeswoman said: ‘The Libyan NOC, not an individual, has been allocated a few hundred tickets which they are responsible for distributing to sports organisations and athletes within their country.’

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Muhammad al-Gaddafi is head of the country’s Olympic committee which will hand out the tickets.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: East London Mosque Promises: How They Work

Andrew Gilligan notes the latest promise by the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre to ban homophobic hate preachers, and observes that this is the THIRD time that such a statement has been issued by the institution. On each occasions, after a short lull, the hate preachers returned.

Here’s his description of the ELM/LMC’s strategy for ducking accusations that it promotes bigotry, hatred and extremism:

The East London Mosque’s response to accusations of extremism has three stages. First there are the injured protestations of its deep commitment to community cohesion, democracy, etc, often accompanied by straightforward lying — in 2009, for instance, the mosque’s assistant director, Shaynul Khan, claimed that “Anwar Al-Awlaki did not give a lecture via video link at an event held at the East London Mosque.” Then there are silly legal threats from its libel lawyers, again often based on lies: tedious, but perfectly easy to see off if you know what you’re doing.

Finally, if none of that works and their backs are absolutely against the wall, the mosque will crank out one of their statements claiming they’ve banned hate preachers. The supply of bad guys will dry up for a month or two, then as soon as the coast is clear they’ll start creeping back again. Let’s hope it’s different this time. But you’ll forgive me, I’m sure, for being a little sceptical about the East London Mosque’s “good faith.”

Andrew is quite right. The hosting of extremists is continuing at the London Muslim Centre; but alternative venues are also being used. I should add: Andrew has missed a trick. The East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre can also count on the support of the London Citizens network, who will back up the absurd claims of these Jamaat-e-Islami activists that they are doughty fighters for community cohesion. Then, when it is shown beyond doubt that they are, in fact, promoters of hatred and division, they’ll wheel out some bemused Rabbi as an example of their commitment to ‘interfaith’ activity. Those who are conned into supporting the ELM/LMC on the grounds that they’re showing solidarity with Muslims, or even “building bridges” or “starting a dialogue” with extremists, need to understand two things. First of all, they’re being used, cynically, as cover. Secondly, they’re betraying Muslim liberals, and indeed liberals of all stripes, who desperately need solidarity as they stand up against the far Right.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Extremist IFE Sponsors a Man Who “Calls Jews ‘Germs’ And ‘Monkeys’“

By Andrew Gilligan

In two weeks’ time there will be a meeting in Tower Hamlets with a man called Raed Salah, a Palestinian who reportedly wrote the following piece of poetry in the Hamas journal:

“You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,

Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.

Robbers and germs in all times,

The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,

Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.”

Saleh has also propagated the ancient “blood libel” against Jews, stating that they used Palestinian children’s blood to bake bread.

The meeting with this gentleman is co-sponsored by our old friends, those famously “democratic Muslims” of the Islamic Forum of Europe, the people who control that equally well-known home of tolerance and harmony, the East London Mosque.

The IFE is also, of course, also the group with which Lutfur Rahman, the directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, has a “strategic relationship,” according to his campaign co-ordinator.

The meeting isn’t taking place at the mosque — as I mentioned in my previous post, they’re in one of their periodic batten-down-the-hatches phases after a spell of negative PR. According to the organisers, it is taking place at an even more prominent, much more heavily publicly-funded Tower Hamlets institution — Queen Mary University. However, the university has been in touch to say that it will not be occurring there. Permission for the event was sought, but has been refused: an encouraging sign that the authorities are getting serious about tackling this sort of racism.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

UK: Newborn Baby Died After 61-Hour Delivery Delay at Over-Stretched Maternity Unit

A baby died because of a 61-hour delay in delivering him at an overstretched maternity unit, an inquest heard yesterday.

Teacher Sarah Dawson, 33, was sobbing in agony after her waters broke and she tried to give birth naturally.

It was more than two days later before her baby boy, Oliver, was born by caesarean section. He died 42 minutes later as a result of an infection picked up as she waited to give birth.

Attempts to deliver Oliver were first delayed due to hospital policy to wait 24 hours to see if labour starts naturally after a woman’s waters break.

This was extended to 38 hours because ‘assisted births’ cannot be carried out at night at Dewsbury Hospital, the inquest was told.

Miss Dawson then had to wait much of the next day because midwives and doctors in the delivery suite were too busy to deal with her.

More problems ensued when a doctor was unable to take a sample of the baby’s blood to check on his condition because a piece of medical equipment was missing, the hearing in Bradford was told.

Eventually the caesarean section was carried out and Oliver was born with barely a heartbeat and could not breathe unaided.

A post mortem revealed that he died from pneumonia due to an infection which had developed after his mother’s waters broke. Miss Dawson and her partner Phillip Schofield, an electrician, of Morley, Leeds, have accused Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust of negligence.

She said: ‘I have been to see my own doctor who is of the opinion that had my baby been delivered in 24 to 48 hours following my waters breaking — rather than 61 hours — he would be with us today.

‘I’m now off work sick with depression and I’m finding it hard just to get through each day.’ Her baby was due on August 3 last year — until her waters broke at 36 weeks at 7.30pm on Monday, July 12.

The hearing was told that under national guidelines pregnant women in her situation should be brought to delivery in 24 hours. However, in Miss Dawson’s case it took more than twice as long.

Consultant Dr Sadiq Shama said the delivery suite was busy because of the number of mothers and the lack of midwives at the time. ‘If I was concerned about her and the baby we would have stopped someone else’s ongoing care to start the induction,’ he added.

Another consultant, Dr Muhammed Sandow, who was unable to take a fetal blood sample in the run-up to the caesarean because the necessary amnioscope was not available, said of the pregnant mother: ‘She was in tears due to the painful contractions.’ He said the risks of her developing an infection were obvious by this stage.

When delivery with the help of an epidural wasn’t successful, medical staff initially decided upon a forceps delivery, but the boy was eventually born by caesarean at 8.15am on Thursday, July 15.

The inquest continues.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Westerwelle Attacks Plan for Danish Border Checks

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle underlined Wednesday Berlin’s objections to Danish plans for permanent customs checks at their internal EU border, after talks with his Danish counterpart. “We are very critical of Denmark’s decision to re-establish permanent customs checks at the border with Germany,” he said after meeting Lene Espersen, who was in Berlin on what was billed as a fence-mending mission. “We will continue our dialogue on the issue … we must continue to discuss it,” he told reporters, adding that he was pleased Espersen assured him that Denmark would not introduce passport checks at the border with Germany.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Libya Rape Victims Face ‘Honour Killings’

Libyan women and girls who become pregnant through rape risk being murdered by their own families in so-called “honour killings”, according to aid workers.

Rape is a sensitive topic worldwide, but in this country it is even more of a taboo.

“In Libya when rape occurs, it seems to be a whole village or town which is seen to be dishonoured,” says Arafat Jamal of the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Libyan charities say they are getting reports that in the west of the country, which is particularly conservative, Col Muammar Gaddafi’s forces have tended to rape women and girls in front of their fathers and brothers.

“To be seen naked and violated is worse than death for them,” says Hana Elgadi. “This is a region where women will not go out of the house without covering their face with a veil.”

Ms Elgadi is in a group of Libyan volunteers offering medical help and HIV tests. The organisation is also offering to pay for abortions for women who have been raped in the war.

‘Killing with love’

“Time is against us,” says Nader Elhamessi from the Libyan aid agency, World for Libya.

“For the moment pregnancies can be disguised, but not for much longer. Many fathers will kill their own daughters if they find out they have been raped.”

“It is killing done with love,” says Ms Elgadi. “They believe they are saving the girl.”

“That’s why we are offering to pay for abortions for women who want them,” says Ms Elgadi. She says fatwas — Islamic clerical rulings — have already been made, which sanction abortion in circumstances such as rape.

The charity World for Libya has engaged imams across the border in Tunisia to preach that rape is not the victim’s fault.

An estimated 130,000 people have fled western Libya for Tunisia, and the Libyan NGOs which have sprung up to deal with their needs say they believe many are rape survivors who are too ashamed to come forward for help.

World for Libya is trying to reach a group of teenage girls still inside Libya whose school was attacked by forces loyal to Col Gaddafi.

“The armed men separated the girls and raped those they deemed more attractive,” says Nader Elhamessi. “One of the girls cut her wrists and killed herself rather than face the shame. The rapes were only reported to us by the girls who were left alone.”

One family who contacted Ms Elgadi needed medication for HIV.

“The mother, the father and the son were all raped by Col Gaddafi’s forces. The mother came to us when they discovered they had contracted HIV/Aids as a result.”


Ms Elgadi says the father has gone back to Tripoli rather than get help. “The mother desperately wants anti-retrovirals for herself and her son, but is afraid to go to the hospital in Tunisia in case other Libyan refugees see her and guess that she has been raped.”

“Rape is a crime in this war, like being shot,” says Ms Elhamessi. “We are even flying in a highly respected sheikh from the Emirates so he can get this message across.”

The International Criminal Court says it believes Col Gaddafi’s forces are using rape as a weapon of war. The ICC says it has reason to believe orders to rape were given, and the drug Viagra was distributed to fighters.

A major in the Libyan army who has now deserted told the BBC the shipments of Viagra were widely known about, but neither he nor his colleagues saw them.

“The order to rape was not given to the regular army,” says the major, who did not want his name to be used, because his family is still in Tripoli. “Col Gaddafi knew we would never accept it. It was given to the mercenaries.”

Mr Jamal, the UNHCR’s emergency co-ordinator for Libya, says it has not so far uncovered evidence that rape has been used as a weapon of war, although it has seen evidence of individual instances of rape throughout the country.

“We have also seen evidence that would seem to suggest that rape has been carried out by both sides, but we cannot say on what scale,” he says.

Libyan volunteers are advising international agencies on how to get Libyans who have been raped to come forward.

“A foreigner cannot go in there with a clipboard and a translator and get a response,” says Ms Elgadi.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood to Establish Islamic Studies Center in Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood deputy chairman, Khairat Al-Shater, said that the Brotherhood intends to establish an Islamic studies center in order to rebuild Egypt according to the principles of Shari’a, since the lack of Islamic character in recent years has hurt the Egyptian homeland.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Al-Quds: France Issued Postal Stamp Honoring Palestinian Prisoner Al-Hamouri

According to an exclusive report in the daily Al-Quds, France’s postal authority has issued a stamp bearing the portrait of Saleh Hassan Al-Hamouri, member of the Popular front of the Liberation of Palestine.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

An Arab Knesset Member Wants the End of Israel

If Meir Kahane’s “Kach” or “Kahane Chai” are considered by the state of Israel as “far right”, “terrorist”, “a danger to the state” and are barred from Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, then consider in his own words in Arabic Knesset member Ibrahim Sarsur’s speech to fellow Arabs both inside and outside of Israel. Not enough people in the West know that Israel is a democratic and pluralistic society and thus has 11 members of its national parliament who are Arab-Israeli citizens and claim to represent the Arab-Israeli population like Sarsur, who is, in fact, a leader of the “United Arab List” or Ra’am Ta’al Party (Arab Party for Change) in the Knesset.

Sarsur as a political leader of the Knesset’s Arab faction frequently protests the treatment of Arab-Israeli citizens by Israel’s Jewish majority. He has stated in the past that “They [Israeli Jews] should be thinking about me not as a fifth column but as an integral part of the country who might contribute a lot for the building of this state and might contribute a certain bridge between Israeli Jews and the Arab and Muslim world.”


Sarsur then goes on to tell the American students and the world in English about how the Palestinian Arabs are victims of the Israeli government, a government he claims he only wants to be a part of, but accuses Israel of “killing innocent people” that is “reminiscent of very dark times, including that of the Nazis.” He speaks in favor above of a separate Palestinian state distinguishing himself nonetheless as an Israeli citizen. The American students come away with a sense of Arab victimhood by Israel’s Jews they bring back to US campuses and media, wondering if peace should mean the end of a Jewish state.

The Walid Shoebat Foundation has uncovered damning evidence in a video that what Ibrahim Sarsur says in English to a western audience is far different from what he says in Arabic to his Arab constituents. In fact, his words reveal someone who is treasonous to the same state of Israel that allows him a seat in the Knesset.

In this video Sarsur is seen speaking in Arabic at the “Abdul Rahman’s social club in Israel, an Arab political group. In a spirit and demeanor that mimics the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin Al-Husseini, who in 1948 called to “drive the Jews into the sea”, here Sarsur is seen enticing Israeli-Arabs with jihadist rhetoric. He openly praises Hezbollah for “defeating Israel” and awaits Hezbollah’s planners and strategists (which he claims has a local presence inside Israel and the West Bank) to repeat their victory against his enemy, Israel, during the 2006 wartime fiasco in Southern Lebanon.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Palestine — Unemployment in Gaza at 46 Per Cent, Highest in the World

Embargo and corruption make any development impossible. The Catholic Church is among the few actors to offer jobs beside the public administration.

Gaza (AsiaNews) — Gaza has the world’s highest unemployment at 46 per cent. More than 260,000 people are without a job, depending on humanitarian aid, out of a population of 1.5 million people, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said in a report.

Fr Marcelo Gallardo, vice chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, spoke to AsiaNews about it. “Because of the blockade,” he said, “Gaza is isolated from the rest of the world. The port is closed; no goods are moving; and it takes hours just to get through the border crossings with Israel. Any kind of development is almost impossible.”

According to the UN report, Gaza’s public administration is the only large-scale employer with 200,000 people on its payroll in a population of 1.5 million. Getting one of those jobs often requires connections and the right party membership card.

In addition to the blockade, the Strip’s underdevelopment is also due to corruption. According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Palestine is one of the 50 most corrupt nations in the world.

For Fr Gallardo, the situation of political and economic deadlock stops private investments and job creation. The Catholic Church is, with the government, one of the few actors in this field, employing hundreds of people through its social assistance bodies and in its three schools, considered the best in the Gaza Strip.

For the clergyman, rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas is a good thing, because it can create stability, at least at the institutional level, easing the birth of a Palestinian state.

“With the two parties working together, perhaps there will be some improvement,” he said. “However, if the embargo stays, it will be hard to make any substantial changes to the Strip’s economic and social situation.”

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

Middle East

Al-Manar: Iran Threatened to Harm Turkey and the Gulf States if They Assist in Toppling Assad

The website of Hizbullah’s Al-Manar TV has reported that Iran threatened to attack American bases in Turkey if the latter participated in an attack on Syria, or permitted anti-Syrian activities from its territory. It also said that Iran warned the UAE that any threat to the Syrian regime would set the entire region on fire. According to the report, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has essentially accepted the American plan, which includes an incursion by Turkish ground forces into Syria.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Canadian Woman Wants to Live in Saudi Arabia, Say Reports

RIYADH: The case of Canadian woman Nathalie Morin, 27, took a bizarre twist on Monday as her mother confirmed that she is not in police custody. Meanwhile, local media reports quoted Morin as blaming two Saudi women activists for her troubles with police. The complex family drama did not end there. Morin’s mother — Johanne Durocher — accused son-in-law Saeed Al-Shahrani Monday of blackmailing her daughter to secure a permanent visa to stay in Canada.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Fashion Among Young Iraqi Men — Injecting Muscles With Animal Hormones to Enlarge Them

With unemployment among Iraqi youth as high as 40%, many young men have taken to injecting their biceps and thighs with animal hormones, meant for horses and sheep, to build muscle mass, and wearing tight shirts, called “classic,” to show off their bulging muscles to attract the attention of young women. These young men do not go to gyms to acquire muscles the old-fashioned way — through exercise.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Female Saudi Drivers: June 17: Protest Guidebook

(ANSAmed)- ROME, JUNE 15 — Are you ready? Put on your veil, wave a Saudi flag, bring a cell phone, an international driver’s licence and above all a man to protect you in case of need. Now get behind the wheel, fasten your seatbelt and go, ready to break the law that prevents you from driving a car. You could be pulled over by the police and be forced to sign a statement where you state that you repent for the crime just committed and promise that you will never do it again. But you will do it again, because on June 17, the first day of civil disobedience when women in Saudi Arabia will challenge the driving ban (imposed on women by the ultraconservative Islamic tradition of their kingdom) is only the beginning of the female uprising.

This, in short, is the guidebook published by the Saudi group named ‘Women2drive’ on its Facebook page for Saudi women who will participate in the first day of the fight to extend the right to drive to the female population in the kingdom. It includes 14 pieces of advice, starting from the veil and ending with an invitation to abide by the highway code. There are recommendations to ‘drive in the city and not in isolated areas’, to ‘warn parents and friends about what you are doing’ and to ‘stay in touch, via twitter or facebook, with the sponsor group”. Those who want to ‘can film their venture and post in on YouTube’. The sponsors do not think that participation will be massive, but warn that June 17 is the day when the struggle begins. They stated “Take the car to run errands or take the children to school. Do not stray far and do not group up”. To date the reaction by Saudi authorities to demands for equal rights for women has been firm but moderate (compared to the standards of the region). The police arrested for some ten days Manal al Sharif, one of the sponsors of the protest who posted on Youtube a video showing her at the wheel. The woman was released after apologising and begging for a pardon. In recent days another six women have been stopped, while an ultraconservative Islamic website invited men to hunt down female drivers and give them a beating. Pragmatically, “Women2drive” recommends the protesters to “be accompanied by male relatives”: this will help to counter attacks by troublemakers or even police interventions. In case of being pulled over, the advice is to avoid making a stand, and “sign everything the authorities ask you to”. In light of June 17, a human rights group wrote a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for her support: the letter reads “in the context of the Arab Spring and the US commitment to support non-violent pro-democracy movements, the time has come for the Obama administration to prove its support for the rights of Saudi women”. The region’s instability is left in the background and the matter of the women’s right to drive can lead to much wider results in the context of the Saudi absolute monarchy. That is why, observers say, it will be interesting to see how the authorities and women themselves will react to the protest on June 17.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Hezbollah’s Rise Raises New Concerns Over Regional Stability

Lebanon’s new government — with its Hezbollah alliance majority — is already causing concern with regional and international powers waiting to see in which direction the militant group may lead the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Iran Asks Russia for Closer Aerospace Cooperation

At a meeting with Russian communications minister Igor Schegolev, Iranian aerospace organization officials asked for closer cooperation in aerospace matters between the two countries, and for help in constructing new-generation satellites and sending an astronaut into space.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Iranian Police to Launch Dress Code Enforcement Campaign; Ayatollah: Unveiled Women More Dangerous Than Evil Animals

Hossein Zadeh, a senior official in the Iranian police, said that last week’s rape attacks on women in a park in the city of Khomeynishahr, in central Iran, would not have happened if the women were properly dressed and veiled.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Iraq Expels U.S. Congressmen on Account of Unfriendly Statements

The Iraqi government announced June 10 that it has notified the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad of its decision to expel a number of U.S. Congressmen who were visiting Iraq, due to their unfavorable statements about the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Lebanon’s New Government: A Bunch of Mercenaries and Terrorists

Sadly, but not surprisingly, the official rulers of occupied Lebanon are now a gang of criminals and Syria’s and Iran’s subservient Trojans, proxies, mercenaries, opportunists and armed militias, including the notorious terrorist and fundamentalist, Hezbollah, as well as the Baathist Syrian Party, the Shiite Amal Movement, the Nazi Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) and the derailed Christian narcissist, Michael Aoun.

This Lebanese national disaster is by all means a reality now that will definitely have dire and scary consequences not only on the oppressed Lebanese people’s everyday life, but also on the whole Middle East’s future, the Arab-Israeli peace process, the global war against terrorism and world stability.

On Monday June 14, 2011, our beloved country of the Cedars was completely devoured by Syria and Iran who through their Lebanese thugs and proxies rose to a position of unprecedented dominance after forcing on the peaceful Lebanese people a new government that has nothing at all to do with Lebanon. It is an Iranian and Syrian one that will be solely run and controlled by both Axis of Evil countries.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Nervous Iraqis Buying More Assault Rifles, Pistols

BAGHDAD: Saadoun Al-Sahil already had an AK-47 assault rifle at home but just didn’t feel safe. The furniture merchant was worried about violence in Baghdad and the impending US withdrawal of troops. So he bought two pistols and some more ammunition. Iraqis are facing a changing and uncertain future, and they’re dealing with it by arming up.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

OPEC Torn Between Two Competing Forces

The failure of the recent ministerial meeting of OPEC countries held last week to reach an agreement to raise the production ceiling, as recommended by Saudi Arabia and seconded by Kuwait and United Arab Emirates, underscored the conflict between the two key powers in the organization, Saudi Arabia vs. Iran.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Saudi Authorities Arrest Wajeha Al-Huwaidar, Colleague Who Tried to Help Canadian Woman in Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities have arrested human rights activists Wajeha Al-Huwaidar and Fawzia Al-’Ayouni on charges of attempting to kidnap Canadian citizen Nathalie Morin and her children and to smuggle them into the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh. Ms. Al-’Ayouni explained that Ms. Morin, who is married to a Saudi who abused her and imprisoned her in their home without food, had asked them to help her escape from the home, and that when they arrived they were arrested. Ms. Morin explained that she had turned to Ms. Al-Huwaidar on the advice of her mother, to ask for help getting to the Canadian Embassy in Riyadh. Ms. Moran has decided to testify against her two benefactors, apparently under pressure from Saudi authorities, and is claiming that they took advantage of her circumstances in order to advance their own personal aims.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Soros Frontman Pushing for Muslim Brotherhood

Philanthropist puts fingerprints on Mideast, African revolutions

A former Jordanian diplomat widely quoted in news media in recent months calming fears about the Muslim Brotherhood is a Mideast specialist for a peace institute funded by philanthropist George Soros.

WND previously reported the International Crisis Group, or ICG, led in part by Soros has long petitioned for the Egyptian government to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. The ICG includes on its board Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Yemeni Blogger Seeks Asylum in Sweden

A Yemeni blogger who has received death threats for criticising President Ali Abdullah Saleh has applied for asylum in Sweden amid mounting political violence in the country.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Russian Anti-Virus Guru Predicts Future Passports for Internet Access

A global internet police force, digital passports in order for users to go online, cyber crime as an ‘integrated part’ of virtual reality — this is how Russian anti-virus expert Eugene Kaspersky sees the future of the online world.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Transnistrian Solution, Lost in Kievan Translation

by Srdja Trifkovic

On June 14 I was the keynote speaker at a press briefing in Kiev organized by The American Institute in Ukraine on the problem of Pridnestrovie (Transnistria). The Russian and Ukrainian majority of that self-proclaimed republic straddling the eastern bank of the Dniestr declared secession from Moldova after a brief but bloody conflict in 1991 and proclaimed the “Pridnestrovian Moldovan Republic” (PMR). It has not been recognized by any state, however, and the issue has remained unresolved for the past two decades. It is a complex post-Soviet “frozen conflict” par excellence. The diplomatic quadrille still played around it is quaintly reminiscent of the geopolitical games that preceded the advent of postmodern diplomacy.

My remarks at the AIU event were thematically a follow-up on my previous presentation in Ukraine’s capital, exactly a year ago.. This time I focused on a set of proposals which Ukraine should consider in devising its own long-term settlement plan within the current “5+2” negotiating framework. The overall solution, I suggested, should be based on the Åland Islands’ model of extensive and internationally guaranteed self-rule. These Baltic islands inhabited by Swedes are under Finland’s nominal sovereignty but enjoy international guarantees of their special status. The guarantees originated with the League of Nations ninety years ago and were reiterated by the United Nations after the Second World War.

When Finland was offered membership of the EU the Ålands were entitled to a separate vote of their own on whether they wanted to join the Union. Likewise, I suggested, all Moldovan international treaties should be separately approved by Pridnestrovie; if not ratified by the entity’s Assembly—e.g., on an eventual NATO membership for Moldova—such treaties could apply to the rest of Moldova, but they would not be applicable to Pridnestrovie. The entity’s full autonomy should be anchored in a UN Security Council resolution, it should be guaranteed by the powers currently facilitating the negotiating process, and enshrined in a new Moldovan Constitution. The entity’s capital city, Tiraspol, should have the right to veto any subsequent attempt to change the division of authority between Pridnestrovie and the Moldovan government in Kishinev. Legislative powers should be divided between Kishinev and Tiraspol and not delegated to Pridnestrovie by Moldova.

Having presented my views and outlined possible solutions in as much detail as could be done in half an hour, I was surprised to see a news report of the event by the Interfax news agency—the regional equivalent of the Associated Press—which was released some two hours later. It was at significant odds with both the tone and substance of my remarks.

“It is in the interests of Ukraine to maintain an open[-ended] status quo position,” the report correctly quoted me as saying, yet omitted the key second half of the same sentence: “… but in practice an enduring settlement is needed, and the decision-makers in Kiev should take a proactive role in reaching it.”

The omission was significant…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic[Return to headlines]

South Asia

5 CIA Local Informers Arrested in Pakistan

(AGI) New York — In Pakistan, military secret services arrested 5 local CIA informers. They have been accused of having provided information to the US intelligence useful for the blitz during which Osama Bin Laden was killed. Among the arrested also an army major who had written down the plate numbers of cars entering the Abbottabad compound where Al Qaeda’s founder was hiding.

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

Pakistan: Military Spy Agency ‘Arrests Five CIA Informants’

Washington, 15 June (AKI/DAWN) — Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence military spy agency (ISI) has arrested five CIA informants in Pakistan, including an army major, suspected of feeding information on Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to the CIA, according to a report in the New York Times.

Pakistan’s detention of the five alleged CIA informants, including the Pakistan army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in the Punjab garrison town of Abbottabad in the weeks before the raid there on 2 May is the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan.

It comes at a time when the administration of US president Barack Obama is seeking Pakistan’s support in brokering an endgame in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

At a closed briefing last week, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Michael J. Morell, the deputy CIA director, to rate Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States on counter-terrorism operations, on a scale of one to ten.

“Three,” Morell replied, according to officials familiar with the exchange.

Officials cautioned that Morell’s comments about Pakistani support was a snapshot of the current relationship, and did not represent the administration’s overall assessment.

“We have a strong relationship with our Pakistani counterparts and work through issues when they arise,” said Marie E. Harf, a CIA spokeswoman.

“Director Panetta had productive meetings last week in Islamabad. It’s a crucial partnership, and we will continue to work together in the fight against Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups who threaten our country and theirs.”

American officials said that the CIA director, Leon E. Panetta, raised the issue of the arrested informants when he travelled to Islamabad last week to meet Pakistani military and intelligence officers.

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, said in a brief telephone interview that the CIA and the Pakistani spy agency “are working out mutually agreeable terms for their cooperation in fighting the menace of terrorism. It is not appropriate for us to get into the details at this stage.”

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

Far East

Chinese Moon Probe Begins Deep Space Exploration

A Chinese probe that has been orbiting the moon has completed its designed mission and is now beginning a new phase of deep space exploration, according to news reports in China. The robotic Chang’e 2 satellite flew out of lunar orbit on June 9 and is now journeying into deep space to conduct exploration and monitoring tests, reported the People’s Daily, a Chinese newspaper. The extended mission will also allow the Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) to gain more experience with probe operations. Chang’e 2 is expected to travel more than 93,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth on an 85-day voyage into deep space, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Muslims Turn Christian Villages Into Cattleyard

The report today said Christian farmers in Mdandi were busy in March harvesting crops when “scores of armed, hard-line Islamists — avoiding the surrounding Muslim villages — descended on Mdandi, destroyed the Christians’ homes and drove them out.”

Luka Zafi, a pastor of the Church of Christ in Nigeria, said there had been earlier attacks but none so brutal.

“They left and returned the second time with more of them, and all armed with guns. We could not fight back since we do not have arms to fight them. We ran out of the village, and they destroyed our two church buildings and our houses,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Egghead[Return to headlines]


2,500 Illegal Immigrants a Week From North Africa Flooding Into Europe Through Italy

As many as 2,500 illegal immigrants a week are flooding into the continent from North Africa through Italy, the European Union’s border protection agency has revealed.

The official figures, which came from Warsaw based Frontex, show that for the first three months of this year 33,000 people entered Europe illegally with 22,600 coming through Italy.

Most of those were economic migrants from Tunisia and sub-Sahran Africa who had fled countries that had been hit by popular uprisings in what was dubbed the Arab Spring.

Many of them came through the rocky Italian outcrop of Lampedusa on rickety fishing boats pushing the island’s limited resources to the limit with numbers at one point being double that of the 5,000 local inhabitants.

The figures were revealed in Athens by Frontex deputy director Gil Arias Fernandez during a visit to Greece which up until this year was the main entry point for illegal immigrants into Europe.

Mr Fernandez said that for the first quarter of this year just 7,200 illegal entries were registered in Greece — last year for the same period just 147 illegal migrants had been detected trying to enter Italy, compared to 13,085 attempting to get into Greece.

He added that while it was difficult to predict what would happen in the rest of the year, ‘the situation will remain quite dramatic in the central Mediterranean.’

Frontex and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees have said that more than 41,000 people have attempted to enter Europe through Lampedusa and other Italian islands.

With perfect timing the announcement from Frontex came as coastguards on Lampedusa intercepted a boat carrying 290 illegal immigrants, which added to the 1,600 that had arrived during the weekend.

One British official involved in illegal immigration in Italy said, ‘This is a big, big problem and added to this we still have the criminal gangs who are bringing people in.

‘We have passed on information that has helped intercept three boats involved in criminal people smuggling but that is a drop in the ocean compared to the huge numbers coming over.’

Many illegal immigrants have drowned in their attempts to cross from north Africa with dozens of boats sinking and other still missing and officials say with the summer fast approaching traffic will increase.

Italy has complained that other European states are not doing enough to help with the situation and there was a tense stand off with France who simply sent them back when they crossed over.

Before the civil war began Libyan patrol boats stopped any vessel attempting to set sail in a deal agreed with Italy and before the bombing campaign started mad dog Colonel Gaddafi threatened to turn Europe “black through illegal immigration” in an attempt to ward off military intervention.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

EU: Italy Now Chief Route for Illegal Migration to Europe

Brussels, 15 June (AKI) — Unrest in North Africa this year has caused the main flow of flow of illegal immigrants seeking to enter the European Union to switch from Greece to Italy’s islands, the EU’s border protection agency Frontex said Tuesday.

Frontex said a total of about 33,000 migrants were detected trying to enter the 27-nation bloc in the first three months of the year, more than double the figure for the same period of 2010. Over two-thirds of this number — 22,600 people — were found at Italy’s borders, mainly in the area around the tiny southern island of Lampedusa, said Frontex deputy director Gil Arias Fernandez.

Greece, whose frontier with Turkey was previously the main entry for people seeking to cross into the EU, saw 7,200 illegal entries in the same time period compared with 13,100 in January-March 2010 after border patrols were strengthened, according to Frontex.

More than 41,000 migrants have reached Lampedusa since the start of the year, including over 1,600 last weekend.

After a surge of Tunisian arrivals in early 2011 following the unrest in the North African country that toppled longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, most migrants now reaching Lampedusa and nearby islands have set sail from Libya.

Most hail from sub-Saharan Africa and are more likely to gain political asylum than Tunisians, who are considered economic migrants.

Fernandez said that while it was difficult to predict what would happen in the rest of the year, “the situation will remain quite dramatic in the central Mediterranean.”

Eu leaders are due to discuss possible revisions to the EU’s Schengen passport-free travel system for countries that are unable to control illegal immigration.

The influx of illegal migration to Europe from North Africa has sparked rows between EU states, notably Italy and France, into which many migrants had tried to cross after being granted six-month visas by Italy’s interior ministry.

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

Frattini Says He Expects Libyan Rebels Will Soon Take Steps to Stop Migrant Departures

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said during a TV interview earlier today that “the [Libyan] rebels have said they will keep the international commitments of the Libyan state” relating to illegal immigration (“I ribelli hanno detto che manterranno gli impegni internazionali dello stato libico…”) and that he expects an “important political signal [from the rebels] in the coming days.” (“Mi aspetto da parte loro un segnale politico importante gia’ nei prossimi giorni”.)

Libyan rebel leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, has previously said that a post-Gaddafi Libyan Government would respect “all agreements with Italy by the [Gaddafi] regime, including those involving combating illegal migration and oil contracts with Eni.” Specifically, Jalil has said that the rebels would “respect the Italian-Libyan Treaty signed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. … Any treaty or agreement [which was done] we respect it” and “we will try to implement the treaties.”

[see full article for more links]

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Swedish Church Members ‘Don’t Believe in Jesus’

Only 15 percent of members of the Church of Sweden say they believe in Jesus, and an equal number claim to be atheists according to the results of a recent survey.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Jihadis Collaborate to Create “Center for Electronic Terrorism” Aimed at Virtually Attacking Infrastructure in U.S., U.K., France

On June 11, 2011, Yaman Mukhaddab, a prominent writer on the Shumoukh Al-Islam forum, posted a call on the forum to establish a new Al-Qaeda center, which he called the “Center for Electronic Terrorism (CET).” The proposed center, according to Yaman, will specialize in virtual attacks against the U.S., U.K. and France. Yaman’s post included the initial phase of the center — that is, background information about the proposed center and a call for prospective recruits.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

NASA’s Voyager 1 Probe May Exit Solar System Next Year

A venerable NASA spacecraft could pop out of our solar system into interstellar space as early as next year, a new study suggests. The Voyager 1 probe, which is now about 11 billion miles (17.7 billion kilometers) from Earth, has entered an unexpected “transition zone” at the edge of the solar system, according to the study. This finding, along with observations by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, hints that Voyager may be about to go where no man-made object ever has — into the space between the stars — a few years earlier than previously thought. “Perhaps by the end of 2012, we will be out in the galaxy,” said the study’s lead author, Stamatios Krimigis, of Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]